People have been saying our newspaper has been going to the dogs for years.
Well, now we are really going to turn it over to the hounds ... and the cats and the fish and the birds and the other members of the Animal Kingdom.
We’re looking to put together a special section celebrating pets and animals and we welcome your participation.
Our ideas are still forming — and I think we already have some good ones — but we are open to some input on stories and story subjects.
Are you the sort of person who makes your spouse ride in the back seat so the dog can hang its head out the window from the front?
Do you bounce ideas for improving your life off your cat, thinking, for whatever reason, that they care to hear them while slumbering on your lap?
Is there a well-kept and well-stocked aquarium in your living room?
Does a pig or a goat run around your house the way most people might keep a dog or a kitten?
Do you rely on your service animal to literally help get you through your day?
Is your pet capable of some sort of astounding trick or known for some unique quality?
Maybe you think, ‘Hey, Fido’s not the best looking pup on the block, but we love him.’
Send us a photo and we’ll take a look.
We welcome your videos, too, whatever you think helps us better appreciate the uniqueness of your animal or the unique relationship you share with it.
When I was a boy, my first dog was named Bolo and I used to feed him pancakes while he sat under the table. Our old dog Gizmo was the true definition of Man and Woman’s Best Friend. Our first cat, Mr. Bean, landed on our doorstep as a tiny kitten whose eyes weren’t even open yet and we nursed him to full adulthood by feeding him with an eyedropper full of milk. There were other cats and dogs in there, and a guinea pig named Mr. Pickles, too.
They were as much a part of our family as our human family members and I may delve a little deeper into their unique natures in a future column for this section.
For now, we are just looking to hear from you.
Some of you might say this does not represent high-quality journalism or that, as a newspaper, we should be focusing our efforts on more important things.
It doesn’t and we do.
We want to do it because we think it will be enjoyable, the kind of thing that lets us doing a little something different while helping us, hopefully, to better connect with the people in the communities we serve.
If you have a unique animal- or pet-centered photo or story you’d like to share, send it in for consideration. Please provide contact information, including a telephone number or email, with any submission. All submissions can be emailed to me at email@example.com.
Depending on the level of response, we may not be able to use everything from everyone so please be considerate of our potential space constraints.
We’re also setting a cut-off date for submissions which will be two weeks from today on June 24.
We’re looking to have some fun with this and we encourage our readers to approach it with that in mind.
We will provide updates as the project progresses.
For now, pet lovers, we want to hear from you so, give us a howl!
Mark Scheer is the regional news director for the Niagara Gazette and the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal. When he’s not busy driving his co-workers batty with outlandish ideas about new sections devoted to animals and pet lovers, he can be reached at 282-2311, ext. 2250 or by email at Mark.Scheer@niagara-gazette.com.