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Volume 5 • Number 3

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Summer 2016

P.O. Box 332 • Montmorenci, SC 29839-0332 • 803.643.9960 •

www.TheDogAndHound.com • Editor@TheDogAndHound.com

Time Dated Material • Periodicals • Volume 5 • Number 3

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know everyone might not agree with me, but I think dogs are endlessly fascinating. Although they have been our companions for centuries, they have been the subject of serious study for only a few decades. In that time, we have learned a lot. There is still so much more to find out. First, there are the fundamental questions: how did dogs get to be dogs? Where did they come from? Why are they so good at living with humans, how many things can you train them to do, how much language can they understand? How much like us are they in their ability to love, to fear, to learn? Then there are things to discover about the culture, breeding and training of dogs, and questions about how we can improve the lives of those that are homeless, or those whose owners may not have the resources to care for them when they are injured or fall ill. These days, there are people asking these questions all over the world, and coming up with answers that are sometimes surprising and often challenging to our preconceived notions. On balance, the answers are also hopeful: problems that once seemed insurmountable may have practical solutions; dog people, like their dogs, have reasons to be optimistic about the future. For the most part, things are getting better. This issue gave us the chance to meet so many interesting people and dogs and to further our education about the dog world. For instance, we got to find out about Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, our featured breed for this issue. Unfamiliar with Swissys? Read about them on page 12. We also caught up with volunteers from Aiken’s FOTAS (Friends of the Animal Shelter) who have

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implemented an innovative new program at the Aiken County Animal Shelter that allows shelter dogs to burn off steam in play groups. We stopped by the veterinary clinic at the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare and talked to Kim Kavin, author of the new book The Dog Merchants. We have articles about all of these things, and we hope you will enjoy them. Just over a year ago, I wrote about Sonny, an older, heartworm positive English Pointer that we helped get out of a shelter and into the care of Pointer Rescue Organization. Sonny, who was skinny with a poor coat and pressure sores on his legs from long term kennel life, surprised us when we brought him home for a week. He happily showed us that he knew everything about living in a house. We guessed that at some point, years earlier, he must have been someone’s beloved companion. He wasn’t always a kennel dog. He knew a thing or two about the good life, and he seemed relieved to finally be somewhere where people understood that. Sonny went on to a long term foster home to get healthy and then was adopted by a family that drove hundreds of miles to pick him up. Now he has his own children to play with and gets to participate in family outings. This spring, he let on a little more about his past. The family was talking about weekend plans, and when Sonny overheard them say the word “boat” he jumped up and started dancing. He knew everything about boats. It wasn’t long before he joined the family on a cruise to prove it. What else did Sonny do in his past life? Is his former owner, the one that loved him and took him boating, still out there somewhere? Did Sonny get lost or stolen? How did he end up where he was: sick, neglected and on death row? He is certainly a dog with a story, and I am glad that we got to play a small role in giving it some more chapters. We hope he continues to thrive and surprise his family with all the things he knows and can do. Enjoy this issue! Our next one, Fall, comes out in October. Do you have a story for us, or something we should be covering? Drop us an email and let us know. (Editor@thedogandhound.com)

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 editor@thedogandhound.com PHOTOGRAPHERS Pam Gleason Gary Knoll

Going Out Of Town? Don’t miss future issues of The Dog and Hound. We will send you a one year subscription (4 issues) for $14.00. Just send us a check or credit card & your mailing address: P.O. Box 332, Montmorenci, SC 29839 editor@thedogandhound.com Or sign up on the web at www.TheDogandHound.com

About the Cover

Our cover shows Hobbs (owned by Melissa Jarriel) and Dani (owned by Marissa Spruell) practicing brace drafting in the Hitchcock Woods. Hobbs and Dani are excellent representatives of their breed, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. Read about them on page 12. 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 2016 The Dog and Hound

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Table of Contents 6 8 12 14 16 18 20 22

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Dogs Playing for Life Dog News Swissys: The Swiss Mountain Knife of Dogs Silver Paws The Dog Merchants SPCA Clinic Local Calendar Mike’s Story

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Playing For Life

Playgroups Transform Shelter Story and photography by Pam Gleason

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t’s a sunny morning in May and a group of four dogs is playing in a fenced exercise area. Skye is probably the most enthusiastic. He’s a young black dog with pricked ears and looks like he might be part blue heeler. Paddy, a slender hound with an attractive tan coat, can almost match Skye in playfulness – he is more of a runner, while Skye is more of a wrestler. They are joined by Gator, a black and tan mixed breed, and Griselda, a striking blue pit bull with a wide smile. All four dogs dash across the grass, racing and play fighting. When they get hot, they rush over to a blue kiddy pool in one corner and throw themselves in it. They

for walks or for training makes a big difference in their mental health, but for some dogs, especially large young dogs from high energy breeds, this is not enough. They need to run, burn off steam and indulge their natural instinct to play. Not only are play sessions important for the dogs’ emotional wellbeing, they also give the animals a chance to demonstrate what they are really like. Many dogs that end up in shelters have their initial behavioral assessments done when they are first brought in, a time that is almost always stressful and frightening. They may later appear to be unfriendly when they are behind the gates of a kennel. But in many cases, the same dogs that are labeled aggressive or unadoptable in these situations undergo a complete transformation when they are allowed to interact with other dogs in a more natural setting. Playgroups also make it possible for all the dogs in the shelter to get out for as much exercise as they need even if there are only a few staff members and volunteers. They make it easier for the staff to keep the kennels clean, first because whole groups of dogs will be out for a long time, so it is possible to clean kennels while they are empty. Second, most dogs will not foul their kennels if they have the opportunity to relieve themselves outside. Dogs Playing for Life came to ACAS thanks to a grant from the Animal Farm Foundation, an organization dedicated to securing equal treatment for pit bull type dogs. Ellie Joos, a member of the board of directors of Friends of the Animal Shelter Aiken (FOTAS) and the organization’s onsite event chairperson, discovered DPFL last summer while attending the Best Friends Animal Society annual conference in Atlanta. She sat in on a seminar given by Aimee Sadler, and knew immediately that the program was needed. “Afterward, I saw Aimee in the hall, and I asked her how we could get a program going in Aiken, and she suggested we apply for a grant,” says Ellie. “We did, and the Animal Farm Foundation

are panting, hot, happy and wet. It is scene that looks like it might be taking place at any off leash dog park in America. Dogs are so hardwired for fun that most of them are quick to accept play invitations from other dogs they just met and throw themselves wholeheartedly into a rollicking good time. This is what happens at dog parks and it is what is happening here. The difference is that this is not a dog park. These dogs do not have owners to watch over them and take them home after playtime is over. This playgroup is at the Aiken County Animal Shelter, and the dogs in it have come out of shelter kennels, and will be returned to them as soon as they are tired. They are participating in an enrichment program called Dogs Playing for Life that has been improving the lives of shelter dogs across the North American continent for over two decades. The notion of allowing shelter dogs to interact, play and rough house would have been all but unthinkable at ACAS even just a few months ago. This shelter, like many others, is filled with dogs that have temperaments and past experiences that are often unknown. Many of them are pit bulls, or pit bull mixes. Playgroups, especially playgroups of more than two dogs, would have been considered far too risky. All that has changed now that Dogs Playing for Life has come to the shelter. The program was created by a dog trainer named Aimee Sadler, who is the director of behavior and training for the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation. Aimee Sadler is a specialist in behavioral problems who was working at a shelter when she realized that many of the undesirable things that shelter dogs do are the direct result of a lack of socialization, playtime and exercise. Taking dogs out of their kennels

