Fall 2019 Central NH & VT
Lost Dog Travels 2500 Miles to Find His Way Home Beavers Prompt a New Town Ordinance Pet Events You Wonâ€™t Want To Miss 10 Reasons to Adopt a Cat This Fall Bloat, The Silent Killer
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
3. Wag It Forward! Save the date for the 3rd Annual Wag It Forward A Nonprofit Festival for Pets on Sunday, October 6th
6. Lucy Mac 5K9 Jackie Stanley Race for what you love at the Ascutney Trails on October 6 8. Frog Hollow Mobile Veterinary Hits the Road Meet Dr. Betty Jo Black as she travels throughout the Upper Valley 9. Can Lyme Disease Become a Thing of the Past? Researchers are closing in on a vaccine to render ticks harmless 10. Why is fall the most important tick spray of the year for you and your pets?
12. Dogs and Nature Preserves: Compromise Needed! M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM 14. Hey, That’s My Grass! Goats Chomp Fire Fuels Around Previously Burned Washington State Neighborhood Courtney Flatt 16. Therapy Goats: Helping Students, Healing Hearts Karen Sturtevant 18. More Memories of Lessons Learned in Therapy Lessons Sue Miller Pg. 16
22. It’s a Small World After All Scott Borthwick A look at wildlife migration to our neighborhoods
20. Beavers Create a Ripple Effect in Shelburne Lisa Vear A Vermont town launches new pilot program to save beavers
24. Why Are My Fish Hiding? The experts share their thoughts for a harmonious aquarium 26. It’s Cockatiel Time What you need to know about your Cockatiel 28. Planting Trees For Butterflies, Birds and the Planet Catherine Greenleaf 30. Bloat, The Silent Killer Ingrid Braulini Learn the signs of Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus, it may save your dog’s life
32. “Don’t Worry, My Dog is Friendly!” Paula Bergeron The true tale of a friendly dog encounter gone awry Fall 2019
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
34. Pup Tales: Mia - An Unlikely Hiking Partner Carol Fleming
36. Fact or Fiction, The Myths About Spay and Neutering 37. Andy A Dandy 38. Freddy - One Very Sweet Boy! Cheryl Bromley Meet the feline favorite at the Sullivan County Humane Society
40. The Top 10 Reasons to Adopt a Cat 42. A Long-Awaited Reunion Marina Welch The story of Starr and another great reason to have
your pet micro chipped
44. Collie Travels 2500 Miles to Return to Oregon Home Kate Kelly 48. Your Pet May Be in Pain
M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM
50. He Found His Voice Gerri McLaughlin-Bendel It took a while, but Ryder finally gave a bark worse than his bite
52. Socks and Sandals Karen Sturtevant Not every English bulldog has the fashion scene of Penney
54. Alternatively Speaking: What’s Up With Those Knees? Dr. Anne Carroll DVM, CVA 58. When Things Go Wrong, Sometimes They Really Go Wrong OR The Dog With Too Few and Too Many Teeth All at the Same Time Sandra Waugh, VMD, MS 60. What is Leptospirosis and How it Can Affect Your Dog Catherine MacLean, DVM
4 Legs & a Tail Volume L.319 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766 603-727-9214 TimH.4LT@gmail.com 2 4 Legs & a Tail
Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Senior Editor: Scott Palzer Graphic Design: Kristin Wolff Sales: Karyn Swett Scott Palzer
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 Central VT & NH. 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.
WAG IT FORWARD!
ave the date for the 3rd Annual Wag It Forward: A Nonprofit Festival for Pets on Sunday, October 6th, 2019! This fall, Pet Food Warehouse presents the biggest dog party in Vermont at the Champlain Valley Exposition to promote visibility and provide aid to the animal welfare groups that abound in Vermont. Saddle up for a Wag It Forward unlike our past events. This year, head West with PFW for a day themed in all things wild, dusty, and frontiers-y. We are calling all cowboys, charros, ranchers, riders, rustlers, and wranglers to come together to make this nonprofit festival for pets our biggest bonanza yet. Both Pet Food Warehouse stores will close the day of Wag It Forward in the name of fun and fundraising. The gates for Wag It Forward open to the public at 10:00am. Want to skip the lines? You can pre-buy WIF tickets and pick up your canine waiver at either Pet Food Warehouse location now! Tickets are $5 minimum donation for adults. Kids 12 and under and pets are free! All profits equally benefit the participating non-profit animal welfare groups. Once again, we kick off the day with the 9th Annual VetriScience Chase Away K9 Cancer 5K. Registration begins at 8:00 am and the race starts at 9:00 am. Runners and walkers can Fall 2019
pre-register online at https://runsignup.com/Race/VT/EssexJunction/ ChaseAway5K. All Chase Away 5K runners and walkers will receive free entry to Wag It Forward after the race with their race bib. Your dog can cool down after the Chase Away 5K with Dock Dogs thanks to the generous support of GlycoFlex by VetriScience. New to dog diving? Come over Saturday, October 5th at 3:00pm to get some practice in before wowing the crowds Sunday at Wag It Forward. If youâ€™d like to participate in the jumps you can regContinued Next Page
ister on-site at 9am each day or online at www.dockdogs.com. A wealth of diversions will be running throughout the day courtesy of 802 Disc Dogs, MotoDog Training, Vermont Police Canine Association, Eden Dog Sledding, Sit Pretty Grooming Salon, and Burlington Obedience Training Club! Pete Powers and the Buzz Bash Crew from 99.9 will get us moving with Dunkin’ coffee and tunes in the morning and The Dog Catchers will be playing Rock, Rhythm and Blues in the afternoon. We’ll have plenty of local chow and libations- maybe hit the mechanical bull before lunch, though. Be sure to get there early to participate in our Western themed costume contest that starts at high noon. All are welcome to participate, with prizes for the Best Overall, Most Creative, and a Wild Card category. Create some paw art in the PFW Fun Zone to take home and frame, snap pics in our photo booth and selfie spots, spin the PFW wheel for a free prize, and visit all the local groups that work tirelessly day in and out to
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connect the pet lovers in Vermont with animals in need. The event is generously sponsored by: the Pets Global Family of Brands: Essence, Fussie Cat, and Zignature; Glycoflex by local VetriScience Laboratories; PLB, Canadian manufacturer of Pronature brands of pet food; Sojos brand from WellPet; Triumph Pet Foods; American Natural Premium; Grizzly Pet Products; Healthy Hemp Pet; Heritage Toyota; our neighbors at Imported Car Center; Koha; Oma’s Pride; Petmate; PetSafe; The Honest Kitchen; our friends at The Pour House; Vital Essentials, and so many more! Without these partners, we wouldn’t be able to provide a no-cost avenue for local animal welfare and rescue groups to help raise awareness and funds as a community. We can’t wait to Wag It Forward with you and your pets on a beautiful fall day. For more details about the event, visit www.pfwvt.com/wagitforward. For questions about the day’s events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lucy Mac 5K9 Race For What You Love at the Ascutney Trails on October 6, 2019 Jackie Stanley
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og tails will be wagging on the Ascutney Trails in Brownsville, VT on October 6th! Animal-loving walkers and runners of all fitness levels are encouraged to show their support for one of the oldest humane societies in the country at Lucy Mackenzie Humane Societyâ€™s 9th annual Lucy Mac 5K9. For the fourth year in a row, the 5K9 will be held at the Ascutney Trails in Brownsville, VT where participants will enjoy a scenic 5K trail course that will lead them across fields, over streams and through the woods before winding down the Western base of Ascutney Mountain. For those wanting to participate, but not quite up for the full 5K course, there will be a similar 1-mile course available. Walkers and runners of all ages and athletic ability are welcome to participate with or without their canine best-friend, and are encouraged to fundraise, either as an individual or as part of a team, to help earn muchneeded funds for the century-old shelter. Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society was founded in 1915 by Frank Mackenzie in memory of his late wife, Lucy Collamer Mackenzie. Lucy had spent her life tirelessly advocating for and supporting those who needed help, especially those without a voice of their own â€“ children and animals, and as such, the Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society was originally established to care for abused and neglected children and animals. The shelter spent the majority of the following century in various locations throughout Woodstock, until relocating to West Windsor in 2007. Nestled in the shadow of Ascutney Mountain in West Windsor, VT, Lucy Fall 2019
Mackenzie Humane Society now sits on 12-acres of semi-wooded land and open fields, and features a bright, warm shelter that provides a safe haven to hundreds of cats and dogs every year as they await their adoption. Serving Windsor County, the Upper Valley and surrounding communities, Lucy Mackenzie’s staff and volunteers provide each and every animal that enters their doors the care and attention they need. Many of the animals admitted have never been seen by a veterinarian, or are long overdue for vaccinations and treatments; some are in need of immediate medical intervention in order to relieve pain; some have arrived as strays and are in need of a healthy meal and a safe place to get some much-needed rest. Regardless of the circumstance and condition they arrive in, each animal is guaranteed to receive whatever it is they need in order to thrive, and to ultimately find a loving family and home of their very own. Lucy Mackenzie also strives to help keep animals in loving and caring homes. Our newly launched C.A.R.E. Program (Community Animal Resources for Everyone) is comprised of several initiatives designed to support both animals and people in our community. Our monthly low-cost spay and neuter clinics, the Lucy Mackenzie Pet Pantry and Jake’s Friends Fund (which helps fund necessary medical treatment to animals when owners are financially struggling) are all designed to support responsible pet ownership and are part of the C.A.R.E. Program. Lucy Mackenzie receives no state or federal funding and relies solely on donations, fees and fundraising events to remain in operation. The 5K9 has become one of Lucy Mackenzie’s most successful fundraisers in recent years, due in large part to a change in venue that is only four miles down the road from the shelter. The Ascutney Trails are both challenging and beautiful, and are a true treasure right in our very own backyard! To register for the Lucy Mac 5K9 or to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, visit www.lucymac.org or call 802-484-LUCY. Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society looks forward to another exciting, beautiful and successful 5K9 on October 6th at the Ascutney Trails and hopes to see you there! The Ascutney Trails, co-managed by Ascutney Outdoors and the Sport Trails of the Ascutney Basin (STAB), offer a 30-mile network of recreational trails located on the western base of the Ascutney Mountain that is open to the public. Mountain bikers, hikers and trail runners are welcome year-round to explore the trails that feature a variety of terrain. And, one of the best parts? The trails and property are dog-friendly! Fall 2019
Frog Hollow Mobile Veterinary Hits the Road
Baxter, Ruby and Betty Jo
r. Betty Jo Black has been a veterinarian since 1991, having received her doctorate from Colorado State University (CSU) on the same day that her son graduated as a software engineer. Her two daughters also were students at CSU. She attended ministry school and added veterinary chaplaincy to her repertoire in 2006. She has practiced classical homeopathy and conventional medicine in Colorado and New Mexico, and in Vermont after moving here in 2007. Over time, counseling clients during the decline and death of their dear pets became a beloved part of her practice. Now retired from full-time work, she is still doing house call euthanasias. Veterinarians deal with death frequently and bear witness with their clients through the process. The decision for ending a life is a process that may take days to weeks to months to solidify, and that does not come until a pet is ready. The pet, the family, the vet, and whatever higher power we may have are all involved until the end. It becomes a beautiful choice to attend families and pets for this bittersweet end. “Seeing death as a natural event and allowing all emotions and feelings of my clients and myself to be honored, I love assisting in this process,” says Dr. Betty Jo. IN MEMORY OF ELVIS Recently Elvis, who was an elder Labrador Retriever in declining health, collapsed in the side yard of his home. Dr. Black was called and found Elvis resting in a beautiful nest of grass and ferns under two tall pine trees, sprinkled with more fern leaves by his human children. He was allowed to stay in his spot, not
being able to get up anymore. Three generations of the family were with him as he passed on. “From the bottom of my heart, I thank Betty Jo for her services. Her calm, kindness and caring were so appreciated during Elvis’ last minutes. She sweetly explained to all of us, including my two small children, what to expect. The whole time I was comforted by all her genuine caring for our beloved family member. Thank you, Betty Jo, for making a sad time be surrounded by love.” - Christy THE DETAILS Frog Hollow Mobile Veterinary specializes in end-of-life care for pets at home. As a veterinary chaplain, Dr. Black provides counseling during the process of decline and saying goodbye to your dear friend. Kitties and dogs can stay in the comfort of their own home or yard, with family nearby. Gentle and compassionate presence; skilled, kind management of the process, honoring your requests. Available for calls up to 50 miles from Strafford, Vermont, mainly the Upper Valley of Vermont. Additional charge for weekend or night visits. Call either the cell number (802-4616349) or home number (802-333-9332), as living in rural Vermont involves phone outages intermittently. Email address is email@example.com. Plan ahead if possible, so we can get to know each other a little bit and discuss details. Cremation services can be provided for a small additional charge over cost.
