Furry Fall Central NH & VT
Rats! When Did Black Cats Get Such A Bad Rap? Career Choices In The Pet And Animal Industry $$$ Our Horseâ€™s Favorite Trail Ride Your Fire Department To The Rescue
A Note From the Publishers, There is a tremendous benefit to society when inmates raise puppies to become service dogs. In the past, 4 Legs & a Tail has reported on programs such as Pups in Prison and Puppies Behind Bars. These programs have had a tremendous positive impact on the puppy raisers, the recipients such as those with disabilities, and returning veterans with both physical and emotional injuries. These programs have been proven to be successful across the country, on a variety of levels. For the inmate raising a puppy it provides a sense of accomplishment, and in some cases, the first time they have felt unconditional love. For those receiving a service dog, the companionship is dwarfed only by the freedom to move forward in life with the security of a well-trained dog. For a pet friendly state such as Vermont, with the greatest percentage of pet ownership in the country, it is disappointing that there is no such program. Despite several request to the VT Department of Corrections by 4 Legs & a Tail, the DOC has continually rejected the idea based on fiscal constraints. NEADS (National Education for Assistance Dog Services) currently implements nine such programs in New England. This organization brings together a large number of dedicated volunteers, employees of Milne Travel among them, and has been supported financially by Scott Milne. He has pledged to implement a Puppy’s in Prison program in Vermont, and stands as the only gubernatorial candidate in support of this program. As pet lovers, we are proud to support Scott Milne’s run for Vermont Governor. Tim Hoehn, Tim Goodwin Publishers, 4 Legs & a Tail
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail 3 4 5 7 8 10 12 13 14
Do Heroes Come In Threes? (Thank God for Strays)
Three unusual heroes protect a barracks of American soldiers in Afghanistan.
Mister B, Professional Riding Donkey, Jeanette Cook
How one veteran is making a difference.
Alternatively Speaking: RAW FOODS, AnneM. Carroll, DVM
A personal perspective on nutrition.
The Upper Valley Haven
The Haven’s Pet Fostering Program reaches out to pet owners in need.
Non-vocal Cat Behavior: What is my cat trying to tell me?,
Colrain Balch, DVM
‘Tique - A widow finds a new friend to re-ignite an old passion. Case of the Month - An Emergency Thoracotomy, Elisa Speckert
The true story of a cat with nine lives. Kenzy’s Korner - Kenzy has some ideas for fall.
Be Open To Love - Help A Cocker (and Yourself!), Karen Shor& Polly Marmaduke
Cocker Spaniel Rescue of New England (CSRNE), meets cockers when they are at their lowest point in life.
16 High Horses Therapeutic Riding Program: Finding the Ideal Therapeutic Riding Horse, Amanda Lamoureux There’s a saying that goes, “No good horse is a bad color,” and that goes
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25 26 Fall 2014
for therapeutic riding horses as well.
Careers in the World of Pets & Animals
Turn your passion into $$$.
A Day in the Life of a Future Vet, Rebecca Sevy, DVM
Ever wonder what it would be like to be a vet?
Vermont Veterinary Medical Association Foundation Award,
Kathy Finnie, Executive Director Continuing their education are the winners of VVMA scholarships.
Help Your Pet Survive a House Fire, M Kathleen Shaw, DVM
Prevent potential problems by “pet proofing” your home.
Fire Prevention Month
Keene Medical Products and 4 Legs & a Tail recognize October as National Fire Prevention month, with a donation of pet oxygen masks to the Shelburne Fire Department. www.4LegsAndATail.com 1
27 Your Fire Department to the Rescue Real stories of local fire departments coming to the aid of real pets and animals. 29 Ridgelines and Below. Keeping your Dog Safe and His Tail Wagging!, Jennifer Lesser, DVM - Before you hit the trail this fall… 32 Black Cats and Seven-toed Dogs, Mark Carlson Where did these superstitions come from? 34 Halloween can be Spooky for Pets - M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM 35 Cool Pet Products - Some great ideas just in time for fall. 36 Sarge, Ann Jamieson A bad trade, a basket-case horse, and a young rider. The perfect combination. 39 Rats!, Susan Dyer, DVM - Timid, social, and excellent pets when cared for properly. 41 Canine Point of View, Michelle Grimes - Is your dog social? 43 Fall Foliage Trail Ride There is no better place than Woodstock, VT to unplug, relax, and make memories
at a fall foliage trail ride.
44 Arthritis in Dogs & Cats, Catherine MacLean, DVM
Signs and solutions for an aging pet.
46 One Angry Bird, Barbara Savage Magoun
Can a robin really be this mischievous?
48 Pony Precepts, John R. Killacky
A pony can teach us all a thing or two.
51 Personal Ponies, Gail M Schumann
How one program is making a difference.
52 Why do Small Dogs have More and Earlier Dental Disease than Large Dogs?, Sandra Waugh, VMD 55 Five Things Your Animal Wants You to Know, Kat Barrell
Imagine what your pet would say, if they could speak.
57 Paddock Partners, Heidi Jo Hauri-Gill
Helpful advice when it comes to training a new horse.
58 The Importance of Enrichment for our Pets, Mike Robertson
There’s more to a pet’s life than just laying around in the sun
59 Searching for Lizards, Gloria Towne
A family trip, Cancun Mexico and giant lizards.
60 Fun Page 4 Legs & a Tail Volume L.314 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766 603-727-9214 TimH.4LT@gmail.com
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Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Senior Editor: Scott Palzer Office Manager: Beth Hoehn Graphic Design: Monica Reinfeld, Travis Ness, Lacey Dardis Sales: Karyn Swett, Scott Palzer, Barry deSousa
If you have a tale about a tail or a photo that will make us smile, we’d like to hear from you. 4 Legs & a Tail is published quarterly and distributed free of charge throughout Central VT & NH. 4 Legs & a Tail, LLC 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.
Do Heroes Come in Threes? (Thank God for Strays) T
his November 11th, a grateful nation will once again pay tribute to the men & women who have served our country, protecting our freedom and liberties. Every day, and particularly on Veterans Day, we offer thanks to the thousands of soldiers from Vermont and New Hampshire for all they have sacrificed. Heroes may return with tales of battlefield bravery, but one story involves the heroic efforts of an unusual trio. Not dressed in fatigues or carrying a rifle, these four-legged tail-waggers are named Target, Sasha and Rufus. These stray dogs found a home with 158th Infantry, in Afghanistan, deep in the thick of a wartorn country. According to Sgt. Terry Young, American soldiers first befriended Sasha. “At times, we would play football between missions. One day Sasha showed up, and then Target and Rufus.” Target got her name because she had
been shot by locals, and then nursed back to health by the American soldiers. The companionship of these friendly strays was a welcome relief for men so far from home. In the middle of the night of February 22, 2010, while 50 soldiers slept in a crowded barracks, a suicide bomber penetrated the security perimeter and approached the barracks. Immediately, Sasha sounded the alarm. As she barked, Target and Rufus quickly attacked and latched on to the assailant’s leg. Before the terrorist could make it past the entryway, he detonated his suicide vest. As a tearful Young would later share with an Oprah audience, “Five soldiers were injured in the attack and all three dogs took heavy shrapnel. The medics successfully treated Target and Rufus, but the wounds to Sasha were too severe. These dogs are heroes. If it weren’t for
Target and Rufus Photo by Crawford AP
them, I believe we would have lost many of my friends that day.” Sgt. Young was shipped back stateside. He said good-bye to Rufus and gave his final farewells to Target. But friendship in the heat of battle creates a stronger bond than any geo-political turmoil can break. Thanks to a Facebook campaign and some nonprofit organizations, Rufus was adopted by a fellow soldier, while Sgt. Young was recently reunited with Target. When the Germen Shepherd mix set her paws down in the land of the free, the pair quickly embraced. As Young gave her a scratch behind the ear, he couldn’t help notice her collar, proudly displaying a blue infantry badge.
The Origin of “Dog Tags” According to Vetstreet, putting collars on dogs is an ancient practice, but dog licenses are much more recent. In the United States, at least, the practice is little more than a century old, and it started in Cincinnati, Ohio. Charging dog owners to license their pets caught on with other cities as well. It was so common, that by the time American soldiers in World War I were issued ID tags, which reminded everyone so much of what dogs wore, that they were humorously called “dog tags”, a term that sticks to this very day.
Mister B, Professional Riding Donkey
first became aware of Mister B’s existence in the fall of 2012. I was living in Oregon then, having established a riding and training stable made up solely of mules. Having recently been widowed, I was pursuing a long-held dream of having one of the few exclusively “long-ear” stables in the country. At that point, I owned no donkeys. One day, a nonprofit rescue group sent out an email about two animals in danger in a nearby town, saying, “If these two donkeys aren’t rescued soon, they’ll be sent to slaughter.” Their owner, an older woman, had recently died and left no provision for their care. I wanted some good donkeys for depth in my herd, so began to wonder about these… and decided to have a look. My friend Erin Heatherstone volunteered the use of her truck and trailer. Her baby was ensconced in the cab to keep us company on the forty-plus mile trip to Molalla, Oregon, where we found the “two donkeys” were actually a donkey and a very small mule. A mule is a hybrid cross of a donkey (domestic ass, Equus asinus) and a horse (common horse, E. caballus). The mule looked like it was a Shetland cross…the donkey, a Spotted Standard, was quite distinctly marked in brown,
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Jeanette Cook- Gilsum, NH
Kevin Wirth and Mister B are showing off our newest saddle, small enough to carry the tiniest riders.
black and white. They stood in a quagmire of a paddock, two feet deep in their own dung. They were both in very poor condition…I realized that even if health could be recovered in these two animals, each might have serious and permanent injuries. They’d been kept in a paddock that hadn’t been cleaned for at least two years, on a diet of corn cob and molasses. ..a deadly choice for the donkey; a very unhealthy one for the mule. I gave each of them a little training test, offering genuine equine treats as a reward. The donkey responded immediately... he came to me and followed me around! I was very impressed. We spoke to the estate representative and told her we’d take them both. So, duly loaded, they took their first trailer ride ever back to my property at Fall Creek, Oregon. The little mule’s name was Henry and the donkey’s Burrito. I thought, how undignified for an intelligent, selfrespecting donkey to be named after a piece of human food! He became Benito then, Italian for “handsome”. His first veterinary appointment led to treatment of, among other things, extensive internal parasites, and the medication caused quite a reaction. .. As he filled his stall with multiple droppings, my barn attendant began calling this new donkey “Bano”, Spanish for “bathroom”. The veterinarian gave our “B” donkey a guarded prognosis…but was encouraged when the donkey stood calmly for first vaccinations. He gave no trouble. In fact, on the second day ever that he’d received hay, he was so grateful that as I bent over to give a morning slice, he very tenderly and deliberately raised his muzzle to my face and bussed me gently. This little kiss has been a trademark habit ever since. Rehabilitation included correction of hoof problems, de-worming, correcting diet, dental filing or “floating”, and two daily manual grooming & exercise sessions to bring back his coat and improve
general condition. After two months, we knew both would indeed survive, and that they both had excellent prospects of full recovery. Moreover, I discovered that the B donkey was quite brave and brainy, and was also beautiful. He boldly accepted his new home. His walk was very calm and balanced…”B” words kept cropping up!... The most prominent of which was brainy. His intelligence and quickness in learning new things was remarkable, even among donkeys, which are among the most intelligent of equines. Thus he became simply “Mister B”. B’s next stop was training with donkey and mule expert Lori Forge. Her tutelage launched B as a “pro”. He is a “donkey genius” according to Lori. In 2012, family needs called me back to New England. I moved Cottonwood Stable to Gilsum, New Hampshire. Mister B joined us and carried his first client riders in spring of 2013. Since then he has settled in to his role and loves receiving riders and visitors. To date, Mister B has happily, safely carried 53 different riders from age 7 months to 92 years. Mister B’s Birthday Club is a special feature. Other animals are available too Our goal is to make riding available and affordable for the general public. Riding is a great partnership sport for young people and adults. First sessions are complimentary; services by appointment. For more information, see our website at www.jlrequine.com or call Jeanette Cook at 603-327-7942. Jeanette M. Cook is a service farmer and former naval officer who now runs Cottonwood Stable, an activity of JLR Equine Services LLC in Gilsum NH, and a woman veteran-owned business. The stable offers public riding, 4H leases, boarding & training at affordable rates for the general public. Qualified veterans and their families receive priority of service and a substantial discount. Fall 2014
Alternatively Speaking: RAW FOODS
Anne M. Carroll, DVM- Chelsea, VT
f you ask ten veterinarians their opinion on the ideal nutrition for a dog you’ll probably get 12 different answers. When you bring the topic of raw feeding into the mix, the debate gets even more skewed. This isn’t going to be a scientific paper; rather I want to share my experience with my pets and patients over the past 17 years practicing holistic veterinary medicine. Let’s start with my own dog, who if left to her own devices, would go out into the backyard and eat a carcass that she found, some chicken poop and some grass. Although I find it hard to appreciate her less than discerning palette, I understand that she is merely responding to what her body tells her she needs. The domesticated dog’s metabolic and digestive systems are still basically the same as their wolf ancestors. Their teeth are designed for grabbing and shredding. They do not have flat molars to chew thoroughly and grind up grains. Their stomachs and digestive enzymes are designed to digest big hunks of what was swallowed quickly to prevent the rest of the pack from eating it. This includes meat and bones and other carcass parts, not the finely processed carbohydrates found in today’s engineered pet foods. Processing degrades the nutrients found in fresh food, and even fresh vegetarian ingredients can’t provide all the nutrients a carnivorous dog needs. So, heavy use of science is required to balance dry dog food. But processed food and synthetic vitamin additives just can’t compete with the nutritional value of whole fresh foods. This is especially true when your processed food contains 2 – 4 times the amount of carbohydrates that your species would naturally eat. (And let us not forget our carnivore cat friends who in the wild would never have bread with their meal.) This understanding by pet owners, and the emerging evidence equating processed, highcarb food with illness, is making raw diets an increasingly popular choice. In general, dogs are just as susceptible as people to the inflammation caused by a high glycemic diet. For dogs that are sensitive to those inflammatory effects, a raw diet can be almost miraculous in curing their chronic health issues. Fall 2014
In my patients that have converted to raw feeding I have seen skin allergies, endocrine problems, digestive issues and even chronic obesity addressed with largely diet alone. In spite of these positive results, there remains controversy over raw feeding. There are still those that believe that engineered food is better food. But far and away the biggest issue is the fear of bacterial exposure. The answer for this is common sense. If you cook your own raw meat than you already have the knowledge to handle your pet’s food safely. Given the countless dogs on raw diets globally, if they were spreading harmful bacteria through their homes we would be seeing cases of people getting sick all the time. With that said however, I would still evaluate whether it is a good idea to feed raw food in a home with very young or immunologically challenged family members. Just as raw feeding is not for every home, a raw diet is not perfect for every pet, and just giving your pet raw meat is not raw feeding. A dog’s diet still needs to be balanced with all of the necessary vitamins and minerals their body needs. It requires a healthy and strong digestive system to break those materials down and some dogs, especially the young and elderly, may need the pre-digestion Continued NEXT PAGE
offered by cooking the food first. This is where the assistance of your veterinarian is crucial in developing the balanced diet that is specific to your pet’s needs. For those who choose raw feeding, it is not hard to do it right. There are many commercial products available which range from fresh fortified food in the refrigerator case or freezer, to complete dehydrated meals that you simply add water to. If you are more of a do-ityourselfer, there are also base mixes that can be added to raw ingredients to make a balanced meal. Also, raw food does not need to be the entire meal, it can be a part of a diet that includes more traditional dry and canned foods. Even
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a small addition can have health benefits. At first glance these options may seem more expensive, but in reality, can be comparably priced to other premium pet foods. Without all of the empty carbs filling your pet’s bowl they will typically eat a smaller portion. Most importantly, their shiny coat and new found health may save you the expense of treating their chronic problems. One last benefit we can all get behind - without all the fiber and fillers, there is less in the pooper-scooper at the end of the day. Dr. Anne Carroll is owner of the Chelsea Animal Hospital where she practices both conventional medicine and surgery as well as several alternative modalities including traditional Chinese acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Her associate Dr. Betty Jo Black brings classical homeopathy to the practice. For more information on alternative veterinary medicine visit their website at www.chelseaanimalhospital.com.
