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Volume 7 • Number 1

Spring 2018


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Spring 2018


Spring 2018

P.O. Box 332 • Montmorenci, SC 29839-0332 • 803.643.9960 •

www.TheDogAndHound.com • Editor@TheDogAndHound.com

Time Dated Material • Periodicals • Volume 7 • Number 1

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2018 is the Year of the Dog. The Chinese follow the lunar calendar so their new year actually starts on the next new moon, February 16. The Year of the Dog is the second to last year in the cycle, followed by the Year of the Pig. According to mythology, the order of the years was determined by a race to see which animal would pass through the Heavenly Gate first. The Dog actually arrived at the same time as the Rooster, but he was so polite he let the Rooster go first. There is no Year of the Cat because the Rat deceived him. Depending on which story you like better, the Rat tricked the Cat so that he missed the race, or he pushed him into the river where he drowned. And that is why, forever after, the Cat and the Rat have been mortal enemies. So what happens in the Year of the Dog? Chinese tradition holds that the dog symbolizes luck. Dogs are said to be honest, loyal and good at helping people solve their problems. People born during the Year of the Dog are considered to be trustworthy, courageous and hard working, but also to appear stubborn and opinionated. For most people, the Year of the Dog is said to bring good luck. But there is one exception. According to folklore, the year of one’s own zodiac sign is unlucky, with trouble and danger lurking in

every shadow. So if your zodiac sign is the dog (you were born in the years 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994 and so on), this is a time to be especially careful. We certainly hope that the Year of the Dog will not be an unlucky one for actual dogs too! Our dogs deserve all the good luck they can get. They don’t always get it. In this unusually cold winter, there have been stories up and down the East Coast about outdoor dogs that have died because they were not provided with adequate shelter, and worse. These stories have been featured in the media, and they have provoked outrage and stirred controversy in many communities. There is a general consensus that some laws need to be strengthened to punish people who mistreat their dogs and that others should be modified to allow the authorities greater latitude when it comes to protecting dogs in danger. There will be various hearings and new regulations proposed here in Aiken and also on the state level in the coming months. On the other side of that coin, it is generally true that the people whose dogs are poorly cared for might change their ways if they were better educated about the needs of their animals and if they had a higher standard of living themselves. Some people in the greater community are offended by the passion with which dog lovers defend the mistreated dogs. These people think the dog lovers care more about dogs than about people, and feel the passion is misdirected. We disagree. Compassion is not a zero-sum game, and we don’t have a finite amount that must be divided between caring for animals and caring for other humans. We believe it is possible to do both. We hope you enjoy this issue and you and your pack are ready for the Year of the Dog. How will you be celebrating?

Pam Gleason Editor & Publisher

Winner of the Maxwell Award from the Dog Writers Association of America: Best Canine or All Animal Newspaper Spring 2018

The Dog and Hound EDITOR & PUBLISHER Pam Gleason ART DIRECTOR Gary Knoll ASSOCIATE EDITOR Jean Berko Gleason LAYOUT & DESIGN Gary Knoll ADVERTISING 803.643.9960 editor@thedogandhound.com PHOTOGRAPHERS Pam Gleason Gary Knoll

Going Out Of Town? Don’t miss future issues of The Dog and Hound. We will send you a one year subscription (3 issues) for $14.00. Just send us a check or credit card & your mailing address: P.O. Box 332, Montmorenci, SC 29839 editor@thedogandhound.com Or sign up on the web at www.TheDogandHound.com

About the Cover

Our Cover

Our cover shows a pair of Standard Schnauzers owned and bred by Shana Schnauzers of Aiken, S.C. Read about these dynamic dogs on page 12 Photography by Pam Gleason

All contents Copyright 2018 The Dog and Hound

The Dog and Hound Policies: The opinions expressed herein are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publishers, editors, or the policies of The Aiken Horse, LLC. The Dog and Hound is owned by The Aiken Horse, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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Table of Contents 6 8 12 14 18 20 22

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Augusta Kennel Club Dog News Standard Schnauzers Silver Paws Saving the Chain Dogs Regional Calendar Too Many Dogs

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Augusta Kennel Club

New Facility for an Enduring Tradition by Pam Gleason

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he Augusta Kennel Club, founded in 1946, is devoted to protecting and promoting all kinds of dogs and dog activities. Throughout its history, it has held shows, conducted clinics and seminars, offered dog training classes and helped to educate people in the community about responsible dog ownership. Although the organization has been around for a long time, one thing that it hasn’t had before is its own facility. But last winter, the club finalized the purchase of a new building in Appling, Ga., not far from downtown Augusta. With a new headquarters and indoor training facility, the club hopes to be able to offer more services to the dogloving public, and allow its members and guests to train and compete in comfort. “People think, we’re in the South, it should be nice to train dogs and hold competitions outside, but a lot of times the weather isn’t really conducive,” says Amy Jenkins, who is the club’s recording secretary. “It’s hard to train when it is 100 degrees out, or for that matter when it is 20 degrees out, and we get both extremes.” Amy, whose breed is Rottweilers, has been a member of the Augusta Kennel Club for about 10 years. She competes in obedience, and her dog Ike, who died in December at the age of 12, was one of the top Rottweiler obedience dogs in the country. The new facility has a large indoor training and competition space with a matted floor, where the club has been holding classes, seminars and competitions since last February. This January, they held a weekend-long rally obedience trial that attracted members and guest from the Central Savannah River Area and beyond. The judge drove in from Atlanta, as did a few of the competitors. One of them, Raychel Sullins, ran the course with her miniature American Eskimo dog Gatsby. Raychel, who has been competing in agility for about 15 years, is a newcomer to rally obedience, and she said she was very impressed with the club. “This is the nicest club,” she said. “This is my first time doing rally, and I was nervous. It makes a really big difference when people are nice.” Raychel also brought along her young rescue dog, Jete, who didn’t compete, but had a chance to come into the facility and get some experience being in a dog show arena. After the trial was over on Sunday afternoon, club members and trial participants had the chance to practice on the rally course. Rally obedience is one of the fastest growing dogs sports in America. From the outside, it looks like a cross between a standard obedience trial and an agility test. In obedience, dogs must perform a set of prescribed movements in the ring with their handlers. The atmosphere is strict and formal: handlers are not allowed to speak to the dog and they don’t usually display too much obvious enthusiasm. In agility, the dogs race through a course of obstacles, their handlers running along with them and shouting directions and encouragement along the way. In rally obedience, the dogs go through a course that has a series of

