Page 1

volume 6, issue 1

holiday gift guide

magazine december/january 2010

the u.s. vs. stevens


Middleton Hounds

Publisher Leah England (843) 478-0266


Guest Photographer Stacy Pearsall Staff Photographer Ashley Smith Blackburn Accounting Carrie Clark Financial Services (843) 367-9969 For Ad Rates Call

(843) 478-0266 Lowcountry Dog Magazine PO Box 22 Mt. Pleasant, SC 29465 Web:



photo by Julia Lynn.

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This magazine is printed on 100% recycled paper. Continue the green process by recycling this copy.

december/january 2010 one trick pony 5 annual holiday gift guide 6

Lowcountry Dog’s mission is to be the leading local resource for dog owners regarding regional events, health and wellness information, trends, style and lifestyle choices. We also strive to be a mouthpiece to the public for various dog related non-profits and promote pet adoption and other responsible pet care practices. Dog lovers can pick up the bi-monthly magazine for free at most area veterinarians and pet stores throughout the lowcountry, as well as numerous restaurants, coffee bars and retailers. A full distribution list is posted to the magazine’s web site, Subscriptions are also available. Please call 843-478-0266 for more information. The entire contents of this magazine are copyrighted by Lowcountry Dog Magazine with all rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue is expressly forbidden without permission of the publisher. Lowcountry Dog Magazine does not endorse or guarantee any product, service, or vendor mentioned or pictured in this magazine in editorial or advertising space. Views expressed by authors or advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher.

u.s. vs. stevens 8 the middleton hounds 12 calendar 20 health and wellness 22 Canine Obesity training 24 Private or Group Training? adoption 26 Coastal Jack Russell Rescue

Cover photo and middle table of contents photo by Stacy Pearsall.


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Jed, whose most impressive trick is survival.

Four years ago, my family dog of almost twenty years passed away. Seabert’s death devastated us. I recall my mother saying that she knew what it felt like to lose a child. I grew up in a house where dogs stayed outside. Bert was different. I came home from Cub Scouts one afternoon and there in the middle of the living room was this tiny white Bichon Frise cowering in his carrier. Mom and I coaxed him out and fell in love with him instantly. Seabert was a surprise. Mom just decided one day that she wanted something that she could snuggle with. He certainly was good at that. Seabert became family royalty. He slept in my bed, followed me on my bicycle, attended my ball games, and even received complimentary yogurt from TCBY on our way home from school. When my mother called me one morning a few years ago saying that I needed to come home, I knew by her voice that something was wrong. Without hesitation I jumped in the car and made the two hour drive from Charleston to Florence. Bert’s health had been deteriorating for some time – the usual things that accompany old age. But now, it was painfully evident to both of us he was near the end. For two nights I slept on the floor with him in our living room. On the third morning Mom and I knew what had to be done. We drove to the vet and sat in the car. Neither of us was willing to take him inside. Finally, Mom called the front desk from the parking lot. The doctor came out to our car and Seabert went to sleep one last time in my arms. After Seabert passed away, I told myself that I’d never again get so attached to an animal. But three months later, on a Mother’s Day, I adopted a Golden Retriever from The Grateful Goldens Rescue in Mount Pleasant. I named him Jed. Jed was a rebound dog at first, but that didn’t last long. Not much was known about

ONE Trick Pony? by Randy Shelley

him and he had no papers. According to the rescue, he was a stray that no one looked for. I cannot imagine why. I’ve never met a sweeter animal. Jed doesn’t exactly exhibit the kind of behavior that you would associate with purebred genius. The phrase “as dumb as a dog” comes to mind. Jed probably has the IQ of a box of doughnuts, but he’s mine and I love him. He is a happy dog - probably happier than I’ll ever be. I often refer to him as a Right Fielder, because he reminds me of that bench warmer in little league who had his finger up his nose when the ball was hit in his direction. Jed is more prone to dig holes and collect fossils than he is to chase a ball. If he does retrieve a ball he will not return it – just chew it to shreds. Jed is a big, fat swollen angel. No matter how many walks we go on or what kind of diet I put him on he remains a chunky golden meatball that requires my attention and affection on a near constant basis. He has a basic understanding of the human language. I wouldn’t dare say words like “walk, boat, ride, or beach” unless I’m prepared to have furniture over turned. He digs holes, chases cats, and has been known to crash through a screen door at a dinner party. Jed tries to jump off the bow of the boat at the worst possible time, usually while I’m trying to dock it. He knows how to entertain a crowd. I took him to a fund-raiser and entered him in a pie eating competition not long ago. Jed misunderstood the rules and started eating another contestant’s pie before inhaling his in record timing. Jed’s signature smile is contagious and he even has creases in his face from grinning. Most people accuse me of lying when I explain that he isn’t a puppy. He insists on shaking hands with everyone he meets, that is, if he doesn’t give them a bear hug first. The only two things that Jed doesn’t like are thunderstorms continued on pg. 11 Lowcountrydog


