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an informative, entertaining read about dogs & their companions SPRING/SUMMER 2020


D.O.G. TIMMY (Jon Provost)





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THE WAG magazine | Spring/Summer 2020







10 Izzy the Working Bea(gle)

In the lab sniffing out cancer with an exceptionally high rate of accuracy

By Penny Lex

12 Artificial Turf and Faux Paws

What to consider when adding artificial turf to your dog’s domain

By Dave Clark

14 CBD & YOUR D.O.G.

Hot on the canine scene, helpful for many

By Joyce Becker Lee

18 Pet Insurance

Considering coverage for your furry friend? Read on

By Teresa Bitler

22 Spring Cleaning

Don’t forget about Fido’s stuff when freshening your abode By Penny Lex DEPARTMENTS

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By Cherese Cobb

26 Book Reviews

4  From the Editor

Yavapai Humane Society

DOING BUSINESS This Little Doggie Stayed Home By Cherese Cobb

By Terri Schlichenmeyer

27 “Reel” Breed Match 30 The Marketplace

6  Smile for the Camera 28 Index of Advertisers

16 WAGGING WITH... Timmy (Jon Provost) About Lassie By Penny Lex

thewagmagazine.com | Spring/Summer 2020


THE WAG magazine



an informative, entertaining read about dogs & their companions

elcome WAG readers and…Spring, my


favorite time of the year. While many

Volume 4 Issue 2/3

of the joys from this season have been

PUBLISHERS Gary Lex Penny Lex

overshadowed by the recent pandemic, I’m hoping y’all are safe, taking good care, and by the time this issue comes off the press, there’s been some positive strides

Penny Lex

EDITOR Penny Lex DESIGN Amy Civer

toward resolve. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this combination Spring/Summer issue. It offers an abundance of informative and entertaining articles that we hope you find uplifting and give you a delightful dose of pleasure. You remember the television show Lassie, right? Well, I had the great pleasure of “Wagging With” Jon Provost about his tour as Timmy and working with Lassie on that long-running hit series. Did you know that Lassie was actually a male? And that Timmy never did fall into the well? (page 16). We have a profile of a dog that sniffs out cancer in humans and pets with remarkable accuracy (page 10). And if you’re thinking of adding artificial grass to your dog’s domain, you’ll definitely appreciate intel provided on page 12. We have more information on CBD (page 14), answers to many of your

PHOTOGRAPHY Vicky Cummings PROOFREADING Sue Maves ADVERTISING Penny Lex Sue Maves WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS Teresa Bitler Dave Clark Cherese Cobb Joyce Becker Lee Penny Lex Terri Schlichenmeyer DISTRIBUTION Times Media Animals & Humans in Disaster/ Pet Food Pantry THEEmpty WABowl G magazine an informative, entertaining read about dogs

& their companions

questions about pet insurance (page 18) and turn to page 22 for some tips on Spring cleaning. All that and more. Be sure to take note of our awesome Spring/Summer


See page 5 to win a box of Bonne et Filou, exquisite, handmade and fabulous French-inspired macarons for your fur baby. Enter now and be one of three lucky winners! Wishing you a sensational Spring & Summer,


Penny Lex, Editor & Publisher


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 COVER: “Tommy” as photographed by Prescott, Arizona, photographer Gary Gromer. Floral Collar by Florian, also of Prescott, Arizona. While Tommy recently found his forever home, thanks to Yavapai Humane Society, there are many other wonderful pets available still awaiting theirs. 4

THE WAG magazine | Spring/Summer 2020

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 Spring/Summer Giveaway Hidden somewhere within the text of this issue is a Bonne et Filou French-inspired dog macaron. Locate the delectable treat and send an email with the exact location to info@thewagmagazine.com. Start sniffing now and be one of three winning entries to receive a free box of the USA made French delectables – all natural, of human grade, free of corn and wheat with no preservatives. Drawing July 15, 2020.

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

Send photos of your dog to penny@thewagmagazine.com




6 5

4 6

7 THE WAG magazine | Spring/Summer 2020

1. Do 2. Penny 3. Daisy 4. Duke 5. Gee 6. Lucy 7. Murphy 8. Tucker


TO THE RESCUE YHS’s Safety Net program ... offers foster placement and veterinary help for up to 30 days.


By Cherese Cobb


icole Luck was still mourning Kara, her nine-and-a-half-year-old Cairn Terrier mix, when she saw something in Howard’s eyes that made her realize they needed each other. Pulled from a hoarding situation, the eight-pound Chihuahua growled, bit and barked. He wanted nothing to do with people. “I went into this experience knowing he was a damaged soul and might never become a pet,” Luck says. Within a week, the one-and-a-half-year-old was zooming around the house, getting into the “puppy play” position and venturing out on walks downtown. “At the end of every day, he lifts up the blankets and makes his way down to the foot of the bed to sleep next to me,” she says. “His transformation has been nothing short of amazing.” Where Every Animal Counts The Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) in Prescott, Arizona, ensures that companion animals like Howard are taken care of their entire lives. Each year, it takes in over 3,000 animals. Some of the cats, dogs and horses who come in as strays are reunited with their

