[ {"id":"7f15eaca-1df9-5e89-a3b9-a4eed7ba3d4f","type":"article","starttime":"1498677056","starttime_iso8601":"2017-06-28T14:10:56-05:00","lastupdated":"1498680396","priority":0,"sections":[{"lifestyles":"lifestyles"},{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Farmers for hire turn backyards into vegetable patches","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/article_7f15eaca-1df9-5e89-a3b9-a4eed7ba3d4f.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/farmers-for-hire-turn-backyards-into-vegetable-patches/article_7f15eaca-1df9-5e89-a3b9-a4eed7ba3d4f.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/If-you-want-to-grow-your-own-produce-but-don-t-want-to-put-in-the-time-and-effort-consider-hiring-a-farmer-to-come-do-it-for-you/id-519c9040d419495dbf98e65c053c1644","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":7,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By KATHERINE ROTH\nAssociated Press","prologue":"Some of these farmers have farming backgrounds, while others are landscapers who expanded their expertise, or entrepreneurs from a range of professional backgrounds who just love gardening and the outdoors.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","lifestyle","home and garden","gardening","hobbies","recreation and leisure","crop farming","agriculture","business","urban farming","eco-friendly practices","environment","environment and nature","vegetable farming","organic farming","agriculture and the environment","decoration"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"2ec2d171-4d2d-5b60-ade6-6e9fd0eb307e","description":"This January 2017 photo provided by Farmscape shows a backyard vegetable garden in Los Angeles. (Thomas Line/Farmscape via AP)","byline":"Thomas Line","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"341","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/ec/2ec2d171-4d2d-5b60-ade6-6e9fd0eb307e/5953afcaa2a8c.image.jpg?resize=512%2C341"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/ec/2ec2d171-4d2d-5b60-ade6-6e9fd0eb307e/5953afcaa2a8c.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/ec/2ec2d171-4d2d-5b60-ade6-6e9fd0eb307e/5953afcaa2a8c.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/ec/2ec2d171-4d2d-5b60-ade6-6e9fd0eb307e/5953afcaa2a8c.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"47d6623c-f33d-5007-aa97-c44be23d7c2a","description":"This 2016 photo provided by The Organic Gardener shows a rooftop garden in Chicago, Ill. (The Organic Gardener via AP)","byline":"HONS","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"341","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/7d/47d6623c-f33d-5007-aa97-c44be23d7c2a/5953afcacad97.image.jpg?resize=512%2C341"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/7d/47d6623c-f33d-5007-aa97-c44be23d7c2a/5953afcacad97.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/7d/47d6623c-f33d-5007-aa97-c44be23d7c2a/5953afcacad97.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/7d/47d6623c-f33d-5007-aa97-c44be23d7c2a/5953afcacad97.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"bf851000-8bdf-5b78-abfc-1dfff7956b8c","description":"This undated photo provided by Green City Growers shows Fenway Farms, a large rooftop farm at Fenway Park maintained by Green City Growers in Boston. The farm produces more than 6,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables each season to be used in on-site restaurants and concessions. (Maureen White/Garden City Growers via AP)","byline":"Maureen White","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"341","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/f8/bf851000-8bdf-5b78-abfc-1dfff7956b8c/5953afcaee187.image.jpg?resize=512%2C341"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/f8/bf851000-8bdf-5b78-abfc-1dfff7956b8c/5953afcaee187.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/f8/bf851000-8bdf-5b78-abfc-1dfff7956b8c/5953afcaee187.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/f8/bf851000-8bdf-5b78-abfc-1dfff7956b8c/5953afcaee187.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"f716ce5a-8c93-5b16-9812-c02d106ff53e","description":"This 2015 photo provided by The Organic Gardener shows a garden around a shed in Lake Forest, Ill. (Heather Blackmore/The Organic Gardener via AP)","byline":"Heather Blackmore","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"341","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/71/f716ce5a-8c93-5b16-9812-c02d106ff53e/5953afcb23209.image.jpg?resize=512%2C341"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/71/f716ce5a-8c93-5b16-9812-c02d106ff53e/5953afcb23209.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/71/f716ce5a-8c93-5b16-9812-c02d106ff53e/5953afcb23209.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/71/f716ce5a-8c93-5b16-9812-c02d106ff53e/5953afcb23209.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"0c9cd3bd-c204-52fa-91bf-93b76e78fe46","description":"This 2015 photo provided by The Organic Gardener shows a backyard garden in Winnetka, Ill. (Heather Blackmore/The Organic Gardener via AP)","byline":"Heather Blackmore","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"341","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/c9/0c9cd3bd-c204-52fa-91bf-93b76e78fe46/5953afcb4b362.image.jpg?resize=512%2C341"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/c9/0c9cd3bd-c204-52fa-91bf-93b76e78fe46/5953afcb4b362.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/c9/0c9cd3bd-c204-52fa-91bf-93b76e78fe46/5953afcb4b362.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/c9/0c9cd3bd-c204-52fa-91bf-93b76e78fe46/5953afcb4b362.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"34cf0e09-c838-5ea7-95ea-03d7ff78a5f8","description":"This undated photo provided by Green City Growers shows Director of Horticulture Laura Feddersen teaching garden fundamentals to participants at the employee wellness garden at Hood Park in Charlestown, Mass. Green City Growers runs more than a dozen of these programs throughout the Northeast. (Maureen White/Garden City Growers via AP)","byline":"Maureen White","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"341","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/4c/34cf0e09-c838-5ea7-95ea-03d7ff78a5f8/5953afcb6f6b4.image.jpg?resize=512%2C341"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/4c/34cf0e09-c838-5ea7-95ea-03d7ff78a5f8/5953afcb6f6b4.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/4c/34cf0e09-c838-5ea7-95ea-03d7ff78a5f8/5953afcb6f6b4.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/4c/34cf0e09-c838-5ea7-95ea-03d7ff78a5f8/5953afcb6f6b4.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"08bbdacc-0cae-5eda-b57c-c903b10e73e7","description":"This February 2014 photo provided by Farmscape shows a rooftop garden at Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles.(Lowell Frank/Farmscape via AP)","byline":"Lowell Frank","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"343","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/8b/08bbdacc-0cae-5eda-b57c-c903b10e73e7/5953afcb91da2.image.jpg?resize=512%2C343"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/8b/08bbdacc-0cae-5eda-b57c-c903b10e73e7/5953afcb91da2.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"201","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/8b/08bbdacc-0cae-5eda-b57c-c903b10e73e7/5953afcb91da2.image.jpg?resize=300%2C201"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"686","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/8b/08bbdacc-0cae-5eda-b57c-c903b10e73e7/5953afcb91da2.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":8,"commentID":"7f15eaca-1df9-5e89-a3b9-a4eed7ba3d4f","body":"

Jeanne Nolan grew up in an affluent suburb of Chicago. When it came time to apply for colleges, she shocked her family by opting to skip college and become an organic farmer. Then she brought her farming skills back to the suburbs and city, installing and tending vegetable gardens at clients' homes.

