Volume 3 â€˘ Number 1
It’s time to get me neutered and vaccinated.
I hear the SPCA has affordable programs for everyone. That’s music to my ears.
199 Willow Run Road Aiken, SC 29801 803-648-6863 www.LetLoveLive.org Walk-in vaccinations available Tues – Fri, 8a – 3p. Call for spay or neuter appointment and best available pricing.
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Time Dated Material • Periodicals • Volume 3 • Number 1
ogs are amazing. Although they have been associated with humans for at least 18,000 years, we are only now beginning to recognize all the things they can be trained to do. In recent years, dogs have expanded on their traditional roles: for thousands of years, they have been hunters, guards and guardians, herders of livestock and finders of lost people and items. Over the last hundred years, they have learned to be movie actors and seeing eye dogs. They have expanded on their roles as therapy dogs and service dogs. They can be trained to do a long list of things for people with disabilities, including the laundry. They can be trained to sniff out drugs, bombs, bedbugs and even cancer. What is more, we are beginning to recognize that dogs don’t just learn by rote. Instead, they are thinking, feeling and intuitive animals that have thoughts and emotions not very different from our own. People involved in the scientific study of animals of all types have traditionally been cautioned against anthropomorphizing – ascribing human thoughts, feelings and motivations to nonhumans. But recent research is beginning to suggest that it is actually the people who deny that animals have thoughts and feelings similar to those of humans who are antiscientific. Animals have now been shown to process emotions in the same part of their brains as people. They have been shown to learn the meanings of words in much the same way that young children do. The more we learn about them, the more they seem like us. In many ways, they are better than we are, of course. It’s hard to find a dog person who will not express this opinion: dogs, they say, are more loyal than people; they love us whether we deserve it or not; they forgive us; they would never abandon us or betray us the way we abandon and betray them. Yes, there are dogs that bite people and other animals, dogs that fight and kill and are dangerous, but, say dog people, this is not the fault of the dog. Rather it is the fault of the upbringing. There are no bad dogs, they say. Just bad training. This may or may not be true: some dogs, like some people, may have something wrong with them that makes them act on violent impulses. Or maybe not. Maybe all dogs that have been labeled bad are the
victims of their circumstances. Many, if not most of them might even be rehabilitated with time and care. Consider the dogs rescued from the Michael Vick dogfighting ring in 2007: many of them went on to become beloved companions, such as Georgia, a sweettempered pit bull who became a celebrity after starring on the National Geographic Channel’s DogTown. Georgia died this fall from complications due to her age, and was eulogized for her gigantic personality, happy grin and loving nature. Recognizing the essential goodness of dogs is, perhaps, one of the things that lies at the heart of today’s kinder and gentler training methods. Oldfashioned dog training relied more on the stick than the carrot, more on choke collars and swats than on coaxing and rewards. While aversive training methods are still used in some places and particularly in some disciplines, most trainers today put more emphasis positive reinforcement. This is particularly true for dogs that learn things that are supposed to be fun for them – agility and rally competitions, for instance. Assistance and therapy dogs learn to do amazing things through positive reinforcement. Chaser, the famous Border Collie from Spartanburg who learned the meaning of over 1,200 words, learned through positive reinforcement: her reward was that she got to play. Although some trainers still insist that shock collars and the like are necessary to teach certain things, the general trend is clearly toward reward, and toward striving to create clear communication with the dog, which is assumed to want to please his or her person. Is there a bigger lesson in all of this? Does the principle of positive reinforcement work for people as well as for dogs? Can we change the behaviors of people who are doing things we don’t like by rewarding them when they do something we do like, the same way as we can for dogs? Maybe, maybe not. But it can’t hurt to try. Maybe, if we generalize the principles of positive reinforcement training to the people around us we would discover that we humans are not such a bad species after all. Of course, we will never be as pure of heart as our dogs. We have another great issue for you this time and we hope you enjoy it. If you have an idea for a story, please drop us an email message or catch up with us on Facebook. We’re always happy to hear from you. Wag on!
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
Our cover shows Harley (Patriots With Duty in Mind) a 9-year-old black Cocker Spaniel owned by Cherie Swain of Graniteville, S.C. Cocker Spaniels are versatile and athletic dogs, excelling in the conformation ring, on the hunt field, in dog sports and in the home. Read more 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.
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Table of Contents 6 Ready to Rally 8 Dog News 12 The Cocker Spaniel 16 Gear Reviews: Leashes 18 Dr. Buzbyâ€™s ToeGrips 20 Regional Calendar of Events 22 Remembering Spike
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Ready to Rally
A Different Kind of Obedience by Pam Gleason, photography by Gary Knoll
n a recent Monday evening, a group of women and their dogs assembled at Dog Days Workshop on Park Avenue in Aiken. They were there for an advanced rally class, taught by Nann Dittrick. The training space contained several stations with different props, each labeled with a square white sign. A sign in front of a row of orange training magazine Front and Finish in 1999, and the sport came into being shortly thereafter. It was accepted as a non-regular event by the AKC in 2000, and as a regular event in 2005. The first year there was a total of 1065 AKC trials with almost 75,000 entries. In 2012, the AKC counted 2,200 AKC events. In addition to the AKC, there are four additional organizations in this country that sanction rally: the United Kennel Club, the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, Canine Work and Games, and Canines and Humans United. Rally now has a growing following ion the European continent and in England. In a rally competition, dogs and their handlers enter the ring and progress through a course of marked exercises and obstacles. Every competitor starts with a certain number of points (100 in AKC or UKC, 200 points in APDT, etc.) but can receive deductions for various errors at or between the obstacles. The judge tells the competitors when to start, but unlike in standard obedience, does not give any further instructions. Again, unlike standard obedience, the handler is allowed to talk to his or her dog. From the AKC regulations: “Unless otherwise Dakota resisting temptation.
traffic cones indicated that the dog and handler were supposed to do a “straight figure 8” and “weave twice” in and out of them. Another pair of cones in the corner had instructions for an “offset figure 8.” Another station with cones instructed handlers to “spiral left, dog inside.” Because one of the goals of this class was to help teach dogs to ignore distractions, the training space and the stations were liberally seeded with interesting things. There were squeaky toys and piles of balls, lifesized stuffed Dalmatians (Nann Dittrick’s breed of choice) and a dog bowl overflowing with dog biscuits. At one point, Nann even walked through, animating a large Dalmatian marionette. The dogs in the class were tempted by the distractions to varying degrees – 2-year-old Jiggs, a yellow Labrador, was initially quite sure he was supposed to be playing with all the toys. But not more than 20 minutes into the class, all the dogs were completing the patterns with their attention focused squarely on their handlers. These dogs were all preparing to earn their Advanced titles in one of the canine world’s most popular yet little recognized sports.
What is Rally?
Rally, sometimes called rally obedience or rally o, is a relatively new competition that was designed to encourage more people to start showing their dogs. It was devised by Charles Kramer, a retired biology professor from the University of Kansas. Kramer, known to his friends as Bud, became involved in dog training in the 1970s. In 1984, he wrote a series of articles on dog agility, which had started in England. Within a few years, he and his wife Vel established the National Club for Dog Agility, the first organized dog agility program in the United States, which eventually became the basis for United Kennel Club agility. In the late 1990s, seeing that agility competitions were becoming more and more popular while obedience trials were losing ground, he came up with the idea of rally obedience, an idea based loosely on the concept of rally car racing. In rally racing, competitors must drive between a series of set control points. In rally obedience, dogs and handlers complete a set course that asks them to perform various different obedience-type actions at each station. Bud explained his ideas in a series of articles published in the dog
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specified . . . handlers are permitted to talk, praise, encourage, clap their hands, pat their legs, or use any verbal means of encouragement. Multiple commands and/or signals using one or both arms and hands are allowed; the handler’s arms need not be maintained in any particular position at any time.” There are two things that are disallowed: touching or physically correcting the dog and making any harsh commands or intimidating signals. The dog is expected to complete the course in a heeling position, though the heel does not have to be as precise as it would be for an obedience trial. At the Novice level, dogs are on a leash, while at the two higher levels (Advanced and Excellent) the dogs are off leash. The course is timed, but time does not count except in the case of ties (then the faster time wins). In the AKC trials, handler and dog teams earn titles by earning three qualifying scores (70 or better) at each level under at least two judges. The club recently added a Rally National Championship, which will be held in Harrisburg, Penn. on March 28, 2014.
