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DecemberB_Layout 1 12/22/2011 8:12 PM Page 1

Cover Contest Winner: Maya, Grade 1


DecemberB_Layout 1 12/22/2011 8:12 PM Page 2

From the Editors Desk Angela Lambert

Distributed to Cremona, Water Valley, Carstairs, Crossfield and Sundre, Didsbury & the Rural Routes of Carstairs, Crossfield, Madden, Dog Pound, Didsbury, Sundre, Bergen and Bottrel

Deadline for the First January issue is:

January 6, 2012 11am

Well here we are, in the last few days of 2011. If you’re like me, you’re “doing the Christmas dash” and trying to figure out where the last year disappeared to. The whirlwind of Christmas pagents, concerts, office parties and family and friend gatherings can leave a person breathless. I hope for you all that you get the time to spend with loved ones and friends alike. I just want to take a moment to thank everyone of our readers for supporting us in this years’ adventure. There were a lot of things going on in our communities and we did our best to get to you all to cover as much as we could. We’re looking forward to the upcoming year and getting to as many events as possible, so if you have something you’d like to see us at, make sure to let us know. I hope that you have a Merry Christmas/Holiday season, and I also wish for all of you a safe, happy and healthy New Year.

Paper Release Date:

January 12, 2012 Paper Day is

Thursday

HITCHING POST NEWS Office Hours:9am-3:30pm Phone: 403-637-2953 editor@hitchingpostnews.com www.hitchingpostnews.com Editor Angela Lambert Publishers Tara Jenkins & Angela Lambert tara@hitchingpostnews.com angela@hitchingpostnews.com

Box 456 Water Valley, AB T0M 2E0

PLEASE NOTE THESE PRICES ARE ALL

PER ISSUE

PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE GST. ALL PRICES ARE IN CANADIAN DOLLARS. 2 • Volume 1 , Issue 10B • Hitching Post News

Keeping Our Communities Connected!


DecemberB_Layout 1 12/22/2011 8:12 PM Page 3

Recycle Your Christmas Tree

A plea from your Christmas tree

sent to a landfill where I’ll slowly decompose . . . or worse, go to an incinerator to meet a fiery death!

Since my life began as a seedling years ago, I have existed for one primary purpose – to spread joy and holiday cheer during the Christmas season. Being the center of attention comes and goes as the decorations go up and come down, but are you aware of just how brief my life cycle is?

I’m speaking out to say that it doesn’t have to end like this.

Millions of Canadians will have a Christmas tree this year, but many don’t recognize that I and thousands of my fellow tree friends can be recycled and put to greater use. Adding to this bad news for us trees, one in three Canadians aren’t even It all starts with my production in a sure if a tree recycling program nursery. When I’m old enough, I’m exists in their community! cut down, fastened to a vehicle and transported to the home of a loving To my relief and that of thousands of family where I’m decorated and put natural Christmas trees across the on display. For the duration of the country, there are ways we can be holiday season, I’m the main feature re-used long after the holiday season of family gatherings and I always has come and gone. The best thing take centre stage on Christmas to do with your tree after Christmas morning. But when the holiday has passed is to recycle it. You can season ends and Christmas recycle me through tree mulching decorations are put back in storage, and recycling programs, which are I’ll be left out in the cold. The final both fast-growing practices across stage of my life will involve being Canada. Once trees are recycled, we

can be turned into erosion barriers, the holiday season is over. garden mulch and can even be used to create feeding grounds for lake For more information on Christmas fish. tree recycling programs in your community, or more ways to help Christmas trees aren’t just a symbol you reduce waste and help the for cheer and tradition; we can be environment, please consult recycled to have a tangible, positive www.wmcanada.com or your affect on the environment long after community’s works department.

