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an informative, entertaining read about dogs & their companions FALL 2020

GREAT GIFTS FOR everyone Protecting




A Holiday









Guardian Pet Food Is Disrupting the Dog Food Industry! Sponsored by Guardian Pet Food Company, Inc.

Guardian Pet Food is working to change the landscape of the dog food industry. The most important thing to the brand is that all of its foods are 100% complete and balanced, with carefully selected ingredients for optimal canine health. Guardian lives by their mission statement: “By putting pets before profits, we make it easy for you to make the right choice for them.” Supporting their mission statement further, Guardian publishes all their 3rd party digestibility and typical analysis results online for everyone to see. This transparency allows consumers, retailers, and veterinarians to make a knowledge-based decision when switching to their food. NOBL Adult Canine Food Bars are freeze dried and contain whole food ingredients made by nature. You won’t need the internet to know what the ingredient is or why it was added! bar, scored for convenient Just one ba feeding, provides a full day’s worth of complete nutrition for a 25-pound dog.

“We’ve Kicked the Crap Out of Kibble!” “We combine the benefits of kibble (easy shelf storage), with the benefits of raw (no heat processing),” Guardian co-founder and chief operating officer Ryan Yamka said in a statement. “We also paid attention to consumer convenience when it comes to feeding. Want to go out for the day and feed your dog with no mess? Our Canine Food Bars make it easy. You simply give them the bar. No bowl or rehydration required. We also offer bulk packs for everyday feeding.” Additionally, Guardian offers a vegan food bar option for dogs which makes both environmental and scientific sense. “Most people don’t realize that many commonly used animal protein ingredients are tied to dog food intolerances such as beef, dairy, chicken and egg. Making a food without these ingredients to help dogs with food issues just makes sense,” Yamka added. Like the brand boasts on its website, we really are “kicking the crap out of kibble” in every way! If you want to give NOBL a try yourself or learn more about us, check out our website at www.noblfoods.com. Use code THEWAG15 at checkout for a 15% discount on your first order!

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THE WAG magazine | Fall 2020




FALL 2020



10 Great Gifts—for everyone 12 Feet

Protecting yours and theirs

By Teresa Bitler

16 The Fabulous Find of

Pet-Friendly Prescott

20 The Emotional Leash

How pets pick up on our feelings and emotions By Andrea Sobotka-Briggs, aka "Critter Doc."

22 Bring It!


Pet services that deliver

By Penny Lex





By Penny Lex

R.A.I.N. Rescue and PATCHES AZ



By Penny Lex

Whisker’s Barkery


Kristin Morrison About what to look for in hiring a pet sitter or dog walker

By Penny Lex


THIS 'n THAT The Dog Walk


New Year's To-Do's

28 WAG’S Holiday Poem 30 TOUCHING TAILS

IN EVERY ISSUE 4  From the Editor 6  Smile for the Camera 27 Index of Advertisers

From Violent Violet to Loving Bella By Candice Grotsky

thewagmagazine.com | Fall 2020




t’s THE WAG magazine’s 5th anniversary! Five years of scooping stories, dashing to make deadlines, delighting in a host of new friendships and reveling in the licks and slobbers of a sizeable canine congregation. The past five years are packed with so many wonderful memories. From the happy-ending story of Angel, a dog Penny Lex rescued from the desert; the report about the Navigator Buddies, the dogs delivering joy to weary travelers at Sky Harbor Airport and…my joyous experience attending a holiday party for a gaggle of Wheatens (a blissful event for this dog lover). And then there are a few maudlin moments harking back to the demise of Larry, the king of strays; a number of emotional Touching Tails that readers have so kindly shared; and the memory of my beloved Baxter and our Cloe who passed during that time. This season of thanks is the perfect time to acknowledge the great pack responsible for producing THE WAG magazine—the fabulous writers and contributors to each publication; Amy, our talented (and patient) designer; Sue, who perseveres in proofing and ad sales; Vicky, the photographer; Times Media, our distributor; CJ Anderson, an invaluable resource—also a distributor and… very importantly, our advertisers. A heartfelt thanks to all of you! With this jam-packed issue, THE WAG continues its mission in assisting dog owners in providing the best possible care for their pet, championing the efforts of rescue groups and celebrating the joys of sharing one’s life with a dog. We share a variety of great gift ideas (page 10) and a “New Year’s To-Do’s for the Dog Lover” (page 26). A reader tells her story in “Touching Tails” (page 30) sharing the positive outcome of time, patience and love given to a shelter pet. Are your dogs barking? Your feet, that is. Take a look at page 12 to learn what you should be doing to care for them and…your dog’s paws. Read about R.A.I.N. Rescue and the ambitious collaborative effort with PATCHES AZ (page 7). “Bring It! Pet services that deliver” (page 22) tells of businesses that are on the move for your convenience and the safety of your four-legged friend. And a reminder to visit quaint, festive and oh-so dog friendly Prescott, Arizona, this holiday season (page 16). After all that, fix yourself a nog, grab a pencil, flip to page 28 and get your holiday spirit on with WAG’s “A Dog Lover’s Dream.” To all of our WAG magazine readers, thank you for your ongoing friendship and support. I look forward to meeting more of you in the days to come, (hope to hear from you even sooner), and can’t wait for more of those licks and slobbers from your four-legged friends. Here’s wishing you and yours a holiday season filled with peace and joy.



