Coastal Canine Summer 2021

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Rock Stars Finding Truffles The Wolf Gang Farmilys D.F. Farm Stays Joyful Sky


Mon-Fri: 7:30am-6:00pm Sat and Sun-closed

Kimberly Wilkins, DVM


Thank you for your support and confidence in us caring

for your pets during this difficult time. We are so proud to be a part of this amazing community. A community that works together and helps each other through the challenges that come our way.

Pacific Santa Cruz Veterinary Specialists is here to support you and

your furry family members 24/7/365. We are strong together.


2585 Soquel Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95065

Full Service Veterinary Hospital

OFFERING: Compassionate Care with Exceptional Medicine. State of the Art Surgery. Advanced Dermatology. Preventative Care. Feline Medicine. And Much More.

Dr. Brynie Kaplan Dau, MS, DVM 1023 Austin Avenue, Pacific Grove 831-318- 0306

“Dog is such a small word for something that takes up so much room in your heart”


ith record high temperatures, we hope that you and your dogs are keeping cool and safe! Please never leave your dog in a car for any length of time—a cool day can

quickly heat up when the clouds or fog lifts. And please

report any dogs you might see in a hot car to someone who could help. Police dogs and other working K9s are often put in dangerous situations while serving the public. One of these dangers can be overheating. Fortunately, there is a small nonprofit called Cover Your K9 looking out for these dogs and helping to mitigate the dangers they face by training handlers and providing safety equipment. Read our article and learn more about them on page 52. On the cooler side of things, Dina Ruiz writes about Gidget the surfing Pug and her recent first-place finish in the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge surf event. And learn the story of a canine named Tundra who is currently making her way across Canada in a canoe headed for the Atlantic Coast. Also read about Rico who, after being rescued from the streets of Argentina, became a first mate out on Monterey Bay. In other articles, Belinda Jones interviews and writes about photographer and rescue-dog advocate Greg Murray. Please have a look at some of Greg’s colorful portraits (including this issue’s cover) and read more about him, starting on page 32. And finally, read about Chance, who was recently nominated as one of the American Humane Society’s Hero dog finalists and his mission to prevent abuse. His story starts on page 22.

Woofs! Scott and Carie Broecker

Publisher Editor/Photographer Graphic/Ad Design







Copy Editor/Writer Marketing Executive



Please direct letters to the editor to: carie@ 831-601-4253 Please direct advertising inquiries to: michelle@ 831-539-4469 Subscriptions are $30 per year within the United States. To subscribe, please send check payable to Coastal Canine, P.O. Box 51846 Pacific Grove, CA 93950 or subscribe online at Join our online mailing list at Coastal Canine Issue #50, Summer 2021. Published quarterly (four issues per year). Copyright © 2021 Coastal Canine. All rights reserved. Coastal Canine is dedicated to the memory of Sunshine Broecker. Disclaimer: Coastal Canine is intended for entertainment purposes only. Please seek professional assistance from your veterinarian or qualified dog trainer before implementing any information acquired within these pages. Any resources mentioned are provided as a convenience to our readers, not as an endorsement.

Coastal Canine is printed on 30% recycled paper. All inks used contain a percentage of soy base. Our printer meets or exceeds all Federal Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) Standards. Our printer is a certified member of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) The FSC sets high standards that ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable way.

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cc | contents


14 Rico – Off the Streets and Out on the Bay

Rescued from the streets of Ushuaia, Argentina, Rico became a first mate on Monterey Bay.

22 Deputy Chance – Standing Up Against Abuse Overcoming tragic circumstances, Chance is now a police deputy with a message.

26 Surf Gidget, the Pug


Dina Ruiz writes about Gidget,

the Pug, who surfs with her mom for fun but has become more than just an amateur.

32 Greg Murray and The Fine Art of Rescue

Photography Belinda Jones interviews photographer and rescue advocate, Greg Murray. Read her article and have a look at Greg’s beautiful photography.


44 Crossing Canada with Tundra Two good friends and a dog named Tundra embark on an epic journey across Canada via canoe.

52 Cover Your K9 – Helping to Keep K9s Who

Serve Safe A small nonprofit is working hard to protect

police and other working K9s all over the state.


On the Cover: Our cover dog is a female pit bull mix named Chunk photographed by Greg Murray. Greg took the photo to help Chunk find her forever home. She is now a happy girl living two blocks from the ocean and is spoiled in every way. Learn more about Greg and his photography starting on page 32. Studio photo by Greg Murray

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California Canine ....................... 51 From the Heart .......................... 61

A. Herman, Dog Therapist ......... 21 Animal Cancer Center ................ 31 Animal Hospital at Mid Valley.... 55 Animal Hospital of Salinas ........ 61 Blue Pearl .................................. 20 Cottage Veterinary Care .............. 4 Dentistry For Animals ............... 40 Monterey Peninsula Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Clinic .................................... 30 Natural Veterinary Therapy ........ 49 Ophthalmology for Animals ...... 41 Pacific Grove Animal Hospital ..... 6 Pacific & Santa Cruz Veterinary Specialists ............. 5 Steinbeck Country Small Animal .21 Toro Park Animal Hospital ......... 59

Lilly’s Advantage ....................... 21

ART Catherine Sullivan Art ................ 40 Essence Portraits ...................... 57

BOOKS Cats are People Too .................. 42 Dogs are People Too ................. 42 Legend ...................................... 40

CLEANING PRODUCTS Uricide ...................................... 13

DAY CARE Dawg Gone It ............................ 17 Paws at Play ................................ 1


Pet Pals ....................................... 2 The Raw Connection ................... 3 Seconds .................................... 60


PET SITTING & BOARDING Carmel Valley Doggy Bed and Breakfast .............................. 61 Dawg Gone It ............................ 17 Katy’s Walk, Stay, Play .............. 62

REAL ESTATE Keller Williams, Rachelle Razzeca .................. 41 Keller Williams, Eddie Williams ...................... 56

California Canine ....................... 51 Del Monte Kennel Club .............. 62 Divine K9 ................................... 62 From The Heart Animal Behavior Counseling and Training ....... 61 Monterey Bay Dog T raining Club........................... 62 Pam Jackson ............................. 61

