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Fall 2019 Northern VT & NH

10 Reasons to Adopt a Cat This Fall Beavers Prompt a New Town Ordinance Lost Dog Travels 2500 Miles to Find His Way Home Therapy Goats! Pet Events You Won’t Want To Miss

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 don’t have the room for in the magazine

Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail


2. Wag It Forward! Save the date for the 3rd Annual Wag It Forward A Nonprofit Festival for Pets on Sunday, October 6th 3. 20th Annual Green Mountain Iron Dog Competition Are you and your dog ready to compete this fall? 4. Beavers Create a Ripple Effect in Shelburne Lisa Vear A Vermont town launches new pilot program to save beavers 6. Dogs & Nature Preserves: Compromise Needed!

M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM

7. Can Lyme Disease Become a Thing of the Past? Researchers are closing in on a vaccine to render ticks harmless 8. Hey, That’s My Grass! Goats Chomp Fire Fuels Around Previously Burned Washington State Neighborhood Courtney Flatt  

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9. Therapy Goats: Helping Students, Healing Hearts

Karen Sturtevant

10. More Memories of Lessons Learned in Therapy Lessons

Sue Miller

10. Vermont Horse Council: Creating a Unified Equine Voice 12. Top 10 Things Dogs Love Maria Karunungan, Ph.D Simple tips to make for a happier dog 14. Alternatively Speaking: What’s Up With Those Knees? Dr. Anne Carroll DVM, CVA 16. 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 18. Critter Care Careers Pat Rauch If you love pets, here’s some jobs you may want to consider

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19. Pup Tales: Mia - An Unlikely Hiking Partner

Carol Fleming

20. Fact or Fiction, The Myths About Spay and Neutering 21. The Top 10 Reasons to Adopt a Cat 22. A Long-Awaited Reunion Marina Welch The story of Starr and another great reason to have your pet micro chipped 24. Collie Travels 2500 Miles to Return to Oregon Home

Kate Kelly

27. He Found His Voice Gerri McLaughlin-Bendel It took a while, but Ryder finally gave a bark worse than his bite 28. Socks and Sandals Karen Sturtevant Not every English bulldog has the fashion scene of Penney

4 Legs & a Tail Volume N.319 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766

Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Office Manager: Beth Hoehn


Graphic Design: Kristin Wolff, Lindsey Fleck

Sales: Scott Palzer

Fall 2019

Pg. 27 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 Northern 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. 1


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.

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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 pre-register online at 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 you’d like to participate in the jumps you can register on-site at 9am each day or online at 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 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 For questions about the day’s events, please email Fall 2019

20th Annual Green Mountain

IRON DOG COMPETITION T he VPCA’s annual Green Mountain Iron Dog was initially designed to

simulate real-world Police K9 deployments. The course is an approximate 1.5 mile run where handler and dog run through a variety of obstacles over various terrain. The course is based on what Police K9 handlers experience during a real-life deployment. It is open to the public to compete and observe. Competitors are a mix of military, Police, and civilian. All abilities and dog breeds are welcome. Competitors do not know the course prior to their run, and many obstacles and the final length of the course are a surprise to them.  The Vermont Police Canine Association is a 501 c 3 non-profit corporation that supports VT’s Police K9 teams with additional training, equipment and other needs. We have over 40 members in all branches of law enforcement, and work with teams around New England. PRO VS. OPEN: The run times are divided into two sections, Pro and Open. The morning runs are devoted to our “PRO” runners, those who are there to really compete with themselves and the other runners and their dogs. Teams (handler and dog) will be ranked by time to complete the course. Top times earn trophies. The afternoon “OPEN” runs are still timed and on the same course but will be for the less intense teams and for those who are just looking to do something fun and challenging with the canine companion. There are no awards for the Open runs.    There are also separate competitions to include building and drug searches, as well as a 100-yard dash (dog only). You do not need to pre-register for these two events. Multiple runs: If you would like to run more than once, contact K9Tazor@ for details and discounts. Teams of Runners: If you would like to run as a team of more than one K9 team/handler/runner/etc., please note that on the registration form. TEAMS are available only for the OPEN runs. The form will guide you through the process. Pro Heats start at 8:30, with orientation beginning at 8:00. Pre-Registration one week before the run is required! Open Heats, registration is open until the runs start. These start at approximately 12:30.   There will be an opening ceremony and awards at 12:00. Fall 2019

