California Community Worried That ‘Chupacabras’ Are Stalking Their Pets...
Residents of a Southern California community believe they’ve seen the legendary chupacabras ? and it’s stalking their pets. Cary Shuker said that he shooed away a hairless creature from near his home in Riverside. He described it as two feet longer “than the biggest coyote you’ve ever seen” and with a tail like a rat. The creature snarled back at him, according to Shuker. “It was cussing me out, basically,” he said. “I stole its breakfast. It was hunting my cat.” Three residents say they’ve seen the creature and worry it could kill pets or maybe even attack someone out for a stroll. But one expert said the creature is certainly not the mythical chupacabras, the “goat sucker” that supposedly stalks animals and drinks their blood.Loren Coleman, director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Maine, said it was likely a coyote with mange or similar much more common animal.Indeed, residents of another Southern California community last year reported chupacabras sightings that turned out to be coyotes with mange. Experts said that coyotes could have been eating rats that had been sickened with poison, which in turn sickened them. ---------
How stylish décor and pets can successfully coexist... Expert tips for having both a house full of pets and the home décor you want....
It’s gotten easier to have a house full of pets without sacrificing the home décor you want.Interior designer Vern Yip, a judge on HGTV’s “Design Star” and a dog person, says new technology has led to a variety of stylish and pet-friendly home-furnishing options.Things like durable, easy-to-clean paints and antimicrobial stain-resistant rugs mean that a beautiful home and a furry pet are no longer incompatible.Many pet owners today “are designing a space around their animals,” Burnham says.Often, the planning starts with the biggest elements: walls and floors.Paints have become much more pet-friendly (and kid-friendly) in recent years. “There are a lot of paint companies now that have flat paints that are wipeable,” a feature previously offered only with glossy paints, Burnham says.Flooring options have also expanded. Wood flooring companies have developed finishes that resist scratching, Yip says. Ceramic tile designed to look like stone flooring is another practical option.And don’t forget the little things. If your pets are very active, minimize the number of items on tabletops and put more fragile things on higher shelves, Bechen says. Add a lidded basket or storage ottoman to stash pet toys when guests come over.Fabrics that can withstand life with pets used to be rough and often unappealing to touch, Yip says. Now, you can find stain-resistant and antimicrobial fibers in a range of styles and soft textures.Bechen suggests avoiding very light-colored fabrics if dark pet hair will frustrate you (or dark fabrics if your pets have light hair). Patterns are less likely to show pet hair than solids are, she says. And it helps to keep an attractive throw blanket on your pet’s favorite furniture, and then remove it when guests come over.It’s a luxury to have a room that serves as a sort of pet bedroom, but Yip says it’s becoming more common.Even if the space does double-duty as an office or laundry room, you can create a secure area for a pet by keeping their bed, food dishes and familiar toys all in one place.Get creative by adding something to entertain your pet (Yip’s dogs have an aquarium to look at), and create a sleeping space they’ll love.“Cats love to climb,” says Bechen, so cat owners can add a shelf around the perimeter of the room and put their cat’s bed up there.Litter boxes can also be creatively upgraded: Bechen suggests choosing one with a decorative cover. Her favorites are designed to resemble tiny, painted houses.-----------
Why Losing a Pet Hurts So Much - ... and why the stages of grief are just as valid when your loss is an animal....A pet is truly a gift that can change your life and bring you monumental happiness and gratitude. Pets teach you responsibility, patience, kindness, discipline, playfulness and, most importantly, unconditional love. A pet owner’s worst fear is losing a beloved companion. For those who have experienced this loss, there is usually a poignant story to share about a cherished dog or cat’s passing. From one pet owner to another, we understand the intense pain and emptiness that occurs after this loss. There is no correct way to grieve and work through this process, as everyone walks down a different journey with a pet.According to an article that reviewed multiple studies and was published in the journal Society & Animals, the death of a companion animal can be as devastating as the loss of a human significant other.People who have never had a pet might not understand the loss and may invalidate your feelings as you go through the grieving process, but don’t allow them to dictate your feelings. It is normal to feel devastated after the loss of a pet. It is common to believe that your dog or cat will still be around to greet you at the door when you arrive home. Many people feel disloyal if they decide to adopt another pet.The five stages of grief: Denial is a normal part of the grieving process. Just make sure you don’t deny your grief. Allow yourself to express your feelings in any way that benefits you. Expressing your feelings can be truly cathartic.
