Give Your Pet the Gift of Safety

pets-linda-saraco-nov-26Holiday decorations and celebrations can be hazardous to your pets. To make sure holidays are safe and fun, please keep these tips in mind.

Guests – Advocate for your pet’s safety during the holidays for both day and overnight guests who may not be pet-familiar by informing them in advance and implementing pet safety rules, for example, about what not to feed them and behaviors that put them at risk. Pets can be overwhelmed by changes such as larger numbers of people at parties, kids, visiting animals, music and outbursts. Your guest’s medications may end up in pet accessible areas. It may be helpful to designate a secure pet room that is off-limits to guest traffic. In case of an escape, risks are reduced if pets are wearing ID tags.  It is a good idea to have a current picture and your animal control officer’s number on hand.

Tree – Rambunctious pets will naturally run around or climb them. To prevent a heavy tree from toppling onto your pet it is a good idea to attach your tree securely to the wall in multiple locations and test for stability. Vacuuming the tree area frequently will eliminate pine needles, which are dangerous to the digestive system. Securely cover the tree’s water container as many precut trees are treated with additives and preservatives that can leach into the water container. The ASPCA poison control hotline phone number is: (888) 426-4435.

Decorations – Sharp and breakable ornaments can cause injury to paws and mouths. Candles can burn and scented items can irritate sensitive respiratory and olfactory systems (especially birds). Tinsel, ribbon, yarn and wire ornament hooks can be fatal if ingested. Prompt removal of gift wrapping materials from pet accessible areas helps reduce risks. It is best to know the location of the closest 24-hour veterinary service.

Cords – These attractively chewable and tasty objects are a hazard to curious kittens and puppies. Make sure that electrical cords are in good condition and out of reach.

Pets as gifts – Surprise gift pets are often later unwanted and windup at shelters and/or euthanized. Planning and recipient preparation helps avoid this risk.

Reflection on your pet’s safety – With your pet clearly in your mind and the planned holiday activities, take a look at your home from his or her perspective. Travel through your home looking at each space through your pet’s eyes. What can you reach? What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? What may be dangerous?

May your holidays be the best ever with your friends, family and dear pets.

The dog version of Ted

His sadness instantly changed to outright laughter.

In his reading, Dave’s dog Rocky came across as a stereotype version of a “guy”.  The foul-mouthed, hooligan teddy bear that was in the movie Ted, with Mark Wahlberg, is a good example of Rocky’s personality.

Dave was a bachelor for most of the time that he and Rocky lived together.  The two hung out, watched sports, ran, roughhoused, and they loved each other.  Actually, Dave said Rocky taught him about real love, unconditional love.  Later, but while Rocky was alive, Dave married and had children.   Rocky became a family dog for the last five years of his life.

Rocky crossed over last year, and the family adopted a new dog.  Dave described his new dog as “a nice family dog and good with the kids.”

Dave missed his buddy Rocky, so he contacted me and we check in on him.  Rocky’s answer to Dave’s question instantly turned Dave’s sadness to outright laughter, and his mind flooded with fun memories of Rocky.

Dave asked Rocky what he thought about the new family dog.   Rocky said, “They should have just got a turtle!”

Dave laughed so hard he cried, then he said, “That’s my Rocky, all right!  Our new dog, Sable,  is nice, quiet and downright boring.”


Turtle lovers please accept my apology.  This is not my opinion of turtles.  I love turtles; I am just the messenger.

Saint Bernard in an Apple Tree

The animal communicator’s message told me that Bo Bear was in his unique version of the happiest place.

My sadness turned to joy when the animal communicator told me that she saw him in an apple tree, which had both the flowers and fully ripened fruit.  The message made no sense to her, but it was spot-on for me.

Given the choice Bo Bear, my 200-pound Saint Bernard, would have chosen an apple over a steak.  Apples were his favorite treat and toy, and he loved smelling flowers.  Our special time together was when we walked my gardens looking for new blooms.  He would sniff for a new scent, and then he would point it out to me when he found one.

Coming to terms with letting Bo Bear go was hard, but after his final painful period an appointment was set.   At home and on the ride to his veterinarian, he was weak and only slightly aware of us, but when he arrived, we did not lift him out of the car as we expected.  He exited the car on his own and walked inside.  He seemed to be filled with energy, and his walk was strong.  For a brief moment in time, he reminded me of the formidable dog he once was.

This was confusing for me.  I questioned my decision and whether I had the timing right, but the decision was made only after several thorough discussions with his veterinarian, and when my heart and mind knew it was his time to cross over.

I have learned that this lightness and transitory rejuvenation sometimes comes to animals at this time.  Over the years with my own animals and through communicating with other’s animals, I have two theories on why this may happen to an animal at this time.  One is that this boost comes to help them with the transition.  The other is that they view their passing differently than we may, and that at that time they do feel lighter and freer.  They have done the job they came to do, they know they did their best, and their person or family is there beside them.

The animal communicator’s message turned my sadness to joy, because I knew Bo Bear was in his unique version of the happiest place.

Dog in the header image is my dog Bo.


I believe all animals we encounter help us and teach us. I post about animals, animal communication, grooming, and energetic modalities such as Integrated Energy Therapy® (IET®), InTune Groom and InTune ARC.

I work with both animals and humans.

If you only read one post here please make it the first one, At Face Value.  This is the story about the dog that saved my life.  Sharing his story is my way of thanking him.