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“Natural Enemies” Become the Best of Friends

Renee Yates

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Many people consider cats and dogs to be mortal enemies, but I have always felt that this is not true. Yes, cats and dogs fight, but my cats fight one another more than they ever think about fighting the dog. I do not think that it is a clash of species but a clash of personalities that causes fighting and tension. If you can find the right mix of personalities, you will see a unique friendship form, just like we see here with Leila and Kitty. 
Kitty is a 6-year-old tabby cat and Leila is a 2-year-old Chihuahua from Massachusetts. After losing the family home and being unable to find another that would allow pets, Leila and Kitty’s family surrendered their furry family members to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Boston so that they could be cared for. 

If you have ever had to surrender one of your lovable pets before, you understand the pain this family was feeling. I remember having to do so once, and it broke my heart. With tears falling downs my face, I tried so hard to think of another solution. Surely giving up my baby was not the only answer, but alas, no other solutions came. I drove as slow as possible to the animal shelter, almost as though if I waited long enough, a magical phone call would come and fix my problem.

I slowly took my girl through the doors with her leash wrapped around my hand as tight as it could possibly be. I explained to the lady behind the counter what was going on, then I dropped down and hugged her for the longest time. I was certain that my heart was physically breaking in two. When the employee came up to take her, I was angry at him, as though this whole thing was his fault. Finally, he led my baby away as she whined and looked back at me until she was out of sight. The whole ride home, I felt as though I had betrayed her. I just knew she was feeling abandoned.

Having experienced it, I know what this family must have felt when they let Leila and Kitty go that day. There is a ray of light, however, as they still had one another. When the MSPCA saw that these two were so close and were much more at ease together, they threw protocol to the wind. Instead of separating them as they normally do dogs and cats, they housed the pair together. 

They continued to thrive as a duo, so the MSPCA decided they would only adopt them that way. These sweet fur balls made their television debuts as their heartbreaking story and heartwarming friendship hit the news stations. Just a few days later, a new family adopted them both, and so their story of friendship will live on. I sincerely hope that it can bring some consolation to the previous family knowing that their babies will be cared for and are still together. We can all smile at this happy ending! 

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A Horse Sanctuary That Becomes So Much More

Shannon Jackson

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Animal rescue is far more than just a current fad. People are recognizing that animals are sentient beings and they deserve better treatment than we give them. There are now rescues, shelters, and sanctuaries all around the country where kind souls try to deal with the problem of pet homelessness.

Allison and Steven Smith decided to open a sanctuary for unwanted miniature horses. Many people don’t know of the plight of miniature horses, and the cause was near and dear to their hearts. They started the Triple H Miniature Horse Rescue so they could provide a home where they could meet the needs of abandoned and unwanted miniature horses. 

From Modest Beginnings To Big Dreams

Pebbles and Cocoa were the first two residents, but the miniature horse farm turned into a menagerie. At this point, the Triple H Miniature Horse Rescue has now rescued over 500 animals, including cats, dogs, goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, rabbits, and even pigs that were rejected because of a disability.

Their original dream seemed like it was enough, but Allison and Steven realized that they just hadn’t been dreaming big enough. There is room enough in their hearts and at their sanctuary for so many more creatures that simply need a place to stay.

Moving Stories of Courage

One great success story is the couple’s rescue of a small sweet dog called G.I. Joe. He was 120 miles away but they knew they had to help. Paralyzed from the waist down, G.I. Joe had to drag himself along, but now he has a walker so he can move around with ease.

Allison and Steven have rescued several blind animals, bringing them back to what will probably be their final home, knowing they are safe. Mowgli was just a 10-week-old kitten when he moved to the horse sanctuary, and some of his blind friends are Martin the Labrador and Wanda the pot-bellied pig. One poor goat named Roy was abandoned at a mall because of a bad haircut.

Kitty City

Another dream Allison had was rescuing unwanted cats. Her dream led to the creation of Kitty City, a place where cats could come to be adopted or live out the rest of their days. Cats move to Kitty City when they have been moved to death row at different pounds, giving them a reprieve so they can continue to either search for a home or retire with other cats.

Kitty City originally had room for a little over 50 cats but the space has been expanded and there is also now a special area for FIV-positive cats. Volunteers make sure the work is done to make sure the cats are clean, fed, and socialized. You can either adopt a cat from Kitty City or if you need to surrender your cat, you can fill out a form and work with Kitty City to make sure your pet stays safe.

The Compassion Crew

The Smiths could easily see how the animals on the farm were thriving, and they took joy in the comfort of the animals they had saved. But then they had a great idea: why not use these down-on-their-luck pets to help teach children about compassion?