WHALE WATCHING Monterey Bay Whale Watch ...... 21

RESTAURANTS Abalonetti .................................. 61

Cypress Inn ............................... 25



Shampoo Chez .......................... 41 Suds ‘N Scissors ....................... 20

Birchbark Foundation ................ 30 FOWAS ...................................... 60


STORES Brad’s Barkery ........................... 58 Carmel Dog Shop ...................... 64 Earthwise Pet ............................ 60

contact us at michelle@ or call (831) 539-4469

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Brad’s Barkery is located at the Stonehouse on San Carlos SW between 7th and 8th in Carmel. Open Saturday and Sunday 11-4 and weekdays by appt. (831) 250-3354. In 2013 when Natalie Powell was six years old, she took the first step in starting Brad’s Barkery. She wanted her very own dog, one smaller than the family’s Brittany Spaniels. So they adopted a Pomeranian from AFRP. He was already named Brad. Natalie had an instant connection with him and even wanted to make her own food for him. Natalie’s love of dogs only grew, and when she was 12, she chose the SPCA as her philanthropy partner through the National Charity League’s Monterey Bay Chapter, a group of mothers and daughters working together in community service. Her mom, Virginia MaxwellPowell, came up with recipe ideas for the treats Natalie wanted to make to donate to the shelter dogs.

From there, Natalie had the idea to offer treats to the dogs of POMDR. She created certificates for the treats to go in their adoption bags and offered to deliver them, freshly made. Her dad, Robert Powell, also got involved in the baking process. The family started making treats for older dogs with special needs, mindful of using all-natural ingredients without sugar or dairy. The treats were popular, they received requests for more, and word spread to dog shops and other businesses. Natalie did most of the legwork herself to grow her endeavor, with customers having no idea they were dealing with someone so young! All communication had been strictly online. And then in May of 2021, the family decided to open a storefront, giving their baked goods a local connection with the community.


What started as a little girl’s love for her dog, Brad, has blossomed into a thriving artisanal “barkery” business in his honor, dedicated to helping dogs by giving back to no-kill shelters. Summer 2021 | | 9

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CANINE MASCOTS Warriors, Niners, Giants? Send us photos of your dog showing support for your favorite sports team. Email photo (at least 800 x 800 pixels) to editor@ or text the photo and “community board” to 831-601-4253. Submission deadline is November 10, 2021

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off the streets and out on the bay

By Carie Broecker Rico was one of those lucky strays who was in the right place at the exact right time. Rico was born on the streets of Ushuaia, Argentina. Ushuaia is a tourist town that claims the title of being the southernmost city in the world, and is the gateway to cruises to Antarctica. 14 | | Summer 2021

Rico, possibly an Irish Wolfhound mix, was about six months old when he “ran into” Nancy Black—a fortunate turn of events for the scrawny stray that would change his life forever.

Pacific white-sided dolphins, and the rest of the beautiful creatures in Monterey Bay, she loves to travel the world to learn about and admire the beauty and wonder of animals on other continents.

Nancy is an animal lover, adventurer, and marine biologist from Monterey, California. Nancy owns a whale-watching company and is a well-known expert on cetaceans in Monterey Bay. In addition to her expertise about and love of killer whales,

In 2013, Nancy had just finished a trip to Antarctica. She was in Ushuaia with a few hours to spare before boarding the plane to Buenos Aires and then back to California. She decided she had time to visit a gift shop in town. Coming out of the Summer 2021 | | 15

gift shop, she ran straight into Rico. Their paths crossed as if by kismet. Rico was thin, and his eyes and nose were goopy. He did not look well. Her first thought was “poor guy.”

numerous dogs from various situations closer to home. There were plenty of strays in Ushuaia, but they were all in packs. This poor, young stray, yet to be named Rico, was all alone.

Nancy had traveled enough that she had seen plenty of stray dogs over the years. She knew she couldn’t save them all. She had already rescued

Although she was pressed for time due to her flight leaving soon, she decided to take the sweet stray to the vet and get him vaccinated

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Going to Monterey? Bring the Dog!

and cleaned up as best she could. She was told there was a vet a mile away. She encouraged Rico to follow her, and he did. About halfway to the vet, he laid down in the grass and didn’t want to keep going. She tried tying her jacket sleeve around his neck like a collar and leash to tug him along. But he didn’t want to budge. She wouldn’t give up on him. She persisted while the clock was ticking, and finally, he started to follow her again. But when they arrived at the vet clinic, he refused to follow her through the door. She figured he’d never been “inside” before and he may have been shooed out of many doorways during his young life. He allowed her to pick him up and carry him in. The vet examined him and said he had a respiratory infection. He gave him an antibiotic injection and vaccinated him. Nancy inquired about what would happen to him now. Was there a shelter or rescue group he could go to? No. Could the vet keep him? No. What would happen to him? He would need to be turned out onto the street. Nancy asked everyone in the waiting room if any of them could take Rico and give him a proper home. No one volunteered. Nancy began to cry. She just could not put him back on the street. He was so calm and sweet and gentle and trusting. He deserved better. There was a reason their paths crossed. She

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Summer 2021 | | 17

rescue me | rico

Monterey Bay Whale Watch Dog-Friendly Whale Watching Trips

decided she would get him back to Monterey to live with her and become part of her pack. She still needed to get to her flight. Time was short, but luckily, she was notified that her flight to Buenos Aires was delayed. She had extra time to make arrangements to get Rico to Monterey. The vet agreed to board Rico for a week while she could get the paperwork for him to enter the United States. She thought she might need to come back in a week to bring him home, but she found a South American pet transportation company that promised to handle everything. She had to trust that all would be well. She said goodbye to Rico, hoping he would have a safe trip and would be reunited with her in about a week.

