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Feature Articles 5

December 2011

New Pet Contest Our newest contest invites MetroPet readers to both enter their favorite photos on Facebook and vote for the winner!

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The Truth About Consequences Teach with patience, rewarding the good and providing appropriate...

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Abyssinian Cat Learn more about this cat and its interesting history.

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What is Feline Hyperthyroid Disease? For cat with this disease, there is a new treatment option. Learn more about the disease and treatments.

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Angels in our Midst Do you ever feel like there is someone watching over you?

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Canine Waste is Not Fertilizer Canine waste was deemed by the EPA as a Non-Point Source of Pollution. It can also carry 11 different types of disease.

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Mr. Bean Goes to the Ronald McDonald House Mr. Bean, a former Wayside Waif, is now known as “Concierge Extraordinaire” at the Ronald McDonald House.

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GRRR for a Cure Increasing awareness and raising funds was the goal of this young pet lover.

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Personality or Behavior? You can change a personality, but you can’t change a behavior? Do you know the difference?

MetroPet Resource 8

Lee’s Summit Subura

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Treats Unleashed

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Dogs World of Fun

In Every Issue

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Publishers Message — Happy Holidays to all our readers.

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Chip’s Corner — Pawzzle

Correction: In the November issue the Poison article was submitted by Stark Edler Apothecary. They are located at 10600 Quivira Rd # 100, Overland Park, KS 662152311 and can be reached at 913. 541.5050, or email Debra Edler, RPh, FACA at stark@starkapothecary.com.

Follow us on

D ECEMBER 2011 • MetroPetMag.com

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Publisher’s Message

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Happy Holidays! I hope your holiday plans include taking time to spend with your loved ones, including the four-legged ones. A recent news story highlighted the difference having a dog makes in the lives of people, in this case soldiers. The program called “Nowzad Dogs” helps bring stray dogs from the Afghanistan war zone to the soldiers who love them. “Having the dog for me was a way of just spending five minutes in normality,” said Nowzad founder Cpl. Pen Farthing. Farthing has helped bring some 250 Afghan strays to homes in the United States, UK, Canada, Holland and Australia. The American Dog Rescue program helps ensure the animals who enter the country are spayed, neutered and are given all the necessary shots. When you give thanks this holiday season, please remember how lucky we are to have furry friends in our lives.

REMEMBER THE SHELTERS AND RESCUE GROUPS As the year ends, please remember the shelter and rescue groups in your donation plans. If you don’t have money to donate, consider items on their wish list, or maybe a few hours of your time. The local groups will benefit, and so will you!

NEW PET CONTEST! We keep getting great pet photos! We have a new contest and need your help. Enter your favorite pet photo at www.metropetmag.com between December 5, 2011 and January 5, 2012. Then, starting Friday, January 6, 2012, photos entered will be shown in a gallery on the MetroPet magazine Facebook page. Once you “LIKE” MetroPet magazine, then you can vote or “LIKE” the photo of your choice. Facebook fans will pick a winner. The winner will receive a photo session for the pet, one photo as a wall canvas, and the photo with an article in the March issue of MetroPet magazine!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU ALL! Thank you to all our readers and supporters. 2012 is going to a terrific year. We are excited to share new adventures, stories, and events. Take care and enjoy this wonderful season. See you in 2012!

Sincerely,

Barbara Riedel, Publisher

P.S. Happy Holidays! Thank you readers for your ongoing support. Thank you advertisers for your ongoing support.

Staff and Contacts Publisher Barbara Riedel barbara@metropetmag.com

Editor/Production Manager Dan O’Leary editor@metropetmag.com

Magazine Layout ROI Marketing 816.942.1600 • roi@kc.rr.com

Advertising Sales Ad Sales: 913.548.1433

Deals of the Week deals@metropetmag.com

Contributing Authors Jeanne Beechwood Mike Deathe Pat Hennessy Patty Homer Jerry King, cartoonist Heddie Leger Ashlee Parker Debby Simon Cheryl Waterman, CVPM

Photographer Dan O’Leary

Contact MetroPet PO Box 480065 Kansas City, MO 64148 Phone: 913.548.1433 Publishing Policy: Articles printed in the MetroPet Magazine express the opinions of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the formal position of MetroPet Magazine. Acceptance of advertising does not necessarily constitute endorsement by MetroPet Magazine. Articles: Readers are invited to submit articles for consideration for publication to editor@metropetmag.com. All materials are subject to editorial review. © 2011 MetroPet Magazine. All rights reserved. Request reprint permissions at info@metropetmag.com. MetroPet Magazine is owned and published by ROI Marketing Services, all rights reserved.


Pet Contest 1 2 3 4

Enter your favorite pet photo at www.metropetmag.com between December 5, 2011 and January 5, 2012.

Is Your Pet the Winner?

Starting Friday, January 6, 2012, photos entered will be shown in a gallery on the MetroPet magazine Facebook page. Once you “LIKE” MetroPet magazine, then you can vote or “LIKE” the photo. The Facebook fans will pick a winner.

D ECEMBER 2011 • MetroPetMag.com

The winner will receive a photo session for the pet, one photo as a wall canvas, and the photo with an article in the March issue of MetroPet magazine!

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The

“Truth”About Consequences

W

hat is punishment? Webster defines punishment as “suffering, pain or loss that serves as retribution; or severe, rough or disastrous treatment.” When a knowledgeable dog trainer talks about punishment, the definition is much less severe; so much less that it should really be called consequences instead of punishment.

TEACHING APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR

MetroPet Magazine • D ECEMBER 2011

The definition we use is “anything applied to or taken away from a dog so that a specific behavior will decrease.” When teaching a dog appropriate behavior in the human world, using any harsh punishment will hinder learning by associating fear, intimidation and/or pain with verbal cues and/or hand signals. When you teach with patience, rewarding the good and providing appropriate non-violent consequences for unacceptable behavior, your dog will learn faster, retain the knowledge longer and be eager to learn more.

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by Patty Homer So why do people still use punishment? Some will tell you “because it works,” but scientific research as well as professional observations tell us that punishment suppresses behavior — it does not change it. When you suppress a dog’s behavior instead of changing or modifying the

When you teach with patience, rewarding the good and providing appropriate non-violent consequences for unacceptable behavior...


CHANGING A BEHAVIOR Changing a dog’s behavior has to be done through appropriate, non-violent consequences for the unwanted behavior coupled with repeatedly rewarding the wanted behavior. Both consequences and rewards need to be present for change (or learning) to happen and change happens faster when you give more rewards than consequences. Think of rewards as saying “yes, do this” and consequences as saying “no, don’t do that” and reach for a goal of 10 yeses for every no. When you use consequence with no rewards — you are a disciplinarian, when you use rewards as well as consequences — you are a teacher. When trying to change your dog’s behavior, before you decide what consequence should be used for any given behavior, you must first determine the root of the behavior. I classify behaviors into 4 different categories. The 4 categories are: 1. Schooled — behaviors we teach, such as sit, down, stay, come.