Home of Yavapai Humane Society in Prescott, Arizona

owners. “Our returned-to-owner count was approximately 700,” says Loree Walden, Marketing Manager at YHS. “Over 2,000 animals were adopted, and there are more here every day just waiting to find their forever homes.” The Spay/Neuter & Wellness Clinic also does 5,000 spay/neuter surgeries per year and over 9,000 vaccinations. Volunteer Spirit “We have about 120 active volunteers,” Walden says. They do everything from walking dogs to answering phones to checking people in and out at the clinic. According to the Independent Sector, a coalition of charities, foundations, corporations and individuals that publishes research

important to the nonprofit sector, the estimated value of volunteer time for 2019 was $25.43 per hour. Based on this measurement, last year volunteers donated nearly a quarter of a million dollars’ worth of time to YHS. Comfort and Safety “A shelter is a stressful environment, so it’s extremely important that animals run around and play in the bark parks and go for walks with our volunteers,” Walden says. “We also have soothing music piped into the adoption floor, which keeps the dogs and cats calm and relaxed.” At the Equine Center, located in YAVAPAI continues on page 28

thewagmagazine.com | Spring/Summer 2020



THIS LITTLE DOGGIE STAYED HOME Dog Training, Walking & Sitting By Cherese Cobb


hether your paralyzed Pittie is terrified of her wheelchair, or your three-legged Rottweiler gorges on glitter crayons, Lindsey Wescott, the founder of This Little Doggie Stayed Home (TLDSH) in Chandler, Arizona, can help with that. It All Started When . . . At the age of five years old, Wescott purchased her first puppy from a neighborhood garage sale. She picked him from a box that had “Puppies” penned on the side, spending her whole $5 allowance. BJ was a handful. But he Following the leader of the pack. taught her how to care for cats, other dogs and her pet squirrel, Rocky. After college Wescott’s sales career paid her bills, and she was a foster parent, shelter volunteer and stray magnet who diligently reunited lost pets with their families. Because her job required her to travel, she was constantly stressed about who’d watch her Boston Terriers, who she refers to as “the squish army.” “One day, I decided to hang up my business suits and traded them in for sneakers and clothes covered in dog hair and This Little Doggie Stayed Home was born,” Wescott says.

“If dogs don’t know the rules of your house, how are they supposed to succeed?

A Growing Pack When it comes to sitting, Wescott and her pack of eleven walkers and sitters meet owners to discover their pets’ routines, where they keep their dog supplies and gather emergency information. TLDSH walks pets from one household. And they all get walked together whether there are two or five. “Our human clients get an update after every visit along with a picture of their pets,” she says. The pack works with all pets, including those with special needs, while Wescott helps owners who are considering euthanasia or rehoming. “I’m kind of their last-ditch effort,” she says. 8

Lindsey with one of her broods. Mixed Messages As humans, we’re very inconsistent and gray. Dogs are black and white. “I focus on calming dogs’ minds and opening up lines of communication. So both humans and their dogs feel understood and heard,” Wescott says. She uses communicative leash work and builds relationships.

THE WAG magazine | Spring/Summer 2020

Behavioral problems are generally symptoms of mixed-messages. “If I ask you what’s one thing you love about your dog and you say, ‘Oh, I love it when she hugs me.’ Then I ask you one thing you want to change and you say, ‘I really need her to stop jumping.’ To a dog, that’s the same thing,” she says. “If dogs don’t know the rules of your house, how are they supposed to succeed? We give our children structure and boundaries to set them up for success. We should do the same for our pets.” Helping Those in Need Wescott donates one or two training sessions per month to local rescues like Back the Blue Pet Rescue and Almost There Foster Care. Because AZ Happy Tails pulls under-socialized dogs from the Indian reservation, they’re feral and skittish. “Many trainers won’t work with them because their progress isn’t fast. It’s not a cool before-and-after video,” she says. “They learn to become dogs in baby steps. I don’t mind waiting because it’s incredibly fulfilling.” Everyday Heroes & Hounds Honoring first responders and veterans by providing all-inclusive, basic dog obedience boot camps, Wescott runs a nonprofit called Everyday Heroes & Hounds. The goal is to raise awareness about the suicide rates among those groups of people. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, soldiers are 1.5 times more likely to commit suicide than Americans who’ve never served in the military. “In 2020, we’re hoping to do two of the obedience boot camps: one in March and another in November,” Wescott says. doggiestayedhome.com

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The Working Bea(gle)

By Penny Lex

She’s a beloved pet, proud mom of six (two of which work for the USDA), the dog with one of the highest accuracy cancer detection rates for BioScent K9 (a nonprofit laboratory for cancer detection in humans and dogs), and…her name is Izzy. A rough start

Izzy’s life wasn’t so swell at first. After being attacked by a raccoon, she became an owner surrender since it was unknown if she’d ever been inoculated for rabies. When Heather Junqueira, president of BioScent K9, went to see the terrified year-old beagle hiding in the back of her kennel, she was told that she would be Izzy’s last hope because animal control could no longer hold the dog. Since Florida law requires a six-month


THE WAG magazine | Spring/Summer 2020

quarantine for suspected rabies, Heather went home and built a quarantine area for the petrified pup. “When I went back to get Izzy, she was so afraid that she couldn’t even walk out of the kennels. She had to be carried,” said Heather. “For the next five months, I was the only person allowed to have any contact with Izzy and we became very bonded. The hardest part of her quarantine was not allowing her to give me kisses.”

