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Pets are ingredient to happiness

(Joyce Trepus welcomes your questions at 503-292-2741.)

It's not easy typing on my keyboard with a 70-plus pound black lab stretched across my lap, but he does keep me warm and helps me to take life lightly. He is very lucky to be alive. We got him from the pound and he had kennel cough, which turned into pneumonia.

When the vet came back into the room from taking x-rays, he asked if I knew that he had been shot. He still had pellets under his skin, which the vet said to leave for now. He had also been severely abused and had the remnants of a broken jaw and was skin and bones, weighing only about 34 pounds.

Last week he weighed in at a normal 70 pounds. His jaw is still crooked, but he has adapted to food falling out and has become swift at grabbing it before our other dog gets there. They are both pound rescues and great friends.

Several weeks ago we bought him a squeaky toy and he walked around squeaking it all day until the squeaker broke. Seeing as my husband brought the toy home, the dog took the broken toy over to my husband as if asking for a new one. Critters are a lot smarter than we give them credit for.

'Dr. Pitcairn's Complete guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats' by Richard. H. Pitcairn, DVM. Ph.D., and Susan Hubble Pitcairn, is a wonderful book to have if you are a pet-lover. You will enjoy making the crunchy recipes for your pets. Some are made with meat, some are vegetarian.

There is a section on special diets for special pets and one showing what's really in pet food. Be sure to check part two, titled 'The Encyclopedia of Common Pet Ailments and Their Treatments.'

Dogs provide me with a great deal of joy, so the recipe for today is 'Recipe for Happiness' from 'Heavenly Holiday Recipes' from St. Jean's school of Duluth, Minn. (one of my favorite places).

Recipe for Happiness

One overflowing cup

Of willingness to try

Two cups of cheer and

smiles

With courage heaped up

high.

A little pinch of grit

Well mixed with self-

control,

A rounding tablespoon

Of sunshine in you soul.

Now to this mixture, add

Your service through a

sieve

All the faults will sift away

And cause no one to grieve.

Stir lightly with a song

Make every stroke a prayer

Pour gently in the pan

Of kindness, love and care.

Bake slowly in the heat,

When done, allow to cool.

Share kindly with your

neighbor,

And serve the Golden Rule.