Puppies are cute

A flood of Facebook pictures announced the newest pet in the family: a French beagle puppy. (Okay, it has a fancy name, but that will do for now.) Long soft ears, big paws and an eager spirit to explore the house and meet the family.

“Someone is about to get her dreams. That someone is me,” my daughter-in-love Joy announced. She had watched the animal rescue group looking for a smallish dog with a cute face. She expected to get a two-year old dog when she applied. To the delight of our three grandchildren, the animal shelter offered her a puppy with all its shots and treatments.

“What shall we call her?” she asked. After a flurry of names from Facebook followers and her children, they settled on Nutmeg.

“They warned us that having come from a puppy mill, she might not like toys or playing,” Joy said as we watched the reddish-brown puppy dash around the house with the children. Nutmeg licked hands, picked up a ball, snuggled up against the teddy bear that Henry given her from his collection of “stuffies” and inspected everything, including the cat’s food.

“No, that’s the cat’s food,” Joy reached down and removed the bowl. She pointed the little dog to the bowl in her cage.

Nutmeg arrived during one of the two days that our grandchildren actually went to school building that week. By the time the oldest arrived home, the puppy napped in its cage. “Ohhh, a puppy,” Sophie dropped her books beside the cage and cooed, “Are you sleeping in your beddy bye?”

She persisted talking baby to the puppy for the next several hours, “Me go outside and play. Me like to sniff shoes.” What is it about puppies that triggers the baby talk in otherwise perfectly normal people?

Sophie’s and Joy’s initial excitement and pleasure had barely settled enough to let the puppy rest when Henry and Sam arrived. “A puppy! We have a puppy!” A grin stretched from ear to ear on Sam’s face. “That smile says it all,” Joy wrote on Facebook.

That smile remained intact the rest of our visit. The excitement slowed only when Nutmeg walked into the cage and laid down. Joy stopped the children from pulling her out, “Let her rest. She is a baby. She needs to sleep.”

Sam sat on the floor a foot away from her cage, smiling and staring at her. Henry jiggled the latches hoping she would wake up and want out. Sophie sat at the table, watching and celebrating, “We have a puppy!”

Not that the children lacked pets. Two cats reigned in the house until Nutmeg arrived. The oldest, Pickles, asserted her authority with a hiss and a swipe of open claws at the little dog.

“No Pickles.” Joy reached out to stop the cat. The much younger cat Chewie stuck her paws between the cage wires and snagged kibble from the puppy’s dish.

When Nutmeg walked outside the cage, Chewie and Pickles reminded one pup that they owned this house. My son pulled them back. “The puppy just wants to play.”

The cats ignored the dog or stuck out their paws from beneath the couch by the time we left. Two days later, Joy posted, “They are friends,” and showed Chewie playing, “Catch me if you can.” They circled the table with Nutmeg stopping frequently to tease Chewie to keep going.

The jury is still out on Pickles, the older, more dignified cat. We will give him a bit more time to adjust to this new invader who just wants a snack from the cat’s bowl and a game of chase.

Joan Hershberger is a former staff writer for the El Dorado News-Times and author of “Twenty Gallons of Milk and other columns from the El Dorado News-Times.”

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Don’t forget your dog or cat with these 20 deals that are still on sale at Black Friday prices

As the final hours on many of these Black Friday deals tick down, you will undoubtedly be struck with the sudden memory of someone who somehow escaped your holiday list up to that moment. Maybe it’s the mailman. Or it could be that officemate you haven’t seen in-person since March. Or, maybe, it’s someone who’s sitting next to you this very minute. Like, your adorable cat or dog

They’d forgive you for missing them this holiday season – but you won’t. So, instead, check out these 20 great gift ideas for the pooch or feline you love, all at Black Friday prices. And, if you hurry, you can still get 20% off your total when you use the promo code BFSAVE20 at checkout.


Automatic Ball Launcher and Dog Feeder – $34.36 after promo code; originally $49

It’s the greatest thing ever for your dog – they get to play and eat. Your dog drops a ball into this feeder, which launches the ball forward. That also triggers the dispenser to serve up a portion of your pooch’s favorite treats. They’ll get a good workout from an exerciser that also challenges their mind.

EZ-PET Smart Programmable Automatic Feeder – $63.99 after promo code; originally $99

For the times you’re not around, this feeder not only makes sure your dog gets to eat, but never forgets you, either. You can program this right from your smartphone and dispense meals to your good boy or girl, even when you aren’t home. It even lets your dog hear your voice when food is delivered.


Cute Cat House Bed – $27.19 after promo code; originally $39

It’s the perfect spot for your cat to curl up. The ultra-soft, pet-safe cotton and fur are warm and inviting, while the covering helps your feline feel safe and protected, while still maintaining a vantage point so they can see everything happening around them. It’s also got a non-stick bottom so it won’t slide around on tile or hardwood floors.

Dragon Ball Cat Cave – $26.39 after promo code; originally $43

Here’s another cat castle that almost doubles as a hiding place – just how cats like it. The furry lining inside is made from warm, comfortable wool felt and velvet, so your cat will always be cozy. Plus, its versatile design gives it a unique, distinctive look in any home.

Wickman Dog Sofa – $79.99 after promo code; originally $129

This lounger is truly the essence of canine comfort. At over two feet long, the deep sofa cushion base, tall built-in back cushion, and rounded arms make a perfect spot for your dog to relax. It’s raised off the ground, so there aren’t any moisture problems. And, it’s all designed with a durable, removable, and washable cloth so it never turns into a shredded, smelly mess.


Pebble Smart Doggie Doorbell – $20.79 after promo code; originally $30

Your dog will be able to tell you when he/she wants to go outside or come back in with this doorbell most dogs can figure out. Thanks to the built-in treat holder to help with training, your dog nudges the yellow push plate to ring the chime inside or out that they’re at the door. You can even put one both inside and outside to help your dog start training themselves.

Wicked Ball: Interactive Toy for Cats – $34.36 after promo code; originally $49

Wickedbone: Smart Interactive Dog Toy – $55.96 after promo code; originally $99

Here are smart toys that can keep your dog or cat entertained for hours. Funded by Indiegogo and Kickstarter fans, the cat-friendly Wicked Ball and dog-centric Wickedbone are made to challenge pet loneliness or boredom. With three different interactive play modes, Wicked Ball helps cats fully mobilize their enthusiasm and curiosity, while balancing rest and play time. 

Meanwhile, Wickedbone offers 9 interactive modes that work automatically, or can be controlled by your phone. It’s even smart enough to read how your dog is reacting and change how it moves accordingly. 

Arf Pets Memory Training Puzzle Toy – $39.99 after promo code; originally $59

The Arf Puzzle Toy is another method for making your dog smarter, while offering exercise and those rewarding treats they love. Your dog’s memory actually improves as they learn to press the remote button, which makes a fun sound as it releases treats from the dispenser up to 100 feet away. They’ll run to go get the treats, even if you put the dispenser in another room. 


EZ-PET Retractable Leash with Bag Dispenser – $15.99 after promo code; originally $39

When your dog’s ready to get up and go, the retractable 16.5-foot leash can help them set the pace. Heavy-duty and crafted for medium-sized to smaller dogs, this leash also has a brake and lock feature to set your leash length right where you want it. It’s also got a roll of 20 plastic bags you can dispense when it’s time to clean up after your mutt.

“The Fat Cat” Cat Backpack – $95.99 after promo code; originally $199

Since dogs shouldn’t have all the traveling fun, this cat-focused backpack can get them outside as well. With ample ventilation and clear plastic so your cat can always see and breathe comfortably, this tote can carry cats up to 20 lbs. in style, whether you’ve got five kittens or one “fat cat.” This is a good way to finally ditch that bulky, uncomfortable carrier once and for all.


Pet Grooming Glove Ideal Brush and Massage Tool-Perfect – $7.19 after promo code; originally $16

You love your pet…but many can be absolute shedding machines. This grooming glove eliminates the need for grooming brushes, allowing for happy petting and stroking that can remove all that excess hair that ends up everywhere. It’s adjustable to fit any sized hand, and it’s also machine washable.

FurZapper Pet Hair Remover for Clothes & Laundry: 2-Pack – $10.39 after promo code; originally $14

When even a trip through the washing machine isn’t enough to clean up all that stray animal hair, the FurZapper is here to help. Drop it in the wash with your clothes, sheets, and more. The FurZapper helps remove fur, hair, lint, dander, and other debris on anything that you wash and dry. 

EZ-PET Shampoo Dispensing Grooming Brush – $12.79 after promo code; originally $34

This soft-bristled cleaning brush includes shampoo inside that can be dispensed with a button, eliminating the problem of holding the brush, a bottle of shampoo, and your dog at the same time. With light brushing, you get a rich foam that gets your dog cleaner than with other brushes – and with a lot less mess.

