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5 guidelines for responsible pet ownership

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During the week of May 5 to 11, the Auxiliary to the American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMAAUX) hosts National Pet Week, an event established to recognize the importance of veterinary care and to support responsible pet ownership in America. Owning a pet is a privilege but it comes with a number of responsibilities, including the following five things.

1. Choosing carefully. Adopting a pet involves a lifelong commitment. Be sure to understand the care required for the animal before bringing it home with you.

2. Socializing them. Introducing your pet to different people, animals and situations when they’re young ensures that they’ll behave appropriately under most circumstances.

3. Keeping them healthy. Nutrition and exercise are important for your pet. Make sure your animal companion gets both an appropriate diet and the physical activity required for optimal health and wellness.


4. Seeking medical care. Bring your pet to the veterinarian at least once a year for a checkup and to update their vaccines. Older pets may need to visit the vet more frequently than younger ones.

5. Spaying or neutering. Sterilizing your pet is an essential component of responsible pet ownership. It helps regulate animal populations, prevents animals from ending up in shelters and even plays a role in keeping pets healthy.

In addition to the above, pet owners should include pets in their emergency plans so they’re not forgotten should there be a fire or other crisis at home. By following these guidelines, your pet will thrive for years to come.

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How to make buying local a part of your daily life

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Do you want to help support the local economy and members of your community by buying from growers, producers, and merchants in your area? If so, here are some tips to help you integrate this habit into your daily life.

• Choose items made in the area. Whenever possible, select artisanal food, clothing, furnishings, and other products made by local craftspeople. You should also look for goods made with ingredients or materials sourced from nearby regions.

• Visit stores owned by locals. Rather than shop at large retail chains, opt to buy what you need at stores owned by people who live in your community. You can also check out local farmers markets, U-pick farms, and agritourism operations.

• Keep an eye out for labels. It’s increasingly common for food and other products that are made regionally to have an identifying label. If you want to ensure you make the right choice, don’t hesitate to ask a sales clerk for more information.


Once you make the effort to change your shopping habits, you’ll find yourself with a host of local products that you can’t live without.

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5 questions to ask before adopting a pet

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Are you thinking about adopting an animal? A pet can be a welcome addition to your home. Plus, it can improve your well-being and reduce stress. However, before you do, you should ask yourself the following five questions.

1. Do you have time for it?
Pets require lots of love and attention. They need to be fed and played with. If you get a dog, you’ll need to take it for walks several times a day, rain or shine. Are you ready for the added responsibility?

2. Can you afford it?
Pets can be expensive. On top of adoption fees, be prepared to pay for vaccines, food, toys and annual visits to the vet.

3. Do you have space for it?
Whether you live in a house, apartment or condominium, it’s important to consider the amount of indoor and outdoor space your desired pet will need. Also, some rental properties have rules about owning pets, so do your research before you bring one home.



4. Can you commit to it?
Consider the animal’s life expectancy. While some pets only live for a few years, others, like cats, can live for more than 20 years. Can you see yourself taking care of an animal in 10 or 15 years?

5. Does it suit your lifestyle?
If you’re going to adopt a pet, it’s important to get one that aligns with your personality and lifestyle. Consider the animal’s temperament, and don’t make a decision based on looks alone.

If you’re ready to adopt a pet, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local shelter or pet rescue organization.

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Kids’ Corner: Why is the sky blue?

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The sky is blue because of the way sunlight interacts with the atmosphere. Light is actually made up of all the colors of the rainbow. Once combined, these colors are transformed into white light, which travels in a straight line through the atmosphere until it hits an obstacle.

There are billions of tiny molecules floating around in the atmosphere. When white light hits them, it splits into different colors. However, instead of appearing orange, green, or purple, the sky looks blue. This is because the oxygen molecules in the sky only absorb and diffuse blue light, making the sky appear blue to the human eye.

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3 reasons to choose local shops over e-commerce giants

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Massive online retailers like Amazon have become a top choice for many shoppers because of their low prices and speedy deliveries. However, there are important advantages to supporting local businesses when you shop online. Here are three reasons to champion the merchants in your area when you want to buy something on the internet.

1. Shorter delivery routes
When you buy products from an international e-commerce company, your package may need to travel thousands of miles to reach you. This emits significantly more greenhouse gases than if you select items from stores that are closer to home.

2. Better use of resources
Small, local businesses typically make it a high priority to use renewable energy sources and eco-friendly materials when designing their products. In many cases, this means the item will be made better and last longer.

3. Personalized services
Even if you shop from their online store, you can still speak with the local merchants you buy from over the phone or via a live chat platform. This gives you access to personalized advice and recommendations about your purchase that you likely won’t get from an e-commerce giant. Additionally, you’ll have the option to visit their store and see the products in person before you make a selection.


Next time you want to buy something online, be sure to reflect on these points before you check out your order.

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Kids’ Corner: How to make an herbarium

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Do you like to collect beautiful flowers and unique-looking leaves? If so, a herbarium is a perfect way to preserve these finds and learn more about them. Here’s how to create a scrapbook for your plant specimens.

• Collect a variety of flowers and leaves on your walk. Avoid doing this on a rainy day, otherwise, the wet plants might rot while they dry.

• Place your finds between two pieces of newspaper, paper towel, or blotting paper to absorb any moisture and help them dry out.

• Stack a few large, heavy books on top of the plants. Leave them like this to flatten for at least a week.


• Arrange the dried flowers and leaves on the pages of a notebook or in a binder. Use clear glue or transparent tape to stick them in place.

