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Dog Days of Summer 2017 Western Vermont

The Ultimate Equine Vacation Meet the Cat Detective Those Pesty Burdocks Hot Dogs! How Old is Your Pet?


Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail

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Oh Those Creaky Joints! Three key ingredients to improved canine mobility Tracking Changes in Pet Care Technology, Wearable Devices are Making our Dogs and Cats Healthier, Holly McClelland & Patrick Sturgeon Infrequent Microchip Scanning is Killing Cats Alley Cat Allies launches

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“Plan to Scan” campaign to save cats' lives

6. A Stray Cat's Best Friend, Colin Butcher Meet Molly, the cat detective 7. A Trip to the Horse Capital of the World, Jessica Stewart Riley

The ultimate fieldtrip to Lexington Kentucky

8. Compounding Pet Prescriptions Look local the next time you need pet meds Pg.17

9. Coyotes, John Peaveler A look at the complex coexistence of coyotes and humans 10. Ducks, Susan Tullar, DVM Taking care of your feathered friends this summer 11. How to Help Wild Aquatic Turtles, Catherine Greenleaf 12. Setting a New Paradigm – Eden Ethical Dog Sledding Promotes Joyful Lives for All Sled Dogs!, Deborah E. Blair, M.S., Ph.D. 13. How Old is Your Pet? Find out the real way to determine your pet's age in human years 14. Alternatively Speaking: A Modern Twist on Ancient Feeding Wisdom Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA 16. Burdocks! What to do when your pet tangles with those “nasties” 17. The Prickly Porcupine, Jenn Grenier How to remove quills from your curious canine 18. A Day of Oral Exams: Surprises Under Those Cute Fuzzy Lips, Carol Gifford, DVM

20. Cookouts, Food & Pet Safety Do’s and don’ts this summer 22. Surviving Summer in a Fur Coat: Heat Dangers for Our Pet, M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM

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Heatstroke could be the most preventable trip to your veterinarian

24. Laryngeal Paralysis, Lisa Cogan, DVM

Recognize the symptoms of this potential killer

25. 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

26. Three Sweet Dog Stories, Kate Kelly 26. Intimate Things Romance can bloom in the most unexpected places 27. Up Close and Personal, Janet Rosa Watch out for the moose on the loose 28. Urban Cowboy When a “flatlander” comes up on the short end of a bull 4 Legs & a Tail Volume R.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: Tim Goodwin, 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 Western 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.

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Oh Those Creaky Joints!

3 Key Ingredients to Improved Canine Mobility. Contributed by ForeFront™ Nutrition

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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

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any popular joint supplement, do your 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


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Tracking Changes in Pet Care Technology Wearable Devices are Making Our Dogs & Cats Healthier Holly McClelland & Patrick Sturgeon

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umans have been sporting wearable fitness tracking devices, such as the Fitbit and Jawbone products, for almost a decade. Whether you attend a kickboxing class, fancy cocktail party, or casual luncheon, you are bound to notice at least a handful of people wearing fitness trackers on their wrists. The majority of trackers have Bluetooth technology that syncs with smartphones so that people can receive real time updates about their health. Did you know that similar wearable devices with Bluetooth technology are available for dogs and cats to strap on their collars, or wear as their primary collars? If humans are going to dedicate significant time toward monitoring their sleep cycles, heart rates, and step counts, why wouldn’t they do the same for their favorite pets? Dozens of companies now manufacture wearable pet devices, including Poof, Whistle, Loc8tor, Garmin, PetPace, Fitbark, and Nuzzle. While each product has its unique features, most items can monitor pets’ activity levels, track sleep patterns, assess anxiety and illness, log calories, and locate missing pets through GPS technology. The price points for these trackers varies from ~$40 to $200 depending on the sophistication of the device, and the channels where these items can be purchased range from Amazon.com to direct-to-consumer, depending on the manufacturer.

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Poof, headquartered in Fremont, CA, manufactures the Pea and Bean products, which allow dog and cat parents to monitor their pets’ health 24/7 because the devices sync with the Poof App. The Poof Pea and Bean are lightweight, waterproof items that be attached to any size collar to monitor activity levels, calories, and sleep. Poof has also created a pet community among fellow device owners. If a pet wearing a Poof tracker gets lost and wanders near someone else with the Poof App, the person will automatically be notified about the missing pet, and help return the pet to his/her owner. Patrick Sturgeon, pet parent of a German Shorthaired Lab named Piper, has been using the Poof Bean fitness tracker since spring 2017, and was excited to share his perspective on Poof: Q: Why did you purchase a pet activity tracker? A: Piper is extremely high energy. I try my best to run and play with her, but I am concerned that she is not getting enough exercise, especially during the winter, which may result in bad behavior in the house. I purchased a tracker

