DEAR JOAN: I’m a believer in pet adoption. We adopted a dog that we found — or he found us — at the East County shelter in Dublin.
He figured he would be a great therapy dog for my brother, Josh, who has cerebral palsy. Even though he kinda adopted us, we still named him ALCO after the Alameda County Sheriffs Office.
We have had him — or he has had us — for more than a year. Dogs do make a difference in a life, both his and ours.
Support your local animal shelter. There’s no telling who might find you.
Steve, Bay Area
DEAR STEVE: Congratulations on being adopted by your dog. There are few greater feelings in life than knowing the love of a pet. We just need to get out there, visit the shelters and rescues, and see who picks us.
Who knew that while we’re saving the animals, they’re saving us? I can’t imagine my life without a pet to share it.
DEAR JOAN: In the letter from Yvonne of Dublin, she outlined the bullying scrub jays. I had the same thing happen a few years ago with a feral cat I had tamed.
The jays were unrelenting in chasing him off and had no qualms about flying down and chasing him away from his food. And they would squawk at me whenever I was out back.
I tried the CD you described, but it didn’t work. Then I tried a way that is supposed to scare off crows, and at Halloween I bought a “toy” dead crow and hung it outside in a tree. In a few days, I moved it closer to where the cat hung out in the sun.
Even though my little kitty passed away a few months back, the jays still haven’t returned to our backyard. Other birds are now constantly using our bird bath and hummy feeders.
Janeene Johnson, Menlo Park
DEAR JANEENE: My condolences on the loss of your cat.
Thank you for sharing your scrub-jay experiences. I had wondered if the scarecrow solution would work on the jays as well as it does for the crows, and now we know. I’ve had many people reporting success in keeping the crows away by hanging a stuffed crow in their yard. Who knew it could be that easy?
DEAR JOAN: I came across your piece from 2014 about crows possibly having killed a squirrel.
There is a squirrel’s nest in a tree outside my window. Today, I saw a crow or a raven go into the nest. When I went outside to get a better look, the bird was pecking at the baby squirrel. I scared the bird and it took off with the baby squirrel.
I love crows and squirrels, so it was sad to see this.
Peter Wood, Cornwall, New York
DEAR PETER: It can be difficult to see nature at work.
Mother’s Day has passed, but we’re honoring mothers all month with our online slideshow featuring your pictures of animal moms.
You can upload pictures on our website, or email them to me (email@example.com), and I’ll add them to our growing slideshow. We’re looking for pictures of mothers with their babies, or pets that are mothering other animals. So far, we’ve had submissions of a turkey and her poults, an exotic shrimp with her eggs, and a polar bear cub hanging on to his mom’s rear end. What have you got?
Do we adopt pets, or do they adopt us?