All times are subject to change, depending on the number of runners. Junior Course: 7-13 years old (Register on line or day of) AFTERNOON ONLY.    Juniors will run the same course as adults but must have an adult runner (over 18) with them. The adult does not need to complete the obstacles (but they can if they want!)   Adult Course: 14 years old and up (Register on line or day of) ALL DAY.   How does this work: Runners will be spaced apart by only a few minutes.  Most obstacles are designed so that slower runners can be passed by faster runners.  Try the obstacle as many times as needed, but DO NOT give up. Keep trying.     We look forward to seeing you and your dogs on October 5th, 2019 at the Camp Dudley at Kiniya, Colchester VT. You can find more information on 3

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 human-wildlife conflicts. 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 beavers’ existence without putting them in danger of being trapped and killed, which is what we feared may happen. Sharon, myself, and other concerned residents attended a select-board meeting, during which Sharon made a convincing plea to assess the dam situation before

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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

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.

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, 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 conflicts 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. Fall 2019

Fall 2019 5

Dogs and Nature Preserves:

Compromise Needed! M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM Vermont Veterinary Medical Association


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 reactive 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. 6 4 Legs & a Tail

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

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 ticks 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 animals’ 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.

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Hey, That’s My Grass! Goats Chomp Fire Fuels Around Previously Burned Washington Neighborhood


Courtney Flatt  

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 timeconsuming, 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 8 4 Legs & a Tail

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.

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. 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. Fall 2019

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, 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

Lily at School

Fall 2019

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 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.” 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. 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. 9

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, meet new people and share stories. One

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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 appre-

ciated. 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 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. Fall 2019

VERMONT HORSE COUNCIL “Creating a unified equine voice”


he Vermont Horse Council is leading a collaborative of equine related businesses and organizations since last year’s Equine Summit to gather economic data about our industry. Working with the UVM Center for Rural Studies, this group has agreed to move forward on a two- part study: 1. The focus of Phase 1 was the impact of equine-related events and those who came to Vermont to participate.

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 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!

2. The focus of Phase 2 is to Measure the economic contribution of annual expenses related to horse ownership in Vermont, including large purchases such as barn construction, trailer purchases, etc. and gathering “demographic data” about owners. We (the equine industry) need to raise $25,000 to move forward with this study. This may sound daunting – but we have some donations in hand – and if 150 individuals and businesses donate $100 each we can begin immediately! You can help – let’s work together to see the answers • Make a donation  • Ask others to donate • Support our Spring online Silent Auction by donating products and services - contact Heidi at • Volunteer by helping to write a grant - contact Heidi at

Sue Miller is a PATH Registered Instructor & ESMHL, PATH Vermont State Chair and Vice President of VHSA. Fall 2019 11

TOP 10 THINGS DOGS LOVE Maria Karunungan, Ph.D. - Burlington, VT


ooking for ideas how to put a smile on your dog’s face? Dogs are often easy to please, but sometimes one of life’s simplest and most satisfying pleasures comes from thoughtfully adding an activity to your dog’s life. Even if it’s only taking that extra golden moment to snuggle with them on the couch and give them smooches... Below is a list of things many dogs love (keeping in mind, of course, that not all dogs will be into every single thing on this list!).

