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March/April 2019 • Volume 3 • Issue 6





















Nicole Irving


Renee Castro




Megan Sapelak, Grace Downey Shane Irving Betsy Langan, April Tisher Sayeh Farah

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Irving Publications, LLC reserves the right to edit and/or reject any advertising. Irving Publications, LLC is not responsible for the validity of any claims made by its advertisers. Nothing that appears in Wellness360 Magazine may be reproduced in any way, without written permission. Opinions expressed by Wellness360 Magazine writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the publisher’s opinion. Wellness360 Magazine will consider all never before published outside editorial submissions. Irving Publications, LLC reserves the right to edit and/ or reject all outside editorial submissions and makes no guarantees regarding publication dates. The information found in Wellness360 Magazine does not constitute individualized medical advice. You must NOT rely on the information in this magazine as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional health care provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional health care provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information in this publication. Wellness 360 Magazine assumes no responsibility for any circumstances arising out of the use, misuse, interpretation or application of any information supplied within the magazine. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on in this magazine as a tool for self-diagnosis. You exercise your own judgment when using or purchasing any product highlighted in Wellness360 Magazine. Wellness 360 Magazine assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in this publication or other documents that are referenced by or linked to this publication.

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Folds, Walker & Maltby, LLC is a full-service civil law firm serving the legal needs of individuals, families and businesses. We are proud of our new name, but we have the same goal of fostering a firm culture based on traditional professional values. The Partners share the common vision of growing the practice where integrity, hard work, personalized service and excellence define success for our clients and the firm.

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features 34 Local Pets and Their Owners


Meet the pets of 10 Alachua County residents and families

48 Fur-ever Healing

Learn more about local animals that may improve health

CONNECT WITH US /wellness360magazine ON THE COVER

Our cover photo was shot on location at Tioga Town Center by Tanya Consaul Photography. Kona is a Goldendoodle who loves to play. She is the pet of Alachua County residents Cristine and Jesse Rawe.

@wellness360mag @wellness360mag /wellness360mag WELLNESS360 | MARCH/APRIL 2019



in every issue HEALTH 10 How Simple Changes

Can Help to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

58 Friends: Why We Need

12 Getting the Lowdown

14 A Veterinary Breakthrough



62 Meet the Staff's Pets! 64 We Tried It! Breckenridge 66 Calendar

on Inflammation



Comes to Gainesville

16 Finding Your Inner Animal 18 Fitness With Your Pets: What's the Hype?

22 Ted Talks: Heel, Boy

STYLE + GEAR 26 Living Lavish: Pet Edition 28 Protect Their Paws

Them, Even When We Think We Don't

60 SPOTLIGHT360: Meet Lara Baigorria

The local full-time student who doubles as a full-time competitive bodybuilder.


Your Food and Money in the Trash

32 Blueberries: The Super-food

for Pets?

LIFESTYLE 50 Navigating the Waves:

Saltwater and Your Pet

52 Sharing Your Bed: The Pros and Cons of Co-Sleeping

54 Our Favorite Pet-Friendly Pit Stops of Gainesville

52 6


ASK THE EXPERT 56 Ask the Dog Trainer



30 What a Waste: Stop Throwing



Editor's Note And… I got nowhere. He was a firm “No!” So, after an hour, yes an hour of begging and pleading with my husband of 17 years to come down to meet me, I had to wipe myself off the floor and walk away. I got no further than five steps from the enclosure when my youngest called. “We are on our way.” You better believe I sprinted back to them, where of course, their beauty began attracting other possible adoptees, and proclaimed to the rescue organization that my husband was on they way and I was pretty sure we would adopt them, and it was quite loud so other’s could hear! Just in case. Thirty minutes later, we were on the way home with our two new friends, who we happily renamed Jack and Jill. We assumed adjusting would be hard as we now had three fur babies at home, but, we were delighted to see that they all got along amazingly. I was personally excited to be able to have some new fur babies to curl up with, but, as luck would have it, that dedication I showed them during my hour on the floor at PetSmart was repaid… but to SHANE!

they say you find love when you least expect it

We had been down the pet adoption road a few times. Some were successful and some not. Not every pet is the right fit for every family, and after having some misses with recent adoptions we were hesitant to bring another four-legged friend into our home. With growing boys and a senior dog that needed quiet and attention, my better half put his foot down.

And, as I heard him the other day in the bedroom whisper to them “I love you too,” as they jumped on him and licked his face, I knew that the love they have for him is mutual, even if it took some begging and pleading to get him there to receive it. As for me… I love the little fur balls, even if I just get a random cuddle here or there. They complete our family!

“But, they need a home!” I cried on the phone to Shane, as I sat on the dirty Petsmart floor for over an hour hovering over a pair of 8-year old papillions who needed a home, and needed one together. “They are gorgeous!” “They are sweet!” “They need me!”



Nicole Irving, Publisher, EIC


One Saturday afternoon, Nick (my middle kiddo) and I walked into PetSmart to just “look” at the puppies. I should have known better, because after rounding the corner I laid eyes on one large enclosure and inside sat the most adorable faces, and I knew… I was in trouble.

Yup, that’s right people. I am nothing compared to Shane in the house. He gets up, they get up. He leaves, they look for him. He sits down, they lay on him. He walks back into a room, and you would think he had been gone for a year. They are on him like white on rice! What about me? I saved them! I sat on the floor fending off other adoptees like a fool and begging him to come. Nope. I might get a cuddle here and there when he is gone, but it’s not the same. It’s like they were waiting for him from day one.



The team at Comprehensive Women’s Health remains committed to building healthy relationships and providing the best possible women’s health care to the community. We are excited to announce the addition of a freestanding birth center, right here in North Central Florida. The establishment of the CWH Birth Center they choose to give birth. The new facility will include spacious suites with tubs– allowing for traditional and water births outside the hospital setting, while still under the guidance of the CWH midwives.

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The third planet from the sun and the home of life as we know it, Earth. Earth has served as a home to all of us for many, many years. Her beautiful oceans and lush green grass has been the place for us to sit back, relax and enjoy life. There is truly nothing like the smell of fresh air, but it seems as though with the rise of technology and our need to live, the results have taken a toll on our motherland. So, what can we do to help? A carbon footprint is the effect of greenhouse gases being emitted into the earth by human activity. Carbon dioxide is the main ingredient in these emissions, which have been correlated with climate change. A carbon footprint can be an effect of an individual, business, community, industry or country. Although greenhouse gases occur naturally, human activity contributes a great deal to greenhouse gas emissions. This results in rising sea levels which will erode shorelines and can destroy ecosystems. Wildlife is also impacted as their food sources are affected by rising temperatures. Climate change also impacts human health. It affects food crops, such as dry conditions that interfere with the growing season. Access to safe water is also compromised and increased air pollution can cause respiratory problems. Economically, climate change has had an effect on the agricultural and tourism industries. Once people understand the effect that their carbon footprint has on the planet, they often want to know how they can reduce it. There are some ways that individuals can reduce their carbon footprint by changing some simple habits, which can also improve their own general health and wellness. Celebrate Earth Day on April 22 by giving back to your planet with these helpful tips!





It’s difficult to advise anyone to stop all automobile travel unless you are fortunate enough to live in a city with a widespread mass transit system, like New York. However, using other forms of transportation like biking, carpooling, bus riding or even walking when possible can prove immediately beneficial in reducing your carbon footprint. From 2000 to 2013, bicycle commuting rates in large bike-friendly communities increased by 105 percent. Both Gainesville and the University of Florida have earned a silver award by the League of American Bicyclists. Gainesville is No.37 on the list of 50 most bikefriendly cities in the U.S. and is No.6 on the Atlantic’s list of top cities in the US to bike commute. UF has worked with the Regional Transit System to increase the number of bus routes around the community. Carpooling with a spouse, neighbor or co-worker is also a great way to use one less car and further reduce your carbon footprint!



Decreasing energy use is one key way to help reduce your footprint. About 85 percent of the energy consumed in modern society comes from fossil fuels. Residential and commercial buildings consume the bulk of the world’s electricity and much of its natural gas. Simply switching to LED lightbulbs versus traditional bulbs saves a significant amount of energy and costs—on average LED bulbs last about 25,000 hours versus 8,000 for traditional bulbs. Home and business owners can also request an energy audit from their local utility for ways that they can preserve energy use. Other simple tips include buying efficient space, heating/cooling and water heating, sealing heating and cooling ducts, equipment maintenance and adding insulation for doors, windows and attics. Finally, a truly easy and mostly unknown way of reducing energy use is by unplugging devices that use standby power. Even when the devices are powered down, they still use energy and drain up to $19 billion in energy every year.



How Simple Changes Can

WHAT YOU EAT 03 WATCH Limiting your intake of meat can be a very positive change for reducing carbon footprint. Agriculture businesses dealing with meat emit more greenhouse gasses than fossil fuels. Red meat is particularly at fault, as it consumes 11 times more water and produces five times more emissions. While becoming a vegetarian isn’t necessary, reducing your consumption of meat can help the environment. In addition, eating locally sourced food also helps to reduce the footprint created by food shipment. Sticking to in-season produce also helps. Eating foods from local farms also helps support the local economy. It is also advised to stick to organic produce free of toxic pesticides and chemicals. The weekly Union Street Farmers Market at Bo Diddley Plaza is a great way to shop local produce! Finally, planting a home garden is not only healthy for you, but also good for the environment. Plants help to absorb carbon dioxide and gardens and plants help to lower the effects of heat islands. Seek out plants that help to form a symbiotic relationship with the environment, whether it’s bee-friendly flowers or a vegetable and fruit garden.



