Dog Days of Summer Central NH & VT
One Lost Dog During the American Revolution Four Legged Fact or Fiction Rare Breeds of the Twin States Meet the Cleveland Bay Horse Tics & Lyme Disease The Buzz About Catnip
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail 3
Five Tips for Getting More Bacon, Aubrey
For when you’ve just gotta get the good stuff
Human-animal connections, Herd Immunity, more reasons to vaccinate
Beating Breast Cancer one hoof at a time
Follow these tips for a safe and rewarding visit to the local dog park
An update on the PetSafe Shaker Field Dog Park
Two warriors share an extraordinary love and loyalty
An amazing dog and his owner fly across the country in pursuit of a cancer cure with the help of Emma’s Foundation
5 8 9
Why Should I Immunize? Stewart Ketcham, DVM Pink Tails in the Sunset
Dog Park Safety, Paula Bergeron
10 A Dog Park in Enfield
11 Dexter: the Wounded Warrior, Sandy Johnson 14 McKinley Gets a Bone (Marrow Transplant), Amy Floria
16 Lyme Disease, Sugar River, Cathrine MacLean, DVM
It’s that time of year, prevention is key
The aftermath of the battle at Germantown and the response that may surprise you.
In the 1930’s a champion Doberman and his owners pave the way for Pet-Friendly hotels
When it comes to horses, your age can’t hold you back with High Horses’ new program
Take a closer look at some popular ideas about your Pet’s health
18 A Dog on the Battlefield and the Character of George Washington, Kate Kelly 20 Doberman Hotel, Kate Kelly
22 Grey Horse Program at High Horses, Sue Miller 24 Four Legged Fact or Fiction, Jennifer Lesser DVM Pg. 18
26 Introducing Ayeshah Al-Humaidhi
The Upper Valley Humane Society’s new Executive Director
A great event for friendly dogs & their owners happening August 23rd
A story that may inspire you to join the Therapy Dogs of Vermont team
A note to friends in the Upper Valley
Many cat owners confuse low maintenance with no maintenance.
Their numbers have dwindled to a few hundred worldwide, but we met a couple of Cleveland Bay horses nearby
Kat shares the top five questions owners have about their pets and her work
29 Paws in the Pool
29 A Day at the VA, Steve Reiman
28 Therapy Dogs of Vermont
30 Cats Need Vet Care Too, Emily Crawford, DVM 32 Rare Breeds of the Twin States
35 Top Five Questions for the Animal Kingdom, Kat Barrell Call of the Wild Summer 2015
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail 37 Red Eared Sliders, Susan Dyer DVM
This turtle makes a great pet and can live 15-30 years with proper care
Remembering a family friend
Is there really a legal recreational substance available right here in NH and VT?
A prominent Eventing Competitor distills the wisdom of coaches, trainers & competitors on when a horse or rider should move up to the next level
Training your horse, a trainer will give your horse a good foundation, you’ll be training each other the rest of your life
Should Libby dig in, or should she stop?
38 Rest in Peace Grover, Elena Tuhy-Walters 40 Catnip, Melissa Longacre
41 When to Move Up, Denny Emerson
43 Paddock Partners, Heidi Jo Hauri Gil
44 Canine Point of View, Michelle Grimes
Pg. 38 46 Limber Tail Syndrome in Dogs, Elisa Speckert
Also known as “Swimmers Tail”, learn the signs and solutions
Avoid this green scum and its deadly toxins this summer
Save your pets teeth and learn the “Knee-Cap Rule”
When you should seek it; What to do if your pet is poisoned; First Aid Kits for Dogs
47 Blue-Green Algae: A Deadly Danger for Dogs, Dr. Justine A. Lee, DVM, DACVECC
49 Fun Summer Activities, Cory Balch, DVM 50 Don’t Treat Your Dog to a Bone or Your Dog May Need Treatment , Sandra Waugh, VD, MS 52 Emergency Care, Whitney Durivage
53 Alternatively Speaking; Managing Lyme Disease, Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA
Managing the silent effects this infection can have on the body
55 FOUR DAYS OF DOG SHOWS!
July 9th – 12th - Green Mountain Dog Club & Woodstock Dog Club
Wrinkles, droopy eyes, respiratory problems, determination and open checkbook– that’s the dog for me!
Behavior issues may go back to puppy hood
Relocating wildlife can have unexpected consequences
A dynamic duo shows that adopting rescue dogs, or any adoption, is a celebration!
56 An Unconventional Kind of Puppy Love, Karen Sturtevant
58 My Rescue Dog – Abused or Something Else?, Mike Robertson 59 Be Careful What You Wish For! Scott Borthwick 60 Marley’s Doggie Bags, Tina Kebalka
4 Legs & a Tail Volume L.215 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766 603-727-9214 TimH.4LT@gmail.com
2 4 Legs & a Tail
Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Senior Editor: Scott Palzer Accounting/Editor: Elisa Speckert Office Manager: Beth Hoehn Graphic Design: Monica Reinfeld, Lacey Dardis, Kate Haas Sales: Karyn Swett, Scott Palzer, Barry deSousa, Pat Pockette
If you have a tale about a tail or a photo that will make us smile, we’d like to hear from you. 4 Legs & a Tail is published quarterly and distributed free of charge throughout Central VT & NH. 4 Legs & a Tail, Inc. is locally owned and operated and acts as a moderator without approving, disapproving or guaranteeing the validity or accuracy of any data or claim. Any reproduction in whole or part is prohibited.
Five Tips for Getting More Bacon O
ur Guest Author this week is Aubrey, an American Staffordshire/American Foxhound mix. She’s a 2-yr old service-dog-in-training, and an avid follower of bacon and Kong Balls. It’s your human’s job to bring home the bacon. Humans know this, which is why sites like LinkedIn, Inc.com, and WSJ.com are clamoring to tell them how to earn more bacon. A big shout-out to all you human career enablers, dogs appreciate more bacon! What comes next is a tough job, but as Mike Rowe says, “Somebody’s gotta do it!” As a dog, it’s your job to get your human to share that bacon.
Here are five tips to help you do just that: SIT CLOSE, BUT NOT TOO CLOSE Distance matters. You need to sit right at the limit of the Doggie-to-Bacon Function (See Bacon Math illustration below). This is as close to calculus as we canines get, and I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing! Not completely sure where the limit is? Use this rule of paw: if your person is feeling like Tolstoy’s description, “He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began.” – back it up a bit!
Aubrey-A Bacon Lover!
The limit of a function, simply illustrated. Dogs KNOW limits. (We also prefer eating bacon to homework) THE EYES HAVE IT
Practice speaking with your eyes.
“The eyes are the window to the soul,” says an old proverb. And “puppy eyes” is a human term for a human expression they find hard to resist. Where did it originate? With puppies, of course. Adult dogs can pull off this look too. Imagine your human is about to hand you that bacon, and then it vanishes. Poof! Now, imagine this sequence again, and again. Your eyes will naturally take on an expression simultaneously hopeful and mournful. Perfect! “The face is a picture of the mind with the eyes as its interpreter.” Marcus Tullius Cicero KEEP STILL It never hurts to follow BBC Sherlock’s lead and “take the precaution of a short coat and a round friend” – or something like that. Distance matters – we covered that earlier (see picture). You’ve found that perfect not-begging distance, and are wearing a mournfully attentive expression. It feels as if it’s time to act. Your predator instincts beg you to leap for the bacon’s throat and bring it down. Don’t do it. “In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you” - Deepak Chopra. Worth $80 million, the man knows about bacon. And Lao Tzu “Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity,” (and bacon). Hold fast, and you will be rewarded. Continued NEXT PAGE
KEEP SILENT Sometimes the wait is long. Relax. Breathe. The key to bacony success is patience. Stillness is one weapon in your arsenal, silence is another. Any noise you make in the presence of bacon is going to be interpreted as begging or pestering. You may be called out on your lurking, or be removed from the area. While noise carries negative connotations, silence is incredibly positive and has lasting impact. MLK Jr. observed, “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Silence is golden (goldenbrown, delicious-smelling, and crispy!) Stay focused, stay quiet. LET HUMAN NATURE WORK ON YOUR BEHALF Embrace early failures. If your human ignores you and consumes all the bacon, do not act disappointed. Be extra affectionate and particularly well-behaved. Counterintuitive, maybe even ridiculous. Canines are straightforward and simple, however, we live with the most absurd species on the planet. Humans overcomplicate things. Seriously – humans invented golf, which is “deceptively simple and endlessly complicated,” according to Arnold Palmer. Seriously. A stick, ball, and grass to roll around in, and they make “A Thing” out of it! Excessive complication isn’t just limited to humans in the United States. It’s everywhere: • “Some things in life are too complicated to explain in any language.”– Haruki Murakami • “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”– Confucius • “People tend to complicate their own lives, as if living isn’t complicated enough.”– Carlos Luiz Zafon • “All you really need to know for the moment is that the universe is a lot more complicated than you might think, even if you start from a position of thinking it’s pretty damn complicated in the first place.”– Douglas Adams Happily, this tendency to over-think can work to our benefit. Be affectionate even in disappointment, your human’s overactive brain will kick in. They imagine you are being loyal and forgiving – and they will feel guilty for having not shared that bacon. Soon, up to a week if your human is one of the difficultto-train varieties, guilt will reach critical mass, and you will receive bacon. Resume standard positive reinforcement techniques. Happiness: plenty of bacon and walks. Following these five recommendations, you will be eating bacon as often as your human does. Be joyful, bacon is in your future. Be grateful every day for these humans with their opposable thumbs, who bring home and cook the bacon – AND take us outside to walk it off! – Aubrey
4 4 Legs & a Tail
Aubrey’s bacon connection is Stripe, a biologist, writer, and lifelong animal rescuer/owner. Stripe is an avid follower of the evolution of thinking about training and behavior - for dogs in particular. Summer 2015
Why Should I Immunize My Pet? Why should I immunize my pet? I don’t immunize my children!
Stewart Ketcham, DVM
et owners have actually said this to me in the exam room in my office! The human measles outbreak in California earlier this year and the subsequent controversy and discussions is now the basis for my reply.
I’m sick as a dog, with this cough and a sneeze When trying to bark it comes out like a wheeze. At the dog park I noticed that hound with a “Hack” Oh goodness, could it be that “Distemper” is back? My tummy has gurgles, I’m sick at both ends Between bed and the cat box, can’t play with my friends. My mom said no to the shots, ‘cause needles I hate, Now I wish she’d said to the vet, “Yes please, vaccinate”! The trend away from wellness preventive immunizations is not confined to human pediatrics. Sadly, in recent years veterinarians are seeing the same trend: more pet owners fail to complete kitten or puppy vaccines, and skip wellness visits for their adult pets as well. For some, the issue is budget priorities (car, cell phone, etc.), and for others there is a vague impression that “vaccines don’t really matter.” You may be asking, “What is the connection between the human Measles outbreak in Disneyland last winter and Canine Distemper in my dog”? The answer is, “A LOT!” Both viruses are in the same genus (Morbillivirus), they are both highly contagious, and they both survive in the environment (In body secretions spread by cough, sneeze [for both] and vomit and stool [for distemper]). Both viruses can lead to life-threatening complications, including pneumonia, diarrhea, and encephalitis (brain inflammation). In fact it is believed that Canine Distemper is the most likely origin of human Measles [Fiennes R. Zoonoses and the Origins and Ecology of Human Disease. Academic Press. London ( 1978)]. Cats also have highly contagious diseases. Feline Distemper is actually a very different virus than the dog version. Yet it is equally serious and potentially fatal. It is actually a “Parvovirus” and is thought to be the origin of Canine Parvovirus which is now a part of the “4 way Distemper Shot for dogs.” The cat respiratory viruses include a “Feline Herpes virus,” which is fairly commonly passed from mother cat to kitten. It can have eye or brain complications. Rabies vaccinations are required by law in both NH and VT. That’s because the disease is ALWAYS fatal (with one case on record of a human survivor after developing symptoms in 2004). It can be spread to pets from wild animals, and then to their humans. It is 100% preventable by vaccination. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Q: Why is there so much talk about “Herd Immunity”? I thought herds were for cows and horses, not dogs and people! Continued NEXT PAGE
A: Herd Immunity refers to a concept: “When most of a population has immunity against a contagious disease, the “unprotected” members of that “herd” are also protected because the disease cannot effectively spread through the population.” For most diseases 85-95% of the “herd” needs to have immunity for the others to benefit. Q: So if most dogs are vaccinated, why do I need to vaccinate my dog? A#1: One of the issues here is that for canine distemper the “herd” (population which carries or can get the disease) in this area includes: foxes, coyotes and raccoons [possibly mink, weasels & bears]. We know wildlife are not vaccinated and they walk through our back yards, the dog park and the popular hiking and recreation paths. Combine that with dogs whose owners skip vaccines and the 85-95% level of protected members of the herd is not reached. A#2: Distemper vaccines are highly effective, but they are not 100% protective--actually about 71% retained “significant antibody titers from annual vaccination.” [2011 study in Japan]. Of course some of those individuals with a “less than significant titer” will get partial protection. Continued NEXT PAGE
Continued NEXT PAGE
6 4 Legs & a Tail
A#3: There are some individuals (pet, animal and human) who are immune suppressed (by medications for certain diseases or because of organ transplant) or by certain diseases or infections (HIV in people, FelV/FIV in cats). Generally these individuals should not be vaccinated! Ask yourself the following and your heart will find the answer: • How would I feel if my child gave measles to his/her friend who was HIV positive and that child died? • How would I feel if my unvaccinated pet gave a serious (potentially fatal) illness to my friend’s pet who couldn’t be vaccinated? • How would I feel if my pet acquired a serious (potentially fatal) illness because I skipped vaccines. Q: There are so many vaccines recommended for my dog or cat, how do I know which ones they need? A#1: Your veterinarian should discuss vaccine recommendations based on the lifestyle of your pet (indoor, outdoor, woods, fields, boarding kennel, dog park, travel, etc.) and the risk of exposure to various diseases as a result. They can also discuss the risks & potential side effects of each vaccine. A#2: For more information see the websites for the American Veterinary Medicine Society (search: avma vaccine guidelines) or the American Association of Feline Practitioners (search: feline practitioners guidelines). Dr. Ketcham is the owner of Upper Valley Veterinary Services and Animal Clinic of Enfield. He is a 1970 graduate of Cornell Veterinary College. He says,“I’m lucky to be working at something which brings me daily pleasure and in a branch of medicine where it’s OK for patients to kiss the doctor.”
Photo submitted by Sally Boyle of Brookfield, VT Next time you can't get a seat at your favorite restaurant, take a tip from Marley and Chloe.
Pink Tails in the Sunset? S
Beating Breast Cancer, One Hoof at a Time
ome time ago, horse-enthusiast Lois Steele Whidden, took part in a Ride for the Cure, a combination horseback pleasure ride, and fundraiser for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, in Barre, Massachusetts. “I wasn’t 100% sold on the idea at first, but I got talked into it,” Whidden said. “And I’m very glad I did. It was an incredibly moving day,” said Whidden, a three-time breast cancer survivor, “and a lot of fun, too, with all of the horses and riders done up in pink. Very moving, very festive, very upbeat.” “I should try this back home in Vermont,” she thought. And she did.
Riders enjoyed beautiful weather at last years ride.
