Southern NH & VT Mud Season 2018
Whoâ€™s Living in Your Chimney What Your Dog Can Teach You Back in the Saddle Celebrate National Pet Week The Cost of Rescuing Pets
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
2. Celebrate National Pet Week
3. Snowy Owl in Keene Area
M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM
Tips for some extra fun with your furry friends
A look at a rare spotting in the Monadnock region
4. The Daily Dose of the Unusual 6. A Stylin' Dog Kelly Dunton
Meet the "Official Greeter" at the HairSpa of Keene
7. What is a CGC Test?
Is your dog a good citizen?
8. Puppy Gram Annie Guion
Bringing more than just a smile to the elderly
10. Cost of Care for Animals Seized in Abuse Cases: Who should pay the cost of care while cases are prosecuted? Kathy Collinsworth 12. What Grooming Style Would Your Pet Choose? Aimee Doiron
A holistic approach to pet grooming
13. Chimney Swifts not Sweeps
14. Getting Started...Again!
18. “How Much (err, Old) is That Doggy in the Window?” Sandra Waugh, VMD, MS
In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Upper Valley resident John Peaveler recounts the devastation to Puerto Rico.
22. Sleep, Hamburger, and Rescue
Lindsay Martin, CVT
Taking care of your reptilian friend
A look at the sure fire way to determine your dogs real age
20. Paradise Recovered
Some tips to help you "back in the saddle"
Are these rare birds "visiting" your smokestack?
Bruiser, an english bulldog, finds happiness in Vermont
24. All I Really Need to Know I Learned From My Dog 25. It Takes a Village Megan MacArthur
How a combination of conventional and holistic care teamed up to heal Loulu
26. Don't Let the Neighborhood Go to the Dogs 28. Pet DIY and Game Page 4 Legs & a Tail Volume K.118 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766
Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Sales Manager: Karyn Swett
Senior Editor: Scott Palzer
Graphic Design: Kristin Wolff
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.
NATIONAL PET WEEK! M. Kathleen Shaw - DVM Vermont Veterinary Medical Association
A lways the first full week in May, National Pet Week is dedicated to
are there for us and don’t ask much in return. During National Pet Week, we celebrating the over 200 million pets encourage pet owners to celebrate the that enrich our lives. This is especially bond and provide their pets with all that true in Vermont, which tops the nation they need for a healthy and enriched in pet ownership. Created in 1981 by life every week of the year. the American Veterinary Medical Keeping your pet happy and healthy Association and the Auxiliary AVMA, involves providing three important National Pet Week is a time to honor the things: proper housing and nutrition, many roles pets have in our lives and appropriate exercise and environmental to promote responsible pet ownership. enrichment, and providing medical care Whether your pet is a horse, bird, cat, to keep them healthy and disease free. dog, rodent, or any other of the amaz- Many of our pets have been domesing creatures in our world, our pets ticated from their wild roots, and so it is important to provide them with ways to keep their minds and bodies active. Make the time to play with your cat or walk your dog several times a day. Buy or make them a new toy and use interactive play to help them keep their minds busy. Owners of birds and exotic pets can research ways to modify their pets’ living space to provide variety and entertainment. This doesn’t have to be buying expensive toys- appropriate homemade toys are just as good. Nutrition and medical care are an important part of responsible pet ownership. One aspect that many pet owners should consider before adopting a pet of any type is the ability to afford 2 4 Legs & a Tail
veterinary care to prevent parasites and disease and treat any that may occur in the pet. Annual physical exams and preventative medications are not without cost, but are critical to pets’ well-being. Before you get a new pet or if you have one and aren’t sure what its needs are, talk to your veterinarian. They can provide you with accurate information to help you keep your pet healthy and happy. So whether your pet is a horse or a gerbil or any size animal in between, take time during National Pet week to celebrate the bond! Take your dog for a walk, brush out your horse and go for a ride, play with the cat, or make some additions to your caged pets’ environment to challenge their minds! They give us so much love and comfort: let’s make sure we provide what they need this week and every day of the year. For more information, go to www.petweek.org. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional organization of 340 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine. Spring 2018
Snowy Owl in Keene Area F
Ted Walski Biologist - Fish & Game Office in Keene
or the first three weeks of January a snowy owl (Nyctea Scandiaca) has been living in the Keene area. It has often been perched on top of a light tower next to Motor Vehicle/State Police. Their breeding grounds are in the Arctic tundra. During the winter they move further south into the grasslands of the Prairie Provinces or to the coastal marshes of eastern Canada. Their major food item is four species of Artic lemmings, which are similar in appearance to the four species of voles in New Hampshire. Voles have short tails, small eyes, small ears and are fatter than mice. When there is a decline in the lemming population, snowy owls may move further south some winters. Where have snowy owls shown up this winter of 2018? Pam Hunt of N.H. Audubon told me: During late December there was one in Clarksville and one at the Lebanon Airport. Recently there was one in Rye, one in Seabrook and one at Pease Air Base. A few have shown up as far south along the coast as New Jersey and Virginia. Lake Champlain with its marshy edges has been a stop. The few snowy owls that are in New Hampshire will probably stay through March, and then head north to their nesting grounds in the Arctic Circle. Snowy owls stay white in color all year. They are noted for roosting on light/electric poles, buildings, haystacks, etc.. This is understandable since there are little or no trees in the tundra and prairie country. They are â€œactiveâ€? most of the day, as compared to the night activity of most owls. This is also understandable because during the summer months within the Arctic Circle there is light most of the 24hour periods. While in New Hampshire the snowy owls will probably eat meadow voles. They are known to take an occasional bird or duck. Ted has been a field biologist for the Fish & Game Dept. for 46 years, mostly as the wildlife biologist for southwestern New Hampshire, where he has worked on the deer, moose, bear, waterfowl, and small game projects. His special species project has been wild turkey restoration and management. Spring 2018
Fred Martin caught a rare photo of this Snowy Owl recently at the Days Inn in Keene, NH
THE DAILY DOSE VOLUME XIII
The Unemployed Dog A mix-up at the Michigan unemployment office led to jobless benefits for one German Shepherd. Attorney Michael Haddock tells W ZZM-T V he received a notice from the Michigan Unemployment Insurance agency that said ‘Michael Ryder” will be receiving 360-dollars a week. The problem is there is no one named “Michael Ryder” at Haddock’s address. “Ryder” is the name of Haddock’s German Shepherd and Michael is his first name. Haddock assumed the notice was for his dog. Haddock said he knew his dog was clever, but “he surprised me this time.” The state has since discovered the mix-up and Ryder won’t have a chance to cash those checks.
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Lucky Saucer In front of the local butcher’s, an art connoisseur noticed a mangy little kitten lapping up milk from a saucer. The saucer, he realized with a start, was a rare and precious piece of pottery. It was, in fact, a collector’s item. He strolled into the store and offered ten dollars for the cat. ‘He’s not for sale’, said the butcher. ‘Look’, said the collector’, that cat is dirty and scabby, but I’m an eccentric. I prefer cats that way. I’ll raise my offer to $20. ‘It’s a deal’, said the proprietor, and pocketed the twenty immediately. ‘For that amount of money I’m sure you won’t mind throwing in the saucer’, said the connoisseur’, ‘The kitten seems so happy drinking from it.’ ‘I can’t do that’, said the butcher firmly, ‘That’s my lucky saucer. From that saucer, so far this week, I’ve sold 18 cats.
