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Weigh the value of upgrades to your home

in Business/Contributors/Wells Fargo by

“Home renovations can be a stressful, time-consuming, and expensive process,” according to Laurie March, home improvement and remodeling expert.

Having an idea of the return you’ll receive on your investment at sale time is one way of deciding whether or not the project is worth the cost, or it can help you prioritize projects.

General estimates of how much you could get back

In an average residential market, several kinds of projects can recoup more than 80 percent of the investment for the cost of the job, notes Remodeling Magazine’s “2014 Cost vs. Value Report.”

The report details more than two dozen typical renovations in the midrange or upscale category, from replacing doors or windows to adding rooms. For example, if you install upscale fiber-cement siding to your house, expect to recoup up to 87 percent of the cost of the job, notes the report. You can search the report for trends over time, for regions, or even city-specific data.

Small changes, big results

“In every market, sprucing up your front door has surprisingly good results,” notes March. Put in a new steel door and you can expect to recover 96 percent of the cost of the investment, according to Remodeling Magazine’s report. “Add in a refresh on your outdoor lighting, doormat and colorful landscaping, and you can really change how your home is perceived from the street,” she said.

Remember, homebuyers will likely first see your place pictured online, said Brendon DeSimone, real estate expert and author of “Next Generation Real Estate: New Rules for Smarter Home Buying & Faster Selling.” “If your home does well in a photo shoot, it will get more people in the door,” he said.

More buyer-minded advice

• “Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes,” said DeSimone. High-impact and higher-cost investments here include new countertops, appliances and cabinet hardware in the kitchen and new fixtures and grout in the bathroom.

• Be stylish, but not edgy, he advises. White cabinets in the kitchen or hardwood floors in a dining room will hold their value for longer periods of time than the latest fads. Add a fresh coat of paint where it’s needed.

• Keep bedroom changes reversible. “Taking out a bedroom and replacing it with a walk-in closet can sometimes be a huge selling point,” said DeSimone. Turning a bedroom into a home office can also be appealing. Both of these transformations can be undone if a buyer wants to regain the room as a bedroom.

Live in the present

Selling your home might not be in your near-term plans. “While financial data tells half the story, many remodeling decisions stem from personal family circumstances,” said March.

Adding a bathroom might only recoup 60 percent of the investment for the cost of the job, according to Remodeling Magazine’s report. But if the addition could better accommodate your growing family, it might be worthwhile.

The same holds true for other jobs. If you open up an area and create a kitchen that flows into a living space, you might recoup 70 percent to 80 percent of the financial investment, notes March. “But creating a space your family can gather in — and connect in — might be priceless.”

This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Ashley Dando, vice president – Investments in Beaufort, SC, at 843-524-1114.  Any third-party posts, reviews or comments associated with this listing are not endorsed by Wells Fargo Advisors and do not necessarily represent the views of Ashley Dando or Wells Fargo Advisors and have not been reviewed by the firm for completeness or accuracy.

Too many dudes threaten a town’s cowboy soul

in Bill Rauch/Contributors by
rauch.jacksonhole.photo

By Bill Rauch

The campaign of Pete Muldoon who is running for mayor of Jackson, Wyo., the county seat of Teton County that is home to the spectacularly beautiful Teton Valley/Jackson Hole area, is using “Fighting for the SOUL of the HOLE” for his campaign slogan this year.

Fighting for your town’s soul certainly sounds like a good thing for a mayor to do, but what exactly would a mayor do to do that?

Teton County is the county in the United States that has the highest per capita income in the country. The county’s population of 22.930 enjoyed a 2014 per capita income of $194,485, well ahead of No. 2 Manhattan’s (New York County) at $148,002, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ most recent numbers.

By way of comparison, Beaufort County’s per capita income is about 20 percent of Jackson’s. But when considering the differential it is important to remember that Wyoming is a no-state income tax haven, and because of that Jackson has attracted a top 1 percent that is way wealthier than Beaufort County’s top 1 percent.

In fact, Jackson’s soul – and Jackson’s challenges – are not so different from Beaufort’s.

There are lessons to be learned in Beaufort County from Teton County. There are glimpses there of Beaufort County’s future.

It appears the money has brought problems there and it appears there may not be the money to solve those problems.

But let’s start with drilling down on Jackson’s soul.

Ray Elsner, 14 years as the chairman of the town’s Planning Commission, defined it like this last week: “Ranching, dude ranching, and a small town where everybody helps each other out.”

