Coastal Canine Winter 2019

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FREE Winter


Belinda & z Saints of Barryland College Graduate



ice skating in Vegas


dog portraits y MORE

PACIFIC VETERINARY SPECIALISTS & E MERGENCY SERVICES has moved to 2585 Soquel Drive We are excited to announce the merging of Pacific Veterinary Specialists with the specialty and emergency services of Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital as of February 1st. We will be offering comprehensive specialty and emergency services at the newly renovated hospital at 2585 Soquel Drive to meet all of your pet’s needs.


2585 Soquel Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95065


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

Kimberly Wilkins, DVM


Serving Carmel, Big Sur, Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove and the rest of Monterey County


Realtor/Sale Associate CalBRE# 01987058 Top 1% Worldwide

(831 ) 229-6697

“My wife and I had a wonderful experience working with Rachelle Razzeca! She treated us like family. Want to bring your dog along in my car, no problem! Dogs are allowed in their pet-friendly office as well. Rachelle stayed on top of things, and she patiently helped us sort out our wants and needs. With Rachelle and the Monterey Peninsula Home Team, we received expert guidance on negotiation strategies and contract conditions. The level of service Rachelle provided has been exceptional!” ~Michael Gordon

“He who loves me, also loves my dog.”

~Saint Bernard of Clairvaux


e wish everyone and all their four-leggers a very happy and healthy 2019!

Our first article in this issue is about a dog who inspired the creation of a local rescue group that takes in senior dogs from shelters and also provides services that help senior and low-income people care for and keep their beloved dogs. Learn more about Savvy and how her situation sparked the idea for this much needed nonprofit.

Publisher Editor/Photographer Graphic/Ad Design









A service dog named Griffin changed one woman’s life by helping her complete her master’s degree and realize her dreams, leading them both to graduate Clarkson University together. Now, as a therapy team, they are helping others. Read more about Brittany and Griffin as their fairytale continues.

Copy Editor Marketing Executive

Dina Eastwood writes about the merits of California Canine, a local dogtraining facility and doggie social club that offers a multitude of classes for dogs of all sizes and abilities.

Please direct letters to the editor to: 831-601-4253 Please direct advertising inquiries to: 831-539-4469

A rescued dog named Benny is taking dog sports to a whole new level as he shows off his skills and passion for ice-skating! Read more about this amazing Labrador mix on page 48.

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 www.

Combining hand-drawn dog portraits with 3D objects and photography, our featured artist, Valeria Susik, draws her subjects’ attention right off the page. Read our interview with Valeria and have a look at some of her first-of-a-kind interactive dog portraits. From winter sports in Vegas to a winter wonderland in the Alps, travel writer and Coastal Canine contributor Belinda Jones takes us along as she explores the trail of the legendary mountain rescuer, the very lovable St Bernard. Roman is a compassionate seven-year-old who has helped find homes for over 1,400 dogs. Wise beyond his years, he is an extraordinary advocate and spokesperson for dogs in need.

Woofs! Scott and Carie Broecker


Join our online mailing list at Coastal Canine Issue #41, Winter 2019. Published quarterly (four issues per year). Copyright © 2019 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.

Winter 2019 | | 7

table of contents



Rescue Me: Savvy’s Legacy Savvy, a spaniel mix, who


was orphaned at 7-years-old, was the inspiration for a local group that takes in dogs from senior people who can no longer care for them and helps senior and low income people to keep their pets. Dog of the Day: Brittany and Griffin Griffin is a service dog who not only supports his person, Brittany, he is also an honorary graduate of Clarkson University. With a new degree the two are a team helping to change more lives for the better.


26 California Canine, Dog Paradise Dina Eastwood writes about California Canine, a hub for doggie social meet ups as well as training classes such as obedience, agility, and even therapy dog training.

32 41

Interactive Dog Portraits Valerie Susik, a Russian artist, creates unique 3D images that nearly jump off the canvas. Have a look at some of her interactive dog portraits and read our recent interview with her.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland Travel writer and doglover, Belinda Jones, spends time in Switzerland with a litter of St Bernard puppies and several adult St Bernards while exploring the local culture and history surrounding the Swiss national dog.

48 Amazing Benny, the Ice Skating Dog Benny is the only dog in the world who ice skates! He loves it and you will love reading about the joy he finds on the ice.



54 Roman and Project Freedom Ride Roman is an

extraordinary 7-year-old. With his compassionate heart and his desire to make sure that every dog finds the good home they deserve, Roman convinces anyone who will listen to adopt, adopt adopt! Again and again and again. Over 1,400 times.

On the Cover: Author Belinda Jones poses with three iconic St Bernard mountain rescue dogs - Cheyenne, Hesta and Kashmir - in their snowy homeland in the Swiss Alps. This photo was taken on a walking tour in scenic Champex-Lac at 4,800 feet elevation - but where’s the brandy barrel?

