She hasn’t been going there very long, but Ohana the therapy dog is already a big hit at her new school. The students at Prairieview Elementary School in Battle Creek, Michigan have welcomed the new student with open arms.
Whenever they see Ohana, the students greet her with greetings, pats, and belly rubs, which she loves. Ohana gets to go right into the classrooms with the children, where she sits close to them so they can pet her.
Therapy dogs in schools
Everyone knows that dogs aren’t usually allowed in school, but there is an exception in the law for therapy dogs. Both Michigan law and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act make sure that when there are individuals who have disabilities, they can bring their service animals with them into places they need to go. This includes hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, museums, restaurants, schools, and other places.
There are many reasons that people might need service animals. Some guide dogs help people get around when they have visual impairments. Hearing dogs help people who can’t hear for themselves, so they can hear noises like doorbells and alarms. There are dogs who are trained to recognize when their owners are about to have seizures, dogs who help with stability and balance, and psychiatric service animals, who help with anxiety and remind their owners to take their medications.
Ohana’s job at Prairieview Elementary
Before Ohana was allowed to start at Prairieview Elementary School, the 1-year-old black Labrador Retriever had to go through training. She knows how to be calm throughout the day, and she understands how to help the kids. She doesn’t bark and run off chasing anything that moves as many young dogs would.
Instead, she acts as a resource when the students need something. One little girl in the first grade was grieving her mother, and she said that petting Ohana helps her get through the tough days when she is missing her mom and feeling sad. She doesn’t just help the students — the staff really appreciate her when they are having rough days, too.
An anonymous gift
The students and teachers were lucky enough to get Ohana because a generous person gave her to them as an anonymous gift. The anonymous donor also paid for the training in Ortonville, Michigan, where Ohana learned how to be a therapy dog.
Lakeview Schools Superintendent Blake Prewitt is lucky enough to get to take Ohana home at night, where she is treated like a member of the family. At home, Ohana runs around the yard and plays catch.
A member of the family
Ohana isn’t just a member of Superintendent Prewitt’s family; everyone at the school considers her family. They hope she can stay at the school helping the students and teachers for at least ten years.
When it was time for school pictures, Superintendent Prewitt had them take pictures of Ohana too. She has her own student ID and fits right in with the other students.
Puppy Care Basics: Top Tips for When Your Puppy is Attacked
If you have a new puppy, one of your worst fears may be that it is attacked by another animal. It’s one of those fears that we all have when we first get a new puppy. We’ve heard about and seen other attacks, so it’s very much in the realm of possibilities. Fortunately, there are some important tips that you should consider, so you can protect your puppy.
What Are the Signs of Attack?
Your puppy will probably appear to be an easy target to dogs and other animals, but if you pay attention, you may just notice the signs, and be able to remove yourself and your pet form the situation. You may notice the following signs:
- Baring teeth
You should be aware of your surroundings any time you’re outside playing with, walking, or in other ways interacting with your puppy. So, at the first sign of aggressive behavior by another animal, take immediate action. If that behavior is directed specifically at your puppy, this is typically a good time to pick your puppy up and put yourself between you and the other animal.
You can also mitigate the circumstances by avoiding areas like dog parks where you know there may be dangerous animals or aggressive dogs, particularly when your dog is still so young. There are plenty of ways to give your puppy the social interaction and the exercise they need without putting them in a bad situation.
Stay Calm & Collective
You should be aware of your surroundings, but you must also stay calm both before and after the attack. When you are calm and collected, you may be able to pull the animals apart, ask for help from others who are close by, and even add a level-headed approach to the situation.
When you are calm and collected, you can also assert your authority over the other animal. It doesn’t always work, particularly if the other animal already sees you as a threat or challenge.
- Speak with conviction and command.
- Watch your body language.
- Stand tall and avoid submissive postures.
The best strategy is still to remove yourself and your puppy from the situation by making a quick exit. While you’re edging away, though, you can (hopefully) avoid being bitten or attacked.
Your first thought is to protect your puppy and get you and the puppy away from the situation. Your next thought should be to offer emotional support to your puppy. Check to make sure that your puppy really is physically ok. Are there bite marks? Bruising? Limping? Is the puppy whimpering?
If you’re concerned about the well-being of your puppy, take your little one to the veterinarian. They will perform a full exam and may recommend additional tests or scans to make sure everything is ok. The vet may also recommend that you monitor your puppy over the next few days.
Don’t forget to talk to the other owner(s). It’s not typically helpful to confront or accuse the other person(s). Remain calm, and ask for contact information. Take pictures, and jot down (or record) details about what happened, what the dog looks like (breed if you know it), and any previous history about the animal. For example, if you know or if the owner mentions that the animal has attacked other dogs in the past, it shows a pattern of aggressive behavior. Take note of the date, time, and any other information that’s related to the incident.
