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Vol. 2 Issue 8 Winter 2017

AtlantaPetLife.com

Animal Law

Pet Trusts Should you have one?

Celebrate Seniors

Atlanta’s Pet Life Style Magazine

Atlanta Hawks’

Dewayne Dedmon & His Pack


Atlanta Hawks’

Dewayne Dedmon & His Pack p. 11

Feature Articles

Columns

Mostly Mutts University

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Grooming

A Love For Animals That Works

22

Keeping Fido Fresh and Fluffy Through the Years

Meals on Wheels Loves Pets

25

Norbert’s Little Lessons for a Big Life

31

Gift Of the Golen Years Five Reasons To Adopt an Older Dog

35

The Last Will and Testament of an Extremely Distinguished Dog

34

Rucker More Than Just A Family Business

Puff n Fluff A Love For Animals That Works

Cat Ranges When Catastrophe Strikes

22

20

Winter-Spring Events 24

Fall Events Recap

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18

Events

Pawty Animals

Featured Businesses Rucker Pet

Places Tour de Paws:The Graduate Athens

14

Vets Talk Keeping the Geriatric Patient Moving

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Advertising/Marketing/Social Media Services Bill Garst | 941.702.0155 atlantapetlifebg@gmail.com Dec 2017,- Febuary, 2018, Vol. 2, No. 8 Atlanta Pet Life (ISSN 2472-3290), Subscriptions: $24.99 (U.S.A.) annually to Pet Pages Atlanta. To subscribe, including change of address, visit AtlantaPetLife.com or write 5140 Chippewa Ct., Cumming, GA 30040, Call: 770-888-9300. Attention Retailers: Sell Atlanta Pet Life in your store. Call 770-888-9300 for more information. Send your comments, questions, or concerns to Stacy Wright, Atlanta Pet Life 5140 Chippewa Ct., Cumming, GA 30040 or atlantapetlife@gmail.com All submissions become the property of Mercury Gold Studio, LLC and cannot be returned to the sender. Submissions chosen for publication may be edited for length or clarity, and do not re[resent the opinions of the publisher or the staff . Copyright ©2017 Atlanta Pet Life by Mercury Gold Studio, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part may not be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Printed in the U.S.A. Atlanta Pet Life (ISSN 2472-3290) is published four times a year, in March, June, September, December by Mercury Gold Studio, LLC. Executive, publishing, editorial and advertising offices: 5140 Chippewa Ct., Cumming, GA 30040, (770) 888-9300. POSTMASTER: Send all remittances, subscriptions and address changes to Atlanta Pet Life, 5140 Chippewa Ct., Cumming, GA 30040 Single copies $5.99 in U.S.A. Responsibility for advertised products lies with the advertisers. Atlanta Pet Life will not knowingly publish fraudulent materials and is not liable for any damages arising from the purchase or use of any products. If you have any consumer complaints concerning goods purchased from our advertisers, please send us written notification to aid our screening process . Copyright ©2017 Atlanta Pet Life by Mercury Gold Studio, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part may not be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Printed in the U.S.A. Responsibility for advertised products lies with the advertisers. Atlanta Pet Life will not knowingly publish fraudulent materials and is not liable for any damages arising from the purchase or use of any products. If you have any consumer complaints concerning goods purchased from our advertisers, please send us written notification to aid our screening process.


O

ut with the old and in with the new…the New Year that is! This is certainly NOT how we feel toward our beloved family. Gray hair, slower walks and hard of hearing, not withstanding, we as well as our loved ones are wiser and more experienced. Our senior lives offer much more love, companionship, laughter and oh those eyes!! We are thankful for every minute of every day! We hope you have a wonderful 2018 and enjoy our winter edition of life. The Editors - Tango, Lilly, Hallie and Blue Kitty (All over ten!) Let us hear from you: atlantapetlife@gmail.com Join the Atlanta Pet Life Community Facebook, Instagram, Twitter Also visit: PetPagesAtlanta.com

Correction from 2017 Fall issue: “The Dawson County Humane Society Boutique Turns Three” Humane Society Resale Shop & Boutique hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Contributors:

Photo credits:

Cherese Cobb Claudine Wilkins and Jessica Rock LadyBelle Michelle Lorrie L Leickel-Koch Lucy, Holly & Kathi Welch Michelle Bourg Nicole Essawy Niko Berry Sparrow Marcioni

Front cover image by

Natalia Kacala with Hot Photo Dog, IG@hot_photo_dog & fb.com/hotphotodog Model: Lucy and Holly Rucker More Than a Family Business Dewayne Dedmon Tracey Luttgens of Heart Spot Pet & Family Portraits #heartspot

AA

Life ife


Cover Lucy is a spunky, spirited 15-year-old Jack Russell terrier living in Atlanta, Georgia. Lucy and her fur-sister Holly, a slightly more reserved, playful 10-year-old rat terrier, and their mom (chauffer and operations manager) Kathi Welch comprise the well-known Atlanta GirlZ Club. Represented by a canine talent agency, Lucy has been a working actor and professional fashion model since the age of two. Lucy has appeared in print fashion, print advertisements and featured on calendars as well as on stage and runway as well as pageants.

Cover model Holly

Front cover image by Natalia Kacala with Hot Photo Dog, IG@hot_photo_dog fb.com/hotphotodog

Lucy has television credits, having appeared in a series, and she is also a former cover model for the pet fashion industry. Proving she still has it, Lucy won recognition as “Second Heir to the Throne” at the recent Magnolia Masquerade Ball fundraiser in Charlotte, North Carolina, modeling glamorous haute couture on the runway. Lucy and Holly have been photographed in local newspapers and magazines, and other media outlets, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Atlantan magazine by Modern Luxury, Simply Buckhead magazine, Hottest Hounds of Atlanta, as well as a feature article in Atlanta Pet Life, Spring 2017. Lucy, Holly and Kathi are contributing writers for Atlanta Pet Life, where readers enjoy their popular events column “PaWty Animals.” As high-profile pet influencers, they are often invited to emcee, support and judge events. Lucy and Holly are also goodwill and canine couture ambassadors. They appeared in a CNN National Dog Day special and in a segment on The Weather Channel with Jim Cantore. They are also featured in the “Dogs4Kindness” campaign on YouTube by Lola Teigland. Atlanta GirlZ Club’s commitment to fundraising for animals in need is not only their passion; it is their core mission. They proudly work with numerous local nonprofit animal welfare groups, including Angels Among Us Pet Rescue and Georgia Jack Russell Rescue. Lucy and Holly use their celebrity to add