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different stations where they must perform certain movements. There are directions at each station so it does not become a memory test, and the handlers are permitted to talk to and praise their dogs. The tasks they must perform at each station are obedience-related instead of strictly athletic, and the dogs are scored on how well they perform, rather than on how fast they make it through the course. This makes it more fun for most people than straight obedience, and easier to do than agility, especially for people and dogs who are not up to lots of running. The Augusta Kennel Club has about 60 members and holds a meeting the first Wednesday of every month. Sometimes these meetings are strictly about club business, but they also might include guest speakers and presentations. In addition, there are training classes held at the club in both the mornings and the evenings. In February, there will be a weekend-long obedience seminar conducted by Jane Jackson who is one of the top obedience competitors and clinicians in the country. According to materials provided by the Augusta Kennel Club, her workshops are “different from ‘conventional’ obedience seminars that focus on teaching obedience exerciszes. I use a lot of play, games and tricks in training to keep my dogs focused and keep their attitudes up, and that is what I show in the workshop.” Jane Jackson will be teaching February 17 and 18 and the clinic is limited to 15. More information is available on the Augusta Kennel Club website. In addition to these activities, the club will have an obedience trial August 18 and 19. Their annual October show is their largest of the year. Held in North Augusta at the Riverview Park Activities Center, it is an all breed show that includes conformation obedience and rally obedience classes. “Last year we had about 800 entrants,” says Carol Cox, who is the president of the club. Carol, who shows and races Whippets, has been a member of the club since the early 1980s when she moved to the area from Greenville. Like Amy, she is excited about the new facility and looks forward to seeing the club grow. “Our monthly meetings are open to the public,” she says. “And we have plenty of training classes for novices if people want to try something new. We also do some other things in the community, such as responsible owners education day at the Richmond County Animal Shelter, and we sometimes donate to the University of Georgia vet school in Athens or to the humane society.” Carol and Amy agree that there has been a good amount of interest in dog activities in this area for a long time. The club has members from the Augusta area and about half of them are from across the river in Aiken. “We welcome anyone to come join us,” says Amy. “We’re a welcoming group.” For more information, visit www.augustakennelclub.org.

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Raychel Sullins and Gatsby with the trial judge Leslye Pinnell

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Dog News

What’s Happening by Pam Gleason

Carolina Cup JRT Races

For 24 years, terrier racing has been a tradition at the Colonial Cup, Camden’s annual fall steeplechase. This year, the Colonial Cup will be held on March 31, on the same day as the Carolina Cup, the traditional spring race. The organizers decided to move the whole fall party to the spring, and so terrier racing will be at the spring steeplechase for the first time ever. “We are really excited to be starting something new. It’s almost like we get to start fresh,” says Deborah Fulton, who is organizing the races. “We don’t really know what to expect. We know there is more socializing at this event so we are making our day a little bit shorter. We want time to visit the vendors and enjoy the beautiful grounds too.” Deborah has been involved with the group that holds races at the steeplechase for 25 plus years. The group’s founder, Ken Baker, died four years ago and Deborah, with the help of family and close friends, has been continuing Ken’s legacy. “We are going to use Ken’s schedule from back in the 1990s at the Carolina Cup,” says Deborah. “There will be about 15 races including a “go-to-ground” and the Thunder Tunnel, which is a big crowd pleaser.” Most of the races will be set over hurdles, just like the steeplechase itself. There are larger hurdles for experienced dogs and smaller ones for novices and puppies. The go-to-ground races consist of a 30-foot aboveground tunnel which is shortened for young, inexperienced racers. The Thunder Tunnel is also an above ground tunnel but it has plexi-glass on one side so spectators can watch the dogs as they burrow their way to the other end. “The dogs love the Thunder Tunnel and the owners get so excited,” says Deborah. “We are really hoping it will get a great response this year. We want new people to join us. Most of us have been together for 25 years. We would love some new faces!” Any dog that can fit through a 9” hole is welcome to join the Ken Baker racers. In the past, they have had Dachshunds and mixed breeds along with the Jack Russells that dominate the sport. “We welcome anyone,” she adds. “We would love to teach new dogs how to race. We like to start when they are puppies but older dogs are certainly welcome as well.” The terrier races will be held on the infield of the Springdale Racecourse and will provide a more intimate spectator experience than the equestrian steeplechase, which is traditionally as much an excuse to have a party as it is a race meet. The day will also feature vendors, a live band and large crowds of spectators celebrating, the outdoors and spring.

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Dog Flu

This winter, the news has been full of stories about the most deadly influenza outbreak in the American (human) population in decades. People have been urged to get vaccinated, even though the vaccine that was created this year is estimated to be only about 10-30 percent effective. The theory is that even if you come down with the flu, if you are vaccinated you will probably get a milder case. With all the talk about human flu, dog owners have been wondering about their dogs. There is no evidence that dogs can catch the flu from humans, but dog do have their own strains of canine influenza, which, like its human counterpart, is highly contagious. There are two different influenza viruses that have been found in dogs. One, H3N8, first reported at a Greyhound track in 2004, is related to equine influenza and is thought to have mutated from that virus and “jumped” to dogs. The other, H3N2 seems to have come from Asia and was first seen in American dogs in 2015. This virus is closely related to an avian flu. Symptoms of the dog flu include coughing, sneezing, lack of appetite, lethargy and fever. Although canine flu is rarely fatal, dogs with symptoms should always be examined by a veterinarian. The Asian type of flu in particular can present in a severe form that carries the risk of pneumonia, which can be life-threatening. Your dog may need fluids if he is dehydrated, antibiotics if he is at risk of infection, and even oxygen or a nebulizer if he is very congested. If your dog is currently healthy but you are planning on taking him to a boarding facility or you frequent dog parks, doggy daycare or anywhere with large numbers of dogs, you may also elect get him vaccinated. The canine flu, unlike the human flu, is not seasonal, so your dog can get it at any time. The Asian strain of dog flu has been reported this year in parts of the Midwest from Ohio to Kentucky and Illinois and is fairly widespread in California. Dogs with flu-like symptoms have been tested all over the map, but most have come up negative. Whether or not to vaccinate your dog is a question for your veterinarian. People who go to dog shows are usually counseled to get the shot. In 2015, canine influenza struck the dog show world, causing panic. Shows were canceled and people kept their dogs home. Although there does not appear to be a serious outbreak of dog flu on the East coast, last June, the Charlotte Observer reported that two North Carolina show dogs died after they contracted influenza at shows in Florida and Georgia.

