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october/november 2010

Bringing dog news to dog lovers since 2008

Shelter dogs do tricks for TREATS! Shelter hound at the Mat-Su Animal Shelter

In this issue

page 2 notes from the editor page 3 allowing a dog to pull by claudia sihler paw prince: new owners & new location page 4 & 17 club listings and events page 5 starting right with a new hunting retriever by baron rea page 7 mat-su animal shelter news page 8 herbie by dianne o’connell page 9 dog meet-ups by mike lewis page 10 shelter dog walkers in mat-su page 12 alaska spca news page 13 anchorage skijoring club, the basics. page 14 anchorage animal shelter news page 15 the meaning of control & restraint page 18 wiley the miracle dog buck’s bananas by m. abe

by jann palach

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Alaska Dog News • October/November 2010

Dear Alaska Dog News Readers, Today snow is predicted for Halloween and with some chance even before in higher locations. Mushers are starting training runs in Knik and sled dog racing is just a few weeks away. The longer we are in Alaska the more we get pulled into winter dog sports. One thing we are learning, we do not have to be great at mushing or skijoring or weight pulling. We don’t even have to do it every day but the chance to try different sports is compelling, we get a much needed workout and the dogs love it. The photo is the 5th or 6th time Jack the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon has been in harness and really gave me a good pull for a few hundred yards. We are learning together. Conceived almost three years ago, getting out and active with dogs was the reason for Alaska Dog News. Now the Alaska Dog News family dogs all have a harness, they all get a chance to run or stroll while we bike or try to ski with them. If you think that winter is one big, long, dark season with nothing to do but curl up on the couch, think again. Most dogs will enjoy getting out even on the coldest day and Alaska Dog News will give you information to help you do just that.


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Dick Ridgeway Phone 907-344-3448 Cell 907-229-2906 7319 Feather Drive Anchorage, AK 99507


Please share Alaska Dog News with your friends. Let them know its available online as well as in print. We thank the creative folks who help us produce the publication and everyone who submits stories, ideas and photos. We also thank our advertisers who make production possible. Please visit these supporters for all your canine needs.

at Hatcher Pass, Alaska. Her story inspired a

If you sell canine supplies or provide services to dog owners please consider advertising in Alaska’s only companion dog publication.

book and Alaska Dog News.

Thanks for reading Alaska Dog News. Enjoy,

Do you have a dog

Linda Henning – editor/publisher 357-9386

story to share?

About Alaska Dog News

Contact us at

Published since 2008, Alaska Dog News is published monthly and distributed throughout Southcentral Alaska and at events in Alaska as time permits. It’s mission is to get people out and active with their dogs and to help curb the cycle of returned dogs to our shelters. Purebred and mixed breeds are represented equally. We support the good works of our municipal shelters and rescue organizations as well as responsible breeders working to improve their breeds. We welcome thoughtful contributions to the publication from writers, photographers and animal professionals. Feel free to contact us at: Through FACEBOOK “Alaska Dog News” 907-357-9386 Monday – Friday 8am-6pm Alaska Time (one hour earlier than PT) Ad pricing can be seen on the web site.

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Alaska Dog News• October/November 2010

Allowing the dog to pull is that smart?

A great holiday gift Forever Home:

by Claudia Sihler


e often hear that people are uncertain if they can allow their dog to pull a cart or sled, because then they’ll pull more when on a regular leash as well. And we have heard that people who want their dogs to pull, for mushing or weight pulling, can’t teach their dogs to walk politely on a leash because the think their dog will give up pulling.

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Adopted dogs and the humans who love them Ordering now for the holidays.

To order your copy call 907-357-9386 or e-mail

It clearly takes a little more effort if you dog has been pulling or heeling for years then suddenly is asked to do the opposite. Another habit that forms is where the dog walks in relationship to you. It’ll be harder to teach a dog that has walked beside you, to walk now in front of sled and musher or the bicycle; and it will be harder to teach a lead dog from a mushing team to now walk beside you. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it. And with a younger dog, it’ll be even easier. And yes, they can learn to do both, pulling and not pulling. We just need to be very clear telling them what we want. Let’s take the sled dog who is supposed to walk on a loose leash, and still should pull a sled in the winter, or even a cart in the summer. The harness they wear for pulling is one big cue for for them, and the sled or cart itself is another. If the sled and harness are not around and we use a collar or a head halter on the dog, it’s clear that now is the time NOT to pull. Consistency is the cue. Make it clear what activity you are doing never mixing the tools. A pet dog who has learned to walk beside us and we want them to pull requires some consideration. Which dogs are chosen to be good pulling prospects? The ones that already have a hard time walking on a loose leash: The ones that show us their power every day, making it hard for us to exercise them properly, having that seemingly endless energy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if we could put a break on them, putting them in a lower gear, and at the same time exercise them even harder? Imagine your dog walking with you on a trail, having to pull something the entire time. That will slow him down, and wear him out faster. And he’s pulling something else, while you walk next to him on a loose leash. Bingo, he can learn loose-leash-walk even faster now! And if you just worked with your dog pulling something over the property, don’t you think it’ll be easier after the dog got tired from pulling, to take her now on a walk and have her NOT pull?

agreement with Heidi & Co. They will be the only store in Anchorage where you can buy Heidi & Co. fleece jackets and booties. Paw Prince will continue to serve tiny and giant breeds alike, and if they don’t have it in stock, a special order will be placed for you. More breed specific items have been ordered so that you can find that unusual or hard to find breed represented in the store.

The first thing we do again, is introducing the dog to the pulling harness, which will be the biggest cue to pull. Those harnesses are designed to make it very comfortable for the dog to lean into them. The next step is again consistency. If your dog’s leash is connected to his collar or head halter, no pulling is accepted. If the rope is connected to the pulling harness, and the pulling command is given, your dog is encouraged to lean into the harness as hard as he can. You can train with your dog loose leash walk right before the weight pull class, and even walking towards our facility when coming to another class or to Open Play Times. The change of the leash connection plus harness (head halter off, pulling harness on) tells the dog when exactly the “pulling permit” starts.

Jann and Brad hope you will stop by and say hello. You can also meet the store mascot Hendrix, an eleven pound Havanese who is full of energy and likes everyone he meets!

Some of the greatest weight pullers of Alaska were best behaved dogs coming onto the track. They were Labrador Retrievers, also trained for hunting, and would enter the track heeling with the owner, then sitting or standing still to be connected to the cart. Only when the owner gave the command, they started pulling like crazy, and have won lots of prizes and prize money throughout their career. So is it smart to teach your dog to pull? Absolutely YES, as long as the rules are clearly set for the dog

PAW PRINCE moves to a new location!


ew owners, Brad and Jann Palach, think it’s time to take Paw Prince to the next level. On November 1st Paw Prince will be moving to a new larger location at 1120 Huffman Square, Suites 15 & 16. In conjunction with the move, Doggy Decadents has partnered up with them to create an in house bakery. Paw Prince will not only be the premiere dog boutique in Anchorage, but they will be home to the only dog bakery serving up fresh doggy biscuits daily. You can find things at Paw Prince that you will never find at the big box stores. Among Paw Prince vendors are Howling Dog Alaska, Cha Cha Couture, Himalayan Dog Chews, Chilly Dog, Pampet, Doggie Designs, Monkey Daze, and Buckle Down just to name a few. Paw Prince also entered into an exclusive

Paw Prince will also feature local artists who specialize in dog and cat themed artwork. Such artists as Elise Strauss and Laurel Carnahan have already submitted artwork to be displayed and sold at the new location. Paw Prince will continue to carry all your favorites from Alaska Leash Co., Zack & Zoey, Fido, Gold Paw, Mutluks, The Honest Kitchen, Free Range Bully Sticks to dehydrated chicken feet and Texas toothpicks!

Anchorage Daily News Howl-oween Costume Contest ends Oct. 28th


he 2010 Anchorage Daily News, Dog Blog Howl-oween Costume Contest has more than 50 entries this year and the dogs have outdone themselves. We like to think it was the spooky inspiration of our entry, Morgan of Knik, last year. It was the first time we entered a costume contest and, I have to say the shoot was as much fun as collecting the prize. Morgan’s interpretation of Beelzebub, the Prince of Darkness also tied him for 3rd place with 2 other Lurchers in the United Kingdom Lurcher Lovers costume contest. The ADN competition ends on October 28th. If you missed entering your dog this year, plan for next year. You can meet and converse with other dog lovers at the Anchorage Daily News Dog Blog, and keep up with events that happen in Anchorage on a daily basis.