The average American household uses 400 gallons of water a day. Simple changes to conserve water can help to reduce carbon footprint. Installing low-flow shower heads and faucets, investing in water efficient toilets, washing machines and dishwashers, checking for leaks and buying native drought-tolerant plants can help to conserve water usage. Advise family members to turn off faucet when brushing teeth or washing hands. Finally, there are washing habits that can help to both conserve water and use less energy. Try to hand wash dishes that are not as soiled and only run the dishwasher when it is full. Try to use only cold water when washing clothes. Another key tip is to line dry clothes. Running a clothes dryer is equivalent to turning on 225 light bulbs per hour. It is estimated that line-drying clothes can help households reduce their carbon footprint by one-third.

City of Gainesville Bans Plastic Bags and Styrofoam! Businesses can also do their part to help lower carbon emissions. Just recently, the city of Gainesville voted to ban plastic bags and Styrofoam containers. Gainesville is following a trend that has been adopted by cities like New York, Los Angeles and Miami Beach. Styrofoam is actually the chemical polystyrene, a type of plastic manufactured from non-renewable fossil fuels. Styrofoam and single-use plastic bags have been shown to harm the environment and food sources. The items often end up in waterways, affecting animals, reptiles and humans.

The ordinance will take place Aug.1. Although the cost impact is a concern, local businesses like Mi Apá and Loosey’s have both shown support for the ban. Mi Apá proudly announced that they were going green on their website and has already begun to discontinue use of the Styrofoam. City Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos is also leading an initiative to get rid of the use of plastic straws by 2040. This is also a growing national trend as Starbucks has announced that it plans to discontinue the use of plastic straws by 2020. Consumers can do their part by only using a straw when necessary or carrying a reusable and washable straw. WELLNESS360 | MARCH/APRIL 2019



Getting the Lowdown on Inflammation BY TRACY WRIGHT

like ginger, rosemary and turmeric have also shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Diet changes also include avoiding foods with trans and saturated fats, like red meat and dairy, as well as foods containing refined sugar like white bread and sweet drinks. To treat the pain associated with both acute and chronic inflammation, over-the-counter medications like Advil or Aleve are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) that help to fight pain from inflammation. Naproxen, ibuprofen and aspirin are all NSAIDS that can be found at any drugstore. People who choose to take NSAIDS over the long term should discuss this with their doctor, as there are side effects such as bleeding ulcers.

When an infection strikes the body, it can trigger a certain response like a fever or a sore throat. Often, when a body sustains a blow, it signals an immune response known as inflammation. Most of us know the symptoms of inflammation: redness, pain and swelling. But, do we really understand its underlying causes and associated problems? Just like any immune response, inflammation is triggered to help protect our bodies against harmful stimuli or damaged cells. For example, if you bang your shin, inflammation is the way your body responds to care for the wound. Blood flow increases and white blood cells storm the area, which can cause redness, swelling and warmth in the area. Cytokines are released which signals nutrients and immune cells to that part of the body. Acute inflammation can be caused by a cut, a sore throat or a blow to the body. Once the healing process begins, acute inflammation typically goes away. Chronic inflammation, however, can be harmful to overall long-term health. This type of inflammation transmits



low levels of immune response into the body even when there is no illness or wound, which may cause the body to attack its internal cells and organs, causing possible disease development. Chronic inflammation can lead to adverse effects like heart disease and stroke. Inflammatory cells can build up plaque that can form a clot obstructing blood to the heart or brain. Chronic inflammation can also lead to cancer, or be a sign of a condition like rheumatoid arthritis. Other conditions associated with chronic inflammation include asthma, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, hepatitis and dermatitis. Although chronic inflammation may not always be preventable, there are certain lifestyle and environmental factors that can contribute to it. Fighting against inflammation includes sustaining a healthy diet filled with omega-3 fats, which can help to protect harm from inflammation. This can include fish, especially fatty ones like salmon and mackerel, a variety of fruits and vegetables (especially leafy greens), nuts, and healthy fats like olive oil and avocado. Spices

Prescription medications like corticosteroids can help to overcome inflammation, but patients should discuss the use of these medicines with their doctor and weigh the benefits with the side effects, which can include weight gain and severe bloating. Other ways to fight inflammation without medication include carving out time for both aerobic and weight-bearing exercise at least four times a week, getting a proper amount of sleep (at least 7-8 hours) and controlling stress. Yoga, meditation or prayer have all been shown to relieve stress. *If patients have a family history of inflammatory diseases like heart disease, they should talk to their doctor about making lifestyle changes to prevent inflammation and always consult their doctor prior to taking any medications.*


Green Leafy Vegetables (Spinach, Kale, Collards) Tomatoes Fatty Fish (Salmon, Mackerel, Tuna) Olive Oil Fruits (Strawberries, Blueberries, Cherries, Oranges)

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*Courtesy of Harvard Health

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A Veterinary Breakthrough Comes to Gainesville BY AMANADA ROLAND

As our world progresses, the advances that society makes in the medical field continue to be groundbreaking. We are so thankful to have doctors, surgeons, physicians, nurses and countless other healthcare professionals that keep us all healthy and save lives –but what about the lives of our four-legged family members? Those of us who are fortunate enough to have dogs around know that a life without our barking best friends is no life at all! That’s why it is so important to care about the health and wellness of our pets just as much as our own, and it is comforting to know that veterinary medicine has advanced over the years and across the world. Recently, one of those great advancements has come to Gainesville, as the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine will soon offer something that could change the lives of millions of dogs affected by degenerative mitral valve disease. Degenerative mitral valve disease is a type of heart disease that could eventually cause



heart failure and death in many dogs. It is caused when the mitral valve between the left atrium and left ventricle of the heart begins to wear down over time and leak, causing mitral valve insufficiency (MVI). Ten percent of dogs will develop a form of heart disease in their lifetime, and about 80 percent of those cases are due to MVI, according to the Veterinary Centers of America. Eventually, mitral valve disease will cause congestive heart failure as the efficiency of the heart is reduced. For years, the diagnosis of mitral valve disease was dreaded by all dog owners because there was no procedure or cure that could reverse the disease and treatment was limited, but a surgical procedure developed by Japanese veterinary cardiologist Dr. Masami Uechi, has changed that –and he is teaching UF Veterinarians how to do the procedure. This open-heart surgery for dogs who suffer from degenerative mitral valve disease can extend a dog’s life by years. Dr. Uechi and his

team have performed over 400 mitral valve repairs in Japan at the JASMINE Veterinary Cardiovascular Medical Center and overseas, according to JASMINE. Dr. Uechi has traveled to UF to share his developments and procedure for mitral valve repair with the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, and UF veterinarians have also traveled to Japan to witness Dr. Uechi perform the surgery. Soon, UF will become the only program in the country to offer the procedure, and with the right training to all medical staff, the program will run independently out of UF. This new development in the veterinary world has the ability to change and elongate the lives of many dogs in our country and across the world. The teams at JASMINE and UF are demonstrating the importance of sharing and expanding medical knowledge so that all can have the opportunity to focus on the health of our pets and never stop making memories with all members of the family –even the furry ones.





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Finding Your Inner Animal BY CHRIS PREGONY

Researchers often look to nature to help improve the human experience. Even the basic principles of flight were found from birds. Throughout human history we have used the world around us to enhance our abilities. So why not turn to nature for exercise? The far east has used animals in developing martial arts for centuries. Fighting styles such as the monkey, tiger, or praying mantis just to name a few. If you have ever taken a yoga class, one of the core exercises is downward dog, a pose that mimics the way a dog stretches. Yoga is riddled with poses named after animals. In more traditional exercise routines we see the bear crawl, crab walk or frog jump. There are classes that operate purely around the animal movement concept. Most of these classes go by the name “primal flow.” One of the more interesting companies I found while doing research on the subject is “VAHVA,” which is Finnish for “Strong, able-bodied and powerful. Both physically and mentally. The two owners Samuli and Eero founded the company back in 2015. They are truly remarkable from a movement standpoint. They have several different YouTube videos that will blow your mind. They move just like animals, almost better! They created an entire program centered around animal movement. So why would we want to move like an animal? We rose to the top of the food chain because of our brains not our body. When you think of our human development, many of the modernday conveniences that we enjoy are relatively new. We were made to move in a variety of ways. This type of exercise helps develop core strength, as well as many of the intrinsic muscles that get neglected with traditional exercise. You will be sore in places that you never knew existed. Millions of Americans suffer from back pain. This is typically due to a weak core and pelvic muscles, which is further connected to poor posture. Yoga, Pilates, and primal movement all can help build your muscles to help reduce back pain and get you in great shape! So next time you are thinking of trying a new exercise, let your inner animal roar!




Stand with your feet slightly pointed outward and just outside of your shoulders. Squat down to where you glute almost hits the ground. Generate enough force to jump slightly off the ground, as you land go back in to the squat.



Start by kneeling with your hands on the ground. Put weight on your hands and feet until you are up on just your hands and feet. Walk one hand forward followed by the opposite leg, repeat this as you cover ground.



Start by sitting on the ground. Raise your glute off the floor using your legs and hands to hold yourself up. Begin to walk your body forward or backward while using just your hands and feet.




Take the Sunny Way!

Camp Sunny at Sun Country Sports Center has all you need for an A+ summer For 32 years, Sun Country Sports Center has been welcoming families and children into their world of fun, exercise and enrichment. And, that winning formula has continued into their Nationally Accredited summer camp program, Camp Sunny! Today, Camp Sunny offers children the opportunity to engage in exciting activities and enrichment programs during the summer while parents can be rest assured their children are safe and happy while exploring athletic and enrichment opportunities all summer long! Nestled in Jonesville Florida, the Camp Sunny program at Sun Country Sports Center offers children from age 2.5 (fully potty trained)- 12 years old a wonderful, safe and parent approved summer camp program. For the 2.5-5 year olds, Camp Sunny Junior is the perfect fit! This program is fully licensed through the Department of Children and Families and the children will have days filled with crafts, activities and fun specifically designed for them, with their own preschool room and team of counselors trained in early childhood development. The team at Sun Country Sports Center knows the importance of making things as easy and simple for working and busy parents and that is why they have hours from 7:30 am-6:30 pm so parents can

ONE-OF-A-KIND programs for your ONE-OF-A-KIND kiddo Gymnastics Trampoline

decompress and have plenty of time to relax after work prior to getting their kids. Parents perk!


