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Popular Fire Hydrants
In Eau Claire: Menomonie Street and Fifth Avenue (down by the river trail), according to Brian Amundson, public works director
• In Menomonie: Main Street and 17th Street, near Dunn County Recreational Park, according to Randy Eide, public work director
• In Chippewa Falls: Bridgewater Avenue, near Irvine Park, according to Connie Freagon, public utilities manager. Officials warn pets to stay away from the hydrant at highways 53 and 29, as it is surrounded with poison ivy.

Popular Mail Carriers
    Last year alone, dogs bit more than 3,000 mail carriers, including 70 in the Northland District (which includes The Chippewa Valley and Twin Cities). But most know better than to mess with these loveable carriers.

Sue Anderson is an Eau Claire mail carrier, whose west-side route includes Cameron Street and Menomonie Street, and a self-proclaimed dog-lover. After several years, Sue has gotten to know nearly all of us canines (both the good and the bad) on the route, and some of us gladly roll over for a nice belly rub when she shows up.

“Some of them I really look forward to seeing,” Sue said, adding she not only knows where we sleep, but also most of our names. “It kind of makes my day, and probably theirs.”

As a member of the post office’s safety committee, Sue knows the dangers involved with her job and has learned how to gauge if we’re nice or not. Though she had to use her mace on one occasion and doesn’t carry treats (because we come to expect them and may come after substitute carriers), we always find a way to wag our tails for Sue.

Rebecca Baker is another example of a loveable mail carrier, whose Chippewa Falls beat includes downtown and East Hill. Rebecca also “loves the critters” and has several favorites in her daily routine. When Rebecca sees a new face, she always tries to let us get to know her (with a sniff) and build a rapport. And like Sue, Rebecca gladly bends down to pet the dogs that she considers to be friends.

Rebecca said she credits two people as role models in dealing with us dogs: Cesar Millan of The Dog Whisperer and former colleague Jim Erickson, a carrier in Altoona who taught nearly all of us in his area how to shake hands.

“I respect the animals’ space, and by doing that they respect me,” Rebecca said. And apparently it has paid off, she added, since “no one has chewed on me yet.”

Now if only they’d learn to come see us on Sundays.


by Connor Henson

Pet Retreat, Wisconsin Dells
    Though the summer heat may be coming to an end, your people may still have a hankering to dawn some of those ridiculous swimming collars and head to Wisconsin Dells for some wet and wild fun. When that happens, jump into the back seat and give them the old sad puppy-eyes routine until they agree to drop you off at Pet Retreat luxury boarding house. Make sure they bark out the money to get you a luxury suite where you will be treated to a twin-sized bed complete with turndown service, your own TV with a movie, and climate control via A/C or radiant heat floors. That’s a sweeter kennel than my person has.

Pampered Paws, Wisconsin Dells
    If the Pet Retreat is a little too snooty poodle for your doggie-style, try Pampered Paws. They may lack the twin-sized beds, but they have community televisions and - water breeds start your tail-wagging engines - a new doggie water park. Yes, your people will have nothing on you at end of your visit to the water park capital of the world.

Top Dog Country Club, New Germany, MN
    The people are off to that big mall again. Why on dog’s great earth would you want to tag along? Because they could drop you off at the Twin Cities’ premiere pet spot, Top Dog Country Club. Featured on The Today Show and Animal Planet, Top Dog is located on 42 acres of land in the Minneapolis suburb of New Germany. It features only suites, a pool, a “yappy hour” of fresh-baked dog treats, and bedtime story written for dogs every night. Roll-over and play dead because you have reached doggie heaven.

Downtown Dogs, Minneapolis
    If you’d prefer to rest your paws right in the city, sniff no further than Downtown Dogs. Located in Minneapolis, the indoor and outdoor play areas feature special dog equipment plus the 25- to 35-square foot personal rooms will have you on your hind-legs begging for more at the end of your stay.

Paws and Claws Spa, Stillwater, MN
    It’s a fact that wagging tails are a danger to priceless antiques and the aging condo crowd – for whatever reason – have a natural aversion to noses up their butts. So, when the people head to Stillwater, it’s time to go to the spa. At Paws and Claws you get to run wild all day with other dogs your size before getting a wash, trim, ear cleaning, and a pedicure. It’s truly a dog’s life after all.