Scent training 101

During the quarantine, Heather started her new personal pet scent training. “Izzy absolutely loved it. I trained her to detect breast and lung cancer from breath condensate and blood serum. It was a good experience for her, got her out of her quarantine cage and gave her something to do mentally and physically every day.” Canine sniffing for cancer is really quite basic. Heather explains her technique as first teaching the dog to find a treat. Once they’ve learned to search and find, she pairs the odor of she wants them to look for (such as saliva or blood serum from a breast cancer patient) in a vial

She’s figured out the common denominator of all cancers in humans, canine and feline, and has shown a 100 percent accuracy in her determinations. next to the treat in a container that is magnetized to the wall. The dog goes for the treat, but each time she does the exercise, she decreases the size of the treat until it’s finally gone. The dog then pursues the alternate scent.

Working hard to reach Izzy's superior level of precision is Paws, Izzy's colleague and "significant other."

The nose knows

Izzy shares her laboratory tasks with 17 canine colleagues, 15 Beagles and 2 Bassett Hounds–some of which are in training and others that are regulars on the job. When it comes to olfactory cells, or scent receptors, Bloodhounds top the chart with 40 times the number in humans. Basset Hounds rank second and Beagles third.

A strong work ethic

Heather explains that, “While Bloodhounds have a superior nose, they are more tracking dogs.” And Basset Hounds? “They just do not have a strong work ethic. They come into the training room or lab and roll over for a belly rub. They have the noses but not the drive.” Beagles, however, are more career minded and love to work. Izzy is a great example. She loves to work, doesn’t get bored and is at the top of her game. She’s figured out the common denominator of all cancers in humans, canine and feline, and has shown a 100 percent accuracy in her determinations.

Home life

When she’s not working, Izzy enjoys spending her time running, playing, going on walks and playing with other dogs. But what Heather thinks Izzy enjoys most is giving kisses to anyone who is willing to accept them. “Izzy is so very special and I love her so much. What we have is very, very special. She will always have a very special place in my heart,” said Heather.

Izzy shares a special moment with her “mom.”

thewagmagazine.com | Spring/Summer 2020



FAUX PAWS By Dave Clark


n Arizona, keeping a traditional lawn can be quite a chore. Between seeding twice a year and the exorbitant water bills, sometimes a lawn can be more trouble than it’s worth. For those looking for an alternative to natural grass, artificial turf is a popular option. Knowing some of the particulars about artificial turf, especially if you are a pet owner, can help you make a more informed investment. Artificial turf comes in many different styles, levels of quality and price ranges. The old adage “you get what you pay for” holds true in this category, as it does in most others. The biggest concerns most homeowners have when it comes to turf are 1) will it develop an odor over time and 2) is it safe for my pets? The answer to both questions depends on what turf you decide to purchase.

What it is, how it’s made

Much of the turf on the market is made very similarly, with U-shaped blades of grass that are placed through a checkerboard-style grid over a thick polyurethane backing that holds the blades in place. To ensure the blades stay in place and upright, “infill” is added at the base of the blades, usually consisting of crushed rubber tires or silica sand. Turf made in this manner can be problematic on several levels. Some dogs love to dig and scratch. U-shaped 12

THE WAG magazine | Spring/Summer 2020

blades can be easily torn up by digging dogs. Having a turf that is woven into the backing helps guard against that, preserving the functionality and the nice look of the turf.

Where does all the “stuff” go?

The heavy, usually dark, polyurethane backing of the turf attracts heat and typically does not drain well. Many manufacturers will insert holes into the turf for drainage, but the chances that your dog will have perfect aim for those holes is highly unlikely. Odor develops when dog waste begins to settle into the bottom of the turf between the infill and the backing. Two factors come into play when it comes to drainage—the construction of the turf itself and the layer of drainage installed between the turf and the ground. Most companies use crushed rock to create the drainage layer. Having a drainage layer of at least 3/8" is necessary for proper drainage. While putting greens on golf courses will have little to no drainage space to ensure consistent golf play, when it comes to home turf, proper drainage is highly important to avoid the odor that can otherwise build over time. According to Matthew Peterson of ForeverLawn of Northwest Phoenix, makers of K9Grass, “To ensure you are installing a turf that is both pet and homeowner friendly, you want to choose a product that provides superior drainage and easy clean up. Turfs with proper drainage, such as K9Grass, allow a majority of the waste to wash straight through into the soil below.”


A pack of pups enjoying the turf.

Quality matters

Matthew further explained the advantages of investing in better quality turf. “K9Grass is entirely US-based, backed by the respected company DuPont, with quality being the number one priority. Most turf comes from China, where quality is often compromised. We don’t use polyurethane backings or infill that collect dog waste over time. If your dog has a ‘liquid accident’ on K9Grass, a simple hosing is all that’s needed, due to the turf’s superior drainage capabilities. With poor draining turf, the only way to eliminate the waste is by physically combing out the blades...and no one wants to do that,” said Matthew. Many Arizona residents, especially Midwestern transplants, can be hesitant to give up a real grass lawn since it’s something they’ve been accustomed to all their lives. The good news is that, in most cases, turf can be installed directly over an existing irrigation system. The installer would simply remove the sprinkler heads and cut off the water at the source so if a homeowner decided to eventually go back to natural grass, it would be an easy transition.

