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Autumn 2015 Central NH & VT

Vermont DJ And His Dog Challenge School Bullies

Why You Should Ask Your Horse To, “Say Cheese!” Spoil Your Cat With A Cat-io Consider The Original GOATee

4 LEGS & A TAIL FUN! What 7 Things Are Different?

Kids shoes are yellow, girl’s foot is missing, man’s thumb is missing, man’s foot is missing, tortoise claw is missing, shirt is missing the “N”, car and park bench are missing, silver box is missing, logo on shirt missing


We met Wyatt Bonalumi of Canaan at the farmers market with his Sulcata Tortoise, Selma Hayek. She is six years old and weighs more than 33 lbs!

Tortoise Stats & Facts • Leopard tortoises are one of the largest tortoises in the world. • The tortoise are herbivores eating mainly tree leaves, grass and ferns. • Female tortoises dig nesting burrows in which they lay from 1 - 30 eggs. • In most tortoise species, the female tends to be larger than the male. • The tortoise is susceptible to parasites and pneumonia. • A Tortoise is diurnal, meaning active during the day. • Pet tortoises kept outdoors need some sort of structure in which to hide or spend the night. • Most male tortoises have tails that are longer than those of the female.

Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail





NYC’s Kennedy Airport Building Luxury Animal Terminal, Verena Dobnik An ARK that would impress Noah

A Community Running Together for the Love of the Animals,

Ember Rushford-Emery - Mark

Society annual fundraiser

your calendar for the Lucy Mackenzie Humane

Small Dog/Small World, Tim Hoehn

What are the chances of finding the perfect home for Gretchen? Pretty good when you live in Vermont 9 Jamie, Vesna Dye – A little Westie leaves an indelible mark on one woman’s life

10 Wheels For Max, Serena Peeters, DVM

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How one dachshund got a new lease on life

12 What’s For Dinner?, Jennifer Lesser, DVM

Is it important to you where your food comes from and how it lived? Several local family farms are dedicated to humane practices that produce happy animals and high quality products

Animals of all species deserve protection and compassion. Green Mountain Animal Defenders, based in Vermont, protects the well-being of all animals

Did you know the world’s largest Dairy Breed Association is located in Brattleboro, Vermont

They don’t eat tin cans, but they could make for a wonderful addition to your family

What the ingredients label really means

The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association announces 2015 grants and scholarships

Your Pets and Thanksgiving – A curious pet or the most well-meaning of guests can land your pet in a predicament

14 All Animals Matter, Alix Lara

16 Right in Your Own Backyard, Tim Goodwin 18 Goats as Pets Pg. 12

21 How do I Find the Right Dog Food?,

Mike Eigenbrode & Ira Richards

23 Loan Repayment Program Promotes Food Animal Practice 24 Let’s Talk Turkey, M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM

25 Hyperthyroidism in Cats, Catherine MacLean, DVM

How a simple blood test can treat your feline friend to all nine lives

A 10th grader shares her equine passion

draw national attention with their efforts to make our schools a better place

A new product named SANOS may be just what the doctor ordered

Some wonderful examples of pets thriving thanks to spiritually guided life force energy

27 There’s Always Time for Horses, Sarah Parenti

29 Bruce & Hobbes Hit the Airwaves (and the Roadways) to Help End Bullying - Local DJ Bruce Zemen and his dachshund Hobbes 31 If I Can’t Brush My Cat’s or Dog’s Teeth, What Else Can I Do to Control Periodontal Disease?, Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS 33 Catios, Catherine Greenleaf – A unique way to keep both cats and birds safe 36 Stressed Pet? Consider the Reiki Alternative, Kelly McDermott-Burns

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38 Alternatively Speaking, Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA

The right tool for the job, Traditional Chinese Medicine gives us additional perspectives and treatment tools to help our patients 40 Forever, Tim Hoehn - The dog who never left her side

41 Firemen, English Bulldogs and 2016, Karen Sturtevant

The Vermont based rescue group has some great gift ideas for the bulldog lover on your list

We all hate doing it, but here are some helpful tips from someone who does it regularly

44 Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears, Elisa Speckert, Veterinary Technician Fall 2015 1

Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail


45 Paddock Partners, Heidi Jo Hauri-Gill

Is your horse stall walking? Heidi has some ideas on the causes and cures

Similar to disease in cats & humans, EOTRH is only recently gaining the recognition that it deserves

Even today there exist several sources for reasonably priced horses. Denny Emerson puts us on their trail

The All Seed diet was developed for chickens & pigeons. Not for your tropical pet bird

Bats are fine on Halloween, but what happens when they invade your home

46 Should You Look Your Gift Horse in the Mouth? Kristen Clapp, DVM 48 Less Expensive Horse, Denny Emerson

49 Bird Nutrition Part 1, Susan Dyer, DVM 50 Bats in the Belfry, Scott Borthwick Pg. 56

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51 Love Story, Joan Jaffe

The things you learn when training a puppy and future service dog 52 Kennel Noise, John Peaveler- Why dogs bark at the kennel

53 Surprise at a Vermont Juvenile Rehabilitation Center, Steve Reiman

The founder of Vermont Therapy Dogs remembers a visit to a Rehabilitation Center and its heartwarming results

Not just a disease in Dogs, what to expect and ways to avoid this nasty disease

54 Leptospirosis, Millie Armstrong, DVM

56 Rare Breeds of the Twin States, Susan Blum

Meet the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier

57 Salvation, Arlo Mudgett

We should all be as lucky as one of Adrienne Finney Labrador rescues

A cat, abandoned and near death, finds its way to the love it was always meant to have

"Chasing Behavior", Michelle Grimes- Running deer, chasing cats, you can’t stop dogs from chasing, but Michelle tells us how we can channel it into constructive behavior

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58 Broken Heart, Tanya Sousa 59 Canine Point of View

4 Legs & a Tail Volume L.315 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766 603-727-9214

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Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Senior Editor: Scott Palzer Accounting/Editor: Elisa Speckert Office Manager: Beth Hoehn Graphic Design: Monica Reinfeld, Lacey Dardis, Kate Haas Sales: Karyn Swett, Scott Palzer, Barry deSousa, Pat Pockette

If you have a tale about a tail or a photo that will make us smile, we’d like to hear from you. 4 Legs & a Tail is published quarterly and distributed free of charge throughout Central VT & NH. 4 Legs & a Tail, Inc. is locally owned and operated and acts as a moderator without approving, disapproving or guaranteeing the validity or accuracy of any data or claim. Any reproduction in whole or part is prohibited.

Fall 2015

NYC’s Kennedy Airport Building Luxury Animal Terminal, Complete With Flat-Screen TVs For Dogs Verena Dobnik, Associated Press July 19, 2015


EW YORK (AP) -- Jet-setting stallions and high-flying hounds at New York’s Kennedy Airport can look forward to a new luxury terminal that will handle the more than 70,000 animals flying in and out every year. The ARK at JFK, its name inspired by Noah’s biblical vessel, will more than measure up to terminals for humans: Horses and cows will occupy sleek, climate-controlled stalls with showers, and doggies will lounge in hotel suites featuring flat-screen TVs. A special space for penguins will allow them mating privacy. The ARK is billed as the world’s first air terminal for animals. Set to open next year, the $48 million, 178,000-squarefoot shelter and quarantine facility will take in every kind of animal imaginable — even an occasional sloth or aardvark. From here, they’ll head to barns, cages, racetracks, shows and competition venues in the United States and abroad. Many arriving animals are quarantined for a period of time (for horses, it’s normally about three days) to make sure they’re not carrying contagious diseases. And The ARK is designed to make their stay as pleasant as possible, with haylined stalls for up to 70 horses and 180 head of cattle, plus an aviary and holding pens for goats, pigs and sheep. For dog owners, The ARK will offer a 20,000-square-foot luxury “resort” run by the company Paradise 4 Paws, complete with bone-shaped splashing pools, massage therapy and “pawdicures with colored nail pawlish.” Dogs can watch flatscreen TVs and their owners can check in on them via webcam. Cats will have their own trees to climb. And all animals will have access to a 24-hour clinic run by Cornell University’s veterinary college. Even animals that don’t need to be quarantined — a huge dog that can’t fit in the cabin and has to travel as cargo, for example — will be held at the facility until departure or pickup by its owner. “A lot of our design making is in collaboration with veterinarians and consultants to help minimize the amount of stress placed on the animal,” said Cliff Bollmann, a leading airport architect working on The ARK for the San Francisco-based architecture firm Gensler. Kennedy receives the bulk of animals entering the United States, but

This undated artist rendering provided by Classic Communications courtesy of ARK Development depicts Paradise 4 Paws, a holding area for dogs in a new luxury terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The privately owned ARK, as it’s called, will handle the more than 70,000 animals that pass through JFK each year, including dogs, cats, horses, cows, birds, sloths and aardvarks. It will sit on the site of an unused cargo terminal leased from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey that runs the airport. (Classic Communications courtesy of ARK Development via AP)

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there are similar facilities near airports in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and San Juan. Until Kennedy’s ARK opens, animals in transit will continue to be handled at the airport’s aging 10,000-foot Vetport, built in the 1950s. Lachlan Oldaker, an Oklahomabased equine specialist and key member of the architectural team, called The ARK “an enormous leap forward.” “The design allows planes to taxi directly to the building, so horses can be transported in a seamless fashion that reduces stress,” she said. The ARK is being built on the site of an unused cargo terminal that has been demolished. ARK Development, an affiliate of the Madison Avenue real estate company Racebrook Capital, has signed a 32-year lease for the airport property with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey agency that runs Kennedy. When completed, the facility is subject to approval by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Animals will be charged fees — still being determined depending on services — that will help fund the terminal. High-end dog “suites” could top $100 per night. Transporting animals by air is not aimed at low-income owners. A flight to London for a dog can cost about $1,000, plus a crate, airport fees and vet certifications. And moving a horse can add up to at least $10,000.

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The ARK’s designers have had to meet challenges not found in other architectural projects — for instance, figuring out how to dispose of animal waste. They came up with the idea of a “poo chute,” an angled floor from which manure slides into a container. Among the supporters of this unusual animal kingdom is Dr. Richard Goldstein, the chief medical officer at New York’s Animal Medical Center, which treats sick animals of all species from around the world. “Our veterinarians have often been in a position of having to arrange transport for many of our traveling patients at all hours of the day and night, and will look forward to working with The ARK to make this experience better for everyone involved,” Goldstein said. But even when it comes to healthy animals, the equine wing is a welcome improvement to international show jumper and organizer Derek Braun. Horses must currently be driven to a quarantine facility in Newburgh, about 80 miles north of Kennedy. The ARK has an in-house quarantine. “I personally, as well as competitors for my shows, ship so many horses from Europe each year that having the peace of mind that one step of the travel process will be eliminated is a big relief because it eliminates part of the risk of injury,” he said.

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A Community Running Together for the Love of the Animals Ember Rushford-Emery


t’s not just the typical sound of rustling leaves and barking shelter dogs that can be heard at Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society on one mid-fall Saturday morning. The cadence of sneakers hitting pavement and the clamor of canine running partners echo through the crisp air. Dozens of runners flock to the starting line of Lucy Mackenzie’s annual 5K-9 and 1 Mile Fun Run for the animals, which will be held on October 3rd this year at their location in West Windsor, Vermont. With bib #1 pinned to her t-shirt, one runner, 15-year-old Lexi Goad, uses the minutes before the starting signal to stretch and get Diesel, her Staffordshire Terrier, ready to run. For the past three years, Goad has used the annual event as an opportunity to combine two of her greatest passions—running and animals. “Lucy Mackenzie put them together,” she said. “How could I resist?” Many community members feel the same. Last year, approximately 100 people of all ages participated in the event; quite a few were children who came to enjoy the 5K and/or 1 Mile with parents and siblings. However, the race is open to everyone. “Everybody of every ability level is welcome,” chairperson of the race committee, Amy Bonney, said. “It’s why we also have the 1 Mile Fun Run, and you can walk if you want. You don’t even have to have a dog, but you can bring one as long as they’re kept on leash.” The concept of hosting a dog-friendly race began three years ago, when members of the Lucy Mackenzie Board of Trustees and the shelter staff realized that there weren’t many in the area. “We wanted to add one to the community, and thought this would also be a great way to try to get a different demographic out to the shelter,” Bonney said. However, dogs and their humans are not the only teams involved in the race. Lucy Mackenzie encourages racers to form teams of five or more runners to enhance the fun of the day, as well as reinforce team building for local businesses. Today, the 5K-9 is one of the humane society’s main fundraising events. In addition to the registration fee (there will be a benefit to pre-registration this year), participants are given the opporContinued NEXT PAGE

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Last year at the Lucy Mackenzie 5K-9

tunity to raise additional funds via sponsorship. Sponsorship forms are made available with registration packets, so interested family and friends can get involved in runners’ donation endeavors without racing themselves. For Goad, the 3.2-mile course, which starts on scenic Route 44, turns onto the packed dirt of Rush Meadow Road and then continues down Shattuck Hill before returning to the shelter, provides a chance to think about the effect her personal contribution has on the shelter residents. Each year, she not only participates in the race, but also makes every effort to use this opportunity to show her support and love of animals. Over the past three years, she has raised $2,577 in sponsorship funds, which directly benefit Lucy Mackenzie. “I know the money I work for will be put to great use,” she said. For additional information, or to register for the race, please visit lucymac. org or call (802) 484-5829. Ember Rushford-Emery joined the Lucy Mackenzie staff in June 2013 after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Literature and Secondary Education. She loves writing just as much as she love animals.

Vinny Porter snoozing on a lazy afternoon

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Pauline with her mini "Gretchen"

Small Dog, Small World A

Tim Hoehn

few days prior to Paws for a Caws Adopt-a-Thon in Barre, we found out that my elderly mother-in-law had stage 4 with cancer. After her husband of 50+ passed away a couple of years ago, she was very lonely and decided to get a dog (which we encouraged.)  However, we were surprised when she told us that she got a Miniature Long-haired Dachshund puppy and asked us to take care of it if anything ever happened to her.  No, we didn’t want another dog, but what could we say. As I was working the 4 Legs & a Tail booth that Saturday, I had many fans of the magazine stop by with greetings of praise.  I asked one couple how they were enjoying the show. They said they came looking for a dog to adopt but didn’t find the right breed.  It seems that they had Miniature long-hair Dachshunds and had to put their last one down last year. I quickly explained the situation with my mother-in-law and asked if they might be interested in adopting hers when the time was right.  They expressed some interest, but would need to know more about the dog and its background as they were longtime, responsible owners of the minis.  I said I would be in touch and asked her her name. “Samantha Smedy”, she replied.  As you know, Barre is a small town.  When I asked if she was related to my mother-in-law, Pauline Smedy, she said she was an aunt and in fact, she had a puppy from her last dog's litter. Needless to say, they are on the top of the list to adopt my mother-in-law's dog to the delight of everyone.  Talk about a small world!  8 4 Legs & a Tail

