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Western Vermont Mud Season 2019

What’s New at the Westminster Dog Show Acclimate Your New Dog A Holistic Approach to Our Cats’ Golden Years

Celebrate National Pet Week How Horseback Riding Can Help with Speech

Since 1970, Growing To Meet Your Needs Sales • Service • Parts 802-388-4967 453 Exchange St., Middlebury, VT Open Saturday Until Noon

Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail


2. Four-Legged Friends Can Have Heart Issues, Too 3. Homeward Bound Chosen for The Jackson Galaxy Project’s Life-Saving Cat Pawsitive Program 4. Precious A hero dog who saved a couple from burning home

Pg. 4

in Barnstead, NH now needs help herself.

5. Helping Dogs One Walk at a Time, Karen Sturtevant The

inspirational story of two girls who are making a difference.

6. Westminster Dog Show Welcomes Two New Breeds to the Competition Janine Puhak 8. Tools for New Dog Introduction Karen Sturtevant Step

by step tips when you get that new dog.

10. Celebrate National Pet Week M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM Pg. 15 The first week of May is a great time to celebrate the bond and provide your pets with all that they need for a healthy and enriched life every week of the year.

11. Pooch Pizza

Celebrate National Pet Week by having a slice with your pet.

12. Why Cuddling Your Puppy is a Good Thing Maria Karunungan 13. Do You Have Good Petiquette? Some basic etiquette that comes with being a respectful pet owner. 14. Biofilm… The Health Risk Lurking in Your Pet’s Food and Water Bowl Jill Feinstein 15. Best Pet Reptiles for Children Kids are fascinated by reptiles, but which ones are best for your kids?

16. 10 Great Reasons to Have Chickens! 18. Should My Dog Be Eating Senior Food? Not all older dogs eat senior food, and some younger dogs

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eat a senior diet. Find out what’s right for your dog.

19. Therapeutic Riding & Speech Pathology Sue Miller Learn

how horseback riding can help with speech.

20. Preventitive Dental Care: Bubbs’ Dental Day 22. Alternatively Speaking: A Holistic Approach to Our Cats’ Golden Years Dr. Anne Carroll DVM, CVA 24. Beaver Fever! John Eustis, DVM Keeping your pet healthy this spring 25. Brownie the Town Dog of Daytona Beach Kate Kelly Follow the adventures of the King of Spring Break 4 Legs & a Tail Volume R.119 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766 603-727-9214 Spring 2019

Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Office Manager: Beth Hoehn Graphic Design: Kristin Wolff and Kate Kurtz

If you have a tale about a tail or a photo that will make us smile, we’d like to hear from you. 4 Legs & a Tail is published quarterly and distributed free of charge throughout Western VT. 4 Legs & a Tail, Inc. is locally owned and operated and acts as a moderator without approving, disapproving or guaranteeing the validity or accuracy of any data or claim. Any reproduction in whole or part is prohibited. 1

Four-Legged Friends Can Have Heart Issues, Too M

Peg Bolgioni - Rutland, VT

any Americans spend their lives with their pets -- sharing habits, walks and sometimes even the bed. Here are seven heart-health facts about dogs, cats and the humans who love them: Nearly half of American adults are at risk for major health problems because of high blood pressure, an issue that also can impact our furry best friends. For

humans, hypertension accounts for more cardiovascular deaths than any other cause other than smoking. For cats and dogs, the study of hypertension is still in the earlier stages, but studies have shown it can be associated with damage to the eyes, heart, brain and kidneys. Optimal blood pressure for humans is 120/80 and below, while for dogs and

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cats the range is much broader with values of 110-150/80-105 and below. Humans sometimes feel anxious in a medical environment and get abnormally high blood pressure readings known as “white coat hypertension.” Imagine how dogs and cats feel about it. Vet visits can be so stressful for some animals that the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine guidelines on dog and cat hypertension caution that handling and measurement devices for cats and dogs need to be considered when making a hypertension diagnosis. Dog breeds can show some “notable” differences in blood pressure levels. For instance, greyhounds and deerhounds have higher normal readings than other breeds. Breed doesn’t seem to matter much for cats. Studies don’t indicate an increased hypertension risk for overweight cats and dogs, as there is for people. “It doesn’t seem to be overtly associated with obesity in our pet population,” said veterinarian Dr. Sonya Gordon, an associate professor of cardiology at Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences in College Station. But being overweight can hurt pet health in other ways, she cautions. Extra pounds can aggravate orthopedic and arthritis issues and there is a negative interaction with airway diseases for small, older dogs. Just like in people, “obesity is a whole-body issue since it’s linked to so many aspects of wellness,” Gordon said. “It’s as big of a challenge for our pet population as our human population.” Pets can help improve their owners’ health. Studies have shown that having a pet can help increase fitness levels, relieve stress, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and boost overall happiness and well-being. Most U.S. households have at least one pet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends regular vet visits to keep your critters in good health. “Veterinarians aren’t people you should just visit when your animal is sick. Early diagnosis of many diseases when there are no apparent clues that your pet has disease is important because we can make a difference with early treatment in many situations,” said Gordon. Almost two years ago, Rutland Regional Medical Center donated a two acre parcel of land on their grounds for the creation of a dog park. The organization, Parks for Paws took on the fundraising, as well as engaging volunteers and community partners in the development and maintenance of the park. Supporting this wonderful initiative aligns with Rutland Regional’s mission of creating natural open spaces that promote healthy fun in the community. Spring 2019

Homeward Bound Chosen for The Jackson Galaxy Project’s Life-Saving Cat Pawsitive Program H

omeward Bound animal shelter in Middlebury has been selected by The Jackson Galaxy Project (JGP), a Signature Program of, to participate in the Spring 2019 Semester of Cat Pawsitive, a life-saving initiative that introduces positive-reinforcement training to cats in shelters and rescues. Supported by the Petco Foundation and Halo® pet food, this innovative training program for cats aims to increase feline adoption rates and maintain cat “mojo.” Jackson Galaxy (star of the television show My Cat from Hell on Animal Planet, and founder of JGP) developed Cat Pawsitive with a team of feline behavior experts. Highlights of the program include:

Jackson Galaxy

environment. The focus is on fun, positive reinforcement-based training sessions that go beyond playtime-as-usual to help cats maintain their mojo and connect more quickly with potential adopters. From teaching high fives and head bumps to “sit” and “come when called,” caregivers at Cat Pawsitive participating organizations engage with cats in a brand new way to really help cats to “click” with adopters. “We are thrilled to have been chosen as the first Vermont organization to participate in the Jackson Galaxy Cat Pawsitive program! Not only will the program help the cats in our shelter stay mentally active and healthy while they are in our care, it will help them get adopted faster which opens up space to help more cats,” said Michelle Shubert, the Feline Care Coordinator at Homeward Bound.  “In a culture where cats are seen as second-class citizens, we hope this program will go a long way towards elevating their status in society by proving that cats are just as smart and trainable as dogs are and just as deserving of compassion and loving homes.”

• Maintaining cat “adoptability” and feline social skills by enriching cats’ day-to-day lives • Increasing adoptions • Decreasing length of stay • Engaging and empowering volunteers and staff • Showing potential adopters that cats are cool and can even be trained! “The genesis of Cat Pawsitive stemmed from the simple desire to duplicate the “AHA!” moment I had in the early stages of my life with cats as a shelter worker,” said Jackson Galaxy. “By utilizing the training concepts that were, to that point, only used for the dogs in our care, not only were the cats stimulated, motivated and energized, but so was I. That, along with the most important result, lives being saved, was the win-win I envisioned passing on to as many cats, shelters, and rescues as I possibly could. So today I am filled with an indescribable mix of joy and anticipation as we enter the Spring 2019 semester of The Jackson Galaxy Project’s Cat Pawsitive program.” The Cat Pawsitive program is designed to keep adoptable cats mentally and physically active in a shelter or rescue Spring 2019 3

A Hero Dog Who Saved a Couple from Burning Home Now Needs Help Herself T

his winter, our friends at WMUR TV told you about a deaf dog who alerted her owners that their Barnstead home was on fire. Now that dog needs help, after saving something else from the rubble of the burnt house. “How do you turn your back, literally, on a dog that just saved your life?” said Donna Gagnon. Her home on Beauty Hill Road burned to the ground on Dec. 29. Gagnon says saving her 3-year-old border collie, Precious is not an option, it’s a duty. “We credit Precious more than you could ever imagine,” she said. The dog alerted her and her significant other that their home was on fire.