Ten Tips to Ease Holiday Travel Tara Jenkins 10 Winter Travel Tips to Melt Your Worries Away perks living in our area, they are also a great opportunity to create hazards on the road. Winter holiday travel can be even more stressful than braving the malls the weekend before Have your car checked before you leave. Even if Christmas. Travel during this time can be your not due for a tune up a quick mechanic characterized by long waits, irritable kids, check would not be a bad idea in your trip irritable adults and delays are the name of the preparation. Tire pressure and tread wear are the game. Both travel by air or vehicle can often be key things to have checked. a test of patience and endurance. Hopefully with the help of the tips below some of the winter Be prepared for a change in course. Know your travel worries can be laid to rest and you can get route and be aware of alternatives in case of road on with enjoying your holidays. closures or accidents. Throw your old paper maps in for good measure, the GPS could become AIRLINE TRAVEL TRIPS finicky in inclement conditions. Plan ahead. Book your trip as soon as possible. You'll be rewarded by missing the rush, able to Stay hydrated. Your body requires more fuel avoid peak travel dates, lower airfare and when its cold. Studies show (Mayo clinic study) minimize connections. that dehydration can lead to a minute drop in body weight leading to fatigue and decreased Leave an extra hour early. Anticipate delays and alertness. allow for that. Enjoy some reading, a latte, or old fashioned people watching with your extra time if Pack a winter kit for the car. Consider essentials its not needed. as something more involved and different than during the summer months. A cell phone and car Pack as light as possible. Not only are airlines charger; ice scraper; tow rope and jumper cables; more stringent with baggage restrictions but its sand or cat litter for traction if needed; blankets; less you have to haul around. If your plan is to be flashlight; matches and emergency candles; First with family for gifts consider having your gifts Aid kit; portable radio; entertainment in case you sent directly to them through online shopping. get stuck. Steer clear of influenza! No one goes seeking to get sick especially while on holidays. Before you leave consider getting a flu shot. Don't underestimate the power of kindergarten hygiene – wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.

50%. Leave extra space between you and other vehicles. Be aware of areas in the rad like bridges where conditions could be different that other spots on the road. Four-Wheel-Drive vehicles may provide better traction but won't allow you to stop any faster. Don't use cruise control, you may accelerate when you don't want to. Know phone numbers of automated road reports and weather conditions if you don't have a data plan on your phone. Winter travel is really a fact of life when you choose to live in our “rurban” setting. No matter how you choose to travel, a day out in the snow around home, or traveling to a sunny destination getting there can set the tone for the entire trip. Enjoy your winter travels, it is only a short time and we will be enjoying our summer weather again.

Make frequent stops. Driving in the winter is much more difficult and tiring than in summer. Having a great winter road trip is all about navigating the winter weather. Remember extra clothing and boots. Even if you don't wear them, have them in the vehicle with you.

Stretch your legs often. Keep snacks with you. WINTER DRIVING TIPS FOR EASIER AND SAFER WINTER ROAD TRIPS There can be no question that winter is one of the most hazardous times of the year for road travel, especially in Canada, and more specifically Western Canada with our unpredictable and ever changing weather. While Chinooks are one of the Keeping Our Communities Connected!

See and Be Seen! Keep headlights and tail lights clean. Keep windows clean and your visibility clear. Slow down. If the weather gets nasty transportation officials suggest slowing down by Hitching Post News • Volume 1, Issue 10B• 3


DecemberB_Layout 1 12/22/2011 8:12 PM Page 4

Division 2 Councillor’s Report Patricia McKean I would like to provide an update of the discussions that took place at the Municipal Development Plan open house in Cremona on December 1, 2011. We had a great turnout and many residents came and asked questions pertaining to the changes. I would like to outline some of the main questions and concerns that were addressed. As well, if everyone can please take the time to go online and complete the questionnaire regarding these changes, this information is needed for us to determine if the changes that are needed to be made are contained in our draft copy. The main point we heard in all the surveys we have done to this point is that 89% of the county wants to see that Agricultural land is preserved. The MDP has been written in such a way that this will happen. Concern: The length of owning a title for 10 year period makes it hard for Estate Planning. Response: We understand that there needs to be more detail put into this

