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P.O. Box 332 • Montmorenci, SC 29839-0332 • 803.643.9960 •
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Time Dated Material • Periodicals • Volume 5 • Number 4
ack in February when I attended the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York City, one of the things that struck me was what an excellent job the exhibitors did educating the public about their particular breed. Westminster is a benched show, which means that the dogs must stay on display during the day even when they are not in the ring. Their owners are expected to allow the public to see them and learn about them. Although some of the exhibitors were easier to approach than others, pretty much every one of them seemed to be willing and able to talk intelligently about their breed, its history and its attributes. This make sense: one of the goals of a dog show is to promote the breeds, and it is in the exhibitors’ interest to provide accurate information to dog lovers. Being able to do so can result in prospective owners deciding to acquire a puppy of a particular breed. Equally as important, it can dissuade people from getting a dog that is not appropriate to their lifestyle. As much as it is interesting and educational to talk about dog breeds, it can also be a little misleading, since each dog is an individual, not necessarily a representative of his or her breed. Even more misleading is the idea that a dog has to belong to some particular breed. If you have a dog that is not a purebred, the first question that people will usually ask you is “what is he?” Sometimes, you know; other times, you can only guess. DNA tests can give you some clues but they will likely never give you a completely satisfying answer. Back when I had my own favorite dog of undetermined breed, the golden haired Scout, I used to make up breeds for her. “She’s an American Fox Collie,” I would say. Sometimes I went so far as to invent facts about the breed – I could be serious and it would fool people, or I sometimes would say something outlandish. “She’s a Bayou Shrimp Hound,” I would say. If I was in the right mood, I might elaborate. “They use these dogs on the shrimp boats in the
South. The dogs point to where the shrimpers should cast their nets,” I would say. If the people were still with me, I might continue. “And when the shrimpers pull in their catch, these dogs can peel and devein all the shrimp.” At this point, most (not all) people knew I was joking. But they still wanted to know more. “So you mean she’s a mutt?” they would ask. “She’s a purebred dog,” became my standard reply. “Her mother was a dog, and her father was a dog, and you can’t get much more pure than that.” In The Dog & Hound, we have often used our center spread to display a profile and a history of a different breed of dog, which is a standard type of canine journalism. This time, however, our center spread celebrates dogs that don’t have a known family history. We love our mixed breed dogs, and America does too. Did you know that more people in this country own mixed breds than purebreds? It’s true. This issue also includes an article about the Home for Good Dogs Rescue Junior Ambassador program. Over the summer I got to travel with the young women from this group to a shelter in Georgia, and I was very impressed by their passion, dedication and sense of purpose. We also have an article about the Wateree Spaniel Club, some advice from one of our favorite trainers on how to cure a puppy from carsickness, Silver Paws about a distinguished Bracco Italiano named Lido, and much more. We hope you enjoy it. While finishing this issue, I realized that this is the final installment of our fifth year in publication, and I can hardly believe it. Five years has flown by; I still think of this paper as new, but it is hardly a puppy any more. In fact, if it were a dog, it would almost be to a point where its vet would consider it a senior. Thank you for reading it and supporting it all this time. Please pass it along to your friends and patronize our advertisers: without them we would not exist. As ever, please let us know if there is a story out there that we should be covering and we will do our best to get to it. We want to be your dog newspaper.
Pam Gleason Editor & Publisher
The Dog and Hound EDITOR & PUBLISHER Pam Gleason ART DIRECTOR Gary Knoll ASSOCIATE EDITOR Jean Berko Gleason LAYOUT & DESIGN Gary Knoll ADVERTISING 803.643.9960 firstname.lastname@example.org PHOTOGRAPHERS Pam Gleason Gary Knoll
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About the Cover
Our cover shows Dash, a 4-month-old rescued English Pointer. Photography by Pam Gleason
The Dog and Hound Policies: The opinions expressed herein are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publishers, editors, or the policies of The Aiken Horse, LLC. The Dog and Hound is owned by The Aiken Horse, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
All contents Copyright 2016 The Dog and Hound
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Table of Contents 6 10 12 15 16 19 20 22
Dog News Wateree Spaniel Club Celebrating Dogs Curing Carsickness Junior Ambassadors Silver Paws Fall Calendar Mikeâ€™s Story: For Jack
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Dog News by Pam Gleason
his October, when Hurricane Matthew swept up the Eastern seaboard, Aiken was not in the storm’s direct path. Coastal communities in South Carolina were, however. When Governor Nikki Haley ordered an evacuation of low-lying areas, this meant that people would be coming to Aiken to ride out the storm in safety. Aiken’s schools were closed so that they could be converted into Red Cross shelters, and the city got ready for thousands of evacuees. Ever since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when an estimated 250,000 animals were displaced or died in New Orleans, the care of companion animals during natural disasters has been a priority in the animal loving world. The Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards act (PETS), enacted in 2006, requires that “state and local emergency preparedness operational plans take into account the needs of individuals with household pets and service animals before, during and after a disaster.” The act does not, however, mandate that the state itself have any facilities for evacuated pets. Those in Aiken’s animal welfare community quickly realized that they would be pressed into service to house displaced animals. Although many hotels in the area accepted people and their pets, the Red Cross shelters were for people only. Those who had to leave the coast with their dogs or cats needed somewhere for the animals to go. A few days before the bad weather hit, humane organizations and shelters on the coast prepared for the storm by relocating as many animals as they could to safe areas. The Charleston Humane Society called upon the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare on Willow Run Road in Aiken to take some of their dogs. Barbara Nelson, the executive director of the organization, and Ann Kinney, the resident trainer, drove to Charleston and came back the same day with 23 dogs from the shelter’s intake wing, which the SPCA committed to caring for and adopting out. Since the SPCA was already full, the 23 “hurricane dogs” stayed in temporary overflow housing in a garage while space was made for them in the center itself. Meanwhile, the Albrecht Center’s training room was converted into a temporary shelter for dogs that had
Word went out on the news and on social media that these two organizations were in need of assistance and donations, and both were overwhelmed by the prompt response and unstinting generosity of the Aiken community. At the Albrecht Center, people loaned their crates, and they donated blankets, dog food and dog toys. They came in to write donation checks and to help walk and socialize the dogs from Charleston. They came to adopt animals to help alleviate the overcrowding. At the Aiken County Fairgrounds, there was a similar scene. People came with crates and fans, dog and cat food, blankets and towels. They didn’t forget the volunteers, either, who, in some cases, were working through the night. People brought pizza, sandwiches and drinks, cases of bottled water, as well as blankets and inflatable mattresses. The fairground eventually provided refuge to almost 70 dogs, scores of cats, and even one chicken. A few families camped out there, too. They had nowhere to go, and were unwilling to leave their pets behind. The storm passed, but cleanup on the coast continues, and Aiken’s rescue organizations are still dealing with the aftermath. Both organizations say they are amazed and grateful for the outpouring of
SPCA board members bring donations to the shelter.
support, but both still could use help, whether from volunteers, fosters, adopters or donors. Some of the Charleston dogs have already been adopted from the SPCA, but there are others that will need veterinary care and rehabilitation before they will be ready for the adoption floor. The biggest thing that they need right now are donations, according to Barbara Nelson. “That way we can buy what we need,” she said. If you would like to donate time or money, or are interested in adoption, contact the organizations. SPCA Albrecht Center: www. letlovelive.org. Team Stinkykiss Rescue Project: www.teamstinkykiss. com.
