The advice and opinions in Franny & Red Magazine may or may not have been backed by medical or scientific research. Some advice may contain information regarding treatements or uses of medications. This advice does not necessarily give full disclosure on how to treat or diagnose your pet and may or may not have been approved by a licensed veterinarian or pharmacist. Franny & Red does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment. Please do not consider all information in Franny & Red Magazine as fully disclosed medical advice. Please do not delay seeking professional veterinary advice from a licensed veterinarian. Always speak to your veterinarian before you start, stop or change any prescribed medications or regimens for your pet. Franny & Red is a great resource however it should not be the sole resource for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think your pet is having a medical emergency please dial your nearest veterinary center immediately.
About Us Franny & Red Magazine is published by Brook Farm Veterinary Center in Patterson, New York. Brook Farm is a leading provider of veterinary medicine in the Hudson Valley that is reinventing how veterinary practices engage with their clients. Founded by Dr. D. Evan Kanouse, DVM in 1982, we’re anchored in the trust of our clients and dedicated to excellence. This publication is provided free-of-charge to our clients and our community. Please address any questions or concerns to the following: Brook Farm Veterinary Center 2371 Route 22 Patterson, New York 12563 (845) 878-4833 | firstname.lastname@example.org Evan Kanouse III Editor, Hospital Administrator (845) 878-4833 x2715 email@example.com Leslie Tracey Director, Public Relations & Development (845) 878-4833 x2721 firstname.lastname@example.org
hikes in the hudson valley This group is for animal-loving outdoor enthusiasts! Our goals are to explore local outdoor dog-friendly locations and meet like-minded individuals while providing a safe and fun atmosphere for our participants. Check out all that the Hudson Valley has to offer! Visit: http://bit.ly/11sQ1jW.
The 1998 classic romantic comedy, You’ve Got Mail, opens with two rival shop owners - Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) and Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) who meet in an online chat room and begin communicating via email, unaware of each other’s true identities. As the camera pans the beautiful NYC landscape, Fox writes to his pen pal, “Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” This simple, captivating line has always come to mind when the leaves begin to turn here in the beautiful Hudson Valley. All year I yearn for the day when it’s cold enough to wear my favorite sweater and see my breath before me in the brisk autumn air. There’s just something about the Fall that makes me want to slow down. Maybe it’s the change in weather or the spectacular view of the leaves changing that I have from my office window, or the fact that I can now justify playing Christmas music because it’s “just a little bit” too early. Of course, as fate would have it, the fall is one of our busiest seasons. Pictured here are a few of us (including yours truly) at the Putnam Humane Society’s “Strut Your Mutt” event: at the top right, I’m giving an impromptu lecture about the importance of stimulating our local economy here in the Hudson Valley. At the bottom left, Pat is tying some balloons to the side of our tent before getting back to her job as photographer (many of her photos are featured in this issue.) Last but not least, Katie is featured at the bottom left with her “Brook Farm Swag” - pin buttons, straw hat, pigtails... the works. Katie makes her Franny and Red debut this month with one of our cover stories, a fascinating and intriguing article about an emerging tick-borne virus. Each and every contributor - many of which are not mentioned here has made an enormous impact on the creation of this issue and the further development of this cute little publication. Thank you for letting us share this experience with you: in person, at events, on the page and online. It is always a true pleasure to be a part of this magnificent community which we all call “Home.” Enjoy.
courtesy of natalino.com
Serenity in every Snuggle
by evan kanouse III Editor, Hospital Administrator
The remarkable ways that pets can help to ease everyday stressors.
‘m not going to lie. The veterinary field is often one which is incredibly stressful. As the Hospital Administrator at Brook Farm Veterinary Center, I am responsible for the careers of over twenty team members: my full time, part time, temporary, seasonal, and independently contracted colleagues rely on me to be a fair and equitable leader in the face of great difficulties. From the minor hiccup to the more daunting hurdle, anybody employed in the field will attest to the complicated nature of the business. As many will also tell you, it’s often not about the crises themselves, but rather how you interact with them and reach points of resolution that really matter. Dogs and cats have the remarkable power to break down barriers, transcend everyday drama, and promote tranquility in even the most stressful and taxing environments. When I get overwhelmed, I resort to our mascot and house mutt, Klinker. Gently stroking his soft fur, rubbing his stomach and watching him do tricks in exchange for far too many cookies than I’m willing to admit always evokes a smile. Sometimes we’ll stop to play Tug of War or catch; other times, we’ll break into the supply closet together and pick out a toy that Klinker absolutely must have (and destroy.) For the brief moments that we share as this 10year old, 120+ pound dog rolls around like a puppy, everything else ceases to exist. The phone stops ringing and my office door closes, albeit for just a few minutes, as we de-stress together. While I would love to believe that the soothing connection we experience together is unique, this is in no way a novel phenomenon. When I was younger and in preparatory school, I would often watch in awe as teachers brought their (aptly named) dogs into the classroom: the English professor’s Golden Retriever, Macduff; the Ohio-native’s Scottish Terrier, Cleveland; and the college counselor’s daughter’s actual therapy dog, Gracie. In fact, studies show that canines in the classroom can be used to calm fears, relieve anxiety, and teach skills (Education World.) A recent study “investigating [the] effects of so-called ‘school-dogs’ documented positive socio-emotional effects such as reduction of aggression
and promotion of social competence, attention towards the teacher, and positive social interactions among the children” (1 Beetz.) A recent article published in USA Today writes of the positive effects of therapy dogs in the human hospital. At Indiana’s IU Health Arnett Hospital, Blitzen, a Labrador Retriever, has helped to soothe medical ordeals from slight to severe. The article chronicles the remarkable story of Siobhan Heiden, a woman who was struck by a car in March of this year and suffered from a coma as a result. Now on the road to recovery, “her memory is still a bit jumbled. She’ll remember a morning and an afternoon, but not know if the day was the same.” Blitzen, however, she remembers clearly: she describes “his bright red scarf and name badge” and “the way he jumped into her hospital bed with her” after her second brain surgery. Heiden exclaims that she felt physically better after seeing and spending time with this unique four-legged volunteer. Lying in the lobby of the hospital, Blitzen [is often] showered with smiles, hugs and belly rubs. “A certified therapy dog, [he] visits the hospital on Wednesdays to see patients on three floors. He’ll put his head on their laps or hop in bed and go to sleep.... After about a year of weekly visits, the hospital [now] hopes to add more therapy dogs” and formally adopt this pilot program. For families whose lives are filled with hospital and doctor visits and where being in the hospital is a removal from outside life, Blitzen’s companionship is a refreshing change. There’s many a day that I’d rather fall asleep next to Klinker on his oversized, toy-covered L.L. Bean bed than face the realities of life and work. This, however, isn’t practical, and, despite how much I’d like to believe it, doesn’t do me much good in the long run. What the studies that I have presented show, however, is the subtle yet soothing effects that the mere presence of animals in our lives can have on us humans. The next time that you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed at work, or you’ve missed the bus and now have to pick the kids up at school, or find out that there’s nothing to cook for dinner tonight and you really don’t want to go grocery shopping, take a moment to stop, breathe and snuggle.