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Can Lyme Disease Become a Thing of the Past? T
he battle against Lyme Disease just got a bit more interesting. In an attempt to rid areas of deer to prevent tick-borne illnesses, Connecticut entomologists now plan to target the start and vaccinate the white-footed mice which are major carriers of the Lyme bacteria and a popular tick target. According to Scientific American, the mice will be fed a kibble developed by Purina, which contains an oral vaccine. The pellet has layers, much like a peanut M&M. The chocolate coating around the peanut is the vaccine and the candy coating is the coating that protects the vaccine from stomach acid. The vaccine enters the bloodstream through the animalsâ€™ intestines. The Washington Post recently reported that in heavily infected areas, at least half and up to 90% of the mice are infected with Lyme disease. By targeting the mice, researchers hope to stop the spread of the bacteria before the tick bites. Fall 2019
FALL TICK CONTROL
W hy is fall the most important tick spray time of the year for you
and your pets? Ticks mate in the late spring and summer, that is to say that during the fall the female ticks are pregnant and they stay that way all winter long. When the first thaw of spring arrives those pregnant ticks hatch more ticks. The baby ticks from early spring are called nymphs. The nymphs are dan-
gerous because they are the size of a sharpened pencil tip. A fall tick spray eliminates and reduces the overall tick population. Reducing the population in your yard is the key. Eliminate eggs that are deposited in leaf litter. Eggs are fertilized in the fall and deposited in leaf litter the following spring. Thatâ€™s why we highly recom-
mend treating your yard to eliminate ticks through the late fall and starting in the early spring. Companies like Surf & Turf Landscape Specialist, LLC will eliminate eggs on contact, but it will always help to do a yard cleanup and eliminate leaves and brush from your yard. That way the spray treatment can access all surfaces in the yard so the eggs have nowhere to hide. Remember, ticks can survive in the winter. Stop the two-year life cycle from beginning again. Immature ticks, called nymphs, are difficult to see because they are so tiny (less than 2 millimeters). They feed during the spring and summer months. Adult deer ticks are much larger and are most active during the fall. When you eliminate the adult deer ticks before they can lay their eggs, or even eliminate the eggs before they hatch, you are reducing the deer tick population for the following two seasons. That means you may not see a reduction in the current season, but you prevented the cycle from continuing the following year. Itâ€™s important to mention that although you should spray for ticks in early Fall as soon as temperatures drop below freezing, you should continue spraying through late Fall for the best control of deer ticks on your property. At Surf & Turf Landscape Specialist, LLC tick-focused sprays adjust for the season and life-stage of the deer tick in order to eliminate and proactively reduce future populations. What types of diseases do ticks carry? Ticks are vectors for all types of disease, most famous in New England is Lyme disease. They can carry bacterial infections, Ehrlichiosis, Human babesiosis and auto immune disorders too. Cases have now occurred in half of the counties in the 48 continental U.S. states. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with 95% of confirmed cases come from key states in the North East.
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Most recently and for the first time, a NH resident has tested positive for both rare diseases - Jamestown Canyon virus and Powassan virus by the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services, (Keene Sentinel article August 9, 2019). Both viruses are vector-borne with the Jameson Canyon virus transmitted by infected mosquitoes and the Powassan virus by infected black-legged ticks. It is widely thought that the majority of tick bites go unreported to doctors each year therefore the CDC can not accurately account for how else tick bites affect humans and pets. Ticks are stealthy creatures that have developed an elaborate system to feed off human blood. Whereas other bloodsuckers like mosquitoes bite, suck quickly and leave, a tick’s goal is to stay embedded in your skin for days. To allow them to do so, they have specially developed mouths just for this purpose which makes it more difficult to extract the tick from your skin due to the strength of the mouth’s design. Since some ticks are relatively small (the larva can be smaller than a millimeter) there’s a good chance you won’t notice one on you. The tick burrows its head into your skin, unpacks its feeding tube, Fall 2019
and spits out a saliva. Then it’ll likely feed for about 2 to 3 days, and, if it’s a female, it can swell up to nearly in double its normal size—which is useful for when it needs to lay its eggs. You or your pet can’t feel it when a tick bites, nor when they feed. For more information on protecting yourself and your pets this fall into the spring, please contact Nick at Surf & Turf Landscape Specialist, LLC: 603-363-9347 or SurfAndTurfLandscape@outlook.com
Dogs and Nature Preserves:
Compromise Needed! Vermont Veterinary Medical Association - M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM
art of the joy of having a dog is taking them with us on walks: we all benefit from the exercise, time together, and viewing nature. We also love to go walking in nature preserves and conservation areas to do the same. Unfortunately, park managers have seen a marked increase in people refusing to leash their dogs and an increase in reac-
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tive animals. The impacts on wildlife, visitor experience, and the ecology are hard to calculate, but there is concern about this issue: serious enough that policy changes may prohibit dogs from being in the preserves at all, which hurts everyone. For now, in trying to balance the interests of dog lovers and nature lovers, nature preserves that do allow dogs on the trails require that you keep the dogs on a leash only and clean up after them. Nature preserves and conservation sites are just that: safe places for wildlife and plants to grow and reproduce safely. Sadly, with humans encroaching on wildlife areas as our population grows, there are fewer places for them to do it and there is a great need for conservation areas. Dogs running off-leash can disturb the ecology of the preserve, frightening wildlife, crushing delicate plants off-trail, and negatively impact the visitor experience. Not everyone appreciates your dog chasing after them as they walk, even if the dog is merely
curious. Also, not everyone is physically equipped to handle an interaction with a dog. Older people, pregnant women, and people with physical ailments would love to enjoy nature with-out fearing an exuberant, jumping dog. Leashing your dog has a lot of benefits to you, too. It will keep your dog safe from any unwanted wildlife encounters (think porcupines and skunks). It will help prevent dog fights: even if your dog is friendly, not everyone’s dog is, and fights can break out between dogs with people getting injured. If your dog sees a deer or other wildlife and chases it, they may ignore your frantic calls and get lost. The sad fact is that park managers at the state and local level are increasingly reluctant to allow dogs in at all because of some dog owners who refuse to leash their dogs and who threaten them, tear down signs, and ignore the park rules. They are considering new policies that may prohibit dogs on the premises. But because they love dogs (most are dog owners, too), they are imploring visitors at nature preserves to respect nature and keep their dogs on a leash and clean up after them. It is a fair compromise: You and your leashed dog can enjoy the preserve, and the wildlife and other visitors are not disturbed. We are not advocating you avoid conservation areas with your dog. We are asking that you keep your dog on a leash and pick up after them as a matter of health, safety, and environmental protection. Failure to do so may result in policy changes that don’t allow them in the parks at all- then we all lose. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional organization of 380 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine Fall 2019
Hey, That’s My Grass! Goats Chomp Fire Fuels Around Previously Burned Washington Neighborhood Courtney Flatt
These goats from a herding operation based in Ephrata were in Wenatchee in July to clean out fire fuels near the Broadview neighborhood that burned in the 2015 Sleepy Hollow fire.
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n the western edge of Wenatchee, Washington, homes wind up hillsides. Many properties back up to rolling foothills. In this neighborhood, thick brush and grasses creep up to people’s backyards. It’s hard to see to the bottom of the drainage. Firefighters say the thick vegetation needed to be thinned, but the work would be time-consuming, risky and expensive. In the heat. On a steep hillside. With rattlesnakes. So they’re bringing in reinforcements. “Goats,” Billy Porter called to his herd. They bleated an answer almost in unison. Yes, the firefighters are using goats. More than 300 Spanish-cross goats moseyed along the hillside, eating all the brush their little hearts desired. They chomped down on the fine grasses (that several firefighters say they could only get to with a controlled burn). The goats hopped on rocks to reach trees. The brush and the hillside were no match for their voracious appetites. Goat herder Billy Porter, who owns Billy’s Goats Targeted Grazing Services, said they’ll eat for up to 17 hours a day. “That one there is just standing up on that brush on that steep bank going to town. If you give them the opportunity, they’ll eat as much as they can,” Porter said. So far, it seems to be doing the job.
Chelan Fire District No. 1 Chief Brian Brett said the acre the goats have eaten looks completely different than it did 24 hours earlier. “I had no idea how aggressively they would they would chow down on the vegetation,” Brett said. It’s exactly what he’d hoped for, especially after seeing fire race up this hillside in 2015. Thick patches of brush fueled the flames. Thirty homes and three industrial buildings burned down in the Sleepy Hollow Fire. Four years later, many homes in this neighborhood have been rebuilt or updated to be more fire-resistant. Brett said his firefighters are moving on to improve the terrain — with the goats’ help. “This slope is so steep it would be a daunting process to work on. The goats make easy work of it,” Brett said, looking down the hillside. Porter’s herd has helped tame weeds before, but this was the first time his goats have munched on the grass to help slow large wildfires. He said this steep hillside is like home to the goats. “They’re very agile and athletic animals, so they’d love to prance and hop off big rocks and logs and kind of scoot down the hillside and back up,” Porter said. Porter and a fellow herder strung up an electric fence in 1-acre sections to keep the goats concentrated in an area before moving on. They’ll move the goats five times down this drainage. Community wildfire liaison Hillary Heard is herding this particular program for the fire district. She said the goats appear to eat much of the extra vegetation, like wild rose and serviceberry, but they’re also leaving some of the native plants. “It’s very much a balance between wanting to do fuels reduction work and also making sure that we leave the vegetation for the native habitat, too, for the mule deer and everything like that,” Heard said. One big problem grass the goats won’t eat at this time of year is the invasive plant cheatgrass. When grass fires spark, cheatgrass burns quickly, fueling wildfires and allowing them to grow even faster. Right now the cheatgrass is too dry and prickly. That’s why the fire district plans to bring the goats back at different times and in different spots. “It’s just another tool in our list of resources, using different methods to make communities more fire resilient,” Heard said. She said they’ll likely replant some native grasses and shrubs to help stabilize the steep slopes. It’ll have the added benefit of beating out the invasive grasses, like cheatgrass, that help fires grow. “This will benefit the site in a number of ways,” Heard said. “One: An improvement of vegetation type will keep grasses greener longer into the fire season. Two: increase in soil stability. Fall 2019
And three: hopefully establish a site that can be grazed every three years to keep the wildfire fuels in check.” District Chief Brian Brett said they hope to eventually create a fire break around the western edge of Wenatchee. “The intensity and duration of the flames are lessened and if we have an established fire line, it allows us to get ahead of the fire,” Brett said. For 10 days the goats ate until they had to take a break. They chewed hardy shrubs and fine grasses, right up to the electric fence line. For the goats, it was all food and fun. For the onlooking neighbors, that feast meant protection from future fires.
Chelan County Fire District 1 firefighters brought water to the goats in Wenatchee’s Broadview neighborhood with their engines in this July 2019 grazing. Credit: Courtney Flatt/NWPB
Therapy Goats: Helping Students, Healing Hearts Karen Sturtevant
eturning to school after a lazy summer of sleeping in, water play and unstructured days bring mixed feelings: excitement at seeing friends and showing off new clothes and, for some, anxiety at the thoughts of new classrooms, teachers and routines. Anxiety, in general, or for a specific task, manifest in different ways for each person. Children are especially vulnerable. For some children, this manifestation displays behavior challenges. Often expert help is needed in working through these emotions and worrisome feelings. For the students of Ludlow Elementary School, that help comes in the name of Mrs. Martin. Amanda Martin has been facilitating positive change in the Two Rivers Supervisory Union School District (formerly the Rutland Windsor Supervisory Union) for the past 35 years. She has worked with children in small groups,
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in one-on-one dialogs, as a planning room supervisor and now as the school’s behavior interventionist. Her current role has her engaging with children ages 4 - 12 using her knowledge and skills necessary to assist in the application of positive behavior supports as well as providing classroom and school-wide behavior management strategies. Not only are traditional approaches implemented for encouraging academic success and addressing students’ challenging behaviors, but Amanda also has a secret surprise in her lunchbox––one that just happens to have four legs and hooves. A lifelong animal lover, Amanda surrounds herself at home with dogs, cats, chickens and a family of barn swallows who has recently taken up residence in her barn. Along with this menagerie, there is one animal that continually strums at her heartstrings. Students and staff of Ludlow Elementary were familiar with the use of therapy dogs as patient reading buddies and companions, which got Amanda thinking: if dogs can be therapy partners, why can’t goats? She shared her thoughts with school administration and before long in the 2018 school year, Stink’n Benjamin (Benny), a gentle Nubian Wethers goat, was visiting the classrooms once to twice a week. “The reason I decided to use my goats as a therapy tool was that some of the children I work with have either seen, been a part of, or a reciprocate of trauma. Trauma often triggers negative behaviors. These children need to find their soft loving side and receive back unconditional love, I feel that animals provide this. Children who shut down Fall 2019
open up. They look forward to coming to school for their time with the goat, no absences on goat day,” said Amanda. When Benny got too big to be easily transported to and from school, he retired to grazing in the pasture and playing in the barn with his goat friends, Rose, Poppy, and mother, Petunia. The students often remarked how much they missed Benny. “The feedback that I have received from children, parents, teachers, and administrators has been nothing but positive. We all have seen positive changes in many children. Negative behaviors diminish in some students,” notes Amanda. Benny was a highlight of the school day and for many children, his presence had a calming effect. Amanda explains: “They [children] love to take on the responsibility of being a caregiver, groomer, feeder, exerciser, and story reader to Benny. Children that you don’t usually see having smiles or bright eyes, can be seen on goat day.”
