A certified veterinary assistant who works for Mad River Veterinary Service pointed out how reciprocol the relatioship is between people and their animal compansions.

“I also feel more strongly than ever (especially during and post pandemic) … having been at the Mad River Vet -- that we human animals should remember we too are animals, and the non-human animals need our help as we lean on them everyday emotionally and they quietly enrich our lives,” veterinary assistant Julie Longstreth said this week.

How spot on is that? Loving pets and having them love you back is absolutely a two-way street. We absolutely lean on our pets for our own emotional support and loving them is so safe and easy. Hopefully, loving us back is also safe and easy for them!

As always, this annual dog (now cats, too) issue is one of our favorites to prepare. We loved talking to the folks behind our local veterinarians who make it all happen and we love hearing about why they do what they do.

We were in awe of a dog rescuer from Mississippi, who works with our own For the Love of Dogs Vermont, for his dedication and compassion and also for his praise of the amazing work that For the Love of Dogs Vermont carries out. The organization placed 1,800 dogs and puppies with loving homes in the last year. Lots of those dogs/puppies went to local homes.

But our hands-down favorite part of this issue is what our readers tell us about their dogs and the pictures that they share. When people talk about their pets, their filters drop away and there is a level of candor and honesty and love that is clear to see and it’s a priviledge to see into people’s lives and hearts that way.

We are honored that people share this with us so that we can share it with the community.  Thanks to all who participated this year, those we interviewed, and those who shared their stories and their pictures.

From our dogs (and cats) to yours – woof (meow), pass the treats, some belly scratches, and deep woods romps.