Dog Days of Summer 2019 Southern NH & VT
Dogs vs. Cats Catching Those Critters! What is Your Horse Thinking? Dog Bite Prevention Decking Tips for Dog Owners
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
2. NEFED Starr Royce What your pet professionals are learning to make your pet happier and healthier 3. August 15 is National Check the Chip Day Erin Forbes, DVM Is your pet's microchip up to date?
4. Lola’s CBD Story Joanna Wilson Phillips, CNE
A look at one senior dog's experience with CDB oil
5. The Four-Legged Friends Behind the Co-op’s Products: The Dogs and Cats of Holland Homestead Farm Jen Risley 6. For the Love of My Buddy Helena Faye Blackwell An 11 year old shares her story about her feline friends
9. Three Legs and a Tail: Barney's Lop-Sided Journey to Happiness Cathy White The inspirational tale of a rescue dog whose loving
owners more than make up for one leg!
10. Dog Bite Prevention Erin Forbes, DVM 12. The Bottom Line Dorothy Crosby
So, what is going on between your horse's ears?
14. Choose Decking for Dogs That’s Tough and Keeps Your Dogs Safe, Too Tom O 16. Fore! Legs and a Tail Ron McPherson How one veteran made it back on to the golf course thanks to a four- legged friend
17. What Having Special Needs Pets Has Taught Me Georgia Russo 18. All in a Day’s Work Scott Borthwick
Do you ever wonder what it's like to get rid of those pesky critters?
19. Cushing’s Disease Catherine MacLean, DVM
The signs and treatment for this canine disease
20. You Want Me To Brush my Dogs...What? Sandra Waugh, VMD, MS Tips to help your pet practice good dental hygiene
22. Suitor or diner? Gary Lee
Meet a cat who's not sure if she's coming or going
24. Dogs vs. Cats So what is the difference between cat lovers and dog lovers 27. The Mayor of Guffey, Monster the Cat Kate Kelly
Sometimes a dog and other times a cat, but one of them always rule this some Colorado town
4 Legs & a Tail Volume K.219 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766 603-727-9214 KarynS.4LT@gmail.com Summer 2019
Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Sales Manager: Karyn Swett Graphic Design: Kristin Wolff, Lindsey Fleck
If you have a tale about a tail or a photo that will make us smile, we’d like to hear from you. 4 Legs & a Tail is published quarterly and distributed free of charge throughout Southern NH & VT. 4 Legs & a Tail, Inc. is locally owned and operated and acts as a moderator without approving, disapproving or guaranteeing the validity or accuracy of any data or claim. Any reproduction in whole or part is prohibited.
NEFed Starr Royce - MHS Shelter Technician
very year, the New England Federation of Humane Societies (NE Fed) hosts a conference on animal welfare in the Northeast, and I was lucky enough to be there for a second year this past March thanks to those who support Monadnock Humane Society. These conferences provide excellent professional development tools to help expand your knowledge and network with other humane organizations and give real-world examples of strengthening the animal-human bond, which is at the center of the MHS mission. Making connections with colleagues at other shelters is my favorite part of these conferences… building lasting friendships and sharing my own experiences as a shelter tech with these people has been so rewarding. It has enriched not only the work we do as an organization but has helped advance me in my career. These people have the same passion for the work we do, and I’m thankful to be a part of something that makes such a difference.
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Nearly 500 attendees came to the 74th Annual conference held in Warwick, RI from March 30th to April 1st to hear experienced and internationally-known speakers talk about their specific focus in the animal welfare community. Some of the topics our attendees enjoyed were: The Future of Shelter/Rescue, Volunteer Programs, Animal Control/ Law Enforcement and new ideas for community programs. With speakers such as Roger Haston of PetSmart Charities, Vincent Wong, liaison for Michelson Found Animals Foundation, and the one and only Jackson Galaxy, host and executive producer of Animal Planet’s long-running hit show My Cat From Hell, this was the conference not to miss. One of my favorite presentations was by Vince Wong. In this seminar, I learned all about Advocacy for Animals and the obstacles and opportunities and how to use my new skills with my organization. Vince’s approach to animal advocacy broadened my approach to this individual field in the animal welfare community. Before listening to this seminar I thought advocacy was yelling at the top of your lungs, telling people that they need to be nice to animals. I’ve learned that this is more complex than
I originally thought. Advocacy starts at the bottom, the individual organization advocating for the animals in our care first, then working on the bigger picture. If you are interested in advocating for animals – I highly recommend reading Vince’s works. My most favorite part of the conference was listening to Jackson Galaxy! He is a well-known cat behaviorist who has inspired me since I was a young girl. Having the opportunity to watch him speak…well, words cannot describe how exciting that was. With having some very difficult kitties at the MHS right now I was eager to find ways to help them. Jackson spoke all about how he became who he is now and all about how he was able to help cats find their “mojo” on the way. Being able to work with the behaviorally-challenged cats at MHS is one of the most rewarding parts of my job, and through Jackson Galaxy’s method, I have learned new ways to efficiently help more cats on a deeper level, hopefully helping them find their new homes. Monadnock Humane Society has provided me with many opportunities to expand my knowledge so that I may serve the community better, and the New England Federation for Humane Societies conference has so far been my favorite experience! I appreciate every opportunity and being able to learn the information in need to do the job I love so much. More importantly, this conference provided our organization with ideas and innovations on how we all can evolve as a shelter in the Northeast and implement strategies to better serve our communities. I am already looking forward to the 2020 NE Federation for Humane Societies Conference and having some of our newer staff members join me. I’m especially excited about using all that I’ve learned to better serve everyone in the community that supports the work we do! Thank you. Summer 2019
August 15th is National Check the Chip Day Erin Forbes, DVM - Vermont Veterinary Medical Association
icrochips greatly increase the chances that pets will be reunited with their families if they are lost or stolen, and the majority of veterinarian offices can give one to your pet. A microchip is a tiny object, no bigger than a grain of rice that can be injected under the skin of your pet. The procedure is no different than a vaccination. Using a special scanner, the microchip can be detected and a number unique to your pet is shown, along with the company that made the chip. An animal control officer, shelter, or veterinarian can then call the company and track down the owner using that number. Statistics show that one in three pets will become lost at some point during their lives, and cats and dogs with registered microchips are much more likely to be returned to their family. Microchips only work if the information on the chip is kept up to date. If an owner does not know if their pet has a microchip, they should make an appointment to have their pet scanned by their veterinarian. If they do have a chip but are unsure of who it is registered to, owners can go to www.petmicrochiplookup.org and access the Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool provided by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). The tool allows users to enter the code from the microchip and will direct owners to participating microchip registries associated with that microchipâ€™s number and manufacturer. Owners can then update the information associated with the chip as needed. In a recent study published by the Journal of the AVMA research showed that microchipping greatly increased the chance a lost dog or cat would be reunited with their family. In dogs without a microchip there was a 22 percent chance of being returned to their family but with a microchip that rose to 52 percent. For cats, better results were obtained: about one in 50 cats are returned to the owners, but when microchipped, two of five cats were reunited with their family. Implanting a microchip is a simple procedure: the chip is embedded under the skin using a hypodermic needle, similar to those used for vaccinations. No surgery or anesthetic is needed and this procedure can be done during a routine visit. The chip will then be scanned, added to the medical record, and ownerâ€™s will be given information on how to register the chip. If your pet gets lost, an office or shelter can scan for a chip, and if found can contact the owner associated with the chip. The VVMA urges pet owners to talk with their veterinarians to learn more about proper identification for their pets, schedule an appointment to have their pets microchipped, and make sure their petsâ€™ microchips have up-to-date information that will ensure a happy reunion if their pets ever become lost. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional organization of 360 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine. Summer 2019
Lola’s CBD Story Joanna Wilson Phillips, CNE - Certified Cannabis Consultant and Certified Culinary Nutrition Expert
