A group of young patients at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is part of a nationwide study that examines the effects of animal-assisted therapy on patients, their families and therapy dogs.

DEAR CAROLYN: When my son’s eldest started to talk, I encouraged her to call me “G-ma” because I didn’t care for “Grandma.” She never could learn G-ma, but instead called me Mamaji. I thought this was adorable and very special since it was her own idea. I became Mamaji. It is my email, user ID, I even had a T-shirt made! Not a word was said against it.

Maybe enlisting the help of a friend’s mother will help boyfriend situation.

Current films are reviewed each week to provide parents a guide to decide what may be appropriate to younger viewers

My sister has a darling golden retriever and we share a house with a large yard. I mostly work from home, and I like to decompress by going for fast-paced walks. Sis often asks if I’ll take him along. I love the dog, but he’s a sniffer, doesn’t like a fast-paced walk, and frankly, the walk is for me, not him.

The White House band played gentle cocktail music as the guests arrived. The East Room’s crystal chandeliers glittered over the neat table settings surrounded by the room’s signature gold curtains.

DEAR CAROLYN: My husband’s family likes to play games, like table tennis, bean-bag toss or cards. I am not a real fan of games, and I am not very good at most of them. Several of his family members are very competitive and the pressure to play well doesn’t help.

Jacob remained the top name for baby boys in California during 2013, while Sophia retained the top spot among girls.

DEAR CAROLYN: I have two grown sons, 34 and 31, both responsible, hardworking guys. The older is married with a 31/2-year-old. The younger has never married but has a 2-year-old and a 6 month-old. They all live nearby and I have a good relationship with both sons, and I adore all of my grandkids. I host most of the family functions and have a pool they all like to use.

Sacramento County has two effective programs that help low-income women cope with first-time motherhood.



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