Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Set pets for life

When I worked as a volunteer at the Seattle Animal Shelter for two years, it was always a little more heartbreaking to discover an otherwise well cared for pet was there because a loving owner died -- but because the pet's care was not provided for in the will, their pets were picked up by animal control or surrendered by family members who did not want the animal.

That deserted pet looks fervently for its owner at first, then becomes depressed. It can take awhile to come around when they are adopted by a loving family (if, hopefully they are adopted); it's important for new owners to understand that.

It's also important that people looking for pets at shelters understand that many animals are not there because they misbehaved or have cruelly been dumped to be picked up by animal control.

In my living will, I have not only outlined what medical care I do and do not want should I be incapacitated, but also where my four pets should be placed. More, where all their food, toys, pet care products and medicine are located.

My three Pomeranians, Mistletoe, Seeker and JR, whose ages range between 4 and 16, must stay together - so they're going to a trusted friend and Pomeranian expert, who works with a Pom rescue organization and will make sure they are placed with a perfect family ensemble. Some of my unwashed clothes would go with them so they can sleep smelling my scent until a transition is made.

My kitty, Allie Cat, must stay with a neighbor because she's wed to my house. Despite being an indoor/outdoor cat (this is a safe region for her to be outside), she never strays far from the yard. Most of the time, in fact, she does not even leave the yard; she's normally situated somewhere next to the house or on the porch.

She's an affectionate cat so she'll be welcome in her new home should she need new digs. But chances are, she'll still hang out in my yard as she does now. Probably be a good idea to have a piece of my clothing for her to lie on as well.

Of course, the fact that the neighbors already know and love her makes a difference; I'm sure they would keep a special eye out for her should the need ever be.

My only hope is that she wouldn't be too lonely because she and Seeker are best buds, but I know she'll be too frightened to leave her longtime homestead.

Seeker is the caretaker - he keeps ears and eyes clean for pups and kitty.

Having said all this, I plan to be around *much* longer than they are, but just in case - tomorrow is never guaranteed for any of us - they are provided for and will never end up in a shelter or pound, scared and wondering where the heck I am and how I could have let them end up in a place like that!

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Outfoxing a kitten

My kitten, Allie Cat, kept going where she ought not - in the bathtub.

The cleaning substances we've used on the tub make it a very unhealthy place for any animal to lick, which they tend to want to do for some odd reason.

There is plenty of water to drink in two separate places in my house but she still headed toward the tub.

Well, cats *hate* citrus and pepper.

So I generously sprinkled black pepper on the side of the tub and where she would land if she jumped in.

She approached the side of the peppered tub, sniffing the objectionable flakes at least a couple times the first day - gingerly setting her paw on it. Suddenly she realized she touched something she discovered to be awful because she had to lick it off.
She sniffed at the tub's side twice the next day, leaving it immediately, not bothering to put her paw on the pepper; once the third day and has not gone near it since.

I'll keep it on the tub's side another week because she may want to test it another time or two, after which I'll brush it off - and never be concerned about her going near it again.

If there's anything I don't want her to go near, I just sprinkle pepper on and/or around it. The hotter the pepper flakes (like those you use on pizza) the more offensive it is to cats and the longer lasting it is if it's used outside where it can be rained on or blown away.

FYI, kitten and cat owners.

I don't know if it works as well for dogs, because mine don't get into things they shouldn't - at least yet - so I haven't put it anywhere I need them to avoid. But I can say they haven't gone near the peppered tub!

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Oscar's Farewell

Life Savers

by Colleen Patrick

Li'l OHe came into my life
All four pounds
Enduring so much strife
Damned puppy mill grounds

Nearly twelve years ago I was
I was low as low could be
Anti depressants and all because
A futile depression enveloped me

Don’t ask me why
When this little guy
Caught my eye
I couldn’t say good-bye

A soul encompassing my own
That wee sable pup
So angry, vicious and alone
Except with me - he completely warmed up

In the car – his very first drive
He couldn’t get close enough
He was so sweet, he seemed to thrive
Alas, with others he would only act tough

Li' O in his bedWe arrived home
With nary a bone
But he didn’t moan
He got an ice cream cone

Eight months old
Living years of neglect
And misery untold
Memories he’d forever reflect

I took him to a vet
Who told me to forget
Him - "Get a healthy pet
He’s a wreck -" and yet

Despite his horrendous mind/body plight
So much that couldn’t ever be made right
The one thing I couldn’t fight
Between him and me? It was love at first sight

And so I struggled for two years
To train my little social misfit
Whose temper sent fears
Into grown men with grit

Li'l OHe became a perfect gentleman
Walking proudly around the lake
People even became fans
Stopping us for pictures to take

He was the IT factor
And a smile magnet
Not a single detractor
Where ever we went

All the games we played
And his farts – oy vey!
Wallpaper peeled
Noses needed a shield

When did he get old
I really don’t want to recall
He started falling in the cold
Then one day couldn’t walk at all

I don’t mind carrying him around
All five and a half pounds
This little furry mound
His shirt pulled down

Those eyes have somehow lost a light
Though he watches me every waking minute
Those big brown eyes once clear and bright
So loving, his heart has reached its limit

As he moves around, he limps and he trips
His little heart murmurs, his neck and hips
Rife with arthritis; his aging bladder drips
His seizures frequent, as he stands, he slips

I can’t let him live in pain or misery
Oblivious as he is - as long as he’s with me
I hold him closer now for it's the end I see
Instead of once I kiss him three

Sweet Pomeranian kisses
They number in the millions
His head against my cheek
There were not many misses

Ah the stories I could tell
Of the little wild man I tamed
And the reason that I named
Him Oscar

Being a director and screenwriter
I thought my future would be brighter
When asked if I have an Oscar thirst
I smile and say I already have my first

Sick OscarI shall weep inconsolably just for today
I can’t bear the thought of being without him
Or empty nights I can’t pet or play
With my smiling furry boy at my slightest whim

But this isn’t about me, it’s for him I pray
So his final days will be filled with joy
And laughter and cuddles – we’ll pah-tay
So he can leave this earth one happy little boy

I will only say au revoir, I cannot say adieu
I’ll snuggle him tight as he takes his last breath
The last words he’ll hear will be simply thank you
I'm right here, loving you at your time of death

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