ur Presa Canario Lola, a 150lb 12-year-old Mastiff/ Dane mix, has an exceptional pallet when it comes to tasting food and medicine. When it came time to introduce an anti-inflammatory agent into her diet to help her combat the proliferation of tumors throughout her body, my husband and I knew that we couldn’t trick her with pills; we needed something plant-based that could be integrated into her diet. Enter cannabis (hemp), a plant that my husband and I have used for years both recreationally and medicinally. With the opening of Vermont Hempicurean in Brattleboro, VT in 2018 came an accessible world of hemp infused oils, CBD dog treats, and full spectrum tinctures that we have used to help Lola age comfortably. To introduce Lola to hemp, I purchased a low dose MCT coconut oil tincture, added it to a scoop of peanut butter, and began the two-week journey of figuring out an appropriate dose for our extra large furry friend. I kept a sheet of paper near her dropper bottle with columns for the Date, Dose Given, and Apparent Reaction and charted Lola’s progress, adding more drops every day, until she appeared to have more mobility in her legs, better sleeping habits, and less anxiety when faced with loud noises and bath times. After the first month, Lola’s preferences were apparent: CBD dog treats she found to be so delicious that she could eat an entire package, but they took too long to get into her bloodstream and be effective. Tinctures worked well, but we were going through a 500mg bottle a week and it was becoming a strain financially. Lola’s medicinal needs hovered around 50-80mg of CBD a day so we turned to VT’s own Creek Valley Cannabidiol and their 2500mg CBD Coconut Oil to keep up with her demand. As a raw coconut oil product, it is appropriate to use both externally and internally. We use it on the interior of her ears, the pads of her feet, on bug bites, briar scratches, and, of course, she’s welcome to lick it off our hands or a biscuit whenever she needs. CBD has given my senior pup the ability to remain independent as she ages, something that isn’t afforded to every dog. If your pup is experiencing pain, anxiety, or sleeplessness consider trying CBD as a regular supplement. You may be surprised by the results! 4 4 Legs & a Tail
The Four-Legged Friends Behind the Co-op’s Products:
The Dogs and Cats of Holland Homestead Farm Jen Risley - Keene, NH
love shining a light on all the farmers and producers who provide a bounty of local food and other locally made products to our community. In this article, however, I move the spotlight over and down, from the business person to their four-legged friends -- the working dogs, cats, and other animals who also make these local products possible. Our next Four-Legged Farm Friend Feature highlights the family of dogs and cats at Holland Homestead Farm in Hillsborough, NH. Holland Homestead Farm specializes in handcrafted goat milk skin products, including soaps and lotion, made from their own herd. Farmer Rebecca Holland shares her canine and feline line-up. There are four dogs: Jake Mitchell an eleven-year-old Border Collie, Thea Lorraine a four-year-old Mix, two German Shepherds, eighteen-month-old Tucker Jameson, and 7-month-old Nash Anderson. Their two cats include an eleven-year-old Tuxedo named Tenny Parker and a three-yearold Tabby named Fern McGovern. You might ask, why do each of Rebecca’s dogs and cats have a first and middle name? Rebecca simply answers, “How else would they know when they are in trouble or doing something extra cute?” And talk about cute… Thea Lorraine, the most well-known of the crew, regularly attends the Farmers’ Market of Keene. Her first name, short for Amalthea, comes from Greek mythology. Amalthea nourished baby Zeus with goat’s milk. “We call her part of the marketing department -- because who doesn’t love Summer 2019
Thea Lorraine, hard at work at the Co-op
to pet a little white dog?” said Rebecca. “Thea Lorraine also does an excellent job at the farm, keeping alert to any escaped goats or sheep. She can also move a herd exceptionally well.” Back at the farm, the dogs start their day around 4:30 a.m. (except for Jack Mitchell, who prefers to sleep in). They begin with a check of the barn to make sure all the farm animals are accounted for. “Our German Shepherds do an excellent job at keeping our barnyard and home safe,” Rebecca adds. “They walk the property often and have cleared out bears, moose, deer, and a variety of other animals that may not be of good interest to the farm.” Their favorite jobs? “All the dogs LOVE the goats,” shared Rebecca. “The mere mention of the word ‘goat’ sends them into high alert. Jake especially. It’s his #1 job! Jake has learned each goat by name and will move a goat away or to the milking stand with just the command of the goat’s name.” Find Holland Homestead Farm products in the Wellness aisle at Monadnock Food Co-op. We offer their locally made
Goat Milk Lotion, Bar Soaps, Liquid Hand Soap, and Bath Bombs. Learn more about Holland Homestead Farm at hollandhomestead.com and keep up with all the animal antics on Instagram: instagram.com/hollandhomestead/. Know of a farm animal I should highlight in a future article? We want to hear from you! Please email me at email@example.com.
For the Love of My Buddy A True Story Helena Faye Blackwell - Walpole, NH - Age: 11
his event began the story of my buddy, though the words were not written, nor the adventures ventured yet. His mother’s name was Haven. She was a kitten herself, so we thought. She had her kittens in a cloth-lined basket under the stairs at suppertime, June 1st, 2015. I was seven years old. We paused our meal to the meek sound of bitty mews. The youngest, my then favorite, was small and weak. I named him Dopey Bones. The next youngest was a calico girl with dazzled blue eyes, so we named her Smudge, and sometimes called her Miss June Peaches, as our cats typically are known by more than one given name. Then there was a clever little girl with one white paw. We called her White Paw. The oldest was a fluffy striped black, brown, and white male with green and yellow eyes. We had a hard time naming this one, but soon he came to be Captain Blackie Vespers; Captain, because he was the oldest and the bravest, Blackie, for his beautiful markings and eyes which glowed like moons in the dark, and Vespers meaning “Evening Song” because he became rambunctious and chirped as evening approached. Time moved on and quicker than expected. Not all the kittens could stay. We decided to keep two, Vespers and Smudge. White Paw tried to be the center of attention by sitting in Papa’s shoes. Sometimes it worked. Dopey Bones grew to be strong like the others, and not so weak. For a few weeks that summer Mama was watching a girl my age that was able to take one home. I didn’t want any of them to go, but I wanted her to be happy with a kitten of her own too. She seemed to have her eye set on White Paw, so I was surprised she picked my favorite little Dopey Bones. I gave him one last kitty treat and snuggle. I thought maybe I would see him again since he would not be so far away but little did I know that was the last time I would see that dear bag of bones. Shortly after Dopey left, Haven did not come home one day, perhaps lost in the woods or worse. Sadder news awaited us though, for we suppose Smudge went searching for her cat-mama and found her fate the same. I’ve always been suspicious of those aggressive, prowling fisher cats in those Vermont mountains! White Paw went to live with family and another cat not too far away. We heard later on that she too had kittens! Vespers was my favorite now, and all I had. I didn’t despair. We were very close. It finally happened to be Vespers’ 1st birthday. I made him a salmon cake. One day, I was doing work outside and was on my last chore when I opened the back door. Vespers was as still as a hairy rock while I was standing inside looking at him from the doorway. I called him in. He just turned his head towards the left where Papa’s workshop was, then he looked at me again, moving only his head. He did this a few times until I told myself 6 4 Legs & a Tail
Helena and Vespers in 2016
that he’s telling me something. I peeked out the door, and was horrified to see a black bear munching a meal a few feet from the porch on which Vespers was! I wanted to scream, but took a deep breath instead, though as quickly as possible. Then I knelt down to entice Vespers to come in. He did not come in. He ran under the porch instead. I guess he was telling me to hide, so I did, but behind closed doors, inside. I walked into the room and stuttered, “Papa, Mama, the bear is outside”. Within three seconds Papa was chasing the bear away. I said, “Mama, it’s Vespers, I’m worried about Vespers.” She answered softly, “It will be all right, and if it comes to it, Vespers can out-run a bear any day.” From that day on I called him Buddy, my buddy. I was afraid to lose him or our close bond. I knew that one day cats could be with us, and the next could be gone. I knew someday we would have more than one cat again, and promised him that he would not be cast aside, nor lose his place when we did. It was autumn now, and my friend who took Dopey Bones home had invited me to her birthday party. I was so excited to be able to see Dopey Bones again. Then, a week or so before the party, something awful happened. On our way to school, she said, “My cat died.” I jumped up and said, “Please say you have another cat, and that you don’t mean Dopey Bones!” I felt selfish Continued Next Page
a moment wishing another of her cats died instead of my favorite, but thankfully, she understood, and shook her head a sideways no, meaning he was her only. Her eyes held the understanding of heartache that we shared. Then she said, “He’s gone, but sweet memories stay.” I didn’t cry. I only sat and rocked myself a bit. I couldn’t hear a thing, for the surprise was great. The party came, she and I sat by his grave for a moment. The loss of Dopey Bones was sad but so glad I still had Vespers. I didn’t know it then, but I was about to face another test. Vespers left for five whole days without coming home. I didn’t know where he was. Then I was lying in bed on the 6th morning, giving up hope that he would return. Then suddenly I heard a meow. I sat up for a moment then laid back down thinking I was just hearing things. I heard it again and didn’t give it another minute. I knew I was not hearing things now. I ran down the hall just in time to meet Mama coming out of her bedroom. I said, “Good-morning Mama, I heard a meow!”, a little too quickly though, as she thought I said “… I heard a mouse!”, and wondered why I would be so excited over a mouse. To continue, I ran to the door, opened it, and called “VESPERS!” It was my buddy, Vespers! I was so happy I could have fainted.