Beetz, Andrea. Socio-Emotional Effects of a Dog in the Classroom. Pet Partners. University of Erlangen in Erlangen, Germany, 11-13 July 2012. Web. 17 Sept. 2013. “Lessons Learned from Dogs in the Classroom.” Education World: Teachers Lead Improvement at State Street School. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2013.
n this edition of Creature Confidential, I will be discussing the interesting little amphibian native to our own New York State: the Eastern Hellbender. No, I’m not talking about your obnoxious neihbor! I’m talking about the rare, three-foot long giant salamander. They are both predator and prey in their environment and survive mainly on crayfish and other small fish. They have survived around for over sixty-five million years and are large, flat-looking creatures with folds down their sides and five toes on each foot. Hellbenders are very well adapted to their shallow homes in rocky streams. They are met with little resistance as their flat body squirms up streams and crawls into small spaces for security and comfort. Although their vision is quite poor, Hellbenders’ bodies are covered in light-sensitive cells that allow them to perceive their environment and sense potential danger. Their finely tuned tails allow them to get under large rocks without being seen by more powerful predators. To further aid in their survival and continued existence, the Eastern Hellbenders have an acute sense of smell. For what they lack in eyesight the Hellbender compensates for in smell, sensing the sweet scent of dead fish and other nourishment. Are you interested in learning more about a confidential creature? Do you have a suggestion for our next article? Let us know and send your ideas to email@example.com. See you next time!
A monthly investigation into everything you didn’t already know about man’s best friend.
by aubrey whitten Assistant Editor
Celebrate the fall.
Grab the keys, snag a leash and bring the entire family to your local pet-friendly farm. While you’re there, enter into our Freshly Picked photo contest at http://bfvc.co/freshlypicked for a chance to win a slew of local prizes! No purchase necessary to enter. See website for details.
Contributed by Leslie Tracey, Director of Public Relations & Development
Fishkill Farms 9 Fishkill Farm Road, Hopewell JCT, NY 12533 (845) 897-4377 www.fishkillfarms.com
whitecliff Vineyard 331 McKinstry Road Gardiner, NY (845) 255-4613
wright’s apple Farm 699 H 208 Gardiner,New York 12525 845-255-5300
Millbrook winery 26 Wing Road Millbrook, NY (845) 677-8383
Clinton Vineyards 450 Schultzville Road Clinton Corners, NY (845) 266-5372
Baldwin Vineyards 176 Hardenburgh Road Pine Bush, NY (845) 744-2226
Brotherhood america’s oldest winery 100 Brotherhood Plaza Drive Washingtonville, NY (845) 496-3661
MEWTUBE curated by aubrey whitten VIDEOS WE’RE OBSESSING OVER THIS MONTH
sing your heart out! http://bit.ly/a3pf1B
Who says that the dog can’t babysit the kid? Sit back and watch as this pooch sings to sleep a crying baby. If only this would work on humans, too!
WELCOME HOME http://bit.ly/aAaqET
The perfect reward for a job well done. Sit back and relax in sheer joy as this soldier from Afghanistan reunites with is canine companion. Just like humans, dogs often exhibit similar emotions of grief, confusion and excitement throughout their lifetime.
CUTEST DOG EVER http://bit.ly/NfRxpj
Simply adorable (or shall we say, “adogable?”). Just watch the video. We know you want to. :)
Images courtesy of YouTube
courtesy of full-stop.org
Doggone Good Reads
by leslie tracey
Director, Public Relations & Dev.
Selections from F&R’s resident bookworm and pet fanatic. Men and Dogs by Katie Crouch Hannah’s existence is hinged upon one event that she remembers vividly which contains her father, an absent mother and her dog Tucker. As she grows older she faces heartache and emptiness in her love life and tough decisions to make as her brother comes out of the closet and demands of her what she cannot handle herself. Hannah has to confront her past in order to move on with the present and as she is faced with life altering decisions she finds healing. This book is emotionally charged, colorful and bites to the core of life’s happiness and sorrow. Family is our core...and many times that includes a four legged friend too.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein Zo is an aging dog whose owner Denny works in a high end racecar shop. Zo watches as only a dog can and helps Denny deal with tumultuous relationships, custody battles and job dissatisfaction. A true student, Zo learns inadvertently about the world by watching television and uses these lessons to add to his almost scientific like observations of his surroundings and human counterparts. This book is a commentary on the game that we call life through the eyes of a man’s best friend. The writing of Stein is full of the raw emotion and tackles the topic of change and it’s consequences.
Sophie, The Incredible True Story of the Castaway Dog by Emma Pearse What happens when a dog cannot find her way home? Sophie is a young Australian Cattle Dog and is on a family boat when suddenly their boat is overturned and she finds herself swimming ashore to an island wildlife reserve. True to the love of her family she spurns the advances of well meaning humans
who would like to make her apart of their family and holds out for her reunion with her own humans four months later. A story of love, loyalty and survival is cataloged by Emma Pearse as she pieces together the true story of the dog Sophie Griffith.
You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness by Julie Klam When I hung up I said, “Am I getting a dog?”. Julie Klam realizes she is going to be the mother of a dog named Buddy from a local shelter at a time of inactivity and misdirection in her life. Prior to her revelation Julie consults tarot cards, psychic hotlines, and self help mediums remains stagnant until Buddy becomes a part of her existence and proves to be the best counselor of all. Julia Klam’s memoirs chronicles her journey of growth and healing which comes through her newfound insistence on helping four legged creatures who do not have a voice of their own.
The Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving: How Dogs Have Captured Our Hearts for Thousands of Years by Jeffrey Moussaief Masson The relationship that dogs have with human beings has been cultivated to the point in which humans can’t imagine dogs in the wild on their own. Jeffrey Moussaief Masson does extensive research into the civilizations of the world and the part that dogs have had in rural to domestic life over the centuries. His thesis relies on the idea that the bond that humans share with dogs has been harvested for generations so that now the two species are dependent upon one another. This book is a great historical purview of the relationship between dogs and their owners and how varying species have the power to interweave their existence over time.
photo: Pat Kanouse
PATHOLOGY An investigation into an emerging virus of the Hudson Valley. By Katie Gottleib
wild pathology by Katie Gottleib
ust like an educated Mountain Man, most pet owners are acutely aware of tick-borne diseases. Lyme Disease, for example, can affect their pets as well as their families and has become a well-known offender among the community. However, it is important to know that there are many more pathogens that use ticks as a vector. One emerging disease of such is called Powassan Virus. A flavivirus in the same family as West Nile virus, St. Louis Encephalitis, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), Powassan virus is carried by Ixodes cookei and Ixodes scapularis. (CDC, 2013) Both species, more commonly known as blackfooted or deer tick (I. scapularis) and the woodchuck tick (I. cookei), are found in North America, with high concentrations in both Putnam and Dutchess County (CDC, 2013). Powassan virus, like other flavivirus, attack the central nervous system causing encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord) (CDC, 2013). Symptoms include fever, headache, speech difficulty, vomiting, weakness, seizures, confusion, and loss of coordination (CDC, 2013). Powassan virus has a 10% mortality rate, the second highest rate of a tickborne disease after EEE (Index, 2013). 50% of survivors of the disease experience permanent nerve damage and symptoms such as headache, muscle wasting, and memory loss (CDC, 2013). Human infection is rare as cases are often isolated to areas such as Powassan, Oregeon, Vermont, and the Great Lakes region of New York (Index, 2013). There have only been 50 recorded diagnoses of Powassan virus in the last 10 years, the most recent this past August in nearby Poughkeepsie, New York where a local high school senior died suddenly after contracting the previously unknown virus (CDC, 2013). While there have not been any cases observed in animals such as dogs or cats, it is thought that these animals bring the infected ticks into con-
tact with their human caregivers (CDC, 2013). Researchers at IDEXX Laboratories, one of the foremost veterinary reference laboratories in the country, recently found that dogs can be experimentally infected with the disease. It is possible that, over time, the disease can mutate to an extent to which dogs contract the virus more naturally, similar to the way in which they currently contract diseases such as Lyme Disease and Ehrlichiosis. Diagnosis is dependent on recognition of the symptoms and through the utilization of several different testing methods (immunoassay using IgM serology and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of cerebrospinal fluid) (Birge, 2012). Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for Powassan virus, and reducing exposure to ticks remains the only surefire form of prevention (CDC, 2013). Brook Farm Veterinary Center has aligned themself with the foremost research institutions and facilities to further investigate this emerging disease. The provision of community education and support is contingent on the prevelance of this emerging disease in the local area. Birge J, Sonnesyn S. Powassan virus encephalitis, Minnesota, USA. Emerg Infect Dis [Internet]. 2012 Oct [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid1810.120621 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 08 Aug. 2013. Web. 06 Sept. 2013. “Powassan Virus.” Index of Pathogens. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2013.
Katie Gottleib is a recent graduate of the Animal Science program at the University of Connecticut. A life-long lover of animals and equestrian, Katie has a great deal of experience working with all kinds of animals. From various horse barns, to the bird house of the Smithsonian National Zoo, Katie has received guidance from handlers, keepers, trainers and veterinarians alike.
courtesy of shutterstock
by lauryn collier
Communication Intern, Summer ‘13
How Reading to Pets Improves Comprehension Skills in Children
o you remember when you were in grade school and you cringed when your teacher called on you to read out loud? Reading comprehension, logical reasoning, and critical thinking skills are vital to longterm success. As technology continues to advance, upcoming generations are being held to a standard of technological competence at which the Generation X and Baby Boomers were not held. While fantastic, the science and technological skills are nothing without well-versed communication, reading, writing, and speaking skills. Lucky enough for your children, reading skills don’t have to fall by the wayside in our fast paced society. Currently, many of our grade schools have shifted focus to the STEM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to prepare young minds for the jobs that await them in the years to come. It is critical not to overlook the importance of developing strong vocabulary and oral communication skills. That is why for this school year we have a great idea for you to try at home — encourage your young children to read to your pets. Pets serve as a great audience for young children because children can use their imaginations to create their own classrooms and teaching space. Pets are not critical, will not laugh or judge, and do not know if mistakes are being made. It doesn’t matter if you have a house full of dogs, cats, gerbils, rabbits, birds, snakes or even fish. Whether you have one pet or five, to spend at least 10 minutes every evening with your child reading to a four legged companion will make a great difference. You can use this time to ask questions and test for reading comprehension of the material. Just these few minutes each day will significantly improve your child’s reading skills and confidence in reading out loud — a skill in which is very beneficial in the long-term for high school, college, and future employment.
According to PBS online’s “Misunderstood Minds,” reading problems are neurodevelopmental in nature. When problems are identified early, children are more likely to learn the strategies that will raise their reading skills and comprehension to at or above grade level with proper guidance and practice. When practicing or listening to your children reading to their pets, check for these following signs associated with need for improvement: • Ignoring punctuation • Reading without expression • Trouble sounding out words • Recognizing words out of context • Confusion between letters and sounds It is important to correct your child in love and with a fun spirit. With your gentle lead, your child will have a pawsome time reading out loud in the future and you both will create wonderful memories associated with reading! Lauryn Collier, a rising senior at North Carolina State University, wrote this article in coordination with Brook Farm Veterinary Center for her Summer 2013 Communication Internship. The Brook Farm Veterinary Center Internship Program provides undergraduate students and beginning professionals with practical experience in a specific area of work at the practice. In addition to hands-on application of learned knowledge, each intern participates in professional development activities designed to increase understanding of the practice’s function and departmental affairs. Questions about reading comprehension and your pets? Contact Leslie Tracey, Director of Public Relations and Development at Brook Farm Veterinary Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Escape the Crate
by donna gleason
CDBC, CPDT, MA
courtesy of shutterstock
What You Need to Know About Safely Exercising Your Dog, Part 2
n the previous “Escape the Crate” article you learned how to create an individualized exercise program for your dog. Your plan was designed by addressing the following guidelines: First, you contacted your veterinarian for an evaluation of your dog’s current level of fitness. Second, you determined which activities are complimentary to your dog’s age, breed and temperament. Finally, you realistically assessed your ability (as the owner) to consistently follow through with the program. No matter what your final exercise plan looked like (hiking, loose leash walking, swimming, going to the dog park, attending a training class, organized sport competitions or playing games) the next challenge is to keep each workout safe. Here are some pointers to keep your workouts safe, thus creating a more enjoyable experience for both you and your dog. Develop an understanding of how seasonal and environmental factors can affect your dog’s exercise routine. From poisonous plants to the heat of the day, exercising your dog in the summer can be a bit tricky. Here are some factors you should be aware of when exercising your dog during this time of year: Stay Hydrated: Dogs can become dehydrated quickly in hot weather, therefore always make sure your dog access to plenty of fresh water. Here are some potential signs of dehydration that you should be aware of: Loss of elasticity in the skin. When pulled lightly, the skin will not readily come back to its original place. Gums lose moistness and become dry and sticky. Saliva becomes thick. In advanced dehydration, the dog may collapse with shock. If you suspect your dog is experiencing symptoms of dehydration, seek immediate veterinary care. (Source: PETMD) It’s Hot Out Here: Dogs aren’t able to cope with the heat as well as people and thus are much more susceptible to heatstroke. This is partially due to how they keep cool. Dogs use panting as their primary cooling system and use sweat glands but they are located only on the pads of their feet. Rule of Thumb: If it is too hot for you it’s too hot for your dog. In the summer only exercise with your dog early in the morning or in the evening and never during the heat of day. My Paws Are Aching: Environmental surfaces, like hot pavement, thorny plants, and even rocks, can be rough on a dog’s footpads. Be sure to check the pads for foreign objects, cracking or blisters each time you return home after exercising.
