Pet Pooches, Modernism & Zingy
By: J. Marlando
Modern Pets in Overview
Back in my day most neighborhoods were populated with dogs and cats. There were few restrictions or regulations and few were followed if there were. During my entire childhood to the time I left home for the Army, we never had a license for any of our pets. We also had chicken pens and rabbit hutches in our yard. We did not live in the country mind you, we were city folk! There were never inspections and dog catchers were never around unless they were called for some specific reason. One time there was a dog with rabies running about in our alleyway so someone called the city to take care of the problem. They did.
Times have changed now at least for most people and so for most pets. For only one thing, the two income family has discouraged a lot of people from owning pets simply because no one is home very much to take care of them. And, after working all day and “fighting” traffic to get home, walking the dog can feel much more like drudgery than a loving duty.
Another problem is that more and more people are living in apartments. Many apartment or rental home owners do not allow pets. This is sad for a number of reasons. The first is that wonderful, loving and faithful pooches end up amidst the hundreds of thousands of (healthy) dogs
There are known and objective values of owning and caring for pets in the home. For one thing, if you have children a pet pooch can be an amazing teacher of the heart. For only one thing, the child learns how to have empathy for other living things. By loving their dog and being loved by their dog creates a special bond between them. That bond can become a lifelong lesson in both affection and…responsibility.
Dog-care is far more reciprocal than many people might think: Today there’s a lot of research going on that reveals that especially dogs promote both mental and physical health for their owners. Indeed, a few years back psychiatrists Alan Beck of Purdue University and Aaron Katcher of the University of Pennsylvania measured exactly what happens when a person pets or cuddles their familiar dog. Their findings were incredible as that the human companion’s blood pressure lowered, their heart rate slowed and their breathing became more relaxed. In more recent testing it has been discovered that these emotional pet affections actually create changes in the blood chemistry reducing the hormones that cause stress. And, incidentally, all these positive results are said to happen between 5 and 25 minutes of a person interacting with their dog.
Speaking of dogs and bettering human health, I recall being in the hospital because of a very serious health issue. While I was there (nearly three months) * volunteers brought in dogs to visit and befriend the patients. I was visited by a big, old furry mutt with loving eyes and a very friendly nature. When you are very sick, as I was, that visit puts a smile on your face and brightens up your day. Well, no matter what you’re in the hospital for, a pooch visit can be and typically is, beneficial.
As stated in the above, dogs are beneficial at home too. Our kids are grown and have homes and dogs of their own now but I would not think about raising my children without an emotional connectedness with animals and all of nature when it comes down to it. These days, however, not every individual or family are in a home environment that readily permits pet ownership. We will talk more about this next.
*Therapy Dogs International began back in 1976 with a great many doctors and others working at hospitals quickly recognized the health benefits of the “therapy dogs” making their rounds from one hospital room to the next. Interestingly enough it has been noticed that many hospital staff members are just as enthusiastic for the dog visits as are the patients.
Dogs & Modernization
This is not the article to talk about the negative changes of modernism; the cost-of-living issues, the kaleidoscopic absurdities of an overabundance of laws, regulations and ordinances, the widening gap between rich and poor, price gauging, mandatory spending and all the rest. Modern times are challenging for just about all of us. What is seldom considered, however, is the widening gap between city and country life. Neighborhoods in the city are slowly changing and, in fact, neighborhoods as we old timers remember them have gone the way of dirt roads and 30- cents-a-gallon gasoline. Today there are housing areas where lots of big homes are built on what are called “postage stamp lots.” Dogs simply have no place to run. There are gated and other select communities where home owners are dictated to by something called a home owners association and/or board of directors. These dictates can be about pet ownership, what your front yard needs to look like to what color your front door is. The face of American home life is growing grimmer every year. Indeed, as a quick aside, I just saw in a recent news story that a young teenage girl proudly built her own tree house, in her own yard and it wasn’t at all a bad job. Nevertheless, neighbors snubbed it and demanded, by law, to have her tear it down. What does that say about the times? But, in any case, because of affordability a large count of people are choosing to live in condos or apartments. The rules in these places can be more restrictive than the fabricated communities of “homes” already mentioned. There are, in fact, few things more common than the “no pets” clause in rental agreements.