8 4 Legs & a Tail
That was seven years ago. Since then, Lois has mounted five Rides for the Cure in her home state and two in New Hampshire, with NH Ride Chairman Jessica Hempfling. The proceeds benefit the local Komen affiliate, Susan G. Komen Vermont-New Hampshire. To date, the seven rides have netted more than $270,000. “The important thing to remember,” said Whidden, “is that 75% of all the monies we raise from Komen events stays local. It’s granted out to breast health organizations and programs in Vermont and New Hampshire annually. This past year, we had 13 applications and granted $300,000 to applicants in the twin states. The remaining 25% of the money we raise goes to national for breast cancer research.” The Third Annual New Hampshire Ride for the Cure will be held on Saturday, August 29th at Gelinas Farm, Pembroke, NH. The Sixth Annual Vermont Ride will be on Monday, October 12th - Columbus Day - at Green Mountain Horse Association in South Woodstock, VT. Both are 10 mile pleasure rides that will award prizes for the top fundraiser (riders commit to raising a minimum of $250), and the pinkest horse. Breakfast and lunch options will be available at both rides, and each will offer raffles with wonderful, equine-themed prizes. “The rides really are quite the experience,” Whidden said. “Both are in beautiful settings. The New Hampshire Ride is in high summer, which is always nice, and the Vermont Ride is smack in the middle of foliage season. Absolutely breathtaking.” What makes the rides truly special, she says, are the people. “Everyone’s there for a good time, sure, but I’d guess that everyone involved has also been touched by breast cancer one way or another, whether they’re survivors, like me, or the mothers, daughters, sisters, other family members or friends of folks who are in treatment now, or already lost the battle. We ride to honor them all, and to raise money to continue the fight.” About Susan G. Komen Vermont-New Hampshire Each year, through efforts great and small, on foot and on hoof, thousands of Vermont and New Hampshire citizens give of their time and money to fight the spread of, and ultimately find the cure for, breast cancer. Since our first Race for the Cure, in 1993, the Vermont-New Hampshire Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure has generated more than $9.1 million, 75% of which (less overhead), stayed in the two-state region. That means that more than $6.8 million was devoted to breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs in Vermont and New Hampshire; the remaining 25%, more than $2.3 million, helped support Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s national research program. Riders may register and fundraise for either or both rides online at www.komenvtnh. org, and check out some photos from past rides on the Susan G. Komen Ride for the Cure VT or NH Facebook pages. For more information on the rides, the local affiliate, and breast cancer in general, visit the website or call 802-362-2733. Summer 2015
Dog Park Safety W
Do you need help with your dog’s difficult behavior?
Paula Bergeron-Grafton, NH
onderful warm days of summer are here, everyone wants to get out and enjoy the season, including your dogs. For many this means weekly or even daily trips to the local dog park. Many envision dog parks as places for frolic and play, but they can be places of conflict, anxiety, and sometimes tragedy for pets. Make your experiences as fun and safe as possible by following a few simple guidelines. Top Ten Tips for Dog Park Etiquette • Make sure your dog is ready for a dog park. The dog park is NOT the place for your dog to learn good social behavior, it is a place for them to PRACTICE good social behavior. If your dog has problems with anxiety or over-activity, the safest place to work that out is a training facility, not the dog park. Spend a little money with a trainer, rather than a lot of money on a vet bill. • Have a strong Recall before your first trip to the dog park. Recall is when you call your dog… “Rover Come….” Rover turns on a dime and gladly comes to you and sits at your feet. Many dogs will do this at home, but a strong recall means your dog will come to you even when going after something they want elsewhere. You need this at the dog park if you see the energy of a group of dogs getting too high, and you want to remove your dog. This takes many repetitions of calling your dog around distractions, and a fair amount of highly valued treats. The ultimate goal is that your dog returns to you without treats because you and your affection becomes their ultimate reward. • Exercise your dog before entering the dog park. People think of the dog park as a way for their dog to let off steam. Actually, dogs can become more excited because of all the new situations, new smells, and new dogs. We set dogs up for inappropriate behavior when you enter with your dog panting, pulling, and whining. Walk around the outside perimeter of the park until your dog can enter the park calmly. The first few visits may be 45 minutes of walking and 10 minutes inside the park. Don’t fret, it shouldn’t take many visits for a dog to settle with just a couple circuits. • Evaluate the population inside the park. When you walk the perimeter be mindful of what is happening inside. Are the dogs out of control, see any humans exhibiting inappropriate behavior, are toddlers walking around in danger of being run over, hear or feel any tension between dogs? Trust your instincts, if you have concerns about the number of dogs, the high level of energy, or risky behavior, come back another time. Better to be safe than sorry. • Take note of possible trouble spots. Every park has places where dogs could get trapped: corners, watering stations, under benches or picnic tables, or double gates at the entrance. Crowded dogs may be fine at first but if one dog panics, the dynamics of the whole group can change. Once you know where “crowding” could occur keep an eye on those spots so your dog does not become trapped in an unwanted ball of excitement or panic. • Lead your dog as you enter the park. When dogs see a new mate, many will want to greet them. It is intimidating for your dog to walk through this wall of powerful energy. Your job is to walk through that wall allowing your dog to follow you. Clearly but gently walk towards any dogs coming too fast to greet your dog, this lets your dog know you have his/her back and will lower their level of anxiety. • Once in the Park KEEP MOVING. When we stand still or congregate, dogs get concerned about their humans. You can see this when dogs come out of nowhere
Continued NEXT PAGE
to get between an oncoming dog and their human. Usually the greeter will move away, but occasionally one or the other will lash out to make their point. This growl fest can be embarrassing, at worst it can cause a visit to the vet. Walking will prohibit guarding behavior which is a dog plunking down in front of you to “guard” you from all “threats.” This sets your dog up to defend you, never a wise position. • Beware of toy guarding. Some parks have balls and Frisbees for play. This is fine, but some dogs are not ok with any dog having any toy they have claimed. Be mindful of what is going on all around you. If a dog is circling a toy, a bench or even a human, stay clear and just keep walking. • When play or excitement is becoming too intense, leave. People with their heart in the right place have tried to change a situation that has developed in a park, not the time or place to make changes. If a scuffle breaks out, humans react with emotion which does not lead to clear thinking. If things are not going well, calmly take your dog and leave. Rarely does it end well when one owner tries to change the behavior of another, especially in a public setting. • Leave the way you came in. Take a quick walk around the perimeter calming before entering the car. Calm soothing praise sets your dog up for a continued calm reaction to the dog park. If the park is
Dog parks are now the fastest growing segment of city parks in the US.
a calm yet fun place they will not become enjoy your local dog park this summer. agitated on a return visit and whine and Paula Bergeron and the gang at Good pace a mile before your destination. Dog parks can be wonderful social Dogma embrace a holistic approach to places, but they can also hold danger and bringing balance to your dog’s behavunwanted behavior as well. Until parks ioral issues. Exercise, training, relaxation, massage, grooming, play, socialization have “lifeguards” like the local pool, and energy healing are incorporated ensure your dog’s safety by preparing into your dog’s routine. yourself and your dog for healthy and balwww.Goodogma.com anced play. Follow these guidelines and
A Dog Park in Enfield! A
fter more than a year of organizing and working with the Enfield, NH Board of Selectmen and the Planning Board, the construction of the PetSafe Shaker Field Dog Park began this spring. It will be located on approximately two acres, at the eastern end of the Shaker Recreation Field on Route 4A. To date, MVDPS has raised over $60,000: $25,000 from the Jack & Dorothy Byrne Foundation, $25,000 from PetSafe (a pet products company) winning the Bark from Your Heart category in their annual Bark for Your Park online contest. Another $10,000 came from events, corporate & individual sponsorships, and annual membership dues ($20 per household). In the coming year they will complete their capital fundraising campaign, with an overall goal of $75,000, and construct the park. In addition to soliciting business and individual sponsorships, they will hold several annual events to maintain a presence in the community and as part of a continued revenue stream to support ongoing park expenses (estimated at $4,000 per year). The Grand Opening Ceremony is scheduled to coincide with Enfield Old Home Days on the weekend of July 25-26 (exact date and time TBA). For more information, to become a member, or to find out about sponsorship and advertising opportunities, visit our website at www.mascomavalleydogpark.com
10 4 Legs & a Tail
Dexter: The Wounded Warrior Sandy Johnson Puppy love—real puppy love—never grows old. The absolute, unconditional love in a dog’s eyes as he gazes up at us teaches us a little more about how to be human.
his is the story of what former staff sergeant Curtiss Lindsay learned from Dexter, his four-year-old Labrador Retriever, who has been in a wheelchair from the time he was a three-month-old puppy. He is a warrior, too—and a champion. Curtiss teaches eighth-grade math; his wife, Sherlyn, is a pharmacist at the local longterm care facility; both lifelong dog lovers. September 2006, ten months after Staff Sergeant Curtiss Lindsay returned home to Louisiana from eighteen-months in Iraq, Sherlyn presented him with a four-month-old Chocolate Lab, Paige. For Curtiss, Paige turned out to be the best hunting dog he’d ever seen. In February 2009, she gave birth to nine puppies, seven males and two females. The last of the litter, the runt, was a male. After a week, Curtiss and Sherlyn noticed he was not moving his back legs. Alarmed, they took him to their veterinarian. The vet took X-rays, but since the bones weren’t sufficiently formed he assumed it was a severe inflammation causing temporary paralysis and prescribed dexamethasone to reduce the swelling. When it became clear paralysis was permanent, he held out no hope; the pup should be put down. Curtiss continued to refuse euthanasia, the vet told him not to bring the dog back. He had seen too much on the battlefields of Iraq not to appreciate the preciousness of life—all life. He would give the pup every chance in the world to make it. They took to calling him Dex (for the medication he was on) and tried their best to take care of him. But, little Dex suddenly became very ill. Another veterinarian, Dr. Melanie Toal, came up with a different diagnosis: Dex had not been born paralyzed, right after birth, his mother had accidentally stepped on the tiny pup, dislocating his rear hips and breaking both his hind legs. Dr. Toal had her professional reservations about trying to help Dex. He was so frail. Sherlyn showed her a YouTube video of Dex in a homemade cart, retrieving a stuffed animal. A crude wheelchair from a piece of wood, a couple of casters, and some bungee cords enabled Dex to retrieve, and he loved the speed. Dr. Toal agreed, under three conditions: Dex had to have a good quality of life, appropriate indoor space for his condition, and some type of transportation to support the normal, active lifestyle of a Labrador Retriever. A happy puppy, Dex was wagging his tail and giving kisses. She wanted to support their decision, but had to explain how serious his injuries were. Dex would have to begin a course of antibiotics, and, worse, both of his hind legs would have to be amputated. Curtiss had witnessed many battlefield injuries that led to amputation. “Some nights I would sit with Sherlyn, worrying and wondering if we were doing the right thing. Finally, we came to the decision that if ever Dex seemed in pain—if his tail stopped wagging and he was clearly not happy—that would let us know he’d had enough. As long as he kept giving us kisses, asking for ear scratches and wagging his tail, we would get through it with him. “What does one do with a two-legged Labrador Retriever? The amputations were too high up on the legs to fit him with prosthetics, and Labs are active dogs. To limit his mobility to two legs was definitely cause for concern.” “Dex’s fighting spirit and his largerthan- life drive. He doesn’t realize that he is different. At three months, he was already retrieving our Maltese’s little bunny rabbit, dragging his two useless legs behind him. He is by far the happiest dog I’ve ever met. Even during the months of pain and Continued NEXT PAGE
Dex and his owner Curtiss Lindsay upon receiving Dex’s Started Hunting Retriever title in West Mississippi.
hardship, he never had a single day of depression. Truly an inspiration.” “We located Walkin’ Wheels, purchased a wheelchair, and it changed all of our lives forever. This chair has given Dex his life back. He loves long walks, and he keeps up with other dogs just fine, even chasing his Maltese sister around the island in the kitchen! And he loves to swim. He is a messy swimmer, but a swimmer nonetheless. We removed the wheels and put him in a floater, but one day the floater came off and he just kept right on swimming without it. Dex also promises to be the great duck hunter his mother, Paige, was. Accepted into his local Hunting Retriever Club, at the tender age of just one year he earned his HRC Started title at the hunt test. The tests try to simulate actual hunting situations at realistic hunting ranges, with the handlers wearing appropriate hunting attire and firing a shotgun loaded with blanks. The Tower of Hope Foundation helps to train service dogs for injured veterans. Dex would roll up in his wheelchair, tail wagging vigorously, next to a veteran in a wheelchair. The surprised veteran would give him a huge smile and say, “Hey, buddy! Wanna race?” Dex is allowed on occasion to attend Curtiss’s classes. His presence has taught them lessons not found in textbooks: that love is unconditional, and that physical capabilities do not have to be obstacles but are merely opportunities to become more creative. It is not unusual to find a student sitting on top of Dex’s dog bed in the corner of the classroom, reading quietly to him, Dex’s head resting in the student’s lap. January 2014, Dex earned the title of Started Hunting Retriever at the hunt test in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The first watermark of the weekend was the longest swim of his life, but Dex would not back down. He belly-flopped into the water and swam his little heart out until he reached the mark; then he turned around and swam back. His tail was still wagging. “We did not know what sort of life Dex was going to be able to lead. But he has never slowed down, never given up, never taken no for an answer, and never accepted anything as an obstacle. He knows no limitations. He adjusts to whatever life throws at him. I hope people will think about him the next time they have a bad day.” When Curtiss has episodes of PTSD, Dex pushes against him and takes Curtiss’s hand very gently in his mouth to remind him his dog is near. “Dex has been medicine for my soul. He is always by my side when I’m home and worries when I leave him, even for a few seconds. He has always wanted to please us as much we want to please him.” These two warriors have much to be grateful for, not the least of which is the extraordinary love and loyalty they share.