2. product photos by Ashley Blackburn



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1. & 2. Hand-loomed wool pet bed and fired stoneware pet bowl by Jonathan Adler. 3. LCD 2010 Charleston Dogs Wall Calendar. All proceeds benefit local rescues and shelters. 4.perfect Loopies Penguin. Dolittle’s. The 5. Festive Holiday Collars. Hairy Winston. 6. S’more doggy treat. You’ll be tempted to eat it yourself. 3 DogChristmas Bakery. 7. For your Jewish dog gift for the friends, Hanukkah Bone. Lucia’s Premium Pet. 8. A Yuletide Giggler Santa. Palmetto Paws. 9. Tinsel Woof Ornament. Alpha Dog Omega dog lover! Cat. 10. The ultimate guide to the state dog. USC Press 11. Unusual but super tasty, Antler Chew and Gift Himalayan All Natural Hardened Cheese Chew. Hairy Winston. 12. Who’s been bad? Bag of Coal Plush Toy. Dolittle’s. 13. Certificates Stunning needlepoint breed pillows. Alpha Dog Omega Cat. 14. Need long lasting toys? Loopies Cuban Cigar Rope Toy and Available Wigzi Chemical Free, Floating Toy. Dolittle’s. 15. Jingle Bell Collar. 3 Dog Bakery. 16. Iconic Oil Portrait of your dog. www. 17. Pawprint stocking to fill with treats. Lucia’s Premium Pet. 18. Custom Pet Photography www. 6

Lowcountrydog 19. Holiday Tee from Keep on Wagging. 20. Beautiful breed ornaments. 26 different breeds available. Alpha Dog Omega Cat 21. Super tough dinosaur toy. Dolittle’s. 22. Fine art portraiture by M.C Churchill-Nash. www. 23. Jeweled party collar. Palmetto Paws. 24. Every dog needs a plush Kris Kringle. Hairy Winston. 25. Canine Santa Scarf. 3 Dog Bakery. STORE LOCATIONS 3 Dog Bakery 843.937.9895 430 King Street Downtown Alpha Dog Omega Cat 843.723.1579 40 Archdale Street Downtown Dolittle’s Pet Stores: 3 Locations 843.852.5811 22 Windermere Bvd. West Ashley 843.971.8650 885 Houston Northcutt Bvd. Mt. Pleasant 843.851.8173 114 E. Richardson Ave. Summerville Hairy Winston Pet Boutique & Grocery 843.881.0800 1605 Palmetto Grande Drive Mt. Pleasant Lucia’s Premium Pet 843.377.8740 162 Seven Farms Dr. STE 115 Daniel Island Plametto Paws 843.216.3995 976 Houston Northcutt Boulevard, Ste D



U.S. vs. Stevens

by Kimberly Kelly

national case could change local cruelty laws

In October 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a case directly involving animal cruelty for the first time in fifteen years. U.S. v. Stevens began when Robert Stevens was charged in Pennsylvania of violating the federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty law by taking part in the production and advertisement of dogfighting videos. Stevens was ultimately convicted and animal welfare enthusiasts celebrated a victory against dogfighting. The Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law, enacted in 1999, was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support primarily to prevent the continued creation and distribution of “crush videos.” In these fetish films, women, either barefoot or in high heels, crush small animals such as mice, rabbits, and kittens to death for sexual appeal. In response to these videos, the law made it a crime to knowingly create, sell, or possess a depiction of illegal animal cruelty with the intention of selling it for monetary gain. Although the federal government could not prosecute the women in the videos under state animal cruelty laws, it could enforce animal protection by criminalizing the sale of these films, thus taking away the financial incentive. The law appeared to work; crush videos which were once rampant on the internet have all but disappeared. Stevens’ conviction was one more example of the law’s effectiveness. At the time of his trial, not only had crush videos been significantly removed from the market, but the government had successfully applied the law to depictions of cruelty associated with dogfighting. The celebration of Stevens’ conviction abruptly ended however, when the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, finding that Stevens’ First Amendment right to free speech had been violated. Anti-dogfighting proponents viewed the 8


reversal a major setback for anti-cruelty laws; they, along with other animal rights advocates questioned how such a seemingly simple law, addressing illegal animal cruelty actions, could create such an uproar. According to the Third Circuit, even though the content of the videos for which Stevens was prosecuted was illegal, the Depiction of Animal Cruelty law, which rendered the distribution of video production illegal, violated the free speech clause of the First Amendment. Questions about the scope of law were raised and fears emerged. The first is a constitutional concern: if the Supreme Court reverses the Appellate Court’s decision and finds the law does not violate Stevens’ First Amendment rights, the court will create an unprotected category of free speech. “Unprotected speech” laws may limit that speech without infringing on a person’s Constitutional rights. The Supreme Court has not found a category of speech so offensive as to render it unprotected since 1982, when the Court refused to recognize child pornography as protected speech. Some First Amendment proponents view the possibility of yet another unprotected class of speech as a further infringement on their rights. These free speech advocates may not condone animal cruelty nor do they desire to profit from depictions of such cruelty; these proponents merely desire the freedom to sell such depictions of animal cruelty if they so chose. Other interest groups are more interested with the scope of the law and the range of its effects. Despite the government’s assurances that the law is not aimed at hunters or others’ legal actions that injure or kill animals, interests groups such as the National Rifle Association and sportsmen, such as the Safari Club International, have teamed up in support of Stevens. Their

