What Are Your Earliest Memories Of Music?

I can’t remember what were the first songs I heard as a small kid. I do remember liking ABBA and Boney M – the former in particular. My older sister used to play their songs for me a lot and I think I loved them a lot. Other than that it as usually kid songs, usually with the artists not really well known or at times eve credited.

I remember this one cassette of all kid songs that I absolutely loved and I would play it over and over again. I can’t remember the titles or the songs now but I do remember the feeling of playing it in the afternoon or evenings (before my cartoons or tv shows came on) and being so absorbed in the songs. I would ofcourse sing along.

Since then as I started listening to more and more of what my sister bought. Wham!, Culture Club, Stevie Wonder and Madonna was what she listened to and I sat along with her. At the of of 8 I got into Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 music and I developed my own taste since then.

Prompt from Over 1,000 Writing Prompts for Students at The New York Times Learning Network

How Can You Show Your Family That You Love Them?

Well there are a few ways. Buying them little or big gifts just for the same of it and not waiting for an occasion is one such way. Nothing wrong is buying gifts on a birthday, anniversary or holiday but just any run of the mill day is also a good thing. Something as big as a mobile phone or as simple as some flowers of their favourite chocolate is an idea. Purchasing an item they like will bring them joy, and it is a reminder that you love them. Catch your family member doing something good and praise them in public for it.Nothing makes a person’s day by being recognized and praised!

Speaking of food, buying them/treating them for a good lunch or dinner is yet another way to do so. Also share as many family meals together as possible throughout the week. Maybe it can’t always be dinner, but kicking off the day together by enjoying breakfast as a family is equally as important. Sharing a meal with family members can build better relationships and create exceptional social skills. Eating a meal together can allow family members to discuss how their day went or discuss a topic on their minds.

Spending time with your loved ones is an excellent way to display your love for them. You can plan family trips, movie dates, outside activities. You all can participate in an activity that is fun and only for the family. Making time for family bonding can show your loved ones the level of importance they have in your life. And finally involve them in your life. If you have an event coming up, invite them. If you have a hobby, share it with them. That is an excellent way for them to know and understand who you are as a person.

Prompt from Lalilo February ’22 Writing Prompt Calendar at Lalilo

Six Benefits Of Adopting An Older Dog

1. Most older dogs have already been housebroken : It would be rare to find an adult dog that still needed to be housebroken, so right off the bat your new adult dog can enter your life without any of the mess or stress that comes with a puppy that isn’t housebroken.

2. Older dogs can form deep connections with you :

An older dog can bond with you just as deeply as a puppy. When you rescue an older dog it may feel like they instantly know that this fantastic new person has come to their rescue and changed their life forever. Older dogs are ready to love and are incredibly appreciative of the love you’re bringing into their life. You may notice your new adult dog only wants to be in the room that you’re in, and he’s always open to an impromptu cuddle session.

3. Adult dogs have probably been trained, and may be more receptive to new training

The amount of training your new adult dog has under his belt will vary, but no matter the amount, it’s all icing on the cake. Simple commands such as sit, and stay are most likely already in your dog’s arsenal, and if you’re lucky, your new dog will come leash-trained as well.

An older dog is also more receptive to learning new commands. Older dogs with prior training can be quicker to pick up on new command cues. With the firm bond you two share, there will be more concentration from your dog towards each one of your actions. This natural awareness will make your new dog much more receptive to learning new commands.

4. Older Dogs Have a Calmer Temperament : With age comes not only wisdom but also a more relaxed state of being for dogs. This may not true be for every dog. There will always be the ageless wonder who never wants to stop playing. For most dogs though, the older they get, the less exercise they need and the less energetic they are throughout the day. For seniors living a more relaxed lifestyle, adult dogs can make the perfect companions.

5. Older dogs have better manners than younger pups :  Dogs with calmer temperaments will often have better manners than youthful, more excitable dogs. When the UPS truck rolls up, an older adult dog may give it a sideways glance, rather than jump off the couch barking at the new intruder. Older dogs often have the benefit of being socialized previously with both other dogs and with other humans, making them more likely to have positive interactions in the future. Older dogs have also likely gone through some kind of obedience training, which should help make them more well-mannered.