The Upper Valley Haven T
he Upper Valley Haven is a non-profit private organization that serves people struggling with poverty, by providing food, shelter, education, clothing, and support. Oh, and don’t forget pets! The goal of the Pet Fostering Program is to help those going into emergency shelters find temporary foster housing for their pet(s); and to help those in poverty provide basic necessities for their pets. When a bed became available for Jenny at our Hixon House Adult Shelter, Jenny’s dog, Rio, had no place to go. In circumstances like this, Nancy Griffin, Jenny’s Haven Case Manager and an animal enthusiast at heart, wastes no time in finding temporary solutions for pets in need. She enlisted co-worker Emily Curtis’ help, who contacted Spencer Marvin at UVHS, to set up a two-week emergency stay for Rio, while Nancy networked within the community for a home that could foster the dog for a few months. After two weeks at UVHS, and two months with a foster family, Jenny and Rio were reunited and are now living together again in Jenny’s new rental apartment. Additionally, to support those who cannot afford adequate pet food, Emily picks up supplies from Meals for Paws once per month for the Haven’s Food Shelf; and UVHS also helps her find sources for pet food when resources are tight. “Pets are beneficial to our health; they offer companionship like no other. When you are already in trying times because of your situation, it can be even more difficult to get help and take care of your pet. My heart goes out to those people. I’ve fostered a few pets for guests staying at the shelter until they’ve been able to move into permanent housing. People have told me that they’d rather sleep in their car before giving up their pets.”
Emily Curtis (pictured on left with Nancy Griffin)
Are you interested in fostering a pet? Contact Nancy Griffin at 802-478-1808 or email@example.com.
facebook.com/4LegsAndaTail Fall 2014
Non-Vocal Cat Behavior: What is my Cat Trying To Tell Me? Colrain Balch, DVM- Elkins, NH
ats have a wide variety of personalities. Some live to be a lap cat while others perfect the definition of aloofness. Regardless of their personalities, all cats have multiple ways of communicating with us. Vocal actions like purring, meowing and hissing are only the tip of the iceberg. Paying attention to the cues our cats send us, can help strengthen our bond with them, and help reduce stress at home. While our cats may meow at us for a variety of reasons, vocal communication is not used as much between cats. Use of other communication tools such as smell and sight are more common.
Marking There are multiple places on a cat’s body that contain pheromone secreting scent glands. Pheromones are chemicals that are intended to send specific signals to other individual animals. In the animal kingdom, these pheromones can “say” things such as: “This way to find food”, “Watch out, danger!”, or “This is mine.” On the cat, these pheromone secreting glands are located at the base of the tail, forehead, cheeks and paws. Cats will rub along or scratch objects to release their pheromone signals. So when your kitty head bumps you, he or she is letting you and everyone else know that you are his/her human. Similarly, scratching on objects in the house is a way for them to mark their territory. Cats prefer to scratch on things in social parts of the house which is why couches and speakers are often victims of kitty claws. Placing a vertical scratching post in part of the house where everyone gathers may help reduce or eliminate the desire to tear up the furniture.
Body Language Cats use several parts of their body to communicate with both each other and themselves. Paying attention to these signals can help you know when your cat would like to be friendly and when they need space. Continued NEXT PAGE
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Ear position can tell us a lot about a cat’s mood. Ears that are in a forward position show a cat that is interested in what is going on. They may swivel around as they are listening to things in the room, but generally come back to the forward spot. Alternatively, ears that are positioned backwards, sideways or flat are signs that the cat is stressed or upset. Generally speaking, the tighter the ears are pinned down to the cat’s head, the more upset the cat. This cat is saying, “Do not come near me.” The tail is another very good indicator of mood. When a cat’s tail is straight up in the air with hair flat (normal), he or she is interested in what is going on. Sometimes the tip of the tail may curl down a little like a question mark. When a cat gets really excited, the tail will vibrate. These are good signs. In contrast, a cat swishing its tail back and forth can indicate that the cat may be upset about something. Keep in mind, some cats will just swish the tip when they are focused on something interesting like a bird outside the window. This is different from the whole tail swishing which is a warning to stay away. When a cat is frightened or feels threatened, they will bring the tail very close to the body and will sometimes tuck it between their legs. Finally, a cat with its tail fur fully erect so its tail looks bushier than normal is a sign of either fright or Photo by Emma Panesco of Keene, NH severe stress. These are just two parts of the cat’s body that are used for Most men can't tie a bow this well! communication. A cat’s eyes and back will also give indications of how the cat is feeling. It is important to pay attention to the cat as a whole to know what they are trying to languages has been part of the joy of being a cat owner and has say. Making note of what a cat is doing and then how the cat helped to enrich our bonds with each other. responds to your actions will help you understand your cat’s individual language. Colrain Balch is an Associate Veterinarian at Pleasant Lake On a personal note, I have three cats at home each with Veterinary Hospital, in Elkins, New Hampshire. She happily their personal communication style. Learning each of these resides in the Lakes Region with her husband, 3 cats and 1 dog.
T here is a point in a widow’s life which starts with the same request,
“Please Lord, I can’t go another day. Take me Home.” When my husband of 49 years passed away, I had no idea how painful loneliness could be. The months following were difficult, but the winter was excruciating. The cold and snow made it difficult to get out of the house and the long, dreary days seemed endless. Late one spring, my daughter came for a visit. “How you holding up?” she asked with a look that said she already knew the answer. With a forced, half smile I replied, “Fine.” We talked for a long time about her dad and old times that felt like yesterday. We laughed about growing up in a typical home surrounded by love, including our family dog, Springer. After the kids had grown, Springer was “regularly” on the antique and yard sale circuit. With dog in tow, we hit all the stops. But, like my husband, Springer was also gone.
“Have you thought about getting a dog? It would be great companionship,” my daughter asked. I had thought about getting another dog, but quickly discarded the idea. At my age, the thought of training a puppy was daunting, and fear of adopting an older dog I might outlive, scared me. But despite my objections, we found ourselves at our local humane society. Yes, they were all adorable, but I still couldn’t rationalize the decision. Continued NEXT PAGE
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As we slowly made our way past the wagging tails and the barking suitors, I noticed a beagle. Unlike the other high energy dogs, this one was subdued to the point of sadness. I wondered if he too had lost loved ones and went to bed each night nursing a broken heart. As my daughter and I left, I was still not convinced a dog was the right choice, so she suggested we get some lunch and hit a couple of antique shops. Later that afternoon, we went to a little shop just north of West Lebanon that my husband and I frequented years ago. As we picked through dozens of antiques, I thought about the dog I had met earlier that day. Did I look that empty? Loneliness is a bitter pill and without someone to love and share, it is a difficult one to swallow. As I contemplated the situation, my thoughts were interrupted by my daughter’s urgent request. “Mom! Check this out. Remind you of anyone?” As she handed me the dusty watercolor, I stared at the familiar face in the picture. As I felt a genuine smile cross my face, I turned to my daughter and asked, “What time does the humane society close?”
