What you, dear reader, learned from Pet Pause these past two years, for the most part, I learned, too.
But, sadly, this week is the last column.
I will miss this small space, where we celebrated our pets, learning what we could about how to feed them well, keep them cool in the summer and warm in the winter; how and when to treat for pests before they bit.
And overall, how they make our lives better.
I started this column as a pet enthusiast. Then I proceeded to get married, buy a house, and, as I type this, our son, Peter, born two weeks ago, is feeding right down by my hands.
Those are pretty important changes. But Sister and Muppet have remained constant. They aren't quite the focus they once were, but our small interactions are still some of life's highlights.
Muppet still curls into a ball beneath our Christmas tree; in fact, I can see her under there from here. And Sistercat still stretches warmly into my lap. A hungry newborn still annoys them, but they creep closer and closer each day.
A review of two years would be redundant, but here's what I want you to remember from our time together.
Together we learned that good people are passing around petitions to ban dog auctions in Ohio, but their progress is slow and there is still much work to be done.
Together we met eight Chihuahuas rescued by Marilyn's Voice, Inc., from a breeder-turned-hoarder situation in Shelby, Ohio. How tiny and helpless they had been, and how they were coming into their own in safe environments — and what good this Mentor group and its dedicated volunteers do for these little ones.
Speaking of strong local organizations, remember to acknowledge and support Lake Humane Society and PAWSibilities Humane Society of Greater Akron, which manage to find homes for thousands of cats, dogs, rabbits, birds and other small animals each year, all while dealing with at-capacity facilities and constant fundraising.
If Patch borrows nothing else from my usual coverage, I hope it continues to promote the tireless work of these outstanding nonprofits.
Together we also followed current events, legislation, books and local fun — which I hope you'll continue to do in your leisure, as well as celebrate your pets in 2013 and beyond.
They deserve it. And so do we.
For a nice two years of weekly reminders, readers, thank you.