Astronomical Autumn officially begins tonight. Simply put, fall has arrived!
The weather here in our nation’s capital turned delightfully brisk overnight. The sun is shining down without a cloud in the sky, but the air is crisp, and carrying scents of the season in the breeze. The animals in our home are feeling frisky and full of energy, as they welcome the cooler weather. As I watch the animals run, chase, and pounce around the house, I am reminded to welcome the changing season with them. I am guided to be outdoors, to stand in the breeze, to watch the leaves fall, and to let the sun warm my face. I am reminded to enjoy this season’s fleeting moments with the animals I love.
May the changing of seasons inspire you to get moving with your pets, and to enjoy the sights, sounds, and scents that Autumn has to offer us all.
Autumn is Nature’s last party of the year. And dressing for the occasion, forests don their brightest attire, while the creatures follow suit with plush coats of fur. As the birds savor their final flights in the waning embers of light, Nature’s children scamper about in search of manna for their winter pantries, pausing long enough to frolic in the heaps of newly fallen leaves.
― Debra Welsh, “Autumn Suppers,” Orange Coast Magazine, Oct. 1983
There is a very common myth that taking an animal’s food or toys away while they are enjoying them, will teach the animal to allow anyone to come up and take things from them. This “technique” at best, is usually viewed as an annoyance to the animal, but at worst it can trigger defensive behaviors such as resource guarding, growling, and even biting.
Instead of taking food or toys away from an animal, offer Good Things to whatever they are enjoying!
For example, calmly approach a relaxed pet (cat, bird, dog, pig, etc.) when they are eating or chewing on a toy, and add another yummy piece of food or another exciting toy to his/her bowl or play area, then walk away.
This teaches your animal companion that approaching humans, or brief touches while they are enjoying their valued resource are Good Things!
This technique helps to prevent resource guarding and other defensive or aggressive behaviors.
You can see an example of how to do this here:
For it is in giving that we receive. ― Francis of Assisi
Recommended Reading: Myths, Truths, and Tips about Resource Guarding
The Elephant Nature Park in Thailand exists to rescue and rehabilitate elephants, dogs, cats, buffalo, and many other animals.
“Now may every living thing, young or old,
weak or strong, living near or far, known or
unknown, living or departed or yet unborn,
may every living thing be full of bliss.”
― Anonymous, The Dhammapada