to keep an eye on her activity levels, and try to correct her behavior through regular exercise when necessary. Q: What is your favorite aspect of the Poof Bean tracker? A: I really enjoy the global ranking aspect of the Poof App. It allows pet parents to compare their pets with others across the globe, and incentivizes me to keep her healthy. Piper was rated third in the U.S. for activity, and 44th globally for a short period of time. It gives you confidence that your pet is healthy, and bragging rights that your pet is a top dog. Q: What is your least favorite aspect of having a pet activity tracker? A: The battery life on most pet trackers is only 48-72 hours, so gaps in activity data may exist if I forget to charge it. Normally it isn’t a major issue if the battery dies, unless I am trying to monitor signs that might indicate that Piper is sick. Q: Would you recommend the Poof products to other pet parents? A: I would highly recommend the consumer version to any pet owners. Highly engaged users will love the detailed daily analysis of their pets’ activity levels and sleep cycles. Less engaged users will enjoy the peace of mind of knowing they have better chances of locating missing pets through the Poof App. Q: What is something that consumers should know before they purchase a pet activity tracker? A: Most trackers require the owner to download the free or paid app to interface with the tracker, so they need to feel comfortable with the app and a possible fee. While wearable technology plays a significant role in enabling consumers to keep their pets healthy, another benefit is that many devices can capture data for research institutions and veterinarians to use to better understand health factors related to age, breed, gender, etc. Gathering pet health data at both the consumer and global levels allows us to develop better insights about how we can keep our dogs and cats healthier and improve quality of life. Given the fast rate of technological innovation, it will be interesting to see which benefits wearable pet tracking devices offer over the next decade.

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INFREQUENT MICROCHIP SCANNING IS KILLING CATS Alley Cat Allies Launches “Plan to Scan” Campaign to Save Cats’ Lives

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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 veterinary 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 information, including a guide on how to scan for a microchip and a fact sheet explaining how microchipping saves lives. 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 www.4LegsAndATail.com 5


A Stray Cat's Best Friend Colin Butcher and Molly: 'She has helped to rescue eleven cats so far.’

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Photograph: Mark Chilvers for the Guardian

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 comatose-like

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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 black-haired 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 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. Her first success was in February this year. A tri-colored 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. Summer 2017


A Trip to the Horse Capital of the World Jessica Stewart Riley - Randolph Center, VT set foot anywhere without being flanked Recently I travelled with seven by his “entourage”; two goats by the name 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! 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 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.

Opening Day of racing at Keeneland Race Course.

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Vermont Tech students pose for a pic with Will Take Charge at Three Chimneys Farm.

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 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

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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Compounding for Veterinarians and Animal Owners Your pets are special. Why not give them customized care?

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s a pet owner, you want your pet to receive the highest-quality veterinary care. You want them to have treatment as sophisticated and compassionate as you might receive yourself. You’re not alone. Today’s veterinarians realize that pet owners are very knowledgeable, and expect a more advanced level of care. Why should you consider compounding as a solution for your pet’s medical problems? That can be answered with another question: how hard is it to get your cat to swallow a pill?

Veterinary Compounding – Making Medication a Treat for Your Pet. The practice of pharmacy compounding is becoming a popular solution to veterinary problems. Compounding is the art and science of preparing customized medications for patients. Its resurgence in recent years extends valuable benefits to today’s pet owners. Animals often have variations of the same diseases humans can have, including skin rashes, eye and

ear infections, heart conditions, cancer, and diabetes. Medicating pets presents unique problems that often are best dealt with through compounding.

The Compounding Solution As any pet owner is well aware, animals can be extremely difficult to treat with medications. Cats are notorious for refusing to swallow pills, and usually will eat right around one disguised in food. Dosages can be very tricky with dogs – a dose of medication that works for an 80-pound Golden Retriever may be far too much for a six-pound Yorkie to handle. Large and exotic pets pose many unique medication challenges. A compounding pharmacist is equipped to help them all! Cats, Dogs, Horses, Rabbits, Birds, Ferrets and Reptiles. Even animals in zoos and aquariums!

Flavored Medicine The pet who refuses to take medication because of the taste is a prime opportunity for compounding. Cats don’t like pills, but they do like tuna.

Dogs don’t appreciate a traditional solution of medication being squirted into their mouth, but they’ll take it gladly when it’s flavored with meat or part of a tasty biscuit or treat. Birds cannot take large volumes of liquid medication, but they will accept a small dose of a tasty, fruit-flavored, concentrated solution. By working closely with your veterinarian, a compounding pharmacist can prepare medicines in easy-to-give flavored dosage forms that animals happily devour, whether your pet is a cat, dog, bird, ferret, or snake.

Solving Dosage Problems Just like their owners, animals are individual and unique. They come in different shapes and sizes, and may be sensitive to ingredients like lactose. As a result, not all commercially available medicines are appropriate for every pet. That’s where compounding is especially helpful. In this situation, your veterinarian can prescribe a flavored liquid, treat, or other dosage form with the amount of medication that is exactly right for your pet’s size and condition.

Commercially Unavailable Medicine

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From time to time, a manufacturer may discontinue a veterinary medication. Often this is because it is not needed in the vast quantities necessary to make mass production cost-effective, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some pets that need it. When that medication has worked well for animals, a compounding pharmacist can prepare a prescription for the required therapy and tailor the strength, dosage form, and flavor to that pet’s specific needs. A caring veterinarian working closely with a compounding pharmacist can improve the health and happiness of your pet. Summer 2017


Coyotes John Peaveler

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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 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 extolls the virtues of the one species, spending billions of Summer 2017

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.