Alyce and her dog are regular antiquers and recently found a steal on an 18th century American oak desk. Above it is a picture of her beloved dog and constant companion,‘Tique. Celebrate National Adopt A Shelter Pet Month This October
Case of the Month An Emergency Thoracotomy
hen Fluffer Nutter was rushed into the River Road Veterinary Clinic August of 2012 her situation was critical. Her owners found her outside and she was clearly injured, distressed, and having difficulty breathing. A radiograph showed that she had several broken ribs and a massive amount of trauma to her chest cavity. Further examination revealed that she had extensive bruising and puncture wounds likely the result of being attacked and shaken by a dog. Fluffer Nutter’s prognosis was very grim. Her lungs were not functioning due to the trauma and her situation was critical. Fluffer Nutter’s owners decided to
Lateral x-ray taken before surgery showing broken ribs and a severe diaphragmatic hernia
Lateral x-ray taken after surgery showing the repaired hernia and decreased lung space
pursue surgery even though they knew her chances for sur- days. Fatty liver disease (Hepatic Lipidosis) can be deadly. vival were not great. She was immediately rushed into sur- Since Fluffer Nutter continued to refuse food a naso-gastric feeding tube was placed. This gery. Upon opening her chest red tube is kept in place with cavity to perform the thoracotskin staples and goes through omy it was immediately discovthe nose directly to the stomered that the damage was even ach. Fluffer Nutter received a worse than initially thought. critical care liquid food every Though her lung tissue was few hours around the clock for remarkably intact, most of more than two weeks. her ribs were broken and the After continuous feedintercostal muscles that hold ings, blood work, radiographs, them together were severely monitoring, fluids, medicadamaged. Multiple doctors and tions and more than three veterinary technicians were weeks in the hospital, Fluffer in surgery with Fluff for more Nutter was finally sent home! than two hours. Although Dr. During her time in the hospiPinello was able to suture her tal her family came to visit her chest cavity back together the every day. Her family continmajor concern now was that ues her intensive medication she had very limited space regimen at home and brought in her chest for her lungs to Fluff recovering after surgery h e r b a c k i n fo r m u l t i p l e expand. Fluffer Nutter woke up from surgery very well but still recheck radiographs and examinations. Thanks to the dedicahad a very long road ahead of her. Despite flushing her chest tion of everyone involved in Fluffer Nutter’s care she eventually cavity thoroughly during surgery, over the next several weeks made a full recovery and is still going strong two years later! she battled a severe infection. She received several different antibiotic treatments under the skin as well as through an Elisa has been working as a veterinary technician for the last six years. She lives in White River junction with her son, three dogs, IV. In addition to antibiotics, she was given pain medication cat and hedgehog. She works at River Road Veterinary Clinic and anti-nausea medication. Fluffer Nutter’s next battle was that she was refusing to in Norwich, VT, a full-service veterinary clinic providing quality eat anything. It is imperative for cats to eat regularly as they care for your dog, cat, rabbit, reptile, bird, horse, can develop fatty liver disease if they do not eat for several cow, goat and more! www. riverroadveterinary.com Fall 2014 12 4 Legs & a Tail
Kenzy’s Korner Tim Goodwin
K enzy, "the Wonderdog” has had a lot of fun this past summer. There have been many long hikes and walks, with time spent by the water to get her toes wet or
a quick drink. Plus, special time with family. This time of year, her people sisters and people Mom, are not at the school all day, and have much more time to rub her belly and spend time with her outside. She does miss her work family, and still gets in once or twice a week to keep an eye on 4 Leg’s & a Tail, to make sure everything’s running smoothly. There is one aspect of summer that Kenzy does not like (AT ALL). Thunderstorms are no fun. It is hard to understand what and where these loud noises come from, and they seem to go right through her. There do seem to be some safer places to sit them out. Her favorite place to sit is right between Alicia and Teagan, her people sisters. Other “no fun” things are fireworks and gun shots. Happily, for Kenzy, the fourth of July was overcast and not as scary as last year. Kenzy knows that many other dogs share these fears. She wants to tell them about a good local company with a supplement that helps keep her calm during these “evil times.” Cold Noses Pet Products has a line of great supplements. There is a Calming Formula for both dogs and cats. The active ingredient is Colostrum, the same thing found in mother’s milk. They taste great and even come in bone shaped chews. Given before the scary times, they help pets deal with scary events without a drugged effect. Same animal, just calmer. They also help with separation anxiety and trips to the vet. Kenzy’s sister, Molly, uses the Hip and Joint formula every day. We no longer hear the yips of discomfort when she jumps down off the bed. Peanut, the cat, uses the Hairball formula. Nothing grosser than a cat hacking up a hairball. Kenzy suggests looking at www. ColdNosesPetProducts.com for more information. You can also order online, call 603-727-9214, or email sales.CNPP@ gmail.com and they will be delivered to your door. Local pick-up is also available. All supplements are insured and produced in an inspected facility, that also produces human supplements. They meet the strict National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) guidelines. Kenzy wishes everyone a great Fall with NO scary noises, and lots and lots of great walking weather! Fall 2014
Photo by Naomi Goodwin
www.4LegsAndATail.com 13 Continued NEXT PAGE
Be Open To Love – Help A Cocker (and Yourself!) Karen Shor & Polly Marmaduke
ocker Spaniel Rescue of New England (CSRNE) meets cockers when they are at their lowest point in life: they have lost their families because an owner no longer wants the dog, or sadly, is unable to continue caring for it. This is a devastating turn of events for a dog whose breed is naturally sensitive, trusting, and loving. CSRNE, one of the country’s oldest and largest cocker rescue groups, steps in to help. “The right dog, in the right home, for the enduring happiness of both.” This is CSRNE’s driving principle, recognition that when properly matched, both dogs and people greatly benefit. Since 1987, CSRNE has saved, improved and extended the lives of abandoned and neglected American Cocker Spaniels, one of our country’s most popular breeds. While CSRNE could tell you the number of cockers it has helped, it would be hardpressed to figure out just how many men and women, youngsters and seniors, even other family pets, have also prospered when a homeless dog finds its “forever home”. Preparing a cocker for adoption can be costly. Too often, these dogs have been neglected and desperately need special care. Sometimes all a dog needs is a good bath and careful grooming. But there are also cases where cockers come in with medical issues that demand attention, perhaps urgent surgery or ongoing treatment. Teddy was found cowering under a bush near a busy highway. He needed to be cleaned up and neutered. Shannon came in with demodectic mange and severe cystitis. Marbles, Piggly, and Sparky arrived together, all needing dental surgery. CSRNE assumes the burden of paying these expenses out of its Joey Fund, named for CSRNE’s first rescued cocker. As an all-volunteer nonprofit organization supported entirely by donations, CSRNE relies heavily on funds raised during its annual event, “Cocker Palooza!” The event’s highlight is the Joey Fund Auction; all proceeds help CSRNE defray expenses so it can reach out to more cockers in need. Live and silent auctions, a Cutest Pet contest, a pet boutique, and lunch make this a fun time for everyone – and for such a worthy cause. CSRNE’s 17th annual Joey Fund Auction takes place on November 1, 2014, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, at the Holiday Inn in Boxborough, Massachusetts. Randy Price, wellknown co-anchor of WCVB-TV’s popular early morning “EyeOpener” newscast, will serve as Honorary
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Cocker Spaniels belong to two breeds of the spaniel dog type: The American Cocker Spaniel & The English Cocker Spaniel. Both are referred to as a Cocker Spaniel
Auction Chair. A valued supporter of CSRNE, Randy has attended every Joey Fund Auction, and even contributes items for bid including a personal tour of Channel 5’s studios in Needham, Massachusetts. Other live auction items include getaway packages throughout New England, autographed sports memorabilia from Boston sports teams, and New England wine and vineyard tours. Please go to CSRNE’s website (www.csrne.org) for additional event information. For CSRNE, the rewarding part of performing this service is knowing that lives have changed for the better. Teddy recently returned from a road trip across the U.S. where he visited 19 states! Shannon is a competitive flyball champion who has earned many blue ribbons! And Marbles, Piggly, and Sparky were adopted together in June, so their new life is just beginning. Rescued dogs give much to their new families, enriching their lives and bringing love and happiness to their homes. According to one grateful cocker family, “we thank our lucky stars every day.” Be open to love. Take a chance. Help a cocker by adopting, fostering, becoming a member, or volunteering. Who knows what wonderful things will come? To learn more, please visit the website www.csrne.org, Facebook www.facebook.com/csrne or call (603) 547-3363 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Fall 2014
High Horses Therapeutic Riding Program: Finding the Ideal Therapeutic Riding Horse
Amanda Lamoureux- Hartford,VT
herapeutic riding is an equineassisted activity for the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social wellbeing of individuals with special needs. There’s a saying that goes, “No good horse is a bad color,” and that goes for therapeutic riding horses as well. Therapeutic horses come in all shapes, sizes, colors and ages. Depending on the needs of the program and its riders, horses may range from small ponies up to large draft horses. They can be of any breed or coloring. Therapeutic riding horses can also be any age, though they do need to be old enough to be trained to ride, and have some experience behind them. Usually they are at least 8 years old and can continue their career through their mid to late 20s, when they stay healthy. However, a therapeutic riding horse has a special job to do, and not every horse can do it. A healthy and sound horse is very important. Our horses work each day walking and trotting and may do some cantering. They carry children and adults of all ages and abilities and they must be sound at all the gaits and physically able to work about 2 hours a day comfortably. Therapeutic riding programs can manage some minor health issues, but they are not ideal. Horses with major health or lameness issues do not make good therapeutic riding horses. If a horse is healthy, sound, and is the appropriate age and size, there are then several other factors that must be
considered. These include the horse’s movement, the horse’s patience and tolerance, the horse’s training and experience, and the horse’s willingness to work as a team. The movement in the horse’s walk is very similar to a human’s gait. This is one of the reasons that therapeutic riding can be so beneficial to people with special needs. Individual horses have different qualities to their gaits. Some horses are very smooth, and others very bouncy. Most therapeutic riding programs ideally have horses with several different types of gait. Slow and smooth may be very good for one rider, where another may do better with a more swinging or bouncing gait. The ideal horse has some movement and swing to their gaits, but not an overwhelming amount. Patience and tolerance are two of the most challenging characteristics to find in a horse, and are two of the most important traits for a good therapeutic riding horse. Some horses are very sensitive to noises or fast movements and may spook or startle at many things. The ideal horse does not spook at much. They are very tolerant of many things, including new objects such as the toys we sometimes use in lessons, loud noises, lots of new people, people in their personal space on the ground, and riders who may wiggle around and move differently than is usually expected by a horse. Therapy horses must be patient. They need to stand very still, sometimes for several minutes, while riders mount. They need to be able to accept accidental cues from the riders, such as a bump with a leg, and not go fast or get upset. They need to be willing to walk quietly, sometimes doing the same activity multiple times in a row. Another aspect that contributes to a horse being a successful therapeutic riding horse is a good foundation of training. They must be comfortable with an inexperienced rider, and willing to follow basic cues. Though more advanced training may be a benefit to the program, it is not usually necessary. A horse that has good basic training can usually be successful if they have the Continued NEXT PAGE
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sound and healthy, have good movement, be patient and tolerant, be well trained with varied life experiences, and be willing to work as a team with humans. Therapeutic riding horses also have a quality that is difficult to define. They have a capacity to be accepting, understanding, and loving of us humans and all of our flaws. They help to make the therapeutic riding experience something more than â€œjust a ride.â€? High Horses is often looking for great horses to join our team. If you have a horse that may make a good therapy horse, please contact High Horses Therapeutic Riding Program. Our contact information, and more information about our program, can be found at www.highhorses.org
High Horses has been serving the area since 1993.
other necessary qualities. Therapeutic riding horses come from many different backgrounds. Some were show horses, some family horses, some farm horses or trail horses. They have many different life experiences. The more experience the horse has with different environments and activities the more likely they are to be successful in a therapeutic riding program. Horses are herd animals. They like to live with others of their own kind, but are also usually willing to accept humans as a part of their team. Willingness to work as a team with people is key to a horseâ€™s success in a therapeutic riding program. Some horses are very independent; they would rather follow their own thoughts and opinions than to take guidance from people. Some horses are very timid; they are nervous with new people and take time to warm up. A therapeutic riding horse needs to be open to working in partnership with people. They must be willing to let people lead them and willing to take direction. This team attitude in a horse is very important, as they must work with volunteers who lead them, as well the riders and the instructors. Horses are as individual in their personalities as people are; each has a unique set of inborn characteristics and life experiences that define them. The ideal therapeutic riding horse can be challenging to find. They must be Fall 2014
Author Amanda Lamoureux is a PATH Intl. certified instructor and has been the horse herd coordinator for High Horses Therapeutic Riding Program for 6 years. She also teaches non-therapeutic lessons at 7th Heaven Farm in Hartford, VT and for private horse owners in the area.
Careers in the World of Pets & Animals W
ith school back in session and Labor Day behind us, fall is a perfect time to think about a future in the pet and animal industry. According to the American Pet Products Industry, we love our pets to the tune of $55 billion per year! The folks at About.com offer a number of animal career options with salaries in the range of $50,000 or more per year. Veterinary pharmaceutical sales reps market a variety of animal health products to veterinarians and veterinary clinics. There are both inside sales and outside sales career paths in this field. Salary for pharmaceutical sales reps usually includes a combination of base salary, commission, company car, and benefits. Total compensation varies based on sales volume and years of experience, but salary usually ranges from $59,122 to $119,826 according to Payscale.com. Pet product sales reps (also known as manufacturersâ€™ reps) market a variety of pet products such as food, treats,
toys, accessories, and crates. There are both inside sales (office based) and outside sales (travel) career paths in this field. Salary for pet product sales reps often includes a combination of base salary, commission, company car, and bonuses. According to Indeed.com, the average salary for positions in this field was $79,000 in 2011. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a similar median wage of $70,200 for sales reps in a 2008 salary survey. Livestock feed sales reps market feed products to dealers and livestock production farms. Most positions are field based. Salary for a livestock feed sales rep often includes a combination of base salary, commission, company car, and bonuses. The median wage is $70,200 according to the BLS but can vary widely based on sales volume. Veterinarians provide health care to a variety of species. Vets can operate as small animal, large animal, equine, exotic, or mixed practice providers. Ac c o r d i n g t o t h e A m e r i c a n Veterinary Medical Association, average salary for veterinarianâ€™s right out of school is $62,424 for small animal practitioners and $64,744 for large animal practitioners. The average salary for established practitioners is $97,000 for companion animal practice, $85,000 for equine practice, and $103,000 for food animal practice. Board certified specialists can earn much higher salaries. Farriers (sometimes referred to as blacksmiths) provide comprehensive equine foot care services. Duties generally involve routine trimming, modifying and applying shoes, and evaluating potential causes of lameness. A farrierâ€™s salary depends on how many horses he can service per day. A 2011 survey from the American Farriers Journal indicated that experienced fulltime farriers earn an average salary of $92,600 (up from an average salary of $80,000 in 2008). Wildlife biologists manage and study populations of animals in the wild. Duties may involve animal census studies, trapping and tagging animals, and developing habitat management plans. Wildlife biologists may work in education, research, or for the state or federal government. The median salary for wildlife bioloContinued NEXT PAGE
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gists was $61,660. Positions with the federal government offered an annual mean wage of $77,030, while positions in research offered a similar annual mean wage of $72,410. Animal nutritionists create and balance animal rations to ensure dietary requirements are met. Positions in this field can be found with a wide variety of employers such as zoos, colleges, research labs, farms, pharmaceutical companies, and feed development companies. Animal nutritionists earned an average salary of $61,000 in 2011 according to SimplyHired.com. The BLS quoted a similar salary of $60,180 in its 2010 salary study for food scientists. BLS data also indicated scientists employed by the animal food manufacturing industry earned about $70,060. Fish and game wardens are authorized to enforce rules and regulations related to wildlife in their patrol area. Wardens may arrest violators, seize weapons or game, assist with research, and investigate damage caused by wildlife. According to the BLS, the annual mean salary for fish and game wardens is $56,540 for state government positions and $49,420 for local government positions. Other considerations Vet Tech - College is not required,
but the two year program at VT Technical College is certified and the demand is strong. Annual income average is around $25,000. Groomer - Certification can be acquired in four months at schools such as Bow Meow in Essex, VT. Good groomers are always in demand and can earn more than $20 per hour. Dog Walker-Dog walkers typically work â€” and walk â€” six to eight hours per day, with one or more dogs. All walkers pick up poop en route. Annual income potential is $30,000+. Magazine owner- 4 Legs & a Tail has affiliate programs in select markets for entrepreneurs with outside sales experience.
