Central NH & VT Winter 2018
The Inspiration Behind the Iditarod Tips for a PAWesome Winter! Meet Marmaduke Does this collar make me look fat? A 9 Year Old Comes to the Rescue in Houston
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
3. A Local Hero Steps Up During Hurricane Relief Effort
9 year old Benton’s decision to sell his toys to help those in Houston, provides inspiration to the Upper Valley
5. Does This Collar Make Me look Fat?
M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM
Helpful advice to keep the weight off this winter
6. Foods That You Can Share With Your Dog 10. Barn Fires: 30 Seconds is all Your Animals Have
M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM
12. What to Expect (From Your Dog) When You’re Expecting
New training techniques before you bring the baby home
14. Best of Breed Dog Biscuits
An award winning recipe from our friends at King Arthur Flour
16. How to Train Your Dog to Fetch a Beer
Impress your friends at your Super Bowl party with this trick
18. Meet the K-9 Cops
From search and rescue to narcotic patrol, the Lebanon Police Department continues to serve the community with canine officers
22. 1925 Serum Run Participants
The true story of the life saving dogs that inspired the Iditarod
27. Tips for a PAWesome Winter Adventure
30. Winter Ice Melter Safety
What is safe to use on your driveway and sidewalk?
31. Wintering Horses
Helpful advice to keep your equine friends happy, healthy and safe from the cold
34. Cold Blooded Winter Emergency Kits
Preparing your reptiles for winter
36. Hermit Crabs
Susan Tullar, DVM
Look forward to years of entertainment with these outgoing active little animals.
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
37. Bloat By Any Other Name…
Better known as Gastric Dilatation - Volvulus, is at the top of our list as a serious and devastating threat to dogs.
39. Cat Who Lost Both His Ears Is Winning Instagram Followers with His Huge Heart,
40. Once the Teeth Are Clean, Let’s Keep Them That Way-Cats
Sandra Waugh, VMD
Celebrate National Dental Month this February with your favorite feline.
42. Love Story: Extraordinary Girl + Amazing Cat
An autistic five year old finds her artist freedom thanks to her therapy cat
44. Alternatively Speaking: Aging Gracefully
Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA
A holistic approach during your dogs golden years.
47. The Age-Old Canine Debate: Puppy or Adult?
50. Opiate Addiction and the Hound Healer
With the odds heavily stacked against them, a young man and a rescue dog find solace in each other
54. Six Trees to Grow For Birds
Help birds and other wildlife by planting native trees!
56. Marmaduke: The Story
For more than 60 years, the beloved Great Dane has tickled our funny bone
59. 2018: The Year of the Dog
4 Legs & a Tail Volume L.417 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
A look at the legend of the zodiac
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.
A Local Hero Steps Up During Hurricane Relief Effort C
ommunity stewardship and helping neighbors in need has been central to the mission and passion of West Lebanon Feed & Supply (WLFS) since owners Curt & Sharon Jacques first purchased the business in 1994. Over the last 24 years, while the scope and scale of specific needs have ranged from hay shortages to hurricane relief, from donating farm fresh eggs through “Share the Harvest” to hosting pet adoption days or vaccine clinics, the central theme around the organization has consistently been to give back and take care of the community that supports them. To their employees, Curt & Sharon have always insisted that intervening in times of need, and finding ways to support the local community (and beyond) is more than just a nice thought, it’s the responsibility of everyone. In this way, WLFS has been recognized as a leading example among small businesses both in the region and nationally for their corporate social responsibility and community service. The devastation that was left in the aftermath of the recent hurricanes left many in the Upper Valley of NH and VT wondering how they could step in and help. Through quick planning, WLFS rapidly re-launched its “Cause for Paws” campaign, an effort that was originally established to assist after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, in order to raise support for displaced pets and animals after the storms. Upon contacting several intervening shelters in the greater Houston area and establishing the mission to help, WLFS set to work spreading the news and appealing for community support through funds that would go entirely to aid the affected pets and animals. The 10-day hurricane relief effort really struck a chord with a local nine-year-old boy named Benton, who had already been on the lookout for a way to help. Upon hearing about the “Cause for Paws”, Benton worked out a plan with his mother’s help to sell his own stuffed animal toys to raise money for the cause. They quickly went to work posting the items online and asking people to consider paying just a little more in order to help the hurricane-displaced pets. Benton’s sacrifice quickly became an inspiration to friends and family, and over the course of the fundraising period, Benton was able to raise a total of two Winter 2018
Ira Richards hundred dollars to be donated through Cause for Paws. Shor t ly a f t e r t he new s of Benton’s heroic and self less efforts reached WLFS, they drew upon that inspirational act and began to plan a special “thank you” event to honor young Benton as truly the unsung “hero” of the Cause for Paws Pet Hurricane Relief campaign. With help
from their local first-responder friends including Lebanon Police, Lebanon Fire, and Canaan Police, Benton was picked up in a police cruiser on a bright Thursday morning and escorted to an award ceremony and pancake breakfast at West Lebanon Feed & Supply. He walked into the store to Continued Next Page
L-R: Marilyn Smith, Benton, Ira Richards, Curt Jacques,Cindi Taylor, Chief Libby, Jon Tracy
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the sound of cheers from the entire store staff and a group of local officials, all of whom were in attendance to express their gratitude for his inspirational act of kindness. After getting through some initial shyness, Benton happily accepted several tokens of appreciation, took a few photos with the crew, which included an appearance from Lebanonâ€™s Police K9 Max, and enjoyed a specially-made pancake breakfast. He soon also learned that a local police union was even going to match his fundraising effort, bringing the total donated in his name to four hundred dollars for Cause for Paws. As the event progressed, each of the civil leaders took the opportunity to shake hands with Benton and personally thanked him for his humble sacrifice. Through their words, a theme quickly emerged about the importance of continuing to do good, helping our neighbors both far and near, and always setting an example for others to follow in kindness, compassion, and love. Benton truly was the â€œheroâ€? of the effort, an act that has subsequently inspired so many to consider doing just a little more to help those in need. Through the help of Benton and the generosity of so many others, the WLFS Cause for Paws Pet Hurricane Relief campaign has raised over $10,000 in funds to directly assist the hurricane-impacted animals. A small team from WLFS is being sent in early November to volunteer their help and to deliver the funds to shelters in the greater Houston area. In addition, an ongoing effort is being made to help raise awareness and funds for similar needs in hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico. To learn more about these efforts and to determine how you can help, please contact West Lebanon Feed & Supply. Winter 2018
Does This Collar Make Me Look Fat? Obesity in Pets is a Serious Problem M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM Vermont Veterinary Medical Association
he obesity epidemic in America is not only affecting people, it is affecting our pets as well. Many pets are overweight, but often owners don’t know it until they take their pet to the veterinarian for another reason. As veterinarians, it would be irresponsible of us to ignore your pet’s weight when we do a physical exam, just as it would be for a physician to ignore a human patient’s overweight condition. As your pet’s medical caretakers, we need to bring it to your attention because we are responsible for your pet’s health. So, Fido or Fluffy is a little pudgy. Does it matter? YES. Numerous studies have proven that pets who are overweight or obese are much more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, asthma, and many other diseases. How do you know if your pet is overweight? Since ideal weights vary by breed, a good way to judge your pet’s weight is to place your hands on either side of its rib cage and feel for the ribs. You should be able to easily feel the ribs (but not see them). When viewed from above, your pet should have a waist and when viewed from the side should have a slightly tucked abdomen. If you can’t feel the ribs and you can’t see a waist from above, your pet is overweight. Still aren’t sure? Ask your veterinarian. Now, let’s take a look at why our pets are becoming overweight and what we can do about it. Our pets gain weight for the same simple reason that people do: they eat more calories than they use. We are the ones buying and giving the food, so we need to look at how we contribute to this problem. Some pets are expert beggars or even act like they haven’t had Continued ON Page 8
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breakfast, leading different members of the household to feed them more than once. Many of us substitute treats and extra food for affection. There is always that one person at home who sneaks the pet extra treats, and some of us are ‘guilt’ feeders. The animal begs, so we give just a few more kibbles. Unfortunately, those kibbles add up. Just a teaspoon - about 20 kibbles - extra per day for a cat adds up to a pound in a year. In a human, that’s like gaining ten pounds! People food is a huge source of extra calories. A little cube of cheese to a small dog is like a human eating a couple of Big Macs. A pizza crust is the same. It all adds up. Sometimes there is a medical reason for the weight gain. Sometimes it is related to a slower metabolism with age. So, what can we do about our overweight pets? The first step is to have your veterinarian do a thorough physical to assess your pet’s overall health and to help rule out any medical reasons for the weight gain. Perhaps your dog has a low thyroid level and needs some medication or maybe your cat has arthritis, which makes it painful to be active and burn off calories. Did you know that by age ten, 90% of cats have some evidence of arthritis seen on x-rays? What we often interpret as “slowing down’ or “growing old” is often pain from arthritis. Who wants to exercise when it hurts? Your pet may even benefit from a prescription pet food specifically formulated to help your pet shed those extra pounds. Talk to your veterinarian about it when having your pet’s physical exam. Some things you can do at home to help control your pet’s weight are to first do a family survey of who is feeding the pet what (including treats and people food) and when. You must get everyone on board to help your pet lose weight. Measure out your pet’s food with a measuring cup. Avoid people food - it is extremely high in calories. If you must give treats, use vegetables (no raisins, plums, avocados, garlic, or onions), but remember that every food has calories, so unlimited amounts of any substance can cause weight gain. Substitute affection for interactive play time. Just because your pet has a fenced in yard or lots of toys does not mean they are going to actually exercise. Get a Frisbee or ball for the dog and play with them, and some fishing pole-type toys or a laser pointer for the cats. Even ten minutes a couple times a day will make a huge difference. Walking the dogs will help your health and theirs. Weight loss isn’t easy, but it can be done. It will help your pet to live a longer, healthier, and pain-free life. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional organization of 360 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine.
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Foods That You Can Share With Your Dog
ome human foods can be detrimental to your dog’s health. Many people know that they should not be feeding their dogs people food. They know that most of it can be unhealthy. You may not know that some human food is perfectly okay to feed your dog and is actually good for them. Keep reading to find out which ones! CHICKEN Chicken is perfectly healthy for dogs. Many meats like this are. If you think about what dogs used to eat prior to being domesticated, chicken would have been in their diet. BROCCOLI AND CARROTS Just like they are for humans, vegetables are healthy for dogs too. One easy way to give your dog broccoli without it costing you much is to give them the hard stem of the broccoli. They will love it. It’s healthy for them, and you probably would have thrown it out anyway. SWEET POTATOES AND OATMEAL T h e s e t wo grains can be very healthy for dogs are some of the healthier grains available. Feel free to share them with your dog when you are eating them. APPLE SLICES Although most fruits are not recommended for dogs, apples are perfectly fine. EGGS Eggs are a natural food that is very healthy. If you want to give your dog an egg or even the plate after you are finished eating your eggs, your dog will enjoy it and it will not cause any issues. As you can see, there are lots of foods that you are able to share with your dog. Make sure that you stay disciplined and feed them only these foods. Other foods such as avocados, that you might think are healthy, are actually in fact worse for a dog than chocolate. Just like it’s fun for humans, getting a treat every once in a while is fun for dogs as well, and these foods may be the perfect answer! If you have any questions regarding types of foods for your dog, contact us today! For more information on quality pet care, read more at SugarRiverAnimalHospital.com
Barn Fires: 30 Seconds is all Your Animals Have M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM - Vermont Veterinary Medical Association
arn fires can begin without warning, spread rapidly, and cause severe damage and injury in just a few minutes. Even if the fire is extinguished quickly or barn evacuation works well, the damage can be significant in just a short time. Protecting a horse stall is not the same as fire protection in the home. Dry bedding material is very flammable. In just a few minutes, burning straw reaches a temperature of 300
degrees Fahrenheit, which is the same rate as gasoline. Once a fire starts in a stall and spreads to only four feet, most animals are injured. Animals caught in barn fires suffer not just burns but also severe damage to the respiratory tract (from inhaling toxic fumes) and damage to the eyes. If the animal is to escape unharmed, he must be rescued from the stall in 30 seconds. Unless you are an Olympian, you cannot get
to the barn in time to save the animals from injury. So while fire detection and rescue are important, even more important is preventing the fire. The most obvious place to start is to eliminate the source of heat/fire. Do not allow smoking within 30 feet of the barn and enforce it. Post “No Smoking” signs prominently throughout the facility. Provide a safe place for those who must smoke to do so and a means for them to thoroughly extinguish their cigarettes. (There is always someone who is going to “sneak a smoke”- better to have a safe place for them to do so.) Wires that have lost their insulation covering due to rodent damage or are not protected in a conduit can provide a heat source for fires. Make sure all switches, outlets, and light bulbs are free of damage (and cobwebs!) Shut off and unplug all electrical appliances when not in use and try not to use extension cords. Sparks from a farrier’s forge can start a fire, as can grills that are used for “barn parties”. Lightning strikes can set barns on fire. Have a lightning arrestor installed on the barn. Materials that are flammable should be stored properly. Make sure hay is properly cured before putting it in the barn and avoid stacking it above the stalls. There have been many cases of such hay spontaneously bursting into flame resulting in loss of the entire barn and all the animals. Hay and bedding ideally should be stored in a separate building or at least not over the top of the stalls. Keep the aisles clean of all loose hay and bedding. Cobwebs can act as fuses because they are usually loaded with dust particles and small pieces of hay/bedding. In addition, vegetation outside the barn can feed a Continued Next Page
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fire. Don’t store oil and gasoline in the same building as animals, and don’t store tractors or other work vehicles in barns or arenas when not in use. Often overlooked are horse products such as liniments, cleaning products, and insecticides. These are all flammable and should be kept in metal cabinets. What about early detection? While fire detectors are helpful, they will sometimes give false alarms due to the amount of dust found in barns. Infrared detectors need to “see” the flames before they sound an alarm and smoldering fires can produce large amounts of toxic gasses well before any flames are evident. There are other alarms and heat sensors which can be heard within the barn/arena or outside the building, and remote monitoring systems which will send alerts to the home of the owner, to their cell phone, or even to the local fire department. Whichever you use, check them frequently to make sure they are functioning properly. If you are planning on building a wood barn for your animals, there are many ways to reduce fire risk. Talk to your contractor about using wood that has been pre-treated with a fire retardant, building with large wooden beams (which are more fire resistant than 2x4s and 2x6s), using joint straps with nails or screws instead of gusset plates, and install fire stops every 50-60 feet to stop a fire from racing from one end of the barn to the other through the open rafter space. This is important because once the rafters burn through, the roof can fail and collapse on animals and rescuers. Some recent options include using concrete “tip-ups”, mortar and concrete blocks, or metal support beams for doorways and even using metal roofs. Consider installing a sprinkler system. Once you have reduced combustible materials and sources of heat, have a plan in place in case of fire. Practice it. Hang a halter and lead rope on each stall door and make sure everyone Winter 2018
knows where the “safe place” is located away from the barn to place horses in the event of a fire. Simply turning horses loose often results in disaster: they will try to run back into their stalls. Never place a lock on a stall door. Have fire extinguishers at each barn door and by the electrical service panel, have enough water hose to reach the length of the barn (have a way to prevent them freezing in winter), and consider a sprinkler system. Invite the local fire department to visit for an inspection. Preventing fire is their specialty, and most are happy to help you with a plan. Make sure you have adequate access for emergency vehicles and good signage for quick access in the event of a fire. Remember, just because you have never had a fire doesn’t mean the potential is not there. Unless you are present the moment the second the fire starts, it his highly unlikely that your animals and property are going to survive without damage. If the fire starts in the stall, 30 seconds is all your animal has before it is injured. Prevention is key. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional organization of 360 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine.