When your child is at Camp Sunny, you will have the peace of mind knowing that they are under the supervision of background checked, CPR/First Aid Certified counselors that lead exciting activities and supervise all the children as if they were their own. Camp Sunny is organized so that there is a low student-to-counselor ratio for all programs, which allows them to keep safety at the forefront of the fun!


Camp Sunny is designed with your children and family in mind, which is evident with the many fantastic opportunities and flexibile programs offered! From healthy snacks, arts and crafts to outdoor play and tumbling, your children have the opportunity to participate in a wide selection of activities! Camp Sunny offers martial arts, a ninja zone, gymnastics, rock climbing, cheerleading and dance. And, who doesn’t love swimming in the summer! Camp Sunny has their very own 25-yard, heated and covered saline pool! Guess what?! No red eyes or irritated skin or damaged hair! And, that is not all! Camp Sunny has special guest speakers and offers field trips through the summer to places that include Depot Park, the local libraries and Do Art. And, Sun Country Sports Center understands the need for flexible scheduling with different activities and scheduling offerings available to meet the Camp is at the needs of all their families.

Rock climbing

Dance Ninja Martial Arts Swimming

Yoga Obstacle courses Foam pits Arts and crafts Creative group games Outdoor playground

and more!

West location!

SUN COUNTRY SPORTS (WEST) Jonesville ∙ 352-331-8773

SUN COUNTRY SPORTS (MILLHOPPER) Gainesville ∙ 352-378-8711 | WELLNESS360




Fitness With Your Pets:

What's the Hype? BY TAYLOR MCLAMB

The benefits of exercise for our mind and body are endless. Engaging in physical activity can go a long way – whether it’s a morning run, yoga, or weight lifting, just the act of getting your blood pumping, can both elevate your mood and help you feel energized for the rest of the day. Recently, with the age of social media, people have turned the act of exercise up a notch by including an unlikely, four-legged addition.

Hit up Instagram and you can find pictures of yoga instructors practicing the act of Goat yoga, Dog yoga, Cat yoga, or basically any small critter that you can balance on your back would suffice. There’s dog-friendly marathons and work-out videos on YouTube that give tutorials on how to train with your pet. Is this trend beneficial, or is the cuteness factor a gimmick to produce more likes? Studies show that interacting with animals has many mental health benefits, which is why they’re so good for therapeutic purposes. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, pets and therapy animals can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression. Dogs are known to be very social creatures; just the act of having a dog can get you out of the house, moving and interacting with others.

The liberating act of yoga, which helps people find a peaceful connection to their body and mind, draws inspiration from animals, due to their strong, powerful and sensitive nature. In order to create a more authentic human-animal connection, it makes sense to add an actual animal to your yoga mat. Victoria Thompson is a devoted yogi and certified yoga instructor who values the inclusion of animals when she teaches. “I’ve usually just had my dog with me when I do yoga because I believe having animals in your practice can improve your mood and the rest of your day,” said Thompson.

Dog Days Run, which is one of the oldest runs in the Gainesville area, features both a 5K and 1-mile run, where owners can run alongside their dogs. For the last 37 years, this event has brought together a devoted community of dog-owners to bond and get active.

With the obvious health advantages of exercise plus the psychological and physical improvements from human-animal bonding, it seems like a match made in heaven.

Bryce Talsma, coordinator of the run, said that they strive to promote wellness within the community and that the pet owners in the area love getting outside and going for a run with their dog. “Including dogs in our race is a really great way to get

Dr. Barbara Welsch, licensed psychologist and therapy dog coordinator at the University of Florida’s Counseling and Wellness Center, emphasizes that she has never practiced the


However, is this genuinely a good idea or merely a fresh, flashy way to pander toward millennials?

act of exercising with animals, she finds the trend of Goat yoga in particular, baffling. “The yoga that I’ve studied was a spiritual yoga and it was about uniting breath and awareness, it was about the being within yourself,” said Welsch. Thompson said that when she added animals into her yoga, it brought more people to her classes that wouldn’t normally do yoga. However, she admitted that the benefits are there, if you can fight the distractions. Even if the recent influx of fitness social media accounts were using this trend to motivate animal lovers to go to the gym – would that really be a bad thing? If your dog helps you get out of the house and get a taste of fresh air, there’s no harm in that. Whether or not you agree with the fact that this phenomenon could be a publicity stunt, it seems to be bringing joy to a lot of people. There’s nothing wrong with spending more quality time with animals, even if that happens to be a catnap.

Studies show that

interacting with animals has many mental health benefits



people outside and get some exercise,” said Talsma. “There are a lot of studies that show that animals provide great emotional and physical support for people.”



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Veteran Nation real estate professionals SERVING VETERANS AND THEIR LOVED ONES


eterans deserve quality of care, gratitude, and familiarity with their service history, and we are the ones who can provide that." Christie and Wade Wheeler, disabled Veteran owners/brokers of Veteran Nation Real Estate Professionals, believe in themselves and the service they serve those who served, and to give back to every customer. Wade and Christie acknowledge that there is no shortage of real estate brokerages in Alachua County, yet they were determined to put themselves on the map. “We’re a military family, and these are our people. We knew that we could represent them the way no one else could,” Wade stresses. Wade and Christie now offer their VIP -Veteran

Incentive Plan- to all of their customers, Veterans or otherwise, giving back a percentage of the sale to their customers, as a heartfelt thank you for trusting them with a home sale or purchase. Their service started over twenty-five years ago, when they both enlisted in the military after graduating high school. Wade entered the Army at 17, and Christie enlisted in the Air Force the following year at 18. With assignments including the National Security Agency, Pentagon, Korea and the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Wade worked as a mental health technician and Christie in intelligence. Wade eventually took a commission in the Air Force, earning a Master of Social Work

while Christie earned her Master of Fine Art in Creative Writing. They both retired from the Air Force in 2014, Wade as a Major and Christie as a Master Sergeant. Settling in Alachua County was as simple as finding the home of their dreams in Archer. After over twenty years of constant moves, the century-old Queen Anne Victorian was an emotional purchase. “As well it should be”, says Christie. “I almost started crying when I walked into the kitchen during the home showing. I knew it was my house.” That’s why Wade and Christie encourage their customers to take their time, ask questions and go through the process at their own pace.

the Marine Corps League and Military Support Group of Alachua County, just a few of their favorite organizations. Christie
is also a member of the Archer Historical Society and the President-Elect of the Gainesville network of Women’s Council of Realtors. Wade is the Vice Mayor of Archer, the VP of the local Military Officers Association of America and a Harley Davidson enthusiast who enjoys fishing with his dad out in Cedar Key.

Their professional experience with the VA home loan, combined with their extensive personal history using this benefit, makes them the self-prescribed VA home loan experts. Wade and Christie consider the VA loan their specialty, and they feel it is their honor and pleasure to assist those who have served by serving them in return. They

transparency, decency and loyalty to those they work with, regarding customers and fellow real estate professionals. The military culture that Wade and Christie grew up in is one that values responsibility to the mission, and to one’s brothers and sisters-inarms. They grew up in that culture, and believe in it completely.

We are a military family, and these are our people. We knew that we could represent them the way no one else could. -WADE WHEELER

feel very strongly that their extensive knowledge of the VA loan, along with their being the only dual retired military-owned brokerage in the state of Florida, offers something very few others can replicate. Veteran Nation Real Estate Professionals is insistent on talking the talk, and walking the walk. Their culture is simple: they believe in

“My eldest son was born at an Army hospital, my second at an Air Force hospital,” says Christie. “My third son was born at a Navy hospital, and I had my fourth son after I retired, on Veterans Day.” The boys all attend local schools and are following in mom and dad’s footsteps. Their middle boys are members of the Milton Lewis Young Marines, and Wade and Christie make it a point to take the boys to meetings of

352.949.4665 |

Before retiring from the Air Force, Christie led federal and base level programs, assisting military members with the intricacies of personal and federal records. “We know the importance of supporting our community and supporting our troops. I wouldn’t have gotten where I am today if I wouldn’t have learned that lesson well.” Those lessons have primed Wade and Christie to better serve their customers as Veteran Nation Real Estate Professionals; give them a call to see how they can serve you!


The Humorous Side of Health - Heel, Boy BY TED SPIKER

Bingo, he replied. So we spent some time discussing back pain, and he inspired me to find the path to get back on the court with my aging, jumping-challenged comrades. I was almost ready to make the leap and re-engage when I started feeling throbs in my heel and through my Achilles tendon. There was no acute injury, though I do have some minor history with pain in the area. This would be another roadblock that—as my interviewee would say—would keep me from doing what I wanted to do.

I recently did an interview with a health expert who decided to role-reverse me and ask the questions. “What is something that you loved doing that you no longer are doing because of pain?”

I stopped, thought, and ran through some options. Fit comfortably in an airline seat didn’t seem like an appropriate response, so I kept that to myself. My weekly training schedule isn’t limiting, I thought: I run, swim, lift weights, and flip some tires on Saturdays, so I couldn't say any of those things.


Because I want to Because I want wait to until I get in I wait until better If I just getshape. in better stretch moreIfand shape. I just strengthen stretch more my core, and strengthen I think be I think myI’llcore, better. I’ll be better.

Because every time I play, my back goes out. Last time I played, I told him, I couldn't tie my shoes for seven weeks without groaning.

Then he called me out with an expletive that’s thesaurusly linked to oxen bolus.

“So then why don’t you play?” he probed.

“Because I don’t want to get hurt,” I said.

Then it hit me. “Play basketball,” I said.