6. You can bond with the dog you’ve always wanted : So, you’ve always wanted a purebred husky puppy but just cannot afford one. Well, guess what, an adult husky is sitting in a shelter somewhere right now waiting for you to come to adopt him or her. When adopting an older dog, you know in advance what to expect from their behavior, rather than rolling the dice with a younger dog without a fully developed personality. When you’re adopting an older dog, you also have the advantage of knowing their entire medical history in advance. Vaccinations have been taken care of, and vet trips should be less frequent than if you adopted a puppy.

(via howimetmydog)

How To Comfort Your Dog During Fireworks

Try giving your pup lots of extra play time during the day through tugging, chasing, and fetching. A sleepy pooch may not have the energy to be bothered by any noisy fireworks, they may even sleep through them altogether. Be aware of when fireworks will be set off in your area so you can plan on letting your dog out earlier in the evening. This will avoid having to let them out later and will mean you can keep them safely inside.

Put your dog in a quiet room that can block out a lot of outdoor noise by keeping the windows shut. You can create a temporary hangout spot for your dog by making the room extra inviting. Give him/her lots of treats, their favorite blanket or bed, and toys. You could even give them a brand new toy to help distract them from any scary sounds.

Sometimes, the only thing your dog needs is some extra TLC. Try petting your dog and speaking to them softly during the fireworks. Keep in mind that dogs enjoy being pet certain places more than others.

They say the key to the heart is through the stomach, and that may be the key to keeping your dog calm, too. Get the peanut butter or other treats that your dog loves ready when the fireworks go off. It will help distract them and give them a little bit of positive reinforcement for staying calm when hearing a loud boom.

Sometimes the bright, flashing lights can be scarier to your dog than the noise! Be sure to keep all your curtains closed in the house where fireworks may be visible to your dog.  Remind the humans of the household that they can enjoy the show outside.

Music and white noise not only help people destress, but they can also help your dog, too. Not sure what type of music would be best to help soothe your dog’s firework fear? Recent studies have shown that playing music reduces stress in dogs at animal shelters, with less barking, lower respiratory rates, and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Music therapy is used as a natural anti-anxiety remedy and to help with sleep disorders, and it’s easy to use the same technique for your puppy or adult dog.  Reggae and soft rock are the most relaxing music for dogs in shelters, and classical music also helps calm down dogs in stressful environments.

What A Futuristic World Has In Store For Pets & Pet Owners

I really hate the circle of life and death. Which is why in the fictional world I have created, much in the future where science and technology is so advanced that we have eliminated poverty, thirst, hunger, homelessness and all accidents and diseases as our technology helps us to avoid them no matter what. In this fictional world I imagine it is a few 1000 years later. Now, I have talked about humans, but what about dogs & cats or other pets?

The way I look at it, the death of a beloved pet can be equally as devastating as that of a human loved one, sometimes more. And when I say more it is because they love us unconditionally and they can’t speak to us to tell them that they are ill or in pain and when they pass away, it always breaks our hearts. So in this fictional world, that is not a problem. When someone gets a dog or a cat, the first thing is a device is inserted into them so they understand most of your commands. Like to stay back as it is dangerous or don’t stray out of our yard. You know, just those kind of things. So that puppies & kitten don’t get lost or run away by accident.

Also they can tell us when they feel ill so we can administer the medicine to fix them up. Oh and they live a lot longer, much longer so yay! So bring home the cat and dog and make them part of the family. When they are young you can place them in specialized bed that are almost like cribs and with a technology built in to make them sleep the whole night through without waking you up. Also toilet training them will be a breeze and they also won’t eat anything that you have not designated as their food due to this advanced technology that imprints your commands onto their brains. Also based on the age of the owner, the pets will also live as long as you do.

The Golden Memories Of The Years Gone By

What was your favorite thing to do as a child?

