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New Year Pet Resolutions 2016 Edition

by | Jan 1, 2016 | Cat Behavior & Care, Dog Training & Care | 5 comments

A goal, courtesy of a gift from my brilliant and always astute (and never wrong) Dad.

A goal, courtesy of a gift from my brilliant and always astute (and never wrong) Dad.

It’s 2016 and this year I resolved to NOT make resolutions. Instead, I’m making “goals.” Rather than an end-accomplishment, I’d rather strive for the destination but try to enjoy the journey along the way. In my experience, some of the side-roads along the journey prove to be as much if not more rewarding than the final accomplishment. How about you?

A new year is a time for reflection on the past. This year has been incredibly challenging for my family on multiple fronts, and I’m in the process of reevaluating many things. But I’m also grateful for all of our blessings, and for the opportunity to share my work with other pet-loving peeps.

In the past two weeks, I’ve had two new books released, after much gnashing of virtual teeth. The third book in my thriller series SHOW AND TELL released December 22, and I’m delighted it’s already receiving some glowing reviews. Just so you know, it took nearly a year to write…and rewrite…and rewrite…due to some of those aforementioned unexpected side-roads.

MagicBooksThen last week on December 29 a purring-new cat care book released, CAT FACTS: The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia. I can honestly say it took me nearly 25 years to write this book. This massive illustrated book is a compilation of my years as a pet care and behavior advocate and reporter, and my wish is that it helps cat lovers better care for their special kitties. Oh, and no worries for the wagging pets—DOG FACTS is in the works and hopefully won’t take another 25 years to accomplish (there’s one of my goals!).Cat-Facts-Cover-Front-lorez

None of this would be possible without my furry muses. It’s become a tradition to take stock of the past year from a pets’-eye-view, too, and the year to come.

The Magical-dawg had a renewed episode of licking his paws nekkid, and we’re still struggling to resolve that. It’s aggravated by stress, and I have no doubt Magic is feeling and reacting to my own stress so my goal is to DE-stress more to help us both. Magic is now nine, and has clearly begun to slow down and show his age.

Seren-kitty will be 20 in February, but has had no issue with schnorkles this year. She’s become more active and demanding of attention–a good thing! and I attribute that to the arrival of Karma-Kat. She’s become more tolerant of him and Magic, but is forced to move her furry tail to stay out the delinquent cat’s reach. She still makes sure they both know she’s the boss. In my CAT FACTS book the age comparison chart places her in the geriatric range, with a human age equivalent in her late 80s. Mee-wow!

KarmaBooksKarma has grown from a lanky adolescent kitten into a hefty man-kat eager for a game of tag, chase, “towel skiing” and treats. He’s my nighttime pillow-share buddy, and the delight of Magic, makes Seren grumpy, and keeps us humans laughing.

So here are New Year’s Resolutions from Magic, Seren and Karma with commentary by Amy.

Magic: “I will train my humans to spend more time playing. And petting me. ”

Amy: He still insists on fetch. All the time. I mean ALL the time! both inside the house and out, even though his older legs have slowed down on the return time. So my goal is to toss toys shorter distances lower to the ground so he won’t have to leap, and use only the soft stuffed toys to cut down on household damage.

Karma: “I will train my humans to leave open the treat drawer so I can help myself.”

Amy: We’ve had to put an extra door stop on the pantry door to keep him from opening it and chewing through the dog food bag. Any treats must be kept behind doors or in drawers or he carries off the packaging and empties the bag. So my goal is to continue offering Karma cat-healthy treats kept in cat-proofed containers.

Seren: “I will stand on table tops, hassocks and Amy’s lap and cry and yowl to get another taste of yummy canned food.”

Amy: She’s been on a therapeutic food for a couple of years, but started stealing from Karma’s bowl—and at her age, we figure anything she wants is legal. As a result, she’s eating more, gained a bit of weight, and looks and acts better. Besides, Karma steals HER food, too. Yelling for food also gets her attention, a big coup for her to diss Karma. My goal is to keep Karma otherwise engaged so that Seren can enjoy her food without harassment from the delinquent cat.

Magic: “I will kill all squeakers and chew sticky-out wrong parts on toys. And keep Karma from stealing my toys.”

Amy: He amputates teddy-bear ears, and SQUEEEEEKS toys forever to drive us crazy. Magic got to keep the squeakie “Willoughby” bark toys from my role in the recent Mary Poppins show…but Karma steals them now, too. I will again seek to find a Magic-proof squeaky stuffed toy—been looking for years now. And remember to supervise so Magic doesn’t steal Karma’s toys, or vice versa.

IMG_3356Karma: “I will stalk and tease and pounce at Magic so he chases me, and turn Seren into my personal wrestle-toy to make the humans yell, what fun!”

Amy: Karma takes great delight in teasing Magic and getting him into trouble. He also gets on top of Seren to wrestle her, and at over twice her weight, turns her into a pancake of kitty frustration. My goal is to play interactive chase games with Karma each day to give him the exercise, attention and fun he craves and deserves.

Seren: “I will train Amy there’s more to nine lives than paw-tapping and staring at a boxy computer-thing. Like catnip. And whisker-kisses.”

Karma: “I will train Amy that playing with cats is more fun than anything else.”

Magic: “I will train Amy that there’s no such thing as too many treats. But time together is even better.”

Amy: My goal is to listen to my furry muses. What about you?

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!

5 Comments

  1. Karyl

    If you ever find those chew-proof soft toys, let me know. I seem to remember my one friend’s shepherd mix is a destructo-dog too. LOL

    Stage 1 of my goal was completed at Christmas – to teach SimbaToo how to cat. She has taken well to catnip but alas, still seems to think she is, as my sister puts it, a dogweasel (because she plays fetch with my mom, and war-dances like a ferret).

    • Amy Shojai

      LOL! dogweasel, that’s hilarious!

      I’ve purchased a couple of “extra strong” dog toys for Magic. They last a bit longer but he takes it as a challenge. Plus…they’re not as squishy so not as much fun for him. Oh well…

      • Karyl

        Oh, also she has finally learned what sun spots are for. She did not previously understand the concept of laying in them for warmth – she thought they existed for creating shadows for her to chase.

  2. Mary McCauley

    Well, we rescued a young blue ACD with his tail bobbed. I wish they would stop doing that. These people got rid of him because he was chasing horses. His name is Bandit. He is very timid but is so sweet. My goal is to teach him basic commands. He stayed by my side when we walked this afternoon. I’ve was able to teach our last red ACD to sit, lay down, crawl on his belly, bark for a treat. I had two other dogs at the time, and I had some good dog treats. So when I told Skippy to sit. The other two sat too. So they all got treats. Actually the older dogs got in the way of working with Skippy. Do you have a book about dog training. What is better treats or clickers. Bandit seems eager to please. He is chasing Katie the cat. She hiding out up high in the cat tree that has a small cat house on it.

    Mary McCauley

    • Amy Shojai

      Congrats on adopting Bandit! Sounds like a sweetie. I really like using clicker training because it basically puts the dog in charge so he WANTS to figure out what you want. Basically catch him in the act of doing what you like, CLICK and give the treat. Then he tries to turn you into a treat machine, LOL! by volunteering all kinds of behaviors.

      I don’t have a dog training book, per se, but the ComPETability (dog to dog) book has quite a lot about training and behavior. Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/ComPETability-Behavior-Problems-Multi-DOG-Household-ebook/dp/B0095ZJ2HS/

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