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It is with sadness (but not exactly surprise) that I share the news that our goldfish Dill has died.
Dill joined the family on August 7th, 2009 as a tankmate for Ginger who was fading after Fred’s death. Ginger died two weeks later leaving Dill as an “only fish” for the next (almost) seven years.
Having been through the “get a pair of fish/one dies/get a new one/one dies” cycle too many times in my life, I said Dill would be our last fish. When Madeline was little we brought home Mulder and Scully and figured when they inevitably died, we’d put the bowl in drydock and set a nice pair of candle holders in that spot. Scully lived through three bowls and two (progressively larger) tanks during her eight year run. Next came Fred and Ginger. Fred had more personality than any fish I have known and I still miss seeing his boisterous “feed me feed me feed ME” can-can dance every morning.
Dill was a little comet and never grew very much. He was cute and very mild mannered. Last fall Dill had some health problems. With fish, often once you realize they have a problem it’s too late. I didn’t think he’d live to see Halloween but, after a lot of water changes, medicinal salt and increased aeration, he managed to pull through. He looked somewhat worse for wear with clouded eyes and fin splits that wouldn’t heal.
He’d been doing well recently (and never lost his appetite) but this morning he was curled over and not swimming much. I did a quick water change but within a couple of hours he was gone. He was laid to rest under one of the lilac bushes Madeline planted for me near where Scully, Fred and Ginger were all buried over the years.
This is the end of an era. No more fishies. I’m going to be donating our little 6 gallon tank (stored and kept for use as a “hospital tank”), nets and fake rock archway. The twenty five gallon acrylic tank has been emptied and cleaned and will find a new home with my friend Betsy. That seems somehow appropriate as Betsy is the one who gave us a gallon bowl and Whisper aerator that started this whole fishy business.
It matters not one iota what species the critter is; once they’ve trotted, crawled, slithered, swum, or flown into your heart, they’re there to stay. You have my sinserious condolences. (And you KNOW I really mean it.) I’m proud of you for honoring all your finned friends under a lilac bush. That’s where all my sister’s pets have gone to rest in her yard, too. It is so much more fitting than a quick toilet flush.
Goodbye, sweet Dill. You were loved and will be missed.
This darling girl has what is so typical of her breed, allergies. While I cannot guarantee it would work, I’d strongly suggest whoever adopts her tries out a raw food diet for her, a la “Sid’s Canine Kitchen” (an instructional DVD that explains how to make your own raw-dog-food diet for your beloved pets, available now if you email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and soon to be on my website). Seriously, we’ve had several Westies with allergy issues that cleared up by switching to this diet. Don’t let that detail keep you from giving this girl a forever home!—Sid
Meet Ms. Duffie!
Duffie, a sweet 8-year old Westie girl, is still in need of a new home. This mature, loveable and very sweet girl is looking for a special family that can meet her needs.
This darling Westie is ready-made in many ways – she is crate trained, good with other dogs, is an obedience school graduate (knows several commands) and loves to be with you all the time. She likes to sit on your lap or next to you to watch TV or just chill out.
Duffie needs an owner that must be tolerant of her skin issues due to allergies. She will need occasional medicated baths (she is well-behaved during her bath), a good diet and daily checks of her skin to prevent or catch “hot spot” flare-ups before they get out of hand.
She needs to lose a little weight so exercise is a must. She is used to a fenced yard so she likes to chase squirrels; however she is also a good leash walker which will help in her weight loss program. She likes to walk and investigate her surroundings – she can run, too!
Duffie is a charming older girl that still has plenty of pep in her! Could she be your next Westie?
Duffie is available for adoption through Lacy’s Legacy Scottie & Westie Rescue.
If you are interested in adopting her, please contact John or Steph Wisecarver at
Saturday, June 25, 2011
I’ll be performing animal blessings once an hour from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the
Pet-a-Palooza at the State Fair Grounds. Join the fun in this free event with dozens of animal rescue organizations and pet-related vendors, food, music and entertainment. Sponsored by The Urban Dog. Pets are welcome!
Just four days left to get your submissions in to the Petlitzer Prize writing contest. Start your story with “It was a dark and stormy night, and my [pet]…” to possibly win accolades, a medallion, and a live reading on Dog Works Radio. May 31 is the deadline! Click on the Petlitzer Prize Round 4 link above for all the info.
How hard can it be? Write a short pet-related story starting with “It was a dark and stormy night, and my [pet]…” Win and get it read on the air on Dog Works radio, get a certificate and possibly a medallion, and secure bragging rights! Click the Petlitzer Prize Round 4 link above for info.
Stop procrastinating, pet writers! We need your entries to the current round of the Petlitzer Prize contest by May 31st. Start out your short story with “It was a dark and stormy night, and my [pet]…” Click on the link above for all the rules and further info. This is a really fun prompt, so stop holding back on your creativity. If you win, your work will be read live on DogWorks radio and you will receive a certificate of award and possibly a handsome medal. A win can look good on a résumé, too. Submit SOON!
Remember to submit your short story, starting with the prompt: “It was a dark and stormy night, and my [dog, cat, horse, etc.]…” to the Petlitzer Prize contest! The deadline is May 31. FFI click on the Round 4 Petlitzer Prize link above!
I was discussing the importance of the human-animal bond today with my PetPAC colleague, pet photographer Patrick Nau. We noted the current expansion plans for the business Chuck & Don’s Pet Food Outlet, where Nau’s beautiful pet portraits are on display and for whom he does newsletter and advertising photography.
I wondered what might allow Chuck & Don’s to achieve success like this in the midst of the Great Recession, then I answered my own question. Studies have shown that pet-related businesses are one of the few recession-resistant ventures. Many people, myself included, will sacrifice their own comforts to provide for their animal companions. Why is this, when so many of us are losing sleep at night over our climbing levels of debt and dwindling incomes? It’s certainly not “rational.”
What I decided must be a motivating factor is the fact that our companion animals are our “anchors to sanity.” (Patrick really liked that phrase.) With them we find a relationship wherein we get out of it much more than we give, no matter how much we give. What work or interpersonal relationship can consistently boast that? Being around our animals lowers our blood pressure, reduces our stress, makes us feel unconditionally loved and accepted, gives us a sense of being necessary to another living being, etc. Is it any wonder we place such a high value on this relationship?
When the rest of our lives may appear to be spinning out of our control, we know we can still go for a walk with or play fetch with our dog, sit quietly in a rocking chair with our cat, talk to our birds, and so on. We are reminded by our animal companions of the simple pleasures, of the joy to be found in living in the moment. We may not be able just now to shell out money for expensive trips to Cancun, all the latest in techno-gadgetry, or visits to a high-priced psychiatrist to diminish our stress, but as long as we have our dearest four-legged (two-winged, etc.) friends with us, we just may not have as great a need for any of those things. —Sid