Fall 2015

JAMIE Vesna Dye


was never able to have pets, as I never owned a home, and besides, I was often travelling. My love for animals was fulfilled by house-sitting and taking care of other people’s pets. Cats are my favorite, but there was a little dog that had always, since the day we met, occupied a huge place in my heart. Jamie, a Westie, was my friend Sarah’s dog. She chose him from a breeder when Jamie was a puppy. She said she was immediately drawn to him and knew right away he was the right dog for her. He was already a few years old when we first met at Sarah’s home in Shelburne, Vermont. It was love at first sight – we practically ran into each other’s arms upon being introduced to each other. He was white, well-groomed and playful. But what I’d noticed right away were his big, wise and gentle brown eyes. There was something human in those eyes – he was like a wise being, maybe even a magician, locked in a dog’s body. My friend Sarah let me take him for a walk. He behaved trustfully toward me, as if he had known me for a very long time. “You are my spirit guide in the shape of a dog,” I told him. He nodded his head in agreement. When I’d told Sarah how I felt about her dog, she agreed that he was very special. She also said that although he was small in size, she always felt protected around him. Once, there were rumors that thieves were watching her neighborhood. Jamie immediately placed himself at the window, barking if he spotted someone suspicious hanging around. He had strong intuition about the human character and would make it known if he didn’t like someone. One couldn’t pretend around Jamie – he would immediately sense one’s true thoughts. Sarah told me how he liked camping trips; he would accompany her and her husband on their hikes. Her husband adored the little dog – when he was sick, Jamie would never leave his side. Jamie was treated like a human being – he was allowed to lick dishes after Sarah and her husband’s supper. He also liked to go shopping with them, staying in their car while they were in a store. I was delighted I’d been invited to stay with Sarah and her husband Malcolm when I had to move out of my rented apartment in Essex Junction, Vermont. I needed some more time to get ready for my trip to my first homeland, Croatia, due to my father’s illness. Jamie was delighted when he saw me moving into the upper bedroom. We went for long walks in the neighborhood every day. He liked to chase squirrels and bark at motorcyclists! We couldn’t understand his contempt for motorcyclists, but we laughed at his antics – jumping up and getting mad at them! In the evenings, Sarah liked to read to her husband. I started to read to Jamie; we were not surprised when he listened attentively! Like me, he didn’t care for mysteries, but liked love stories. I promised Jamie I would write to him from Croatia, and that I would also write a children’s story about him. I stayed in Croatia for over two years, and in the meantime, my father passed away. Sarah wrote to me that Jamie was not doing well; he was almost 15 years old and he started to show signs of aging. When I returned to Vermont, Sarah came to visit me with Jamie. He was curled up in the front seat, his beautiful brown eyes veiled. I petted him, told him I love him and would never forget him. Fall 2015 9

Wheels For Max Serena Peeters, DVM


ax is a 7 year old Dachshund who was sailing smoothly through life until one morning when his owners noticed that his back seemed to be very sore. They immediately brought him to our veterinary clinic, where he was hospitalized for evaluation and monitoring. Instead of improving as we hoped Max got worse, and by the next day he was unable to move his back legs or walk on his own. By evaluating Max's neurologic function and performing some additional diagnostic tests we were able to diagnose Max with Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD). This condition is very common in Dachshunds and explains all the symptoms Max was having. Just like people, dogs have little cushions between the bones of their spine called intervertebral disks. Sometimes these disks get damaged and slip out of place, pushing against the spinal cord. The spinal cord is one of the most important parts of nervous system because it carries signals to and from the brain. These signals are responsible for telling dogs how to walk, when to urinate, and where their legs are in space. When disks push against the spinal cord they

Max getting around on his new wheels.

cause nerve damage and prevent the spinal cord from doing its job, resulting in pain and paralysis which are both symptoms of IVDD. The pesky disk responsible for causing Max's problems happened to be sitting in his lower back. Although Max was still able to urinate normally on his own, the damaged disk was interrupting the signals from his spinal cord telling him when and how to move his legs. Understandably, we were all very worried about Max after his diagnosis and worked very hard to create a treatment plan for him. There are several treatment options available for IVDD, the first of which is medical management. Many dogs respond very well to medications which relax their muscles, manage pain, and decrease inflammation around their spinal cord. However, in very severe cases medical management is not enough and some dogs require surgery to repair the damage. The surgery is a very specialized procedure costing thousands of dollars in which bad disk material is removed from the spinal cord. Due to the astronomical cost, surgery for Max was not an option. However, Max was a good candidate for medical management and he stayed in the hospital with us to receive supportive care and treatment. Every morning, we evaluated Max's neurologic function and monitored him closely, checking for signs that voluntary movement was coming back to his hind legs. On the fourth day of Max's hospital stay, he made a major breakthrough. Although still unable to move his legs on his own, he was able to stay standing for several seconds without support. This gave us a lot of encouragement and was an incredible step in the right direction for Max. After a week in this hospital, Max was making tiny amounts of progress each day but was still unable to walk on his own. Although he remained in good spirits and was able to drag himself around Continued NEXT PAGE

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with his front legs, we worried about him getting abrasions over his rump and hind legs. Even more importantly, we wanted to enable Max to do all the fun things he enjoyed that made him happy and we knew we needed to find a more permanent solution. That's when we turned to a company called Walkin' Wheels, which makes customized wheelchairs for dogs. Having a wheelchair would allow Max's back legs to be supported and keep them from dragging on the ground while he propelled himself forward with his front legs. We ordered a wheelchair for Max and had him fitted. Max took off across the clinic as soon as he was strapped into his wheelchair and placed on the ground. We were able to discharge him to his owners with his wheelchair the next day, and he quickly adapted to his new wheels. He speeds around corners, takes turns like a pro, and easily travels both backward and forward. Max is still making slow progress when it comes to walking on his own, but most importantly he is happy and enjoying a great quality of life at home with his owners and his new wheels. Serena Peeters is a veterinarian at Pleasant Lake Veterinary Hospital in Elkins, NH. The full service companion animal hospital is committed to provide quality veterinary care throughout the life of your pet. www.

Fall 2015

A Footprint for Chelsea I

Andrea Conger - Grantham, NH

n April 2015 I adopted Chelsea from the Upper Valley Humane Society. I knew she would never walk. I planned to get her ...wheels, but I was unaware of the costs. After searching online for available help, I found Barbara Techel, a very kind woman, who started the Frankie Wheelchair Fund. I applied and in two days, Chelsea’s cart was paid for! I was referred to Eddie’s Wheels, in Shelburne MA. Chelsea and I drove down. We were greeted by wonderful people, in a family-like atmosphere. In two weeks, we went back and picked up Chelsea’s wheels. I was in heaven! My little dog could move around ! A few days later, my attention was caught by a young women’s cry for help. Her dog (Autumn, the tripod boxer), was in need of a cart, but the young family did not have the financial resources. I had an idea! I thought, I will help her and ‘pay forward’ the help I received from Barbara. One idea followed the other. I opened a GoFundme account for Autumn and waited. Miraculously,

the money started coming in. I also opened a page and called it Chelsea’s Footprints. I went to a board meeting of a local dog park and asked permission to spread the fundraising campaign amongst their members. I wrote to shelters about my idea. I wrote to veterinarians, businesses, posted Autumn’s fundraiser on different Facebook sites. Two weeks later, Autumn received her cart! I started knitting dog sweaters, wool socks for dog walkers to sell. Now I am attending farmer’s markets, local events, while advocating for my fifth dog! I also applied for non profit status, in hope of finding businesses that might like to sponsor a dog time-totime. It has been a most humbling experience.The feeling of being able to keep my promise to each and every dog Chelsea and I connect with “I will help you.You will get your cart and can walk again..” 11

What’s for Dinner?

Hogwash Farm in Norwich, VT.

Jennifer Lesser, DVM


ood ethics. What is important to you? For omnivores we must make a decision, intentional or by default, about the source of the meat we consume. We have two main options. Animals may be sourced AFO’s (animal feeding operations). Per the US Environmental Protection Agency, “Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) are agricultural operations where animals are kept and raised in confined situations. AFOs congregate animals, feed, manure and urine, dead animals, and production operations on a small land area. Feed is brought to the animals rather than the animals grazing or otherwise seeking feed in pastures, fields, or on rangeland. There’s no grass or other vegetation in the confinement area during the normal growing season.” Confined animal feeding operations provide the vast majority of meat in the grocery store? Chickens who are de-beaked to stop pecking injury, pigs standing on slated concrete floors (often causing foot injury) breathing high ammonia from the manure stored under the pens,

egg laying hens living in tight metal cages called “battery cages”. In 2012 the European Union Council banned battery cages for animal welfare reasons. In the US, 90% of our eggs are sourced from battery cages. These are facts, not sensationalized material. So then, how do we maintain an omnivorous diet while keeping our food ethics intact? Enter the family farm. The small family farm. Common terms frequently buzzing about these farms: grass fed, rotational grazing, heirloom, pasture raised, free ranging, organic. In the Upper Valley, we are indulged to have a bountiful number of

A Midwest sow breeding farm

small farms run by farmers dedicated to sustainable, humane practices that produce happy animals and high quality products. These hard working individuals welcome us into their farms to discuss their farming practices and introduce us to their crews of animals. Visit Hogwash Farm’s website and read, “The pigs root and the poultry get to scratch and forage for bugs while soaking up the sun.” Just drive by their farm and you can see all of that without even leaving your car. From Luna Bleu Farm, “Our laying hens travel around the farm from early spring thru late fall in their coop on wheels so they always have new pasture to enjoy. In the winter they move into one of the greenhouses and get lots of sunshine and all the weeds and culled greens from our winter production.” These are farmers who know and care about their animals and their community. Aspiring to eat well and humanely, we support local sourcing of our regional family farms. We worked to obtain a comprehensive list of farms providing pastured animals with a strong focus on their social and welfare needs; we preemptively apologize if we missed a farm that should be included. Hogwash Farm (Norwich, VT): (802)649-8807 Available at Norwich Farmer’s Market, Thetford Village Store, Norwich Inn, & Cedar Circle Farmstand. Pork: (Pastured, no A/B, GMO, or hormones) Beef: (Pastured, 100% organically grass-fed) Chicken: (Pastured, organic grain) Turkey: (Pastured, organic grain) Continued NEXT PAGE

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Sweetland Farm (Norwich, VT) (802)649-2991 Available online (CSA & meat orders) Pork: (Pastured, non-medicated grain) Chicken: (Pastured, non-medicated grain) Lamb: (Pastured, non-medicated grain) Berway Farm & Creamery (Lyme, NH) (603)353-9025 Available at: E. Thetford MiniMart, Lyme Country Store and at the farm in Lyme Milk and Angus Beef: 100% grass fed, no synthetic growth hormones, pesticides, herbicides, animal by-products, or antibiotics. Hope Meadow Farm (Hartford, VT) (802)356-3161 Available at: Farmers Market, farmstand Lamb: (Pastured, grass fed) Pork Veal: (Pastured, grass fed)

Back Beyond Farm (North Tunbridge, VT) (802)889-3211 Available at the farm, Norwich Farmer’s Market Beef: (Certified organic, grass fed) Chicken: (Certified organic, grass fed, pastured) Turkey: (Certified organic, grass fed, pastured) Pork: (All natural, no antibiotics/hormones, pastured)

Cloudland Farm (Pomfret, VT) (802)457-2599 Available at Woodstock Farmer’s Market, Online, Angkor Wat, Bentley’s, Kedron Valley Inn, and Woodstock Elementary School Angus Beef: (Pastured, grass fed, non-GMO grain) Pork Chicken: (Pastured, grass fed, non-GMO grain) Turkey: (Pastured, grass fed, non-GMO grain)

Winter Moon Farm (Corinth, VT) (802)439-3804 Available online, Lebanon Farmer’s Market, Upper Valley Food Co-op in Hartford, Cedar Circle Farm Beef: (pastured, grass fed) Lamb: (pastured, grass fed) Pork: (pastured, local grain, on site vegetable scraps) Chicken: (pastured, grass/grain fed)

Fat Rooster Farm (South Royalton, VT) (802)763-5282 Available online, at the farm, Norwich Farmer’s Market Lamb: (pastured, grass fed) Chicken: (pastured, non-GMO grain) Pork: (pastured, non-GMO grain) Luna Bleu Farm (South Royalton, VT) (802)763-7981 Available online, Norwich Farmer’s Market, Hanover Farmer’s Market, Molly’s Restaurant Beef: (pastured, certified organic) Pork: (pastured, certified organic) Chicken: (free range, certified organic)

Dr. Lesser’s professional life has been committed to pets and their families for fifteen years. Following her work at the National Institutes of Health on the Human Genome Project, she earned her veterinary doctoral degree in May 2000.  Norwich Regional Animal Hospital is owned by Dr.  Lesser.  Specialty services are provided by Dr. David Sobel, DVM, MRCVS and an exceptional network of referral veterinary specialists.

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All Animals Matter Alix Lara


nimal lovers are a special breed of humans, generous of spirit, full of empathy, perhaps a little prone to sentimentality, and with hearts as big as a cloudless sky.” - John Grogan If you believe that animals of all species deserve protection and compassion, then you should check out Green Mountain Animal Defenders (GMAD), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, volunteer-run organization based right here in Vermont. We have been diligently utilizing our statewide network of interns and volunteers to protect the well-being of all animals since 1983. GMAD’s volunteers effectively advocate for animal protection through education, outreach efforts, and collaboration, primarily in these six categories: pets (spay/neuter, pet-food drives, TNR, feral-cat shelters, doghouses), wildlife (protection, support), animals used as entertainment (circuses, fairs, rodeos), animals used for apparel (fur, exotic skins), animal experimentation (product testing, dissection), and farmed animals (vegetarianism, rescue). One of GMAD’s many programs is our very unique Chick Rescue Project, which began spontaneously when GMAD’s president, Sharon MacNair, was waiting in line at a hardware store. She overheard a complaint about a bleeding chick in a bin at the back of the store which compelled her to find out what had happened. After learning that hatchling chicks, poults (baby turkeys), goslings, and ducklings may arrive or become sick or injured and are not saleable, they are often put down with a snap of their tiny necks, Sharon intervened. That chick went home with her, and the rescue program was “hatched.” Next, several farm and feed stores were contacted with news of this unique program, and some now reach out to GMAD when they have sick or injured Continued NEXT PAGE

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hatchlings. GMAD rescues the babies and provides them with medical care, and eventually they are adopted into compassionate families. Over 80 babies have been rescued so far. We are excited to announce our 5th Annual Walk for Farmed Animals, which will be held at the Church Street Marketplace in Burlington on October 3rd (rain date October 10). The walk makes a powerful statement in favor of humane treatment of these animals, and it coincides with celebrations of World Day for Farmed Animals. All funds raised will be put to lifesaving use to rescue, transport, and care for hatchlings and other farmed animals in need. Past donations have been used to purchase hay and bedding, defray medical costs, provide transportation, help fund the repair of a tractor at a farm animal sanctuary in Vermont, and purchase a round pen and other supplies to rehabilitate horses rescued from neglect/abuse cases. Please sign up for our 5th Annual Walk for Farmed Animals event and/or make a donation to support this great cause. To join the walk, volunteer at the event, or find out more, contact our walk coordinator at 802-861-3030 or at walk@ GMAD also offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities and internships. Whether you are looking to help out once or work with us on an ongoing basis, we’ll always be grateful to have your help. With a constant stream of needs across Vermont, we are looking for longtime animal advocates, as well as volunteers who have no experience but have a desire to help animals. For more information about what we do and how you can help, please “like us” on Facebook, send a request to to be added to our e-alert list and visit our website at www.

Chicks enjoy health and happiness in GMAD’s Hatchling “hospital”

Fall 2015 15

Right In Your Backyard!?! Do You Know What Progeny Are?


Tim Goodwin

id you know the world’s largest Dairy Breed Association is located in Brattleboro Vermont? Holstein Association USA was established in 1885 and has been located in Brattleboro since 1903. Since its formation, the Holstein Association has been dedicated to the development of the Holstein breed. Today, Holstein cattle dominate the U.S. dairy industry due to unexcelled production, greater income over feed costs, unequaled genetic merit and their adaptability to a wide range of environmental conditions. Holstein Association USA maintains the records for all ancestry, identity, ownership and performance information on more than 28 million Registered Holstein cattle that is contained in Association files. The Association is in the business of providing information to dairy producers, members and nonmembers. This data is translated into information used by producers in making profitable business decisions. Producers who use Association programs and services find they can make accurate breeding and management decisions, set goals for their herd, evaluate management practices, determine market value of breeding stock, and predict performance and profitability of animals not yet born. The Association processes over 370,000 registrations and 70,000 transfers each year. On an average day, 1,400 registrations are received and processed. The day-to-day business of the Association is handled by the Chief Continued NEXT PAGE

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Executive Officer (CCO) and a staff of 140 employees. Nearly 100 employees are based in the home office, managing the operational details of providing Association programs and services. 40 field staff employees, located throughout the country, provide on-farm assistance and services to dairy producers. Holstein cattle are the most prominent of the seven major dairy breeds in the United States, easily recognizable by their distinctive black and white markings. Cows of Holstein descent make up over 90% of the cows on U.S. dairy farms. Who knew such a major player in the industry was right here in Vermont and employing so many hard working Agricultural folks.