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“That dog came up, woke up all the other dogs, woke us up and, literally, she’s the reason we got out of the house, and I mean that. She is totally the reason we got out of the house,” Gagnon said. Now, Precious needs help herself. Gagnon said Precious made her way to the rubble of their home on their property and started digging. Gagnon’s significant other went to see what the dog was doing. “He found a kitten that debris must’ve moved and the kitten was trapped in that spot,” she said. Now, not only had their dog saved them but their kitten, too. But Precious also got severely injured in the process, skinning her leg on the debris. She will require a lengthy stay at a

Portsmouth animal hospital, skin grafts and lots of care with a price tag of $9,000 to $12,000. Now, a family who watched their home burn to the ground has a hero animal to save. “She’s beyond everything,” Gagnon said. If you’d like to help cover the cost of Precious’ surgery, you can send donations made out to Donna Gagnon, 491 Beauty Hill Road in Center Barnstead, NH 03225. Donations can also be made to a GoFundMe campaign set up for Precious. How to help: GoFundMe for Precious the Dog

Dear 4 Legs & a Tail, Your life-saving story in the winter issue prompted me to share another event where a female Yellow Lab named Sandy was the star. Seven-year-old Sandy was a constant companion to our son Clark, also seven years old. One summer when Clark and some of his friends were playing in the Brown Creek in Underhill Flats, VT, a heavy rainstorm suddenly occurred. The river's swollen water trapped the young boy against a wind-fall and he could not break free. His canine companion quickly realized his peril and jumped into the backwater pool. Sandy swam toward Clark and as she turned, offered her “otter” tail for him to grab. He did just that and Sandy pulled him to safety onto the riverbank. It is quite possible that she saved Clark from drowning that day. Sincerely, Harold Sargent, Barre, VT Spring 2019

Helping Dogs One Walk at a Time Karen Sturtevant


hink back to the day you turned five years old. What gifts were you hoping for? Can you even recall? Sarah Hall, now 11, remembers well. She didn’t want video games or an iPad. She had her heart set on helping dogs and asked for money. The result: $200 happily donated to the Chittenden County Humane Society. Her love of animals continued well after this annual celebration. Sarah was enjoying life with her dog Henry and thought if one dog brings her this much joy, two would be fantastic. Her dad agreed, but only if she paid. Having a strong, can-do attitude, Sarah dug in with allowance savings and with a little bit of help, Henry soon had a new doggie friend in Oscar. Together with lifelong friend and fellow entrepreneur, ten-yearold Mason Bauer, who also shared a love of animals, they teamed up to create M.A.P.S. Dog Walking. Originally Sarah’s sister, Anna, and Pierce, Mason’s brother, were involved, lending their initials to complete the business name: M (Mason), (A) Anna, (P) Pierce, (S), Sarah. They have since moved on to other endeavors including helping behind the scenes with social media exposure, while Sarah and Mason remain on the front lines in their mission of helping dogs in any way they can. Not only is this energetic duo exercising dogs for the mental and physical wellbeing of the canines, but all money earned is donated to Vermont non-kill shelters and rescues, $100 at a time. Not rain nor snow nor change of season will keep these animal aficionados from their dedication. M.A.P.S. recently marked a milestone of Spring 2019

reaching a total gifted amount of $1,000! Their rates, which have stayed the same since the very first step, are reasonable: $4 for one dog; $6 for two. Walking routes span from a half to two and a half miles. With carefully outlined Essex trails, clients can choose which fits their dog best. No dog is too small or too big––all breeds welcome. These canine professionals can handle walking multiple dogs at a time. Don’t be surprised to see Sarah and Mason walking up to seven dogs at once! Open-minded junior executives, they are always welcoming recommendations on how to make their systems better and more efficient. Their work keeps them modest, especially when tripping on a curb and landing with a hand in a pile of dog poop! Yes, that really did happen! Every situation is a learning experience and part of fulfilling the objective. In addition to leading neighborhood tours, Sarah and Mason spend time in their kitchens making homemade paw wax with all natural ingredients including, Shea butter, beeswax, and olive, coconut and essential oils. M.A.P.S. Marvelous Paw Protection is great for humans too! (Full disclosure, I use it on my hands.) Lavender scented was the prototype as this fragrance is noted to aid in relaxation for both two- and four-legged beings. Recent additions are the scents of orange and peppermint. Each is packaged in a practical and functional tin priced at $5 with all profits destined for a shelter or rescue on their list. Now in their fourth year, their clientele is loyal and growing. This is serious business, just look at their custom t-shirts

and bandanas! Sarah and Mason are meticulous record keepers evidenced by their business binder chronicling walks, payments, flyers, business cards, trails, and shelter information. When they’re not building their dog walking empire, Mason practices the saxophone, enjoys spending time with Abby, his Chihuahua mix, plays baseball and is available for cat sitting. Sarah trains Henry and Oscar, plays clarinet, enjoys soccer, volleyball and lacrosse and dog sits for neighbors. Past summers have been spent selling lemonade in Sarah’s front yard with road signs directing traffic to their stand. As much as $40 a day has been earned––one fifty cent cup at a time. As they get older, they both plan to continue working with animals in the medical, training or grooming fields. Time will tell. Whatever they decide, with their quick smiles, sweet personalities, and passion for pups, the futures of Sarah Hall and Mason Bauer shine brightly. As for the opinion of their four-legged clients, (Peggy, Mazie, Hattie, and Berkley––just to name a few) by the looks of their wagging tails and warm welcomes, they wholeheartedly agree. To support Sarah and Mason’s efforts with a donation or purchase of M.A.P.S. Marvelous Paw Protection, please contact them via their website: maps-dog-walking/home. 5


Escher, left, and Rhett, center, Nederlandse kooikerhondje, and Juno, right, a grand basset griffon Vendeen, are shown at the American Kennel Club headquarters in New York on Jan. 10, 2018. The two breeds are eligible to compete in the Westminster Kennel Club dog show for the first time in 2019. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Welcome to the club, pups!


fficials for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show are welcoming two pawesome new dog breeds into the elite competition this year. Hounds representing the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen and the Nederlandse kooikerhondje breeds made their debut at the annual dog show in February.

New breeds appear at Westminster after getting recognized by the American Kennel Club. The process takes years and includes setting standards and having hundreds of dogs spread around the country. Brielly Cipriotti, the owner of Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen Buzz Lightyear competing in the show, says that the breed is certainly worthy of the opportunity. “They’re extremely sweet, and they have a big, goofy attitude,” Cipriotti told the Associated Press. She’s excited about the exposure that the breed — a low-slung,

long-eared, hardy hound developed in France to hunt rabbits and hare — stands to gain from Westminster. Rod Beckstead, the owner of a 2-year-old Nederlandse Kooikerhondje named Bandit, had similarly good things to say. Describing the breed as “the Pied Piper of the dog world,” the merry, clever Nederlandse Kooikerhondje was initially trained to help Dutch duck hunters. Today, the versatile breed is easy to teach sports and tricks; some even some even serve as cadaver dogs, Beckstead said.

About the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje The Kooikerhondje (Koi-ker-hond-yuh)—the “little white and orange dog with a big heart”—is a sporty, eye-catching fellow with a silky all-weather coat of white with red patches. They are instantly recognizable thanks to their large, black-tipped ears and the richly feathered tail they wag proudly. The breed has the sturdy bone structure expected of a serious hunter, but the overall picture is that of a harmoniously built dog of smooth, flowing contours and springy gait. The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje Club of the United States has served as the AKC Parent Club to represent the Kooikerhondje since April 2014.

Nederlandse Kooikerhondje Escher, left, and Rhett are shown during a news conference at the American Kennel Club headquarters in New York. The Nederlandse kooikerhondje, originally a Dutch duck-hunting dog, is one of two breeds eligible to compete in the Westminster dog show for the first time in 2019. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

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Temperament: Friendly, Alert, Quick AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks of 193 Height: Dogs 16”, Females 15” Weight: 20 - 30 lbs Life Expectancy: 12-15 years Group: Sporting Group Spring 2019

About the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen First, let’s deal with the name. Roughly translated, it means “Large, low, shaggy dog of the Vendée” and is pronounced “GrandBah-SAY Gree-FOHN VON-day-uhn.” Now, let’s have a look at the dog: He’s a sweet-faced, long-eared fellow in a shaggy coat whose mustache, beard, and profuse eyebrows suggest the look of a worldly but amiable Frenchman. Beneath the Grand’s Old World charm is a rugged, sturdily-built bruiser who is deceptively quick and light-footed. The stamina and courage of these longer-thantall hunters is the stuff of Gallic legend. Juno, a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen, is shown during a news conference at the American Kennel Club headquarters in New York. The grand basset griffon Vendeen, developed in France to hunt rabbit and hare, is one of two breeds eligible to compete in the Westminster Kennel Club dog show for the first time in 2019. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Spring 2019

Temperament: Independent, Happy, Outgoing AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks of 193 Height: 15.5-18 inches Weight: 40-45 pounds Life Expectancy: 13-15 years Group: Hound Group

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Tools for New Dog Introduction Karen Sturtevant


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tatista reported an astounding 89.7 million dogs lived in households in the United States during 2017. As an over-the-top dog lover (and owner and rescue volunteer), I unequivocally understand how much we love our pups and wasn’t that surprised at this number. However, I do wonder at the doggie dynamic of households with two or more canines. Chances are both dogs did not arrive on the same day. When two dogs meet for the first time, the outcome could be positive, disastrous or longterm work in progress. Rarely do dogs immediately become fast friends. Like all connections, even canine relationships require proper introduction and slow cultivation. We will put a few tips and tricks in our canine toolbox to help ensure a safe and successful foundation for canine companionship. Resident dogs are instinctually protective of their turf. When introducing a newcomer, meet on neutral ground, a place where neither dog will feel territorial. Each dog should be on a leash with the handler exhibiting a calm and focused state of mind. Dogs are very intuitive. The more relaxed the person, the more the dog will be at ease. A tense owner translates into an anxious dog. A leisurely, side-by-side walk with a safe distance between the two is an excellent first step. This method is meant to acclimate them to each other, with no perceived threat. During the walk, allow the dogs to sniff each other (the equivalent of a human handshake). If they show friendly behavior or show little interest, move the duo in an enclosed area. Keep the leashes secured and allow them to move closer to each other. Watch their body language to determine the level of hostility and friendliness. If either tries to bite, snap or lunges with teeth showing, separate them immediately and conclude the lesson. Some uncertainty with either dog is typical and can be sorted out without any of our interference. However, if the action becomes concerning, a break will be called for. One of the biggest mistakes enthusiastic dog owners make is to immediately allow both dogs full range of their yard Spring 2019

and house. Meeting in this manner may be fine for some, but dreadful or harmful for others. Keep the first few meetings controlled and supervised. Dogs listen to our voices and the inflection of our words. They may not understand English or French, but they will react to the tone of voice. A high pitched and happy, “Good boy,” compared to a low, loud “No,” get different results. Our words have power. We tend to say too much when training and teaching. Think about what are the most important words you want your dog to hear and do away with the others. Instead of, “Come here, little buddy, so Mommy can give you a hug!” to “Come.” Simple is best. Choose your words carefully. When a newcomer dog is brought into the house, some trainers suggest giving the resident dog first dibs on everything from entering the house, getting fed, and receiving pats of attention. Sharing toys and resources is a skill we teach toddlers, not dogs. The canine pack, whether two or twenty, will determine their hierarchy system and will tell you who is top dog.