Ann Kinney holds an older Boxer, who is blind, one of the dogs that came to the SPCA Albrecht Center from Charleston before the hurricane hit.
owners but needed a place to ride out the storm. Separately, volunteers from Team Stinkykiss Rescue Project, a fosterbased rescue in North Augusta, set up a temporary shelter at the Aiken County Fairgrounds on Route 1. They, too, accepted animals from a shelter on the coast: Beaufort County Animal Control, fearing flooding, sent four dogs and 45 cats and kittens to escape the storm and, eventually, to be adopted in Aiken.
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Aiken County Parks, Recreation and Tourism has teamed up with Palmetto Animal Welfare Services Inc. (PAWS) to offer a new community event this fall. The semiannual Trail Wag Fun Day “Going to the Dogs” will be coming to Langley Pond Park in Burnettown, S.C. on Saturday, November 12. The event includes a 2.8 mile hike along Langley Pond Loop Trail (with or without your leashed dog) followed by a “family-friendly festival to celebrate the animals.” The festival will include dog contests, an art contest for children (submissions are due on November 4), vendors, and adoptable pets. The Trail Wag will raise money to build dog parks in the county. “Since our inception, PAWS has gravitated to the rural communities primarily in the perimeter of Aiken County with low and no cost spay and neuter and other assistance,” wrote Joya DiStefano in an email. “The
idea of doing this event with county is three-fold: a desire to elevate the role of companion animals in rural households by giving folks a place to come out with their dogs to play and socialize; to get basic health needs met like rabies vaccinations, heartworm tests and medications; and to bring the parks and the community together in fun ways.” There are several possible locations for the proposed dog parks, including Harrison Caver Park in Clearwater and some other likely places in North Augusta. Langley Pond Park, where the Trail Wag will take place, already has a disc golf course, and other amenities are planned including an accessible playground. The pond itself, formerly a favorite place for kayakers, has been closed since November 2014 when a visitor noticed that the dam was leaking. “We welcome volunteers to help with the fun and games and craft and food vendors,” continued Joya. “Most of all, we want dog-lovers to come out and take a hike. It should be a beautiful day.” To find out more or to register, visit the website: trailwagfunday. weebly.com.
Montreal Pit Bull Ban
In Canada this September, the Montreal City Council approved a controversial pit bull ban in the city. The ban was approved after a dog of unknown breed attacked and killed a 55-year-old city resident over the summer. The ban itself is a change to the by-laws governing the city’s animal control policy. Once fully enacted, it will prevent city residents from purchasing or adopting any pit bull-type dog. It also will consider any pit bull type dogs in shelters unadoptable and therefore subject to euthanasia. People who already own pit bulls will not be required to give them up, but they will need to obtain special permits to keep them. In order to get a permit, owners must prove that their pit bulls have been sterilized, vaccinated and microchipped. When they go out in public, the dogs must be, quite literally, on a short leash (no more than 1.25 meters long). They must be muzzled whenever they are outside their homes, even when in their own back yards – this despite the fact that their back yard fences must be at least two meters tall. No one with a criminal record will be awarded a permit to own a pit bull. The new regulations were set to take effect in early October, and Montreal pit bull owners flooded social media with pictures of their well-behaved, beloved pit bull type dogs outfitted in restrictive muzzles. Meanwhile, the Montreal SPCA filed suit against the city to do away with the ban. In October 3, the same day that it was to take effect, the law was temporarily suspended by Justice Louis Gouin of the Quebec
Superior Court. The suspension was enacted in order to give the court time to review the Montreal SPCA’s lawsuit. According to the legislation, “pit bull type dogs” are defined as “Staffordshire bull terriers, American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, any mix with these breeds, or any dog that presents characteristics of one of those breeds.” This definition has been at the center of the legal struggle between the lawyers representing the Montreal SPCA and the legal advocate for the city, Rene Cadieux. The MSPCA has asserted that the definition is vague and it is unclear which dogs will be included in the ban. Dogs of unknown parentage with blocky heads are often considered to be pit bulls, even if their heritage includes no pit bull breeds at all. In some places where pit bull bans have been enacted, people with two dogs from the same litter have had one of their dogs banned as an illegal pit bull, while its brother was considered a legal Lab mix. Mr. Cadieux, speaking to the Canadian Press, said that “common sense” would be used to apply the law, and that “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s gotta be a duck, and people will look at it from this criteria.” Judge Gouin, while issuing the stay for the ban, agreed with the arguments put forward by the MSPCA’s representatives. Mr. Cadieux has appealed the ban’s suspensions and the issue will remain in court as additional arguments are heard. Pit bull bans have been enacted in many different locations including various parts of Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany and France. Over 700 U.S. cities have breed specific legislation (BSL) as do the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps. However, breed bans have never been shown to reduce dog bites or to make anyone safer from aggressive dogs. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has come out against BSL, as has the Obama administration. The White House’s statement on BSL reads, in part: “We don’t support breed-specific legislation — research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources. “In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at 20 years of data about dog bites and human fatalities in the United States. They found that fatal attacks represent a very small proportion of dog bite injuries to people and that it’s virtually impossible to calculate bite rates for specific breeds. “The CDC also noted that the types of people who look to exploit dogs aren’t deterred by breed regulations — when their communities establish a ban, these people just seek out new, unregulated breeds. And the simple fact is that dogs of any breed can become dangerous when they’re intentionally or unintentionally raised to be aggressive. “For all those reasons, the CDC officially recommends against breedspecific legislation — which they call inappropriate. . . As an alternative to breed-specific policies, the CDC recommends a community-based approach to prevent dog bites. And ultimately, we think that’s a much more promising way to build stronger communities of pets and pet owners.”
Useless Information? Your Dog Ignores It.
According to a recent study conducted at the Canine Cognition Center at Yale University, and published in Developmental Science, dogs are better than young children at ignoring useless information when they are asked to solve problems. In an experiment previously conducted at Yale, children who learned to perform a task by imitating an instructor continued to mimic instructors’ actions even when those actions did not affect the outcome of the task. In this study, a demonstrator pulled a lever and then opened the lid of a box to get a prize. Although you didn’t need to pull the lever to open the box, the majority of the children consistently pulled it before opening the lid, even when they were racing to get to the prize. This behavior is referred to as “over-imitation” and is well documented in the psychological literature. A team of researchers led
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by Laura Santos, the director of the Canine Cognition Center set up an experiment to see whether dogs over-imitate in the same way. The researchers designed a dog-friendly version of the same study, presenting dogs with a box in which they had hidden a dog treat. On the side of the box, they had mounted a lever that had no actual function. Using positive reinforcement, the researchers taught the dogs to open the box by first pulling the lever, then lifting the lid and retrieving the treat. The researchers then left the room and filmed the dogs going after the treat. Approximately half of the dogs learned to ignore the lever by the fourth repetition of the task. The researchers ran two versions of this experiment: one at the CCC at Yale using pet dogs owned by community volunteers and one at a dingo rescue center in Australia using dingoes. The studies produced similar results, leading the scientists to conclude that “both species’ behavior is better characterized by individual exploration than overimitation. Given that both species, particularly dogs, show humanlike social learning in other contexts, these findings provide additional evidence that overimitation may be a unique aspect of human social learning.”
