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February 24, 2012     Post-Gazette
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February 24, 2012

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il Page 8 POST-GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 24, 2012 H Due to his increasing popularity and several suggestions from readers (and after much negotiating on our part with his huge salary demands), our friend Freeway has consented to try to answer readers' questions concerning him or any of our little four-legged friends. You can email your questions to How many of my pooch friends suffer from Separa- tion Anxiety? Does your pooch get un- easy when he's left home alone? Dogs with separation anxi- ety are usually overly at- tached to or dependent on one or more family members. They become extremely anx- ious and show distress be- haviors of vocalization, de- struction, house-soiling, or inactivity when separated from their owners. Many of these dogs begin to show signs of separation anxiety as the owners pre- pare to leave. They often salivate or pant profusely, vocalize, eliminate, refuse to eat, and become destruc- tive. Some dogs simply be- come quiet and withdrawn. Most dogs with separation anxiety also tend to become overly excited when the owner returns. Because the underlying problem is anxi- ety, treatment includes re- ducing all forms of anxiety before the owner leaves, at the time of departure, and when the owner returns. In addition, the dog must learn to accept progressively longer periods of inattention and separation while the owners are at home. During initial retraining, it's usu- ally best to find an alterna- tive to leaving the dog alone while you're gone, to prevent damage and vocalization problems. Retraining in- volves developing a routine so that your dog settles down and relaxes before he is re- warded with attention. In other words, use the very rewards that your dog is seeking to teach indepen- dent behavior and relaxed time away from you. Until you can get your dog to settle and relax without attention when you are at home, he is unlikely to settle when you leave. Formal restrain- ing should be directed at teaching your dog to remain on his mat, dog bed, in his crate or den area for pro- gressively longer periods of time. During these train- ing exercises, try to keep him as calm and relaxed as possible. Activities that you consistently do before you leave (e.g., jingling car keys, grabbing a purse, open- ing the garage door) signal or cue the dog that you'll be leaving soon. Anxiety can be greatly reduced by prevent- ing the dog from hearing or seeing any of these cues and by training him that these cues no longer predict a de- parture. One way to do this is to go through your pre-de- parture routine, but then remain at home. This is es- pecially good to do when the dog is relaxed or otherwise occupied, so that the dog will learn that the usual cues are no longer a signal that you are necessarily going to leave. As you depart, your dog should be kept busy and pref- erably where he cannot see you, so that there is little or no anxiety. Giving special food treats in a Kong or dog bones that have been saved for departures (and mock de- parture training sessions) can help keep the dog dis- tracted and busy while you leave. Be certain that the distraction devices last as long as possible so that your dog continues to be occupied until you have left and have been gone for a while. Al- though medications can be useful during initial depar- ture training, they do not improve separation anxiety. A solid program of restrain- ing is needed to help your dog become more independent and well behaved when away from you. That's all for nowl Remember to keep our North End streets clean ... Pick up after your pet. I thought I'd try another joke for the kids and maybe the adults will enjoy it too. Q. Why did the invisible man turn down a job offer? 1. 6ul.op j]as'./ aas 7,uplnoa 7s'nf a H LETTERS POLICY The Post-Gazette invites its readers to submit Letters to the Editor. Letters should be typed, double-spaced and must include the writer's name, address and telephone number. Anonymous letters are not accepted for publication. Due to space considerations, we request that letters not exceed two double-spaced, type-written pages. This newspaper reserves the right to edit letters for style, grammar and taste and to limit the number of letters published from any one person or organization. Deadline for submission is 12:OO noon on the Monday prior to the Friday on which the writer wishes to have the material published. Submission by the deadline does not guarantee publication. Send letter to: Pamela Donnaruma, Editor, The Post-Gazette, P,O. Box 130135, Boston, MA 02113 News Briefs (Continued from Page 1) servative. More Republican- leaning towns were added this time around and they split up New Bedford and Fall River into two districts. Sean Bielat has decided to run again but instead of Barney, it looks like he's most likely facing the latest Kennedy on the ballot. Polls show that Kennedy is ahead of Bielat by a 60-28 margin but these early polls mean little. I see the race for the House Seat being very competitive. A Republican could win. but a Kennedy in the race makes things more interesting. Is