Progeny are the offspring of an animal. Holstein cows typically calve for the first time when they are 23 to 26 months of age, with healthy calves weighing an average of 80 to 100 pounds at birth. Holsteins have a gestation period of nine months.

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Goats have no upper front teeth. Instead they have a hard "gum pad" in the place of upper front teeth.

Goats as Pets A

Tim Goodwin

s we wind down on the summer, and I look out at my nicely mowed lawn I remember (as I seem to each year about this time) that I don’t want to mow the lawn ever again... Hmmm, maybe I can find a fun pet that will mow for me. Now we are talking... As I come up with even more ideas of how to not mow (I wonder if Amazon

offers a drone that will do it?). How about Goats. Goats sound great, the nice calming sounds of the Maaaaaaah’s coming from outside as they nicely walk around and trim the lawn. I can sip lemonade and relax while the work gets done. Actually goats do not do well with trimming a lawn. They are natural wanderers and nibble on just about any plant. More than likely they will nibble on part of the lawn and then move on to the roses, perennials and probably even the siding on the house. Got Apple trees? They love the bark and will kill a tree by nibbling the bark off. But the nice calming sounds... well maybe not. A female in heat will make a lot of noise. And, this is once a month. But.. Oh yeah, there is the poop to clean up off the lawn and they are nervous creatures that will pee with every loud noise. Watch out for the puddles. So, goats are not for trimming lawns. But, they can make a great pet. They will offer hours of entertainment and companionship. They can jump very high and love to climb. A well designed fence with a good area to play will offer all the entertainment they, and you, need. They will need plenty of hay or straw, feed and fresh water. A good shelter to keep them safe from the elements. Goats are herd animals so you will need to plan on at least two. One alone will be very lonely. Goats as kids are very cute and fun to watch. Be aware that the intact males will grow to be big and strong, and they can smell bad. I spoke with Christy McLam from Birch Ridge Farm in Bradford, Vermont, and High Country Aluminum in Hartford, Vermont about goats as pets. A castrated male goat is referred to as a Wether. A wethered male can make the best pet. They do not smell and they do Continued PAGE 20

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Do you need help with your dog’s difficult behavior?


not go into heat. She sold 30 of them this year to new homes. She enjoys her time spent with her herd of 50 goats. Want milk, a female will need to have at least one set of offspring, and then you will need to deal with them going into heat. Be sure to do some research so you are ready for this. Plus, what will you do with the kids? Remember that they will need you to come out to care for them at least twice a day. You need to let them out in the morning and lock them up at night, check their water and be sure they have enough feed. This is every day all year long. If this sounds like a great way to start and finish your day, then goats may be a great pet for you. Lissa Hinkley, of RE Hinkley wrote to me about her experience with goats: I decided a couple of years ago that I wanted a couple of goats as pets. My husband was totally against it as we live at our business. He was worried about them climbing on his prized vehicles. I finally got my way and went and bought a nice little barn and a pen for them and ended up with 2 female Nigerian dwarf goats about 2 years old. Eventually I felt like I needed some baby goats. I had both my girls bred, and I ended up with 5 baby goats.  Now 2 or 3 are pets but 7 is a herd.  The babies are a year old and the moms are both 3.  In the winter I take them for walks, and they will follow me because they don’t have anything to distract them. The rest of the year they are attracted by my perennial garden, flower pots and even my daughter-inlaws nice lilac bush. I got them for the calming mental therapy they offer. I must say even in the coldest part of winter I have never wished I didn’t have them.  I enjoy the blatting as they see me come out the door. I’d like to believe they are happy to see me, but I know it’s just because they are hungry. Oh, and they have never jumped on any of my husband’s vehicles. Overall goats are great pets, do your research ahead of time and talk to a breeder. Check with your town, or city ordinances to be sure you can have goats. If you are ready for them, you will not regret the fun.

Gracie loves the camera. Photo from Jackie Ames of S.Stafford, VT

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Navigating the sea of options to find a great solution for your pet


ith all of today’s options, a walk down the pet food aisles can be a daunting task. We all want our four-legged friends to eat healthy, delicious food, but as our eyes keep jumping from bag to bag, bombarded by all the buzzwords and clever packaging, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Of course all of the fancy marketing is meant to appeal to us and means little to our pets, but how do we filter through the options and find the right solution? Most of today’s pet-food manufacturers are addressing the consumer demand for healthier, more natural pet foods to at least some degree; it’s important to distinguish between foods that live up to our quality expectations versus those that use tricks or gimmicks to appear that way. The process ultimately comes down to trust. It’s our goal at West Lebanon Feed & Supply to provide you with the most current information to assist you in making an informed decision about feeding your furry best friend. A good place to start in finding the right food is to consider the life stage and lifestyle of your pet. Does your dog accompany you on hikes and runs? Do you have an aging dog or perhaps a puppy? Could your beloved pet stand to shed a couple pounds? All of these questions can help you determine whether you require a simple maintenance food or a more specialized dietary option. You should also keep in mind that, while it’s often appealing for us to enjoy a wide variety of foods and flavors, this isn’t always helpful when feeding your pet. When you find a product that works and all indications suggest that your pet is healthy and happy, we would generally encourage our customers to stick with it unless something changes. Fall 2015

Mike Eigenbrode and Ira Richards When you start flipping over the bags to look at ingredients, you should keep in mind that AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) requires that they be listed in order of predominance by weight. So although dogs are considered natural omnivores,

you will want to look for a food that is rich in quality proteins such as poultry, lamb, fish, or other meat sources. Don’t be turned off if the ingredients list some (or all) of the proteins as a “meal”; this Continued NEXT PAGE 21

simply refers to the meat after it has been cooked/prepared as an ingredient for this pet food. In many cases we actually prefer to see a “meal” at the top of the list because we know that the protein is a predominant ingredient even after the moisture has been cooked out. As you scan the list, be sure that the food contains only ingredients you feel comfortable feeding your furry friend. Remember that the latter portion of the ingredient list generally contains the “vitamin and mineral packet”, which is added to ensure that each pet food maintains specific nutritional requirements. Some of the other buzzwords right now that increase the number of options in the aisle include “grain-free” and “raw diet” foods. The underlying nutritional philosophy of these categories is that they align more appropriately with a canine’s physiology and natural diet. As a pet food buyer, it’s important to know that there are certainly strong cases to be made for both the “grain-free” and conventional recipe foods; both are designed to meet the nutritional requirements of your beloved pet. The added benefit of having options such as “grain-free” or “limited ingredient diets” (L.I.D.) is that we can really fine-tune our feeding to meet specific health requirements when necessary. By finding a pet food brand you can trust and by isolating a type of food that meets your goals for your pet’s health and well-being, you can feel confident in your buying decision. Has any of this information helped? Are you still standing in the middle of the pet food aisle, mouth hanging open as you stare blankly at a long list of ingredients? Have no fear, we’ve all been there. Our pets are a part of the family and they rely on us to do right by them. At West Lebanon Feed & Supply, we take that responsibility very seriously and are here to help assist you in finding a diet solution that meets your specific goals for health and budget. Our knowledgeable staff can take you stepby-step through our wide assortment of quality foods and help you pick the best option. And because we guarantee satisfaction on all of our pet foods, you can shop with confidence knowing that we’re committed to helping you find nutrition for a lifetime of health for your pet, full of slobbery kisses and wagging tails.

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Loan Repayment Program Promotes Food Animal Practice T

he Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA) has awarded $58,000 in grants to three Vermont food animal veterinarians: Dr. Alison Cornwall of Middlesex, Dr. Megan Foy of Danville, and Dr. Jennifer Hull of Enosburg Falls. These grants were made possible through funding by the Vermont Legislature to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. The program is administered by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and the Vermont Veterinary Medical Association. This is the third round of awards for the Loan Repayment Program which began in fiscal year 2012. The veterinarians commit to a year of service in food animal practice in underserved areas of the state in return for the award which is used to pay off their student loans. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the average student loan debt veterinary school graduate is over $162,000. “The loan repayment program helps to ease the burden of student loans while ensuring that rural areas of Vermont have access to veterinary services to protect the health of the animals and the quality of the food they produce” said Dr. Millie Armstrong, VVMA President.

The VVMA is pleased to announce the recipients of their 2015 scholarships: Rebecca Calder of Shelburne is a senior at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and a graduate of the University of Vermont;

Megan Haughy of Richford is a senior at Oklahoma State University and a graduate of the University of Vermont;

Madalyn Kirbach of Mendon is a senior at Oklahoma State University and a graduate of Castleton State College; Jessica Werner of Middlebury is a junior at Colorado State University and a graduate of Colby College.

Congratulations to these Vermont students! Fall 2015 23

Let’s Talk Turkey Your Pets and Thanksgiving T

Goats have no upper front teeth. Instead they have a hard "gum pad" in the place of upper teeth. Football is partfront of our Thanksgiving tradition.

Be sure your bird is cooked to temperature and your ball properly inflated.

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M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM

he last thing any pet owner wants to do on Thanksgiving is rush their pet to the animal emergency room. The sad truth is that many pets are injured or poisoned around Thanksgiving. How can you make sure your holiday doesn’t end in disaster? During the holidays, most animal related ER visits are due to eating something inappropriate. Some foods cause upset stomachs, some are poisonous, and some can cause life-threatening obstructions. We know that 60% of us will share our holiday meal with our pets, but you should follow a few basic guidelines. A small amount of white turkey is an acceptable treat but definitely avoid the turkey skin and the turkey bones. The skin is often fatty and can cause pets to develop pancreatitis, a painful and potentially lethal inflammation of your pet’s pancreas. Poultry bones, especially cooked, have potential to both break off and cause a perforation of the digestive tract or cause an obstruction. Other foods to avoid include grapes and raisins, excessively salty foods, foods flavored with onion or garlic powder, desserts and sweets containing Xylitol, and chocolates. All leftovers should be secured behind a pet-proof door. Remember, keep your trash can secure. As we leave the kitchen and dining room to relax with our guests, pets often are lured by the enticing smell of food and can sneak into the trash or leftovers. Many items used in the meal preparation and then thrown away can be dangerous. A turkey string, foil wrappers, and food containers may smell like food and be eaten by a curious pet. During family gatherings, if you are having people over that you know can’t resist slipping your pet some people food (there’s one in every family), consider confining pets away from the kitchen/ dining areas. It might also be best to keep pets confined if they are overly anxious. Monitor people going in and out of the front door so that your pets don’t escape. Keep your veterinarian’s and the local animal emergency hospital’s phone numbers handy. A quick call to either of them can give you life-saving advice or even help you avoid a trip to the emergency room. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional organization of more than 330 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine. For more information, visit Fall 2015

Hyperthyroidism in Cats Catherine MacLean, DVM Grantham, NH


yperthyroidism is the most common hormonal abnormality diagnosed in cats. It typically affects cats 7 years of age and older. The most classic clinical sign of hyperthyroidism is a cat that is losing weight despite an excellent appetite. Other clinical signs include restlessness, vomiting, increased water consumption, increased urination, a hair coat that looks unkempt, agitation, and increased vocalization. The thyroid hormone is comparable to an engine in a car. It tells the body systems how fast or slow to go. When a cat is hyperthyroid it speeds everything up. Their appetite is increased and so is their metabolism. That is why despite eating well, the affected cat will continue to lose weight. If hyperthyroidism goes untreated it can lead to serious side effects such as kidney and heart issues. To confirm hyperthyroidism in cats, blood work needs to be done. Most likely your veterinarian will do a full blood panel that will not only look at your cat’s thyroid level, but will also look at your pet’s red and white blood cells, major organ function, and a urine sample. Occasionally after blood work is run, the most common thyroid level that is checked may be in what is called the grey zone. This is where the thyroid level that was checked is within the normal range, but on the higher end of normal. If your veterinarian is suspicious that your cat has hyperthyroidism, she may suggest testing additional thyroid levels. The good news is that if your cat is diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, it is a treatable condition. There are several treatment options involved. These include: • Daily oral or topical medication. This will help reduce your cat’s thyroid hormone levels. Your cat will need to be on the medication for life and will need blood work monitoring to access if your pet is getting the right dose and if his body is handling it ok. • Therapeutic diet. There is a prescription diet available. This diet restricts the amount of iodine in your cat’s diet. It must be fed exclusively and often means cutting out most treats. • Surgery. This would involve removing the thyroid. There are side effects and complications that can occur. • Radioactive iodine treatment. This is considered the gold standard of treatment. This is not inexpensive. It involves your pet going to a clinic that is allowed by state law to administer the radioactive iodine (there is one located in Concord, NH). Your cat will be given an injection under the skin of the radioactive iodine Continued NEXT PAGE

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and then stay at the hospital for up to five days. After this treatment, your cat will no longer need medication. My own personal cat Jack was very recently diagnosed with hyperthyroidism completely by accident. I adopted Jack from a shelter over eight years ago when I was in veterinary school. Jack picked me, and he was really lucky that he did because he is an expensive cat. He gets urinary stones, so he needs to be on a special prescription diet and he also has dental issues which needs frequent dentals. In early June I brought Jack to work with me to extract a bad tooth. Whenever Jack needs dental work he gets blood work done. While at the clinic it was noted he had lost about 1.25 lbs in the course of a year. This was strange to me because we measure out our cats’ food and he is the dominant cat in our house (i.e. he’s always shoving Misty away from her bowl so he can eat her food after he finishes his). When his blood work came back the next day, I saw that the thyroid level we commonly look for was in the grey zone. I ordered additional thyroid testing and it came back that Jack was hyperthyroid. I had no idea! If we had never weighed him and done blood work, I would have never known since he wasn’t having any of the typical clinical signs. We started Jack out on pills because he’ll eat anything in a pill pocket. The problem for my family is that we travel a lot and we’re not always around to give a pill twice a day. So after Jack was on pills for about six weeks, we made the decision that due to his relatively young age of nine, and our lifestyle, that radioactive iodine was the best treatment for him. In late July Jack went to Concord to get treated. My husband and I got to be crazy pet parents and checked in on him with the pet camera that they had set up in his room while he had to stay there. After several days, his radiation levels were low enough that it was safe for him to come home. Jack was happy to return to being king of the house and keeping everyone in line. Most cats with hyperthyroidism when treated, get to have a happy ending. If you suspect your cat may have hyperthyroidism or is diagnosed with it, you and your veterinarian can discuss which treatment option is best for you and your cat.

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Jack has fully recovered from Hyperthyrodism.

Dr. MacLean completed her Bachelor of Science from Penn State University, her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Atlantic Veterinary College, and her pet acupuncture certification from Chi Institute. Her areas of special interest include general practice and acupuncture. She opened Sugar River Animal Hospital in 2013, and she has been practicing veterinary medicine since 2010. Dr. MacLean’s family consists of her husband Matt, her daughter Katarina, and their three pets: Jack and Misty, two cats, and Arrow, a dog.