So now—using my preferred physical healing methods of ice and rest, and emotional healing methods of Girl Scout Cookies #TeamTagalong—I’m weighing my options. What is the best path? Be patient, rehab, heal up Give up basketball and stick to activities that don’t hurt Find another activity that has similar components (competition, with friends, etc.), but that isn’t as taxing [Opens bottle of bourbon] A friend, who is about five years older than me, recently said, “Get ready for it.” He was referring to the pains he’s experiencing as a result of getting older (he’s in excellent shape) and the detours he’s had to take because of it. For now, I’m hobbling down the hall, grimacing when my heel flares up. I’m sure it’s nothing major (and for that I’m thankful), just a temporary nuisance—but one that makes me wonder this: How are you supposed to know when you should push forward and when you should hold back?


Ted Spiker (@ProfSpiker) is the chair of the University of Florida department of journalism, as well as a health and fitness writer. He is the author of DOWN SIZE, a book about the science and soul of weightloss and dieting.


We’re so happy to announce that we just celebrated the 10th anniversary of our “Care to Share” event. This annual day of free dentistry has provided smiles for over 1000 people to date. Each year this rewarding day is filled with excitement, generosity, and heartwarming moments with our friends from all over the dental community. This free day of dentistry wouldn’t be possible without all of our wonderful volunteers and sponsors! From the bottom of our hearts the doctors and staff at Millhopper Family Dentistry would like to thank the following for your continuous dedication to this event: Drs. Caton, Taylor, and Ratliff Vargas Orthodontics Dr. Aguirre Studio 32 Sappington Orthodontics Endodontic Associates Associated Endodontists Altschuler Periodontics King and Oliver Periodontics Kids Only Dental Place Grins and Giggles

Dr. Storoe Dr. Garvey Dr. Embro Olmec Dental Lab We Care Patterson Darby Dental Crest Sun Surgical Piesanos

...and numerous other individuals that so generously give of their time each year. We appreciate you all so much!




At Archer Road Pet Resort,

your pet can enjoy a spa vacation too!

Family owned and operated, Archer Road Pet Resort, located in Archer Florida, is a one of a kind boarding experience! Whether you have a dog, cat, bird or even guinea pig, Archer Road Pet Resort is your pet’s home away from home when you need to go on vacation or just send them for a day of grooming and play! Anytime an animal is at Archer Road Pet Resort, they are loved and cared for, as every pet should. The Berdaniers and the Ericksons, owners since 2014, make it a priority for your family pets to feel at home during their stay. While your furry friend is at Archer Road Pet Resort, either in boarding, play or grooming, their specialty is providing peace of mind, and that’s exactly what you get when you receive daily pictures of your pet as well as updates on their stay through phone calls and text messages. Nestled inside their building, each pet gets his or her own sleep space in an air-conditioned room with access to fresh water at all times and a lifted bed to relax in. For your feline friends, they will receive an air-conditioned cat condo with multiple levels and plenty of space to move around including lots of indoor playtime. And for Fido, they will have access to a grassy area with toys and obstacles to play on outside. Your pets comfort and safety is their number one concern, so your dog will be taken out four times a day where Archer Road Pet Resort team member Emmarose, assistant manager Elisha and others will keep them happy and entertained during playtime.



Additional service add-ons can enhance your pet’s stay, like one-on-one fetch time and a Kong toy filled with peanut butter or more playtimes outside on the 1.5-acre property. Additional add-ons for cats are extra playtime or the famous “Puttin’ Tuna on a Ritz” snack after dinner! Top notch grooming is another one of the many specialties at Archer Road Pet Resort. Dusty Six and Jeff Richman together have over 60 years of experience in grooming and are sure to make your furry friend ready for a night on the town. Archer Road Pet Resort can groom dogs of all sizes and also specializes in grooming wellbehaved cats. The main goal is to have your pet leave feeling confident and leave you satisfied with your look! At Archer Road Pet Resort, the amazing team works together to provide amazing customer service to make both their customer and their pets at ease. Leaving a pet can be hard, and the hardworking team at Archer Road Pet Resort takes pride in building relationships with their guest and each animal that comes into the building is special and building a relationship with the pets and their owners is important. Getting in early is key! Bookings for grooming begin two weeks in advance. During the summer months, the resort tends to fill up about three weeks in advance for boarding. During the holiday season, booking fills up at least two months in advance.

16011 SW Archer Road • Archer, FL 32618


Be prepared for the unexpected.

Call us today for a free and confidential consultation. We are here, every step of the way. VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR A FULL LIST OF OUR SERVICES

Ashley Banks, CFP®, CDFA™ Financial Advisor Certified Divorce Financial Analyst Donna Carroll, CDFA™ Financial Advisor Certified Divorce Financial Analyst

Tower 24 2550 SW 76th Street, Ste. 110 Gainesville, FL 32608


Investment advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Banks Carroll Group is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA / SIPC.

Fire & Water - Cleanup & RestorationTM Independently Owned and Operated

Like it never even happened.® 352-374-6589 | WELLNESS360



Style + Gear

Living Lavish:


Fashion trends and cool gadgets are not just for humans! Our pets provide us with so much love and joy; it’s time we give back to them and splurge on something to make their days a little cozier or even more exciting! Let your pet live their best life with these awesome products that are sure to put a smile on their face!

NomNomNow Heartland Beef Mash Subscriptions available, A meal plan, for your pet! This free delivery meal subscription delivers fresh dog food right to your door! Each meal is individually portioned to fit your dog’s caloric needs. Five recipes and two treat flavors are offered and 14 meal packs are sent each week.

Dynasty Bird Cage $144.99, Your feathered friend can be fancy too! The Dynasty birdcage is an elegant home that is perfect for your small to medium sized bird. The cage has an embossed decorative design on the base and has an embellished finial, great for hanging!

EZ Mount Kitty Sill $23.99, Perfect for a cat that loves to peer out the window, the EZ Mount Kitty Sill is the way to go! It gives your cat an elevated spot to nap or watch the outdoors! The Kitty Sill uses suction cups that can hold up to 50 pounds!

PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy $18.95, If you have a pet that is overactive and loves to play, then the Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy is for you! The toy gives endless fun with a laser that runs across the room for your cat to chase. The toy comes with an automatic mode and a manual mode so that you can make your own laser patterns!

$20, A 2-in-1 travel bottle that stores water and food which is perfect for keeping your pet full and hydrated on the go! You can store your pups favorite treats or an entire meal in the bottom container, and there is plenty of room for lots of water on top!



$6.99 each, Throwing your pet a birthday party is all the hype now. But what’s a party without cake? Especially if the birthday pup can’t eat it! The good news is, now he can! This healthy at home cake mix comes in plenty of different flavors for your pet. Serve your cake with a side of maple bacon ice cream, or your pick your pet’s favorite flavor!


Poochable Travel Dog Bottle

Puppy Cake Red Velvet Cake Mix & Maple Bacon Ice Cream for Dogs


• Professionalism • Responsiveness • Quality

Are You Saving All You Can on Taxes? 4432 NW 23rd Ave., Suite 8 Gainesville, FL 32606

See our story from the January/February issue of Wellness360

(352) 336-1001

Florida Certified Public Accountants and Business Advisors



Style Style + + Gear Gear PAW PATROL

Protect Their Paws

Dog Boots protect your dog's paws from the Florida heat!


As the summer nears and temperatures start to warm up, the ground begins to get hot for our pets, too! These paw protectors are great for adventure with your pup, rain or shine!

ULTRA PAWS COOL DOG BOOTS $35.95-39.95 for 4 boots, [price dependant on size] Specifically designed for hot surfaces, these boots are breathable, have reflective surfaces and Velcro closures to secure them tightly onto your pup’s paws. [Sizes: XS-XL]



A good traction and thick material on these boots ensures your dog’s paws will be protected from any outdoor adventure this spring and summer! Plus, with their Paw For Paw program, a portion of each profit will go to a dog in need. [Sizes: 1 – 8]


With 12 pairs of balloonesque reusable boots in each pack, your dog will be protected from anything coming their way this summer. Because the footies are rubber, they’re also waterproof and mudproof, too. [Sizes: XXS-XL]




Musher's Secret 100 percent natural wax, is a semipermeable barrier that will soothe and protect your pet’s dry and cracked paw pads year round. You also don’t have to worry about it expiring because as a stable wax, its shelf life is indefinite!



This country road can take you home.

Anna K. “Cookie” King Lic. Florida Real Est. Broker

352-528-5010 308 NW Main Street, Williston, FL 32696

Offering Great rates AND a Local prescence! Your authority in Auto, Home, & Life Insurance

I’m here, for you. Casey Hahn Agent





352-264-2221 5700 SW 34th St. Suite 141 Gainesville Fl 32608 WELLNESS360 | MARCH/APRIL 2019



What a Waste:

Stop Throwing Your Food & Money in the Trash BY GEORGINA CHONG-YOU

Imagine this scenario: You walk into your local grocery store and purchase one pack of juicy delicious strawberries, two firm grapefruits, and a fresh cucumber. Upon immediately entering your kitchen, you prepare your meal. The rest of the week brings busy days and too-tired evenings, and the fresh fruit and vegetables you just purchased at the start of the week get pushed to the back of the fridge. A week turns into two, and eventually four; until you remember that you had strawberries in the fridge. When you realize the salad has wilted and the strawberries have started to grow a white hairy-like substance on them, you throw them into the trash. Next week at your local grocery store, you start it over again by purchasing a whole new set of fruits and vegetables. Does this scene sound familiar to you? Well, the majority of American households everyday live out this scenario when it comes to their food purchases. So, out of all of the fresh fruits and vegetables that are purchased each week in America, how much of it ends up in the trash?


Only buy the food that you will actually eat. You can even shop on a week-to-week basis, getting only food for that week. Excess food most often ends up in the trash because we don’t utilize it.


Instead of pushing them to the back of the fridge, eat them!


