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an informative, entertaining read about dogs & their companions SPRING 2017




A Warrior’s Best Friend

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THE WAG magazine | Spring 2017


THE WAG magazine an informative, entertaining read about dogs & their companions SPRING 2017 | Volume 2 Issue 2 PUBLISHERS Gary Lex Penny Lex

From the Editor

EDITOR Penny Lex DESIGNER Amy Civer PROOFREADER Sue Maves SALES & MARKETING Gary Lex CONTRIBUTORS Teresa Bitler Cherese Cobb Joyce Becker Lee Penny Lex Mike Reuvers Terri Schlichenmeyer Zac Wood DISTRIBUTION Times Media THE WAG magazine is published quarterly by Lex Ventures, LLC 14844 N. Greenhurst Ave. Fountain Hills, AZ 85268 SUBSCRIPTION RATE $24/YEAR - 4 ISSUES THE WAG magazine REMIT CHECK TO ADDRESS ABOVE an informative, entertaining read about dogs

& their companions


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.

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Gary Lex 715-497-8073 IDEAS AND COMMENTS Penny Lex 507-202-3929


HE WAG would like to welcome Cave Creek readers as we expand our distribution throughout the Valley. We look forward to meeting and hearing from you. Are you still smiling from gazing at the cover? And he’s real! It’s Norbert—an extremely photogenic, 3-pound Chihuahua, Cairn Terrier and Lhasa Apso mix who, aside from being dapper and in demand, spends his time doing therapy work, publishing books and maintaining his social media. Learn more about this adorable little “man” on page 14. We’ve packed this issue with an assortment of stories that include interesting reads about military working dogs, first aid, how to make traveling with your pet safe and much, much more. In Touching Tails, a police officer gives a heartfelt account of his beloved partner; and there’s an update on the renewed and flourishing life of Angel Damone, an injured dog rescued from the desert. We’re looking forward to The 8th Annual Phoenix Pet Expo at WestWorld on April 14–15. It’s a huge event with prizes, entertainment, exhibits, free admission for you and your pet plus much more. See for more details and… stop by our booth to say “WOOF!” There seems to be an abundance of things to do with your dog this Spring—the Pet Expo, a variety of activities noted in Some of What’s Happening, and even the opportunity to take your four-legged pal to an Arizona Diamondback baseball game. Whatever you do, be safe and enjoy! Woof!

Penny Penny Lex, Editor & Publisher A special thanks to our advertisers who continue to support the efforts of THE WAG magazine. Your patronage to their businesses is appreciated. | Spring 2017


THE WAG magazine




10 First Aid for Dogs

What to Do When Emergencies Happen


By Joyce Becker Lee


Traveling With Your Dog

Helpful Hints to Keep Your Pet Happy & Safe


By Teresa Bitler

14 Meet Norbert: The Perma-Puppy With a Big Heart

By Cherese Cobb

16 The Military Working Dog A Warrior’s Best Friend By Zac Wood

20 Hunter Canine

14 26

By Penny Lex


Time to Play Ball

By Penny Lex




8 Protecting Spot From Harmful Rays By Penny Lex


24 Book Reviews

Paws of Courage Secret Service Dogs

By Terri Schlichenmeyer


9 A  llehunde Dog Gym By Penny Lex


22 Canine  Cop, “Cowboy”

A police officer remembers his partner and best friend By Mike Reuvers

20 4

THE WAG magazine | Spring 2017

22 Return  of an Angel

An update on Angel Damone By Penny Lex

25 WAG’s Word Search TO THE RESCUE

26 Rusty’s Angels Sanctuary By Teresa Bitler


From the Editor | 3 Smile for the Camera | 6 Some of What’s Happening | 27 Rescue Directory | 28 Index of Advertisers | 31

Barking Back


I just picked up the current issue of The Wag . . . and LOVE IT! Okay, maybe it is because Tyson, my dog, is in the issue . . . and the cutest dog, I may add. Thank you so much, Penny, for putting his picture in your AWESOME publication. I love your articles and love reading your blurb ‘From the Editor.’ – Betsy Jereb, Fountain Hills, AZ

I would never leave the beautiful town of Fountain Hills and also your magnificent magazine . . . Joey and I say thank you so much. Karen Koefoed, Fountain Hills, AZ

I really like the assortment of articles you publish in The Wag magazine. It’s fun and easy to read with a lot of good information. – Sharon Schroeder Birnamwood, WI

The Wag Magazine” is the best thing ever published in this town and perhaps in all of Arizona. I love it! Keep up the good work and thank you for bringing it to us. – Patty Czitterberg, Fountain Hills, AZ


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THE WAG magazine | Spring 2017






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Protecting Spot from Harmful Rays By Penny Lex

White or lightcoated dogs with pink skin and those with naturally thin hair and exposed skin are more susceptible to sun damage.


t’s that time of year. Spring is easing its way toward Summer. The temperature is rising and you’re starting to spend more time out of doors with your canine companion. But too much of ol’ sol can result in the same painful sunburn symptoms for your dog as you might experience, such as tenderness, peeling, and an increased risk for skin cancer. Make sure to protect yourself, and your dog, from harmful rays. Share the fun—not the sunscreen. Because some human sunscreens may be toxic to pets (beware of zinc oxide) get one that is specifically


THE WAG magazine | Spring 2017

formulated for animals. Look for products that are waterproof, fragrance-free, and block both UVA (skin cancer causing) and UFB (sunburn causing) rays. Read the directions and do a patch test to make sure your pup doesn’t have a reaction. Apply the sunscreen to exposed areas, such as tips of ears, nose, and any bare or shaved areas. Be careful not to get it in the eyes. Some dogs like to sunbathe belly up. In that case, be sure to protect the belly and groin areas that typically have sparse hair cover and thinner skin.

Some types of dogs are more vulnerable than others to the sun’s harmful rays. White or light-coated dogs with pink skin and those with naturally thin hair and exposed skin are more susceptible to sun damage. And while a furry coat might lead you to dismiss your dog’s need for sunscreen, damaging rays can be penetrating and powerful. If your dog does get a minor sunburn, a cool bath or cold compresses will give temporary relief. Applying aloe vera gel is particularly good because it soothes the burn, relieves pain, and helps to heal. It’s also safe if your dog is a licker. You can also keep your dog safe with sun protection apparel. There’s a vast assortment of clothing available that include tee shirts, sundresses—even visors, which will protect your dog while keeping him in style. Make sure to provide a venue that gives your best friend protection from harmful beams…for example, outdoor beds with canopies that include UV protection. Consult your veterinarian if you have questions about sunscreen products or their application for your dog.


Allehunde Gym for Dogs By Penny Lex


ou go to the gym, right? No? OK. Maybe you think about going to the gym. Well… perhaps your dog is having the same thought because word around the hydrant is that some lucky pups get to go to a new place in Fountain Hills called Allehunde Gym for Dogs. Located in the heart of the city at the Fountainside Plaza, Allehunde Gym for Dogs offers daycare, training and retail in an open, 2,700 square foot venue. “Our goal is to provide you and your pet with the highest level of quality and care while here for daycare, group class training or a one-on-one, private training session,” says coowner and training director Gerard Schaffner. Like almost all gyms, Allehunde has different levels of membership. You can choose from Basic, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each selection offers a variety of options and combinations for daycare, training, special events and perks. Daycare options include full day, half day (five hours), and up to three hours. There are also Special Events/ Hours like Date Night. The second and fourth Friday of each month from 6:30–9:00 pm, your dog can enjoy an evening out while you do, too. And there’s Meet & Greet the third Wednesday of each month from 6:30–7:30 pm. Snacks and beverages are provided for you and your dog while you socialize with other daycare members and their pets. “Daycare is intended to be a fun, interactive experience for

all participants—large or small,” says Gerard. “We [Gerard and his experienced, certified training staff] interact continually throughout the day utilizing our interactive agility equipment and toys. There is no

imposed ‘down time’ and dogs are never crated.” There are individual, outdoor potty breaks every hour and a half and potty accommodations indoors as well. If Fido needs more than just play time…say maybe a little workout or perhaps some training, Allehunde has classes and private sessions including Basic Obedience (covering name recognition, look, sit, stay, down, come, and leave it); Leash Control/Walking (dogs must be

at least 7 months of age); Canine Good Citizen (proofing and refining required tasks for Canine Good Citizen certification and dogs must have completed Basic Obedience at Allehunde or possess adequate proficiency of basic obedience skills); Behavior Modification (varied issues including jumping, mouthing, barking and dogs must be at least 7 months of age); Intermediate/Advanced Obedience, Agility and Play Obey Time. The retail portion of Allehunde Gym is a stop and shop for both you and your dog. For yourself (and your people friends) you’ll find an assortment of gear and outerwear by Cactical— Arizona Active. Also available is Allehunde’s in-home, basic obedience kit, Training in a Flash (, and Gerard’s book Do Right by Your Dog and He’ll Do Right by You. Coming soon to Allehunde— grooming. Your pet will not only be able to train and play, but also get a fresh do. House Rules for Canines • minimum of 5 months of age and housebroken • up-to-date on vaccines including Rabies, DHPP, Bordetella, Leptospirosis (proof of inoculation mandatory) Hours Monday–Friday: 7:30 am–6:30 pm Saturday: 8:00 am–3 pm 12645 North Saguaro Boulevard, Suite 3 Fountain Hills, AZ 85268 480-275-8942 | Spring 2017


April Is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month

First Aid for Dogs WHAT TO DO WHEN EMERGENCIES HAPPEN By Joyce Becker Lee We don’t like to think about our pets being injured, but perhaps the greatest disservice we can do them is being unprepared for the worst. Here are some hints to help you prepare for injury before it happens.