Nancy Racki and Jiggs with a temptation
The AKC considers rally to be an intermediate step between the Canine Good Citizen program, which certifies dogs for having basic manners and socialization, and formal obedience trials. “It was created to promote a positive relationship between the dog and its owner,” explains Pamela Manaton in an email. Pamela is the AKC’s Director of Obedience, Rally, and Tracking. “Animation and enthusiasm throughout the performance is encouraged. Emphasis is on fun and excitement for the dog and handler, and the spectator, by providing a more ‘natural’ approach to the performance. Rally provides an excellent introduction to AKC Companion Events for new dogs and handlers and can provide a challenging opportunity for competitors in other events to strengthen their skills.” Aiken’s rally competitors say that they do it because it is fun and gives them a sense of accomplishment. “It’s less stodgy than traditional obedience,” says Linda Finnegan, who was at the Dog Days rally class with her 4-year-old sheltie Dakota. “It’s also easier to progress through the levels,” adds Laura Phillips, who was there with Lucy, a 3-year-old standard poodle. “In obedience there is a big jump in the skills you need if you want to go up. In rally, the skills you need build a little at a time so it’s not such a big step. “I also like that you can talk to your dog,” says Linda. “It’s just more natural.” Nann Dittrick, a professional dog trainer who recently moved to Aiken from Lawrence, Kan., says that when she first saw rally, she was not sure what to think. “When you look at it, it doesn’t seem like much is happening,” she
says. “But the more I watched it, the more I saw. I come from the world of horses and I did a lot of dressage. Rally is like dressage: it’s more difficult than it looks.” One of the great things about rally, according to Nan, is that it is still a young, evolving sport and it still has the flexibility to change. She believes that it is fulfilling the mission of getting more people to participate in dog competitions, and that it is also an ideal first sport to teach a novice handler.
“It’s the perfect way to encourage people to get involved,” she says. “One of the biggest things that handlers have to work on is their footwork and their body language. Rally can help people understand how their footwork can influence their dogs, so it’s a great preparation for anything else they might want to do. No matter how you train, 95% of how things go in a competition will come down to the question of how is your relationship with your dog, so it’s also a way to reinforce that bond.” Nancy Webster, who owns Dog Days Workshop, says that many of her clients like rally because it has the same sense of fun as agility, but that the handler does not have to run, so the sport is easier on people who don’t move as quickly. It is also easy to find competitions – almost any dog show has a rally class, which, unlike agility, does not require much in the way of special equipment. It’s a way to bond with your dog and improve your communication with him, all while having a good time. If you would like to learn more about rally or get involved yourself, contact Dog Days Workshop (www.dogdaysworkshop.com). Some of Aiken’s rally enthusiasts are planning to compete at the Greater Columbia Obedience Club event on January 18-19. (http://www.gcoc. net/). Spectators are welcome.
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Dog News by Pam Gleason
National Dog Show
The National Dog Show presented by Purina has become as much of a Thanksgiving tradition as turkey and football. The show itself, put on by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, was held on Saturday, November 16 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center. NBC Sports was there to film it, and an edited, 2-hour version was broadcast on Thanksgiving Day from 12-2 p.m. EST. There was a rebroadcast on Sunday night.
This was the 12th year that NBC has broadcast the dog show in the two-hour period between the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the start of the football games. Before 2002, that space was traditionally devoted to a showing of the 1946 movie It’s a Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart. By the early 2000s, ratings were low for the film, and the dog show was given a try, reportedly because programming executives at NBC saw and liked the 2000 satirical film about dog shows, Best in Show. The first year of the dog show was a surprise ratings success, and the broadcast is getting more popular all the time. This year’s ratings were up by about 13% over last year and 28% over the year before. The National Dog Show does make for entertaining, family-friendly holiday fare. Everyone likes to cheer on their favorite breed in the group classes and then in the allimportant Best in Show competition, which pits the winners of all seven groups against one another. This year’s show was a great one for people in Aiken because one of the city’s favorite breeds took top honors. This was an
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American Foxhound named Jewel. Jewel (Gch. Kiarry’s Pandora’s Box) is a 3-year-old bitch owned by Ellen Charles and Lisa Miller. She was bred by Lisa and Harry Miller of Kiarry Kennels in Mechanicsville, Md., and Lisa Miller was her handler. Jewel is the top-winning foxhound in American dog show history with 66 all breed Best in Show titles. The winner of the hound group at this year’s Westminster Kennel Club show, she is ranked number one nationally in the hound group with 98 wins, and she is number five in all breed rankings. Her people say that she “has a sixth sense about where she is and what she has to do.” They also describe her as a “tomboy diva.”
Steve Donahue/SeeSpotRun Photo
Puppies as Presents
Pretty much every year, we are told the same thing: you should never give a puppy or a kitten to someone as a Christmas present. The conventional wisdom is that a puppy given as a gift may not be wanted, and that it is likely to end up being mistreated or discarded at the pound as soon as the novelty and its cuteness wear off. The taboo against giving pets as gifts is so prevalent that many breeders are careful to time their litters so they will not have any puppies available at Christmas time. Some animal rescues even refuse to adopt pets out as Christmas presents. Although fears about giving animals as gifts make logical sense, it turns out that they are not founded in fact. In reality, dogs and cats that are given as gifts appear to be less likely to find themselves surrendered to an animal shelter than pets acquired a different way. The first study that showed this was published back in 1996. This study, conducted by Dr. Gary Patronak and his associates at Perdue University, was published in the Journal of the American
Veterinary Medical Association ( JAVMA 209: 572-581, 1996). It was a survey of people surrendering pets to a shelter in Indiana, which asked them where they got their pet and why they were surrendering it. These answers were compared with answers from a survey of random pet owners in the community who were not surrendering their pets. This study found that animals given as gifts were more likely to stay home, whereas those that came from animal shelters, pet shops and friends were more likely to be given up. Studies that followed this one in various areas all across the country all came up with the same findings: pets that are given as gifts are not at an increased risk of relinquishment. This year, Emily Weiss and associates at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals conducted a study specifically designed to learn more about the reality of the pets-as-gifts phenomenon. They conducted a survey that first identified people who had received pets as gifts in the last ten years. Then they asked those people if they were involved with the selection of the pet or if it was a surprise, how much they loved the pet and whether they still owned it. They found that pets given as gifts were loved just as much whether the giftee was involved in the selection or not, and whether the gift was a surprise or not. Those who got the pet as a surprise were more likely to say that their feelings of love and attachment were actually heightened by the memory of how they got the animal. Ninety-six percent of people surveyed thought that getting the pet as a gift either increased or had no impact on their attachment to the animal. The study was published in the November issue of the peer-reviewed journal Animals.
This is not to say, of course, that everyone should rush out to fill every stocking with a puppy. After considering the results of this most recent study and other earlier ones, the ASPCA recently published this position statement on Pets as Gifts: “The ASPCA recommends the giving of pets as gifts only to people who have expressed a sustained interest in owning one, and the ability to care for it responsibly. We also recommend that pets be obtained from animal shelters, rescue organizations, friends, family or responsible breeders – not from places where the source of the animal is unknown or untrusted. “If the recipient is under 12 years old, the child’s parents should be ready and eager to assume care for the animal. If the gift is a surprise, the gift-giver should be aware of the recipient’s lifestyle and schedule – enough to know that the recipient has the time and means be a responsible owner. “The recipient’s schedule should also be free enough to spend necessary time to help assure an easy transition into the home. This is especially important during the holidays and other busy times.” Is Christmas a good time to welcome a new pet into the household? That depends on who you talk to. The American Kennel Club says no, the added stresses and disrupted schedules of the holidays make it a bad time to introduce a puppy. They recommend giving puppy related items such as dog bowls and leashes and getting the actual puppy after the excitement of the holidays has died down. Other people argue that the holidays are an ideal time to add a puppy, since the kids are home from school and many people have time off from work, which means the puppy is bound to get lots of attention.
