Dog Days of Summer 2017 Southern NH & VT
Meet the Cat Detective How Old is Your Pet? The Ultimate Equine Vacation Those Pesty Burdocks Hot Dog!
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
2. Oh Those Creaky Joints! Three key ingredients to improved canine mobility 4. Animal Welfare and Human Welfare – The Important Connection, Kathy Collinsworth
A look at a unique approach by the Monadnock Humane Society
6. 7. 8.
The Ultimate Doghouse, Lisa Jacob
How a couple of local businesses teamed up to support the Pet Alliance Guardian Angels, Cathy White The life of working dog's on the farm
The Last Big Push for Kitty Rescue!, Heidi Bourgeois
The ongoing sage to save the Monadnock Kitty Rescue in Jaffery, NH
10. Infrequent Microchip Scanning is Killing Cats
Alley Cat Allies launches “Plan to Scan” campaign to save cats' lives 11. A Stray Cat's Best Friend, Colin Butcher Meet Molly, the cat detective
12. 3 Local Groups Collaborating to Help a Stray Dog Recover Kinko was saved from the streets of Georgia and was lucky enough to
come to Nashua via a dog transport
13. A Trip to the Horse Capital of the World, Jessica Stewart Riley
The ultimate fieldtrip to Lexington Kentucky
15. Merlin, A Diamond in the Rough, Rebecca Roy A great example of an unwanted draft horse with something special to offer 17. Letting Go to Stay Connected, Colleen Campbell Can you be one of those people who can ride with no reins? 18. Caution: Horses on the Road, Sarah Zabek 19. Rhythm or Blues?, Dorothy Crosby Tips for better balance on the back of your horse. 21. In the Garden with Goose, Jenny Robinson Make summer vegetables part of your dogs routine 22. The Most Powerful Training Tool and How It Can Change You and Your Dog, Paula Bergeron Why you hold the key to your dog's behavior 25. How Old is Your Pet? Find out the real way to determine your pet's age in human years 26. Surviving Summer in a Fur Coat: Heat Dangers for Our Pet, M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM
Heatstroke could be the most preventable trip to your veterinarian
28. Skin Disease From a Fractured Tooth, Sandra Waugh, DVM,MS
When one cats misadventure went from bad to worse
29. Burdocks! What to do when your pet tangles with those “nasties” 30. Cookouts, Food & Pet Safety Do’s and don’ts this summer 32. Fact or Fiction, Scott Borthwick When wild animals come to visit 33. Coyotes, John Peaveler A look at the complex coexistence of coyotes and humans 34. Three Sweet Dog Stories, Kate Kelly 35. Intimate Things Romance can bloom in the most unexpected places 36. Urban Cowboy When a “flatlander” comes up on the short end of a bull 4 Legs & a Tail Volume K.217 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766 603-727-9214 TimH.4LT@gmail.com Summer 2017
Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Senior Editor: Scott Palzer Office Manager: Beth Hoehn Graphic Design: Kristin Wolff, Lacey Dardis, Kerry Rowland Sales: Karyn Swett
If you have a tale about a tail or a photo that will make us smile, we’d like to hear from you. 4 Legs & a Tail is published quarterly and distributed free of charge throughout Southern NH & VT. 4 Legs & a Tail, Inc. is locally owned and operated and acts as a moderator without approving, disapproving or guaranteeing the validity or accuracy of any data or claim. Any reproduction in whole or part is prohibited.
Oh Those Creaky Joints! 3 Key Ingredients to Improved Canine Mobility. Contributed by ForeFront™ Nutrition
ometimes it’s just something subtle; a small hesitation before they jump in the car or a sudden unwillingness to join you on the couch, small signs that soreness or joints are starting to impact your best friend. Or perhaps your companion is a breed that is more prone to hip or joint issues and you’re looking for preventative maintenance. No matter the cause, hip and joint issues tend to be one of the most common problems in dogs of all sizes. So, you go to your local pet store and seek out the common standby for joints; Glucosamine. Well, not so fast! Most pet owners are unaware that even after decades of clinical trials, studies have failed to find any consistent benefit with Glucosamine. Furthermore, the balance of the evidence strongly suggests glucosamine is no better than a placebo in treating arthritis. There are only two clinical Glucosamine trials in dogs; one found no benefit while the other showed little, to no, benefit. So before you buy any popular joint supplement, do your
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homework, and ensure the ingredients have been scientifically proven before you spend your hard earned money. Due to a lack of evidence in a glucosamine based joint supplement, we designed our joint support soft chew without the addition of glucosamine (HCL or sulfate) or chondroitin sulfate. Not only has neither ingredient been proven effective, but also the market is flooded with all too many “copycat” products utilizing these ingredients. ForeFront spent over a year developing a precise formula that exceeds today’s standard offering when it comes to joint support. All three of our active ingredients have been independently proven effective. We combined those three ingredients into a joint formula which create cutting edge joint support for your pet. BeneCell® is a key element of the Canine Hip & Joint formula, it is a proprietary blend of purified nucleotides along with other essential nutrients the body requires for repair. When dealing with soft tissue damage the dog’s body signals a need for cellular repair. BeneCell® possesses the unique ability to produce new cells, these new cells allow your dog to better cope with his injury and/or disease naturally. Another key element of Canine Hip & Joint is the use of egg shell membrane. The egg shell membrane used in our soft chews was specifically selected due to its proven efficacy, following a study involving fifty-seven dogs who showed noticeable improvement in joint mobility within only 7 days. Egg shell membrane includes several key components including collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans (which does include both Glucosamine and Chondroitin). Egg shell membrane provides nutritional building blocks which promote natural joint health, stability, and flexibility. The documented benefits off egg shell membrane include; an improve range of motion (i.e. mobility, flexibility and function); promotion of the dog’s natural anti-inflammatory response; delivery of antioxidants that reduce free radicals for healthy joints; along with the delivery of collagen and fibrous protein critical to cartilage strength and elasticity. Finally, the third key ingredient in our formula is a very specific curcumin compound, again sourced for its proven efficacy as an anti-inflammatory. When
dogs are suffering from joint pain an effective anti-inflammatory is a critical element most pet products simply do not address. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to irritation, injury, or infection. Inflammation is a protective measure intended to limit damage caused by harmful stimuli including pathogens, irritants, or damaged cells and tissue. Unfortunately, wherever inflammation occurs it causes discomfort, and often pain. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory that helps reduce swelling along with any associated pain. The curcumin used in our joint support soft chew is in a patented delivery system which utilizes proprietary technology and improves the oral bioavailability and absorption of the curcumin. There have been numerous studies with this particular form of curcumin which demonstrate its ability to down regulate the expression of a series of cytokines, enzymes and transcription factors involved in the natural inflammation response. In short, ForeFront’s Canine Hip and Joint is not your average joint formula. The yummy, natural bacon flavored soft chews are easy to feed and readily enjoyed by most dogs. Each bag contains 90 soft chews , it is both convenient and affordable to feed to dogs of all sizes and ages. About ForeFront Nutrition: ForeFront Nutrition™ is a family owned and operated business out of Vermont who understand the level of devotion and energy it takes to properly care for horses and dogs. By recognizing the increasing need to provide premium quality supplements, ForeFront’s team embarked on a passionate and extensive industry research journey. Since then their team of professionals with over 75 years of animal nutrition experience, have sourced, formulated and manufactured a selection of the highest quality animal supplements available. All ForeFront™ products are independently tested and certified prior to blending and are manufactured from all natural ingredients exclusively in the United States. (888) 772-9582 www.forefrontequine.com Dealer Inquiries Welcome. Summer 2017
Animal Welfare and Human Welfare The Important Connection Kathy Collinsworth, Executive Director of Monadnock Humane Society
L ast month, a young woman contacted our office in a state of emo-
tional distress. She told us how she had lost her job several months earlier, she was desperate about her finances and no longer able to buy food for her cat. Could we help her? I listened (as I have with so many stories we hear every day), I wondered what that must feel like - to care so deeply about your pet and not to be able to provide for them. Just the basic needs of food and shelter – not to mention quality medical care. It gave me a moment to reflect on her feelings of worry and stress. It must be difficult, painful, and even incapacitating. It gave me even greater resolve, as the leader of Monadnock Humane Society, entering our 142nd year of serving the community and looking to the future. It’s important to state clearly, there is a shift in the world of animal welfare. It’s been happening for a long time. MHS will continue to be a shelter for homeless animals. We will continue much-needed
services such as pet boarding, dog daycare, low-cost feline spay/neuter clinics, rabies vaccination/microchip, therapy pet programs, dog training, and more. The difference is that we are focusing even more on programs that provide assistance and resources to people to care for their pets, and meet them in their time of need with solutions. Prior to MHS, I was executive director of Monadnock United Way. This gave me tremendous insight into the struggles people in our community endure daily. When this position at MHS became available, it was time to pursue my love of animals while continuing my commitment to our community as a whole, bringing organizations together in partnership and collaboration. Monadnock Humane Society is a 141 year old nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster compassion and enrich the lives of people and animals in our community. When MHS was established, our purpose was first to serve “people.” We are going back to our
roots with even greater intent – dealing with similar struggles, and some new and unique to our changing times. I’d like to share a few more stories to bring further awareness to our future direction. Recently we met woman undertaking her difficult journey through drug rehabilitation. Her best and strongest life line was her dog. We provided free boarding for her dog so she could continue her recovery. Without this emergency service she would have had to choose giving up her lifelong friend or foregoing the rehabilitation process. We offered her the chance to get well and keep her precious companion. In another instance, a local agency told us of a woman who was a victim of a tragic domestic violence act and attempting to flee her abusive situation. She was trying to balance her safety with the thought of leaving her pet behind. Why? Local domestic violence shelters do not allow victims to bring their pets. We assured her that we would care for her pet free of charge, until she found safe and secure housing. Many survivors of domestic violence will choose not to leave an abuser if their pet will be left behind. If an individual does leave a pet behind, the abuser will often hurt that pet trying to maintain control over the victim. Children who are witness to this violence often go on to repeat it as adults. Most disturbing to note is that animal abuse, child abuse and domestic violence are closely linked, and this link strongly impacts our communities. I have wonderful news. We knew we needed to address realities like this. Thanks to the support of 100+ Women Who Care Cheshire County through a $9,800 grant they awarded to us in February, MHS is now offering a program designed to help families escape abusers by offering free, temporary, safe housing for their pets. It is designed to be both an intervention, and prevention. Back to the woman who lost her job, we have found during tough economic times, when many are facing difficult life circumstances, they need food for their pets. We offer a Pet Food Pantry in these situations. We know when faced with feeding themselves or feeding their pet, they may choose not to eat. This program has been in place for many Continued Next Page
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MHS receives a grant from 100+ Women Who Care Cheshire County. Pictured (from left) are Judith Putzel, Brett Thelen, Leo the dog (an MHS alum), Kathy Collinsworth and Jane Shapiro.