So I’m gonna say three of them. Number 1# was watching cartoons as a kid. I loved my cartoons and feel bad for the current generation of kids who grew up watching utter crap. For me Tom & Jerry, Droopy, Bugs Bunny & Looney Toons, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Pink Panther, Tweety Bird, Roadrunner, Mickey & Donald and all of them were awesome stuff. Thundercats and other bigger animated shows were so good. Even in the 90s when Cartoon Network’s What A Cartoon shows like Dexter’s Lab & Johnny Bravo came out – so much fun!

Second thing was eating snacks and good food. Like my Kitkos, Chocolate, chips etc. I loved the snacks I had growing up. So did other kids my age. Drinking 7UP and Pepsi and other soft drinks. The shawrma and burgers we used to get in Kuwait were amazing. And ofcourse KFC – these were the highlights. On some Fridays we also used to buy a special type of shark meat which was delicious. And I miss Hungry Bunny burgers which I think is a Gulf countries only product.

Third would be playing games and spending time with my cousins. Nothing like it. Whether it is playing cricket or football in the front yard of our grandparent’s house or boards games and card games during the evenings and on rainy days. Then watching movies or tv shows together, eating snacks and drinks and also playing quiz games. Also we spent hours playing music and just sitting and chatting, enjoying each other’s company and hanging around reading books. Those golden days will never come back again.

Prompt from 30 Best September Journal Prompts for 2022 at Lifegram.com

Five Benefits That Owning A Dog Gives You

Lower stress: Studies have shown that petting a dog or cat can release the oxytocin hormone and decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol, resulting in a more relaxed state. Incidentally, scientists have confirmed that dogs reap the same benefits from being petted. In recent years, dogs have been brought into airports, nursing homes, even school campuses to help relieve stress and pressure.

Healthier hearts: A study dating back to the 80s found that touching or even talking to a dog can lead to lower blood pressure. In 2002, another study found that married couples who owned a pet had significantly lower heart rates and blood pressure levels than people without pets. Furthermore, in 2003, the American Journal of Cardiology published a reported that claims heart attack survivors who own pets are eight times more likely to live another year if they own a pet.

More active lifestyles: Need to amp up those steps or drop a few pounds? Owning a dog may be the kick-start you need. A 2011 study by Michigan State University researchers found that 60% of dog owners who walked their pets regularly met the recommended criteria for regular exercise. “There appears to be a strong link between owning and walking a dog and achieving higher levels of physical activity, even after accounting for the actual dog walking,” said epidemiologist Mathew Reeves, who led the study.

Fewer feelings of loneliness: From feeling obligated to get out of the house to walk their dogs as well as attracting attention by the presence of a dog, people who own dogs are proven to be less lonely. A study published in 1993 found that “dog owners reported significantly less dissatisfaction with their social, physical and emotional states.” Recently, researchers at the University of British Columbia, Canada, determined that homesick college students could benefit from dog therapy.

Fewer allergies: According to the Department of Pediatrics, infants in homes with dogs are significantly less likely to develop allergies. “Children who had a dog at home as newborns were much less likely to have allergic dermatitius (12% versus 27%) and wheezing (19% versus 36%) by their third birthday,” the department claims. Also, researchers are examining whether the bacteria in dogs’ mouths may have a probiotic-like effect on humans after licking their owners.

5 Benefits Of Getting A Labrador Retriever For Your Home

Labrador retrievers are the most popular dog breed in the world. When I was younger I think in India the Germans Sheppard was the most popular breed but the Lab has overtaken them in the last decade or so. There are numerous reasons for the desire to have one at home, ranging from their friendly nature and outgoing attitude to their willingness to try almost anything.

1. Labrador retrievers are stable, friendly dogs.
Although every breed can have individual dogs develop conditions that can promote instability in their character, mood, and behavioral reactions, Labrador retrievers are generally sweet and happy most of the time. They connect with humans on an emotional level, which is why they are so effective as support dogs. You are almost guaranteed a smile every day when you share your home with one. As long as you don’t mind taking time out of your day to play, whether that’s out in the backyard or out at the beach, then you will have a friend for life.

