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Humane Society settles in to new home Staff, board dedicated to animals’ best welfare

Grieving for a pet: It’s OK, really

Losing a companion animal can be devastating

Everybody loves talking about dogs

Kennel club excels in agility, obedience, camaraderie

Mobile vet makes healthy pets

West End residents ‘pawsitively’ thankful Supplement to Sequim Gazette and Port Townsend and Jefferson County Leader


Port Angeles • Sequim Port Townsend • Discovery Bay Kingston • Edmonds • Greyhound Amtrak • Downtown Seattle Sea Tac Airport • Seattle Hospitals Olympic Bus Lines is an independent agent of Greyhound. You can now purchase your Greyhound tickets locally at your only nationwide reservation location on the Olympic Peninsula. • Free WiFi on board • Providing complimentary home-made cookies and bottled water


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In Focus

Departments 12 | ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Accordions: The squeeze box is making a comeback

29 | FOOD & SPIRITS Try this Lime Vanilla Crème Brulee from Kokopelli Grill

16 | RECREATION Dog-friendly hikes abound

29 | GUEST OPINION Vet tech discusses the secret truths about pet food

28 | THE DAYTRIPPER Visit Mount Storm King, Bovee’s Meadow in a day

30 | LIVING END The Ginger Cat


On the cover:

06 | Humane Society settles in to new home The staff and board are dedicated to local animals’ best welfare 08 | GRIEVING FOR A PET IS OK Change in treatment means change in grief 18 | EVERYBODY LOVES TALKING DOGS Kennel club excels in agility, obedience, more 23 | MOBILE VET MAKES HEALTHY PETS West End residents ‘pawsitively’ thankful 24 | PET POSSE WORKS TOGETHER Group comes to the rescue of lost loves 4 LOP Spring 2017

Several pups play with their owners on First Beach, just after the Welcoming of the Whales ceremony in La Push last March. First Beach, seen here with James Island at the mouth of the Quillayute River in the background, is among many West End beaches that are great spots to bring your dog out for a day romp in the sand. Check out page 16 for more dog-friendly hikes. Photo by Laura Lofgren

With the first edition of Living on the Peninsula published in March 2005, we are approaching 50 themes and 50 issues. What future themes would you like to see? Send a brief description of what and why to pcoate@sequimgazette.com and you might be the next great inspiration!

— Patricia Morrison Coate, editor

Vol. 13, Number 1 • Living on the Peninsula is a quarterly publication.

147 W. Washington St., Sequim, WA 98382 © 2017 Sequim Gazette Terry R. Ward, Regional Publisher Steve Perry, General Manager Editorial: Patricia Morrison Coate, Editor pcoate@sequimgazette.com Production: Brenda Hanrahan, Page Designer Laura Lofgren, Page Designer Advertising Sales (360) 683-3311 • (360) 452-2345 226 Adams St. Port Townsend, WA 98368 360-385-2900 Lloyd Mullen, publisher Patrick Sullivan: psullivan@ptleader.com ©2017 Port Townsend Leader

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Humane Society settles into new home

Staff and board dedicated to animals’ best welfare Story by Patricia Morrison Coate Photos courtesy of Olympic Peninsula Humane Society Approaching a full year of operation in its expanded and state-ofthe-art animal shelter between Sequim and Port Angeles, the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society (OPHS) continues to accept all domestic companions. “We’re the only open door shelter on the peninsula and what that means is we have to accept any animal with health or disposition issues or regardless of how many we have,” said Mary Beth Wegener, OPHS’ executive director, as several “office” dogs roamed in and sniffed about, sharing a few nuzzles. “For example, we can’t turn away any for being too old, so that can make it tricky for us. What do we do with those animals? Fortunately, we have really good relationships with other rescues around the state such as Old Dog Haven in Lake Stevens which has a network of foster homes. Those animals really just want a nice, warm place for their last few months or weeks — the shelter is a stressful place for them.” The reason the shelter is so successful, Wegener said, is thanks to a committed board of directors and a staff dedicated to the well-being of the animals. It also helps to have veterinarian Suzy Zustiak on staff. “Having a vet is a huge benefit for us because we’re able to contain illnesses, diagnose and treat animals,” Wegener said. “Suzy sees the potential for an animal having a good life and often takes special needs cases. It’s really gratifying to see an animal heal physically and socially to become adoptable.” Also making a huge difference in increasing the numbers of adoptable animals is full-time trainer/ behaviorist Ann Jorgensen. “She evaluates all dogs when they come in and if necessary, sets up a behavior plan, and works with them and potential adopters on the needs of special animals,” Wegener said. “They’ll come in with

6 LOP Spring 2017

Above: The Bark House at the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society was completed in the spring of 2016. The building was paid for entirely through donations. Right: Kitten season, from early spring through the fall, is a busy time at the shelter. no manners or training so having a behaviorist on staff is helpful,” Wegener said. “In February, we began training classes for the public — the dogs are less likely to come back here if they’re trained as a puppy. Our goal is for animals to stay in their homes and not be surrendered to OPHS.”