Cover Shoot

value to and shine a light on animal welfare, animal organizations and fundraising efforts, and by making public appearances, help raise awareness. They partner with posh pet fashion events nationally and locally, including upscale national fundraising galas presented by G Girl Productions and New York’s Celebrity Catwalk Paws in the City. Their genuine passion for pet fashion has blessed them with many wonderful, longstanding friendships cultivated over more than 12 years with industry leaders and prominent canine couture designers both across the U.S. and internationally. Lucy is professionally trained and certified in advanced obedience and also has AKC Good Canine Citizenship certification. She and Holly have served as pet therapy dogs in Columbia, South Carolina and Asheville, North Carolina. Currently, Lucy, Holly and Kathi are working on multiple upcoming projects, including guest blogging for a national pet food company. Atlanta GirlZ Club’s mottos are “fashion, fun and fundraising” and “being kind is the way to go.” These fashionista philanthropists believe the rewards pet companions and animals bring into our lives are light years away from anything money can buy. Whether it’s looking great in doggy ball gowns or raising money for animal charities, the Atlanta GirlZ Club enjoys spreading that message. You can follow their adventures and fashion on Facebook and Instagram @lucyandholly_atlgirlzclub.

Cover model Lucy 6

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Pet Business

Rucker More Than Just A Family

Written by Nikko Berry Tracey Luttgens of Heart Spot Pet & Family Portraits #heartspot

Rucker Horse and Pet isn’t exactly a mom and pop shop. Make no mistake, it has a mom and pop - Scot and Cindy Rucker, the two people that turned Rucker Horse and Pet, an equestrian and pet supply shop, into the pet supply store it is today. With three locations in north Atlanta and a fourth on the way, Rucker Pet is something of a mom and pop chain. Sporting a cat habitat showcasing rescue cats for adoption and a saltwater dog pool, Rucker Pet has features you won’t find at most pet chain stores. The Rucker Pet is successful, but it’s noteworthy for more than that. Rucker Pet is part of an ongoing effort to improve the lives of pets and people in north Atlanta through education and service. Some of the best work the folks at Rucker’s are doing is providing education on proper pet nutrition. Nutrition is a major part of keeping pets happy and healthy. The flashpoint for transforming Rucker’s into the dog- and cat-focused store came in 2008 alongside massive recalls of pet food. In 2008, startling quantities of pet food were recalled for containing melamine, a toxic chemical. The last ten years have also shown growing awareness among pet owners of just how unhealthy certain fillers such as corn and other cereal grains can be for dogs and cats.

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Scot and Cindy, two people with decades of entrepreneurial experience, saw the opportunity to use their business to better the lives of north Atlanta dogs and cats by making better food available. But they knew making good pet food available wasn’t enough on its own. Knowing what a pet needs to eat isn’t something people are born with, so Rucker’s makes pet nutrition a pillar of employee training. The results have been one of the best parts of their jobs. As Cindy Rucker put it, “people bring their pets into the store and we can help educate them about nutrition to provide a long and happy life to their dog or cat.” Since their initial 2006 Doggiepalooza event, they have been a contributor to the north Atlanta pet festival scene. Rucker’s largest event of the year, their Ruff & Tuff festival, was held in November and focused on raising funds for K9’s for Warriors, a charity dedicated to providing service animals at no cost to returning servicemen from the U.S. armed forces. Not many people know that it costs almost $30,000 to train a dog to be a true service animal. In spite of this, the 2017 Ruff & Tuff festival is looking to put four animals through training. There’s always something going on for people and pets at Rucker Horse and Pet. In addition, to their two major annual events, they have smaller events throughout the year. Dogs can come and test their dock jumping skills in the store pool during the warm months of the year, and there are regularly scheduled puppy play dates in the store’s fenced-in yard. The holidays are coming up and Rucker’s will be doing pet pictures with Santa on the first three weekends of December. At Rucker Pet, it’s not just about selling quality food, it’s also about creating opportunities for animals and their people to bond and build memories. Atlanta Pet Life

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Dewayne Dedmon Written by Nikko Berry Tracey Luttgens of Heart Spot Pet & Family Portraits #heartspot

Atlanta got an impressive new addition to the Hawks this year in the form of Dewayne Dedmon. For those of you not in the basketball know, Dewayne is a master of pick and roll plays - a type of play where a player slips through defenders to receive a pass and put it through the hoop in quick succession. All of this means that Dewayne is an absolute blast to watch on the court and the source of some impressive shots you might see on the Hawks’ highlight reels for the season. Why are we at Atlanta Pet Life talking about this? Because Dewayne is bringing a couple of extra teammates with him: his two pet dogs. People might not immediately associate being a professional athlete with pet ownership, but Dewayne is just one of many pet owners on the pro ball stage. Being a pet owner and a professional athlete poses some immediate challenges, the most pressing being travel. Professional athletes travel a lot; NBA players like Dewayne can frequently wind up playing away games back to back. This means that Dewayne had to deal with the challenge of finding good places for his pets to stay. “(The) hardest part of getting those dogs, probably finding places for them to stay all the time,” Dewayne says of taking care of the pets while he travels. This turned out to be one of those problems that solved itself, as Dewayne eventually managed to reach another life milestone that let his dogs take a break from their own away games. “My

“It feels good knowing that, win or lose, the dogs’ gonna be the same”

girl is livin’ with me now, though, so that makes things really easy.” So why would professional athletes keep pets in spite of the challenges of traveling all over the country? Anybody with pets and a high-stress job may have some insight into this. Pets are fantastic assistants for helping to decompress from stressful days on the office or on the court. When asked what the high point of pet ownership is for him, he confirms our suspicions. “It feels good knowing that, win or lose, the dogs gonna be the same,” Dewayne says, touching on what many pet owners recognize as one of the powerful parts of the connection between animals and their people; its unconditional. Dogs don’t care whether you win or lose the big game; they love you all the same. It helps with the down times to know you have a friend that cares about you. It helps to soothe some of the downs that come with anything less than a perfect season and it makes the wins all the sweeter. If you ever get a chance to watch Dewayne play, it is obvious just how much of himself he puts into his plays. Even the element of his game most usually critiqued by commentators—his higher than average number of fouls—never seem to stem from any lack of grace so much as a natural result of total commitment to a maneuver. It’s good to know that with the level of hustle he’s giving to our team, that he has a team of his own waiting for him when he finishes the day. Atlanta Pet Life

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Animal Law

Pet Trusts As we prepare out estate planning, have you considered your four-legged family member?

Yes, of course—and you should. By Claudine Wilkins and Jessica Rock, former prosecutors and founders of Animal Law Source.

