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The most expensive and luxurious pet hotel in the U. S. just opened in Fort Worth.  The $4.4 million SPA PAW hotel replaces the Pooch Hotel in Sunnyvale, California as the costliest in the country. 

The Spa Paw "resort" features pets-only rooms--no human guests are allowed--no cages/kennels.  There are custom upholstered beds with chenille and satin blankets.  As you'd expect if you're paying $200/night, there is a nightly turn-down service.

Even better, Spa Paw features a state-of-the-art Wellness Center, a boutique, and prescription treatments, the latter including Eastern medicine practices such as acupressure and massage.  The hotel boasts a "lavish experience for our guests and peace of mind for you."  Check these out:


  • Aromatherapy
  • Feel good massage, bodywork & facials
  • Reflexology
  • Pampering beauty treatments
  • Spa quality products
  • Wellness classes including doga for your pet and Pilates for you
  • Dog treadmill classes

 

 

As we expect, you'll want to make reservations today.  Here's how

 

 

 

Posted by: Laurence Harmon on 8/12/2010 | 0 Comments

A baby hippopotamus, survivor of a tsunami along the Kenyan coast, has formed a close relationship with a 130-year-old giant male tortiose.  The hippo, a 650-pounder nicknamed Owen, was saved by wildlife rangers after being swept down the Sabaki River into the Indian Ocean. 

Now living in an animal facility in Mombassa, Owen immediately befriended Mzee, who is his surrogate mother. 

"It is incredible. A less-than-a-year-old hippo has adopted a male tortoise, about a century old, and the tortoise seems to be very happy with being a 'mother'," says ecologist Paula Kahumbu, who is in charge of Lafarge Park.

 

"They swim, eat and sleep together," the ecologist added. "The hippo follows the tortoise exactly the way it followed its mother. If somebody approaches the tortoise, the hippo becomes aggressive, as if protecting its biological mother," Kahumbu added.

 

"The hippo is a young baby.  He was left at a very tender age and by nature, hippos are social animals that like to stay with their mothers for four years," he explained.

 

http://tinyurl.com/98fbh

The Great Places blogmaster is guessing that our readers think this story is too good to be true.  Here's verification from Snopes: 
http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/hippo.asp

Consumer Reports Complete Guide to Health Services for Seniors: What your family needs to know about finding and financing Medicare, assisted living, nursing homes, home care, adult day care.

As you know, when it’s time to explore options for our aging parents, navigating the world of health care services and long-term care facilities can be a daunting task. Consumer Reports offers a comprehensive guide to finding the right services securing them at the lowest cost. Here are some of the topics that the Guide addresses: 
 
  • How can you take advantage of pharmaceutical company drug-assistance programs?
  • What essential services should a home health aide provide?
  • How can you calculate annual health care expenses?
  • How do you decipher a state survey report for a nursing home?
  • Where can you find adult day care?
  • What should you look for in an assisted-living contract?
There’s also targeted advice for Boomers who are looking for the basics of senior care:
 
  • The ins and outs of paying for health care services, including Medicare coverage and insurance options;
  • How to find the best long-term care, whether at home or in the community; and
  • City-by-city ratings for Medicare HMOs and Medicare supplement insurance policies, as well as a guide to how well a particular state is monitoring nursing homes.