Do You Have Plans?

Did you know that June is National Pet Preparedness Month? This is the perfect time make plans to secure your pet’s safety in an emergency.

Ironically, as I started dictating this blog post to my human mommy/blogging assistant earlier this week, we were just starting to feel the first rain bands from Tropical Storm Cindy. What? You thought I typed my own posts? Are you kidding? I don’t even hold my own umbrella. I have humans who do those sorts of things for me. But back to preparing for your pet’s safety.

Last fall I shared the items that we make sure to stock for dogs and humans during hurricane season. (You can click here to refresh your memory.) Our friends at Hill’s Pet have put together 7 Tips to Ensure Your Pet’s Safety in an Emergency:

  • Prepare an “Emergency Grab-and-Go Kit” that is easily accessible in an emergency. The kit should include basic first aid supplies; a three-day supply of pet food in a waterproof container, bottled water, and bowls; a safety harness and leash; waste clean-up supplies; medications and medical records; a contact list of veterinarian and pet care organizations; information on your pet’s feeding routine and any behavioral issues; and comfort items such as a blanket or favorite toy to keep your pet calm and comfortable.
  • Use a microchip or collar ID with up-to-date contact information.
  • Put a pet-rescue decal on the door or window so first responders know a pet may be inside.
  • Know where to look for your pet if they’re afraid so that you can evacuate faster.
  • Have a pet-friendly place in mind to go in case you have to leave your home. 
  • Carry a picture of your pet in the event of separation.
  • Take a pet carrier or crate with you for transportation and safe keeping.

Making a plan now could be the difference between life and death when disaster strikes . . . and you can sleep just as soundly as Tallulah knowing that you’ve prepared. Fortunately, what is now former Tropical Storm Cindy hasn’t been much of an issue for us so far. But it’s nice to know that when something more serious does happen, we’ll be ready. Will you?


Our Least Favorite Season

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Hurricane season is our least favorite season. Autumn brings colorful leaves and cooling relief from summer’s oppressive heat and humidity. Spring marks an awakening from the dullness of winter, with beautiful blossoms and butterflies. Hurricane season just brings months of dread and anxiety. Generally at this point in the season, we’re starting to breathe a sigh of relief . . . but not this year. As I dictate this to my human mommy/blogging assistant, we’re watching Matthew approach our friends in Florida. We know a thing or two about hurricanes here in New Orleans and South Louisiana. During Hurricane Katrina, too many people were trapped in New Orleans with no means to evacuate. Today these Evacuspot sculptures dot the city.

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Residents are encouraged to meet at these spots to be transported to safety. And they’re encouraged to bring their pets. Some people refused to leave before Katrina because they were not allowed to bring their pets with them. Lesson learned from that experience, thank goodness.

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My humans have done their share of hurricane preparation. Plywood cut to fit our doors and windows rests in a storage unit. We hope we never ever have to use this plywood protection (Mommy says she hopes this is the biggest waste of money ever 😉 ), but it’s there if we need it.

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Throughout hurricane season, Mommy ensures that Tallulah and I are stocked with food, treats, supplements, and medicine. Good work on that, Mommy.

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She also makes sure that the humans have plenty of water and nonperishable food on hand. When the threat of hurricanes passes, she donates the canned goods to our local food bank . . . except the pop tarts and deviled ham. Those she eats to celebrate the end of the awful season.

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And we stock up on batteries, batteries, and more batteries. We keep the flashlights handy and pull out the portable radio. (Yes, our portable radio is practically an antique, but it works.) We even have a battery-operated fan, which I absolutely love. You might notice that a shower curtain is included in our hurricane supplies. Why, you might ask? Sometimes hurricane power outages mean that the water supply is cut. The shower curtain can be used to line the bathtub prior to the storm and then the tub can be filled with water. (The shower curtain keeps the water from leaking through the drain.) You need to have water to flush the toilet, and flushing the toilet is super important to my mommy. Trust me, you’ll thank my mommy for this tip.

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So as we watch Matthew churning toward Florida, we’re keeping our storm supplies handy a little longer. Our thoughts are with all in the hurricane’s path, from Florida to North Carolina. A number of projections take Matthew on a loop de loop back into Florida and then who knows where. My message to Matthew: You can just loop de loop yourself right out to sea and then disappear forever.


“Celebrating” the Fifth Season

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Where I live, we’re preparing for our fifth season. We have spring and summer and fall and winter just like the rest of you. But here in South Louisiana, we also have a “bonus” season. It’s called Hurricane Season. It started June 1, and we don’t like it one little bit.

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A hurricane named Gustav did this to my back yard in 2008. Fortunately, that was before my time, but my humans still talk about (or should I say complain about) clearing this 75-foot pine tree and living without electricity in stifling heat for two weeks. I was around in 2012 for another storm named Isaac. By the time Isaac knocked on our door, he was just a strong tropical storm, but we still lost power for almost a week. Let me tell you, being a Golden Retriever in hot and humid South Louisiana without air conditioning is not fun.

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That’s why I’m so happy that my humans found this battery-operated fan for me. Of all the hurricane supplies we have in our hurricane-supply storage bin, I think this is the single most important.

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It’s crucial for humans living in areas affected by hurricanes to plan and prepare. You can click here for some valuable tips from the National Hurricane Center. And please don’t forget about your pets. Click here for disaster preparation plans from my friends at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. As for me, I have my plan all set. I’m keeping my paws crossed that we make it through November 30–the final day of the fifth season–without having to pull out my battery-operated fan. But if the fan does have to come out, I plan on plopping myself right in front of it, enjoying the refreshing breeze, and channeling my inner Beyoncé.