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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Measure Up

"Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability."
~John Wooden

Only you know the truth about what you accomplished or will accomplish today: Is it the best you could have done with the abilities you have? Or is it something less than that? We cannot be our best every day for dozens of possible reasons and obstacles. However, we can choose today to be our best in every possible moment. To do less is to be less. What will you choose today?

Friday, June 25, 2010

How Did That Guy Maket It?

“While one person hesitates because he feels inferior… the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.”
~Henry C. Link
You know you say it to yourself: How did that guy make it? If only I were that smart/lucky/rich/happy… Well that guy is no smarter or luckier than you. And if he is richer or happier, it is through the hundreds of attempts, many of which failed, which he was making while you were pondering. Get out there and go for it and never ask that question again!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Have a Pet Safe 4th of July

Independence Day is almost here: Camping, BBQs, and of course, fireworks! But while you’re getting ready to celebrate with the rest of the country, don’t forget about your pets. The 4th of July is dangerous for dog and cats—more pets go missing this day than any other day of the year.
The main threat for pets comes from fireworks. All of those noises and flashing lights can send your cats or dogs into a fight-or-flight response so strong they take off at first blast. One minute your beloved Spot or Fluffy is sitting in your lap, and the next she bolts through an open gate into the night.
With a little preparation, you can help your pets avoid this scenario, and even protect them if they do get loose.
Plan ahead for the festivities.
Know where you’ll be this 4th of July and who you’ll be with. Then you’ll know if the environment is right to bring your pets. Are there going to be a lot of people around? Do your pets do well in crowds? Will you be too distracted having fun to keep a good eye on them? Holidays were designed for people to have a good time together, but don’t get caught up and forget about your pets’ whereabouts.
It’s okay to leave pets at home. Although they’d rather come along, we’re certain they don’t want to spend a harrowing night running from fireworks, possibly ending up at a shelter or worse. Give them a free pass to stay at home, cozy with the AC, and away from the overwhelming excitement.
You’ve got to take some precautions when leaving pets at home, though; the 4th of July isn’t just another night. The evening can be a real shock, and it’s common to come home to shredded pillows, scratched furniture, and love puddles on the floor. Rise to the occasion by following these tips for keeping pets home alone on the 4th of July:
Find a safe and quiet room for each pet.
Cover the windows and do your best to dampen outside sounds.
Make sure pets have plenty of fresh food and water.
Leave your pets’ favorite toys out, so they can play.
Before you leave for the celebrations, take your pets for a walk.
Turn the radio or television on at a low volume for distraction and comfort.
Remove anything you don’t want chewed, scratched, or damaged—anxiety draws out survival instincts in pets, leaving your property at risk.
Make any pet-sitting arrangements ahead of time, too, because many people go out of town and leave their pets at home. Your local pet sitter may already be booked up!
Tips for 4th of July vacationers
Not only is the 4th a fabulous holiday, it’s also a great time for your family vacation. And a family vacation without your pets just isn’t a family vacation. Anyone travelling with pets over the holiday should be extra cautious to keep them safe.
A new environment—your summer cabin, a beach rental, or a pet-friendly hotel—can be intimidating enough for your pets. It’s full of new smells and unfamiliar areas. But add loud explosions from fireworks, and that new environment becomes downright hostile. Keep your pets with you and on a leash at all times. It’s too dangerous to let them hang out sans leash even if that’s the norm. Pay attention to their behavior. Watch for signs they’re scared, and act quickly to remove them from stressful situations. If your pet runs off in an area that is unfamiliar to both of you, it’s going to be that much harder to find them.
None of this means you have to leave your pets at home. Just keep a close watch and understand the risks the holiday poses. A little awareness ought to do the trick.
Amp up your pet safety routine
Double up on your pet identification during this week. In addition to your microchip, make sure your pets are wearing visible ID that displays your phone number, or that of your pet recovery service or veterinarian. Consider a bright, attention-grabbing color for the ID tag, so people don’t have to search for it. Rescuers are much more likely to approach an animal they see has visible ID, because they know it belongs to someone who cares!
Remember, even though the 4th of July is just one day, the fireworks often start before then and continue a few days after. Don’t leave your pets alone outside during this time. It only takes one unexpected blast to send them into a scared frenzy. Do take them outside for a walk. They can release some pent up energy, and you can avoid in-the-house accidents.
Lastly, it’s helpful to understand what pets are going through. Cats and dogs hear with a much keener sense than humans do, and at that magnitude, fireworks sound terrifying. Just like us, they’re hard-wired for self-preservation. It’s your job to help your pets avoid that adrenaline roller coaster. Control their exposure to the noise and take necessary precautions to keep them calm during the celebrations.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Pet Care

Summertime is fun time, but hot weather makes for some unique pet care challenges. Both dogs and cats are at risk to heat and sun exposure, and need a little extra TLC to keep their coats primed and protected. But other dangers, like bugs and lawn fertilizers, pose additional risks for pets. So throughout the season, adapt your pet care routine to protect your pet from summer’s safety threats.
Humans aren’t the only animals that can find a hot summer day overwhelming. Unlike you, however, your pet has a limited ability to deal with the heat. Dogs and cats release heat through their paw pads and by panting—yes, cats pant, just more subtly. Dogs tend to drool as they keep cool, and cats lick themselves to lower body temperature. Dehydration can be a big problem. Make certain that pets always have access to plenty of cool water, and avoid letting them outside during the hottest parts of the day.
Providing your animals with a cool, shady place to rest is essential to summer pet care. Dogs and cats, particularly those with short, fine hair and pink skin, are susceptible to sunburn. Prolonged sun exposure for any pet can result in skin cancer, so it’s important to manage their time in the sun. Dogs and cats are most susceptible to sun damage at their ears, nose, and lips, where less fur protects the skin. Short summer haircuts are essential to keeping your pet comfortable, but they increase sun exposure. Talk to your veterinarian before applying any type of sunscreen—some are not safe for pets! When you find the right one, apply before exposure, and reapply often.
Another summer pet safety issue is the presence of ticks and other insects. Not only can bugs carry disease, but the ways people ward them off can cause problems for your indoor-outdoor pet’s health. Fertilizers and pesticides may help keep a lawn looking great, but they can be very dangerous for your pet. In areas where your pets play, it’s better to keep the grass cut short to reduce ticks and other insects. Talk to your vet about how to protect your pet from fleas, ticks, and other insects more prevalent during summer months.
Keep an eye out for toxic hazards when you’re outside with your pets. Fertilizer warnings on the edge of a lawn are a good signal to stay away, and you should also keep an eye out under cars. Anti-freeze can leak when cars overheat, leaving puddles that your dog or cat can easily lap up. The sweet taste of anti-freeze is tempting to pets and, but this toxic substance is potentially lethal.
Finally, although it can be an enormous amount of fun to bring your dog to the beach or pool, always keep a close eye when he’s in or near the water. Even a strong swimmer could have trouble getting out of a pool or get trapped in ropes and other obstacles.
Enjoying a safe summer with your pets is all about thinking ahead. Watch over them the way you would a small child—protect them from too much heat, sun, and other summer dangers—and everything should be just fine. Summer pet safety isn’t hard. It just requires some thought and attention.
Quick Tip for Dogs: Buy a doggie life preserver! If you are going to take your dog boating or swimming, a dog life preserver is an excellent investment for his safety.
Quick Tip for Cats: Break out the kitty brush and get busy! Cats shed more in hot weather. Regular brushing gets rid of loose hair and helps control hairballs.
Courtesy of