8 | | Winter 2019


C OA S TA L CA N I N E M AGA Z I N E A D D I R E C T O R Y AGILITY California Canine.......................... 43 From the Heart .............................. 60 Living With Dogs ........................... 60 ART The Painted Cork ........................... 19 Sara Allshouse Fine Art .................. 53 Catherine Sullivan Art ................... 29 BOOKS Dogs are People Too ...................... 40 Legend .......................................... 19 Winter Wonderland ...................... 40 DAY CARE Dawg Gone It ................................ 15 Klaws, Paws, & Hooves .................. 17 Paws at Play .................................. 60 EVENTS Doris Day’s Birthday...................... 27 Fall in Love BirchBark .................... 54 Paws for a Cause Max’s .................. 58

GROOMING Carmel Groomers .......................... 62 Pampered Pup .............................. 58 Suds ‘N Scissors ............................. 54 Top Dog of Los Gatos ..................... 27 HEALTH & WELLNESS A. Herman, Dog Therapist .............. 47 All Animal Mobile Clinic ................ 31 Animal Cancer Center .................... 30 Animal Hospital at Mid Valley ....... 25 Animal Hospital of Salinas ............ 60 Cottage Veterinary Care ................... 4 Dentistry For Animals .................... 49 Monterey Peninsula Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Clinic ... 31 Natural Veterinary Therapy ............ 16 Nichols Veterinary Care ................. 47 Ocean Animal Clinic ...................... 59 Ophthalmology for Animals .......... 23 Pacific & Santa Cruz Veterinary Specialists .................................. 2 Pet Specialists, Inc. ........................ 30 Steinbeck Country Small Animal ... 54

INNS Cypress Inn ................................... 13 PET SITTING & BOARDING Bow Wow Coastal .......................... 61 Carmel Valley Doggy Bed and Breakfast .................................. 62 Central Coast Petsitter ................... 61 Dawg Gone It ................................ 15 Diane Grindol ................................ 61 Katy’s Walk, Stay, Play ................... 62 Klaws, Paws, & Hooves .................. 17 Little Pup Lodge ............................ 59 Redwood Romps ........................... 62 REALTORS Rachelle Razzeca, Keller Williams ........................... 6 RESTAURANTS Abalonetti ..................................... 60 Trailside Café ................................. 61 STORES Diggidy Dog .................................. 64

Earthwise Pet ................................ 52 Forgiving Paws .............................. 59 Pet Pals ............................................ 3 The Raw Connection ........................ 5 TRAINING California Canine ........................... 43 Del Monte Kennel Club ................. 61 Divine K9 ...................................... 60 From The Heart Animal Behavior Counseling and Training .......... 60 K9 Ambassador ............................. 16 Living With Dogs ........................... 60 Monterey Bay Dog Training Club ............................ 62 Pam Jackson ................................. 61


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

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Sarah Adams is passionate about what she feeds her dogs. It started when she switched them from kibble to a raw diet back in 1998. Their health and activity level improved dramatically, and she’s been advocating for the raw diet ever since. At first, Sarah made her own raw dog food. She did that for three years, preparing ten day’s worth of meals at a time. She then started a home-delivery service for the Monterey Peninsula, which eventually grew into what became her retail store, The Raw Connection, in Carmel. Sarah grew up in Carmel, with dogs always being a part of the family. In the 70s, she moved to the Bay Area to work for Intel, which was where she met her husband, Lew. They returned to Carmel 25 years later to help her aging parents.

When Sarah and Lew got their first dog in 1978, they looked for the tallest dog they could find. Lew is 6’8” and wanted a dog he could pet without needing to lean over too far. They decided on an Irish Wolfhound and loved the breed so much that they ended up with a second one. For 38 years they would always have a pair of Wolfhounds.


Over the years, Sarah has rescued a number of dogs, including one she adopted from a customer who’d had shoulder surgery and couldn’t care for her. Currently, her rescues, Ellie and Abby, are with her every day in the store. You might say Sarah’s passion for the raw diet she advocates for may be second only to her passion for dogs.

26200 Carmel Rancho Boulevard Carmel | (831) 626-755 Winter 2019 | | 9








Butch & Sputz

10 | | Winter 2019





Wiggles, Lil Bear, & Jack


Tasmania & Jolly



Diva, Truman, Bernie, Herhey, & Zeta Jack

Ginger Snap puppies


Winter 2019 | | 11








Next Issue:



Snap a Selfie of yourself with one or more dogs and we will print it with the other submissions in our next issue. Email your photo (at least 800x800 pixels) to editor@coastalcaninemag. com. Submission deadline is April 7th. 12 | | Winter 2019

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

category | topic

Savvy (right side) with her sister Lucy Brown

In 2002, Savvy walked into my life. Little did I know, she would eventually change my life and the lives of many other dogs and people. Savvy was surrendered to Salinas Animal Services for being “too much trouble.� She was a year old at the time. The shelter rescue coordinator, Rayne Coleman, contacted Animal Friends Rescue Project (AFRP) and asked if they could take her. Savvy was shy in her kennel, and would nip if anyone tried to pet her or pick her up. She was not a candidate for their adoption floor. 14 | | Winter 2019

Going to Monterey? Bring the Dog!

Savvy’s Legacy The Story of Peace of Mind Dog Rescue’s Inception A luxury dog hotel designed for furry fun.

By Carie Broecker

Daycare | Day Lodging | Overnight Lodging

BECAUSE A FAMILY VACATION NEEDS ALL MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY. AFRP said yes to Savvy, and I was asked to foster her. She bonded to me quickly, but did show signs of not being treated well in her previous home. When I lifted my leg to put on my pants, she flinched and screamed like she had been kicked in the past. But soon, I earned her absolute trust. Savvy was a King Charles Spaniel mix. When AFRP posted her photo and profile online, we got applications from all over the country for her. But, ultimately, she was adopted by a woman named Alice Methfessel from Carmel. Alice was patient with Savvy. She lived a quiet life that suited Savvy. Alice and I kept in touch over the years. Savvy would come stay with me when Alice went out of town. Then Alice was diagnosed with emphysema. She was hospitalized a few times, and I took care of Savvy whenever Alice wasn’t feeling well.

