Page 1



Mud Season 2017 Southern NH & VT

Miranda Lambert and Her Dogs A Healthy Gut Means a Happy Pet How to Attack Fleas Bring Out the Best in Your Horse What to Do When Dogs Really Fight

Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail


2. Adoption by the Numbers, Annie Guion

A look at the pet population in Windham County

4. Bring Out the Best in Your Horse

World Renowned Trainer Linda Parelli outlines the basics for becoming a good horseman

5. Unintended Consequences, Nancy Holmes

Proposed Legislation needs the examination of the interested public to look out for Unintended Consequences

6. Service Volunteers

Milne Travel announces a new program to help non-profits such as pet rescue groups

17. Kitty Rescue and Adoption Roxanne Rubell KRA and their search for a new home 19. Dog Fights! John Peaveler What to do when dogs "tangle" 20. A Healthy Gut Means a Happy Pet The secret behind probiotics 22. Fly and Mosquito Season, Dr. Woz Protecting your pet this spring 24. Appreciating Snakes, Scott Borthwick The adventures of un-welcomed visitors 25. Bunnies and Chicks for Easter M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM They are "cute" at Easter,

7. Cat Reimagined: Spirit Cats at the Monadnock Humane Society, Ashley Okola 9. Do You Have Obsessive Dog Disorder? 10. Happy Anniversary Cat in the Hat! We fondly remember Dr. Seuss and his

26. In the Garden, Jenny Robinson Helpful garden tips for pet owners

11. Miranda Lambert...A Dogs Best Friend

mischievous cat and the origins of this favorite story of millions.

Meet the country music superstar in an exclusive 4 Legs & a Tail interview Tim Hoehn

13. Anne, A Story About Kindness, Rebecca Roy The tale of the unique rescue of a 17 year old

Belgian mare

14. For the Love of Your Animal - Reiki!! Megan MacArthur Littlehales 15. Collies Without Borders, Cathy White How one dog found her non-traditional dream job


Pg 7

Pg 11

but a handful by Mothers Day

28. Feline Urinary Obstruction Catherine MacLean, DVM Act quickly for your cat's sake 30. Fractured Jaw Fixed with Dental Materials Sandra Waugh, VMD, MS After a motorcycle accident,

Pg 26

see how one pug survived

31. How to Attack Fleas, Millie Armstrong, DVM They're BACK! And this is the way to combat

this recurring problem

Pg 33 33. Celebrate Small Victories, Reward the Slightest Try, Colleen Campbell A few simple tips to keep you and your horse happy this spring 35. Fitting Your Riding Helmet, Sarah Zabek 36. Saddle Up! Dorothy Crosby Why saddle fitting has become a science


s a former account executive at the Keene Sentinel, Polly will now will pursue an avenue closer to her heart at 4 Legs & a Tail. As a young woman, she trained horses in Arizona and worked with all breeds and disciplines of horses and horsemanship in a variety of states in the U.S.. “ I look forward to sharing stories with new and former customers knowing it started with our love of the animal kingdom and our personal pets. I hope to continue to share our motivation and compassion to continue to be good stewards for the animal world.” Polly & Cocoa

4 Legs & a Tail Volume K.117 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766 603-727-9214 Spring 2017

Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Senior Editor: Scott Palzer Office Manager: Beth Hoehn Graphic Design: Kristin Wolff, Lacey Dardis, Kerry Rowland Sales: Karyn Swett, Polly Knowles

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

Adoption by the Numbers Annie Guion


mpact. How do we know what we are doing is making a difference for animals in need? As the Executive Director of the Windham County Humane Society (WCHS) for the past nine years, I love to get to the close of a year and look at the data. In 2016, we saw the continuation of trends we have been seeing for years now, most notably that animals from out of state are a growing percentage of our population even as we take in a steady number of local animals. Last year transport animals made up 33% of our intake, followed by 29% owner surrenders and 26% stray animals. In the graph below, you can see the intake of local animals at a steady 500-600/yr for the past eight years while the transport population more than triples. 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0





Local Intake


2014 Transports


For the first time in our history, we took in over 1,000 animals. We also saw our largest adoption number – 836 animals found new homes through the WCHS. Most of our transports are dogs. In 2016 we brought 258 dogs up from the south as compared to 139 the year before, almost doubling our transport intake. Meanwhile, intake of local dogs remained relatively steady over the past 8 years, ranging from a low of 155 in 2011 to 245 dogs in 2013. Last year also saw our largest intake of transport cats, at 97 animals. Local cat intake also remains pretty steady over 8 years, with a low of 335 in 2013 and a high of 437 in 2014. (Note: the spike in 2014 was largely due to stray cat intake. While we cannot be sure, we attribute this jump to the fact that the largest town in our county was without an Animal Control Officer for the first 6 months of 2014). Cats are more challenging to transport – not many cats love a car ride, especially one with a whole bunch of other cats! The stress of the journey can bring on an upper respiratory infection, better known as the common cold, leading to sneezing, runny noses, watering eyes and general discomfort. Shelters are working on ways to make transport less stressful for cats, because the truth is, many New England shelters have very few cats in their facility even as cats are euthanized in large numbers elsewhere due to lack of space. Until other parts of the country catch up on spay/neuter practices, including trap/neuter/return programs, New England shelters will step in to help save these lives. The most interesting trend I saw in this year’s data is the dog vs. cat intake. For years, our shelter population was 60% cats and 40% dogs. For the first time, we saw a 50/50 intake at our shelter, thanks to increased transport of dogs and a decrease in the intake of cats.



70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

2009 2010


2012 Cat



2015 2016


Continued Next Page

2 4 Legs & a Tail

Spring 2017

How does this compare with the story across Vermont? We track our animal data in a system called PetPoint, which means we can compare our data to other PetPoint users including 12 other shelters in Vermont and 2,537 shelters across the whole country. I was surprised to see that taken as a whole, the 12 other shelters in VT are at the more traditional split of 36% dog intake and 64% cat intake. Conversely, the nationwide data is closer to our 2016 data, with 53% dog intake and 47% cat intake. It is difficult to extrapolate much information from this combined data – some of those Vermont PetPoint users could be strictly cat rescues. What we can say is that the 13 shelters using PetPoint took in 2,597 dogs and 4,249 cats…almost exactly at the historical 40/60 cat vs. dog percentage we saw at WCHS from 2009 to 2014. All 13 VT shelters using PetPoint found homes for 1,763 (68%) of dogs and 3,307 (78%) cats. This reflects the fact that 12% of dogs that came into VT shelters were claimed by their owners while only 3% of cats were claimed. This is a nationwide trend explained to some extent by a recent ASPCA study that showed that pet owners search for dogs on the day they go missing, while they wait an average of 3 days when a cat goes missing. Here in Vermont, the default assumption is that your cat was hit by a car or eaten by a wild animal. ( aspca-research-who-are-strays-shelters) A category in PetPoint is “clinic in” which represents animals that come to the shelter for services. I was pleased to see WCHS leading in this category compared to both state and national statistics. On the state level, less than 1% of animals going into the other 12 Vermont shelters were “clinic in”. Nationally, the number is 8.5%. Thanks to the Pet Care Assistance Program (PCA) we implemented in 2013, 25% of the animals we saw in 2016 (122 dogs and 232 cats) were owned animals coming to the shelter for basic wellness care (exams, vaccines and parasite prevention) at reduced costs. The program is provided to income eligible residents of Windham County and has been a real game changer for the WCHS. PCA is modeled on some ground breaking national programs and is designed to keep animals in their homes. It is a big part of the reason we have more room to save animals from other parts of the country where they face euthanasia. Equally importantly, it has opened up Spring 2017

communications and built trust between the WCHS and low-income pet owners. In the past, when our main function was to adopt out animals, there was no reason for a low-income pet owner to come to us. In helping these pets and their owners, we are ahead of the game. Now when a pet owner is in need, they feel comfortable coming to the WCHS for help and advice. If an owner needs to surrender their pet or an animal shows up as a stray, we may already know the animal and have their medical history, which gets them on the adoption floor and on to their new home that much more quickly. I’m happy to report for the readers of 4 Legs and a Tail that New England is leading the way in animal sheltering. There is concrete data that shows we are having an impact. Together we are helping more animals and saving more lives than ever before. Annie Guion is the Executive Director, WCHS Treasurer, Vermont Humane Federation 3

Bring Out the Best in Your Horse Linda Parelli


ne of the worst things that happens when you first get into horses is that you think all you have to do is just get on and ride. No wonder there are so many failed relationships with horses! Most horses have a justifiably negative opinion of humans and have learned behaviors that range from frustrating to downright dangerous. What if, from the first day you dreamed of having a horse, you were taught that your job is to learn how to bring out the best in your horse? That sometimes riding cannot be your major focus, that you might have to act as a trainer — or psychologist or behaviorist or all of the above — first? Then it would make sense that you have to learn to become a horseman, because a horseman is part rider, part trainer, part psychologist and part behaviorist. A horseman is way more than just a rider, but is a great rider too.

to improve your feel, posture, position, technique and advance your skills. This is also why “school masters” are so valuable. They have their act together, they know their job and they can put up with the mistakes riders make as they are learning. Pat Parelli expresses this in #7 of the Eight Principles: “Horses teach humans and humans teach horses” because he knows how valuable it is for riders to learn from experienced horses. Unfortunately not all of us are lucky enough to have access to that kind of horse which is why becoming an excellent rider, sometimes takes longer than it should.

Part Trainer A trainer is a teacher, and it is your responsibility to teach your horse what you need and want him to know. As his teacher you need to be a good communicator, have a plan, and be knowledgeable, Part Rider disciplined, patient, and focused. You need There are two components to riding: to be able to blend consistency and vari1. Not falling off, going with the flow. ety in the right proportions, to solve and 2. Developing and advancing your skills. prevent problems, and to make progress It’s the second one that is key, because as soon as your horse is in a learning it’s not until your horse is calm, confident frame of mind. and willing that you can work on yourself Part Psychologist In the Parelli program you learn a lot about how to use equine psychology to influence your horse’s mind, rather than manipulate him against his will using physical force. It’s about getting your idea to become your horse’s idea, but understanding your horse’s idea first. Essentially this means you need know what strategies calm or motivate a horse, when to retreat or use reverse psychology, and when to advance and make rapid progress.

