Volume 4 â€˘ Number 2
The Dog & Hound
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Time Dated Material • Periodicals • Volume 4 • Number 2
ast week, just as we were putting together this paper, I got a message that we needed to help save a dog. The dog was an English Pointer and he was at an animal shelter a few hours away. His named was Sonny. He was a skinny senior and he was heartworm positive. He had been promised to Pointer Rescue Organization, a national rescue group, and they had a plan to send him to a foster home in Michigan. Everything looked good. But then something happened – we don’t know what – and all of a sudden, the dog had to get out of the shelter by noon the next day “or else.” I looked at the pleading eyes in his picture on Facebook, and I knew we had to help him. So I asked a friend who was closer to get him from the shelter, and we met her a couple of days later when our schedules allowed it, and we took him home. Sonny was not at all what I expected. He was polite, had leash manners and when you looked at him, he would wag his tail. He was housebroken. He didn’t chase the cat, and all the other dogs loved him. I had set up a crate in his private bedroom, but didn’t have the heart to put him in it – he looked so much more comfortable sleeping on the bed. He had pressure sores on his legs and he was missing hair on his elbows from years in a kennel, but he sure seemed to know what a house was and how to behave in one. Sonny had an excellent appetite, and I swear he put on ten pounds in the six days that we had him. I took pictures of him, and everyone marveled at how handsome he was, how regal, how different he looked than in his shelter pictures. On Saturday, we put him on a volunteer transport that took him in stages from South Carolina to an overnight in Ohio, and then on to Michigan the next day. Although we were worried
that he would be miserable on this trip, his foster in Michigan said that he arrived as happy as could be, fit right in with her program, and seemed to see the whole thing as the best adventure of his life. I have no idea where Sonny came from or how he ended up in the shelter. He was malnourished and older, but you could see that he was a beautiful dog with an athletic stride. Fit and healthy, he would be an amazing specimen. He’s the kind of dog that is a mystery: if only he could talk, if only he could tell us who he was, where he came from; if only we could know his story. I can’t help but imagine him having a great beginning, with a good home that he lost. I can see him falling into the hands of someone who neglected him; I can see him running away. My mind wants to invent a story for him that rivals Black Beauty. Of course, knowing his past is beyond our ability, and the Sonny that I said goodbye to on Saturday morning probably wouldn’t care about it anyway. For him, the past was in the past. People often say that dogs live in the present, but I think they live for the future, too. They are always looking forward to a new day, a new adventure and a new start. That’s what keeps hope in their hearts, and it’s one of the reasons that we love them. I’m glad that we were able to help Sonny on the path to a new and better life, and I’m glad so many other people were there to help him too. If there is one thing that can give you hope for humanity, it is to see so many people gladly giving so much time and energy just to save an old bird dog. If we can do that, we can’t be so bad after all. We hope you enjoy this issue. Please let us know if you have an idea for a story, or if you have any suggestions at all. Enjoy your spring!
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 beagles from the new Why Worry beagle pack out hunting at Longleaf Plantation in Aiken. Beagles are our featured breed this issue. Read more about them on page 12.
Pam Gleason Editor & Publisher
Photography by Gary Knoll 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 2015 The Dog and Hound
The Dog & Hound
Table of Contents 6
12 Beagles 15 Bone-i-fide Bakery 16 Curing Heartworm 20 New Shelter Delivers 22 The Walk 4
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by Pam Gleason
his January, it was announced that Home for Good Dog Rescue, based in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, will be opening a wellness center in Aiken. The facility, called Almost Home, will serve as a halfway house for dogs coming out of shelters. “This will be our base of operations in the area,” says Rich Errico, who is one of the cofounders of the rescue. “It will be for some of the more difficult cases that we’ll now be able to keep in our facility for heartworm treatment, mange treatment, or behavioral issues. These are the dogs that we would have ordinarily passed on, so with this facility, we are going to be able to save a tremendous amount more dogs.” Home for Good is a foster-based rescue that pulls animals from shelters in Georgia and South Carolina. The dogs typically go into
Southern foster homes for a week or longer before getting on a transport that takes them North. Back in New Jersey, the rescue is run out of an office, while the dogs themselves live with fosters. People find dogs they want to adopt on the Internet and meet them at adoption events. The rescue was founded in 2010 and since that time has placed approximately 3,400 dogs into loving homes in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and beyond. Home for Good works closely with a number of rescues and animal shelters in the Aiken and Augusta areas, including the Aiken County Animal Shelter, the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare and STARS in Augusta. Although they have nothing against the cutest and most adoptable dogs, they are especially dedicated to saving those that otherwise would not have a good chance. “It’s been wonderful,” says Rich. “We call the local shelters, and the first question we ask
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is who is scheduled to be euthanized. They give us a list. I wish we could take every single one of them, but we can’t. We try to take the ones that we know we can save and adopt out quickly so we can save another dog.” The Southern foster homes are given food, medicine and whatever supplies they need to care for the dogs. When the dogs are healthy enough to travel and their Northern foster homes are ready for them, Rich drives down in a specially outfitted transport van to pick them up. In addition to acting as a halfway house, Almost Home will be a local base of operations for Home For Good, making it easier for them to provide assistance for local fosters. The rescue has purchased a 10-acre parcel on Whiskey Road and the property already has a house where Rich and other rescuers can stay while they are in the area. The group is currently in the middle of fundraising and planning for the facility itself, which Rich expects will be built in stages. “We are very excited about everything that is going on and we can’t wait to get started,” he says, adding they he hopes that they will break ground in the fall, with a goal of being in the facility in a year to a year and a half. Rich and his partners got into dog rescue after careers on Wall Street, and he believes that having a solid business background has contributed to the mission’s success. “We would love to save every dog, but we know it has to be run like a business so that we can stay in business,” he says. “We want to continue to save dogs for many years. We want to find dogs for the good people up North, and we want to help the good people in Aiken, Augusta and other places to save dogs as well.” As for the dogs themselves? Rich has been amazed by how well they have done, and how successful adoptions have been, even for dogs that got a rough start in life. “Dogs are very resilient,” he says. “If you show them a little love and TLC, they will respond, no matter what their background. Sometimes the ones with the toughest backgrounds end up being the best dogs.” For more information about Home for Good Dog Rescue and their Aiken Facility, visit the website: www.homeforgooddogs.org.