Dogs Surf the Rose Parade
The 128th Rose Parade in Los Angeles this coming January will have a new type of float: a huge aquarium with eight to ten surfing dogs riding its artificial waves. The float, called “Lucy Pet’s Gnarly Crankn’ K-9 Wave Maker” is a 75-foot long trailer that holds 5,000 gallons of water. It is expected to be a Rose Parade record setter both for length and for weight. The K-9 Wave Maker has been making its way across the United States, stopping in New York, Texas and California to host open auditions for the Rose Parade surfing dogs. Surfing experience is not necessary. At each audition site, two expert surfing dogs named Sully and Lola demonstrate their skills to newcomers, and then water loving
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dogs are invited to try it out. Surfing candidates are rated on their performance, including their agility, their boldness and their stage presence. The finalists will be chosen in November and the winners will join the parade on January 2, 2017. The float serves to promote animal-related fundraising events, such as the Race for the Rescues in Pasadena, which has raised $3.35 million for homeless pets. It was the brainchild of Joey Herrick, the founder of Lucy Pet Foundation, a Los Angeles-based animal charity. He created it to bring awareness to the plight of animals in shelters. “I want to stop the 80,000 dogs and cats every week from being euthanized,” he told the Associated Press. “That’s what it’s all about.” This isn’t the first media splash that the Lucy Pet Foundation has made. Last year, the company aired a commercial featuring cats playing football (and poking fun at “deflategate”) on Superbowl Sunday that ended up being one of the top ten commercials of the year. Herrick, a successful dog food entrepreneur, has set a goal to send mobile spay and neuter clinics to every major city in America in order to “really make a significant dent in pet overpopulation.”
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Spaniels Everywhere At the Wateree Spaniel Club Story and Photography by Diana Hunt
he Wateree Spaniel Club, based in Columbia, S.C., is enjoying a T rebirth. Formed 10 years ago as the Wateree Boykin Spaniel Club, it was designed as a regional performance club to host field and hunt
trials for Boykins. The original club folded in 2008, but recently an avid group of spaniel lovers resurrected the name, and the club, recognized by the performance committee of the AKC, is awaiting full AKC approval. It has 50 members from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Maryland, Virginia and one member all the way from South Dakota. “Those of us who went to various field events started talking about reactivating the club,” said Alan Barnes, the president of the club, who
Field Trials and Hunt Tests
Hunt tests are an introduction to field trials. They come in three levels: Junior, Senior and Master, with each level presenting a higher bar for the dog and his handler. Competition is not against other dogs, rather each dog is judged against a standard. Field trials are more competitive and more serious than hunt tests. In a field trial, dogs do compete against one another. Two dogs run at the same time, called “running in a brace.” To have a successful field trial, it is necessary to have a dog that is more under control and more polished. Dogs win points to earn their field championship, and champions that win enough points are invited to compete in the national field trials, held in various parts of the country once a year. Working in the water is an integral part of hunt tests. The dog must sit at his handler’s side while something is thrown into the water. The handler waits for the signal from the judge to send the dog out after the object. Once the dog is sent, he must retrieve the object and deliver it to the handler’s hand. In field trials, to become a field champion, the dog must pass a separate water test. The first official hunt test for the Wateree Spaniel Club is scheduled for January 2017 near Cheraw at the H. Cooper Black Jr. Memorial Field Trial and Recreational Area in northern South Carolina on the PeeDee River. Covering 7,000 rolling acres of longleaf pine forest and fields, the recreation area is the setting for national-level field trial and retriever competitions as well as equestrian events. “We are excited,” Barnes concluded. “There’s excitement among AKC members and among the various spaniel clubs about having the South become a great field trial place. I know there are people up North who can’t train year round because of the weather, so if they come down South to train for a month, six or eight weeks during January, February and March, now they can also compete in field trials.” To learn more about the Wateree Spaniel Club, “like” the group on Facebook.
lives in Atlanta. “Frankly, we were getting tired of driving hundreds of miles to compete. There is no other performance club like this in the Southeast. There are lots of dog clubs and spaniel clubs, but they are more on the bench side – showing, obedience that sort of thing. Before we started, there was nothing that was field focused. There has been lots of growth of spaniels, especially English Cocker Spaniels, and more people are getting interested in the field side of things.” Why the English Cocker? “You see a lot of them on hunting plantations of south Georgia, Florida and coastal South Carolina,” Barnes explained. “Historically, those preserves use pointing dogs, but now you see the use of flushing dogs like English Springers or Cockers who get the bird after it has been flushed out. The Cocker is a smaller dog, more manageable, and they make great family dogs.” Not many American Cocker Spaniels are seen in the field; they tend to be more on the show side, where they do quite well. But Barnes is seeing some of the show owners interested in getting their dogs out in the field as well as competing in hunt tests and field trials. Still, the most popular dog in the club is the Boykin Spaniel. “Boykins are a more recent breed and not officially recognized in same way by the AKC. They have their own field trials; we hope we can get to the point where Boykins can compete in AKC trials,” said Barnes.
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s â€™ t e P r u Yo ! t e V r e Oth
Sybil Davis DVM: Rehab & Acupuncture Certified 307 Willow Run Rd. Aiken SC 29801 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Celebrating the Common Dog Not Just a Mutt
by Pam Gleason, Photos by Pam Gleason & Gary Knoll
s humans, we have a natural instinct to separate things into A categories and to label them. This is, after all, a fundamental way in which we make sense of and understand our world: people versus
animals, dogs versus cats, things that are good to eat versus things that will kill us and so on. Categories provide us with neatly packaged information that makes it easier for us to know how to interpret things. If you are looking at a racecar, you know it is fast, or at a boat you know that it floats. Being able to put things you encounter into their appropriate categories is a basic skill, and one that generally helps us to
make correct assumptions about new things we encounter. The instinct to categorize can be a problem when we use it to understand dogs, however. especially when we are talking about dogs of uncertain heritage. No matter what kind of dog you have, whether it is a purebred or not, when people hear you have one, the first question almost all of them ask is “What kind of dog do you have?” If yours is a Golden Retriever or a Border Collie or a Beagle, that will make it easier to describe him, because these breeds are familiar, and bring with them a whole set of assumptions about what your dog must be like. Your Golden Retriever is a friendly family dog, your Border Collie likes to herd things, and your Beagle likely has his nose to the ground hunting. Although all dogs are individuals, many purebred dogs, especially those that have been used for a specific purpose for hundreds of years, will live up to people’s expectations and do the thing they were bred to do: Greyhounds run after rabbits, Pointers stalk birds and Bloodhounds follow scents. But what if your dog is not a purebred with a long and documented ancestry? What if he is just a dog? For most people in this country, the idea that a dog does not belong to a breed does not compute. Dogs that are not purebreds are usually considered to be mixed breeds, by which people mean that the dog is actually a mixture of one or more identifiable breeds. This assumption is reinforced by such things as the software used in animal shelters or in online adoption sites such as Petfinder, which require that a breed or breed mix be identified for each animal. Faced with this choice, people who have to fill out this paperwork simply guess. Sometimes they are more or less correct; other times they are wildly off the mark. Studies done in the 1960s showed that dogs that are a mix of two different purebreds often look nothing like either parent. In 2012, Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida conducted a survey in which they provided over 5,000 dog experts with photographs of 100 mixed breed dogs whose parentage had been identified by DNA tests. They found that guesses based on