4 4 Legs & a Tail

Linda Parelli is an equine educator and co-founder of Parelli Natural Horsemanship, a program which offers a systematic and fun way to learn to think like a horse. She is especially well-known for her work on horse psychology and her development of the concept of Horsenality™, or horse personality. Along with licensed psychologist Dr. Patrick Handley, she has developed a horse/human personality matching system, the Horsenality™/ Humanality™ Match Report. A lifelong enthusiast of the sport of Dressage, Linda enjoys learning from classical masters and applying their concepts to her own work. Linda’s experiences as a student of the legendary dressage trainer Walter Zettl resulted in her development of a Game of Contact course, a step-by-step program that helps riders achieve mental, emotional, and physical connection with their horses.

is “Horsenality.” Not only does this allow you to understand why your horse behaves in a certain way, it informs you of potential behavioral patterns. You’ll know how to design productive training sessions, when to speed up or slow down, and you’ll stop bringing out the crazy, unpredictable, lazy or naughty side of your horse.

Part Behaviorist Understanding horse behavior takes the mystery out of horses, and the key Be a Horseman to understanding the individual horse By using all your skills as a horseman you’ll bring out the best in your horse by slipping effortlessly from one role to the other exactly as needed. When your horse is afraid or loses trust and confidence, you’ll understand him and help him regain his confidence and trust in your leadership. When your horse resists or shuts down, you’ll know how to encourage his ideas or wait until he asks you a question. When your horse is calm, trusting, motivated and willing, you’ll get to work on the subtleties of becoming an excellent rider. Even though “rider” is first on this list, for the good of the horse it’s the thing you get to focus on last. One day it will all be seamless — you’ll do it all, all of the time. And then, in your horse’s eyes, you are a real horseman. Spring 2017


veryone has probably experienced unintended consequences of actions they have taken. Maybe you taught your pet a cute trick which evolved into something unexpected. I taught my kitten to play with her ping pong ball and other toys in the tub so she wouldn’t lose them under furniture. So it’s my own darn fault when I find a live (or dead) mouse in the bathtub! She’s just doing what I taught her, ‘playing’ with a ‘toy’ in the tub. A big area where consequences can be difficult to see, is in proposed legislation. I learned to read bills myself and not rely on interpretations of what an ‘animal welfare’ bill means, not even that of a well-known organization. People writing bills may have a clear view of what they want to accomplish, but not see what the law would mean to the average pet owner. One year a NH bill was brought forward to force anyone who bred a litter to have each dog outside in a fenced yard for a full hour every day to exercise. This seemed a kind and reasonable way to ensure that dogs kept in less than great conditions got more exercise. I’m sure that was the bill sponsor’s intent. But what did this mean when applied to ‘all’ of these dogs? It meant mother dogs with new litters would be forced away from them an hour a day, causing them trauma and possibly fatal chilling for the pups. It meant no consideration for the needs of the individual dogs. I have shown dogs, and occasionally my pets had a carefully planned litter. I would have to put my blind, crippled, 16 ½ year old, balding, five pound dog out an hour every day whether snowing, freezing, raining, boiling hot, humid etc. because I’d raised pups! No exceptions for elderly or ill animals! Dogs with breathing issues could be out in heat and humidity, hairless dogs could be out in freezing cold because they lived with a breeder. That didn’t sound so kind anymore! Unintended consequences for sure! I raised those points at the bill hearing, even people who favored it were aghast at the unforseen consequences. So intent on what they wanted to do, they missed that what they would be doing to the animals could be animal cruelty! Another bill forbade the tying of dogs outside. Many campaigns on this topic typically portray a sad looking dog living its life outside on a heavy chain with no shelter. Yes, there are situations where tying a dog out isn’t done humanely. Does this mean anyone in a living situation where they can Spring 2017

state’s government website. Write committee members, address the committee involved in investigating the bill, keep your own legislators up to date on bills that interest you, and help avoid unintended consequences that could impact you and your pets. To learn more about NH bills contact Dog Owners of the Granite State (DOGS) www. or DOGS, founded in 1991, monitors NH legislation to protect the interests of pets and their owners.

Unintended Consequences Nancy Holmes have a dog but not a fence should have no option for time outside, when they can’t physically take it for a walk? Before a fence, I was glad for my tieout runs when I was sick, in the middle of the night and dogs needed to go out, or time was too short for a walk, or just to get them away from the vacuum cleaner. Forbidding everyone because a few situations are bad, just isn’t fair to the average pet owner and might keep good pet owners from having a dog at all. These are just examples of bills which show up every year with many others, impacting animals and owners in New England. Now, I read every bill line by line, check the sections of code they refer to or will change, and try to understand what the far reaching implications might be. I don’t rely on what a group or supporters say they believe a bill will do. I like to read for myself and decide if I support it or if I see unintended consequences will negatively impact people and their pets. That allows me the option of writing to legislators in support or to outline issues I see with a bill as written, giving another perspective on how the bill will impact pet owners. It’s easier to encourage amendment of a bill or kill it in committee, than to live with the results when a law accidentally makes sensible pet care illegal. I encourage every pet lover to become familiar with animal oriented bills in their state and decide for themselves their good and bad points. Proposed legislation typically can be found via your

Nancy Holmes is a lifetime animal lover who has bred champion show dogs, trained difficult dogs, done breed rescue on a local and national basis, studied canine structure, health, behavior and genetics and very strongly believes in the inestimable value of the human animal bond. Currently she shares her home with two cats and two dogs (and the occasional deer mouse who tries to move in). All this has led her towards helping the NH DOGS group in their efforts to preserve the rights of pet owners to have and enjoy the animals they love. 5

Scott Milne and Vince at the Appalachian Trail

Service - Volunteers...

How to Win Travel Prizes

n Volunteers must log their time volunteering for an eligible non-profit, in order to be eligible and recognized as part of the Service-Volunteers program. Hours will be logged by registering on olunteering is the foundation of most successful non-profit organiza- their website. tions. Every year thousands of folks take time to support causes and charities n Monthly recognition will be given that make a difference in our communities. to the top volunteers. Milne Travel’s Service-Volunteers program is designed to inspire and honor volunteers and the organizations they serve. According to company President, n Quarterly, a Service-Volunteers Scott Milne, “Milne Travel is all about service- to our clients, among ourselves winner will be awarded a prize. Winners and our communities. Our focus on service started with our founders-my par- will be authenticated by our proprietary database to verify the person’s claim ents, Don and Marion Milne.” In response to this commitment, Milne Travel has launched a new program (log) before announcing the winner. designed to reward those groups and volunteers who give of themselves. n Share points are the credits that

Milne Travel’s Program to Promote Volunteering


volunteers receive for logging and sharing their volunteer activity. An hour of volunteering counts for 4 Share points. Activity volunteers post to Facebook (via Service-Volunteers) are awarded one point each for likes and comments. More Shares = more chances to win! n Winners will be posted via Milne Media streams. Be sure to follow them on Facebook! n Minimum logging hours to qualify: 4 hrs per month/50 per year. n At the end of the yearlong campaign, one of the twelve monthly winners, as well as the top three total time contributing volunteers, will be put into a random drawing for a grand prize. n The grand prize award to be named the “Marion Milne Service-Volunteers Recognition Award.” As Milne explains, “We’ve partnered with our friends at Cabot Creamery Co-operative to also give you the opportunity to win monthly prizes through the Reward Volunteers program. By logging your time with us you will automatically be eligible for these great monthly prizes!”

6 4 Legs & a Tail

For more information or to register, visit Spring 2017

Cat Reimagined: Spirit Cats at Monadnock Humane Society Ashley Okola


he cat population at Monadnock Humane Society has changed. We are seeing a shift in the types of animals taken in as strays or being surrendered. Rather than numerous “oops” litters of kittens, the cats coming to us are frequently older animals who have lived in multi-cat households of overwhelming populations. These cats are frequently difficult to place for a variety of reasons. Take for example the elusive “scaredycat” that may prefer to be more of a roommate than a companion. These cats may have been under-socialized kittens that missed the vital socialization period with people the first few weeks of life. Or adult cats that have never before their home until the passing of an elderly owner and now cannot cope with the new changes of environment the shelter setting brings.   Whatever the reason, when these animals come to us, they are a challenge to re-home. Their target audience of adopters is very slim. When visitors walk through the shelter, these cats hide under blankets to stay inconspicuous. Although they don’t want to stay in the shelter, they avoid meeting their potential adopters.

There are signs on the door that talk about the Spirit Cat program and highlight the individual personalities of the cats currently in residence. One of the great qualities of a Spirit Cat is that they usually thrive on the company of other felines. So, if you are looking for a companion for your current house cat, consider adding a Spirit Cat to your family. Adopters interested in visiting the Spirit Cats should talk with the adoption staff to learn about individual personalities. Adults and accompanied children should Continued Next Page

Reframing the Challenge - House Spirits

Instead of seeing these cats aloofness as a problem, we decided to focus on highlighting the ways in which they enliven the homes in which they live. In materials developed by Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society of Springfield, MA, these cats are called “House Spirits.” Described as “very shy with people. They live in your home, but are rarely seen.” We are calling them Spirit Cats. At MHS, we believe it is good luck to give a home to a Spirit Cat. Although your visitors may never see the Spirit Cat who lives in your home, the observant guest will recognize the signs: a catnip toy, a bowl of crunchy kibble and possibly a tail showing below the window curtains. Over time, the Spirit Cat you live with may allow you to touch her. Or, she may not. However, you’ll never come home to an empty house, while a Spirit Cat lives with you.

How to See a Spirit Cat

At MHS’ Adoption and Learning Center in Swanzey, NH, Spirit Cats are housed in their own multi-cat room. This is in an area of the shelter that is set back from the hustle and bustle of the adoption floor. Spring 2017 7

enter the Spirit Cat room quietly. Visitors should go slowly; taking a seat on the floor is a great way to see and be seen. The best way to interact with Spirit Cats is to play with a wand toy at a distance. This entices the cats to interact with people. Quiet, gentle visitors are a boon to these cats. You help the cats become more comfortable around visitors. If you choose to bring home a Spirit Cat it may, over time, become so comfortable in your home that it chooses to hang out with you. Allowing the relationship to grow in the cat’s own time will surely help you reimagine the house cat. The beauty, grace, and charm of a Spirit Cat fills a house with love. Ashley Okola is the Assistant Manager and Feline Coordinator at Monadnock Humane Society. She has her Master of Science in Animals and Public Policy from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. She shares her home with two cats, a golden retriever, a bunny, and a very understanding husband.