What To Expect (from your dog)
When You're Expecting Paula Bergeron - Grafton, NH
here is so much to do when getting ready for a new baby. One area that many people overlook is how to prepare their dog for the new arrival. I receive many calls from concerned new parents who have become frightened about their dogs behavior around their baby. Many are contemplating finding a new home for their dog because the thought of trying to deal with their dog and their new baby is overwhelming. The best answer to these problems is to tackle them before baby arrives. Start with a good foundation. If you have not already taken your dog to an obedience class, do it now, before the baby comes. If you can trust your dog to sit, come, stay, wait, and lay down then you can begin to shape his/her behavior to accommodate your needs as you take care of your baby. Let’s begin by teaching your dog to give you and your baby space with the basic command of “back”. Start by putting a boundary around you such as a 3ft. square made of tape on the floor, or stand in the middle of a small area rug. Have treats in your pocket… and have a blanketed doll in your arms. As your dog comes towards you say “back” and walk straight into your dog until they back up so that they are off the rug 12 4 Legs & a Tail
or out of the square… say “good dog” and treat. Go back and stand in the middle… as your dog comes forward repeat the action saying “back” treat once the dog gets behind the barrier. Once your dog begins to understand that they need to give you space… do the activity again but only give the treat if your dog stays behind the barrier after you walk back to the middle… you can treat them by either rolling the treat to them on the floor… or having a friend treat the dog outside of the barrier. When your dog begins to understand that you want that 3 foot space around you, take the tape or rug away, and repeat the exercise by asking your dog to be “back” having him back up about 3 feet. The next step is to begin to say back as you move… much like you might be doing ,say nine months from now, when you are soothing a fussy baby. As your dog comes to investigate.. say back giving a “gooooood boy” in a soothing voice when he/she gives you that 3 foot space. Designate the baby’s room as a dog free zone. This ensures that your dog will not interfere with diaper changes, nursing, or soothing an infant. Frustration can run high if you are Continued Next Page
dealing with a fussy baby, and believe me you are not going to want a wet nose trying to make its way into a dirty diaper when you just want to get back to sleep. Practice with your dog by opening the nursery door keeping him on the other side using your new command “back”. You can even place some tape on the floor to remind him/her that they is not allowed to cross that barrier. Practice with your dog the behavior you want to see when he/she greets your baby. Have your dog on the leash and a friend to help with this exercise. Using a doll allow your dog to sniff,,, but only when he/she is “gentle.” Have your assistant treat and calmly say “good gentle” when the sniff is soft and the movements are calm. Then say your dog’s name and “back” having your assistant treat your dog when they back away from the bundle in your arms.“ It is important to keep these exercises as calm as possible as you want your dog to associate baby interaction with calm behavior. Your dog is going to continue to need structured exercise when your baby comes home, especially since everything else will be is so exciting and new. You can learn how to walk your dog with a baby stroller or carriage but you will want to practice this before the baby is actually in the carriage or stroller. Have your dog walk in the heel position
behind the stroller. If you are struggling to control both dog and stroller have a friend push the stroller as you walk your dog in the heel position until your dog is comfortable enough so you can hold the leash and the stroller at the same time. If however this proves to be unmanageable, consider hiring a dog walker for the days you are not able to walk the dog alone. Bringing the new baby home should be a joyful and exciting time in your life. Make sure it is not clouded by concerns that your dog is not safe around your baby. Be prepared, decide how you want your dog to act, then set up exercises so your dog can learn the wanted behavior and then practice, practice, practice. It will be some of the best preparation you can do to ensure your new family can live safely and happily together! 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 Winter 2018
Best of Breed Dog Biscuits Whether or not you have a vegetarian dog, these non-meat biscuits will be snapped up — literally! The recipe comes courtesy of King Arthur friend Elaine Aukstikalnis, who works in a veterinary office; Elaine regularly bakes these biscuits (which have been “vetted by the vet”) to bring to work for “the patients.” PREP 15 mins. to 25 mins. BAKE 45 mins. to 60 mins. TOTAL 60 mins. to 1 hrs 25 mins.
TIPS AKERS FROM OUR B ese are a Remember, th og, not rd treat for you aily diet. d part of the plenty! One biscuit is
YIELD about 42 larger (about 3 1/2”) biscuits, 60 smaller (round) biscuits INGREDIENTS • 2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour, Premium Whole Wheat Flour, or Organic Whole Wheat Flour • 1 cup rolled oats, regular or quick • 1 tablespoon dried parsley or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley • 1/2 cup Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 2 large eggs • 1 cup peanut butter, crunchy or plain
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• 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon cold water, enough to make a cohesive dough Winter 2018
INSTRUCTIONS Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly grease a couple of baking sheets, or line them with parchment. Mix together the flour, oats, parsley, dried milk, and salt. Add the eggs and peanut butter, stirring to combine; the mixture will be crumbly. Add enough water to bring the dough together; depending on the season, you may need to add a bit more (winter), or a bit less (summer). To make biscuits using a dog-bone cutter, roll the dough about 1/4” thick, and cut with a 3 1/2” cutter (or the size of your choice). Gather and re-roll the scraps, and continue to cut biscuits until you’ve used all the dough. To make dog “cookies,” drop the dough in walnut-sized balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Flatten them to about 1/4”. Bake the biscuits for about 40 to 60 minutes, baking the smaller cookies for a shorter amount of time. When finished, the biscuits will be dark golden brown, and will be dry and crisp all the way through. Remove the biscuits from the oven, and cool right on the pans. Winter 2018
BASIC TRAINING How to Train Your Dog to Bring You a Beer! OPENING THE FRIDGE: 1. Tie a rope or a towel to the door of your fridge. If you have a tug toy that your dog likes, this would work as well. You can also wrap a treat inside the towel to make it more enticing. 2. With your dog next to you, say “Get me a beer” or whatever command you have chosen for this action. Encourage your dog to bite on the towel. Give praise and a treat every time your dog bites the towel on your command. 3. Say “Get me a beer” and encourage your dog to pull on the towel. Give praise t was Super bowl Sunday when and a treat every time your dog pulls the most of us first saw this iconic Budweiser fridge open. commercial. Dogs love to please us. And let’s face it, we love a cold beer during the GRABBING THE BEER: 1.Put the beer can on the lowest shelf biggest game of the year. So why not mix the two, and train your of the fridge so that your dog can reach it. dog to bring you a beer! It will certainly It helps to clear out any stuff around it. impress your guests at this year’s Super Empty a beer can and play fetch with bowl party. it. If necessary, wrap something around This WikiHow article shows us just how the can so the dog can grab it more easily. easy it is to teach your dog to fetch you a Put something against the fridge door beer, or any other cold drink, from the so that it stays open without you having fridge in just a few easy steps. to hold it.
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Near the fridge, point to the beer can and tell your dog to “fetch”. If your dog doesn’t understand, as you give the command pick up the beer and place it in the dog’s mouth. 2. Give your dog praise. Give the “drop” command so that she drops the can into your hand. Give praise and a treat. Repeat until your dog can pick up a beer can and put it on your hand using only verbal commands. 3. Move further away from the fridge and repeat. Keep moving a little further away until you’re sitting on your living room couch in front of the TV, or wherever you’ll often be when you command your dog to fetch the beer. CLOSING THE FRIDGE: 1.Open the fridge door slightly. 2. Dangle a treat so that your dog gets up on his hind legs and leans with his front paws against the door. This will close the door. Say “Close it” when you’re doing this, and reward your dog when he puts his paws on the door. 3. Move further away, leaving the fridge open. Tell your dog to “Close it”. Reward your dog whenever he closes the fridge. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: 1.Stand close to the fridge. Ask your dog to “Get me a beer”. He should now be comfortable opening the fridge door. While the fridge door is open, tell the dog to “fetch”. 2.Have him put the beer in your hand and reward him. 3.Repeat the previous step, but this time say “Close it” after he grabs the can and reward him profusely after he’s brought you the beer. 4.Move a little further away and say “Get me a beer”. Your dog should open the fridge door but if he forgets to, just grab the beer or close the fridge, and remind him verbally. 5. Reward him when he brings you the beer (having done everything he was expected to do). Keep doing this and eventually most dogs will complete all of the tasks with a single command: “Get me a beer”. Larger dogs between 12 and 18 months of age will most easily learn this cool trick because of their size and willingness to learn, however, it is possible to teach old dogs new tricks, so give it a shot! Your friends will be amazed and impressed and you’ll have more couch time! Please remember, use cans, not glass bottles – you don’t want your dog biting too hard or dropping a bottle and breaking it, causing possible injury to the dog and, (god forbid) spilling your beer. Also remember that you’re teaching your dog how to open the fridge… while he might be trained to bring you a beer, you’ll also have a dog that knows how to gain access to all the best food in the house! Winter 2018
Meet the K-9 Cops
he Lebanon Police Canine Unit currently consists of three K9 teams. Ofc. Jon Tracy partnered with K9 Briggs, Ofc. Jeremy Perkins partnered with K9 Max, and Ofc. Tyler Hewes partnered with K9 Kymba. The K9’s are all dual purpose and are certified as patrol dogs and drug/narcotic detection dogs. K9 Briggs is a six year old male German Shepherd. Ofc. Tracy purchased Briggs at eight weeks ol d a n d b e g a n t raining h im at an early age. Ofc. Tracy joined the K9 program in 2006 and worked his first K9 Cody until 2014. K9 Cody retired due to age and health issues and lived out his remaining days with Ofc. Tracy and his family. K9 Max is an 11 year old male Belgian Malinois. Max was imported from the Netherlands and was partnered with Ofc. Perkins in 2007. K9 Kymba is a 2 year old female German Shepherd. Kymba is certified in drug detection and currently attending the patrol school with Ofc. Hewes. Lebanon’s Police K9s are on duty whenever the handler is working, unless the dog is injured or sick. They go to and
Ofc. Jon Tracy & Briggs
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Briggs and Kymba
from work with the handler and they live at home with them. While at home they are off duty and act much like a highly trained family pet. The dogs become attached not just to the handler, but to their family as well. The handler and their K9’s are rarely apart and they even travel on vacations with them. The Lebanon Police Department has three police cruisers specially equipped for the K9’s. The back seat of the cruiser
is a kennel for the K9 with a f lat bench and bed for the dogs comfort. There is a heat sensor unit in the vehicle that will alarm the handler if the inside of the cruiser gets too hot. There is also a door pop system that allows the handler to pop the cruiser door from a distance and call the K9 to them. W h e n a new handler is selected to join the K9 unit they are paired up with a young dog usually between one and two years of age. They are t hen sent of f to either Patrol School or Drug Detection School, whichever is next
up on the calendar. Patrol school takes place at the Vermont Police Academy. This is a 16 week school which is taught by head K9 instructor Robert Ryan. Robert Ryan trains the dogs, but more importantly he teaches the handlers how to train their own dogs. The goal is to successfully pass the end of school Continued NEXT Page
Ofc. Tyler Hewes & Kymba
certification and be certified by the Vermont Police Academy. During this 16 week school the dogs learn basic obedience, tactical obedience with gunfire, building searches to find a low and high suspect, distant apprehension of a suspect, handler protection, multi person apprehension, apprehension from a vehicle, agility course, evidence recovery, and trailing.
Drug and Narcotic Detection School is a six week school where the dogs are trained to detect and alert to the odor of seven drugs and narcotics. Each dog is taught to alert either by an “active alert” which is scratching and biting at the source of the odor or “passive alert” which is locating the source of the odor and sitting to alert. Once the dogs are Continued NEXT Page
On Friday night (1/15/16) at 1830 hours State Police responded to a MV accident on I-89 southbound about 1 mile north of exit 16. The vehicle was totaled and the operator was not on scene when they arrived. NHSP investigated and did not locate the driver. The vehicle was towed from the scene. Later that night 0115 hours the investigating trooper returned to the scene. The drivers family called stating they still had not heard from him. The trooper feared he was ejected or wandered off from the accident. The trooper noticed an area along the guardrail where someone had slid down in the snow towards the woods and a brook. They found footprints and followed them along the brook, but they lost the footprints and decided to call LPD for a K9 track. The track began at 0145 hours. We tracked in the snow between I-89 southbound and a brook (Stoney Brook). We tracked for about 200 feet and then Briggs pulled left into the brook. The brook was about 20 feet wide and was about knee to waist deep. Due to the cold I pulled Briggs out of the water. I shined my flashlight across the water and observed footprints in the snow disappearing into the woods. Due to the cold we decided not to cross the water and could not find a place to cross. We drove about 3/4 a mile and got off I-89 and parked on the wooded side of the brook. We hiked back to the location where Briggs tried to cross the water on the opposite side of the brook. This took some time due to the snow/ice covered terrain. Briggs picked the track back up and we tracked north again along the boundary/animal fence until we came to a spot where the fence was pushed down. Briggs then began pulling up the ridge away from I-89. We tracked for about 200 yards up the ridge and located the driver/suspect. He had wedged himself under the roots of a large tree that had fallen. I didn’t see him until Briggs was right on top of him. He was unconscious when we found him, but woke when Briggs was face to face with him. Briggs sat and was waiting for his toy. We found him at 0330. Nine hours after his accident. The suspect was soaking wet and was turning blue from onset of hypothermia. He had broken ribs and was bleeding from his hands. He was confused and was not sure where he was or why he was out in the woods. We assisted him down the mountain back to the edge of the brook where the fire department used a ladder truck to get him across the brook and transported to DHMC. They think if he had not been found he would have died due to the cold and being wet.
