Our animal friends

The dogs and cats and horses that share our lives

Your dog loves you. Really, it's true. Even though none of us likely needed scientific proof that the love we feel for our furry friends was being reciprocated, scientists are now finding evidence in brain scans as well as hormone research that human and dog feelings of love are mutual. Of course, even if it was merely food and shelter making our pets go ga-ga over us, it wouldn't matter. As long as we are comforted by those happy hormones (thank you, oxytocin) that we receive when we notice our dog, cat or horse leaning in for a scratch on the head, it'll always be love to us.

We at the CN&R want to celebrate the special relationship between animals and their human caretakers, so we once again bring you our Pet Issue. This year, our package of stories includes people who are doing the good work of looking out for animals in need. The pet-fostering program at the Butte Humane Society is placing dogs and cats that are too young, sick or otherwise not ready for adoption in foster homes to help get them ready for “forever” homes. Then there's the Mustang Project, a labor of love for a local woman who's dedicated to caring for a herd of wild horses that likely would have been destined for the slaughterhouse without her intervention. We also bring to you a touching essay about dealing with the death of a pet.