When it Comes To Keeping New Year's Resolutions...

Posted by Pia

Our furry friends may be just what the doctor ordered!
So how'd we do folks? With last year's resolutions I mean... I took a peek back at the Daily Wag post I did a year ago. The advice is as pertinent as ever (if I do say so myself) so I thought I'd share it again with some new images.
It is certainly not news that as one year closes, many humans designate resolutions to improve their lives in the year ahead. Makes me wonder if our companion animals do the same thing. What might they resolve to do?

Back
1 of 36
Would they resolve to take fewer naps?

1 Would they resolve to take fewer naps?

... or lounge in the sun less?

2 ... or lounge in the sun less?

Would our canine friends set out to show more appreciation to their human as he/she arrived home?
Gidget is waiting to be adopted in the Los Angeles area. See link to her info below.

3 Would our canine friends set out to show more appreciation to their human as he/she arrived home? Gidget is waiting to be adopted in the Los Angeles area. See link to her info below.

Would Mittens commit to kick the catnip?
Probably not...

4 Would Mittens commit to kick the catnip? Probably not...

And the reason is because animals are naturally balanced by nature.

5 And the reason is because animals are naturally balanced by nature.

They instinctively reach most of the goals we humans set out to achieve.(Rescued Daisy is now a lady of leisure, seen here reclining fireside)

6 They instinctively reach most of the goals we humans set out to achieve.(Rescued Daisy is now a lady of leisure, seen here reclining fireside)

They are resilient, present, and naturally athletic. Enjoying life is part of their DNA! Let's take a look at how companion animals can help with the top 5 New Year's resolutions...

7 They are resilient, present, and naturally athletic. Enjoying life is part of their DNA! Let's take a look at how companion animals can help with the top 5 New Year's resolutions...

Resolution #5: Helping others is a big resolution people make each year. And there is no lack of help needed. Many rescue groups need help walking dogs. George and Minnie not only need walks, they need a home and are available now in Los Angeles. See link to info below.

8 Resolution #5: Helping others is a big resolution people make each year. And there is no lack of help needed. Many rescue groups need help walking dogs. George and Minnie not only need walks, they need a home and are available now in Los Angeles. See link to info below.

Others need a foster home. This is Milton, a special-needs dog I fostered. He was unable to use his back legs, but he motored around the house with no problem! He is now safe and sound in a permanent home.To help an animal like Milton, go to Adopt-a-Pet.com and click the

9 Others need a foster home. This is Milton, a special-needs dog I fostered. He was unable to use his back legs, but he motored around the house with no problem! He is now safe and sound in a permanent home.To help an animal like Milton, go to Adopt-a-Pet.com and click the "special needs" box.

Shelters and rescue groups often need help bottle feeding kittens -- especially during kitten season!

10 Shelters and rescue groups often need help bottle feeding kittens -- especially during kitten season!

And volunteer help is not just needed for dogs and cats. Bunnies need to be fostered, adopted and tended to as well!!
Bun Bun's time at the shelter in NYC is running out. Can you help her? See link to her info. below.

11 And volunteer help is not just needed for dogs and cats. Bunnies need to be fostered, adopted and tended to as well!! Bun Bun's time at the shelter in NYC is running out. Can you help her? See link to her info. below.

Oops!  I mean real bunnies!

12 Oops! I mean real bunnies!

If you'd prefer to volunteer your time and help wildlife, groups like Valley Wildlife Care exist all over the country and need help and funds for birds, coyotes, deer and any wildlife you can think of.

13 If you'd prefer to volunteer your time and help wildlife, groups like Valley Wildlife Care exist all over the country and need help and funds for birds, coyotes, deer and any wildlife you can think of.

Endangered wildlife are in need everywhere!

14 Endangered wildlife are in need everywhere!

Did you know that farm animals often end up at local municipal shelters? There are farm-animal rescue groups across the county that offer sanctuary and humane education. Here is Richie volunteering at Animal Acres (.org). At least you won't have to worry about taking any animal home with you!