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Dog Owners Live Longer

Various scientific studies have suggested that dog owners are healthier than people of similar ages and backgrounds who do not own dogs. A new study out of Sweden published this fall indicates that owning a dog may be particularly beneficial for people who live alone. Dog ownership also seems to have some specific benefits for heart health. Since heart disease remains the number one cause of death in America, this may be especially significant. The Swedish study tracked 12 years of hospital records from 3.4 million Swedes between the ages of 40 and 80. Sweden was a particularly good country for this kind of study because medical records there have been recorded in a national database for decades. There are also databases that include dog ownership statistics. The study, which sought to determine what effect, if any, dog ownership has on cardiovascular health, linked those databases together to conduct a statistical survey. The conclusion was that the dog owners in the study had a lower risk of death and heart disease than the non-owners. Dogs were especially beneficial to the health of single people, as opposed to people living in multi-person households. Those who owned dogs originally bred for hunting saw the most benefit to their heart health. Researchers from the University of Uppsala who conducted the study cautioned that their results only show a correlation between dog ownership, better cardiovascular health and lower risk of death. This does not mean that they have figured out why this is the case. Healthier, more active people may be drawn to dogs, and the most active and healthiest of them all might gravitate to the hunting breeds, which generally require more exercise. The beneficial effect of dog ownership might be related to the regular exercise dog owners get in walks. It might come from lower stress levels, or even from simple companionship. There is also a theory floating around that living with dogs is beneficial for humans because dogs expose humans to various bacteria that are good for human health. It seems likely that the reasons dog owners are healthier are complex and multi-factorial. Whatever the reasons behind them, the results are pretty striking. In this study, single dog owners had a 33 percent reduction in the risk of death and an 11 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease compared to their dog-less compatriots. This puts dog ownership in the same general category as taking an aspirin every day when it comes to preventive medicine and heart health.

New Museum Guard in Boston

According to the Boston Globe, a Weimaraner puppy named Riley has been recruited to sniff out insects in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Riley, who is owned by the head of the museum’s department of protective services, will be starting scent training soon with his owner. The plan is to teach him to detect moths, beetles and other pests that might inadvertently be lurking in new museum acquisitions. These pests, once introduced to the museum, have the potential to damage rare or ancient textiles or any object made of wood or other organic materials. After being identified by Riley, the insects would be dealt with by various means. Riley will work behind the scenes as a volunteer and his job is officially described as a pilot program. “If it is something that works, it’s something that other museums, or other libraries . . . could use,” Katie Getchell told the Globe. Getchell is the chief brand officer and deputy director of the museum. Using a dog’s sniffing ability to find bugs is not a new thing, of course. Over the past decade, bedbugs have become widespread in many American cities such as New York. If you have a serious infestation of bedbugs you will probably know it. If you suspect you have them but are not sure, your local pest control company might dispatch a team of bedbug sniffing Beagles to check it out. How accurate are they? It depends on the individual dog and on his training. The best bedbug dogs have been shown to have an accuracy rate of over 97 percent in finding bedbugs, with no false positives.

Spring 2018

Westminster 2018

About 3200 dogs are expected to descend on New York City for the 142nd annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, held from February 10-14. The schedule starts on Saturday, February 10, with “Meet & Compete.” This will feature the fifth annual Master’s Agility Championship from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with finals from 7-9 p.m. Meet the Breeds, which is like a trade show for dogs, will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The third annual Masters Obedience Championship will take place on Monday, February 12, in conjunction with the first day of breed judging. Daytime sessions will be at Piers 92 and 94 on the West Side, with evening group judging at Madison Square Garden. Tuesday will feature the second day of breed judging, all culminating in the Best in Show class on Tuesday night, February 13. This year, the AKC has admitted two new breeds of dogs to the official roster of competitors. The first is the Nederlandse Kooikerhonde, a spaniel-like Dutch duck hunting dog that will compete in the sporting group. The second is the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen, which will compete in the hound group. These dogs, from the Vendee region of France, have long bodies, short legs and shaggy coats. Bred to track everything from rabbits to wolves, they like to work together in packs and are said to be energetic, athletic and playful. Who will win Best in Show in 2018? The top dog in the country going into Westminster is a Giant Schnauzer named Ty. Ty is a 4-year-old black dog owned by Carol Mann of West Greenwich, R. I. and handled by Katie Bernardino of Chaplin, Conn. The second ranked dog is a Puli named Preston, who came into last year’s Westminster as the country’s top dog. Preston won his breed last year, but was beaten in the group competition by Rumor, a German Shepherd who had been favored to win the year before, and ended the evening as the Best in Show. Neither a Giant Schnauzer nor a Puli has ever been Best in Show at Westminster.

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Standard Schnauzers

Intelligence, Athleticism & a Mustache by Pam Gleason

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chnauzers, whose name is derived from the German word for a muzzle, are attractive, athletic dogs with hypoallergenic wiry coats and a distinctive beard and mustache. This gives them an old-world appearance, making them look a bit like the subjects of a Rembrandt painting, or like photographs of Civil War generals. The have a peppy, humorous temperament, however, that belies their serious demeanor. Schnauzers may have a distinguished look, but they definitely like to have fun. Schnauzers were developed in the 19th century from an ancient type of wire-haired German dog that was used on farms to guard livestock, hunt rats and protect the home. Today’s dog is the result of crossing these original German working dogs with black poodles and grey Wolfspitzes. This helped produce the two recognized coat colors of today’s dog: black, and salt and pepper. It also helped create the Schnauzer’s trademark beard and mustache. Although Schnauzers resemble terrier type dogs, they do not exhibit terrier traits. Schnauzers today come in three distinct varieties: Miniature, Standard and Giant. Although the main difference among these dogs is their size, they are recognized as distinct breeds. The Standard Schnauzer, closest of the three to the original 19th century breed, is a medium-sized animal, with males ideally standing between 18.5 to 19.5 inches at the shoulder and weighing about 40 pounds. Females are slightly smaller at 17.5 to 18.5 inches. They are active, energetic and extremely smart. They make excellent family dogs, but are the kind of animal that needs a job, or they might get themselves into trouble. In addition to requiring attention, affection and exercise, Schnauzers need to be groomed. Show dogs in America are prepared for the ring from the time they are very little. Their tails are docked and their ears are cropped and trained to stand up. In other countries, standards differ, and it is, in fact, illegal in some countries to crop ears and tails on any dog. Although it would be very rare to see an American Schnauzer with a natural tail (it curls over their backs) there are some Schnauzers in this country with natural, dropped ears. It is possible to clip Schnauzers to keep their coats tidy, but the proper way to groom them is to hand strip them. This is especially important for salt and pepper colored dogs since each of their hairs is ticked with black and white.