Ofc. Jeremy Perkins & Mase
Briggs & Ofc. Tracy
certified in patrol and drug/narcotic detection they are required to attend 16 hours of monthly training to keep the handler’s and dog’s skills sharp. Every May the handler and K9 recertify in patrol and every December they recertify in drug/narcotic detection.
The K9’s primary job is a locating tool. Lebanon’s K9s have been very successful over the years in locating criminals and lost or missing persons. They have also had numerous drug finds on traffic stops and during search warrants. The hard work done by Lebanon’s patrol officers, detective division, drug task force, and administration has played a major role in the K9 unit’s success. The Lebanon Police Department has mutual aid agreements with the surrounding towns and agencies. The Lebanon K9s will assist these towns when available with all K9 related calls for service. The Lebanon K9s can be seen out and about in Lebanon with their handlers patrolling the streets and meeting residents and visitors. The K9s also attend many public demonstrations during the year. These demonstrations take place at schools and summer camps. This is a great way for children and adults to see the K9s in action and also meet the handlers and dogs. The handlers love to show off their K9s and the K9s love to work. The Lebanon Police Department also organizes an annual K9 Awareness Day in May. This takes place at the West Lebanon Feed and Supply store in West Lebanon. It’s an all day event where the public can come and watch K9 demonstrations and interact with the K9 Teams from many different law enforcement agencies throughout New England. When choosing a dog for police work we look for a dog w ith a high “prey drive” or “ball drive”. Continued Next Page
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When a dog will play fetch for hours and loves chasing after a ball or toy they are easier to train. When asked to complete a task they get their toy when the task is complete. Lebanon’s K9s all have a high ball drive and love to get their toy and praise from their handler when they have completed a task. How do they do it? How can a K9 detect an odor that a human cannot smell? German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois are said to have between 200 million to 225 million scent receptors in their nose, compared to humans who have around 5 million scent receptors. A comparison given by scientists suggests when a human may notice a teaspoon of sugar in their coffee a K9 will detect a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water. That is enough water to fill two Olympic sized swimming pools. Examples of finds for Lebanon’s K9s: K9 Briggs alerted on a package delivered to a house that contained 14 pounds of marijuana. The marijuana was vacuumed sealed and did not give off an odor to humans. K9 Max located over 2000 bags of heroin that were hidden in a wooded area behind a hotel. K9 Kymba recently alerted on the outside of a vehicle which contained a half pound of marijuana. How does a K9 track or trail a human? People leave a trail behind them that cannot be seen. We all drop dead skin cells off our body which are left behind us as we walk or run or even just sit there. Each person has their own unique odor. Tracking and trailing dogs are trained to smell these skin cells and locate the person who left them behind. When a K9 begins a search for a suspect or lost person they will stay on that person’s scent throughout the track even if other people have walked over or near the scent trail. There are other factors that play a role such as crushed vegetation. When a person walks on grass or through the woods, each step they take will crush the vegetation below. If this area has not been disturbed recenlty, this crushed vegetation will release an odor which is now different than the odor all around. This crushed vegetation odor helps the dogs stay close to where the person walked. The terms tracking dog or trailing dog are sometimes confused and they are often used to describe the same thing. Although there is more to it, a simple explanation is tracking is asking the dog to track a specific set of footprints without missing a step. A trailing dog will sniff for the human Winter 2018
scent wherever it may lie. If the wind blows the human scent ten feet to the left of where the person walks, the dog will trail ten feet to the left. Lebanon’s K9s are trained in trailing which allows them to “air scent”. If the scent is still in the air, or if the person they are searching for is close by, the dog will pick his head up and will sniff and pull in the direction of the scent. Lebanon residents are encouraged to contact the Lebanon Police Department if they would like to schedule a K9 demonstration for their school, after school programs such as Cub Scouts or Girl Scouts, or would like to bring their group to the police station for a tour and a K9 demonstration. Jon, Jeremy, and Tyler all agree that working and training with their dogs has been the most rewarding aspect of police work. They all love to take the opportunity to show off their K9’s skills. The Lebanon Police Department originally established their K9 program in 1983. The first two K9 handlers for the city were Ofc. Greg Begin and Ofc. Bob Jason. Ofc. Begin worked with K9 Stash and K9 Kodiak. Ofc. Jason was partnered with K9 King. Lt. Bryan Robbins was assigned to the K9 unit in 1985 and was partnered with K9 Kodiak. The K9 program was disbanded in the early 1990’s due to lack of funding. Lebanon’s current K9 program was established in 2003 with the support and approval of the Lebanon City Council. Lt. Matt Isham and his partner K9 Yuky transferred from the Claremont Police Department to Lebanon. That same year Ofc. David Zuger and his partner K9 Tabor were assigned to the K9 unit. Upon retirement of these teams, Officer Tracy and Officer Perkins began their time with the unit.
In one of the final great feats of dog sleds, twenty drivers and teams carried life-saving serum 674 miles (1,085 km) in 127 hours. Today, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race serves to commemorate the part the trail and its dog sleds played in the development of Alaska.
1925 Serum Run Participants F
Statue of Balto
or more than 80 years, a statue of the famous husky, Balto, has stood proudly in New York's Central Park. The image is of a solitary sled dog, but the effort to rush a lifesaving serum to save the children of Nome from a deadly epidemic took the efforts of many. It was late in the year 1924 and residents of the small city of Nome, in the U.S. Territory of Alaska, had settled in for the winter. Most of the 20,000 people who had come to seek their fortune in the gold rush were long gone. Still, its nearly 1,000 European settlers and about 450 Inuit natives made Nome the largest city in the northern part of the territory. Nome was an outpost even in summer, but, by November, ships had to leave the harbor or risk becoming icebound on the frozen Baltic Sea until July. No roads have ever led to Nome and, back then, bush planes were still a thing of the future. The only way to get anything in
or out of the city was through the mail route which, in winter, was traveled only by dogsled. In December, shortly after the last ship had left for the year, a two-yearold Inuit child from a nearby village became ill. Nomeâ€™s doctor, Curtis Welsh, diagnosed it as tonsillitis, a disease that is not usually life threatening, but the child did not survive. Throughout the rest of December, an unusually high number of illnesses were diagnosed as tonsillitis and two more children died. It was late in January when a fourth child fell victim and, this time, the symptoms were obvious. Welsh discovered the true identity of the disease, diphtheria. Diphtheria is an extremely contagious and potentially deadly disease that affects the tonsils, nose, throat or skin. The most likely victims are children under the age of 10. Welsh knew the situation was serious. Six years before, a flu epidemic wiped out half of the native population of Nome and nearly one eighth of the native population of the Alaskan territory. Since diphtheria bacteria can live for several weeks outside the human body, this disease presented an even greater risk. There was an antitoxin available which was used to treat diphtheria. Without it, the disease was usually fatal. Welshâ€™s supply of antitoxin had expired and the new shipment he ordered had not arrived before the port closed. The town sent word, by radio, that the people of Nome needed 1 million units of the antitoxin to stop an epidemic and save the children of Nome and the surrounding areas. The closest antitoxin (300,000 doses) were 1,000 miles away and the options for transporting it were few. The only airplanes in Alaska were old WWI biplanes with open cockpits and water-cooled engines, which were not safe to fly in harsh weather. The best way to bring the much needed serum was by dogsled. The Board of Health decided to try a dogsled relay using two teams. One team would start in Nenana, which was as far as the serum could be sent by train. The other Continued ON Page 24
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Seppala with Team ( The Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum, Nome, Alaska)
team would start in Nome. The two would meet in Nulato and the serum would be carried back to Nome. Twenty mushers and 150 dogs would travel day and night across the frozen Alaskan mail route, following rivers, crossing plateaus and navigating through forests. Before the serum train arrived in Nenana, 20 more children were diagnosed with diphtheria and 50 more were at risk. On January 27, the first musher, “Wild Bill” Shannon, met the 9 pm train to pick up the 20-pound package carrying the canister of serum. He covered the canister with canvas and fur and quickly took off with his team of 9 dogs toward his stop
at Tolovana. The temperature was -50 degrees (Fahrenheit) and dropping. Shannon ran next to the sled to keep warm. When he found part of the trail destroyed by horses, he was forced to travel on the colder ice of the river. By the time he reached his destination, at 11 am, Shannon had developed hypothermia and parts of his face were black with frostbite. Edgar Kallands was next in the relay. He warmed the serum in the Tolovana roadhouse before heading out into the forest. According to reports, when Kallands arrived at his destination, Manley Hot Springs, his hands were frozen in place on the sled’s handlebar. The roadhouse owner had to pour hot water over his hands to free them. A famous musher, Leonhard Seppala, of Norway, was chosen to cover the most dangerous leg of the run, from Nome to Nulato, to intercept the serum. Seppala was a legend in the world of dogsled racing and had won the All-Alaska Sweepstakes three times. He had previously made the trip to Nulato in four days, breaking all records. When Shannon and his team were leaving the train station in Nenana, on January 27, Seppala and his team took off from Nome, heading into an oncoming storm. Unlike most mushers, Seppala used two lead dogs. One of them, Togo, was as well-known as Seppala and praised for his intelligence, leadership and keen instincts. The other, Fritz, was Togo’s half brother and equally respected for his good trail sense. Newspaper headlines in the nation’s largest cities flashed updates on the crisis and the progress being made. People across the United States sat by their newly acquired radios, listening to the story unfold. They mourned as the disease claimed yet another life and cringed when gale force winds forced temperatures along the trail to -85 degrees (Fahrenheit).
Togo was 12 years old at the time of the run.
Seppala and his team encountered those extreme winds as they traveled across the frozen Norton Sound toward Shaktoolik. Visibility was so poor, Seppala did not realize how far he had gone and nearly missed musher Henry Ivanoff. Ivanoff's dogs had crossed paths with a reindeer and he was untangling his team when he saw Seppala getting ready to pass him. Ivanoff caught Seppala's attention and handed him the serum. Seppala and his team headed back across the treacherous open ice of the Norton Sound. The solid sheet they had crossed a day earlier had broken up and cakes of ice were threatening to come loose. The team ran close to the shore, where the ice was cracking and water spurted up through the holes. Togo navigated around the weak spots and several times rushed toward the shore to safety. They had traveled four and a half days and covered 260 miles with less than five hours of rest when they reached an altitude of 5,000 feet crossing Little McKinley mountain. Three hours later, at the roadhouse in Golovin, Seppala passed the serum to musher Charlie Olsen. It was 3 pm on February 1. The blizzard was growing stronger and Welch and the local health board put out an order to stop the relay until the storm passed, for fear of losing the serum. The lines of communication went dead, however, before the message could reach most of the mushers. Only the roadhouses at Solomon and Port Safety got word so the race to save the children continued. Olson’s leg of the trip was 25 miles long. When a gust of hurricane force wind blew his sled off the trail, he landed in a snow drift. Olson had to dig his Continued Next Page
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way out and untangle his 7 dogs. He nearly lost his fingers to frosbite when he exposed his hands in order to put blankets on his team. At 7 pm he arrived at the roadhouse in Bluff. With the snow swirling violently outside, Olson urged musher Gunnar Kaasen to hold off until the weather subsided. The snow and winds did not cooperate. Kaasen feared, if he waited too long, drifts would make the trail impassible and, at 10 pm, he headed out to face the blizzard. Kaasen was a colleague of Seppala’s from the racing days. His lead dog, Balto, was not as experienced as most, but Kaasen had strong faith in him. A dog’s sense of smell is more than 600 times as strong as a human’s and Balto kept his nose to the ground, following the scent of the trail. He led the team through a storm so blinding that Kaasen often had to guess at their location. At times, he could not even see the dogs closest to his sled. He was two miles past Solomon before he realized he’d missed his stop. Soon after, a sudden gust of wind flipped the sled, burying Kaasen in a snow drift. While setting the sled upright, he realized the serum canister had been thrown from it. He crawled around in the dark, using his bare hands to search for the canister. Despite frostbite on his hands, he found the lifesaving serum. The roadhouse at Port Safety was dark when Kaasen arrived at 3 am. Musher Ed Rohn had gotten word the race was halted and was asleep. Kaasen didn’t go inside. He knew it would take precious time to get another team of dogs ready and he was confident his team would make good time on the last 20 miles to Nome. At 5:30 in the morning, on February 2, Kassen and his team pulled onto Nome's Front Street with the serum. Not a single vial was broken. A few hours later it was thawed and ready for use. The children of Nome were saved. A second serum relay (with the remaining serum), using some of the same mushers, arrived two weeks later. President Calvin Coolidge gave letters of commendation to the mushers, and the U.S. Senate officially recognized their efforts. They also received $25 each from the Alaskan Territory and letters filled with praise from children. The dogs, also, received their welldeserved honors. Several had perished in the run, from frostbite and exhaustion. A statue of Balto, by artist Frederick Roth, still stands in New York’s Central Park, after being unveiled in December of 1925. Antarctic explorer Roald Amundsen awarded Togo a gold medal. Today, diphtheria is rare. It is also Winter 2018
preventable, due to the efforts of health officials who have been immunizing children against the deadly threat of diphtheria for decades. The mushers and their dogs were true heroes as were the many others who used the event as a springboard for a campaign to innoculate people all over the world. This story originally appeared on MyHero.com. MY HERO is a non-profit educational project that empowers people of all ages to realize their potential to effect positive change in the world.