15 Did you know that farm animals often end up at local municipal shelters? There are farm-animal rescue groups across the county that offer sanctuary and humane education. Here is Richie volunteering at Animal Acres (.org). At least you won't have to worry about taking any animal home with you!

Resolution #4: Spending more time with friends and family tops the list of resolutions. Tending to a family pet or volunteering together provide fruitful opportunities to meet this goal. The time shared will be meaningful to all involved!

16 Resolution #4: Spending more time with friends and family tops the list of resolutions. Tending to a family pet or volunteering together provide fruitful opportunities to meet this goal. The time shared will be meaningful to all involved!

Resolution #3: Losing weight is another resolution that always finds a place in the top New Year's resolutions. Whether it's getting out to walk your own dog, volunteering to walk dogs for a shelter or

17 Resolution #3: Losing weight is another resolution that always finds a place in the top New Year's resolutions. Whether it's getting out to walk your own dog, volunteering to walk dogs for a shelter or "Driving Ms. Daisy" in your bicycle basket, you're sure to burn calories and shed pounds...the Daisy way!

Roxie here would be happy to help you shed pounds as she'd like to shed a few too! Studies show that walking the dog 20 minutes a day, 5 days per week resulted in an average loss of 14 pounds per year. Roxie is ready and waiting to be adopted and be your personal trainer right now.

18 Roxie here would be happy to help you shed pounds as she'd like to shed a few too! Studies show that walking the dog 20 minutes a day, 5 days per week resulted in an average loss of 14 pounds per year. Roxie is ready and waiting to be adopted and be your personal trainer right now.

It's a year later (12/2010) and sweet Roxie is still in the care of Molly's Mutts and Meows Rescue Group! She has shed some pounds and continues to hope for a forever! See link to her info. below.

19 It's a year later (12/2010) and sweet Roxie is still in the care of Molly's Mutts and Meows Rescue Group! She has shed some pounds and continues to hope for a forever! See link to her info. below.

Resolution #2: General fitness is another frequently declared resolution. Having a companion animal or helping one in need can easily make this goal a part of daily life.

20 Resolution #2: General fitness is another frequently declared resolution. Having a companion animal or helping one in need can easily make this goal a part of daily life.

And enrolling a dog in your exercise plan actually makes you more apt to stick with it! Alli Lange here sticks to her fitness schedule by walking her foster dog Cody. Cody is in need of a forever home through ADogsLifeRescue.org

21 And enrolling a dog in your exercise plan actually makes you more apt to stick with it! Alli Lange here sticks to her fitness schedule by walking her foster dog Cody. Cody is in need of a forever home through ADogsLifeRescue.org

It's a year later (12/2010) and Cody is still in need of a forever home through A Dog's Life Rescue in L.A.  See link to his info. below.

22 It's a year later (12/2010) and Cody is still in need of a forever home through A Dog's Life Rescue in L.A. See link to his info. below.

And don't just take it from me. Martha herself knows the value of a brisk hike, and how much more fun it can be with four-legged friends.

23 And don't just take it from me. Martha herself knows the value of a brisk hike, and how much more fun it can be with four-legged friends.

Quitting smoking is a biggie this time of year. Add the health of your pets to the list of reasons to quit. According to a study in The American Journal of Epidemiology, dogs in smoking homes are at a 60% greater risk of cancers than their counterparts in non-smoking homes. Serious respiratory ailments are also increased in exposed pets.

24 Quitting smoking is a biggie this time of year. Add the health of your pets to the list of reasons to quit. According to a study in The American Journal of Epidemiology, dogs in smoking homes are at a 60% greater risk of cancers than their counterparts in non-smoking homes. Serious respiratory ailments are also increased in exposed pets.

According to a Tuft's University study, cats in smoking homes were at triple the risk for lymphoma. And pets are affected even when you are not lighting up. Since carcinogens are absorbed in their fur, the detrimental effects are ongoing. As cats and dogs lick their fur, they ingest the toxins that way, too.