The captain and crew of Monterey Bay Whale Watch have extensive knowledge of marine life—and they also know how to make sure MBWW dog-friendly cruises are the best experience for you and your dog. (Please note: It’s important that your dog is well behaved, socialized and you’re confident your dog will not be stressed out by the ocean experience.) It's always a good idea to make a reservation in advance. Morning cruises are recommended since the seas are generally calmer then. Most trips last around four hours, so please be prepared! Be sure to give your dog a walk and a chance to potty before boarding. WHAT TO BRING: FOR YOU: It can be 10–15 degrees cooler out on the bay so dress in layers, wear sturdy rubber-soled shoes, and bring a rain jacket if there's even the slightest chance of rain in the forecast. Also, use plenty of sunscreen and wear a hat. If you wear glasses or sunglasses, it's always a good idea to use an eyeglass lanyard when out on the water. Each boat has a galley where you can purchase drinks and snacks, or please feel free to bring your own. FOR YOUR DOG: Although we can provide water and a bowl, it might be handy to bring along your own. (A travel set like the Lyderpet Dog Water Bottle and Bowl combo would work well on a boat.) You may also want to bring a blanket or small bed to provide a cushioned spot for your dog to lie on. We do not provide personal floatation devices for dogs, so if you have one, we recommend bringing it along for your dog to wear. And don’t forget to bring pick-up bags just in case. Also, it’s a long trip so keep some treats on hand! SAFETY TIP: Your dog should remain on leash throughout the cruise, and we recommend the leash be attached to a harness rather than your dog’s collar. Check the weather and the marine forecasts and the MBWW website for recent marine-life sightings. If you’re prone to sea sickness, we suggest taking a nondrowsy motion sickness medication before you board the boat (usually 30–60 minutes prior). It’s also a good idea to spend some time outside prior to departing in order to acclimate yourself and your dog.

For reservations call 831-375-4658 or go to

When she arrived home in Monterey, she found out there was a snag. There were very specific dimensions for the crate Rico would need to travel in to board the United Airlines flight as cargo. The pet transportation company could not find any crates in Argentina that were the right size. Nancy scrambled for a solution and was able to commission someone to build a custom crate. Soon Rico was on his way to Houston for his first stopover. Once he landed in Houston, the transportation company took possession of him and took him for a walk and a rest before boarding another plane headed for San Francisco. Nancy was there to meet him, and he was very excited to see her. Nancy had been worried about Rico because he was so calm for a six-month-old puppy when she met him on the streets. Maybe he had an underlying health issue? But, much to her surprise and glee, it turned out he has boundless energy and enthusiasm for life. The depressed, calm dog she had met was just stressed, sick, exhausted, and hungry from living on the streets. Rico fit in well with the rest of her dogs, but he was untrained— and at 60 pounds, an untrained puppy is a lot of work! She sent him to Deleta Jones’s board and train facility, K9 Ambassador, in Hollister, California, to give him some structure and foundation for basic commands. He learned the commands sit, stay, and come, which are all vital to a dog’s safety. The training worked wonders! Of course, Nancy had to continue his training herself, but with the basics under his belt, he was eager to learn more, although he does still have a few quirks. He goes nuts if he sees or hears a motorcycle. Doorways still scare him. And he doesn’t like people handing things to Nancy. She doesn’t

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know what that is about, but he’ll bark if someone reaches to hand her something. He loves to be cuddled and he loves Nancy. Since Nancy owns Monterey Bay Whale Watch, Rico gets to go out on the boat regularly, and he loves it. Nancy’s boat is always dog-friendly. Most of the dogs don’t notice the whales when they’re out. But not Rico. He is fascinated by the whales and is sometimes the first one to spot them. “Thank you Nancy for giving Rico the chance at a loving home instead of a life on the streets.” Donations in memory of Rico can go to the a non profit dedicated to the study and conservation of Killer Whales along the California Coast.

In Memoriam


Just three weeks after meeting Nancy and Rico for lunch to do the interview for his story, tragedy struck. Sadly, on July 18 there was a fire at Nancy’s house and it was destroyed. Tragically, most of her pets were lost in the fire—including Rico. Our hearts go out to Nancy. We will never forget Rico with his big smile and gleeful greetings. Rest in Peace sweet Rico.

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Summer 2021 | | 21

Deputy Chance Standing Up Against Abuse By Pam Bonsper When he was found, his mouth was duct-taped shut, his tongue was hanging out, he was dehydrated, and he was bleeding from open wounds. “No words can express how disgusting it was. It would have been a matter of minutes before he died,” recalls Sheriff Marceno of Lee County, Florida. “He was a turning point for our department. When I saw him I thought: If I ever got in a position to help more animals from this fate, I would do it.” Immediately following that horrible scene, the very

Now wearing the uniform, Deputy Chance began

young dog was rescued by the department, given

to change the department’s focus on animal abuse.

the name “Chance,” and adopted by one of the

Chance soon became the catalyst for the Deputy

department’s lieutenants. The sheriff states, “I’m

Dogs, Pets on Patrol Program. The sheriff explains.

very proud of Lt. Castellon, who stepped up and

“He is the face of this program. In it, citizens

adopted Chance and worked so hard with him.”

actively work with law enforcement as a team. We have a great relationship. The community is a very

It wasn’t long before Chance’s true nature

big part of the piece. People know their neighbors.

overshadowed his tragic past. He began running

It’s getting them to report something when they see

and playing and SMILING. And it wasn’t long

it. We tell them: See it! Say it! And Make the Call!

before forensics nabbed the abuser with DNA

We flag people’s homes if there is any sign of abuse.

evidence found from fingerprints on the backside of

We have a unit that works 24/7 to check things

the tape. The abuser was found guilty of aggravated

out. We follow through and if the abuse continues,

animal cruelty and given five years of probation.

we go back. The message we send is: If you abuse

Chance became a local celebrity. Withstanding the traumatic abuse and not giving up, he became

an animal, we have zero tolerance: you will get punished.”

