Volume 6 â€¢ Number 3
The Dog & Hound
P.O. Box 332 • Montmorenci, SC 29839-0332 • 803.643.9960 •
www.TheDogAndHound.com • Editor@TheDogAndHound.com
Time Dated Material • Periodicals • Volume 6 • Number 3
s we were working on this issue, we got a message through Facebook: there was a dog in a shelter that needed our help. The message came from Pointer Rescue Organization, a national group dedicated to rescuing purebred English Pointers. We have been volunteering with PRO for about six years, ever since we were introduced to the English Pointer breed by Coleman, a starved and abandoned hunting dog that we found on the side of the road and nursed back to health. The dog in question this time was a 7-month old beauty named Zoey that had been found as a stray in rural South Carolina. Although we have a full house of dogs and didn’t think we could fit any more, we agreed to make the 2-hour drive to pick her up when her stray hold expired. We ended up having her for two weeks before sending her to her longterm foster in New York, and she was a joy, charming people and dogs alike with her sweet and playful personality. Just as we were finishing this edition, we drove her to Columbia to meet her transport north. Transport consisted of a relay of volunteers, most of whom drove her for about an hour before handing her off to the next driver. She passed through nine volunteer drivers and spent one night in the Washington DC area. Her long term foster picked her up the next day, and she is now happily learning the rules of her new temporary home. There are already adoption applications on her, and she is going to make someone an exceptional companion.
Zoey, like every other dog we have fostered or transported, is a fantastic dog, and we would have loved to keep her. We are glad to have been involved in her journey, as was everyone who helped her. A Facebook chat group from her transport is filled with pictures and of people exclaiming on her cuteness and her sweetness. Pictures from her overnight look as if she was at a dog sleepover party – and she was. Far from being a grim, frightening necessity, her trip was a joyful celebration of her freedom and her new life, a celebration that people were thrilled to share. All over the South, a new paradigm in dog rescue is transforming the way we handle the shelter overpopulation problem. There are two main things that have vastly improved the situation. The first is a new attitude that goes along with knowing that these dogs are not unwanted everywhere, even if they might be unwanted here. The second is that ordinary people have gotten involved as volunteers. When it comes to saving southern dogs, volunteers make all the difference. And volunteering can be an uplifting experience. Forget the sad-eyed creatures in the ads with the Sara McLachlan music. Sure, there are sad, frightening and horrible things out there. But a lot of the work that needs to be done is just plain fun, and pretty much all of it is rewarding. So, this summer, if you are not already volunteering to help animals in your community, why not give it a try? Together, we can change their world. We are off for the summer: our next issue, Fall 2017, will be out in October. We hope you enjoy this issue. As ever, please let us know if you have an idea for a story or something we should be covering.
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 email@example.com PHOTOGRAPHERS Pam Gleason Gary Knoll
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About the Cover
About the cover:
Our cover shows Hayden Boling of the Camden Hunt in the Junior Exhibitors class, 6-and-under division, at the Carolinas’ Hound Show, Springdale Racecourse in Camden SC. Photography by Pam Gleason The Dog and Hound Policies: The opinions expressed herein are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publishers, editors, or the policies of The Aiken Horse, LLC. The Dog and Hound is owned by The Aiken Horse, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
All contents Copyright 2017 The Dog and Hound
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Table of Contents 6 8 12 16 18 20 22
Dog News Railyn, Miracle Dog Carolinasâ€™ Hound Show 2017 Silver Paws: Carter, Polo Dog Humane Society of McCormick County Regional Calendar In Memoriam: Andy
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Dog News by Pam Gleason
This spring, canine influenza is sweeping across the region with confirmed cases in eight states including North and South Carolina. Canine flu is a highly contagious disease with symptoms that mimic kennel cough. Affected dogs have a dry hacking cough, fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and a discharge from the nose and eyes. The virus spreads through the air (it can travel up to 20 feet) and it can be passed through contact with contaminated items and surfaces. Up to 80% of all unvaccinated dogs who come in contact with the virus will contract it, though not all dogs will show symptoms. Dogs that do get sick will typically exhibit symptoms 24-28 hours after they are exposed. Sick dogs may remain contagious for as long as four weeks. This particular strain of canine flu, H3N2, emerged in the Chicago area in 2015, when it spread to dogs in 30 states. The current outbreak appears to have started at two dog shows this May: one in Florida and the other at the Georgia National Showgrounds in Perry. Reaction in the dog show world has been swift, with hundreds of dogs pulled out of dog shows in North Carolina, and at least one major show, the Kennel Club of Texarkana 50th Anniversary show, has been canceled. Most dogs do not have any natural immunity to the flu and it may also spread to cats. Although most dogs recover from it without complications, it is occasionally fatal. In fact, two North Carolina dogs have reportedly died from it this year. Anyone who suspects that their dog might have come down with the flu is urged to isolate him from other dogs and cats and take him to the vet as soon as possible. Concerned dog owners, especially those who are traveling or taking their dogs to dog shows or dog parks are best advised to discuss vaccination and other precautions with their veterinarians.