2. Self rewarding — behaviors such as jumping on the soft furniture, some digging, chewing and most forms of barking in that the act itself is rewarding. 3. Reinforced — behaviors that are rewarded by an outside source such as jumping, barking for attention, bolting through a door or rushing the food bowl. 4. Defensive — behaviors that are based in fear, status or self protection such as chasing joggers, dog to dog reactivity, aggression or submissive urination.

DEFINING THE TYPE OF BEHAVIOR Each category of behaviors is dealt with differently, so before you can correct or modify any behavior, you need to first establish what category the behavior falls into. If you suspect that a behavior stems from the Defensive category, please seek professional help from a qualified, positive reinforcement dog trainer. Behaviors rooted in this Defensive category can be complex and sometimes dangerous. Trying to modify

D ECEMBER 2011 • MetroPetMag.com

behavior, the dog becomes frustrated over time. Frustration will build until they reach their emotional limit and then they will strike out. Most of the time, the dog does not strike out at the person who has done the punishing because the dog is scared of or intimidated by the punisher; the dog strikes out at somebody else — a child, stranger, other dog, cat or the “weaker” person in the home.

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Behavior

Payoff

Reinforcement Source

Consequence

jumping

attention

human either positive or negative

Ignore jumping, give affection only when pup is sitting or has 4 on the floor

barking AT You

attention

human

ignore until quiet or provide interactive toys and sufficient exercise

nipping

attention or play

human human

cry and remove attention when teeth touch skin or don’t play with dog until he is calm

rushing food

gets to eat

food

put food down, if dog moves bowl towards bowl, say “eh-eh” and pick up the bowl. Repeat until dog stays still for you to release him.

rushing the

outside

hundreds of sources including freedom, squirrels, leaves, sights, sounds etc…

put dog on leash and start to door open the door, if dog moves towards door, say “eh-eh” and close the door. Repeat until dog stays still for you to release him.

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MetroPet Magazine • D ECEMBER 2011

The relationships we form with our clients. Our clear intent is to have them last forever. We also offer a pet friendly service department! We service most vehicles and you can enjoy time with your pet, while your vehicle is being serviced.

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BENEFITS OF LEE’S SUMMIT SUBARU Of course our great service, selection and pricing. But if I had to pick one word, it would be “FUN!” Our clients have fun doing business with us. The not the “norm” at car dealerships.

REASONS CUSTOMERS COME BACK! They know we genuinely care about them and their needs. We WOW them from the first visit because that's our everyday standard.

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these behaviors on your own can result in worsening the behavior and increasing the risk of harm to the dog, humans and other animals. Below is an explanation of and guidelines for addressing the other 3 behavioral categories.

SCHOOLED BEHAVIORS Consequences for schooled behaviors can be a little tricky. First, no consequence should ever be given unless you are sure that your dog understands what you are asking him to do. If you ask him to sit, but you have not taught him that sit means put your bottom on the ground, giving a consequence for not responding is pointless and unkind. The same goes for a schooled behavior that has not been generalized. Dogs do not generalize information, so you must do so for him. For instance, if you teach your dog to sit by practicing in the kitchen while standing in front of him, looking him in the eye, he will not understand that he needs to sit on cue if you have your back turned, he is across the room,


around other dogs or people or outside. You must practice “sit” in all different locations and with your body in different positions.

CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK

D ECEMBER 2011 • MetroPetMag.com

To determine whether your dog understands a cue, he needs to be able to respond to the cue at least 90% of the time in whichever environment you are in. Only after you are positive that he understands the cue can any consequence you give contribute to your dog’s education. Consequences for schooled behaviors need to be as benign as possible; you could really classify this as constructional feedback or constant communication. If you ask for a behavior that your dog knows and he doesn’t respond, a mild voice correction like “no”, “too bad” or “eh-eh” in an unhappy tone of voice is sufficient followed by repeating your hand signal or luring your dog into place. Repeating the cue is not recommended because when you repeat yourself you de-value the cue (you are teaching him that he doesn’t have to do as you request the first time). Jerking on a leash or forcing him into position can create a negative association with the cue which can reduce your dog’s desire to learn and/or respond.

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SELF REWARDING BEHAVIOR Consequences for self rewarding behaviors are a 3 step process which gives your dog instructional feedback teaching him what he shouldn’t do as well as what he can do This process consists of - Correct/Interrupt — Praise — Redirect. Correct (verbally say “NO”, “HEY” or “EH-EH”) to interrupt the behavior, praise the instant your dog stops the inappropriate behavior and redirect him to something appropriate. For instance, your dog is chewing on the leg of the kitchen table, you say “EH-EH” in a clear, loud, sharp voice (correct/interrupt), he stops and looks at you, you immediately say “good boy” for stopping the chewing (praise) and then you provide him with a chew toy (redirect). When you include all 3 steps, learning happens at an accelerated pace because you are not just telling your dog what NOT to do, you are also telling him what he CAN do. It also forces you into the role of teacher instead of disciplinarian, making life more positive for your dog and your family.

REINFORCED BEHAVIOR

MetroPet Magazine • D ECEMBER 2011

Consequences for reinforced behaviors take a little more investigation. The term “reinforce” can be interpreted as “benefit” or “pay off”. Dogs are self serving creatures — they want what they want... when they want it... and will do whatever it takes to get it, therefore, dogs will not repeat behaviors that don’t have a benefit,

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pay off or reinforcement. In order to modify reinforced behaviors, you must first determine what the dog is getting out of it - what is the pay off? Once you determine what the pay off is, it is as simple as removing the payoff when they offer that behavior, then providing the pay off for a behavior YOU like. This is called “rewarding an alternate behavior.” Below is a list of simplified examples.

CORRECTING BEHAVIORS Correcting behaviors in this manner is not an overnight fix, but the lesson learned will stick with your dog for his lifetime. Behaviors (especially unwanted behviors) become habituated quickly, so the longer your dog has


been allowed to repeat a behavior, the longer it will take to modify it - consistency and patience are the key. There are several behaviors that fit into more than one category. For instance - digging can root from hunting (self rewarding and sometimes reinforced when they find the prey), physical comfort — digging down to the dirt to be cooler (self rewarding), escaping (reinforced) or boredom (self rewarding). Barking is another behavior that can fit several different categories — barking AT you for attention (reinforced), barking at strangers (defensive or reinforced — either scary thing goes away or the nice person talks to me), barking at noises (reinforced — dog barks, you get up to investigate and/or talk to the dog or a guest comes in the door) or boredom (self rewarding).

Patty Homer has worked as a vet tech for 10 years and has been training pets for over 20 years. She offers in home training, behavior consulting and private obedience classes for dogs and cats as well as Pet First Aid and CPR classes. Patty is certified through the Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT-KA) and is the founder and president of HEARTland Positive Dog Training Alliance. Her experience in the veterinary field as well as training gives her a unique approach to dog training, considering the mind, body and spirit of each pet she works with. You can find her at www.goodpupkc.com, pattythepuppypro@gmail.com, 816.699.2260 and follow her on facebook.

