Autumn 2017 Northern VT & NH
Celebrate National Cat Day Soccer Star Christian Press & Morena Veterans and Their Dogs Are you ready for the next round of ticks? Careers in Equine
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
2. National Cat Day
Get set to celebrate on October 29 with your favorite feline
3. Green Mountain Animal Defenders Walk for All Animals Sharon MacNair Join if the effort to help all animals 4. Wag It Forward
Make plans to attend Vermont's largest dog festival this fall
5. Happy Tails! A look at the area’s newest luxury pet resort 6. Narcan For K-9 Units in Vermont, Staci DaSilva
On the job protection for Vermont State Police canine officers
7. Back to School, Jessica Stewart Riley
A look at exciting careers in the equine industry thanks to Vermont Technical College
8. Camping With Your Dog, Mike Robertson
What you should know BEFORE you go camping with your dog this fall
11. What Morena Taught me About Being a Better Footballer, Christen Press
How one dog helped a soccer player reach an elite level
14. A Gift for Gus, Karen Sturtevant
A happy ending thanks to the Vermont English Bulldog Rescue
15. Halloween Hints, Pat Rauch Do's and don'ts this Halloween 16. Two of a Kind 4 Legs & a Tail salutes our veterans this Veterans Day
as one soldier finds the perfect dog
17. Smokey, Yorkshire Terrier and WWII War Dog, Kate Kelly
An accounting of the heroic efforts of the smallest hero of the second World War
19. The Cat Who Came to Thanksgiving Dinner
Sometimes you just never know who might show up
20. The Dundee Cat According to this old Scottish folktale, be careful what
you wish for
22. So...Are You Ticked Off Yet?, Michael Tanneberger D.V.M.
Get ready as the next round of tick season is about to begin
24. Alternatively Speaking: Veterinary Chiropractic Care, Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA 26. Once the Teeth Are Clean, Let's Keep Them That Way Sandra Waugh, DVM, MS The next best alternative to brushing 27. Let's Talk Turkey Ever wonder why there are so many wild turkeys? 4 Legs & a Tail Volume N.317 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766 603-727-9214 TimH.4LT@gmail.com
Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Senior Editor: Scott Palzer Office Manager: Beth Hoehn Graphic Design: Kristin Wolff, Lacey Dardis Kerry Rowland Sales: Scott Palzer
If you have a tale about a tail or a photo that will make us smile, we’d like to hear from you. 4 Legs & a Tail is published quarterly and distributed free of charge throughout 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.
The cover image is called Joonbug from graphic artist and illustrator Sean Kitt Fall 2017
AMAZING CAT FACTS A cat can make over 100 vocal sounds (dogs can make 10) A cat sleeps 14 hours a day Americans spend more annually on cat food than on baby food. In 1987 cats overtook dogs as the number one pet in America.
NATIONAL CAT DAY OCTOBER 29TH!
Cats are the only animal that walk on their claws, not the pads of their feet. A cat has 32 muscles in each ear. The average cat food meal is the equivalent to about five mice. A group of youngsters (kittens) is called a kindle; those old-timers (adult cats) form a clowder. A cat can jump seven times as high as it is tall. People who are allergic to cats are actually allergic to cat saliva or to cat dander. If the resident cat is bathed regularly the allergic people tolerate it better. Besides smelling with their nose, cats can smell with an additional organ called the Jacobson’s organ, located in the upper surface of the mouth. Like birds, cats have a homing ability that uses its biological clock, the angle of the sun, and the Earth’s magnetic field. A cat taken far from its home can return to it. But if a cat’s owners move far from its home, the cat can’t find them. It has been scientifically proven that owning cats is good for our health and can decrease the occurrence of high blood pressure and other illnesses. Stroking a cat can help to relieve stress, and the feel of a purring cat on your lap conveys a strong sense of security and comfort.
o you’re a cat lover. That’s not surprising, since households with cats are at such a high percentage in New England (Vermont actually leads the nation in cat ownership with more than 50% of the households owning a cat!). This fall, celebrate the joy your feline friend brings you on National Cat Day, October 29. Let the fun begin! Here are a few fun ideas for your consideration: - Buy your cat a premium canned food - Help an elderly person clean their litter box - Post a picture of you and your cat on Facebook - Brush your cat - Get a laser and play a game of “Catch the Spot” - Check your cat’s collar and make sure the information is up to date - Get your cat microchipped and registered - Make a donation to the Humane Society or a kitty rescue in your cat’s name - Replace cat toys which are worn or no longer used (yes, cats get bored too) - Bake some cat-shaped cookies for the office - Have fish for dinner and share the leftovers - Clean your cats bed or favorite blanket - Wash the inside of the litter box - Bring your cat to the vet for blood work and exam - Share your favorite cat story with a friend, relative or 4 Legs & a Tail
2 4 Legs & a Tail
- Have the kids draw a “kitty portrait” Fall 2017
Green Mountain Animal Defenders
Walk for All Animals Sharon MacNair
reen Mountain Animal Defenders (GMAD) is excited to announce our 7th Annual Walk for All Animals on Saturday, September 30th. Our family-friendly walk is unique, as it is held in honor of all species of animals. We invite you to join in, raise funds, and walk to promote awareness and support our lifesaving animal-protection programs. Why We Walk: Imagine seeing firsthand the amazing transformation of a previously injured bird as he or she flies back to the wilderness. Envision providing dogs and feral cats with shelter from the elements and witnessing their relief as they step inside. Observe the life-changing transformation of a baby chick who was near death at a farm-and-feed store. Feel comfort knowing that there are thousands fewer homeless cats and dogs due to our spay/neuter program. Become a stronger voice for animals as we walk together to make a difference.
diets; and providing emergency funds for farmed-animal rescues. Advocacy - Promoting pro-animal legislation, offering humane alternatives to the use of animals used for product/cosmetic testing, apparel, and as entertainment at circuses, rodeos, traveling zoos, and fairs. Help us avoid processing fees by making your donation by check payable to Green Mountain Animal Defenders with the memo, “Walk for Animals.” Checks can be mailed to: GMAD, PO Box 4577, Burlington, VT, 05406. Recent Successes: During this past May and June, Green Mountain Animal Defenders’ volunteers rescued, transported, and/or provided medical care or assistance for 54 animals ranging from 13 hatchlings in our farmedanimal category (chicks/ducklings) to 41 animals of various species in our wildlife category (birds/mammals/reptiles)! This year, be a hero by fundraising for our cause and collectively strengthening our voice for animals who are often overlooked. Registration is free. We look forward to walking with you on September 30th!
Unable to attend? Show your support by making a donation to our lifesaving work for: Companion Animals - Providing lowcost spay/neuter assistance, organizing pet-food drives, helping lost pets reunite with their families, and donating feral-cat shelters and insulated doghouses through our Providing All Weather Shelter (PAWS) for pets program. Wildlife - Supporting Vermont’s To learn more about us: licensed wildlife rehabilitators by provid- www.GreenMountainAnimalDefenders.org ing cages, medical supplies, bedding, food, www.facebook.com/GreenMountainAnimalDefenders transport, and other resources for injured Questions? or abandoned wildlife, as well as offering Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-861-3030. humane solutions for wildlife conflicts when animals find their way into homes or gardens. Farmed Animals - Rescuing and rehabilitating sick or injured chicks, ducklings, goslings, and hatchling turkeys; educating people about the harmful aspects of factory farming; promoting healthy plant-based
Green Mountain Animal Defenders (GMAD) has been working to protect the well-being of all animals through education, advocacy, outreach, collaboration, and direct services to animals in need since 1983.
