Dog photo contest

Even if you didn't see Clooney, the Irish setter, take Best in Show Thanksgiving Day at the National Dog Show in Philadelphia, you can enter your dog in a photo contest.

Any breed or mixed breed can participate. Categories include:

•Best Expression

•Best Athlete

•Best Troublemaker

•Most Lovable

•Best John O'Hurley, above, Look-Alike

For contest rules and how to enter, visit http://www.petcentric.com" target= "_blank">www.petcentric.com

Grit for doves

Gravel - also known as grit - is eagerly eaten by certain birds and not others. As a general rule, birds such as pigeons, doves and chickens eat grit because these birds will swallow seeds whole. Since the seed is swallowed with the hard shell around it, the birds need a way to get the shell off. This happens in the birds' digestive tracts, mainly in the organ called the gizzard. The seeds the bird swallows are ground up with the grit in this powerful organ to mash up the hard shells. Parrots and many other birds will take the shell off the seed before they eat it and then grind it up in their bill before swallowing. This is why these birds have little or no need or desire for any grit in their diet.

Go away, pigeons

To keep pigeons away from bird feeders, keep them out of sight. Try to position them so they are not visible from way up in the air. If a pigeon lands on your roof and it cannot see the feeder, it will never know it's there. Another option is to keep feeders under a large patio umbrella set up in the backyard. Not only does it keep them hidden from pigeons, but it keeps the seed dry and free of mold.

Pet adoptions

As a great start to the holiday season, more than 17,100 pets found homes during the three-day PetSmart Charities Holiday National Adoption Weekend Nov 12 to 14. The event was held in all 1,164 PetSmart stores in the United States and Canada, with more than 2,000 shelters and rescue groups participating.

The November event was the fourth and final adoption weekend in 2010 sponsored by PetSmart Charities. More than 68,000 pets were rescued.