Who knows whether it was a smell, or a sound, or what…
This is a story from England. From a town called Tow Law, a few miles to the south-west of Newcastle. As wikipedia explains: Tow Law is a town and civil parish in County Durham, England. It is situated a few miles to the south of Consett and 5 miles to the north west of Crook.
Anyway, the story was published by The Dodo and is reproduced below.
Dog Out On A Walk Finds Someone Very Stuck In A Stone Wall
A guy and his dog were out on a walk one day through a field in Tow Law, England, when the dog suddenly became very interested in a nearby stone wall. After looking a little closer, the pair found a cat — who had somehow gotten himself completely stuck in the wall.
The RSPCA was called and Inspector Ruth Thomas-Coxon drove over to try and help. She was hoping that it would be as easy as just gently pulling the cat, later named Freddy, out of the wall, but she quickly discovered that he was much more stuck than that.
“Initially it looked as though he’d chosen to tuck himself inside the gap, but he didn’t try to run away when we got closer,” Thomas-Coxon said in a press release.
Thomas-Coxon weighed all her options and decided the best way to free Freddy would be to take apart the stone wall.
“The owner of the paddocks and wall came out and, between us, we removed some of the stones to dismantle the top part of the wall and free the cat,” Thomas-Coxon said. “He made a dash for it and jumped into another part of the wall, where we were able to catch him.”
Even though Freddy was definitely stuck and needed help, he was also not super pleased about being rescued by strangers. Once he realized he was safe, though, he calmed down, and Thomas-Coxon took him to the vet to get him checked out.
“Vets found he was in fairly good health, although he had some mats in his coat, which they removed,” Thomas-Coxon said. “He was a sweet, friendly cat, so I wondered if he was a missing pet, but he was not microchipped. I made some inquiries nearby, put up a poster where we rescued him and also put his profile on PetsLocated, but, unfortunately, he’s not yet been claimed.”
Freddy is settling into the shelter well, and if no one comes forward to claim him, he’ll be put up for adoption. From being stuck in a stone wall to a potential forever home — Freddy’s come a long way.
It’s a strange story in the sense that the cat was not claimed so who knows where he had come from. But his future is much better, thanks to the RSPCA, and if he is adopted it will be to a good, caring home.
Have you noticed more cats riding in strollers lately? Or bumper stickers that read, “I love my granddogs”? You’re not imagining it. More people are investing serious time, money and attention in their pets.
It looks an awful lot like parenting, but of pets, not people.
Can this kind of caregiving toward animals really be considered parenting? Or is something else going on here?
The scene is set for people to actively choose to focus on pets instead of children.
In earlier research, I interviewed 28 self-identified child-free pet owners to better understand how they relate to their animals. These individuals pointedly shared that they had actively chosen cats and dogs instead of children. In many cases, their use of parent-child relational terms – calling themselves a pet’s “mom” for instance – was simply shorthand.
They emphasized fulfilling the species-specific needs of their dogs and cats. For example, they might fulfill the animal’s need to forage by feeding meals using a food puzzle, while most children are fed at the table. These pet owners acknowledged differences in the nutrition, socialization and learning needs of animals versus children. They were not unthinkingly replacing human children with “fur babies” by treating them like small, furry humans.
Yet, these findings still do not answer this question: Are people who choose pets over children truly parenting their pets? To answer, I turned to the evolution of parenting and caregiving.
Evolutionary anthropologist Sarah Hardy wrote in 2009 that humans are cooperative breeders. This means it is literally in our DNA and our ancestral history to help care for offspring who are not our own. Anthropologists and biologists call this trait alloparenting. It is an evolutionary adaptation that helped human beings who cooperatively raised children survive. For early humans, this ancient environment was likely made up of small, foraging societies in which some people exchanged child care for food and other resources.
I propose that it is this evolutionary history that explains pet parenting. If people evolved to alloparent, and our environment is now making caring for children more difficult or less appealing to some, it makes sense for people to alloparent other species entering their homes. Alloparenting companion animals can offer a way to fulfill the evolved need to nurture while reducing the investment of time, money and emotional energy compared to raising children.
