What does your choice of pets reveal about you?

With the start of 2010 we wanted to once again ask the basic question “What does your love of animals reveal about you?”

The following are a few highlights of a study done at the University of Oregon.

Question: Why would the University of Oregon College of Business Administration be profiling 667 pet owners?

Answer: People with pets are major players in the world of business. The pet supply industry is vitally interested in what will make you buy that designer dog dish or French day bed.

Oregon’s College of Business Administration graduate students, under the leadership of Lynn Kahle, head of the marketing department, tried to figure out what your choice of a pet says about you. With that essential information, marketers can appeal to your sensibilities and convince you that Precious really does need a plastic bowl with a lid that doubles as a Frisbee.

Here’s what they found with their questionnaire:

–Dog people tend to be more honest and forthright than most other people. They are loyal and religious;

–If you consider yourself to be a cat person, you probably are a bit of a loner yet have fairly high job satisfaction. You tend not to toe the line when it comes to the rules and rituals of an organized religion;

–People who are primarily attracted to fish as pets are more optimistic than most and not as materialistic or concerned about social status.

Kahle concludes, “A more thorough understanding of the motivations, values, and lifestyles of pet owners can help marketers design more effective advertising approaches, both for pet products and in advertisements for non-pet products.” (“We Lavish Love, Money on Our Pets Study Reveals Psyches of Animal Owners” by Ranny Green, Seattle Times, 1993)

So the gathering of this kind of data is how pet commercials are targeted directly at what excites and interests you — not your animal companion.

Well, we have a slightly different take on the subject. We think that not only do animals often reflect a person’s psyche, they also mirror their souls, or the amount of love in their hearts. It’s our opinion that a person who says, “I don’t like animals,” is experiencing a disconnect between the heart and the mind. Ask any animal lover and they will tell you: Animals are our hearts.

Have a little fun with two surveys we wrote that will help you gauge which type of pet most mirrors your personality.

Visit www.angelanimals.net/quiz.html for “Pet Personality Quiz”.

Visit www.beliefnet.com/Love-Family/Pets/index.aspx for “What’s Your Pet’s Personality?”

On another note, in consideration for animals who struggle to stay alive and be rescued in Haiti, remember the animal organizations that are going there to help.

To keep informed about the animal side of the situation, subscribe to the newsletter provided by www.kinshipcircle.org.

United Animal Nations and other animal welfare and rescue organizations are sending their rescue teams to Haiti. They have formed an umbrella organization called Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH). To learn more about this and donate, go to www.uan.org/index.cfm?navid=670
Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network
www.angelanimals.net

Note: To subscribe to the Angel Animals Story of the Week Newsletter, send a blank message to AngelAnimals-on@mail-list.com

Preparing Pets for Fireworks

We asked our Facebook and Twitter friends to tell all of us what they do to prepare pets for fireworks displays. The responses were so helpful that we want to share them with our readers. We are not recommending any of these remedies. You have to use your discretion and do what you think works best for your pets. But people have certainly found some creative and comforting solutions.

Since I am a behavior consultant I’ve outlined a variety of tips for last minute and long term planned strategies in two different articles here: http://budurl.com/SafeSanePetsJuly4th or
http://budurl.com/PetTipsNoisePhobia
–Diana L. Guerrero

How To Keep Pets Safe During Fireworks or Thunderstorms http://blog.animalcommunicating.com/?p=846
–Karen Anderson, Animal Communicator

One of the biggest mistakes pet owners do is “reassure” their pet with soft talk and cuddling. This only reinforces their fear! I’ve always conditioned my dogs to not have fear of loud noises like thunder and fireworks by remaining calm around them and having treats available to reward them so as soon as they hear the sound they associate it with a treat. This is positive reinforcement. never used “coddling” to reassure them, as in this case, is a negative reinforcement.
–Anita Solomon

As a former animal control officer, I always requested that the city post a reminder on the water bills for everyone in the city that our 4th of July impounds were about 30 percent higher than the average day. I advised people to make sure, especially if they were not going to be home, that they secure their animals. I personally use Quiet Moments for my dogs, a herbal sedative available at Petco.
–Shawn Pendell Green

My Clancy is a little Yorkie, and I’ve actually had him with me in a carrier while observing fireworks outside. Of course I never exposed him to excess noise levels by being right up close! But by exposing him to fireworks from when he was a pup, he is oblivious to the noise.

I don’t really go out much, so I will be home. I turn up the fans to high and put on music or a movie and sit with my bunnies, if a close noise is loud, and they get scared. I work at the racetrack, and that is an even harder task to keep the horses calm. You just have to keep an eye on them, close their bottom doors, make sure they have hay to try and occupy them. I don’t like the Fourth for that reason, too many locals with cheap, noisy fireworks.
–Randi Melton

One of us stays home and talks to her and keeps her calm.
–John P. Andolina Jr.