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Alaska Dog News • October/November 2010


Dog News The Greatland’s only family dog publication

Peninsula Dog Obedience Group 907-262-6846 Soldatna, Alaska


Rottweiler Club of Alaska

All Breed Clubs

Specialty Breed Clubs

Shetland Sheepdog Club of Anchorage

Alaska Kennel Club

Alaska Great Pyrenees Club

Donna Coker 11401 Gamache Dr. Anchorage, AK 9 9516 Affiliations: AKC General membership meetings first Monday of each month 7:30 Chugach Electric Building, 5601 Minnesota Dr. Guests welcome. Show-n-Go classes every Friday evening Alyeska Canine Trainers, 549 W. International Airport Rd. Anchorage, AK Junior handlers 5:30 & 6:00 Adult handlers 6:30 Jan 22-23 Alaska & Kenai Kennel Club all breed shows in Anchorage

Capitol Kennel Club of Juneau

Affiliations AKC and the Great Pyrenees Club of America. 11146 Totem Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99516 President, Dale Sherman, Secretary, Ruth A. Marcy, pryhome.htm

Alaska Labrador Retriever Club

Affiliations: AKC Zoelea Vey 945 S. Homestead Cir., Palmer,AK 99645 Check back for a Sanctioned B match in Fairbanks.

Dian Tamas 4850 Kenai Av.Anchorage, AK. 99508 Affiliations: AKC Nov 6 - Specialty held at Raven Hall, Palmer, Alaska

Sherry Sims 10261 Our Rd, Anchorage, AK 99516 Affiliations: AKC Nov 6- Specialty held at Raven Hall, Palmer, Alaska

Siberian Husky Club of the Last Frontier

Susan Striebich 12041 Jerome St., Anchorage, AK 99516 Affiliations: AKC

St. Bernard Club of Alaska

Reba Nelson 3900 W. Fairview Lp. Wasilla, AK 99654 907-357-5009 Affiliations: AKC Obedience Clubs

Jill D. Grose 9174 Glacierwood Dr. Bernese Mountain Dog The Working Group Dog Juneau, AK 99801 Club of Alaska Club of Alaska Tracy Corneliussen 2751 W. Resolution Bay Circle Wasilla, For AKC Working Dogs– AK 99654 The WGDCA meets the second 907-789-1157 Thursday of the month at 7 pm at Pizza Capitol Kennel Club of Juneau PMB 306, 1830 East Parks Highway, Suite A-113 ● Wasilla, Alaska 99654 Man in Eagle River. Affiliations: AKC Nov 9- 6:15pm Riverbend School 907-357-9386 A Call publication of Image Works Contact for Bob Schmidt (907)Publishing 232-1736 Commons- Manners Class more information Feb 19-20 UKC Obedience and Rally trials (tantative) UKC Obedience and Rally Obedience Performance German Shepherd Dog

Club of Alaska Cook Inlet Kennel Club

Renee Clayton 2935 N. Mosier Ct. Wasilla, AK 99654 (907)745-3674 Affiliations: AKC Show N’Gos 7-8 Thursdays Nov 6-7 All Breed Dog Show at Raven Hall, Alaska Fairgrounds, Palmer Alaska

Kenai Kennel Club

Ronda Oglesby P.O. Box 1602 Soldotna, AK 99669 Affiliations: AKC 907-335-2552 Call the club for upcoming Fun Matches Sept 4,5,6 Agility trial Kenai Little league Fields

Tanana Valley Kennel Club

Judy Shapiro 907-479-6510 P.O. Box 72019 Fairbanks, AK 99707 Beck@ Affiliations: AKC Obedience, conformation, tracking

Yukon Kennel Club

P.O. Box 31511 RPO Main St. Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 6K8 Phone: 867-668-6634 Janice Gunn:Competition Obedience Training seminar coming April 16 & 17, 2011 see ad page

Sharon White president, 5830 Jordan Cir Anchorage, AK 99540 Affiliations: AKC

Golden Heart German Shepherd Club of Fairbanks

Sandra Kimbrell P.O. Box 10394, Fairbanks, AK. 99710 Affiliations: AKC Contact Sue Striebich, Event Secretary, 12041 Jerome St Anchorage, AK 99516 (907) 945-9264

Great Dane Club of Mat-Su Alaska

Patti Wolf 4010 E. 66th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99507 Affiliations: AKC

Midnight Sun Boxer Club

Tina Spain PMB 385, Wasilla, AK 99687 Affiliations: AKC

Midnight Sun Golden Retriever Club

Cindy Steward 3040 Admirally Bay Dr. Anchorage, AK 99515 Affiliations: AKC

& Training Clubs

Obedience Training Club of Chugiak Jacqueline Fabrizzio Chugiak, AK 99577 Obedience, tracking Affiliations: AKC Located at Chugiak Benefit Assoc.,18606 Old Glenn Highway in Chugiak.

Peninsula Dog Obedience Group 907-262-6846 Soldatna, AK

Whitehorse Woofers Dog Club

Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada. Nancy Brady (867) 633-3817 nbrady@ Joanne Organ, (867) 633-3586

Sporting Dog Clubs Alaska Working Retriever Club 645 G Street, Suit 100 #752 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Kelli Toth- President (907) 688-4445 email: Affiliations: AKC

Arctic Bird Dog Association

P.O. Box 90914 Anchorage, Alaska 99509 Hilde Stapgens -secretary (907) 243-5809 Look for novice and puppy classes in the spring 2011 Most events held on Pt MacKenzie at Falcon Ridge

Alyeska Canine Trainers

549 W International Airport Road, Suite A15 Anchorage. AK. Open to the public 6 - 9 pm, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. 907 - 563 - HEEL (4335) Email:

Arctic Streakers Agility Club Find them on Facebook

Dog Obedience Training Club of Anchorage

Valerie Tomkins 3701-B Checkmate Dr. Anchorage, AK 99508 Obedience, tracking. Mar. 5-6 Obedience Trials at ACT Affiliations: AKC

Matanuska Agility Canine Handlers P.O. Box 874015 Wasilla, Alaska 99687 Phone: 907-352-3647 (dogs)

Fairbanks Retriever Club P.O. Box 60463 Fairbanks, Alaska 99706 Mark Thomas - President (907) 488-1264 Affiliations: AKC

Greatland North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association 10140 Kasilor Blvd. Anchorage, Alaska 99507 Roger Hull - President (907) 346-6279

Interior Alaska Gun Dog Association (retrievers) P.O. Box 73043 Fairbanks, AK 99707 Sherry Wilson-secretary

Midnight Sun Gun Dog Association

P.O. Box 241291 Anchorage, Alaska 99524-1291 Brad Hanson - President (907) 232-3817 email: 9am Pt.MacKenzie Falcon Ridge

Club listings continued page 17

alaska dog news • october-november 2010

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THE NEW RETRIEVER start right By Baron Rea


ou’re getting your first retriever. She or he will be your best hunting buddy but right now the new pup is just a bundle of fur. You can’t wait to get started training.

Whoa! Put the brakes on and do some research if you haven’t already.

There is a huge difference in the “lines” a dog has come from. It certainly will give you an idea of what to expect in energy and personality as the pup grows. There are a lot of do’s and don’ts in bringing up a young retriever pup. A lot goes into creating good habits instead of bad ones. Young pups are easy to focus their energy into doing something else. So, instead of chewing on your boots, you simply give them something they are allowed to chew on. For pups, I introduce them to things about the house and training environment all in a positive manner using treats. Keeping them on a regimented schedule also helps create good habits especially in house breaking. I like to start formal obedience and field training at 4 months. That may vary depending on the breed and an individual dog’s maturity level. For me obedience is done first. Why? Because I wouldn’t introduce a bird to a dog that won’t come to me when called or won’t return with a retrieved item or shows prey possessiveness with just bumpers. These are things I want to fix before live birds or even dead ones are used. I’ve watched other trainers or private individuals out throwing live pigeons for there pup that had absolutely no obedience work. By chasing the dog down and wrestling the bird from the dog they said they were making there dog birdy. From my perspective hunting dogs are bred with prey drive. Proper breeding ensures this. So, you can’t increase prey drive. They either have it or they don’t. You are simply pulling out prey drive in an uncontrolled manner

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Out of control prey drive leads to prey possessiveness and hard mouth. So please do formal obedience first. I used to know several pros that did the 2 week make your dog crazy on birds program. I really never agreed with it. It looked wonderful to the owner that his dog was fired up but, in the end it was simply out of control. A guaranteed next months check for the trainer to then start obedience on a dog now out of control. Don’t train what you have to un-train later.