a hero, inspiring others to overcome difficult

As in all law enforcement agencies, Deputy Chance

challenges. His responding to the work and love

couldn’t just rely upon his good ideas and good

given to him by his rescuers was soon followed

looks. He had to go out there and work! Deputy

by Sheriff Marceno deputizing him into the

Chance became the spokesdog for the Public


Affairs Unit. He was given the title “The Good Will

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dog of the day | chance

“I have a zero-tolerance stance on any kind of abuse.” Carmine Marceno Lee County Sheriff Ambassador” by the County Commissioner. He goes all over the place, visiting schools, hospitals, and community events, all the time advocating against animal cruelty and helping to promote the adoption of shelter pets. The sheriff chuckles, “He’s a natural for these kinds of things. We noticed on his first event, he brought so much love and joy to the crowd. Kids run to him. He’s like a magnet. He smiles at you. Even after so much abuse, and after working with Lt. Castellon, he became a mascot that says: You can come back. We took Chance to the Children’s Hospital to see the young cancer patients. The kids just loved him. He is an amazing dog.” Due to his huge success and influence in the Lee County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy Chance has convinced the sheriff to expand its Canine staff. Working closely with local animal shelters, they have added two more dogs to their Animal Cruelty Task Force, and Chance is now the role model to his peers. Detective Gunner (who was taken from the jaws of an alligator) and Deputy Hope (who has only three legs) became the latest to join his team. Recently, Chance was nominated for the American Humane Hero Dog Award.

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category | topic

As of this writing, he is among the three semifinalists

dogs. We will deploy all resources to help the ones

in the shelter dog category. As the sheriff explains, “If

who are being abused.”

he wins the award, he will be a worldwide ambassador. He will have a voice at the national level. Not just about

Sheriff Marceno’s final statement: “We have to protect

fighting the abuse but the educational piece in how to

those who don’t have a voice.”

treat animals and how to care for them properly. He will help to get the word out: articles, social media, sheriffs all over talking about it and implementing similar programs. We will utilize that base, that national platform to say: We have zero tolerance for those who abuse dogs, for those who shouldn’t own

Deputy Chance had lost his voice two years ago when his jaws were taped shut. But his jaws are now open; his voice is being heard. He wants everyone to know: Don’t give up the fight. Keep strong and report animal abuse. That is how you can be a hero, too.

THE WORLD-RENOWNED PET-FRIENDLY CYPRESS INN Invites you and your four-leggers to visit Carmel. Pets are welcome throughout the hotel, in the cozy living room or in the charming courtyard for lunch or evening appetizers.

LINCOLN ST. CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA (800) 443-7443 WWW.CYPRESS-INN.COM Co-Owned by Doris Day and Dennis LeVett

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dog of the day | gidget

The Pug’s silky ears reveal her true demeanor when she’s surfing. They’re relaxed, not pushed back or pointed skyward. Her eyes are soft as she maneuvers her fifteen pounds of white fur around the surf board. Backward walking, 360s—Surf Gidget the Pug can do it all. And her on-the-board prowess has just won her first place in the small dog category at the 24th Annual Purina Incredible Dog Challenge. It’s effectively like winning gold in the canine Olympics. The win is a long time coming. Gidgie, as her human mom Alecia Nelson calls her, has placed second on four occasions. Her championship ride took place on Friday,

so I wanted to do something with my dog,” Nelson says. A Malibu girl, Nelson was living in Freeport, Maine when she got little Gidget—a fairly rare white Pug—in

July 16th, just off the shores of Huntington Beach. Nelson

2013. The pup joined a loving menagerie. “I had five

says the conditions were challenging. “The currents were

dogs, two cats, five goats. I brought Gidget into that

horrible. It was like a washing machine, pulling me down

on five acres.” Gidget fit right in with the family but,

the coast. When I launched her, I invoked the name of

early on, she was hyper and a bit naughty. “She was

a recently departed friend. I was yelling it out loud. I

eating my brand new leather couch at six months of

thought Gidgie had crashed, but she just kept going, and

age. I had those Nigerian goats, and she was able to

going, and going. The next thing I knew, she was standing there on a surf board. On the shore. She was the only dog who rode all the way in!” For Nelson and Surf Gidget the Pug—it’s all for fun. There’s no monetary gain, except the $200 won at the

at least play with them.” Nelson redirected the young Pug’s energy to agility training and Gidget took to it immediately. Jumps and A-frames? No problem. “A friend of mine, Greg Louganis (the Olympic diver), had his dogs compete at the Westminster dog agility shows.

Purina Incredible Dog Challenge. Maybe a few freebie

I thought, ‘I could do this. We can compete, too!’ And

products here and there. But mostly, just two sporty

Gidget was fast. She was so fast I could barely keep up

ladies bonding in the waves. “I was athletic my whole life,

with her on a course.”

Summer 2021 | | 27

dog of the day | gidget Nelson, a paddle-boarder, had a hunch the talented Pug might enjoy the water. “I knew she had balance. But, she was a bit skeptical at first. And the tide is so different back in Maine. Getting back to shore you can be stuck in mud. She (Gidget) was like, ‘What the heck!’” They didn’t have to deal with the mud for long because Nelson longed for home and relocated back to Southern California. That’s where she stumbled upon dog surfing in 2015. “I took Gidget to Del Mar Dog Beach. There was a contest called Surf Dog Surfathon. It’d gone on for a decade. I thought, ‘What a spectacle.’” But soon after, she put Gidget on a surf board and she won third place in a competition. Nelson knew they were onto something. “Gidget started walking the board, nose to rear, nose to rear. She got accustomed to it. She started to figure it out. We always call her ‘fidget Gidget.’ This is why you see her do 360s, or ride backwards. If you look at Gidget, she also stands on all fours with confidence. When she gets to shore, she is still standing on the surf board.” That year, Gidget’s surf career—in fact her life—was in danger when the she suffered from a syndrome called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, or EPI. It makes dogs unable to produce enough enzymes to digest fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, so nutrients aren’t absorbed. “Gidget was doing really well, and all of a sudden became emaciated. They can starve to death, they don’t hold on to their food. She was gaunt. So, that whole season we were at the vet doing blood work. I said, ‘I guess we don’t compete anymore.’ Then, a young vet called me out of the blue and said ‘I think I’ve figured out the problem.’ I gave Gidget some pancreatic supplemental powder, and it makes the food stay in the system.” Gidget will take the powder twice a day for the rest of her life. It’s uncommon to see dogs on surf boards, and even less common to see small dogs, like Gidget. They lack the weight to keep the board stable against the surface of the water. Then there are dogs who look like they’re being forced to hang-ten. Nelson says she can spot the uncomfortable ones a mile away. “Ears back and eyes popping out shows me they aren’t happy. They will run off when they get to shore and their owners need to chase them. They don’t want to

28 | | Summer 2021


dog of the day | gidget

be there.” The antithesis is true for

There’s a lot more to life for Alecia

platforms—well over 100,000 on

Gidget. “When we get out of the van,

Nelson and Gidget than surfing.

