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From the Editor

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In the age-old battle of cat versus dog, I always considered myself to be a

proponent of the feline species. Cats seem like the perfect pets: low maintenance, playful, cuddly, willing to scratch the legs of guests when their welcome has been overstayed.

But cats are very mercurial, as I quickly learned when my husband went to Alaska for two months last fall. My Flame Point Siamese, Julius, found the sudden extra attention I was bestowing on him unsettling. He suffered a petting only briefly before growling and hiding under the bed. Watching a film while curled up on the couch? Forget about it.

During this time, I began to be lured to the canine camp. I decided a puppy would be a perfect cure for my boredom and loneliness. So, when my husband returned from his sojourn, he was greeted by a 30-pound, 4-month-old, slobbering Siberian husky named Loki, bounding into his arms.

Believe me, my boredom had been assuaged. Between potty trips at midnight in the pouring rain, house training and dealing with Julius's sudden surge of jealousy (sure - now he would come out from under the bed) I

began to wonder why I ever thought a dog was a necessary addition to my household. And then Loki would stare up at me with his ice-blue, black-ringed puppy dog eyes and all of the reasons I ever wanted a canine companion (at least until the next piece of furniture was destroyed.)

Dana Kazel knows all about the frustrations that come with a new puppy. Her emotionally charged article on page 6 holds her journey of losing a longtime family friend, going through the grieving process and bringing home a new bundle of fluff.

If neither Team Cat nor Team Dog appeals to you, maybe the article written by Lara Wilkenson will sway you toward a different faction. Though skunks may conjure images of pinched noses and tomato juice baths, a new trend is on the rise: skunks as pets. That's right folks; you can walk

the black-and-white-striped critter on a leash and train it to use a litter box. Sound appealing? If not, try a hedgehog or a ferret instead.

The most interesting pets we have in this issue? Yours, of course. We once again hosted our pet photo competition this year and our inboxes were flooded with images of Fidos and Fluffies. It was incredibly hard to choose just one picture as the winner, but we gritted our teeth and narrowed it down. Congratulations to Carrie Landman of Duluth for submitting a very artistic shot of her husband and his faithful pooch,


I couldn't resist getting into the fun so I've included images of my own furry friends.

Whether you're a dog person, a cat lover or an equine enthusiast, this issue should be the perfect thing to indulge your love of animals. If you are still looking for that perfect pal to bring into your own home, be certain to check out our Facebook page ( where we have included images of the Northland's most adoptable pets.