The groups, corporations and individuals who own these restrictive living areas are invisible contributors to the millions upon millions of dogs
Well, as in all things, every side has its story. Lots of modernism just isn’t conducive anymore to a dog’s worldview. That is, there is, in most places, constant traffic, freeways and snotty neighbors who don’t want your pooch sniffing around their lawns. Dogs, however, need exercising and to do a little romping and playing. While cats can be content with their litter boxes, the great outdoors serve as the canine’s latrine. This means in most city life, dogs just can’t run free. Those days are all but gone and are never to return.
For a person like me, this is an upset and a sad situation but…at the same time, it is what it is and in most circumstances loving your pooch is not allowing him or her to run freely. City dwelling dogs don’t last very long when they do.
So what’s the solution? It is no doubt safe to say that most people desire to buy that doggie in the window, to take the stray off the streets and give it a home; to buy a puppy or save a dog from the hopelessness of a shelter. Most people after all have big hearts and lots of room for a dog’s companionship and love. But what of dog care? When you take a dog in, you are taking responsibility for that dog’s well-being and…happiness.
I have found at least one way to fulfill these obligations even if you are gone most of the day and you probably are: I most recently ran across a business enterprise called Zingy. And that find is what inspired me to write this article.
First, because I’m going to sound a bit like a commercial, I want to assure the reader that I have nothing to do with the Zingy company nor am I being paid for writing about the service. I simply feel that as many people as possible should know about the service so more people can and will choose to invite dogs into their homes and hearts.
We have seen the problems that city life unfolds for dog lovers and would-be dog owners. What heads the list is (1) time and energy for exercising the family dog, (2) space for the romping playing and exploring a healthy dog needs and (3) trusting someone else to walk the dog when you’re not able. Zingy gives a realistic and practical answer to each of these challenges: Professional, dog-loving walkers.
Created by a fellow by the name of Tobi Skovron
Whoa, before you, the reader, yells out something like why go through a place like Zingy when, if I wanted to, I could find my own dog-walker. This is the difference - three big concerns: Trust. reliability and conscientious caring.
Zingy walkers have been trained and are required to take ongoing training programs at the Zingy Academy. That’s right; you are trusting your walker with a valued family member, plus, and the plus is a big one, you may from time to time trust the walker to walk your dog in your absence. That means trusting the walker’s honesty. Let’s say you’re taking a family vacation to Europe or someplace for a couple of weeks. You probably don’t want your dog to bee cooped up in a kennel for that long, so Zingy to the rescue.
As you can see, I am extremely positive about this service. And, by the way, Zingy is covered by comprehensive liability insurances so pet owners can rest assured that they’re in safe hands. But there’s more: Zingy wants you to be absolutely sure and pleased with the ethics of the service. This means that the company welcomes absolute transparency. To assure that transparency, Zingy guarantees real-time track and trace so you know where your dog has been walked. And, at the end of the walk you will receive a “care note” and photo showing you how the walk went. And, there is one last thing you should know: Zingy walkers are not just hired off the street. They all must go through a rigorous 6-point screening process in addition to the training so you really are “getting a real (Zingy Certified) pro.”
Am I a Zingy fan? Absolutely! You can find out more by going to http://www.zingypet.com and I hope that you do.
But why am I pushing this service in such an active way? I will gladly answer this question next.
Why I Promote Zingy’s Service?
The reason I am personally writing this article is that I see a greater importance to the Zingy dog-walker than exercising someone’s dog, although this too is important. My own motive is to see more people take dogs into their homes and apartments, reducing the useless “slaughter” of homeless dogs (and yes cats) that occurs year after year after year. Zingy simply makes it possible for busy people to have pets and to have pet care that is essential to dog ownership.
Certainly if you already have a dog, Zingy is a great service to have, but if you don’t and live in a place that has no yard (or too little room), now you can still make a happy, loving home for some pooch that will give you a lot of happiness and love in return.
Indeed, if you don’t have a dog now, please, go walk through a shelter close to you within the next few days. Nearly all the animals you will see are potentially on “death row.” They are alone and afraid, just as you would be when all they want is exactly what you want
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