The Organic Gardener Ltd., the farmer-for-hire service she and her husband, Verd, started in the Chicago area in 2005, is one of many such services that have cropped up across the country. Some of these farmers have farming backgrounds, while others are landscapers who expanded their expertise, or entrepreneurs from a range of professional backgrounds who just love gardening and the outdoors.

\"If you want serious exercise, you turn to a professional trainer to help you do it right. This is like hiring a gardening coach. Some people say, 'Come over every other week for a year' so they can learn and do it themselves. And I also have a hundred clients whose gardens I've been tending for years who are not even trying to do it on their own, but simply love having it done,\" says Jeanne Nolan, author of \"From the Ground Up: A Food Grower's Education in Life, Love, and the Movement That's Changing a Nation\" (Spiegel and Grau, 2013).

Urban farming services cater to both homes and businesses that want home-grown produce but not the work involved in growing it. Clients include apartment complexes, grocery stories, schools, shopping malls, even ballparks.

\"It turns out that having home-grown produce is something a lot of people really want,\" says Jessie Banhazl, founder and CEO of Green City Growers, in the Boston area. The company's Fenway Farms project involves planting and tending vegetable gardens atop Fenway Park, where produce is served to fans at baseball games, and a portion is donated to charity.

Many of her clients are trying to get more engaged in the growing process, she says: \"There's something about seeing how food grows, at home, school or even at Fenway, and hopefully this influences dietary choices and has a positive environmental impact.\"

Dan Allen, CEO of Farmscape, with locations in Los Angeles and the San Francisco area, says farmers for hire have a more intimate relationship with clients than landscapers do. \"There's something more personal about growing food,\" he says.

Hiring a farmer for your backyard isn't necessarily cheap, though (prices vary by region). The farmers admit that if saving money is your goal, it's probably cheaper to just shop organic at the grocery store. But they say the experience of growing your own produce, the learning opportunity for kids \u2014 and the bragging rights \u2014 make it worthwhile.

Another option: having a farm service visit every couple of weeks to teach growing techniques and offer tips.

\"It's surprising how much food you can grow in a very small space. As urban farmers, we grow things vertically and on roofs. We know how to plant crops densely. Even in just a 4-by-4 (-foot) square planter, you can grow a lot of food,\" Nolan says.

Her company grows \" pretty much anything you can imagine,\" she says. \"Our most charismatic are tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. And our season runs from March through mid-December.\"

To provide enough produce for a family of four, Green City Growers recommends three 3-by-8-foot raised beds.

\"Whether it's a median strip or a full backyard, or even containers on a balcony, a vegetable garden can happen almost anywhere,\" Banhazl says.

"}, {"id":"788ac465-2cd6-5d65-92fa-d856e09c6c25","type":"article","starttime":"1498663800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-06-28T10:30:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1498664811","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"},{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"US pending home sales slip for 3rd straight month","url":"http://qctimes.com/business/article_788ac465-2cd6-5d65-92fa-d856e09c6c25.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/business/us-pending-home-sales-slip-for-rd-straight-month/article_788ac465-2cd6-5d65-92fa-d856e09c6c25.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/Measure-of-Americans-signing-contracts-to-buy-homes-fell-0-8-percent-in-May-3rd-straight-monthly-decline/id-58a8783efa214701819aaecf98de0bcd","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"JOSH BOAK\nAP Economics Writer","prologue":"Americans signed fewer contracts to buy homes in May, the third straight monthly decline and evidence that a shortage of homes for sale has suppressed home-buying.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","home selling","residential real estate","lifestyle","home buying","real estate services","professional services","home sales","economy","homebuying","homeselling","finance","home and garden"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"415aed7b-f01e-5620-bcd3-446ae7daa722","description":"FILE - In this Thursday, April 27, 2017, file photo, an \"Under Contract\" sign is posted in front of a home for sale in Charlotte, N.C. On Wednesday, June 28, 2017, the National Association of Realtors releases its May report on pending home sales, which are seen as a barometer of future purchases. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)","byline":"CHUCK BURTON, ASSOCIATED PRESS","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"369","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/15/415aed7b-f01e-5620-bcd3-446ae7daa722/592edea92a41a.image.jpg?resize=512%2C369"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"72","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/15/415aed7b-f01e-5620-bcd3-446ae7daa722/592edea92a41a.image.jpg?resize=100%2C72"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"216","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/15/415aed7b-f01e-5620-bcd3-446ae7daa722/592edea92a41a.image.jpg?resize=300%2C216"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"738","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/15/415aed7b-f01e-5620-bcd3-446ae7daa722/592edea92a41a.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"788ac465-2cd6-5d65-92fa-d856e09c6c25","body":"

WASHINGTON \u2014 Americans signed fewer contracts to buy homes in May, the third straight monthly decline and evidence that a shortage of homes for sale has suppressed home-buying.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its pending home sales index fell 0.8 percent in May to 108.5. That's down from 109.4 in April and 111.3 in March. The index has slipped 1.7 percent over the past 12 months.

Would-be buyers are facing higher prices and fewer options. Sales listings have plunged 8.4 percent over the past 12 months to 1.96 million. The median sales price in May rose 5.8 percent from a year ago to $252,800.

Pending sales contracts are a barometer of future purchases. A sale is typically completed a month or two after a contract is signed. The steady decline suggests that homes sales growth is increasingly limited, though demand and mortgage applications indicate that sales should be stronger than last year.

\"Today's reading signals a small dip in June existing home sales, but they don't change the big picture,\" said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

The measure of signed contracts in May fell in the Northeast, South and West. It remained unchanged in the Midwest.

