A while back, Dr. Becker asked followers on his Facebook page what they would say if they had 30 seconds to tell their pets anything • with a guarantee that they’d understand it. Here are some of our favorites among the many heartwarming and humorous responses. The sentiments are universal.

• “I’d tell them how much I love them and how they have filled my heart with so much love; that they give me a reason to live and be happy; how grateful I am to have them in my life; and that they have me wrapped around their paws!” (We’re guessing that they already know the latter.)

• “I’d tell her how much I love and care about her and how she needs to come whenever I call because someday her life may depend on that.”

• “I love you guys, but stop doing random stuff that is bad. I’ll be back from the store. You don’t have to be brats while I’m gone. Also, stop getting the neighbor dogs wound up. You’re never getting through the wooden fence.”

• “I would tell Honey that I am so glad I went to the Humane Society and found her. She’s a lot of company and has me trained. I love her.”

• “How much I love them. But I believe they already know that. Maybe to let me have a little more of the bed at night.”

• “I don’t have to ask my pets if they love me because I know that they do, but I would want to know if they understand anything I say when I talk to them.”

• “I miss my dog so much. We lost him to lymphoma last month. I would tell him how much I miss him and how I wish so much that we could have had more time with him. He was the best dog.”

• “I love you and you are part of the family. I will never abandon you. You are so cute. Don’t pee anywhere inside, even if it is a new smell. This is your home forever.”

• “They already know everything. I would rather hear what they have to say.”

• “Nothing. Because my cat understands what I say. She may not talk, but she certainly does understand.”

• “I would tell them to put their paw over where it hurts when they are sick. That way, when I need to take them to the vet, they will know where to look for the problem. It can take a long time to find the source of the problem, as they can’t tell you where it hurts. Then with the last few seconds, I would tell them how much I love them and to stop playing as roughly as they do at times.”

• “I would tell her thank you for her unconditional love and devotion. That she has brought me so much joy I can’t put into words. For the comfort she gives me during the difficult times. How I love her.”

• “That I love him, he’s a good boy and to stop stealing and hiding shoes!”

• “I’d tell them that whenever I have to give them medicine, take them to the vet or clip their nails, it is only because I love them and want the very best for them.”

• “I would ask my cat what is up with the shredded toilet paper.”

• “I’d ask if he likes his food (I make it for him) and if he has any aches or pains. Then I’d tell him how important he is to me and that I love him very much.”

• “I would tell them how much I love them and where their daddy has gone. He died last Monday, and they don’t understand.”

• “I would tell them how much I love them and how much they mean to me. They make my life worth living.”


Birdie emergency?

When to see the vet

Q: How do I know when my bird needs to see the vet? What’s considered an emergency?

A: We hope you’re taking your bird to the vet annually for an exam so you can ensure that he stays in good health and catch any underlying problems before they become serious. Beyond that, here’s how to recognize avian emergencies, from life-threatening to not-so-urgent.

Get to the vet immediately for bites or deep cuts, bleeding that isn’t stopping, burns, poisoning, difficulty breathing, collapse, blood in droppings and straining to defecate or pass an egg.

Don’t have an avian veterinarian on call? You can still take your bird to the veterinary ER or to a general practitioner. They might not have avian expertise, but they can stabilize fractures, provide oxygen and other basic supportive care and keep your bird warm, quiet and hydrated until a specialist in birds can be consulted.

Urgent situations should be seen by a veterinarian within a few hours of discovery. They include eye injuries; appetite loss, especially if your bird looks puffed up; sudden swellings; broken bones; diarrhea; direct contact with the saliva of a dog or cat, even if the skin wasn’t broken; vocalizing less than normal; sitting on the bottom of the cage; or shivering.

If it’s the weekend or in the evening, wait to call your veterinarian for behavior problems, feather-picking, lameness unrelated to an obvious fracture, droppings with an abnormal color and excessive egg-laying.

Bear in mind that birds are the equal of cats when it comes to hiding that they’re hurt or not feeling so good. Taking a “wait-and-see” approach is never a good idea, especially when it comes to those urgent and emergency situations. By the time you notice a problem, your bird could be very sick indeed. • Dr. Marty Becker and Kim Campbell Thornton

Do you have a pet question? Send it to askpetconnection@gmail.com or visit Facebook.com/DrMartyBecker.


Protect pets

from antifreeze

• It’s antifreeze season! Be sure to wipe up any spills immediately and keep containers out of reach of curious cats and dogs. Antifreeze, which is toxic to pets, has a sweet flavor, and unless you buy the kind that is treated to taste nasty, pets may lick it up. Even a small amount • as little as a teaspoon • can put them in the hospital or even kill them. Any time you suspect your pet has ingested antifreeze, get to the vet right away for treatment. Signs of toxicity include staggering, seizures, extreme thirst, excessive urination and vomiting.

• Don’t expect to see the 147th Westminster Kennel Club show televised this week. The dog show extravaganza is scheduled for May 8 and 9 this year, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, New York City. In addition to two days of conformation showing, with more than 200 breeds competing, the WKC is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Masters Agility Championship, which welcomes any qualifying breed or mix; the eighth annual Masters Obedience Championship; and the Junior Showmanship competition for handlers under 18. Judging best in show is Geir Flyckt-Pedersen, who in partnership with his late wife Gerd, bred more than 100 wire fox terrier champions, had best in show winners in five countries on the same day and has also owned English cocker spaniels, greyhounds, whippets, Airedales, Norfolk terriers, Lakeland terriers, smooth fox terriers and standard and giant schnauzers.

• The world’s oldest living cat is named Flossie, and she turned 27 years old in December. She received the title last November, just before her birthday. What a great present! Flossie lives with Vicki Green, who adopted her last August after her previous owner was no longer able to care for her. • Dr. Marty Becker, Kim Campbell Thornton and Mikkel Becker


Pet Connection is produced by a team of pet care experts. Veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker is founder of the Fear Free organization, co-founder of VetScoop.com and author of many best-selling pet care books. Kim Campbell Thornton is an award-winning journalist and author who has been writing about animals since 1985. Mikkel Becker is a behavior consultant and lead animal trainer for Fear Free Pets. Dr. Becker can be found at Facebook.com/DrMartyBecker or on Twitter at DrMartyBecker. Kim Campbell Thornton is at Facebook.com/Kim.CampbellThornton and on Twitter at kkcthornton. Mikkel Becker is at Facebook.com/MikkelBecker and on Twitter at MikkelBecker.

(EDITORS: For editorial questions, contact Elizabeth Kelly, ekelly@amuniversal.com.)


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Caption 01: Our pets show through body language that they love us. Position: Main Story

Caption 02: Trumpet, a bloodhound, took top honors at last year’s Westminster Kennel Club show. Photo: E. Friedman for WKC Position: Pet Buzz/Item 2

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