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Mud Season 2018 Northern VT & NH

The Saddle May Be Your Best Friend Square One For Your Puppy Celebrate National Pet Week! Can a DNA Test Unveil Your Dog’s Past? A Holistic Approach to Vaccination Season

Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail


2. Celebrate National Pet Week M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM Tips for some extra fun with your furry friends 3. What is Bark for Life? Bring your dog and join the walk to support the American Cancer Society's fight against cancer this spring

4. Caws 4 Paws JD Green

Mark your calendar for June 9th. Attend the 4th annual Pet Expo to benefit the new Barre dog park

5. Be an Effective Animal Advocate in 6 Easy Steps 6. The Unemployed Dog Only the government can make a mistake like this! 8. Socializing Your Puppy Maria Karungan Some tips and guidelines designed to get your puppy off to a great start

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10. Alternatively Speaking: A Holistic Take on Vaccination Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA 12. The Buzz About Bees How much do you know about bees? 13. It’s in the Genes: Using DNA Tests to Help Care for Your Rescue Dog Holly McClelland 14. Spring Means the Arrival of the Baby Chicks! Ira Richards Getting started is easier than you think and the benefits

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are almost endless

15. Horses for Health Chelle Grald It turns

out that the outside of a horse really is good for the inside of man

18. “How Much (err, Old) is That Doggy in the Window?” Sandra Waugh, VMD, MS A look at the sure fire way to determine your dog's real age 20. Paradise Recovered John Peaveler After Hurricane Maria, Upper Valley resident John Peaveler

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recounts the devastation to Puerto Rico and its pets.

22. Sleep, Hamburger, and Rescue Karen Sturtevant Bruiser, an English bulldog, finds happiness in Vermont 24. Train Your Own Service Dog Mike Robertson With waiting lists long, more dog owners are training their own service dog 26. Cats and Dogs Getting Along Together Mutt adopts kittens and other animal stories

28. Animal Antics Pat Jauch Oh, those dogs can do the craziest things! 4 Legs & a Tail Volume N.118 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766 603-727-9214 Spring 2018

Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Senior Editor: Scott Palzer Office Manager: Beth Hoehn Graphic Design: Kristin Wolff, Lacey Dardis Kerry Rowland Sales: Scott Palzer, Ashley Charron

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 Northern 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. 1

NATIONAL PET WEEK! M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM Vermont Veterinary Medical Association

A lways the first full week in May, National Pet Week is dedicated to celebrating the over 200 million pets that enrich our lives. This is especially true in Vermont,

which tops the nation in pet ownership. Created in 1981 by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Auxiliary AVMA, National Pet Week is a time to honor the many roles pets have in our lives and to promote responsible pet ownership. Whether your pet is a horse, bird, cat, dog, rodent, or any other of the amazing creatures in our world, our pets are there for us and don’t ask much in return. During National Pet Week, we encourage pet owners to celebrate the bond and provide their pets with all that they need for a healthy and enriched life every week of the year. Keeping your pet happy and healthy involves providing three important things: proper housing and nutrition, appropriate exercise and environmental enrichment, and providing medical care to keep them healthy and disease free. Many of our pets have been domesticated from their wild roots, and so it is important to provide them with ways to keep their minds and bodies active. Make the time to play with your cat or walk your dog several times a day. Buy or make them a new toy and use interactive play to help them keep their minds busy. Owners of birds and exotic pets can research ways to modify their pets’ living space to provide variety and entertainment. This doesn’t have to be buying expensive toys- appropriate homemade toys are just as good. Nutrition and medical care are an important part of responsible pet ownership. One aspect that many pet owners should consider before adopting a pet of any type is the ability to afford veterinary care to prevent parasites and disease and treat any that may occur in the pet. Annual physical exams and preventative medications are not without cost, but are critical to pets’ well-being. Before you get a new pet or if you have one and aren’t sure what its needs are, talk to your veterinarian. They can provide you with accurate information to help you keep your pet healthy and happy. So whether your pet is a horse or a gerbil or any size animal in between, take time during National Pet week to celebrate the bond! Take your dog for a walk, brush out your horse and go for a ride, play with the cat, or make some additions to your caged pets’ environment to challenge their minds! They give us so much love and comfort: let’s make sure we provide what they need this week and every day of the year. For more information, go to The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional organization of 340 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine. 2 4 Legs & a Tail

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What is Bark for Life? T

he American Cancer Society Bark For Life is a noncompetitive walk event for dogs and their owners to raise funds and awareness of the American Cancer Society’s fight against cancer. By supporting Bark For Life, you help the American Cancer Society save lives, and that helps us move closer to our ultimate goal of creating a world with less cancer and more birthdays. So bring your canine best friend, and join for a fun-filled evening of walking, games, demonstrations, costumes, and food!

Why Bark? Bark For Life is more than just a dog walk. It is a unique opportunity for dog owners who are passionate about seeing an end to caner, to come together and help the American Cancer Society save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. It’s also time for Survivor’s to honor the caregiving qualities of their canine companions.

Who can participate? Anyone can participate in Bark For Life. Teams of dog owners, along with their dogs, have fun walking together while raising much-needed funds and awareness to help the American Cancer Society save lives. If you do own a dog, you are still welcome to walk with us! The success of Bark For Life depends on individuals who commit to raising money and the people who donate to them. Friends, families, neighbors, classmates, companies, sports teams, etc, can form their own teams. No matter who you are, there’s a place for you at Bark For Life.

Is there a minimum amount to raise? The only requirement to participate in Bark For Life is the registration/commitment fee (per owner & per dog) that is due upon registration. The is no fundraising requirement; but set a goal and go for it! All funds raised help the American Cancer Society succeed in their mission to create a world with less cancer.

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to Benefit New Dog Park JD Green - Barre, VT


ith much excitement, my annual CAWS 4 PAWS PET EXPO in memory of my beloved dog Buddy will return this spring for its 4th year but with some major changes. The biggest change is that CAWS 4 PAWS will make its new home outdoors in the new Town of Barre Community Dog Park! Also, the world famous high flying DOCK DOGS will return! Teaming up with the Town of Barre Recreation Board for the Grand Opening of the dog park as well as their 3rd annual SPRING INTO SUMMER FESTIVAL is a perfect opportunity for animal lovers and their dogs to gather in one spot for one day to remember. It’s also a chance for the public to discover and support the dog park, the “caws” this year. Vendor space to all registered nonprofit organizations is offered at NO CHARGE (in lieu of free booth space, donations will be accepted). For-profit vendors are asked to make a $30 to the Town of Barre Community Dog Park. CAWS 4 PAWS will go on RAIN OR SHINE. Enjoy various food vendors and as always, well-behaved dogs

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are welcome on a leash (and of course unleashed in the fenced park) If you are FOR-profit, please mail your $30 checks to: Caws 4 Paws, LLC c/o David Rouleau 34 Goldsbury Woods Road Barre, VT 05641 CHECKS MUST BE RECEIVED BY JUNE 1st  

JD Green with a big fan of the Caws

price tiers and what it includes, please contact me ( or Dave Rouleau (drouleau@cabotcheese. com, 802-839-0533) As in past years, expect a day packed with plenty of entertainment and demonstrations for various dog-related services from Vermont Search & Rescue, police K-9 Units, and so much more. The goal from the start was to gather together as many pet lovers as possible in one place and show the goods and services from a wide variety of the industry. From healthy nutrition to obedience and training, grooming, daycare, lodging and evening cleaning you’ll find it all and more. Look for Therapy Dogs Vermont, Vermont Volunteer Services for Animals, Passion 4 Paws, Good Karma Rescue and Heidi’s Haven just to name a few. You’ll even learn how various service animals affect the Vermont Center for Independent SAVE Living and Guiding Eyes For The Blind. THE DATE: Considering Saturday June 9th the fact that pet TIME: ownership is a 10am-2pm multi-billion dollar industry LOCATION: in America, the Community Dog Park CAWS 4 PAWS Pet (Barre Town School) Expo will attempt Town of Barre to spotlight a vast array of experts from grooming to clothing and outfitting, adoption matching, behavior training and everything in between. If your pet-related business or nonprofit organization would like to attend, please contact me directly at My hope is that CAWS 4 PAWS will, at the very least, help improve the quality of life for both human and canine. And I promise you will leave inspired, learn something new, get a whole bunch of kisses and maybe even meet your next best friend.

