A must-read travel tale

Back in my youth, I read John Steinbeck’s classic story, “Travels with Charley,” about his trip across America with his standard poodle, and I have been a fan of travelogues ever since. You get to take a journey to faraway places at a bargain price and from the comfort of your living room. The presence of a dog makes a road-trip story all the more enjoyable.

The latest not-to-be-missed road trip book has been written by journalist Michelle Sathe. When Sathe reached her 40th birthday, she decided to take a break from her life and go on a cross-country adventure. She took a pit bull dog, Loren, from a Southern California animal shelter along for the ride.

Sathe and Loren covered significant ground, both physically and emotionally. They explored the Grand Canyon and romantic Savannah, Ga., visited New York City and New Orleans — 29 states in 50 days. During their travels, Sathe documented the varied ways people relate to pit bulls, from passionate animal rescuers to Michael Vick’s notorious dog-fighting enterprise.

Often, when the topic of pit bulls comes up, people express fear, but it was not always that way. There was a time when pit bulls were thought of as the ultimate family dog. No one was afraid of Petey from the Little Rascals; back then we thought of German shepherds and Doberman pinchers as the potentially dangerous dogs. In the late 1800s, the most feared breed of dog was the bloodhound. Whatever your opinion of pitbulls, Loren is a great ambassador and anyone who loves dogs will enjoy getting to know her through Strathe’s book.

Without spoiling the story, I can tell you that Loren’s travels had the happiest possible ending; she has been adopted. But Sathe is on the road again with a new dog friend, Kara, and she will be visiting Reno next week. Come by the shelter on Wednesday to meet her; pick up a copy of the book and Sathe will sign it for you. If you love dogs, you won’t want to miss it.

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Who Will Take Care of Your Pets When You are Gone?

I recently met Greg and Sandy Jensen of the Jensen Law Group here in Reno. They are pet owners and animal lovers and are passion-ate about doing pet trusts.

This made me think about my pets and what would happen to them if something happened to me. I realized that there were probably lots of others like me who would find this information helpful.

Millions of Americans cherish the love of their pets. Yet, each year, more than a half-million pets are euthanized because their owners became disabled or died.

So who will care for your pets if you aren’t able to? A great question, and we stand ready to help at Nevada Humane Society.

But what if you want to select a pet caregiver and leave funds for your pet’s future care? How can you be sure your pet will receive good care after you are gone and that funds will be spent as you intended? What happens to the funds after the pet is gone?

Leaving money for your pet in your will is one option. But legal experts warn that a will must go through a probate process in court — expensive, time consuming and open to the public.

Sometimes, heirs are well intended but encounter problems: leases that prohibit pets, a need to move, etc. Some heirs only want their inheritance, not the pet, so the pet gets dropped off at a shelter.

Experts say a pet trust is the way to go. With a pet trust, you select the pet caregiver and outline specific instructions. You also select a person to look after the pet funds when you are gone — the trustee.

You can fund a pet trust with a bank account or even a small life insurance policy. When your last pet dies, the remaining trust funds can go to family or a nonprofit organization, such as Nevada Humane Society. There is no probate process, expense or delay.

You don’t have to be rich to have a pet trust. Setting up a trust costs no more than a few pet groomings or a visit to the vet.

“Helping people create a pet trust to ensure care for their pets when they can no longer provide for them is one of the most rewarding parts of my work,” said Greg Jensen. “It truly gives the pet owner peace of mind.”

You can learn more about pet trusts at www.JensenLawGroup-Reno.com.



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