subdivision of 48 lots in a growth stating that the County should be utilizing the access to HWY 22 for center was not economical. the industrial growth options. Response: This is an area where we need to ensure we have comments These are many of the main points from our residents. The past MDP that were discussed that evening and was allowing for the county to have we much emphasize that this 240 lots per quarter in a Growth document is only a DRAFT. We Center. The new number that has want to ensure that residents are been proposed is 48. We need to satisfied with the outcome of the know if this is too high, too low or new MDP and will be able to live with it for a long period of time. So what is the preferred number? if we can get as much input directing Concern: Questions were raised as to what if in the white area it is still Concern: Two to three acre lots are us, it would help ensure this goal will happen. too small. deemed to be agricultural land?

and there will be exceptions made when it is changed from one family member to another. The reason this was included was due to the concern people had with non-community people coming in and purchasing a quarter, subdividing off the four titles and then selling all lots including the remaining quarter and leaving the community with the new residences.

I will look forward to all your feedback on the MDP as well seeing you out and about through this festive time of the year. I can be reached at 403-637-0140 to discuss any of your concerns or you can email me at patricia.mckean@mountainviewcou It was also pointed our that there is a nty.com proposed Growth Center located on the Southwest side of Cremona. Division 2 Councillor This will provide for some Patricia McKean residential and some industrial Concern: There was concern that a growth. This was a change we took developer constructing a out of the Water Valley ASP process Response: The applications will be quite clear in stating that multi-lot subdivision will only happen on non-productive ag land. If our planning department goes and deems this land to have good agricultural value or the adjacent residents provide proof of history of this it will not be considered for multi lot subdivision. No application is approved automatically as it still requires Council approval.

Response: There was a concern that the 2-3 acre lots sizes were to small. In the new MDP it leaves room for discretion if for topographical, sewage or other reasons the applicant need to go to 5 acres it provides room for that.

Cremona United Church Our Advent Celebrations are unfolding and we will complete the lighting of the Advent Wreath at the Christmas Eve Service as we continue to enjoy singing favourite hymns. Wishing you the Peace, Hope, Joy and Love of the Christmas season throughout the coming year. December 24, 2011 – Christmas Eve Service at 7:00 p.m. December 25, 2011 – Christmas Day - No Service January 1, 2012 – New Year’s Day – No Service Service on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Church contact: Rev. P. Marie Wedderburn 403.637.2200 Where a warm welcome awaits with refreshments after service. DID YOU KNOW: The 5 Gothic stained glass windows in the church came from the old Melville Church in Fergus, Ontario in 1935.

HPN offers a wide variety of advertising options right for your business, event or activities. Contact by email or phone (403)637-2953 4 • Volume 1 , Issue 10B • Hitching Post News

Keeping Our Communities Connected!


Decembe B_Layou 1 12 22 2011 8 12 PM Page 5

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Hitching Post News • Volume 1, Issue 10B • 5


DecemberB_Layout 1 12/22/2011 8:12 PM Page 6

What Christmas Means to Me

When we put in our announcement for a contest of “What Christmas means to me” the responses were few. Mrs. Ortmans’ Grade One class from Cremona school came together and submitted their thoughts on what Christmas means to them. We hope you enjoy their endearing simplicity.

6 • Volume 1 , Issue 10B • Hitching Post News

Keeping Our Communities Connected!