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Most males are silent and very few actually "quack"

Ducks Susan Tullar, DVM - Bradford, VT

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ucks make entertaining, interactive, vocal and busy pets that can form strong bonds with their owners. They spend their time looking for food and swimming. They should be housed on straw, hay, peat moss or sand. Concrete should be avoided due to risks of developing bumblefoot, a crippling foot infection. Diets for ducks can consist of commercial pelleted diets that meet their various needs and life stages. Most species are omnivores and will forage for fresh grasses, leaves, stems, flowers, roots and seeds of aquatic plants, garden snails, slugs, worms,

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night crawlers and bloodworms. Uneaten food should be removed daily and unlimited access to clean water should be provided at all times. Because ducks are very messy, they benefit from extra filtration in their pools or ponds. Most ducks may be identified as male or female by about 6 weeks of age. The females quack loudly while males make a soft, muffled, hoarse sound. Male ducks, or drakes, will grow a curled tail feather when they mature. One male should be with housed with multiple females to alleviate breeding pressure on the females. Ducks breed in the spring and early summer with egg laying subsiding by fall. Proper care for these entertaining animals will lead to a long healthy life of up to 10-15 years. Consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about foot swelling, wounds or respiratory problems as these can all lead to poor quality of life and a shortened life span. Dr. Susan Tullar (formerly Dr. Dyer) DVM, sees ducks, rabbits, dogs, cats, birds, and other exotic pets at Bradford Veterinary Clinic in Bradford, VT, 802-222-4903 www.bradfordvet.com Summer 2017


How to Help Wild Aquatic Turtles Catherine Greenleaf - Lyme, NH

W

hy did the turtle cross the road? (No, this is not a chicken joke!) Female wild aquatic turtles cross the road because they are looking for a sunny and sandy area to lay their eggs. You will start to notice turtles emerging from the reedy mud at the bottom of vernal pools, ponds and lakes to undergo their annual egg laying sojourn around Memorial Day weekend. The egg laying of turtles(this includes Snapping Turtles and Painted Turtles) may continue until mid-July. The best time to tell when turtles will be drawn out of the water to start their travels is the level of humidity. The first spike in humidity, which marks the beginning of summer for so many of us, also sends a signal to the turtles to start their search for the perfect nesting site. On that day, you may see a dozen or more turtles emerge from a single body of water. Wild aquatic turtles do not feel safe being away from their bog, pond or lake, which is why they will quickly dig a hole, lay their eggs, and make their way steadily back to the water. I don’t have to tell you how hazardous the journey is for these brave ladies. Many are hit by cars and trucks and are killed. Others suffer serious, permanent injuries. You can help turtles survive by doing six things: ONE: When you see a turtle on the road, be kind and slow down. Pull over, if it is safe to do so, and help escort the turtle (in the direction she was heading) until she safely reaches the dirt. Never reverse a turtle’s course. She will only turn around later and end up back on the road in harm’s way. Always be careful if you have to move a turtle. It is best to use a plastic storage container and a shovel. Gently coax the turtle into

Summer 2017

the box and then carry the box to the opposite side of the road. Never drag a snapping turtle backward by the tail, as you can rupture the animal’s spine, rendering it permanently paralyzed. TWO: It is never a good idea to transport a turtle to another pond or lake. A turtle will not adapt to a different environment since they are loyal only to their natal (birth) area. If you displace a turtle, that animal will spend the rest of its life trying to get back to its point of origin and will most likely be hit by a car. Also, a turtle’s immune system is only resistant to the pathogens of the environment it is born into. Putting a turtle into a different body of water only causes disease and passes diseases to other unsuspecting wildlife. THREE: If you see a turtle that has been hit by a car, call your local wildlife rehabilitator right away. Turtles are tough, even when their shells have been cracked by the impact of a speeding car. A wildlife rehabilitator can stabilize the turtle and save its life. FOUR: Never attempt to drive over a turtle. Some cars are built low to the ground and the undercarriage can cause an “avulsion” injury, which occurs when the bridges between the top shell and bottom shell collapse and the top shell is forced onto the bottom shell, crushing the turtle’s internal organs. This type of injury usually proves fatal. FIVE: Snapping Turtles are not the cold-blooded killers some people like to portray them to be. Although not the most attractive creatures, they are gentle giants, and prefer to mind their own business. Keep your distance and they will too. Snapping turtles are the great, unsung heroes of New Hampshire’s

water bodies. They are referred to as the “janitors” of our lakes and ponds, since they routinely patrol the bottom of the water to eat muck and detritus. According to wildlife biologists, if it were not for snapping turtles, our lakes and ponds would lose their crystal clear clarity and turn muddy. If you have a Snapping Turtle in your pond, consider yourself lucky. You have a fulltime cleaning machine keeping your water clear. SIX: Incubation of aquatic turtle eggs takes several months, which means you will see tiny baby turtles hatching from their eggs and trying to scurry across the road toward the water during the month of August. Painted Turtles usually lay between 5-8 eggs in a clutch, and Snapping Turtles lay 20-40 eggs, but have been known to lay up to 60 eggs. Pull your car over and allow these little ones to find their way home. Catherine Greenleaf is the director of St. Francis Wild Bird Center in Lyme, N.H. If you have an injured bird, please call (603) 795-4850 or go to www.saintfrancisbirds.blogspot.com

www.4LegsAndATail.com 11


Setting a New Paradigm

Eden Ethical Dog Sledding Promotes Joyful Lives for All Sled Dogs! Deborah E. Blair, M.S., Ph.D. - Eden, VT