539 Ramona Avenue, Monterey


Winter 2019 | | 15

Finally, in 2009, Alice was hospitalized and her doctor told her she was dying. I took Savvy to visit Alice at the hospice facility. During that visit, Alice was most concerned about what was going to happen to Savvy. She didn’t have any friends or family members who could take Savvy. She even contemplated having her put down because she was so worried she would end up in a shelter, go through tremendous stress, and ultimately be put down anyway. In that moment, I told Alice not to worry. I would make sure Savvy found a new home. Alice was so relieved and grateful. When I walked out the door and across the parking lot to my car, the whole concept for Peace of Mind Dog Rescue came to me in a flash—the name and our mission. We would take in dogs from people who were dying, from senior citizens who were going into care facilities or were unable to care for their dogs at home any more, and from people who had passed away. I immediately called Monica Rua. She and I had served together for 12 years on the board of AFRP. I told her I had an idea for a rescue group and gave her the rundown. She said she loved it, but added that we should also take in senior dogs

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Making tails wag from Montara to Half Moon Bay from animal shelters. So often they end up in shelters because a guardian has passed away or moved to a facility or their needs as a senior dog are more than the family can financially or emotionally deal with. Monica shared that in all her years in rescue, it was the senior dogs in shelters that broke her heart the most. I agreed to the two-part mission wholeheartedly. Arrangements were made for Alice to go home with home hospice care. One of her friends called and asked me to bring Savvy to the house to comfort Alice. Savvy stayed on Alice’s bed for a week. Only getting up to potty and eat. Then she was back snuggled up next to Alice. She would give her gentle kisses on her face. And then I got the call. Alice had passed away. Please come get Savvy.

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cc | rescue me

SAVVY BROECKER 2002-2018 Our beautiful girl passed away on December 16 after a sixmonth battle with cancer. She braved a leg amputation, and continued to enjoy days at the beach and slow walks up until she crossed the rainbow bridge and was released from pain and suffering. Rest in peace, baby girl. We love you. You live in our hearts forever.

Monica and I moved forward with our idea, and POMDR was founded in October 2009. Savvy was the third dog we put up for adoption, but my husband and I ended up adopting her ourselves. POMDR started with five dedicated board members, one enthusiastic foster volunteer, one generous donor, and a mailing list of 30 friends and family. Now in its tenth year, POMDR has five paid staff, four passionate board members, over 700 outstanding volunteers, and the support of our community. We have been able to change the fate of just over 1,700 dogs so far. Approximately half came to us from guardians who could no longer care for them. The other half were senior dogs from local shelters. We have also been able to help 943 senior citizens and low-income pet guardians keep their pets with them through our innovative Helping Paw Program. This is accomplished by providing financial assistance, volunteer dog-walkers, and temporary foster care to pet guardians who may otherwise have to surrender them for rehoming. And all this because of a promise to one lady who was concerned about what would happen to her dog. The rest, as they say, is history. For more information about POMDR, visit 18 | | Winter 2019

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dog of the day | griffin

Brittany & Griffin a life-changing bump By Caryn St. Germain

December 15, 2018, was an overcast and unseasonably warm day in Potsdam, New York, where a buzz of excitement filled the air as postgraduate students gathered for their commencement ceremony. The ceremony began, and the president of Clarkson University read names, handed out diplomas, and shook hands. Of one graduate, the president also went on to say that he demonstrated “extraordinary effort, steadfast commitment, and diligent dedication . . .” In and of itself, that is not an unusual thing to hear about graduating doctoral or master’s candidates. That Saturday, the statement was exceptional, however, because it was spoken in recognition of a handsome, four-year-old Golden Retriever. GRIFFIN (all caps is honorific), a service dog, received an honorary degree for his contributions “to the well-being and student success” of his guardian, Brittany Hawley, as she received her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy (OT). (Occupational Therapists are licensed professionals who help people with disabilities lead active lives).


“I pushed for him to graduate from day one,” Brittany said in an interview with The Washington Post. “He did everything I did.” Brittany grew up in Wilson, North Carolina, an active and athletic youngster. She participated in competitive gymnastics, softball, horseback riding, and outdoor activities that often included the family dog or dogs. At the age of 16, Brittany was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). CRPS is a chronic (lasting greater than six months) pain condition that most often affects one limb, such as an arm, leg, hand, or foot. Essentially, this condition is when the nerves go haywire and send constant pain messages to the brain, usually after an injury.

Winter 2019 | | 21

dog of the day | griffin

In Brittany’s case, however, she “just woke up with it.” It spread from one arm to the other, and then into both legs, affecting all function in her limbs and leading to dystonia, or involuntary muscle contractions, in her left leg. It also affected her ability to walk. Depression and anxiety set in, too, as multiple visits to hospitals and rehabilitation facilities followed. From the time she was diagnosed, Brittany was determined to live a normal life though, and become an OT so she could help others. “Occupational therapy,” she says, “is what helped the most and gave me hope.” It helped her to feel that she might be able to do whatever she wanted to do again. Now GRIFFIN makes sure of that. One of the things that Brittany wanted to do was to get a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. And in a period of over two and a half years—with GRIFFIN ever at her side—she did just that. Brittany recalls how she received an invitation to interview for the OT program at Clarkson, the last step in the admissions process. Within hours on the same day, word arrived that her application for a service dog had been approved. GRIFFIN came to Brittany through paws4people, a program through which he had already touched the lives of others.