Hand stripping preserves that distinctive coloring whereas clipping would ruin it. Schnauzers have been in America since around 1900, but the Schnauzer Club of America wasn’t formed until 1925. The breed has never been very popular in this country, although it does have devoted enthusiasts. Standard Schnauzers are considered part of the AKC working group and are ranked as the 85th most popular dogs in the country.

Shana Schnauzers

Shana Standard Schnauzers, based in Aiken, has had dogs that have won pretty much everything they could in the conformation ring. They have been to prestigious shows all over the country, won at Westminster and competed at the World Dog Show in Finland. LeAnn Shank started Shana Schnauzers with her husband Louis in Pennsylvania where they lived. LeAnn had a dog grooming shop, and she became interested in Schnauzers after coming in contact with them through her work. She got her first puppy in 1985 and started showing in 1987. That first dog was named Lana for short, and the kennel name “Shana” comes from a combination of that dog’s nickname and their last name. Shana Schnauzers relocated to Aiken through the Shank’s relationship with Dr. Cindy Brown of Aiken Animal Hospital. In the past, Dr. Brown had owned various different kinds of dogs, including Rottweilers and Welsh Cardigan Corgis. She says she had first noticed Schnauzers back in the 1970s. “I looked at them and I said, this is a fit, dynamic breed,” she says. “Then I had a client come into my practice with two salt and pepper Schnauzers. They were very typey and very strong with a nice brain to them, beautiful coats.” Dr. Brown was dogless at the time and she was intrigued. She started to do research on Schnauzers, visiting various websites to find out who was breeding the dogs and where she might be able to obtain one. There was one website she kept finding herself coming back to: Shana Schnauzers.


The next time her client with the Schnauzers came in, she asked him where she might find a responsible breeder with sound, healthy dogs. He told her she needed to call LeAnn. “That’s the website I have been looking at,” she said. Everything seemed to be falling into place. “Cindy contacted me and to be honest I hated to sell that far away,” says LeAnn. But after two years of waiting, Dr. Brown finally got her puppy. Then LeAnn started to come down to Aiken about once a month to help Cindy learn about grooming and everything to do with the breed. “One day Cindy called me and she said ‘The house next door to me is for sale and I’m buying it,’” continues LeAnn. “So I said to Louis, I’m going to live down in South Carolina in the winter, and he said ‘You’re not leaving me here.’” The Shanks soon sold their Pennsylvania home and relocated to Aiken. Today they live next door to Aiken Animal Hospital, and Dr. Brown is an integral part of the business. They own and breed dogs together, and they enjoy raising and training puppies to be well-socialized and happy members of the family as well as successful show ring competitors. Some dogs live with Dr. Brown, while others live with Louis and LeAnn. The Shanks have a big backyard where all the dogs can play, and LeAnn gives them extra exercise by riding around the yard on a scooter while they chase her. The fence around this property is six feet high and in excellent repair, but the barrier still needs to be reinforced with an electric dog wire because a few of the dogs will jump over it: that’s how athletic they are. Those dogs wear their electric fence collars with what looks like pride. Mere wood and wire fences are no match for them. “We’ve been in this business for a long time,” says LeAnn. “You see a lot of people getting into Schnauzers and think they want to breed them, but when they find out how much work it is and how expensive it is, they get out. I think the reason that we have lasted is that we do it because we really

love the dogs.” Dr. Brown and the Shanks agree that the one thing that distinguishes Schnauzers the most is that they are very intelligent. “They’re smarter than you,” says Dr. Brown. “You can’t sell them to people who aren’t smart.” “They do outsmart most people,” agrees LeAnn. “But I think the neatest thing about them is they have a great sense of humor. They talk you into doing something that you weren’t going to do, and then they sit back and almost laugh at you. They can also be very intense and serious about they are doing.” One of Shana Schnauzer’s most recent big champions, Parker, was the number one Standard Schnauzer in the country in 2015 and he went on to Westminster in 2016 where he won his breed class and had the opportunity to compete for Best Of Group. Another Shana standout, Giorgio, who, among her other honors was the Select Bitch at Westminster the following year, will likely head out on the road in the future to try to be the number one dog as well. But before she does that, she will be having a litter of puppies. “There is such a short window of time that you can breed them and show them,” says LeAnn, explaining that there is no conflict between motherhood and a dog show career. “They look fit again within six weeks of having a litter.” In addition to showing, LeAnn says that her dogs have done therapy work, agility and obedience and that she would like to make a lure coursing set up in her yard. Parker, who is not currently showing in the conformation ring, is going to be her rally obedience partner in the near future. Although both the Shanks and Dr. Brown have kennel set-ups for the dogs, for the most part, the Schnauzers live in the home as part of the family. They sleep in the bed and they love to play with tennis balls. “They’re dogs,” LeAnn says with a laugh. “They have fun.”