Penny Lex, Editor & Publisher penny@thewagmagazine.com


THE WAG magazine | Fall 2020

THE WAG magazine an informative, entertaining read about dogs & their companions FALL 2020

Volume 4 Issue 4 PUBLISHERS Gary Lex Penny Lex EDITOR Penny Lex DESIGN Amy Civer PHOTOGRAPHY Vicky Cummings PROOFREADING Sue Maves ADVERTISING Penny Lex Sue Maves WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS Teresa Bitler Candace Grotsky Penny Lex Andrea Sobotka-Briggs DISTRIBUTION Times Media Animals & Humans in Disaster/ Pet Food Pantry THEEmpty WABowl G magazine an informative, entertaining read about dogs

& their companions


SUBSCRIPTIONS $20/year (4 issues) 14870 N. Fayette Dr. Fountain Hills, AZ 85268 ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Prescott • Sue Maves 928-227-3004 suemaves15@gmail.com The Valley • Penny Lex 507-202-3929 penny@thewagmagazine.com IDEAS AND COMMENTS Penny Lex • 507-202-3929 penny@thewagmagazine.com thewagmagazine.com THE WAG magazine is published quarterly by Lex Ventures, LLC 14870 N. Fayette Dr. Fountain Hills, AZ 85268

THE WAG magazine

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Printed in the U.S.A. The publisher and editor of THE WAG magazine are not responsible for any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use of products, services or ideas that appear in THE WAG magazine. Advertising in this publication does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the publisher.

GREAT GIFT GIVEAWAY THE WAG magazine is celebrating its 5th anniversary and giving subscriptions for four issues to five lucky people. The number 5 is located in five advertisements in this issue. Locate all five and send the the name of businesses where they appear to: penny@thewagmagazine.com by November 30. Drawing December 1.

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Smile for the camera We’d Love to Hear from You!

Send a photo of your favorite dog to penny@thewagmagazine.com

3 1. Bobby 2. Cowboy 3. Ralph 4. Gunner 5. Ralph 6. Petey 7. Poppet 8. Rocky 9. Lexy



4 5


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THE WAG magazine | Fall 2020






“It’s raining cats and dogs!” And for R.A.I.N. Rescue, it truly is. Peachy (left) and Sophie (above) have found their fur-ever homes but...many of their friends are available.

The pack of volunteers that make it R.A.I.N.

"Foster homes are always needed and increasingly difficult to find, but right now we could really use more volunteers."


ayne Miller founded R.A.I.N., Rescuing Animals in Need, in 2008 with a mission to rescue and home needy cats and dogs, as well as educate the public on the care, safety and importance of spay/ neutering. Since that time, the 501(c)(3) organization has found homes for over 4000 cats and 500 dogs. R.A.I.N. is located in Chandler and Tempe PetSmart stores and its rescues, currently mostly feline, reside in foster care. “Foster homes are always needed and increasingly difficult to find, but right now we could really use more volunteers,” said Miller. “During a recent, four-to-five hour adoption event, we had 13 feline adoptions. That’s just at one event. Imagine if we had enough volunteers to manage an event at another one or two locations.” Currently R.A.I.N. needs donations

for medical care. The average medical cost per animal is $68. With rising prices, it costs $220 to ready a pet for adoption. The adoption fee is $150. Volunteers to assist with care and adoption events; foster homes and volunteers for record keeping and data entry are also needed. PATCHES AZ While PATCHES is an acronym for Protecting Animals Through Community Housing, Education & Support, you could also say it represents the literal meaning of the word since it covers or fills in areas of animal and human needs that are often overlooked. A collaboration of Miller and CJ Anderson, President and CEO R.A.I.N. continues on page 25 thewagmagazine.com | Fall 2020





There are about 50 different kinds of cookies...all colorfully decorated and made with pet-safe ingredients...

hisker’s Barkery is a dog lover’s destination that you won’t want to miss. Located in the heart of downtown Prescott, Arizona, this Dillards of dogdom lives up to its handle as the “Ultimate Toy and Treat Store for Dogs and Cats.” Bring your four-legged BFF along too. It’s a great opportunity for him to enjoy an outing and spend some time at Whisker’s Doggie Day Care (just be sure to call ahead as space is limited). Colorful, light and bright best describe this retail pet shop. From the vivid hues on their logo to the vibrant array of toys festooning an entire wall and…an alluring pastry case filled with doggie delectables, patrons often wonder “Where should I go first?” The wall of toys is vast and no matter what you are looking for, you’re more than likely to find it here. With over 40 different brands, Whisker’s has toys that are large, small, interactable, soft and squishy, hard and indestructible, silent and noisy. Even some with a replacement guarantee like those by West Paw and hand-crafted playthings “We try to buy from small, less-known companies,” says Whisker’s owner Beth Palermo. from OoMaLoo. “And those in the USA.” Whisker’s carries a good selection of healthy foods. They are mostly from It’s rather challenging to leave of services as well. On Fridays and smaller companies and frozen brands Whisker’s without a “lil sumpin” for Saturdays, you can take advantage of your four-legged buddy from the Whisker’s Self-Serve Dog Wash with sizeable bakery case. There are about ease-of-access, waist-high stainless 50 different kinds of cookies, and some steel tubs (shampoo, towels, blower and birthday cakes, to choose from—all apron are provided). Or, you can drop colorfully decorated and made with Fido off for full service grooming by their pet-safe ingredients like sweet potato, professionals. And if your dog (or you) molasses and peanut butter. need a bit of training, there’s a variety of The remainder of Whisker’s retail classes to choose from—all given by an space is consumed by pet apparel; experienced instructor. collars, leashes and harnesses; gifts for pets and pet-loving people and a 225 West Gurley Street section dedicated to the animal version Prescott, AZ of Health & Beauty. You’ll find every kind 928-776-8700 like My Perfect Pet, Bravo! and Tucker, of doggie product from sunglasses to whiskersbarkery.com as well as freeze-dried cuisine. You’ll also strollers and boots to balm. find a good selection of quality treats In addition to the vast assortment Monday–Saturday: 9–5:30 and healthy chews. of products, Whisker’s offers a number Sunday: 11–4 8