Mine hides in the shower!
–Holly Cook

It’s not easy. Our golden is terrified, but we just keep talking and praising him and of course petting him at all times!
–Maureen Freeman

Keep them inside and turn the TV or radio up and talk to them in a soft voice. Let them know it’s okay, and you are there to protect them.
–Terri Storm

I usually go and hang out with them, give them carrots, and reassure them by talking and explaining what is going on in my horse-talk/whisper way. Since having horses, I don’t really go watch fireworks anymore because of this. My mare is used to the noise and she’s bombproof anyway, but my rescued/adopted ex-racehorse, being a Thoroughbred, isn’t as comfortable, although last year he was okay.
–Teri Rehkopf

My two Jack Russells have no problems with noise of either fireworks or thunder, but my dear “T” who has crossed The Bridge suffered terribly. We found that giving him 25mg of melatonin at least two hours before the noise started, GREATLY alleviated his distress. This medication is available over-the-counter with no prescription. It is a naturally occurring substance and not a drug. Consequently it does not make them “doped up” or have any of the usual tranquilizer side effects.
–Barri Soreil

When we lived in the city, we kept the doors and windows shut and I sat on the floor with my two dogs. Same for Halloween and New Year’s Eve.
–Joy Lemmons

Daisy paces incessantly when they start. Usually I turn on the air and she does very well. Poor girl.
–Mel Freer

Your vet will prescribe a sedative without any questions and trust me it really helps.
–Jake Compton

HomeoPet TFLN Anxiety is a homeopathic remedy for relief from fear of: thunderstorms, fireworks, loud noises, and windstorms. It is a natural, non-sedating, tasteless liquid that really helps my mom’s dog cope with thunderstorms.
–Patti Towhill

When my Pom, Hayley, was alive, we had to get the canine version of Xanax for her. One 4th, we came home to find her hiding in the bathtub and she had pooped EVERYWHERE in it! Not sure how my current dogs handle it, though I think they both sleep through it, if we’re sleeping.
–Jennifer Dunn Walsdorf

Homeopathic Gelsemium is a safe and gentle way to reduce the severity of any fireworks-induced anxiety. Whatever potency you can get will be fine from 6x to 30c. You will be amazed. It also works for trips to the vet or when they know you’ll be gone for a long while.
–Robert Scott Bell

In my neighborhood we keep our pets indoors. My cats are indoors only and still get frightened. I pet them and reassure them that everything is okay. One cat has been scared of thunder and always ran and hid under the bed. He has gradually lost most of his fear at loud noises and starts to run but stops and looks back at me as if to say, “Should I run or stay?” The petting and assurance works fairly well. Frankly, sudden, loud noises make me jump, too!
–Sue

I’ve never attended public fireworks and festivities, because it seems no matter where we’ve lived there are always neighborhood lunatics who set off what seem to be bombs. It scares the dogs so much, and I’d like to think they feel better with me here. I’m watching my mom’s dog this week and he is very, very uncomfortable.
–Jeannine Mallory

What do you do to prepare your pets for fireworks?

Raising Rabbits

We don’t know anything about raising rabbits so we are always happy when something comes along to enlighten us. Two of our books, ANGEL ANIMALS and ANGEL ANIMALS BOOK OF INSPIRATION, contain some great rabbit stories. Over the years, we’ve talked with people who are devoted to their pet rabbits. A lovely site for rabbit lovers and the curious, like us, is www.bunspace.com.

Recently we received a book about rabbits. In the letter accompanying the book, one of the authors, Kathy Smith, wrote, “I am passionate about rabbits! Every rabbit who has shared my home has had a profound impact on my life. Your Angel Animals books helped inspire me to team up with Lucile Moore to create the enclosed volume. We hope you will enjoy our book as much as we have enjoyed yours.

“Our goal in publishing this book is to help reduce the number of discarded Easter bunnies by sharing stories about both the joys and challenges of living with rabbits in an entertaining format. Our vision is to reach out to non-bunny people so that next Easter they will think of rabbits as wise and gentle teachers rather than as disposable pets.

“Lucile and I are committed to donating a portion of the proceeds from every copy sold to animal organizations. We are actively seeking a national multi-species nonprofit partner to help us gain exposure beyond the “rabbit world” in exchange for a portion of the profits. If you have any contacts in this area — or other suggestion on how to promote our book to the general public — we would be most grateful for your advice.”

TOUCHED BY A RABBIT: A Treasury of Stories about Rabbits and Their People by Lucile Moore and Kathy Smith (Infinity Publishing, 2009, ISBN: 0-7417-5275-8, info@buybooksontheweb.com, www.buybooksontheweblcom, (877) BUY BOOK or (610) 941-9999)

The back cover describes the book like this: “TOUCHED BY A RABBIT acquaints readers with the third most popular mammalian pet, the rabbit. The anthology includes a selection to suit every taste, from light-hearted vignettes featuring a single aspect of rabbit personality to longer stories that explore the depth and impact of the human/rabbit bond. Readers will delight in this rare glimpse into the true nature of the widely recognized but little-understood ‘bunny’ as presented in this volume of heartwarming and thought-provoking stories.”

Sounds good to us! What about you? Any rabbit stories you’d like to share with our readers and us?