Tag Archives: pets

Listen to that ‘song’, what do you think it is about?

25 Sep

Who doesn’t love the sight of birds? What is an early morning or late evening without their happy chirps and twitters to start & end the day with? Our heart leaps in joy each time we catch a glimpse of migratory birds soaring above our heads or a flock of parakeets fly by with their unmistakable, shriek calls. It makes us happy, because we know these birds are happy too, happy to be flying, happy to with many others of their own kind.  They’ve got neither bounds nor limitations. They are free to go & fly to anywhere, they need no VISAs. The vast planet is their home, unlike we ‘humans’ who have divided the land mass into bits, given them some names and then claimed them as mine & yours. Their freedom is so much more than what we are entitled to. You can’t even stay on a foreign land, a day more than for what you have been granted permission for.  Yet, with such limited freedom, compared to what the other inhabitants on this planet enjoy, ‘freedom’ matters & means a lot to us. Confinement is considered as a ‘punishment’ in our hypocritical world of ‘humans’, a punishment for a wrong doing or for an act of crime. And even this, receives a lot of flak from the ‘human rights activists’ who term it as cruel and what not.

The other day i happened to pass by a pet store, which I’d rather term as a ‘torture chamber for animals & birds’, for the other name is way too misleading.  In that dingy, stinky place, there were several glamorous looking cages that housed many an exotic birds that were chirping in panic & distress. Chirping for help, to be released, to be able to take to blue skies once again, to snuggle & sleep with its family at dusk on the cosy branches at the tree top…

In the human world, evil deeds & crimes like murder for instance, are awarded with a lifetime’s imprisonment. What crime or wrong have our little feathered friends’ committed then, to deserve a lifetime’s confinement like this? That they are beautiful, peaceful, have done no harm to anyone, they have sweet voices and peppy chirps? Is that what they are being punished for? I see a tragic humor in instances when i see people decorate their bird cages with colorful ribbons, bands and stars, etc . Does it mean anything to the bird inside, would it feel proud & happy, that it has such cool looking ribbons tied to its cage? What is it to the bird? A highly decorated prison? That’s exactly what it is. It doesn’t matter if the prison has been made of gold with diamonds studded into its bars. A prison is still a prison, and it’s still a punishment for anyone behind it. When people say that their caged birds sing, i ask them, do they really ‘sing’? or are they crying? What songs can your caged birds, with their wings clipped, probably be singing? Ever paused to think about it? They are all singing sad songs in there, song of loneliness, of being imprisoned for life, calling out to their other friends who are free and flying, wanting to join them. Do you think waking up to these songs everyday fills your atmosphere with positive vibes? Get a reality check as early as it can get. If your birds like you so much that they actually are singing out songs to keep you entertained, then please carry out this test, which will help you know what they truly like or love, for that matter. Open the doors of the cage, and wait. This, i assure you, would be the shortest wait of your lifetime. Do you think they’d stay in there even for a few minutes on realizing they’ve been given a chance at freedom? That’s what they want & that’s what they truly love, ‘freedom’, just as much as you love & want yours. For God’s sake, birds were never created to entertain us, to sing out songs for ‘us’! How would you like if an alien from another planet found you beautiful & your voice very melodious, smuggled you out of your home one night, took you back with him and kept you in a well decorated cage made of all platinum? And each time you cried to be let out, cried for freedom; the alien would enjoy it as a beautiful song from you, worth hearing to again and again and again. That is what you’d be doing these winged jewels, if you keep them captive. What sort a mind would then seek pleasure in keeping caged birds?  Only the selfish & unevolved minds.

How different are these birds from us? Aren’t they social, just like us? In fact they enjoy greater freedom than us, ‘cos they can fly off to countries, stay there for as long as they wish and they need no authorities to grant them ‘passports’ for their journeys. ‘Freedom’ means a lot more to them and is a lot ‘stronger’ term for them, than what it is for us who can only enjoy limited freedom. It means everything to them. Don’t they have families and don’t they painstakingly build nests to which they fly back to, each dusk? Don’t they want to make babies & take care of them? How different are they from us and how can we hypocrites set dual standards then, one for our own kind and one for anything that is defenseless, voiceless or cannot speak up or fight for its rights? Why do we have the tendency to take for granted, anything that isn’t human? They may not be humans, but they still have lives that they wish to live the way they want to & are capable of feeling the same emotions that we do. Compassion towards all creatures, is preached in every religion & here, legend has it that even Sita (Lord Rama’s wife from the epic ‘Ramayan’) was not spared for keeping a parrot caged for many years. She too was made to face a painful separation of many years, from her loving husband Ram, as a consequence of keeping this bird in solitary confinement. Legends apart, it’s time we humans practiced ‘Compassion’ as our one universal religion, by which our planet would highly benefit from.

No animal wishes imprisonment, no animal or bird looks forward to die in imprisonment or die. They all fear the same things that we do. Prisons are a human invention & should be best used for humans only- the actual evil doers of the planet, not for any other life, incapable of anything even remotely evil.  Even the so called ‘cruel’ lion, hunts only when he’s hungry, never for game.

A word of caution for those of you considering freeing your caged birds due to a change in heart or whatever may be the reason, please do your home work carefully before doing so. Releasing birds that are not native to your place will only end up making your bird quick snack to other predatory birds. For example, releasing a budgie (which is native to Australia) in India, would kill it in the first few hours of setting it free, because they have lost the art of surviving in wild, since most are bred in captivity. Even those smuggled from their original places can’t make it here, as this is a complete alien place for them. However, rehabilitating & releasing a rose ringed parakeet in India is fine, as it belongs here. Exotic bird trade is a vicious cycle out there and only when the demand ends, so would the supply. Hope it won’t be too late by the time this realization dawns upon all men & hope our future generations, don’t get to see our animals and birds only in books or recorded documentaries. In order to change this sorry state of affairs, we need to bring about a positive change and that change should start from our homes. Let’s pledge never to keep any life caged and educate our near and dear ones about the same, for it is but a sin to take away from anyone, something that is not yours to take- be it ‘freedom’ or be it ‘life’.