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Another year passed with smaller adventures. Vespers was two now, and I was nine. I was sad at this time because we were moving from our beautiful blue house of memories. I could tell Buddy was scared seeing things being put into boxes and furniture moving about. What must he have thought? We saw that home for the last time on August 3rd of that year. Vespers was in the cat carrier beside me while we drove off. After the morning’s drive, we stopped at an outside eatery to have some lunch and cool off by the river. It was such a hot day, and Vesp was panting so we brought him along with us to have a cool drink. I carried Vespers on a leash. I heard people saying loudly, “Look, there’s a cat!”, then Vespers scrambled with fear right out of his collar, and ran under the nearest shrubbery. He left me with a deep scratch that scarred my shoulder. I couldn’t feel the pain of it though; I was too worried to lose him and disappointed that we didn’t use a well-fitted collar. A youth group breaking from their meal came to help. Boys and girls were calling throughout the riverside thicket, probably frightening him even more. He was caught once; I didn’t see him. Mama did, and almost had him in her hands, but he jumped out of the boy’s arms when he had a chance. He scrambled again and swam fast across the river and up the wooded hill. Mama said he went lickety-split. She was the last family to see him, as I had made my way back to the vehicle to get his carrier feeling relieved someone had him in their hold. We continued the search for a long time, but Captain Vespers was gone, this time for good. We imagined he found a lady-love and they had kits in a hollowed out log living down on the river with his people in his heart. I didn’t know why, and I still don’t understand, but that worried-sick feeling I had was not the only feeling I had. I felt somehow proud or thankful of Vespers, my sweet Captain Blackie Vespers, and how he changed a plain life to plain understanding life. For the love of a cat, I know he has a piece of my heart, and I have a piece to give to many more, each different. Since then, two more years, and two new cats later, I have kept my promise to him that he will never be forgotten, and at times I “pet” that shoulder scar my buddy left me. Our two now are named Jack-Be-Nimble and Milky Jill. We just say Jack and Jill, or Jack and Joe because Jill was said to be a girl but later found out it was a boy and Joe sounds a little like Jill, but that is a story for another time. Summer 2019
Three Legs and a Tail Barney’s Lop-Sided Journey to Happiness
Luna and Barney
Cathy White - Walpole, NH
n June of 2015, a beautiful and friendly Husky- mix puppy roams the streets of an Alabama town. But something’s wrong. He’s dragging his left front leg, which has somehow sustained serious damage. His paw is rubbed raw, a mix of open and scabbed skin, and “pretty mangled looking” according to Barney’s owner, Kim McKane of Keene, NH. Sun Coast Animal Rescue of Clearwater, FL intervenes taking him from the streets into treatment. Surgery is indicated, and he ultimately ends up in a soft cast that requires twice-weekly visits to the surgeon. Within that time, he’s fostered by multiple families, none of whom, unfortunately, can address Barney’s special needs - needs which quickly become more complicated. Eventually, they involve custom- made leg braces, socks, splints and endless amounts of gauze. That, however, came with a hefty price tag. Amputation was on the table then, but with the hope of still saving Barney’s leg, local fundraisers were held to defray the extensive costs. He became somewhat of a local celebrity: even walking the red carpet with Kim (then a Florida resident and Barney’s foster mom) at an event held for his benefit. He arrived via limo and was attired with a “Superman” sock covering his injured leg. Yet Barney’s paw continued to be troublesome. There was sporadic bleeding. Grafting became necessary. Bandages were constantly changed. Floors at home were regularly steam-mopped to prevent infection. While Barney could not have been in better hands with Kim, a pediatric nurse practitioner, it appeared as though his leg might still be in jeopardy. One morning in November of 2018, Kim and her husband Brett noticed a big difference in Barney. Previously a dedicated chowhound, (“Usually, he races to the bowl”, Kim comments) that morning he arrived for his breakfast and only ate a bite, laying down immediately afterward. Knowing that something was seriously wrong, the couple immediately took Barney to their vet. Ultimately, he ended up being admitted to the Blue Pearl emergency veterinary clinic in Tampa. His paw had become so inflamed at this point that it had nearly doubled in size. He was howling in pain Summer 2019
and would not leave his foot alone, seemingly wanting to chew it off. It was here that the decision to finally amputate Barney’s leg was made. For the McKane’s it was their last, best, hope of saving him. People often harbor misconceptions about tripods. For Tri’s, (also called “tripaws”) life doesn’t end after amputation; in fact, it’s often the beginning of a pain-free existence. Unlike people, dogs don’t carry the mental baggage of regret or anger regarding limb loss. They simply accept what they wake up with post-surgery, and make the best of it. They redefine their center of balance very quickly and generally do most of the things they did with four legs. (And no, they don’t swim in circles.) Kim and Barney
Barney came home the day after his surgery, literally jumping into the back of the McKane’s SUV as if to say: “Let’s go home!”. He was “totally fine with it”, Kim recalls. From the beginning of his journey from four legs to three, Barney had the benefit of a big sister at home. Luna, a Plotthound mix, was a member of the McKane household before their adventure with Barney began. During the fostering process, she was there. Post-amputation she was there; looking after Barney like a mom - though she seemed, at first, almost appalled when he came home lacking his left front leg. To this day, Barney takes his cues from big sister Luna, and no doubt that has played a substantial role in his recovery and confidence. The McKanes have since relocated from Florida to Keene, where Kim originally hails from. She reports that Barney enjoys all of the activities that his four-legged
canine comrades do: running, playing, jumping, and just being a dog. She does admit that he’s not great at stairs, but in general, he is a jovial boy, finally painfree, “never pouting, always happy”, and is clearly so much better off without the agony of constant vet visits, treatments, and surgeries that never seemed to resolve his problem. Now when Barney goes to the vet, he goes for all of the routine reasons that other dogs do; not for painful procedures and wound care. Tripods do benefit from some special attention. Keeping them at a healthy weight is essential (less stress on the remaining joints - though this is sound advice for all dogs). Paw care, especially looking after their pads and nails, is important. Managing slippery surfaces in their environment will also help a tripod adjust to life on three legs. If you have hardwood, vinyl or tile flooring, carpet runners and even yoga mats can be especially effective in giving your three-legged companion some much-needed traction. Otherwise, expect a tri-pod to be a happy and healthy pup. As Kim says about Barney, “He is such a fun dog, he always looks happy. He lives his best life every day.” Sometimes a dog is better off with three legs and a tail. Cathy White lives in Walpole with her husband Jeff and Labradors Harry and Pippa. Cathy is a Boston University alum, with a degree in Journalism.
l nimal Hospita ntain View A u o M M V D Erin Forbes,
To prevent dog bites,
a few important steps should be taken.
