Tails of Love

Don Menzel

I’m an admitted forever hopeless doggie addict. It all began when I was a fifth or sixth grader in my little home town where dogs ran free and nobody locked the doors of their homes. Must have been around 1949.  “Blackie”  and I roamed the town free as the wind. He was a cocker spaniel mix and a fierce defender of me when any of my buddies, some of whom were bullies, gave me a hard time. He didn’t know many commands, but there was one he always knew: Sic, sic, sic! Given this command, he would bolt after any person or dog or cat, whatever. And, he knew how to bite. In those days, a dog that didn’t bite was not a good dog.

Blackie was totally obedient when I whistled for him. Every winter I had to make sure his doggie house could withstand the cold blustery winter wind and snow that came howling over the Illinois plains. My mother never allowed him in the house, no matter how cold it got, and cold winters are ever present in Central Illinois.  (More…)

Therapy Dog

Penny Noriega

Have you ever felt better after petting a cat or a dog?  There is scientific evidence that petting a friendly animal can make you feel better.  Scientists believe that the major source of people’s positive reactions to pets comes from oxytocin, a hormone whose many functions include stimulating social bonding, relaxation, trust, and easing stress.  The conclusion is that pets, especially dogs, seem to be good for our health.

I know that after a long tiring day, there is nothing better than   (More…)