Keeping it clean

For those already with turf looking for best practices to clean it, John Pla from TurFresh recommends the following. “Turf acts as a big brush, collecting pet hair and waste where bacteria can grow. Using a battery-operated, hand-held hair removal tool known as Turfgroomer every two to three months can help remove much of the pet hair to ensure optimal drainage.” John also recommends against using your sprinklers as a cleaning system. “Using an irrigation system as a form of cleaning is not ideal because regular sprinkling can leave white, hard-water deposits from calcium, taking away the beauty of the turf.” He suggests giving it a good cleaning every couple of months or using a company such as TurFresh that has the knowledge and expertise to do the job properly by cleaning the blades, eliminating the bacteria and improving the drainage.

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CBD & your D.O.G. By Joyce Becker Lee

As the use of CBD (cannabidiol) as a holistic medicine for humans has taken off, it’s only natural that dog owners have turned to it for their pets. What it is

CBD oil offered for dogs comes from the hemp plant which, while related to marijuana, does not contain the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties— your dog will not get “high” on hemp CBD. Although there’s no scientific data on results, pet owners have reported positive results for various pet ailments including anxiety, nausea, poor appetite, inflammation, arthritis, seizures and cardiac problems. Researchers are also looking for anti-cancer benefits, though no conclusive evidence has been found to date. Same as administering any medication to your pet, you want to take appropriate precautions. First, know that not all CBD products are created equal.

The product should also have a cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practice) certificate attesting to qualified test results. Because the FDA has not yet developed a standardization of CBD, this cGMP assures a safe, high-quality product. In addition, a Certificate of Analysis (COA) should be found on

Know what to look for

“The CBD industry is still a Wild West,” says Melanie E. Dillon, MA, of Entourage Clinical Services, a CBD provider in Mundelein, Illinois, who urges caution in choosing products. “Because the industry is still self-regulated and not under the direction of the FDA, it’s still buyer beware.” According to Dr. Michael Macri of CannaRise, a manufacturer of CBD and medical cannabis based in Scottsdale, one thing to look for is the lab testing of a product by a reliable, FDA-certified laboratory. 14

CBD is subject in the U.S. to FDA regulations and standards ... India and China are not. the company’s website or by scanning a package’s QR code with a cell phone. If you have questions, contact the company. They should be eager to help you; if not, buy elsewhere. Look for products grown and manufactured in the U.S. Classified as a

THE WAG magazine | Spring/Summer 2020

“new drug,” CBD is subject in the U.S. to FDA regulations and standards, while products from such countries as India and China are not. When choosing a CBD product, make sure it is: • Dog-specific. Avoid products made for humans, which might contain flavorings and additives harmful for a dog; but the phrase “not for human consumption” is a red flag about the product’s purity. • USA-grown. Look for organic hemp to avoid harmful pesticides often used. • Laboratory tested. • Broad Spectrum. Full spectrum can contain THC (though no more than 0.3%), and CBD isolate is the basic element without beneficial nutrients such as terpenes, flavonoids and phenolics. • Easy to measure. There should be clear instructions for dosage. • Appropriately priced. Don’t cheap it out. The purest products cost more but are safer.

Options to administer

While you’ll find dozens of different products with CBD for human use, from gummy bears to hand creams to bath bombs, the selection for dogs is more limited, with the most common being drops, balms and treats. The preferred method of giving CBD is by drops directly

in the mouth, on a treat or mixed in food. You might also use a transdermal oil or balm, applied directly on the skin in much the same way as a monthly flea and tick preventative. Dr. Macri is not a fan of CBD sprays and shampoos, though some CBD might get wicked through: “They will make the fur look shiny but won’t really help.”

Watch for side effects

Based on your pet’s overall health and the condition you wish to address with CBD, your veterinarian should be able to provide product information and application advice. Check the product’s purity and the company’s reliability, monitor the dosage, and watch your dog for signs of difficulty, including dry mouth, increased thirst, lowered blood pressure and drowsiness.

... watch your dog for signs of difficulty, including dry mouth ... drowsiness. CBD for dogs is much like medications taken by humans—one med will have a positive impact on some folks but not on others. For a great number of pet owners, however, CBD has been deemed a “miracle medicine” as they continue to champion the many therapeutic attributes CBD has to offer.

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TIMMY (Jon Provost) ABOUT LASSIE By Penny Lex

Jon with his dog, Nino

THE WAG magazine: You joined the television series Lassie in the fourth season at the age of seven playing Timmy for seven seasons, 1957–1964. Did you have a dog at home when you first started filming? JP: Oh sure. I was raised with animals— dogs and cats. I had a pony, my sister had a horse. We had a miniature goat that was housebroken that would even come into the house. Rudd Weatherwax, Lassie’s trainer, didn’t know how I would react with Lassie, so he made a deal with me. If I didn’t bug Lassie, pull his tail or sit on him or anything like that, for my eighth birthday, he would give me a Lassie puppy. Throughout the filming, Rudd would correct my behavior and yes, I did receive a male Lassie puppy that I named Rudd after Rudd Weatherwax. TWM: There were six male dogs that played the female Lassie, all descendants of the original Rough Collie Lassie (off-screen name Pal) who starred in Lassie Come Home in 1943. Which Lassie did you work with? JP: My first year I worked with Pal’s son, The Old Man. Rudd retired him and then I worked with The Old Man’s son, Spook, but that didn’t work out. In my third year, Rudd introduced me to Spook’s 16

son, Baby. I worked with him for five years. I believe the new Lassie series had Howard, the eighth generation and now Bob Weatherwax, Rudd’s son, has the twelfth generation, direct descendent from Pal. By the way, many people don’t know that there was a Lassie live radio show that ran from 1947–1950. Pal was the star. TWM: While the other Lassies lived to be 17 or 18, Baby died at the young age of eight. Do you know what happened? JP: Baby died of melanoma. Maybe because we were working outdoors a lot and because of the light skin? Baby was an amazing dog. Very, very intelligent. TWM: Did you spend time with Lassie off the set? JP: Many times on Friday after work we’d jump in Rudd’s station wagon with his two dogs and go to his ranch and spend the weekend there getting away from work, playing with the dogs and fishing. It was a great way for me and the dogs to play and bond. TWM: Do you have a favorite episode of Lassie? JP: Yes. A three-part one called “The Odyssey” where Lassie disappeared and