Tips for the Canine Tool Box • Secure leashes on both dogs inside the house during the early days. If a scuffle ensues, a grab of the leash and correction can be done quickly and efficiently. • Add a crate for each dog (in separate rooms), complete with a water bowl, toys, and cozy blanket. Keep the door open and allow the dog to retreat to this safe space when he feels threatened. • Know the body language of dogs. A wagging tail doesn’t always mean carefree and happy. • Invest in a trainer or behaviorist. • Keeping dogs separated by a gate or barrier that neither can jump is often a safe, gradual way of introduction. They can sniff through the openings without fear of confrontation. As strongly as we want that instant firework of doggie friendship, don’t be dismayed if it doesn’t suddenly happen. • To eliminate fighting over food, consider feeding dogs in their individual crates. • Accept that one dog will want to establish his dominance. This is a necessary step in the canine to canine connection. • Are the dogs spayed or neutered? Dogs that are, tend to be less aggressive and challenging. • Be patient and observe interactions until you feel comfortable that both have found their place in the home and have established their natural order. • Keep a jar of coins and a spray bottle filled with water handy. If the dogs get in an altercation, never try and grab collars or harnesses to separate. Their sharp teeth won’t discern between your hand and their opponent. The risk of injury is too high. Instead, distract by spraying water in their faces or shaking the jar near them to change their focus. Immediately separate and place them in their crates or separate rooms to allow them time to decompress. The addition of a new scruffy friend takes patience and knowledge for a winning outcome. Ask friends for trainers or behaviorists they recommend. You may experience no issues during a time and then, of out of nowhere, fights and aggression rear their ugly heads. Having a professional’s information for your toolbox is a wise move. All dogs will have occasional disagreements (even the most mild-mannered), but if these acts escalate to putting your family and other pets at risk of injury, call the professionals. Dogs are like potato chips, we don’t want to stop at just one. If a solo pup gives us unlimited pleasure, two must be just about as much as our hearts can imagine, right? Possibly. Having a sense of what will be needed to properly indoctrinate a newcomer to a resident dog can be a lot of work and a continuing project. The outcome of having well-adjusted, social, and content canines is a pat on the head to the owners. With knowledge on how to handle situations before they start, having professionals in the toolbox and a good dose of patience and realistic expectations, including multiple dogs as part of a family can be very rewarding on many levels, including the heart. Spring 2019 9

Celebrate National Pet Week! M. Kathleen Shaw - DVM Vermont Veterinary Medical Association


lways the first full week in May, National Pet Week is dedicated to celebrating the over 200 million pets that enrich our lives. This is especially true in Vermont, which tops the nation in pet ownership per capita. Created in 1981 by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Auxiliary AVMA, National Pet Week is a time to honor the many roles pets have in our lives and to promote responsible pet ownership. Whether your pet is a horse, bird, cat, dog, rodent, or any other of the amazing creatures in our world, our pets are there for us and don’t ask much in return. During National Pet Week, we encourage pet owners to celebrate the bond and provide their pets with all that they need for a healthy and enriched life every week of the year. Keeping your pet happy and healthy involves providing three important things: proper housing and nutrition, appropriate exercise and environmental enrichment, and providing medical care to keep them healthy and disease free. Many of our pets have been domesticated from their wild roots, and so it is important to provide them with ways to keep their minds and bodies active. Make the time to play with your cat or walk your dog several times a day. Buy or make them a new toy and use interactive play to help them keep their minds busy. Owners of birds and exotic pets can research ways to modify their pets’ living space to provide variety and entertainment. This doesn’t have to be buying expensive toys - appropriate homemade toys are just as good. Nutrition and medical care are an important part of responsible pet ownership. One aspect that many pet owners should consider before adopting a pet of any type is the ability to afford veterinary care to prevent parasites and disease and treat any that may occur in the pet. Annual physical exams and preventative medications are not without cost but are critical to pets’ well-being. Before you get a new pet or if you have one and aren’t sure what its needs are, talk to your veterinarian. They can provide you with accurate information to help you keep your pet healthy and happy. So, whether your pet is a horse or a gerbil or any size animal in between, take time during National Pet week to celebrate the bond! Take your dog for a walk, brush out your horse and go for a ride, play with the cat, or make some additions to your caged pets’ environment to challenge their minds! They give us so much love and comfort: let’s make sure we provide what they need this week and every day of the year. For more information, go to 10 4 Legs & a Tail

Spring 2019

What better way to celebrate National Pet Week than having a slice with your favorite pet? Bon appetit!

Pooch Pizza Ingredients 1 cup coconut or rice flour (regular flour will also work)

1 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon dried parsley 1 egg (medium or large) 1 cup fresh unsalted chicken broth Making the Pizza Dough Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC. Coat a deep dish pie/pizza pan with nonstick spray, such as Pam. Put the flour, basil, parsley and oregano in a large bowl. Using a whisk or electric beater, beat just until incorporated. Whisk together the egg in a smaller, separate bowl, and add in the chicken broth. Make a small well in the flour and spices mix. Slowly pour in the wet ingredients. Stir until combined and ready to knead. Place the dough on a well floured area. Roll with a rolling pin or spread out with your hands until flat, smooth and round. Transfer the rolled dough to the pizza pan. Press down around the sides with your hands. Adding Toppings Add suitable toppings. Any of the following will work well: Meats, cheeses (low fat), vegetables, pup treats, mashed sweet potato, gravy, beans or whatever else you think fits your pooch’s “person(dog)ality”. Only use foods suitable for dogs to eat. Baking and Serving the Pizza Bake the pizza. Place the pizza in a preheated oven. Bake for thirty minutes or until the crust and/or cheese is browned. Remove from the oven when cooked. Cool completely before serving to pooch. Serve. Cut into slices and give to your dog. Time everything so that you end up having your own pizza with the dog having his pizza, and both of you will be happy. Spring 2019



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Why Cuddling Your Puppy is a Good Thing Maria Karunungan - Burlington, VT


he word is slowly getting out to guardians of new puppies how vitally crucial socialization is to a puppy’s behavioral well-being. People are becoming more aware of the need to get their puppies into classes and/or wellsocialized before the age of 12 weeks. The scope of socialization that puppies need is quite broad, much broader than might be expected. One area of socialization that deserves more comprehensive attention is what we call body handling: that is, touching and manipulating various body parts for veterinary, grooming, or social purposes. Puppies are not born with an innate love of being touched on every hair of their body. In fact, they may often respond to being handled or picked up by quickly turning their mouth toward the handler’s hand. This type of response is so prevalent that it is sometimes misconstrued as playful, rather than a sign of discomfort. When the early signs of discomfort are misread or ignored, a pup then might learn that the only way to get their human to listen is to growl, snap or bite. If you’ve just brought a new puppy home, body handling should be near the top of your list of experiences to give your puppy. It can be done at home, takes just 10-15 minutes of dedication a day, and is fun! A pup who has learned to easily allow his teeth to be brushed, nails to be trimmed, ears inspected and cleaned, is one who will be much less stressed at the veterinarian’s office 12 4 Legs & a Tail

(and the staff there will thank you for the time you put into this, as they can then focus on giving your dog quality medical care). So how does one go about doing teaching Bailey to enjoy body handling? One recommendation you’ll probably like is: spend more time cuddling your puppy! When you do, make a mental note of your pup’s reaction. Is she melting into your arms in bliss, or squirming to get away? If the latter, then dial down the intensity by using a softer touch, or pairing the touch with treats. When she shows that she is now enjoying this touch, you can then increase the vigor and enthusiasm behind your cuddling. Keep in mind that puppies are typically quite sensitive in certain areas of their bodies and these areas need more slow, methodical attention to help the pup to become more comfortable. The usual suspects include the pup’s head and face (especially ears, eyes and mouth), paws, tail, and sometimes their belly. If your pup shows sensitivity when touched in any of these areas, begin by gently placing your hand on a nearby neutral area and work your way toward the sensitive spot. For example, if Spike doesn’t like having his paws touched, start by gently massaging his shoulder area until his eyes are soft and squinty and his body turns to melty mush. Slowly work your way down to his elbows, then his foreleg, then his paw. Talking softly and sweetly, and giving treats during this process, can

help Spike to learn how enjoyable and pleasant this experience is! Body handling is one of the behavioral challenges that takes much longer to resolve once your puppy has matured into an adult dog, so it helps to address any emerging issues as early as possible. If the problem seems more serious, seek the help of a private trainer who will use ethically humane, positive reinforcement methods. Being able to brush Rosie’s teeth, trim her nails, give a bath and groom her coat will enable you to keep her healthy and clean throughout her lifetime. At any point it is also possible that you may need to extract burrs or other foreign matter from her coat, apply eye or ear drops or give liquid medications via a syringe. All these things will be made easier by spending just 10-15 minutes a day actively cuddling with your puppy and teaching her that having her toes manipulated is the best thing ever. With the mud season coming up, you will be glad to have a dog whose muddy paws you can easily wipe! 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 downtown Burlington, Vermont. Spring 2019