THE WAG magazine | Fall 2020

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GREAT GIFTS – for everyone!


f your holiday gift list includes presents for dogs and the people who love them, you’ll appreciate the fabulous finds we’ve wrapped up just for them—and you.

When it comes to hostess gifts this season, consider changing it up. Imagine the surprise and delight of your hospitable dog enthusiast when you arrive with a special gift for their canine companion rather than the commonly anticipated bottle of bubbly or floral bouquet. Chances are you’ll be invited back again. Soon!

Send Mii Creative a photo and designers will create a paint-by-number canvas to match. Kits come with everything needed to reduce stress and create a masterpiece—brushes, a high-quality canvas with pre-printed numbered contours and water-based acrylics. $37.99. Color Pop version $79.00 miicreative.com

Personalized Pet ID Tags that look like a driver’s license. Design online, prints in 24 hours. Set includes 1 ID card and 3 tags. $19.95 + free shipping mypetdmv.com

A stunning collection of photographs and entertaining tales by Vincent Musi capturing the character and personality of everyday dogs. $21.99 amazon.com

Places to go? Hound Street Boutique's dog walking bag is the perfect accessory for dogs and humans on the go. The outer pocket holds a roll of dog bags, inside pocket holds your phone, plus there's room for a water bottle, keys or other items. $38 houndstreetboutique.com 10

THE WAG magazine | Fall 2020

For a neighbor, friend, relative, teacher—whomever. And for any occasion—seasonal present, hostess gift, birthday or just because. Match a gift certificate for one of these to the dog lover on your list:

A fetching gift for both your friends! Check out the wide variety of lightweight, fashionable face masks and dog bandanas. Made in the USA by Butter Bandanas. Bespoke Bandana, from $49. Silk Circles Matching Face Mask and Bandana, $59 butterbandanas.com

Cuddle Clone plush slippers are custom made to capture the physical details and unique features of your pet. Handcrafted from the highest quality faux fur, they are the purr-fect gift for ANY pet lover. $199 cuddleclones.com

Pet portrait Poo pickup Dog walking Day care Grooming DOGTV

A royal treat exquisitely packaged. Bonne et Filou—all natural, handmade French dog macarons in Lavendar, Mint or Strawberry. $23.99 bonneetfilou.com thewagmagazine.com | Fall 2020


Feet Protecting yours and theirs By Teresa Bitler


alking your dog is great exercise for both of you; hiking can get your hearts pumping even more. But long distances, uneven terrain and overuse can result in injury if you don’t take the proper precautions. Here’s what you need to know to keep your feet and your four-legged friend’s in optimal condition. FEET continues on page 14


THE WAG magazine | Fall 2020


The Dog Walk


ver looked at a dog, horse, cat or other four-legged animal and wonder how they move their legs to walk? Which limb they move first or in conjunction with another? Well…here’s the answer. Regardless of species, all four-legged quadrupeds walk with the same sequence of movements. They step with their left hind leg followed by their left front leg. The next step is with their right hind leg followed by the right front leg. This action offers stability while keeping three legs grounded in a triangle-like pattern.


DOES FOOT PAIN HAVE YOU LIVING LIFE ON A SHORT LEASH? Do you wish you could walk farther with your furry friend? Are you being treated for neuropathy with no relief? It’s time to start asking questions…there is hope. Contact our office today to see how our team of uniquely trained doctors can help.

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C I C FOOT & AN K LE thewagmagazine.com | Fall 2020


FEET continued from page 12


The most important thing you can do to protect your feet and your legs, in general, is to honestly assess your current physical condition before you start walking or hiking with your dog, according to Dr. Shahram Askari, D.P.M. with Comprehensive Integrated Care Centers. “People get injured when they try to do too much too soon,” Askari says. He explains that if you decided to start running, you wouldn’t jump up and run five miles. You’d start slow. It’s the same with walking your dog. Start with short distances on flat surfaces and gradually work up to longer distances and the uneven terrain you’d find hiking. Askari also recommends making sure you have the proper footwear and shoe size before you head out. Don’t assume your feet are the same size now that they were in high school or that you have the right support. Get your feet evaluated at a specialty shoe store or in a podiatrist’s office to determine not only the correct size but whether you need inserts or orthotics. The most common injuries Askari sees are plantar fasciitis— heel pain that is worse in the morning and gradually improves throughout the day—and stress fractures or tiny “cracks” in the bone. Achilles tendonitis, caused when the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed, is also common. While stress fractures and Achilles tendonitis are often the result of doing too much too soon, plantar fasciitis can typically be avoided by stretching. If you’re experiencing pain after walking or hiking with your dog, soaking your feet can help because it increases circulation, Askari says. RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) can help, too. However, if the pain doesn’t go away after a day or two, seek professional help. “Pain is not normal,” he warns. “Pain is telling you something is wrong; and if you wait too long, chances are it will be more difficult to treat.” He adds that it’s important for you to take care of yourself and your feet. After all, your dog is depending on your feet to take him on his walks.