The much anticipated showdown between the two-time Doxie Derby Champion, Si, and the two-time runner-up, Freddy Couples, resulted in a win for the underdog at Woofstock on May 6th. Woofstock is the annual fundraising festival put on by the Aiken Friends of the Animal Shelter (FOTAS) held this year at Citizen’s Park in Aiken. The Doxie Derby, a race for Dachshunds, is the highlight of the event. Both Si and Freddy won their heats, earning them entry into the finals. All eyes were on the rivals as they lined up. When the starting boxes
Jenny Spiro and Freddy Couples
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opened, the wiener dogs surged onto the field. Freddy took the early lead and held it, staving off a late bid from another racer to clench the win. Surprisingly, Si did not finish in the top three. “I stood well behind the finish line this time so he wouldn’t slow down,” explains Jenny Spiro, who is Freddy’s owner. She had noticed the year before that most of the owners encouraged their dogs from the finish line. However, the owner of the winner called her dog from further away, which meant that he kept running at top speed to the finish line and beyond. The other dogs slowed down as they approached their people. Determined to win this year, Jenny and Freddy had been practicing and developing a winning strategy. “The strategy worked! Our training paid off ! He won everything!” Jenny declared. In addition to his victorious run in the derby, Freddy was awarded the “Best Kisser” title. Freddy’s wins earned him a front page picture in the Aiken Standard, two jars of goodies, two baskets filled with treats and toys, and $100. “Freddy shared all of his winnings with dogs in the neighborhood and donated his prize money back to FOTAS,” says Jenny proudly. The event was a success for all involved. “We were thrilled with the turnout,” says Ellie Joos, who is the FOTAS event coordinator. “There was a lot of community support for the event and, in turn, for the homeless animals at the Aiken County Animal Shelter. “We look to expand our events to include more contests and more races for all breeds. The dog contests provide many laughs for everyone,” she continues. “We also want to bring in demonstrators from local dog obedience schools.” Next year’s Woofstock will be held at Citizen’s Park on May 5th, 2018. Save the date to cheer on Freddy for the repeat win! “We will be there!” promises Jenny, already honing her strategy for next time. – Ragan Morehouse
Be Fair to Your Dog
There are many good reasons to treat your dogs fairly. One reason is that if you don’t they will know it. In fact, a recent study conducted at the Messerli Research Institute of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna has demonstrated that both dogs and wolves have an innate sense of fairness. The results of the study were published in the journal Current Biology. In the study, dogs and wolves were taught to press a buzzer to get a treat. Once they learned that, the experimenter began giving their partner a treat whenever they pressed a buzzer. Both dogs and wolves quickly stopped pressing the buzzer when they saw what was happening. They also stopped pressing the buzzer when doing so resulted in their getting a smaller treat or lower quality treat than their partner. On the other hand, if the experimenter did not give either animal a treat, both the dog and the wolf continued to press the buzzer for a long time. “This showed that the fact that they themselves had not received a reward was not the only reason why they stopped to cooperate with the trainer,” wrote Friederike Range in a news release. Range conducts research at the Wolf Science Center of the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria “They refuse to cooperate because the other one got something, but they themselves did not.” In earlier studies, humans and other primates have been shown to have an innate sense of fairness. It is thought that understanding fairness contributes to our ability
to live together cooperatively. Earlier studies conducted on dogs also confirmed that they understood fairness, but in the past it was believed that this understanding stemmed from their domestication: in other words, perhaps they learned about fairness from us. The fact that wolves appear to have a similar concept of fairness suggests that a “sensitivity to inequity” is not the result of domestication. Interestingly, higher status dogs and wolves in the study got frustrated by being treated unfairly much more quickly than lower status dogs and wolves. Range wrote that she believed this might have been because the higher status animals were not accustomed to seeing another animal get something that they didn’t. You can almost hear them say it: “Do you know who I am?”
Meet Dr. Doll
Dr. Olivia Doll’s resume claims that she is a senior lecturer at Subiaco College of Veterinary Science and a former associate of the Shenton Park Institute for Canine Refuge Studies. Her research interests include “abdominal massages for medium-sized canines and the “role of domestic canines in promoting optimal mental health in aging males.” She sits on the editorial board of seven international medical journals, and she has been asked to review a number of important research papers, most recently one on the management of tumors. The publications that call on her expertise include journals specializing in respiratory medicine, drug abuse and psychiatry. She has even been made the associate editor of the Global Journal of Addiction and Rehabilitation Medicine. Pretty impressive for a 5-year-old rescued Staffordshire Terrier. In real life, Dr. Doll is just Ollie the dog. She lives in Perth, Australia with Mike Daube, a professor of Health Policy at Curtin University and a specialist on issues related to public health, tobacco and alcohol. He created fake academic credentials for his dog because he was suspicious that medical journals did not scrutinize their editorial reviewers very well. It turns out he was right, since none of them flagged Dr. Doll as, well, a dog. Professor Daube told the West Australian that he first created Ollie’s
academic persona as a response to email scams that he had received, but that the fact that she was accepted as a legitimate academic highlights some very real and serious issues. For instance, there has been a new development in which journals charge as much as $3000 to publish studies written by researchers who are desperate for publications. “While this started as something lighthearted, I think it is important to expose shams of this kind which prey on the gullible, especially young and naïve academics from developing countries,” Professor Daube is quoted as saying. “It gives all researchers paws for thought.” Since Ollie was outed as a dog, her name and picture have been removed from a few of the web pages where she was featured as a respected scientist (the picture was actually of Kylie Minogue, an Australian singer and actress.) She has gotten pretty famous on the web, however, and has been hailed as the “world’s smartest dog.” That ought to make her former colleagues at the Shenton Park Dog Refuge Home wag their tails with pride.