these pictures were able to identify one of the breeds in the dogs’ backgrounds only about 30 percent of the time. In other words, the experts were more than twice as likely to be wrong as they were to be right! Even if you could accurately identify what breeds are in a dog by looking at him, you would still be in trouble. Very many dogs are not a “mix” of any purebreds at all. Although different types of dogs developed a long time ago, the modern breeds (more than 400 of them) were mostly created over the last 300 years. Those pedigreed dogs were often created by selectively breeding dogs that would, for lack of a better word, be considered mutts today. It didn’t happen the other way around. For this reason, it is entirely possible that a dog with an uncertain heritage does not have any pedigreed ancestors at all. Although there are many reasons to choose a purebred dog, mutts have many things to recommend them, too. For one thing, purebred dogs are often specialists that have been bred to do one thing very well. “Mixed breed” dogs are more likely to be generalists, ready to do anything. Purebred dogs often look very similar to one another while mixed breed dogs are often more individualistic, both in their looks and in their personality. Mixed breed dogs may even be healthier than purebreds and less susceptible to genetic disease, although there are studies that suggest that this may not be true. Over the past two or three decades there has been a surge of interest in animal welfare and a growing awareness that shelters are filled with mutts, and that they make excellent pets and companions. In some parts of the country, a purebred dog is still a status symbol, but in other parts, owning a mixed breed is more acceptable. Every year, the American Kennel Club publishes a list of the most popular dog breeds in America. Labrador Retrievers have topped that list for over 20 years. But Labs are certainly not the most popular dog in America. According to the American Humane Association, unpedigreed dogs have a much
shelter, but only about 25 percent of America’s dogs are. Some people call these dogs “Heinz 57” a term that refers to the 57 varieties of products originally made by the Heinz Ketchup company, not an especially eloquent way to describe a dog. At the SPCA Albrecht Center in Aiken, they sometimes call these dogs “House blends.” A few years ago, an innovative shelter in Costa Rica invented a slew of evocative new breed names to apply to their adoptable animals, complete with a breed chart that included pictures and breed characteristics. Adoptions went up, which is not surprising. Who wouldn’t want to own a Fire-Tailed Border Cocker? Back in 1939, Henry H. Curran, a New York lawyer, politician and newspaper reporter, wrote an impassioned article called “In Praise of Mutts” that was published in the New York Times Sunday Magazine. He described the indignity of calling these noble animals “just mutts”, and went on to offer some praise of purebreds: “This is not to say that the thoroughbred dog is not a gentleman in his own way. He often is. There is something in setters that gives a glimpse of unbelievable beauty in form and affection. There better claim to that title. In fact, the AHA estimates that 53% of all American dogs do not belong to a particular breed. But if your dog is not a purebred, what exactly is he? The words for dogs with no recorded family tree tend to have undesirable connotations: “mutt” can be a cute term, but it is often derogatory. “Mongrel” is technically accurate, but can also be used as an insult. “Mixed breed” does not sound especially negative, but it isn’t particularly accurate either, and begs the question “what is he mixed with?” At some animal shelters, there have been attempts to create new terms that don’t have any baggage for these dogs. “American Shelter Dog,” is one, which may be accurate if the dog is obtained from a
is something in sound terriers. There may even be something in poodles. . . .” he wrote. “But it is the mutt that shines. Yellow, brown, or black and tan, tail or no tail, head or cow catcher, rough or smooth of coat, the mutt, above all dogs, is filled with an affection for mankind that is the loveliest example of consistently misplaced trust that nature affords. He never wavers. . . There is little in mankind to compare with it. . . His heart, that belies his curious hide, is there; loyal, warm and overflowing – golden it is – and all that counts in this little life we lead. I wish we had more mutts.”
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Lido the Bracco Italiano by Pam Gleason
ido the Bracco Italiano will celebrate his 14th birthday in a few short months. A large, lemon and white hound with exaggerated L features, he has outlived his littermate Doge and the life expectancy of
his breed by several years. According to his owner, David Stinson, the breed enjoys three things: eating, sleeping and running. Now that Lido is so old, he does not enjoy running quite as much as he used to. Today, his favorite things are eating, sleeping and the company of female dogs. “He is neutered,” says David. “But he has always been a Romeo.” His best girlfriend is Edith, a blocky pit bull mix who lives with him. “They will spend hours grooming one another,” says David. There is another Bracco in the house too, an 11-year-old named Faux Pas. David happened upon Lido and the Bracco breed by accident. He is a realtor, and 14 years ago was called out to a local horse farm that was being put on the market. As he drove up to the house, he saw about a dozen majestic hounds sitting on a hillside. “I was very impressed with them, but I didn’t know what they were. They had these big ears and big jowls, big feet. I knew they weren’t foxhounds, but I couldn’t place them.” The homeowner told David they were Bracco Italiano hounds, one of the oldest surviving breeds of European gundog and quite rare in the United States. She had a small breeding program for them. “And she said that horrible thing to me that you should never say to anyone: ‘Do you want to see the puppies?’” To make a long story short, one little male puppy from the litter came home with David. That pup, named Doge, was an immediate hit, and David was utterly charmed by him. Then, about a month later, the breeder called back to say that one of the other puppies in that litter had been adopted but was not working out in his new family. The puppy had been returned. “My hounds aren’t accepting him back,” she said. “So I was wondering if you might consider taking him?” David was sympathetic, but the answer was no. He already had one puppy; he had an older lab; he was busy; it would be too much. He thought the case was closed. “Then, not much later I had to go back out there for business,” says David. “And there was this puppy looking very forlorn. Okay, I said, put him in the car. So he came home, and he was delighted to find his brother, and they were best of buddies forever and ever.” From the beginning, Lido (the name means ‘beach’ in Italian) always played second dog to Doge. He was the quieter of the two and the more self-sufficient. Where Doge loved attention and to be patted, Lido preferred to come over and say hello and then go off to sit by himself nearby. He has always loved riding in the car with his head out the window and the wind flapping his immense ears. He has always loved the water. David’s home is on the edge of the Hitchcock Woods, 2,200 acres of woods and trails. David takes his dogs walking there every day and Lido’s favorite places are the marshes, streams and ponds. “He will go and lie in a stream, with just his head over the water.”
“On our walks, I will have all the dogs with me, making them heel and such,” continues David. “But I have a release word, which is ‘sassafras,’ that means ‘go do whatever you want.’ So we might be walking along and I might say ‘Faux Pas, heel; Lido sassafras!’ And he would take off running, but always knew he had to come back.” David admits, however, that the love of running has sometimes overpowered his hounds’ training. “A mailman would leave the gate open, they would get out and they would be gone,” he says. “Maybe I would be in the yard and see them slip out the gate and run into the woods. I would call them, but once they got a certain distance, they would pretend they couldn’t hear me and disappear. Then I would get calls from people on the other side of the woods, saying they had seen them. I would get calls from as far away as Graniteville, telling me my hounds were out.” One evening, when the Lido and Doge were 9 months old, David
went to have dinner at the Green Boundary Club several blocks away and on the other side of Whiskey Road. The young hounds escaped their yard and tracked him there. “They were scratching at the door of the club, trying to find me,” says David. About five years ago, Doge died of cancer and was buried in the back yard. “Lido’s a sentimental hound,” says David. “He knows where Doge was laid to rest and he will go to his brother’s grave almost daily for just a minute or two, to check in. It’s very sweet, and that’s one of the biggest things about these hounds; they are so sweet.” Today, Lido, Faux Pas and Edith have the run of David’s house and his back yard. Lido moves a little slowly and is a bit hard of hearing. He has some lumps and bumps, and David says he sometimes seems to have problems with his memory, but otherwise he is doing well. David has always used his dogs as models in his real estate advertising campaigns, and Lido learned very early on how to pose for a camera. He can still do it today, sitting patiently in position, waiting for the photographer to get just the right shot.