years, most recently we’ve noticed a greater demand. Last year, we provided pet food assistance to 81 families with a total of 173 animals. Donations from so many local businesses and corporations as well as individuals keep our Pet Food Pantry fully stocked. Losing a pet is like losing a family member. A friend needed to take several days off from work to manage the grief from her dog passing away. One of many examples – a profound loss. We have partnered with MAPS Counseling and Antioch College to create a bereavement support group program for people who
have recently lost their pet. We hope to offer this program in the fall of 2017. We researching grants to provide animal wellness clinics in senior and low income housing complexes. 83% who bring their cats to our low cost spay/neuter clinics do not have regular veterinary care – they simply can’t afford it. We serve 44 communities in the Monadnock region and we hope to offer this in our immediate vicinity and to outlying areas. Animal welfare and human welfare are intricately connected, we believe that animal shelters have the same responsibility as domestic violence shelters or child and family services: to help those in need who cannot help themselves. As our staff continues to face these changes in animal welfare, we hope you will join us in this important journey as we serve the Monadnock Region by supporting the mutually beneficial bond between people and their pets. Thank you! For more information on our programs and services, please visit our website at www.monadnockhumanesociety.org. If you know of someone who needs our help, please contact us today at 603.352.9011.
The Ultimate Doghouse B
rick House Tile Co. of Keene NH was proud to display its Cider Press Tile line of handcrafted tile this year at “Coverings17” The Global Tile and Stone experience. This international show took place in Orlando, FL in April and hosted 1100 tile and stone manufacturers. The Cider Press Tile studio is located in the barn at 411 Winchester Street in Keene NH. Brick House Tile, a member of the “Tile Council of North America,” participated in a charity event for the “Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando,” that took place during the tile show. Our contribution, along with eighteen other members of The Tile Council, was to create, design, and build
dog houses that would be displayed at the show and then donated to the Pet Alliance. Brick House Tile thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to showcase our own hand-made tile line, along with supporting a great cause. We used four of our favorite Cider Press colors: Pecan, Maine Sand, New Moss and Indigo. The roof was created using fan cut tiles, the siding is 2x8 and 2x2 field tile to create a brick-look, and a window detail was created using a decorative piece to resemble shutters. Al DiBicarri and his team from AD Tile in Marlborough NH along with the Brick House Tile staff created, installed and transformed our dog house into a work of art. All eighteen dog houses were displayed during the show in the Art Tile Courtyard centered within the pavilion. Each day the Pet Alliance volunteers would bring rescue dogs into the courtyard for show attendees to visit with. These dogs were available for adoption, and by the end of the show several had found new homes. Twenty- eight thousand people attended the show and most of them stopped by the courtyard to see the wonderful dog houses and visit with the rescue dogs. The Brick House Tile/Cider Press Tile Booth was located adjacent to the courtyard and each day we viewed all the attention the courtyard received by the thousands of attendees and local press. It was a pleasure to watch how this idea became such a positive opportunity for both the animal charity and companies like Brick House Tile, who put so much love into creating these dog houses. The Pet Alliance plans to auction the dog houses at their 80th Annual Fur ball in October of this year.
The staff at the show in their tile booth from left to right: Lisa Jacob (showroom manager), Brenda Toepfer (president of outside sales), Ken Walsh (Cider Press ceramicist) and John Toepfer (owner).
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Cider Press Tile is a New England handcrafted tile company, with manufacturing facilities in the Barn at Brick House Tile Co. in Keene, New Hampshire. We use two clay bodies to produce high fire stoneware and low fire earthenware. Please view us on our Facebook page or call 866-850-0022. Stop by Brick House Tile to visit our showroom and take a tour of our studio. Summer 2017
Guardian Angels A
hawk circles above the verdant pastures of Walpole Valley Farms, eyeing their large flock of young chickens and turkeys. It’s cloudy out, so the sun doesn’t betray his presence with his shadow. But poultry won’t be on the menu for this raptor, thanks to Casey and Annie, livestock guardian dogs (LGDs) tasked with protecting the flock from threats both aerial and terrestrial. Their barking and exuberant charging (for they truly love their work) are enough to ensure that this hawk will look elsewhere for its lunch. Owned by Caitlin and Chris Caserta, WVF is a unique local farm with a mission. Their livestock are raised in an environmentally and sustainably responsible manner. Part of this credo means that their meat animals, which also include cattle and pigs, roam their land freely. Their poultry enjoys foraging in a spacious acre of pasture and are housed in mobile “coops” that look like upscale avian condos; which in turn are surrounded by electro-netting fence. It’s Casey and Annie’s job to patrol just outside this perimeter, moving with the flock through each frequent pasture rotation. Instinctively, the dogs remain with the birds. (Although, on a couple of occasions they treated themselves to off-property romps. And each time, they returned relaxed and tired, but happy to resume working.) LGDs, essential to working farms, protect animals feathered, furry and wooly. Though they’re dogs, they are most definitely not pets; spending all of their time outdoors and in barns with their charges. While Casey and Annie don’t draw a monetary paycheck, they are compensated in farm-fresh food and human affection, and are valued employees in every sense. “The dogs are an integral part of the farm, and we’ve come to expect to see their happy faces in the mornings and afternoons at chore time,” says Caitlin. Most LGDs hail from ancient breeds the average pet owner (and spell check) might not recognize: Maremma, Anatolian Shepherd, Great Pyrenees, Akbash, Karakachan and others. (WVF’s dogs are a three-breed combination.) Such dogs have been protecting livestock for over 2000 years, which speaks to their now innate ability to safeguard other species. They’re specifically bred to be docile with regard to their charges and humans, and to integrate with the herd or flock; considering them part of their pack structure rather than prey. These breeds are usually large (Casey clocks in at 120 pounds, Annie at about 100.) and have shaggy, durable, coats that stand up to the harshest weather. While most were originally developed to safeguard herd animals such as sheep and goats, many can Summer 2017
Cathy White - Walpole, NH
Casey at Work
Annie, full-sister to Casey, arrived not long after her brother. WVF’s focus on grass-fed, quality products ensures that the dogs thrive on their raw diet of meats, poultry, and nutrient-rich offal. Though they are outside in all seasons and every type of weather, they don’t lack for comfort, having their own custom dog huts for shelter. In winter, when the poultry is housed indoors, the dogs spend their time with the cattle or just relaxing. The Caserta’s two young boys, Sam and Henry, might have made pets of Casey and Annie, but the breeder cautioned the family not to bring them indoors, as, despite loving their work, they might be inclined not to leave. None-the-less, Caitlin says the family does spend “a fair bit of time with them, and whenever we do, we are happier when we leave them, knowing they are doing the job that they were meant for and they seem to love it.” Thankfully, being able to love what you do isn’t limited to people.
and do adapt to watching over feathered charges. (Off the coast of Australia, on tiny Middle Island, there is even a colony of rare Little Penguins that was saved from near extinction by a pair of fiercely protective Maremmas.) Working farm dogs, whether herding or guarding, don’t attend “puppy kindergarten” or traditional obedience classes. Much of Cathy White lives in Walpole with her what they learn comes from their parents husband, Jeff. They have been owned or other more experienced, canine mentors. A large amount comes from imprinting by Labradors of every color for almost 30 on their herd or flock at a very young age. years. Cathy is a Boston University alum, And a lot of it is instinct. Casey and Annie with a degree in print communications. were ready to go from day one; a fortunate circumstance, as hawks and other aerial threats such as eagles and owls are not the only predators the dogs must guard against. Other poultry diners include weasels, raccoons, fox, skunks, fishers, coyotes and bears. Sometimes the mere scent or presence of the dogs is enough to deter these predators; other times the dogs will vocalize, posture and even charge to protect their feathered friends. “Their loud barking at night could be offensive to some ears,” offers Caitlin, “but to ours it means they are doing their job, keeping our livestock safe.” The dogs, the first guardian dogs used at WVF, have been there since 2012, when Casey came from a like-minded fellow farmer who breeds LGDs in Rhode Island.
The Last Big Push for Kitty Rescue! Heidi Bourgeois
I n the ongoing saga of Monadnock Kitty Rescue, they have widened their new building search to several towns outside the Town of Jaffrey. After looking into existing structures that might be able to house their shelter within the town limits, nothing has been found to be available or suitable for the rescue’s relocation. The Board of Directors found out almost two years ago that the landlord wanted the rescue to move out of it’s present location and have actively been searching in the Jaffrey area for something that might work. The location has to be, in most towns, zoned commercial, encompass about 3,000 sq. ft., preferably have town water/sewer, and a have decent size lot for parking. The rescue currently is home to 90+ cats and kittens, most of them considered by other rescues to be un-adoptable. The dedicated staff and volunteers at Kitty Rescue are committed to caring for all cats, for life, or until they are adopted. No cat in need is ever turned away from Kitty Rescue. “We encourage folks to bring strays into the shelter so that they can be spayed or neutered and receive medical care.” said manager Heidi Bourgeois. “Once at the shelter they are accessed for adoptability and either placed up for adoption or become a resident in our feral sanctuary.”
The shelter is limited as to the properties that they can look at due to a lack of funding in place at this time. They have managed to raise just over $120,000., which leaves them few options on the table. They are also exploring an opportunity to apply for a small loan to assist if needed. But that still leaves very few options, especially if renovations will be needed on any place that they find. This is their last and final plea to help save the shelter. They have opportunities to help online through PayPal at www.kittyrescueandadoption.org or P.O. Box 468,
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Jaffrey NH 03452. You can also stop by and visit the shelter which is always a good time, especially during Kitten Season, which is now in full swing! With the onset of kitten season, Kitty Rescue wants to remind everyone to get their pets spayed and neutered. Did you know that a kitten can get pregnant as early as 5 months? A pregnancy from conception to delivery is usually 63 days, allowing multiple litters to be born in a year. You can see how this can very easily get into a situation. If you find yourself or someone you know in this kind of situation or with a litter of unwanted kittens please call the shelter at 603-532-9444, to get help with placement and help with spaying and neutering. The volunteers of Kitty Rescue are sending out a challenge to everyone whose ever loved a cat, to pull together and try to save the last 15 years of great work that this shelter and it’s volunteers have done for Jaffrey and the surrounding communities. All it take’s is $5.00 (or more) and a challenge to a few of your friends to match your donation. Most of those reading this spend $5.00 on a cup of coffee. The challenge is to take that one cup of coffee and save hundreds of lives! Not only the ones currently at the shelter, but all the lives depending on the shelter to be there in the future! Every donation that is made to the shelter goes 100% to the care of the cats and kittens or to the new building fund. All the staff at the shelter are volunteers, there are no paid positions. Monadnock Kitty Rescue and Adoption is a 501c3 shelter so all donations that are made to the shelter are tax deductible. Please help them continue their mission to save the feral, stray and abandoned cats! If you have any questions you can call the shelter at 603-532-9444 or email them at email@example.com or stop by Tuesday or Thursday Evenings from 6-9 or Saturday Mornings from 9-1. You may also follow their progress on Facebook at Monadnock Kitty Rescue and Adoption. Just before press time the Monadnock Kitty Rescue and Adoption got a third and final extension from their landlord to stay until Sept 30th. This relieves a bit of immediacy to their problem but the problem is still looming and foremost in the minds of all that want to save the shelter. Summer 2017
INFREQUENT MICROCHIP SCANNING IS KILLING CATS Alley Cat Allies Launches “Plan to Scan” Campaign to Save Cats’ Lives
new Alley Cat Allies campaign is raising awareness that too many companion cats and feral, or community cats are still not being scanned for microchips, resulting in many of them being killed without any benefit from the life-saving information available from microchips. “More cats are being microchipped, but the information from the microchips can only help return them to their homes if they’re scanned before shelters impound cats,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “Since 70 percent of all cats who enter animal control pounds and shelters are killed, it’s truly a matter of life and death to remind veteri-
nary staff and animal control officers to scan for microchips more often.” Microchips are a permanent ID tag—a single microchip can last a cat’s entire life. Implantation is quick, simple, inexpensive, essentially painless, and virtually stress-free for animals. Each microchip has a unique number to access contact information about the cat’s caregiver or owner from an online database. Alley Cat Allies, which is the nation’s leading advocate for cats, launched the “Plan to Scan” campaign to encourage people to get cats microchipped, register the microchip, plan to scan for microchips and look up the information available from each microchip. Microchips help reunite community cats with their caregivers and outdoor families. They also help companion cats to come home. Companion cats who have microchips are over 20 times more likely than those without them to be reunited with their owners. Benefits of Scanning While saving the lives of cats is the most important benefit, scanning has other positive outcomes, as well. By scanning and identifying a cat, her time in a shelter is decreased, which lowers the cat’s stress, saves money for the shelter and makes room for other animals in need.
Cats who are scanned in the field may not even need to be impounded in the first place, allowing animal control officers to focus on other priorities. Microchip Recommendations Alley Cat Allies offers these recommendations to get the best use from microchips: - Veterinarians should encourage clients to have animals microchipped. Microchipping should be included in Trap-Neuter-Return initiatives, if possible. Where resources allow, low-cost microchipping clinics can also be organized to reach more cats. - Cat owners and caregivers should make sure to register microchips, including their contact information, and to update that contact information in the registry if it changes. Some registries charge a fee, while others are free. - Animal control officers, shelter employees and volunteers and veterinary staff should plan to scan cats for microchips when they come into shelters or clinics or are found outdoors. To serve as a reminder, Alley Cat Allies has developed a downloadable guide on how to scan companion and community cats for microchips. When a microchip is found, Alley Cat Allies recommends finding the registry the microchip is registered to by visiting the American Animal Hospital Association’s Universal Pet Microchip Lookup (http://www.petmicrochiplookup. org/). The microchip code can then be entered to find contact information for the caregiver or owner, or the registry can be called directly.
Visit AlleyCat.org/PlanToScan for more info, including a guide on how to scan for a microchip and a fact sheet explaining how microchipping saves lives.
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Alley Cat Allies, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is the only advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 650,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens worldwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org, and Alley Cat Allies is active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube. Summer 2017
A Stray Cat's Best Friend M
olly is the world’s first trained cat detection dog. Her job is to rescue missing kitties. We had been looking for a dog with a particular temperament and intelligence to join our team of pet detectives for 18 months. We had scouts out and had spoken to the country’s top breeders. We needed a quick learner; one small enough to fit into the nooks and crannies cats hide in. Mostly, we needed a dog with no desire whatsoever to chase cats. I came up with the idea in 2014. I had been doing the job for 20 years and my business, Pet Detectives, was getting around 30 calls a week about missing cats. When cats go to ground, they go into a comatoselike state and if they are not found quickly, within a fortnight, they often don’t survive after being rescued. One particular couple who called me had bought their cat after struggling to have children. We found it in a neighbor’s garden shed, but it later died. Seeing them so bereft was a tipping point for me. I worked in the police as a detective inspector for many years, and had seen dogs search for drugs and bombs and help with murder investigations. I figured, if a dog can be trained to find amphetamines, then it can be trained to find cats. We found Molly, an 18-month-old blackhaired cocker spaniel, on Gumtree. She was a giveaway. The ad said: “Needs a good home, cannot cope.” If cocker spaniels are not stimulated they become uncontrollable. She had been passed from pillar to post and had three owners in under two years. I first met her in February 2016, at the home of Medical Detection Dogs, the charity that would help train her. We had already rejected 12 dogs without seeing them. Three others didn’t make it through initial training: one was too timid, one got car sick and the other was too inclined to chase. At first, Molly was anxious. But she had intelligent eyes and was a problem-solver. She was also hyper and fixated on catching tennis balls. She had the right temperament: a bright working dog from a breed with a natural disposition to search for game. We just had to channel that instinct into finding cats. She had to be “cat-tested”, so we took her to a farm with a dozen cats to see if she would chase them. She didn’t even bark. Her focus was on interacting with her handler. Her training took nine months with experts, including two doctors of canine behavior. This had never been done before. She was a quick learner. The first phase was lab training, where we taught her to isolate scents. She then worked with a behavioral specialist who taught her to understand Summer 2017
signals and commands. The final stage was teaching us to work together. On assignments, Molly is trained to pick up cats’ scents from their bedding. When she finds the missing cat, she lies down to signal success, so as not to scare them, but you can see her trembling with excitement. She gets rewarded with her super-treat: black pudding. Colin Butcher and Molly: Her first success was in 'She has helped to rescue eleven cats so far.’ February this year. A tri-colored Photograph: Mark Chilvers for the Guardian cat had been sighted six miles from home on the roof of a garden shed. Molly quickly picked up her scent on the grass. I sent her across the back of 30 gardens until she started clawing at a fence. She charged across the lawn to a summer house and lay down. The cat was inside. The owners were over the moon and quite amazed by her. Molly has helped to rescue 11 cats so far, and our search success has increased by a third. She wears a fluorescent harness and has her own abseiling kit, which we once used to lower her over a 10ft wall. We’re getting special boots made to protect her feet in outbuildings where there may be nails or glass. Many people said that training a dog to rescue cats was crazy; that all dogs chased cats and it couldn’t be done. Nothing has felt quite so rewarding as seeing it work. People are fascinated when they watch Molly at work, but she’s not fussed. She still doesn’t know that those things with four legs that she searches for are called cats. To her, it is just her favorite game.
3 Local Groups Collaborating to Help a Stray Dog Recover K
inko was saved from the streets of Georgia and was lucky enough to come to Nashua via a dog transport. He is a 2 year old cattle dog and is a very happy, playful and lovable dog. Dr. Christine Schlupf, our Humane Society Veterinarian, identified right away that the dog had a serious problem with his right hind leg during her medical exam. X-rays confirmed that Kinko had a condition called medial patellar luxation and fixation. At some point in his young life we believe he severely dislocated his kneecap and never received care for the injury. Time has made the injury worse. If left untreated Kinko eventually would not be
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Kinko on the Treadmill
able to use the leg and remain in constant pain. Therefore Dr. Schlupf called Animal Hospital of Nashua (AHN) and Animal Medical Center of New England (AMCNE) and the collaboration began. For years, AHN has worked closely with the Humane Society and given significant discounts on varied surgeries needed for shelter pets. Kinko’s troubled leg was a perfect fit for Dr. Julie Zitz, their orthopedic surgeon. His surgery was long and rather complicated but Dr. Zitz did her job in performing a successful Tibial Tuberosity Transposition. After weeks of rest to heal from surgery, Kinko has months of physical therapy ahead to help his muscles, tendons and ligaments “learn” how to move all over again so he can live as a playful, active young dog. The Humane Society ran a fundraising campaign to pay for Kinko’s surgery and surgeries needed by two other special pets at the shelter, but what was raised was not enough to cover months of physical therapy. A call went out to Jennifer Brooks PT, MEd.,CCRP, owner of Horse’ n Hound Physical Therapy located in Hollis NH, and she too was very willing to collaborate to help Kinko receive the follow-up therapy he desperately needs to recover and regain full active usage of his right hind leg. Horse ‘n Hound PT is generously donating the costs of their services for this special Humane Society pup. “The Humane Society is honored to be the recipients of such generosity and part of this great collaborative effort to save Kinko,” said Douglas A. Barry, President/ CEO of the Humane Society. “Thanks to the skill, effort, and kindness of these local professionals, Kinko will have a full life, free of pain to for the rest of his life. After all this dog has been through in 2 short years, he surely deserves it!” The Humane Society for Greater Nashua provides for and protects abandoned, stray and owner released pets by connecting them with new families via adoption. The shelter will serves over 3,000 pets annually. To see the pets currently available for adoption, please visit www.hsfn.org. Summer 2017
A Trip to the Horse Capital of the World Jessica Stewart Riley - Randolph Center, VT
ecently I travelled with seven Vermont Tech Equine Studies Program students and a friend to the “horse capital of the world,” Lexington, Kentucky. The purpose of this trip was to expose students considering a career in the equine industry to the options that exist in places other than Vermont. Lexington should definitely be on the bucket-list of any horse lover. Just driving through the countryside is exciting: there are thousands of acres of rolling green pastures dotted with mares and foals grazing, beautiful horse barns, and training tracks. The Lexington Visitor’s Center provides free driving and walking tour maps which proved quite valuable in making sure we packed as much into each day as we could. Anytime we had 30-60 minutes free, we drove around and looked at all of the famous and historical horse farms, which are too numerous to mention in this short article!
