And now for your Grrrs ..
This week I was overwhelmed with e-mails from readers expressing their condolences over the loss of Ginger. I thank each of you for your kind words, personal stories and advice.
Rebecca M. in Cyberspace: My sincere condolences on the loss of your Ginger Snap. Please consider getting another dog. But please, please, please, don't buy one from a pet store. Go to your local animal shelter and adopt one who needs a home and who would otherwise be put to death.
Megan in Tennessee: It baffles me that people actually shell out money to PURCHASE an animal when there are so many needing to be adopted from shelters. Do you know how many animals are euthanized each day in these shelters? You pay an adoption fee, yes, but in most cases that covers vaccinations and neutering/spaying. It just blows my mind.
Tanya in Cyberspace: I’m so sorry for the loss of Ginger Snap, especially since she didn’t get to be a member of your family for very long. I don’t even go into pet stores that sell puppies and kittens; not only do I not approve of this practice, it just breaks my heart to see them locked into little cells as if they were in prison. We’ve gotten ALL of our pets either as strays or from friends. I’m sure you’ve been told this 1,000 times already, but next time, visit your local animal shelter and adopt a pet. They’ve already received a medical check-up and have been spayed/neutered. Not only that, but they do a thorough background check on you to make sure you’re not some kind of sicko who likes to hurt animals.
Faseps in cyberspace says: Sincere condolences for the loss of your pup. I too lost a pup purchased in a pet store 34 years ago. She was only with us for seven days and also died as a result of pneumonia. I know how quickly they become a member of the family and how attached we get to them. Without my two sons aged 4 and 2 knowing, my wife and I replaced the pup with another and the second Dusty spent 16 years with our family. Only you can decide if another pup is in the future for your family, but it worked out well for mine.
Jamie M. in McKinney, Texas, writes: Mike, I'm sorry to hear about Ginger Snap and I wanted to encourage you to buy another dog for Maxine, specifically a Lab. These dogs are so great with children, I can't say enough good things about them. We have a chocolate Lab that turned 4 a week before our daughter was born. Already being set in his ways, we figured he'd have a tough time adjusting to the new baby, but it's been just the opposite. Bogey is perfect with our daughter, Reese. He lets her crawl all over him and pull and tug on his ears, his mouth, you name it. We've heard people who try to tell you to keep your newborns away from pets, even the nurses at our hospital said this. I think letting kids learn to play with pets is teaching them how to treat animals and I think they eventually become pretty good buddies.
Cheryl B. from Cincinnati: Grrrr to you, Mike, for not going to your local animal shelter to adopt a pet who needs a home desperately. There are so many unwanted animals that need homes and make wonderful pets. Older animals are especially in need and most come complete with being housebroken and with some training. I, too, wanted a purebred puppy. But then one day I saw my Angel on Petfinder.com. She had been dumped at a shelter because her owners were moving. (It is sad that people don't realize that adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment, no matter what comes along. You wouldn't dump your child, would you?) Anyway, Angel has indeed been an angel in my life. She was 7 years old when I got her. She's now 8. She came completely housebroken, has never harmed anything in my house, and is the love of my life. Also -- and this is a big also -- she has been in perfect health. Go to your local shelter or log on to Petfinder.com and find a pet who will make your life wonderful and you can do the same for them.
Jason in Cyberspace writes: First of all, I am so sorry to hear about the situation with your puppy. I've read your column for a long time and I am finally writing in. I had a hard situation with my puppy that ended up really great, but probably aged me two years. I bought my Yorkshire Terrier from a breeder in Mississippi via the Internet (I live in California.) She seemed reputable and was at first responsive until I sent my money for the puppy. Long story short -- it took an additional month to get the puppy. I had to threaten attorney action, as well as file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Finally, she came to us and because of her bloodline and the conditions in which she was cared for, she was healthy. Getting a new puppy is not as easy as people think. I can't stand going into pet stores because I want to save every one of them, so I understand your sentiments. Please go back out there and get another puppy for your home. In the end, it is worth it!