Does your dog like music? And if he does, does he have a favorite song? Various scientific studies have been conducted on whether listening to music affects a dog’s physiological state, and if, so, how. The results of these studies have generally suggested that music is good for dogs; they like it and it calms them down. Because of these findings, many people believe that it is a good idea to play music in places where animals might be under stress, such as in a veterinary office or an animal
shelter. This is the premise behind such things as the Rescue Animal MP3 project, which distributes free MP3 players to animal shelters. These players are preloaded with special dog friendly music that is said to promote “vibrational healing.” Whether you believe in this kind of thing or not, playing music for animals in shelters is reported to reduce anxiety behaviors such as barking and pacing, and shelters that use it even report more adoptions. But does it matter what kind of music you play? How closely are the dogs listening? A study conducted in Scotland by the Scottish SPCA and researchers at the University of Glasgow suggests that dogs might be paying pretty close attention. The study, which was published in the March 2015 issue of Physiology & Behavior, tested two groups of dogs: one was observed in silence and one listened to classical pieces such as Bach’s Sheep May Safely Graze. After one week of observation, the two groups switched places. The researchers found that both groups of dogs had significantly less stress when they listened to the music than when they didn’t. This was measured by analyzing the dogs’ heart rate, behavior and the levels of stress hormones in their saliva. Dogs of both sexes appeared to enjoy the music, but the effect was greater on the male dogs. However, the researchers also found that the dogs got used to the music quite rapidly, and that if you want to prolong music’s calming effects, it helps to change the song. “Our study showed a beneficial effect of classical music but it only lasted for a short period,” wrote Amy Bowman, who is a Ph.D. student and was one of the researchers in the study. “The dogs became habituated to the music after as little as one day. It seems dogs, like humans, prefer to listen to a variety of music and not the same thing over and over again.” The researchers expect to add to their findings, and are currently trying to determine how dogs react to different genres of music. In related news, a study published in the February issue of Applied Animal Behavior Science suggest that cats aren’t highly impressed by Mozart, but do like music that is composed especially for them, based on cat specific sounds and cat friendly tempos, such as the tempo created by purring.
All Star Volunteers
It’s no secret that volunteers are indispensable to any animal rescue organization. On any given day in America, there are thousands upon thousands of people who are giving their time and energy to animals that need a helping hand. Some animal rescues are entirely fueled by volunteer labor; others rely on volunteers to augment paid staff, doing everything from cleaning kennels to walking dogs, socializing cats and counseling adopters. Without
volunteers, animal rescue would not exist. The SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare is eager to recognize its many volunteers, which it does most visibly at its annual Volunteer Appreciation Picnic. At the third annual picnic on March 22, the organization gave out 11 awards to outstanding volunteers who gave their time and energy to the animals at the center over the last year. These included ten awards for specific areas of volunteer work (adoptions, training work in the center’s signature Phideaux University, dog’s best friend, cat’s best friend and so on.) The premier award was the Barbara Nelson Award for Outstanding Volunteerism, which went to Susan Cohen, who, among other things, trains dogs in Phideaux University where she has the title Dean of Petiquette. In addition to awards for humans, there was also an award for dogs. The Serena’s Star award was established by Steve and Doris Briggs to
Dogs like Little Ann rely on volunteers for extra walks and attention while they are waiting for their forever homes at the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare.
honor their dog Serena, who was rescued off death row by the local group Molly’s Militia. Serena became a service dog and now holds the Delta Society’s highest level of competency for a therapy dog. She visits children’s hospitals, special needs classrooms, and VA hospitals throughout the CSRA, and is the subject of a documentary film called Paw Prints: Serena’s Story. Serena’s Star is given to recognize a pet for his or her contributions to life in the Aiken and Augusta area, and the recipient is selected on the basis of nomination essays. This year, there were so many outstanding nominees, the selectors couldn’t choose just one so there were two winners: Sweety and Balto. Sweety, is a boxer owned by Andy Jenkins, who is a veteran of Vietnam. Sweety helps her owner manage symptoms of PTSD and alerts him to changes in his blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Balto is a trained service dog that was given to Kinga Kiss Johnson by the Wounded Warrior Project. Kinga is an Army veteran who was injured in Afghanistan. She has credited Balto with helping to give her back her life. In 2012, Balto almost died when he was shot twice during a robbery attempt at Kinga’s home. Balto, a black lab, has since recovered.
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Ensuring the Future of the Breeds by Pam Gleason, photography by Gary Knoll
ogs are the most diverse species in the world. Not only are there over 400 recognized breeds in the world, these breeds may be so different in size, shape, color, and coat that they don’t look as if they could be related. Consider the tiny Chihuahua, the imposing St. Bernard, the Hungarian Puli, whose white dreadlocks make him look like a large mop. Think of the English Bulldog and the Italian Greyhound, the Yorkshire Terrier and the Great Dane. Different as all these dogs are, they are still the same species. It took 15,000 years of association with humans for dogs to evolve into various different types, and only a few hundred years for most of the distinct breeds to come into existence. Today, however, the entire concept of dog breeds is under scrutiny in some sectors of the dog world. Some people look at certain breeds that are plagued with unhealthy traits and say that purebreds should be abolished. Other people say, point blank, that if you buy a purebred puppy, that means a puppy in a shelter will die. The mantra, “Don’t breed or buy while shelter dogs die,” is repeated fairly often, but without much thought about what it means or whether or not it makes any sense. It is true that between one and two million dogs are put down in shelters every year, but is that really the fault of someone who breeds a litter of Golden Retriever puppies for an assistance dog program? And is there really something morally wrong with buying a purebred dog? Melissa Hartley, a canine behavioral consultant who owns Sindar Kennel in Wagener, S.C., doesn’t think so. “We’ve all heard people say that no dog should be bred until there are no dogs in rescue,” she says “That’s a pretty high standard. We don’t say that about human children, so to say that about dogs and have an even higher standard for them than for our own species seems unreasonable to me. “In addition to that, since most bitches can’t breed past 8 years old, if you had a dog breeding moratorium for just ten years, all the breeds in the world would go extinct. You can’t wait until there are no dogs in rescue and then magically take breeding back up. It doesn’t work that way.” Melissa has a background in marine science and spent 15 years in charge of the Riverbanks Aquarium in Columbia. She is also a Weimaraner enthusiast who has participated in conformation and obedience shows. In the 30 years that she has been involved with the breed, her dogs have produced two litters. She believes not just that there is nothing wrong with breeding, but that it is important to continue to breed dogs. The problem is not with breeding per se; it is with unethical breeding practices. “Not everybody thinks that breeds should exist,” she says. “I do: I think that each breed has something unique and particular to offer. Breeds are an important part of human history and of our anthropology, and they were created with certain partnerships in mind. So because of what they offer, because of their place in human history, because of what perpetuating the breeds adds to genetic diversity, I think it is a positive thing to keep breeds moving forward and to breed dogs, as long