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To learn more about your pet, plan a visit to the library

By Marissa Creamer

Rowan Public Library

It’s been a long day; deadlines are piling up at work, you forgot to pick up the dry cleaning, and you have no idea what’s for dinner. What a relief to finally be home, where you are greeted by your faithful pet, who is so excited to see you and hear about your day.

Most pet owners would agree that the love and companionship a pet offers creates a valuable emotional bond, and view their pets as members of the family. There is growing evidence that pet owners enjoy specific health benefits as well, including lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglyceride values.

“The Healing Power of Pets: Harnessing the Amazing Ability of Pets to Make and Keep People Happy and Healthy” by Dr. Marty Becker explores this phenomenon. According to the author, those with pets have fewer doctor visits, shorter hospital stays, and even an easier time adapting to a new routine of recuperation after an illness. In addition, pets help combat depression and isolation through their role as a social ice-breaker. This book combines scientific discoveries with personal stories of the special bond between pets and their owners.

If you have ever wondered “Why does my cat always want attention when I’m on the telephone?” or “What’s the best way to give my cat a pill?” you should check out “Catwise” by Pam Johnson-Bennett. A certified cat behavior consultant, Johnson-Bennett answers the cat behavior questions most asked by puzzled pet owners.

She addresses correcting unwanted behavior by helping you see the situation from the cat’s perspective; behavior that you may view as spiteful is actually a cat behaving naturally and trying to solve a problem. By understanding your cat’s motivation, you can begin to change the unwanted behavior.  She touches on everything from litter box issues to environmental enrichment in a practical manner and offers guidance in dealing with issues such as introducing a new cat to the home and traveling with or without your cat.

If you are part of the almost 50 percent of American households that include a dog, you will enjoy “Being a Dog: The World From Your Dog’s Point of View” by Karen Wild. Written from the dog’s perspective, this book is based on the latest research to give you insight into your dog’s world. If you’ve ever wondered how your dog views humans or himself, or what makes him sad, you will find the answers here.

You probably aren’t surprised to hear that dogs are physically wired to pick up on humans’ subtle mood changes, but did you know that dogs are more nearsighted than humans? “Being a Dog” offers perspective into the life of your dog from puppyhood through the autumn years.

There are a growing number of pet owners in the United States, where about 68 percent of all households report owning a pet, and there is no shortage of books on the subject. Whether your loyalties lie with dogs, cats, birds, fish, rodents or reptiles, Rowan Public Library has a wide selection of books about pets for your information and enjoyment.

Summer Reading Registration: Opens Monday at headquarters, 201 W. Fisher St; East branch, 110 Broad St., Rockwell; and South Rowan Regional, 920 Kimball Road, China Grove. There are three age categories: Children (newborns-rising fifth-graders), Teens (rising sixth- through 12th-graders), and Adults (ages 18+). In addition to tracking reading hours, 2017 Summer Reading festivities include special programs and a variety of prizes. Contact your nearest branch for full details.

 Saturday morning Cartoon Festival: “Wreck-it Ralph,” May 20, 10 a.m., East branch. Children are welcome to come to the library dressed in their pajamas to enjoy the movie “Wreck-it Ralph.” Cereal, milk and juice will be provided for breakfast. An adult must accompany children younger than 9. For more information, call 704-216-7842.

Learn. Act. Grow: Smoothie Making with the Chef, May 23, 5:30-7 p.m., South Rowan Regional. Chef Chris Herron of Morrison Healthcare and Novant Health Rowan Medical Center will show how to make tasty smoothies and teach participants about the health benefits of fresh ingredients. Participants will sample smoothies and learn recipes they can make at home.

Summer Reading Kick-off: Dan Nicholas Park, June 3. Festival, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; concert 1:30 p.m. This free celebration is open to the public; all ages welcome. From 11 a.m.-1 p.m., explore the sports field and enjoy the Summer Reading festival, which features crafts and activities from a variety of vendors and participants. Then, at 1:30 p.m., the Billy Jonas Band will perform in the Stanback Outdoor Theater. Enjoy Dan Nicholas Park’s concessions or bring a picnic.

Chapter Chats Book Club: A weekly club for teens 14-17, primarily for participants with developmental or intellectual disabilities, but all are welcome. Meets Tuesdays (May 16) at East branch meeting room, through May 23, 5 p.m. For more information, contact Tammie Foster at 704-216-7842.

Displays: Headquarters, Photowalk pictures from the N.C. Transportation Museum (Paul Birkhead) and tea cups (Brenda Zimmerman); East, vintage lunchboxes; South, South Rowan High School student artwork.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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