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Silver Paws

The Golden Girls: Banshee, Snoopy & DB Story and Photography Pam Gleason

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ary Lou Seymour says she and her three dogs, DB, Banshee and Snoopy, are growing old together. DB and Banshee are 12, while Snoopy is 13. Mary Lou, who is the co-founder of the rescue group Shelter Animals Advocates (based in North Augusta, S.C.) got all three dogs as rescues. In the past, they used to go to dog training classes together and take long walks in the Hitchcock Woods. Today, their favorite walk is Hopeland Gardens, which is a smaller area and more manageable. They also enjoy strolls through downtown Aiken, trips to the North Augusta Greenway and to various local dog stores and boutiques. They travel in Mary Lou’s van along with their younger packmate Lucky, each dog in her own private wire crate. DB and Banshee came to Mary Lou as puppies. At the time, she was living in the Midland Valley in Aiken County, but she had a big piece of land in nearby Edgefield County with nothing on it but a toolshed. One Sunday morning, she and her former husband went up to take a walk around the property. When they approached the toolshed, they heard a loud racket. “There were these terrible evil noises coming out from under it,” says Mary Lou. “Barking and growling and terrible sounds.” She cautiously bent down and peered beneath. There she saw two little puppies, about 10 weeks old. One had a fluffy dark brown brindle coat; the other was black and white with shorter hair. Both were little girls. The puppies came out, and Mary Lou knew she had to look after them. First she went around the neighborhood to see if she could discover who they belonged to. She learned that on Saturday night someone had dumped a litter of six puppies on the road. Two went to a neighbor’s house; two were hit by cars and killed, and the final two took refuge under the toolshed. In short order she built a pen (she could not keep dogs in her Midland Valley home) and within a few months she had moved to the Edgefield property, which she fenced in so her new dogs could run and play. Banshee, the fluffy coated one, was named for the terrible shrieking noises she would make when she was unhappy. DB, the black and white one, is short for an affectionate (yet unprintable) epithet that the puppy earned from her habit of stealing and hiding tools, jewelry, combs, hats, pencils and any other items she could get her paws on. Snoopy came into their lives a few years later. No one knows Snoopy’s entire history. All Mary Lou knows is that in January 2008, her former owner, an older man, put her in a crate and surrendered her to the Aiken SPCA. She was about 3 years old, and a pretty, caramel-colored, softcoated dog with gorgeous golden eyes. She was also terrified, traumatized and intractable. Not only was she scared, she was also fear aggressive and would snap and bite at anyone who approached her. Mary Lou was a volunteer at the SPCA at the time and, although the management did not think Snoopy’s prospects of ever becoming adoptable were good, Mary Lou convinced them to let her try. “The first day I just sat in her kennel for two hours,” says Mary Lou. “At the end of two hours, she came over to me, and I said to myself ‘This is worth it. She will come around.’” Mary Lou was working nearby at the time, and she would go visit Snoopy every day on her lunch hour. Snoopy refused to wear a collar (it made her panic), and so Mary Lou got her a harness so she could take her on walks and out on the town. “I went to a lot of adoption events with her,” says Mary Lou. “She would be all right as long as I was right there and she could see me, but if I had to step out for a minute, she would panic.” She even bit one of the other volunteers. It was clear that there was only one appropriate adoptive home for this terror-stricken dog: Mary Lou’s. And so Mary Lou adopted her and took her home right before Thanksgiving. At home with DB and Banshee, Snoopy quickly became a happy part of the pack. The dogs liked to run around on the property, sniffing and hunting for rats and moles that Banshee would expertly dispatch and bring to Mary Lou. (Then DB, the leader of the pack, would run off with them.) Snoopy became obsessed with playing fetch. One day, when Mary Lou was throwing a ball for her, she took a bad step and tore her ACL, a ligament in the hind leg that is very susceptible to damage in dogs that run and jump.

Spring 2018

The treatment of choice for a serious ACL injury such hers is surgery, but that was going to be difficult for Snoopy. “You couldn’t take her to the vet,” says Mary Lou. “Even just to get her shots, I would have to have the vet come out to the parking lot to meet us.” Instead, Snoopy went to Aiken Pet Fitness and Rehabilitation on Willow Run Road. There she learned to do exercises in an underwater treadmill, which she loved, and to balance on inflated rubber balls. Within about six months she was walking normally again, and within a year her injury was healed. This proved a turning point in her life. “It was the best thing that ever happened to her,” says Mary Lou. “When we first started going to rehab, I had to be there with her the whole time. But after a while she learned it was okay, and started letting other people handle her and touch her. It has been a tremendous help to her psychologically.” In the beginning, Dr. Sybil Davis, the owner of Aiken Pet Fitness and Rehab, couldn’t even wear her white coat when she worked with Snoopy. Today, Snoopy is far more relaxed and trusting. When she tore the ACL on her other leg a few years ago, she was even able to have the surgery she needed, although the vet did have to sedate her in the parking lot to bring her into the clinic. While DB and Snoopy are ladies of leisure, Banshee has a job. Long before the three dogs came into her life, Mary Lou made regular visits to people at nursing homes and senior care facilities. When she got the two puppies, other volunteers at the SPCA convinced her that she should train them to be therapy dogs so that they could help her with this work. She took both dogs to training classes and both earned their Canine Good Citizens certificates. DB was overly friendly and familiar (“It was hard to train her not to jump up on people,”) so she washed out. Banshee however, was a star, easily earning her certificate from the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. “People love Banshee. She stands perfectly still, and they can pat her and do anything to her.” She wears a special outfit to do her work that includes a harness that identifies her as a therapy dog and sometimes even a ruffle around her neck. This lets her know she is on the job and it makes her feel special. In addition to working with people in nursing homes, Banshee and Mary Lou also volunteer with an after-school program for children from disadvantaged homes. Banshee loves the children and they love her. This work also allows Mary Lou to spread the gospel of responsible pet ownership to an impressionable population. “They always ask me if she has had any babies, and I say no, because she has been spayed. And then I explain to them why that is important.” Mary Lou teaches the children how to treat a dog with respect, not to pull its tail or poke it in the eye. “I see a big difference in the way they treat her after that.” A few years ago, Lucky came into all of their lives. Lucky was a little black puppy abandoned in the parking lot of Mary Lou’s church. She took him home, and the three older dogs took responsibility for him right away. “I am too old for a puppy,” she says. “DB, Banshee and Snoopy raised him, housebroke him and did everything for him.” Today, Lucky, 3, is an integral part of the family. As they grow older, all three dogs are slowing down. Snoopy, who still goes to rehab on a regular basis, has her own ramp so that she doesn’t have to jump into the car. DB takes thyroid medicine. Otherwise, the three are relatively healthy and enjoying each day as it comes. Mary Lou says that she does too. “I try to think like a dog does,” she says. “I take each day for what it is and we’ll see what tomorrow brings. It is different having old dogs. You love them more as time goes on. I think when they are young, you think, I have these dogs and I have to train them. When they get to be old, it’s much easier because you have figured out what their personalities are, what their quirks are and what their potential is. You know what they are capable of, and if there is something wrong, they tell you what it is. There is nothing like having a bunch of dogs and growing old together. I know what it is like for them; I have arthritis too. We’re in this together.”