To freedom! May all birds fly free and sing songs of bliss & happiness, as they fly!

Wings are for flying…

Advertisements

How to ensure cottage safety for your pet

7 Sep

Warm weather makes us want to set out. Set out to cooler places and enjoy outdoors. It is that time of the year, when families head out for the cottage. Since this set up does not even remotely resemble your urban environment, it calls for a utmost pet safety precautions from your end if your planning on taking your pet along. Your pets are not very different from kids. Both are extremely curious, inquisitive and famously known to get into trouble of all kinds. By being aware of all the things that can cause to get your pet into trouble, only helps in avoiding them and ensures an uneventful stay at the cottage, both for you and for your furred companion.

Pet safety & you
Pets, like children, can device innovative ways of getting into trouble.

Here are some important safety measures that you would want to take before embarking on your journey to the cottage:

1. The travel

First things first, make sure that your pet is securely strapped onto a seat belt or is being kept in those special carriers made exclusively for pet transportation, when driving to your destination. Ensure the temperature inside the car maintained at all times & is pet friendly by turning on the air conditioner when needed. Never ever leave your pet locked up inside your car with windows closed or even partially open because it can only be a matter of some minutes before your beloved pet collapses out of suffocation or heatstroke.

By feeding your pet with a light meal at least 3-4 hours in advance before the journey will help in preventing car sickness. Also, give your pet some respite from traveling continuously for long hours by pausing for a break every 2 to 4 hours. This break can be used to give it some time to flex its muscles, stretch itself, exercise and to attend the call of the nature. You can carry a litter box, in case of cats.

All the while make sure that the leash is securely fastened to your pet’s collar. Since pets are basically curious & still retain a part in them that is wild, it won’t be long before you find your pet chase a wild hare or a turkey and then loose its way to your car or worse, get hit by another vehicle. Leashing them therefore helps in preventing such uncalled for tragedies & accidental escapes to a large extent, especially if you are a parent to a very naughty pet.

Another important precaution that you need take regarding your pet’s safety is by ensuring that it does not stick its head out of the window. A sudden brake or debris is all it takes to cause it some serious injuries. Last but not the least, try and be sensitive to your travel companion by not blaring the speakers of car and by keeping the volumes moderate, since dogs’ and cats’ hearing are several times higher than our own.

2. Limit your pet’s freedom

You might think as to what better place than the cottage to let your pets loose and allow them some fun and frolic. Wrong! This in fact, is a place where you need to be more guarded about your pet’s freedom than ever before. Never forget the fact that this place is alien and unfamiliar to your pet.

Letting them loose in an environment like this, is like inviting trouble with a red carpet. Chances of your pet getting lost or hit by a passing vehicle are mighty. Your pet might even become an unfortunate victim of territorial dog fights. Having your pet microchipped therefore is a very good idea. Keep the contact details of local animal shelters in & around your cottage area handy.

3. A healthy pet is a happy pet

Before leaving for the cottage, ensure that your pet does not have any of its vaccinations due, especially against deadly diseases like Rabies or CD (Canine Distemper), both of which can prove fatal to your beloved pet. It should also be safeguarded against tick or flea infestation. Your veterinarian should be able to help you regarding the medications available in preventing lice and flea attacks on your pet when outdoors.

Never bring an ailing pet along with you to the cottage. Have someone take care of your pet while your away, for a travel to a new place can be traumatizing to the poor animal. In any case, keep the phone number of a veterinarian close to your cottage area, handy at all times in case of any unforeseen emergencies.

4. Water and pets

A nice water body is synonymous with fun. Boating, swimming etc., are some of the water sports that we all enjoy immensely and therefore want our pets to enjoy them too. But then, water safety is not limited to us alone, it should be extended to our furred friends too. Get them a pet life jacket, for you don’t want to lose them to an otherwise easily avoidable water accident. Life jackets are called that way for a reason, and that is because- it protects, protects life. It also helps your pet against the fatal ‘hypothermia’ in cold & frigid waters. Here are some things to watch out for:

a. Never let your dog into the water with its leash or chain still on, for these can get entangled to hidden obstacles under water like water weeds, rocks, debris etc.

b. Running or moving water can be dangerous to your pet. The large quantities of flowing water will make it difficult for your pet to swim against its current.

c. Check the temperature of the water. Very cold water can cause hypothermia to your pet, which if untreated swiftly can result in the tragic loss of your pet.

d. Keep a tab on your pet’s energy levels when it is in the water. Get him out of the water the moment you notice a drop in its energy levels, because the chances of a tired dog drowning to its death are higher than you thought.

5. Safeguard your pets against other wild animals and vice versa

You are responsible for your pets and their actions. Care should be taken at all times to ensure that your pet does not harass or attack vulnerable wild animals like ground nesting birds, hares etc. since they are very vulnerable around this time of the year, busy raising their young ones. Your pet can prove to be quite a menace to such animals. You should therefore take care that your pet does not cause any injury to wild animals and birds. Practice a ‘live and let live’ lifestyle when in places like these, esp. with other wildlife around you.

You also need to protect your own pet from more dangerous wildlife like bears, porcupines, skunks. A chance meeting with with these animals can prove to be a fatal or a painful experience to your pet. There are also chances of your pet contacting contagious diseases like rabies etc. from other animals in the area. Keeping your pet indoors and/or on a leash at all times would therefore save you all this trouble.

%d bloggers like this: