Sissy has a thick white mane, and little kids sometimes mistake her for a lion when she's out walking in her Harford County neighborhood. But this 13-year-old collie couldn't be any sweeter or gentler.
Holly Robbins and her family adopted Sissy when a relative couldn't care for her anymore and was forced to give her up. "She's unlike any other dog I've ever met," Robbins says. "She is not into retrieving toys, much to my dad's dismay, but she does love to go for walks." She also loves to be close to family members.
"She's as sweet as she looks," Robbins says. "Our dog groomer's husband likes to kneel down and put ham in his mouth for Sissy to gently slip out and enjoy."
Sissy spends much of her time sleeping, sometimes flat on her back. She gets a summer haircut each year that Robbins says makes her look like an entirely different dog. That's a relief for the family, though. "She hates being brushed!" Robbins says. "Her hair is very thick, and she will not cooperate when we try to comb through it. We've certainly tried. Her hair is so thick that we have a hard time getting her skin wet when we bathe her."
To have your pet - including hamsters, snakes, horses, guinea pigs and the like - considered for Collared, email information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Kim Fernandez (Christopher T. Assaf, Baltimore Sun photo /May 16, 2013)
What's in a name? According to the records of Veterinary Pet Insurance, Inc. (VPI), quite a lot, and the top dog and cat names for 2012 reveal some interesting tidbits about pet owners.
VPI recently sorted their database of more than 485,000 pet names by popularity. The biggest trend they saw was that the top five cat and dog names were also top on Babycenter.com's list of 100 most popular baby names of the year. At the same time, traditional dog names -- think Fido or Fuffy -- trended toward the bottom of the list or slid off completely.
VPI spokesman Curtis Steinhoff says he thinks the name trends are "testament of the bigger trend of pet owners viewing their pets as members of the family."
I suspect residual fur on our couches and beds could also testify to that.
Without further ado, the top names for dogs are: