Pets, Kindness and Hugs

Jake and Friends

Jake and Friends

Last week (May 5-11) was both
National Pet Week and
Be Kind to Animals Week.

But there seems to be some confusion as to when people want to honor / celebrate hugging your cat…

Some sources say Hug Your Cat Day is May 3rd, some say May 15th and still others insist it’s May 30th.
Hmmm… how about declaring your personal favorite day in May as Hug Your Cat Day?

National Pet Week (1st week in May)

We strongly believe in the top two goals of National Pet Week and strive to meet those goals every day.  So to us, every week is National Pet Week.

The goals of National Pet Week are to:

1)    Promote responsible pet ownership

2)    Celebrate the human-animal bond

3)    Promote public awareness of veterinary medicine

Be Kind to Animals Week (1st week in May)

American Humane Association’s Be Kind to Animals Week®  has been celebrated every year since 1915.  In this annual tradition, we:

1)    Commemorate the role animals play in our lives

2)    Promote ways to continue to treat animals humanely

3)    Encourage others, especially children, to do the same

We may be a week or so after the official week, but we feel that it’s important for us to do our part to spread the word with both these messages, regardless of the date.

Cosmo and Jackson

Cosmo (cat) and Jackson (donkey)

Here are a few ways to belatedly celebrate Be Kind to Animals Week and National Pet Week (from the American Humane Association’s website).

Take care of your pet

Pets are like children who never grow up.  They need you to help keep them healthy and safe throughout their lives.  Make sure he or she is wearing proper identification.  Take your pet to the veterinarian regularly.  Know what it takes to be a responsible pet owner.

Adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue

Every year, an estimated 3.7 million animals must be euthanized at our nation’s shelters because they could not be adopted into loving homes.  Help animals find a second chance at happiness by considering adopting your next pet from your local shelter or rescue group.

Appreciate wildlife

All animals deserve to be treated humanely — family pets and animals in the wild.  Create an inviting space in your yard and garden for butterflies, hummingbirds and other creatures.  If wildlife comes too close to home, look for ways to coexist with animals or to protect your property humanely.

Report animal abuse

Animal cruelty and abuse is not only tragic for animals, but also an indicator that other forms of abuse such as domestic violence could be happening.  If you see something that looks suspicious — a dog chained in your neighbor’s yard that looks underfed, a child putting a cat in a box and kicking it around the yard — don’t hesitate.  Let someone know.

Is Hugging Two Kitties at once Twice as Good for You?

Is Hugging Two Kitties at once
Twice as Good for You?

Cats and Hugs (May 3rd? …May 15th?
…or is it May 30th?)

We at Harmony say, no worries… Who cares if it’s May 3rd, 15th or 30th?

Most of us now know it’s a proven fact that hugs from animals and giving hugs to animals will lower a person’s blood pressure and can decrease stress in their caregivers.

So we say, “Let’s make every day from now until the end of May Hug Your Cat Day.”  An easy way to form a habit both you and your cat can enjoy for the rest of this month, this year and next year and…


Additional Resources:

ASPCA FAQ on Reporting Animal Abuse
American Humane Association

It’s National Puppy Day 2013!!!

Time to celebrate!!  Celebrate puppies everywhere! 

Big puppies, small puppies, happy puppies, cranky puppies… Blonde puppies, black puppies, multicolored and white puppies… Sleepy puppies, mischievous puppies, mellow and ADHD puppies!

They make us smile, laugh, shake our heads, sigh and say “AAAWWWHHHH, isn’t that cute?”   To celebrate, here are puppy photos we received from friends, fans and clients of Harmony Animal Wellness Center.  To celebrate, consider giving a little something today to your favorite animal rescue organization in honor of puppies everywhere.


— Harmony’s 2013 Puppy Day Celebrities —


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For 50 more ways to celebrate (and more puppy pictures)
go to the National Puppy Day website.

Reminder + Small Business Saturday

Amber Lynn – How can you resist?

Friday is not only a big shopping day, it’s also an extremely busy day for emergency vet visits.

In addition to what we talked about in our Thanksgiving Tip post last year, please be aware that some people foods can be very bad for your dogs and/or cats.  Onions (including onion powder) are extremely toxic to your pet and even small amounts of chocolate can be poisonous for your dog or cat, so save the chocolates for people only please.

