Every holiday, websites, columns and other publications dedicated to pets publish caveats about the dangers to animals presented by celebrations. It’s pretty commonsensical—make sure cats, dogs and rabbits are confined so that they can’t slink through a door when guests arrive; keep their ID tags and microchips current (be sure they have a chip—they do work); if the pet isn’t social around humans, provide a private space somewhere in the house, even if it’s a large carrier (confinement can be difficult in a studio apartment where the only separate room is the bathroom—and guests will need to use it); and please, please, please—don’t feed them table scraps. Chocolate can be toxic and even deadly; turkey, stuffing and bones—particularly bones—can cause internal injuries; and plastic and foil packaging, which any pet worth his or her title will chew on, can really mess up their insides.
If a pet ingests anything harmful or you see the animal choking, coughing, or acting weird, call an emergency vet immediately. Long Beach Animal Emergency on PCH and Ximeno (near Staples), (562) 735-5200, and VCA at 10701 South Street in Cerritos,(562) 926-3600), are open 24 hours, including holidays.
Pets will know that there’s something up, with all the guests. They always do. But they have no idea that it’s a day devoted to thankfulness. They’re either thankful every day, or they believe that free room, board and toys scattered everywhere are their due. (They are.) But if you must keep up the charade, such quality commercial pet-food manufacturers as Merrick and Blue Buffalo offer such treats as Classic Thanksgiving Day Dinner and Turkey Day Feast. Silly—and yes, my cats love Merrick’s Granny’s Pot Pie. If you’re industrious, Google “Thanksgiving Pet Recipes,” and you’ll find stuff you can cook for your pet and share with them as well. Of course, they’ll beg for your identical dish as you sit and eat.
Speaking of eating and Thanksgiving and pets, there are cats and dogs in the city who don’t have it as good as yours and mine do. People who are homeless or on the street and who have animals consider their pets the only friends they can trust—their protectors. Most homeless people take care of their pets as best as they can—you may have seen cats and dogs who seem to be in better shape than their humans. Please also remember them this Thanksgiving.
The following are one national and two local organizations that provide for pets of homeless people. If you have a donation list, please add them. There’s a couple of cases Merrick’s Classic Thanksgiving Day Dinner in my trunk that’s going to a couple of them.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your furry, feathered and scaly friends.
Christian Outreach in Action (COA) is located at 515 East 3rd Street in Long Beach. COA has a pet food bank and provides food for cats, dogs, birds and rabbits every Thursday from 9AM to noon.
Beacon for Him, 439 West Anaheim Street, Long Beach, has pet and people food distribution on Thursdays from 11:00AM until noon. They offer a wide range of services for homeless residents.
Pets of the Homeless is a unique service organization in that it’s the only nationwide organization that focuses on getting pet food to homeless people.
~ Today I am thankful for the muddy paw prints in my kitchen, the hair on my clothes, and the dog in my bed. Because, one day, all this will surely be missed.
Unattributable quote, but nonetheless true.