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Railyn the Miracle Dog Back on Her Feet by Pam Gleason
ou wouldn’t know it to look at her today, but eight months ago, Railyn was a quadriplegic. Railyn is a typical mixed breed Southern dog – maybe she has some Pit Bull in her, maybe some hound or some Pointer, maybe even some Whippet. (That’s what they thought at the shelter where she came from.) She’s a medium-to-large sized white dog with large orange patches. When she is happy, she has a wide, human-like grin. She is most likely to demonstrate this when she is near her owner, Rhonda Burgess, who lives in Aiken. Rhonda laughs. “She isn’t really my dog,” she says. “She’s my granddog. Officially she belongs to my son Brandon. But she stays with me.” Rhonda got Railyn from the shelter in Lexington, S.C. when she was a puppy. Poor Railyn had been found with her head stuck in a fence. Her picture went up on social media, where Brandon saw it and knew he needed his mother to go get her. Rhonda, a dog lover her entire life,
couldn’t resist either, and so Railyn joined the family, which already included another adoptee, Vega, also found on social media. “She was the perfect dog for Brandon because she had this energetic personality,” says Rhonda. It was 2011 and Brandon was in his early 20s at the time. “She was so klutzy she would run on the wooden floor and slide into stuff. We just loved her.” Although Railyn spent time with Brandon, one way or another, she ended up living with Rhonda and her husband. She quickly became the boss of the other dogs in the house. It wasn’t that hard for her at first, since Vega is very mild mannered. Later, it became more of a challenge when Rhonda added a large Pit Bull puppy to the mix. But the three dogs enjoyed playing in their back yard, roughhousing with one another and swimming in the pool. Railyn was living the good life in a dogcentric household. Then one evening in September 2016, Rhonda came home from work
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and Railyn did not meet her at the door. “I came in and I heard some snorting sounds,” says Rhonda. “I stopped to look at the mail for a minute, and didn’t think anything of it. And then I said, where is Railyn? It’s not like her not to come to the door. That’s when I found her flat out on the floor, not moving. Immediately I thought that she had gotten into a fight and was hurt.” But there was no evidence of a fight anywhere. Rhonda called her vet, Dr. Cindy Brown of Aiken Animal Hospital, but found out that Dr. Brown could not see her after hours because she had just had knee surgery. “It was 7 p.m. and I had to take her to the 24-hour clinic in Augusta,” continues Rhonda, who managed to carry her strangely immobile dog to the car and drive to the clinic, about 45 minutes away. “It was the longest drive,” she says. Railyn had always been a tough and strong-willed dog who never whined or whimpered, but she was crying in the car. “I was afraid I was going to lose her.” At the 24-hour clinic, the vet examined her and was at a loss to explain her sudden paralysis. Looking in her mouth he saw what looked like some little puncture wounds in her cheek. He thought that she might have been bitten by a coral snake. If that were true, the paralysis might be progressive. “You need to get her to a place where they have a machine to assist with her breathing,” the vet told her. It was 11 p.m. and this meant driving another two hours to the University of Georgia in Athens. Rhonda called Brandon who was working out of state. She called her husband, a contractor who was working in Iraq. They both agreed that she should do whatever it would take to save Railyn. So Rhonda and her dog got back in the car, arriving in Athens around 1 a.m. Rhonda left Railyn there so that they could run tests and she went back home. After an MRI, it was discovered that Railyn had a herniated disc in her neck that was putting pressure on her spinal column. She stayed at UGA for about a week where they tried to do some rehabilitation work with her, but without much success. Railyn was miserable. She wouldn’t try for them; she wouldn’t even eat for them. Rhonda spoke to Dr. Brown who advised her to go pick up her dog. “She needs you,” Dr. Brown said. “And when you get home, go see Dr. Sybil Davis.” Dr. Davis owns and runs Aiken Pet Fitness and Rehabilitation, a facility specifically created to provide physical therapy for dogs with all manner of musculoskeletal and neurological problems. Dr. Davis helps to slim down overweight dogs, to restore lame dogs to soundness, and to put formerly paralyzed dogs back on their feet. She estimates that approximately 25 percent of her caseload is dogs with some kind of paralysis, which is not necessarily as devastating or as permanent as it might seem. “Almost all patients who start therapy right away improve,” says Dr. Davis. “Obviously ones with paralysis from cancer being the biggest exception.” Dr. Davis says that anyone who has a dog that suffers from sudden paralysis needs to see a vet right away for a diagnosis. For some dogs, surgery is recommended. If the owner chooses not to do the surgery, or can’t afford it, getting the dog into a good rehabilitation program as soon as possible is crucial. The best outcomes are for dogs that undergo a combination of acupuncture, hydrotherapy and neurological retraining exercises. “There is a window of opportunity in recovery when neurological retraining is effective,” she says. “I’ve found that window is usually up to about six weeks. After that time, recovery is less likely. If an owner is able to manage the paralyzed dog, I recommend one to two weeks of therapy. If there are small daily improvements, then those dogs usually recover to an acceptable quality of life and I recommend continuing to get the best outcome. If there are no or minimal improvements, those
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dogs often do not make a full recovery. Paralysis is not painful, so even paralyzed dogs can enjoy a full life if their owners are dedicated to their care,” she adds. Rhonda drove back to Athens to pick up Railyn one week after she brought her there. “They wheeled her in to me on a cart like you would put lumber on at Lowes. It took her a second to realize that it was me, but then she did her best to get off that cart. She put her head on my belly and rubbed against me. It was the most movement they had
seen from her all week. It was pitiful.” Rhonda paid her bill (it was not a small one), loaded up her dog, and drove home. The next day, she brought Railyn to see Dr. Davis. Despite her good success with so many dogs suffering from paralysis, Dr. Davis was not optimistic about Railyn. “She was a quadriplegic with minimal neurological responses,” says Dr. Davis. She was also about 50
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pounds, making to difficult to manage her – paralysis caused by disc problems is common in Dachshunds and some other small dogs, but not so common in larger dogs like Railyn, which is a good thing. But Rhonda was devoted to Railyn. Dr. Davis put her on an aggressive program that included three sessions a week of acupuncture, laser treatments and work on the under water treadmill. Rhonda went home with special harnesses to make it easier to support her dog’s weight and a stability ball to put under her stomach for standing exercises. “At home I would roll her back and forth on the ball and I would massage her feet,” says Rhonda. She explains that her job as a leasing agent for Meybohm Realtors made it easy for her to rearrange her schedule and devote herself to her dog’s recovery. Within about a week, Railyn was able to take a few small wobbly steps. Within two weeks, she was walking for real. As Railyn improved, Rhonda continued to take her in for regular therapy, cutting back from three times a week to twice a week. Three months later, Railyn was close to normal, and her rehabilitation visits were reduced to once a month. Today, Railyn walks and runs like a normal dog. She is playful and happy. The only obvious hint of her trouble is that when she gets tired, one of her front paws starts to buckle. She may soon be over that, too. “Railyn’s recovery was nothing short of miraculous,” says Dr. Davis. “She and other paralyzed dogs that I have worked with have shown me that these dogs do recover when given a chance.” Dr. Davis credits Railyn’s remarkable recovery to Rhonda’s dedication and hard work. “She was so devoted to her care, and it’s not easy carrying and doing exercises with a 50 pound dog!” But Rhonda has a different explanation. “I think she got better because she’s such an Alpha dog,” she says. “She knew she had to get better, because she couldn’t be weak. She needed to maintain her spot.”