Untangling differences in caring for pets
To further understand this phenomenon of child-free adults parenting pets, I launched an online survey via social media, seeking responses from U.S.-based dog and cat owners over the age of 18. The survey included questions about attachment and caregiving behaviors using the Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale. It also asked a series of questions I developed to probe specific human caretaking behaviors oriented toward pets – things like feeding, bathing and training – as well as how much autonomy companion animals had in the home.
The final sample of 917 respondents included 620 parents, 254 nonparents and 43 people who were undecided or did not answer. Most of the respondents were also married or in a domestic partnership for over one year (57%), between the ages of 25 and 60 (72%) and had at least a bachelor’s degree (77%). They were also mostly women (85%) and heterosexual (85%), a common situation in human-animal interactions research.
Both parents and nonparents reported high amounts of training and play with their pets. This finding makes sense given that all pet owners need to help their dogs and cats learn how to navigate a human world. Survey respondents reported socializing, training and enrichment, including play, for their animals.
Nonparents were more likely to be the one providing general care for the animal. This finding also makes sense since parents often adopt or purchase companion animals as a way to help their children learn responsibility and to care for others. Child-free animal owners invest time, money and emotional energy directly in their pets.
Nonparents reported higher rates of general attachment to their animals. They more frequently viewed their pets as individuals. Nonparents were also more likely to use family terms such as “parent,” “child,” “kids” and “guardians” when referring to their relationships with their pet.
It is this difference, combined with the evidence from my earlier research that these individuals address the species-specific needs of the dogs and cats in their care, that suggests pet parenting is, truly, parenting pets. Though the details may look quite different – attending training classes instead of school functions, or providing smell walks for dogs instead of coloring books for children – both practices fulfill the same evolved function. Whether child or pet, people are meeting the same evolved need to care for, teach and love a sentient other.
My colleagues and I continue to collect data from all over the world about how people live with animals. For now, this study provides evidence that, perhaps rather than being evolved to parent, humans are evolved to nurture. And as a result, who and when we parent is much more flexible than you might initially believe.
Shelly does a fabulous job of looking more closely at the science and it is a science that has a very wide appeal. For in the UK, according to the RSPCA, “In the UK, it’s estimated that 12 million (44 percent of) households have pets with around 51 million pets owned.“
Here in America The Washington Post reported that: “Google the U.S. pet population, and you’re quickly confronted with two oft-cited, and contradictory, sources. The American Pet Products Association (APPA) found that 68 percent of U.S. households owned some sort of pet in 2016 — “equal to the highest level ever reported,” it gushed in the executive summary. Among those pets were about 90 million dogs and 94 million cats, the group said.“
That is just two countries. The worldwide population of dogs and cats must be gigantic.
This is an argument from John to consider dogs that are well past their prime.
It’s a good article. You will enjoy reading it and may learn something; I certainly did!
Here’s Why Senior Pets Have Lots To Offer
As you may or may not know, we’ve recently celebrated Adopt a Less-Adoptable Pet Week. During this week, animal rescues around the globe join together to raise awareness about the benefits of adopting pets that society deems as ‘less adoptable’ – and sadly, senior pets make the list.
We think that senior pets are just as loving, sweet and great companions as their ‘adoptable’ counterparts. But despite the many benefits of owning a senior pet, most families choose younger pets when adopting. With that in mind, here’s why we believe seniors deserve a second look and a fur-ever home.
Why you should consider a senior pet
Since the onset of the pandemic, the number of families adopting and fostering pets since the enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions has risen dramatically across the globe. Near the commencement of stay at home orders, RSPCA received 1,600 adoption applications in a single week of April—a 45% increase in dog adoptions and a 20% increase in cat adoptions compared to 2019.
Senior pets (and other less-adoptable animals) typically spend four times as long in a shelter as a healthy, younger pet. In the U.S. alone, about 400,000 senior pets die in a shelter. Though most people do seek a puppy or kitten when adopting, families would benefit in many ways from choosing an older pet. Here’s why.
