by Deji Asiru-Balogun
1. Pets die with their eyes open. It takes active muscle control to close the eyes. (The same is true of humans.)
2. Many pets “hide” when they are sick. This is a defensive mechanism to prevent predators from spotting them in a vulnerable state.
3. Many pet owners think that when a pet goes off to “die” it is a peaceful death but many times (most times) it is not. Many pets will suffer for hours or even days before they die.
4. When humans die, the sense of sight is the first to go and hearing is the last. The same is thought to be true for dogs and cats.
5. Many pets will continue to breathe and have muscle movements after their heart has stopped.
6. The oldest living dog documented was an Australian Cattle-dog named Bluey who was owned by Les Hall of Rochester, Victoria, Australia. Bluey was obtained as a puppy in 1910 and worked among cattle and sheep for nearly 20 years. He was put to sleep on November 14, 1939 at the age of 29 years, 5 months.
7. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the oldest cat on record was a domestic longhair by the name of Spike. Until 2001 when he passed away at the ripe old age of 31 (that’s 140 in human years, but who’s counting?), Spike was still happily chasing spiders and enjoying life. Spike lived in Dorset, England with his owner, an aromatherapist named Mo Elkington. (Another British cat was recorded to be 34 years old when it died in 1957, but it was not documented by Guinness.)
8. Dogs do not suffer from myocardial infarction (heart attack) as people do. In dogs, the term is typically used to either define a collapsing episode (more accurately termed as syncope or loss of consciousness) or to describe sudden death of an animal in terms that people can understand.
9. Humans are not the only species to bury their dead. Both chimpanzees and elephants have been observed covering the bodies of deceased members of their groups. Scientists have observed elephants gently touching the skulls and tusks of other elephants long after the bodies have decomposed.
10. The pharaohs of ancient Egypt believed that animals and people shared the afterlife so they wanted to be buried with the animals that shared their lives. Beloved pets were frequently mummified and placed into tombs with their owners.
11. Pets get almost every disease that humans get including diabetes, heart disease, lung disease and cancer.
Until next time.
Deji Asiru-Balogun blogs from www.wildeji.blogspot.com and tweets from @Wildeji
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.