Mud Season 2018 Central NH & VT
Taxing Questions About Your Pets Whoâ€™s Living in Your Chimney?
A Holistic Approach to Vaccination Season What Your Dog Can Teach You The Saddle May Be Your Best Friend
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
3. Celebrate National Pet Week M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM Tips for some extra fun with your furry friends 6. Support the Mascoma Valley Dog Park While the park dries out during mud season, now is a great time to make a donation to this treasure
7. The Unemployed Dog Only the government can make a mistake like this! 8. Time For Spring Greening Cara Leone The Leave No Trace Seven Principles are especially relevant this
time of year
10. Grain-Free Coconut Flour Soft Chews A great Dog Treat recipe from the folks at King Arthur Flour 11. Spring Backyard Do’s and Don’ts To Help Birds Catherine Greenleaf 13. Chimney Swifts not Sweeps Scott Borthwick Are these rare birds "visiting" your smokestack? 14. Humans! Will Our Bears Repeat History, with a Tragic Outcome? Andrew Timmins Reflections on the Mink Brook Bears in Hanover, New Hampshire Pg. 14
17. Can Fluffy and Fido Save You Money on Your Tax Bill? Sara Blackmore, CPA Some points to consider this tax season
18. Alternatively Speaking: A Holistic Take on Vaccination Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA 23. It’s in the Genes: Using DNA Tests to Help Care for Your Rescue Dog Holly McClelland 26. Spring Means the Arrival of the Baby Chicks! Ira Richards Getting started is easier than you think and the benefits are almost endless
28. Spring: From A Beekeepers Perspective Troy Hall Expert tips to kick off the season 29. The Buzz About Bees How much do you know about bees? 30. Recreation or Therapy? Sue Miller Why time spent on horseback may be just what the doctor ordered Spring 2018
Pg. 30 www.4LegsAndATail.com 1
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
33. Horses for Health Chelle Grald It
turns out that the outside of a horse really is good for the inside of man
37. 25 Reasons Why Dogs are Better Than Women* 38. Benefits of Grooming We all know we should do it, but what does grooming really do for your pet besides make them look pretty?
40. Acupuncture in Animals Catherine MacLean 42. “How Much (err, Old) is That Doggy in the Window?” Sandra Waugh, VMD, MS A look at the sure fire way to determine your dog's real age 44. Paradise Recovered John Peaveler In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Upper Valley resident
John Peaveler recounts the devastation to Puerto Rico.
48. Sleep, Hamburger, and Rescue Karen Sturtevant Bruiser, an English bulldog, finds happiness in Vermont 50. " I Want a Dog!" But when is the best time to add a dog to your life. Paula Bergeron 52. Who wrote Mary Had a Little Lamb? Sandy Sonnichsen
For more than a century, controversy has surrounded the origins of this children's classic
56. Cats and Dogs Getting Along Together
Mutt adopts kittens and other animal stories
58. Pet Friendly Flooring Options Susan Cole 59. All I Really Need to Know I Learned From My Dog
4 Legs & a Tail Volume L.118 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 Graphic Design: Kristin Wolff, Lacey Dardis Kate Haas Sales: Karyn Swett Scott Palzer
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.
NATIONAL PET WEEK! M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM Vermont Veterinary Medical Association
A lways the first full week in May, National Pet Week is dedicated to
celebrating the over 200 million pets that enrich our lives. This is especially true in Vermont, which tops the nation in pet ownership. Created in 1981 by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Auxiliary AVMA, National Pet Week is a time to honor the many roles pets have in our lives and to promote responsible pet ownership. Whether your pet is a horse, bird, cat, dog, rodent, or any other of the amazing creatures in our world, our pets are there for us and donâ€™t ask much in return. During National Pet Week, we encourage pet owners to celebrate the bond and provide their pets with all that they need for a healthy and enriched life every week of the year. Keeping your pet happy and healthy involves providing three important things: proper housing and nutrition, appropriate exercise and environmental enrichment, and providing medical care to keep them healthy and disease free. Many of our pets have been domesticated from their wild roots, and so it is important to provide them with ways to keep their minds and bodies active. Make the time to play with your cat or walk your dog several times a Continued Next Page
day. Buy or make them a new toy and use interactive play to help them keep their minds busy. Owners of birds and exotic pets can research ways to modify their pets’ living space to provide variety and entertainment. This doesn’t have to be buying expensive toys- appropriate homemade toys are just as good. Nutrition and medical care are an important part of responsible pet ownership. One aspect that many pet owners should consider before adopting a pet of any type is the ability to afford veterinary care to prevent parasites and disease and treat any that may occur in the pet. Annual physical exams and preventative medications
are not without cost, but are critical to pets’ well-being. Before you get a new pet or if you have one and aren’t sure what its needs are, talk to your veterinarian. They can provide you with accurate information to help you keep your pet healthy and happy. So whether your pet is a horse or a gerbil or any size animal in between, take time during National Pet week to celebrate the bond! Take your dog for a walk, brush out your horse and go for a ride, play with the cat, or make some additions to your caged pets’ environment to challenge their minds! They give us so much love and comfort: let’s make sure we provide what they need this week and every day of the year. For more information, go to www.petweek.org. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional organization of 340 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine.
4 4 Legs & a Tail
Letter to the Editor: Hi 4 Legs & a Tail! I have been volunteering with Green Mountain
Animal Defenders for 6-7 years and have enjoyed your magazine
Support MVDPS N
ow that we’re well into 2018, the Mascoma Valley Dog Park is kicking off their annual membership drive! The park is reliant on membership dues and donations to stay open, so if you and your dogs love the park, please sign up for (or renew!) your membership today! Dues are just $25 per year, and all funds go directly to supporting the park. Our goal for 2018 is 100 members - surely there are at least that many people (and dogs) that love and use the park. www.mascomavalleydogpark.com and www.facebook.com/MVDPS
for quite a while. Thank
you for printing the articles about GMAD!!
Recently, I volunteered at the Fletcher Free Library. They held the
first stuf fed animal
sleepover and I helped
take some of the photos. I didn’ t select what the stuffed animals wanted to copy, but was thrilled that they chose 4 Legs & a Tail!
Thought you’ d enjoy seeing it!
GMAD Advisory Board
6 4 Legs & a Tail
The Unemployed Dog A
mix-up at the Michigan unemployment office led to jobless benefits for one German Shepherd. Attorney Michael Haddock tells WZZM TV he received a notice from the Michigan Unemployment Insurance agency that said ‘Michael Ryder” will be receiving 360-dollars a week. The problem is there is no one named “Michael Ryder” at Haddock’s address. “Ryder” is the name of Haddock’s German Shepherd and Michael is his first name. Haddock assumed the notice was for his dog. Haddock said he knew his dog was clever, but “he surprised me this time.” The state has since discovered the mix-up and Ryder won’t have a chance to cash those checks.
Time for Spring Greening Cara Leone
f you read our “Tips for a Pawsome Adventure” in the last 4Legs and a Tail you might remember Dakota, the basset hound, and Kona, the husky. Do you know what Dakota hates more than snow? Rain. Not surprisingly, Kona doesn’t really enjoy the rain either. Spring is the “great equalizer” of seasons: I don’t know many dogs that love being outside in a downpour but they all seem to love the mud puddles that follow! As the days get longer and the temperatures start to warm up, it’s - Dispose of waste properly: it’s tempt- Be aware that many trails may be natural for all of us to shake off the ing to leave droppings when you think impassable due to fallen branches or hibernation blues. Instead of focusthey will wash out quickly, but please melting snow. Plan ahead, and take ing on your spring cleaning when the clean up after your animal whenever your time. snow starts to turn slushy, think about possible. - Visit www.llbean.com/westlebanon spring greening! Here are a few of the Respect Wildlife: spring can be a sento join our annual Earth Day spring Leave No Trace Seven Principles that sitive time as hibernation ends and clean-up at Kilowatt Park in Wilder, VT. are especially relevant this time of some animals begin to mate or nest. - While you might not be able to year. You can find the complete list at bring your pup along, consider joinConsider joining a spring clean-up or www.lnt.org: ing an established trail maintenance - Travel and camp on durable surfaces; lead your own: group such as the Appalachian Trail Bring a trash bag with you to pick up this is especially important during Conservancy. all the “treasure” that becomes visible mud season as erosion and run off Gear up your Pup: with snowmelt. are already an issue. - Get some doggy rainwear so you can continue a walking commute, even when it’s drizzly - As we become more active, so do the ticks. “No Fly Zone” products are treated with permethrin so you don’t have to go through so many cans of spray. There are dog vests available as well as options for human companions, such as socks! - Remember to toss a blanket in the back seat before driving to any adventures so you don’t need to spend time shampooing the mud out of your upholstery. Maybe you’re gearing up for longer excursions with your pet this summer or you just plan to hit the trails that weren’t available over the winter. Either way, this is a great time to reevaluate your impact on the great outdoors and Be an Outsider this spring! Leave No Trace Seven Principles© 1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.
8 4 Legs & a Tail
Cara Leone is the L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery School Program Coordinator at the Powerhouse Mall in West Lebanon, NH. For event schedule visit llbean.com/ westlebanon. She spends her free time finding outdoor activities that can be enjoyed by both a 7 year old husky and a 3 year old toddler. Spring 2018
Grain-Free Coconut Flour Soft Chews A great Dog Treat recipe from the folks at King Arthur Flour INGREDIENTS • 1/2 cup sweet potato, mashed (approx. 1 small or 1/2 large) • pinch unrefined salt • 3 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted • 1 teaspoon raw honey (optional) • 6 tablespoons King Arthur coconut flour, sifted • 2 eggs
Expect lots ing of cute begg faces from your dog!
INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Measure out a half cup of mashed sweet potato. If you are using fresh, this is usually about 1 small or 1/2 large potato. Canned is less nutrient dense, but also an option if you are in a hurry. 2. In a medium-sized bowl or food processor combine mashed sweet potato, eggs, apple sauce, melted oil and honey. Sift King Arthur coconut flour and add to batter slowly, stirring until mostly smooth. 3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread mixture onto parchment paper in a layer approximately 1/4 inch thick and sprinkle the top with sea salt. 4. Place in oven at 350°F and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove pan and score treats into small “bite-sized” squares. Place back in oven and bake for another 15 minutes or until outer edges begin to brown. Allow to cool on the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a container.
10 4 Legs & a Tail
5. Expect lots of cute begging faces from your dog. Try not to forget that treats are all about moderation however, no matter how healthy they may be. Give your dog one or two, and keep a jar in the refrigerator for longterm storage. Spring 2018
Spring Backyard Do’s and Don’ts To Help Birds Catherine Greenleaf - Lyme, NH
e all know the symptoms of that strange malady called “Spring Fever.” We see a restless look in the eyes of our spouses as they anxiously pace back and forth inside the house. They stare longingly out the window. They sigh dramatically, waiting for the snow to melt. With the first burst of warm weather, they explode out the door and attack the trees with chainsaws, clip every shrub with green buds, spray anything that moves with pesticides, cover every square foot of ground with painted mulch and fill the air with the ear-splitting sound of leaf blowers. Unfortunately, most of the activities attributed to Spring Fever are harmful to wild birds. Here are a few tips so you don’t have to lock your spouse in a closet until springtime is over.
days have a reportedly six-fold higher risk of developing non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Exposed children have a four times higher likelihood of developing soft-tissue cancers, and researchers are now seeing a link to severe cases of ADHD. In addition, dogs exposed to 2, 4-D were twice as likely to develop Lymphoma, according to research. QUIET, PLEASE Remember how the town librarian used to shush everyone when things got rowdy in the children’s section? Well, birds like it quiet, too. There is new evidence showing birds exposed to high decibel noise from Continued Next Page
LAWNS Get rid of your lawn. Just because some English lord in the 1500s thought it looked nice to have a long sweeping rectangle of manicured turf doesn’t mean we all need to continue to adhere to outdated and useless practices. Unless your neighborhood or condo association has bylaws restricting it, replace your lawn with native trees, shrubs and flowers or plant yourself a big organic vegetable garden. Either choice will benefit birds with lots of juicy insects to eat. And you will save a fortune on grass seed, weed killer, and gasoline for the mower. You will also free up an extra few hours every weekend to sit in a lawn chair and drink beer because you won’t be mowing or driving to Home Depot to buy more products for the lawn. PESTICIDES Poisons kill. Everything. Insecticides, fungicides and herbicides kill not only millions of nesting birds in people’s yards every year, but also sicken and kill children, dogs, and cats. There’s a reason why conventional agricultural areas have astronomical cancer rates. Research by the National Cancer Institute has found that farmers exposed to 2, 4-D (the most popular weed killer in the U.S.) for only 20 Spring 2018
machinery, especially from leaf blowers and commercial mowers, experience permanent deafness and disorientation. These affected birds often lose their way back to the nest or are so frightened by noise they abandon their nest, leaving hatchlings to starve to death. Deafness also causes them to lose their mate because they can’t hear their partner’s birdsong. In addition, they can’t hear predators approaching and they also miss vital migration cues.