Older pets are well past the playful, chew-everything, get-into-anything stage. Older dogs and cats sleep for 20 hours a day or more, rousing just long enough for a conversation, to greet visitors, or have a meal. They are also probably house-trained, dog-door trained, and have formal or informal obedience training.
They are much more likely to come when called, which means they are at less risk of danger younger pets encounter when escaping their yard and wandering the streets.
Easier to train
For the older dog with less than perfect manners, training is typically more straightforward. They are more focused and eager to please than puppies with short attention spans. Senior animals are smarter and more experienced, and this can mean they acclimate more quickly to the house and how the household operates.
One of the best parts about adopting a senior is they have finished growing, and the new family knows exactly how large the pet is. When adopting a puppy, owners are often surprised at how large the dog becomes or how little it grows. With an older dog, there will be no surprises.
Seniors make better companions for seniors
Senior pets usually move at a slower pace, which makes them a better choice for older people, especially those with limited mobility or disabilities. The new owner is less likely to be toppled by a dog jumping up. It’s also safer for those that allow their pets to sleep with them. An older dog is less likely to be rambunctious and cause injury to a sleeping adult.
Senior pets are content to stay close to home or in the house for the majority of the day. They are more likely to be found soaking up a sunbeam on a cosy patch of carpet than barking wildly at everything and everyone crossing past the front window.
Senior dogs are also far less distracted when out for a walk. Though they may perk up at the sight of another dog, they are less likely to drag the owner down the sidewalk in pursuit. They also walk slower, and at a pace their owner matches.
Gratitude and devotion
Senior dogs spend up to four times as long in a shelter, so when they finally find a furever home, their gratitude runs deep, and it shows. They give unconditional love and devotion and look after their families. Often they will attach to a family member and stay close at all times, moving with them from room to room. They take full responsibility for their welfare and provide comfort with a warm, wet kiss.
Years of happiness
At seven years old, most dogs and cats are considered senior. Cats often live to be 15 or even 20 years so that the owner can expect a long life with their new friend. Depending on the breed and size, dogs too can live 15 or more years. So while adopting a senior dog will mean you may spend slightly less birthdays together, you’ll still be blessed with some wonderful years and memories.
Despite the many benefits of owning a senior pet, families also worry about the costs associated with maintaining their pet’s health. Dental cleanings, blood work, and annual shots can quickly add up, but younger animals have just as many health risks and are more likely to be involved in accidents.
Fostering helps many people feel fulfilled because they are making a significant contribution to a pet’s life. For them, seeing their foster move on to their forever family is reward enough. Don’t be surprised though if fostering leads to adoption. That’s always a great outcome for all involved.
“In the U.S. alone, about 400,000 senior pets die in a shelter.“
Among the many interesting aspects of this post, for me the statement above that I have put into italics jumped off the page at me. What an appalling waste!
But coming back to the complete article it offers many aspects of something that I had hitherto not thought about. I suspect that I am not the only one!
We, too, have a senior foster dog. She is Sheena and is 12 years of age. We love her and there is no question of Sheena going back to the kennels.
Once again, let me offer a bit of background on John.
John Brooks is the Professional Content Marketer. He writes a lot of articles on his carrier. Last one year he is working with Orbeen.com as a digital marketing expert. The company provides various types of Digital Marketing services i.e, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Social Media Optimization (SMO), Web design & development, Link Building, Content Marketing & blogger outreach.
A massive cull of pet cats and dogs in the UK during WW11.
Out of the blue the other day Margaret from Tasmania sent me an email.
I happened to come across this rather sad but interesting story.
Thought you might like to read it.
– Margaret (from Tasmania)
The email contained a link to this very sad information.
The little-told story of the massive WWII pet cull
By Alison Feeney-Hart
BBC News Magazine
12th October, 2013
At the beginning of World War II, a government pamphlet led to a massive cull of British pets. As many as 750,000 British pets were killed in just one week. This little-discussed moment of panic is explored in a new book.