If your dog’s footpads seem to be especially sensitive, consider purchasing special “paw shoes” that are made protect their feet. Toxic Plants: Rhododendrons, Buttercups and Milkweed are common summer plants but extremely poisonous to our dogs. Take time to develop a knowledge of plants that could potentially harm your dog and determine if they are native to your area. For a detailed list of plants that are toxic and non toxic to dogs (and cats) visit http://www.aspca.org. Develop the ability to recognize the signs of appropriate intercanine behavior: Typically when meeting another human, we offer direct eye contact, position ourself chest to chest, and then we may shake hands. Being able to identify what is considered appropriate when two canines meet or are interacting can be critical to their safety. Loose Leash Walking: Whether it be getting to the exercise spot, a situation which your dog needs to be quickly leashed or the rules of the environment chances are very high that at some point you will need to put a lead on your dog when exercising. Walking politely on a loose leash offers physical advantages, as well and opportunities for mental stimulation. You can “raise the bar” by asking your dog to perform simple obedience cues when walking onleash.￼￼￼￼￼ Coming When Called: Training your dog to come to you when called or “recall” is a skill that all dog’s should master. Typically, dogs who have mastered a solid “recall” are given more offleash freedom. Not only can a solid recall mean more freedom, it can save your dogs life. Accidents happen collars can break, leashes can slip out of your hands, and gates or doors are sometimes inadvertently left open. During these unexpected situations, a reliable recall can potentially avert a disaster. Note: No matter how much you trust your dog to come when called, dogs do get lost, therefore always make sure your dog has current identification and a rabies tag on their collar. Bottom Line: Keeping your dog safe during exercise should be of utmost importance. Being aware of how environmental factors can impact the health of your dog, being able to recognize what appropriate intercanine behavior looks like, and teaching your dog some basic obedience cues can help to create the best exercising experience ever.
Donna Gleason - TLC Dog Trainer resides in Sherman, CT. She is a certified professional dog trainer and canine behavioral consultant with a Masters in Behavior Modification. She offers professional inhome dog training (specializing in puppy education, basic obedience and behavior modification) as well as group puppy/basic obedience classes at New Fairfield Animal Hospital. Donna is a member of APDT, Pet Partners, Shelter Animal Reiki Association, and consulting trainer for PawSafe Animal Rescue. To reach Donna call 203.241.4449 or visit her website @ www.TLCDogtrainer.com
Lovingly curated by
Michele dugan Shelter President
ADO Zeuss, Harper and Kellen
Nyla is waiting for her adoptive parents to take her home, rub her belly and give her lots of attention! Adorable and friendly, this Domestic Shorthair is a male who is approximately 10 months old and enjoys the company of humans and other feline friends.
EVIAN Beautiful inside and out, Evian has become a very loved and special friend to all of us here at PHS. Evian is blind and deaf, though that doesnâ€™t stop her from heading to Vermont on the weekends with her favorite PHS volunteer for some much needed TLC. Please be the one to provide Evian the forever home that she so deserves! 14
To adopt an animal listed here, please contact:
Putnam Humane Society (845) 225-7777
ZEUS, HARPER & KELLEN These Three Amigos are ready to make their comedic debut in your loving home! While each wait to be adopted, Zeuss, Harper, and Kellen enjoy spending time with eachother and making us laugh here at the shelter. Each one comes with their own unique personality and can provide you with the companionship that you’ve been looking for!
KITTENS! You can has kittenz! These miniature munchkins are perfect for families getting ready to adopt their first pet (see “Are you ready?” article) or looking to add on to their fluffy family! Males to females, long haired to short, we’ve got a kitten for every lap in every home!
courtesy of dogvacay.com
Keep ‘em busy!
by jamie green Guest Contributor
Teach Your Child Responsibility With Routine Pet Care Chores
ringing a pet into your home is a wonderful addition to your family. Although it is a very exciting time, pet ownership also involves a great deal of responsibility, all of which does not need to be placed on just mom and dad. Involving children in basic care can help teach them responsibility, compassion, and self confidence. Check out these simple tips to get the kids involved! Keeping an eye on the water dish. Have your child check the water bowl periodically to make sure that there is always fresh water available at all times. Older children can be given the responsibility of also washing the bowl on a regular basis to keep it nice and clean. Measuring out food at meal times. Older children can be responsible for not only measuring but also giving food to your pet. This is an excellent opportunity for your child to practice fractions and ratios! If your child is older, have him/her calculate the time it takes in terms of days (using the number of scoops at each meal as a point of reference) until you run out of food. Consider it free SAT practice at home! You’re welcome! Accompanying you on walks or whenever your pet is being exercised or let outdoors. If your pet is calm enough and your child is older, show them how to hold the leash and take turns with them. If not, attach two leashes to their collar. This way they are still helping you walk but in the case of an emergency you still have control. Teach your child how to appropriately play and be gentle with your pet during exercise.