because we stand on two feet while they stand on four, and they also experience different injuries, according to Kara McArdell, D.V.M., a former ER/Urgent care doctor at Midwestern Companion Animal Clinic now practicing in Colorado. McArdell says one of the most common foot injuries dogs can sustain is the wearing down of their pads. They can also get cuts to their pads, cuts in between their toes and torn or broken toe nails. If you are walking your dog on concrete, asphalt or sand, especially in the summer, their pads can burn. A good rule of thumb is if it’s too hot for you to hold your hand to the ground, it’s too hot for your dog’s feet, she says. On hikes in Arizona, foxtails present an even greater danger than cacti spine. The grass-like weed’s seeds can embed in your dog’s feet or get stuck in his skin, causing infection and even death as it moves deeper into your pet’s body. An inhaled foxtail, for example, can perforate a lung or make its way into your dog’s brain. McArdell advises keeping your dog out of overgrown, grassy areas and inspecting him after each outing. “Get a wet towel and wipe off any dirt and debris,” she says. “Then, look at each paw. Spread the toes apart. Look for signs of injury.” It can be more difficult to spot chronic injuries. Watch for a slower than usual recovery, vocalizing when getting up, not wanting to jump in or out of the car, loss of appetite and lethargy. Other signs that something could be wrong include chewing, licking and sensitive skin or pads from sunburn. In all cases, she recommends taking your pet to the vet for treatment sooner rather than later. To minimize injuries, start slowly with your dog and build up to longer walks and uneven terrain. (Note: don’t take puppies under six months or older dogs on long walks or hikes.) McArdell also suggests researching hikes online or on your own before taking your dog with you. Bring a canine first aid kit and plenty of water on hikes and consider getting him shoes to protect his pads.

...dogs bear their weight differently than we do because we stand on two feet while they stand on four, and they also experience different injuries...


In many ways, your dog’s feet are similar to yours. Like you, he has 26 major bones in his front “feet” (but without the dewclaw, just 23 in his hind feet), including the same basic digits. However, dogs bear their weight differently than we do


THE WAG magazine | Fall 2020

The Sweetest Part of the Holidays Home-made Delectables, Fresh & Created to Order By Maria, Sapori D’Italia Cake Chocolate Red Velvet Coconut Carrot

Cheesecake Plain Lemon Chocolate Chip Pumpkin



Order one week ahead for holiday pick-up.

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Call 623-806-7575 to schedule an appointment.

Midwestern University Equine and Bovine Center part of the Animal Health Institute

5725 West Utopia Road Glendale, Arizona 85308 623-806-7575 www.mwuanimalhealth.com thewagmagazine.com | Fall 2020


THE FABULOUS FIND OF PET-FRIENDLY PRESCOTT There is an irresistible allure that continually draws both Valley natives and visitors to quaint, charming, and refreshingly friendly Prescott, Arizona. Just a short, scenic, hour-and-a half ride north of Phoenix makes for the perfect day trip or a great getaway destination to enjoy activities like the FallFest in the Park Art Show, the Annual Christmas Parade, the beauty of the holiday lights adorning the Historic Courthouse Square, a host of great restaurants, pubs and… SHOPPING. Prescott offers the welcome opportunity to enjoy a pleasurable, relaxing shopping experience. From great fashion finds to art and antiques, you’ll find gifts galore from a wide variety of shops with items that are unique and perfect for friends, family and, of course, the four-legged companions that top your list.

Holiday lights adorning the Historic Courthouse Square.

Watson Lake, just four miles from downtown Prescott.

Prescott National Forest.

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Family owned • Doggie treat bag upon arrival • Outdoor pet areas with wonderful views • Hillside location and private balconies • Service culture second to none Book Your Reservation Today! Call (928) 717-1200 or visit www.forestvillas.com 3645 Lee Circle • Prescott, Arizona • 86301


THE WAG magazine | Fall 2020




Great Finds at Great Prices!

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thewagmagazine.com | Fall 2020





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THE WAG magazine | Fall 2020

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Emotional THE


HOW PETS PICK UP ON OUR FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS By Andrea Sobotka-Briggs, aka “Critter Doc”


THE WAG magazine | Fall 2020


ave you ever noticed that when you are in a cranky mood, your dog may begin to act and look like they are in the same mood, leaving you wondering who pooped in their cornflakes? What you may have missed was the initial effort they were taking to either keep out of your way or cheer you up. Our fur babies are famous for mirroring everything about us from health status, to emotions, to disposition and even looks! Most pet parents take pride in how “connected” they are with their critter but don’t necessarily understand how it works. So how does it work? The answer to the odd phenomenon of why pets often mirror their primary care giver is twofold. Firstly, our beloved critters are subject to the environment we provide them by way of food, shelter, exercise, enrichment, social interaction and emotional support. Fido just happily wags his tail and goes along for the ride. The second reason our pets can so accurately mirror us is indeed because of the “connection” they have with us. But that connection is at an amazing energetic level. All living creatures are energetic and sentient beings (meaning having a central nervous system and, therefore, consciousness) whose physical bodies are made up of a community of floating, bouncing, ever changing individual cells and atoms that are influenced by everything within reach of their environment, including air, nutrients, light, sound, vibration and yes, even feelings. And in turn, these cells and atoms work together to create MORE energy and information that is not just circulated within the physical body, but it also seeps out

around the body along with our pure spiritual energy (creating what is commonly known as an “aura”) where that energy and information can be read, felt or even absorbed by other nearby living energetic beings. Animals, being the highly developed sentient PLUS instinctual beings that they are, take this concept several steps further. Not only do animals actively seek out the information your energy field gives off, they purposely engage with it to communicate with us. They almost can’t help it. Because