First, keep calm

Your pet will be terrified. Talk to him in a calm, loving voice to soothe him, but don’t put your face near his; in his frightened state he might feel threatened and bite.

Know who to call

Look up the nearest pet emergency center and post its telephone number and hours on your refrigerator along with numbers for your vet and a poison helpline. Carry a copy of those contacts in your car. When traveling, look up local pet emergency facilities.

Administer first aid

In case of injury or distress, stabilize your pet as given below; then get to the veterinarian ASAP. Bleeding: Apply direct pressure with clean cloth. Don’t remove blood-soaked cloths as it could disrupt the clotting. Maintain pressure to stop the bleeding. Burns: Flush with cool (not cold) water. Then place a cold compress on for twenty minutes and cover with a non-stick bandage. For a chemical burn, protect your skin and be careful not to spread the chemical while flushing. NEVER put any kind of cream or ointment on a burn; it will keep the heat in and intensify the problem. Avoid burns by keeping your dog away from outdoor cookers or firepits, and keep chemicals locked away. Choking: Try to remove the blockage, being careful not to push it down further. If you can’t get it out, gently shake your dog upside down, then check again. If necessary, apply a modified Heimlich maneuver (see below). Preventative


THE WAG magazine | Spring 2017

measures include never giving your dog small bones or little toys that could get stuck in his throat. Heatstroke or Hyperthermia: These can occur when the body’s temperature rises to 106° F. Cool the dog gradually by wrapping a cool wet towel around the neck, immersing in a cool bath, or flushing the body with cool water. The best treatment is to avoid hyperthermia—never leave your dog in a closed car or keep him in a hot unventilated room. Bring him in out of the sun on a hot day, and always have cool drinking water available. Poisoning: If your dog has ingested something toxic, call your vet or the poison hotline. If they tell you to induce vomiting (some poisons could damage the esophagus when regurgitated), use 1 teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide for every 10 pounds of the dog’s weight in a needleless syringe to the back of the throat.

Wait 15 minutes and repeat, if needed, up to 3 times total. You still need to take the dog to the vet. Prevent poisoning by keeping any potential toxins out of reach—rat poison can be perceived as a treat, and car coolant is sweet and tasty. The ASPCA has a free app, called APCC, to help pet owners identify and understand possible poisons. Seizure: Clear the area to avoid your pet hurting himself. Do not try to restrain. Time the seizure and when it’s over keep your pet warm. Seizures in dogs can be endemic to the breed, but can also be brought on by poison, low or high blood sugar, anemia, stroke or injury, among other causes. Shock: The risk of death from shock is greater than from injury. For even small injuries, watch your dog, as shock can come on suddenly. Watch for a rapid, weak pulse; shallow breathing; uneasiness; bright red gums, progressing to bluish lips or pale gums; lethargy; lower skin temperature and, in the last phase, irregular heartbeat; glazed eyes that are fixed and unfocused; dilated pupils and coma. To treat, keep your pet warm and quiet; stem any bleeding, keep the airway clear and head lowered to keep blood flowing to the brain. Do not give food or water, and call your veterinarian. Snake Bite: Be familiar with any venomous snakes in your area. Don’t try to catch the snake, but take a picture of it or try to identify it for your veterinarian. Keep your dog calm and immobile. If no veterinarian is available, try giving the dog diphenhydramine, such as Benadryl. (Ask your veterinarian about this before it becomes necessary.) DO NOT try to suck the venom out—you could cause a worse infection.

What if your pet is not breathing?

If he has a pulse (found by gently pressing in the pocket where the front leg meets the body), perform artificial respiration by holding his muzzle closed, then blowing gently into his nose or mouth to make the chest rise. Allow air to return. Repeat every 2–3 seconds. If he has no pulse, progress to CPR. Lay the dog on his right side, as the heart is located on the left, approximately where the dog’s bent front elbow meets the body. Stand behind his back and set your palms, one on top of the other, on the widest part of his rib cage. Press down in quick compressions on a fourth to a third of the chest width. Repeat at 15 compressions per 10 seconds. NOTE: Become familiar with the technique through a video or class, and DO NOT practice on a healthy dog.

A Final Note

While this article offers advice on what to look for and how to prepare for and treat injuries, it is not meant as a definitive how-to, but only meant to guide your preparations. We strongly urge every dog owner to attend a class or consult with a veterinarian to learn how to help their pet should an injury occur. Familiarize yourself with canine first aid before it is needed: being prepared for the worst is the best gift you can give your loving pet.

PREPARE AN EMERGENCY KIT FOR YOUR DOG Before an injury occurs, create a first aid kit and keep it handy. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, your kit should include:

• Clean cloths to control bleeding and protect wounds;

• Gauze to wrap wounds and muzzle your pet,

if necessary (Don’t muzzle if dog is vomiting);

• Non-stick bandages or adhesive tape to hold the gauze;

• Milk of magnesia and activated charcoal to absorb poison;

• A water-based lubricant jelly to protect • • • •

wounds and eyes; Eye dropper to flush small wounds; Saline solution for cleansing wounds; 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting; and A digital RECTAL thermometer—normal temperature for a dog is 101–102.5° F, 38.3–39.2° C.

Useful Sources There are several good videos on YouTube showing how to administer the Heimlich maneuver to a dog. One excellent video can be found at: Here are some useful CPR videos: • resuscitation • • How-dog-CPR-Vet-reveals-best-waycheck-pulse-restore-breathing-petcollapses.html | Spring 2017




ometimes, it’s just not a vacation unless your dog can come, too. But traveling with Fido can be stressful for both of you and even dangerous for him if you’re not careful. Here are some tips to keep your dog safe on your next trip.


Take your dog to the vet for a general checkup. Airlines will require your dog to have a health certificate; but even if you aren’t flying, you’ll want to make sure he’s healthy and his vaccinations are up to date. If your dog doesn’t have a chip for identification, consider getting one at the appointment. Having a travel kit for your dog makes vacations easier. Your kit should include his food, bottled water, treats, bowls,


THE WAG magazine | Spring 2017

leash, grooming supplies, medication, favorite toy, blanket, pet first aid kit, pillow and potty pads (if used), waste scoop, and plastic bags for waste disposal. In addition, bring a recent photo of your dog for identification and check that the contact information on his dog tags is current. If you need to purchase a crate for vehicle or airline travel, do so well in advance of your trip so your dog has time to get used to traveling in it. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends finding a crate that is large enough for your dog to stand, turn and lie down; allows airflow; has strong handles; and has a leak-proof bottom. When going to stay with friends or family, and if mode of transportation permits, bring items he’s accustomed to like his doggie bed. Or, if warranted, items you know will come in handy—like a baby gate.


According to the AKC, the safest way for your dog to travel is in a secure crate in the back of your car. Don’t let your dog ride in the front passenger seat (even in a crate), because if the airbag deploys, it can cause serious injury. Similarly, don’t let him to ride in the open back of a pickup or stick his head out an open window, which can lead to eye injuries and illness from cold air being forced into his lungs. If your dog isn’t already a seasoned traveler, take him on short and then gradually longer rides before you go to familiarize him with the experience. On the day of your trip, feed him a light meal four hours before you leave and limit him to bottled water on the road to avoid him getting car sick. Having a towel nearby, just in case, is a good idea. Stop frequently for exercise and breaks. While on the road, never leave your dog unattended in your car, even for a minute, since you could be gone longer than you anticipate. The Humane Society of the United States points out that on 85° days, cars can heat up to 102° within just 10 minutes, even with the windows slightly open. That’s not to mention that if you leave your dog unattended, someone could steal him.


