JCC Classes

Next month, I’ll be teaching three short evening classes at Jamestown Community College. The classes each run from 6:30-8 Thursday evenings, Oct. 3, 10 and 17. (Andrea DiMaio is teaching a class Oct. 24 from 7-8:30 on canine nutrition.)

Starting the series Oct. 3 is “Cats are Not Dogs!” That’s an obvious statement, but many people think a cat is just an easier-to-care-for version of a dog, which isn’t true. This class will address feline behavior and ways to avoid such problems as shredded furniture and litter box conflicts. This class is $29 and includes a book. The two dog classes are $19 each. “Is Your Dog Popular?” on Oct. 10 is not about whether your dog has lots of friends at the local dog park. It’s about popular breeds, according to the American Kennel Club. Some dogs stay popular as pets year after year. Others come and go. How have they attained their popularity and why does this make them a good pet … or not.

For instance, Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers have been in the “top 10” list for years. They have many desirable traits that make them a good family pet. On the other hand, some breeds become popular because they are featured in a movie. Warning: just because a dog is cute and charming on the silver screen doesn’t mean it will be cute and charming in your home. Or, it may still be cute and charming, but it may also eat your furniture when it’s bored. If you have an interest in a specific breed, mention it when you sign up for the course and, time permitting, I’ll talk about it. The third class, scheduled for Oct. 17, is “25 Things to Know and Do Before You Get a Dog.” There’ll be at least 25 areas covered that will help you to care for your dog, as well as things to consider before you get a dog. For example, are you a couch potato, or do you run marathons? Are you allergic to some breeds? Are there children in the family? Other pets? Do you want a dog at all? This class is aimed at helping people choose the right dog for their household, but there’ll be useful information for current dog owners as well, such as cleaning tips, how to read dog food labels and the importance of owning a yardstick. I’ll be discussing the proper use of crates and the different types available, as well as grooming equipment, appropriate toys and training options. My classes will offer information for both current pet owners and those who don’t yet have a dog, but are thinking about getting one. All puppies are cute, but not all adult dogs are right for all families. Shelters are full of perfectly wonderful dogs who turned out not to be quite what the owners expected.

And while you’re on a roll attending Thursday night classes, don’t miss Andrea DiMaio’s class on canine nutrition on Oct. 24. When it comes to feeding your dog, there are a lot of options out there, and some are better than others. Learn the pros and cons of dry, wet, and raw dog foods.For more information, go to www.sunyjcc.edu/continuing-education. Click on “Fall 2013 course schedule and then scroll down to page 17. You may register in person at JCC, 525 Falconer St., at the Continuing Education Office in the Carnahan building, or call the office at 338-1005. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

I hope to have the chance to meet many of you in person at one or more of my classes next month.

Pawprint: Since October seems to be my month for public activities, I’m also volunteering to help with the Chautauqua County Humane Society’s “Walk 4 Paws” Saturday, Oct. 12 at Chautauqua Institution. You can walk by yourself, or form a team to collect donations. For more information, contact the CCHS.

Pawprint: Last week I wrote about a family pet, but I neglected to explain why “Louie the Lover” was featured. This was the third year that I’ve donated one of my columns to the Chautauqua County Humane Society’s “Bark ‘n’ Brew” event. Stephanie and Michael Baker were the high bidders so their dog Louie was the topic. The topic could have been any topic that the high bidder chose. For instance, I’d be happy to write about a rabbit or a guinea pig. Or, a bidder might want a column on feral cats, or a specific breed.