Thunderstorms Oh My!

We have been having an unusual amount of rain in Colorado this summer. With rain comes thunder and lightning, and the reminder of how much anxiety it can cause our dogs (and ourselves as well). And everyone has his or her favorite thunderstorm story. In many instances, dogs that are fearful of thunderstorms also experience stress with other loud noises like fireworks, gunshots, garbage trucks, and airplanes. The good news, however, is that dogs can benefit from calming therapies in these instances. For example, soft music, flower essences, and acupressure and massage can all be helpful in alleviating your dog’s stress in these situations.

Both acupressure and massage are effective tools in soothing and relaxing muscles and they work well in conjunction with soft music in a quite, peaceful, and safe area of the home. A good place to begin is by gently stroking your pet from head to tail in long, slow, strokes to relax them until they feel comfortable enough to lie down. To massage, create small, circular movements from head to tail along the sides the spine making sure to massage either side of the body equally as well as the base of the skull for energy balance. Acupressure is also a great choice to help calm a distressed and frightened pet. After massaging, apply light pressure to the area in the center of the skull between the ears.

It is essential that you remain cautious when working with animals that are scared as even the sweetest pets can act on impulse in situations that cause them anxiety and stress. Approach your pet gently and slowly and always pay close attention to their body language.

 

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Tumeric for Pets

If you cook, you probably have heard about turmeric; a staple in Thai, Indian, and Persian dishes. Tumeric is an herb largely known for its deep orange/yellow color. However, you may not realize that turmeric has been such a remarkable natural remedy for people for thousands of years that it is certain pet owners will be compelled to try it for their pets as well. But is turmeric an effective treatment for pets? And most importantly, is it safe?

Curcumin, which has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, is the most active ingredient in turmeric. Researchers have speculated that the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin show promise in the prevention and treatment of a variety of diseases and conditions. And yes, it is found to be safe for pets!

The recommended dosage is 1/8 to 1/4 tsp/day, for every 10 lbs weight.

Tumeric is a simple and easy, yet effective everyday home treatment to compliment regular massage sessions for animals. Regular consumption of turmeric in the diet can ease stiffness and reduce pain and joint swelling in pets!

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I’m just a dog

See my fur is changing... (Image: Sandi Martinez / Samson and Coco)

See my fur is changing… (Image: Sandi Martinez / Samson and Coco)

by Sandi Martinez

See the light is changing
the air tastes different;
the leaves feel it too,
the trees are twisting this way and that
to soak in the light and warmth
that will soon turn cold

See my fur is changing,
it feels thicker
even though I feel slimmer
the sun is dipping sooner it seems
dark, and the air quiet

Humans might be slowing down
but they seem rushing too
so much to do before the setting sun
and so much to have get done before the rising sun
but they seem slower, thoughtful somehow
but how would I know?

I’m just a dog

Pre-throw: A guess… where will it fall?

Perthro is a rune of stirrings… new beginnings, mystery and a bit like unwrapping a present on Christmas Day.

Perthro is a rune of stirrings… new beginnings, mystery and a bit like unwrapping a present on Christmas Day.

by Sandi Martinez

You avid footballers may actually get this quicker than us, ‘non-footballers’ – one football team, say, the Broncos… have the honor/advantage of the first kick-off in the game. The auditorium is howling in excitement and suspense. Which way will the ball fall, or rather, which team is going to be ahead of the game and catch it, breaking into the full run and toss that sets the game into motion?

Perthro, the image above, is one of those runes that set a similar tone in our lives. (Those of you whom are just now for the first time reading about runes, they are an ancient form of alphabet used by the Norse peoples of long ago; they are now used often for intuitive guidance.) Every morning, we awaken to a new day, and a new purpose. We forget that however, because we become immersed in our daily and repetitive lives. We stop seeing magic everywhere, and new opportunity; it has become replaced with apathy and unawareness.

Perthro is a rune of stirrings… new beginnings, mystery and a bit like unwrapping a present on Christmas Day. What’s in the package? When we’re off to work in the mornings, what will we encounter on the way? Might we have an unexpected chance at being a Good Samaritan somehow for a person or animal that may need some help? Might we hear something on the radio that resonates with a challenge or issue and miraculously helps solve a problem? Might we suddenly get an urge to surprise loved ones with a gift, or flowers, or? (Use your imagination folks!)

This rune for this week 8/18-8/25; speaks of such unexpected and unknown opportunities and chances that we should prepare, and open up for. It’s a time of great surprises, and showering gifts, unexpected rewards, and/or delving into challenges that look muddy and ruddy, only to be wiped clean again. So, while not all of us are part of the Bronco’s team, we are part of wide community throughout the world, and we too will have chances for a great kick-off!

Your Caretaker; your furry friend’s best friend, while you’re away

Make sure your caretaker has yummy treats to share with your furry bestie while they’re around!  (Snuffles-Image: Sandi Martinez)

Make sure your caretaker has yummy treats to share with your furry bestie while they’re around! (Snuffles-Image: Sandi Martinez)

by Sandi Martinez

Okay, so most of you, whom have gone away on vacation, leave your furry friends in good hands while you’re away. A major concern is how they react, while in the hands of their caretakers that can cause anxiety for both their human companion while they’re away and the caretaker. What to do? This is separation anxiety, and many of you might even feel this with your significant other when they’re gone on business trips, or other various reasons, having to leave their better half home.

While our significant others can make sense of it logically, and are blessed with coping mechanisms, what of your furry friends who have no clue how to rationalize your absence?

Here are a few tips that can help ease the transition of your upcoming absence and the freak-out your little animal companion may endure: (And we all know the frustrating results of unhappy furry friends!)

