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Lifestyle

Are you well past college age but still wishing you'd followed your heart and pursued a career as a veterinarian? If so, you're by no means alone. Plenty of people I meet both professionally and socially confess that they fantasize about dropping that oar mid-paddle and taking a midstream plunge into the cool depths of veterinary medicine. The problem is that few actually do it, which is understandable. Here are a few stumbling blocks my personal sources have cited: It's a Big Leap! Most nontraditional-aged vet wannabes aren't usually averse to copping to cowardice over making such a huge life change midstream. Can't say I blame them. It's Hard to Get In! The requirements for entry...

Pets are not like humans in plenty of ways, but nowhere is the difference more glaringly obvious than when it comes to the notion of vanity. Pets have none to speak of -- or so we like to imagine, seeing as they've no use for mirrors and don't seem to care whether we're movie-star hot or dug-up-from-under-a-rock ugly. And thank goodness for that! It's hard enough to pair up pets and people without having to worry about a cat objecting to her new owner's nose or shaving habits. Why Some People Can't Look Past a Pet's Looks Unfortunately, the same lack of superficial circumspection is decidedly not in play with respect to humanity. Not only would we prefer to have our human milieu rife...

Adopt a dog or cat and you'll have a companion who won't blow you off for a game of Grand Theft Auto. You'll also be a lot healthier. Research shows that pet owners have lower cholesterol and blood pressure, less stress and anxiety, and fewer doctor visits. According to experts, pets provide nonjudgmental support that helps their owners cope with illness-causing stress. What's more, a recent study at the University of Missouri at Columbia found that a canine workout partner can help you lose weight better than a fellow human. Study participants felt the dogs depended on them to provide their daily exercise -- you can't flake on your Lab like you can your best friend. Some things to keep in...

When Two's Not A Crowd

Jeff Walsh, an editor in Rowayton, CT, loves having a two-dog household. "MP, my 11-year-old Jack Russell terrier, even licks Gracie's face," says Walsh. Things didn't start out so sweet: When MP met Gracie, a 2-year-old Lab-setter mix, at the shelter, all he did was snarl. But within weeks, the two had become inseparable. Sibling rivalry never surfaced in Walsh's home partly because he introduced the dogs on neutral territory. That's just one of the basic rules when you're bringing a new dog into an "only" dog home. Here's more expert advice on how to add to your brood without bruising feelings. RELATED: Pets Need Pals Too! How to Help Yours Find a BFF Age Matters "You may think a...

Maybe you'd like a pet -- but you're allergic, your condo won't allow it, or you travel for business. And maybe you considered getting an aquarium but dismissed the idea because, well, let's face it: Fish just aren't as warm and cuddly as cats and dogs. You can't curl up on the couch with a guppy. At least, not for long. But don't sell fish short. They're really not dull or passive, says Laura Muha, author of "The Super Simple Guide to Breeding Freshwater Fishes." "Fish absolutely interact with us and have definite personalities," says Muha. "When I walk near my tank, one of my fish swims to the top and wiggles. He doesn't do that for anyone else." RELATED: Surprising Ways Pet is Smarter...

Beijing, (AFP) -- A Chinese zoo held a Valentine's Day wedding on Tuesday for a male sheep and a female deer whose unconventional relationship has captured the public imagination, state media reported. Visitors have flooded to the wildlife park in the southwestern province of Yunnan to see the sheep, whose Chinese name Changmao means long hair, and the deer, Chunzi (pure), after zookeepers revealed online that the pair had begun mating. RELATED: Turtle Needs Booty Call On Tuesday, they flocked to the zoo again to see the two unlikely lovers unite in a ceremony carefully choreographed by their keepers, the state-run China News Service said in a photo report. RELATED ON HUFFPO: Animal...