Alaska Dog News supports the good works of the municipal animal

Human nature is such that we tend to train, promote, or allow behaviors that may be entertaining or easy to ignore. Ask yourself if these behaviors are desirable on a hunt. Allowing these behaviors will only make your training harder for you and pup and require a lot more pressure to break bad habits later down the road. Remember, a dog is a creature of habit.

owners. We believe that people who are active with their dogs take

shelters by providing space for their newsletters. Alaska Dog News Mission Statement: “Alaska Dog News exists to inform, educate and entertain dog owners throughout Alaska. The comprehensive calendar provides valuable event information for dog better care of them and themselves.”

Ad Prices Here are some things to think about: • • • • • •

Make sure the dog knows what’s right and knows what you are asking. Don’t give commands you are not in a position to enforce – until they come to you reliably, keep them on a long line. Control your tone of voice Be a buddy as well as a boss Don’t rush the gun For both of you, make training real and fun!

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10% off 3 issues paid in advance $25-$45 one time graphics and ad set up charge Sizes noted are image size. New- All ads must be paid in advance. 10% discount applies only to 3 or more consecutive months paid in advance. Graphic services are based on an hourly rate of $35. One hour minimum with ½ hour minimum for changes. Files should be high resolution JPG , TIFF, EPS, PDF or InDesign files. Other files formats may not be compatible. Word, Publisher and PowerPoint require adjustments and will incur the hourly graphics charges. Please make checks out to: Alaska Dog News PMB 306, 1830 E. Parks Hwy, Ste a-113,Wasilla, AK 99654 Updated September 1, 2010


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Alaska Dog News • October/November 2010

Find your new best friend at the Mat-Su Borough Animal Shelter Monday – Saturday 11– 6:30 Closed Sunday

907-746-5500 Search for a lost or new pet at

Passages, Pet Cremation and for Grief Center, Inc. Compassionate is centered on professional and compassionate aftercare Support for all pets – those brought to During us directly by their owners as well as those picked up from the member veterinary clinics. Process Passages also provides of compassionate and sympathetic end-of-life support for grieving Bereavement pet owners.

Cremation Euthanasia Winter storage & home pick-ups of deceased pets Grief support Urns, books & gifts

updated hourly Help us help the abandoned, and abused animals of our borough.

Clinics Served:

All Creatures Veterinary Clinic Big Lake-Susitna Veterinary Hospital North Star Animal Hospital Ravenwood Veterinary Clinic Southside Animal Hospital & Wellness Center West Anchorage Veterinary Clinic

We cannot do it alone, but with your help, we can do so much. If you see animal abuse, neglect, have lost your pet or find a lost animal please, call the shelter.

907-745-7574 ad design: Linda Henning

Volunt e 9470 E. Chanlyut Circle, Palmer Do you ers Wanted love a Y o u Off the Palmer-Wasilla Hwy. can be a valua nimals? ble v the Ma at 49th State St. t-Su She olunteer at lter. Learn n next to Central Landfill Prepa ew s


Lisa Espey, DVM Palmer, Alaska

re fo kills. Feel go r a career help od help in ing anim g animals. als in ne ed.

Does your club or business need economical graphic design, printing and marketing services? Call the people who know your interests, share your passions and your love of dogs. Hundreds of stock canine photography and photographic services. Original art commissions of your pets. Expertise in print production. Direct contact to dog lovers region wide. Combination print and social media advertising. Books, catalogs and brochures Product sheets and mailers. Posters and flyers. We do it so you have time to spend with your dogs. Also specializing in home and garden print design. 907-357-9386

Are you a fan of Facebook? These groups have Facebook pages Simply enter the name in the search bar on Facebook and join. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Alaska Dog News Alaska DockDogs Alaska Dog Sports - training Fairbanks Dog Park Anchorage Dog Parks GRRdwood Pets and Green Goods SP Kennel Doggy Decadents Fans of Eagle River Grooming and Pets Far Country Animal Hospital Valley Dog Social Group – a new page for people who want to go to dog events with company or gather to practice training. Holy Dog Pet Boarding Straw for Dogs – A non-profit, proactive group helping backyard dogs get the warm protective housing in Anchorage. Homeward Bound Pet Rescue & Referral – pet rescue in Fairbanks Paw Prince – pet boutique in Anchorage Anchorage Animal Care and Control Center Where Spirits Walk Kennel Fur Rondy – dog events each year during Fur Rondy. Dream a Dream Dog Farm – Iditarod musher, Vern Halter’s kennel Rush to Tug Agility Leads – custom made dog leads and collars in Palmer. Alaska Dog Mushers Association Montana Creek Dog Mushers Association Aurora Dog Mushers Club – Big Lake/Wasilla area Alaska Dog and Puppy Rescue Willow Dog Mushers Association Mat-Su Bikejoring Club – biking with your dog in harness. Alaska Chesapeake Bay Retriever People Alaska–Best Dogs

alaska dog news •october/november 2010

Matanuska Susitna Borough —

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October 2010

Animal Shelter News Always check at the shelter for your lost pet! 907-746-5500

Adoption fairs and volunteers increase adoptions Every few weeks the Mat-Su shelter staff and volunteers get dogs and cats out and in front of the public in various locations. PetZoo in Wasilla, the Mat-Su Home Builders show, and businesses that want to help and draw in customers hold pet adoption events. Some people come to see the dogs in a meet-up of volunteers and shelter pets where the pets are able to show how they really act when not in a cage or run. Pet of the week on KMBQ, the pet feature in the Frontiersman and pets shown in Alaska Dog News and on the Alaska Dog News website bring the animals more attention. Sometimes there is a special animal that because of age or personality needs some additional help to find just the right forever home. The shelter has over 100 volunteers who have logged nearly 1000 in a month at adoption fairs, walking dogs, assisting adoptions in the shelter and socializing the pets. Most months log in 700- 800 hours a month allowing the shelter to run within budget. Before Sue Fujimoto began as Volunteer Coordinator in 2008, volunteer hours were averaging about 32 hours a month. Staff and volunteers are giving even more. Often animal shelter staff have come from being volunteers and old habits die hard. Staff members often volunteer addtional time too. Volunteers are fostering kittens in their own homes until they are old enough to be adopted. This helps with the kittens socialization and health.

Take a stroll with a shelter dog. The Mat-Su Shelter holds hikes with shelter dogs. Date for a walk in November is pending. KTVA Channel 11, featured photos from the October 2nd walk on it’s evening news broadcast. Volunteers take an hour or so to walk dogs, give them some time out of the shelter and get some exercise themselves. The entire Matthews family makes it a family outing taking even the little one along for a ride.

Never give up looking If your pet is missing contact the shelter first. Keep updated photos of your pet so they can be posted digitally. Several groups in the area are networked to help you find your pet.

The Mat-Su Animal Shelter now has 2 part time dispatchers to help with the high call volume the shelter receives. The dispatchers field calls from residents and guide them to the help they need. Because the shelter is open 6 days a week two 20 hour shifts were needed to cover the calls. The dispatchers also add information received into the shelter database to keep lost animals, found animals and complaints up to date. One dispatcher said that working with the shelter has been something she has wanted to do where she can use her customer service skills to do something that helps. She has had animals all her life. Asked if working with callers is difficult she said that so far, has found most people kind and caring.


Adoption Fairs

Mat-Su shelter adoption fairs are held at a variety of venues. Check with the shetler for the next adoption fair.


Who do we call? MSBACC staff Julie Johnson, KTVA Reporter Natalie Travis & shelter veterinarian Katrina Zwolinski

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Animal Care Facility held an adoption fair at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Wasilla on October 23rd from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sport breeds and mixes were available for adoption with fees as low as $37.50 for previously spayed/neutered animals. Sporting dogs need jobs, training and activities that will utilize their drive. KTVA-TV channel 11 and the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman interived staff and volunteers. Footage of the event appeared on the evening news.