12 4 Legs & a Tail
Sandy Johnson attended the University of Pennsylvania, CIDOC in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and the New School for Social Research in New York City. She studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York and at the Actors Studio in Los Angeles. Learn more about Dexter and the other pets and people in this book. See color photos, more stories, and upload your own at HandicappedPets.com/MiracleDogs Summer 2015
McKinley gets a Bone (Marrow Transplant)
Amy Floria-Ossipee, NH
ough housing with my 4 year old German Shepherd, McKinley, in April 2012, I grabbed one of his hind legs and felt a lump. I was feeling one of the lymph nodes in his hindquarter. I found more enlarged lymph nodes. I was afraid it was cancer, he was running around and eating great, not acting sick. I brought him to New England Veterinary Oncology, in Waltham MA. It was stage 3, type A, and B-cell Lymphoma. The good news, McKinley was young, and it was stage 3 out of 5, it was throughout his lymph nodes, but not in any organs. B-cell is easier to treat than T-cell. Right away, we started the CHOP protocol, a 4 month long chemo treatment. He got some form of chemo once a week, pill or injection. McKinley was in remission within 10 days! We still had to do the full 4 month protocol. He stayed in remission from the end of April 2012 till January 2013 (about 8 months). In January his lymph nodes were getting big again. We started him on the CHOP protocol, his cancer was back. In less than a week he was back in remission. I looked online for others battling lymphoma in dogs, and stumbled upon Bone Marrow Transplants for dogs. Researching, I found some owners who had this done. Two dogs were still going strong; one was 3 years cancer free, the other was about 1 year. Many others had it done, but were no longer alive. Either the cancer came back or another illness took their lives. There was some hope! I talked with my oncology vet, Dr. Erin Romansik, long and hard about bone marrow transplants, we researched it and the veterinaries that were doing it (there were only 3 in the country). A very hard decision due to the cost and logistics involved. In March 2013 we prepared McKinley, to make sure he was qualified to do the transplant. He had to be in clinical remission, checked by blood work. He was. Twenty one days prior to the transplant an Emergency Veterinary had to administer a high dose Continued NEXT PAGE
14 4 Legs & a Tail
of Cytoxan(chemo drug), with IV fluids for 24 hours, to kill any cancer that may have been hiding in his blood. I had to give him Neupogen shots to boost his stem cells 15 days before the transplant, so his body had time to produce new stem cells. He received these shots every 12 hours, at a cost of $250.00 per shot! A donor dog (littler mate, parent) test, ran up to $6,000 with no guarantee of a match. A donor match would increase his chance of a cure. But, I decided to use his own stem cells due to the cost. I flew him from New Hampshire to Washington State, at the end of March 2013, to Bellingham Veterinary, with Dr.Edmund Sullivan, in Bellingham, WA. Two days later McKinley had his stem cells harvested by an apheresis machine which pumped his blood, while separating and collecting his stem cells. He could barely walk, he was so weak and groggy from the anesthesia. Being under anesthesia for so long, and pumping his blood took its toll. He got a day off to recover, he didn’t move all day long. Next, he had full body radiation. They did half of his body for 3 hours, then 3 hours off, and then the other half of his body for 3 hours. They then injected his stem cells, harvested two days earlier, into his blood. McKinley enjoying another summer. Dr.Sullivan took him into a human hospital to have the radiation done. A radiation machine is so expensive that he has permission to use the human hospital. McKinley had human nurses, with Dr.Sullivan by his side. The radiation was to kill any cancer cells in his blood, but it would also kill the good cells. Injecting new stem cells that were collected, not in his body during radiation, would start new white blood cell production. So for a few days after the radiation McKinley was feeling good. It takes a few days for the old white cells to start dying, and a few days for the new stem cells to start growing new white cells. Dr. Sullivan tracked the white blood cell count, when it got too low McKinley stayed in isolation, because he had no immune system to fight off anything (all part of the plan). While cells are dying and new stem cells are growing, they watch the plasma levels. They also did a few blood transfusions to help McKinley recover. McKinley was in WA for three and a half weeks. I flew back home because I couldn’t see him, he had no immune system. I did ask Dr. Sullivan to send me one picture a day so I could see what he looked like. We all know our dogs well and can read how they are feeling by the look on their faces. Getting the pictures made it a little easier to leave him. Once his white blood cell, and plasma counts were back up he could come home. Dr. Sullivan kept me posted every day, how he was doing, and when I could get him. Once I knew I could get him, I immediately got a flight out to see my boy. He was so happy to see me! I spent 2 days with him before we could get a flight back home. He was fine for the two days before we flew home. McKinley did get really sick the day we got back, we still have no idea what it was, few with bone marrow transplants know what to expect. I never would have left WA had I known he was going to get sick. He was sick for a good 12 days. Today McKinley is 6 ½ years old, and cancer free! He had the transplant over 2 years ago. The cost was overwhelming, and I am still in credit card debt up to my eyeballs, but I have my dog! I have to give a big THANK YOU to Emma’s Foundation. I applied to a lot of foundations for financial help, Emma’s Foundation was willing, even with little research proving a Bone Marrow Transplant would work. They read my story, talked to me and my oncology vet, and believed McKinley had a chance! Positive people, great people, and dog loving people! Love Tina and Ron!!!! Emma’s Foundation for Canine Cancer www.emmasfoundationforcaninecancer.org Amy Floria lives in West Ossippe, NH with her 2 German Shepherds and 1 Cat. She previously owned a kennel and was a dog and cat groomer. She now runs her restaurant, Ralphie’s Famous Roast Beef, and is happy to report McKinely is still kicking cancer’s butt!! Summer 2015
Lyme Disease Catherine MacLean, DVM Grantham, NH
f you were to meet Howie with his cute bow tie and his wagging tail, you would never know one fateful day last spring, his mother thought he was on death’s doorstep. When Howie arrived at my clinic he was painful to the touch, had a high fever, no appetite, and was very lethargic. He had no desire to walk around and we could barely touch him without him yelping in pain. After carefully examining him, my top two differentials were a back issue or Lyme disease. Howie’s owner remembered he had tested Lyme positive at his previous vet a couple of years ago. In-house testing shows exposure, not necessarily an active infection. A positive result was confirmed at an outside lab by measuring the Lyme levels in Howie’s blood. Howie was treated with medication and has happily made a full recovery, much to everyone’s relief. Howie was lucky his Lyme disease presented as soreness with a fever. This is probably one of the more common presentations in dogs, along with lameness. Did you know it can also cause very serious kidney issues as well? Lyme disease is a bacterial infection known as Borrelia burgdorferi, which is spread by the black legged tick (deer tick). It was first recognized in 1975 when researchers started investigating why so many children were developing juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in Lyme, Connecticut and several surrounding towns. There is evidence Lyme disease was present in wildlife all the way back to the late 1800s. We think of deer carrying the deer tick into our backyards, but wildlife such as mice, fox, raccoons, squirrels, etc. can help unwanted ticks get where they want to go. People think that if they don’t see ticks or if their dog has short hair, their dog is safe. This is not true. Deer ticks can be the size of a pin head and can quickly and easily attach to a short haired, light colored dog without detection. After the deer tick attaches, if the tick is carrying B. burgodorferi, it will begin transmitting the bacteria to your dog while it eats its blood meal. On average it takes 24-48 hours for the tick to pass Lyme disease to your dog. Lyme disease presents in dogs several ways. They may contract the disease but never show clinical signs; or they may get a fever, swollen or painful joints, shifting leg lameness, stiffness, lethargy or anorexia. In extreme cases (I’ve seen several) Lyme disease can go to the kidneys and result in often fatal kidney failure. How can you tell if your dog has Lyme disease? Take your dog to the vet! You might Suspect Lyme disease if you see some of the signs above, but most of those signs can be related to non-Lyme related diseases as well. Most veterinarians in the Northeast test dogs annually for Lyme disease. Most veterinarians in the area use an in-house Continued NEXT PAGE
16 4 Legs & a Tail
Howie surviving Lyme Disease
test that looks for heartworm disease, Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichia. The last three are all tick borne diseases seen in NH and VT. What does a positive result mean, and what do you do? Testing positive doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog needs to be treated. If your dog tests positive it means he has been exposed to the disease. What your veterinarian does will vary. They may recommend checking your dog’s urine for protein, an early sign of Lyme disease affecting the kidneys. They may send out additional blood work to a laboratory to test the Lyme levels and whether your dog should be treated; or they may decide to monitor for clinical signs of Lyme disease and treat only if clinical signs present. Most importantly, you should ask yourself, “How do I prevent Lyme disease?” This is a twofold answer. First, talk to your veterinarian about the Lyme vaccine, strongly recommended in New England since Lyme disease is so prevalent. However, it is not 100% effective. Give your dog the best chance of not contracting Lyme disease by also using flea and tick preventative. Not all flea and tick preventatives are created equal. You want something that will repel or kill them before the 24 hour mark when they attach (remember it takes 24-48 hours to transmit Lyme disease). It’s often tempting to purchase something at the store, but I strongly recommend consulting with your veterinarian first. They can guide you to products that will give your dog the best protection. There are so many choices out there, tap into your veterinarian’s knowledge! Though Lyme disease is well known in this area, remember to protect not only yourself but your dog as well. Use appropriate tick preventatives, vaccination, and testing. Just because you don’t see a tick or your dog has no clinical signs, doesn’t mean they don’t have it. Better to be proactive and take steps to prevent or minimize Lyme disease, than to watch your best friend suffer from the clinical signs of the disease. I’m happy to report over a year later, Howie is doing wonderfully. His Lyme disease may rear its ugly head again; but through careful annual monitoring we will hopefully prevent that from happening again. Dr. Cathrine MacLean is originally from upstate NY and knew she wanted to be a veterinarian at an early age. She attended Penn State and loves college football. She is the owner of Sugar River Animal Hospital in Grantham, NH. www. SugarRiverAnimalHospital.com Summer 2015
A Dog on the Battlefield and the Character of George Washington G
eorge Washington was said to have been a man who loved dogs and owned many. He was an avid hunter, and most of his dogs would have been used for hunting. The Marquis de Lafayette was known to have sent seven staghounds to George Washington in a sign of friendship. A photo of this breed shows a likeness to what we know today as greyhounds. In colonial times, these dogs were great hunters, but they were bred to hunt via speed and sight; scent was not key to their hunting ability. Sweet Lips, Scentwell, and Vulcan were the names of three of Washington’s staghounds. Washington also owned Black and Tan Coonhounds. These dogs were scent hounds, and those whose names are known were called Drunkard, Taster, Tippler, and Tipsy (It would be nice to know more about this choice of names!). One source says that Washington bred the Black and Tan Coonhounds with the Staghounds, which may have resulted in Americas first fox hounds. But a story about a dog found on a battlefield reveals a great deal about the character of the man who was to be our first President. The Battle of Germantown In July of 1777 British General William Howe started moving his forces toward Philadelphia in an effort to seize the city that was serving as the revolutionary capital. Washington and the Continental Army had suffered a couple of serious defeats in September of 1777, and then Cornwallis successfully marched into Philadelphia and claimed it for the British, so American spirits were low. General Howe arranged for the next move for the British, and he sent of his men off to Germantown. With winter approaching, Washington felt he had time for one more attack, and with the British forces spreading out, Washington thought his men might be able to overtake those at the garrison in Germantown. While Washington’s plan was a brave one–and if successful, it could have made a huge difference in the war. However, Washington did not accomplish his goal. He over-estimated his men’s preparedness, and the plan, which required coordination among spread-out units, was plagued by incredibly foggy weather. The men could not coordinate their movements because they could not see what was happening on the battlefield. The British were again successful, assuring that Philadelphia would remain in British hands for the remainder of the war. Small Dog Found After the battle, a small dog was found Continued NEXT PAGE
18 4 Legs & a Tail
on the battlefield, and when the Americans capture the dog, they saw from his collar that he belonged to General Howe. Washington’s men wanted to hold the dog in retribution for their defeat at the hands of Howe’s men. Washington saw the situation from a different view, and he arranged for a messenger to return the dog to Howe with a two-line letter:
“General Washington’s compliments to General Howe, does himself the pleasure to return [to] him a Dog, which accidentally fell into his hands, and by the inscription on the Collar appears to belong to General Howe.” While many of the stories about Washington’s character seem to have been created by his earliest biographer, Parson Weems, this lovely story of kindness and gallantry is one that can be fully documented as a draft of the note still exists. It is written in the handwriting of Washington’s aide-de-camp Alexander Hamilton, and the note can be found is in the Washington Papers at the Library of Congress.
DOBERMAN HOTEL A Champion Doberman Paves the Way for Dog-Friendly Hotels
n 1931 a Massachusetts executive, Colyar Dodson, was traveling to Russia on business. His wife was on shipboard with him, so to make the trip more enjoyable, they got off to visit at some ofÂ the ports where the ship docked. One of their stops was in Hamburg, Germany, a city that was well-known for its splendid kennels of pure-bred dogs. The Dodsonâ€™s dog had recently died, so Mr. and Mrs. Dodson were on the lookout for a new dog to take home. They were not dog show people; all they wanted was to share their home with a dog again. Toured Doberman Kennel When they toured one of the kennels, they happened upon some 8-week-old Doberman Pinscher puppies, and they fell in love with one puppy in particular. Just as breeders do today, breeders of the time generally wanted to keep their dogs near enough to consider for future breedings, so we will never fully understand how the Dodsons were able to buy a Continued NEXT PAGE
20 4 Legs & a Tail
puppy that was going to be taken overseas and kept as a pet. The kennel owner may have needed the money, or he may have decided that this particular puppy looked like one that could be let go. Whatever transpired, the Dodsons left with a little Doberman; they named him Carlo Von Bassewitz. With help from the ship’s captain, it was arranged that Carlo could stay in the Dodson’s state room. Several months later, they arrived back in the Boston area where Mr. and Mrs. Dodson lived. Changing the World of Hotels Then two things happened that changed the world of Dobermans and surprisingly, the world of hotels. Like all young dogs, Carlo needed obedience training. In looking for a trainer, Colyar Dodson discovered a Boston banker who had formerly worked for the Hamburg police force, where his job was to train police dogs. When banker/trainer Hans Tossutti met Carlo, he knew that the dog was exceptional: The dog was medium-sized with a compact build. His head was in perfect proportion to his body, and his movements were elegant. In temperament, Carlo was alert, determined, obedient to commands, and very loyal. Tossutti knew this dog should not “only” be a pet, and he encouraged the Dodsons to start showing Carlo. After much persuasion, the Dodsons entered Carlo in a few of the dog shows around New England. The Dodsons thought perhaps Carlo might bring home a ribbon or two. As it happened, at his first show Carlo won every category in which he was entered, including best of breed. At the second show, the story was the same. By the third contest, the Dodsons were hooked, and they started entering Carlo in whatever shows were available. Traveling the Circuit Anyone on the dog show circuit knows that a great deal of travel is involved, and the Dodsons soon learned that traveling with a dog posed major obstacles. Very few decent hotels were pet-friendly. The Dodsons couldn’t change what they encountered on the road, but in his day job, Colyar Dodson was president of the Georgian Hotel Company. Here, he Summer 2015
could make changes. The home base for the company was the Kenmore Hotel in Boston’s Kenmore Square. Dodson’s first job was making the Kenmore pet friendly. On the mezzanine level, he established a room for crates and pens. There was direct access from that level to a portion of the roof. Two attendants were hired, and it was easy for the attendants to take the dogs out when necessary. One portion of the roof area was eventually fenced so the dogs could exercise off lead if the owners wished. Soon a bathing room was created so the dogs could be cleaned and groomed before shows. But Colyar Dodson had one more goal: to make some of the guest rooms dog friendly. He knew that dogs like to be with their owners, and owners like to be with their dogs, so he established a wing of the Kenmore that was reserved for people with dogs. That way a dog who barked unexpectedly would not upset other guests. Dodson had also become an active volunteer in the world of dog shows and was helping to organize a show in nearby Newport, Rhode Island. To introduce the Kenmore’s new amenities, Dodson arranged for all dog owners coming to the show to have free lodging at the Kenmore. As for Carlo von Bassewitz, he went on to win many more shows and be bred many times. His offspring were also major champions in the Doberman breed.
Carlo’s Legacy If you travel with your dog today, you know there are a good number of petfriendly hotels from which to choose. While most do not offer the dog amenities originally offered at the Kenmore, we still owe Carlo and the Dodsons a tip of the hat for the fact that dog owners can find very nice hotels along the way where both dog and owner can be welcome and comfortable. Thanks to the American Kennel Club for giving me access to their excellent library. For more stories like this one, please visit www.americacomesalive.com where many other dog stories have been published. On the website, you may also sign up for regular mailings of upcoming dog stories.