County Shelter Nears Completion The new Aiken County Animal shelter, built in a partnership between the county and the group Friends of the Animal Shelter (FOTAS), is nearing completion. Constructed on four acres of county owned land at the corner of Wire Road
and Mayfield Drive, the new shelter will double the capacity of the old one, which was designed in 1990 to hold 100 animals. According to FOTAS, the old shelter, in addition to being unsanitary and inadequate in other ways, is chronically overcrowded, handling about 5,000 animals a year, with 200 usually in residence at any one time. There was a groundbreaking ceremony for the new building on March 3 of this year, and construction has been progressing ever since then. The new shelter is expected to be finished early in 2014. Meanwhile, FOTAS is in the process of raising money to outfit the shelter with kennel furnishings and cat cages, and there are still naming opportunities available at the shelter itself. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony this winter, perhaps as early as January. FOTAS is still accepting donations to help the animals at the old shelter, welcoming monetary donations for dog and cat food, as well as such things as leashes, collars and stuffed toys for the puppies to cuddle with. FOTAS started in 2009 to help the animals at the shelter and to try to reduce its staggering euthanasia rate. Those numbers have been coming down slowly, thanks to efforts to promote adoption and an active transfer program that has been transporting hundreds of highly adoptable dogs and puppies to areas of the country where they can find homes more easily. In another effort to help reduce unnecessary euthanasia, this winter the Aiken County Council is set to consider an ordinance to waive the pet recovery fee that they charge people who redeem their animals from the pound. The fee would be waived on the condition that the pet’s owners have the animal spayed or neutered, which costs about $70 through the county’s program. This is considerably less than pet owners might have to pay if their animals had stayed at the shelter for a few days. The hope is that waiving the fee will increase the number of animals redeemed, while at the same time promoting the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats, especially those that have a habit of
getting loose. Find out more about FOTAS and how you can help on their website: www.fotasaiken. org.
New Virus in Dogs
If you follow dog news, you might have heard that there may be a deadly virus striking and killing dogs in the Midwest. The first reports came out of Ohio in August, after four dogs died from an unknown disease that caused vomiting, diarrhea, vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels) and rapid decline. Three of the dogs that died had stayed in the same kennel in Cincinnati, and other dogs that stayed there were also sickened. The fourth dog that died was in Akron, where there was a similar outbreak. Then, in October, more dogs got sick in Detroit and in Ann Arbor, Michigan and six of them died, all with flulike symptoms, vomiting and diarrhea. As of this writing, no one has pinpointed a definitive cause for the illness. It may be related to infection with a circovirus that was discovered in dogs in June 2012. A circovirus is a type of virus that previously has been known to infect birds and pigs. The pig virus causes wasting and bleeding in piglets (postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome.) The new, canine form of the virus was first discovered in a routine screening test of healthy dogs. Later that year it was isolated from the liver of a dog that died from severe gastroenteritis in California. At least one of the dogs that died in Ohio tested positive for circovirus, as did several of the dogs in Michigan. According to information distributed by the American Veterinary Medical Association, this does not mean that canine circovirus caused the illnesses. The dogs that were sick and tested positive for circovirus also tested positive for other diseases and disorders. (Two of the dogs that died in Michigan tested positive for parvovirus.) And many healthy dogs have tested positive for circovirus – in fact, between 3 and 11 percent of all dogs tested, both sick and healthy, have tested positive.
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The current thinking is that canine circovirus may have contributed to the diseases, but is unlikely to be the sole cause. Researchers are working to learn more about the dog illnesses in the Midwest. They are also seeking to find out more about the canine circovirus. Currently, veterinarians know that it exists but they don’t know much more. They don’t know, for example, how it is spread. Their advice for dog owners? If your dog has vomiting and diarrhea, take him to the vet, because there are many different diseases that cause these symptoms, and the earlier the treatment the better. As for the new virus, it may be a factor in making dogs ill, but then again, it may not.
Woof to Wash
Service dogs can make a big difference in the lives of people with disabilities, helping them to do many things that able-bodied people take for granted. Now, service dogs can help their owners do the laundry with the world’s first bark-activated washing machine. The washing machine, called Woof to Wash, is a joint production between JTM Service, a laundry company in the United Kingdom, and the German appliance maker
Miele. The machine is specifically designed to be operated entirely by a dog. It is a single-cycle washer-drier that has a button on the bottom that a dog can press to open the door. The dog can then fill the machine with clothes, close the door, stand back and bark. This turns on the machine, which automatically dispenses the right amount of detergent. The machine was demonstrated this November by a 2-year-old yellow lab assistance dog named Duffy. Duffy was trained by the British national charity Support Dogs. The video press release can be viewed on YouTube. “Although assistance pooches like Duffy are trained to strip beds, fill laundry baskets, load and empty washing machines to help their disabled owners, until now they haven’t been able to turn on a machine,” says the narrator over video of Duffy filling the basin with clothes from a basket. The inventor of Woof-to-Wash, John
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A new study published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin suggest that guard dogs may be able to play an important role in saving the lives of wild cheetahs in Africa. An endangered species, cheetahs sometimes prey on livestock, which leads to them being shot in retaliation. To try to change this, the Cheetah Conservation Fund started the Guarding Dog Program in Namibia back in 1994. They convinced farmers to use Anatolian shepherd guard dogs as part of a non-lethal protection program for their animals. The program was successful – the dogs showed they could protect their flocks and herds from baboons, jackals, caracals, cheetahs and leopards. The dogs generally do not have to chase or attack the predators. All
program called Cheetah Outreach started in South Africa in 2005. The study published this fall assessed the benefits provided by 97 livestock-guarding dogs on 94 farms in South Africa between 2005 and 2011. All of the dogs were supplied by Cheetah Outreach. The farmers who used the dogs reported that the number of animals killed by predators fell by 91 percent after the dogs were on the job. It also found that farmers in the program grew more tolerant of cheetahs, and that the frequency of cheetah sightings went up. On the down side, 16 percent of the dogs in the program were reported to have behavioral problems, and 22 percent of them suffered premature deaths, most often due to snake bites. The study concludes that: “If further corrective behavioral and snake-aversion training were implemented, guarding dogs may offer a cost-effective method of non-lethal predator control and could potentially contribute to the long-term mitigation of human–carnivore conflict in South Africa.” Dogs have also shown that they can help captive cheetahs in a very different way. In many zoos across America, baby cheetahs are paired with puppies and housed together. The cheetahs and dogs grow up to be friends, with the dog helping to socialize the cheetahs and keep them calm, which results in their being more likely to breed successfully when the time comes. The dogs are reported to
they have to do in most cases is bark, which scares many predators away, or at least alerts humans who can come to help. The use of livestock guarding dogs spread throughout many different countries in Africa. A similar
be the bosses in the relationship, but also to be highly protective of their own personal cheetahs. And who says dogs and cats don’t get along?
Middleton, who is the managing director of JTM, explains where he got his idea: “We developed this machine because mainstream products with complex digital controls seldom meet the needs of the disabled user. We had already created a single program, one button machine, to make life easier for people with a range of different needs. When we heard about the amazing work Support Dogs does, the ‘Woof to Wash’ was an obvious next step.” So far, the dog-adapted washer-drier is only available in England. American dogs may bark at the washing machine, but the machine won’t be listening.