s â€™ t e P r u Yo ! t e V r e Oth
Sybil Davis DVM: Rehab & Acupuncture Certified 307 Willow Run Rd. Aiken SC 29801 email@example.com
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Carolinas Hound Show 2017 by Pam Gleason
he Carolinas Hound Show, held May T 5-6 at the Springdale Race Course in Camden, S.C. attracted 19 packs of hounds
from around the region and beyond. This included 14 Foxhound packs along with three packs of Bassett Hounds and two packs of Beagles for a total of over 300 hounds. The Foxhounds are used for mounted foxhunting, while the Beagles and Bassets are so-called foot packs that hunt rabbits and other small game while their masters follow them on foot. The show was sanctioned by the Masters of Foxhounds Association. The hound show featured classes for many different categories of hounds, with the different packs all vying for bragging rights. The most popular classes of the day,
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however, were for junior handlers. These were divided into age groups and included many children who were noticeably smaller than their charges. A total of 33 juniors paraded into the ring while their parents and guardians watched and called out encouragement. The hounds, for the most part, were good natured, happy and compliant, eager to obey their handlersâ€™ commands, especially if those commands came with a kiss and a treat. This was the 41st annual Carolinas Hound Show. The show got its start with the Moore County Hounds in Southern Pines, North Carolina and has been hosted in Camden by the Camden Hunt for almost a decade. Next year, it departs Camden to return to Southern Pines once again.
Forecast for October 9, 2017
It’s going to be raining golf balls
FOTAS’ 4th 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 FOTAS’ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Proceeds benefit the
Aiken County Animal Shelter Visit www.FOTASAiken.org for golf tournament entry information 14
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Carter the Polo Dog by Pam Gleason
hen Carter turned 15 on March 10, 2017, she had a birthday party. There were 11 people in attendance, along with 15 dogs. Everyone had hotdogs and hamburgers: it was a festive occasion. Carter is a Border Collie/Lab mix who is possibly the most well-traveled dog you will ever get to meet. Her owner, Kris Bowman, is the executive director of club development for the United States Polo Association. Her job there has taken her all over the United States. Carter, a veteran polo dog, always comes along. “She’s one of the few dogs that has been to 110 polo clubs across the country,” says Kris, who now has a home in Aiken. “And there are only four states she hasn’t been to: Hawaii, Alaska, North Dakota and Vermont.” She has also visited scores of national parks, both in the United States and in Canada, has done a lot of hiking and camping, and has flown in the cabin of commercial airlines curled up at Kris’s feet. Loyal and intelligent, she has been Kris’s faithful companion her whole life, always staying close by her side. When that wasn’t possible, she could always be relied on to stick near Kris’s truck. “I lived in so many different spots, for her, the truck was home. I could leave her with the truck – I never had to tie her up. She would always wait for me,” says Kris. The downside of this loyalty is that her devotion has always been exclusive to Kris. When Kris has to leave her behind for some reason, she mopes. “She is a real one-person dog. When other people take care of her, she will just lie by the front door waiting for me to come back.” Even Kris’s husband, Will, could never do much with her. “I would call and ask how she was doing, and he would say, She’s just lying around, pouting, waiting for you to come home. She’s no fun at all.” Kris got Carter as a 6-week-old puppy in 2003. Kris says that she has always been a Border Collie person, but was currently dogless: her last dog had died and she wasn’t ready to get a new one. Will, not yet her husband, was a hardcore Lab person, also currently dogless. They had toyed with the idea of getting a dog as a couple, but it seemed impossible to find one that would satisfy both of them. “I thought Labs were big dumb oxes, and he thought Border Collies were neurotic,” says Kris. That summer, Kris, who lived and worked at a polo club in Vero Beach, Florida during the colder months, took a job managing a polo club in Middleburg, Virginia. Not long after arriving there, she picked up a local newspaper and saw an ad for some puppies. They were listed as Border Collie/Lab mixes. “I called Will, who was still in Florida, and I said ‘This is the best thing ever! Border Collie for me, Lab for you – it’s perfect; it’s divine intervention.’ But he wasn’t really sold on it.” Kris called the people who placed the ad anyway, and they confirmed that they had a large litter of 11 Border Collie/Lab mix puppies. But they were in demand and going fast: there were only six that were not yet spoken for. Again Kris called Will. He was still not sure, and thought it would be better to wait until he came to visit, and then they might pick out a dog together. But when Kris called the puppy people back a day or so later, they told her there was only one left. “By this time, I had already made up my mind,” says Kris. “I literally already had a collar. So I called Will back and said I was not going to wait.” Kris drove up into the mountains near the Appalachian Trail to pick up her new puppy. She even already had a name. As Kris explains it, the name “Carter” had been following her around in a strange way that spring. First, while staying with a friend in Florida, she had frequented a store called Carters. Then, she boarded her horses in Virginia at a farm off Carter’s Run Road. When she went to the store in Virginia to buy a collar for the puppy she was planning to get, the clerk at the store introduced herself as Carter. That was the final straw. “I decided that Carter had to be the name.” The people who had the litter had said that half the puppies looked like Labs, half like Border Collies. Carter looked exactly like a Border Collie with no Lab traits evident at all. “So of course, when Will met her, he said, So, you got yourself a Border Collie,” says Kris with a laugh.