The Humane Society recommends driving instead of flying whenever possible because air travel involves risks, especially for breeds with “pushed in” faces; their short nasal passages make them especially susceptible to oxygen deprivation and heat stroke. For that reason, some airlines won’t allow brachycephalic dogs—including Mastiffs, Pugs, and Shih Tzu—on their flights. Weather can also pose a risk for dogs traveling in cargo since they may have to spend time on the tarmac and can die from exposure. To minimize this risk, book early morning or late evening flights during the summer and afternoon flights in the winter. Avoiding traveling over holidays when workers are busier than usual is a good idea. It also helps to book direct flights and travel on the same flight as your dog. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suggests telling every airline employee you encounter—at least the captain and one flight attendant—that you have a dog in the cargo. Then if there’s a delay, they can take precautions to ensure his safety. Dogs that are small enough to fit in a carrier under the seat in front of you may have an easier time when it comes to air travel; but if you plan to bring your dog with you in the cabin, call the airline well in advance. Airlines often limit the number of dogs they allow on board at one time.


your destination allow dogs and whether there are any size or breed restrictions. Rooms on the ground floor are more accessible to dogs since they don’t require climbing stairs or an elevator ride. Plus, you don’t have as far to go with your dog’s crate, food, dish and other supplies. When you arrive, ask at the front desk where you can walk your dog while you stay on the property and if there are any areas to avoid. (Note: Many public fountains, including the ones at hotels, contain antifreeze and other harmful chemicals you don’t want your dog drinking.) In the room, check to make sure there is nothing that can harm your dog, such as stray pills, before turning your dog loose. If seeking shelter under the bed is one of your pet’s favorite things, make sure the bed isn’t on an enclosed foundation. You don’t want him running to get under and then possibly be injured by coming to an abrupt halt. You may want to bring sheets from home to cover the room’s furniture, and toys too, so he isn’t tempted to chew anything he shouldn’t. Many dogs bark or cry when left alone in a strange place. If you have to leave him, put him in his crate with a familiar blanket and leave the TV on as a familiar background noise.


When it comes to keeping your dog safe in the vehicle you have plenty of choices ranging from crates to car seats, but not all of these safety devices provide adequate protection. According to the Humane Society of the United States, crates anchored so they won’t shift during a sudden stop are the safest option, while pet barriers, seat belts and tethers do little more than prevent your dog from roaming around and being a distraction. A study conducted by the Center for Pet Safety found that some harnesses offered protection. However, others failed catastrophically with one sending the specially designed test dog spinning through the air. Check the Center’s website (http:// for harness brand recommendations. Crates vary in quality, too. Most models available at big box stores are comparatively low cost because they are mainly designed to keep the dog from distracting the driver, not to protect him, according to the Center. Do your research online to see which brands are the safest before making a purchase.

Before you go, find out which hotels on your route and at | Spring 2017


Meet Norbert:

The Perma-Puppy With a Big Heart

By Cherese Cobb


eet Norbert, the pocket-sized, 7-year-old Chihuahua, Cairn Terrier, and Lhasa Apso mix famous for his high-fives and derpy, tickle-me-pink tongue. Norbert’s pet mom, author Julie Steines—who tied the knot on August 20, 2016, with Home & Family star Mark Steines, thanks to Norbert’s introduction while preparing for her segment on the show—adopted him through “Growing up, I had cats and smaller pets like hermit crabs and fish,” Julie remembered. “[But] Norb’ was my first dog.” He was a singleton puppy, which is extremely rare because dogs usually have four or more whelps per litter, according to the American Kennel Club. Chestnut colored at birth, Norbert’s coat slowly faded into a creamy white. As if those two rarities weren’t enough, he tips the scales at three pounds and is just seven inches tall! “[Norbert] — that’s a big name for a little dog,” Julie, the Boston-native said. “I read all the Harry Potter books. Well, I thought that the little dragon in them was so cute. It burped and fire came out of its mouth. It was quirky. There’s also a Saint Norbert. The puppy was sort of kind and giving like a saint.” From his Build-A-Bear threads to his morale-boosting tricks (the command for ‘stay’? Namaste. ‘Lie down’? Zen. And ‘paw’? Love.), “Norbert has a big heart inside his forever puppy-sized body,” said Julie.   In 2009, when Norbert was just a whippersnapper, a


THE WAG magazine | Spring 2017

woman in an eyeglass store saw him and told Julie that he would make a great therapy dog, something she had never even heard of. “He is definitely more of a peopletype dog. He’d rather sit in people’s laps than stay with other people’s dogs (excluding her husband’s 100-pound Golden Retriever, Fred).” By his first birthday, the Pet Partners’ therapy team was administering “a dose of Norbadorb” to roughly 1,000 youngsters, from dialysis patients to burn victims, at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) each month. The duo also makes pit stops at schools, nursing homes, missions, libraries, and even birthday parties. “Every visit that we have is unique and special in its own way,” Julie said. “There was one time [at CHLA] that was quite special. Norbert was in the room with a patient that couldn’t have any type of pain medicine or pain relief, and he got to be in the bed with her and comforted her while she went through this. It was remarkable to see... the power that dogs can bring to places like that and people in need.” Norbert also has one sweet side gig: he’s the national mascot for the Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation’s SunAWARE Program providing UV color-changing Frisbees and handheld UV meters to 150 Massachusetts schools. There’s no doubt that this “magical little creature’s” cuteness is transcendent. He’s turned, kissed, pawed

and, of course, high-fived his way into the hearts of more than 1.2 million followers on social media. His PO Box is overflowing with fan mail, artwork and photos from nearly every continent. What’s the driving force behind his rise to fame, or as Julie prefers to call it “well-knownness”?  It’s his awardwinning children’s book series. “One of my lifelong dreams was to publish a picture book and have it illustrated by my mother, Dr. Virginia Freyermuth,” she said. “It’s been an incredible experience because she is absolutely brilliant.”  With a career spanning 40 years, her mother has taught everything from kindergarten to college level. “She did all the artwork. I was the author [of Norbert: What Can Little Me Do and Norbert: What Can Little YOU Do?]” Julie said. Mike Bridavsky, the owner of celebrity cat Lil’ Bub, co-wrote the third book. They gave out 1,800 copies of Norbert & Lil Bub: What Can Little WE Do? to children in need. They also donated $15,000 to Lil Bub’s Big Fund, which helps homeless animals with special needs. He might have his own apparel line, a website (where you’re welcomed to the Norberthood), and a larger-than-life plush, but this philanthropist perma-pup’s swag proves that you really “don’t have to be big to make a BIG difference in the world.” The Norberthood for Good is a corporate donor of Toys for Tots, so they decided to donate one plush to the organization for every one that’s purchased. “It was a dream of mine to do a BOGO model like that,” said Julie. “I think that it was also great for everyone who purchased one because they felt that were giving smiles right along with Norbert.” Currently, the limited-edition plush is sold out. “We’re looking at new projects now: another book, calendars, and greeting cards. I hope people will be just as excited about these as they were the plush toys,” she said. “[As for the future,] you never really know because opportunities come our way that we don’t anticipate. It’s truly exciting because you never know what’s around the corner,” Julie said. One thing is for certain: “We are grateful to have the Norberthood’s support. The amazing messages and feedback we get propel us forward to do the good work that we’re doing.”

“Every visit that we have is unique and special in its own way.”

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The Military Working Dog A WARRIOR’S BEST FRIEND

By Zac Wood, U.S. Navy combat veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn


ith the right beer commercial, every American’s heart swells with pride in our armed forces and with a renewed thankfulness for those sons and daughters who put themselves in harm’s way. Less than one percent of the population currently serves in our military, but most of us know someone who knows someone, at least, and most of us recognize that there are unique individuals in those matching uniforms. Do you know, though, that there are over 2,500 dogs in the armed forces? There are working dogs in all branches of the military, including the Coast Guard. Roughly 500 canines, and their handlers, are deployed overseas at any time. Bethany1 is a Petty Officer in the Navy who recognizes the value of canine service members. “I think they are especially important overseas in their many roles,” she says. Bethany served aboard a ship on tour before being assigned to a shore command in Asia. There, both U.S. and host-nation dogs were used for security. And she felt safer for it. “Basically, I think working dogs are a huge asset to the military.”

Centuries of Service

Dogs have been assisting humans with homeland defense, and with wartime service, since the original domestication, long ago in prehistory. They’ve been officially recognized and trained by U.S. forces since WWII, when The War Dog Program was stood up in 1943 with the building of a training center in Front Royal, Virginia, and the requisition of 11,000 dogs. In 1965, dogs and handlers were trained at Lackland Air Force Base near


THE WAG magazine | Spring 2017

San Antonio, Texas, and the Air Force Security Police Dog Training School was established in 1967 at Lackland. Today, the school trains all the Department of Defense’s canine, or “K-9,” dog and human personnel. The program officially calls the war dogs “Military Working Dogs” or “MWDs.”