PLASTIC BAGS OF TOPSOIL Plastic is forever. Forget the plastic bags and build your own soil. It couldn’t be easier. Get a composter and start recycling your food scraps. In no time you will have dark, crumbly organic soil to put in your garden. Plastic bags NON-NATIVE PLANTINGS don’t break down or biodegrade, and Did you ever notice that nurseries and garden centers always put the most colorful the toxins in the plastic seep into the annuals closest to the entrance and the cash registers? These annuals, like impatiens, soil and poison the water table. snapdragons, and coleus, are not native and have absolutely no value to wildlife. They have been so over-hybridized for bright color and large size that they offer no BRIGHT, SHINY THINGS nectar to bumblebees, butterflies, moths and hummingbirds and don’t attract the It seems to be a rite of spring to drive native insects that birds rely on to survive. They are also sometimes treated with to the garden center and buy musical deadly neonicotinoids. And they are water pigs. The native plants are all hidden in wind chimes, colorful mylar spinners, a small section at the back of the nursery. Seek them out and buy them. and giant plastic pinwheels for the backyard garden. Americans buy them by the millions every year. Buy these if you want to scare the crap out of birds. Birds are continually searching in their peripheral vision for predators. They are completely unnerved by the constant motion of pinwheels and spinners, and the sound of wind chimes will drive them away from your yard because they are unable to hear the approach of predators. Catherine Greenleaf is the director of St. Francis Wild Bird Center in Lyme, N.H. If you find an injured bird, please call (603) 795-4850.
12 4 Legs & a Tail
Chimney Swifts not Sweeps Scott Borthwick - Canaan, NH
ne of the more enjoyable parts of this job I have is not knowing what the next phone call will bring. A number of years ago a man called saying he thought he had bats in his chimney. He supposed it was bats due to the sounds of wings fluttering that he was hearing. After inspecting the fireplace and chimney I soon discovered it was not bats, but Chimney Swifts. Chimney Swifts are migratory birds that like to spend their summers in the northeastern parts of North America. After wintering in South America, primarily Peru, they head north for breeding and raising their young. Usually in someoneâ€™s chimney. Because they are migratory birds they are federally protected. We cannot disturb or remove them. After they have had their young and the young have left the nest, in most cases late summer, we can cap the chimney. Thus preventing them from nesting there next summer. Hopefully for us, they just move to the neighborâ€™s chimney. In most cases I have found them in old chimneys leading to a fireplace that is not used very much. When people open or close the damper they can hear them fluttering their wings. At one very large vacation home the cleaning lady was cleaning by one of the eight fireplaces when she heard this loud noise of many wings beating. Assuming it was bats she ran out the house screaming. Swearing not to return until they were removed. When I arrived for my inspection the caretaker took me to the fireplace. I could hear them right away and knew it was Chimney Swifts. The caretaker had never heard of these birds so I opened and closed the damper. Suddenly we could hear a loud whooshing noise and we ran outside. Over 30 Swifts came out of that one chimney. I explained to them about what they were and why we had to wait. They agreed and the cleaning lady returned to the house feeling much better. Spring 2018
These birds are truly beneficial to our environment. Like bats they feed on flying insects and like bats they need to be protected. So this summer if you hear noises coming from your chimney. Call a wildlife professional first. Most Chimney Sweeps are aware of these birds and will tell you they have to wait as well. But better safe than sorry. Scott Borthwick owns Estate Wildlife Control. He lives in Canaan, NH with his wife Donna, two dogs, a couple of horses and one tough old chicken named Henrietta.
Humans! Will Our Bears Repeat History, with a Tragic Outcome? Reflections on the Mink Brook Bears in Hanover, New Hampshire Andrew Timmins, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department- Bear Project Leader
ost residents of the Hanover and Lebanon area likely recall the controversy that surrounded the bear family (known locally as the Mink Brook Bears) during spring 2017. This particular sow and three yearlings were a routine presence on the landscape where they frequented backyards, businesses and campus for easily accessible food rewards, mostly in the form of bird seed and garbage. These bears had become highly habituated animals due to the unwillingness by much of the public to properly secure food attractants. In a constant search for human-related food, the yearlings eventually entered a home as a result of their food searching behavior. In the months prior to the home entry, biologists from the NH Fish and Game Department and USDA Wildlife
Services had met with town officials and residents in an effort to provide education and technical assistance as it relates to bear-human conflict management. The message was clear, residents had to remove available food attractants if there was any hope for these bears to transition from residential living to life
in the wild. Collectively, town officials, biologists and some dedicated residents worked hard and did make substantial headway. During April and May, bird feeders and overflowing garbage cans became less abundant on the landscape. A handful of local folks dedicated to the cause served as â€œfirst respondersâ€? by chasing the bear family out of yards and addressing specific locations where food attractants remained. Eventually all efforts failed when the yearlings entered a home in May. Once these bears entered a home, it became mandatory for the NH Fish and Game Department to target these bears for removal from the area. Due to their level of habituation and dependence on anthropogenic foods (foods caused or produced by humans), they could no longer be allowed to live among the people, streets and houses of Hanover and Lebanon. If not addressed, the sow would continue to biennially produce habituated cubs perpetuating local bear-human conflicts. While the initial decision was to lethally remove the sow and yearlings, an intense social debate and subsequent political action resulted in the trapping and relocation of the three yearlings to northern New Hampshire. This effort occurred at the exact time that the bear family was breaking up (sows/cub groups remain as a unit for 18 months). The three yearlings were captured quickly over Memorial Day weekend; however the sow had vacated the area. Once the yearlings were kicked out, the sowâ€™s focus turned to mating and she began traveling outside of her normal home range with prospective boars. Due to this behavior change, she moved out of the residential sections of Hanover and Lebanon and was not seen again in the area until late summer. After her return, sightings remained very infrequent through late summer and fall. Additionally, fall foods were highly abundant preempting residential feeding and conflict activity. To many, the Hanover bear saga that unfolded during spring 2017 may be a distant memory. The front page newsContinued Next Page
14 4 Legs & a Tail
paper stories ended, political success was achieved and the streets of Hanover were void of bears. Almost a Walt Disney ending. Some residents likely resumed their bird feeding activities or gave little thought to how they stored garbage. If you fall into this category, you may be surprised this coming spring. Recall that the sow was seeking males during the breeding season and she appeared to return to Hanover last fall. I suspect she is nestled in a familiar den on the banks of Mink Brook about to give birth to a new set of cubs (cubs are born in the den during late January/early February). Furthermore, I suspect she plans to raise these cubs in the same residential area of Hanover and Lebanon like she has successfully done in the past. As the NH Fish and Game Departmentâ€™s Bear Biologist, I was at the front of this issue and forced to make difficult deci-
sions. Often I was a target by those opposed to the initial decision to destroy these animals. In the end, Iâ€™m glad it happened and that it garnered the attention that it did. The habituation of bears or any wildlife is a sad story. Agency biologists have spent years trying to get the greater public to understand and recognize the plight of New Hampshire bears and the Hanover bear incident did just that, front and center. Every year throughout the state, bears and other wildlife are adversely impacted by our behavior, activities and decisions. As a society, we put our needs before that of our wildlife resources. We pump tremendous volumes of human-related foods (i.e., bird seed, garbage, pet foods and unsecured chickens/poultry) into the environment and then complain that wild animals are in our yards. Overall, the publicâ€™s tolerance of and appreciation for wildlife is very low. I do believe some people in the area have learned how to be better stewards of our wildlife. Town officials have given further consideration to implementing wildlife-related ordinances that would require more appropriate storage of garbage (i.e., in a bear-resistant manner) and prohibit the feeding of wildlife. Undoubtedly, there are residents that know to pull in the birdfeeders by April 1 and to use bear-resistant garbage con-
tainers and dumpsters. These people will have to help carry the torch next spring and remind the greater public that what occurred with bears in the past can easily happen again unless folks are vigilant. Whether or not the Mink Brook sow returns in spring 2018 with a new set of cubs is yet to be determined. Perhaps a different sow will establish a home range in this area. One thing is for sure, if abundant anthropogenic food attractants remain available, history will repeat itself. Bears know how to identify and exploit areas with abundant, high quality food. The outcome is really up to us.
16 4 Legs & a Tail
Can Fluffy and Fido Fetch You Savings on Your Tax Bill? Sara Blackmore, CPA
’m a self-proclaimed “crazy cat lady” and do my fair share of referring to my kitties as my babies. While there’s no doubt that most of our four-legged, furry friends are dependent on us for their basic needs, when it comes to the Internal Revenue Service, claiming your pet as a dependent doesn’t fly. Exemptions for dependents aren’t the only way to reduce your taxable income, though, and there are a few ways your pets may be able to provide some tax savings. Service Animals – If you or one of your dependents require a service animal, such as a seeing-eye dog or therapy animal, the expenses of buying, training, and maintaining that animal are qualified medical expenses eligible for a deduction. However, you’ll have to clear certain thresholds (medical expenses in excess of 10% of adjusted gross income from those under age 65) to claim the deduction. Moving Expenses – While we consider our pets family, the IRS takes the view that they are personal property. As harsh as that may sound, the upside is that the costs of moving your furry friends when relocating your human family may be tax deductible. If your moving costs qualify for the moving expense deduction, you can include the costs of relocating your pets, too. Pet Rescue Programs – Many animal shelters are nonprofit organizations. If you volunteer with such an organization to provide a pet foster home, some of your expenses for doing so, such as pet food, vet bills, and supplies, may qualify as charitable contributions. In a 2011 case, the
U.S. Tax Court ruled in favor of a taxpayer and allowed her deduction of $12,068 in expenses she incurred while caring for feral cats at her home. You can also claim a write-off for vehicle mileage driven while providing services to a charitable organization at the rate of $0.19 per mile. Professional Pets – Some activities involving pets and animals are actual businesses. If you’re showing or breeding dogs, racing horses, raising agricultural animals, or engaging in other similar activities with a profit motive, your expenses incurred in doing so are likely deductible. Even if you engage in these types of activities as a hobby, your expenses may still be eligible for a deduction, although they are treated as an itemized deduction and are subject to certain limits. If you think your pet-related expenses might be eligible for a tax deduction, I encourage you to consult with your favorite tax professional before writing them off, as most deductions require specific documentation and are subject to various thresholds and limits. Sara (Hoehn) Blackmore is originally from Hartford, VT. She is a graduate of the University of Maine with a Masters in Accounting from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is a Senior Accountant with ATKG, LLP and resides in San Antonio.
