By Sharon Gomes Thomas
I make New Year resolutions every year because I obviously don’t stick to whatever I set out to do. By February, my new diet fails with every candy bar I buy. However, studies show that we have a better chance of staying on track with our goals if we have a friend sharing in our quest. Whom better than our best friend to help us keep these most popular resolutions?
The cheapest and most convenient way to shed those holiday pounds is going for a walk or run with your dog. It requires equipment you probably already have in your closet (that old sweatshirt from the ex-boyfriend), no added expense of gym fees, and your pet would love the exercise. Just be sure your pooch stays properly hydrated with the Outward Hound Port-A-Bowl, available at most pet stores like Petco (www.petco.com)
Petco Union Square
860 Broadway, New York
Photo from FreeDigitalPhoto.net
It’s so easy to reach for the phone and order takeout (is the local Chinese restaurant on your speed-dial?); But if you cook for yourself, you are more likely to eat healthier and watch your portions. While you’re pretending to be Emeril, why not cook for your pet too. With the food tainting scare of last year, it’ll also give you peace of mind. Get Health Recipes for you and your pet at www.healthrecipes.com, like this Fish Cookie cat recipe www.healthrecipes.com/pet_supply.htm
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine 1/2 cup dry milk and 1/2 cup wheat germ; drizzle 1 teaspoon honey on top.
- Add one 3 1/2 ounces of mashed fish (like mackerel) and stir until everything is well mixed.
- Form the mixture into balls; place them on an oiled cookie sheet and flatten them with a fork.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Consistency should be fudgy.
- Store in a jar in the fridge; freeze if keeping more than a few days.
Last year a friend told me her wacky money saving technique — she put every $10 bill she got into her sock drawer. Even if she had a $10 bill in her purse, and had to pay for something that was nine dollars, she wouldn’t use the $10 bill in her purse. Instead, she would break a twenty and have two $10 bills to put in her sock drawer. With the money she saved, she bought pet insurance for her cat. That purchase saved her even more money, since visits to the vet can be costly. My own dog has pet insurance from the country’s oldest and largest provider VPI Pet Insurance. Visit their website to get a no-obligation quote. www.PetInsurance.com
Learn Something New
Make this the year where you learn French cooking, knitting, or even scuba-diving. Go commune with the fishes at Adventure Scuba (www.AdventureScubaNY.com). You may not feel ready to jump in so get just your feet wet with their Discover Scuba night. After a 1/2 hour informative video presentation you will get a full 45 minute SCUBA pool experience. They also offer snorkeling lessons, especially helpful if you’re planning on a quick winter getaway.
1737 York Avenue, New York
Ph: 212-876-DIVE (3483)
The perfect way to be stress-free and have quality time with your dog is a dog yoga session at East Yoga (www.EastYoga.com). Doga is all about bonding with your pet and giving the dog 45 minutes of undivided attention. The dogs do cute sun salutations and you’ll learn specific massage techniques to calm your dog and aid both circulation and digestion processes. You’ll also get a workout, using your dog to assist you in traditional and modified poses.
East Yoga Center
212 Avenue B, New York
Lend A Helping Hand
Sometimes it’s seems that we can never find time for ourselves, let alone lend a helping hand to a worthwhile charitable cause. But the ASPCA (www.aspca.org) could always use a helping hand, from something as simple as an Event Assistant to being a Cat Volunteer. You’ll meet new people who share similar interests, and do some good at the same time. For a complete list of volunteer opportunities in the New York area, click on www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pro_nyc_volunteer
Photo from FreeDigitalPhoto.net
Let 2008 be the year where you travel, not just in your imagination, even if it’s just a day trip to the nation’s capital, or a weekend in the Hamptons. And why leave you pet behind, bring her along. Before you go, check out the very useful site www.PetsWelcome.com for info on pet friendly hotels, travel tips and even cool places in different cities that you can hang out with your pet. The best thing about the site is their Cat section – who says only dogs make good travel companions?
Spending more time with family is one of the top New Year resolutions. So if you’re far from home, make your own family by adopting a dog, cat, or rabbit. The Animal Care and Control of NYC (www.nycacc.org) have beautiful animals that will love to be a part of your family.
AC&C – Manhattan Animal Care Center
326 East 110th Street, New York