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Aussie dog

This loose Australian shepherd, one of six that have been roaming St. Helena for the last few weeks, was captured Monday morning on Chiles Avenue. Five of the dogs have been captured and the sixth is still on the loose.

For a few fleeting hours on Monday, it seemed like the saga of the loose Australian shepherds was over. The fifth of the elusive hounds was captured Monday morning on Chiles Avenue, and just as police (and dog lovers) were celebrating the safe capture of all five dogs, they realized there was one more on the loose. Three are being socialized by Capell Creek Ranch and Kennels and will be adopted out later. One was already adopted by a kind member of our St. Helena Police Department. The fifth was still at the police department as of noon Monday. According to the police log, the sixth dog was last seen on Vallejo Street. My thanks to our local police for gamely chasing the skittish young dogs all over town, setting humane traps, and catching the first five before they could be hit by a car. Thanks also to all those callers who’ve kept the police apprised of the dogs’ last known whereabouts. My best wishes to the Aussies. May you each find a good family with a big yard and a nice sturdy fence. And please, number six, allow yourself to be caught by a friendly human. You don’t have to be a fugitive forever. A better life awaits!

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Here’s a thought experiment: Think of a local business that provides an absolutely essential service. I can think of a few, but only one of them is turning 73. Brown’s Auto Parts, in business since 1946, is celebrating with a big birthday bash from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, at 1218 Main St. Head over in your favorite car or truck and enjoy food, beverages, games, prizes, and the company of the ever-amiable Beltrami family.

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While you’re in the area, head over to Lolo’s, which is holding a parking lot sale (just $2) this weekend, with 100 percent of the profits going to Rianda House. A classy move by Kristine Waldenburg, Dani Forsey Brown and the rest of the Lolo’s crew.

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Here’s some fun news from Upstate Napa Valley. The theater troupe is presenting a reading of “The Doctor’s Residence” by local playwright Richard Uhlig on Thursday, Sept. 19, at the St. Helena Public Library. Richard’s humorous memoir was inspired by his upbringing in a small town in rural Kansas where his doctor was (you guessed it) the local doctor. Director Sharie Renault’s cast features Jack Ramsey, Deborah Todd, Chris Vance, Karl Parker, Megan Whyte, Danielle Devitt and Clay Connaway. Richard is an experienced screenwriter and author, but this is his first play. Wine and appetizers will be served at 6:30, followed by the play. A $15 donation would be greatly appreciated.

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Speaking of the library, its September art exhibit will feature the work of the Silverado Handweavers and Spinners. Learn more about the fiber arts tradition of spinning, weaving, tapestry, dyeing, felting, knitting, crochet and basket-making at an artist reception at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5. Their work uses all the fibers you’d expect (sheep’s wool, cotton, tencel) and a few you probably wouldn’t, like yak and camel hair. Can you tell me, with a straight face, that the notion of handspun yak hair doesn’t intrigue you?

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This week’s academic star is Emma Salvestrin, who made the summer Dean’s List at Belmont University in Nashville. That means she earned a GPA of at least 3.5, with no grade below a C. Well done, Emma.

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Connolly Ranch is holding its ninth annual Dinner at the Ranch at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the nonprofit’s ranch outside Napa. There will be a farm-to-table dinner, local wines, an honest-to-goodness honky-tonk band from Texas, and a live auction to support Connolly Ranch’s educational programs. For tickets, go to connollyranch.org.

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I know I mentioned it last week, but it bears repeating: Downton Abbey trivia night. 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at the library. Even if you don’t know Carson from Thomas, it should be a splendidly fun night. See you there.

This article was amended after police learned of a sixth Australian shepherd on the loose.

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