Vermont Tech students pose for a pic with Will Take Charge at Three Chimneys Farm.
working at a top Thoroughbred breeding facility. We were able to see Will Take Charge breed a mare. This horse is winner of over $3 million and grand-son of Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled, and this farm was also the home to the great Seattle Slew. Then after a quick stop at the Tack Shop of Lexington (shopping is always a must!), we visited Pin Oak Stud, where we were able to meet a large number of mares and foals, as well as the studs Broken Vow and Alternation. The next day was all about racing, as it was College Scholarship Day and the opening day of racing season at Keeneland Racecourse, a National Historic Landmark, the world’s leading Thoroughbred auction house with spring and fall yearling sales where Derby and Triple Crown winners are sold, and a symbol of the best in Thoroughbred racing. After breakfast at the Track Kitchen and a tour of the barns, we watched an exciting day of racing; many of the students with me having never seen a horse race. Saturday we visited the Kentucky Horse Park. Attractions included the Parade of Breeds, Hall of Champions, Mounted Police, the International Museum of the Horse, and the Man o’ War exhibit. Because 2017 is the 100th anniversary of history’s most famous racehorse, there is a special exhibit Continued Next Page
Opening Day of racing at Keeneland Race Course.
Thursday, April 6th began with a trip to Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, one of the oldest and best equine hospitals in the world. There we toured through their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber, and Surgery Center. The next stop was Three Chimneys Farm, where we met the only female stud manager in Kentucky Summer 2017
dedicated to his story. While visiting the Hall of Champions, we were also fortunate enough to meet 91 year old Gene Carter, the last living connection to the “mostest hoss that ever was,” a nickname coined for Man o’ War by Gene’s father in law, Man o’ War’s groom, Will Harbut. The International Museum of the Horse showcases one of the most comprehensive histories of the horse that I have ever seen, through evolution, and including the use of horses in war, for food, and as transportation, as well as the history of the ASPCA, the National Horse Show, and the development of a number of popular breeds, including the Quarter
Horse and Arabian. As far as live action goes, the Spring Bay Horse Trials were going on further into the park and we were able to watch some show jumping in the sunny, 70 degree weather in the afternoon. We topped off Saturday night with a trip to the Rodeo for the Cure in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. There we watched bull riding, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing, and other rodeo events, as well as some creative fundraisers to help support cancer research and other entertainment, including the boot race for kids and Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey, who rides a sheep dog and herds Barbados sheep. Sunday included touring Churchill Downs in Louisville, home of the Kentucky Derby, where we learned all about the prestigious race. Monday morning before flying back to Vermont, we visited Old Friends Farm, a retirement and rescue facility, and home to some of the most famous Thoroughbred racehorses still alive today. These horses, primarily stallions, are now past breeding age, and living out their days at this farm dedicated to education, tourism, and awareness of equines in need. There we met Silver Charm, Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Dubai World Cup winner; War Emblem, Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner; Popcorn Deelites, one of the star’s of Disney’s Seabiscuit; and Eldaafer, a champion racehorse who doesn’t set foot anywhere without being flanked by his “entourage”; two goats by the name of “Google” and “Yahoo”. Even when this horse was at the track, he lived with his goat companions in his stall or he would not race. I have grown up in Vermont in the equine industry, love the state for all that it has to offer, and I don’t plan on moving anytime soon. That said, after this trip, my students and I agreed that Lexington, Kentucky is a pretty spectacular place and we all just might have to retire there, or at least visit more often! The horseflesh, scenery, and friendliness of the people make this a can’t miss destination, even if you aren’t a Thoroughbred enthusiast. Jessica Stewart Riley is and Assistant Professor and the director of the Vermont Technical College Equine Studies Program in Randolph Center, VT. She is a graduate of Johnson State College, UVM, and Vermont Tech, as well as a member of the American Quarter Horse Association Professional Horsemen and an American Riding Instructor Association Certified instructor in Western, Huntseat on the Flat, and Stable Management. www.vtc.edu/equinestudies
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Merlin, A Diamond in the Rough Rebecca Roy
M erlin joined us in May. He is a tall Percheron gelding standing
at 18 hands! He is in his late teens, around 17 years old. Merlin came to us severely underweight, with overgrown hooves and rain rot. In his short time with us Merlin was also diagnosed with Chronic Progressive Lymphedema- a condition that causes significant swelling and discomfort in the legs often from untreated pastern dermatitis (â€œScratchesâ€?). Merlin is affected most in his left hind leg. Continued Next Page
Thankfully, Merlin has been a dream to work around. Some horses can be cranky when working around their legs with clippers, and scrubbing, and hosing etc. When you add the size of draft horse legs, it can be even worse! Merlin stands to be clipped, he is very patient with scrubbing, and doesn’t seem to have any worries about the hose running on him. Merlin is very quiet and not easy to startle. Another bonus since he is so big! He is taken on walks every day to help with his circulation in an attempt to reduce swelling. When he walks by the pastures, the other horses come right up to greet him and walk alongside the fence line. It is comical to watch. But Merlin doesn’t seem to care, he just keeps plugging along. Merlin is certainly going in the right direction. His hooves have been trimmed, he is being fed properly, he is on antibiotics for his legs, and has had a bath. Next on his list are floating his teeth, a fecal count test for de-worming, and vaccines. He is steadily gaining weight and we are providing the best care we can to help with the chronic infection in his legs. Did you know they
The Loyalty of Dogs
Sissy the Schnauzer. (Photo Credit: Mercy Medical Center)
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Sissy the Schnauzer ABC News reported a miniature Schnauzer had escaped her family’s home, only to show up at the same hospital as Nancy Franck, her owner. Nancy’s husband Dale, was grief stricken when he realized Sissy, one of his 2 beloved Schnauzers had gone missing. He looked everywhere for the dog. He was relieved when he got a call several hours later that someone found his dog. He was equally surprised when he realized it was a security guard at the same hospital that his wife was a patient at. Incredibly, the canine traveled 20 blocks and made it inside of the hospital, but could not figure out much beyond that.
make circulation socks for draft horses? I didn’t either. But I do now, and we have some on order! Merlin is a great example of an unwanted draft horse that is a diamond in the rough. His recovery will be timely and expensive, but he has earned the right to a safe retirement. We hope that a forever home will be available to him once he is recovered. Merlin will need a home that is willing to take special care of his legs, they will need to stay clean and dry, and any wounds will need to be addressed quickly. A small chore in exchange for a stunning, quiet, and sound draft horse. The ability to provide ongoing care is a rescue’s biggest responsibility. When the horse has safely arrived at our facility is when the work really begins: The feed plan, the hooves, the teeth, the veterinary exam, the vaccines, and the numerous other discoveries that are made along the way. An incredible gift that makes a huge impact is donating $12 per month. At Draft Gratitude, $12 per month provides care for one horse for one day including shelter, hay, grain, routine farrier care, and routine veterinary care. Consider joining the monthly giving team to support Merlin and other unwanted draft horses like him. To learn more about Draft Gratitude, visit www.DraftGratitude.com. You are also invited to meet the horses on the first Saturday of each month from 10am-12pm. Draft Gratitude is an all-volunteer, nonprofit draft horse rescue located in Winchester, NH. We save draft horses from slaughter by providing a second chance and a place to call home. Rebecca Roy is the founder of Draft Gratitude and can be reached at 603-762-3266 or firstname.lastname@example.org Summer 2017
L etting G o W
hen we watch a upper level dressage rider or the demos where people ride with no reins we are amazed. It seems like magic, the horse just knows where the rider wants to go and the connection between the horse and rider is unmistakable. We get a feeling of absolute love, trust and respect. Something we would like with our own horses. Horsemanship Yoga is a way to get that connection. It takes time and patience but if you are willing to focus on the basics you can be one of those people who can ride with no reins. Breathing and Being Present The first step to getting that connection is being able to live in the moment with your horse. Taking a few minutes in your car to clear you mind and let go of the tension of the day is important. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and tune into your body, find the tight spots and relax them. Notice the thoughts spinning through your mind and let them go. Every time a thought enters that is not about your ride, acknowledge it and dismiss it. Get a clear picture of the ride you want to have. Envision your perfect ride and get that feeling into your muscles. When you go to get your horse do a lot of breathing. Spend a few minutes petting and enjoying your horse. When you start grooming pay attention to what they are telling you. Are they flinching or itchy in certain spots? Run your fingers down their back with some pressure on either side of their spine and down their hamstrings. Are they sore? Are they tense or relaxed? Are they focused on you or their herd? All of these things play apart in your ride. If they have sore hamstrings spend some time massaging and stretching. If their back is sore take them for a walk, don’t ride. If they are unfocused do some ground work. If you don’t know how to do these things get help from someone who has a good reputation in these areas. Listening to your horse builds trust and respect. In the Saddle Continue Your Practice Ride with a soft feel. Using your body to do the steering and your reins to make refinements. Focus on yourself and getting in balance with your horse. Continue to scan your body, relaxing any tight muscles. If you are tight or braced your horse will mirror that in their body. Tight shoulders= Summer 2017
short stride, tense jaw and top line, stiff neck and resistance. Tight lower back= hollow back, not reaching underneath with their hind legs, difficulty collecting, no engaging of the hind end. To fix your horse you need to fix yourself. Nothing should be ridged in your ride. Allow your arms to move, keep a soft bend in your elbow that can move and change with the horse’s movements, drop your shoulders, your arms should feel like they are hanging off ropes in your sockets, loose and free moving. Flatten your lower back and get the curve out of it by curling the bottom of your pelvis up a little. Use the muscles just under your belly button with no squeezing from your butt or thighs, this takes practice! Feel the swing of your horses hips and allow him to move you. It is more of a side to side feel than forward and back. Their body works like ours. The movement is a curve like a J rather than a straight line. So your hips should move just like when you are walking and jogging with a swing out first then forward. If you can’t find the feel I can help you! Let your breathing slow your horse. If he gets quick or tense breath out and sink into the saddle. Feel like you weigh 300 lbs and you are sinking into his back. Softly ask him to go into a circle by focusing on the outside hip, pushing it around the circle with your outside leg, seat and rein with very little suggestion from your inside rein. Change direction and do patterns to slow him rather than pulling. Turn more often to make going fast hard work. When asking for collection and engagement from
the back end curl your lower back so you feel like you are riding in a bowl shape. While letting your hips swing side to side Your horse will mirror this and do it themselves allowing them to step underneath, lift their shoulders and drop their head. These simple things take awhile to learn and perfect, especially if you are not used to doing them. I will be putting up a series of videos on my facebook page in the next few weeks to help you. I also have some clinics planned for the summer and can travel to your barn for clinics as well. Feel free to reach out to me for help! I love teaching the connection between horse and rider and the biomechanics of a soft ride. Colleen Campbell has been riding since she was very young, trying disciplines from Hunt seat to Saddle seat before finding western. Interning at UVM Morgan Horse farm she also received an Associates in Equine Studies from Umass Amherst. She learned the natural Horsemanship method from Joe Delano, with whom she still works. For 7 years she has been running her training and lesson business, Campbell Equine, in Leverett, MA.
