A year ago when I took over this pet column, I outlined what I wanted to accomplish. I wanted, more than anything, to help you all form stronger, longer and more memorable bonds with your pets.
Today, as I pass the reins (or more appropriately, leash) to the next pet-lover soul, I reminisce about the topics I've covered and just how I have accomplished that initial goal.
And so, to sum up my past year, here are my methods for making the human-pet bond stronger, longer and more memorable:Stronger
Above all, talk to your pet. Doing so helps your pet understand the nuances of your vocal tones and increase their own word cognition. Not to mention, they're attentive, so it's an opportune time to open those channels of communication and therefore energy and positivity.
If you feel funny talking to your pet, then simply including your pet in family time and events helps solidify his or her place in your household, leading to a stronger bond overall.Longer
Proper food, exercise and annual veterinary care are key to ensuring your pet's time on this earth isn't shortened by preventable issues.
Exercise not only goes a long way in warding off extra pounds, it also helps burn out a pet's bad energy — the kind that ends up as destroyed couches.More memorable
If you've made efforts to create a strong bond with your pet, then your time with him or her is sure to be memorable.
However, there is one thing that you, the human, could do to make your time more memorable on this planet: adopt and/or open your home to a foster animal.
I've discussed times over the merits of fostering and adopting. There are few things more rewarding than saving an animal from death at the hands of euthanasia or nursing an animal into proper shape before finding his forever home.
To date, fostering seven pugs over a two-year period has been the most rewarding experience of my life. I hope more families can experience the same.
Some local rescue organizations such as Tri-County Humane Society and Ruff Start Rescue of Princeton are always on the lookout for new foster homes.
This column, too, has been rewarding and memorable.
I've discovered much about myself and learned a lot that I hadn't known or had only scratched the surface of.
Thanks ever so much for reading, asking questions, offering suggestions and being awesome pet parents.