Happy first day of autumn! OK, so it's tomorrow, but I can hardly contain my joy at the change of seasons.
It's cooling off, the grass isn't growing so darn fast, and the community seems to be coming back to life after the long, hot doldrums of summer.
So it's time to update those to-do lists and calendars, which will soon be filling up with social events and fundraisers.
As far as to-do lists go, here's one I couldn't resist passing along. Somebody sent it to me in an e-mail, so I don't know who wrote it, but they deserve big paws up for their humor.
Dear God: Here is a list of just some of the things I must remember to be a good dog:
n I will not eat the cat's food before he eats it.
n I will not roll on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, etc., just because I like the way
n The litter box is not a cookie jar.
n The sofa is not a "face towel."
n. The garbage collector is not stealing our stuff.
n I will not play tug-of-war with Dad's underwear when he's on the toilet.
n I don't need to suddenly stand straight up when I'm under the coffee table.
n I must shake the rainwater out of my fur before entering the house -- not after.
n The cat is not a squeaky toy, so when I play with him and he makes that noise, it's usually not a good thing.
As they say on Facebook, BOL (translation: bark out loud).
Cat Depot needs your help
Cat Depot in Sarasota has been selected to receive 5,000 cans of cat food and is in the running to get more in a contest sponsored by Friskies.
Here's how it works:
"The Friskies" is the contest, honoring Internet cat videos, and will award $25,000 in cash prizes to the creators of the best original cat videos of 2012.
But the cats and their "directors" aren't the only winners: Friskies will donate 250,000 cans of cat food to 25 charity partners (up to 10,000 for each organization).
Each time someone enters the contest, votes, or likes or shares a video, five more cans of Friskies are added to the number of cans to be donated to the charities.
Cat Depot executive director Shelley Thayer issued a statement encouraging everyone to "pull out the stops and video their cute and mischievous cat's antics for a great cause."
The entry period runs through Oct. 12; the voting period runs Oct. 22-Nov. 5.
For more information on the contest, go to www.TheFriskies.com.
For more information on Cat Depot, go to www.catdepot.org.
Mark your calendars
n Bark for Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, is set for 2-5 p.m. Sept. 30 at Bennett Park, 400 Cypress Creek Blvd., Bradenton.
There will be doggie games, an award for the top fundraising dog, a dress-up contest for the dogs, special guest dog demonstrations, music and food.
Entry fees are $10 per dog (limit two per person), $5 a person without a dog, and $25 the day of the event.
You can register in person at On A Shoestring, 3633 Cortez Road, Bradenton, or online at www.signmeup.com/site/online-event-registration/85539.
Information: Sharon at 941-737-1594.
n Autumn Dog Days is a benefit festival set for 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 3 at Greenbrook Adventure Park in Lakewood Ranch.
Dog Days is a benefit for the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch and features fun, food and adoptable animals from area rescue groups.
A highlight of the festival is the Hot Dog Culinary Cook-off, where area teams from local agencies and businesses vie for bragging rights of "Best Hot Dog in Lakewood Ranch."
New this year is the March of the Furry Paws, a fun walk for humans and pets. Donations can be given online at www.firstgiving.com/marchofthefurrypaws.
Information: HSLWR at 941-361-1071 or www.hslwr,org.
These events are also in the works, with details to come:
n Coast to Coast Bully Walk, 10 a.m. Oct. 27 at Rossi Park in downtown Bradenton.
Sponsored by Manatee County Animal Services, walkers will be joining thousands of pit bull families across the United States to celebrate Pit Bull Awareness Day, giving families a chance to show off their sociable pit bulls and pit mixes.
Animal Services volunteers will also be bringing dogs from the new Adopt-a-bull program to show their skills.
n Canine Christmas, the annual fundraiser for Animal Network of Manatee County, is set for 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 17 at Bishop Animal Shelter, 5718 21st Ave. W., Bradenton. Be sure to visit "rescue row" to see wonderful dogs for adoption. Information: www.caninechristmas.com.
If you have an event coming up, be sure to email it to me so we can get it in the paper.
M.K. Means, Herald copy editor, can be reached at 941-745-7054.