as it is done in an ethical way.” Melissa explains that one of the hallmarks of ethical breeders is that dogs they produce never end up in rescue. Ethical breeders have clauses in their puppy contracts that stipulate that the buyer shall return the dog to the breeder if the buyer no longer wants it. Melissa’s contract goes one step further: she will return the full purchase price of any dog returned to her at any time in its life. On top of this, if the buyer rehomes the dog in some other way, he owes Melissa damages. “Ethical breeders take responsibility for the life of the dog,” she says. “Raising a litter of puppies is the hardest thing I have ever done. It’s not just the eight weeks when the puppies are with their mother. I keep up with all of them after they have left; emailing back and forth with the owners, checking up on them. Every year I send out an email on their birthdays. It’s a lot of work.” Not only do ethical breeders ensure that their dogs never end up in a shelter, they are also careful to breed for health and temperament as well as for any specific qualities their breed standard calls for. Their primary goal is to perpetuate and improve the breed, not to make money. “Before they breed, ethical breeders get all their health certificates. In the Weimaraner breed, there are three things that we get our health certificates
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on: the hips, the eyes and the thyroid. With every breed it is something different, but all dogs have some tests that should be done.” By using these tests, breeders are helping to ensure not just that the breed will continue to exist, but that it will get better over time. While it is true that some breeds have a tendency to have genetic defects, the best breeders are working to eliminate them from their breeds. “You can point to breeders who are doing a terrible job and say, look, all breeders are terrible,” says Melissa. “But I think you should look at what the best breeders are doing, and then try to get everybody to do the same. The best breeders are conscious of the genetic diversity of their line.” Melissa, who is also the president of Weimaraner Rescue of South Carolina, explains that she decided to breed her dogs because she was passionate about Weimaraners. “If you are an ethical breeder, you are helping to perpetuate the breed,” she says. “I felt like if I wanted the breed to continue into the future, and I do, then I needed to participate. If we only leave breeding to unethical breeders, then the breed will be unhealthy, with temperament problems and structural problems. If you want a purebred and care about the breed, then you will go to an ethical breeder and you will be doing a positive thing.” According to Melissa, who estimates that she works as much as 20 hours a week for Weimaraner Rescue of South Carolina, there is no disconnect between being involved in breeding and working in rescue. “Breed enthusiasts see rescue as part of the big picture of the things we should be doing,” she says. “The Weimaraners in rescue are the product of unethical breeding every single time. I spend many hours a week trying to undo problems that unethical breeders have caused. The best thing we can do is to educate people so that they don’t buy puppies from these folks. Then they will stop producing.” Melissa has some solutions for people who really want a purebred, but also want to help promote dog welfare on a larger scale. “In a perfect home, everyone should have one really well bred dog and one rescue,” she says. “That way each dog will have a companion, you are supporting the good work that is being done by ethical breeders, and you are helping to solve the problems that the people who aren’t doing good work have created.”
ETHICAL BREEDER CHECKLIST
If you are interested in getting a purebred puppy, how can you tell that you are getting one from an ethical breeder? Start by calling the breed’s national club and ask for the breeder referral person. Call that person and tell them you want to get a puppy from an ethical breeder. It is not enough to simply look on the website and call a breeder listed there. When you find a breeder, make sure that they are doing these things: • Health certificates on both parents. Every breed has different things they check for. Most require at least that hips be checked for dysplasia and eyes be checked for various disorders. • Third party evaluation and validation of the structural quality of the parent dogs. Usually this means the parents have competed in dog shows and won at least a championship. Puppies also might be evaluated for their conformation and quality by an outside consultant. • Contracts to make sure that puppies cannot become foundation stock for an unethical breeding program. This includes limited registration for puppies that are not considered high enough quality to be breeding stock. • Contracts stating the breeder will take back any puppy they ever bring into the world for any reason. • Behavior and temperament will be as important as health. The breeder will only breed dogs with good temperaments. • Proper puppy care: the breeder does early stimulation and handles the puppies when they are very young, and continues socializing them as they get older and are ready to go to their new homes. Right: Melissa Hartley with a Elbereth, a dog she bred.
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The Happiest Dogs by Pam Gleason
our beagles wearing tracker collars spiked with orange antennae F are on the move through the underbrush at Longleaf Preserve in Aiken. They sniff and run, circle, and then sniff and run some more.
Then one of them catches a scent, gives tongue, and the others join in. The hunt is on. The beagles push through the tangled vines and weeds in a thicket of pine trees. The undergrowth is so dense in the thicket you can only catch glimpses of their black and tan coats. It is amazing that
animals this small can yodel so loudly. “There it goes!” says one of the hunters who is following the pack on foot. There is a flash of movement, and a rabbit dashes out from the clump of trees where the beagles are baying, flies across the grass and disappears into another thicket. The beagles, their noses still to the ground, do not see that their quarry has escaped. But after a moment, one of them smells it, and they all scamper out after it. These beagles represent a new venture on the part of Why Worry Hounds, which is one of the foxhound packs in Aiken. Jeanie Thomas, one of the masters of foxhounds at Why Worry, explains that this kind of beagling follows many of the same traditions as foxhunting, except that the hounds are smaller, they are chasing rabbits and hares rather than foxes and coyotes, and the hunters are following them on foot rather than on horseback. Helen Dellacroce, who foxhunts with Why Worry, is the master of the beagle pack. She says that she became interested in beagling after members of the Ardrossan Beagles from Malvern, Penn. came to Aiken
with their pack on the way to a beagle trial in Georgia last year. “So many people turned out when they hunted here, including people
that used to foxhunt but can’t anymore,” she says. “I thought it would be a good thing to do. Once you love hunting, you love hunting.” The four beagles (two couple) that are hunting today are Why Worry’s first beagles, and they are all experienced dogs that have been trained to hunt rabbits and not go off on deer or other quarry. They were Helen Dellacroce with the Why Worry Beagles. acquired from the Octorara Beagles of Floyd, Virginia and have been in Aiken since just before Christmas 2014. “They’re older beagles that weren’t fast enough to keep up there, but they’re perfect for here,” says Helen. “They’re good for the terrain, and we aren’t really a young spry group here, so slower is fine. There are other places where people do some running, but here it’s mostly walking. We have a very relaxed atmosphere.” “They’re good for us to learn on,” adds Jeanie. This spring, Why Worry will be acquiring five more beagles from an established hunt in Virginia. They will also be adding a house dog of the Thomas’s, Frolic, to mix, giving them ten dogs. This is the number required to have a beagle pack recognized with the National Beagle Club of America. The plan is to keep going out as long as the weather is not too hot, and perhaps participating in some beagle trials down the road. “I’ve been told that beagling is the same as foxhunting, only at 1/16th scale,” says Helen. “I really enjoy it. It’s the camaraderie, the voice, the chase. The best part of it is that nobody gets hurt. You saw it – they’re hunting the rabbit, but they were nowhere near it. It’s fun for them, and for us to watch them – you get the whole thrill of the chase, and you don’t have to worry.”