What is a Pet Trust? Owners can establish a pet trust to ensure that their pet will enjoy the same lifestyle and level of care even after their owner’s death. A pet trust is a legal arrangement that provides for the care and wellbeing of one or more pets or animals in the event of the owner’s disability or death. The settlor (also referred to as a grantor or trustor) is the animal owner who creates the trust, which can become active during the settlor’s life or at their death. Pets cannot own property because pets are legally considered to be property themselves. A deceased owner’s attempt to convey real or personal property to their pet will not be enforced, but the owner can create a trust for the animal and designate a trustee to take care of the animal with the money the settlor puts in the trust. The trustee will hold property for the pet and will make regular payments to a designated caregiver. Depending on the state, the trust may continue for the rest of the animal’s life or 21 years. Today, every state and the District of Columbia, except Minnesota, have laws that allow pet owners to create pet trusts. However, while almost every state allows for the creation of pet trusts, these trusts can still be complicated to create and require the assistance of an attorney. 12

Atlanta Pet Life

Pet Trusts, Wills, and Pet Protection Agreements Pet trusts are a legally enforceable estate planning tool that ensures pets will be taken care of in a specific manner after the owner dies. While pet owners can provide funds to take care of a pet in a will, instructions for how to take care of a pet in a will are not legally enforceable. A will can grant ownership of a pet to a grantee, but the grantee does not have any legal duty to take care of the pet in a specific way, even if specific instructions are left in the will. Furthermore, wills must go through probate court, which can take months or even years, after the owner’s death, while pet trusts do not have to go through probate. Pet trusts allow owners to provide very specific instructions for trustees. For example, a pet trust can require that the animal be taken to the vet a specific number of times per year or that the animal can only be fed certain kinds of food. If the instructions of the trust are not followed, the settlor or the settlor’s estate could sue the trustee. Like pet trusts, pet protection agreements allow animal owners to decide who will take care of their animal(s) after their death or if they are incapacitated. In a pet protection agreement, the owner can name a “pet guardian” who will be responsible for taking care of the animal(s) and stipu-

late how the owner wants the animal(s) taken care of. These are often simpler to create than pet trusts because owners do not necessarily need an attorney to create a pet protection agreement. These agreements provide many of the same benefits as a formal pet trust.

Pet Trusts in Georgia In 2010, Georgia enacted O.C.G.A. § 53-12-38, codifying the State’s rules for animal trusts. The Georgia law uses the term “animal” rather than pet to allow owners of non-domesticated animals (like Thoroughbred horses) to also benefit from this law. Georgia allows animal owners to create a trust “to provide for the care of an animal that is alive during the settlor’s lifetime.” There is no specific limitation on the duration of an animal trust in Georgia. The trust will remain active to provide for the animal during the animal’s lifetime, or if the trust is for more than one animal, it will remain active for as long as the last surviving animal is alive. Under Georgia law, if the owner does not appoint a caretaker for the animal in the trust, the court can appoint a caretaker. Or, even if a caretaker is appointed in the trust, a person who cares about the animal’s welfare “may request the court to appoint a person to enforce the trust or to remove a person appointed.”


To create a pet trust, the owner will need to: Pup-tested All Natural Treats

Identify the caregiver, as well as an alternative caregiver, (consider the time, energy, and personal circumstances of each potential caregivers; also consider whether the caregiver will be the beneficiary of the remainder of the pet trust)

Identify the trustee (the person who will administer the trust)

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Identify a reasonable sum to be set aside for the pet’s care (consider the age and life expectancy of the pet, as well as any special expenses for the pet that may come up)

Provide as much information about the pet as possible (name, location of the pet, include a very detailed description of the pet – this can be a physical description, pictures, microchip information, and even DNA samples – any special care information (medications, grooming, etc.), name, address, and telephone number/email address of the caregiver or caregivers, name of the pet’s veterinarian, final disposition of the pet’s remains upon its death)

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Transfer ownership of the pet to the trust

Require the trustee to periodically check in with the caregiver and the pet to ensure the trust is being fulfilled (be sure to include a provision that allows the trustee to remove the pet from the caregiver if the care fails to satisfy the trust)

Include a provision that allows the caregiver to enforce the trust if the trustee does not perform his or her duties. Atlanta Pet Life

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Grooming

Keeping Fido Fresh & Fluffy Through the Years Contributed by Lorrie L Leickel-Koch

When your dog was just a pup, he frolicked in fresh cut grass, meandered through mud puddles and helped you dig that garden. He pranced through warm puppy poop and jumped up on you with piercingly sharp puppy nails. In an effort to control the muttly messes, you taught him to enjoy a warm bath, a brisk brush-out, and tolerate nail trimming, if for no other reason than to save your own skin and clothes. As he matured, grooming by you, a professional groomer or both became part of his routine. That fluffy puppy coat was replaced by his adult coat, with its own unique grooming requirements. Those sharp nails became thicker and harder, but with exercise to wear them down, and the learning of some manners, your skin and pants remained intact in between nail trims. Time has flown by, and suddenly your puppy is a “senior” pet. He walks slower and not as far, plays a little less and sleeps a little more. It would be reasonable to think that his grooming needs would decrease at this time of his life, however, the opposite is true.

Monday: brush and trim coat Wednesday: clean ears Friday: trim nails, brush teeth Saturday: bath time 14

Atlanta Pet Life

As your dog ages, it will benefit both of you to pay close attention to his grooming needs. Frequent grooming will help you notice any minute changes in your pet’s skin and coat. Your pet sees his veterinarian only a few times a year, so it’s up to you to monitor his health on a daily basis. Changes in his skin and coat can be the first sign of some serious conditions. Make notes of any skin abnormalities that you may find, and inform your vet at the next visit. As they get older, dogs can develop conditions such arthritis, muscle, joint and back pain. These can be the result of hereditary genetic disease, such as hip dysplasia, prior injuries, surgeries or simple aging. In an effort to keep your fur baby fluffy but comfortable, here are some tips to incorporate into his grooming routine. Consider spreading grooming tasks out so that your dog doesn’t have to stay in one position for an extended amount of time, or have to tolerate more brushing and pulling than he is comfortable with. Instead of brushing, combing and nail trimming all in the same day, designate a day for each task. Nails, ears and teeth can be attended to one day, and thorough brushing can be divided into two or more days with a quick brush-through anytime it is necessary.

Although your dog may have had a long flowing coat his entire life, if grooming is becoming uncomfortable, now is the time to consider having his fur clipped down to a more manageable length. Your local professional groomer can help with his make over. Special Needs: As pets age, they may develop unique special needs. If grooming is truly uncomfortable, speak to your pet’s veterinarian about supplements and medications to increase his comfort on a daily basis, and possibly something a bit stronger to prevent discomfort for extended grooming sessions or baths. Aging pets may develop hygiene issues. Their stools may change consistency, they may have difficulty when defecating, or they may have slight bladder leakage. A “sanitary trim” that shortens the hair around the genitals and rear end will make cleanup quicker and easier while allowing these areas to dry between bathroom breaks. This is another service your professional groomer or veterinarian can provide for your pet.


