Tue, Mar 20, 2018 10:17 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue

Piper's Pause

02/29/2008 - by Piper LaRue

(Transcribed by the Lawrence County Humane Society)

Hello again, all my devoted readers. I was surprised at the positive response we've had from my last article. I look forward to getting to know you all in the coming columns. In future issues I will be discussing topics that are important to dogs, cats, their humans and any important information the Lawrence County Humane Society and Animal Shelter may have to give you. Now, on to business.

Valentine's Day just past, do you know what that means? That means that some of my canine and feline friends will be visiting their vet after getting into their human's chocolate. Chocolate can be very dangerous to us dogs and cats because we lack the chemical in our system to break down chocolate, so it just builds up in our blood until it becomes a poison. If your pet should eat some of your chocolate, you should call your vet immediately. Chocolate can kill a dog and cat, even in small doses, and even if it's never bothered your pet before. Dark chocolate, such as baker's chocolate, is most dangerous, as opposed to milk chocolate that has less cocoa in it. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include vomiting within a few hours of eating the chocolate, hyperactivity and diarrhea. As more chocolate is absorbed, your pet may start to be lethargic (not wanting to move around), increased heart rate, hyperactivity (moving around too much), restlessness, muscle twitching, frequent urination and panting. If you think your dog or cat friend has eaten some chocolate, please don't think twice about calling your vet, even if it is 2 in the morning.

The weather is getting colder out there this month. I talked some last time about keeping your pet supplied with fresh water, food and a warm place to sleep, but did you know that's the law? Each state has enacted laws which outline the requirements by which all animals should be properly taken care of. Everyone should be able to give their pet fresh water every day. But if you have trouble buying food for your pet or don't have a warm place for it to sleep, the animal shelter may be able to help. Just call them and ask if they can give you food or a doghouse or warm bedding to provide for your pet.

If you find a stray dog that is in need of food and shelter, you can contact the shelter at 606-673-4509 and they will notify the dog warden. When a pet comes into the shelter, they are given all those wonderful things a pet should have, they visit with Dr. Mark Ratliff, they are spayed or neutered, and they have many fun visitors to play with during the day. The people who come into the shelter are screened to see what type of pet would be best suited for their life and to see if they find someone at the shelter they connect with. If you're in need of some companionship, feel free to visit the Web site at to see all the guests we have at the shelter waiting to find the perfect human for them.

I've been travelling with Momma a lot lately and I've noticed a lot of dogs tied or chained out in people's yards. I asked Momma why they were like that. Momma said that not everyone wants to have a dog in the house with them like Momma and Daddy do. Some people like the idea of having a dog, like to say they have a dog, but really don't do much else with it. They throw it some food once in a while, give it some water when it needs it, and don't spend much time with it. Did you know that we dogs are what are called "social animals?" That means we like to have a pack to run and live with. My pack is my family, Momma, Daddy, my two human brothers, my other dog brother Dred, and my two cat brothers, Cooper and Tigger. I love to have someone to play with, to eat with, and to snuggle up with at nap time. The dogs that are chained in the back yard are basically in solitary confinement. They aren't given the attention they need, and they need to be with their pack. Can you imagine how crazy it would make you if you were put in a room by yourself every day, and people just come by to give you food and water and pat you on the head? You'd be crazy within a week, I'm sure. I know I would. I would start to miss my family, I would start jumping on people when they came near trying to get their attention, I would bark all the time trying to tell them that I want to be with them, I would pace my area in an attempt the cope with the loneliness, then I would start to get depressed when nothing else worked. I would just want to lie around and mope all day. That's not much of a life, is it?

The shelter is still in need of donations, you can drop items by the shelter anytime they're open and visit with the animals for awhile. If you have any questions, feel free to call them at 606-673-4509.

Appalachian Regaional
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