Instagram alone. Nelson is also

she will scream. I mean scream!

Nelson owns It’s a Dog’s Life

launching a 501c3 nonprofit called

Then she will run to the water—not

Academy in San Clemente. Her

Surf Gidget the Pug Healing Hearts

walk but run into the water. When

facility provides doggy daycare,

Foundation which will pair adoptable

we get to a competition though, it’s

boarding, training, and training

dogs with former victims of child

odd. She has a game face on. She has

for humans, too, on how to better


her gear on, goggles and wet suit. We

interact with their pups. Gidget, and

will get into our heat, then she’ll just

the family’s other dogs Gigi and Izzy

Nelson cherishes her time in the

lay down on her board. She’s ready.”

join “mom” at work. There’s also

water with Gidget, but knows it

Gidget always wears a hat and rash

Gidget’s social media to manage.

won’t last forever. “The day she gets

guard because white dogs are more

More than 135,000 people follow

off her board is the day we don’t do

prone to cancer.

the sweet little pug on various

it anymore,” she says emphatically. “She acts like she is two—no, like a

Dina Ruiz is a longtime Peninsula resident who has worked in the media for more

than 20 years. She has been an anchor at KSBW-TV and featured on the TV shows “Candid Camera” and “Mrs. Eastwood

and Company.” She is currently getting a master’s degree in creative writing at

San Jose State University. Her Instagram handle is @dinaruiz.

puppy. She is a Pug with ‘tude. She knows when to behave, but she is very pushy. She will get upset if she knows I’m going somewhere. She’s always at my leg. She is my soul dog.” *The Purina Incredible Dog Challenge will be aired in the Fall. Check local listings to see Surf Pug Gidget in action!

Summer 2021 | | 29



Nights, weekends and holidays, 365 DAYS A YEAR—we are always there for your pet Our 24/7 facility allows you to have all of your pet’s veterinary needs conveniently combined under one roof. We are here for you at any time your veterinarian is not available.


• 24/7/365 Emergency & Critical Care • Specialty Surgery for Orthopedics, Soft Tissue Surgery, Arthroscopy & Laparoscopy • General Daytime Veterinary Services • General Medicine • General Surgery • Dentistry • Specialty Foods & Individual Nutritional Consults • Puppy & Kitten Packages • Spay & Neuter Packages • Adult & Senior Care • Preventative Medicine • Avian & Exotic Medicine • State of the Art Facility with Full In House Diagnostic Abilities • Medical Boarding in a Clinical Setting

Located in h Ryan Ranc HW Y

Live events are back!


NEW Daytime General Practice Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-5pm

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GREG MURRAY AND THE FINE ART OF RESCUE-DOG PHOTOGRAPHY By Be linda Jone s Peanut Butter Puppies is the latest lip-smacking addition to Greg Murray’s trio of joy-inducing dog photography books, including the original Peanut Butter Dogs and the inspiring Pit Bull Heroes: 49 Underdogs with Resilience and Heart. Here we discover more about the man behind the camera. 32 | | Summer 2021

When inviting friends to check out Greg Murray’s

response was, “Wow, he seems like a really nice

collection of pet portraits, I had expected cooing


over the candy-colored backdrops, peanut buttersmeared chins, quizzical head tilts, and lopsided ears—and sighs over the way he allows us to glimpse an animal’s soul through its gleaming eyes. (I also wouldn’t have been surprised if people singled out the perfectly-posed profile of a rescue squirrel about to bite a walnut!) But in reality, the most common

Which he is—sincere, unrushed, thoughtful, and kindhearted, not to mention a man on a mission when it comes to promoting rescue animals and advocating for Pit Bulls. So then I wondered, were these empathetic qualities the key to his success, especially when it comes to gaining the trust of his subjects?

Summer 2021 | | 33

Sincere, unrushed, thoughtful, and kindhearted, not to mention a man on a mission when it comes to promoting rescue animals and advocating for Pit Bulls.

34 | | Summer 2021

cc artist | greg murray

“Well, it’s an interesting theory!” Greg laughs.

at the studio, I always give the dogs space and let

“Of course, dogs instinctively sense whether

them have free roam—always off leash—for at least

someone is a good person or a safe person to be

the first 15 minutes.” Meanwhile, Greg will chat

around and, not wanting to toot my own horn, but

with the owner and offer the dog favorite treats.

I do have a lot of people say, ‘My dog is normally

“But I let them come to me—I’m super-patient by

afraid of men’ or ‘I can’t believe how quickly my

nature, which I think helps!”

dog has warmed up to you!’”

The camera flash can be a shock initially, but Greg

Is there a special strategy he uses? “First, I have

says a surprising number of dogs don’t react at

the owner fill out a survey prior so I know what

all, and he’s always willing to make adjustments

the dogs do and don’t like. Then, when they arrive

to make his models feel more comfortable—like

I always give the dogs space and let them have free roam—always off leash—for at least the first 15 minutes.”

Summer 2021 | | 35

category | topic

36 | | Summer 2021

stepping back and switching to a telephoto lens if

He had been honing his camera skills on the side

a dog doesn’t enjoy having the camera so close to

by photographing shelter pets at the Cleveland

its face. I speculate that there must be a fair amount

Animal Protective League, and when his job ended

of pressure trying to capture something magical on

abruptly in 2014, he decided, with the support of


his now-wife Kristen, to give pet photography his

“I used to really get stressed about this, and of

best shot.

course there are some animals who get too freaked

“I’ve always had animals in my life—cats, birds,

out with the equipment to get the shot, but luckily

lizards, snakes, fish, guinea pigs—and my earliest

that only happens a couple of times a year so I will

childhood memory is sitting in a laundry basket

either waive the fee or, most times, reschedule for an

with the family rescue dog!” (You can see a pic of

outdoor shoot where they will be more relaxed.”

toddler Greg with Muffit on Greg’s Instagram feed

Can he sense when the dog walks in which way it’s going to go? “I used to think I knew but I’ve learned that you just never know! Sometimes dogs are nervous and I need help from the owner; other times the owner can be a source of tension and I’ve had to politely ask them to sit to the side, and then assure them everything will be alright!” Greg has been a professional photographer for seven years now. Before this, he spent ten years working, somewhat unhappily, in corporate human resources.