SiftEase Litter Box Cleaner – $31.99 after promo code; originally $45

Since everyone hates cleaning the litter box, the SiftEase makes it simple. Dump the dirty box in the shifting basket as it quickly separates waste from the clean litter, then just put the remaining fresh litter back in the box. That way, stinky clumps don’t break apart like they do during scooping, so you get a clean box both you and your cat will heartily approve of.

VentiFresh ECO: Next Generation Odor Eliminator – $35.99 after promo code; originally $72

This odor-killer doesn’t mask odors. It uses science to literally break them down. The VentiFresh ECO uses a UV catalyst core and natural photosynthesis to decompose odors and produce clean air. Based on how NASA uses photocatalyst technology on the International Space Station, this is a much more down-to-earth way to wipe out those foul smells around your litter box area.

For the humans

Puppy Trek Board Game – $20.79 after promo code; originally $30

What kid doesn’t love puppies? In this board game for 5 to 12 year olds, puppies race down a winding path through the Oregon wilderness to get home. The rules are simple; the illustrations by artist Megan Myers are beautiful, and players get to learn about nature, take part in fun physical and mental activities, and maybe even make some new friends.

Allergy Test My Pet Kit – $55.99 after promo code; originally $99

If your pet is showing signs of itchy skin, an upset stomach, or other conditions, it could be a food allergy. With this kit, a sample becomes a report on more than 100 intolerance or sensitivity issues that may be causing the problem. You’ll discover factors that could be impacting your pet’s well-being, including food and environmental allergens, as well as household products you may want to avoid to help keep your pet happy and healthy.

Embark Dog DNA Test Kit – $139.99 after promo code; originally $199

Since your dog probably won’t be able to tell you about their lineage themselves, this DNA test is the next best thing. A research partner of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Embark looks at 200k genetic markers to offer an all-inclusive report on your dog’s genetic background, covering its breed, ancestry, and relatives. Now, you can learn your dog’s complete family tree.

DNA My Dog Breed Identification Test Plus Full Genetic Screening – $143.19 after promo code; originally $225

DNA My Dog wraps both services into one. First, it tests your dog for all the DNA markers to determine breed, history, family relations, and more. Then, owners also get a full screening for their dog for 100 of the most common diseases for their breed. If anything in their DNA shows genetic health risks, this testing will show it.

Prices subject to change.

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Joe Biden’s Dogs Have Told This Pet Psychic a Lot About Their Beloved Master, and His Future

Champ says he needs memory foam bedding to ease problems with his joints. Major thinks he may have dental problems. Both dogs say Joe Biden’s troubles with Donald Trump are far from over, but that their master is calm and focused enough to steer America forward.

The Biden White House has sprung its first leaks. But what can be done when the leakers are the president-elect’s beloved dogs, and they are communicating telepathically with a pet psychic in the English Midlands?

It began when British daytime TV show This Morning provided Beth Lee-Crowther with pictures of Biden’s two German shepherds, Champ and Major.

As a pet psychic who performs animal communication using telepathy and “mind-to-mind communication,” Crowther, from the county of Worcestershire, uses photographs, or can just be in the same room as an animal, in order to begin—she claims—speaking with it. With their pictures, she says she forged a close relationship with Biden’s dogs—and wow, did they ever dish about their owner, as well as a “ramping-up” of his troubles with the non-conceding President Trump, moving into the White House, their master’s calmness, and even Biden’s plans to govern.

“The very first thing I got was that they were both very excited about moving to the White House,” Lee-Crowther told The Daily Beast. “I had a real connection, I felt that excitement of theirs. They showed me that Joe Biden is very bonded to his dogs, and has a real connection to them. They kept showing me that although he has rescued one of the dogs, the dogs feel in many ways they have rescued him.”

Major, 2, was adopted through the Delaware Humane Association in 2018, and will be the White House’s first-ever rescue dog; Champ, 12, was bought from a breeder in 2008. Joe and Jill Biden proudly showed them off during the election campaign.

“The dogs describe Joe Biden to me as having a big personality,” Lee-Crowther said, “and they say to me that he’s a special man with great empathy for people and animals. They showed me that Joe cannot function without dogs in his life. He talks to them, they are a huge part of his life and who he is.

“They made me feel that he will make a great president. He loves to help people. They described him as being a big softy. He talks to them like they are people about his ideas, hopes for the future, if he is having a good day or a bad day, like how we would talk to a person about things. They showed me that he feels as if dogs do understand him. He also has a great sense of humor.”

Lee-Crowther says she does not want to offend anybody, and that she does these readings “for entertainment purposes only, and without prejudice. They are just my opinions.” But this kind of communication is also something she has felt able to do since she was a little girl; Major and Champ are merely her most famous animal “link-ups.”

The smirking and giggles in the This Morning segments she has done soon give way to sighs of wonder when she starts getting very specific things right about animals and their owners; members of the production team have sought her counsel off-camera. “A lot of people are fascinated by the accuracy of the information I am able to give about their pets, and also about themselves,” said Lee-Crowther. “Pets are very psychic—they not only know about themselves, but also their owners. They know about your past, what is going on in your present, and amazingly they also can see and make predictions for the future.”

Champ and Major did precisely that when they connected with Lee-Crowther, she said. The dogs told her that they were “treated like royalty. They said to me, ‘We have the best of everything. He (Joe Biden) treats us as equals,’” Lee-Crowther told The Daily Beast. “They showed me that they kept Joe Biden calm and focused. They said he would do tremendous things as president, particularly in bringing peace and unity to the world and that he has big plans.”

“He is also very open-minded. They said he will lead the USA in a very different way to what you have seen before. They believe that crime will be reduced under him, and that he will be anxious to talk to countries about peaceful resolutions to conflicts.”

However, the dogs also revealed to Lee-Crowther that Biden’s troubles with the sulky and petulant Trump will be ongoing. “They said to me that he’s going into a big battle with Trump. There’s more to come. The fight is by no means over. They said what has gone on up to now will continue and ramp up, and be worse than it is already, unfortunately. But they said that Joe would do his best to defuse the situation, and hold his head up high.”

Champ and Major also told Lee-Crowther that Trump would never be an animal lover because he lacked empathy for animals, which extended into his view of people. “They felt he would never love or own animals,” she said.

The dogs showed Lee-Crowther that throughout the bizarre post-election period, “Joe has kept very calm. He has a very different way of running things, they said. He knows he is doing the right thing, and that is why he’s able to keep level-headed. He has his own agenda. He will deal with whatever happens extremely well.”

These dogs really love their master, it seems; just have them deliver Biden’s White House press briefings.

Both dogs have big personalities, said Lee-Crowther. “Major is the more excitable one of the two, and is extremely eager to learn and fit in. He’s very loyal, loves life, and perhaps a little more mischievous. Champ is a really sensitive soul. He picks up if Joe or Jill is not feeling quite right or in a low mood. He’d be a great healer, very sensible, and a dog you could trust around other people. Of the two, he feels the more protective.”

They feel very loved. Even though the White House is a huge building, they think their home will be cozy and comfortable and maybe just one or two rooms. They will be happy with that.

Beth Lee-Crowther

Even though the dogs told Lee-Crowther they were excited to move into the White House, she said, “they feel wherever Joe and Jill Biden are they are happy. They showed me Jill has their best interests at heart. Joe and Jill are very strong together. The dogs showed me she is very good at making sense of things, and putting things over in a very logical way. It’s a very good, solid marriage. She leaves no stone unturned. She’s a very good homemaker. They love her very much. She does everything she can for them. They enrich her life, as much they enrich Joe’s.”

“They feel very loved,” Lee-Crowther said of the dogs. “Even though the White House is a huge building, they think their home will be cozy and comfortable and maybe just one or two rooms. They will be happy with that.” Once they get there, said Lee-Crowther, Champ and Major may psychically link up to other animals who have lived at the White House—although she has not asked them yet about this prospect.

Lee-Crowther said she was not a vet so could not make a prognosis or diagnosis, but she felt that Major had a weakness in his teeth. She feels that Champ may be suffering with “a little bit of arthritis or difficulty” in his hips, and has a sensitive stomach. “I asked Champ if there was anything that could help him, and he said he would be a good candidate for some hydrotherapy,” Lee-Crowther said. “And I know Champ would appreciate memory foam bedding to help ease his joints.”

“When I got older I realized people with animals did not have the same experiences as me.”

The warm and engaging Lee-Crowther, 51, knows what she does sounds “wacky,” and she knows some people may laugh or sneer at it, or dismiss it as fake or silly pantomime, but she claims that she is absolutely genuine. She is certainly down-to-earth, straight-talking and not boastful or grandstanding. She passionately loves animals, and her own pets (three dogs and a parrot); she communicates with them, and has to “switch off” when she goes for a walk or shopping, or it just becomes too much of a chat-a-thon with every animal that crosses her path.

When she was growing up, Lee-Crowther had rabbits, cats, and dogs. She thought everybody who owned a pet could communicate with them in the way she did—knowing how they felt, what they thought, and how they told you things. “It was only when I got older that I realized people with animals did not have the same experiences as me.” She was out riding a pony one day with a friend. She asked that friend what her pony was saying to her; and asked if she told her she had a bad back. “She said, ‘I don’t understand what you mean. My pony doesn’t tell me anything.’”