Grey Horse Program at High Horses Therapeutic Riding Program Sue Miller-Wilder,VT
his past October, High Horses Therapeutic Riding Program hosted an open house for citizens fifty years and older. Six residents from the Woodstock Terrace assisted living facility joined High Horses staff and volunteers for an afternoon learning about our programs. Participants also had the opportunity to ride in the arena if they were interested. As residents arrived and got out of their van I noticed Bob, a gentleman in a wheelchair. While he was being helped into his jacket by his wife, Nancy explained that he had diminished strength in one of his arms. Our volunteers welcomed all the residents into the riding ring, immediately Bob reached out to touch Bart, one of our program horses. I noticed that he was using the weak hand that moments ago, Iâ€™d been told did not function well. Bart responded by stepping closer, enjoying this warm, gentle greeting. Bob enthusiastically took the brush and began to gently stroke Bartâ€™s face with his weak hand. Two of the ladies in the group came in with rolling walkers. Each began to bond with the horses by brushing them. It didnâ€™t take long for even the most reluctant participant to enjoy the gentle nature of our therapy horses. The women were eager to accept the invitation to try riding, happily leaving their walkers behind on the mounting ramp, to enjoy a few laps around the arena on horseback. These ladies were in their 80s and had never ridden a horse before. It was an amazing feeling, to have helped someone experience the joy of spending time in the presence of horses, and give riding a try for the very first time. The day left our volunteers and instructors elated, feeling even more enthusiastic about the magic that happens on a daily basis here at High Horses. March 3, 2015 was the official beginning of the High Horses Grey Horse Program, a pilot program proving that Continued NEXT PAGE
22 4 Legs & a Tail
aging citizens can enjoy horses. Spending time in the presence of equines is helpful for reducing stress in mind and body. A newfound activity for some, it is exciting to find a beneficial outlet that can be a fun, healthful addition to their fitness program. We have six Grey Horse participants that are enjoying weekly riding as part of their fitness regime, finding it to be a great “winter blah buster.” Each rider progresses at their own pace. Some people need to spend more time just getting to know the horses and how to interact with them, while others are ready to ride the first day. The mounted portion of the lesson is geared to each person’s comfort level. One of the really nice things about riding is that there is no time frame in which to accomplish milestones. Keeping in balance on the back of a horse uses isometrics, using your muscles to work against each other to maintain an upright position. Riding reaches the deep postural muscles of the trunk and pelvis and the adductor muscles of the thighs. During a rising trot you also use your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutei. Riding helps strengthen the respiratory, circulatory, and cardiovascular systems. When working around horses, clients may overcome anxiety and depression, work on building self-confidence and non-verbal communication, decrease their sense of isolation, and empower themselves to take on other challenges in their lives. Riders learn how to groom, halter, and lead the horse. The size of the horse, its natural inclination to interact honestly with humans and other horses, plus the animal’s ability to mirror the nuances of human body language, make a horse the perfect animal to allow seniors to conquer fears, and meet the physical tests of growing older. Lasell Bartlett and I each have a small group of riders that are doing stretches and yoga on horseback, as well as mindful leading, to bond with the horse. One of our riders shared, “I highly recommend Grey Horses for anyone with lower body aches. Riding is helping me develop postures that alleviate muscle and joint pain, and the horse’s movement provides a great massage for hips.” It looks like we have more participants interested for the summer! Please pass the word to anyone over 50 that might enjoy getting some exercise on horseback. Beginner or first time riders are welcome to join. Don’t hesitate to try something new just because of a date on the calendar. Why take up the rocking chair, when you can still rock on a horse?
Pictured from left to right are: Laura Mitchell with horse Buddy, Happy Calloway with horse Little Joe, Volunteers Dana Hand, Ellen Zaika, Richard Sachs, Volunteer in background whose legs you can see is Jennie Marchant. Photo by Mary Gerakaris
Sue Miller is the Program Director and a PATH Int’l Registered Level Instructor. For more information visit www.HighHorses.org Summer 2015
Four Legged Fact or Fiction Jennifer Lesser, DVM-Norwich,VT
egend, notion, old wives’ tale, folklore. Some are spot-on, others are entertaining, and many are untrue or distorted truths. And let’s face it; things change and our education must follow in our dash to keep up. Read on for fact and fiction in pet health care.
Antlers and marrow bones are great for cleaning your dog’s teeth, right? No! While hard, tasty treats such as these may slow tartar and tooth slime (yes, it’s bacterial grossness), they are superstars at fracturing your dog’s teeth. Dr. Fraser Hale, a highly regarded veterinary oral surgeon, maintains a website packed with useful information: www.toothvet. ca. This site is riddled with instruction on caring for your pet’s teeth at home, along with client education handouts of common oral disease. In many media forums, there has been lots of chatter lately on oral health for our pets. From home care to hospital care, there is a lot to learn. What if your pet needs a dental cleaning or tooth extraction? Client expectations should include individually tailored, appropriate anesthesia; dental x-rays; doctors and nurses trained in oral care; no spring-loaded mouth gags in cats, properly maintained equipment and surgical tools. Do your homework before your pet has “just a dental.” ‘Tis the season. Lyme disease. If you regularly apply your favorite tick preventative, your dog will not suffer from Lyme malady. Preventatives lower the risk of Lyme disease, but are not fully protective. Countless dogs with a fever, stiffness and sore joints have lain at the feet of their loyal human in our exam rooms. The human has, without fail or delay, applied Continued NEXT PAGE
24 4 Legs & a Tail
on transitioning our dry food addicts to canned food. An important note: our cats can be stubborn. Be sure, with any food change, that your cat continues to eat enough calories to avoid becoming ill. My cat’s favorite meals: a rotation of canned foods along with a tablespoon of Purina DH dry (for dental health) daily. My dog’s favorite snack: eating the crumbs the cat leaves behind.
tick prevention. But ticks can sometimes outmaneuver our best efforts and whammo, our pet is sick. I like an extra layer of protection: Vaccinate. I am a BIG advocate of tick preventative products (individually chosen based on breed, size, lifestyle) AND vaccination with a high quality vaccine. High quality vaccine is key. Not all vaccines are created equal, speaking strictly in veterinary medicine. Yes, I have my favorite manufacturer, whose vaccine contains an outer surface protein A (OspA) in a non-adjuvanted formula, which blocks transmission of the bacteria from tick to dog. So the spirochete bacteria never makes it into your dog - cool! In the past 3 years of using the Lyme Recombitek vaccine, I have seen only one mild allergic reaction to the vaccine and had only one vaccinated patient present with Lyme disease. Run, splash and frolic in the woods, leaving Lyme disease and footprints behind.
oxide must NOT be used in cats, as it can cause severe trauma to the esophagus. The average dose is 20 mL (4 teaspoons) per 50 pound dog. The dose should never exceed 45 mL PER DOG, regardless of size. Vomiting generally occurs within 10 to 15 minutes, though sometimes it is not effective. Please do not induce vomiting if the substance is caustic or sharp or if your pet has altered consciousness. My goal for every client: to provide Toxins in our pets: Should salt or salt scientific evidence-based information water ever be used to cause vomiting? to keep your pet on the field or on your No! Never! Not ever! Salt is, unfortu- couch - and out of the hospital. If you want nately, a common home remedy that can to talk with us, we want to hear from you. cause serious complications. Please leave Send along an email with questions or it on the kitchen counter. comments, pictures of your pet’s greatest Hands down, my favorite source of adventure, or just say Hi; norwichvet@ information when your pet has a possible gmail.com. Happy Summer! toxicity: \ ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. 888-426-4435 If your pet has exposure to an item Dr. Lesser’s professional life has been of concern (antifreeze, candy, rat poicommitted to pets and their families son, grapes, dish detergent pods, etc) a for fifteen years. Following her work at direct call to this group, will yield amazthe National Institutes of Health on the ing advice and is well worth their consult Human Genome Project, she earned charge. her veterinary doctoral degree in May If vomiting is indicated and you can- 2000. Norwich Regional Animal Hospital not contact a veterinarian or bring your is owned by Dr. Lesser. Specialty services pet to a veterinarian, hydrogen peroxide are provided by Dr. David Sobel, DVM, 3%, is a relatively safe agent to induce MRCVS and an exceptional network of vomiting for dogs only. Hydrogen perreferral veterinary specialists.
Canned cat food should be considered dessert for your purring feline friend. False! As a whole, veterinary nutritionists are in strong agreement that our feline friends achieve best health with high quality canned cat food. For healthy cats, our goals are these: Canned food, Less than 9% carbohydrates, No color additives (think red dye #6). A wonderful online resource: www.catinfo.org. Dr. Pierson has a helpful chart titled “Protein/Fat/Carbs Chart” that identifies canned food with less than 9% carbohydrates. She also gives solid advice Summer 2015
Introducing Ayeshah Al-Humaidhi The Upper Valley Humane Society’s New Executive Director
he Upper Valley Humane Society is pleased to introduce our new Executive Director, Ayeshah Al-Humaidhi. Al-Humaidhi is well-versed in animal welfare and sheltering, bringing more than 10 years of professional experience ranging from behavior modification, evaluation and training, to operational leadership of animal shelters. She is the founder of K’S PATH (the Kuwait Society for the Protection of Animals and their Habitat), which offers a wide range of services for animals including shelter, farm and equine sanctuary, wildlife rehabilitation and sanctuary, wildlife management, stray animal control, environmental cleanup, and education. In this leadership role she oversaw the growth of the organization from a few kennels staffed solely by volunteers, to an innovative, full-service shelter staffed by 14 full-time employees. A speaker at national conferences on sheltering, Al-Humaidhi is an articulate and confident speaker on issues of animal welfare and education relevant to the upper valley and beyond. She looks forward to engaging with the communities UVHS serves while furthering UVHS’ mission of “Compassionately Connecting People and Pets.” Al-Humaidhi returns to the Upper Valley having lived in the area previously, and is accustomed to regular summer trips to Vermont. She served as a volunteer for UVHS in 2007 while employed by Dartmouth College. “I am extremely pleased to have returned to the Upper Valley and to have stepped in as director of an incredible organization like UVHS. I see so much great work being done and so much potential to help animals in more ways than ever before. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for the people and animals of the Upper Valley,” shares Al-Humaidhi. Board chair, Taryn Chiarella adds, “The board is excited to welcome Ayeshah to her role leading the UVHS team. Her leadership and experience is an important addition in sustaining and building upon the many positive changes the organization has enacted over the past several years.” Al-Humaidhi received her BS in Business Administration and MPPM (Masters of Public Policy and Management) from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. 26 4 Legs & a Tail
Therapy Dogs of Vermont A Note to Friends in the Upper Valley
n organization that I love, Therapy Dogs of Vermont (TDV), is trying to spread its good work to the “Upper Valley area.” If you’re not familiar with us, you can find out more at www. therapydogs.org. Googling ‘Therapy Dogs of Vermont’ sheds further insight into our organization and the people we serve. We have over 300 teams of people and dogs that volunteer in Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Canada, and many other states.
I feel that you either share, or at a minimum appreciate, my passion for dogs and their devotion to and relationship with humans (us)! So, I want to ask you to consider two things. 1. Do you have a dog, or know anyone who does, that is a love to be around? One that loves or is willing to be cool with other dogs around, and loves people. Does that dog have a human it would like to work with to unleash smiles on children’s and adult’s faces, in many different situations? If so, you know a potential therapy dog team! We’d like to meet them. Go to our website, or guide others to the website, contact us (or me directly) and we’ll help you become a Therapy Dogs of Vermont Team. 2. The White River Jct. area is a region where we hope to increase our contribution to the community. To facilitate that, I was wondering if you (or someone you know), is aware of a facility that would allow us (TDV) to hold our “tests” and “clinics.” These events present a forum for people and their dogs to learn what a TDV team is, and whether they meet the criteria. The website has in-depth material on these processes. Facility criteria to consider: • Availability, i.e. weekends (usually) Saturday, and monthly • Accessible, ideally first floor, but we’ll consider options • Heated (we have events all through the year) • Non-carpeted (we sweep up any shedding) • Free or small fee (we are 501c3, volunteer, not-for-profit) • Single use facility, or able to close doors while we’re there, no startling distractions • Pet friendly, but with control If you or your friends know of a facility, message or email me, or pass my name and this information on to anyone you know that might be able to help us find a Vermont Upper Valley facility. Finally, and this was not in my original intent, but we are a “not-for-profit 501C3” organization, and our mission is better fulfilled with the help of donations from those who share or support our mission. Thanks for listening. Craig Deslaurier, Associate Director, Hub Support and Growth, Therapy Dogs of Vermont. www.therapydogs.org
28 4 Legs & a Tail
Paws in the Pool
On a sunny Sunday, at the end of August 2014, sociable dogs and their owners gathered at the Lebanon Memorial Pool for the first-ever Paws in the Pool event. The Mascoma Valley Dog Park Supporters and Lebanon’s Recreation & Parks Department joined forces to bring this event, which is a popular annual activity for many municipalities throughout the country, to the Upper Valley. The event was held the day after the pool closed for the season, and allowed owners and their friendly pups a chance to take a dip before the water was drained for the season. It was very well attended, and fun was had by all! There were Police K9 and agility demonstrations, vendors, a raffle, and of course, swimming for the dogs! All proceeds from the event were split between MVDPS and the Recreation Department’s scholarship fund. Owing to the success of last year’s event, another Paws in the Pool is planned for this year. It will be held on August 23, 2015 and will include similar offerings to last year, as well as some additional activities such as an off-leash play area.
A Day at the VA T
Steve Reiman (with Lily & Jordan)
hey were fathers and grandfathers. They were young with family members present; they were elderly and alone. Two were women. Although all were convalescing vets at the VA hospital in White River Jct, there was something that set them apart from the patients I see each week at the Fletcher Allen Health Care Facility. All of the people we visited were military personnel. These men and women had served or were currently serving to protect our country. I came in with my German Shepherds, dressed in camouflage outfits sporting the rank I used to proudly wear. The staff immediately accepted us as privileged members of their team and gave us orders to visit all patients whose rooms were not isolated. And, visit my Sheps did in real military style. They played ball and Frisbee with staff, visitors, and patients alike. They snuggled up to people who wanted to sink fingers into fur. They brought smiles and laughter everywhere. One gentleman was particularly memorable. As we entered the quarters he shared with three others, I noticed him staring blankly at the wall. Perhaps he served under General Patton with my father in the German campaign. I brought the captains to a smart sit and said “Hi, Soldier, do you want to pat a Therapy Dog?” The elderly veteran slowly turned toward me and then noticed my canine military escort. A toothless smile paraded across his face like none I have ever seen. It was ear to ear and caught the attention of all who had marched with us into his room. Indeed, it was the first time anyone had seen that man smile. The dogs noticed it too and knew they were welcome to burrow their noses into his side while he enthusiastically patted them. The reactions were the same everywhere we went. It was a time for all of us to relax and watch the magic that came out of a mix of dogs and military pride. We were there a long time that day. We left tired and happy we invested our time and energy to visit all of the wonderful people at the VA Hospital. It is the least we can do to honor these wonderful men and women. Steve Reiman is the founder and president of Therapy Dogs of Vermont.
Cats Need Check-Ups Too! C
Emily Crawford, DVM- Waterbury,VT
ats are the most popular pet in America, exceeding the number of pet dogs by millions. However, studies show that cats receive far less medical attention than their canine counterparts, especially when it comes to wellness (preventive) care or routine “check-ups.” Many cats do not receive annual examinations, statistically visiting vets 30% less than dogs. The reasons for this are multiple, but include: the perception that cats are independent, “low-maintenance,” and can take care of themselves, the belief that indoor cats are at low risk for disease exposure, and the perception that the cat seems fine, perfectly healthy, so why go to the vet? Also, the struggle to get a cat in a carrier, and the perceived stress of the car ride and vet visit, discourage many cat owners from seeking routine vet care. Cats who spend time outdoors often find trouble and have need for vet care: wounds, abscesses and other injuries, fleas, ear mites, or other parasites; are a few of the reasons outdoor kitties need treatment. But indoor cats are also at risk for many conditions. In fact, cats are excellent at hiding their illness and are considered great at masquerading as healthy, despite underlying disease. Many of these issues can develop very gradually making it difficult for an owner to detect. It is important that your veterinarian examine your cat frequently so that issues can be caught early and addressed. Also having your vet familiar with your cat puts both doctor and patient at an advantage when illnesses do develop. There will be a baseline of health that the vet can then use as a comparison when kitty is not feeling well. Though it is true that indoor cats have fewer risks than outdoor cats, several conditions warrant veterinary screening:
Oscar catching summer rays.