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HFGD Junior Ambassadors Dog Rescue’s Next Generation Story and Photography by Pam Gleason
dogs and puppies short term before they are transported. Other dogs n a sweltering morning in late July, four high school students might be sent to the Home For Good Aiken headquarters where they from New Jersey are at the Aiken, S.C. headquarters of Home for are vaccinated, dewormed and spayed or neutered if necessary before Good Dogs Rescue preparing for a mission. HFGD is a rescue and going North. adoption organization based in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, and these Accompanied by Toni Ann Turco, Home For Good’s founder, the young women are part of its Junior Ambassador program. The Junior volunteers enter the shelter and begin to make their inspection of its Ambassadors are spending three weeks in Aiken helping to gather dogs inhabitants. This shelter houses the majority of its dogs in a large room and puppies for rescue, rehabilitation, and transport to New Jersey divided into concrete kennels with iron bars. Although the shelter where they will find their forever homes. While the teenagers are here, facility is relatively new, clean and in good repair, it has not been they will visit animal shelters in South Carolina and Georgia, travel designed with acoustics in mind. When anyone enters the room with to areas that are known dumping grounds for stray animals, and learn the kennels, the sound of dogs barking is deafening. Some of the more invaluable lessons about animal rescue, dog training, veterinary care and timid dogs are clearly upset by this, while others don’t seem to mind so life itself. much. The Junior Ambassadors themselves are calm, professional and The Junior Ambassadors are among Home For Good’s most dedicated businesslike, inspecting each dog through the bars of its kennel, making volunteers. Back in New Jersey, all four of these young women and notes about what is written on the kennel cards and taking pictures with their families foster dogs for the organization. They have been involved their cell phones. for varying amounts of time and have helped an extraordinary number of animals. One of the volunteers, Nora Brindle, 16, says that she and her family have been volunteering for HFGD since 2012. How many dogs have they fostered? She just smiles. “Over 100,” she replies. “But we stopped counting. Some of them we had for just a few days; some longer.” Three of these young women have been here before, while for one, 16-year-old Ino CintronBurch, this is a first trip. For all of them, traveling to disadvantaged and rural areas in the South is an eye-opening experience. They come from affluent areas, where many things are different. One of the most striking things, to them, is the difference between the way dogs are viewed at home in New Jersey and the way they are considered in many parts of the South. While dogs in their New Jersey neighborhoods are valued pets that live indoors as part of the family, in many of the communities they visit, dogs are often chained up or left outside to fend for themselves. The Junior Ambassadors’ experiences fostering dogs back in New Jersey have prepared them somewhat for their Southern trip. Back home, they have cared for dogs that were abused and neglected, puppies that were on the verge of being euthanized in a shelter simply because they did not have a home, Above: Rachel Lehner and Anna Newmark evaluating a rescue candidate at the shelter. Right: Ino and beautiful purebreds that were found as strays Cintron-Burch with Panda, a rescued puppy at HFGD Aiken headquarters. and never claimed. But coming down and facing the sheer magnitude of the Southern dog problem can be a culture shock. “The hardest thing about coming to a place like this is seeing the dogs The ambassadors’ exposure to the darker side of dog rescue sets them we are not taking,” says Ino Cintron-Burch. “I can walk into a shelter apart from many of their classmates back home. and I know right off the bat what dogs we can’t take, and that is very “I have friends who sometimes say they want to volunteer, hardcore hard.” According to Ino, HFGD cannot take dogs that are clearly pit dog lovers,” says Anna Newmark, 16. “But they don’t . . . they don’t get bulls, both because of restrictions in their insurance, and because New it.” Jersey, like many states, has its own pit bull problems, resulting in the The young women, dressed in blue Home for Good t-shirts, pile into a dogs not being easy to adopt out. mini van for their trip to Columbia County Animal Services, an animal “I can look at a dog and know that it’s a dog that could be amazing, shelter in Grovetown, Georgia that houses strays and owner surrenders and highly adoptable and the sweetest dog in the world, but know we from the Augusta, Georgia area. Although the shelter has volunteer can’t take it just because of its breed, and that’s not the dog’s fault. It’s groups dedicated to helping adoptable animals find good homes, there very hard when a dog like that looks you in the eye, and you have a are always more dogs in the kennels than there are adopters to take connection, but you know you can’t help him. But we have to focus on them. Groups such as Home For Good, which transport dogs to areas the ones that we can save.” of the country where there is a strong demand for them, can make a The HFGD representatives take a few of the dogs that have caught big difference in local life-saving efforts. Local volunteers have already their interest out to a fenced yard behind the shelter where they can identified a few of the dogs that the HFGD group will consider, and interact with them and assess their personalities. They pet them and play there is a well-established network of southern volunteers that can foster
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with them and see how they react to other dogs and various situations. Home For Good wants to help as many dogs as they can, but they are also rigorous in their assessment of a dog’s temperament: a frightened dog they can handle, but there is no place in the rescue for an aggressive dog or an unpredictable one; safety is a huge concern. Some of the dogs that they select for assessment are obvious candidates: a sweet medium haired black 7-month old, for instance, that looks like she is ready to fit into a family immediately. Then there are dogs that are less apparent choices: a large male retriever mix that cowers in the back of his kennel, terrified by the barking and unsure whether to let anyone approach him. Once out in the yard, he relaxes and settles down, but does not, in the end, earn his ticket out. A handsome large mixed breed that wants to lick everyone’s face isn’t chosen either – he is too boisterous and high energy. But a young lab mix with an old scar on his neck from an embedded collar gets the nod. When the Home For Good crew leaves the shelter about an hour after arriving there, they have saved half a dozen dogs, which, loaded into crates in the back of the mini van, hardly make a sound. On the trip home, the Junior Ambassadors, who were excited and talkative on their way out, are mostly quiet. A few of them fall asleep. Tomorrow, they will go to another shelter in Barnwell County, S.C., and a few days later they
Rachel Lehner and Nora Brindle with a shelter dog on his way to a new life
will make a longer trip deeper into Georgia, where they are working with a local volunteer group to improve live release rates at the county shelter. The Junior Volunteers had to compete for the opportunity to make this Southern trip, and they have funded it themselves through bake sales, dog washes and online fundraisers. The money raised pays for their travel expenses and helps to cover extra costs that may be required to help the volunteers with “special projects.” These are dogs that need extra medical or other care to make them adoptable. Each volunteer takes one on as her personal project dog: they select them from the shelter, attend to all their medical needs, foster them back in New Jersey and see each one through to adoption. “With the special projects, it means we can take dogs we wouldn’t normally be able to take,” says Rachel Lehner, 16. Last year, Rachel’s special project was a husky named Zeus who had been found in the middle of he woods, chained to a tree. When he entered the shelter, he had mange, fleas, ticks and fly strikes on his ears. He was blind in one eye and so emaciated he could barely stand up, but Rachel was
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determined to save him. She shows his pictures on her cell phone: “When we got him,” and then a few months later, when, healed and healthy, he was adopted by his forever family. Why do these volunteers spend three weeks of their summer vacation rescuing dogs in the South? The short answer is that they love dogs. The longer answer is that they are committed to making a real difference in the world, powered by the sort of idealistic energy that undergirds great social movements of any type. And if the results of this summer’s trip are any indication, the current wave of dog rescue is a great social movement. In any case, there is no questioning any of these young womens’ passion, commitment and dedication. “My parents say that I am obsessed with rescuing dogs,” says Ino. When she first approached them about a year earlier to ask if the family could start fostering, she was “100% sure that they would say no.” She was so certain she would need to convince them to change their minds that she had spent a month preparing a 30-page PowerPoint presentation about why fostering was a good idea. She never had to use it, because they agreed right away. “I like fostering the more difficult dogs, the ones that need work. I love seeing their transformation,” she says. “Some of them you need to do some training with, but the biggest difference is just putting them in a loving environment and treating them with patience. You see them relax. It usually takes two to three days before you see the first change, but then even scared dogs, they start to eat, they start to come up to you. By two weeks, most of them are completely transformed. Dogs are naturally loving creatures, one of the only creatures on the planet that will put you before they put themselves – their natural instinct is to love.” With all the time, care and devotion they invest in these foster dogs, is it hard to give them up for adoption? All four volunteers agree that the first dog or two was a little difficult, but that it has gotten easier as they have gone along. “Seeing a dog that you have fostered go home is an amazing feeling,” says Ino. “With the first one, I thought I was going to be sad, and I was so nervous about it I was making the dog nervous. But I went to the meet-and-greet, and it was a mom and a dad and a little girl of about 7, which is how old I was when I got my first dog, and she was so excited. “The dog had been really skittish when she came to my house, but at the meet-andgreet, she had her tail up and was excited and interested and happy, and the little girl was ecstatic. I totally saw myself in her. The way meet-and-greet works, we tell them about the dog and then we leave them alone with it. It sounds like it couldn’t happen, but when I went to leave, I swear the dog looked at me and said, ‘I got it. I’m good now.’ The family adopted her and I felt so great about it, I was smiling for hours. I had seen that dog from the beginning, when she first came to New Jersey, to the end, when she finally went home and she was so happy and the people were so happy. Then, maybe a week later, I got my next foster. There is always another one that needs your help.” Ino says that she first got interested in volunteering for Home For Good after her own dog died and she realized how much she needed dogs in her life. This experience has informed her understanding of how important rescuing these dogs is to society, not just to the animals themselves. “If you know how much a dog can change your life, you understand why we do this,” she says. “Every foster I have had has changed my life. At Home for Good, we have adopted out over 4,500 dogs. We changed that many lives for the dogs, but we also changed that many lives for the people who could adopt them.”