Beagles in Aiken
The sport of beagling has a long history in Aiken. It goes back at least as far as the early 20th century when Louise Hitchcock, the godmother of the Aiken Winter Colony, maintained a large beagle pack at her
kennels near the Hitchcock Woods. According to Harry Worcester Smith’s book, Life and Sport in Aiken, Mrs. Hitchcock took her beagles out three mornings a week during the season. Although it is traditional to hunt on foot while beagling, Mrs. Hitchcock saw beagling as another opportunity to ride horses, and so the Aiken Beagles was a mounted hunt. Smith says it was good for children and for people who could not ride well enough to follow the Aiken Hounds drag hunt. According to Smith, when the beagle packs were first started in Aiken, their quarry was cottontail rabbits. However, there were not enough rabbits, and they didn’t go fast enough, so in the 1920s, Mrs. Hitchcock brought in jackrabbits from the West. To make sure that the jacks were happy and well fed, she planted gardens with carrots and lettuces for them to eat and set
comes from old French – a similar word was used to describe both a loud and noisy person and a small hunting dog as early as the 15th century. The beagles of today descend from small hunting hounds developed in England during the 18th century and are closely related to foxhounds. The actual origin of the modern beagle is often traced to a breeding program started in 1830 by the Reverend Phillip Honeywell who lived in Essex. The Beagle Club (England) was formed in 1890. Beagles were brought to the U.S. as early as 1840, and the breed was accepted by the AKC in 1885. In the U.S., Beagles can be registered in two sizes, 13-inch for those that stand 13 inches and smaller and 15-inch for those that stand between 13 and 15 inches. They are usually tricolor, but can be any regular hound color. They are scent hounds and rely strongly on their noses, which explains why they excel at hunting, and are prized as detection dogs – they are often employed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency and at airports where they sniff for contraband. They are good-natured, friendly, non-aggressive and have a reputation of being good with children. Although they are pack animals and can be prone to separation anxiety if they are left alone, as long as they are part of a loving family or are in a pack, they have a reputation as one of the happiest breeds of dogs. The beagle’s sunny nature does make him vulnerable. Because they are easy to handle and keep, beagles are often purpose-bred to be used in all kinds of laboratory testing in the United States, from basic biomedical research to cosmetics and human and veterinary medical testing. Beagle lovers have been trying to halt this practice for some time, and there is now a group call the Beagle Freedom project based in California that is devoted to acquiring these purpose-bred research beagles and finding them adoptive homes.
Best In Show and Beyond
Mrs. Hitchcock with the Aiken Beagles; 1920s
out food for them at “rabbit tables” in the woods. The Aiken Hounds always had to be kept away from the areas where Mrs. Hitchcock’s jackrabbits lived so that the foxhounds would not go after them. Today, in addition to the new beagle pack at Why Worry, Aiken also has a number of privately owned packs that compete in AKC hunting trials for beagles. Aiken has its own club, Poplar Branch Beagle Club, which has a clubhouse and a 100-acre fenced pen where it holds two AKC licensed field trials every year. This year, it also held two United Beagle Gundog Federation trials. Poplar Branch has over 30 members, and its field trials attract hundreds of beagle hunting enthusiasts from all over the Carolinas, as well as Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and Maryland. Apart from the clubs that are focused on field-trialing, there are also many people who keep beagles for actual rabbit hunting. In beagle trials the beagles track and trail rabbits, but no one kills them. Beagles that are actually hunting “jump” rabbits from their cover so that they can be shot. There are some divisions of AKC field trials designed especially for gundogs. Although no one actually shoots a rabbit during these “gundog brace trials” and “hunt tests for two couple braces,” the rules call for a gun to be fired at some point during the performance to test for gun shyness. The United Beagle Gundog Federation trials include conformation classes as well as hunting tests.
Beagle-type dogs have been used to hunt rabbits and small game at least as far back as the time of the ancient Greeks. The word “beagle” probably
The beagle has been one of America’s favorite dogs for generations. According to the AKC’s annual survey released in February, it is currently the fifth most popular breed in the U.S. It has been in the top ten in this country for many decades and held the number one spot from 1953 to 1959 – dates that roughly coincide with the rising popularity of Charles Schultz’s comic strip Peanuts that featured Snoopy, the world’s most recognizable beagle. Beagles may have been created for the field, but these days they are also making a name for themselves in the show ring. In 2008, a beagle named Uno became the first dog of his breed to be crowned Best In Show at the
Miss P, Best in Show, Westminster 2015 Westminster Kennel Club – he became a superstar for the way he handled the win, baying and barking to cheer his victory. In the 2015 show, Miss P, a 15-inch tri-color beagle from Canada, became the second beagle to take the title. Miss P is Uno’s grandniece and is co-owned by Eddie Dziuk, (who is also a co-owner of Uno), and the mother-and-daughter team of Lori and Kaitlyn Crandlemire.
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New Owners for Bone-i-fide Bakery European Accent at Dog Boutique by Pam Gleason, Photography by Gary Knoll
arc and Doriane Delcuvellerie come from the south of France near Marseille. There, they owned and ran a small restaurant, serving vacationers and beachgoers who came to enjoy the Mediterranean. It sounds like an idyllic life, but the couple wanted something different. “We wanted to move; we didn’t know where,” says Marc, whose English accent is explained by the fact that his mother is from England. “We found out about Bone-i-fide Bakery through the wonders of the Internet.”
Bone-i-fide, located on Laurens Street, is a dog bakery and boutique that serves fresh-baked dog biscuits and sells a variety of dog and cat food and supplies. Founded about 12 years ago, it has a dedicated
following. People come in for the food and treats, or for grooming services provided by Doggy Need a Do in the back of the store. Bone-ifide has been through several different owners over the years. The most recent proprietor, Carly Jordan, had done well with the store, but last spring decided to take a job in the education field, which is what she went to school for, and so decided to sell it. When Marc and Doriane first heard about the bakery, they were intrigued. “We love pets,” says Marc. “I had a horse when I was young and I have had dogs and cats. We know food because we had a restaurant. But when we found out about this store, we at first thought it might be only a fashion because these types of business do not exist in Europe. Then we checked it out more deeply and we found out that there are a lot of businesses like this in the States, and there have been for more than 20 years, so it’s not just a fashion.” The Delcuvelleries came to visit Aiken, looked at the store, examined the operation and liked what they saw. They were particularly impressed with Bone-i-fide’s Laurens Street location. They decided to make a go of it, bought the business and moved here in October along with their three pet cats. They have been running the store ever since. Marc, who has an uncle who lives in Hilton Head, says that he and his wife have found Aiken to be very warm and welcoming. “We are learning the country and new ways of doing things. Business is different here; people are different,” he says. When asked what he means, he smiles. “People are more friendly here – we aren’t used to having so many friendly people around us.” Marc and Doriane have been working on some updates to the layout of the store, but they are keeping the business essentially the same, at least for the time being. They will continue to bake dog treats using the same recipes, and they are stocking the same premium brand dog foods, toys, and other items. The first major change they are planning is to the grooming area. Doggy Need a Do does a brisk business, and the space where they operate is in need of some updates. And the future? “We have loads of plans,” says Marc. “But we can’t talk about them yet.” One thing he can reveal is that Bone-i-fide will have a presence this May at Woofstock, the animal and music festival held to benefit the Aiken County Animal Shelter. “We want people to know about us and know we are here,” he says. Running a dog boutique in America is quite different from running a restaurant in the south of France, but Marc says that he and Doriane are enjoying learning the new business. “I’ve always loved dogs and animals in general,” says Marc. “Doing something good for an animal is wonderful. You can see it when you give a treat to a dog. The first time they don’t know what they are going to get; the second time they’re excited and happy. It makes you feel good.”