Food is generally not going to be consumed all at one time; therefore, it requires storage. While proper food storage may first begin at the grocery store, it does end with you in your home. However, it does take time and effort to properly store food. So store your fruits and vegetables according to their needs. Most fruits and vegetables have stickers or tags with storage tips, but you can always look it up online if you are unsure!

According to a 2018 scientific study published in the journal “PLOS ONE,” Americans waste about 150,000 tons of food each day (about 40 percent of the food they buy), with the highest amount of waste coming from “people who have healthier diets rich in fruit and vegetables.” This number is equal to about “one-third of the daily calories that each American consumes.”


Now, these numbers are not to make you feel guilty for throwing away old food you’ve forgotten about, and it’s not to cause you to begin composting your family’s food. However, it should cause you to carefully consider some practical tips below that you can do to preserve your food a little longer so that you can enjoy it to the very end!







You may be wondering how fridge organization can help prevent waste, but surprisingly it can. Once you bring your food home, place the new items toward the back fridge shelves and bring the older items to the front. That way, the older items will get consumed first instead of getting pushed aside, and eventually thrown away, because there are new items in the fridge.

If you know that you are planning a vacation and will be gone for more than a few days, it may be a good idea to donate the food in your pantry or fridge to a local food bank so that it doesn’t go to waste.

I’ve only recently heard of a new item called the Countertop Compost Bin. It’s lightweight, odorless, and it runs on only a 3-hour cycle. Place your breakfast, lunch, or dinner into it and in less time than it takes to prepare and cook a meal, your leftover food scraps can become soil amendment for you to fertilize your garden with. Pretty neat!

(352) 380-0901 3545 SW 34th Street Gainesville, FL 32608


Blueberries: The Super-food for Pets? BY AMANDA ROLAND

We humans already know how beneficial blueberries are. They are a tasty super-food that provide numerous health benefits, but can they do the same for our beloved dogs and cats? The answer is yes! In moderation, blueberries can be an all natural, healthy alternative to those processed treats that we buy in pet stores. Blueberries are packed with greatness. High in fiber and low in fat and calories, these bite-sized berries can keep your dog or cat happy and healthy. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), blueberries are filled with anti-oxidants and can improve the health in aging animals and humans. For our pets with a little “extra fluff,” the fiber in blueberries make them a great diet food and can promote better digestion which could help your pet lose a few pounds. The key to feeding your dogs and cats blueberries is to do it in moderation depending on the size of your pet. While this snack is completely safe for our animals to eat, feeding them too many blueberries a day could result in constipation or diarrhea. Blueberries are small and easy to pack for a trip to the park, day at the beach or even a tough trip to the vet. Frozen blueberries can also be a great cold treat for those hot summer days. Just keep a full bag of blueberries in the freezer or fridge so you can grab some at any time to treat to your furry friends –or yourself!



February is Pet Dental Health Month! Mention this ad for $50 off a complete dentistry booked in February.

Not sure if your pet needs dentistry?

Our doctors will happily provide you with a complimentary dental evaluation, scoring and treatment plan. Countryside Animal Hospital’s team of doctors and staff are committed to providing your pet the finest in wellness and preventative health care. We offer Wellness plans (providing savings of up to 30% off routine wellness services including Dentistry and Spay/Neuter Surgery).

Ask about our referral program, allowing you to earn a 25.00 credit to your account. (386)462-7225 15551 NW US Hwy. 441 Alachua, FL 32615 Dr. Devon Strickland

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There is something really special about the bond a pet and their owners have. From a wide-eyed pup, to a jumping horse or a vibrant snake, our love for our pets is eternal, and something that these 10 Alachua County residents and families have in common! Along with the numerous health benefits that come with having a pet, you can add a lifelong best friend, because that's what having a pet is truly about! 34


Cristine and Jesse Rawe with Kona

Cristine had dreamt about the day when she would bring a red Goldendoodle puppy into her home. That dream quickly became a reality when she got married and she and her husband made it their first priority to get one! Kona has been a part of the Rawe family since March of 2018, and she loves to play and make friends with all types of animals! Kona’s fun personality makes car rides, walks and hanging out just about anywhere an exciting experience every time. Kona is known for adapting quickly to new situations and always being up for anything. “She really enjoys relaxing and laying out on the grass or going on new adventures!” Cristine said. Follow Kona’s adventures on Instagram @kona.thedood !




Wade Wheeler with Rheneas

Rheneas, the boxer mix, was rescued from a junkyard and has been with the Wheeler family since 2014. She is known by the family as a “humoggy,” their name for a mix of human and doggy, to keep her from knowing her true identity. From giving her hugs and kisses to rubbing her belly, the Wheeler family says that the best quality about Rheneas is the love she has for everyone she meets, (including the cats and chickens that also live with her) and even more so, her siblings! Rheneas is a true family dog, who loves to eat too! “My girl can put away some groceries!” Wade said. “She’s the sweetest JYD (junkyard dog) on the planet!”




Whitney Perkins with Coco and Spots

Whitney knew that her next pets needed to be llamas when she visited a farm in Micanopy and fell in love with their personalities. She ended up bringing home two, Coco and Spots. Like most other animals, Coco and Spots love to eat, but their favorite thing to do is go on walks with Whitney. Although they have each other, Coco and Spots are also friends with a pony and a donkey! Coco and Spots’ curious personalities make them inquisitive and friendly, a great combination in addition to their love of meeting new people!




Ananda Pacheco with Bahula

Nine months ago, Bahula the cow could have had a different fate. Ananda changed that forever when she rescued Bahula from slaughter. Now, Ananda and Bahula enjoy snuggling up under the starlit sky at night. Bahula is known for her great personality and typically gets along well with others unless its time to eat as, "she is a bit of a pig when it comes to food,� Ananda said. Although Bahula is not Ananda’s first pet, she is equally just as loved and would eat all day if she could.




Marlina Romano with Macie

When Marlina found Macie in a Craigslist ad in 2013, she didn’t want the responsibility of having a puppy. But, Marlina said “when I drove to Orlando, FL and saw her playing happily in the grass I knew that we were meant to be.” Marlina and Macie have been the best of friends for about six years. Their favorite thing to do together is hit up local spots in town for brunch. Macie, the English bulldog and basset hound mix, loves people of all ages, animals and giving kisses to just about anyone and anything!




Lucy Wynn with Sourpatch Kid / Emma

The story of Lucy and Emma began two years ago when Lucy was just learning how to ride. “Emma needed lots of love and training and we couldn’t resist,” she said. Lucy and Emma, whose show name is Sourpatch Kid, started training about a year ago and love jumping together. Lucy and Emma have a strong connection and bond that is really evident every time Lucy rides and when they interact. Emma also makes it a point to take care of Lucy, “You can tell that she loves her kid as much as the kid loves her horse.”










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Mary Knestrick with Bogey, Chandler and Eleanor

Mary’s home grew by three over the last eight years when she rescued her dogs, Bogey, Chandler and Eleanor. They love to go on runs with her and snuggle up on the couch to watch some TV. Eleanor, who was the first rescue eight years ago, has been Mary’s best friend since 2010. She is known for her love and loyalty. Bogey, rescued five years ago, is known for his moodiness and switching between positive and negative moods. Chandler, the newest addition after being rescued four years ago, is known for his quirky personality. Although they are all very different, if they could do one thing all day, they would love “to eat their favorite meals, play outside or just Netflix and chill.”




Kelly Hicks and son Greyson Roberts with Kaa

Christmas came early in 2017 for Greyson Roberts when he received his albino ball python, Kaa. The python, who eats one live mouse per week, also lives in the house with two cats and a dog. Greyson loves to hold Kaa while reading in bed with the family at night. The family enjoys giving her a bath when it is time for her to shed, about every other month. Aside from getting a bath, Kaa visits a local preschool class a couple of times a year. “The kids love to touch her and watch her stick her tongue out,� Kelly said. Kaa likes spending time with both adults and young children! While Kaa enjoys spending time with her family, her absolute favorite thing to do is curl up in her snake hide and stay warm!






The Beutke Family, Jason and Kristen, Judson (8), Adley (6), Haddon (2) with Hazel and Buttercup

The Beutke family lives on a farm with two dogs, cattle, goats, chickens, a donkey and now two lambs, Hazel and Buttercup. Judson, Adley and Haddon Beutke enjoy petting and playing with the Katahdin lambs who were born in the middle of January and the beginning of February. Both Hazel and Buttercup were born on the family’s farm after they decided to grow their animal count in late 2018. “Buttercup has been raised as a bottle baby because her mother was not able to produce enough milk for her and another lamb.” Kristen said. “Although she has been nursed back to health now, she stayed in the house for a few days, got to wear a diaper and slept in a warm basket!” Buttercup and Hazel enjoy playing with each other and other lambs on the farm, they are known for being cuddly and soft and enjoy running and playing. The Beutke family also has two dogs along with farm animals.




Sammi Popkin with Barkus

Barkus was born last June as the youngest puppy of his litter, then Sammi Popkin traveled to Miami, FL to adopt her first dog. Since adopting Barkus, Sammi has found her best friend for life. Barkus is known for his loving personality who gets along with everyone. Aside from his love for licking people (including strangers) right on their faces, he loves to lie on people, cuddle up and sleep all day. Sammi and Barkus really enjoy watching TV and movies together because of his tendency to sit on her lap and watch along with her. When Sammi and Barkus are not in their home, you can typically find them at the dog park and playing with other local pets! Follow their adventures on Instagram @barkusboy !





Beyond the role of a family pet, animals also play a vital role in medicine. You may be thinking that animals can certainly make someone happy, but what do they have to do with someone’s health? Can an animal’s presence actually become medical treatment and improve health?

According to the Mayo Clinic, pet therapy, or animal-assisted therapy, is a “growing field that uses dogs or other animals to help people recover from or better cope with health problems, such as heart disease, cancer and mental health disorders.” There are myriad benefits to using animals in the rehabilitative process for anyone of any age who is dealing with some level of sickness. Moreover, there are a variety of animals that can be used for pet therapy like dogs, cats, and horses.