Your aging companion is probably getting less exercise than in his younger days. This can quickly result in his nails becoming overgrown. Long nails can be problematic for many reasons. In the center of the nail is the quick, which is the blood and nerve supply to the nail. As the nail grows, so does the quick. Once the nails have become overgrown, it will take several months of frequent nail trims to shorten the nail and have the quick recede. If too much nail is trimmed at once, the quick will bleed, and while the bleeding can be stopped with a blood-clotting product, it is better to keep the nails trimmed and avoid the situation. Very long nails can also make it difficult for a dog to walk. This is because he either won’t have traction on a smooth floor, or his nails become caught and possibly break on a carpeted surface. Both scenarios can cause stress on his joints and muscles and make walking unpleasant. If your dog happens to have longer hair around his footpads, careful trimming can also provide more traction. If your pet is professionally groomed, be sure to mention any changes in his skin, coat or overall health to his groomer. If he has trouble balancing on the grooming table, ask if he can be groomed on the floor, or if the groomer has a grooming band to help support his back end. Depending on his needs, you can request frequent rest periods (extending the amount of time he is at the groomer), or reserve the first or last appointment of the day so that he can get more individual attention and possibly a shorter stay. Your dog’s senior years are a great time to pamper him with the services of a mobile groomer. The advantages are that there is no wait time, and he has the groomer’s undivided attention. Also, you are close at hand if any questions or issues arise. Keeping your senior pet well groomed will help keep him more comfortable, happy and healthy. He’ll be more pleasant to cuddle up with, and you’ll spend less time cleaning up after him. It’s a team effort between you, your pet’s veterinarian and your groomer. Now get grooming, and don’t forget the treats!

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15


Mostly Mutts University is Giving Dogs a New Leash on Life

www.troncallisubaru.com It’s o.k. for your pet to sit still Or stay put Or rollover Once you sit in a Subaru, you’ll stay.

Contributed by Cherese Cobb In the fall of 2015, Paulding County Animal Control picked up Ranger, a two- or three-year-old boxer-bully mix, who was living in a Walmart parking lot. “When he arrived at Mostly Mutts (MM), he was literally skin and bones with almost no hair,” says Emily Shervin, owner of The Gratefull Dog and the coordinator of Mostly Mutts University (MMU). The staff wasn’t sure that he’d survive. Ranger pulled through, though, and the missing half of his coat slowly grew in. He also packed on weight, eventually tipping the scales at almost 80 pounds.

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“When you have that kind of big, scary-looking dog, it’s difficult,” she said. “When a dog is labeled, it doesn’t necessarily reflect his true personality.” Ranger was a gentle, quiet couch potato with a skin allergy and fear of thunderstorms. Slightly silly, his favorite pastimes were greeting and cuddling with staffers on the floor. More than 200 days ticked by, and no one adopted him.

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That’s when Shervin started training him in everyday basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” “down,” “come,” “leave it,” “drop,” and “place.” Ranger was a sponge and eager to learn, especially for “cheese.” On a Sunday volunteer hike through Kennesaw Mountain—13 days shy of his first year anniversary—a couple spotted him and fell in love, opening their hearts and home to MM’s first fully-trained dog. “Eighty-six percent of dogs are in shelters because of behavioral issues,” she said. “Ranger is kind of the reason MMU started on May 1 (of this year) [after receiving a grant from Maddie’s Fund],” says Shervin, who had worked with marine mammals in open ocean settings before dogs. “We saw the benefit of working with a dog was that it could be adopted.” In less than six months, more than 100 graduates from


the program have been adopted. Fourteen volunteer trainers work with two to three dogs each. “What the requirement is, and I’m really tough about it, volunteers have to come in three to four times per week to train the dogs,” she said. “Consistency is important in training.” When you walk through the shelter, whether you’re seeing the oldest dog, 10-year-old Marshall, or the youngest, four-month-old Paul, you’ll see an orange or green chart titled, “I know...” with a checked list of skills like “accepts strangers” and “walks in and out of doors calmly.”

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There are also check boxes for kid-friendliness, cat-friendliness—volunteers test dogs with Maz, MM’s laidback cat mascot—and dog-friendliness. “Whenever there’s a dog issue, it’s usually female and female or male and male,” she said. “There are also size issues. The little dogs have Napoleon complexes. They tend to be a little more apprehensive of bigger dogs.” “The number one problem of misbehaved dogs is that they’re not being exercised enough,” Shervin said. “Our volunteers are amazing. They’ll walk the dogs all over Kennesaw for us. I think that’s just a huge part of success for some

Our family-oriented staff is committed to providing you with state of the art veterinary care while maintaining an atmosphere of respect, support, and continued education. We offer a complete range of veterinary services, including vaccinations, routine, major, and emergency medical, surgical, and dental services.

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of these dogs.” Pairing rigorous exercise with 100% positive reinforcement and treat training, the staff has been able to help MMU graduates be less aggressive towards other dogs. “When Potter came in, he was actually attacking his own reflection,” she said. The 10-year-old senior, who had lived on a chain his whole life, was recently adopted by a little girl’s family through the Mostly Mutts Read to Dogs Program. Anytime Christopher, a one-yearold Jack Russell terrier - beagle mix, would spot another dog, he’d turn and try to bite his leash or his trainer’s leg. With marathon-level exercise, his displaced aggression melted away. He started playing nicely with other dogs a month ago and was recently adopted. To learn more about MMU or adopt your own MMU graduate, visit mostlymutts.org.

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Graduate Athens Barkatcha furBelles & furBeaus! LadyBelle Michelle here with my nose to the ground and tail in the air to sniff out the best furry furiendly places to take your pawrent.

What’s the best the way to spend a Saturday? Touring the town with Mommy in tow! Just two road dogs hitting the highway. First stop? Back to school I go, headed to Athens to bark on my fellow DAWGS and bestest bulldog UGA. Prancing into the hotel, I was im-pawressed by the eclectic décor, and furiendly staff. Emily was there to greet us and after a short check in (and a lot of human chatter) I had the key in my mouth and led mommy to the room. Hopping from bed to bed I did a double back flip and snuggled into a soft pillow, but not for long. My canine instincts kicked in – ALAS! – I discovered the coveted Bark Box. My fellow canine connoisseurs know this is the box to make you chase the mailman, wait patiently at the mailbox, or stake out the big brown truck. I could barely contain my excitement while Mommy opened the box. My tail was wagging so fast! What would I find this time? My favorite noisy toys? Homemade snacks? Or a delicious doggie bone just for me? I couldn’t wait to get my paws on each one as mommy handed them to me. My back to school BarkBox had everything I needed to be head of the class: a squeaky apple for my teacher (a.k.a Mommy), a composition notebook just for me and yellow No. 2 pencil to match, my own gourmet dish (with my name of course), and plenty of mouthwatering, good tasting, healthy treats and snacks.