Oral and Dental Health: Most cats develop dental disease by the age of three. Plaque and tartar contribute to gingivitis for cats, and gum disease can then result in painful cavity-like tooth lesions, periodontal disease, risk of tooth root and jaw bone infections as well as spread of bacteria and disease to organ systems. Heart, liver and kidney health are all affected by an animal’s oral health. Your vet can assess your cat’s teeth and gums and help make a plan to keep them healthy. Obesity: Just as excess body weight creates human health risks, obesity in cats results in joint, heart, and liver disease in cats. Obese cats are at an increased risk of diabetes. Your vet can help make the best diet and nutrition recommendations for your kitty. Heart Health: Many breeds are prone to heart disease and heart murmurs and older cats are at risk of hypertension and high blood pressure. Only a vet’s exam, listening to the heart sounds, rate and rhythm can identify those cats at risk. Geriatric Health: Our older patients often develop kidney and urinary tract disease, arthritis and joint pain and endocrine diseases such as hyperthyroidism in addition to the issues named above. The symptoms of these can be vague and develop slowly. Monitoring your cat’s weight, discussing their eating and litter box patterns, and having them evaluated more frequently as they get older can keep them feeling good. Vaccinations All cats run the risk of contracting viral disease, and routine vaccination is important for disease prevention. Specifically, young cats are at risk of life-threatening illness from viruses such as panleukopenia, calicivirus, and feline leukemia. Rabies is a high risk to cats and poses Continued NEXT PAGE
30 4 Legs & a Tail
human health dangers, so frequent vaccination is required by law. Your veterinarian will determine what vaccinations are right for your cat based on their lifestyle and risk factors. Even indoor-only cats should receive vaccinations periodically. While it is true that many cats can appear traumatized by a vet visit, there are steps you can take to make the process easier on them. Getting your cat into its carrier can be a daunting task. Cat Carrier Tips: - Leave the carrier out in a space your cat visits often, that way it won’t appear foreign or scary to them. Storing it in a garage or closet and bringing it out only when it’s time for a vet visit can be frightening to them! - Place a soft blanket or bed within the carrier and use cat nip, favorite toys, or a feline pheromone/calming spray such as Feliway to attract them. - A hard plastic carrier with removable top is ideal. Removal of the top allows easier placement within and can allow a veterinarian to examine them directly in this more comfortable space. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is so true when it comes to feline care. Most issues found early on, can be managed to ensure your kitty has a long and comfortable life. Recognizing even minor issues early can save money for owners and pain for kitties. Prevention truly is the best medicine! Dr. Emily Crawford is the owner and lead veterinarian at Waterbury Veterinary Hospital in Waterbury Center, VT. A 1999 graduate of The Ohio State University she has been practicing in New England since 2000. She has specific interests in feline medicine, internal medicine, oncology and geriatric care and is a member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners. She can be reached for questions at 802-244-5452 or via Waterburyvet@gmail.com.
Rare Breeds of the Twin States
The Cleveland Bay
s I drove up the dirt road to the home of Penny de Peyer in the quaint town of Goshen, NH, I was eager to take my first look at a Cleveland Bay. I had seen pictures and heard many share overwhelming praise of these horses, but with an estimated census of less than 700 purebreds in the world this was a rare opportunity to see this rare breed. It was quick to see why those familiar with the Cleveland Bay are fans of this breed. Foxhollow Regatta belongs to Margaret Coulter of Newport. With its black points (legs, mane and tail), her spring coat appeared to vary from bay to brown as she laid in the morning sun. Both ladies had owned other breeds, but it is obvious that their true love is the Cleveland Bay. Continued NEXT PAGE
32 4 Legs & a Tail
Margaret Coulter with Foxhollow Regatta
“This is a horse for people who realize they are not immortal”, says de Peyer. The Cleveland Bay has a reputation for being a safe and sensible horse. “I fell in love with the breed in England 60 years ago and bought my first one in 1981 for $10,000.” It is an opinion shared by the casual and competitive equestrian alike. According to Denny Emerson, “When I was first starting out in eventing more than fifty years ago, I was a friend of Alec Mackay-Smith, who I vividly remember was a great proponent of the “endangered” breed, the Cleveland Bay.” Another fan is Annie Penfield of Strafford Saddlery, “I have a Cleveland Bay mare. She’s the best ever! Although now she’s 27,she takes charge of the donkey.”
Cleveland Bays were such pack horses bred in the Yorkshire Dales. Locally they were known as Chapman horses, the name being derived from the name given to packmen and itinerant peddlers of those days i.e. “Chapmen”. There was an influx of barb horses into the port of Whitby. These refined stallions were used on Chapman mares. Before the end of the 17th Century the main ingredient of the Cleveland Bay, the Chapman, and the Barb had come together to form
the type of powerful horse whose popularity as a pack/harness horse was beginning to spread beyond the northeast English countryside. Perhaps the Cleveland’s greatest advantage is its versatility. Early Clevelands were versatile pack and harness horses. The present day Cleveland is equally versatile in relation to the modern equine disciplines. As carriage and driving horses they remain unsurpassed. For this purpose a good number are kept at the Royal Mews in the U.K.. Teams of Clevelands have competed in FEI driving trials. Many are driven as singles and in pairs purely for pleasure. They make ideal heavy weight hunters, but also possess the necessary quickness for eventing, and can be exhibited in the show ring either as in-hand, ridden or working hunters. As sound active horses with substance, stamina and a good, sane temperament they make excellent police horses. The ability to break a Cleveland Bay to saddle and harness makes this breed invaluable to all round enthusiast to whom quality and versatility are important! Given the rarity of the Cleveland Bay breed, the Twin State area is fortunate to have Cleveland Bay breeders located in Cornish and Goshen, New Hampshire and in Londonderry, Vermont. For more information, you can contact the Cleveland Bay Horse Society of North America at www.clevelandbay.org.
A Horse with a History As its name suggests, the Cleveland Bay emanates from the Vale of Cleveland in northeast England. Without doubt it is Britain’s oldest breed of horse and has been fixed in type much longer than the official UK’s breed registry foundation date suggests. The church played a very large role in their breeding. Throughout the middle ages the Monastic houses in England’s northeast were the principal breeders of horses. Pack horses were needed for the trading of goods between the various Abbeys and Monasteries. Most certainly the ancestors of today’s Summer 2015
34 4 Legs & a Tail
Top Five Questions for the Animal Kingdom Kat Barrell-Newport, NH
I n my work, I have found common themes to the questions people have for their animals, and about my work. Here is my Top Five list of the most common questions: 5. What type of information can you gather during a session? Animal communicators and intuitives gather information in a myriad of ways. I receive feedback through my clairaudient ability to hear directly from the animal. I also get at more specific information through dowsing rods and a pendulum. Oracle cards are also helpful in expressing deep stories at play. Though I can ask information on all aspects of their being (mind, body and spirit), the majority of animals tend to communicate their emotional and spiritual needs to me. They feel veterinarians can take care of their physical well-being. So, I act more as a “counselor,” for the animal to human connection. Sometimes they just need to feel heard and have a chance to unload their worries. 4. Why is my animal acting out? Owners or trainers may question why an animal is having behavioral issues. About 90% of the time I find, just as with children, the animal is trying to get your attention. They are not getting enough quality time with you and don’t want you to leave. They act out to get you to stay longer or to change your behavior patterns. Generally, animals enjoy being in the loving energy of their owners, so when you leave for work or leave the barn, they can get obstinate. There may also be some baggage from earlier in their life, fearing you will not return. I see this particularly with rescue animals. Talk to them, assure them that you will be back, and that you love them. Give them a big squeeze and a soothing pet. They understand you and the vibration of love tidings you are offering, when you take time to snuggle without being in a rush. 3. Will my horse agree to do his or her “job?” Always a tough question, but I relay clear and honest answers from the animals. In one case the owner was referencing the horse’s job to take care of her daughter during competitions. Horses often do not see it as their “job” to take care of the rider. They Continued NEXT PAGE
do not shoulder all of the responsibility, it is a shared “job.” In fact, they feed off the energy of the rider, and the rider feeds off their queues – the ultimate partnership. I caution animal lovers, do not assume your horse, dog, cat or other pet understands they have a “job” in the terms we typically think of, such as competitions. Their true job, is to help release the emotional and mental blocks within humans, to help us grow and prosper along our path.
I need look no further than my son Brett and one of our cats, Rex. They have a relationship that is based in mutual love and respect with a healthy dose of fun.
Happy hugs and a deep honoring for my very first Reiki client, OB – a horse who takes his work with riding students very seriously.
2. Why is my cat so petrified all the time? Animals are constantly reading the energy in their environment to maintain their safety. I find cats and horses, in particular, prone to jumpy moments because of their tendency towards a flight response rather than fight. Often I find other energies at play in a given setting, such as spirit entities. These energies are very real to animals and some can even see the different energy pattern. Nothing to be scared about here, a spirit energy can be upsetting to the animal because it pops up unexpectedly when all else may feel serene. This is true in nature as well with nature spirits, who are more prevalent in spring and summer, particularly near streams or the edge of a forest. My energy clearings in barns and homes have helped to calm the environment for the animals, making them more at ease. The types of media that stream through their setting also affect animals. If you watch scary movies or TV on a regular basis, listen to anger-filled lyrics or if aggression is being displayed, the vibration from these communications can make them skittish. 36 4 Legs & a Tail
1. What will make my pet happier? Hands-down the most commonly asked question from pet owners. I am happy that this is the first question that comes to mind for people, it shows they are dedicated to their animal’s wellbeing. I’ve seen amazing examples of loyalty and love between human and cat, dog, horse, donkey and rabbit! The answer to this question is very simple. Our animals want to hear that we love them and honor their role in our lives. You cannot display too much love and affection for your animals, more belly scratches for a dog, more time sitting quietly with your cat or hanging out one-on-one with your horse in their stall. The key is to just BE with your animal – not expecting anything from them, not training, not running, not playing, not competing, not forcing them to sit in your lap. Simply BE. Your presence is the greatest gift you can give them. They do their best work by being a presence for you, helping to clear your worries, fears and doubts. They love you unconditionally like no other. Kat Barrell is the owner of Call of the Wild Energy Therapy in Newport, NH. Kat works with animals and humans to bring natural healing through hands-on energy work, dowsing and tools such as crystals, essential oils and flower essences. She also communicates with animals and the “Soul Team” of humans. To find out more, visit callofthewildenergytherapy.com Summer 2015
Red-Eared Sliders R
Dr. Susan Dyer, DVM
ed-eared Sliders are a common pet in many households. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of their specialized housing, diet, lighting and heating needs that, when not satisfied, can lead to long term health consequences. As with many reptiles, these consequences may take years to manifest. Red-eared Sliders are turtles native to the south central United States, while other populations throughout the US, Canada and other countries, are attributed to invasive populations from pets that have been released into the wild. During the day, sliders spend most of their time basking in the sun or foraging for food, and nights are spent in mud at the bottom of their watery environment. In captivity, a basking place can be heated with an overhead radiant heat source (either a red heating bulb or a ceramic heat emitter). Ideal temperatures are water at 82-85 degrees Fahrenheit for juveniles, 70-80 degrees for adults and basking areas of 85-90 degrees. The turtle must be able to easily climb out of the water onto the basking site. Many people confuse a heating bulb with an ultraviolet bulb, thinking that one bulb will “do it all.” Turtles also require a separate ultraviolet bulb which does not generate any heat, but does provide beneficial rays for vitamin D and calcium metabolism. A lack of ultraviolet lighting can lead to calcium deficiency, soft shells, broken bones, infection, pain and eventually death. Ultraviolet bulbs should be provided in a normal daylight cycle; lamp timers work well for these. Water quality is also a very labor intensive part of keeping a slider healthy. Complete water changes should be done at least weekly depending on the size of the tank and filtration system. Filters may need to be changed even more frequently. Water quality is directly affected by feeding, with most turtles preferring to be fed in the water. They can often be fed in a separate watery enclosure making cleaning easier and less frequent. Sliders prefer fish, insects, worms, slugs, snails, aquatic turtle pellets and water plants, however many juvenile animals will exclusively eat insects or protein sources. Females tend to be larger than males, but most gender traits occur as the animals get older, so it can be difficult to identify the sex of smaller animals. Males tend to have longer claws in the front, a longer tail length, a longer distance from the body to the vent opening, and a thicker tail at the base. Red-eared sliders can make enjoyable pets that can live 15-30 years if their needs are met. There is a significant time and monetary investment in caring for these active and engaging animals, so these need to be weighed prior to acquiring one. There are many reptile rescues throughout New England that may be able to take in and rehome your turtle or allow you to acquire one in need of a home. Dr. Susan Dyer sees turtles, dogs, cats, birds, and other exotic pets at Bradford Veterinary Clinic (formerly Stoneciff Animal Clinic of VT) in Bradford, VT, 802-222-4903 www.bradfordvet.com Summer 2015
Grover Doby Tuhy-Walters March 19, 1997 - May 1, 2015. Elena Tuhy-Walters, Ohio
rover came into my life May 21, 1997. Diana, a docket administrator, told me our friend Marti had found a kitten on Jefferson Street that needed a home. Diana, cat-mommy to Garfield, and I had been talking for months about my getting a cat, now that I was settled into my new house on Saratoga Avenue. I sat quietly in the empty courtroom contemplating whether I was ready for such a big step. As I had learned from the excellent tutelage of my Mom, agreeing to take in a cat and care for it forever was a big decision. I was nearly two years out of law school, had worked for over a year as an Assistant Law Director, I now owned my own home. I determined I was ready. I headed up to the fourth floor to the Litter Prevention Office. There I saw a tiny ball of black and taupe-striped fur bopping around. I bent down, smiled at the little guy and said, “Hello, Grover.” Grover was named long before I met him. As a fan of the Cleveland Indians, I wanted to name my cat in honor of Tribe Manager Mike “Grover” Hargrove (Hargrove’s other nickname “The Human Rain Delay,” wasn’t quite right), and Larry Doby, who became the first AfricanAmerican player in the American League when he joined the Indians in July 1947. I took Grover back to my office and tried to work for a bit, but he was too distracting so he stayed with Marti until I took him home at the end of the day. He was my first baby. Granville Veterinary thought Grover to be about seven weeks old. Grover clearly had left his mother too soon, since he had the tendency to try to suckle my ear. I cuddled him and spoiled him. As he grew, he amazed me with his ability to jump from the floor to the top of an open door. He loved to sit in the bathroom sink. He was sweet with me even if he wasn’t always so nice to others. We took care of each through thick and thin. He fought a lot with Catapus and Joseph when they came to live with us in 2001, but they were nicer to each other as they aged and mellowed. Grover was very displeased when two dogs came into our home for a while, especially when the Border collie tried to herd the three cats. I could tell he was relieved when the dogs left. When we moved to Columbus after Carl and I married in 2007, Grover didn’t pay much attention to elderly Mica, even when she hissed at him. Grover liked Carl most of the time. He was surprisingly tolerant of the baby, then little girl Evelyn. Poor Grover was somewhat neglected up Continued NEXT PAGE
38 4 Legs & a Tail
Grover and Elena share a moment
until the past two years when Evelyn grew more independent. Evelyn expressed her jealousy of Grover -- “Mommy, I want to sit on your lap!” -- even when she clearly garnered far more of our attention. Although Joseph was her favorite, she would pet Grover and carry him around. We learned on March 25 that Grover had eye cancer. Given his age and our finances, we opted not to explore whether the cancer had spread or if it was operable. He was prescribed eye drops for the cancer-induced glaucoma, and we went home hopeful we might still have a lot more time together. The drops worked wonders for about a month, but then he stopped eating and the seizures started. I was blessed for nearly eighteen years with my snuggly kitty who I loved so much. I am so grateful for him. I will miss him terribly. Elena Tuhy-Walters graduated from Lebanon NH High School in 1986. After college in Maine and law school in Ohio, she settled in central Ohio. She is currently a special assistant prosecuting attorney for child support enforcement. She and her husband Carl have one daughter, five year old Evelyn.