Best rule of thumb – If you want to give your pets extra on Thanksgiving, treat your dog or cat with moderate amounts of their food or treats, not yours.  And ask your guests not to feed Emma, your Cavalier King Charles, from the appetizer tray, no matter how cute she begs!!
Two ideas to help:

  • Have a small bowl of pet treats handy to offer your guests to give little Emma or Amber Lynn instead of that piece of cheese, when a guest just can’t resist the cuteness.
  • Break every treat up in half or quarters.  That way, even if guests go a little overboard, you are less likely to be dealing with your pet’s stomach ache from too many treats on Friday.

One other very important thing today…

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday sits Small Business Saturday®, a day dedicated to celebrating and supporting small businesses and all they do for our communities.

Look around your town or neighborhood…

Your BFF meditates, so you’d like to buy her a meditation CD this year.  Most local yoga studios sell meditation CDs, with the added benefit of knowledgeable staff if you know nothing about meditation.

You’d like to bring a unique Thank You gift to a holiday party.  You know the hostess LOVES tea… How about visiting that herbal shop in the middle of town and asking the owner for a relaxing blend for your hostess?

And of course, pet presents…  That independent pet store on the edge of town probably has a great raincoat for your sister’s Doberman and a nice selection of catnip toys for your uncle’s new kitten.  Have you been there recently?  Check it out!

Owners, managers and staff of independent small businesses are our neighbors and friends.  They help our communities thrive through participation in community leadership and projects.  They coach soccer and softball teams.  They sing in the local choir, and donate time and money to local organizations they believe in… animal rescue and foster care organizations – homeless shelters and food banks.

November 24, 2012
Small Business Saturday®

Remember, when you purchase products and services from an independent small business, you have a direct, positive impact on local families in countless ways.

We at Harmony Animal Wellness Center are proud to take part in Small Business Saturday and we want to encourage you to Shop Small® on November 24th.  Thank you for supporting Small Business Saturday 2012!

Gracie Won!

From Valerie and Bruce….

“To all of Gracie’s fans, she won!! We want to thank ALL of you who participated with votes and Facebook postings and comments. We could not have done this without your support! You will find her cute snout gracing the cover of CityDog magazine winter 2013 issue. Again, thanks and great job everyone!


Valerie, Bruce and Gracie too.”

Posted in All.

A Cover Girl Client? Maybe, with our help…

We received this exciting email news from one of our clients this morning and hope you’ll join us in the fun of helping Gracie Rose become a Cover Girl!  Here are a few more photos and a great video/slide show of her — The Story of GracieFrom Valerie…

“Dear Friends:

A vote for Gracie is a vote that counts! She’s not a Democrat or Republican. She’s from the WOOF party and she needs your vote! City Dog Magazine is looking for a new cover model for their winter cover and Gracie is a finalist!

This magazine covers Seattle, Portland and San Francisco with places to go with your dog. Dog friendly hot spots, eateries and dog friendly hotels. If you think Gracie should grace the cover please vote here. You get one vote a day on each device (computer or phone) and it ends October 30.

Gracie’s story is in the online version of the Seattle Humane Society Chronicles (6Mb download, so it may take a while):  Thank you

As you know, Gracie was a work in progress.  We fostered her through the Seattle Humane Society for seven months.  She had severe skin and  environmental allergies.  The great vets at SHS worked wonders on her issues one at a time.  Over time, caring for her, we fell in love with her.  In the end, we couldn’t help but adopt her.  The adoption was in March of 2012.  In August of 2012 we attended Pasado’s Bark at Marymoor Park.  After she did so well being the “test model” for how to check your pet’s health snout to tail, we entered her into the cover model contest.  She won!  Now she is up against five other dogs that won their respective contests at other animal events.

If you would like to see Gracie  grace the cover of City Dog Magazine, please remember to vote once a day.

Along with the Seattle Humane Society, we want  to thank all the other people who have helped us get and keep Gracie healthy: All The Best Pets, Civilized Nature, and Dr. Frank Bousaid at Harmony Animal Wellness Center.


Bruce, Valerie, Gracie and Ellie (the dogs)”

Good Luck Gracie!!

From all your friends at Harmony Animal Wellness Center

Posted in All.