The Dog & Hound
Curing Heartworm Advances in Treatment by Pam Gleason
uring heartworm disease may be getting easier, thanks to a growing understanding of some bacteria that live in the worms themselves. These bacteria, called Wolbachia, can be found on myriad types of worm and insect throughout the world. For many of its hosts, including the heartworm, Wolbachia is not so much a parasite as it is a coconspirator, helping out in a variety of ways. It may assist the worm’s digestion, provide immunity to diseases and even aid in reproduction. Wolbachia is not so nice to everyone, however. In fact, the dog’s immune response to the bacteria may cause almost as much damage as heartworms themselves. The good news is that Wolbachia is easy to kill – it can be done with a simple course of antibiotics. This understanding is causing a small but clear improvement in heartworm treatment and its prognosis. Wolbachia may, in fact, be the heartworm’s Achilles heel. It seems that if you kill the bacteria, it is much easier to kill the worms themselves.
Heartworm disease, endemic in the Southeast and in many other parts of the country, is a serious condition caused by string-like worms that take up residence in a dog’s heart, lungs and associated blood vessels. Any dog owner whose dog regularly visits a veterinarian has heard about the importance of regular dosing with heartworm preventives to keep this from happening. To understand the problem, it helps to know something about the heartworm lifecycle. Heartworms go through four major stages of development: microfilariae, larvae, immature adults, and mature adults that can reproduce. It starts with a female worm living inside an infected dog. She mates with a male worm and produces thousands of microscopic baby worms called microfilariae. The microfilariae circulate in the bloodstream. When a mosquito bites the dog, it takes in the microfilariae. Once inside the mosquito, the microfilariae develop into infective larvae. When an infective mosquito bites a dog, the larvae are deposited on the skin, and then enter the dog’s body through the puncture wound made by the mosquito. The larvae spend 45 to 65 days living in the dog’s tissues where they molt and become immature adults. At this point, they enter the bloodstream and begin to travel toward the heart and lungs. By about six months after infection, most worms have installed themselves in the main blood vessels around the heart, where they mature, mate, and produce thousands more microfilariae to begin the whole process again. Without treatment, adult heartworms can live as long as five or six years. During this time, a dog that is not on preventive treatment may be infected by more worms if he is bitten by more infective mosquitoes. The adult worms inside him can’t give him more worms, however, because baby worms need to go into a mosquito to mature.
Diagnosis and Cure
In the early stages, heartworm disease causes few or no symptoms. Dogs can be diagnosed via two different laboratory tests. One checks for microfilariae in the bloodstream. The other tests for an antigen that the female worm produces . There is no test to see if larval worms are in the tissue, and the antigen test can’t tell if there is an immature worm in the bloodstream. This means that for roughly five months while heartworms are developing, a dog might be infected but test negative on every available test. This is why dogs need to be retested in six months after their first negative test. Curing heartworm disease is easy and inexpensive if you do it quickly enough. For the first 30-45 days after heartworm larvae enter their host, they are generally totally eliminated by a number of different, safe and
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effective deworming compounds. (This is your heartworm “preventive:” it prevents heartworm disease by ridding the dog of heartworms before they have a chance to do any damage.) However, if you don’t hit heartworm larvae before they molt, become young adults and enter the bloodstream, killing them becomes more problematic. In the old days, dogs with heartworms in their pulmonary and circulatory systems were treated with harsh, arsenic-based compounds that killed worms pretty effectively. Unfortunately the treatment might kill the dog too. There were two reasons for this. One was that the drugs themselves were pretty toxic, especially to the kidneys. The other was that they killed the worms so quickly, a heavily infected dog’s heart and lungs might be overwhelmed with dead and dying worms causing thromboembolism – blood clots that block circulation. Today, there is one drug on the market that is approved for use against adult heartworms. This drug, melarsomine dihydrochloride, is made by Merial and goes by the brand name Immiticide. It is delivered as an intramuscular injection. The American Heartworm Society recommends that it be given in a series of three shots. The first shot eliminates approximately 50% of the worms. Then, the dog is allowed to rest and recover for a month, which gives his body a chance to start clearing dead worms from his system. Then he returns for two more shots given 24 hours apart. These two shots together eliminate approximately 98% of the worms in his body. Like its predecessors, Immiticide is an arsenic-based compound with a fairly narrow margin of safety. It is injected into the muscles of the back. Dogs being treated with Immiticide must remain as quiet as possible, preferably on crate rest, until the treatments are complete. Due to the possibility of a severe reaction, they sometimes stay at the vet for observation for a day or two after the shot. The vast majority of dogs will have their heartworms cleared and test heartworm negative six months after this treatment. Like all dogs, they need to be maintained on monthly preventive to kill any larval worms they may be harboring. Immiticide treatment works well, but there are some drawbacks. Although most dogs have mimimal side effects from the drug, the treatment can be painful, or hard for the dog to tolerate, especially if he is older. It is also very expensive: depending on where the treatment takes place, it can cost $300 to $800 or more. Finally, there are occasional shortages of the drug. Although Immiticide is the only approved treatment for adult heartworms, some veterinarians advocate an alternative called slow kill (sometimes soft kill) which involves administering prophylactic doses of heartworm medicine at regular monthly intervals. This prevents the dog from acquiring any new worms, and it weakens the adult worms that are already present, shortening their lifespan. The idea is to wait for the adults to die, which can take a year or even two. The advantage to this method is that the treatment can be less stressful and dangerous, and it is certainly many times less expensive. One drawback is that using slow kill methods may be contributing to a small but alarming number of heartworms that have developed resistance to preventives. Another is that it doesn’t stop the damage caused by heartworms quickly enough
and therefore some veterinarians considered it more stressful and dangerous than Immiticide treatment. “While you are waiting for the worms to die, they are still harming the dog,” says Dr. Wallace Graham, a veterinarian at VCA Oso Creek Animal Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas. Dr. Graham is a past president of the American Heartworm Society and currently sits on its board of directors. “The main thing you need to realize is that exercise plus the existence of heartworms makes the damage to the heart worse. So while you are waiting on slow kill, you have to enforce exercise restrictions in order to reduce continuing pathology. If you have to wait a year, you’re talking about exercise restriction for a year, and I don’t know anyone promoting slow kill who currently does that. That’s troubling to me.” Dr. Graham goes on to say that the efficacy of slow kill treatments has not been proven. “The problem is that there may be information that shows that a particular treatment may make a heartworm test go negative even though the worms are still there,” he says.