concern is that if this law was written in response to crush videos, and is applicable to dogfighting, then depictions of hunting, bullfighting, and slaughter, among others could be the next categories outlawed. The Depictions of Animal Cruelty law accounts for legal activity that harms animals however, by providing exceptions for serious religious, scientific, educational, journalistic, historical, or artistic value. Furthermore, in the ten years since the law was passed, only three individuals, including Stevens, have been charged with violating the law, and only to prosecute dogfighting. This suggests that while sportsmen may have once had a legitimate concern those concerns are becoming increasingly unfounded. No one can predict how the Supreme Court will rule come spring. If the Court of Appeals’ decision is overturned and the law is found constitutional, the federal government could continue to prosecute individuals who exploit animal suffering for profit. However, if the Supreme Court affirms the Third Circuit, the decision could effectively unravel the government’s ten years of progress; crush videos may reappear on the internet, dogfighting videos and magazines may resurface in circulation, and even the unwitting filmmaker may view the ruling as an open invitation to make a few extra bucks at the expense of animals. Alternatively, Congress could rewrite the law in narrower terms, specifying cruelty acts so grotesque that the First Amendment would not provide protection. Finally, the Court could simply remand the case to the Third Circuit for reconsideration, consistent with new guidelines. Regardless of the outcome, the Court’s decision clearly emphasizes that animals remain vulnerable members of our society, and they continue to require strong advocates and more vigorous protection.

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continued from pg. 3

and cats. He even has a scar under his left eye from losing a fight to my neighbor’s cat, Mullet. In between walks and naps, Jed leers out the front door at Mullet, who taunts him from our front yard. During a storm, he will attempt to crawl underneath places he doesn’t fit. One night, Jed was hiding beneath a small bedside table in my bedroom during a bad storm. After a loud crack of thunder, I woke up because the glass of water on the table was thrown in my face while I was sleeping. Confused, I turned the light on and found him standing at the foot of the bed smiling, and wearing the table like a saddle. Last October I took Jed to the vet for his annual physical. I asked them to look at a bump on his lip that was bothering me, basically for cosmetic reasons. “Probably nothing” turned out to be a malignant melanoma, a very aggressive form of skin cancer in several breeds, namely Golden Retrievers. Originally, his prognosis was quite grim – between three and six months assuming the cancer had spread. I was in absolute shock. How could a dog with this much personality be so sick, I thought? The news quickly spread to friends and family who were as upset as I was. Letters and cards poured in. It was overwhelming. I felt like the single parent of a terminally ill child. For the past four years this dog had not left my side, following me everywhere even to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I couldn’t let him down. I quickly went from assuming the worst to seeking the best treatment available, no matter the costs. Surgery, blood work, and x-rays were ordered. Somewhere an angel was looking out for Jed, perhaps it was Seabert. This cancer did not know who it was messing with. His blood work returned normal, chest x-rays came back clear, and the tumor was successfully removed with clean margins. We were referred to a wonderful veterinary oncologist in Mount Pleasant for a relatively new type of chemotherapy treatment that is being used on animals

to help understand this disease and treat humans. No radiation and no side effects, just a quick infusion every few weeks for two months. Good news just kept coming in with each visit. Having spent so much time at the vet in the past year, I have learned quite a bit about hope - about the bravery of a five-year-old dog. Jed’s golden heart and youth have prevailed against a disease that affects one out of every three dogs. An overwhelming percentage of canines diagnosed with cancer do not survive. Jed is one of the lucky ones. Nothing will break your heart like losing a dog. They are our comedians, our muses, and our guardians. They are loyal, trustworthy, and honest – qualities that are often times difficult to find in humans. Dogs truly are man’s best friend. Dogs have the ability to change the energy in the room – they make us smile and that is the only thing that everyone does in the same language. Rescuing Jed is the best thing I have ever done. He may not win an agility contest or be the best watch dog, but it is perfectly fine with me that his one trick is survival. In a way, Jed rescued me…

Celebrate the Charleston Dog and help animals in need! Purchase the 2010 Charleston Dogs Wall Calendar & 100% of your purchase will go to local shelters and rescues. To purchase, click to


Charleston DOGS photography by Julia Lynn

For more information about the Grateful Goldens Rescue of the Lowcountry, go to To learn more about canine cancer or to make a donation to the National Canine Cancer Foundation, go to And make sure to attend the local canine cancer research fundraiser, Trot for the Cure, this January 10th at Magnolia Gardens. It’s a great way to spend time with your dog and friends while raising money for this important research. For more info, see the LCD event calendar on page 20.




