Saturday, August 26, 2017

Selected short subjects for late summer

Jelly Bean
Your beloved pet has disappeared.  Forget about posting copies of a “LOST PET” sign all over town. Don’t bother wandering around calling her name. Those ways to find lost pets are so yesterday.  Simply “go online,” as a recent newspaper story advises.

It’s this simple: “An animal is lost. A message or picture is broadcast on social media. Hundreds of concerned “friends” . . . will repost on Instagram or retweet a lost pet notice without hesitation.”  The result: “helpful community activity” that often reunites lost pets with their owners.

But despite innumerable “high tech” lost and found pet Facebook groups and even lost and found pet apps, old-fashioned collars and ID tags are reported to still be “the most direct way to get a dog home.”  

(Hey! What about cats?! Especially since we know they’re much less likely to be claimed at shelters and returned home?) 

Only 33 percent of pet owners tag their pets, the story says. That seems like plain negligence to me. Microchips can also be tremendously helpful – if they’re registered, and linked to the right person.   

End macabre discoveries in your pool

Although it’s late in the swimming pool season, it’s never too late to save a life.  Here’s a Dodo article about an invention that allows animals who may get trapped in a pool to get out.  No more sad (and preventable) discoveries in the morning.  

The ASPCA looks at animal shelters

Here’s some compelling summer reading before getting fully back into all the things we do with and for animals the rest of the year. The ASPCA president reports on his organization’s findings – including positive trends -- about animal shelters.

And BTW, if you’re wondering about the status of Senator Linda Greenstein’s bill, S3019, requiring significant improvements in NJ’s animal shelters, we may have to wait till after this fall’s gubernatorial election for it to resurface. And then, prepare for a major campaign that leads (we pray) to victory for the animals.

What, no need for whisker relief?

A while ago, I wrote about cat bowls designed to offer “whisker relief” to cats seeming to be food averse – or bowl averse.  The story was that Dr. Catsby’s stainless steel bowls, very wide and corner-free, would make it easier for sensitive cats to eat because their whiskers wouldn’t be disturbed by high-sided, “cornery” bowls.

I have two of these bowls, practically brand new, for the first two respondents who want to see their cats eat with relish. Anyone out there want to claim one?  Or, if you have two cats with sensitive whiskers, the pair of bowls is yours. Please just let me know in a comment.

The last word on Monarchs

Finally, a P.S. to the Monarch butterfly hoopla in the last post.  I’ve learned there can be obstacles to helping butterflies on their way. Soon after sighting caterpillars on the milkweed plants, I began seeing thick clusters of tiny bright yellow “things” on the branches. I hoped they were Monarch eggs – but guess what: eggs don’t have legs and move around. 

That would be aphids, as I soon found out, and they’re a whole other story I won’t get into now.  Just know that aphids can be combated to maintain milkweed’s viability for Monarchs, and I’ve now done my best for this season.  Bon voyage, kids!  

Vacation time

Much more to follow here ~ after a belated summer break . . . .


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