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Monday, 7 December 2015


This has recently been doing the rounds on Facebook again, attributed to a six year old:

“People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life. Like, loving everybody all the time, and being nice. Well dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

The sad fact is that we will all probably outlive our pets and throughout our lives will have to say goodbye to a number of loved animals.

The question of when to say goodbye and let them go is one I’ve had to make more times than I care to remember, and it doesn’t get any easier.

When I realise that it may be getting to decision time, I ask myself, “Why am I keeping the animal alive? Is it for my sake or the animal’s?”

If the answer is, “For my sake,” then it is time to let go, as difficult as it may be.

I far to often see loved pets suffering because the owner cannot bear to say goodbye – this is not fair to the animal. It is also not fair to others who loved the dog; they may wish to remember it as a healthy loving pet, not a disease-ridden or old dog bearing no resemblance to the beloved pet.

We decided to play god when we started domesticating animals and took dogs and cats into our homes as companions. We cannot now abdicate our responsibility because it doesn’t suit us or is too difficult. When you take on a responsibility, you have to carry it through.

Talk to your vet about it, ask his/her advice about the quality of life the dog or cat has, what does he recommend? Good vets will love your animals, but has an objective view, unclouded by years of love and companionship. Listen to their advice.

Please do not let any animal suffer - it is not necessary. Let them go with dignity and love when the time comes.

They never really leave us, they stay in our hearts forever and we will always remember their love, joy and devotion.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015


The debate continues, which is best, harness or collar? This can be as touchy a subject as religion at a bar and right up there with the Apple versus Microsoft debate – everyone has an opinion and they are adamant that they are right.

If you are hoping for the final answer, skip to the bottom of the page and read the ads, I am only going to try and shed some light and personal insights on this murky subject.

I tried to research this question and found that pro-harness people say collars are a no-no, always. The pro-collar people, vice-versa. End of discussion.

Luckily there are some experts that agree that both have a place and use. Collars can be worn all the time and there is no better place to hang the dog’s ID tag. On a side note, dogs must have ID tags if they are going outside the property, even if they are micro-chipped (which they should be).

On the down side, collars are not really an effective way of keeping your dog under control. A few days ago I saw a dog get out of its collar at the vet and take to the street with owner and vet in pursuit. A couple of cars had to take serious evasive action. In defence of the vet, he was assisting the owner in loading three dogs into her car after their consultation.

A well fitting harness gives much more control over the dog and it is virtually impossible for the dog to get out of it on its own. Have you ever tried to stop a dogfight if the dog is only wearing a collar? I have had to do that with a dog wearing a collar and a dog with a harness – trust me, I’ll take the harness every time!

Personally, we prefer harnesses as our dogs are already wearing flea collars and they never go anywhere unless attached to us via harness and lead. (Yes, they are micro-chipped and the harnesses have ID tags.)

Next blog I tale a look at the safety of our pets when travelling - watch this space.