Dear Readers: The first thing to say is “Thank you.” The second is goodbye. Rather.

I am doing something I never imagined I would do: I am retiring at the end of this week. After countless words and 44 years of daily deadlines – including 34 years at this news agency – I am leaving a career I was lucky enough to dream as a child and live as an adult.

This is not a complete break. I will continue to answer your questions about pets and wildlife that we collide with on our elbows once a week. I will come back to the game from time to time to write a story, but I will do it from a retiree’s perspective as I discover a new life.

In the sixth grade, I decided that I wanted to become a writer. I will forever be grateful to my teacher, Mr. Perea, for pointing me in this direction. If I have any talent for the written word, Mr. Perea was the first to notice and encourage him. I have to love teachers who make a difference.

The choice of a career in the press probably lies at the feet of my father, a man who had to drop out of seventh grade to support his family and whose dedication and dedication to work as a milkman instilled a strong work ethic in everyone. six of his children. I knew that if I was going to keep myself as a writer, I needed a steady paycheck, and that, coupled with my love of newspapers, put me in that direction.

My older brother also got into journalism, and when things started going up in the newspapers a few years ago, we joked that it would probably be better if we went into the family business. Maybe better, but definitely not so happy. Through the ups and downs, one thing has remained the same: I love writing, telling stories, educating, entertaining and informing – connecting with readers.

Just over 10 years ago, a friend and colleague of mine, Gary Bogue, trusted me to take over his column on animals and wildlife and entered the happiest stage in my career so far. I love researching your questions and sharing information.

As I started thinking about retiring, I was held back by the fear that I would fail Gary and knew that I would lose the bond I have with all of you, but luckily my editors allow me to continue to keep this conversation going.

So, from the week of November 14 onwards, you will see me a little less, but I will still be with you.

Coming back to that thank you, a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to read my articles and other stories, submitted questions that were both challenging and fun, and who offered their own experiences and knowledge. If you believe you’ve learned something from me, know that I’ve learned much more from you.

I will miss this conversation, but I’m so glad it won’t go away. Like old friends, we will make the best of the time we have.

I have a new e-mail address for you – Please continue to send me your questions, suggestions and observations. See you this Friday and then every Monday. Wish me luck!

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#Columnist #Animal #Life #retires #column #lives

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