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Tips for a PAWesome Winter Adventure Cara Leone
t some point each winter, my parents will go on vacation, somewhere sunny and warm. Inevitably, I will end up dog-sitting Dakota, the mopey basset hound. I have clear memories of last winter as my husky, Kona, gracefully bounded deer-like through the fresh fields of snow. He raced playfully back and forth, ears perked, tail up. Dakota tried to follow, however, his attempt to clear the snowbank in a single bound ended with him sinking straight to the bottom. When your ground clearance is less than the depth of the snow it gets real cold, real fast. He spent most of the walk whining (more than usual) and after returning to the house, bee-lined for the woodstove where he could curl up and snooze. Whether you need to find a way to keep up with a dog like Kona or make a dog like Dakota keep up, there are some ways to make your cold weather adventures more enjoyable. Remember the acronym CAP: conditions, animal, practice. Know the conditions, know your animal and be realistic about your level of practice.
That will not only reduce the mud inside but help get excess salt off of sensitive pads. Just like a good pair of leather boots, remember those paws also need an occasional conditioning to help reduce over drying and cracking! Level of Practice: If you have never taken your pup snowshoeing, you don’t know how they’ll react. Consider bringing a longer leash or a leash with a waist belt if you like to use poles. Are the trails you’re considering favored by snowmobilers, mushers or cross country skiers? Research before Continued Next Page
Know the Conditions: Wind chill factor - your pet is just as susceptible to hypothermia as you are Daylight - Wear reflective materials and bring extra lighting Ice conditions - Slippery conditions can cause a pulled muscle or snapped tendon and if the ice won’t support your dog, it won’t support your rescue attempt. Water - Snow alone will not provide enough hydration. Know your Animal: Warmth - Dogs with short coats may need a coat or jacket. Stick to synthetics or high quality natural fibers such as wool and don’t use cotton as it will hold moisture and rob the body of valuable heat. Paws - If your walks are constantly interrupted as you dig out snow and ice from chilly paws, consider getting a set of high quality dog booties. If you are not using booties, use a warm, wet washcloth after coming back in. Winter 2018
you go and try to avoid these situations, if possible, since you cannot predict how your dog might behave. For some activities like cross country skiing, letting a dog run across these tracks can ruin them for others. As a courtesy to all that share the trails: keep your dog leashed and under control, stay to the right and don’t forget to pack out all your waste (human and doggy)! Looking for new dog friendly trails this winter? Try Boston Lot Lake in Lebanon, NH, or Mink Brook Trail in Hanover, NH. Make sure to check online for any trail updates before you go and always let someone know where you are going. The winter is a great time for outdoor adventures with our 4-legged family and friends. Just be sure to remember CAP. Hopefully Kona and I will see you out there! 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.
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Dakota ready for winter?
WINTER ICE MELTER SAFETY
What is safe to use in my driveway? Cory Balch - Elkins, NH
f this winter is going to be a repeat of last year, we are in for a whole lot of snow again, which means a whole lot of driveway maintenance. A common question asked at the veterinarian’s is, “What types of ice melters are safe for dogs?” Traditional rock salt is primarily composed of sodium chloride with some impurities. It is not suitable for human or animal consumption. Sodium chloride is very irritating to the stomach and intestines. Additionally, ingestion of large amounts can dangerously increase sodium levels in the bloodstream which can result in neurologic damage. Common signs of sodium toxicity are vomiting, increased thirst, tremors, and even seizures. Other salts commonly found in ice melting products are calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and potassium chloride. These are also very irritating to the gastrointestinal tract, and can also cause vomiting and diarrhea as well as interfere with the cardiovascular system. All of the salt based ice-melting products are especially dangerous to animals with underlying kidney or heart conditions. If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these, please contact your local veterinarian’s office. Salt-free de-icers do exist. They are based on urea compounds. They are generally less harmful than the salt based ones. These chemicals can still cause gastrointestinal upset so it is important to limit your pets’ exposure to them. For those of you with large
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animals at home, it is important to know that the urea based products can cause health issues in ruminant species such as cows, sheep, and goats. De-icing products, especially the salt based ones can be very irritating to skin and pads. Sharp ice and snow balls collecting between toes can also cause your dog discomfort during the winter months. To help reduce irritation, there are several steps which can be taken. The use of booties or applying a thin layer of either petroleum jelly or a special pad conditioning ointment can help reduce exposure. Trimming long haired dog’s foot hair can prevent those little snow balls from forming. Finally, making sure to wipe off your dogs’ feet when you return home can be part of the winter walk routine. If you are going for a long walk, it may help to bring along a rag for some midwalk maintenance. The main way that dogs can be exposed to the chemicals in ice melters is from licking their feet after being outside. Some dogs, however, may also become exposed by drinking from puddles of melted snow mixed with the chemicals. Regardless of the product you choose to de-ice your driveway, it is important to monitor your dog for these behaviors to help avoid harmful exposures. The most important thing is to store these products securely to prevent any curious animal from getting into them and ingesting large concentrated amounts. 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.
WINTERING HORSES Sue Miller Program Director at High Horses Therapeutic Riding Program PATH International Registered Level Instructor/ESMHL Vermont State Chair
ith the onset of winter, plummeting mercury, and thoughts of staying indoors you should think about how to help your horse deal with the falling temperatures. We tend to think that if we are cold, our horses must be cold, this is not necessarily so. Preconditioning horses before the onset of cold temperatures helps to reduce the effect of cold weather on the horse and will reduce his nutritional needs to maintain weight. Consider the horses age, weight, and prior living conditions for how well your horse will deal with the weather. Understanding heat exchange, and how your horse acts and reacts to it, as well as checking your horse often for coat growth, body mass, and water intake are important to keeping your horse healthy during the frigid months. Heat exchange is key to keeping your horse warm and toasty during the cold and snowy months. Heat or energy balance is the difference between heat loss and heat gain over time. If heat gain exceeds heat loss over time, your horse will gain weight. If heat loss exceeds heat gain, your horse will lose weight. The colder the air around the horse, the greater the heat loss will be. Energy obtained from calories in feed convert to heat, this is the main source of heat gain. Other minor sources of heat are muscular activity, the sun, and mechanical heat in barns. Horses respond to cold in two ways, acutely (immediately) and chronically (adaptive or acclimatization). The immediate response of the horse to a sudden change in temperature is to change its behavior. Horses will seek shelter from the cold and wind, or huddle together, typically standing together with their tails to the wind to decrease heat loss. It is important to assess your horses body condition often during the winter months. The best
way to do this is a hands-on approach. Feel your horse’s ribs, and visually inspect your horses’ overall appearance. Run your fingers over the rib cage applying slight pressure. You should be able to feel them without being able to see them. A thick hair coat can easily hide weight loss. A horse that is shivering is trying to produce more body heat. If your horse is shivering, he is not warm enough. Without shelter he can quickly become chilled. The effects of cold and wet conditions will put enormous requirements on the horses’ body for heat production. The combination of a cold wind and rain or sleet is the worst-case scenario for a horse. Under those conditions, without shelter, the horse can quickly become chilled. Older horses, in particular, tend to have difficulty maintaining internal temperatures in such circumstances. The effect of falling temperatures, wind, and wet conditions will put an enormous requirement on the horse’s body for heat production. How much body mass a horse
loses depends on the severity and duration of the cold season and the amount of energy the horse receives from feed. Extra calories are particularly important for older horses in winter. A little extra fat before winter can help provide energy reserves during stressful times when the temperatures descend. When the temperature drops, the best heat source for your horse is hay. Every horse should be fed as an individual. You will need to know your horse’s weight to determine his feeding needs. The total weight of feed per day should be between Continued ON Page 33
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1.5% and 3.0% of your horse’s body weight. The horse’s own natural coat is its first defense from the cold. Allowed to grow, a horse’s natural hair coat acts as an effective thermal blanket. The hair coat will increase both in length and density as the temperature drops. A heavy winter hair coat is a tremendous insulator and provides as much warmth as the best winter blankets. Horses that are maintained outside should be able to grow a long hair coat along with hair in the ears and along the fetlocks. This hair should not be trimmed, in order to insulate the horse naturally. Horses have the ability to fluff out their coats, called piloerection. This provides them with an insulating layer, and effectively increases the hair coat depth. Provide adequate, heated water if possible. Water helps maintain appetite and digestive function. Snow is not a suitable substitute. A horse’s water intake will decrease as the temperatures fall if he does not have access to fresh warm water. Beware of impactions in feeding more hay. Be sure that your horse always has water to drink. A horse’s water intake will increase dramatically if he has access to fresh warm water. Don’t forget to continue with hoof care and worming schedules through the winter months. Some horses may need booster shots to keep their immune systems in
good working order, especially if there are new horses moving into the barn, or your horse will be traveling. Maintaining your horses weight through the winter will help keep him in better condition for riding in the spring. Check your horse's winter coat and condition with your hand feeling for ribs. Feed lots of hay. Supplement with grain if needed. Remember to check your horse's water often and to keep the bucket clean. If the temperature drops below zero and your horse doesn’t have adequate shelter, put a waterproof blanket on him. Seamless, waterproof blankets are the best. If the temperatures are too frigid for riding, make sure your horse has time outside
to self-exercise. Even lunging for short periods of time is beneficial to the horses’ health. If you do get to ride and your horse sweats, remember to dry your horses thoroughly, keeping his muscles warm until fully dry. Try to make the best of the cold weather and make sure you dress warmly and in layers yourself. Spring will be back soon and your vigilance in horse care will pay off with a healthy horse that’s ready to ride. Sue Miller is Program Director at High Horses Therapeutic Riding Program, A PATH International Registered Level Instructor/ESMHL & PATH Vermont State Chair
Cold Blooded Winter Emergency Kits Samantha Bubar - Barre, VT
s t he colder mont h s approach, we like to plan ahead for the brisk temperatures. As Vermonters, we pull out our hats and mittens from the dreaded “winter storage” so many of us have. We drag winter jackets from the back of our closets and pull out the flannel lined pants we all have tucked away. We pull out the tiny jackets our dogs hate. We cover our beds with extra blankets. Finally, we have our furry pets and ourselves prepared for the upcoming change in weather, but what about our cold blooded companions?
My first winter with a reptile, one leopard gecko, went fairly well. Sure, she stayed on the warm side of her enclosure and was less active - but who could blame her! After all, the frequent drops below zero had me doing the same thing in my own apartment! We both made it through most of the winter incident free, with the exception of one power outage that turned into an impromptu “bring your gecko to work day.” Later that night after some research and planning, I decided to put together an emergency kit. I now have two leopard geckos and a bearded dragon, and each has their own kit. I keep the kits near each enclosure, so that in case of emergency, they can be ready in seconds. These emergency kits could be used in case of prolonged power outages or in case of fire or flooding. However, we do experience some minor power outages that last only half an hour to an hour. In those cases, I find it is easier to leave the reptile in their enclosure and monitor the temperature, sometimes covering the enclosure with a towel to keep the heat from escaping. If the outage is only minor and you’re going to be at home to monitor temperatures, it may be less stressful for your reptile to try and contain the heat, than to move your pet. But, if the power were to go out for more than a day, or you needed to relocate quickly because of fire or flash flooding; it is certainly a relief to have a plan in place so you aren’t in a panic trying to get yourself and your pets to safety. While not a professional, I hope that my experiences and ideas can help other reptile hobbyists. Here are a few suggestions that may be helpful in putting together an emergency kit for your reptilian companions! Continued Next Page
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Reptile Emergency Kit:
A temporary enclosure for each reptile: I use disposable Styrofoam coolers. They help insulate and provide a sturdy space for each reptile. In each kit, I keep paper towels and soft fabric, both help with insulation and keeping the reptile comfortable. 40 hour heat packs: I ordered these online from a website that sells feeder insects and shipping supplies for reptiles. In a pinch you could use hand warmers, though they won’t last as long, they will keep the enclosure warm for a period of time. It is also helpful to have a thermometer to correctly monitor the temperatures. Make sure, when adding a heat pack, to wrap it in something before putting it in the enclosure with your reptile, to prevent burns from direct contact. Note: If you’re going to spend some time in your home while the power is out, you can place the wrapped heat pack in the reptile’s normal enclosure, with a towel over the top of their tank to ensure that the heat stays contained. This may keep the reptile more comfortable. Temporary food and bottled water: I have found the canned or freeze dried feeder insects work best in an emergency kit. While on a daily basis these aren’t the best options nutritionally for your reptile, they will work in a pinch. Bottled water (unrefrigerated) is easy to stock. For water and food dishes, I use appropriately sized plastic lids. Depending on the type of reptile, you may have to add other supplies to your kit as necessary. I have an extra misting bottle and extra heat bulbs in my kit, as well as some extra calcium and favorite treats. Samantha Bubar of Barre, Vermont lives at home with two leopard geckos, three bearded dragons and a rat. With a degree in English and a passion for animals, she spends most of her free time writing, reading and caring for animals. See her blog, Training Dragons, www.trainingdragons. wordpress.com
Hermit Crabs Susan Tullar, DVM - Bradford, VT
ermit crabs can make very entertaining and easily maintained pets. Healthy hermit crabs can live 10-15 years. When choosing a hermit crab, a
healthy crab has 3 pairs of walking legs, an undamaged shell covering the head and body, is alert and active and has no evidence of parasites. Avoid animals with a musty smell or brown liquid leaking from it, as this is evidence of a stressed animal that is too hot. The best housing for hermit crabs maintains a humid environment; a 10-gallon glass aquarium with a solid glass lid is ideal to house several small crabs. Avoid the small plastic containers as they are too small. Bedding for the crabs should be aquarium coral rock sand and gravel. Avoid wood shavings as bedding. Offer hiding places and toys such as logs, driftwood, coral and barnacles to provide environmental enrichment. Use a full spectrum UV light as well as a basking light to provide heat. Maintaining temperature above 72 degrees F and humidity at least 70-80% is ideal. Hermit crabs will molt or shed their skin about every 18 months. Provide progressively larger shells as the crabs grow, they will migrate to each larger shell as needed. Set up a separate smaller tank for molting where it is best to use finely ground coconut fiber bedding about 6 inches deep. Signs of molting are digging more than usual, missing limbs and new claws behind the old skin; this is the point at which the crab should be moved to its molting tank. The crab may appear dead because the exoskeleton falls from the shell but the crab will be fully molted when it is walking around and has eaten part of its exoskeleton. Special molting food should be offered during this period that is high in calcium, cuttlebone, sand dollars, sea biscuits or Calci-Sand. Proper diets for hermit crabs support their omnivorous diet with adequate protein and vegetables. Commercial diets are available with fruits and vegetables offered as treats. Shallow water, no deeper than the smallest crab or 1 inch, should be offered. Two bowls with unchlorinated fresh and another of salt water, using marine aquarium salt should be changed daily. Land hermit crabs are nocturnal and social animals, and they like the company of other similarly sized crabs. Use caution with introducing crabs that are much larger than existing crabs as they may fight. Look forward to years of entertainment with these outgoing active little animals.Â Dr. Susan Tullar, DVM sees dogs, cats, birds, exotic pets & the occasional chicken at Bradford Veterinary Clinic in Bradford, VT, 802-222-4903 www.bradfordvet.com
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BLOAT BY ANY OTHER NAME… W
Pat Jauch – Caledonia Animal Rescue, Inc.
hen we hear of a serious illness we think that it will affect someone else’s pet, but not our own. Since 2009, “bloat,” better known as Gastric Dilatation - Volvulus, is at the top of our list as a serious and devastating threat to dogs. Brady’s story begins during the holidays when he came to visit. Brady was an eight-year-old shelter rescue who has spent numerous vacations here in the kingdom. As usual he bounded out of the truck, issues of fear aggression notwithstanding, and reveled in his leash-less freedom. He was once again at “camp” and scheduled to stay almost two weeks. On New Year’s Day, after a week of joyful interaction with our cat and dog, he suddenly wolfed down his morning meal and within an hour had regurgitated all of it. There was no obvious reason for his hurried eating as he was always separated from the other animals at mealtime. For the next eight hours he behaved normally, although he did indicate a need to go out more often than usual.