These include socialization, education, responsible pet ownership, and learning to read a dog’s body language.
og bites post a serious health risk to people, communities and society as a whole. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 800,000 people receive medical care for dog bites and over 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Further, over half of those bitten are children. In Vermont, 550 children were treated at the hospital for dog bite wounds between 2012-2016. That number doesn’t include children who were bitten for whom medical help was not sought or needed, or where actual contact didn’t occur, but unsafe interactions happened. Now that summer is here, it is a great time to remind both pet owners and the public that most dog bites are preventable. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association has a fun, interactive presentation geared to elementary school-aged children to teach them how to interact safely around dogs in order to avoid bites. If you are interested in learning more about the program or about how to bring it to your local school, please contact the VVMA. Through education, Vermont veterinarians hope to keep families and pets happy and safe…together! Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs. There are many things that can be done to help prevent dog bites. Dogs bite for many reasons, generally as a reaction to something. Any dog can bite: whether they be small, large, young, old, male, or female. Even dogs that appear friendly and sweet can bite if they are provoked or startled. It is important to remember that any breed can bite as it is the dog’s history and behavior that determine whether it will bite or not. Socialization is a good way to help prevent your dog from biting and teach your dog normal play skills. Further, introduc10 4 Legs & a Tail
ing your dog to people and other animals while it’s still a puppy, will help it feel more comfortable in different situations as it gets older. Responsible pet ownership builds a solid foundation for dog bite prevention. Basics of responsible dog ownership that can help reduce the risk of dog bites include carefully selecting the dog that’s right for your family, proper training, regular exercise, and neutering or spaying your pet. It’s also important to use a leash in public to make sure that you are able to control your dog. Educate yourself and your children about how – or whether – to approach a dog. This includes avoiding risky situations and understanding when you should certainly not interact with a dog, such as if it is not with its owner, if it is sleeping, or if it is growling or barking. Reading a dog’s body language also can be helpful. Just like people, dogs rely on body gestures, postures and vocalizations to express themselves. While we can’t always read a dog’s body language accurately, it can give us helpful clues as to whether a dog is feeling stressed, frightened, or threatened. Never punish a dog for growling. This is the dog’s way of saying they feel threatened/are scared. If a dog is growling give it some space and step away from the situation. When dogs are punished for growling they may skip the growl next time and go straight for the bite. More information on dog bite prevention, and the VVMA Dog Bite Prevention Program for elementary school-aged children, is available at www.vtvets.org. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional organization of 380 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine.
The Bottom Line Dorothy Crosby - Stoddard, NH
he Bottom Line is: they are horses! So, why this statement? Fairly often I see people who personify their animals, attributing human emotions and reactions to them: my dog is jealous, my horse is angry at me, my cat, mouse, snake, rabbit loves when you visit! In some cases, they may be correct; most certainly animals are living creatures, capable of feeling, observing and demonstrating preferences. But in many cases, this personification is simply an extension of how humans feel, not a reality about how that species sees the world. For example, horses live in the moment. They are reactive, instinctual, and learn by repetition; they are not spending their mornings planning their afternoons or weekends. They have emotions for sure – and they act on them when they have them, or suppress them because their instinct is self-protection; generally, their behaviors are not well thought out far in advance. Their biggest question in life is “Is it gonna eat me?” After all, they are not predators, but prey animals; they must constantly question their environment to be safe! We have all joked about those scary moments with plastic bags, leaves or squirrels; this is why that happens! Trust is a big issue for horses. To trust humans is huge because we are predators. Not only do we kill and eat things, but we also mount horses and sit on top, which is exactly how predators secure a meal. They operate in an all-important hierarchy, which aids them in security; it’s not just about who’s in charge of me, but also who I’m in charge of, and one of the reasons this exists is to enable them to work together, thereby ensuring safety and order. Horses respect and understand boundaries. It is now the season where folks are back out there, working with their horses more frequently, trying to restart and then polish their performance, 12 4 Legs & a Tail
work ethic, and relationship. I have noted many people responding to their horses as if they were human. I have witnessed some inappropriate equine behaviors that were either not dealt with at all or dealt with too late, without clear intent, or just explained away: he’s not back into the routine yet. Why did we ever get out of the routine of good manners and appropriate responses? Even without consistent work – like often happens in New England during the winter – we are in contact with our horses on a daily basis to feed, water, and care for them. To ignore the need for standards is to do your horse a disservice and to put both of you at risk. I am in no way advocating a tough and uncaring environment full of rules and the extremes of harsh discipline, but the give and take of a relationship must have some agreed-upon standards or it won’t work. In matters of safety, this can be paramount. (This is true for both people and animals.) Have you heard the expression “you ride what you lead”? Those times of respect and disciplined work on the ground translate to good behavior under saddle. In both cases, requiring good behavior and defining it so both the horse and rider/handler are clear is to do both partners a favor, facilitating the task to completion and success. Good manners are essential to handling such large – though majestic – creatures. Under saddle, the expectations of good behavior and timely responses are just as essential to the safety of both horse and rider. I have known riders who let their horse make the calls: they let the horse decide when – or whether - to trot, canter or gallop up the hill, or they wander aimlessly because the horse chooses where Summer 2019
to go. The sensitive, educated horse can be so much fun; think of the possibilities of what can be done, regardless of the type of riding you aspire to! The undisciplined horse can also be sensitive, but more easily unpredictable and volatile when allowed to think he is the leader; the Alpha, in herd terms, should be your role in this partnership, not his. The bottom line: both types are still horses, but one group provides significantly more insurance, simply from repetition, conditioning, and trust, should something outside of both of you go awry. One of my favorites, a quote from Tom Robert in The Young Horse follows: “If you are fond of a horse and wish to do him a real favor – train him well. Teach him good manners, good habits, both in the stable and under the saddle. You need never worry about the future of such a horse if for any reason you may have to part with him. You assure him of friends wherever he goes. Perhaps the greatest kindness you can do any horse is to educate him well.” Owner of Equi-librium and based in Stoddard NH, Dorothy Crosby is certified as both a Level III Centered Riding®Clinician/Instructor and CHA English and Western Instructor. Director of the Riding Program and Barn Manager at Southmowing Stables in Guilford VT, she loves working with riders and horses of all ages and abilities. Recently certified with Conformation Balancing, a program for fascia release in horses, Dorothy loves the softening and changes in the horses. Dorothy offers clinics, lessons, workshops, and fascia release bodywork sessions both on and off the farm.
Choose Decking for Dogs That’s Tough and Keeps Your Dogs Safe, Too Tom O
ne of my very first decking projects was for an owner with two border collies and one large old Newfoundland dog. Their old deck was wearing out from exposure to sun, snow, and rain, and was filled with splinters that were finding their way into the paws of the poor dogs, especially those hyperactive border collies. While I’ve worked to keep plenty of decks safe from dogs, I’ve probably spent more time making sure that dogs were protected from the decks. Installing a deck that doesn’t splinter or cause injuries keeps the dogs happy and helps save on vet bills. But the presence of dogs also means that whatever decking material I choose needs to be able to stand up to dogs skittering around on it, and it should clean up easily so that the deck can be used for entertainment. So what materials make the best decking for dogs? We’ll look at some of the problems of traditional wooden decking and an alternative material that offers solutions. How Splinters and Popped Screws Occur in Decks On a standard wooden deck, splinters are mainly a product of water and UV rays working their weathering magic over time. Water works its way into the deck, saturating the wood fibers, and causing the board to expand. When heated by the sun, the moist deck dries and contracts. In part, the alternation of the expansion and contract strains the internal structures of the decking board, leading to cracks, fissures, and warping. It’s pretty common for splinters to form from these cracks, both immediately and over time due to the drying power of UV rays. Splinters are also commonly formed around the deck screws, as the deck is often more exposed to moisture at the joins. Keeping decks splinter-free often involves making sure the boards are well coated with sealer, in order to keep the wood fibers protected from the elements. To really do this well means regularly sanding and sealing a deck with a weather and UV-protectant substance. Another issue I often come across that worries dog owners is screws and nails popping out of the deck’s surface. This happens to many decks at one time or another, and it can be dangerous, both to dogs and other pets, which can badly cut their legs or paws on them, and to humans too, who tend to trip over them. Popping usually happens, again, because of weathering. Wood that repeatedly swells and shrinks will eventually push nails or screws above the surface of the wood.