IDENTIFY THEN MODIFY

D ECEMBER 2011 • MetroPetMag.com

Identifying the root of your dog’s behavior is the first step to modifying that behavior. When you understand why your dog is behaving in a certain way, you can develop a training strategy to modify his behavior. Once you have decided on a plan of action, patience and consistency along with more rewards than consequences should help you create a well behaved dog.

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What to know about the

Abyssinian Cat by Heddie Leger The Abyssinian is often considered to be the cat that the Ancient Egyptians worshiped, as it looks similar to mummified cats that have been discovered. It certainly comes from the right area, as the earliest Abyssinian type cats were imported from Abyssinia (now Ethiopia), although these first specimens may have looked a little different from the attractively ticked and regal looking cat that we now see. There is no question that the Abyssinian resembles the African wildcat ancestor of the domestic cat however.

HISTORY OF THE ABYSSINIAN CAT The history of the Abyssinian cat is a little obscure, although it is fairly certain that the wife of an English Army officer, a Mrs Captain Barrett-Leonard, brought the original specimen back to Britain from Abyssinia in 1868. Other members of the army may have also brought these cats back from what is now known as Ethiopia around this time. It is known that the first mention in a book was in 1874, the breed was recognized in Britain in 1882 and the breed was shown at the Crystal Palace in 1883. The first Abyssinians to arrive in North America were probably exported in the early 1900’s. It is also possible that very similar cats were brought to Britain from Southeast

Asian and the Indian Ocean coast, and genetic studies may indicate that the modern Abyssinian is closely related to cats that are found in these areas. The Abyssinian is not a prolific breeder, and generally will have only three or four kittens in a litter. The Abyssinian kitten is born with a dark coat that gradually lightens as it grows. It may take a long time for the final coat colour to be established. The ticking is not present at birth, and develops over the first few weeks of life. Their lifespan is 9-15 years. Adult Abyssinians don’t reach their full potential in coloring or ticking until they around a year and a half old. A kitten who looks pale and washed out when its first baby coat comes in after birth could become a vibrantly colored beauty when its color reaches its maturity.

MetroPet Magazine • D ECEMBER 2011

MOST COMMON COLORS

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There are four most common colors of Abyssinians are: Ruddy, Red, Blue and Cream. The Ruddy Abyssinians, are a soft, rich coat of ruddy brown. Each hair is ticked with shades of brown or black with a vibrant burnt orange color closest to the skin. The insides of the legs and the underbelly are of the same burnt orange color, unmarked; the more vibrant the color, the better. They may have no stripes, lines or barring, and no white marks any-


where on the body. The legs should be of a clear color without barring. Eyes are generally rich golden, but hazel or green are also acceptable. Like all cats, kittens eyes are blue at birth and start changing at a few months of age. It is theorized that the longer it take the eyes to change to their full color, the richer in color they will be. The nose is tile red, and the paw pads are brown or black. Abys are very alert, active and nothing in their domain gets past their notice or curiosity. They are similar in appearance to a small cougar, lithe yet muscular and strong with exceptional balance.

Abyssinians are medium-sized cats. They are very elegant, regal-looking cats with strong, lithe bodies and long, slender legs. Their paws are small and oval. They have round, wedge-shaped heads with distinctive tuffed tips to the ears which are large and pointed and set wide apart. Their eyes are large and almond-shaped and they have short, close-lying coats with at least double ticking. Their tails are fairly long, broad at the base and tapering to a point. Ghost marking on legs, stomach and chest; too much marking on face; absence of outline around eyes; small or pointed ears; round eyes; unclear eye colour; cobby appearance; too deep a nose break. Although most Abyssinians are healthy cats there are a few hereditary diseases which are known to appear in the breed. Progressive retinal atrophy has been reported, and may be detected from a few months of age in some cases. Cats with symptoms of PRA should not normally be used for breeding. Neurological storage disease has been reported in this breed and renal amyloidosis, a form of kidney disease, has also been seen. There is also some speculation as to whether the Abyssinian is prone to developing psychogenic alopecia, a stress related disorder which leads to hair loss through overgrooming. The Abyssinian is intelligent and curious, but this is tempered with a cautious streak. It is extremely loyal, and will become very attached to its family; in fact it will pine if deprived of their company. The male will generally tolerate other cats well, but the female may be a little prickly and prefer to be the only cat in the family. Both sexes can form strong attachments to dogs. The worst thing that you can do to an Abyssinian is deprive it of human company, and it is important that it lives in a household where people are usually at home. It also hates being confined, and needs plenty of space. It is a good climber, and will appreciate a garden full of trees and high places. This cat is not much of a talker, but will still let its owner know exactly what it wants. It is playful and inquisitive but also sensible and will not rush into situations recklessly. After a game it will be happiest sat on its owners lap being stroked and petted. What greater gift than the love of a cat?� Charles Dickens

D ECEMBER 2011 • MetroPetMag.com

MEDIUM-SIZED CATS

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Chip’s Corner

Pawzzle

by Heddie Leger

Abyssinian Cats Down:

MetroPet Magazine • D ECEMBER 2011

2.

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They look similar to ___________________ cats. 6. Kittens are born with a _________ coat. 8. The Aby is not a ________________ breeder. 9. The normal lifespan is nine to ____________ years of age. 10. They have long _____________ legs. 12. Abys are known to be alert, busy and ____________________. 13. This is not present at birth. 15. There is no doubt the Aby resembles the _________ wildcat ancestor. 18. Although healthy some may develop retinal ______________. 20. Eyes are large _______________ shaped. 21. This breed of cat is not much of a ____________________. 22. Noe color is ___________ red.


Across: 1. They can form strong _________________ to dogs. 3. They are __________________ sized cats. 4. The Aby is reported to have been imported to __________ in 1868. 5. They have round _______________ shaped heads. 7. It is said Ancient Egyptians _________________ these cats. 11. A word used to describe the Abyssinian. 14. Abyssinian is defined as having a _____________ look 16. They hate being ________________. 17. One of the fundamental colors. 19. The worst thing would be to deny an Aby of _____________ companionship 23. Eyes can be ________________ in color. 24. They can develop Renal _________________________. 25. The coat gradually gets ______________ in color as the kitten gets older. 26. They may have only ________ or four kittens in a litter.

ROVER’S TOP TEN WAYS TO GIVE THANKS* 10. 9.

Anything with a squeaker — and lots of them Kong® or Squirrel Dude™* or Twist-n-Treat™* preferably with treats inside

8. 7. 6. 5.

Something with catnip in it, especially if it rolls around

4.

A laser pointer and plenty of batteries (but beware it can make me wild

3. 2.

Liver treats* - and lot’s of them too

A new colorful fun-texture toy to hang in my cage. Bully Sticks* Enrolling in a fun class like Doga* or Meowoga* OR Agility or Rally

A new scratching post

And...

the number one way to make the holidays wonderful.

1. 1. Spend time with me!!!!!! * Contact N2paws for more information about product and service recommendations, usage, and availability.

