Please be sure to visit the National Dog Week Community Page and be sure to give it a LIKE to be eligible for this month’s “freebie.” https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974 One randomly selected LIKER will receive a bottle of B. Animal Shampoo donated by a friend of National Dog Week, Evelyn Kiggins.  Evelyn loves this product and shared this:

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“After searching and sampling far and wide for a dog shampoo that would be gentle, bug repellant, free of harsh chemicals and smell GREAT, I discovered B. Animal shampoo. Formulated by animal lovers who are environmentally conscious and only use quality ingredients, I knew I had found a treat my pet and I could enjoy! PLUS in today’s economy, ( 16 oz. sells for 15.00), it is one of those little luxuries!  In fact, I liked it so much, that I wanted to share it with dog lovers everywhere!  An aromatic bath-bonding ritual with B. Animal Shampoo is one of life’s sweet pleasures. B. ANIMAL SHAMPOO was formulated with the highest quality ingredients and natural extracts for a healthy, shiny coat: Witch Hazel for stimulation, Chamomile to help repel bugs, Aloe for soothing, Lemon grass and Dogwood Rose for conditioning. It was specially formulated to the correct pH level for your pet. It is also free of sulfates, and sodium chloride which makes it more gentle on the eyes and coat.”
Evelyn Kiggins
206-473-9488
Thank you Evelyn! Evelyn is a long-time friend and former neighbor of mine when we both lived in Hackensack, NJ.  She now resides in Arizona.
Last night, over dinner, I was talking to some friends about the loss of family pets.  Someone said, as they invariably do, that they did not want another pet because they didn’t want to have to go through the pain associated with the loss of one.  When I hear this, I like to point out that while that is the worst part of having a pet, think about how empty life would have been without that cat or dog (or any pet) and to focus on the good stories and memories you have because of them.
Growing up, our family house hold always “contained” some sort of animal; snake, reptile, fish, gerbils, mice, hamsters, duck, cats, dogs, parakeets and even a horse when we lived for a brief time in Colorado.  My first pet when I was five was a little tiger kitten named Mittens, but the cats that really became part of our best family memories were “acquired” by my later brother, Matt.
Morrie entered our lives when Matt answered a newspaper ad for “Free Kittens.”  But instead of a kitten, Matt brought home a juvenile grey tiger cat, too big to qualify for kittenhood.  We were disappointed, but that quickly passed when Morrie (named for Jim Morrison of The Doors) turned out to be one of those cats that behaved more like a good dog.  Affectionate, sensitive and sweet with humans, but not a lover of other cats.  We found that out when years later, Matt did it again when he brought another cat home.  The devilish Pita (Pain in the XXX) who lived up to her name was an adorable little Tortoise Shell kitty.  She, like Morrie loved people, always there to greet you when you visited and happy to curl up on your lap.  While Morrie never grew to love this new addition, they derived great pleasure in tormenting each other.  Round and round they rolled, falling down stairs like a huge furry bowling ball.  Thunk, thunk, thunk….Fortunately, no one ever got hurt. Pita is pictured in Matt’s Garden on the left side bar of this post.
Years ago, when Morrie was approaching his twentieth year, he followed me out to what we call Matt’s garden, crying after me.  I turned and sat on the ground and told him what a great cat he had been.  I said goodbye knowing I wouldn’t see him again.  Last week, while visiting my family, I did the same thing for Peetey, now about twenty-one years old.  She still had a lot of fight in her, but I knew again, this would be it.  I spent a little time on the ground with her, telling her the same thing I had told Morrie.
About a week later, my Mom called to say that Peetey had cried to go outside, like she always did, but had failed to return that night.  As the days passed with no sign of her, it is safe to say she went out the way she wanted on her own terms only a few days after the six-year anniversary of the passing of her beloved “owner,” Matt.  Both Morrie and Pita had been outdoor cats for their entire lives, only seeing the vet to be “fixed,” or for a rabies shot.  That is how they rolled, they lived to be out and were loved when in.
I picture Pita in her last hours basking on a pile of warm leaves in the sun.  My brother coming to claim her so that she can once again roll around with Morrie and bring a smile to my brother’s face. Will Judy, trained for the ministry, wrote that he believed heaven would be a lonely place if our pets were not allowed to follow us there. I happen to agree.
Rest and play in Peace, Pita, Morrie and Matt.
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