If you would like to be a vendor, please let me know asap by email ( If you have any questions and would like to speak with me, please email the best time to reach you and include a phone number. There will also be vendors outside of the CAWS 4 PAWS EXPO area sponsoring the famous high-flying DOCK DOGS as they make their return to Central Vermont. This is not a cheap endeavor, with an expense of nearly $6,000. We have already secured some sponsorship but looking for more. If you are interested in one or more of the sponsorship opportunities,

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any animal. Fortunately, through the persistence of many animal-protection organizations, various animal shows have been shut down. To help stop more of these cruel shows, please boycott them and encourage others to do the same. Step 5: Purchase Cruelty-Free Products Each year, household products, cosmetics, and personal-care items are cruelly tested on millions of animals. These lethal experiments to determine product toxicity include brutally painful tests that subjectively measure chemical irritation in the eyes or on the skin of rabbits and many other animals. The good news is that there is an ever-increasing number of cruelty-free products available. Being a conscientious consumer is such a simple, yet very effective, way to prevent your purchase from supporting animal cruelty. Whether it be detergent, makeup, toothStep 3: Reduce or Eliminate Animals from paste, or other items, there are many humane options for the products you Your Diet Do you want to save animals, reduce routinely use. Find a complete list at your risk of preventable health issues,, where you can also and minimize your carbon footprint? download their free phone app. Please Many plant-based substitutes offer fla- use your shopping dollars to support vors similar to meat, so it’s easy to make humane-minded companies! meat-free meals and products a priority Step 6: Join Green Mountain Animal when you’re eating out or grocery shop- Defenders! ping. This will benefit the animals, your You have the power to create posibody, the environment, and your wallet! tive change for animals by taking these Check out the Physicians Committee for simple steps in your daily lives. Please Responsible Medicine at multiply the effect by encouraging othhealth/diets for free vegetarian recipes, ers to do the same. Last, but not least, nutritional facts, and health hints. join GMAD, Vermont’s oldest, 501(c)(3), Step 4: Get Educated about Animals Used not-for-profit, volunteer-run animalprotection organization. as Entertainment Although seeing exotic animals in Like us on Facebook circuses, traveling zoos, state fairs, and ( other venues may seem like fun, please GreenMountainAnimalDefenders), remember the suffering these animals and sign up for our e-alerts at are forced to endure. Animals used as GreenMountainAnimalDefenders. entertainment spend their lives in conditions that do not satisfy their needs or org, where you’ll find even more lifesaving information to help protect natural instincts. They often travel in cramped cages, and may never have a the well-being of all animals. We are chance to socialize with their own spe- looking for volunteers, and we would love to hear from you. cies. This is not an acceptable life for

Green Mountain Animal Defenders

Be an Effective Animal Advocate in 6 Easy Steps G

reen Mountain Animal Defenders (GMAD) believes all animals are worthy of protection, therefore we use our statewide network to help animals of all species. Whether you are new to animal advocacy or are looking for more ways to help, these steps will guide you in the right direction. Step 1: Provide Your Pets with the Best Care To ensure your animal companions are living healthy, emotionally rich lives, they need nutritious food, plenty of exercise, TLC, proper socialization, and regular veterinary checkups. Spaying and neutering decreases or eliminates the likelihood that your pet will develop breast cancer, uterine infections, prostate issues, testicular cancer, and other medical problems. It will also minimize spraying, territory marking, and yowling, as well as reduce the animal’s need to roam in search of a mate, thereby decreasing the chances that your pet will become lost, get attacked by other animals, or be hit by a car. Statistics show that over 1.5 million cats and dogs are euthanized each year because there are just not enough homes for them. Spaying or neutering your pets help reduce pet overpopulation. Please be part of the solution. Step 2: Humane Solutions for Wildlife We encourage the use of effective and humane approaches for solving problems with wildlife who may be getting into your home or garden. A list of humane solutions can be found here: If you see a wild animal that you think may be orphaned or injured, the best way to help is to call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for advice. Unless in harm’s way, it may not be best to remove the animal from its habitat. Here is a list of professionally trained Vermont rehabbers who can assess the situation and, if needed, rehabilitate and release the animal back into the wild: Spring 2018 5

The Unemployed Dog A

mix-up at the Michigan unemployment office led to jobless benefits for one German Shepherd. Attorney Michael Haddock tells WZZM TV he received a notice from the Michigan Unemployment Insurance agency that said ‘Michael Ryder” will be receiving 360-dollars a week. The problem is there is no one named “Michael Ryder” at Haddock’s address. “Ryder” is the name of Haddock’s German Shepherd and Michael is his first name. Haddock assumed the notice was for his dog. Haddock said he knew his dog was clever, but “he surprised me this time.” The state has since discovered the mix-up and Ryder won’t have a chance to cash those checks.

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Socializing Your Puppy I

Maria Karunungan

f you’ve just brought a puppy home, chances are you’re being bombarded with advice on socialization, housetraining, and other important must-knows about puppies. Bringing home a puppy can be downright overwhelming, between trying to make sure your new best friend doesn’t leave little-unwanted surprises everywhere or chew everything in sight. In the chaos to rearrange your life and keep up with your puppy’s shenanigans, carving out the time to provide your puppy with socialization experiences might fall by the wayside. If you’re tempted to downgrade socialization to a lower priority, than say, learning not to jump on people, don’t. Pups can learn basic obedience and many other skills when they’re older. That said, if you’re gung-ho about taking all the right steps from the start with your new puppy, you can absolutely be crafty about managing your time and your puppy’s environment and schedule. It is possible to set your puppy up for housetraining and chew-training success, work in a little obedience training, and still prioritize socialization. A wonderful resource to help you is the book, Life Skills for Puppies, by Daniel Mills and Helen Zulch.

Why is socialization so important? Pups who are under-socialized run a huge risk of developing behavior problems resulting from being fearful of things they were not adequately exposed to during their critical period of socialization. In fact, “behavioral issues, not infectious diseases, are the number one cause of death for dogs under three years of age,” per the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB). The risk is so great that the AVSAB released an official position statement in 2008 urging the public not to keep their puppies sequestered until they are fully vaccinated (usually at or around 16 weeks). The AVSAB strongly recommends that emphasis is placed on socialization prior to 12 weeks of age, as “the first three months are the period when sociability outweighs fear”. Socialization does not have to come at the cost, however, of keeping your puppy safe from serious infectious diseases such as parvovirus or distemper. There are safe, low-risk ways to provide critical socialization experiences while minimizing the risk of exposure to these diseases.