8 4 Legs & a Tail

Spring 2017

Do You Have Obsessive Dog Disorder? R

ecently we received a lot of comments on a Facebook post regarding obsessive dog disorder. It seems many of us can be a little over the top when it comes to dogs. Here are some of our favorites and a few others you came up with: - You have more than one dog - You greet your dog before your spouse - You realize you gave your dog the perfect name before you had your first child - You like spending more time with your dog than going out with friends - You snowblow a path to your dogs favorite pee spot - You go home during the day to check on the dogs - If your dog is sleeping on the couch, you sit on the floor instead - You’re not a big meat eater, but you order the 20 oz sirloin because your dog likes the leftovers - Your phone has more photos of your dog than your children - It’s been years since you went to the doctor, but you take your dog to the vet annually - Your house is littered with dog toys - You spend your lunch hour walking the dog - You say “bless you” whenever your dog sneezes - Congratulated your dog for doing their business outside, several years into hem being housebroken - Take it personally when your dog sits next to someone other than you - Listen to people talk about their dog while secretly thinking about how your dog is better

Spring 2017 9




Beth and Willow sharing some time with a couple of favorite cats



he sun did not shine, it was too wet to play, so we sat in the house all that cold, cold wet day. I sat there with Sally. We sat here we two and we said ‘How we wish we had something to do.” It was the 1960’s when my mother first shared the magical adventures of the Dr. Seuss classic. I knew every word and often fantasized what it would be like to spend an unsupervised day with such a special feline. When my children came of age, The Cat in the Hat became a bedtime standard. As this literary classic turns 60 years old this year, and I share the tales of Sally, Thing One and Thing Two, a fish and The Cat with my granddaughter, the genius of Theodore Geisel jumps off the pages as if it were penned yesterday. Theodore Geisel, writing as Dr. Seuss, created The Cat in the Hat in response to the May 24, 1954 Life magazine article by John Hersey, titled “Why Do Students Bog Down on First R? A Local Committee Sheds Light on a National Problem: Reading.” In the article, Hersey was critical of school primers: In the classroom boys and girls are confronted with books that have insipid illustrations depicting the slicked-up lives of other children. [Existing primers] feature abnormally courteous, unnaturally clean boys and girls. . . . In bookstores, anyone can buy brighter, livelier books featuring strange and wonderful animals and children who behave naturally, i.e., sometimes misbehave. Given incentive from school boards, publishers could do as well with primers. Hersey’s arguments were enumerated over ten pages of Life Magazine, which was the leading periodical during that time. After detailing many issues contributing to the dilemma connected with student reading levels, Hersey asked toward the end of the article: Why should [school primers] not have pictures that widen rather than narrow the associative richness the children give to the words they illustrate — drawings like those of the wonderfully imaginative geniuses among children’s illustrators, Tenniel, Howard Pyle, “Dr. Seuss”, Walt Disney? Dr. Seuss responded to this “challenge,” and began work. His publisher supplied him with the sight vocabulary of 223 words, one that was in harmony with the words the child would be learning in school. In an interview he gave in Arizona magazine in June 1981, Dr. Seuss claimed the book took nine months to complete due to the difficulty in writing a book from the 223 selected words. He added that the title for the book came from his desire to have the title rhyme and the first two suitable rhyming words that he could find from the list were "cat" and "hat". Dr. Seuss also regretted the association of his book and the "look say" reading method adopted during the Dewey revolt in the 1920s. He expressed the opinion that “... killing phonics was one of the greatest causes of illiteracy in the country.”

Seuss had already published nine books for children. The first, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, came out in 1937. The tenth, Horton Hears a Who!, would appear in the fall of 1954. He had received some acclaim for his books, winning Caldecott Honors for McElligot’s Pool (1947), Bartholomew and the Oobleck (1949), and If I Ran the Zoo (1950). But Dr. Seuss was equally famous for “Quick, Henry, the Flit!” — his slogan for Flit insecticide. After first appearing in an ad in 1928, it quickly became a national catchphrase. His work in the field of advertising was his primary source of income. The Cat in the Hat would change all that. Seuss wrote the book to teach children how to read, and its success allowed him to write full-time for children. Indeed, the Cat made “Dr. Seuss” a household name. With the publication of The Cat in the Hat in the spring of 1957 and of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! later that year, Dr. Seuss became an icon of American children’s literature. Theodor Seuss Geisel was born on March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Massachusetts, to Theodor Robert Geisel, a successful brew master, and Henrietta Seuss Geisel. At age 18, Geisel left home to attend Dartmouth College, where he became the editor in chief of its humor magazine, Jack-O-Lantern. When Geisel and his friends were caught drinking in his dorm room one night, in violation of Prohibition law, he was kicked off the magazine staff, but continued to contribute to it using the pseudonym “Seuss.” On April 4, 2012, the Dartmouth Medical School was renamed the Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine in honor of their many years of generosity to the College. Though the brick and mortar of the Hanover, NH facility is bound to stand well beyond our lifetime, it is certain that it will not endure nearly as long as that mischievous Cat in the Hat.

HAPPY 60TH ANNIVERSARY! 10 4 Legs & a Tail

Spring 2017

Miranda Lambert...

A D o g's B e s t F r i e n d

Miranda, Bel lamy & Delta Daw Photo credit to Jamie Wrig n ht


hen she was in her 20s, Miranda Lambert emerged as one of country music’s rising stars. She grew up in Lindale, TX, a small town where her parents ran a private detective agency. Her father was also a guitarist and songwriter, and she grew up listening to such country music greats as Merle Haggard and Guy Clark. At the age of 10, Lambert entered her first country music talent show. Her budding career got a boost from performing on Johnnie High’s Country Music Revue, a weekly variety show in Arlington, Texas. This program helped launch the careers of several other country music stars, including LeAnn Rimes and Lee Ann Womack. Another talent contest led to some acting work, appearing in a commercial and the teen comedy Slap Her She’s French (2001). She got a big break when she passed the auditions for a new country music reality show, Nashville Star. She moved to the country music capital to compete for a recording contract among other prizes. While she didn’t win, Lambert still landed a major label contract with Sony Music after becoming the show’s second runnerup. “I was hoping not to win,” she said in a statement on her website. “The winner had to go in right after the contest and make a record in a couple of weeks, and I wasn’t ready.” Miranda continues her reign as one of country’s most popular performers. In Continued Next Page

Spring 2017 11

2014, she released Platinum, which featured such hit tracks as “Automatic” and “Somethin’ Bad.” The record also earned several CMA Awards, including single of the year and album of the year, and won a Grammy in 2015 for Best Country Album. As the Highway Vagabond Tour got off to a great start this year, Miranda is rallying the support of pet lovers by calling on concertgoers to support her passion and to “Fill The Little Red Wagon” at her tour stops with food and supplies to help animals in need. The country superstar is offering up the chance for one lucky fan and a guest to meet her before her performance. To enter, all you have to do is drop off pet food, treats or toys into the “Little Red Wagon” that is set up at the entrance of the venue on the evening of her shows. All donations benefit local shelters. Recently, 4 Legs & a Tail caught up with the country music superstar and dog enthusiast between shows. 4 Legs & a Tail - Your passion for dogs is well known. In 2009, you and your mom, Bev started Mutt Nation. What was the inspiration behind this? ML: All my life I have felt such a strong connection with dogs and never lost the passion for wanting to find homes for them. When I was younger I volunteered at a local shelter where I saw how much money and work it took for a shelter to run efficiently. My mom, Bev, and I wanted to help them so we put together a charity event called “Cause for the Paws” where all the proceeds would be donated to that specific shelter. The event continued to grow every year, so we decided to start working on a program that could help animals on a national level. We decided to start the MuttNation Foundation in 2009 to give it a proper framework and accountability. 

off and on, and four of my dogs are way too big for the bus on a longer run, that would definitely not be very comfortable for them. 4 Legs & a Tail - What kind of dogs do you currently have? ML: They run the gamut. Jessi and Waylon are Golden mixes and they are sister and brother. My 2 Great Pyrenees Thelma and Louise are also girl siblings. Bellamy is a Comfort Retriever, Delta is a Chihuahua/Pug mix and Cher is a Deer Chihuahua.

Miranda Lambert with Bellamy Photo credit to Stephanie Diggs

is through rescue missions and charity events. We love helping dogs and it made sense to create a product line where it would help fund those rescue missions and charity events. The product line also has a rescue dog plush toy collection and we’ve personalized each dog with a tag that has their story where you can learn more about them. We hope that customers will share those stories, encouraging others to adopt, and in some way become involved with helping to save dogs.

4 Legs & a Tail - Animal homelessness is rampant in many southern areas. What do you see as the most effective solution to this problem? ML: Many people believe shelters are not a great place to find a dog, but I truly believe shelters are a great way to find your forever furry friend. Most shelters I visit do a great job taking in animals and rehabilitating them to give them a chance at getting adopted. When those dogs go home with their new owners, they are so grateful because their entire life just changed and they know it. This is MuttNation Foundation’s main focus along with educating people, about how important and beneficial it is to adopt a pet rather than buy one. 4 Legs & a Tail - As a country superstar, a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, how do you manage your time? ML: I try to live a normal life and take down time at home as much as possible to stay grounded. I truly love what I do for a living and getting to create things that I can be proud of, that also brings happiness to others, animals included! So I purposefully make sure that any work related or hobby projects reflect who I am, so I continue to have a good balance in my life.

4 Legs & a Tail - Two years ago your 50 States/50 Shelters helped fund the Animal Rescue League of NH. On June 2 & 3 you have performances at the Bank of NH Pavilion. Do any of your dogs accompany you on tour? ML:  My smaller dogs, Bellamy, Delta and Cher, go out on the road with me all the time. They are my “road dogs.” It makes 4 Legs & a Tail - The foundation has grown me feel more at home to have them out 4 Legs & a Tail - Can you share your with on-line and retail pet products. Can with me. favorite dog story? you tell us more? ML: MuttNation Foundation’s main 4 Legs & a Tail - When you’re on the road, ML: So many! One that really stands out is how Jessi and Waylon became mission is educating the public and bring- who takes care of your dogs at home? ing awareness to how important and ML: I have some good people that help part of my family. One day my mom Bev rewarding it is to adopt a shelter pet, and watch over them while I’m gone. With and I went on an errand in town and drove some of the most effective ways to do that seven dogs you need help walking them over a bridge, when I thought I saw something move. It was pouring rain and we stopped and backtracked to see if there was really something moving on the side of the road. Turned out there were these two very soaking wet but beautiful little puppies, and we took them to the vet immediately. For a couple of days it was touch and go, but luckily both of them pushed through and have been by my side for the past 9 years. They are such amazing and loving dogs, I’m so lucky to have found them. I love hearing stories about how rescue dogs have become a part of people’s families and changed their lives for the better. A rescue getting their happy ending is what really matters. Don’t forget, love a shelter pet! Spring 2017 12 4 Legs & a Tail