DecemberB_Layout 1 12/22/2011 8:12 PM Page 7

What Christmas Means to Me

...Continued on Page 11

Christmas Traditions Source: http://www.portharbor.com/santa/xsatrad.php Canada/U.S. - Christmas trees are decorated and stockings are hung on the fireplace for Santa Claus to fill with gifts. Cards and gifts are exchanged with friends and relatives. Children put on pageants and go caroling. China - The Christians in China light their homes with beautiful paper lanterns. Santa is called Dun Che Lao Ren. The children hang stockings just as we do. Italy - It Italy, the main exchange of gift doesn’t occur until January 6th, the day traditionally believed that the Wise Men reached the baby Jesus. Italy has La Befana who brings gifts to for the good and punishment for the bad. She is the same character as Russia’s Babouschka who refused to give the Wise Men food and shelter. The nativity scene may have first been set up by Saint Francis of Assisi. This first one was set up in a cave outside of a village and the villagers were so impressed by the display that now many of the communities compete for the best nativity. India - Houses are decorated with strings of mango leaves. Lights are place on the window sills and walls and a star is hung outside. A sweet holiday treat is made called thali Keeping Our Communities Connected!

and it is brought to neighbors and friends. The Netherlands (Holland) Santa is known as Sinterklaas, and he came to Sweden originally by boat, setting out on December 6th from Spain. He makes his gift deliveries by horseback. The children leave their shoes out, filled with hay and sugar for Sinterklaas’ horse. In the morning they find their shoes filled with candy and nuts. When Sinterklaas appears to the children, he takes the form of their father or a favorite male relative. Russia - Russia has someone named Babouschka, who would bring gifts for the children. The tradition says that she failed to give food and shelter to the three wise men and so she now searches the countryside searching for the baby Jesus, visiting all children giving gifts as she goes. Santa was known as Saint Nicholas but today is called Grandfather Frost, wearing a blue outfit instead of red. North Pole - Santa and his helpers are getting ready to deliver gifts to the children of the world.

Hitching Post News • Volume 1, Issue 10B • 7


DecemberB_Layout 1 12/22/2011 8:12 PM Page 8

Two Men in Thiland Submitted by: Scott Davis On the Rocks in Rai Ley International Men of Action Scott Davis and J.B. Cryderman sample the many delights of Rai Ley, including the Diamond Cave, the Rock Bar, and the breathtaking beach of Hat Phra Nang. I am composing this report from the backseat of a muffler-less minivan, bouncing down the highway across the Thai/Malay peninsula to our next destination. Normally I would be taking in the sights, but there doesn’t seem to be much to see other than miles and miles of plantations, growing just about any crop imaginable. In addition, I am on the sunny side of the bus, so I have drawn the curtains to help the van’s barely existent A/C system. More on our monumental journey in my next report, but first let me tell you about yesterday’s fun. We knew our day wasn’t going to be overly busy, because there is only so much to see and do on the Rai Ley peninsula without a vertical climb or getting on a boat. So we slept in a bit, had a leisurely breakfast, then set out to explore. The skies were overcast and provided a minor relief from the omnipresent heat, so it was a perfect day for a stroll around Rai Ley. We had no set agenda in mind, so we randomly chose a path that we had not been down before and headed north. We wandered down the sidewalk, and soon came upon Tham Pranangnai, a protected national mini-park more popularly known as the Diamond Cave. Apparently, the walls of the cave sparkle with the precious stones, although a strong light would be required to see such a show. Admission to the cave was a measly 40 Baht (about $1.25), and was well worth the price. A wooden walkway had been built down the 250 or so meters that the cave

extended into the mountain, and subdued lighting allowed you to see just enough, while also enhancing the surreal environment. The cave featured all sorts of slim passageways and soaring chambers,

and stalactites and stalagmites by the truckload. There is no doubt that it deserves national park status, as it is truly a treasure, diamonds or not. We emerged from the cool cave to a blast of heat. We continued north, and marveled at the soaring cliffs that loomed above us. We came upon a group of rock climbers taking a lesson from one of the many climbing schools in Rai Ley. The area is reputed to be the rock climbing capital of southeast Asia, which seems entirely believable considering the infinite number of vertical mountain faces available. We watched the students learn their craft, and concluded that in addition to the requisite ropes and crampons, adult diapers must also be on the list of mandatory equipment.

