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Thoughts from FairyDust Services

Already heading into the fall and the Labor Day Holiday.

This year seems even more important to pay tribute to our workers on this federal holiday created in 1894. Celebrated in many cities and towns across the United States with parades, picnics, barbecues, and firework displays.

It also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans.

Enjoy the month and your holiday!

What's In A Name?

Congratulations, you've got a new pet! Now for the hard part, you've got to name your buddy. Naming is an art! We all want the "right" name - cool, fitting, clever, and creative, yet not too complicated.

There aren't any rules to naming, but here are some suggestions to consider. Science says that 1 or 2-syllable names are best. Anything longer than that may confuse your pet. Avoid names that sound like a command you may use in training. For example, the name May sounds a lot like stay. Mitt sounds like sit. A tongue twister isn't easy to say when you need to call your companion. A lengthy formal name is fine as long as you have a shorter nickname for your buddy. Names that end with a vowel are good choices. The pitch of our voice tends to go up with vowels, and our dogs hear those tones more easily. Lastly, if you already have a pet, consider their name before naming another new one. For example, the two names "Bailey and Daisy" sound a bit too similar; when you call one, they may both come running. That isn't always ideal.

Ok, given the constraints above, what's next?

You may want to keep an eye on your new pet for a while and become acquainted with his personality. That may help you name him. A pup that loves the water could be Splash, or if he chases his tail could be Dizzy. A cat that loves to cuddle might be Lovebug.

Think about your favorite book or movie - a character from either may be a great fit. Such as Atticus (To Kill a Mockingbird), Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice), or Xena (Xena: Warrior Princess).

It seems odd to some, but a lot of people name their pets after food. Alfredo, Basil, Frito, Macaroni, Cupcake, Taffy, or Pickles are all good names and very cute!

Maybe a location or hobby would work. We know of a dog named Jersey; needless to say, he came from a rescue in New Jersey. Catalina, Boston, Austin, and Paris are popular too. Captain is popular, or how about Mulligan, Ranger, Shortstop, or Rugby?

What if you've rescued a new pet and hate its name? Not every pet name is a winner, don't worry, you can change it. That being said, it will be easier for your pet if you change it to something similar. Aim for a name that starts with the same first letter or has similar syllables, so Ralph becomes Rafe or Sally becomes Sadie. In some cases, changing a pet's name may even be a good idea, especially if she comes from abuse or neglect. The name may have bad vibes, so changing her name will give her a fresh start with you.

Whatever you choose, take your time, and don't feel pressured to name your best friend on day one. Once you think you've got a name, try it out, and see if it has cute nicknames and feels right. If it does - bingo (which is also a cute name), you've named your new best friend!

Watch Your Tone, Please!

There is no question that our pets light up our lives; they can bring us so much joy and laughter. How we communicate with them shapes our relationships and affects their behavior. Sadly many of us, especially when our pet is in the process of misbehaving, will yell or scold Fluffy or Fido. The bad news is that yelling is totally counterproductive to our goals. Training our pets is a process that can try our patience, but we must remain calm with our best friends.

Studies over the past few years have shown that yelling has a detrimental effect on our pets. Two studies have shown that our pet's cortisol levels (cortisol is the stress hormone) are higher when we punish or yell at our buddies. Cortisol affects their overall physical and mental health, as well as their behavior.

As we've said before, if you call your pet by name and then yell at him, it teaches him that his name can result in something negative (yelling). This makes him less likely to respond in the future. We don't want that result!

If Fido runs to the window barking and you yell at him, guess what? You're most likely being counterproductive! Yelling can sound like excitable barking, so Fido thinks you're supporting his incessant barking and will probably howl a bit more.

Another situation where yelling produces negative results is in potty training. Imagine you catch Fido or Fluffy having an accident in the house, and you start yelling at them. This may teach your pet to be sneaky, and they will begin having accidents when you're not around to avoid getting yelled at.

Studies on dogs and cats have reached the same result - yelling not only confuses your pet but it causes them stress and distrust - which undermines your position as a leader. And these feelings inhibit your pet's interest in learning new things.

If you have been yelling at your pet, don't worry, you can turn it around! Just stop yelling. Once you use a calm voice, your best friend will start respecting you again.

Instead of yelling, speak calmly, redirect your pet to something positive, ignore the behavior, or do something with them that you can reward (like basic training). This may be all you need to turn the unwanted behavior around!

Belly Then Bite - What Is That About?

This scenario may happen with some regularity: your cat rolls over and shows you her tummy, and when you reach down to give her a belly rub, - ouch - she bites or scratches you. Why does she do that? When a dog rolls over and you go in for the belly rub, most dogs will stay that way until you stop. Well, as we all know, dogs and cats are very different.

If you ask any animal behaviorist why your cat exposes her belly, they will tell you it's a sign of trust. But it isn't necessarily an invitation to rub their belly. Cats have very strong instincts when it comes to predators and prey, and they know they can fit into both categories. Domestic cats know they can be vulnerable around other animals. As prey, their stomach is a very vulnerable area; exposing it can give a predator access to their vital organs, and they can't run away as easily in that position. This makes cats protective of their bellies. So don't worry, your cat loves you, but it's just instinct to stop a belly attack/rub.

Another reason for this behavior is that the fur around a cat's tail and tummy is hypersensitive and can be uncomfortable when touched. This helps them with hunting, but it sets you up for a belly brawl!

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Some cats will let their bellies be rubbed, but those cats are few and far between. Should you go in for a rub when you see an exposed belly? Probably not. We all try it occasionally and most often are met with a swat. Some cats will accept a pat or two (not a rub) but often pat #3 puts them over the edge. There are so many other areas that your cat enjoys being petted and scratched - we recommend concentrating on the areas she prefers.

If your kitty exposes her belly, she is saying she feels safe with you; don't violate that trust and pet her tummy! The more you understand your cat and her instincts, the closer you'll be!

Great Pet Links!

September is:

  • Responsible Dog Ownership Month
  • Happy Healthy Cat Month
  • National Service Dog Month
September 8 - National Dog Walker Appreciation Day
September 11 - Hug Your Hound Day
September 17 - National Pet Bird Day
September 28 - World Rabies Day

Pets Turned Into Tattoos
Daisy Is A Differently-Abled Pet
Instagram Images of Service Dogs Working & At Play
"Hands Up" Cat


September 2022 Newsletter