The advent of the internet led Lee-Crowther to discover that she was not alone, and the psychic skill was called “animal communication.” At the time she was selling equine equipment, and with customers she would ask to see pictures of their horses, and amaze them by telling them what ailments the horses suffered from.

“They would say, ‘I can’t believe you know that. How would you know that by looking at a photograph?’ Word quickly got around, and people started coming with pictures of their pets.”

Lee-Crowther stopped selling equine equipment, and became a full-time pet psychic, and now, as well as the TV appearances, she has her own radio show. She has communicated with other famous people’s pets like Russell Brand’s cat. But she says she does not want to reveal names, besides those who have appeared on TV shows alongside her.

If I’m stuck or not sure what to do, I will consult my pets and ask their opinions. I know this seems wacky, but I often do go along with what they have shown me.

Beth Lee-Crowther

She is often called when a pet goes missing; or even by owners who love their pets so much they want to communicate directly with them. Those like Lee-Crowther, who believe pets can see into the human future, contact her to ask their pets what they should do in their own lives—one woman successfully sold her business on her pet’s advice. “If I’m stuck or not sure what to do, I will consult my pets and ask their opinions,” Lee-Crowther said. “I know this seems wacky, but I often do go along with what they have shown me.”

Despite the stereotypes of cats being withholding and dogs unflappably by-the-side loyal, Lee-Crowther says she has found no difference between the two when it comes to being open to connect if she “tunes in” to them. “No one animal is more psychic than another. Just like people, every individual animal has their own personality, agenda, and strengths. Just like with people, one animal can be very chatty and another very quiet. Some animals give me lots of information, some not so much, but all generally are open to communication.

“Sometimes they need a little bit of encouragement, and sometimes they are quite surprised you are communicating with them. One lady had a cat who sat mostly in the cupboard. But during our session the cat ran over and sat on her lap. The cat knew what was taking place. I was communicating with a horse whose head started nodding up and down very quickly, as if it was nodding. The lady who owned it said she had never seen the horse do that.”

One of the hardest things is to communicate with animals who have been abused or harmed in any way, “which sadly happens all too often”; this typically takes place after they have been rescued and are with a new, loving owner keen to know how best to help them heal.

“I don’t find communicating with animals exhausting,” Lee-Crowther said. “I find it extremely natural to switch on or off. Otherwise, I would be open to animal communication all the time. Sometimes when I am out shopping or having a walk, I do see other animals and I say hello and ask how they are, but I am very aware I cannot go over to the owner and say ‘I’ve just been talking to your pet,’ because that would be a very inappropriate thing to say to a stranger. Sometimes I do like saying hello to an animal, just as you might out of politeness. I wouldn’t want to encroach on anybody. I don’t tell people what I do, because I am aware it’s a very unusual thing to do.”

Lee-Crowther loves teaching what she does to others, one-on-one and in workshops. “I believe lots of people are communicating with their pets and not realizing—like me as a child thinking it was normal. It’s not difficult to do. If you’re an animal-lover and open-minded and intend to do it there is no reason you can’t do this.”

To start with, she says people should not be scared to talk to their pets. She finds they can be, and worry their pets will tell them something they do not want to hear, such as the pet not liking them, or telling them something bad is about to happen. So she gets them to work first with a pet they do not own, either via a photo or physically with them.

Start asking the pet open-ended questions: ‘How are you feeling today?’ ‘What’s your favorite thing to do?’ Nothing too rigid, so the animal has an opportunity to say what it wants to say.’

Beth Lee-Crowther

“Then do some meditation techniques, deep breathing first, visualization, say the pet’s name in your mind three times. It’s like a key opening a door. Then start asking the pet open-ended questions: ‘How are you feeling today?’ ‘What’s your favorite thing to do?’ Nothing too rigid, so the animal has an opportunity to say what it wants to say.’”

After this, Lee-Crowther will go through the information gathered and see what can be verified, with people often surprised to see how accurate some of it is. When people feel confident to work with their own pets, they worry about the voice they may hear in their heads as the communication begins. “But that voice is not a scary one. It is usually your own,” said Lee-Crowther. “I liken it to reading a book. It is someone else’s words you are reading in your voice as you read them from the page. That’s how it feels.”

Even when people say to me they are a non-believer or are skeptical, the next thing they do is show me a picture of their pet.

Beth Lee-Crowther

Lee-Crowther also communicates with dead pets, and is a human medium too, claiming to bring “meaningful messages and accurate validations of lives, personalities, and health issues suffered while on earth” to surviving loved ones. Her book, Life By Numbers, is “a thousand psychic messages” rooted in “Universal Number Attraction”; she also uses “Oracle Cards” to “offer wisdom when looking towards the future; a topic many of us want to explore and have guidance with.”

To her critics and those who mock or dismiss her, she said, “I say, ‘Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.’”

“I offer free readings on my radio show. Anyone can get in touch and make up their own minds. I have not come across too many unkind people. Even when people say to me they are a non-believer or are skeptical, the next thing they do is show me a picture of their pet.”

Lee-Crowther laughed. “I say, ‘Hang on a minute. If you don’t believe in it, why are you getting a picture of your pet out and telling me their name?’ If you’re a pet-lover, you are naturally curious about this. I say have a go, or go to someone else recommended to you. Don’t judge something till you’ve tried it. If everybody had that attitude, we’d never make any progress in our lives.”

“I often get a phone call at 11 p.m., saying, ‘Can you tell Monty to come home.’ So I do, and he’s usually back within the hour.”

At home, with four pets and so much communication, things can get pretty loud. Lee-Crowther and her partner Nigel live with two Jack Russell-crossed-with-chihuahuas (Vivienne Westwoof—named after the fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, and Tilly), and a Chinese Crested Powderpuff called Misty. All are rescue dogs, and “we want to give them the best life.” She also has an African Grey parrot called Marty (named after the singer Marty Wilde; it is her second parrot named Marty).

When Lee-Crowther asks her pets what they want to eat, they will “completely ignore their usual food and ask for roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. We all laugh at that,” she said. One day Misty told Lee-Crowther she had an earache, proven by a gentle inspection, and then promptly treated. Sometimes Lee-Crowther asks the dogs if they are OK, and they tell her they are bored and want to go for a walk.

Marty the parrot is the funniest; the day before we spoke he asked Lee-Crowther for some cornflakes breakfast cereal, which she fed him dry out of the box, she said. “He went mad, ate it really quickly.”

At one animal communication workshop, he told a participant that he wanted Quavers, a well-known cheese-flavored British potato chip. Lee-Crowther emphasizes she feeds all her animals the right and proper food, but as an experiment did go out, buy a bag of Quavers, and offer one to Marty, “and he snatched it off me!”

Lee-Crowther has three children (Rachael, 32, Kieran, 28, and Alice, 22; stepson Matthew lives nearby). The family is “always laughing” at all the animal-talking going on. “My family hasn’t known me any different way. They’re very accepting,” said Lee-Crowther. Nigel had never heard of pet psychics until he met her, “but he’s a very laid-back character and very open-minded. He supports me.” When they first met, Lee-Crowther gave him readings of animals he had when he was younger. Her children are “intuitive, free spirits.”

Lee-Crowther’s niece Sophie, 16, is “a natural animal communicator,” with a cat called Monty who regularly wanders off.

“I often get a phone call at 11 p.m. from her saying, ‘Can you tell Monty to come home.’ So I do, and he’s usually back within the hour,” Lee-Crowther said. Sophie had been asking her aunt how to communicate with Monty. Lee-Crowther did not tell her that when she communicates with Monty the first thing he does is to grumpily tell Lee-Crowther to “Eff off, I won’t say the word.” Sophie later reported back that she had tried to talk to Monty, and he had told her the same. “I told her, he says the same to me, and that was obviously very validating for her.”

Pets have played a hugely important role during this pandemic. They have been a lifeline for people. For people struggling with loneliness, anxiety or depression, they are the perfect companions.

Beth Lee-Crowther

Lee-Crowther knows how all this may read and sound, “but it just becomes normal,” she said. “It’s amazing what you can gain from pets and how they enrich your life and bring something new to it. Animals are wonderful healers. I am a big believer in therapy pets. Pets generally are tremendous companions. You can love them as much as a person, and grieve for them just as hard as well.”

The pets Lee-Crowther has communicated with during the pandemic have “absolutely loved” having their humans around so much. “They will miss it when people go back to work, although many people will still work from home. Pets have played a hugely important role during this pandemic. They have been a lifeline for people. For people struggling with loneliness, anxiety or depression, they are the perfect companions. Your pet knows when you are struggling. When my mother was in physical agony with something, Misty ran over to her and sat with her, her head next to where the problem was. Animals know.”