OF 'WHAT THE?' A
Cats and Dogs Getting Along Together: Mutt Adopts Kittens A female dog is nursing a litter of kittens which were orphaned when their mother died. Their owner, Cai, of Jiangmen, China said he has been raising cats and dogs together for more than 10 years, and they all got along together well, however, this was the first time he had ever seen kittens being nursed by a dog Will and Guy have learned. The four kittens seemed happy and content with their new mother’s milk, while the dog was tending to its adopted family with love and care. ‘Several days ago, the kittens’ mother died after eating a poisoned rat, leav‘The ing behind a litter kittens’ of kittens without a source of milk,’ Cai cries may have volunteered. ‘The stirred kittens’ cries may the dog’s have stirred the dog’s maternal maternal nature, it too had renature since cently given birth. It volunteered to take over and feed the kittens of its old friend.’ The dog’s own puppies had been taken away by one of its grown-up offspring. Cai mused, ‘That’s perhaps another reason why the dog adopted the kittens. She lost all of her own children.’
READ ABOUT IT
Cat Ordered to Do Jury Service Tabby Sal, the cat, has been summoned to do jury service, despite the fact that his owners told the court he was ‘unable to speak and understand English.’ Anna Esposito, wrote to Suffolk Superior Crown Court in Boston to explain that a mistake had been made, but a jury commissioner replied saying the cat, named Tabby Sal, ‘must attend.’ Mrs. Esposito had included a letter from her vet confirming that the cat was ‘a domestic short-haired neutered feline.’ Tabby Sal had been entered by Mrs. Esposito under the “pets” section of the last census. “When they ask him guilty or not guilty? What’s he supposed to say - meow?” She said. Research has shown that the US judicial system states that jurors are ‘not expected to speak perfect English.’ We surmise it would be sufficient for Tabby Sal to answer, ‘Meow’ to all questions!
Yelling for Help
A caller reported at 7:14 p.m. that someone was on a porch yelling "help" from a residence on Bank Street. Officers responded and learned the person was calling for a cat that is named "Help".
A STYLIN’ DOG Kelly Dunton - Keene, NH
alk into the HairSpa of Keene and you’ll quickly be welcomed by a friendly face – who just so happens to walk on all fours. This is Bowser, and he’s the soon-to-be 10-year-old chocolate lab of salon stylist Kate Sharp. Since becoming a certified emotional support dog by U.S. Service Dog in February, Bowser has been a regular at the salon. For eight hours a day, four days a week, Bowser is the one that customers have become accustomed to seeing when they come in for a trim, color or new style. “It started when I was here alone at night,” Sharp said. “It just happened and it’s worked out really well.”Whenever Sharp is on duty, Bowser is kind of like her shadow. He loves to follow her around as she washes client’s hair, mixes just the right batch of color or cuts off a couple inches. “When he first comes in, he does a round to see that everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” Sharp said. And of course, whenever she – or anyone else – make their way into the break room, Bowser isn’t far behind. Because he quickly learned that’s where the food is. There’s always a bag of pepperoni in the refrigerator that owner Kelly Dunton’s 3-year-old daughter Ivy uses to give the salon’s resident pup a treat. He’s also so loved by the staff at the HairSpa that they will typically save the last bite or two from their lunch for him. “He eats his breakfast and dinner here – and other’s lunches,” Sharp said.
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When Bowser isn’t following the staff around, Sharp bought a comfy dog bed that sits behind her styling chair, so he can get some much-needed rest. It’s tough being the face of a business, you know. He’s also been known to cozy up on one of the salon couches, as long as there aren’t too many clients waiting to be seen. “Sometimes we need to kick him off the couch when we’re running out of seats,” Dunton said. In addition to being the welcome wagon and protector of the treats, Bowser has been known to make quite an impact on clients. He loves babies and will stick his nose right into the car seat. “Whenever someone comes in with a baby he immediately goes over to say hi,” Dunton said. When young children come in for their first haircuts, it’s almost as if Bowser knows they’re nervous. So he’ll put his head in their laps or lay right by their feet, making it a good experience, instead of one that results in a battle or lots of tears. “A lot of kids are terrified, but then they see him,” Sharp said. It’s not just the kids that benefit from Bowser’s presence. Clients of all ages love to sit and visit with him, give him a couple pats on the head and since he’s become such a big part of the day-today salon operations, they also bring in treats for him. One client refers to him as her boyfriend, while another, who is a dog groomer, has clipped his nails while she got her hair dyed. “All the clients love him,” Sharp said. “Now he gets greeted before I do.” During breaks, Bowser can be found playing ball in the back parking lot, because toys aren’t really allowed in the salon. “He likes to slobber on the balls and drop them in people’s laps, so no toys,” Sharp said.. So as you can see Bowser is pretty spoiled – and he wouldn’t have it any other way. Meet Bowser at The HairSpa in Keene, Tuesday through Friday, 10 -6 and Saturday, 10-3 or visit facebook.com/thehairspaofkeene or thehairspa.weebly.com. Spring 2018
What is a CGC Test?