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As Carter grew up, she proved that her looks were not deceiving. She had a Border Collie temperament, very intelligent and sensitive. She never liked rough play or too much handling. “She never chased a stick; she never chased a ball,” says Kris. She also never committed any typical puppy errors: never had a housebreaking accident, never chewed on anything she shouldn’t have (after that one shoe!) “I thought that was very extraordinary.” One thing that she did enjoy doing very much was hunting, and she used to go on expeditions around the grounds of whatever polo club she was in to catch groundhogs and rabbits while Kris was busy working. She was quite good at it, and Kris can remember more than one occasion when Carter nearly caused a scene by showing up at a formal event, proudly displaying a headless hunting trophy. Carter always got along well with other dogs she met on her travels, but she only had one true, deep canine friend in her life. This was a huge rescued Poodle/Portuguese Water Dog named Bear, who also lived at the polo club in Florida where Kris spent many winters. “The only time Carter ever left my side was when she went on rabbit hunting expeditions with Bear. She would come back happy and covered in burrs. She never had another friend like that.” Two summers ago, when she was 13, Carter had a terrible health scare. She and Kris were out in Wyoming where Kris was working, and suddenly, on a Friday afternoon, Carter lost control of her rear quarters. Kris took her to a vet, who diagnosed her with immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (ITP) a disorder of the blood that had caused her spinal cord to become compromised. The vet offered to treat her with a human cancer drug, which he said might work and might not. Kris agreed to try it, gave Carter the medication and took her home for the weekend. “She couldn’t walk. I had to hold up her hind end with a polo wrap,” remembers Kris. “I spent two days taking her out like that. It was a hard weekend. As a dog owner, when you have a dog that is 13, you have already made peace with what is coming, and you know eventually you will have a horrible choice to make. So over that weekend, in my mind, I was thinking that this was it. There was no way she could be the outdoor dog that she was and be paralyzed. It gave me a few days to wrap my head around the idea that this was the end.” Kris had another vet appointment on Monday afternoon, and thought it would probably be Carter’s last. But on Monday morning, when Kris went to take Carter out to relieve herself, Carter started walking away – not perfectly, but it was an immense improvement. By the time she got to her veterinary appointment that afternoon, she was walking almost normally. At the vets, they hailed her as a miracle dog. By the fall she was back to her old self. At 15, Carter has definitely slowed down quite a bit. Last year, at 14, she was still able to accompany Kris when she went on trail rides with her horse. This year, those adventures are in the past. She can no longer hear, and some of her other habits have changed, too. For instance, she never cared much for food her whole life, but now, she has become “completely shameless.” “She was the type of dog, you could put a hamburger in front of her on the table and she would never eat it. It was beneath her to steal food,” says Kris. “Now, if a kid walks by at a barbecue with a plate full of food, she’ll just take it. I don’t even know what to say to her. She doesn’t care anymore.” “We’ve had a really great relationship,” continues Kris, noting that Carter was with her during many phases of her life, including her wedding, when she stood up with the couple as they said their vows. “She matches my personality perfectly, and we work as a unit. I don’t call her, I don’t tell her what to do. She just knows, and I don’t know how she knows. I never tried to make her stay by my side, it was just an agreement between us. It worked.” Dogs’ lives are much too short, and Kris knows this relationship can’t last forever. But for now, she and Carter are back on the road, traveling from Aiken to Wyoming for another summer of polo and adventure. Kris has to pay more attention to her, and has to help her in and out of the car, but she says it is definitely worth it. “We’re taking one day at a time,” she says. “I am so lucky to have her.”
