General Interest

St Simeons Blessing of the Animals

posted October 11th, 2017 by
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St Simeons

BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS

SAINT SIMEON’S EPISCOPAL HOME

OCTOBER 3, 2017

St Simeons

St SimeonsSt SimeonsIt was beautiful…the Blessing of the Animals by Father Bill Holly that took place at Saint Simeon’s Episcopal Home on Tuesday, October 3rd in observance of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.  Residents, staff, guests who came to watch and family members who brought dogs, a turtle, a Bearded Dragon and a black and white Tegu lizard named Alphys were present at this annual event.  Special guests also came – 5 adoptable dogs, brought by the Tulsa SPCA.

As Father Holly laid his hand on each animal, he said the pet’s name and the name of the owner along with saying the prayer for the Blessing which recognizes every animal’s importance in their own right.

 

St SimeonsSt SimeonsEleven dogs, from our Golden Retriever, Simone, to German Shepherds, mixed breeds, and several terriers that were rescued by the Tulsa SPCA from a hoarding situation were blessed on this day.  Thirty-one people were present for this special yearly event.  Thirty-one people came away with a more intense special love for a pet.

Donna M. Mayotte

Executive Administrative Assistant

 

Saint Simeon’s Episcopal Home

When Pets Grieve

posted August 10th, 2017 by
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When Pets Grieve

By Cindy Webb

When Pets Grieve

Turns out, Isabelle wasn’t dying, but she was a mess. One veterinarian recommended immediate euthanasia. Unwilling to give up on the little cat, Kathryn took Isabelle to another veterinarian who found that most of Isabelle’s teeth were bad. After dental surgery and a few weeks on a gluten-free diet, Isabelle blossomed.

Scarlet, however, was not happy with the newcomer. Growling, spitting and even slapping were common occurrences over the next three years that the cats shared living space. Yet, when Isabelle suddenly and tragically passed away one night, Kathryn and her husband were shocked to discover that Scarlet seemed to share their grief.

“She seemed depressed and was clingy,” said Kathryn of the usually aloof cat. “She became very needy and wanted to cuddle all the time. We have lots of pictures of her from that time because it was so unusual.”

“It might surprise people that pets grieve just as we do,” said Lindsay Benson, M.S., LPC, and certified pet loss and bereavement therapist. “But there’s actually a lot of scientific evidence to support that fact. In the wild, and in the home, animal behaviorists see definite changes in behavior when there’s been a loss.”

According to Benson, people often don’t realize their pets are grieving because they are so caught up in their own grief.

“I’ve had many people come in after they’ve lost their pet and say, ‘My other dog is being so bad. He peed in the house, and he’s just being so annoying.’ I try to help them understand that the dog they lost, and the dog they still have, were best friends.”

Signs of Grief in a Pet

“Grieving animals might display anxious behaviors, much like a human would,” said Benson. “In humans, anxiety is a huge marker of grief. Another common indicator that an animal is grieving is pacing or going to the preferred spot of the animal that died,” said Benson. “It can be comparable to separation anxiety.”

Additional behaviors that are common in grieving animals include:

Loss of appetite: You may notice there is still food in the bowl after feeding them.

Lethargy: You might find them hiding under the bed, taking longer naps, or just not having the zest for life they once had.

Anxiety: You might find that they can’t sleep because they are searching, pacing, and whining. They might seem restless, checking the windows and doors.

Excessive clinginess: Following you from room to room, or wanting to be cuddled and petted.

Negative behaviors: chewing, digging, and housetraining accidents.

Supporting the Surviving Animals

“Your pet grieving the loss of another pet is normal. This is very important to understand,” said Benson. “You can’t stop it from happening, and it needs to happen. But you can do certain things to support them and make the transition easier for them. First,” she said, “you need to own it, and be aware that it is happening: ‘I’m grieving the loss of my pet and so are my other pets.’ Your next job is to support yourself and your pet through the journey of grief.”

Here are Benson’s suggestions for the journey:

Maintain a normal routine: Routine is the biggest indicator to the animal that everything is going to be OK.