"}, {"id":"928d4c77-1793-5b0f-b519-56bea7a8fcdc","type":"article","starttime":"1498662000","starttime_iso8601":"2017-06-28T10:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1498664337","priority":0,"sections":[{"lifestyles":"lifestyles"},{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Livestock guardian dogs help protect poultry, herd animals","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/article_928d4c77-1793-5b0f-b519-56bea7a8fcdc.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/livestock-guardian-dogs-help-protect-poultry-herd-animals/article_928d4c77-1793-5b0f-b519-56bea7a8fcdc.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/Livestock-guardian-dogs-can-be-lifesavers-not-only-for-herd-animals-and-poultry-but-also-for-farmers-and-ranchers-trying-to-build-a-profitable-business/id-1cd45e9d56b142bf9852ba757915ad0b","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"DEAN FOSDICK\nAssociated Press\ndeanfosdick@netscape.net","prologue":"The dogs are bred specifically to cope with coyotes, bears, raptors and other predators, as well as control other dogs \u2014 family pets allowed to run loose through neighborhoods, posing a threat to goats and sheep.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","lifestyle","home and garden","dogs","animals","gardening","hobbies","recreation and leisure","poultry farming","livestock farming","agriculture","business","decoration"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"5070dc49-7114-574f-82e1-86c1264a84a4","description":"This March 28, 2013 photo shows Nigerian goats near Clinton, Wash. Livestock guardian dogs can be lifesavers for profit-seeking farmers and ranchers. Livestock guardian dogs have been genetically refined over the years to protect livestock, like these vulnerable Nigerian goats, from predators. There are some 20 to 30 breeds of livestock guardian dogs around the world. (Dean Fosdick via AP)","byline":"Dean Fosdick","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"431","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/07/5070dc49-7114-574f-82e1-86c1264a84a4/59529731e8462.image.jpg?resize=512%2C431"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"84","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/07/5070dc49-7114-574f-82e1-86c1264a84a4/59529731e8462.image.jpg?resize=100%2C84"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"253","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/07/5070dc49-7114-574f-82e1-86c1264a84a4/59529731e8462.image.jpg?resize=300%2C253"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"862","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/07/5070dc49-7114-574f-82e1-86c1264a84a4/59529731e8462.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"170ab6a0-cb07-5fdc-a986-2887290ff2b1","description":"This July 8, 2008 photo shows a Great Pyrenees pup being held by Art Hegeman of rural New Market, Va. The pup eventually grew to 120 pounds and was used as a livestock guardian dog to protect ornamental fowl from predators. Livestock guardian dogs can be a rancher's best friend but should not be treated as pets so they can bond with their herds and flocks. (Dean Fosdick via AP)","byline":"Dean Fosdick","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"341","height":"512","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/70/170ab6a0-cb07-5fdc-a986-2887290ff2b1/595297322742d.image.jpg?resize=341%2C512"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"150","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/70/170ab6a0-cb07-5fdc-a986-2887290ff2b1/595297322742d.image.jpg?resize=100%2C150"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"450","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/70/170ab6a0-cb07-5fdc-a986-2887290ff2b1/595297322742d.image.jpg?resize=300%2C450"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1538","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/70/170ab6a0-cb07-5fdc-a986-2887290ff2b1/595297322742d.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"928d4c77-1793-5b0f-b519-56bea7a8fcdc","body":"

Livestock guardian dogs (sometimes called LGDs) can be lifesavers, not only for herd animals and poultry but also for farmers and ranchers trying to build a profitable business.

Laura Faley owns Hidden Meadow Ranch near Mount Vernon, Washington, about 60 miles north of Seattle. She raises chickens, turkeys, ducks and sheep with the help of dogs bred specifically to cope with the coyotes, bears, raptors and other predators roaming her property.

The guardian dogs also help control other dogs \u2014 family pets allowed to run loose through neighborhoods, posing a threat to goats and sheep.

Before Faley acquired her guardian dogs, she was losing more than 40 lambs per year to eagles, and large numbers of ducks and chickens to great horned owls.

\"Now it's zero,\" Faley said. \"I've had my dogs for five and a half years. In that time, I haven't lost any livestock.\"

Dogs have been genetically refined over the years to protect livestock from predators. There are some 20 to 30 breeds of livestock guardian dogs around the world.

The breeds display a wide range of temperaments. \"Some are better suited as remote pasture guardians where a daily routine is very constant, while some are good in situations where there is a high degree of variety,\" the Livestock Guardian Dogs Association says.

Just as you wouldn't try to use an Irish setter to herd sheep or a border collie to hunt birds, only livestock guardian dog breeds are big enough, powerful enough, determined enough and calm enough to be effective at deterring predators, Faley said.

The best-known breeds in the United States are great Pyrenees, Anatolian shepherds, Akbash and Maremma sheepdogs. \"They are generally aloof toward strangers, and their size alone is rather intimidating,\" the Association says.

Picks of the litter can be pricy, said Faley, who has two Anatolian shepherds and two Kangals. \"I paid $1,200 each for the (two) purebred registered Kangal puppies,\" she said.

Match the animals to your specific needs.

\"Buy your dog only where you can see both parents working,\" Faley said. \"Genes are everything. Bad training can be fixed. Bad genes cannot.\"

The most effective livestock guardian dogs are those that bond with livestock and poultry rather than with people.

\"There's a strong distinction between pets and guardian dogs,\" said John Tomecek, a Texas A&M Agrilife Extension wildlife specialist. \"It's good to be able to approach them in the pasture and handle them, but it's not good to have them hanging around the house.\"

The larger the area and the more livestock you have, the more guardian dogs you'll need.

\"A lot also depends upon the terrain,\" Tomecek said. \"If it's open and you can scan it pretty well, then you won't need as many (dogs).\"

A commonly cited rule is one dog per every 400 to 500 acres, but that's not universal. \"Visit with others to see what works in their areas,\" Tomecek said.

Dogs aren't the only guardian animals effective for predator control. Llamas and donkeys also are popular for protecting vulnerable goats and sheep.