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Finding Decking That Keeps Splinters and Nails out of Dog Paws There are ways to avoid splinters on your deck, mostly by meticulous maintenance. But by far the easiest and surest way to avoid splinters is by using a decking material that effectively keeps moisture and UV rays from penetrating and damaging the Summer 2019
boards. The newest generation of composite decking is highly effective at doing both of those things. Made out of plastic and fill material, and possessing a durable protective capping material around the whole board, high-quality composite decking is extremely resistant to moisture penetration and UV rays due to the fact that a durable resin capping (not all manufacturers use extra tough capping material, so look for a high-quality product) simply isn’t weathered as easily as wood. The material qualities of composite decking and its high resistance to weathering translate into a deck that is not prone to splintering, leaving us with one less thing to worry about. In addition, composite decking produces an all-around safer and more comfortable deck to walk on. While they keep the splinters away, the fact that composite decking doesn’t weather means you don’t have screws and nails popping up out of decking surface. This is especially true when you use composite decks that work with hidden fasteners. Decking for Dogs That’s Effective Against Wear and Tear But enough about how dogs deal with decking–what about how your decking material deals with your dog? There is probably no decking material in existence that is completely impervious to the aggressive scratching of a big dog. Of all the typical
decking materials, a hard rainforest wood like ipe might come the closest. Early generations of composite decking would have fared about as well as the softer woods like cedar, pine, and pressure treated lumber. And while the newest generation of capped composite decking is scratchable, it is far less so than the most common wooden decking materials. This is especially true if you choose a good quality composite with a tough and well-engineered resin cap. You can even find composite decking that looks like ipe, with a beautiful deep red-brown color and a subtle grain pattern on the surface. Choose Decking That’s Easy to Clean Up If you have a yard that regularly turns into a muddy dog run, then you know the challenges of keeping the dogs and everything they touch even remotely clean. I’ve known plenty of people who decide to sacrifice the deck area to those muddy paws until the next big cleaning. Of course, not everyone wants to do that. If you, like lots of my clients, want to use your deck for entertaining or anything that requires it to be clean, you might want a deck that doesn’t require a thorough pressure washing to get the “dog” off of it. Fully capped composite decking fills that role effortlessly. Since it has a much less porous surface than wood, any material deposited upon the surface can be
cleaned off it with very little effort. Instead of getting the pressure washer out, all that you need is a mop and a bucket of water, or a quick rinse with any hose. And you know how your dog’s hairs get caught in the fibers and splinters of wooden deck boards? Without the snags and imperfections of wood, composite decking cleans up much easier. While there are no decking materials that can withstand a dog’s aggressive clawing, there are some types of composite decking that can mitigate dog-produced wear and tear, while successfully fending off moisture and UV rays. One of the highest quality and most durable composite decking systems I’ve used is the Infinity decking produced by Fortress Deck. Fully protected by an advanced resin cap, it keeps the moisture out, the sun at bay, resists scratching far better than pressure treated wood and proves very easy to clean up. It’s unique in a lot of ways, including the fact that it uses ground bamboo instead of the usual sawdust in its boards. This makes it even more moisture resistant than most types of composites, and that, in turn, helps it stand up to wear and tear from dogs. And if Infinity Decking is the right choice for your deck, Fortress also produces a whole array of building products that are both tough and beautiful–like railings and fences–and might just be perfect for you and your dog.
Fore! Legs and a Tail M
y name is Ron McPherson. I am a disabled veteran who has a Mobility service dog named KRIEGER. I love playing golf however some years back I had to give it up because of my disability. One day the recreational therapist at the VA hospital in White River Junction Vermont informed me about an Adaptive Golf Clinic that was being offered for disabled veterans. I was reluctant to attend but curious. The golf Pro had ordered a special cart called a Solo Rider. It is a golf cart for one person with a seat that swivels and then raises up the golfer almost in a standing position allowing him to hit the golf ball. I attended the clinic to try out the Golf Cart and was astounded that I could hit the golf ball WITHOUT falling. Granted it did not look pretty, but I hit the ball anyway!
Ron & Krieger
After the initial clinic, the recreational therapist told us about New England Disabled Sports, a nonprofit organization that helps individuals with disabilities play sports. Each week in the summer they hold free golf clinics at Owl's Nest Resort & Golf Club in Thorton, NH. I would drive two hours up and two hours back just to get instruction on the golf course and driving range. If this sounds crazy, you are correct. People ask me what does Krieger do for fun? Does he get to run in the back yard or play catch? The answer is no because we can’t be separated. I can’t run and I never was a good catcher! So we improvise. When you see Krieger you will note how well behaved he is, a perfect citizen at all
times doing his job. But when we get home and remove his working gear he becomes SUPER PUPPY flying through the house like a mad man, grabbing a ball, giving it to me so I will throw it down the hall and he will return it again and again. There is a saying that “a tired service dog is a happy service dog. One of those things that makes him tired is this; he loves to play golf. He misses the activities in the winter as much as I do. We had to train Krieger to ride in a golf cart safely, not to distract other golfers, not to chase after the ball, and not to hit it with his paw when it rolls by. (I’m trying to teach him how to pick the ball up with his teeth and drop it into the cup.) IT hasn’t been easy to train him in golf etiquette. After all his job is to keep me vertical. When I would swing the club he would go ballistic thinking I was going to fall. The crucial part of this whole thing is when I take a full swing the dog can’t be anywhere near me for fear that I might hurt him. So my wife holds him back behind the golf cart so he can’t see me, however he does see me by looking underneath the cart and whines.
When I am on the green putting Krieger is by my side. My wife captured a picture of us putting, both Krieger and I are following the ball with our eyes as it drops in for the win! Spring 2018 I gave up the Solo Rider to a 12 year old girl who needed it more than I did. I had developed the confidence through training and that is what allowed me to make that decision. When I was healthy I would play in two or three tournaments a year. Last year my dog and I played in 7 tournaments sponsored by New England Disabled Sports and Northeast Passage. This summer my goal along with Krieger is to walk the course. I am grateful to God, the VA Hospital, New England Disabled Sports and SUPER PUPPY for opening up my world again. Ron McPherson served with 502 Air Mobile 101st in Fort Campbell KY. First in 65. Three years Europe, Germany and France. Last duty station was Instructor Parachute Rigging in Fort Lee Virginia
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What Having Special Needs Pets Has Taught Me
Georgia Russo - Brattleboro, VT
hen I started working in the VCA family almost 2 ½ years ago, I couldn’t have imagined what I would learn or the furry friends I would acquire. The first, a five-week-old beagle I named Ray Charles who was surrendered after it was determined he was blind. I happened to be working that day and knew the second I saw him that I was meant to take him home. He had quite the life in the five short weeks before he ended up with me, in addition to being blind his tail was broken and had healed into a spiral. I quickly learned that this little guy was spunky, curious and didn’t let anything get him down. We have gone through a variety of training classes together ranging from obedience to scent work. Each time Ray is presented with a new challenge he rises above and beyond. The second fuzzy companion is a cat named Stevie Wonder, who was also born blind. He was found as a stray and who knows what happened before he joined my little family. Between the two of them, they keep me very busy with all of their antics. They are both so confident and go for what they want. I never knew such loyalty and love was possible between a pet owner and pet until these two boys came into my life. They constantly surprise me and have taught me a great deal about myself and the person I want to be. A client called me an inspiration for taking them both in, but I can only say I was in the right place at the right time and it’s an honor to call them mine.
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All in a Day’s Work A
Scott Borthwick - Canaan, NH
s a Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator, I am asked all the time “ What do you do all day?”. Well, not every day is the same. All types of wildlife cause all sorts of problems. For example, recently we were called to remove a porcupine from someone’s basement. Spring breeding season for skunks brought in a ton of calls and we all know
the problem they cause. Bats in houses, snakes in houses, weasels in houses, and squirrels in houses make up a lot of our calls. Animals in chimneys, beavers flooding roads and causing damage to trees, we also deal with predators killing livestock and/or pets. Installation of chimney caps, bat houses, and screening around decks and outbuildings to keep out pests. We certainly cover a broad range of problems in a day’s work but mostly we drive. Sometimes 200 miles a day checking traps. Cage type traps can be checked by the homeowner and then they call if something is in the trap. But other types of traps have to be checked daily and not every house we deal with has someone home all the time. Some are vacation homes, rentals, or businesses with no one there on the weekends. So we have to check daily. Today I drove to Newport, NH to check multiple beaver traps. Then off to another location in the same town checking a woodchuck trap. From there I headed to Sunapee to check another woodchuck trap then to New London for the same reason. After New London, I headed to Alexandria for more beaver problems. Catching the four beaver there so far. Back on the road this time to Lyme, NH for more woodchucks, Hanover next for multiple locations, catching one woodchuck and then Quechee, Vt. for five different woodchuck traps. One of the traps caught an opossum whose population is growing in the Upper Valley region. Finally back to Canaan to check a skunk trap and then head back to the office to respond to numerous calls for the upcoming week. A little over 200 miles for the day. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention today is Sunday. Scott Borthwick owns Estate Wildlife Control. He lives in Canaan, NH with his wife Donna, two dogs, a couple of horses and one tough old chicken named Henrietta.