The cull came as the result of a public information campaign that caused an extraordinary reaction among anxious Britons.
In the summer of 1939, just before the outbreak of war, the National Air Raid Precautions Animals Committee (NARPAC) was formed. It drafted a notice – Advice to Animal Owners.
The pamphlet said: “If at all possible, send or take your household animals into the country in advance of an emergency.” It concluded: “If you cannot place them in the care of neighbours, it really is kindest to have them destroyed.”
The advice was printed in almost every newspaper and announced on the BBC. It was “a national tragedy in the making”, says Clare Campbell, author of new book Bonzo’s War: Animals Under Fire 1939 -1945.
Campbell recalls a story about her uncle. “Shortly after the invasion of Poland, it was announced on the radio that there might be a shortage of food. My uncle announced that the family pet Paddy would have to be destroyed the next day.”
After war was declared on 3 September 1939, pet owners thronged to vets’ surgeries and animal homes.
“Animal charities, the PDSA, the RSPCA and vets were all opposed to the killing of pets and very concerned about people just dumping animals on their doorsteps at the start of the war,” says historian Hilda Kean.
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home opened its doors in 1860 and survived both wars. “Many people contacted us after the outbreak of war to ask us to euthanise their pets – either because they were going off to war, they were bombed, or they could no longer afford to keep them during rationing,” a spokesman says.
“Battersea actually advised against taking such drastic measures and our then manager Edward Healey-Tutt wrote to people asking them not to be too hasty.”
But Campbell cites an Arthur Moss of the RSPCA who, “gloomily pronounced that the primary task for them all would be the destruction of animals”.
In the first few days of war, PDSA hospitals and dispensaries were overwhelmed by owners bringing their pets for destruction. PDSA founder Maria Dickin reported: “Our technical officers called upon to perform this unhappy duty will never forget the tragedy of those days.”
In Memoriam notices started to appear in the press. “Happy memories of Iola, sweet faithful friend, given sleep September 4th 1939, to be saved suffering during the war. A short but happy life – 2 years, 12 weeks. Forgive us little pal,” said one in Tail-Wagger Magazine.
The first bombing of London in September 1940 prompted more pet owners to rush to have their pets destroyed.
Many people panicked, but others tried to restore calm. “Putting your pets to sleep is a very tragic decision. Do not take it before it is absolutely necessary,” urged Susan Day in the Daily Mirror.
But the government pamphlet had sowed a powerful seed.
“People were basically told to kill their pets and they did. They killed 750,000 of them in the space of a week – it was a real tragedy, a complete disaster,” says Christy Campbell, who helped write Bonzo’s War.
Historian Hilda Kean says that it was just another way of signifying that war had begun. “It was one of things people had to do when the news came – evacuate the children, put up the blackout curtains, kill the cat.”
It was the lack of food, not bombs, that posed the biggest threat to wartime pets. There was no food ration for cats and dogs.
But many owners were able to make do. Pauline Caton was just five years old at the time and lived in Dagenham. She remembers “queuing up with the family at Blacks Market in Barking to buy horsemeat to feed the family cat”.
And even though there were just four staff at Battersea, the home managed to feed and care for 145,000 dogs during the course of the war.
In the middle of the pet-culling mayhem, some people tried desperately to intervene. The Duchess of Hamilton – both wealthy and a cat lover – rushed from Scotland to London with her own statement to be broadcast on the BBC. “Homes in the country urgently required for those dogs and cats which must otherwise be left behind to starve to death or be shot.”
“Being a duchess she had a bit of money and established an animal sanctuary,” says historian Kean. The “sanctuary” was a heated aerodrome in Ferne. The duchess sent her staff out to rescue pets from the East End of London. Hundreds and hundreds of animals were taken back initially to her home in St John’s Wood. She apologised to the neighbours who complained about the barking.
But at a time of such uncertainty, many pet owners were swayed by the worst-case scenario.