After munching on the treats, snacks, and chasing a squeaky toy or two, I sat Mommy at the desk with notebook and pencil to make out our schedule: 12:00 p.m. Arrival and Check in at Graduate Athens Hotel 1:00 p.m. Tour of Athens 2:00 p.m. Back To hotel for a quick brush and blow out! Cheerleader ready! 2:30 p.m. Photoshoot Time 3: p.m. Off to the big game! 3:30 p.m. Kick off at Stanford Stadium So glad Mommy and I were here to cheer on my Bulldog bestie UGA and the team to a 24-10 victory over South Carolina. Thanks to Graduate Athens for the pawsome hospitality and puppy amenities! Review? This pup gives the Graduate Athens Two Paws Up!

The Pawrent Perspective: Whether planning a wedding at the famous Foundry, catching a game at Sanford Stadium, or for a quick getaway to the collegiate town of Athens, Graduate Athens Hotel is the perfect place to stay. With no pet fees, a complimentary BarkBox, and a variety of pet friendly restaurants, you can be sure your furBelle or Beau will have a pawsome time. For more of LadyBelle’s adventures, please look for her in upcoming issues of Atlanta Pet Life Magazine. Follow Tour de Paws and The Most Interesting Belle in the World, LadyBelle Michelle, for more ‘Divinely Canine ExPAWriences’, pawrent friendly locales, and tips on how to be a Tour de Paws Healthy Dog. www.tourdepaws.com | instagram.com/tourdepaws | facebook.com/tourdepaws 18

Atlanta Pet Life


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When Catastrophe

Strikes

We all watch the news at least occasionally, with its violent and sad stories, and I’m sure many are concerned about how this might affect them and their family should disaster occur nearby. Of course, our first thoughts are to protect and provide for our immediate family, but our pets are part of that family too. It’s no longer enough to make plans for your pets upon your natural death to still have true peace of mind about their care, because there are just too many other circumstances that could cause your pets to become homeless or abandoned.

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Atlanta Pet Life

Contributed by Sparrow Marcioni

At La Maison du Chat, we receive calls weekly from individuals trying to place kitties when someone passes away, moves to assisted living, or has had a fire or other emergency that forced them from their home. Sometimes it is the kind neighbor who doesn’t want the surviving family member to take the kitty to animal control or worse yet, to a vet to be euthanized. There are no assurances that your pet will be cared for if you’re no longer there, but there are things you can do that can provide the best possible chance for their continued happy life. Many people assume that a family member or friend would care for their pet, but if you’re in your 60’s and your sister is in her 70’s and your cat is two years old, or if your neighbor loves big dogs, they may not be very good candidates. Caring for someone else’s pet is a big responsibility, even if it is not permanent.

You need to have a frank discussion with any candidate you may have, and if you are fortunate to have someone you can trust, make sure that your family knows your plans as well as your attorney. You should also carry an emergency instruction card with you in the event that you cannot tell people that you have pets at home. A small card with your pet’s names, your veterinarian and your emergency caretaker is imperative, and your emergency caretaker should always have a key to your home. It’s also very important to make prior arrangements with your attorney, as pets are considered property in most states and can get caught up in estate situations. You can’t just leave money to your pet, as it’s unlikely to stand up in court. Sometimes a trust is the best option, but keep in mind that just offering financial support for the caretaker of your pet does not guarantee they will be cared for properly.


the cost of medical and other care. If you decide to use one of these organizations, visit them and see what their place is like. Ask to speak to references that can vouch for their ability to provide long-term care for your pet. Make sure you know how pets are confined and provided for medically. Sometimes, a no-kill shelter or rescue will offer to care for a pet if arrangements are made in advance. This can offer the benefit of finding your pet a new loving home rather than it being institutionalized. Some other tips to plan for emergency care of your pet include posting removable “in case of emergency” notices on your doors or windows specifying how many and what types of pets you have. Don’t use stickers; hard-to-remove stickers are often left behind by former residents, so firefighters may assume that the sticker is outdated or, worse, they may risk their lives trying to find a pet no longer in the house. Affix to the inside of your front and back doors a removable notice listing emergency contact names and phone numbers.

It is very difficult to legally bind anyone to handle the responsible care of your pet; they must have the means and the desire. If you opt for a traditional pet trust, you must name a trustee and a caregiver. These can be the same person if you trust him or her with financial as well as pet care matters. If you want the oversight a trustee provides, choose someone with financial and pet smarts for the role. That way, your appointed caregiver has a knowledgeable partner to share responsibility for your pets. This could be a family member or friend who cannot take your cats for whatever reason, but who wants the best for them. There are organizations, sometimes called pet retirement homes or sanctuaries, who will agree to care for your pet in the event something happens to you, but choosing the correct one is far from easy. Some charge a substantial fee in advance or a monthly fee assuming they will be covering the cost of caring for your pet for many years, others ask to be included in your will as a beneficiary to cover

In brief, it is as important to plan for the care of your pet in an emergency as it is your family, because without a plan your loving furry friend could end up in a nightmare rather than a happy loving home.

Here are some excellent resources for additional information: ProfessorBeyer.com — In addition to the above information, Beyer offers resources on his website, including links to each state’s laws regarding pet trusts. LegalZoom — Here you will find a DIY pet protection agreement as well as other information about estate planning for pets. Nolo.com — This legal website offers excellent info on estate planning for pets. Sparrow Marcioni is the Chief Behaviorist at La Maison du Chat, a Reiki Practitioner and Founder of Cat Rangers Cat Rescue. She is available for consultation by emailing : sparrow@catrangers.org or by calling 770-831-5513. Atlanta Pet Life

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Sometimes things just have a way of working out right. This happened recently for Jesse Thomas-Durden, a student at the Lionheart School, and Kirk and Candice Puffenburger of Puff n Fluff Pet Spa. Through the Puffenburgers’ support of the Lionheart WORKS vocational education program, Jesse found an exciting new role in life, and the spa found an exceptional new staff member.