own, the feeling of success when your dog can complete the ten elements of a CGC Test is amazing. And the dogs all seem to know they have done something brilJudith Suarez liant, as well. Oddly enough, even for those s your dog a “good citizen?” of us who go on to do many other “tests” Most of us would like to think of our with our dogs in obedience or sports like dogs as great companions, who also have agility, the feeling of passing a CGC is a excellent manners. But if asked by an fond memory. CGC Tests feel like a “real insurance company or a landlord, we world” experience. There are other people might have trouble proving our point. and other dogs around. The elements are That is one of the driving forces practical and clear. And the cheering from behind the American Kennel Club’s observers and helpers is a real ego boost. Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Test. It is a The AKC website has a wealth of inforsuper way to demonstrate to others that mation on the CGC Program. You can our dogs have what it takes to be responcheck it out at http://www.akc.org/dogsible and well behaved. owners/training/canine-good-citizen/ Started in 1989, the CGC Program is what-is-canine-good-citizen/ designed to reward dogs who have good Locally, both Monadnock Humane manners at home and in the communiSociety in Keene (https://monadnockty. It is a two-part program that stresses humanesociety.org/dog-training/) and responsible pet ownership for owners Pioneer Valley Kennel Club in Brattleboro and basic good manners for dogs. Since (https://www.pioneervalleykennelclub. its inception, it has had an extremely com/) offer annual classes and tests. nizations such as rabies vaccines. After positive impact in many of our commuOther training facilities may also offer nities. This is a program that can help us passing and registering the testing, the tests locally. The AKC website also has assure that the dogs we love will always be AKC provides a certificate. Many insurance a full, nation-wide listing for tests at welcomed and well-respected members companies accept proof of CGC testing as http://www.akc.org/akc-clubs-hosting-cgcthe qualification for homeowners insurof our communities. eval-search/. Many dog owners choose Canine Good ance. Landlords, who do not always take Citizen training as the first step in train- companion animals, also accept proof Judith Suarez is the Training Chairman for Pioneer Valley Kennel Club, an alling their dogs. The Canine Good Citizen of good manners from a CGC test before breed AKC club based in Greenfield Program lays the foundation for other AKC renting their property to dog owners. MA and offering year round training activities such as obedience, agility, track- Best of all – it is fun. Whether you take in Brattleboro VT. a training class or do the work on your ing, and performance events. But perhaps more importantly, CGC training for humans and their dogs helps keep dogs from entering the rescue system. And astounding 98% of dogs who have passed CGC tests, according to AKC research, remain in their homes. It is a pleasure for both dogs and those around them to have a solid background in what “being a good dog” actually means. Having skills like walking on a loose leash around other people and dogs, being able to sit on command, waiting for a minute or so while the human walks a few feet and returns, coming when called, and staying calmly with a stranger are all elements of having good manners – and are all elements in a CGC test. When you work with your dog to teach the CGC skills, you'll discover the many benefits and joys of training your dog. Training will enhance the bond between you and your dog. Dogs who have a solid obedience education are a joy to live with – they respond well to household routines, have good manners in the presence of people and other dogs, and they fully enjoy the company of the owner who took the time to provide training, intellectual stimulation, and a high quality life. All dogs, including both purebred and mixed breed dogs, are welcome to participate in the AKC's Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program. Dogs must simply be old enough to have received necessary immuSpring 2018 www.4LegsAndATail.com 7
Puppy Grams Annie Guion - Brattleboro, VT
his photo says it all. I was lucky enough to deliver our first Valentine’s Day Puppygram to this lovely lady at a local nursing home. She did not stop smiling for all 30 minutes of our visit. It was our first time doing this event and we all had high hopes for success, as well as that little bit of “what if….”. What if puppies poop on rugs? What if puppies chew on furniture? What if we run out of pee pads? Are we ready? Well, we were ready and it was an amazing day. I traveled to two nursing homes, two places of business, one store and two private homes. We saw an older woman alone in her home and 50 people pour out of their work cubicles to ooh and ahh and cuddle. Every visit brought irrepressible joy. And the puppies loved it, playing, cuddling with adoring fans, sleeping on the check out counter at Sam’s Outdoor Store and catching naps and snacks in between visits. What makes puppies so special? I think it is a combination of the fact that they live fully in the present moment, they are adorable and soft and squishy, and they love unconditionally. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, suffering from dementia or the daily stress of our busy lives, what color your skin is or what your gender identity is – these adorable bundles of love lavished affection on everyone. Continued Next Page
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The most amazing visit of the day for me was unscheduled. We had pulled into a local nursing facility when I happened to spot one of our awesome volunteers driving out. I stopped to chat and she said her mom was having another bad day. We were scheduled to visit an elderly person with Alzheimer’s, but hey, we had two puppies. I said, “Here take this puppy to your mom and see if it helps. I’ll come pick her up in 20 minutes.” When I returned to collect the puppy, I saw our volunteer with a big smile and I got to meet her mom who was also full of smiles. This poor woman had recently moved into the facility and had been crying for about 2 weeks straight. What brought the smile back to her face? That adorable little puppy. That is some powerful medicine and it was a privilege to deliver so much joy on Valentines Day. It was a wonderful reminder of why the work we do is so important to our community. Animals bring joy and compassion into our lives every day and it is a measure of our success as a species if we can do the same for them. Annie Guion is the Executive Director, WCHS Treasure, Vermont Humane Federation. Spring 2018
Cost of Care for Animals Seized in Abuse Cases:
When animals are seized in cruelty cases, who should pay the cost of their care while the case is prosecuted?
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s the Executive Director of Monadnock Humane Society (MHS) I have a unique appreciation for New Hampshire’s animal cruelty and neglect laws, which ensure animals who are cruelly mistreated in our state can be rescued, and that the offender can be prosecuted appropriately. But I’ve also felt the devastating drawbacks of one facet of our law that has been left unaddressed: when animals are seized in cruelty cases, who should pay the cost of their care while the case is prosecuted? Currently, the city or town in which the cruelty occurs is legally responsible to cover the cost of the care. The defendant can argue their financial capabilities during the civil trial and a judge will consider that in his/her decision. In a case where an owner can’t or won’t pay, the animals would be surrendered and able to find adoptive homes thereby ending the cost to care for them long-term. Think of this policy as a fee, not a penalty. If someone’s stray dog comes to MHS, an owner pays a reclaim fee to cover the costs to care for the dog for the time and care they received at MHS. In cases where neglect is a result of a lack of economic resources, it is incredibly rare that any or all of the animals will be returned anyway because of the lack of resources to care for them. The owners in these cases have been charged with criminal animal cruelty and while we work to try to support low-income families, those without resources have a legal obligation to provide care or to relinquish their animals/ask for assistance before a situation reaches the level of cruelty. Monadnock Humane Society has been involved in several neglect cases in the past 3 years and it has resulted in MHS housing neglected animals as evidence for months until the case can be resolved. We provide veterinary care, shelter, necessary medications, food, water and exercise – pulling from our staff and financial resources. As a non-profit, MHS recognizes the financial burden placed on towns and we work to offset upwards of 50% of the true costs to care for animals because we support law enforcement in pursuing cruelty charges when appropriate. Unfortunately, even though we provide this service to our local towns, we have seen situations in which the costs to care for the animals long-term posed a significant hindrance to a town’s ability to fully apply the animal cruelty law. New Hampshire desperately needs a strong state law that will reliably result in agencies like ours, which receive no state or federal funding, to receive reimbursement for the costs to care for the animals before the outcome of a criminal case like this one. Continued Next Page The fact is, this is not just a local problem: it is a probSpring 2018
