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The Slice: Pup just wants to sniff without sneers

Fri., April 12, 2013

It’s time again for an installment of Furry Talk, the interactive pets column that answers questions from Spokane area cats and dogs.

You wouldn’t believe the letters and emails that arrive from Inland Northwest animals seeking advice.

Dear FT: I am a North Side dog who has grown weary of easily amused humans finding humor in the canine practice of butt-sniffing. There are good reasons why we do this. What can I do to suggest to people that it’s time to grow up? – Barking Mad

To Barking: Human behavior is rife with targets for ridicule. You might try saying “Nice comb-over.”

Dear FT: I am a South Hill feline who enjoys pretending to be a ferocious jungle cat. But every time I try to savor this fantasy, the 4-year-old girl at my house scoops me up and buries her face in my belly. So much for looking like a deadly hunter. What can I do? – Image Issues

To II: Not much, really. Being loved is a burden you will have to bear.

Dear FT: I am a Coeur d’Alene dog whose considerable herding skills are going to waste. Any suggestions? – Head ’Em Up

To Head ’Em: You might try volunteering at North Idaho day care centers.

Dear FT: I am an older tabby in the Mead area. I like to get about 23 hours of sleep each day. But school will be out before long, and then it’s bedlam at our house. What can I do? – Trying to Get Some Rest

To Trying: Cats are blessed with the ability to employ facial expressions to express weariness and impatience. Try working on your look that says “I’d go outside if I were you.”

Dear FT: There are three dogs at our place in Deer Park. I’m the middle dog. The older dog – a truly noble canine – has told me he doesn’t have much time left. And he has said it will be up to me to help the family adjust when he’s gone. Frankly, I’m not sure I am up to it. What should I do? – Never Had to Lead

To Never: Listen to a human named Emily Dickinson: “We never know how high we are/Till we are called to rise.”

Today’s Slice question: When you see someone at a city park walking with his or her head down, do you assume that person has a history of stepping in dog droppings?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Those who insist that everything about American life was better back in the good old days might not enjoy the Jackie Robinson movie.

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