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funded it fully.” Although DPFL looks simple (what is so complicated about dogs playing?) it is actually a carefully managed system that requires planning, preparation, knowledge and skill. This April, three representatives from the organization traveled to Aiken for a threeand-a-half day training session. It started with a mandatory PowerPoint presentation at the Aiken County Government Center, followed by three days of hands-on training at the shelter itself. The PowerPoint presentation attracted about 100 people interested in improving the

lives of shelter dogs, including representatives of shelters from across the state, many of whom stayed in Aiken for the entire three days so that they could observe DPFL in action. One of the most important things that DPFL volunteers learn is how to read and understand canine body language. It is crucial that they are able to recognize the warning signs that an encounter might be headed in the wrong direction so that they can redirect the dogs before there is an unpleasant event. If intervention does become necessary, the volunteers have a number of tools of differing strengths at their disposal, conveniently stored in a toolbelt. The first thing, before resorting to these tools, is a simple verbal warning (“eh-eh” spoken in a low voice.) If that doesn’t work volunteers have spray bottles filled with plain water that they can spray on the ground near the dogs’ feet. Moving up in severity is a shake can, which is a soda can filled with change that makes a noise when you shake it. Then there is a pet corrector, which is a spray can that makes a hissing sound. An air horn is the last resort before getting physical. And if physical intervention is necessary? Volunteers are taught the safest and most effective way to break up a dog fight. Fortunately, at the Aiken County Animal Shelter there haven’t been any dog fights, and volunteers have found that they rarely have to resort to anything beyond the water bottle. “It’s funny, though,” says Ellie. “Before we started play groups, if we ever let any two dogs out together and they looked at one another sideways, we would break it up immediately. But we have learned now to let them communicate. They are communicating, sharing

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information, and they will mostly work it out on their own. If it gets to the point where they start latching on to one another, we stop them, but most of the time a verbal correction in a low voice is all we need to do.” Groups are organized so that dogs with similar play styles are put together. The DPFL-trained volunteers assess each dog and assign that dog to a type. Today, the four dogs tearing around the large exercise area are categorized as “Rough and Rowdy.” In a smaller adjoining area, three calmer, older dogs are watching the younger ones play. These three are categorized as “Gentle and Dainty.” There are also categories for dogs that like to play chase games (“Seek and Destroy”) and for dogs that prefer games of strength (“Push and Pull.”) Some dogs are identified as Helper Dogs. These are dogs with such excellent social skills they are motivated to help timid or anxious dogs relax and integrate into a group. Darling Rios, a FOTAS volunteer who trained with DPFL, is in charge of today’s play group, while another volunteer observes and makes notes. The dogs playing today are mostly new to the program, since a large transport of dogs left for northern rescues just two days before. Darling and the other volunteers will use today’s notes when assembling new playgroups tomorrow. “I love this program,” she says. “Some dogs can’t get all their energy out on a walk. They need this. Gator over there, his energy level is sky high. It’s 10:30 and he’s been out here since 8:30, and he still isn’t worn out.” Any dog that is truly dog aggressive will not be able to join in, but beyond that, all the dogs on the adoption floor, and even some of the animals on the intake side, will have a chance to come out and play. “The program doesn’t discriminate,” says Ellie. The only extra precaution that ACAS has added to the DPFL protocol is that, when a pit bull type dog is first introduced to a group, he or she is required to wear a muzzle until the organizers are certain everything is okay. Once that assessment has been made, pit bulls can run and play like everyone else. So can dogs that have not been neutered yet, and even heartworm positive dogs – these dogs are limited to short play sessions for health reasons. It was a big change for the management to allow playgroups to come to the Aiken County Animal Shelter, but everyone can see a positive difference now that they have. FOTAS still needs volunteers to walk the dogs that have just had surgery since they can’t play, as well as dogs that have been involved with the playgroups, since play is just one aspect of a complete enrichment program. But DPFL has made it possible for all the dogs to go out every day and socialize, and for high energy dogs to get the exercise they need so badly. The dogs love the program, and the volunteers do, too. “One difference is that the dogs are happier,” says Ellie. “They play, then they go back in their kennels and relax. When you go through the kennel later, it’s quieter; there’s less barking. Plus, if someone pulls into the parking lot wanting to adopt and they see the dogs out here playing, they get to know them in a different light. They can see that they all get along, they see them happy, with wagging tails. It makes them more adoptable, and it’s fun.”

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Dog News by Pam Gleason

Farewell to a Hero

Bretagne, a Golden Retriever who was believed to have been the last surviving search-andrescue dog to work at the site of the World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks in 2001, died this June. She was two months shy of her 17th birthday. Bretagne was owned by Denise Corliss of Harris County, Texas. In September 2001, Bretagne and Denise were deployed to New York City by Texas Task Force I Urban Search and Rescue and spent 10 days combing the rubble, hoping to find survivors. Although they never uncovered any, Bretagne was famous for providing emotional support to people working at the scene, becoming a volunteer therapy dog in addition to her official duties. It was the first disaster deployment for both the dog and her owner/ handler.

Bretagne was the result of an unplanned breeding of two Golden Retrievers from field trial bloodlines. Denise got her when she was 8 weeks old, choosing her because, even at that young age, she showed the courage, determination and persistence that characterizes a good search and rescue dog. When Bretagne was a puppy, Denise diligently exposed her to all manner of new things hoping to accustom her to any stressful environment she might be thrown into. Before starting months of specialized search-and-rescue training, she took classes in obedience and agility. By 2000, when Bretagne was just over a year old, she and Denise were FEMA certified and became members of Texas Task Force I. Bretagne worked as a search and rescue dog for 9 more years after 9/11. She was deployed in

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the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ivan and other devastating storms. In 2009, she left Task Force I, but continued to do search and rescue work for her local Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department. After a few years there, suffering from arthritis, she retired from physically demanding work, but continued to serve the community as a therapy dog, participating in a weekly reading-to-dogs program in the local elementary school. Bretagne and Denise returned to the site of the World Trade Center two times. The first time, in 2014, they visited the 9/11 Memorial Museum, where they were interviewed by Tom Brokaw for the NBC Nightly News. The second time was last August when Bretagne was honored for her 16th birthday. She had her own billboard in Times Square, a party, a special gourmet hamburger, and, “the doggy equivalent of the key to the city,” which was a “bone to the dog park” (really a bone-shaped, engraved Tiffany dog tag thanking her for her service.)

In early June, Bretagne suffered from terminal kidney failure. Denise knew it was time and took her to the Cypress Animal Hospital in Fairfield, TX for one final visit. Members of the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department and Texas Task Force I greeted her there in uniform, saluting as she walked into the veterinary office. When her body came out half an hour later, covered in an American flag, they saluted again, this time with black bands on their arms. It was truly a hero’s farewell. Bretagne will continue to help other dogs and people even after her death. For years she has been participating in research conducted by the Penn Vet Working Dog Center at the University of Pennsylvania. This project examines the long-term health consequences to those who worked at ground zero after 9/11.