CAUTION: Horses on the Road Sarah Zabek
s a driver, you’ve likely had to share the road with bicyclists from time to time, and maybe even wildlife like deer or moose. What to do around cyclists is straightforward enough: pass carefully when it’s safe to do so, leaving the other person as much room as possible. Wildlife is more erratic and should be given the right of way unless it jeopardizes the safety of you or other motorists. But what about horseback riders? Do you know the best way to keep everyone safe if you encounter a horse and rider on or near the road? Horse and rider pairs should be given both the space and courtesy of cyclists, and the caution of wildlife on the road. Ideally, passing a horse and rider should go as smoothly as passing a cyclist. No matter how well trained, however, a horse is still an animal of prey, with a strong fight or flight instinct when frightened. What this means is that all horses startle easily, and if they detect a threat to their wellbeing – sometimes even if it’s just a bird flying out of the bushes beyond their immediate view – their behavior will become highly unpredictable and can potentially threaten the safety of the rider, driver, and passengers. Approach the horse and rider slowly, and pass with as much space between you and the horse(s) as possible. Never slowly follow the pair if there is room to pass. Be mindful that the horse should continue walking as they were prior to your approach, and stop your car if the horse starts tossing its head aggressively, jumps in surprise, or attempts to take off – or if the rider signals you to slow down by moving their hand up and down. If any of these things happen, wait until the rider regains control, and resume passing carefully. If your vehicle is especially large or loud, use extra caution when passing. Never try to drive past a horse and rider as quickly as you can, and never honk or make noises at the pair, as these things are likely to frighten the horse and endanger everyone’s safety. Remember that horseback riders have the same rights as drivers on the road. A little extra caution when passing our equestrian friends can go a long way in keeping all of us safe on our roadways. The Cheshire Horse has everything you’ll need to outfit your horses, pets, and other animal companions. Visit The Cheshire Horse, on the corner of Whittemore Farm Road and Route 10 South in Swanzey, and online at www.cheshirehorse.com.
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fter several lessons I often ask my beginner student “What’s the most difficult thing about riding?” and their answer is generally the same as it will still be many months later: “Trying to do everything at once!” When learning something new that involves different movement or rhythm like posting, cantering, laterals, rein backs, etc., their answer is “Finding and keeping the rhythm of the horse.” Of course, with experience these answers will change, but it does take time and the shift generally comes when our own bodies following the horse’s movement becomes more instinctual and natural and produced less from effort. In process, “Doing less” is their answer. I have discovered that while many riders have fun and think they are following, those who teach themselves to become aware of the horse’s natural and correct movement learn faster and achieve more with less struggle. Basically, we have two choices: either we are with the horse or we’re not! If we are with the horse, then most of the time there’s harmony, balance, and good communication. If we are not, there can be several reasons why, but the bouncing, jostling, or imbalance we experience is shared by our horse! It doesn’t necessarily mean we fall off, or that we can’t have a fun ride, but we are at best occasionally insecure and sometimes in the horse’s way and often uncomfortable or unable to achieve a desired result. Good balance and softness in our own bodies is key, and it’s helpful to “feel” the rhythms of the horse; in a relaxed state we are more supple and flexible, better able to follow and allow the horse to move us, and more likely to be balanced and secure in the saddle. Try this awareness exercise, staying at each step for a few moments: once mounted, sit towards the front of the saddle on your seat bones with your seat over your feet. Ask your horse to walk. Place one hand under your perceived seat bone and lift your bent knee; you can tell if that bone moves. If it does, it’s not your seat bone but the top of your femur; your seat bone is slightly farther forward and closer to the inside of your body. Reestablishing your position on your seat bones, notice your “following seat” as your seat moves forward and back, forward and back as the horse’s swinging back and hind legs push it with each stride. Then, notice that as your seat moves forward your knees drop, alternating with every stride; one drops down as your seat comes forward and then the other drops the next time your seat moves forward. You might have the feeling of slightly kneeling on those knees as they drop. Next, feel how the movement continues down your leg and your feet begin to walk with your horse. Walk along, noticing the chain of movements: seat moves forward and back, knees drop, feet walk. There is some side to side movement Summer 2017
Rhythm or Blues? Dorothy Crosby
as well; notice it but allow your body to follow the forward and back more. Then, move up to your arms; feel your shoulders swing inside the ball and socket joint. This means they rotate and slide your arms forward and back, allowing your elbows to open and close as the horse swings his head and neck; from a side view the arms move alongside your body toward the horse’s ears and back to your body, not up and down. You can compare: straighten your elbows and feel the lack of motion in your shoulders. Then, keeping elbows straight but more relaxed, allow some movement, noticing the up and down bounce instead Continued Next Page
of the forward and backward swing. Bend your elbows and lift your hands into position. Now your whole body is moving and you are letting the horse do it all! When mounted, we are grounded much like a bird when it sits on a wire; the motion of the horse comes up from the ground through the horse’s body and through ours from bottom to top. Our parts move just as theirs do – if we allow it and do not “lock” any joints or stiffen the muscles. We are much better able to move with the horse when they do it for us and they are better able to move themselves because we get out of their way! This principle is at play at any gait or in achieving any desired maneuver. Finding the horse’s movement within our own body allows horse and rider to work together, making it easier for the horse to use himself correctly and the rider to work (do) less. Now, go have a trot and see if you can find the movement in your seat bones, knees, feet, shoulders and elbows! Certified as both a Level lll Centered Riding® Clinician/Instructor and CHA Instructor, Dorothy Crosby manages a farm and lesson program for adults and children based in Stoddard NH. She teaches a number of disciplines, emphasizing safety and fun while learning. Dorothy offers clinics, lessons, and workshops both on and off the farm. She loves teaching riders and horses of all ages and levels of experience.
The Loyalty of Dogs Masha The Dachshund Mix
In Siberia, Russia a dog has been coming to a hospital every day for over 2 years, unaware her master died a year ago. Her owner was admitted 2 years ago and a patient for about a year. Masha has come every day in search of her owner, unaware the man has passed. She still comes, hoping to find him. A family tried adopting Masha but she escaped and made her way back to the hospital. Now the hospital staff makes sure she is cared for.
Masha never gave up looking for her master. (Photo Credit: Siberian News)
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In the Garden with Goose! Jenny Robinson
E at your veggies! Hi everyone! It’s your buddy Goose
again. I’ve been patiently waiting and watching my Mom in the garden and it’s finally time for me to start eating it! There are so many yummy things growing this time of year I can hardly contain myself, so I’ll let my mom tell you all about some of my favorite veggies. There is nothing more satisfying than harvesting produce from your own garden this time of year. You put the work in and you know where it came from. You know that it’s not laden with deadly chemicals or pesticides. Veggies are at the peak of freshness and nutrient content when they are harvested from your own garden. Your pups will appreciate these tasty treats as much as the rest of your family does! Always consult with your veterinarian before adding any new food to your pets diet but the basic advice is to add any new foods slowly so as not to upset any sensitive stomachs. There are some veggies to stay away from such as onions, garlic and peppers but lets talk about the best ones for right now. Veggies are actually a very important part of a dogs diet. They provide an array of nutrients but they also provide fiber which just as important to digestion. A lot of pet owners are feeding the new “grain free” diets or even a raw diet. Both are great but be sure to read the labels carefully. Some diets take out the grains, add more protein, but don’t include much fiber anymore. Our dogs need a certain amount of fiber for proper digestion (I’ll let your vet get into more detail about that) but it’s very easy to add in some fiber this time of year with fresh veggies! Some pets also struggle with being overweight which can lead to all kinds of problems just like with people. Just a single dog biscuit can be the human equivalent of a fast food cheeseburger! We still want to treat out pets though, who can say no to those eyes? Give them some veggies!
Veggies taste good, have the same crunch as a biscuit and are full of good vitamins and fiber. Gooses’ favorite veggie snacks are green beans, carrots, peas, and butternut squash. Goose dines on a raw diet so I make sure to add some veggies into every meal to make it well rounded. There are some great books out there to help you tailor a diet specific to your pets needs while making sure it still meets all the proper nutrient requirements so please check them out. All of the above veggies are super easy to grow in New England. Another great thing about growing your own veggies is you can easily freeze them at their peak of freshness. Frozen veggies from your own garden actually contain more nutrients then the fresh ones out of season at the grocery stores! When you harvest your own and freeze them right away very few nutrients are lost in that short amount of time. Compare this to “fresh” ones in the winter at the grocery stores that were harvested weeks ago from very far away and spent who knows how long sitting in a truck traveling to get here. By the time those veggies get here who knows how many nutrients are lost not to mention what kind of chemicals they have on them to keep them looking nice! One of my favorite things to do when freezing veggies for Goose is to make “doggie smoothies”. Take any combination of fresh dog friendly veggies. I like to use a
variety of color to balance out the vitamins. Goose’s favorite is peas, carrots, and pumpkin. Sometimes I’ll add a small amount of kale or even a bit of parsley. Chop them up and run them through a food processor. You can add a small amount of water or even some homemade chicken broth, or bone broth. (Be sure to watch the fat and salt content in broths or stocks) I pour this mixture into mini ice cube trays, let them freeze, then pop them out and seal them in plastic bags for treats all winter long. This technique also works great for freezing pesto’s or herbs in oil for yourself too! You can thaw one out to add to your dogs meal. One thing I’ve discovered it they work great for teething puppies. The frozen cubes are great for soothing the sore gums that come with teething and they are getting some veggies at the same time. Again, consult with your favorite veterinarian before adding new foods to your pets diet but there are some great ways to use all the great produce available from your own garden! Goose here again! I’ve learned all kinds of new stuff living on the farm so far. It’s a lot of work watching Mom in the garden. I even tried to count all the green beans once but I kept getting distracted by all my tennis balls and sticks. I have to save my energy to do something cute so I can get a carrot stick. I hope you’re all having a great summer and don’t forget to eat your veggies!