Qualifying Canine

While some dogs are adopted or brought into the military by their owners, most are actually specially-bred by the school. Only about half of their candidate dogs are suitable to serve, however. Peculiarities like joints, size, diet and more can all impact a dog’s health, which impacts their ability to serve. Additionally, temperament and rapport are important. No one wants to work with a dog who won’t listen when it matters the most. Dog handlers uniformly agree that they would, and do, trust their dogs with their lives. The dogs have to earn that trust. There are various breeds used by the military today including Retrievers, Labradors, and Dalmatians; but most common are the iconic German Shepherds, and the similar-looking Belgian Malinois. Bethany has a Malinois. “These dogs, especially super high-drive dogs like Malinois, want to please and that desire to please makes them especially good at their jobs.” High drive is a bit of an understatement, actually. Human handlers of MWDs, especially Malinois, have to put in long hours exercising and training their four-legged partners. You “have to conduct at least 2 hours of mental training per day (learning new tricks, searching for things, etc.) or they get bored,” says Bethany. “They also need to

be exercised constantly.” This means humans, just like the dogs, have to work hard to earn the trust of their dogs and to keep the dogs happy. There used to be a sort of stigma about working with dogs in the military. The work requires lots of long hours and extra duties (like cleaning kennels), so it was sometimes used as a punishment assignment. Nowadays, it is seen as more of a privilege or honor, and human candidates have to earn their way into dog units—just like the dogs do.

Getting the Job Done

In the earliest days of canine use, large ferocious breeds were used to fight, sometimes equipped with spiked collars and armor. More civilized dogs were used as sentries to alert their humans about intruders, and as guards in general. In some cultures, dogs were already used as pack or work animals, which translated to similar work in wartime. The Belgians had dog-towed artillery in WWI. Dogs have long been trained to track animals, including humans, but the advent of modern warfare allowed for the advent of modern canine forces. British and allied dogs were used to find small bombs and mines that the Germans used in WWII. They’ve also been trained to hunt drugs or other contraband. Today’s military dogs, just like police dogs, are commonly used for base security, where they detect weapons, explosives, and drugs. But they serve other roles, too (though the U.S. doesn’t have any canine-mobile heavy guns—that they’ll admit). “I’ve had interactions with them on the ship when they were doing drug sniffs,” says Bethany. “The MAs [Masters at Arms, the Navy’s police and security force] were really diligent about making sure a space was relatively clear

before letting the dog through.” Wearing tactical body armor to match their humans and carrying cameras, microphones, and their own headsets, today’s American military dogs are fully-integrated into the war effort. They are employed as scouts, trackers, guards, bomb-detectors, and more. Like any other member of the military, they are rotated through duty assignments with various commands in various locales, often working with different human handlers every few years. MWDs can deploy to combat zones and then come home to pull guard duty at the local base, just like the humans in those beer commercials. In fact, most of a dog’s service career is similar to a human’s. They train long hours, and any time not spent working is supposed to be spent training (yes, chasing a tennis ball is kinda like training). The pups have to be certified and constantly recertified in their specialties— from physical attacks to detection of various smells. They even have to be familiarized with weapons, so as not to be spooked by gunfire.

Lingering Effects of Combat

Being spooked by loud noises is one of the sad similarities between canine and human military service. Just like bipeds, dogs can develop anxiety issues after combat situations. Your aunt’s high-strung Yorkie might freak out on Independence Day, or chase the mailman, but combat dogs can develop real problems. Loud bangs from fireworks or thunderstorms can trigger MWDs, just like human veterans; some develop strong, even violent, aversions to strangers, especially if they appear at all threatening. While not officially diagnosed as PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder), these reactions are recognized and special veterinarians and trainers are brought in to help counsel and treat the animals. As with humans, some dogs can be returned to the field, but some are transferred to low-key environments, or even retired.

Order of the Pack and How They Roll

Dogs are not given rank (though they are sometimes considered equivalent to a non-commissioned officer to help remind humans to respect their service). Dogs are given awards, but less frequently and less regularly than humans. Some organizations, like the American Humane, are working to increase the visibility and awareness of heroic dogs. An MWD most often travels in an SUV when stateside ( just like your local police force’s K-9 units) and might be in an SUV, Humvee, or Armored Personnel Carrier when deployed. Some dogs with some units are even Airborne | Spring 2017


qualified and can jump out of planes or helicopters while strapped into special parachute harnesses with their handlers. Kibble is pretty standard fare and probably shares many ingredients with their handler’s MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat,) cuisine. All Americans who get to a combat zone are trained in some level of first aid. And those more directly in harm’s way are certified in “Tactical Combat Casualty Care” or “T-Triple-C.” Dog handlers are also trained in emergency combat first aid that focuses on canine anatomy. There are also special veterinarians embedded with MWD teams who are usually waiting back at the base—ready to treat everything from sore pads to grievous wounds.

A Combat Veteran’s Personal Account

I, personally, spent thirteen months in the Middle East and had two different dog experiences. As sometimes happens, one of our teams went out and didn’t come back. When we honored them, in a painful and private ceremony, we listed first the names of the three Americans. After that, we listed the name of the local national person who had been part of the team, and the name of the military working dog that was also a part of that team. We lost five members of our force that day, and we still honor the sacrifice of each and every one of them. All of their names are on a plaque, over there. The other story, from a different time and place, is a bit happier. As also sometimes happens, our mechanics adopted a mongrel that we called Ratchet. She didn’t like everyone, but she was always willing to steal food from an unattended plate when we had our social gatherings. She wasn’t an MWD (trained dogs would never steal from your plate!), just a stray who figured eating GI scraps was better than running loose and starving. She probably kept the rats and mice out of the shop, at least. Ratchet didn’t have a real job, and even though she didn’t like everyone, she was well loved. I know I wasn’t the only one who sometimes cried into her fur. Like so many of the minor facets of war life, Ratchet was left behind when I rotated out of theater. She was left in the care of the other troopers still stuck in the sand. I have no knowledge of what happened to her.

Acknowledgement and Cheers

In 2008, General Petraeus was the commanding general of Multi-National Force, Iraq. He said in a speech, “The capability they (Military Working Dogs) bring to the fight cannot be replicated by man or machine. By all measures of performance, their yield outperforms any asset we have in our inventory. Our Army (and military) would be remiss if we failed to invest more in this incredibly valuable resource.” The General was right. Petty Officer Bethany is right. My entire task force of mourning warriors, and the countless others who have been to the same memorials, agree. Military Working Dogs are both beloved and precious aspects of the United States Armed Forces. So next time you get teary over a beer commercial hyperbolic warrior, remember the fighter’s best friend. Pour out a bit of your beer, and maybe invest in one of those dog-safe brews to spill, too. Dedicated to us, and those like us; damn few. Molon Labe. We did not use Bethany’s full name, nor her rate and rank, to avoid public relations’ regulations.



THE WAG magazine | Spring 2017

 ilitary dogs (as well as M their civilian counterparts) are trained to find human cadavers, which is useful in disaster relief as well as warfare.  WDs were considered M expendable equipment in the Vietnam War and were often euthanized after their usefulness was diminished. Though the practice stopped, it was not until 2000 that Bill Clinton signed a law that guaranteed life after service. Most military dogs now retire after about ten years of service. Many have medical issues, or combatrelated behavioral problems, that can be daunting to prospective adopting owners. Nonetheless, the school at Lackland has a year-long waiting list of humans hoping to give a home to doggy heroes. I f you want to support canines that are deployed overseas, start with your local military bases that will have contacts of their own deployed forces. You can also work with your neighborhood American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post, which will likely have personal contacts. Additionally, you can donate on the American Humane’s military services page at program/military.