\"It's a matter of personal experience and preference,\" Tomecek said. \"Most of the problems here are with coyotes. I prefer using a canine to deter another canine.\"

"}, {"id":"543fbdf6-b495-549b-9fe1-52b4c4c48aba","type":"article","starttime":"1498658400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-06-28T09:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1498664347","priority":0,"sections":[{"lifestyles":"lifestyles"},{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Dolley Madison: The White House's first power hostess","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/article_543fbdf6-b495-549b-9fe1-52b4c4c48aba.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/dolley-madison-the-white-house-s-first-power-hostess/article_543fbdf6-b495-549b-9fe1-52b4c4c48aba.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/Dolley-Madison-Thoughtful-decor-elegant-tableware-and-gracious-entertaining-can-sometimes-come-together-into-something-powerful/id-4b4d6490ede34ad2ac231abc14324cf8","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":4,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"KATHERINE ROTH\nAssociated Press","prologue":"An exhibit in New York argues that Dolley Madison's prodigious domestic, social and political talents helped define and unite a fledgling nation.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","lifestyle","home and garden","government and politics","remodeling","decoration"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"2f76a3a0-1548-5414-bbbe-30911ad54e9e","description":"This 2017 photo provided by The New York Historical Society shows a installation view of the exhibit \"Saving Washington,\" at the New York Historical Society in New York. (Glenn Castellano/New York Historical Society via AP)","byline":"Glenn Castellano","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"345","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/f7/2f76a3a0-1548-5414-bbbe-30911ad54e9e/5953afcc4bb80.image.jpg?resize=512%2C345"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/f7/2f76a3a0-1548-5414-bbbe-30911ad54e9e/5953afcc4bb80.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"202","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/f7/2f76a3a0-1548-5414-bbbe-30911ad54e9e/5953afcc4bb80.image.jpg?resize=300%2C202"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"690","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/f7/2f76a3a0-1548-5414-bbbe-30911ad54e9e/5953afcc4bb80.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"92a63bd9-67f2-5d0a-950c-f19b554253ce","description":"This 2017 photo provided by The New York Historical Society shows a installation view of the exhibit \"Saving Washington,\" at the New York Historical Society in New York. (Glenn Castellano/New York Historical Society via AP)","byline":"Glenn Castellano","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"326","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/2a/92a63bd9-67f2-5d0a-950c-f19b554253ce/5953afcc71300.image.jpg?resize=512%2C326"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"64","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/2a/92a63bd9-67f2-5d0a-950c-f19b554253ce/5953afcc71300.image.jpg?resize=100%2C64"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"191","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/2a/92a63bd9-67f2-5d0a-950c-f19b554253ce/5953afcc71300.image.jpg?resize=300%2C191"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"652","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/2a/92a63bd9-67f2-5d0a-950c-f19b554253ce/5953afcc71300.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"8e3c7b72-9815-53e9-819f-39583680d793","description":"This 2017 photo provided by The New York Historical Society shows a installation view of the exhibit \"Saving Washington,\" at the New York Historical Society in New York. (Glenn Castellano/New York Historical Society via AP)","byline":"Glenn Castellano","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"342","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/e3/8e3c7b72-9815-53e9-819f-39583680d793/5953afcc96cb2.image.jpg?resize=512%2C342"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/e3/8e3c7b72-9815-53e9-819f-39583680d793/5953afcc96cb2.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/e3/8e3c7b72-9815-53e9-819f-39583680d793/5953afcc96cb2.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"684","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/e3/8e3c7b72-9815-53e9-819f-39583680d793/5953afcc96cb2.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"588b1401-7997-5b8e-93e4-5fc0d0f2c84c","description":"This 2017 photo provided by The New York Historical Society shows a installation view of the exhibit \"Saving Washington,\" at the New York Historical Society in New York. (Glenn Castellano/New York Historical Society via AP)","byline":"Glenn Castellano","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"345","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/88/588b1401-7997-5b8e-93e4-5fc0d0f2c84c/5953afcd1282b.image.jpg?resize=512%2C345"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/88/588b1401-7997-5b8e-93e4-5fc0d0f2c84c/5953afcd1282b.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"202","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/88/588b1401-7997-5b8e-93e4-5fc0d0f2c84c/5953afcd1282b.image.jpg?resize=300%2C202"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"690","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/88/588b1401-7997-5b8e-93e4-5fc0d0f2c84c/5953afcd1282b.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"543fbdf6-b495-549b-9fe1-52b4c4c48aba","body":"

Sometimes, thoughtful decor, elegant tableware and gracious entertaining can come together into something truly powerful.

An exhibit in New York argues that Dolley Madison's prodigious domestic, social and political talents helped define and unite a fledgling nation.

Madison was the first First Lady to reside in the White House for a full term. She decorated three of its rooms, and boldly invited the public to dinner not once, but every Wednesday.

\"A lot of Americans at that point did not even know how to use a fork, and some coachmen who entered the White House had never before sipped from porcelain cups,\" says Valerie Paley, who curated \"Saving Washington,\" on view at the New-York Historical Society through July 30. Paley is director of the museum's new Center for Women's History, which aims to reveal the often overlooked stories of women who shaped American history.

Dolley Madison \"understood the power of symbols, and showed what American refinement could look like,\" Paley says. Through decoration and tableware, the First Lady showed that Americans could perform socially as well as politically on the national and international stage. She hosted a broad range of people at her dinners, from European foreign ministers to American congressmen and merchants.

The exhibit features a tiny, urn-shaped nutmeg grater, a marrow scoop, mustard and egg spoons, and an array of similarly specialized utensils of the era, all of which would have been novel items to many of her guests.

It also features the First Lady's own silver snuff box, from which she generously offered snuff to guests, Paley says. Also on view are tea and coffee sets that belonged to the Madisons.

Instead of donning a tiara, as was customary, the socially savvy Madison wore a turban decorated with a towering feather plume, so that she could be easily located in a crowded room.

\"She was an important example of what a woman could be in the United States at the time but, more importantly, she embodied the idea of American strength, virtue and honor,\" says Paley, who calls Madison \"one of the most influential women in America during the nation's formative years, and a powerful force during a time when women were excluded from affairs of state.\"

Her public White House dinners became known as the \"Wednesday evening squeeze,\" since so many people attended.

\"It was an important part of her whole project of civility, and humanizing the office of the president. After a while, she didn't even need the ads because everyone knew that that's what was going on in Washington on Wednesdays,\" Paley said.

At the \"squeezes,\" people of various backgrounds could circulate with diplomats, politicians and even the president himself.

\"It's important to remember that Washington was pretty desolate at the time,\" Paley says. \"It was literally a swamp and figuratively a desert, and Mrs. Madison helped create important informal networks and a sense of connection.\"

The trappings of gentility required an enormous amount of physical work, museum experts noted: Crisp table linens had to be washed, bleached, ironed and mended; silver had to be cleaned and polished; delicate porcelain had to be dusted. The Madisons had a sizable staff \u2014 some of them experienced Washington servants who were paid wages, but most of them slaves.

A highlight of the exhibit is an interactive dining table meant to represent Dolley Madison's table at a Wednesday gathering. Visitors are invited to take a seat and, using screens, take on the role of a character. Using prompts, the \"diners\" are invited to try to reach consensus on an issue of the day, deciding whether to use flattery, criticism or some other method to make their points.