on our training? The fact is everything we do with our dogs centers around our relationship. Our dogs don’t know we are training them... they only know we are their pack, and it comes down to whether they trust that relationship or not. Dogs will only be open to learning from those they trust, they will feel compelled to guard or correct those they see as weak, they play with those who are playful and relaxed, and they listen to those who are confident and steady. How do we use this powerful tool of our energy to help our dogs to learn, and become well behaved ? Here are just a few things to think about:
The Most Powerful Training Tool and How It Can Change You and Your Dog Paula Bergeron - Grafton, NH
n today’s world it seems everything is controversial from world politics, to which direction your toilet paper should face on the holder…. and dog training is no different. There are as many ideas about training dogs as there are trainers… which seems appropriate to me, as following a strategy blindly without allowing it to be filtered by your beliefs would make your training hollow, and ineffective, but I believe there is one absolute about training… there is no more powerful influence on your dog’s behavior, than YOU ! If you approach training from the inside out it will make more of a difference then any collar, leash, treats, or electronics that are available on the market. Why does our affect, attitude, or as I call it our energy, have such an influence 22 4 Legs & a Tail
1. Be Mindful. When you are with your dog whether you are training or not really be with them. In our modern world are in such a hurry that we talk at our dogs and not engage with them. I have seen people repeat commands in a fast repetitive manner, never really noticing whether the dog has actually complied before moving on to the next command. If you want your dog to be aware of you and what you want, you need to be prepared to let go of the noise in your head and be at least as mindful of them as you expect them to be of you. 2. Be Steady. What I mean by be steady is to control your emotions while working and training your dog. Like all living beings dogs love to be cherished and praised, but often we show these emotions when it is convenient and feels good to us, and not when it is best for your dog. To croon to your dog when he/she is scared is to sooth ourselves… dogs feel comforted by steady confidence, if you join in their fear with soft energy you only intensify their insecurity. Sometimes it is difficult for us as the human to be as confident as possible when we are working through behavioral problems with our dogs, but if you can remember that our dogs will reflect our energy back to us then you Continued Next Page
can understand why we need to stay strong and calm. On the opposite side, if a trainer becomes frustrated (as well all do from time to time) our dogs may lash out become snappy or aggressive. The state of mind we give to our dogs...is the state mind your dog will give back. 3. Be Consistent. This is harder than you might think because you need to be consistent not just with your choice of command words, gestures, and tools, but be consistent with your energy. A key ingredient to training a dog is trust, and if you are negative one day and overly excited and positive the next your dog will feel unsettled and unsure of what to do. Sometimes we think our dogs are being “stubborn” when in reality they are confused. When you are asking your dog to follow a command your dog hears your words but more loudly then words they will feel your energy, this is why your dog may not come to you if you are angry and say "Come", or if you are frightened when you say "Come", but will come when you are welcoming. To your dog these commands are different as day is to night. One says...you’re in trouble...one says there is something scary around maybe you better run, and one says come to your leader. Be consistent with your energy and your dog will be more consistent in his/her obedience.
is no telling what you can achieve. (p.s. the end of the toilet paper must face away from the wall... just saying) HAPPY TRAINING! Paula Bergeron and the gang at Good Dogma embrace a holistic approach to bringing balance to your dog’s behavioral issues. Exercise, training, relaxation, massage, grooming, play, socialization and energy healing are incorporated into your dog’s routine. www.Goodogma.com
4. Be Genuine. Although I am saying in this article you need to control your emotions while training your dog, it is also important to be genuine. If you don’t like a dog… don’t pretend that you do and try to befriend it… you could end up with a nip on the nose. If you are angry with your dog, take a break and remove yourself from the situation, regroup when you feel more positive. Pushing through when you are frustrated can be very destructive to your training goals. When you are proud of your dog… let them know. The more I do this work, the more powerful I see this interaction become. I have found that when I am proud of a dog, they respond by repeating the desired behavior again and again. Be real with your dog, and be real with yourself and you will see your bond with your dog become strong and healthy! So at the risk of starting a controversy as compelling as the fore mentioned toilet paper dilemma, I would dare to say that there is not a tool you can buy that can outperform an owner who understands the power of how their energy effects their dog. Use whatever training methods best suit your personality, your lifestyle, and your dog, but if you add a mindful, steady, consistent, genuine human then there Summer 2017
*We will not sell or give your information to a third party. K217 24 4 Legs & a Tail
How Old is Your Pet? F
or as long as you can remember, the rule of the thumb was one human year was equal to seven dog years. But is this true? The answer is yes and no. The seven to one ratio is actually an average with the real number based more on weight, size and, in some cases, breed. Boxers for example seldom live more than nine years. In fact, they are considered old by the age of seven. Medical care and diet play a crucial role in the life expectancy of our pets.
DOG AND CAT YEARS
IN COMPARISON TO HUMAN YEARS
Dr. Tony Buffington of the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine developed this chart which makes it easy to see how your dog or cat stack up in human years.
Surviving Summer in a Fur Coat: HEAT DANGERS FOR OUR PETS Vermont Veterinary Medical Association - M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM
ith temperatures on the rise, many people don’t realize that our pets can have trouble with heat too. If you think it’s hot outside, imagine wearing a fur coat in this heat! In addition, our pets have very limited ways of cooling themselves. Pets pant and that’s about it. It’s the season of street fairs, festivals,
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and other community events for humans. While you are enjoying the attractions, in the crowded venue your dog is being jostled, stepped on, eating who knows what that’s fallen on the ground, and often, overheating. Many events prohibit dogs for this reason, and because people often will leave dogs in the car to avoid the above dangers. This is even worse for them. Sadly, every year veterinarians see cases where dogs die from heat stroke after being left in a parked car, often with the windows rolled down a couple of inches. A pet will only last for a short while in a parked car - this is true even with the windows rolled partially down: the inside temperature of a car can reach 120 to 160 degrees in just 30 minutes. If we have to sit in the car while a friend runs into a store, the first thing we do is turn on the air conditioning or roll the windows all the way down, or even keep the car door open. Imagine how hard it is for your dog, who has a fur coat, cannot sweat, and is locked in the car with temperatures rising and the
windows just open an inch or two! If you leave your pet in your car on a hot day, you are risking their lives and potentially criminal charges. Police and animal control officers will not hesitate to break a car window to access a distressed dog locked in a hot car, if you can’t be located. And, once they do find you, charges will likely be in order. The solution? If you cannot bear to leave your dog at home before heading off to that fun summer event, check in advance to make sure dogs are allowed. Bring water for your pet to drink and also to wet him down. Keep dogs on a short lead and keep a close eye on them to avoid them eating people food that’s been dropped. (That can cause serious stomach upset). If you are going to leave your dog at home, outside, it is extremely important to provide pets with a few basic survival items in this heat. If your dog is going to spend the day outside, remember to provide Continued Next Page
shade, (keep in mind that a shady area in the morning could be a sunny one in the afternoon). Leave a sprinkler on or hose down the dog two to three times a day. Provide a lot of drinking water, and put ice cubes in it to help it stay cold. Some owners run a fan on the porch for their pets, or bring them inside during the hottest hours of the day. Many dogs dig cooling holes this time of year: it is normal. Don’t forget your outdoor cats. Leave a bowl of fresh water out for them at all times. All veterinarians have seen and treated many cases of heat stress and heat stroke: many of them fatal. If your pet’s temperature goes just a few degrees above normal, organ damage and potentially, death can occur. Signs a pet may be in trouble from the heat include vigorous panting at rest, unwillingness to rise, frothing from the nose or mouth, or rigid muscles. If you find a pet in trouble, remove it from the hot environment: (shade, indoors). Wet the body with cool (not cold) water and wet the pads of the feet with rubbing alcohol. No ice or cold water should be applied. (This is because serious clotting disorders can be triggered by cooling the pet too fast.) Then call and transport your pet to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Create Your Own Backyard Heaven!
We cannot prevent summer heat, but we can prevent most cases of heat stroke and stress in pets with common sense precautions. Don’t leave your pet in the car, even for a few minutes, and if you leave them outside at home, follow the above preventative guidelines. They may save your pet’s life. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA) is a professional organization of 350 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine. For more information, visit www.vtvets.org or call (802) 878-6888. Summer 2017
Skin Disease Caused by a Fractured Tooth Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS
hile the cause of a problem is often reasonably obvious there are times when one has to “think outside of the box” to get to the correct answer. For instance, if you saw this lesion on the side of a cat’s head, would you immediately think of dental disease?
Fractured upper right carnassial tooth
Fractured upper right canine tooth
The palatal root of the upper carnassial tooth was fractured and displaced into the hard palate.
“Mr O” was an indoor only cat who decided to escape one day. He was missing for several days until he was brought to a veterinarian by a good samaritan. He had apparently been hit by a car. Fortunately he had a microchip and his owners were found. He was diagnosed as having a fractured palate which was treated with intravenous fluids, a feeding tube, antibiotics and pain medications. He recovered from the trauma but one month later he started scratching at the right side of his head and was sneezing. Two months later he was reluctant to eat.
I met him three months after the injury, and took the above photograph, in 2014. This large wound was self inflicted - by constantly scratching at the side of his face he was doing great damage to his skin.
When his mouth was examined a number of fractured teeth were found. The most significant of these was a fractured upper carnassial tooth.
But what does a fractured tooth have to do with scratching at the face? The upper carnassial tooth is a triple rooted tooth, with two roots in line with the cheek and the third root in the hard palate. Within the skull is a canal which carries a main nerve and this canal is straddled by the cheek roots and the palatal root. If this tooth becomes infected, either through a fracture or with long-standing periodontal disease, the bone of the canal can become infected, weakened, and eventually disappear, leaving the nerve much more exposed than it would normally be. An exposed nerve can be irritated (think of hitting your elbow’s “funny bone”, actually a nerve, and how much that hurts.) An irritated nerve can transmit pain signals or it can transmit an itchy signal. When the tooth was extracted from “Mr O” it was apparent that the bone of the canal was gone, leaving an exposed nerve.
11 days after extracting the tooth, the skin was much improved as he had stopped scratching. However, he did resume scratching at his face and again created a wound. It was not as large as the first wound but was still significant.
