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The decision to get a pet is something that takes a while to grow and flourish, especially after having to say goodbye to one. You don’t feel you’re ready to welcome in a new furry family member until a certain amount of time has passed and the emptiness you have that only a dog, cat or tamed skunk can fill expresses itself in certain ways like me having my nine-year-old stepdaughter, Emma, play fetch in the yard.

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Some moments in life cause a bond between parents and children that you want to cherish forever — stuff like teaching them to ride a bike, picking them up after they continuously fall off the same bike, showing neutralizing self-defense tactics in case of urban riots and, of course, Take Your Child to Work Day.

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This week's column deals with the two things we rather not deal with during the upcoming spring/summer season: Cicadas and Stink Bugs. Think of this week's column as a survival guide...even though everyone normally survives seasons of those bugs.