S K R O W T A H T

Located in Alpharetta, the Lionheart School is a private nonprofit school founded by parents and teachers that specializes in educating individuals on the autism spectrum, and with other neurodevelopmental challenges. Its Lionheart WORKS program provides individuals age 18 and over with customized work experiences while teaching basic employment skills, teaching independence and communication. The Puffenburgers and Puff n Fluff Pet Spa have supported the Lionheart WORKS program for a little over a year. Not long ago, Jesse visited the spa as part of a group field trip tour, and along with the group watched the spa staff in action as they bathed,

Written by Michelle Bourg

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Atlanta Pet Life


blow dried and styled the dogs. Soon after, the program placed Jesse with Puff n Fluff as an intern, with the goal of increasing her independence to the point of becoming an employee. During her internship, Jesse visited the spa twice a week with her job coach, learning basic skills and shop operations. This past summer, Jesse became an official employee, and now works two days per week. Says Puffenburger, “We are very proud of Jesse and her accomplishment and honored to have been able to support the Lionheart WORKS program. She has become a valuable part of our team and we hope to have her with us long into the future.  Jesse loves animals.  She comes to work with a smile on her face.  She also loves to give great people hugs!” Jesse enjoys her work as well, and there’s no doubt that the dogs she cares for are happy to have such a devoted caregiver when they visit Puff n Fluff. Kirk and Candice Puffenburger started Puff n Fluff Pet Spa as a home business in 2006 and are now located on Jones Bridge Road in Johns Creek. Services offered include massage baths, full grooming and it is a la carte services such as nail trims or filing, oral hygiene, sanitary trims and dematting. Puff n Fluff is dedicated to combining technical and artistic skill to make pets look their best, in a safe and caring environment. Candice Puffenburger expresses their philosophy best: “Grooming is a passion for me, not just a job.” Puff n Fluff Pet Spa, 11550 Jones Bridge Road, Johns Creek, GA. 770-274-4600 puffnfluffpetspa.com

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Atlanta Pet Life

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The perfect place to meet new friends?

Best Friends Pet Adoption Center! Meet dozens of adorable dogs and cats and adopt your new best friend.

Best Friends Pet Adoption Center 4874 S. Atlanta Road SE Atlanta, Georgia 30339 404-815-6680

bestfriendsatl.org 24

Atlanta Pet Life


Written by Nikko Berry

Meals on Wheels is a service providing food and aid to seniors who experience difficulties preparing, moving, or purchasing food. It’s a phenomenal program that’s helped many people live better, easier lives. However, there is one predicament; what about their pets? Several of the drivers for the regular Meals on Wheels program noticed the problem during their deliveries. Many of the seniors Meals on Wheels recipients also had pets, and most of these pet owners had some difficulty providing food for their companion animals, for the same reasons they had difficulty providing food for themselves. Moreover, they were solving the problem by giving food from their own Meals on Wheels deliveries to their animals. More often than not, they would feed their companion before they fed themselves. When they found the problem, North Fulton’s Senior Services put together a response. Enter Meals on Wheels For Pets, a supplementary program running alongside North Fulton county’s Department of Senior Services standard Meals on Wheels program. Meals on Wheels For Pets is a monthly delivery service bringing pet food to animals and people in need. Since its humble beginning in 2013, Meals on Wheels For Pets has grown to provide service for 74 pets - mostly dogs and cats, but it also helps out two turtles and one gecko, because companionship comes in all shapes and sizes. In many cases, Meals on Wheels For Pets makes the difference between a

senior keeping their companion or having to put it up for adoption. Parting with a longtime companion is rarely a good idea for a senior; researchers continue to find that elderly people receive profound mental and physical health benefits from having companion animals. For several Meals on Wheels recipients, their companion animal is their remaining family and parting with them would be truly unthinkable.

Properly delivering meals for these pets sometimes means more than just delivering a bag of any old dog food. Some of these pets are old like their owners and many of them need senior formula or prescription foods which don’t buy themselves. The Meals on Wheels for Pets program runs alongside the standard Meals on Wheels services but doesn’t use any of the funding allocated for that program. The Meals on Wheels Loves Pets team is proud to run entirely off of partnership with the Humane Society, grants, and donations. You’ll probably not be surprised to hear that Meals on Wheels for Pets has no shortage of volunteers, however, they’re always seeking donations. If you would like to donate to this wonderful cause, check out ssnorthfulton.org/waysof-giving/make-a-donation or call Meals

on Wheels for Pets: (770) 993-1906 Ext. 232

Running a program like this may not literally be rocket science, but if it were, Meals on Wheels For Pets would not be scrubbed for launch. Len Tinnan, director of the program, was a rocket scientist prior to moving to Roswell. Len moved to the North Fulton community after his wife, Natalie, passed so that he be closer to the rest of his family. His wife was a lifelong animal lover, and Len knew that the best way to honor her was to involve himself in animal service volunteering. When he came aboard for Meals on Wheels For Pets, it was a perfect match and now he is one of the reasons the program runs as smoothly as it does.

WISH LIST Milk Bone dog treats (small and medium size) Cat treats (any size) Cat Litter Regular, any brand, 6-7 lb. bags Clumping, any brand, 14 lb. boxes or bags Meals on Wheels for Pets is supported by charitable donations from Meals on Wheels America, Banfield Charitable Trust, the Humane SocietyMansell Campus, and the VCA Roswell Animal Hospital, in addition to grants and individual supporters.

Atlanta Pet Life

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PaWty Animals Holl y

Lucy

Follow our fashionable charityhopping trio as they snoop out where the fun is happening inside the Atlanta pet scene. “PaWty Animals” by Atlanta GirlZ Club™ Lucy, Holly & Kathi Welch Follow us on Instagram: @lucyandholly_atlgirlzclub

Festival Pet Parade and Costume Contest September 23, 2017

The 2017 Pet Parade and Costume Contest at the Sandy Springs Festival presented by Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, in partnership with Heritage Sandy Springs, attracted over 80 pets. Pets of all shapes and sizes paraded through the Sandy Springs Festival, sporting creative and impressive costumes. A Festival tradition since 1987, the Pet Parade is free to enter and prizes are awarded in a variety of categories: Most Unusual Pet, Coolest Trick, Owner/Pet Lookalike, Celebrity Impersonator, Best in Show, and People’s Choice. The first 50 online registrants always receive a special goody bag. This year’s grand marshal was Rikki Klaus of WSB, while the emcee for the event was Kathi Welch with her Atlanta GirlZ Club. Wonderful judges included “Lucky” and his owners Ernie and Diane from Lucky’s Burgers and Brew Roswell; Angels Among Us Co-Founder LuAnn; and “Sheepish Addie,” local Sandy Springs social media star. Sponsors were Atlanta Pet Life, Dog City II - Sandy Springs, Fido Fido Dog Daycare & Boarding, The Downtown Pooch, Lucky’s Burger & Brew Brookhaven, Perk-N-Pooch, Trusted Friend Animal Clinic, Enhance Floors and More, Joey D’s Oak Room, The Pet Resorts-Dunwoody and ACE Pet Collars. In addition to the fun-filled Pet Parade, the Sandy Springs Festival is a wonderful community event that also features a street market loaded with beautiful and whimsical art, live entertainment, and oodles of activities for children and teens, a delicious food court, and much more for festival-goers. The multitude of artists’ booths lined charming Sandy Springs Circle with paintings, pottery, photography, metalwork, folk art, glass, jewelry, yard art and much more. Shoppers were wowed by all of the color and creativity as they strolled along the beautiful street with their family pets. For more info, visit angelsrescue.org

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Atlanta Pet Life


events.

