What does your dog do all day without you? Unless you watch the video feed constantly, you’ll probably never know. Of course there are clues—like the tipped over potted plant, the chewed-up magazines and the so-called accidents. How can you make your Hamptons home more comfortable and welcoming for the family member who spends the most time in it?
Much like children, pets like ugly stuff spread all over the place. You know, those colorful plastic toys, things to chew on and various other stuff. Shop for an attractive catch-all like a wooden crate or wicker basket that your dog can access. Teach your dog the joy of returning things to this receptacle—like playing fetch. Keep snacks and food out of reach (and out of sight).
Give Rover a soft place to relax. Sure, he wants to sit at your feet or sleep in your bed, but he needs a place of his own. Shop for a dog bed that’s big enough for him or her, yet cozy. It should be neutral in color, preferably matching his or her fur, or it should be made to match the room—maybe covered with the same fabric as your throw pillows. Some new ottomans and end tables even have built-in dog beds. If there’s one particular spot in the house that gets a nice beam of sunshine during the day, reserve that for your cat—if she hasn’t reserved it for herself already. If you can’t afford to give up the floor space, shop around for cat beds that suction cup to the window. They exist. The best way to keep a cat happy, though, is to purchase something for yourself and make sure it comes in a cat trap box. Confined spaces make cats feel safe. They seek these spaces out in the wild as ideal places to both hide and stalk unsuspecting prey. So watch your ankles as you pass.
Easy-clean surfaces like tile or natural wood bamboo are ideal for pets, if not too slippery. Throw rugs are easier to clean that carpeting, but they must be secured. If you really want to spoil the cat, install radiant heating.
You know what else dogs love? Other dogs. And old friends. The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF) will hold its annual Alumni Reunion and Pet Celebration Day on Saturday, May 5 from 10 a.m.–noon at the ARF Adoption Center, 124 Daniels Hole Road, Wainscott. The public is invited to bring their dogs (on leashes) and their cats (in carriers) to this free event to rub noses with old and new friends. Visit arfhamptons.org for more info.
The Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation (SASF) will be hosting its Paws in the Park fundraising event on Saturday, May 19 from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. All are welcome to attend the event which will include a fundraising dog walk, shopping, dancing, doggie fashion show and lots of prizes and goodie bags. Live music will be performed by Dan’s Best of the Best winner New Life Crisis and tasty food will be supplied by our favorite local food trucks and vendors for shopping. Bring lawn chairs and blankets for picnicking. Of course don’t forget the family dog! All dogs must be registered in order to attend. Those attending with a dog must raise a minimum of $20 in pledges or pay an admission fee of $25 at the door. Remember, it’s a fundraiser. For more info, and to register your dog, visit southamptonanimalshelter.com.
If you can’t make the Paws in the Park event—or if you’re just firmly on Team Cats—but your heart breaks at the thought of those helpless kittens and puppies in needs of head scratches and belly rubs, you can volunteer your time at the local shelters. SASF is holding a Volunteer Orientation on Sunday, May 6 from 9–11 a.m. Volunteer opportunities also exist at the North Fork Animal Welfare League (nfawl.org) in Southold. If all else fails, you can adopt or foster. It’ll be a win/win.
Find more events for you and your pets at DansPapers.com/Events.