D ECEMBER 2011 • MetroPetMag.com

November Pawzzle Answers

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What is Feline Hyperthyroid Disease? by Cheryl Waterman, CVPM

F

eline hyperthyroid disease is an over-production of the thyroid hormone caused by a tumor-like growth of the thyroid gland. In 96% of cats showing symptoms, the growth is benign (meaning that it does not spread to other parts of the body). This disease may affect cats of all ages, but particularly those over 10 years old.

What Can Be Done About It?

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS? Weight loss Rapid heart rate Poor hair coat Diarrhea or vomiting Behavioral changes High blood pressure Normal to ravenous appetite • Increase in urine amount If left untreated, these signs will become progressively worse, resulting in eventual death. These clinical signs are caused by excessively high levels of the thyroid hormone. • • • • • • •

MetroPet Magazine • D ECEMBER 2011

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

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Take your kitty or cat in to see your veterinarian. He or she should perform a thorough examination with some blood work to tell her exactly which areas are out of line. Once the results are back, then a diagnosis can be made. Should the results be positive for hyperthyroid disease, there are a number of avenues to look at — and one very new and improved treatment.

PREVIOUS TREATMENT OPTIONS Until recently, there were only two treatment options. One was oral or transdermal (gel that is rubbed in the ear and absorbed through the skin) medication with a drug named “methimazole.” This was a relatively inexpensive option; however, the drug does not “cure” the disease. The cat would be on this medication for the rest of his or her life, and though it is uncommon, serious side effects are a potential danger with this drug. Therefore, regular and frequent blood tests should be performed on cats on this therapy.

The second treatment available was “radioactive iodine therapy”. This method involved a single injection, which cures 97% of hyperthyroid cases. However, this treatment must be performed at a specialty facility capable of quarantining your cat following treatment due to low levels of radioactivity excreted from the urine. This option, although a much more expensive option to begin with, could prove more cost effective, depending on the cat’s life span.

A NEW TREATMENT OPTION With only these two options available, until recently, one can understand the excitement of bringing the third option, managing feline hyperthyroid disease with nutrition, onto the scene. This new therapy is expected to transform the management of this disease, according to Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., which recently launched their new prescription diet “y/d


Feline Thyroid Health” in both dry and wet forms just last month. The company’s research department spent about 10 years studying the relationship between dietary iodine and feline hyperthyroidism. In those 10 years, Hill’s used y/d Feline as the sole therapy to successfully manage about 150 hyperthyroid cats, said S. Dru Forrester, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, director of scientific and technical communication at Hill’s. Dr. Forrester states that, “once a hyperthyroid cat is eating y/d Feline as the only source of nutrition, thyroid hormone concentrations decrease within three weeks, and most cats are euthyroid within eight weeks. Based on our clinical studies, 100% of hyperthyroid cats have been controlled if they continue eating only y/d Feline.”

Although the nutritional choice is easy and convenient overall, veterinarians will still need to weigh the pros and cons for each individual case.

NUTRITIONAL CHOICE

Cheryl Waterman is the Hospital Administrator at the Cat Clinic of Johnson County and a long-time cat lover. She has been with the Clinic for the past 13 years, and in 2007 received Certification in Veterinary Practice Management (CVPM) designation. She is a member of the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association and the American Animal Hospital Association. You can contact her at the Cat Clinic of Johnson County, (913) 541-0478.

D ECEMBER 2011 • MetroPetMag.com

Although the nutritional choice is easy and convenient overall, veterinarians will still need to weigh the pros and cons for each individual case. Owners might find the “food” approach a challenge if there are other cats in the household, where different foods may be given to different cats. Also, owners must understand that y/d Feline must be the cat’s sole source of nutrition - no tuna or other treats-for the duration of the cat’s life. This is one area where absolute compliance is crucial in the treatment of this disease. Dr. Forrester said it’s an exciting time for her as a veterinarian to see this product come to fruition. “In all of the things that I have worked with in my 26 years of being a veterinarian, this is the most exciting project,” she said. “It has the potential to completely change how we manage a condition that is so common in cats.” So, if you think that your cat is demonstrating any of the symptoms listed above, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your veterinarian. It’s easier than ever to find an option that will improve his or her life and wellbeing.

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Angels

in our Midst by Pat Hennessy

M

an’s relationship with domestic animals has evolved into a companionship — an interesting cross-species connection that has developed over thousands of years. It is a relationship that transcends time and a bond that is steeped in unconditional love. From our perspective, the pitter patter of paws that prance across our hearts take flight with angel’s wings at many points throughout our journey together.

MetroPet Magazine • D ECEMBER 2011

FOUR-LEGGED ANGELS So often our four legged family members are our angels, saving our sanity when we come home from a hectic and stressful day. They help us relax, give us love and undivided attention, and sometimes have alerted us to danger even saving us from death. Our lives would not be whole without them. I couldn’t imagine coming home to an empty house. These wonderful spirits in furry bodies bring comfort to us in so many ways and bring joy to our sometimes chaotic world. We have it within our power to return that favor. We can be angels to our companions by building a relationship on trust, giving them love and companionship, and treating them with respect (communicating to them in species-appropriate ways). One way to honor your animal companion is to think of some characteristic that she has or some cute thing that she does, and keep that feeling close to your heart and carry it with you in your daily interactions. Use that feeling to bring you to a state of love when you are frustrat-

We can be angels to our companions by building a relationship on trust, giving them love and companionship, and treating them with respect.

ed or a feeling of comfort when you are worried. Let that feeling inspire you to be a guardian angel in return. Find ways to reward your companion. Time spent with you is as high of value, if not higher, than toys and treats.

SOMEONE WATCHING OVER YOU? If you have had a beloved companion cross the Rainbow Bridge then you know the feeling of someone watching over you. You can feel a furry presence when you enter a room or hear a soft meow down the hall. There may be an angel paw resting on your shoulder and keeping a watchful eye on you or her companion buddy left behind. You can honor her life by keeping her memory alive and by promoting kindness for the animal community. Continued on page 20

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I KNOW A FEW ANGELS Just as we feel our animal companions are angels among us, we too can be the angels in their midst. It doesn’t take much looking around to know where you are needed. I am fortunate to know a few angels.

GUS Gus was very tired, cold and alone. He was feeling every bit of his 70 years (dog years that is), and he knew he didn’t have much time left. It was all he could do to lift his head and roll those big brown eyes up at whoever was peering down at him. When he looked up he saw an angel. He thought he had been walked down that long hall to the cold and sterile room, where the door opens on one side and closes on the other. He thought, “Have I passed through that second door? Am I at the Rainbow Bridge? When he looked up, he was greeted by a soft and loving face looking down at him. She was there, this angel, ready to pick him up in her arms and give that gift of warmth and love, and respect for the years he had endured. This angel provides a home for the tired, fragile, ailing and aging animals that have been abandoned at the twilight of their journey.