That doesn’t sound so different from a shrimping, farming small town where folks help one another out.

How’s the money changing it?

“Well, you have these homeowners from all over the world who ski in the winter and who hike and bike and go to yoga in the summer,” Elsner explains. “They maybe sleep here six to eight weeks a year.  And they expect the ambulance or the fire engine to be there when they call 9-1-1, or a chopper to pick them up when they wrench their knee up on the trail … which gets expensive. Fire and EMS used to be volunteer. Now those are paid positions. First responders have to live somewhere. But there isn’t anywhere. You can’t buy a detatched house in Jackson for less than a million dollars. The skiers and the hiker/bikers already bought them all.”

So what can a mayor do to help preserve his town’s soul?

After all the rhetoric, what the governments have so far considered doing are three things: build workforce housing, provide public transit to and from areas outside the county where workers can still afford to live, and facilitate museums and cultural organizations that recall and explain what the area was before it became what it is today.

The town and county have taken steps in each of these directions.

Between the town, the county, the school district, the federal government and the hospital, 1,450 workforce units have been built in Jackson over the past 20 years. And, if the rhetoric of town and county candidates’ running in the current election cycle can be believed, the governments will build more.

Moreover, the town may require via its zoning ordinances that new “luxury homes” in Jackson also build a “caretaker residence” on the premises. And the governments may begin soon to encourage private developers to put workforce housing on the second floor of office buildings, including government buildings.

But the government cannot build housing for everyone who cannot buy a million dollar house.

It will need public transit to and from at least two nearby counties where housing is still affordable to those working in Jackson’s food service, lodging and government sectors.

There is currently public transit in Teton County, primarily in the form of buses to transport skiers and hiker/bikers to and from the slopes. Southern Teton Rapid Transit (START) runs the buses. Candidates running this year say they’ll work to improve the limited commuter service START currently offers to the outlying counties.

And finally the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum, located on Jackson’s main street and with a Conestoga wagon on its roof, and the town’s two-nights-a-week rodeos seek actively to display to residents and visitors alike glimpses of the town’s past.

Will these efforts preserve the town’s soul? And will the governments’ leadership have the enduring will to try more?

Top photo: Eleven of these two-story, free standing units were built recently by the Teton County School District to house teachers and administrators working for the district. The town’s Housing Authority administers the program.

Is it wrong to be glad when the tourists leave?

in Contributors/Lee Scott/Voices by

By Lee Scott

There is a problem sometimes with living in a place that is so beautiful. People want to come here all the time, especially during the summer months.

I was reminded of this while chatting with Richard, a successful local business owner. We were discussing the traffic and he mentioned that he and his wife had invited some Fripp Island friends over for dinner. They were supposed to get to Beaufort at 6 p.m., but had gotten caught in “rental turnover” traffic.

We both acknowledged that a normal 20-minute drive in the winter can turn into a much longer commute when driving on a summer weekend.

It is very apparent early on Sunday mornings at the grocery stores when the renters are filling up their baskets for the week. I normally stop after church on Sunday morning to get the newspapers. Thank goodness for express lines as most of the checkout lines are backed up with people filling up on hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, sodas and the other vacation food.

It seems like there are always marshmallows and Hershey candy bars along with boxes of graham crackers in the grocery carts too.  And of course, the inflatable rings, noodles and other beach toys are also included along with the suntan lotion, bug spray and the aloe cream.

Turns out that people come here from all over in their campers and RVs too.  It is not just about renting a house for a week. Hunting Island State Park has an enviable campground for people who want to be at the beach.

Now don’t think I am complaining. There is a huge economic boost to our region because of all the people who visit. Our hotels, restaurants and other businesses all benefit from these tourists.

But the joy at this time of the year as Labor Day approaches is that tourists start to return to their own homes to prepare for the school year. I start seeing the school buses out on the road and noticing more South Carolina license plates on cars rather than other states.

And those of us lucky enough to live here year-round get to enjoy the beach and parks without all the tourists.

But don’t worry Richard, turns out we newcomers keep getting out-of-town visitors all year-round who will help to keep the economic engine roaring.

The word ‘death’ is harsh, final … and totally inaccurate

in Awakenings/Contributors/Health/Susan Stone by

By Susan Stone

Ever since I began writing this column, I have quoted my master teacher,  Rev. Marian Starnes, numerous times for her wisdom and humor.