Fall 2015

There’s Always Time for Horses G

Sarah Parenti

rowing up I had always been interested in horses. Collecting model horses, owning an imaginary horse, that was what I loved. While visiting my grandmother in New York (a true horsewoman at heart), I always had to visit the horses at the stable as well. She had a beautiful black Tennessee Walker named Kit, who I absolutely adored. He actually ended up being my first horse, and I learned a lot from him. At age seven I began to take riding lessons with my friend Shannon at a cute little stable in Norwich, Vermont called Prince and the Pauper Riding Stables. That barn had the best instructor that I have ever had the privilege to learn from, and I doubt I will ever find anyone better than her. I still think about Mrs. Prince all the time. After a few years there, I moved on to North Country Pony Club where I got up to a D2 rating. However, Coppertop Stables where my grandmother keeps her horse has remained one of my favorite places to ride. I also met my friend Grace there, and when I visit we usually ride together. At the barn, there is a stunning rescue horse named Rocky. No one is completely sure about what happened to him in his past, but judging by his current health he didn’t always have the best homes. Rocky is by far one of the sweetest horses that I’ve ever met, and everyone else that knows him agrees. He’d follow you to the moon if he could. I’ve taken him to two shows these past two summers, and loved every moment of getting to work with him. We only do classes that are easy on him, but we both love them. This year I decided to take him to a show a little late, giving me only a couple days to work with him beforehand. I didn’t have my heart set on a blue ribbon, I was just happy Rocky was well enough to show. The first two classes that day weren’t the best, but we tried. The second class we actually got last place, but that didn’t stop me from smiling and waving to my little cheer squad that consisted of a few family and friends. I proudly paraded around with that ugly brown ribbon attached to Rocky’s bridle. In fact, it’s on display in my room right now and I don’t plan on taking it down any time soon. The last class of the day was a command class, which we had gotten second place in last summer. It’s basically Simon says on horseback, and it’s my favorite class. Almost immediately the riders in that class had been called out, and we happily took first place! But honestly, I almost like the ugly brown ribbon better. It says we tried, and that’s all that matters.  It was a great experience for both of us. Back at home I still ride occasionally on my neighbor’s horse J (short for Just Imagine), which is always fun to do. It can be hard to fit into my schedule sometimes, but I’ll always find a way to set aside some time for horses.

Sarah Parent: Finding time for a ride.

Sarah Parenti started the 10th grade this fall at Rivendell Academy in Orford, NH Fall 2015 27

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Bruce & Hobbes Hit the Airwaves (and the Roadways) to Help End Bullying W

hen Bruce & Tami Zeman first rescued Hobbes from the Addison County Humane Society in Middlebury, Vermont in November 2009, they hoped to give the tiny dog a second chance, and change his life. Little did they know adopting the smooth, red dachshund would not only change his life, but theirs, too. Radio personality & animal rights activist Bruce Zeman still remembers the phone call he received on November 26th, 2009 about the small, battered dog. It came from the shelter manager of the Addison County Humane Society, who asked Zeman to look at the pup, recently rescued from a terrible domestic violence situation. Having extensive experience with dachshunds, Zeman agreed, and in seeing the dog, and the effects of his injuries - he knew he had to act. The next day, the Zeman’s adopted the pup, changed his name to “Hobbes,” and brought him home. Not long after “Hobbes” joined his new family, Zeman began talking about him on his morning radio show, ‘The Wake-Up Crew with Bruce Zeman,” on WVTK-FM in Middlebury. The response from listeners was immediate, and unprecedented, as the show grew in popularity, and gained a nationwide following. Listeners loved Hobbes, and wanted him to be more involved in the program. Zeman realized the important opportunity the Fall 2015

duo had to help animals, and people, by telling Hobbes’ story. Working with his program director, the visionary Gale Parmelee, the two made a historic decision - to create the nation’s first, and only, human / canine radio duo, “Bruce & Hobbes.” The two “Best Buddies” were on their way, and haven’t looked back. Since becoming radio partners, “Bruce & Hobbes” have used their radio show, and celebrity status, to help kids & animals across the country. The duo regularly speak at events on topics such as anti-domestic violence, bullying, empathy, compassion and the humane treatment of animals. Judging from the impact of their work, Bruce & Hobbes’ message is making a difference. In 2012, Bruce & Hobbes were honored by the Vermont Association of Broadcasters with the prestigious Alan Noyes Award, recognizing their extra-ordinary commitment to community service. The duo was also recognized by the Vermont Legislature, in 2012, for their work on behalf of animals. The pair has helped over 1,000 animals find homes, and raised over $50,000 for the Addison County Humane Society. Yet the “Best Buddies” hopes to do more, and they’re hitting the roadways (and the airwaves) to do it. Continued NEXT PAGE 29

Last year, to tell Hobbes’ story, Zeman and his wife Tami, wrote a groundbreaking children’s book, “Hobbes Goes Home,” which not only tells the dog’s story, but talks about issues such as bullying, an issue almost every school, and student, is confronted with. In an effort to help Vermont’s students, Bruce & Hobbes launched a statewide, anti-bullying tour, and are reading “Hobbes Goes Home,” in EVERY Vermont school. To date, the boys have visited over 80 schools, and they’re just getting started. With the 2016 school year underway, more schools are scheduled – and now, Bruce & Hobbes are receiving invitations to speak in schools across the nation. How important is the book? “Hobbes Goes Home,” has received attention from President Barack Obama, VT Congressman Peter Welch, and Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin. The book has also been praised by educators, teachers and parents – some of whom have called “Hobbes Goes Home,” one of the most important children’s books written in years. Earlier this year, Bruce & Hobbes returned to the airwaves with their new, national podcast, “Bruce & Hobbes Radio,” which is available Wednesdays at The show features animal-related topics, and explores all aspects of animal care & welfare. Bruce & Hobbes speak with experts on animal-related subjects, and invite listeners to share their views & comments on the informative, and interactive podcast. Listeners can subscribe to “Bruce & Hobbes Radio” for free on I-Tunes, or can have the show sent to them each week by sending an e-mail to

le Bruce & Hobbes are availab for speaking engagements, and anti-bullying presentations, nation-wide. “Hobbes Goes Home” can be purchased by visiting Contact Information Scheduling / Inquiries: Scheduling Contact: pi Zeman - 802-377-1602 Cru i Tam Website:

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If I Can’t Brush My Cat’s or Dog’s Teeth, What Else Can I Do to Control Periodontal Disease? I

Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS-Windsor, VT

have written about periodontal disease in prior issues of 4 Legs & A Tail. Periodontal disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats, and is present to some degree in 80% of pets over the age of 3 years. It is caused by plaque accumulation in the space between the gum and the tooth (the gingival sulcus). Periodontal disease is associated with oral pain, bad breath, ulcers in the mouth, loss of bone around the roots of the teeth, loose teeth with eventual loss of teeth and the potential for generalized disease in the heart, liver and kidneys. It is preventable with daily oral care, which means brushing the teeth every day. However, many owners are either unwilling or unable to brush their dog’s teeth every day, and many cats, unless they are trained as kittens, will not tolerate toothbrushing. Fortunately some new products for prevention of periodontal disease or slowing the progression of already present periodontal disease have been introduced. One new product is called SANOS®, which is applied by your veterinarian after the teeth have been professionally cleaned. It earned the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal in November 2011. VOHC exists to recognize products that meet pre-set standards of plaque and calculus (tartar) retardation in dogs and cats. Products are awarded the VOHC Seal of Approval following review of data from trials conducted according to VOHC protocols. The VOHC does not test products itself. There are numerous products on the market that make claims about improving the dental health of dogs and cats. Consumers should be aware that there is no federal governmental oversight of such claims, and it is very much buyer beware. The Veterinary Oral Health Council provides a Seal of Acceptance to companion animal dental products that have undergone strict testing protocols to ensure the safety and efficacy of the product. What is SANOS®? It was develop by Peter Emily, DDS, a human dentist who really wanted to be a veterinarian but whose father would not let him attend veterinary school. He has subsequently worked in veterinary dentistry as well as human Look for the VOHC Seal dentistry. SANOS® is a liquid which is applied by of Acceptance on any means of a small brush directly into the space product with a dental between the gum and the tooth (gingival sulcus). claim for cats or dogs. The idea is to fill this space with the SANOS®. Once applied, the liquid dries in 10 to 15 seconds. It forms a barrier to plaque while allowing water and oxygen to pass through. The owner should not brush the teeth for the first week after SANOS has been applied. It can best be described as a self-hardening liquid bandage device that helps and aids in gingival and oral health. Importantly, no take home follow-up application is required by the owner and one application lasts up to 6 months. While there will be some calculus on the teeth in 6 months, I have been impressed by the lack of plaque or tartar Continued NEXT PAGE

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in the gingival sulcus in SANOS® treated pets at the 6 month re-application. Any tartar on the teeth also seems easier to remove than in non-SANOS® treated pets. It is important to realize that the presence of tartar on the surface of the tooth is not the cause of periodontal disease and is not directly related to the presence and/or severity of periodontal disease. More information about SANOS® can be found at

Sanos® application to the upper fourth premolar and upper canine tooth in the cat. The gingival sulcus is normally quite shallow in the cat. It should be no more than 1mm deep on any of teeth.

Sanos® application to the upper canine tooth in a 100 pound dog. The gingival sulcus depth is quite variable in the dog, with the deepest sulcus occurring on the upper canine tooth and the least deep on the fourth premolars and molars on upper and lower jaws. The supplied brush slides easily into the space. Note for Veterinarians: You must use a non-fluoride prophy paste or pumice flour made into a paste after cleaning the teeth if SANOS® is to be applied. Either product is available from veterinary distributors. Typically prophy paste contains fluoride so you must specify fluoride free. The fluoride ion interferes with the hardening of the SANOS®. If any veterinarians or veterinary technicians have questions about SANOS®, you are welcome to call me for practical tips about using this product at 802-674-2070. Dr. Waugh is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She also holds a Masters Degree from Washington State University of Veterinary Medicine and is owner of Windsor Veterinary & Dental Services. 32 4 Legs & a Tail

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id you know that 2.4 billion birds are killed by outdoor cats in the U.S. every year? Did you also know that 50 million outdoor cats are killed annually in this country due to a number of causes? Perhaps it’s time for birdwatchers and cat lovers to call a truce and work together to end what is, in effect, a holocaust of innocent animals. Re c e n t j o i n t re s e a rc h by t h e Smithsonian Biology Institute and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service revealed that outdoor cats are the number one source of mortality for birds in the U.S. and Canada. It’s important to realize how much suffering is involved, not just for birds, but for cats. Cats allowed outdoors are hit by cars and trucks, poisoned and shot by irate neighbors, trapped in sheds where they starve to death, caught in leg-hold traps, attacked by loose dogs and eaten alive by wild animals like fisher cats. Outdoor house cats also contract feline leukemia (which is often fatal) from other cats outside, particularly from feral cat colonies. If there are so many dangers for cats that venture outside, then why do cat owners allow their beloved pets outdoors? Cat owners are understandably often caught in a dilemma. They are concerned about adding variety to their cats’ lives and want to give their cats an outdoor experience in which they can receive fresh air, sunshine and stimulation. However, they are also concerned about keeping their cats safe while outside, as well as keeping wildlife safe. A good compromise may be a catio. What is a catio? A catio is a specially built outdoor enclosure for cats. Much like a small, screened-in porch, a catio allows cats to lounge in the sun on carpeted shelves and hammocks, play with toys, run through tunnels, climb up perches and scratching posts - all within the safe confines of an enclosure. Kits available by mail can be completed in a single weekend. Catios can range in price from $100 to several thousand for the more palatial enclosures. Some catios are freestanding and portable. Others attach to your house, balcony or back fence. Many catio owners install a human-sized door or fit the catio against Fall 2015

Purrfect Catios at

an exterior door, so they can sit inside the catio to enjoy their felines’ company. According to the Humane Society, catios offered by CatsOnDeck are made of panels that snap together and can be fashioned into a five-level fun house for

cats. Safe Kitty Company offers a 36-footsquare, three-sided catio of wood that can be built so your cat has access to his outdoor play room via a window. Besides Continued NEXT PAGE 33

a variety of enclosures (pictured on pg 33), Purrfect Catio also offers apartment balcony catios. Or you can contact Just4Cats, Catio Designs or Catio Spaces to buy a set of plans for $25-$50 to build your own. “Catios are a great alternative,” says Grant Sizemore, Director of Invasive Species Programs at the American Bird Conservancy. A catio can have a dramatic positive impact upon the lives of birds. The benefit to cats is incredibly positive, too. The average outdoor cat, especially in New Hampshire and Vermont, is lucky to make it to age 2 or 3, while an indoor cat that gets to use a catio can live to a ripe old age of 15. It’s important to understand that when cats attack birds they transmit Pasturella bacteria into the bloodstream of the bird. Pasturella exposure is 100 percent fatal to birds unless the bird is treated Locally, Steve Knapp built a Tree House Catio, promptly with antibiotics. The enclosed with wire screening. safe window for treatment is usually 12-24 hours. After that, the Pasturella quickly replicates in the bird’s immune system and overwhelms and kills the bird by the 72-hour mark. This is why putting a cat-injured bird without treatment back into the wild results in a guaranteed fatality within three days. Cat bites also result in a rupture of internal organs and internal hemorrhaging both of which often result in death. Swift action on your part in getting an injured bird to a wildlife rehabilitator can prevent a fatality. In addition, a catio can help maintain good neighbor relations. Cats allowed to roam outdoors have a tendency to defecate in vegetable gardens, treating the raised beds as if they were giant litter boxes. These feces can carry Toxoplasmosis, which can make people very sick. Toxoplasmosis exposure can result in miscarriage, fetal deformities, blindness and memory loss, according to Sizemore. The bottom line is that cats are not expendable items. They are cherished pets with unique personalities that deserve your care and protection. Birds deserve the same care and protection as well. With a little compromise, the rewards can be great–for all concerned.   Catherine Greenleaf is the director of St. Francis Wild Bird Hospital in Lyme, N.H. If you have an injured bird, please call 603-795-4850. 34 4 Legs & a Tail

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Fall 2015 35

Stressed Pet? Consider the Reiki Alternative Kelly McDermott-Burns


Reiki can be performed on a variety of pets & animals.

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ost people I meet these days have had Reiki, practice Reiki, or know someone who does. However, people are often surprised to hear that I am an Animal Reiki practitioner. “Well, how does that work?� they ask. I see them trying to envision a dog or cat on the Reiki table while I move around putting my hands on them. Reiki with animals is a gentle, noninvasive treatment as it is with humans but rather than placing my hands on an animal I sit quietly and invite them to enter the healing space. Through breathContinued NEXT PAGE

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ing techniques and meditation I create a feeling of peace and calm that animals can feel and respond to. The animal is completely in charge of how much Reiki they receive, for how long, and whether or not the session will be hands on. I communicate to them that they don’t have to have Reiki if they don’t want it. When I met Billy the chihuahua , he was lying on a little bed at the humane society, recovering from surgery. He had been to the vet to be neutered and he also had dental work done. A long time stray, he looked wary of me and I gave him plenty of space. I spoke softly to him about Reiki. As the session began he looked up at me then gingerly got to his feet and slowly came over. He put his paws on my leg, stretching up to get a better look at me. I felt it would be okay to join him on the floor. Billy immediately got in my lap. We sat quietly together with Reiki flowing. Billy sat happily in my lap for more than thirty minutes enjoying his session. When I told Billy it was time to stop he backed up to me, put his hind legs on my thigh and pointed his butt up at me as if to say, “I need Reiki here too!” Animals often present us with the areas in need of healing. Winchester is a handsome dog who has separation anxiety. When his person would leave for work he would be clingy and then chew her things. I went to their house for Winchester’s first session. Winchester was curious right off the bat. He would come and sit in front of me and stare. Finally, he settled on his bed, let out a sigh and relaxed. The following day when his friend left for work, he wasn’t so clingy. When she came home there was no evidence of anything having been chewed. After several sessions, Winchester’s anxiety improved tremendously. Occasionally, Winchester requires a treatment or two when something out of the ordinary happens, for instance, a vacation. These sessions support him through the situation and the anxiety remains at bay. So, what is Reiki? Reiki (ray-key) is spiritually guided life force energy. Reiki is also the name of the spiritual practice developed in Japan in the early 1900’s by Mikao Usui. Using meditations, precepts, hands on healing, initiations, and symbols and mantras, the practitioner learns to expand and strengthen this energy that is already in each of us. By practicing these techniques the practitioner creates a sense of peace and well being within that radiates outward. Over the years, my clients have included dogs, cats, horses, and alpacas, among others. The reasons their people have requested Reiki are many and varied, from fear of thunder, separation Fall 2015

anxiety, surgery, chronic conditions, and wellness, to end of life care. As Reiki is non-harming and non-invasive it is an excellent compliment to any traditional medical care and will not interfere. I have used Reiki frequently for my own animal friends. My greatest teacher was my kitty friend Murphy who loved his regular Reiki sessions. As he got older he developed arthritis in his hind quarters. I would sit on the couch and he would get in my lap facing away from me so I could put my hands on his rump. When he was done he would get down and curl up in his bed. Murphy had lymphoma and required several trips to the vet. I would always offer Reiki before we went to calm him. I would chant Reiki mantras on the way and hold the space in the treatment room. He clearly handled these trips with ease unlike the days before I was practicing Reiki. When Murphy’s cancer finally got the best of him I sat with him and offered Reiki one last time. Murphy’s transition was peaceful for everyone including the vet. Kelly McDermott-Burns is the founder of HeartSong Reiki and HeartSong for Animals. She is a certified Reiki practitioner/teacher and a founding member of the Shelter Animal Reiki Association. 37