Do You Have Good Petiquette? W

e have talked about dog behavior here before. What we will be talking about now is DOG OWNER behavior.  A perfectly behaved dog can have an owner that does not follow some basic etiquette that comes with being a respectful pet owner and it really gives dogs a bad reputation. You would not think you would need to be a “seasoned” dog owner to have common sense. Yet there are some basic common courtesy type things that many pet owners just do not respect. Let’s talk about a couple: It is never OK to walk your dog off leash. The only public area designed for off-leash activity is the dog park; otherwise, use your private enclosed property. It is likely not just rude but illegal to do otherwise. The responses that people think make it OK…” my dog is friendly”, “my dog listens to me”. Perhaps if these dog owners could understand the number of issues that this can cause to other pet owners as well as their own pet, we can reduce the incidents of this happening. When other dogs see your dog, especially if your dog is approaching them off leash their behavior can change.  The on-leash dog recognizes they have a restriction and that can give them a feeling of vulnerability. If another animal (dog or human) presents defensive or fearful energy your own dogs’ behavior can also change, it is an instinct. So, the norm for behavior is thrown out the window and this can cause a dangerous situation for the humans and the dogs. For a moment, consider what other dogs and humans might have experienced in their past. Dogs that have worked to overcome issues with fear around other dogs can digress from having made progress by having an altercation with an off-leash dog. These dogs and their owners are entitled to enjoy being out following the rules without the threat of an off-leash dog.  There are many people that have had bad experiences with dogs and are fearful of them. An off-leash dog can be terrifying for them trying to enjoy a walk as well. Spring 2019

Good Petiquette On-Leash. Do not assume other people or dogs want to engage with you and your dog. Always ask a pet owner if they and their pet want to say hello.  If you see an approaching owner and pet that are trying to re-route to avoid engagement try to be accommodating.  When passing by walkers keep your pet on a short enough leash that they do not jump on the passing person…not everybody is a dog person. Make sure your pet has tags just in case they get out. A dog getting loose from their owners’ home should be the exception. Owners need to be responsible for the care of their pets, this includes making sure they are safe and secure even when you are not home. If you have a gate, make sure it has a lock and is locked when you leave.  If your dog digs under the fence or is a jumper and can jump over the fence YOU NEED TO MITIGATE THIS. If you are leaving your house to take your dog for a ride in the car, make sure they are secured in the car before you open the garage door. If you are opening your front door, make sure your dogs are secured or on a leash. So, let’s assume you have done everything right securing your home and something terrible happens and your pet gets out. They need to have a quick and easy way for a good Samaritan to get them safely

back in your care. Being able to call you on a cell number listed on their tag is the best way to do this.  It is great to have your dog chipped but please also make sure they have tags.  It will make it that much easier for a stranger to call you instead of animal control.  Your pet is in danger if it is out too. It could be hit by a car, attacked by a wild animal. Frankly, people will do anything to defend themselves or their pets up to and including macing or shooting your pet if they feel they are in danger. Let’s Talk Poop. It is such a common problem…WHY? I live in a neighborhood that provides poop disposal stations stocked with free poop bags and people still don’t scoop their poop. This just gives your neighbors a bad taste in their mouth about dogs in general. The two previous examples of unattended dogs only perpetuate this problem. I am a crazy dog person and I actually look at poop pick up as an opportunity to see that everything in my pets’ body is working as it should…I know this is not the norm. The norm is that it is stinky to pick up poop…but come on people just do it. In a nutshell DOGS ROCK. Let’s make sure that humans don’t make them look bad. We get these precious souls in our lives and our responsibility is to care for them and keep them safe. 13

Biofilm… The Health Risk Lurking in Your Pet’s Food and Water Bowl Jill Feinstein


well-balanced diet and readily available water are critical to the health and well-being of our pets. They are the sustenance that keeps them happy and healthy. As pet owners, we work hard to be sure our pets not only survive but that they thrive. But could it be we are overlooking a potential danger in their food and water bowls? Something that could make them and us sick? If you aren’t thoroughly cleaning those bowls, the answer is yes. Do you know that slime you feel when you rinse out the bowl? That’s called biofilm, and it has a lot of bacteria that can cause illness if you’re not careful. What is biofilm? Biofilm is defined as a thin, slimy film of bacteria that adheres to a surface in a wet environment. It can form on almost any surface exposed to bacteria and water, like a food or water bowl. Those microbes excrete a glue-like substance that helps them to thrive. It keeps them attached to the surface which helps the bacteria to survive and reproduce. Biofilms can be found all around us. We come in contact with these colonies of bacteria every day. Where are biofilms found? Not only is your pet’s bowl a breeding ground, but your bathroom is too. Do you know the slime at the bottom of the shower curtain? That’s a biofilm. The slime in your sink drain… yup, biofilm. Your own mouth is fertile ground for biofilm. In fact, dental plaque is nothing more than a biofilm that builds up on teeth. It too contains disease-causing bacteria, bacteria that can lead to cavities and gum disease. What are the risks? Our pets don’t have clean mouths. Dogs eat all kinds of things they’re not supposed to. They lick the bottoms of 14 4 Legs & a Tail

their paws. That’s like licking the bottom of your shoe. And the germs they pick up are harbored in their mouths. Cats, even if they’re not outside, put their mouths where they shouldn’t. They lick their paws too… and other body parts. It’s inevitable when our pets eat and drink, the bacteria in their mouths end up in their bowls. This is how that gooey biofilm forms. The bowl is wet from their tongues giving the microbes a nice place to call home. The biofilm can contain many species of bacteria including Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli, and Legionella. These four can make you and your family very sick. And if allowed to excessively build up in those bowls, can pollute your dog’s food and water and make them sick too. But there are also some good bacteria in the biofilm that can be beneficial to your pet’s immune system and digestion. But because we don’t have the immune systems our pets do, we must take precautions. Particularly if our kids feed and water our pets. If you have elderly relatives living with you, the same concerns exist. Older people don’t have the resilient immune systems that younger adults do. And you certainly don’t want your pet to get sick because their water and food bowls are laden with bacteria.

Minimizing the biofilm risk There are things you can do to keep everyone healthy and minimize the biofilm risk. First, avoid plastic bowls. They scratch making it more difficult to get them clean. Most importantly, clean those bowls well. Here are 4 tips to be sure no one gets sick. • Clean bowls regularly – Your pet’s food bowl should be washed after every meal and the water bowl, twice a day. • Don’t wash the bowls in the kitchen sink – Germs can be transferred to your dishes and utensils. The bathtub’s not a good idea either because you don’t want to be soaking in these bacteria. Use a bathroom or utility sink. • Scrub with an abrasive first – The biofilm needs to be broken up before you disinfect. You can use something as simple as salt on a sponge (but not the sponge you use on your dishes), or the scruffy side of a two-sided sponge. • Disinfect – Mix one-tablespoon household bleach to one gallon of very hot water. Fill the pet bowl with the solution and wipe around the outside of the bowl with it too. Let it soak for 2 minutes. Wash out well to remove all bleach residue. If you would rather not use bleach, use the sanitize cycle on your dishwasher. If you’re using the sanitize cycle you can wash the bowls with your dishes. Also, it’s important to clean the floor where your pet eats, and any stand or mat under your pet’s bowls.  Bacteria can grow in these areas too. And always be sure to use designated sponges and dish towels for your pet’s bowls, never the ones you use on your dishes and utensils. Some might say don’t sanitize the bowls daily because the good bacteria can be beneficial to a healthy dog. But the downside of all the bad bacteria may outweigh any benefits from the good bacteria… something to discuss with your vet. Spring 2019


ids are fascinated by reptiles, but not all reptiles make good pets for children. Understanding what reptiles need is the first step in choosing a good snake, turtle or lizard for a child’s pet, and there are several types of reptiles that can be ideal for young pet owners. Before Buying a Reptile A child may love reptiles, but before opting for a reptilian pet, it is important to understand some basic characteristics of reptiles in order to choose an appropriate pet. Adult Size: Many reptiles hatch as cute, tiny creatures, but not all of them stay small sizes that are manageable by kids. Not only can reptiles grow to large, heavy sizes, but as they mature they will need larger, stronger cages and more overall space. If that is not available, a reptile may not be the best pet choice. Lifespan: Reptiles can live for many years, but children might lose interest in their pets long before the animals die a natural death. Furthermore, children’s interests change as they mature, and once they are ready to leave home for college, the military or their first apartment, they may not be able to take a large pet reptile along. Play Expectations: Children often want interactive pets they can play with and that will respond to them by learning tricks or playing games, but reptiles often do best when left alone or with only minimal interaction. If a child really wants a pet they can play with, a reptile isn’t the best choice. Best Reptiles for Kids Just like any animal, some reptiles are more difficult to manage in captivity than others, and different care needs and personalities can make some reptiles more suitable as children’s pets. The top types of reptiles that can be good pets for kids include… • Ball Pythons • King Snakes

