You may be wondering why I am so late with my post today, and for my tardiness I apologize. I promise I am a usually punctual individual who honors her time commitments, but on Sunday night my front door was not securely locked and it blew open. My beloved cat, who got me through some serious roommate issues Sophomore year, has been a constant source of comfort while I’ve been away from my family, my boyfriend, my horses, and my home, and many a night I have spent a few minutes playing with him to de-stress from studying and school. Unfortunately this happened with the worst timing, as classes started this Monday, so I had very limited time to look for him. However, after spending hundreds of dollars on ink, flyers, tape, and even the help of a lost pet specialist, I felt lost and hopeless beyond compare because he just could not be found. But lo and behold, this morning at 12:30, I hear a meow outside my door and he was sitting right there! I have been in the best mood all day, I am so ecstatic to have him back.
So I want to use my carelessness with not checking the door securely as a lesson for you all about the nature of goodbyes. I cried for hours over the thought that my last moments with my friend were spent rushing out the door, not even bothering to double check the lock. I was so upset knowing that for the past week he was home alone while I was helping out with recruitment. I blamed myself entirely and lost sleep, lost my appetite, and lost my motivation. Learn from my mistake! If you have a beloved pet at home, even if you are in a rush, give him or her a swift pat on the head or a fond kiss on its forehead before you leave. Ensure that your house or fence is secure and that your four-legged family member is safe. The same goes for our horses! Check fences and board constantly, a broken board can cause a nasty injury if left unchecked. If you leave your horse out with a halter, make sure it is a break-away style. Too many horses hang themselves in the pastures because of solid nylon halters and owners who did not know better. And always, ALWAYS take steps to be sure that your horse is safe and happy and healthy in his or her stall if they reside in one.
Nearly losing my pet was a massive wake-up call. Any moment may be your last with a family member, friend, significant other, pet, or coworker. Do not let the hum and drum of everyday life cause you to forget that! It is bad enough losing a loved one, but having to deal with any guilt on top of that just drains the life out of you.
If you have a horse that is a bit of an escape artist, keeping a leather halter on him or a halter with a breakaway strap is a great idea. Especially during natural disasters, you want your horse’s halter to act as your dog’s collar- it should have your phone number somewhere, so if he gets loose someone will know how to contact you. During Hurricane Ike, all of our horses got tags with their name and our number, but duct tape wrapped around the cheek piece will create a perfectly good surface to write your number. You don’t want to forego these important steps in a time of crisis, they take little to no time and could help you get your friend back if he should go missing.
So those are all of the words of wisdom I will share about preventative steps to ensure your pet is safe, and if you have any questions please comment below!