22 | | Winter 2019

paws4people is a program that teaches inmates at West Virginia correctional centers to train and place high-level assistance dogs. After dogs complete that training, learning over 100 commands, they return to paws4people where their final training is done. Clients apply each year to receive a dog—veterans, sexual assault victims, children with anxiety/depression, and more. Once a client has been accepted to the program, they go to one of the prisons in West Virginia for a "bump."

A bump is the process in which a dog chooses his or her client or handler. During a bump, dogs are introduced to the potential client and family in turn. paws4people staff and trainers observe for bonding behaviors. Over the course of the bump, a strong bond is almost always identified. Once this relationship is confirmed in the eyes of the client and staff, the dog is matched with that client.

“The inmates allow many dogs to come up to you and let the dog choose you,” Brittany says. “Some dogs were afraid of the wheelchair. GRIFFIN jumped right into

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT BRITTANY WANTED TO DO WAS TO GET A MASTER’S DEGREE IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY. AND IN A PERIOD OF OVER TWO AND A HALF YEARS—WITH GRIFFIN EVER AT HER SIDE—SHE DID JUST THAT. my lap and licked me across the face. To me he is simply amazing! GRIFFIN can do everything from retrieve my wheelchair to opening the fridge to get things out. He can retrieve anything I drop and can carry items when we go shopping. He is trained to do almost anything a person can do for me: turn on lights, take off shoes and socks, unzip items, open doors, and much more! This program has been amazing.” There is no cost to the clients, and paws4people expedited her training with GRIFFIN. They even flew someone to Clarkson University to be sure that GRIFFIN and Brittany were settling nicely into graduate-school life together. GRIFFIN is also trained to seek human help for Brittany if needed. She recalls a time when she was practicing and training for just

Winter 2019 | | 23

dog of the day | griffin such an event with her roommates. Brittany feigned a fall in the hallway. Not only did GRIFFIN seek out her roommates for help, he first dug his favorite toy, “Captain Underdog,” from deep within his toy basket. He then left it with Brittany as a source of comfort in his absence while he went in search of aid. That’s just the kind of dog he is. Before GRIFFIN, Brittany used to come home from Campbell University (where she received an undergraduate degree in biology) and “lock herself in her room.” Above and beyond the skills of her new canine companion, it was GRIFFIN’s grace, charm, and unwavering devotion that drew Brittany out again to live a full life. She resumed some favorite outdoor activities such as kayaking, which GRIFFIN also loves, according to Brittany. She started dating again, and, in fact, it was through the paws4people program—and GRIFFIN—that Brittany met her fiancé David, who is an accountant and training instructor for paws4people. This past November, David surprised Brittany with a marriage proposal. He had a collar made for GRIFFIN with “Marry Me?” on it and the engagement ring attached. The color of the writing on the collar is special as it is the color that represents CRPS (Brittany’s diagnosis). The month was special, too, because November is CRPS awareness month. David also has a service dog by the name of VIVIAN, and the two dogs get along great. The couple is planning a January 2020 wedding—with both dogs included, of course!

24 | | Winter 2019


WE HAVE A NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART THERAPEUTIC CLASS IV LASER for treatment of inammatory issues and various sources of pain


Through the paws4people program, GRIFFIN offered inspiration and hope to inmates before going on to work steadfastly at Brittany’s side. There, he offered her security and inspiration as she worked diligently toward her goal of providing compassion, hope, and inspiration to others as an OT. During an internship, the duo worked at Fort Bragg in North Carolina helping soldiers with mobility problems and mental health issues. “Brushing a dog can help improve a patient’s range of motion, and stroking him helps ease anxiety,” Brittany says. Touching the lives of everyone they meet, GRIFFIN will continue to be a source of comfort and hope to veterans as Brittany has chosen to continue her OT work with them when she is licensed. And Brittany, herself, will surely be a great source of hope and inspiration, as well. Just as they participated in their graduation ceremony together, Brittany and GRIFFIN will remain an inseparable pair as they embark upon their OT careers. “We are a package deal,” says Brittany. Their clients have also been heard to say happily, “My therapist today is Brittany and GRIFFIN!”

Karl Anderson, DVM

U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Lori Anderson

Hospital Manager & Veterinary Technician


HEARTWORM TEST for new patients Available for house calls for euthanasia and other situations as appropriate

312 Mid Valley Center 831-624-8509 Near Jeffrey’s Grill & Catering

Winter 2019 | | 25

California Canine

Dog Paradise By Dina Eastwood

Ratna Anagol never imagined her life would go to the dogs. Ten years ago, she was managing a staff of eighty people and a budget of nearly $200 million for a large corporation. “I was 41 years old and went in for my first or second mammogram. I was so busy back then I just wasn’t paying attention.” A shocking breast cancer diagnosis forced her to slow down and re-evaluate everything in her life. It turned into a blessing for herself, her family, and dog owners on the Central Coast, as she is now the owner and director of California Canine. “My children were six

26 | | Winter 2019






and nine. Everything about that time was stressful. During my recovery, my girls started asking, ‘When can we get a dog?’” she says with a gentle laugh. That simple request changed the course of her life. Anagol is now the matriarch of canine education on the Monterey Peninsula. Inside her open, airy building on Central Avenue in Pacific Grove, magic happens seven days a week for dogs of every breed, their owners, and caretakers.