Middleton Hounds photography by Stacy pearsall text by stratton lawrence 12


winter hunt season, from 20 to 100 horsemen and women don their riding colors and assemble at Bailey’s Field on Middleton Place’s 5,000-acre grounds. About thirty English Fox Hounds soon emerge from the woods, led by master huntsman, Jamie Green, who introduces himself with three long blasts of his bugle-like horn. His father, Bill Green, is the patriarch of fox hunting at Middleton Place — as “Fox #1” he’s already deep in the woods, laying the scent that will soon send the pack of dogs, err… hounds, into chasing hysterics. “To be able to do a drag hunt successfully, you’ve got to have hounds that want to know how to work with you,” says Bill Green, in his thick Gullah accent. “You’ve got to instill love and kindness. Treat them right, and they’ll work for you. They’re just like artists – they go out and put on a show.” The 59-year-old Green clearly adores his hounds. A James Island native who splits time between Middleton and his muchlauded Saint Helena Island restaurant, the Gullah Grub, Green began working with fox hounds in 1972, helping to establish the Middleton Place Hounds hunt club two years later. The Middleton kennel raises about two-dozen puppies a year, so in that time, he estimates he’s worked with over 1,000 hounds. “To me, they’re just like a team of basketball players,” Green quips through a bright white smile. “The thing about them is respect — they don’t like fighting or fussing, and they like for you to tell them the truth. They can tell when you’re lying. Share love and kindness, and you get the best from them.”

Hot on the Trail

Hound Sense The first rule of fox hunting? Don’t call the hounds “dogs.” Flub your nomenclature, and the members of the Middleton Place Hounds hunt are quick to correct you. An equally important clarification is the distinction between a live hunt and a “drag hunt.” Middleton place employs the latter, a historical practice that eliminates the need for a live fox. Rather, a mixture of glycerin and “fox scent” (female fox urine) is “dragged” and sprayed along a predetermined course throughout the hunting grounds. Fortunately, the hounds aren’t keen to the trick, and they certainly don’t seem to mind. On any given Sunday during the

Pageantry runs thick at a fox hunt. Each rider plays a role, riding in “fields” that are determined by their skill and comfort level with their horse. The “masters” lead their fields and are granted formal respect when addressed. Two “whips” ride alongside the dogs, keeping the pack close together when the field pauses their ride to “check.” The hounds also play their roles. A hound called Ebony has recently arisen to the position of lead hound. One day, either Fantasy or Viceroy may succeed him, but until then, no one passes Ebony. When they do, they’re called back into place by the huntsman and the whips. “They know that’s the leader, but if they get a jump lead (like the scent of a deer crossing the fox line), they don’t pay no attention and think they can carry it on,” says Green. “If you knock ‘em back a couple times, they’ll soon pick up, and stay with that hound there and have their place.” Hazards like wild boars and rattlesnakes are not uncommon in the woods around Middleton, and Green often has to adjust his line when laying scent. “That’s why the huntsman pays so much attention to the lead hound –you got to trust him enough.” Joining the hounds and horsemen at their hunts are a host of spectators, following along through the woods on the dirt roads that criss-cross the property. At each of the checks, supporters and revelers pile out of their cars with wine glasses and Bloody Maries in hand to watch as the hounds and then the riders emerge from the woods. Lowcountrydog


John Wade retired from riding two years ago, adopting the informal position of “wheel whip,” leading the spectators around the grounds. He likens the sound of the hounds bellowing to music as they tear through the woods. His ears perk up as the pack emerges from the forest far down the dusty road. On this particular early November Sunday, the hounds are essentially in the pre-season, working out the kinks before the grand pomp and circumstance of the opening meet in three weeks, which begins on Greensward, the front lawn of the Middleton Place House. “It looks like something out of the 19th century,” describes Wade, fondly. “Men wear their “pinques,” a scarlet colored jacket, and women wear black. I’ve seen as many as 100 riders, and it looks like the cavalry coming through.” The protocol is extensive. Men are allowed a flask of whiskey and two sandwiches during the hunt, while women may bring sherry and one sandwich. The Middleton Place Hounds hunt chose Hunter Green as their colors, worn on their collars. Wade equates being awarded your colors to “making the team.” A full-on member then assumes the accompanying respect and privileges that accompany wearing the colors. After the hunt, the riders and spectators gather to share an afternoon “breakfast,” a feast accompanied by coolers of beer and excited story sharing about the day’s ride.

A Wily Old Fox 14


As a sport, fox hunting dates to the 16th century. Foxes were considered a nuisance amongst the farmers of the English countryside, who soon discovered that eradication of the pest could be accompanied by a bit of whiskey and a ride with their pals. The notion of the “hunt” then evolved into a pleasurable activity pursued for sport, eventually leading to the near elimination of foxes in England. New breeds were imported and the tradition lived on until 2005, when Parliament outlawed the practice of hunting live animals with dogs. Although drag hunts like Middleton’s are still popular in the United Kingdom (and illegal live hunts still persist), the sport was dealt a blow by the media attention and subsequent public condemnation. “Certain elements would like to think that this is abuse or something, but this is what the hounds are bred to do,” says Middleton’s Wade. “These animals — the horses and hounds — are very well taken care of. It’s a sport.” Many of the United State’s 150+ official hunts are live hunts, including the Lowcountry Hunt group, based in Walterboro. They’re rarely successful in this region, however, occasionally turning up a coyote or deer, but rarely a fox. “This area is not that good for a live hunt, because of the sandy soil — and a fox can disappear into the marsh,” says Wade. Frank Hagood is the Middleton Place Hunt’s current master and a strong advocate of the drag hunt. “It ensures that the field will move along, and allows us to stay