Information about the Mat-Su Animal Shelter is provided by staff and volunteers . Pet photos by Alaska Dog News 907-357-9386

Within the cities... The Police Department is the enforcement agency for animal-related issues within the city limits of Palmer, Wasilla and Houston. For complaints regarding animals within the city limits, please call 745-4811 for Palmer 352-5401 for Wasilla 892-6447 for Houston If you’re bringing in an animal that you found within the city limits, please make a note of the location and bring the address and/or cross streets to the shelter

907-746-5500 Find your next best friend at

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Alaska Dog News • October/November 2010


By Dianne O’Connell


erbie was born in my best friend’s closet, a fact for which I am sure LeeAnn never forgave me. I traveled a lot back then and the family dog Puddles was pregnant. Never having had a pregnant pet before, I had no idea of the estimated date of her impending confinement, nor did I warn LeeAnn of such a possible event. Not only was LeeAnn my dog-sitter, she also cared for my young son Jeff. She signed on for the job of childcare provider even before Jeff was born, and now he was five. Both he and she were quite excited to show me the new puppies when I returned home. There were four of them, all with black curly hair, which was distinctly unlike their short-haired dachshund mother. Three of them had the appropriate short, little legs which would mark them as children of Puddles, but one had the long, furry limbs of a gazelle, even at birth. This one was my son’s favorite, and we named him Herbie. Gathering my expanded little family into a towel-lined box, Jeff, Herbie, the rest of the crew and myself waved goodbye and drove across town. Homes were eventually found for Herbie’s three siblings, and Puddles was later killed through an unfortunate encounter with an auto backing out of a nearby driveway. That left Herbie, Jeff, and me. I think I remember the night Herbie was conceived. I was a single mom back then and Jeff and I owned a small duplex with both a fenced-in yard and a doggie door opening directly into our living room. Puddles would come and go as she found necessary through the little door, into the Arctic entranceway where I had the big door propped open for her, and out into the fenced yard. I have mentioned “fenced” now twice for a reason. It was designed so Puddles could not get out and her neighborhood friends could not get in. So, one dark and dreary night, Puddles trotted through the little swinging door, and Jeff and I smiled, knowing she would return soon. A hullabaloo erupts outside, disrupting our little mother-son evening together, with a WOOF and a howl and a scurrying little Puddles ramming the doggie door with her head as she rushed through the living room to hide in the bedroom she shared with Jeff. We sensed something bigger outside. Jeff and I ran to block the doggie door. We found ourselves in the yard in time to see a dark shadow clear the top of our fence with a single bound. As I now cuddled our new puppy, I realized The Shadow had been Herbie’s father. Herbie and Jeff were the classic dog and his young boy. Herbie grew into the neighborhood rogue who happily ran along side Jeff who first rode down the alleyway on his bicycle and later on a small Yamaha dirt bike. They were a scruffy duo, patrolling together a two-block segment of the Turnagain neighborhood. Herbie’s self-determined assignment was to keep the area clear of marauding canines of various breeds and sizes, almost all bigger than himself. But not faster. Sometimes the patrol would result in a skirmish, and Herbie would return heart a’ pounding, a patch of fur missing, and one day, an elegant hole punched in one ear, giving him the looks of a perfect pirate. While we were debating what kind of gold ring to get for his ear, Herbie came back after another battle with a notch, rather than the hole. The gold ring idea was put aside. You might ask, “But what about the fenced yard? Wouldn’t that have been a good place to keep Herbie?” Well, yes. But it’s hard to ride a bike in a fenced yard. And well, it is hard to keep a Herbie in a fenced yard. We would start the morning out that way, with Herbie in the yard and me driving down the alley headed for work. Often as not, I’d glance back in the rearview mirror to see Herbie racing after me. One time, it was Herbie followed by several, much larger dogs. He had antagonized somebody, that’s for sure, but those long legs were keeping him ahead of the pack, at least for a while. I stopped the car and opened the door to let Herbie in, the idea being to shut the others out. Not to be. They had caught up and piled into my little hatch-backed Neon right behind Herbie. Now I had four snarling, rough-housing dogs in my backseat. I popped the hatch, ran around and lifted the door, and out jumped three of them. Herbie stayed, four feet planted firmly, barking insults at the retreating neighbors.

What happened next was so sad, yet eventually pretty funny. We arrived home to a waiting Jeff. I opened the door, Herbie reluctantly jumped out, and young Jeff burst into tears. “I want my dog. I don’t want this dog. What happened to Herbie?” he cried. “Nothing happened to Herbie,” I cried back. “This IS Herbie. Herbie, come.” Herbie rushed to his boy and with a few jumps and licks convinced him of his true identity. Reassured that he was still loved even after his makeover, Herbie was now happy and Jeff was, too. When Jeff was about ten, a man came into our lives, a man who seemed to like both Jeff and dog, and who had children of his own. A match was made and we prepared to leave the little duplex in Turnagain to move into a much bigger place in Stuckagain Heights with lots of dirt roads on which to ride motorbikes and lots of acreage for a scruffy, long-legged Herbie to roam. Herbie loved Stuckagain. We lived at the end of the road – almost. Stuckagain Heights Restaurant, just up the road above our house, was managed by a Hungarian fellow who, along with his wife, had eighty-eight sled dogs staked out in little houses all around the property. It seemed like eighty-eight anyway. We liked having these dogs as neighbors, but the feeling was not necessarily mutual on the part of the musher couple. It seemed as though dogs, even sled dogs, go into heat. And a Herbie becomes particularly excited about the possibilities that this presents, especially when there is a harem staked out just up the hill. The musher would scoop up Herbie and bring the wiggling Lothario home with a stern warning about keeping him clear of his dogs. We built a dog run. Herbie climbed the dog run. We put an extension on the dog run. Herbie dug under the dog run. We put rocks all along the perimeter of the dog run. Herbie ignored the rocks, perfected his climb, and wiggled through the wires we had strung across the top of the dog run. Our neighbor brought him home again, this time saying he would either have to pay for Herbie to be neutered or shoot him.We opted to have Herbie neutered. He went into a deep depression. Years passed. Herbie’s attitude brightened with the addition of three stepchildren, two babies, a Boston terrier named Scout and a Bassett Hound named Lady. The house rocked and Herbie rocked with it. No longer interested in sled dogs, Herbie discovered ravens, squirrels, and magpies. The ravens, in particular, developed a craving for Herbie’s dog food which was served to him out on the deck. The dog would patiently eye the birds, then attack, sending food flying. The ravens scattered but soon would return, often dive bombing the waiting dog and pelting him with stones from above. We’ve kept the stones in a little bowl as proof of this strange story. As far as we know, Herbie never caught a bird, but he did graduate to harassing the moose and bear that ambled through our yard, coming home one afternoon with a hole in his side requiring veterinarian attention. We never were sure if it was a dog bite, or a bear bite, but the injury did give Herbie a permanent stiff leg. Our dog was getting older now and moving a bit more slowly. His reasoning skills seemed to be slipping, too. Perhaps that is why he never really got the hang of porcupines, nor learned to give them the respect they demanded. Jeff was almost grown. Herbie was pushing fifteen, pretty old for a scoundrel who had lived life as hard as Herbie. He was getting stiff and sore, was deaf and certainly going blind. His memory was excellent, however, if his dreams were any indication. The aging dog would wake the house with howls and barks, his long legs kicking, definitely in pursuit of some canine comrade or massive moose from the misty past. Spent with all the action, he would sigh, shift positions, and lay his head against Jeff’s pillow. Lady was now the crippled dog’s friend and close companion. The Bassett Hound would wake each morning, find her Herbie, gently nudge him, and walk beside him to his food and out the door to a sunny spot safe inside the dog run. Lying close beside him for a few moments, she would leave and do what Bassett Hounds do to while away a day. Come evening, though, she would return and nudge her friend. Herbie would stand and stretch and follow her inside. On one such quiet, summer evening, Lady entered the sanctuary of the dog run, whined, and lay beside the aged rogue. They stayed together for some time, until we came, and took Herbie away. Writer, Dianne O’Connell, has lived in Alaska for forty-three years. She and her husband Chuck have five children and five grandchildren, currently share their home with two terriers named Mac and Maggie.

Herbie was scruffy. His coarse, curly hair would get matted, and scuffling first in the snow, then the mud, and then the dust of Alaska seasons didn’t make it any better. A bath just seemed to make it all worse. So one day, when Jeff was about eight, I bundled Herbie up and took him to a doggie beauty parlor. When I picked him up later that day, I had one humiliated pirate on my hands. The professional groomers had shaved his matted hair, leaving a smooth, sleek body accentuating his athletic limbs; they had trimmed his beard giving him a somewhat intellectual look; plus and worse of all, they had fastened tiny ribbons to each ear. Herbie could barely look at me, he was so embarrassed. He even smelled nice. On the way home, sitting in the front seat, he ducked down as we drove into the alley so that no dog would see him.

Herbie and pals circa1976


alaska dog news • october/november 2010

page 9


By Mike Lewis Google “new dog” and one of the common themes among the 35 million or so results you get is socialization. All responsible dog owners know how important it is to socialize their dogs by introducing them to a variety of people and dogs, from puppy years to adulthood. But how, exactly, to socialize your dog is left up to you. You should introduce them to family and friends. You should put them through obedience classes. But how do you prepare them for meeting a strange dog at a dog park? Or a weekend’s stay at the local kennel?