Walk Details: -The walk is just over a mile (1.2) and starts at City Hall on Church Street in Burlington, Vermont, at noon -Check-in begins at 11 a.m. -Dogs, pigs, or other willingly leashed/ restrained pets are welcome to join the fun -We welcome animals and people to dress up in their favorite animal-related costumes -Registered walkers will have a chance to enjoy vegan baked goodies, meet and greet other walkers, take pictures, and participate in other festivities Register or donate: https://bit.ly/gmadwalk2017 Fall 2017
WAG IT FORWARD
fter a 3-year hiatus from the incredibly successful Shelburne Museum Goes to the Dogs event, we’re back and hope to be better than ever. This year, instead of planning our 4th annual in-house ‘Wag It Forward’ giving event, Pet Food Warehouse is creating a festival you won’t want to miss! On Sunday, October 8th, join PFW, the community and their pets at ‘Wag It Forward: A Festival for Pets’ held at the Champlain Valley Exposition. Both Pet Food Warehouse locations will close for the day so we can focus our energy on providing you and your pets with a fun and memorable experience. It all kicks off with the 7th Annual VetriScience Chase Away 5K to benefit Chase Away K9 Cancer. Registration begins at 8 am and the race starts at 9 am. Runners and walkers can pre-register online at https://goo.gl/c2NhEG. All Chase Away 5K runners and walkers will receive free entry to Wag It Forward after the race with their race bib. The gates for Wag It Forward open to the public at 10 am. Want to skip the lines? You can pre-buy WIF tickets and pick up your canine waiver at either Pet Food Warehouse location now! ‘Wag It Forward’ was born out of a desire to raise awareness and funds for local animal welfare and rescue groups. In the last 3 years, we’ve raised more than $30,000 by donating .25¢ for every $1 spent on a single day in September. We’ve helped 38 local groups raise funds and awareness for animals in need. This year, however, we want to do things a little differently. Rain or shine (hopefully shine), we plan to provide tons of fun and entertainment for the whole family, including your furry or scaly friends. Dogs, cats, birds and reptiles are all welcome, but must be kept leashed and in control at all times. WIF’s featured entertainment is brought to us by GlycoFlex and Zignature. The leaping canines of Dock Dogs will compete on-site and provide the opportunity for your dog to show off some water skills, too. The competition begins Saturday, October 7th at 3:00 pm and runs through Wag It Forward. If you’d like to participate in the jumps you can register on-site or online at dockdogs.com. Demonstrations by the Vermont Police Canine Association and 802 Disc Dogs will provide young and old alike with education and fun! The Grift, Vermont’s premier good-time party band, will keep us all moving with their booty-shaking grooves. Come hungry! We’ll have tons of local food options and, for the beer and wine drinking crowd, a beer garden nestled by the band will be the perfect spot to socialize with your two, three and four-legged friends. But, what will the kids do? They’ll bounce in a castle, collect balloon animals from Dux the Balloon Man, get their faces painted and get inked at our (temporary)
4 4 Legs & a Tail
tattoo booth! Looking to memorialize the day? Stop by the photo booth or bandana tie-dye station with your pup and walk away with a one-of-a-kind memento. If you’re looking to show off your creative skills be sure to plan your pup’s costume and take a spot in line. After all, Halloween is just around the corner. The costume parade will start strolling in the early afternoon with prizes for a variety of categories. The event is generously sponsored by many local and national businesses, including: Zignature, GlycoFlex, Pronature, WellPet, Natura, Vermont Dog Eats, Seventh Generation, Heritage Auto Group, American Natural Premium, Grizzly Pet Products, PetSafe, Sojos, Triumph and so many more! Without these great sponsorships, we wouldn’t be able to provide a no-cost avenue for local animal welfare and rescue groups to help raise awareness and funds as a community. Joining the non-profit organizations are tons of animal loving vendors who have dedicated their time and energy to creating unique products and experiences for your pets, including: local groomers, dog daycares and day camps, toy, collar and leash purveyors and more. We can’t wait to celebrate you and your pets on a beautiful fall day. For questions about the day’s events, please contact Siobhan at email@example.com. Fall 2017
Happy Tails! O
ne of the fastest growing effects on pet owners in northern Vermont is dog envy. This is not to says your neighbors are secretly harboring a longing for your dog or cat, but instead a desire among some for the life of their own pet! Case in point was a recent visit South Burlington’s newest dog and cat boarding facility, Happy Tails Pet Resort and Spa. Even before pulling into the parking lot, the expansive mountain view gives you the feeling that this is someplace special. As you enter the spacious lobby it reminds you of walking into a downtown hotel and not a kennel (it doesn’t even smell like dogs!) Quickly, you are greeted by the owners Donna Little and Heather Soren, a mother/daughter team who clearly understand the concept of pleasing the customer. With more than 10,000 square feet, Happy Tails is carefully designed with pet safety and luxury first and foremost. My first bout of dog envy came as our tour began at the in-door splash pool. As I watch Shelby, a young Labrador and her pool-mate Otto jet in and out of the pool while water gently rained down from above, it was almost reminiscent of the Jay Peak water park. The poolside lounge chairs are certainly a nice touch! “We have several pools outside which get most of the use in the summer, but the indoor pool will be fun come winter”, says Heather. It’s hard to say if outside is where the fun really being, but a walk through the sprawling yard and among the dogs playing as if it were recess at the elementary school, it would be difficult to argue the point. As you spy the canopy of a mature silver maple in the yard, you quickly realize the attention to detail at Happy Tail. As we navigate further, Donna is focused on one of the many guests who are taking advantage of the grooming services offered. As the nail polish is drying, the perfectly coiffured dog looks as though she is ready for Westminster! Our next stop is to one of the doggie daycare areas. According to Donna, “We keep the dogs in small play groups, separated by size, age and temperament.” A unique design includes a double gate system which allows the team to remove or add dogs safely and quickly without a “stampede” to the door. Soon our tour extends to the large pen where Heather is working with a Fall 2017
group of dogs. “We spend most of our time with the pets. It’s important for dogs to get supervised stimulation and socialization. This is the area where we also conduct our training programs.” In fact, Happy Tails offers a variety of training options including group basic and intermediate manners on a weekly basis as well as daily one on one training. Our final stop makes me realize that I am also envious of my cat as we make our way to the Cattery. With a variety of atriums, including a family size, your feline friend has a window view of all the action outside. “Our first cat guest was Molly”, shares Donna. “She was the subject of local author RL Bokan ‘Molly the Magic Cat’. Scheduled to be in Florida for two months, the author was informed that his condo did not allow cats. As such, Molly was Happy Tail’s first celebrity guest. Since Happy Tails opened in January, they have quickly established themselves. As one of the nominees for Seven Daysies Award, the luxury pet resort and spa continues to grow thanks to hard work, commitment to detail and customer service. One visit and you too will be envious of your pet!
Emma ’s Foundation Canine Cancer, fforr fo
Narcan For K-9 Units in Vermont Staci DaSilva
he president of the Vermont Police Canine Association wants to make sure every K-9 unit in Vermont has access to Narcan, an overdose-reversal drug. Burlington Sgt. Wade Labrecque says ten years ago, K-9’s were mostly detecting cocaine, a drug that carried its own risks. Now, however, heroin, specifically heroin laced with fentanyl and carfentanyl, poses deadly dangers to K-9’s if ingested. “They don’t, unfortunately, have the awareness that we do of the different types of heroin, even the heroin itself can be dangerous not to mention the fentanyl and the carfentanyl as well,” said Sgt. Labrecque. “They can absorb the heroin and the fentanyl through their paws just like we absorb it through our skin.” Due to training and taking precautions, no Vermont K-9’s have been exposed to those deadly strains, Sgt. Labrecque says. Burlington police officers
6 4 Legs & a Tail