Animals innately cast their healing spells on us, wayward humans, children of all ages included. “I have seen the teachers and high schooler come and get their animal fix, that softer, kinder self opens right up and puts happiness in their soul.” Lily’s twice-a-week schedule continued, much to the delight of her constant caregivers, until the end of the academic year. Not to worry. Lily will resume and expand her role as a lunch and snack buddy, reading partner and playmate at recess when school resumes in 2019. With Lily’s silly temperament, playful personality and sweet face, the students (and staff) of Ludlow Elementary will have yet another reason to be enthusiastic about the upcoming school year.
Lily at School
With the void of beloved Benny, Amanda again approached the administration with the idea of purchasing a dwarf goat to continue Benny’s faithful work. As fate would have it, Amanda received a call telling her some Nigerian dwarf goats would be available in the spring of 2019 and did she want one. The next call came in early May: Amanda’s goat was here and needed a name. Staying with the flora theme, the little female became Lily. Amanda describes Lily as a constant bundle of energy, running, jumping and kicking her legs and feet in many directions while always managing to land on her feet. She also loves to jump up and over any obstacles in the path. Lily made her debut at Ludlow Elementary in the spring of 2019 when she entertained the children after being evacuated to a local community center’s gymnasium due to a fire alarm. Fall 2019
More Memories of Lessons Learned in Therapy Lessons Sue Miller
remember being able to finally attend my first Professional Association of Therapeutic Riding International (PATH) regional conference on therapeutic riding. I was so excited to learn new techniques, see a different facility,
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meet new people and share stories. One of the valuable pieces I walked away with from this first conference was to stop saying, “Good Job” without giving specific praise for what I thought was a job well done. Without specific reasons the phrase, “Good Job” becomes meaningless and is often overused and under appreciated. I took the information shared to heart. It resonated with me that I was likely a violator of this offense. When I got back to the farm for our next session, I was assigned a darling little boy that had a hearing issue. I began the lesson with him meeting the horse he would ride and explaining how to hold the reins. He seemed to be enjoying himself and was catching on to everything quite well. I chose to use the phrase, “Well done” instead of saying the standard, “Good job”. No sooner had I said those two words and the little fellow was trying to get off! I was taken back and couldn’t continue to explain why I thought he had done so well, as I was too busy trying to keep him horseback. I got him situated and continued on basically, starting over. Again, we got to a point where I wanted to compliment my little participant for what he was doing well. I praised him for holding his reins correctly and again said, “Well done”. My little rider put down his reins and yet again attempted to dash away while saying, “All done”! Ah, the light finally went off in my brain and I finally realized that when I was saying, “Well done” he was hearing, “All done” - emphasis on the word done! I learned that praise and phrases like Fall 2019
you did great doing____ or I really like that I see you trying/doing_____ work so much better than good job or well done! This lesson really drove home my education of giving the specific reason before giving the accolade. The catchphrase praise followed by the specific reason is often lost on the participant and may not mean as much. Lesson learned. Another summer I had the honor of giving lessons to a woman with dementia. She seemed so small and frail. I had wonderful volunteers that were all happy to help in whatever way they could. She was excited to try riding. I remember asking if she had ever tried horseback riding before. She emphatically said, “No, but she couldn’t wait”! It didn’t take much to get her horseback and away we went. I started with us just walking to check-in to be sure she was comfortable & check her balance, comfort horseback and look for any fear. Her balance was good and she was smiling from ear to ear. She immediately began thanking all of her volunteers for being so sweet in helping her. I decided we should start with some gentle stretches. Our rider did well reaching over her head and seemed comfortable reaching behind her, to the sides were no issue, she especially enjoyed reaching forward to pat her horse. In our next round of stretches, she would reach out to stroke the heads of all her volunteers and thank them. Something that became a weekly habit. I could visibly see all my volunteers melting at her touch. The leader of the horse in lessons should be especially vigilant to the horse, but my rider wanted to include them in her thanks with her loving touch. Each week the horse volunteer who always wears a hat would gladly take it off to receive her gratitude and tender touch - which was also a great stretch forward. The motion of the horse was lulling everyone into this beautiful symbiotic rhythm and our rider began to hum, then she began to sing a lovely hymn Fall 2019
for which I am ashamed to say I didn’t recognize, but one of our volunteers did and they began to sing together. It was such a lovely moment as everyone was sharing in the gratitude for the day in their own silent way or humming along. Sometimes our rider would reminisce of her childhood. I recall a story she shared of her being a little girl in a snowstorm and being out with her father when the snow-roller came along. Snow rollers, hitched behind teams of horses, were used to pack down snow on roads to keep them navigable. She said that she was lifted onto the seat beside the driver and got to ride along, the thrill in her voice had us all enraptured. Sharing in her memories as they came to her horseback was a delight for everyone that volunteered in the lesson. As word spread among the volunteers of the wondrous joy shared in this lesson they all clamored to participate in helpful ways and looked forward to her grateful stroke on the head. Each week we all looked forward to seeing her small smiling face and hearing the excitement in her voice as she told us that today was her first time riding a horse! Sue Miller is a PATH Registered Instructor & ESMHL, PATH Vermont State Chair and Vice President of VHSA.
Beavers Create a Ripple Effect in Shelburne Lisa Vear
s a resident of Shelburne, I have a lot of reason to be optimistic, as the town is in the process of reviewing how it handles humanwildlife conf licts. In early May, I discovered a sizeable beaver dam near a large culvert running under a main road. I went down often to see a family of beavers working on the dam, swimming, and slapping the water with their tails. Not long after finding the beavers, I contacted Sharon at Green Mountain Animal Defenders (GMAD) to get her advice on how we could alert the town to the beaversâ€™ existence without putting them in danger of being trapped and killed, which is what we feared may happen.
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Beavers are a keystone species and, like many animals, an integral part of our ecosystems. That is why it is so important to seriously consider the effects of any decision to remove or kill wildlife.
Sharon, myself, and other concerned residents attended a select-board meeting, during which Sharon made a convincing plea to assess the dam situation before doing anything. On behalf of GMAD, Sharon offered to provide a consultation with an expert beaver biologist (Skip Lisle, president of Beaver Deceivers International) and to pay for whatever long-term, effective, humane solution was recommended. The select-board members were surprised to learn of the beaver dam and agreed that an expert opinion would be sought before action was taken. This information was passed on to the town highway department. After no updates and not seeing any beavers for a few days, I called the highway department and was told the beavers had been trapped and moved because they were creating a safety concern. I contacted the trapper to ask where the beavers had been relocated, but he informed me that he could not give out that information. Something did not add up because each person I spoke with gave me different information about the number of beavers trapped. After the town manager confirmed that the beavers had been moved, I contacted the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department to ask about beaver relocation. Sadly I was informed that, in Vermont, trapped beavers cannot be relocated but must be killed. I sent this information on to the select board and the town manager, Fall 2019
9TH ANNUAL WALK FOR ALL ANIMALS
WHEN: Saturday, September 28, 2019 (rain date Sunday, September 29) Walk starts at 11:00 a.m. (check-in opens at 10 a.m.) WHERE: Burlington City Hall, 149 Church Street, Burlington, VT DETAILS:
Registration fee of $5 per participant (12 and under are FREE) This walk is just over one mile and is perfect for all ages Event website: https://bit.ly/gmadwalk2019 For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
saying that this news was “extremely disappointing and disheartening.” The chair of the select board agreed. I wondered if I was responsible for the death of these beavers. Had I kept quiet, maybe they never would have been noticed… Since these events, we have been in contact with town officials to encourage them to enact a policy that will guide how human-wildlife conf licts are addressed in the future. The proposed policy will ensure that the most effective, humane solutions are the first step to be taken when wildlife issues arise within Shelburne. In the case of the beaver family, the expert recommended installing a customized water-flow device where the dam was so that future beavers can live in the area without causing a flood concern. This pilot installation is being funded by GMAD and was approved by the select board in a unanimous vote. It is my hope that this is the first step toward change in the form of a long-term, far-reaching policy that will not only protect beavers but address various wildlife issues. As a keystone species, beavers are crucial to wetlands and water quality. These guiding ideals would not only allow wildlife to flourish but also the ecosystems of which they are a vital part. This humane strategy will benefit every species concerned, including humans. Not only do I anticipate that this mindful approach will prove successful in Shelburne, I hope it will inspire other communities to reconsider how they handle wildlife matters. This progress is a legacy I am proud to have been involved in from the very beginning.
Both parents teach the beaver kits important life lessons such as what to eat, how to dive and lodge building. When the adults are killed, their offspring may not survive.
It’s a Small World After All A
s the world becomes a smaller, more global environment wildlife has joined the transition. In some cases due to man’s interference. From Burmese Pythons being released in the Everglades to Asian Carp in Tennessee, to Snake Head fish, that breathe air and can walk on land, along the east coast. Yikes! Recently The Wall Street Journal printed a story about a rash of Alligators showing up in places they shouldn’t be. Chicago, Pittsburgh, Maryland, and a 12 footer named Fluffy that showed up on someone’s front lawn in Colorado. Yelling “Get off my lawn” probably wouldn’t work in this situation. Fluffy was not an intended release. According to the story it escaped out of a minivan on its way to a reptile show. Only a few years ago 2 were captured in a brook by the local
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Game Warden in Grafton, NH. The Valley News reported on an Alligator in Chicago named Chance the Snapper roaming the streets of the Windy City menacingly before being captured. I just read a story online about Black Panthers roaming around the British Isles. According to the story these large cats were a favored pet amongst the wealthy back in the 50s and 60s. But when the laws changed in the 70s people released them rather than complying with the law. Here in New Hampshire, we have had recent sightings of Mountain Lions in the Sunapee and Keene areas. Only a few months after the Eastern Mountain Lion was declared extinct. There was one hit by a car in Connecticut awhile back and it was determined to be a western cat that migrated here. Lots of people in Vermont talk about them as if they have always been here. I don’t believe you can declare yourself a true Vermonter unless you have seen one. Migrating here is one thing. Happens all the time. Wolves and Lynx are moving into the region. These instances are natural. But releasing wildlife into an environment they are not adapted to is unforgivable. My company received a call last fall from a landlord asking if we dealt with Iguanas. Seems an evicted tenant decided to leave it behind in the apartment unattended. Although we are not equipped to deal with such creatures we were able to find a wildlife rehabilitator who took it. Not all exotic creatures are so lucky. There are plenty of dogs and cats that need adopting. I have been in the wildlife control business for more than 40 years and I have never seen a Mountain Lion, Wolf, Lynx, or even a Sasquatch but if you have we would love to hear about it. Photos, recordings, or just eye witness accounts. If you are interested in having us investigate please email us at email@example.com Scott Borthwick owns Estate Wildlife Control. He lives in Canaan, NH with his wife Donna, two dogs, a couple of horses and one tough old chicken named Henrietta. Fall 2019
“Why Are My Fish Hiding Now? ” F
ish can be wonderful pets, amazing installations of aquatic art you can enjoy and even interact with. They can become skittish, however, and when your fish start hiding, you can’t enjoy them nearly as much. By understanding why your fish are hiding, you can take steps to make them more comfortable and confident in your aquarium. The Nature of Fish Fish are prey species, particularly the smaller varieties that are popular in aquariums. Even more aggressive fish are often preyed on by larger fish in the ecosystem. To protect themselves, fish will instinctively hide when they are uncertain, frightened, stressed or uncomfortable. Having a safe place to retreat provides comfort and security, and greatly improves a fish’s chance of surviving in the wild. While aquarium fish are rarely at risk from lurking predators, they have never lost their self-preservation instincts and will frequently hide in any uncertain situation. There are ways, however, that aquarium keepers can help their fish feel safe and come out of hiding. Why Fish Hide There are many different reasons why even the boldest aquarium residents may suddenly start hiding, including…
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Newcomers – If a fish was bold in the pet store tank but starts hiding when introduced to a community tank, it is simply uncertain in its new, unfamiliar territory. Even long-time residents may hide when a new fish is introduced until they are all comfortable with their personal territories. Within a few days, the fish should feel more secure with each other.
the tank because they no longer have the protection of a larger school. Adding more compatible species to the tank and increasing the number of fish can help these species feel safer swimming into the open.