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Suggestions for starting a dog meet-up group

One solution is to form a dog meetup group. Identify fellow dog owners who you think might share your vision of dog ownership and invite them to a weekly meetup. You can find these people at obedience classes, field trials, dog shows or even casual conversations with neighbors. Start slow. All it takes is two or three people to get it started. A few years ago, that very thing happened on the Daily News Dog Blog. Several people started asking if anyone was interesting in meetups. They exchanged email addresses, organized on their own and formed the Anchorage Alaska Dog Owners Group. For the last couple of years, members have met everywhere from dog parks to private homes to clandestine locations around town. The results, by almost all accounts, have been positive. Dogs that struggled in social situations improved, some dramatically. Dogs that were comfortable among their packs at home learned how to handle new situations. Sure, some people decided the meetups weren’t for them, but the group’s longevity proves that for many dog owners, it’s a viable tool for training their dogs.

Find a meet-up group In Anchorage In the Mat-Su Valley search Valley Dog Social Group On the Kenai Peninsula

Identify a group of people who are interested in regular meetups. If possible, invite a trainer with experience in pack behavior to your group. Exchange e-mail addresses to help with the planning. Settle on a day and a time.

Identify locations. It might be one person’s home or another’s place of business. It might be at a local dog park. Use your imagination. The best place is one that is secure from dogs wandering off.

Establish some loose guidelines for your group, with the key point being that unacceptable behavior is addressed by the dog owners. Will it happen? Sure, that’s why you’re there. But owners should agree on what is unacceptable and how the behavior should be addressed. Above all, insist that everyone watch their dog’s behavior and try to anticipate problems.

This article by Suzanne Clothier is a great place to start in forming guidlines for the group: articles/He-just-wants-to-sayhi.pdf

Insist on 100 percent poop cleanup. No matter where you decide to meet, you don’t want to give anyone a reason to object to your meetings.

Form an online message group to exchange information about plans. It’s also nice to have a way to contact the group should a case of kennel cough or other illness break out. First printed in Alaska Dog News Nov. 2008, another group has started in the Mat-Su Valley. If you know of a meet-up group in Alaska let us know and we’ll include it in our database.

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alaska dog news • october/november 2010

Alaska SPCA

Servicing Alaskans and their animals since 1966.

Alaska SPCA Selected as Adoption Partner for PetSmart The Alaska SPCA and PetSmart are proud to announce that the Alaska SPCA has been selected as an adoption partner for the new PetSmart store on Dimond Blvd (in the former CompUSA location). As partners, the Alaska SPCA and PetSmart will maintain a dedicated adoption area in the store, constructed specifically to house and display cats available for adoption and provide information about our organization and humane and responsible animal care. We also look forward to hosting “meet & greets” at the store on select weekends with some of our wonderful dogs. Our adoption policy will not change: no on-the-spot adoptions, and all adoption applications will be reviewed by Alaska SPCA staff. PetSmart's Grand Opening will be on November 20th and we hope you will come and say hello, meet some of our wonderful cats and dogs available for adoption, and see the new store. PetSmart has a strong and conscientious commitment to community involvement and the welfare of companion animals. We are honored that they have selected us, and we are grateful for the opportunity to participate as an Adoption Partner. ~

Our First Rural Spay-Neuter Outreach Clinic Goes to Sand Point At the end of October, Dr. Katy VerSteeg, Veterinary Technician Christina Wilder, and SPCA Outreach Coordinator Katie Dahncke will travel to the tiny village of Sand Point in the Aleutian Islands. They will provide spay-neuter surgeries, vaccinations, and if time permits, other very basic vet care. Euthanasia will also be available if requested. The purpose of this and other outreach clinics is to provide these services to rural villages where affordable basic veterinary services are not available. Alaska SPCA invited the input, support, participation of our statewide veterinary community. We have received a heartwarming number of supportive and encouraging responses, together with some very constructive questions and comments that will help us build an effective, much-needed program to help our rural friends and their animals. More information about our Outreach program is available on our website. Inquiries may also be directed to (907) 562-2999 or via email to ~ Phoebe & Fuzz

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~ Call to Action ~ Rescued Cats Need Homes We have adopted 11 cats from Anchorage Animal Care and Control Center that were part of a recent rescue case. With more than 60 cats involved altogether, this rescue presents challenges to everyone, and these deserving animals desperately need caring, responsible homes. We are acquiring our 11 cats two at a time as space permits. They will be kept close together (for companionship) in a segregated room, have a thorough intake exam, and will be fed and cared for per vet instructions. These are loving, personable cats who deserve great forever homes. If you can help give them a new lease on life, please contact our Adoption Center at 344-3622, or Anchorage Animal Care and Control at 343-8118. ~

Meet Our Adoptable Friends King Louie—this very large 4 y.o. white cat with the kind face is every bit as endearing and loving as he looks. Looking for a gentle giant? He’s your boy!


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Dakota—at just a year old, this Rottweiler Pit mix is a smart girl. She loves fetch, human comPilot panionship (including kids) and snuggles. Pilot—is a one-year old husky pit bull mix with a world class smile and kind personality to go with it. Very shy at first, he now is becoming a trusting soul, and is very kind and tolerant with other dogs.


alaska dog news • october/november 2010

page 13 Information from the Anchorage Skijoring Club


kijoring is a winter sport where a person on skis is pulled by a horse, a dog (or dogs) or a motor vehicle. It is derived from the Norwegian word skikjøring meaning ski driving. Living in Alaska where the state sport is dog mushing it very difficult to not get the bug to harness up your dog and give it a try. Many of us do not have the knowledge, space or time to manage and train a team, but many of our canine companions can be skijor dogs. Claudia Sihler of the Better Companion discusses teaching pulling and obedience on page 3 of this issue. You also need to know how to cross-country ski. Anchorage Skijor Club’s skijor clinics are held twice each winter and are usually well attended. Each clinic consists of an hour-long classroom discussion at Alaska Mill Feed and Garden Center, followed by an outdoor session. Topics covered include choice of dog, training the dog, commands, dog harness fitting, canine nutrition, skijor equipment, trail etiquette, passing and skijoring technique. Attendees should be able to skate ski in order to enjoy the outdoor portion of the clinic. With prior arrangement, ASC can loan attendees skijoring belts, bungees, harnesses or even dogs. Registration is at the clinic. No need to preregister. Fee for the clinic is $25. (Attendees are offered a $10 discount on club dues if they join the club at the clinic.) Minors’ legal guardians must sign consent at the clinic.

Beginning Basics Start slow. Keep it fun. Kick your skis, not the dog. You must enjoy cross country skiing. If you don’t, you’ll never convince the dog that this is a good idea. Set aside the notion that the skier is being towed. The skier, like a good jockey, does everything possible to unburden the dog, allowing it to either reach its maximum speed or maintain a slower pace for distance. Stopping competently on skis is a must. Not being able to stop endangers the dog and yourself. All dogs pull instinctively; but certain breeds possess the drive, conformation and strength to excel in sprint races while others displaying those same positive traits, plus thicker coats, wider paws and a tougher psychology are better adapted for distance races or touring. An average of 55 pounds is a good rule of thumb, but bigger in this case truly is better. You’ll need a properly fitted harness for the dog, a tether line and a bungee section, a waist belt or climbing harness for yourself and a pack to carry gear and pooper-scooper bags (small trash bags or plastic newspaper wrappers work well.) Finally, be sure to brush up on trail protocol and go out and have some fun!

Restrain dogs before and after skijoring, either by attaching to snub chains or leads or leaving in your vehicle. Keep dogs within three feet of you or your vehicle. • Do not let dogs run loose on the trail or in the holding area. • Be in control of your dog or dogs at all times. • Be able to cross country ski competently and do not ski with any • more dogs than you can handle. Be able to stop your dogs within a reasonable distance. • Use proper equipment, including cross country skis (no metal edges), poles, boots, belt, shock-cord bungee line and harness. • Necklines are recommended for double leaders. Do not use a choke collar while skijoring. • Be aware of the behavior of your dogs, particularly aggressive behavior and restrain your dogs from attacking other dogs or people. • Particularly aggressive dogs should either be left at home or wear a humane muzzle. • Be courteous to other skijorers, skiers or trail users. When passing from behind, call “Trail” and “On your right (or left)”. If being passed, move to one side behind your dog, and pull yourself up to your dog. Adopted March 2010 by ASC

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Anchorage Skijor Club Trail Etiquette •

• • • • • •

Handle all dogs in a humane manner. Abide by all municipal Animal Control ordinances and city, state and federal Park regulations. License dogs as required by law. Keep dogs current on rabies vaccinations, as required by municipaland state Law. ASC strongly recommends dogs be vaccinated against parvovirus and other highly contagious diseases. Keep any sick dogs with infections or contagious diseases (parvovirus, kennel cough, etc.) away from trailheads and trails. Do not skijor with a dog or dogs showing signs of physical injury, or which are not capable of running. Remove feces from public areas and trails.