lem for municipalities, animal shelters and taxpayers all over New Hampshire. In the past year, it is estimated that the total costs to towns and non-profit organizations to care for animals who were seized were over $700,000. If you take out the recent Wolfeboro case, the costs still reach almost $300,000, a staggering amount for taxpayers and non-profits to shoulder. Legally, it is the New Hampshire taxpayer left with the bill and this policy is both unfair to our citizens and to the other animals who could benefit from our limited resources. The majority of states agree, and have a law to address the significant cost of animal care in cruelty cases. The most effective laws require defendants charged with animal cruelty based on probable cause of the evidence to pay a reasonable portion of the costs to care for their animals throughout the disposition of the case. Thankfully, Sen. Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) intends to introduce similar legislation in New Hampshire to shift the financial burden of caring for animals from town governments, animal shelters and taxpayers to the animalsâ€™ owner, along with other important animal protection measures. The cost of care portion of Sen. Bradleyâ€™s proposed law would not expand law enforcementâ€™s authority to seize animals, or change the definition or the scope of animal cruelty. The law is fair to the owner: any animal seizure must be based on evidence of illegal animal cruelty, and the owner can challenge the legality of the seizure and the reasonableness of the bond requested at the bond hearing. If the owner refuses or is unable to pay for the care of his or her animals, it is only appropriate that his/her animals have the opportunity to find a new home. In states with cost of animal care laws, municipalities have seen a consistent increase in funds to care for animals and in cases where defendants did not pay, animal shelters were able to place the animals into homes quickly after the seizure freeing up space in the shelter and giving the animals a better life. Cost of care legislation is a smart, sensible solution, which will allow non-profit organizations like Monadnock Humane Society to continue to do great work for animals, without exhausting our budget and turning away other animals in the process. I am grateful to Sen. Bradley for taking on this important legislation. Kathy Collinsworth is the Executive Director of MHS. For more information on our programs and services, please visit their website at www.monadnockhumanesociety.org. If you know of someone who needs our help, please contact us today at 603.352.9011. Spring 2018
What Grooming Style Would Your Pet Choose? Aimee Doiron - Swanzey, NH
ome say it’s a trend, others say it’s an option their pet never had until now. Those that have tried it love it and haven’t looked back. Now it’s your turn to make the leap and try something new for your beloved furry friend! Holistic grooming focuses on your whole pet. It’s not just about a bath or haircut. It’s also about how they feel. I have seen many fearful, nervous pets transform into confident wagging tails excited for their spa treatment with this approach. It’s about keeping arthritic senior dogs comfortable and safe with easy floor to a table or tub transitions or massaging tired doggy muscles during a warm relaxing bath. Calming anxious dogs with calming energy and an encouraging approach helps ease the pet of their fear, creating a new pleasant experience. How about the unimaginable...your cat doesn’t climb the shower curtain during his bath time. Whatever the case may be, there are options for you and your pet’s grooming needs outside of DIY grooming attempts. A scenario I encounter often is similar to this (now regular) client. A woman called to discuss special needs of her 90 pound German Shepherd, “Gabe” (altered name for privacy). Initially, she was nervous and rightfully so. Gabe’s last professional grooming was over 5 years since developing separation anxiety, selective dog aggression, fearful in new places and to make matters worse, hated his nails being trimmed. The owner made mention of one last “issue”. He required a muzzle for nail trims. This was helpful information, not an issue as I am confident with these scenarios. We were both excited to meet and build a lasting relationship. “Gabe” and his owner arrived a few minutes late. She
apologized for being late and was noticeably stressed. “Gabe” sensed her energy prior to entering the building. I offered to hold “Gabe’s” leash while she settled in seeing “Gabe” was nervous and on guard. He soon began to warm up to me, gained trust to walk him away from his owner to the open concept grooming area, graduating to the table. By the end of his appointment, he’s nail trim was completed without the need of a muzzle. He found the toy box and discovered his new favorite treat. This was a huge success in “Gabe’s” and his owner’s eyes. It was another enjoyable moment at work for me. “Gabe” now comes on a regular basis, whimpering with excitement once he enters the parking lot runs in to greet me, finds the toy box and enjoys his spa treatments. Traditional grooming concepts, on the other hand, remind me of walking into a busy train station. From a dog or cat’s point of view, it’s often loud, distracting, and over stimulating which may lead to a stressful experience. My holistic approach focuses on the dog, cat or small pet’s physical and psychological needs. This is done through energy, touch, aromatherapy, natural shampoos, natural products and relaxing music. Allergies may cause excessive licking, ear infections, hot spots, or sensitivity to detergent or chemical based shampoos and products. One flea bite can send your pet into an itching frenzy. Your first idea may be to use the generic flea and tick shampoo which could do more harm than good (especially puppies and kittens). The harsh winter months dry out everyone’s skin causing dandruff, flaking and itchy skin. Choosing the wrong “moisturizing” shampoo or home remedy can exacerbate the issue. There are safe and affordable options with natural, eco-friendly, plantbased products. Dogs and cats develop skin and medical conditions the same way humans do. Clients who have transitioned to holistic grooming have noticed their pets’ previous or current health conditions have noticeably improved. You can find out more information by visiting the newest holistic pet grooming option for the Monadnock region which opened September 2017. Aimee Doiron opened Aimee’s Grooming Boutique, LLC with over 15 years in the animal field, over 11 years in the grooming industry, a lifetime of love for all animals, animal behavior, and providing options or solutions for clients and their pets with their individual needs in mind. Stop by to shop handmade, human grade dog treats, interactive toys, grooming supplies, natural skin care products, unique gifts for pet lovers, schedule your pet’s spa treatment, or pick up the latest newsletter. For more information about holistic grooming call Aimee’s Grooming Boutique at (603) 689-6781.
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Chimney Swifts not Sweeps Scott Borthwick - Canaan, NH
ne of the more enjoyable parts of this job I have is not knowing what the next phone call will bring. A number of years ago a man called saying he thought he had bats in his chimney. He supposed it was bats due to the sounds of wings fluttering that he was hearing. After inspecting the fireplace and chimney I soon discovered it was not bats, but Chimney Swifts. Chimney Swifts are migratory birds that like to spend their summers in the northeastern parts of North America. After wintering in South America, primarily Peru, they head north for breeding and raising their young. Usually in someoneâ€™s chimney. Because they are migratory birds they are federally protected. We cannot disturb or remove them. After they have had their young and the young have left the nest, in most cases late summer, we can cap the chimney. Thus preventing them from nesting there next summer. Hopefully for us, they just move to the neighborâ€™s chimney. In most cases I have found them in old chimneys leading to a fireplace that is not used very much. When people open or close the damper they can hear them fluttering their wings. At one very large vacation home the cleaning lady was cleaning by one of the eight fireplaces when she heard this loud noise of many wings beating. Assuming it was bats she ran out the house screaming. Swearing not to return until they were removed. When I arrived for my inspection the caretaker took me to the fireplace. I could hear them right away and knew it was Chimney Swifts. The caretaker had never heard of these birds so I opened and closed the damper. Suddenly we could hear a loud whooshing noise and we ran outside. Over 30 Swifts came out of that one chimney. I explained to them about what they were and why we had to wait. They agreed and the cleaning lady returned to the house feeling much better. Spring 2018
These birds are truly beneficial to our environment. Like bats they feed on flying insects and like bats they need to be protected. So this summer if you hear noises coming from your chimney. Call a wildlife professional first. Most Chimney Sweeps are aware of these birds and will tell you they have to wait as well. But better safe than sorry. 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.