2. These dogs are exceptionally patient.
Labrador retrievers will put up with almost anything if they think it has the potential to be a good time. They work well with kids because they can put up with the tail pulling, fur yanking, ear grabbing behaviors of young ones without an adverse reaction. Give this breed a bed near your favorite chair or the fireplace, and they will be eternally appreciative of a spot that they can call their own.

These dogs are willing to try new things, invent new games, or horseplay on a quiet afternoon. Their personalities develop into a complementary role with your family, which is why they seem to fit right in all of the time.

3. Labrador retrievers are very easy to train.
This breed is one of the most intelligent dogs that you will find today. They are easily trained because they love to satisfy the needs of their owners. Playing fetch is a necessary skill for anyone who wants to have a Labrador retriever for a friend. Although their smarts can get them into trouble sometimes, especially if they figure out how to open the refrigerator door, it tends to be a better relationship since you are working together in life instead of telling the dog what to do all of the time.

Because they have a strong food motivation, treats are an effective way to get your Labrador retriever to learn new behaviors. You’ll want to be careful about the number that you offer because problems with weight can develop quickly.

4. This breed loves water as much as they love you.
These high-energy dogs love to go for a swim. If there is any water around for them to find, then you are going to have a pup swimming around all day long. Most are well-behaved, which is why a trip to the beach is often the best trip for this breed. A dog park where they can run without a leash and have access to a pool is another great option to consider. Since they have lots of energy, the low-impact exercise of swimming can help to wear them out so that their destructive boredom behaviors don’t come out when you get home.

5. Labrador retrievers are generally healthy dogs.
This breed is generally healthy from an overall perspective. Responsible breeders will screen for issues like hip dysplasia and elbow issues. Heart disorders, muscle weakness, and eye conditions can happen in this breed at times as well. There is also a condition called Exercise Induced Collapse that can happen with some young adults.

Happy Birthday To My Late Best Friend & Family Member

Today is my baby cousin’s birthday and the rest of us have wished her from the morning. September 1st is always very special to me because it’s not just her birthday but it is also the birthday of another beloved family member, one who has passed away but I always think of this family member every day and especially on this day of all days.

Today is also the birthday of Shawny, my late dog. Shawny was a Golden Retriever who was born on this day way back in 1994. She was second of 2 pups left when I decided on getting a Golden and went with my cousin to the home of the breeder who had about 20 dogs of different breeds and took such good care of them. My cousin and I went and she asked me which one would I pick of the two – one was a boy pup and the other a girl. At that time I had no idea if I wanted a boy dog or a girl dog but the decision was made for me — by Shawny! The bredders has taken all the dogs inside their kennels, except for the mum Golden and the two pups. While the breeder’ wife held the mother dog inside, I and my cousin went to see the pups, who were 6 months old at the time.

The male pup didn’t seem to want to be with us but the girl puppy was not only playing with me and let us pet her but when I was looking away, she started biting my shoe laces and wouldn’t let go. I just had to pick her and carry her in my arms and she started licking my face. I knew that she was the one and so did my cousin. I agreed terms with the breeders and paid them and then took the roly poly girl to our car and brought her home. At first she was scared and stuck to me but once we were home, she wanted to explore. The next 11 years she was my best friend and companion but after she passed away in 2005, I have so many regrets. It is never enough and I want to see her every day.

Happy birthday Shawny and even though I don’t believe in an afterlife, I do hope there is one and if there is I am sure you are impatiently waiting for me to come and throw a ball for you to fetch. I miss you so much.

Just 24 Hours For Us To Live?

If you only had one day to live, how you’d spend it

Is it just me that’s going to die in 24 hours or the rest of the world as well? Let’s say we have this huge, catastrophic event on a global scale – the earth is about to hit by huge asteroids and the impact will kill off each & every living thing on earth! Not even cockroaches will survive (good!) and not even germs and viruses. Everything that is termed alive will be killed off. The earth will initially have tsunamis the side of mountains hit many areas and then heat from the exploding celestial bodies hitting each other will burn out everything on the surface. Leaving behind no trace of anything ever having existed on earth.