F o l l o w t h i s l i v e l i n k w w w. s k i j o r i n g . o r g • 907-357-9386



alaska dog news • october/november 2010


Animal Shelter News for October 2010

HOURS: Monday through Friday 11:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Saturday and Sunday 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Closed: New Years Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day,and Christmas Day.

4711 Elmore Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99507

343-8122 Homes are still needed for a number of cats involved in cruelty case! Here is Daisy, an adult, spayed female, Siamese mix cat. Daisy is can be a little timid at first, but give her a moment to meet you and her love of attention will always win out. She is calm and laid back, but can’t get enough attention or pets. She enjoys being held, lap time, and brushing. You can check her out, along with several other cats from this case that are available, by clicking on the following video link: watch?v=Lf7hoQc2W_4. As her rabies and vaccination fees are waived, and she is already spayed, Daisy is only $27 to adopt!

Here is Gus, an adult, neutered male, domestic longhair cat. Gus is outgoing and loves attention. He is calm and laid back, but can’t get enough attention or pets. He enjoys being held and lap time, but can be playful as well. You can check him out, along with several other cats from this case that are available, by clicking on the following video link: watch?v=Lf7hoQc2W_4. As his rabies and vaccination fees are waived, and he is already neutered, Gus is only $27 to adopt!

PLEASE CALL A ACCC AT 3438122 TO SET UP A TIME TO MEET DAISY, GUSS & THEIR FRIENDS! SPECIAL ADOPTER NEEDED Please meet Jett, a 4 year old, neutered male lab mix. Jett is very focused, affectionate, tolerant and friendly. He knows basic obedience commands and is exceptionally eager to please. He loves going to doggie daycare, the dog parks and riding in the car. He’s kennel-trained as well. Jett has a torn cruciate and will require surgery to repair it, but he is well worth this extra expense. A very bright and loving pal! Jett can be adopted for $72, as he is already neutered, which includes his MOA license, vaccinations, and microchip.

Be a h ero an d sp the A nchor onsor this age A page f Call 9 n or i m al She 07-357 Alask l ter 9386 aDogN ews@ or email mtaon to find out h t ow.

PETS AND PEOPLE PARTNERING FOR SUCCESS As community partners, Pets and People Partnering for Success develops and promotes animal related programs and activities that benefit Alaskans experiencing developmental differences and their typically developing peers. Our programs foster healthy physical interaction, emotional bonding and social skill development. We currently sponsor two types of dog-training classes. Junior Therapy Dog Trainers: for children 8-12 years of age. Participants help train service dogs that will work with individuals experiencing special needs. Trainer: Carole Shay of Alaska Assistance Dogs. Shelter Dog Training: Two groups, one for 12-17 years of age and one for 18 to adult. Participants will work with a variety of shelter dogs teaching hand and voice commands to improve adoptability. All dogs trained by these classes have been adopted within a week after participating in the training group and none have returned to the shelter! One dog is trained at a time by the group. Trainer Kathy Broome of Canine Connection. If you have any questions about either of these programs, please contact Cheri Scott or Renee Leyland at Stone Soup Group, 907.561.3701. or

Information submitted by: Brooke Taylor, AACCC public relations, Anchorage Animal Care and Control. This page sponsored by

alaska dog news

Alaska Dog News• October/November 2010

Controlling your dog has different meanings in the cities and boroughs Leash laws. If you’ve ever been confused by leash laws you’re not alone. The cities and boroughs have different definitions for key words like “control” and “restraint”. Some are vague while others are specific to the point that they detail the length of the leash and that it must be in the hand of a person capable of controlling the animal. The more you know the better you can stay in compliance, become a human/canine good citizenship team, avoid a fine and the distain of people who do not share your love of dogs. Leash laws within the city of Palmer and Wasilla require actual physical control, “such as a leash, chain, fence or building”. That means that if you are walking down the street, in a park, now including Lake Lucille Park, or anywhere within the Wasilla or Palmer city limits your dog must be on a leash held by a person competent to maintain control. If the dog is handled by a minor the parent or guardian of the minor is responsible for the dog’s actions.


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In Anchorage, Fairbanks and the Mat-Su borough you are allowed to control your dogs by command with “visual or audible commands, or a combination thereof, to which the animal responds promptly and accurately. Otherwise the dog must be on a leash or contained. Electronic collars are considered a leash in most cases but depending on the knowledge of the officer stopping you, you may or may not be in compliance in his eyes and the handler and dog must be responding appropriately. The safest bet for you and your dogs is to always have a leash with you. Transporting dogs. In Palmer, Anchorage and the Mat-Su It is unlawful for any person to carry or transport any dog on the running board, fenders, hood, cargo bed, or other outside part of any vehicle, unless the dog is restrained or confined by a leash, harness, cage, enclosure, or other restrictive device designed, installed, maintained and employed in a manner adequate:

Page 15

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A. To protect the dog from falling or being thrown from the vehicle; and B. To permit the safe operation of the vehicle; and C. When the vehicle is in a parking lot open to the public or is parked on a street or road, to prevent the dog’s head from approaching within one foot of the tailgate, side rail, or other outside part of the vehicle. Transporting loose dogs in open truck beds is rarely enforced in most places, while Anchorage stepped up its enforcement over the last couple of years. Lt. David Parker of the Anchorage Police Department says that warnings are normally enough to convince people to secure their dogs. Wasilla has no such provision in its animal control code. To view animal control laws in your area go to your municipality’s web site.

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November 6th, Pam Flowers’ book signing Saturday,November 6 at Petco in the Dimond Mall in Anchorage, Pam Flowers will be signing her new book Ellie’s Long Walk. This is a children’s book about Pam and her dog Ellie hiking the Appalachian Trail. Ellie the dog will be there with Pam meeting people and has already graciously signed every single book with her paw print. Ellie was abandoned at four weeks of age with her litter in a sealed box beside a road near Wasilla in the summer of 2007 and rescued by the Alaska Dog and Puppy Rescue organization. Pam adopted Ellie when she was six weeks old and they have been best friends ever since. After Ellie grew up, she and Pam hiked the entire 2174-mile Appalachian Trail. Profits from book sales November 6th will be donated to the Alaska Dog and Puppy Rescue. There will be dogs available for adoption at Petco and Pam will be signing between 11-4. The ADPR is an all-volunteer organization dependent on donations and has rescued over 3000 dogs. The following Saturday November 13th there will be another fundraiser/book signing at the ADPR headquarters at 10355 Palmer Wasilla Highway and some of Ellie’s littermates will be attending the event for an energy-packed reunion. Dogs will also be available for adoption that day from 11-4.

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page 16

Alaska Dog News • October/November 2010

ID Microchips

Even if your cat or dog never leaves your property, the chip can aid in many different situations. In a disaster, a flood, fire, or earthquake where property is damaged and your pet is loose the chip will allow rescuers to find you. If you pet is stolen, again your pet’s ID identifies you to as the owner.

A free call home for your pet.

Imagine you are lost in a foreign country. You have no money. You don’t speak the language. You cant’ read signs. Nothing is familiar. But, you have a calling card that can be scanned. All the information about you is communicated to the people around you who can send you home. That’s what an ID Microchip is. It’s a free phone call home and costs between $20 and $40 depending on where you get it. They are currently available for dogs and cats. ID chipping for other animals is being evaluated by shelters.