Alternatively Speaking: More Tools for Better Success


Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA

arlier this spring I needed to cut a board to finish the last of my raised beds for my little garden. The wood kept moving, my progress was slow and frustrating. I managed a crooked cut, not quite the right length, good enough. Had I used a clamp to hold the board and a different technique to measure my cut things, it would have gone easier, come out better and I would not be nursing a blister. We all know the sayings “the right tool for the job” and “if the only tool you have is a hammer you tend to see every problem as a nail.” When I practiced only conventional medicine, the medical approach was thorough, but limiting. The tools for evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment were all designed to fit this system of medicine. Any patient whose disease did not fit into this system was left with few options. But medical traditions have existed for centuries before the birth of modern medicine. The fact that they were developed through observation and trial and error,

not in a laboratory, does not detract from the knowledge these medical systems generated. Today they still provide tools for assessment and treatment that we can use to help our patients. Teala was an adorable and very sweetnatured 6 year old Chihuahua who lived with a loving family. Teala was vomiting often and was very dehydrated and weak. Her regular veterinarian identified liver and kidney disease, possibly from an infection or toxin, the cause was not clear. Further testing was not possible and neither was the level of hospitalization her condition required. Her owners were devoted and did not want to lose her at such a young age. Her veterinarian gave fluids and medications for nausea and infection. Drugs had mostly stopped the vomiting but she was still not doing well. From a Western perspective, her blood values were life threatening, without more tests or aggressive intervention, her chances were slim. Teala was initially seen by my colleague, Dr. Black, five days later. Her kidneys were not working properly and waste products in her blood were 7 – 10 times over the normal limit and starting to damage her body. Her tongue was raw with ulcers, she was weak, thin, and eating and drinking very little. With this level of kidney damage there was not much hope with full Western tests and therapies, Dr Black used other tools to assess and treat Teala. Teala needed help for her damaged organs, but she had to eat to survive and to take in medicine. Dr Black used a combination approach or integrative therapy. Teala continued on Western medicines for nausea, hydrating fluids, antibiotics and antacids for the heartburn caused by kidney failure. A nutritional support was added to provide whole food nutrients to the kidneys, containing the specific vitamins, minerals and enzymes needed. Western medicine often ignores the greatest tool we have to help our bodies fight disease – nutrition. In my opinion, nutritional therapy is best done using whole foods in supplements, raw feeding or fresh homemade diets. After 24 hours Teala began to eat a little more. After 3 days she was still very weak and wobbling around, but feeling a bit better and continuing to eat. Her kidney values were high, but had come down significantly. Dr Black was still concerned her waste levels were too high for Continued NEXT PAGE

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her little body. I was consulted to evaluate Teala from a Chinese medical perspective, allowing us another set of therapeutic tools. Traditional Chinese Medicine is one of the most documented ancient medical practices, with Chinese explanations of physiology, identification of disease patterns, and formularies of herbal treatments dating back to 2000 BC. Using this method, the way we interpret exam findings are designed to fit the Chinese medical system and generate totally different ideas about what is going wrong. This different perspective gives us the treatment tools of acupuncture and herbs, and gives us clues for what Western therapies may work alongside for maximum success. The formula we chose for Teala fit her Chinese diagnosis, but also the actions of the plants in this formula include treatment of acute inflammatory damage to the kidney and liver. It is being studied extensively for its success in treating a number of conditions in people. Two weeks later, Teala was really starting to feel better, not vomiting, drinking well on her own, and playing with her pups. As kidney values improved she was weaned off Western medications. Dr Black added more nutritional supports for her liver and kidneys. Two months after becoming ill, Teala was back to her normal self. She was eating a home cooked diet, drinking normally, and had gained weight. Blood values were still elevated at only twice normal values. Teala continues to feel and act like a normal dog. She is on nutritional supports for her liver and kidneys, a home cooked diet, and Chinese herbs. With no outward symptoms any kidney damage, her values continue to remain near normal. How powerful our bodies can be at recovering from illness, given support and time to allow them to. This case is also an example of utilizing all the knowledge, modern and ancient, to help treat our patients. Integrating different medical approaches gives us opportunities to examine the patient using different yardsticks, giving us more tools for treatment should the conventional approach not provide the answers we need. Having the correct tools and the knowledge of how to use them, makes all the difference. Every day that I practice medicine I am so very thankful for the additional “tools� alternative medicine gives us to help our patients. 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 Fall 2015

Teala-A survivor thanks to traditional and holistic treatments. 39



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t was humorist Josh Billings who said, “A dog is the only thing on earth who loves you more than he loves himself.” The best part of a dog’s love is that it doesn’t come with an expiration date. How many of us have at least one password as the name of our first dog. After more than 40 years, my first dog will still visit me in my dreams. Whenever I see a beagle, it brings me back to a simpler time, and I can almost feel Snoopy’s presence. As a little girl, Kate grew up with her best friend, Blondie, a Golden Retriever. Goldie was 70 pounds of love, who loved people, especially Kate. Before the spoils of video games and social media, Kate and Blondie would spend hours playing in winters wonderland and wasting summer days the way kids do. As fall arrived, Blondie was Kate’s constant companion, walking her up the driveway to catch the school bus and greeting her there in the afternoon, with tail wagging. Every night when Kate would climb into bed and say her prayers, Blondie would wait for mom or dad to turn out the light, then she would curl up at the foot of Kate’s bed, where she would sleep the night through. But just as all of us are only here for a short time, the same goes for our best friends. The day came when it was only mom who met Kate at the bus. As the tears rolled like a summer thunderstorm, Kate’s mom hugged her with love and shared, “Your heart is large enough to always hold a place for Blondie and she will always be with us.” Although only days passed before they boxed up Blondie’s bowl and collar, weeks and even months later, Kate would empty the vacuum and smile as she gently removed dog hair. Mom was right, Blondie would always be with us. It was a cold night in October when Kate settled into a restless sleep. It was the kind of dream that you know is a dream but also feels very real. She heard a dog barking, so loudly in fact that it actually woke her. Maybe it was a neighbor dog? But before she could put her thoughts together, her mind raced to another issue...something’s burning! The smell was distinct and definitely not a dream. Kate ran quickly down the hall and woke her parents. Her dad knew instantly that it was the furnace and rushed the family next door and called the fire department. The first responders arrived quickly and to the good fortune of all, the furnace had just begun to smolder with only minor smoke damage, confined to the basement. After a couple of hours the coast was clear. “It will be light soon. Why don’t you try to get some sleep,” dad said to Kate. As her parents ushered her into her room, they all stopped on a dime. Maybe our dogs will always be with us, because there on the foot of the bed lay Blondie’s collar. Fall 2015

Firemen, English Bulldogs and 2016 R

Karen Sturtevant

iddle me this: What do handsome firemen, wrinkly English bulldogs and a warm July day have in common? Answer: They all came together to make summer magic. The Williston-based Vermont English Bulldog Rescue has placed over 20 dogs just this year. Every dog arrives with its own story: surrendered due to an owners illness, too many pets and one had to go, too expensive, too this or too that, found tied to a tree behind an abandoned building, one of 48 animals in one house––all true–– and the list goes on. English bulldogs are among one the most expensive canine breeds to own, prone to respiratory problems, eye issues, are heat susceptible, cold sensitive, and often have arthritis and skin infections. On the flip-side, they are delightful, silly, good-natured and show steadfast determination. When a new bulldog arrives, they are seen by a vet where health issues are accessed and a spay or neuter scheduled, if not already done. The road to rehabilitation begins on day one, minute one. Many dogs arrive outside of New England––as far away as Florida and Texas. We’ve been able to coordinate the journey of many by way of land and air. One leg of the Vermont-bound destination may first be made with a road transport volunteer, the next by a foster, still another by a local shelter saint and then the final leg flown by a member of Pilots and Paws. An army of like-minded people looking out for the welfare of those misfortunate through no fault of their own. A full-time job without question. This is not cheap vocation. The time and energy devoted to these smushy-faced canines rivals that of parent to child. High quality dog food (kibble and wet), nutritional supplements, veterinarian bills, baths, ear wash, vaccinations, medications, harnesses, leashes, and on and on. Like many rescues, these expenses are paid out of our own pockets, donations and any funds raised by activities like tag and bake sales. You’ll see us clipping coupons and searching for sales on pumpkin, sardines and two for one deals on organic kale and strawberries. We’ve recently made photo notecards featuring our rescues and t-shirts, available on our website. We are grateful for every dollar and thought we’d take a chance, a big bulldog chance, at a fundraising calendar (remember the reference to the handsome firemen?). With the thumbsup of town management, we arrived with a pack of adopted and hope-to-be-adopted rescue dogs, at our hometown fire station. Professional photographers Cat McKeen and Jeremy LeClair with cameras at the ready spent the next few hours playing dog wranglers and directors with a group of incredibly humble and courteous, strong, and sweet firemen and EMTs. The dogs ranged from rambunctious (Ramsey, Buddy, and Pete) to calm and can-I-have-a-break-and-lie-on-this-coolfloor (Tilley, Penney, and Patches). Each dog was given the red carpet treatment and doted upon––another teaching lesson that not all people are cruel––including puppy mill survivors, Buttercup and Lulubelle. With their big hearts and strong want to trust, Butter and Lu bravely marched up when it was their turn and showed us that every day spent showing them kindness and compassion comes back one hundred times. They were troopers, being fussed over and adored. Their photos, along with their canine companion and new human friends, will grace the pages of our first annual calendar, The Rescuers and The Rescued. All proceeds will be used to pay Continued NEXT PAGE

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the astronomical medical, transport and rehabilitation costs of saving these regal dogs. Shiny red firetrucks (one an antique), a group of Vermont’s finest first responders and medley of somewhat well-behaved (but always well-meaning and darn cute) English bulldogs will guide us through 2016 page by page. Ramsey and Pete both want to be featured for May––we may have to flip a coin. We are beyond thankful for the people that made this project happen in record time. This special calendar will be available for purchase at both locations of Pet Food Warehouse and on our website,www. At the end of the day, the verdict was in: Yes, magic really does happen. Karen Sturtevant is a freelance writer, works at the nutritional supplement company, FoodScience Corporation, is editor-in-chief and contributing writer of Vermont Bride magazine, and the author of two children’s books, The Adventures of Gert & Stu and Zippy too and The Rainy Day Adventures of Gert & Stu and Zippy too. She volunteers with Green Mountain Animal Defenders and Vermont English Bulldog Rescue. She shares her home with two guinea pigs, two Russian tortoises, fiancé, Mike and her beautiful English bulldog Penney.

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Horses prefer either the left or right side, just like humans.

Fall 2015 43

Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears S

Elisa Speckert-Norwich, VT

o you’ve been to the veterinarian with your dog and they have either recommended that your dog’s ears should be cleaned regularly or your dog has been diagnosed with an ear infection. In either case it will be necessary for you to know how to clean your dog’s ears at home. For some owners and dogs this will be a relatively easy endeavor, while for others this could be a situation that requires time, practice and patience. Start by purchasing appropriate ear cleaning supplies. This includes cotton balls or rolled cotton and an appropriate ear cleaner- preferably one from your veterinarian that is tailored to your dog’s specific needs (some ear cleaners have anti-fungals or antibiotics in them). If you choose to purchase an ear-cleaner over the counter please make sure that it contains a drying agent and does not contain tea tree oil (as this can be toxic to your dog). Some dogs will allow you to squirt the ear cleaning solution directly into their ears- but most dogs do better using the cotton ball method. Saturate a cotton ball with the ear cleaner and then use the saturated cotton to wipe out the inside of the ear. If your dog will allow it, squeeze the excess solution from the cotton ball into the ear. Massage the base of your dog’s ear in order to loosen the debris and encourage the ear cleaner to travel down the ear canal. Use a cotton ball to wipe the debris from the ear. Make sure to clean the pinna (outside part of the ear) as well as the many folds and crevices inside the ear. Dog ear canals are very different from human ear canals because they enter the head vertically and then take a 90 degree turn. This means that the ear drum is quite far down in your dog’s ear and is virtually impossible to injure using just your finger and a cotton ball. Do not be afraid to insert your finger deep inside your dog’s ear. Q-tips can be used on the

outer part of the ear but should only be used by owners who are very experienced with ear cleaning and familiar with the anatomy of the dog ear. This is due to the fact that it is possible to injure the eardrum if the Q-tip is inserted too deep in the ear canal. Once you have cleaned all the visible debris from your dog’s ear, allow them to shake their heads- this will help to bring debris from deeper in the ear canal to the surface where it can be removed. After your dog has shaken its head use another cotton ball to remove the new debris that is now visible. Training your dog early to accept ear cleaning makes it much easier to address any potential ear issues they may have later in life. If your dog has not been trained to accept ear cleaning from a young age it may be a more difficult task for you. Remember to be patient and try to pair the cleaning with lots of praise and possibly treats.. Elisa Speckert is a graduate of the University of Vermont with a degree in Animal Science and a veterinary technician at River Road Veterinary Clinic in Norwich, VT.

Luna & Sunny hangin' in Newbury,NH. Photo from Anna Hecker

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PaddockPartners Heidi Jo Hauri-Gill

Dear Heidi, I keep my horse at a stable and he has started pacing up and down his stall. The stable manager called this “stall walking.” Why does he do this, is there anything that I can do? Cindy C. Hubbardton, VT Hello Cindy! Thank you for your question. This is one that many people can relate to and is categorized under “stable vices.” Stall walking is typically a signature of nervousness, boredom, or lack of contact with other horses. Usually the stall walker walks circles in their stall. A “weaver” goes back and forth from one foot to the other or in a pacing manner from corner to corner. They can be very similar so I will address them both here, as most of the causes are usually similar, however, one difference being the possible stimulation the weaver gets from seeing the bars pass by quickly.   Horses are a nomadic and herd based species. When they can’t move freely, or contact other horses you are more likely notice this behavior. The simplest treatment for this is to turn the horse out with others for longer periods of time. There are many times when this isn’t possible, so another common solution is to break up their hay and grain portions into smaller and more frequent feedings. Some people use slow feeder bags to give the horse something to do for longer periods of time, sadly I have seen stall walkers get a bite of hay and then walk a lap in their stall and grab another bite, so this may not work for your horse. Other people have found that boredom control items help, like the jolly ball or things that the horse can roll around in its stall and have a small bit of grain or a treat come out. Of course these items in the stall can cause problems as well, so use your judgment if you implement these simulator techniques.   It is important that you know that as long as the stall environment is safe, no sharp points, or objects, nothing for the horse to get caught on in a fully enclosed stall, the likelihood of something bad happening is small (don’t forget to factor in Murphy’s law and multiply by 10). Typically the problems with stall walking are: increased wear on the stall floor, excessive bedding use, and unnatural wear on the shoes or barefoot hoof. The unnatural wear can cause balance issues if the horse is not shod or trimmed regularly and more frequently than in the non stall walking horse. Hoof imbalance can cause a number of foot and limb lameness so you may want to discuss this with your farrier for answers on the severity of the walking. Thrush or other bacterial issues could pose a problem as the horse is commonly walking through manure and mixing it in the bedding creating a wonderful environment for disease to the hooves. There was a time where the thought was that this could be a learned behavior, and that horses in neighboring stalls may pick it up. This has since been proven not to be an issue. It is possible that a foal can learn this from the mom, and stall walking and other stable vices do run in families, so the question is still out there about genetics or early behavior.   If you notice that your horse stall walks during specific times, such as during feeding time, or while other horses are being turned out, try to vary the schedule for him/ her and see if that helps. I have seen horses begin to stall walk when they are at a show, or braided in anticipation of what is going on such as competition, try braiding your horse for non competition days, or traveling somewhere and then just coming home. These might help reduce the stress that could be encouraging the behavior.   Ultimately be sure to keep your horse safe, watch for hoof and limb issues, and try to feed more fiber during the day or night when you can, but don’t worry too much. A happy horse is a horse who is turned out safely with other horses who get along.  Good Luck! Heidi  Heidi Jo Hauri-Gill is the owner of First Choice Riding Academy in Enfield, NH. She is a graduate of Westmoreland Davis International Equestrian Institute, as well as UNH. Although Heidi’s passion is teaching and training she is also an L-Graduate with distinction. Heidi incorporates cavaletti and jumping in every horse/rider’s training plans. Fall 2015 45