Bailey, and she is a Hurricane Katrina rescue, we got her through Adirondack Humane Society who brought her and siblings up from Virginia. Best dog I've ever had. Smart, kind and playful." - Amber Cutler
Melissa Longacre - Lebanon, NH
s there really a legal recreational substance available right here in NH and VT? No more trips to Colorado? For your feline friends, the answer is yes! Nepeta Cataria is an herb belonging to the over 250 member mint family, native to Europe, Africa, and Asia. It is a short lived herbaceous perennial that is hardy to Zone 3 (that means hardy right here in the Upper Valley). Catnip likes full sun and sandy well drained soil. The pinkish white flowers can be up to 3 feet tall. It can be grown in gardens or flower borders, but is not usually grown just for appearance. Be sure to protect these plants from your cats because they will often roll on it or destroy it, if it is available to them. You can use wire netting or a tomato cage covered with mesh netting. Cats get their “fix” from the greyish green leaves and the flowers that are typically dried for future use. The flowers are the most potent part of the plant. Catnip should not be confused with catmint or Nepeta Faassenii which, while a much more attractive garden plant, will have no effect on cats. Not all cats react to catnip. Only one third to three quarters of all cats have the hereditary gene that gives them the sensitivity to nepetalactone, the essential oil that gives cats that crazy or mellowing reaction. Young kittens show no response to it, as they need to become sexually mature for catnip to be effective. Some cats will rub or roll on the dried leaves while others will actually lick or eat it. The hallucinogenic reaction is similar to LSD. Once your kitty gets a whiff or taste, you might experience the playful rubbing, batting, or sometimes aggressive high that lasts for about ten to twenty minutes. The resulting antics can be fun to watch. The American Veterinary Association says that catnip is not addictive, and cats seem to be self limiting with its use. After the initial high wears off most cats lose interest or “catnap” for a bit. Over time some cats can even lose their sensitivity to it. Veterinarians recommend using it as a training tool to aid in showing appropriate places to scratch, or as a way to encourage more playful exercise in obese house cats. Most people use it as an occasional treat. So, no worries that you will end up with a feline junkie on your hands!
40 4 Legs & a Tail
When to Move Up Denny Emerson-South Strafford,VT
xcept for those people who remain by choice at the relative safety of the very lowest rung of the eventing ladder, this question always arises, “When can I, or my horse, or both of us, move up to the next competitive level?” At a Green Mountain Horse Association event in So. Woodstock, VT, I got the opinions of a number of well-respected coaches, trainers and competitors on two related questions. “When a student asks whether he and his horse are ready to move up, what factors weigh most heavily?” And “How do you decide when the horse you are training and competing is ready to move up?” Virtually every coach agreed, safety is the number one factor in deciding whether a student was ready to progress to a higher level. And safety applies particularly to the cross-country test. (Some would accurately argue that “safe crosscountry” is a contradiction of terms. We are speaking about relative safety.) Some typical comments: “I’m not too worried about the quality of the dressage. That will come if they work at it. What concerns me is that they can safely handle the cross-country.” “I don’t care if they’ve won their first three novice events; I don’t want them to go training until they are really solid and really experienced, even bored at novice, before they move up.” “I want the rider to be exceptionally confident in her own mind that she can handle bigger fences, higher speeds and more technical questions.” “Speed! Know how to handle galloping at speed, galloping up and downhill, able to slow down or stop whenever they want, not when the horse decides.” “The biggest, most potentially dangerous move up decision is from training to preliminary. I want my rider to know how to handle ditches and drops, angles and corners, bounces and trekheners. I don’t want him out there with any holes in his preparation.” Torrance Watkins made wanted her students to have the confidence and the horsemanship to make the hard choice to do what would be in the horse’s best interest. For example, slowing down on cross-country if the weather is extreme or the footing bad, even if giving up a lead in dressage and hence losing the event. In other words, “think like a horseman.” Mark Weisbecker feels, young riders especially, are pushed into higher levels before their confidence level is solid, hence, they can become literally frightened. He differentiated that fear as real Summer 2015
physical fear, different and more dangerous than the general nervousness even well-prepared riders feel “before battle.” I believe Mark was saying, “Don’t push them (or let them push themselves) to higher levels until they are emotionally prepared for the greater stresses.” Several coaches stated that a really confident, experienced horse can alleviate many of the potential problems a less experienced rider can get into at a higher level. Virginia Leary said, in effect, “If a rider makes a green mistake, I want a horse experienced enough to jump out of trouble anyway, not get taken into trouble by the rider.” The “bail-out” concept, that a good horse should be able to save the skin of the greener rider! To sum up, the three prerequisites mentioned by most of the coaches were safety, preparedness and confidence. I got a different slant, when I asked the rider-competitor-coaches how they determined the readiness of their own horses to move up. Not that they are unconcerned with safety; I think they were generally self-confident enough to take safeContinued NEXT PAGE
ty for granted. Most of my respondents stressed that the horse be very prepared and be very self-confident. Most were willing to forego preparedness in dressage if he was bold and capable in cross-country. Torrance Watkins believed that a horse’s total dressage background often made a substantial difference to his cross-country competence. What I call the “yo-yo factor” was stressed, that the horse be allowed to move up and down from one division to another as he is developing skill and confidence. For example; A horse might have done five or six training events and be pretty solid at that level. Then he might do a couple of move-up preliminaries, but if the slightest thing goes wrong, he should be moved right back down to training. The rider would reestablish his confidence, try again at preliminary, and ease him up to that level so he keeps feeling good about himself and doesn’t become discouraged or demoralized. Another example; A solid preliminary horse toward the late summer or fall of the year might do one or two intermediate horse trials. Even if he did them brilliantly, he would not be asked to do an intermediate three day event that fall; he would run in a preliminary three day event instead. I once read about Rodney Jenkins, something to the effect that, “Rodney’s horses progress rapidly because he almost always does one of the best things you can do for a young horse. He gets them to the right take off point for the jumps.” I think this applies to the really good eventing trainers. They often move up rapidly because they aren’t so likely to put their horses in jams that the horse can’t extricate themselves from. The opposite of the experienced horse having to save the green rider; the good rider keeps the youngster out of trouble. All riders spoke of the need for solid basic preparation to the point they felt it was self-evident. The horse must be able to gallop, speed up, slow down, turn, and handle all the possible kinds of questions reasonably asked at the proposed level. Some spoke of the desirability to test the horse’s ability over show jumping obstacles first, to know a horse can deal with a 3’7” high, 4’ wide preliminary cross-country fence because he can confidently jump a 3’11” high, 5’6” wide oxer in the ring. For big divisions, intermediate and advanced, and the “mega-division”, Badminton, the World Championships and (sometimes) the Olympics; the horse must possess vast self-confidence, boldness to the point of aggression, and scope, the ability to easily jump obstacles which 42 4 Legs & a Tail
are both high and wide. Each of the trainers felt the decision to move up, whether pertaining to a rider, horse or combination was important, serious, and laden with responsibility. Each had obviously thought about the issue at length and in great detail. I was impressed and gratified that the American eventing community has the benefit of the concern and expertise of serious and dedicated coaches and trainers, such as those I interviewed. I’d like to thank the following for their assistance in writing this article: Chris Barna, John Bourgoin, Bruce Davidson, Jane Hamlin, Suzi Gomall, Virginia Leary, Bruce Miller, David O’Brien, Jim Stamets, Torrance Watkins, Mark Weisbecker, and anyone else whose help I’ve overlooked.
One of the 50 most influential horsemen of the Twentieth Century (The Chronicle of the Horse, 2000), Denny Emerson is the only rider to have ever won both a gold medal in eventing and a Tevis buckle in endurance. In 2006, Denny was inducted into the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Dartmouth College Athletic Hall of Fame and of the Vermont Academy Athletic Hall of Fame. www.TamarackHill.com Summer 2015
Paddock Partners Heidi Jo Hauri-Gill
Dear Heidi, I have a three year old that I would like to start training this year. My friends say I should put him in professional training, but I have always dreamed of training my own horse. I have been reading about this since I got him last year, I want us to have the best bond possible. I am not afraid of him bucking because I can stay on a bucking horse. Why do I need to start him in professional training? Alex, Orford, NH Dear Alex Thanks for your question. This is an excellent time of year to get horses started, so I am especially happy to help you choose your path. Training horses can be a fairly simple task. So this is not why your friend suggested you bring in a trainer. It is a lifelong journey. Do not feel that if you have help for the first three months, you will not have trained your own horse. Every single time we sit on our horses we are training them. Some training is good and progressive, and some takes us back a few steps. Another VERY important piece, each time we ride our horse it is actually training us as well. This is the reason to bring in a professional. A TRUE professional has spent their lifetime learning the methods used by masters of horse training, such as Xenophon (427-355 BC), Duarte in the 1400’s, Grisone and Pignatelli, Franscois Robichon de la Gueriniere who’s book in 1733 became the training manual for the cavalry. The consummate professional has read and reread these and many others, integrating them into their training philosophy. This brings proof to the method, by time tested theory that has with-
stood changes throughout time. The horse is still the horse, and the training needs to be proven. Something to look for in a trainer is a “method.” With a method you get an idea of what to expect. Horses are simple creatures whose baseline is the need to live and reproduce. I have yet to go get a horse and find it thinking, “I sure hope that she is bringing me in to be trained to the best of my potential.” That being said, by training a horse with a method, your horse understands what you are asking in a logical, methodical manner. Ask for an approximate time line from a potential trainer, they should have an idea of about how long it will take them to get to different stages of starting your horse. Because the trainer has years of experience, influences from qualified mentors, as well as proof of a successful method, they know when it is time to push your horse and when it is time to step back and let the horse develop confidence in what it is doing. The trainer will foresee issues from the very start, and diffuse them before they become a problem or habit. The trainer will also develop a foundation, the root of your future success with your horse, giving you a process to manage when things start to go wrong. The best thing to do is to hire a trainer (typically, you bring your horse to that trainer’s farm for a few months) willing to integrate you into the process. When you take your horse home you not only have a horse who has a good solid start, but you have a plan yourself of how you are going to proceed. This journey can last 20 or 30 years, take 3 months out to get you and your horse started professionally. You will not miss out on the glory of training, instead you are safely bringing your horse along. Keep up your relationship with your trainer after you bring your horse home. True trainers are very interested in your progress and confidence levels. I encourage people strongly, bring your horse back to the trainer to get a follow up, and next step ideas. This is true for ALL sorts of horses. Although I am a dressage trainer, I have
had huge success starting horses for every discipline imaginable. For a safe future you need a solid foundation. Check into your chosen trainer, interview them! They will be working with and influencing your prize possession and best friend! Don’t just hire someone that sounds good on paper or has been recommended, go visit them, get a feel for their farm, get a true idea of their method and their own training, most importantly, talk to their clients. Trainers have all sorts of different fees. Think about the big picture. Is it reasonable that the trainer you are hiring can do the job in a month? A year? What do you hope to have when you bring your horse home? This can give you a good idea of what your process should include. Be honest and upfront with your trainer, tell them that you would rather not just hire out the job. Listen to them as well. Good Luck in your journey with your horse! Heidi Jo Hauri-Gill is the owner of First Choice Riding Academy in Enfield, NH. She is a graduate of Westmoreland Davis International Equestrian Institute, as well as UNH. Although Heidi’s passion is teaching and training she is also an L-Graduate with distinction. Heidi incorporates cavaletti and jumping in every horse/rider’s training plans. www.firstchoiceridingacademy.com
Horses prefer either the left or right side, just like humans.
Canine Point of View Michelle Grimes
My dog Libby loves to dig in the yard. I am constant-
ly filling in holes, but she digs them up again. It is so frustrating. Will I ever be able to have a nice yard again? Janet - Lebanon, NH Hi Janet, Although I understand your frustration when considering this problem, you need to realize that digging can be a very powerful instinct in dogs. Let’s look at two options. You could pick an area that Libby is allowed to dig in, and train her to dig only in this area. It may sound complicated, but it can really be quite easy to do. You could use a manufactured sand box or some old railroad ties to construct a small appropriate area for Libby. This area could be filled with play sand or dirt if you wish. If you prefer, you could just choose a specific spot in the yard to be designated as the digging area. The training will require a few weeks of supervision, and also planting that area regularly with treats and toys to make it interesting for her to dig there. I would use extremely high value treasures for her to find, such as frozen marrow bones, stuffed Kongs, squeaky toys; things that she finds rewarding. Place them there without Libby’s seeing. Bury these treasures under a very thin layer of sand /dirt or have them half sticking out at first, so she can easily find them. Dogs learn by association, when they are rewarded for practicing a behavior, they will continue that behavior. Our goal is to get Libby to continue to dig in the area designated as the “proper digging” area. Chances are, if she is rewarded in the beginning with high value treasures, she will want to continue her digging in that area, as she was successful previously. Dogs do what works for them…plain and simple. To teach Libby to use this new specific area for digging, you will need to supervise her outdoors at all times during the training process. Actively encourage Libby to seek out this new area, praise her when she goes there and more so when she starts to dig there. If she was to wander away and start digging elsewhere, I would say “No, Dig in your spot” (or whatever phrase you want to use, just use that phrase consistently), gently lead her to the proper spot and praise there. You must continue to put treats and toys in the new designated area so she will remain interested. Another option would be complete outdoor supervision. You could supervise her “at all times” when she’s in the yard and redirect her digging towards other activities (playing with toys or playing with you for example.) From a canine point of view, digging is a self- rewarding behavior and dogs that are left alone in the yard are often likely to dig. Personally, I love the first idea as it gives Libby a proper outlet for an instinctual behavior and likely solves your problem. And, in the grand scheme of things, it will be far less time-consuming on your part to teach her where she CAN dig, than to try and stop her from digging at all. Michelle Grimes CPDT-KA, of K9 Insights is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer & Behavior Consultant specializing in Positive Reinforcement Training for all breeds. Co-founder of Long Trail Canine Rescue, works locally at SAVES and Stonecliff Animal Clinic, and is proudly owned by 3 rescue “Bully Breeds.” Michelle@k9insights.com or www.k9insights.com
Kiki masters the summer power-nap in Windsor while visiting Judy Brownlow
44 4 Legs & a Tail
Limber Tail Syndrome in Dogs Elisa Speckert - Norwich, VT Swimmer's Tail occurs mostly in sporting or working dogs.
What’s Wrong With My Dog’s Tail?
wimming can provide hours of fun and entertainment, as well as great exercise for both you and your dog. However, excessive swimming can be the culprit when it comes to a condition known as Limber Tail Syndrome. This condition (also called “swimmer’s tail”, “dead tail” or acute caudal myopathy) usually occurs after excessive swimming or swimming in cold water, but can also be caused by excessive wagging or heavy exercise. This condition often affects working dogs and is commonly found in pointers, setters, beagles and retrievers, although it can occur in any dog with a tail. It occurs when the muscles of the tail are injured and the tail hangs limp and does not move. It is similar to straining or spraining a part of your body, although it is just the muscles that are affected, not the bones or ligaments and tendons. You may also notice that your dog is reluctant to sit down or may seem uncomfortable or restless. In some cases if the tail is very painful, you may notice lethargy or a decrease in appetite. If you suspect that your dog has developed this condition you should bring him to see a veterinarian. Swimmer’s tail is painful and should be treated with anti-inflammatory pain medication. The condition can last several days to several weeks, and is more likely to recur once your dog has suffered an initial bout. Strict rest is usually advised until the tail is back to normal. Gradually increasing the amount of time your dog spends in the water and not spending extraordinarily long amounts of time training (unless your dog is accustomed to it), can help to prevent dead tail. If you suspect your dog may have swimmer’s tail or you have any questions about prevention or treatment of this condition please call your veterinarian. Elisa Speckert is a graduate of the University of Vermont with a degree in Animal Science and a veterinary technician at River Road Veterinary Clinic in Norwich, VT. www.RiverRoadVeterinary.com 46 4 Legs & a Tail
A Deadly Danger for Dogs By Dr. Justine A. Lee, DVM, DACVECC
efore you let your dog jump into that lake to cool off this summer, pay heed! When it comes to swimming in lakes, you want to avoid ones that have that green-scum layer on top. Why? During really hot summers, there’s an increased likelihood of the lake developing a thick “bloom” of algae that floats on the surface. So, why do I worry about algae as a toxicologist? I worry because of blue-green algae.