That night he ate, calmly, and ingested a huge quantity of water. Shortly thereafter the vomiting began again, repeatedly, and with fervor. We now know that certain breeds have a predilection to bloat, with German Shepherds (because of their deep-chested physique) being four times more likely to suffer from it than mixed breeds. Other features that predisposed Brady to the condition were his advanced age and sex (7+ years puts male dogs at higher risk), and his penchant toward fearfulness. Although he did not exercise immediately after eating, he should have consumed less water. It was well past midnight when he became listless, only to collapse on the kitchen floor. At that point his breathing became labored and his sides appeared swollen, apparently from the accumulation of gas that is the gastric dilatation phase of bloat. Volvulus is the twisting or torsion of the intestines, caused by too much air in the stomach, which then cuts off the blood supply. When this occurs the stomach begins to die, leading to the animal’s rapid deterioration.
Had we recognized the signs sooner we might have been able to get help for him, although statistics indicate that as many as 30% of dogs that are treated will die from the illness. There was no special stress or physical activity that seemed to play a part, no dietary changes, and he was fed in seclusion. Sadly, he passed away on the way to the veterinarian’s office. We can only hope that others will learn about the condition, recognize the symptoms, and get immediate veterinary care if their dog demonstrates any of the symptoms of bloat.
Chris Michalenoick catches Piper enjoying the final days of fall
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Cat Who Lost Both His Ears Is Winning Instagram Followers with His Huge Heart Kelli Bender @kbenderNYC
M eet Otitis! As you may have noticed, he is missing a common cat part: a set of pointy, triangle ears. Unfortunately, Otitis had to have his ears removed after developing Otitis externa, a condition that caused the feline to develop large cysts on his ears and also gave Otitis his name.
“I grew up on a farm and always had animals around me that gave me so much happiness. I helped train my parents’ deaf Old English Sheepdog, and when I came across Otitis, I just knew he was meant for me. I always wanted to adopt an animal that was older and had some special needs; the ones the least likely to find a home (unlike kittens),” Lichtenwalner told Molly & Otitis PEOPLE Pets. The special needs cat, who has lost some of his hearing because of the surgery, has exceeded her expectations. “He has been nothing but amazing. He immediately adjusted to his new home with me and he truly saved me from my own anxiety. He loves to play and snuggle, and nothing is better than coming home to him and experiencing true unconditional animal love. I didn’t rescue him, he rescued me,” Lichtenwalner added. Hoping to inspire others to give homes to traditionally less adoptable animals, Lichtenwalner started an Instagram for Otitis where he can show off his sweetness and unique look. The @adventuresofotitis account now has over 16,000 followers, who all adore watching the feline snuggle, snooze and offer up the occasional sassy remark. But Otitis and Lichtenwalner’s mission to raise awareness about special needs animal adoptions doesn’t end here. The pair recently celebrated a successful Kickstarter campaign. With the funds, Lichtenwalner and her roommate, who are both speech therapists, are creating a children’s book about Otitis, his journey and how his differences make him unique and beloved. Through his story, Lichtenwalner hopes others will learn to embrace their differences as some of the most beautiful parts of who they are.
His previous owners did not treat the issue and, unable to afford the surgery to remove Otitis ears when it became untreatable, ultimately surrendered the pet. Feline Rescue Association of Baltimore stepped in to cover the sweet kitty’s surgery and work on finding him a forever home. This is where Molly Lichtenwalner becomes part of the story. Over a year ago, the Baltimore native endured a serious car accident, which left her with severe anxiety. In March 2016, she went on Petfinder.com to look for a comforting companion to help her through these hard times, and in a few clicks found Otitis. She instantly new he was her destiny. Winter 2018
Once The Teeth Are Clean Lets Keep Them That Way - Cats
Y ou just had you cat’s teeth X-rayed, treated with extractions or other procedures,
and fully cleaned. Now you would like a way to keep that mouth as healthy as possible. Remember that plaque is the enemy. Plaque is formed every second of every day, is sticky, and will change from a soft coating on the teeth to a hard, brown calcified barrier (tartar or calculus) in a matter of days. Yikes! Don’t despair, there are effective ways to deal with Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS the problem. First of all, not every animal product with dental claims are created equal. Unfortunately, unless there is a medical claim (“prevents gingivitis,” “cures periodontal disease”) regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there is little to no oversight of statements regarding dental value. The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) was created to address this problem. The VOHC awards its VOHC Accepted Seal only to products that decrease accumulation of plaque and/or calculus by at least 20% through a data review system. Unfortunately there are only 11 products for cats that have the VOHC seal so inevitably some of the products recommended here will not have the seal. The most effective way to remove plaque is with a tooth brush. Brushing is a mechanical action that removes plaque. Brushing is the most effective means of removing plaque and remains the “gold standard”. However, unless trained as a kitten, many cats will not accept toothbrushing. Having your cat chew on something that will create a mechanical action can be an effective means of removing plaque from the chewing teeth. (Remember I started with a healthy mouth. If the mouth is painful and your cat avoids chewing with certain teeth then these products will not work well on those teeth.) I use and recommend the following products.
Products with a mechanical action that removes plaque Dental Care Diets. Regular dry food shatters as it is chewed. Hill’s t/d™ has a fiber matrix within the kibble t hat hold s t he kibble together to scrub the teeth (VOHC seal for plaque and tartar)
Regular cat kibble
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1. With every bite,the fiber matrix scrubs the tooth surface to clean teeth and freshen breath.
2. Unique fiberalignment helps kibble stay in contact with the tooth surface right to the gumline.
The t/d™ kibble is considerable larger than regular kibble. The kibbles are larger but not so dense as to prevent the tooth from entering the kibble. Cats like the t/d diet. It can be fed independently or in combinat ion w it h canned food. While many dogs seem to barely chew their food before swallowing, cats are inclined to carefully chew each individual kibble and get an excellent result from eating t/d™.
3.Kibble gentlyscrubs away plaque and tartar to clean teeth and promote healthy gums.
Feline Greenies (VOHC seal for tartar). My cats go crazy for Greenies. There are a variety of flavors available. These include Oven Roasted Chicken, Ocean Fish, Tempting Tuna, and Catnip Flavor to name a few. Each piece is only 1.39 calories and is “nutritionally complete and balanced for adult cats”. The suggested amount to be fed is on the back of the package. Feline t/d™
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Products that control plaque in a non-mechanical way Water additives - Healthy Mouth™ is the only water additive to carry the VOHC seal. (VOHC seal for plaque). This is an all natural product including chlorophyll, so it turns the water green! It is extremely efficient at removing plaque and is best started directly after the teeth have been cleaned. Sanos®: See my article in the Fall 2015 issue of 4 Legs & a Tail. The polymers in this product form a film in the space between the gum and the tooth, hindering plaque attachment in the area where periodontal disease starts. Applied by the veterinarian after cleaning the teeth. Must be reapplied every 6 months for full efficacy. I really like this procuct in cats and small dogs and use it on my own pets.
Some products combine mechanical action with a plaque control product Dental Wipes: These are small pads that are wiped over the teeth and gums to remove plaque and to deposit plaque control products onto the teeth. When working with cats the least amount of restraint you need will result in more cooperation from your pet. Here I am using my left had to support Reenie’s head but I am not gripping her head tightly. Cats do not respond well to force!
In the last issue of 4 Legs & A Tail I talked about products for keeping your dog’s teeth clean and healthy. Some of the products, such as the water additive and the dental wipes, can be used on both dogs and cats. Other products are cat or dog specific. Winter 2018
Of course you can and really should use more than one product to keep the teeth clean and the mouth healthy. With all these great products available it is easier than ever to keep your cat’s teeth as clean as when s/he was a kitten. It still will be necessary to have professional dental cleanings done by your veterinarian. If you keep the teeth clean it will take less time under anesthesia for your veterinarian to clean the teeth. This also means less extractions will need to be done and it may mean greater intervals between cleanings.
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 41
Love Story: Extraordinary Girl + Amazing Cat T
his story is about a very unique friendship and loving bond between an extraordinary young girl and her therapy cat. Before we delve into this heartwarming tale, stop for a moment and look at the painting below called ‘raining cats’. You might initially think it could be one of Monet’s works because of its soft impressionistic style.
Would you be surprised to find out that it was drawn by a 5-year old girl? We certainly were! What an incredible talent! The artist is Iris Grace Halmshaw, a 5-year-old British girl who is diagnosed with autism. Her muse is a gentle and loving Maine Coon cat named Thula. The two best friends are now inseparable. As a result of her condition, Iris doesn’t speak much but through the love and encouragement of her parents, she has learned to express her emotions through painting instead. Her parents say that she draws much of her inspiration from the long hours she spends sitting outdoors, gazing at the beauty of nature. Iris’ breathtaking paintings are sold to private art collectors around the world, and her family uses the money to pay for her therapy treatments, art supplies, and to raise awareness about autism. Iris is home-educated and has been painting her astonishing Monet-style landscapes since she was three, when her mom (Arabella Carter-Johnson) devised art sessions to help her daughter’s concentration and speech. Iris, like many w ith autism, experienced daily anxiety and was highly uncomfortable in social situations. Mornings were particularly Continued Next Page
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ing her hair washed. Thula is ‘Iris Grace’ published by Penguin. For so supportive of Iris that she information, here’s the link: http:// Iris & Thula will even make the ultimate hyperurl.co/IrisGrace sacrifice a cat can make — This is one remarkable friendship! Our she’ll take a bath, allowing herself to get all wet, just to thanks to Arabella for providing images and allowing us to share her beautiful encourage Iris, who has a strong aversion to the bath- and talented daughter’s amazing story. OK, we admit it, we’re big are fans of Iris tub, to do the same. Iris loves being outside and Thula! We’d love to hear your stories of any remarkable therapy cats. and one can see so much of For anyone interested in autism and nature in her paintings. She cats, please read the post we did last will watch water, trees, wind, year called “The Power of Cats with leaves, flowers, birds, clouds Autistic Children” at difficult for Iris, so her mother thought and is so interested in movement and www.ThePurringtonPost.com that a nurturing animal companion how it changes things. Thula and Iris do everything togethmight be helpful and calming. Arabella said that she wasn’t advised er, whether painting, just being in the to get a therapy animal, but when she garden, looking at books or joining the researched autism, she found numerous family on canal boat trips, bike rides stories about the wonderful effects that and walks on a leash. animals can have on autistic children. According to Arabella, “When Iris Arabella said, “We took Iris to equine was looking at her books; she would therapy but she didn’t seem very inter- delicately feel Thula’s ears and her long ested in horses at that time. Then I began whiskers, or hold her tail at the tip, casually twiddling with the fur as if it were to think about a therapy dog.” “Iris and the dog didn’t get along her own.” – Iris hated being licked and the tail If Iris woke up at night, Thula was wagging, the hyperactivity of the dog there to settle her. It was as though she would upset her. So, for a while I gave instinctively knew what to do. She would up on the idea.” It was her fans online bring Iris a small toy in her mouth and – mainly in America – who encouraged drop it beside her. Thula would then Arabella to look into getting a Maine snuggle up beside her and purr, while Coon cat to keep Iris company and help Iris gently settled and fell back to sleep. Are you curious to know where the name her to open up further. Iris’s parents bought Thula (a Maine ‘Thula’ came from? We were too. Turns Coon cat) for their daughter two years out, it’s from one of Iris’ favorite songs – a ago, and she has since started to speak – traditional Zulu lullaby called Thula Baba. something doctors warned might never Iris is not only a gifted painter, but happen. When Iris met Thula, it was is also very musical and has shown an affinity for music since she was a baby. love at first meow. =^..^= Arabella said, “Thula has lowered Arabella was quoted saying, “Music was Iris’ daily anxieties and keeps her calm, the one thing that always calmed her. but equally has the effect of encouraging Iris is particularly into classical music at her to be more social.” “She has been the moment and knows all of the orchesat Iris’s side since she arrived and slept tra instruments. She adores the violin.” in her arms during her first night here. Thula’s constant presence and gentle nature is having a remarkable effect upon Iris.” Thula will regularly sit beside Iris and mimic her movements. Gifted girl and her therapy cat share an incredible bond! Unlike most children of Iris’ age, she doesn’t chase, stroke or pick up the kitten constantly. Their relationship is based upon companionship. Thula is not trained to be a service/therapy cat, but since the family took her in at such a young age she has gotten used to many things ordinary cats might have Thula continues to be a big influence a literal hissy-fit about. For example, in Iris’s acclaimed artwork which can Thula regularly wears a harness, rides fetch several thousand dollars per paintin the car, boat rides and even bike rides. ing. Celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher Maine Coons are not only very intel- have shared Iris’s work on social media, ligent, but also one of the gentlest cat Iris’s astonishing tale of talent and her breeds. Iris went through a stage over special relationship with Thula is lovthe last year of hating baths and hav- ingly told by her mother in a book called Winter 2018 www.4LegsAndATail.com 43