issues. Ideas began churning. She

Anagol eased into canine culture. She

community has lapped it up.

got her first dog, then attended training and agility classes with local instructor Suzi Bluford. “This is so freakin’ fun. Why isn’t everyone doing this with their dog?” Anagol says she thought at the time, but when she asked to bring her daughters along, she was stymied by liability

quickly became educated in training and obtained four certifications


Photo ops, birthday cake and more!

including that of Certified Professional




Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed


(CPDT-KA). “I came across a small



dog-training franchise with only one store. I was the fourth to open. I took a leap of faith—did a business plan, took my dog and walked through every area, and did market research with people in ‘mini focus groups’ in Carmel, Monterey, and Pacific Grove. After five years, I decided to go out on







BROWNPAPERTICKETS.COM (Enter Doris Day’s 97 th Birthday Event)

my own in a way that I felt was more accommodating to our community.” California Canine was born and the

Step inside—you don’t have to be signed up to observe—and you’ll see

Or visit for more information All proceeds benefit

happy dogs, big and small, puppies and seniors, whippet-thin and cobby, all trying new things. An A-frame for climbing up and back down again

* Doris Day is not expected to attend

Winter 2019 | | 27 Doris Day 2019 Ad Coastal Canine .indd 1

1/7/19 11:45 PM

engages muscles not used on regular walks. BOSU balls

As many as eight different classes are offered daily, ranging

and elevated platforms work dogs’ cores. A tunnel adds

from the unstructured Puppy Palooza to extensive therapy-

a twist to the routine, and a steeper, narrower, elevated

dog training, for which Anagol and staff are certified to

dog walk is there for the athletes and more adventurous in

teach. It’s her favorite of the myriad classes offered. “They

the group. Treats await everyone (humans excluded) and

are my elite group. We just certified eight more. They are

there is nary a bark or raised voice in the room.

ready to go into the community and help people at schools and at hospitals. We work with Therapy Dog International, and may be the only facility in the area with a six-week therapy-dog class that ends with a Therapy Dog International Certification.” But it’s not all about “special forces.” There’s plebeian work, too. Obedience classes are popular for people such as Suzanne Marden who works alongside her one-year-old French Bulldog, Ruby. Marden says the staff works magic. “They can somehow manage to have eight young dogs in the room going through training, and the dogs want to be distracted, but the trainers are so knowledgeable about working with the dogs and the people, they keep it under control—it works.” Ruby is now a graduate of Obedience One and is on her way to Obedience Two and Agility. “They are gentle in their methods. They also train the humans—what’s normal and what’s not, how to be on the beach without a leash. They show us a dog has a mind of its own, but it will mind its owner.” The human connection is the mandate of Aganol’s training. She prides herself and her staff on being able to work out almost any kink in a relationship. “A woman came in with a Heeler. She kept saying, ‘I

28 | | Winter 2019

don’t know if this dog is right for me.’ She is retired, and is a backpacker and wanted someone to join her. I explained that the Heeler has that ability, asking her, ‘Do you want a friendly Lab walking with you or a partner to hike with?’ We did some training and it worked. What you look for and what your dog has to offer, it’s there; we just need to unlock it.� Even older, rambunctious, disobedient dogs—the kind that live at my house—love having their potential unleashed. So, if you are looking for the key to success with your pooch, call or visit California Canine in Pacific Grove.

Dina Eastwood 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 @dinaeastwood. 650-930-0582

greeting cards, prints, 72 designs available

catherinesullivan watercolor & acrylic artist

all artist’s proceeds go to

Save the Date! 2019 Inaugural Gala Fall in Love with BirchBark Thursday, Sept 12th, 2019 6 pm to 9 pm

Ferrantes Bay View Room Monterey Marriott call or go to website for tickets

Financial hardship should never cause the loss of any family pet. Winter 2019 | | 29

Improve your pets quality of life IT’S OUR FOCUS! Dr. Theresa Arteaga, DVM, DACVIM (oncology) graduated from Cornell University, college of veterinary medicine. She then completed her oncology residency at Animal Medical Center, NYC. Dr. Arteaga is the only board certified veterinary oncologist on the Monterey Peninsula.


• Chemotherapy • Targeted Therapy • Immunotherapy • Palliative Care

2 Harris Court, Monterey 831-242-0978 |

30 | | Winter 2019

• Electrochemotherapy



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.



We offer:

Dental Housecalls on the coast Laser treatments We are welcoming a new addition to our practice: Dr. Richard Meisels

• 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

We will now be open Monday through Friday. Dr. Susan MacInnes and Dr. Rich Meisels 1600 S. Cabrillo Hwy Half Moon Bay Office 650-726-3445 Cell 650-678-0651



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

For an appointment call (831) 373-7374 Emergency walk-ins are always welcome.

Monterey Peninsula Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center 20 Lower Ragsdale Drive, Suite 150 Monterey, CA 93940 | Winter 2019 | | 31

The soulful eyes of Valeria Susloparova’s interactive dog portraits appear to defy their two-dimensional realm as they gaze off of the page and out into the real world.

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(*Valeria's Nickname)


Have a look at some of Valeria's interactive artworks and read our recent interview with this talented, innovative artist to learn a bit more about her:


Drawn with detailed, textured fur and the appropriate expressions, Valeria’s realistic portraits are enhanced by the 3D objects that are the focus of the dog’s attention. The dogs are presented with objects held by human hands, ranging from a variety of delicious treats, to a ball, a balloon, a Rubik’s cube, and even a cell phone poised to snap a photo.

