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>Since I don’t have a pet (or live plant), I am free to travel anywhere, any time I wish, but many of my friends have pets and must plan their trips by factoring in someone to pet sit or find a place that will accommodate pets. Even Oprah has based her stays at certain hotels on whether or not they will allow her dogs to stay with her, so places which cater to pets on vacation are an invaluable service (her hotel chain of choice is the Four Seasons).

Best Friends Pet Care has boarding facilities all over the US from San Diego to Florida, with concentrations in popular family destinations, like Walt Disney World Resorts in Florida. They offer a wide range of choices from private doggy suites to cozy kitty condos. For a small daily fee they will even give one on one private play times tailored for your pet from active ball tossing to cuddling for older pets. If you live near one of their locations, you can also take advantage of their doggy day camp, grooming and training options.

If reincarnation exists I want to come back as one of Oprah’s dogs, or at least as a dog who gets to stay at a place like Best Friends Day Care.

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Since I don’t have a pet (or live plant), I am free to travel anywhere, any time I wish, but many of my friends have pets and must plan their trips by factoring in someone to pet sit or find a place that will accommodate pets. Even Oprah has based her stays at certain hotels on whether or not they will allow her dogs to stay with her, so places which cater to pets on vacation are an invaluable service (her hotel chain of choice is the Four Seasons).

Best Friends Pet Care has boarding facilities all over the US from San Diego to Florida, with concentrations in popular family destinations, like Walt Disney World Resorts in Florida. They offer a wide range of choices from private doggy suites to cozy kitty condos. For a small daily fee they will even give one on one private play times tailored for your pet from active ball tossing to cuddling for older pets. If you live near one of their locations, you can also take advantage of their doggy day camp, grooming and training options.

If reincarnation exists I want to come back as one of Oprah’s dogs, or at least as a dog who gets to stay at a place like Best Friends Day Care.

>I have never wanted a dog; even as a kid, the joys of playing with and petting a dog were far outweighed by just the idea of having to pick up dog poop everyday. I enjoy other people’s dogs because I get all the benefits of a pet without any of the responsibilities. I now have a virtual puppy (which is about all I can handle), named Godiva and have been enjoying her so much, I wanted to share how I got her with anyone else who wants a virtual puppy.

By now nearly everyone has either a Facebook or Myspace account or both (I have both under the user name Elainetravels). My friend Darrin (a real friend, as in I actually have met and known him for more than 10 years) on Facebook introduced me to his virtual puppy, Dagwood, and asked me to adopt him, which in turn introduced me to the application Pokey created by Bonehead Labs. The application is slightly different on Facebook and Myspace, with the Facebook version offering more choices of puppies, and more general possibilities for play, so if you want more options, sign up for the Facebook version. Although the application takes awhile to load, once it is loaded, you can play smoothly (it has trouble loading on Firefox, but works fine on Safari or Explorer with the latest Flash Player).

In both applications, you can pet, play with (throw a frisbee or a tennis ball), feed, and decorate your pet’s environment. (I have made my puppy an indoor pet with a nice bed and cute doghouse.) You get credit (bones) for having your puppy catch what you throw, for feeding your puppy, and for petting or feeding other pups. You can also earn bones by buying products or doing an endless customer survey, but I prefer simply having the puppies go fetch bones.

I learned that even even with a virtual pet, you must give it water and food every day, or it will get very thirsty and hungry. I guess even a virtual pet requires some responsibility, but that’s ok because my virtual puppy is poop free, and that is only possible in a virtual world.

I have never wanted a dog; even as a kid, the joys of playing with and petting a dog were far outweighed by just the idea of having to pick up dog poop everyday. I enjoy other people’s dogs because I get all the benefits of a pet without any of the responsibilities. I now have a virtual puppy (which is about all I can handle), named Godiva and have been enjoying her so much, I wanted to share how I got her with anyone else who wants a virtual puppy.

By now nearly everyone has either a Facebook or Myspace account or both (I have both under the user name Elainetravels). My friend Darrin (a real friend, as in I actually have met and known him for more than 10 years) on Facebook introduced me to his virtual puppy, Dagwood, and asked me to adopt him, which in turn introduced me to the application Pokey created by Bonehead Labs. The application is slightly different on Facebook and Myspace, with the Facebook version offering more choices of puppies, and more general possibilities for play, so if you want more options, sign up for the Facebook version. Although the application takes awhile to load, once it is loaded, you can play smoothly (it has trouble loading on Firefox, but works fine on Safari or Explorer with the latest Flash Player).

In both applications, you can pet, play with (throw a frisbee or a tennis ball), feed, and decorate your pet’s environment. (I have made my puppy an indoor pet with a nice bed and cute doghouse.) You get credit (bones) for having your puppy catch what you throw, for feeding your puppy, and for petting or feeding other pups. You can also earn bones by buying products or doing an endless customer survey, but I prefer simply having the puppies go fetch bones.

I learned that even even with a virtual pet, you must give it water and food every day, or it will get very thirsty and hungry. I guess even a virtual pet requires some responsibility, but that’s ok because my virtual puppy is poop free, and that is only possible in a virtual world.

>I must begin by saying that I am allergic to cats. When someone who owns or lives with a cat comes near me, I sneeze and my eyes water. There are times when my allergies awaken to the mere presence of a coat or sweater of someone who has been in contact with a cat.

All that being said, I like cats (and dogs) and I would like them to be happy and comfortable even if they can not be in my home. Diane told me about a cat she rescued and helped (but could not keep) with an organization called Fix Nation. They will neuter a feral cat (for free) and provide you help in trapping (and releasing) a feral cat for neutering. Feral cats actually help keep the rodent population in check, so helping a feral cat can lead you to a happier life (and fix nation happily accepts donations).

