LazyPaw Prints

The Inescapable E-Collar

Our newly adopted stray Mella was obviously not a member of the feral cat colony which occupied our neighborhood. The feral cats would do anything to avoid humans as much as possible, even if that meant using storm drains as a travel system and only venturing out for food late at night. But Mella purposefully sought human contact— shortly after we found her we learned that most of our neighbors already knew her and had fed her dinner on several occasions. But even though she loved to be near people, she was still more like a bobcat than she was …Read More

Treating and Preventing Fleas

Focus on the textbook I reminded myself for the hundredth time. But before I was able to delve back into my study guide, I heard it again: cling cling cling cling cling— the jingling sound Magic’s collar made while he desperately scratched an intense itch. Once he repeated this very loud and exhausting routine, I slammed my book shut in frustration and abandoned my homework pile to find him.

Upon entering the living room where Magic’s favorite bed was kept, I found he had tied himself into a dog pretzel, vigorously gnawing a spot above his tail. I parted his fur …Read More

Lilies are Toxic to Cats

Lilies were once one of my favorite flowers, but I have now banned them from my house after learning they place my cat Midnight’s health at risk. Midnight and I are very lucky that she never nibbled the cut lilies I used to keep on the coffee table, because even a small snack could have threatened her life.

While it is still unknown what exactly causes lilies to be so toxic to cats, it is certain that eating any part of the plant such as the leaves, flowers, pollen, or vase water will cause kidney failure and death if untreated. Fortunately …Read More

Car Rides with Pets

My dog Magic’s nails dug into my leg as he hopped up and down to get a better look at the smiling Golden Retriever hanging her head out the car window in the left lane. “Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop!” I chanted while I desperately clutched the wheel with two fingers and nudged him toward the passenger seat. But he was already back in my lap and perched on his hind legs— for some reason beyond human understanding the view from the other window was unsatisfactory. “I’m still not rolling the window down,” I reminded him. “You don’t want to get …Read More

Introducing New Pets

It only took Magic a couple days after his adoption to prove that he got along great with humans. He was gentle with children who wanted to pet him, automatically trusted anyone with a house key, and loved to swing in the hammock with my friends. Trying to predict how he would behave around my cat Midnight was a different story. But as a small scruffy mutt who was already missing most of his teeth, he certainly didn’t look like a cat killer.

My family kept Magic and Midnight separated at first by confining them to different areas of the house. …Read More

Adopting a cat with Feline Leukemia Virus

At 1:00 in the morning, the movie I had been watching was suddenly interrupted by a very loud baby crying outside my window. Upon hurriedly opening my front door, I realized the sound was not not made by a baby, but by the emaciated, desperate, stray cat springing out of the bushes and screaming for dinner.

I first locked Midnight, my own cat, safely away in my bedroom to protect her from this unknown cat’s possible sickness or aggression. I then brought my new acquaintance into the kitchen for some food and water. While my first thought was to give her …Read More

Adopting a Heartworm Positive Dog

As Mom and I looked inside each kennel at our local animal shelter, the decision before us became increasingly difficult— every dog needed love just as much as the last one. In the small dog area, we spotted a little scruffy mutt. His hair was so long and matted he looked like a black and white mop, but beneath his rat’s nest his bright blue eye and deep brown eye sparkled when he saw us. We sat with him in a little room with a bench, and he sprung onto my lap so everyone could have the opportunity to pet …Read More

The E-Collar Helps Minor Problems

As my dog Magic aged, he became less like the carefree spirit we had adopted and instead grew quite irritable. In his younger years he was cheerful rather than crotchety, but as his fur began to gray and his fuse shortened, he seemed more like an old man character one would see in a movie shouting, “You kids get off my property!” His short fuse also applied to his occasional minor health problems as he easily became consumed by small discomforts.

One morning after a walk I found Magic laying in his bed and licking his paw so intensely he hardly …Read More

Ear Infection Treatment for Dogs

Around my house, the exclamation “Magic stinks!” was not uncommon. Every dog has an unpleasant habit or two, but Magic’s most beloved hobbies were really gross. In his eyes, the cat’s litter box was an all you can eat buffet, a rotten dead squirrel was a rare treasure, and a smelly running shoe was the perfect air freshener. Anytime he disappeared somewhere in the house or backyard for a suspiciously long time, he always returned with a big smile and an unbearable stench.

But one day, this stench was different– but it definitely still made my nose burn. And not only …Read More

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