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Q &A Q: VALERIA, HOW OLD ARE YOU AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE? A: My name is Valeria Susloparova. (My

nickname is Susik.) I am 28 years old. I was born in Russia and I still live there. Q: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DRAWING? DO YOU HAVE ANY FORMAL TRAINING IN ART? A: I have been drawing all my life. My

specialization is graphic design. I tried different painting techniques and materials, but I especially like watercolor painting.

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A: I draw in a square notebook, 180 x

180 mm (7" x 7 "). Or I draw on A4 paper ([approximately] 8" x 11").

A: Animal pictures inspire me.

I draw an illustration and then want to present it in an interesting and funny manner. The ideas for my interactive illustrations appear in my head with the speed of light. The realism in my illustrations, combined with the real-life elements such as hands, pens, brushes, etc. help bring my work to life and make it stand out. Q: D O YOU DO YOUR OWN PHOTOGRAPHY? A: Yes! Q: W HAT IS YOUR MEDIUM? A: I work with watercolors, using

the St. Petersburg White Nights Watercolour palette and use watercolor pencils to breathe life into my paintings because I like the way they depict the texture of animal fur.

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Katyshka, (his tag on Instagram #labrador_katishka). He is my big love and inspiration. He is my first muse. My lovely pet inspired me to draw animal illustrations.








Millie Bobby Brown, Chloë Moretz) have noticed my illustrations of their pets, and they really liked them. Q: Y OU HAVE ALSO DRAWN INTERACTIVE CAT PORTRAITS. HAS THAT BEEN JUST AS FUN TO DO?

A: Dogs inspire me; they have

a loyal heart and sincere eyes. My Labrador is my first model and muse. The dog is a true and faithful friend of man. They do not care what you are wearing, how much money you have. I create a lot of my interactive illustrations from photos I see of Instagram pets! (One of my favorites is @harlowandsage)

A: Absolutely yes! Most of my works

are dogs, but recently I started to draw cats, birds, horses, rabbits, and pigs.

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Q: D O YOU HAVE ANY FUTURE ART PROJECTS PLANNED? A: I have tried to do food illustrations and portraits of

people. But for now I am concentrating on animal illustrations. It is more interesting for me and for my followers, and pets inspire me and I like drawing them. I have different projects—breeds of dogs and cats, superheroes, interactive illustrations, the first animals in space.

And one of my new projects is called "Celebrity Pets."

Q: I S THERE ANYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU OR YOUR ART? A: I have become famous for drawings of a celebrated

Instagram dog family, @harlowandsage.

I accept commissions! And I can do original artwork for your dear friends and loving family. I love to do portraits of pets and other cute animals.

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Walking in a Winter Wonderland

with St. Bernards !


Belinda Jones follows a St. Bernard trail around Switzerland.

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any countries are renowned for their love of dogs—picture the excessive pooch-pampering in Beverly Hills or the fine-dining Fidos in Paris—but one European location has gone above and beyond in terms of celebrating their national breed: Switzerland. Not only does the St Bernard have its own expansive museum, you can get up close and fluffy with the legendary mountain rescuer in a variety of winter or summer activities. There’s even the chance to stay in the very hostel where Saint Bernard himself set out to protect weary alpine trekkers! Meet The Barry Foundation St Bernards: left to right Kashmir, Ranna, Hesta, and Cheyenne.

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Idyllic Champex-Lac where you can stay in cozy rustic accomodations and fulfill a dream of walking in the Swiss Alps with St Bernards!

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Winter 2019 | | 43

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My excuse to try everything was writerly research, but even if you’re just a sucker for the Beethoven movies, the best starting point is the Musée et Chiens du Saint Bernard in Martigny ($12 adult ticket). I had previously signed up for the museum newsletter, and when I received an alert announcing a batch of five new puppies I was on the next plane out! It was such a treat to observe these playful, chomping dumplings, but of course one of the biggest appeals of a St Bernard is its size, so I was delighted to find adult dogs on display year round—snoozing in their spacious rooms, roaming the outdoor area, or participating in educational sessions. There are lots of photo ops and it’s good to know that the selection of dogs is rotated from the main kennels, so this is more of a fun day out for them than a chore. Upstairs, the comprehensive museum takes you through the breed history and reveals that the signature brandy barrel is actually a myth! (Albeit a popular one that the Swiss quite like.) You’ll see a fantastic range of memorabilia, from paintings and ceramics to movies and TV ad campaigns. There’s even a cafe offering herbal tea from the St Bernard region and a shop with a

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“Every half an hour a guide brings out a dog for a Q&A session and here you can pose with a full Heidi mountain backdrop, and maybe even get a great big slurpy kiss”.

multitude of gifts ranging from St Bernardlogo Swiss army knives to hot water bottles, hip flasks, and Swiss chocolate pups. My dream was to take a snowy walk with St Bernards in the Swiss Alps, and this came true in pristine, picturesque Champex-Lac. (I used my Swiss Pass to get there via two nippy trains and a stunning, vertiginous ride in a coach decorated with St Bernard imagery.) You can book through Foundation Barry—Barry is the name of Switzerland’s most famous St Bernard who rescued a record 40 men in the early 1800s. The 45-minute circuit of the frozen lake costs $25 for adults and $9 for children, and is a glistening, magical experience, especially for the little kids that get pulled on a sled by one of the dogs. I also recommend lunch at Au Vieux Champex, pairing sizzling rösti (Swiss potato fritter) with a chilled Boxer beer that’s Swiss brewed with another favorite dog motif! In the summer months you can walk with the dogs at the legendary Great St Bernard Winter 2019 | | 45