\"I would argue that in a larger sense, Washington was an aspirational place, while the two earlier capitals were not. This needed to be a congenial place for politicking as well as socializing, and it was through creating these wonderful spaces and important social events that she helped solidify not only Madison as president but the whole notion of unity in the fledgling United States,\" Paley said.

While John Adams and his wife, Abigail, were the first presidential couple to live in the White House, Abigail Adams \"was only there about a month and apparently hated it,\" Paley says. Thomas Jefferson was a widower by the time he moved in and, wary of any semblance of aristocracy, he left the White House quite spartan.

The Madisons lived in the White House from 1809 to 1817.

"}, {"id":"aa8455ae-34c2-52eb-ac59-7bdda2ee787e","type":"article","starttime":"1498568400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-06-27T08:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1498577442","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"},{"govt-and-politics":"news/national/govt-and-politics"},{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Robust US home price gains cool slightly in April","url":"http://qctimes.com/business/article_aa8455ae-34c2-52eb-ac59-7bdda2ee787e.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/business/robust-us-home-price-gains-cool-slightly-in-april/article_aa8455ae-34c2-52eb-ac59-7bdda2ee787e.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/US-home-prices-rise-at-robust-pace-in-April-as-buyers-compete-for-scarce-supply/id-86ac532c02fe4939aae275487f726240","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER\nAP Economics Writer","prologue":"The Standard & Poor's CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index climbed 5.7 percent in April, after increases of 5.9 percent in March and February. Those gains were the highest in nearly three years.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","politics","business","general news","home buying","residential real estate","lifestyle","homebuying","homeselling","finance","home and garden"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"7fac1d94-8c36-5c19-bc7a-2e06631085af","description":"This Wednesday, April 12, 2017, photo shows a residential building for sale, in Natick, Mass. On Tuesday, June 27, 2017, the Standard & Poor's CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index is released. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)","byline":"Steven Senne","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"344","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/fa/7fac1d94-8c36-5c19-bc7a-2e06631085af/59525e2b44b73.image.jpg?resize=512%2C344"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/fa/7fac1d94-8c36-5c19-bc7a-2e06631085af/59525e2b44b73.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"202","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/fa/7fac1d94-8c36-5c19-bc7a-2e06631085af/59525e2b44b73.image.jpg?resize=300%2C202"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"688","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/fa/7fac1d94-8c36-5c19-bc7a-2e06631085af/59525e2b44b73.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":7,"commentID":"aa8455ae-34c2-52eb-ac59-7bdda2ee787e","body":"

WASHINGTON \u2014 U.S. home prices rose at a healthy clip in April, though the increase slowed a bit from the previous two months.

The Standard & Poor's CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index climbed 5.7 percent in April, after increases of 5.9 percent in March and February. Those gains were the highest in nearly three years.

Home prices are rising roughly twice as fast as average wages, a dynamic that may eventually stifle sales by thwarting would-be homeowners. Bidding wars among buyers competing for a limited supply of available homes are driving up costs. Low mortgage rates are also encouraging more Americans to buy homes.

Seattle, Portland and Dallas reported the largest year-over-year gains in April. Home prices jumped 12.9 percent in Seattle, 9.3 percent in Portland and 8.4 percent in Dallas.

\"Since demand is exceeding supply and financing is available, there is nothing right now to keep prices from going up,\" David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones indices, said.

The number of homes available for sale nationwide has fallen 8.4 percent in the past year to just 1.96 million, according to the National Association of Realtors. That's enough to last just four months at the current sales pace. A healthy market typically has a six months' supply.

Many homeowners may be reluctant to sell because prices have been rising so rapidly. Some may also have a very low mortgage rate that they would have to replace with a higher rate if they bought a new home. And many single-family homes were converted to rentals after the housing bust and are likely to remain off the for-sale market.

Developers are breaking more ground on new homes, but they haven't been doing so quickly enough to keep up with sales. The number of housing starts actually fell 5.5 percent in May from the previous month.

Meanwhile, Americans are snapping up new homes, pushing the median price in May to a record $345,800, nearly 17 percent higher than a year earlier.