Here are some general guidelines and suggestions for socializing your puppy: • Enroll in a puppy class, preferably as soon as you get your puppy and before your pup turns 12 weeks old. Puppy class should provide positive exposure to new experiences and healthy puppy play in a structured environment, and keep you on track from week to week. Do some research to make sure the trainers you elect for puppy classes will not use aversive methods (methods that scare the pup or cause pain of any kind) as these methods can backfire and result in creating the potential for aggression later in life. Make sure the facility hosting the puppy class will disinfect the floor prior to all puppy classes or puppy socials, and that vaccines are required for all dogs and puppies who come to the facility. • Get your puppy out of the house. This doesn’t mean your backyard. Literally, take them with you as many places as possible. Ask your boss if you can bring the puppy to work 1 or 2 days per week, or at least visit a few times. Look for dogfriendly businesses, such as Onyx Tonics coffee shop and Outdoor Gear Exchange in downtown Burlington, or carry them down the main street of your town. Doing this early for large breed puppies has the side benefit that they are small enough for you to be able to carry them! Some people use a covered stroller or backpack or baby bjorn (make sure your wiggly pup is secured, though, and unlikely to escape, before counting on the equipment!). Do avoid taking your puppy to places that unvaccinated dogs go, such as the dog park, before they have completely finished their shots. • Create or use a socialization chart to remind you not to just expose your pup to people and other dogs, but to a whole slew of “life experiences” – sounds, textures, flooring and ground surfaces, umbrellas opening, automatic doors sliding open. Set up the chart so that you can check off multiple exposures to each type of experience - as socialization is not a “one and done” deal. Also, be specific about the variety you might be looking for – for example, socialization to people does not mean one average person but rather children, tall people, people with unusual gaits, people wearing hats, sunglasses or backpacks, and so on. • Have friends over frequently while your pup is young, to help your puppy be more accustomed to strangers visiting. To protect from disease, make sure visitors take their shoes off before they come in, and ask them to wash their hands before handling your puppy. Also, take advantage of routine visits from the mailperson or the plumber, and give your pup treats when these events take place to help your puppy be comfortable. • Make powerful use of first-time experiences. When exposing your puppy to any new situations, think about how you can provide a low-intensity and pleasant first exposure. For example, the first time your puppy has a bath, you might consider smearing peanut butter on the side of the sink or tub and setting up a warm soapy sponge bath with a soft washcloth for a gentle first experience. Above all, when socializing your puppy, follow the age-old mantra, “Do No Harm”. Your puppy should be able to enjoy multiple exposures to a wide variety of experiences without being overwhelmed, traumatized or scared. Socialization won’t completely overwrite any fear that your puppy might ever experience or be genetically prone to, but it will provide lots of padding, and help your puppy develop into a well-adjusted adult dog who can handle the occasional stressful event or unexpected curveball. Plus, taking the time to do this is a bit like taking the time to enjoy life and smell the roses – except, in this case, it’s puppy breath. Maria Karunungan is an honors graduate of The Academy for Dog Trainers, where she earned her Certificate in Training and Counseling. Maria also holds a Ph.D. in Educational Studies. She has trained service dogs, therapy dogs, shelter dogs, and pet dogs for over 15 years and currently works with Fetch the Leash in downtown Burlington, Vermont.

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*We will not sell or give your information to a third party N118

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Alternatively Speaking: A Holistic Take on Vaccination Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA


pringtime evokes different things for different people, but for those in the veterinary profession it is the season when a lot of pets come in for their vaccines. This is especially true for the dogs due for licenses. With that deadline looming, often vaccine discussion is rushed as we hurry to check off that ‘to-do’ from our springtime lists. But vaccination triggers powerful immune activity to create protection, and it does merit some discussion to make sure that protection comes with as little risk as possible. So spring seems a good time to revisit vaccination for our pets, how they work, and how to make educated decisions balancing risk and benefit when building your individual preventative health care plan with your veterinarian. First, here is a little background on the mechanics of how vaccines work. Very simply, vaccines have two parts. One is a harmless version of something infectious

that we want the body to make defenses against, such as Rabies or Distemper. This is called the “antigen”. The second part of the vaccine is an irritant, called the “adjuvant”. In natural exposures, the disease itself irritates tissues as it attempts to invade and infect the body. But because the vaccine’s version of the disease is harmless, it causes no damage and would go ignored by the immune system. The adjuvant’s job is to create enough irritation to trick the immune system into believing this antigen is harming the body, so it will make protective antibodies and store that memory for future use. We can verify the success of our vaccine by measuring the antibody level in the blood, called a titer. Our understanding of the immune system and the ability to use vaccines to direct our immune systems to protect us in advance is really amazing science. We know that in natural exposure to disease, protection starts when a germ enters the body as it is breathed in, enters the mouth, or contacts other body openings like the eyes or a cut in the skin. The first line of defense is not specific and involves protective cells that recognize strange proteins in the body and tries to remove them. This happens with or without prior vaccination. However, if these strange proteins are recognized because of prior infection or vaccination, another branch of the immune system kicks in to make the antibodies it has on file. The antibodies label each germ, allowing a much larger group of protective cells to find and remove them from the body. The end result is a much faster and more successful defense. So when we use a vaccine, we are triggering the many types of cells, communication signals, and pathways involved when we harness the immune system to create protection. But the vaccine only mimics natural disease exposure, and this abnormal manipulation of our biology is not without risk. Vaccines are injected, so they enter the body abruptly, bypassing entry point defenses and skipping a few steps in the typical immune response pathway. With “combination vaccines”, this invasion includes several disease antigens along with foreign adjuvants, so it is not a surprise that in some individuals this unnatural exposure triggers some Continued Next Page

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unnatural responses. Luckily vaccine reactions are rare, and usually mild, but they can be serious. We know that vaccines should be avoided in animals with certain cancers or immune system diseases, and that certain cats can develop cancer with exposure to any injected irritant including vaccines. Holistic medicine also recognizes that in some patients, vaccines contribute to chronic problems that are aggravated by adjuvant exposure or atypical immune system stimulation. This is called vaccinosis. It is hard to link these problems directly to any vaccine itself, but addressing vaccine triggered irritation and minimizing vaccination in the future does seem to play a role in improving these patient’s more vague and stubborn conditions. The good news is that many anti-viral vaccines last a very long time, and we may have a lot more flexibility to give them less often than in the past. Originally the first vaccines for pets made in the 1950’s had to prove that they lasted at least a year in order to get approval from the FDA. So vaccine companies did just that, they tested that the protection lasted a year, and since they did not check beyond a year, that is all the label could claim. Independent studies in the 1970’s showed that immunity indeed lasted much longer than a year for diseases like Distemper and Parvo, and under mounting pressure a few manufacturers have extended their labels to 3 years in the last decade. But holistic vets have been monitoring blood antibody levels with titers for these diseases since the 70’s, and we see that the vaccines protect far beyond 5 or even 8 years for many patients. If a dog has plenty of protection there is no need to boost it higher with a vaccine, so without any benefit all we are left with is the risk of vaccination. Titers have been around long enough and have enough science behind them that they are recognized as proof of immunity, say to board in a kennel. In our practice, puppies get their baby shots for Distemper and Parvo, and if healthy they get an adult booster which Spring 2018

is the standard recommendation. From then on we check their status with a titer and only discuss immunization if it is needed. For dogs that sadly have problems early in life, we may start checking titers sooner to avoid placing more stress on their systems if they have already achieved a protective immunity. Rabies is a different situation. Vaccination is required by law, and rightfully so due to the fact that humans can contract this lethal disease from their pets. However, we have mounting evidence that like Distemper and Parvo, the vaccine provides immunity that lasts far longer than 3 years. Kansas State University’s veterinary lab has been collecting data on Rabies titers for dogs for years. At the same time another group of veterinary scientists have been conducting the Rabies Challenge Study for almost a decade. This spring we hope to see publication of the long awaited results, which could provide the medical data to change the Rabies label to be a 5 or even 7 year vaccine and promote the use of titers to show immunity for Rabies. This would be the first step in changing the laws and allow legal extension of vaccination. In the meantime, if vaccination presents a high medical risk to ill dogs, you may be able to have a medical waiver that allows licensing until it is safe to vaccinate. For other vaccines like Lyme or Leptospirosis, the immune system is not designed to make long term protection against infections that are not viruses. Therefore yearly boosters are needed to maintain protection, and deciding whether to vaccinate requires careful consideration of the risk versus benefit of immunization for these infections. So with this knowledge, how should a pet owner proceed at that annual checkup when shots are due? Our approach is to first identify any health issues or risks your pet has that may increase their chance that a vaccine would bother their system. Allergies, past reactions to shots, or advancing age are all things that may tip the scales to more risk than benefit. A titer may be a better choice for these patients. Then we discuss what diseases your dog or cat needs protection from. Do they travel? Do they go outdoors? Many diseases we can’t avoid if our pet goes outside, like Lyme disease or Rabies, because exposure comes to them in our yards and on our porches. Similarly, Parvo virus can track into your home on your feet if you walk where an infected dog went to the bathroom. But if your dog has immunity for the most dangerous infections, and we weigh the potential for treating those infections that are not as threatening, you may find that yearly vaccination is not the only choice to make. When we do decide to vaccinate in our hospital, we use vaccines that have

a very good track record for safety. For every available vaccine there are several companies that make their own version. Luckily over time those that were not as safe have disappeared from the market, but there are still many options for veterinarians to choose from. The specific adjuvants in the vaccines are generally a corporate secret, but there are vaccines that are verified free of Mercury. Alternatively, newer vaccines are using technology that avoids adjuvants all together or have smaller volumes, especially for cats since a small percentage have that sensitivity to vaccination. In our practice we also limit how many vaccines are given at once, and certainly avoid large combination vaccines. For instance, a “distemper” vaccine for dogs or cats may contain anywhere from one to more than eight disease antigens in that single shot, some of which may be of questionable benefit for your pet. We often recommend spacing out shots by a month or more as able rather than getting several all at once. As you can see, there are plenty of strategies to effectively protect your pets from disease while minimizing risks. So, instead of rushing in for that quick vaccine update on your to-do list this spring, take the time to have a conversation with your veterinarian. Get educated about all the options, identify what your pet’s needs are, and employ thoughtful consideration to make the best medical decision for you and your pet. Spending the time will pay off with a healthier, well protected pet, and that is certainly worth the effort. 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 11

