The Therapeutic Benefits of the Office Dog
Today is "Take Your Friend's Dog to Work Day"
You may have seen the lovely Iota on the cover of the recent Pets edition of the Alibi. She is the constant sweet and tiny presence around the office. But today, we have another petite friend hanging around.
She belongs to my friend Dee, but on the occasional Tuesday instead of going to puppy daycare, she makes the trek down Central to hang out with me at the Alibi.
Spending time with dogs has been known to have positive impact on the stress levels of students and drunk people seem to love them. But there is also evidence to suggest that dogs in the workplace have a positive impact on overall morale.
Thus far, I would say that productivity levels here have suffered, but overall mood has seen a general lift. Also there has been significantly more time spent at floor level by the editorial and production staff. This carpet is pretty nice.
As an aside, I also have the opportunity to converse with so many more of my fellow pedestrians downtown when I have a puppy in tow. Everyone wants to know her name, everyone wants to know if they can pet her. And she, honestly, invites it, even when I would prefer she didn't.
In a single bound, she leaped over an abandoned crutch on the corner of Broadway; she fearlessly investigated the once-white towel in the alley; she makes nearly everyone who walks in the door smile. If only we could all be as intrepid and charming as Simone.
Totem Needs a Home
5-year-old male husky mix wants to be your new best friend
Totem is healthy, social and great with horses and kids. He is good on a leash, can travel in car and gets along well with other dogs. This sweet, smart boy is a perfect fit for a confident dog owner. His current owner has a brain tumor and wants to find a new and happy life for Totem. He is currently in Corrales, NM.
If you would like to meet Totem or have any questions call Lynda at (505) 206-0677 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Serious inquiries only please.
It’s too cold outside for your pet
Animal Protection of New Mexico issued a warning this morning: Creatures left to fend for themselves in these low temperatures—26º today, 5º tonight— could die. The longtime local animal rights organization goes on to say:
It’s a common misconception that dogs and cats won’t get cold because of their fur. If you are cold, your companion animal is cold. Most domestic animals are not well-equipped for cold weather and can easily be susceptible to frost bite and hypothermia.
Signs of hypothermia include: shivering followed by stillness, slow heart beat, lack of coordination, and pale or blue gums.
You can create a winter shelter if it’s not possible to bring your pet indoors. Animal Protection offers some tips:
• It should be tall enough for your pet—henceforth “Sparkles the pit bull”—to sit upright and turn around. If it’s much bigger, Sparkles won’t retain body heat.
• Straw makes good insulation. Blankets or fabric are no good. Once damp, they freeze over. You can get free straw from the city’s animal shelters: Eastside (8920 Lomas NE) and Westside (11800 Sunset Gardens SW).
• Face the shelter’s entrance south or southeast to guard against the elements and maximize sun exposure.
• Cover the opening with a thick piece of rubber—a doormat or carpet scrap might work—to shelter Sparkles from rain and snow.
• Caulk any cracks in the roof and walls.
• Make sure the shelter is elevated a bit off the ground so it doesn’t get waterlogged.
• Don’t forget to break the ice on her water bowl if it freezes over.
If you see an animal left outside in bad weather, you can call the organization’s cruelty hotline at 265-2322 ext. 29 or the attorney general’s Animal Cruelty Task Force at 506-4000.
Toad Ode: Episode 1
My tadpole love elicited only wariness from my coworkers. But once the four young amphibians were installed in my office, they became a source of fascination. The first day, they were full-on tadpoles, swimming fully immersed in the water. Next morning, they had rear legs, and you could see their forelegs outlined in their lumpy tadpole torsos. Within hours they had four legs and wandered up the slope of gravel to stand and hop. They immediately began climbing the glass of the tank. It was like watching evolution in hyperdrive.
They were toads with tails. And 24 hours later, they were only toads. Tiny toads. About as big as a dime. They didn’t seem interested in their food: bloodworms. I wondered if their bodies were digesting their own tails or something. The tails didn’t fall off as much as they seemed to simply disappear, perhaps absorbed into their bodies.
FACT: I am not a scientist. I’m just watching the biological drama unfold.
Eventually, they’ll have hot pink/reddish bellies. These are Chinese fire belly toads. My sister had two for years. She believes that one switched genders, Jurassic Park style, and that’s why they mated suddenly this year. She had about 250 eggs, which she raised into tadpoles. She’s donated them to schools and given almost all of them away.
I’ll keep you posted here as they develop.
Free cat to bad home
My cat knows I’m an insomniac and she thinks it’s funny
It’s been nearly three days since I last slept. Or has it been four?
In either case, my cat is a jerk.
I’ve probably complained about her before.
This is my second week working on staff at the illustrious Weekly Alibi. The first week, I was deathly ill. That’s just my luck.
This week, I have been, without fail, stirred from restless sleep by the pitter patter of clawed paws raking my face. There is also the whiskers-in-the-nose face rub and the dreaded nose bite.