Bretagne’s autopsy, conducted at Texas A & M, will be her final contribution to that research.

Summer School is In

Too hot to play outside? Bring your dog in for some cool summer training and activities. If you are in Aiken, you’re in luck, because the summer session is “in” at the SPCA Albrecht Center for

Animal Welfare’s new dog training and activity program. “Summer is a great time to train your dog because there’s an indoor, air conditioned facility at the Albrecht Center,” says Trish Wamsat, the new head trainer at the center. “The days are longer, the heat is miserable and your dog is probably bored and may even be getting into trouble. Joining a class is a great way to spend time with your pup and get some manners instilled in a cool and happy environment.” Classes offered this summer include basic and off leash obedience, puppy kindergarten, preparation for the Canine Good Citizens test, scent tracking (“Fun with Find it”) and even pool play and herding. The pool play class will be on the patio of the SPCA and will involve a pool with a small ramp and a dock for dogs to get started in the sport of dock diving. Herding will take place early in the morning in a field behind the SPCA building. It’s open to all dogs that demonstrate a herding instinct – Trish will evaluate your dog if you are not sure. And what will the dogs learn to herd? “Ducks,” Trish replies. “Ducks herd a lot like sheep, and they are less arousing to most dogs so we can teach skills faster.” If you are interested, Trish suggests you read the herding section on her website so you will have an idea of what to expect. (www.trishwamsat.com) “As a trainer new to the area I’m seeing lots of people frustrated with the results they aren’t getting,” says Trish. “Aiken dog people are dying for a way to get fast results in a way that makes sense. We use a new approach to training with the ultimate goal of having a dog that is safe and polite around people, under voice and hand signal control when you need them to be. But

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we all love our dogs for who they are, and it is so important to preserve the qualities that make them special.” Trish will also offer a just-for-fun indoor summer play group, and on September 17, there will be a special event open to all dogs in the community that includes lure coursing, dachshund and terrier races. For more information, go to the “Training” tab on the SPCA Albrecht Center website: www. LetLoveLive.org.

Hot Dog Alert

It’s summer: the days are longer and there are so many outdoor activities you would like to enjoy with your dog. But when the weather heats up, so does the chance that you might accidentally subject your best friend to heat stress, burned paws, or even deadly heat stroke. Most dog lovers already know that they must never leave a dog in a parked car because temperatures can climb to deadly levels within a few minutes on a hot day, even with the windows cracked and the car in the shade. If you have a dog that loves riding in the car, this means that you have to be especially vigilant in

when it has been absorbing heat for a long time. Dark pavement is hotter than light-colored pavement, and all pavement will be hotter on bright sunny days with low humidity and little or no wind. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association measured the temperature of asphalt in the sun and found that it can get to 125 degrees when the air temperature is just 77 degrees. At an 87-degree air temperature, asphalt was measured at 143 degrees. Skin destruction can occur in 60 seconds at 125 degrees, and you can fry an egg in five minutes at 131. If you take your dog for a walk on the pavement at these temperatures, you might cause serious damage to his paws. Experts sometimes recommend testing the pavement with your bare hand (or foot.) If it is too hot for you, it is too hot for your dog. If your winter routine calls for a walk on the streets around your neighborhood, you might consider switching your summer routine to a walk in the woods. Whenever possible, let your dog walk in the grass or the dirt next to the pavement, rather than on paved areas

to work long past the time when they should have called it a day, so it is important to make sure they stop before it is too late. Since dogs don’t sweat the way humans do, they are at a greater risk of heat stroke than we are. Always be sure to provide plenty of cool, clean water, and keep an eye out for signs of heat stress. In early stages, these include excessive panting and rapid heart beat and may progress to the dog having a bright red tongue, weakness, dizziness, vomiting, shock and coma. There are some dogs that should not be exercised at all in warm weather. For instance: dogs with heart disease, obesity and breathing problems. This includes any dog that has a flat face: pugs, Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, Pekinese, Shih Tzus, and so on. These dogs tend to have small nostrils and short, narrow airways, meaning that they don’t cool themselves as efficiently as other dogs. Some of these dogs (brachycephalic breeds) have more severe problems with hot weather than others. English Bulldogs, for instance, are notoriously intolerant of hot weather and need to be kept in an air-conditioned room once the mercury rises. If you have concerns about your dog’s health in the heat, be sure to consult your veterinarian, who will be able to advise you about what your individual dog can tolerate.

More on the Origin of dogs

the summertime, because even dog owners who are aware of the danger sometimes accidentally trap a dog inside a car. They may leave a door open for a few seconds and not realize that their dog has slipped in, hoping to go for a ride. Double-checking the back seats before leaving a parked car is a sensible precaution, and could save a life. Hot pavement is a summer danger that is often not as recognized as it should be. If you take your dog for a walk in urban areas, remember that pavement can become very hot in the sun, especially in the late afternoon

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themselves. If you have to walk your dog on the street or the sidewalk, go early in the morning when both the pavement and the air temperatures are their coolest. Wherever you take your dog for exercise, remember not to let him overdo it. Dogs have different levels of tolerance for hot weather, depending on their breed, age, general health and fitness level. Most dogs know to seek out a cool place to lie down on a hot day, but you can’t count on your dog to have the good sense to know how hot is too hot. Working hunting and herding dogs are notorious for continuing

It is a fundamental mystery. How did dogs get to be our companions? How did they stop being wolves and start being dogs? When did it happen? If you have been following the debate, you will know that there are various and quite different hypotheses about how and when dogs came to live with us. The old idea that ancient people kidnapped baby wolves and created domestic dogs by design has been rejected pretty much everywhere. More recent studies have suggested that dogs domesticated themselves by hanging around ancient campfires and garbage dumps. The ones that had the least fear of humans stayed the closest; those dogs interbred, and each successive generation was more and more adapted to human ways. Eventually, the boldest, calmest and friendliest of these wolves evolved to be dogs. But where did this happen and when? Some researchers say it was in Europe at least 12,000 years ago; others say Central Asia or China about 8,000 years ago. This summer, scientists from the University of Oxford (working with French researchers from the National Museum of Natural History in Paris) made an interesting announcement. From their study of the DNA of both fossil and modern dogs, they have hypothesized that dogs were domesticated not once but twice, and on opposite sides of the Eurasian continent and at different times. The two different strains of dog may have descended from different species of extinct wolf.

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According to this hypothesis, the eastern dogs came west with migrating humans, interbred with the western dogs, and mostly replaced them. Professor Greger Larson, who is the director of Palaeo-BARN at Oxford University, wrote: “Animal domestication is a rare thing and a lot of evidence is required to overturn the assumption that it happened just once in any species. Our ancient DNA evidence, combined with the archaeological record of early dogs, suggests that we need to reconsider the number of times dogs were domesticated independently. Maybe the reason there hasn’t yet been a consensus about where dogs were domesticated is because everyone has been a little bit right.”

News Flash! Labs Love Food!