Sophie is curled up, shivering, and huddled around some squiggling tiny balls of fur — a big heavy chain wrapped around her neck. A dog house is sitting in the distance, barren and open to the wind, with a bowl next to it frozen over by a layer of ice. She looks up as three figures approach her. She curls up tighter into a ball to protect her tiny treasures. They come in peace and offer her gentle touch, some tasty tidbits, fresh water, and to line the dog house with thick layers of straw. They were very nice and she was glad they stopped to visit. She saw them talking to the people who live in the house. A few days later they returned. She recognized their angelic faces. This time they released the heavy chain, bundled up the puppies, gestured for her and off they went for a ride. Her journey took her to a warm house with a bed, food, water, and kindness. That was her sanctuary while she waited for a forever home. Had it not been for those three angels, her journey may have ended on a cold winter’s night.

RUDY Rudy’s world was small. The view never changed; wire walls, wire floor, a lot of barking, pretty smelly, until one day he was plucked from the pile. The next stop was a loud and noisy affair, where he was handed over to a new face. A long ride awaited and when daylight broke he witnessed surroundings he had never seen — open grass with other dogs running freely. All seemed well but his little nagging cough just wouldn’t go away and he began to

D ECEMBER 2011 • MetroPetMag.com

SOPHIE

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Continued from page 18

GIVING BACK feel warm and just had to rest, as he was growing weary. He felt the touch of someone swaddling him. In a weakened state he could see the face of an angel and could hear her talking. Somewhere in the distance he could feel that someone was watching over him. “I must be really sick as it seems she has called on other angels,” he thought. He drifted off to sleep and when he awoke, he found himself surrounded by dogs and cats. “Am I in Heaven?” he wondered. His guardian angel came into the room and said, “How are you feeling today? Are you ready to go out and play?” Off he went, to another grassy area where he could run freely. One of the best ways to honor your animal companion is to help another. If you have the time and capacity — take in a furry or feathered family member even if only to foster. If you can’t take in an animal consider offering support to organizations who rescue — through donating or volunteering (even things like transporting or walking dogs).

METROPET RESOURCE WHO? treats unleashed

WHERE? 4209 W 119th, Next to Trader Joe’s in Leawood 913-451-2000 • www.treats-unleashed.com

HOW LONG? We have been in business almost 10 years. Treats Unleashed was started in 2002. Family owned and operated, the Leawood store is our first in Kansas City.

SERVICES OFFERED Treats Unleashed provides: an on-site scratch bakery to provide healthy options for your pet along with personalized treats and baked goods that can be tailored to your pet’s dietary restrictions; and a self serve pet wash where we provide everything you need to get your pet squeaky clean and the best part is that we clean up! Treats Unleashed plans to offer professional grooming in the future.

WHAT MAKES YOUR BUSINESS DIFFERENT?

MetroPet Magazine • D ECEMBER 2011

Treats Unleashed is the “natural place for pets.” Our experience in the pet specialty industry and specifically in the area of nutrition makes us different than other pet bakeries or boutiques. We strive to be your pet’s source for natural, high-quality products to include not just food but treats, toys and more. With a pet nutrition expert on staff, we have the ability to work with you and/or your veterinarian to find personalized solutions that will help your pet thrive.

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BENEFITS OF A TREATS UNLEASHED WORLD Healthy pets live longer — it is just that simple. We know that pets are an important part of your family and we partner with you to find holistic products that will help your pet lead a wondrous life.

REASONS CUSTOMERS COME BACK! Treats Unleashed strives to form a community of pet lovers. With regular events like meet & greet with local rescue groups and special holiday events like photos with Santa, our customers enjoy meeting other pet lovers that have similar interests to their own. They share stories about their pets and as well as recommendations for pet sitters and trainers, building a bond that starts at Treats Unleashed.

See our ad on page 23

It is a wonderful thing to give back to the animal community. If you can, adopt your next animal from a local shelter or rescue group. If you can’t adopt right now, you can help support the animals by donating some badly needed items to these organizations. These items may just be sitting around your house, such as newspapers, blankets, towels, cleaning supplies, trash bags; or you can pick up other items and drop them off, toys, treats, leashes, flat collars, office supplies, etc. This time of year we get busy with shopping and celebrating. It is a time of year for giving and we will often participate in extra activities with church/charity organizations or at nursing homes and community centers, but we don’t always think about the animals that are without companionship. This holiday season; give your pets some extra attention and TLC. If you don’t have pets, stop by your local animal shelter and take a few minutes to just spend some time with a homeless dog or cat. Gentle stroking and a soothing voice could put you on your way to being an angel for that animal. It is a small amount of time from you, but would mean a lot to a scared and lonely soul.

ANGEL LOOKING AT YOU! Angels come in many forms: short or tall on two legs, big or small with fur and tails. The next time that you look into the soulful eyes of your companion animal, know that you have an angel looking back at you... and let her know there is an angel looking back at her. Pat Hennessy is the founder of N2paws, LLC, an organization that provides a holistic approach to companion animal care through behavior education, energy work, and positive training methods. Pat is a Level 2 TTouch® practitioner, CPDT and member of the IAABC, IAATH and AWA. You may contact N2Paws via email pat@n2paws.com, phone 816-522-7005, or visit the website www.n2paws.com.


A Family Outing! the Wonder Dog

Charlie L

ooking for a family event to attend this holiday season? Go to Martin City Melodrama & Vaudeville Company. This is their 128th year and they will be presenting Mother Goose Christmas Crimes and The Holiday Hi-Jinx Vaudeville Revue!

by Jeanne Beechwood Discounted tickets and group rates are available. Reservations are essential. For more information about show times, ticket prices, and the Melodrama’s location, please call the theatre box office at (913) 642-7576.

THREE SHOWS IN ONE! This original show offers three shows in one. It will begin with Mother Goose’s Christmas Crimes! The next part of the show is Holiday Hi-Jinx! The show features veteran Martin City performers Jeanne Beechwood, Kattie Post, Andrea Huckaba, Dianne Brown, Marcus Mull, Mark Maasen, and Clint Griffey. Set to the rousing melodies of some of the best known classical, and not so classical composers, Mother Goose’s Christmas Crimes stars such characters as Little Bo Peep, Simple Simon, and the Old Woman in the Shoe.

ACTORS WORK FOR TREATS!

RESERVATION DETAILS Located in Overland Park, Kansas, the theatre is located on the lower level of the mall, with a convenient mall entrance facing Metcalf Avenue. This show opens November 19, 2011, and runs through January 1, 2012, no performances December 24 or 25.

D ECEMBER 2011 • MetroPetMag.com

Charlie the Wonder Dog will again be appearing during this holiday production. Charlie was adopted from Wayside Waifs and loves to perform. He will be joined by two other pups recently adopted from Wayside. We love actors who work for treats!