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Sniffing on Walks Dogs have incredible noses. Allowing them to use their olfactory smarts is one way to provide them with immense enrichment and joy – with the added bonus that this will tire them out!

go swimming after that stick you tossed for them. Nothing beats the tactile sensation of cool liquid!

water that your dog can step into. On a hot summer day, nothing feels better on paw pads than refreshing cool water. Some dogs like to dunk their whole head in, some dogs will lay down in the water, and some will

Interactive Games Dogs’ ancestors used to entertain themselves and expend energy hunting for food. Although modern-day domestic dogs are well-loved, and typically well-fed, this also means they

Digging If your dog loves digging, let them! This is a wonderful speciesappropriate behavior that will let them Dissecting Toys Does your dog lay wallow (literally) in cool dirt and enjoy waste to toys? Do you ever experience cha- the smells of fresh earth. Digging also grin at the dollars you just spent on that provides a nice core workout since they brand spanking new toy, only to find it use both front legs (unlike humans, who ripped immediately to shreds? Worry not, don’t always shovel symmetrically). there is a solution: Next time you hand a Training Dogs love to train (with posinew toy to your dog, whip out your cam- tive reinforcement, of course). Even era and film the precious minutes, even older dogs or dogs who already have a seconds of pure bliss emanating from your lot of skills under their belt get what dog’s every pore. Recording this pleasure we call “cookie eye” when they realize for posterity will make every cent you they have a chance to earn a beloved spent on that toy completely worth it. biscuit. If you want to improve your (Consider buying new toys that are cheap!) dog’s behavior, training is the perfect Swimming in the Pool …or the lake, way to spend time with them, stimulate or a river, or a pond, or the kiddie pool, their brains and tire them out, AND get or even just a plastic container filled with the behavior change you want to see!

Fall 2019

are often bored. Some fun games you can play with your dog can tap into speciesappropriate behavior and exercise abilities they inherited from their ancestors, but no longer use. For example, a vigorous game of tug or chase that gets your dog’s blood going will release endorphins (known in humans as “runners’ high”). Hint: Endorphins make your dog happy! Work-To-Eat Puzzles Another way to provide your dog with enrichment that plays to their ancestral abilities is through work-to-eat toys. The pet toy manufacturing industry has exploded with a dazzling array of toys that not only slow down fast eaters, but also make eating a festival of activity. There is absolutely no reason to feed your dog out of a traditional bowl. If you’re short on time (or just feeling lazy!), you can pour kibble into a Snoop (by PlanetDog) or even into a takeout container that had last night’s leftovers in it – or chuck your dog’s kibble across the lawn and let them take a good long time to find it all. Your dog will have a blast and working for their food will help to tire them out. Playing with Other Dogs Just as humans often crave the company of other humans, so do many dogs. That said, just as you know who you like to hang out with and how many people makes a comfortable gathering, your dogs may likewise have a preference for the number and type of other dogs they want to be around! Snoozing in a Sunbeam Sometimes opening up a curtain or making a sunny spot on the patio accessible to your dog is all that is needed to allow your favorite fur-buddy to take a pleasurable snooze in a sunbeam. Hanging with the Family There is a reason dogs are often our best friends. As much as we love to hang out and cuddle with them, they love it right back. Don’t forget to take a few extra moments in your day to tell your dog all about your day and ask them how theirs was. Maybe hold a paw affectionately and give them a scratch on the ear or on their rump – or find that spot that makes them play the air guitar – the one where, if you hit just the right rib, their hind leg scratches the air. Or simply let them lay contentedly near your work area or follow you around as you go about your evening chores, solicitating the occasional pat and “whoosag’boy?”. Maria Karunungan is an honors graduate of The Academy for Dog Trainers, where she earned her Certificate in Training and Counseling. Maria also holds a Ph.D. in Educational Studies. She has trained service dogs, therapy dogs, shelter dogs, and pet dogs for over 15 years and currently works with Fetch the Leash in Burlington.