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Saving the Chain Dogs Dog by Dog by Pam Gleason

I

t’s a mild day in January, the kind that makes you forget that it is really winter. It wasn’t warm a week ago, however. That was when an unusual cold front swept down from Canada, plunging the country and much of the deep South into the teens and single digits. Just ten days earlier, much of Aiken, S.C. was outraged by a story on the news about a pit bull dog that was found starving and shivering, chained up in a yard in the city, with only a plastic crate and a very thin sheet for warmth. The yard also had another plastic kennel in it. That one contained a puppy that had died and frozen solid. On this warm afternoon, Robin Mitchell meets her friend Angela Widener in the parking lot of the skate park that Robin runs with her son, Bo Mitchell. Angela has brought along her 10-year-old granddaughter Malia, and all three women climb into “Clara Barkon,” a repurposed ambulance that came from the dog rescue PAWS, which operated in Aiken County. The back of the ambulance is filled with dog houses, bales of straw, bags of dog food, new collars, tethers and dog bowls. It’s 4:30 in the afternoon, and the winter sun casts long shadows over the ground as we pull out of the parking lot. “We’re going to the ’hood,” says Robin. “We go places don’t nobody want to go,” Angela chimes in, laughing. Angela, who used to be a paramedic, drives the ambulance while Robin navigates. Malia, who sits in the back, peers out the window, scanning the neighborhood for dogs on chains. These women are the chief field officers of an animal rescue charity called Saving the Chain Dogs, which Robin started along with her husband Bryan Chavis in 2016. The purpose of Saving the Chain Dogs is to provide help and support for dogs living on chains in Aiken County. They distribute dog houses, straw, dog food, collars and tethers, all for free. They also give out information about low cost spay and neuter services, and will help people get their animals altered, again, all free. “Every once in a while, you will have some who are not happy to see us,” says Robin. “But when you say ‘free’ it helps.” “Free helps a whole lot,” Angela agrees. Back in March 2017, Aiken County passed a so-called “anti-tethering ordinance.” This law did not go as far as many people assume. It outlawed the practice of chaining a dog to an immoveable object, but it did not make it illegal to keep one tied up outside. According to the current law, dogs may be secured to an overhead trolley, or they may be attached to a 15-foot cable fastened to a stake in the ground with a swivel that prevents their tether from getting wrapped up and tangled. They are not allowed to be attached by a chain, or to a metal or a pinch collar. Meanwhile, the laws of the State of South Carolina require that dogs have access to food, water and adequate shelter. Many of the dogs we will see are being kept in violation of all of these rules. Robin explains that she and Angela try to work with Aiken County Animal Control, but they are not actually associated with them, or with any other agency. “Animal control is out here every day working this area,” she says, as we enter streets known for drugs and crime. “They tell me which dogs to check on. They try not to go in and be hard on everybody right away. So we go and try to help the people out first before animal control comes down and starts giving out tickets and fines. But if we come out and offer them help and they don’t abide by what we try to get them to do for free. animal control will go back out and fine them, or ticket them, or take the dogs. They do what they have to do.” Angela slows down as we approach a yard with a pit bull chained illegally to a tree. She gets out and goes to knock on the door while we hang back. No one is home, but a neighbor comes to talk to her. The owner of the dog is working the second shift and will be home in a few hours. She leaves a card, dog food and straw and we move on to the next house. Here, there are three pit bulls. The owner of the dogs comes out,

Spring 2018

and Angela talks to her, tells her that the way the dogs are chained is illegal, that if it doesn’t get fixed, she will get fined. “Could be a $1500 fine, sister,” she says. “Can’t nobody afford that!” Robin, Malia and Angela feed the dogs, give them water and fit them with new collars. They take away the chains that held them, replacing them with cable tie-outs. They stuff their dog houses with straw. The dogs, fierce looking, turn out to be friendly. They play in the straw. One of them gives Robin a hug as she fastens a wide red collar around his neck, removing the choke chain that he had been tied with, most likely for years. He has a wide smile. Before we go, Angela and Robin explain to the dog owner that she still needs to change the dogs’ situation to be compliant with the law. The dogs need overhead trolleys, or to be tied to stakes with swivels. They need better dog houses. “Let me give you my card, sister,” says Angela. “That way, you covered. If animal control comes out, you covered. You tell them you talked to us. You know what I’m sayin’ sister? That be a big fine. I can’t afford it. You can’t afford it.” Before we go, the dog owner thanks us all and shakes everyone’s hand. “You just gotta start talking fast,” says Angela as we head back to Clara Barkon. “You gotta talk to them on their level. Then they talk to you on yours.” By the time we arrive at the skate park about an hour and a half after we left, we have supplied five dogs with new collars, fed them, watered them and provided them with mounds of straw to keep them warmer if the temperature drops again. We have also handed over one county spay and neuter certificate to a young woman with a handsome Rottweiler that hasn’t been fixed yet, and we have driven into a neighborhood, where, just minutes before we arrived, there was apparently a big drug raid.

Angela and Robin, who grew up together in Aiken, say they have been friends since kindergarten. Both are deeply committed to helping animals, and both recognize that the fastest way to do this is to help the people who own them. “I’ll be honest, I don’t really care for the people, it’s the dogs I am worried about,” says Angela. “For some of these people, a dog is just a doorbell, something to tell you when someone comes near the house. But I know how to talk to them. We try to educate them.” “It’s a process,” agrees Robin. “We’re making maybe a little progress. Maybe.” Malia says she goes on most of these missions. It is an unusual education for a fifth-grader, but it is a cause that is as important to her as it is to Robin and Angela. She has dogs at home that she loves, and she feels strongly about making a difference for other dogs that aren’t so lucky. Does she like going on these excursions with her grandmother? She nods her head vigorously. “It’s my passion,” she says. Find @savingchaindogs on Facebook, Youtube and Instagram.

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Local Calendar of Events FEBRUARY 2-4