2. Understand that both you and your pet have your own energy fields. If you are not well or in a funk, let your pets know that it is ok for them to comfort you, but it is not ok to take on any part of your problem. Say it with your mind, your lips, and your heart. 3. Assure your pet that you WILL take care of yourself if you are struggling emotionally or physically. Remind them often. 4. Take time out to meditate, practice yoga, or even just sit quietly out in nature for a few minutes each day to calm

Not only do animals actively seek out the information your energy field gives off, they purposely engage with it to communicate with us. their energy fields, or auras, are so much bigger than ours, we are constantly near or right IN their energy fields unwittingly sharing everything we’ve got going on within ourselves with them—good, bad or indifferent. They will use that information to try to help us, please us, distract us or, as a last resort of communication, mirror us by acting or feeling exactly like we do. Their connection to us is always strong, but it’s even STRONGER when we are connected by a leash–think of that leash as a conduit for energy. You pass your vibes along, but you are also able to receive your dog’s vibes! Here are some tips to foster a healthy emotional connection: 1. Before snapping that leash on to go for a walk, take a moment to breathe, exhale and set the intention to just enjoy the walk and each other’s company.

and clear your mind. Invite your pets to share in this practice with you by having them right there with you or setting the intention that this is for their benefit, too. They will LOVE this connection and so will you. 5. Consider providing you AND your pet with energy healing sessions for balance and wellness. Sometimes this alone can stop a health, behavior or emotional issue from getting out of hand. Your pet deserves to have the healthiest, happiest life possible and so do you. Health and wellness encompass the body, mind and the soul. Because we have this in common with our pets and the connections we share are real, work on sending the best vibes possible up and down that leash.

thewagmagazine.com | Fall 2020




s dogs continue to become more and more involved in our lives, the more various businesses are doing to accommodate the animals’ needs in conjunction with providing convenience for their owners—like bringing the services to the home or being “on the move.” Here are some services that are available and…could make your life easier while making your pet’s life a whole lot better. AMBULANCE – no, you cannot call 911 for your dog. Really, you cannot. But if you live in California, Washington, New York or one of several other Eastern states, there are cities that do have emergency transport vehicles just for pets. Considerations: Is there one near you? If so, put the phone number into your phone so it is readily accessible. Find out if your pet insurance covers the service. Approximate Cost: Varies.

group? Have the ashes returned to you? What are the hours of service? Approximate Cost: Euthanasia $300; with communal cremation $400; with individual cremation $500–$600. Additional considerations may apply, such as distance of travel and pet’s weight.

pet’s thoughts, feelings, behaviors, general well-being or to ease their transition into the spiritual world. Considerations: Check on credentials and experience. Know what your goal is or what you hope to achieve. Can communication be done by photograph or with an animal that has passed? Will you hear bad news as well as the good? Approximate Cost: Around $85 and up for in-home visit.

EXERCISING – a personal trainer in a mobile dog gym equipped to give your pet a good workout running on a treadmill made for dogs. Considerations: The unit should be clean; climate controlled; equipment in safe, good condition. Is a physical examination by a veterinarian required before starting? The instructor should be trained in canine CPR. Is there monitoring of heart rate, progress, hydration? Approximate Cost: $40 for one, 30-minute run a week. Some prices based on number of dogs and scheduling frequency.

CHEF – catering to canine cuisine.

GROOMING – fluffing and freshening your pet in a customized,

ANIMAL COMMUNICATOR – helping to gain insight to your

Considerations: Make sure your hire is knowledgeable in cooking for canines and takes the time to visit with you regarding your dog’s preferences, allergies or special needs. Approximate Cost: A knowledgeable, experienced chef will cost you about $40/hour plus cost of groceries. That price includes: providing you with a canine friendly menu, shopping for ingredients, preparing the food in your home and cleaning up.

EUTHANASIA – allowing the last memories for your pet to be in the comfort of home and with you. Considerations: Will you choose cremation? Individual or 22

THE WAG magazine | Fall 2020

mobile unit parked right in your driveway. Considerations: Know the groomer’s experience and if they have credentials. Check out the cleanliness of the vehicle—are you allowed inside? What is the anticipated length of time the grooming will take?

Approximate Cost: Varies. Some charge by size of dog or style of cut plus any additional services such as trimming nails or expressing anal glands.

TRANSPORTATION – getting your pet safely from Point A to Point

more comfortable and helping to ease your stress. Considerations: How do they ensure that your pet will not suffer? Can they provide adequate palliative care? How often will they visit or be available to you? What is the after-hours policy? Approximate Cost: Varies. Usually charge for an initial assessment and then so much per visit or consultation.

B. Depending on your need, there are services specializing in long-distance or cross-country transport while others are more local. Considerations: Seek a company that is reputable, licensed, insured, has GPS tracking and that the vehicle is clean. Find out if you will get updates if transport is for a long trip. Will your dog travel solo or with a pack? Will the service administer meds if needed? Will they wait for your dog if transporting to a local appointment? Are crates or seat belts required? What are the hours of service? Approximate Cost: Based on distance, length of time spent and extent of services.

