Kids & Pets
August 6, 2020
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Even pets give thanks

By: Mickey Zeldes
November 29, 2019

How many of you have the tradition of going around the Thanksgiving table and asking each person to say something they are grateful for?  It’s a practice our family has done for several years.  Under the table is usually a dog or two and around the room are usually a cat or two.  They can’t really join in this practice but I can’t help but think what they might say.  I was recently at a dinner at a friend’s house and her dog, Max, a far-from-svelte lab, greeted us enthusiastically at the door.  Later I watched as he contentedly snoozed in a big puff bed, with a very full belly, in front of the fireplace.  I was struck by how lucky he was.  He had been adopted from our shelter a few years ago and definitely struck gold landing in the family he did.  I could only wish that for every animal in our facility.  But I wondered if he truly realized his good fortune.  I’d like to speak for Max and all the other animals lucky enough to be in a home this holiday.

Thank you for taking care of my everyday needs.  I have fresh water available all the time and enough good-quality food to keep me healthy (OK, I know I always beg for more treats, but thank you for watching my waistline!).  My litterbox is scooped and cleaned regularly, which I truly appreciate.  No one likes a dirty bathroom! 

Thank you for caring enough to take me to a veterinarian regularly and not just waiting until I am sick.  Preventative care like dentals, flea control, heartworm protection medications and more, are what keep me in tip-top shape.  The veterinary field is now recognizing the importance for pain control and management, especially for elderly pets.  Just because we mask our discomfort doesn’t mean we don’t feel the aches and pains of growing old.  Constant pain can make us grumpy and snappy.  It doesn’t mean we should be left alone, it means we need help!

Thank you for playing with me and making sure I get some exercise and mental stimulation on a regular basis.  I know winter is coming so perhaps the long walks are out but you are clever at coming up with new ways to keep me active.  I love playing chase and finding the food you hide around the house.  So much more fun than just eating out of a dish (that only lasts a few seconds – I know I eat too fast but it’s hard to slow down!).  If you want more ideas of inexpensive interactive toys I heard they have a handout at the shelter!

Thank you for keeping me clean and well groomed.  I love the time we spend together when you brush me!  I feel loved and cared for when you give me the once over to check for foxtails, fleas, ticks and new lumps and bumps.  It really shows you care!

Thank you for loving me enough to give me a way to be returned to you should I ever become lost.  A microchip is a small radio chip that is encoded with a unique number and implanted under the skin as a permanent identification.  All the owner information is stored in a national 24-hour database so it’s easy to update and keep current.  The fires have shown how important this protection can be.  Of course a simple collar and name tag can often do the trick and save a trip to a shelter or vet to be scanned.  I like the look of a pretty collar and it shows the world that I am loved.  The best part is if we live in Rohnert Park or Cotati both a personalized ID tag and a microchip are free through the shelter!

I wish every pet was as lucky as I am but I know there are some at the shelter without a family to love and care for them.  If you want to get me a brother or sister I hope you will look there first!  There’s always more love to share and I’ll try to not be too possessive.  I am so lucky!


Upcoming Events 

No More Lost Pets – free microchips and pet ID tags for residents of Rohnert Park and Cotati.  Stop by the shelter during our open hours with your pet to get one!  The shelter is open Wed. 1-6:30, Thurs.-Fri.-Sat. 1-5:30 and Sun. 1-4:30.

Fix-it Clinics – Free spay and neuters for cats; and $60 dog surgeries (up to 80 lbs.) for low-income Rohnert Park and Cotati residents.  Call 588-3531 for an appointment.


Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at