Getting Started… Again! Dorothy Crosby
iding this winter was consistently inconsistent at best! Those with available indoor arenas may not have had an extensive issue, but the cold temps and icy conditions surely affected riding times, turnout, or some aspect of horse and human play dates. With the hope of some regularity in the riding schedule, many of my students are looking at ways to polish the tarnished skills and motivation they and their horses have experienced after so much time off. We have begun tweaking some of the basics in communication, use of self, balance, sensitivity, and movement, to name a few. We are refining some in-hand skills, working on clear and precise communication to maximize understanding and teamwork. We are considering how we use our bodies both on and off the horse to convey instructions, teach new skills, and partner with mutual respect and cooperation. We are grooming like crazy to eliminate all that shedding hair, but also to assess the physical issues and their possible solutions, learning new massage or stretching techniques and seizing the opportunity to evaluate body score and condition. We are exploring the concept of “less is more” so often emphasized by Sally Swift to increase sensitivity and awareness on the part of both human and equine; how little must I do for you to understand and respond to what I am communicating? Learning new and reinforcing old methods of movement and use of the aids helps loosen bodies, engage brains, and create suppleness and flexibility for horse and rider. Remember: gross motor skills must learn things first, regardless of your age or condition; any new thing does not defer to fine motor skills until muscle memory and practice make them easily accessible. While we have long operated on the premise that “practice makes perfect” we should be taking the time to practice quality, not quantity, because in reality practice makes permanent; we do not want to perfect that which is incorrect or detrimental to the goal! Taking the time to return to the basics occasionally for both 14 4 Legs & a Tail
the rider’s and the horse’s sake is time well spent; when the timing and movement of the aids is automatic and the mental effort easily directs the maneuver, then – and only then – do we have the ability to move forward and see real accomplishment. As you begin those rides, give your horse the opportunity to really warm up those unused muscles. Walk out on a long loose rein allowing him set the pace for just a few minutes, noticing the movement itself; stiff, fluid, even? Allow your own body to flow; create a checklist to see where you are moving and where you are stuck: seatbones balanced underneath your shoulders and over your feet? Knees alternately dropping with the swing of the walk? Feet completely touching the sole of your boot and experiencing the feeling of walking? Shoulders swinging front to back, opposite from the direction of the seatbones, as the horse swings her head and neck? Elbows bent allowing them to open and close so the shoulders really swing and the hands move forward and back instead of bouncing up and down (which happens when elbows are straight)? Breathing and relaxed? This as an evaluation tool, not a test; make changes as needed, but move on from each spot to avoid being “stuck” there. Return your attention to your horse; you have assessed yourself and made adjustments, now notice whether this has affected your mount’s movement. Once assessing how both of you feel, then require changes of stride – longer ones, shorter ones, those in between; vary the exercise to avoid maintaining any difficult part longer than a few seconds to help him learn he can move on and return there with little difficulty or stress. This will also increase the range of motion for both of you, creating flexibility and suppleness. Use your aids – your seat, legs, and hands – but use as little as it takes to get the changes. Teach your horse to be more sensitive to those aids, and yourContinued Next Page
self to not overdo every movement; after all, a horse can only be as soft as their rider. We create horses ignoring our aids, or being lazy, or not following through the movement by demanding too much! (Do you enjoy being yelled at to get a simple task accomplished, or is a quiet request more to your liking? I suspect after a while you might ignore the screamer - there she goes again! - and only listen when necessary or when something drastic gets your attention). Begin with some simple communication and awareness. Enjoy the lightness, the responsiveness, while building partnership and muscles simultaneously. Then transfer it to all the gaits and movementsâ€Ś.you and your equine partner will reach a whole new level this season! Happy Riding! Dorothy Crosby is certified both as a Level III Centered RidingÂŽ Instructor/ Clinician and CHA Instructor for both English and Western riders. Dorothy manages a small farm in Stoddard, NH, where Equi-librium is based. As Director of the Riding Program at Southmowing Stables in Guilford, VT., her responsibilities include horse management as well as overseeing the riding program. Workshops, clinics, special events, and lessons are offered at both locations. Dorothy also travels for clinics and to instruct riders at other locations; she was pleased to present two Centered Riding workshops at Equine Affaire 2017. Her joy is in teaching humans and equines of all ages and levels of experience.
Lindsay Martin, CVT
n the last issue an article written by Dr. Taylor Farris DVM, talked about reptiles and heating/lighting requirements. Now that you have some background knowledge, I am going to focus more on iguanas. Iguanas are said not to be starter pets for potential reptile owners due to their husbandry needs and full grown size. If you are considering an iguana as a pet make sure you do your research, and be honest with yourself about the space they will need once fully grown and whether or not you can provide that space for them. I myself live with two iguanas: one Red Iguana named Rosie (a 4 year old male) and one Blue Iguana named Yoshi (18 months old). Rosie inhabits a 5’x2’x6’ enclosure with
multiple levels, while Yoshi lives in a 6’x2’x6’ enclosure again with multiple levels. Iguanas in captivity have an average lifespan of 15-20 years. Over the course of their life, you will encounter different behaviors, and learn about their wonderful anatomy. Like most animal species, socialization is very important for coexisting happily. In the book Iguanas for Dummies, Melissa Kaplan explains how it can take up to a year or more to earn their trust in making them comfortable with handling, thus allowing them to become tame and social. I remember a few years back when my father spooked Rosie, and it took them nearly a year to be able to interact at the same level as before. Rosie became very aggressive after being spooked and would lunge with his mouth wide open or whip you with his powerful tail. It took a lot of time and trial and error to earn his trust back. Yoshi is still young and daily efforts are being made to keep him from whipping and biting during interaction. Talking softly and spraying with non-chlorinated water give me the ability to briefly pat him. Iguanas are said to be unpredictable and may “bite the hand that feeds,” but with time and routine your chances lessen of aggressive interactions. Continued Next Page