The Buzz About


v Bees are the only insect in the world that makes food that people can eat

v Honey contains all of the substances needed to sustain life, including enzymes, water, minerals and vitamins v Eating honey can help you be smarter! It is the only food to contain ‘pinocembrin’ that is an antioxidant that improves brain function v One bee will only make 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its entire life v Many plants rely on insects like bees in order to be pollinated; which is why they provide nectar to say thanks v A colony of bees can contain between 20,000 and 60,000 bees, but only one queen bee v A bee’s wings beat 190 times a second, that’s 11,400 times a minute! v Worker bees, who are all female, are the only ones who will attack you, and only if they feel threatened v It has been estimated that it would take 1,100 bee stings to produce enough venom to be fatal v Each colony smells different to bees, this is so they can tell where they live! v It would take 1,100 bees to make 1kg of honey and they would have to visit 4 million flowers v There are 900 cells in a bee’s brain v Bees have two separate stomachs; one for food and another just for nectar v The queen bee will lay around 1,500 eggs a day v Bees communicate by smells called ‘pheromones’ and by performing special ‘dances’ v Honey has natural preservatives so that it won’t go bad v A third of all the plants we eat have been pollinated by bees v Bees have been around for more than 30 million years v Bee keepers only take the honey that the bees do not need, but this can be as much as 45kg from one hive! v There are lots of different types of honey which taste different depending on the flowers used to make it

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Using DNA Tests to Help Care for Your Rescue Dog Holly McClelland


ccording to the APPA, approximately 80 million dogs are owned in the United States; 34% of those dogs are purchased from breeders and 23% are adopted through an animal shelter/humane society. People who choose breeders tend to want full transparency about their dogs’ breeds and backgrounds. While it is challenging to obtain this level of detail from shelters that rescue hundreds of stray dogs, one solution that offers a partial fix is a dog DNA test. DNA tests reveal information about a dog’s breeds and family tree, which can influence how dog owners care for their pets. In January 2017, my husband and I purchased a DNA test for our three-year-old lab mix, Peony, shortly after we adopted her from All Breed Rescue. The goal was to learn more about her composition of breeds so that we could optimize our wellness routines and training techniques. Dog DNA testing brands include Find My Pet DNA, Embark, DNA My Dog, and Wisdom Panel. We chose Wisdom Panel because its database has 250+ breeds, the test was easy to administer, and it was cost effective. Within a few weeks of sending a saliva sample to the lab, we learned that Peony was 25% Labrador Retriever, 25% Amstaff, 12.5% German Shepherd, 12.5% Chow Chow, 12.5% Beagle, and 12.5% unidentified mixed breeds. The breed information gleaned through the results has been beneficial in several ways: 1. Exercise: Labs, Beagles, Amstaffs, and German Shepherds are active breeds with very high energy levels, so we make sure that Peony runs on a daily basis. German Shepherds in particular are working dogs that need a job to burn energy, so we often attach Peony to a belt harness for skijoring in the winter and rollerblading in the summer. Achieving optimal levels of exercise helps Peony maintain a healthy weight, which is important for Labs who are prone to obesity. Vigorous exercise also helps Peony’s mental health as she is significantly more relaxed around people and dogs post-workout. 2. Diet: Since the majority of Peony’s breed types are energetic, we give her a high protein and fat diet so she’s prepared to exercise and recuperate from her workouts. We also combine high-end dry kibble with freeze-dried food to provide Spring 2018

moisture, hydration and antioxidants from the vegetable inclusions. Amstaffs tend to develop skin and coat allergies, so we give Peony functional chews and treats to help alleviate itching. 3. Health Ailments: Peony frequently pulls her hind groin muscles and expresses pain through a yelp or growl if pressure is applied to the pain sites. It is impossible to measure how much the 12.5% Chow Chow contributes to the issue, but Chow Chows are prone to orthopedic issues and tend to tear ligaments in their hind legs. This breed-specific health issue is something that we keep in mind, and we proactively give Peony an aches and pains supplement as preventive treatment. We are also aware that all of the breeds that Peony is comprised of are prone to hip dysplasia, breeds, such as pit bulls. However, DNA so we will actively monitor this condition tests often uncover that dogs are comprised as Peony gets older. of breeds that people least expected from 4. Social Habits: Peony has a fear-based their appearances. Regardless of the breeds, reactivity toward other dogs on leash, but knowing the genetic composition allows thrives in a daycare setting with dogs when dog owners to develop plans to effectively she is off-leash. While Labs and Shepherds care for all aspects of their dogs’ physical, tend to be playful and great with other mental, emotional, and social health. dogs, Amstaffs and Chow Chows are generHolly McClelland leads marketing ally more serious and less friendly with and is an analyst for Fletcher/CSI, a dogs. Peony’s social habits were likely influboutique market research and conenced by environmental factors when she was a puppy, but genetics may certainly sulting firm headquartered in Williston, play a role. We use these breed insights Vermont. Holly monitors industry trends to cultivate positive social interactions and product developments for several brands in the CPG space, including for Peony, and train her to overcome her the pet industry. The pet research is challenges in adverse situations. focused on tracking nutrition and 5. Personality Traits: The mixed breeds ingredient trends, technological innoresult in a unique combination of personalvations, and new product launches ity traits. The Beagle in Peony makes her for dogs and cats. distracted during walks as she frequently enters into hunt and sniff mode, so we’ve worked hard to re-direct her attention with proper training. At home, the Lab, Shepherd, and Amstaff in Peony make her very loyal and affectionate, and quick to bark and defend her territory when people approach the house. All of Peony’s breeds are smart, so we work diligently to teach her the differences between a true threat and a welcomed visitor. The ASPCA estimates that 3.3 million dogs enter U.S. animal shelters every year, but only 1.6 million of those dogs are adopted. People may be reluctant to rescue unknown breeds and may stay away from dogs that look like “dangerous” 13

Spring Means the Arrival OF the Baby Chicks!

ter when they are part of a flock and we recommend raising them in a flock environment. It is primarily for the overall health and well-being of the birds that we have maintained our minimum quantity policy.