The Smiths took some of the pets to a local elementary school wearing capes and told the children the animals’ superpowers were empathy and compassion. The children learned a valuable lesson about looking different, and that it didn’t make sense to want to hurt someone because of a difference. The Compassion Crew was so successful the children wrote letters of gratitude, and the Smiths are thinking about letting groups like Girl Scouts come to them. What started out as a home for two unwanted miniature horses has turned into a great success story by any measure.

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IMPROVING YOUR SELF WORTH THROUGH COMPASSION

Kelly Taylor

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We are born in a competitive world. Long before we can take our first steps, we are encouraged to challenge our limits by comparing ourselves with others in order to perform better. While this may prove to be excellent in the short term, this may weigh heavily on our ideals as there will always be people better than us and whom we may never outdo.

Being healthy should be the primary focus of every individual. Though this may be the case, we live in a society that is constantly focused on body shaming based on standards that are not achievable for all. However, it is possible to achieve a healthy body image by changing our mindset towards those we feel are better than us. Researchers at the University of Waterloo found that women who showed compassion rather than comparison were able to achieve a better body image and had less disordered eating habits! By showing empathy, we appreciate the fact that those we deem perfect have their own challenges and that we, too, need compassion for our own problems.

Women who deliberately exercise compassion towards females they compare themselves to, were more satisfied and had a lower tendency to diet others. This is according to release, which was published in the journal body image, which further found that, by showing compassion, comparison focused women had a reduced tendency to compare themselves with those around them. Comparing yourself to others is an indication of low self-esteem and should assess how they feel about themselves and how much self-confidence they have.

In a study of 120 females of diverse ethnicities, three strategies were used to determine the best self-help strategy that would boost their self-esteem. These had a competitive mindset, caregiving, and distraction mindset omen who showed compassion to the women who they perceived to be better than them, achieved a significant reduction in their unfavorable body comparisons. It was, therefore, concluded that by trying to cultivate compassion for others and wishing them to be happy and free from suffering, has a positive effect on one’s body image and eating habits.

Comparing ourselves to others has a negative impact on our wellbeing as it allows others to drive our behaviors. This is by allowing them to set standards as to what should be ideal while ignoring the fact that none of us is indeed perfect! Comparison is mainly done against the best features of our opponents as compared to our average ones. This becomes illogical as it would be comparing the left hand and the right hand, both have their unique capabilities. Our unconscious realization that we cannot be better than everyone often becomes destructive. At worst, when we compare ourselves to others, we focus our energy on bringing them down rather than raising ourselves. Our primary goal should be better people than we were yesterday.

The essential things in life are measured internally. By focusing on showing compassion, we improve the inner scorecard that allows us to be happier in our relationships and live a more fulfilled life.

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Watching Out for Our Feral Friends in Frigid Winter

Shannon Jackson

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As cold weather approaches, the ads start showing up on television and social media, reminding people with pets to let them come inside. Unfortunately, feral cats don’t have a home, and the weather is just as dangerous for them.

Kindhearted animal lovers help feral cats by providing food and a safe place for them to congregate, but that doesn’t help during those cold winter nights when they are stuck outside, shivering and helpless. There are as many as tens of millions of feral cats in the US alone.  Luckily, some quick thinkers figured out different ways to provide shelter for outside cats during the harsh winter months.

A Big Heart Wanting to Help

A man in Utah was aware of the plight of all the innocent creatures who suffered during the winter. Phillip Rogich believes that all living creatures should be able to have their needs met, and he decided to do something about it. He made it his mission to find a way to help those unfortunates, helping as many as he could. Even though other people were able to ignore the suffering around them, Phillip felt compelled to take action.

Making Shelters from Discarded Materials

Phillip figured out how to make simple shelters that could insulate his feline friends from the dangerous cold with materials that other people had thrown away. He used discarded coolers as the basis for the shelters, which meant that at least the initial outlay only involved the time he needed to collect the discarded and donated coolers.

His other needed materials included: a six-inch drill bit, some pipe insulation, styrofoam and plastic. The final, crucial detail: he added straw to make sure the shelters he created didn’t retain moisture, which would have made them dangerously wet and cold. Some people have tried to use substitutes, but straw works best and is easy to find. Used for thousands of years to provide safe, comfortable bedding for animals, straw is a tried and true material.

The Need Is Great, But There Are People Willing to Help

Anyone who wants to help the animals in their own neighborhoods but doesn’t know how should feel free to reach out for help in their areas. There are local rescue groups and other groups of feline rescue in almost every area now, and they would be happy to work with you so you can get started.

Phillip Rogich had a great idea and he shares his experience on his Facebook page, where he is willing to help anyone who comes to him for advice. Other feline friends are using other materials, like discarded tires, to give feral cats a warm place to get out of the snow and wind. 

If you feel like you don’t have anything to offer, you can always volunteer your time or even share ideas like this on social media. The more people who realize the problem, while being given a solution, the more people will help.

