Cheese and other Important topics of 2017

This is the last Pet Column of 2017. No pressure on me though...ok, yes I now know the true meaning of “writer’s block”. Not for lack of something to write about but for too many important topics swirling about my noggin. How do I choose the topic that best summarizes the year, reflects gratitude, implies hope, and instills transformation? Bugger it all I am just going to write about cheese.

Indeed, our last letter from our Second Chance Pet Column readers was an inquiry as to whether one should feed a dog cheese. My advice? Sparingly. Some dogs are lactose intolerant, but aged cheeses like cheddar, parmesan, and swiss contain very little lactose. Cheese is high in protein, but it’s also high in fat and calories, so share sparingly (or avoid sharing cheese if your dog is carrying extra pounds).

Speaking of extra pounds – they say that if your dog is overweight than you are not getting enough exercise. There – I have now fulfilled the obligatory “go get in shape” component of your New Year resolutions.

Beyond spare tires around the waste, here is a wise proverb about other things we can spare in the coming year: We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare and in return they give us their all, it is the best deal humans ever made. So give us more cheese please!

At year end I would also like to thank all readers of the Pet Column. I hope that, by reading the Pet Column this past year, you have gleaned some important tips on how to be a better pet parent while bonding more fully with your pets. Here at Second Chance we believe that, properly trained – a person can be pet’s best friend!

I also want to offer up some gratitude toward those who publish this weekly Pet Column so that readers like you can read it. It’s publication over the past eleven years has helped so many homeless pets find new homes while also creating better homes and people for pets.

One last 2017 tidbit before I lose you to New Year celebrations: dogs are capable of understanding up to 250 words and gestures, can count up to five and can perform simple mathematical calculations (making the average dog as intelligent as a two year old child - without the diapers and tantrums...). We love to learn so please don’t give up on us when we don’t understand what you want.

I know you are now very curious about my identity – the homeless pet selected to craft the end of 2017 Pet Column. My name is Blondie. I am a beautiful heeler mix at only about 2 years of age. With my very gentle demeanor I have quickly become known as “the sweetie” here at the Second Chance shelter.

I get along great with other dogs and love spending time with people too – particularly when they take me on long walks followed by a nice back scratch. I am seeking people of my own. Your ancestors domesticated mine and there is no turning back – we need each other – adopt me today.

My final advice for 2018? Light on the cheese, heavy on the back rubs, keep reading the Pet Column (our next issue is number 600!!!) which helps to remind us all – pets are not our whole lives but they make our lives whole.

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops service San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 970-626-2273 to report a lost pet or to learn about adopting a homeless pet and the SCHS spay/neuter, volunteer, feral cat or other programs. View our shelter pets and services at

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