So, will she link up again with Major and Champ, pre- or post-moving in to the White House? Lee-Crowther laughed. “I’m not sure. If Joe Biden wanted me too, I’m sure I would oblige. We will see. I know and believe in their love and devotion to him and Jill, which is absolutely marvelous. I have every faith Joe Biden will do a good job as president, because I believe what these dogs tell me.”

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The Dog That Stopped F1 Practice In Bahrain Has Been Rescued

During Friday’s second Formula One practice session ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, a nasty crash by Alex Albon brought the session to a halt. After cleanup, cars hit the track for another go, only to be foiled by a second red flag just 27 seconds later. A dog had somehow made its way onto the track surface of the Bahrain International Circuit. This morning, the track’s Twitter account announced that the dog had been rescued.

Ahead of final practice, it was announced that the dog was found with help from the Bahrain Animal Rescue Center (yes, that does anagram to BARC) and was taken to the Bahrain Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The dog is happy and healthy.

The track also asked for name suggestions. A special shoutout to the folks in the comments suggesting Spaniel Ricciardo, Furstappen, and Toto Woof. I’m always here for a good pun.

Possibly even better than the dog itself were the driver reactions to finding out they needed to come back to the pits because of one. 2020 World Champion said he “hopes it’s not Roscoe,” his own dog that he’s been bringing along to the track recently. Sebastian Vettel started singing Who Let the Dogs Out? before saying he should have brought his dog to the track, too.

(Do it, Vettel. More paddock dogs, please.)

This isn’t the first time an animal has caused a Formula One session to be put on hold. In fact, the most recent on-track excursion came during F1’s previous race in Turkey.

In the past years, though, not all dogs have had as lucky a break as the Bahrain dog. In 2011, track marshals chased a stray dog away from the Buddh Circuit during the Indian Grand Prix weekend. In 2008, Bruno Senna collided with a stray dog during an Istanbul GP2 race.

So, seeing this sweet pup rescued and placed in good hands is a welcome change. I hope she finds a nice home with an F1 fan stoked to befriend one of the infamous track dogs.

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Nonprofits help those in need and now they share their needs to continue that work. See what’s on their wish lists. | Community News

What we do: Increase colon cancer awareness and provide emotional and financial support to patients, caregivers and families.

Wish list: Gift cards (grocery stores, Walmart, Target), gas cards, unscented lotions and body washes, sunscreen, lip balm, ginger chews, ginger candy, ginger ale drinks, bottles of water, saltine crackers, snacks, hats, gloves, scarves, hand sanitizer, facial tissue, masks.

To donate: 252-375-7232, angelicwarriorfdn@gmail.com, https://angelicwarriorfoundation.org/donate.

AuthoraCare Collective 

What we do: Formerly Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro, encourages everyone to brighten the holidays of patients in need this season.

Wish list: Monetary or gift card donation.

To donate: Mail to AuthoraCare’s Holiday Cheer Fund, 2500 Summit Ave., Greensboro, NC 27405. Information: Jane Gibson, 336-478-2511 or jane.gibson@authoracare.org.

Parker Wood White, the founder of BackPack Beginnings, in 2016. The nonprofit’s wish list this year: Healthy, shelf-stable food (canned vegetables/fruits/beans, canned chicken/tuna, pasta, rice, soups, Chef Boyardees, baby food, oatmeal, grits), gently-used children’s winter clothing (birth to high school), hygiene products (deodorant, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, wipes, baby shampoo), gently used children’s books, school supplies (pens, crayons, two-pocket folders, notebooks), diapers.

BackPack Beginnings

What we do: Deliver child-centric services to feed, comfort and clothe children in need.

Wish list: Healthy, shelf-stable food (canned vegetables/fruits/beans, canned chicken/tuna, pasta, rice, soups, Chef Boyardees, baby food, oatmeal, grits), gently-used children’s winter clothing (birth to high school), hygiene products (deodorant, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, wipes, baby shampoo), gently used children’s books, school supplies (pens, crayons, two-pocket folders, notebooks), diapers.

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The best Petsmart, Petco, and Chewy deals right now

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

We all know your dog won’t be shopping the best Black Friday pet deals but luckily you can do it for them. PetSmart, Petco and Chewy are offering spectacular savings on pet must-haves like cozy beds and sturdy crates, doggy DNA kits, yummy treats and more. And even though Black Friday is over, you can still get these great deals today!

Get expert shopping advice delivered to your phone. Sign up for text message alerts from the deal-hunting nerds at Reviewed.

Petco’s Black Friday sale includes 25% off orders of $50 or more or 30% off online orders of $100 or more when you place your order online and opt for curbside or in-store pickup. There’s no promo code needed, as the savings are applied automatically when added to your cart. However, some exclusions may apply.

Over at Chewy, you’ll find buy-two-get-one-free deals on leashes, clothing, harnesses and other products for your cat, dog, bird, fish—there’s something for every pet. PetSmart is also discounting dog beds, fish tanks, and other everyday pet products as well as fun holiday toys for Black Friday 2020. 

Need help finding products? Sign up for our weekly newsletter. It’s free and brings our deals directly to your inbox.

Looking for hot deals on furniture, kitchen gear, picture-perfect TVs and more? We’re compiling the best Black Friday 2020 sales out there. Be there or be square!

Black Friday 2020: Top Paw Grey Checkered Pet Bed and Blanket Sleep Set.
Black Friday 2020: You & Me Convertible Walk-Thru Pet Gate and Play Yard.
Black Friday 2020: Drinkwell Platinum Plastic Dog & Cat 168 oz. Fountain.

The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for the latest deals, reviews, and more.

Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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The best Petsmart, Petco, and Chewy deals right now

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

We all know your dog won’t be shopping the best Black Friday pet deals but luckily you can do it for them. PetSmart, Petco and Chewy are offering spectacular savings on pet must-haves like cozy beds and sturdy crates, doggy DNA kits, yummy treats and more. And even though Black Friday is over, you can still get these great deals today!

Get expert shopping advice delivered to your phone. Sign up for text message alerts from the deal-hunting nerds at Reviewed.

Petco’s Black Friday sale includes 25% off orders of $50 or more or 30% off online orders of $100 or more when you place your order online and opt for curbside or in-store pickup. There’s no promo code needed, as the savings are applied automatically when added to your cart. However, some exclusions may apply.

Over at Chewy, you’ll find buy-two-get-one-free deals on leashes, clothing, harnesses and other products for your cat, dog, bird, fish—there’s something for every pet. PetSmart is also discounting dog beds, fish tanks, and other everyday pet products as well as fun holiday toys for Black Friday 2020. 

Need help finding products? Sign up for our weekly newsletter. It’s free and brings our deals directly to your inbox.

Looking for hot deals on furniture, kitchen gear, picture-perfect TVs and more? We’re compiling the best Black Friday 2020 sales out there. Be there or be square!

The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for the latest deals, reviews, and more.

Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/reviewedcom/2020/11/28/black-friday-2020-best-petsmart-petco-and-chewy-deals-right-now/6371365002/

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Dogs and cats living together: Joe Biden says feline will join White House pets | Joe Biden

Uniting Democrats and Republicans is one thing, but Joe Biden will reportedly embrace a far more formidable challenge when he inherits the White House early next year: bridging the chasm between the nation’s cat people and dog lovers.

The new first family is already set to include two german shepherds, Champ and Major, who will accompany the 46th US president and his wife Dr Jill Biden to Washington DC upon his 20 January inauguration.

Now, in what appears to be another stride towards attempting to unite a fractured nation, the Bidens have revealed they will be bringing a cat with them too, meaning the People’s House will again become something of a pet’s house.

The news was teased in a tweet by CBS Sunday Morning ahead of a weekend episode in which the program says the Bidens will reveal more details. Dr Biden previously hinted at the possibility in September when a Washington TV presenter asked her if her husband had promised to get her anything if he won the election.

“Well, I’d love to get a cat,” she told Fox 5’s Angie Goff. “I love having animals around the house.”

The most famous “first cat” in recent years was Socks, an adopted stray who lived with Bill and Hillary Clinton at the White House from 1993 to 2001, and whose growing popularity drew ire from one fiery Republican who questioned the spending of federal dollars on a “feline fan club”.

Clinton’s successor, George W Bush, had three dogs and a cat, India, while Barack Obama had two portuguese water dogs, Bo and Sunny.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, is reportedly the first US president since James Polk in 1849 not to have a pet while in office, claiming that he wouldn’t mind having a dog, but that he would have no time for one. “How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn?” he said.

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From Pipi’s Pasture: Schedules to keep

There probably isn’t anyone who doesn’t follow a schedule—whether it’s realized or not. We have to find time to complete household chores, often while working at a salaried job as well. We teach our children to follow schedules so they learn what to expect and how to get their needs met, resulting in children who feel safe. These days, with the pandemic, parents have additional challenges because in some cases they have to schedule time to help their children complete school work at home, often sandwiching that time with their own at-home work schedules.