Should You Look Your Gift Horse in the Mouth? Kristen Clapp, DVM-Chester, VT


e’ve all heard it. "Never look a gift horse in the mouth". Well, when it comes to our horses, I could not disagree more. Having regular dental examinations one to two times a year by a trained professional is one of the best things we can do for them. Horses have what we call hypsodont teeth. What we see above the gum line is the crown of the tooth. Below the gum line, however, is the reserve crown and apex or tooth roots. These make up a majority of the tooth. It is the reserve crown that erupts from the gum line, replacing what is worn away as they age. Because of this, a horse can be born with or develop dental abnormalities at any age. Being that the mouth is the beginning of a complex digestive system it only makes sense to keep a watchful eye out for any abnormalities or disease processes that could affect your horse’s health. Amongst many diseases and developmental abnormalities that your veterinarian watches for, a particular one of interest is Equine Odontoclastic Tooth Resorption and Hypercementosis (EOTRH). What a mouthful! EOTRH is only recently gaining the recognition that it deserves. This disease is more common then once realized and is a painful and progressive disease process of the incisors and canines. There is still much to be learned about EOTRH however it does have similarities to disease found in both cats and humans. Unfortunately, this relatively common disease has no cure and not knowing much about it, there is little that can be advised for prevention. However, with veterinarians becoming more aware, more horses can be properly managed and treated, while leading successful careers, pain free. Horses affected by EOTRH can be any age, but it is typically recognized in horses over the age of 15. The first thing an owner may notice is that their horse has trouble grasping apples and carrots with their front teeth, eventually losing interest in these treats entirely. Horses In addition to tartar build up around the gum line, fistulas leading to draining may also, but not always, have increased head shaking, tracts of infected tooth roots are depicted here. Photo credit: Northeast Equine Veterinary Dental Services drooling, resistance to turn during work, and periods of inappetance or decreased appetite leading to weight loss. Horses will often learn to graze with their lips thereby avoiding the use of their incisors entirely. These horses are often head shy, resisting their upper lips being manipulated to look at their teeth. Often times, a horse with EOTRH will become alert under the heaviest sedation when the pressure of an oral speculum is applied to the incisors for a dental exam. It is also not uncommon for a horse to exhibit no signs, due to the chronicity and/ or the variable stages of the disease. So what exactly is happening to the teeth of a horse with EOTRH? For reasons still not understood, there is an inflammatory process acting on the incisors and canine teeth. Normally, there is a balance between the cells called odontoblasts and odontoclasts. The odontoblasts build up normal dental tissues where as odontoclasts are responsible for the destruction of dental tissues. With EOTRH, an unknown trigger causes both the breaking down of tissue, referred to as odontoclastic tooth resoprtion, and in turn, the laying down of new tissue (cementum) by cementoblasts, referred to as hypercementosis. This results in loss and weakening of important structures of the tooth leading to tooth fracture, pain Thise radiograph of incisors and canines are from a case with EOTRH. and infection within the root. Most of this process occurs Here you can see many areas of severe tooth resorption, below the gum line. Therefore, radiographs are the only hypercementoisis and loss of alveolar bone. Photo credit: Northeast Equine Veterinary Dental Services

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Fall 2015

definitive way to diagnose and monitor the disease. When we see signs above the gum line, often the disease process is well advanced. Signs to watch for are gingivitis, an incisor angle inconsistent with their age, inflamed or swollen gums, and pimples or nodules leading to draining tracts from infected tooth roots. Often, plaque or tartar will build up on both the canines and incisors, once removed bone loss may be apparent and the teeth may even be mobile. Currently, management consists of regular dental examinations and monitoring with radiographs. Many times there are several stages of the disease existing at once across the incisors. This allows your veterinarian to make a plan to either extract necessary teeth in stages or all at once. Oral extractions of the incisors and canines is no easy task but can be performed standing with heavy sedation and local anesthesia. Horses do very well with this procedure and have gone on to lead long healthy and pain free lives. They easily adapt to grazing with their lips and are maintained on their normal feeding regimen. They may even thank you with gummy toothless smile. As of now EOTRH is not fully understood. There are still many questions to be asked. Until then, there is no cure or prevention. The best thing we can do for them is to become more aware of the disease and ensure they get regular veterinary dental examinations taking the whole horse into account. Dr. Kristen Clapp is the sole practitioner and owner of Upper Valley Equine Services, LLC, based out of Chester, VT. Kristen has a special interest in equine veterinary dentistry and enjoys educating her clients as she work with them and their horses. www.UpperValleyEquine.comÂ

Harry is ready for a fall hike season. Photo from Barbara Gifford

Fall 2015 47

Less Expensive Horses Are Out There M

onths ago I wrote an article about importing horses from Europe. Since then people have said to me, “Join the real world, Denny! Thirty to forty thousand dollars for a horse?! We’re hard pressed to spend $7500. What about us?” Historically, there have been several sources of modestly priced horses. These include sales stables, race tracks, western ranches, breeding farms, auctions, individual sellers (off to college, moving to NYC), and more recently the internet. My first horses, Paint and Bonfire, came from Louis Goodyear, of Sunderland, Massachusetts. Louis ran the quintessential backyard horse sales stable. He would drive his big wooden truck (early 50’s) to auctions in New Jersey and New York, where horses were shipped by rail from Oklahoma, Texas, and the plains states. They were every color, usually stocky horses about 14.3 to 15.3 hands. The predominant breed was Quarter Horse. They made superlative children’s and amateurs’ horses, for English or Western, Louis had a great eye for “a kid broke horse.” Sales stables are still around, but there is a growing shortage of reliable, middle aged horses. Riding horse dealers are in competition with European horsemeat

48 4 Legs & a Tail

Denny Emerson - S. Strafford, VT

market. Each year thousands of “Steady Eddie” type horses go for slaughter instead of for riding. Tying directly into that, there is likely to be a very stringent pre-purchase veterinary exam, even for modestly priced animals. If a dealer sees a nice, quiet 12 or 15 year-old gelding, but knows a buyer will runflexion tests, front feet or hock x-rays, why take a chance? No middle-aged horse is free of problems. Years ago, a veterinarian might have said, “This horse has minor problems, they probably aren’t significant.” Today, veterinarians don’t dare, they might get slapped with a lawsuit. Horses used to come off the race track if they had “a case of the slows,” before they were too physically or psychologically damaged. Many of the great American team horses of the 50’s and 60’s were just such racetrack rejects. Trends in racing work against this source of supply. Pari-mutuel racing makes money, good sized fields induce more betting. So more racing at lower and lower claiming prices injures horses who, in the old days, might have come off the track unscathed. Training expenses are so high owners want to cash out quickly when their

purchases are only two or three years old. This led to a change in the types of horses produced by the Thoroughbred industry. The modern race horse is a little bullet that can fly 5 or 6 furlongs at two, not one that comes into his own over a distance at age 4 or 5. Finding horses at the track is still a way, but no sure thing, and not for the faint of heart or the ignorant. The most underrated source of elite horses is the large supply of well bred babies for which owners can’t find ready markets. American buyers won’t consider thousands of weanlings, yearlings, and two year olds because they can’t immediately climb on them and take them to competitions. Not everyone has the expertise to break youngsters. But, as Jack Le Goff phrased it, “You Americans want instant dressage the way you want instant coffee.” How often have you looked at an old dog and said “He’s ten? Only yesterday he was a puppy!” Time flies. A two year old now becomes a ready to go 4 year old before your very eyes. Don’t overlook fabulous, fancy youngsters just because they’re young. Training the quiet youngsters is less daunting, especially with knowledgeable help. You don’t want the hot ones anyway! Go West, Young Horse Buyer! (But not as far as California). The horses from America’s heartland can be as good as from Gloucester, England, but they look scruffier. Running around in muddy pastures, it takes an astute horseman to look through the dirt and recognize a great inner athlete. The problem is having knowledgeable contacts in these more remote areas of the country. Auctions are inexpensive but risky ways to see huge numbers of horses at one time. The Blood Horse Magazine and The Thoroughbred Times list auction results, many sell for under $5000. The problem is, if your new filly won’t load in the trailer, if she’s lame 3 days after the auction, or she’s plumb loco, she’s still your new filly. Probably the people who do well have a good-eye for a horse, a high tolerance for risk, and they play the odds by buying lots of inexpensive horses, knowing some will be losses. Classified ads and the internet list hundreds of horses every week, but this requires endless telephone time and traveling. I dream of the classifieds in the back of the Chronicle and the one describing the hidden Gem Twist, pulses with a red glow only I can see! A friend bought a wonderful advanced horse off the internet for next to nothing, (bad x-rays, but sound), another bought a fabulous young mare for $5000. The good horses are out there, but you have to be smart and lucky, and willing to look, look, look. Continued Next Page Fall 2015

No matter what you buy, you’re still going to have to ride it well if it’s going to go well. Once I was riding Epic Win in a clinic with the great German grand prix trainer Walter Christensen, coach of the Swedish Dressage Team. Walter rode Epic for about 15 minutes, when I remounted, I commented, “He feels so easy now.” Walter replied in German, all the German speakers laughed. Louis Nathhorst was translating, and I said, “Okay, Louise, what’s the big joke?” Louise replied, “Walter said, that’s the definition of an easy horse, Denny. It’s a horse a much better rider than you has just gotten off of, before it realizes that you have gotten back on!” One of the 50 most influential horsemen of the Twentieth Century (The Chronicle of the Horse, 2000), Denny Emerson is the only rider to have ever won both a gold medal in eventing and a Tevis buckle in endurance. In 2006, Denny was inducted into the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Dartmouth College Athletic Hall of Fame and of the Vermont Academy Athletic Hall of Fame.

Bird Nutrition, Part 1 of a Series W

Dr. Susan Dyer, DVM - Bradford, VT

          hen we ask our bird-owning clients what they feed their birds, we often get the “obvious” answer - bird food.  What most people mean when they say bird food is… seeds. But seeds are not really bird food, at least not for most pet birds. All seed diets lack 22 essential vitamins and minerals your bird needs to be healthy. Feeding mostly seed is a lot like feeding your children mostly Doritos!             Until about a decade ago, diet recommendations for pet birds were based on nutritional research of the dietary needs of Galliforme birds (chickens and pigeons). These birds are seed-eaters and consume their seeds whole. Thus they need grit (gravel) to aid digestion and need little supplementation.             Most pet birds are Psittacines (parrots), also called hookbills. These birds, of tropical origin, are a vastly different group with very different dietary needs. Over the past two decades, research has been directed toward learning about these species, and we now know how very inappropriate a seed, grit and supplemental diet is for parrot species. As an example, one basic difference is that parrots “hull” their seeds before eating them. They therefore do not need grit, and when they are ill will sometimes overeat it, causing a blockage which results in a surgical emergency.             Our budgies, parakeets, cockatiels, amazons, cockatoos, conures, macaws and the like are very much like us in their nutritional requirements. They are omnivorous, needing a wide variety of nutrients in order to thrive, be healthy and long-lived. Many of our pet bird species have the potential to live 20, 30 and even 40 or more years. Due to poor nutrition, they rarely get close to their potential, and most suffer from a myriad of illnesses due to lack of proper diet. Unfortunately, the majority of their health problems go unnoticed until they are very ill, or it is too late. Birds are excellent at masking their symptoms - a tactic necessary for their survival in the wild. They often pretend to eat, acting as if nothing were wrong until they are unable to do so.             There are two basic ways to offer proper diet and nutrition to your bird. One is quite scientific, while the other is a bit complicated, though often necessary initially. The first is a pelleted diet, also called a formulated diet, and the other is the “people food” method.             Pelleted diets are the result of years of in-depth research on the nutritional needs of parrot species. Think of them as similar to cat or dog food; not in content, as the ingredients are very different, but rather in the confidence you have (when you feed your dog or cat) that they are getting the protein, vitamins and essential nutrients they need. While minimum daily requirements are worked out for our domestic animals, there is still some way to go before we have the needs of the many psittacine species worked out.             The formulated diets are therefore “optimally” supplemented. They likely exceed the minimum requirements in most or all vitamins and minerals. Research is continuing at a great pace. In the meantime we are recommending your pet bird’s diet consist mostly of pellets, while offering a small amount of fresh organic vegetables daily. VITAMINS SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN AT ALL when your pet has switched to a mostly pelleted diet. To supplement is to risk vitamin toxicity.             While you are changing your bird’s diet to pellets, or in the RARE case a bird will not accept pellets at all, a broad-based “people” diet should be offered. Roughly speaking this diet consists of 20 to 25% seed, 50% VEGETABLES, and the last 25% or so a mix of fruits, whole grains (unfortified), pasta (unfortified), beans, and a small amount of cooked meats and egg. Because it is very difficult to serve a balanced diet this way, supplements are very important. Vitamins should be given every other day, or even daily, if your bird is still eating mostly seed.  Feeding your bird this way is trickier than pellets, as much effort is required of the pet owner to feed nutritional, Continued Next Page

Fall 2015 49

fresh, preferably organic, washed and often cooked food on a daily basis. Birds are a lot like kids… they pick out what they like, rather than what is good for them. When feeding people food to your bird a simple rule to keep in mind is to feed them the food in the form you would eat it, e.g. cooked eggs, never raw…cooked or raw carrots, cooked beans, etc. Do not leave fresh food out for more than a couple of hours. There are few healthy foods that birds cannot have, but avoid eggplant and avocados.             Many or most birds will not initially recognize a pelleted diet as food. It is important to introduce pellets gradually and then be sure your bird is really eating them, and plenty of them before you remove their seed. Included in the following articles will be methods of introducing and converting to pellets, or speak with your veterinarian. This switch from seeds to pellets can take quite a bit of patience and time - from days to many months. Perseverance does pay off as our doctors, staff and clients will attest. Your bird’s plumage will become more brilliant in color, with healthy powder and texture, while its inner health will improve rapidly. Offering your bird the best diet possible will help to insure a long, joyful life. Dr. Susan Dyer sees turtles, dogs, cats, birds, and other exotic pets at Bradford Veterinary Clinic (formerly Stoneciff Animal Clinic of VT) in Bradford, VT,  802-222-4903 Bats are the only flying mammals! Flying squirrels only glide.

