Staff Newspaper Columns

Ken White’s Column

Kitten Season

Six months ago you would have found dozens of kittens during a tour of the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA. Take that same walk today, however, and you’ll find many wonderful adult and senior cats but no purring fuzz balls. Why is that? You’ve probably heard the...

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Squirrel Appreciation Day

Break out the party hats, or at least the big bag of mixed nuts, because tomorrow, January 21, is World Squirrel Appreciation Day. (No, despite my job title, they don’t let me make these things up.) Squirrels are members of the pint-size rodent family Sciuridae which...

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Winter Worryland

There’s little doubt the holiday season has left you in need of a vacation. I mean, all the shopping, the eating, the napping between shopping and eating. It’s been hell, and you deserve a rest! For many that means a call into work claiming you’re sick, and a drive up...

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100 Years Ago

How the heck did it become 2020? This first column of the new decade, join me in Mr. Peabody’s Way-Back Machine (remember?) for a decade-by-decade peek at animal welfare over the past century. The year is 1920, the so-called War to End All Wars finally over, and the...

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Resolution Solution

New Year’s Resolutions, typically unmet, are often repeated year after year. In 2018, 13% of us pledged “more time with friends and family,” making that the tenth most popular Resolution. #9 was drink less alcohol (15% of us made that promise last New Year’s Eve, and...

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Holiday Wish

’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house All the creatures were stirring, including the mouse And the dogs, the bunnies, the turtles and cats Awaiting the Big Guy (you know: white beard and a sack) They nibbled the cookies, set out with great care...

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Full Moons

Last week’s topic was the animal imagery we give to full moons (January’s Wolf Moon, March’s Worm Moon, August’s Sturgeon Moon, November’s Beaver Moon, and others). Writing that took me back to one of my favorite memories of my own animals. We lived in Arizona for...

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Full Moons

There are all sorts of natural events most of us take for granted, or let slip by unnoticed, and the phases of the ever changing moon are on that list. September’s full moon is the one full moon many of us know by a specific name: September brings us the Harvest Moon....

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Cats and the Litterbox

Let me admit my very strongly held opinion that cats should be indoor-only animals. Cats allowed to roam outside are at risk of harm (from other cats, raccoons, dogs, poisonous plants, sewer drains, nasty humans, Chevrolets, etc.) and are themselves also a major risk...

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Giving The Bird Part Two

Readers might have been surprised to learn last week that after hovering near extinction, 4 million wild turkeys now roam the lower 48 states. That’s nothing, however. By the time Thursdays’ plates are washed, Americans will have eaten 46,000,000 domesticated turkeys....

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Giving The Bird

Defying several stereotypes, my mother was not a very good cook, and neither did she ever show much interest in becoming one. I remember asking about turkey one franks-and-beans Thanksgiving (not a good cook, she was a good warmer-upper) and getting quite a story in...

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Not the “Dog Catcher”

One need not be a partisan or a pundit to know that our political environment has become fully toxic, and while this one small issue might be a silly bone to pick in light of all we’re going through I just can’t let it go without comment. I am fed up hearing, from all...

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Urban Doves vs. Sky Rats

I grew up in 1950s-60s Brooklyn, long before the place became trendy. I also grew up with a mother who felt cleanliness was two notches above godliness, which meant no pets (along with raking the shag rug, and clear plastic covers over the upholstered furniture)....

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Halloween

While absolutely a fan of his poetry, I don’t necessarily accept T.S. Eliot’s prediction, “This is the way the world ends, Not with a bang but a whimper.” If it is going to end, I suspect the globe is more likely to spin off its axis as an unfortunate side effect of...

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We’re Monsters

From what I see, many of today’s Halloween costumes remain true to a theme familiar to those of us who haven’t gone trick-or-treating in half a century or more: the part human, part animal creature, whether monster or hero. For example, the half man, half wolf Wolfman...

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Miss Behavin’

My dog seems afraid of men

Dear Miss Behavin’: Our newly adopted dog seems to be settling in to his new home, but we are having a problem with him barking at the males in the household.  How can we correct the behavior? Congratulations on your new family member!  I would recommend that you...

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Cat keeping you up at night?

Dear Miss Behavin': My cat, Louie, has been roaming around the house and meowing in the middle of the night, waking me up. How can I get him to stop? Cats are naturally nocturnal animals so this behavior is no surprise. Luckily, there are a few ways you can encourage...

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Setting puppy up for success

Dear Miss Behavin’: I recently adopted a puppy and I want her to be comfortable around people and new places. What’s the best way to set my puppy up for success? Socialization is very important, especially in the first few weeks and months of a puppy’s life. Under...

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Settling a newly adopted dog

Dear Miss Behavin’: We have decided to adopt a dog, but are not sure if we should get a puppy or an adult.  This will also be our first dog so what should we expect? Congratulations on your new family member!  There are many things to consider when bringing a dog into...

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Addressing neighbor’s barking dog

Dear Miss Behavin’: My new neighbor never seems to be home and her dogs bark all day long! How can I address the problem without being confrontational? This is a great question and a very common one! I totally understand and appreciate your inclination to keep the...

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Christmas tree and your cat

Dear Miss Behavin’: I adopted my cat Ginger a few months ago and now that December is here I would like to get a Christmas tree. I am nervous that Ginger will want to climb the tree and play with the decorations. What can I do to keep my tree and Ginger safe?  The...

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Helping resident dog adjust to new dog

Dear Miss Behavin’: We have a lab named Rudy who we’ve had for years, and recently adopted another lab named Sandy. They get along for the most part, but Rudy gets so jealous when we pay attention to Sandy! How do we reassure him that we still love him just as much as...

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