While countless shoppers across the country gear up to brave Black Friday sales, we’d rather browse for gifts from the couch. If you’re like us and prefer to shop online, check out our weekly spotlight on products available in the ASPCA Online Store that make great gifts for your human and furry friends. Plus, each purchase benefits the ASPCA’s work for animals in need nationwide.
“Beloved by a Dog” Ceramic Mug: Perfect for any dog lover, this ceramic mug features an adorable puppy image. This mug will come in handy for the snowy, hot chocolate-filled winter days ahead.
Heart, Bone and Paw Charm Necklace: Featuring a gold-plated bone and paw print, as well as a rhodium-plated heart, this whimsical necklace is packaged in a complimentary gift box.
DJ Cat Scratching Pad: Don’t forget your pets this holiday season! Keep your cat entertained for hours with this turn table-inspired scratching pad.
Decorative Dog Chew Pillow: If your dog likes to chew and you’d prefer to keep your couch cushions intact, consider purchasing this decorative chew pillow for your pup.
Caroline Golon is a busy mom of two young girls and two rascally Persian rescue cats living in Columbus, Ohio. She’s passionate about animal welfare and creating happy households with both kids and pets. She’s a regular contributor to Vetstreet.com and other pet-centric sites. You can read more about Caroline’s adventures with kids and pets at her site, Crayons and Collars.
A mother’s work is never done—especially when it comes to caring for a multispecies family. Every time I turn around, someone has a pediatrician or vet appointment, needs to be fed, needs their medicine, has thrown up on my couch, peed on my floor or ruined something of value. Not that kids and pets are exactly the same (cats don’t require a college savings plan, for example) but let’s face it: there are some distinct similarities.
They are always hungry, but never finish their meals. All day long I hear, “Mooommmy….I’m staaarving!” from my kids or, from my cats, “Meoooow…Meow….Meowww,” which is basically same thing. Yet, once I prepare something nutritious and delicious for the little humans or felines to eat? They take two bites and then walk away. Unless, of course, I’m serving treats or snacks. Then suddenly, they’re bottomless pits.
They steal your pillow. Anyone with pets and kids knows that despite our best efforts, we’re going to be edged off our pillow and we’ll lose our blankets at some point during the night to a small human or feline bedroom intruder. I usually end up with my head on the mattress, with a small corner of the blanket for warmth. But the trade off is that everyone’s quiet, asleep and not making demands and hey, that’s worth the discomfort.
They wake up early—way too early. As if keeping me from sleep during the night isn’t bad enough, the kids and cats love to wake me up at the crack of dawn. I either pry open my eyes to see a curly-headed human staring me down or I awake to whiskers in my face, meows in my ear or the weight of a heavy cat lump on my chest. What I don’t understand is that it’s clear Mommy is a much happier person when she has enough sleep…yet no one lets me have it.
They just don’t listen. Cats and kids never do what you tell them. I have nothing more to say about that, because my cats and kids won’t listen anyway.
They always poop at inconvenient times. Cats and kids have this ability to choose the worst possible time to poop. Our cats have a litter box upstairs near my home office and without fail, every time I bring my lunch to my desk, one of the cats decides it’s time to use the bathroom nearby. Talk about spoiling one’s appetite! The kids seem to prefer to go when we’re on our way out the door (running late, naturally) or while at the grocery store. Both cats and kids love to poop when we have guests over.
The good news is, cats and kids have some other things in common: They are undeniably cute and oh, so wonderful when they’re ready for snuggles. These things have a way of making you forget the other stuff, don’t they?
Here at the ASPCA, we’re always inspired when we see people taking a stand for animal welfare. We’re extra inspired, though, when some of our youngest supporters speak up for animals! Pennsylvania fourth- and third- grade animal enthusiasts Veronica J. and Kamryn V. recently teamed up to write a guide book for pet parents titled Hamster Fun Facts. We checked in with Veronica and Kamryn:
Do you have any pets? If so, please tell us about them.
Veronica: I have three hamsters. Midnight is a black Syrian hamster and he is nice, he does not bite. Oreo is a black and white Syrian hamster. Pipsqueak is a Chinese dwarf hamster and stays at my Grandpa’s house. He is small and timid. I also had another hamster named Pipsqueak, but he passed away a month ago.
Kamryn: We had a black Lab who passed away, and we'll be getting a new dog soon.
What inspired you to write Hamster Fun Facts?
Veronica: I love hamsters and needed a project for my media lab class at school. My teacher suggested I write a book on hamsters.
Kamryn: My love of animals inspired me to help write Hamster Fun Facts.
What is the book about?
Veronica: How to take care of hamsters and fun facts about hamsters. It is a great book for someone thinking about getting hamsters or who already has hamsters.
Kamryn: The book has lots of ideas about what you can do with hamsters, what types of toys and food you can give them and it has a lot of fun puzzles to solve.
Why do you think it’s important to be an animal advocate?
Veronica: I think it is important to be an animal advocate because they cannot represent themselves. I want to stop animal cruelty.
Kamryn: Some animals are endangered and need us to speak up for them.
How can other kids your age help animals?
Veronica: They can help animals by volunteering at an animal shelter or donating treats, dog food or toys, etc. to local animal shelters.
Kamryn: You can donate some allowance to a local animal shelter and write your own book.
Thanks for supporting animals, Veronica and Kamryn! We can’t wait to read your next book.
He hung back when all the other dogs came charging, looking at me with those big brown eyes full of hope, worry and fear. His head was full of scars of troubles from an earlier time in his short life. That was the day a year ago when Petey stole my heart. Once a scared, abused puppy, Petey has left that terrible life behind forever. He now gives back to our community by working as a certified therapy dog—sitting with children at the local libraries while they read to him—between kisses, of course. He enjoys his work. After his day is done, there is a proud swagger to his step and he holds his head just a little higher. It hurts my heart to imagine the loss of happiness and joy to so many people of all ages if Petey hadn't stolen my heart that day at the local animal shelter.
Thanks, Jeannie! Stay tuned for additional winning rescue stories to come over the next few weeks.
Browsing for items for the whole family? Check out our weekly spotlight on products available in the ASPCA Online Store for your human and furry friends. Plus, each purchase benefits the ASPCA’s work for animals nationwide.
Black ASPCA Beanie: With winter weather in full swing in many parts of the country, this versatile, one-size-fits-most black beanie will keep you warm this season. The hat is made from 100% preshrunk cotton and features the ASPCA logo.
Colorful Paw Print Pet Collar: Your pet will be the talk of the dog park while wearing this paw print-patterned collar, available in sizes ranging from petite to extra large.