Anne, A Story About Kindness From Draft Gratitude Rebecca Roy


ne of our volunteers in New York received a call seeking help in placing a Belgian mare with a sore front leg. Out of kindness, our volunteer went out to the farm one evening after work, and met the horse. She took some pictures and tried to get as much information as possible. Our volunteer met Anne, a 17 y/o Belgian mare. The farmer who owned her wanted $100 for her and a local rescue in New York stepped up, out of kindness, and paid the $100 for her. There was a second horse that needed to be placed as well, a teenaged Standardbred gelding. The rescue group that was taking this Standardbred offered to take Anne for a few days, until our hauler could get there to pick her up. Again, out of kindness. Anne soon made the trip to New Hampshire. When she was seen by Dr. Ted Johnson, he discovered that she was blind in her left eye. No wonder she had been so skittish when being approached from her left side! Dr. Johnson also determined that she had ring bone arthritis in her right front pastern joint. Anne is now gaining weight and receiving pain medicine safe for daily use. She is doing great! We had an adoption application in our hands from a couple looking to adopt an older draft horse that could be a companion animal to their horse, and possibly do some light riding. When they saw the pictures of Anne, it was love at first sight. Not just anyone is willing to take in a draft horse as a companion animal. Let’s face it, they eat a lot, their dinner plate sized hooves cost more to trim, and they can’t always fit in a typical sized stall. If you can get past all of that, and still be willing to take in a draft with chronic arthritis unable to do any weight bearing work, you are just amazing! Home offers for a draft horse with lameness issues and a vision impairment are few and far between. We are hopeful that kindness will continue to follow Anne. Her potential adopters have visited with her twice now and plan to come up again. We encourage our adopters to take all the time they need to make a decision. Anne is a very lucky mare and we are thrilled to have her here with us. Draft Gratitude is an all-volunteer nonprofit draft horse rescue in Winchester, NH. Founded in 2014, they save draft horses from slaughter by providing a second chance and a place to call home. Draft Gratitude focuses on aged farming horses. To learn more about the work that Draft Gratitude does saving unwanted draft horses, visit their website at www. Draft Gratitude hosts an open barn visiting day the first Saturday of every month from 10am-12pm. Draft Gratitude is an all-volunteer nonprofit draft horse rescue. Draft Gratitude saves draft horses from slaughter by providing a second chance and a place to call home. Rebecca Roy is the founder of Draft Gratitude and can be reached at 603762-3266 or Spring 2017 13

For the Love of Your Animal - REIKI !! Megan MacArthur Littlehales


e all love our critter friends. You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t! And I wouldn’t be writing it. We find ways to love them every day- feeding them the best quality food we can, giving them exercise, training, and play time, petting, snuggling, and grooming them, talking to them. As our hearts open to theirs, we find that they are present with us in a

Healing Hands Reiki For All Beings, Massage For Dogs

Megan Littlehales, RMT, CMT Purchase 2 Sessions - Get 20% Off!

802-254-6955 •

14 4 Legs & a Tail

way that is so clear and simple- indeed it is rather spiritual. They do not judge us or have any specific agenda for us, they just accept us for who we are, in this moment. I find that I can return that love by sitting with them in peace, sharing meditations, and thus build our relationship even further. Meditation with an animal- this is not something that I would have thought about as a younger person. Once I was introduced to Reiki, I decided to devote my life to making it a practice and sharing it with animals. A powerful path has been laid before me and I follow where it leads. Reiki (pronounced RAY-KEE) is a spiritual healing system discovered in Japan by a Buddhist monk named Mikao Usui. Reiki means spiritual energy, or it is sometimes translated as universal life force. A Reiki practitioner is trained to open to this energy and share it with others for their healing and growth. Now I sit with, dogs, cats, horses, goats, birds, etc… and offer Reiki meditations on a daily basis. Do they respond? YES! They

will all choose how and where they want to receive it- in my lap, the other side of the stall, on the couch a few feet away… that is their choice and Reiki works just as it should from whatever the distance. Responses can be subtle or dramatic as we see shifts in patterns of behavior, increased mobility, quicker healing times, and increased relaxation and ease of well-being. There are multiple reasons to utilize Reiki to support your animal’s health. Loving touch and intention has a profound effect on a being: relieving pain, reducing stress, promoting healing around illness and injury, as well as generalized balance and relaxation. Time spent sitting in their presence while offering Reiki (or any kind of meditation) clears the way for deeper connections, communication, and two way healing. They will feel better, you will feel better, and life will generally be better! Meditation has been shown through research to support the health of those who practice, and it is clear that sharing it with others spreads that healing capacity to them as well. So find a way to bring Reiki into your life and the lives of your furry/feathered friends. Invite me to come and share with you. I can offer to a specific being, or I can spread the Reiki energy into the whole space, so you and your animals can all feel the shifts. Take a level I class and start the fabulous process of integrating Reiki into your own path. Learn how to treat yourself and feel the healing benefits. Share with your friends and family and bring more peace into their lives. Offer it to your animal loves and watch them respond. Whichever you choose, you will be feeling the connection, riding on the shared love, and letting your bright light expand. Megan MacArthur Littlehales is sole proprietor of LADY MOON Healing Hands and is a Reiki Master Teacher and Certified Canine Massage Therapist.  She is based in Marlboro, VT. Contact her to learn more about how Reiki can support you and your animals. Spring 2017

Collie Without Borders I

Cathy White

n the beloved film “Babe” a little pig becomes a champion sheep herder. In reality, sheep farmers use herding dogs for this task. Border Collies in particular are bred and renowned for their abilities to manage a flock. At Far Fetch Farm in Spofford, NH, the sheep are primarily overseen by Jura, a 6-year old Border Collie with an astonishing ability to “read” his ovine charges. The flock of 28 include Cheviot, Finn and Romney breeds, raised at the farm for wool and meat. His eventual successor is 14-month old Breton, whose shepherding abilities already instill confidence in the farm’s owner, Liz Shaw. “I have no doubt she will be a mighty sheepdog,” says Shaw, who is also a semi-retired dog trainer. But Jura and Breton are not the only Border Collies at Far Fetch. (In sheep herding parlance, the word “fetch” refers to the movement a collie makes when he is bringing in the sheep after “gathering” them. Before the farm was established in Spofford, it existed in Belmont, MA where the name was a pun referring to the fact that a sheep farm so near Boston was a “far-fetched” notion.   Also in attendance are 13-year old Quinn and 9-year old Rose. Both came from Glen Highland Farm,  a rescue in Morris, NY specializing in Border Collies. No one would expect Quinn to be working now, but what about Rose? Did she mentor Jura as the farm’s primary working collie? Not in the least. She has found her bliss in a completely different field (no pun intended!). Rose, under two years old when rescued, was most likely a stray. Liz attributes that to her passion for chasing deer, abundant in upstate New York. Then the hope was that Rose would do what Border Collies do best at Far Fetch.


Training a collie to herd is very different from basic obedience. To control sheep, Border Collies use motions and looks that are part of what is called the “hunting sequence.” This involves “eye/ stalk/chase” behavior that may look familiar to those who’ve seen sheep herding trials. (Interestingly, the next part of the hunting sequence is “grab/bite/kill.” Not desirable in a herding dog, but essential behavior for terriers and other breeds used in hunting and killing vermin. This part of the hunting sequence was purposely bred out of herding dogs). The intense focus innate in Border Collies, generally considered one of the most intelligent  breeds, is a requirement Continued Next Page

Spring 2017 15

for working sheep. Rose is indisputably smart and focused, so why doesn’t she herd? Because she was constantly distracted during training, and not by the sheep. People consistently drew Rose. She simply wanted to be around the folks at her training sessions, not the sheep. While Liz also attributes Rose’s lack of herding interest to her own human inexperience at the time, primarily it was the people that fascinated Rose. A person's smile was an open invitation to Rose for a meet and greet. Liz's husband Al, who works outside of Boston, sometimes took Rose to the office with him. She was tremendously excited by these visits before she even got through the door. She loved everyone, from children to the elderly, but especially (and perhaps atypically) men. Liz relates that if Rose had a choice between ten guys and ten sheep, she would “buzz the sheep” and then go “hang out with the guys.” Many people also noted Rose’s uncanny ability to identify people troubled or in emotional pain. Rose once gently curled up in the lap of a breast cancer patient who had recently lost her own dog. The woman told Liz: “That’s just how my dog used to touch me.” This affinity for furry empathy led Liz and Rose to therapy work. “With that kind of talent, what else could I do with her?” asks Liz.  And so, the Border Collie that wouldn’t herd sheep became the Border Collie who loved being a Therapy Dog. Folks at Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, where Rose visits weekly, wholeheartedly agree with Liz’s assessment; and are grateful that the pair have taken this path. Meredith Lynch, Director of Volunteer and Ancillary Services says of Rose, “She seems to know when a person is in need of a little cheering up. She is always very excited about being here so we know she enjoys her work.”   It’s not just the patients that benefit from Rose’s furry empathy. A staffer on the Farnum  Rehabilitation Floor relates, though she is here for the patients, the staff often are the ones to get the most joy out of her visits. She’s incredibly well-behaved, gentle and affectionate. It is particularly fun to see a patient’s face light up when Rose comes around the corner.” Another echoes that sentiment, saying, “She is so sweet natured and loving - she is therapy for the staff as well as patients...when she is on the unit you can hear people saying ‘Rose is here’. “  While herding is supposed to be in her blood, spreading joy, comfort and love is what’s in Rose’s heart.

16 4 Legs & a Tail

Cathy White lives in Walpole with her husband, Jeff. They have been owned by Labradors of every color for almost 30 years. Cathy is a Boston University alum, with a degree in print communications. Spring 2017

Megin Eaton of Franklin Pierce cuddles Leonardo

Kitty Rescue and Adoption A

Roxanne Rubell

fter taking in Feral and Abandoned cats for 15 years, this amazing shelter must find a new home before June! As Monadnock Kitty Rescue and Adoption (KRA) enters their 15th year, the non-profit, No-Kill shelter faces a monumental challenge -- trying to secure a new location for their shelter and all the cats that live there, by the end of June. KRA’S STORY Located in Jaffrey, NH, KRA started back in 2002 out of a desperate need to establish a No-Kill option for the feral and stray cats of Southwestern NH, that couldn’t be considered for the Trap-NeuterRelease(TNR) program. The TNR program captures feral cats, gives them a medical exam and performs spay or neuter surgery if applicable. Their left ear is then tipped and they are returned to where they came from. This works well when there are people watching over the colony of returned cats to make sure they are fed, have access to clean water and have adequate shelter for the tough winter months. However, when a caregiver is not in place to care for a colony, or if neighbors consider feral cats to be a nuisance, then the cats are in trouble. Often, they’ll not be given food, water or some type of shelter to hole up in, they are often times abused and more vulnerable to predators than they were already. This is why Kitty Rescue and Adoption was founded and why it’s such a vital organization. We provide a safe place for feral, stray and abandoned cats to live their lives and be well cared for in the process. Many of the cats at the rescue will never be adopted, as they are not domesticated Spring 2017

enough for home living (some have been here for many years!). They fear people, but have come to understand that they are safe at the shelter. “Gaining the trust of a feral cat is one of the most amazing things to experience” says KRA President, Heidi Bourgeois. “It truly is an honor when they finally trust you enough to let you pet them!” Cats that are more domesticated and seek out attention from the staff at KRA are adopted into loving families and cared for the rest of their lives. Over the years, many volunteers have been drawn to the rescue because they passionately believe in the mission of a never-kill shelter. They give their free time generously without pay, spending countless hours cleaning and caring for our 100+ cat and kitten population. These dedicated folks – and Bourgeois, their fearless leader (who also has a full-time day job), are the reason why KRA is able to save hundreds of cats each year.

can mail donations to Kitty Rescue and Adoption PO Box 468, Jaffrey, NH 03452. To find out more about adoptions, discounted spay/neuter procedures and more, you can call the shelter at 603-5329444. You’ll reach a live person when they’re open on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-9 pm, and Saturday mornings from 9 am to 1 pm, otherwise leave a message.