"}, {"id":"5bf4dd36-e145-5dc7-96f4-8940201078b9","type":"article","starttime":"1498486500","starttime_iso8601":"2017-06-26T09:15:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1498486623","sections":[{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"},{"local":"news/local"}],"flags":{"alert":"true","featured":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"What's that funny-looking house?","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/article_5bf4dd36-e145-5dc7-96f4-8940201078b9.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/what-s-that-funny-looking-house/article_5bf4dd36-e145-5dc7-96f4-8940201078b9.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/what-s-that-funny-looking-house/article_5bf4dd36-e145-5dc7-96f4-8940201078b9.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":8,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Alma Gaul\nagaul@qctimes.com","prologue":"Walking to his job at\u00a0Augustana College in Rock Island, Brandon Tidwell often found himself staring at\u00a0a \"really different looking house\" on 7th Avenue near Old Main. He thought of it as the\u00a0\"bathtub house\" because it was made of square panels resembling the\u00a0tiles of bathroom walls, and he\u00a0and wondered \"what the story was.\"","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["brandon tidwell","thomas fetters","landmark preservation council of illinois","moline preservation society","marty mahieu","illinois","paint","hinsdale","steel","steel cabinets","metal base","orion","steel construciton","larsen","lustron garage","carl strandlund","steel ceilings","ohio","metal pocket doors","steel construction","quad-city","porcelain-enameled steel","president","augustana college","metal","moline high school","columbus","rock island","east coast","building industry","lustron facebook","construction","bathroom","moline","tile"],"internalKeywords":["#free"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"503a821c-aa88-5424-8a31-e9f58c542971","description":"The exterior of the home is surf blue; other color choices were yellow, gray and tan. A feature that sets this home apart is that it also has a Lustron garage. That was not very common, researcher Brandon Tidwell says.","byline":"Jeff Cook.QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1791,"hiresheight":1156,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/03/503a821c-aa88-5424-8a31-e9f58c542971/594b1dab946b1.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1791","height":"1156","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/03/503a821c-aa88-5424-8a31-e9f58c542971/594b1dab93378.image.jpg?resize=1791%2C1156"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"65","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/03/503a821c-aa88-5424-8a31-e9f58c542971/594b1dab93378.image.jpg?resize=100%2C65"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"194","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/03/503a821c-aa88-5424-8a31-e9f58c542971/594b1dab93378.image.jpg?resize=300%2C194"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"661","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/03/503a821c-aa88-5424-8a31-e9f58c542971/594b1dab93378.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C661"}}},{"id":"c035f4b8-e4fd-5b13-a1c0-0cdac516b52b","description":"Marty and Cindy Mahieu are reflected in a built-in mirror with bookcase in their 1950's Lustron home in Moline. The wall and built-in are all made of steel.","byline":"QUAD-CITY TIMES Jeff Cook","hireswidth":1641,"hiresheight":1263,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/03/c035f4b8-e4fd-5b13-a1c0-0cdac516b52b/594b1dab2db99.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1641","height":"1263","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/03/c035f4b8-e4fd-5b13-a1c0-0cdac516b52b/594b1dab2ce41.image.jpg?resize=1641%2C1263"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"77","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/03/c035f4b8-e4fd-5b13-a1c0-0cdac516b52b/594b1dab2ce41.image.jpg?resize=100%2C77"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"231","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/03/c035f4b8-e4fd-5b13-a1c0-0cdac516b52b/594b1dab2ce41.image.jpg?resize=300%2C231"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"788","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/03/c035f4b8-e4fd-5b13-a1c0-0cdac516b52b/594b1dab2ce41.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C788"}}},{"id":"ec8e56e3-8c21-5b39-9a87-007533e7b829","description":"This is the floor plan for Marty Mahieu's Westchester Deluxe, a 1,021-square-foot Lustron home.","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"621","height":"583","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c8/ec8e56e3-8c21-5b39-9a87-007533e7b829/594b1dadce8b2.image.jpg?resize=621%2C583"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"94","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c8/ec8e56e3-8c21-5b39-9a87-007533e7b829/594b1dadce8b2.image.jpg?resize=100%2C94"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"282","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c8/ec8e56e3-8c21-5b39-9a87-007533e7b829/594b1dadce8b2.image.jpg?resize=300%2C282"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"961","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c8/ec8e56e3-8c21-5b39-9a87-007533e7b829/594b1dadce8b2.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"7ee2a987-ecc3-55e5-abfb-fd8881d55e27","description":"A built-in steel dressing table with drawers was a key feature in the master bedroom.","byline":"Jeff Cook.QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1200,"hiresheight":1726,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/ee/7ee2a987-ecc3-55e5-abfb-fd8881d55e27/594b1dac82c40.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1200","height":"1726","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/ee/7ee2a987-ecc3-55e5-abfb-fd8881d55e27/594b1dac820a1.image.jpg?resize=1200%2C1726"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"144","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/ee/7ee2a987-ecc3-55e5-abfb-fd8881d55e27/594b1dac820a1.image.jpg?resize=100%2C144"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"432","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/ee/7ee2a987-ecc3-55e5-abfb-fd8881d55e27/594b1dac820a1.image.jpg?resize=300%2C432"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1473","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/ee/7ee2a987-ecc3-55e5-abfb-fd8881d55e27/594b1dac820a1.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1473"}}},{"id":"f830a62f-60a7-5b56-8a95-fa1fb7410229","description":"A signature feature of Lustron homes was the zig-zag ornamentation holding the downspout to the house.\u00a0","byline":"Jeff Cook.QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1870,"hiresheight":1108,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/83/f830a62f-60a7-5b56-8a95-fa1fb7410229/594b1dace39b8.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1870","height":"1108","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/83/f830a62f-60a7-5b56-8a95-fa1fb7410229/594b1dace2af7.image.jpg?resize=1870%2C1108"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"59","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/83/f830a62f-60a7-5b56-8a95-fa1fb7410229/594b1dace2af7.image.jpg?resize=100%2C59"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"178","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/83/f830a62f-60a7-5b56-8a95-fa1fb7410229/594b1dace2af7.image.jpg?resize=300%2C178"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"607","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/83/f830a62f-60a7-5b56-8a95-fa1fb7410229/594b1dace2af7.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C607"}}},{"id":"69f0fe6c-8d17-54d3-b785-60cf6ef45ecf","description":"Lustron homes featured pocket doors to make more efficient use of space.","byline":"Jeff Cook.QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":2025,"hiresheight":1023,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/9f/69f0fe6c-8d17-54d3-b785-60cf6ef45ecf/594b1dac193a3.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"2025","height":"1023","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/9f/69f0fe6c-8d17-54d3-b785-60cf6ef45ecf/594b1dac185fe.image.jpg?resize=2025%2C1023"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"51","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/9f/69f0fe6c-8d17-54d3-b785-60cf6ef45ecf/594b1dac185fe.image.jpg?resize=100%2C51"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"152","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/9f/69f0fe6c-8d17-54d3-b785-60cf6ef45ecf/594b1dac185fe.image.jpg?resize=300%2C152"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"517","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/9f/69f0fe6c-8d17-54d3-b785-60cf6ef45ecf/594b1dac185fe.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C517"}}},{"id":"e5f2dcc5-d9c2-5b08-b2bf-8a0f075635e2","description":"The\u00a0built-in steel dressing table in the master bedroom originally was surrounded by steel cabinets and shelves. Those were removed by a previous owner and replaced with warmer wood.","byline":"Jeff Cook QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1790,"hiresheight":1157,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/5f/e5f2dcc5-d9c2-5b08-b2bf-8a0f075635e2/594b1daab61f9.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1790","height":"1157","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/5f/e5f2dcc5-d9c2-5b08-b2bf-8a0f075635e2/594b1daab5385.image.jpg?resize=1790%2C1157"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"65","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/5f/e5f2dcc5-d9c2-5b08-b2bf-8a0f075635e2/594b1daab5385.image.jpg?resize=100%2C65"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"194","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/5f/e5f2dcc5-d9c2-5b08-b2bf-8a0f075635e2/594b1daab5385.image.jpg?resize=300%2C194"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"662","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/5f/e5f2dcc5-d9c2-5b08-b2bf-8a0f075635e2/594b1daab5385.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C662"}}},{"id":"5fe600ca-d3cb-5211-a990-cc3921207f20","description":"Brandon Tidwell","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"353","height":"576","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/fe/5fe600ca-d3cb-5211-a990-cc3921207f20/594b1daa8289b.image.jpg?resize=353%2C576"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"163","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/fe/5fe600ca-d3cb-5211-a990-cc3921207f20/594b1daa8289b.image.jpg?resize=100%2C163"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"490","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/fe/5fe600ca-d3cb-5211-a990-cc3921207f20/594b1daa8289b.image.jpg?resize=300%2C490"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1671","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/fe/5fe600ca-d3cb-5211-a990-cc3921207f20/594b1daa8289b.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":10,"commentID":"5bf4dd36-e145-5dc7-96f4-8940201078b9","body":"

Walking to his job at\u00a0Augustana College in Rock Island, Brandon Tidwell often found himself staring at\u00a0a \"really different looking house\" on 7th Avenue near Old Main.