Ira Richards


s the days grow longer and the sap starts to run, we look forward to the arrival of one of the most beloved symbols of spring: baby chicks! In my mind there are very few things that signify the coming of the season better than the “peep, peep, peep” of those fuzzy little hatchlings. A sentiment I’ve had since I was a child, helping to raise our own family flock. To this day, it still kindles a sense of hope, new beginnings, and eager anticipation for the season to come. Nothing announces the coming of spring quite as boldly and eagerly as the baby chicks. Raising chickens is a tradition practiced for thousands of years, as far as raising livestock for food goes, it is relatively simple and quite practical. Though there are fewer commercial farming operations, there has been a dramatic resurgence of subsistence poultry-raising in recent years. A direct result of families becoming more aware of risks associated with processed, massmarketed foods and the health benefits of growing their own. Because rearing a flock is relatively easy, parents see it as a wonderful opportunity to teach their children some valuable life lessons. There are certainly merits to raising and keeping poultry, it is truly an activity that both young and old can enjoy together. Although nothing can replace the practical advice of a local expert, there is certainly a wealth of information about raising poultry available in books and on the internet. Before placing their first order of birds, many families will research the various breeds that fit their needs, looking at color and variety, as well as tempera-

ment, egg production, and hardiness in New England weather. It is gratifying to have a grade-school child step confidently up to our counter, with a parent in tow, and explain, after loads of research, they’ve decided exactly what to order to achieve the “best” flock. I love seeing the way that raising poultry can bring a family together to share in something special, just like it did when I was a kid. West Lebanon Feed & Supply has been the Upper Valley’s home for all things poultry since 1926 and our customers have long looked to us for expert advice on raising and keeping birds. Here are just a few of the most common questions we get asked on a regular basis:

This is merely a sampling of the wide variety of questions we get asked on a daily basis during the busy poultry season. If you have any questions, are interested in placing your order for chickens, turkeys, ducks, or geese this season, or would like to sign up for one of our free poultry workshops, we encourage you to contact us. We’re Why do I need to keep my baby chicks always here to help! indoors? When you pick up your birds they are For more information on West typically only a few days old. This is a Lebanon Feed & Supply poultry very delicate stage of life and there are ordering or the Share the Harvest several things that must be done in order to provide the best chance for survival. Use program, please contact us at (603) 298-8600 or visit us online at a brooder lamp to provide adequate heat, medicated starter feed and a vitamin & electrolyte water supplement to fight off infection, and lots of supervision in order to get them beyond that fragile period. For more specific details on caring for baby chicks, please ask us. Do you sell organic poultry feed? Yes, for those who wish to feed organic to their flock, we do stock organic poultry feeds. Does my f lock need a rooster? Although more information may be required depending on your specific goals, the simple answer is no, you do not need a rooster in order for hens to provide unfertilized eggs. How many eggs will I get? On average, a hen at peak egg production will lay one egg approximately every twenty-five hours, or roughly an egg a day. Why do you require a minimum number of birds for my f lock? State requirements may have recently changed, we still believe that chickens are instinctively flock birds and thrive in numbers. Experience indicates that the birds simply do bet-

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I’m getting more eggs than I need. What should I do? Donate your surplus farm-fresh eggs to feed local hungry families! We launched a wonderful program in 2009 called “Share the Harvest” and, in partnership with Willing Hands, our participants have aided in the distribution of tens of thousands of fresh eggs to hungry families. The need is still great and we are always looking for more help to provide wonderful, nutritious eggs to those who can use them. Ask us how you can help “Share the Harvest”.

One Confused Chick! We somehow had a chicken egg end up in the duck nest. When they all hatched, the chicken really thought it was a duck. The mama duck would march her little ducklings out to the pond, all her babies in tow. Last in line was that awkward little chick. While all the baby ducklings were learning how to swim, the chick would stay on the bank pecking at bugs around the water’s edge. —Amanda Allen Spring 2018

Horses for Health

"The air of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears," ~ - Arabian Proverb

Turns out that the outside of a horse really is good for the inside of man Chelle Grald

Strength for Longevity n the free world of the 21st century, Exercise physiologists know that as there are many things that we can choose we age, certain kinds of strength and flexto ride for recreational transportation: ibility are especially important in helping bicycles, skateboards, ATV's, motorcycles, our bodies to stay mobile and functional. snowmobiles, skis, surfboards, and the First and foremost is a strong and flexible list goes on. Lucky us! We choose horses. spine. Think about those half-halts. Riding Why? Join with me in an answer to inherently builds core strength as you sit deep to halt, stretch tall to canter and lift that question. There's more to the answer than just your torso into a 2-point position. Not to declaring 'because I love them.' Although mention the abdominal moxie required to there's nothing wrong with that as a great place to start. Equestrian pursuits are healthy for body, mind and soul. They are a valid and worthwhile choice. Let me count the ways.


Real Exercise Have you heard the expression 'sitting is the new smoking?' More and more, studies are showing that a sedentary lifestyle is bad for us. Moreover, a segment of the population more likely to be sedentary is females over the age of 37. Do you resemble that demographic? You'll be happy to know that sitting on a horse does not qualify as a sedentary activity. It is actually real, measurable, productive exercise. Studies by Arizona University and the University of Brighton in the UK verified just how much energy we are expending with our horses. The MET (metabolic equivalent of task) is a measurement that allows various activities to be compared in terms of their energy expenditure. Gentle riding expends 5.5 METs per hour - about the same as dancing. Galloping expends 7.3, the same as a game of squash, while jumping at 9 METs is like a vigorous game of basketball. No time to ride every day? Well, just grooming, mucking, hauling water and tacking/unpacking expends 4.5 METs. Taken together, the average day working with your horse puts you well within the guidelines for healthy, moderate-intensity exercise. Spring 2018

haul hay bales and shovel out stalls. That core strength supports and sustains your spine health. Young people who ride, just like gymnasts and dancers, build a foundation of good posture that helps keep us strong and upright longer as we age. After age 30, we all start to lose muscle mass. The resulting loss of strength makes us more susceptible to injury and also more likely to gain weight as our Continued Next Page 15

metabolisms slowly decrease. Bummer. The good news is that we can fight back with strength training. Riding and caring for horses works all the necessary muscle groups. Arm strength? Lift some buckets and feed bags, brush a dirty horse. Legs? Post to the trot, push a wheelbarrow, walk a cross-country course. The next time your cycling or skiing friend says 'well, at least my (bike, skis, snowmobile, etc.) doesn't need to be fed and cleaned up after,' you just smile and wave your well-toned bicep in their direction. The maintenance is part of the package and it is good for us.

the benefits of equestrian activity suggests that even those who have long-standing illnesses or disabilities show improved physical and mental condition as they persist with their horses. For many, the gentle and self-paced nature of horse care and riding is the only thing that keeps them active. With their horses, they are less disabled, more mobile and able to reach goals that they can't achieve on their own two feet. It is this incredible, uplifting quality of the horse-human partnership that is at the route of Equine Assisted Therapy in all its forms. There is something about learning to Motivation to Overcome move with and direct such a large and A study by the British Horse Society on noble beast that brings about healing in so

many. A short term study by New Mexico State University showed that children who had witnessed violence in their families showed improved social and psychological functioning with Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. The same results have been seen with veterans and others suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Physical and social functioning are nurtured and improved every day all over the world with the aid of horses in Therapeutic Riding programs. The rocking motion of a horse loosens muscles and joints and brings relaxation and circulation to those who can’t walk themselves. Our horses give us a new way to see the world and that perspective can change the way our brains and bodies are wired. Emotional Intelligence It is well known that horses have pretty small brains comparative to their size and very little capability to reason. That's OK, because it's not their job to be the smart one on the team! Somehow, they inspire us to become smarter, more patient, emotionally-flexible and empathetic. They are proven character-builders. A study commissioned by the German Equestrian Federation compared 400 riders, age 14-65 to 400 non-riders of the same age range. It found that riders were generally more determined, enthusiastic, structured and balanced than their nonriding counterparts. Riders also showed greater leadership, were more assertive and competitive, and demonstrated greater resilience. Who doesn't want more of that in their life? How do horses make us better humans? Well, they're big and potentially dangerous, so we need to learn to think ahead and also lead with confidence. They're sensitive flight animals, so we need to learn empathy and reassurance. They're demanding and expensive, so we need to work hard and be resourceful in order to keep them in our lives. Riding isn't easy. It is a lifelong learning sport with many ups and downs, so we need to be patient, persistent and learn how to receive help from others. Sure, any great passion like music, art or science can inspire us to grow in these ways, but there is something about the relationship with another species that brings an additional dimension. Tribe Equus Interaction with horses helps us in our relationships. Therapeutic Riding is often used as a way to open up communication with patients who are socially shut-down. The concept is simple – we are more likely to talk about something we love. Horse people are a special tribe. We understand each other and share a common language. Look at any national disaster – floods, fires, earthquakes Continued Next Page