THE WAG magazine | Spring/Summer 2020

we think he’s gone forever. I’m outside burying Lassie’s favorite toys when suddenly Lassie comes over the hill. I get emotional every time I watch it. TWM: Did Lassie have a stunt double? JP: Yes. If there was a scene where Lassie got wet or muddy, that was a double because it would take too long to get Lassie cleaned up. There weren’t blow dryers back then. TWM: How about friends? Did Lassie ever have any four-legged buddies with her on the set and by the way, do you refer to Lassie as him or her? It gets confusing because on the show he’s referred to as a “she” or “girl.” JP: Him. I refer to Lassie as him. Every Lassie had a companion dog. The companions were smaller dogs like a Jack Russell, usually a terrier of some sort that was always with Lassie. They were Rudd’s dogs and trained and worked on the show—sometimes as extras. Some of Rudd’s other dogs were Old Yeller, a rescue; Toto; and Asta, a Wire Fox Terrier that starred in the 1934 detective comedy The Thin Man with William Powell and Myrna Loy. TWM: So I know you worked along side such stars as Grace Kelly, Clint

Eastwood, Robert Redford, Natalie Wood—even Mr. Ed. Who was your favorite? JP: That’s a tough question. Oh you know I started so young and grew up in the business. They were just people. Just people sitting in the makeup chair next to me. We were all the same. But when I was 15 and did the movie This Property Is Condemned with Natalie Wood well, um, you know she was a little bit older than me but um, well yah. Very impressive. But you know when you work with people like that, you draw from and learn from them.

"He [Lassie] would do a scene, leave the set and go lay down. He knew he nailed it. The people made more mistakes."

TWM: OK, so not Mr. Ed. What about someone like Tramp from My Three Sons? Ever rub paws with him? JP: They filmed on the same Desilu lot that we were on but about two or three football fields away. I met Tramp maybe once or twice. TWM: Did Lassie ever mess up his lines? JP: No. The adult actors and children actors made more mistakes than Lassie. Baby was very smart. He would do a scene, leave the set and go lay down. He knew he nailed it. The people made more mistakes. TWM: Did Lassie have his own trailer or dressing room? JP: He didn’t have his own room but he had a portable mat. It was on rollers, so when we had to go to another part of the studio, they could just wheel him where he needed to go. It was big enough for both of us, so sometimes I would lay down and sleep with him. TWM: And glam squad? JP: Oh yes! Lassie was constantly being groomed. 24/7. If you ever saw Lassie the least bit dirty, that wasn’t him but a stand in or double. They were used in longer shots when you’d see Lassie running or when he was wet or muddy. TWM: I understand that Lassie had a litter of puppies during the time you were filming. How did that go (since Lassie was really a male)? JP: Yes, there would be one scene every year on set where Lassie had puppies. Lassie would lay down and they would place six or eight puppies close to him and it would be like he was thinking “ok, this is cool, but when are we going to be done with this scene?”

Jon enjoying some free time at the ranch of Rudd Weatherwax, Lassie's trainer.

TIMMY continues on page 24 thewagmagazine.com | Spring/Summer 2020


PET INSURANCE By Teresa Bitler


et insurance is a relatively new concept in the United States. The first policy for an American pet wasn’t issued until 1982, and even then, the policy was written for a working dog, TV star Lassie. Today, according to the latest available data from the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, North Americans insure 2.43 million pets, a number that is steadily increasing due to the growing number of households with pets, a rise in the cost of veterinary care, and awareness. PAYING THE PREMIUM Many pet owners, especially in the United States, either don’t know pet insurance exists or aren’t convinced it’s something they need, says Linda Markland, Veterinary Relations Specialist with Nationwide, the first and largest provider of health insurance in the United States. You’re supposed to set up a savings account for pet expenses, she explains, but most Americans don’t even have a savings account for themselves. Even then, if you do set aside $50 a month (the equivalent of a monthly premium for decent coverage) and after three months your dog gets an ear infection, treatment costs will easily exceed the $150 you have in your account. “If your savings account won’t cover something as simple as an ear infection, what’s going to happen if your dog gets cancer?” she asks. “You’re looking at thousands of dollars in medical expenses. How long is it going to take to build up that much in a savings account?” WHAT IS COVERED—WHAT IS NOT Pet insurance typically covers accidents and illnesses, diagnostic testing, emergency and specialist care, CT scans, MRIs, X-rays, ultrasounds, hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, prescription drugs and behavioral therapy for diagnosable issues like submissive


urination. Most policies cover cancer; others require a rider for coverage. No policy covers pre-existing conditions, but each company defines pre-existing conditions differently. In general, a pre-existing condition is any injury, illness or irregularity noticed by you or your veterinarian before the end of your waiting period. For example, if your dog has a rash before you purchase insurance, that rash would be excluded from coverage. However, some companies take into account whether the condition is curable or incurable. An ear infection can be a pre-existing condition, but if your dog is treated and doesn’t have symptoms for 12

“You don’t have a crystal ball. You don’t know when your pet is going to get hurt or sick. Having insurance allows you to be prepared.”