Cleaning up after your pet and disposing of waste. If your child may be a little young to do this, have them assist you with adding fresh litter to the kitty box. If your child is able to help clean up, have your child choose the doggie waste bags you’ll be using for this dreaded task. They often come in fun colors and crazy designs. How fun! Accompanying you while pet supply shopping and during routine visits to your veterinarians office. Teach them the difference among the different products that you are purchasing and the importance of them. Encourage older children to keep a calendar and mark the dates when vaccinations or other testing is due. College-age students can make and attend the appoinment themself while you relax with a cold drink on the back porch! Teach your child about your pet’s behavior and what that behavior means. Scratching at the door, whining, or pacing all indications that your pet may need to go to the bathroom. If they notice this type of behavior, have them tell an adult or - if age appropriate - take your pet outside to relieve him or herself. Assisting with bathing and basic grooming. Allow them to apply the shampoo and lather your pet, assist with towel drying, and helping hold your pet if possible. When grooming, have your child help you brush your pet’s coat. Have them choose an appropriate brush for your pet and have them be in charge of keeping any grooming supplies together and tidy. If you brush your pet’s teeth, have your child choose the flavor of the toothpaste and help do the brushing. Just make sure that you don’t get the human and animal toothpastes mixed up! ;)
Are you ready?
by aubrey whitten Assistant Editor
Bringing a pet home can be an enormous commitment. Take Franny and Red’s quiz to find out if you’re ready for four legs! Just ask yourself these questions to get a better idea of what it will be like to take care of your new friend. Is your family getting bigger? You have children...Are they old enough to know to be gentle and will you be willing to put in the extra time with your new pet? If you have a new baby or are planning a pregnancy within the next year it may be better to wait.
Who will be your pet’s primary caretaker? All pets will need and desire your care and attention. Be sure that you and your partner are ready for the responsibility. It may be best to sit down with your significant other to discuss the specific duties and responsibilities that each of you will take care of after the adoption.
Are you allergic? Be careful when selecting your pet’s breed as allergies may flare up with certain types of fur and dander. A new pet can cause wheezing, sneezing and runny eyes to those susceptible to pet allergies. Your primary physician can help arrange allergy testing to be sure that this won’t be a problem for you. Before making a final decision, always set up a visit with your new pet before you bring them home to be sure they fit well with your family and to be sure that no allergies erupt.
Do you have the space? Pets, especially new puppies and kittens, will need extra space where they are free to roam and play. This is important when they are in the potty-training phase. They will require a place to play, sleep, eat, and go to the bathroom. Also be sure to consider the type of environment that you plan to put your pet into. Is it stressful? Is there the possibility that he/she can be let out and struck by a moving car? Can you fence in your yard or install an invisible fence? Does your landlord/apartment complex even allow the pet you’re considering? Be sure to do your homework to avoid disappointment.
Are you a neat freak? Are you ready for a little more mess? Puppies and kittens can prove to make some major messes including potty-training, chewing and/or scratching. Be sure that you are ready to put in the proper amount of time and energy into training (or financially ready to hire a professional trainer,) or find a calm, mature animal that is already house-broken and trained! (A shelter pet may be the perfect fit for you!) Your veterinarian will have some suggestions for you and may be able to steer your family in the right direction. If you are discouraged by this, research species such as hamsters, birds or fish that will keep their messes to one manageable area.
Are you financially equipped? Are you financially prepared for pet care costs? In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle for your new friend, you will need to consider several rounds of vaccinations, laboratory testing and physical examinations. While several low-cost spay and neuter organizations exist, surgeries may end up totaling close to or slightly over $125. To be sure that you’re ready, have your veterinarian provide you with an estimate prior to your adoption so that you can form a frame of reference. Financial support may be available depending on need and availability.
Having trouble making a decision? Are you indecisive? Confused? Disappointed? Before jumping to conclusions, call your veterinarian or the establishment that you are planning to adopt from. Explain to them your concerns, your living situation, and send a copy of this quiz. They’ll put your heart and mind at ease, and your phone call will show them that you’re taking this adoption process seriously.
Note from the Editor Brook Farm Veterinary Center is privileged to work with the Putnam Humane Society on a frequent basis. The Putnam Humane Society is upon the uppermost echelon of shelters in terms of the care that they provide to the animals under their care: medical care is taken seriously and is appropriately funded, and each pet is emotionally nourished through the individualized attention that shelter staff and volunteers provide on a daily basis. Despite the fact that overpopulation is a real and tangible problem in the animal community today, the Putnam Humane Society is a no-kill shelter and never denies care to an animal in need. Before adopting your next pet from a breeder or pet shop, please seriously consider an animal from the Humane Society.
ten commandments for the responsible pet owner as witnessed by Katie Gottleib
TEN COMMANDMENTS as witnessed by Katie Gottleib O Father, who art in the kitchen, hallowed by thy name. Give me this day, and my daily snack, and forgive me my trespasses, as I couldn’t help but chase after that skunk last night. And lead me not into temptation, but just give me a taste of whatever you’re cooking. I promise that I won’t tell Mom. Amen. Owning a dog is no small thing...it’s more than just a responsibility. Being a dog lover is a life-style! Like having a child, owning a dog is a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week job! Whether you just welcomed a dog into your life or have always had one around, changing your lifestyle may be hard and frustrating at first, but fear not. I was walking out of work the other day, and, out of nowhere, a great voice like thunder beckoned me from the Heavens. He said, “Katie....here are the Ten Commandments of Dog Ownership for the next issue of Franny and Red Magazine.” I was expecting something a little more elegant, but I told Him that this would do and that I’d send along the message to our good readers. The first two commandments go hand in hand... There shalt be no other alpha but you!
All dogs must honor their mother and father.
It is so important to establish a hierarchy in your home. Dogs are pack animals and look to an alpha dog for safety and assurance. If you do not establish yourself as the alpha, your dog will walk all over you! Whether you have a puppy or an older rescue dog, these two commandments can lead you to a life of happiness together. Puppies will use their cuteness to weedle their way in to your lap or onto the kitchen table. Older rescues may lash out at strangers and other dogs. By establishing yourself as the alpha, your companion will look to you before reacting in any environment. Thou shalt not bear false information. It’s always important to do your research! This can apply to new and old dog owners alike. Do your research before you splurge on a new dog. You will definitely want a breed to fit your lifestyle. Also do your research when you look for professional pet care. You will want a veterinarian, trainer, or pet sitter whose priorities are in line with your own and with your dogs. Research or a talk with your chosen veterinarian is also necessary when choosing a diet for your furry friend. Many pet foods may not fulfill to your dogs nutritional needs or may have a lot of additives that aren’t necessary. Your veterinarian is an excellent source of knowledge and are always here to share it with you! Thou shalt remember the appointment day, and keep it! One of the more important commandments of pet ownership is keeping up with your dog’s vaccinations and exams! You should bring your dog in to see his veterinarian annually, even if you think he is feeling great! Dogs age must faster than humans and annual health exams are a great way to stay one step ahead of any ailments associated with age such as arthritis, kidney disease, and cancer. In addition, these yearly visits are great opportunities for testing for tick-borne diseases and heartworms. Getting your pet vaccinated for rabies, canine influenza, Lyme disease every year and receiving the bordatella vaccine or testing for internal parasites every six months keeps active social dogs safe!