If you have ever had or handled a Labrador Retriever, you probably know that the fastest way to the breed’s heart is through its stomach. Labrador Retrievers are notoriously food motivated, which can be a great boon for trainers who use tidbits as rewards. Have a cookie? Your Lab will do almost anything to earn it. Food obsessed dogs are often overweight dogs, and Labradors are more likely than

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most other breeds to become obese. Recently, Dr. Pam Raffan, a veterinary surgeon at the University of Cambridge in Great Britain became interested in the abundance of fat Labradors in her practice and decided to see if she could find out if there was a genetic reason for it. Her first, pilot study involved 33 Labradors; the second involved over 700. Some of the Labs were obese; others were not. Researchers examined the genome of the dogs, paying particular attention to genes that have been associated with obesity in other species. They discovered that about a quarter of all Labs, and the majority of those that are seriously overweight, have a

defect in a gene that is associated with normal weight. Human babies who have this same defective gene may not be born fat, but tend to be insatiably hungry and are at high risk for developing obesity. The same scrambled gene was found in a small percentage of flat coated retrievers, and would presumably be found in mixed breed dogs with Labrador heritage. Another interesting finding from this research was that the dogs that participated in the study that happened to be assistance dogs were much more likely to have the defective gene, even though they were not more likely to be fat. Since assistance dogs are generally trained via food rewards, the ones with the highest food drive might be the ones that take more readily to assistance dog training. They even may be more trainable over all. This brings up an interesting point, which is that, if people select the most trainable dogs for breeding purposes, they may be inadvertently selecting breeding stock with a genetic mutation that makes them greedy, thus spawning a new generation of hungry, obese dogs. Isn’t science great?

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Summer 2016

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The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Swiss Army Knife of Dogs by Pam Gleason

Swiss Mountain Dog is the kind of dog that is pretty ThemuchGreater up for anything. A big dog, the typical male “Swissy” stands

about 27 inches at the withers and weighs around 120 pounds. Females are slightly shorter and lighter. They are active, intelligent, attractive, sturdy and very strong. Developed by Swiss farmers as working dogs, they were traditionally used for a little bit of everything. They could guard herds of cattle, drive them from one mountain pasture to another and pull heavy carts laden with milk jugs or other cargo. They were even used as pack animals by the Swiss Army during World War II. Their strength and desire to work earned them a reputation as “the poor man’s horse.” Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs showed up in Switzerland a very long time ago, most likely as a mix of dogs native to the Alpine regions and the large, mastiff-type dogs brought to the area by the Romans during the time of their empire. There are some other theories about their origin as well, but no one knows for sure exactly where they originated. It is well accepted, however, that they are related to three other breeds of Swiss dog: the Entlebucher, the Appenzeller and the Bernese Mountain Dog, and they are the largest and the oldest of these four Sennenhund breeds. They are thought to have contributed to the development of the Saint Bernard and the Rottweiler. The Swissy’s utility on the farm came from his athleticism as well as his willingness and his strong work ethic. Swissy enthusiasts like to tell the story of a dairy farmer who used his dog to pull a cart on a daily

milk delivery route. One day, the farmer hitched his dog and loaded the cart, but then took ill, went inside and fell asleep. The dog waited for his owner for a while, but when he didn’t come out, diligently completed the route on his own. When the farmer woke up later on, he found his Swissy outside waiting with an empty cart. The dog had done all the deliveries, stopping at each house and allowing the customers to help themselves. Although Swissys were once a mainstay of mountain farms, in the middle of the 19th century their populations declined. Farm equipment had become more mechanized and began to replace the traditional working dogs. By the turn of the 20th century the Swissy, no longer indispensable, had become a rare breed. A group of enthusiasts were determined to preserve the dog’s unique characteristics, however, and breeding programs were established. Swissys were first recognized as a distinct breed in 1910 in their native country, and the first Swissys came to the United States in the late 1960s. It was not until 1995 that the Greater Swiss Mountain dog was fully recognized by the American Kennel Club. They are classified in the working group. Swissys are tri-colored, with black bodies, rust colored legs and jowls, a white blaze and white on their chests, feet and the tips of their tails. The more symmetrical their markings, the better. Although they do not have long hair like their cousin the Bernese Mountain Dog, they are double-coated, with a dense topcoat and an undercoat that is often thick – they are a breed that is known for shedding.

Hobbs, Dani and Mishke wait for their walk


Hobbs ready for a pack hike

Structurally, Swissys are large and sturdy but also athletic and agile. They are heavy boned and well-muscled with a level topline, a deep chest and broad hindquarters. Swissy breeders pay particular attention to the way their dogs’ conformation affects their balance and movement. The goal is to have a dog that is an athlete with powerful gaits and the ability actually to do work, not just to look big and strong. Another thing that breeders of this dog are careful about is temperament. The breed standard calls for a dog that is a “Bold, faithful, willing worker. Alert and vigilant. Shyness or aggressiveness

Hobbs and Melissa Jarriel at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, 2016

shall be severely penalized.” As a result of selective breeding for good temperament, Swissys tend to be reliably good natured. As a breed, Swissys are naturally attractive to people who like to go out and do things. Just ask Melissa Jarriel, an Aiken resident who has owned, trained and showed Swissys since the early 2000s. Melissa has

had two outstanding Swissys so far. The first was Keygan (“Rippling Waters Havelock Key,) her first Swiss Mountain dog (2002-2012), and the second is Keygan’s son Hobbs (Fireside’s Pick Me Out a Winner.) Melissa competes Hobbs extensively in conformation classes at the dog shows and he has won many championships. He has also won titles in agility as well as in a number of special classes that celebrate the Swissy’s working past. These include pulling a cart (drafting) and carrying a pack. He and his half sister Dani (Fireside’s Sweet Fancy Moses), owned by Marissa Spruell, of Augusta are currently training in drafting together as a brace. “Hobbs is a versatility dog,” says Melissa. This means that he has earned titles in at least three different disciplines: he was designated a Versatile Greater Swiss by the time he was 2. “He’s a master draft dog, a working weight dog, a working pack dog, and a novice brace draft dog.” In addition to competing in shows, Melissa takes Hobbs out on organized pack hikes and the pack he carries is covered with patches and badges that represent each one. These are expeditions sanctioned by the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club in which the dogs are required to carry 20 percent of their body weight in their packs. Some hikes are simple outand-back affairs, but there are also primitive hikes, where people and their dogs hike into an area, pitch a tent, spend the night and then hike out the next day. The dogs earn points for their mileage. Beyond all these organized activities, Melissa says that Swissys are wonderful all around dogs who adapt themselves to their people. As a sentry breed, they make great watchdogs. They are very sensitive to changes in their environment, and will alert you to things that might be different, but they won’t keep barking once their person has told them that everything is all right. Greater Swiss Mountain dogs are willing, eager to please, eventempered, loyal and devoted. What’s more, they are strikingly handsome with beautiful coloring and an air of confidence and majesty. They give you the feeling that there is nothing they can’t do. Want to know more? Check out the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club website. www.gsmdca.org