A Day in the Life of a Future Vet Rebecca Sevy, DVM
y veterinary internship at BEVS (Burlington Emergency & Veterinary Specialists) has been an exciting challenge, giving me opportunities to learn something new every day. The advantages of working at a specialty clinic, with multiple doctors have been invaluable. The best example I can recall occurred on a Friday, when I was the veterinarian receiving emergency cases. A very sweet and handsome Golden retriever was transferred from his local veterinarian for an additional work-up of a suspected hemoabdomen (free blood within the abdominal cavity). Once at BEVS, the history and physical exam findings supported fluid in the abdominal cavity. Full in-house blood work results were ready in less than 10 minutes, and other than anemia, the blood work looked great. I advised the owner, that as an emergency veterinarian, I could use ultrasound to detect and draw a sample of abnormal abdominal fluid, but to fully examine all the abdominal organs for disease we would need to call in Dr. Harnett, the internal medicine specialist. The owner agreed and I used ultrasound to identify a pocket of fluid in the abdomen that turned out to be blood, confirming a hemoabdomen and explaining the anemia. I called in Dr. Harnett to perform a complete abdominal ultrasound. The spleen was found to be diseased and most likely the cause of the bleeding. The liver was examined carefully to try to detect evidence of malignant spread of disease, none could be found. The Before she was a doctor, Rebecca was an intern. rest of the organs all appeared healthy. Between veterinary school and the BEVSâ€™ internship, I was well prepared to explain the need for surgery to remove the spleen, and the advantages, disadvantages, and prognosis associated with the procedure. After a long discussion, the owner was interested in pursuing surgical removal of the spleen. I then called on Dr. Mallinckrodt for her surgical expertise. Within Continued NEXT PAGE
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a period of a couple of hours, we were in the operating room. I was able to scrub in and assist Dr. Mallinckrodt with the surgery, giving me the opportunity to follow my case from admission to surgical recovery and discharge from the hospital. It was great to see my patient feeling back to normal. Thinking back it felt great knowing that I have mentors ready and willing to assist with a case, but better still, that I could handle most of it on my own! Internships are available for veterinary graduates. This program will involve 3 week duration rotations through internal medicine, surgery and emergency. Throughout the program, the intern will be mentored daily by an attending clinician. In addition, the program director will review overall progress. Meetings include daily rounds on days worked, biweekly didactic rounds, monthly journal rounds, and quarterly M&M rounds.
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Vermont Veterinary Medical Association Foundation Award Kathy Finnie, Executive Director
Tim Hoehn of 4 Legs & a Tail & Dr. Sandra Waugh of Windsor Veterinary & Dental Services
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HANK YOU to 4 Legs & a Tail for sponsoring a raffle at the Vermont Veterinary Medical Association Summer Meeting which was attended by 190 veterinary medical professionals throughout New England. Congratulations to VVMA member Dr. Sandra Waugh of Windsor Veterinary & Dental Services, the lucky winner of the iPad which was raffled off! The raffle raised funds to support the Vermont Veterinary Medical Association Foundation (VVMAF). The mission of the VVMAF is to provide scholarships for Vermonters attending veterinary school to help lower the debt load they face upon graduation. Students graduating veterinary school have an average student loan debt of $162,113, according to a recent survey of the American Veterinary Medical Association. This is a crushing amount of debt for young veterinarians just starting out in their careers, and can take decades to pay off. Since its establishment in 2012, the VVMAF has provided $29,000 to Vermonters attending veterinary school. Scholarship recipients are chosen based on their overall burden of debt, academic achievement, desire to return to practice in Vermont, and their ability to overcome obstacles which confront them upon entering the veterinary profession. The VVMAF is pleased to announce the recipients of their 2014 scholarships: Rebecca Calder of Shelburne is a junior at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and a graduate of the University of Vermont; Emily Comstock of Barre is a senior at the University of Prince Edward Island, Atlantic Veterinary College, and a graduate of Lyndon State College; Kathleen Gill of Middlebury is a junior at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and a graduate of the University of Vermont; Ad r i e n n e S n i d e r o f E s s ex J u n c t i o n is a senior at Western University of Health Sciences and a graduate of the University of Vermont. Petra Szymkowicz of Shoreham is a junior at The Ohio State University C o l l e ge o f Ve t e r i n a r y M e d i c i n e and a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Congratulations to these Vermont students and thank you again to 4 Legs & a Tail for your support! For more information, please visit our website at www.vtvets.org. Fall 2014
Help Your Pet Survive a House Fire E
By the Vermont Veterinary Medical Association M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM
ach year, more than 1.7 million uncontrolled fires happen in the United States and about 3,000 people lose their lives. More than 500,000 pets also die in these fires, but there are measures you can take to help reduce this number. To help prevent the loss of your pet, the first steps start with you, the pet owner. Prevent potential problems by "pet-proofing" your home and looking for fire hazards. Keep objects that are easily tipped over away from woodstoves and other heat sources. Always extinguish open flames before leaving home and never leave a pet unattended around stoves and candles. Pets can knock over candles and sadly there have been many cases of cats' fur catching fire and in their panic they run away, spreading the fire to the house. Consider confining younger puppies and kittens when you aren›t home as a means of preventing them from accidentally starting a fire. Window clings that alert fire fighters to the presence of pets are also a good idea. Newer clings can be taken down and edited as your pet family grows. Practice fire drills with your family, include the pets, and know your escape routes. Keep collars and leashes handy. Since most pet owners store cat carriers away when they're not in use, keep some old pillow cases handy to put the cat in while evacuating the building. You don't want to waste precious time looking for carriers and leashes or lose your pets outside after escaping! Once outside, keep a tight grip on those pets: cats, especially those not used to the out-
doors, will struggle to escape and try to run back to their "safe" place: into the house. Pets left home can't escape on their own. Smoke alarms have saved countless human lives, but our pets are often not so fortunate. The high pitched shriek can scare pets into hiding, making rescue difficult and dangerous. The use of smoke detectors connected to monitoring centers can greatly increase their chances of survival in the event of a fire. Responsible pet ownership includes planning for unexpected emergencies. A house fire is a prime example of how devastating and deadly these emergencies can be. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional organization of 340 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine.
October is National Fire Prevention Month and in recognition 4 Legs & a Tail has coordinated the efforts of donations of pet oxygen masks to local fire departments on behalf of Keene Medical Products. Over the past three years KMP has provided these Barbara Lamos of Keene Medical Products presents the Shelburne VT Fire Department with pet oxygen masks
masks to more than half a dozen volunteer organizations throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. This fall the Shelburne Fire Department is the latest recipients of the generosity of Keene Medical Products. If the need arises, we hope these masks serve our 4 legged friends well.
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Your Fire Department to the Rescue “W
hen in doubt – call us out” is a common motto of many fire departments. While this is most reassuring to me, it is also comforting to know that it applies to pets and animals. None of the fire departments I spoke with recently have received a call from a little old lady with her cat stuck in a tree (although Newport NH, did have a young couple with a tree bound kitty), many fire department and rescue teams have responded to pets and animals in need. A Muddy Situation Last fall the Williston Fire Department received a call about a horse stuck in the mud, on South Road in Williston. Upon arrival they discovered a challenging rescue that would take some serious teamwork. The Fire Department contacted a local excavator, Mr. Gary Gryzna and Colchester Technical Rescue. Also on scene were Hinesburg Fire Department, Colchester Rescue, Williston Police, Allison Cornwall DVM, as well as family, friends and neighbors. After 3 hours of mud moving, careful monitoring of Tommy the horse’s vital signs, and lots of special attention, Tom was pulled to dry ground. This rescue is not a normal call on a Sunday afternoon, but the Williston Fire Department and area rescue personnel answered the call. With professionalism, organization, and teamwork they were able to save the day for not only Tom, but his family as well.
A variety of area Fire Depts & Rescue squads respond to Tom.
Like a Duck to Water Several years ago Tim Barritt was driving near a busy Kennedy Drive in South Burlington when he noticed a mother duck with a lone duckling, circling anxiously in the grass. As he passed back by, after picking up his son from school, he saw a man run to a storm drain. The man explained that some ducklings had fallen into the drain. “I could hear them cheeping when I had my window down in the car,” explained Barritt to a WCAX news reporter. It appeared the mother had been trying to get her ducklings across the road. Although she was big enough to simply walk over the drain cover, their tiny bodies were smaller than the openings of the cover. The South Burlington Fire Department quickly offered to help. Firefighters Continued NEXT PAGE
removed the drain cover and spotted the little feather balls several feet down. They blocked off the drain pipe so the ducks would not travel any further. They cut holes in the bottom of a five gallon bucket and lowered it into the water beneath the ducklings. After some coaxing with a pole the little ducklings entered the bucket and were pulled up to safety. They were wet, but still chirping away.
Keith Morse rappells to the rescue
A Gorge-ous Dog In August 2013, the Harford VT Fire Department responded to an incident at the Quechee Gorge. “Initially there was some confusion, and we were told it was a man on a cliff,” said Hartford Fire Captain Scott Cooney. “It wasn’t until the first crew got there that they found the people were alright and it was a dog that was stuck.” It seemed a black Labrador named Rani, had wandered to the bottom of the gorge. He found out the hard way that going down is easy, going up is a different story. A crowd gathered on the eastern side of the gorge, with a direct view, as the 45 minute rescue unfolded on the other side. “We sent firefighter Keith Morse over the edge from a point where the dog was only about 15 feet below, on a secondary ledge.” Cooney explained, adding, “The dog happened to be wearing a full harness (for a leash). So Keith clipped the dog onto his gear, and when they got up to the point where it could walk on its own, it just climbed the rest of the way out.” “You could hear the cheering from the other side when they came up over the edge,” Cooney recalled. 28 4 Legs & a Tail
Ridgelines and Below. Keeping your Dog Safe and His Tail Wagging! M
Jennifer Lesser, DVM
oosilauke, Cube, Cardigan and Smart’s Mountain trails. Footfalls on rocks and trodden earth, birds chattering, breeze blowing. Is your dog your most loyal and frequent hiking partner? Our communities are rich with routes that navigate open ridge lines and narrow lush paths. Our dogs love them as much as we do! This article reviews safety tips for keeping your dog safe, and outlines components of a solid canine first aid kit. Before leaving the house, consider the needs of your companion: Exercise tolerance: are they up for a 12 mile day on the trail or do they become winded after 2 miles? Also, does your friend have age limitations? Are they a growing puppy that requires caution of mileage that’s added to those growing joints? Is your dog becoming a bit arthritic? I recommend giving pain medications to many of our patients before and after the trip if they are subject to joint pain. Pedicures and Haircuts: Another great precaution is to trim toenails before the hike (be careful - not too short!) to keep them from getting caught and tearing on the trail. Long haired breeds consider a summer hair cut to avoid mats and burr accumulation, reduce the potential for “hot spots” and to aid in cooling. I generally do not recommend hair cuts for Arctic breeds as the regrowth is often terrible. Food: If the trip requires food for you it likely requires food for your buddy. Bring their food or share some of your own; do not share trail mix that has either raisins or chocolate as both are toxic to dogs. Water: Dogs pant! To maintain hydration and aid thermoregulation, please carry water for your dog, as many natural water sources are unpredictable in volume and in safety. I love the collapsible water bowls by Ruffwear. Consider the season: Summer has added concern for heat and humidity. During hunting season your dog should wear a bright orange vest. Wildlife: Keep an eye out for porcupines and skunks. We share our woods with bears, though there are generally very few close dog interactions. Disease: Also, be sure to protect against the unseen dangers of Lyme and Leptospirosis diseases; vaccines are available. Lyme is spread by ticks; Leptospirosis is spread via wildlife urine and may be found in free standing water. Both infections may cause serious, sometimes life threatening, disease. Almost nothing can ruin a day afield as much as an injured or sick dog companion. Following the precautions above will work well to keep your dog happy and safe. As additional protection for lengthy trips (half day to many weeks), I recommend carrying a canine first aid kit. We have kits prepared for our wilderness inclined clients, comContinued NEXT PAGE
plete with instructions, as the materials are only as effective as the medical provider. Also, some commercial kits are available that may be modified per your needs. Our chart details the recommended components to keep your canine friend safe.