Every animal used for pet therapy is required to first go through a training process to prepare for the exposure to various people and how to interact with various people. At Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses, the training program for their horses lasts two years. “The horses work with medical professionals in oncology units, the ICU, and with occupational, speech and physical therapists as part of the treatment for patients who have suffered strokes, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, amputations and burns.” Although there is a challenge for horses to work inside buildings, you can find Gentle Carousel horses working in places from Alachua County libraries to Haven Hospice, the Ronald McDonald House to UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital, and the stage of the Curtis M. Philips Center for the Performing Arts for the Stop Children's Cancer concert. Gator Paws Pet Therapy trains its animals under the certifying agency Alliance of Therapy Dogs where they provide testing,

certification, registration, support, and insurance for members who volunteer with their dogs to visit various facilities.

Pet therapy is a growing field that uses dogs or other animals to help people recover from or better cope with heart problems, such as heart disease, cancer and mental health disorders. - The Mayo Clinic



According to, the benefits of participating in an animal therapy program include:



I had the pleasure of connecting with a local organization considered veterans in the field of animal assisted therapy. Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses has been in service as an animal assisted therapy program for 20 years in Gainesville. The teams of therapy horses work with over 25,000 adults and children each year inside children's hospitals, hospice programs, and with families who have experienced traumatic events. They shared with me that in addition to their work in the Gainesville area, the tiny horses have been called in to help survivors and first responders outside of the Gainesville area as well, like tornado survivors, victims of mass shootings, or child trafficking victims. For more information on horse therapy through Gentle Carousel Miniature, you may contact them at:


Terry Biehl and her dog Beau, a five-year-old Goldendoodle, are a therapy team certified under the Alliance of Therapy Dogs agency. She started the FB group called Gator Paws Pet Therapy to serve people here in Gainesville. With over 100 members, Gator Paws Pet Therapy focuses on community, learning, and sharing. Terry and her dog Beau visit UF Health Shands hospitals, students at the University of Florida and Santa Fe College. “We are a network of caring volunteers who are willing to share our special canines to bring smiles and joy,” shares Terry. For more information on Gator Paws Pet Therapy, feel free to contact Terry Biehl at or

Improving motor skills and joint movement Increasing self-esteem Making you happier, lessening depression, and improving your outlook on life Decreasing loneliness and isolation by giving you a companion Increasing verbal communication Developing social skills Improving interactions with others Motivating willingness to exercise Decreasing anxiety Improving literacy skills in children


“The presence of dogs in the hospital allows patients to feel more at home by giving them the opportunity to reminisce about their own dogs. It's always a treat to experience the unconditional love that dogs provide our patients.” This is the testimony of the University of Florida’s Pet Therapy division right here in Gainesville. This Pet Therapy Volunteer program began in 1995 when a nurse recognized the power of animals to help patients not only feel better emotionally and mentally, but also physically. For more information on UF’s Pet Therapy program: WELLNESS360 | MARCH/APRIL 2019



Navigating the Waves: Saltwater and Your Pet BY SELENA GARRISON

Saltwater poisoning

occurs when too much salt builds up in a dog’s body, causing the cells to release their water content in an attempt to balance out the sodium. - Dr. Jennifer Breder Pruitt

Growing up close to the beach, one of my favorite things to do early in the day was to sit and watch all the surfers who were riding with their dogs on their boards. As someone who could never even get myself up on a surfboard, I was so fascinated by them. I was so used to seeing dogs at the beach and with people on their boats, that it never even crossed my mind that the ocean water could be dangerous to them. The truth, though, is that saltwater poisoning is a very real threat to our precious pets. According to Dr. Jennifer Breder Pruitt, Associate Veterinarian at Airport Road Animal Clinic, saltwater poisoning occurs when too much salt builds up in a dog’s body, causing the cells to release their water content in an attempt to balance out the sodium. (The opposite is true when they drink too much fresh water on a hot day, driving salt out of the cells and leading to dangerously low levels.) Saltwater poisoning can lead to many serious health effects including severe dehydration, seizures, brain damage, kidney damage, and, if left untreated, death.



WHAT ARE THE SIGNS? Dr. Breder Pruitt says there are several things to keep an eye out for if you plan on taking your pet to the beach or on the boat this season. The most notable symptom of saltwater poisoning is a change in behavior. Specifically, too much sodium can cause your dog to become confused, lethargic or even non-responsive. Additionally, dogs that ingest too much saltwater may vomit or have diarrhea immediately after going in the water. As time goes on, your dog may not want to eat or drink. Other signs include body swelling and excessive thirst or urination.

HOW CAN YOU KEEP YOUR PET SAFE? Of course, we all want to keep our pets safe, and this is no exception. Saltwater poisoning is highly preventable, and there are many things you can do to keep your pup healthy when around saltwater. Before hitting the beach, offer plenty of fresh

water to get your pet nice and hydrated ahead of time. Keep a bowl of fresh, clean water on the beach with you and take a break to encourage your dog to drink every 15-20 minutes. If you notice something seems off and you have been at the beach, even if it is hours later, take your dog to your veterinarian as soon as possible, even if an emergency vet is needed. According to Dr. Breder Pruitt, if your dog does have saltwater poisoning, he or she will likely need to be hospitalized and receive intravenous fluids and supportive care to monitor hydration and electrolyte status to prevent swelling of the brain and seizures. So, if you are bringing your pets with you for family fun this spring, make sure to keep them safe by preventing saltwater poisoning and treating it quickly if you notice symptoms.

Women’s Cancer Wellness Symposium Thursday, March 14, 2019 Hilton University of Florida Conference Center 1714 SW 34th St. Gainesville, FL 32607

1 – 2 p.m. Women’s Cancer Wellness Health Fair Visit booths featuring women’s wellness services from a variety of UF Health providers. 2 – 4 p.m. Women’s Cancer Wellness Symposium Enjoy tea and refreshments during three presentations from UF Health providers about women’s cancer prevention, treatment and research.

WELLNESS360 | MARCH/APRIL 2019 Registration is required; visit or call 352.733.0000




Sharing Your Bed:

The Pros and Cons of Co-Sleeping BY CAROLINE STROGIS

One of the many benefits of owning a pet is having a built-in cuddle companion. But, is there such a thing as too much cuddling? A good night’s sleep might be one thing people love as much as they love their pets, making it a tough decision whether or not to let your furry friend in bed with you. Co-sleeping is different for everyone, with both perks and risks to consider. A regular concern is comfort and sleeping patterns. However, according to an experiment done by the Mayo Clinic, assessing whether having a pet in bed disrupts sleep, it had little effect. Both humans and pets were attached to accelerometers, devices used to track their movement and sleep patterns, through the night for seven nights. The results showed that humans still had 81 percent sleep efficiency and the pets had 85 percent, where 80 percent is generally considered satisfactory. These results could be due to the many mental health benefits associated with the presence of animals. According to Dr. Rachel Cannon Ghulamani, a local licensed medical health counselor, having an animal around can reduce stress and anxiety, both of which are linked to insomnia. Pets also



create a sense of security for people who may be nervous or sleeping alone. “It follows a similar pattern to attachment; having a pet is having someone you love and are attached to,” said Ghulamani, “having them by your side releases oxytocin, a hormone that makes you feel good and safe, and is linked to better sleep.”

Having an animal around can reduce stress and anxiety, both of which are linked to insomnia. - Dr. Rachel Cannon Ghulamani

Making sure the pets are in as good of health condition as the humans eliminates this concern one way or the other.

Ghulamani says that if you’re still getting efficient sleep, the overall positive psychological benefits can be huge.

For those who are light sleepers, the interruption of sleep could be also be detrimental to health. In his case, Baltzley recommends giving pets their own space at night.

Dr. Lance Baltzley, a veterinary physician at Newberry Animal Hospital, suspects this is a two-way street. Pets also experience the psychological benefits experienced by humans. “There are no negative effects for the animals. Cats and dogs are traditionally pack animals, it creates a better bond,” said Baltzley.

“Your animal will be okay as long as there is consistency. Have a nice place for them to sleep and have a routine. They will acclimate well to their own environment, and although they may want to get in bed with you, they won’t be under emotional duress going to their own bed, as long as they feel secure,” said Baltzley.

However, Baltzley advises putting your health as the priority, and stresses that it is essential for those wanting to share a bed with their cat or dog to make sure that they get good comprehensive veterinary care, so no communal diseases can be spread.

When it comes to bedtime, it’s okay to be selfish. If you choose to let your four-legged friend tag along, it can be a great bonding time. The best sleeping environment is one that works for both the animal and the human, where everyone is happy and healthy.

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Our Favorite Pet-Friendly Pit Stops of Gainesville BY CAROLINE STROGIS

SWEETBERRIES EATERY & FROZEN CUSTARD SweetBerries is a local favorite for soups, salads and sandwiches, but what really makes the visit is getting frozen custard on a hot day. SweetBerries has a large patio area nestled under beautiful trees and colorful umbrellas and includes a watering station for dogs. SweetBerries even has a walk-up ordering window for added convenience for those who bring their pets along.

THE SWAMP RESTAURANT The Swamp Restaurant is a popular destination for live music and sporting events. They have a large fenced in patio and an upstairs wrap-around balcony that welcomes dogs. The Swamp not only provides water and treats, they even have an entire dog menu and toys available to borrow. Throughout the year, they have dog events such as Halloween costume contests, “Yappy Hour” and a Christmas event called “Santa Paws” where you can take pictures of your pup sitting on Santa’s lap!

A frequently asked question of pet owners: “Can my dog come?” Afternoons spent out to lunch, for coffee or for a nice run becomes even more enjoyable when we can share these experiences with our four-legged best friends. Dogs are great for a social life and a great reason to get outdoors. Not only do we benefit from this but also, a social dog tends to be happier and better behaved. So explore Gainesville with your furry friend by visiting some of the many pet-friendly places in town!