Alternatively Speaking: A Holistic Take on Vaccination Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA
pringtime evokes different things for different people, but for those in the veterinary profession it is the season when a lot of pets come in for their vaccines. This is especially true for the dogs due for licenses. With that deadline looming, often vaccine discussion is rushed as we hurry to check off that ‘to-do’ from our springtime lists. But vaccination triggers powerful immune activity to create protection, and it does merit some discussion to make sure that protection comes with as little risk as possible. So spring seems a good time to revisit vaccination for our pets, how they work, and how to make educated decisions balancing risk and benefit when building your individual preventative health care plan with your veterinarian. First, here is a little background on the mechanics of how vaccines work. Very simply, vaccines have two parts. One is a harmless version of something infectious that we want the body to make defenses against, such as Rabies or Distemper. This is called the “antigen”. The second part of the vaccine is an irritant, called the “adjuvant”. In natural exposures, the disease itself irritates tissues as it attempts to invade and Continued Next Page
18 4 Legs & a Tail
infect the body. But because the vaccine’s version of the disease is harmless, it causes no damage and would go ignored by the immune system. The adjuvant’s job is to create enough irritation to trick the immune system into believing this antigen is harming the body, so it will make protective antibodies and store that memory for future use. We can verify the success of our vaccine by measuring the antibody level in the blood, called a titer. Our understanding of the immune system and the ability to use vaccines to direct our immune systems to protect us in advance is really amazing science. We know that in natural exposure to disease, protection starts when a germ enters the body as it is breathed in, enters the mouth, or contacts other body openings like the eyes or a cut in the skin. The first line of defense is not specific and involves protective cells that recognize strange proteins in the body and tries to remove them. This happens with or without prior vaccination. However, if these strange proteins are recognized because of prior infection or vaccination, another branch of the immune system kicks in to make the antibodies it has on file. The antibodies label each germ, allowing a much larger group of protective cells to find and remove them from the body. The end result is a much faster and more successful defense. So when we use a vaccine, we are triggering the many types of cells, communication signals, and pathways involved when we harness the immune system to create protection. But the vaccine only mimics natural disease exposure, and this abnormal manipulation of our biology is not without risk. Vaccines are injected, so they enter the body abruptly, bypassing entry point defenses and skipping a few steps in the typical immune response pathway. With “combination vaccines”, this invasion includes several disease antigens along with foreign adjuvants, so it is not a surprise that in some individuals this unnatural exposure triggers some unnatural responses. Luckily vaccine reactions are rare, and usually mild, but they can be serious. We know that vaccines should be avoided in animals with certain cancers or immune system diseases, and that certain cats can develop cancer with exposure to any injected irritant including vaccines. Holistic medicine also recognizes that in some patients, vaccines contribute to chronic problems that are aggravated by adjuvant exposure or atypical immune system stimulation. This is called vaccinosis. It is hard to link these problems directly to any vaccine itself, but addressing vaccine Spring 2018
triggered irritation and minimizing vaccination in the future does seem to play a role in improving these patient’s more vague and stubborn conditions. The good news is that many antiviral vaccines last a very long time, and we may have a lot more flexibility to give them less often than in the past. Originally the first vaccines for pets made in the 1950’s had to prove that they lasted at least a year in order to get approval from the FDA. So vaccine companies did just that, they tested that the protection lasted a year, and since they did not check beyond a Continued Next Page
year, that is all the label could claim. Independent studies in the 1970’s showed that immunity indeed lasted much longer than a year for diseases like Distemper and Parvo, and under mounting pressure a few manufacturers have extended their labels to 3 years in the last decade. But holistic vets have been monitoring blood antibody levels with titers for these diseases since the 70’s, and we see that the vaccines protect far beyond 5 or even 8 years for many patients. If a dog has plenty of protection there is no need to boost it higher with a vaccine, so without any benefit all we are left with is the risk of vaccination. Titers have been around long enough
and have enough science behind them that they are recognized as proof of immunity, say to board in a kennel. In our practice, puppies get their baby shots for Distemper and Parvo, and if healthy they get an adult booster which is the standard recommendation. From then on we check their status with a titer and only discuss immunization if it is needed. For dogs that sadly have problems early in life, we may start checking titers sooner to avoid placing more stress on their systems if they have already achieved a protective immunity. Rabies is a different situation. Vaccination is required by law, and rightfully so due to the fact that humans can contract this lethal disease from their pets. However, we have mounting evidence that like Distemper and Parvo, the vaccine provides immunity that lasts far longer than 3 years. Kansas State University’s veterinary lab has been collecting data on Rabies titers for dogs for years. At the same time another group of veterinary scientists have been conducting the Rabies Challenge Study for almost a decade. This spring we hope to see publication of the long awaited results, which could provide the medical data to change the Rabies label to be a 5 or even 7 year vaccine and promote the use of titers to show immunity for Rabies. This would be the first step in changing the laws and allow legal extension of vaccination. In the meantime, if vaccination presents a high medical risk to ill dogs, you may be able to have a medical waiver that allows licensing until it is safe to vaccinate. For other vaccines like Lyme or Leptospirosis, the immune system is not designed to make long term protection against infections that are not viruses. Therefore yearly boosters are needed to maintain protection, and deciding whether to vaccinate requires careful consideration of the risk versus benefit of immunization for these infections. So with this knowledge, how should a pet owner proceed at that annual check-up when shots are due? Our approach is to first identify any health issues or risks your pet has that may increase their chance that a vaccine would bother their system. Allergies, past reactions to shots, or advancing age are all things that may tip the scales to more risk than benefit. A titer may be a better choice for these patients. Then we discuss what diseases your dog or cat needs protection from. Do they travel? Do they go outdoors? Many diseases we can’t avoid if our pet goes outside, like Lyme disease or Rabies, because Continued Next Page
20 4 Legs & a Tail
exposure comes to them in our yards and on our porches. Similarly, Parvo virus can track into your home on your feet if you walk where an infected dog went to the bathroom. But if your dog has immunity for the most dangerous infections, and we weigh the potential for treating those infections that are not as threatening, you may find that yearly vaccination is not the only choice to make. When we do decide to vaccinate in our hospital, we use vaccines that have a very good track record for safety. For every available vaccine there are several companies that make their own version. Luckily over time those that were not as safe have disappeared from the market, but there are still many options for veterinarians to choose from. The specific adjuvants in the vaccines are generally a corporate secret, but there are vaccines that are verified free of Mercury. Alternatively, newer vaccines are using technology that avoids adjuvants all together or have smaller volumes, especially for cats since a small percentage have that sensitivity to vaccination. In our practice we also limit how many vaccines are given at once, and certainly avoid large combination vaccines. For instance, a â€œdistemperâ€? vaccine for dogs or cats may contain anywhere from one
to more than eight disease antigens in pet. Spending the time will pay off with that single shot, some of which may be a healthier, well protected pet, and that of questionable benefit for your pet. We is certainly worth the effort. often recommend spacing out shots by a month or more as able rather than Dr. Anne Carroll is owner of the getting several all at once. Chelsea Animal Hospital where As you can see, there are plenty of she practices both conventional strategies to effectively protect your medicine and surgery as well pets from disease while minimizing as several alternative modalities risks. So, instead of rushing in for that including traditional Chinese quick vaccine update on your to-do acupuncture and Chinese herbal list this spring, take the time to have a medicine. Her associate Dr. Betty Jo conversation with your veterinarian. Get Black brings classical homeopathy educated about all the options, identify to the practice. For more information on alternative veterinary medicine what your petâ€™s needs are, and employ visit their website at www. thoughtful consideration to make the chelseaanimalhospital.com best medical decision for you and your
22 4 Legs & a Tail
It’s in the Genes: Using DNA Tests to Help Care for Your Rescue Dog Holly McClelland
ccording to the APPA, approximately 80 million dogs are owned in the United States; 34% of those dogs are purchased from breeders and 23% are adopted through an animal shelter/humane society. People who choose breeders tend to want full transparency about their dogs’ breeds and backgrounds. While it is challenging to obtain this level of detail from shelters that rescue hundreds of stray dogs, one solution that offers a partial fix is a dog DNA test. DNA tests reveal information about a dog’s breeds and family tree, which can influence how dog owners care for their pets. In January 2017, my husband and I purchased a DNA test for our three-year-old lab mix, Peony, shortly after we adopted her from All Breed Rescue. The goal was to learn more about her composition of breeds so that we could optimize our wellness routines and training techniques. Dog DNA testing brands include Find My Pet DNA, Embark, DNA My Dog, and Wisdom Panel. We chose Wisdom Panel because its database has 250+ breeds, the test was easy to administer, and it was cost effective. Within a few weeks of sending a saliva sample to the lab, we learned that Peony was 25% Labrador Retriever, 25% Amstaff, 12.5% German Shepherd, 12.5% Chow Chow, 12.5% Beagle, and 12.5% unidentified mixed breeds. The breed information gleaned through the results has been beneficial in several ways: 1. Exercise: Labs, Beagles, Amstaffs, and German Shepherds are active breeds with very high energy levels, so we make sure that Peony runs on a daily basis. German Shepherds in particular are working dogs that need a job to burn energy, so we often attach Peony to a belt harness for skijoring in the winter and rollerblading in the summer. Achieving optimal levels of exercise helps Peony maintain a healthy weight, which is important for Labs who are prone to obesity. Vigorous exercise also helps Peony’s mental health as she is significantly more relaxed around people and dogs post-workout. 2. Diet: Since the majority of Peony’s breed types are energetic, we give her a high protein and fat diet so she’s prepared to exercise and recuperate from her workouts. We also combine high-end dry kibble with freeze-dried food to provide moisture, hydration and antioxidants from the vegetable inclusions. Amstaffs tend to develop skin and coat allergies, so we give Peony functional chews and treats to help alleviate itching. 3. Health Ailments: Peony frequently pulls her hind groin muscles and expresses pain through a yelp or growl if pressure is applied to the pain sites. It is impossible to measure how much the 12.5% Chow Chow contributes to the issue, but Chow Chows are prone to orthopedic issues and tend to tear ligaments in their hind legs. This breedspecific health issue is something that we keep in mind, and we proactively give Peony an aches and pains supplement as preventive treatment. We are also aware that all of the breeds that Peony is comprised of are prone to hip dysplasia, so we will actively monitor this condition as Peony gets older. 4. Social Habits: Peony has a fear-based reactivity toward other dogs on leash, Continued Next Page
but thrives in a daycare setting with dogs when she is off-leash. While Labs and Shepherds tend to be playful and great with other dogs, Amstaffs and Chow Chows are generally more serious and less friendly with dogs. Peony’s social habits were likely influenced by environmental factors when she was a puppy, but genetics may certainly play a role. We use these breed insights to cultivate positive social interactions for Peony, and train her to overcome her challenges in adverse situations. 5. Personality Traits: The mixed breeds result in a unique combination of personality traits. The Beagle in Peony makes her distracted during walks as she frequently enters into hunt and sniff mode, so we’ve worked hard to re-direct her attention with proper training. At home, the Lab, Shepherd, and Amstaff in Peony make her very loyal and affectionate, and quick to bark and defend her territory when people approach the house. All of Peony’s breeds are smart, so we work diligently to teach her the differences between a true threat and a welcomed visitor. The ASPCA estimates that 3.3 million dogs enter U.S. animal shelters every year, but only 1.6 million of those dogs are adopted. People may be reluctant to rescue unknown breeds and may stay away from dogs that look like “dangerous” breeds, such as pit bulls. However, DNA tests often uncover that dogs are comprised of breeds that people least expected from their appearances. Regardless of the breeds, knowing the genetic composition allows dog owners to develop plans to effectively care for all aspects of their dogs’ physical, mental, emotional, and social health. Holly McClelland leads marketing and is an analyst for Fletcher/CSI, a boutique market research and consulting firm headquartered in Williston, Vermont. Holly monitors industry trends and product developments for several brands in the CPG space, including the pet industry. The pet research is focused on tracking nutrition and ingredient trends, technological innovations, and new product launches for dogs and cats.