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The Merry Ones Cocker Spaniels by Pam Gleason
eople-oriented, sweet, smart and versatile, the Cocker Spaniel has a reputation as a family pet and a glamorous show dog. The smallest of the dogs in the American Kennel Club’s sporting group, the Cocker is actually a hunting dog at heart. Developed to find and flush woodcocks (which is where the name Cocker originates) today’s Cocker tends to retain his “birdy” nature and excels in the hunt field. He is also extremely trainable, with great heart and stamina, and does well in dog sports from obedience to rally, agility and tracking.
Spaniels are an ancient type of hunting dog. They were first mentioned in the 14th century in French books dealing with hunting, and the name implies that they came originally from Spain, though they may actually have been widespread throughout Europe. The term “cocker spaniel” (also cocking spaniel) was first recorded in 1800 in the book
most popular breed of dog in America, and they held this rank until 1952 when beagles took over the number one spot. Cockers came back into favor a generation later, becoming top dog in 1982 and not relinquishing that honor until 1991, when Labrador retrievers hit number one.
Glamour Dogs and Puppy Cuts
The AKC breed standard for the Cocker Spaniel calls for a sturdy, compact dog with muscular hindquarters, a sloping topline and a medium-length, silky coat with abundant feathering on the ears, chest and abdomen. Height requirements are quite stringent: the ideal height is 15 inches for dogs and 14 inches for bitches. Dogs over 15½ inches and bitches over 14½ inches are disqualified from showing, while dogs and bitches that fall below 14½ and 13½ inches respectively have points taken off. The Cocker’s head is rounded, with long ears and round eyes that look directly forward. The tail is traditionally docked shortly after birth. Cockers come in a variety of approved colors. They range from light cream, to red, to black, and may be any of these colors combined with white. Cocker show dogs are actually judged in three different categories. First is the black variety, which includes black with tan points. Then there is the “Any solid color other than black (ASCOB)” followed by parti-colored. Tracy Greene, along with her mother Sandra, owns and shows Cocker Spaniels from their TraySan Cockers kennel in Langley, S.C. She says that the different colors of dog tend to be related to different personality traits. “The black Cockers are more independent,” she says. “They have an attitude ‘it’s my world, and I’ll let you live in it.’ Buff dogs are
Above: Tracy Greene with Ch. TraySan’s Stardom Bound (Sparkle) winning a three point major under judge Desi Murphy. Left: Cherie Swain’s Cockers enjoy agility
Cynographia Britannica, written and illustrated by Sydenham Edwards. At that time, the term was used for any small spaniel used to hunt woodcocks. In fact, in England during the late 19th century, any spaniel under 28 pounds was considered a cocker spaniel. Larger dogs were considered field spaniels. Cocker Spaniels were officially recognized as a separate breed in England in 1892. Spaniels in America have a long history. There were at least two dogs that came over on the Mayflower in 1620, and one of them was a spaniel, although it may have been of a larger variety. According to the AKC, Cocker Spaniels were recognized as a specific breed in 1878, and the American Spaniel Club was formed in 1881. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Cockers were bred to two separate standards: one group favored a smaller, longer-coated dog, while the other leaned more towards a working hunter type. In 1936, the English Cocker Spaniel Club of America was formed to promote the hunting type dog, and in 1946, the AKC formally recognized two breeds, the English and the American Cocker Spaniel. Cocker Spaniels gained many fans with their beautiful, long coats, their friendly natures and their intelligence. By 1936, they were the
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I N C.
more sweet, and parti-coloreds are more free-spirited.” Tracy has been showing Cockers for almost 20 years. She got her first one when she was 10, and then was drawn to show dogs after watching the television broadcast of the 1993 Westminster Kennel Club dog show. She was struck by the looks and movement of a black Cocker Spaniel in the Best in Show competition, Ch. Westglen Blak-Gammon. “I was spellbound,” she says. “I had never seen anything like him.” Tracy wrote a letter to the dog’s owner in California, and the end result was that she started owning and showing Cockers descended from the dog that first caught her imagination. Today, Tracy works full time in a law office, but her passion is Cocker Spaniels. She shows two to three times a month, and spends much of her time researching the breed and learning more about it. She also does her own grooming, which is time consuming, but is important to the dog’s health and can play a crucial role in dog shows. “It’s a labor of love,” she says. “You want to show the dog off, and there are many ways to enhance the dog’s appearance.” Show dogs are undeniable glamorous, and their swinging, silky hair emphasizes their graceful, ground-covering gait. Long coats can be hard to care for, however, so dogs that do not compete in the show ring are often clipped to make it easier to keep them clean and cool. Some dogs are sheared quite closely, which is called a puppy cut, while others have a moderate trim called a Cocker cut or a hunters cut, that allows longer hair on dog’s legs, ears and abdomen.
The Cocker Spaniel is an extremely versatile dog that is well suited to a number of different activities. Just ask Cherie Swain from Graniteville, who lives with her four Cockers. Aside from being her close companions, these dogs have brought her into the world of dog shows. Together they have earned AKC and UKC titles in obedience, agility, tracking and even fly ball. Cherie says that she had a Cocker Spaniel when she was a child and always had a soft spot for the breed. After her children grew up and her old Doberman died, her children convinced her she needed another dog. Remembering her childhood, she decided to get the same kind: a black female Cocker. When she went to select a puppy, however, she was chosen by a black male. She named her new puppy Einstein because he was so smart, and after he completed some obedience classes at a dog training facility, she was convinced to start showing in obedience, agility, tracking and even flyball. Einstein did everything with style and flair. Today, Einstein is retired from showing and Cherie has three other dogs: Glory, who is Einstein’s niece, and Ike and Harley, who are two of Glory’s three puppies. Einstein, who is 13, may be retired from showing, but he still accompanies Cherie and the rest of the pack when they travel to the dog shows. Glory, who is 11, competed at her last dog show this fall. She retires with a UKC championships in conformation and agility, along with AKC titles in tracking, obedience, rally and agility, qualifying her as an AKC Versatile Companion Dog.
Famous Cocker Spaniels
There have been many well-known Cocker Spaniels, including My Own Brucie (1935-1943) a black dog who won Best in Show at Westminster in 1940 and 1941. When he died of a liver ailment at the young age of 8, he had become such a national figure (“the most photographed dog in the world”) that the New York Times ran his obituary on its front page. Cocker Spaniels were so popular for so long that it’s not surprising that they show up pretty much everywhere. There have been many Cockers in Hollywood: the actress Lauren Bacall had one and so did Rita Hayworth, Bette Davis and Esther Williams. More recently, George Clooney has a Cocker named Einstein, and Oprah Winfrey has one named Sadie. The most famous Hollywood Cocker is probably a fictional one: Lady from the 1955 Disney movie Lady and the Tramp. There have been Cockers in the White House, such the Kennedy
family’s Shannon. Harry Truman was given a Cocker puppy named Feller, and there was a bit of a scandal when the president, who did not want the dog, gave it away. Rutherford B. Hayes had a Cocker Spaniel named Dot. He also had seven other dogs and three cats, including Piccolomini, the first Siamese cat in the United States. The Cocker Spaniel Checkers, although he never actually made it to the White House, was one of the most famous presidential dogs in history. This was the dog that was the subject of Richard Nixon’s famous 1952 Checkers speech in which he defended himself against charges of corruption but admitted to accepting one improper gift from a man in Texas: “It was a little Cocker Spaniel dog in a crate that he’d sent all the way from Texas,” said Nixon in his speech. “Black and white spotted. And our little girl—Tricia, the 6-year-old—named it Checkers. And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we’re gonna keep it.” The Checkers speech rehabilitated Nixon’s reputation and helped propel him all the way to the White House in 1968. Checkers himself died in 1964.