Happy Ending for a Holiday Weekend

July 1, 2012:

One of our kind-hearted, long-time clients, Susan von Beck, owner of Cardiff’s Lodge, saw a posting by WA Pet Rescue, about an injured chocolate lab youngster…

“A male chocolate lab, approximately one year or less, was turned into a vet clinic by good Samaritans who found him unable to move on the side of the road…  …He has been attacked by something – other dogs, mountain lion in the area, or ??? and is beat up pretty bad.  The clinic will keep him for 3 days for an owner reclaim – but it is unlikely.  He will be euthanized on Tuesday if no one shows up to claim him.

They have him on pain meds and antibiotics but he will need surgery to close the large gashes under his arms and chest.  He is shocky so it is hard to evaluate his temperament.  Sweet but seems shell shocked or unsocialized.  He is eating and improving and could make a recovery if given the chance.

Located in eastern Washington near the Idaho border. Contact me if able to help.  Serious inquiries only please.

Susan offered to finance his surgery, recovery and find a foster home for him, if the rescue group could transport him west.  The woman who posted the information knew a vet who would do the necessary procedures at a reduced cost. 

Eli – What a sweet face!

An update came from one of the people helping the little guy:

Two days later:

“Here’s our morning update for our little chocolate lab pup – about a year old per Dr. Vogel.

Dr. Vogel had a chance to examine him more carefully this morning and he believes the injuries most likely resulted from another dog. He has skin damage that extends into the muscle a bit but likely won’t need stitches, just a thorough cleaning of all wounds.  Most of his injuries are on his legs and one on his ear.  Dr. Vogel hopes to be able to perform the procedure today or tomorrow at the latest.  I’ve asked him to also neuter him, microchip and give him his DHPP and Bordetella.  I will also ask him to please run a stool sample, too.  Susan, is there anything else you require?

 Once Dr. Vogel has completed the necessary procedures we’ll have a better idea of when it would be best to transport him but it will be the end of this week at the earliest…
…Does anyone have any leads on possible rides for Eli from Spokane to Seattle this weekend.

Dr. Vogel is wonderful. So helpful and caring about little Eli. Thanks to him for all his hard work and compassion.

A Comfy Trip West

With multiple lacerations, after his surgery Eli had 8 drain tubes and over 60 stitches.  But with a new name and a successful surgery behind him, Eli was transported west to Susan on July 10th by a generous family.

Susan brought him to Dr. Frank and Harmony Animal Wellness Center for post-op monitoring while she rehabilitated him.

By the end of July, instead of a foster home, Eli had received the gift of a new permanent home with Josh and Marijke!!

Eli’s New Home

August 28, 2012

We received an update from Josh after Eli had time to settle in:

“Hi Kris,
…Eli has, slowly, been getting more comfortable with us, every day we can see improvement. He does not feel the most secure every day, as some loud noises and quick movement will still startle him, but not as much as day one.

All of his wounds healed up very nice, he will have some nice scars but that only adds character, right? We were surprised at how fast he healed. We thought that the large gash under his right front arm would take longer than it did, but really, I removed the last stitches less than two weeks after we picked him up and they fully healed by the next week.

He has been learning basic commands like heal and sit, wanna go out, things like that… …we wanted him to feel safe before we started overloading him with homework.

His eating has been a little challenge for us… …it’s almost like he needs someone telling him it is alright to eat, makes you wonder…

He has gotten along well with every dog we have met. He will walk up and sniff them so that is good, we can tell that he wants to be friends, he is just not sure what he is suppose to do. He does not play with us or with his toys, but we also noticed that he was very happy and playful around about three different dogs now, all three female and older.  [We’re thinking that being around another dog] will help him become the dog that he really is inside.

…yes go ahead and post this story up on your Facebook page.
Thanks, Josh”

Don’t you just love happy, new beginnings for our animal friends??? 

“Ready for our walk?
Let’s go please”

We’d like to give big virtual hugs to everyone whose labor of love gave Eli a happy new start with a loving family
– from the people who cared enough to stop even though he wasn’t moving and bring him to the clinic; to Tracie; Bernice; Robin; Dr. Vogel; the family who transported Eli; everyone else involved we don’t know about; and of course Susan, Josh and Marijke.


Happy Labor Day Weekend – Enjoy!


Much Better Now