Photograph in 2015 showing a smaller skin wound. Several more teeth were extracted and this has eliminated the scratching. Here he is in 2017 looking very happy and handsome. Dr. Waugh is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She also holds a Masters Degree from Washington State University of Veterinary Medicine and is owner of Windsor Veterinary & Dental Services.
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nce you discover burdocks or cockleburs on your dog, you need to remove them as soon as possible. The longer they stay in the coat, the deeper they will dig in, making it more difficult to get rid of them. The best way to remove them depends on how many your furry friend has picked up. If there are just a few, you can usually remove them with a coarse brush or a stainless steel comb. If some are already stuck in, you can try splitting them with scissors to make brushing them out easier. Do this very carefully; always point the scissor’s tips away from the dog’s body to avoid injury. Detangling spray or coat conditioner will make it easier to remove the cockleburs. You’ll be able to work them out without tugging too much on your dog’s coat. In a pinch, a little vegetable oil will also do the trick. You’ll need to bathe your pet after using any of these products. Any good pH-balanced pet shampoo will do, but if the coat is extremely oily, you might want to use de-greasing shampoo or Dawn dish detergent followed by a soothing crème rinse or conditioner. After the bath, brush and comb the coat to make sure you haven’t missed any cockleburs. Check your dog thoroughly, including the pads of his feet. These tiny tanglers can find a home in any crevice, including armpits, ears and even the genital area. When dogs loaded with cockleburs come to the grooming shop, we normally clip them down and start the coat over again. Even if it were possible to remove them with a dematting tool, it would be extremely time-consuming and painful for the pet. In fact, if your four-footed friend loves to romp in the woods and fields, keeping his coat in a short trim will help you to easily detect the burrs. When you are enjoying the great outdoors, avoid any areas that contain cockleburs. If they are growing on your property, remove them – wearing gloves, of course. Their prickly dry seedpods are usually visible on plant stems, protruding above other wild vegetation. Another serious botanical hazard for dogs that romp outdoors is the foxtail, a hard seed-bearing structure on some kinds of wild grasses that contains sharp points at one end with microscopic barbs that allows it to embed like a fish hook. Like cockleburs, these become stuck in the hair, especially the paws and ears, and sometimes even in Summer 2017
nostrils and eyes. If they work their way into the skin, they can cause serious infection. These grasses are common in weedy areas around roads, paths and woodland trails. As annuals, they are soft and green from January through March or April, but after the seed heads dry in the spring, they become dangerous, remaining that way throughout the summer and fall. Foxtails can cause severe injury, so if you uncover any on your pet, be sure to get all of them out with your brush and comb. If they have become embedded, take your dog to a veterinarian for removal.
On e interesting cocklebur fac t o i d : Despite their nuisance quality, they are responsible for an invention that shows up everywhere in our daily lives. In 1941, Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral noticed that his wool socks, his jacket and his dog’s fur were covered with cockleburs after a walk in the woods. Observing them under a microscope, he noticed their hundreds of hooks and how easily they attached to fibers, especially if those fibers were looped. By 1948, he had duplicated this hook and loop configuration in nylon, naming his new creation Velcro.
Cookouts, Food and Pet Safety S
ummer is here! For a lot of us that means getting outdoors and enjoying cookouts with family, friends — and pets! It’s a great time to sit back, relax, drink a beer or two and maybe set the family record for the number of hot dogs you can eat. But don’t rest too easy, there are some responsibilities you shouldn’t ignore — especially if you have pets! While you are enjoying your favorite summer foods, it’s worth keeping in mind that many tasty treats are not so good for our furry friends. Even simple things that you might not think of, like onions and guacamole, can be dangerous. These kinds of foods are typically left out on the table well within reach of any curious dog or cat, so let’s look at some of the more harmful culprits we should keep an eye on.
Foods Your Pet Should Avoid Hot Dogs - While tasty, hot dogs are not the healthiest food for us humans, and they are even worse for pets. Hot dogs are packed with tons of salt and preservatives in levels that dogs are not used to. Excessive amounts can lead to diarrhea and indigestion. Avoid them altogether, but if you must-must-must give treat your dog, please exercise moderation. Also, cut them into bite-size pieces to avoid choking hazards. 30 4 Legs & a Tail
Snack Foods - Chips and pretzels are full of salt and can cause excessive thirst and urination. Who wants a dog peeing everywhere!? Snack foods are just as unhealthy for dogs as they can be for us, exercise caution. Too many snacks can lead to sodium ion poisoning, the effects of which can include vomiting, diarrhea, fevers and even death. Bones - The leftover remains from ribs, steaks or chicken wings can be dangerous for your dog. Bones can splinter easily and if eaten, they can cause puncture wounds in your dogs mouth, stomach or digestive tract. They can also lead to obstructions and other health hazards. For your dog’s safety, make sure everyone knows where they can safely dispose of their food. Fruits and Desserts - Fruits are high in sugar and can lead to blood glucose issues, but the ones to watch out for are grapes and raisins. They have been shown to cause serious kidney issues and even death when consumed by dogs. Desserts that include chocolate or Xylitol are no-nos for dogs, as they can prove fatal quickly. Continued Next Page
Choking Hazards - Many cookout foods are also choking hazards. Hot dogs, bones, and corn cobs can get lodged in your dog’s airway. Keep an eye out for anything that is larger than bite size. Alcohol - An ice cold beer or mixed drink might be the perfect refreshment on a hot summer day, but will not have the same effect on your pet. Small amounts, just a few licks or laps, can be dangerous or even fatal. In a festive environment, once drinks start pouring a few glasses may get abandoned here and there, so make sure you clean up after forgetful friends.
Foods Your Pet Should Enjoy Melons - Seedless watermelons and honeydew are high in moisture and cool the body from the inside, says Dr. Judy Morgan, a holistic veterinarian and author who specializes in food therapy. Ginger Root - Mix watermelon juice with fresh ground ginger root and freeze in an ice tray. “The ginger soothes upset stomachs and is a great anti-inflammatory agent,” says Morgan. “You can even feed this to a diabetic dog.” Fresh Carrots - These make a great summer chew toy, says Morgan. Just don’t leave your dog unattended while she’s on the gnaw. Like bones, they could become a choking hazard. Green Beans - These crunchy treats are an excellent source of fiber. “Even though dogs are meat-o-sauruses, they still enjoy their veggies,” says Morgan. Water - “One of the most potentially overlooked summer treats is water,” says Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, veterinarian at Animal Medical Center in New York City. Tap water is more than fine. You can also make a thin, ice “pancake” by putting water in a plastic bag and freezing it flat. Offer it to your dog to chew on when the temperatures get really hot. Doggie Ice Cream - Regular ice cream can wreak havoc on your dog’s tummy. But several brands, including Frosty Paws and Puppy Scoops, make lactose-free frozen treats for pups. Just be mindful of calories. “Give him a Frosty Paws everyday and your Chihuahua will look like a footstool,” says Hohenhaus. Peanut Butter “Pupsicles” - Dr. Michelle Newfield, a veterinarian and owner of Gause Boulevard Veterinary Hospital in Los Angeles, recommends peanut butter and yogurt “pupsicles.” Layer the ingredients in a small cup, using a milk bone as a stick. Freeze and serve. But don’t use sugar free yogurt or some types of peanut butter. “Xylitol, a sugar substitute, is toxic to dogs, and can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia,” says Newfield. Whatever summer treat you pick for your dog, remember that it is exactly that – a treat. “Extras” should never make up more than 10% of your dog’s total diet, and adjust your dog’s meal size to avoid an excess of calories and the weight gain that follows.
The Loyalty of Dogs The Loyalty of a Mutt In Goiania, Brazil, following an epileptic seizure, a homeless man’s dog chased the ambulance that carried him away to the hospital. The dog was not slowing down and followed the vehicle through busy streets. Finally, the compassionate crew, realizing the dog would give up his life before being separated from his owner, pulled over and offered a ride. Once at the hospital, the dog would not leave the owners side.
Fact or Fiction Scott Borthwick - Canaan, NH
n December 19th, 1941 a local farmer was returning home with his horse and wagon after delivering a load of produce to town. It was a snowy day and traveling was rough. Somewhere between town and home something happened to this poor farmer. The next day his mother found the horse and wagon in their yard, but no farmer. She unharnessed and fed the horse and waited for her son to return. After many hours she took off on foot in the snow to look for him, which was pretty amazing, since she was over ninety. She found her son in the snow as
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the paper said â€œ beyond ear thly care.â€? That pretty much sums up the newspaper article. The story I was told, was that the farmer was attacked and killed by a Mountain Lion. To this day a lot of people in town believe this to be the truth. However, after doing some research, it turns out that after selling his produce the farmer was known to stop at the local tavern for some adult beverages. After a few too many he headed home, and on the way there he passed out and literally fell off the wagon. Eventually he froze to death. But the gruesome part was his carcass had been gnawed on by something, probably a Bobcat. People call me now and again to tell me they have seen Mountain Lions, Lynx, and even Wolves. Now it is not impossible for these animals to be here, but it is unlikely. Especially Mountain Lions. Many people including myself spend lots of time in the woods and have never seen any sign. One person showed me a picture of a so called Mountain Lion which turned out to be a large housecat. I have seen lots of Bobcats though. Lynx and Wolves have been spotted in Northern New Hampshire. So again it is not impossible.