25 According to a Tuft's University study, cats in smoking homes were at triple the risk for lymphoma. And pets are affected even when you are not lighting up. Since carcinogens are absorbed in their fur, the detrimental effects are ongoing. As cats and dogs lick their fur, they ingest the toxins that way, too.

Also, your animals need you around to care for them, so each drag on that

26 Also, your animals need you around to care for them, so each drag on that "human catnip" compromises that in a serious way.

Resolution #1: The final resolution rounding out our top 5 is the very worthwhile goal of

27 Resolution #1: The final resolution rounding out our top 5 is the very worthwhile goal of "enjoying life more." Our companion animals are experts at this, and time spent with them naturally gets us enjoying life too. Bettina here walks dogs twice a week for her local shelter and considers it the best therapy around.

Unlike humans, animals live in the present and never forgo an opportunity to roll in the grass.

28 Unlike humans, animals live in the present and never forgo an opportunity to roll in the grass.

Time spent with companion animals is one of the healthiest things for a family. Just by being present, our furry friends provide non-judgmental, soothing acceptance that is critical to well-being.

29 Time spent with companion animals is one of the healthiest things for a family. Just by being present, our furry friends provide non-judgmental, soothing acceptance that is critical to well-being.

Our companion animals teach us to seize the moment and never to pass up a welcoming lap. In fact, Cosmo (Los Angeles) here is looking for a permanent lap to cuddle up in. See link to his info. below.

30 Our companion animals teach us to seize the moment and never to pass up a welcoming lap. In fact, Cosmo (Los Angeles) here is looking for a permanent lap to cuddle up in. See link to his info. below.

Animals are always present and attentive to the sights and sounds of daily life.

31 Animals are always present and attentive to the sights and sounds of daily life.

They cuddle shamelessly...

32 They cuddle shamelessly...

Or as needed for warmth...
(or simply because an empty box beckons and far be it for them to let it go unused.. cats are consummate recyclers!) That's my Max and the amazing 3 legged Ms. Olive!

33 Or as needed for warmth... (or simply because an empty box beckons and far be it for them to let it go unused.. cats are consummate recyclers!) That's my Max and the amazing 3 legged Ms. Olive!

They frolic and play whenever the opportunity presents itself.

34 They frolic and play whenever the opportunity presents itself.

And they keep us connected, balanced, and reminded of what is really important in life. Phoebe here is providing a stress-free moment for Julia Pennington who co- founded A Dog's Life Rescue.

35 And they keep us connected, balanced, and reminded of what is really important in life. Phoebe here is providing a stress-free moment for Julia Pennington who co- founded A Dog's Life Rescue.

Like Phoebe, Sweet Zoe here would be more than happy to share her perspective on how to stay grounded and surrounded by love and licks!  Zoe is currently waiting for a forever home through L.A. based A Dog's Life Rescue. See link to her info. below.

36 Like Phoebe, Sweet Zoe here would be more than happy to share her perspective on how to stay grounded and surrounded by love and licks! Zoe is currently waiting for a forever home through L.A. based A Dog's Life Rescue. See link to her info. below.

Given the top 5 resolutions that humans make each year, there is no doubt that our furry friends can help us to reach these goals! In fact, it doesn’t take a psychologist to see how our own animals, or those in need, can help us both achieve, and stick to, these resolutions!

A popular resolution overall (and one that we should be making more than once a year) involves volunteerism and helping others. Anyone can achieve this at any time with 1 small act or in an ongoing way. If it’s an animal you wish to help, there are multiple ways you can help! And it's not just dogs and cats who need help- bunnies and others need help too!

As far as the other top resolutions people make for themselves on New Year’s, there is not one that an animal cannot help a human to meet. You may already have the 4-legged life coach you need!