Support them nutritionally: Loss of appetite is normal, but if it goes on for days, try putting some favorite treats in their bowl along with their food to entice them. But don’t get excessive with treats, because you don’t want to set a new standard of expectation from your animals.

Increase bonding time: This can be as simple as petting, grooming, or giving them a massage. Touch is calming for them and for you.

Increase exercise: You may want to add more walks and games for dogs or more play time for cats. Exercise can be especially helpful for animals that are anxious and searching. Greater activity tires them out and allows them to rest.

Set boundaries on negative behaviors: Be consistent in discipline. Even though you can acknowledge that their acting up behavior is probably a sign of grief, you can’t just let it go, as it can easily become the norm.

Benson does not recommend medication for the grieving pet but suggests that essential oil compounds “specifically blended for animals” might help calm them. Pheromone sprays can be helpful for cats. When a cat smells a pheromone from its own species, the endocrine system releases a calming chemical.

Remember that your pet’s grieving behaviors won’t last forever. “These behaviors typically last for a few days to a few weeks,” said Benson. “Animals’ recovery time from grief is definitely faster than for humans.”

Sharing in the Experience

According to Benson, there is evidence to support the idea of allowing the other pets in the home to be present for the euthanasia of a furry family member when possible.

“Researchers have found that around 80 percent of the time, the surviving pets will come over to the deceased animal and smell, nuzzle and investigate. They then seem to understand that their companion animal has died,” said Benson. She added that when the other pets are present for the passing, they show less anxious, searching behavior.

“They might search for a few hours, and then it subsides,” she said. “When they are not a part of the passing, it can be days and weeks that they continue that behavior.”

Benson suggests discussing home euthanasia with your veterinarian. Many veterinarians now offer that service. “You can also take your other animals with you to the vet if you don’t feel comfortable having it done in your home,” she said.

Our family opted for having our other pets present for the passing of our 14-year-old Springer Spaniel, Cubby. His hind legs had been failing him for almost a year, and the day came when he simply couldn’t get up. His pleading eyes told us all we needed to know. When our veterinarian arrived at our home, she encouraged us to have our other animals present for the euthanasia. Our surviving dog, Roxie, and cat, Agatha, watched motionless and tense throughout the procedure. Our vet said they would know when Cubby was gone by a change in his scent.

I was concerned that Roxie would have anxiety issues after Cubby’s passing, as she always did when separated from him. Yet, maybe because she was present when he died, she didn’t express the anxious checking and whining behaviors she showed when he went to the groomer or the vet.

Getting a New Pet

According to Benson, the first thing you need to do when you are tempted to get a new pet after a pet dies, is ask yourself: “Why?”

“If you think that it’s going to end your grief, or heal the hurt you are experiencing, that is not the right reason,” said Benson. “Grief is a natural journey after loss, and there is no escaping it. No cute, fluffy kitten or puppy is going to make it go away.”

She recommends that people wait at least 30 days before making any decisions about getting a new pet. “After the 30 days, you will be in a better mental state for making a decision,” said Benson.

Benson“Give yourself time, and make sure the reasons behind getting the new pet are appropriate. You don’t want to get a new pet to replace the lost animal or to stop yourself from grieving. What I find when people jump the gun, is they start feeling resentment toward the new pet because it isn’t just like the pet they lost,” said Benson. “The new pet never stood a chance.”

She said that postponing getting a new pet is also important for your surviving pets. “The grieving pet needs to process its grief before being introduced to another new pet,” said Benson.

“Bringing a new pet into the household is a big transition no matter what the circumstances. You may see an increase in acting out behaviors and accidents if you bring in a pet too soon. Everyone needs to be as emotionally stable as possible before getting a new pet.”

Be Patient with the Process

“While you want to support your pets through grief, there is no magic wand that will make it go away,” said Benson. “People want to hurry through grieving, but that is not realistic. You can’t do that for yourself; you can’t do it for your pet… But,” she added, “the more supportive and aware we are about our surviving pet’s grief, the more kindness we are probably showing to ourselves as we also grieve.”