WILDERNESS KIT: Whistle Bright orange vest during hunting season LED collar light Digital thermometer with Vaseline or similar lubricant Scissors Hemostats - to stop bleeding and to remove ticks, quills or splinters
FIRST AID KIT:
Bandage material Conforming gauze Cast padding Nonstick gauze Bandage tape Self adhesive bandage wrap Elastic adhesive wrap Topical antibiotic ointment Trauma pads Irrigation syringes Tick remover Sunscreen Skin stapler Benadryl (hives, allergic reaction) Buffered aspirin (pain relief) Imodium AD (diarrhea) Famotidine (antacid) â€œAfter Biteâ€? wipes Cortisone cream
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Dr. Lesser is happily settled in Norwich with her three children who attend the wonderful Marion Cross Elementary. Following her work with the Human Genome Project, she earned her veterinary doctoral degree in May 2000. Norwich Regional Animal Hospital is owned by Dr. Lesser and further supported by Dr. David Sobel, DVM, MRCVS and surgical specialist Dr. Paul Howard, DVM DACVS whose work is made possible by a highly valued staff. Fall 2014
Black Cats and Seven-Toed Dogs
Animal Superstitions I
By Mark Carlson
n an age when we have long since grown too sophisticated to believe in old superstitions, it’s amusing how many of us still blame certain events on the “full moon” or the number 13. Even the most urbane and educated people tend to glance at their horoscopes in the morning paper, ‘just in case.’ Many of the most enduring and macabre superstitions center around the animals in our world, particularly domesticated pets. There are more ‘old wives’ tales about dogs and cats than there are for elephants or even toads. This is because the most common of household pets were adopted by mankind as far back as prehistoric times, for hunting, guarding and companionship. Images of humans with dogs and cats appear on Egyptian tombs, Greek temples and even the cave paintings at Lascaux, France. So it’s no wonder a great deal of lore, most of it negative and often contradictory, centers on the tabbies and pooches we feed, water and play with every day. For instance, the bugaboo of Medieval Europe, black cats and witches. How did that come about? Try this on for size: A Norse legend tells of the chariot of the witch Freya, pulled by black cats. They were possessed by the Devil and were very fast. After serving Freya for seven years, the cats turned into witches, disguised as black cats. This is where the belief began, that black cats were familiars of witches. After seven years they themselves became witches. Black cats were supposed to be bad luck. Oh-kay. Anyone who has Sheba purring on their lap on a cool winter evening knows this is pure rot. If a black cat crossed your path, it meant Satan was taking notice of you. Not a guy you want on your case. Ridiculous. But how many of us still jump a little in our step when we see a black cat walking past us? Some old sailors refused to step on board a ship if a black cat walked the decks. Yet cats have been the most efficient means of keeping a ship free of rats. Continued NEXT PAGE 32 4 Legs & a Tail
However, in some parts of the world black cats are supposed to be good luck. In ancient England black cats were mummified and placed in tombs to deter evil from taking the spirit of the dead. Never mind what the cat thought about it. If a black cat jumped over the coffin of a dead person, the deceased would return as a ghost. A good thing to keep in mind at a lawyer’s funeral. Keep the cats away. Okay, on to dogs. Egyptians revered the jackal, and Romans the hunting dog. Every culture in the world has domesticated or trained dogs for specific duties. Dogs howl at the Moon, right? Not exactly. The Moon has nothing to do with it. They’re howling to communicate with other dogs. But for ages that portended either good or bad fortune, depending on where you lived. Here is one I’m sure dogs are very glad, has been laid to rest. In the middle Ages, if a dog bit a person, the dog was killed, even if the animal had no rabies. This was because if it later got rabies, the person who was bitten, even years later, would be infected. In England and Scotland black dogs were believed to be portents of evil events and death. Remember Harry Potter and the Grim? We know it was just his godfather Sirius looking out for him. But they were also thought to be the spirits of wicked persons who led you astray and into danger. OR, friendly guides to lost travelers. Talk about ambiguity. Bring a coin to flip if you encounter a big black dog some dark night on the Moors. Dogs have always been credited with being able to see supernatural things or sense geologic events like earthquakes. Personally my Labrador Musket sleeps through them. Be that as it may, here’s a useful tip. When a dog sits and stares at nothing, totally oblivious to everything around it, look right between the dog’s ears. You (provided you possess the ability) should see a ghost. Explains a lot, actually. I always thought they just “zoned out”. Turns out Fido was really communicating with the ghost of Dr. Doolittle. And if you have a seven-toed dog, Fall 2014
they can see ghosts. That should come in handy this Halloween. Get on your knees and start counting. When not visiting his in-laws in South Royalton, Mark Carlson spends much of his time in North County, CA with his wife, Jane and his Labrador Retriever, Saffron. He is an award writer and an aviation historian, with numerous articles and books including his latest, Confessions of a Guide Dog. Legally blind, he travels and works with Saffron, and is a member of several aviation, maritime, and veteran organizations. www.musketmania.com Originally published in San Diego Pets Magazine, October 2012
Halloween can be Spooky for Pets M. Kathleen Shaw, DVMNorth Bennington, Vermont
any people like to have fun during the Halloween festivities, but our pets can truly be frightened by all of the noises and costumes. Halloween is a holiday with many dangers for our dogs and cats. Dressing up is fun for humans, but may not be fun for our pets. If your pet tolerates a costume, keep in mind your pet must be comfortable at all times. Avoid any costumes that use rubber bands or anything that might constrict circulation or breathing. Likewise, avoid costumes with toxic paints, dyes, or that are edible. Costumes on people can be equally scary to pets. Masks, large hats, and other costume accessories can confuse pets and may even trigger territorial instincts. It is not unusual for pets to act protective and fearful of people in costumes, even if they are normally very social with that person. Remember, you are responsible for controlling your pet and insuring that he doesnâ€™t bite any guests. Constant visitors to the door along with spooky sights and sounds may Continued NEXT PAGE
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cause pets to escape and become injured in a variety of ways. Consider letting your dog spend Halloween inside with special treats, safe and secure. Even in a fenced yard, Halloween is not a good night for a dog to be outside. This is doubly true for cats: they may try to bolt out the door and even if they are allowed outside, they are more at risk for being hit by cars due to the high traffic from trick or treaters. Black cats, especially, are at a higher risk from human cruelty on Halloween. Consider keeping your cats in an interior room where they are unable to bolt out the door. Some Halloween decorations can be unsafe for your pets. Fake cobwebs or anything resembling string can be tempting to cats, leading to an intestinal obstruction. Candles, even inside pumpkins, can be easily knocked over, burning your pet or even lighting them (it has happened before) or your house on fire! Keep pets away from all Halloween candy. Most people know that chocolate can be toxic to pets, even in small amounts. However lollipop sticks and foil wrappers can cause blockages in the intestinal tract. Candy sweetened with xylitol can cause a life threatening drop in blood sugar if ingested by a pet. Some pets can get an upset stomach just from eating a piece of candy, since it isnâ€™t part of their regular diet. These simple responsible precautions will help humans and pets alike have a safe holiday. For more information on how to make Halloween less stressful to your pet, contact your veterinarian. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional organization of 340 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine. For more information, visit www.vtvets.org or call (802) 878-6888. Fall 2014
Cool Pet Products By Kate Hoehn
VOYCE Dog Collar
Developed in collaboration with bio-medical engineers, dog experts, and Cornell University VOYCE tracks key vital signs and wellness indicators while providing subscribers with exclusive content to help them understand their dogs like never before. Worn comfortably around a dog’s neck, VOYCE is a highly sophisticated, durable, and attractive health band that monitors key vital signs including heart and respiratory rates, along with other wellness indicators such as activity, rest, calories burned, and more. The data provides valuable insight into more than just health related issues, helping owners and veterinarians recognize and understand trends in the dog’s behavior, diet, exercise, and habits.
AquaVista 500 Wall Mounted Aquarium
Bring any room to life with the AquaVista 500, a wall-mounted aquarium that hangs like a framed picture. Ideal for fresh water tropical fish and equipped for saltwater environment, the self-contained AquaVista 500 is space-saving and hangs anywhere you can hang a painting. The Aquavista 500 is an aquarium for people who enjoy live tropical fish but do not have the time or space to maintain a fish tank. The Aquavista 500 is the most cost-effective and aesthetic design solution for any home or office, and its quality and sleek design is unsurpassed in the industry. There are multiple frames and backgrounds to choose from.
Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Dog Harness with Quick Release Buckles
Secures dog in the car to avoid driver distraction and is great for walking. Plastic quick release buckles, Five adjustment points and a broad padded chest plate for a perfect fit. Use it with any seatbelt (tether included) or Kurgo’s Auto Zip Line (sold separately) Easy overhead design available in sizes to fit most dogs, just clip buckles around dog's midsection.
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GLIDE ‘N SEEK – Winner of Best In Show at this year’s Pet Global Expo. By KONG, the company known for its rugged rubber doggie toys comes an interactive toy design especially for cats. Magnets cause the feathers to jump and spin engaging Fluffy’s hunting and chasing instincts to try and catch them. It runs on batteries with an on/off button on the front. Glide ‘N Seek can be found online and at major retailers. Fall 2014
a rge c a m e to E l a i n e a n d her sister Joyce in trade for a registered Arabian gelding. The 14.3 hand Quarter/Morgan cross was a mess. His rough, filthy coat covered protruding bones and a sagging back. His feet were cracked and broken due to lack of care, and his lower lip, “hung so low, it was a miracle he didn’t catch it when he walked.” Although the dealer told them he was 12 years old, his teeth told the real story. Sarge was closer to 28. Elaine traded in a $2500 Arabian for a horse worth a slaughterhouse price. She would never have guessed at the time, but that horse turned out to be a gift from God. The Arab had been purchased for Joyce against Elaine’s better judgment. Elaine’s instincts proved correct when, only a week later, she found herself with a horse her rookie sister couldn’t handle. It was out of sheer desperation that Elaine traded the horse for Sarge, the only horse the dealer had available for trade. Sarge had four brands on him, attesting to his career as a United States Government border patrol horse. In a later career, he was trained to barrel race. When Elaine took Sarge on a test drive in the meadow behind their home, that training created a real problem. Sarge became highly agitated in the open field, ready to run. Elaine had a neighbor, an experienced Western trainer. The trainer said Sarge was “scary,” a real loose cannon. If she merely touched him with a knee on either side of the saddle he would jump sideways. Definitely not suited for a beginner rider like Joyce, Elaine decided. In fact, not suited for anyone to ride in an open field. Sarge was looking for the barrels! Yet she hated to send him back to the dealer. It was quite clear what his fate would be should he be returned. She decided to give him one more chance. Maybe he would be different on a trail. Although she planned to try him the next day, Sarge had other plans. He got loose and ran down a paved road. Then he veered onto a gravel driveway, ending up in a neighbor’s backyard. It was Joyce who caught him. On the long walk back home, she and Sarge bonded. As they walked, Joyce gently explained the rules of horse behavior to Sarge. Running loose in the road was not acceptable. Something clicked in Sarge as he realized he had found a friend. From that moment on, the dead look in Sarge’s eyes started to fade. He Fall 2014
had made the choice that Joyce was his rider, his person. No one but Joyce was allowed on his back. The few times Elaine tried riding him he made it clear he wanted no part of her. He would immediately dance around, crow hop, and back into ditches. For Joyce, the story was entirely different. Sarge turned out to be an excellent trail horse: a real babysitter. If he lost his balance on slippery footing, he would scramble to keep her in the saddle. One time she tried to mount and just couldn’t quite get up on him. Sarge leaned into her and lowered his neck to help her make it into the saddle. He had great patience with Joyce. She never could remember how to tack up correctly. He would stand quietly while she fumbled putting on his bridle. Sarge would glance over at Elaine, his bridle hanging askew, and let out a mighty sigh. The look on his face, says Elaine, “was priceless.” Sarge seemed to read Joyce’s mind: he was always impeccably tuned in to her. His ears would flick back and forth while she rode him, assessing her mood minute by minute. If she were upset, he would be the perfect ride, taking not a step out of place. If she were in high spirits, he would match her with his own brand of high jinks: tail flagging, Continued NEXT PAGE
www.4LegsAndATail.com 37 Continued NEXT PAGE
Joyce and Sarge
neck arched, prancing down the road with all the brio of a youngster. Over the next two years, his back became strong and level, his weight returned to normal, his lip firmed and his coat shone. He became a beautiful liver chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail, with a sparkle in his eyes. For a horse his age, his stamina was incredible, and he had the cleanest legs of any horse Elaine had ever known. Eventually, Sarge forgot the barrels, and enjoyed galloping across open meadows. He even won ribbons at some local hunter paces. Sarge came to Elaine and Joyce in pitiable shape, without a friend anywhere. They gave him a loving home with the best of feed and care, the freedom to come and go out of his stall as he pleased, and buddies to keep him company. Although he was the last horse Elaine would have wanted in trade, he turned out to be the best horse she could have received. He was, she says, “an angel in horse clothing.”
Ann Jamieson is a USEF licensed judge and the author of the “For the Love of the Horse” series, as well as a contributing writer to “Today’s Equestrian” magazine. She competes in hunters and dressage. Her horse Fred Astaire is an off-the-track Thoroughbred, a grandson of the great Secretariat. Ann’s books are available at www.loveofthehorsebook.com.