Unlike a collar with tags the ID chip cannot fall off or lost. However, putting a collar with ID tags on your dog so that people without scanners can identify your dog is recommended. People more readily help a dog with a collar realizing that it has an owner. I D chip information needs to be updated when ownership of the animal is changed. The American Kennel Club encourages the use of microchips for record keeping and proof of ownership In a perfect world, leashes, fences, and doors would be enough to keep your pet safe at home. In the real world, accidents happen, and your pets depend on you to protect them against the things that could go wrong. With a little effort now, you can take a big step toward ensuring that your beloved pets will be with you in the future

The chips, made by such companies as AVID and Home Again, are each about the size of a grain of rice. They are inserted between the dog or cat’s shoulders, just like giving an injection, and stay in place for the life of the animal by latching onto protein. Animal control officers carry scanners that are rubbed over the lost animal. The scanners read both the standard 9 digit chip and the 15 digit ISO chips. Each ID number is unique. These tiny microchips can hold huge amounts of information. In fact, the microchips are designed to produce 275 billion different identification numbers. On top of that, manufacturers add unique product and manufacturer’s codes to identify their chips. With all the possible combinations of ID numbers, there are more than enough numbers to make sure every pet has a completely, unique number. The chip doesn’t have an internal battery or power source. Most of the time, the chip is inactive. When the microchip reader is passed over it, it gets enough power from the reader to transmit the pet’s ID number. Since there’s no battery and no moving parts there is nothing to wear out or replace. If your dog or cat is found, any animal hospital, shelter, or humane society can use a microchip reader to read the unique ID number contained on the chip. The veterinarian or worker can access the database by inputting the number given off by the microchip.

Does your club or business need economical graphic design, printing and marketing services? Call the people who know your interests, share your passions and your love of dogs. Hundreds of stock canine photography and photographic services. Original art commissions of your pets. Expertise in print production. Direct contact to dog lovers region wide. Combination print and social media advertising. Books, catalogs and brochures Product sheets and mailers. Posters and flyers. We do it so you have time to spend with your dogs. Also specializing in home and garden print design.

“When we found Daisy on Pt. MacKenzie we were able not only to find out who she belonged to, but her shelter history from the time she was a few weeks old. When her owner surrendered her to the Mat-Su Shelter we took Daisy home. The information connected to her ID Microchip has been invaluable in understanding her and training her.” C.G. Wasilla, AK.


with Alaska Dog News and reach thousands of readers in print and online 907-357-9386 907-357-9386

Continued from page 4

Retriever Club of Alaska P.O. Box 100703 Anchorage, Alaska 99510-0703 Bill Barstow - President (907) 337-2991 Affiliations: AKC

Other Sports & Activities Alaska Dockdogs

Alaska Dockdogs Cathy Hviid Check for updates on Facebook Page “Alaska DockDogs” Contact by email or join them on facebook page “Alaska Dockdogs “

flyball Northern Lightspeed Flyball Club – drag racing canine style Linda and Ken Bullard Info at the web site or Valley Canine Camp in Wasilla- 357-2267

Alaska Dogs Gone Wild Curtis Smith

Herding Alaska Herding Group Club

An All-Herding Breed Specialty Club P.O. Box 770173, Eagle River, AK 99577-0173 Peggy Crawford (907) 688-5921 Secretary: Robin Miller (907) 6941454


Willow Dog Mushing Association (907) 495-0671 P.O. Box 858,Willow, AK 99688

Montana CreekDog Mushing Association PO Box 971 Willow, AK 99688 Races take place at Mile 94.2 Parks Hwy.

Lure coursing Alaska Winds

Alaska Dog News • October/November 2010

Skijoring Anchorage Skijoring Club Kathy Faryniarz, President (907) 345-2774 Nov 6 - first practice 10-1 Nov 23- 7pm Skijoring the Iditarod Trail, slide show presentation . BP Energy Center Dec 5 Beginner’s Clinic Alaska Mill and feed Dec 12 Fun run Jan 16 Chugiak Chinkook Race 9:30 Beach Lake Ski Trails Jan 30 10am Willow Winter Carnival Skijor Race , Willow AK Feb 6 Bartlett Relay, Bartlett High School Feb 13 10:30am AMH Kincade Classic, Kincade Park.

Page 17

Winter 2010 -2011 Alaska Dog News Calendar Date


Club & Location

Oct 31

1-4 pm Howloween costume party and a chance to win $50 or $10 gift cards, goodies and treats.

Paw Prince, Tudor and Old Seward. in Anchorage

Nov 6

First Skijor practice

Anchorage Skijoring Club Location to be determined

Nov 6

Rottweiler specialtyShetland Sheepdog specialty

Held by their respective clubs at Raven Hall Alaska State Fairgrounds, Palmer, AK

Nov 6 & 7

All Breed Dog Show

Cook Inlet Kennel Club Raven Hall Alaska State Fairgrounds, Palmer, AK

Nov 9

Reba Nelson 3900 W. Fairview Lp. Wasilla, AK 99654 907-357-5009

Obedience- Manners club and group walk

Capital Kennel Club of Juneau, Riverbend School Commons

Nov 20

Weight pulling practice pull

Practice pulls at Animal Food Wearhouse, Palmer Wasillla Hwy, Palmer AK

Interior Freight Dog Assoc, Fairbanks .Check website for location

Dec 5

Skijoring - Beginner clinic

Alaska Mill and Feed , Anchorage Anchorage Skijoring Club

Dec 11

Weight Pulling Winter Solstice Pull

Interior Freight Dog Assoc. Fairbanks

Dec 12

Skijoring - Fun Run

Goose Lake Park 3220 E. Northern Lights Blvd Anchorage, Ak Anchorage Skijoring Club

Jan 16

Skijoring- 9:30am Chugiak Chinook Race

Beach Lake Ski Trails Anchorage, Ak

Jan 22

All Breed Show

Alaska & Kenai Kennel Clubs Anchorage Skijoring Club

Jan 30

Skijoring- 10am Willow Winter Carnival Skijor Race

Willow Community Center, Willow Ak Anchorage Skijoring Club

Feb 6

Skijoring -Bartlett Relay

Bartlett HighSchool Anchorage Skijoring Club

Feb 13

Skigoring - 10:30 am AMH Kincade Classic Skijor Race

Kincade Park at the Kincade Chalet, Anchorge AK, Anchorage Skijoring Club

Feb 18-19

AKC Agility trial

Kenai Kennel Club - Palmer, AK

Feb 19-20

UKC Obedience and Ratly Trials (tentative check the club website)

Capital Kennel Club of Juneau

Apr 16 & 17, 2011

Competition Obedience Training seminar by Janice Gunn

Yukon Kennel Club Whitehorse, YK

Montana CreekDog Mushing Association Skijoring after race starts see listing under MUSHING

Weight Pulling Alaska K-9 Weight Pulling

Interior Freight Dog Association

Fairbanks Pulls & Practice Nov. 20 Practice Pull Dec. 11 Winter Solstice Pull

Follow updates on Facebook and on the club websites

Sue Ann Kelly

Alaska Hound Group President, Mary Hermon Box 4367 Palmer, AK 99645

Clubs Please Note! Club listings and calendar information space is limited, is provided free of charge to non-profit organizations and at the discretion of Alaska Dog News. More advertising space is available. 907-357-9386 or e-mail for rates and schedule.

Page 18

Alaska Dog News•October/Novembr 2010

Wiley: a miracle dog


iley, a former sled dog is something of a miracle, having lived through at least one Interior Alaskan winter on his own. He was feral in the Ester, Alaska, area since at least late 2009. A Good Samaritan spotted the pretty yellow dog hanging around their cabin then, with a wire noose clamped around his neck; a snare trap had caught the dog and then come free from whatever it was attached to, allowing him to survive but not get free. The Good Sam managed to corner the dog in a dog house under their deck, and they cut the noose off him, but he escaped immediately and refused to let anybody near him after that. A group of wild land firefighters staying in the area dubbed him “Wiley” and made sure he had food all year but were unable to coax the frightened dog into captivity. Finally this fall, using a live trap, Wiley was captured. Rescuer Lynn Orbison of Daisy Acres (Two Rivers, Alaska) is currently fostering Wiley and helping him adjust to civilized life. Not much was known about Wiley’s former life, other than what his microchip has been able to provide so far. The chip was installed by a veterinarian in Colorado, as part of the Wyoming Stage Stop Race in 2007. But that is where the trail grows cold - it wasn’t registered beyond the race use. Wiley needed surgery to repair a hole in his trachea caused by the steel cable snare noose. He scar encircled his neck with a large “wad” of scar tissue on his throat where it chewed into his flesh day after day. Beneath that scar tissue was a quarter-sized hole, through the skin, muscle, and trachea essentially what results when a surgeon does a tracheostomy. Wiley was very frightened and would not let anyone handle him after being caught. The hole in his neck was discovered by Dr. Jeanne Olsen, when he was under anesthesia and upside down on the operating table for his neuter surgery at Raven Veterinary Services in North Pole, Alaska. Dr. Olsen performed the surgery but didn’t the equipment or experience for this sort of extensive surgery, and so she referred Wiley to Dr. Stuve at Aurora Animal Hospital in Fairbanks, Alaska. Dr. Stuve operated on Wiley to close the hole in the trachea, repaired the muscle tissue, and cleaned up the scarring. As a side note, Dr. Olson is interested in promoting Wiley as a living example of why trappers need to be more careful. Wiley came through the surgery with no complications. Repairing this hole will allow Wiley to live a normal life without risk of getting an infection directly into his lungs and also allow him to be around water, even for a bath (which he does need!). Based upon his microchip history, we know he can run as a canine athlete, and a successful surgery will allow him to breathe without strictures or having to avoid breathing too much cold winter air. An esophageal stricture is a gradual narrowing of the esophagus, which can lead to swallowing difficulties. The strictures are caused by scar tissue that builds up in the esophagus. He should live a full and happy life after the surgery. The Good Samaritan who removed the cable from his neck originally is interested in adopting Wiley but can not afford the cost of this expensive surgery by himself. Dr. Olsen is owner of Raven Veterinary Practices in North Pole, Alaska 488-2906 Submitted by the rescue team in North Pole.

