I am a sucker for those info-mercials. I know......... any modicum of respect you previously haboured for me is now out the window! I don't instantly pick up the phone and dial. I just ponder, mull and ruminate about how flat my abs could be and how under my bed would be the perfect place to stow the latest, muscle enhancing, must-have, cheap, plastic contraption from the sweat shops of Asia. I scour the local sports shops,locate the object of my desire and then start the pondering, mulling and ruminating process all over again. The argument rages for days inside my head, I need it, I'll don a bikini this summer if I get it,
It is a waste of money, It'll just gather dust right alongside all the other unused fitness equipment.
No, no, this time it will be different I'll really use it,
skinny thigh magic thighs!
flat abdominator abs!
buns of steel.... and so it continues. Sometimes reason wins, sometimes my perceived needs get the better of me.Reason is always right of course, if it doesn't win round one, the purchase, it always wins round two, the inevitable elevation to dust collector status.
So how does this have anything to do with pets? well you know the pet industry has boomed in the last 2 or 3 decades, right? And by boom I mean you can pretty much purchase the pet version of anything human. From Chaise longues beds to brand name poop bags there is something for even the most discerning pet.(or owner) Going to buy a new bowl or leash is not a choice between two colours it is a choice between two aisles of the same product. Some of the stuff is definitely really brilliant, inventive and actually useful. But boy oh boy is there a lot of crap out there.Like the TV ads, I get all psyched up about the latest craze in pet toys and weirdly devised treat dispensers. I spent a fortune on all types of canine "add-ons" when I adopted the first pooch after the second I discovered cats had a completely different set of needs so off to the shops with me again!!
One of my own dogs Snuffy has the bejaysus scared out of him every time we have violent weather. There is no consoling him. Once the skies light up he paws and paws and paws any part of your body he can see.I have spent ages on line trying to find something, anything, that will allay his fears and save my sleeping head from abrupt arousal. As with the bowls there are many solutions to the one problem. Fear of thunder remedies are a lot more costly though. Add to the retail price shipping fees to Japan and you are already through the roof.
One product stood out, the Thundershirt. Its premise was simple, a swaddled dog. I imitated it and the concept seemed to work somewhat. Then I started volunteering up north. One of the awesome volunteers from the States, Lexie, http://injoyphotographyblog.com/?author=1 had contacted a few pet related businesses before leaving and let them know what she was doing. One of the many generous donations she received was a package of Thundershirts.
Eight with his Mum.
The third time I went up, I saw some still left and was thrilled because I knew the dogs we were going to meet the next day and I knew at least two of them NEEDED stress relief. I would take a few more of the smaller ones just in case. If these coats could help anyone then the little Shizu Eight, that Jackie and I met the last time would be a prime candidate. We met him again and his owner was thrilled that we had remembered her and her little boy, Eight, who was nine years old. He was quite used to being dressed up and took to the coat immediately.We distributed 5 coats that day and the turnaround that was the most precious to see happened to Puru.
Puru is short for Puru puru, it means tremble in Japanese. The owner had adopted this dog from the pound only a few months before the tsunami. He had seen him there sitting in the middle of the room not making eye contact with any of the workers, not budging from his spot, just shaking. What possessed this man to save this dog instead of the others was pity. He said he looked lonely. So he took him home to meet his other Shiba,Leon. They didn't get along..... at all .....for the first month. I don't know how many people who read this are involved in animal re-homing but the average family who decides it isn't working out for whatever reason, never gives it a month. Miraculously somehow the dogs reached a truce and they then resorted to tolerating each other with the odd spat here and there.Puru was still shy and a bit skittish and never seemed to relax like he was in his own home.
Then the tsunami came and their lives were re-prioritised. Like a lot of other souls who survived, they took stock of what they had left and decided it was much more important to them than they had given it credit for before. Puru and Leon became inseparable. Puru was still the more reticent of the two but at least Leon was there to catch his back. You met them in an earlier post but this time we came bearing a gift of a different nature, one of the Thundershirts. I was excited as I had seen instant calm on Eight's demeanour when we strapped him in. I was completely and utterly unprepared for what Puru did once we had him all kitted out.He fell asleep. He fell asleep standing up! Yes, upright on four paws this dog closed his eyes, relaxed his mouth and fell asleep in front of all present! My photos only look like I caught him at a bad moment with his eyes closed but there wasn't a bad moment he was just so chilled out he took forty winks.His owner nudged him, he opened his eyes, the owner had nothing else to say to him, so realising he wasn't really needed, Puru slipped back into his oblivion.The owner nudged again. Puru opened his eyes again, moved towards his person got petted and was about to return to the land of nod when his "dad" decided that this was too freaky. He took the coat off, and Puru resumed position a little further back from the goings on.