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DON AND JODY SULLINS REALTORS® 815.266.4028 – call or text 16872 E. Avenue of the Fountains | Suite 101 Fountain Hills, AZ 85268 Owned and operated by NRT LLC | Spring 2017


Hunter Canine An Elite Training Retreat By Penny Lex


unter Canine’s Training Retreat. You could call it a boot camp for dogs. Especially since your dog is away for a three-week tour. But don’t imagine your beloved BFF being bored and stuck in a kennel pining for you when he’s not engaged in grueling training—because when he’s not learning how to be a “good dog,” he’ll be enjoying the many delightful amenities that this impeccable, state-of-the art, meticulously managed facility has to offer. And, you’ll be able to visit him once a week. Leading the pack at Hunter Canine is owner and training director Chad Hunter. Knowledgeable and passionate about his work, Chad has over 15 years’ experience training hundreds of dogs for service, therapy, hunting, scent detection, personal protection and sports. “My reputation is based on successful behavioral dog training. We get into the mechanical breakdown of how to communicate better with your dog so you really understand his body language, what signs your dog is giving you and what those signs mean. And, how to anticipate behaviors before they happen as well as why your dog makes the decisions he does.” Located on the family’s ranch just south of Cave Creek, Arizona, the Hunter Canine, 12-acre, dog-training expanse includes:


THE WAG magazine | Spring 2017

the right idea to make better choices. “I will let the dog know right away that he made a mistake and let him know how to correct it” says Chad. “We don’t do a lot of ‘treat training’. We may start with food or treats to shape behaviors, but then we transition to personal rewarding of good behavior.” To enlist in the Training Retreat, you’ll be asked to complete a behavioral, open-ended questionnaire. The first week of camp, Chad or one of his six colleagues will monitor and evaluate the dog while considering your feedback in conjunction with their findings. A training plan is devised specifically for you and your dog and then initiated. Training Retreats (Boot Camp) A typical, full day in boot camp Requirements: Dogs must be at least includes: four months of age and fully vaccinated. • rise and shine (beginning at 6 am) • feeding Boot Camp executes a customized • potty training program that teaches your • play group dog the value of behaving properly. It • individual training (30 to 45 minutes) breaks down how your dog is making • nap time decisions and provides the dog with 2 2,000 sq. ft. lighted grass training field 50 large, covered play runs (sizes 12'x24', 12'x18', and 5'x10') • complete with misters, swamp coolers and shades to keep the area a comfortable temp of 75° • air conditioned crate rooms • 24-hour video monitoring, 4 full-time staff on premises at night • two training arenas • 40 dock ' • swimming pool (21 x41 ) ' ' • •

play group individual training (30 to 45 minutes) • evening walk (3/4 to 1 mile) • dinner • potty • to bed Once a week, you can come for a 1½ hour visit to interact and work with your dog and his trainer. You’ll be updated on the training progress and learn how to reinforce new behaviors. After boot camp ends, dogs participate in a Training Retreat FollowUp Class—three, weekly, one-hour sessions. According to Chad, “Every dog is in here because they’ve outsmarted their owners and they have undesirable learned behaviors. The number one problem—‘reactive’ behavior such as leash pulling and lunging.” Last year over 500 dogs graduated from the Training Retreat. Perhaps your dog might benefit from another facet of the Hunter Canine experience—Group Classes, Rattlesnake Avoidance, Swimming and Dock Diving, or Agility. • •

Group Classes

Requirements: Dogs must be at least four months of age and fully vaccinated. • learn the basics—sit, stay, come, leave-it • mechanical breakdown taught in Training Retreats is also covered in group classes • classes include beginner, intermediate, advanced and canine good citizen • 1 hour sessions, once a week for 8 weeks • 12 people and their dogs per group • not for dogs with behavior issues or aggression Over 1200 dogs participated in Hunter Training Group Classes in 2016.

Rattlesnake Avoidance

A one-time, 10–15 minute individual session teaching a negative association with sight, sound and scent of the rattlesnake.

Swimming and Dock Diving

March-October Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday—

group swim and dock diving classes Whether your dog loves to swim or is fearful of the water, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at the large, pristine swimming pool. Dogs learn how to get in and out of the pool, how to swim and, there are private lessons for dock diving. There’s even pool rental for practice or a fun-filled pack of play for dogs and their human companions.


April-June Groups up to 8 people and their dogs meet weekly for basic, intermediate and advanced agility training.


Boarding is available for dogs that have completed Hunter Canine training. Free consultations & tours (please call in advance) 4542 East Forest Pleasant Place Cave Creek, AZ 480-719-3779 | Spring 2017



Canine Cop, “Cowboy” By Mike Reuvers

In the midst of my 32-year career in law enforcement, I was assigned to the St. Paul Police K-9 Unit. That’s where I met my new partner and best friend—Cowboy. The 75-lb., 14-month-old German Shepherd and I completed a 14-week training program that taught us how to track; search for contraband, evidence, and suspects of criminal activity; perform apprehensions, agility and obedience. Cowboy began his career and following each arrest, greatly enjoyed a celebratory bacon cheese burger. Cowboy shared our home and quickly became an integral part of our family. His retirement at 9 years of age was difficult…for him and for me. It was very hard for me to see him gazing out the front picture window as I backed out of the driveway. Eventually he adjusted and accepted the full-time role of loving family member. In August of 2009, Cowboy became ill and was put to rest. Cowboy and I had a very special bond. When we made eye contact, we knew what the other was thinking. I had a few different partners on the job, but none like Cowboy! We went through a lot together. I loved and respected him. And I knew he always had my back. Cowboy. Forever in my heart.

Partners and best friends, Mike and Cowboy 22

THE WAG magazine | Spring 2017

Enjoying his new life, Angel is one healthy and happy dog.

Return of an Angel A Divine Survivor Update By Penny Lex Remember the story we featured a year ago—”The Heartwarming Story of Angel Damone”? If not, you can read the poignant saga in the Spring 2016 issue at Angel after his first surgery. In summary, Nancy Damone stopped in the desert to take photos when she heard a soft bark and saw an emaciated dog with severe injuries to both hind legs and dragging himself across the ground. Nancy took the dog, searched for his owner and sought help for the ailing pooch she deemed “Angel.” Many veterinarians said “best to put him down.” Nancy was also told that with treatment, Angel could live a good life. But, treatment would cost around $7,000. A referral was made to Dr. William Linney, orthopedic veterinarian and Chief of Surgery, Phoenix Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center. Dr. Linney figured Angel was about three years old. He estimated the injuries were four to five months old making Angel’s desert survival even more remarkable. Dr. Linney felt that after everything Angel endured, he deserved another chance. He did the surgeries and charged only $2,000. Friends and community members organized a fundraiser for Angel and thanks to their generosity, Nancy’s perseverance, and the skilled and compassionate care of Dr. Linney, Angel is thriving in his new life.


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• Burgers • Pizza • Sandwiches • Subs • Hot Dogs • Soups/Salads • Fish, Meat, Chicken Entrees • Steak • Ribs & Much More!

Photo credit: Sarah Sachs, Arizona Diamondbacks

Time to Play (and have a) Ball

“Our Patio is pet friendly. Come enjoy great food with your best friend on our patio”


You love baseball. You love your dog. So…here’s an opportunity to score big time with your BFF (Best Friend Fido). Enjoy the hospitality of Chase Field for a Sunday or Monday game of the Arizona Diamondbacks and celebrate PetSmart Dog Days of Summer. The PetSmart Patio, located on the main concourse just behind the left center field wall, offers multi-tiered, semiprivate suites for you and your friends. Cost is $125 and includes 4 human tickets and 1 canine pass to enjoy the game—plus, all you can eat hot dogs, popcorn, soda and more. And, your pup gets all he can eat doggie ice cream. Another perk of this exclusive accommodation is the PetSmart goodie bag and…access to the PetSmart Dog Park. You won’t need to wait for that 7th inning stretch to visit the play area located on the main concourse just behind the PetSmart Patio. The indoor (air conditioned) and outdoor baseball-themed venue is complete with a baseball diamond and a grassy outfield—the perfect place for Fido to do his thing and socialize with his new, fourlegged friends. Dogs can enjoy climbing equipment, water stations, relief stations and toys. Also, be sure to mark your calendars for Bark at the Park on September 10. This special event welcomes fans, and their dogs, to sit in the bleachers. In order to bring your dog to the stadium, he must be up-to-date on all vaccines. You are required to present a completed waiver (available on the website) on-site. Nonaggressive dogs only. See for basic rules and guidelines. For questions about booking a suite at the PetSmart Patio, contact 602-514-8400.

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g Over 13 years experience! Comi..n. soon GROOMING Now, not only can your pet Train, Play and Stay All Day, he can get Groomed while here too! Come experience unrivaled quality and meticulous attention to detail for all of your pets grooming needs! Certified & Proficient in all Breed Specific Clips!