have Narcan on hand in case themselves, or their furry partners, accidentally overdose. If officers do see the signs of overdose, they can administer Narcan, or any other overdose-reversal drug, and then take the K-9 to an animal hospital. Some veterinarian hospitals already know about fentanyl and the drugs that can be used to reverse overdoses. “After they fix a fracture or they’ve done chest surgery or abdominal surgery, they’ll get fetanyl afterwards for pain relief,” said Dr. Bryan Harnett, internal medicine specialist, from the Burlington Emergency and Veterinary Specialists, or BEVS, in Williston. Because fentanyl is administered for medical purposes, the BEVS office has Naloxone on site. “Out in the field, if you notice that reduction in breathing rate, heart rate diminishing, body temperature going down, becoming less responsive or overly sedated then they could come in and get a dose of Narcan,” said Dr. Harnett. “Occasionally you’ll need to repeat those doses of Narcan so they’d need to be admitted to the hospital and monitored overnight.” While Burlington officers carry Narcan, Sgt. Labrecque is working with Dr. Paul Howard, of the Vermont Veterinary Surgical Center, to get overdose-reversal drugs for all of Vermont’s K-9 teams. “Some smaller agencies, it could be somewhat cost prohibitive, but that’s where the Vermont Police K9 Association comes in,” said Sgt. Labrecque. He says donations to the non-profit could help provide Narcan for every K-9 in the state. You can donate to the Vermont Police Canine Association specifically for Narcan purchases. Visit http://www.vtk9. com/ for more information. Staci DaSilva is an Anchor/Reporter with Local 22 & Local 44 News. To watch the full story visit http://www.mychamplainvalley.com/news/k-9-leader-workingto-provide-narcan-for-all-k-9-units-in-vermont/768512419. Local 22 & Local 44 News is the ABC & Fox network affiliates, covering local news across Northern New York, Vermont and New Hampshire Fall 2017
Back to School Jessica Stewart Riley Randolph Center, VT
hat is the value of an equine studies degree, and how can it help me to get a job? As the director of an equine studies program, I frequently hear this logical and valid question. The first thing to keep in mind is that there are many ways to arrive at the same goal, and every person will not take the same path. The most important consideration is what the best plan might be for the individual, based on his or her experience, resources, and desire. If you have had the opportunity to take lessons or work at a reputable barn(s) throughout your life, then an equine degree may not be as essential for you. However, many of the young people I meet are passionate about a career with horses, but have had minimal opportunities for formal education in a safe and reputable setting. They also may have been exposed to basic horse care and stable management and some riding, but not the finer details of equine health and diseases, lameness, training, formal riding instruction (including communication skills, lesson plans, and rider anatomy & biomechanics), liability, contracts, insurance, nutrition, fire safety, equine anatomy and biomechanics, or equine massage. We also prepare students for the work force by focusing on soft skills that they can use in any career, anywhere. This includes professionalism, working in a team or as a leader, work ethic, resiliency, mature conduct, interview skills, professional dress, career plans, and how to prepare a “perfect” resume and cover letter. All of these topics are included in the courses within the Associate of Applied Science in Equine Studies curriculum at Vermont Technical College. Our goal is to turn out graduates who are professional, knowledgeable, and ethical horse people. As with any other college major in any field, that means accepting students with whatever level of previous knowledge or experience they may have, and helping them become an employable professional in the industry. This can be challenging if a Fall 2017
student has little prior knowledge, or a lack of formal experience, but it’s something our staff and faculty take quite seriously, and we are proud of our graduates. So what career opportunities exist in the equine industry? Based on my experience, there are many. There are diverse options for someone who wants to work with horses in some capacity. There is of course the standard trainer, riding instructor, and barn manager options, but there are also careers like equine massage therapist, equine appraiser, equine insurance, saddle-fitter, veterinary assistant, equine dentist, equine transportation, etc. Some of these options may require more work or certification to perform them, but there are people out there in these careers everywhere. Can it be difficult to find an equine job in Vermont that meets an individual’s specifications? Yes, but I have found that to be true of many jobs in this state, not just those that are equine-related. If a person is prepared to work hard for what they want, opportunities exist. I have always found that anything in life worth having or doing required me to work for it. Through their own hard work and a quality education, many of our graduates have found success in the equine industry. Hillary Fay, Class of 2015, is a VetriScience Customer Manager and Horse Show Judge from Huntington, VT. After working in Web Sales at the Cheshire Horse in New Hampshire, Megan Jenks, Class of 2014, has worked for over a year as a Surgery Technician at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, KY, one of the best and largest equine hospitals in the world. Lindsy Danforth, Class of 2012, is the Trainer at Prince Charles Enterprises, a top Appaloosa breeding and training facility in Windsor, CT. Lindsy also judges horse shows around New England. Sarah Roche, Class of 2012, is training Quarter Horses at Macan Farms in Kearney, MO. Her clients compete in all-around events at Quarter Horse Shows. Caitlin Bradley,
Class of 2015, works in the retail part of the equine industry as a Customer Care Representative at Smartpak in Plymouth, MA. Courtney Stearns, Class of 2015, also works in retail as a Sales Representative at Horze. Courtney is from Johnson, VT. Jenny Valley, Class of 2014, originally of New Hampshire, currently resides in Las Vegas, NV, where she has 30 monthly equine massage clients and is the assistant trainer at LC Equestrian. Marina Vitagliano, Class of 2016, works for Lazy Acres Equines in Brandon, VT, as an assistant trainer and instructor. And that’s just to name a few! Attending an equine studies degree program opens up many opportunities for individuals who are passionate about a career in the equine industry. If you are interested in finding out more about the Equine Studies program at Vermont Tech, check out vtc.edu/equine. Jessica Stewart Riley is and Assistant Professor and the director of the Vermont Technical College Equine Studies Program in Randolph Center, VT. She is a graduate of Johnson State College, UVM, and Vermont Tech, as well as a member of the American Quarter Horse Association Professional Horsemen and an American Riding Instructor Association Certified instructor in Western, Huntseat on the Flat, and Stable Management. www.vtc.edu/equinestudies
I f you have visions of a pleasant camping experience; S’mores and snuggling with your sweetheart before the fire, while Fido keeps watch and gazes adoringly at the two of you, then you best start training. Nothing kills the mood more than a skunked-up dog or listening to him bark at every rustling leaf. I say this, because not only is it a mood killer for you, it can also destroy the evening for everyone within miles of you. This fact is especially true if you plan to pitch your tent in a public campground.
Puppy Needs to Mind His Manners! Your dog is a lot like a middle-school boy. He likes to get dirty. He’s loud, and he eats just about anything he can find. Then, of course, there is that peeing thing. Wherever, and whenever - what's the big deal? You’re roughing it. Right? Well, I find loud, obnoxious children a trial and the same goes for ill-behaved dogs. Like children, you have to train your animals to obey the rules. You can’t expect them to enter a new and exciting situation and control themselves unless you teach them self-discipline. So, how do you do that? First, YOU need to know the rules for proper canine camping behavior. • There is no barking in the campground for any reason. Save it for the nature hikes. • Your dog needs to stay at your campsite and not be tempted “to go visiting.” • He should be able to resist “tasting” the human food. • If he is wet or dirty, don’t allow him to shake off near people. • There is no swimming in the fishing hole. • Peeing should be done away from people and poop should be picked up immediately. • Don’t let him chase cars, bikes, small children, or wildlife. • And for goodness sake, don’t wash your dog in the camp shower.
Does Such a Dog Exist? Most dogs who don’t receive training turn into wild little beasts, much like those children we talked about earlier. Good behavior only happens when you are willing to give Fido patient and consistent instruction or pay a trainer to do it for you. The problem is that even if you pay a dog trainer, you still have to do your part. Your dog needs to see you as his pack leader. The best advice I can give you is to take your dog through a Basic Obedience course. Learn how to communicate with your canine friend. Most dogs want to please their owners; they just aren’t sure what you expect from them. Reap the Benefits Do you even realize how much help a trained dog can be on a camping trip? I bet it never occurred to you that your dog can dig your fire pit. What about carrying supplies? Most dogs are capable of toting things in a little doggy backpack designed specifically for that purpose. They can help collect firewood and keep the area free from varmints. Just make sure they know not to go after them. Safety comes first, and a nose full of porcupine needles is painful. Your dog can even be that snuggle companion if your ideal camping trip involves time away from the loved ones. No judgment here! Camping with the family dog can be a fun and rewarding experience. All it takes is a bit of training on your part. So, the next time you plan for the family vacation, set aside a week or two for some Obedience Refresher courses. Every camper will thank you.