and dazzling come to mind, and only by combining them can I do the place justice. I also have trouble describing the feeling you get when you see it, but have decided that the best word is the Australian favorite, gobsmacked. We haven’t spent a lot of time on the beach, because it’s too damned hot in the sun, and after you’ve seen one beach it seems like others are only a variation on a theme. But we had to take some time to soak in the scenery, so we found a shady spot in a cavern that had been eroded into the mountain face. The beach is ringed in on all sides by vertical limestone walls in colours reminiscent of the Grand Canyon. Numerous nearby islands dot the Andaman Sea, each with the vertical faces, caverns, and stalactites seen on the big mountain we sat beneath. We were further encouraged to stay by numerous traveling vendors selling ice cold beer, and by a fellow who walked by carrying a long pole across his shoulders. On one end of the pole he carried a variety of food: pineapples, bananas, satay sticks, and most surprising of all, donuts Gobsmacked a regular traveling Tim Horton’s. On From the Rock Bar, we meandered the other of the pole was a charcoal south along East Rai Ley beach. Our hibachi, upon which he was cooking destination was at the south end of up delicious buttered corn. the peninsula, a place called Hat Phra Nang. Jeff has a book at home called 1000 Places You Must See Before You Die, and Hat Phra Nang is in it. Now I know why. You access Phra Nang beach by walking under the mountain at the south end of the peninsula. The pathway leads you west, shaded by the towering mountain above you, and treating you to an amazing view of caves and weird rock formations looming above and beside you. You finally emerge from under the After lingering and exploring Phra mountain to be treated to an Nang for a couple of hours, we incomparable panorama. headed back to Rai Ley town, and walked the length of Rai Ley’s west beach. We watched the sunset from the pool at the Rai Ley Resort, then headed off for dinner and the mellow night life of a most extraordinary place. Continuing north, we eventually came to a gentle incline which ended at the Rock Bar, a classy open air tavern located at the most northerly accessible place on the peninsula. We decided to enjoy a refreshing beverage or two, and marveled at the view from the veranda. We soon struck up a conversation with the only other two patrons, Chris, a fellow from Colorado, and Jenna, a friendly gal from Calgary. Jenna was only the second person we had met from Canada, and she confirmed that Canucks travelers are few and far between in Thailand, although there was currently a contingent of about 20 young backpackers in Rai Ley. Chris and Jenna work as tour guides for a Thai agency, and gladly provided us with a wealth of information. We ended up staying at the Rock for quite a while longer than anticipated, but we enjoyed the view, the conversation, and our first exposure to Thai rum (Song Som), which is not only quite good, but is less than half the price of Bacardi, the only other rum available here.

There are many adjectives to describe the unbelievable beauty of this spot, but none are truly adequate. The words gorgeous, spectacular, stunning, magnificent, 8 • Volume 1 , Issue 10B • Hitching Post News

Next Issue: The boys are on the move again, this time across the Thai peninsula to the island of Ko Pangan. The marathon journey involves all manner of decrepit vehicles and vessels, including the horrific Bus of Doom. Keeping Our Communities Connected!


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Friends of Highway 574 Submitted by: Chloe Cartwright A Catch 22 – www.Facebook.com/FriendsOfThe 574 A group of people calling themselves ‘Friends of the 574 Highway’ met on the evening of December 12th at Dartique Lodge to discuss the dilemma of the unpaved provincial highway 574. Several residents, including Wendy Vaughan, who lives along the 574 came out to share their views and indicated they are being choked by the dust kicked up by the frequent use by heavy trucks. They are concerned that visibility can be nonexistent and dangerous because of the dust and house windows cannot be left open because of dust that settles on furniture and floors. “It covers fields; livestock will not eat the hay”, says Robert Bosch. Craig Smith states, “On wet days this road is treacherous; the base of the road was built using clay which becomes very slippery and forms ruts, 4 wheel drive vehicles can even get stuck”. “Couriers use this road on a daily basis making deliveries to my place and others. They frequently remark on how they dislike using it.” says Wendy and “they have no alternative but to use 574’. A local school/charter bus company owner, Kathy Fenton, says “The road costs the bus route upto 15 minutes by using it to pick up kids going to Westbrook School”. The wet greasy conditions and zero visibility in the extreme dust make the road a serious safety concern for school buses both traveling it and picking up or delivering children on this hwy.