The Dog & Hound
Making a Difference
The Volunteers of McCormick Humane Society by Pam Gleason McCormick County, South Carolina is the second smallest county in the state. It is also one of the poorest, with a median income under $40,000 per year and a large proportion of its residents living below the poverty line. It sits on the western border of South Carolina along the edge of Lake Strom Thurmond. This is an artificial lake created in the 1950s when the Army Corps of Engineers built the Strom Thurmond Dam on the Savannah River. One of the bright economic spots in the county is Savannah Lakes Village, a recreation-based development at the lake that attracts nature-lovers and retirees from around the country. The city of McCormick has a quaint downtown, a visitors’ center, a library and various government services. One thing it does not have is a county animal shelter, or a department of animal control, or even an animal officer. This is not especially unusual for the area: many rural counties in South Carolina do not have a budget for animal control, meaning that animals that need assistance are on their own, unless and until some private citizen steps in to help them. Judy Haywood, a Minnesota native who now lives in Augusta, came to McCormick County in 2001 to assist her father who had retired to Savannah Lakes Village. She has been volunteering with the McCormick Human Society ever since. “I still have newspaper clippings from that time,” she says. “There were articles about stray dogs turning wild and chasing people out of cemeteries, killing farm animals. Dogs and cats were being run over in the road because they had nowhere else to go but the streets. The situation was really terrible.” The stray and unwanted animal problem was extremely disturbing, especially to people who had moved to Savannah Lakes Village from a different part of the country and were not accustomed to seeing so much animal suffering. In 1999, three women, Paula Lechel, Marilyn Zuch and Sharon VanTiem, got together to form the McCormick Humane Society. Their goal was to find homes for the stray dogs and cats in the county, provide spay and neuter services, and generally improve animal welfare in the area. The McCormick Humane Society is a decidedly grassroots organization. Incorporated in 2000, it started out as three women saving stray dogs out of their homes and is now a respected nonprofit that occupies 25 acres of donated land. It has a new dog shelter with 12 runs, including isolation areas for animals that have just arrived and a small office-cum-storage room. There is a cat barn with separate areas for cats and kittens, and an outdoor enclosure for cats with conditions that might make them difficult to adopt. There is also a new building under construction that will provide better facilities for everything when it is finished. In addition, there are shaded trails so that dogs can be taken for pleasant walks, a fenced-in play area called Woof Wilderness, a training area and a new agility field. “We are a 100 percent volunteer organization” says Jan Burttram, who is the society’s vice president. Jan, who is originally from Ohio but has lived all over the country, has been with the society for eight years. “Everything we have here is the result of donations,” she adds. “We get some grant money too, but all of that goes to spay and neuter.” When Jan says that the organization is all volunteer, she really means it. Volunteers feed and care for the animals, clean the kennels and cat rooms and do everything else. Even the labor to install the fencing and construct the new facilities is volunteer. Jan estimates that the society
has about 150 volunteers, including approximately 55 who come to the shelter regularly. About 80 percent of them live at Savannah Lakes Village. “Our oldest volunteer is a 91-year-old woman who comes here every Sunday by herself to help socialize the cats,” Jan says. “Our youngest volunteer is 10. She helps with the cats and she comes with us when we go to do adoptions.” The dog runs and cat rooms at the shelter are typically full, and essentially all of the animals in residence are former strays, since the society is not equipped to accept owner surrenders. Onsite adoptions are rare, so a group of volunteers takes adoptable dogs and cats to PetSmart in Aiken each Saturday. It’s a little more than an hour away, but very much worth the drive since there are many more adopters in Aiken than in McCormick. A good number of animals are also adopted through pictures and descriptions on PetFinder, Adopt-a-Pet and other adoption websites. A growing number get sent to out of state rescues such as Home for Good Dogs in New Jersey and Last Chance Animal Rescue in New York. The dogs and cats sent North are typically adopted right away. “We had a dog here for a year and no one wanted her,” says Jan. “But she went North and she was adopted in eight days. We had another dog that went up last week, that we had for a year, and he was adopted over the weekend.” The society also transports some kittens North. They, too, find homes in short order. “All our kittens are adopted within a week,” says Teresa Atwell, who works on the cat team. “We had a shy kitten that I thought would be hard to adopt. She and I had bonded and I could handle her, but when she saw a stranger she got nervous. She went to Last Chance and even she was adopted in three days.” Since McCormick is a no-kill shelter, getting animals adopted quickly is crucial to the mission: the sooner an animal is adopted, the sooner the shelter can take in another one. In addition to working with, caring for, and adopting out the animals in their shelter, the volunteers at McCormick Humane do their best to be good ambassadors in the community. They promote spay and neuter services as aggressively as they can, and will get cats and dogs spayed and neutered at low or no cost, depending on how much money they have in their budget. They donate food to families that are having a hard time feeding their pets. They provide humane education to the fifth graders at the public school. “That really makes a difference,” says Judy Haywood. “Because the kids take what they learn home with them.” Has McCormick Humane made a big difference in the county? The flow of animals coming into the shelter never slows, and so, to the volunteers, it can sometimes feel like they have barely touched the problem. But there is no denying that things are immensely better than they were 17 years ago when the society was founded. “I have had people in the community come to me and say ‘You’re doing a great job. It used to be that we saw dogs by the road all the time. We saw dogs starving; we saw cats and kittens coming out of nowhere, and we don’t see that anymore,” says Teresa. “We are definitely making a difference.” For more information about McCormick Humane: www. mccormickcounty.petfinder.com