8 4 Legs & a Tail
Mike Robertson is a certified animal trainer and certified behavior consultant located in Plymouth NH. He is the owner of White Mountain College for Pets, with two locations: 661 Mayhew Turnpike & 594 Tenney Mtn Hwy in Plymouth NH. View upcoming class schedules or contact him at: www.collegeforpets.com or by phone 603-369-4PET. Fall 2017
10 4 Legs & a Tail
What Morena Taught Me About Being A Better Footballer Christen Press - US Women's National Soccer Team
[THE PITCH] recently read a New York Times self-help article by Amy Sutherland called What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage, and, as my family had just adopted a puppy, I figured I would employ some of her advice as a refresher course on reward-based training. The twist of the article is that Sutherland begins to use these animal training techniques on her most important human relationship, namely her husband… I thought about that saying psychologists love … our most imporover every stranger that tant relationship is greeted me… I digress. the one we have with Jumping is bad. And ourselves. So the real this habit of hers quicktwist, of course, is that I decided to apply these very same animal ly jumped to the top of the “eliminate this techniques to myself… as a puppy… err… behavior” list! player in training. I’m quite familiar with So, how do you begin to stop a dog’s the idea of being my own manager, coach, bad behavior? According to WSTMAHM, and cheerleader, so why not add person- you simply ignore it. Simple? Hmmm… The entertainment industry has a sayal trainer? Our puppy Morena was named after ing, “All press is good press.” Well in the a cow... a brown cow that my family had world of puppy/husband/footballer trainmilked while visiting a farm in Ecuador. I ing… it seems that all attention is good was actually the first “Mo” of the house, but attention. That means that every time I my childhood nickname lacks any direct acknowledge a behavior, whether positively correlation… or any rhyme or reason or negatively, I encourage it. To Morena, for that matter. But hey, at least I wasn’t shouting, “No!” and “Stop!” is likely to named after a cow. Morena is adorable promote the errant behavior because the with her sleek, silky honey-colored coat, desired affect is the attention. Easier said oversized ears, and white dipped paws. As than done, Sutherland! Especially when it for me, I get my paws… err… nails dipped came to training myself. Morena jumps on weekly and I have to take my coat to the Continued Next Page dry cleaners to keep it sleek. (After seeing the last bill, I am really considering licking it clean myself). Appearances aside, the main thing that Morena and I have in common is that right now we are both in training. Unlike me, Morena is a social butterfly. She’s clever and expressive. People and dogs love meeting her as much as she loves meeting… and jumping on them. Walking with Morena is probably the most social part of my day; she strolls confidently through the neighborhood, hips swerving, as she introduces me to her pals. Watching her go, I sometimes wonder what life would be like if I jumped up and down, shook my butt, and kissed all Fall 2017
people. I miss shots. Hey, at least I haven’t knocked over any toddlers…well, not lately! Self-chastising had been an integral part of my game for a long time. And as far as relationships go…I found the words, “Are you kidding Christen!” a real icebreaker. So, when Morena jumps on me, I make it clear that, although incredibly adorable, I am ignoring her by physically turning my back to her and continuing whatever I am doing. On the field, if I shoot the ball off target, I turn my back to get quickly into position and continuing playing, wasting no time or attention on the mistake. Even though I’ve ignored the missed shot and turned my attention to the game, “older dog” that I am…I find it difficult to stop the peanut gallery in my head. “Bad girl!” Sutherland also suggests that instead of training the subject NOT to do an incompatible behavior, like, in the case of Morena, biting, we should substitute something else. Instead of yelling at her for biting our hands, we offer her a chew toy as an alternative and whenever she chews on her toy we praise and reward her. As for me, instead of telling myself NOT to miss…duh! I started saying: SCORE! In high-pressure situations like sports, the brain often does not have time to process complete phrases. In the worst of cases, the actual words can be lost and the only understood message comes from intonation…not unlike speaking to a dog…just
12 4 Legs & a Tail
sayin’. Studies show that this type of erroravoidant thinking has negative effects on performance. I’ve experienced this phenomenon first hand when a teammate, in the heat of a battle, screams, “RELAX!!!!!!!!” The effect is usually not relaxing. More often, under duress, the brain narrows in on the nucleus while missing all the modifiers, namely, negation. So, if you are telling yourself not to kick the ball over the goal, there’s a good chance that you will only absorb “kick it over.” Both Morena and I are very much a work in progress. But throughout this process, I started to see how some of her natural behaviors could be really an advantage in any athlete’s training. For example, she talks with her body, and as I’ve said before, body language is paramount in team sports. Tail tucked? Out of the play; Tail up? “Just give me the Damn ball Keyshawn!” At the dog park, Morena really gets into her tackles. She is relentless in her pursuit… chasing down the small dogs and pestering the big ones. Most of all, Morena listens to her body. Right now, the off-season for Damallsvenskan is the time in my life that I have the most control over my fitness regimen. And when I have control, I tend to overdo it. On the other hand, I’ve had to smile more than a few times when baby Mo ever so dramatically throws herself down on the floor, as if to say, “Enough!” At just
four months old, she listens to her body and refuses to continue doing something she enjoys when she’s exhausted. At 25, I still have not mastered this skill. How can I get in my lift, extra shots, and rehab if I took a nap? How can I play, write, and spend time with my friends if I stopped when my body was tired? Well, what our little Morena knows is that for quality play, you need your rest! You might be thinking: That’s Impressive…but I call it: Best In Show! Christen Press is an American soccer striker and World Cup champion. She captains the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women’s Soccer League and represents the United States women’s national soccer team. In 2011, she was named the WPS Rookie of the Year. She was a 2010 Hermann Trophy recipient and holds the all-time scoring record at Stanford University. In 2015, she represented the United States at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Christen has been active with Grass Roots soccer in Norwich, VT which is an adolescent health organization that leverages the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize youth in developing countries to overcome their greatest health challenges, live healthier, more productive lives, and be agents for change in their communities.
A Gift for Gus Karen Sturtevant
notice the paper towels will need to be replaced soon. Using several sheets multiple times each day has a way of quickly depleting the supply. Do we have more newspapers? Excellent for easy clean-up of dropped tasty morsels. After washing my hands, I say to my tiny friend, “Gus, chair.” My four-legged buddy trots to kennel number three and backs up to his awaiting throne. It’s dinner time! Gus is a three-year old English bulldog diagnosed with megaesophagus. Before Gus scurried into our lives at the Vermont English Bulldog Rescue, he was a very sick boy. Malnourished, neglected, abused, underweight with a host of medical issues and craving kind human attention. During the autumn and winter of 2016, little Gus endured three major surgeries, numerous minor procedures, daily doses of antibodies and weekly medicated baths.
14 4 Legs & a Tail
This little fighter didn’t miss a beat, loving his caregivers; climbing on their laps them leaving tiny foot bruises to mark his stay. After we noticed his vomiting, more often than not, portions of his meals, again off to the vet we went. We were given the news that Gus had aspirated pneumonia. His lungs were full of liquid. More antibiotics and a new diagnosis: Megaesophagus. This is condition in which the muscles of the esophagus fail and food cannot travel successfully to the stomach. The contents remain in the esophagus and are then regurgitated. If the food pools in the esophagus, the dog will typically aspirate into his lungs leading to aspiration pneumonia. Although English bulldog have more than their share of health challenges, megaesophagus isn’t limited to this stocky breed, but is cause for alarm to make immediate changes. Dawna Pederzani, founder of the rescue, discovered through her research that dogs with this condition can live a healthy life with some feeding modifications. Instead of the typical feeding dish on the floor, dogs with MegaE need to be placed in a vertical feeding position, allowing gravity to help. The dog should remain in that position up to 30 minutes after feeding. No small feat when a dog like Gus can’t sit still for more than two seconds. On-line investigation brought Dawna to The “Bailey Chair,” designed by Donna and Joe Koch after their mixed-breed, Bailey, was diagnosed with MegaE at just twelve weeks of age. Bailey lived a long, wholesome life with the help of his chair namesake passing away just shy of his thirtieth birthday. This chair design has made the life-saving difference to countless dogs. Dawna, the Martha Stuart of handy women, would normally have gotten out her tool box, extra sheets of plywood and 2x4’s and built a chair in an afternoon. However, after recently having major shoulder surgery, that was not an option. She suggested a trip to her home-awayfrom-home, The Home Depot in Williston to ask for help. I will admit I was skeptical. Why would total strangers want to help us and a dog that they had no connection with? With Gus dressed in a fancy harness and holiday jingle bell collar, off we went. While I was busy talking to people that had assembled around Gus in the Home Depot shopping cart, Dawna was telling the story to store manager, Corey Shanteau. Without hesitation Corey said, “Absolutely, bring me the plans.” Maybe the northern stars were aligned just right, perhaps the holiday spirit had something to do with his decision, whatever the reason, Gus was given a lifeline. Within a few days, Corey had built a feeding chair, specifically to fit little Gus. After a few more days, Corey’s generosity
and news of Gus’ story were spreading. Alexandra Leslie, from Local 22/Local 44 FOX created a beautiful tribute, which aired on Christmas day. National FOX-TV affiliates, People magazine, Yahoo News and several on-line news channels would later pick up and share the good-news tale. Little Gus was going viral. While the search to find Gus a permanent home continued, he would associate the chair with food, treats, all things positive. He quickly learned to trot up to the chair and allow us to turn and lift him into place. With plenty of paper towels at the ready, newspaper lining the floor and a bath towel, we would hand-feed him kibble mashed into a meatball-like consistency along with wet food made into Gus-sized bites. Add in supplements (cut into tiny pieces) and a tablespoon of pumpkin, feeding time became messy and loads of fun. Smacking his lips and happily awaiting the next meatball, Gus became a professional. I often heard my juvenile voice asking, “Can we keep him?” My grown-up brain new better as what he needed was a fulltime family. Applications and comments poured in, including David and Celine’s of Rhode Island. They’ve had experience with special need dogs, including their female English bulldog, Twiggy, who coincidentally is the same size and stature as Gus. On the day of their visit, being the natural charmer he is, Gus immediately climbed on Celine as she sat on the floor and then walked over to David to reach up with his little front feet and looked up as if to say, “What’s not to love?” They were smitten and so was he. With teary eyes we watched as his feeding chair and supplies were loaded up. The adoption was official. Little Gussy had his forever family. His condition will never be cured; it must be carefully managed and observed each day. With his fighting spirt, Gus taught us courage and forgiveness. All of the dogs pull our heartstrings and some tug a bit harder. This pint-sized peanut was extra special. I miss his sweet face every day. Thank you, David and Celine, for welcoming this sweet boy into your home and hearts. Stand tall and proud, little Gus. You are loved by so many. Karen Sturtevant is a freelance writer, works at the nutritional supplement company, FoodScience Corporation, is editor-in-chief and contributing writer of Vermont Bride magazine, and the author of two children’s books, The Adventures of Gert & Stu and Zippy too and The Rainy Day Adventures of Gert & Stu and Zippy too. She volunteers with Green Mountain Animal Defenders and Vermont English Bulldog Rescue. She shares her home with two guinea pigs, two Russian tortoises, fiancé, Mike and her beautiful English bulldog Penney. Fall 2017
HALLOWEEN HINTS Pat Jauch - Caledonia Animal Rescue, Inc.
