Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 15th 2017 Contents tobagotoday.co.tt September 15 - 2017
MALOUAH NICOLE STRAKER, DVM,
What's this about? You hav-
The TTSPCA Tobago is proud
to announce Spay Tuesdays,
where the last Tuesday of the
month we will be providing
reduced cost spaying and neu-
tering, for dogs and cats, com-
MYTHS ABOUT SPAYING
MYTH: My dog will get fat
FACT: Due to this surgery
animals may reduce roaming and
thus get less exercise. Hormone
alterations may also result in
weight changes in some pets. It
is the responsibility of the owner
to introduce regular exercise and
MYTH: It's better for my dog
to have one litter before I spay
FACT: Medical evidence has
shown that a dog who is spayed
before her first heat cycle is typ-
ically healthier than dogs spayed
after the first heat cycle or after
having a litter of puppies. Most
animal shelters and adoption
facilities, as well as many veter-
inarians, now sterilize dogs as
young as eight weeks of age. You
should consult your veterinarian
about the appropriate time to
spay or neuter your dog.
MYTH: Children should expe-
rience the miracle of birth.
FACT: The likelihood of a
child actually seeing a dog give
birth is slim. Most births occur
at night and in a secluded area.
The only lesson the child learns
is that dogs can be created and
discarded as humans see fit. The
real miracle your child should
experience is the knowledge that
by preventing your dog from
having babies, you are potential-
ly saving the lives of hundreds
of other dogs.
MYTH: My dog is a pure-
FACT: Many dogs abandoned
in the street or turned in to ani-
mal shelters around the country
are pure-bred. There are just too
many dogs bred, both mixed
breed and pure-bred.
MYTH: My dog will not be
protective if I neuter him.
FAC T: A dog's natural instinct
to protect his home and family
is not affected by spaying or
neutering. A dog's personality
owes much more to genetics and
environment than sex hormones.
MYTH: I don't want my male
dog to feel like less of a male.
FACT: Dogs have no concept
of sexual identity or ego and
neutering do not change a dog's
basic personality. He doesn't
suffer in any way when neutered.
MYTH: My dog is so special;
I want a puppy just like her.
FACT: A professional dog
breeder, whose bloodlines stretch
back for generations, has no
guarantee of getting a particular
characteristic from a litter. The
dog owner's chances are even
slimmer. In fact, a whole litter
of puppies might wind up getting
only the worst characteristics of
your pet dog and her mate.
MYTH: Spaying and neuter-
ing are too expensive.
FACT: Spay or neuter surgery
is a one-time cost, and if you
factor in the many benefits, such
as improved health throughout
your dog's lifetime, it is a rela-
tively small charge. It's a bargain
compared to the costs associat-
ed with raising a litter of puppies,
and veterinary visits, especially
where dogs/cats are fighting to
acquire a mate or roaming results
in car accidents. There is also
the amount of time you will need
to devote to the mother dog and
her babies; two months of preg-
nancy followed by two more
months before the puppies are
weaned and ready to go to new
homes. Most importantly, the
price is small when compared to
the satisfaction of knowing that
you are not contributing to the
very real problem of too many
dogs and too few homes available
MYTH: I have good homes
available for all of the puppies.
FACT: True, you may have
homes for your puppies, but for
every home you find, there is
one less home available for a
shelter dog. Moreover, do you
have guarantees that the people
who take your puppies will not
breed them and thus add even
more dogs to the problem?
Remember, the dog overpopula-
tion problem is created and per-
petuated one litter at a time.
Convinced? Sign up for Spay
Tuesdays or call for a regular
appointment and spay you pet
today at the TTSPCA Tobago,
639-2567/ 309-0219. Spaces are
limited and are by appointment
only. Call now to book your spot!
Remember to check out local shel-
ters for your next pet. Adopt,
Malouah Nicole Straker,
DVM, MSc. is chairman
of the TTSPCA Tobago
and a veterinary
Dishonest mother ...should I return to school?
This year, to make sure that I got my
school things on time I got a holiday
job at a grocery close to my house. I
walked to work every day, took lunch
so that I wouldn't have to spend any
money and did as much overtime as I
could. When I got paid I gave the money
to my mother to save for me so that I
could do one big shopping at the end of
When it was time to buy my things I
told my mother the day that I wanted to
go and told her to take out the money
from the bank. She told me to meet her
in town the morning in front of the bank
so that she could just take it out and give
it to me. I waited for more than two hours
but up to now, she didn't show up. I
called her phone and she didn't answer.
When I got back home I asked her what
had happened and she started to curse
and asked me if my small money could
have taken care of me for all the years
that she did and what was the big deal
if she borrowed some?
I was shocked and upset at the same
time because she could have said some-
thing to me before I left home so that I
didn't waste time to go into town, plus
now I have no supplies to go to school
I missed the first week of school and
right now I am just frustrated. I don't
back with nothing. Tell me how to deal
with this mess?
I am really saddened to hear about
your plight because as a child you should
not have this level of stress to deal with.
Unfortunately, not all parents fulfil their
duties as carers and providers and the
roles become reversed where children
have to fend for themselves.
What I would strongly suggest to you
is to go to school. I say "strongly" because
education is your only way out. Explain
to your teachers what transpired and
without a doubt, you would receive some
measure of help. The school might have
books that they could loan you or your
teachers may be willing to photocopy
work for you as long as you show a gen-
uine interest in learning.
What your mother did was wrong but
let this be the driving force for you to
reach your zenith. Utilize the public
library, the free transportation available
to school children as well as the free
I would also encourage you to save
your own money the next time around
or even try to purchase items in batches
whenever you get paid.
No child should have to experience
betrayal and hurt at the hands of a par-
ent but this too shall pass. Remain
respectful and study hard. By God's grace
and with your determination and hard
work you will succeed.
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