Every year, our August issue is one of our favorites because the stories in it are about pure and boundless types of love—the best part of the decidedly mixed bag called human nature. Our love for our pets, the rewards and challenges of caring for the elderly, and the daily efforts of both parents and teachers in the long march to educate children prove that, as a species, we’re hard-wired for goodness.

And because in the Lowcountry we believe that “enjoy life” should be at the top of every resident’s to-do list, the fea- tures in this issue suggest ways to enjoy to the fullest our pets, our golden years and the return to school, among other topics. Did you know that people in the U.S. last year spent $69.5 billion on their pets, according to the American Pet Products Association? We’re willing to bet some of that money went to groomers charged with primping dogs and cats to outshine the competition in “Cutest Pets” contests such as ours.