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Canine Waste is

Not Fertilizer by Skip Lowrance

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MetroPet Magazine • D ECEMBER 2011

Servicing all of Johnson County Kansas & KCMO

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n 1991 the EPA deemed pet waste a “Non Point Source of Pollution” which puts canine waste in the same category as oil and toxic chemicals. It has been estimated that a single gram of canine waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria which are known to cause cramps, diarrhea, intestinal illness and serious kidney disorders in humans. K-9 waste can carry 11 different diseases. • Heart Worm • Parvo • Whip Worm • Corona • Hook Worm • Giardiasis • Round Worm • Salmonellosis • Tape Worm • Cryptosporidiosis • Campylobacteriosis Canine waste left to accumulate is a big contributor to ground water pollution. It washes down our streets, through our storm drains, eventually making it’s way to our lakes, streams, and eventually the oceans, carrying all of the parasites, bacteria, viruses and fungi along with it. The result is increased bacteria counts in our ground water supplies, and viral infections and skin rashes for swimmers and sportsman alike.

CANINE WASTE IS POISONOUS TO LAWNS Canine waste will kill your grass, it will not “fertilize” it. It is a proteinbased matter, not vegetative-based matter like horse manure. Because of this, it will take more than one year for


canine waste to biologically decompose when left lying on the ground, and as it does, it drags all the above mentioned parasites and disease into the soil with it where it lingers for years.

RISK OF INFECTION Children run the greatest risk of infection because they are prone to play in the dirt at the park, playground or even your own yard and then put their hands in their mouths or rub their eyes with their hands. But even a group of teens or adults playing Frisbee or touch football in a open area could be in danger. Parasite infection can make humans extremely sick, and for pregnant women —can pose a serious harm to their unborn child.

MOUNTAIN OF DOO The American Pet Association estimates that this country’s 71 million pet dogs produce over 4.4 billion pounds of waste per year. That’s enough to cover 900 football fields with 12” inches of canine waste! Divided equally by fifty states, would equal 18 football fields per state, or one field 18’ feet deep per state.

By having a professional canine waste removal company pick up your yard you are helping the environment. Ask the company how they dispose of the waste. Make sure it is taken and mixed with other biodegradable materials, dried out, then mixed with other composting material and eventually sold as compost which is now safe for the environment. Your neighbor could be fertilizing her flower beds with what was once your Fido’s former feces. So be proud to be seen having your yard picked up. It shows pride in your yard, home, community and the environment. It also show’s love for your dog or dogs. Lance “Skip” Lowrance owns and operates The Perfect Lawn K9 Waste Removal service. He can be reached at 913-766-DUNG (3864).

D ECEMBER 2011 • MetroPetMag.com

ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLY

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From left to right: Eight year old Ryenne, Wayside President Cynthia Smith, Wayside Chairman Emeritus Harold Melcher and RMH-KC CEO/Executive Director Holly Buckendahl and Mr. Bean.

Mr. Bean goes to the Ronald by Ashlee Parker

McDonald House

T

MetroPet Magazine • D ECEMBER 2011

he spunky one-year-old West Highland Terrier mix called Mr. Bean was a former Wayside Waif. Now he is known as “Concierge Extraordinaire” by the staff and guests of Ronald McDonald House-Kansas City. As the new house dog and official mascot of the Longfellow House, the Wayside Waifs rescue dog is coming to the rescue of a hundreds of sick children and their families while the children undergo medical treatment at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

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MAKING A DIFFERENCE “Dogs are very healing, and Mr. Bean is providing comfort, love and support to children and their families during their stay at Ronald McDonald House,” said Cynthia Smith, President of Wayside Waifs. And after just a few weeks in residence, Mr. Bean is already making a difference. “Just the other day one little girl came back home after her cancer treatment,” said Anne Dykes, RMHKC’s Major Gifts Officer. “She was obviously not feeling well, so Mr. Bean wagged his tail triple speed for her. She then smiled!”

Jaxson

and M

r. Bean

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The staff of Ronald McDonald House had been considering a house dog for some time. A Wayside Waifs board member got wind of the idea and encouraged them to consider adopting a dog from Wayside Waifs. The staff of both organizations met to outline the unique needs of Ronald McDonald House and the families it serves. Together, they determined a small, friendly dog that loves children and adults would be best. They also hoped the dog would already be housebroken. A few weeks later, Mr. Bean entered Wayside Waifs. His owner made the difficult decision to surrender him for adoption because she was traveling frequently for work. Wayside staff quickly identified Mr. Bean as a candidate for Ronald McDonald House. “Mr. Bean met all of the canine criteria and we knew he would be the perfect match for them,” said Smith.

Is Your Pet the

Cutest Pepper Pepper was a rescue from the Kansas City animal shelter almost 6 years ago. He came to us at about 5 weeks old, 6 lbs and small enough to fit into a 6"x 6" box. He is the most loyal, noble and amazing animal. He brings our family joy everyday. Submitted by Christine C.

ADOPTION DAY! A few days later, both organizations made the adoption official, to the delight of several children and their parents. Staff members of both Wayside and Ronald McDonald House were in tears as Mr. Bean hopped in the lap of a young cancer patient. Her face lit up as he sweetly licked her hand. “Mr. Bean has made a wonderful addition to our team Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City,” said Holly Buckendahl, Executive Director of RMH-KC. “Many of our guest families have pets of their own, and deeply miss them when they are far from home in the midst of medical crisis.” Wayside Waifs donated Mr. Bean to Ronald McDonald House and will provide continuing veterinary care and training support. The staff of RMH-KC plans to train Mr. Bean as a therapy dog and he will serve as an important programming component for the organization. “After a long day of greeting people at the door, the welcome mat in front of the door becomes his napping place as well,” said Dykes. “We figure he doesn’t want to miss one opportunity to greet the children.” Ashlee Parker is the Communications Manager at Wayside Waifs. Before pursuing her passion in animal welfare, she worked as television news producer at TV stations in Kansas City and across the country. Ashlee is the proud pet parent of Truman the Miniature Schnauzer and Gretzky the Scottish Fold. Ashlee can be reached at aparker@waysidewaifs.org.

Thor Thor is the true version of manπs best friend. He always wants to be by our side and that includes me carrying around an umbrella outside when it's raining for him to go to the bathroom (talked about being spoiled). But Thor has expanded our family beyond our two cats and he helps keep life interesting. We are blessed to have him in our life. Submitted by Daniel J.

Won four tickets to

Submit your photo at metropetmag.com.

D ECEMBER 2011 • MetroPetMag.com

A SPECIAL FRIENDLY DOG

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GRRR for a Cure At the beginning of the event, Ashlyn Bielsker, Jorie and Daisy Mae Simon in front of the GRRR for a Cure table.

by Debby Simon

O

MetroPet Magazine • D ECEMBER 2011

n the afternoon of November 20, an unusual event took place at PetSmart in Overland Park. Jorie Simon, her parents, and the family’s golden retriever, Daisy Mae, served as hosts for a FUNDraising event titled, ‘GRRR FOR A CURE, benefiting C.A.R.E.S. KS Foundation.’ (Canine Assistance Rehabilitation and Education Services.)