Kitty Rescue and Adoption 11 Plantation Drive, Jaffrey, NH 03452 is a 501(c) (3), non-profit, no-kill, rescue that offers a feral sanctuary and a second chance for stray and abandoned cats.

RAISING FUNDS FOR A NEW HOME There’s no sugar coating the situation KRA is in. They need to be out of their current location by THIS June! If they don’t find a new home before then, the cats will go to other shelters in the area – most of which are NOT No-Kill and definitely do not take in ferals. The organization has done a great job of fundraising over the last year. Their New Home Fund is up to about $120,000, but they need to raise at least $150,000 more to build OR purchase a building with good bones that can be remodeled to accommodate the shelter’s needs. “Every donation helps whether it’s $10 or $20,” says Bourgeois. She adds, “Word of mouth is very helpful as well – tell a friend who loves cats and animals about us!” HOW CAN YOU HELP? If you would like to help save Kitty Rescue and Adoption, you can make a donation to their New Home Fund by visiting their website, (you can make donations through the site) or you 17

*We will not sell or give your information to a third party. K117 18 4 Legs & a Tail

Spring 2017

DOG FIGHTS John Peaveler


og fights happen. Just as conflicts arise among humans, dogs too have altercations that sometimes result in physical violence. I’d like to be clear upfront on this topic that I am not a dog behaviorist. I am a professional animal handler and instructor. Dog behaviorists and trainers should be your first stop if you have a fight prone dog, particularly one who poses a risk to humans or other animals. My job is to give you some options for those hopefully rare occasions when you need to stop a fight in progress. However, the absolutely best way to deal with a fight is to prevent it. There are a whole host of things we do in our lives which require adequate education, from reading to driving, yet it’s no exaggeration to say that the majority of dog owners have had no formal or even informal instruction on canine behavior. Barbara Handleman, a certified canine behaviorist based in Norwich, VT wrote an incredible book I recommend called Canine Behavior: A Photo Illustrated Handbook. This book is quite comprehensive and will prove an excellent reference for anyone wanting to know what their dogs’ behavior means. Once you know what your dog is communicating, it’s much easier to get the root of problems. Safety is the most important element of fight intervention. Most of us love our pets, so our first instinct is often to get in the middle of a fight in order to stop it at all costs. Those costs, however, can be profound and include emergency and reconstructive surgery for both humans and dogs as well as rabies quarantine and euthanasia depending upon ordinances. Getting into the middle of a fight is simply not an option. If for instance, as is common, you were to pull two dogs apart by their collars, you may physically pull the animals apart but the farther you pull them the more your face ends up between them. This happens all the time and very often results in severe injury for the person who does it. Dog fights can be minor altercations or true emergencies, so in controlled settings where fights are likely to occur, such as animal shelters, boarding facilities, and doggy daycares, it’s important to have the same level of preparedness as a you would have for medical emergencies or fires. Fight response options depend upon the severity of the fight and preparedness of the people involved. Your first Spring 2017

recourse should be sound. In minor fights, a loud clap and shout of ‘hey’ repeated as necessary will often suffice. If this is insufficient, escalate to an air horn or pet deterrent spray (such as Premier brand compressed air or air with citronella). These are great options because they are portable and effective in the average fight. Water is your next best option. A bucket kept ready offers a high volume in a short time, but a hose is more realistic in most settings. Your goal is to soak the heads of both animals and startle them out of the fight and back into voice control. For professional animal care organizations, I recommend that a “Y” pole be an integrated piece of equipment for fight response. This is a passive restraint tool, but it also works very well as a wedge to drive between two dogs. “Y” poles require additional training. Finally, physical barriers are required for some fights, particularly the rare one that doesn’t end after trying everything else above. A livestock sorting panel is great, a piece of plywood will work, and in uncontrolled situations, any item can be used to physically separate the dogs: a chair, cardboard box, crate, bike, table, whatever is present. The point is to put a barrier other than your body between two fighting dogs. Now let’s say you’re out for a walk in a field and your dog gets into a fight.

You basically have two options depending upon the severity of the fight and assuming you’ve tried shouting with no success. Your best option is wheelbarrowing. If there are two owners, work together simultaneously on this. Grab both hind legs of the more dominant dog or the dog that is winning and raise the entire hind end up off the ground, dragging the dog away from the fight. This works well in large breed dogs, but keep in mind a smaller dog like a Jack Russel can likely reach around for a bite. The other option isn’t nearly as nice. Never put your hands or face in a dog fight, but if you absolutely must use your body, use your legs. I’m not advocating kicking, but your shoe is much more durable than your face. These are the basics of dog fight response, paired down to fit in 800 words, but the condensed version may not leave you feeling well equipped. If you’d like more information, I regularly teach day long animal handling and capture classes. I would also be happy to write more on this subject for the next issue. If you’re interested in either of these, just drop me a line at Finally, dog fight intervention is dangerous, and I cannot accept any liability should you attempt any of the techniques I have described. 19

A Healthy Gut Means a Happy Mutt! A

Contributed by ForeFront™ Nutrition

s pet owners we’re always concerned about what goes into – and comes out of – our beloved dogs. The wrong thing going “in” can certainly have dire consequences on what comes “out”. One ill-gotten meal and you’re either dealing with an unhappy dog at best, a series of terrible messes, or at worst a trip to the vet. It’s not surprising then, that what goes into a dog can have tremendous impact on their overall well-being. The gut represents the largest immune organ in the dog’s body, roughly 70% of the canine immune system resides in their gastrointestinal tract. When the gut isn’t processing the absorption of food and nutrients, it’s working on blocking bacteria and toxins. But, when the body’s natural defenses in the gut breakdown, like after consuming a food or treat that doesn’t necessarily agree with them, digestive upsets including vomiting, diarrhea and constipation can unfortunately occur. Having the proper gut flora, both in type and quantity is critical to, not only get your dog through these times of gastric stress, but to also reduce the impact of the

20 4 Legs & a Tail

illness, as well. Though many premium dog food blends claim to include probiotics in their ingredients, there is no way of knowing the type of probiotic that is included, and most importantly, whether it is still viable by the time it gets into your dog’s bowl. Most probiotics used in pet products today are derived from bovine, human or yeast sources. For probiotics to have the desired effect they should be species specific, e.g. canine-specific probiotics. Even when dealing with premium dog food blends claiming to contain added probiotics, there is no guarantee what the probiotic source is. Furthermore, the natural enemy of probiotics is heat, water and pressure. Most commercial dog foods go through a heating and pressurization process when the kibble is extruded, which essentially kills off the beneficial bacteria. To combat this, some of the brands have begun spraying a probiotic blend on their kibble following baking. However, the quantity of food you buy, the manner in which it’s stored and how long it has been on the shelf are all factors which can all impact the viability of the probiotic contained within the food.

Canine Digest by ForeFront™ is a meatflavored, all natural powder supplement designed to be sprinkled atop your dog’s daily meal. One to two daily scoops are recommended depending on your dog’s size, age, condition and health. Each scoop of ForeFront Canine Digest™ provides a minimum of 500 million CFU’s of Probiotics. ForeFront’s Canine Digest™ not only contains a blend of four canine-specific probiotics but also includes prebiotics, as well. Prebiotics are the nutrients probiotics require to stay alive and flourish. Because ForeFront Canine Digest’s™ probiotics are fueled by prebiotics plus are host-specific, they can withstand the rigors of the canine digestive tract. ForeFront’s Canine Digest™ is designed to not only soothe the digestive system, but also to encourage nutrient absorption while simultaneously supporting overall health.  Another key ingredient in ForeFront’s Canine Digest™ is BeneCell®. BeneCell® is a proprietary blend of purified nucleotides, along with other essential nutrients designed to support cellular growth and promote healing and recovery. Simply put, BeneCell® promotes healing by naturally accelerating the dog’s normal cell proliferation process. The production of new cells allow your dog to more quickly recover from a variety of stresses, including those that can come in the form of illness, injury, disease or even as a result to anxiety from emotional or physiological situations. BeneCell® is particularly helpful for pets in less-than-optimal health or for breeds typically known for having food allergies and sensitive digestive systems. Remember, not all probiotics are alike. Do your homework and ensure the digestive support you’re giving your dog contains the nutrients they can actually benefit from. For more information on ForeFront and its line of premium canine & equine products visit About ForeFront Nutrition: ForeFront Nutrition™ is a family owned and operated business out of Vermont who understand the level of devotion and energy it takes to properly care for horses and dogs. By recognizing the increasing need to provide premium quality supplements, ForeFront’s team embarked on a passionate and extensive industry research journey. Since then their team of professionals with over 75 years of animal nutrition experience, have sourced, formulated and manufactured a selection of the highest quality animal supplements available. All ForeFront™ products are independently tested and certified prior to blending and are manufactured from all natural ingredients exclusively in the United States. Dealer Inquiries Welcome. (888) 772-9582 Spring 2017

Spring 2017 21

Fly and Mosquito Season

Dr. Woz


is the season for fly bites! We have seen many dogs with them recently, and they can be alarming to see for the first time. Many people confuse fly bites with tick bites, or even ringworm. Although dogs can be bitten by any number of insects, the black f ly bites are usually the most concerning to owners. The bites are distinctive in appearance – usually nickel-sized red spots (sometimes looking more like a target lesion), and generally most common on hairless or thinly-haired regions of the body such as the belly or armpits. Mosquito bites are also common in dogs, although those tend to be found more commonly on the head, face, and legs. These bites are more prone to become swollen and develop into a welt.

The fly bites themselves are not usually a cause for concern. They can be itchy and uncomfortable, but they do not require an emergent trip to the vet. What we worry about more than the bites is that f lies, particularly mosquitoes, carry diseases such as Heartworm Disease which can be Continued Next Page

22 4 Legs & a Tail

Spring 2017

extremely harmful to our pets. Please make sure your pets are on parasite prevention! Heartworm Disease, tickborne disease, and f leas are preventable and are easier (and cheaper!) to prevent than they are to treat. Some preventatives, such as Vectra 3D, have the benefit of repelling biting f lies. Aside from preventatives, the best way to avoid fly bites is to keep your pets inside during times when flies are more active and removing standing water from your property. Dr. Michaela Wozniakewicz is a graduate of Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and received her undergraduate degree from The University of Vermont. She grew up in Massachusetts but fell in love with Vermont during her time at UVM and joined the Rutland Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center team after completing veterinary school.