Open Space – If a large tank has too few decorations and too much empty space, even bold fish can start to hide out of anxiety and uncertainty. Open Bullies – A fish that is bullied by spaces offer more room for potential a larger, more aggressive fish will seek predators to strike, with no cozy spaces out hiding places to protect itself from to retreat to safety. Adding more hiding unwanted attention. Separating fish that spaces to the tank can encourage these are more aggressive from passive spe- fish to swim about more freely. cies can help reduce this type of hiding. Another option is to rearrange the tank’s Overcrowding – If a tank is too small décor to disrupt established territories for all its residents, fish may start hidso every fish has to find its own niche ing to avoid too much attention from their neighbors. This can also increase in the tank again. territoriality and aggression, causing Environmental Changes – Anything more passive fish to hide even more. that alters a fish’s environment can spook Switching to a larger tank or reducing the fish into hiding. This can include the fish population can make all the fish sudden water changes, temperature more comfortable. shifts, pH changes or chemical imbalances. As the tank stabilizes at the Currents – Very small fish may be optimum environmental conditions, uncomfortable in strong currents from the fish should lose their shyness and a new filter, oxygenator or bubbler, and may start hiding to keep away from the stop hiding as much. unnerving water movements. Loneliness – Fish that naturally Adjusting the currents can help these gather in larger communities may start fish feel more comfortable so they can to hide if they feel isolated or alone in explore the whole tank again.
Threats – If fish perceive a threat, they will immediately retreat to a hiding space. This could be loud noises in the room, or people or pets moving near the tank. Keeping fish in a quiet area can encourage them to move about more freely, or else keep them acclimated to simple movements nearby so they get used to the stimulation and it won’t worry them. Illness – When fish start to feel sick, they may seek out hiding places to hide any weakness from potential predators and bullies. If a fish starts hiding suddenly, it is best to try and get a good look at the fish and note its eating and other behavioral habits to ensure the entire community does not become infected. Regardless of the reason, it is important to note that some fish just naturally hide more than others. Even in a bold species, different fish have different personalities and some may seek out hiding spaces more frequently. Helping Your Fish Hide Because hiding is a natural instinct for fish, offering more hiding places in your aquarium can help your fish feel more secure and at ease. Extra hiding places can even help shy fish feel bolder as they come out to explore, and additional obstacles in the tank provide enrichment to keep fish active and entertained. Consider adding extra plants, driftwood, rocks, caves, tunnels, and structures to give your fish more places to hide, and you’ll be surprised at how much more you see of them. For expert tips on your tank, visit the professionals at Lebanon or Claremont Pet and Aquarium Center.
It’s Cockatiel Time I
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DIET • Seeds are high in fat and low in many essential nutrients. When offered a seed mixture, cockatiels usually chose the seeds with the highest fat content, and selectively pick those from the mix. • “Vitamin enriched” seeds have a coating on the hulls, which is usually discarded by the bird. • Formulated diets, on the other hand, are complete. Each pellet contains balanced nutrition, preventing a bird from feeding selectively. • Cockatiels should be fed a diet consisting of 70-80% formulated pellets • Dark green vegetables or fruits can be 10-30% of diet • Treats (including seeds) should be limited to only 5% of the diet • Provide clean, fresh water daily
f you prefer a small bird that is just as loveable and affectionate as a larger parrot, yet requires less space, then a cockatiel might be an excellent choice. Cockatiels are prized throughout the world because of their lovable nature. They are easy to breed, gentle, and love to be handled and stroked. Cockatiels make a soft chirping sound and are less noisy than other parrots. Cockatiels are easy to tame, inexpensive and simple to maintain, and thus make an excellent ENVIRONMENT choice for a beginner. • Enclosures should be as large as possible, with the bird able to fully BIOLOGICAL FACTS extend it’s wings and flap without • Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) touching the sides of the enclosure • Weight: 80-120 gm • Cage should be clean, secure, safe • Sexual maturity: 6-12 months and constructed of durable, non-toxic • Avg. life span: 6 years materials, with perches of various sizes • Maximum recorded life span: • Avoid placing perches directly over 32 years food or water to prevent contamination • Origins: Australia • Access to natural light is preferred, BEHAVIOR drafty areas should be avoided. • Relatively quiet bird. Better known • Some birds will require a night for whistling ability than for talking. light in order to prevent episodes of • Cockatiels that are parent-raised, “night fright” - frantic flapping and but also exposed to regular human vocalization that can occur without handling through weaning, grow to provocation be tamer and better adjusted than • Birds outside of cages need constant those that are entirely handfed or supervision to avoid access to other parent-raised. pets, small children, and hazards in • Tamed birds readily adapt to new the home. surroundings and activities – expose early to daily activities in your PREVENTIVE CARE • Physical examination every 6-12 household as well as to other pets months • Are intelligent, curious, and easily • Consult a veterinarian with experiamused with simple toys. They love ence in avian medicine if you have to explore their surroundings any questions or concerns about your • Cockatiels are very social and require bird’s health. regular interaction with people in • Annual fecal examination for paraorder to satisfy their sociable nature. sites, yeast, and bacteria • Cockatiels may bond with humans, • Vaccination for Polyomavirus, as cage mates, toys, or other cage furdirected by your veterinarian nishings. Courtship, mating behavior • Blood work annually, as directed by and egg-laying commonly result. your veterinarian • Foraging stations, puzzle-feeders, • Wing or nail trimming as needed and “busy” toys provide necessary environmental enrichment and COMMON MEDICAL DISORDERS reduce the chance of feather pick• Obstetrical problems (excessive ing, aggression, or other problems. egg-laying, egg-binding, egg-related • Birds with unrestricted access in peritonitis, yolk emboli) the home will encounter numer• Liver disease ous dangers: drow ning, toxin • Kidney disease ingestion, electrocution, injuries, • Internal parasites etc. Cockatiels should be confined • Bacterial and yeast infections to their cage or housed in a “bird • Obesity friendly” safe room when not under • Feather picking direct supervision. • Broken blood feathers Fall 2019
Planting Trees for Butterflies, Birds and the Planet
tâ€™s never too early to start thinking about the next growing season. You can make it a glorious spring by planning now, in the fall, to plant trees that benefit both butterflies and birds, and consequently, the planet. New research published in the journal Science reports that trees are the most effective solution to climate change. Trees sequester enormous amounts of carbon, provide oxygen for us to breathe, prevent flooding by retaining water with their extensive root systems, give shelter and food to birds and pollinators, and keep communities cool with their shade. And letâ€™s not forget their awe-inspiring beauty.
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The U.S. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just announced that if one billion hectares of forest are planted by 2050, humans could greatly reduce the effects of climate change worldwide. According to these scientists, there are 900 million hectares (a hectare is roughly two football fields) of land on Earth that could potentially be planted with trees. Researchers say one of the countries that could make the biggest contribution by planting trees is the United States. As a result of this study, environmentalists are urging American homeowners to plant one new tree in their backyards, a tree that is native and provides shelter and food for both butterflies and birds. Native trees provide the food (nectar from blossoms, leaves and sap) and shelter (their leaves, branches and bark) needed by butterflies and moths to lay eggs that later develop into caterpillars. These caterpillars contain the necessary protein birds so desperately need to survive and raise their young. Butterflies and moths are also pollinators, collecting pollen on their legs and wings and distributing it from tree to tree and plant to plant. A backyard with trees provides the ideal habitat for butterflies and moths to forage. A treeâ€™s bulk blocks high winds from tattering and damaging fragile wings, allowing them to complete their life cycle. Fall 2019
Butterflies and moths depend upon certain tree species for survival. See the list below for trees that fit both the native and butterfly beneficial categories: OAK TREES: According to Douglas Tallamy, author of the book, Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife With Native Plants, Oak trees provide shelter and food for an astonishing 534 species of Lepidoptera (all of which are delicious to birds), including the polyphemous moth, the white marked tussock moth, the io moth, along with dagger moths, red banded hairstreaks, inchworms, and giant silk moths. WILLOW TREES: Willow trees offer protection and sustenance for nearly 500 species, including commas, viceroys, red-spotted purples, mourning cloaks, hairstreaks, sphinx moths, and the dreamy duskywing. CHERRY TREES: Native wild cherry, especially black cherry and chokecherry, provide for 456 species of butterfly and moth, including the spring azure, white admiral, coral hairstreak, tiger swallowtail, wild cherry sphinx, hummingbird moth, imperial moth, and the cecropia moth. BIRCH TREES: Birch trees sustain 413 species. This includes the tiger swallowtail, Luna moth, northern pearly eye, mourning cloak, chocolate prominent and the arched hooktip. CRABAPPLE TREES: Crabapples support 311 species. This includes the gray hairstreak, the striped hairstreak, eight species of sphinx moths and 24 assorted moths that seek shelter only from crabapples. MAPLE TREES: Maples, which includes Box Elders, support 285 species of moths and butterflies. These include the rosy maple moth, giant leopard moth, and ovalbased prominent, and the Luna Moth. PINE TREES: Pines offer sustenance to 203 species. This list includes the imperial moth, pine sphinx, pine looper, large purplish gray, pine elfin, and the Esther moth. ELM TREES: According to Ellen Sousa, author of The Green Garden: A New England Guide To Planning, Planting and Maintaining the Eco-Friendly Habitat Garden, 213 species are supported by the elm tree, which is making a surprising comeback. This includes the double-toothed prominent, eastern comma, question mark and mourning cloak. HAWTHORN TREES: Hawthorns provide 159 species with sustenance, including the gray hairstreak, red-spotted purple, viceroy and hummingbird moth. LINDEN TREES: The Linden (Basswood) tree provides food and shelter for 150 species, including the question mark, dagger moth, checkered fringed prominent, Prometheasilk moth and the tiger swallowtail. WALNUT TREES: The Walnut tree provides food and shelter for 130 species, including the blinded sphinx. Providing for the entire annual life cycle of the butterfly in your yard is vital – from egg to larvae to chrysalis (butterfly) or cocoon (moth). To this end, surround your trees with native shrubs and perennials that butterflies prefer, along with a shallow water source, wet soil for puddling, and please don’t be put off when you see holes chewed in the leaves – this is a part of the cycle! Catherine Greenleaf is the director of St. Francis Wild Bird Center in Lyme, N.H. If you find an injured bird, please call (603) 795-4850. Fall 2019
SILENT KILLER Ingrid Braulini - Grantham, NH
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would like to talk about a nightmare for pet parents and pet sitters everywhere. Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) or Bloat can be found in almost every mammal from horses and cows to rabbits and cats. Canine Bloat is considered the number one killer of many large and giant breeds such as Great Danes, Bloodhounds, Irish Setters, Akitas, Standard Poodles, German Shepherds, and Boxers among others. However, it can also affect even tiny dogs like Chihuahuas. Most cases of bloat involve GDV or the actual twisting of the stomach. GDV closes off the intake and outflow of gas so that the animal cannot vomit or belch. This causes the buildup of poisons that can affect the heart. Time is of the essence when bloat strikes. Max, the Boxer was rushed to the vet with suspected bloat. His mom and dad initially had no idea what was going on. He was whimpering, he was biting his stomach, his abdomen bulged, his gums were white and finally, his heart rate soared. By then, too much time had passed. Despite everything that was done for him, Max died of heart failure caused by intense shock and arrhythmia (irregular heart rate). It is estimated that the maximum amount of time between GDV onset and death is one hour. Fall 2019
What risk factors are known? 1. Dogs with deep and narrow chests (basically depth-to-width ratio), are at greater risk. 2. Age: opportunity for bloat goes up 20% each year after the age of five years. 3. Bloat is hereditary: There is a 63% chance of developing GDV if a first generation relative had it. 4. Feeding only one meal a day: their hypogastric ligament becomes stretched. 5. Raised food and water bowls: dogs with raised bowls have a 110% greater risk. 6. Fast eaters that swallow more air have a 15% higher chance. 7. Many animals bloat after kenneling or long car rides due to stress, aggression, nerves, or fear. 8. Finally, there is the nutritional factor. Dogs that are fed only dry food containing rendered meat and bone meal decrease their risk of bloat by 53% over those fed dry foods containing fat among the first four ingredients. Dr. Jerold Bell at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine states “During the past 30 years, there has been a 1,500% increase in the incidence of bloat, and this has coincided with the increased feeding of dry foods.” Susceptible breeds in New Zealand and Australia have a much lower incidence of bloat because they depend less on dry food. In conclusion, af ter a dog has been stabilized at the vet hospital through emergency techniques, a gastropexy should be performed to attach the stomach wall to the body to prevent future twisting. In at-risk breeds, experts recommend having a laparoscopic preventative gastropexy performed at the time of neutering to avoid the problem altogether. It is essential to know the symptoms and your pet’s risk factor. Make sure that those people who are caring for your pets are pet first aid and CPR trained and can identify bloat. Please call us here at Pet First Aid and Wellness at 603865-5340 to schedule a class or to learn more. Fundraiser-classes are available for pet-centric organizations. Ingrid Braulini is the owner of Pet First Aid & Wellness. She is a Certified Pet Tech and Wellness Instructor, a NAPPS Board Member and NAPPS Certified. For more info visit www.PetAidClasses.com. Fall 2019
My Dog is Friendly!”