were reduced by over 78%. Further studies have shown that this drug combination weakens and gradually kills adult worms so that many dogs test negative after a year. These preliminary results, have been welcomed by some in the animal sheltering world, who deal with large numbers of heartworm positive dogs on a regular basis. Because heartworm treatment is so expensive and involved, heartworm positive dogs are sometimes considered unadoptable and often have been euthanized rather than given the chance to find a home. Several local animal rescue groups are now using doxycycline and ivermectin on positive dogs, starting the treatment at the shelter. For instance, at the Aiken County Animal Shelter, heartworm positive dogs are now allowed on the adoption floor, whereas before, they were available for rescue only. Friends of the Animal Shelter (FOTAS) provides adopters with doxycycline and a six-month course of ivermectin, as well as a follow-up visit with a vet to make sure that the treatment has worked. The total cost for all the medications is under $100. There are some other treatments, too. Dr. Charlie Timmerman from Kill the Bacteria, Kill the Worm the Aiken Veterinary Clinic has been practicing veterinary medicine in According to Dr. Graham, Immiticide treatment is the way to go, and this area for 45 years, and he believes in giving people choices. it is better tolerated now that the treatment protocol also includes “There are, or should be, alternative treatment methods available antibiotics, which are given to to interested parties,” he says. the dog about a month before the “Alternative treatments, just first shot. The antibiotics kill the like conventional treatments, PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE Wolbachia that live in the worms, have positives and negatives,” he “We get a lot of questions about the safety of the preventive,” says Dr. and everything goes much more continues. “Some of these have to Graham. “What people need to know is that hundreds of millions of smoothly and easily. Why, exactly, do with side effects, and some with doses have been safely used in dogs for a long time. Their safety profile does this work? economics.” is very good – it is much better than it is for many drugs that people “We’re still learning about the He says he had good results don’t think twice about using. Some drugs used in human medicine, significance of Wolbachia,” Dr. for 35 years using a combination for instance, some over-the-counter pain killers, have a safety profile Graham says. “It’s a relatively recent of Heartgard (ivermectin) with that is worse.” development in our understanding Levamisole, a dewormer that has This is not to say that it is impossible to harm a dog with heartworm of heartworm disease, and to create potent effects against microfilariae preventive. However, according to Dr. Graham, most dogs that have a really well designed-study that will and is also being studied for its complications are not given the medication in the correct dosage. For further clarify its role will take time. ability to stimulate the immune instance, some people use ivermectin that is formulated for livestock The main thing we know is that system. rather than pills created especially for dogs and accidentally overdose Wolbachia benefits the heartworm, “Adding doxycycline has made a their animals. perhaps in its ability to avoid the big difference,” he says. After going There are also some dogs, mostly from herding breeds, that have a dog’s immune system.” through the three-drug protocol, genetic sensitivity to ivermectin and a number of other drugs. These The benefits of eliminating most dogs test negative within six dogs are more likely to have a bad reaction to dewormers, especially if Wolbachia don’t stop there, either. months. If they still test positive they are accidentally given a high dose. “We also know that when you at that point, then the dog’s owner For this reason, it used to be that people were warned not to kill Wolbachia with a 30-day course has the option of using Immiticide give ivermectin to collies, Australian Shepherds, collie crosses and of doxycline this will sterilize the or continuing on preventives to kill suspected collie crosses with white feet. Now, however, the gene that microfilariae, so another benefit the remaining worms. is responsible for this multidrug sensitivity has been identified and is that if you use doxycycline, you “The good part is that you’ve any dog can be tested to discover whether he has the gene or not. A render that dog non-infective already killed 90 percent of veterinarian can perform the test, or you can have a test kit sent to you for a significant period of time,” everything, so the Immiticide is in the mail. All you need to do is collect some of your dog’s DNA by continues Dr. Graham. “Killing the not going to be that tough,” says swabbing the inside of his cheek, then send the sample back to the lab Wolbachia also significantly reduces Dr. Timmerman. “But since we’ve to be tested. pathology in the lungs, and reduces started using doxycycline, almost all Kits are available from the Washington State University Clinical complications from the dying the dogs are coming up negative in Pathology Lab, and are sent out at no charge. When you send in worms. After a course of Doxycline, six months.” your sample, you pay $60 for the test to be performed. (http://www. heartworms also lose weight. With Anyone who has had to deal vetmed.wsu.edu/depts-vcpl/) Immiticide, most of the time, there with heartworm would probably are few direct drug side effects; the welcome a new, better, faster, less problems come from the dead and expensive and more dog-friendly cure. Researchers studying the worms dying worms. With doxycycline, the worms are smaller, there is less and ways to kill them have made some good progress over the last biomass of worms that are dying, and that makes it easier for the dog.” decade or so, but there is still work left to do. Is there anything new on Doxycycline is also being used in combination with slow kill-type the horizon? methods with some promising results. Teams led by Dr. John W. “I’m not a betting man,” says Dr. Graham. “If I were, I would bet that McCall at the University of Georgia Athens have been studying various someone is working on a new molecule or a new treatment. But most of treatments using combinations of ivermectin and doxycycline for many the time, if you have someone working on a really novel treatment, you years. In 2008, they published a paper that showed that heartworm aren’t going to know about it – it will be a closely held secret. They don’t infected dogs treated with combinations of doxycycline and ivermectin want anyone else to find out about it and steal it.” for nine weeks became non-infective and that their adult worm loads
The Dog & Hound
A Fresh Start
New Shelter Delivers on Promises by Pam Gleason
n March 2014, the first dogs and cats moved from the old Aiken County Animal Shelter to the new one. The old shelter, built in 1990, was designed to hold 100 animals, but routinely had 200 on its grounds. It was dilapidated, inadequate and depressing. The new shelter, by contrast, is bright, sunny and welcoming. As shelter staff and volunteers from Friends of the Animal Shelter (FOTAS) walked the dogs to the new shelter from the old one last year, many swore that the animals were just as excited as they were. The people knew that this was a giant step for animal welfare in Aiken County, and whether the dogs knew that or not, they probably picked up on the optimistic sentiment that vibrated down to them through their leashes. A year later, the new shelter buzzes with activity. There are friendly volunteers at a counter in the high-ceilinged lobby. Sunlight filters into the room, which is decorated with giant murals. Two brightlycolored cat condos have been installed in the lobby. They have Plexiglas windows and the look of Danish children’s furniture. These are expensive items, donated by FOTAS, and the cats in them look comfortable and secure. The action in the lobby is nonstop. People are coming to adopt, volunteers to walk the dogs and play with the cats. There are school groups, and visits from Girl Scout troops, and visits from city officials in other counties who want to make their animal shelters better, too. The atmosphere here couldn’t be much more different than it was at the old facility. “When I give a tour, I tell people that the shelter is divided into three sections: the good, the bad, and the ugly,” says Martha Chadwick, who was hired as the Animal Shelter Director in August. “The good is the adoption side. That’s where all the animals have made it to freedom and they’re ready to find their new homes. They are moving up. The bad is here, the administration side and the vet side. It’s not really bad, it’s just that this is where we have our vet office. People are anxious when they have to go to the doctor and animals are