A Breed Apart? I thought my first encounter with a Labradoodle was unique. But with more and more animals being cross bred, you have to wonder how far it will go? Recently, a breeder in the Northeast Kingdom successfully crossed a donkey with a rabbit. Although it has made for a wonderful pet, they do stress that it will hop around with a Hare across its Ass. - H.A.F.D. 4/1/18 24 4 Legs & a Tail
Spring Means the Arrival OF the Baby Chicks!
a child, helping to raise our own family flock. To this day, it still kindles a sense of hope, new beginnings, and eager anticipation for the season to come. Nothing announces the coming of spring quite as boldly and eagerly as the baby chicks. Raising chickens is a tradition practiced for thousands of years, as far as raising livestock for food goes, it is relatively simple and quite practical. Though there are fewer Ira Richards commercial farming operations, there has been a dramatic resurgence of subsistence poultry-raising in recent years. A direct s the days grow longer and the sap starts to run, we look forward to the result of families becoming more aware arrival of one of the most beloved symbols of spring: baby chicks! In my mind of risks associated with processed, massthere are very few things that signify the coming of the season better than the marketed foods and the health benefits “peep, peep, peep” of those fuzzy little hatchlings. A sentiment I’ve had since I was of growing their own. Because rearing a flock is relatively easy, parents see it as a wonderful opportunity to teach their children some valuable life lessons. There are certainly merits to raising and keeping poultry, it is truly an activity that both young and old can enjoy together. Getting started raising chickens in your own backyard is fairly easy, and quite rewarding. If you are new to raising poultry, West Lebanon Feed & Supply offers free poultry-raising workshops specifically designed to teach you the basics! We are happy to discuss your goals and supply you with information on poultry health and nutrition, breed selection, housing requirements, flock protection, and more. Beyond the initial investment of purchasing the birds and supplies, raising poultry is a relatively low-cost activity that provides a fun and educational experience for the entire family. Although nothing can replace the practical advice of a local expert, there is certainly a wealth of information about raising poultry available in books and on the internet. Before placing their first order of birds, many families will research the various breeds that fit their needs, looking at color and variety, as well as temperament, egg production, and hardiness in New England weather. It is gratifying to have a grade-school child step confidently up to our counter, with a parent in tow, and explain, after loads of research, they’ve decided exactly what to order to achieve the “best” flock. I love seeing the way that raising poultry can bring a family together to share in something special, just like it did when I was a kid. West Lebanon Feed & Supply has been the Upper Valley’s home for all things poultry since 1926 and our customers have long looked to us for expert advice on raising and keeping birds. Here are just a few of the most common questions we get asked on a regular basis:
Why do I need to keep my baby chicks indoors? When you pick up your birds they Continued Next Page
26 4 Legs & a Tail
are typically only a few days old. This is a very delicate stage of life and there are several things that must be done in order to provide the best chance for survival. Use a brooder lamp to provide adequate heat, medicated starter feed and a vitamin & electrolyte water supplement to fight off infection, and lots of supervision in order to get them beyond that fragile period. For more specific details on caring for baby chicks, please ask us.
I’m getting more eggs than I need. What should I do? Donate your surplus farm-fresh eggs to feed local hungry families! We launched a wonderful program in 2009 called “Share the Harvest” and, in partnership with Willing Hands, our participants have aided in the distribution of tens of thousands of fresh eggs to hungry families. The need is still great and we are always looking for more help to provide wonderful, nutritious eggs to those who can use them. Ask us how you can help “Share the Harvest”.
Do you sell organic poultry feed? Yes, for those who wish to feed organ- This is merely a sampling of the wide ic to their flock, we do stock organic variety of questions we get asked on a daily basis during the busy poultry season. West poultry feeds. Lebanon Feed & Supply typically sells Does my f lock need a rooster? approximately 10,000 birds annually, and Although more information may be we’ve continued to see dramatic increases required depending on your specific as a growing number of people “flock” to goals, the simple answer is no, you do the practice of becoming more self-susnot need a rooster in order for hens to taining. If you have any questions, are provide unfertilized eggs. interested in placing your order for chickHow many eggs will I get? ens, turkeys, ducks, or geese this season, On average, a hen at peak egg pro- or would like to sign up for one of our free duction will lay one egg approximately poultry workshops, we encourage you to every twenty-five hours, or roughly an contact us. We’re always here to help! egg a day. For more information on West Lebanon Why do you require a minimum numFeed & Supply poultry ordering or the ber of birds for my f lock? Share the Harvest program, please State requirements may have recently changed, we still believe that chickens contact us at (603) 298-8600 or visit us are instinctively flock birds and thrive online at www.westlebanonsupply.com. in numbers. Experience indicates that the birds simply do better when they are part of a flock and we recommend raising them in a flock environment. It is primarily for the overall health and well-being of the birds that we have maintained our minimum quantity policy.
One Confused Chick! We somehow had a chicken egg end up in the duck nest. When they all hatched, the chicken really thought it was a duck. The mama duck would march her little ducklings out to the pond, all her babies in tow. Last in line was that awkward little chick. While all the baby ducklings were learning how to swim, the chick would stay on the bank pecking at bugs around the water’s edge. —Amanda Allen Spring 2018
SPRING: From A Beekeepers Perspective Troy Hall
S pring in New England, as with any other season, arrives in due time. Once it’s past the threshold, it’s here for a time and quickly pushed out by sum-
mer. For one whose vocation is farming you are grafted into the constant change of seasons, the intensity, vigor, unbridled energy, and often unknown potential that surrounds us. Being a beekeeper, I have found my attention is set upon the arrival of the fist sources of pollen for the bees to gather. This being; willow, aspen, and red maple. With this fresh supply of protein, a brood is raised and the next generation of bees are nourished. I always mark this event on my calendar, for in 21
28 4 Legs & a Tail
days I will have young nurse bees joining the ranks of adulthood in the colonies. Meanwhile, for the first time since last fall, I can begin to assess the overall health and number of live colonies I have for the season ahead. In good years, excess colonies are sold off to fellow beekeepers, those that are not sold will be relocated to restock colonies that died over the winter. With poor winter survival, more time is given to cleaning out dead equipment and preparing to refill the void with this year’s crop of bees. This is also a time where I keep an eye out in the apiary for potential queen bees I would like to raise the next generation of bees with (breeder queens). These queens have proven themselves over the course of two seasons. They must maintain a strong populous colony that survives our winters, good honey production, vigor, frugal with resources, hygienic, all the while doing so with no chemical inputs on my behalf. Just as I begin to feel like I have an understanding and pulse on what’s happening out in the bee yards, dandelions and honeysuckle begin to bloom. These blooms are the first major nectar sources for the bees. With this initial influx of nectar being foraged and ripened into honey, it drives the colonies into the impulse that every beekeeper decides how to manage within one’s scheme. Swarming. On another note. Spring for a beekeeper is a good time to familiarize oneself with daily stretching and strengthening of your core and back. Long days bent over and lifting heavy boxes of bees and honey can wreak havoc on one’s back. Easing into the heavy workload that lies before me in the season ahead, by considering and taking care of my back, is always best. Troy Hall, Owner / operator at Hall Apiaries in Plainfield, NH with his wife, Pattie and daughter Rebecca. Maintaining 200 colonies for honey production, specializing in breeding northern queen bees, supplier of raw honey and beeswax. Spring 2018
The Buzz About
v Bees are the only insect in the world that makes food that people can eat
v Honey contains all of the substances needed to sustain life, including enzymes, water, minerals and vitamins v Eating honey can help you be smarter! It is the only food to contain ‘pinocembrin’ that is an antioxidant that improves brain function v One bee will only make 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its entire life v Many plants rely on insects like bees in order to be pollinated; which is why they provide nectar to say thanks v A colony of bees can contain between 20,000 and 60,000 bees, but only one queen bee v A bee’s wings beat 190 times a second, that’s 11,400 times a minute! v Worker bees, who are all female, are the only ones who will attack you, and only if they feel threatened v It has been estimated that it would take 1,100 bee stings to produce enough venom to be fatal v Each colony smells different to bees, this is so they can tell where they live! v It would take 1,100 bees to make 1kg of honey and they would have to visit 4 million flowers v There are 900 cells in a bee’s brain v Bees have two separate stomachs; one for food and another just for nectar v The queen bee will lay around 1,500 eggs a day v Honey has natural preservatives so that it won’t go bad v A third of all the plants we eat have been pollinated by bees v Bees have been around for more than 30 million years v Bees communicate by smells called ‘pheromones’ and by performing special ‘dances’ v Bee keepers only take the honey that the bees do not need, but this can be as much as 45kg from one hive! v There are lots of different types of honey which taste different depending on the flowers used to make it
Recreation or Therapy? Sue Miller
Students from Sharon Academy enjoy learning about different riding positions for therapeutic riding. (photo by S. Miller)
hen is physical therapy an enjoyment? The answer is when you can do it horseback. Therapeutic horseback riding is making strides to help anyone with a physical, social, emotional, or mental challenge. Therapeutic riding
refers specifically to horseback riding lesson for people with special needs in which the therapeutic benefits of riding are a result of learning riding skills. Therapeutic riding is sometimes considered a form of animal assisted
We must never forget, every time we sit on a horse, what an extraordinary privilege it is; to be able to unite oneâ€™s body with that of another sentient being, one that is stronger, faster, and more agile by far than we are, and uncommonly forgiving. ~ William Steinkraus
therapy or equine assisted activity or therapy (EAAT). As with canine assisted therapy, the contact with another living being and the special bond people form with animals are used as a therapeutic tool. Therapeutic riding teaches the skills of focusing, concentrating, multi-tasking, and sequencing to only name a few. A French physician named Cassaign, as far back as 1875, prescribed riding for his patients, believing that riding would benefit individuals with issues including neurological disorders, joint pain, immobility and balance. Therapeutic riding has been practiced in Europe for many years but has only taken hold in America in more recent years. Credited with being one of Europeâ€™s therapeutic riding pioneers is Lis Hartel of Denmark who contracted polio in the 1940s. She was one of the first women allowed to compete against men in the event of Equestrian Dressage. Hartel was determined to ride despite her disability. She rehabilitated herself using horseback riding. In 1944 Hartel, then a 23-yearold pregnant mother gradually reactivated most of her muscles, she however remained paralyzed below Continued Page 32
30 4 Legs & a Tail
the knees. After three years of rehabilitation, she was able to compete in the Scandinavian riding championships and finished second in womenâ€™s dressage. In 1952 she was chosen to represent Denmark in the Helsinki Olympics. Even though she had to be helped on and off her horse, Jubilee, she won the silver medal. Four years later, she won another Olympic silver medal in Stockholm. A f ter press secret ar y James Brady was shot during Eliza Masteller rests on Sammie and gets in an attempted assassination touch with the Vagus Nerve helping to reset the of president Ronald Reagan, homeostasis in the vital organs. Brady used therapeutic riding to aid (photo by S. Miller) his recovery and therapeutic riding in America became more popular. on a nice summerâ€™s day or riding in a show. Building a relationship with an animal is very rewarding in many respects. For a person with an emotional, social or psychological frailty, the trust and loyalty an animal exhibits for people, shows the student how important these attributes are in personal relationships. Horses also help people feel in control of their situation because there is a direct correlation between action and reaction. The sometimes impulsive nature of horses and situations also creates a real-life environment in which students will be able to confront fears and make adjustments to situations beyond their control. Riding helps people feel empowered and connect Molly Kinnarny tries riding sideways on on a personal level. The horses help to Fred, led by Joanna Frodin with classmates keep participants thinking about the Eliza Masteller & Abby Gross as attentive here and now, the present moment, not sidewalkers. (photo by S. Miller) focusing thoughts or energies into the future or dwelling in past experiences. All of the things you can learn around Horseback riding teaches a skill horses you can directly apply to daily while at the same time helping the life. Horses can help to ease anxiety, rider to stretch and strengthen build relationships, and motivate you muscle tone. The rhythm of riding toward different goals, all without helps to relax the body and improve realizing that you are enjoying a great balance and coordination. Riding therapeutic experience. can improve posture and confidence, increase upper body strength in Sue Miller is Program Director at the head and neck and increases High Horses Therapeutic Riding trunk control. Riding gives a sense Program, a PATH International of freedom along with a wonderful Registered Level Instructor/ESMHL sense of accomplishment, a challenge and PATH Vermont State Chair and a goal, whether itâ€™s trail riding
