Something very cool and not so cool happened to Willow and me this week. One of our dog buddies on instagram @my_neighbour_george, a true rebel at heart who KNOWS how to rock a dress better than any doggo we know, was the latest muse for Matthew’s Magical Studio, just a cool kid doodling. We've grown quite fond of George's 'keeping it real' expressions and warm puppy-dog-eyes so it was no surprise to find Matthew was able to capture every bit of George's attitude and personality in the doodle. Instantly, our momma wanted a portrait of Willow and me being our fun-loving and energetic selves, so she didn't hesitate to reach out to Matthew. And her enthusiasm has a way of rubbing off on everybody so my tail involuntarily started wagging and I became excited too.
Now, shall we move on to the not so cool part?
Scrolling through Matthew's instagram profile we learned these weren't just any sketches. Nope. All of the doodles were being sold to raise money to help the animals suffering from the disastrous bushfires in Australia, by supporting the Australian Zoo Wildlife Hospital. Their mantra is "Saving Species, One Life at a Time". How awesome is that? Matthew draws a doodle of your furbaby and you in return donate to the hospital. Pretty much a win-win in my book because helping other awesome furbabies not only makes my momma happy, but me too. Especially when the destruction of the fires could put some of our furfriends in danger of extinction. Not cool at all.
All this talk of danger got the gears in my head spinning. Not just about the disaster itself but what the heck do my sister and I do during an emergency? I couldn't shake the image from my mind of how any loud noise makes Willow jump to her paws. What happens when that noise doesn't stop and turns into something more. What will Willow and I do? Sure, I would love to believe our pawrents will always be there to guide and protect us, but the real question is do they know how? Do they know we need a place to go to so we don't get hurt or even worse, lost? I really don't want to take any chances so it's time to quiz the pawrentals and make sure they’re ready to include the most important family members in their emergency evacuation plans, their pride & joy - us!
First things, first! Make sure your pawrents keep a leash / harness near the exit and have a “911 kit” nearby too. What kinds of things go into that emergency kit you might ask? Your awesome carrier of course, food & water for up to 2 weeks for each pup, those little plastic baggies that hold your ‘business’ after your walk, plus any medications that you really don’t want to take but you have to because it makes you feel so much better should also be added to the kit. My pawrents use Pawprint to keep our my medical records on their mobile device because momma says it saves paper, which helps protect the planet. Sounds pretty smart if you ask me 😄. These are just a few things your pawrents should keep in your kit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an extensive knowledge base on pet safety in emergencies and your pawrents should check out what items the CDC recommends for a pet disaster preparedness kit.
The second thing your pawrents should do is come up with a plan on where you will stay if you must leave your home. This is not fun to think about and there are all kinds of rules about shelters not being dog friendly so this step is important. They should locate places where all of you can stay safe and sound. And if your pawrents travel without you (meanies), leaving you all by your lonesome, make sure they have at least one good friend check-on you while they’re away. Quick tip: the easiest way to make sure your pawrent finds an awesome buddy for you is next time, when said friend is over at the house, be sure to lick them at least 100 times so your pawrents take the hint on how much you like them and will ask them to watch over you. It works every time 😉 Also, if your pawrents are having a hard time locating pet-friendly spots, check out bringfido.com. Our pawrents discovered many amazing dog-friendly hotels with gigantic rooms so Willow and I have enough space to run around.
The last thing your pawrents should do is practice, practice, practice. What should they practice, you might be asking? Well how to evacuate, silly! Remember how I was saying Willow gets a little squeamish? Well she also tends to run away and hide so your pawrents should get to know all of your hiding spots, so they can find when it’s time to go. Sorry friends, I know how much you like your personal space and want to keep some spots from ‘hooman’ view, but safety first, right? The whole family should join in the action so everyone knows what to take, where to find each other and where you are going. I’m happy to go on and on but I’m getting thirsty. If your pawrents are interested in learning more about what to do during and after an emergency, check out the CDC's extensive knowledge base on pet safety in emergencies. Just remember: disasters can happen without warning, so it never hurts to make sure our pawrents are prepared.
Back to our doodles, what an honor to be able to help the wildlife in Australia. The facebook page for the Australian Zoo Wildlife Hospital had this to say, "We are incredibly grateful for each and every Wildlife Warrior who has donated to help.💚🙏🏽"
Below watch a video update from Terri Irwin and her children discuss how all the support they're receiving is helping the mission of the organization. Our doodles came in 3 short days and it was well worth the wait. I'm really digging how both sketches turned out. Thank you Matthew for raising awareness about this important cause and sparking my interest in pet safety.
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Until next time, thanks for reading!