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Silver Paws

Winnie the Labrador Retriever by Pam Gleason

ake no mistake about it,12-year-old Winnie is her own dog. Although she is a Labrador Retriever, with a typical happygo-lucky, friendly Labrador personality, beyond that, she will not be stereotyped. In fact, according to her owners, Meg and Tom Rapp who live in Aiken, Winnie is nothing if not a unique individual. “She hates water,” says Tom. “You can’t make her go swimming.” “And she doesn’t know what to do with a ball if you throw it,” adds Meg. “She doesn’t do the things that a typical Lab would do.” She does enjoy taking walks, and her favorite things have always been eating and going for rides in the car. Tom is a horticulturist for the City of Aiken with his own landscaping business, and Winnie has often had the opportunity to ride along with him to work. Her favorite longer trips include excursions to Greenville, and she has occasionally been to the beach as well. Although Winnie has lived a good life with the Rapps, she didn’t have the best start in life. As a puppy, she belonged to someone else, and when she was a few months old she came down with a parvovirus

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was chasing her all over the neighborhood. She just liked to go explore. I even called Dr. Holly once and said I didn’t think I could handle her. But she said I should give her a little more time.” The Rapps eventually sent Winnie to a 7-week residential obedience course. She flunked out. Even the professionals couldn’t train her. But Winnie made up for her refusal to conform by being exceptionally loving. “She’s so loyal,” says Meg. “When she was a puppy she was crazy. But once she got past that, she was just wonderful. Our dogs rule our house.” After surviving parvo as a youngster, Winnie had another close call a few years later. The Rapps were on vacation at the beach and Winnie was boarding with Dr. Holly, where she is always a favorite guest. They got a call one morning that Winnie had developed bloat, a lifethreatening condition that requires emergency surgery to repair. The vet wanted to know if they were ready to go ahead with the surgery, which is expensive and not guaranteed to work.

infection. She went to Aiken Veterinary Services, where Dr. Holly Wolz cured her after a long course of treatment, but the owner thought the vet bill was too high and surrendered her rather than pay it. Not long afterwards, the Rapps lost one of their dogs due to an accident and were more or less in the market for a new family member. Dr. Wolz knew this, and offered them Winnie, with the one stipulation that they have her spayed. Meg had Labradors when she was growing up and had an affection for the breed, and so of course they said yes. Winnie was about a year old at the time, and a typical rambunctious young dog. “We were expecting high energy, but I was a little taken aback by just how high energy she was,” says Tom. “If I didn’t have a lead on her when I opened up the door, she would just run. For probably a year, I

“We said, yes, no question,” says Tom. “And she recovered. Dr. Holly calls her the miracle dog.” When she turned 12, Winnie started to slow down. She has some aches and pains, and she is on a special diet for senior dogs. But she still enjoys her walks, and she has a great appetite and retains her own, unique, quirky personality. The Rapps say they are sad to see her getting older, but grateful to have had so much time with her. Although she still could not be called obedient, she definitely understands what is being said to her, and she looks forward to many more good days with her family. She has an especially happy expression when Tom asks her her favorite question: “Winnie, do you want to go for a ride?”

Summer 2016

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The Dog Merchants A Conversation with the author, Kim Kavin By Pam Gleason

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n her new book The Dog Merchants, Inside the Big Business of Breeders, Pets Stores and Rescuers, Kim Kavin looks at the world of dog breeding and rescue through the lens of business. Her previous book, Little Boy Blue (2012), was focused on the rescue world, and was inspired by her adoption, in New Jersey, of a puppy saved from the gas chamber in North Carolina and delivered to her under questionable circumstances. This new book examines both rescue and dog breeding, including large scale breeding for pet stores, often referred to as the “puppy mill industry.” With a commitment to remaining as impartial as possible, she interviews people involved in every part of the dog trade, attempting to come up with a complete picture of how we get our dogs

as well as who profits from the various parts of the dog business, rescues included. She asks important questions about how this business affects the dogs themselves, as well as how it influences people, whether they are interested in purebreds or rescue dogs. “I tried not to be on the side of the breeders or of rescue,” she says. “I tried to be on the side of the dogs.” Kim explains that she had wanted to write another book after the critically acclaimed Little Boy Blue, but that she realized that there was a problem. “After my first book came out, I was going to book signings and I would take Blue with me,” she says. “People would look at me and they would look at him and look at the book and they would hand it back to me and say ‘I can’t read this because the dog always dies at the end. I would point to Blue and say ‘Here he is, he’s alive, he can do tricks for you,’ but they couldn’t get past their fear. This happened to me so many times I couldn’t count it. I realized that we have a problem where even just trying to talk about issues surrounding dogs is impossible. People want to tune out; they’re afraid to even engage in a conversation. I had to start asking myself, how do you write a book that people actually want to read?” Over the next months, Kim was casting about for ideas, continuing to do book signings and attending various dog-related events and conferences. She was at a rescue conference and two women she didn’t know sat down at the table next to hers. “They started talking about how they were just back from the dog auction. I had never heard of a dog auction before.” Kim asked some questions and decided she needed to explore the topic herself. She booked a ticket to the Midwest and flew out to attend one of the largest dog auctions in the country. This is a place where commercial breeders (both small and large scale) buy and sell their breeding stock. Auctions are also often frequented by representatives from breed specific rescues, who compete with the breeders, buying dogs as a way to rescue them from the breeding trade, or from the consequences of no longer being valuable to it. “Sitting in the auction house, I had this epiphany moment,” she says. “I realized, this is about product and business. I had never thought about dogs by using the word product before. Like most people I know, my dogs sleep in my bed. I think of them as family. But in that room it was very evident that they were products, no different than any other products that we would auction off. That’s where I got the idea: what if I just follow the money and write a book about the business from the breeding and the rescue perspective alike.” The Dog Merchants starts out in the auction house. After her first exposure to the auction, Kim called the person who ran it and came out


to spend the whole day with him. She also visited small and large scale commercial breeders and even got an inside look at Hunte Corporation, which is, according to her book “likely the biggest legal distributor of puppies to pet stores across America.” These parts of the dog business have long been shrouded in secrecy, partly due to the fact that they have extremely vocal critics on both the animal welfare and the animal rights sides of the breeding issue. The dog auction Kim visits for instance, is not advertised and not especially easy to find. Taking photos inside is strictly and explicitly forbidden. Start holding your cell phone up in a suspicious way, and you will be thrown out. Despite this, however, Kim was surprised to find that the people in these commercial breeding enterprises were quite open with her. “When I first started working on the book it struck me as odd how one-sided all the reporting on these issues was, whichever side you were on. The man at the dog auction welcomed me, saying it would be refreshing to have someone tell the truth for a change. It made me realize how big a need there is to simply get facts on the record,” she says, while emphasizing again that she was not trying to take anyone’s side. “I just tried to be accurate.” Kavin’s exploration of the dog business also took her to visit small hobby breeders and the Westminster Dog Show. The book talks about the rescue of the street dogs before and during the Sochi Olympics, as well as the plight of shelter dogs in Lee County, North Carolina. It discusses anti-puppy mill legislation and rescue dog marketing, transport and adoption. It wrestles with the difficulty of coming up with methods to regulate the dog business (in all its many facets) in a way that protects dogs and consumers. One big problem with trying to tackle these issues is that hardliners from both the breeding and the rescue side are so intent on demonizing the other side that they aren’t willing to consider finding common ground. In fact, Kim says that a lot of what was left out of the book was the extremely negative way one side often talked about the other. The tone of the conversation often sounded like a cable television discussion between partisan Democrats and Republicans. “A lot of people were reasonable,” she says. “But there were some that weren’t. I realized that this was like politics. People can’t even hear each other. So I went to some political scientists who had an interest in dogs to see if they could help me figure out what was going on.” In the course of her discussions with these researchers, Kim discovered that there are indeed personality and temperament differences between liberals and conservatives that might predict whether they will fall on the rescue or the purebred side of the fence. (You will have to read the book to find out.) The Dog Merchants immediately garnered rave reviews, and many of the people Kim interviewed for it called to congratulate her for being fair and for providing both sides of the story. Of course, there were partisans of both breeding and rescue who disapproved of it, most of them without having read it. One early critic was a representative from the Humane Society of the United States who called her a “puppy mill apologist.” That was before he read the book. After he read it, he called to ask her advice on crafting model anti-puppy mill animal welfare legislation. “If you listen to people you can learn so much more than if you spend your time trying to scream talking points at them,” says Kim. (A lesson that might profitably be applied to politics as well.) One of the main conclusions of the book is that the best way to regulate the dog business is probably by using the power of the purse. If people want purebreds that are born in the home of a hobby breeder who does all her health testing and is devoted to improving her chosen breed, that is what they should buy, not dogs from a back yard breeder or from a commercial pet store. If they want dogs that are offered by responsible rescues, they should get them from an organization that does everything right, not someone who transports sick puppies with no