DO SOME HOMEWORK When shopping for a policy, look for one that is comprehensive. Find out exactly what it covers. Ask what treatments are covered, what are the caps (if any) and whether illness, accidents and wellness are all covered. If you live in a big city, find out whether the policy uses a benefit schedule based on the national average for procedure reimbursements. Pet owners in big cities usually pay more for treatment than the national average, so they would be responsible to pay for any amount over what the insurance company pays. You also want to find out how the provider is paid. Andrea Clewley, Director of Learning and Development, says Trupanion offers direct pay to the vet. “What good is insurance if you have to pay $5,000 out of pocket and get reimbursed later?” she asks.

WHEN TO PURCHASE Markland says the one thing she wishes people understood is that it’s too late to months, some companies, like Embrace, get pet insurance when they actually need consider him “cured” and will cover a it. “We get calls every day from people subsequent ear infection. who need pet insurance now. I got a call Other policies may not cover certain from someone whose dog needed surgery, conditions based on a dog’s breed and and he couldn’t understand why he age. For example, Trupanion wouldn’t couldn’t buy insurance to cover it. I had cover hip dysplasia for a Labrador to explain that if he had just been in a car Retriever because that breed is prone to accident, he couldn’t call the insurance that condition. company from the scene of the accident, Wellness care may not be covered buy insurance and expect the damages to either. “Pet insurance isn’t human be paid. That’s not how insurance works.” insurance, so it’s not going to cover The time to think about getting pet routine wellness visits,” says Sara Radak insurance is when you’re thinking of with Embrace. getting a new puppy, says Clewley. “You Some companies, like Embrace and don’t have a crystal ball. You don’t know Nationwide, offer riders or policies that when your pet is going to get hurt or include wellness care such as yearly visits sick. Having insurance allows you to be and vaccinations. It’s important to know prepared.” what a policy covers before you purchase She adds, “Having pet insurance and it, and if something like wellness coverage not needing to use it is better than not is important to you, find a policy that having it and needing it.” includes it, Radak adds.

THE WAG magazine | Spring/Summer 2020

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Pet health insurance is administered by Embrace Pet Insurance Agency, LLC and underwritten by one of the licensed insurers of American Modern Insurance Group, Inc., including American Modern Home Insurance Company d/b/a in CA as American Modern Insurance Company (Lic. No 2222-8), and American Southern Home Insurance Company. Coverage is subject to policy terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions, underwriting review, and approval, and may not be available for all risks or in all states. Rates and discounts vary, are determined by many factors, and are subject to change. Wellness Rewards is offered as a supplementary, non-insurance benefit administered by Embrace Pet Insurance Agency in the United States. © 2020 American Modern Insurance Group, Inc.

thewagmagazine.com | Spring/Summer 2020



The Heat Is On

Keep Your Dog Cool & Safe DON’T: • Leave your dog in a parked car • Walk your dog on hot pavement or sand • Leave your dog unattended in a pool • Shave your dogs coat ALWAYS: • Make sure your dog stays hydrated with plenty of fresh, clean, cool water • Protect your dog from fireworks—sound and debris

• Teach your dog where the steps are to exit a swimming pool • Apply a sunscreen designated for canine use (particularly for those dogs with white or thin coats with light or white pigment on their ears or near their nose) • Check regularly for fleas and ticks • Consider a life jacket if appropriate (not all dogs can swim)

Fun Facts About

Millennials and Their Pets 1. Seven in 10 millennials own a pet

2. The majority of millennial pet owners see their pet as a “fur baby”

3. Seven in 10 (68%) millennial pet owners

would take leave to care for a new pet if their employer offered it

4. Millennial dog owners spend $1,285 per year on their pet

5. Millennial cat owners spend $915 per year on their pet

6. Millennial dog owners expect to spend more on their dog through its lifetime than on personal medical costs during their own adult lifetime

Millennials polled were between the ages of 21-37 Reproduced with permission. Source: TD Ameritrade


THE WAG magazine | Spring/Summer 2020

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Run rubber or latex toys through the dishwasher (top shelf) or wash by hand with hot water and soap.


Look at all your dog’s toys and toss those that have had their day— frayed, worn or the squeaker appears close to being exposed. Run rubber or latex toys through the dishwasher (top shelf) or wash by hand with hot water and soap. Assess stuffed toys, stitch up those needing repair and run through the washing machine. Don’t forget to clean the toy box or container where toys are stored, too.


Spring is a good time to make an annual check of your dog’s accessories. Make sure collars are cleaned regularly (wash in warm-hot water with pet shampoo). See that the collar is not frayed and is a good fit. Give tags a wipe and make sure they are secure. Make sure engraving on tags is legible. If not, time to order new. Leashes and harnesses get dirty, too. Clean them by referring to fabric care instructions.


Cleaning your dog’s combs and brushes prevents allergens from spreading and makes the tools work better. Soak combs in a container of hot water, soap or bleach. Rinse and allow to air dry. For brushes, use a comb to remove fur from the pad of the brush. Then soak in hot water with a disinfectant, soap, or equal parts of water and vinegar or dog shampoo. Rinse well and air dry. You can also use Barbicide disinfectant cleaning liquid for grooming tools. For electric clippers and nail cutters, refer to individual product instructions.


