Staff Newspaper Columns

Ken White’s Column

Because You Didn’t Have Enough To Worry About

Life before Covid-19 was not simple here in the Bay Area. Remember? Earthquakes. Gridlock on roads more pothole than asphalt. Housing costs. Drought. Fires. Let me add something that might have escaped your earlier attention. Rattlesnakes. Here? Yes, afraid so, and as...

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Gone Batty

Many scientists believe that the Corona virus has come to us as the result of human contact with bats, whether that exposure occurred in so-called “wet markets” where wild animals (including bats) are sold as food and, ironically, as traditional medicines, or from...

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Cat Squeeze

Dogs love balls, last week’s topic, might not deserve the front page headline any more than the observation that cats love squeezing into seemingly impossibly small spaces. But why do they do it? I’ve found my cats in the sock drawer, including the sock drawer I swear...

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Balls

I’ve loved and lived with a whole lot of animals, including a whole lot of dogs, and although I do not have a “type” (having lived with sizes ranging from 9 pounds to 130), there have been five retriever/retriever-mixes in my family. Which means I have a tolerance for...

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Wildlife Is Always Here

Confined to our homes for long weeks with eyes glued to our screens, we thrill to the images of wild animals returning to the spaces suddenly devoid of humans and all our busyness. We are drawn to the unexpected otherness of wildness here in our cities and suburbs, to...

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All In The Family

When Carolyn and I first got together 35+ years ago, our two incredible dogs fell quickly and completely in love. Less expected was how her Lilly (a wild kitten rescued from a trap) took to Savannah (a parrot seized while being illegally smuggled into the country)....

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Plan For Your Pets

Much of PHS/SPCA’s work is considered an essential service and we are and will continue to be here for the animals. All of our animals continue to be cared for and loved, and our staff as well as members of the public we serve follow strict social distancing...

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Over Rescue

While this might be unexpected coming from me, today’s column is meant to encourage you to considering leaving alone some animals who might seem to be in distress. I’m talking about young native wild animals, from baby squirrels to songbirds and others. This is the...

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Million Dollar Mutt

Although currently a thing of the past, visits to the dog park with the world’s most perfect puppy Lola (my column, my rules) often led to questions which I answered “Her mother is a Chihuahua. Her dad is a question mark, likely a Poodle, Maltese, or someone else...

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The World’s Only Reliable Newspaper

The mind wanders down some strange paths at times like this, and so for no reason other than random, sleepless 3AM curiosity I did an on-line search of checkout counter tabloids’ stories about animals. To my surprise, the Enquirer proved disappointing, focusing far...

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Dogs and Cats

Two weeks ago our topic was how animals show up in clichés. Here’s another: “They fight like cats and dogs,” meaning constant, loud and sometimes violent squabbling, like what I experienced growing up. (The baker laughed but said he couldn’t fit “celebrating 60 years...

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Carl and Lola

A very dear friend died just a few days ago. His death was not a surprise, coming at the end of a long and sad illness. His death is, in some terrible way, a good thing considering what had happened to his body and spirit. His death came, thankfully, only after we had...

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Animal Words

I’ve written before about animals’ languages (whales’ song, bees’ dance, that sort of thing) but let’s turn this time to how animals feature in our own language. The many animal-related sayings, clichés and expressions: where do they come from, and what do they say...

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Every Day Is Cat Day

Amazing that, once again, I fell into the same trap! Two weeks ago this column suggested we all celebrate a number of pet-themed holidays, and while two of the four highlighted were all inclusive (National Love Your Pet Day and World Spay Day) the remaining two were...

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Spring About To Spring

The official start of Spring is less than a month away but signs are in the air. (Makes sense, of course, since the official start of anything in the natural world is a human construct and means nothing to Mother Nature who keeps a far more subtle calendar.) Peninsula...

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Miss Behavin’

Adopting a kitten

Dear Miss Behavin’: I am planning on adopting a kitten next week! I know they can be high energy and a lot of work. What are some things I should know about having a kitten? Kittens bring entertainment, companionship, and a whole lot of fun. Set up a smaller room...

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Dog barking more than usual

Dear Miss Behavin’: I have noticed since we have been sheltered in place that my pup is barking a lot more than before.  I am not sure how to handle this and would like to address it before it becomes a habit. This is a great question and I am sure something that a...

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Curbing exuberant dog’s enthusiasm

Dear Miss Behavin’: I’m looking forward to having my friends over again once the shelter-in-place orders are lifted and I’m sure my exuberant young dog, who has a history of rowdy greetings, is on the same boat. How can I curb her enthusiasm the next time we have...

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Benefits of spaying cats

Dear Miss Behavin’: I recently adopted a stray cat. I heard that spaying a cat could change their personality. I also think it would be cute for her to have kittens so I can play with them. What should I do? Spaying and neutering your pets is one of the most important...

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All about leashes & leads

Dear Miss Behavin’: We recently adopted a new pup and are looking to get some new equipment to help with loose leash walking.  There are so many different choices out there; I am not sure what would be best for our pup. Congratulations on your new addition!  I agree...

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Working from home with the dog

Dear Miss Behavin’: My dog loves that we are working from home, but doesn’t realize that we are still working! He is demanding our attention and we feel bad locking him in his crate. What are some tips for keeping him occupied while we work? No doubt, Fido has had...

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Litterbox training your rabbit

Dear Miss Behavin’: I recently adopted a rabbit and she’s pooping everywhere! Can I litterbox train a rabbit? I’ve also noticed she sometimes eats her poop. Is that normal? It is possible to train a rabbit to use the litterbox! They usually choose a specific place to...

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