Stray Cat Alliance is another cat care organization whose motto is to create a “no kill nation”; they provide a free neutering service and adoption help for stray cats. For every cat lover who can not adopt another cat but would like to help it find a good family, stray cat alliance is a great resource.

No need to become a cat lady or cat man; there are organizations which can help keep the cat population in check and provide good homes for them. Being feral isn’t a bad thing as long as it does not breed into overpopulation and disease.

Help a cat today and you could prevent a rodent infestation tomorrow.

I must begin by saying that I am allergic to cats. When someone who owns or lives with a cat comes near me, I sneeze and my eyes water. There are times when my allergies awaken to the mere presence of a coat or sweater of someone who has been in contact with a cat.

All that being said, I like cats (and dogs) and I would like them to be happy and comfortable even if they can not be in my home. Diane told me about a cat she rescued and helped (but could not keep) with an organization called Fix Nation. They will neuter a feral cat (for free) and provide you help in trapping (and releasing) a feral cat for neutering. Feral cats actually help keep the rodent population in check, so helping a feral cat can lead you to a happier life (and fix nation happily accepts donations).

Stray Cat Alliance is another cat care organization whose motto is to create a “no kill nation”; they provide a free neutering service and adoption help for stray cats. For every cat lover who can not adopt another cat but would like to help it find a good family, stray cat alliance is a great resource.

No need to become a cat lady or cat man; there are organizations which can help keep the cat population in check and provide good homes for them. Being feral isn’t a bad thing as long as it does not breed into overpopulation and disease.

Help a cat today and you could prevent a rodent infestation tomorrow.

>If you or your dog overheats, then you might want to check out the chillow. It’s a cooler for your pillow that you fill with water (it absorbs into the material) and put inside your pillowcase. It does NOT need to be put into your refrigerator or freezer; you simply fill it and leave it in your pillowcase. It will gradually warm up to your body temperature as you sleep on it, but when it does, you can flip it over or put it aside for a few minutes to get a cool surface again.

This is great for pets with heavy fur coats (like big Saint Bernards who live in sunny Southern California) or for men who tend to overheat (with or without a furry coat on their bodies). This is also a great idea for women who are having problems sleeping with their hot flashes in the night; it’s a cool alternative to freezing out your bed partner with the air conditioning set to 50 degrees (not to mention that it will save you money).

Think of the chillow as the yin to the yang of a hot water bottle.

If you or your dog overheats, then you might want to check out the chillow. It’s a cooler for your pillow that you fill with water (it absorbs into the material) and put inside your pillowcase. It does NOT need to be put into your refrigerator or freezer; you simply fill it and leave it in your pillowcase. It will gradually warm up to your body temperature as you sleep on it, but when it does, you can flip it over or put it aside for a few minutes to get a cool surface again.

This is great for pets with heavy fur coats (like big Saint Bernards who live in sunny Southern California) or for men who tend to overheat (with or without a furry coat on their bodies). This is also a great idea for women who are having problems sleeping with their hot flashes in the night; it’s a cool alternative to freezing out your bed partner with the air conditioning set to 50 degrees (not to mention that it will save you money).

Think of the chillow as the yin to the yang of a hot water bottle.

>It is my old friend Bob’s 50th birthday this year and I hope the next 50 will be filled with as much fun and good food as we have had since we have known each other. Bob is probably my oldest friend; I met him 28 years ago at the first job I had after I graduated from college. Through nearly three decades of life, we have both held a variety and plethora of jobs, moved several times, been married and divorced (Bob is now remarried with a child and a dog), and shared nearly every Thanksgiving together. Just as in life, our Thanksgiving traditions have evolved and improved with experience.

I cooked for our first Thanksgiving group, but ever since then, Bob has been the lead chef (his latest job is F & B manager at the Del Rey Yacht Club). Even though his first turkey was roasted with the giblet package still inserted inside the neck cavity, the fact that he managed to feed 30 people was laudable enough for us all to return year after year. Last year he had the aid of two of us as sous chefs and managed a four course meal worthy of a five star restaurant (with no giblets left in the turkey), complete with printed menus and four dessert choices. Because everything was made from scratch by hand for our family of friends, it was the best of all meals.

I think the best meals are like the best old friends; they are held together by the shared love of those who are willing to do the work of creating and maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship.

Happy Birthday Bob!

It is my old friend Bob’s 50th birthday this year and I hope the next 50 will be filled with as much fun and good food as we have had since we have known each other. Bob is probably my oldest friend; I met him 28 years ago at the first job I had after I graduated from college. Through nearly three decades of life, we have both held a variety and plethora of jobs, moved several times, been married and divorced (Bob is now remarried with a child and a dog), and shared nearly every Thanksgiving together. Just as in life, our Thanksgiving traditions have evolved and improved with experience.

I cooked for our first Thanksgiving group, but ever since then, Bob has been the lead chef (his latest job is F & B manager at the Del Rey Yacht Club). Even though his first turkey was roasted with the giblet package still inserted inside the neck cavity, the fact that he managed to feed 30 people was laudable enough for us all to return year after year. Last year he had the aid of two of us as sous chefs and managed a four course meal worthy of a five star restaurant (with no giblets left in the turkey), complete with printed menus and four dessert choices. Because everything was made from scratch by hand for our family of friends, it was the best of all meals.

I think the best meals are like the best old friends; they are held together by the shared love of those who are willing to do the work of creating and maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship.

Happy Birthday Bob!

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