Sometimes we teach our pets and agricultural animals to follow schedules as well. Here at Pipi’s Pasture, for example, the cattle and even outdoor cats have gotten into schedules directed by routines I have established. The cattle have always been used to the feeding routine and they let me know if I’m late to put out hay, but until recently I had not realized that the outdoor cats also follow my morning and afternoon routine—right down to the letter.

I have gotten used to putting cat food out in pans on the front porch at about 5:00 A.M. each morning. I got in the habit because I’m up, rattling around by that time, and why not? Unless it is blowing snow, the cats are waiting by that time.

When it’s light enough to get around outdoors, I’m outside with a container of cat food for the corral area, and 5 cats go with me, most of them walking right in front of me so that I have to take care not to step on them (and sometimes do). They are joined by 3 or 4 more cats at the haystack, and they wait patiently as I put hay out for Cow #64 and Cricket. Then it’s on to the corral, cats all walking in front of me again, as we aim for the far end of the corral.

The cats wait by the cat pan. It doesn’t matter that some of the cats have already nibbled at the cat food on the porch; they all eat again. By this time, Kitty, a big red cow with a white, freckled face, has started her “talking” to let me know that it’s feed time. (Kitty, my granddaughter Megan’s cow, has an “interesting” personality—enough so that she has been the subject of several of my columns).

The cats eat cat food and then roll in the dirt (if it isn’t snowy), play on bales of hay, and fight while I put out hay for both pens. Then the cats and I go back to the house where they gather around the water pan while I put warm water out for them.

Later in the afternoon, give or take a little time (depending on work appointments), Kitty reminds us that it’s time to put out a little hay “snack” and to fill the stock tanks with water.  The cats all go with me as before. When we return, the cats at the house get a little milk.

It’s our schedule.

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“Do Good” while shopping small this Saturday

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX — Shop small Saturday has become one of the biggest shopping days of the year. This year while many people look to their favorite local brands, they can also give a charitable donation.

Good, an organization set to do good deeds, has kicked off their first charity event on November 25.

Through December 5, Good is encouraging the community to donate supplies and goods to the Gulf Coast Humane Society while they shop local. All donations will include discounts and incentives.

There will be drop off boxes at participating locations:

Galactic Papes & Vapes
3521 S. Staples

CC Threads
4646 Everhart Rd.

Mesquite St. Pizza
617 N. Mesquite St.

The Arena Strength & Fitness
5702 S. Staples

El Mercado Bingo Hall
2033 Airline Rd.

Items needed by the Gulf Coast Humane Society:

Unopened dog or cat food
Wet puppy or kitten food
Puppy pads
Cat & dog toys
Unscented laundry detergent
Dawn dish soap

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Stray dog from F1 practice found, sent to animal rescue

The dog which briefly interrupted a practice session for Formula One’s Bahrain Grand Prix has been found by circuit workers and sent to a local animal rescue centre.

After a lengthy stoppage caused by Alex Albon’s crash, the session resumed for just half a minute before the dog was spotted running alongside the track. That prompted the red flags – signalling the postponement of the session – while the animal was taken away from the track.

The sighting of the dog prompted Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to sing the Baha Men’s ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’ over his car radio, while Lewis Hamilton said that he hoped it was not his own dog, Roscoe, who regularly attends races with the seven-time world champion.

On Saturday, the Bahrain International Circuit confirmed the dog had been found, before asking help from its social media following to name her.

Posting to its official Twitter page, the circuit said: Important Pupdate!! Remember our visitor from FP2? She’s been found (thanks to @Bahrain_Rescues) and is now in the amazing care of@BSPCA_BH. Been checked by the vet and she’s doing well. Anyone got an idea for a name?”

Animals have been a common theme at recent F1 races. A stray dog also interrupted a practice session at the last race, the Turkish Grand Prix, while a local cat became a popular part of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix during F1’s return to Imola last month. The Imola circuit later revealed the cat was a regular visitor named Formulino.

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Pet Alliance needs dog, cat food donations to keep pace with pandemic demand

The Telegraph

Iran diplomat skips trial in Belgium over failed bomb plot

An Iranian diplomat refused to appear at the first day of his trial in Belgium on Friday, where he and three others face charges of plotting to bomb an Iranian exile opposition meeting in France that was attended by five British MPs. Antwerp prosecutors accuse Vienna-based diplomat Assadolah Assadi and three co-defendants of conspiring to attack a 2018 rally of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). Labour’s Roger Godsiff and Conservative MPs Bob Blackman, Matthew Offord, Sir David Amess and Theresa Villiers, attended the event in Villepinte near Paris, where US President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, gave the keynote speech. “Had the plot remain undiscovered, it would have been Iran’s biggest ever state-sponsored terrorist act,” claimed Mr Blackman, who is one of 25 civil parties to the case. “It is time to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its repression and home and now in Europe,” he told The Telegraph. The trial is the first time a European Union state has prosecuted an Iranian official for terrorism. “I think the words ‘brave little Belgium’ are entirely appropriate today,” said Rik Vanreusel, a lawyer representing participants at the rally. “We are one of the only countries that has dared to put such rather politically sensitive matters in a proper perspective.” Mr Assadi, 48, denies the charges and did not cooperate with investigators. Lawyer Dimitri De Beco said his client claimed diplomatic immunity. He was arrested while on holiday in Germany, where prosecutors say immunity did not apply. Lawyers for the plaintiffs argue that diplomatic immunity cannot be used to evade prosecution where the charges are terror related, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment. According to a police report obtained by Reuters, Mr Assadi warned authorities in March that unidentified groups could carry out retaliatory attacks if he was found guilty. Tehran dismisses the charges against him as a “false flag” plot by the NCRI, which it calls a terrorist organisation. But French officials say Mr Assadi, who was the third counsellor at Iran’s Austrian embassy, was directed from Tehran to carry out the attack. France says Iran’s intelligence ministry was responsible for the plot and subsequently expelled an Iranian diplomat. Belgian authorities say he gave a Belgian couple of Iranian origin half a kilogram of explosives and a detonator, which they believe he brought to Vienna from Tehran aboard a commercial flight. The explosives were found in the car of the couple, Nassimeh Naami, 36, and Amir Saadouni, 40, when they were arrested in Brussels in a joint operation involving Belgian, French and German security services. They are charged alongside another alleged co-conspirator Mehrdad Arefani, 57. Their lawyers deny they planned to kill anyone at the rally, which was attended by an estimated 25,000 people, including a delegation of 35 Britons, according to the NCRI. The NCRI is the political wing of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran, otherwise known as the MEK, which supports the overthrow of the Iranian government. The group carried out a series of attacks against the government in the 1980s. The MEK was removed from EU and US terrorism blacklists in 2009 and 2012 respectively after renouncing violence and following an intensive lobbying effort. The trial, which may deliver a verdict as early as the end of the month, could strain relations between Iran and the EU. The 2015 nuclear deal promised to improve relations between Iran and the West but European countries have subsequently accused Tehran of several attacks against opponents abroad. These included two killers in the Netherlands in 2015 and 2017 and a failed assassination in Denmark, all of which Tehran denied involvement in.

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Dolgeville C.A.T. Project needs your help

The Dolgeville Forward C.A.T. Project is participating in this year’s Staffworks Fund Save A Life Campaign that will be matching donations from Nov. 30 through Dec. 31 to 39 participating animal welfare organizations in counties across New York State and Pennsylvania. 

The Dolgeville group was organized in September 2018 when a cat living in an outside colony tested positive for rabies in the village. The group began a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program to humanely trap outdoor cats, spay and neuter them and administer a rabies vaccination before returning them to a place where a caretaker provides regular food and shelter.

The program has helped more than 100 cats in the village, Oppenheim and Salisbury and found homes for 53 friendly cats through the assistance of area rescue groups, shelters and foster homes.

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Giving list | Local | The Journal Gazette

The following nonprofit organizations responded to The Journal Gazette’s request for charity wish lists. The first part of the list was published Friday. Charities are listed alphabetically.

Lennoxs Legacy Rescue

4777 N. 375 E., Decatur

Phone: 260-227-0109

Mission:To rescue, rehabilitate and rehome those in need. To be the voice for the voiceless and educate those who feel the need to breed. To advocate for change in livestock laws and provide sanctuary for the less adoptable animals.

Wish list: Bleach, HE liquid laundry soap, dryer sheets, pine/cedar shavings for small animals, pellet bedding for horses, Purina Senior grain (red/white bag), Safe Choice senior horse grain, Safe Choice original horse grain, Mr. Clean/Odorban cleaners, disinfecting wipes, paper towels, toilet paper, dry cat food, chicken layer crumbles, goat feed, gift cards for fuel, gift cards for Rural King or Tractor Supply Co., round or small square bales of hay, manure shovel, super chewers dog toys, crate-sized blankets (no comforters/sheets), two-wheeled wheelbarrow, four outside waterers for pastures, dog kennel panels, horse trailer, gooseneck trailer for hay, donation of plumbing supplies and labor for install for four self-waterers for stalls

Drop-off: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily on the porch of the adoption center

Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. Club Inc.

