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Everybody loves puppies and kittens. They’re small, soft, uncoordinated, and cute. They also have tons of energy, weird sleep schedules, and need to be housebroken. That’s fine for younger families, but when you’re older, all of that can be a real hassle. Animal shelters also have older pets that have already passed that stage, which can be a bonus if you don’t have the time or inclination to go through all of that. Their personalities are also more evident, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

November is Adopt a Senior...

Sorry for putting that song in your head, but February 22 is Walking the Dog Day. My initial reaction was to wonder why this observance is in one of the colder months, but as I learned growing up, my dog was my responsibility, and I had to take care of him no matter the weather. A daily walk was part of that. Sleet, snow, sub-zero temperatures… didn’t matter. Being a Norwegian Elkhound, the pooch loved the cold much more than I did, and he’d bounce impatiently at the door while...

We always had a house full of animals when I was growing up. Dogs and cats, mostly, but with the odd lizard or hamster here and there, too. I might not have enjoyed taking them out when it was raining or cold, but they were great companions, and I never resented the chore. Mom always said they were the younger brothers and sisters I never had. And if I occasionally used them as scapegoats to explain a broken lamp or a spill on the carpet, well, they were the younger...

Depending on which Canine Organization you ask, there are somewhere between 167 and 340 different breeds of dogs. Competitions award prizes based on how closely a certain dog conforms to its breed’s ideal characteristics, and people love to argue about which breed is best for hunting or for families.

At the end of the day, though, a dog is a dog is a dog, and breed doesn’t really matter if all you want is companionship and love. I had several dogs growing up, all shelter rescues, and each of them was...

Growing up, I always had pets. Cats, dogs, the occasional lizard or turtle. While I didn’t always enjoy having to clean out litter boxes, or take the pups out for a walk in the rain or snow, the constant companionship and love more than made up for it. Almost all of our pets were shelter rescues, and we gave them long and healthy lives.

May 18-20 is a National Pet Adoption weekend. Make your home a forever home for a dog, cat, or other pet, then celebrate your new buddy with...