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Dogs with Cushing’s Disease can develop other diseases or have concurrent diseases at the same time. These diseases can include diabetes, high blood pressure, and sudden acquired retinal degeneration Catherine MacLean, DVM - Grantham, NH syndrome (SARDS) to name a few. Owners ushing’s Disease, also known as can also cause the above clinical signs. need to be prepared that if their dog has hyperadrenocorticism, is a disease that There can also be several abnormal val- Cushing’s Disease, they may need to treat occurs most commonly in dogs when ues in general bloodwork that may make other diseases as well. their adrenal glands produce too much your veterinarian suspicious of Cushing’s There is no way to prevent Cushing’s cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that is Disease. There is another screening test Disease; but regular exams, annual bloodreleased under stressful events. Cortisol that can be done called a urine cortisol: work screening, and recognizing potential is needed for normal bodily function, creatinine ratio. This test cannot offi- clinical signs can lead to an early diagnosis. but when too much cortisol is produced, cially diagnose Cushing’s Disease, but The advantage of an early diagnosis is the it can have harmful consequences. if the ratio is elevated, then additional ability to manage clinical signs earlier and Cushing’s Disease can be either more specific testing would be required. possibly diagnose other diseases associated pituitary dependent or non-pituitary If the cortisol: creatinine ratio comes with Cushing’s so that treatment can be dependent. About 80% of patients back normal, then it is more unlikely started sooner and hopefully help your with Cushing’s Disease have pituitary that Cushing’s is a concern. The two pet have a more comfortable life. dependent Cushing’s. Pituitary depen- other more specific tests are a Low Dose Dr. MacLean completed her Bachelor dent Cushing’s disease is caused by a Dexamethasone Suppression Test and the of Science from Penn State University, benign tumor on the pituitary gland. ACTH Stimulation Test. The Low Dose her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine This tumor causes the pituitary gland Dexamethasone Suppression Test can often from Atlantic Veterinary College, and to tell the adrenal gland to overproduce distinguish between pituitary dependent her pet acupuncture certification the cortisol hormone. The other 20% of and non-pituitary dependent Cushing’s. from Chi Institute. Her areas of special Cushing’s Disease, is where dogs over- After your dog is diagnosed with interest include general practice and produce cortisol due to a tumor on the Cushing’s, you will have to decide if you acupuncture. She opened Sugar River adrenal gland. The tumor on the adre- want to treat him or not. If a dog with Animal Hospital in 2013, and she has nal gland is often malignant. Cushing’s Disease is having clinical signs, been practicing veterinary medicine How do you know if your dog has treatment is normally recommended. since 2010. Dr. MacLean’s family consists Cushing’s Disease? It can be hard to rec- Without treatment, the clinical signs such of her husband Matt, her daughter ognize the clinical signs at home since as increased urination, skin issues, etc. will Katarina, son Alexander and their three pets: Jack and Misty, two cats, and they are often non-specific. most likely get worse. Dogs with untreated Arrow, a dog. Cushing’s may also have a hard time heal• Dogs with Cushing’s Disease will ing and recovering from infections. If often drink and urinate more your dog doesn’t have any clinical signs, • Increased appetite treatment is not necessarily recommend• Hair lose on their body and tail ed since the medication will not prolong • Increased panting your pet’s life. In patients with clinical • Darkening of the skin signs of Cushing’s, treatment is often rec• Recurrent urinary tract or ommended because it makes the patient skin infections feel better and usually helps control the • A potbellied appearance. clinical signs. Treatment usually involves medication, but when a tumor is present Your veterinarian will need to do diag- on the adrenal gland, surgery may be recnostic tests to determine if your dog has ommended. Unfortunately, Cushing’s is Cushing’s Disease since it cannot be diag- often an expensive disease to treat. The nosed only be clinical signs. medication can be costly and there is a lot General bloodwork will help rule in of monitoring with bloodwork that will be or out other illnesses and diseases that needed over the rest of your dog’s life.
Middle aged or dogs over the age of 10 are more prone to Cushing’s disease
Breeds more prone to Cushing’s Disease include:
Yorkshire r Terriers
You want ME to brush my dog's WHAT?
D o you know why you should brush your own teeth? Daily brushing in combination with regular professional cleaning is the only way to prevent
periodontal disease. Periodontal Disease is an infection of the tissues surrounding the tooth, progressing in severity from gum inflammation (gingivitis) to loss of the bone around the root of the tooth eventually leading to loss of the tooth. While it is progressive, it can vary from inert to very active and usually varies in severity from one tooth to another in the same mouth. Periodontal disease is present in up to 80% of dogs 3 years old and up. It is the most prevalent disease in our small animal pets. Recent Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS studies show that it does have serious consequences for our pets. Infectious bacteria can enter the blood stream through the inflamed gingiva and travel to the heart, liver, brain and kidneys, causing damage to these vital organs. It shortens the life span of our pets. It robs our pets of energy and enthusiasm, making them act “old” at too young an age. It leaves them in chronic pain, and it causes horribly stinky “doggy breath”. The good news is that none of this need happen. Periodontal disease is preventable.
At what age do I start brushing the teeth? From birth to seven months of age, the deciduous (baby) teeth are erupting and being shed as the permanent teeth erupt, leaving irritated and sore gums. Brushing is not advised. Use this time to train your dog to allow you to touch the lips and teeth. Put toothpaste on the teeth with your finger, avoiding any areas that look irritated or painful. When your dog is seven months of age, he or she can have the teeth cleaned while undergoing a spay/neuter operation. Then you will be able to start brushing the teeth in a clean mouth.
How to Brush Teeth? Brush your dog’s teeth as you brush your own. Hold the toothbrush at a 45º angle to the gum line and moving the brush in a slightly circular and slightly back and forth motion on the tooth. Your dog has 42 teeth, some of them far back in the mouth, so be sure you brush all of the teeth. Start by brushing just the outer surfaces.
Know a Little Training: When you first begin to brush your pet’s teeth, you are both learning a new skill. So, give yourself and your pet a break! Don’t expect perfection from either of you. Take your time and think of accomplishing small, easy steps,and praising yourself and your pet every day. The basic mantra is, “Ask for little steps, ask frequently, praise a lot”. In no time at all you will be brushing like a pro. Break the tasks into logical steps. Move to the next step only when you and your pet are comfortable with the current task. • Start by petting the cheeks, lifting the lips and lightly holding the muzzle while your dog remains calmly in a sitting or lying down position. • Then touch a tooth with your finger. The canine (fang) tooth is the easiest. Progressively touch more teeth until you can slide your finger around the entire outside of the mouth. Put a gauze or piece of cheesecloth on your finger, and soak it in bouillon, peanut butter or cream cheese. • Put some toothpaste on your finger, or on a piece of gauze. Move this around the outside surfaces of the teeth. • Put paste on a toothbrush and start brushing. Start with the canine tooth. Get comfortable with the motion in the front of the mouth before moving to the back. You may brush only one or two teeth the first day or the first week – this is OK!! • Give you and your pet 3 – 4 weeks to reach your goal of brushing the outside of all the teeth once a day smoothly and confidently. • Give your dog a hug, praise, and a little treat when you are done brushing. Eating will not “undo” the brushing, as we are not concerned about cavities. (Do not give candy to your dog!)