Circle of Friends Dog Agility. Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Parkway Conyers, GA. www. georgiahorsepark.com 3 Saturday PetVet Clinic. 9:30-11am. Low-cost vaccines, microchipping, parasite control. Tractor Supply, 2655 Whiskey Road, Aiken, SC. www.tractorsupply.com 3 Puppy Bowl Tailgate party. 5:30pm. Graced Kennels, 1918 Colony Park Road, Augusta, GA. 7 Members’ Meeting Augusta Kennel Club, 7PM. 3970 East White Oak Rd, Appling Ga 30802. www.augustakennelclub. org. 9-11 Pointing Dog Retreat for Women. Sarahsetter Kennels, 7 Sarahsetter Trail, Aiken, SC. www.sarahsetter.com 10 For the Love of Pets. 2-3pm. Create a paw print keepsake for Valentine’s Day. PetSmart, 2527 Whiskey Road, Aiken, SC. 803.643.8626 10 Saturday PetVet Clinic. 9:30-11am. Low-cost vaccines, microchipping, parasite control. Tractor Supply, 2655 Whiskey Road, Aiken, SC. www.tractorsupply.com 17 Aiken Dog Lovers Walk: Tour of S. Boundary and Colleton. 11:30am. Meet at Library by playground. www. discoveraikencounty.com/event/aiken-dog-lovers-events-walks/ 17 Saturday PetVet Clinic. 9:30-11am. Low-cost vaccines, microchipping, parasite control. Tractor Supply, 2655 Whiskey Road, Aiken, SC. www.tractorsupply.com 17-18 Jane Jackson Obedience Workshop. Augusta Kennel Club, 7PM. 3970 East White Oak Rd, Appling Ga 30802. www. augustakennelclub.org. 17-18 International Dog Show: 2018 Peach State Winter Sieger. Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Parkway Conyers, GA. www.georgiahorsepark.com 17-18 GCOC Novice Obedience Only and Full Rally Trial. GCOC Training Facility, 947 S. Stadium Road, Columbia, SC. www. gcoc.net 24 Saturday PetVet Clinic. 9:30-11am. Low-cost vaccines, microchipping, parasite control. Tractor Supply, 2655 Whiskey Road, Aiken, SC. www.tractorsupply.com 27 SPAYghetti Dinner. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Road, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org

MARCH 2-4 3 5 7 7 10

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4 PAW Agility Club - AKC Agility Trial. Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Parkway Conyers, GA. www.georgiahorsepark.com Saturday PetVet Clinic. 9:30-11am. Low-cost vaccines, microchipping, parasite control. Tractor Supply, 2655 Whiskey Road, Aiken, SC. www.tractorsupply.com Nosework: Foundation and Beginning Searches. GCOC Training Facility, 947 S. Stadium Road, Columbia, SC. www. gcoc.net Yappy Hour. 6-8pm. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Road, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org Members’ Meeting Augusta Kennel Club, 7PM. 3970 East White Oak Rd, Appling Ga 30802. www.augustakennelclub. org. Saturday PetVet Clinic. 9:30-11am. Low-cost vaccines, microchipping, parasite control. Tractor Supply, 2655 Whiskey Road, Aiken, SC. www.tractorsupply.com

The Dog & Hound

10-11 Shadow Dog Sports CDSP Trial. GCOC Training Facility, 947 S. Stadium Road, Columbia, SC. www.gcoc.net 12 Nosework: Foundation and Beginning Searches. GCOC Training Facility, 947 S. Stadium Road, Columbia, SC. www. gcoc.net 16-18 Canine Capers. Wills Park Equestrian Center, 11915 Wills Road. Alpharetta, GA. 678.297.6120, www.willspark.com 17 Saturday PetVet Clinic. 9:30-11am. Low-cost vaccines, microchipping, parasite control. Tractor Supply, 2655 Whiskey Road, Aiken, SC. www.tractorsupply.com 18 Aiken Dog Lovers Walk: Tour of Hopeland Gardens. Noon. Meet at 135 Dupree Place. www.discoveraikencounty.com/ event/aiken-dog-lovers-events-walks/ 19 Nosework: Foundation and Beginning Searches. GCOC Training Facility, 947 S. Stadium Road, Columbia, SC. www. gcoc.net 24 Saturday PetVet Clinic. 9:30-11am. Low-cost vaccines, microchipping, parasite control. Tractor Supply, 2655 Whiskey Road, Aiken, SC. www.tractorsupply.com 26 Nosework: Foundation and Beginning Searches. GCOC Training Facility, 947 S. Stadium Road, Columbia, SC. www. gcoc.net 31 Saturday PetVet Clinic. 9:30-11am. Low-cost vaccines, microchipping, parasite control. Tractor Supply, 2655 Whiskey Road, Aiken, SC. www.tractorsupply.com 31 Terrier Races at the Carolina Cup Steeplechase. Carolina Cup Racing Association, 200 Knights Hill Road, Camden, SC. www.carolina-cup.org

APRIL 4

Yappy Hour. 6-8pm. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Road, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org 4 Members’ Meeting Augusta Kennel Club, 7PM. 3970 East White Oak Rd, Appling Ga 30802. www.augustakennelclub. org. 7 Saturday PetVet Clinic. 9:30-11am. Low-cost vaccines, microchipping, parasite control. Tractor Supply, 2655 Whiskey Road, Aiken, SC. www.tractorsupply.com 13-15 Sirius Dog Agility. Wills Park Equestrian Center, 11915 Wills Road. Alpharetta, GA. 678.297.6120, www.willspark.com 13 Aiken Dog Lovers Walk: Tour of Rose Hill Estate and Stables. 6pm. Meet in lower stables parking lot. www. discoveraikencounty.com/event/aiken-dog-lovers-events-walks/ 14 Walk for Animals. 10-1pm. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Road, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org 14 Saturday PetVet Clinic. 9:30-11am. Low-cost vaccines, microchipping, parasite control. Tractor Supply, 2655 Whiskey Road, Aiken, SC. www.tractorsupply.com 20-22 Atlanta Obedience Club. Wills Park Equestrian Center, 11915 Wills Road. Alpharetta, GA. 678.297.6120, www.willspark.com 21 Saturday PetVet Clinic. 9:30-11am. Low-cost vaccines, microchipping, parasite control. Tractor Supply, 2655 Whiskey Road, Aiken, SC. www.tractorsupply.com 28 Saturday PetVet Clinic. 9:30-11am. Low-cost vaccines, microchipping, parasite control. Tractor Supply, 2655 Whiskey Road, Aiken, SC. www.tractorsupply.com

Spring 2018


Classifieds ADOPTIONS/PUPPIES Black Russian Terrier Puppies now available. Good pedigree. 803-646-8606, karenphillis@ yahoo.com Trinity Farms Terriers: Quality family dogs with proven calmer dispositions. Generations of gre.at temperaments. Health/dispositions guaranteed. Breeders of terriers for 30+ years. Donna Fitzpatrick.