alloween can be a scary time for your pets. When the gremlins knock at your door in their frightening costumes, canines may over-react, becoming fearful or aggressive. Be sure to restrain your pets, protecting them from undue anxiety and also keeping them from biting strangers. When the children go door to door they should wear clothing that will make them visible, particularly to motorists. Dogs too, should have reflective collars in the event that they get loose and run into traffic. Special precautions should be taken to keep your animals indoors, particularly on this holiday, and at the very least, on a leash if doors will be opening often. Halloween can also cause some health hazards for your pets. Digestive problems, diarrhea and vomiting can become serious if your animals partake of the Halloween loot. A sudden change of diet, such as ingesting large quantities of candy, can disrupt the digestive system. Although most stomach upsets will resolve on their own in a day or two, it is wise to consult your veterinarian at the earliest sign of these conditions. Wrappings, such as cellophane and aluminum foil, can wreak havoc when they are swallowed along with their contents. These indigestible materials can cause constipation and even obstruction. Chocolate can be particularly troublesome and in some cases, lethal. Good oral hygiene is important for your pets. Sweets can lead to tooth decay, which can spread microorganisms to other parts of the body, so be sure to schedule regular dental checkups. In addition, brushing should be done routinely. Feeding dry food creates a natural source of friction on the teeth, thus helping to reduce tartar. There is even mouthwash available. If you find that your dog has halitosis (bad breath) it may be a sign of dental problems or more serious illness. Either way, a trip to the veterinarian is in order. Too much sugar is not good for the teeth or the diet. A good pet treat, high in nutritional value, is a better alternative. By avoiding the temptation to share the Halloween goodies with your pet you will be contributing to its continued good health. Fall 2017
More than 350,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have sought help for PTSD
Two of a Kind B
ob Landry and Coco were as different as night and day. Or more accurately, as different as a human and a dog. Yet these two would come to find out that they had more in common than you could possibly imagine. Bob grew up in a happy household in New England. Surrounded by family and friends, he was a starter on his high
16 4 Legs & a Tail
school football team and made it to the state finals. A top ten graduate, he had scholarship offers to universities, but not a full ride. He chose a path with the US Army instead. The military can offer you the opportunity to “Be All That You Can Be,” but the Iraqi desert was More than just half a planet from home. There was nothing he could find in common with the Green Mountains, nothing an infantry soldier could embrace beyond survival of yourself and your buddies. The mission that Tuesday, was described as “routine.” Bob repeated the word to himself as he packed a magazine of 30 rounds against his Kevlar helmet, while dressed in body armor. Riding point escorting a supply caravan, the IED hit with such sudden velocity Bob was almost unaware he had been thrown 20 feet from his Humvee. He convulsed as the pain of searing metal tore through his leg, and then there was darkness. Coco also reveled in his early years. A Christmas morning puppy, he was as elated as his new loving family. Just outside of New Orleans, Coco thrived in the Big Easy. It was early August and that particular day was unusually busy. There was no play. They were so busy Coco had to bark to remind them about dinner. If Coco had known about hurricanes, that this could be his last decent meal, he might have barked more. Katrina struck. The plywood did little to preserve Coco’s home. Wilmot Street was consumed by storm surge, and looked like a raging river as the rain and wind pounded the city. It was dark when rescue workers found the family perched on the roof, water approaching life-threatening levels. The boat already at capacity, Coco watched as his people
cried, disappearing into the night without him. The water crested, and Coco was swept away by the wind and tide, more than six miles from the place he once called home. Finally coming to rest on a muddy hillside, blood rushed from a wound, debris protruding from his leg. Bob woke two days after the attack on his column, in a hospital outside Baghdad. His recollection of the days to follow were foggy, but included talk of amputation, physical therapy and medical discharge. Several months later he set foot in the United States. The transition into civilian life was a challenge many veterans have faced. The scars of war are not just visible to the naked eye. PTSD is a simple acronym, not a simple affliction. During one appointment at the VA in White River Jct., Bob spoke with a guy from boot camp, “Maybe you should get a dog. They’re specially trained to help with issues like yours.” Bob wasn’t looking for a dog trained to help him pee in the night. He needed someone who could relate, feel what he was feeling. Coco scavenged through the aftermath of the storm. So much had changed, his people now hundreds of miles away, building a new life without him. Local agencies gathered these displaced, now feral dogs such as Coco in temporary shelters. Veterinarians examined Coco, his condition was near critical. Malnourished and disease infested, euthanasia was a distinct possibility. His injured and infected leg would need to be removed. Fortunately, he healed rapidly and soon found himself aboard an airplane for New England as part of a rescue group. Bob limped through the kennel of newly arrived dogs who jumped and barked, “Pick me! Pick me!” he contemplated his decision to get a dog. Was this the right idea? He could barely take care of himself, how could he take care of a dog? “It didn’t take long for us to become best buds. During the day, Coco was by my side constantly and at night he would curl up at the foot of my bed. Soon after, we found ourselves certified for the local therapy dog program. These days we are regulars at VA hospitals, retirement homes and schools.” They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. When Bob came across Coco sitting calmly among the chaos, he didn’t see the physical scars of the dog and thinly smiled at the irony of the dog’s missing leg. For a moment he wondered if the dog was sizing him up and coming to the same conclusion. Neither of them had the life they expected. The trials and tribulations both experienced had, at times, felt unjust and painful. Although they might be as different as night and day, in the end you never know who the path may lead you to. Fall 2017
Smoky, Yorkshire Terrier and WWII War Dog Kate Kelly - Courtesy of Bill Wynne
moky, a four-pound Yorkshire terrier, went to war by happenstance. She was found in New Guinea near an American military base in 1944. No one was going to send home a lost dog, no matter how tiny. She soon embedded with a unit of the U.S. 5th Air Force and was adopted by one of the photographers working reconnaissance near the front line in New Guinea. Smoky was found in a foxhole and brought back to the base by a fellow who was happy to sell her so he could get into that night’s poker game. William A. Wynne offered to buy Smoky for 2 pounds Australian ($6.44 US). After that, the two were inseparable. War Dog? Describing Smoky as a war dog, a mascot, or as therapy dog for the wounded military men doesn’t do her justice. She was all of those things. But most important, she became a soulmate for Bill Wynne. Wynne spent two years of his childhood in an orphanage, so he knew loneliness firsthand. When he adopted Smoky, he staved off what would have been many lonely hours by training his bright little companion. Then he did a loving thing: He turned and shared her with all those with whom Smoky and Bill came in contact. Smoky accomplished many things while in the service, but her most important job was keeping smiles on the faces of the men with whom she served.
develop the film, which would reveal the whereabouts of the enemy. They were part of a larger group moved to the Philippines to establish a full-scale military base. The goal was to move in quickly and keep everyone on the ground safe. Setting up the operation was going to require that new telegraph wire be run under the an existing runway that the Allies needed to keep open if at all possible. The original airfield builders had provided a 70-foot long pipe that ran under the runway. The problem was that soil had shifted around the pipe joinings. In some places, dirt partially filled parts of the pipe. The engineers knew that there was
a strong likelihood that they would need to dig up the airfield in that section to get the wire buried, and this was a bad thought. It meant wasted days and potential risk to the men while the airfield was out of service and under construction. Someone on the team had a bright idea and approached Bill Wynne with it: Did he think he could coach Smoky to make her way through the pipe? If so, they could tie a string to her collar. After she was all the way through, they could then use the string to pull the wire to the other side. “Can you see daylight all the way Continued Next Page
Smoky and the Telephone Wire The most frequently told story about Smoky concerns her “war work.” This heroic deed came about because someone realized Smoky’s potential. The Photo Reconnaissance Squad of which Wynne was a part, was with a unit that was moved forward to Luzon, the northernmost island in the Philippines. In that day, photo reconnaissance planes had to be very near the frontlines as the planes were only big enough for the pilot and a camera mounted to the plane. The pilot had to return to base quickly so the photographers could Fall 2017
through the culvert?” Wynne asked. The answer was that there were a couple of places where dirt had almost filled the pipe but “yes, you could still see some daylight coming through.” Wynne figured it was worth a try. He and Smoky went out to become familiar with the sights and smells of the field. When Wynne felt Smoky was comfortable, he tied the string to her collar and left her with one of the engineers. Wynne went to the other end of the culvert to try to coax her through. Her first steps were exploratory, Wynne wrote. She ran in about ten feet and then ran back out again. "But I stayed on the other end and said sharply, ‘Come Smoky.’” She re-approached the pipe and began to scamper and then crawl through the tighter sections. “At last, about 20 feet away, I saw two amber eyes and heard a faint whimpering sound….At 15 feet, she broke into a run. We were so happy at Smoky’s success that we all patted and praised her for a full five minutes,” wrote Wynne. She kept the airfield open and saved the men from additional danger.