WHAT IS BLUE-GREEN ALGAE?
Blue-green algae, also called cyanobacteria, is a microscopic bacteria found in freshwater ponds, lakes, streams, and brackish water ecosystems. Note that not all types of algae are poisonous, but some types (e.g., blue-green) can produce toxins called microcystins and anatoxins. These toxins are so dangerous that they are actually poisonous to other species too: humans, cattle, horses, cats, etc. So, you shouldn’t allow your dog (or child) to swim or drink water potentially contaminated with bluegreen algae.
SYMPTOMS OF BLUE-GREEN ALGAE POISONING
Clinical signs of blue-green algae poisoning depend on what type of toxin (e.g., microcystin vs. anatoxin) is present. Clinical signs of blue-green algae that produce microcystins, typically include: • Collapse • Malaise/lethargy • Pale gums • Weakness • Jaundice (yellow) gums • Not eating • Shock • Vomiting • Seizures • Diarrhea • Death • Black-tarry stool
With blue-green algae that produce anatoxins, symptoms include: • Inability to walk • Hypersalivation • Excessive (eye) tearing • Tremors • Muscle rigidity • Difficulty breathing or blue gums • Death
HOW DO I PROTECT MY DOG FROM BLUE-GREEN ALGAE? While it’s impossible to tell if it’s benign or poisonous algae on the pond or lake, it’s best to avoid allowing your dog to swim in any water that has visible algae on the surface. Even small exposures (as little as 1-2 licks), can potentially result in fatal poisoning. I advise that you stomp around any lake before you let your dog dive in, avoid it if it has blooms of algae floating on the surface.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH BLUE-GREEN ALGAE
The last case of blue-green algae poisoning I treated was also the saddest. A dog that had never been out to a lake ended up dying of liver failure. The cause? The owners left a used, old, empty fish tank out on the deck. Over months, it accumulated rain water. The dog drank out of this moldy, algae-filled tank, and was accidentally poisoned by blue-green algae. Make sure your dog always has a bowl of fresh water available so they don’t drink from contaminated sources.
THE PROGNOSIS OF BLUE-GREEN ALGAE POISONING
With blue-green algae, the prognosis is very poor, and some dogs actually pass away before being able to get to a veterinarian. If you suspect that your dog was exposed to blue-green algae, get to a veterinarian immediately. Unfortunately, there is no antidote for the toxins produced by blue-green algae. With any poisoning, the sooner you seek treatment the better the prognosis. With blue-green algae, immediate veterinary attention is important. When in doubt, call your veterinarian, emergency veterinarian, or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for life-saving care at 888-426-4435. If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets. 48 4 Legs & a Tail
Fun Summer Activities With Your Dog Cory Balch, DVM - Elkins, NH
armer weather and longer days allow us all to spend more time outdoors. This is the perfect opportunity to get active and shed the “winter weight” that both we and our canine companions have acquired. There are lots of ways to make getting active fun and creative, which can in turn strengthen our bond with our dogs.
Walking/Hiking Most of us have a standard walk loop we do with our dogs. With longer days, why not take the time to expand your walking route? You could even take your dog out for hike. New Hampshire and Vermont have an expansive network of trails which vary from an easy walk to a challenging climb. Make sure to check to see if the trail that interests you is dog friendly and what the leash requirements are.
Water sports Does your dog love water? Many do and swimming is a great activity. It is a low impact exercise routine and is also a good way to stay cool during the hot weather. New Hampshire has numerous lakes which allow dogs to swim. Where or when dogs are allowed may be restricted, so it is best to check before making the trip. While swimming is a refreshing exercise, it is not always feasible. Setting up a sprinkler for the whole family to play in is a quick alternative. You can play fetch through the sprinkler to add an extra level of fun. Similarly, a kiddie pool can be set up to give your dog a cool break. Remember to always be careful if the hose has been left out in the sun. The water in that hose can get dangerously hot!
Backyard agility course Another stay-at-home activity is working on agility training in your own backyard. You could build a slalom course with stakes or even ski poles between which your dog can weave. Cardboard boxes can become a makeshift maze or tunnel. More permanent structures can be constructed with PVC piping. Agility training is an activity which promotes exercise for both the mind and the body.
Cool treats It is important to remember for both humans and our dogs that we need to stay hydrated and avoid getting overheated during the Summer, especially when we are active. Bringing a water supply for your dog wherever you go is key. Putting ice cubes in your dog’s water bowl can help encourage them to drink. You can also make some fun frozen treats for your dog at home. Some simple ones are to cut up watermelon or bananas and then freeze the pieces. Likewise, filling a hollow chew toy, such as a Kong, with peanut butter and then putting it in the freezer is an easy delicious treat. You can also make a low sodium chicken or beef broth at home (avoid onions and garlic) and then freeze it in an ice cube tray for easy serving sizes. Dr. Balch is a graduate of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and is an associate veterinarian at Pleasant Lake Veterinary Hospital. Pleasant Lake Veterinary Hospital is owned by Dr. Mona Stedman who is certified in Veterinary Acupuncture. Summer 2015
Don’t Treat Your Dog to a Bone or Your Dog May Need Treatment Sandra Waugh, VD, MS-Windsor, VT
ne of my pet peeves is the idea that marrow bones are good for your dog’s teeth, as chewing on these will make the teeth nice and shiny. After all, wild dogs chew on bones and surely none of them ever get fractured teeth, so the theory goes, so it must be OK for my domestic dog. Well, not true. Dogs, wild or domestic, suffer from broken teeth. Unfortunately, bones of any type may cause trauma to the teeth, either by creating vibration which kills the tooth through internal bleeding, or fracturing the crown which kills the tooth by destroying it! I recently saw two dogs with typical injuries from chewing on objects that were too hard for the teeth. Many of my clients seem to believe that dog teeth are really tough and can withstand trauma that our teeth cannot. Actually, the enamel on the human tooth is twice as thick as the enamel on dog and cat teeth! Dog teeth are very long, which makes them vulnerable to injuries involving torque (twisting motion of the tooth around its length). They also come to sharp points, meaning that the width of the tooth is greatly reduced at the top of the crown. Less width adds up to less strength. And dogs have much stronger jaws than humans, which puts a lot of pressure on the teeth.
Treats which are likely to cause trauma to a dog’s teeth: • Marrow bones • Compressed rawhide • Dry cow or pig hooves • Deer Antlers • Hard plastic treats, such as the original Nylabone • Ice cubes - if your dog likes ice, crush it up into small pieces • Hard plastic Frisbees thrown for the dog to catch in mid-air • Bully Sticks are just the right size to break and get wedged in the upper jaw. • Tennis balls - the nap collects grit which then grinds down the teeth. Find a rubber ball of the same size instead.
So, what should we give our dogs to chew on? Dr Frazer Hale, board certified veterinary dentist (www.toothvet.ca) says it well: “I tell clients that there is nothing that is ‘safe’ but there are some things that are ‘safer’ (i.e., less dangerous) if used appropriately. To judge an item, they should apply the “Knee-Cap Rule”. Simply stated, if you would not want me to hit you in the knee cap with it, don’t let your dog chew on it. For small dogs, I will modify and say, if your small dog would not want me to hit them in the knee-cap with it, don’t let him/her chew on it.” OR “If you would not chew on it yourself for fear of damaging your own teeth, do not let your dog chew on it.” OR Any potential chew item should dent when pressed on with your thumbnail. Now, for real examples. First is a Doberman who had the misfortune of sustaining two different injuries on two different teeth from chewing on a marrow bone, all in one day! The upper left canine tooth suffered internal bleeding, which caused the tooth to turn pink/purple. This is the same as a bruise in the skin, except that it causes the death of the tooth. Continued Next Page
Canine tooth discolored from internal bleeding.
50 4 Legs & a Tail
Fractured upper 4th premolar (Carnassial tooth).
It is easy to imagine this canine as a bruised tooth. Bleeding inside the tooth creates pressure which kills the pulp tissue, leading to a dead tooth. This tooth underwent a root canal procedure to retain the tooth within the mouth. The only other option was extraction. Discolored teeth are dead and are a cause of pain for the dog, even if dogs do not complain about the pain in an obvious way. Do not “wait and see,” as this really makes no sense! This color will modify over time, just like a bruise, with the tooth eventually becoming dark yellow or gray.
Fractured upper left 4th premolar.
Normal upper right 4th premolar from the same dog. Photograph has been reversed to make the comparison easier.
Second, is a Goldendoodle who found a deer skull in the woods and proudly brought it home for her owners. Unfortunately she had chewed on the antlers and broke the upper 4th premolar. The two photographs below are the same tooth from different angles. This fracture is described as a “slab fracture”. It is actually two fractures. The tip of the crown breaks off first, then the side of the tooth fractures off as if the antler were a chisel driving off a wedge of tooth. The slab fracture extends below the gum line. The green arrows point to the top of the pulp chamber in the crown of the tooth. If you can see a round spot like this in a tooth, it means that the pulp chamber has been exposed and the tooth is dead. Again, this tooth is a source of infection and pain for your dog and it should either be extracted or treated with a root canal procedure. If you have had a dead tooth yourself or know someone who needed a root canal procedure done, then you know that a dead tooth is a painful tooth. The black arrow points to part of the developmental groove, a normal structure. Most of the groove has been fractured off with the tip of the crown. We would all like a chew treat that helps to keep the teeth clean, is too tough for our dogs to destroy, but at the same time is not going to cause damage to the teeth. Like other things in life, this is not so easy to have. It is better to have the teeth stay intact even if it means buying lots of chew toys and treats, than to have the teeth become damaged and painful from inappropriate treats and toys. Also see http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm208365.htm for their article “No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog” Dr. Waugh is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She also holds a Masters Degree from Washington State University of Veterinary Medicine and is owner of Windsor Veterinary & Dental Services. Summer 2015
Emergency Care W
ith summer comes outdoor fun for all! From dog parks and trails to pools and lakes, everyone is busy soaking up the sunshine. This is also the time of year when veterinarians are treating many pets with emergency issues. Here are a few things for you to consider this summer. Seek emergency care immediately in these situations: • Unconsciousness, collapse or extreme lethargy • Suspected ingestion of a foreign body, harmful chemicals, human medications, or • toxic plants • Trouble breathing • Trauma from fall or hit by moving vehicle • Extreme pain causing whining or shaking • Swollen and tense abdomen • Straining to urinate • Hemorrhage • Disorientation or seizures • Uncontrolled or prolonged vomiting and/or diarrhea • Prolonged straining without delivery of puppies or kittens What to do if your dog or cat is poisoned: • Remove your pet from the area. • Check to make sure your pet is safe: breathing and acting normally. • Do NOT give any home antidotes. • Do NOT induce vomiting without consulting a vet or Pet Poison Helpline. • Call Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680. • If veterinary attention is necessary, contact your veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic immediately. First Aid Kits for Dogs 5 Key Items to Pack Saline – This is used to flush out wounds when dirt or debris is present. You may use the bottle alone, or carry a syringe without a needle to apply the saline. Saline is sold over the counter. Triple Antibiotic Ointment – This may be used for minor scrapes and cuts that your pet may encounter. A common one used is over the counter Bacitracin. Do not allow your pet to lick the ointment off of the cut or scrape.
thumb or finger underneath the wrap to ensure that you are not wrapping too tight.
Gauze and Wrap – If your pet gets a cut that is bleeding, it is important to be able to control the bleeding until you are able to get to a veterinarian. Gauze is a soft material that you may place over the bleeding wound to help control the bleeding. A soft wrap (such as vet wrap) is then applied to keep the gauze in place. The vet wrap sticks to itself so that it stays on, but not to your pet’s fur. They will love you extra when it’s time to remove the wrap. When wrapping, make sure to place a
Fresh Hydrogen Peroxide – This is not to be used for cleaning , but rather to induce vomiting if your pet ingests something toxic. ALWAYS consult with your veterinarian or poison control center before giving your dog Peroxide. In some cases, vomiting should NOT be induced (such as ingestion of Kerosene, sharp objects or many other chemicals) Muzzle – When dogs injure themselves, they are in pain, and this may cause them to want to bite. It doesn’t mean that you have a mean dog, just that he/she is telling you that they hurt. A muzzle will help to prevent bites to you and/or helpers. If you are concerned or unsure if your pet needs emergency care, please call your vet. If your dog or cat ingested something poisonous please call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680 for help immediately! The sooner a dog poisoning or cat poisoning is diagnosed, the easier, less expensive, and safer it is for your pet to get treated! Summer 2015 52 4 Legs & a Tail
Alternatively Speaking: Managing Lyme Disease
Anne M. Carroll, DVM - Chelsea, VT
et’s face it; ticks are scary. Those eight little legs make my skin crawl and they can carry some pretty serious diseases as well, Lyme being the most infamous. They are tiny and hard to detect, and increasingly, everywhere. Our dogs have a high risk of coming into contact with them, while running through the tall grass and woods. We do have good tools to deal with Lyme disease in our dogs. We have excellent tick protection products, including natural products that repel ticks from hitching a ride. When choosing, do the proper research and ask appropriate questions such as, “How long will a tick attach before dying or transmitting disease?” Best practice is to not have them attach at all, or for as short as possible. There is even a vaccine against Lyme disease. Unfortunately, there are equally serious diseases that a tick can infect your vaccinated dog with. Using a tick preventative and yearly screening for tick borne illnesses through a simple blood test, allows your veterinarian to best manage your dog’s health. How worried should you be if your dog contracts Lyme disease? Unfortunately, it is common despite all our efforts. In my clinic in the last two years, one in six dogs tested positive for Lyme, one in five had either Lyme, Anaplasmosis or Ehrlichia exposures. The good news is, that in both experimental studies of Beagles, and in real life cases, most dogs do not experience significant illness from Lyme disease. 85% of infected dogs will not show any symptoms. For those that do, traditional treatment is a prolonged course of antibiotics (hopefully combined with a good probiotic) and most dogs will respond well. Only in rare cases are there serious issues with Lyme disease, usually in Labradors. An alternative perspective on Lyme disease is managing the silent effects this infection can have on the body. The infective agent of Lyme disease is a master of disguise, coating itself with the dog’s own proteins, hiding in the joints so it becomes virtually undetectable by the immune system. Some immune activity can be triggered, since the body can’t cure the infection, the defensive immune stimulation can be chronic and cause problems long term. Holistic therapy is targeted at this potential issue and aims to support the joints with good nutrition and supplements, to support the immune Summer 2015
system to avoid the harmful reactions that can occur with chronic stimulation, and to clear as much infection from the body as possible. Homeopathy is our primary tool, and when used alone or with antibiotics, we see very good results. Riley, was diagnosed with Lyme at his annual checkup but had no symptoms. His owner was concerned that chronic infection might cause silent problems. A blood test to measure how much Lyme was in his system came back at seven times the level considered a threat, so we treated Riley with antibiotics and homeopathy. One year later Riley was still acting fine and we rechecked his Lyme level. A drop of 50% is considered a success for antibiotic therapy alone. Riley tested negative for Lyme, with zero detectable level. Keeping new ticks off, and the combined therapy, helped his body rid the infection far quicker than typically possible. Not every dog will become negative, but a Continued Next Page
Riley was treated with antibiotics & homeopathy.