J oyful, wolf-like singing greets the dawn of a new day from the canine

members of the UN-Chained Gang. When morning feeding preparation starts, they celebrate the morning by running free – racing each other, spinning, leaping and cavorting. There are no chains for these international, sprint champion, Alaskan huskies at Eden Ethical Dog Sledding. International champion, Jim Blair, has spent twenty years setting a new paradigm for the racing and dog sled tour industries – one from which he hopes the public will learn that ethical sled dog care is possible. “I hope that people calling for one of our educational dog sledding adventures, will ask questions and learn about how we are different. We want people around the world to dialogue about the abuses of keeping sled dogs on chains or in small cages. Although it takes intensive work and effort to keep a commercial kennel of sled dogs ethically, the Working Dog Laws that support abuse need to be changed. Sled dogs, and all dogs should be free, have a legally required retirement with veterinarian care, respect and love.” Tour guests are amazed as they walk into a room full of sled dogs, lounging on couches and sleeping by the woodstove. The UN-Chained Gang ages range from young, learning to race and tour, to older, retired race champions. Soon the tour guests - children and adults -are cuddling with their new, canine friends as they ask questions and learn about the history and sport of dog sledding, ethical dog sledding and kennel care.

12 4 Legs & a Tail

The UN-Chained Gang

Quality of life for all sled dogs is the vision of Eden Ethical Dog Sledding. Warm weather activities for the UN-Chained Gang include swimming in the ponds on the 140 acre farm/oasis in the northern Vermont mountains. The Gang enjoys the outdoors in large, fenced paddocks that keep them safe when not supervised, daily walks and runs, toys, ball playing, rides into town for errands. The dogs love to frog hunt the ponds, chase squirrels at the many bird feeders, cuddle, race and play for tour guests. It’s a heart ache that legally, many race and tour sled dogs of Canada and the USA must endure short, sad lives on chains in dog yards of 75, 90, 150, 200 dogs, and more, with little or no time off their short chains in the warm months. Because their kennel owners want high profits in the winter it is easier, and much less expensive to keep them chained, with no love and exercise, when they are not being used for paying guest tours. Many people visiting with the UN-Chained Gang say that they feel they have had calming and therapeutic benefits. Additionally, there are children and adults who claim they have had their dog phobias healed. One woman from Manhattan exclaimed, “I don’t need to go for a sled ride – I would rather spend two hours on the couch with Simba and Rambo cuddling – they have reduced my stress far more than going to yoga seven days a week!” Twenty years ago, champion athlete, Jim Blair, was appalled when he found the industry standard, legal under most state and provincial laws, for keeping race and commercial tour sled dogs. Having a close relationship with dogs since birth, he knew that he had to find a way to demonstrate that sled dogs are sensitive, intelligent beings who want to share their goodness with humans. Given a good quality of life, off chains, respected and loved, sled dogs can amuse, amaze, cuddle with tour guests, and turn around to win international races. To help keep dogs safe, during training, exercise and guest tours, Eden Ethical Dog Sledding has the only engineered and built dog sled trail system in North America. Consisting of miles of trails, built over 16 years – it is a real roadway for sled dogs – snow in winter, and warm

weather Dog-Sleddin’-On-Wheels. Unlike straighter state/provincial snow mobile trails – specialized, for dog sledding, trails allow tour guests to experience how race champion dog teams perform - from lead dogs to team members – following proper commands, “Gee” (Right) -“Ha” (Left) – “On By!” (Don’t chase that squirrel!). These unique trails give adventure guests a real sense of wilderness dog sledding in the beauty of Northern Vermont’s mountains. Currently, the warm weather wheeled cart, winter snow sled tours, and rentals of the homelike cabins, fund Eden Ethical Dog Sledding. In hopes of raising public awareness, they are exploring going nonprofit to raising funds for more educational and therapeutic activities, as well as an endowment, so that ethical, loving care of sled dogs, and educational, healing and fun tours can go on for generations. Deborah E. Blair, M.S., Ph.D. is a Jungian Psychotherapist and mythopoetic author. With the UN-Chained Gang she created the first in a fantasy book series for children and adults – The Luna Tales – Book One – The Wisdom Runners, to share the joy, healing, and adventures that these incredible dogs promote. Profits from sales of the books will go to autism, canine causes and the work of Eden Ethical Dog Sledding in its vision of quality of life for all sled dogs. The Luna Tales is available on Amazon.

Summer 2017


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.

Summer 2017

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Alternatively Speaking: A Modern Twist on Ancient Feeding Wisdom