Vampires Helping Cats in Tulsa

posted July 11th, 2017 by
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PC KC 3

Vampires Helping Cats in Tulsa, Ok.

PC KC 3bToday is the release of LOVED, the first book in the House of Night Otherworld series. This young-adult series is based in Tulsa and is about a group of vampyre friends protecting their beLoved city and the rest of the world from a dark and malevolent enemy. LOVED is the continuation of the House of Night series, which follows these vampy teens through a vampyre boarding school named House of Night.

P.C. and Kristin Cast, a mother/daughter writing team, and Tulsa residents at the time, penned these books, the first of which came out a decade ago.

What does this have to do with pets, you say? Well, a lot. Read on.

Each vampyre at the House of Night has an animal familiar, usually cats, but a sweet canine comes into play further into the stories. There is also a stable blessed with gentle horses where the students can learn to ride and care for them. One of the recurring locations in the House of Night series is a cat shelter called Street Cats, ran by the Benedictine Sisters. P.C. and Kristin modeled this fictional feline rescue after Tulsa’s real life StreetCats Inc. While it is not run by nuns, it is powered completely by volunteers and donations from cat-loving people like you and I. For more information, check out the StreetCats Inc.

Both authors love this particular pet paradise and gladly share the limelight with it. In fact, P.C. and Kristin are covering all StreetCat adoption fees for July 5th-12th to celebrate the release of LOVED and the House of Night’s 10-year anniversary.

I have been a fan of the House of Night series since the beginning and am so excited to see the characters return for more adventures. I contacted P.C and Kristin about the upcoming book and their relationship with StreetCats in Tulsa. Not only did I get to correspond with them through our electronic interview, they even sent me an ARC (advanced reader copy) of LOVED. I immediately made time to devour the book and was not disappointed. These young characters have grown up into powerful vampyres and the stakes are high as another attack on Tulsa threatens to destroy everything. It was a thrill to connect with some of my favorite authors, especially for my favorite magazine! Here is a sneak peek of our email palavers.

How was the House of Night born? How did you two decide to pen these novels?

PC: In 2005 I was at a writers’ conference with my agent, Meredith Bernstein, and she said that she would like me to consider writing a series set at a “vampyre finishing school.”  I was teaching then at South Intermediate High School in Broken Arrow (Go Tigers!), and I instantly thought about a high school setting.  Meredith was thinking more adult and sexy, especially as I already had several adult paranormal romances already published, but I was insistent.  She gave me the green light to write a proposal and the first three chapters, and they totally won her, and St. Martin’s Press, over!

Do you write together? Tell me about your writing process.

PC: For the House of Night, Kristin is my teen voice, front lined editor.  I do all the writing.  She brainstorms with me, helps me outline, and is my first editor.  We do actually co-write books, though.  THE SCENT OF SALT AND SAND is a novella we co-authored that is set in Kristin’s world of her series, THE ESCAPED.  Right now, we are hard at work co-authoring a brand-new YA paranormal series called THE DYSASTERS, which will begin releasing spring 2018.  When we write together we each choose and create characters, and then take turns writing chapters.  Whose turn to write depends on whose character is the main focus of that particular chapter.

Introduce me to your pets.

PC: I have a personal protection Eastern European German Shepherd named Badger who is a fantastic warrior and working dog.  Three Scotties: Cameron, Captain Kirk, and The Mighty Khan.  A Maine Coon named Xena Warrior Princess Cast, and two quarter horse mares, Anjo and The Black.

KC: I have two alien baby French bulldogs, Grace Kelly and Sir Laurence Olivier, and a squishy, giant mastiff puppy named Baloo (like from The Jungle Book)!

Which animals are your supervisors during writing?

PC: Oh, mine “help” every night!  I write late, late at night, surrounded by three Scottie dogs, my German Shepherd, and my Maine Coon. Sometimes I worry about what I’m writing, though, because I always seem to put them to sleep…

KC: Gracie loves to “help” me. There’s a bed for her right next to my desk where she curls up into a little furry ball and snores away. Sometimes the big one (Baloo) will come in, but it’s really just to get Gracie to play with him. Once they get started, I have to kick them out. Mastiff/Frenchie play time is sooooo loud. Sir Laurence is very anti-social and prefers to stay in his house on his heating pad. He has the right idea. If I didn’t have any responsibilities, I’d stay in my room on a heating pad too.