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By Terri Schlichenmeyer, The Bookworm Sez

Paws of Courage: True Tales of Heroic Dogs That Protect and Serve by Nancy Furstinger, foreword by Ronald L. Aiello

Secret Service Dogs: The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States by Maria Goodavage, foreword by Clint Hill

To you, your dog is a hero. Nobody else protects you from spiders and shadows. Nobody does a better job of warning you about summer storms or friends a-knocking. In Paws of Courage by Nancy Furstinger, you’ll see how some dogs go even further in their heroism. Everybody knows that dog is (wo)man’s best friend, but that goes doubly for a military or police dog and their handler; there are times when that relationship is a lifeor-death matter. In this book, Furstinger offers mini-stories of those bonds, past and present. Dogs have served on the battlefield for millennia, but history only remembers a handful of brave canine soldiers. In World War I, Sergeant Stubby, a Pit Bull mix, saved countless lives by warning soldiers of incoming bombs and by alerting them to enemy presence. Tiny little Smokey, a Yorkshire Terrier, helped soldiers by doing the same thing in World War II and, due to her size, was able to help “thread vital wires through” a narrow underground pipe. From Great Britain, an English Pointer named Judy followed her handler to a POW camp in World War II and was eventually listed as a POW for her own protection. Also during World War II, the U.S. military asked civilians to enlist pets for the

Such a good dog. There he is, all wiggles and smiles. Tail swishing to show that he’s happy, alert, and paying attention. Such a good dog, and in Secret Service Dogs by Maria Goodavage, you’ll see that he’s got a very important job to do. Thomas Jefferson loved to have visitors. He believed that the White House was the People’s House, and so he opened the doors to the Presidential home, “staged exhibitions,” and invited the public in. Other presidents did the same, until open public access ended during World War II, when security needed to be tighter. In 1976, one more level of security was added: canines. Today’s Secret Service dogs are quite different from that first graduating class, some forty years ago. Then, active-duty dogs were mostly German Shepherds; today, a majority of Emergency Response Team (ERT) dogs are Belgian Malinois. Dogs in 1976 did everything, from security to bomb sniffing; today’s dogs specialize. In addition to ERT dogs, there’s an Explosive Detection Team (EDT); and friendly-looking dogs from the Personnel Screening Canines Open Area team, which the Secret Service unofficially calls “FloppyEared Dogs,” that surreptitiously


war effort; around 10,000 family dogs became K-9 soldiers, sentries and sniffers, including a German Shepherd mix named Chips, who was honored for bravery on the battlefield and for capturing enemy soldiers all by himself. Today’s “battlefield partners” and other canine helpers are no less brave. Belgian Malinois dogs, says Furstinger, are “canine superheroes” with speed and courage and are a “top breed for police and military work.” Newfoundlands are excellent swimmers and can dive; for those heroic maneuvers, they’re employed in water rescue. Labrador Retrievers make great arson dogs, while many breeds serve as companions and helpers for veterans. Author Nancy Furstinger tells some rather common tales of military and working dogs, then and now; you might not recognize them individually but the stories are familiar. Been there, read it—except for two easy-to-love elements: the abundance of stunning pictures and the sidebars of information. You might find this book in the children’s section, but I think it’s more for readers ages 14 to adult. Give Paws of Courage: True Tales of Heroic Dogs That Protect and Serve to any dog lover and you’ll be a hero.

THE WAG magazine | Spring 2017

sniff at passersby. These are the facts. But Maria Goodavage also tells the stories behind them…. There’s Marshall M., the man we meet in the opening of this book, whose Hurricane seems to have ESP; Sergeant Sal, whose Daro was a gentleman in fur; “Stew,” whose dog, Nero, was a sweetheart—until you “flipped on the light switch”; Ray Reinhart, an instructor who outwitted a squirrel-chaser named Rudy. Dogs with “courage, intelligence, perseverance, trainability…drive” and sociability. Because of the nature of the dogs’ work, author Maria Goodavage says, repeatedly, that many details about her subjects are things the Secret Service doesn’t release, for reasons of security. Yet Goodavage does a stellar job with the information she has; readers are educated as thoroughly as possible on nearly every aspect of these “heroes” and their work. We’re introduced to a human side of these dogs and their handlers: the care and love, the relationships, the losses, and the quirks that happen in their unusual lives. You’ll also find some heartpounders and a few tears. Secret Service Dogs: The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States is such a good and timely book.


WAG’S (not just for Spring) Cleaning CROSSWORD PUZZLE

Remember to keep Woofy and his/her space fresh and clean year ‘round


Across 2. Temporary holding spot 6. Now I lay me down to sleep 7. Want to know who I am? 8. Coiffing essentials 10. Glitzy accessories 11. All the dogs wear them 12. Kibble holder 13. Mini blankets

Down 1. Slurp and hydrate from here 2. Whatever shall I wear? 3. Where the goodies are stored 4. Tableware 5. Squeeking and stuffed 9. Used when walking a human

See answers on page 31 | Spring 2017



Rusty’s Angels SANCTUARY


By Teresa Bitler

milee Spear, founder of Rusty’s Angels Sanctuary Although Rusty never got the chance to see the sanctuary (a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization), didn’t realize named for him, his memory lives on there. Every one of the her life would change the day she met a shaggy, 24 dogs currently living at the sanctuary is at least 10 years deaf, and nearly blind dog at old. Most were the pets of senior a no kill shelter where she owners who either passed away worked as a vet tech. The dog, or moved into a nursing facility; who had been pulled from some came from local shelters. the euthanasia list at another They all have a lot of love to give. shelter, was skin and bones and “They just want someone to needed special care before he spend their life with,” Spear says could be adopted. Spear agreed of the six currently available for to foster him until he was ready. adoption. But, when she brought him She encourages people to back to the no-kill shelter so he consider senior dogs when looking could be assessed for adoption, for a companion. The puppy stage Rusty stopped eating. And with is behind them, they’re calm, and all of the younger, healthier they’re trained. In fact, all of the dogs available, Spear realized dogs up for adoption at Rusty’s no one would ever adopt him Angels Sanctuary are potty trained, unless she did. leash trained, and kennel trained. “In a way, he chose me,” Occasionally, Spear says, she says. she hears from people who Emilee Spear, enjoying her angels. Rusty opened Spear’s eyes are reluctant to adopt a senior to how much love senior dogs, dog because they don’t want to who are often overlooked in shelters, have to give; and become attached only to have their pet die in a few years. she promised him some day she would open a sanctuary She understands the hesitation but asks these people to dedicated to senior dogs. It’s a promise she initially rethink their position. “I tell them if they can put their intended to keep when she retired, but then she realized personal feelings aside and focus on what they are giving there really was no good reason to wait. She started a that animal for the rest of their life, it’s an incredible Go Fund Me account, found a 5-acre property in New experience,” she says. River, Arizona, and opened Rusty’s Angels Sanctuary four You don’t have to adopt to make a difference in the lives years ago. of the dogs at Rusty’s Angels Sanctuary—there are plenty

“They just want someone to spend their life with.”


THE WAG magazine | Spring 2017

of opportunities to help. Probably the easiest, according to Spear, is to link your Fry’s Rewards card to Rusty’s Angels Sanctuary. Fry’s will donate a percentage of your grocery bill to the sanctuary through Fry’s Community Rewards. Another option is to set up automatic monthly withdrawals from your bank or PayPal accounts or to direct a specific amount to be deducted from each of your paychecks and sent directly to the sanctuary. Even a small amount helps. The sanctuary spends, on average, $2,000 per year on each senior dog in its care, and small donations can go a long way to offsetting that amount. If you’d rather donate items instead

of cash, visit the sanctuary’s website ( and click on the link to its Amazon wish list. You can make purchases through Amazon or buy items locally, then call the sanctuary and set up a time to deliver them. (You’ll get a tour while you’re there.) The website also gives you the opportunity to donate funds for specific items, such as beds, or sponsor a dog living permanently at the sanctuary due to medical and other issues. Rusty’s Angels Sanctuary is always looking for volunteers. You can volunteer to work at the sanctuary doing anything from cleaning kennels to walking dogs; helping at adoption events; and fostering a dog. Or, you

can hold your own fundraiser for the sanctuary. Have something else in mind? Call or email Rusty Rusty’s Angels to discuss current needs and ways you might be able to help. Rusty’s Angels Sanctuary 480-250-0251

Some of what’s Happening APRIL 14–15 8th Annual Phoenix Pet Expo

WestWorld of Scottsdale 16601 North Pima Road, Scottsdale, AZ Friday 3–8 pm & Saturday 10 am–6 pm, free admission Come to Play–Shop–Learn–Adopt. There’ll be exhibits, prizes, vaccination & microchipping, entertainment & activities, pet costume contest. Something for everyone, including your pet (see website for requirements).

APRIL 27 Gabriel’s Angels’ Unleash the Love Fundraising Breakfast

JW Marriott Desert Ridge 5350 East Marriott Drive, Phoenix, AZ 7-9 am Presented by AZ Pet Vet, features inspirational testimonials from partnering agencies and a presentation on the agency’s mission, focusing on the great need for Gabriel’s Angels’ services in the community.

APRIL 29 Pints & Puppies

Sip Coffee & Beer House 3617 North Goldwater Boulevard, Scottsdale, AZ 1–4 pm Admission $10 limited Early Bird, $15 advanced online, $20 at door Dog-friendly event to socialize and enjoy great drink specials. A portion of proceeds go to local charities supporting dog rescue. Unlimited photo booth with your pet, contests and costume competitions.

Fulton Homes Superhero 5K

Freestone Park 1045 East Juniper Avenue, Gilbert, AZ 7–10 am $25–$30 Benefiting veterans and local rescues.