Nice, cheerful thought eh? I’ve always thought about what I’d do for the end of the world.  I’d hope that my cousins and I can gather all our close family & relatives in one big place. Have everyone under one roof so we can go out together. Huddled in one big, huge room or hall. Get all the best food we can lay out hands on; it doesn’t matter which particular ones but for sure beef, chicken, pork & bacon, fish will be on the menu. Pizza, burgers, fried rice, naan, porotta & noodles. Fried stuff, curry stuff, grilled stuff. Lots of beer, vodka, brandy and whiskey. Lots of fruit, milkshaked, juices and ice cream.

Loud music playing on speakers, all our favourite hit songs of all time. Large tables set up, each staggering under the weight of the food. Lots of jokes and laughter. And yeah some of them will be crying as well. I won’t! I will be happy. To go out with all my loved ones near me and enjoying food and drink and everyone in one place. That is something that is difficult to achieve but we did it. I would be happy. And as the hours and minutes tick on by and we reach the end and as the world breaks apart and just before everyone is killed instantly, I will look around at everybody and smile. Good bye & good night!

Prompt from Sweet ideas: 50 things to blog about at Fat Mum Slim

Your Dogs & Cats Belong Inside Your Home With You

Would your pet prefer to be indoors or outdoors and why do you think that is?

My first dog was a Golden Retriever named Shawny who was with me for 11 years and just after she died, I then took care of my sister & brother-in-law’s dog Junior, who was a Black Labrador & Dalmation mix, for about a year. Now mainly because of my mother, who was afraid of dogs (why is for another post) and still is. So we had a kennel built for Shawny next to the house and that was also where Junior lived for a year. I still regret it to this day and had I been older I would have been able to convince my mother and father – who would not have needed much convincing – to raise the dogs inside the house. And I will regret that for the rest of my life.

Why? Because your pets like cats & dogs belong with you inside the house, inside your home. Let’s talk about dogs since I love dogs a bit more than I love cats, though I would want both. They are not just your pets, they are your best friends and they are family. Or atleast they deserve to be and they deserve to be treated as such. And you should take care of them. My dogs got a ton of love but never got to stay inside my home. I still imagine having the dogs and changing the past – that they were brought home and then I raised them inside. Especially Shawny. I would buy her a nice big dog bed so she can sleep next to my bed.

At you could have your pet sit on a dog bed next to the big sofa as you sat and watch movies & tv shows. Up in my computer room/home office she/he could sit and play with a few toys while you work or play on your laptop. However you could have the dog play in your backyard, or if you have a side yard like we did, at times and romp in the grass. Also have designated pee and poo areas. You can also take your dog for walks, to the park, small trail treks whatever. But otherwise, they deserve to be with you inside the house. And sleep on a soft warm dog bed next to your bed in your bedroom. Or pretend to do so and then when the dog know that you are asleep, sneakily jump into your bed and find a cozy spot next to you.

Prompt from July Blogging Prompts For Dog Days Of Summer at BlogPaws.com

Five Ways That The Rains May Affect Your Dog’s Behaviour

You may notice your dog shying away from rain sometimes when other times he seems to love it. In fact, he may just flat out refuse to go outside when it rains. There are reasons for it. Each dog is different and will respond to rain differently. The following may explain why your dogs acts so weird when it rains.

Wet Paws

Most dogs, aside from labs and a few other breeds, hate getting wet. Baths are always a good way to introduce a dog to water, but most will run and hide. Starting baths at a young age will help a dog become more comfortable with water. When it rains everything becomes wet. The grass is wet on their paws and there are puddles everywhere. Some dogs hate having their paws wet and will refuse to go outside to go to the bathroom.

Smells Are Amplified

The moisture in the air causes smells to be amplified. The water vapor holds onto the scent molecules longer causing the smells to be stronger and last longer. Once you get your dog outside, you may notice he is smelling a lot more. If your dog likes to smell for wild animals, they will love it when it rains because the scents will be stronger and easier to follow.