on trails, as opposed to going out into the woods,” he says. “A drag hunt takes less room and lets us time our day. We know how long the runs are.” A drag hunt’s dramatic choreography of around 100 dogs, horses, and humans is certainly part of the sport’s appeal. Hagood calls “Fox #1” Bill Green, “the Michael Jordan of laying scent,” pointing out that drag hunts around the nation contact him for helpful advice. For Andrea Leeven, a veterinarian who began fox hunting as a teenager, the thrill of the sport lies in the animals involved. She serves as a whip, corralling the hounds and maintaining the pack. “I love watching the hounds hunt in that pack dynamic — they’re having a blast,” she says. “Knowing what they’re getting ready to do is the key. A couple of young hounds can drive the whole pack off, so we’re always trying to keep that from happening. You have to have some hound sense.”

Pack Mentality As the hounds mill around Bailey’s Field, waiting for the start of the hunt, a few occasionally bolt from the pack, curious about the many people watching on the outskirts. “Violet!” the whip yells, and the small hound pivots on its heels and returns to the pack. Throughout the hunt, you hear the names of the many hounds, all easily recognized and known by the whips and huntsman. Falcon is getting old, and has to sit this one out. Ulysses is particularly excited today. Unbelievable and Quiver both stray from the pack and have to be called back in. The off-season is spent training the hounds, walking the puppies along a drag line and conducting “junior hunts.” Each hound receives daily attention and yard exercise. They’re generally ready to join the hunting pack by 18 to 24 months of age. Although the hounds are spectacular as a group, Middleton Place Hunt co-founder Carroll Rivers says they don’t make great pets. “One couple took a puppy home to raise it and then brought it back to learn how to be a fox hound. The only thing it would follow was a sofa, if you dragged a sofa around,” she laughs. “If you had a bundle of them and raised them in a small pack, it would be fine.” After over thirty years of riding with the hunt, Rivers recently

retired to assume the role of “Queen of the Hunt Supporters.” She helps organizes the tailgates and breakfasts, and encourages members of the public with an interest to contact the Hunt and join them on a Sunday. “If you want to be in the outdoors and you don’t mind horses and hounds, then this is the place for you,” she says. “It’s a very fine thing, and it’s done very well.” Once a hound outlives their fox hunting capabilities, which requires running several miles, Rivers says they often pass them on to deer hunters and friends of the Hunt. “And when we give them away, they turn into dogs,” she smiles, after catching me slip up my terminology once again. “They change immediately, like magic.” To learn more or attend a hunt at Middleton Place, visit



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upcoming events december 4th 2:00pm inaugural college of charleston dog show. Sponsored by Women’s Tennis.

Society’s adoptable furry friends, Santa, real snow, live performances, The Grinch, Scrooge, and more!

Stern Center Courtyard. $5 to enter your dog, all proceeds to Pet Helpers.

december 12th -13th wal- mart cas adoption weekend. Tanger Wal Mart.

december 5th 10:00am-3:00pm lggr photos with santa paws.

Vist our shelter animals for adoption and pick a gift for them from our Giving Tree.

What a fabulous opportunity for those forever memories. $9.95 for a digital4 x 6 photo in a holiday frame. Your cameras are welcome for personal pictures. Call 571 - 7177 or visit

december 13th 10:00am-9:00pm sc pit bull rescue gift wrapping at barnes & noble, west ashley.

december 5th cas celebrity chili cook-off. Charleston Maritime Center! Local celebrities prepare their best Chili recipes, all vying for the coveted top three awards. $25 per person for adults, $10 for children over 10, and include all-you-can-eat chili, oysters, hot dogs, beer and wine and soft drinks. We will also have food and fun activities for children. Kids under 10 get in free! For advance tickets: Visit our shelter at 2455 Remount Road or contact Allison Bolduc at 843.329.1546. For more details visit

december 5th 11:00am-4:00pm charleston alternative giving fair. Gage Hall, 4 Archdale Street. Give a real gift this year at the Charleston Alternative Giving Fair. Visit the Pet Helpers table at this first-time Charleston event. More info at:

december 5th 11:00am-3:00pm sc pit bull rescue photos with santa claws Summerville PetSmart. Proceeds benefit SC Pit Bull Rescue.

december 6th 12pm bully walk. Join SC Pit Bull Rescue & the Pit Chicks for our monthly bully walk. Check for location information and rules. All dogs welcome!

december 10th 6:00pm-9:00pm 4th annual evening of beauty and bliss, omar shrine temple. 176 Patriots Point Rd Mt Pleasant. Shop, Eat, Play, Adopt! A Family event to benefit the Windwood Farm Home for Children, featuring Charleston Animal 20


Bring your Christmas presents to the West Ashley Barnes & Noble to be wrapped for a good cause! Help us to give our dogs a wonderful holiday season, and let us make your presents look nice under the tree at the same time.

the Frances R. Willis SPCA. Time and cost TBA. Check

december 21-22 cas sleep inn for life. Starting at 6pm on Monday until 6pm Tuesday Charleston Animal Society staff will not leave the shelter until every animal finds a HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. Join them for fun and exciting events and last minute gifts for your pets and friends.

january 10th 2010 11:30am trot for the cure. Magnolia Gardens. $25 pre-registration by 12/23. $30 day of event. Call (before 8pm) 843-971-5865. Past events have raised over $62,000.00 for canine cancer research. Enjoying an afternoon at the Trot with your dog is a fun way to help further this important work.

december 18th and 20th 3:00pm9:00pm gift wrapping for goldens. West Ashley Barnes & Noble.

january 16th 10:00am-1:00pm lcgrr meet & greet. West Ashley Petsmart.