Thou shalt have no other priorities before the dog. As all dog lovers come to find, dogs have a way of becoming part of your family! That is as it should be. Dogs may not be people, but they are another living being you have to remember to feed and give water to! If you work long hours or take long family vacations, make sure you make appropriate arrangements for someone to care for your dog! Before you agree to go out with your two legged friends for the night, remember your four legged friend who will not understand why you had to come home at three in the morning! Thou shalt spay and neuter. Period. (He said that He’s been trying to tell us this one for a while.) Thy dog shall not kill. Aggressive dogs are like spoilt children. They need rules and boundaries to make them feel safe and attended to. No one is happy when they live in a world where there are scary dogs that attack other dogs or, worse, people. If your dog shows signs of aggression, take action before it is too late. Many dog trainers specialize in aggressive behavior and socialization. There is no reason your dog cannot enjoy the dog park, too! Thou shalt watch thy tongue. Headstrong puppies and hyper dogs who are stronger than us sure do wear on our nerves! But you must remember that yelling and hitting are not the correct way to train your dog. By staying calm and assertive you must establish yourself as the dominant being in the relationship (see Commandment #1). Yelling and swearing just confuses your dog, and probably makes him feel bad. Thou shalt clean up after thy dog! Whether you are at the beach or on a hike, walking down your street or at the park it is always important to pick up what your dog leaves behind! Many public places are kind enough to allow your furry family members to share your adventures with you, but if you don’t remember to leave the landscape as you found it, you both may lose that privelige! Thou shall open thy heart. Dogs are full of responsibilities and scheduling conflicts, they wear on our nerves and ruin our carpets. Dogs change our lifestyles and our landscaping, but the most important thing to remember is dogs make us happy! Dogs give us purpose and good memories, so remember to give that to your dog, too! Make time to play and love your dog. Make after dinner “ear-scratching time” or before work “morning run time”. Dogs can get into a routine too, and if they know they have special family time later, they will be happy to wait for you now.
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Celebrate the fall.
Grab the keys, snag a leash and bring the entire family to your local pet-friendly farm. While youâ€™re there, enter into our Freshly Picked photo contest at http://bfvc.co/freshlypicked for a chance to win a slew of local prizes! No purchase necessary to enter. See website for details.
courtesy of shutterstock
Real, Useful and Never Boring
by amber brenner
Director, Client Advocacy
Brook Farm’s Director of Client Advocacy brings you behind the scenes.
rook Farm Veterinary Center welcomes your call, this is Amber speaking, may I have your first name please?” Just like when an emergency bursts through our front door on Saturday morning, answering a phone call means that I have to be ready for virtually anything. I’m Amber Brenner, the Director of Client Advocacy here at Brook Farm Veterinary Center. Along with the rest of our Farmers, I’m responsible for making sure that each client and patient receives the attention that they desperately deserve At Brook Farm we live and work in a 24-hour world where clients arrive at all hours, and they’re in a variety of mental and emotional states. While this helps keep us on our toes, always dealing with the unknown of what could walk through the door can be a huge challenge, too. Pet owners often arrive home after a long day of work only to find their dog in distress, throwing the proverbial “wrench” into their day and altering the course of their evening. Our day mainly consists of a number of open-ended questions. Has your dog’s eating habits changed? Is your cat drinking excessively? Do those beautiful eyes appear cloudy or red? Is your beautiful carpet being used as a scratching post for your dog’s behind? What about a dry or rough coat? Is your pet sluggish or lethargic? Coughing? Vomiting or unusual stool? Weight loss or gain? (If any of what I’ve just mentioned is true of your pet, call your veterinarian right away!) Much of our day also consists of the reverse. Questions such as: “Is he going to be alright? When can I take him home? How much is this going to cost?” are all characteristic of the worried pet parent in need of guidance, comfort and support. The most distressing, however, is often the question, “Do you think I could have given him my cold?” This indicates guilt and often leads down a dark and dangerous path filled with regret. Today, I’m going to attempt to answer this question once and for all! In my experience, most of the common illnesses that affect humans can not be transferred to your pets. Some illnesses that affect pets and won’t affect you are common colds, Canine
Parvovirus, Canine Bordatellosis (Kennel Cough) (which also cannot be transferred to a cat), and Heartworm. The reverse, however, is not always true: there are certain diseases that are zoonotic, meaning that they can be transferred from four legs to two legs. For example, Lyme Disease. Your pet won’t necessarily transmit the disease to you, but if the tick that infected your pet is still alive and kicking, it very well may infect you as well. Lice, while a serious threat to animals, are an itchy and disturbing nuisance to humans. Furthermore, the mange that is known as “scabies” is highly contagious to humans. Symptoms include severe itching, skin irritation, and hair loss in dogs as well as humans. Toxoplasmosis is caused by a parasite that has been found in all warm-blooded animals and cats make the perfect host. This disease can cause serious problems to pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems (this is why it is recommended that pregnant women do not clean their cat’s litter box during their pregnancy.) Believe it or not, as many as one-third of all adults have been infected with the disease and are immune to it. It causes no serious threat to healthy, non-pregnant humans. Salmonella can be found in pets’ feces, especially those with diarrhea. It is also commonly found in reptiles that are kept as pets. Reptiles (even turtles!) should not be kept as pets in households with children under 5 years old as this age group is most susceptible to complications from the infection and are most likely to put...things...in their mouths. Finally, Rabies is the most severe and serious infection that can be passed from animals to humans is rabies. It is incurable and fatal. While the vaccine is very effective, if you or your pet is ever bitten by another animal, contact your physician and/or veternarian immediately. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, these zoonotic diseases and infections are most commonly asked about here at the front desk. As with everything, proper education and awareness are essential to leading a safe and happy lifestyle and protecting your entire family from harm. 21
THE BELL Franny & Red’s Back to School Survival Guide for Pet Parents by Leslie Tracey
SURVIVAL GUIDE by Leslie Tracey
