This week, the NCSPCA would like to remind pet owners of the importance of maintaining adequate shelter for our canine friends who spend the majority of their time outdoors. Although winter is hopefully nearing its end, the weather is still chill enough that an insulated doghouse is an absolute must. A wonderful website which provides plans to build your own, weather-proof doghouse is located at http://tidewaterkc.org. The Tidewater Kennel Club advises that dogs who sleep outside during cold weather should do so consistently, so that they can become and remain acclimated to the cold temperatures. The adjustment from warm to cooler temperatures is as gradual a process for pets as it is for people. It is helpful to elevate the doghouse with bricks or cinder blocks, and to provide a burlap flap or door on the house to keep out the wind. Cedar, newspaper, or wood chip bedding is preferable to blankets or straw, and should be changed every two weeks. Providing a safe and cozy doghouse for your pet will keep him healthy as well as happy through the winter months! Our featured pet this week is Buster, a male, Shepherd-Collie Mix with the most incredible soulful eyes. This handsome fellow is about five years old and enjoys lots of quiet attention, as well as the occasional romp in the snow. He has lived with cats before and enjoys their company. He would be a wonderful companion for an elderly couple or family with older children. Buster also bonds well with females. Why not throw on some boots, stop by the shelter, and take him for a walk to get to know him better? When you come to the NCSPCA to visit Buster, dont forget to say hello to the many other wonderful dogs we have available for adoption, including baby Chow-mix Benson, Hound-mix Brutus, gentle Coonhound-mix Hope, playful Lab-mix Lady, and young Hound-mix Summer. We have canine companions of every size, age, and temperament who are all hoping to find homes before Spring. You can also visit our website at www.ncspca.org.