Muffin’s Pet Connection: HAPPY PAWS-A-DAY EVERYONE

As the merriment of holidays are fast approaching and we make our ‘what to give list’, please remember,  DO NOT INCLUDE animals. I made a costly mistake. I adopted a six-week-old shepherd mix puppy from the ASPCA kill shelter, for my older sister and her family. HO HO HO MERRY CHRISTMAS.

They lived in a mega New Jersey  home, with a huge fenced-in yard, my nieces were eight, 10 and 14. PERFECT.  I thought everyone would enjoy this adorable, kissy, kissy pup.

As Honeybee received her first FREE vaccination, she fell off the doctor’s examination table, breaking her front paw. Everyone was apologetic. There were no additional fees for an X-ray; the injured paw was set. Honeybee would have to return to the ASPCA for follow-up paw examination, more de-worming, and shots, which was covered  by the FREE shelter coupon. She was a happy, loving little pooch, who would grow to about 60+  pounds.

Getting ready for the big family day, I put a large red bow on Honeybee’s collar, hopefully distracting  from the big black cast on her front paw. She slept like an angel in the car. Once we arrived at my sister’s house, chaos developed.

The screaming girls were all over the puppy, which piddled on them. My brother-in-law grunted and snarled, as his glaring eye-daggers penetrated me, and my sister was about to strangle me. All in all, this was the most memorable Christmas we ever had.

I did not know that my sister had just started working full-time. Honeybee was confined to the kitchen. She entertained herself, by chewing all the new floor tiles off the kitchen floor. The kitchen was destroyed; everything was eaten. Honeybee was teething!

Sally, my sister’s next door neighbor, saw the damaged kitchen, and whisked the energetic pooch to her home. Her 16-year-old daughter was studying to be a dog trainer. Sally barked “ARE YOU OUTTA YOUR !!#@*?*@!! MIND, choosing a pet for someone else? People like you make me sick!  Whadda think, that living beings have no feelings, that she’s a mechanical toy, ya wind her up and watch her go from home to home?”

Well, she kicked me to the curb and under the bus. Ouch! She was right. Honeybee’s powerful message —  WOOF WOOF, do not give animals as gifts.

P.S. — always check with the person before offering a ‘ pet gift.’  Perhaps they are not ready to make a 15+-year emotional or financial commitment for a pet. Most apartment leases state NO PETS. Some people are asthmatic, others allergic to pets. Please, think thrice. Don’t make the same mistake I did


MEEOWS…..MEEOWS: “Hello, I am THE Gorgeous George, a three-year-old, fixed, great guy. I am a brown tabby, tuxedo, with beautiful green eyes .I am average size and weight. I love being petted once I get to know you, but it does take some time for me to warm up to you. I get along with other cats. I am shy, and a bit afraid of other people.

“Please give me a chance and I will love you forever! My mommy can no longer keep me, due to her health problems. I am a good boy, with an easy-going personality Please contact Tzipora  at, 718-909-1949. I am waiting to hear from you. I need a new BBF, could that be U?”


Thiamine Deficiency and Your Pet… Cats require about three times the amount of dietary thiamine required by dogs, which puts kitties at a considerably higher risk for developing a deficiency. In the U.S., there have been recalls for  thiamine-deficient pet foods.

Due to the way they are processed, canned diets are frequently deficient in thiamine. Progressive symptoms of a thiamine deficiency can take weeks to develop. The initial signs of general GI upset include excessive salivation, loss of appetite, vomiting and weight loss, occurring within a week after an animal begins eating a diet severely lacking in thiamine.

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