What, to you, is the message of House of Night?

PC: There are several messages in HoN.  One of the most important is that it is not our mistakes that define us, but how we recover from them and then learn and grow.  We also make very clear points about the importance of empathizing with those who are different – and that being different is not synonymous with being bad or sinful or evil.  And, of course, we continue to fight racism, misogyny, and homophobia with every book.

P.C. and Kristin will be at Books a Million at 7404 S Olympia Ave in Tulsa TODAY at 7pm for a meet and greet and to sign copies of LOVED. You can read more about this dynamic duo in the July/August issue of Tulsa Pets Magazine. Check it out!

P.C. Cast link https://www.pccastauthor.com/

Kristin Cast link https://www.kcastauthor.com/home

House of Night link https://www.houseofnightseries.com/

StreetCats Inc. link http://www.streetcatstulsa.org/

Shoes & Boots for Dogs…Really!

posted December 12th, 2016 by
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Will Tottle

Fashion Tips for Your Trusted Friend

– Shoes & Boots for Dogs…Really!

By Will Tottle

We love our dogs, and there is nothing more important than their happiness and well-being. So when we take them out in the rain, many of them end up with cold paws – especially if they have short coats. Some even suffer from allergies to grass and other irritants that are found on the ground, making walking an uncomfortable time for them.

Whether your dog needs something between them and the ground, or you just want them walking in style, there are a pair of shoes or rain boots waiting for your canine companion. Here are the five we consider to be the best.Boots

Mosunx Dog Boots

These adorable booties for dogs are cheap and come in five different sizes, so practically every dog can benefit from a pair of these. They feature a sweet design with a soft inside for your pooch’s comfort.

They are waterproof as well as anti-slip so that even in wet weather your dog will come home with dry paws. The rubber sole offers protection from broken glass, sharp stones, and nails, so walking in urban areas doesn’t need to cause stress. Plus, they are incredibly fashionable.

BootsWaterproof and Reflective Dog Shoes

Perfect for medium and large dogs who suffer from allergies, these boots will ensure their paws stay dry in wet weather, but also have reflective Velcro for safe night time walking. They are ideal for protecting the pads of their paws from hot road surfaces or snow.

The soles are made from thick rubber and are anti-slip so they won’t be falling over everywhere in wet or icy conditions. Plus, it helps protect their paws from broken glass and other sharp debris that might be lying around.

BootsPesp Rain Boots

These adorable rain boots come in a variety of colors and in five sizes that are sure to have your dog looking spectacularly stylish in no time at all. They have a Velcro fastening and are really easy to get on as well as off again.

Ideal for rain and snow, they are also waterproof and anti-slip, which is perfect for winter walks. They are really comfortable for your pet to wear and allow free movement for them while walking. Plus, all the colors will have them looking fab.

BootsDenim Dog Shoes

Want your dog’s style to match yours? What better way than these stylish denim dog shoes. These casual booties fasten with a small shoe lace, so they really will be the most fashionable dog in town. They are made from denim and have a thick rubber sole.

This means they are non-slip, so in wet conditions, they won’t be falling over. They act to keep your dog’s paws clean, comfortable, and protected from sharp debris such as glass or sharp stones. A truly stylish look that comes in two sizes.

BootsPetacc Waterproof Dog Boots

These cute boots from Petacc are made from a tough and durable material that is also waterproof and will prevent your dog from slipping over. They help to keep their paws clean, and the rubber soles protect them from debris and sharp objects.

It has reflective Velcro straps so that your dog is safe at night and passing vehicles can see them. They also feature adorable embroidery that is sure to make an impression on other pet owners. People will be asking you where they can get a pair!

