William Shepard Versus Gov. William 'Shepherd'

Besides his native English, Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate William S. Shepard speaks French, Hungarian and some Greek.

His language skills, the side-effect of a career with the U.S. Foreign Service, don't extend to German. But an acquaintance who does speak German provided Shepard with an ironic tidbit of information.

Speaking to a crowd of about 300 people at a reception in Annapolis last week as he completed a 15-city announcement tour around Maryland, Shepard said he had learned that in German, the name Schaefer means "shepherd." And that, of course, is the last name of the incumbent Democratic governor, William Donald Schaefer.

"So the election is between William Shepard and William 'Shepherd,' " said Shepard. "This is probably the only time I'll have to run against myself in translation." -- Richard Tapscott 'The Unknown Pets'

Mary Nelson wept last week at the grave of her best friend Casey, near the tombs of Miss Kitty, Snowball and nearly 20,000 other dearly departed pets.

Nelson and other animal lovers gathered at the Bonheur Memorial Park cemetery in Elkridge for the unveiling of the Tomb of the Unknown Pets, honoring the thousands of stray or abused pets that die every year.

The tomb is marked by a fountain and a bronze plaque that reads: "The Unknown Pets. For the Millions of Lost and Abandoned Pets A Final Resting Place."

Jerry Rosenbaum, Bonheur's operator and caretaker, devised the idea of the tomb and planned the unveiling to coincide with Be Kind to Animals Month.

Pets of all sorts have been buried in the 12-acre cemetery, including goldfish, police dogs, horses and Mary Ann, an elephant given to the city of Baltimore in 1925.

At the unveiling of the tomb for the unknowns, spectators also remembered their own.

Joyce Williams, whose dog, Dixie, was buried at Bonheur just a few weeks ago, took the day off from work to pay her respects.

"Our babies were all grown up. We didn't have anymore little children. He was our baby," she said, wiping away tears.

Bonheur cemetery, 10 miles southeast of Baltimore, was named for Rosa Bonheur, a 19th-century artist who painted and sculpted animals. -- Associated Press