M

Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA

y husband is in kitchen cooking and our dog Pumpkin is planted on her bed eagerly waiting to be tossed any dropped bits or trimmings. She takes her job of clean up seriously and will not be disappointed; who could refuse that cute face? I imagine this is how many of our dogs get fresh additions to their meals, adding a welcome level of nutrient quality and bioavailability superior to processed dry kibble. But beyond helping with scrap clean up, fresh feeding as part or all of the main diet is becoming more popular for dogs and even cats. Pet owners are more conscious of the role food plays as part of their own health care, so it is natural to question whether feeding their 4-legged family members all dry dog food can meet their standards for what promotes true health. Besides all the benefits of eating fresh food compared to processed food, home cooking allows you to customize food to your pet’s needs. Just as individual humans have different body types and therefore need different diets to maintain health, our pets are not one-size-fits-all either. Local foods influenced dogs’ development as they were domesticated and bred. This means that individual dogs, and sometimes breeds of dogs, have different needs and biological preferences for what to eat. From a different perspective, each individual also has their own inherent patterns of weakness or imbalance that may be in part related to their genetics but also their own experiences and exposures. Chinese medical practice assigned many attributes to foods: temperatures, effects on body function, and effects on different meridian systems. They used food as a tool to proactively address imbalances and reduce the chance of disease, or with medical therapies to assist in treatment. This is not completely unique to the Chinese. Body type or ‘constitutions’ have been identified in the medical philosophies of many cultures. Today, the growing field of Nutrigenomics has identified how our bodies actually express different genes based on what we eat in our food. Foods that promote healthy gene activity help us thrive while foods that turn off these 14 4 Legs & a Tail

genes create weaknesses and predisposition to disease. Once again, new science justifies old knowledge that the ideal foods for one are not the same for another, and eating the wrong foods wears the body down over time just like the wrong gas breaks down your car. The concept that food can help the body work out issues and minimize or prevent problems is becoming widely accepted. But feeding is not all about body types, Chinese theory, and patterns of weakness. There are concrete nutritional requirements that our pets need to have in order for all their systems to work and maintain health. Making sure they get those nutrients in the correct amounts and ratios, and in a form they can digest and assimilate is essential for their long term health. Offering a tasty topping to a meal that is mainly commercial food should not require a strict recipe. However, the more fresh foods being fed, the more attention is needed to nutritional completeness. There is an assumption that simply rotating through a variety of healthy ingredients over time will provide all the nutrient requirements for our pets. After all, that is how we eat, right? But when you really think about it, even with all our multivitamins and fortified foods, our doctors are checking and finding more nutrient deficiencies. These deficiencies do not cause outright disease as with malnutrition in the past, but instead they slowly hamper our body’s ability to keep us in optimum health. Left to our own random meal planning, we are often not getting everything we need over time. I see these same issues in dogs, whether my clients are making dog food themselves or even buying raw meat, bone, and organs for supplemental feeding. Some recipes omit any bone or source of calcium, or the meats and organs used simply don’t contain the vitamins and trace minerals needed. Vegetables or supplements used to fortify may not contain all the nutrients required or are fed in too small an amount to provide all that is needed. Also, the cellulose rich vegetables are not cooked or minced small enough for a dog to extract the nutrients from

Pumpkin

them. I also see diets too rich in high fat calories (think cheap ground beef). Too many calories means you have to limit meal size to avoid obesity and this prevents your dog from being able to eat enough of the diet to get the required protein, vitamins, and minerals. If these basic premises are left unaddressed, no amount of rotation is going to make up for what ends up being a deficient diet. In my practice we use holistic philosophies to tailor nutrition to the needs of the individual patient. We also recognize that addressing holistic ideals does not mean we can ignore the nutritional needs of our patients. Here is where I add the disclaimer that my associates and I are not board certified in nutrition. So to accomplish these goals, we marry Chinese philosophy with a modern computer program to analyze our diets and balance it to AAFCO, FEDIAF or ancestral standards as we wish. This allows us the freedom to pick certain ingredients to match what is ideal for an individual at different stages of life, during different seasons of the year, and during periods of illness or health while being confident that we are meeting the basic nutritional needs of our patient. We also have the flexibility of using all whole foods, some nutritional supplements, or even a mix of commercial food with homemade to balance the diet. The computer assisted component allows diets to be easily altered as the holistic assessment of the patient changes. My clients also love this fact because as seasonal ingredients become available, or as certain ingredients become more costly, or possibly as their pet’s tastes change, diets are updated and verified to see that they remain in balance. So now you want to start making some food for your pet, terrific! Maybe they are itchy, or greasy, or gassy, or their coat is not as beautiful as it should Continued Next Page

Summer 2017


be, or they are young and healthy and you want to keep them thriving as they age. With just a little education and attention to detail it is easy to augment your dog’s menu with some fresh food. Note, this is NOT true for puppies, whose nutritional needs during growth and development have little wiggle room for deficiency. But even for adults, when feeding anything more than a treat with their dog food, it would be best if the foods you add are not stressing the overall nutritional effect of their diet. That can be as simple as using commercial products that are added to fresh meat to make it a balanced addition to their meal. For those that feel that none of the many varieties of commercial pet foods meet your pet’s individual needs you and want to make more of their food from scratch, you can consult your veterinarian. They may refer you to a board certified veterinary nutritionist directly, or indirectly via the BalanceIt. com website where you can select ingredients for a cooked recipe and then purchase supplement packs specific to that recipe to balance it. For those that want to use raw diets or organ meats not available from the more conventional nutritionalists, there are good books that teach proper nutrient rotation and how to supplement diets to make them complete - Dr Becker’s book Real Food

for Healthy Dogs and Cats is one of these. If you want to go to the next level and use diet as a part of your pet’s medical care, find a holistic veterinarian that offers that service. In the end, remember that you should do what you feel is best for your pet, and consult your veterinarian when making diet changes to avoid problems in the short or long term. Keep it simple, go slow and remember that for an adult healthy dog it would take months if not years to cause nutritional issues, so feel free to test the waters with some small changes. Doing a little can go a long way, and can taste great too, just ask Pumpkin! Dr. Anne Carroll is owner of the Chelsea Animal Hospital where she practices both conventional medicine and surgery as well as several alternative modalities including traditional Chinese acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Her associate Dr. Betty Jo Black brings classical homeopathy to the practice. For more information on alternative veterinary medicine visit their website at www.chelseaanimalhospital.com

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)

Summer 2017

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B u r d o c ks O

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

16 4 Legs & a Tail

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 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.