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anxious when they have to go to the vet. People are anxious here, too, because people bring animals to surrender on this side. That makes people’s stress levels high – maybe they can’t afford the animal any more or they have to move and their new landlord won’t allow pets. Then there are people who are coming here to ask for help, and that can be stressful, too.” It’s just a short walk outside to what Martha calls the ugly side. This is the intake side, where the stray animals stay during the holding period while they are waiting to be reclaimed by their owners, or waiting for a court date, or waiting to be put on the adoption floor. “I call it ugly, because it is,” she says, gesturing toward a row of kennels that are open to the outside. They are very clean, but every one is full. “The ugly truth is that we are an open admissions facility for all of Aiken and Edgefield counties. We take in 5,000 animals a year, and that’s ugly. The numbers we take in are coming down a little, and we’re moving in the right direction, but it’s still too many. The animals on this side could be anything. They could be sick, vicious, malnourished, abused, or friendly and sweet. But they have one thing in common. All of them are going to be homeless.” Although it is true that there are too many animals in intake, it is also true that the ugliness that Martha is referring to is nothing like what it used to be. This is partly due to having a vastly improved facility with the room and the equipment to house animals safely and hygienically. But it has often been said that buildings cannot save animals, only
people can save animals. If there has been a sea change in the Aiken County Animal Shelter, it may have more to do with people: the staff, the volunteers, and members of the Aiken community. One main difference between the new shelter and the old is that the old shelter was operated by the Animal Services Division under the county’s Public Works Department. Now, county government has been restructured so that Animal Services is its own department. The new department has a special focus on offering animals for rescue and adoption and helping to ensure animal welfare throughout the county. Martha Chadwick’s manager role is a new one. In the past, Bobby Arthurs, who is the Chief Animal Control Officer, tried to juggle both jobs. Now, with Martha overseeing the shelter side, Bobby is free to do his work out in the county. There are other new positions as well. Annette Van Der Walt, known for her dedication to animal rescue as well as for the expressive pictures she takes of shelter animals, is the adoption coordinator. She works tirelessly to find animals new homes, whether through direct adoption at the shelter or by sending them to rescue groups that will be able to place them. There is a new focus on improving outcomes, not just for the most adoptable pets, but for the more difficult cases as well. There is a vet on staff who comes in five days a week and works part time hours, doing spay and neuter surgeries (there are a lot of these) and overseeing the medical care of all the animals. “They’re looked at every day,” says Martha. “It’s an exciting thing for animal welfare.” Other things have changed, too. In the old days, the shelter had an after-hours drop-off pen, where people could leave animals with no questions asked. Now, everyone giving up an animal, whether it is a stray or an owner surrender, has to come when the shelter is open and go through an intake interview. “We treat them just like a patient coming into the emergency room,” says Martha. “Even if you’ve only had the animal for half an hour since you picked it up on the street, you are
going to know more about that animal than we are.” Even though intake has gone down only slightly, all of these other changes are having a real impact. As one measure, the improvement in outcomes for animals has been dramatic. From 2013 to 2014, (which included almost three months at the old shelter) adoptions were up 38%. Transfers to rescue groups and no kill shelters were up 63%. In all, 2255 animals were successfully rehomed, almost 49% more than the year before. The first three months of this year were even better – in January alone, 237 animals were adopted or rescued. The euthanasia rate, averaging over 90% in 2009 when FOTAS first got started, dropped to 25%, an all-time monthly low. At the same time, community programs at the shelter multiplied and volunteer hours soared. FOTAS says that its 225 volunteers put in over 14,000 hours last year, the equivalent of seven full time staff positions. Jennifer Miller, who is the president of FOTAS, says that she is thrilled by the way things are going. And she should be: FOTAS was the impetus behind the construction of the $2.2 million facility. Volunteers lobbied for a new shelter for years, raising money first for construction plans, and then for thousands of dollars worth of shelter furnishings. The whole project was a public-private partnership that has been very successful so far. “One of the things we wanted to do was make it a nice place, a place where people would want to come,” says Jennifer. “That was very important to us: this is a community shelter, and we want the community to be part of it. We’ve had a big increase in the number of FOTAS volunteers we have working there now and they have a great partnership with the staff.” Martha Chadwick agrees. “There’s a sense of community here,” she says. She gestures to walking paths behind the shelter where volunteers are taking the dogs for exercise. The Cedar Creek Men’s club made signs for the paths. Behind the shelter, some Boy Scouts will be getting to work on an Eagle Scout Project to build a rain shelter for an exercise pen. A Girl Scout troop just left, but will return next week with beds and toys they are making for the cats. “The county has a mission to serve its citizens,” says Martha. “We’re working on a new mission statement for our staff here, too. This is a great place for people to come if they want to be with animals. We want to make it better.”
The Dog & Hound
Enjoying the Dog Life by Pam Gleason
he grass is green, the sky is blue and the weather is not too hot. T It’s a great time to be out doing things with your dog. Take a walk in the woods, have a run, go to the dog park. You can also take a class,
learn a new sport or work on basic manners and obedience. In this area, there are even a number of festivals and events that celebrate dogs while raising money to help them. So get your dog, go out and do something!
Doxie Derby at Woofstock
Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 2 to be sure not to miss the fourth annual Woofstock at the Aiken County Animal Shelter. Woofstock is put on by Friends of the Animal Shelter (FOTAS) and is a dogs, cats and music festival to benefit the shelter. The day begins at 10 a.m. with Aiken’s very first “Doxie Derby.” This is a series of eight to ten races for Dachshunds. Organizers say that Doxies can move faster than you think and they’ll be proving that in a series of 75-foot-long races. The plan is to run the full card then pit the first place winners against one another to crown the overall “Wiener Winner.” There will be a trophy and a purse of $225 ($100.00 for first, $75.00 for second and $50.00 for third.) Do you have a fast wiener dog? Sign him up! No prior race experience is necessary. (Register in advance:
$20.00, or the day of the event: $25.00. ) ) Don’t have a Doxie? Donate a minimum of $5 to sponsor the races and be entered into a drawing to win $300. There are other events too: afternoon dog contests will determine which dog is the best kisser in Aiken, which has the cleverest trick and which has the cutest costume. Who has the prettiest dog? The biggest dog? The smallest dog? Has your dog ever played musical chairs (in this case musical pads?) Here is his chance. There will be prizes and ribbons from first to third place. The master of ceremonies of the event will be Barclay Bishop from NBC 26 News in Augusta. There will also be children’s activities, raffle baskets, free giveaways, food vendors, exhibitors and more. See www.FOTASAiken.org for further information, to register or to make a donation.
Yappy Hour and More at the SPCA Albrecht Center
When the weather gets nice that means it’s time for Yappy Hour at the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare on Willow Road in Aiken.