• Bearded Dragons • Leopard Geckos

• Red-Footed Tortoises • Russian Tortoises

• Corn Snakes • Painted Turtles

Buying a Pet Reptile No matter what type of reptile you choose for a child’s pet, there are some steps that can make it easier for kids to be responsible reptile owners. Discuss Responsibility: Before adopting any pet, parents should discuss the child’s responsibilities for caring for the animal, cleaning its tank or cage and feeding it. At the same time, discuss the consequences if the child does not take care of their pet properly. Study the Pet: Before bringing the pet home, take time to research its growth, diet, health concerns, habits and behavior. Help the child select library books or visit websites to learn about their pet, and get in touch with an appropriate veterinarian for emergency care. Choose the Best Breeder: Purchase the pet from a reputable breeder who has healthy, captive-bred animals that are used to human care and handling. If possible, ask to see the reptile’s parents or learn about its breeding history to be sure it is healthy. By taking the right steps to choose the best reptile for a child’s pet and ensure they are ready for the responsibility of pet ownership, it can be easy to add a reptilian member to any family. Spring 2019 15


Great Reasons to Have Chickens

Great-Tasting, Nutritious Eggs We all love our dogs, cats, and fish, but do they actually produce something edible? Or pay their own way? Chickens do, and once you’ve dined on their eggs you’ll never reach for a dozen in the supermarket again. They’re so much more flavorful, in no small part because you’ll eat them when they’re only minutes or hours old, not weeks or months. You’ll even see the difference in the yolks, which are a healthy orange - not the pale yellow you’re used to. Plus, you can feel good about the organic eggs you’ll be feeding your friends and family. All it takes to get organic eggs is organic chicken feed! Research shows that chickens allowed to roam freely and eat grass lay eggs that are higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E and at the same time lower in cholesterol than store-bought, too. (Think of your hair and skin...)

Get One Step Closer to Sustainable Living Do you find it disconcerting how far removed we all are from the animals and plants we need to survive? How our fast-paced lives and ever-increasing demands are trashing the planet that sustains us? Believe it or not, keeping a few chickens in your backyard equates to taking a stand against all this.

A Healthy Lawn without the Chemicals Chickens LOVE to range freely, and allowing them to do so kills the proverbial two birds with one stone: they’ll eat any garden pest they can get their beaks on (earwigs, grubs, beetles, even moles) and they’ll turn it all into treasure in the form of fertilizer. Say goodbye to toxic, costly pest control solutions and wasteful bags and bottles of store-bought fertilizer. Chickens will even cut down on the amount of mowing you do because they love to eat grass. Chickens Have Personality That’s right -- you sit in a lounge chair Galore -- Seriously! Each chicken has its own completely with your mint julep while they do the unique quirky, kooky and endearing hard work for you. personality. They’re stunningly beautiful too, parading around in a variety of One Man’s Unappealing Leftovers colors, patterns, shapes, and sizes. You’ll are Another Chicken’s Feast name them, spoil them with treats, and Chickens can eat almost anything pick them up and hug them any chance people can, and they adore “people food” -- so you can throw those unwanted leftyou get. overs into the chicken run. No more feeling guilty about letting them rot in the fridge or throwing them out! Watch out for the garlic and onion, though, unless you want your eggs tasting funny.

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A Balanced Compost Pile Composting is a wonderful way to reduce your ecological footprint, and a nitrogen-rich compost pile is a healthy compost pile. What better to provide the nitrogen than chicken poo? Eggshells are a great addition, too, especially in areas where there’s lots of clay in the soil. At the end of the composting process, you’ll have “black gold” soil, so called because it’s so rich and fertile. Spring 2019

Handy Leaf, Weed, and Grass Clipping Removal Leaves, weeds and grass clippings are a treat for Gallus gallus domesticus. They’ll happily dig through whatever you give them, eat what they can, and pulverize the rest. Give a small flock a heap of the yard and garden debris and a week later it’ll be gone without a trace. No need to bag it and pile it by the curb!

by scooping up your pet chicken and cuddling it. Astound them when your chicken falls asleep in your arms after you’ve lovingly stroked its comb and wattles. Make them green with envy

at the lawn your flock has made effortlessly fabulous. Chickens are, after all, the most “chic” pet you could possibly have. And we think it’s time everyone knew.

Save a Chicken from a Factory-Farm Life If you’re aware of conditions in factory farms, even in some of the so-called “free range” farms, we needn’t say more. If you’re not, please research it. Factory farming is terrifyingly cruel. The good news is that by keeping a few pet chickens of your own, you’re reducing the demand for store-bought eggs and sending a message to those factory farms that you don’t want what they’re selling. The Very Definition of Low-Maintenance Chickens don’t need to be walked, brushed, or fed twice a day. Essentially all you have to do is gather eggs daily, fill their food and water containers a couple of times a week and change their bedding once a month! Be the Coolest Kid on the Block Despite their many merits, backyard chickens are still relatively uncommon. Wow, neighbors, friends, and family by being the first person they know to have chickens. Amaze them with the green eggs from your hens. Confound them Spring 2019 17

Should my dog be eating senior food? T

his is a question people ask frequently. People with small dogs generally think about it later but people who own large breeds may think about it sooner. But what is the right age? In some ways, age really is just a number. There is absolutely no cut and dried answer. I think the better question is, what are a couple of nutritional factors that you might find in a senior formula food? • Senior formula food will usually be lower in fat content. Most animals see a slow in their metabolism or may have a lower activity level and it gets tougher to keep extra weight off. • A premium producer will probably add high-quality glucosamine and chondroitin to keep aging joints healthy. If you have a large breed your normal adult food may already have an adequate dosage added in your food. • Did you know pet food has salt? A senior formula will have a lower amount of sodium to avoid hypertension. • Added Seaweed and fibers to promote lower tartar and healthy teeth.

• Added Nutraceuticals such as stabilized Vitamin C and Taurine. These are strong anti-oxidants to preserve healthy cells and provide good cardiac health. • Balanced Calcium and Phosphorus for healthy bones. • Provide a good fiber source for healthy digestion. So, if you are reading through this list and thinking; ”those things sound like healthy things for just about any dog” … You are not necessarily wrong. Not all older dogs eat senior food, and some younger dogs eat senior food.  Let’s talk about some examples of when this might happen.

Some examples of when to consider a senior formula for a younger dog include: • A dog with kidney problems needing a lower protein to energy ratio • A dog with any type of cardiac disease, regardless of age. Some pet owners will be advised to choose food with a low sodium level. • Dogs with pancreatic problems need to eat food with low-fat content. Pancreatitis or other pancreatic disorders can make it difficult for a dog to process fat. • Some dogs that do not have a high activity level and are seeking a lowfat option for weight control may choose a food with the attributes of a senior formula. The low-fat content coupled with the likely addition of joint supplements are both positive things for a pet carrying extra weight.

A couple of examples of older dogs that might not have their needs best met by a senior formula include: • Dogs with cancer or other chronic illness that make it a struggle to keep weight on might prompt looking for a more robust recipe. • An active pet needing more energy content. The easy answer…. ASK AN EXPERT. You can’t just go by the name or even the label if you want to know everything. Therefore, it is important to work with a pet nutrition expert to match the nutrition to the needs of your pet. A pet food expert understands how these ingredients react in the body of an animal and under what circumstances they will benefit an individual pet. 18 4 Legs & a Tail

Spring 2019

Therapeutic Riding and Speech Pathology

Miranda LeBrun and Pal

Sue Miller


ver the years High Horses has been enjoying time with Geisel students from Dartmouth medical school. The third-year medical students came to visit the High Horses Therapeutic Riding Program to get a better idea of what is offered in this modality and how it can help clients on different levels. If the opportunity arises we can sometimes get the medical student’s horseback so they can experience first-hand how much the movement of the horse and riding in different positions can affect the rider in several ways simultaneously. The question of speech was brought up. How can horseback riding help with speech? Speech is a fine motor skill that can be developed with more practice. Breathing and breath control are often overlooked areas of riding as they happen naturally. Riders that have enjoyed the sport of horseback riding for a while will all testify to how important breathing and breath control can be to be an effective rider. Breath control and support refer to how we stabilize our bodies for air flow. Breath control is how we regulate and coordinate airflow for different activities. Riders learn to take deeper diaphragmic breaths instead of short shallow breaths. Breath flow powers our voice for conversation. We inhale

Alisha Boise and Jack

Spring 2019

to fill our lungs then exhale when we speak. The longer the word, phrase, or sentence, the more air we need. There are different ways to help an individual improve breath support and control. Some target skills include: Increasing the lung capacity or available breath supply. Practicing breathing patterns for speaking, exercising, relaxing, holding breath and letting the breath out slowly… taking in more air or using bigger breaths and breathing from the diaphragm or “belly” instead of shallow “chest” breathing where the shoulders raise up. Placing and holding the hands on the ribcage is another technique to increase awareness of breathing. Work on strengthening and coordinating muscles for posture or position of the head or body are all pieces to better riding posture that instructors work on when riding horses. We cannot disconnect our breathing from our emotions and most therapies will use breathing awareness to create a more relaxed state of mind, yoga, reiki, aikido, and tai chi all put great importance on methods of breathing to enhance both calmness and focus. Language is the systematic, meaningful arrangement of symbols which provides the basis for communication. There are two hemispheres to the human brain. The left hemisphere is verbal, speaking, reading, thinking, reasoning and processes one piece of information at a time. The right hemisphere is nonverbal, deals with spatial relationships, patterns, drawing recognition, music, emotional expression and processes information holistically. The frontal lobe is also involved with personality, speech, and motor development while the Temporal lobes are responsible for memory, language and speech functions. Horses communicate almost entirely in a nonverbal manner. Even if a rider has no spoken language skill, the horse and human can still communicate with their body language and touch. This is one of the reasons therapeutic riding can be so beneficial. The nonverbal rider can still form a deep bond with the horse that transcends speech.

