As Dr. Susie and Dr. Jeff shared on the cover, spring can be a busy time of year for our pets. In addition to, well, getting busy, they are eager to enjoy the outdoors with you! Here are a few ways to help your pets make the most of this season. 3 Tips to Keep Them Safe and Healthy There’s nothing quite like a garden in full bloom. As you prepare your growing space for that moment, keep your pets in mind. Always store fertilizers, plant food, and lawn care treatments in closed, secure containers that won’t tempt a curious dog or cat. Some plants, like rhododendrons and azaleas, are very toxic to pets, so keep this in mind as you make your plant selections. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) provides an in-depth list of plants that are toxic to pets on their website. HELP YOUR PET HAVE THE BEST SPRING Make your garden prep pet-friendly.
The First Feline Stationmaster in All of Japan TAMA, THE CALICO During the mid-2000s, the Kishi Train Station in Japan began to deteriorate. By 2006, Kishi Station was left completely unstaffed because of low ridership and financial problems. However, one last resident still remained after everyone else was long gone: a black, white, and tan cat named Tama. Tama first appeared at the station as a young cat in the late 1990s. She lived near the train station and would visit commuters daily to receive affection and the occasional treat. But, as it turned out, her continued visits to Kishi Station would end up playing a much bigger role for the station. The same year it became unstaffed, residents living near the station asked the president of the Wakayama Electric Railway, Mitsunobu Kojima, to revive the station because the cat’s survival depended on it. It turns out Tama’s original owner had asked the railway workers to care for her before he moved away — he couldn’t bear to take her from the station she loved to visit so much. So, Kojima decided to go meet Tama. He liked her immediately and adopted her. A year later, Tama was officially named the Stationmaster of Kishi Station, the first cat stationmaster in Japan. To complete her look, Kojima gave her a small conductor hat to wear as she greeted commuters from her window perch inside the ticket gates. As an official stationmaster, Tama became well known all across Japan and throughout the world. She appeared in the media and on promotional materials that soon brought much-needed foot traffic to Kishi Station. Thousands of tourists came rushing to Kishi to see Tama for themselves, ride the Tamaden carriage, and pick up Tama merchandise inside the station. Tama brought joy to all commuters for the next several years before passing away in 2015. Nearly 3,000 people attended her funeral, and her legacy lives on. Tama’s successors continue as stationmasters: Nitama, who serves as Kishi stationmaster, and assistant Yontama at Idakiso, five stations away. Tama’s friendly and loving nature impacted many people around her, and she will always be affectionately known as the cat who saved the Japanese train station.
Don’t let Easter go to the dogs.
During Easter festivities, it’s easy for a chocolate egg to get left in the yard or on the floor and tempt your canine or feline friend. Prevent them from getting sick by keeping treats out of reach. If you do an Easter egg hunt, keep your pets inside, and make sure you account for all sweet treats before letting them out. Or better yet, opt for pet-friendly treats and let your pets participate in the hunt!
Be aware of pests like ticks, fleas, and thorns as the weather warms up and your pet begins to spend more time outside. Keep these pests away by looking for any unwanted hitchhikers while you brush your pets. Remove stickers and thorns as soon as possible. If you notice a tick, safely remove it or give your vet a call to ensure the tick is safely removed and doesn’t spread disease. Your vet can also provide you with flea-prevention formulas and heartworm prevention. Spaying and neutering services— which are 17% off this month — plus flea, tick, and heartworm prevention are all available from your team at Surface Creek Veterinary Center. We work hard all year-round to keep your pets healthy. Give us a call so we can make this the best year yet for you and your pet.
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