32 4 Legs & a Tail
Horses for Health
"The air of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears," ~ - Arabian Proverb
Turns out that the outside of a horse really is good for the inside of man Chelle Grald
n the free world of the 21st century, there are many things that we can choose to ride for recreational transportation: bicycles, skateboards, ATV's, motorcycles, snowmobiles, skis, surf boards, and the list goes on. Lucky us! We choose horses. Why? Join with me in an answer to that question. There's more to the answer than just declaring 'because I love them.' Although there's nothing wrong with that as a great place to start. Equestrian pursuits are healthy for body, mind and soul. They are a valid and worthwhile choice. Let me count the ways. Real Exercise Have you heard the expression 'sitting is the new smoking?' More and more, studies are showing that a sedentary lifestyle is bad for us. Moreover, a segment of the population more likely to be sedentary is females over the age of 37. Do you resemble that demographic? You'll be happy to know that sitting on a horse does not qualify as a sedentary activity. It is actually real, measurable, productive exercise. Studies by Arizona University and the University of Brighton in the UK verified just how much energy we are expending with our horses. The MET (metabolic equivalent of task) is a measurement that allows various activities to be compared in terms of their energy expenditure. Gentle riding expends 5.5 METs per hour - about the same as dancing. Galloping expends 7.3, the same as a game of squash, while jumping at 9 METs is like a vigorous game of basketball. No time to ride every day? Well, just grooming, mucking, hauling water and tacking/unpacking expends 4.5 METs. Taken together, the average day working with your horse puts you well within the guidelines for healthy, moderate-intensity exercise. Continued Next Page
inherently builds core strength as you sit deep to halt, stretch tall to canter and lift your torso into a 2-point position. Not to mention the abdominal moxie required to haul hay bales and shovel out stalls. That core strength supports and sustains your spine health. Young people who ride, just like gymnasts and dancers, build a foundation of good posture that helps keep us strong and upright longer as we age. After age 30, we all start to lose muscle mass. The resulting loss of strength makes us more susceptible to injury and also more likely to gain weight as our metabolisms slowly decrease. Bummer. The good news is that we can fight back with strength training. Riding and caring for horses works all the necessary muscle groups. Arm strength? Lift some buckets and feed bags, brush a dirty horse. Legs? Post to the trot, push a wheelbarrow, walk a cross-country course. The next time your cycling or skiing friend says 'well, at least my Galloping and jumping is the exercise (bike, skis, snowmobile, etc.) doesn't equivalent of a vigorous game of basketball. need to be fed and cleaned up after,' you just smile and wave your well-toned Strength for Longevity Exercise physiologists know that as bicep in their direction. The maintewe age, certain kinds of strength and flex- nance is part of the package and it is ibility are especially important in helping good for us. our bodies to stay mobile and functional. Motivation to Overcome First and foremost is a strong and flexible A study by the British Horse Society spine. Think about those half-halts. Riding on the benefits of equestrian activity suggests that even those who have longstanding illnesses or disabilities show improved physical and mental condition as they persist with their horses. For many, the gentle and self-paced nature of horse care and riding is the only thing that keeps them active. With
Horses are proven character-builders.
Continued Next Page
34 4 Legs & a Tail
Horse people are a special tribe.
their horses, they are less disabled, more mobile and able to reach goals that they can't achieve on their own two feet. It is this incredible, uplifting quality of the horse-human partnership that is at the route of Equine Assisted Therapy in all its forms. There is something about learning to move with and direct such a large and noble beast that brings about healing in so many. A short term study by New Mexico State University showed that children who had witnessed violence in their families showed improved social and psychological functioning with Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. The same results have been seen with veterans and others suffering from PostTraumatic Stress Disorder. Physical and social functioning are nurtured and improved every day all over the world with the aid of horses in Therapeutic Riding programs. The rocking motion of a horse loosens muscles and joints and brings relaxation and circulation to those who canâ€™t walk themselves. Our horses give us a new way to see the world and that perspective can change the way our brains and bodies are wired. Emotional Intelligence It is well known that horses have pretty small brains comparative to their size and very little capability to reason. That's OK, because it's not their job to be the smart one on the team! Somehow, they inspire us to become smarter, more patient, emotionallyf lexible and empathetic. They are proven character-builders. A study comSpring 2018
missioned by the German Equestrian Federation compared 400 riders, age 14-65 to 400 non-riders of the same age range. It found that riders were generally more determined, enthusiastic, structured and balanced than their non-riding counterparts. Riders also showed greater leadership, were more assertive and competitive, and demonstrated greater resilience. Who doesn't want more of that in their life? How do horses make us better humans? Well, they're big and potentially dangerous, so we need to learn to think ahead and also lead with confidence. They're sensitive flight animals, so we need to learn empathy and reassurance. They're demanding and expensive, so we need to work hard and be resourceful in order to keep them in our lives. Riding isn't easy. It is a lifelong learning sport with many ups and downs, so we need to be patient, persistent and learn how to receive help from others. Sure, any great passion like music, art or science can inspire us to grow in these ways, but there is something about the relationship with another species that brings an additional dimension. Tribe Equus Interaction with horses helps us in our relationships. Therapeutic Riding is often used as a way to open up communication with patients who are socially shut-down. The concept is simple â€“ we are more likely to talk Continued Next Page
about something we love. Horse people are a special tribe. We understand each other and share a common language. Look at any national disaster – floods, fires, earthquakes where horses are endangered and you will see an outpouring of generosity and heroism flowing through the horse community. All the way from grass roots riding clubs to international competition, the horse community recognizes and cares for its own. Involvement in this community yields life-long friendships, amazing learning opportunities and life-expanding experiences.
The Great Unplug Horses are time-consuming. There’s no getting around it. The good news is that time spent in the barn and riding are NOT time spent in front of a screen. When we enter the horse’s universe, we find a companion that lives in the moment, focuses on one thing at a time, and thrives on peace and consistency. How different from the world of TV and social media. With the horse, we can let go of drama and distraction, breathe and focus. Many of the tasks of horse care are mundane and repetitive, which has its own healing quality. How often has a solution to a thorny problem popped into your head while cleaning stalls? Forest Bathing Back in the early 1990s the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries coined the term Shinrin-yoku — which translates roughly as forest bathing. It is a form of therapy that has caught on all over the world. The aim of forest bathing is to slow down and become immersed in the natural environment. Forest bathers take relaxing, contemplative walks through the forest, breathing deeply and observing the environment with all of their senses. There's a growing body of evidence that the practice can help boost immunity
Together, we connect with nature and heal ourselves from stress.
and mood and help reduce stress. One study published in 2011 compared the effects of walking in the city to taking a forest walk. Both activities required the same amount of physical activity, but researchers found that the forest environment led to more significant reductions in blood pressure and certain stress hormones. On average, the forest walkers — who ranged in age from 36 to 77 — saw a reduction in their systolic blood pressure from 141 mmHg down to 134 mmHg after four hours in the forest. The vast majority of equestrians trail ride – some more than others. And mostly we are seeking exactly the same thing as pedestrian forest bathers: relaxation, time to think, observation of the natural world. The only difference is that the horse is carrying us there and both human and horse are receiving the benefits. Oh Yeah - Fun! There are many ways to slice and dice the holistic benefits that our horses bring to us, and no doubt I have missed a few. Perhaps the most obvious one is that riding is fun. It is thrilling to gallop across a field or feel the perfect gear shift of a clean lead change. A bareback swim in the pond or a meander through snowy woods on a fuzzy pony brings a smile that starts on the inside and can’t stay contained. Love drew us to horses and fun has kept us there. It’s all good, and good for us. Chelle Grald is the Trails & Ride Manager at Green Mountain Horse Association in S. Woodstock, VT
36 4 Legs & a Tail
25 Reasons Why Dogs are Better Than Women*
n our last issue, the ladies of 4 Legs & a Tail came up with 25 reasons why dogs are better than men. Needless to say the men responded quickly with some of their observations. 1. Dogs don’t max out the credit card 2. After a night out with the boys, your dog is still happy to see you 3. Your dog doesn’t talk while you’re watching the game 4. Dogs will still “nuzzle” you during No-Shave November 5. Your dog actually likes it when you leave the toilet seat up 6. Dogs don’t care if you still wear your Class of 1980 T-shirt on the weekend 7. You can yell at a dog and 5 minutes later they act like nothing happened 8. Your dog prefers you NOT stop and ask directions 9. Dogs are just as happy with a backyard stick 10. Dogs don’t cry when you notice they have put on weight 11. The most expensive gift you can buy a dog is less than a hundred bucks 12. Dogs don’t act unpredictable one week a month 13. Dogs are okay if you leave the dishes until morning 14. Your dog doesn’t mind if you look at other dogs 15. Dogs don’t complain that, “We never do anything anymore.” 16. Dogs enjoy spending Sunday morning in bed with you 17. Dogs can care less if you don’t brush your teeth on the weekend 18. Dogs never ask if their collar makes them look fat 19. Dogs never complain that you don’t make enough money 20. When it’s time to go, your dog is always ready 21. Your dog doesn’t expect presents on Birthdays, Anniversaries or Valentine’s Day 22. Dogs don’t care about the dirty pile of clothes on the floor 23. Dogs will eat just about anything 24. Dogs don’t take up 2/3 of the closet 25. Dogs don’t mind you channel surfing
*Note from the Editors to wives and girlfriends - Dogs like the doghouse, we don’t Spring 2018
BENEFITS OF GROOMING W
e all know we should do it, but what does grooming really do for your pet besides make them look pretty? In general terms, a clean pet is a happy pet. No hair in the eyes, clean fur and skin, clipped nails and clean teeth all make for a pet that is comfortable and better behaved. Adverse, serious side effects can occur when we neglect to groom our pets. If we don’t tend to our pet’s grooming needs on a regular basis, we encourage a variety of issues which can lead to expensive vet bills and difficult or even aggressive behavior from your pet. Long hair is the culprit of a variety of discomfort and skin issues. Hair hanging over your pet’s eyes can restrict vision, altering your pet’s capabilities and behavior. When long hair is not brushed and washed regularly it can load your pet with extra weight and pets can often suffer matting. Matting of the hair can be painful and cause many skin conditions. Severe
matting restricts blood flow, pulling tightly on a pet’s skin and making a simple pat painful. In some cases, matting can be so severe that it restricts body movement leading to deformity. Overgrown nails can be very painful, with long nails growing into the paw pads and causing infection. Long nails can cause your pet’s toes to bend and create a walking disfigurement. Double coating from irregular brushing leads to extra coating, causing your pet to suffer heat stress. Grass seeds will not be easily detected if you are not hands-on with your grooming, undetected grass seeds can lead to abscesses and severe infection. It is not unheard of for a pet to lose an eye from an undetected grass seed. Fleas, ticks and mites are some of the most common parasites that can be fatal to your pet and they thrive on dirty and untreated bodies. Dental disease can lead to bad breath, teeth loss, reduced appetite and if untreated can cause organ damage to your pet’s heart, liver and kidneys. Learn more about dental health at http://www.rspcavic.org/ health-and-behaviour/dental-health/ All of these issues can be detrimental to your pet’s mental wellbeing, due to the discomfort and pain they can cause. By tending to your pet’s grooming needs on a regular basis you can optimize your pet’s physical and mental health. Benefits of pet grooming include: • A pet that looks and smells nice all the time, plus your best friend will be free from discomfort, feel great and behave well. • Reduced risk of eye, ear, skin, teeth and nail infections, ensuring your pet is free from pain and disease! • Easy vet checks as your pet will be more comfortable and used to being handled, especially around the face, feet and tail. Less stress for all involved! • Increased sociability as grooming becomes a positive experience and easy for both you or your groomer and your pet. • Lower medical bills as regular grooming will prevent disease and catch many health issues before they become an emergency.