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Yappy Hour is a dog friendly cocktail party held the first Wednesday of every month from 6 to 9 p.m. There is a cash bar and snacks, along with live music, all held on the grounds of the new, state-of-the-art Albrecht Center. Bring your dog, too, if he is a party animal. Well-behaved dogs are invited to join in the festivities and to play in the adjoining Aiken Dog Park, which has an inviting splash pool and separate areas for big and small dogs. Admission is free. On May 1, the Albrecht Center will be holding a live performance of the comedy Here on the Flight Path, written by Norm Foster. The performance is from 7 to 10 p.m. and proceeds from ticket sales ($10) will go toward spay and neuter assistance. Beer and wine will be available at the shelter starting at 6 p.m., and shelter tours are also available at that time. (Do you need to add a dog to your family? There are some great dogs waiting.) The venue is intimate and tickets will go fast, so reserve yours today – you don’t want to be left out. (www. LetLoveLive.org)
Tricks Classes at Aiken Pet Fitness
Did you ever fantasize about showing off your dog’s amazing tricks? Do you want your dog to do tricks, but you don’t know how to train for them? If you are in Aiken, you are in luck because you can take your future star to a tricks training class at Aiken Pet Fitness and Rehabilitation on Willow Run Road. Classes are Monday nights at 6 and 7 p.m., from April 13-May 11. Tricks that will be taught include bowing, crawling, crawling through tubes, ringing bells, “wipe your paws”, figures of eight between the
owners’ legs and more. Dr. Sybil Davis, who owns Aiken Pet Fitness and runs the classes, finds interesting tricks from a variety of different places, and there is always something new. Classes are generally divided into beginner and experienced groups. Class size is limited and the fee is $100 for 5 weeks. (www.petfitnessandrehab.com) Call (803) 226-0012 to sign up.
Obedience and Agility at Palmetto Dog Club If you want to get more serious about dog training, look into classes at the Palmetto Dog Club. The Palmetto Dog Club has a fenced training field on Banks Mill Road next to Citizen’s Park. The club offers a range of classes, including puppy socialization, obedience and several levels of agility. Classes are outside and take place on Saturdays and Sundays. Palmetto Dog Club is run by people who really love their dogs and it has a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. It’s a great place to go, whether you are an experienced dog handler or are looking into serious training for the first time. Early spring classes are full, but a new series will start up again in May. Visit the website for more information. www. palmettodogclub.org.
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. Hours of operation: MonSat. 11 am - 5 pm. Weekly offsite
adoptions at Aiken Petsmart, 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! More than just bird dogs. Many beautiful purebred Pointers of all ages available for pets or for 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. email@example.com. www.horsesandhoundsaiken.com Pet sitting, farm sitting, expert horse care. References available. Mary Jane Howell. 802.295.8294 TRAINING Palmetto Dog Club. Training classes, puppy socialization, obedience,
rally & agility. 803-262-9686. www. palmettodogclub.org.
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The Dog & Hound
The Walk by Mike Ford
ould you hurry up. It’s cold, and I want to go inside.”
Andy is taking forever to pee. Correction. Andy is taking forever to finish peeing. He’s already watered three trees, six fence posts, a tractor tire, and the feed bin in the barn. But he’s not done yet. He lifts his leg, and a few drops anoint a clump of frozen horse manure. Then he stomps on to the next thing. Inside, he wears a belly band, as he tends to leak. So outside time is all about free-range peeing. Also, sniffing. There are so many things on the farm that need sniffing. In the 15 minutes that we’ve been outside, he’s covered only a small number of them. Now I’m asking him to wrap it up so that we can go in.
I want to get back inside, not only because it’s freezing, but because I have things to do: dinner to make, laundry to fold, emails to answer. I’m tired from a day of caring for horses, caring for my elderly mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, and all of the other demands on my time. Andy and the other dogs have been in and out half a dozen times already. The others are happy to do their business and get back inside, but Andy is being typically stubborn. Instead of heading toward the door, he ambles in the other direction, following the pasture fence toward the field at the other end of the property. Annoyed, I trot after him. When he sees me coming, he turns and growls, his tail straight up and vibrating. This is all part of the game. He knows I’m going to pick him up and carry him to the house. I tell myself that he likes this, and I think he does. But as I bend to scoop him up, I suddenly think about Nadine Strossen, the former president of the
The Dog & Hound
American Civil Liberties Union. Twenty-five years ago, I was asked to write an entry on Strossen for Current Biography magazine. There are many remarkable things about her, but what has stayed with me is the reason she once gave for not having children—she didn’t want to subject another living creature to any kind of oppression, no matter how well-intentioned or, in the case of parenting, necessary. The relationship between humans and dogs is a curious one. We take them away from their natural families and make them part of ours. We decide when, if at all, they will have offspring of their own, and often we take that offspring away from them as well. We decide when they eat, what it is, and how much of it they get. We dictate when they eliminate, when they play, and when they sleep, almost always asking them to accommodate our own schedules, needs, and desires. We sometimes leave them alone for long periods while we go off to entertain ourselves, but want them to be ready and willing to interact with us when we have time for them. In return, they give us everything. And so I put Andy down. He looks at me, suspicious. “Go on,” I tell him. “But I’m coming with you, because there are foxes and you’re not all that big.” He walks, and I follow behind as he travels the length of the field, then turns and heads to the far pasture. In truth, nothing remarkable happens. No great epiphanies are experienced. The world doesn’t look all that different than it usually does. If anything, I get colder and a little more tired. At the same time, something completely wonderful takes place. For half an hour, my dog and I walk together. He gets to do exactly what he wants to, with no demands from me (although I do stop him from eating a horse apple, because I know it will set off his pancreatitis). For those 30 minutes, he is purely himself. We go inside when he decides it’s time. Dinner, my mother, and the emails are still waiting. But those things no longer seem quite so pressing, and I realize that the times when I rush the dogs through their outside time (sometimes even reminding them that they’re putting me behind schedule), I’m not really achieving anything. Rarely will those few extra minutes make my life any easier. But they will make life better for my dogs. It’s their time, and I owe it to them to let them have it. Later, after the dinner dishes are washed, my mother has been put to bed, and I’ve made one final check on the horses, I sit down to watch a movie I’ve been trying to watch for four days. It’s almost 11, and the first time I’ve had to myself all day. As I start the movie, Andy curls up beside me on the couch. Lillie and George are on my lap, and Greta is on the cushion behind my head. I think about how long the movie is, calculate the hours until I have to get up and do this all over again, and start to worry that sitting here for two hours isn’t worth it. I feel my stress level start to rise, and the alltoo-familiar anxiety start to kick in. There’s never enough time. Outside, the moon is full and the night clear. I turn off the television. The dogs, thinking we’re heading upstairs to bed, stir. But I have a better idea. “Hey,” I say. “Who wants to go for a walk?” Michael Thomas Ford was nominated for a Maxwell award from the Dog Writers Association of America for his work in The Dog & Hound.
The Dog and Hound Spring 2015 issue features Beagles. We also have articles on heartworm treatment, ethical breeding and so much more!
Published on Apr 28, 2015
The Dog and Hound Spring 2015 issue features Beagles. We also have articles on heartworm treatment, ethical breeding and so much more!