DEPOT PARK On any given day, a visit to Depot includes seeing many people walking their dogs. Dogs must be kept on a leash at the park, but there is no shortage of things to do with your pup. Depot has a huge lawn to relax or play, with the Pop-a-Top General Store or Boxcar Beer & Wine Garden to grab snacks and drinks to enjoy on the patio. Depot also includes a beautiful 0.8-mile trail to get in some exercise and view nature. This trail also connects to the 16-mile long Hawthorn State Trail for the more athletic breeds.



LOOSEY'S Named after the owner’s dog, Loosey’s lives up to the expectations of being a dog-friendly spot to grab lunch and a drink. Loosey’s is known for serving wings, burgers and beer and hosting many events and trivia nights. Their Instagram account features pictures of pups sitting out on their patio area, encouraging visitors to bring their furry friends along. Dogs are even greeted with water bowls and treats.

KANAPAHA BOTANICAL GARDENS Known for having the state’s largest public display of bamboo and giant Victoria water lilies, Kanapaha Botanical Gardens consists of a 1.5-mile paved walkway to explore the gardens. There is an $8 admission fee for adults, and dogs are welcome if they are kept on a leash. Plan on spending half your day there if you want to see it all, but this shouldn’t be a problem with multiple water bowls for dogs placed along the path and pavilions with seating areas to rest. Guests are also welcome to bring in picnic baskets to enjoy a meal in the scenic garden.

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO Use sites like to find a list of restaurants that are pet-friendly. You can also call ahead to see if you can bring your furry-friend. Keep your pet on a leash when taking them out in public. Make sure to bring an extra bowl of food and water in case they get hungry or thirsty.

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Ask the Expert

Ask the Dog Trainer BY JENNY HIGGINS

Jenny Higgins earned her bachelor's degree in psychology at the University of Florida. During her undergrad, she worked in the Canine Cognition and Behavior Lab and enjoyed the projects on various dog behavior topics, including play versus aggression, and thunder phobia. After graduating, Jenny went on to attain two certifications in behavior consultation and training. Jenny loves training tricks, but her passion is with behavior modification. So, she continued with her education and completed a 2 1/2 year program with the DogNostics Career Center to earn a diploma in canine behavior consulting. Currently, Jenny runs her own business called PUPS Gainesville, LLC and works with clients in group obedience classes in a training center near downtown Gainesville, or she works with clients in their homes.

Reward-based training is using something the dog finds valuable in order to motivate and reward good behavior. Training with treats is very common because we know that most dogs find food valuable. Other rewards can include play, enthusiasm, getting a belly rub, chasing their person around the house and endless others! We use the treats, or other rewards, as positive reinforcement for a behavior the dog just performed. If Fido gets a cookie when he offers eye contact at the park, Fido is going to realize that focusing or checking-in with you is very valuable.

„ Is there a restriction on age to start training my dog or puppy? Is there an age where they are considered “too old” for training?

Training can never start too early. Confidence building, impulse control, and proximity are all concepts that should be started as early as possible to help build the optimistic, well-mannered adult dog that likes to be around us and vice-versa! Even if you are waiting for a certain age to attend a group class with your dog, home-training should start ASAP. And if you have ever heard, “An old dog cannot learn new tricks.” That’s a myth! Even if there are certain habits in place, new behaviors can be taught regardless of age.



„ Does using food to train my dog mean that they will only obey if they see a treat? No, if rewards are used appropriately, then the dog will not become dependent on seeing, smelling, or hearing any treats or toys to perform the behavior. I teach three stages of food training for a reinforcement schedule, and by stage two the dog is not aware if a reward is present.

„ What shot records should I have for my dog or puppy to participate?

Several diseases do run in families. If your puppy is coming to a group class, I recommend having the first series of puppy vaccinations: DHPP (distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, and parvovirus) and Bordetella. In addition, I would suggest the puppy has been in the home for at least two weeks before going to a class.

your dog and teach goal behaviors. Typically, owners will be equipped with preventative solutions and about two to three new homework exercises per lesson.

„ How do pet training and psychology correlate?

There are many principles of psychology that pertain to teaching your pet dog--or cat, chicken, fish, etc.! Some big topics include the four quadrants of behavior, reinforcement schedules, classical conditioning, respondent conditioning, and motivation. It is important for anyone working with your pet to understand which quadrants of behavior are safe and humane to apply to your pet as well as how to maintain good behavior through motivation and reinforcement schedules. Continued on page 57

„ How long is training and what will my dog know by the end of it? Group classes run an hour, whereas private sessions can last anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours. The most important thing is what you, the owner, will know by the end of the lesson. It is my job to teach the owner how to live with their dog in a way that both parties are enjoying each other’s company and being safe. I will teach management and prevention strategies as well as go over how to communicate with

Dog training should begin as early as possible to gain maximum results from the sessions.


„ What is a positive treatapproach and how do you use it to train a dog?



Continued from page 56

„ Will my dog continue their behavioral skills after the training is complete?

Training should not be considered a short-term project, but rather a system of communication that we reinforce throughout the dog’s life. Also, the age of the dog plays a big factor here. A 5-monthold dog can be taught to sit, lay down, come when called, but that dog’s training needs to be maintained and challenged throughout adolescence, otherwise they can backtrack and/or explore other options (such as NOT coming back when called) and find those to be more rewarding instead of the behaviors we taught as a puppy. To put it into perspective most working dogs will not go into service until after two to two and a half years of age and training. After these two to three years of training, behaviors are maintained by occasionally being reinforced (this is called an intermittent schedule).

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„ What are the first things my pet will learn in training?

Premack’s principle! They will learn that certain less desirable behaviors equal a more desirable outcome. Human example: "Eat your veggies, get dessert!" When first starting a training exercise with food, toys, or praise, the dog should learn that calm composure is what results in getting those pieces of food or the toy thrown for them. This would be the basic of impulse control.

Amanda Carreon, Owner

„ My dog does not behave when we go out on walks. Is there a way to teach her how to walk?

There are several games and exercises to work on for loose-leash walking. Some games involve disengaging from distractions and some focus on teaching your dog how valuable it is to walk close to you. It can also be very helpful to teach your dog that there is a cue to “go sniff” and explore around and there is a cue to “let’s go” and walk with you; that way your dog has a distinction between some doggy free time and walking right next to you.





Mind Matters


Why We Need Them, Even WhenWe Think We Don't BY RENEE CASTRO

can trust and whom we know will absolutely be there for us in a time of need. For me, my friends know something is wrong before I am even aware of it, and they also know the exact remedy I need to feel better! It is true that women friendships differ from men friendships in numerous ways. The biggest difference, as seen in a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information is that women friendships are more “face to face” and men are more “side by side.” The research also concludes that women’s friendships are more intimate, where men’s friendships are more focused on shared activities, and it has to do with the social norms that we grew up around. While both men and women friendships can be different, having friendships in general might actually increase how long you stay on earth! According to a study done in Australia, having a large friend base could save your life. The conclusions of the study found that a person’s “survival time may be enhanced by strong social networks.” So gather up your friends and hit up brunch on the weekend to enjoy each other’s company and add a few years to your life!

I have been lucky enough to have the same group of best friends for most of my life. While I have had a number of friendships and I know a large number of people from my experiences, I was also very blessed with childhood best friends who helped me form a small and unique sisterhood that I so often refer to as my “second family.” As an aging adult, I can vouch for the fact that there are days I want to go home, lay underneath the covers and binge Netflix until dawn. However, I can also attest to the fact that there are days in which all I want to do is spend every minute with my best gals. Over our 15 years together, I have to say that friendship is really important. Some of us will make excuses as to why we can’t hang out with friends, the old “too much work,” “date night,” or “no sitter” can get you out of everything, but at the end of the day, some quality time with your friends can improve your overall health. According to Mayo Clinic, spending time with friends can, “increase your sense of belonging and purpose,” and “boost your happiness and reduce your stress.”



Studies have shown that healthy relationships practically make our lives easier by making aging enjoyable, providing support to help you achieve your goals and help lessen grief through tough times. The best part about having a group of friends is that you will always have a support system aside from your family. Group chats praising your best work or your new outfit can help boost your self esteem and add some ‘oomph’ to your life! Happiness is contagious, and spending time with people who make you laugh is a great way to add a little bit of positivity in your life. It’s easy to talk to your friends about the things that make you happy and make you smile, and the same can often be said about the opposite. Friends are the people that we

According to Mayo Clinic, spending time with your friends can


your sense of belonging and purpose

and boost your happiness and reduce your stress.



Spotlight 360


Lara Baigorria is a senior at UF studying computer science engineering. She attends school full-time and lives an active lifestyle by competing as a bodybuilder in the bikini division.

Tell us about your lifestyle. Why did you choose to integrate school and bodybuilding?

I am in my last semester of my undergrad at the University of Florida pursuing a computer science engineering degree. With my degree, I hope to foster an inclusive computing culture that exposes young children to computer science(s) and addresses the lack of diversity in CS (computer science). Since I was a little girl, I have lived a very active lifestyle- from ballet to gymnastics to cheerleading then CrossFit and now I am a bodybuilder competing in the bikini division. My drive to compete came from wanting to see how far I could push my body and having a goal to work toward every single day. After watching a bodybuilding competition, I was in awe of how these strong and beautiful women looked on stage and I wanted to see if I could achieve that physique as well. This was the day I decided to start prepping for my first show.

How do you live a 360life?

A balanced life is unique to each individual. I try to balance the things I must do with what I want to do. For me, I need to make time to workout, cook my meals, spend time with loved ones, and take care of my mental health. Working out is how I de-stress and is honestly what I look forward to all day long. I listen to my body and have rest days when I see necessary. Involving mental health, I like to use my Breathe app on my Apple Watch, I find that it helps when I am overwhelmed or stressed, along with making sure I am saying kind things to myself. We are all our own worst critics so remembering to show self-love, whether that is by doing my nails, getting a massage or just saying a few kind things to myself- is really important in achieving my 360life.

