SECOND CHANCE: RESPECT YOUR VET + PETEY + PHILLIP

Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Unless you are one of our furry friends who gets caught in the maw of neglect and abuse. Then heaven is on hold until Second Chance Humane Society comes to the rescue.

Second Chance is the region’s nonprofit dedicated to saving animals’ lives and promoting responsible pet parenting and human-animal bond. In her weekly blog, executive director Kelly Goodin profiles two of the many animals from the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving homes.

The column is sponsored by Ted Hoff oCottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer and partners with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal. And there is no better place to park your pup than Cottonwood should you be heading out of town for the holidays — or arriving in the Telluride region, but your rental is not dog friendly.

RESPECT YOUR VET

All pet parents are or will be indebted to their veterinarians. And Second Chance Humane Society is particularly grateful for the area veterinarians who provide incredibly generous support in treating 100s of our homeless animals each year.

Although you may think your veterinarian can be picky now and again when you visit his or her office, today I am asking you to look at what you may be doing that is outside proper veterinarian visit etiquette. This is a tough subject because it tasks us with the unpleasant job of self reflection. Ouch! But please remember that office is not your home: keep your dog on a leash. Do not allow your dog to jump up. Or chase cats. And there’s more. Much more. So without any further adieu, let me have Petey (featured below) dish out some particulars about the most annoying things pet owners do on their veterinarian office visits:

1. Answer their mobile phone

Need I say more? Is there anything more annoying and disrespectful than answering a phone call while your vet is delivering her state-of-your-pet’s-health address? Dude, don’t be rude.

2. Bring the kiddos

I know love is blind to what a distraction young ones can be, not to mention the fact they are an unnecessary liability in a veterinary environment, where it is hard enough to keep pets safe — much less miniature humans. So unless your children are unusually chill, they should stay home. (Emergency situations excluded of course.)

3. Let their dogs run amok

The vet office is not the dog park. And, for the record, retractable leads should remain in the shortest, locked position for the duration of a visit. After watching an innocent human get taken down in the lobby by an overlong retractable line, I decided there should be a law against those at vet clinics.

4. Carry their cat

Really? Why do you bring your cat to the vet hospital without a carrier? Yes, some use harnesses, which won’t help cats when faced with a truly motivated dog. And, honestly, you can’t blame us dogs for attacking.Those cornered prey vibes are like candy to us. Cats are more comfortable in uncertain environments when they’re enclosed. Keep it real and use a carrier.

5. Deny, deny, deny

You pay your vet to be an expert and then you put up roadblock after roadblock: No, my pet is not fat. No, my pet’s teeth are not rotting. No, he’s too old for surgery. No, her claws are not too long.  Exasperating, ya think? I can understand why you might (and should!) question your veterinarian about important health care issues, but why go to a vet if you’re unwilling to have an open dialogue about what your pet needs and doesn’t need? Snap.

6. Refuse to pay

Unfortunately it happens more often than you’d think. Pet owners agree to procedures — and later refuse to pay. Making claims about misunderstanding the payment policy, even though there’s a sign in almost every veterinary hospital in the United States that explains payment is expected when services are rendered.

7. Don’t follow through

There’s no shame in admitting that you can’t medicate your difficult cat or trim your unruly dog’s toenails. Veterinarians are pet owners, too. But there is a difference between can’t, don’t or won’t. By being honest, you can discuss alternatives rather than fail to follow through with after care.

Want to give your veterinarian the best holiday gift ever? Resolve to be a more honest, open, conscientious, cat box-carrying, child care-finding, cell phone-shirking client.

PETEY:

Petey

Petey

My name is Petey and, despite being a sweet nine-month-old Chihuahua with an initial shy nature, I really love to cuddle once I get to know you. And in case you haven’t noticed…I say it like it is.  So get your butt over here and adopt me. Please.

Need a bit more info? Here goes.

I do well around cats (of course most of them at the shelter are bigger than me) and my play buddy is another small dog (like me) named Murphy. We enjoy running around the play yard together. I like the staff here at Second Chance, but I am really looking forward to finding my forever home. Like all adoptable pets at Second Chance I have been neutered, vaccinated and microchipped and am good to go!

Now I would like to introduce Phillip, the featured cat of the week.

Phillip

Phillip

PHILLIP:

Hello there! I’m a five-month-old kitten who will melt your heart faster than falling snow on a roasting fire. I could care less about a white Christmas, but I am dreaming of a warm loving home. Some say that getting a pet at Christmas time is an emotionally-driven impulse lacking in proper judgment, but I say go for it and I promise you’ll never be able to let my fun-loving self go.

There isn’t much time during the day when I’m not playing with a toy or horsing (can a kitten use that reference?) around with my sister, Aurora. I’m also pretty good at purring, making me an all-around lovable, frisky kitten ready to turn your “silent night” into halls decked with boughs of jolly.

Note: Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs.  View our shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org.

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