Bats in the Belfry, Almost Scott Borthwick - Canaan, NH


ver since the White Nose Fungus was discovered to be killing off bat colonies in New Hampshire and Vermont, both states limited the time that bats can be excluded from dwellings. From May 15th to August 15th they are protected and after that they can only be excluded. The May thru August time frame is when the bats have their young and the young learn to fly. This is also the time I get the most calls about bats flying around in the

50 4 Legs & a Tail

house. Young bats still in training follow flying insects through open doors, windows, and down chimneys. If you know there are bats around you should be diligent to make sure doors and windows are screened and closed, especially around air conditioners. If you get a bat in your house, the first thing you should do is try and isolate it in a room. Then put a towel under the door. Next you need to call a professional to have it removed and then inspect the dwelling to see if they are living there. If there is a possibility someone was bitten, the bat should be tested for rabies and members of the household should get rabies shots. There are many reasons to call a professional first. The story I am about to tell you I think it explains it best. A couple from out of state who owned a summer cottage on a New Hampshire lake came up on a Friday night. It was dusk when they arrived and they noticed bats flying in and around the chimney area. The next day they called a local carpenter who had worked for them before to come and seal up the house to keep the bats out (which he did.) Unfortunately, he did not trap them out, he trapped them in! Much to

the dismay of the home owners and their guests when a dozen bats crashed their dinner party later that evening. I was called the next day. After searching for a couple of hours I had only found three bats. All clung inside curtains. The home owners were getting more and more anxious fearing the bats would return that evening. Seeing their anxiety I stopped half way up the stairs to ponder where the bats may have gone. That’s when I noticed a dark tapestry on the stairway wall. It seemed more dimensional than it should. Nine bats were clung to it. We had walked by them a dozen times. I removed them, released them outside, and secured the house. A lot of grief would have been spared if they had called a professional first. Everyone asks if I ever removed bats from a belfry. I was very excited when I got a call from a Masonic lodge with a belfry. Unfortunately, the bats were living in a new addition and I found no evidence of bats in the belfry. Scott Borthwick owns Estate Wildlife Control He lives in Canaan, NH with his wife Donna, two dogs, a couple of horses and one tough, old chicken named Henrietta. Fall 2015

Love Story Joan Jaffe - Norwich, VT


am in love. I thought this affair would be easy, but like all love stories, it’s complicated. The object of adoration is a puppy. Her name is Nonnie and she’s a guide dog in training, which means she’s mine for only sixteen months and with my record of commitment, that’s just about right. The first night we spent together was wonderful. Despite assurances that she didn’t like being crated, she trotted right in, settled down, and slept all night…. except for the part where she woke up and produced a poop—a very large amount of poop—remarkable, really, for such a small animal, and distributed it artfully around the crate. The next night she willingly entered the crate again, but then, a short while later, thought better of it. OOOOOoooooo, she howled in long trombone like intervals. OOOOooooooo…….I checked her over to make sure nothing was wrong, took her outside (again) in case she had to pee, put her back in the crate, and then waited out a very long twenty minutes of loud offended complaining. I had a passing thought that she might be a better companion for a deaf person than a blind one, but this was unworthy of both of us. The next morning at 6 o’clock, she made “I am awake” noises and eager not to repeat the events of last night, I hopped out of bed, presented a cheerful demeanor, and took her out. Gratefully, she peed, but then wanted to play. I can play, I can be chirpy and cheerful, but not at six in the morning. In the past forty-eight hours I have learned this: --A puppy will eat a geranium --Sleep when the puppy sleeps --And last of all, I regret to say: the puppy is at least as smart as I am. Item: Before taking custody of the puppy, I asked the puppy manager what I should do if the puppy jumped on the couch. In my experience, puppies jump on couches and guide dog puppies are not supposed to jump on couches, or anything, really, for that matter. “Oh, she won’t do that,” said the manager airily. I brought the puppy home and as I watched her worshipfully, she explored the living room, tried out various locations for comfortable sitting, and then hopped on the couch. The website for Guiding Eyes for the Blind is vast, with encyclopedic information on how to teach everything to a puppy. Everything, that is, except how to Fall 2015

get a puppy off a couch. And nowhere, in this vast body of knowledge, is the word “no” to be used as a command. Apparently, the latest word in dog psychology is something called Relationship Based Training, which relies solely on nurturing the dog to want to do the right thing. Like many theories, this sounds good on the page but may not entirely hold water when it comes to real life. I elected to use the word “No!” and she knew what I meant. Well, she knew what I meant but as the days passed, I could see we were in for our first fight. “YOU sit up there,” she seemed to say, eying me balefully. Actually, she had a point. So I went out and bought her a big expensive dog bed. She’s no fool. Even I could see that the dog bed is much more comfortable than my couch. And while I was at it, I bought her some more of the recommended toys, each of which costs more than a small electronic device. I love her but I can see this affair might be expensive. Her champagne tastes may outrun my beer budget. But hey, this affair has a built in term limit. And what’s a little money compared to true love. Joan Jaffe lives and loves in Norwich. She writes on a variety of topics and has been published here and there. 51

Kennel Noise John Peaveler - W. Fairlee, VT


n the world of dog behaviorists, there are basically only two types of kennels: noisy and quiet. The distinction between the two is critical. It’s easy to say that barking is a behavior synonymous with dogs. That’s obviously true, but while the sound itself may be as regular as rain, when we look at the health of an animal, causality is king. Some breeds and individuals naturally talk more loudly

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and often than others (e.g. that boisterous relative with no volume control). For the majority of dogs, however, excessive barking, yelping, howling, yowling, yipping, yapping or otherwise chatting, is a sure sign that all is not well. Think with me if you will of all the times your dog barks at home. For my pack, the leading causes of noise are deliverymen, ATVs, bicycles, pedestrians, visitors, and above all, other dogs. Most of the time my dogs want to sleep, eat, play and receive affection. The only reason they could possibly be compelled to stop any of those activities is for something they deem to be more important. So they bark to warn me, they bark to protect what they perceive as their territory, and they bark because my dogs are cowards who know their bark is their best defense since their bites are mere bluffs. Fortunately for them, barking always works. Success is the single most common outcome of barking at an intruder. The cyclist always continues on, the delivery man only stops for a moment, eyeing the size of the dogs vs. the height of the fence before depositing his goods and departing promptly, while the visitor ends up on the approved list for gentle pats and warm laps (90lb shepherd mix included). For most dogs, barking is the epitome of self-rewarding behavior. They rest easily knowing they rule the roost and sleep soundly each night with a perfect blend of exercise, nutritious meals, and a steady supply of much appreciated affection. My dogs, probably like yours, however, are the lucky ones. Dogs are, without a doubt, the pinnacle of the companion animal, not because they are better than cats (which of course they are), but because a much higher percentage of cats are able to tolerate or even be ambivalent to the absence of their humans. Dogs on the other hand, with the notable exception of a very few breeds and individuals, have a deeply rooted psychological need to be with people. Depriving them of the companionship they crave therefore becomes a source of stress. That stress, in turn, is a significant underlying cause

of increased barking. A few years ago, when my pointer was still a young dog, any time I was away from home he would stand on the couch next to my wife and bark in her face. That, to me, has always been an excellent example of how stress in dogs leads to unnatural amounts of barking. Now imagine if you will a dog living in a shelter environment. Shelter dogs often lack adequate exercise, sufficient mental stimulation, and certainly humans to call their own. Shelter environments also do not allow dogs to successfully claim a distinct and individual territory, nor can they control who or what enters their territory. In other words, barking does not work, but since barking is the most common recourse of stressed dogs, they continue the behavior and in fact escalate noise levels in response to increased stress. They simply do not have other coping mechanisms at their own disposal. Once they have reached the limit of the amount of stress that vocalization can allow them to cope with, they will begin to exhibit physical manifestations of mental deterioration, most notably pacing, spinning, head dipping, vertical exercising, and other repetitive behaviors, many of which indicate irreparable mental damage. Put more simply, barking is an important indicator of stress. Dog owners should take note of this, but progressive dog shelters already have a simple rule: a quiet shelter is a happy shelter. That means putting in the work to prevent noise in the first place through walking, exercising, training, play, and other forms of stimulation. Quality programs lead to quality results. However, hard working shelter staff and volunteers with great animal care programs still struggle to succeed in creating a low-stress environment if they lack adequate facilities to begin with. That is where one of our community shelters, Upper Valley Humane Society, is struggling right now. As this important organization strives to break free from the grips of the recession, they are attempting to re-invest in crumbling infrastructure. Kennels dated both in design and materials are in desperate need of replacement even as the organization works hard to provide the lowstress quality of life they believe every animal deserves. You can help to ensure a high quality of life for shelter dogs at UVHS by making a donation to their kennel refurbishment. Visit or call 603448-6888 to find out more. John Peaveler is an Animal Welfare Consultant with over ten years experience working with all types of animals on three continents. He lives with his wife and two children in West Fairlee, Vermont and continues to work and write at home and abroad. Fall 2015

Surprise at a Vermont Juvenile Rehabilitation Center By Steve Reiman, Founder & President, Therapy Dogs of Vermont


Vermont rehabilitation center for juveniles has been asking for Therapy Dogs of Vermont (TDV) members to bring their therapy dogs to help the young residents. This is a fantastic opportunity and brings to mind a visit I made there a while back. Many years ago, I was invited to bring the founding TDV dogs to this facility and speak to the students as one might to a high school class. I remember that there were 20 to 30 boys there at the time, aged 12 to 17. We had lunch with them and then headed to the classroom. They looked like pretty tough kids who had gone through some hard times and probably had caused a few problems. I set up my video presentation and spoke for nearly an hour about the benefits of therapy dogs in the many settings they visit. I also spoke to them about what they might do after they get out. “Shovel the driveway of the little old lady down the street and never tell her that it was you who did it. You’ll remember that for the rest of your life,” I told them. While I was rambling on, my two German Shepherds were working the class. Lily brought her small Frisbee to every kid to throw for her. Jordan had a tennis ball which she would bring to people to toss to her. But, she did more than that. Jordan always sought out the one in the room who least wanted to play with her and found a way to overcome that. Sure enough, there was a large older boy sitting in the back of the room with his arms crossed and a deep frown on his face. As I was talking about slide after slide, I saw Jordan slowly go up to this boy and put her wet tennis ball on his knee. “Go away” he said, and she did – for a few moments. She returned and again gently placed the ball on his knee. This time he looked around to see that no one was watching him, and he took the ball and tossed it aside. The game was on! Jordan brought it back to him again and again. Then I noticed the boy sliding down in his chair which seemed strange. The next time I looked, Jordan had put a paw on his knee. Oh, oh, I thought; therapy dogs should always have 4 on the floor. But, I thought that the boy weighed about 300 lbs. and Jordan only 61. “I’ll wait and see what happens,” I said to myself. The next time I looked at the back of the room, there was Jordan fully in the boy’s lap and he, with a big smile, was gently hugging her. It almost brought tears to my eyes thinking that it had probably been a long time Fall 2015

since anyone or anything had shown affection to that young man. Times have changed and TDV dogs must always be on leash while on duty and there is the 4 on the floor rule too. In this case, I broke that rule . . . but it was a long time ago. Therapy Dogs of Vermont unleash smiles in many venues. This is certainly one of them. Steve Reiman is the President and Founder of Therapy Dogs of Vermont. Therapy Dogs of Vermont (TDV) is a non-profit organization of highly-trained dogs and their volunteer handlers. Our handler/canine teams work on the emotional health of hospital patients, students in educational settings, residents of nursing/ retirement homes, and correctional facilities.

Copyright 2015 Therapy Dogs of Vermont All Rights Reserved 53


Not Just a Disease in Dogs Millie Armstrong, DVM


eptospirosis is a bacterial infection that infects over 150 mammalian species worldwide, including people. Leptospirosis in dogs can cause kidney and/or liver failure, pneumonia, or bleeding disorders. Signs of these include: depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, increased water intake, increased urination, jaundice, swollen limbs, coughing, bloody urine, and bloody nose. More and more domestic dogs are becoming infected with leptospirosis, and many are getting sick because of it. Leptospirosis has been reported throughout the United States, and increasing in the Northeast in the past 10 years. There are over 250 subtypes of leptospirosis. Some strains are more potent and cause worse disease than others. The more common disease-causing strains in dogs are: Icterohemorrhagica, Canicola, Pomona, Grippotyphosa, Bratislava, and Autumnalis. The leptospirosis bacteria are carried by wildlife (voles, raccoons, skunks, opossums) and many farm animals (cattle, horses, pigs and sheep). Leptospires are shed in urine and survive as long as they remain moist. Animals can be carriers shedding the organism in their urine for months without showing signs of disease. This makes it harder to control in the environment. The degree to which they can survive in urine-soaked hair is unknown. They are not shed directly from dog to dog. Exposure is not limited to dogs in rural areas with exposure to wildlife. Suburban and urban pets are at risk with high numbers of rodents living in apartment complexes. Cats can be exposed to leptospirosis through rodent contact, but clinical disease in cats is rarely reported. Dogs can also serve as a host and spread the disease. The organisms, shed through urine, collect in areas of standing water, puddles and ponds. Dogs become infected by drinking from these pools of water, ingesting the urine from contaminated grasses, or by eating mice and voles. They can then shed the organism and serve as a source for other animals and people. Leptospirosis organisms also enter the body through mucous membranes or open sores. Once established in the body, it causes serious damage to the kidneys and liver, and can be fatal. 54 4 Legs & a Tail

The incubation period varies, depending on the number of organisms that enter the body, the strain of the organism, and the patient’s immune response. Dogs may become ill within 1-7 days of contact with leptospirosis. Urinary shedding may not begin until 7-10 days following infection. Often, clinical illness is not detected until some time after the renal or hepatic injury, making it more difficult to treat. Not all animals exposed to leptospirosis become ill. Depending on the number of organisms that enter the body and the host’s immune response, some are able to avoid illness. However, those who cannot ward off disease are at risk of sudden organ failure. Leptospirosis is diagnosed with blood samples, often taken 2 weeks apart, to determine the antibody titers that indicate a recent exposure to the bacteria. It is not possible to test for all of the 250 serovars of the bacteria, so laboratories will test for the most common strains that cause disease. However, if your pet suddenly develops renal or liver failure, treatment is often initiated while waiting for the blood results. Treatment involves intensive IV fluid therapy, antibiotics, and supportive care. Treatment may take up to 2-3 weeks. Survival rates vary, depending on the severity of the disease. Early detection and aggressive therapy can increase the chances of survival. Extended hospital stays and intensive care is required. Occasionally renal damage is so extensive that dialysis is required to support the kidneys while they recover from the damage leptospirosis causes. More referral centers are offering dialysis therapy, and more than 80% of patients that would have otherwise died will survive. Leptospirosis is often fatal, despite these efforts. It is unclear whether dogs who survive leptospirosis will have a life-long immunity to it. Re-exposure is certainly possible. Annual vaccines following recovery should be discussed with your veterinarian. People also can become quite ill from leptospirosis, by contact with infected water or handling urine of an infected animal. Veterinary personnel take precautions such as wearing gloves and face masks when handling leptospirosis patients. Pet owners should avoid conContinued Next Page

Fall 2015

tact with their dog’s urine or wear gloves when cleaning urine. Bacteria are susceptible to routine disinfectants; a 1:10 bleach solution will kill the organism. Dogs should urinate away from standing water, where no other animals or people, especially children, will have access. Everyone should wash their hands thoroughly after handling their pets. People living in a household with a leptospirosis patient should contact their physician to discuss this disease in people, or any clinical illness they develop, especially if they are immunocompromised. Prevention involves vaccination for dogs and avoidance of the environmental conditions known to harbor the organism. Current vaccines against canine

Fall 2015

leptospirosis offer Centers for Disease Control website: protection against 4 of the more virulent Dr. Millie was born in Burlington and strains. Routine vacgrew up in Pennsylvania. (Go Flyers!) cination will also She worked in pharmaceutical help limit risk of research before going to veterinary infection to people. school at the University of Tennessee Vaccination of “atin Knoxville. Dr. Millie worked in various risk” dogs should be small animal clinics in Vermont before carefully considered settling into Petit Brook Veterinary Clinic with your veterinarin 2000. She is very active in the ian. The American Vermont and New England Veterinary College of Veterinary Medical Associations. Her cats Percy Internal Medicine and Emma have trained her well and recommends prophyallow her to live with them lactic use of antibiotics for other dogs in the household that may have been exposed to leptospirosis in the environment, ideally while monitoring blood antibody titers. Since infection likely occurred through direct or indirect contact with wildlife or farm animals, exposure to these animals should be minimized. Eliminating standing pools of water; preventing pets from drinking from mud puddles; minimizing exposure to swamps and ponds; minimizing wild animal contact by fencing and rodent control; controlling trash buildup around houses to minimize skunk and raccoon exposurethese are all ways to help prevent exposure to this potentially deadly organism. For more information, visit the 55