How do you prepare for the competitions?

Preparing for competitions takes months of hard work. My diet, workout regimen, and lifestyle change in order to achieve a physique I am proud of. Relating to my diet, I track my macros and adjust them weekly in order to continue to see progress. For my workouts, I focus less on lifting as heavy as possible and start doing more repetitions with less rest in between each set. My overall lifestyle gets shifted to focusing on competing, so I make it one of my top priorities ultimately meaning that some other things must take a back seat.



Spotlight 360 What do you enjoy most about competing?

My favorite thing about competing is surpassing my own expectations. Setting a goal that at the time seems almost impossible to achieve and working toward it every day gives me purpose and something to look forward to when I wake up every morning. Being able to step on stage and show the months of hard work is just the icing on the cake.

Please share your biggest moment in competing, in detail, and what it meant to you.

My biggest moment in competing would have to be when I won the Overall Title at the Ruby Championships in September 2018. Winning overall means you won your height class, and then the 1st place winner of each height class competes against each other for the overall title. This was my 3rd competition, and I was trying to qualify for Nationals (where you must get 1st or 2nd in your height class to qualify) and had missed the qualification by one spot in my 2nd competition. I truly believed I was going to qualify in my second competition, and when I didn’t it stung. So, I decided to do this competition the very next week. Having missed it twice before and knowing I had what it took to qualify was the reason why winning on the third try meant so much to me. No matter win or lose, I am always proud of how I am able to transform my body, but I had put so much blood, sweat and tears into my prep and finally having the satisfaction of being told that I could compete against the best in the nation meant the world to me. This had been my goal since the first time I stepped on stage and achieving it was an unforgettable experience. To top it off my family and best friends were able to go watch me compete and having them with me made it even more special since they don’t always understand my lifestyle. They were able to see why I work so hard and make the sacrifices that I do when it comes to competing.

How would you encourage others to start living a 360life?

I would encourage others to find what they are passionate about and what they truly enjoy doing. Health encompasses mental and physical aspects, so if you hate lifting weights and feel like going to the gym is a chore, you might achieve the look you want but will never truly be happy with yourself as a whole. Don’t be scared to try new things

because it might be what you were meant to do, and you are never too old to find your passion. With that being said, nourish your body and brain, and make time to do things that ultimately make you happy.

What is the most important lesson you have learned from this lifestyle?

The most important lesson that I have learned is that a balance lifestyle is unique to each individual. People ask me all the time how I can dedicate so many hours of my day to the gym, but for me it’s just what I love doing. Working out and being active is how I relieve stress, and the gym is my happy place. While others might enjoy going out, I honestly enjoy seeing how far I can push my body both physically and mentally and being a bodybuilder is exactly that.

Favorite Quote?

My gymnastics coach, Maria de los Angeles, told me many years ago that, “Hard work beats talent every time.” This quote has stuck with me ever since I was eight years old because growing up as a gymnast; I was not always the most talented. However, I always pushed myself and worked hard every single time I went into the gym, which is why I was able to be so competitive in the sport. I now apply this concept to all aspects of my life. Whatever I set my mind to I make sure I am giving it my 110 percent in order to achieve the best possible results.

What is your favorite way to wind down from a busy week? When having a busy week, I love just lounging in my PJ’s, watching a funny TV show, and eating the Enlightened ice cream- especially the “Movie Night” flavor.

What is your favorite TV show? I watch a lot of TV series, but my all-time favorite is The Office. I have watched it from start to finish 4 times, and it will just never get old.

What is your favorite Food? I have a huge sweet tooth, so I would have to say cookies!

What is your go-to restaurant in Gainesville? I love breakfast food, so I would have to say Keke’s Breakfast Café would be my go-to.




MEGAN SAPELAK, GRAPHIC DESIGNER Kevin is a 5-year-old tabby cat.



SAYAH FARRAH, EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Charley, her granddog, is an 8-year-old miniature poodle.

GRACE DOWNEY, GRAPHIC DESIGNER Ginger is a 4-year-old Chihuahua mix.

RENEE CASTRO, ASSISTANT EDITOR Bella (left) is a 7-year-old miniature schnauzer, Bandit and Bailey (right) are 7 and 2-year-old Yorkies.

BETSY LANGAN, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Lilli is a 6-year-old golden retriever.


AMANDA ROLAND, EDITORIAL INTERN Mercedes is a 6-year-old tuxedo cat.

APRIL TISHER,ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Buzz (left) is a 9-week-old chocolate lab and Digger (right) is a 9-year-old chocolate lab.


Bear is a 5-year-old bichon frise, shih tzu and Yorkie mix.

NICOLE AND SHANE IRVING, PUBLISHERS Jack (left) and Jill (right) are both 8-year-old papillons they rescued.


MARCH 22, 2019 • 6:30PM

MARCH 22-24, 2019• 2:00PM

MARCH 23, 2019 • 6:00PM









The last time I was skiing, I vowed it would be my last. I was in Jiminy Peak with my aunt and late uncle celebrating my 21st birthday. It was the last run of the day, and as the temperature was dropping, my aunt went inside to get warm and my uncle and I went up the chairlift for one last trip down the mountain. As we got off the ski lift, a freak storm came through with strong winds, snow and panic. My uncle went down the mountain, assuming I was following. Well, I tried. The winds were so strong that I physically was not going anywhere, but backwards. To my left, snow boarders were crawling their way down. To say that I was scared was an understatement. My uncle was able to side-step up the mountain, he realized I was not behind him after a hot minute, and brought me down the mountain, holding on to dear life behind him. That was 21 years ago, and I was determined to never approach that activity again! Fast forward to my 42nd birthday and a work trip that would bring me to the Rocky Mountains and skiing heaven, Breckenridge, Colorado. My husband was in seventh heaven. This was a dream of his. And, I was in a fresh panic. And, to make matters worse, a video was circling around about skiers who got chased by a moose in Breckenridge the week before. This was not my heaven. However, I TRIED it! That’s right folks, I made it down the breathtaking runs not once but three times! The snow was powdery, the weather was beautiful and except for the ski boots that were cutting off my circulation at times, the day couldn’t have been more perfect. In addition to skiing, Breckenridge offers a quaint and friendly town of shopping, amazing food and culture. On our way back to Denver, we even took a detour to see the infamous South Park. The ride through the mountains and valley were some of the most gorgeous views I have ever seen.



In a nutshell: Breckenridge has so much to offer for everyone! From beginner to professional level skiers, the powder snow is breathtaking! And, the view and town is perfect for just about anyone who wants to enjoy a mountain vacation. Everyone was friendly, the scenery is spectacular, the powder snow is perfect and the food was delish! We will definitely be back! 5 stars!




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Community 8 a.m. 2019-gainesville-run-amuck-with-the-duck.

Saturday, March 23 Hogtown Craft Beer Festival

1 – 5 p.m. Alachua County Fairgrounds

Saturday, April 6 The Great Inflatable Race

Saturday, March 2 Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Guided Walk

Saturday, March 23 Trail of Payne 10K

Saturday, April 2 Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Guided Walk

Saturday, March 2 Run Amuck with the Duck

10 a.m. – Noon Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

8:30 – 11 a.m. Payne’s Prairie State Park

9 a.m. Alachua County Fairgrounds

10 a.m. – Noon Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Saturday, March 2 – Sunday, March 3 Survival Race for Heroes

Saturday, April 6 – Sunday, April 7 BANCF 2019 Spring Parade of Homes

Thursday, March 7 – Friday, March 8 2019 Pull for a Cure

Saturday, April 13 Orange and Blue Game

Noon – 5 p.m. Parade map available online

9 a.m. Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Time varies Tickets: $75-150

Thursday, March 7 – Friday, March 8 Inspiring Women’s Leader Conference UF Hilton Conference Center

Saturday, March 16 Junior League of Gainesville Tour of Kitchens 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Saturday, March 16 Cedar Key Workout on Waterfront 8 a.m.

Sunday, March 17 St. Patrick’s Day Sunday, March 17 High Springs Music in the Park

2 – 4 p.m. High Springs Community Center & Museum

Saturday, March 30 Pups in the Park

10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Dogwood Park & Daycare

Sunday, March 24 TriGators Super Sprint Triathlon

8:30 – 11 a.m. 157 Gale Lemerand Drive, The Florida Pool

Saturday, March 23 – Sunday, March 24 Spring Garden Festival 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Saturday, March 30 – Sunday, March 31 Cedar Key Arts Festival Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m Cedar Key, FL

Sunday, March 31 Jest Fest! 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. The Thomas Center

1 p.m. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

Saturday, April 13– Sunday, April 14 BANCF 2019 Spring Parade of Homes Noon – 5 p.m. Parade map available online

Saturday, April 20 Garth Brooks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium 7 – 10 p.m. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

Sunday, April 21 Easter Saturday, April 27 Tree Fest 2019

Noon – 11 p.m. Swamp Head Brewery

Saturday, April 27 High Springs Music in the Park

2 – 4 p.m. High Springs Community Center & Museum

Saturday, April 27 Run the Good Race 5K & 10K Friday, March 22 – Sunday, March 24 Embers Wood Grill Wine & Food Festival Embers Wood Grill



8 – 10 a.m. 6420 W Newberry Rd

Sunday, April 28 Human Foosball Tournament

1 – 5 p.m. Trinity United Methdoist Church

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MAMMOGRAPHY We are pleased to announce the addition of 3D mammography services to our new and existing patients! Your breast health is important to us and the convenience of in-house mammography ensures a cohesive wellness plan. Call 352-332-7222 for more information and to schedule your appointment.

For more information, call 352-332-7222 or visit

724 NW 43rd St., Gainesville, FL 32607 • 68


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Wellness360 March/April 2019  

Pet Issue

Wellness360 March/April 2019  

Pet Issue