The last post spelled out the new year's resolutions our two cats, Harry and Billy, might make. Now it's every pet's turn to specify the resolutions their people could make.
The list that follows is adapted from one that appeared yesterday at www.nj.com/pets.
If they could just talk to us, our pets themselves would be the best indicators of how we could make life better for them. If pets could dictate new year's resolutions for their people to follow, what might they be?
Here's a collection of possible resolutions. We can all resolve to . . .
* protect your pet – from unfriendly animals, over-enthusiastic little kids, harmful plants, other dangers of all kinds. Consider microchipping in addition to a collar and ID tag. Keep accurate medical records and "vet your pet" as needed.
* train her/him. A puppy who jumps on people can be cute; a full grown dog who does that can be a menace. Housetraining isn't an option, it's a necessity. Barking whenever and wherever isn't acceptable. Begging is never so. Start training early and be consistent.
* respect your pet's individuality. With more than one pet, don't announce or play favorites. Cultivate (safe) idiosyncrasies and enjoy differing personalities. Don't expect or build robo-dogs or cats.
* assure daily quality time for each pet. This means your undivided attention to them, not idly petting while doing something else, not giving treats in lieu of caring, not using your cell phone while walking your dog. Give them time and attention, your two most precious gifts.
* feed pets well, on pet food only, on time. Exceptions should be rare and still be safe – so, never chocolate, never raisins. This is harder for you to do than it is for your pets. If they don't learn to know "people food," they won't miss it.
* groom your pet. You like to look your best; let your pet(s) enjoy that feeling too. Bathe, brush, comb and clip nails and claws – are we forgetting anything else?
* remember that friends don't exploit friends. So hold yourself back from dressing your cat or dog in costume, or making them pose in unnatural positions -- or teacups or purses.
* reinforce pets' sense of trust. Don't play tricks or scare or spring new rules on your dog or cat. At all times, you are your pets' protector – never the person they need to watch out for or guard against.
Want to add a resolve or two to this list for a nice round total of 10? Please comment here. Meanwhile, wishes for a healthy and happy new year to all!