Once the number one dog in the country, the Cocker’s popularity has been on the decline over the last decades, and the breed is no longer in the top 20 according to AKC statistics. Cocker Spaniel enthusiasts think this may be a good thing. During the height of their popularity, Cockers were bred too much and too indiscriminately. They were a
favorite of puppy millers and pet shops, and the quality of the breed suffered. Cockers that were bred with no attention to their health had short lifespans plagued by problems. They lost their sunny personalities and they gained a reputation for snappishness. Today, a higher percentage of Cockers are from good breeders who have selected them for health, conformation and temperament. Cockers from good families are what they are supposed to be: enthusiastic, people-loving, athletic and smart. They are beautiful show dogs and exceptional family dogs, skilled hunters and versatile sport dogs. They are the dogs that America fell in love with back in the 1930s. Old descriptions of Cocker Spaniels often use the word “merry” when describing them. That word, old-fashioned though it may be, seems to suit the little dog with the furiously wagging tail. Watch Cockers in action, and it’s pretty clear that they are, indeed, the merry ones.
The Dog & Hound
The Hands-Free Leash by Pam Gleason
One of the biggest health benefits of having a dog, especially for people in urban settings, is that it gives you a reason to take a walk at least two times a day. If you need to walk your dog on a leash, however, there are times when holding that leash becomes inconvenient. If you are carrying bags of groceries, pushing a stroller, hiking up a steep trail, or going for a run, or if you have two dogs, you might find yourself wishing that there was a better way than holding the leash in your hand. You are in luck, because there is. A number of companies now make hands-free leashes of various designs, levels of quality and price points. We tested a few of them with our newly rescued English Pointer Zelda. Here is what we found.
post. The dog in the video is extremely well behaved, however, and this is not something that we would dare try ourselves, at least not today. We like the Buddy a lot. It is well made and economical, the carabiner feels solid, and it definitely takes some of the jarring out of walking a dog that sometimes sees a bird that must be pointed at right now, or else. Doggyride also makes a jogging belt that you can clip the Buddy onto. It is available in four colors: red, blue, green and orange. Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Hands Free Leash. $38. (www.stuntpuppy. com) The Stunt Runner is specifically designed for people who want to run with their dogs. It consists of a simple, adjustable nylon belt with a D-ring on it, and a leash with snap hooks on each end. The leash is made of nylon with a bungee cord on the inside that allows it to stretch from 37” to 55”, helping to absorb some shock and differences in stride. It also has a loop handle on one end for extra control when you need it. This is a nice product made of quality materials and it is well designed. The belt goes from 26” to 42” and is made of a silky-feeling nylon that is comfortable around the waist or the hips. The D-ring to which you attach the leash can be rotated around the belt, allowing you to place
Buddy –Hands Free leash connector by Doggyride. $9.99 (www. doggyride.com) The Buddy is a simple and inexpensive device designed to make any leash hands-free. It consists of a sturdy metal ring with a spring clip called a carabiner, a silicone grip and a short bungee cord loop. Wrap the bungee around your belt or backpack, clip the carabiner to your leash and go. The bungee cord is there in case your dog makes a sudden move, and it is just the right length – long enough to provide some shock absorption, but short enough and tough enough not to cause problems of its own. Doggyride promotes the Buddy for bicycling, and has a video on its website showing a dog attached to a bike rider’s seat
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your dog on the left, right or in front. We especially like the leash for its shock-absorbing qualities. The Stunt Puppy does have some drawbacks, however. The leash,
although it is the right length for us (a 5’5” woman with a 19” dog) might be too short if you were a taller person with a shorter dog. The snap hooks on the leash are too small: they feel strong enough, but they can’t be hooked to anything bigger than the D-ring on the Stunt Puppy belt – you can’t, for instance, hook them to the Buddy carabiner described above. The belt can feel a little bit sharp if your dog starts pulling. The Stunt Runner comes in black, blue, orange, red, silver and “globlack” ($44.00) which has trim made from 3M Scotchlite reflective material, allowing you to see your dog after the sun goes down. Stunt Puppy also sells a coordinated coupler leash connector allowing you to attach two dogs to the Stunt Runner leash ($19.00)
Kurgo 6-in-1 Quantum Dog Leash. $21.99 (www.kurgostore.com) We loved the idea of this leash. It’s six feet long and made of nylon. One end has a standard snap hook to attach to the dog’s collar. The other end has a carabiner. There is a second, thinner ribbon of nylon that runs along the length of the leash and is sewn to it every two inches to create multiple loops. By attaching the carabiner in different places, you can adjust the length of the leash, fasten it around your waist, or drape
Cardio Canine Hands Free Dog Leash $49.95 (www.cardiocanine. com) This was the most expensive product we tried, but it was also our favorite. It comes with an adjustable padded belt and a 5-foot rope leash with a loop on the end. The leash attaches to an oval carabiner, which can be clipped onto loops on the left, right or back of the belt, or onto a metal quick release snap hook in the front. The belt also includes a small pouch for clean poop bags, cell phones and other items, as well as a holder for carrying a 14-oz water bottle, which is included. Cardio Canine is a heavy-duty system that is made to last. The padding is just right to keep you from feeling discomfort if your dog pulls, and the nylon is strong and sturdy – the piece almost feels like a rock climbing harness. It comes in two sizes: small (25-34 inches) and medium (34-41 inches). If in doubt, you should definitely buy the larger size, because it does seem to run small. We found it was most comfortable when it was adjusted to fit around the hips rather than the waist.
Overall, although we love this product, it does have some things that could be better. First, the carabiner that is included is not totally trustworthy: one time it got caught on my coat and became stuck open, allowing the leash to come unattached. This could have been a problem with our recent rescue pup if we had been in an unfenced area. Second, we preferred leashes that had some elasticity to them. We solved both problems by replacing the Cardio Canine carabiner with the Buddy leash connector. Now we have a comfortable padded belt as well as a trustworthy and strong leash with some give to it. This product comes in in blue with black padding and a black leash. The belt includes reflective silver patches on the back to give you a little visibility if you go out at night.
it over your shoulder courier-style. You can also use it to tie your dog to a tree, a park bench or your chair in an outdoor café. You can hold the leash in the middle and walk two dogs. There is a short length of felt padding that can be moved anywhere on the leash. When you are using it as a standard leash, this felt can be made into a loop by snapping together a magnetic clasp, which makes it quite comfortable to hold. You can also adjust the padding to protect your shoulder or waist. The Quantum leash is certainly versatile. But, unfortunately, it did not work well for us as a hands-free leash. The padding was nice when it was used as a liner for the handle, but when we tried to adjust it for waist or over-the-shoulder use, it tended to bunch up and was uncomfortable. When we used the Quantum as a waist leash, we also wished that it incorporated some elasticity, and it did not seem to be the correct length. Of all the hands-free systems that we tried, this was the only one with which we found ourselves tripping over our dog. Although this is probably a good product for some people (those with smaller and better trained dogs for instance) it is not right for our situation. It is quite a nice leash for walking your dog, and it is great to be able to switch it to a waist leash when you need to, but if you really want hands-free, a dedicated hands-free system works better. The Quantum leash comes in four two-toned colors that are coordinated with Kurgo’s Tru-Fit smart harness and Wander collars: black with orange, brown with tan, khaki with black and red with blue. Is Hands-Free for You? Most of the hands-free systems we tried come with disclaimers, stating that they should only be used with well-trained dogs that already have good leash manners. Many people who buy these leashes, however, do so because they are tired of trying to hold onto a dog that pulls. Although hands-free systems are not supposed to be used as training devices, in practice, you might find that they will work to retrain a pulling dog. The dog will certainly realize pretty quickly that it is much harder to pull you from your hips than from your arm, and he might stop trying. Hands-free systems are great for running and hiking, since they allow you to use your arms for balance rather than for holding your dog. Be forewarned, however, that if you are hiking on a trail and you catch your toe on a root, you are much more likely to trip and fall down if your dog is running ahead of you while attached to your waist than if you can simply let go of the lead. Adjusting belts so that they ride low on your hips will give you more control of your balance, but this will not eliminate the extra danger of falling that comes with attaching yourself to your dog. On the other hand, if your dog is a “flight risk” and you are agile, you might find that hands-free is the best and the safest way to go. Just make sure that the collar or harness that attaches the leash to your dog is sturdy, safe and properly fitted.