MAY 6–7 Desert Dog Police K-9 Trials

Sloan Park (Cubs’ Spring Training Field) 2330 West Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa, AZ 9 am–3 pm Admission free, donations appreciated Police dog competition. Different events on each day. Concessions and vendors. No pets allowed in the stadium.

JUNE 10 2017 Half Moon Sports Grill Charity Golf Tournament for AZ Search Dogs

Stonecreek Golf Club 4435 East Paradise Village Parkway South, Phoenix, AZ 7 am–5 pm Annual tradition of supporting the Arizona Search Dogs. After party at Half Moon Windy City Sports Grill 2121 East Highland Ave., Phoenix, AZ | Spring 2017


RESCUE DIRECTORY 2nd Chance Dog Rescue Non-profit organization dedicated to saving abandoned/ abused dogs, and provide them with shelter and a safe environment so they can regain their trust in humanity.

AARTA - Akita Advocates Relocation Team Arizona


Non-profit organization that finds homes for displaced Akitas through fostering.


ADOPT ME GSD Facebook page


Saving German Shepherds from euthanasia, providing them with medical treatment and finding loving homes.

Alaskan Malamute Rescue of Arizona Alaskan Malamute Rescue of Arizona Facebook Page Rehabilitate and rehome rescued Alaskan Malamutes, assist Malamute owners, and provide education services to the public.

All About Animals Rescue

No-kill, foster home based, rescue.

All About Bullies Rescue

All About Bullies Rescue Facebook Page


Non-profit organization that saves, rehabilitates, and rehomes bully breeds. Specializing in Pit Bulls.

Almost Home Bulldog Rescue,Inc.


Non-profit organization based in the Maricopa County area of central Arizona. We are dedicated to the rescue of un-wanted, neglected, and abandoned companion animals. Our focus is French and English Bulldogs from local euthanasia lists.

Amazing Aussies Lethal White Rescue of Arizona


Non-profit organization that rescues dogs bred Merle to Merle and born blind and/or deaf by a cruel and inhumane breeding practice, so the breeders can make a few extra bucks. About 25% of every litter will come out “wrong” and are killed at birth or thrown away since they can’t be sold. It’s just a “cost of business” to the breeders, but it’s an everyday fight for us. I hope you will join us to help end this planned cruelty.

Anthem Pets


Non-profit 100% volunteer, No Kill rescue to implement a fully rounded animal welfare program that provides education and resources to the community at large and promotes responsible pet ownership. Volunteers answer calls at the 24 Hour Pet Hotline; provide medical care for abandoned and abused animals and find them qualified, loving homes; and work to reunite lost pets with their owners through use of the Pet Hotline, a Pet Search & Rescue team and a very active Facebook page.

Arizona Animal Welfare League and SPCA


Largest and oldest no-kill shelter in Arizona rehabilitates and rehomes more than 5,000 dogs and cats that are abandoned or that have been surrendered by their owners. We do this primarily by rescuing them from other shelters in Maricopa County where they are likely to be euthanized due to the lack of time and resources to care for them. At any one time our shelter will hold 140 cats and 190 dogs. We also have a foster parent network of approximately 90 families who provide care and shelter in their homes for puppies and kittens that are too young to be adopted, and those animals that are recovering from medical procedures or that need socialization before adoption.

Arizona Basset Hound Rescue Inc.

602-225-7800 (voice mail)

Non-profit organization that provides veterinary care, food, support, and shelter to Basset Hounds, Bloodhounds and Basset Hound mixes needing assistance in Arizona.

Arizona Beagle Rescue


Arizona Humane Society

Two locations: Sunnyslope Campus and Nina Mason Pulliam Campus for Compassion


Pet adoptions, veterinary and spay/neuter services, retail and thrift shopping.

Arizona Labrador and Giant Breed Rescue

602-307-5227 Volunteer non-profit organization that is dedicated

to rehoming Labradors, Great Danes, Mastiffs, Elkhounds, Newfoundlands, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Saint Bernards, Irish Wolfhounds and Deer Hounds.

Arizona Pug Adoption & Rescue Network


Non-profit to rescue Pugs in need, provide medical care and emotional support, and place them into loving, permanent adoptive homes in Arizona.

Arizona Sheltie Rescue, Inc. Bill Ferrell:

(480) 507-7996

Cindy Reel: (602) 843-8073 Non-profit volunteer organization that serves the entire state of Arizona with respect to the rescue of Shetland Sheepdogs.

Arizona Siberian Husky Rescue & Adoption, Inc.


Non-profit, volunteer-run organization that rescues Siberian Huskies and places them into qualified homes, as well as educates the public on the special needs of the Siberian Husky.

A statewide 501(c)(3) non-profit animal welfare organization comprised of volunteers dedicated to Beagle rescue and community education.

Arizona Small Dog Rescue

Arizona Border Collie Rescue

A non-profit registered 501(c)3 no kill rescue shelter. A group of volunteers that are dedicated to rescuing and saving homeless, unwanted, abandoned, neglected, and abused dogs.

480-422-5366 (voice message)

Promotes humane treatment through rescue, rehabilitation, education and the rehoming of neglected, abandoned and unwanted Border Collies.

Arizona Boston Terrier Rescue


AZ Cavalier Rescue

AZ Cavalier Rescue Facebook Page

602-397-4744 Non-profit corporation dedicated to the rescue and rehoming of unwanted Boston Terriers, education of owners on responsible dog ownership, and education of the public on the Boston Terrier breed.

Foster run rescue for Cavaliers, English Toy Spaniels and mixes.

Animal Rescue Friends Ltd

Arizona Golden Rescue

Non-profit that focuses on rescuing all breeds of dogs from the county shelters that are going to be euthanized.



AZ Furry Friends Rescue Foundation

Non-profit foster-based rescue that provides love and care for the rescued animals in a home environment. Utilizing fosters allows us to provide attention to each animals’ unique needs while also training them on how to be inside a home. 28

THE WAG magazine | Spring 2017 Provides emotional and medical rehabilitation and will pay for all medications and for necessary surgeries prior to adoptions being finalized for Golden Retrievers and mostlyGolden mixes.

AZ Cocker Rescue



Non-profit foster-based, all breed, dog and cat rescue that are at risk of euthanasia at our local kill shelters.

AZ Happy Tails Animal Rescue A non-profit registered 501(c)(3) rescue group that does not have an actual shelter. All dogs are fostered in homes. Strive to educate and raise awareness of the importance of animal respect and appreciation and facilitate a low cost spay/neuter program.

AZ Mastiff Rescue (Canine Rescue Coalition, Inc.) Non-profit dedicated to rescuing English and Neapolitan Mastiffs and other Mastiff and Giant Breeds.

AZ Paws & Claws Non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable, all volunteer dog and cat rescue serving Arizona. Our mission is to match rescued dogs and cats with a home that will provide them with a lifetime of love and care.

AZ Shepherd Rescue


Non-profit foster-based rescue saving German Shepherds, Australian Shepherds and mixes of both from the county euthanasia list.

AZPyrs: Arizona Great Pyrenees Association & Rescue Network


Non-profit fosters and rehomes purebred Great Pyrenees throughout the entire state of Arizona.

Boxer Luv Rescue


A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to give new life to homeless Boxers in need and is 100% managed and run by volunteers and relies entirely on private donations, grants and revenue from Boxer Luv’s “Luv-To-Save” Thrift Shop.

Briard Rescue and Haven


Established to provide a safe place for Briard dogs. The Haven is a privately run facility, funded by private donations, ebay auctions, adoption fees and bequests.

Central Arizona Animal Rescue (CAAR) Non-profit organization dedicated to the general welfare, sheltering and placement of animals; prevention of cruelty to animals and overpopulation; education concerning humane treatment of animals; and involvement in other animal welfare issues.

Dachshunds Only Rescue


Not-for-profit, volunteer, foster-based, never-kill organization for Dachshunds. No animal is euthanized if they are too sick to be treated or too aggressive to be suitable for adoption–believe that behavioral modification techniques and positive reinforcement help to eliminate aggressive or unwanted behavior.

Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue


Non-profit, all volunteer, foster-based organization that provides Labrador Retriever breed and training information on request, public education on spaying and neutering, and finding homes for the Labrador Retriever.

Desert Paws Rescue A non-profit, no-kill, animal rescue group to rescue, rehabilitate (when necessary) and place domestic animals into stable homes; to educate the public about the responsibilities of pet ownership; and to build public awareness about the human-animal bond and its benefits to society.

The Fetch Foundation

Halo Animal Rescue (Helping Animals Live On)


No-kill facility that provides a refuge for dogs and cats who might otherwise be destroyed for reasons such as a treatable injury, illness, or those that are too scared or too young to go up for adoption at the time of arrival. The thrift store helps to bring in necessary income.

Happy Tails Dachshund Rescue, Inc.


Non-profit foster-based to save as many Dachshunds from suffering and premature death.