News from Mosquito Terminators, Mosquito Terminators started out in Connecticut in 2010 and grew rapidly, establishing a reputation for quality local service. How we came, to own a franchise of this business is, when we married in 2014 on our Christmas Tree Farm we had mosquitos. If we had only known then how effective this product is we would have used them to treat. We were also looking for something that was GREEN to go along with our farm and that is how we decided to jump on board to help stop the spread of decease with these creatures. We also liked the fact that it also works on ticks too! Being a phlebotomist and seeing the disease come through every day was quite alarming. How could we not help‌

Mosquito Terminators uses natural products that are safe for families and pets.

How Does the Mosquito Terminators Barrier Spray Program Work?

Approximately every 14-21 days Mosquito Terminators will visit your home or place of business and apply a predetermined treatment to the designated areas. Our solution is applied with a backpack blower that mists your problem areas and lasts up to 14-21 days (dependent upon weather conditions).

Does Mosquito Terminators Use Natural and Safe Solutions? Yes, Mosquito Terminators offers an All Natural Solution as part of our service. Our mosquito and tick treatments are very safe for adults, children, pets and other wild life.

Are Mosquito Terminators Technicians Certified, Licensed, and Insured?

Yes! All of our technicians are trained and fully compliant with all state and federal licensing requirements. Each Mosquito Terminators office is fully insured. I hope that answers some of your questions and we look forward to servicing you this coming year! Mary & Jeff Brown

Spring 2017 23

Appreciating Snakes N

Scott Borthwick - Canaan, NH

othing in the wild seems to cause more fear and hatred than the lowly snake. Even bats are not as reviled as the poor snake. But like bats, snakes are extremely beneficial to have around because they eat rodents, bugs, and in some cases other snakes. One of the first snake calls I ever got was from a property maintenance company stating that a snake was terrorizing one of their tenants. On the way there I was chuckling to myself about how

24 4 Legs & a Tail

easy this job would be picking up a little garter snake. Then I thought to myself, “Oh, No! Maybe this is some exotic pet that had escaped, like a Boa Constrictor or something similar.” When I arrived at the apartment complex I knocked on the door and informed the resident that I was here for a snake problem, only to discover that the property maintenance company had sent me to the wrong unit. The resident immediately went into a panic and while I was trying to calm him down, the neighbor yelled over that the snake was at their unit. It was a 12” Garter snake coiled on the sidewalk sunning itself. The terrorizing snake was quickly apprehended but I was surprised at how fearful these people were about a harmless little snake. The most common snake calls I get are for the Milk Snake. This snake can get fairly large, up to 3 feet or more. They are ominous in their size and appearance, having reddish brown spots similar to a Rattlesnake. However they are harmless unless you’re a rodent. For some reason they seem to enjoy entering human residences. I have a lot of funny stories about them, but I will stick to two. The first was a call from a large muscular man who

was rugby coach at a local college. He said he had two Milk Snakes in his laundry room. It was a Saturday and my wife was with me. When we arrived we inspected the laundry room but found no snakes. Then I discovered a hole going in the furnace room. Upon entering I noticed the snakes wrapped around the pipe going into the chimney. I said “there they are” and when I turned around the man was gone. I was able to grab them with my snake tongs and place them into the bag my wife was holding. The coach’s wife had to pay me because he had hurriedly left the property. Again showing the fear I had described before. The last story happened in a very large house in Vermont. The housekeeper called saying that there was a large snake in the hallway leading to the kitchen. Unfortunately I was far away and could not get there until the next morning. She was upset but said she would see what she could do about it. The housekeeper called me back later and said the snake had gone into a hole behind the refrigerator and that she had secured it there. The next day when I arrived the housekeeper was not there, just the homeowner. He showed me where the kitchen was. I tried to pull out the refrigerator but could not budge it. The owner then tried to help, between the two of us we still couldn’t move it. The housekeeper then arrived and we asked her why we could not move the refrigerator after she had done so herself the day before. She did not know, so I asked how she had secured the snake. Well it seems that when the snake went behind the refrigerator, she pulled it out and saw the snake go into a hole behind the cabinets. She then took a can of spray foam and emptied it into the hole and the surrounding area. She then pushed the refrigerator back in place. The foam expanded and dried sealing the poor snake and refrigerator in place. The best way to keep snakes out of your house is to make sure your basement area, and bulkhead is sealed. Small holes can be sealed with foam but you should always make sure you seal them out, not in. Scott Borthwick owns Estate Wildlife Control. He lives in Canaan, NH with his wife Donna, two dogs, a couple of horses and one tough old chicken named Henrietta. Spring 2017

Bunnies and Chicks for Easter: Buyer Beware M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM


ith Easter approaching, many pet stores stock up on “hot” items including live chicks and rabbits, which are often purchased and given to young children as presents. There is no doubt, young chicks and bunnies are impossibly cute, but the fact is they grow into adult rabbits and chickens who have housing, feeding, and handling requirements that many people do not know about. Many folks think rabbits are low maintenance pets that only require a small cage and some lettuce. The truth is, they have dietary requirements that include a balanced diet of pellets, fresh lettuce and other vegetables, and grass hays. They also require daily exercise and space enough to perform three consecutive hops in a cage. Young children tend to be rougher and not understand that rabbits can easily break their backs when handled. It is heartbreaking to have a child mishandle that new bunny and accidentally break its back. In addition, rabbits have long toenails that leave deep scratches, especially if handled improperly.

Spring 2017

Chicks are another incredibly cute baby, but they ultimately grow into chickens which require care. Roosters, when they hit sexual maturity, have the potential to become aggressive. Chickens, and all wild birds, can carry the potentially deadly Salmonella and E.coli that can cause serious diarrhea and possibly death to young children. After Easter, many shelters are overwhelmed by the number of relinquished rabbits and many are euthanized. In fact, rabbits are the third most relinquished pets to animal shelters, (which are usually equipped to handle only a few rabbits and rodents at a time). A serious misconception is that rabbits can be released into the wild to fend for themselves. The fact is they often starve to death or become easy prey for predators in the wild. So before purchasing that cute bunny or baby chick, remember they grow up into adult rabbits and chickens with their own essential requirements for care, housing, and nutrition for many years. You must commit to properly caring for them year

round. Talk to your veterinarian if you have questions or are considering buying a bunny or chick for Easter. If you can’t provide the necessary care for your bunnies or chicks, just say no to live bunnies and chicks: stick to chocolate bunnies and peeps. They are easy to care for and don’t stay around long. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional organization of 340 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine. For more information, visit or call (802) 878-6888. 25

In the Garden with Goose! Jenny Robinson


i everyone! My name is Goose and I am 15 weeks old!  I’m a lucky dog because I get to live on a farm with my Mom and lots of other animals.  This will be my first Spring and I can’t wait!  So many things to explore and learn about around here.  So far my favorite thing is chasing leaves around the yard.  My other favorite thing is  this amazing substance called “mud” .  It’s awesome and you can even bring some inside the house with you for later!  I have big plans to help Mom in the garden this year.  My favorite snack is green beans so mom said I can have my very own row of them in the garden...yum!  Because I’m a puppy, I just want to explore and sample everything, but there are some things that are bad for me!  Here are a few things that may seem just fine but might make me mom will tell you all about them! 

1. Spring lawn treatments. 

Our animals spend their lives barefoot. They have 4 legs that are capable of absorbing everything they touch in their environment.  They are closer to the ground then we are, they lay on the ground, roll around on it, and sometimes eat it!  We all know to keep animals away from toxic lawn chemicals but please keep in mind that even if you use an organic lawn fertilizer or pesticide that does not mean it is o.k. for your animal to eat it!  Even an organic pesticide is still a pesticide, which means it kills insects.  Small doses may seem harmless but over time can potentially harm your furry friends.  Please read labels carefully and if you must use lawn treatments, take the proper precautions with your animals.  Continued Next Page

26 4 Legs & a Tail

Spring 2017

2. Mulches.  Spring is a favorite time to apply mulches to gardens to keep down weeds, hold in moisture and

beautify the garden. Mulch can also be irresistible to our pets.  Some love to dig in it, lay in it and even eat it.  Not all mulches are created equal.  Some of the lesser quality mulches are actually ground up wood pallets with special dyes added for color.  These can be toxic to our pets!  There are even some ornamental mulches made out of cocoa shells, and while beautiful are the shells of cocoa beans aka Chocolate which is toxic to animals.  Why take the chance?  Over time, mulches can start to grow different types of molds, fungi, and mushrooms, some of which are highly toxic.  Keep an eye on the more shady, moist locations for these molds which can pop up seemingly overnight. 

3. Garden seeds. Spring is the time to begin planting seeds in our veggie gardens to grow delicious fresh veggies to enjoy all summer.  Dogs and cats love to dig in the dirt just like we do and a newly planted garden seems to be a favorite spot.  Please be aware that many of the seeds sold to plant in our gardens come coated in special fungicides to prevent them from rotting in the ground.  These coatings are potentially toxic to our pets.  The most common seeds to have these coatings are peas, green beans, corn, cucumbers, summer squash and zucchini.  Please read the labels of your seed packets to know if seeds are coated with a fungicide and keep your pets away from them if you decide to plant seeds with fungicide coatings.  Hi!  It’s Goose here again.  I have so many things to learn as I grow up on the farm!  Now I know why my mom supervises me all the time.  I hope you all have a super fun and safe Spring in the garden.  I’m tired after all this learning so I think I’ll go take a nap and dream about my green beans.  Goose lives with his mom, Jenny who is the owner/operator of Ridge View Farm in Gilsum.  She grows a huge selection of veggie starts along with annuals, herbs, and other bedding plants in the greenhouses. She also raises fresh strawberries in the spring and seed garlic for fall planting.  Ridge View also breeds and sells piglets and meat rabbits. For more information:

Spring 2017 27

Feline Urinary Obstructions Catherine MacLean, DVM Grantham, NH


eline Urinary Obstruction (FUO) is a very common disease in male cats, often overlooked or missed by owners until the cat is very sick. Common clinical signs in male cats are frequent visits to the litter box with very little or no urine production, urinating small amounts of bloody urine, excessive grooming of the penis, lethargy, decreased appetite, vomiting, yowling (especially while in the litter box), or trying to urinate in strange places (i.e. on the carpet, in potted plants, etc.). Feline urinary obstructions are more common in male cats than female cats because male cats have a long narrow urethra that can easily get blocked. Unlike male cats, female cats have short and wide urethras that allow them to pass urinary crystals and small urinary stones much easier. Urinary obstructions can happen in dogs, but it’s not as common as in cats. What causes the urethra to become obstructed? Commonly, the urinary obstruction is caused by urinary crystals or small urinary stones. The two most commonly seen urinary crystals and stones in cats are calcium oxalate and struvite. Both form when the pH of the cat’s urine is either too acidic or basic. The pH determines which type of urinary crystal or stone the cat will get. Cats also get urinary obstructions from mucous plugs and blood clots. Both mucous plugs and blood clots are usually formed secondarily to an underlying issue such as crystals, stones, cystitis, etc. When a cat gets a urinary obstruction, it becomes a life threatening emergency. Left untreated, your cat will die. The earlier it is recognized and corrected, the better the prognosis for the cat. When a urinary obstruction occurs, urine backs up into the bladder since the cat is not able to urinate. This can lead to acute kidney failure, electrolyte abnormalities, possible life threatening cardiac arrhythmias, and in extreme cases rupture of the bladder. If your cat may be exhibiting signs of a urinary obstruction, the first thing to do is call your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will most likely see you right away. At the veterinary clinic, your veterinarian will get a thorough medical history and do a physical exam. Cats with urinary obstructions will often have a very large firm bladder. Your veterinarian will probably do blood work on your cat. Many cats will have abnormalities in their kidney and electrolyte values. It’s important to get the starting electrolyte values. After blood work, they will most likely place your cat under general anesthesia in order to pass a urinary catheter in the urethra and remove the urinary obstruction. Once the bladder is able to empty, a urine sample will be collected to see if there are urinary crystals and what type they are. Most cats will be hospitalized to monitor urine output and to receive IV fluid therapy to help return the cat’s kidney and electrolyte values back to normal. In cases where Continued Next Page

28 4 Legs & a Tail

Spring 2017

the cat has had a urinary obstruction for a long time, permanent damage to the kidneys can occur. Since most cats get urinar y obstructions from urinary crystals, a special life-long diet will be needed. Several prescription urinary diets help dissolve struvite crystals and prevent the formation of struvite and calcium oxalate crystals. With calcium oxalate stones, surgery may be needed since this type of stone cannot be dissolved with diet change alone. Prescription urinary diets help regulate the pH of the cat’s urine and increase drinking so that the bladder is being flushed out more often. Every now and then there will be a cat that chronically has urinary obstructions. A special surgery, Perineal Urethrostomy, essentially reroutes the urethra so that the cat has a short and wide urethral opening like a female cat. We don’t know why some cats are more prone to urinary obstructions than others. In my experience, it tends to happen in young male cats (typically between 2-7 years of age). I’ve seen it with cats fed anything from cat chow to very expensive high end food. My own cat, Jack, was on a high end food and got a urinary obstruction. Luckily for Jack, I caught it early because I was studying for third year veterinary school midterms. Ironically one of the midterms was my Renal class and one topic was urinary obstructions. While I was studying, Jack kept going in and out of the litter box and producing nothing. After an hour, I took him to the vet school emergency (of course it was Saturday night). Successfully unblocked and treated, Jack has been managed with a prescription urinary diet for eight years. Urinary obstructions can be life threatening if undetected. If you notice the clinical signs above, call your veterinarian right away. The worst (or best case scenario) is that your cat only has a urinary tract infection. Feline urinary obstruction shouldn’t be ignored. Don’t “wait - and - see” since it could cause permanent damage to your cat’s kidneys and potentially cost him his life. Dr. MacLean completed her Bachelor of Science from Penn State University, her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Atlantic Veterinary College, and her pet acupuncture certification from Chi Institute. Her areas of special interest include general practice and acupuncture. She opened Sugar River Animal Hospital in 2013, and she has been practicing veterinary medicine since 2010. Dr. MacLean’s family consists of her husband Matt, her daughter Katarina, and their three pets: Jack and Misty, two cats, and Arrow, a dog. Spring 2017 29

Fractured Jaw Fixed with Dental Materials Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS

This young Pug broke her jaw by running into a motorcycle. There is a complete break in the jaw bone, and the fracture line runs through the socket of one tooth. This tooth will die, but is left in the jaw during the healing phase because if it is extracted it becomes very difficult to keep the jaw in alignment while the wire and acrylic are applied.

This tooth was damaged when the jaw was broken and will die.

Fract ured jaw.

Dental Acrylic

St a i n le s s s t e el surgical wire was placed around the fractured teeth in a figure-eight pattern. The wire is used to help stabilize the fracture and to also give support to the dental acrylic.

Surgical stainless steel wire

The fractured bone must be kept stable on both sides of the fracture in order for the body to build a bridge across the fracture site. This jaw was stabilized using stainless steel surgical wire and dental acrylic.

After placing the wire, the teeth were acid-etched. An acid paste, specially made for teeth, was applied to the crowns. The acid removes some of the mineral within the enamel of the teeth, making the surface of the enamel rough. This roughness is temporary and is necessary to help the acrylic bond to the teeth. A Primer/Bonder was then applied, again to help the acrylic bond to the crowns. The acrylic comes out of a tube much like caulking. It is flowed over the area and allowed to harden in place. The dog was able to eat and drink with the splint in place. The acrylic developed a crack over the fracture site 6 weeks after it was applied. At the time of removal the back part of the acrylic was missing. It had done its job and the fracture went on to heal. The bottom of the root did not close indicating that the tooth had died.

The fracture healed well.

The dead tooth was extracted after the acrylic and wire were removed.

Bone will fill in this area over the next 8 weeks.

The use of dental acrylic and wire provides good stability for the healing fracture, is easily removed once the fracture has healed and is comfortable for the dog. It does require the use of special materials, such as acid etch, Primer/ Bonder and dental acrylic. Dr. Waugh is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She also holds a Masters Degree from Washington State University of Veterinary Medicine and is owner of Windsor Veterinary & Dental Services. 30 4 Legs & a Tail

Spring 2017

How to Attack Fleas

Millie Armstrong, DVM


tried flea medicine, but it didn’t work!” Veterinarians hear this all the time from folks who are battling fleas in their household. In many cases, it is not that the product failed, but that the flea’s life cycle was allowed to progress, leading to hundreds of new fleas in the environment. The key to battling fleas is to understand how fleas reproduce and at what stages in the flea’s lifecycle the flea product is designed to work. FLEA LIFE CYCLE Adult fleas lay 25-40 eggs per day in their environment. These eggs are small, white and less than the size of a grain of sand. They will drop off the pet throughout its environment and molt in 2-3 days into small larvae. Larvae are white, legless and blind. They are found in dark areas and feed on flea feces and other organic debris in the environment. In about 5-10 days, they will begin to form a hard-shelled cocoon, entering the pupa stage. The outer shell of the pupa is made of a hard material, similar to that of a cockroach shell, which cannot be penetrated by chemicals to kill them. The cocoon is also covered by a sticky substance that allows it to attach to deep carpet fibers and makes it difficult to remove by vacuuming or sweeping. The shell protects the developing flea until the environmental conditions are right for hatching, which can sometimes take up to 6 months. When the young adult emerges, it is hungry and begins to feed on blood from a person or Hatch in pet within a few hours. The fleas will soon begin to lay eggs, starting the 2-3 Days entire process over again. FLEA “My dog is itchy but it’s January; he can’t have fleas.” Adult fleas prefer warm, humid weather and tend to hatch outside in mid-summer. LIFE CYCLE Depending on environmental temperature and humidity levels, they survive outside until late fall. However, those fleas that have gained access to the house have laid eggs in the home and set the stage for the progression of the lifecycle inside the house. These eggs, larvae and pupae stages will Go thru 3 stages in 5-10 survive in the house and hatch into adults during the winter months. days before pupating “I cannot see fleas so I know my dog does not have fleas.” It is possible to have a flea infestation without seeing fleas on the pet. Adult fleas only need one blood meal every 6 months. Once they feed, they may drop Emerge and live on 1 off the animal and begin to lay eggs in their environment. Because they are so host for up to 2 months Live from 5-10 days to 6 small and only feed for a short time, it is not always possible to find adult fleas in months in a cocoon the hairs of the pet. Sometimes, the only evidence of fleas on the pet is the fecal material they leave behind: small, pepperlike grit. Because fleas feed on blood, their excrement is dried blood. Initially, this appears black, but when placed in water, it will turn red again. One way to check for fleas is to use a very fine-toothed comb, a flea comb, to actually catch fleas or their flea “dirt” in the teeth of the comb. Remove the fleas from the comb and place them into a small container of rubbing alcohol to kill them before they have a chance to escape and start the process over again. “Where did my cat get fleas? She doesn’t go outside.” Fleas are mobile; they can jump 4-6 feet at a time. It does not take much for them to jump from the ground outside onto a pant leg and hitch a ride into the house. Also, they can latch onto purses, backpacks, bags, etc. and gain access into the home this way. Pet owning people can transfer fleas when visiting a friend, going to the dog park, or walking through the grocery store. Also, fleas are small; they can wiggle their way through a screen and enter the house. “How do I get rid of these things?” With so many different flea products available, it is critical to understand a few key factors: Product Safety: Not all flea products are safe for all animals. Read the package carefully to be sure the product is safe for Continued Next Page

Spring 2017 31

the species you are treating. NEVER use a dog product on a cat; this could be fatal to your cat. Is it safe for the age of your pet? Certain breeds of animals are more sensitive to different types of flea products. Always consult a veterinarian. Product Use: Always follow the label instructions to be sure the product is used properly. Is it to be applied topically or given orally? How often should it be used? Will bathing or swimming affect the efficacy of the product? Are there any environmental concerns when using this product? Is it safe if there are young children, tropical fish, birds, or other species in the home? The label should include a phone number to call about safety of the product. Which stage in the flea’s lifecycle will the product kill? Fleas have 4 different stages in their life cycle, and even the best flea products can only kill 3 of the 4 stages. Most flea products on the market today are designed to kill adult fleas. However, there are 3 other stages that are alive and waiting to become active, hungry adults. Therefore, many flea control products have been designed to kill adults, eggs and larval stages. These interrupt the life cycle and reduce the number of pupae available to hatch into adults. However, nothing on the market kills the pupae.

