and their People
|Halo on her person couch|
Companion animals. We loves 'em. What more is there to say in an intro to our first Pets issue?
Well, a couple of things. We're a protein-rich country, and that means we can afford to have pets and still feed people (or so the theory runs; people who are starving might not agree with that). People and animals attach deeply to each other: When Hurricane Katrina hit, we saw how intensely people wanted to take their pets along with them and how rescue workers rescued dogs and cats as well as humans.
We have a responsibility to deal as intelligently as possible with the animals that provide so much for us, and that means not owning more animals than we can provide for, usually getting our animals spayed and neutered so we don't add to the homeless pet population, belling our cats to save songbirds, walking our dogs on leashes except in leash-free zones and a variety of other things — not dumping our exotic fish into the sewers, for instance, as Deanna Uutela explains.
Camilla Mortensen explains why you should get your pet from a shelter or rescue society. Katie Cornell paints a picture of a cat show in Portland and explains that rescue societies can be for the birds. And what about raising a dog to help someone else in need? Katey Gries gives the lowdown on guide puppies. What if your sweet furry companion causes asthma attacks? Nicole Fancher explains what to do. In a web exclusive, James Johnston talks dog training. As if that wasn't enough, we have the winner of our online cutest/ugliest pet contest and pet personals.
A note on our cover: lolcats (LOL, or laugh out loud, cats — you can see many examples at www.icanhascheezburger.com) are a phenomenon on the web. Lolcat-speak is English with specific modifications; our text reflects a popular phrase that says "I'm in ur noun, verbin ur noun." Our cover kitty licks her chops; the Pets and their People section devours the paper this week. For more on lolcats, check out Michael Agger's slideshow on Slate (slate.com/id/2166338/) – Suzi Steffen
GIMME SHELTER Local animal lovers urge you to rescue a shelter pet
SHAKE YO' TAIL FEATHERS Adopt a rescued bird
CAT SCRATCH FEVER Living with pets and allergies
PUPPY LOVE Raising a dog to give it up
THE CAT PACK A weekend with the furballs at the Expo Center
NEMO, ALIVE OR DEAD Keeping exotic fish alive and out of waterways
LEAVE IT! How to train a "Greenhill"
PET PERSONALS Sniffing for love
CUTEST/UGLIEST Winners announced