Of course, your dog’s style is important when it comes to walking, but so is yours. It’s important that you, like your canine companion, are wearing the right footwear for the task. When walking out in the winter, spring, or after rain/snow has fallen, a pair of rain boots is ideal. They keep your feet warm, dry, and free from mud so that you can enjoy your walk.

There are some great rain boots out there for you, many of which will have you looking as stylish as your dog. So when you go out walking together, you can do so with pride.

To Conclude

Giving your canine companion a pair of rain boots or shoes can be really beneficial, both in terms of their health (if they suffer from allergies and such) as well as their safety when walking in urban or littered areas. Plus, they leave them looking really stylish and fashionable. So when you’re thinking about what to get your dog, why not a pair of boots?

 

About the Author

Will is a freelance writer, his blog can be seen here . If you are interested in more information on outdoor clothing, footwear and accessories, then check out his ultimate welly boot guides for more details

Follow Will on Facebook or Google+

Will Tottle

Will Tottle

Dog Smells

posted November 13th, 2016 by
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Dog Smells

5 Tips for Getting Rid of Dog Smells

without Expensive Products

Dog SmellsThere are plenty of great things about owning a dog. Companionship, exercise and love to name a few. But one of the downsides is that “doggy” smell that seems to be impossible to remove.

Considering the benefits of owning a dog, most owners are happy to just accept the smell as part of the deal. Dogs don’t hold themselves to the same hygiene standards as humans, so it’s not a surprise they smell a bit! But the good news is that a dog smell doesn’t need to be an unavoidable side-effect of owning a dog, as we’ll see in this article.

What Causes the Dog Smell?

All animals have a natural smell, but the dog version seems to be particularly strong and distinctive. This is mainly because dogs are larger than other indoor domestic animals, which is why cat owners don’t have a similar problem.

The doggy smell is often caused by paw sweat which is carried around the home. The continuous build-up of sweat and bacteria leads to sofas and other furniture starting to smell.

Smells may also be caused by unconscious scent-marking. Don’t worry – this doesn’t involve urinating on the carpet! Dogs naturally produce a smell to mark their territory, and this is often the main culprit when it comes to a lingering smell in your home. Other causes for a dog smell include skin oil, which is why dogs with oily skin often smell more strongly, and ear wax.

In many cases, the smell is simply because your pet is dirty. Dirt provides the perfect environment for odor-releasing bacteria (just like humans).

Tip #1 – Freshen Up Your Upholstery

Furniture is one of the most commonly overlooked sources of a dog smell. Most people don’t vacuum upholstery as often as carpets, which is why the fabric can harbor odors – especially if your pet loves to sleep on the sofa.

 The first step is to remove and wash any covers that can be machine washed. Use a high heat (check the label first though) to quickly get rid of odor-releasing particles.

For parts of the sofa that can’t be machine washed, baking soda can be useful for getting rid of smells. Just sprinkle it over areas you think are particularly smelly and leave for 2-3 hours, before vacuuming up the powder.

Tip #2 – Wash (And Dry) Your Dog More Regularly

The cleaner your dog, the less he is going to smell. When giving your pet a bath, make sure you check the feet and fur for anything he might have stepped or rolled in. Then use a dog shampoo (don’t use regular shampoo) on his entire body.

Once washed, it’s also important to dry your dog thoroughly. Dog hair is a perfect location for bacteria, which also thrives on moist conditions. This is why “wet dog” is such a distinctive smell!

Unfortunately, most dogs hate having baths. You can often make the process more fun for them by providing the occasional treat throughout the process.

Tip #3 – Get Rid of Carpet Smells

Carpets, wood floors and even vinyl can start to smell if not cleaned regularly. In fact, flooring is probably the most common cause of a dog smell that never seems to go away. This is because your dog’s feet picks up all sorts of bacteria on walks, which are then carried into the home.

For this reason, hard floors should be regularly cleaned with an anti-bacterial floor cleaner that’s suitable for the type of material. The goal isn’t to make the floor look clean, although this is a bonus, but to kill bacteria living on the floor.

You can also use the baking soda trick on carpets to clean areas that smell noticeably bad. Sprinkle the powder on the worst areas and leave it overnight.

