Halloween is one of my favorite holidays (OK, I love all holidays) and I feel like during COVID times holidays that are outside with masks are extra great. Most of the activities don’t involve your home, but there are still a few things to keep in mind with pets around this holiday.

Halloween is one of the most popular holidays of the year – and trickiest for parents of very young children. Scary stories are part of the season, but they need to be age-appropriate and every child has their own line for where just-scary-enough crosses over into nightmare fuel.

Lately, I have been hearing a lot of things that are very commonly believed, but actually untrue. I figured it was time for another myth busters article! The important thing to remember is that these things are commonly believed, so no one blames you for believing them. I like to go over the…

I’ll always think of my grandmother when I make lentil soup. She always seemed to have some ready when I stopped by for lunch. Sometimes it was homemade. Other times it was from a can with some of her own vegetables and spices. Either way, it was good with me.

We’ve covered the negatives of this time of year, but the truth is that the positives are bigger. We can walk, enjoy the amazing foliage, not deal with flying bugs and also not sweat. Honestly, for me, there is nothing better than being outside in the sunshine without being roasting hot and …

One of the great things about reading is that it can transport you to different places, ones that you might never visit in person. Writers with a strong sense of place can work the landscape and feeling of a region into a book so it acts almost as an independent character that the people in …

Off the Leash I talked about ticks last week, which are my least favorite little pests. This week I will talk about another downfall of this gorgeous weather; fleas. Fleas live pretty happily outside for most of the summer, but when it gets cold they want to hitch a ride in where it is warm.…

So I am going to digress from my autumn love fest to talk about one of the few things I hate about the season- ticks! I also don’t love those falls where it rains all the time, but for now, I’ll assume that isn’t going to happen. So back to my one true hatred of fall, the ticks.

Many authors get established in one genre and stay there. In fact, a lot of successful writers have handed off their characters and fictional world to someone else. So you get books written by Ace Atkins or Mike Lupica titled “Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland” or “ Robert B. Parker’s Payback.”

We have all noticed the weather change lately, but did you know that there are a lot of other changes that happen as seasons change? Some of these are benign, but many of them actually cause changes enough that we see pets at the veterinarian for them. I will talk about a few of the changes,…

So I might be jumping the gun a little bit, but I love fall. As soon as it stops being a million degrees and I stop sweating every time I walk outside I get excited. There are so many great (informative? Maybe they aren’t all great per se) topics to cover about fall that I figure I might as …

It’s that time again — back to school! Whether this brings dread or elation, it happens regardless. I’m sure that some of our pets will be happy for a nice quiet house again, but others will suffer from the change from constant activity. We tend to forget about the changes our pets will go t…

Today I am going to get on my soapbox and talk about preventative care and early intervention. It is one of my favorite things that we do as veterinarians because we are able to stop diseases in so many cases. While the cost of preventative care may seem high, treating diseases associated wi…

Increasingly books are released in series – some formal, some less so. In large part that’s because it’s easier for a publisher to sell a familiar author than a stranger. Walk into a bookstore or library and you can tell the new authors from the established ones. The better-known the author,…

Lately, I have had a lot of conversations about fear-free medications. Many good, some not as good. I wanted to talk about why fear-free is so important to me, what it means to me, and also what it means to your pet. It is a movement that has gained a lot of traction in veterinary medicine, …

As I sit here in sunny but not too hot weather, I’m in a wonderful mood. Since we are having a short burst of fall weather (my favorite) in my summer I’m going to talk about one of my favorite topics! I know I have a lot of favorites, but one that could use a revisit is pain. I don’t like to…

A recent chat with a Vermont author reminded me that there are two distinct subgenres of “thriller” … mysteries and spy novels. I am an avid mystery reader who dabbles in spy novels, but if there’s a good story and hopefully a puzzle to work out as I read, I’m not that concerned with which g…

So I dropped the ball on the 4th of July article (as usual, time is passing much faster than I can keep up with!) Now the 4th has clearly passed. I was thinking I missed my chance to talk about booms and barbeques, but then I realized that fireworks, barbeques, and thunderstorms last all sum…

Summer is here, as evidenced by our hot thunderstorm week. School is out, the heat is out and vacations are planned. Especially after lockdown last year, the freedom of vaccines is making everyone extra excited to get out and about. However, vacations can’t be planned without planning for ou…

“Nonfiction” covers an enormous range, from cookbooks to self-help titles, biographies, or the latest political tell-all book. Some have long shelf lives, some are essentially disposable (quick, who remembers what “Primary Colors,” an NYT bestseller from 2006, was about?).

Lately, I have been getting many questions in the same vein, so I’m going to do a question and answer article. A lot of questions end up repeating themselves over time because you don’t worry about them until they happen for YOU and your pet, but these have come up a lot lately so are worth …

As a food writer, it won’t surprise you that I have a running list of foods I want to make and recipes I want to create. Spring rolls have been on that list for weeks. I had the wrappers but kept putting off making the rolls, thinking that it would be a project that required a lot of time an…

I often get a lot of people that are reluctant to start medications for different things, but we still need to do something. There is a really great place for holistic medicine during this ‘“in-between” phase, and also that we can add on when our current medications just aren’t quite cutting…

Cardamom is one of my favorite spices, and I’m always finding new ways to use more of it. So I figured, why not add it into something I enjoy every day and make cardamom flavored coffee? It turns out, this is a common flavor of Thai Coffee.

So I have written a lot of articles about feline cystitis, but you’re going to get one more! For some reason, we have been seeing and talking about these guys a lot lately. This issue is truly so widespread, and many cats have bladder inflammation long before they show us signs.

While it’s Stanley Cup playoff season in my house, good books about hockey are few and far between. It’s also baseball season, and there is an absolute embarrassment of riches when it comes to baseball books. Because there are so many, there are also hugely specialized categories of baseball…

It is time to kick off this (coldish?) summer week with some Mythbusters! The kids are getting unfocused, you keep thinking about vacation plans instead of work. Essentially, it is time to take a fun break! We will get back to serious information next week. That isn’t to say these aren’t imp…

Is it early for summer, late for summer, in between for summer? Who knows anymore. I feel like dates have become fluid and the weather does what it wants. But as I sat out scorching in the sun I realized it’s time to talk about the heat.

We’re doing lots of our annual exams right around now. But what does that really mean? Why not just go to a shot clinic or find your own? What’s the benefit of an annual exam? We will be transitioning off curbside soon, but it can be extra hard to know what’s happening when you’re in the car…

The literary canon is constantly undergoing revision and rethought. Some titles seem to go on regardless; some fade and return to popularity, or go through changes over time. My favorite Shakespeare play is King Lear, which almost disappeared from the stage after its first run, being conside…

Ticks, ticks, ticks! I went walking this past weekend and my dogs were covered in ticks. I found a tick on my human child as well. Thus starts the time of year when I am emotionally scarred from ticks and consider surrounding myself with a ring of fire to stay safe. I start thinking I see th…

Today I’m going to talk about one of my favorite topics. I know I say that about weight control, tick prevention and a hundred other things. I suppose I have a lot of favorites, but one of my all time passions is pain control. There are a lot of reasons that I am passionate about pain contro…

Normally I avoid titles that are new to the library – they get heavily browsed and don’t need any extra love to be found / cherished by readers. Instead I generally dig into the stacks to find forgotten gems. But with no in-person browsing (likely coming in early May), we have more new title…