Paula Bergeron - Grafton, NH
llow me to tell a Trail Tale… it begins with Sally and her beloved dog Bud. Sally loves Bud but he can be a bit sketchy around other dogs so they have been working hard together to teach Bud to ignore dogs while he is leashed. Things have been going well so she decides to try a hike. Sally picks a nice hike that has a leash restriction knowing that will allow her to manage any encounters. Everything goes great until …. Dick and his dog, Lucy Goose, come along. Lucy Goose is so far ahead that Dick is unaware that his good
natured dog is heading straight for Bud! Sally, on the other hand is all too aware of Lucy Goose’s approach. Although prepared to handle leashed dogs when walking, Sally is completely unsure what to do. “Get your dog,” Sally yells in panic… and as Bud begins his charge Sally with her face now in the dirt hears Dick’s yelled reply…. “Don’t worry…she’s friendly! “ This little story is all too common on our New England trails and can be a dog owner’s worst nightmare. Why is this such so common? Primarily because people who have dogs that we call happygo-lucky often do not understand the fear their dogs impart when they come charging down the trail. If you have never had to deal with the fearful prospect of your dog biting it is easy to put blame on the over reactive dog thinking the dog is “bad” or the owner irresponsible. If we look closer, however, one might reconsider who is being irresponsible. When the dreaded “he’s friendly” phrase is pitched to me when a 70 pound bundle of fur is coming my way I know what is really being said is “I have absolutely no control over my dog, he never comes when I call… so good luck! “ What should we do about this problem? Well you might think I am going to give pointers to help the reactive dog owner but you are mistaken. This article is directed towards the happy go lucky dog owners and here are your pointers… 1. If the trail says leash your dog… then… leash your dog. I know it’s a pain but… leash your dog. 2. Go to off leash parks, hikes and beaches if you want to give your dog full freedom to run and ramble. There are plenty of places that people with over reactive dogs are not likely to attempt and if they do you have my permission to give them the hairy eyeball. 3. Teach your dog to come when called… it is the most important safety command there is. If you can attain a 90% recall, and that's a tall order I know, then go ahead and let your dog run free but keep them in your line of sight. So thus ends our haunting New England Trail Tale. The moral of the story is of course… don’t be a Dick…..follow trail leash rules, teach your dog to come when called, and show respect for your fellow hikers. The End… please excuse me now as I climb down from my soap box... :) Happy Training!
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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 Fall 2019
Mia – An Unlikely Hiking Partner Carol Fleming
f you were to look at her, you would never guess that one of Mia’s favorite activities is hiking. She is a small, black and white mix between a Shih-Tzu, chihuahua and cocker spaniel, and weighs about 12 lbs. Though I wanted a dog, I hadn’t been actively looking when Mia landed on my lap around a year old. She was a spunky, sassy, sensitive, and scared little girl – and she wouldn’t come near me. The first night was chaos, as she barked and growled and skirted around me, while I sat as motionless as possible on the kitchen floor, talking to her in dulcet tones. It took hours. That first night, I wasn’t sure if Mia and I would work out. It became clear that she was not potty trained, not comfortable with other dogs, or people, primarily men, and that we had a lot of work ahead of us. Though it was not an easy task, Mia began to realize I was there to love her, to protect her, care for her, and to teach her about the world. She was still cautious and withheld her affection, unsure if I was deserving. Mia was far from the hiking dog that I had pictured, barely reaching the middle of my calf in height. She often needed a boost to get up on the couch, where she would then perch on the back like a cat. The first few weeks, we spent hours walking every road in the neighborhood. Mia seemed to enjoy her walks and gradually became more associated with walking on leash, having cars and people around, and generally being out and about. We tried a few trails in the area, simple and small, generally flat. Mia trotted along happily – sniffing the fresh air and enjoying the exercise. For a little thing, she didn’t seem to tire, at least not nearly as quickly as I did myself. We began to venture further each time, resting when either of us needed, sharing water and snacks from my pack. Mia began to trust me. We bought a trail hiking map of the New Hampshire White Mountains and began spending all our free time devoted to crossing off peaks. We were not working from a list, like “52-With-A-View” or the “4,000 Footers” – we chose mountains based on proximity to home and necessary time commitment. While Mia was a small inexperienced hiker, I was following a back injury a few years prior. We were slow. We enjoyed the views. We took a lot of photos. We didn’t limit ourselves, and we pushed ahead, step by step. 34 4 Legs & a Tail
Mia and Carol Enjoying the View
Spring the next year, following a few shorter local hikes, we did a solid 6.5 mile loop and sat atop two small peaks – Jennings & Noon near Waterville Valley. I could easily see Mia’s joy at the prospect of hiking. As soon as I extracted my hiking pack from the closet, she was a bouncy and vocal puppy, clearly ready to go. At the trailhead, she would yip and run around with glee while I put my boots and pack on, anxious to get started. Mia had learned many new trail commands – “wait”, “Ok, let’s go”, “this side” for going around trees so her leash wouldn’t get snagged. She would run ahead of me but always look back to check I was following along. If she was tired, she would let me pass but would stay on my heels, following each of my footsteps. The very next weekend, Mia and I hiked her first 4,000 foot mountain – East Osceola (4156’) along the Kancamagus Highway. We sat together at the summit, looking out across the green ripples of mountains and valleys. We drank in the noise of the wilderness and relished in our solitude under the sunshine. Mia sat along my side, leaning slightly against my hip. Something changed that day. We shared an accomplishment and it bonded us forever. I felt her sigh, and I sighed too – the mountains brought a sense of calm and peace to us both. Since that first mountain, Mia and I have sat atop twelve more 4,000 footers together. We shirk off the comments of doubtful hikers we meet along the way – commenting about her size, sometimes almost accusing me of abuse. To these folks I say – “She’s small, but she pulls me most of the time!” and walk off with a laugh. We welcome our fellow hikers who look at Mia in amazement and wonder, at how such a small pup could accomplish a feat they struggled completing. We both know she is capable, but I still look at her Fall 2019
with amazement too, especially when she is sitting above tree line staring out across the vast wilderness. Mia and I have created a rhythm and a routine, and an inexplicable bond. If you enjoyed this story, Mia and I are now reading “Following Atticus” by Tom Ryan – a wonderful story about another unlikely hiking pup, who attempted to climb all forty-eight 4,000 footers twice in one winter to raise money for charity.
FACT OR FICTION? SPAY/NEUTER MYTHS BUSTED
very year, millions of healthy dogs and cats in the United States are euthanized simply because there aren’t enough homes to go around. The ASPCA is working hard to combat the pet homelessness crisis, and spay/neuter operations are one of the most effective tools at our disposal. Spaying (female) and neutering (male) helps curbs animal overpopulation and has medical and behavioral benefits for pets— yet there are a number of myths, rumors and falsehoods circulating about this important procedure. In honor of Spay/ Neuter Awareness Month, we’re here to set the record straight.
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MYTH: Spay/neuter operations are expensive. FACT: The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is far less than the cost of having and caring for a litter! Plus, the ASPCA and many other organizations offer free or low-cost spay/neuter services for pet owners.
MYTH: Spaying and neutering is unhealthy for pets. FACT: Just the opposite! Neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer and some prostate problems. Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, which are MYTH: Spaying and neutering will cause malignant or cancerous in about 50% of dogs and 90% of cats. Spay/neumy pets to gain weight. FACT: Lack of exercise and overfeeding ter will help your pet live a longer, will cause your pet to pack on the extra healthier life. pounds—not spaying and neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as MYTH: Neutering will make my pet feel you continue to provide exercise and like less of a male. FACT: Pets do not have any concept of monitor their food intake. ego or sexual identity, and neutering MYTH: Neutering will cause behavioral won’t change that. What might change, however, is that your male dog will be changes. FACT: Unneutered cats and dogs are less likely to roam away from home! more likely to mark their territory by An intact male will do just about spraying strong-smelling urine all over anything to find a mate, including the house. Unneutered dogs also have finding creative ways to escape from a tendency to mount other dogs, peo- the house. Once he’s free to roam, he ple and inanimate objects. All of these risks injury in traffic and fights with above behaviors may change when your other male animals. pet is sterilized—which is a good thing! Neutering can help avoid some aggres- Similarly, spayed female pets won’t sion problems or undesirable behaviors go into heat. While cycles can vary, caused by a higher level of testosterone. female felines usually go into heat four That said, it is important to note that to five days every three weeks during there are no guarantees. Neutering does breeding season. In an effort to advernot eliminate the testosterone hormone tise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate completely, nor will it negate any behav- more frequently—sometimes all over iors that your pet has learned or that the house! have become habitual. The effects of Spay/neuter operations will help neutering are largely dependent on your curb these behaviors and keep your pet dog’s individual personality, physiology where he or she belongs: in your safe and history. and loving home. Fall 2019
ANDY A DANDY Vicky Mills - Randolph, VT
y mother-in-law had the empty nest syndrome after both of her children became adults and moved out. Andy came along in 2002 and soon became her loyal, loving companion. Some of her favorite things about him were feeling the soft feathered hair around his ears and hearing his slumbering breathing, as he lay by her pillow. He loved to chew on her hair scrunchies and she would pet him as he did, not caring one bit about her scrunchies. She has fond memories of watching him do a little â€˜twirly danceâ€™ when she asked him if he wanted to go for a ride in the car - and then she would watch the smile on his face as he
hung out the car window. There were countless beautiful peaceful times of her sitting in her rocker on the front porch. He would walk over and wait to be picked up - and the two of them would rock and enjoy nature. Finally the day came to make the humane, yet painful and heart-wrenching, decision, to take Andy to the vet as his health led him to the end of his physical life with her. I want her to know that her sons, and their wives, were glad she found Andy, and Andy found her. She put her love into having Andy around and he is forever in her heart.
FREDDY - One Very Sweet Boy! Cheryl Bromley
n a cold, snow y night in December a local plow driver, and animal lover was on his route. As he was backing out of a driveway, he saw a cat crouched on the side of the driveway. He pulled back in for his second pass, expecting the cat to run away, but it just sat there. So, he got out and discovered the cat was soaking wet and cold. He had been there for a while as the area surrounding his little body was free of
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all snow. The plow driver scooped up the cat, wrapped him in jackets and placed him on the back seat of his truck. For the next four hours, the cat was huddled in his nest of jackets while the plow route was finished. Once done, the plow driver took the cat home with him. The cat was happy to be warm and settled himself right into the home, readily getting along with the children and the dogs. However, he did not like the resident cat, a previous adoptee from Sullivan County Humane Society (SCHS), so after trying to make things work, the cat was surrendered to SCHS. At SCHS, the cat was named Freddy and placed in our quarantine area so that we could start his evaluation. Within a day, we knew something was wrong. Freddy seemed lethargic most of the time, drank bowls and bowls of water and his litter box was always a small lake from so much urine. We knew right off those were the telltale signs of diabetes. Freddy was taken to our vet where they not only diagnosed him with diabetes but also discovered he had pancreatitis and a raging ear infection. Fortunately, the pancreatitis and ear infection were easily treated however the diabetes would take more work. So began a five-month-long process of testing Freddyâ€™s blood sugar frequently and adjusting his insulin dose accordingly. During these five months, Freddy has quickly become a shelter favorite! He is sweet and personable and funny. He is a trooper about getting his twice-daily shots and a total love bug. Freddyâ€™s blood sugar is now finally in control and he is ready to find his new forever home! Freddy will require a special diet and twice daily insulin injections but in return for this extra care, you will get the sweetest, funniest, full of purrsonality cat ever! Fall 2019
Now you can listen to your favorite stories & articles from 4 Legs & a Tail
Interviews & stories from your favorite writers Listen to the best from past issues Get a sneak preview of upcoming articles Plus, great stories that we just donâ€™t have the room for in the magazine
REASONS TO ADOPT A CAT Adopting a cat is not only a wonderful way to support your local animal shelter, it’s also an excellent way to bring some cuddly love into your life. Here are the top ten reasons why adopting a cat is the right move.
#10 They’re Independent…
Cats are naturally independent creatures that require little supervision. This makes them the perfect pet for workaholics, city dwellers, people living in apartments, and the just generally mellow. While you can feel free to walk your cat, it isn’t necessary to their lifestyle.
#9 …Yet Cuddly
They may be able to take care of themselves, but cats still love a good cuddle. And unlike those 100pound pooches that think they belong on your lap, a cat actually fits there quite nicely. Plus, they are warm and fuzzy – so purr-fectly suited for snuggling.
#8 They Bathe Themselves
And it’s a good thing, too. Have you ever tried to get a cat into water? Not fun if you prefer your skin scratch-free. So they bathe themselves and leave you with one less chore – it’s a win-win situation for all concerned.
#7 You Won’t Need To Housebreak Them
In addition to bathing themselves, cats come into your life pretty much potty trained. You set up a litter box and with very little instruction they figure out how to use it almost naturally. Adopting a cat means never having to worry about getting home late and realizing you still need to go out into the cold, cold darkness.
#6 They’re Avid Hunters
Not a big fan of lizards, mice or giant beetles? Adopt a cat! Cats are skilled hunters that will help keep the bug population down in your home, as well as those hair-raising lizards, mice, moths, dust bunnies — and those alarming red laser pointers.