Fall 2019 13

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

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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 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 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 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 Fall 2019

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? Modifying and restricting activity is important while giving the ligament time to heal. Not being in pain just means the acute inflammation 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

Fall 2019

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 above for preventative support, but also add herbs and supplements that enhance circulation to the joint while reducing inflammation to promote healing. Acupuncture and massage are also helpful to this end. Studies looked at dogs a few years after cruciate injuries 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 body-wide 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 supports to strengthen 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 . 15

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. 16 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 it’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 17


Pat Jauch - Caledonia Animal Welfare, Inc.

oving animals and wanting to make a difference in their lives has led many an individual to a career in pet care. The obvious choice is to become a veterinarian. This involves many years of education beyond high school, including college and postgraduate training, but offers a future filled with direct contact with animals. Veterinarians need technicians and assistants to help care for the animals, as well as to run the day-to-day operations (no pun intended) of their offices. Caring people are constantly needed in these fields of employment. Lawyers can also work for the benefit of animals by specializing in animal law. Writers can become involved in working for humane publications. Artists can find employment designing publications devoted to animal welfare organizations. The animal welfare organizations themselves offer a variety of occupations from direct animal care to accounting, business administration, lobbying, education and public relations. Shelters need directors and workers. Communities have animal control officers who work with law enforcement, town government, and the public to rescue animals, relocate strays, and ensure

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that animals are treated humanely. The list is endless. Finding employment in an animal welfare organization, like any other job, requires the appropriate qualifications as well as a love of animals. Often, volunteer experience can make the difference between whether or not an individual is hired. There are wildlife rehabilitation groups as well as spay/neuter clinics and shelters that may provide the opportunity for dedicated individuals to help animals while gaining experience that can help land a job later on. Furthermore, these situations can provide the contacts necessary to push your resume to the top of the list. What you know, coupled with whom you know and how well you can do a job, can be beneficial in your job search. Income for workers in some humane related jobs may not be as lucrative as in other occupations, but the rewards derived from the satisfaction of helping a less fortunate creature can certainly outweigh the smaller paycheck. There will be plenty of variety in day-to-day activities and there will always be the knowledge that you are making a difference.

Fall 2019

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 Carol Fleming I still look at her 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. f you were to look at her, you least not nearly as quickly as I did myself. If you enjoyed this story, Mia and would never guess that one of Mia’s favor- We began to venture further each time, I are now reading “Following Attiite activities is hiking. She is a small, resting when either of us needed, shar- cus” by Tom Ryan – a wonderful story black and white mix between a Shih- ing water and snacks from my pack. Mia about another unlikely hiking pup, Tzu, chihuahua and cocker spaniel, and began to trust me. who attempted to climb all forty-eight weighs about 12 lbs. We bought a trail hiking map of the 4,000 footers twice in one winter to raise Though I wanted a dog, I hadn’t been New Hampshire White Mountains and money for charity. actively looking when Mia landed on my began spending all our free time devoted lap around a year old. She was a spunky, to crossing off peaks. We were not worksassy, sensitive, and scared little girl – ing from a list, like “52-With-A-View” or and she wouldn’t come near me. The the “4,000 Footers” – we chose mountains first night was chaos, as she barked and based on proximity to home and necesgrowled and skirted around me, while sary time commitment. While Mia was a I sat as motionless as possible on the small inexperienced hiker, I was following kitchen floor, talking to her in dulcet a back injury a few years prior. We were tones. It took hours. That first night, I slow. We enjoyed the views. We took a lot wasn’t sure if Mia and I would work out. of photos. We didn’t limit ourselves, and It became clear that she was not potty we pushed ahead, step by step. trained, not comfortable with other dogs, Spring the next year, following a few or people, primarily men, and that we shorter local hikes, we did a solid 6.5 mile had a lot of work ahead of us. loop and sat atop two small peaks – Jen Though it was not an easy task, Mia nings & Noon near Waterville Valley. began to realize I was there to love her, I could easily see Mia’s joy at the prosto protect her, care for her, and to teach pect of hiking. As soon as I extracted my her about the world. She was still cau- hiking pack from the closet, she was a tious and withheld her affection, unsure bouncy and vocal puppy, clearly ready to if I was deserving. Mia was far from the go. At the trailhead, she would yip and hiking dog that I had pictured, barely run around with glee while I put my boots reaching the middle of my calf in height. and pack on, anxious to get started. Mia She often needed a boost to get up on the had learned many new trail commands – couch, where she would then perch on “wait”, “Ok, let’s go”, “this side” for going the back like a cat. around trees so her leash wouldn’t get The first few weeks, we spent hours snagged. She would run ahead of me walking every road in the neighbor- but always look back to check I was folhood. Mia seemed to enjoy her walks lowing along. If she was tired, she would and gradually became more associated let me pass but would stay on my heels, with walking on leash, having cars and following each of my footsteps. people around, and generally being out The very next weekend, Mia and I and about. We tried a few trails in the hiked her first 4,000 foot mountain – East area, simple and small, generally flat. Osceola (4156’) along the Kancamagus Mia trotted along happily – sniffing the Highway. We sat together at the summit, fresh air and enjoying the exercise. For looking out across the green ripples of a little thing, she didn’t seem to tire, at mountains and valleys. We drank in the Fall 2019 19 Mia and Carol Enjoying the View