Buck’s Bananas

M. Abe’ October 2010


s everyone who has owned a pet knows, sometimes things happen which can be dismaying on one hand, and extraordinarily silly on the other. Especially if you have ever lived with a dog that is tall enough to surf the kitchen counters, without lifting a foot! Take my LabradorGreat Dane mix Buck. As if being that particular mix breed is not silly enough, he is a silly guy who likes coffee, fruit, and other findings. We live in a house where you must go through the kitchen to get to any other part of the house, preventing the good and effective use of a baby gate to keep him off said counters. The result makes for some good comedy. Buck is the puppy I got for my birthday a few years ago. Trying to decide between ten black puppies was hard when they all looked the same. I choose the one with the white on all four feet, and a little white bow tie on his chest. The four white hairs on the tip of his tail have since disappeared. He was distinguished looking; think Fred Astaire in a top hat. Then I took him home. And fed him. And his feet grew to dinner plate size! What was he? Huge and goofy. He now stands at 28 inches at the shoulder, and things not put into the cupboards or into the fridge are not safe. Recently on an early, sleepy morning, when not entirely awake, I noticed the bananas on the counter instead of up on the toaster where I had put them. This is something that I would normally fix immediately, but much to my chagrin, it just didn’t register. So out the door I went to fetch wood for the wood stove. Returning to the house I found one of my other dogs playing with what looked to be a piece of wood. The brisk morning air had woken me up a bit fortunately as further inspection revealed it was not wood but the banana stem the little dog was playing with! I searched for the bananas, on the floor, in the kennels, under the bed (where the short dogs like to hide things). I tossed all kennels and bedding looking for bananas. I find absolutely no bananas. From all my previous experience dealing with the consumed ill gotten gains of dogs, I pulled out some hydrogen peroxide and poured it into Buck. Sadly, this was not his first introduction. That was the whole avocado last summer. Outside, the results were predictable: breakfast and six entire bananas! Fantastic! But.... I knew there were eight bananas in the bunch! Worrying about consequences, and how toxic banana skins might be, I dose the next three possible collaborators for the disappearing bananas. The two little dogs produced breakfast and no bananas. The iron stomached shelter rescue dog of several years ago produced absolutely nothing, not even a burp. Another dose of the H2O2 gave the same results of nothing. At that point, I was on the verge of being late to my morning appointment, so I woke my day sleeping husband to ask him to watch the dog for vomiting and bananas. And by the way, did he eat any?

alaska dog news PMB 306, 1830 E. Parks Hwy Ste A-113 Wasilla, Alaska 99654


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“Yes”, he answers. “How many?”, I ask. “Two.” Poor suspected collaborator dogs! They didn’t need the peroxide after all! I erred on the side of caution, and no one suffered from anything other than missing breakfast, and the indignity of having fizzy stuff poured down their gullets! Be warned, as a deterrent said treatment is not very effective; Buck still has not learned his lesson. The other day I found a coffee cup in his kennel. The morals of the story are three: 1) be awake in the morning and pay attention to what is on the counter or else! 2) verify the banana count and ask the humans who ate what before dosing the dogs, and 3) never run out of hydrogen peroxide if you have a Buck in the house! Editor’s note: Are bananas safe for your dog? “Yes” says Diamond Animal Hospital and Far Country Animal Hospital, peel and all.


alaska dog news • october/november 2010

Adventurous Canines in ALASKA

page 19

Medications for your Pet! At Geneva Woods we compound medications to meet each animal’s unique needs. Easy to administer Flavored Customized for your pet Combined for convenience

Including: • Transdermal Medcated Gels • Therapy for Incontinence • Flavored Medicated Chewies • “Polyox bandage” a protective medicated adherent wound covering


ogan, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, travels by helicopter with John Sandru on a trip to Saint Elias Park. The mountain in the background is Mt. Bona. 2521 E. Mountain Village Dr. (next to Lowes) Wasilla, Alaska 99687

907-357-CAMP(2267) Is your dog bored, lonely or getting into mischief when you are gone? Day camp provides an interactive experience so that your dog is exercised, socialized and relaxed when you go home.


A Great Way for Your Dog to Spend the Day!© Camp & Training Center, Inc.






Your dog will spend all day in Day Camp and then sleep in a suite with Animal Planet on HDTV. Around the clock CPCT technician on duty.


Join over 600 Alaska Dog News Fans on


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Professional Certified Groomer Self-service grooming with state of the art walk in tubs. Monday through Friday 7am - 7pm Saturday 9am - 3pm




Fax 907-352-5590

Ongoing classes for puppies to advanced dogs. Basic and Advanced Obedience classes. Rally, Flyball, Agility classes too! Conformation & Show n’ Gos every week.





Lupine & Canny Collars safe control of most dogs. Plush Puppy grooming products, special products for special dogs. Super Dog Treats, a high end Holistic dog treat with human grade ingredients.


Ask your veterinarian to call Geneva Woods In Wasilla

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December 4 th December 5 th December 12 th January 8 th January 12 th January 15 January Website January Website January Website February Website February Website February Website February Website March Website March Website March Website

First Saturday Practice Session Beginners’ Clinic Fun Run First Saturday Practice Session Show & Go Beginners’ Clinic Chugiak Race Anchorage Tour Willow Winter Carnival Tour & Race Bartlett Relay Race Show & Go Kincaid Classic Race Anchorage Tour First Saturday Practice Session Show & Go EagleQuest Tour

Go online for more specific and current information. Follow us on Facebook to stay informed. S e e p a g e 13 f o r m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t s k i j o r i n g & f o l l o w t h i s l i v e l i n k w w w. s k i j o r i n g . o r g • 907-357-9386

page 20

alaska dog news • october/november 2010

WETLAND RETRIEVERS Pro fes s ional t rai n i n g and board i n g

!!!C O U P O N!!! $5 off your purchase of $25 or more with the exception of dry dog food. One per household please.

We are located in the City Center Mall at: 4240 Old Seward Highway #5

Phone: 333-PAWS (7297) Store Hours: Monday - Saturday 11:00 am to 6:00 pm Baron and Ruddy - photo Sueellen Appellof

9501 North Palmer-Fishook Rd. Palmer, AK 99645

Do you want to work in a veterinary practice, zoo, animal foster care program, or animal rescue center? Get the skills you need and do what you love! Go to or call 745-9762 for more information.


Gun Dog Training

Individual and group training for hunting and competition. Training for HRC, AKC and NAHRA hunt test events (Junior through Master Hunter) and Qualified All-Age Field Trials


Wetland Retrievers believes in canine socialization. Dogs who pass the Wetland Retrievers socialization test, getting along with other dogs, may board in the open concept yard. Please contact us for boarding information and scheduling.

Pickup and Drop Off Service Anchorage and Palmer/Wasilla area

Diamond Animal Hospital



Alaska’s only Full Service 24 hour animal hospital! Diamond Animal Hospital offers: Appointments: Monday-Friday • 24 hour care 8am - 6pm • Complete medical, surgical, dental, and Walk-ins: emergency care Evenings, • Offering the latest technology in Weekends & ultrasonography, endoscopy, and Holidays comprehensive in-house laboratory EMERGENCIES ALWAYS • Trained and knowledgeable veterinarians ADMITTED and technicians always on premises • Convenient appointment and walk-ins times

Cara Elton DVM PROUD NEW OWNER Mike Riddle DVM Virginia Kunch DVM Have a saf e Marion Varman DVM Jamie Merrigan DVM & Pat Baugh DVM Kristofer Schoeffl er DVM spo oky Hallo we e n! 2545 E. Tudor Rd, Anchorage, AK 99507 Fax (907) 562-6737

Alaska Dog News Oct-Nov 2010  

Alaska's only companion dog publication.