#5 …and Great Entertainers
Cats are more than capable of entertaining themselves with toys, boxes, drawers and the like. Give a cat a window (and window sill to perch on) and she’ll spend hours watching the goings-on in the Great Outdoors as she plots taking over the world and generally enjoys making the peons on the other side of the glass jealous of her glorious coat and pretty whiskers.
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#4 Perfect Couch Potato Companion
Think about it. A cat spends about 15 or so hours a day sleeping. This means they will never make you feel guilty when you laze about on the couch eating a tub of ice cream and watching TV all day. In fact, a cat would love to just veg out with you. It’s a built built-in excuse to be lazy. Just tell the haters, “I’m spending some quality time with my cat.”
#3 You’re Saving a Life
According to The HSUS, somewhere between 6 to 8 million cats and dogs are taken in by animal shelters each year in the U.S., and 3 to 4 million of those cats and dogs are eventually euthanized. By adopting a cat today, you could be single-handedly saving a life. That’s a pretty big deal. And on top of saving the life of your own new feline friend, adoption frees up more space in the shelter for other animals, and the adoption fees help shelters keep running and saving even more animals. Adoption fees vary depending on the age and breed of the cat, but help cover pre-adoption veterinarian care and evaluations.
#2 They’re Saving Your Life
As if saving a life wasn’t a good enough reason to adopt a cat, keep in mind that your potential new cat could save your life, too. Having a pet has been attributed to significantly lowering blood pressure, as well as lowering the risk of heart disease. Plus, the mere act of stroking a cat for a few minutes has been shown to release “feel good” endorphins in the brain.
#1 They’re Awesome
You can’t argue with the facts. A cat is pretty much the most popular pet in the world (there are statistically more cats in U.S. households than dogs). They’re adorable, loving, easy companions that make you super happy (and healthy). So what are you waiting for? Head on down to your nearest shelter to find your new best friend!
A Long-Awaited Reunion Marina Welch - Upper Valley Humane Society
s a pet owner, having your furry family member go missing is a fear. If it happens, your life is thrown into turmoil. Your life becomes filled with hanging f lyers, scouring the neighborhood daily, and constantly feeling worried and scared for your pet’s safety. This happened to Jessie and her family at the beginning of 2018. Jessie was in the middle of moving and had to leave her cat, Star, with a family member. Amid the chaos and stress involved in moving, she received a phone call from her pet sitter saying that Star had managed to escape from a window. She rushed over to make sure Star wasn’t hiding somewhere and searched the apartment complex desperately, but with no luck. She immediately hung up f lyers, posted pictures throughout social media, and spread the word to locals that her cat was missing. Star was spotted periodically over the next couple of months. Jessie even man-
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Star and Her Siblings
aged to get near her a few times, but Star always bolted before she could be caught. One night, Jessie nearly caught Star while hobbling after her on a booted foot she had just had surgery on! Shortly after that, things went quiet for a year. Star seemed to have disappeared forever. Jessie’s daughters never stopped asking about their beloved cat and the family was left to wonder what happened to her. Then, on May 22nd, 2019, the Upper Valley Humane Society posted on their Facebook page about a stray cat that had been brought in. They had named her ‘Mavis’ and asked social media followers to spread the word that she was looking for her family. ‘Mavis’ was then put on “stray hold,” a per iod of time for owners to find and contact UVHS about their lost pets. However, Jessie didn’t see the original Facebook post. Nobody contacted UVHS about ‘Mavis’ and she was put up for adoption. On June 4th at 10 pm, Jessie’s friend texted her and told her that UVHS had her cat! She was in disbelief but double- checked. Sure enough, it was Star! Jessie frantically called the shelter as soon as she could the next morning, worried that she might be too late. She had no reason to worry, as Star was still at the shelter and could be picked up that day! Fall 2019
Jessie rushed to UVHS, nervous that Star might not remember her-worried that she might be a completely different cat now. As soon as Jessie walked into the room, Star jumped into her arms, hugging her, purring, and rubbing her head against Jessie. She remembered her family! With happy tears, Jessie took her long lost feline friend home. The best part of their reunion was bringing her daughter home early from school and having Star waiting to welcome her home. Her daughter’s eyes shone brighter than she’s ever seen them when she saw Star. Since Star has been home, she is the same cat she was before. She fell back into her routine and still climbs up on the bed to cuddle and lay on Jessie’s head while she sleeps. Jessie says that Star reminds her more of a dog than a cat with her antics! Everyone is still over the moon and a little bit in disbelief that Star came home after being gone for so long. The Upper Valley Humane Society is thrilled that they were reunited and that we were able to keep Star safe and cared for while she waited for her family to find her. We hope that this story inspires those that have lost their
furry family members to never lose faith. We hope that it also highlights how important it is that we post on our social media pages about strays that are brought to us and put on “stray hold.” Through this vital protocol, we continue to unite families with their lost pets. UVHS will be hosting a Rabies Vaccination Clinic on September 7th from 8:30-10:00 am. Dogs, cats, and ferrets are welcome and each shot is $10. For more information, call 603-448-6888 or visit our website at www.uvhs.org/calendar .
Collie Travels 2500 Miles to Return to Oregon Home I
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n the 1920s, a collie mix was separated from his family in Wolcott, Indiana, where the family vacationed the summer of 1923. Frank and Elizabeth Brazier and their two daughters, Nova and Leona, lived in Silverton, Oregon, along the foothills of the Cascade Mountains south of Por tland. Dr iv ing their automobile, an Overland Red Bird, they made the long trip to Wolcott, Indiana, to visit friends and relatives, staying at tourist camps along the way. (By the 1920s, an increasi n g nu m b e r o f f a m i l ie s ow ne d automobiles. Along the bigger roads entrepreneurs built small bungalows to rent out nightly.) The Brazier dog Bobbie (named because he had a â€œbobbedâ€? tail which was unusual for a collie) accompanied the family. The Red Bird had a collapsible roof, but cars of that time were primarily open air automobiles, so Bobbie could ride on the r unning boards or on top of the trunk strapped to the back of the automobile. Either way, he was free to jump in and out of the car as they traveled. Auto speeds at that time were slow enough that it was not difficult for a motivated dog to re-join his travelers. Fall 2019
Bobbie Chased Away One afternoon Frank Brazier left the home where they were staying to take the car to the service station. As usual, Bobbie went along. Frank stopped to chat with the station owner, and Bobbie hopped out to do his usual exploring. However, three stray dogs took issue with the newcomer, and chased Bobbie out of the area. Frank Brazier was not particularly worried. Bobbie was fast and smart and generally figured out a way to circle back to the car no matter where he wandered. Frank remained at the station for a time, chatting with others who stopped by. After waiting for a bit, Frank sounded the signal to Bobbie. A couple of toots on the horn meant that it was time to get going. But Bobbie did not appear.
A Search for Bobbie After waiting for about an hour, Frank decided Bobbie must have returned to the house where the family stayed. When he arrived, no one had seen Bobbie. Frank drove back to the station and waited a little longer, but as it got dark, he resolved to start hunting again early the next day. Unfortunately, the next day was the same. Frank visited stores in Wolcott and stopped in at the local tourist camp, since the family usually stayed at similar places. Bobbie was not to be found. Frank circled around and honked again at the service station, but there was still no response. Needed to Go Back to Silverton The Brazier family owned a popular restaurant in Silverton, Oregon, and they knew they couldn’t be gone much longer. All they could do was leave word that if Bobbie returned, they would pay all shipping charges to have him sent home by rail. With heavy hearts, the family set off for the long drive home without their beloved pet. As they traveled, they left their information at the tourist parks where they camped. Perhaps Bobbie would appear at some place that seemed familiar. The family arrived in Silverton and re-opened the restaurant. Life had to go on. Fall 2019
What Happened Next To everyone’s amazement, six months later Bobbie appeared in Silverton. He looked very thin, his fur was matted, and he limped because the pads of his paws were bleeding from the long trip on ice and gravel. Daughter Nova and a friend were first to see him. The girls were on the street outside the family’s restaurant on February 15, 1924, when Nova grabbed her friend’s arm: ”Is that Bobbie?” With shouts of joy from the girls and yips and small jumps from the injured Bobbie, the girls and the dog shared hugs and kisses. Nova led Bobbie into the restaurant where patrons were surprised to see her bringing a bedraggled dog with badly matted fur inside. He limped slowly toward the back of the diner, only to be greeted by a cry from Elizabeth Frazier: “Bobbie!” With that, the community realized what happened—Bobbie was home. Finding Frank Frank worked the early shift so he was upstairs napping before coming down to prepare the next meals. The rest of the family raced up the stairs behind Bobbie who used every last ounce of his strength to bound onto the bed beside his beloved owner. Frank woke with a start with the first wet lick, but within seconds he realized that this worn-out dog was Bobbie. Bobbie quickly nestled down beside Frank and the two continued Frank’s nap until Frank knew it was time to prepare for the next restaurant diners. But of course, his first priority was putting out a good meal for Bobbie. While the family was elated over the return of their beloved dog, they couldn’t answer the question that bombarded them from all the townspeople: How did Bobbie get home? In a fairy tale, Bobbie would step forward and explain his part of the story, but we all must acknowledge that’s not possible here. What happened was the next best thing. Continued Next Page
Bobbie Makes News Today local television news shows occasionally provide airtime for a feel-good “dog-and-family-reunion” story, but print papers rarely cover such stories. However, in 1925, Bobbie was a great local—and eventually a national—story. The national news stories resulted in an outpouring of mail for Bobbie and his family. Often the letters were just addressed to “Bobbie, Silverton, Oregon,” or “Silverton Bobbie,” and not much else. The post office knew where to find Bobbie and the Braziers, and each letter was carefully answered. Unbeknownst to the family, these letters were key to unlocking Bobbie’s secrets. Some of the letters were from dog owners who were particularly touched by the story. Others were letters of admiration for Bobbie. Some sent gifts, others wrote poetry in Bobbie’s honor…all were touched by knowing that Bobbie got home. Bobbie became even bigger news when he was featured in the syndicated column, Ripley’s Believe It or Not. More News As time went on, the Braziers began to learn a little more about Bobbie’s travels: “Dear Sir: The enclosed picture appeared in an Indianapolis paper recently and I am wondering if I did not make the acquaintance of Bobbie last summer at
my shack on the Tippecanoe River. I was sitting under a tree one summer day, when I heard a splashing in the river and running up the hill came a collie dog which I knew was seeking his master…” Other Hints of Bobbie’s Whereabouts Here and there, other news trickled in: “A dog that looked just like Bobbie stayed around our tourist park for a few days… then we never saw him again.” There were two particular occasions when Bobbie stayed for a longer time. The first incident occurred near Des Moines. One night something must have startled Bobbie. He found himself in the rapidly moving water (presumably the Des Moines River). When he surfaced on the other side of the river, he may have been hit by a vehicle as he emerged from the water. He slowly made his way to a house where he pushed his way in through a screened door and found a friendly greeting. Des Moines Stop The Des Moines family wrote to the Braziers: “I am prompted to write you in the hope of establishing his identity. He made his appearance during the night and finding my nephew sleeping on the porch, he offered his paw to shake hands, after which he quietly went to sleep.” The family made over him the next morning and fed him breakfast. Each evening Bobbie returned to their home, but he spent his days elsewhere—perhaps scouting for a lead on his family. After several weeks with the family, Bobbie was better fed and more rested. The injury to his hip also seemed better. One morning the family fed him as usual, and when they let him out, he didn’t return. They were heartbroken that he didn’t stay, but after asking about for him, there was nothing they could do. Portland Savior His second long stay was closer to home. After many more miles, much bad weather, and almost certainly dangerous encounters, Bobbie arrived in Portland, Oregon, but he was in such bad shape he could not go on. This time he was taken in by an elderly woman who nursed him back to health and loved having him with her. Those whom Bobbie visited were in awe of his determination to return to his original family. Despite warm welcomes in several locations, Bobbie insisted he had to go on.
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Piecing the Story Together The Oregon Humane Society heard the stories of Bobbie and the letters coming in that seemed to trace Bobbie’s trip. The story fascinated those who worked there. How could a dog travel so far on his own, and how did he possibly find his way? Fall 2019
The director of the Society paid a call to Frank Brazier at the restaurant. He offered to take the letters after the family answered them and let the staff try to trace Bobbie’s route home. The Braziers loved the idea, and the Society went to work. As they followed the leads in the letters, Bobbie sometimes circled around and occasionally was led off-track (as in a trip to Denver by automobile), but ultimately, he pointed his nose West and did what he could to track back through landmarks the Braziers passed the first time.