THE WAG magazine | Spring/Summer 2020

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TIMMY continued from page 17

TWM: So based on training, if Timmy fell down today and couldn’t get up, do you think Lassie would go for help? JP: Definitely. Ha, ha, ha. No questions asked. TWM: Lassie told us that Timmy’s in the well (allegedly). But I hear you’re quite an accomplished chef and author of a cookbook called Timmy’s in the Kitchen. JP: Yes, that’s in the works right now. But you know Timmy never did fall into the well. We haven’t a clue where that came from. And speaking of food, Lassie never ate out of a can or a bag. He had all natural food like cottage cheese, ground beef, mixed vegetables, rice—all fresh food. I truthfully believe the way the dogs were cared for and breeding is why they lived so long (17–18 years).

TWM: You were very young and impressionable when filming Lassie. What did Lassie teach you? JP: All our shows had a moral to them. Timmy sometimes wasn’t the smartest kid. He messed up, but he always learned from those mistakes. I think that’s what makes television from my era totally different from today. Writers, producers and directors cared about what they put on the screen. Rudd taught me respect for the animals. That’s why I’ve always been involved with animals and animal rights. That stems from my time with Lassie and Rudd. 24

"We’d walk in with Lassie and the kids would light right up and for that period of time, they would forget where they were."

TWM: My grandfather always said, “Every kid should have a dog.” Do you agree with that? JP: Wow! Your grandfather was an amazing man! I’m going to have to paraphrase. Rudd used to say something like “Every boy needs a dog and every dog needs a boy” or “Every child needs a dog and every dog needs a child.” Yes, I agree with that. TWM: Anything else you’d like to share? JP: Yes. Yes there is. There is one thing about Rudd. Doing the series, we’d work nine months out of the year. During the three months we had off, about one month of that time Lassie and I would travel with Rudd around the country visiting the main markets like New York, Chicago, Dallas promoting the show. However, Rudd would insist that if there was a children’s hospital in that town, we would stop. We’d walk in with Lassie and the kids would light right up and for that period of time, they would forget where they were. These were kids with polio, kids that had been severely burned— stuff like that. That made a super lasting impression on me of what we could do and what we could give back. That was Rudd. Not the studio. That was Rudd the dog trainer saying we would do this. He had a heart of gold. I loved him. I didn’t know my grandfathers so I really appreciated him. TWM: And we appreciate you and all the wonderful Lassie memories you’ve given us. Thank you Jon. TWM: It’s a wrap!

THE WAG magazine | Spring/Summer 2020


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BOOK REVIEWS Reviewed By Terri Schlichenmeyer, The Bookworm Sez

Dog Is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You Clive D.L. Wynne You give good treats and your dog is happy to take them any time you offer. But you may ask yourself when reading Dog Is Love by Clive D.L. Wynne why Puppy sticks with you. There’s no doubt about it, dogs are special—yours in particular. But sometimes you wonder, does Doggo really love you or are you just a food dispenser? Is it fair to lay a human emotion on a canine? As a scientist, dog-owner, and a selfdescribed skeptic, Wynne needed solid proof that his pooch, Xephos, felt real affection for him. She’s certainly bouncy-crazy when he comes home and she “radiates affection.” But is that love? Or is it talent or intelligence that

dogs have when it comes to humans? She’s not the smartest dog, Wynne says of his girl; but she seems “to understand people’s communicative intentions.” That’s something shelter dogs learn quickly, as can hand-raised wolves. At times, Xephos’ grasp of words or actions almost seems like some sort of ESP. Was communication proof of affection? Studies and trials on canine smarts have been done aplenty, but they weren’t enough to convince Wynne that dogs had “special forms of intelligence.” So, he began “developing [his] own theory…” He learned that dogs care, but sometimes they prefer food to folks. They carry their emotions on both ends of their bodies. Maybe our human-canine bond lies in history; humans and wolves hunted together, right? Nope, says Wynne; researchers show that wolves were much more opportunistic. Is canine affection in a dog’s genes? Maybe, but it also strongly depends on the “dog’s life experiences.” Is it how a dog is raised, then? Yes, but…

But does it matter? Says Wynne, “The essence of dog is love.” There are two distinct ways of looking at Dog Is Love, a book that asks, at its core, if you know that your dog loves you. First, how can you have any doubt? One look at those eyes and most dog owners will agree that this book is superfluous. The answer is yes, pawsdown, your dog loves you. Even if the level of emotion depends on what’s in your hand. But then, you have to see what author Clive D.L. Wynne has to say. Beware: it’s open-minded, curious and truth-seeking, with enough conviction to make readers understand why they’re even tackling this topic. Here, what you learn underscores what you know, through fascinating studies, lighthearted personal observations, opinion and science. In the end, the answer is just as you thought, but you’re left smarter and smiling.