Pope Baraek In? Recently, President Obama held an audience with two super wealthy donors who each paid $35,000 to appar- ently kiss the presidential pinky in Private. The fund- raiser audience was held at the swanky Jefferson Hotel near the White House. It lasted an hour which means it cost $583 per minute. I am sure if it wasn't illegal; the audience might have been in the White House for far more than a mere $35,000 per hour. The Crop Race is Down to Two Guys Do we want Mitt Romney who is no conservative but who looks like a movie star or do we want Rick Santorum who we are told is too conser- vative for the general elec- tion? Many radio talk guys are now sounding the call to perhaps just back Romney because the polls show he could beat Obama. Person- ally, I'm not sure the Repu b - licans have an electable candidate this year in any of them. One of them is definitely coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs. One of them is a serial groom who comes across like Mr. Smarty Pants. One of them sounds like Mel Gib- son before he crashed. The final one, our own former governor, comes across as a phony-baloney. What a choice we face in what many have called the most impor- tant election of our lifetime. All of them may be better than Obama but I am not that sure anymore. Pennies in a Jar? President Obama just sent his proposed budget for the new fiscal year to Capitol Hill. The budget has a $1.3 trillion deficit. Our long-term national debt keeps rising in the tril- lions. Obama promises that his latest budget proposal can cut the national debt in half. Sounds like so much silly talk by someone who clearly is living on another planet. We will be saddled with debt as long as spend- ing keeps going up. Entitle- ments keep growing but there's not enough taxpaying Americans around to foot the escalating expenditures. Re- member when those pulling the wagon are outnumbered by those going on a free ride inside the wagon, things can and will get worse. Trillions of dollars being treated like pennies in a jar. Good country, America. I Can't Believe He Said That The mayor of East Haven, Connecticut by the name of Joe Maturo whose police department is roiled in alle- gations of discrimination against Hispanics recently told a reporter who asked him what he was doing for the Latino community. The mayor said, "I might have tacos when I go home. I'm not quite sure yet." It is bad enough that a mayor would say something like this but as an Italian-American mayor he should know bet- ter. One hundred years ago all across America, Italian immigrants settled and often were the victims of the very same kind of bias that this mayor handed the Latino population of East Haven. Gov. Dan Malloy thinks the mayor's comment was "repugnant." Thankfully, the mayor did later apologize for his words, Saying he had a long day and apparently blamed his remarks on a seemingly exhausting day. Whatever, at least he did apologize. It isn't easy when a taco gets caught half-way down your throat. Next time he'll know better. His re-elec- tion might be in trouble es- pecially with Latino voters who won't be organizing any "Latinos for Maturo Commit- tee" any time soon. CROSSWORD PUZZLE ACROSS 1. Type of eclipse 6. "1941's "How (3 reen __ My Valley" 9. Drinktoo much 13. Being of service 14. Gilligan's home 15. Chicago's ORD 16. Smelling__, pl. 17. In the past 18. Type of beam, also an acronym 19. *Best Picture nominee set in Jackson, MS 21. "Ripley's Believe It or Not" showpiece, e.g. 23. Accused by some of breaking up The Beatles 24. Obama to Harvard Law School, e.g. 25. Bud orchum 28. Cough syrup balsam 30. To mark with spots 35. vera 37. *Nominated for role in "Moneyball" 39. Like sound of pinched nose 40. Chess piece that looks like castle 41. Barges 43. Circus venue 44. Reason by deduction 46. "The Iliad,!' e.g: 47. *Mechanically-inclined film orphan 48. Seaman or sailor 50. Bus 52. Room in a house 53. Like acne-prone skin 55. Charlotte's creation 57. Hotel meeting place 60. *"The'Descendants" nominee 64. Wavelike patterned silk 65. Make imperfect 67. Hometo BYU 68. Curving outward 69. " to Joy" 70. Pivoted aboutafulcrum 71. It usually contains the altar in a church 72. Women's organization 73. Rubout DOWN 1. A deadly sin 2. Beehive State 3. World's longest river 4. Even though, arch. 5. Wish ill 6, Smack or sock 7. Leo month 8. It has no back and no arms The Oscars 3 27 58 Where volunteering begins. StatcPoint Media 9. Bangkok inhabitant 10. Kilnfordrying hops 11. The hunted 12. "Ever" to a poet 15. *He played ColdWarspy 20. Grommets, e.g. 22. Milk, popularatthe movies 24. Coroner's performance 25. *Place of Woody's midnight magic 26. Unaccompanied 27. Used forwashing 29. Often spread in the classroom 31. Beaten by walkers 32. Imposter 33. * Best Actress winner in "Toots ie" 34. "Crocodile Rock" performer 36. Augmented 38. Foolish person 42. Frown with anger 45. *"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" 49. Band event 51. "We the_ "in the Constitution 54. "30 Rock" character 56. Emerald Ash__ pest 57. "Wolf" in French 58. Great masters' medium, pl. 59. Strong desire 60. *It works with the cast on films 61. Most luminous star 62. Day before, pl. 63. Yesteryear 64. Earned atSIoan orWllarton 66. "Much__About Nothing" (Solution on Page 14)