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where horses are endangered and you will see an outpouring of generosity and heroism flowing through the horse community. All the way from grass roots riding clubs to international competition, the horse community recognizes and cares for its own. Involvement in this community yields life-long friendships, amazing learning opportunities and life-expanding experiences. The Great Unplug Horses are time-consuming. There’s no getting around it. The good news is that time spent in the barn and riding are NOT time spent in front of a screen. When we enter the horse’s universe, we find a companion that lives in the moment, focuses on one thing at a time, and thrives on peace and consistency. How different from the world of TV and social media. With the horse, we can let go of drama and distraction, breathe and focus. Many of the tasks of horse care are mundane and repetitive, which has its own healing quality. How often has a solution to a thorny problem popped into your head while cleaning stalls?

that the forest environment led to more significant reductions in blood pressure and certain stress hormones. On average, the forest walkers — who ranged in age from 36 to 77 — saw a reduction in their systolic blood pressure from 141 mmHg down to 134 mmHg after four hours in the forest. The vast majority of equestrians trail ride – some more than others. And mostly we are seeking exactly the same thing as pedestrian forest bathers: relaxation, time to think, observation of the natural world. The only difference is that the horse is carrying us there and both human and horse are receiving the benefits.

Horses are proven character-builders.

over the world. The aim of forest bathing is to slow down and become immersed in the natural environment. Forest bathers take relaxing, contemplative walks through the forest, breathing deeply and observing the environment with all of their senses. There's a growing body of evidence that the practice can help boost immunity and Forest Bathing Back in the early 1990s the Japanese mood and help reduce stress. One study Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and published in 2011 compared the effects of Fisheries coined the term Shinrin-yoku — walking in the city to taking a forest walk. which translates roughly as forest bathing. Both activities required the same amount It is a form of therapy that has caught on all of physical activity, but researchers found

Spring 2018

Oh Yeah - Fun! There are many ways to slice and dice the holistic benefits that our horses bring to us, and no doubt I have missed a few. Perhaps the most obvious one is that riding is fun. It is thrilling to gallop across a field or feel the perfect gear shift of a clean lead change. A bareback swim in the pond or a meander through snowy woods on a fuzzy pony brings a smile that starts on the inside and can’t stay contained. Love drew us to horses and fun has kept us there. It’s all good, and good for us. Chelle Grald is the Trails & Ride Manager at Green Mountain Horse Association in S. Woodstock, VT 17


hen a dog or cat ends up at an animal shelter, how does anyone estimate how old that dog or cat might be? If the deciduous, or baby, teeth are still in the mouth than an accurate estimate of age can be given. The deciduous teeth erupt and are then shed as the permanent teeth erupt, according to a fairly defined schedule. By seven months of age both dogs and cats should have all of the permanent teeth erupted. Permanent teeth are much larger than the deciduous teeth and have a somewhat different shape. Dogs and cats are also growing in size and weight from birth through the first year of life, which is also a clue as to the age of the pet. But what happens if all of the permanent teeth are in place? Is there Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS any accurate or even reasonably accurate way to assess the age of the pet? It is tempting to think that the condition of the teeth should be a good clue, as we know that without intervention teeth will accumulate plaque and tartar which tends to become worse over time and that gingivitis and periodontal disease also become more prevalent over time. Can the physical condition of the teeth and gums be useful in estimating age? Unfortunately, no. The amount of tartar, for instance, is highly variable with some very young pets having advanced periodontal disease and some quite old pets having reasonably healthy mouths even without any dental care. With the aid of a dental x-ray, a much better estimate of the age of the pet can be made. The inside of the tooth changes with age in a standard and predictable way.

“How Much (err, Old) is That Doggy in the Window?�

Anatomy of a tooth: The visible part of the tooth is the crown and is covered with enamel, a shiny white substance. The root, which is not normally visible, is covered with cementum, which is slightly off-white in color and has a rough surface. Underneath the cementum and enamel is dentin, which provides support for the enamel and cementum. As the permanent tooth erupts, the amount of dentin is fairly thin and the pulp chamber and root canal are quite large. As the pet ages, the dentin grows circumferentially toward the center of the pulp chamber and root canal. On an X-ray the thickness of the dentin is readily apparent. Dentin grows continuously through life as long as the tooth remains vital.

Red area is the pulp chamber in the crown and root canal in the root. It is really all one chamber.

Blue area is dentin

Root, covered by cementum (yellow)

Crown, covered by enamel (white)

Root Canal

Pulp Chamber Dentin Enamel

Let’s look at some real life examples. The following are radiographs of the lower jaw canine teeth in similarly sized dogs.

6 month old Maltese Notice the very wide pulp chamber and root canal. The bottom of the root has not yet formed.

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5 yr old Toy Poodle The dentin has grown quite a bit. The pulp chamber and root canals are readily visible from top to bottom of the tooth.

12 yr old Cairn Terrier/Shih Tzu. The pulp chamber and root canals are very narrow at this age.

13.5 yr old Yorkie The root canal at the bottom of the teeth is barely visible. In an older dog it can disappear at the bottom of the root.

Spring 2018

Below are four radiographs taken of the lower jaw canine teeth of the same dog, a Labrador Retriever, from 7 months to 2 years and 3 months of age.

7 months The bottom of the roots has yet to form

9 months The bottom of the root has formed quite a bit in 2 months time

1 year, 5 months The dentin fills in at a rapid rate in the first two years.

2 years, 3 months The rate of change in the dentin will progress more slowly as this dog ages.

The tooth at eruption is quite hollow and fills in rapidly during the first 2 years of life. The rate of change in the dentin then slows down and gets progressively slower as the years go by. Cat teeth go through the same changes with age. To the left are three radiographs taken of the lower jaw of the same cat, a Tabby Point Chinese, from 1 year and 7 months to 4 years and 8 months of age.

1 year, 7 months

3 years, 11 months

4 years, 8 months

Cats have a tendency to resorb the roots of the canine teeth, which means that the root starts to disappear at the bottom and then progresses up the root over time. This can happen at any age, although it is more common in older cats. The bottom third of the roots are starting to resorb in this x-ray at left. I am not suggesting that animal shelters need to take a dental radiograph of every cat and dog, although it would provide a good estimate of the age of the pets in the shelter. When I take dental radiographs I do explain to the owner that I will be able to provide a better idea of the actual age of the pet. If an owner wanted to take a radiograph to get an estimate of the age of a pet it could be easily done and would require sedation rather than full anesthesia for one or two x-rays.

Lower jaw of a 16 year old Domestic Shorthair.

Spring 2018

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. 19

Paradise Recovered John Peaveler- E. Thetford, VT

D uring disaster response, the mission of The Humane Society of the

United States is the preservation of life, health and welfare of animals through the combination of rescue, evacuation, relief, emergency sheltering, reunification, capacity building, training, grant giving and community support. These efforts support the needs of animals —and the people in their lives —who are victims of disaster. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, high winds and rainfall devastated the territory of Puerto Rico. The HSUS shelter partners across the territory were battered, broken and struggling to help the animals they serve. Because of my experience as a cer-

tified Rescue Technician and Disaster Consultant, I deployed with Dave Pauli, Senior Advisor, Wildlife Response and Policy of The HSUS, to Vieques, an island located six miles off the coast of the main island of Puerto Rico. We arrived in San Juan aboard a small cargo plane operated by Wings of Rescue, a nonprofit with a mission of evacuating and transporting animals and relief supplies. Our time in San Juan was limited, as a helicopter was awaiting our arrival. We wove through the chaos and loaded the helicopter with supplies. The pilot made a careful ascent, probing the airfield for a safe route through an incredible density of civilian and military aircraft. Carving our way around San Juan, we banked to the