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My Dog Loves Taking These Vitamins Every Day

Shannon Jackson

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I feed my canine dog food that contains healthy ingredients like lamb and garbanzo beans. I give him lots of people food on the sly, too. Since I never thought vitamins made for dogs were something my pet needed because his diet has always been nutritious, I never considered giving my dog a vitamin supplement.

Things changed when I became aware of Dandy. This is a company that does what it takes to tailor their vitamins to your dog’s needs and your concerns about your pet’s health. Using their expert knowledge and the information you give them about your dog, this company is able to create great tasting vitamins that are designed to enhance your dog’s health in a customized manner.  

Since I began giving my dog, Zephyr, these vitamins on a daily basis, he walks up to the pantry I keep them in and cries out to me because he wants them.  

If you would like to order dog vitamins from Dandy, know that you will be required to answer some questions. The information you submit will help the experts at the company create the best vitamin supplement for your canine. You’ll be asked for your dog’s age, and you will have to give Dandy your dog’s weight. Your dog’s level of activity may be needed, too.  

It took me approximately five minutes to answer all the questions. In a couple of days, Zephyr was able to start taking the vitamins I had received in the mail. A ball and two other delightful goodies were included in the package that arrived. One of these other goodies was a cool bandana.

The vitamins that were delivered to me were separately packaged. This has made administering the supplements to my pet every day very convenient. I can honestly say your dog will go crazy over the yummy flavors these treats come in. When I throw these vitamin supplements into Zephyr’s mouth, he really enjoys gobbling them up.

My dog is used to taking his vitamins every day now. He’ll actually give me a sign to let me know it’s time for his supplements. This typically happens when we return from our daily stroll. It’s a time when he’ll walk up to the cupboard I keep his vitamins in and wait for me to give him his treats.

I’ve noticed an improvement in the amount of energy Zephyr has now that I give him Dandy vitamins. I’ve also noticed that he doesn’t scratch anymore because his skin is no longer itchy. The scratching stopped once I began giving him the Dandy supplements. My dog’s health is good now, and he’s full of life thanks to this amazing product.

You might as well give your dog a treat that has health benefits if your pet enjoys eating dog treats. You might as well give your pet Dandy vitamins.

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The Title Is WORK At Home Mom, Got That?

Renee Yates

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The prevailing vision of the work at home mom is a woman with fuzzy slippers, pajamas, no makeup, with cup of steaming coffee in hand. The reality is that she does indeed have coffee in one hand, but she has a phone to her ear talking to the home office or a client. It’s frustrating. What park of “work” don’t people understand? These are five things every working mom wants their families to know about working at home.

1. It’s Called WORK At Home

By the year 2028, Upwork tells us that 73 percent of companies will use remote workers. Okay, Mom gets a full pot of coffee and even time to drink it. What she also gets is phone calls “wondering” if she can get that proposal out a day earlier and the boss breathing down her neck for the P&L spreadsheet he needs to show the CFO. It’s the same as if she were in the office.

2. Take Your Child To Work Day

Many offices offer this day for kids to see what Mommy does at the office. They help to file, pass Mom something from the In tray, or put someone on Hold until Mom can answer the phone. They suddenly understand why “it’s 5:00 somewhere” has a special meaning to Mom.

When Mom works at home, she has to break up fights, feed the kids breakfast and lunch, throw messy clothes in the wash, and yell a lot. When she gets any work done, it’s sometimes wrong and takes twice the time to get it done right.

3. We Don’t Socialize At Work

We all have that one friend who calls and texts every five minutes to make sure we don’t miss their wonderfulness.  We don’t call you at your office to yak every five minutes. Please show us the same courtesy.

We’ve all seen the clerk at the pharmacy, the dollar store, or the gas station laughing over something on Facebook. We wait until they turn their frowning attention to us. While social media can be a great way to market one’s business, it’s a totally different thing when it puts customers in second place. We have a boss to satisfy, so asking us to put him second would cost us our jobs.

4. Work At Home Doesn’t Mean Housework

Yes, while Mom is getting coffee, she can toss a couple dishes in the dishwasher. Okay, on the way to the bathroom, Mom can pick up shoes, clothes, and toys to put in someone’s room. While it usually takes Mom a couple hours to clean the house, she can’t do that at the same time she’s taking a meeting on the phone.

What Moms want their families to understand is that the housework will still be there at 5:00. Moms working in offices use their early evening hours to clean, so why should it be any different when Mom works at home? Asking her to do the housework in between projects or phone calls is too much. Give us a break, guys.

5. Fresh Air Is Important

There’s a reason people explode out of doors at noon and quitting time. We have to get away from the same four walls day in and day out. When we can, we walk somewhere close for lunch, walk to the post office or the bank for our job, and we walk to the parking area after work. Work at home Moms need to get out more than just checking the mailbox. Getting outdoors for us clears the mind, and the fresh air and sun benefits our health.

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