Alternatively Speaking: Aging Gracefully Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA
s anyone aging can tell you, it is much easier to feel young in the warm months of spring and summer when life is bursting forth in brilliant colors under sunny skies. But as autumn sets in, followed by the cold winter, it seems like energy is harder to find and achy joints hurt that much more. Our pets are no different, and in some ways this seasonal stress is worse for them than us. Difficulty getting outdoors on slippery ice or deep snow makes other problems like incontinence or mental changes more challenging for families to deal with. Many accept their pets' problems as an unavoidable part of aging. As a society we expect “struggling, frail and sickly” as the normal geriatric condition. But getting old is not a disease
in itself, and it does not have to be a long slow decline of physical ability or quality of life. So as we cozy up in our armchair by the fire, let's look at some of the options that exist to help our older companions remain comfortable and engaged seniors. First, let's take a look at when our pets are considered “senior”. For people, age 65 is when AARP and Medicare often kick in. For dogs and cats, we have to factor in lifespan differences between large and smaller breeds, the early onset of problems in some purebreds, and hopefully the potential to have to manage aging complaints for more years in those that live longest. That is why most veterinarians start senior screening discussions by age seven. Screening includes an annual exam, discussion of diet, and often some blood work to check for any sign of early changes. With advancing age, check-ups are often every six months instead of yearly because once your pet is ten or more, seeing the veterinarian once a year is like an 80 year old person going to the doctor every seven years – that's just a little too long to stay on top of things effectively. So now you're at the veterinarian's office getting your dog's check-up. Your seven year old Labrador is bouncing about licking faces, and asking for one more of those yummy treats. Maybe she is a little stiff first getting up, but certainly does not seem old to you. What is your veterinarian possibly going to find, and why look if there is no problem you can see? In younger years, the focus of health care is on immunizing, training, and establishing a healthy lifestyle to promote health. With age, your veterinarian is looking more closely for changes in activity, behavior, or weight that can be risk factors or hints of actual problems to come. Early screening can allow intervention to minimize, delay or sometimes avoid those problems in future years. Of all the senior problems to screen for, arthritis definitely tops the list for large and small pets. Genetics, lifestyle Continued Next Page
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and diet dictate the risk for joint injury early in life, but from there the degree of chronic inflammation determines the progression of disease and how much those joints hurt over time. Therefore if we reduce the body's tendency to be inflamed, arthritis does not have to be crippling. In Chinese medicine, arthritis pain is often considered a â€œstasisâ€? where circulation is reduced, and movement that stirs circulation makes you feel better. In Western terms we say that tissues stuck in patterns of chronic inflammation have inadequate blood supply and
oxygen. Either way, in the winter your body naturally moves circulation more inward to conserve heat loss from colder extremities, so joints naturally get less circulation, aggravating their already undernourished situation and making arthritis pain worse. The holistic approach to many arthritis complaints is all about increasing circulation and decreasing inflammation. Starting with diet, we minimize dry foods that are high in the processed starches that trigger inf lammation. Instead we use fresh food options, such as dehydrated, home cooked or raw diets. As a double benefit fresh food often helps regulate a healthier weight. Being more than 10% over your ideal body weight (that is just one pound for the average cat) means that fat is releasing factors into your body that promote inflammation. It is not just the extra weight on arthritic joints or the degree of pathology that makes them hurt more, it is this inflammatory effect. Many people and pets rely on "aspirin-type" medications to reduce inflammation so they can do the things they enjoy. There is a place for these, but long term use trades future joint repair for less pain today, and that means the arthritis gets worse faster than if we did not rely on these drugs as much. Plant-
based anti-inflammatories do not have this negative effect, but even better is to address the causes of inflammation so less intervention is needed. Take Clare for instance, an 11 year old Irish Water Spaniel. She had arthritis after surgery on both knees. She needed to be restricted to leash exercise as she aged, since any running that she loved so much caused her to limp. Herbs to increase circulation to her knees worked well, but they did not agree with her in other ways. So we tried a switch to fresh food diet and now she can run with her much younger brother without a problem as long as she avoids the dry dog food. Herbs, acupuncture, chiropractic and laser therapy can improve inflammation, and do help many. Gentle regular exercise is another duelbenefit lifestyle choice. It helps reduce weight while getting nourishing blood circulation to joints, tendons and muscles. Nutritional supplements with glucosamine, or diets with bone broth, can also provide support for joints. Of course in later stages of disease, pain control is needed, and there are several drug choices that may help limit the use of aspirins and maintain joint function better, longer. Continued Next Page
Another common age-related problem we see is urine incontinence, which often presents as bedwetting in female dogs. The urinary sphincter that normally stays closed to hold urine in the bladder can become weaker in females as they age, so that with deep relaxation or sleep urine is allowed to leak out. Sometimes this happens in an otherwise normal dog, but often leaking is triggered by a medical issue that puts extra stress on the sphincter, like a bladder infection, or kidney or liver changes that result in more urine production, or medications that increase thirst. Odessa was a 9 year old German Shepherd struggling with urine dripping. Her bottom was so raw and painful euthanasia had been recommended since none of the usual medications helped her incontinence, and no medical cause was found. We used fresh food diet to reduce her weight, along with herbs for incontinence. Her condition improved dramatically so she could enjoy another 2 Â˝ years with her family before it was her time to go. Sometimes bathroom accidents are not a control issue, but are due to mental decline and forgetting basic housebreaking skills. Dogs can have Alzheimer's like people do, but we often see mental decline in the form of anxiety in our aging pets. Milder fears seem to escalate in some animals as they age. Maybe it is the years of repeated experiences that worsens their fear response, but a reduced mental capacity does seem to make many aging dogs less able to cope with what used to be lesser fears. Take Merlin for example. As he aged was so terrified by thunder that his owner was certain he would die of a heart attack. He was on supports for other age-related issues, but when this phobia became so debilitating we added a choline nutritional supplement and within months he barely noticed storms at all, and this greatly improved
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quality of life for him and his family. That was a pretty simple fix, but it is not uncommon to use other tools such as Chinese herbs to address imbalances that contribute to senior issues of fear, night time agitation, or mental cloudiness. Arthritis, incontinence and mental changes are only a few of the issues your veterinarian would screen for in aging pets. Dental disease is a silent stress on your pet's immune system, not to mention the unpleasantness of bad pet breath. A good dental cleaning goes a long way, but caught early sometimes nutritional supports to strengthen oral tissues and promote bacteria that limit tartar will do the trick. The list goes on - cat aract development, organ changes, thyroid imbalances, even cancers all can be addressed with conventional and holistic supports to maximize function and quality of life as long as possible. Of course an ounce of prevention goes a long way to minimize these senior citizen problems, but even once they occur there are so many tools to minimize symptoms and improve quality of life. So don't accept symptoms as unavoidable just because your companion is older. Maximize the value of your annual exams by discussing prevention or intervention with your veterinarian, and keep your aging companions happily looking forward to their next Spring. Dr. Anne Carroll is owner of the Chelsea Animal Hospital where she practices both conventional medicine and surgery as well as several alternative modalities including traditional Chinese acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Her associate Dr. Betty Jo Black brings classical homeopathy to the practice. For more information on alternative veterinary medicine visit their website at www.chelseaanimalhospital.com Winter 2018
Mature pets like Penney make for the perfect companion.
The AgeOld Canine Debate: Puppy or Adult? Karen Sturtevant
hen Penney waddled into my life three years ago, I was love-struck. She smelled like death, her body hurt, her emotions were f lat and she was confused and frightened. She came from a puppy mill having lived her life neglected and ignored. No kind human attention or veterinary care. When she exhausted her usefulness as a breeding cash machine, she was discarded. At four-years-old, Penney had a lot of living left in her English bulldog life, and I was chosen as the one to facilitate. The easy choice would have been to Continued Next Page
walk away, let fate run its course and explore where I could get a tiny, perfect puppy. Up to that first moment, I hadn’t considered adopting an older dog. I was always the one who melted into a marshmallow when I was in view of a puppy. If it was within jogging distance, I was there smushing my face into hers and babbling like a lunatic. Looking back over the post-Penney period, I can’t image not having her drippy drool, her snoring, and her vet bills as part of my life. Do I regret not buying a puppy and opting to adopt an older dog? Not one little bit. Adoption of adolescent or senior dogs can be just
as, if not more, fulfilling and enjoyable than buying a puppy. If you’re considering adding a canine companion to you family pack, do your homework, talk to professionals, visits shelters and rescues and ask questions as several factors need to be determined. Puppies, vulnerable and clueless, need consistent attention and training. A well-adjusted puppy is one that is socialized into both the human and animal world, learning acceptable behaviors and clear boundaries. Young dogs left alone during this peak emotional development window miss out learning key manners of conduct. New pet parents are often surprised at the amount of work and preparation that comes with a puppy. Who will let her out during the work day? Who will take care of her when you go on vacation? What happens if she has a medical emergency and you don’t have the funds needed to care for her? The past teaches us that we cannot predict the future circumstance of anyone–– of the two-legged or four-legged species. What we can do is research, formulate a plan to prepare for the ‘what if’s.’ With their floppy ears, doe eyes and too-big paws, puppies are irresistible. Dogs, once those cute, adorable puppies, have their own charm. Shelters and rescues are over-whelmed with as many, if not more, older dogs than puppies. The need for loving homes is great. Countless dogs of all ages are euthanized every day due to non-placements and the need to create space for newly-found strays, surrenders and litters. Don’t discount the option of that six-year old quietly sitting in the corner or the less-thanperfect mixed breed, heading hanging, looking dejected. Many older dogs were once a valued member of a loving family now find themselves awaiting new homes for a number of reasons, not always due to aggressive or problematic behavior. Unexpected life circumstances can force a family to give up their beloved dog. Often these dogs are good natured with sweet temperaments just waiting for a second chance. For those who don’t have the time or energy to dedicate to puppy-rearing, an established dog just might be the better choice. In general, older dogs are more emotionally mature than their tiny counterparts. They are housetrained, no longer feel the urge to chew everything within reach, and have formed their personality and quirks. They will quickly find their place in the new family, depending on the amount and consistency of structure and routine shown them. All breeds are different; Continued Next Page
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not inexpensive. Puppies, like babies don’t stay small for long. With proper nutrition, socialization and medical care, cute puppies become delightful dogs before our eyes. I can image what my Penney looked like as a little tyke with her rolls and wrinkles. If I had gotten her as a youngster, would I love or care for her any differently than I do now? Would I forgo sleeping on an air mattress beside her when she didn’t feel well, leave work early to pick her up after a surgery or spend a good chunk of my paycheck on her care? The answer is an unequivocally no. When the time is right for you to choose your canine companion, weigh the options, do your preparation and talk to as many people as possible. The better equipped you are with knowledge, the more appropriate the choice will be for you and your family dynamic. This decision is a long-term promise to a four legged friend. Canines: puppies, adolescents, adults and seniors bring out the best in us. They live in the moment, are eager to please, grateful for our commitment to them, teach us life lessons, love us even when we don’t like ourselves and make us better human beings. It’s true, just ask Penney.