On the Summer Solstice, she flew away HOME. Marian didn’t like to use the word “death.” She found it harsh and final and totally inaccurate. She had a lot of experience with what we call “death.”

In 1973, Marian died on the operating table during open heart surgery. The last thing she heard was; “We’re losing her!” She rose above the operating theater and observed the panic in the room as they readied the crash cart.

Completely at ease and uninterested in what the doctors were doing, she left. The feeling she described being out of the body was pure delight. She found herself in a green valley surrounded by mountains. It was familiar to her as the landscape she knew as a child growing up in Idaho.

In front of her appeared a bridge and on the other side of the bridge were her father and a little boy who had drowned when they were children, along with various animals she had loved through her life.

She was overjoyed to see them all, and when she attempted to cross the bridge, two men suddenly stood in her way. Neither of them spoke to her or even really looked at her.

Marian described both of them as looking like Jesus (she never understood why there were two). They were discussing whether they should send her back. They said that she was a powerful teacher and had already been doing good work, but they knew she would begin a ministry and would reach people around the world with her message of love.

Just as they turned to her to ask if she would go back, she whooooshed back into her body.

Marian always told this story with a huge smile on her face. She said that death is an illusion and that we never lose consciousness.

She said, “One minute I was Marian and the next minute, I was still Marian.”  She would draw an imaginary line on the floor and hop over it. “Don’t ever be afraid to drop your body and go HOME. You’ll be glad to be free of it … I promise.”

In her last hours she fell in to a deep coma, Hospice had been called in and they were keeping her comfortable. Just before she took her last breath, she opened her eyes and smiled wide saying; “I’m doing good, aren’t I?”

There was no fear, only joy.

As I recall, during a memorial for a dear friend of hers, she said (and I’m paraphrasing), “Do not pity the dead, pity the living! This living thing is hard stuff! We’re here to help one another and to have as much fun as we can (she would always insert, legally). Don’t worry about tomorrow, because there are no tomorrows. In my 89 years on this planet, I’ve never seen a tomorrow! I’ve only seen todays! Lots and lots of todays! So make today a great day.

“Do what you can and then a little bit more. Eat cake. Don’t wait until someday to do what you love … love everything you do. If what you’re doing makes you miserable … stop it! It’s not worth it. Life is simple, people are complicated.”

Over the years, Marian and her messages have traveled around the world. I will be forever changed for having known her.

One last quote: “We are the immortals; we have always been and ever will be. You have always been you and you will always be. And when life gets tough … eat more cake!

Pen pals remind us of the art of letter writing

in Contributors/Lee Scott/Voices by

By Lee Scott

An e-mail popped up in my inbox early this summer and a friend wanted to know if I was interested in becoming her pen pal.

“Wow!” I told her. “I have not had a pen pal for years.”

My first real pen pal experience was back in the 1960s with a girl named Lesley Nash who lived on a farm in South Africa. We were connected through our local newspapers, which had set up a program to connect kids from all over the world as pen pals.

Lesley and I wrote for several years and then suddenly stopped. I am not sure what happened, but it’s too bad that we didn’t stay connected when you consider how much has happened over the past 50 years in both of our countries.

Nowadays, it seems like the art of letter writing has vanished as communications have improved. Between texting and e-mails, we are connected all the time.

Today’s electronic communications demand immediate response; then get lost in myriad other electronic messages. And how many introspective thoughts are really found in an e-mail?

Writing a letter, on the other hand, provides an entirely different form of conversation. There is more time for reflection when you have time to collect your thoughts.

Some of the most famous letter writers that I recall are Abigail and John Adams, who wrote over 1,000 letters to one another. What a rare insight to life in the last part of the 18th century and the birth of a new nation.

So I received my first letter and read it slowly. She wrote that the last time we had been together I had inspired her to write new stories and offered her some writing tips too. I was anxious to sit down and tell her how much getting the letter meant. Then I started describing all the things that I had been up to this summer.

After she received my letter she called to say that she loved it and was working on another one. Then she added, “Getting a letter in the mail is knowing that someone loves you.”

She was right, because I know how I felt when I opened my mailbox. Now I hope in the future when she is my age, that through my letters, she will have received a greater understanding of me, her grandmother.

State body camera fund comes up short

in Bill Rauch/Contributors/Voices by

What would our late State Sen. Clementa Pinckney think?

Yes, the city of Beaufort and the town of Bluffton received this year all the body-worn camera money they requested. But the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office received about 15 percent of its request, and the sheriff’s experience is typical across the state.