38 4 Legs & a Tail
Acupuncture in Veterinary Medicine Colrain Balch, DVM- Pleasant Lake Veterinary Hospital, Elkins, NH
What is Acupuncture? Acupuncture has been an essential part of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and has had a growing following in the West in recent decades. The use of acupuncture in veterinary medicine has been on the rise since the late 20th century and has been used in both large and small animals, as well as in all life stages.
It is the practice of stimulating speciﬁc acupoints along the body to correct imbalances in an individual's energy ﬂow, or “qi”. The ﬂow of energy through the body is organized into channels called meridians. It is along these meridians that the acupoints are located. A blockage of qi flow causes pain and can lead to organ dysfunction. The goal of acupuncture is to promote the body to heal itself by correcting the body's energy imbalances. This is achieved by increasing blood circulation and stimulating the nervous system which then in turn facilitates the release of anti-inﬂammatory and pain relief signals within the body.
What are its applications for my pet? There are numerous applications for acupuncture. Most commonly in veterinary medicine, these include but are not limited to: arthritis, degenerative joint disease, traumatic injury, pain and symptoms related to cancer, kidney failure, liver failure and metabolic disorders such as thyroid, adrenal disease and diabetes.
Who performs the acupuncture? In the United States, to be a certiﬁed veterinary acupuncturist, one must ﬁrst be a licensed veterinarian and then pursue a certification through an accredited school of traditional Chinese veterinary medicine. In this country, there are two school which provide this education: the Chi Institute and the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. During the sessions, a veterinary technician may be present to assist, but the procedures should be done under the supervision of a certiﬁed veterinary acupuncturist.
How is acupuncture performed? There are several different methods to stimulate these acupoints. Very thin, disposable needles are commonly used and are then can be stimulated further by the use of heat or pressure. They are placed in the skin at the acupoints. A low electrical current may be applied to the needles to stimulate the pressure points. This is a minimally invasive practice that most animals tolerate very well. On your ﬁrst visit, an exam will be performed following traditional Chinese veterinary medicine theory. A plan will then be developed so that treatment may begin. You can expect for the ﬁrst session to last 45 minutes Continued Next Page
40 4 Legs & a Tail
to 1 hour. Following sessions should be briefer but can range from 20 to 30 minutes.
Can this help my pet? The beneﬁts of the acupuncture will vary by individual but many clients report an improvement within the ﬁrst 24 hours. Some pet owners have seen their animal companions go from having so much pain, they can hardly walk to jumping around like a puppy again! The duration of the beneﬁts can also vary and will help to determine the frequency of sessions. Veterinary acupuncture has become widely accepted as a complementary medical technique in helping animals maintain, or even regain an improved quality of life. When practiced by a certiﬁed practitioner, it is a safe, minimally invasive treatment which could help give us more precious time with our beloved pets. 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. Spring 2018
hen a dog or cat ends up at an animal shelter, how does anyone estimate how old that dog or cat might be? If the deciduous, or baby, teeth are still in the mouth than an accurate estimate of age can be given. The deciduous teeth erupt and are then shed as the permanent teeth erupt, according to a fairly defined schedule. By seven months of age both dogs and cats should have all of the permanent teeth erupted. Permanent teeth are much larger than the deciduous teeth and have a somewhat different shape. Dogs and cats are also growing in size and weight from birth through the first year of life, which is also a clue as to the age of the pet. But what happens if all of the permanent teeth are in place? Is there Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS any accurate or even reasonably accurate way to assess the age of the pet? It is tempting to think that the condition of the teeth should be a good clue, as we know that without intervention teeth will accumulate plaque and tartar which tends to become worse over time and that gingivitis and periodontal disease also become more prevalent over time. Can the physical condition of the teeth and gums be useful in estimating age? Unfortunately, no. The amount of tartar, for instance, is highly variable with some very young pets having advanced periodontal disease and some quite old pets having reasonably healthy mouths even without any dental care. With the aid of a dental x-ray, a much better estimate of the age of the pet can be made. The inside of the tooth changes with age in a standard and predictable way.
â€œHow Much (err, Old) is That Doggy in the Window?â€?
Anatomy of a tooth: The visible part of the tooth is the crown and is covered with enamel, a shiny white substance. The root, which is not normally visible, is covered with cementum, which is slightly off-white in color and has a rough surface. Underneath the cementum and enamel is dentin, which provides support for the enamel and cementum. As the permanent tooth erupts, the amount of dentin is fairly thin and the pulp chamber and root canal are quite large. As the pet ages, the dentin grows circumferentially toward the center of the pulp chamber and root canal. On an X-ray the thickness of the dentin is readily apparent. Dentin grows continuously through life as long as the tooth remains vital.
Red area is the pulp chamber in the crown and root canal in the root. It is really all one chamber.
Blue area is dentin
Root, covered by cementum (yellow)
Crown, covered by enamel (white)
Pulp Chamber Dentin Enamel
Letâ€™s look at some real life examples. The following are radiographs of the lower jaw canine teeth in similarly sized dogs.
6 month old Maltese Notice the very wide pulp chamber and root canal. The bottom of the root has not yet formed.
42 4 Legs & a Tail
5 yr old Toy Poodle The dentin has grown quite a bit. The pulp chamber and root canals are readily visible from top to bottom of the tooth.
12 yr old Cairn Terrier/Shih Tzu. The pulp chamber and root canals are very narrow at this age.
13.5 yr old Yorkie The root canal at the bottom of the teeth is barely visible. In an older dog it can disappear at the bottom of the root.
Below are four radiographs taken of the lower jaw canine teeth of the same dog, a Labrador Retriever, from 7 months to 2 years and 3 months of age.
7 months The bottom of the roots has yet to form
9 months The bottom of the root has formed quite a bit in 2 months time
1 year, 5 months The dentin fills in at a rapid rate in the first two years.
2 years, 3 months The rate of change in the dentin will progress more slowly as this dog ages.
The tooth at eruption is quite hollow and fills in rapidly during the first 2 years of life. The rate of change in the dentin then slows down and gets progressivley slower as the years go by. Cat teeth go through the same changes with age. To the left are three radiographs taken of the lower jaw of the same cat, a Tabby Point Chinese, from 1 year and 7 months to 4 years and 8 months of age.
1 year, 7 months
3 years, 11 months
4 years, 8 months
Cats have a tendency to resorb the roots of the canine teeth, which means that the root starts to disappear at the bottom and then progresses up the root over time. This can happen at any age, although it is more common in older cats. The bottom third of the roots are starting to resorb in this x-ray at left. I am not suggesting that animal shelters need to take a dental radiograph of every cat and dog, although it would provide a good estimate of the age of the pets in the shelter. When I take dental radiographs I do explain to the owner that I will be able to provide a better idea of the actual age of the pet. If an owner wanted to take a radiograph to get an estimate of the age of a pet it could be easily done and would require sedation rather than full anesthesia for one or two x-rays.
Lower jaw of a 16 year old Domestic Shorthair.
Dr. Waugh is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She also holds a Masters Degree from Washington State University of Veterinary Medicine and is owner of Windsor Veterinary & Dental Services. www.4LegsAndATail.com 43
Paradise Recovered John Peaveler- E. Thetford, VT
D uring disaster response, the mission of The Humane Society of the
United States is the preservation of life, health and welfare of animals through the combination of rescue, evacuation, relief, emergency sheltering, reunification, capacity building, training, grant giving and community support. These efforts support the needs of animals — and the people in their lives —who are victims of disaster. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, high winds and rainfall devastated the territory of Puerto Rico. The HSUS shelter partners across the territory were battered, broken and struggling to help the animals they serve. Because of my experience as a certified Rescue Technician and Disaster Consultant, I deployed with Dave Pauli, Senior Advisor, Wildlife Response and Policy of The HSUS, to Vieques, an island located six miles off the coast of the main island of Puerto Rico. We arrived in San Juan aboard a small cargo plane operated by Wings of Rescue, a nonprofit with a mission of evacuating and transporting animals and relief supplies. Our time in San Juan was limited, as a helicopter was awaiting our arrival. We wove through the chaos and loaded the helicopter with supplies. The pilot made a careful ascent, probing the airfield for a safe route through an incredible density of civilian and military aircraft. Carving our way around San Juan, we banked to the southeast and followed a mostly overland course toward Vieques. I’ve found that when it comes to tableaus of chaos and ruin, every disaster has some comparability. The loss of home, possession and worst of all life, always shares elements of tragedy, pain, loss and grief for every person and animal affected. What struck me most on that first flight to Vieques was how pervasive this disaster was. The destruction stretched from coast to coast, and it
Continued Next Page
44 4 Legs & a Tail
was quickly evident that the isolation of these islands would make it exceedingly difficult to move the flood of materials needed to recover from such an event. We flew above pummeled towns and leveled forests. Some buildings were simply gone, while the vast majority had significant roof damage. Debris was scattered everywhere. In different times, Vieques is an isolated paradise. Its lack of large resorts to shadow its beautiful beaches and rich culture, make it a perfect escape for those looking for something more authentic. Though the island is easily accessible to tourists, it has no major ports. This proved to be a challenge during disaster response and became a logistical logjam. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, it took a tremendous effort to get two emergency responders with 500 pounds of equipment to Vieques. This was to be a harbinger of things to come. Sรกra Varsa, Senior Director of the Animal Rescue Team at The HSUS, oversees all disaster response for the organization. Her instructions for this mission were simple: go help. Our first 24 hours on the island were spent determining what help was needed, what resources could meet those needs and designing programs that could serve those needs. Vieques has a Continued Next Page
HSUS team member Dave Pauli brings a sheet for an injured dog to lay on while she is examined by Dr. Joey Vest in Vieques. Photo credit: Meredith Lee/The HSUS
HSUS veterinarian Dr. Joey Vest treats an injured dog at a trash dump in Vieques, Puerto Rico. Photo credit: Meredith Lee/The HSUS
large population of feral horses, dogs and cats and three animal rescue organizations. We spent the first day linking up with municipal leaders and other non-profits, assessing the needs of free-roaming animals and connecting with animal rescue organizations. It was a busy day, one of many to come, and filled with emotion as we saw the effects of the storm, the very limited resources of the island and a shell-shocked population of people and animals. Based on what we saw, we rapidly worked with HSUS staff members in Florida and elsewhere to develop a supply chain. First, we used airplanes to move materials into San Juan, and then moved smaller amounts to Vieques via helicopter. At the same time, we put in a request for veterinary support in the form of veterinarians and medical supplies as well as for additional field responders to run relief, recovery, and evacuation operations. As that system was being put into place, we on Vieques worked to help however, we could. One of the most simple but profound things we could do to help early on was to give our satellite phone to members of the community who had not been able to contact their families. These moments were filled with joy, sadness and despair. Over the course of more than a month, we evacuated nearly 200 animals from the local shelter and rescue groups, freeing up critical space and resources. We supplied local charities with thousands of pounds of human food, toiletries, solar lights and animal food for all species. We operated clinics in underserved communities and reached many who couldnâ€™t venture into town. An incredible team of over 30 responders and local volunteers went door to door delivering human and animal food and providing free veterinary services. We worked with the local vet to help her become operational again. We cleaned Continued Next Page
46 4 Legs & a Tail
up the local animal shelter and provided HSUS disaster relief efforts, visit http:// them with generators, fuel and tons of bit.ly/2E2doQs other supplies. We provided fresh food for the elderly and infirm and safety John Peaveler has over 14 years of experience addressing animal welequipment for the fire fighters who spent their days unloading aid from military fare issues all over the world. He currently works as a consultant and helicopters. Wherever we saw a need, we professional animal cruelty/disaster worked to meet it in any way we could. responder and trainer for Humane It was an incredible challenge, but it was Society International, The Humane without a doubt one of the most rewardSociety of the United States, and ing and effective responses of my career. The men and women of the HSUS, Animal Care Equipment and Services. He is based in West Fairlee, Vermont both staff and volunteers, came together where he serves as ACO, dad, to answer the call for help, even as far away as the small island of Vieques. I am husband, and minion to 20 extremely proud of the work completed chickens, four dogs and a cat. and the part I was able to play in the relief efforts. Recovery from a major disaster, however, takes years. The initial response wrapped up at the end of October of 2017, but by December, HSUS had sent more staff and volunteers to undertake a big effort to sterilize dogs, cats and horses on the island. As recovery continues, the resilient people and animals of Vieques continue to demonstrate strength in difficult circumstances. The HSUS will continue to help Puerto Rico and the rest of United States, striving to make a better world for animals and people, and to be ready for the next time disaster strikes. If you would like to donate to
Sleep, Hamburger, and Rescue Karen Sturtevant
he sun has long disappeared, replaced by moonlight filtering through the kitchen window. The digital clock readout begins with an eleven and the bed is calling its sweet slumber lullaby. The thick quilt will have to wait, duty is calling––again–– thanks to our newest guest. We recently welcomed Bruiser, a senior English bulldog. He’s confused and frightened, his world flipped upside down. He hasn’t been eating the food offered to him, so Dawna Pederzani, founder of Vermont English Bulldog Rescue (VEBR), is in the kitchen frying ground beef to add to his next breakfast bowl. What dog could refused warmed beef in gravy? Bruiser was one of the dogs in residence two years ago. He was a medical mess when he arrived. After months of care, nearly $900 in vet bills and a host of hitor-miss medications, his body was finally stabilized and healthy and this charmer was ready for his new home. He was adopted with the promise that his medical and nutritional treatments would continue. This did not happen. He was returned with eyes clouded and infected, ears inflamed, bald patches from allergies and a hurt body and spirit. We found ourselves not at square one, but at square negative 10.