Supplies you will need: While a soft human toothbrush can be used, there are toothbrushes specially designed for use in dogs, which make the process easier. Do not use human toothpaste, fluoride and detergents in the paste can upset your dog’s stomach. Human toothpaste is meant to be spit out. Pet toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors designed to attract your pet and are safe to swallow. • Have a different brush for each pet. Use a different colored rubber band around the neck of the brush if the brushes are identical. • After each brushing, rinse the brush thoroughly and air dry. • Replace the brush when bristles become splayed or at least every 2 months. 20 4 Legs & a Tail
Once you are comfortable with brushing the outside, you can learn to brush the inside of the teeth. Ask your dog to open the jaws to access the inside of the mouth: • On the side of the face, behind the canine tooth, the cheek teeth are small enough to allow the tip of your thumb into the mouth. • Pressing your thumb into this space will prompt your dog to open the mouth. •
Put your hand over the muzzle to brush the upper teeth, your hand under the lower jaw to brush the lower teeth.
For either jaw, once the mouth is open, insert the toothbrush into the mouth and start brushing the incisors (small teeth in the front) using a back and forth motion while progressing from one side to the other.
• The cheek teeth are brushed by sliding the brush back and forth along the gum line. The lower jaw cheek teeth are the most difficult to brush because the tongue will be in your way. Be patient, and keep practicing, eventually you will be brushing this area as well. In the meantime, these teeth benefit from the presence of the tongue and have the lowest amount of periodontal disease of any area in the mouth.
Electric toothbrushes: You can train your medium to large size dog to accept an electric toothbrush, and you will find it very easy to brush the teeth and see what you are doing at the same time. Train your dog to accept a regular toothbrush first, and then brush with the electric toothbrush for a few days, without turning it on. This will get your dog used to the shape of the brush. Next, place your dog in a corner of the room, facing away from the corner, so that moving backwards is impossible. Put the electric brush into the back of the mouth on the outside of the teeth, turn it on and brush the teeth. You might do only a portion of the mouth if your dog seems upset or nervous. It is better for you to voluntarily cease using the electric brush then for your dog to force you to stop. Dr. Waugh is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She also holds a Masters Degree from Washington State University of Veterinary Medicine and is owner of Windsor Pet Dental, PLC. Summer 2019
form into yawns. She relaxes and rests her head in slumber on the table. This is our morning ritual. Skunky and me and Mr. Coffee. It’s a comfortable trio with which to spend this early hour and often my peak experience of the day.
Suitor or Diner? Gary Lee - Tuesday, March 26th 6:45 am The Birds et al. I am embedded in my morning ritual with a klatsch of morning friends: my cat Skunky, perched on her lookout platform (which doubles as a kitchen table) , Mr. Coffee, whom I hold in twohanded embrace for warmth —the air outside is a chilly 19 degrees and some of it has seeped through the walls during the night— plus a cast of tens of various feathered and rodent-like creatures. Through paned windows, hazy with the blue-grey dust of winter, I watch chickadees, nuthatches, titmice and a cardinal flit between bush and feeders. In the last five days they have put on their spring voices. These golden, seasonal melodies are, note for note, the same as when I was a child. I love the timeless feeling of these sounds. It gives me a sense of solid ground under my feet where all else is flux and shape shifting. It is the sound of grace.
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The Animal As dawn defeats dark, these creatures are revealed in increasing numbers. Skunky expresses some interest in the scurry of wildlife below the feeder — though I realize that her interest has diminished significantly over the past three years. She can take or leave the small red squirrels now which before were irresistible in their just-right size and jerky movements not unlike that of a fishing lure. Her muscles tighten momentarily and relax as a confused and squawky mix of creatures fight for dominion on a small area of lawn where sunflower seeds and corn kernels have fallen. Her predatory sense still smolders within and manifests in her occasional chattering and tail twitches. But they have gone deeper now. Fading impulses that used to whisper when to keep still and scream when to lunge, are now just whispers that trans-
The Other Animal Skunky startles me by jumping to her feet. Her wide-eyed attention is on whatever is behind me outside. A faint gurgling growl rises in pitch almost to caterwaul. She is agitated. Whatever she sees, I know, isn’t one of the usual suspects come to check out the buffet menu at the feeder pole. I swivel my chair ever so slowly around for a peek. With the many shadows still on the lawn, I see only a penumbral outline of what appears to be a fat, squatting rabbit with ears pushed back. Despite my movement, this animal’s gaze seems to include only Skunky. It keeps its ground. As my eyes adjust slightly, the rabbit turns into a large cat. That of a neighbor I wonder? Seems pretty big for that! Squinting a bit, I see the short thick hair, tufted ears, spots, and facial markings I know to be that of a bobcat! This looked like the one I’d seen three days ago strolling casually along the crown of my own Old Spofford Road, muscles rippling in tiny waves along its sleek body and lapping over raised haunches. Its trim and graceful body mimicked the strut of an olympic gymnast approaching the mat. Just passing through in search of better hunting grounds I thought? Then it occurred to me that the brush piles I’ve established over the past 30 years have probably resulted in vast critter condominiums, its tenants an array of delectable fleshy snacks that no fox, coyote, or bobcat could pass on. Perhaps he had decided to take up residence in my back yard. I love the wildness of where I live and enjoy the variety of animals that visit, but am ambivalent about a bobcat sharing the same small domain as Skunky The Elder. Several minutes pass. The rising sun now clarifies the situation. The feline cousins remain attached at the eyes. Skunky’s growl diminishes to guttural spurts and the uninvited breakfast guest’s crouch relaxes. Him, I think, or Her? It is spring after all and my cat is not unattractive albeit in an age group well beyond that of the youngster outside. The lust-driving vernal force of the animal world is powerful and unpredictable. Can it trump hunger and transcend age differences? Better a suitor than a diner I think, but still worry about letting my cat out to share the playground with this powerful predator lurking about. What’s more, any lustful gestures of his would be strongly rejected by my senior cat. Summer 2019
How well do bobcats handle rejection? Apparently, I am not a participant in this staring contest so decide it a good opportunity to fetch my camera. I take several photos; one from my kitchen, two others from a window in the living room. Did “Mr. Bob” suddenly realize the hopelessness of the situation or has his stomach overpowered his amour? Apparently a sudden sound or motion to his right commands his attention and he quickly slin k s away maint aining his low crouching posture, albeit in a more predatory presentation. I go outside with my camera to see if I can get a few more photos without the dirty glass between the two of us. But the last remnant of snow is crunchy and loud. He’d have to be stone deaf not to hear me I think! Nevertheless, I get to the corner of the house and, with finger on the shutter button, jump into view of where I thought he might still be. Behold! Only three feet in front of me, standing still, straight and tall! …the lilac bush. Inside, Skunky paws the glass door to be let out. I pause, thinking again about the interloper’s intentions toward my precious pet … and open the door. Darting into the chilly air she melds into a raucous mix of birds and mammals in a whirlwind of spring rituals. I witness her demeanor changing as she awakens to her hunter spirit, dormant since early winter. She’s off at a trot and carries a serious to-do list. I watch her meanderings from the side window as she smells the ground and the corners of the outbuildings searching, it seems, for the owner of a peculiar and undocumented odor. More alive now, more cat, she looks younger. Meanwhile, I find a forsaken Mr. Coffee on the bathroom sink—he always wonders off when my back is turned— and stick him in the microwave. Now there is a f lock of twelve mourning doves that dominate the pecking grounds. For no apparent reason, they panic and fly off in a scatter of a cappella wing whistles, vanishing into a copse of grey maples. The rodents scurry in spirals then straight away in the four directions, some up trees and others into black holes in the rock wall. Except for the swinging of the feeders, it is suddenly quiet and still as death at the feeder pole. I grab the hot cup from the oven and head outside, nervously reconnoitering the back yard for a Skunky presence. So ghostly hushed is it that I hear (or think I do) steam rising from my cup as I walk the perimeter of my property. Intuitively, I don’t like this feeling though I am comforted by the thought Summer 2019
that she has been incarcerated since mid December and has business to tend. Certainly she will be back for lunch after she has had time to work off her winter sloth. And Mr. Bob? No worries about him. Cats are NOT cannibalistic! At least not that I’ve ever heard. Are they? Hmmm… maybe I should Google this one! Suitor or diner? Gary Lee works in partnership with Monadnock Humane Society and is creator of Ten Thousand Eyes, the petfinder website which uses technology AND people (micro-volunteers) in reuniting cats and dogs with their families.