The Sound It Makes

Dog can hear four times stronger than we can, meaning the sound of thunder and pouring rain is much louder to them. This increase in noise can cause some dogs to become nervous and overwhelmed. Penn State did a study and found up to 30% of dogs are afraid of thunderstorms. If your dog pants, paces, barks, or hides they are afraid and need comfort. There are special vests and jackets made for dogs to help comfort them, or you can use an essential oil like lavender or chamomile in a diffuser.

Decreased Exercise

Most people are not excited about having to walk their dogs in the rain. This negative feeling is detected by our dogs and makes them associate rain with a negative feeling. Not to mention, they will not get their regular long walk if it is pouring rain outside. Fido will become bored, so it is important to play a game inside, or entertain him with a chew toy.

Rain May Trigger a Reluctance to Go Potty

Yes, many dogs have this negative reaction to rain. You can see it on your dog’s face when you let him out to potty and it’s pouring cats and dogs. If your dog hates to potty in the rain, rest assured you’re not alone. Many dogs dislike rain and its associated sensation of getting wet. This “hate” may stem from lack of a proper introduction to rain and getting baths, which should start when puppies are young, ideally during the critical window of socialization. It’s a good idea to therefore start early and turn rain into a fun event by playing under the rain, engaging the pup in fun water games and making baths fun.

When It’s Time For Bed, My Family______

Well it’s pretty much the same thing. We usually eat dinner by 9 pm or so. I would say anytime between 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Once that is done, my parents check out what they want to watch or continue to watch on tv (some inane reality tv crap or endless, mindless soaps). My dad will usually head to bed by 10:30 pm or 11 as he cannot stay awake for much longer than that. My mom will stay awake and watch all the shows and by midnight she will switch it off and then watch clips on her phone until she feels sleepy. She will then fight sleep, switch the living room lights off and go to bed.

Me? If I am not working, I usually and online till 11 pm or midnight. Then I will eat an apple and take my medicines that I am to take post dinner. All the while I will be listening to music or watching Youtube videos. By midnight I will get up and switch off my laptop and set it aside. I will take a leak and then come into my bedroom, take off my clothes (I usually sleep in the nude) and get into bed. My phones, tv remote control and ac remote will be kept on my computer chair which will be next to me. I then watch tv shows or if possible a movie before sleep takes me over.

Then I will get up, switch off the tv and the lights and get back into bed after placing my glasses next to my computer. I get in between the sheets and yawn as I start to drift off and dream about chasing comets, traveling the galaxy and visiting alien planets on my spaceship. Shawny next to me as usual.

Prompt from Lalilo May ’21 Writing Prompt Calendar at Lailo.com

Turtles Sound Like a Good Option For Raising As Pets

Other than dogs and cats,  my family & I have had some love birds at various times and a lot of god fish that we have raised as pets. Well, I don’t think you can call them pets really since you don’t actually interact much with them. Especially gold fish! I never like to keep them but my parents seem to like it. However I would like to keep a turtle as a pet if it’s in the water.

If I had a big enough aquarium I wouldn’t mind getting a couple of small turtles. I think that would be really cool. I do not know much about all the various type of legal types here in India but I think I would like them if they don’t grow too big. I wonder how much work they are to maintain and clean. I am not sure but I think I want to find out and then make a decision. Also, all this sudden thought about turtles makes me think about the time I saw one, slightly big, on the streets during a ride back home from work.

Ages ago, I was coming home in the office car at around 1:30 am & we had stopped to drop a guy off at Kadavanthara. Coming back the same way that we drove, I saw a stray dog sniffing at a shiny rock, about the size of two palms kept together. The dog was obviously looking for something to eat among the garbage & stuff. Then as we passed I knew what the shiny rock actually was. It was a turtle!! Yes, a freeking turtle – in the heart of the city! In god damn Kadavanthara. How in the blazes did it come to Kadavanthara?!! I have no idea.