POOL SAFETY – teaching your

TRAINER – Giving one-on-one behavioral training in the comfort

HOSPICE – providing end-of-life care while making your pet

dog how to get out of your swimming pool safely. Considerations: The instructor should be experienced in working with all different sizes and breeds of dogs and trained in canine CPR. Approximate Cost: Varies.

of home. Considerations: Check out the education, experience and credentials of the trainer. What is their training method or philosophy? Do you agree with it? Determine what you want your dog to learn. Get referrals. Approximate Cost: Varies widely.

VETERINARY CARE – providing a wide range of services from

SURGERY – a selection of surgeries and services performed

in a mobile unit. Considerations: Surgeon should have credentials and experience. See that the facility is clean and that you are comfortable and trusting with the staff. Are there examinations or tests that are required prior to the surgery? Check location and schedule for unit nearest to you. Approximate Cost: Affordable prices that vary based on procedure.

wellness exams to diagnosing and treatment of various ailments. Considerations: Inquire about hours and prices. Observe cleanliness of unit and friendliness of staff. Based on your need, know that some mobile vets have limited access to all the lab and testing equipment that a stationary facility would offer. Approximate Cost: Based on services. With all services, be sure to inquire about discounts offered to military or seniors. Also, there may be a reduced rate if you have multiple pets.

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thewagmagazine.com | Fall 2020



Kristin Morrison


While on the hunt for an expert in the dog walking business, I learned about Kristin Morrison, the dog walking maven who parlayed her business into a million-dollar success. Yes, that is correct. No typo. A million-dollar business. Yeah, she would know a thing or two about being a dog walker or what people should look for when hiring one and…Kristin has been very kind in sharing some of that information with THE WAG. TWM: Let’s start with the obvious— what should you be looking for when hiring a dog walker or pet sitter? KM: You want to make sure they are licensed, bonded and insured. If you look at their business card or website and it says they are licensed, that means they have a business license. That doesn’t mean they are a licensed pet sitter. I’m not a big advocate of the apps that are out there. I’ve heard some real horror stories of folks hiring people who were not professionals through those resources. Checking references is really important. Get a couple of names and numbers for people that have had the person care for their pet more than one time. The information shared can be really telling. If they can’t provide that, they are probably a fairly new business, which may not be a bad thing, but try to get something. 24

THE WAG magazine | Fall 2020

Pay attention to see how the person is with your pet. How do you feel when you meet the person? We are really intuitive and it’s important to follow your gut instinct. The ultimate guide is how you, and your pet, feel about and respond to the prospective hire. When meeting for the first time, if the person is really engaged in you and not bonding to your pet, that’s not a good sign. Some pet lovers think it’s all about connecting with the human that writes the check, but they must relate to both. They should get down on the pet’s level—kneeling, petting and connecting with them. That’s a sign of someone who truly loves animals. Consistency is good, if possible. I would have two walkers train on the same dog, and they would cross cover. It’s beneficial for the dog to get to know more than just the one person.

TWM: What are the specifics you should look for in hiring a pet sitter? KM: A lot of information and instructions need to be conveyed for pet sitting, and someone just nodding in acknowledgment of those is not a good sign. If they’re not taking notes, feel free to ask, “I’m curious as to how you are going to remember all of this.” Really to retain, most people need to take notes. Ask if the person you are meeting with is the person who will be taking care of your pet. Or will it be someone else? If they say, “It might not be me,” let them know you don’t feel comfortable and that you would like to make sure it’s actually them coming into your home. TWM: How are fees based on walking and sitting services? KM: Dog walking depends on how long you are walking. And if you’re walking with a group of dogs or it’s a private

...Dog walking depends on how long you are walking...Some walkers do adventures, like hiking for about three hours. walk—which is more expensive. Some walkers do adventures, like hiking for about three hours. There are many variables with pet sitting based on the pet’s needs. The least expensive is usually the quick, let out potty breaks.

diaper. There was a Pit Bull mix named Lyle who had lots of rescue anxiety. He ate extension cords, vacuum cleaner cords, shoes—you name it. The goal was to really tire him out so he was exhausted. He loved other dogs, so I

Very low-priced businesses are probably just starting out or might not care as much. Look for mid to high range. Check references. In the pet world, I think you get what you pay for. After all, they are caring for your pet, coming into your home amid your treasured possessions, etc. TWM: Have you had any funny or bizarre experiences during your tour as a walker or sitter? KM: Hmmmmm, someone wanted me to cook for their dog. Oh, and I had to put a diaper on a dog and change the

TWM: What do you need to do to become a dog walker or pet sitter? Are their associations or…? KM: Associations tend to have certified pet sitters and dog walkers. To me, that doesn’t necessarily mean much. It doesn’t necessarily demonstrate that the person can provide good pet care. I hired over 250 people. None were certified and I had an excellent staff. Good references and experience trumps certification. It’s nice to cultivate long-term relationships with your pet walker or pet sitter. You get to know them, they get to know your pet. It’s easier for you to travel and…you have peace of mind.

walked him in a group. One time I left him in my car for less than two minutes while I picked up his four-legged friend. When I returned, my back seat was eaten up. Foam was everywhere.


