Gale’s Story- What do our pets do while we are away?

This past weekend I went to see the movie”The Secret Life of Pets.” It was positively delightful. But it made me think about what my pets do all day. Oh it is easy to think all they do is sleep. But every time I pull in, there is Newman at the door waiting for me. Back in the day, when my daughter was small, she would receive a Christmas gift from the dog/ cat. Usually it was pajamas or slippers, but always something. One year, she asked me how the dog got out to go shoppi

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Gale Kovach's photo.

The Amazing Things They Do


When the recession hit several years ago, one Ohio friend and her husband sought employment in West Virginia. They decided to make it an adventure and traveled there in an RV with their two dogs.

They had an aged dog named Shelby. I had taken care of her as a veterinarian for many years. Now she was at the point in her long life that she slept most of the time and had slight difficulty getting up sometimes.

They also had a spry young little pup named Penny. Penny had enough energy for 5 dogs to tell the truth.

They were in West Virginia over the summer months and one day it was quite hot outside. Shelby was resting on a blanket in the RV when my friend saw Penny take hold of the water bowl with her paw and drag it across the floor to her friend, Shelby. Thoughtful for sure.

When they came back to their Ohio home, I visited one day to learn each day my friend came home from wherever she had been she would give both dogs treats. One day upon her arrival home, Penny met her at the door for her treat. After taking the treat, the pup ran into the other room but returned quickly looking for another treat.

My friend told Penny, ‘No, I gave you a treat, this one is for Shelby.’
When she went into the room where Shelby was, she discovered that Penny had unselfishly delivered the first treat she was given to her friend, Shelby. Penny did receive another treat and told what a very good girl she was.

It always amazes me how often I am surprised by the wonderful things dogs do.

Share a story with us about something your pet has done to surprise you!


4th of July! FIreworks

As a veterinarian, I have many clients share that their pets are frightened by fireworks. We are coming up on the holiday again! And, YES, fireworks.

My friends, Kathy and Harold, shared their story with me so I could share with you. They have had many dogs and have always known of the common issue of fear many dogs experience with the loud noise of fireworks.

They live in a Southwest suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, where their home sits in the direct path of the booming sounds and the flashing lights and the fizzles of fireworks. The entire light show can be seen from their living room.

So, when Sadie, their collie, was a puppy, they made it a point to help her with the noise and flashing lights of fireworks. They wisely sat with her during the entire fireworks display, pet her gently, and said, “Gooooood Sadie,” in soft soothing voices. As they gave her treats and made this a ‘happy’ and safe time, she became less and less fearful of the fireworks.

After many years, Sadie was able to sit in Kathy and Harold’s driveway as they all enjoyed the fun of the fireworks together. Their son commented on how calm she was during the display!

While this worked for Sadie, their neighbors chose to take their pet away during the fireworks. Since the neighbor was as close to the display as Kathy and Harold, he chose to avoid the event altogether because of the distress he noted in his dog. We are not sure where he takes his dog, but we know he is a thoughtful owner to the pet.

In addition, clients have told me thunder shirts have helped their pets endure fireworks as well as storm thunder and lightening. Others have chosen medications. However, you help, we hope it helps. Our pets need to know they are safe with us.

My little dog Fluffy just seems content to hide under the bed.

Share your secrets with us and all our readers, please!