The Low Country Golden Retriever would love to wrap your purchases for donations going toward the medical care of abused and abandoned Golden Retrievers.

The Low Country Golden Retriever Rescue will be there with fostered goldens looking to meet their forever families. More info at or call 571 - 7177.

december 19th 11:00am-3:00pm sc pit bull rescue holiday meet & greet. West Ashley All is Well.

january 19th from 6:00pm7:30pm lcgrr rescue meeting.

december 19th pet helpers holiday open house. 1447 Folly Road, James Island. Call (843) 795-1110 for details. Celebrate the season with Pet Helpers! Holiday treats, adoption specials, and plenty of good cheer!

december 19th cas petsmart adoption day. Visit adoptable animals and pick a gift for them from o ur Giving Tree.

St. Timothy’s Anglican Catholic Church 1900 Parsonage Road, behind the old Piggly Wiggly off of Hwy. 61. For more info or directions call 766 - 8911.

january 22nd 6:00pm-9:00pm charleston crab house oyster roast for pet helpers. 145 Wappoo Creek Drive, James Island . Enjoy the fine food at the Charleston Crab House with 100% of the proceeds going directly to Pet Helpers Adoption Center and Spay/Neuter Clinic!

december 19th 10:00am-4:00pm nobbr charity dog wash. Stop by All is Well in Summerville to support dogs in our rescue and get your canine cleaned by NOBBR for a $10 donation. Our ADOPT-ABULLS will also be there looking for homes. NOBBR will also have a raffle with lots of great stuff and goodies for all who stop by. 440-A Old Trolley Road in Summerville.

december 20th francis r willis spca photos with Santa. PetSmart, Azalea Square. Bring pets on a leash or crated to have photos made with Santa. There is a cost for the photos. All proceeds benefit

  Questions? Comments? Call 843-478-0266 Want to submit event information? Visit and click on Contact Us. We will do our best in include your event as space allows. Our online calendar lists all events in full.




e’ve all seen the news, Americans are getting fatter. The real news is that it doesn’t stop there. Our pets are getting fat right along with us. The most current studies show that one out of every 4 dogs is obese. Obesity is caused by a number of factors such as genetics, hormonal imbalance, consumption of calorie dense foods and lack of exercise. The good news is that we can overcome this real and serious disease. We all know that being obese is bad for you, just as smoking, drinking alcohol in excess and looking into the sun for too long is bad for you, but do you really know just how bad it is and why? New research has changed the way the medical profession views obesity. When I attended veterinary school, we were taught that fat served as storage of excess energy. Excessive fat interferes with normal respiratory function due to its occupation of the chest cavity space. The excessive fat also causes an increased stress on the back and joints simply as a result of the increased weight load supported by the limbs and back. It is all a physical or mass issue, pure and simple. Newer research reveals that in addition to those issues the fat cells are actually behaving as a metabolically active organ producing a vast number of hormones and proinflammatory factors that are wreaking havoc on the body. Of the twenty-one plus known adipokines (hormones produced by fat), there a few that are of particular importance. Steroids, which are a normal part of the way our body handles stress, when produced by fat results in high levels of blood sugar, liver inflammation, and increased appetite. Resistin, another adipokine, causes the cells in the body to not respond to insulin. This is the most common cause of adult onset Diabetes. There are also a whole host of proinflammatory factors released by fat that result in Osteoarthritis, dermatologic disorders and even cancer. The bottom line is that being obese increases the risk of multiple health problems and diseases, diminishes quality of life, reduces the ability to be mobile and active and shortens your life expectancy significantly! 22


Canine Obesity David Steele, DVM

So what are we supposed to do? When surveyed, many pet owners have tried increasing their dogs exercise, feeding less table scraps, feeding a low fat or low calorie diet, however less than 30% of those people experienced any success in losing the weight and even fewer reported keeping the weight off permanently. Even more troubling is that many pet owners do not even realize that their pet is overweight much less obese. Nestle Purina did a great study several years ago evaluating the body condition (which determines roughly the amount of body fat) of dogs and then comparing the difference of response between the owner and the veterinarian. Results showed that most owners whose dogs were 20% overweight or more thought that their dog was in an ideal body condition. Kind of hard to fix a problem that you don’t even know exists. The first step in tackling this problem is to determine your dog’s current health and determine a proper body condition score. From this point a goal weight can be set and a logical and stepwise plan can be developed to reach that goal. As with any health program, have your veterinarian first evaluate your pet for underlying health issues and make sure that your dog is healthy enough to begin a regular