article continues after advertisementAnger is a normal stage of grieving and it is common for pet owners to become angry at the “why” and “how” their pet died. Depression or sadness is the fourth stage of grief and, for many, the longest stage. Some people will always hold a small amount of sadness in their heart for their beloved pet.Acceptance is the final stage, but accepting a loss does not mean forgetting the memories. At this stage, you may feel like your life is becoming normal again and you may even consider adopting another pet.
Everyone grieves differently...If you or a loved one has recently lost a pet, try to remember your companion by keeping the love alive. Maybe frame a photo of your pet, plant a tree in your pet’s memory, create a symbolic gravestone, or, if you cremate your pet, keep the ashes somewhere special. Keeping the memories of your beloved companion alive can be the healthiest way to get through the grief.------------------------
Do animals grieve? Here's what experts say....Animal experts are suggesting that you may have more in common with your animal companion than you think.In a recent newsletter published by the Funeral Consumer Alliance of Maine, researcher Jessica Pierce states "a growing body of research into "animal thanatology" suggests that at least some species of animal have a complex understanding of and relationship to death and dyingPierce says there is evidence to back up the claim that common pets such as dogs and cats grieve the loss of a family member or animal companion."When one of them dies and another one is left behind they often, people will report, the one left behind won't eat as much or will just seem depressed, or will walk around the house looking for their friend."So what does this mean for you?Don Hanson, a Certified Dog Behavioral Consultant says this behavior is typical in a grieving pet. He also suggests that not all animals grieve the same way or visibly grieve at all."The quickest way to create behavioral problems in any species is not allowing them to express normal behavior," Hanson said.Hanson believes understanding how animals express emotions is important. He says it may shape the way we treat animals in relationship to people going forward.---------------------------
Marine dog with cancer gets tear-filled hero's farewell...Cena the 10-year-old black lab received a hero's farewell before being euthanized at the USS LST 393, a museum ship in Muskegon, and carried off in a flag-draped coffin.Hundreds of people in Michigan came together to say a tear-filled final goodbye to a cancer-stricken dog who served three tours in Afghanistan with the U.S. Marines.Cena, who was recently diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, was a bomb-sniffer for the Marines until his retirement in 2014. The celebration for Cena was organized by his owner, Lance Cpl. Jeff Young, who was paired with the dog in 2009 and 2010 while on a combat tour in Afghanistan and who adopted him in 2014. Cena then became DeYoung's service dog to help him with his post-traumatic stress disorder."My whole adult life I've had Cena," DeYoung said. "When I was 19 overseas learning how to be responsible, I had Cena. And now I'm 27 and I'm having to say goodbye to one of the biggest pieces of my life."DeYoung said he has carried Cena across rivers and thrown his body over him while under heavy fire from the Taliban. He said Cena kept DeYoung's body warm during cold desert nights, and comforted him when he lost seven friends in three weeks.As part of the celebration, DeYoung took his dog on one last ride in a topless Jeep that was decorated and named "Cancer Response Team."The ceremony was attended by the U.S. Marine Corps League, Michigan State Police, Muskegon County Sheriff's Office, Muskegon City Police, Muskegon Fire Department and officers from several other departments, including a canine officer named Rex. Attendees gave one final three-volley salute with "Taps" playing in the background for Cena, who was wearing a decorated blue Marine vest."Lord, it is with heavy hearts that we are sending another Marine to you today," said chaplain Wesley Spyke as he addressed the crowd in prayer.A GoFundMe page was set up for donations to help build a headstone for Cena."Any dog that served overseas deserves exactly what I've done for Cena, if not more," DeYoung said.