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Pass—at a breathtaking 8,000-foot elevation. Two years had passed since I’d met the puppies at the museum and it was such a thrill to see one of them, named Patsch, fully grown and splaying out in the sunshine with her pals. Every half an hour a guide brings out a dog for a Q&A session, and here you can pose with a full Heidi mountain backdrop, and maybe even get a great big slurpy kiss. I overnighted at the adjacent Auberge de l’Hospice, connected via a walkway to Saint Bernard’s original hostel. Here you can sit in the chapel, gaze up at the ceiling murals, and listen to the atmospheric monk harmonies. The cozy hotel rooms have stylish blonde pine accents (my wardrobe was a planed tree with jutting pegs to hang your clothes), and the restaurant offers the most sublime Gruyère fondue. This classic peasant dish actually originated here in the canton of Valais, so you have the perfect excuse to surrender to the molten cheese. The following morning I walked to the other side of the lake, crossing the border for an authentic cappuccino at Hotel Italia (where you’ll need Euros rather than Swiss francs). I got a bit carried away and also purchased a plush St Bernard hat, complete with squishy barrel strapped under my chin—well, it was chilly up by the St Bernard statue at sunrise! My final stop was 100 miles north in Bern, the charming German-speaking capital city of Switzerland. Bern is German for “bear” and the Bernese Mountain Dog (which gets its name from the surrounding canton of Bern) is a popular sighting both on the streets and in the gift shops of the medieval old town, alongside ever more St Bernard memorabilia. Heimatwerk offers Swiss-made artisanal pieces, while Zytglogge has abundant cheap

46 | | Winter 2019

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and cheerful offerings. Then, just when you think there’s nothing more to learn about this most beloved breed, you discover a permanent exhibit at the Bern Natural History Museum celebrating the legend of Barry, complete with the original dog (thanks to Swiss taxidermy skills). You can also sit in a snow-rescue helicopter cockpit, hear the story of an avalanche survivor, and listen to an imagined conversation between Barry, a therapy dog, and a “celebrity” St Bernard. Fascinating.

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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

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Winter 2019 | | 47

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AMAZING BENNY THE ICE SKATING DOG By Allison McKee All of us love to believe our dog is “one of a kind” and that there’s no other dog quite like ours—and for some of us that rings true. It does for Cheryl Del Sangro, the proud pup-parent to Benny, the only dog on earth who knows how to ice-skate! 48 | | Winter 2019


For Benny, becoming an ice-skating pup just came naturally, said Cheryl. “Our friend is a pet photographer, and we were helping him make a cheer video for the Las Vegas Knights hockey team. I told them that if we could have access to the ice, Benny could carry a hockey stick around the rink,” recalls Cheryl. “We went, and he just LOVED it out there. Back then he was just on his paws. He ran around the ice, chased the puck, carried the hockey stick, and we made the video.”

Judy Force, DVM

FAVD, DAVDC Diplomate, American Veterinary Dental College

Practice devoted to dentistry & oral surgery 8035 Soquel Drive, #45, Aptos

(831) 768-7148

Winter 2019 | | 49

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“THE FIRST DAY WE TOOK HIM, Well, people loved that little video and it garnered a sensational 40,000 views on Cheryl’s Facebook page. It also gave her a bright idea. Benny loved the ice so much, and Cheryl herself was a retired professional skater who prided herself on having taught her very small children to skate—and they had been much less coordinated than Benny. So, knowing how intelligent Benny is and how easily he learned tricks, she decided to try something very unusual . . . After Cheryl fitted him with dog booties that she had fashioned with toddler-sized blades, Benny jumped out on the ice. He loved it just as much as his first time out on the rink. “The first day we took him, he could skate. He didn’t do it as well as he does now, but he could get up and go,” says Cheryl. “Now he can jump, and do all kinds of stuff he couldn’t before. He’s even starting to learn to go backwards.” According to Cheryl, Benny has never even fallen while skating—something that anyone who has learned to skate can attest is a pretty amazing feat! “He loves it. As soon as he sees his skates come out and we arrive at the ice rink, he is SO excited. One time we got to the rink and I got his skates on in the warm-up room and asked if he was ready. When I opened the door, he bolted out and did a full gallop down the side of the rink before flying out the gate onto the ice,” laughs Cheryl. “It was really funny. He loves it.” He can now be seen in other videos, carrying the American flag or a hockey stick in his mouth, with the crowd cheering him on. To

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found himself on the shelter’s euthanasia list. Just in the nick of time, a rescue group in Las Vegas pulled him from the shelter and gave him the second chance he deserved. Meanwhile, Cheryl had been scouring the internet looking for a Labrador to adopt. She fell in love with Benny’s eyes from the moment she saw them in his picture. “His eyes looked like big, dark pools,” she says fondly. She was worried, though, that someone else would adopt him first while she was working on the adoption approval process, which took almost a month to complete. But the month passed and Benny was still available. “He was meant to be with me,” explains Cheryl. “The first

say he’s found a hobby he adores would be an understatement. With a smile on his face, you can see this dog really enjoys his “job.” But Benny almost didn’t get to fulfill his destiny to be a loved, ice-skating canine. Benny spent months of his puppyhood being overlooked at a shelter in Utah, awaiting his forever home. He was even returned after being adopted for less than one day— it seemed no one wanted him. Benny’s luck was running out. After having little adoption interest for several months, Benny

Winter 2019 | | 51

certain no one realized what a sensation he would become. And this incredible ice skating dog has more fun in his future. Benny is a local favorite at the Las Vegas Ice Center, where he gets plenty of time on the ice. He has also been performing frequently at the University of Nevada Las Vegas hockey games as part of the entertainment. And Cheryl has hopes to put on a show for the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights as a way to encourage pet adoptions. day he came to our house for the meet and greet, it was perfect, and ever since then he’s been such a good boy.”