803.648.3137. www.easyjacks. com & trinityfarmskennel.com & trinitynorfolkterriers.com. Albrecht Aiken SPCA. Dogs, puppies, cats and kittens for adoption. 199 Willow Run Road, Aiken. Hours of operation: MonSat. 11 am - 5 pm., Sat 10 am- 3 pm; Sun 1:30 pm - 6:30 pm. www. LetLoveLive.org 803.643.0564 Adopt a Shelter Dog or Cat from

the Aiken County Animal Shelter. Many beautiful, healthy, friendly animals to choose from. 333 Wire Road, Aiken. See the pets at www. fotasaiken.org. 803.642.1537. Pointers! Many beautiful purebred Pointers of all ages available for pets or hunting. www.pointerrescue.org TRAINING

30802. www.augustakennelclub. com. Palmetto Dog Club. Training classes, puppy socialization, obedience, rally & agility. Check out the website for class schedules and more information. Join us! 803-262-9686. www. palmettodogclub.org.

Augusta Kennel Club. 3970 East White Oak Rd, Appling Ga

Advertising in The Dog & Hound Classified ads are $25 for the first 30 words & 40 cents for every word thereafter. Photo Classifieds are $35; (limit 40 words) Business Cards: $70 per issue, or $300 a year (local business discount: $60 per issue or $220 per year)

Spring 2018

Editor@theDogandHound.com The Dog & Hound, P.O. Box 332, Montmorenci, SC 29839 We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and AMEX Pay online: www.TheDogandHound.com Or Call us: 803.643.9960

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www.TheDogandHound.com advertise in the Summer 2018 issue! Advertising deadline:May 18, 2018 Publication date: June 1, 2018

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Too Many Dogs by Pam Gleason

I

have a confession to make. We have too many dogs. It’s a common problem in areas where dogs just show up in the driveway, metaphorical suitcases in their furry paws, ready to move right in. In most places, there is no such thing as unintentional dog ownership. But if you live on a farm in the South Carolina countryside, it happens. It ought to be covered by homeowners’ insurance: accidental dogs. Gary and I started out with two canine companions: Scout, my perfect golden collie mix, and Chase, a dog of indeterminate parentage adopted from the Aiken SPCA. But one morning while we were out walking, a young blue heeler and a pit bull galloped down our dirt road. They sprinted past the driveway. As the pit bull raced on, oblivious, the heeler saw us, skidded to a stop then came barreling in our gate. We had a grand time together, the three dogs playing and exploring, instant comrades. That afternoon, a neighbor drove by in his pickup, looking for his hunting dog. He stopped to talk to us. “We didn’t see that dog, but do we have this one,” said Gary, pointing to the heeler. “That dog? That dog’s my cousin’s dog,” said the neighbor. When asked if he wanted to take the dog back, the neighbor hesitated at first, but finally said he would. “If your cousin ever doesn’t want him, we’ll take him,” said Gary as he handed the blue dog over. The neighbor put the pup in his truck and drove off. No more than ten minutes later, the pickup roared back up the dirt road, screeching to a stop in a cloud of red dust. “He’ll be much happier with y’all,” said the neighbor, tossing the surprised little dog over the fence. Then he rushed off again, afraid we would change our minds. And that is how we got Trouble. Dog number four was Coleman, a starving English Pointer we found on the side of the road one March. He was all sharp bones and acute angles, a smiling, tail-wagging skeleton in a tattered once-white coat. We tried to find his owner, but no luck. Was he lost or abandoned? We will never know. As winter turned to spring, he fattened up, started sleeping in the bed, and showed us how much he loved Frisbees. The four dogs ran and played, and we were an active, fast-moving pack. Tragedy struck one fog-bound morning after a thunderstorm when the dogs got out through a gate that had come open. There were only five cars a day that went past our house, but one of them hit Coleman and killed him instantly. In his honor, we wanted to save another English Pointer and so contacted Pointer Rescue Organization, a national group devoted to the breed. We were interviewed, vetted, home checked, evaluated and approved, so Wally came next. He was a liver and white purebred of 3 or 4 who had been living in shelter in Oklahoma. In his PetFinder video, which we watched again and again, he had lifted his leg and peed on his handler’s blue scrubs. He had been in that shelter for a year,

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and they wondered why he hadn’t found an adopter yet. “That’s my dog,” said Gary as he watched. Then Dominic flew in, also from Pointer Rescue. He was a 12-week old puppy, one of a litter raised in a foster home in Ohio. He was gleaming white with rich chocolate ears and a motor that wouldn’t stop. Our five dogs ran, wallowed in the mud, played with sticks and went on wild walks in all kinds of weather. They were always doing something to make you laugh. But it couldn’t last. Scout, perfect Scout, had contracted cancer at 12, and we had treated her successfully and at great expense. But the stealthy thief came creeping back and stole her from us. She was 14 and a half. Now the pack was broken and forlorn. “There’s something missing,” we thought. When we saw Ruby, a four-pound golden retriever mix puppy at the flea market (the flea market, it turned out, was well named) she came home with us. Six months later, Dora arrived. An 8-month old medium mutt, because she lost her home in a fire, she almost lost her life in an upstate shelter. Our pack was now six; three young dogs and three older ones. We roamed the farm with Wally, and Trouble chased his Kong, and Chase chased Trouble, and the three young dogs were intrepid canine Musketeers. Our pack was complete. Or so we thought. A pair of semi-feral puppies that were running down the road and they needed medical treatment, and so they stayed. Our relationship with Pointer Rescue deepened, but our first attempts to be foster parents failed. Those dogs were charming and we were weak; what’s one more? And even when we thought our family couldn’t get any bigger, there were abandoned puppies and feral puppies that had been hit by cars and needed veterinary care and rehabilitation. And that is how you end up with too many dogs. For certain there are drawbacks to living in a large dog pack. Your house is never clean, or not for long, and your vacuum cleaner breaks and your washing machine goes on strike. Your friends and relatives stop visiting you and it is impossible to go on vacation. It is expensive. Dogs take up a lot of room and sometimes they bark and they don’t always behave. People think you are crazy, and they might be right. But even when it seems like chaos, you are also strangely happy. When our dogs spill out across the farm, they are pure positive energy, always ready to do something, and there is always something to do. Living in their pack, you are imbued with that same enthusiasm. Every day really can be an adventure, and you can’t help but feel a little bit excited, looking forward to each fresh thing you will see, and perhaps run after. You start to think and feel a little like a dog. We are a pack, and our pack plays together. Oops. It’s time to go. I think I see a squirrel.

Spring 2018


Spring 2018

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Spring 2018  

Our Spring 2018 issue features Standard Schnauzers, a dynamic breed well represented by Shana Schnauzers in Aiken. We have many other storie...

Spring 2018  

Our Spring 2018 issue features Standard Schnauzers, a dynamic breed well represented by Shana Schnauzers in Aiken. We have many other storie...

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