some adapt more easily than others. Puppies, like toddlers, need constant supervision. Many dogs, after an introductory, settling in period, can be left on their own, assuming they have access to water, toys, and a quiet place. While the personality of a puppy can be molded, to some degree, an adolescent or adult dog has already formed their disposition interspersed with the traits of their specific breed. “I want a puppy so I can have her for a long time.” We hear this a lot. The truth is there are no guarantees. Just as a puppy may develop a life-threating condition (yes, it does happen), an older dog re-homed at eight years old may live an additional six healthy years. Puppy cuteness is temporary. The little furball today will grow lightning fast into adulthood. Never bring a home any animal simply because of the cute factor. Cute will eventually disappear. When we have puppies for adoption (a Karen Sturtevant is a freelance rare occasion), our social media explodes writer, works at the nutritional with comments, views and applications. Puppy pandemonium! When a senior supplement company, FoodScience Corporation, is editor-in-chief and dog is posted, perhaps with health or behavioral issues, the response is often contributing writer of Vermont Bride magazine, and the author of two less than stellar. Many people tend to children’s books, The Adventures of want the fresh-faced little munchkin, Gert & Stu and Zippy too and The not the well-worn worldly adult who Rainy Day Adventures of Gert & Stu requires extra time and modifications, and Zippy too. She volunteers with whether it’s ramps over the stairs, yoga Green Mountain Animal Defenders mats on the floor to help with footing and Vermont English Bulldog Rescue. or professional training sessions. She shares her home with two If you and your family are active, guinea pigs, two Russian tortoises, always on the go and realistically don’t fiancé, Mike and her beautiful have a puppy-friendly schedule, consider English bulldog Penney. an adult dog. Very young children don’t understand that a puppy’s tail and ears aren’t for tugging. Older, more responsible children should take part in the decision making process and be part of the team in walking, grooming, feeding, socializing, and training. A carefully, thought-out family plan stacks the deck in favor of raising a well-balanced canine companion. When you’re factoring in the canine budget, remember veterinary and grooming appointments, trips (mostly in the wee a.m. hours) to the emergency clinic, food, toys, prescriptions (possibility compound), training and obedience classes, and even more veterinary appointments. Canines, whatever the size or age, are Winter 2018
Opiate Addiction and the Hound Healer Dawna Pederzani
take the adoption process very seriously, some might say too much so. We have an on line application with questions that some have said are probing and frankly none of our concern. On many fronts, I differ with that thinking as my decision for an adoption to move forward or not is based on the answers to those questions. Coupled with personal and veterinary references, a decision is made which sets in motion a journey for a dog who has already endured too much, and has no say. I have to be as certain as is possible that the next home is happy, healthy and committed, not just in the moment but forever. The quality and remainder of that dogs life depends on it. Vinny had been with us for months, too many months. He was our first big hound, and most likely our last. Vinny was dumped at a high kill shelter in SC where the dogs do not ever see the light of day. They leave with a rescue or they don’t leave alive. There are no public adoptions. Vinny is a stun-
ning dog, handsome and quite regal. The trainer with whom we work, upon meeting Vinny gave him a solid and full handed pat on the side, smiled and said, “Now this is a dog!” I am certain that my return gaze was incredulous at the least and frankly baffled at best. Are we experiencing the same dog? At 70+ pounds Vinny is striking. His snow white coat topped with hot fudge and butterscotch spots is short and sleek and a hand slides easily over it’s softness. Add to that soulful eyes and droopy ears and you have the perfect disguise behind which to hide the barking, kennel climbing, prey driven bundle that we felt we had failed. We reached out to breed specific rescues and humane societies and networked the network out of this boy. I suspect that everyone we called, wrote, or prayed to had owned or rescued a hound and they were suddenly full to capacity and would get back to us. The return calls never came. And so, when an application landed in my email box for Vinny, it had my rapt attention and then some. My elation was quickly tempered. The applicant was Justin. He was young, unemployed, lived with his mother was recovering from 4 traumatic brain injuries sustained in a near fatal car crash, and had no hound experience. To say that this did not look promising is akin to saying that Vinny would make a great pet for an elderly person. My hope sank. However over the course of hours and frank conversations with the powers that be about how hard we work and what a good dog Vinny really is under the layers of.... houndness, I felt prompted to call this boy. Call it wishful thinking. Call it desperation. Call it what you will but I could not shake the feeling that I had to speak with Justin. And so I did. I thought that this call would put a fast period on the sentence that began and ended with, "no way". Rather, it began a quite amazing journey with Justin and later his mother Kelly, of trust and love and flat out, laid open frankness about a day that changed their lives forever. It also answered the question of why Vinny? How did they envision this broken dog cementing them all back together, and was it fair to ask that of him? I like depth and challenge and frankly any situation where someone is fully engaged with me toward an end goal. These Continued Next Page
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Vinny and Justin
folks were not skirting anything. In fact their commitment to making this horrible tragedy into something positive and honest and evolutionary was evident from my first question. As I read them the laundry list of behaviors regarding Vinny that I felt would surely send them running, what I heard was, “ok, ok, ok, anything else?” Anything else? How much do you need to scare you? They were undaunted. In many ways Justin was typical teen living day to day, testing the boundaries of parents and life and believing like most that his future was endless and guaranteed. Through a circle of friends he began to dabble in drugs, first opiates, Oxycontin and the like and then crossing the line into Heroin, a line that is nearly impossible to see again let alone cross back over. It is the goalpost into hell and the road out would nearly take his life. Justin came from addiction which is oddly what set this day in motion. His dad, an alcoholic for most of his life was in the hospital ICU with his options being to lose a leg or his life. He had undergone several failed knee replacements and then taken a fall. A forth knee replacement was not in the cards. His kidneys were failing and the decisions were limited and harsh. Kelly was with him when Justin walked in. All he heard was amputation or death. With that he stormed out of the hospital to find relief in the only way he knew, through drugs. The day was September 7, 2015, Memorial Day weekend. Kelly was lying on her deck soaking in the day which was sunny and warm. She had left the hospital and the impending decisions regarding her husbands treatment behind for a brief respite, or so she thought. Suddenly she heard a siren, then quickly in succession another then many. At first she said that she thought about the possibilities, a failed surgery, an elder fall, a broken bone. She Winter 2018
took a moment to wish well for the family that would be impacted by this moment in time and hope that the pain was minimal and fleeting. Justin had gotten into his work vehicle. He was a cable installer for a big company. Since he does not remember much of the day, what was taken and when is unclear. Heroin was found in the van. Justin apparently fell asleep or passed out at the wheel, exited the highway in the wrong lane and plowed at an estimated 40 MPH into a tree. He had no seat belt on and as such was thrown like a parcel around the cavernous interior of the van. His head penetrated the windshield. It took the Jaws of Life to extract him barely alive. Justin was taken to the hospital and not expected to live. His identity was unknown as he carried no id and every bone in his face was broken. His chin was gone and he was unconscious. The sound of the sirens came and went through Kelly’s mind as the day went on. She had not heard from Justin since he left the hospital the night before. Then she began to try and find him. It seemed that he had vanished, which in a very real way, he had. Justin was in a coma where he would remain for months. By evening Kelly was distraught. She called the local fire station to speak with the paramedics about the accident. They knew Justin. Surely if it were him, they would know. They said that the man was a 33 year old male. Justin was 23 and surely they would have recognized him? After half the night and worried sick, Kelly went to the hospital with id and information that could help identify her son. It was then that she realized that this bloated, broken and unconscious body on life support was in fact her son. She was told that if he survived, and that was a very faint “if”, she would not take home the same son that she knew the day prior. Justin had been in rehab facilities at least 10 times over the years. He had attempted suicide 8 times. He would stay clean then slip and the dance continued with the only constant being the love and devotion of his family. And so how and
why did this young man, a boy really, come to Vermont to find this dog? Justin’s Neuropsychologist said that he needed something for which to be responsible. He needed a purpose to get up every day and a reason to exercise and live. Something had to pull this boy out of the abyss and make him want to function. Justin needed 38 plates to rebuild his fae and ongoing physical therapy to learn everything; talking, walking, eating, writing and thinking. He had become a blank canvas upon which to write a new life. The question was, would anything make him want that life? Continued Next Page
Justin’s brain sustained 4 Traumatic Brain Injuries in the collision. It simply did not perform on his command, or sometimes at all. In fact even the commands themselves were garbled. His doctor told him that a dog would be perfect therapy. The caveat was that Justin was not allowed to have any help in finding the dog or navigating the process. And so, there we are back at my desk and on the phone with Justin. He saw Vinny on line and told his mother, “That’s my dog.” By this time they had met several dogs with whom there just was not a connection. Justin filled out the application, endured my interview, (as did Kelly). I told them, “Vinny jumps on everyone, he pulls on the leash, if he gets lose he won’t come back, he can climb a house, he barks.....did I leave anything out? Kelly assured me that a trainer near their home had offered to work with any dog that Justin adopted for free. Now I must also add that Vinny had been accepted into the ProNature adoption program through Pet Food Warehouse. In this program, the adoption fee is set at $400.00. If the rescue agrees to the reduced fee, ProNature pays the fee and supplies six months of food, and Pet Food Warehouse adds gift certificates an id tag and other adoption goodies. When I shared this with Kelly she
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burst into tears. Through her sobs she said, “This was just meant to happen, I am certain of it.” A date was set for mom and son to travel the 4 hours to Vermont. It was a beautiful, sunny day close to the anniversary of the accident. Vinny was in the backyard loose so that we could gauge his reaction to Justin. The normal reaction would have been for him to run, fearing being caught. As Justin approached Vinny, that dog dropped onto his back and just lay there. This is where the Kleenex started flowing. Vinny on his back! Justin looked up at his mom and said “I love him.” There were no words. None were needed. Palpable certainty is tough to argue with. We had 30 minutes to get all the paperwork in order, drive to Pet Food Warehouse, get all the food and supplies and get them on the road. It was a marathon shopping trip. As always, Pet Food Warehouse folks were beyond helpful. Shopping done and Vinny leaving imminent, Justin reached out to hug me. It was a true and solid hug as honest and real as every step of this journey had been thus far. Justin said, “You gave me the best day in my life since my accident.” I could not speak choking back the emotion of this moment, this afternoon and beyond. Had I been able, I would have said to Justin and Kelly, Thank you for trusting us and sharing such a
private and heart wrenching tragedy in your lives. Thank you for showing us hope for Vinny when we had nearly given up. Thank you for reminding us that there is a person for every dog, you just have to wait, and it could be a long wait. Thank you for breaking every criteria by which I look at an adoption application. We are all broken, most breaks are not visible to others, but breaks exist none the less. You took yours out for me to see and I am honored. Most importantly in this current crisis of addiction all over our country, thank you for shining a light on your journey through and beyond it. Kelly reports that Justin is totally devoted to Vinny, he walks, feeds and grooms him. Vinny is now Buddy because Justin says that he is his best buddy for life. He spends every waking hour with Justin and sleeps with him. I advised, the day of adoption that Justin crate Vinny when unsupervised. In the moment he agreed, in fact promised. However, taken in by those soulful eyes that promise nothing but perfection, Justin decided that Buddy did not need to be crated when he was away from the house, and so left him out. Suffice it to say that Buddy put his own spin on home decoration including no curtains in the windows, shredded pillows and why recycle when you have him? The crate is back. Kelly also reports that although Justin is an addict, and always at risk, that he has not used since adopting Buddy. This dog saved the boy as surely as the boy saved the dog. So often in rescue we hear about how we save animals. This is a fuller story of how the they have the capacity save us and then some. We often have perceptions of how a dog “should be”. Truth is that that they can save us just as they are. Justin’s struggles are for life, not only with addiction and depression, but with the capacity to function. His job is gone, his license is gone and his vision of his future being endless and guaranteed is gone. Kelly is clearly his rock. On that day of hearing the sirens and her wish for the pain of those involved to be minimal and fleeting, she had no idea that the wish was for her own son. Rather that day brought with it a life sentence of uncertainty of which she is acutely aware. Kelly sees the good that was always there in Justin. She sees the tempered youthfulness as good. She knows the statistics and chooses to take one day at a time, sometimes one hour. She also sees the joy in her sons eyes which had gone dark, when he interacts with Vinny. “Vinny has brought him back to life and we thank you.” That for me is like being given a bag of gold then being thanked for taking it. Dawna Pederzani is the Founder of Vermont English Bulldog Rescue and Bulldogs and Buddies. Winter 2018
25 Reasons Dogs Are Better Than Men
1. Dogs do not have problems expressing affection in public. 2. Dogs always miss you when you are gone. 3. Dogs look at your eyes when you talk to them. 4. Dogs feel guilt when they’ve done something wrong. 5. Dogs don’t feel threatened by your intelligence. 6. Dogs understand what NO means. 7. Dogs can be forced to take a bath when they need one. 8. Dogs don’t brag about whom they’ve slept with. 9. Dogs never laugh at how you throw the ball to them. 10. Dogs don’t care anything about watching sports all day on TV. 11. Dogs don’t complain when you want to go for a walk. 12. Dogs are easy to buy gifts for. 13. Dogs are happy with any video you choose to rent, because they know the most important thing is that you’re together. 14. Dogs understand if some of their friends cannot come inside. 15. Dogs think you are a culinary genius. 16. Dogs are nice to your relatives. 17. Dogs don’t care how you dress. 18. Dogs don’t care what you look like or how much weight you’ve gained. 19. Dogs don’t criticize your friends. 20. Dogs don’t mind if you do all the driving or if you take a wrong turn. 21. Dogs don’t weigh down your purse with their stuff. 22. Dogs do not care whether or not you shave your legs. 23. Dogs aren’t threatened if you earn more than they do. 24. Dogs mean it when they kiss you. 25. Middle-aged dogs don’t feel the need to abandon you for a younger woman.
So there you have it... Why Dogs Are Better Than Men. Makes complete sense once you read through them all and look at the cartoon drawing, doesn’t it? LOL!
critically praised. It’s both charming and funny. Women have been trying to gently train the men in their lives, hoping to bring them up to the canine gold standard for years. Anyone who loves her pooch will find this book irresistible Want More??? since it cleverly highlights just how devoted Check out Jennifer Berman’s wickedly funny the owner-pet connection can be. book that compares the male of the human species with the canine to come up with some Jennifer Berman is a nationally syndicated cartoonist whose work has appeared in hilarious disparities: publications such as George, Harper’s, Why Dogs Are Better Than and Utne Reader, as well as in newspapers, Men. Berman’s delightful four-color on greeting cards, and on her own line of cartoons and witty quips has sold postcards,“Humerus Cartoons.” more than 80,000 copies and was
Six Trees to Grow for Birds
OAKS The native Oak is one of the most important trees for wildlife, providing habitat for an astounding 534 species of Lepidoptera, or butterflies and moths, as well as their larvae. An Oak in your yard means there will be an abundant source Catherine Greenleaf of caterpillars for birds to eat and feed to their young. Oaks also produce acorns that n the United States, natural habi- with expensive non-native, exotic, or alien feed squirrels, black bear, turkeys and deer, tat is shrinking by millions of acres each “ornamental” trees. Instead, opt for plant- and the cavities in Oaks provide perfect year, making our backyards the last line ing trees that are native to your area. Native nesting sites for Northern Flickers, Hairy of defense for birds. But you can help birds trees provide for birds on multiple levels. Woodpeckers and Owls. and other wildlife by planting native trees. They offer shelter and protection, make CHERRIES Don’t buy into the hype promoted by great nesting locations, and provide loads Native Cherry trees, which include the $60 billion a year horticultural indus- of native insects, like caterpillars, for food. Black Cherry, Chokecherry and Pin Cherry, try, urging you to populate your property The new buzzword is “biomass.” The provide sustenance and shelter for 456 spemore biomass in insects you provide, the cies of butterfly and moth, and their larvae. more birds you will support and produce This tree feeds an abundance of wildlife in your backyard. While the horticultural with its flowers, fruits, buds and foliage. If industry would like you to believe that you want the beautiful Tiger Swallowtail wild birds exist only on seeds that come in your yard, then plant a native Cherry. A in a plastic bag, in reality a bird’s survival big favorite of the Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, depends upon the rich protein of insects. Cedar Waxwing, Bluebird, Scarlet Tanager, Scientific research is now showing that and Baltimore Oriole. ornamental trees confuse and exhaust native birds because they have no nutri- MAPLES tion to offer, especially during nesting The native Maple tree provides habitat periods when parent birds are frantically for 285 species of butterfly and moth. It is unfortunate that some landscapers still looking for insects to feed their young. Here are six recommendations that will insist upon promoting the Norway Maple, easily increase the biomass of insects in an alien tree that has escaped cultivation your yard and also increase the number and is now rapidly displacing native trees throughout New England, while providing of beautiful birds you see: absolutely no sustenance to native insects or birds whatsoever. However, Sugar Maples and Red maples make excellent shade trees and provide stunning fall foliage, and their seeds and buds are eagerly devoured by many birds and mammals. Their twigs and bark are browsed by grouse, pheasant and chipmunks. Sap wells drilled by woodpeckers also provide nourishment for birds and insects, and Maple blossoms are a critical early season nectar source for pollinators. A big favorite of the American Goldfinch and Rose-Breasted Grosbeak.
