Hi and Welcome to Monday Rufferences and Mews.

10 feet? 12 feet? 20 feet? How long should a dog’s chain be, if you’re chaining out your dog? Or, is it ethical to even chain out a dog at all? A new law passed in Reno, NV states that chains should be at least 14 feet, and dogs should not be left out for more than 12 hours. Seriously, if you’re going to chain your dog outside all day, what is the point of having a dog? I put my dog outside in the fenced-in yard several times a day, usually for 10-30 minutes, take her on 1 or 2 walks a day, and the rest of the time she’s inside with me. Dog trainer Victoria Stilwell claims that chaining dogs can make them mean. Pet owners spoke up. What do you think is right?

Should non-farm areas allow chickens as pets? My vote is yes, if the proper space, housing and food is provided, why shouldn’t suburban and city-dwellers raise chickens? As for the noise issue, they couldn’t be any noisier than many of the dogs in my neighborhood.

Speaking of neighborhood dogs that bark, here is a great site with tips on how to deal with your neighbor’s barking dog. It deals with lazy dog owners as well as difficult and “total nut jobs. The article thoroughly covers how, when and what to say to handle the situation nicely. One suggestion, if talking nicely fails, is to post a video of your neighbor’s barking dog on YouTube. (wow!)

What would happen to your pet if you decide it’s time to move to an independent or assisted living facility? For many, it’s devastating to consider having to give up our pets. The good news, some retirement communities allow pets, especially cats or small dogs. This is wise, because research supports pets as contributing to health and long life.

My friend recently found a stray dog. Luckily, she was able to give it proper veterinary care and, even though the dog was 8-9 years old, decided to provide her with a loving home. What should you do if you find a stray? First, determine if it’s a stray/abandoned pet, or a lost pet. Look for a tag or other form of ID. Even if the cat or dog is not wearing a collar, it could have slipped off. You may notice a ring of thin hair around the neck where the collar once was. Does the animal appear well-fed and groomed? Or is it skinny, ravenous, caked in dirt?
This booklet contains sound advice on how to help frightened, injured, pregnant, and other stray animals.

Our kids’ school used to have a day for Blessing of the Animals. Students were encouraged to bring their dog, cat, hamster, turtle or other pet, to be blessed. We all gathered around the fountain in the front yard, and took turns presenting our furry friends for their special moment and thanking God for all creatures, great and small. This went on every year until, inevitably, one time a dog bit a student. That was the last Blessing of the Animals. But the tradition is still carried on many places, to coincide with the Roman Catholic feast day of St. Francis of Asisi. This year it is October 4th.

An arrest has been made in the case of Sticky the cat, found in a Philly suburb abandoned and wrapped in duct tape. A 19-year old is said to be the abuser. I hope the young man is dealt with severely and receives some sort of counseling, as it’s well documented that people who abuse animals have a greater potential to commit violent crimes against people. Sticky is recovering well.

Find out: Do dogs get mosquito bites?

Join us next Monday for more Rufferences and Mews. I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts and comments.