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Norwich Bulletin - 10/16/2005

Pet Expos, Cat Shows And Dog Shows

Do you ever want to get an early start on your Christmas shopping for your favorite animal, or animal lover?

The Connecticut Pet Expo makes it easy to do that. On October 31st and November 1st, at the Hartford Exposition Center (right off Jennings Road off of Interstate 91), the PetCo Foundation and Osborne/Jenks Productions brings you the fantastic Pet Expo.

Gourmet dog and cat treats, organic catnip, gourmet people treats and great clothes for both humans and animals - and that's just the beginnings of what will be available that weekend.

There is great furniture that hides your litterboxes and cat trees that will go up to your ceiling for your favorite feline friends. Special brooms, lint brushes, water bowls and countless other supplies are available to make your life easier and your pet's life more comfortable. Super beds, collar and leash sets, and unusual toys complete the Christmas list!

Perhaps a gift certificate for a pet photographer or some exquisite jewelry might be the perfect gift for that hard to buy for friend or relative who is crazy about their animals. My favorite purchase last year was a glow in the dark toilet seat with a cat painted on it (yes, I know I am strange - but it's SO very unique).

There is so much more than vendors at the Pet Expo. Police dog demos as well as a rare dog breed show are on the agenda, and for the cat lover, The International Cat Association offers a large show to wander through and see all the usual and not so usual cat breeds vying for a first place win.

That's where you will find yours truly, with some of my beautiful Abyssinians and Helping Paws' spokescat Milo, who will be competing in the Household Pet Category of the show. And in that area you will also find the Helping Paws booth with some extraordinary raffle baskets to take a chance on.

Of course, there will be numerous cat and dog and ferret and bird and reptile and rabbit rescue organizations there looking for special people to adopt one of their special rescues. They will have purebreds and domestics, all waiting to become that perfect gift that keeps on giving every single day of your life!

I adopted our Lab mix, Kenya, on Halloween, thirteen years ago! It's the perfect time to bring in a new pet, just before the main holiday season so everyone is settled in nicely before its time to open those holiday presents. It's always wonderful to see an adult, maybe less than perfect rescue get their very own home for the holiday, rather than spend it in a cage at a shelter.

Osborne/Jenks is also out there doing their part for animal rescue! Anyone who brings a donation of food will receive a $1 savings on their adult entrance fee, as well as help feed our homeless dogs and cats this winter.

Helping Paws volunteers will be there to take your donations at the gate and distribute the food that is collected to different rescue organizations throughout the area. Please be generous because its these donations that allow us to feed hundreds of stray cats all winter long, whom otherwise might find it most difficult to make it through the cold month.

This has been a very slow year for donations and adoptions. We still have a war going on, terrible tragedies caused by hurricanes, gas prices that most people can ill afford, and there has been very little thought of adopting a new pet for a lot of families.

But, if you can open your heart to a forgotten animal companion, who has lost its first home through no fault of its own, you may find some peace within your soul. While we cannot do a whole lot to change what is happening throughout the world today, we can change the life of one, homeless animal.

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