To meet the $40 million needed for body cameras, the legislature has so far offered up $5.8 million, with a suggestion that they will add another $2.4 million next year.

What does Sen. Pinckney have to do with it?

In the wake of the fatal shooting of Walter Scott by a North Charleston police officer last year, Sen. Pinckney pushed the nation’s first statewide police body-worn camera law through the South Carolina state legislature. The new law provided that “all state and local law enforcement officers must be equipped with body-worn cameras.”

A remarkably clear video of the April 4, 2015, shooting happened to have been made by a bystander, and once that video surfaced there was little doubt that Scott had been shot multiple times in the back as he sought to flee from the officer who had stopped him for a broken tail-light. North Charleston police officer Michael Slager is currently awaiting trial in connection with the shooting.

The bystander’s video shocked Sen. Pinckney and the nation. At the senator’s urging, South Carolina enacted the Body-worn Camera Bill on June 10, 2015.

A week later, on June 17, Sen. Pinckney was assassinated as he presided over a Bible study class at the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, where he was senior pastor.

In the days and weeks following the Mother Emanuel tragedy, South Carolina’s Body-worn Camera Bill emerged as a central tenet of Sen. Pinckney’s legislative legacy.

But now, a year later, passions have cooled and the program is faltering.  The recent shootings of police officers in Baton Rouge, La., Dallas and now San Diego suggest the program should not be scuttled.

The problem is a familiar one: the money. Body cameras cost $400 to $600 apiece, and there is substantial additional expense related to storing and managing the data they supply.

The new law provides that the South Carolina Public Safety Coordinating Council will provide “full funding,” and that local law enforcement agencies are not required to “implement the use of body-worn cameras” until full funding is provided.  But what happens when the state comes up short?

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, for example, applied for $473,000 to implement the program, and it has received word that it will receive $75,000 this year, or about 15 percent of its request. The situation in Jasper County is similar, where the sheriff’s office there received $22,178 of the $70,000-plus it requested.

The unfunded mandate pattern is familiar. The state passes a law and promises to pay the cost of its implementation, and it doesn’t appropriate sufficient monies to keep its promise.

Several years ago amidst a fury about drunken driving, the state passed a law requiring all South Carolina law enforcement agencies to use dashboard cameras.  In the first year the state went out and bought a bunch of cameras and sent them around. Then it folded the program but didn’t rescind the law, leaving the local law enforcement agencies to maintain the program at their own expense.

Some did. Some didn’t.

Considered an effective program that helped to establish fairly both guilt and innocence in the courtroom, the dashboard camera program was retained by Beaufort County, which funded it from the county treasury.

Twice shy, this time around local law enforcement officials are skeptical. “We’ve been down this road before,” Beaufort Sheriff  P.J. Tanner said last week. “If I had known they were going to do this, I’d have put $400,000 on the penny sales tax. We’re going to uphold the law, but it’s starting to look like it’s going to be Beaufort County’s taxpayers who are going to be paying for us to do so.”

Rep. Dennis Moss, R-Gaffney, agrees. He sits on the Public Safety Coordinating Council that determines how the money the legislature appropriates for body cameras will be spent. A few small local law enforcement agencies were the only ones to receive full funding, Moss explained last week. “And if the economy stays good,” he added, “we’ll put more money into that program next year.”

Would Sen. Pinckney be surprised how his program is turning out?

Probably not.

Would he be disappointed?

Yes.

A week before his tragic death last year, Sen. Clementa Pinckney's police Body-worn Camera Bill was signed into law. But without the state funding to back it up, the implementation of this new unfunded mandate will be uneven and a burden to some law enforcement agencies.
A week before his tragic death last year, Sen. Clementa Pinckney’s police Body-worn Camera Bill was signed into law. But without the state funding to back it up, the implementation of this new unfunded mandate will be uneven and a burden to some law enforcement agencies.

Cleaning a messy car in 90-degree weather

in Contributors/Lee Scott/Voices by

By Lee Scott

A good friend of mine and I decided to have lunch together recently and I offered to pick her up.

About half an hour before I was going to leave the house my spouse asked, “Do you want to take my car?”

“Why in the world would I need to take your car?” I replied.

He looked out the window, pointed to my car and said, “Have you looked at your car lately?”

Oh man, he was right. It was a mess.

I grabbed the little vacuum cleaner, a garbage bag, some paper towels and Fantastic and headed out to the car. As I started to work I discovered an old ballpoint pen caught between the seats and had to actually break it apart to remove it.  Of course there was a stream of black ink that had leaked down under the seat in this 90-degree plus heat.