down on command, and she didn’t move even when poked until Bill lifted her “lifeless” body up by the feet. She also learned to cross a tightrope— blindfolded. Others in the unit made her a scooter that she learned to ride. Bill was always teaching her something new. While Smoky initially performed for the men around her barracks, she soon became well enough known that Wynne would be asked to bring her to nearby military hospitals to perform. Everywhere they went, the two of them brought smiles.
Smoky and Hollywood After the war, Wynne returned to his hometown of Cleveland and married his sweetheart. He suggested that they honeymoon in Hollywood so that he could see if Smoky could make a living in show business. Wynne got a part-time job working with some of the dogs belonging to Rennie Renfro. This put him on set with all the Hollywood trainers of the day, including Rudd Weatherwax (Lassie) and the young Frank Inn (eventually Benji). Unfortunately, no roles came along that were right for a 4-pound Yorkshire terrier. Wynne’s wife waited for a time, but Smoky’s Tricks From the beginning, Wynne spent his she was pregnant and wanted to have her downtime working with Smoky. He started baby in Cleveland with her mother nearwith basic obedience commands and then by. This made Wynne’s decision obvious. went on to various tricks. One of the tricks He started applying for jobs in Ohio and Wynne invented was quite a complex ver- was soon hired as a flight photographer sion of “play dead.” Smoky would drop with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA; becomes NASA in 1957) in Cleveland, studying the de-icing of planes. The Wynnes settled in Cleveland where they eventually had nine children. Bill supplemented their income by performing with Smoky on weekends. By the mid-1950s, Smoky was still bright and funny and energetic, but her performing days were behind her. In 1957, she died. She was probably 14 at the time. In closing the book, Bill Wynne writes of Smoky and how she happened into his life: “One wonders, could this have been an angel in a foxhole—a buddy sent to teach me how to share her comical antics in a bigger task? That task being the sharing
of her with others in a time when joy was scarce? Sometimes under stress it only takes a delightful moment of diversion [to steer away from]… mental disaster.”
Smoky in a Helmet? As you’ll see from the photographs, the statues of Smoky that are part of the memorials to her, generally show Smoky in a helmet. This was not a “cute” pose; it was a practical one. Because of Smoky’s hair and the jungle climate, Wynne found that he needed to bathe her regularly to keep her pest-free. How best to bathe a four pound dog? Why in a helmet, of course! Yorkie Doodle Dandy I usually try to save my readers time by presenting to them a “story in a nutshell,” but in this case, I highly recommend that you read Wynne’s memoir, Yorkie Doodle Dandy: The Other Woman Was a Real Dog. The book is a delight because the bond between man and dog is so tight. During the war, Bill frequently needs to hide Smoky from superiors as dogs were not an accepted part of the corps. His anxiety radiates—not for himself or his own safety–but with a fear that Smoky might be taken away from him. It is clear that this man and this dog are a true pair. If you read the book, you will also learn the possible solution to a mystery: How did a Yorkshire terrier, quite a special breed in the 1940s, find her way to a foxhole in New Guinea? But I don’t like to trick readers, so if you really don’t think you’ll read the book, email me and I’ll explain what Wynne thinks happened that brought such an unusual dog to a war zone: firstname.lastname@example.org This article appeared on the website, www.americacomesalive.com During the summer, 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 email@example.com
18 4 Legs & a Tail
The Cat Who Came for Thanksgiving O
there staring at him. Stevie spied him and said, “That’s my Cat!” and, sure enough, Tiger walked in to greet his young owner. We’ll never know if he negotiated the small river that flowed between us, or if he followed the road over bridges to get to our house. But somehow this remarkable cat knew that we were a safe haven and that it would A Surprise Thanksgiving Visitor But the most interesting part of this only be a matter of time until his master story was yet to come. A few days later, came to claim him. our family gathered in our dining room for Thanksgiving dinner. It was our first family dinner together since our son and Bathing a Stray Cat Is No Fun! Knowing that the oil or whatever he his family moved to our town, and our had gotten into would not come off by grandson was telling us how much he itself, we cornered the cat in our base- missed his cat that had been gone for ment and wrapped him in old t-shirts more than a month in spite of all their while we gave him a bath – no easy task, efforts to find him. let me tell you! Because he was soaking A Boy and His Cat Are Reunited ur house and garage always seemed to attract strange cats. They would find the cat door in our basement, enter and hide there, terrorizing our own cats. One November, a shy tiger cat became a regular, sneaking up the basement stairs to help himself to the cat food on our basement stair landing, but scooting away if we tried to lure him closer. One night we saw him in the basement covered in oil that he must have gotten into in our neighbor’s repair shop.
wet and sickly looking, we locked him in our bathroom with food, water and a litter box for a few hours until he dried off. Try as we might, we could not get him to trust us, and ended up letting him go back down into our basement where he found his way back out into the cold November night again.
As Stevie spoke, our stray tiger cat walked up from our basement and stood
The Dundee Cat T
his is an old Scottish folktale. The moral of the story? Be careful what you wish for. In an attic room in Dundee town This poor old woman spread the tale around She lived fifty years in her old top flat With no other company than her old tom cat Well, I hope so, say so, fifty years in an old top flat... Now one night they sat by the fire quite glum When who do you think come down her lum (chimney) “I’m your fairy Godmother, have no fear To grant three wishes they sent me here” Well, I hope so, say so, I’m your fairy Godmother have no fear... The old woman looked down at her empty purse I could always use some cash of course The fairy waved her wand around And lying on the floor was a thousand pounds Well, I hope so, say so, the fairy waved her wand around... Now a lovely face and a figure divine For just one night I wish were mine The fairy says, “I’ll have a go” She made her look like Bridgette Bardot Well, I hope so, say so, the fairy says I’ll have a go... This lovely girl by the fire she sat She turned her attention to the old tom cat “He’s my only love and here’s my plan Tonight change the cat into a handsome man” Well, I hope so, say so, he’s my only love and here’s my plan... This handsome man at last drew near And he whispered softly in her ear “The night is young but you’ll regret the day you had me “fixed” by the vet...!!!” 20 4 Legs & a Tail
So... Are You Ticked Off Yet? Michael Tanneberger D.V.M. Colchester, VT
t seems that ticks are in the news more than Hollywood stars these days. I’m hearing about them in newspapers, medical journals, magazines (like this one), on TV and Online. Why? ..because the popularity of the topic indicates how serious the issues with tick borne diseases have become. Environmental changes such as global warming and shif ting populations of wildlife have contributed to conditions that are allowing ticks to move to new territories and thrive. Since the 1980’s this has happened to a dramatic degree. Studies are showing that change is occurring all over the country and is causing the spread of tick diseases to new regions. The Lone Star Tick (think Texas) is now being found in southern New England. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, originally carried by early American settlers from Tennessee to the mountains out west, is now spreading throughout the mid-west plains. Here in the Northeast, Lyme disease has been on the rise for years and most people now familiar with it. Fortunately, this has created a greater awareness of tick bite prevention for both pets and their owners. But, it’s an ongoing battle. In 2015 the state of Vermont had the highest incidence in the nation of Lyme disease in humans on a per capita basis, with Maine coming in second! The frequency of Lyme disease in dogs has mirrored that rise. Not to
further your paranoia of ticks, but remember that Lyme is only one of many diseases that ticks carry. Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, Tularemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and others can all affect you and your dog. And that’s not to mention the new up-and-comers with great names like Bobcat Tick Disease (in cats), Powassan Virus and Mammalian Meat Allergy (both in humans). So, are you even starting to get ticked off about ticks? If not, then remember this - not all tick diseases are easily treatable and there is much that is still unknown about them. Yes, antibiotics often (notice, I did not say always) work well against some of these diseases, but there are still many questions about how, when, and with what do we treat. Some of the newer diseases have no effective treatments yet. The good news is that excellent products for prevention are available and are the best way to protect your pets. I wish I could say that there are highly effective, natural, and safe tick killing products available, but the scientific evidence is lacking. Although today the most effective flea and tick killers and repellents are chemicals, the pharmaceutical companies are aware of the need and have been quickly producing products that are not only safer but more effective and easier to use than older ones. Careful and proper use of these products has enabled us to protect our pets against the wide range of serious diseases that ticks carry. Now available are monthly topicals, oral chews that are given every 30 to 90 days, and the newest generation of flea and tick collars that will last up to 8 months (and are highly effective). Because ticks are in greater numbers these days and are surviving through the winter, I strongly encourage pet owners to use these products year round. Late autumn is actually a high risk time for exposure, and the occasional winter thaws are warm enough to spur ticks into action. Also consider vaccinating your dog against Lyme disease. The Continued Next Page
22 4 Legs & a Tail
Surveillance of Vermont Emergency Room & Urgent Care Visits for Human Tick Encounters (Beta Version) Percentage of Visits Due to Tick Encounters
Tick Encounter = any visit due to tick-related issues such as a recent tick bite or a request for tick removal. 2.0%
Week Ending July 29, 2017
August September October November
Historic Average (2004-2016)
Historic Maximum (2004-2016)
vaccine should be given in addition to the use of tick killing products in order to maximize the effectiveness of Lyme prevention. Of course, you should routinely check your pets for ticks each time they come indoors (check yourselves, tool). Make sure you have a tick removal device on hand, especially when travelling or doing outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. These handy tools are inexpensive, easy to use, and easy to find. Veterinary offices, pharmacies, sporting goods stores, feed stores, and department stores are all likely to carry them. With just a simple twist the tick is easily removed. Being mindful that ticks are now a regular part of life is the first step in being able to prevent tick borne diseases. Taking the threat of these diseases seriously needs to be a priority - it is important to be proactive to be successful. I often see dogs in my office that test positive for tick diseases after being told by the owner that they have never seen a tick on their pet. Ultimately, getting ticked off enough to take action against ticks will enable you and your pet to enjoy the great outdoors with less worry and more comfort. Itâ€™s OK to get mad once in a while! Dr. Mike grew up in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Connecticut before attending veterinary school at Cornell University.Â Prior to his arrival at Petit Brook Veterinary Clinic, he was a partner in a large mixed practice in Northern, NY and then a small animal practice here in VT.