One i n t e re s t i n g c o c k le b ur 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.

Summer 2017


The Prickly Porcupine I t was a beautiful, summer day and I was out walking with my dog

Shadow, soaking in as much Vitamin D as possible. All of a sudden, she came out of the bushes foaming at the mouth and franticly pawing at her face. She had what looked like a white beard, which could only mean one thing. Shadow had tangled with a porcupine! With the arrival of early spring, porcupines will soon be walking among our four-legged family members. Now is the time to brush up on our porcupine facts. There are about 2-dozen different species of porcupine in the world. The species we’re most familiar with here in Vermont, is the North American Porcupine. They are typically 10-35 lbs and can have up to 30,000 quills on them at any one time. The word porcupine comes from the Latin for “quill pig”. The quills are solid near both ends and hollow for most of the shaft. At each end of the quill is a barb that acts like a fishhook. When threatened, the porcupine will turn its hind end to its attacker, tuck its head toward its stomach (where it does not have any quills), and leave its tail and backside exposed to defend itself against predators. When the barb comes into contact with flesh it easily detaches from the porcupine and hooks onto its attacker. Once attached to the skin, every time that skin moves, the quill’s barb moves through the skin and muscle with ease. If you find yourself in this situation, here is how to proceed. DO NOT PANIC.  Keep your dog as calm as possible. The more your dog paws at their face, the more likely they are to break off the quills. Have your dog sit down, and hold their head up and away from their paws. Locate the quills - most will hit the nose, mouth and lips. If your dog has quills in the neck or chest there is concern about it migrating further into the tissue. In these cases, please contact your veterinarian for further instruction. Grab and pull using needle nose pliers getting as close to the skin as possible. If your dog is loaded with quills, sedation may be required and you should contact your veterinarian. Disposal of the quills - Once you have removed the quills, wrap them in paper towel or newspaper and toss in the garbage.  If you do not feel comfortable with removing quills or if there are a large number of quills, contact your veterinarian or a 24 hour emergency facility such as SAVES immediately. Summer 2017

Jenn Grenier - Williston, VT

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A Day

of

Oral E xams:

Surprises Under Those Cute Fuzzy Lips

A

Carol Gifford, DVM

n oral exam consists of inspecting the teeth, gums, tongue and other structures in a dog or cats mouth. It is a very important part of the complete physical exam for your pet. On any given day, numerous abnormalities and potential sources of disease or pain are found during these routine veterinary visits. This is one of the many reasons that it is important to have your pet fully examined at least once a year. As the following photographs illustrate, you cannot always tell what lies beneath the cute fuzzy lips. Of course some dogs have obvious dental challenges that you can see right away. This little Boston Terrier has a pronounced underbite, called a class III malocculsion which gives him his cute pushed in face. Many breeds such as bulldogs, boxers and pugs share this jaw anatomy which creates some challenges for dental care. Therefore, it is important to consult with your veterinarian and give them the best preventitive dental care throughout their life. This guy also has very crooked lower front teeth. These teeth, called incisors, will likely get damaged and some may need to be extracted to keep his mouth healthy and pain free.

Many animals have dental challenges that are not so obvious. This little mixed breed dog appears to have a normal mouth.

However, when we look more closely and do an oral exam several problems are revealed. He has a slight overbite, called a Class I malocclusion. Due to this maloccusion his third upper right incisor, the middle tooth with the asterisk on it, is angled outward and likely will need to be extracted. This is a young dog with beautiful, healthy teeth and gums so early recognition of these problems will help him to continue to have a healthy mouth throughout his life.

*

Continued Next Page

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This cute little fuzz ball also looks like she has a perfectly normal jaw and mouth. However, the oral exam reveals that she has a Class III Malocclusion. As the lower photograph shows, the upper front teeth, called incisors will hit behind her lower front teeth on the soft gums of her lower jaw. This can cause pain as well as damage to the teeth and gums. Some dogs need to have their upper incisors extracted to prevent this damage.

Of course every day we also see many pets with healthy mouths that give them a great start on the road to dental health. This cute little guy has a pretty mouth to go with his pretty flower chew toy.

This is another young dog with beautiful teeth so early recognition of this problem is going to help us keep her happy and healthy. He will still need regular dental care such as brushing, appropriate dental chews and professional cleanings to maintain oral health during his life. As these examples illustrate, regular dental checkups as part of your pet’s routine physical exam are crucial tools for keeping your pet happy and healthy for their whole life. Carol Gifford, DVM has been practicing veterinary medicine in Vermont since 1987. In 1991 she founded her own practice which grew to become Riverside Veterinary Care & Dental Services with locations in Rutland and Ludlow. www.RiversideVetCare.com

As time goes on both people and pets are prone to developing dental disease. We expect to see some tartar and gingivitis issues in an older dog such as this sweet 10 year old greyhound. However, due to her earlier life as a racing greyhound, she has a more unusual problem. During her racing years she was confined in a cage for long periods of time and she developed a nervous habit of chewing on the bars of her cage. This has caused excessive wear to her lower incisors. Those dark dots are exposed pulp chambers in the teeth and are a source of pain and route for infection. Fortunately, she now has a loving home and her dental issues are being treated to allow her to live pain free. Summer 2017

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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. 20 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

Summer 2017


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.