Jackie B. in Kentucky on the Seinfeld Curse: Michael Richards' show didn't work because the ensemble cast didn't work. Julia Louis-Dreyfus' show didn't work because the camera was never more that two feet away from her face. Plus, she was sleeping with a married man. Jason Alexander's show didn't work because his children were hateful and disrespectful to him (all too common on today's television sitcoms) and his wife acted like she'd rather be somewhere else with someone else. I looked forward to each of these new shows because of the actors. I was disappointed when I realized none of them read the scripts first before signing on.
Marina B. in Covington, Wash., says: Why is it that no one (including you) will acknowledge that there is one "Seinfeld" alum who is in a VERY successful sitcom!! Jerry Stiller is an extremely funny and believable Arthur Spooner on "King of Queens." A show that hasn't been close to cancellation, meaning that he certainly hasn't been affected by any curse. I like "Listen Up," and am disappointed that it has been cancelled, but this continuous "Seinfeld Curse" nonsense is just that ... NONSENSE!
Joseph H. in cyberspace writes: I must disagree with you about the wisdom of Jason Alexander raising his kids not to think they're special. They’re kids, and when kids are whisked past long lines consistently to get on Space Mountain or the Jungle Safari, the message they will hear is, "I'm Special,” regardless of what he says. If he doesn't want them to think that, he should actually stand in line with everybody else, bite the bullet and sign autographs as the line moves along. Show them the downside of fame. Or better still, send the kids with a relative or someone who is not known, and only go with them occasionally. But to be honest, I can't see a whole amusement park stopping because of Jason Alexander, but then again, I never was an autograph seeker. I find that whole thing stupid. I will give him credit though, at least he's trying to raise them correctly.
Mike in Reston, Va.: The cigarette-tossing Oblivions are everywhere. However, there is a way to make them aware of their nasty habit. Here in Virginia, the state has calculated how much it costs taxpayers to clean up the roadways of litter, including cigarettes. So they have set up a phone number anyone can call to report these Oblivions. The caller needs to record the car make, color, license plate number, time of day and the location of the littering. The caller remains anonymous. The state will not disclose your name or address to the violator.
In response, the authorities will send the offender a fine of $50. That will wake them up!!
Tonja C. in South Carolina in response to Trevor Y. in last week's Your GRRS: I agree wholeheartedly about the Obliviots who speed recklessly down residential streets. However, you would never catch my 4-year-old outside without an adult present. A 4-year-old cannot be depended upon to "stay in the backyard." And in the rare instance where one did, that would probably be when your neighbor's pit bull would decide to join them, or some random person snatch them. Read the news. Supervise your toddlers, and NOT from the windows.
Peter B. in cyberspace: I can't believe what I just read!!! This Obliviot, Trevor Y., sees his young daughter across the street, where she is forbidden to be. He then informs his wife! The wife goes out to the front to call the daughter back across the street! Obliviot No. 2, I guess. My question: Why didn't Obliviot 1, the Dad, immediately go, himself, across the street and get his daughter safely home? He then admonishes the rest of us to not be lazy while watching our children!!! That is absolutely my GRRRR of the week if not the year!!
A. Satterfield in Jacksonville, Fla.: I try very hard to ignore all of the celebrity gossip that is constantly stuck in our faces because, to me, it has nothing to do with reality. However, I just had to tell you how disgusted I am with Tom Cruise lately. I don't care if all this Katie Holmes crap is a publicity stunt or not. It is just plain tasteless. What happened to not "kissing and telling?" He is on "Oprah" every few months gushing about the new love of his life. If Tom walked up to me today and planted a big wet one on my lips, I would be grossed out. His lips have been everywhere lately. If you see him, tell him to stop using the media to talk about his love life. Love your column. It keeps me sane.
Adam N. in 'Bama: My GRRR!!! is for violent TV commercials during family shows. My 5-year-old daughter loves watching "American Idol." I consider it to be a family show (no violence, no foul language). However, some of the commercials they show are not for children. There should be regulations for commercials during family shows. The main commercials I am talking about are advertising scary movies. If the movie is rated higher than PG, they should not be allowed to show the trailer during a family show.
Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for FOXNews.com, and covers entertainment and features on the Sunday program "FOX Magazine." He also writes the weekly Grrr! Column and hosts "The Real Deal" video segments on FOXNews.com.