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Iguanas are not hairless mammals and they don’t produce their own heat. Iguanas are exothermic, meaning they need to maintain body temperature through means of an outside source. Special light bulbs are required in captivity helping them maintain their body temperature. One bulb providing artificial sunlight or (UVB) is a must have to keep your iguana happy and healthy. Without the UVB bulb your iguana would not be able to process calcium, leading to a number of health problems, with the most common being Metabolic Bone Disease. Metabolic Bone Disease is caused by inadequate lighting or poor nutrition in captive replies and can leave the bones weak and rubbery, and the bones may break as a result. UVB lights are great for helping your little scaly friend process calcium, but they don’t do much in helping with heating the enclosure. An infrared bulb is great for maintaining temperature in the enclosure. Iguanas need a daytime temp range of 84-100 degrees Fahrenheit, and a nighttime temp of 67-77 degrees Fahrenheit, because they are commonly found in tropical climates. Both Rosie and Yoshi have a timer on their UVB bulbs of roughly 12 hours of “sunlight” while their infrared bulb stays on 24/7 to keep them at their POTZ (preferred optimum temperature zone). A neat thing that you will also experience an iguana doing is sneezing salt. In the text book Laboratory Animal and Exotic Pet Medicine Principles and Procedures written by Margi Sirois, it is explained that this action of sneezing salt is caused by accessory salt glands, where extra salt collects in an effort to protect the body’s water supply. You will notice the salt deposited on their nares (nostrils) or on the inside of their enclosure as a white spray. Another cool thing that iguanas do is ecydysis or shedding skin. One thing to consider about ecydysis is that iguanas may be moody during this event, which occurs every 4-6 weeks. Iguanas might hide in their enclosure where it’s darker and cooler than their usual basking spot. A nice thing you can do for them is spray them with water to help them shed more easily. Did you know that iguanas are herbivories, meaning they only eat plants? It’s true and they grow up to be long lizards with an average length of 5-6 feet from nose to tip of tale. They are mostly tail, which hurts if they are in a bad mood and they whip you with it. Rosie is 5.5 feet long and weighs 11.5 lbs. Yoshi is roughly 3 feet long and still growing. The nice thing about iguanas is that they love to eliminate their waste in water, making clean up easy. While iguanas are wonderful to observe, remember to do your research if considering owning an iguana as a pet. There is a lot of information left out of this article like diet and nutrition requirements and specifics on light bulbs. One interesting tid bit, if your iguana gets out of its enclosure it might destroy your favorite curtains when it tries to hide on top of the curtain rod! Lindsay Martin, CVT works at VCA Windham Animal Hospital in Brattleboro VT. She obtained my Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology at Becker College in Worcester MA. She is a Brattleboro native and shares her home with two iguanas, a bearded dragon named Ozzie, two dogs Roxie and Casey and a kitty named Tally. Bibliography Ballard, B. M., & Cheek, R. (2017). Exotic animal medicine for the veterinary technician (Third ed.). Ames, IA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Kaplan, M. (2000). Iguanas for dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Sirois, Margi, Edd, Ms, Rvt, Lat. (2015). Laboratory animal and exotic pet medicine - principles and procedures. Elsevier - Health Sciences Div. Spring 2018
hen a dog or cat ends up at an animal shelter, how does anyone estimate how old that dog or cat might be? If the deciduous, or baby, teeth are still in the mouth than an accurate estimate of age can be given. The deciduous teeth erupt and are then shed as the permanent teeth erupt, according to a fairly defined schedule. By seven months of age both dogs and cats should have all of the permanent teeth erupted. Permanent teeth are much larger than the deciduous teeth and have a somewhat different shape. Dogs and cats are also growing in size and weight from birth through the first year of life, which is also a clue as to the age of the pet. But what happens if all of the permanent teeth are in place? Is there Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS any accurate or even reasonably accurate way to assess the age of the pet? It is tempting to think that the condition of the teeth should be a good clue, as we know that without intervention teeth will accumulate plaque and tartar which tends to become worse over time and that gingivitis and periodontal disease also become more prevalent over time. Can the physical condition of the teeth and gums be useful in estimating age? Unfortunately, no. The amount of tartar, for instance, is highly variable with some very young pets having advanced periodontal disease and some quite old pets having reasonably healthy mouths even without any dental care. With the aid of a dental x-ray, a much better estimate of the age of the pet can be made. The inside of the tooth changes with age in a standard and predictable way.
â€œHow Much (err, Old) is That Doggy in the Window?â€?
Anatomy of a tooth: The visible part of the tooth is the crown and is covered with enamel, a shiny white substance. The root, which is not normally visible, is covered with cementum, which is slightly off-white in color and has a rough surface. Underneath the cementum and enamel is dentin, which provides support for the enamel and cementum. As the permanent tooth erupts, the amount of dentin is fairly thin and the pulp chamber and root canal are quite large. As the pet ages, the dentin grows circumferentially toward the center of the pulp chamber and root canal. On an X-ray the thickness of the dentin is readily apparent. Dentin grows continuously through life as long as the tooth remains vital.
Red area is the pulp chamber in the crown and root canal in the root. It is really all one chamber.
Blue area is dentin
Root, covered by cementum (yellow)
Crown, covered by enamel (white)
Pulp Chamber Dentin Enamel
Letâ€™s look at some real life examples. The following are radiographs of the lower jaw canine teeth in similarly sized dogs.
6 month old Maltese Notice the very wide pulp chamber and root canal. The bottom of the root has not yet formed.
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5 yr old Toy Poodle The dentin has grown quite a bit. The pulp chamber and root canals are readily visible from top to bottom of the tooth.
12 yr old Cairn Terrier/Shih Tzu. The pulp chamber and root canals are very narrow at this age.
13.5 yr old Yorkie The root canal at the bottom of the teeth is barely visible. In an older dog it can disappear at the bottom of the root.
Below are four radiographs taken of the lower jaw canine teeth of the same dog, a Labrador Retriever, from 7 months to 2 years and 3 months of age.
7 months The bottom of the roots has yet to form
9 months The bottom of the root has formed quite a bit in 2 months time
1 year, 5 months The dentin fills in at a rapid rate in the first two years.
2 years, 3 months The rate of change in the dentin will progress more slowly as this dog ages.
The tooth at eruption is quite hollow and fills in rapidly during the first 2 years of life. The rate of change in the dentin then slows down and gets progressively slower as the years go by. Cat teeth go through the same changes with age. To the left are three radiographs taken of the lower jaw of the same cat, a Tabby Point Chinese, from 1 year and 7 months to 4 years and 8 months of age.
1 year, 7 months
3 years, 11 months
4 years, 8 months
Cats have a tendency to resorb the roots of the canine teeth, which means that the root starts to disappear at the bottom and then progresses up the root over time. This can happen at any age, although it is more common in older cats. The bottom third of the roots are starting to resorb in this x-ray at left. I am not suggesting that animal shelters need to take a dental radiograph of every cat and dog, although it would provide a good estimate of the age of the pets in the shelter. When I take dental radiographs I do explain to the owner that I will be able to provide a better idea of the actual age of the pet. If an owner wanted to take a radiograph to get an estimate of the age of a pet it could be easily done and would require sedation rather than full anesthesia for one or two x-rays.
Lower jaw of a 16 year old Domestic Shorthair.
