What is "SHUTTER PRIORITY?" I am assuming that this priority has nothing to do with a total automatic setting and need to switch the dial thing-a-ma-jig to a program setting?
Correct! - Instead of automatic that chooses BOTH the shutter speed and the aperture, In shutter priority - YOU dial in the shutter speed you want and the camera chooses the corresponding aperture. On canon cameras that mode is called Tv, on Nikon cameras that mode is called S. Just as an FYI, Aperture priority is the reverse where you choose the aperture and the camera picks the shutter speed
The faster the pet is moving, the faster I need to learn about shutter speeds and ISO/aperture?
I've been reading the manual that came with the camera and one page that sound interesting refers you to another page and reading that other page tells you to look at a different page for something else that sounds interesting.
Is it o.k. to store the camera body with the lense intack together in the camera bag or should everything be taken apart and stored in their separate compartments?
I usually keep mine together, especially the shorter lenses
Hope that helps!