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Rats! Dr. Susan Dyer DVM
eople envision many different things when thinking about rats. Some consider them as vermin or pests, many envision laboratory specimens, others think of them as snake food, while a chosen population treasure them as pets. These rodents make excellent pets for children if they are cared for properly. They seldom bite when raised as pets and are handled with care. These timid and social pets are fun to watch performing their natural behaviors of burrowing, searching for food, and playing. Unlike their wild counterparts that are typically nocturnal, pet rats have periods of activity both day and night. Rats are inexpensive, easy to care for, and responsive to handling. As with any pet, good quality food and clean, fresh water must be provided at all times. In the wild, these animals feed on leaves, seeds, roots, fruits and insects. Pelleted rodent rations are recommended for feeding in captivity, which are processed as dry blocks or pellets. Seed diets are also formulated for rats, but these diets should only supplement the basic rodent pellet as a treat item. Rodents prefer sunflowerbased diets to pellets, but these seeds are low in calcium and high in fat and cholesterol. When fed exclusively, seed diets can lead to obesity and nutritional deficiencies. The pet’s appetite should be monitored closely. Many factors affect the rodent’s food intake, including the ambient temperature, humidity, food quality, breeding status, as well as the pet’s health status. Rats typically eat at night. Water should be provided in water bottles equipped with sipper tubes. The sipper tube keeps the water free from contamination. The tubes must be positioned low enough to allow the pet easy access. Inadequate water consumption leads to dehydration, lower body weight, infertility and death. These rodents drink only a fraction of the total bottle volume, but the bottle should be emptied, cleaned and refilled with fresh water daily. Pet rodents become tame and seldom bite when properly restrained and accustomed to handling. Be careful, however, when approaching a nervous or frightened pet. Also, it is best not to disturb a sleeping animal because most are usually quite cranky when awakened. Some rats can be very territorial of their cage, and these should be coaxed out of the cage before being hanFall 2014
Rats can make excellent pets.
dled. Most pet rats enjoy being handled when away from their cage. Rats can be easily picked up by scooping them into a can or cupped hands. They can then be moved out of their territory to a neutral area. Rats can also be lifted by grasping the base of the tail, but be careful not to injure them due to their large size. For any rodent, never pull on the tip of the tail because the skin can easily tear and become stripped from the tail. Rats can be restrained by grasping over the back and rib cage, while restraining the head with a thumb and forefinger positioned on either side of the neck. To initially pick up a rat, it may be necessary to grasp the tail base as suggested above. Rats do not respond well to scruffing by the nape, but it may be necessary in some cases. Several types of cages are available which are suitable for housing small rodents. Many of these units come equipped with cage “furniture” such as exercise wheels, tunnels and nest boxes. These accessories contribute to the pet’s psychological well being. Cages should be constructed with rounded corners to discourage chewing. Rodents readily chew through wood and thin plastic. Recommended caging materials are wire, stainless steel, durable plastic Continued NEXT PAGE
and glass. Glass and plastic enclosures restrict ventilation and may lead to temperature and humidity problems. These materials are acceptable when at least one side of the enclosure is open for air circulation. These pets thrive in solid bottom cages with deep bedding and ample nesting material. Bedding must be clean, non-toxic, absorbent and relatively dust free. Shredded paper and processed corn cob are acceptable beddings. Wood shavings and ground corn cob must be free of mold, mildew or other contamination. Cedar chips or chlorophyll scented shavings should be avoided because of association with respiratory and liver disease. At least one inch of bedding should be provided to allow for normal burrowing behavior. Cotton and shredded tissue paper make excellent nesting materials. Rats need at least 40 square inches of floor space and a minimum of 7 inches in height. Breeder rats require much larger areas. Optimal temperature range for these pets is between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with a relative humidity of 40 to 70%. Twelve hour light cycles are preferred, with most rodents being more active during the night. As a rule of thumb, the cage and accessories should be thoroughly cleaned at least once weekly. An exception to this schedule is when newborn
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babies are present, then wait until they are at least 10 days old. Other factors that may require increased frequency of cleaning are the number of animals in the cage, the type of bedding material provided, and the cage design and size. Cages are sanitized with hot water and non-toxic disinfectant or detergent, then thoroughly rinsed. Water bottles and food dishes should be cleaned and disinfected daily. Pet rats can be housed singly or in groups. These rodents are colony oriented by nature. However, occasionally an overly aggressive rat may have to be caged individually. Territorial disputes also develop when the cages are overcrowded or when they lack food or water. Group cages should be provided with multiple food and water sources. It is recommended to spay/neuter your rats to aid in avoiding unwanted territorial behaviors and improve the odor emitted by their urine. Dr. Susan Dyer sees dogs, cats, birds and other exotic pets at Bradford Veterinary Clinic (formerly Stoneciff Animal Clinic of VT) in Bradford, VT, 802-222-4903 www.bradfordvet.com/ Modified from: Small Mammal Health Series, by Susan Brown, DVM,
Is Your Dog Social? First Impressions Really Do Mean Everything. Michelle Grimes
ogs are social creatures and often develop strong bonds with one another. As owners, it’s important to keep our dogs social with other dogs, preferably from an early age, as it can help prevent unwanted behaviors. We can ensure this is done properly using positive interactions (always from the dog’s point of view). When having a new encounter, there are some important things to remember, and because dogs learn by association, it is best to do it right the first time. 1. I can’t stress this enough; your dog does not have to be friends with everyone. Sure, we relish the idea of doggie friends and playdates. But just like people, dogs can be selective with whom they associate. It’s important to accept the fact that not all dog’s play style match. Being choosy about who they have fun with is often in your dog’s own best interest.
own body language speaks volumes to your dog. The most subtle communications between dogs can preempt play or a dog fight. The more you learn about the silent messages dogs send one another, the closer you will come to understanding your own dog’s cues. Spend some solo time at a dog park watching the interactions, it can be very eye opening and educational.
5. Remaining calm and confident is very important, as your leash acts like a telephone wire. All of your nervousness can travel down the leash and can create a very ugly circumstance. If you are feeling frantic or panicked, your dog will quickly find themselves in that state as well. Continued NEXT PAGE
2. The best introductions start with a walk. Although it seems so simple, it will often help take the edge off of a potentially stressful situation. No physical interaction is needed. Parallel walking can be beneficial for most dogs due to the sheer nonchalance. After a block or two of walking, you can generally see their body language change. 3. Watch your face to face meetings. In dog language this is intimidating, inappropriate, and it can be seen as threatening to meet another dog this way. Nose to tail meeting is not only super appropriate in the dog world, it’s preferred. No need to be embarrassed or “shoo” your dog away from another dog’s behind. As I tell my clients, “Relax. They’re just shaking hands!” Face to face meetings could ultimately prompt a fight. 4. Learning how to read canine body language is very important. Even your Fall 2014
It's important to remember, your dog does not have to be friends with everyone.
6. Keep introductions in neutral and relaxed settings. The less distractions and possible triggers your dog has to deal with, the more positive the “friend making” will be. Some dogs will be out of sorts if they have to assimilate outside factors, and sometimes just getting acquainted will be too much to digest.
9. Having high value resources such as food or toys in the mix can be a trigger for many dogs. Not until the dogs have built some semblance of a relationship would I consider presenting them.
8. High energy dog? Find a way to expel that energy before an introduction to another dog (i.e. a pre-walk walk or basic obedience exercises). Some dogs just need to burn off the extra energy before dog interaction. If your dog comes to a new introduction over-excited it could change the dynamic between the dogs and can often end in a disagreeable scenario.
Michelle Grimes CPDT-KA, of K9 Insights is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer & Behavior Consultant specializing in Positive Reinforcement Training for all breeds. Co-founder of Long Trail Canine Rescue, works locally at SAVES and Stonecliff Animal Clinic, and is proudly owned by 3 rescue “Bully Breeds”. Michelle@k9insights.com or www.k9insights.com
10. Ending on a positive note is so important. Because dogs are associative learners, have interactions end on good 7. As mentioned before, not all dogs want to be friends. terms, so the memory (association) they are left with is a Communicate with other dog’s handlers before approach- positive one. This is key. If an interaction leads to a scuffle, ing. Just because your dog is friendly and goofy with other break it up and let things die down before walking away comdogs means nothing to the dog being approached, if they pletely. It may seem minor but it will help make the next are uncomfortable or reactive to other dogs. Assuming that attempt go smoother. another dog is going to be friendly with your dog can be hazPlease submit questions for this column and Michelle, ardous. by visiting www.4legsandatail.com
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Fall Foliage Trail Ride Chelle Grald, Plainfield, NH
here is something about Vermont in the Fall. The way that green pastures and brilliantly-colored forests are folded by streams and winding dirt roads. Woodsmoke, a nip in the air, and the sound of hoofbeats on grass covered with dew. Fall is trail-riding time. The cooler weather brings relief from the bugs, and our horses are fit, frisky, and ready for fun. Organized pleasure trail rides offer a chance to see new trails with friends old and new. The Green Mountain Horse Associa-tion (GMHA) in South Woodstock, Vermont, has been offering Fall Foliage Trail Rides since its inception in 1926. Riders bring their own horses and are stabled on the GMHA grounds. They ride together or alone, at their own pace. All ages of riders and horses of all breeds enjoy these rides. Riders leave the grounds in the morning and ride anywhere from 8 to 20 miles at their own pace. Trails are chosen for variety and scenic views. They are well-maintained and wellmarked. Day-long rides include a lunch stop, where horses rest and their riders enjoy a catered meal. When the riders return to the grounds, horses are tucked in for the night and the riders gather in the GMHA Youth Center for dinner and socializing by the fire. Year after year, riders from all over New England return to reconnect with old friends and to enjoy this special time together. This year’s Fall Foliage Rides are planned for September 26-28 and October 10-12. GMHA also hosts the Ride for the Cure on Monday, October 13. Everyone is welcome. More information can easily be found at GMHA’s website: www.gmhainc.org. The mission of GMHA has always been centered around the establishment and preservation of equestrian trails. In the early part of the 20th century, it marked and mapped a 1,000 mile network of trails throughout the state. Today, GMHA still gives its members access to about 400 miles of trails through partnerships with private landowners, conservation groups, and municipalities. The four-town area of Woodstock, Reading, Hartland, Fall 2014
Photo by Spectrum Photography On the GMHA grounds, starting out over the cross-country course along the Kedron Brook.
and West Windsor is the epicenter for great trail riding. Group trail rides are offered Spring, Summer, and Fall. GMHA members are also offered more than 80 days each year when they can ride from the grounds on a
series of permanently-marked trails. In horsey South Woodstock, beautiful scenery abounds and cell phones don’t work. There is no better place to unplug, relax, and make memories at a Fall Foliage Trail Ride.
Arthritis in Dogs & Cats CatherineÂ MacLean, DVM Grantham, NH
t may feel like it started overnight. Your once agile puppy seems to wake up one morning and not really be able to go up the stairs, get on the couch, or jump in the car easily. Sometimes early signs of arthritis can be as subtle as being unable to go for the long walks they once enjoyed. If you have noticed one or more of these signs, your dog may have arthritis. The signs in cats are not as obvious since they are very good at hiding pain. You may notice subtle changes, your cat is no longer jumping on things he once did; or more obvious changes, your cat is now limping or his walk seems different. He may even be hiding more. If you notice any of these signs in your pet you should first discuss it with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will check your pet over and may check your petâ€™s range of motion in his legs, palpate for neck and back pain, and possibly recommend x-rays. If you and your veterinarian determine your pet has arthritis, a treatment plan can then be made. There are different ways to treat arthritis and which treatment you chose will depend on your pet, what you feel comfortable with, and what your veterinarian thinks will help your pet the most. Some treatment options that are available include: omega three fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) pain medication, acupuncture, and Adequan. Below are some of the most common treatment options used. This list is not all inclusive and you should discuss with your veterinarian which options are best for your pet. Continued NEXT PAGE
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Over 90% of geriatric cats and 1 out of 5 dogs over the age of 7 has arthritis.