PetPagesAtlanta.com/events

Forever Friends Found Here

Our mission is simple — The Humane Society of Forsyth County is dedicated to finding loving homes for dogs and cats; educating pet owners; and reducing pet over-population. We are one of the few true NO KILL shelters in our area. As a 100% donor-funded organization, we need your support to continue caring for and finding forever homes for our beloved animals. Come find your forever friend today! KEY PROGRAMS & SERVICES

• Adoptions & Foster Care • Spay/Neuter Assistance Programs • Education Outreach • Pet Food Pantry • Humane Hearts Therapy Team

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Atlanta Pet Life

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WOODRUFF BARK Halloween Pet Parade and Festival October 28, 2017

A little rain on the parade did not stop large numbers of pet lovers and their best four-legged pet pals from celebrating Halloween in Downtown Atlanta, as Atlanta’s beloved green space Woodruff Park transformed into WoodRUFF BARK Halloween Dog Parade and Festival. Pet parents from all over the city gathered with their costumed canines dressed up in everything from Star Wars characters to as a giant lobster to a banana split! This is the first year the park put on the festival featuring a parade and costume contest, pet trick or treating, music, vendors and more. And wow - event organizer Ansley Whipple, project manager of Woodruff Park and her amazing team did a fantastic job making the event a huge success. PaWty Animals Lucy and Holly can’t wait until their next fun event! Emceed by beloved Atlanta TV and radio personality Mara Davis, the pet parade and costume contest was judged by local artist Kyle Brooks (a/k/a Black Cat Tips), Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall, pet fashionista philanthropists Lucy and Holly of Atlanta GirlZ Club, and dog Instagram celebrity Sheepish Addie. Luna Doodle, winner of the WoodRUFF Bark’s Instagram contest, served as the parade’s grand marshal. Prizes courtesy of The Whole Dog Market were given in the following categories: Best in Show; Best Homemade Costume; Best Owner/Pet Combo and Most Festive Foster. For more info, visit: atlantadowntown. com.

Star 94.1 Woofstock - Smyrna September 30 & October 1, 2017

Woofstock is back! New to the lineup of Smyrna Market Village events, “Atlanta’s Largest Pet Party In The Park” fetched fun for the whole family with a pet party in lovely downtown Smyrna (“Jonquil City”). Presented by Star 94.1, this pet-focused event offered free admission and is one of the biggest pet adoption events in the South, with two days of live music from some of your favorite local bands, pet costume contests, pet demonstrations, activities for the kids, unique vendors, over 50 non-profit and rescue groups, tasty food and drinks and lots more. All pets were welcome, even an adorable goat. 28

Atlanta Pet Life


Dogtoberfest October 22, 2017 East Atlanta Village Farmers Market was definitely the place to be for the fifth annual family friendly Dogtoberfest held October 22, 2017. Awesome local business Big Daddies Biscuits (owned by Lauren Janis, a/k/a “Big Mama”) always makes this a fun and successful festival with lots of adoptable dogs, excellent raffle prizes, educational sessions, and delicious food and drinks from vendors for all to enjoy. Big Daddies Biscuits makes all natural and organic dog biscuits and is committed to working with local farmers to create truly exceptional biscuits for our furry friends. Dogtoberfest is terrific fun for the entire family and their pets and also benefits local nonprofits focused on improving the lives of pets. This year’s grant went to both PAWS Atlanta and Georgia English Bulldog Rescue. PAWS Atlanta is a private, not-for-profit animal welfare organization that provides love, nutrition, medical care and basic training to enrich the lives of homeless animals until permanent, safe homes can be found. Georgia English Bulldogs Rescue is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to help English bulldogs in need. This year’s event featured a Halloween costume contest and pet parade that included adoptable rescue dogs. For more info, visit: facebook. com/dogtoberfesteav/ and bigdaddybiscuits.com.

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Atlanta Pet Life

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Bo Derek “Comes Together” for Fix Georgia Pets Gala and Auction October 19, 2017 Atlanta Pet Life Marketing Director Bill Garst and contributing writer Kathi Welch were among the guests at Fix Georgia Pets Sixth Annual “Come Together” Gala and Auction, held October 19, 2017. Fix Georgia Pets was honored to have Bo Derek, iconic American beauty, film actress, and animal rights activist, as the special guest for the gala, which took place at the beautiful Buckhead home of Fix Georgia Pets founder Ginny Millner and her husband Guy Millner. Co-chaired by Joanne Chesler Gross and Alison Womack Jowers, the evening featured a marvelous buffet-style dinner and signature cocktails for over 150 patrons and included a live and silent auction that took place under the tent on the gorgeous grounds of the Millner’s home. Taking place in the ballroom of the house, guests enjoyed conversation with Ms. Derek and a wonderful meal amidst the stunning decor by Tony Brewer. The buffet dinner was expertly prepared by Mary Hathaway of Soiree Catering and Events.

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Atlanta Pet Life


the Holiday Pick-Me-Up

You’ve Been Sea rchin

Contributed by Cherese Cobb If winding shopping lanes, sardine-style airplane seating, and 24/7 Christmas music are turning you into the Grinch—you know, the creature who’s as cuddly as a cactus and as sweet as a seasick crocodile bent on stopping Christmas from coming—Norbert, the internet’s cutest and most popular therapy dog, will put the “happy” back into your holidays. While the eightyear-old Chihuahua, Cairn terrier, and Lhasa Apso mix is half the height of a bowling pin and weighs just three pounds, he’s a force for good. For almost seven years, Norbert and his owner, award-winning children’s author Julie Steines, have brought joy to people in need at hospitals and nursing homes. For the last few years, they’ve also worked at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles—being rainbows in sick children’s dark clouds. Norbert’s loosey-goosey tongue, which sticks out because he gave some of his teeth to the Tooth Fairy, and high fives have launched millions of smiles, earning him 1.5 million fans worldwide. He knows that you don’t have to be big, to make a big difference in the world. Anyone can make Santa’s “Nice List”—even after he’s checked it twice. To help you find your inner Saint Norbert, this seven-inch hero has “pinned” his very first book: Norbert’s Little Lessons for a Big Life. The “colorful and inspiring book for readers of all ages” is packed with do-gooder tips and life lessons, from “help