Safe at Home In the meantime, Bobbie received keys to various cities around Silverton and was invited for a week-long appearance at the Portland Home Show, where they provided him with an elegant doghouse, complete with it’s own white picket fence. People lined up for hours to wait to shake Bobbie’s paw and give him a good scratch behind his ears. The happiest event for Bobbie, however, was the Silverton City Council’s resolve that Bobbie was exempt from the town leash law. Unlike the rest of the canines in Silverton, Bobbie was given free range to travel the town as he pleased. The Braziers received countless invitations for Bobbie to appear at various events, and there was also an intriguing invitation from a producer who wanted to make a silent film of Bobbie’s life. Frank thought that was interesting, and when Fall 2019
they said Bobbie would play himself, the family signed on. Today one reel of the two-reel film has been located and restored. The other reel is still missing. In the meantime, to see Bobbie in action as himself, watch some of “The Call of the West” preserved by the Oregon Historical Society. One Litter of Pups Other dog ow ners considered Bobbie prime breeding material, but the Braziers moved forward with that plan cautiously. They finally agreed to let him father one litter of puppies with a local collie of good quality. Several handsome pups resulted from the breeding. The Braziers took one of the dogs as a companion for Bobbie. Pal became Bobbie’s sidekick. Bobbie died in April of 1927. The veterinarian that treated him speculated that the arduous journey took years off the dog’s life. Memories of Bobbie He was buried in the Oregon Humane Society’s pet cemetery in Portland. The doghouse/castle created for him marks the grave, and two hundred people attended the service. Today visitors are able to go behind the building to see Bobbie’s final resting place. A week after the funeral, the dog film star, Rin-Tin-Tin, made a special appearance. He brought with him a wreath that he laid atop Bobbie’s grave while photographers and reporters documented the arrival of the famous canine star. Today there is a mural in Silverton telling Bobbie’s story, and each year, the town continues to have a Pet Parade in Bobbie’s honor. The parade began in the 1920s, with Pal, Bobbie’s son, as the first parade leader. It has been held since then as a way to recognize the important of pets to people. www.4LegsAndATail.com 47
Your Pet May Be in Pain M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM
nimals suffer from pain, just like we do. Some forms of pain are obvious such as surgical pain or an acute injury. Because most of us have had surgery at some time in our lives (or know someone who has), we have an idea of the pain animals must feel after having an operation. The same holds true for an acute injury such as falling down the stairs or having an ear infection. Unfortunately, the majority of pain in animals is chronic and harder for most pet owners to detect. Arthritis is often misinterpreted as the pet “getting old” or “slowing down”. It is important to remember that age is not a disease, but pain is! Cancer and dental disease are chronic pains from which animals suffer in silence. A common misconception is that animals will whine or cry out when they are in pain. In fact, it is very uncommon for this to occur. Signs of pain in dogs can vary between dog breeds and individual dogs. The majority have one or more of the following signs: decreased interaction with owners, decreased activity or appetite, reluctance to move, growling, guarding, aggression towards people or other pets, or even chewing or licking themselves where it hurts. For example, a dog may not want to be petted around the head if its ears or mouth hurt. An older dog with arthritis may growl or snap at kids or other
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dogs, trying to protect itself from being hurt. Cats are very good at hiding when they don’t feel well. This is because in the wild, if they show they are sick, they can quickly go from predator to prey. It is rare that a cat with chronic pain will cry out. Instead, it may stop grooming and have matted fur, be stiff, lose weight, hide, be less active, eat less, or groom excessively at an affected area. A cat who “doesn’t like to be petted there” is usually painful at that location. Dental pain is rarely obvious to most pet owners. The assumption by many is if the animal is eating, there is no mouth pain. Since the alternative is to stop eating altogether and starve to death, even pets with very painful teeth will still eat. They just may not eat as much, may lose weight and may not chew their food well. They may chew only on one side of their mouth. A thorough annual wellness exam by your veterinarian will help to determine if your pet is in pain. If you suspect your pet is painful, call your veterinarian right away. There are many options available to treat pain in our pets: prescription medications, physi-
cal rehabilitation, acupuncture, laser therapy and therapeutic massage. Remember, do not ever give human pain relievers to your pet: the majority of them are toxic to our pets. Even a little bit of certain human pain medications can cause kidney failure and death in our pets. It is our moral responsibility as pet owners to provide for all aspects of our pets’ needs. They give us unconditional love and depend on us for their care and comfort. Besides giving them food, love, and shelter we must realize that they may get sick and will definitely get old. Along the way there are times they will be in pain, for which there is help. For more information about pain control and how to tell if your pet is in pain, talk to your veterinarian and go to www.ivapm.org, the website of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA) is a professional organization of 350 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine. For more information, visit www.vtvets.org or call (802) 878-6888. Fall 2019
HE FOUND HIS VOICE Gerri McLaughlin-Bendel Grantham, NH
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his is the story of Ryder, the wonder dog. Ryder joined our family 3 years ago. He had BIG paws to fill. Six months earlier our 100-pound Scout, the BEST Lab had gone over Rainbow Bridge. My husband and I agreed if we looked for a Lab, it would have a hard act to follow. We decided to adopt a rescue. On the Vermont For the Love of Dogs website, I saw a dog that absolutely needed to be with us. To be honest, I needed to be with him. Ryder was described as a Red Bone Coon about 2 years old, sweet and loving hugs. The only Red Bone I had ever seen was in the movie, “Where the Red Fern Grows.” The movie was a tearjerker. 40 odd years later, I remember the 2-star hounds, noses to the ground, howling, driven by coon scent. Ryder was rescued in Alabama. He had been hanging out at a Quick Stop for a month. The manager found him every morning curled up by the front door. Customers were greeted with tail wags and a paw shake. Ryder was rewarded with all-day treats. One morning the manager arrived to find him lying in the parking lot, shot in the face. A Good Samaritan took him to a vet and paid his bill. When he recovered Ryder was sent to an adoption center. He was posted
on a Vermont Dog Rescue site. He was transported to a foster home in Vermont, where we were to pick him up. I was anxious. What if I didn’t feel a connection? What if I had jumped in without meeting him first? I emailed Vermont Dog Rescue with my insecurities and their reply was reassuring and non-judgmental. If I had any doubts about the adoption, Ryder would be well cared for in foster care until he was placed. We drove upstate to meet Ryder. All I remember is getting out of our car, looking up to a house deck and seeing a smiling, wiggling, tail-wagging dog making full eye contact with me. He came home with us within the hour. At first, this hound was a bit shy, sweet, smart and very quiet. Whenever friends would come by, he would stay lying in our driveway and wag his tail. It took about 6 months for him to venture forth to greet friends exiting their cars. We also noted our hound was quiet, no bark, definitely no howl. I worried about this, certain it was due to past trauma. His smarts showed in not begging at our table. For an entire year, whenever we would sit down to dinner, Ryder would go to the other side of the room and lie down. This single trait won my husband over; he said something like, “Never in my life have I met a dog that didn’t beg.” A year later my husband and I were totally surprised when Ryder let out a barely audible, “arf, arf.” We were all in the backyard. Ryder appeared to be guarding our side of the riverbank. On the opposite bank, a man was bushwhacking his way through the unforgiving forest. In the years we had lived there, only deer braved that area. We petted the best hound, grateful for letting out a warning, even if only a whisper. It was around that time; Ryder was comfortable enough to sleep on my feet, under the table at dinnertime. He did not beg, but snored loudly, making all present laugh. He never stole food off the kitchen counter, never dumped the Fall 2019
garbage and never attempted to climb on the furniture. During his second year with us, our family jumped the river and landed in New Hampshire. I wondered how our hound would adapt to the move. Relieved, I watched him settle into his new surroundings. He pranced through our wooded acre and found his lookout pad on the deck. Ryder continues to thrive. He was instrumental in helping our young grandsons overcome their fear of dogs. My elderly Momâ€™s feet were always cold. She loved when Ryder would curl upon them. As of his third year in our family, he has found his howl. A week ago, I was awakened by a sound thundering down our hall. At first, I thought was dreaming. The howls emanated from the kitchen. I heard nails scratching on glass. I found Ryder attacking the door. I flew to flip on the porch light. Through the glass, Ryder and I stared at the backside of a black bear ambling off our deck. Ryder, the wonder dog has found his voice. Gerri has lived in the Upper Valley for more than 40 years. She and her husband Ron now live in Grantham, NH with their best hound, Ryder.
Socks and Sandals Karen Sturtevant
I still can vividly picture one of the girls I went to high school with, although the last time I saw her was graduation day.
We’ll call her Teva. She was pretty, popular, played sports and was super smart. How I envied her: her clothes were fashionable and the boys fawned over her. I wanted to be like Teva. My locker was near hers, and what I witnessed one spring school day shattered my perception about Perfect Teva. It was May 1986, the sun was shining, the temperature in the ‘70’s. Ah, finally, open-toed footwear weather. Similar to today, back ‘in the day,’ girls’ footwear ran the gamut from tame to whatwere-you-thinking? I preferred the $1.99 drug store special. (I’d be lucky to make it through the season without the plastic toe separator snapping.) Perfect Teva, however, had other tastes. She was in the one percent who wore…Dr. Scholls––those way cool, stud accented harder-than-concrete, wood-heeled sandals (as if I could hold Teva up any higher on a pedestal!). My over-the-moon infatuation was about to be shattered. In a split second after I noticed the fancy foot attire, I saw something that would sear itself in my mind and send my high school world spinning. Sandals, by design, are made to be worn with naked feet, tiny toes free to enjoy the fresh air. Not this time. With her out-of-this-world-awesome Dr. Scholls, Perfect Teva was wearing…panty hose! Panty hose! Her toes couldn’t breathe, I feared her feet would slide out from the slippery wood base––not to mention how silly this looked. How could she?! Panty hose with Dr. Scholls? I couldn’t believe my 17 year-old-eyes. That high school snapshot was over three decades ago, but it still is fresh in my brain cells. Isn’t it funny the things we remember? Since that loyal day, I’ve been acutely aware of a trend: we Vermonters love our sandals in any season. Winter sandals: add wool socks. Fall sandals: add argyles. Spring and summer offered options: no socks or any variety including cotton, silk, polyester, patterned, plain or individual toe pockets for each little piggy––the brighter the color, the greater the impact. On that faithful day, my teenage brain automatically lumped all those who sported socks with sandals into a category, albeit an unsavory one. The attendance in that informal, known-only-to-me-club, would increase in membership throughout my 52 4 Legs & a Tail
adult life. I would spot “them,” smirk, and figuratively hand them a card of inclusion. Much to my surprise, I had this exact same feeling of bewilderment when I began to notice another group who needed their own membership cards. You’ve seen them in public, on the bus, in parks, in the workplace. They post on social media, have chat rooms and competitions. “They” are the people who dress their dogs in costumes, hats, snowsuits, dresses, booties and yes, even ballerina tutus. For me, this was another ‘what-are-they-thinking moment.’ Have they lost their minds? Why would someone do this? What’s the point? So, in the new secret club they went and on with my life I went to live. In 2014, I adopted an English bulldog named Penney. You, kind reader, know where this is going. As we celebrated each birthday and holiday, you guessed it, I would dress her up. Some occasions, it would be a simple fresh flower headband (for her 5th birthday), while Halloween and Easter would bring out the lady bug costume and bunny ears. Christmas? A Santa hat and festive scarf, of course. Was I now one of “those” people? Without a doubt, and I didn’t care one hoot. Sweet Penney would tolerate my snapping pictures and enjoy cookie treats for her begrudging participation. When she passed in February 2017, I had the photos to keep me smiling and to help me remember her tenderness. I can’t recall the exact moment that I reasoned putting a brightly colored kerchief around her, but boy, did she wear it well. I currently have another rescued dog, the complete opposite of Penney, but just as sweet. And, yes, I do dress her up from time to time. MommaChi is a Chihuahua/Corgi blend and quite tolerant of my madness. Her first winter required a fur-lined, warm coat (with hat and scarf–Vermont winters are brutal!). She has a kerchief for every outing, a blue raincoat decorated with yellow duckies and holiday jammies with penguins and candy canes. My coworker made us matching purple hats with pink flowers. And I should mention, I have a Russian tortoise that will, on happenstance, get to wear a flower sash on her shell (Zoe loves being in the club.) I’ve learned a few things since I was in high school. One is live and let live. If you want to wear panty hose or socks with your sandals, who am I to snicker? Want to dress your fur kid in puff and stuff, go ahead. If you see a little dog in Williston with a pink and purple harness with matching leash and flowered scarf, look twice as it might be MommaChi. As for me, being a pragmatic type of gal, I enjoy wearing my sandals sans the socks. But go ahead if you want to, I won’t stop you or add you into the secret club.