Benny has even been featured on the Today show, and Cheryl has been contacted about him

Benny had finally found where he belonged, but we are

performing on a television program in the UK.

Family Owned & Operated 52 | | Winter 2019

SARA ALLSHOUSE “I would take him wherever people want to see him

Fine Art

skate because I think it’s so incredible myself,” says Cheryl. “We’re still in awe watching him ourselves.” When I asked if he was truly “one of a kind,” Cheryl confidently said they’ve looked into it—Benny is the first and only ice-skating dog.

Exquisite painting of your beloved animal. A gift your family will enjoy forever. “I never knew how much this personal portrait of our dog would mean to my whole family. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” Gene Stymiest

• The perfect gift for any holiday, birthday or memorial. • Framed custom portraits • Home/location appointments are available. Dogs, Horses, and all other Animals.

831.464.6711 Winter 2019 | | 53

By Pam Bonsper

Roman McConn is a seven-year-old from Texas, who at the age of four saw a dog in a cage and felt compelled to do something about it. He not only did something about finding that dog a forever home, but he has rescued 1,400 dogs since then. He has appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and last year he received the ASPCA’s Kid of the Year Award. Sound impossible? That’s what I thought. But Roman’s incredible story is actually very simple . . . it’s all about one dog at a time. It goes something like this: Little boy sees sad dog. Little boy tells mom he wants to help dog. Little boy takes dog home. Mom films little boy (who happens to be very cute) with dog (little boy knows that it’s important to see how cute the dog is) and posts video on Facebook. Facebook friend likes little boy playing with dog and sees that dog is good with children. Friend fosters dog, falls in

54 | | Winter 2019


Roman A Boy Who Cares

her. That didn’t work out either as the family already had two dogs in a very tiny place. She was sent to another foster family. This third home had dogs that were aggressive toward her! What to do? Go and get her, of course!

love with dog, adopts dog, and they live happily ever after. And this happens over and over and over again and continues, one dog at a time. I asked Roman why he loves dogs so much. “Well,” he said, “it’s because I had dogs since I was born. Your life is complete with a dog.” Roman has three four-legged companions now: Luna, Ru, and Zion. When I asked Roman to tell me about one of his happiest

experiences related to the dogs he’s rescued, he immediately said that Ru, his Healer/Shepherd mix, is one of his happiest stories. It goes like this: A four-month-old puppy and her littermates were surrendered to a shelter. She was fostered at five months old, but it didn’t work out as the family had a young baby and the puppy kept the baby awake at night. The puppy went back to the receiving agency, and they found another family to foster

“I couldn’t keep fighting fate,” Roman’s mom, Jennifer, said. “When we first rescued her, she had latched on to Roman. But we already had three dogs, and we had a cross-country move coming up; we were not in the market for another dog. But as it turned out, one of our dogs was a 14-year-old Labrador. By the time Ru was shifted from one home to another, our Labrador had passed away.” “Mom surprised me!” Roman said. “That was the happiest surprise. I really wanted Ru, and Ru had already picked me.” I couldn’t help but smile at Roman’s joyful telling of his story. I had already seen some videos of Roman playing with dogs that he was hoping to find homes for. I had watched him with Ellen DeGeneres and listened to him being interviewed on other shows. All I can say is, Roman is one very special little boy. His demeanor and dedication to his cause belie his age. He and his family take their work seriously and have a hands-on approach to their “Project Freedom Ride.” I asked Jennifer how they got the name. “Our hearts were with the dogs we had to leave behind, so when we moved from Texas to Washington State, we transported 31 dogs with us. It was their ride to freedom.”

Winter 2019 | | 55

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They knew they would find homes for them. Using their technique of showing videos online, the family was able to place the dogs in forever homes. Roman received national attention, and their cause grew bigger and bigger. Roman rescued 1,300 dogs in the Pacific Northwest. Roman’s dad is in the Navy. From Washington, his family was sent to Georgia, where they now live. They continue to transport dogs to the Northwest and are now expanding to the Northeast.

“It makes me happy but it doesn’t just make me happy, it makes the dogs happy.” To follow Roman and Project Freedom Ride, go to

“How do you keep up with all this?” I asked Roman and his mom. Jennifer explained that they are just a normal family. Roman is in school and has set times for homework. He’s in soccer, jiu-jitsu, and does all the things any kid does. But not just any kid rescues hundreds of dogs, wins prestigious awards, is an internet sensation, will be in a film project this coming summer, wants every dog in the whole world to be safe and have a home, and has the passion and drive he has. To get a sense of who this little sevenyear-old boy is and how he feels about his work to save dogs, I want to share some of his comments. They will have the loudest bark. “My goal is to get every dog in the United States adopted.” “It’s important to me that they are given the best chance to get the right homes for them.”

Winter 2019 | | 57

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