@thegregmurray.) Greg now has an 18-monthold child of his own, Evie, as well as two “big old mutts,” Leo and Kensie. “Kensie is a registered therapy dog who always wants to lick your face and be petted; Leo is more anxious and protective, but if I take them in the studio, he’s the one who goes straight to the spot with the lights!” Greg has always favored humanizing headshots with the focus on the eyes and “funny expressions with tongues out and drool!” It was in trying to animate Kensie’s jaw using peanut butter that the

“I used to really get stressed about this, and of course there are some animals who get too freaked out with the equipment to get the shot, but luckily that only happens a couple of times a year so I will either waive the fee or, most times, reschedule for an outdoor shoot where they will be more relaxed.”

Summer 2021 | | 37

All Greg’s books are available through, Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble, or contact your local bookstore.

idea for a book came to him.

animal advocates and

Intending to self-publish,

“attended meetings, voted

Greg started a Kickstarter

for the right people, and

campaign, but then, as is

protested. It’s something

the stuff of photographer dreams, his “Peanut

I’ll never forget.” That experience is detailed

Butter Dogs” images went viral!

in his book, Pit Bull Heroes: 49 Underdogs

“For a couple of weeks it was nonstop interviews with the likes of Today, Daily Mail and HuffPost. Then the publishers started to call and a book

with Resilience and Heart, which contains resources to help people fight against this prejudice in their own town.

deal was struck. “It was surreal, and still is, to

That has to feel good, I note, to have effected

hear from people all over the world who smiled

genuine change by using his platform. “It

because of my pictures!” Greg recalls the time a

does,” he sighs. “Pit Bull type dogs have a

young woman in Japan tagged him in a photo with

special place in my heart and I have made a

her dog. “I sent a message asking if she could

commitment now to only photograph rescue

take a picture of my book in her city, and to see

dogs for my books from now on. Nothing

such a distinctive skyline in the background was

against people who own purebreds, truly,

such a thrill!”

but it is of vital importance to me to promote

Greg is from and based in Cleveland, Ohio, and the amplified voice he gained from the book’s

animal adoption, so that is a choice I have made.”

success played a vital role in reversing a local ban

While the theme of Greg’s next book may

on Pit Bulls. He teamed up with other dedicated

be under wraps, one thing is certain—every

38 | | Summer 2021

cc artist | greg murray

Is Peanut Butter Safe for Dogs?

image will be beautifully lit, with love and integrity shining through. See more at and on Instagram @thegregmurray Belinda Jones is the author of Bodie on the Road: Travels with my Rescue Pup in the Dogged Pursuit of Happiness

According to the American Kennel Club, it’s ok for dogs to eat peanut butter as long as it is fed in moderation. But beware of a sugar substitute found in some peanut butters called xylitol. It is safe for people to eat, but can be extremely toxic to dogs—and even deadly. Unsalted or homemade peanut butter is considered the best option. And it is always recommended that you consult your veterinarian for advice, especially for dogs prone to food allergies, food sensitivity issues, or who have conditions like diabetes. With cancer-causing substances like glyphosate and aflatoxins found in some name-brand peanut butters, some recommendations are that you just skip the Skippy® altogether and feed your dogs healthier treats, such as dog-friendly fruits or vegetables.

and works at Animal Rescue Rhode Island.

Belinda Jones is a dog-besotted British magazine journalist and bestselling author of eleven romantic comedy novels and a feeelgood road trip memoir titled Bodie on the Road - Travels With My Rescue Pup in the Dogged Pursuit of Happiness (Skyhorse Publishing). Her Instagram handle is @bodieeontheroad

Summer 2021 | | 39

& acrylic artist all my proceeds donated to

catherinesullivan watercolor

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Practice devoted to dentistry & oral surgery

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Summer 2021 | | 41

42 | | Summer 2021

When It Came to Dogs, Curly was no Stooge Jerome Horwitz, better known as Curly from The Three Stooges, would often rescue stray dogs he found on his travels. He would kindly foster the dogs until he could find them new homes. A man before his time, it is estimated that Curly saved and rehomed more than 5,000 dogs in his lifetime—truly making him a dog’s best friend.

Silent Canine Costars Both Laurel & Hardy and Charlie Chaplin shared the limelight with canine costars in their first major films. In A Dog’s Life (1918) Charlie saves a stray dog (Scraps) from other dogs. After sneaking Scraps into a cabaret, Charlie falls in love with the singer but is ejected from the club for having no money. Scraps saves the day when she digs up a wallet (stolen by thieves) that ends up containing a small fortune. Charlie uses the money to buy a small farm for himself and his bride. The closing scene shows the newlywed couple staring into a cradle. The cradle contains Scraps and her puppies. The Lucky Dog (1921) was the first film to feature both Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy together prior to their becoming a comedy team. Laurel’s character is evicted for not paying his rent, shortly after he befriends a stray dog. The film ends when the dog picks up a piece of lit dynamite and chases the bad guys into the garden, dropping it on cue before being called back to the safety of Stan and his girl’s loving arms.

In both films the costars are stray mixed-breed dogs. And it’s no wonder that in both films the dogs were the heroes.