Pup Tales

Mia – An Unlikely Hiking Partner




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.

MYTH: Neutering causes behavioral changes. FACT: Unneutered cats and dogs are more likely to mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Unneutered dogs also have a tendency to mount other dogs, people and inanimate objects. All of these above behaviors may change when your pet is sterilized—which is a good thing! Neutering can help avoid some aggression problems or undesirable behaviors caused by a higher level of testosterone. That said, it is important to note that there are no guarantees. Neutering does not eliminate the testosterone hormone completely, nor will it negate any behaviors that your pet has learned or that have become habitual. The effects of neutering are largely dependent on your dog’s individual personality, physiology and history. 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 will cause my pets to gain weight. FACT: Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra MYTH: Spaying and neutering is unhealthy. pounds—not spaying and neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as FACT: Just the opposite! Neutering you continue to provide exercise and monitor their food intake. your male companion prevents testicular cancer and some prostate problems. Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, which are malignant or cancerous in about 50% of dogs and 90% of cats. Spay/neuter will help your pet live a longer, healthier life. MYTH: Neutering will make my pet feel like less of a male. FACT: Pets do not have any concept of ego or sexual identity, and neutering won’t change that. What might change, however, is that your male dog will be less likely to roam away from home! An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate, including finding creative ways to escape from the house. Once he’s free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other male animals.

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Similarly, spayed female pets won’t go into heat. While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house! Spay/neuter operations will help curb these behaviors and keep your pet where he or she belongs: in your safe and loving home. Fall 2019

TOP 10 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 100-pound 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.

#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, some-

where 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.


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.


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!

*We will not sell or give your information to a third party N319

Mail with check or money order to: 4 Legs & a Tail, PO Box 841, Lebanon, NH 03766 or subscribe with credit card online at

Fall 2019 21

A Long-Awaited Reunion

Star and Her Siblings

Marina Welch - Upper Valley Humane Society

A 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 flyers, 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 flyers, 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 managed to get near her a few times, but Star always bolted before she could be caught. One night, Jessie

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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 period 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 doublechecked. 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! 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 Fall 2019

Fall 2019 23

Collie Travels 2500 Miles to Return to Oregon Home I

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 Portland. Driving 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 increasing number of families owned automobiles. Along the bigger roads entrepreneurs built small bungalows to rent out nightly.) The Brazier dog Bobbie (named because he had a “bobbed� 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 running 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. 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

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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.

Fall 2019

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 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 reopened the restaurant. Life had to go on. 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 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 forFall 2019

ward and explain his part of the story, but we all must acknowledge that’s not possible here. What happened was the next best thing. 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 Continued ON Page 26 25

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. 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? 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

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film of Bobbie’s life. Frank thought that was interesting, and when 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 owners 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 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.

Fall 2019

HE FOUND HIS VOICE Gerri McLaughlin-Bendel - Grantham, NH

This is the story of Ryder, the wonder dog...


yder 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 Fall 2019

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 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 Mom’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. 27

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 what-were-youthinking? 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, woodheeled 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

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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, knownonly-to-me-club, would increase in membership throughout my 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. Fall 2019

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