Dad’s birthday was Saturday. Bob and I stopped over to chat for a bit. Dad is 65!
I finished reading Pukka’s Promise: The Quest for Longer Lived Dogs by Ted Kerasote. Verdict: don’t read it. The good advice he offers is basically what you’d expect. Feed your dog (or cat) the best food you can and make sure it’s what they really need nutritionally and not just what the pet food manufacturers say your dog needs. Examine how often you really need to vaccinate your pet, and consider titering them to check on their immunity level (which is an expensive thing to do, at least locally). Taking a “wait and see” approach when it comes to suspected cancer could end your pet’s life earlier or at least require the need for more intrusive remedies. And watch the pesticides and other bad chemicals you have in your house – things like phthalates, parabens and flame retardants are bad for you and even worse for your pet. Nothing really new.
Although he visited shelters and has a lot to say about them (mostly negative), when it came down to it he preferred to select his dogs from breeders and advocates breeding. He notes that only 20 percent of pets in this country are adopted from shelters. Every year, between 3-4 million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters due to lack of homes. And 25 percent of those animals are pure-bred, planned animals from litters. But when it came down to it and a promise he made on a whim to a shelter dog, he convinced his friend to adopt it because he didn’t want the hassle of integrating a shelter dog into his lifestyle, plus he really wanted a puppy from a specific breeding line he liked. He discusses the potential health effects from spaying and neutering companion animals, and advocates that really if you just keep your pet contained while it’s in heat, there’s no issue. While that might be a realistic thing for him to do (from what he’s written about his lifestyle, he must be in an upper socio-economic status), he seems to not comprehend why there are 6-8 million pets that enter shelter systems in this country EVERY YEAR. He also spends a lot of time justifying hunting, when I think he actually just likes to hunt. In fact, it seemed to me that most of the book was him finding statistics to justify why he makes the decisions he has made regarding his dogs and his lifestyle. That’s perfectly fine, but for me, not worth reading the book.