Left: Jan Burttram, Vice President; Teresa Atwell, cat team; Jeannie Kocik, adoption chairperson; Above: Kitten in the cat barn
The Dog & Hound
Regional Spring Calendar JUNE
Adoptions at Petco. Petco, 251 Fabian Dr, Aiken, SC. 803.845.6010, www.petco.com/shop/PetcoStoreEventsView?catalogId=10051&sto reId=10151&stlocId=2528 4 Fast and the Furriest 5k & Festival! 7:30am-12pm. Large Pavilion at Brook Run Park, Dunwoody, GA. www.angelsrescue.org 7 Yappy Hour. 6-8pm. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org/ calendar 9 Foundations for Ring Readiness. 7-9pm. GCOC Training Facility 947 S. Stadium Rd, Columbia, SC. www.gcoc.net 9-11 GSDC Dog Show. Wills Park Equestrian Center, 11925 Wills Rd, Alpharetta, GA. Holly Bryan, 470.239.7067, www.willspark. com/equestrian-calendar 9-11 Brightside Summer Kickoff 2017. The Brightside, 2032 Jones Phillips Rd, Dacula, GA. www.northamericadivingdogs.com 10 Dog Wash. 10am-2pm. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org/ calendar 10 Pints and Paws for a Cause. 12-5pm. To benefit St. Francis Farm. Thomas Creek Brewery, Greenville, SC. 864.605.1166 9-11 Palmetto Obedience Training Club Obedience Show and Rally. Northwest Recreation Center, 701 Saxon Ave, Spartanburg, SC. www.palmettotrng.com 11 Animal Rescue Fair. Wills Park Equestrian Center, 11925 Wills Rd, Alpharetta, GA. www.willspark.com/equestrian-calendar 14 Dog Ears: Reading to Shelter Animals. 1:30-3:30pm. Reservation required. Aiken County Animal Shelter, 333 Wire Rd, Aiken, SC. www.fotasaiken.org 16 Foundations for Ring Readiness. 7-9pm. GCOC Training Facility 947 S. Stadium Rd, Columbia, SC. www.gcoc.net 16 “Furever Friends Friday.” The Aiken County Visitor Center, 133 Laurens St NW, Aiken, SC. www.fotasaiken.org 17 Polo for Pets. 11am-2pm. Atlanta Regional Polo Center, Atlanta, GA. 770.712.5541, email@example.com 17 Hound Dog Social - Summer on Augusta 2017! Festival benefitting The Greenville Humane Society. Augusta Village, Greenville, SC. www.onlyonaugusta.com 23 Foundations for Ring Readiness. 7-9pm. GCOC Training Facility 947 S. Stadium Rd, Columbia, SC. www.gcoc.net 24 Barks & Books! 10am-1pm. A special adoption event for Lucky Pup Rescue. M. Judson, Booksellers & Storytellers, Greenville, SC. 864.603.2412 24 Free Agility “Try It” Day. 11am-12pm. Free. Astro Kennels, 418 Scuffletown Rd, Simpsonville, SC. www.astrokennels.net 30-Jul 2 Chestnut Hill/The Dogs Place North America Diving Dogs Trial. 4314 East Cherokee Dr, Canton, GA. www.northamericadivingdogs. com 3-4
Yappy Hour. 6-8pm. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org/ calendar 8 Dog Wash. 10am-2pm. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org/ calendar 12 Dog Ears: Reading to Shelter Animals. 1:30-3:30pm. Reservation required. Aiken County Animal Shelter, 333 Wire Rd, Aiken, SC. www.fotasaiken.org 21 “Furever Friends Friday.” The Aiken County Visitor Center, 133 Laurens St NW, Aiken, SC. www.fotasaiken.org 27-30 Greenville AKC Dog Show. TD Convention Center, 1 Expositon Ave, Greenville, SC. www.greenvillekc.org 5
The Dog & Hound
Yappy Hour. 6-8pm. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org/ calendar 4-6 Chestnut Hill/The Dogs Place North America Diving Dogs Trial. 4314 East Cherokee Dr, Canton, GA. www.northamericadivingdogs. com 9 Atlanta AKC Dog Show. Atlanta Exposition Center South, 3850 Jonesboro Rd, Atlanta, GA. www.apps.akc.org 12 Dog Wash. 10am-2pm. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org/ calendar 12-13 High Flyer Dog Agility Show. FENCE, 3381 Hunting Country Rd, Tryon, NC. 828.859.9021, www.fence.org 18 “Furever Friends Friday.” The Aiken County Visitor Center, 133 Laurens St NW, Aiken, SC. www.fotasaiken.org 18-20 Brightside Air it Out! The Brightside, 2032 Jones Phillips Rd, Dacula, GA. www.northamericadivingdogs.com 24-27 Blue Ridge Dog Agility Show. FENCE, 3381 Hunting Country Rd, Tryon, NC. 828.859.9021, www.fence.org 2
Chestnut Hill/The Dogs Place North America Diving Dogs Trial. 4314 East Cherokee Dr, Canton, GA. www.northamericadivingdogs. com 6 Yappy Hour. 6-8pm. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org/ calendar 9 Dog Wash. 10am-2pm. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org/ calendar 15 “Furever Friends Friday.” The Aiken County Visitor Center, 133 Laurens St NW, Aiken, SC. www.fotasaiken.org 23-24 West Columbia Dog Show. South Congaree Horse Arena, 301 Oak St, West Columbia, SC. www.akc.org 23-24 AKC Rally and Obedience Trial. Riverside Park, 4431 Hardy McManus Rd, Evans, GA. www.akc.org
Brightside October. The Brightside, 2032 Jones Phillips Rd, Dacula, GA. www.northamericadivingdogs.com 6-8 Augusta Dog Show. North Augusta River Park, 100 Riverview Dr, North Augusta, SC. www.augustakennelclub.org 7 Polo Under The Stars FOTAS fundraiser. Raindate Oct 14. 3289 Camp Rawls Rd, Wagener, SC. www.fotasaiken.org 9 FOTAS’ Playing Fore the Pets Golf Tournament + Helicopter Ball Drop. Woodside Plantation Golf Club, Aiken, SC. www.fotasaiken. org 14-15 AKC Rally and Obedience Trial. Simpsonville Senior and Activity Center, 310 West Curtis St, Simpsonville, SC. www.akc.org 19-22 Atlanta Dog Show. Atlanta Exposition Center South, 3850 Jonesboro Rd, Atlanta, GA. www.akc.org. 20 “Furever Friends Friday.” The Aiken County Visitor Center, 133 Laurens St NW, Aiken, SC. www.fotasaiken.org 27-29 Bulldog Show. Piedmont Kennel Club Showplace, 13607 Choate Circle, Charlotte, NC. www.akc.org 6-8
Classifieds ADOPTIONS/PUPPIES Black Russian Terrier Puppies now available. Good pedigree. 803-646-8606, karenphillis@ yahoo.com Trinity Farms Terriers: Quality family dogs with proven calmer dispositions. Generations of gre.at 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. palmettodogclub.org.