  • Consider taking your furry friend(s) in for a massage a few days to about a week before you go on your trip, in order to help increase muscle relaxation, and the opportunity to start releasing endorphins; this may roll out the red carpet for ease of separation.
  • Give your caretaker time and ample opportunity to plant a seed of bonding if there is time prior to your trip.
  • Make sure your caretaker has yummy treats to share with your furry bestie while they’re around!
  • If your little friend is a dog, by all means, go on walks with the caretaker, and let them walk the dog.
  • If your little friend is a cat, all of the above applies, except for the walking (unless your cat likes walks!)
  • Leave a piece of your clothing with your scent on it in various places where they are most likely to hang out while you’re gone.
  • If they insist on playing hide-and-seek, but the caretaker is the only one doing the seeking, it might help to plant some yummy treats where they can find it, and have your caretaker talk to them gently.
  • Take your little furry bestie in for a post massage upon your return. This again, will help to relax tense and stressed muscles and will release the endorphins helping to ease pent-up anxiety.

We know this – we don’t need reminding – but our animal companions are brilliant, and they understand far more than we give them credit for. Be sure your caretaker understands this, and absolutely loves animals! It’s not good enough that they ‘like’ animals; they must LOVE them, and love yours as you would, if you were home. Did I leave anything out folks? If so, share your thoughts with RMSAAM! Happy trails folks!

The road ends here

 

You’re way visible. [Image: Sandi Martinez-Abiquiu Lake, NM, boat ramp.]

You’re way visible. [Image: Sandi Martinez-Abiquiu Lake, NM, boat ramp.]

by Sandi Martinez

Is it time to go?  Where, you might ask?  Things just aren’t feeling entirely right… so much on your mind, and so much to contemplate.  Yet, you’re way passed, the past.  The truth stares you in the face, and there is nowhere to run.  The sand over your head doesn’t feel so soft anymore – there are a lot of grains everywhere, and every time you come up for air you choke on the dust.  Worse, everything is still the same and guess what?  You’re way visible.

After the travel ends, and you get to where you wanted to go, you wonder if there is more road ahead, or if the new ones that have opened up are just an illusion or are they the only way to move?  Going back seems so comforting.  Going back is the only road and way you’ve known, and darn it, it’s safe!

But the road ahead is watery you say: Too much emotion, too unpredictable.  The other path is fraught with dirt and rocks and who-knows-what else… what if you trip, or come across a rattler?  Oh goodness, may as well avoid that path, but the water ahead involves a boat… Oh goodness, you say: I don’t have one!

I have bad news and good news: The bad news (everyone likes hearing that first) is that you are thinking too literally.  The move, the shift, starts within you.  The good news: You are reading this and nodding to the words written here.  It means you have already started on the path of the unknown; the one likely leading to your heart.  Once you offer up yourself as a sacrifice for your own good, all the other stuff falls into place.  So if you insist, go buy that boat, and/or kayak.  Please take RMSAAM with you!  We love to get wet on such hot days…

Go forward, and make your own new road – you will be the one who travels it, and you are the only one who can make your own dreams come true.

Beeutie and the Beast

“Well, you kinda look cute when they do that thing to you. You look something like… a flower.” (Image: Microsoft.)

“Well, you kinda look cute when they do that thing to you. You look something like… a flower.” (Image: Microsoft.)

by Sandi Martinez

[Another RMSAAM Dog’s POV story]

“Hey, why don’t you go, they never take you – not fair.” Brody the Poodle let himself fall to the ground with an exhausted thump.

“Hulllooooo, I’m a cat,” Beeutie bathed herself, the sun’s rays warm on her back. The edges of her fur glistened.

“What does that have to do with anything?” Brody scratched himself in the newly trimmed patches around his ears. “I don’t understand, they say I look really cute when they use those metals and loud razor things when they’re done, but then when I don’t go, they don’t say I look cute. They rub me here and there, and suddenly I hear those words, time for a trim Brody… and I shudder, because I know what’s next…” he yawned.

“Well, you kinda look cute when they do that thing to you. You look something like… a flower.” she smiled.

“I don’t know if that was supposed to be a compliment, but I like myself just the way I am without the metal,” his yawn turned to a brooding grin.

“Oh come on Brody, stop being such a big baby! It’s gotta feel good you have to admit. I mean surely you feel a bit more fresh?” Beeutie’s curiosity became serious.

“Fresh?” Brody was confused.

“Yeah, cooler?”

“No, I mean yes, but I can do without it. I think it’s only so the humans can coo over me like I’m some kind of zoo animal.” Brody responded in all seriousness.

“Does this really bother you?”

“Yes, Bee it really bothers me.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Well, let’s put it this way, at least you won’t look like such a beast!” she rubbed herself lightly and playfully on his fir.

“Beeutie, I am a beast!”

“Okay, at least you can admit it. What if I do this,” she gently pawed at the soft bald spots around his back and abdomen.

He giggled. “What, tickle me?” he said through short laughs.

“I once heard a human say, if they brush their hair often, it makes it grow.” Her voice took on an authoritative tone, and exaggerated the fierce green and gold flecks of her eyes.

Brody sat up and held her paw down. “Look, I’m just complaining. Soon, I’ll get used to the itches, and then they’ll stop and hair will grow again. I’ll feel normal until…”

“… You go under the scissors again,” she nodded in sympathy. “Well Brody, look at the bright side, at least I won’t be embarrassed to be seen with you!” she smiled and jumped on his back.

Brody grinned and walked outside with Beeutie on his back. The timing should be just right… The sprinklers went off, and he was in heaven. Beeutie screamed and slapped him on the face as she ran for her life back into the house.

Who’s embarrassed now, he grinned and rubbed his back and sides in the artificial rain.