This post is courtesy of Jana Sweeny, Director of International Communications at the American Red Cross. Jana has worn many hats in her service as a Red Crosser.
This is Audie. He came to us from a rescue group with only one eye. He had spent a long time there since a German Sheppard mix with one eye seemed to worry people. Turns out we won the doggie jack-pot. He is the most gentle, loving dog ever. He rarely barks, never steals food off the counter and most importantly he has never-ever touched any of my shoes.
For Audie, we always have doggie eyewash nearby in case he gets something in his eye. When you only have one, you better keep in good working order! For Massoud—our elderly, deaf malamute—we ensured that extras of his medication were in our disaster kit so we could just grab it and go. I always have a spare leash handy just in case. Animals with diminished senses, off leash can be especially dangerous. We find our house sitters through recommendations from our vet because they have a better understanding of how to take care of special needs animals and how to respond in case of emergency.
Just a little training and a few simple steps can make all the difference. Years ago I bought the American Red Cross Pet First Aid book and read it cover to cover. Now we have classes to go along with the Dog First Aid and Cat First Aid Guides and I highly recommend them. I was able to save my cat’s life after he choked while gobbling down cat food way too fast. Just that little bit of knowledge saved us from heart break. Who ever said cats were graceful???
These crazy animals have been such joys. They make me laugh, keep me active, keep me company and just overall make life so much more fun. I would do anything for them and preparedness is a simple way to ensure they stay as safe and happy as the human members of my family.