Wegener explained the most common reasons for signing over a pet to the shelter include moving and not being able to take the animal, not being able to afford an animal’s needs due to economic pressures, a new pet not getting along with other pets or being illmannered.

“Unfortunately, we can’t help with some of these reasons but training is something that we are able to help with and if the owner is willing to put some time and effort into a class, often things work out,” Wegener said. “When it’s an economic issue, there’s not much we can do. Also in this area there are a lot of elderly going into a care environment and they can’t take their pet and the adult kids aren’t able to take on the additional responsibility. That’s a sad one — a lot of the time they’re older animals and all they know is a lap. Then they’re thrown into this chaotic (shelter) environment and no matter how comfortable we try to make the animals, we always feel bad for the owners because they don’t want to give up their animals but they’re in the position that they have to. Fortunately, the majority of these animals end up getting adopted.” Many animals are strays brought in by the public, law enforcement or animal control. In an effort to save lives, OPHS has partnered with the overcrowded SPCA shelter in Sacramento, Calif., to take healthy, vaccinated and spayed/ neutered dogs scheduled for euthanasia — in February it transferred 30 dogs/puppies to OPHS where they were quickly adopted. OPHS also takes the issue of animal abuse very seriously. “If we see someone bring in an abused animal, we definitely would call animal control. We feel morally obligated if it appears to be abuse to report it and have it investigated,” Wegener said.


In 2016, the shelter had a total intake of 1,458 animals of which 798 were adopted, a rate of 54.7 percent. Of 509 dogs, 23 puppies, 589 cats and 258 kittens admitted to the shelter, only 188 were reclaimed by owners for a rate of 12.9 percent. Strays are held for three days and then, with a clean bill of health and no or minor behavioral issues, they are put up for adoption. Wegener said. Adoptable animals can be seen at www.petfinder.com, at the shelter or from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. every Saturday at Petco, 1205 W. Washington St., Sequim. There is one number that OPHS strives to keep low — euthanasia percentages. “Last year we had just over 3 percent of animals euthanized — that’s extremely low partly because we have really gotten involved with free or low-cost spays/neuters,” Wegener said. “We always hope the rates will be low and make a concerted effort to keep them low. We never euthanize for space or length of time here. Sometimes it just takes time for special animals to get the home they need and we are committed to giving them that time.” Wegener said that people bring in their animals wanting them euthanized because of behavioral issues. “We tell them when they sign over their animal to us that we will evaluate them — sometimes the decision is clear when they’re aggressive to the point of being a danger,” Wegener said. “We don’t do public euthanasias — they need to do that at their vet’s office. When an

Mary Beth Wegener, executive director of OPHS, and its veterinarian Dr. Suzy Zustiak enjoy the affection of Brandy, a 2-year-old pit bull mix rescued from a California shelter. Photo by Patricia Morrison Coate animal is surrendered to us, we will make the best decision for the animal.” Last year 58 animals were euthanized: 14 dogs for behavior and 7 for health reasons; five cats for behavior and 31 for health issues.


Formerly the Clallam County Humane Society, the nonprofit was incorporated in 1947 as a community service project of the Port Angeles Soroptimist Club, remaining in an overflowing building on the far west side of the city for 50 years. At the end of its 2015 capital campaign project, the

group raised $1.2 million to move to a 9.5-acre property to build the 40-kennel Bark House with indoor pens, outdoor runs and play areas, remodel a modular building into Kitty City, a second for the office and a third for the vet’s clinic plus install the septic system and infrastructure. “We are debt-free because the community was so supportive and easily could see the need,” Wegener said. The shelter opened in its new location on May 2, 2016. “We are a nonprofit so we do rely on the community’s support to be able to take care of these animals. I don’t think any of us imagined we would ever be able to pull this off.”