If your puppy is in good health, you may never need to remember the details of the attack or potential incident. But, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If the owner of the other animal claims that you’re at fault, you need as much information as you can get to describe what really happened.
Puppy Care Basics: Top Tips About Helping Your Puppy Through Spaying and Neutering
There are lots of reasons why you’ve chosen to spay or neuter your puppy. It’s the responsible thing to do, because there are already too many homeless pets. It can also contribute to the health and long life of your puppy. Neutered males live 18% longer, while spayed females live 23% longer. Part of those longevity stats probably link back to lower incidents of testicular cancer and prostate cancer. a
How Does It Work?
When your female puppy is spayed, the vet removes the uterus and ovaries in a procedure called an ovariohysterectomy. So, your puppy will not be able to reproduce, and she will probably not demonstrate the behavioral issues associated with going into heat.
When your male puppy is neutered, the vet puts him under anesthesia, makes incisions, and removes the testicles. The vet typically fits your puppy with a cone to prevent them from licking the area. The incision should take about two weeks to heal, and your vet will monitor the healing and continued health of your pet.
Quick Tips to Support Recovery
The spay or neuter procedure is not the most pleasant experience, but your puppy will recover fairly quickly. You can support his or her recovery by following these quick tips:
- Check the incision every day. Make sure it’s healing properly. Contact your vet if you notice unusual swelling, discharge, or odors.
- Don’t give your puppy a bath for ~10 days, or as instructed by your vet.
- Set up a quiet, comfortable environment for your puppy to avoid over-stimulation.
- Use the cone to prevent your puppy from licking or biting at the incision.
- Keep your puppy from getting overexcited. Keep him or her from jumping around or running until fully recovered.
- If your puppy develops diarrhea or vomiting, or demonstrates other symptoms, contact your vet right away.
Why You Should Spay/Neuter?
While there is some risk associated with any medical procedure, the benefits far outweigh any possible dangers. It’s an effective and low-cost way to help your puppy live a long and happy life. After a minor inconvenience, your puppy can return to their former playful selves. It can help improve their behavior, since your puppy more affectionate. Your puppy may also be less likely to roam or engage in fights.
Your puppy is a part of your life. You care about him or her, and you really don’t want to inflict any pain. Sometimes, it’s just important to consider your puppy’s overall health and happiness. The best time to spay or neuter your puppy is by four months of age, but the breed will also factor in. Seek out and discuss the procedure with your vet. He or she should have the experience to provide the care you need, while insuring that you’re doing what’s best for your puppy at the appropriate time. It really is a loving and caring decision that will only serve to solidify the bond you have with your puppy both now and in the future.
A New Study Shows Cats Do Love Their Owners
There are lots of people who have pets and one of the most common is the housecat. Those who have experience living with a cat probably understand why these animals are so popular. They are fluffy, cuddly, and purr beautifully. At the same time, even though families love their cats, there is always that nagging feeling in the back of one’s mind, wondering if their cat actually loves them back. Sometimes, the cat seems like a member of the family; however, this typically centers around feeding time. At other times, cats might seem like they have everyone and everything. This is typically around the time that cats are bathed. It seems like the love of a cat is conditional more than anything else; however, a recently published research study is looking to change all of this.
A team of researchers recently conducted a research study at Oregon State University. The researchers ultimately decided that cats do form secure, meaningful attachments to their owners. This means that cats have feelings that are similar to those of dogs and babies. Furthermore, these findings were even published in the peer-reviewed journal Current Biology. In the research study, the scientists took more than 100 cats and their owners. They tested the cats using a method that was put together back in the 1970s that was used to study the bond that formed between children and their parents. Then, the researchers tried to figure out whether or not the cats were forming attachments in a manner similar to parents and babies.
During the study, the cat was placed in a room with its owner for two minutes. After this, the owner left the room for a period of two minutes. Then, the owner came back into the room. The researchers used the change in the way that cats responded to decide how strong the attachment was between the owner and the cat. Out of the cats studied, close to two-thirds of the cats showed signs of a secure attachment. This means that the cats show signs of trust in their owner. They rely on their owner to take care of the cats’ needs, such as food, and will greet the owner upon returning. This is a key finding in deciding whether or not cats love their owners.
The results of this study show that it is important for owners to know that their cats rely on them for their own survival and well-being. When cats have a sense of anxiety or insecurity, they often look to their owners for strength and support. This is not unlike children and parents. Therefore, owners need to keep their cats’ needs in mind. Some of the signs that cats are a bit insecure include running away, hiding, and other similar behaviors. While this behavior is often stereotyped as cats being unpleasant, this behavior can have important implications for the feeling of the animal. Owners need to pay attention to this behavior and respond appropriately.
In the end, this study shows that cats do indeed love their owners. Therefore, anyone who is wondering whether or not their cat loves them back can rest easy at night. It is important for owners to act in a way that will further this attachment. Showing love and support for a pet, including a cat, can go a long way. These results are not that different from the feelings that dogs and babies have for their counterparts. Everyone who owns a cat should keep this in mind when deciding how they are going to interact with their beloved pet.
Routine Traffic Stop Turns into Heartwarming Occasion Thanks to Officer’s Kind Gesture
Getting pulled over can be a stressful situation. You may not know right away why you were asked to stop, but you probably have a good hunch that it’s not for a good reason.
More often than not, that premonition we have about being pulled over turns out to be accurate and we have to be involved in a less than ideal situation. It’s why many of us dread stopping to talk to an officer so much.
Andrella Jackson may now have different thoughts about being asked to stop by an officer though.
Not too long ago, Jackson was spotted by Milwaukee police officer Kevin Zimmerman and was asked to pull over. Officer Zimmerman requested that Jackson stop because she had the wrong registration for her car.
As he approached the vehicle though, something else caught the eye of Officer Zimmerman. To be more specific, he saw that there were three kids in the backseat of Jackson’s car and two of them were still very small, WTMJ-TV reported. He also noticed that the two small children in question were not in car seats.
Officer Zimmerman then asked Jackson why the small kids were not placed in car seats and she said that she did not have the money to pay for those essential pieces of safety equipment at that time. Jackson mentioned that with winter on the way, she was saving up to buy her children new coats and boots.
A shortage of money is the same reason why Jackson had failed to get her vehicle registered properly.
Per the American Automobile Association (AAA), there are laws in every state dictating that children should be in car seats or restraints.
It would have been easy for Officer Zimmerman to issue Jackson tickets for her violations, but he opted to handle things a different way. Instead of adding to her problems, he went about solving one of them.
Officer Zimmerman soon made his way to a nearby Walmart, and after learning how much the kids weighed from Jackson, he went ahead and purchased two car seats using money out of his own pocket. He even stuck around to install the car seats himself.
By the way, the police officer did more than just give Jackson and her kids new car seats. According to this report from CNN, Officer Zimmerman also made a stop at the police department to pick up a few things – children’s books and stickers – that he also gifted to Jackson’s kids.
The police officer explained why he went the extra mile to help out Jackson. Officer Zimmerman shared that he has kids of his own. He hinted at how frightening the thought is of his own kids moving around in a vehicle with no car seats and how they can be placed in grave danger if an accident occurs.
Officer Zimmerman also said that he was always taught to “do the right thing even if no one is looking.” In this case, both Jackson and the Milwaukee Police Department wanted to make sure that Officer Zimmerman would receive the recognition he deserved even if he wasn’t looking for that.
The generous act touched Jackson, prompting her to shower Officer Zimmerman with numerous “thank yous.” Her kids got in on the chorus of generosity as well.
Jackson called Officer Zimmerman “awesome” and that she is appreciative of the kindness he showed. She added that with the car seats now purchased and installed, she will be able to allocate a bigger budget that will then be used to buy those new coats and boots that her kids need.
What could have turned into an even more trying situation for Jackson and her kids became a shining example of humanity at its best and that is thanks to the generosity exhibited by Officer Zimmerman.
4 Ways Your Dog Can Help You Be Healthier
Whether you’re a dog owner or volunteering your time to take care of orphaned dogs, hanging out with these four-legged friends can do a lot for your health and your well-being. Here are five ways your dog can help you be healthier.
1. Keep you fit and active. When you have a dog, you are encouraged to put on some sneakers and hit the pavement on a daily basis. Dogs need to go outside to complete their business, and it’s also a chance for them to experience the world around them. For humans, you will be receiving regular exercise. Health experts recommend that adults get anywhere between 2 and 3 hours of moderate exercise per week. Taking your dog on regular excursions can help fulfill that.
2. Weekend hikes. Dogs evolved from wild animals into the domesticated friends that we have today. You can take your dog on long hikes that will keep you and your pup happy, help you burn extra calories, as well as improve your heart health.
3. Sharing food. While your dog’s diet should mainly consist of the appropriate dog food, there is some human food that you can share. You can make some of your pet’s favorite food at home using healthy ingredients that include meats, whole grains, and certain nut butters. Buy some for yourself and you have something in hand to prepare a meal for you and your dog.
4. Mental health matters too. Most pet owners are clear about the immediate joys that come with sharing their everyday lives with a dog companion. However, you might be unaware of the mental health benefits that can also accompany the pleasure of having a furry friend. Pets, especially dogs, have evolved to become acutely attuned to our behaviors and emotions. Dogs may not be able to understand the words you are saying, but they can interpret your tone of voice, gestures, and body language. Dogs can help reduce anxiety, stress, and ease loneliness. As mentioned, dogs help us exercise, stay playful, and interact with the outdoors during long walks and excursions. Caring for a dog can help children grow up to be more mindful of the responsibilities and feeling more secure about themselves.
Studies have shown that dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression, will experience lower blood pressure, and playing with your dog can elevate levels of dopamine and serotonin.
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