48 4 Legs & a Tail
This is one situation of rescue, offering strength to overtake the dark place of animal abuse, cruelty and neglect. Although animal welfare groups have their share of joyful, new beginnings, all outcomes are not always romantic, pretty, or positive. We’ve had dogs dumped on our doorstep, dropped off at our vet, surrendered without so much as a conversation. Conditions range from bleak to mediocre to heartbreaking. It’s rare a dog makes its way to us that doesn’t require hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars, to heal aliments left untreated to fester into infection and pain. One reason I volunteer with VEBR is because of the exceptional care afforded each dog. One size, one food, one medication, one veterinarian, one physical regiment does not fit all. This rescue looks through committed eyes at each dog as an individual to access his specific needs and formulate a plan for success. The counter is lined with labeled freezer-sized bags. Each holds prescriptions, administered once, twice, three, sometimes four times a day. Different meds, different dogs, different intervals. Each dog requires specific nutrition Continued Next Page
and supplements, even those within the same breed, to reach and maintain mental and physical health. Schedules are continually updated. Canines are jigsaw puzzles with fur. What keeps one healthy and strong, brings allergies and itchies to another. One medication may keep a condition at bay while another could cause a break out of hives and loss of hair. Even the most educated and experienced canine owners are sometimes left to shake their heads trying to figure out these mysteries. Along with a handful of dedicated volunteers, we drag ourselves out of bed before the sun rises, head over after work and visit on weekends to give these worthy dogs the time and attention they deserve. Bruiser wants hamburger? Bruiser can have his hamburger. We aim to please, even if it means less sleepâ€“â€“again.
For more information about Bruiser and other dogs available for adoption, please visit: www.VermontEnglishBulldogRescue.com www.BulldogsandBuddies.com Facebook: Vermont English Bulldog Rescue Email: VermontEnglishBulldogRescue@yahoo.com Spring 2018
I WANT A DOG!
But when is the best time to add a dog to your life? Paula Bergeron - Grafton, NH
I want a dogâ€Ś well of course you do. Doesnâ€™t everybody?! Ok, I may be a bit biased, as I can hardly imagine not having a dog in my life. However, as a trainer and rehabilitation specialist, I see firsthand what can happen when you add a dog to your life at the wrong time. I have seen inappropriate behaviors develop, witnessed stress in families, and all too often have facilitated the difficult and painful choice of someone needing to rehome, or even euthanize their dog. No one wants to think about such events, but they happen, and more often than you might imagine. When considering getting a dog the first advice I would give is to actually take time to answer the question, do I have the ability and desire to provide a loving and life-fulfilling home to a dog nowâ€Ś. and for the next 10 to 12 years. The answer to the now is probably an easy, yes, but once you add the 10 to 12 years the question becomes a bit more serious. Of course, none of us have a crystal ball that will tell our future but honest assessment as to whether you would be willing to accommodate and compromise for the needs of a dog during life-changing decisions will help you understand whether you are ready for this long-term commitment or whether it would be wiser to wait. The stability of your time, finances, relationships, living environment, and health are important aspects of your ability to keep a dog healthy and happy. Entering college, beginning a new job, starting a family, moving into an apartment, or a change in your energy or mobility can all be deal breakers when it comes to being able to keep a well adjusted, and happy dog. In my line of work I have seen my fair share of dogs Continued Next Page
50 4 Legs & a Tail
rehomed due to the behavior problems arising from the instability of college life, because of financial issues after a change of career, from safety concerns after the arrival of a baby, before a move to a dog restricted building, or the increasing strength of a dog conflicting with the decreasing strength of an elderly individual. Am I saying no one should ever get a dog because things in your life might change? Of course not, however a hardship for both humans and dogs can be averted by planning for these changes and assessing what is realistic and what is not. Sometimes the answer might be that you should wait until you get settled in your career, have enough disposable income, or have a living environment conducive to the dog you want to own. Sometimes the answer can come in the form of the breed or size of dog you choose for yourself. Small dogs do not require the same amount of space or finances and may be a better fit for a growing family. Senior dogs can be a wonderful option if you are filling a shorter time period of your life. Sometimes the answer is another companion animal altogether such as a cat or ferret who do not require the same kind outdoor space or time as a dog. If you are willing to be creative and have an open mind, compromise can be made to best ensure a good balance between our ever-changing lives, and the needs of our dog. So next time you hear that little voice saying, “ I Want a Dog” first consider if now is the best time and if not go volunteer at your local humane society or shelter to get your dog fix until that best time arrives. Happy Training! Paula Bergeron and the gang at Good Dogma embrace a holistic approach to bringing balance to your dog’s behavioral issues. Exercise, training, relaxation, massage, grooming, play, socialization and energy healing are incorporated into your dog’s routine. www.Goodogma.com
When Bob isn't playing beer fetch at Ziggy's, he's hangin' with Rosie
Who Wrote Mary Had a Little Lamb? Sandy Sonnichsen
n the broad scope of Sarah Josepha Hale’s historical legacy, this is not an important question. Born in 1788 in Newport, NH, her other accomplishments are far greater than the authorship of one poem published in a small book of poems for children. Just think of them all: editor of a very popular magazine, publisher of many famous authors, crusader to make Thanksgiving Day a national holiday, successful campaigner to complete the Bunker Hill monument, supporter of innumerable other causes… and at the same time raising five children as a single mother. She was incredible. But this question will not go away, and for some reason that poem is often all anyone knows of Sarah Josepha Hale, so it must be addressed again. Authorship Sarah Josepha Hale first published the poem as Mary’s Lamb in 1830. It was part of a small book of children’s poems entitled Poems for Our Children. She is clearly named as the author of these poems on the title page. That same year Mary’s Lamb was published in the September-October issue of the Juvenile Miscellany magazine (vol. 5, no.1, page 64) with her initials attached. The next year, 1831, the same poem was set to music by Lowell Mason in his book, Juvenile Lyre, and entitled Mary Had a Little Lamb. Three years later, in 1834, she published this poem once more in her School Song Book, where, once again, she is clearly named as the author on the title page. It is a simple poem, published with clear authorship. Lambs and Schools Sheep are very poor mothers. It is astonishing. They reject lambs (especially twins); they drop their lambs in unfortunate places and die, leaving the lambs orphaned. These lambs may be 52 4 Legs & a Tail
Sarah Josepha Hale
adopted by other sheep, or may need to be bottle-fed. Bottle feeding a lamb requires the time and attention that most farmers cannot easily spare, so the orphaned lambs are often given to the farmer’s children to raise. My mother grew up on a sheep farm in Putney, Vermont and talked all her life about the bottle-fed lambs. They are sweet, wooly things that follow their adopted parents everywhere until they are weaned. Ideal pets until they abruptly grow into sheep, herd animals with no remaining interest in their human parents. The little lambs often ended up in school. When I attended school in Alaska in the early 1960’s, my friend, Royal, brought his two lambs to school one day. They were delightful and quite disruptive. Our teacher, Mrs. Heddell, finally turned them out. If we were soon assigned the task of writing a poem (which we were not, Mrs. Heddell was much more interested in math), I suppose many of us would have written about those lambs. A lamb or two in school is just not unusual in a farming community. It is even known to happen today, and it must have been very common during the New England sheep boom of the early 1800’s. Poems about lambs written by children must have been commonplace during the sheep boom also. The Controversy In 1815 a nine year-old child named Mary Sawyer (1806-1889) was caring for, like many farm children, an orphaned Continued Next Page
lamb that was born in March of 1814. (We know this date from the facsimile of a letter Mary wrote in 1889, found on page 12 of The Story of Mary’s Little Lamb, published by Henry Ford in 1928.) Mary’s lamb followed her to school one day. This took place at the Redstone Schoolhouse in District No. 2 in Sterling, Massachusetts. That same day a ten year-old boy, John Roulstone, Jr. (1805-1822) was visiting the school. The next day he is said to have handed Mary a slip of paper upon which he had written a poem about her lamb. It appears that Mary did not save this slip of paper because a poem written in Roulston’s hand has never been produced. But she did at some point tell family and friends the story. It must be noted that no printed copy of a pre-1830 poem about a lamb at school has ever surfaced in the United States. In 1830, when Mary Sawyer was 24, Sarah Josepha Hale’s poem was published in Poems for Our Children. Sometime after its publication, Mary Sawyer saw Sarah Hale’s poem, and thought it must be her lamb (after all, her name was Mary) and the poem must be Roulstone’s. Perhaps she saw it in the 1857 McGuffey’s Reader. The date when Mary first recognized the poem is unclear, as she did not tell her story publicly until she was an old woman, sixty-one years later, when, in 1876, at age 70, she participated in the successful fundraising effort to save Boston’s Old South Meetinghouse. The Meetinghouse was damaged in the Great Boston Fire of 1872, and was in the process of demolition when it became the first historically significant public building in the country to be preserved. Mary sold autographed cards, tied with a piece of old sock yarn, to support the renovation. Who would want to buy that? These cards sold because she said she was the famous Mary and the yarn was the famous Mary’s lamb’s wool. They were
a popular item. Mary still had some of her lamb’s wool because, she said, she had saved two pairs of socks knitted way back in 1818 from the wool. Mary’s teacher, who might have recalled John Roulstone’s poem, was long gone, as was John Roulstone. Mary finally wrote the poem she attributed to Roulstone down as she remembered it, in her own hand, in 1883. This hand written copy of Sarah Hale’s verse is often used as support for Roulstone’s authorship, but it is meaningless. By 1883, Sarah Hale’s poem was so well known that any school child (or adult) could easily write it from memory. Enter Henry Ford The lamb story became even more dramatic when Henry Ford, who owned the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts, became involved. When Mary’s Redstone Schoolhouse was closed in 1856, it was used as a barn or garage for the Baptist parsonage in Sterling. In 1926, almost 40 years after Mary’s death, Henry Ford purchased the cornerstone, some foundation stones, and what remained of the frame from this barn, and incorporated those remains into a schoolhouse he had built in Sudbury. He used the schoolhouse as Continued Next Page
an attraction at his Wayside Inn. In 1928 Ford published the author-less The Story of Mary’s Little Lamb, in which he promoted this schoolhouse as the very school to which the famous Mary’s lamb went. To support his claim he erected a bronze commemorative plaque at the site, which infers that, OK, maybe this isn’t the original schoolhouse, but it is a schoolhouse made from lumber from Sterling, Massachusetts. His forty page book includes 25 pages embellishing Mary’s “circumstantial story,” (as described on page 12). Ford turned an admirable old woman’s fond memory into a vigorous promotional scheme,
without a thought for any historical fact. Henry Ford was a promotional genius with lots of money. Poetic Style Much has been made of the perceived difference in style between the first twelve lines of the poem and the remaining twelve lines. The discussion appeared in an anonymous article in Henry Ford’s Dearborn Independent Magazine, and continues to be repeated, for instance in the Sterling, Massachusetts Historical Society’s 1981 Mary Had a Little Lamb pamphlet. The theory is that Roulstone wrote the first twelve lines and Sarah Hale the last twelve. True, the first twelve lines are more well-known and more appealing to children. The remaining lines, while still sweet, become moralistic and message-driven. This was a very common format for children’s poems at the time. As stated in her introduction to Poems for Our Children: “I intended… to furnish you [children] with a few pretty songs and poems which would teach you truths, and, I hope, induce you to love truth and goodness.” Children populating the literature of the time were forever making poor choices and drowning. The inclusion of a moralistic ending to poems that begin sweetly was
“ Mary Had a Little Lamb” By Sarah Josepha Hale
Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went The lamb was sure to go.