WE ARE IN NEED OF MORE MICROVOLUNTEERS to add to our current force of 275. If you live in the Monadnock region and would like to help us (and the animals), please go to the TTE website and click on "DONATE YOUR EYES”.
The Little Things That Separate and Unite Cat Owners vs Dog Owners Kate Kelly
re cat owners snobs? Do dog lovers have lower IQ’s? These questions may sound silly, but believe it or not, it’s what many people think about the owners of these lovable furballs. For centuries, people have debated over which pet is better: cats or dogs, creating stereotypes, both real and based in fact, about them and their owners along the way. For instance, cats, with their independent nature, were seen as evil for many years- and so were many who chose to have one. And dogs have often been seen as sweet and loyal, making their owners appear to be more compassionate and friendly. So, what’s true and what’s just rumor and conjecture? You’re about to find out, thanks to Hunch.com. They asked over seven hundred thousand of their users various survey questions that might be able to shed some light on the cat owners vs dog owners debate once and for all. Pet Ownership and Popularity It is often believed that dogs are more popular than cats. However, this data would seem to suggest otherwise. There are 86 million cats owned in the United States compared to 78 million dogs. This is probably at least partly a function of the fact that it is easier to own multiple cats than it is to own multiple dogs. However, it still suggests that the cat and dog owners competition is much more evenly matched than some people might think. Personality and Pet Ownership The popular stereotype is that cat owners are introverted while dog owners are extroverted. On the surface, this seems stereotypical and biased, but as the survey shows, in many instances it is true- but for a legitimate reason. Let’s take a look. While dog owners are more likely to be extroverts and Kitten owners are more likely to be introverts, it is a small correlation. Cat owners are only 11 percent more likely to be introverts. 24 4 Legs & a Tail
– Since people have to walk their dogs in order to keep them healthy, it is not surprising that dog owners are 36 percent more likely to enjoy the outdoors. – Cat owners are more likely to be politically liberal than dog owners. They also seem to like many media choices that people associate with liberals. This may be coincidence, but since cats are more independent by nature, it makes sense they would be drawn to more carefree animals. – Dog ownership seems to be more strongly associated with people who have families and who live in the country. Since large dogs will need their space, this is a logical correlation. Many people get dogs in order to teach their kids about responsibility, so this also seems to logically follow. – Cat owners are more likely to be urban. This is logical since cats are easier to keep in apartments than dogs. – Dog owners seem to be more grouporiented in general and less individualistic than kitten owners. They are 12 percent more likely to be technological early adopters, for instance. They also have a demonstrable preference for popular music and television shows. Conclusion – Do you agree? It would seem that some of the stereotypes about dog owners and cat-owners are not completely without merit. However, they also seem to be exaggerated somewhat in popular culture. These kinds of infographics can allow researchers to display and distribute information about these sorts of popular subjects more easily, and people can test their own beliefs against them. Cat owners compare to dog owners in interesting ways. However, it would seem that a lot of these differences are the result of practical considerations. The fact that dogs are large animals that need walks seems to shape the interests and personalities of dog owners. The fact that cats are small animals that more or less take care of themselves seems to shape the interests and personalities of those owning cats.
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Lincoln, a 3-year-old goat, was elected this past spring as Fair Haven, Vermont’s, pet mayor with 13 votes. The goat narrowly beat out a dog named Sammie Viger, a Boston Terrier, who came in second with an impressive 11 votes. The pet election was set up by Town Manager Joe Gunter, who told The Rutland Herald that he got the idea while reading a newspaper article about a small town in Michigan doing the same thing. Fair Haven does not have a mayor, but Gunter viewed the exercise as a productive way to raise money for a new playground and teach kids about getting involved in local politics. The election reminded us of a story written several years ago by Kate Kelly. For those frustrated with the current political climate, this may become a trend in 21st century politics.
“I know that Shanda’s term ended in 1998,” I replied. “I’m calling to find out who replaced Shanda.” Shanda was unique in Guffey for being a canine mayor. The “DemoCATS” had dominated since 1988 when a cat named Paisley was elected mayor. Paisley died and was replaced by Smudge le Plume. Sadly, Smudge was murdered by a never-apprehended owl. A third Kate Kelly cat, Whiffey le Gone, was then elected. Whiffey was forced to step down when her owners moved to a ranch. This left an opening for Shanda, whose owner was quoted as stating that Shanda was against hen looking for amazing stories any leash law, and “unlike other politiabout dogs, I came upon Shanda, a golden cians, she really does listen to you.” retriever, who served as mayor of Guffey, About the Current Mayor of Guffey Colorado from 1993-1998. A RePUPlican, After Shanda died, “Monster the Cat” sadly she died in office. became mayor and is now serving a sec As with most internet stories, a para- ond term. (Monster is owned by Bill Soux graph about Shanda cycles from site to site who also owns the Guffey Garage.) with some changes. This is a somewhat old In our phone call, Charlie volunteered story so thought I ought to touch bases with that schoolchildren are the primary votthe people of Guffey so I had some new ers for the mayoral election. (Thank you, information to share. This became prob- Charlie, I would have assumed it was the lematic immediately. I could not locate townspeople .) Charlie also noted that Shanda’s owner who no longer seems to Guffey’s population is about 20 people live near Guffey. I believe I found him in and that Guffey has a fire department, a Florida but he did not return my call so I public works office, a library, a community turned back to the townspeople. center, two bars, and three restaurants. Guffey is a small mountain town and When I asked Charlie to explain has its own website on which I found a Monster’s mayoral responsibilities, he telephone number that seemed to be for Continued Next Page tourism-type calls. My call to that number was answered promptly by Charlie Morreale, who identified himself as an employee at Guffey’s Garage. (The website mentions that Guffey’s Garage is no longer a working auto garage; the site says “we can help you with propane, ice, and custom welding jobs. We also carry an assortment of new and used plumbing and electrical supplies.”) The Garage people also seem to have collected “oddities.” If you want to see the museum’s collection, “ask for the key at the Garage” and you can let yourself in. Love it….just like a New York museum! But back to Shanda, the dog mayor. I asked Charlie about Shanda, and his reply was a guffaw: “Boy are you out of touch!” Summer 2019
Mayor of Guffey, Monster the Cat W
said, “You’re serious, aren’t you? “Well, Monster shows up here every morning for breakfast and then he goes out and spends the day politickin’.” As nearly as I can tell from the website, Guffey relies on tourism to a great degree so the idea of having a cat or a dog as mayor is actually brilliant, but I was concerned about the fact that there were still issues like firefighting and trash removal that needed to be taken care of. I made several more phone calls and learned that Guffey is unincorporated and is part of Park County. Tom Locke at The Flume, a website that covers news from Guffey, informed me there are at least two local boards:
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a school board and a fire department board of directors. The Park County Sheriff’s Office provides law enforcement services, and trash removal is carried out by a private company, probably as part of a county contract. (I did not get responses from a good number of the people I contacted, but my timing was bad. Fairplay, a nearby community, was having their annual Burro Pack Race that weekend.) From the people I reached, it seems that Guffey’s services are well taken care of. Therefore, a mayoral figurehead that attracts publicity is probably a very wise move.
More about the Mayor While searching for a little more information about the sitting mayor, I came upon Monster’s MySpace page. The page gives Monster’s age as 22. (I hope the community is grooming a successor.) It notes that Monster serves “with disinterest and occasional violent outbursts against tourists and local animals.” Under music preferences, Monster specifies “No violins!” and notes that television “rots your brain, but I do like Judge Judy.” As to who Monster would like to meet: “Other independent elected officials. Preferably pussies. Dick Cheney.” (Not clear whether Cheney is on a separate list or considered part of the former grouping.) Who is Monster’s hero? “The guy with the sardines.” Book preferences? “I can’t read, [expletive]. I’m a cat. And don’t get smart about how I created this page. I’m dictating.” 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dog Days of Summer 2019 Southern NH & VT
Dogs vs. Cats Catching Those Critters! What is Your Horse Thinking? Dog Bite Prevention Decking Tips for Dog Owners