Curing Carsickness Make Traveling Fun by Pam Gleason
many dogs, riding in the car is a treat. By their nature, dogs are Forexplorers, loving to see and smell new things. Going for a drive,
though perhaps not as satisfying as a ramble through the countryside, can be exciting and enjoyable, especially if the car ride ends somewhere the dog wants to go – the park or his playgroup, rather than the just the vet. (To be sure, some dogs really love the vet, too!) But all dogs are not good travelers. Some get nervous and stressed being shut up in a moving box; others become frightened when they see things rushing past the window. Still others become car sick. A dog that gets carsick is at a serious disadvantage. Not only does he not like riding in the car because it makes him feel queasy, but his owner likely won’t
enjoy taking him anywhere either – few people really enjoy cleaning up after a dog with motion sickness. So the dog ends up missing out on going to new places and loses opportunities to socialize. If the only time he ever goes in the car is his annual trip to the vet, he is likely to become even more nervous about driving. This can become a serious, problem, because, after all, sometimes a dog really needs to ride in a car. So if you have a dog that gets car sick, how can you cure him? Your veterinarian may prescribe motion sickness pills or even tranquilizers as a short-term solution, but the best and most permanent way to handle car sickness is to try to train it away. “If your dog is a puppy or a young dog, car sickness might have a physical cause,” says Trish Wamsat, a professional dog trainer who gives classes to the public at the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare in Aiken. “A young dog’s inner ear might not be fully developed, and this
can make him feel sick from the motion of the car. Puppies that get car sick will often outgrow it. But the problem with just waiting for them to grow up is that if you don’t try to desensitize them, then they start to hate going for a ride in the car – every time they do, it makes them sick. This can create a vicious cycle. They are afraid of riding in the car because it makes them sick, and they get sick when they ride in the car because it makes them afraid.” Trish advises starting slow and taking your time. “The biggest thing that we are trying to do is make the dog not associate the car with barfing,” she says. “Desensitize, desensitize, desensitize. Start by just putting him in the car and giving him a treat. Take him in and out of the car over and over again, 10 times in 15 minutes. Do this twice a day. Then just sit in the car with him sometime when you aren’t planning on going anywhere. Read a book, answer emails. Drop cookies for him in the back seat so he associates the car with something good.” Progress to sitting in the car with it running, and then start taking him for short trips – just backing down the driveway and then returning might be enough for your first trip. If that goes well, you can take him for a slightly longer trip the next time, possibly to somewhere interesting where you can take him out for a walk. “You want to give him lots of treats in this stage, when he gets in the car, but not when he gets out,” she says. The type of treat is also important. “Try giving him ginger snaps with real ginger in them,” she says. “That can help settle his tummy.” When you start actually taking trips in the car, it might be smarter not to give him as many cookies, so that if his stomach does get upset, he does not start to associate the treats with getting sick and lose his taste for them. How long will it take for a dog to get over carsickness? That depends on the individual, of course. If the carsickness is caused by an underdeveloped inner ear, the dog will probably outgrow it by the time he is about a year old. Other dogs might always be made a little uncomfortable by the motion of the car. Fresh air – traveling with the windows open, though not so wide he can jump out – can help. Many dogs are also more comfortable in vehicles that have a higher center of gravity – trucks and SUVs for instance, rather than sedans. In any case, getting the dog to associate car travel with positive things will make carsickness less likely to happen. Trish says that teaching a puppy to enjoy traveling by car is important for many reasons. “First, puppies for sure need to get out and see the world,” she says. “There are parts of their brains that literally don’t develop if you don’t expose them to new things at an early age. Second, there are times when a dog absolutely has to get in a car. He needs to go to the vet, for one thing. Just now, we had dogs that had to be evacuated from the coast because of a hurricane. That is a stressful time already, but think of how much more stressful it would be for a dog that is afraid of traveling.” (Want to know more? Trish Wamsat gives classes at the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare in Aiken and is available for training and consultation. Find more information on the SPCA website www. LetLoveLive.org or call her at 803-574-DOGS .)