The cat also bites my feet and howls like a banshee if I stall.
She eats breakfast at 3:30 a.m. I will feed her. She demands it. She apparently eats again at 6:30 a.m. and meaningless torture commences at 7:30 a.m. I am usually crying by 8 a.m.
I have taken to flinging her from the bed, hoping that the threat of bodily injury will spark some sort of survival instinct in the reptilian brain of hers. I usually feel guilty about this. I don’t actually want to hurt the kitty as I am a 250 pound galoot; I only want sleep, precious, little sleep.
Lost Dog (or Cat or Horse or Cow ... )
While humans seem to love loud, bright, exploding Fourth of July fireworks our furry friends hate pyrotechnics. For dogs, cats, horses and other farm animals this is one of the most stressful and dangerous times of the year. 2010 was especially rough, because the holiday stretched over several days. The noise often drives pets to run away, especially if left outside and unattended.
“We have a higher volume of stray animal calls and a higher volume of barking complaint calls on July 4 than on almost any other night of the year,” says Capt. Albert Marquez of Animal Welfare’s Field Services Division.
Kennel workers are expecting an unusually high volume of stray pets at the Eastside and Westside shelters this week. Should your pet get lost and end up at either shelter, Animal Welfare wants to expedite the process: If your pet already has a microchip, a license and is spayed or neutered, he or she will be returned to you free of charge. Owners will not be charged a reclaim fee. All you have to do is pick up their lost pets at the shelter.
If your pet has gone missing, check Albuquerque’s Eastside or Westside shelters immediately. Or you can get help by dialing 311.
Fourth of July: Waking Nightmare for Princess Fluffilyaya
While humans love loud, bright, exploding Fourth of July fireworks, our furry friends hate pyrotechnics. For dogs, cats, horses and other animals, this is one of the most stressful and dangerous times of the year—especially this time around, because the holiday weekend stretches over several days. The noise can drive pets to run away, especially if left outside and unattended.
“We have a higher volume of stray animal calls and a higher volume of barking complaint calls on July Fourth than on almost any other night of the year,” says Capt. Albert Marquez of Animal Welfare’s Field Services Division.
Since the noise of fireworks can stress cats and dogs into running away, the city animal welfare folks strongly suggest you keep your pets inside as much as possible at night and to some extent busy. Give them something to chew on or play ball with them. If your pet gets especially stressed, they recommends you ask your veterinarian for some sort of medical help to calm your pet down.
With the holiday weekend stretching into the beginning of the week for many people, kennel workers are expecting an unusually high amount of stray pets into the Eastside and Westside shelters on the mornings of July 3, 4 and 5. Should your pet get lost and end up at either shelter, Animal Welfare wants to expedite the process. If your pet already has a microchip, a license and is spayed or neutered, he or she will be returned to you free of charge. Owners will not be charged a reclaim fee. All they have to do is pick up their lost pets at the shelter.
If your pet turns up missing during the weekend, please check Albuquerque’s Eastside or Westside shelters immediately. Or you can get help by dialing 311.
Dogs Vs Cats
Last Friday the dog people won. It wasn’t really much of a race, seeing as it was Take Your Dog to Work Day. Here at the Alibi we often have dogs of various sizes running around, but TYDTWD found an extra pooch chillin’ in newspaper land.
But, at least according to some Facebook group, Wednesday is the day for cat people to take revenge! It’s Bring Your Cats (notice the plural) to Work Day. Whoo hoo.
No more shall the cat people be marginalized, forced to rid their clothing of fur, explain that the baggies in our pockets are filled with the kindest of catnip or be made fun of for purring when we’re happy. Our cat friends can show our coworkers why we’re as crazy as we are.
So, allergics, stock up on your favorite allergy medicine, bring a lint brush and be prepared for keyboard sleeping. It’s a cat-vasion!
Luckily for all Wednesday is not a deadline day for the Alibi, otherwise the entire paper might look like this: uu˙∆˜†aq;y7803aqby an loiq3ruqht5j n
And, sadly, my beasts shall stay at home because while I like the idea of Bring Your Cat to Work Day, I’m pretty sure my cats wouldn’t like it at all.
Happy Take Your Dog to Work Day, Everyone
On a normal day a few pooches usually have their run of the Alibi’s offices, but when I showed up to work today I was pleased to be greeted by new dog faces. Turns out today is Take Your Dog To Work Day. In honor of this holiday, here is a photo of Henry. He’s Jeff Drew’s hot dog-like companion.
Beware the Antifreeze
Dog and cat owners should be aware that there have been antifreeze poisonings reported in the neighborhoods near Fourth Street and Montaño. Antifreeze, which has a sweet taste, is deadly to humans and animals. Even a very small amount licked off paws can cause an agonizing death for a dog or cat. People should try to keep their animals in their yards and be aware of containers in alleys, lots or public areas. If anyone finds anything, please call 311 and ask for Animal Welfare Department.