2513 S. Calhoun St., Fort Wayne

P. O. Box 15694, Fort Wayne

Phone: 260-479-9838

Mission: To provide the community with a progressive course of cultural awareness that will broaden our commitment to African Americans’ rich heritage and the heritage of other ethnic groups.

Wish list: Toys and games valued at $10 or more for ages 2 to 12. Monetary donations can be made by check payable to the MLK Club Inc. and mailed to the P.O. box address. Laptop and projector needed for the office.

Drop-off: 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 2-3 and Dec. 7-9 at the club office, or call Sheryl at 260-479-9838 to arrange a different time

Rose Home Inc.

2208 Wayne Trace, Fort Wayne

Phone: 260-424-1600

Mission: To provide a structured, Christian atmosphere in which a drug/alcohol addicted woman can be guided through a holistic approach to recovery.

Wish list: Paper products including toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, 70-count notebooks, 2-pocket folders, etc., general cleaning products for the home, bath towels, washcloths, hand towels, vacuum cleaner, mops, buckets, brooms, gift cards for miscellaneous items for new residents, work pants, work boots, work shirts, pillows, twin-size bed sheets and comforters, feminine hygiene products, rugs for bathrooms and kitchen, snow shovels and ice melt, gift certificates for meat products, non-perishable food items

Drop-off: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday

Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehabilitation

17688 Lima Road, Huntertown

Phone: 260-403-2447

Mission: To conserve the raptor population through education and rehabilitation

Wish list: Locally caught fish to feed the raptors (no carp or catfish)

Drop-off: Call to schedule

St. Andrews Soup Kitchen

2714 New Haven Ave., Fort Wayne

Phone: 260-423-6326

Mission: To serve the hungry and those in need in the community.

Wish list: Cash, check or money order donations, powdered milk, peanut butter, rice, pasta products, canned vegetables, canned fruit and cereal

Drop-off: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays

St. James Food Pantry

1720 Indiana 930 E., New Haven, 46774

Phone: 260-749-8168

Mission: A food pantry that is part of the Associated Churches, serving meals to those in need.

Wish list: Nonperishable and canned goods for a Christmas meal

Drop-off: Wednesday mornings or Thursdays before 3 p.m.; call ahead

St. Joseph Missions Inc.

3505 Lake Ave., Fort Wayne

Phone: 260-200-3774

Mission: Creating the first 24/7/365 emergency shelter specifically for single homeless women in Allen County, leading to self-sufficiency and the fulfillment of their potential.

Wish list: Sheet sets including pillowcases for 13-inch-tall twin mattresses, new pillows for twin beds, totes of various sizes, stackable or folding chairs for classrooms, smart TVs for classrooms, blender, food processor, electric mixers, microwave- and dishwasher-safe food-storage container sets, fabric suitable for quilts, and gift cards to Target, Meijer and Walmart

Drop-off: Contact Lisa Fabian at 260-200-3774 or lisa@stjosephmissions.org

St. Vincent de Paul Society of Fort Wayne

1600 S. Calhoun St., Fort Wayne

Phone: 260-456-3561

Mission: To alleviate poverty by offering hope and help to all through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We provide compassionate assistance with food, transportation, clothing, furniture, rent, utilities, home repairs and more.

Wish list: New or used passenger van (wheelchair-accessible preferred) to take low-income clients to medical appointments, new underwear (especially men’s), new socks, men’s shoes/boots, men’s coats, new blankets, kids’ coats, pots and pans, basic toasters, toothpaste/toothbrushes, shampoo, liquid soap/body wash, deodorant, adult diapers

Drop-off Times: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

YWCA Northeast Indiana

5920 Decatur Road, Fort Wayne

Phone: 260-424-4908, ext. 225

Mission: To eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Wish list: All items must be new: Women’s plus-sized sweatpants or jeans, twin blankets, sheet sets and pillowcases, bath towels and washcloths, pillows, travel-size toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, lotion and body wash, women’s sanitary items (pads, tampons), diapers, laundry detergent, ethnic hair products/hair products for African American hair, women’s T-shirts and undershirts, women’s sweatpants and leggings, earplugs, strollers, Pack N’ Plays, pajamas, earbuds/headphones, journals, pocket calendars, weekly and monthly planners, nail polish, makeup products, fragrances, lotions and bath bombs, purses, home items including dish sets, kitchen towels, oven mitts and silverware, slippers or non-slip socks, pens and pencils, erasers, highlighters, colored pencils, crayons and markers, glue sticks, rulers and protractors, notebooks, folders, three-ring binders, sticky notes, travel-size hand sanitizer, tissues, refillable water bottles

Drop-off: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at Decatur Road location; call ahead

Visiting Nurse

5910 Homestead Road, Fort Wayne

Phone: 260-435-3222

Mission: To provide compassionate care to alleviate suffering and ensure quality of life for those affected by serious illness.

Wish list: Baby monitors, bird seed, lap blankets, travel-size shampoo, conditioner, hand lotion and Dove body wash, adult coloring books, coloring pencils, gas gift cards, Arts United gift cards, Model Magic modeling clay, disinfecting wipes, cloth masks, surgical masks

Drop-off: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the administrative entrance (by the flagpole)

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What puts me off dog ownership is dog owners

My first dog was a mutt. A bit sheepdog with a bit of whatever you’re having yourself. But she was mine: she’d wait for me to come home from school, and when she’d see me rounding the corner on my bike would bound down the road, invariably obliging me to swerve out of her way. A few times I wasn’t quick enough, and I slammed into the ground. She excitedly licked my face while I examined my injuries.

But then one day she started acting strangely. My mother had gone to let her out of the garage where she slept, and the mutt had growled at her. This was a distinct personality change: normally, the dog was unrelentingly good natured, and rarely barked; except, for reasons no one could fathom, occasionally at the television.

I went into the garage to investigate, and while she didn’t growl, she seemed disoriented. She didn’t seem to know who I was.

When I got home from school that day, my mother had an explanation. Back then, there was no microchipping or getting shots or even taking your dog for a walk. We’d let her out and she’d sniff around outside the house or run around the fields at the end of our street. In the fields, she’d found some sheep to bother and the farmer who owned them had had no option but to lay poison. He’d called to the house to explain. The dog didn’t come home that night.

Since then, there have been a few others. There was the angry one, who after he nearly bit a child had to go and live on a farm. You know the place. There was the stupid one who thought his name was Eejit and the three legged one who tried to outrun a car.

It is like taking on a new child: except there’s no hope that this child will ever finish college and move out of the family home.

There’s been a long gap since, but now it’s back on the agenda again.

I’m not sure. And I’m not sure why I’m not sure.

Herself is fierce keen, as are the kids. We have the room. It’s just more complicated than it used to be. There’s paperwork and legal requirements and training courses. The demand is fantastically high. There’s a waiting list.

These are, largely, good things: for the animal’s welfare, and to reinforce to potential owners that it is a lot of responsibility. It is like taking on a new child: except there’s no hope that this child will ever finish college and move out of the family home.

But a dog isn’t a child. One of things that puts me off dog ownership is some dog owners: all that cuddling and putting hats on them taking pictures and talking to them in a baby voice. I find it creepy. It’s a kind of hard-core anthropomorphising that profoundly disrespects the dog’s dogginess.

On the other hand, a dog will never come home drunk or get a tattoo or refuse to study or generally be a worry. A dog will give you what humans are happy to interpret as unconditional love.

It could all stem from my first experience, which, it strikes me now, may have informed my subsequent attitude towards family dogs: tolerant, but a bit distant.

Perhaps that’s what I’m uncomfortable with: the unconditional part. Human relationships always have a bit of grit in them, even with those you love most in the world. A dog will never tell me I’m talking crap.

Or it could all stem from my first experience, which, it strikes me now, may have informed my subsequent attitude towards family dogs: tolerant, but a bit distant.

The first dog – her name was Lady – never came home again. But I did see her. The morning after the farmer called to the house, I was heading to school. She was in the field at the end of the street: chasing birds, which wasn’t like her. I called to her, and she halted: like my voice was a sound she dimly remembered but couldn’t quite place. Then she ran off.

I found her again in the field that evening, her corpse stiff and wet, her lips curled back. I buried her there.

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Two women injured as dog attacks other pets in Glenfield

Two women have been bitten by a dog that was running around a housing estate attacking other animals.

A woman in her 40s was walking her two dogs around the new estate off Kirby Road in Glenfield when the dog appeared, just after dark on Wednesday (November 25).

The woman’s father told LeicestershireLive: “She had her two little dogs with her and then this other dog came out and attacked her dogs.

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“She tried to stop it and the other dog bit her, hurting her leg.

“Another woman came to help her and she was bitten too.

“She was pregnant and so she had to go to hospital for an injection.

“My daughter was quite shaken up by it.

“About six police cars turned up and it was quite a commotion.”