The Dog & Hound
Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips
Stability for Dogs Who Need It By Mary Jane Howell
t was one of those “Aha” moments for Julie Buzby, DVM, CVA. While participating in an open house at the veterinary clinic where she worked part-time in Beaufort, S.C., she watched as her friend Todd Lynd walked up the drive with his Australian shepherd named Morgan. “Walk” is the operative word, since Morgan was in her late teens and suffered from severe arthritis. The last time Dr. Buzby had seen Morgan, the dog was having trouble getting around. “I took one look at her toenails and got goose bumps,” says Dr. Buzby. Todd had put blue rubber rings around each of Morgan’s toenails. These rings gave her enough traction to walk comfortably and confidently without slipping. Even though the vision of Morgan walking up the driveway with blue rings on her toes happened two years ago, Dr. Buzby still gets excited when telling the story. She talks quickly about mechanics and toenails and hardwood floors and traction, without taking a breath. All of this is understandable, however, when you recognize her passion for protecting the health and dignity of dogs. Dr. Buzby is the driving force behind ToeGrips, an innovative product that gives dogs with mobility issues traction and stability, helping them keep their balance on slippery surfaces and restoring their self confidence. The whole ToeGrip adventure started with Todd Lynd, who, according to Dr. Buzby, is a “modern-day Leonardo DaVinci.” “Todd had been a farrier, an inventor, a chainsaw artist – the list is endless of all the things he can do,” laughs Dr. Buzby. “His plate was full of projects, so he basically handed over the prototype for what we now call ToeGrips, gave me his blessing and wished me luck! “A dog’s natural mechanism for traction is to flex the paws and engage the nails,” she continues, explaining that no one had considered using the toenails to give a dog traction before. “I had come out of the horse world, where the saying is – ‘no hoof, no horse’ – so I understood the importance of toenails for a dog’s posture and gait.” Within moments of that original encounter with Morgan, Dr. Buzby’s mind was filled with images of all the dogs that could be helped by such an invention.
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“I had a patient named Hope who was struggling after a knee surgery that had gone badly,” Dr. Buzby says. “I had her owner bring her over and we put a set of ToeGrips on her, and the results were amazing. She walked 75% better immediately.” Dr. Sybil Davis, the owner of Aiken Pet Fitness and Rehabilitation, is a fan of ToeGrips, which she says gives dogs a “huge amount of confidence.” “I have seen dogs frightened to walk after surgery, but ToeGrips really relieves their anxiety,” explains Dr. Davis. The product can also reduce injuries that older dogs sometimes get from slipping on hardwood floors. “There are only so many throw rugs you can put down,” says Dr. Davis. “If you have ToeGrips on your dog’s nails, they can go back to walking normally.” ToeGrips officially launched in January of 2013 and, since that time, the word has spread and the product is now sold throughout the United States and in 42 other countries. After attending one of the country’s largest veterinary trade shows earlier this year, Dr. Buzby was inundated with questions about the invention. “Most people were curious about what product ToeGrips was replacing, or improving upon, but in reality this is a brand new product. I joke that my only competition are throw rugs… but that really is the truth!” Today, Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips is a home-based business in Beaufort. “I home school my children, so it was important to have a business that was compatible with our lifestyle,” she says. “Our biggest obstacle right now is that we’re still relatively unknown. When veterinarians realize how miraculous this product is they are wild about it. We are just trying to get the word out!” ToeGrips are sized from Small up to XX Large and can be applied with Super Glue. It is important that the toenails be properly measured, so there is a complete how-to video on Dr. Buzby’s website, covering everything from measuring nails to applying the product (www.toegrips. com). For those pet owners who would rather have the ToeGrips professionally applied, Sybil Davis can help. “Almost every day we have dogs that come in with ToeGrips, so I know that in the Aiken area the word is spreading,” says Dr. Davis. So, the big question is, what are Aikenites doing with all those old throw rugs?
Classifieds ADOPTIONS/PUPPIES Adopt a Shelter Dog or Cat from the Aiken County Animal Shelter. Many beautiful, healthy, friendly animals to choose from. 411 Wire Road, Aiken. See the pets at www. fotasaiken.org. 803.642.1537. Trinity Farms Terriers: Quality family dogs with proven calmer dispositions. Generations of great
temperaments. Health/dispositions guaranteed. Breeders of terriers for 30+ years. Donna Fitzpatrick. 803.648.3137. www.easyjacks. com & trinityfarmskennel.com & trinitynorfolkterriers.com. Albrecht Aiken SPCA. Dogs, puppies, cats and kittens for adoption. Hours of operation: Mon-Sat. 11 am - 5 pm. Weekly
offsite adoptions at Aiken Petsmart, Sat 10 am- 3 pm; Sun 1:30 pm 6:30 pm. www.LetLoveLive.org 803.643.0564 . Pointers! More than just bird dogs. Many beautiful purebred Pointers of all ages available for pets or for hunting. www.pointerrescue.org. ANIMAL CARE Horses And Hounds Aiken. Pet &
Horse-Sitting. Reasonable Rates, Bonded and Insured, Vet Assistant. 803-643-9972/803-443-8303. horsesandhoundsaiken@gmail. com. www.horsesandhoundsaiken. com Pet sitting, farm sitting, expert horse care. References available. Mary Jane Howell. 802.295.8294
The Dog & Hound
Regional Calendar of Events December 1
1-2 3 6 6 6 6 6 6-8 7 7 7-8 7-8 7-8 7-8 8 8 9 13 13
Worth County Beagle Club Field Trial. South Georgia Beagle Club Grounds, 883 Dafodil Road, Ocilla, GA. Stacy Moore, 229.881.4207. 14-15 Afghan Hound Club of America Lure Coursing Trial. Polo Field, 130 Polo Lane, Camden, SC. Larry Richards, 704.483.6269. 28-29 North Georgia All Breed Herding Dog Association Herding Test and Trial. Woods End Farm, Farmington, GA. Gay Silva, 706.474.2744, firstname.lastname@example.org. 30 Fifth Annual FOTAS Hunter Pace. Fox Nation, 735 Cedar Branch Road, Windsor SC. www.fotasaiken.org. 13
Winston-Salem Dog Training Club Tracking Event. Hilltops, Conrad Road, Lewisville, NC. www.wsdtc.org. Beaufort Kennel Club Obedience Trial. Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, 1 International Drive, Savannah, GA. www.beaufortkennelclub.org. Mecklenburg Beagle Club Field Trial. Cabarrus Beagle Club, Concord, NC. John D Kiser, 704.875.1212, johnkiser@carolina. rr.com. $5 Freaky Friday Adoption Event: Don't Sweat the Holidays! Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Road, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.spca-albrecht.org. Cape Fear Retriever Club Field Trial. Pembroke Farms, Rocky Point, NC. John W Thomas, Jr, 910.675.1296, email@example.com. Snowbird Retriever Club of South Georgia Field Trial. Properties in and Around Boston, GA. Barbara Younglove, 810.338.2667, firstname.lastname@example.org. Rocky River Beagle Club Field Trial. The Rocky River Club Running Grounds, Oakboro, NC. Mr. Wendell Warren McInnis, 704.563.8642, email@example.com. German Shorthaired Pointer Club of South Georgia Field Trial. Utopia Plantation, Mead Road, Arabi, GA. Lindsay Passmore, 229.947.2176. Winston-Salem Dog Show. LJV War Memorial Coliseum, 300 Deacon Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC. 336.379.9352, mbf@ infodog.com. Georgia Brittany Club Field Trial. Scharpf Farm, 184 Register Road, Gordon, GA. Betty Morgan, 404.429.3602, bettymorgan650@ gmail.com. Lotts Creek Beagle Club of East Georgia Hunting Test. 22901 Talmadge Lane, Pembroke, GA. Sybil C. Nease, 912.728.3340, firstname.lastname@example.org. Durham Kennel Club Obedience Trial. Durham Kennel Club, 7318 Guess Road, Durham, NC. www.durhamkennelclub.com. Palmetto Pointing Breed Club Hunting Test. 106 Whitetail Drive, Walhalla, SC. Debbie Darby, 864.882.0215, whitetailgwp@ mindspring.com. Cocker Spaniel Specialty Club of Georgia Hunting Test. Luke Weaver Farm, Lee Maddox Road, Jackson, GA. www. cockerspanielclubofga.org. Sawnee Mountain Kennel Club of Georgia Obedience Trial. Family Pet Obedience School, 4890 Hammond Industrial Drive, Ste 100, Cumming, GA. www.smkcga.com. Palmetto Retriever Club Hunting Test. H. Cooper Black Jr. Memorial Field Trial Area, Patrick, SC. Janet Hasty, 803.427.4321, email@example.com. Atlanta Obedience Club Tracking Event. Charles Osborne Farm, 1611 Cedar Road, Watkinsville, GA. www.atlantaobedienceclub.com. Cabarrus Beagle Club Field Trial. Club Grounds, Barr Road, Concord, NC. Paul Bell, 704.982.5152. Tallokas Retriever Club of Georgia Field Trial. Brooks County, Pavo , GA. Lynn Troy, 229.291.8386, claddaghretrievers@yahoo. com. Sandhill Beagle Club Field Trial. Club's Running Grounds, Cheraw, SC. Eddie Brock, 843.250.2871.