I also retrieved a half tube of lipstick I had dropped one hot day. Other women might appreciate that discovery. I can recall the moment.  I went to apply lipstick that had been sitting in my purse on a hot day. I adjusted the rearview mirror, opened up the lipstick and half the tube dropped right in my lap and rolled down onto the floor mat.

Then there was the melted package of M&Ms, which I realized had reformed into a glob of colored chocolate. Not pretty.

So in the need for expediency I took out the floor mats and the seat covers and threw them into the trunk of the car to be dealt with at a later date. Then I vacuumed the carpet and wiped down the inside of the doors.

The car looked so much better, but I still needed to do something about covering those leather seats again. One thing I have learned here in Beaufort is that one does not climb into a car with leather seats while wearing a skirt or shorts. Nothing will get you back out of the car faster.

I returned to the house with all my cleaning supplies and found two cute beach towels to cover the seats and drove to pick up my friend.

As she climbed into my car she said, “Wow, when did you get a new car?”

I just smiled as we drove off.

The instant coffee moment: Now what?

in Contributors/Lee Scott/Voices by

By Lee Scott

How many of you can recall that long-standing instant coffee commercial that has aired for years on television?

You know, the one that depicts a young man returning home from college for Christmas break. He’s in the kitchen making coffee when his little sister comes downstairs and greets him just as the water is boiling. Really, how special is this guy to his parents if he has to actually boil water to make instant coffee?

Come on mom and dad, no coffeemaker?

Recently, I was reminded of that commercial when my old faithful coffeesmaker broke. I woke up, hit the button and … nothing. There was no bubbling sound as the water heated up; no dripping sound as the hot water seeped onto the freshly ground coffee; no aromas drifting throughout the kitchen with virtually no effort on my part.

So out of desperation, I opened the cabinet and found an old jar of instant coffee which I had bought last summer for making iced coffee.

Then I realized that rather than just pushing the start button on my coffeemaker, there was more to do. I had to pull out the tea kettle, boil the water and then put in the coffee.

Oh, the inhumanity of it all!

Truthfully, as I sat there sipping the coffee, it was not as bad as I had expected. It actually reminded me of years ago when I used instant coffee all the time.

But then came my Mr. Coffeemaker, then the Keurig-one cup maker and then the Krups bean grinder/coffeemaker.  The coffee really has gotten better and better through the years.

And as I was sitting drinking the instant coffee that morning, I started to think about that college kid and his parents. Maybe mom and dad were not so dumb after all.

Here is the follow-up commercial scene that I imagine now: The college student walks into his college dorm and goes immediately to his coffeemaker and says to his college roommate, “Can you believe it? Mom and dad actually gave me instant coffee to drink over the Christmas break.”

Meanwhile at home, mom and dad have already taken out their DeLonghi Magnifica Espresso Maker and are enjoying their cappuccinos as dad says, “Too bad he couldn’t stay longer” as they sit there chuckling.

Genetic testing shows loggerhead families stick together

in Bill Rauch/Contributors/Voices by

By Bill Rauch

The sea turtle nesting season is fully upon us now and hundreds of our friends and neighbors are up each morning before dawn going down to the beaches checking on known turtle nests and looking for new ones that might have been created the previous night.

The most common species of sea turtle, the loggerheads, have been endangered since the 1970s, so the stakes are high and every nest counts.

Although they are more widespread now, turtle watch projects have been going on since the 1980s on Hilton Head, Pritchard’s, Hunting, Capers, Fripp and Edisto islands, to name a few.

But there is a new excitement recently among the volunteers since a pair of University of Georgia researchers discovered they can track via their captured DNA turtle families. Now, instead of just trying to protect sea turtle nests from perils and predators (like high tides, dogs and raccoons), the volunteers are asked also to select one egg from each nest and send it – accompanied by a map that shows the location of the nest from which that egg was removed – to a UGA lab where analysts extract from the inner membrane of each shell a sample of the mother’s DNA.

The research,  now in its eighth year, is beginning to show surprising results.

It shows, for example, that many mature female sea turtles return to familiar beaches to lay their eggs. Because the genetic testing can also link mothers to daughters, the study is also showing that in some cases daughters nest faithfully on the same beaches their mothers prefer while other daughters hit the road looking for a better life elsewhere.