The police spoke to the owners of the dog and obtained their details but later the same evening there was a further report of a dog attacking other dogs and the police returned to the area.

On that occasion, the owner they had spoken to earlier was not at home and the police left the area.

Their investigation is ongoing.

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A spokesman for Leicestershire Police said: “At around 5pm on Wednesday a report was received that a dog had bitten two women and attacked another dog in Glenfield.

“The incident was reported to have happened near the junction of Drovers Close and Goldworkings Crescent.

“Both women suffered minor injuries.

“Officers were deployed and when they arrived the dog, which was not with an owner at the time of the incident, had returned to an address.

“The owner was spoken to, details were obtained and officers left the scene.

Goldworkings Crescent in Glenfield

“However a short time later, a further report was received that the dog had attacked two other dogs in the same area, causing no injury.

“Officers attended and attempted to speak to the owner, who was not at the address.

“The force takes all reports of dog attacks seriously.

“Enquiries into both these incidents are continuing and officers ask that anyone with information regarding either and who has not yet come forward to do so.”

To contact the police call 101.

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Pet cloning: Man’s best friend, again

What happens when it hurts too much to say goodbye? 

David and Alicia Tschirhart adored their Yellow Lab, Marley, but they never knew just how much, until that day back in 2014 when they were hiking with him in hills near their San Diego home. 

“Alicia went off the path to grab a walking stick to help through the path,” David recalled. “And Marley all of a sudden just like darted from me and he started clawing the ground where Alicia was reaching for a walking stick. And I didn’t know what was happening. Alicia kind of fell back. 

“When I looked more closely I saw that it was a rattlesnake,” he told correspondent Tracy Smith.  

Rattlers are common on these trails, which are very steep and miles from any hospital. And the Tschirharts didn’t have cell phones with them. For Alicia, who was four months pregnant, a snake bite could have been a disaster. Thankfully, 12-year-old Marley scared the snake away – and a few months later, the Tshirharts’ first daughter, Maddie, was born. “Marley had saved my family,” said David. “And we got emotional that time, and just realized how lucky we were that he had done that in that moment.”

But by then, Marley had been diagnosed with cancer, and by Thanksgiving weekend 2014, it was clear the end was near.

“I just remember the last thing you said to him was, you know, you just kept saying, ‘Thank you for being the best dog,'” said Alicia. “And I was just crying, and holding his hand.”

“He was, yeah, everything he did, you know, was just out of love,” said David.

And their love for Marley was so strong they couldn’t really let go. So, the Tshirharts turned to ViaGen Pets, of Austin, Texas, a company that has cloned hundreds of pets for a multitude of grateful owners, including (according to ViaGen’s client service manager Melain Rodriguez) Barbra Streisand: “We did, yes – her dog had passed away. And I think that she had known about what we do, and we were able to get samples very quickly. And there were actually more than one puppy born.”

Marley, and his Yellow Lab clone, Ziggy. 

CBS News

Rodriguez said it works like this: your vet takes a tissue sample from your pet and sends it off to ViaGen.  

And for as much $50,000, the company will culture the cells, create embryos, implant them in a surrogate, and deliver a clone of your loved one.

But animal rights groups say forcing dogs and cats to be surrogates for clones is simply inhumane.

Smith asked, “You know that the Humane Society says that pet cloning should be outlawed?”

“I understand that,” Roderiguez replied. “And they’re certainly entitled to their opinion. We have a lot of clients that would be very upset if that were the case. So, we get positive feedback continually, wonderful notes of appreciation, that our clients are so happy that this is something that we provide.”

And happy is the operative word at the Tschirharts’. 

Marley’s clone, Ziggy, is a yellow ball of exuberance. But to David and Alicia, he’s nothing less than Marley reborn.

“They rang the doorbell with the dog, and I just stood there with my mouth open for, like, five minutes, because I just couldn’t believe how exact he looked,” Alicia said.

“He is exactly the twin of Marley,’ said David. “So, he’s in, I guess, the same environment. So really, he’s become the same dog.”

And while pet cloning is still controversial, it can mean, for some at least, that with the right amount of love, science and money, you never really need to say goodbye.

For more info:

Story produced by John D’Amelio. Editor: Remington Korper. 

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Presidential pets: JFK’s canine détente

When the Kennedy family moved into the White House, they brought with them youth, an abundance of charm, and plenty of pets.

“They’ve got multiple dogs; they’ve got Tom Kitten, the cat; parakeets named Bluebell and Maybelle,” recounted Alan Price, director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. He said Americans were instantly taken by the family’s four-legged members.

“How many American kids wanted a pony after seeing Caroline with Macaroni?” asked correspondent Mo Rocca.

“Everybody wants a pony after that!”

But it was a gift from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev – a glamorous dog named Pushinka – that set tongues wagging. Arriving with her own passport, Pushinka was the offspring of Soviet space dogs.

“Is she fluffy?” asked Rocca. 

Said Price, “She is definitely a fluffy dog.”

“Does she have a sense of humor?” asked Rocca. “She’s from the Soviet Union.”

“I don’t know, I don’t think we have that recorded as well as we might,” Price laughed.

She was fetching enough to catch the eye of Charlie, the Kennedys’ ruggishly handsome Welsh terrier.

In 1961, during the Cold War, Charlie, the Welsh terrier of the Kennedy family, and Pushinka, a gift from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, became an item. 


“They had four beautiful puppies together, and life is good!” Price said.

The President dubbed the offspring “Pupniks” – and to some, this furry First Family melted hearts during a particularly frosty period.

Rocca asked, “Do you think that that helped sort of thaw the cold at a very tense time?”

“It is a very tense time,” Price replied. “And that human connection, it’s tangible, it’s real.”

And it’s part of a presidential story that captured our collective imagination.

“When President Kennedy is assassinated, these pets become a big part of the memories that America holds of a time that ends so abruptly,” said Price.

For more info: 

Story produced by Amiel Weisfogel. Editor: Carol Ross. 

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Auburn, Aurelius businesses open for Black Friday amid COVID-19 |

He said people are happy to get out and shop and the store feels good about sales, adding that it has a “great customer base.”

“It’s just great to be able to have this opportunity to be able to be open and provide people in the area with everything that they want and need through the holiday season,” VanOstrand said. “Hopefully we keep right on going through the New Year and everybody stays safe and we go from there.”

Elsewhere in the mall is Farm Depot, where co-owner Ron Woodburn was holding down the fort. The location was packed with Christmas lights, snowman items and other holiday goods. Woodburn said the jams and other items such as beeswax candles sell well.

Sales have been slower lately, which Woodburn partially attributes to the outbreak and the closure of JCPenney, as customers from the department store used to come into his store. He said people coming from Bass Pro will walk in. 

Woodburn said sales were better Friday than other days this month and is “cautiously optimistic” about the store being in the black by the end of the year. He added Farm Depot has faithful customers.

“There’s people who look for us every year for Christmas gifts,” he said.

Around 11 a.m., a strong cluster of cars could be seen at the Auburn Walmart. John Gingerich, carrying a bag of cat food in the parking lot, said he first stopped at the nearby Lowe’s for some Black Friday shopping. He wanted to grab some outdoor items for Christmas gifts and found Lowe’s to not be as packed as he expected.

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28 Of The Funniest Tweets About Cats And Dogs This Week (Nov. 21-27)

me, a fool: buys fancy cat dishes that are raised up so that the cat can eat in a more natural, less hunched position for his intestinal tract

the cat, a genius: intentionally takes mouths full of food and puts them on the ground so he can enjoy all the secret floor flavors

— Babs the Ghost Shark (@HockeyBabbler) November 26, 2020

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“Miracle” cat that survived being shot now recovering in foster home

OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) – Action 2 News first reported last week about the “miracle” cat that survived being shot in the face. The Oshkosh Area Humane Society (OAHS) placed the cat with a foster home as he continues to heal.

“He’s a miracle guy, he really is,” said OAHS Executive Director Joni Geiger.

A miracle Bernard, also called Bernie, survived after being brought to the Oshkosh Area Humane Society with a traumatic injury.

“He was so severely injured and he had a lot of dried blood on him that we simply couldn’t tell what was going on with him,” said Geiger.

Geiger says they rushed him to the Animal Referral Center, where it was determined Bernie had been shot in the head.

The bullet went from his forehead near his eye down through his mouth and damaged his jaw before lodging in his shoulder.

“It was pretty shocking simply, not only because who would do that, and then he’s just such an incredibly nice cat,” said Geiger. “He hasn’t met a person he does not like, he’s very friendly, he’s very outgoing, they say he likes making biscuits all the time.”

That niceness has been particularly helpful to the experienced foster home now in charge of Bernie’s care.

“He’s such a good cat it makes my job a lot easier,” said Bernie’s foster mom, who preferred to not share her name.

That daily job includes giving food and medicine to Bernie through a feeding tube, changing his bandages, and keeping everything clean.