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Daisy

Mae S

imon

create

s origi

nal ar

t for G

RRR f

or a C

FUNDRAISER AND AWARENESS RAISER

A UNIQUE PARTICIPANT

The organization provides trained, certified canine assistance in several areas: seizure alert, service, therapy, signal, Parkinson’s support and therapeutic emotional support. The not-for-profit organization, located in Concordia, Kansas, has “one of the country’s highest canine placement success rates,” according to Megan Lewellyn, Canine Assistance Director. “We’re currently at 83%.” For three and a half hours, Daisy, Jorie and her parents solicited contributions. A six foot table was strategically placed inside the store’s main entryway, decorated with a colorful banner, sporting GRRR for a Cure and the C.A.R.E.S. logo.

GRRR3 for a Cure’s uniqueness was enhanced by Daisy’s participation, both in preparing for the event and in providing choices for ‘thank you’s’ offered to everyone who contributed. Thank you options included: original artwork created by Daisy; having Daisy perform an impressive trick; or receiving a copy of Daisy’s favorite recipe for vet approved home-made dog biscuits. All options were greeted with smiles, and Daisy happily provided more than one thank you for most contributors. Additionally, bright orange sheets of paper with instructions on first aid for seizures were available to all shoppers.

ure.


“We’re so thankful to store manager, Amy Seuferling for allowing us to hold our event here,” the Simons stated.

EPILEPSY AWARENESS MONTH

SEIZURE ASSISTANCE DOG

November was epilepsy awareness month, which is why GRRRR FOR A CURE was held in November. Since C.A.R.E.S. trains seizure assistance dogs right here in Kansas, it was selected as the beneficiary. The Simon family knows firsthand of the difficulties faced by those with epilepsy. Jorie was diagnosed with absence (pronounced ab´-sahns) seizures at age eight. Though 75% of children with absence seizures outgrow them before or during their teenage years, Jorie was not so lucky. At age nine, she began having grand mal seizures. Now identified with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, she was placed on anti-seizure medications. The side effects were rough. As Jorie approached her teenage years, her seizures increased in frequency and duration. Each time a seizure occurred, her doses were increased, doping her up and, ultimately, making her feel like a zombie.

Jorie’s seizures continued. The Simons began searching for a seizure assistance dog. When they learned that the cost of raising and training these special dogs averages between $20,000 and $25,000, their hearts sank. Then they learned about an organization in Georgia operating on donations that didn’t charge families. They immediately applied only to learn of the five to seven year wait. Though dog people, the Simons had been without a family dog for two years following the loss (from old age) of their beloved, neurotic sheltie. When grief passed,

Jorie and her family learned, painfully, of the stigmas and superstitions still surrounding this often misunderstood neurological condition. They also learned that epilepsy is the second highest cause of death among young people. Every five minutes, another child is diagnosed; over three million people in the United States, more than the number affected by cerebral palsy, MS, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease combined, all have epilepsy. Surprisingly, people are not the only ones affected by seizures. “All mammals can have a seizure,” veterinarian Kent Callicott said. “And many animals can have epilepsy. It’s more common for some animals than others. For example, is more common in dogs than cats.” No cure for epilepsy exists, but when one finally comes, it will benefit humans and animals who are affected.

D ECEMBER 2011 • MetroPetMag.com

PAINFUL STIGMAS

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MetroPet Magazine • D ECEMBER 2011

Jorie began asking for a golden retriever. Her parents held off, hoping that, somehow, they would get a seizure dog. But it never happened. Just before Jorie turned 13, a close friend called, saying that a golden retriever, already housebroken, needed a home. The dog was not quite 13 months old and was living in an animal foster home. “It’s a sign,” Jorie insisted, when warned that she shouldn’t get her hopes up in case the dog ended up with someone else. “This dog is about to turn 13, and so am I. Thirteen is a lucky number.” Jorie was right. Much to the surprise of her foster caregiver, Daisy, the beautiful redcoated retriever, immediately came when Jorie called her. Somehow, Daisy knew she was needed. Though not a trained seizure or therapy dog, Daisy sensed that Jorie was having a tough time. Kids with epilepsy face many severe issues, including self-esteem. Others don’t know about the daily struggle of going to school, living in fear that a seizure might occur in front of classmates. Daisy was wonderful therapy. Though she never alerted anyone when Jorie had a seizure, afterwards, when Jorie needed to sleep, Daisy would lay next to her, refusing to leave her side. By ninth grade, Jorie's seizures were so frequent with drug doses high and ineffective, something had to be done. At the urging of her epileptologist, Dr. John Croom, Jorie entered the epilepsy center at St Lukes where she remained for eleven days. Weaned off her previous drugs and gradually introduced to a different one, the new drug worked! It controlled Jorie's seizures. Her life turned around.

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Nat and

his seizu r by C.A.R.E e alert dog, Kello gg .S. Nat a nd Kellog , who was raised a g live in eastern K nd trained a n sas. SEIZURE FREE

Now a senior in high school, Jorie has been seizure-free for 33 months. She enjoys school, is active in extra curricular activities, is now driving and is applying to college, where she plans to double major in education and psychology. “I like working with kids,” Jorie says. “I hope I can help kids learn to deal with difficulties that other kids might not understand.” Jorie’s parents know that, when she leaves for college, she will face important choices. Lack of sleep, drinking and drugs, common at most schools, can all trigger seizures. With hopes that their daughter will remain strong and seizure-free, they discussed the idea of creating a fundraiser that would benefit epilepsy and be meaningful to Jorie. Through a friend of a friend that the Simons met at the Kansas City Epilepsy walk, the family learned about C.A.R.E.S. “I wish we’d known about this organization years ago,” Jorie's father said. “It’s not unusual that people haven’t heard about us,” Lewellyn stated. “C.A.R.E.S. relies on word of mouth, and does no advertising.” Seven-year-old Nat, who lives in eastern Kansas with his family, knows all about C.A.R.E.S. Nat has seizures that often occur at night. For his safety, Nat had to sleep in his parents’ bedroom. Things changed when C.A.R.E.S. provided Nat with Kellogg. The seizure dog is trained to get help and alert Nat’s parents if Nat has a seizure. Nat now sleeps in his own room with Kellogg, who also attends school with Nat. “I know I could have used a service dog before the epilepsy center,” Jorie says, “but then I wouldn’t have met Daisy. And I know I'm lucky my seizures are controlled.” That understanding, and her love of dogs are the main reasons that Jorie was enthusiastic to work on GRRR FOR A CURE.

A SUCCESS The event was a success! Sixty-four customers took time to stop by the table and donate to the cause. Daisy's wagging tail salutes all who contributed! Debby Simon is the proud mother of Jorie Simon (as well as her two older brothers,) a dog person, and a freelance writer. She recently finished her first novel about her one and only childhood dog.


Pet of the Week

Winner Simba My name is Simba and this is one of my favorite shirts. I think I look bad to the bone in it! Submitted by John F.