Omega three fatty acids have antiinflammatory properties. It is safe to be given to both dogs and cats, and is often needed at much higher doses than what humans normally take. The effects of omega three fatty acids are not usually dramatic but can be helpful with managing arthritis pain. Glucosamine and chondroitin are found in many over the counter joint supplements. Both glucosamine and chondroitin make up cartilage and are believed to help repair cartilage when taken orally. When using these supplements it can take several months to see an improvement. This option is also available for both cats and dogs. Joint diets are typically high in fatty acids and have glucosamine and chondroitin in them. They can be used in animals that may be prone to arthritis or joint issues such as very active dogs. They can also be used in conjunction with pain medications and other treatment options. There are several choices available. Ask your veterinarian which one is best for your pet. Adequan has an injectable cartilage component called polysulfate glycosaminoglycan. Adequan has numerous beneficial effects for the arthritis patient including the inhibition of harmful enzymes involving joint cartilage destruction, stimulation of cartilage repair, and increasing joint lubrication. It works in an injection to your pet, having the ability to go to all of your pet’s joints. Usually a series of eight injections over the course of four weeks is given, and then it’s used on an as needed basis after that. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are fast acting medications that are good at decreasing inflammation quickly. This family of Fall 2014
medications act quickly by suppressing the inflammatory biochemicals that ultimately lead not only to the pain of arthritis, but also to cartilage damage. These medications also require monitoring since they can have negative effects on the liver and kidneys in some pets. This being said, most dogs tolerate this family of medications well, when used appropriately. Your veterinarian can guide you on the proper dose and monitoring. There are very few medications in this category that are approved for cats and none are labeled for long term use. Acupuncture is another pain management option. The goal of acupuncture is to bring pain relief to your pet by placing acupuncture needles at specific points. The success rate depends on the individual animal and to some degree the duration and severity of the arthritis. It can be used alone or in combination with one of the treatment options mentioned above. The take home message is that as your pet ages, there are things that you can do to help your pet enter the golden years with comfort. Animals feel pain just like humans, they are just better at coping with it. There is no one size fits all when it comes to pain management in your pet. With the help of your veterinarian you can find what works best for your pet. Dr. Catherine MacLean is originally from upstate NY and knew from an early age that she wanted to be a veterinarian. She attended Penn State where she obtained her bachelors degree and learned to love college football. She currently lives in Lebanon with her husband Matt, daughter Katrina and their fur children. SugarRiverAnimalHospital.com www.4LegsAndATail.com 45
One Angry Bird Barbara Savage Magoun
The Robin is the national bird of Great Britain.
f you’re looking for a nice quiet place to move to, for heaven’s sake don’t move here! At least not in the spring. Let me explain. Several months ago, my splendid quiet existence was rudely assaulted with the squawking of what I have come to dub as “One Angry Bird”. Upon investigation, I discovered a spiffy looking robin perched on my car in my garage. But his language! Shocking! (Not that I understand bird speak.) His meaning, however, was clear. He was scolding me. After his tirade he left, only to return, four times on separate days. I was left scratching my head. Huh? What was that about? On Mother’s Day, appropriately, my question was answered. Early that morning I heard a thud. This was repeated continually. It was coming from my bedroom window. A peek out the window confirmed my suspicions. Angry bird was throwing himself from a nearby tree at my window pane. There, behind him, was the reason—a nest. For a moment I stood staring at it. There had to be newly hatched eggs inside. This must be the mother defending her babies against another bird intent on stealing them. If I could only explain to this foolish bird, “you’re looking at your reflection.” Then I allowed myself a flight of fancy, a state I am prone to. I began to spin a story…. Mister Robin came home to his nest, after a busy day spent singing, to find his spouse draped over the nest. She was covered with bruises and in a state of exhaustion. “What has happened to you?” he asked. He listened in disbelief to her answer and started yelling. “Why aren’t you sitting on the eggs like you’re supposed, to instead of having fun with a window?” She didn’t bother to tell him that the eggs had already hatched. Instead she mumbled under her beak, “Men!” Disengaging myself from this scenario, I began to assess the look of this bird. He actually boldly looked into my eyes with a superior expression on his Continued NEXT PAGE
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face. This was no Lady Bird. This was a full-feathered, card-carrying male, complete with male energy and determination. I addressed this smart aleck. “Hey, Bird. You’ve got a little bitty bird brain and I’ve got a really big brain. If this is a contest, I’m going to win!” I thought my best plan of attack was to soothe him with music. That way I could soften his starchiness and convince him to leave. I started with two classics. First up was “Valse Triste”. I imagined his critiques. Valse Triste was too sad. Next was “The Carnival of the Animals” – too circular. Next was “New York, New York” – too peppy. Next was “At Last” – too sentimental. “Ok”, I told him. “Here come the big guns. I turned my radio on to some very loud modern music. For this I got, an imaginary thumbs down raspberry. There was one change to his method for getting rid of his enemy. He stopped using his body as a battering ram and took up a loud pecking with his thick beak. I hated that sound even more. Maybe if I reasoned with him…. ”Bird, what you’re doing is boring. Why don’t you relieve the monotony by changing to a staccato knocking, or perhaps a furious tap, or better still, a combination of fast and slow beats?” He ignored me. I asked my daughter to cover the window with thick paper to get rid of the mirror effect. It didn’t bother him at all. For some mysterious reason he could still see his image. I turned for help to the Audubon Society. They told me it was mating season in New England and my experience was being repeated all over. “Get used to it,” they advised. I did, reluctantly. It’s been a week and the steady rhythm of knocking continues for brief periods of time. I figure he is wearing out. He’s already worn me out. Fall 2014
Pony Precepts John R. Killacky
R ight now I’m learning from a four hundred pound animal, with the
brain of a three year old child, as I train a Shetland pony to pull a cart. Ponies, like horses, are prey animals whose first instinct is to flee, so this can be a daunting and humbling task. Anything new is suspect, a first encounter with the unfamiliar unsettling. My CEO/executive director self has no importance here. At the barn, I am a beginner. I’m always learning: from teenagers to one friend in her eighties who rides her twenty-four-year-old gelding every day. We never discuss our day jobs; all conversation is through and about our animals. Here I am, Raindrop’s dad. Being a novice at midlife is rejuvenating. I love grappling with new skills that take a long time to master. Failures are almost as important as successes here. Laughter at failure and learning from mistakes propel improvement. My competitive self is satisfied with a training session well done; thrilled that Raindrop and I have done our best for that day. In working with my pony, I must first understand the world through her eyes, her smells, her experiences, her fears, and her relationships. Equine logic is quite different from human thinking. I also try to see the world as my pony does. Human vision is focused straight ahead; horses see at 350 degrees, encompassing peripheral vision. I practice this perspective, and vast horizons of fields, mountains, and clouds feathering the sky unfold. Recently, Raindrop and I went offsite to a driving clinic. Jeff Morse, who led the two-day event, encouraged us to “create the horse you want, rather than fix the horse you have.” He had me drive with my eyes closed to feel the connection of my hands on the reins to the bit in her mouth. It was transformative. Back at my home barn, training can get mighty complicated, with up to six horses and riders simultaneously in the indoor arena during the after-school and post-work rush hours. This necessitates an interrelated choreography of Continued PAGE 50
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John and Raindrop go for a spin.
awareness, patience, and generosity by equines and humans alike. We lunge, jump, trot, and walk our animals in spiraling circles and figure eights. Loose but firm hands on the reins, the animals go where your eyes go. We dance together. My favorite time at the barn is late at night, with no one else around. I love being in the stall with Raindrop as she and her stable mates settle down for the evening. The sounds and smells of two dozen safe, warm, and protected equines are divine. Just being there, in sublime stillness, through her quiet eyes, I am part of the herd. It’s at these moments that I experience “rasa”, a Sanskrit term indicating a profound state of empathic bliss. Pony precepts have taught me a lot of things, some of which apply to human interactions. Beginner’s mind, meeting colleagues on their terms, starting where they are, interconnectivity, embracing the peripheral world, dancing with others, and sublime stillness all seem like good ideas to bring back into the office each morning — after I finish mucking out her stall, of course!
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John R. Killacky is executive director of Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, VT. Originally published as a commentary for Vermont Public Radio. Fall 2014
Personal Ponies Gail M Schumann Charlestown, NH
ersonal Ponies was founded by Marianne Alexander on November 3, 1986 and was specifically created to benefit a small, differently able child by offering a small pony for life-use at no charge. It is a well known saying that “the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man”. At the time there seemed to have been a very real lack of attention to the needs of young children with special needs and there was an absence of suitable small-sized equines bred just for them. Surely “the outside of a small pony would be good for the inside of a small child who is differently able.” Personal Ponies is now represented in nearly every state around the country and our dream is that ever community will have Volunteer Pony Farms serving together those children who are differently able. Volunteers around the country come in all shapes and sizes. We are most proud of the able bodied children involved in our program who have the opportunity to understand by serving other children with different needs how important it is that we are here for one another in a very real way. Those children are just as much part of the future of our program.
BELOW ARE SOME KEY CONCEPTS ABOUT PERSONAL PONIES: • • • • • • • • •
Personal Ponies is based on the concept of CARING. Every Personal Ponies volunteer should read and learn the Commandments of Leadership The Personal Ponies program is based on community service to assist and support families with children that are differently able by offering them a pony — AT NO CHARGE. All volunteers within Personal Ponies are encouraged to act freely and experiment with their own ideas knowing that each and everyone is to be responsible for the result of their determinations. The Personal Ponies program is committed to promote the breeding, registration and disbursement of information about the UK Shetland Pony and manage and maintain our The Shetland Registry (TSR) for all ponies’ part of the program. The Personal Ponies program is based on a high bar of excellence and included in that is superior care taking of every pony in our program. Every pony is to be in excellent condition, following the best practices presented by our National Director of Health and Nutrition, Lisa St. John. All aspects of pony-keeping are a priority at all times. Our ponies have agreed to be in service and we have agreed to be their keepers. As part of our agreement, there is no allowance at all for anything other than the above. When care is lacking, and education is not forthcoming, our ponies must be removed at the director’s discretion. Personal Ponies is a 100 percent volunteer organization which means that ALL contributions to Personal Ponies go towards running our program. No one is paid a penny for what they do and no charges are ever issued for our services. Ponies in our program are NEVER SOLD or given away. All ponies in our program remain in our program until the end of their lives. Personal Ponies is a LEARNING ORGANIZATION. We have been and will always be a learning organization. This means that at times our decisions will show themselves as being wonderfully crafted and at other times, we have lessons to learn and need to find a better way. In either case, each volunteer will take responsibility for his or her choices.
Gail M Schumann is the State Director for NH for over 15 years and the National Director for Accounts/State Registrations. Personal Ponies website is www.personalponies.org and on facebook. Fall 2014
Why do Small Dogs have More and Earlier Dental Disease than Large Dogs? B
Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS Windsor Veterinary & Dental Services-Windsor,VT
ecause their TEETH are TOO BIG for their SMALL SKULLS! While the date (15,000 to 33,000 years ago) and place (Asia, Middle East, or multiple sites) of origin of the domestic dog is still a matter of controversy and ongoing research, recent DNA studies demonstrate that domestic dogs evolved from the Eurasian wolf. The wolves in Europe and Asia vary in size, with the male weighing anywhere from 95-175 pounds. Wolves are characterized by large teeth with stronger molars and a substantially stronger jaw than dogs. The early domestic dog was a large dog with a somewhat smaller skull, a more prominent forehead and smaller but more crowded teeth when compared to a similarly sized wolf. Over time and apparently fairly recently in geological terms, humans have begun deliberately creating breeds of dogs, with the appearance of tiny Chihuahuas and mighty Mastiffs. Breeds not only vary greatly in size but also in the shape of the skull, from Pugs with pushed in muzzles to Greyhounds with very long muzzles. Unfortunately as dog breeds are created for the appeal of the appearance of the dog, the changes can create medical problems. An example of this occurs as dogs are made smaller. A small dog has a small jaw with teeth that are much too big for that jaw. In order for a small skull to accommodate large teeth, various things may happen. A large dog has 42 teeth. Small dogs may have all 42 teeth, or may have some teeth that never form, typically leaving 36 to 40 teeth. In a large dog the premolars have spaces between each tooth. In the small dog, the teeth are crowded together. This can range from the teeth still being in a row with no spaces to the teeth overlapping. In dogs with pushed-in muzzles, such as Pugs and Boxers, some of the teeth may be rotated so that they are sitting perpendicular rather than parallel to the jaw. The incisor teeth (the small teeth in the very front of the mouth) in small dogs are usually crowded and displaced in front and behind each other. Meanwhile, the roots of the teeth are large. Ideally roots should be well anchored in the bone of the skull, but in small dogs with large teeth this ideal cannot be realized. By the time a small dog matures it has very thin bone around the roots of the teeth. When these dogs start to lose bone due to periodontal disease, it takes relatively little bone loss before the teeth are loose, because there just wasn’t enough bone at the beginning. The crowding and displacement of teeth allows plaque to more easily build up around and between the teeth. Plaque is the main culprit as the cause of periodontal disease, which over time causes the loss of bone around the roots of the teeth. Little dogs get a “double whammy” in the ability to maintain their teeth - not enough bone to begin with and conditions that lead to accumulation of plaque making periodontal disease more likely to occur. Let’s see some examples of this. Below are x-rays of the lower right jaw of a 57 pound, 9 year old Labrador mix versus the same jaw of a 6.6 pound, 5 year old Yorkshire Terrier. Notice the spaces between the teeth in the x-ray on the left versus the crowded conditions in the x-ray on the right (red arrows). The yellow markings show how much closer the end of the roots in the small dog are to the bottom of the lower jaw.
Labrador Mix Yorkshire Terrier The reason the distance indicated by the yellow arrows on the previous x-rays is important is shown in the x-rays below. The x-rays are of the right and left fourth premolar on the lower jaw of a 5.25 pound, 13 year old Shih Tzu. Each x-ray is duplicated so that you can see the unmarked and marked images side by side. The bone loss due to periodontal disease has gone all the way down to the end of the Continued NEXT PAGE
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root on the right side (green arrow). The bone loss of the left side is much more severe (blue arrow), with a hole starting to form in the bottom of the jaw (yellow circle). Left much longer and this hole could become a fracture. Due to the larger distance between the end of the root and the bottom of the jaw, this problem does not occur in larger dogs.
Lab mix’s teeth. The Rat Terrier’s teeth have clearly not been reduced as much as they should have been to fit into the jaw. Don’t forget that these images are of a 3 dimensional tooth displayed as a 2 dimensional image. Use your imagination to picture the width of these teeth versus the width of the jaw bone itself, and ask yourself “Just how much bone can there be around the roots of the Rat Terrier’s teeth?”. The answer is “Not very much”. Just to make the point even clearer, neither of these dogs had received any home dental care and neither had Continued NEXT PAGE
Shih Tzu right lower jaw
Shih Tzu left lower jaw Lower right carnassial tooth of a 57 pound, 9 year old Labrador mix versus the same tooth of a 7 pound, 8 year old Rat Terrier. Each x-ray is duplicated so that you can see the unmarked and marked images side by side. These measurements were made on the original x-rays and are accurate enough for the comparison made here.