based on qualifications. And then there is the facility. Imagine an adoption center for rescues—350 dogs and up to 360 cats with all the amenities, including meet and greet/ adoption space, exercise/training area, nurseries, kitchens, conference/ classrooms—all under one roof. That will be PATCHES—a host of rescue groups that will come together with one common goal—to find good, safe, forever homes for their animals. Social collaboration is also a big part of the PATCHES’ blueprint. While the goal of the organization is to find homes for cats and dogs, they believe in using the care of helping the animal to help humans. For example, they plan to hire: • veterans—for animal therapy work • displaced youth—pairing them with veterans to learn responsibility and structure • homeless—train and hire to work with the animals PATCHES has recently proposed a private/public partnership to the Maricopa Board of Services to take

over the “Care” portion of Animal Care and Control allowing PATCHES [under Animal and Humans in Disaster, Inc.— Guidestar.org platinum 501(c)(3) status IRS EIN 01-09-75325] to manage the care and adoptions for the county. Fundraising for this enormous effort is currently underway with a goal of breaking ground in 2022.

R.A.I.N. continued from page 7

of Animals and Humans in Disaster, PATCHES currently consists of three programs: R.A.I.N. Rescue, Animals and Humans in Disaster, and Retiring Together. Animals and Humans in Disaster helps build and strengthen communities with animals as catalysts to educate people in living healthier lives and providing emergency disaster services when a crisis strikes. The organization offers education in disaster preparedness and response for individuals; OSHA training for nonprofit and pet businesses’ services, health and safety health care services; and help with pet food in Arizona with special emphasis on vulnerable populations. Human and animal seniors are addressed in PATCHES’ Retiring Together program. By matching up a senior pet with a senior citizen, both are allowed the opportunity to share the joys of love and companionship. If the animal has special needs and medication is required, PATCHES may be able to assist with expenses, as well as food,

azrain.org PO Box 2006 Chandler, AZ 85224 614-385-2868 Animalsandhumansindisaster.org (agency information) 610 E. Bell Rd, Ste 2-271 Phoenix, AZ 85022 602-909-7153 Patchesaz.org (program and volunteer information) 480-789-2320

thewagmagazine.com | Fall 2020




While losing weight and winning the lottery are “gimmes” on many people’s lists of to-do’s, here’s some kibble for thought—some things you’ve probably pondered but never gotten around to actually doing. It’s a mix of considerations for both fun and safety in the new year ahead. Get pet insurance Been meaning to “look into it”? Now’s the time. The industry is ever-changing and doing more and more to accommodate the needs of pet owners. Check out the best plan for you and your dog.

Cook for your dog These days, cooking for canine is where it’s at. With thousands of recipes online, you can try new food or treats with ease; be creative and learn your pet’s favorite tastes. Just be sure that you are using dog-safe ingredients.

Mark your new calendar with important dates for things like these so you don’t forget: • due dates for shots • routine vet checkups • pet license renewal • Buster’s birthday (can’t forget that!)

Post a “Pet Inside” decal or sticker on the door or window of your home In the event of an emergency, a decal will alert rescue personnel that there is a pet inside your home. The decals range from a simple “Pet” or “Dog Inside” to including more detailed information like the number of pets and their location within the home. The decals are available online, at some pet stores or free from the ASPCA.

Make an appointment to get a professional photo or portrait of your bestie Do it now…before it’s too late and, like many of us, you end up wishing you had. Get, and use, a car restraint for your dog Your dog’s safety in a car is probably something that has crossed your mind but then you quickly dismissed—one of those things that “I’ll look into” but never do. But once an accident happens, it’s too late. Do the research, find out what restraint would be best for your dog and then use it. Take a class—together Whether it’s behavior, general training or agility, dogs love to learn and they love to be with you. So why not learn together and have some fun. Delve into Daisy’s DNA Satisfy your curiosity and find out who your dog really is. A simple swab of the cheek and you’ll learn what breeds contribute to her physical appearance, character and genetic health.


THE WAG magazine | Fall 2020

Give back One of the easiest, least expensive, and most valuable things you can do. Make this the year that you commit to giving back to the cause that has given you so much. Make a difference by doing whatever you can to support local rescues. Do “it” Whatever you’ve always wanted to do or thought about doing with or for your dog, DO. Take your dog on a train ride; go camping; take him to see snow; enjoy the perks of a nice, dog-friendly hotel; give him a birthday party; take a pet-friendly cruise, read to him every night before bed; or… whatever. Put it on your list or calendar, make it a priority and DO IT.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU THE WAG wants to hear what YOU have to say. Share your photos, stories and ideas. • Send us a photo of your dog • Share a story about your “best friend” • S uggest a topic, story, or tell us what you’d like to see more of in THE WAG penny@thewagmagazine.com


From page 28

Suggested Answers: 1. pound, 2. sound, 3. dream, 4. theme, 5. home, 6. alone, 7. pack, 8. back, 9. box, 10. locks, 11. sleigh, 12. way, 13. command, 14. land, 15. back, 16. sack, 17. here, 18. near, 19. fates, 20. await, 21. home, 22. alone.