Great exercises that can be done horseback are increasing one’s awareness of breath, taking bigger breaths, keeping a steady breath when speaking and using a louder volume. Blowing exercises like trying to blow a feather, a pinwheel, or blowing bubbles. Speech exercises like holding a vowel sound, singing songs and functional exercises like relaxing and taking a deeper breath. As stamina increases these exercises can be done at faster gaits on the horse. Blowing a whistle or blowing up a balloon are great exercises that can be done away from the horses as horses tend to dislike loud noises or the sudden pop of a balloon. Speech and language require highly complicated postural, motor, and brain organization and integration. Establishing integration between the mouth, eyes, and hand, and control of graded respiration. People often focus too much on the spoken word, while horses have a perceptive capacity to the mental, spiritual & physical state of a person and are not always convinced by the spoken word, especially if not congruent to the feeling/emotion they receive from the person. Horses have an immense capacity to help us find a place of calm so we can take a much-needed deep breath to help us rebalance in our lives. It is not uncommon for parents to tell us that their youngsters uttered their first words horseback or that after riding the participants’ speech was more fluent. Sue Miller is a PATH Registered Instructor & ESMHL, PATH Vermont State Chair and Vice President of VHSA. 19

Preventative Dental Care: Bubbs’ Dental Day M

Carol Gifford, DVM

any dogs and cats develop severe dental disease as they get older and most owners know that these problems need to be addressed by their pet’s veterinarian. However, many people do not realize that providing ROUTINE dental care often prevents development

of dental disease later in life. Just like people, pets benefit from daily care of their teeth and gums. Many pets will tolerate home brushing, and this is the single best way to care for their teeth. Water additives and chews also can be quite beneficial. However, most pets do

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need regular oral exams, scaling and polishing to keep their teeth clean and their gums free of infection. These relatively short procedures may well prevent your pet from ever needing extensive and costly dental work. Bubbs is a three-year-old domestic shorthair that does not recognize the benefits of home brushing. He does eat some dental treats but still had some symptoms of mild dental disease including halitosis(bad breath), tartar and gingivitis. His conscientious owners have agreed to some veterinary dental care to treat this mild dental disease. They have also agreed to allow us to document his visit to show you a typical treatment for mild dental disease in a cat. The first step in Bubbs’ dental day is a complete exam by the veterinarian performing the procedures. Because he is going under general anesthesia it is important to listen to his heart and lungs, check his temperature and check him all over for any signs of illness. His owners also authorize a blood panel to assess his blood counts, liver enzymes, kidney function and other parameters that could signal illness. Bubbs gets a clean bill of health and is cleared for the dental procedures. He is given a sedative to relax him for the procedure and an intravenous catheter is placed. This allows us to give him the anesthetic, intravenous fluids and any other medications he may need during the procedure. As Figure 1 shows he is relaxed at this stage and wrapped in a cozy blanket while awaiting his anesthesia.

Figure 1

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Spring 2019

Many people are concerned about the safety of anesthesia for dental procedures. It is usually reassuring to them when we explain that this is a light level of anesthesia. Unlike surgery, dental cleaning and polishing are not painful so they do not have to be under anesthesia very deeply. If we must perform extractions an injection similar to Novocaine is used to block the pain. In addition, the patients are very closely monitored. A technician is monitoring them at all times while the veterinarian works. The technician checks their heart rate, respiratory rate and depth of anesthesia every few minutes as well as checking a monitor. Figure 2 shows the monitor used for Bubbs that measures multiple parameters including, heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, CO2, and Oxygen level. Any changes are quickly identified and addressed.

Figure 2

Once Bubbs is sedated he is given an anesthetic through his catheter that allows us to put a breathing tube in his trachea. It is very important to have dental patients intubated to prevent dental debris from entering their airway as well as to provide gas anesthesia. Once Bubbs is sedated the very important oral exam is performed. Bubbs, like many felines, does not appreciate a thorough examination of his mouth while awake. With him safely asleep the veterinarian can evaluate each tooth and the gums for any signs of disease. Figure 3 shows the doctor measuring the depth of any pocketing around the teeth just as is done in people. Figure 4 is an example of the detailed dental chart used for each patient.

Figure 3

Spring 2019

Figure 6

Figure 4

Bubbs exam reveals tartar which is a build up of hardened plaque on the teeth. This brown material visible in Figure 5 a common finding on most pets. Bubbs has only a moderate build up but if left untreated it can lead to serious dental disease. Figure 5 also shows some mild inflammation or gingivitis on his gums that can lead to serious gum infection. Both of these problems can be easily treated with scaling and polishing of the teeth.

Figure 5

After the exam the teeth are cleaned and polished in the same way as it is done in people. Because Bubbs is asleep his jaw is relaxed and the doctor can reach all 4 sides of the teeth. In figure 6 the doctor is polishing the teeth with an ultrasonic polisher after scaling them.

With the exam, scaling and polishing done, Bubbs is now ready for his final step in his prophylactic dental procedure. Just as with people, a large part of each tooth is actually under the gum line and invisible during the oral exam. Therefore, just as with people, dental x-rays are needed to be sure all the teeth are healthy from crown to root. Although cats are not prone to cavities they are prone to painful resorptive lesions that literally eat away at the tooth. Sometimes these are only visible on x-rays and they can occur in young cats. Fortunately, as Figure 7 and other x-rays show, Bubbs has no abnormalities on his x-rays. Figure 7

Bubbs dental procedure is now complete. Prior to allowing him to wake up he is given a nail trim and a microchip is placed. The entire procedure has only taken 30 minutes and he wakes up with a fresh, clean mouth and a great start on excellent dental health. The frequency of prophylactic dental care in cats varies with each individual cat. Some cats, like Bubbs, need to start them when quite young while others may not need an oral cleaning and assessment until they are much older. Your veterinarian can guide these decisions based on their findings at the annual wellness exam. Carol Gifford, DVM has been practicing veterinary medicine in Vermont since 1987. In 1991, she founded her own practice, which grew to become Riverside Pet Hospital. 21

Alternatively Speaking:

A Holistic Approach To Our Cats’ Golden Years Dr. Anne Carroll DVM, CVA


pring is on the way! As we all look forward to warmer outdoor activity, pets head to the vet to update vaccines and begin parasite protection. However one animal is often left out of this important time for wellness planning, and that is the family cat. Veterinary associations recognize that even though cats outnumber dogs in our households, they receive less medical care, and this has a major impact on the quality of their lives. Without wellness visits, the importance of dietary fluids and carnivore nutrition is not discussed as a tool to maximize health in younger years, developing issues go undetected through middle age, and then declines seen in the older cat are mistaken for ‘normal aging’, and go untreated. This is not due to neglect. It is partly the erroneous belief of the independent cat not needing vet care, and partly a lack of recognition of the tiny clues that signal there is a problem. In addition, car travel is not easy for most cats, and many fear it is too stressful for their older felines. But if there was any one group of animals that most need their annual checkup, it 22 4 Legs & a Tail

is our aging cats. So in this article, we will discuss holistic management of their geriatric concerns, but let’s first look at how to overcome that hurdle of getting them to the vet. Unlike dogs, cats do not really get ‘trained’ as kittens to be crated or ride in cars. Maybe it is the notion that cats dictate to us what they are going to do and when not the other way around. But cats are highly trainable, and being comfortable in their carrier provides vital access to their health care. No one wants to force cats unwillingly into carriers, then hear the sad cries or worse get car sick on the winding drive there. A little training can avoid all this for many cats. We won’t go into all the nuances of training here. Your veterinarian should have good tips for that. But do know that there are options if you have a timid cat or one too adverse already to the car ride. Skipping all food before travel, using pheromone aromatherapy, homeopathic travel remedies, or even medication for nausea or anxiety can make the trip much less stressful for everyone and it will pay

off in spades over your cat’s lifetime. So you have made it to the veterinarian, well done! The conversation from our holistic perspective is all about diet and strategic vaccination to minimize inflammation. Cats are just not designed to eat dry cat food, and the harmful effects of this are magnified if they become overweight. For more information on how and why this occurs, you can read about it on the website. For older cats, a diet is a tool for reducing digestive stress and losing excess weight while maximizing protein to keep up muscle mass, and reducing inflammation that can affect kidneys, thyroid, and arthritic joints. While making diet changes may seem impossible for the older cat who has eaten only dry food his whole life, there are stress-free ways to slowly convert these cats to a healthier meal. Take Moody, for example. He came to us at 14 years young, struggling with mouth ulcers. Part of our approach was to try to wean him off dry food, not only to reduce inflammation but to reduce the oral bacteria associated Spring 2019

