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May 2, 2017

Mother’s Day this year is May 14, and it’s a holiday that means much to me. My mother was a guiding force in my life, especially when it came to pets. Although she passed away in 2015, my mother is often on my mind, and I reminisce about her through a variety of mementos that I have throughout my house, including photos. A favorite shows her relaxing in a loveseat with our family’s first dog, Silky, sitting on the armrest. It makes me realize that she had two sons, but many more four-legged, feathered and finned children.

My mother nurtured my innate passion for animals and never turned any away, no matter how one ended up on our doorstep. Be it frogs or turtles that I caught in a neighborhood stream, newts or tropical fish purchased from a local pet store, lovebirds that a neighbor could no longer keep, dogs, cats and even a horse, she welcomed them into her home.

I’m proud of our May issue, in which we introduce the winners of Pet Age’s 2017 Women of Influence Awards (p. 64) and Nancy E. Hassel shares her expertise on the role of women in the pet industry (p. 16), but I wanted to do more than that to honor all mothers everywhere. Lisa Aho, owner of a Woof Gang Bakery franchise in Florida, shows off her baby bump in her photo for our What’s in Store profile (p. 8).

Our cover doesn’t shy away from this month’s theme, which is “Made in the USA,” and we present plenty of patriotic content to make your inner pet parent as happy as an Australian shepherd—which was first bred in the western United States in the 1800s—in a room filled with chew toys. But being Pet Age, of course, we have even more for our readers, including an intriguing look at invasive species by Joshua Jones of PIJAC (p. 12), an insightful overview of veiled chameleons by John Mack (p. 106) and a two-part special report on pet tech by Alexandra Wepner (p. 74).

Add to that more than 100 products in our Stockroom section, and there’s really something for everyone in this month’s issue. Enjoy, and Happy Mother’s Day!

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