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. www.4LegsAndATail.com 19
Paradise Recovered John Peaveler - E. Thetford, VT
D uring disaster response, the mission of The Humane Society of the
United States is the preservation of life, health and welfare of animals through the combination of rescue, evacuation, relief, emergency sheltering, reunification, capacity building, training, grant giving and community support. These efforts support the needs of animals —and the people in their lives —who are victims of disaster. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, high winds and rainfall devastated the territory of Puerto Rico. The HSUS shelter partners across the territory were battered, broken and struggling to help the animals they serve. Because of my experience as a cer-
tified Rescue Technician and Disaster Consultant, I deployed with Dave Pauli, Senior Advisor, Wildlife Response and Policy of The HSUS, to Vieques, an island located six miles off the coast of the main island of Puerto Rico. We arrived in San Juan aboard a small cargo plane operated by Wings of Rescue, a nonprofit with a mission of evacuating and transporting animals and relief supplies. Our time in San Juan was limited, as a helicopter was awaiting our arrival. We wove through the chaos and loaded the helicopter with supplies. The pilot made a careful ascent, probing the airfield for a safe route through an incredible density of civilian and military aircraft. Carving our way around San Juan, we banked to the
southeast and followed a mostly overland course toward Vieques. I’ve found that when it comes to tableaus of chaos and ruin, every disaster has some comparability. The loss of home, possession and worst of all life, always shares elements of tragedy, pain, loss and grief for every person and animal affected. What struck me most on that first flight to Vieques was how pervasive this disaster was. The destruction stretched from coast to coast, and it was quickly evident that the isolation of these islands would make it exceedingly difficult to move the flood of materials needed to recover from such an event. We flew above pummeled towns and leveled forests. Some buildings were simply gone, while the vast majority had significant roof damage. Debris was scattered everywhere. In different times, Vieques is an isolated paradise. Its lack of large resorts to shadow its beautiful beaches and rich culture, make it a perfect escape for those looking for something more authentic. Though the island is easily accessible to tourists, it has no major ports. This proved to be a challenge during disaster response and became a logistical logjam. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, it took a tremendous effort to get two emergency responders with 500 pounds of equipment to Vieques. This was to be a harbinger of things to come. Sára Varsa, Senior Director of the Animal Rescue Team at The HSUS, oversees all disaster response for the organization. Her instructions for this mission were simple: go help. Our first 24 hours on the island were spent determining what help was needed, what resources could meet those needs and designing programs that could serve those needs. Vieques has a large population of feral horses, dogs and cats and three animal rescue organizations. We spent the first day linking up with municipal leaders and other non-profits, assessing the needs of free-roaming animals and connecting with animal rescue organizations. It was a busy day, one of many to come, and filled with emotion as we saw Continued Next Page
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the effects of the storm, the very limited If you would like to donate to resources of the island and a shell-shocked HSUS disaster relief efforts, visit population of people and animals. Based http://bit.ly/2E2doQs on what we saw, we rapidly worked with John Peaveler has over 14 years HSUS staff members in Florida and elseof experience addressing animal where to develop a supply chain. First, we used airplanes to move materials into San welfare issues all over the world. He Juan, and then moved smaller amounts currently works as a consultant and to Vieques via helicopter. At the same professional animal cruelty/disaster responder and trainer for Humane time, we put in a request for veterinary Society International, The Humane support in the form of veterinarians and Society of the United States, and medical supplies as well as for additional Animal Care Equipment and field responders to run relief, recovery, and evacuation operations. As that system Services. He is based in West Fairlee, Vermont where he serves as ACO, was being put into place, we on Vieques dad, husband, and minion to 20 worked to help however, we could. One of chickens, four dogs and a cat. the most simple but profound things we could do to help early on was to give our satellite phone to members of the community who had not been able to contact their families. These moments were filled with joy, sadness and despair. Over the course of more than a month, we evacuated nearly 200 animals from the local shelter and rescue groups, freeing up critical space and resources. We supplied local charities with thousands of pounds of human food, toiletries, solar lights and animal food for all species. We operated clinics in underserved communities and reached many who couldnâ€™t venture into town. An incredible team of over 30 responders and local volunteers went door to door delivering human and animal food and providing free veterinary services. We worked with the local vet to help her become operational again. We cleaned up the local animal shelter and provided them with generators, fuel and tons of other supplies. We provided fresh food for the elderly and infirm and safety equipment for the fire fighters who spent their days unloading aid from military helicopters. Wherever we saw a need, we worked to meet it in any way we could. It was an incredible challenge, but it was without a doubt one of the most rewarding and effective responses of my career. The men and women of the HSUS, both staff and volunteers, came together to answer the call for help, even as far away as the small island of Vieques. I am extremely proud of the work completed and the part I was able to play in the relief efforts. Recovery from a major disaster, however, takes years. The initial response wrapped up at the end of October of 2017, but by December, HSUS had sent more staff and volunteers to undertake a big effort to sterilize dogs, cats and horses on the island. As recovery continues, the resilient people and animals of Vieques continue to demonstrate strength in difficult circumstances. The HSUS will continue to help Puerto Rico and the rest of United States, striving to make a better world for animals and people, and to be ready for the next time disaster strikes. Spring 2018
HSUS veterinarian Dr. Joey Vest treats an injured dog at a trash dump in Vieques, Puerto Rico. Photo credit: Meredith Lee/The HSUS
Sleep, Hamburger, and Rescue T
he sun has long disappeared, replaced by moonlight filtering through the kitchen window. The digital clock readout begins with an eleven and the bed is calling its sweet slumber lullaby. The thick quilt will have to wait, duty is
calling––again–– thanks to our newest guest. We recently welcomed Bruiser, a senior English bulldog. He’s confused and frightened, his world flipped upside down. He hasn’t been eating the food offered to him, so Dawna Pederzani, founder of
Vermont English Bulldog Rescue (VEBR), is in the kitchen frying ground beef to add to his next breakfast bowl. What dog could refused warmed beef in gravy? Bruiser was one of the dogs in residence two years ago. He was a medical mess when he arrived. After months of care, nearly $900 in vet bills and a host of hit-or-miss medications, his body was finally stabilized and healthy and this charmer was ready for his new home. He was adopted with the promise that his medical and nutritional treatments would continue. This did not happen. He was returned with eyes clouded and infected, ears inflamed, bald patches from allergies and a hurt body and spirit. We found ourselves not at square one, but at square negative 10. This is one situation of rescue, offering strength to overtake the dark place of animal abuse, cruelty and neglect. Although animal welfare groups have their share of joyful, new beginnings, all outcomes are not always romantic, pretty, or positive. We’ve had dogs dumped on our doorstep, dropped off at our vet, surrendered without so much as a conversation. Conditions range from bleak to mediocre to heartbreaking. It’s rare a dog makes its way to us that doesn’t require hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars, to heal aliments left untreated to fester into infection and pain. One reason I volunteer with VEBR is because of the exceptional care afforded each dog. One size, one food, one medication, one veterinarian, one physical regiment does not fit all. This rescue looks through committed eyes at each dog as an individual to access his specific needs and formulate a plan for success. The counter is lined with labeled freezer-sized bags. Each holds prescriptions, administered once, twice, three, sometimes four times a day. Different meds, different dogs, different intervals. Each dog requires specific nutrition and supplements, even those within the same breed, to reach and maintain mental and physical health. Schedules are continually updated. Canines are jigsaw puzzles with fur. What keeps one healthy and strong, brings allergies and itchies to another. One medication may keep a condition at bay while another could cause a break out of hives and loss of hair. Even the most educated Continued Next Page
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and experienced canine owners are sometimes left to shake their heads trying to figure out these mysteries. Along with a handful of dedicated volunteers, we drag ourselves out of bed before the sun rises, head over after work and visit on weekends to give these worthy dogs the time and attention they deserve. Bruiser wants hamburger? Bruiser can have his hamburger. We aim to please, even if it means less sleepâ€“â€“again.