Alternatively Speaking: What’s Up With Those Knees? Dr. Anne Carroll DVM, CVA
n our last article, we discussed ways to avoid injuries while having summer fun. Fall may be here, but unfortunately, injuries happen year-round. Since so many lameness complaints involve knees, we thought it would be good to follow up and focus on them in detail. Dogs (and even cats) can have many different problems with their knees, including arthritis, loose knee caps, and unfortunately sometimes bone cancers. While cats or specific breeds of dogs can be prone to certain knee problems, if we lump them all together the cruciate injuries are arguably the most frequent issue involving the knee. Since a little knowledge can go a long way towards prevention, let’s learn about cruciate injuries. Most people have heard of cruciate ligaments, it is a common injury for humans too. To understand why involves a look at anatomy. Unlike the hip or elbow, knee joints lack interlocking bones. The thigh simply sits on top of the shin bone, with cartilage shock-absorbing pads (menisci) cushioning between them. What keeps them aligned are the ligaments around the joint, along with the leg’s muscle and tendon attachments. However, when you think about stress to the knee, it is not being pushed to the side, or backward. Whether upright or on 4 legs, most activity 54 4 Legs & a Tail
involves forward motion so the thigh is constantly pushing down on the shin, which naturally wants to pop forwards under that pressure. The cruciate ligaments don’t allow that to happen. Located inside the knee joint, they cross diagonally, anchoring the bones so they stay in line and any weight is transferred down to propel the body forward. Like any ligament in the body, they are incredibly strong to bear this pressure. But they do have their limits. This brings us to why cruciate ligaments are so prone to injury. In people, it is typically a result of trauma, like when playing football or skiing. But for dogs, this is not usually the case. Take “Hackett” for instance, who we talked about in the last issue’s article. He went out into the yard to play and came back on 3 legs. For dogs, injury happens during regular activities, because for them the ligament has been weakening slowly for some time until it suddenly gives way. Why are the ligaments weak? There are several reasons. For Labradors and Newfoundlands, there is a genetic link to faulty ligaments and affected dogs’ knees can give out as young as a year old. Genetics play a role in body type also. A dog’s knee is not straight like ours, their leg angles forward from hip to knee and then back to the foot. This angle can be excessive, like in German Shepherds whose sloped rear end throws their feet Fall 2019
behind the body straining the back and hips. The opposite is an ‘upright’ conformation, where the leg is too straight. This can happen in any breed but commonly in Labrador Retrievers that have a tall slim build versus the classic stocky hunting dog. Studies have shown this lanky build may result when male Labs are neutered before puberty because puberty hormones signal a stop to bone growth and the surgery delays that. The straighter leg creates a constant forward strain on the knee like a skier always going downhill, making them prone to injury. The other big contributor to weak ligaments is dietary promoted inflammation. Eating excessive processed carbs, combined with being more than 10% over ideal body weight promotes inflammation that can weaken ligaments, affecting more than just knees. Weak hip ligaments allow excess motion that damages growing puppy hip (hip dysplasia), and weak cruciate ligaments suffer small tears over time until they fail. From a Chinese perspective, the ligaments and tendons need good blood circulation to maintain full strength, otherwise, they become dry and brittle. So dogs with the Chinese diagnosis of Blood Deficiency may have ligament problems in general, as well as other signs of poor circulation to their extremities such as dry dander, thin dry coats, anxious personalities, and restless dream-filled sleep. Blood Deficiency is often linked to a diet lacking blood-rich meats and organs. The good news is that knowing what to look for allows us to support against cruciate injuries before that injury occurs. In our practice, we discuss including fresh ligaments or bone broth in your dog’s diet, or supplements that provides those nutritional tissues. Glucosamine may be added to reduce inflammation in at-risk joints. Chinese herbs and food therapy can help soften Blood Deficient tendencies and avoid or minimize the issues that imbalance causes over time. Simple steps like keeping lean and trim, especially during growth, has a huge impact too. This is best done by providing at least part of the diet as a fresh, canned or dehydrated food that has little or no processed carbs. Dry dog food is convenient but not ideal to feed as the sole diet. Whether corn, wheat, rice, peas, lentils, potatoes or chickpeas, a starch is a starch and in processed form only contributes to weight gain and inflammation, especially in a species designed to eat meats and carcass parts, not bread. Labrador owner should discuss the pros and cons of delayed neutering with their vets. It is not the right choice for every dog but the evidence is good that waiting may improve the chances of healthy knees. Lastly, encourage low impact exercises like swimming, hiking and walking while avoiding Frisbee and fetch games Fall 2019
that involve a lot of twisting, skidding and jumping on an at-risk knee. In case prevention isn’t successful, know the early signs of injury. Most people don’t have trouble noticing when their buddy can’t use a hind leg. But the more important symptom to act on is the limp that lasts for a day or two, but then gets better. This may be an innocent strain or muscle pull, but more often it is a small tear in the cruciate ligament. It can still hold the bones in place, so feels better after the initial pain of the tear. Suspect this injury if your dog hurt themselves just during normal play or activity, or if they haven’t had arthritis or ongoing issue to explain why their leg would be suddenly sore. Most cruciate injuries can be diagnosed with a physical exam, although some dogs may need a sedative to relax the joint for that exam especially if they are painful, or need X-rays. Early intervention is critical since this is the best opportunity to manage the issue without surgery. Left unaddressed, the ligament will continue to suffer small tears until it gives out and the knee can no longer support weight at all. So let’s say you are at the vet’s and a partial tear is diagnosed, or at
least suspected, what happens then? Modif ying and restr icting activity is impor tant while giving the ligament time to heal. Not being in pain just means the acute inf lammation of injury has passed, but it takes 8 weeks for a ligament to repair a tear, and then as many months for that new repair to be as strong as the original ligament was. That means avoiding heavy activity for a while, perhaps even just short leash walks in the beginning. In the meantime, we want to take all the steps mentioned Continued Next Page
above for preventative support, but also add herbs and supplements that enhance circulation to the joint while reducing inf lammation to promote healing. Acupuncture and massage are also helpful to this end. Studies looked at dogs a few years after cruciate injur ies and showed that a combination of weight loss and physical therapy can be as effective as surgery, especially for partial tears or tears in animals under 30 pounds. For complete tears of the ligament, the joint has lost its stability and can’t hold the body’s weight. Surgery is the only way to immediately return that function. For large, active dogs, it still is the treatment of choice in most cases, however medical management is not impossible for a dedicated owner and the right patient. Even when surgery is pursued, all the above supports are still important for several reasons. First, the weakness that existed in the torn ligament exists in the opposite leg, which is now bearing abnormal weight while the injured leg is out of commission. This is why we caution to expect a similar injury in the other leg within the next 2 years unless proactive measures are taken. Secondly, most of the herbs and supplements used help with circulation to the knee and that aids in healing after
surgery. Finally, these measures are also supporting ligaments in the whole body, which all share the same vulnerabilities and can suffer strains over a lifetime. Addressing ligament health has bodywide orthopedic benefits for your pet and is a worthwhile investment to make early on. So if you have a breed prone to knee problems, or a dog with a body type that puts their knees at risk, you can certainly get good pet insurance and/or start saving for knee surgery early on. You may have enough saved up by the time you need it. But consider putting some of those dollars towards a nourishing diet and suppor ts to streng then and promote healthy joints and ligaments, and both you, your dog and your wallet will be happier for the effort. Dr. Anne Carroll is the owner of the Chelsea Animal Hospital where she and her associates practice conventional medicine and surgery as well as several alternative modalities including traditional Chinese acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. For more information on alternative veterinary medicine visit their website at www.chelseaanimalhospital.com .
The Lost Dog
A lost dog strays into a jungle. From a distance a lion sees this and says with caution, “This guy looks edible! Never seen his kind before.” The lion starts rushing towards the dog with menace, to which the dog notices and starts to panic. As he’s about to run he sees some bones next to him and gets an idea - He says loudly “Mmm...that was some good lion meat!”
The lion abruptly stops and says, “Whoa! This guy seems tougher than he looks, I better leave while I can”. Over by the tree top, a monkey witnessed everything. The monkey realizes the he can benefit from this situation by telling the lion and getting something in return.
The monkey proceeds to tell the lion what really happened and the lion says angrily, “Get on my back, we’ll get him together”. They start rushing back to the dog. The dog sees them and realized what happened and starts to panic even more. He then gets another idea and shouts, “Where the hell is that monkey?! I told him to bring me another lion an hour ago...”
Judy & Ray Kimball have their hands full!
Wendell and Betty Oakes adopted family, Tiger, Rosie and Peanut looking through a screened in porch
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When things go wrong, sometimes they really go wrong OR The dog with too few and too many teeth all at the same time! Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS
The green arrows point to the newly exposed incisors.
hese photographs are of a 5 month and 3 week old Portuguese Water Dog. The owner stated that the deciduous (baby) incisors had been present in the mouth and then came out, as they should. She did not actually count the teeth. By 3-4 months of age the adult incisors should have erupted - they should now be visible in the mouth. Instead there was an enlarged area of gum on both the upper and lower jaw, with small holes suggesting that something was underneath pushing against the thick tissue.
Dental X-ray of the lower incisors and canine teeth. Incisor section enlarged to show the additional small teeth. 58 4 Legs & a Tail
The lower jaw was too short in comparison to the upper jaw. When closed, the lower canine tooth should be in front of the upper canine tooth. The enlarged gum on the lower jaw makes that jaw look longer than it really is.
Arrows: Yellow: Baby canine teeth. Green: Adult Incisors. Purple: Adult canine teeth. Pink: Horizontal small tooth pointing to the left. Red: Small tooth head on. Blue: Small tooth at a 45ยบ angle to the left. White: Small tooth angled slightly down pointing to the left. There are more small teeth but you get the idea. Fall 2019
Take a look at what was underneath that thick gum tissue. All of the adult incisors were present plus there were a number of miniature incisor teeth interspersed amongst the adult teeth. These little teeth were at all kinds of different angles. The upper jaw was the same story. What to do? Since this was a growing puppy, all kinds of changes can occur with the mouth and the teeth. My first objective was to open up the gum on the upper and lower jaw and expose the adult incisors. These teeth had the potential to erupt, as the bottom of the root was still open - the root has not completed itâ€™s growth. The teeth were not aligned along the curve of the jaw, as they properly should have been. Some were in front, others behind. Rather than extract any teeth at this point the incisors were left in place and the gum was cut around them. Not all of the incisors could be exposed at first. Five of the six upper incisors were exposed but only the corner incisors on the bottom jaw were peeking their crowns up.
The green arrows point to the small holes in the gum.
9 days later, and what a change! Amazing how quickly this can happen in a young dog.
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.
Also 9 days later. The upper and lower jaws have moved into a better relationship. The next step will be to see if those baby canine teeth come out on their own, or is more intervention needed? And more incisors might move into a better position. To find out, see the next issue of 4 Legs & A Tail. Fall 2019 www.4LegsAndATail.com 59
What is Leptospirosis and How it Can Affect Your Dog Catherine MacLean, DVM Grantham, NH
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eptospirosis is a disease that most dog owners have either never heard of or it sounds familiar, but theyâ€™re not sure what it is. Leptospirosis is a bacterial organism that can cause liver and kidney failure in dogs and can be contracted by humans. Leptospira is most commonly found in wet environments and is commonly shed in the urine of wildlife. Your dog can be infected with leptospires either directly through infected tissue (i.e. a dead animal) or secretions (most commonly urine) and can also be contracted through indirect contact from contaminated water, soil
or food. Common routes of infection include drinking contaminated water or by entering the body through a cut or mucous membranes (eyes, nose or mouth). Once leptospires enter the environment, they can live for months in the soil and are easily washed into bodies of water, including puddles. Leptospirosis in dogs can be hard to diagnose because the clinical signs are often nonspecific. Common clinical signs include lethargy, fever, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness. Often elevated kidney and/or liver values will also be seen on bloodwork. Your veterinarian may be suspicious of leptospirosis based on clinical signs, vaccination status, and the likelihood of your dog being exposed to it. If your veterinarian is suspicious of leptospirosis, she will probably recommend specialized blood and urine testing. If your dog is positive for leptospirosis, treatment with antibiotics will be started, since it is a bacterial disease. Additional treatment will be needed if there is kidney or liver injury, which may include hospitalization with supportive care. Your veterinarian may also recommend that you contact your physician about possible exposure. The sooner that leptospirosis is diagnosed and treated, the better the chance of recovery. There are many different serovars (strains) of leptospira. Vaccines are available that protect against the four most common serovars that cause leptospirosis in dogs. No vaccine is 100% effective and there is the possibility that your dog could come into contact with a less common serovar. When possible, try to limit your dogâ€™s contact with dead animals, wildlife, and stagnant water. When detected early, leptospirosis can have a good outcome with proper treatment and supportive care. Discuss with your veterinarian if your dog is at risk, and if vaccination is appropriate for your dog. Leptospirosis can be fatal, and there is the possibility that you could get infected from your dog. Dr. MacLean completed her Bachelor of Science from Penn State University, her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Atlantic Veterinary College, and her pet acupuncture certification from Chi Institute. Her areas of special interest include general practice and acupuncture. She opened Sugar River Animal Hospital in 2013, and she has been practicing veterinary medicine since 2010. Dr. MacLeanâ€™s family consists of her husband Matt, her daughter Katarina, son Alexander and their three pets: Jack and Misty, two cats, and Arrow, a dog. Fall 2019
Fall 2019 Central NH & VT
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