I do believe that sometimes the mind misdiagnoses what some of us actually see. For Example: I received a call from a lady who said her chickens were being eaten by a coyote. During the conversation she stated that the coyote was so big it must be a wolf. I set some traps and a few days later I caught a sickly Red Fox weighing between 8 and 10 lbs. It was missing fur and smelled real bad. Showing it to the lady, she insisted that it was not the culprit. However I did not catch anything else, nor did she lose another chicken. Mountain Lions, Lynx, and Wolves are very large animals. Wolves can weigh well over 100lbs and a Mountain Lion can be over nine feet long. Everyone wants to see something no one else has seen, but the reality is that most sightings are coyotes and bobcats. If you have had a legitimate sighting of these or any other non-native species please contact me through my web site estatewildlifecontrol.com Scott Borthwick owns Estate Wildlife Control. He lives in Canaan, NH with his wife Donna, two dogs, a couple of horses and one tough old chicken named Henrietta. Summer 2017
Coyotes John Peaveler
ummer in New England is a special time for those of us who endure the long, cold winters. Sunny days stretch out to the solstice, and clear nights reveal an endless blanket of stars. Throughout the cold months, I look forward to those hours in the open air, taking it all in on my deck for a few minutes every night before bed. There is a peace and a stillness in those times, watching the dance of lightening bugs and listening to the sounds of frogs, crickets, and if I’m really fortunate, the yips, yowls, calls, and howls of coyote. This peace and beauty is what keeps us living here and it’s what keeps our tourist economy moving. In these times, in my own little remote corner of the Vermont wilderness, I can close my eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine that all around me, things are as they should be. I want to believe that, but the coyotes sound is more than just another call of nature. It is a doleful cry of mourning; an all too audible reminder of man’s drive to control by force that which he does not understand. Coyotes occupy quite possibly the most perplexing position of any animal in America. This perplexity originates inside our own homes. I personally live with four of the approximately 80 million pet dogs found in America’s families. Like many another, they eat their way through my budget, keep my credit cards busy when they get injured or sick, fart with stunning regularity and potency, seem to want to kill all delivery service employees, and bring me such companionship and joy that I really can’t imagine living without them. Dogs are, quite simply, an indelible part of our society, a permanent part of how so many of us choose to live our lives. Herein lies Summer 2017
the mystery. Coyotes are the second closest relative to domestic dogs in nature, members of the same genus. They are bearers of many of the same physical and behavioral traits, and yet a society which extols the virtues of the one species, spending billions of dollars annually for their care and protection, allows 24/7, 365 killing of the other. Coyotes are the target of substantial violence. Killing contests occur regularly right here in New Hampshire and Vermont, challenging participants to kill the most individuals in a set period of time. Throughout the year, coyotes are mostly killed as vermin, but they are also trapped or otherwise killed for their fur, which is used as trim on many popular brands of coat. It is, quite frankly, a social paradox and a moral pitfall to love dogs and brutalize coyotes, their close wild relative. Coyotes are no saints. They are, instead, wild animals. Even more importantly, coyotes are generalists, meaning that they will adapt to almost any climate and will utilize almost any food source, living or dead, wild or domesticated. Coyotes are good at finding what they need to survive, which in turn can result in them getting themselves into conflict with humans. That conflict has resulted in decades of nation-wide eradication policies. Justifiable? It may seem that way to a farmer or rancher trying to protect their animals, but it certainly cannot be said that it’s been effective. Specialist animals that rely on particular food sources and/ or climates collapse quickly under sustained pressure (e.g. grey wolves), but a generalist animal like a coyote adapts. Under pressure, more pack females breed and they breed more frequently. In addition, they move
to other habitats, adjusting rapidly to totally new environments. The result of eradication policies has been that coyotes have moved from a central North American range into nearly all parts of the continent and into habitats ranging from forest and desert to plains and cities. Human pressure has forced this animal to breed faster and live in far more places than ever before. What was once a regional issue is now a continental issue. A social media search on the subject of coyotes will reveal an eerie mixture of love, support, sightings, disgust, hatred, and violence. One recent photo indicative of the campaign to kill coyotes shows a dead coyote hanging upside-down and features a range of comments including these: “Nice seeing em hang’n!!!!” and “That’s a nice fat one! Kill ‘em all!” This is not management. It’s not carving out a balance between our needs and theirs. This is just blood lust, and it is sanctioned by state and federal management departments. Real problems deserve real solutions. Coyote and human coexistence is complex, to be sure, but difficult problems need rational, logical, and effective solutions. We will not resolve this issue through continued pointless violence. If you want to see real management, you need to add your voice to the growing call for change. Contact your local legislators today and get involved with Protect Our Wildlife Vermont (http://www. protectourwildlifevt.org/). John Peaveler is an Animal Welfare Consultant with over ten years experience working with all types of animals on three continents. He lives with his wife and two children in West Fairlee, Vermont and continues to work and write at home and abroad. www.4LegsAndATail.com 33
Three Sweet Dog Stories Kate Kelly
stop-cock [turning on the water] so that the dog’s hopes were realized. The New York Times, June 12, 1873 A Nashua Dog Story (reprinted from the Nashua, N.H. Telegraph) The paper reports: The New York Times, December 8, 1884 “One of our carriers relates that a gentleA Connecticut Dog Story man who lives about three-quarters of a (reprinted from The Hartford Courant) mile east of his route wanted to subscribe A Stamford dog which has been used to to the paper, and he [the carrier] told him drink at a certain trough found it empty it was too far away, whereupon the gentlethe other day, but a hose lying close by. man said, ‘That’s all right; I’ll send Tom for After evident consideration he picked up it.’ The boy did not understand just what the hose in his mouth, put the end in the was meant, but the next night he found a trough and waited for the water to run. It big dog waiting for him, and was told by is pleasant to know that having got so far a neighbor that he was to give Mr. B___’s there was a kindly witness who turned the paper to the dog. Tom took the paper like a little man and started for home. That was three weeks ago. The dog has been on time all but two nights when the carrier left the paper on a post, and upon inquiry the next night learned that Tom took it.” hile researching various topics, I come upon some amazing stories I think you will agree they are well worth sharing:
The New York Times, November 7, 1871 A Dog Story from Truthful Boston (reprinted from The Boston Herald of November 5) Mr. Edward Watts, a well-known citizen residing at 23 Harvard Street, tells a very remarkable story about a pair of English bull terriers that he owns and prizes very highly. He says, and Officer Coombs of the Fourth Station vouches for the truth of the story, that one day last week he had occasion to go from his house to Portland Street, a good mile, for the purpose of paying a small bill. Arriving at Portland Street with the dogs, he met the man he wished to see on the sidewalk, and there paid the bill, at the time dropping a twenty dollar bill to the curb stone, though he knew nothing about it till his arrival home two hours afterward, and after calling at several places on his way home. Finding this $20 bill gone, he took his dogs and started back calling at the places he visited on his way home. On reaching Sudbury Street he called his dog Jess, showed him a $20 bill, looked about on the ground as if hunting for it, and told the dog to “smell it out.” The dog then started off with his nose to the ground in front of his master., and pushing round into the Portland Street where they had been before, and where the bill was paid, he stopped and poked about the dirt with his nose and in a few minutes ran up to his master with the lost $20 bill in his mouth. That looks like a very tough story, but if truthful men are to be believed then this story is true. This article first appeared on the website, www.americacomesalive.com America Comes Alive publishes more stories about American dogs and other animals. Visit the website and sign up for “American Dogs” to receive the stories in your In Box. Or email Kate Kelly at email@example.com 34 4 Legs & a Tail
Intimate Things T
here are so many reasons why summer is such a wonderful time of the year. None of them are better than the other. They are all good. Laundry dried outside on the line certainly makes the list for two reasons. If summer had a smell, it would be the undeniable scent of clothes and sheets that have dried in the warmth of the summer sun with a gentle southern breeze to shake loose the wrinkles. If that weren’t enough, just the fact that it doesn’t cost you a dime to run the clothes line. It was on one particular laundry day in July when I heard a commotion out back. As I opened the door, I saw a stray dog trying to play catch with my hanging laundry and in particular, my lingerie. Just as I shouted, the dog made a final leap and snatched my favorite intimate. As I gave chase to the little thief, he refused to heel as I screamed repeatedly, “Give me my panties!” He had a good lead on me when I noticed a man drop to one knee before the dog. When I breathlessly caught up to the two of them I asked, “Is this your dog?” “No.”, he replied. “Are these yours?” as he held up my black, favorite Victoria Secret. More than just a lit tle embarrassed, I quickly grabbed my panties as he shared that the address on the dog’s collar was just around the corner. As we brought the dog to its home, we laughed about our escapade. Later that night as we dined together, I thought of the dog and was thankful he grabbed my underwear and not my mother’s “granny panties.” HAPPY 5TH ANNIVERSARY this summer to Alicia and Bob from 4 Legs & a Tail. Summer 2017
The Loyalty of Dogs Burke, the Teacup Great Dane A Teacup Great Dane followed his owner to the emergency room after a drunk driver crashed into his home injuring his master and 2 others. The dog is believed to have escaped out of the opening created by the crash. He was spotted near the emergency room days later, where he probably had been since the accident. Jeffrey Groat had not stopped asking about his dog since the accident and was reunited with his faithful canine Burke, a few days later.
Burke and his dad. (Photo Credit: Jeffrey Groat)
ccording to the classic hit, “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” legendary songwriter and storyteller Jim Croce proclaimed the south side of Chicago as the mid-west’s home of street smarts, self preservation and “the baddest part of town.” At nineteen years old and being a life-long White Sox fan, I figured my Southside root’s would be more than sufficient for the toughness of life in Vermont. Then again... As I settled into my broadcasting career in Vermont in the fall of ‘82, I couldn’t help but notice the leaves and how they reminded me of the colors in a bowl of Trix cereal. A short time later,
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as I was walking over the bridge on Main Street, I also noticed a man approaching with a shotgun. On the Southside of Chicago this meant a liquor store was going down. However, in Vermont this was more likely the first day of deer season, and just about everyone walked around with a gun. Welcome to the Green Mountain State. After six months, I thought the worst of my culture shock was behind me, until one afternoon. Finishing a routine maintenance call at the radio station’s transmitter building at the top of the hill, my exit was abruptly blocked by a snorting and stomping
stray bull. My attempts to side-step him from the narrow trail were quickly put to rest, as he began to violently shake his massive horns and begin a most aggressive charge. As I retreated back into the transmitter building, where I hoped construction of the 6x8 building did not go to the lowest bidder, I phoned for the Calvary. “I’m trapped at the transmitter by a wild bull. You need to send help, and lots of it!” I exclaimed to the station manager. “Relax. I’ll call the farmer at the bottom of the hill and let him know his bull is loose,” he replied. Ten minutes had passed when I finally heard voices. Figuring all of the sturdy farm hands had come to wrestle the beast, I slowly opened the door. There stood a single farmer, who was almost half my size and, everyday of four times my age. He grabbed the bull by the horns, swore at him a couple of times, and spun him around back down the trail with a parting slap to his backside. As I meekly walked from the building, the old farmer apologized profusely. Embarrassed, I accepted gracefully and muttered a Barney Fife-like excuse, “I would have done that, but didn’t want to hurt him.” It was a short time later that I joined the gym.
Dog Days of Summer 2017 Southern NH & VT
Meet the Cat Detective How Old is Your Pet? The Ultimate Equine Vacation Those Pesty Burdocks Hot Dog!