DEAR PET LADY,
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your reply to Heidi [The Pet Lady, Jan. 3] regarding her passive-aggressive rat friend Karmen. But. But. It is only with hesitation that I enter the ranks of Those Who Write to Newspaper Columnists to Report Mistakes, but I must. The photograph accompanying the column, adorable as it may be, shows a mouse. Some would say, "A rodent's a rodent," and mix a fresh drink, but surely not you, P.L. After all, why not picture a beaver or even a mighty capybara instead? Where would that slippery slope leave us? Need I remind you that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance? Thank you for your attention.
No, no—thank you for your attention, Shaken. And whilst you are being so Shaken, please hold this martini shaker for the Pet Lady. A fresh drink, indeed; surely you cannot hold the Pet Lady responsible for what those ruffians in the Department of Art have wrought. She must now recline; the sheer terror of what they of the D.O.A. will do next is too great for one to remain vertical, much less vigilant.
Yours sadly and in mutual respect of the beautiful capybara,
The Pet Lady
DEAR PET LADY,
I've often envied your job as Dear Abby to pet owners. Although I'm not currently a pet owner, I read your column—you do it splendidly. I thought I'd pass on my own advice to At Wit's End [The Pet Lady, Dec. 27, 2001]—take your dog to obedience school! Dogs respond to boundaries and they're so willing to please. It's inexpensive and rewarding. Don't you want to spend time with your dog friends and have other people want to also? I've owned everything from Alaskan malamutes to pugs, but my biggest success and biggest challenge was T.K., who showed up unannounced (from the Planet of Ill-Mannered Dogs) full of fleas and bad behavior. She stole food off the table, peed on the Xmas tree, ate the entire contents of handbags, and growled at me when I reprimanded her. I took her to obedience school at a nearby park; by the end, she was responding to hand signals off-leash. The owner-dog bonding made her a wonderful companion; she went horseback riding with me, was a welcome (sometimes overnight) guest, and I never again had trouble finding a dog-sitter or admirer for this houndlike mutt. This dog went through a remarkable change and became a great friend.
DEAR KARA MOSER,
Thank you ever so for your lovely compliments and your splendid suggestion for those who, like At Wit's End, are at wit's end. But who is this Abby of whom you speak?
Best to you and yours,
The Pet Lady
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