good percentage will convert from high to zero or at least below the level of concern, if new tick bites are prevented. Alternative treatments become even more valuable for those less common situations where the infection is causing problems. Repeated tick bites and high numbers of Lyme agents can trigger changes in the joints, as well as a stronger immune response in an attempt to clear the infection. We then see the classic Lyme symptoms in dogs including fever, body aches and swollen joints. Not all of these issues are caused by the Lyme infection itself, but by the immune reaction
54 4 Legs & a Tail
the body is mounting against it. Usually antibiotics would take care of this, but issues do come up. Cassie was an active and happy Golden Retriever until she contracted Lyme disease. The first six months she seemed ok, after that she was tired, lame, and running a fever. Her veterinarian prescribed antibiotics, which did help, but she could not tolerate the medication and became ill when they had to be discontinued. Several drugs were tried, each no better than the last. She was chronically affected and unable to go on her favorite hikes and so listless that she did not even care. We treated her with homeopathy and acupuncture for the Lyme and she responded immediately. She was a new dog. She continued acupuncture for several treatments. Within months she was acting like a puppy and able to run and play. Her improvement held for years beyond her treatments. Scout, was different. She had Lyme disease with classic symptoms and was able to tolerate antibiotics, which worked at first. However, she kept relapsing over a two-year period. Probably in part, due to repeated tick exposures or perhaps her immune system was hypersensitive to the infection hiding in her joints. Over time the antibiotics were less effective. Her energy level was low, she did not want to play, with intermittent lameness issues despite homeopathic and antibiotic ther-
apies. We thought it was something other than the Lyme disease because her levels were not very high. Finally we treated her with a different homeopathic remedy and she responded very well. In the past year she has had some minor arthritis, but she is energetic, her tail wagging high for a ten year-old Retriever. Holistic practitioners have a different arsenal of treatments for battling Lyme disease. As with all patients, each one should be evaluated individually to determine what the best approach is for prevention, and if needed, dealing with Lyme disease infection. Ticks are here to stay, their presence will only be more widespread as time passes. Short of moving to the desert to escape, we will have to focus our healthcare to include protection from ticks, and herbal, nutritional and homeopathic therapies to prevent and treat infections spread by tick bites. Dr. Anne Carroll is owner of the Chelsea Animal Hospital where she practices both conventional medicine and surgery as well as several alternative modalities including traditional Chinese acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Her associate Dr. Betty Jo Black brings classical homeopathy to the practice. For more information on alternative veterinary medicine visit their website at www.chelseaanimalhospital.com
FOUR DAYS OF DOG SHOWS July 9th – 12th Green Mountain Dog Club & Woodstock Dog Club
his year, the Green Mountain Dog Club will hold its 68th & 69th Annual Dog Shows on Saturday and Sunday, July 11th & 12th at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds. The Woodstock Dog Club will also be holding its annual show at the same location on Thursday and Friday, the 9th and 10th. Farmer Elisha Lougee held the first Tunbridge World’s Fair in 1867, as a way to determine who owned the fastest horse or the best-looking cow. In keeping with determining the “best,” we will have a Best in Show all four days. Woodstock Dog Club and Green Mountain Dog Club are honored to hold our VERMONT SCENIC CIRCUIT - Four Days of Dog Shows at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds. We expect approximately 1000 entries and over 100 breeds. With Exhibitors coming from over 35 states and Canada, a long weekend of Dog Shows can bring in over $450,000 to the area. There will be Conformation Classes with Best in Show, Companion Events, Obedience, and Rally, for both purebred and mixed breed dogs all four days. There will be Best Puppy & Best Veteran, Dog Show Tours, an Ice Cream Social on Thursday, with a BBQ and Live Music on Saturday. Call Mary at 479-9843 or go to www.greenmountaindogclub.org for more information. The Green Mountain Dog Club is a non-profit organization serving the Central Vermont area. In addition to hosting the annual Dog Show, GMDC holds many activities to promote responsible dog ownership. Some other events that are sponsored by the Club are: Sanctioned AKC Matches; Obedience and Handling Classes; and educational programs. Many of our members and their canine partners show, as well as do agility, rally, and hunt. We have a few Therapy dogs as well. Membership meetings are held the 4th Thursday of every month and guests are always welcome. For more information on the GMDC, the show in July, or other events, please visit www.greenmountaindogclub.org Roberta Garrand of Waterbury is the president of GMDC. Roberta breeds and shows Boxers, Boston Terriers and Vizslas. Dave Jones of Waitsfield is the chairman for our show on July 11th & 12th. Dave breeds and shows Australian Shepherds and Golden Retrievers as well as teaches Obedience Classes for GMDC. The Club has approximately 25 members located throughout the Central Vermont area. Summer 2015
For mor information on the Woodstock Dog Club go to http://woodstockdogclub.org/ Four Days of Dog Shows July 9th – 12th –Tunbridge Fairgrounds, VT – 8:00 am – 6 pm!
An Unconventional Kind of Puppy Love Warren Harding is the only President to own an English Bulldog such as Penny.
s a lover of all creatures finned or fuzzy, I’m the one who: stops the car to help a turtle find her way across the road; called 911 after finding an injured bird; after luring a runaway dog into my yard and finding its dad, reprimanded him on being a responsible animal owner (quite a feat for an introvert). The natural sequence of events would lead me down the path to a dog rescue in my hometown, to work with my all-time favorite canine breed: the English bulldog. I answered an ad to care for rescue dogs, little did I realize what adventure lay ahead. I’ve always been a bit left of center when it comes to the mainstream. Don’t get me wrong, I love Labradors, poodles, and beagles as much as any other middleaged, empty nester. But, the bulldog - the wrinkles, droopy eyes, respiratory problems, steadfast determination and open checkbook ownership - that’s the dog for me. I’ve studied them, stalked them, and dreamed that one day I would have my own. Mike, my fiancé, and I do not share a mutual opinion on animal - human compatibility. We compromised with two sister guinea pigs and two Russian tortoises. This decision sat well, my need to connect with animal energy was fulfilled, until… September 2014, I got a call from the founder of the rescue. She’d just arrived home with two filthy, scared, smelly females. Did I want to meet them? I was in her driveway in less than 10 minutes. I have been unfaithful to Mike ever since, openly having an affair with these slowmoving, comical, snoring loves. The Vermont English Bulldog Rescue is based in Williston, Vermont. Founder, Dawna Pederzani, opens her home to neglected and surrendered English bulldogs. She fosters them with nutrition, supplements, care, socialization, and most importantly, patience and love. I’ve seen dogs madly scratching, riddled with bacterial infections, transformed within weeks into comfortable, loyal pals. Puppy mill breeders with their systems and minds full of junk, detox to show their true selves with shiny coats, curious natures and wiggly butts. Dogs with so-called aggression issues turned into lap dogs. Eye infections, malnutrition, injury and broken spirits are healed one act, one day, at a time. Call it a need to nurture or fill a void, Continued Next Page
56 4 Legs & a Tail
(poor Mike), I officially adopted one of those smelly girls, a former puppy mill breeder. Penney and I share an unconventional partnership. I’m unable to bring her to work, don’t feel right about crating her, and won’t set her up to fail by having free reign of our house. How would I keep my fiancé happy while meeting Penney’s needs? An offer we couldn’t refuse! During the week, while I’m at the white collar salt mine, Penney stays at Dawna’s house, enjoying the company of her kind and human companionship. After work, I get to see my furry little one. We talk about our day, go outside for playtime, eat dinner and have a cuddle-fest. Tucked into her soft, comfy bed with chewy bone in reach, I say my goodnights and slip out the door. She spends the night under Dawna’s care, and we repeat this throughout the workweek. Weekends are a special treat for both of us. Like a divorced parent allowed child visitation on the weekends and holidays, I pick her up on Friday night and deliver her by bedtime Sunday. Quirky, but Penney’s not complaining. We have the best of both worlds. I open my heart (and checkbook) to keep her safe and happy. She’s repays me, shedding on my work clothes and my once spotless car interior. She finds the softest spot on the blanket we are sharing, and learns that life beyond the puppy mill cage can be pretty great. I’ve learned that all rescues are different. Rules, fees, commitments, and requirements vary. Adopting a dog from VEBR is a serious deal: references are checked, home visits planned (really!) and heart connections must be made. Pre-Penney, I had planned, one day, to bring an adorable English bulldog puppy into my home. Adopting an older dog never entered my mind, until I met Penney. Her snoring, sporadic energetic trots and go-with-the-flow attitude makes me think this chapter of my life with Miss Penney, was written long ago. With local shelters over capacity and the Internet full of dogs needing homes, rethink the puppy idea. Your new best friend could be closer than you think! Find your special creature companion, whether it’s soft, scaly or fluffy, to share this journey we call life. Karen Sturtevant is a freelance writer, works at the nutritional supplement company, FoodScience Corporation, is editor-in-chief and contributing writer of Vermont Bride magazine, and the author of two children’s books, The Adventures of Gert & Stu and Zippy too and The Rainy Day Adventures of Gert & Stu and Zippy too. She volunteers with Green Mountain Animal Defenders and Vermont English Bulldog Rescue. She shares her home with two guinea pigs, two Russian tortoises, fiancé, Mike and her beautiful English bulldog Penney. www.VermontEnglishBulldogRescue.com Summer 2015
My Rescue Dog-Abused or Something Else? Mike Robertson-Plymouth, NH
am was a little shy when you visited him at the shelter, but you chalked that up to all the noise and strange people he had to endure every day. “He’ll warm right up once he gets home,” the shelter staff assured you. A week later, Sam still runs and hides from the family. Greeting visitors? Forget it; Sam disappears or worse…pees. Sam must have been abused, right? What else would explain this fear of humans? Contrary to what P.E.T.A. and the H.S.U.S. would have you believe, with their dramatic media campaigns and TV Commercials; animal abuse isn’t nearly as prevalent as portrayed. It happens, but statistically the documented cases of abuse are small. Lack of proper social exposure during the influential periods of puppy hood is very common, however. Lack of exposure to a variety of people, sights, sounds and textures between 8-16 weeks of age can have lifelong effects in the puppy,
58 4 Legs & a Tail
and on a the maturing dog. This deficit is commonly observed in the partial list of behaviors below: Fear of household sounds (TV, doorbell, furnace, etc.) but a noticeable comfort with outdoor sounds. The opposite might be observed; depending on what environment the puppy grew up in. Fear of people, but comfort with dogs. Fear of all but one sex/race of person. Initial fear of people or objects that is followed by cautious curiosity. A qualified behavior consultant will quickly be able to identify whether the behaviors you are observing in your dog are based in social deficits, abuse or both. A future article will offer steps to help ease your timid dog into his new world. Mike Robertson is a certified animal trainer and certified behavior consultant located in Plymouth NH. He is the owner of White Mountain College for Pets, with two locations: 661 Mayhew Turnpike & 594 Tenney Mtn Hwy in Plymouth NH. View upcoming class schedules or contact him at: www.collegeforpets.com or by phone 603-369-4PET.
Be Careful What You Wish For! Scott Borthwick - Canaan, NH
young couple inherited a large estate in Canaan a number of years ago. Most of the land was in a conservation easement. This excited them because they assumed they would see lots of wildlife. After a few months of seeing nothing but squirrels and chickadees they decided to call a forester. He suggested doing a select cutting of timber. This would create skid trails for animals to travel on, leave brush for cover and in the spring new shoots would certainly bring in wildlife. This is what they did, and this is what happened; The first wildlife sighting happened the next spring as predicted, only it was not what was hoped for. One morning they looked out the kitchen window to see a mother coyote and her three pups devouring their recently deceased beloved house pet. That was my first call. Next came raccoons and foxes in the hen house, then a fisher cat got some of their geese. It worked out well for me, but not so much for them. They got what they wished for. They saw wildlife. Everybody wants to see Bambi and Thumper but not the Big Bad Wolf, or coyote in this case. Most people want to know what happens to the animals after I catch them. In New Hampshire relocation is not recommended, however you can relocate if you have written permission from the landowner you are releasing the animal onto. This is difficult to obtain, so in most cases the animal is destroyed. One morning I stopped by a customer’s house who had a squirrel problem. I had been there before for other issues. Every time I stop by she asks, “What kind of critter do you have today?” Today I had 2 woodchucks in live traps. She wanted to see them and of course she fell in love with them. Then she asked, “What do you do with them?” I explained to her the law and she wanted to save them. After trying to talk her out it, she insisted and gave me written permission to release them onto her property, so I did. She was so happy and could not wait to tell her vegan daughter how she had saved the woodchucks. After picking up her daughter at school and telling her the wonderful news, they broke out into a chorus of “Born Free,” only to turn up the driveway and discover their Golden Retrievers playing tug of war with the remains of the recently freed woodchucks. The moral of these stories is: Be careSummer 2015
ful what you wish for when dealing with wildlife. Man assumes wildlife will do certain things and behave certain ways. Unfortunately no one has told the wildlife. 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.
The dog truck.
Marley’s Doggie Bags Tina Kebalka-Lebanon, NH
C elebrations come in all shapes and sizes: from birthdays to graduations, weddings, baby’s births, the Fourth of July, and so many
other occasions giving people a reason to celebrate! Everyone loves to find a reason to be happy and be celebrated for what they are doing. When Tina Kebalka greeted her special rescue dog, Marley, off the P.E.T.S. LLC transport truck on August 30, 2014, she turned to her husband and said, “This needs to be a celebration! People need to be rewarded for adopting dogs and helping spread the word to others about adoption!” Two weeks later, armed with 12 gift bags filled with a few simple items for the rescue dogs, Tina returned to the location where the P.E.T.S. LLC truck arrives every Saturday, and handed out the bags to the adopters and their new furry friends. That day was the beginning of “Marley’s Doggie Bags.” From that day forward, Tina has shown up every Saturday to help everyone celebrate their dog’s adoption, or what is better called their “Gotcha Day.” In the beginning, Tina was committed to this project, ready to stuff the bags and hand them out all by herself ever Saturday. It wasn’t long before others heard about this celebration and wanted to get in on the action. Volunteers stepped forward to make items for the bags, as well as collect donations. Robyn Farwell was one of those volunteers! Robyn comes to the transport location armed with her 35mm camera, capturing the adopter’s reactions as they meet their dogs off the truck. She then posts the pictures online so everyone can share in the excitement! Robyn and Tina have become the heart of Marley’s Doggie Bags, and are working hard to spread this project to other volunteers in New England interested in starting a “Marley’s Doggie Bags” at other adoption locations. The bags are filled with many donated items including: a bottle of water, doggie treats, a handmade fleece tug toy; and even a small bag of lifesavers labeled “Thank you for saving a life, you sure are a lifesaver!” These bags are more than gifts to the people who receive them, they are an acknowledgement to the families that they have done something great! The bags are also meant to make the adoption process a wonderful event. One that they will talk about with their friends, so when they think about getting a new dog, they will think of adoption first! Tina Kebalka has received donations from Tennessee, Arkansas, New York City, as well as Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. There is now a core group of fifteen volunteers who get together and stuff the bags, 200 at a time, to be ready for a few months of celebrations! Since the inception of “Marley’s Doggie Bags” in September of 2014, Tina and Robyn have handed out over 300 bags to rescue dogs arriving in Vermont. At the beginning of May, the dynamic duo will be taking a road trip to hand out bags to a few stops in Connecticut with the hope of getting many other “Marley’s Doggie Bags” groups started in other states! “Marley’s Doggie Bags” is not a dog rescue, but they support all rescues and their adoptions. The mission of this group is to support adoption in every form that it takes. Donations of any shape and size are welcome! They are always welcoming new volunteers and would love to have more people involved. For more information, and to help with this project please contact Tina Kebalka at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tina Kebalka lives in Lebanon with her husband Peter, three children and four awesome dogs! Tina works as a RN at the Veteran’s Hospital in White River Junction taking care of our American Heroes. In her free time she enjoys training her dogs for therapy work and a variety of dog sports. Her one goal in life is to create happiness wherever she goes and leave the world a better place because of what she has contributed to others.
60 4 Legs & a Tail
Dog Days of Summer Central NH & VT
One Lost Dog During the American Revolution Four Legged Fact or Fiction Rare Breeds of the Twin States Meet the Cleveland Bay Horse Tics & Lyme Disease The Buzz About Catnip
A magazine for pet and animal lovers