Summer 2016

health papers or lies about where their dogs come from. To help people determine which are the best breeders and rescues, the Dog Merchants website has an area where people can leave reviews of dog suppliers. “We need to be responsible consumers, and the dog business is not different than any other business,” she says. “If you want to find the best hotels and restaurants you go online and look at the consumer reviews. I thought, why can’t we do it with dogs? My hope is that the website will highlight the best breeders and rescuers so people will know where to go when they want to obtain a dog responsibly, whether it’s a purebred or a mutt.

“What we are witnessing right now in the dog world, more than anything is a shift,” she continues. “We in the United States are the biggest market in the world for dogs, and we are having an unprecedented demand for adoption of rescue dogs. It has not happened in human history that we want them in the quantities we want them in now. Because of that, we are going to have to pay closer attention to how we define responsible rescue. We maybe failed to define responsible breeding over the years, and now we are trying to fix it. At the end of the day, most rational people agree that we should be working on behalf of the welfare of dogs if we love them. The focus on responsible sourcing and selling cuts right across the board. We shouldn’t be pointing fingers. We need to find people on the other side who agree with us and find common ground. If my book has helped start that conversation, then I am happy.” The Dog Merchants, Inside the Big Business of Breeders, Pets Stores and Rescuers. By Kim Kavin. Available in Hardcover, Kindle and Audible editions. Pegasus Books. 336 pages.

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ust because you have no money doesn’t mean you don’t care about your pet,” says Rick Williams, DVM. Dr. Williams is the medical director of the veterinary care center at the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare on Willow Run Road in Aiken. The clinic began offering general veterinary services to the public last fall and has been attracting a steady stream of mostly low income clients ever since. “The people who come in here with their animals, most of them really care.” Dr. Williams came to the clinic last October, coinciding with its expansion from a dedicated spay and neuter facility to a full service veterinary office. Assisted by Jason Wright, DVM, who is the associate veterinarian, Dr. Williams provides medical care for the 200-plus animals that are housed in the Albrecht Center. This includes shelter

willing to pay something,”) but it does have lower rates than a regular veterinary office might, and it can extend various types of financial aid to deserving pet owners. If an animal comes in with a serious problem that will be expensive to fix, and the owner is unable to come up with that sum, they might be allowed to pay the bill in installments or they might have something to barter. For instance, one pet owner had some old cars that she donated to the Albrecht Center’s Cash for Clunkers program. “Financial aid is a complex problem, and we deal with it in a complex way,” says Dr. Williams. “First, the patient is examined, and we decide what the issue is and what has to be done to make the animal healthy again. Then we ask as many questions as we possibly can to try and ascertain what kind of care and what kind of environment the animal is living in. If we are convinced that the owner really cares and really wants to do what is right, then we can help. The people who try to take good care of their pets get superior recognition from us when something bad happens.”

pets that are available for adoption as well as strays brought in by City of Aiken animal control officers. In addition, the clinic is open to the public on Tuesday through Saturday, offering affordable vaccinations and heartworm testing, flea and tick medication and other veterinary services, including surgery and dental work. Spay and neuter is still a specialty, and the clinic works with a number of local rescues for which it performs the operations at a lowered cost. Although the clinic model will be changing soon, today, patients are seen on a first come, first served basis and at times the reception area can be quite crowded. “I would say that the vast majority of the people who come here, about 90 percent overall, are the working poor,” says Dr. Williams. “And most of them have never brought their animal to see a vet before. We see skin diseases, eye and ear problems, dogs with broken legs that have been hit by a car, or attacked by another dog. The other day, we had a dog that went after a wild pig and got gored. Dr. Wright put him back together.” The clinic does not offer any services for free (“People have to be

Dr. William explains that the actual decisions about financial aid are made by Barbara Nelson, who is the president and CEO of the Albrecht Center, along with Sybil Altman who is the shelter manager. “I did a dental on a dog today,” says Dr. Williams, to give an example. “He was 14 years old and he had some really bad teeth. The man had lost his job and his wife had cancer. So we did a complete dental and extractions on the little dog and he’s going to be great. The bill was $400 and they paid $100. The deal was that they will come back each month and pay $100. “Will they pay us? Do we think we will get all the money back?’ Dr. Williams shakes his head. “The track record is no. But I don’t get angry about it. When I was in private practice, if I gave someone a payment plan and they didn’t pay me, I got angry, but now I know I should never have given them credit if I wasn’t willing to take a loss. That’s the way we look at it. We hope that their lives will improve and that they will feel thankful for what we did and pay us. But, if you have a choice between making a house payment or bringing that $100 down here to make a

