THE WHIS­PERER

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Anne Box­hall Email abox­hall@big­pond.com

DOGS and cats are seek­ing out sunny patches of car­pet or sidling up to wood fi res and heaters at this time of year.

Arthritic pets are en­joy­ing in­door warmth, wear­ing warm coats and some are snooz­ing on heat mats.

Heat pads are mak­ing an en­trance for very young, very old, fi ne- haired, infi rm or arthritic pets. A web search re­veals the lat­est heated mats for pets use car­bon fi bre tech­nol­ogy, avoid­ing the po­ten­tial for bro­ken heat­ing wires.

Ver­sions such as PetMat heat­ing pads are placed on top of the pet’s ex­ist­ing bed and can be left switched on.

They main­tain a barely warm tem­per­a­ture un­til the pet makes con­tact, but once they lay down on the mat the area warms up.

Al­ter­na­tively there are the mi­crowave­able mats which have no wiring at all. These aim to pro­vide up to 12 hours of warmth af­ter be­ing heated in the microwave for a few min­utes and then slipped un­der pets’ bed­ding.

If your pet has a heat mat of any va­ri­ety, please do share your fi nd­ings and rec­om­men­da­tions through the email ad­dress be­low.

With the pets warm and cosy, there may even be time to set­tle back for a spot of read­ing.

Here are three very dif­fer­ent books rec­om­mended by read­ers of the col­umn for your win­ter read­ing plea­sure.

Cit­i­zen Ca­nine by jour­nal­ist David Grimm ex­plores our evolv­ing re­la­tion­ship with cats and dogs and so­ci­ety’s chang­ing at­ti­tudes to­wards their place in our lives. Sue Halpern’s A Dog Walks into

a Nurs­ing Home is an in­sight­ful story about old age, ill­ness and ac­cep­tance. It avoids the ex­pected clichés and is both hu­mor­ous and sad.

In true story The Puppy Ex­press, by David Rosen­felt, chap­ters al­ter­nate be­tween res­cue dog sto­ries and Rosen­felt’s own jour­ney across the US with 25 res­cue dogs and a group of vol­un­teers in three RVs.

This book will es­pe­cially ap­peal to lovers of Golden Retriev­ers and is a cel­e­bra­tion of dogs’ abil­ity to bounce back.

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