Summer 2017

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Surviving Summer in a Fur Coat: Heat Dangers for our Pets Vermont Veterinary Medical Association - M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM

W 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.

22 4 Legs & a Tail

It’s the season of street fairs, festivals, 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). Continued Next Page

Summer 2017


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 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

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. 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 to help it stay cold. Some owners run a the above preventative guidelines. They fan on the porch for their pets, or bring may save your pet’s life. them inside during the hottest hours of the day. Many dogs dig cooling holes The Vermont Veterinary Medical this time of year: it is normal. Don’t Association (VVMA) is a professional forget your outdoor cats. Leave a bowl organization of 350 veterinarians of fresh water out for them at all times. dedicated to compassionate All veterinarians have seen and animal care and quality medicine. For more information, treated many cases of heat stress and visit www.vtvets.org heat stroke: many of them fatal. If or call (802) 878-6888. your pet’s temperature goes just a few

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)

Summer 2017

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T here are many times in veterinary medicine where taking a full

history, and performing a complete physical examination will bring a veterinarian very close to a correct diagnosis. There are other times when the vet’s suspicion for a particular condition can be high, simply by observing an animal’s behavior from a distance. Laryngeal paralysis is an example of the later. With this condition, the veterinarian would see a dog with very loud breathing, a very hoarse bark, and a tendency for the dog to gag or cough when it eats or drinks. What seem to be trivial changes early in the disease process can become life threatening to your dog over time if not addressed. The larynx, also known as the voice box, is a group of muscles, ligaments, and cartilages in a dog’s throat. The larynx is a gateway at the top of the trachea, or wind pipe. The muscles of the larynx are supposed to function in two ways: they open wide to let air in to the trachea and lungs when breathing in, and they close tightly during swallowing to direct food or water into the esophagus instead of into the lungs. Laryngeal paralysis occurs when the larynx is unable to open or close properly. The exact cause of the condition is largely unknown, but it is seen mostly in dogs, and very rarely in cats. As a rule, it is a slowly progressive issue of older (greater than 10 years), larger dogs. It can be diagnosed in any breed, but it is over represented in Labrador Retrievers. In the Bouvier des Flanders, it has been identified as an inherited disease, typically developing in dogs less than 6 months of age. Although a direct correlation has not been determined, it can often be diagnosed along with other degenerative nerve (neuropathy) or muscle (myopathy) conditions. The most frequent complaints owners report are loud breathing that worsens with excitement or anxiety, exercise intolerance, lethargy, change in the sound of the bark, and coughing or gagging when eating. The reasons for these symptoms are simple. First, if the vocal folds do not open wide enough to allow air in, they create an obstruction. This generates a lot of noise and decreases oxygen intake. Second, when a dog eats or drinks, a small amount of food or water is allowed into their trachea, stimulating the cough. This can become a life-threatening issue! The dog can either develop pneumonia or their inability to breathe can cause them to panic, further inhibiting their ability to breathe. This downward spiral can very quickly lead to overheating, swelling of the throat, collapse, and even death. A presumptive diagnosis of laryngeal paralysis can often be made based on history, symptoms, and a physical exami24 4 Legs & a Tail

Laryngeal Disease may be present at birth or acquired.

Laryngeal Paralysis Lisa Cogan, DVM - Grantham, NH nation. A definitive diagnosis can be made by sedating a dog to examine the ability of the vocal folds to open and close while it breathes. This also allows the veterinarian to look at the rest of the throat to ensure there isn’t a mass or an abnormality of the soft palate. Radiographs (X-rays) of the dog’s neck and chest are sometimes indicated as well. Traditional recommendations for treatment for laryngeal paralysis are either medical management, or surgical correction. A third alternative for treatment is acupuncture therapy. With medical management, the focus is placed on decreasing pressure on the throat, and keeping the dog as calm, cool, and quiet as possible. Using a harness for walking, ensuring the dog is a healthy weight, avoiding or minimizing exposure to heat and humidity, and minimizing strenuous exercise are important in all cases. These recommendations are beneficial regardless of severity of a dog’s symptoms. Some owners have light sedative prescribed for use should the dog start to get anxious, and begin straining to breathe. Calming the dog down can help prevent dangerous and rapid progression of symptoms. Sedative use requires careful consideration, and informed decision making as to when a veterinarian’s intervention is needed. Acupuncture therapy is something to consider prior to surgery. In recent years, there have been more and more studies, both with humans and animals, to support the efficacy of acupuncture. The National Institute of Health has issued consensus statements in support of its effectiveness. I recently had a patient that was considering surgery,