Summer 2021 | | 43


By Scott Broecker

44 | | Summer 2021

cc | tundra

On a cold snowy morning in late April of this year, with temperatures hovering in the teens and sheets of ice still clinging to the shores, two friends and their canine companion began a real-life incredible journey. The book and films by that name (The Incredible Journey), tell the story of two dogs and a cat making their way across 250 miles of Canadian wilderness to find their way home. In this real-life adventure, the trio consists of two good friends and a five-year-old Shepherd/Labrador mix by the name of Tundra. This journey, which began on the North Saskatchewan River in Alberta, Canada, will take these three intrepid explorers on a four to five-month, summer-long adventure across Canada—or being that they are traveling by water, “alongside Canada,” which also happens to be their Instagram handle. The full trip will be over 3,000 miles in length, with their destination being Saint John, New Brunswick and the Atlantic Ocean.

Summer 2021 | | 45

cc | tundra

Tundra can't help paddle but she is still an important part of our crew. “She definitely helps lift our spirits with her high energy when we do arrive somewhere new and want to explore.” And in the morning, “She gets us motivated to get out of our tents and get on with the day.”

Spurred on by a combination of pandemic boredom and a craving for adventure, Brett Casey phoned his friend Elias Niederkorn in late December and said: “Hey, do you want to canoe to New Brunswick?” . . . Elias was quick to reply: “Sure! Let’s do it.” Since Tundra went everywhere with Elias, it was never in doubt that she would be included in the trip’s plan. Elias and Brett have extensive paddling and wilderness experience, both having working backgrounds as wildland firefighters and paddle guides. Elias adopted Tundra at the Peace River SPCA three years ago. “I took her for one walk and could see that we needed each other.” Since then, they have gone on many adventures together including driving across country as well as many extensive hikes and canoe trips, all helping her grow into the companion and adventure dog that she is today. At the time of our correspondence in mid-June, 2021, the trio are almost a third of the way into their journey, paddling along the Saskatchewan River in their 17-foot Nova Craft canoe, just past the town of Nipawin in central Canada. Tundra’s spot is located just in front of the stern man. The spray skirt there can open and close allowing her to pop up and look around and drink, or lie down and get out of the sun. I asked Elias what Tundra does during those long stretches of paddling. “She is our guard at night and is often up listening to what comes around, so for the first section of the day she is often passed out snoring,” Elias says, adding, “We do let her out to run on the shore when the terrain seems fit but we also get out for lunch to let us all stretch our legs and to find some shade.” Along the river, the team has spotted abundant wildlife, including deer, elk, moose, coyotes, ground squirrels, and bears (just to name a few), all with young ones. From the boat, Tundra has been able to see and smell them without disturbing them or causing any conflicts. The trip hasn't been without its dangers. Despite her being a great swimmer, Elias has Tundra wear a personal

46 | | Summer 2021

cc | feature

Summer 2021 | | 47

cc | tundra floatation device when necessary. He says she gets annoyed when splashed by the occasional rapid, but quickly shakes it off. Taking advantage of a shore stop, Tundra took off on a run through a wooded area and caught her ear on an old farmer’s fence. Elias got her cuts cleaned up to stop the bleeding and said that Tundra wasn't too bothered by the incident. At night Tundra sleeps in the tent curled up in a warm coat atop an old Therm-A-Rest® foam cot. Although she is independent at times, Elias says that she still enjoys a good cuddle and massages. However, she always remains alert and will stir whenever something wanders into camp. When she does, Elias will pop right up to go out and investigate with her. He says that Tundra has been their protector and will only chase an animal off a few hundred meters before circling around and coming back. Elias recalls one particular evening when the coyotes were hot on her tail, but she luckily circled back to Brett before they had a chance to harm her. He adds that for a couple of hours the coyotes continued to whine and bark, trying to lure Tundra back into the woods. On two other occasions he says that she came

“She is our guard at night and is often up listening to what comes around, so for the first section of the day she is often passed out snoring,” Elias says, adding, “We do let her out to run on the shore when the terrain seems fit but we also get out for lunch to let us all stretch our legs and to find some shade.”

48 | | Summer 2021

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Elias adopted Tundra at the Peace River SPCA three years ago. “I took her for one walk and could see that we needed each other.”

Exams Bloodwork Acupuncture Chiropractic Swim Therapy Physical Rehab Non-Anesthetic Teeth Cleaning and More! 26135 Carmel Rancho Blvd., Ste E-103 located in the Carmel Rancho shopping Center


Summer 2021 | | 49

too close to a skunk, but on another when confronted with a porcupine, had the good sense to keep her distance.

explaining that she’s come along on past boating trips. Elias says that Tundra is a great listener and often has a lot to say herself, and sometimes has a bit of attitude

The friends are looking forward to seeing more wildlife

when he wants her to do certain commands. He

and just being present, surrounded by nature. “Every

keeps her brushed since she is a constant shedder and

place has its own beauty across this country,” Niederkorn

trims her nails when needed. He says that despite her

says. “To be able to take it slow and on the river is a great

wearing a tick bandana, they are still found on her and

way to experience it.”

the guys or just crawling inside the tent.

Depending on the weather, terrain, and the ever-

The team has experienced every kind of weather along

changing winds, the friends hope to average around 30

the way. Elias says that now that spring has sprung,

miles a day. “The winds are a challenge every day but

it is a bit warmer and the valleys have exploded into a

our biggest would be ensuring we are all communicating

lush green. In the mornings and evenings, they have

our needs to ensure a happy and safe journey.” Some of

been dazzled by amazing sunrises and sunsets with

their anticipated milestones will be finishing the North

all shades and colors, as well as seeing sights like large

Saskatchewan River, crossing the provincial borders,

flocks of Sandhill Cranes migrating their way back

entering the lakes, crossing dams, and others they


haven't even discovered yet. Elias emphasizes that they will have more than a few portages along the way.