32 4 Legs & a Tail

WE HAVE TO ATTACK FLEAS WHERE THEY LIVE: ON AND OFF THE PET. “What can I use for my pet?” There are several options for treating pets. Oral products will kill fleas and ticks when they bite the dog. Depending on the product, some will last only 48 hours while others last 30-90 days. Topical products are available that will kill on contact and also last form 30 to 90 days. Some of these topical agents are absorbed through the skin and can create medical concerns in some animals. There are a few flea collars that are effective against fleas and ticks and can last up to 8 months, depending on the product. “How can I kill fleas in the environment?” There are products that can be used in the house to kill fleas. Again, read the label carefully for safety and try to use a product that kills 3 of the 4 stages of the lifecycle. “Flea bombs” do not tend to work as well because they do not penetrate the areas where fleas like to hide: under tables and behind furniture. Premise sprays work best because they can be applied directly to the areas where fleas concentrate. Fleas are attracted to high traffic areas like entrance ways and hallways; the motion and activity in these areas stimulate the pupae to hatch into adults. Using the vacuum prior to applying the product will stimulate the fleas, bringing them into contact with the product and killing them quicker. Empty the vacuum

bag often to prevent fleas from escaping. It is important to treat hard wood floors and baseboard areas because fleas can live deep in small cracks. Wash any bedding pets use, including human blankets, bed spreads, pillows, etc. in hot water to wash away fleas and their eggs. “Bottom line: what is the best product to use for fleas?” There is simply no easy answer to this question. It is best to consult a veterinarian. Each product works differently and some can have unwanted side effects. One last word of advice: treat all the pets in the household. It is not uncommon for a family to apply flea control to the dog and neglect to treat the cat, regardless of whether it goes outside. These other pets can harbor fleas and be the silent missing link in flea control. For more information, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association at Dr. Millie was born in Burlington and grew up in Pennsylvania. (Go Flyers!) She worked in pharmaceutical research before going to veterinary school at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Dr. Millie worked in various small animal clinics in Vermont before settling into Petit Brook Veterinary Clinic in 2000.

Spring 2017

Celebrate Small Victories, Reward the Slightest Try Colleen Campbell


s the weather clears and we hop on our horses again, it is good to remember not to expect perfection in the beginning of the season. Too often we focus on getting our horses and ourselves to be perfect and miss the joy associated with being around our Horses. Here are a few simple things to keep in mind to keep you and your horse happy this spring. Start Slowly. If you and your horse have had a few months off from riding don’t overdo it on the first day. It will only make you both sore and your horse resentful of the work. Start with a week or two of light riding (3-7 rides), no longer than a half hour in a ring, short trail rides or a combination of both. Work on feeling the connection with your horse again and building up muscle that may have been lost over the time off. Don’t use side reins or lock them in frame. To start building muscle and a nice frame/collection to work in, don’t force your horse into position and keep them there. It will only make them sore, braced and heavy on the rein. Imagine if someone forced you into a stomach crunch and then had you stay in that position for 20 minutes or longer. Would you want to go back into that position knowing you may not be able to get out? If you were tied in that position would you learn to lean on the ropes to hold yourself? Ask your horse to softly give and round and hold it for a few strides or for a minute or two. Let them bring their head up then ask them to put it down again. Build up the length of time you ask them to hold it. It takes a young horse months to build the muscle needed for this if done properly. Reward their small tries and ask again. Don’t punish them for trying to relieve discomfort. Reward the slightest try. When you are in the ring teaching something new or out on the trail conquering challenges, remember to break things down into baby Spring 2017

steps so you can reward your horse along the way. They will always give you more if you praise the first few small tries. For example if you are crossing water and they stop, ask for a step forward, rewarding each step. If they turn to go away, ask them to circle and continue to circle closer and closer to the water. Let them rest when their foot hits the water. If they jump the creek go back and forth a few times, breath and half halt going up to the creek, talk to them in a soft voice. Let them stop going back and forth when they make an attempt not to jump or make a smaller leap. Let them rest then move on with your ride. Be Patient. Everything takes time. We wouldn’t expect a child to understand calculus after we just taught them to subtract, but we expect our horses to understand everything we ask after a few tries. Give yourself and your horse a break. Some horses pick things up quickly, some take more time, just like people. Don’t worry if you feel like you have taught your horse the same thing for months, change the way you ask very slightly to see if something makes more sense to your horse. At some point it is going to click and make sense. The same goes for you, if you are having trouble understanding something try finding a few different trainers or instructors with similar methods, to each teach you the same thing. Maybe you just need to hear it in a different way, maybe you just need more time for it to sink in. No matter how simple it seems. Breath and smile. Every time before you get your horse to groom take a moment to get rid of all the tension you have built up during the day. Clear everything out of your mind and focus only on your horse and your ride for the next hour or so. Take a deep breath and remember why you love your horse, why you love to ride and what a gift it is. While you ride focus on what went right rather than what went wrong. This simple change will keep your and your horse relaxed, happy and ready to improve each ride! Colleen CampbellI has been riding since she was very young, trying disciplines from Hunt seat to Saddle seat before finding western. Interning at UVM Morgan Horse farm she also received an Associates in Equine Studies from Umass Amherst. She learned the natural Horsemanship method from Joe Delano, with whom she still works. For 7 years she has been running her training and lesson business, Campbell Equine, in Leverett, MA. Her newest project is Heroes, Horses and Hounds, a non-profit education center focusing on rescue, rehab and animal assisted therapy certifications and programs, for this Summer! 33

34 4 Legs & a Tail

Spring 2017

Fitting Your Riding Helmet Sarah Zabek


itting a helmet correctly is as important as wearing one. Never try to guess your helmet size or buy one for your child that is too big in hopes that he or she will grow into it. The best way to find a good fit is first to measure around the head above the ears and just above the eyebrows. Helmet manufacturers have different size charts, so you may be one size in one brand, and another size in another brand. Refer to these size charts and keep your personal measurement in mind when selecting helmets to try on. Different styles of helmets have varied fits as well. No two heads are shaped the same – some are oval and some are round – so it’s important to try on a variety of helmets in order to determine what will work best for you. The helmet should sit level on your head, with a firm and even fit. There should not be any pressure points. Once you’ve found a comfortable fit at the crown of the head, adjust the chinstrap so it sits just under the chin and gently touches the bottom of the ear lobe. You should only be able to fit two fingers between the strap and under the chin. When you yawn, there should be a gentle pressure pulling the top of the helmet downward. Otherwise, the helmet should not move significantly when it’s on your head and buckled. We encourage parents to start kids young when it comes to helmet use. They should get into the habit of wearing a helmet not just when they start riding horses, but when they start spending time around horses. It is recommended that you replace your helmet at least every five years from the date of purchase. Any helmet involved in an accident needs to be replaced immediately. Learn more about when it’s time to replace your helmet, and to learn how to prolong the life of your helmet. The Cheshire Horse has everything you’ll need to outfit your horses, pets, and other animal companions. Visit The Cheshire Horse, on the corner of Whittemore Farm Road and Route 10 South in Swanzey, and online at

Spring 2017 35


Saddle Up! Dorothy Crosby - Stoddard,NH

o two horses tell you the same way. But they all tell you. Some buck, some refuse to go forward, some back up, some get lazy or crazy, or the opposite of what they usually are. Sometimes they don’t want to be mounted, or have issues when you put the saddle on or tighten the girth. Occasionally there will be blank stares, no emotion shown as they perform the task, without enthusiasm or excitement. One horse I know doesn’t want to be caught or makes bridling difficult. Another “dips” his back when mounted. Still another is moody while being groomed, standing perfectly still, almost cringing, when the saddle goes on. What’s the message? What are they trying to disclose in their own honest way? Something is wrong. Does their human know what it is, or will they just reprimand and attempt to confirm “Stand!” while the horse speaks equine instead of human? These behaviors could be an indication of many things: pain, attitude, laziness, cleverness, energy overload, or excitement, just to name a few. A quick assessment of each can eliminate variables, but pain or discomfort of some type needs to be addressed: do we need a vet,

36 4 Legs & a Tail

a chiropractor, a massage therapist, a dentist, a farrier? Once we have ruled out the physical possibilities – something wrong with the horse’s body – we might move on to equipment. It is important to rule out the physical first, but one common issue horses face is in the improper fit of equipment. Bridles aren’t too difficult to assess, but saddle fit is a science in today’s day and age; it’s a good idea to call on an expert periodically, just to check if not to problem-solve. In the “old days” there was a saddler in every town; horses had their own saddle and when the horse was sold, their saddle went with them. Now-a-days it is no longer the case. With so many types, styles, sizes, and uses, we use the same saddle on multiple horses for both convenience and economics. We are rightly concerned that the saddle fit the rider; in addition to the correct type for the job, fit can make a huge difference in what is safely achieved. When we find the right one, we want to use it on every horse we ride. The fit for us is important, but even more importantly, the saddle needs to fit the horse properly in order for him to do his job well, and be comfortable doing it. Try putting on an ill-fitting pair of pants or shoes and then run a marathon! Another complication can be that a horse’s back can change (WILL change): less work, more work, different work, feed changes, age, rider consistency, change of season, anything that changes activity or routine or more. So the same saddle you’ve used for years may no longer work. The same saddle you’ve used for six months - or even less if you’ve changed the activity on purpose - may no longer work! Saddlers are harder to find these days and should be trained in assessing and measuring horses as well as working on the saddle itself. A good saddler is worth

their weight in gold, and can transform the performance of any horse. Flocking (wool stuffing inside the panels) is adjusted, usually annually, by adding or removing some, or completely replacing it. It settles over time, condensing while taking on the horse’s shape. But it can pack and become hard as a rock with age, often more noticeable to the horse than the rider. (Sit on a cushion that flattens every time, until eventually there’s no “cushion” left. You’ll notice how “hard’ it feels on your back and seatbones, and wonder why it’s not as comfy as it used to be). Many riders use pads to make these adjustments; this can be successful, but often just fills space, actually making the saddle fit tighter instead of softer. Instead of wool flocking, many saddles have foam, which is light and also compresses over time, but which cannot be adjusted. At some point the entire saddle needs to be redone; many riders choose wool. In addition to wool or foam, air panels, which can break but are replaceable, are a current trend for some saddle companies. Air bladders fill the entire saddle in place of foam or flocking. More popular in Europe, these are very durable. They need periodic air adjustment. Temperature changes affect the air compression – and therefore the fit – just as it changes air pressure in your vehicle tires! There are many choices for the best equipment. The one choice we do not have is to be good to our horse partner, and ensure their saddle fits! Certified as both a Level lll Centered Riding® Clinician/Instructor and CHA Instructor, Dorothy Crosby manages a farm and lesson program for adults and children based in Stoddard NH. She teaches a number of disciplines, emphasizing safety and fun while learning. Dorothy offers clinics, lessons, and workshops both on and off the farm. She loves teaching riders and horses of all ages and levels of experience. Spring 2017



Mud Season 2017 Southern NH & VT

Miranda Lambert and Her Dogs A Healthy Gut Means a Happy Pet How to Attack Fleas Bring Out the Best in Your Horse What to Do When Dogs Really Fight

4 Legs & a Tail 2017 Keene Spring  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you