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We begin with a general observation: There are some people who will say all cats are perfect. And in response, you might ask, “Who are these people?” Or, more precisely, “Who ARE these people?” And your suspicions about such starry-eyed idealists would be well-founded. Anyone who asserts the perfection of all felines risks being labeled a loon. Nothing but nothing is perfect, whether in the form of people, animals or things. Or plumbing, especially plumbing. After the weather this past Christmas, let’s avoid discussing plumbing.

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Just over 50 years ago, Tom Cousins first saw the land that would become Big Canoe. The visionary Atlanta real estate developer soon described the biggest challenge he and his associates would confront in this large and rare parcel of mountain land: “Don’t mess it up.”

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Every dog owner must decide what methodology to use to train their dog. There are many options—alpha (dominance) training, electronic (shock collar) training, modeling (learning by observation) and scientific (using positive rewards and negative punishment), to name a few.

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Q: Dr. Habermann, We have several dogs at our house that we administer both heartworm and flea preventatives to on a monthly basis. Is this something we should also be doing for our pet cat? We have one that stays inside all the time and one that goes out for several hours a day.

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Too cold for a walk? Looking for something indoors to do with your dog to burn off some energy? Try giving these activities a shot.

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Most shelters are community-run; Big Canoe Animal Rescue is no exception. We depend solely on volunteers and are independently supported by contributions from Big Canoe and surrounding areas. All our volunteers are doing this job because of their innate love of animals and a desire to provid…

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Last week, BCAR found a 2-year-old, black-and-tan, 31-pound male dog hanging around the roundabout on Steve Tate Highway. We named him Elvis. Dr. Habermann said he is a beagle/basset hound mix, although some people would say he is nothing but a hound dog. Elvis looked so lost and sad you wou…

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There are three areas in Georgia where black bears are typically located. The three clans have been situated in their separate geographical territories for many years, and they do not mix or move around to join with bears outside of their home turf. They live, breed, birth their cubs and spe…

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You’re probably not surprised that a nicely hollowed out tree, dense thicket or handy cave might appeal to a bear in search of a winter den. But did you know the big pile of brush in your backyard, the crawl space or storm cellar you forgot to seal up for the winter or the shed full of garde…

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An important part of dog ownership is being prepared in case of an emergency. Keeping your dog safe during the holidays can be challenging. Christmas trees, decorations and holiday goodies provide constant temptations for our canine companions.

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Q: Dr. Habermann, We have been considering purchasing an insurance policy for our pet and were wondering if this is a worthwhile expense. What are your thoughts?

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