PINES Native Pines provide for 203 species of butterfly and moth. In fact, butterfly and moth larvae love feasting on pine needles. The needles are also used for nest building by a number of songbirds. The seeds within pine cones feed quail, turkey, grouse, squirrels, chipmunks and birds. Because they are evergreens they provide excellent year-round cover for birds, especially during blinding snowstorms. Planting pines in your yard will attract Black-Capped Chickadees and Pine Siskins. LINDENS Lindens or Basswoods are one of the most underappreciated trees in New England. These beautiful trees bear creamy-white blooms in spring and early summer, providing nectar and pollen to Continued Next Page
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pollinators like bumblebees and honey bees. There is nothing more delicious than Linden honey. The leaves are edible and its seeds are coveted by chipmunks, squirrels, and many other small mammals. The Linden supports 150 species of butterfly and moth, a real producer that will keep the birds in your backyard well-fed. SYCAMORES Sycamores play host to 40 different types of Lepidoptera. The fruit of the native Sycamore, or Plane tree, is packed with seeds. These seeds are a favorite of Purple Finches, Cedar Waxwings, Goldfinches, and interestingly, Mallard Ducks. Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds use the flowers a nesting material and prefer to build their nests in Sycamores, as do Yellow-Throated Vireos, Robins, Northern Flickers, Titmice, Tree Swallows, and Screech Owls. 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.
Simple Tips for Successful Winter Bird Feeding
Put out feeders with good size capacity: And/or use multiple feeders to provide ample food especially during snow and ice storms. Provide nutritious winter seed foods: For most birds theses often include seed mixes of: black oil sunflower seed, hulled peanuts, niger seed and white millet seed. Offer fatty food too: Birds need to burn more calories in the winter just to stay warm. Suet is considered a high energy food because it consists of fat that has 9 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram for carbohydrates or protein. Peanut Butter is also popular with our flying friends but is more expensive than suet. Suet feeders are a favorite of woodpeckers and other insect-eating birds Keep your feeders full: Winter birds need to stock up on calories especially for those long, cold winter nights. Be consistent and keep feeding through the winter: Birds grow accustomed to your feeders especially in severe weather when the snacks you offer may mean their very survival. If you leave home for an extended period, try to have a neighbor or friend keep the feeders going. Remember water: Birds can become dehydrated in winter even if surrounded by ice and snow. Putting out a pan of water near the feeder on warmer days is a terrific idea. Stamp down the snow below: Ground-feeding birds such as dark-eyed juncos, doves and many sparrows will be able to gather up the seed that drop from the feeders if they don’t have deep snow to try to manage. Hang feeders in cat-safe locations: Place bird feeders in locations that do not also offer hiding places for sneak-attacks by cats and other predators. Think of placing the feeders ten to twelve feet from shrubs or brush piles. This gives the birds some time to react. Remember feeder cleanliness: Your feeders can get a little grimy. Because natural food sources are scarcer in the winter, more birds may be attracted to backyard feeders and those feeders will need to be cleaned with some hot water and dried a few times during the season. Winter 2018
Marmaduke: The Story Kate Kelly © 2017 UFS/Dist. by Andrews McMeel Syndication for UFS and Sunday strips, readers are given brand new Marmaduke stories daily. Marmaduke lives with the Winslow family, and all his dog capers involve his family, their neighbors, and anyone who happens into Marmaduke’s orbit.
armaduke made his first appearance in the newspaper comic pages in 1954. Since that time, Brad Anderson, who created the strip, and Paul Anderson, his son who joined the business in 2004, have never repeated a single panel. Despite a library of 63 years’ worth of daily panels
Marmaduke Makes Readers Laugh Whether it’s Marmaduke trying to order from the ice cream truck or Marmaduke taking up all the space on the family bed, the Andersons have maintained an unfailing commitment to making the world a little brighter and more fun every day. While Marmaduke is notable for many reasons, one aspect of the cartoon that separates Marmaduke from other animal comics is that Marmaduke is truly a dog. This lovable Great Dane needs no word balloons. The Andersons—both father and son–have perfected the art of dog facial expressions and expressive bodily poses. One glance at the day’s panel, and any reader knows exactly what Marmaduke is thinking about. It’s sure to elicit a grin or even a laugh.
How Marmaduke Came About Brad Anderson (1924-2015) grew up in Portland, New York. His father was an inventor and sold farm machinery. Brad had exposure to what had been his father and grandfather’s business, but his earliest interest was in drawing. From a very young age, he had a pencil in his hand and was often sketching out ideas for cartoons. In high school, he contributed comics to the school paper, but he was also sending out cartoons to consumer magazines. In 1939, when Brad was only 15, he sold his first cartoon. The sale was to Flying Aces magazine. As World War II loomed, Brad Anderson, like other young men his age, enlisted in the military. He joined the Navy. He started as a machinist, but at only 19, he was assigned to be Acting Chief in charge of the engine room. His ship was in the Pacific Theater where his unit saw a lot of action.
After the War When he finished in the military, he returned and married his high school sweetheart, Barbara. Together the two moved to Syracuse, New York, where Brad entered Syracuse University under the GI bill. The focus of his studies was marketing, but his love continued to be cartooning. Brad kept thinking, drawing, and sending out cartoons. During this time, he made several sales to two of the bigger markets—Collier’s Magazine and the Saturday Evening Post. After receiving his diploma, Brad Anderson knew he’d better take a “real job” until he was certain he could make it full time as a cartoonist. He worked Continued Next Page
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in public relations and advertising for a time, but freelance sales continued. He and Barb decided that he could undertake cartooning full-time. Grandpa’s Boy was his first strip, though he continued to sell single panels.
end of things. She also helped with a part of the shading process that at that time had to be done by hand. Brad Anderson traveled everywhere with a pen and notepad. Occasionally, the family would be in another car on their way home. They would pass him pulled Creates Dog Character off to the side of the road…head down. When Anderson decided to create a dog “We stopped a few times, but then we cartoon, his first creation was a shaggy learned that he simply pulled out of traffic dog in cartoons he sold to a farm maga- to capture something before the idea was zine. From this experience, he learned lost,” says Paul. something about animal-drawing. A short- One of his father’s friends once asked haired dog could be more expressive. He Brad, ‘Why don’t you say much?’” knew any dogs in his future would not Paul says his father’s reply was “If I’m have long hair. talking, then I’m not watching and listen The next dog was modeled after a goofy ing.” boxer his parents owned. “My father would sometimes put him in a necktie or put a Follow Your Dreams scarf on him. He didn’t seem to mind” As the children grew up, Paul Anderson Brad Anderson told the Dallas Morning says, “My father always believed we should News in 1999. each follow our own dreams. He was sup But as Anderson further developed portive of whatever we decided to do.” his character, he wanted an even bigger, Paul’s dream was to serve in the Air goofier pet. He selected the Great Dane. Force. He graduated from college and then When he first sold a Marmaduke panel joined the Air Force. He served for twenty in 1954, only eight newspapers carried it, years, leaving the service as a Lieutenant but the character grew in popularity. Today Colonel. there is no diminishing of interest. While some newspapers have shed their comic The Anderson Dogs pages, Andrews McMeel Syndication, runs So what dogs provided inspiration over an active and popular website with many the last 63 years? offerings. Marmaduke is a very popular Paul Anderson said that his family has part of their Comics section. always owned many pets, including cats
Marmaduke’s Real Family Barb and Brad Anderson began family life in upstate New York, living near Niagara Falls. They were eventually to have three sons and a daughter. In the early 1960s, the Andersons moved to southern California and settled in Escondido. In a phone interview with Paul Anderson, he says that while they were growing up, Marmaduke was just a part of the fabric of family life. He said what was different in those days was having a dad at home. Brad was always happy with his work arrangement, and it was truly a family affair. Wife Barb took care of the business Winter 2018
and fish and chickens. When it came to dogs, they brought home dogs of all types— all of whom “helped” with the strip. It wasn’t until everyone was grown that sister Christine decided it was time to add Great Danes. She owned several, but one named Marmaladee she gave to her parents. Reportedly, Marmaladee did a good job of being a Marmaduke kind of dog. Paul has always kept dogs and now has a standard poodle who often provides material for him to work from. Marmaduke and the Future In 1994 Brad and Barb moved to Texas to be closer to where their children and grandchildren lived. And Paul, too, came to Texas to be near family. With four siblings, how did Paul Anderson become the one who joined the business to carry on the Marmaduke legacy? “Dad loved the work. He never talked about retirement. Every morning he got up and went to his studio,” says Paul. “He was certainly not worrying about a succession plan.” “The four of us talked, and one of my brothers said, ‘Paul, you’re the one of us who can do it.’” Paul had the right combination of artistic talent combined with an accommodating personality where he could ease in without causing upset. Continued Next Page
Discussing Marmaduke’s Future Paul continues: “I brought up the idea of my joining him and why. My dad’s first reaction was ‘Hmmm.’ He clearly hadn’t given it any thought. “But after a bit, he decided, ‘why not?” From there, Paul began his “apprenticeship” under his father. “I began with gag-writing, and moved more slowly into the art of the illustrations.” “One day we were going back through some of the old files, and I saw some of my first illustrations,” Paul continues. “I was horrified, and asked how he let them go through?”
His father very patiently answered, “Why you were just developing. I knew there was no need to stop you.” “Throughout, he was the most wonderful, patient mentor,” said Paul. Marmaduke Today Most cartoonists work several months ahead. Because Brad Anderson so loved his work, he kept creating, regardless of the date or what was due. Though Brad died over two years ago, Paul is still working off the new original comic strip panels that Brad outlined for the Sunday color strip before he died. Paul creates all the daily panels from scratch. He uses a digital drawing tablet. This permits him to still draw freehand, but some of the layering and shading can be done more quickly. And of course, delivery to the editor is eased by working digitally. For both Brad and Paul, one of the true joys of Marmaduke’s fame is getting letters from readers. Most letters are from readers sharing stories of their own beloved pets. “It’s always fun to receive them.” But particularly during the days when children opened up the newspaper and spread out the comic pages on the floor, teachers would write saying that some of their students used Marmaduke to learn to read. Many Awards and a Marmaduke Library Over the course of Marmaduke’s 63 years, the Andersons have received many awards. Brad was presented the National Cartoonists Society’s 1978 Newspaper Panel Cartoon Award, and in 2013, he received the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award. There have been many other recognitions as well. Brad Anderson’s family wanted the Marmaduke collection to be housed in a place where it would be accessible to cartoonists and researchers. They selected the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University. The Joy of Marmaduke Paul said that his father used to tell people, “I am so fortunate I can do what I love and make a living at it.” From the joy in Paul’s voice as we talked about Marmaduke, I would say he feels the same way. This article first appeared on the website, www.americacomesalive.com America Comes Alive publishes more stories about American dogs and other animals. Visit the website and sign up for “American Dogs” to receive the stores in your In Box. Or email Kate Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org
58 4 Legs & a Tail
The Year of the Dog
ll those born between 2/16/181/04/19 (or during 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018), fall under the sign of the dog. The story goes that all the animals wanted to be a zodiac sign when the Jade Emperor decreed to select the twelve Chinese zodiac signs. According to the standard, however, only the animals helpful to human beings could be selected. Therefore, all the animals came to the Jade Emperor to show their merits and prove that they were good assistants to human beings. Nevertheless, the origin of zodiac dog was related to the cat. Legend goes that both the cat and the dog had a close relationship with humans. The cat thought the dog ate too much and slept in front of the door all day without any contribution while the dog thought the cat only ate the good food and did nothing but scare the rat all day. They argued and asked the Jade Emperor to decide which side was right. The Jade Emperor asked the dog: “how much do you eat for a meal?” The dog honestly replied: “I watch the door and guard the house every day, and I eat a bowl of food for a meal.” Then, the Jade Emperor asked the cat: “what about you?” On a sudden inspiration, the cat said: “I can chant scriptures and catch rat and I eat every meal an oil lamp of food for a meal.” The cat just wanted to tell the Jade Emperor tactfully that it Winter 2018
not only ate an oil lamp of food, but also earned its own living by catching rat, so its contribution was bigger than the dog. After listening to what the dog and the cat said, the Jade Emperor thought the cat eat less but did more and its contribution was bigger than the dog. The dog was very angry because the cat won it with a disgraceful lie. Therefore, the dog abused and chased after the cat to bite it. The cat knew that it was in the wrong, so it kept running and dared not show up even in the home, hiding from place to place. In selecting the twelve Chinese zodiac signs, however, the heavenly officers didn’t follow the Jade Emperor’s decree and they changed the rule: those first arrived animals would be the twelve Chinese zodiac signs. The dog learned the news, so it came with the rooster to the Heavenly Palace when the cat was hiding away from it. The
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rooster flew in front of the dog; the cat went out after the dog left and it learned that the dog had gone to the Heavenly Palace to participate in the competition of Chinese zodiac signs. So, the cat ran to the Heavenly Palace in a hurry and ranked after the rooster. Unexpectedly, the rat played a trick and hid in the oxâ€™s horn, thus ranked first among the animal signs while the cat had no chance and was not selected*. From then on, the cat hated the rat and killed rat whenever it found one. Although the honest dog was selected successfully, it never forgave the cat. (* the cat is not on the list of Chinese zodiac animals but takes the place of the rabbit in the Vietnamese and Gurung Zodiacs)
Personality traits of those born during the Year of the Dog. STRENGTHS
1. Simple, upright, straightforward, honest, modest, friendly, and make others feel reliable and safe. 2. Faithful to friends, go all out to do things, value morality and justice, compassionate, and would rather suffer losses than bother others. 3. Know black from white, dare to speak out from a sense of justice and hold the scales even, never make a concession for the right things they believe, never do the things violating the morality out of personal interest. 4. Having highly accurate intuition, and a strong predictive and judgment ability. 5. Quick off the mark, clever, quick-minded, diligent, dedicated, loyal, conscientious and ambitious. Have great leadership ability, kind-hearted, dedicatory, and prestigious. 6. Hardly change mind once fall in love with someone.
1. Short-tempered, great emotional ups and downs, stubborn and like to display bravery. 2. Like to criticize others, theory-oriented but lack of action and judgment in reality. 3. Argumentative, suspicious, picky and tend to be blind. 4. Highly dependent, suffer from imaginary fears, and sometimes self-reclusive and silent inexplicably.
60 4 Legs & a Tail
Central NH & VT Winter 2018
The Inspiration Behind the Iditarod Tips for a PAWesome Winter! Meet Marmaduke Does this collar make me look fat? A 9 Year Old Comes to the Rescue in Houston
Published on Nov 10, 2017