Local residents suspect that emergency vehicles “may avoid using this road when possible due to its condition” but Madden Fire Chief Dennis Rowney states “60 70% of our calls are west of Madden and sometimes there is no alternative”. A phone call to Mr. Ralph Rolston of Alberta Transportation indicated that “traffic volumes on the 574 do not warrant paving therefore it is not currently being considered”. Unfortunately, the Friendsofthe574’s consensus is that the volume of traffic is skewed as drivers opt to use the narrow but paved Twp Rd 290 instead - much to their peril or go a long way south to the 567. This ‘Catch 22’ situation needs a wider lens to view the entire situation and draw it to the government’s attention. The volume of traffic using the 290 is not subject to provincial traffic counts and it should be! It bears the brunt of allowing the 574 to remain unpaved. The amount of traffic is far too high for a road that was not built to handle current volumes. It is narrow and full of patches and under the care of Mountain View County. Twp Rd 290 is actually the division road between two Alberta Transportation jurisdictions; the north boundary of the Calgary office and the south boundary of the Red Deer office. It is also the boundary between RCMP detachments. Chloe Cartwright, of the proposed Chinook Ridge Lodge & Golf Course located between the 2 roads, feels “Twp Rd 290 is only marginally safer due to the challenging ‘T’ intersection at

Township Road 290 and Provincial Highway 22. Challenging because of the steep incline on which the ‘T’ intersection is situated creates poor line of sight for turning safely. The lack of turn lanes and very deep ditches on the east side of the 22 make the intersection even more hazardous. People using the 290 tend to take the corners a little too fast to avoid what might be coming at them over the crest of the hill. Whether travelling north or south on the 22 this ‘T’ is an unsafe intersection”. It appears people use Twp Rd 290 as an east-west connector road to get from the 22 highway, thru the Dogpound valley and over to either the 766 or the 772. It is not a direct route but most travellers prefer this over going south to the 567 (Big Hill Springs Road) 9 miles to the south. It is slightly windy but people would rather travel on it than travel on the gravel 574. And, as Wendy points out, “paving the 574 would help reduce congestion on the 22 as people will no longer be forced to use either the 580 or 567 which are miles apart”. Ironically, the 574 is the route GPS devices will default to if people rely on that for driving directions – usually those are tourists or couriers. The group decided that a rational solution to this Catch 22 would be to pave Highway 574. It is located 2 miles south of Twp Rd 290 and stretches from the 22 Highway east across the 776 and meets up with highway 772 which are both paved; it offers great visibility both to the north and to the south along the 22

and there is plenty of room for turn lanes to be installed on the 22. “It was prepared for paving several years ago, it was straightened and widened. It was built to become an important east-west link, Klein promised all secondary highways in the province would be paved – then he left office and we are sitting with a half finished project”, says both Randy Harnack and Glenda Butler. The result of our meeting is to make every effort to bring this to the attention of Ray Danyluk, Minister of Transportation and to our new Premier, Allison Redford. We decided to ask people who are affected either directly or indirectly by this to write a letter detailing their personal experiences directly to the officials. We feel that with the new Premier, who appears to be responsive to community needs, the time has come to ask for attention to the situation. If you would like more information please contact either Kathy Fenton at fentonqh@velocitynetworks.ca, or Chloe Cartwright at Chloe@ChinookRidge.ca or mail your letter to: with a copy to:Ray Danyluk, MLA Ted Morton, MLAMinister of T r a n s p o r t a t i o n MLA for Foothills – Rocky ViewLegislature Office Legislature Office#204 Legislature Building #404 Legislature Building 10800 – 97 A v e n u e 10800 – 97 Avenue NWEdmonton, AB T5K 2B6 Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6

River’s Edge Cowboy Country Christmas Angela Lambert On Sunday December 11, River's Edge Camp held their annual Cowboy Country Christmas banquet & concert. The campground was opened to guests for an afternoon of tobogganing and sleigh rides on the property followed in the evening by a banquet, with entertainment by Ben Crane and his daughter, and a silent auction.

