With holidays gone, bid a fond farewell to your relatives and Christmas trees SOUTHEAST--Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber

NEIGHBORS

January 05, 1993|By MAUREEN RICE

The holidays are past, we have given and received our gifts, we've rung in the new year, and have enjoyed seeing our relatives.

Of course, some relatives are more fun to see than others. Some family we love dearly, some we love only because it's such fun to hate them.

Oh, the awful delight of dreaming of ringing in the New Year by wringing their necks.

I always take comfort in being as much of a thorn in the side of those I don't like as they are in mine. I do my level best to be as obnoxious to them as they are to me. I use the ultimate tactic -- I am unfailingly nice to them.

I bubble with enthusiasm over their delightfully snide offerings (girdles, support stockings, etc.), compliment them on their thoughtfulness, and tell I'll think of them each time I use the gift.

It leaves them wondering just how stupid I really am. Is it fair to pick on the mentally deficient? Nothing, absolutely nothing, could possibly induce more guilt.

Happy New Year!

*

It's also time to take down the Christmas tree. If you're not planning to leave it outside to attract wildlife to your yard, take it to Piney Run Park to be mulched. Mulching will take place Saturday and Jan. 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bring it in during those hours and receive a coupon redeemable for a seedling in the spring.

Can't make it then? Drop the tree off on the grassy area near the recycling bins in front of the park entrance any time before those dates.

Park personnel request that you remove all tinsel. Please make the effort; the tinsel can cause problems for the mulching equipment. The mulch will be used in the park as soon as it is suitably aged.

*

There are only three days to make your bird seed needs known to the nature center personnel at Piney Run Park. All orders are due Friday. Pickup will be Jan. 16, which allows you to plan on dropping off your tree and picking up the bird seed in one trip.

Information: 795-6043.

*

Do dogs really look like their owners? According to Belinda Rozell, owner of Poochies, a new dog- and cat-grooming establishment on Liberty Road in Sykesville, this is often true.

"Sometimes the owner does look just like the dog. It's funny," she chuckles. "Usually we find that the dog suits the person's temperament."

It's unusual, she adds, to see a truly vicious dog.

"Some dogs are harder to handle than others," she said, "but we do the difficult dogs. The ones that bite, if you can get past that barrier -- why it wants to bite you -- almost always the dog calms down and lets us do what we need to do without any problems."

The holidays are the busiest time of the year for animal grooming and boarding, and Poochies has had as many as 18 dogs at one time on a busy Saturday.

"I'm looking forward to it calming down a little," Ms. Rozell said. "We just opened five weeks ago, and we went right into the busiest season."

Ms. Rozell is expert in her field. Seventeen years ago in South Carolina, her father talked her into dog grooming as an alternative to joining the Air Force.

"I started as a senior in high school washing and drying dogs," she said. "I worked up to clipping their feet. I don't know how many feet I trimmed. . . . Eventually I got to trim the rest of the dogs."

There was no looking back. "Dog grooming and showing is all I've ever really done, work-wise," Ms. Rozell said, "but it's what I like to do. I just love the variety of all the different dogs and cats and getting to know them and their owners."

Ms. Rozell has bred and shown standard poodles along with grooming, but since the death of her favorite poodle she hasn't had the heart to get another one.

She and her son Rick have a German short-haired pointer puppy instead.

She likes scissor work the best, along with the fancy trimmings.

"We can even dye the dog," she said, "blue, pink, green -- just about any color. It works best with white or silver dogs. And nails, we can even do artwork on them."

What does Poochies do after the holidays?

Business as usual, bathing, grooming, and "dipping" dogs for fleas, bathing cats (it helps with allergies) and, of course, boarding the cats when the owners are away.

Information: (410) 549-7574.

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