The guys spent a month dehydrating food for themselves, and Tundra is fed Acana dog food that gets

Tundra can't help paddle but she is still an important part

restocked along the way, as well as table scraps and

of our crew. “She definitely helps lift our spirits with her

treats. In camp, Tundra’s newest hobby is snapping

high energy when we do arrive somewhere new and want

at the horseflies buzzing around and making sure the

to explore.” And in the morning, “She gets us motivated

squirrels around are on guard.

to get out of our tents and get on with the day.” “This is just another adventure for her,” he says,

50 | | Summer 2021

A few weeks after adopting Tundra, Elias noticed that she began to whine in the evenings, and he could see

cc | tundra that she had a difficult time getting back up after they

in St. John, Brett will be going back to school at Saint

had gone on a few long hikes. After taking her to the vet

Thomas University (STU) in Fredericton, N.B., to

for x-rays he was informed of her hip dysplasia on both

complete his teaching degree to become an elementary

back legs. Since then, he has mitigated the amount of

school teacher. The two friends met ten years ago while

strain she has on runs, kept her weight down, and has

both attending the University of New Brunswick. As for

given her various forms of preventative medications to try and prevent the condition from worsening. In the future, she may need an expensive surgery. Elias hopes the preventive measures will keep it in check,

Elias and Tundra, they have no set plans on what their next adventure will be, but Elias is leaning towards going back to the West Coast or up to the Yukon. Wishing you all safe travels and bright futures!

but if it worsens in the coming years then he will have

Check out Eli and Brett’s Go Fund Me Page by searching

it done. Canadians have a great health care system but

for “Help Eli and Brett canoe from AB to NB”

this one would be out of pocket for Elias. The trip will also be dual purpose since on their arrival

Keep up with their adventures on Instagram @ alongsidecanada.

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COVER YOUR K-9 Helping to Keep K9s Who Serve Safe

By Jennie Blevins


Dogs should never be left unattended in a parked car for any period of time. Temperatures inside a car can skyrocket in minutes. Police K9 teams all over the country are put in dangerous situations regularly while serving the public. Often the police K9 will be left in the car with the air conditioning on until needed, while the officer is out patrolling, investigating crimes, and pursuing criminals. Sadly, every year dozens of police dogs still die due to heat-related deaths. There were 46 in 2020 alone. With the engine off in a patrol car, an accessory battery pack provides full power to all onboard equipment, including the cabin's AC. These systems occasionally cut off due to mechanical failure, leaving the dog trapped in a rapidly warming car. With the partnering officer unaware, the situation can quickly become lethal. To combat this problem, a Florida company called AceK9 produced and tested

category | topic

K9 Zhero of the Seaside P.D. will receive his custom ballistic vest from Cover Your K9 this August.

cc | for the dogs

a backup alarm system for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s K9 units in 1986. The same company now produces the HOT-N-POP® PRO. This state-of-the art temperature monitoring system has multiple heat sensors and includes features such as a proactive display on the K9 handler’s cell

A small nonprofit organization in San Mateo County called Cover Your K9 has been

phone, and siren and horn activation. It will also

providing safety equipment

automatically open windows, turn on a fan, and even

for working K9s since 2009.

call or send a text alert to the K9 handler and four other contacts. This and other life-saving systems have been put in place by many departments, but some teams are still going without due to the high cost of purchasing and installing the systems and sometimes because the proper funding isn’t being

and working dogs all over California, and some of the local beneficiaries include the Seaside, Santa Cruz, and Salinas police departments.

allocated to them.

Cover Your K-9 provides life-saving heat alarms and

A small all-volunteer nonprofit organization in San

patrol car with a heat alarm system can cost around

Mateo County called Cover Your K-9 has been

providing safety equipment for working K9s since 2009. We spoke recently with the president and co-

founder, Louise Tully. According to Tully, Cover Your K-9 functions through generous donations, some of them stemming from anonymous donors and various fundraisers, both online and in person. The organization also has an eBay store. They provide training and safety equipment for police departments

K9 ballistic vests to police departments. Outfitting a $2200 including installation and around $1400 for a custom-made bulletproof vest. Other safety and

emergency equipment provided by Cover Your K-9 includes accessory equipment such as goggles to protect the dogs’ eyes from harsh sunlight and environmental dangers like foxtails, protective booties for dogs that need to walk on hot pavement, K9 oxygen masks, and ambu bags (a self-inflating bag with a one-way valve, mask, and an oxygen reservoir), as well as emergency trauma

Seaside PD K9 Zhero and Officer Dillon

first aid kits. They also teach classes such as emergency medical care for dogs. Funding also pays for K9 officers to attend an eight-hour comprehensive K9 Emergency Medicine Course. During the classes, which are offered twice a year, officers can practice giving medical care to live dogs. The K9s are sometimes placed in simulated medical emergency situations. Additionally, they have a fund that covers emergency care for retired police dogs. Santa Cruz Police K9 officer Paul George, who is partnered with his black Lab, K9 Parker, assures us, "Every handler I know keeps fresh

54 | | Summer 2021

cc | for the dogs


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Summer 2021 | | 55

“Every handler I know keeps fresh water in their large bowl (always accessible to the dog) and carries a separate source to refill as needed.” He adds “Knowing we cannot rely on technology, we tend to leave our cars


running with air conditioning on.”

56 | | Summer 2021

Officer Paul George with K9 Parker

cc | for the dogs water in their large bowl (always accessible to the dog) and carries a separate source to refill as needed.” He adds, "Knowing we cannot rely on technology, we tend to leave our cars running with the air conditioning on.” He then goes on to say that handlers give their dogs frequent breaks from the car to go to the bathroom and just generally stretch their legs. Santa Cruz County currently has 10 active K9s, with some new ones coming in soon. Officer George says that he can’t speak for everyone, but that he strives to get his dog out of the car about four or five times throughout his shift and that as far as he is aware, his the only patrol vehicle in the county that does not have a temp-activated window drop, although one has been on order for some time. Since its founding, Cover Your K-9 has provided 1800 ballistic vests and nearly 1200 heat alarm systems to departments all over California. Due to the pandemic, they have lost some of their key sponsors and are looking for new ways to raise funds to protect more dogs. Donations can be made online at or sent by check or money order to: Police & Working K-9 Foundation P.O. Box 620629

Woodside, CA 94062

A colorful and unique portrait of your Furry Friend

Witness a deeper look into the soul of your pet! Sofanya meditates and lovingly creates a special and unique portrait. You may be included in the portrait…. See the cosmic connection!

Visit Sofanya’s website for more about her paintings, sculptures, retreat space in the redwoods and more! 831-238-0543

Summer 2021 | | 57

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cc | the final word

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cc | the final word

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Summer 2021 | | 61

cc | the final word

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