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For Dogs & Their People
Dogtoberfest. 5-9pm. Live music and festivities, proceeds benefit the Thiel-Meyer Animal Shelter. Corner of Broad & Rutledge, Camden, SC. 8 SPCA Albrecht Center off-site adoptions at PetSmart, 2527 Whiskey Rd, Aiken, SC, 803.643.5626, 11 am to 2 pm, www. letlovelive.org, subject to change. Check website for updates. 8 Dog Networking Agents (DNA) Adoption. PetSmart on Robert C Daniel Parkway, Augusta, GA. www.dognetworkingagent. wixsite.com. 8-9 National Oval Track Racing Association Meet. Polo Field, Polo Lane, Camden, SC. www.carolinacoursing.com, Krystyl Lyons, email@example.com, 980.329.4569. 8-9 All-Breed Dog Shows, Obedience Trials & Rally Trials. Augusta Kennel Club, Inc. Riverview Park Activities Center, 100 Riverview Park Drive, North Augusta, SC. www. augustakennelclub.org. 10-Nov 21 Trish Wamsat’s Puppy Kindergarten 4-8 months. Mondays 5:30pm at the SPCA Albrecht Center, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. www.trishwamsat.com, 803.574.3647. 11-Nov 15 Trish Wamsat’s Basic Obedience. Tuesdays 5:30pm at the SPCA Albrecht Center, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. www. trishwamsat.com, 803.574.3647. 13-Dec 1 Trish Wamsat’s Beginning Nose Work. Thursdays 5:30pm at the SPCA Albrecht Center, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. www.trishwamsat.com, 803.574.3647. 15 SPCA Albrecht Center off-site adoptions at PetSmart, 2527 Whiskey Rd, Aiken, SC, 803.643.5626, 11 am to 2 pm, www. letlovelive.org, subject to change. Check website for updates. 15 Fur Ball Moonlight Gala & Auction. 7pm. Cocktail reception, live and silent auction, dinner, raffles, and more to benefit Pawmetto Lifeline. $150. Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln Street, Columbia, SC. Katherine Yon, 803.465.9174, firstname.lastname@example.org, www. pawmettolifeline.org. 15 Dog Networking Agents (DNA) Adoption. PetSmart, Robert C Daniel Parkway, Augusta. www.dognetworkingagent.wixsite.com. 15-16 National Oval Track Racing Association Meet. Polo Field, Polo Lane, Camden, SC. www.carolinacoursing.com, Krystyl Lyons, email@example.com, 980.329.4569. 21 Find a Furever Friend Friday. 1:30-3:30pm. FOTAS will have adoptable dogs with them and will offer photos with Fido. Aiken County Visitors Center, 133 Laurens St. NW, Aiken, SC. 22 4th Annual SPCA Barkaritaville with live music, tasty treats and drinks! Music by Third Time Charmers, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC, www.letlovelive.org, 803.648.6863. 22 Dog Networking Agents (DNA) Adoption. PetSmart on Robert C Daniel Parkway, Augusta. www.dognetworkingagent.wixsite. com. 24 Trish Wamsat’s Holiday Manners Class. Mondays 7pm at the SPCA Albrecht Center, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. www. trishwamsat.com, 803.574.3647. 29 Howl-O-Ween for Rescue at Downtown Dog. Laurens Street, Aiken, 803-226-0347. 29 SPCA Albrecht Center off-site adoptions at PetSmart, 2527 Whiskey Rd, Aiken, SC, 803.643.5626, 11 am to 2 pm, www. letlovelive.org, subject to change. Check website for updates. 29 Dog Networking Agents (DNA) Adoption. PetSmart on Robert C Daniel Parkway, Augusta. www.dognetworkingagent. wixsite.com. 29 Yappy Hour at Historic Cornwallis House benefiting KC Humane Society. 5-8pm. 222 Broad Street, Camden, SC. 29-30 Carolina Lure Coursing Society Trial and Test. Polo Field, Polo Lane, Camden, SC. www.carolinacoursing.com. 30 Paws for Causes includes exhibitions, vendors, dog costume class and more at Odell Weeks Activity Center, 1700 Whiskey Rd, Aiken, SC 803.642.7631 30 Paradise Farm Hunter Trials and Dog Show. Paradise Farm, 4069 Wagener Rd, Aiken. www.paradisefarmaiken.com. Cindy Swartz 803.507.4577 or firstname.lastname@example.org 1
Woofstock and Doxie Derby with dog races, contests, demos raffles and more. All proceeds to benefit the Aiken County Animal Shelter. Citizen’s Park, 1060 Banks Mill Road, Aiken. 10:30 am - 3:30 pm. www.FOTASAiken.org. 803-514-4313.
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SPCA Albrecht Center off-site adoptions at PetSmart, 2527 Whiskey Rd, Aiken, SC, 803.643.5626, 11 am to 2 pm, www. letlovelive.org, subject to change. Check website for updates. Dog Networking Agents (DNA) Adoption. PetSmart on Robert C Daniel Parkway, Augusta. www.dognetworkingagent. wixsite.com. Aiken Dog Lovers’ Walk. Tour the Aiken Historic Horse District with your dog, with dog & horse trainer Brad Stauffer. Meet at the Track Kitchen, 420 Mead Avenue, Aiken. Trail Wag Fun Day. Langley Pond Park. 113 Langley Pond Road, Burnettown, SC. Dog contests, hike, food, fun, games, adoptable pets and more. 803-642-7557. Registration: trailwagfunday. weebly.com. SPCA Albrecht Center off-site adoptions at PetSmart, 2527 Whiskey Rd, Aiken, SC, 803.643.5626, 11 am to 2 pm, www. letlovelive.org, subject to change. Check website for updates. Seventh Annual Pawprints Foundation Wags and Wishes event. 7pm. Great food and entertainment, cash bar, live and silent auctions, holiday shopping and more! All proceeds benefit local homeless pets. Columbia County Exhibition Center, 212 Partnership Drive, Grovetown, GA. www.pawprintsfoundation. org, Tricia Schneider 706. 831.8148. EPA Bully Showdown III. 2463 Golden Camp Road, Augusta, GA. email@example.com, 803.508.3929, theabkcdogs.org. Dog Networking Agents (DNA) Adoption. PetSmart on Robert C Daniel Parkway, Augusta. www.dognetworkingagent. wixsite.com. Find a Furever Friend Friday. 1:30-3:30pm. FOTAS will have adoptable dogs with them and will offer photos with Fido. Aiken County Visitors Center, 133 Laurens St. NW, Aiken, SC. SPCA Albrecht Center off-site adoptions at PetSmart, 2527 Whiskey Rd, Aiken, SC, 803.643.5626, 11 am to 2 pm, www. letlovelive.org, subject to change. Check website for updates. Dog Networking Agents (DNA) Adoption. PetSmart on Robert C Daniel Parkway, Augusta. www.dognetworkingagent. wixsite.com. Terrier Races at the Colonial Cup. Springdale Race Course, Camden, SC. www.carolina-cup.org. The Aiken Hounds Hunt Opening Meet Blessing of the Hounds. 11am, Thanksgiving Day. Memorial Gate, Hitchcock Woods, Aiken, SC. 803.643.DRAG. SPCA Albrecht Center off-site adoptions at PetSmart, 2527 Whiskey Rd, Aiken, SC, 803.643.5626, 11 am to 2 pm, www. letlovelive.org, subject to change. Check website for updates. Dog Networking Agents (DNA) Adoption. PetSmart on Robert C Daniel Parkway, Augusta. www.dognetworkingagent. wixsite.com.
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SPCA Albrecht Center off-site adoptions at PetSmart, 2527 Whiskey Rd, Aiken, SC, 803.643.5626, 11 am to 2 pm, www. letlovelive.org, subject to change. Check website for updates. Dog Networking Agents (DNA) Adoption. PetSmart on Robert C Daniel Parkway, Augusta, GA. www.dognetworkingagent. wixsite.com. SPCA Albrecht Center off-site adoptions at PetSmart, 2527 Whiskey Rd, Aiken, SC, 803.643.5626, 11 am to 2 pm, www. letlovelive.org, subject to change. Check website for updates. Dog Networking Agents (DNA) Adoption. PetSmart on Robert C Daniel Parkway, Augusta. www.dognetworkingagent. wixsite.com. Carolina Lure Coursing Society Trial and Test. Polo Field, Polo Lane, Camden, SC. www.carolinacoursing.com. Find a Furever Friend Friday. 1:30-3:30pm. FOTAS will have adoptable dogs with them and will offer photos with Fido. Aiken County Visitors Center, 133 Laurens St. NW, Aiken, SC. Dog Networking Agents (DNA) Adoption. PetSmart on Robert C Daniel Parkway, Augusta, GA. www.dognetworkingagent. wixsite.com. Dog Networking Agents (DNA) Adoption. PetSmart on Robert C Daniel Parkway, Augusta, GA. www.dognetworkingagent. wixsite.com.