“Everything looks really good, and you can see the appliance that’s holding his jaw together as it heals,” said the foster mom. “So he’s doing super good.”

Geiger says he is experiencing some nasal discharge and stomach issues, but overall is doing extraordinarily well, thanks to all the support they received for his care.

“We were absolutely dumbfounded by the support that we got,” said Geiger. “You know, it was just pretty amazing because it’s tough times for everybody.”

But the more Geiger thinks about it, the more it makes sense to her.

“You know, it’s crazy times and having something wonderful and miraculously happen I think made everyone feel really, really good,” said Geiger. “So thank you to everyone who supported his surgery and his continued care.”

Geiger says anyone with information on who hurt Bernie can contact the humane society or either the Omro Police Department or the Winnebago County Sheriff.

“We’ll keep people posted about Bernie and how he’s doing. He’s got some recovery time ahead of him, but once he becomes available for adoption we’ll put him up obviously,” said Geiger. “He’s going to be an incredible family member for somebody.”

If you have any information on this case, call (920) 424-2128 or email info@oahs.org. You can remain anonymous.

Enough was donated that Bernie’s surgery was covered, but if you’d like to help animals at OAHS in need of urgent or specialized care, donations can be made to the OAHS “Cuddle’s Fund” HERE.

Copyright 2020 WBAY. All rights reserved.

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Local mother needs to raise thousands of dollars for a service dog

HOLT, Mich. (WILX) – One local mother is putting all of her efforts into raising thousands of dollars for a dog-specifically for her five-year-old daughter, Arabella Kaiser.

“A service dog for Arabella will be life changing for her. It will be able to not only help her realize when a seizure is coming…it will help us as a family be able to attend to her when needed,” said Arabella’s mother, Kelsie Phillips.

“Arabella has neurofibromatosis. She was diagnosed at six months of age and it’s known to progressively get worse,” Phillips said.

Neurofibromatosis is a condition that causes tumors to form in the brain. It’s a genetic condition. However, Arabella is a spontaneous carrier and her condition has caused not only a tumor in her brain, but it also leads to daily seizures.

Phillips told News 10 the illness is different for all types of people.

“Arabella suffers from learning disabilities. She has really bad migraines. She suffers a lot from this condition,” Phillips said. “The biggest challenge for Arabella and her condition for me as a mom is trying to split her time between her and her two youngest siblings with the amount of seizures she has and the amount of hospitalizations that she has and the amount of doctor appointments. It’s a lot.”

After some in-depth research, Phillips found that getting a service dog would have the potential to save her daughter’s life.

“It will be a specialized service dog for her that will detect seizures from her scent,” Phillips said. “We will be sending scent samples to help train that dog for Arabella.”

The only issue stopping them from getting this life-changing pet is the cost. In order to get these specially-trained dogs, the family needs to raise $17,000 dollars.

“The one that really scares us is she had a seizure in her sleep and we had no idea,” said Arabella’s father, Daniel Kaiser. “She woke up and she was crying, saying she couldn’t see, so that’s why I think we need this service dog.”

4Paws for Ability is a service dog provider for children in Ohio, which is where the family hopes to purchase a dog. They say the dogs they train can smell the scent of cortisol; a hormone that is released when someone is about to have a seizure.

“I want a furry doggie, named Cali,” Arabella said.

The family has raised $5,000 out of the $17,000 total that they need to purchase the service dog.

To learn more about Arabella’s journey and to donate, click here.

Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved.

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Black Friday pet food and stocking stuffers from $6: Dentastix, Greenies, more

As part of its Black Friday deals, Amazon is offering up to 40% off its Wag brand dog and cat food as well as up to 30% off Greenies, Dentastix, Sheba, and more. Everything in the sale ships free for Prime members or in orders over $25 with 4+ star ratings on just about all of it. The deals start from under $6, offering up a great opportunity to score discounted wet/dry food for your furry friends or just some treats to help with dental care and to fill their stocking with. You’ll find all of the best Black Friday pet camera deals right here and all of our top picks from the pet food/treat sales below. 

Black Friday pet food/treat deals:

As we mentioned above, we are still tracking some of the best deals of the year on Petcube and Furbo pet cameras with deals stating from just $31. Then go score your furry friends a discounted pet DNA kit and dive into the rest of today’s Black Friday deals right here. 

More on the Pedigree Dentastix:

  • Contains one (1) 1.52 lb. 28-count pack of PEDIGREE DENTASTIX Fresh Flavor Large Treats for Large Dogs
  • PEDIGREE DENTASTIX Triple Action acts as a dog breath freshener that works to clean teeth and freshen breath, and has a clinically proven texture that reduces plaque and tartar buildup
  • Our dental treat sticks have a unique X-shape design and are specially designed dog treats for large breed dogs, weighing over 30 lbs.
  • Feed one PEDIGREE DENTASTIX Oral Care Treat every day for maximum benefits

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Exeter rallies for family who lost home in Thanksgiving fire

EXETER — The community is rallying to help an Exeter family of four who escaped their burning home early Thanksgiving morning with their two dogs.  

Sean Perry smelled smoke inside his family’s Greenleaf Drive home around 3:45 a.m. Thanksgiving morning and quickly got his wife, Mara, along with their middle school age son and daughter out of the home safely, family friend Sarah Edwards said. One of the family’s two cats died in the fire while the other cat was still missing Friday. 

The family ran to Edwards’ home up the street, after calling 911 for help. Just the night before, Sarah and Mara sat on the patio outside talking about their Thanksgiving plans. Hours later, the Perry home was engulfed in flames. 

“We’re just in so much shock,” Edwards said. “They are very sad about the cats.” 

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Olympian Lindsey Vonn’s dogs motivate her in the gym

Lindsey Vonn loves hitting the gym even in retirement and her dogs inspire her to work harder every day. 

The Olympian is hosting the new Amazon series “The Pack” on which 12 teams made up of owners and their canine companions compete in series of challenges in the hopes of winning the $500,000 prize and $250,000 for an animal charity. 

Vonn, along with her dog Lucy, spoke to Fox News about working on the show an how it allowed her to have unique adventures.

“We got to rappel down a waterfall,” she said. “We got to zip line.” 

The gold medal-winning skier said she signed on to participate because it was different from her sport. 


“That’s what I like most, you know, is that [the series] had nothing to do with skiing and it just had to do with relationships and companionship and our dogs,” Vonn explained. 

In fact, Lucy and her other two dogs, Bear and Leo, are with her most days whether it’s on a mountain or in the gym. 

Lindsey Vonn says her dogs are always with her, even in the gym. (Photo by Martin Rauscher/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

“I always have her in the gym and I’m like, ‘Lucy, was it a good job?’ And she’s just like, ‘Hmm?’ looking at me funny,” Vonn said. “Bear and Leo they’re always chasing stuff. So it’s really hard to keep them contained, but it’s just nice to have them in the gym. You know, honestly, wherever I am, I want my dogs to be by my side.”

Recently, two of her pups were injured after chasing a porcupine.


“So…my boys got into some trouble over the weekend. They ran out of the house and chased after a porcupine…as boys do,” Vonn captioned a series of photos.

The snaps she uploaded to the social media app show her two dogs covered in porcupine quills in and around their noses and mouths. In one photo, a person can be seen using a tool to pluck them out.

Fortunately for Vonn, a trip to the vet was all her dogs needed.

“Incredibly thankful that they are ok. I greatly appreciate my family and friends for helping them make it home safe and the love and care that they got from White Pine Vet. You guys are the best!” she concluded the post.


“The Pack” is currently available on Amazon Prime Video. 

Fox News’ Melissa Roberto contributed to this report.

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Scottish dog named after Caitriona Balfe’s Outlander character wins US version of Crufts

A Scottish deerhound named after Caitriona Balfe’s Outlander character has won the US version of Crufts.

Claire the Deerhound beat out hundreds of other pedigree dogs to take home the title.

The large grey dog, who is the first in her breed to win the competition, has the registered name GCH Foxcliffe Claire Randall Fraser.

Claire with her delighted owner.

During the socially distanced event, which featured no spectators, Claire won the hound group, besting seven finalists among 538 entries, before being chosen as the overall winner.

Impressed by the win from her character’s namesake, Caitriona Balfe tweeted: “Congratulations Claire!!!”

Caitriona Balfe was delighted her character's namesake won.
Caitriona Balfe was delighted her character’s namesake won.

This week’s top Scotland Now stories

Show producer Maril Davis added: “Apparently Claire isn’t a sassenach after all. She’s a Scottish lass! Congrats Claire.”

While Outlander author Diana Gabaldon simply posted: “ROF,L!! That’s GREAT!”

NBC Commentator David Frei said: “It was built perfectly, has an active, easy gait, and is elegant in the way that Sir Walter Scott had in mind when he called the Deerhound the most perfect creature.”

Delighted Outlander fans were quick to congratulate the hound, with one fan tweeting: “I think Jamie and Claire need to get a Scottish Deerhound for season 6.”

We’re sure Outlander bosses will agree.

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