Q: My children want a pet but we cannot decide which type of pet would be the best fit for our family. Any advice?
A: This is such an important question to ask before getting any pet! Making sure you get one that fits into your family and lifestyle is important for both the pet and for your family.
First, you must consider how much time your family has each day to take care of the pet. If you have small children, they might be eager to take care of the pet in the beginning but eventually the adults will be the ones caring for the it, so you need to consider your own time constraints and workload.
Dogs need daily exercise and attention, which means a bigger time commitment on your part because dogs will have serious behavioral issues if they are not exercised properly. Cats on the other hand do not need as much attention daily and might be a better choice for a busy household.
Secondly, you must consider the housing of the animal and the space required. As an example, Guinea Pigs make great family pets but require a large cage to move around and exercise in, so you would need space in your house to accommodate the appropriate sized cage. They might not need as much attention as a dog but do require daily attention and weekly cage cleanings. For any pet that requires a cage, you must consider whether you have the space in your house to accommodate the appropriate sized cage.
Thirdly, you must consider the cost of the animal and whether you can budget for all the items needed to properly care for the pet. Reptiles are fun and cool pets that do not necessarily need a lot of time but require specialized cages, lighting, and care that can get expensive. Veterinary bills can add up for any pet if they have medical issues, so you must be monetarily prepared for these possibilities.
Another consideration in your choice needs to be the life span of the pet because some pets such as birds can live upwards of 70 years.
Please do not get a pet without first understanding what that pet needs and considering the life-long commitment that you are making to the pet.
Q: My dog gets very anxious when I leave the house and generally has high anxiety issues. She can get so upset that she will start destroying the house to get out. Is there anything I can do to help her with this anxiety?
A: Anxiety disorders in dogs are very difficult to treat as there is no single treatment that can cure the issue.
Anxiety disorders are hardwired into your dog’s brain and it takes time and commitment to try to change the wiring. Most importantly, everyone in the household must be on the same page with the treatment of your dog as the keystone to any good behavioral modification treatment plan is changing your behavior as the owner.
If you have a certified animal trainer or veterinary behaviorist in your area I highly recommend scheduling a consultation.
The main aspect of helping your dog to overcome her anxiety is to change your behavior and/or routine so that your body language does not automatically induce the anxiety. For example, changing your morning routine so that your dog is not quite sure when you are leaving your house can help alleviate the anxiety wind-up. On your days off, leaving the house for 10-15 minutes and then coming home throughout the day can help desensitize your dog to your leaving because they learn that you are quickly coming home. Making sure your dog is getting sufficient exercise can also help as a tired dog is typically a happy dog.
Ultimately, some dogs need medications to help with the anxiety but it is important to know that there is no medication that can “fix” the problem and that any medications must be used in combination with a good behavioral modification plan.
Symphonic Band & Lumberjack Marching Band Concert: 7:30-9:30 p.m. NAU Ardrey Memorial Auditorium, 1115 S. Knoles Drive. Associate Director of Bands William Kinne directs the concert that features the music of Coldplay, Fall Out Boy, as well as works by composer Percy Grainger and others. Special appearance by the NAU Dance Team. $10 adults, $5 seniors and NAU employees, free for students and youth. 523-3731. nau.edu/CAL/Music/Events/.
Tuesday Night Film Series: "The Poseidon Adventure": 7-9 p.m. NAU Cline Library Assembly Hall, 1001 S. Knoles Drive. Winner of the Best Special Effects Oscar, and nominated for eight more, Gene Hackman leads an all-star cast, including Shelly Winters (Oscar nominated), Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, and Carol Lynley through a capsized ocean liner in perhaps the best of the 1970s disaster film genre. Free. 523-3892.
Movie Screening of "Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America": 7-9 p.m. Liberal Arts room 136, NAU. Hosted by NAU-No More Deaths, the film will highlight the journey of an undocumented and gay person in the United States to achieve the American Dream. Free and open to the public.
City Council Meeting: 6-10 p.m. Flagstaff City Hall, 211 W. Aspen Ave. The topics at this City Council meeting will include: recognition of Wildland Fuels Crew 1, future of the Mogollan Public Works Yard, legal steps needed to keep open space designation on Thorpe Park, stormwater rates to fund large capital projects, discussion on Transect amendments, discussion of legislative priorities for 2018. 213-2000. cityweb.flagstaffaz.gov/agendaquick/agenda_publish.cfm.
African Dance Class: 6:45-8:15 p.m. Jazzercise Flagstaff, 1798 Historic Route 66. Come enjoy live drumming while learning the exhilarating dances of West Africa. No experience needed. All are welcome. $10/class. First class free. Under 18 free. facebook.com/Flagstaff-West-African-Drum-and-Dance-Community-384060628454808/.
Tabletop Game Night with Vault: 6-9:30 p.m. Charly's Pub in the Weatherford Hotel, 23 N. Leroux St. We have a board, dice, card, or party game for anyone and everyone. (480) 269-0624. playwithvault.com.
Crafty Corner: 3:30-4:30 p.m. East Flagstaff Community Library, 3000 N. Fourth St. Express your creativity with fun crafts. Ages 5-13 welcome. 213-2348. flagstaffpubliclibrary.org/.
Senior Improvisation class: 1:30-3 p.m. Flagstaff Senior Meadows, 1351 N. Pine Cliff Drive. This free workshop, designed for the 55-and-older community, involves use of theater improv exercises and games to bring out creativity; self-esteem; and physical, mental and spiritual stimulation. (415) 519-0883. facebook.com/improv4life.