ave you been in a relationship before? According to the common communication theory there is something that our society has termed the “honeymoon” period of a relationship.Nothing your partner can do or say is wrong. When their foot crosses the threshold of the door your heart drops and when they come back home you get butterflies in your stomach. You are constantly seeking to please them, and if they leave you for too long, well.... you just don’t know what to do with yourself! If you are anything like me, I’m sure you have been there before. Believe it or not, dogs and cats have a pretty much lifelong “honeymoon” period with their owners. Yet while they may continually aim to please, this “honeymoon” phase can be just plain destructive if not attended to correctly. Imagine for a moment that you’re on your way to the school to pick up your three children; when you come home, you’re ready to start relaxing, cook some dinner and help with some homework. After you open the doors and set your keys down, you discover somthing horrible: you spot a trail of little brown dumplings leading to the living room; here you notice that the wooden legs of your sofa have been carved with what seems to be tribal indentations and your couch looks as if it just came out of a street fight with a pillow that grew a set of teeth. Just a hunch, but your pet may be suffering from some of that perpetual “honeymoon” separation anxiety. According to the ASPCA, common symptoms of separation anxiety include whining, panting, salivating and following the owner around when preparing to leave home. Your pet may also become cantankerous and chew pillows, bite wooden legs of chairs and tables and destroy articles of clothing such as shoes. Parents, have no fear! These five back to school survival tips will get your pet feeling comfortable at home. Fluffy will always love you but he or she will value “me” time a bit more if you follow these guidelines adapted from the Animal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Predeparture Cues. Animals, just like children, can figure out what items we usually pick up and can recognize the rituals that we go through before we leave our homes. For example, if your children typically put their backpacks on and eat breakfast before they leave the house for school, your pet will be more likely to hang around them and whimper for their attention. Instead of following the same routine, have your children eat their breakfast, put their backpacks on and proceed to sit on the couch to catch up on some reading, finish their homework or watch a show on the television. The main objective is to change the trigger action which is associated with a negative emotion for your pet and associate your departure rituals with staying at home. Graduated Departure/Absence. It is important that you and your children practice “stay exercises” so that your pet will get used to the concept of staying put until you come back. What you should do with your children is have them leave through a door that they don’t usually exit through and tell your dog to stay. Start with 10 second increments at first so that your dog understands it is safe to be alone and that you will be back soon. Gradually increase the time span until your pet is comfortable with your absence. Calm Entrance and Exit. Be sure that your children behave in a calm manner when dealing with family pets. If children practice entering and exiting the house calmly, your pet will start to think that it is a normal occurrence for their human counterparts to leave the home from time to time. Increase Separation Time Slowly. If you suddenly leave your pet home alone after a summer filled with activity and attention, your pet will suffer from extreme loneliness and separation anxiety. Gradually work to build up to an hour of absence between you and your pet each day. Your furry friend will get used to the idea of sometimes being left alone and will begin to find entertainment elsewhere. In addition, give your pet a treatfilled Kong Toy right before leaving the house: this will condition your dog with the thought that your absence is not necessarily a bad thing and keep them busy until long after you’ve left. Leave Your Pet With A Trusted Friend or Lodge Facility. Training your pet can be time consuming and difficult to accomplish. If you can handle it, adopt another pet who is well mannered and calm in order to keep your furry pooch comfortable during the day. You may even be able to ask a friend to keep their dog with yours during your absence if both pets have an even disposition. Pet sitters who occassionally check in to feed, walk and play with your dog can be very cost-effective and save you the stress, worry and headache of your pet’s loneliness. Pet parent? Human parent? What are some tips that you have which have helped you during the back to school hustle and bustle? Comment on Twitter and Facebook! We would love to hear your suggestions.
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Where the Wild Things Are Hike the beautiful Hudson Valley with Franny & Red Magazine. Klara Saeur park (featured above) is a primitive getaway amid the very hip town center of Beacon. This trail is dog friendly and boasts great views of the Hudson River. Running parallel to the parking lot is the dock and sometimes you may see a group of kayakers pushing off for a tour of the river. Further up there are scenic sitting areas which offer a chance to meditate and relax your mind before or after a long day. The trail which runs to the left of the dock is about a mile until you reach Dennings Point and there are some interesting old buildings. If you are a history buff you may be intrigued by the ancient paper clip factory that is hidden in the woods on the trail or even the history of the now defunct train line which runs parallel to the main trail! http://bit.ly/1fCVe3k Nuclear Lake is nestled in a quaint section of Pawling, NY off of old Route 55. If you enter the trail by way of the old road, beware of the gate keeper! A joke...she just likes that you make sure your pets are leashed and that you clean up after yourself! When you enter via Old Route 55 you will notice that the trail is nice and flat since this road led to a government building which experiemented with plutonium from the early 1950’s to the early 1970’s. There was a small explosion and the buildings have since been razed and the area deemed safe for camping and hiking. As you walk along the trail you will notice blue blazes on the trees. Follow this trail and shortly you will come upon a beautiful lake which is past the gated area. You are then free to continue the trail and hike the loop around the lake (which is a bit more challenging! )
by leslie tracey
Director, Public Relations & Dev.
http://bit.ly/18pAAOP Franny Reese State park is a gem hidden in the midst of an urban center. Franny Reese boasts the spirit of it’s namesake who fought hard in the mid 1900’s to keep Storm King Mountain free of a looming power plant which would have changed the face of the Hudson Valley landscape. This park is located right off of Haviland Road and you may use the parking area for Johnson-Iorio Park. From the parking area, be very careful and descend the stairs which take you under the Mid-Hudson Bridge and to the trail opening which is on the right. There are some nice views and if you are into historic ruins you are in for a treat too! Bring a camera, you will not be disappointed. http://bit.ly/15tcnFh Ice caves, waterfalls, panoramic views...this sums up all of the beauty that Sam’s point has to offer. This hike is definitely pooch friendly, however you may want to stay away from the caves for their safety and come back with another two legged companion for some additional adventure. What is nice about this trail is the different places you can visit depending on how long of a hike you would like to take and how difficult. Lake Maratanza offers a bit of wading for your four legged companion to enoy (though not human swimming is allowed). There is also a great waterfall which, at full throttle, is truly a great sight to see! http://bit.ly/1bc4DiJ
Oil me up!
by mary oquendo
Reiki Master, Certified Crystal Healer
What You Need to Know About Essential Oils
here is more to essential oils than just a pretty scent. I use essential oils for their therapeutic properties at Hands And Paws-Reiki For All, in my mobile grooming business, as well as personally for my pets and myself.
