Second Chance: Cheese & Other Important Topics of 2017

Second Chance: Cheese & Other Important Topics of 2017

This is the last Pet Column of 2017. 

No pressure on me though…ok, yes I now know the true meaning of “writer’s block.” Not for lack of something to write about, but for too many important topics swirling about my noggin. How do I choose the topic that best summarizes the year, reflects gratitude, implies hope, and instills transformation? Bugger it all I am just going to write about cheese.

Sweet Blondie needs adopting today. Resolve to adopt her before the New Year.

Indeed, our last letter from our Second Chance Pet Column readers was an inquiry as to whether one should feed a dog cheese. My advice?  Sparingly.

Some dogs are lactose intolerant, but aged cheeses like cheddar, parmesan, and Swiss contain very little lactose. Cheese is high in protein, but it’s also high in fat and calories, so share sparingly (or avoid sharing cheese if your dog is carrying extra pounds).

Speaking of extra pounds – they say that if your dog is overweight than you are not getting enough exercise.  There – I have now fulfilled the obligatory “go get in shape” component of your New Year resolutions.

Beyond spare tires around the waist, here is a wise proverb about other things we can spare in the coming year: We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare and in return they give us their all, it is the best deal humans ever made. 

So give us more cheese please!

At year end I would also like to thank all readers of the Pet Column. I hope that, by reading the column this past year, you have gleaned some important tips on how to be a better pet parent while bonding more fully with your pets. Here at Second Chance we believe that, properly trained, a person can be pet’s best friend.

I also want to offer up some gratitude toward those who publish this weekly Pet Column, so that readers like you can read it. It’s publication over the past 11 years has helped so many homeless pets find new homes while also creating better homes and people for pets.

One last 2017 tidbit before I lose you to New Year celebrations: dogs are capable of understanding up to 250 words and gestures, counting up to five and performing simple mathematical calculations, which makes the average dog as intelligent as a two-year-old child – but without the diapers and tantrums… We love to learn so please don’t give up on us when we don’t understand what you want.

I know you are now very curious about my identity – the homeless pet selected to craft the end of 2017 Pet Column. My name is Blondie. I am a beautiful heeler mix at only about two years of age. With my very gentle demeanor, I have quickly become known as “the sweetie” here at the Second Chance shelter.

I get along great with other dogs and love spending time with people too – particularly when they take me on long walks followed by a nice back scratch. I am seeking people of my own. Your ancestors domesticated mine and there is no turning back. We need each other. Adopt me today please.

My final advice for 2018?  Light on the cheese, heavy on the back rubs, keep reading the Pet Column (our next issue is number 600!!!) which helps to remind us all pets are not our whole lives but they make our lives whole.

Purrfect Gloria needs adopting too.

And the last 2017 cat of the week is Gloria – a beautiful three-year-young, black-and-white tuxedoed girl. Gloria does great with other cats, but can be shy with people upon first meeting. She is gentle natured and loves to perch up high and oversee her domain. Gloria is independent yet secretly full of good surprises when she decides it is “people time.”

Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Well, pet 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 at least one, generally two of the many animals now living at the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving permanent homes. The column is sponsored by Ted Hoff of Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer, partnering with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal.

Ted Hoff with Cabella & Wilbur

By the by, there is no better place to park your pup or get your pup (or adult dog) trained than Cottonwood whenever you head out of town (for locals) or are heading to town and staying somewhere that does not allow pets. Consider joining Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. (Details on Ted’s website.)

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shop are both located in Ridgway, but service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. 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 the shelter pets and services online:

Vetting the Vet: Dr. Michelle Dally, DVM, J.D. is Medical Director of Second Chance Humane Society. She also has a private practice, Dally Veterinary Medicine, 333 S. Elizabeth Street, Ridgway, Colorado. Her service area is  San Miguel Mesas, Placerville, Ridgway, Ouray, and Montrose. For more on Dr. Dally, go here.

Michelle & Wallowby

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