October 1st Week - Animal Welfare Week
On average, eight to 10 million pets stray from their homes each year according to the Coalition for Reuniting Pets and Families, which is why the first week of October is dedicated to animal welfare. While many love animals, it's important to keep in mind what it really means to care for a pet.
Experts say being a responsible pet owner goes beyond ensuring the pet has food, water and a safe place to sleep.
"Responsibility starts at the initial selection of a pet for purchase or adoption," said Brent Hinton, former Kentucky Humane Society director and current PetFirst Healthcare CEO. "Bringing a pet into the family is a big decision. Taking the time to research different breeds and determine the best match for the pet and the family is essential."
Hinton recommends asking key questions before selecting their lifelong family companion:
- Is it compatible with the family lifestyle -- active or non-active?
- Is it compatible with children?
- Is it healthy --- are there any breed-related health or personality issues?
- Is it an outside or inside animal?
- Is the pet owner's home conducive?
Once a pet is selected, it's important to take the time to know and understand the personality of the pet. Hinton said this ensures any changes in behavior are immediately identified since they can be warning signs of illness or injury.
Maintaining a schedule of routine pet care is also important. Responsible owners keep up with vaccinations and take preventative measures for fleas, ticks and heartworms. One valuable benefit rising in popularity among pet owners is pet health insurance, which can reimburse policyholders for accidents, illnesses, as well as routine care.
Animal welfare is the ethical responsibility of ensuring animal well-being. Animal well-being is the condition in which animals experience good health, are able to effectively cope with their environment, and are able to express a diversity of species-typical behaviors. Protecting an animal's welfare means providing for its physical and mental needs.
October 2nd Week - Pet Peeve Week
It's Pet Peeve Week ... unload your burdens! You'll feel a whole lot better by venting, and we won't tell anyone. Promise.
October 2nd Week - Squirrel Awareness Week
Squirrel's belong to the order "Rodentia". There are over 365 species of squirrels in seven families. They include the tree squirrel, ground squirrel, and flying squirrel. Plus many squirrel-like mammals such as the gopher, ground hog and prairie dog.
Gray squirrels come in many colors. Shades of gray are the most common followed by shades of brown. There are also pure white and pure black squirrels, but both are variations of the gray squirrel.
The common Red squirrel can have an all black coat. While the Kaibab squirrel has a black body with a white tail. Both are found in coniferous forests.
The gray squirrels diet consists of nuts, seeds and fruit. It will eat bird eggs, bugs, and even an animal carcass if there is no other food source available.
The gray squirrel requires some salt in its diet, and may find this salt in the soil along roads where snow and ice may have been.
Squirrels chew on tree branches to sharpen and clean their teeth. That's why you may see many small branches on the ground around large trees. They will also chew on power lines for the same reason. This has caused many major power outages throughout the country.
A squirrel's brain is about the size of a walnut.
October 1 - November 14 - Unicorn Questing Season
The late W.T. (Bill) Rabe, known for his clever PR stunts from his days as a Detroit-area publicist, created the Unicorn Hunters in 1971, shortly after he was hired as Lake Superior State University's Director of Public Relations. Bill, with the assistance of LSSU Professors of English Peter Thomas, John McCabe, John Stevens and others, came up with the Hunters as a way of garnering more publicity for LSSU, which had just established itself as an independent school after being a branch of what is now Michigan Technological University. The Unicorn Hunters made the news often for activities and events including: the annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness, burning a snowman on the first day of spring, World Sauntering Day, International Stone-Skipping Tournament held annually on Mackinac Island, Unicorn Questing Season and Teacher Thank You Week.
Business leaders might say Bill 'leveraged' (banished in 2001) the Unicorn Hunters in a big way. The group's activities, especially 'word banishment,' attracted the attention of news media everywhere. Bill once had an ABC News crew on campus to film students in their quest for unicorns.
The Unicorn Hunters were behind the establishment of one of LSSU's first literary magazines, The Woods-Runner. The quarterly publication was mailed to thousands of readers around the world. Through the magazine, subscribers were able to keep up on the Hunters' activities, as well as sample writing from LSSU students and employees and others.
The Unicorn Hunters retired when Bill did in 1987, but the spirit of some of the group's activities lives on. 'Word Banishment' continues to draw hundreds of nominations each year from people throughout the world. The annual snowman burning on the first day of spring is one of the more popular events on the LSSU campus, if not the Eastern Upper Peninsula.
To say that Bill succeeded in doing what he set out to do with the creation of the Unicorn Hunters is a great understatement. Today, LSSU continues to receive mail addressed to the Unicorn Hunters. Many people write or call to find out if LSSU is still issuing Unicorn Questing licenses, and we are happy to be able to be able to provide this link for you.
Peter Thomas, chief herald of the Unicorn Hunters and editor of The Woods-Runner, once said, "The pursuit of the unicorn is a lonely quest, but many more embark upon that journey than teachers or publishers may recognize." His words still ring true. While the Hunters do not physically exist on the LSSU campus anymore, it is apparent that many folks are still 'questing,' thanks to Bill and his colleagues.
Download your own unicorn hunting license by clicking here and be sure to read the unicorn hunting regulations.