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS All Paws Pet Talk Radio ...................................................................... 9 ASPCA Pet Health Insurance ........................................................... 27 Balanced Paws Pet Spa ......................................................................5 Comprehensive Integrated Care..................................................... 13 Cortez Street Emporium/The Marketplace....................................... 18 Critter Doc, Andrea Sobotka-Briggs................................................. 21 Dog Realtor, Dana Shafman............................................................ 31 Doggie Style Pet Grooming................................................................9 Forest Villas Hotel............................................................................ 16 Guardian Pet Food Co.........................................................................2 Gyms for Dogs................................................................................. 13 Midwestern University Equine and Bovine Center.......................... 15 Ms. Natural’s.................................................................................... 17 New Home Marketplace.................................................................. 18 Olson’s Grain................................................................................... 17 Phil’s Filling Station Grill....................................................................9 RE/MAX Sun Properties, Tina Nabers............................................... 23 Sapori D’Italia.................................................................................. 15 Scarlett’s Curated Collection............................................................ 17 State Farm, Tracy Murr..................................................................... 18 To Your Health, Inc..............................................................................5 Turner International Real Estate...................................................... 32 ViaGen Pets..................................................................................... 29 Whisker’s Barkery............................................................................ 19 Yavapai Humane Society................................................................. 19 thewagmagazine.com | Fall 2020




Channel your inner poet by completing each line to create a rhyme. A DOG LOVER’S DREAM ‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the (1) _______________, The silence was deafening—there wasn’t a (2) _______________. Deep in their slumber, each dog had a (3) _______________,

Each vision was different, yet one common (4) _______________. To be adopted and have a real (5) _______________, To experience love and not be (6) ______________.

Soft, subtle growls awakened the (7) _______________,

“Is it morning already—is the poundkeeper (8) _______________?”

With all the dogs barking, peering from each wire (9) _______________, They saw ol’ Santa, undoing the (10) _______________.

“Come on, hurry up and get into the (11) _______________,

We’re running behind and must be on our (12) _______________.” Bewildered and scared they followed his (13) _______________, Then flew high above over dimly lit (14) _______________.

The wind was fierce, the dogs’ ears blowing (15) ______________,

When the sleigh dropped to a roof and Santa opened his (16) ___________.

He read from a paper “Teddy the Terrier—yup, you will live (17) _______________,” “Fred and Scooby you’re next—your new homes are (18) _______________.” The dogs whimpered with joy realizing their (19) _______________, Age or breed didn’t matter—a better life did (20) ____________.

Christmas morn found each dog in their very own (21) _______________, Experiencing love and no longer (22) _______________. See page 27 for WAG’s version of the verse. 28

THE WAG magazine | Fall 2020




For More Info Call: 888-876-6104 Or Visit: ViaGenPets.com


From Violent Violet to Loving Bella What patience, trust and love can do for a shelter pet By Candice Grotsky


eet Isobella (Bella) and Hollister (Holli) who are proof that love and patience triumph always in the end. Both adopted from Brambley Hedge Rabbit Rescue (no-kill shelter) in Phoenix, Arizona, but both from different paths. My husband, Craig, and I adopted Isobella, who had originally been named Violet, after Hollister lost his bunny partner, Sophie, of 12 years. We all felt a huge void after Sophie passed. The unconditional love and joy a fur baby brings is an amazing gift. However, when Hollister picked Bella during a “bunny speed date,” little did we know we were in for a rough time. Bella came from an abusive, out-of-state hoarding and breeding site. I was told the conditions were so deplorable that most of the other rabbits, including some of her siblings, didn’t survive.  We quickly learned Bella didn’t like or trust humans. She growled, boxed, lunged and bit savagely if I tried to pet her or come near Violet and Bella her. I had teeth marks, cuts and bruises all over from her. This had never happened to me before. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I could keep her because she was so violent and aggressive. With sadness and guilt, I contemplated giving her back to the shelter. Monty Python wasn’t lying—killer rabbits do exist! Volunteers at Brambley gave me advice and words that resonated deeply, encouraging me to keep trying and take it

slow; it may take months or over a year to gain her trust. We had adopted from Brambley before but never a killer rabbit. One volunteer reminded me it “wouldn’t be fair to give Bella back” after all she’d been through— especially after we moved her out of the shelter and into our home.  Bella had been found confined in a cramped, dirty cage, much too small for her size and breed as a New Zealand Giant Blue. Her ear had been tattooed and she had been caged with very little human interaction. Rabbits, like dogs, are smart and social. Also, like dogs, they can get violent or destructive when bored or isolated. Each time she bit me while trying to gain her trust all I could think of was “Violet is Violent,” so I knew I had to change her name to something I’d associate with more positively. She really is striking, with amazingly long eyelashes and a beautiful blue-grey coat. Changing her name to Isobella, or Bella for short, gave us all a fresh start. Hollister, our English Spot, also helped. His mild manner calmed and soothed Bella. Bella required time and a whole lot of patience, perseverance and love to help her learn she could trust us. It took us over a year to get her to bond with us and Hollister. She can still box, growl and lightly nip when we tease play with her; but she now cuddles and even gives bunny kisses to her humans and, of course, to Hollister.

Monty Python wasn’t lying—killer rabbits do exist!


THE WAG magazine | Fall 2020



@DogRealtor Dana Shafman (602) 432-7230 DogRealtorAZ.com

I love dogs! As a child, dogs found a special place in my heart. I’ve found a special place in my heart for dogs as a parent and also in business as a real estate professional. I’m always looking for clever ways to incorporate fur babies in my everyday life because dogs are a genuine blessing. I’d welcome the opportunity to meet your fur baby family!

thewagmagazine.com | Fall 2020


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Looking to BUY, SELL or INVEST in Real Estate? Serving You Locally, Nationally, and Abroad! turnerinternationalrealestate.com 12005 N. Saguaro Blvd. Ste. 101 Fountain Hills, AZ 85268 (480) 719-5330

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The WAG magazine Fall 2020 5th Anniversary edition  


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