Author Archives: wpadmin

Shepherd’s Harvest Sheep & Wool Festival & Lamapalooza


Two expos held in combo celebrate sheep, fleece, fiber arts and llamas

By KL Snyder


A sheep or goat or rabbit used to wear your favorite sweater. At the 20th Annual Shepherd’s Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival, you can meet fiber-producing animals, see each step in the sheep-to-yarn process, watch a fleece competition, give yarn spinning a whirl, see herding dogs at work and more.

Lamapalooza stars llama athletes vying for ribbons and points. It’s like a dog show—like several kinds of dog shows in one because it incorporates events similar to obedience, rally, conformation and agility. For llama handlers, Lamapalooza is an earnest effort. For spectators, it’s a lark.

This lively, woolly duo of fest and palooza will take place Mother’s Day weekend at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Lake Elmo. Continue reading

The People Who Will Stand in the Corral


When sudden loss brings unexpected support

By Mary Kettl


When it became apparent that my Uncle Art was not going to live much longer—a routine case of flu had turned suddenly into irreparable pneumonia—I asked if I could call him. I dialed the phone in Minnesota, and, in Colorado, my cousin Elizabeth turned on the speaker and held it up next to Art’s head.

Naturally, as an English teacher, I had composed a thoughtful and heart-felt send-off speech for my good uncle, and—that’s not what happened. What happened was that I began to yammer, thanking Art on behalf of my family, his family, my grandparents, his students, and several civic organizations.

Five paragraphs in, I was starting to list every dog Art had ever known when Elizabeth, conscious of the time, interrupted me, perhaps hoping I would hang up and call somebody else’s uncle for a while.

In a rush, I spewed out some last theology:  “It’s OK to go, Uncle Art—when you get there, they’re going to have beer!” It was a dumb thing to say, but within the hour, Art had gone. Continue reading

Jog the Dog


Guide to running with ROVER 

By Ann M. Noser


A popular online video showcases a life-changing shelter-animal adoption in which the adopter, Eric, who weighed 340 pounds, had Type 2 Diabetes, and high blood pressure. His nutritionist suggested he adopt a dog to get him walking. Both Eric and Peety the dog lost weight and gained a wonderful friendship. Eric eventually ran a marathon.

As Eric discovered, running with your dog can benefit both parties. Here’s a guide to help keep everyone happy and safe. Continue reading

From Anesthesia to Zoo Medicine


Veterinarians in 41 specialties provide advanced care for pets,
including Rochester’s Elvis the cat

By C.G. Worrell  |  Photography by Kelvin Andow


When Kathy Lee of Rochester noted a rapidly-growing mass on the thigh of her beloved adopted cat Elvis, she had no idea its eventual removal would involve a team of veterinary specialists. She didn’t even know such doctors existed, so like most concerned pet owners, she started by placing a call to her family vet. Continue reading

Ask the Trainer


Q: My dog is afraid of the bathtub. How can I get him to behave for baths?

A: According to Kera Wilhelmsen, CPDT-KA ABCDT CTDI and AKC CGC evaluator, of Paws Abilities Dog Training, the key to resolving fear issues is to change the association your dog has with the scary thing.

Wilhelmsen recommends making the bathtub a safe space for your dog with a no-slip mat on the bottom and a towel on the ledge. “If your dog doesn’t want to go near the tub, start by doing fun things
in the bathroom, such as playing or
feeding meals.” Continue reading

Yard Guard


Eradicating ticks, fleas and mosquitos

By Bob Freund


Ticks, fleas, mosquitos—those pesky bloodsuckers emerge looking for a meal each spring. We humans and our pets often are big drinks on the menu to these little parasites.

Most owners protect their pets with insecticide collars or repellents. But sometimes, they also want to swat down the tiny pests where they live.  Continue reading

Gentle Ben


The shelter deemed the dog a danger. All he wanted was a lap to sit on.

By KL Snyder  |  Photography by Kelvin Andow


Although Ben had some people convinced he was ferocious, the 8-month-old puppy with the Pit-Bull-of-the-Baskervilles reputation didn’t fool Nancy Back.

She first saw Ben in February 2016 in a video online. He was crouched way back in his kennel at a Twin Cities high-kill shelter. Continue reading

Life of Riley


The pup was scared, crippled and condemned to be shot.
Rescuers arrived. Now Riley is living the life of Riley.

By KL Snyder  |  Photography by Kelvin Andow

Riley, a happy-go-lucky Bluetick Coonhound who’ll turn 3 around Christmastime, works at Comfortex  Inc. of Winona. She has a doggy dream job. She’s company greeter, cookies-finagler and jester.

And more. Comfortex manufactures medical mattresses, and its spinoff, Snoring Dogs, makes pet beds which she’s pleased to test. Riley is a quality control canine.

Riley is rolling in clover now, but her beginning was bleak. When Comfortex owners Andrea Terek and Michael Murphy rescued her from a tiny, dark, dirty shed, she was a crippled 5-month-old puppy. Her breeder, who couldn’t sell her because her front legs were deformed, intended to shoot her. Continue reading

Finding Joy


Memorable photos to remember the joy your pet has brought you

By Alison Rentschler  |  Photography by Sarah Beth Photography

When your dog or cat gets older, you may begin contemplating how you’ll remember them when they’re gone.

Joy Sessions®, by Sarah Ernhart from Sarah Beth Photography, provide a creative and meaningful way to cherish and keep those memories of your pet. In a Joy Session, Ernhart takes photos of pets that are elderly or terminally ill in a professional photo session. Continue reading