We stopped the car & reversed back to take a good look at the thing. I got out and moved towards it. It was crawling upwards & trying to get away from the stray dog & us humans. I wanted to take it with me; and if not for the fact that I had a dog at home & that my mom would freak & have a cow if she saw me bringing home a turtle, I would have. But it was kinda cool to admire a turtle in the middle of the night as u don’t get to see one in the city.

Do You Like Puppies? Why Or Why Not?

What kind of a stupid question is that? Ofcourse I love puppies and dogs. Who doesn’t love puppies – enemies of humanity! And probably cats! I love dogs and yeah puppies melt hearts at the very sight of them. My eyes go wide and my spirit soars when I see these puppies, especially Golden Retrievers.

Goldens are my favourite breed of dogs and I used to have a golden in my life who is very hard to replace. I would say she is impossible to replace as she was my best friend and she is sorely missed every single day. But every time I see Goldens on Youtube or on tv or on the odd occassion in real life, I turn into mush. Like an Elvis Presley or Beatles fan! But here are some health benefits to getting a puppy :

Puppies Reduce Stress

Puppies can be even more beneficial during times of stress. Your puppy doesn’t even have to be present for this “pet effect” to work. It’s simply enough to know he’s waiting at home. Petting and stroking any friendly dog or cat also lowers blood pressure, so if you’re pet-less, you could volunteer at the shelter or get your fur fix at a neighbor’s home. Petting is especially effective, though, when it’s your own animals. Infants and children who grow up with puppies and kitties are less likely to develop allergies as they mature.1 Dogs can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues.

Puppies Improve Childhood Development

Current evidence suggests that overall, pet ownership may be beneficial to child and adolescent emotional, cognitive, behavioral, educational, and social development.3 There have even been studies by Aline and Robert Kidd that show youngsters from pet-loving families score higher in cognitive, social, and motor development. Another researcher, Robert Poretsky, developed the Companion Animal Bonding Scale. The higher preschool children scored on this measurement tool, the higher their scores also were in all measures of development and empathy.

Puppies Reduce Doctor Visits

In a survey by British researcher Dr. James Serpell showed it that only one month after getting a dog or a cat, senior citizens had 50 percent fewer minor medical problems such as painful joints, hay fever, insomnia, constipation, anxiety, indigestion, colds and flu, general tiredness, palpitations or breathlessness, back pain, and headaches. People who have suffered a heart attack—and own pets—recover more quickly and survive longer than heart attack survivors without pets.4 And those of us who live with a beloved puppy or other pet experience only half as much blood pressure increase when stressed, as those without a pet.

Puppies Increase Exercise

Keeping up with the new puppy can be a challenge. Chasing him around the house and yard, though, has other benefits. Part of the pet effect has to do with increased exercise.3 Dogs won’t take “no” for an answer or let you sleep late if the food bowl is empty, and you can’t ignore the puppy’s needs the way you can a membership at the gym. Exercise relieves anxiety, boredom, and depression.5 Set aside time every day to play with your puppy and you’ll feel better for it. Pets keep us connected socially, too. Walking the dog or talking about your puppy at the pet food aisle at the grocery encourages contact that keeps us interested in life and other people.

Puppies Relieve Pain and Anxiety

Positron emission tomography (PET scan) is an imaging test that helps physicians to detect biochemical changes used to diagnose and monitor various health conditions. These tests show that touching a pet shuts down the pain-processing centers of the brain. Petting your puppy relieves your own pain and also buffers anxiety, all without the side effects of Valium. In other words, a puppy on your lap can ease your pain. We often refer to “the bond” when talking about the love we feel for our pets. Science can actually measure this pet effect because thought and attitudes are influenced by changes in brain chemicals. These chemicals prompt feelings of elation, safety, tranquility, happiness, satisfaction, even love.