southeast and followed a mostly overland course toward Vieques. I’ve found that when it comes to tableaus of chaos and ruin, every disaster has some comparability. The loss of home, possession and worst of all life, always shares elements of tragedy, pain, loss and grief for every person and animal affected. What struck me most on that first flight to Vieques was how pervasive this disaster was. The destruction stretched from coast to coast, and it was quickly evident that the isolation of these islands would make it exceedingly difficult to move the flood of materials needed to recover from such an event. We flew above pummeled towns and leveled forests. Some buildings were simply gone, while the vast majority had significant roof damage. Debris was scattered everywhere. In different times, Vieques is an isolated paradise. Its lack of large resorts to shadow its beautiful beaches and rich culture, make it a perfect escape for those looking for something more authentic. Though the island is easily accessible to tourists, it has no major ports. This proved to be a challenge during disaster response and became a logistical logjam. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, it took a tremendous effort to get two emergency responders with 500 pounds of equipment to Vieques. This was to be a harbinger of things to come. Sára Varsa, Senior Director of the Animal Rescue Team at The HSUS, oversees all disaster response for the organization. Her instructions for this mission were simple: go help. Our first 24 hours on the island were spent determining what help was needed, what resources could meet those needs and designing programs that could serve those needs. Vieques has a large population of feral horses, dogs and cats and three animal rescue organizations. We spent the first day linking up with municipal leaders and other non-profits, assessing the needs of free-roaming animals and connecting with animal rescue organizations. It was a busy day, one of many to come, and filled with emotion as we saw the effects of the storm, the very limited Continued Next Page

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resources of the island and a shell-shocked population of people and animals. Based on what we saw, we rapidly worked with HSUS staff members in Florida and elsewhere to develop a supply chain. First, we used airplanes to move materials into San Juan, and then moved smaller amounts to Vieques via helicopter. At the same time, we put in a request for veterinary support in the form of veterinarians and medical supplies as well as for additional field responders to run relief, recovery, and evacuation operations. As that system was being put into place, we on Vieques worked to help however, we could. One of the most simple but profound things we could do to help early on was to give our satellite phone to members of the community who had not been able to contact their families. These moments were filled with joy, sadness and despair. Over the course of more than a month, we evacuated nearly 200 animals from the local shelter and rescue groups, freeing up critical space and resources. We supplied local charities with thousands of pounds of human food, toiletries, solar lights and animal food for all species. We operated clinics in underserved communities and reached many who couldn’t venture into town. An incredible team of over 30 responders and local volunteers went door to door delivering human and animal food and providing free veterinary

Spring 2018

services. We worked with the local vet to help her become operational again. We cleaned up the local animal shelter and provided them with generators, fuel and tons of other supplies. We provided fresh food for the elderly and infirm and safety equipment for the fire fighters who spent their days unloading aid from military helicopters. Wherever we saw a need, we worked to meet it in any way we could. It was an incredible challenge, but it was without a doubt one of the most rewarding and effective responses of my career. The men and women of the HSUS, both staff and volunteers, came together to answer the call for help, even as far away as the small island of Vieques. I am extremely proud of the work completed and the part I was able to play in the relief efforts. Recovery from a major disaster, however, takes years. The initial response wrapped up at the end of October of 2017, but by December, HSUS had sent more staff and volunteers to undertake a big effort to sterilize dogs, cats and horses on the island. As recovery continues, the resilient people and animals of Vieques continue to demonstrate strength in difficult circumstances. The HSUS will continue to help Puerto Rico and the rest of United States, striving to make a better world for animals and people, and to be ready for the next time disaster strikes.

HSUS veterinarian Dr. Joey Vest treats an injured dog at a trash dump in Vieques, Puerto Rico. Photo credit: Meredith Lee/The HSUS

If you would like to donate to HSUS disaster relief efforts, visit http:// John Peaveler has over 14 years of experience addressing animal welfare issues all over the world. He currently works as a consultant and professional animal cruelty/disaster responder and trainer for Humane Society International, The Humane Society of the United States, and Animal Care Equipment and Services. He is based in West Fairlee, Vermont where he serves as ACO, dad, husband, and minion to 20 chickens, four dogs and a cat. 21

Sleep, Hamburger, and Rescue T

he sun has long disappeared, replaced by moonlight filtering through the kitchen window. The digital clock readout begins with an eleven and the bed is calling its sweet slumber lullaby. The thick quilt will have to wait, duty is calling––again–– thanks to our newest guest. We recently welcomed Bruiser, a senior English bulldog. He’s confused and frightened, his world flipped upside down. He hasn’t been eating the food

Karen Sturtevant offered to him, so Dawna Pederzani, founder of Vermont English Bulldog Rescue (VEBR), is in the kitchen frying ground beef to add to his next breakfast bowl. What dog could refused warmed beef in gravy? Bruiser was one of the dogs in residence two years ago. He was a medical mess when he arrived. After months of care, nearly $900 in vet bills and a host of hit-or-miss medications, his body was

finally stabilized and healthy and this charmer was ready for his new home. He was adopted with the promise that his medical and nutritional treatments would continue. This did not happen. He was returned with eyes clouded and infected, ears inflamed, bald patches from allergies and a hurt body and spirit. We found ourselves not at square one, but at square negative 10. This is one situation of rescue, offering strength to overtake the dark place of animal abuse, cruelty and neglect. Although animal welfare groups have their share of joyful, new beginnings, all outcomes are not always romantic, pretty, or positive. We’ve had dogs dumped on our doorstep, dropped off at our vet, surrendered without so much as a conversation. Conditions range from bleak to mediocre to heartbreaking. It’s rare a dog makes its way to us that doesn’t require hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars, to heal aliments left untreated to fester into infection and pain. Continued Next Page

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One reason I volunteer with VEBR is because of the exceptional care afforded each dog. One size, one food, one medication, one veterinarian, one physical regiment does not fit all. This rescue looks through committed eyes at each dog as an individual to access his specific needs and formulate a plan for success. The counter is lined with labeled freezer-sized bags. Each holds prescriptions, administered once, twice, three, sometimes four times a day. Different meds, different dogs, different intervals. Each dog requires specific nutrition and supplements, even those within the same breed, to reach and maintain mental and physical health. Schedules are continually updated. Canines are jigsaw puzzles with fur. What keeps one healthy and strong, brings allergies and itchies to another. One medication may keep a condition at bay while another could cause a break out of hives and loss of hair. Even the most educated and experienced canine owners are sometimes left to shake their heads trying to figure out these mysteries. Along with a handful of dedicated volunteers, we drag ourselves out of bed before the sun rises, head over after work and visit on weekends to give these worthy dogs the time and attention they deserve. Bruiser wants hamburger? Bruiser can have his hamburger. We aim to please, even if it means less sleep––again.

For more information about Bruiser and other dogs available for adoption, please visit: Facebook: Vermont English Bulldog Rescue Email:

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Train Your Own Service Dog Mike Robertson - Plymouth, NH


ogs certainly are humans’ best friend. They serve as companions, fellow laborers, and even as protectors. For those with disabilities, a dog can give them a measure of independence that they wouldn’t otherwise have. Demand for a fully trained service dog is high, and the waiting lists are often long. Because of this, an owner-trained service dog has become an increasingly popular choice for many with disabilities. WHAT IS A SERVICE DOG? Dogs, and in some situations miniature horses, are the only animals which are legally recognized by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) as service animals. “A service animal is a dog or miniature horse that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.” – ADA The purpose of a service dog is to perform specific actions that assist people with disabilities. They are not therapy dogs. The American Kennel Club (AKC) explains the difference between the two. “Service Dogs are one dog for one person and perform specific tasks to help that person cope with a disability. Therapy dogs are one dog for everyone— they bring cheer and comfort to hospital patients, assisted living center and nursing home residents, homeless families, and students.”– AKC OWNER-TRAINED SERVICE DOGS Purchasing a fully trained service dog can cost quite a bit of money, so many people ask if they can train their service dog themselves. The answer is YES! WHICH BREED IS BEST FOR SERVICE DOG WORK? Typically, retrievers make some of the best service dogs. However, any breed has the potential for service work. Consider the work your dog will perform. You would not pick a chihuahua to pull a wheelchair. Also, temperament plays a large part in determining which dogs are suitable. The retriever breeds have a long lineage of being bred to work closely with humans. Continued Next Page

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Spring 2018

Regardless of their breed, all service dogs must possess a particular set of characteristics. • Not easily excited or frightened • Aware of their surroundings, but not reactive • Showing no aggression or fear to people, other animals or common objects • Show a desire to work for their handler • Like to stay close to their handler • Healthy, including joints • Eager to learn

You should consider looking for candidates at your local shelter. Mixed breed dogs can often serve just as well as pure-bred animals. When choosing a candidate from a shelter, ask for a two week trial period to assess the dog at home. If possible, have a trainer familiar with service dog training evaluate your prospect. FIRST STEPS TO TRAINING YOUR SERVICE DOG Once you have found a candidate for service dog work, you need to review the skills required to pass the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners Public Access Test. This list of skills will set the training path your dog must follow to behave appropriately in public. Though it is possible for an owner to train their service dog alone, most will benefit greatly from the help of a professional dog trainer. Make sure you find one with experience in training service dogs and one who has a program already in place for assisting you in training your service dog.