g For

others find their happy” to “a good friend can make you feel big”. It’s also filled with 50 images that were “meticulously photographed” by Norbert’s dad, Home & Family-star Mark Steines. Even if you’re not a dog person, when you see Norbert in his dashing bow tie, his jammer jams, or his pirate suit, you’re heart is bound to swell three sizes. Whether you’re a child, young adult, or just young at heart, you’ll want to display this 144-page book on your nightstand or coffee table, flipping through it again and again. “Each quote touched me in its own special way,” says Laree Hammer, who recently purchased the book on Amazon. “I have never read something that was so sweet. It even made me tear up...If you are having a bad day, open it and start reading because it will change your mood!” That makes it the perfect gift for people who are in the hospital or simply under the weather. “We wanted the book to be available for the holiday season since we know it will be an awesome stocking stuffer filled with smiles,” Julie told Atlanta Pet Life. Pre-release, Norbert has donated books to the Marine’s Toys for Tots and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ Literacy Healing program. “In troubling times such as these, we hope this book will feel like a warm, fluffy hug,” she said. To learn more about Norbert or to buy a copy of Norbert’s Little Lessons For a Big Life, visit www.norberthood.com.

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31


Vets Talk

Keeping the Geriatric Patient Moving As a rehabilitation therapist, I see geriatric animals on a daily basis. Many of their common complaints are weakness, osteoarthritis, obesity and tendon or ligament injuries. One day in walked Lucy, a 15-yearold Jack Russell terrier, and her housemate Holly, dressed in matching outfits and accessorized better than most people.  They both have important jobs raising awareness and money for pet charities.  Lucy had injured her cranial cruciate ligament (the ligament connecting the thigh bone to the lower leg bone; similar to an ACL tear in humans). Surgery is usually recommended, but Lucy, like many geriatric animals, had additional health issues that made surgery a greater risk for her.  Rehabilitation therapy is a viable option for those dogs and cats that are unable to have surgery due to age or other health issues.   Lucy was started on a home exercise plan with specific exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding her 32

Atlanta Pet Life

knee, and also came in for weekly inhouse therapy sessions. These sessions involved the use of the underwater treadmill to build strength, improve range of motion and aid in weight loading, as well as cold laser therapy to help with inflammation and pain.  Lucy has done very well with her therapy.  Her mom brings her in for regular maintenance sessions as well as working with her on doing a consistent home exercise program.  Consistency is the key with our older pets. Just like us, they need to keep moving, but not do so much that they injure themselves or experience pain.  You must find the right balance.  Also, whatever you can do daily is better than sporadic exercise.  Maintaining a proper weight is also important.  I am always surprised how just a few pounds of weight loss can improve function and quality of life for our pets.

And don’t forget to keep your dog mentally strong. Change their routine a little, hide treats for them to find and teach them new tricks. So keep them moving, watch their weight, and yes—you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Amy McFarlin, DVM Atlanta Animal Rehabilitation and Fitness


The Gift of Golden Years Five Reasons to Adopt an Older Dog

#1: The transition will likely be easier. Bringing home a younger dog often involves a pretty hectic transition period. Whether you're adopting or purchasing a dog from a breeder, younger dogs will need constant monitoring, especially in the first few weeks after coming into your home. #2: You know their temperament.

P ositively VICTORIA STILWELL I can't think of a better example of pure thankfulness than a senior dog. Having a senior Labrador retriever myself, I am reminded daily how precious each moment we have with our dogs truly is. So many families are convinced that adopting an 8-week-old puppy is the only route to take when getting a new dog, but the truth is that senior dogs often make a much easier transition into your home.

Getting a puppy or adolescent dog is always somewhat of a gamble. Genetics and socialization both play big roles in the overall temperament your dog will have as an adult, and a senior dog already has its temperament established. So if you meet a sweet, laid back older dog, you can expect that he will keep that same temperament for the rest of his life.

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#3: There’s less exercise required.

Many of us live busy, hectic lives. Oftentimes, exercising the dog falls to the bottom of the to-do list. With a senior dog, exercise is still important, but it will take shorter sessions of less intensive exercise to fulfill his activity needs.

#4: You skip the wild puppy years.

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Puppies require an incredible amount of time and patience. Potty training a puppy often involves hourly trips outside, while senior dogs can “hold it” for much longer. Puppies can be extremely mouthy and may whine or bark excessively. With a senior dog, you're much less likely to have to deal with these types of behaviors.

#5: The gift of golden years. There's

no better gift than adopting a senior dog and making his last years the best of his life. Seniors have a harder time getting adopted, so you will truly be saving a life by adopting one.

So the next time you're in the market for a new dog, take a second glance at that sweet older dog with a graying muzzle. It might just be the best decision you'll ever make! Atlanta Pet Life

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The Last Will and Testament of an Extremely Distinguished Dog Author Eugene O’Neill Illustrations by Mark Andresen Published by Gingko Press

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t’s a sad but inescapable fact that loss is a part of all our lives, and for pet owners these sorrowful milestones are all too frequent but no less poignant. When Nobel Prize-winning playwright Eugene O’Neill lost his beloved Dalmatian, Blemie, in 1940, he confronted his grief and paid tribute to his departed friend in the form of a prose poem entitled “The Last Will and Testament of an Extremely Distinguished Dog.” Atlanta artist and designer Mark Andresen has brought that poem to life with a special book illustrating O’Neill’s text with portraits of dozens of dog breeds. Says Andresen, “It's the book someone who lost their pet needs to read to heal the sorrow. It's not a happy book, but it is a poignant one.” Working on the book helped Andresen with healing of physical kind. He had recently undergone double eye surgery and needed a project “to get these old eyeballs working again.” The surgery hadn’t gone as expected, and worried about 34

Atlanta Pet Life

his ability to draw again, he took on the book as something to focus on and also use as a test for his vision. He was able to complete the work with the aid of special eyeglasses, and came away with an unexpected benefit: a cat owner himself, he developed a deeper appreciation of dogs through sketching them. “I'd stop people walking on the street and ask what breed (of dog they were walking), using my skills as an artist to draw as many as I could fit in.” Andresen secured the permission of the Yale Rare Manuscript Library to reproduce the text, and then coordinated production with Ginkgo Press in Berkeley, California, with an agreement that a portion of the proceeds from the book would go to Pets for Returning Servicemen and Servicewomen, an organization for the many who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, “In hope that they find recovery, loyalty and honor with their canine friend.”

“The Last Will and Testament of an Extremely Distinguished Dog,” with new illustrations by Mark Andresen, is available wherever books are sold.


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Atlanta Pet Life Winter 2017 vol 2 issue 8  
Atlanta Pet Life Winter 2017 vol 2 issue 8  

We feature senior socialites Lucy and Holly on the cover of this issue. Meet Atlanta Hawk's Dewayne Dedmon's dogs. Find out how to set up a...

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