Egocentrics that we are, we cannot of course resist comparing the turtles’ behaviors to our own. Some mothers’ daughters stay close; others roam a little and then come home to have their babies; and then there are those who never come home. Some of us go to the same beach community all our lives. Others wouldn’t go back to that place on a bet.

Do any of us really know why?

As one might imagine, life moves at a slower pace in the turtlesphere, and the DNA testing confirms this. It takes for example, about 30 years for a female loggerhead to reach reproductive maturity. Then, for the next 70 years, the typical mother will nest every three or four years.

In a year when a mother is nesting she will lay four to seven nests which may be right next to one another on one beach, or on several nearby beaches.

Once in the nest it takes about eight weeks for the turtle eggs to hatch, after which time the defenseless little hatchlings make their perilous way down the beach, out into the Gulf Stream and east to the Sargasso Sea where tagging studies have shown the youngsters grow safely to maturity under the cover of the seaweed there.

What seems so unemotional as DNA testing has actually brought with it for the turtle-watch volunteers a personal and loving result. Now, after they have become familiar with the study’s results for their specific area, volunteers can begin to get to know the turtles whose nests they are watching.

Samantha Campbell is the DNR Marine Turtle Permit-holder for Land’s End and Coffin Point on St. Helena Island. Last week there were seven nests on the Land’s End beach and 15 at Coffin Point. Campbell and her volunteers know their beat. They patrol it every morning.

Because of the DNA test results, the Land’s End volunteers now know that one of the nesters there is a loggerhead they call “Agatha.”

Early in the study, tests in 2011 and 2013 showed that Agatha had returned to Land’s End those summers to nest. She was a regular, they knew, because she had laid six and four nests there respectively those two summers.

But when 2015 went by with no sign of Agatha, the Land’s End volunteers were despondent.

“We thought maybe she had died,” volunteer Nina deCordova says. “So when we got the test results back in June of this year that she had nested here again we turned handsprings.”

With a hand up from the turtle exclusion devices shrimpers now use, and while still endangered, the loggerheads seem to be making it.

The DNR’s website, for example, indicates volunteers on Hilton Head Island have identified 363 nests this year, more than double Hilton Head’s annual average of 150 … and the ladies are still coming ashore.

Permit-holder Samantha Campbell, shown here holding a typical mothball-sized loggerhead turtle egg, says, “I started because I wanted to help save an endangered species. But now it’s more than that. I’m pulling data. And you don’t know what that data is going to tell you.” Photo by Nina deCordova.
Permit-holder Samantha Campbell, shown here holding a typical mothball-sized loggerhead turtle egg, says, “I started because I wanted to help save an endangered species. But now it’s more than that. I’m pulling data. And you don’t know what that data is going to tell you.” Photo by Nina deCordova.

Dog day is time to celebrate our furry friends

in Contributors/Lee Scott/Voices by

By Lee Scott

There was an advertisement on social media recently about National Dog Day. Evidently, it’s observed on Aug. 26. (This is not to be confused with National Hot Dog Day which is July 23).

I had never heard of National Dog Day before, but having two spaniels in the house, I was interested in learning more about it.

It turns out that the reason for having a National Dog Day is to celebrate the important roles dogs play in American life. Not only are they great companions, they also serve as drug-sniffers, therapy dogs and military service dogs. It really is amazing to think about all the things dogs do for us.

There is another very important reason to recognize dogs on this day. It’s a time to remember all the dogs that are available to be rescued and encourage adoption of those dogs.

I have two dogs: Bailey is our 13-year old cocker spaniel and Brandy is our clumber spaniel. We actually don’t know how old Brandy is because she was a rescue. She came to us six years ago, the Friday before Memorial Day weekend.

I saw her picture on the local dog rescue webpage and my spouse went over to check her out. He called to say he liked her and we adopted her that day. We brought her home and she has been part of our family ever since.

Most people that have a rescue dog will tell you that they are the best dogs they ever had in their homes. I think the reason is because rescues are so grateful to be adopted.

I know that Brandy has been one of the best dogs I have ever brought home.  She is lovable and obedient and moved into our lives easily, although our older spoiled cocker spaniel would not share his toys initially. But it didn’t take long before even he accepted her in the family.

Although both are dogs are considered “senior dogs” now and sometimes it feels like having a couple of toddlers running around with toys lying all over the house, we are still very happy to have our two pups.

And we will celebrate National Dog Day and be thankful that we were able to rescue such a wonderful dog.

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