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  • helenggoldberg

Holiday Season & Our Pet Family Members

The holiday season is upon us. Hanukkah began last night and Christmas Eve is less than two weeks away. Due to Covid-19, most of our gift shopping has been done online and celebrating will be at a distance. For many, finding joy during this holiday season will be difficult, much has changed. However, I have always been amazed at the strength of the human spirit, the perseverance and drive to win the battle. Let us walk into 2021 with optimism and hope.

Our furry family members bring us laughter and everlasting memories. We indulge and pamper them throughout the year, but even more so during the holiday season. However, unfortunately for many pet-parents, their pets have crossed over the rainbow bridge and their loss is even more apparent at this time of the year. Finding a way to honour their memory during the holiday season may help to bring you some comfort, below are a few suggestions:

  • make or buy a personalized Christmas ornament;

  • make personalized Holiday cards featuring your pet;

  • share stories and memories;

  • write a poem, blog or journal;

  • share your pet’s memory by honouring them on online memoriam

  • give a donation in their name to an animal shelter/rescue

Over the holiday season, many veterinarian clinics are closed. It is a good practice to either check your veterinarian clinic’s website for their holiday hours or give them a quick call. It is also a good idea to be aware of emergency clinics in your neighbourhood. Once you have located a clinic, check out their holiday hours as well. For some, the holidays may bring a heartbreaking goodbye. Know in advance, especially due to covid restrictions, where to turn to for animal medical assistance. There are mobile veterinarians and clinics in many areas.

The holiday season brings lots of activity including decorating the interior of the home with a Christmas tree, tree lights and ornaments, wreaths, tinsel, menorahs, wrapping of presents, cooking and baking. In all of the flurry of activity we can easily leave objects scattered around the home which can be dangerous to our pets. If you have a puppy or kitten, being extra attentive to put everything away can assuredly save lives. Animals are very curious and if it is lying around, for all they are concerned, it is there for them to play with and eat. Make sure wires from the Christmas lights are tucked away, use a pet repellent or cover the wire with a pet safe cord protector. When lighting candles, be sure that it is out of reach while they are burning. Our pets love food, especially if we are eating it, however, not all foods are safe for them to eat. Chocolate seems to be one the foods we love to give and eat during the festive season, however it is important to note that for both dogs and cats it is toxic and lethal, it is best to keep it out of their reach. Many festive plants are also toxic, such as poinsettia and lilies. When in doubt, it’s best to not have them in the home when you own pets.

To all the pet-parents, whether your beloved pet is still with you or has crossed over the bridge, to me you will always be a pet-parent. Once you have been blessed to experience the unconditional love of an animal your life is forever changed. Honour your grief journey, honour your pets, whether alive or deceased, they are all truly a gift.

From myself and my furry family member, wishing all a healthy and safe holiday season.

Helen & Caleb

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