Caring for the Animals

Veterinary Clinic at the Albrecht Center Story and photography by Pam Gleason

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payment on an account . . . we are still talking about the working poor and they have to make difficult decisions.” Fortunately some pet owners that come in can afford to pay for their visits, and the clinic relies on them to keep the business from running totally in the red. “A lot of the people who can afford it come here because they want to support us.” Dr. Williams has had a long and varied career. He was born in Mississippi, but his family relocated to Atlanta when his father, who was an aircraft mechanic, got a job at an Air Force base there. He went to the University of Georgia in Athens for both his undergraduate and his veterinary degree, and then worked in Kentucky and Delaware. While in vet school he had fallen in love with the Pacific Northwest and used to spend each summer there working for the forest service, and that is where he ended up. After working for a few veterinarians and trying some different things (even a stint in the Air Force, which sent him to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) he eventually started his own business in Washington State, running several practices there for many years. Like most veterinarians at that time, he started out treating both large and small animals, and, a dedicated horseman and polo player, he did a lot of work with horses. He also treated some unusual animals as the vet for Northwest Trek Wildlife Park near Eatonville, Wash., where he pioneered a method to spay elk in order to keep their populations at a manageable level. “I can spay one in about 30 minutes,” he says. “I do it through a hole about as big as your hand – all you have to do is remove the ovaries.” In 2000, growing weary of the Washington weather, he started spending winters in Palm Springs, California where he worked as a relief vet for small animal clinics, played polo at the Eldorado polo club and treated polo horses on the side. After the economic downturn in 2009 coupled with changes in the veterinary world, this life stopped being quite so idyllic, and eventually he and his wife were ready to move on. Aiken was where they wanted to go, and when Dr. Williams heard about the position at the SPCA, everything started to fall in place. They bought land outside of town and moved here with their three horses last fall. They had two houses to move, and they have been busy. Dr. Williams says they are still unpacking. But he is glad he is here. “I’m at the last part of my veterinary career,” he says, noting that he took a 50 percent cut in pay when he joined the staff at the Albrecht Center. “I’ve had an incredible career and there are so many things I’ve had the opportunity to do. I feel like this is a good fit for me because I have always been a generalist, and I think I have good judgment skills to know if I can fix something, or if it is borderline, or if I can’t. And here, I have a place that backs me and gives me flexibility so I can help many more animals and people, because that is really what we are doing, helping people. “I feel like the veterinary profession needs to take care of those most at risk,” he continues. “Time and again we hear from people that they took their animal to a vet, but when they explained that they couldn’t pay they were told they should put the animal down. I don’t think that is right. If a dog is part of a working poor family, he should not

Summer 2016

suffer with an abscessed tooth because the owners can’t afford a $400 vet bill. Somebody should be willing to take that tooth out, prescribe some antibiotics and let it heal. Our goal here isn’t to take any business away from anybody. Our goal is to take care of pets that are currently underserved. It is a niche that needs to be dealt with.”

The animal care center has been getting busier lately and long ago outgrew its facilities, which were specifically designed for high volume spay and neuter rather than for general veterinary practice. There are no private rooms where people can wait to see the veterinarian with their pets: instead the animals are brought from the reception area to the veterinarian in the back, who conducts his examination and then returns to consult with the owner. Now that the clinic has proven to be so vital, the Albrecht Center is expanding the building in order to provide private exam rooms. Once these are in place, it will be practical to institute regular appointments rather than relying solely on a walk-in model. There are some other plans in the works. For instance, Dr. Williams would like to offer expanded evening hours since so many working people are unable to take time off during the day to get their animals to the vet. There is even talk of partnering with a veterinary hospital and providing learning opportunities and internships for veterinary students and recent graduates. Some internships that were offered in the past at the spay and neuter clinic proved to be extremely valuable to everyone involved. “The concept would be of a teaching hospital, a learning facility as well as a place to help the public,” says Dr. Williams. “We have the potential to do good here in many different areas.” To find out more visit www.LetLoveLive.org

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Summer Calendar For Dogs & Their People

JUNE 1

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Yappy Hour at the SPCA, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 6-9. Free admission, open dog park, live music, cash bar with food. www.

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letlovelive.org

SPCA Dog Wash at 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 10 am. Volunteers wash your dog! Ear cleaning and nail clipping with proceeds to benefit the SPCA. www.letlovelive.org FOTAS presents Dog Ears for children 5 and older to read in 20 minute sessions to the pups; Aiken County Animal Shelter, 333 Wire Rd, Aiken, SC. www.fotasaiken.org (803) 514-4313 Aiken Dog Lovers Dog Walk at Rose Hill Estate. 6-7 PM. Tour of the grounds followed by fine cuisine for you and your dog! Visit Aiken Dog Lovers on Facebook for more info. Bark in the Park, Greenjackets vs Lexington Legends (baseball). Yappy Hour: Bring your four-legged friends to the game and bring your dog free of charge! Lake Olmstead Stadium, 78 Milledge Rd, Augusta, Ga. 706-922-WINS FOTAS presents Dog Ears for children 5 and older. Aiken County Animal Shelter, 333 Wire Rd, Aiken, SC (803) 514-4313

Astro Air Dogs Summer Showdown Dock Diving. 9 am- 5 pm. Cash prizes to event winners. Registration open July 15-22. Preregistered dogs practice free on July 29, 7 am – 6 pm. 418 Scuffletown Road, Simpsonville SC 29681. 864-297-9636. www.astrokennels.net

AUGUST 3

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Yappy Hour at the SPCA, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. . 6-9 pm. Free Admission, open dog park, cash bar with food. Music by Chris Ndeti. www.letlovelive.org. Free Admission, open dog park, cash bar with food - 6 pm to 9 pm - www.letlovelive.org SPCA Dog Wash at 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC -10 am Volunteers wash your dog! Ear cleaning and nail clipping with proceeds to benefit the SPCA - www. letlovelive.org

Bark in the Park, Greenjackets vs Lexington Legends (baseball). Yappy Hour: Bring your four-legged friends to the game and bring your dog free of charge! Lake Olmstead Stadium, 78 Milledge Rd, Augusta, Ga. 20-21 Obedience Trials, Augusta Kennel Club, entries close August 3. www. augustakennelclub.org.

SEPTEMBER 4

Bark in the Park, Greenjackets vs Rome Braves (baseball). Doggie Appreciation: Bring your four-legged friends to the game and bring your dog free of charge! Lake Olmstead Stadium, 78 Milledge Rd, Augusta, Ga. 7 Yappy Hour at the SPCA, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. . 6-9 pm. Free Admission, open dog park, cash bar with food. Music by Mike Aiken. Free Admission, open dog park, cash bar with food. 6 pm to 9 pm. www.letlovelive.org 10 SPCA Dog Wash at 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC . 10 am. Volunteers wash your dog! Ear cleaning and nail clipping with proceeds to benefit the SPCA. www.letlovelive.org 17-18 Lure Coursing, Doxie & Terrier Races. 9 am start SPCA Albrecht Center, 199 Willow Run Road Aiken. Trish Wamsat: 803-564-3647. www.trishwamsat.com 25 Aiken Hunter Trials & Dog Show at Paradise Farm, 4069 Wagener Rd, Aiken, SC - Cindy Swartz - 803.507.4577 or 26

JULY 2

6 9 9 17

23 25

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paradisefarmsecretary@gmail.com

3rd Annual FOTAS Charity Golf Tournament & Helicopter Ball Drop, Woodside Plantation Country Club, Sandy and Ross Staiger. 603.533.4111 www.fotasaiken.org

Summer Session at Phideaux University. Obedience, Puppy Kindergarten, Herding and more. Six week classes: check the website for details. SPCA Albrecht Center, 199 Willow Run Road Aiken. Trish Wamsat: 803-564-3647. www.trishwamsat.com Yappy Hour at the SPCA, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 6-9 pm. Free Admission, open dog park, cash bar with food. Music by Matt Dahlheimer www.letlovelive.org FOTAS presents Dog Ears for children 5 and older to read in 20 minute sessions to these pups; Aiken County Animal Shelter, 333 Wire Rd, Aiken, SC. www.fotasaiken.org (803) 514-4313 SPCA Dog Wash at 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 10 am. Volunteers wash your dog! Ear cleaning and nail clipping with proceeds to benefit the SPCA - www.letlovelive.org Hot Dogs and Hot Cars. Greenjackets vs Delmarva Shorebirds (baseball). Come out to Lake Olmstead for a Car Show. Bark in the Park and pre-game fetch on the field. Lake Olmstead Stadium, 78 Milledge Rd, Augusta, Ga. 706-922-WINS FOTAS presents Dog Ears for children 5 and older to read in 20 minute sessions to these pups; Aiken County Animal Shelter, 333 Wire Rd, Aiken, SC. www.fotasaiken.org (803) 514-4313 Fences for Fido Fence Build. Help build fences to get dogs off chains and safely in their own yards. In Aiken County. Volunteers welcome! Contact Amy Banton: outreach@lelovelive.org. 803-648-6863 ex 111

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Summer 2016


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.