Keeping Our Communities Connected!

Hitching Post News • Volume 1, Issue 10B • 9


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Bits and Bites from the Vet… By Dr. Heather Van Esch stick with the fake stuff if you’re out of reach of pets, and ensure that Bits and Bites from the Vet… By Dr. Heather Van Esch, of the trying to get some action under the your vehicles do not leak antifreeze onto the ground or your garage Mistletoe! Cremona Veterinary Clinic floor. Drugs/Chemicals Holiday Hazards… As the holidays draw near, please Acetominophen/Ibuprofen/Aspirin, Foods Caffeine and Chocolate take some time to ensure that your etc pets are kept safe from some of the Commonly known as Tylenol and Caffeine is found in tea leaves, dangerous elements of this season. Advil, these pain medications are coffee beans, diet pills, and antiSome of the best things about the used a lot for human headaches fatigue drugs. Chocolate is found holidays can be the most toxic and during the holidays! However, dogs everywhere around the holidays! harmful to your pets. The following and cats are not little people, and Baking chocolate and semisweet are some of the most common these drugs can be extremely toxic chocolate are more dangerous than Cats are especially milk chocolate, but that all depends hazards. I will not discuss to them. treatments in this article, as you sensitive to these drugs, and can die on the amount your pet gets into. must contact your veterinarian for from ingesting even one adult Both caffeine and chocolate contain advice if your pet is exposed to any Aspirin. These drugs can cause a chemical called Xanthine, which is salivation, depression, weakness, a powerful central nervous system of them. that can cause vomiting, elevated heart rate, liver stimulant failure, ulcers in the stomach and restlessness, high heart rate, Poisonous Plants: excess urination, intestines, bleeding, kidney damage, vomiting, Poinsettias This common holiday plant is and even death. Our advice is that convulsions and death. considered to be toxic, although it you should NEVER give your pet seldom causes death in pets. If your any human drugs without first Onions pet eats the leaves, it can cause speaking with your veterinarian. In Onions are not something your pet intestinal irritation/cramping and most cases, we will advise you to will generally try to steal or eat on diarrhea. The severity of signs seen have your pet examined for purpose, but if you cook with depend on how big your pet is and whatever seems to be causing you onions, and then your pet gets into concern, and then we will ensure your table scraps, they may ingest how much they eat. that if pain medication is needed, it onion without choosing to. Onions is an appropriate and safe product cause oxidative damage to red blood Amaryllis (bulbs) cells (meaning they destroy your This is another toxic plant that will for your pet. pet’s blood), causing hemolytic cause intestinal irritation. The toxic anemia. If severe, this can lead to part is the bulb, however, not the Antifreeze flower or the leaves/stem. If your Vehicle antifreeze contains ethylene death. It doesn’t matter if the onions pet likes to dig up bulbs, steer clear glycol, with is extremely lethal to are raw or cooked, they are toxic animals. It causes signs within 30 regardless. It can take several days of having this plant around. minutes to 12 hours after ingestion, for your pet to show signs of These signs include including: nausea/vomiting, ataxia anemia. Mistletoe This plant is a more serious one for (unsteadiness), severe depression, weakness, increased respiratory pets to eat. It can cause coma, and death. In the end, death rate, blood in the urine, diarrhea, cardiovascular collapse, slowed is caused by kidney damage. If your and/or pale gums. pulse, and heart arrhythmias pet ingests ANY volume of (disrupted heart rhythm). If you antifreeze, seek veterinary help Turkey carcasses and other leftovers have a flower arrangement with immediately, as treatment must Once your turkey dinner is done, Mistletoe in it, keep it well out of begin as soon as possible to try and and the carcass is in the garbage, reach of your pets. My advice is to prevent death. Keep all antifreeze please make sure it is put out in a bin where your pets can’t get at it. Besides the obvious risk of bones to your pet (their sharp edges can cause gastrointestinal damage and blockages), leftovers can cause pancreatitis. This is inflammation of the pancreas, and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and severe abdominal pain. Bloodwork and xrays must be done to determine if your pet has a bone stuck in them vs pancreatitis, since both can have the same symptoms. In both cases, hospitalization on IV fluids may be needed. If there is a bone or blockage, surgery may be needed. Save your money for Christmas presents, and just keep your pets out of the human food this season!

symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea. Further signs include weakness, decreased appetite, increased drinking, and abdominal pain. Death occurs due to kidney failure within 48 hours of ingestion of a lethal dose. Other Hazards Tinsel, string, and ribbon These are an appealing hazard, especially for cats. It may seem cute for your cat to play with your decorations and presents, but if these linear, string-like foreign bodies are ingested, they can cause severe gastrointestinal damage that can require surgery or can even cause death. Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea OR constipation, decreased appetite, and weakness. Never let your cats play with tinsel, string or ribbon. I have found that the tree looks just as nice without all the tinsel icicles anyway. Electrocution (strings of lights, etc) This is a risk for young puppies, but is also a risk for cats, as they both seem to like to play in the tree and chew on the Christmas light cords. Electrocution can cause severe oral burns, or even sudden death. Oral burns are very painful, so your pet may suddenly stop eating, and may have bad breath. Keep your cords well organized and out of the way of your pets. Monitor your pets when they are allowed near the tree and lights. Candles Candles are such a pretty addition to the holidays, but aren’t very practical around small children as well as pets. Always supervise your candles to prevent burns to your pets and household fires caused by pets knocking them over. I hope these tips will help you keep your furry friends safe this holiday season. If you have any questions or concerns about something your pet has been exposed to, please call us at the Cremona Veterinary Clinic at 403-637-3928. We wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas, and we look forward to serving you in 2012!

Raisins and Grapes Holiday baking often includes raisins, which of course are dehydrated grapes. Both are considered toxic to dogs, as they cause kidney failure. Initial 10 • Volume 1 , Issue 10B • Hitching Post News

Keeping Our Communities Connected!


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Cremona Congrigational Church News Submitted by: There was a good turnout for the Nativity Display during Winterfest. Thanks to all who came and congratulations to the winners of the three door prizes: Kathy Banick, Linda Newsome and Lisa Reinhardt. After all the preparations, Christmas Day is nearly here. You are invited to join us for a time of reflection on the meaning of it all at the Christmas Eve Candle Light Service. There will be a worship service on Christmas morning at 10:00 am, as well as a service on New Year’s Day.

Then we’re into the New Year with Family Worship Sunday, January 8, 10:00 am: all its promise. Family Worship and Sunday School To all in Cremona and surrounding Communities, we wish a Merry Annual Reports are due today. Thursday, January 12, 2:00 pm: Christmas and a Happy New Year! Ladies Christian Fellowship Sunday, January 15, 10:00 am: Here’s the calendar: Family Worship and Sunday School Saturday, December 24, 7:00 pm: Christmas Eve Candle Light Service Communion Sunday, December 25, 10:00 am: Sunday, January 22, 10:00 am: Family Worship and Sunday School Family Worship Sunday, January 1, 10:00 am:

What Christmas Means to Me

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Potluck Lunch Sunday, January 29, 10:00 am: Family Worship and Sunday School Tuesday, January 31, 7:30 pm: Annual Congregational Meeting Contacts: Church Office and Pastor Ian Mason: 403-637-3768 www.cremonacongregationalchurch .com Message from God: Peace on Earth, goodwill toward all people.

-Continued from Page 7

11 • Volume 1 , Issue 10B • Hitching Post News


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December 22, 2011