with dry cereal residue in the mouth. This also gave us more control over his protein sources in case part of the issue was allergies. After persistently offering wet ‘appetizers’ when he was most hungry, as well as using other tricks, he now snubs dry food and will only eat canned, much to his owner’s amazement, and he is working on eating more dehydrated fresh food. Each cat’s needs are individual, and making a change slowly enough to avoid stress or rapid weight loss is essential, so talk to your vet before embarking on a diet change. But as you will see, diet is involved in all our aging cat’s health concerns. Moody’s mouth brings up one of the biggest reasons to have your older cat get a physical – dental disease. Dogs and cats do not show dental pain, and will quietly suffer a broken tooth or a dental abscess in ways that still astound me. While cats can develop tartar, gingivitis, and abscesses like dogs, they also have the more serious problem of resorptive lesions, also called enamel erosions. Holes form in the hard tooth enamel just under the gum, exposing the nerve which is painfully sensitive. This condition is genetic, and may also be related to other factors including low Vitamin D levels. Removing the affected teeth relieves a toothache and allows us to use supplements to try to prevent other teeth from suffering the same fate. Because even if silently tolerated, the stress of chronic untreated pain does wear on cats. You may see urinary or behavioral issues, but sometimes nothing dramatic. Take Franklin for instance. At age 16 his appetite was off some and he was losing weight, but he seemed ok overall. His owner thought he would have more symptoms if something was really wrong so attributed his decline to ‘old age’, and expecting the worst she brought him in when he seemed to have reached the end. An exam found infected teeth, and dental x-rays showed it had spread to the bone of his jaw. Happily, antibiotics and dental work allowed him two more happy years. Keeping an eye out for changes in breath or grooming habits, and having routine exams, avoids the stress of chronic dental disease and reduces the need for dentistry at an advanced age, which are big impacts on an elder cat’s quality of life. Franklin’s only issue was his teeth, but many older cats have other conditions that can be harder to manage if they have a painful mouth. Most common are an over-active thyroid and decreasing kidney function. Kidney issues stem from immunologic damage from over-vaccination as well as dietary inflammation. Also conSpring 2019


tributing are a cats’ own requirements for a high protein diet combined with a low motivation to drink. Hyperthyroidism is similarly related to inflammation that contributes to a tumor in the thyroid gland, which drives up metabolism, burning calories and causing a rapid heartbeat, like someone on caffeine. The fast heartbeat increases blood flow to the kidney which improves its filtering of waste into the urine even when the kidney is not working up to par. While this may seem like a good thing, the high blood pressure causes damage to the filters over time, and the body can’t handle the racing metabolism. We carefully monitor the kidneys when treating the thyroid, since as blood flow normalizes they lose their extra support and this can unmask or trigger kidney failure. But with care, these conditions can be managed well for years. We adjust the diet slowly while using nutritional supplements, acupuncture, and if needed, herbs to reduce inflammation and maximize a healthy kidney blood flow. Thyroid therapy in early stages can involve diet and herbs, while in later stages medication is needed. Surgery and targeted radiation therapy are other options to consider. For either condition, a simple blood test can make the diagnosis to explain drops in weight, decreased or increased appetite, and increases in thirst or urination. Even better, routine screening can foresee an issue before any health effects manifest, and early detection gives you the maximum treatment options, whether conventional or holistic and can keep your aging cat feeling well for far longer. The last issue senior we will touch on is arthritis. Being small and agile, cats can manage to navigate stairs and jump up and down fairly normally even with back or hip pain. But as in all cat symp-

toms, with close attention, you may see very small changes in habit or routine. They may be avoiding being petted or perhaps stop doing routine things. Early intervention with raw foods, bone broth or arthritis supplements are effective for cats just like dogs and come in cat-friendly chew treats. For more advanced arthritis issues, diet, acupuncture and herbal therapies can be used and if needed on bad days, there are a few pain medications that cats can safely take. Anyone who has the privilege of having a cat friend knows they are unique, keeping their feelings and affections to themselves so that when shared, we feel very special. But this trait puts the responsibility on us to watch carefully so we know when they need medical care, and not discount small signals as harmless. In the meantime, their annual exam can often identify issues that can go unnoticed at home, and this early detection is vital given that their potentially long lifespan amplifies the impact of missed wellness care on the quality and number of senior years they can experience. Equally valuable is the opportunity the visit gives to talk about what changes to look for, and how to make small dietary shifts at leisure while in good health to pro-actively reduce metabolic and inflammatory stress. We see so many cherished aging cats in our practice and love how with a little support they manage to thrive as the years pass, even in the face of physical fragility, and maintain that dignified status only a cat can own. 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 . 23 Continued Next Page

Beaver Fever Dr. John Eustis, DVM, Orchard Veterinary Hospital - S. Burlington


pring is here, and with the warmer temperatures we start to see many dogs that are either vomiting, have diarrhea or both. A few years ago I think I figured out why we seem to see this epidemic of GI problems in the spring. My theory is that all the birds, mice, chipmunks and anything else that has died over the winter, in addition to various animal feces that had been frozen for the winter, has now thawed. For many dogs this is a treat they just can’t resist! Many times these tasty little treats are badly decomposed and contain many different forms of pathogenic bacteria. Also, all of the ponds and lakes thaw, and dogs start drinking out of them again. Finally, there are several diseases that affect puppies and are more easily transmitted between dogs in the spring when they are outside and mingling more with other dogs. Most of the time, the first thing that you will notice is vomiting, diarrhea or both. This usually occurs within 6-24 hours of ingestion of the contaminated material. Sometimes the dog just vomits the material up and that is the end of it. Unfortunately, what usually happens is the dog vomits at first and then begins to have runny, watery and sometimes bloody diarrhea. At this point it is a good idea to get your four-legged friend to the veterinarian as soon as possible. When a dog is vomiting he’s not able to keep anything like water or food down long enough for it to be absorbed. When he is simultaneously vomiting and having diarrhea, he can become severely dehydrated very quickly. Puppies can be even more quickly and severely affected, as they have little reserves of fat to call on when they can’t eat. Dehydration can lead to kidney failure and death very quickly if left untreated. Diarrhea in dogs can be caused by many different types of bacteria, several different types of parasites and several types of viruses, some of which can be fatal. Besides eating putrefied remains and feces, dogs drinking from puddles, 24 4 Legs & a Tail

ponds and streams can get organisms that can cause diarrhea. One of the parasites that commonly causes diarrhea is call Giardia. It is also known as “beaver fever,” and is the reason that you are told not to drink the water from lakes and rivers when you are camping. While not all dogs that drink from these sources will get sick, some may, and occasionally it can lead to severe and even life-threatening diarrhea and vomiting. There was a vaccine for the prevention of Giardia, but in my experience it didn’t work very well and has been taken off the market. Giardia can be prevented by commercial filters used for camping or by drinking only bottled or tap water. With some dogs though, it is impossible to prevent ingestion, as they are swimming dogs and will be ingesting the water no matter what. In these cases I recommend just monitoring your dog. As I said, most dogs will not have any problems. In puppies there is a virus called Parvovirus that can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting and even death very quickly. Fortunately, Parvo is a very preventable disease, and is one of the core

vaccines that all puppies should get every 3-4 weeks beginning at about 6-8 weeks of age, and continuing until they are 16-20 weeks old. Regardless of the pup’s vaccine status, if your puppy begins having any of these symptoms, get him to your veterinarian immediately. As I said, puppies have very little reserves and can get very sick, very fast. Treatment for any of these diseases will depend on what your veterinarian finds when they examine your dog, as well as examining a fecal sample. Many times all that is needed is antibiotics or an anti-parasitic, for mild to moderate cases. In more severe cases where there is dehydration and severe vomiting and diarrhea, the dog may need to be hospitalized and given intravenous fluids, injections of antibiotics and antinausea medications. Prevention of these infections can be as simple as a vaccine for Parvovirus, but can be more problematic in some dogs that insist on eating anything they find on the ground, or drinking out of every puddle or pond they come across. I have several patients that, unfortunately, need to wear a basket muzzle every time they go outdoors. They will eat anything they find, and become sick almost every time. One owner tells me that whenever her dog is in the woods, he comes back with the basket muzzle packed with dirt and leaves! Cats can also have most of these same problems, but fortunately cats seem to have them less often. I think because it’s true what they say about cats, they’re finicky eaters. While not every dog is going to get sick every time it eats something off the ground, many will. With diarrhea and vomiting it’s no fun for the dog, and no fun for the cleaning crew! If your dog is showing these symptoms it is VERY important to get them to your veterinarian as soon as possible. You can speed the diagnosis and become one of your vet’s favorite clients, if you bring a fresh fecal sample along with you. Spring 2019

Brownie the Town Dog of Daytona Beach T

he stray dog must have been about a year old when he wandered down Orange Avenue to Beach Street in Daytona Beach in 1940. The junction of these two streets brought him to a central location in town right across from the marina. White sands…beautiful weather…a few people nearby…nothing wrong with this. An additional attraction at that corner was the presence of the Daytona Cab Company, owned by Ed Budgen, Sr. who was having his lunch when the dog stopped by. Ed offered to share. All these elements were enough to say “home” to Brownie, as the taxi drivers began calling him. Brownie the Dog Brownie (1939-1954) is described as a short-haired brown dog with a white chin. Some locals felt he had a bit of Labrador retriever or Rhodesian ridgeback in him. While he headquartered at the cab company, he patrolled several blocks along Orange Avenue and Beach Street. There was a pool hall, Liggett’s drugstore, a barbershop, and a bank. There was also a bus stop at that corner so there were always people around. Brownie got to know his new neighbors and let them know he was always available to help with anything they weren’t going to eat. As the weeks passed, Ed Budgen decided that if Brownie was staying he needed a house. He and a couple of drivers used an old moving box and created a decent-sized dog house.