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The Dog & Hound
In Memoriam by Michael Thomas Ford
“Good luck, dad.” The woman in the waiting room touches my arm as I go by. I appreciate her words, but I know that they won’t help. I have run out of luck. For the past 20 minutes, the woman and everyone else in the waiting room has watched me cry while holding Andy, my elderly Chi-Terrier, who is wrapped in his favorite blue-checked blanket. Andy himself is asleep, or something like it, his head resting on my forearm. He’s been this way since I picked him up an hour earlier to bring him to the vet. This is our third visit in 24 hours, our second of the day. And I know in my heart that it will be our last. As I walk toward the assistant who has just called Andy’s name, I almost turn and run out the door with him, much as many of the dogs on their way to the exam rooms scramble toward it in an attempt to get out. Maybe if I get him outside and take him home, I think, everything will be fine. But he is not fine. He was, yesterday. Yesterday, he walked around the yard as he always did, unsteadily but happily, sniffing at the flowers, exploring the barn for spilled horse feed, barking at the birds. That evening, though, he seemed tired, and cried when I picked him up. An emergency trip to the vet revealed nothing, and we were sent home with pain medication.
This morning, he was worse, and we came in again. “He may just be ready to go,” the vet said kindly. But he gave Andy a steroid shot, just in case. We went home, and Andy spent all day asleep in his bed beside my desk, where I watched him anxiously. When he woke up, he ate dinner, and I had hope. But only moments later, he walked over and looked up at me with his big brown eyes, asking for help. When I picked him up to comfort him, he immediately closed his eyes and settled down. That’s when I knew. I drove as slowly as I could, praying that the one light between us and the vet would be red, giving us another two minutes together. In the waiting room, I thought about the first time I saw Andy. Just three days earlier, I’d celebrated the 14th anniversary of adopting him from a shelter in San Francisco, where he’d been brought after being hit by a car. I remembered the little cow toy I’d brought him to play with during the weeks he had to recuperate there before coming home. I remembered how I almost took him back after the first manifestations of his difficult personality, and how I’d changed my mind when he climbed into my lap to say he was sorry. I remembered the two crosscountry moves with him whining in his crate in the back seat, the day he wandered out of the yard and I thought he was lost to me forever, the midnight outings when he was sure there was something in the back yard that required his inspection. How had the time gone so quickly? In the exam room, we once more meet with the vet. “Is there anything else we can do?” I ask. When he shakes his head, I can’t breathe. I’m terrified of making the decision too hastily, of robbing Andy of even one minute of enjoying the sunshine, of driving home without him.
The Dog & Hound
I sign papers, make decisions about cremation, pay the bill. The entire time, Andy remains in my arms, never stirring. Then he’s given a sedative and we’re left alone. I rock him and sing to him, stumbling over the words to “Lavender Blue,” the song I always sing to him to comfort him. “You are my own heart,” I whisper into his ears, even though he’s been deaf for several years and can’t hear me. My thoughts race. I know time is slipping away. I try to stop it. Everything is happening so quickly. Part of me wants it over with, this terrible thing that is happening. Another wants to freeze this moment forever, stop time so that I can sit with Andy in my arms until I’m ready to let go. But I’ll never be ready. The vet comes back. “I want to hold him,” I say as he reaches for Andy. He starts to object, then nods. It all goes as smoothly as it possibly can. I know the moment when Andy’s spirit has left his body, because suddenly he feels heavier, the weight of flesh and bone without animation. But I wait for the vet to check for a heartbeat. When he says, “He’s gone,” I allow myself the release of tears. There are things I am grateful for. I am grateful that Andy didn’t decline to the point of suffering. I am grateful that he was happy right to the end. I am grateful that I was able to give him the easiest possible death, and that he wasn’t afraid. Mostly, I am enormously grateful that we had 14 years together. For many of us, dogs are far more than just dogs. Living with Andy, I learned about myself. Watching him move through the world, I discovered new ways of looking at things. In many ways, we were very much alike: stubborn, curious, mercurial. He was a fine companion, and I loved him as much, if not more, than anyone else in my life. A few days after Andy’s death, my friend Paul Magrs, best known as a novelist but also a wonderful artist, sends me several sketches he’s made of Andy based on the last pictures I took of him. In my favorite, Andy’s tongue is sticking out and he’s wearing the ridiculous belly band he wore for the last three years of his life. I put it on a table along with the box containing Andy’s ashes and a bowl holding one of Andy’s canine teeth that was knocked out during an altercation with my friend Melissa’s Dalmatian. It’s a shrine of sorts, I suppose, or at least a memorial. I have a complicated relationship with things like the question of souls and an afterlife. But I want to believe that there’s something after this current adventure, and that the relationships we share have meaning on a larger scale. Apart from the separation from him, the most difficult aspect of Andy’s death for me is the feeling that everything he was is just gone, here one minute and erased the next, only a memory in my mind. I like to think that his spirit has gone on to something else, that the experiences he had during his life are in some way added to the experiences of every other living thing, and that whatever form his spirit now takes, it retains something of him. I like to believe that maybe we’ll get to meet each other again, that someday I will see in the eyes of another human or dog or other animal a little bit of him and we will recognize one another. Life is a strange thing. In a waiting room, a child hugs a wriggling puppy in her arms, excited about all the days they will have, while three seats away a middle-aged man cradles an elderly dying dog as he thinks about how quickly their days together have passed. You welcome a dog into your life knowing that someday, far too quickly, that dog will break your heart. When he does, you say you will never do it again. But you know that’s a lie. I think about Andy every day. I miss him every day. Writing this, my heart breaks all over again at the loss of him. But I am also reminded that because we said yes to each other 14 years ago, both of our lives were forever changed. Farewell, my little big-eared friend. Until we meet again. Michael Thomas Ford’s most recent novel, Lily, is a Tiptree Award long list title, a Lambda Literary Award finalist, and a Shirley Jackson Award finalist. Visit him at www.michaelthomasford.com.
The Dog & Hound
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