Need a Job? Start Here!: 1-2 p.m. Flagstaff Downtown Public Library, 300 W. Aspen Ave. Meet a Workforce Specialist to work with you. Obtain information on Career Center specialties and career focused strategies for your job searching needs. Registration not required. Offered to build your knowledge, understand the job market, and build new skills. 679-7400. coconino.az.gov/124/Career-Center.
Free Career Coaching Workshop: 9 a.m.-noon. Goodwill Job Connection, 4308 E. Route 66. For individuals who are looking for employment and need help with their resumes and preparing for interviews. Free. 526-9188. goodwillaz.org.
Northern Arizona Parkinson's Support Group Meeting: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The Peaks Senior Living Community, 3150 Winding Brook Road. 526-3115.
Blood Drive: 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Flagstaff Medical Center Education Department, 1000 N. Humphreys St., Suite 241. Following an overwhelming response from blood donors across the nation to support victims of the Las Vegas shooting, we are now seeing a huge decline in donations. Since blood has a shelf life of just 42 days, United Blood Services is urging new and established donors to make appointments in the coming days and weeks to ensure that patients have an ample supply of lifesaving transfusions. 214-3970. bloodhero.com.
Wisdom Seekers Wellness Series: 1:30-3 p.m. Montoya Community Center, 245 N. Thorpe Road. Karen Glick, RN, yoga instructor, will introduce Neurogenic Yoga as a practice to connect with one's innate ability to release everyday and accumulated stress through the natural tremoring response of the body. Lecture and demonstration. (480) 612-2461. WisdomSeekersAZ.org.
Community Yoga: Beacon UU, 510 N. Leroux St. Sessions at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Beginner sequence and mindful breath work with registered yoga teacher. No experience necessary. Donation requested.
Flagstaff Dancin' Grannies: 1-3 p.m. YMCA, 1001 N. Turquoise Drive. A 50+ tap dance group, beginner-advanced. $10 per month. Tap shoes available. flagstaffdancingrannies.org. 607-7488.
Walking, Biking, and FUTS Trails Summit: 6-8 p.m. Pine Forest Charter School, 2257 E. Cedar Ave. The City of Flagstaff is working on an active transportation master plan to make it easier, safer and more appealing to walk or bike around the City. Give your input and learn more about opportunities for walking and biking in Flagstaff. flagstaff.az.gov/ATMP.
Conservation Outreach Forum: 8-noon. Arizona Game and Fish Office, 3500 S. Lake Mary Road. Hosted by the Coconino National Resource Conservation District. 286-7446.
International Film Series: "Volver": 7-9 p.m. NAU Liberal Arts Building, room 120. Spain, 2006. Raimunda (Penelope Cruz) works and lives Madrid with her husband Paco and daughter Paula. Her sister Sole lives nearby and they both miss their mother Irene (Carmen Maura), who died several years ago in a house fire along with their father. A former neighbor from their hometown reports that she has seen the ghost of Irene and both daughters do not believe her. After a murder and a family tragedy, Irene's spirit materializes around her daughters to help comfort them. Free and open to the public. For parking information visit: http://nau.edu/Parking-Shuttle-Services/Guest-Parking/.
Flagstaff Poetry Slam: 7:30-10 p.m. Firecreek Coffee Company, 22 E. Route 66. Competing poets are judged by five random audience members who put numbers to poetry and determine who moves on to the second round and, eventually, who wins the night's slam. $2 at the door. Cash only. Competing poets get in free.
GriefShare Support Group: 5:30-6:30 p.m. Church of the Resurrection, 740 W. University Heights Drive South. This caring video/discussion series help those in mourning move towards healing. 699-2715. cor-pca.org.
Mah Jongg: 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The Adult Center at Thorpe Park. There is a Mah Jongg set available in the office for use.
Forever Love Pet Loss Support Group: 6-7 p.m. Federated Community Church, 400 W. Aspen. 963-1340. facebook.com/FlagstaffPetLoss/.
Ballroom Dance Lesson: 6:30-8:15 p.m. The Peaks Alpine Room, 3150 N. Winding Brook Road. The classes progress during the month with a different dance taught each month. All dancer levels are encouraged to attend - from first time beginners to experienced dancers. No partner is needed. 853-6284. $2. flagstaffdance.com.
Support Group for Sexual Assault Survivors: 5:30-7 p.m. North Country Healthcare, 2920 N. Fourth St. A space for sharing, feeling safe and learning new coping skills. 522-9460.
Stand Tall -- Don't Fall: 2-3 p.m. Montoya Community Center, 245 N. Thorpe Road. First class is free. Want to improve your balance? Your mood? Your flexibility and coordination? Your mental clarity? We draw from over 100 sensory motor movements and cognitive and spatial awareness tasks. All movements can be done sitting and can be adapted for any physical limitation. 863-0595. $7/class ($15 drop-in). highpointaz.com/brain-gym-seniors/.
Gamblers Anonymous Open Meeting: Noon-1. Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, see sign on back door on the left, 423 N. Beaver St. A 12-step meeting for those who desire to quit gambling. azccg.org/Arizona_GA___GAM-ANON.html.
NEW YORK (AP) — Taylor Swift is going to bring her new album to life when she hits the road next year.
The pop star announced the first of dates for her "reputation Stadium Tour" on Monday. It kicks off May 8 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Tickets for general public go on sale Dec. 13.
Swift announced 27 shows stretching through October, with stops in Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami and Houston.
Her last tour also visited stadiums, and it included a number of special guests, from singers like Justin Timberlake and the Weeknd to non-musicians such as Ellen DeGeneres and Kobe Bryant.
Swift released her sixth album, "reputation," last week. It features the hit songs "...Ready for It?" and "Look What You Made Me Do."