Helping Orphaned Hounds (H.O.H.)

Non-profit dedicated to saving lives in the animal and human communities through innovative strategies and unique programs that supports, equips, and trains first responders by providing the life saving tools in“The FIDO BAG®” that is used by first responders to provide life saving intervention to family pets that are caught in a fire or other emergency situations; to provide a safe place for homeless dogs that were neglected or abused; and by connecting the right dog with a veteran in need of companionship, these K9(s) would serve a purpose beyond what anyone imagined.



Finding Fido Animal Rescue

Finding Fido Animal Rescue Facebook page A humane rescue organization dedicated to reducing euthanasia by finding loving and permanent homes for the wonderful dogs and cats, especially the senior or special needs pets.

Foothills Animal Rescue


A non-profit organization to save lives through the rescue, care and adoption of homeless animals; a thrift store remains the primary source of income and community interaction.

Four Peaks Animal Rescue


A non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, training and placement of all species of domestic animals in need of medical care and sanctuary.

Freedom Tails Rescue Non-profit dedicated to rescuing animals in need.

Friends for Life Animal Rescue


Dedicated to helping the homeless and stray animals living on the streets and in the deserts. We also pursue an aggressive spay/neuter program for our animals and education for the public.

Friends of Animal Care & Control


Reduces euthanasia in Maricopa County by supporting pets & people by providing free and accessible spay & neuter services in our community.

Small all volunteer, no-kill, non-profit organization with two main goals: find loving homes for homeless dogs & puppies and promote spay/neuter thereby reducing the tragic consequences of pet overpopulation.

Lost Our Home Pet Rescue


Ensure that all pets have loving homes when families face major life challenges and provide compassionate options when Realtors and the community find an abandoned pet.

Lost Paws Sterilization, Education, & Rescue


Non-profit organization that focuses on sterilization, education and rescue.

Lucky Dog Rescue


Non-profit all volunteer foster-based organization dedicated to saving the lives of homeless animals from euthanasia, educating the community on responsible pet ownership and dedicated to training and what happens after the dog is in his new home.

Luv of Dogz Fund, Inc. Non-profit that provides advocacy and resources for rescued, abandoned, homeless dogs and to the people who rescue and care for them.

M.A.I.N. (Medical Animals In Need) Volunteer-based, donor-driven organization dedicated to rescuing animals off Maricopa County euthanasia lists with a medical needs.

Mayday Pit Bull Rescue & Advocacy Non-profit volunteer and foster-based organization that focuses on rescuing, rehabilitating and securing placement for Pit Bull and Pit Bull mixes, especially with extreme medical/behavioral and special needs, and to assist dogs from dog fighting, hoarding and other crisis/emergency situations. DIRECTORY continues on page 30 | Spring 2017


DIRECTORY continued from page 29

Mini Mighty Mutts Rescue 480-304-5654

Non-profit, all volunteer, foster-based small dog rescue not limited to any breed.

Ohana Animal Rescue


Non-profit, foster home based organization saving euthanasia listed animals from the county shelters.

One Dog (Arizona)

One Dog (Arizona) Facebook Page Non-profit rescue site to help network e-list (euthanasia list) and rescue dogs who need forever homes or dedicated foster homes.

Racing Home Greyhound Adoption


Non-profit foster- and volunteer-based rescue to find homes for retired racing Greyhounds and other homeless Greyhounds.

R.E.S.C.U.E. (Reducing Euthanasia at Shelters through Commitment and Underlying Education)


Non-profit, volunteer-driven animal rescue with no central facility and the focus is euthanasia-list rescues of cats and dogs from the county shelters.

Rescue A Golden of Arizona (RAG of AZ)


Non-profit, shelterless, all volunteer organization dedicated to the rescue, evaluation and placement of Golden Retrievers who lost their homes through no fault of their own.

Rescue Pals A non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming dogs mostly found in Fountain Hills.

Rockstar Rescue


Our mission is to help the hard-to-adopt cases, dogs that have suffered psychological traumas either from hoarding, fighting or abandonment situations and prepare them to become loving, household pets despite what they’ve endured.

Saint Bernard Rescue Foundation, Inc. Non-profit for rescue of Saint Bernards.

Saving Paws Rescue


Non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to providing veterinary care, evaluation and adoptive homes for German Shepherd Dogs, Belgian Malinois and others who are left in pounds to await uncertain fate.

Southwest Collie Rescue


Non-profit, volunteer, foster-based organization to rescue every purebred Collie in the area needing help, no matter how old or how sick.

Southwest German Shepherd Rescue


10am-8pm preferably weekdays Non-profit volunteer based organization committed to the rescue, rehab and rehoming of German Shepherds.

Underdog Rescue of Arizona


Non-profit, foster-based dog rescue that is dedicated to rescuing and rehoming shelter dogs rescued from the euthanasia list and abandoned dogs in need.

Urban Rescues Urban Rescues Facebook Page Rescuing dogs scheduled for euthanasia in Maricopa County animal shelters.

Valley of the Sun Dog Rescue


Non-profit, no-kill, family run animal shelter with help from volunteers and fosters that specializes in American Pit Bulls and American Staffordshire Terriers, but accepts all breeds into the rescue. We strive to increase public awareness about the gentler, humane side of a “Bully” breed.

Westie & Friends AZ Rescue, Inc.


Non-profit that rescues, rehabilitates and finds homes for abandoned and surrendered West Highland Terriers and their friends, educates about spaying and neutering, and stresses the need for high quality food and the importance of dental hygiene to extend their pet’s life.

White Gsd Rescue

Rotten Rottie Rescue

White Gsd Rescue Facebook Page Works with Southwest German Shepherd Rescue.


Yorkie Luv Rescue

Non-profit, no-kill, foster-based animal rescue to help, rescue, and rehome Rottweilers in safe adoptive and foster homes.

Sahuaro Dachshund Rescue


Non-profit rescue that helps homeless Dachshunds find new homes. 30

THE WAG magazine | Spring 2017 Non-profit volunteer and foster-based rescue to rescue, rehab and rehome any Yorkie cross with Yorkshire Terrier that finds itself homeless and work with communities in order to stress the importance of adopting a Yorkie in the hope of one day eliminating all puppy mills.


602-909-7153 A pet food pantry and disaster services organization distributing free pet food through partner agencies and giving pet items to Veterans, homeless, disaster victims and others.

Friends of Arizona’s Shelter Animals

Friends of Arizona’s Shelter Animals Facebook Page Volunteers who take photos of and get information about animals on the euthanasia list in local shelters, volunteer time to network the animals scheduled to be euthanized and make their photos/information available to the public and rescue groups in order to find alternative outlets for them.

Pet Social Worker/Tails of Hope


Free online database of stray, rescued, lost and found pets in the Maricopa area. In addition, the site offers tips, instructions and links to the local Pinal County Animal Care and Control forms needed to report a lost or found pet.

Phoenix Animal Care Coalition (PACC911)


Non-profit organization that works to bring together the Maricopa County animal welfare community in an interactive manner by providing opportunities for all to work together for the greater benefit of animals. Rescued Treasure’s Charity Boutique, and Chuck Waggin’ Pet Food Pantry are divisions of PACC911.

THE WAG magazine an informative, entertaining read about dogs

THE WAG magazine

& their companions


Visit our booth at the Phoenix Pet Expo We’d love to meet you, and your pet!

April 14-15 WestWorld of Scottsdale


an infor

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dogs &

their co




GOO ChemisD try The Scien ce Behin


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Rigley, part-time metal smith.

Friday, June 23 DOGS TEACH O About WNERS





Love pets AND working with people? Looking to make some extra $$$?

THE WAG magazine is looking for an ad sales person. Contact Gary at

715-497-8073 for details.


INDEX OF ADVERTISERS Allehunde Gym for Dogs...................................... 23 Coldwell Banker Don and Jody Sullins........................................... 19 Fountain Fashions...................................................2 Hunter Canine..................................................... 21 Midwestern University Companion Animal Clinic...........................................................7 Phil’s Filling Station Grill...................................... 23 Phoenix Pet Expo................................................. 32 RE/MAX Sun Properties Tina Nabers.............................................................2 Sapori D’Italia.........................................................5 That Guy’s Pizza.......................................................7 Vito’s Pizza and Italian Ristorante......................... 15 Willow Lake Leather............................................. 31 Zusia’s Doggie Salon & Su “Paw” Market.................7 | Spring 2017


THE WAG magazine Spring 2017  

We dedicate THE WAG to the beloved creatures that warm our hearts, make us laugh, lick our tears, teach us untold lessons, and without passi...

THE WAG magazine Spring 2017  

We dedicate THE WAG to the beloved creatures that warm our hearts, make us laugh, lick our tears, teach us untold lessons, and without passi...