exercise program. Traditionally, weight loss and weight management has been centered on decreasing the amount of calories consumed and increasing the number of calories expended. In short, reduce how much you eat and get more active. For many dogs this is effective, but one word of caution. You must approach this more with the mind set that this is a change in lifestyle, not a temporary treatment that stops once we reach our goal. Diets don’t work. For overweight dogs I prescribe the following. Feed a good quality adult light maintenance diet in the right amount divided into two to three meals per day. Unfortunately determining what exactly the right amount is can be difficult. If you feed the amount of food that is on the dog food label I can assure you that in almost every case you will be feeding too much. For most dogs you can feed 1 cup of food per 20 pounds of ideal body weight per day. So for a dog that weighs 40 pounds and the goal weight is 32 pounds, we will feed him 1 ½ cups per day. Regular exercise is important as well. It is recommended for all dogs to have a minimum of 30 minutes a day of good physical activity. Determining what your dog does is based on their own

preferences, your abilities and interest and what is available to you. I can’t stress enough how important regular exercise is for your dog’s physical and emotional well being. Although studies are showing that exercise does not play as large of a role in weight loss as we once thought, the benefits to cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and emotional health are tremendous. I must make a brief comment about treats. The general rule of thumb is that the total sum of the treats given in a day should not exceed 2% of a dog’s total diet. Exceeding this amount can not only add more calories to your pet’s diet but can create nutritional imbalances in their diet. That calculates to 1 teaspoon of treats for every cup of food fed per day! Another way to look at it is that a treat should be no larger than your pinky. Just remember that when you are giving a reward it is more about the act and praise of giving the reward than it is about getting food. The final step in the weight loss program is re-evaluation. Every two to four weeks have your pet weighed and plot the weight on a graph. Ideally we want to achieve between 1 and 3% weight loss per month. For those over-achievers out there, if you exceed that amount not only do you run the risk of losing muscle mass during the weight loss, but you are also more likely to make your dog really uncomfortable with hunger. By checking the weight each month we can then make adjustments in the amount of food fed until the goal weight is met. There are roughly 20% of overweight dogs in which the above mentioned program fails to be successful. In those cases again you first want to have your veterinarian examine your dog and run tests to look for an underlying medical cause of

weight loss failure. If no underlying health condition is found, other therapy is necessary. As in humans, when dogs reach a certain body condition, the hormones that fat is producing are doing everything opposite we want (increased appetite, slowed metabolism, insulin resistance). This is especially true in obese dogs. In these cases they need extra help to lose the weight. We have a great medication, Slentrol, which helps dogs lose the weight comfortably. About 10% of the medications action comes from decreasing the body’s ability to absorb fat from the diet. Unlike some other medications used by humans this does not cause abdominal cramping or fatty loose stools. The other 90% of the action is by inhibiting the dog’s appetite. Their food consumption returns to a normal amount which allows them to lose the weight. I have had great success with the medication with the owners reporting that their dogs are comfortable and happy throughout the weight loss plan. Obesity is no longer just about being heavy. It is a serious disease that affects the quality and longevity of their life. The good news is that the negative affects can be reversed with an appropriate weight loss program. With a reasonable goal weight set and weight loss plan followed by regular monitoring you can soon have your dog back to being healthy, active and happy again! Dr. David E. Steele is the lead veterinarian at Advanced Animal Care of Mount Pleasant, To learn more about Body Conditioning Scores, click to

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Private Or Group Training? by Allison Allen

It happens all the time. You get a new puppy, or rescue an older dog from the shelter, determined to take it on walks, train it and have the dog you have always wanted. Only the puppy fights the leash, or the dog pulls and is completely unmanageable with even tiny distractions. Because of this, you stop walking your new dog to avoid the frustration and embarrassment. This leads to bigger problems, because now the dog isn’t being exercised or taught self control. Maybe the dog starts being destructive; maybe possessive of toys; maybe he jumps all over guests… it is a cycle of events that can be easily resolved with basic training from the right trainer. Dogs learn self confidence and self control through reinforcement with positive rewards. Proper training will strengthen the bond between you and your dog and will lead to better lives together. Group Classes versus Private Sessions In choosing group lessons versus private sessions, a lot depends on the nature of the dog, the level of time commitment, and your budget. Group classes are good for socialization, and watching other owners interact with their dogs can help you learn more about working with your own dog. Group classes can be less expensive than private sessions, but be prepared to really work your dog in different environments outside of class to get the most out of your training. Private, in-home dog training is ideal for targeting specific problems, working in the dog’s own environment and for increasing the level of time and attention spent on you and your dog. These lessons can be scheduled at any time to make it more convenient. It is my opinion that dogs and owners benefit from both private and group



