In search of ponies: Celebrate your pet this week, or month

Did you know it's national pet week (or month depending on the source)?

They made sure I did, which I suppose is a good thing since it's not something I would normally even be aware of.

The "they" I am referring to are the web crawling, public relations spammers that get a hold of an email address and send press release after press release.

They desperately want their messages communicated to "the readers" and find incredibly clever ways to try and persuade their way into print — including riding on the coat tails of holidays such as "National Pet Week."

Normally, all 500 million of the emails get trashed without a second glance, but this time, curiosity got the better of me and I clicked through a few.

Here are some of the messages the faceless PR machine finds critical and imperative that readers be informed about during National Pet Week/Month:

Eliminate the risk of pets being made ill by store bought treats and make your own. Dry thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breast in a food dehydrator to make safe and healthy jerky treats you and your dog can enjoy together.

Biscuits (vegetarian recipes also available) can also be made in a dehydrator using almost any combination of ingredients such as fruits and vegetables, with basic dough. While they would surely be happy to sell dehydrators, there are also dozens of free recipes available at: is offering a free iPad mini to the author of the best 250-word essay describing why their dog is their hero. Of course Dogvacay also provides a service that helps pet owners board their furry family members with home-based boarding network members, but it's free to take a shot at the iPad mini by entering an essay through the DogVacay Facebook page.

According to the Saturday Evening Post, one in six Americans is a bird lover. Classifying "bird nerds" as a rapidly growing trend, the Post has published an article that takes a detailed, inside look at birders along with tips and techniques for bird watching. The full article "Bird Nerds Unite" is available for free online at

Now, it must be said that the above list of solicitations being passed your way only include the ones who are kind enough to offer something for nothing, and by no means should that be considered an endorsement of their commercial products.

If, however, pet owners (or euphemistically "pet parents" according to the email spammers) really want to recognize National Pet Week/Month, the absolute best things out there are readily available and you'll be happy to know you actually already have them.

Yep, you guessed it, attention and time, which are incidentally also free, have yet to be unsettled by competitors and are guaranteed to get that tail wagging – Here's wishing you and yours a happy National Pet Week/Month!

Sharna Johnson is a writer who is always searching for ponies. You can reach her at: or on the web at:

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