but her owner wanted to avoid it at all costs. We were both relieved when her dog responded quickly to acupuncture. After the first treatment, the dog could walk farther, she was panting less, and her breathing quieted so much that her owner didn’t always know where she was in the house! In more severe cases, there are several surgical options. However, it is very important for an owner to understand that the surgeries are not able to make the larynx function normally again. The goal of surgery is to help improve the pet’s ability to breathe by making the larynx wider, while still protecting the airway. Not all patients are appropriate surgical candidates. Pre-surgical tests, like blood work, help determine an individual dog’s level of risk. Unfortunately, with any of the available procedures, the larynx’s ability to keep food and water out of the airway will likely be decreased. This means that the risk of aspiration pneumonia and other complications becomes higher. If you are concerned that your own dog may be experiencing symptoms of laryngeal paralysis, there is quite a bit of help available to you. Recognizing the symptoms early and initiating supportive care and treatment early could be life saving for your best friend. Lisa Cogan grew up in Sunapee and received her Bachelors of Animal Science from University of New Hampshire and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University in 2001. Visit her at Sugar River Animal Hospital in Grantham, NH Summer 2017


The Most Powerful Training Tool and How It Can Change You and Your Dog Paula Bergeron Grafton, NH

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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 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: 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 Summer 2017

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 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. 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 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 www.4LegsAndATail.com 25


Three Sweet Dog Stories Kate Kelly

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hile researching various topics, I come upon some amazing stories I think you will agree they are well worth sharing: The New York Times, December 8, 1884 A Connecticut Dog Story (reprinted from The Hartford Courant) A Stamford dog which has been used to drink at a certain trough found it empty the other day, but a hose lying close by.  After evident consideration he picked up the hose in his mouth, put the end in the trough and waited for the water to run. It is pleasant to know that having got so far there was a kindly witness who turned the stop-cock [turning on the water] so that the dog’s hopes were realized. New York Times, June 12, 1873 A Nashua Dog Story (reprinted from the Nashua, N.H. Telegraph) The paper reports: “One of our carriers relates that a gentleman who lives about three-quarters of a mile east of his route wanted to subscribe to the paper, and he [the carrier] told him it was too far away, whereupon the gentleman said, ‘That’s all right; I’ll send Tom for it.’ The boy did not understand just what was meant, but the next night he found a big dog waiting for him, and was told by a neighbor that he was to give Mr.

B___’s 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.” 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 kate@americacomesalive.com

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 26 4 Legs & a Tail

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 little 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


UP CLOSE

and PERSONAL Janet Rosa - Etna, NH

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e all wish for certain experiences in our lives; mine was to see a Moose – in real life. I heard so many wonderful stories about this magnificent creature. They are docile unless provoked; they are very large and are not necessarily bright. I always wanted to see one because I couldn't imagine, in my mind's eye, that an animal's legs could be that tall. Excited about the conference in Wyoming, I knew that I would find a Moose. The days were busy with seminars, networking, and enjoying the beautiful Wyoming weather. Jogging every morning was a ritual – No Moose sightings. One morning an associate and I decided to take a different route, one that numerous attendees jogged and walked. This particular route abutted the plains where the Moose and Elk resided. Although I was reticent, I wanted to be “one of the guys.” The resort was high above the dirt road and the only exit route, other than the dirt road, was a steep, curving path of dirt, rock and sagebrush leading back up the mountainside to the resort. A path that I decided was not one that I would partake. Little did I know that this path would lead to our survival. Walking briskly along and chatting about business, not a care in the world on this beautiful sunny day, a Moose came out of the sagebrush from nowhere. Nose to nose – there we were! Do you realize how large a Moose is – up close and personal? Very large and looming. Adrenaline pumping and the fear of what was in front of me, I screamed and ran like hell up the steep and winding path. My associate was much bolder than I. He stood there and took pictures while this Moose moved forward rapidly. At one point, I know he realized that he should beat it out of there fast, especially when he saw my red jogging suit dotting the mountainside. Quickly he was behind me and the Moose behind him. Who said Moose were not bright? This one had an agenda – he was after us. As we climbed the mountainside; he climbed the mountainside but not behind us - beside us. We ran up – he ran up. We ran down – he ran down. I tried to hide behind a tree but there was no running or hiding from this guy. We repeated this fancy footwork three times. Summer 2017

I thought, how bizarre. I wanted to see a Moose, not be stalked and charged. While we are experiencing a life and death situation, people below are jogging happily along not realizing the trauma above. On the second try to escape, we saw a group of joggers coming down the road so we ran to stop them and up we went again to avoid the Moose. Two things are vivid in my mind. One is the jogger who was in incredible shape to have run past me and my associate up the mountainside, overcoming the speed of the Moose. I resent him to this day. The second thought was the fruitlessness of the situation. We were never going to get away. I was breathless at this point ad couldn't imagine going any further until the Moose came at us once again. At this point, I grabbed the back of my associates' pants for the fast run down the path again. They say Moose are colorblind; I don't believe this. I had a red suit on and that Big Guy was focused on me. Our third try led to the sighting of the baby on the dirt road. Ahhahh! So now we know why – but where do we go from here? We have a crazed Moose who is protecting her baby from two crazy people frantically running up and down a mountain. Incoming joggers gathered by and we all waited for the Moose to continue on up the mountain with her baby and we jogged to safety. Other than a wrenched back on my part, we are alive and well. There are two morals to the story: one is “be careful what you wish for” and the other is “Moose aren't stupid.”

www.4LegsAndATail.com 27


The Urban

Cowboy A

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 Randolph, VT 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, 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 sidestep 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.

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