Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dogs love green tripe

If you want to give your dogs something they’ll go ga ga about, try tripe.

White tripe is animal stomach. Green tripe includes the stomach’s content. It’s nasty stuff. My husband describes it as poop that hasn't hit the ground yet. I know – ewwww. It’s stinky. It’s called green tripe because it’s high in chlorophyll, but it’s actually more gray in colour.

It’s hard for any dog to resist the stuff. Even if they go on a hunger strike for most other foods, they’ll usually eat tripe either on its own or mixed in with other food.

You can buy it either canned or in fresh frozen patties from better pet food stores. I prefer the frozen stuff because there’s less stink involved when you feed it straight from the freezer.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Helping cats and dogs by fostering

Louise and her husband Kev fostered the "Dumpster Babies" – Murphy, Moggy and Mona – kittens who were found in a dumpster. These furry little babies were so young that their eyes weren't even open – likely less than a week old. Without a foster family, they would certainly have died. Louise loaded up with kitten milk, tiny kitten baby bottles, and an armload of clean laundry, and brought the young kittens home. After two months, the little fur babies were growing like weeds, using a litter box and ready for adoption. All three were adopted very quickly. Louise was extremely proud when she saw one of them months later still growing, happy and thriving.

Fostering is a good way to try a new pet for those who can’t make full-time pet commitments. Louise and Kev didn't have any pets at the time and she had never had a pet cat before, so it was a good way to test the waters. (She now has Jake dog and Daisy cat of her own.) Likewise for frequent travelers, it’s also a great option to have pets around during the non-traveling seasons.

The hardest part of fostering is knowing that despite your best efforts and all of the resources available, sometimes very young kittens and puppies aren't strong enough to make it. Foster parents become very attached very quickly, and for the primary care giver, it can be heart wrenching when they pass away. The consolation is in knowing that their last days were spent, warm, fed and very loved.

There are also health factors to consider especially for households with existing pets. Animals needing fostering may have been exposed to diseases that can be communicable to other animals and difficult to treat. It’s definitely something to keep in mind.

Success is what keeps Louise fostering. “Although it is tough to let them go, it is the most satisfying feeling in the world to see how happy the pet and their ‘forever family’ are during the adoption process. It is a fantastic feeling knowing that you’ve made a difference, not only to the lives of the animals but to the lives of those people.” Louise and Kev will foster for rest of their lives.

If you’re interested in fostering dogs or cats, contact the Regina Humane Society. They’ll do a home check, discuss health protocols and legalities to set you and your foster animals up to live safely and happily ever after.