• Socialized to tolerate strange sights, sounds, odors etc. in a wide variety of public settings. • Ignores food on the floor or dropped in the dog’s vicinity while working outside the home. • Works calmly on leash. No unruly behavior or unnecessary vocalizations in public settings. • No urinating or defecating in public unless given a specific command or signal to toilet in an appropriate place.

TASK-SPECIFIC TRAINING All of the training you have done up to this point is considered foundational. The real purpose of any service dog is to help their owner with their disability. The training required for specific tasks depends on the needs of their handler. If you are working with a professional service dog trainer, they can guide you in the next steps. Often, this means meeting in person or online and learning the best way to train your dog. You then do the training at home. If you want more information regarding owner-trained service dogs, contact Mike Robertson at College for Pets in Plymouth, NH. College for Pets offers counseling and training classes specifically for handlers wanting to train their own service dog.

FOUNDATION SKILLS The first step in training your service dog is to complete a series of foundation skills. Mastering these tasks also helps you further evaluate your dog’s suitability for service work. • Potty on command • Focus on handler and ignore distractions • All of the AKC Canine Good Citizen objectives

A professional service dog trainer can guide you through these foundation skills and in the task-specific skills your dog will need to perform. PUBLIC ACCESS SKILLS All dogs are expected to behave in public. For service dogs, this expectation goes beyond normal ‘good dog’ behavior. The “manners” are extremely important. • No aggressive behavior toward people or other animals. • They should not solicit food or petting from other people while on duty. • No sniffing merchandise or people or intruding into another dog’s space while on duty.

Spring 2018 25

Cats and Dogs Getting Along Together: Mutt Adopts Kittens


female dog is nursing a litter of kittens which were orphaned when their mother died. Their owner, Cai, of Jiangmen, China said he has been raising cats and dogs together for more than 10 years, and they all got along together well, however, this was the first time he had ever seen kittens being nursed by a dog Will and Guy have learned. The four kittens seemed happy and content with their new mother’s milk, while the dog was tending to its adopted family with love and care. ‘Several days ago, the kittens’ mother died after eating a poisoned rat, leaving behind a litter of kittens without a source of milk,’ Cai volunteered. ‘The kittens’ cries may have stirred the dog’s maternal nature, since it too had recently given birth. It volunteered to take over and feed the kittens of its old friend.’ The dog’s own puppies had been taken away by one of its grown-up offspring. Cai mused, ‘That’s perhaps another reason why the dog adopted the kittens. She lost all of her own children.’

Notice seen in the newspaper: Yelling


for Help

caller reported at 7:14 p.m. that someone was on a porch yelling "help" from a residence on Bank Street. Officers responded and learned the person was calling for a cat that is named "Help".

Fred Martin caught a raw photo of this Snowy Owl recently at the Days Inn in Keene, NH

Snowy Owl


or the first three weeks of January a snowy owl (Nyctea Scandiaca) has been living in the Keene area. It has often been perched on top of a light tower next to Motor Vehicle/State Police. 26 4 Legs & a Tail

Spring 2018


Cat Ordered to Do Jury Service

moned Tabby Sal, the cat, has been sumto do jury service, despite the

Lucky Saucer

n front of the local butcher’s, an art connoisseur noticed a mangy little kitten lapping up milk from a saucer. The saucer, he realized with a start, was a rare and precious piece of pottery.  It was, in fact, a collector’s item. He strolled into the store and offered ten dollars for the cat. ‘He’s not for sale’, said the butcher. ‘Look’, said the collector’, that cat is dirty and scabby, but I’m an eccentric. I prefer cats that way. I’ll raise my offer to $20.  ‘It’s a deal’, said the proprietor, and pocketed the twenty immediately. ‘For that amount of money I’m sure you won’t mind throwing in the saucer’, said the connoisseur’, ‘The kitten seems so happy drinking from it.’ ‘I can’t do that’, said the butcher firmly, ‘That’s my lucky saucer. From that saucer, so far this week, I’ve sold 18 cats.

fact that his owners told the court he was ‘unable to speak and understand English.’ Anna Esposito, wrote to Suffolk Superior Crown Court in Boston to explain that a mistake had been made, but a jury commissioner replied saying the cat, named Tabby Sal, ‘must attend.’ Mrs. Esposito had included a letter from her vet confirming that the cat was ‘a domestic short-haired neutered feline.’ Tabby Sal had been entered by Mrs. Esposito under the “pets” section of the last census. “When they ask him guilty or not guilty? What’s he supposed to say - meow?” She said. Research has shown that the US judicial system states that jurors are ‘not expected to speak perfect English.’ We surmise that it would be sufficient for Tabby Sal to answer, ‘Meow’ to all questions!

A Breed Apart? I thought my first encounter with a Labradoodle was unique. But with more and more animals being cross bred, you have to wonder how far it will go? Recently, a breeder in the Northeast Kingdom successfully crossed a donkey with a rabbit. Although it has made for a wonderful pet, they do stress that it will hop around with a Hare across its Ass. - H.A.F.D. 4/1/18 Spring 2018 27

Animal Antics


Pat Jauch - Caledonia Animal Rescue, Inc.

bservant animal lovers can find one of those “awwww” moments almost anywhere. Some time ago, while surfing the Internet, there were two items on and another on a news feed from ABC. is a free site whose sponsors provide dog and cat kibble and scoops of cat litter to shelters around the country for every “hit” to its website when questions are answered (right or wrong answers trigger the donation but there is much to learn from the daily prompts). On

28 4 Legs & a Tail

the day in question the dog section showed a dog waiting for her master to go to work. Once alone, Allie, the white lab, raided the trash, then approached the freezer and began removing items. Soon thereafter she returned to the kitchen and opened the doors to the refrigerator and began taking items from the shelves. Apparently Allie had been coached by a friend of the owner to open a drawer where her toys were kept. Armed with this knowledge she was able to expand her horizons in the food department. With the aid of a hidden camera the owner was able to determine the culprit causing the mess in his kitchen which occurred on a regular basis. The freekibble cat site reported that a nursing home in Michigan has a 6 month old kitten, adopted from a shelter, living at the home and entertaining the residents. Considering a therapy animal, the administration thought that a cat might require lower maintenance than a dog. They went to the shelter planning to “consider” a cat and it was love at first sight for the kitten that now has a forever home with the residents. By stumbling across “dog rides bus” through one of the Internet search engines, the antics of Eclipse were found. Living in Seattle, Eclipse has ridden the public transit system with her owner. She is now familiar with the route between her home and the local dog park, so when her owner is delayed she will wait alone at the bus stop, board the bus, locate a seat beside a window, and watch for the dog park stop. Fellow passengers seem to enjoy her company and the drivers know her. According to Eclipse’s owner the drivers and passengers are amused and her presence on this mission makes their day. Whether mischievous, therapy oriented, or just plain independent, animals can make people smile. They can add such a joyous dimension to the lives they touch. Consider adoption today. Spring 2018

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4 Legs & a Tail North Spring 2018  

4 Legs & a Tail North Spring 2018