What Are Essential Oils? They are a hydrophobic liquid that contains the volatile oils that are distilled from the bark, berries, flowers, leaves, peels, resin, rhizomes, seeds, stems, or wood of living plants. Essential oils feel oily because they are often diluted in a carrier oil such as almond, apricot kernel, citrus, or grapeseed. Most essential oils are produced by steam distillation. The ‘waste’ water of the steam distillate process is called hydrosols. Nothing is wasted. For tougher materials, such as citrus peels, mechanical expression or cold-pressed methods are used. Solvent extraction is used for more delicate flowers. Solvent extraction is a complex process which usually leaves a trace residual solvent in the essential oil. The How’s, Why’s, and Uses of Essential Oil. The plant’s essential oil governs their immune system. It is the plants blood. It navigates that plant through the insects, fungus, viruses, and bacteria in their environment. Different essential oils have their own unique physical and emotional therapeutic properties such as anti-‐diuretic, anti-‐fungal, anti-‐microbial, antiseptic, anti-‐spasmodic, anti-‐viral, decongestant, detoxifying, expectorant, insect repellent, uplifting, and revitalizing, etc. We absorb these essential oils into our or the pets bloodstream by contact, inhalation, or ingestion. In addition, essential oils have many household uses. Contact with soaps, massage oils, shampoos, lotions, perfumes, cosmetics, added in bath water, and other spa products. Inhalation is breathing in incense, air fresheners, aromatherapy diffusers, and candles. Ingesting tinctures made by a medical or other licensed professional. Household use in trash cans, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and drains. Many essential oils have cleaning and disinfecting properties. Store essential oils in dark glass colored bottles as heat and sunlight degrades them. Price and Available Options. There are many considerations in factoring prices: 1. Quality and/or rarity of the botanical. 2. Country of origin. 3. Amount of oil that can be distilled from the botanical. 4. The standards of the distillery, as well as size. Larger companies can reduce operating costs through volume. 5. Organic sourcing. I only buy organic essential oils as I feel it is counterproductive to use them laden with pesticides and fertilizers.
Type of oil also affects price. Some companies try to pass off fragrance oils as essential oils. Fragrance oils are synthesized in a lab, cheaper to produce, and have none of the therapeutic properties. Therapeutic grade essential oils are the only oils that can be ingested. They are more expensive to produce than their non-therapeutic grade counterparts. Hydrosols are a water-based version of the essential oil. It is a byproduct of the distillation process. It was discarded until it was discovered that it still retained the therapeutic properties, minus the Terpenes. Cats are unable to metabolize Terpenes, which is why essential oils are dangerous for them. Most hydrosols are a safe alternative for cats. Absolutes are a very concentrated essential oil. It is an involved process and will likely have trace amounts of solvents. They are very expensive and are not ingestible. Blends are a combination of several essential oils designed for a particular issue. Tinctures are therapeutic grade essential oils in an alcohol base. Cautions! As with any product, there is a danger of an allergic reaction. Do a patch test before applying topicals and use caution when ingesting or administering tinctures. Improper dosing of tinctures can result in mild to severe medical emergencies. In addition, improper use of topicals and inhalants cause damage to eyes and lungs. Consult with your medical/veterinarian professional before treating any medical condition. The aromatherapy industry is NOT regulated. Buyer Beware. Read labels carefully. Key words to look for are “made with” or “includes”. Those products may contain very little essential oils. Ingredients listed on the label as an item such as blueberry, clove, cinnamon, apple, etc are a fragrance. Essential oils are identified by their Latin name or includes the word oil, such as cinnamon oil or oil of cinnamon. It is also up to the manufacturer to determine if the product is cat or dog safe. Essential oils are part of my day-to-day life. They complement all I do. They can augment your life when used in the manner for which they are intended. Cats and pregnant women or dogs should not use essential oils. Most hydrosols are safe for cats. Use products according to the manufacturer’s or your professional’s instructions. Never use essential oils undiluted; many products are packaged already diluted in carrier oil. Read the label to ascertain. Essential oils are flammable. Use aromatherapy diffusers according to manufacturer directions. Do not apply essential oils directly to the plastic components of household appliances as this may cause damage.
Reiki for People and Animals REIKI HEALING AND EDUCATION CENTER
Pain and Stress Relief * Sleep Disturbances * Headaches * Behavior Problems Chakra Balancing * Recharging * Arthritis * and Much More
Reiki Certiication Classes & Health and Wellness Workshops Pam Pollard, Reiki Master * Mary Oquendo, Reiki Master, Certiied Crystal Healer 401 Danbury Road, New Milford, CT 06776 * 203-994-5308 * 203-994-1815 HandsandPawsReiki.com * email@example.com 25
Crossing the Rainbow Bridge A guide to dealing with pet euthanasia with your children.
parky went over the Rainbow bridge.” “Fluffy is in doggy heaven now.” “Mittens is sleeping.” Do any of these phrases sound familiar to you? Euthanasia is a concept that is hard for adults to comprehend and can be an arduous task with children. If you and your children have experienced the pain of losing a pet, it can be hard to relay the message to your child in a way that will be understandable and bearable. You may be wondering, “Should I sugarcoat the issue?” or “Should I just say that the the dog got lost?” Your pet passing away can be a learning experience for your entire family. The following tips may help you to deal with the difficult task of communicating pet euthanasia to your children. Wording is Important: Be sure to associate your pet’s end of life with things in life which are permanent. Sadness versus Guilt: Talk to your children about what is going on and express to them that their pet’s passing is not their fault. Allow your children the space to cry and be upset, but do not give way to a feeling of guiltiness. If your child believes that their pet’s passing is their fault, feelings of depression can be harmful. Consider Not Having Your Child Present During the Process: If possible, have your child say goodbye to your pet in the comfort of their own home. It is recommended that one parent take the child
by leslie tracey
Director, Public Relations & Dev.
out for the day and the other parent take care of the arrangements. If possible, your entire family can say goodbye at the veterinarian’s office and all leave together without witnessing the procedure. Saying goodbye is always hard to do, however it is important that you remain honest with your children. When a pet passes away, it is a good time to teach children about compassion and empathy. Teaching these hard truths will foster an environment of trust and a healthy view of reality. If you need some extra help communicating euthanasia to your younger children, we recommend a book from the following list: “Jasper’s Day” by Marjorie Blain Parker, “The Tenth Good Thing About Barney” by Judith Viorst, “Sammy in the Sky” by Barbara Walsh, “The Day Tiger Rose Said Goodbye” by Jane Yolen, “Goodbye, Mousie” by Robie Harris, “Saying Goodbye to Lulu” by Corinne Demas, “Dog Heaven” by Cynthia Rylant and “Cat Heaven” by Cynthia Rylant. You are always welcome to contact me at leslie@brookfarmemail. com for guidance or direction. We have several excellent resources available to you upon request.
Humankind. Be both. inspirationcampaign.com randomactsofkindness.org