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All the world’s a school for service dogs in training 

The cats in my life keep upping the ante

Where to frolic with your four-legged friends

Where to turn for help and to help

Is it domestication that brings us together, or mutual adaptation?

Stories to warm your heart and tickle your funny bone

Speckles, a Rabbit with Spunk        Speckles, a mix of English spot and miniature rabbit, came from Gurnie and Millie Hobbs of Bowie to our children Peter, 5, and Barbara, 3, in the spring of 1974.       While living outdoors during his first summer in a wooden hutch with litter box, he was bitten by a horse fly, infesting his hind quarters deeply with the animal disease warbles.       Our vet cured his pneumonia, but Speckles could never hop...

All the world’s a school for service dogs in training 

      It takes a village to raise Nitro.       Part of Nitro’s village is the yoga class he attends three times a week. The pup lays on his blue blanket at the front of class, chews on his bone and fights the urge to get up and roll around with the yoga students as they stretch.        “Every once in a while, he thinks we’re done and he’ll get up, but I’ll just say, bed, and he’ll go lay down,” says...

The cats in my life keep upping the ante

       In my 20 years of a wonderful, varied and active family life, we often raised cats at the same time as the dogs in perfect harmony. They even slept happily together, even our two ordinarily reckless huskies.        We often took our family cat, Priscilla the Chinchilla, out to Harwood to a male Persian for mating. From this match we had several bluebloods with great papers. I would bathe them, manicure their claws and brush their long silvery locks...
Anchors Away Pet Sitting: Providing a home away from home for your pets — plus pictures to keep you in touch while you’re away. 443-608-9306; www.facebook.com/anchorsawaypetsitting   Crunchies Natural Pet Foods: Guiding you to good food choices for your pets based on weight, age, preferences and routine. 2421 Crofton Ln., Crofton; 410-721-5432; www.crunchies.com Dog Thrive: A full-service dog-care business including daycare, boarding, dog walking, dog sitting, training,...

Where to frolic with your four-legged friends

      Dogs need some time to be dogs. Here’s where you can take them to run and frolic leash free. (Most of the public parks in Bay country allow dogs but require that you keep them on a leash.)       For off-leash play, dog parks offer large fenced areas for both big and small dogs to run free while getting the socialization and exercise that keeps them healthy and happy. Two parks have dog beaches for water-loving canines. Keep your furry friend on best...

Where to turn for help and to help

    Anne Arundel County Animal ­Control Shelter  The central Anne Arundel County location for lost pets reunites hundreds with their owners and operates a shelter that annually finds new homes for about 1,500 pets. As part of Anne Arundel County Police Department, it enforces all animal control laws. Services include a weekly $5 rabies vaccination clinic: 411 Maxwell Frye Rd., Millersville; 410-222-8900; www.aacounty.org/animalcontrol; open Tuesday-Saturday   Friends of...
Circulator and Shuttles Bring Mobility to Southern Anne Arundel County        On July 1, the Anne Arundel County Transportation Office launched two new transportation options to serve the south of the county: the South County Circulator and two Zonal Shuttles. This initiative was the result of dynamic collaboration between Ramond Robinson, head of the Transportation Office, and the South County Huddle, a local volunteer organization.        The...

Is it domestication that brings us together, or mutual adaptation?

       “A dog,” Mark Twain wrote, “can’t be depended on to carry out a special providence.” His case in point was Prov’dence’s failure to depend on Uncle Lem’s dog — appointing Uncle Lem instead — to soften the three-story fall of an Irish hod carrier. The Irishman lived, but Uncle Lem’s back was broken in two places. “Why didn’t the Irishman fall on the dog?” Twain’s storyteller asked...

A woman copes with her boyfriend’s family in this charming romance

      Rachel (Constance Wu: Fresh Off the Boat) is quite the catch. A game-theory professor in New York, she’s a funny, self-made beauty whose handsome boyfriend dotes on her.         She eagerly accepts boyfriend Nick’s (Henry Golding, in his screen debut) invitation to attend a friend’s wedding at his home in Singapore. She’s always wanted to travel to Asia, and she’s eager to meet his family. What Nick hasn’t told...

I get along with both, preferably together

      At one point in an earlier life, when living in Washington, D.C., I had a particularly personable black kitten. Guiness would go for long walks with us around the neighborhood, striding directly under his sworn protector, a friend’s large Belgian sheepdog. Their close relationship went on for over two years until we all eventually drifted apart and on to other things. While they were together, they were a memorable team.       It’s said that there...