For more information about Bruiser and other dogs available for adoption, please visit:
www.BulldogsandBuddies.com Facebook: Vermont English Bulldog Rescue Email:
Joan in Naples, FL loves 4 Legs & A Tail
All I Really Need to Know I Learned From My Dog - Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride. - Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy. - When loved ones come home, always run to greet them. - Take naps and stretch before rising. - Never pretend to be something you’re not. - Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. - If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
- Run, romp, and play daily. - Be loyal. - When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently. - Thrive on affection and let people touch you - enjoy back rubs and pats on your neck. - When you leave your yard, make it an adventure. - Avoid biting when a simple growl will do. - No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout - run right back and make friends. - Bond with your pack. - On cold nights, curl up in front of a crackling fire. - When you’re excited, speak up. - When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body. - Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
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It Takes a Village Megan MacArthur - Marlboro, VT
oulu is a beautiful 4 year old Pomeranian, with an exuberance and joy for life that is contagious. Her fluffy red coat, her sparkling dark eyes, her dancing feet, and her gentle being- all of these make it impossible to be with her and not feel an expansion of my heart and a smile on my face. She has not always looked this bright! Over a year ago she started showing signs of GI issues, with nausea, coughing, vomiting, and gagging. Her dedicated human partner stopped at nothing to try to find out what was going on with her beloved Pom. Her team did ultrasounds, X-Rays, GI scopes, medications, and although there was not a clear cut root cause for all of these issues, it was discovered that she had a narrowing (perhaps weakening) of the trachea, and obvious signs of GI inflammation and acid reflux. Loulu was put on hyper allergenic food, probiotics, Omeprazole and several other supportive supplements. There was some improvement, but not enough. Visits to a holistic Veterinarian added in acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, and Chinese medicines. Again, this was all supportive and further improvement was seen for Loulu, but she was still unhappy much of the time and struggling more than she should. Her mom decided to not accept this as the new normal, and to explore an additional path. She called me to come and offer Reiki to Loulu. I immediately felt like I was coming in at just the right time, with the perfect backdrop of information and modalities already in place. Upon arrival, Loulu climbed right into my lap and sniffed me all over. She was fascinated by the energy that I was putting out, and was very comfortable with me in her home. Reiki offers a peaceful, healing vibration, through a form of meditation, that works within the body of the recipient to release any fears, blockages, pain, etc. and allow their being to heal in the way that is perfect for them right in the moment. This may not be a cure, but it will always offer relaxation, ease, balance- all with the intention of supporting the body/ mind/spirit for healing, in whatever way is needed. Spring 2018
Well Loulu needed this Reiki energy! She soaked it up, and showed significant improvement immediately. I have been seeing her for several months now, and although she has had some setbacks, and still has spells where her body is challenging her, over all she is much better! She is still taking some medications as well as receiving periodic chiropractic adjustments, but we are now able to spread the Reiki sessions out to every 2-3 weeks. Her eyes are bright, there is a spring in her step, and a great willingness to go for walks and explore. It is a pleasure to arrive at Louluâ€™s and be greeted with such anticipation and joy! To watch her become calm and balanced, to witness her trust and openness, and
receive her gratitude as we finish up is deeply humbling for me. It really does take a village to do this kind of work- a passionate and dedicated guardian, conventional and holistic viewpoints and skills, energy healing modalities that complement the whole picture. I am honored to be part of Louluâ€™s team, and to share this Reiki energy with her. May her healing path continue and her inner light expand even further. Megan MacArthur Littlhehales, of Lady Moon Healing Hands, is a Reiki Master Practitioner and Teacher, and a certified Canine Massage Therapist. She lives in Marlboro, Vermont. ladymoonreiki.blogspot.com
Don’t Let the Neighborhood Go to the Dogs Cathy White - Walpole, NH
t’s a lovely day. You’ve finally grabbed a bit of outdoor time, and the mild temperatures and spring’s beauty entice. Yet before you’ve hit that deck chair with a book or tucked into your garden, your neighbor’s dog gets wind of your plans and begins to bark. And bark. And bark. Or, you’re walking your own pup on that same lovely day, (sturdy leash/ collar on your dog; poop bags at hand) when you find yourself planting your Vibram soles into the “results” of some less-than-responsible dog owner’s previous outing. Yuck! We’re all too familiar with them: Nuisance barkers, yard-escaping “Houdini’s”, and dogs whose owners don’t clean up after them. Unfortunately, they make life less pleasant for everyone. It can be maddening, but is it preventable? (Yes.) But what to do? (It depends.) For seemingly non-stop barkers, your best initial option is to approach the culprits yourself. Though difficult to imagine, your neighbors may not even be aware that their dog is bothering anyone, and a courteous heads-up could be all that is needed. But if you’ve tried that, and failed, or it’s worked only temporarily, it may be time to ask for help. Cities like Brattleboro and Keene have animal control officers. Smaller towns can’t offer this option; thus citizen complaints often become the provenance of the local police. And while they certainly have much better things to do than visit people whose dogs aren’t behaving, they will step in to help. Keene’s Animal Control Officer, Barry Hilton, says that when called about dog issues, “I try to mediate. I don’t ticket a lot. Whatever can fix the problem ...as long as the dog owner wants to work with me.” He’s right. This is a human issue, not a canine one. In a perfect world, every dog owner would take responsibility for their animals. Sadly, it’s easier for people not to train or pick up after their dogs. But when you live in a neighborhood flush with canines, this becomes everyone’s problem. “Animal control can only do so much”, says one trainer with Brattleboro’s Yankee Dog, adding “without effective leash laws and many folks who have no inclination to train their dog” nuisance dogs and neighborly disputes can become “a major problem.” For many of those whose choose not to put in time training, a fence is often their go-to solution. The dog goes outside, no one needs to train/walk it and it’s exercised. Right? Wrong. While a fence is usually a must for thoughtful dog owners, for others it’s merely a canine babysitter. Fences aren’t Continued Next Page
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always secure, often allowing dogs to dig under, climb over, or otherwise vacate their yards. Even a secure fence is never a substitute for human interaction. A dog left alone is a dog that will be bored out of its mind. And a bored dog barks. And barks. And barks. Beloved pets deserve better than to be put out and ignored. If you are fortunate enough to have a securely fenced yard, by all means get out there and play with your wonderful dog! The fresh air is good for you both, and they’ll love you for it. After all, they want nothing more than your attention. (And maybe a treat or two!) Additionally, many municipalities have leash laws - although they may vary even within one town. In denser areas, such as neighborhoods and villages, dogs are generally required to be leashed at all times. In the same town though, you may find that there are some areas where your dog merely needs to be “under control by vocal command”. (Not something dogs with minimal or no training are going to be reliable with.) If you’re regularly walking your dog on leash, kudos to you! That’s also an activity that benefits you both. For dogs, though, walks aren’t just about those amazing sights and smells. They’re also about relief, and let’s face it, poop happens. Your dog may forever be confused by why you bag their precious leavings and tote them home. Perhaps they think “Well, yes, that IS truly something special and certainly worth keeping!”. Or possibly they’re perplexed that you would remove such an important calling card, leaving the next sniffer puzzled at the lack of available doggie information. No matter what your dog’s thoughts, picking up after them is more than common courtesy. Aside from potentially spreading disease, and being just plain gross, letting your dog poop anywhere other than on your property and not scooping makes your dog legally a “nuisance”, according to NH laws. You wouldn’t appreciate stepping in it, so why would you think it’s okay to expect anyone else to? And if you live in a neighborhood, you also have a pretty good idea of who’s picking up and who isn’t. So please, endear yourself to all. Scoop that poop! While it may be easy to ignore your dog’s barking, or not pick up after it, that’s not the way to be a good canine neighbor. Officer Hilton puts it this way: “think over and above”. And don’t let your neighborhood go to the dogs. 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 2018
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