"Aw, come on Mom. Take me with you." Do those beautiful eyes looking up at you seem to say this when you are about to leave the house? Does your pet park him or herself in front of the door attempting to block your leave? Or does your pet ignore you and give you 'the look' and seem a little lethargic when you come home? Your pooch or cat might be trying to tell you something. Perhaps they need a vacation with a relative, a friend's home or a trip to a pet daycare!
Our eldest daughter moved out late this winter and took her six year old kitty with her. Needless to say, we miss both. To give context, this was an indoor/outdoor cat that has now gone to apartment living and the balcony is her backyard. This pretty grey tuxedo truly loves her mom but lately appears to be in a bit of a protest. She is persistent on lying in front of the door when our daughter tries to leave, and has become rather verbal. Other than her normal sleeping habit, she seems to have adapted to apartment living but does give the wistful look of "I want my old life back and after all, it's summer." After a discussion on how to help her, 'Cotton' is coming home for a vacation for a couple of weeks. Like the cliché says, "A change is as good as a rest." And this way I get to have a cat again for a while! I'll give you an update when she's been back at her apartment home to see if it has helped.
Now, on to our pooch. Animals are sentient beings; they have feelings. We have a very expressive and intelligent dog. Her dark brown eyes are like deep pools of black water and when I look at her, my heart melts. Really in tuned with her, I know when she's 'off'. She's also very social but loves her family very much by showing amazing affection and communication; she tells us. She 'makes' us love her and lets us know if she needs more attention. But, there are times when she won't get off her favourite chair and when called, provides an uninterested look. If this persists, I feel that something must change other than more training; that she needs need more dog social interaction. Yes, we have tried dog parks, but her enthusiasm can overwhelm some dogs and some guardians are unpredictable. So off to dogie daycare she goes to see her pals. Even a half day helps. I think sometimes she might miss them.
Mental health days for animal companions are important just like they are for humans. Sometimes they need to get away and have a change of scenery (apart from dog walking). Of course, you are the best judge of that for your sweet one. But if you wonder what's going on with your pet, if he or she may seem 'off' from their usual character for a while, observe them for a few days and make an assessment. What are they doing that's different or not doing on a daily basis? Perhaps there has been a change of routine in their home, someone has moved or maybe they're ill. Perhaps a dedicated concentration of your time would help or maybe . . . they just need a vacation.
Have a great rest of the summer!
Reana Selody Joubert
Pondering, mulling, musing with pen in hand about animals or people, sometimes family or sometimes wild. Oh, and news & events, too.
We acknowledge the First Nations of Musqueam, Tsawwassen, Tsleil-watuth, Qayqayt, Kwikwetlem, Katzie, and Kwantlen whose unceded land we
work, play, and reside. Thank you, Honoured Ones.
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