• Write the name of each plant next to it. You can also include interesting details like its smell and where you found it.

Feel free to add more plants over time. If you want ideas about how to design your herbarium, there are plenty of tutorials online.

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Choices (and prices) abound with vacuums

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If you’re thinking about replacing your old, broken-down vacuum cleaner, get ready for a dizzying array of options at a huge variety of price points.

Budget or high-end models, bagless, cordless, robotic, allergy-friendly — today’s vacuum cleaners aren’t like your grandmother’s heavy old upright model.

Cordless vacuums offer a lightweight, versatile alternative to the bulky corded appliances of the past, and the newer models can handle all types of flooring and other cleaning projects with the same power as a corded vacuum. The lighter weight and maneuverability are great for homes with lots of stairs. But buyers should be aware — these vacuums often have lower debris collection capacity than their corded counterparts, and without regular charging, a low battery could interrupt your housecleaning.

A high-end model like a Dyson V15 is priced around $700, while a more affordable cordless vacuum like the Moosoo M X6 still offers great cleaning power for a much more affordable $90.


Bagless vacuums substitute the traditional vacuum bag with a clear chamber where debris collects. When the chamber is full, simply dump it in the trash. They’re a lower waste and less expensive to operate than vacuums that require bags, but for allergy sufferers, the increased exposure to allergens — especially when emptying the chamber — might make this a non-starter. A higher-end model like the Sharp APEX costs around $390, while the Bissell Cleanview will run you about $80.

Robot vacuums, unlike humans, never forget to vacuum the carpet and can usually be relied upon to find hidden crumbs behind the sofa and those pesky clumps of pet hair. Some of the latest models can even mop and empty themselves. But the dust collection bins have limited capacity and the robots aren’t ideal for multi-level homes with lots of steps. If you’ve got deep pockets and want a robot that empties itself, try the iRobot Roomba s9+, which retails for about $950. The iLife A9, however, still does a good job on the low-pile carpet for a more affordable $220.

If you have asthma or allergies, you may want to purchase a vacuum with a HEPA filter to keep the air around the vacuum free of flying dust, dirt, pet hair, dander and other indoor air pollutants that might go airborne while you’re sweeping. The Miele Complete C3 canister vacuum offers HEPA filtration and a sealed air system to avoid kicking up extra dust particles and runs about $1,100. The Hoover WindTunnel 3 High-Performance Pet upright vacuum also offers HEPA filtration, as well as extra features to get pet hair off the floor — all for about $200.

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Upcoming Events

Sep
25
Sat
10:00 am 3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
Sep 25 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
3rd Annual French & Indian War Weekend @ Abram's Delight
Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26, from 10 am to 5 pm. 18th Century Colonial encampments with historical interpretation of British, French and Native Americans on the Western frontier of the Virginia Colony during[...]
10:00 am National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sep 25 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. A blight decimated American Chestnut trees in North America in the 1920s. One hundred years later, Sky Meadows State Park has teamed up with the Virginia Chapter of the[...]
11:00 am Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sep 25 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Stop by the Friends of Sky Meadows Farmer’s Market for tasty preserved products, heirloom vegetables, eggs and more. Pick from seasonal vegetables grown in Sky Meadows’ authentic Kitchen Garden, July through September. Grab[...]
12:00 pm Honor Display: Warren County ens... @ Warren County Courthouse
Honor Display: Warren County ens... @ Warren County Courthouse
Sep 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Honor Display: Warren County enslaved @ Warren County Courthouse
WHAT: The local chapter of Coming to the Table is hosting a display on the Warren County Courthouse lawn to honor the more than 1,100 men, women, and children enslaved in the county at the onset[...]
Sep
26
Sun
10:00 am 3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
Sep 26 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
3rd Annual French & Indian War Weekend @ Abram's Delight
Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26, from 10 am to 5 pm. 18th Century Colonial encampments with historical interpretation of British, French and Native Americans on the Western frontier of the Virginia Colony during[...]
Sep
27
Mon
2:00 pm Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Sep 27 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
WARREN COALITION OFFERS FREE TRAUMA-INFORMED TRAINING IN SEPTEMBER Have you ever felt alone? Do you wonder why you react the way you do? Do you work with children? If you answered yes to any of[...]
Sep
28
Tue
7:00 pm Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Sep 28 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Dominion Ridge Academy is proud to host this free community event for parents featuring international speaker, author, and comedian Christopher O’Shaughnessy. Come enjoy an evening of laughter and inspiration as Chris addresses the themes of[...]
Oct
2
Sat
4:00 pm Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
Oct 2 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
October 2, 2021 from 4pm-8pm All are welcome to attend the 2nd Annual Oktoberfest at Wakefield Country Day School. Loosen your Leiderhosen and get ready for Oktoberfest! This year, the Edelweiss Band is coming to[...]
Oct
14
Thu
5:00 pm 6th Annual Wine Pull @ Front Royal Golf Club
6th Annual Wine Pull @ Front Royal Golf Club
Oct 14 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
6th Annual Wine Pull @ Front Royal Golf Club
Last year we did not get to hold our annual Wine Pull due to COVID. We are so excited that we are able to have this fun fundraising event this year, so be sure to[...]
Oct
30
Sat
1:00 pm Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Oct 30 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Fort Valley Museum Fall Craft Festival – Annual Fundraiser October 30 & 31, 2021 | Saturday 1-4pm, Sunday 2-5pm Come by and support the Fort Valley Museum at our annual Fall Craft Festival (formerly “Christmas[...]