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D ECEMBER 2011 • MetroPetMag.com

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Personality or Behavior??? by Mike Deathe

I

get phone calls every day asking if I can fix this problem or can I get a person’s dog to quit doing this or that. It kind of reminds of a bumper sticker I saw recently which said “I am a beautician not a magician.” Don’t get me wrong, as a dog trainer it is my job to get people to relate, understand and fix the rapport between them and their dogs; but, unfortunately, many people just don’t understand the difference between a behavior and a dog’s personality. So I am going to attempt to break down the difference between the two, and hopefully help you understand what each means and how it relates to your dog and their training.

MetroPet Magazine • D ECEMBER 2011

PEOPLE MANAGEMENT

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Years ago when I worked in management, in the real world, a very wise man told me that you can fix behaviors, but to try to fix personalities was about as fruitful as squeezing water from a stone. It was his way of helping me understand just what I could fix in my employees and what I could not.

...you can change behaviors, but trying to change a personality is well like peeing in the wind...


The basics here are simple... a behavior is a choice that can be changed and a personality is a mindset that is unchangeable. That might be a tad simplistic, but overall it is a true statement. Take this scenario as an example. Fred is 44 years old and just had a heart attack. He works 65 hours a week, drinks too much, smokes, never exercises and always has to be in control. His personality type would be considered “Type A” by most people. As he is recovering in the hospital, his doctor comes in and gives Fred an ultimatum, “you can keep living life as you have and die soon, or you can start exercising, quit smoking, quit drinking, cut down on the number of hours you work, get regular check-ups, take proper medication and live to be an old man.” Fred does as the doctor directed and lives to be a ripe old age of 94 years old then dies in his sleep. Now for the $64,000 question...was Fred still a Type A? The answer is of course he was, he simply changed his behaviors. But deep down his personality didn’t change — he was still a “Type A.”

How owners do or don’t socialize a pup will have a direct effect on the behaviors that are manifested.

So whether we are looking at people or dogs, we must realize that yes, you can change behaviors, but trying to change a personality is well like spitting into the wind. Your first job as a dog owner or trainer is to determine whether the unwanted action of the dog is due to a behavior or a personality trait. Did you know that a dog’s socialization period (the time frame where they learn to accept and like situations vs. being scared and anxious around the situation) is only from about 3 weeks to roughly 18 weeks of age? Considering the fact that most people don’t bring puppies home till they are between 10-12 weeks old, new dog owners only have a very small window to affect their puppy’s personality. How owners do or don’t socialize a pup will have a direct effect on the behaviors that are manifested. This in turn will affect the personality. So as a trainer I will say (AGAIN) that I would be out of a job if folks would only ensure that all puppies get tons of positive associations during those first few weeks; they learn that the world is a fun environment that is not only safe,

D ECEMBER 2011 • MetroPetMag.com

YOU CAN CHANGE BEHAVIORS

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but in many cases full of rewards. Unfortunately, many dogs, which as puppies were ignored, are in shelters or for many other reasons are not exposed to the world at all. This leads to the dog learning to be anxious, nervous, scared and even aggressive when exposed to anything new, and unfortunately anything new to a dog is in most cases scary.

MANAGE THE PERSONALITY So what does this have to do with the personality vs. behavior discussion? Simple, the overall emotional make up of a dog is the personality and it can rarely be fixed. In my mind those less than desirable personality traits (being nervous or anxious) must be managed instead of attempting to train them away. Then the actual behaviors that come from those traits (hiding, growling or barking) can, in most cases, be replaced with what are known as replacement behaviors. Put simply, you are making the new behavior more rewarding than the unwanted behavior.

METROPET RESOURCE WHO? Dog’s World of Fun

WHERE? 1220 West 31st Street, Kansas City, MO 816-931-5822 • www.dogsworldoffun.com

HOW LONG? In business for 16 years

WHY ARE YOU DIFFERENT?

MetroPet Magazine • D ECEMBER 2011

Personalization! We are all about personal service. “As a pet owner myself, I understand how each pet has its own unique personality. At Dog’s World of Fun, we make a special effort to learn the personality of each animal that has been entrusted to our care,” says Steve, the owner.

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BENEFITS OF A DOG’S WORLD Full service facility offering Daycare, Boarding, Grooming and Training. “We fit all sizes!” A Dog’s World of Fun routinely cares for 50 to 75 animals per day.

REASONS CUSTOMERS COME BACK! Dog’s World of Fun believes in customer satisfaction. We accommodate life’s hectic schedules by having early drop off hours beginning at 6:30 am and you can pick-up as late as 5:30 pm. Easy to find, Dog’s World of Fun is just minutes off of SW Trafficway at 31st Street.

See our ad — Inside Back Cover

The moral of this story is to look at behaviors as something that can be changed while personality is something that we are born with. (OK, really they are created by our experiences during critical developmental periods!) The only thing we can change with our dogs, kids, wives, employees or bosses are the specific behaviors that we have the ability to create more rewarding replacement behaviors for. As I have said for many years, and will continue to say…please, p l e a s e socialize your puppies when you get them, and you will never have to call me or one of my colleagues! If you get an older dog, realize their personalities are what they are. But never fear, you can always work on specific behaviors. Mike Deathe is a stay-at-home dad who found his passion as a dog trainer in 2008. The author of the Keep It Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S.) Pet Blog. Mike has had dogs since he was four years old! In 2009, he and his wife Kate founded Muttz “R” Us, a t-shirt and pet product company with a philanthropic motto of “Adopt a Pet, Save a Life.” In 2011 Muttz “R” Us also launched KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID DOG TRAINING. He is a charter member of Heartland Positive Dog Training Alliance and just earned his CPDTKA credential! Visit him at facebook or twitter or follow the blog @http://muttzmembers.blogspot.com/ or check out the website muttzrus.com for details about shirts.


Pet of the Week

Winner Cooper Cooper found a new home today. He made himself right at home. Looks like he found HIS spot right on the back of Dad’s recliner. Cooper knows a good thing when he sees it. Submitted by Barbara R.

Won a bag of pet food a $45 Value

D ECEMBER 2011 • MetroPetMag.com

www.americanmidwestkc.com Submit your photo at metropetmag.com

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Pet Contest 1 2 3 4

Enter your favorite pet photo at www.metropetmag.com between December 5, 2011 and January 5, 2012.

Is Your Pet the Winner?

Starting Friday, January 6, 2012, photos entered will be shown in a gallery on the MetroPet magazine Facebook page. Once you “LIKE” MetroPet magazine, then you can vote or “LIKE” the photo. The Facebook fans will pick a winner. The winner will receive a photo session for the pet, one photo as a wall canvas, and the photo with an article in the March issue of MetroPet magazine!

Pet of the Week

Winner December Prizes

Gift Certificate to Whiskers and Wags gift boutique at

Pet Food up to a $40 value

MetroPet Magazine • D ECEMBER 2011

www.waysidewaifs.org

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www.americanmidwestkc.com New Pet — Consult

Before you get a new pet, talk to an expert that will help you pick out the right animal for your family. Thirty minute session. Value $45

www.goodpupkc.com

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Daycare Boarding Grooming

“Play All Day” Small and Large Play Area Daycare $12 per day



MetroPet Magazine December 2011