Doctor Dogs: How Our Best Friends Are Becoming Our Best Medicine by Maria Goodavage No matter what happened to your day, your dog is the best part of it; and in Doctor Dogs by Maria Goodavage, you’ll see that she may be best for your health, too. Your Rover is a champion sniffer. Everything he sees gets inspected, smelled and smelled again. It’s all interesting to him because his little nose has “up to three hundred million” olfactory receptors as compared to your puny six million 26

receptors. You might smell a swimming pool, says Goodavage, but a dog could “sniff out a teaspoon of a chemical in a million gallons of water…” For centuries, humans have known about those warm, wet noses; and we’ve put them to work in hunting prey, contraband and missing people. Relatively recently, science has also expanded a dog’s nose job into something that can enhance a life, or even save one. Diabetic-alert dogs, for example, can smell when their owners’ glucose levels are either too high or too low, with a minimum 80 percent accuracy. Dogs are taught to signal the problem to the patient, thus avoiding illness, coma, or even death. Some have figured out by themselves to rouse parents or caregivers if the diabetic doesn’t respond.

THE WAG magazine | Spring/Summer 2020

Knowing that their owners are about to face crisis, seizure-alert dogs are trained to warn for what’s coming. This gives sufferers a chance to find a safe place to sit or lie down and ride out the seizure or fainting spell—sometimes, with the dog on their legs or lap. Dogs also offer comfort, once the seizure is over. Research on cancer-scent dogs is ongoing, as is work with cardiac canines. Dogs offer mobility assistance for the handicapped, they can detect deadly bacteria, and they help PTSD sufferers, the mentally ill, and autistic children. Oh and by the way, don’t discount your own pooch. Goodavage says that family pets have been known to spontaneously alert for illness, so pay attention. And enjoy the read.


WAG’S MATCH THE “REEL” BREED Match the breed to the appropriate famous ‘reel’ dog star or business 1. Bull Terrier

2. Staffordshire Terrier

_____ _____

a. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off b. Boris, Lady & The Tramp

3. Beagle _____ c. Marmaduke 4. Bearded Collie


d. Rin Tin Tin

6. Border Collie


f. Spuds MacKenzie/Target

5. Bloodhound 7. Borzoi 8 Briard 9. Brussels Griffon 10. Chihuahua 11. Chinese Crested

12. Cocker Spaniel 13. French Mastiff

14. Great Dane

15. Golden Retriever

16. Jack Russell Terrier

_____ _____ _____ _____ _____

e. My Three Sons

g. Hooch, Turner & Hooch

h. Krull, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days i. Bruiser, Legally Blonde

j. Verdell, As Good as It Gets


k. Duke, Beverly Hillbillies


m. Lassie

_____ _____ _____ _____

l. Petey, The Little Rascals n. The Shaggy Dog (remake)

o. Matisse, Down & Out in Beverly Hills p. Lady, Lady & The Tramp

17. Pug _____ q. Comet, Full House 18. Rottweiler


r. Otis, Milo & Otis

20. German Shepherd


t. Frasier

19. St. Bernard 21. Rough Collie



s. Snoopy

u. Beethoven

Answers on page 28

thewagmagazine.com | Spring/Summer 2020


YAVAPAI continued from page 7

Chino Valley, Arizona, horses have constant access to high-quality hay and social shelters that protect them from sun and inclement weather. They exercise on a track that runs parallel to the property’s perimeter. “We don’t break, and there’s no bronco busting,” she says. “We work a lot on ground manners, saddle training, bit training and long-reigning.”

Falling on Hard Times

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Whether they’re dealing with financial famine, lengthy hospitalizations or domestic violence displacements, YHS’s Safety Net program will help them weather the storm. It offers foster placement and veterinary help for up to 30 days. Its community pet food bank is available to low-income families through Catholic Charities. Each year, five to seven million companion animals enter shelters when their owners die, so YHS launched

PHOTO: YAVAPAI HUMANE SOCIETY Garfield. the Pet Guardianship program. “We currently have over 100 animals in it,” Walden says. For an annual donation of any amount, volunteers provide for the pet’s unique needs (including medical care) and find the animal another loving, lifetime home.

You Can Help

The YHS is in desperate need of KMR Kitten Milk and PetAg PetLac Puppy

Milk. To shop its Amazon wish list or to complete an adoption/volunteer application, please visit Yavapaihumane. org.

Yavapai Humane Society 1625 Sundog Ranch Road Prescott, AZ 86301 928-445-2666


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 27

1f, 2l, 3s, 4n, 5k, 6o, 7b, 8e, 9j, 10i, 11h, 12p, 13g, 14c, 15q, 16t, 17r, 18a, 19u, 20d, 21m


THE WAG magazine | Spring/Summer 2020

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance................................................21 Balanced Paws Pet Spa ......................................................... 9 Bonne et Filou ....................................................................32 Chapman BMW on Camelback ...........................................21 Critter Doc, Andrea Sobotka ................................................15 Doggie Style Pet Grooming ................................................25 Embrace Pet Insurance .......................................................19 Forest Villas Hotel ...............................................................23 ForeverLawn Northwest Phoenix ........................................13 Gyms for Dogs ....................................................................29 Midwestern University Equine and Bovine Center .............23 Ms. Natural’s ......................................................................... 9 New Home Marketplace ....................................................... 5 Phil’s Filling Station Grill ....................................................13 Poo Happens LLC.................................................................25 Prescott Gateway Mall Merchants ......................................... 2 RE/MAX Sun Properties, Tina Nabers ..................................29 Sapori D’Italia ....................................................................... 9 State Farm, Tracy Murr .......................................................... 5 To Your Health, Inc. .............................................................15 Turner International Real Estate .........................................31 Yavapai Humane Society Thrift Store ..................................25




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