April 2009

Winter, in the North Country, is over. Finally. Crocuses have popped and daffodils laugh in the breeze. But things are not entirely rosy as the dreaded tick also awakens and the females seek blood meals to feed their developing young. They roost on branches and leap on their prey – our dogs and cats and yes, even us. Creepy as they are, I can handle bug bites. Why else would I live in the land of the notorious blackfly? I do get some nasty reactions from their bites, but fortunately they do not transmit disease. Ticks do – Lyme, ehrlichia canis, anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever to name some of the more common, albeit most dangerous ones. (more…)


It was recently reported that 86,000 pet-owner-related injuries were reported, based upon statistics gathered from 2001 to 2006. That sounds like a lot of folks falling over their dogs and cats, food bowls and toys, but, in reality, despite media coverage of these statistics, pet related injuries are relatively rare and account for about 1% of home accidents. You are really more likely to fall down the stairs or out of your bed than tripping over Fluffy.

I was concerned about the amount of press this news story received, considering the rarity of these kinds of accidents. I fear that seniors may be advised to give up their pets or reconsider getting a pet for fear of falls. It has been noted in so many studies that living with pets has health benefits – a decrease in blood pressure, an increase in beneficial exercise, an aid to depression, loneliness and more.