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Dear Ms. Feet,

I am a dog race fanatic and I must tell you it has been very distressing to hear that the track in Harlingen is going to reopen... then it's not. Then it is. What's going on? When will dog-racing return to the Valley?

Sooner than you think, my friend. Sooner than you think. Right here on the Island at Charlie's on Dec. 4th, 1999 you will be able to see SPI's fastest and most gorgeously attired canines strut their stuff and exhibit amazing feats of speed and stamina at the 2nd annual Isle-ditter-dog races and Puppy Pachanga Fashion Show.

Of course my buddy Wags the Wonder Dog (as in, I wonder what goes on in his little brain?) will be back to defend his title (first place, "yapper" category), and I have to tell you that in spite of the fact that Wags is not getting any younger, I do not think the intervening year has slowed him down one iota.

(Wags' advice to would-be contenders: Take lots of naps... then run like heck!)

Wags and his fellow island canines will be working hard for you that day, wags at restall for a very good cause which is of course the Laguna Madre Humane Society. These folks perform an invaluable service to our community and showing up - either as a participant or a spectator - is a fun way to support their efforts.

You can pick up a pre-registration form at both the PI and SPI Chambers of Commerce, or at "Cat Tales" on the Island. For all the details, check out the LMHS web-site at http.//unlitter.com/critters/. For more info on the current situation of the Harlingen Dog Track, check elsewhere (sorry, this is outside my area of expertise.)

On a related note: when I started the humane society web site, my goal was to get over to the shelter at least once a month to shoot photos of the homeless animals currently residing there. The first time I did this, I ended up bringing one of them home with me - a sweet natured Border Collie named Phoebe who quickly wiggled her way into my heart. The second time I went there, I very nearly left with a beautiful black lab and a sad-eyed tabby cat. I have not been back since.

In short, I cannot be trusted and am actively seeking a volunteer with more self-discipline than I have who is willing to go shoot pictures of these animals on a regular basis. (Access to a digital camera is an asset but I will pay for film if I have to.)

Dear sandy,

I just submitted some information about myself to your on-line locals directory at SPIonline. When may I expect the usual flow of junkmail to assault my e-mail box?

Oh no. If that is what you were hoping for, I am sorry to disappoint you but SoBs don't spam.

For those of you who haven't been there yet, the SPIonline locals directory is a place for locals past, present and future to post as much info about themselves as they feel comfortable with sharing. Who is using this directory? Folks who used to live here who want to stay in touch with old friends; a teenager who frequently visits the area and wants to get to know some local kids; retirees looking for a fishing buddy, bridge partner, etc. The directory already has over 70 listings with more coming in every week, so head over to http://spionline.com, browse the listings for anyone you know or would like to know, and fill out a little form if you haven't already - it doesn't cost you anything but a few minutes of your time.

Feet's Totally Non-Scientific Just For Fun Net Poll Results: My most recent question asked what you think is the best reason to visit/hang around SPI after the summer season ends. Twenty six votes have been cast and these are the current results: A) Locals parties (7.7%); B) Bikefest (0%); C) Summer weather without summer crowds (76.9 %); D) Sand Castle Days (15.4%); E) Hurricane roulette (0%).

Sandy Asks: I have just inaugerated a new system that lets me ask open-ended questions.... O Joy! This month's poll is of a culinary nature: In your opinion, which area restaurant serves up the tastiest burger? Vote today at http://spionline.com/polls.html.

There are five (5) ways to submit your questions/comments for future Ask Sandy columns: In person; by phone (761-6222) or fax (761-8930); the US Postal System (box 2694,spi,78597) and E-mail: (sandyfeet@unlitter.com). Visit my web-site (http://spionline.com/) for tips on sandcastling, contest info, recent Ask Sandy columns, and my reviews of local businesses.

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