He thought of it as the\u00a0\"bathtub house\" because it was made of square panels resembling the\u00a0tiles of bathroom walls, and he\u00a0and wondered \"what the story was.\"

Interested in history and architecture, Tidwell began doing research and learned that what he was seeing was one of the 15 Lustron homes known to exist in the Quad-City region.

Lustrons were\u00a0an\u00a0all-steel, prefabricated home that was produced in a Columbus, Ohio, factory in a 24-month period from mid-1948 to mid-1950 as one man's answer to the post-World War II housing shortage.

After\u00a0concrete floor slabs were poured, the homes could be built in about two weeks, or 250 to 300 hours, and they would \"never need repainting, refinishing or\u00a0reroofing,\" according to the promotional brochures.

As a student of history and the\u00a0new president of the Moline Preservation Society, Tidwell, 36, also was excited to\u00a0learn that\u00a0Lustron founder Carl Strandlund grew up in Moline, was\u00a0a\u00a0Moline High School graduate and had a noteworthy career in industry.

Tidwell further discovered\u00a0that Lustrons have something of a cult following on the East Coast, with a Facebook page and numerous blogs, and that they are \"becoming relevant again\" as part of the\u00a0\"tiny house\" movement. About 2,500 were made and, of those,\u00a0about 2,000 are still accounted for, he said.

He cites \"The Lustron Home: The History of a Postwar Prefabricated Housing Experiment,\" by Thomas Fetters as his \"bible\" on company history.

A Westchester Deluxe in\u00a0Moline

One of the Quad-Citians who bought a Lustron\u00a0back in the day was Columbia Larsen, of Moline, who\u00a0had a two-bedroom\u00a0Westchester Deluxe built in 1952. At\u00a01,021-square-feet, the latter was the most popular\u00a0of\u00a0four models offered. Larsen chose\u00a0panels of\u00a0surf blue. Other color options were\u00a0yellow, gray and tan.

The\u00a02x2-foot square panels are made of\u00a0interlocking\u00a0porcelain-enameled steel in which a layer of glass is fused onto a metal base. \"It is not like paint or brushed enamel in any way,\" the promotional brochure explains. \"It will never weather or stain.\"

Compressed between the panels are permanent plastic sealing strips that form a gasket to\u00a0assure\u00a0an air-tight, weather-tight enclosure.

Larsen lived in the home\u00a0until her death in 1981, single-handedly supporting a\u00a0family of five boys by making and selling rag rugs and canned produce, according to her grandson, Marty Mahieu.

The home was sold\u00a0out of the family after her death, but\u00a0two years ago, Mahieu, a Moline High School health teacher, bought it back\u00a0to\u00a0rent out as income property.

A feature that distinguishes the\u00a0Mahieu home\u00a0is that it also has a two-car,\u00a0 Lustron garage.

Steel construciton, pros and cons

More than 12 tons of steel went into the home, and it arrived on site with 3,000 different parts.

The roof tiles are\u00a0made of steel, as is everything inside \u2014\u00a0wall panels, ceiling panels,\u00a0built-in cabinets, shelves, dressing tables, closet doors and room doors. The framing also is steel, held together by nuts, bolts and screws.

Mahieu says the steel construction has lived up to its selling point of needing very little maintenance \u2014 the roof is still leak-free after 65 years and the exterior has not faded. But there are\u00a0drawbacks.

While the manufacturer promoted the idea that Lustrons\u00a0would never need refinishing, the reality is that homeowners generally like to change things as tastes change and accomplishing that in a home of steel and concrete isn't easy.

A previous owner, for example, remodeled the bathroom and,\u00a0to meet today's codes, had to add an exhaust fan. The electrician \"had to cut into the metal,\" Mahieu said. \"He said it took him hours.\"

Hanging pictures on the wall is a matter of using\u00a0heavy-duty magnets.

Central air-conditioning would be nice, but installing it would be\u00a0cost-prohibitive, Mahieu said. On the plus side, the home's construction is such that\u00a0\"the gas and light bills are almost nothing,\" he added. The home also is\u00a0sound-proof.

Original features, changes

Among the original features that remain in the home are the built-in shelf with mirror in the living room, built-in drawers and dressing table with mirror in one of the bedrooms and front and back doors with frosted glass in a reed pattern. The homes also had\u00a0metal pocket doors that\u00a0maximized space because there was no door to swing out. As Mahieu\u00a0attests: \"They used every inch of space they could.\"

In addition to remodeling the bathroom, a previous owner\u00a0remodeled the kitchen, removing a\u00a0divider/china cabinet between the kitchen and dining room. She also removed the\u00a0original steel cabinets, replacing them with wood and a laminate countertop. And despite the challenge of working on the steel ceilings, she had recessed lights installed.

Lustron legacy

In its heyday, Lustron had 234 dealers in 35 states, selling a total of about 2,680 homes, according to author\u00a0Fetters. The prototype was built in Hinsdale, Illinois, but it is no longer standing. About 2,000 of the homes are still accounted for.

Once dismissed by historians as non-contributing structures in historic districts, Lustron homes have now been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They qualify through age and their significant spot in history.

Because of shipping costs, the majority of Lustrons are located in the Midwest, with 307 in Illinois.

The\u00a0Lustron\u00a0Facebook\u00a0page map indicates that there are\u00a0eight Lustrons in Davenport, four in Rock Island and one each in\u00a0Moline, East Moline and Orion, Illinois, Tidwell said.

