On November 4, as I handed Lolavie to her smiling new parents, I thought about the beautiful trust she and I had built together during her time with me. And though I am thrilled for Lolavie, my joy is tinged with deep sadness and constant worry. Our Yoda has cancer, and Howard and I are devastated.
October! The first full month of fall. The days grow shorter, leaves turn vibrant hues, and the cooler air seems almost to sparkle. It’s a month of migrating birds, harvest celebrations, and trick-or-treat. And for those of us whose lives involve animal rescue, it’s also a time dedicated to dogs and pet health and safety.
We know when they’re happy — that crook in the tail. We know when they’re angry — the flattened ears and the arched back. And we certainly know when they’re scared or annoyed — hiss! Our cats have rich emotional lives and we've learned to understand their eloquent body language. So, after Grogu died on August 4, I wasn’t surprised to see his best friend Yoda, grieving. But it broke my heart, just the same.
The Beth Stern Socialization School for Feral Nuggets was briefly in session again this month, and this year’s freshman class was well…fresh! Still, it seemed to take no time at all for my four pupils to go from naughty to nice. I expected to collect many wounds like the one on my left index finger, but there was just the one and it healed quickly. It will take longer for these babies to heal my broken heart.
This year, the “dog days of summer” fall between July 3 and August 10. But for me, these special days began in late June when I fell madly in love with Drake, a spectacular senior who found himself in the care of North Shore Animal League America when his human went into a nursing home. He’s a big, handsome mush, and like so many others, all he needs is a second chance.
June is a busy month for us animal people. Besides being National Pet Preparedness Month, which coincides with first month of hurricane season, it’s also Pet Microchip Month and, closest to my heart, Adopt a Shelter Cat Month.
“Too much responsibility.” These words are simply infuriating, especially right now with May being Responsible Animal Guardian Month. I believe that having a pet is a privilege that we earn by being responsible. So, what does it take to be a responsible animal guardian? I’ve thought a lot about this, and I’ve come up with five characteristics that define responsible pet guardianship.
It occurs every year on the last Sunday in April, and even though it involves millions of people, it doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves. It’s National Pet Parents Day, which honors the unbreakable bond between pets and their human parents. So, consider this my greeting card to you: Happy Pet Parents Day!
The world is full of things that divide us: borders, politics, religion, race, traditions, and most brutally of all, war. But there are also many things that connect us to one another and to our planet. One of those things is our compassion for animals and our commitment to help the helpless even at great cost.
Do I have your attention? Good, because the tragedy of feline overpopulation needs everyone’s attention all the time. FYI, kitten season is usually defined as the months between April and October, when feline reproduction goes into overdrive. But the fact is, kitten season never really stops, which means that you and I can never stop doing everything we can to educate people about the absolute necessity of spay/neuter.