So how about we make this the year of the shelter animal? Let’s follow Martha’s lead by making our own animals a big part of our daily lives and by helping their comrades who are less fortunate. There’s no doubt we’ll be helping ourselves in the process.

Come this time next year, we may just be able to declare we’ve found the critical ingredient to achieving a few New Year’s resolutions.

So folks, here we are a year later... I'd love to hear if our DW readers applied any resolutions to their own lives- and that of their companion animal's life- in the past year. If you have I'd love to hear about it. And if you haven't, It's never to late to start!

As you can see from the gallery above, some of the same dogs we met last year are still in the care of hard working rescue organizations. Roxie and Cody are hoping this will be the year they find loving families to adopt them!

Wishing a Happy New Year to my fellow creatures everywhere... that includes you humans!

In kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk

Links to Animals and Organizations in this post:
Gidget
George and Minnie
Bun Bun
Roxie
Cody
Cosmo
Zoe

Valley Wildlife Care
Animal Acres
Adopt-a-Pet.com
Dirty Dog Squad
Molly's Mutts and Meows
A Dog's Life Rescue

Comments (6)

  • What sweet photos....and again cutie-pie Pickles.
    Yes not only is smoking bad for a human but as well as for animals, a sad habit to have.

    I'm so happy Milton got a loving home!

    Dr. Pia, Thank You again for your generous heart and I'm Wishing you truly a Wonderful and Successful New Year!

    delia and Kitty

  • Hi Dr. Pia, Thank You so much for all you do to help our wonderful animal friends! This blog post is superior and I also hope more humans will do all they can to save and protect ALL animals! Your photos are very beautiful! My brother and I are caring for a stray calico kitten brought to him by his daughter who moved back here from Louisiana. I'm sure he will keep her and we must have her examined and spayed asap. God Bless you and everyone who takes good care of animals. Happy New Year to all! Jan and DDR

  • My Dear Sweet Pia,
    Happy New Year to you, Martha and the entire world!
    It's been over a year since I moved to my forever home in NY (thanks to you) and life just gets better and better. I've adjusted to the temperature changes and I have thee coolest wardrobe. Pink seems to be my color, so i was more than excited when Santa left me two new sweaters, a puffy jacket and some toys.
    The biggest change and best thing that happened this year was that we welcomed a new dog into the family. His name is Charlie and he's a brown Chihuahua who is a mini version of Gus, The Little Brown Dog. He's so cute and very sweet. I'm glad that My Best Friends' Rescue pulled him out of a shelter and saved him from experiencing more trauma. I think he's happy here because he now let's mama pick him up and cuddle him AND he plays with me and Gus ALL the time. Holy smokes, you should see his Happy Dinner Dance!!

    In 2011, we are going to make a commitment to being happier and healthier. Long walks rule!!

    Woofs and Wags!
    Pepper

  • Hi Martha, and Happy New Year! I wanted to point out an issue with a tip that you posted in the January 2011 issue of MSL - you were talking about protecting pet's feet from some of the snow melting salt products and suggested that fireplace ash would be a good alternative. I'm sure this was an oversight on your part, knowing how you dote on your pups, but in addition to making a real mess on your floors, fireplace ash, when mixed with snow/water, becomes lye and can severely burn the pads of their paws.

    Love you, your shows and your magazines, and figured you'd appreciate this correction. Hope I was right.

  • Thanks again for all your tireless hard work to make sure ALL animals find forever homes. Happy New Year's to you and here's to the new year bringing giving these beautiful animals the forever homes they deserve.

  • I didn't know we were supposed to tell our resolutions last year, but now I'll tell you mine. My NewMom works with the French Bulldog Rescue Network. Being a Frenchie myself, I was very proud to help her out with the work she did for them last year. A lot of Frenchies aren't lucky enough to live with people like my sweet Raven's MarthaMom or our MinnesotaMom or my NewMom. Sometimes Frenchies need help, so I am very glad that there is somewhere they can go. I help as much as I can, especially since my sister Millie is a rescue pup and I love her so very much.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.