Alternatively Speaking: Veterinary Chiropractic Care Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA
f all the many types of holistic care, I think Acupuncture and Chiropractic are the most widely recognized. Most people are aware of these therapies for people and their pets, and they have become main-stream enough to be covered by many insurance policies. Despite this familiarity, most people do not realize the deeper potential for chiropractic treatment to help restore balance, beyond just fixing athletic injuries. I personally do not practice Chiropractic care, my area of study is acupuncture and Chinese herbs. But I certainly have experienced its effects first hand and know how well it pairs with acupuncture. So I sat down with Dr Will Barry, who provides Chiropractic therapy at our practice, to talk about how these two therapies work together to provide solutions to some pretty stuck problems. Most people’s basic understanding of chiropractic therapy is just that – moving stuck bones. The spine is made up of many tiny bones called vertebrae which
24 4 Legs & a Tail
allow it to twist and flex in many directions. If that motion is prevented then the attached muscles and tendons are pulled and held too tight, limiting the body’s motion locally so other parts have to move in abnormal ways to perform simple tasks like walking or bending. This unusual use strains muscles so that they are more prone to injury, and before you know it one tiny stuck vertebra is causing aches and pains all over, even affecting internal functions. The chiropractor manipulates the body to unlock the bones so they move again, and in doing so that relaxes overstretched areas and allows normal flexibility so everything can heal. At least that is the plan. But as Dr Barry says, “Bones are stupid, they just do what the muscles tell them to.” Moving the bones may not help much if the muscles are just going to pull them back into a fixed place. What controls the muscles? Nerves! Painful feed-back from nerves can tell the muscles to hold bones still to protect an injury, like a disc in the back that is slipping out of place. Suddenly moving the bone may aggravate that primary injury. Nerves are an important part of what makes up an acupuncture point so it is no surprise that when trying to work with muscles and bones, chiropractic and acupuncture work well together. Once you start affecting nerves, whether with needles or by releasing bones, then you are also influencing body systems and organs on every level. Mobility is at the heart of health, but is not limited to just moving limbs. There is physiologic movement in the body such as digestion in the gut, circulatory movement of blood in tissues, or metabolic ‘movement’ in organs and cells and they are not independent of our bodies physical motion. This is why these therapies have such broad impact beyond orthopedic aches and pains. But often a pet’s symptoms do involve an ache or pain, and while we have these tools to use, it may not be easy to find the source of the problem at first glance. Take Jack for instance, an elderly but very energetic, bouncy dog with a history of back issues and fairly dramatic arthritis changes along his spine. As he has aged he has needed some medication on occasion for back pain, but otherwise had been doing well. Then after a fall last December he started walking hunched, with his rear legs crouched in a half-sitting position all
the time. Were his legs weak and unable to hold him up, or did he slip a disc and have too much pain to straighten his back, or did he pull some support muscles trying to walk with a sore back? Is it the muscles, nerves, bones or a combination of all three? Working out these puzzles is where each case always starts. A front leg limp may be due to leaning forward because there is pain in the rear. A sore back may be from walking shifted to the left because there is a sore knee on the right. So how do we know whether to use chiropractic or acupuncture, and how do we find the root problem? There are no wrong approaches, but Dr Barry and I agree that it starts with getting feedback from the body through touch, and often it is a combination of therapies that work the best. When doing an exam for acupuncture, I feel for heat or changes in the tissues where acupuncture points are located to narrow down where the problem areas are. Acupuncture works on the soft tissues and organs via their neurological controls, when needles stimulate nerves and send messages locally as well as far reaching thru the body. In this way it can provide pain relief, move circulation to or away from a tissue that needs nourishing or decongesting, and it can allow tense muscles to relax so they are not pulling bones in ways that diminish their mobility. On a deeper level, it may address imbalances that made the body prone to injury. Dr Barry also uses his hands to feel for problems. Before working on the bones, he checks the muscles from head to toe, feeling for tension or pain. He also uses Applied Kinesiology, also known as muscle testing, to determine weakness. His assistant touches the pet and when a weak area is identified, that weakness briefly reflects in the assistant. There are different ways to measure this, but commonly the tester pushes on the assistant’s out stretched arm. Normally a person can hold up their arm when pressure is applied, but it is quite impressive to see that arm drop as if it had no strength at all, and only when the patient’s weak area is being checked. This can identify muscles to treat with acupuncture or laser. Lasers relax the muscles by their action on the cells themselves to increase oxygen, which affects local circulation and relieves pain. Dr Barry then repeats his exam from tail to head, this time checking the bones. If any bone is still fixed after the muscles have been helped, then he will use Chiropractic to address the bones. Chiropractic manipulation can involve forceful jolts to bones, but often we use only small vibrations to get the same effect. This technique is gentle and can avoid aggravating sore areas, especially when we relax problem muscles Continued Next Page
moaning or groaning from our pets, they will simply adjust what they do or how they do it to be most comfortable and carry on merrily. As in all disease, diagnosing and treating early gets the best results because we can minimize chronic damage and prolong normal function. If we wait until there is enough pain for our pet to show it clearly, the more likely that tissue damage is significant and is involving many structures. That means treatment takes longer to work and may be more difficult to improve function. So if your cat is using the chair before getting up onto the counter to steal your tuna, or your dog takes a few steps to get going right after a nap, don’t wait for things to get more dramatic. Have your pet evaluated medically by your veterinarian to first rule out any conditions that may be connected to their change in behavior. They may have a problem that needs immediate attention other than chiropractic, or treatment before chiropractic to avoid aggravating an unstable situation. If it turns out to be a simple ache or pain, get those muscles and bones checked out to find the culprit. It may be a simple injury Dr. Barry with Jack that needs acupuncture or chiropractic first. Doing so makes it less likely to be to reset things, or it may be an ongoing uncomfortable after chiropractic treatment joint or structural issue that would benefit while strained muscles are readjusting to from broader alternative care including tissue support supplements, nutritional normal motion. Let’s go back to Jack, who came to us support, and knowing what activities to for help with his hunched back. We started promote or avoid. Either way, a little early with a conventional exam, and determined intervention goes a long way to keep your he was not weak in his rear legs, or having pet flexible and moving so they feel their abdominal pain. We then did a Chinese best inside and out. exam, to see what imbalances may be contributing to such a fixed pain that would Dr. Anne Carroll is owner of the Chelsea Animal Hospital where she practices not budge. He had several acupuncture both conventional medicine and treatments, and we adjusted his current surgery as well as several alternative medications. Over time he did seem more comfortable and happy but we were not modalities including traditional Chinese acupuncture and Chinese herbal making much progress in getting his back medicine. Her associate Dr. Betty Jo to straighten, and his activity was affected Black brings classical homeopathy to by that. So we decided to have Dr Barry do a chiropractic assessment. Given the the practice. For more information on alternative veterinary medicine visit fragile condition of Jack’s back, we wanted their website at to use very gentle manipulations under a www.chelseaanimalhospital.com veterinarian’s supervision. At the time of this article, it is too early to say how things are going, but the treatment was painless and did not aggravate his condition, which is always our first goal. Jack’s case can also remind us how good our pets are at hiding their problems. He is not unique in the fact that until he was older, he seemed pretty normal despite still having significant back disease. Remember that compared to us, our pet’s pain has to be much more intense for them to show it in an obvious way. They are built to hunt first and rest sore bodies later, so given the opportunity to play ball or chase a squirrel, a sore leg may suddenly feel just fine. That means we have to watch for early clues of mild pain and get them checked out. Early on, there will be no Fall 2017
ou just had you dog’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 the problem. Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS First of all, not all animal products 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 33 products for dogs that have the VOHC seal so inevitably some of the products recommended here will not have the seal. How is plaque removed? Do you brush your teeth every day? Brushing is a mechanical action that removes plaque. Brushing is the most effective means of removing plaque and remains the “gold standard”. However, not all owners have the time or inclination to brush their dogs teeth. Having your dog 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 dog avoids chewing with certain teeth then these products will not work well on those teeth.) I use and recommend the following products.