Rare Breeds of the Twin States

The Glen of Imaal Terrier


Susan Blum-Hanover, NH

y husband, Jake Blum, and I live in Hanover, NH with four Glen of Imaal Terriers but we did not set out to get a rare breed dog. In 1996, we had young boys and a lonely chocolate lab that we had rescued and wanted to add a puppy to our family. Jake and I both looked through a book on choosing a dog for your family, and we each marked what breed we liked that did not shed, was not too big, and was good with children.. We both had selected the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier, but they were very difficult to find in America at that time. I found a breeder in Ireland who had a female pup, so in 1996 I traveled to Ireland to pick up a 10-week-old pup that we named Bailey. Little did we know that Bailey would grow up to be our foundation bitch for this breed and would start us on an exciting, memorable journey of showing and breeding Glens, as people who love the breed call them. We have bred and finished over 20 Champions and show our Glens at local shows, the Westminster Dog Show, and the Eukanuba National Dog Show. Named for a region in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is a rough-looking, medium-sized working terrier that doesn’t shed. The Glen has been recognized by the American Kennel Club since 2004. According to the AKC breed standard “The Glen possesses great strength and shall always convey the impression of maximum substance for size of dog.” The first thing people unfamiliar with the breed notice is its distinctive head with rose or half prick ears. Unrefined to this day, the breed still possesses “antique” features once common to many early terrier types: its bowed forequarters with turned out feet, its unique outline and topline. The Glen coat is either wheaten or blue brindle in color. As terriers go, Glens are laidback despite their working ability. They are longer than they are in height and weigh between 35 and 40 pounds. When people ask us what Glens are like, we love telling the story of what a friend’s Glen did when a bat came into the house. The Glen was sleeping on the couch when a bat entered the room. Once the owner screamed, the Glen jumped up off the couch, snatched and killed the bat, then leapt 56 4 Legs & a Tail

back onto the couch Jake and Susan to continue her nap. Blum with Floyd Most other terriers and Piper! Photo would still be yapby Jon Fox ping and chasing that bat around the room. Glens get the job done, but they work silently. Glens are terriers and not everyone should own a terrier. Terriers are very intellectual and can easily outsmart their owners. Glens need consistent direction on what is expected of them. If you can survive the Glen puppyhood with consistent training, you will have a low- key dog that is a companion for life who loves nothing more than to go for long walks or to nap by your side if you are reading. In Ireland, those who had Glens needed a multi-purpose dog: one that would help eliminate vermin (like badgers) and be a companion for their children. Most Glens have an innate sense of gentleness around children. One feature of the breed that we had to grapple with is the traditional custom of docking the tail during a pup’s first week of life. As a breeder, we were uncomfortable with removing young pups from their mother and taking them to the vet to have their tail docked at 4 days old. Tail docking is banned in many European countries and many young vets coming out of school are reluctant to dock tails nowadays. We made the decision in 2008 to no longer dock tails. At first, it was very difficult to show a Gen with an undocked tail in the United States, but we were able to finish championships on all of our dogs. It is now much more common to see undocked tails, and folks who live with Glens with tails would never go back to a docked tail, especially because of the endearing sound it makes when it taps happily against the floor. Terriers can be dog aggressive so it is extremely important to socialize Glens early and often. Temperaments vary in the breed but to me an ideal temperament is what I call “zen” like. Calm, cool but ready if the need arises. The number of Glens in the US has increased since we first started looking for a pup. They are still considered rare, and many breeders have a waiting list for puppies. Once people have owned a Glen, they are hooked on the breed for life usually because they are fairly easy keepers and not as demanding as some breeds. Despite their origins in Ireland, if it is raining, they would rather just stay in bed and skip the walk. They are happy to be lying wherever you are in a room and are content to be near you. It is a quirky, comical breed that love to sleep with their legs in the air and believe they own all couches. To keep a Glen’s skin healthy, it is best to strip their coat and pluck out the dead hairs. Glens have a double coat of medium length, and the coat needs to be stripped to keep it tidy. Stripping means pulling the hair and if done correctly, is not painful as the longer hair is ready to be removed. The end result is a tidy, rough coat that gives the new hair room to grow in. Many who spot this rare terrier breed are curious about these dogs. When my husband walks our Glens, he gets stopped so much that he started carrying business cards for the Glens just so folks who ask about the breed will have something to take away with the name of the breed on it. Our Glens have always been store dogs at Systems Plus and if you ever want to see one, stop in and ask to see the Glen of Imaal Terrier. Fall 2015


Adrienne Finney's Four-legged friends.

Arlo Mudgett-Grafton, NH


e have 2 cats, and that is about all we can handle comfortably for pets thanks to our busy lives. From that perspective I find it remarkable that Adrienne Finney in Guilford, Vermont has taken on so much more with incredible results. From being a pet adoption advocate to leading by example, Adrienne has become a resource and a mentor to many who follow her amazing pack of Labrador Retrievers in social media. With a naturally gifted eye for animal photography, Adrienne has posted incontrovertible proof that love and understanding changes lives for the better. On the surface you’re seeing beautiful healthy dogs with shiny coats and the glow of pure happiness, a vision that belies the origins of every one of her dogs. Right now I’d say Adrienne has eight Labs on her forty five acre farm, along with three horses and five rescued cats. Every one of her dogs has a story and background that contains abuse, neglect, or outright abandonment. For a Labrador Retriever to get adopted by Adrienne is tantamount to winning the love lottery. There are plenty of people who would envy life on her 1700’s era Vermont farm, but for Adrienne the creatures come first. Half of those forty five acres are open land where a dog or a horse can run and a cat can hunt or simply soak up the sun. Add in the pond and it is Lab nirvana. Where do these beautiful dogs come from? High Kill Shelters in New York and New Jersey. There are thousands of strays in Manhattan alone, and the sheer volume is an incredible burden on the city, hence the High Kill Shelters. Adrienne knows these places well, and she is tied into a flow of constant information from the shelters. Her contacts and knowledge has made her a virtual dog and cat adoption matchmaker for many in New England and especially in her Vermont environs. Reading about Adrienne’s work with her labs on social media can be heart wrenching, because she easily identifies each dogs challenges and the conditions that created the deficiencies. She posts photographs and keeps up a conversation about how she and the Labs develop relationships with the each new dog that finds itself at her farm. She describes each dogs progress, chronicling the moments when other dogs reach out to the damaged canine souls trying to fit into the pack. Somehow it all works, but not without considerable effort and an intuitive sense of just how to heal a damaged dog. It is done with this synergistic, collaboraFall 2015

tive journey that repeats itself with every dog rescued. Adrienne will be the first to point out that she is fortunate to have the time and the resources necessary to create positive outcomes, but the best part is her willingness to share her experiences with so many others. Her Facebook friends follow the exploits of Oscar or Henry, or Lilly the cat who thinks she is a dog, or the special bonds that develop between some of the dogs. We look forward to her posts like people addicted to a soap opera. It would be entertaining by the text alone, but the photography adds a colorful dimension that makes the stories come alive. If you didn’t know better you’d think that Adrienne has a staff of trainers and photographers following her

dogs around the clock. Not so. It is a singular woman who was given the gift of deep love and understanding of all kinds of creatures, and the motivation to share her experiences. Check into Adrienne Finney, Guilford, Vermont on Facebook and follow along. The salvation of her animals is a constantly unfolding story that you won’t want to miss.

Arlo Mudgett is a Vermont radio personality, with over thirty years as host of a program called “The Morning Almanac” on stations in southeastern, VT. He is also a columnist for two southeastern Vermont newspapers. Arlo is a native Vermonter who grew up in Chester and South Royalton, currently residing near Grafton.

Before rising to supreme popularity in the United States, the Labrador retriever nearly went extinct. The Labrador has been the most popular breed of dog in the United States for 24 years running. Its affable nature, loyal and helpful disposition, ideal size and strength for assisting people in everything from search-and-rescue to hunting to service animal has kept the Labrador as the top dog. But before the Labrador gained fame as a perfect all-around dog, the breed nearly disappeared. In Newfoundland, the government limited families to only one dog per household and a tax had to be paid for owning a dog. Females were taxed more heavily, so female puppies were often culled from litters. By the 1880s, the breed was nearly gone. Thankfully, though, it persisted in England where it was still favored as a hunting and family dog. England recognized the breed through the Kennel Club in 1903, and the American Kennel Club recognized it in 1917. So Labrador retriever fans have England and the Malmesbury family to thank for keeping this much-loved dog around. 57

Broken Heart Tanya Sousa-Orleans, VT


he first sign of his broken heart was that I couldn’t get anywhere near him. He’d apparently been dumped, and was slinking around the house and fields for days, a small but bright white spot in the green grass, striking in the sunshine and with an almost moon-glow in the shade. I could see he was skinny, and worried about my free-range hens becoming his dinner. As it turned out there was no

need for concern; he only walked gingerly around them, choosing instead to sit in the hen house doorway and watch for rats. I tried calling out to him, but the moment he heard a window or door open, he dashed away. No amount of stealth seemed to work. One time, I did manage to sneak up silently behind him as he sat in the chicken house doorway. Thinking, if I could only startle him enough to make him run inside, I could shut the door, capture him, and get him the vet care that even the naked eye could see he needed. It was all to no avail. Some small movement on my part sent him racing away again. This went on for weeks, the skinny white cat playing hide and seek but always coming back. He was running with less energy. And I never did see him run away with a rat or mouse. I feared he was dying. The day came when he ran under my car instead of through the fields of grass. I dropped to my knees and peered at him, seeing terrified round yellow eyes looking back into mine. He was by the right rear tire and seemed unwilling to leave, huddled and boney. I slowly rose and went back to the house, put some canned cat food on a flat dish, and oh so slowly returned and eased the plate of food close to the frightened but clearly depleted animal. He sniffed, crawled to the plate, and began eating, his body relaxing and completely giving up the fight. I could see more of his broken heart then, because I could sense that he thought I might hurt

or kill him, but he was too weak and sick and starving to care. What kind of situation had he come from? Who would leave him to fend for himself or die like this? I would have taken him in, but I had my own twenty-year-old lady feline who was frail herself. I could never risk the stress or potential disease from introducing this new cat. Instead, I brought the white cat to my vet and paid for the care, then surrendered him to the area no-kill animal shelter, once he had a clean bill of health; even that took many weeks. The vet said, “It’s a good thing you caught him when you did. He would have been dead in days.” Life went on. Six months later my own old cat died a natural death. Six months after that, despite my own broken heart, I thought it might be good to adopt again. I toured the animal shelter and saw, as always, too many bright-eyed, playful kittens and beautiful grown cats of all colors, sizes, and personalities. I’d been through all but one room when a few cats, who clearly had the run of the entire place, sauntered by. The shelter volunteer brightened. “Lorian! This is the nice lady who rescued you! Do you remember her?” A white cat cautiously rubbed against my legs, his body now filled out and healthy; his yellow eyes appraised me carefully but not fearfully. All I could do was gasp. “He’s still here?” It was unheard of, cats never languished at that shelter so long. No one had taken him home. Though he was well cared for, he had been without a lap or loved ones of his own, for an entire year. This time my heart broke for him. The only thing that would fix it would be to love this beautiful white cat who had suffered more than he ever should have. It was as if I was chosen for him, and he for me, even if that meant he had to get through a year until I was ready. Without a doubt, I’m glad he waited. Tanya Sousa is a published author of many magazine articles and several children’s picture books.Most recently,her environmental novel,The Starling God,made the short-list for the national“Green Earth Book Awards,”in the Young Adult Fiction category. www.

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Fall 2015

Canine Point of View "Chasing Behavior"


Michelle Grimes

ow do I stop my dog from chasing (insert object of dogs’ desire here)?” A complex question, it doesn’t allow for a quick answer. We must first ask, “What does my dog get out of chasing?” The answer lies in internal reinforcement. Chasing is part of the inherited predatory hunting sequence. The sequence is genetically “hard wired.” “External reinforcement” describes how we normally train dogs; they do something right, we reward with a high value treat. “Internal reinforcement” is the brain giving the body a feeling of pleasure. Chasing is internally reinforcing. No high value treat needed as it’s done out of true pleasure. Dopamine buzz from the brain happens when inherited motor patterns are performed; hence the addiction. It’s comparable to the buzz we feel when we win a competition. “Why won’t my dog stop?” Pure enjoyment and internal reinforcement, period. Endorphins buzz and all other senses close down to concentrate upon it. Focus is on the target as the source of pleasure. This is the first reason owners cannot recall a dog when in full flight. Their dogs simply don’t hear them. Dogs with a high inherited drive, derive great pleasure from chasing, and need to perform it. The drive to perform the behavior boosts the feelings it provides. They are constantly looking for outlets for it. A high drive to chase is not easy to control. It is very difficult to counter internally reinforcing behavior with external reinforcement. High value treats are not as valuable as the internal dopamine boost from the chase behavior. Truthfully, nothing is more valuable than the thrill of the chase. Neither can you punish them into stopping their chasing for good. Dogs with lower chase drives may comply for a while, but if not given the opportunity to express chase behavior in some way, the drive to chase will eventually outweigh the value of the treat. Owners cannot control dogs in full flight as there is nothing the dog wants more than what it is doing now. Understanding why dogs chase is crucial to successful management. They take massive brain-chemical induced enjoyment from chasing. They are not deliberately disobeying us; they are obeying a stronger internal urge. It’s not something they can help! You could blame it on the extreme need to fulfill an internal urge that was bred into them. Seeing chase from the Canine Point of View allows us to understand how to manage the behavior. You cannot train a dog to not chase something in the same Fall 2015

way you would train a “sit” or a “stay.” As previously mentioned, this is a complex behavior. There is not a simple or quick fix for it. Problems arise when we have no control over the behavior. Controlling the chasing behavior means controlling the primary target. Because we can’t control deer, cats, etc. we must change the primary target to a controllable one. Initially we must prevent the dog from continuing to reinforce the unwanted behavior. Stopping chase behavior means instituting prevention. This is not optional, it is essential. When your dog chases, internal reinforcement is happening. Yes, this takes management on your part. Change your walk, take them swimming, at the very least keep them on a lead, but find a way to stop the continued addiction now. Instituting play with a new, fun toy to “chase” would ultimately be your goal. Having your dog become crazy over “chasing” and returning the toy to you to throw again could ultimately help them to maintain a bit of the internal Continued Next Page 59

“buzz” they have come to love so much. The length of training will vary with each dog and how much previous reinforcement they received, but patience and persistence will pay off. Because not all dogs will chase a ball, get creative. Use a small, fuzzy toy instead. I like using the “de-stuffed” animals they sell for dogs. They are long and dangle quite well. Or how about one that squeaks? That may be more appealing to your dog when you shake it around. All dogs are different and you may need to try a few different things to find something that appeals to them. Over time, your dog will respond by ignoring that which it used to chase, however, you can never give this up. If you don’t satisfy your dog’s chase needs, they will revert to finding their own targets again. You now have the ultimate reward. Your dog wants the toy more than anything else on earth and can be asked to perform any behavior to earn it. Recalls, sits, downs, eye contact, it is the ultimate training tool! 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.” or

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Fall 2015

4 LEGS & A TAIL FUN! What 7 Things Are Different?

Kids shoes are yellow, girl’s foot is missing, man’s thumb is missing, man’s foot is missing, tortoise claw is missing, shirt is missing the “N”, car and park bench are missing, silver box is missing, logo on shirt missing


We met Wyatt Bonalumi of Canaan at the farmers market with his Sulcata Tortoise, Selma Hayek. She is six years old and weighs more than 33 lbs!

Tortoise Stats & Facts • Leopard tortoises are one of the largest tortoises in the world. • The tortoise are herbivores eating mainly tree leaves, grass and ferns. • Female tortoises dig nesting burrows in which they lay from 1 - 30 eggs. • In most tortoise species, the female tends to be larger than the male. • The tortoise is susceptible to parasites and pneumonia. • A Tortoise is diurnal, meaning active during the day. • Pet tortoises kept outdoors need some sort of structure in which to hide or spend the night. • Most male tortoises have tails that are longer than those of the female.



Autumn 2015 Central NH & VT

Vermont DJ And His Dog Challenge School Bullies

Why You Should Ask Your Horse To, “Say Cheese!” Spoil Your Cat With A Cat-io Consider The Original GOATee

Lebanon fall 2015  

A magazine for pet and animal lovers