sessions and that the two are not mutually exclusive. Most owners and their canine companions need one on one instruction to figure out what methods work best and build the confidence they need to listen around other distractions. Your dog has learned to sit in the backyard, the living room, or before it eats, but can it sit with 6 other dogs running around and children screaming in the background? The socialization that a group environment provides will fine tune your work at home and give the idea that these commands and behaviors should be performed even with lots of other interesting things going on. Choosing the Right Trainer No matter which environment you choose to train your dog in, it is important to pick a trainer that you are comfortable with, one that communicates well with you, and has experience and references to back up any memberships or certificates. There are no government regulations or licenses specific to dog training. Therefore, it is up to you to know what qualifications and experience the trainers you are looking at possess and decide which is right for you. Ask the trainer to describe how they will work with your dog and what techniques they feel will be best. A good trainer should be well versed in many different methods, as all dogs are individuals with different temperaments and needs. It is a good idea to observe a class, or have an evaluation with the trainer, to make sure you can work with them and respect what they tell you. Getting Your Money’s Worth After you have chosen your trainer, you want to make sure that you achieve your goals and get the most from your training. If you make the decision to practice and work hard, you will likely

get more than what you paid for. If you sit back and expect a trainer to miraculously transform your pooch, you will not get the results you desire. With the popularity of dog training on the rise, many people expect television style magic when it comes to training their dog. The fact of the matter is that a trainer can train your dog, but it is up to you to follow through and make sure the training sticks. Your trainer will demonstrate and teach you the proper way to interact with your dog, as well as the correct techniques for solving your problems and rewarding good behavior. Be prepared to be present for sessions and learn everything you can about training your dog from the professional. Here are some tips to ensure that your hard earned dollars and valuable time aren’t going to waste: Follow the Instructions. Seriously! Trainers can tell when you aren’t following their instructions. If you are uneasy about a particular method or technique, let them know. A good trainer will be able to either explain why it is best for your dog, or can offer up a different method that you might be more likely to follow. If you main goal in training is housebreaking your pooch, you would be remiss not to follow the guidelines set forth by your trainer. You’ll only end up with a dog that still doesn’t understand how to use the bathroom outside. Practice Really Does Make Perfect Dog training is all about creating good habits in the dog. Habits are formed through repetition and consistency. When we instruct our dogs to “sit,” we aren’t looking to wait while they sniff around, ponder breaking away down the street, or repeating ourselves over and over like a broken record. To achieve an ingrained habit, you absolutely must practice. The

good thing about dog training is that it is easily incorporated into your daily routines. You can practice sitting and staying before the dog eats, you can fine tune commands during your walk, and you can even have a session during the commercial breaks of your favorite TV show. If your dog is struggling with something, be patient. Practice always pays off. If you aren’t doing the work in between training sessions, it will be difficult to move forward, as the session will need to be spent reviewing the previous lesson. However, if you do accomplish the commands taught previously, you and your dog can move quickly and possibly learn even more than you thought possible. By doing your homework, you can make your training experience a pleasant one that will greatly benefit both your family and your dog. Follow these guidelines to ensure you have made the right choices in your dog’s formal education. Allison Allen has been creating better lives for her human and canine clients for 10 years. For more information, visit Questions to Ask When Choosing a Trainer ~What education and continuing education has the trainer had? ~ Does the trainer explains things well? ~ Does the trainer interact with your dog in a way that you feel comfortable with? ~ Are there written handouts to refer to in between classes? ~ Is the trainer reachable for answering questions and concerns easily during the week? ~ Does the trainer require veterinary records before attending class? ~What kind of follow up program is offered after the sessions are over?



adoption Coastal Jack Russell Rescue Coastal Jack Russell Terrier Rescue is a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of terriers in the southeast and placing them into loving homes. Many of our terriers come from killshelters and owner surrenders and are often scared and confused. We work with owners to educate them about the breed in order to help them keep the terrier rather than placing it in rescue. It is rare that we find a Jack Russell that cannot be rehabilitated and placed in a compatible home. Coastal JRT Rescue also takes in terriers that have special needs (deaf, seizures, etc.). We are always looking for dependable foster homes and volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with our organization or adopting one of our Jack Russell Terriers please visit our web site at or call 843-442-1764.

Kelsie is a 2 year old Jack Russell Terrier. Loves to play and gets along with other dogs. She is approx. 8 lbs, spayed and vetted. Housebroken.



Betsy is a 5 year old Jack Russell Terrier. Loves to cuddle and gets along with other dogs. She is approx. 15 lbs., spayed and vetted. Housebroken.

Davey is a 3-4 year old Jack Russell Terrier. He is approx. 16 lbs., neutered and vetted. He gets along great with other dogs. Housebroken.

Freckles is a 2-3 year old Jack Russell Terrier. He is approx. 16 lbs, neutered and vetted. He gets along great with other dogs and loves to ride in the car. Housebroken.

JJ is a 3-4 year old Jack Russell Terrier with special needs. He is DEAF. He is approx. 15 lbs., neutered and vetted. Gets along great with other dogs and loves to be under covers while sleeping.

Blake is a 2-3 year old Jack Russell Terrier. He is approx. 16 lbs, neutered and vetted. He is a shorty but is full of life. Loves to play with other dogs.

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Lowcountry Dog Magazine Dec/Jan 2010  

Middleton Hounds, Holiday Gift Guide, The U.S. Vs. Stevens, Training, Health and Wellness and much more!!

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