Note: if your carpets are heavily soiled, you may need to hire a professional carpet cleaner. This can be expensive, but provides a much cleaner starting point to maintain a smell-free home.

Tip #4 – Vacuum Three Times Each Week

Dog hair isn’t the only thing that drops off your pet. Skin particles, bacteria and dirt are all released from your dog – especially when he shakes after a walk.

That’s why it’s a good idea to vacuum at least three times per week. This sounds like a lot, but you’ll be amazed at how much dirt and hair a vacuum with strong suction will remove from your home even when cleaning regularly.

If you own a steam cleaner, the high pressure output can kill bacteria in carpets and on hard floors. Some steam cleaners also come with an upholstery tool, which can be useful for removing stubborn odors from sofas and other furniture.

Tip #5 – Brush Your Pooch’s Teeth

Finally, bad dog breath is another common source of unwanted odors. The best way to solve this is to regularly clean your dog’s teeth.

Admittedly, many dogs hate having their teeth cleaned. If your pet won’t let you clean his teeth, you can try treats that clean while the dog chews them. These aren’t as effective as a proper toothbrush though.

Summary

An unpleasant smell doesn’t need to be an unavoidable consequence of owning a dog. By following the tips in this post, you can get rid of the dog smell and make your home smell fresh and inviting.

While it’s a good idea to follow all the tips in this post, the most important is keeping your upholstery and carpets as clean as possible. These are reservoirs of bacteria that cause your home to smell, so cleaning them can have a big effect on odors.

- Andrew Webster

Home Veterinary Care brings clinic to your living room

posted October 19th, 2016 by
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Home Veterinary Care

Have you ever tried to take three cats to the vet? Or just one really stressed out cat? Maybe your large dog is sick and having trouble hopping into the car. Maybe your pet isn’t the problem, but your kid lost his shoes… again. Whatever it is that makes getting to the vet difficult, Tulsa’s newest mobile veterinarian can help.

Dr. Gabrielle Fielstra, who is also a mom to three young children, wanted to take charge of her schedule after working as veterinarian in a clinic for 10 years.

“I have thought about it for a while and it’s something I definitely think there is a need for here in town, ” said Fielstra, who launched Home Veterinary Care in June.

Many of her clients had pets that were stressed by coming into the clinic and had asked about home visits, says Fielstra.

Home Veterinary Care

Dr. Gabrielle Fielstra and vet tech Ashley Jones.

“It’s a lot more personalized,” she said. “I get to know my clients a lot better when I’m standing in their living room than in an exam room. And you can see the patients better; you can see them in their environment.”

For example, a limping dog may hide their injury in the clinic.

“The big thing is behavior, you can see the source,” Fielstra explained. “If a pet is going to the bathroom in the house, you can see their environment and what is going on with the litter box or the yard; things the client may not even think to tell you when they are standing in an exam room.”

Another service offered quality of life evaluations and end of life care.

“I can give my advice on the patient’s quality of life and if there is anything we can do to help improve quality of life or if it is time and help [clients] come to terms with that,” Fielstra said. “That’s the hardest part is getting to that point.

“We do a lot of referrals for home euthanasia,” Fielstra continued. “It’s a lot more comfortable. People are upset and they don’t want to be upset at a clinic in an exam room. We work with all of the pet funeral homes so we can help take care of the remains.”

Fielstra books her appointments in one-hour blocks allowing 15 to 20 minutes for travel, leaving 30 to 45 minutes for the actual appointment time.

Supplies are carried in the van including medications, a mini lab with microscopes and some basic tests. The exam is conducted in the house or yard if the pet is an outdoor animal.

“I think one thing that people hesitate on is the price; people assume it’s going to be really expensive,” Fielstra said. “We try to price it where it is still really reasonable.”

There is a travel fee separate from the exam fee. If you are having multiple animals examined, there is still only one travel fee. Package discounts for annual shots are also offered.

Home Veterinary Care serves Tulsa and the surrounding area Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit homevetcaretulsa.com or call 918.892.9382.

-Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

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