Prompt from Lalilo March ’22 Writing Prompt Calendar at Lailo.com

Describe A Favourite Vacation From Your Childhood

When I was 12-13 my extended family got together and decided to have a road trip to go and see a few places in South India. Like a joint family trip during the holidays. I think this was during the year 1988 and 1989 and the cities we hit up were Mangalore, Mysore, Coimbatore, Palghat, Madurai, Ooty & Kodaikannal. And I do not think that this was during the summer but it was during the 2 week period that we kids got off during Onam. Atleast that is what I remember it being the time around. And yes we went both years.

To ensure that we could all go along, the elders hired two 14 seater tempo travellers – the vehicle that you see in the inset pic. They came set with a tv/vcr and stereo system. I don’t remember who did not join but some of our relatives did not come along for the 1988 trip but joined us in between for a few hours in one place and I think for the second trip it was everyone. I do not remember who and why that was so. Anyways – getting older blows – despite that part, I remember a whole lot of other stuff. Like us, kids having a van to ourselves so we can play songs and games on the ride. I think my eldest cousin brother who was 21 at the time was in charge plus we also had two drivers in each van. I think we also had two Ambassador cars as well in our little convoy so everyone had space to stretch about.

We would hire out a few rooms so we could sleep peacefully at nights. Us boys shared a couple of rooms in various hotels and we had a lot of fun playing board games in the night while having dinners at restaurants along the way. Taking turns to go the shower or toilet non-withstanding, it was a fun trip. We still remember going to an art museum in Mysore and a few other fun places. That was the first time I had been to Kodaikannal and I would go there 2 more times. I love hill stations and the colder weather there. The second time around I was in a large car with my cousin and a driver we had hired up front and our moms and another aunt in the back. Overall the trips were great but it’s a shame that we can’t find any of the pics from those days.

Prompt from MARCH 2022 JOURNAL PROMPTS at Rachel Greig.com

Afternoon Tea/Coffee Is The New Happy Hour

I really do believe so; although in my case it is coffee and not tea. My mom drinks mostly coffee too but she does have tea a few times during the week. But I really do feel that the best and most enjoyable meal can be the afternoon or late afternoon coffee/tea plus snacks.

Especially on a cold rainy day. Imagine this; it’s about 4:30 pm and it’s pouring rain. It’s the weekday or a weekend and you are having that late afternoon lull. A good strong cup of coffee is the order that you need. So in my home we drink coffee around 5pm. Now imagine that you are feeling a bit peckish as well and want some snacks along with that coffee. You have the coffee and milk at home but you have no snacks. That’s where Swiggy or Zomato comes in and you can order in some snacks.

I usually do this a couple of times a month from Supreme Bakers. There are a few things that I order from there but one such are these chicken puffs (as pictured above), egg puffs, chicken or beef samosas, chicken or beef cutlets. Along with the puffs or samosas I also order their bakery buns (so delicious and great with tea or coffee) which are slightly sweet and really fresh, some mixture and maybe some nuts or chips. Even with the 30 minute or so time it takes to get it delivered to my home, it is still warm enough and munching on those while sipping the coffee is awesome and gives us a boost and energy needed for the rest of the day.

Prompt from 115 Trending Blog Topics & Ideas For 2022 from Simply Hatch

What Are A Few Tips For Getting Kids Excited About Reading?

I think the very first step is to get the kids some age appropriate books. Colourful and with lots of images – this itself draws kids to the books at that age and makes them curious about learning about about the images & words in the book. That’s what it was like for me and most people I know.

Tell stories to your kids from the time that they are really young and make it a point to read from a book. Watch their big eyes go wide as you talk about kings and queens, swords and bows & arrows, big romance and big wars and happily ever after. Make the voices and make humour a big part of the story telling. These all, time honoured traditions are awesome ways to get their imagination going and tell them about stories you want them to know and love and share what you had read to you when you were a kid.

Once you have done that, you create a habit in the kids to want to know the stories, either to be read to them or read it themselves. That curiosity and thirst for knowing will be instilled and they will soon start to read and ask for more books. Provide it for them and every time there is a birthday or Christmas or any kind of gift giving opportunity, get them some books and ask relatives who want to gift your children something to also get them some books. You have now sown the seeds of reading.