“People were worried about the threat of bombing and food shortages, and felt it inappropriate to have the ‘luxury’ of a pet during wartime,” explains Pip Dodd, senior curator at the National Army Museum.
“The Royal Army Veterinary Corps and the RSPCA tried to stop this, particularly as dogs were needed for the war effort.”
Ultimately, given the unimaginable human suffering that followed over the six years of the war, it is perhaps understandable that the extraordinary cull of pets is not better known.
But the episode brought another sadness to people panicked and fearful at the start of hostilities.
The story is not more widely known because it was a difficult story to tell, says Kean.
“It isn’t well known that so many pets were killed because it isn’t a nice story, it doesn’t fit with this notion of us as a nation of animal lovers. People don’t like to remember that at the first sign of war we went out to kill the pussycat,” she says.
It’s very difficult to make one’s mind up. As was written there were no food ration cards for pets.
But at the same time this huge pet cull was too much, too soon.
As was written, “The story is not more widely known because it was a difficult story to tell, says (Hilda) Kean.
“It isn’t well known that so many pets were killed because it isn’t a nice story, it doesn’t fit with this notion of us as a nation of animal lovers. People don’t like to remember that at the first sign of war we went out to kill the pussycat,” she says.”
It was a most interesting link albeit a very sad one.
Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go. Hermann Hesse
Nuneaton in Warwickshire is a town about 100 miles North-West of London. It’s firmly in that part of England known as the Midlands, encircled by such places as Birmingham, Coventry, Rugby and Leicester. It is also the home of the Nuneaton & Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary So what, you might ask?
Jasmine was a rescue dog who lived at the sanctuary until her passing in 2011. She was no ordinary rescue dog, she was the most amazing greyhound in the world!
She was only a young pup when she was locked in a shed and abandoned. When she was discovered by the police many days later she was emaciated, mange ridden and terrified. She was taken to the RSPCA quarters in Coventry where Geoff just happened to be visiting several weeks later. They were introduced and as they say ‘the rest is history’. She came to live with Geoff at the sanctuary. Each day her confidence grew and her personality flourished. But the most amazing thing was yet to come….
It turned out Jasmine was a natural ‘Mother hen’. One day a young fox cub was brought in to the sanctuary. She had been tied to railings and left to die. She was very small and weak and the outlook wasn’t bright. That was until Jasmine sauntered over to the fox cub’s basket and started to lick her. Geoff was immediately concerned, followed by bemusement, followed by amazement as he saw before his eyes the fox responding to Jasmine’s touch. He quickly realised that Jasmine was acting in the same way the fox cub’s mother would have done in the wild!
Over the next few days Jasmine continued to ‘mother’ the fox cub who Geoff had named Roxy. Roxy grew strong and grew up. She lives at the sanctuary with Jasmine who is mum and best friend all rolled into one.
Jasmine was truly one of a kind. She mothered many of the sanctuary’s residents back to health including Bramble the roe deer, Humbug the badger and two of the other sanctuary dogs, just to mention a few.
Sadly Jasmine passed away in 2011. She is greatly missed by all at the sanctuary.
So what’s Geoff’s story? That is beautifully explained here,
In February 2001, an injured swan was taken to a veterinary clinic in Warwickshire. The swan was injured, but needed only a week of rest before it was able to be released back into the wild. However, there was nowhere in the area for the swan to rest and receive care, so it was put to sleep. This was when Geoff decided to set up the sanctuary.
Geoff had worked as a security guard for many years but was injured at work and forced to retire. He used his savings to transform his garden into a haven for wildlife and has never looked back.
As of 2011, the Sanctuary has been open for ten years, and has had 6,500 birds and 4,250 animals.
The Sanctuary relies on the work of our dedicated team of volunteers; who accompany us on fundraising events, talks, and shows to help raise money for the Sanctuary.
So let me close by thanking Suzann for sending me the video link to this beautiful story. And do make a note to look in on Learning from Dogs next Saturday to marvel at yet another example of the way dogs (and Geoff!) throw off their pasts and rejoice in the present.