Kate Kelly When the taxi driver returned to the taxi stand, he posted a note: “Brownie has been hurt and is at the veterinarian’s. Would you like to help out with his hospital bill?” According to a write-up in the local paper, $32 came in during the first 30 minutes the note was up. The funds continued to grow, so there was plenty of good news: Brownie was getting better, and he was going to be able to pay for Orange and Beach, a small crowd waited the care he received. to greet him. There were dinner scraps and Real Doghouse a pork chop or two, all with a “Welcome While Brownie was in the hospital, Home” feeling to it. the taxi drivers opted to make a “real” doghouse for their favorite mutt. They A Bank Account for Brownie built a new house out of plywood with As a responsible caretaker, Ed Budgen his name written large across the front. knew that a time might come when Brownie needed funds again. He took the It was Brownie’s house indeed. A few days later when it was time for remaining money from the donation box Brownie to leave the vet, the drivers drew and established a bank account for Brownie lots to see who got to bring Brownie home. at the Florida Bank and Trust Company When the winning driver escorted down the street (account number 3318, Brownie back to his favorite corner at Continued Next Page

Moving to a senior community shouldn’t mean leaving your “best friend” behind. Independent living opportunities now available.

Pet-Friendly • Dining • Housekeeping • Transportation • Maintenance • One & Two Bedroom Apartments • Assisted Living on Property at The Meadows Daytona Cars Even in the 1940s, Daytona Beach was place where people brought their fancy cars and enjoyed driving them. In 1947, Brownie—who had a tendency to wander into the street—got hit by a car. A taxi driver saw the accident, immediately stepped out of his cab and scooped up Brownie to take him to the vet. Spring 2019

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complete with Brownie’s own bank book). When there were vet bills or Brownie needed some dog food, the money was there for Brownie’s use. Package shop owner, C.P. Miller always took care of Brownie’s dog license, and of course, it was important to the town that Brownie get License #1. At some point the town put out a proclamation making Brownie the official Town Dog. Did he have to go to a city council meeting to be so honored? He might have, if there were treats. With the business of life taken care of by others, Brownie was free to live up to his official responsibilities of patrolling his streets. There were always people around, going in and out of stores or sitting on the bench waiting for the bus. Brownie liked to lie in the shade under the bench, his head was within easy reach of hands that could give him a pat or an ear scratch. The taxi company ran an all-night service and both Brownie and the night drivers were happy they were there together. As one local said, “He was nobody’s dog but he was everybody’s dog.” Brownie’s Fame Grew Daytona Beach draws tourists throughout the year, and soon visitors realized that Brownie was a “town regular.” He was written about in newspapers and magazines nationwide, and visitors arrived looking for him. They sent him Christmas cards and packages, too. An enterprising local businessperson realized that Brownie needed something to send in return, so he created a postcard with Brownie’s picture on the front. Of course, these also sold well to tourists, adding a little additional cash to Brownie’s bank account. There was also a Christmas version of the card so Brownie had a way to thank all who remembered him. In 1949, a local columnist for the Daytona Beach Morning Journal, Fred Langworthy, reported that a nurse rushed into the cab stand one morning shortly after her night shift ended at 7 a.m. She always waited for the bus at that corner and was greeted by Brownie. Today he was just lying in his house. Was he OK? Brownie was fine… it was February. He probably saw no need to make an early start to the day.

seemed fine. He was sporting a red ribbon someone had tied around his collar, and another friend left him a poem: “Trusting old Brownie, you’ve done all a dog can do. Faith to your highest instinct, ever loyal, kind and true. And I think when you have ended your career of canine cares, I shall hear your pattering footsteps as you climb the Golden Stairs. Then I think that some bright angel at Heaven’s gate will bear you through. For you never were disloyal, that’s as well as any dog can do.”

Langworthy concludes: “Old Brownie, canine king and patriarch…has weathered another year and passed another jolly Christmas.” Another Year, Another Report A year and a half later, Langworthy was back with another report: (May 11, 1952): Brownie was under the weather. It turns out Brownie had heartworms but was never adequately treated. The vet was starting a series of 14 treatments to try to make the town dog better. Langworthy writes that the first treatment seemed to help. Brownie was back patrolling the street again. He ”tagged along at the heels of police patrolmen,” watchfully sniffing at the warm sounds and smells of Orange Avenue, and keeping everything well under control. The End Comes Brownie became ill in early October of 1954. For 20 days there were regular reports in the local paper as to how he was doing. As we all know, dogs never live long enough. Finally, Brownie breathed his last. It is estimated that he was 15 years old by that time. Led by the taxi drivers, the citizens of Daytona did right by Brownie. The remainder of his bank account was used to settle his vet bill and cover funeral expenses. Two taxi drivers built a small casket for the body. He was to be buried across the street in Riverfront Park. That Saturday morning about 75 mourners came to pay respects. The mayor gave the eulogy. He had many nice things to say about Daytona’s loyal citizen, concluding with “Wherever it is that good dogs go, Brownie has already gone.”

Elsie Borden and her Calf Come to Town Daytona Beach was a popular community, but who would have guessed that among the visitors would be the Borden cow and her offspring? The Borden family must have come in for several guest appearances, but the Fort Lauderdale News (12/30/50) noted that Elsie, Elmer and their calf Beauregard were “vacationing in Florida for the winter.” While Elmer may have been relaxing, Elsie and Beauregard were out and about. One afternoon the press was invited to Brownie’s corner. Elsie was bringing Beauregard to meet Brownie. It was planned that Brownie and Beauregard would walk down the street together. Beauregard would wait while Brownie stepped into the bank to withdraw a few bucks. Then calf and dog walked on to Liggett’s Drugstore where Brownie purchased a vanilla ice cream soda for each of them. Perfect! Reports as Brownie Aged As Brownie grew older, the local reporters seemed to pay more attention to how he was doing. In 1951, columnist Fred Langworthy reported (12-27-51) that over the course of the year, two aggressive mutts picked a fight with Brownie This sent him to the vet for a couple of days, drawing down a bit on his bank account. But as December came along, Brownie 26 4 Legs & a Tail

Spring 2019

Life Moves On Like all towns, the people of Daytona Beach moved on. A Brownie #2 took up a home at the post office and is buried there, but over time, the townspeople forgot about Brownie the Town dog.

With the store’s name honoring Brownie, Eddie and Alvin have taken on other Brownie-related responsibilities. They are working on a website that will have Brownie’s full story, the grave-tending is now something they see to, and they are also working with the town council. They would like funds for two statues—one statue will be Brownie the Town Dog; the other will honor Post Office Brownie. Then and now, Brownie is a great town representative and builder of a community. As Fred Langworthy wrote in the 1950s: “There’s something mighty wholesome about a City whose people can pause …to remember an old and beloved dog.” I am indebted to Eddie James for telling me about Brownie. I’ve always said, “If dogs just left diaries…” Eddie has sent me so much material on Brownie (and Brownie was so loved during his lifetime) that I almost feel like Brownie did leave a diary. If you are in Daytona Beach, please stop and say hi to Eddie and Alvin! This article first appeared on the website, America Comes Alive publishes more stories about American dogs and other animals. Visit the website and sign up for “American Dogs” to receive the stories in your In Box. Or email Kate Kelly at

Brownie Grave Re-Discovered Then in 1994, members of the Daytona Civic Association were cleaning up Riverfront Park. Some volunteers found Brownie’s grave site and decided the old dog deserved to be remembered. Several years later, a local woman, Brenda Gibson, took responsibility for maintaining Brownie’s grave. From that time on, it was always well tended and often decorated for an upcoming holiday. Gibson died in June of 2017, but fortunately, good people come along when needed. Two weekend residents of Daytona Beach, Eddie James and Alvin Almodovar, decided to move to the community full time. Alvin is a scientist and Eddie is a technology consultant, but they shared a love of animals. Between them they always have several dogs and cats, and often, rabbits and chickens, too. They felt Daytona Beach could use a specialty dog store, named after Brownie of course. Brownie’s Dog Boutique Brownie’s Dog Boutique was born in July 2016. Eddie describes it as a home store for people with pets. While they sell practical supplies like leashes, collars, and Florida-made dog treats, they also feature crafts and vintage items that are attractive to dog owners. Spring 2019 27


WORD SCRAMBLE What Is Your Breed? emasesi

Did You Know? • To survive, every bird must eat at least half its own weight in food each day. • Many hamsters only blink one eye at a time. • Armadillos have four babies at a time and they are always all the same sex.


• Iguanas are able to hold their breath for up to 30 minutes.


• A garter snake can give birth to 85 babies.

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• Ferrets are currently the third most popular pet in the US. There are an estimated eight to ten million ferrets in the United States being kept as pets. • A goldfish can live up to 40 years.

edsayldlce Happy Easter from 4 Legs & a Tail

It’s a Frog and a Horse. Can You See Both?

Two dog owners are bragging to each other about how amazing their respective pets are. The first says, “my dog is so clever that he waits by the front door every morning for the paperboy to deliver the paper, then brings it to me in the kitchen to read while I eat breakfast.” “I know,“ says the second. “My dog told me.” Word Scramble: Siamese, Himalayan, Chihuahua, Schnauzer, Arabian, Clydsedale What's Different: No shadow upper left corner, extension cord gone, scuffs on chair leg gone, pink flowers on rug now blue, brown eyebrows now black

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4 Legs & A Tail Rutland Spring 2019  

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