January 6 3 3
4 4-5 5 8-9 9 11
$5 Freaky Friday Adoption Event: Our Pets Are Tops! Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Road, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.spca-albrecht.org. Poplar Branch Beagle Club Event. Club Running Grounds, Moore Road, Aiken, SC. Barbara Brooks, 803.360.8024, firstname.lastname@example.org. Down East Beagle Club Event. Bailey Location, 8600 New Sandy Hill Church Road, Bailey, NC. Jonathan Woodall, 252.292.9550, email@example.com.
Tarheel Beagle Club Hunting Test. Tarheel Running Ground, 725 Warp Lane, Cleveland, NC. Wayne Adams, 336.469.6238, wadams@ wilkes.net, www.basenji-club.com. Clemson Kennel Club Event. T.Ed Garrison Arena, 1101 West Queen Street, Pendleton, SC. 336.379.9352, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.clemsonkennelclub.com. Charlotte Dog Training Club Tracking Event. Rural Hill Farm, 4431 Neck Road, Huntersville, NC. Deborah Mitchell, 704.517.1058, email@example.com, www.charlottedogtraining.com. Field Trial. 1/2 Miles South off Of U.S. 341, Roberta, GA. William P. Moore, 706.570.9233, firstname.lastname@example.org. German Shorthaired Pointer Club of Atlanta Field Event. Luke Weaver'S Farm, Jackson, GA. Carol Simmons, 770.967.2105, email@example.com, www.gspcatlanta.com. Mayfield Beagle Club Field Event. Running Grounds, Highway 56, Franklinton, NC. James Terracina, 919.422.9012.
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Tar Heel Brittany Club Field Event. Robert J. Gordon Trial Grounds, Hoffman, NC. Martha Greenlee, 434.774.2763, firstname.lastname@example.org. 11-12 Atlanta Obedience Club Show. Atlanta Obedience Club Building, 1193-D Beaver Ruin Road, Norcross, GA. Sue Kelly, 770.256.9989, email@example.com, www.atlantaobedienceclub.com. 15 Cabarrus Beagle Club Field Event. Barr Road, Kannapolis, NC. Paul Bell, 704.982.5152. 15-16 Field Event. Club Grounds, Hampton, GA. Richard Butterworth, 770.297.9483, firstname.lastname@example.org. 15-19 Atlanta Kennel Club Agility Event. Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter, 401 Larry Walker Parkway, Perry, GA. Jim Macke, 404.583.5783, email@example.com, www.atlantakennelclub.org. 16 Southeastern Brittany Club Field Event. Robert J. Gordon Trial Grounds, Hoffman, NC. Judy Tighe, 910.281.0474, hopebritnc@ windstream.net. 17 South Georgia Beagle Club Field Event. Running Grounds, Lax, GA. Chris Graddy, 229.238.1852, shadetreekennel2144@yahoo. com. 17 Rocky River Beagle Club Field Event. The Rocky River Club Running Grounds, Oakboro, NC. Wendell W. McInnis, 704.563.8642, firstname.lastname@example.org. 17 German Shorthaired Pointer Club of North Carolina Field Event. H.Cooper Black Jr. Memorial Field Trial & Recreation Area, Cheraw, SC. Jan Holloway, 919.471.9785, email@example.com. 17-19 Blue Ridge Agility Club Event. McGough Arena WNC Ag Center, 1301 Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher, NC. Jayne Abbot, 828.713.3278, firstname.lastname@example.org. 18-19 Piedmont Collie Club Event. Paws4Ever Animal Sanctuary, 6311 Nicks Road, Mebane, NC. 336.379.6080, email@example.com. 18-19 Chattahoochee English Springer Spaniel Club of Greater Atlanta Event. Gwinnett County Fair Grounds, 2405 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA. 260.925.0525, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cesscga.org. 18-19 Greater Columbia Obedience Club Show. Tri-City Leisure Center, 485 Brooks Avenue, West Columbia, SC. Chris Brooks, 864.404.7836, email@example.com, www.gcoc.net. 22 Savannah River Valley Beagle Club Field Event. Club Grounds, Edgefield, SC. Jan H Robertson, 803.309.3230, janr@upthecreek. net. 23 Georgia Brittany Club Field Event. DiLane Plantation, Waynesboro, GA. Betty Morgan, 404.429.3602, bettymorgan650@ gmail.com. 24 Greater Charleston Weimaraner Club Event. Silversmith Farm, 4129 Chisolm Road,. Johns Island, SC. Barbara Glover, 843.425.0895, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.grchasweimclub.org. 24 Green River Beagle Club Field Event. Green River Beagle Club Running Grounds, 518 Springs East Road, Lincolnton, NC. Norman Murphy, 828.464.8577. 24-26 Moore County Kennel Club of North Carolina Agility Event. BonClyde Learning Center, 3030 Lee Avenue, Sanford, NC. karen-w@ msn.com, www.mckcnc.com. 25-26 Charleston Kennel Club Event. Exchange Park, 9850 Highway 78, Ladson, SC. 336.379.9352, email@example.com, www. charlestonkennelclub.org. 27 Black Jack Beagle Club Field Event. Club Grounds, Bishopville, SC. David P Boyce, 803.774.3800, firstname.lastname@example.org. 30 German Shorthaired Pointer Club of Atlanta Field Event. Pretty Pond, Baconton, GA. Carol Simmons, 770.967.2105, cmsdals@ bellsouth.net, www.gspcatlanta.com. 30-Feb.1 Atlanta Dog Show. Atlanta Exposition Center South, 3850 Jonesboro Road, Atlanta, GA. 405.427.8181, email@example.com, www.akc.org. 11
West Ridge Beagle Club Field Event. Running Grounds, Highway 56, Franklinton, NC. Justus M Ammons, 919.847.5460. Tarheel Weimaraner Club Hunting Test. Phil Hearne's Grounds, 4005 Greenhill Road, Snow Camp, NC. Betta Breuhaus, 919.362.1154, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ncweimaraner.org.