It followed her to school one day, Which was against the rule;
It made the children laugh and play To see a lamb at school.
And so the teacher turned it out, But still it lingered near,
And waited patiently about Till Mary did appear.
Why does the lamb love Mary so? The eager children cry;
Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know, The teacher did reply.
a device of the time; the change in tone does not indicate a different author. The fact that the “expert” author of the two-styles theory was unnamed, and the theory appeared in Henry Ford’s own magazine, raises significant questions about the validity of the analysis. There has not been any new expert analysis since that time, just a repetition of the anonymous article. Those who are inclined to trust the historical accuracy of something supported by the famous Henry Ford may want to read up on the quite shocking editorial approach of Ford’s Dearborn Independent. The Implication The story of Mary Sawyer implies that somehow Sarah Hale came across this never published schoolhouse poem and plagiarized it. How could she have come across it? The explanation in Henry Ford’s book is that the lost poem by Roulstone (who died in 1822, about Continued Next Page
54 4 Legs & a Tail
seven years after supposedly writing it), traveled by word of mouth from Sterling, Massachusetts to Newport, New Hampshire where Sarah was living in 1815. That seems unlikely. Henry Ford’s book explains that the two towns were close to each other. They are ninety miles apart over the most direct route that would have been followed in 1815. Henry had not yet invented the automobile, so the distance was considerable. Facebook did not exist, and although letters were common, none have surfaced with Roulstone’s lamb poem. Local newspapers at the time published many poems, but there is no sign of Roulstone’s anywhere in print. None the less, there are at least three published accounts of Mary Sawyer’s lamb story, all of them published after her death. I don’t doubt that Mary Sawyer had a lamb that followed her to school. I don’t even have reason to question that John Roulstone could have written a lamb poem about it. But there is absolutely no evidence to connect that lamb incident to the poem written by Sarah Hale. It is not of importance to the question of the poem, but interesting to note that the original schoolhouse pictured in Fannie Dickerson’s publication does not at all resemble the vigorously promoted schoolhouse pictured in Henry Ford’s publication. Why he didn’t make an effort to make his schoolhouse resemble the one attended by Mary is a mystery. As it is, the “Mary’s Lamb Schoolhouse” stands as a physical metaphor for the equally altered and promoted story of the lamb at the school. Finally, for me, it is interesting to note that my mother, who cared for the bottle-fed lambs on her family’s farm in Putney Vermont in the 1920’s, was named Mary. She was a member of a succeeding generation of Marys and their lambs. Mom described them as following her everywhere. She named them and dressed them in clothes. I bet some of those lambs followed her to the one-room school house near her family’s farm in Putney, Vermont. The tails of those lambs were docked, but my mother did not go around in her old age claiming to be Little Bo Peep. Sandy Sonnichsen is a volunteer archivist for the Richards Library. She grew up on a small farm in Alaska with livestock that included a herd of goats, but no sheep. She went on to become a fishery biologist, now retired. All her years of experience doing careful research now come in handy as she volunteers in many places, some completely unrelated to fish. Spring 2018
Cats and Dogs Getting Along Together: Mutt Adopts Kittens
female dog is nursing a litter of kittens which were orphaned when their mother died. Their owner, Cai, of Jiangmen, China said he has been raising cats and dogs together for more than 10 years, and they all got along together well, however, this was the first time he had ever seen kittens being nursed by a dog Will and Guy have learned. The four kittens seemed happy and content with their new mother’s milk, while the dog was tending to its adopted family with love and care. ‘Several days ago, the kittens’ mother died after eating a poisoned rat, leaving behind a litter of kittens without a source of milk,’ Cai volunteered. ‘The kittens’ cries may have stirred the dog’s maternal nature, since it too had recently given birth. It volunteered to take over and feed the kittens of its old friend.’ The dog’s own puppies had been taken away by one of its grown-up offspring. Cai mused, ‘That’s perhaps another reason why the dog adopted the kittens. She lost all of her own children.’
Notice seen in the newspaper: Yelling
caller reported at 7:14 p.m. that someone was on a porch yelling "help" from a residence on Bank Street. Officers responded and learned the person was calling for a cat that is named "Help".
56 4 Legs & a Tail
n front of the local butcher’s, an art connoisseur noticed a mangy little kitten lapping up milk from a saucer. The saucer, he realized with a start, was a rare and precious piece of pottery. It was, in fact, a collector’s item. He strolled into the store and offered ten dollars for the cat. ‘He’s not for sale’, said the butcher. ‘Look’, said the collector’, that cat is dirty and scabby, but I’m an eccentric. I prefer cats that way. I’ll raise my offer to $20. ‘It’s a deal’, said the proprietor, and pocketed the twenty immediately. ‘For that amount of money I’m sure you won’t mind throwing in the saucer’, said the connoisseur’, ‘The kitten seems so happy drinking from it.’ ‘I can’t do that’, said the butcher firmly, ‘That’s my lucky saucer. From that saucer, so far this week, I’ve sold 18 cats. Spring 2018
Cat Ordered to Do Jury Service
abby Sal, the cat, has been summoned to do jury service, despite the fact that his owners told the court he was ‘unable to speak and understand English.’ Anna Esposito, wrote to Suffolk Superior Crown Court in Boston to explain that a mistake had been made, but a jury commissioner replied saying the cat, named Tabby Sal, ‘must attend.’ Mrs. Esposito had included a letter from her vet confirming that the cat was ‘a domestic short-haired neutered feline.’ Tabby Sal had been entered by Mrs. Esposito under the “pets” section of the last census. “When they ask him guilty or not guilty? What’s he supposed to say - meow?” She said. Research has shown that the US judicial system states that jurors are ‘not expected to speak perfect English.’ We surmise that it would be sufficient for Tabby Sal to answer, ‘Meow’ to all questions!
New Police K-9 Joins the Force
new Police K9 has joined the Lebanon Police Department. K-9 Blesk is a one-year-old male Belgian Malinois that was born in Slovakia and imported into the United States in November of 2017. Spring 2018
Pet Friendly Flooring Options Susan Cole - Lebanon, NH
Sellers Take note! â€“ Buyers Certainly Will!
pring has sprung, and with the change of season, our thoughts turn to Motherâ€™s Day celebrations, spring cleaning and much-needed home improvement projects. It is a great time to consider pet friendly flooring options that will work for your home and add value when the time is right to sell. Pet-Friendly Flooring Options for your dogs and cats:
This is a go-to flooring choice for its clean, classic look. It is a flooring type that many home buyers prefer. Although this type of flooring can be prone to scratching, stains, sun and water damage. If cared for properly, it should be long lasting.
Offers a warm and comfortable feel and provides a cozy landing for our furry friends. One of the most important factors, if you have carpet in your house, is that it be clean and up to date. Continued Next Page
58 4 Legs & a Tail
Many homes have ceramic tile in bathrooms, entries and kitchens. Often in high traffic areas, regular tile maintenance is essential. This is an easy floor covering that can hold up to whatever your pet dishes out. They are water resistant, hard to scratch and easy to clean.
Laminate flooring is very durable especially with pets. It can often withstand scratches from even the biggest dogs. Although scratches can happen, this may be a good flooring type to consider for your pet friendly home. Please keep in mind quality flooring serves as an important asset and can increase the value of your home. It is an expensive and significant part of a property and should be carefully looked after. Well-maintained flooring can help you increase your home’s value when you are ready to sell. Don’t underestimate the value of clean and updated floors! In addition to home improvement projects, spring cleaning is a tradition in most households this time of year. If you are preparing your home for sale, spring cleaning will be especially important. Buyers appreciate a clean, uncluttered and well-kept home. This is not always an easy task when you share your home with pets. During the cleaning process please remember to keep all cleaning products and chemicals away from your pets! Almost all cleaning products, even natural ones, contain chemicals that may be harmful to pets. We are pleased to have this opportunity to share information with homeowners who love their pets and want to maintain or improve the value of their home. Happy Spring!
All I Really Need to Know I Learned From My Dog Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout run right back and make friends. Bond with your pack. On cold nights, curl up in front of a crackling fire.
Take naps and stretch before rising.
When you’re excited, speak up.
Run, romp, and play daily.
When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
Be loyal. Never pretend to be something you’re not.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently. Thrive on affection and let people touch you - enjoy back rubs and pats on your neck. When you leave your yard, make it an adventure. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
Susan Cole is a seasoned professional, providing real estate solutions to many clients in the Upper Valley. As a ninth generation native to the area, her extensive local knowledge, combined with her excellent negotiating skills and attention to detail, has translated into many buying and selling successes. www.SusanColeRealty.com Spring 2018
60 4 Legs & a Tail
Mud Season 2018 Central NH & VT
Taxing Questions About Your Pets Whoâ€™s Living in Your Chimney?
A Holistic Approach to Vaccination Season What Your Dog Can Teach You The Saddle May Be Your Best Friend