Classifieds ADOPTIONS/PUPPIES Trinity Farms Terriers: Quality family dogs with proven calmer dispositions. Generations of great temperaments. Health/dispositions guaranteed. Breeders of terriers for 30+ years. Donna Fitzpatrick. 803.648.3137. www.easyjacks. com & trinityfarmskennel.com & trinitynorfolkterriers.com.
Albrecht Aiken SPCA. Dogs, puppies, cats and kittens for adoption. 199 Willow Run Road, Aiken. Hours of operation: MonSat. 11 am - 5 pm., Sat 10 am- 3 pm; Sun 1:30 pm - 6:30 pm. www. LetLoveLive.org 803.643.0564 Adopt a Shelter Dog or Cat from the Aiken County Animal Shelter. Many beautiful, healthy, friendly animals to choose from. 333 Wire
Road, Aiken. See the pets at www. fotasaiken.org. 803.642.1537. Pointers! Many beautiful purebred Pointers of all ages available for pets or hunting. www.pointerrescue.org. ANIMAL CARE Horses And Hounds Aiken. Pet & Horse-Sitting. Reasonable Rates, Bonded and Insured, Vet Assistant. 803-643-9972/803-443-8303.
horsesandhoundsaiken@gmail. com. www.horsesandhoundsaiken. com TRAINING Palmetto Dog Club. Training classes, puppy socialization, obedience, rally & agility. Check out the website for class schedules and more information. Join us! 803-262-9686. www.
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By Michael Thomas Ford “Remember how scared you were when they brought you out?” I ask Greta. “I had to sing ‘Lavender Blue’ to you the entire way back to San Francisco to calm you down. And then you spent a month hiding under the bed and chewing the edges of the sheets.” Greta, lying beside me, yawns and rolls onto her back. I scratch her belly and say, “I’m sorry you had to be in that shelter for so long. I know it was scary. Thank you for waiting for me.” Each of my dogs has a rescue story. Sometimes, before we go to sleep, I tell them what it was like to meet them for the first time. “You were so nervous,” I remind Andy as I rub his ears, “that you peed all over me when I picked you up to hold you for the adoption photograph.” I don’t know what, if anything, any of them remember about being in shelters and foster homes. I actually hope they don’t remember any of it, as they each came to me after enduring things no animal should. Well, except for George, who is the only one to have an unremarkable entry into the world: a friend’s Chihuahua had pups and he was the last one left. “I could hold you on the palm of my hand,” I tell him, and he turns away and sighs. He’s heard this all before. I tell their stories not for their sakes, but for mine. It reminds me that there are ways to do good in a world where, more and more, cruelty seems to be the norm. Particularly when I encounter stories about animal abuse, I need to believe that making life better for even one dog makes a difference. It matters that someone found Andy, who had been hit by a car, and cared enough to take him somewhere where he could be helped. It matters that when Lillie’s leg was shattered due to the carelessness of her original owners, that the vet who had been hired to euthanize her decided instead to remove her leg and save her life. It matters that after seeing Greta while picking up another dog for the rescue group I volunteered for, I kept her “due out” date circled on my calendar, and when her time was up, I went to get her instead of saying, “I can’t save them all.” I also do it because of Jack. After graduating from college, I moved to New York City. I was a country boy, and although I loved being in the city, I also missed things about rural life. Especially dogs. For various reasons (my job, my studio apartment, money) I couldn’t have a dog. And I wanted one more than anything. For a long time I satisfied this craving by going to the dog run in Washington Square Park and playing with other people’s dogs. But this was a temporary fix, and I knew that eventually I would have to have the real thing. When, a year or so later, I got a better job and a larger apartment, the time seemed right. I was now living near another dog park, and my building allowed pets. So one summer Sunday afternoon, I found myself in a cab going uptown to the Humane Society of New York’s East Side shelter. There were not a lot of dogs there that day, and none of them particularly caught my attention. But I was there, and I wanted a dog. And so I got Jack. He was a skinny black mutt, some kind of retriever mix with longish fur, sticky-up ears, and a tail that wouldn’t quit. He was friendly, and after spending some time with him, I convinced myself that he was exactly what I was looking for. I loaded him into a cab and we went home. I realized very quickly that I had made a mistake. Jack was not meant for apartment living, or for being alone during the day. Even more problematic, I was not ready for a dog. At least not this dog, who needed more than I could give him. In my enthusiasm to have the life I’d long imagined having, I’d tried to force it into existence instead of waiting for it to happen naturally.The ride back to the shelter remains one of the most shameful moments of my life. Jack, excited to be in a car, rode with his head out the window. I cried. Inside, as I handed him over, the shelter worker did her best to make me understand what a
The Dog & Hound
horrible person I was. But I already knew this. The only thing that could make me feel any worse was Jack’s confused look as I left him there. Although this happened more than 25 years ago, I think about it often, and the guilt is as fresh now as it was then. Perhaps worse. Now, having worked in dog rescue for a long time, I know that Jack had two strikes against him: he’d been returned, and he was black. Black dogs, they say, make it out of shelters less often to begin with. Black dogs that have been returned have even less of a chance. Large black dogs that have been returned to shelters in New York City are facing odds I can’t even begin to calculate. I hope with all my heart that someone with a bigger apartment and more maturity than I rescued Jack and gave him the love and life that he deserved to have. I also know intellectually that I made the right decision when I recognized that I’d erred in making a promise to him that I couldn’t keep. Faced with the same situation now, I would, I think, behave differently, make different choices. But this doesn’t help. If anything, it makes me even angrier at 22-year-old me, who chose a fantasy over reality and made a dog pay the price for it. I have known dogs to forgive humans terrible things. Andy, Greta, Lillie, and the rescue dogs that came before them all have reasons to despise us as a species. When I tell them the stories of how we met, I do it to remind myself that they’re capable of great forgiveness. I also do it to remind myself that I am not the monster I felt like that day 25 years ago when I left a dog behind. Perhaps if I tell enough of these stories, one day I’ll come to believe it. Michael Thomas Ford’s latest novel is Sharon Needles and the Curse of the Devil’s Deck.
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The dayÕ s events include
Begin registration for Dog Races & Dog Contests Practice Races FOTAS Welcome Dog Contests ~~ Best costume ~~ Best look-alike ~~ Best trick ~~ Best kisser ÒA NY BRANDÓ Dog Races (max 16Ó height x 22Ó width) DOXIE Races Start DOXIE Derby Winner crowned Rafﬂe & Silent Auction winners announced
John Hart News Channel 6
All Day Events: ~~ Exhibitors & Dog Demos (pet related products & services) ~~ Food & music ~~ Rafﬂe: donate $5 to FOTAS; compete to win $250 ~~ Apple Watch Rafﬂe by Veterinary Services of Aiken ~~ Adoptable dogs & cats from the Aiken County Animal Shelter ~~ Silent Auction of Labyrinth Quilt by Aiken artist, Jackie Hill
Auto Tech * Herbal Solutions * Veterinary Services of Aiken * VIP Pet Care * Tyler Brothers Atlantic Broadband * Aiken Standard * Downtown Dog
Aiken Saddlery & Supply * Aiken Veterinary Clinic * Dog & Hound * Fox Nation * Hollow Creek Animal Hospital * Larlee Construction * Pan American Veterinary Corp. * The Willcox
The Dog & Hound