Advertising in The Dog & Hound Classified ads are $25 for the first 30 words & 40 cents for every word thereafter. Photo Classifieds are $35; (limit 40 words) Business Cards: $70 per issue, or $300 a year (local business discount: $60 per issue or $220 per year)

Summer 2016

Editor@theDogandHound.com The Dog & Hound, P.O. Box 332, Montmorenci, SC 29839 We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and AMEX Pay online: www.TheDogandHound.com Or Call us: 803.643.9960

For detailed rate sheet & publication schedule, visit

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advertise in the Fall 2016 issue! Advertising deadline: September 18, 2016 Publication date: October 2016

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Welcome Waggin by Mike Ford

“Is it all right if I say hello?” I ask the woman seated two chairs away from me in the airport waiting area. Between us is a Chihuahua. His pale brown fur is ghosted with white, and his eyes are tired. He reminds me of my own elderly Chis, whom I’ve left at home. The woman nods. I reach over and scratch the old fellow’s prodigious ears, so much like the ears of my Andrew. He pushes into my hand. A moment later, he puts a foot on my leg and climbs onto my lap. His name is Duke, and like me, he is flying to LA. For him, it’s a journey home after a vacation in upstate New York. For me, it’s a reluctant trip to do publicity for a new book. I’ve recently published a novel, the central character of which is a real-life participant from the popular reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race. Now the management company behind the books is throwing a party to celebrate. I do not want to go. I dislike parties. And traveling. And Hollywood. But I want the books to do well, and the people involved are very excited about it all, and so I’m going. But I’m not happy about it. Mostly I’m unhappy because I’ve had to leave my dogs behind. They’re with my sister, and I know she’ll take good care of them, but I’m anxious nonetheless. I haven’t spent a night away from them in more than five years. Every night, I sleep with them piled around me. Lillie, my smallest, spends a good part of each day curled in my lap while I work. I’ve attempted to minimize the ordeal that this is for me by arriving just in time for my scheduled appearance and flying out on the earliest flight the following day. In all, I’ll be in LA for only about 16 hours. If the multitude of car, plane, and bus connections go smoothly, I’ll be home before bedtime tomorrow. My sister has been left with specific instructions for each dog: Lillie occasionally cries out in her sleep, and needs to be comforted. George will want to go out to pee in the middle of the night because of his heart medication. Watch Greta if there’s a tractor in the field; she’ll try to chase it. Andy gets anxious when I leave and might vomit. If he does, he’ll also fall over, so try to hold him up. Medication and feeding regimens have been gone over, and sleeping arrangements discussed, my sister listening patiently and not once indicating in any way that I might be the tiniest bit insane. It’s not as if I haven’t left them before. And it’s not as if they weren’t perfectly fine while I was gone. In fact, like most children, they tend to behave better for other people than they do for me. Still, I worry. As I hold Duke, I try to decide if his presence is a sign that everything will be fine, or an omen that I should forget the trip and go home. I happen to be in the middle of writing a novel in which signs and portents are important, and in which a dog comes to harm because a

22

The Dog & Hound

warning isn’t heeded. For a moment, I convince myself that Duke is that dog (whose name is Millard Fillmore) come to life. Then I remember that I decided to check my bag instead of carrying it on. I’m committed. I pat Duke for a while, asking about his age (which is 11) and his health (he has allergies, and didn’t fare well with the pollen in New York). I take a picture of him and text it to my sister. She writes back that he is adorable and that my dogs have just come in from being outside for two hours and are happy and exhausted. I show enormous restraint by not reminding her that the dogs can’t be outside unattended because they might get taken by eagles. Shortly thereafter, Duke and his mother board the flight. I’m in a later group, one of the last to board. It’s open seating, and I more than half hope that I’ll end up sitting by Duke. I would be happy to hold him on my lap for the whole flight, rubbing his head and listening to him snore. When I reach the cabin, I see the two of them. Duke has his own seat. He’s curled in a nest of blankets, already sleep. “If he needs a lap during the flight,” I say as I walk by, “let me know.” Instead of sitting by him, I end up sandwiched between two women, one of whom is flying to Thailand to spend a month volunteering at a sanctuary for slow lorises who have been rescued from smugglers. When she asks why I’m going to LA, I reply, “Poor life choices.” I see Duke again at baggage claim, and give him one last pat before heading to the event. Traffic is terrible, the cab ride takes two hours, and I arrive late and irritable. But upstairs in the area where everyone is getting ready, there is a welcome sight—a dog. His name is Tug, and he becomes my safety blanket for the evening, sitting on me and reminding me to chill out, because it will all be over soon. It is, and after a couple of hours of sleep, I’m back in the airport, waiting to go home. As I’m sitting there, my sister texts me a photo of my four little ones. They’re sprawled on the couches, totally happy. Nobody has thrown up, toppled over, been flattened by a tractor, or been eaten by birds of prey. I feel slightly better. Eleven hours later, I pull into the driveway. The door opens, and my brood comes tumbling out, all wagging tails and excited barks. Later, in bed with them arranged around me, snoring, the stresses of the past 36 hours—three flights, two long drives, and an evening of industry socializing—disappear. I think of Duke and Tug, and how they let me briefly join their packs while I missed mine, becoming furry oases of calm in a sea of anxiety. Thank you, gentledogs, for your hospitality. Until we meet again. Michael Thomas Ford’s latest book is Sharon Needles and the Curse of the Devil’s Deck.

Summer 2016


Forecast for September 26, 2016 ItÕ s going to be raining golf balls

FOTASÕ 3rd Annual Helicopter Ball Drop & Playing Fore the Pets Golf Tournament

Your Chance to Win $1000.00 on the Ball Drop Raffle Pre-numbered golf balls will be dropped from 300 feet over a designated hole at Woodside Plantation Country Club in Aiken, SC in conjunction with FOTASÕ Playing Fore the Pets golf tournament. Donate $10.00 to FOTAS for a ball drop ticket. The corresponding numbered ball that lands 1st in the hole or closest to the hole wins $1,000.00

To purchase your golf ball raffle tickets contact FOTAS at golf@fotasaiken.org

Proceeds benefit the

Aiken County Animal Shelter Visit www.FOTASAiken.org for golf tournament entry information Summer 2016

The Dog & Hound

23


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The Dog & Hound Summer 2016  

Our Summer 2016 issue features Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs. Don't know about Swissys? Read our issue! Also, Dogs Playing For Life at the Aik...