Once The Teeth Are Clean Lets Keep Them That Way - Dogs
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 that holds the kibble together to scrub the teeth (VOHC seal for plaque and tartar)
Regular dog kibble
With every bite, the fiber matrix scrubs the tooth surface to clean teeth and freshen breath.
Unique fiber alignment helps kibble stay in contact with the tooth surface right to the gumline.
Small Bites t/d™
Kibble gently scrubs away plaque and tartar to clean teeth and promote healthy gums.
Regular Bites t/d™
The t/d™ kibble is considerable larger than regular kibble. The kibbles are larger but not dense to allow the tooth to enter the kibble. Small dogs will readily eat the small bites, even though they seem large. I even heard of a Chihuahua that liked the regular bites! He would work away at the large kibble having a great time while also cleaning his teeth.
Toys: none with VOHC seal. Look for rubber toys that you can indent with a fingernail. My favorite is West Paw Design toys. US made, non-toxic, and money back guarantee (The guarantee is limited to a one-time, one replacement per household.). The style shown will hold treats which provides fun and entertainment. They also come in a ball shape and a bone shape. They float in water and can be put into the dishwasher for cleaning.
Chews - Tartar Shield Soft Rawhide Chews for small, large and extra large dogs. (VOHC seal for tartar). These products also have a mechanical effect of the surface of the tooth. The Tartar Shield treats are US made and are pre-ground up rawhide to eliminate the danger of choking. Continued Next Page
26 4 Legs & a Tail
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.
Some products combine mechanical action with a plaque control product OraVet® Dental Hygiene Chews (VOHC seal for tartar). OraVet chews work by disrupting the formation of plaque, so that it no longer sticks to the teeth. The delmopinol in OraVet dental hygiene chews disrupts plaque, reduces plaque formation and makes bacteria susceptible to attack. Add this to the mechanical action of chewing on a mildly abrasive chew, and you get pretty close to the ideal of tooth brushing. And my fussy dog Annabelle really likes them. Feed only one per day. Comes in 4 sizes.
Rawhide chews with chlorhexidine added. Chlorhexidine is a disinfectant that binds to tissue, giving it a long acting effect. It is found in some mouth washes. The rawhide is in the form of thin strips. As long as your dog is a “chewer” rather than a “gulper” these chews will not cause choking or bowel obstruction. Vetoquinol Dentahex Oral Care Chews with Chlorhexidine and Virbac C.E.T.® HEXtra® Premium Oral Hygiene Chews are two such products. Fall 2017
Dental Wipes: Just like it sounds, these are small pads that are wiped over the teeth and gums to remove plaque and to deposit plaque control products onto the teeth.
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 dog’s teeth as clean as when s/he was a puppy. 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, it will mean less extractions that will need to be done and it may mean that you can spread out the interval between cleanings. I will do cat products in the next issue. 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.
Let’s Talk Turkey
nce upon a time it was unusual to see a wild turkey. And that was just 30 - 40 years ago! During the 19th century the wild turkey population was just about extinct due to farming practices that clear-cut forests in much of the state. The comeback has been nothing short of historic in the field of wildlife management. According to Mark Scott, Director of Wildlife for the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, "The revival of the birds in Vermont grew from the release of turkeys in Rutland County during the winters of 1969-70 and 1970-71. A total of 31 were released during that time. The state now has a population estimated at 45,000 to 50,000 birds from one end of the state to the other." In the 1960s, a Vermont biologist who once worked in New York state developed a program that brought the 31 turkeys that had been trapped in New York’s Alleghany and Steuben counties to Pawlet and Hubbardton, according to a history of the program provided by Vermont Fish and Wildlife. The area was considered ideal because of the combination of forests and farm fields littered with cow corn. Within a year, the population was estimated at 150. By 1973 the population had rebounded enough for a limited hunting
season in the area where they were first released. New Hampshire began its turkey restoration in the 1970s. Now there are an estimated 35,000 to 45,000 statewide. “There are no empty spaces in the state that need wild turkeys,” said Ted Walski, a turkey project biologist with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. And Vermont has helped other states in the region and beyond restore or build their populations, sending turkeys to places including Maine, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Canada and Germany.“I think people like to see turkeys whether they hunt them or not,” said Scott whose agency oversees Vermont’s spring and fall turkey hunting seasons. According to what traditionally is known as "The First Thanksgiving," the 1621 feast between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag at Plymouth Colony contained waterfowl, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash. William Bradford noted that, "besides waterfowl and cider, there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many." Many of the foods that were included in the first feast (except, notably, the seafood) have since gone on to become staples of the modern Thanksgiving dinner. Early feasts of the Order of Good Cheer, a French Canadian predecessor to the modern Thanksgiving, featured a potluck dinner with freshly-hunted fowl, game, and fish, hunted and shared by both French Canadians and local natives. The use of the turkey in the USA for Thanksgiving precedes Lincoln's nationalization of the holiday in 1863. Alexander Hamilton proclaimed that no "Citizen of the United States should refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day," and many of the Founding Fathers (particularly Benjamin Franklin) had high regard for the wild turkey as an American icon, but turkey was uncommon as Thanksgiving fare until after 1800. By 1857, turkey had become part of the traditional dinner in New England.
In this circa 1970 photo provided by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, Game Warden Ross Hoyt, left, and biologist Joseph Artmann release a wild turkey in Saxtons River at a time when they were almost gone from the Vermont countryside. (Photo: John Hall/ Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department via AP)
2017’s Biggest Turkeys United Airlines - The Friendly Skies hit turbulence when passengers took (and shared) video of a man being forcibly dragged off a plane by security when he was randomly selected -- and declined -- to forfeit his seat to airline maintenance workers. The Oscars - Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway had the unfortunate luck of being handed the wrong envelope at the 2017 Oscars, and as a result they announced La La Land had won Best Picture. Unfortunately, it didn’t. Moonlight was the true victor. Adidas - This failure boiled down to a simple, and probably innocent, but very poor choice of words. After this year’s Boston marathon, the company tweeted out, “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!” The Federal Department of Education - Spelling errors aren’t that big of a deal -- unless you’re the federal Department of Education. This year, the Department of Education sent out a tweet misspelling W. E. B. DuBois’ name, then misspelled “apologies” as “apologizes” in its follow-up apology for misspelling in their tweet. The Discovery Channel - Viewers were hugely disappointed after the networks hype of Olympian Michael Phelps vs. a Great White turned out not to be a true side-by-side race. They were in separate bodies of water. The Atlanta Falcons - Blowing a 28-3 lead in the third quarter. Tom Brady and Patriot fans have much to be thankful for.
28 4 Legs & a Tail
Autumn 2017 Northern VT & NH
Celebrate National Cat Day Soccer Star Christian Press & Morena Veterans and Their Dogs Are you ready for the next round of ticks? Careers in Equine