Charlotte Dog Training Club Show. Piedmont Kennel Club Showplace, 13607 Choate Circle, Charlotte, NC. Ginger Robertson, 912.308.1007, email@example.com, www.charlottedogtraining. com. 6 Coastal Plain Beagle Club Field Event. Cross Creek Grounds, Beagle Club Grounds, Fayetteville, NC. Helen Gore, 910.642.8120. 7 $5 Freaky Friday Adoption Event: Super Pets! Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Road, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.spca-albrecht.org. 7 Sandhill Beagle Club Field Event. Boy & Chewing Road, Cheraw, SC. Eddie Brock, 843.253.6632. 7 Cohutta Beagle Club Field Event. JL Lester WMA, Cedartown, GA. Johnny Kendrich, 706.218.3078, firstname.lastname@example.org. 7-9 Atlanta Golden Retriever Club Agility Event. T.Ed Garrison Arena, 1101 W. Queen Street, Pendleton, SC. Mari Magmer, 404.217.8746, email@example.com. 8-9 Vizsla Club of Metro Atlanta Hunting Test. The Milner Lease, 135 Ethridge Mill Road, Milner, GA. Kathy Hansen, 404.414.5180, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.atlantavizsla.org. 8-9 Vizsla Club of the Carolinas Hunting Test. Armenia Hill Fleming Farms, 2917 Armenia Road, Chester, SC. Abbie Hanson, 803.943.6521, email@example.com, www. carolinavizsla.org. 9 Vizsla Club of Metro Atlanta Hunting Test. The Milner Lease, 135 Ethridge Mill Road, Milner, GA. Kathy Hansen, 404.414.5180, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.atlantavizsla.org. 14 German Shorthaired Pointer Club of South Georgia Field Event. Utopia Plantation, Mead Road, Arabi, GA. Julia A Heidbrink, 678.588.1619, email@example.com. 16 Winston-Salem Dog Training Club Tracking Event. Hilltops, Conrad Road, Lewisville, NC. Louisa Arendt, 336.408.1494, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.wsdtc.org. 20 Catawba County Beagle Club Field Event. Catawba County Clubhouse, Maiden, NC. George Hebert, 828.326.9370, abear4@ charter.net. 21 Poplar Branch Beagle Club Field Event. Club Running Grounds, Moore Road, Aiken, SC. Barbara Brooks, 803.564.6551, taylorb@ dnr.sc.gov. 21-23 Carolina Piedmont Agility Club Event. Lone Hickory Indoor Arena, 1950 Bethel Church Road, Yadkinville, NC. Jayne Abbot, 828.713.3278, email@example.com, www.carolinapiedmontagility. com. 22-23 Chattahoochee English Springer Spaniel Club Greater Atlanta Hunting Test. Minkiewicz Running Grounds, Bowman, GA. Marilyn Burke, 678.643.3007, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cesscga. org. 22-23 Cape Fear Dog Training Club Obedience Event. Cape Fear DTC Facility, 2463 Companion Court, Fayetteville, NC. Ann Hussa, 910.850.0442, email@example.com. 23 Brushy Mountain Beagle Club Field Event. Catawba County Beagle Club, Maiden, NC. George Hebert, 828.326.9370, abear4@charter. net. 23 Mid-Atlantic Hound Association of Central North Carolina Lure Coursing Test. Flintrock Farm, 221 Flintrock Trail, Reidsville, NC. Edward Kominek, 919.323.3353, firstname.lastname@example.org. 28 German Shorthaired Pointer Club of Atlanta Field Event. Luke Weaver's Farm, Jackson, GA. Carol Simmons, 770. 967.2105, email@example.com, www.gspcatlanta.com. 28 Snowbird Retriever Club of South Georgia Field Event. Properties in and Around Boston, GA. Lynne Thomson, 810.338.2667, firstname.lastname@example.org. 28 Lotts Creek Beagle Club of East Georgia Field Event. 22901 Talmadge Lane, Pembroke, GA. Sybil C. Nease, 912.728.3340, email@example.com. 28 German Shorthaired Pointer Club of North Carolina Field Event. Robert J. Gordon Trial Grounds, Hoffman, NC. Jan Holloway, 919.471.9785, firstname.lastname@example.org. 28 Winston-Salem Dog Training Club Show. Winston-Salem Dog Training Club, 3800 Bethania Station Road, Winston-Salem, NC. 1-2
The Dog & Hound
Comfort and Joy Remembering Spike By Mike Ford
n April of 2006, I was not looking for another dog. At the time, I had three: Chihuahuas George and Andrew, and Sam, a recentlyadopted senior Lab. Also, I was tired. I had spent the past year shepherding Roger (another Lab, who had been with me for 12 years) through treatment for the cancer that ultimately claimed him. Roger was the dog love of my life. When he died, he took a big piece of my heart with him, and I told myself there would be no more dogs for a while. But old habits die hard, and one afternoon I found myself looking at the website of a local rescue group, where I found Spike. I’m a sucker for old and/or dented dogs. Spike, a 15-year-old Miniature Pinscher, was both. He’d been rescued from a shelter by a woman who had gone there to look at a bird. She actually wasn’t particularly fond of dogs, but when she passed by the kennels on the way to the bird room, and saw what she later told me looked like a tiny pile of discarded fur, she stopped to look. When she realized that it was a dog, and that he wasn’t moving as all the other dogs ran around clamoring for attention, she demanded that someone check on him. She was afraid he was dead. He wasn’t dead. He had just given up. The shelter people knew almost nothing about him. He didn’t have a name. They thought he might have belonged to an elderly person who had died. Or possibly he’d been abandoned just because he was old. Since his arrival, no one had paid any attention to him. Unable to let him die unnamed and alone, the woman who didn’t even really like dogs promised him she would find him a home. Spike didn’t have much going for him. His fur was patchy. His teeth were rotten. His well-meaning foster family, in an attempt to fatten him up, fed him pepperoni, a side effect of which was that he was bloated and farted almost constantly. He peed, they said, on everything. The other animals in the house hated him. My other dogs hated him too. Within minutes of arriving, he was acting as if he owned the place. If he wanted food, he muscled everybody out of the way to get to it. If he wanted attention, he jumped into my lap, oblivious of whoever was already sitting there. And he kept peeing on everything. Despite his flaws and eccentricities, or in my case because of them, it was impossible not to love him. He charged through life like a tank, meeting everything and everyone head-on. He even did a strange little victory dance after every poop, as if he’d just scored the winning touchdown. And addressing his health problems went surprisingly well. His teeth were cleaned. A change of diet cleared up the problems with his skin and put an end to the digestive issues. I was hopeful that he might have another couple of years left in him. But then, in October, the seizures began. At first they were occasional, but soon they became nightly. Spike slept in a nest of blankets beside my pillow, so that I would know when he seized and be able to comfort him. Seizures in dogs are not generally painful, but they are disorienting. They also caused Spike to urinate, so after holding him until he stopped trembling, I would then have to bathe both of us and put him back to bed in clean blankets. Although he remained spirited, his physical decline was rapid. Five days after Thanksgiving, I picked him up to take him to what in all likelihood would have been his final vet visit, and he convulsed. He died in my arms while I stroked his tiny face and told him what a brave and wonderful boy he was.
The Dog & Hound
When I talk to people about my tendency to rescue old dogs, they inevitably say the same thing: I couldn’t do that. It would be too difficult, and I would be too sad when they died. Well, yes, it is sad. It’s been seven years since Spike’s death, and I’m crying now as I remember it. But I also think back to one of his last visits with his vet. Having been poked and prodded, he scrambled across the examining table and leaped into my arms. “Everything is better when Dad is holding you, isn’t it?” the vet said. And that’s exactly it. Dogs live in the moment. How they feel now is, for them, how they’ve always felt. When Spike died, I believe he died knowing that he was loved more than any dog in the entire universe, and that as far as he knew, it had always been that way. The sadness I feel at his passing is surely a small thing compared to this. There’s a saying popular in dog rescue: Saving one dog won’t change the world, but it will change the world for that one dog. This is true, but it tells only part of the story. The other part is that it will also change the world for the person fortunate enough to share time with that dog, whether that time lasts a day or a decade. Following Spike’s death, my friend Sarah Higdon painted a portrait of him in which he’s depicted as a black-eyed, cigarette-smoking rugby player. Whenever I look at it, I remember Spike at his happiest, and I’m thankful that I was able to have those seven months with him. That was his gift to me, and it’s greater than anything I was able to give to him. Michael Thomas Ford is the author of numerous books, most recently a trilogy of blackly-comic novels that imagine Jane Austen living as an inept modern-day vampire.