"}, {"id":"77f97cfc-58b9-5d26-a403-9d339aab8729","type":"article","starttime":"1498382100","starttime_iso8601":"2017-06-25T04:15:00-05:00","sections":[{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"}],"application":"editorial","title":"HOME BRIEFS","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/article_77f97cfc-58b9-5d26-a403-9d339aab8729.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/home-briefs/article_77f97cfc-58b9-5d26-a403-9d339aab8729.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/home-briefs/article_77f97cfc-58b9-5d26-a403-9d339aab8729.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Classes teach floral arrangement, crochetBlack Hawk College is sponsoring classes in making a Fourth of July floral arrangement and crocheting with an eye toward holiday gift-giving: \u2022 Fourth of July arrangement will be\u00a05:45-8 p.m. Thursday, June 29. The cost is $55. The registration deadline is Monday, June 26.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["crafts","needlework","crochet","black hawk college","visual arts","decorative arts","jackson county historical society","christmas in july","www.bhc.edu/communityed","jackson county","north bend community center","4th of july","quad-city","christmas","jackson county historic preservation commission","309-796-8223","deadline","sociology","welfare","commerce","giving","lunch","class","arrangement"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"8dd94c97-9bbd-5676-943b-aff3e1c053f8","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"679","height":"426","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/dd/8dd94c97-9bbd-5676-943b-aff3e1c053f8/594d24fbb3bc5.image.jpg?resize=679%2C426"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"63","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/dd/8dd94c97-9bbd-5676-943b-aff3e1c053f8/594d24fbb3bc5.image.jpg?resize=100%2C63"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"188","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/dd/8dd94c97-9bbd-5676-943b-aff3e1c053f8/594d24fbb3bc5.image.jpg?resize=300%2C188"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"642","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/dd/8dd94c97-9bbd-5676-943b-aff3e1c053f8/594d24fbb3bc5.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"77f97cfc-58b9-5d26-a403-9d339aab8729","body":"

Classes teach floral arrangement, crochet

Black Hawk College is sponsoring classes in making a Fourth of July floral arrangement and crocheting with an eye toward holiday gift-giving:

\u2022 Fourth of July arrangement will be\u00a05:45-8 p.m. Thursday, June 29. The cost is $55. The registration deadline is Monday, June 26.

\u2022 Crochet-Christmas in July will be\u00a0from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, July 11 to Aug. 1. The cost is\u00a0$44.

Class locations vary. To register, call\u00a0309-796-8223. For details, visit www.bhc.edu/communityed.

Pictures reveal Jackson County life

A free pictorial program called \"Slices of Life,\" featuring rare\u00a0photos of Jackson County, Iowa, and its people, will\u00a0begin at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 9, at the Maquoketa Art Experience,\u00a0124 S. Main St., Maquoketa.

\u00a0The pictures, some never seen by the public, will focus on rural life, people,\u00a0architecture and the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Sponsors are the\u00a0Jackson County Historic Preservation Commission, the Jackson\u00a0County Historical Society and the North Bend Community Center.

Want to explore family history?

If you're interested in\u00a0family history but don't know\u00a0where or how to get started, you can learn about free and Quad-City area\u00a0resources on Thursday, July 13, at a lifelong learner lunch sponsored\u00a0by a Black Hawk College.

Lunch will be at 11:30 a.m. followed by the program, \u201cGenealogy: How to Get Started/ Resources in Your Own Backyard.\u201d The cost is\u00a0$23. The registration deadline is Thursday, July 6, and may be made by calling 309-796-8223.

All\u00a0ages are welcome.

"}, {"id":"8901f0b0-def6-5f80-b995-dabee74bc8cb","type":"article","starttime":"1498382100","starttime_iso8601":"2017-06-25T04:15:00-05:00","sections":[{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Owning a pet can make you healthier","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/article_8901f0b0-def6-5f80-b995-dabee74bc8cb.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/owning-a-pet-can-make-you-healthier/article_8901f0b0-def6-5f80-b995-dabee74bc8cb.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/owning-a-pet-can-make-you-healthier/article_8901f0b0-def6-5f80-b995-dabee74bc8cb.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"As loving pet owners, we are rightly concerned about\u00a0the health and well-being of\u00a0our four-legged friends. In fact, we spend most of our time here helping as best we can to decipher some of the ailments pets may experience and how to make their environments better so that they may live a longer and, most importantly, a better life.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["personal life","pets","dog","heart attack","eczema","obesity","zoetis","quad-city times","papertrained@mchsi.com","post-traumatic stress syndrome","fewer allergies","human animal bond research institute","sandeman","major producer","depression","autism","pet","zoology","medicine","owner","ailment","cat","rate"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"71eab19b-2b20-5828-b129-4da1add5cb8c","description":"Dr. Scott Sandeman","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"372","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/1e/71eab19b-2b20-5828-b129-4da1add5cb8c/572cc0010594d.image.jpg?resize=512%2C372"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"72","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/1e/71eab19b-2b20-5828-b129-4da1add5cb8c/563cc70368499.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"218","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/1e/71eab19b-2b20-5828-b129-4da1add5cb8c/572cc0010594d.image.jpg?resize=300%2C218"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"744","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/1e/71eab19b-2b20-5828-b129-4da1add5cb8c/572cc0010594d.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"8901f0b0-def6-5f80-b995-dabee74bc8cb","body":"

As loving pet owners, we are rightly concerned about\u00a0the health and well-being of\u00a0our four-legged friends. In fact, we spend most of our time here helping as best we can to decipher some of the ailments pets may experience and how to make their environments better so that they may live a longer and, most importantly, a better life.

Zoetis, a major producer of pet medicines has teamed up with the Human Animal Bond Research Institute to remind us that for all we give to our pets, we get much in return. Here are just some of the reasons pet ownership is a two-way street to better health:

\u2022 Heart attack survival. Have a cat? You are 60 percent\u00a0less likely to die from a heart attack than a non-cat owner. Dog owners experience lower blood pressure and walk more with increased physical activity; that\u2019s a win-win.

\u2022 As we age, depression and loneliness have shown to be less prevalent among those who have had a close relationship over the years with pets than among those who never owned a pet.

\u2022 Children also have science to back up their request for a new puppy or kitten. Kids exposed to pets have fewer allergies and eczema, and those with autism have demonstrated better social interaction and feel less isolated.

\u2022 Post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS) affects too many service men and women as well as many others that have gone through stressful events in their lives. Pets have shown to lower anxiety and depression rates. Many sufferers find dealing with a pet easier than with people. Depression in general is lessened among many groups.

\u2022 Owning a pet and increasing your activity helps not only the heart but the waistline as well. Obesity rates are lower among dog owners, and those that walk their dog are 69 percent more likely to keep up a long-term program to stay active.

Most of us simply want the love and companionship that pets bring to us and our families. These \u201cfringe\u201d benefits demonstrate that not only are we enriched mentally by owning and caring for pets, but they in turn may allow us to live longer and healthier!

"} ]