Rat Terrier Even though the Rat Terrier is 12% of the size of the Lab mix, her teeth are more than 50% of the size of the Fall 2014
Not quite ready to fly south
a dental cleaning prior to when these x-rays were taken. They are of similar ages. The Rat Terrier has significant bone loss around the tooth (green arrows) while the Lab mix has very little. At the time the x-rays were taken, the Lab mix had all 42 teeth. Three teeth were extracted - one was fractured and two were dead. The Rat Terrier was missing 14 teeth at the time the x-rays were taken, and all of the remaining teeth were extracted due to periodontal disease.
Rat Terrier What breeds are most vulnerable to small dog/big teeth? Toy poodles, Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier, Rat Terrier, etc. Any dog that weighs less than 10 pounds would fit into this category. As the size of the dog increases, the teeth will have more bone around them. Dogs with a normal shape to the skull have less periodontal disease than dogs with abnormally shaped skulls. A Labrador Retriever is an example of a dog with a normally shaped skull and is the breed with least amount of periodontal disease. In my next article I will show you how this problem becomes magnified in dogs with pushed in muzzles. Those of you with small dogs: if you can brush the teeth daily, you really will make a big difference in the life span, overall health and retention of teeth in the mouth of your dog. (Big dogs still need their teeth brushed too.) A future article will introduce some new products that will help reduce the amount of plaque that accumulates on the teeth and therefore reduce the occurrence of periodontal disease. Dr. Waugh is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She also has a Masters Degree from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. www.vetsinwindsor.com 54 4 Legs & a Tail
Five Things Your Animal Wants You to Know By Kat Barrell, Call of the Wild Energy Therapy-Newport, NH nimals are complex yet compassionate creatures to their very core. I have learned some key points that the animals asked me to communicate to the humans.
Your pets understand what you are saying and feeling.
Animals feel the vibration of your emotional state, whether you verbalize it or not. Interestingly, they often mirror your emotions back to you. They take in your energy and then give that energy back to you, showing you the vibrations you are offering others. If youâ€™re seeing negative behaviors, there may be a cyclical pattern in place.
Sibling rivalry is real and absence creates broken hearts.
Anxiety is not just for humans.
Be sure to talk with your furry friend to make sure they understand if a new addition is coming, animal or human, or if one is leaving for a short time or forever. Animals are experts at reading energy vibrations to track on their sense of safety. Introducing or subtracting another â€œenergyâ€? in their environment makes a big impact on their mental, emotional and even physical well-being. Anxiety is the top emotional trigger I see in my practice and it takes many forms. Some come with memories hard-wired into their system making them question if they will receive daily food and water. Others are sensitive to whether their owner is withdrawing love and attention. However, separation anxiety is the most common issue, especially for those taken away from mom too early. Consider allowing your pet their own private feed time without others around. Be sure to spend one-on-one time with them to communicate, verbally or through your thoughts, that you are 100% committed to loving and caring for them for the rest of their time here. Continued NEXT PAGE
The decisions at the end of life are harder for humans than animals.
Each species has a specific healing role that they are helping us with.
Animals are not always suffering at the level we think they might be. They truly don’t understand why we are so sad as they age. Also, they don’t like to be left out of family activities. Take them on family excursions to the lake or for a car ride. Finally, they know if they want to be put down, or live out their final days at home. If they increasingly become less and less engaged with your family, then they very likely are telling you that they are ready to be put down. The primary reason domesticated animals are here on the Earth is that they are helping us to heal. Dogs teach us about unconditional love, acceptance, and loyalty. They show us when we are not being real with ourselves as they mirror our traits back to us. When cats choose to sit with us, they bring us a sense of calm, serenity and peace. In moments they reject our affections, they want to teach us to love ourselves within and not always look to another for love and acceptance. Horses, being the most intuitive land animals on the planet, are here to help us identify our fears and worries. In our working relationship with the equines, we are able to see our insecurities clearly and to test out what happens when we overcome or let go of those fears. Suddenly jumps are easily sailed over! Allow your four-legged friends to care for you just as much as you care for them. I guarantee that you will learn lessons about yourself that you never would have imagined. Kat Barrell is the owner of Call of the Wild Energy Therapy based out of Newport, NH. Kat works with horses, dogs, cats and humans to bring natural healing through hands-on energy work, dowsing and tools such as crystals, essential oils and flower essences. To find out more, visit callofthewildenergytherapy.com.
Lir knew he wanted to be attuned as a Reiki Master prior to his transition from this life. He had a desire to bring an extra level of healing to his beloved humans as a final goodbye. Photo courtesy of Kim Accorsi
Spinner communicated in his very first session, “I miss Mommy,” an issue he continues to work through over time.
Anderson had hair loss resulting from his feelings of separation anxiety when he was apart from his owner.
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Paddock Partners Heidi Jo Hauri-Gill
Hello Heidi, My horse just turned 3 and I think he is ready to be broke. I have made some inquiries at stables to see what it would cost, but it is so expensive. I am a pretty good rider, and I have raised him so far, so I might just do it myself. Can you tell me whether that would be a good idea? Lisa, Plainfield, NH Hello Lisa, Thank you so much for your question! You have a very exciting time ahead of yourself here. Young horses are a lot of fun, and when the going is good, it is great. However, it can be daunting when you look at training possibilities for your young horse. Yes it is expensive, but there are a few clear reasons why. The first reason is all about the education of the trainer and the trainer’s “method.” Trainers are taught, and have a lot of experience in the steps that it takes to successfully train a horse. They have studied, and have experience in what actually needs to come first and how to lay the foundation for each step that follows. Training a horse to ride is really a step by step plan that can either give the horse a great start that makes sense and gives them confidence, OR a trial and error that can lead to serious issues along the way. Most trainers have a general idea of how long it will take to get the horse a good start. If you are a confident, qualified rider, you might look for a trainer who is willing to include you in this process. That way you have some ideas of how to enhance this after you bring your horse home. If you are a greener rider you might need to have the trainer work longer with the horse and ask that you get some lessons with the trainer, even if they are not on your own horse at first. My general rule of thumb is it takes about three months of consistent work to make a young horse rideable. If the horse has come to me with little to no handling it may take longer. If you have done a very good job preparing the horse it will likely take less time. This doesn’t mean the horse is “trained,” it only means the horse is “started.” Another reason it is expensive to have a horse trained is the simple fact that you are asking someone to train your young horse, which is a bit of a risk for the trainer. Part of your fee is that you are asking the trainer to ultimately ride your young and unpreFall 2014
dictable horse. If your horse does something that causes the trainer to get hurt, they are out of work for a period of time. The same works for you, if you get hurt, and you may be more likely to, as you may not have the riding facility, help on hand, or expertise to predict certain situations, you will be out of work for a period of time. Lastly, if your goal with your horse is to learn together and gain experience training a young horse on your own, and you don’t have a timeline in mind, then do everything you can to learn about training, and prepare yourself well, have help at all times, and never attempt to ride a youngster alone. If your goal is to enjoy your youngster, maybe get out on the trails, or school in the arena, even go to some shows or take lessons on your horse then the money is wisely spent in hiring someone to start your horse right. Trust me, you will have a huge “learning together” scale ahead of you and you will certainly grow together. “Starting” your horse is not going to get you a fully trained horse. If you want a more finished horse, a horse that has had some good experiences making it more likely to be a fun riding partner, then consider opting for a longer training period. All trainers have options for you, perhaps you would be safest and better off if you kept your horse with a trainer for a full year. The first few months could be all about the trainer riding the horse and then you could ease into a partial training plan, where you can be a bigger part of the picture. You could just enjoy watching your horse learn and grow, and even have the trainer take the horse to shows so that when you start to, it has already been there, and
it won’t need as much hand holding from you! The most important thing to remember is that it is a process. Take your time, educate yourself, and please, always work with safety first. Never get on a horse without a helmet. Never ride a young horse without someone around to call for help should you need it. Let this be a journey that you and your horse take together, training is never over, take your time and savor each moment! Please submit questions for this column and Heidi, by visiting www.4legsandatail.com Heidi Jo Hauri-Gill is co-owner, along with her husband Bob of First Choice Riding Academy in Enfield, NH. A graduate from Morven Park and a UNH “L” graduate with distinction, Heidi spends her days teachin and training at the farm. www.firstchoiceridingacademy.com
The Importance of Enrichment for our Pets Mike Robertson- Plymouth, NH
nrichment.” It’s a buzzword lately, but what does it really mean in relation to our pets? Let’s compare the differences in many of our pets’ current lives to the lives their ancestors experienced. Take the house cat; descended from an African wild cat who’s life was spent in search of food and a mate. Her territory took her over rocks and brush and streams and grasses; each bit of terrain a home to various living creatures. The encyclopaedia of scents, the ingredients of the scent we call the “smell of outdoors,” envelops her. Out of the grass scampers a field mouse. Slinking into her hunting crouch, she prepares. In a flash she’s on top of the mouse. Now compare that vivid scenario with one common to many pet cats. In a temperature controlled home, she wakes up and stretches, having napped in a ray of “sun.” It’s a light source that provides heat, but has the vitamins filtered out through panes of window glass. She walks across steam cleaned, nylon carpet to a plastic tub filled with pine pellets. It’s where she’s supposed to eliminate, so she does. She eyeballs a motionless catnip-filled fabric “mouse” on the floor, but walks past. Without much else to do, she hops up on the windowsill and watches the world outside before settling in for another nap. Consequences of an under-stimulated pet The pets in our lives, whether cats, dogs, fish, goats or birds; are all descendants of ancestors who lived and thrived in natural settings. Each day presented them with both life and death challenges, as well as indirect experiences that
encouraged physical agility and mental growth. When we brought these animals into our lives and contained them for safety; often they were forced to give up the daily stimulation they had evolved to seek. Without suitable mental and physical exercise and experiences, behavior problems develop. To name a few: - Feather plucking - Chewing - Digging - Spinning in circles - Depression - Aggression - Barking/Yowling/Screeching Ways to add enrichment for your pets Zoo caretakers were the first to add enrichment activities to a captive animals’ daily routine. The amazing results of this simple step were noticed by pet enthusiasts, resulting in a flood of new toys, puzzles and training skills designed specifically to encourage thinking and movement. A few of my favorite commercial enrichment items include: - Buster Cube - Kong Wobbler -Tug-a-Jug - The Nina Ottensen line - The Dog Games line
You don’t need to purchase items to enrich your pets’ lives. Here are a few free suggestions to try. • Cut six dime sized holes in a two liter soda bottle and fill it with your pet’s dry kibble. Let them knock it around to make food fall out. • Moisten your pet’s food until it’s the consistency of oatmeal. Fill a hollow marrow bone with this and freeze. • Hide treats in different areas of your yard. • Place treats or toys in a box filled with empty plastic bottles and let your pet dig for them. • Change your pet’s daily walk to incorporate different sights and sounds. Make a detour through a stand of trees or down to a brook. Even a small change from routine can make a big difference.
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University studies have shown that animals prefer to work for rewards rather than being given them for free. Use your imagination to come up with other ideas. Without even realizing it, you will be adding enrichment to your life too! 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 2014
SEARCHING FOR LIZARDS Story and photos by Gloria Towne, All About Towne Photography
ur Family just came back from a ten day trip to Cancun, Mexico. While there, from our 5th Floor balcony, we saw two large lizards fighting each other. One had a tail and the other one, had no tail! I went down to the garden area with my kids trying to find the giant lizards. I was able to find another big lizard, which looked like a wild Iguana with its scaly back and big claws. I was able to get pretty close to him, until he squeezed himself into a hole. As a tourist, you usually would not look at the wild life when there is such a nice beach and clear water. But, I decided to spend my time searching for more lizards. I found lizards in the water ducts. Some were big, with long claws, and hissed like a cat. People were even paying money at the resort, to get a photo taken with an Iguana, brought in by a photographer.
4 LEGS & A TAIL FUN! What's Different?
child's shirt now green, child's apple now yellow, dog's ear missing, dog's leg missing, dog's collar missing, child's shoe now has orange on it
An atheist was walking through the woods. As he was enjoying the majestic trees, the powerful rivers, and all the animals he suddenly heard a noise behind him. He turned to see what was causing the rustling. There was an 8 ft grizzly charging toward him. He ran as fast as he could but every time he looked the bear was getting closer. He stumbled and fell to the ground. The bear was all over him and ready to strike when the atheist cried out to the Lord to save him. Time stopped, the bear froze. A bright light appeared and said to him, "You have denied my existence all your life, even lecturing the denial of me, now you want My help." God then said "Should I now count you as a believer you will lecture to My existence." The man turned toward the light and answered, "It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask You to treat me as a Christian, but perhaps you could make the bear a Christian." God said "Very well." The light went away. The sounds of the forest returned. The bear dropped his paws and brought them both together, bowed his head and spoke; "Lord bless this food which we are about to receive..."
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