Spring 2017 LOP 7


Change in how we treat pets changes how we grieve for them Story by Allison Arthur It wasn’t long ago that dogs were kept in their own little houses outside in the backyard. Then, they moved to the front porch. And now, dogs of all sizes and breeds are curled up at the foot of beds or even cuddled up under the covers with their humans. There’s been a change in how Americans treat their pets in the past few decades and that has resulted in an evolution of how pet owners handle the deaths of pets and mourn their departure, says Valerie Russo, a counselor and assistant clinical professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University in Pullman. The school offers one of the few free pet grief hotline services in the United States. People call that hotline from around the world and across the country, including the Olympic Peninsula, for advice on how to deal with the loss of a beloved companion pet, what to do about a surviving pet and how to grieve and remember a pet. “How people are interacting with pets has changed. Relationships are different,” says Russo, who has a doctorate in education, a master’s in clinical psychology and is a licensed mental health counselor as well as a certified life coach. She teaches the pet loss hotline class to students alongside a veterinarian. The students then volunteer to staff the hotline. “We focus on end-of-life care and how to deal with clients and how to have difficult conversations with clients as well as how to deal with the whole grief component,” Russo says. “A lot of folks who write in and call are trying to understand their reaction,” she says of how deeply people can grieve for a pet. “There’s a term we use: ‘disenfranchised grief.’ I think we’re getting better over the last 10-15 years, but it’s sometimes hard for family members to understand the depth of grief for a pet.” Today, she says, more than half of all Americans consider pets as part of the family — not apart from the family and relegated to the backyard. “And so, when they lose that companion animal, it is as devastating as losing a person. People are surprised by their level of grief,” she says. One of the first things the students learn is to validate the pet owner’s grief. “If your mom or sister or husband is having trouble helping you, find someone who might understand you. It’s validating what they are feeling. You suffered a loss. You had a strong bond. That makes (the person grieving) feel better,” she says of one of the first things the soonto-be veterinarians learn to share with

8 LOP Spring 2017

Valerie Russo, a counselor and assistant clinical professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University in Pullman, downsized from Doberman pinschers to Boston terriers. She helps train young veterinarians in how to help pet owners cope with the loss of a loved one. She’s seen here with Luna. Courtesy photo a pet owner.


Ginny Johnson of Hadlock Veterinary Clinic in Port Hadlock says the closer people are to their pets, the more difficult it can be to say goodbye and she recommends that people think about the end-of-life issues when they aren’t having to deal with them. “When we are in the midst of saying goodbye or thinking about our pets’ quality of life, it’s the worst time to think about these things,” says Johnson, who has been a veterinarian for 37 years, 20 of them on the Olympic Peninsula, and who volunteers to help animals in need at the Humane Society of

Jefferson County in Port Townsend. When a veterinarian knows that a pet is dying, Johnson said, that is the time to discuss quality-of-life issues as well as treatment options such as chemotherapy, pain medications, hospitalization and home care. “Hospice for animals is something some people like the idea of. We call it ‘pawspice,’” Johnson says, explaining that the idea is to offer guidelines for how to decide when might be the best time to let go. “When there is pain, suffering, loss of appetite, loss of movement, loss of control of bowels or bladder, that is when I start to think it might be time to euthanize our pets,” she says. “It is always the pet owner’s decision, but they often look to their veterinarian for guidance.”

Johnson notes there is a quality-of-life scoring chart that some people find helpful. The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement offers that scale online (aplb.org). It asks pet owners to rank seven criteria — hurt, hunger, hydration, hygiene, happiness, mobility and more good days than bad — on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being ideal. A score of more than 35 points represents “an acceptable life quality to continue with pet hospice,” the website says.


Johnson says that what hits pet owners hard is the sudden, unexpected loss of a pet that is in good health. A dog that’s hit by a car or drinks antifreeze — those unforeseen events are hard to accept. “We can give treatment options, but we cannot save every pet that gets into trouble,” she says. “I think these times are difficult for me and for the family that is suffering. I try to talk about the Rainbow Bridge as a place our pets go when they leave us. Sometimes this imagery helps give comfort at this sad time. Sometimes it helps to keep our pets’ memories in our hearts and in our minds.” The “Rainbow Bridge” poem — there’s a website of the same name — talks about how, when an animal dies, it goes to a special place where it plays and runs and waits for its owner. Johnson’s clinic also sends “honorary tree” cards from Swan School in Chimacum to clients who have lost a pet. The cards, which cost $5 each, help pay for one tree to be planted in the Tarboo Creek Watershed. “They help us commemorate the life of a beloved animal, help the environment and help the schoolchildren,” Johnson says of the cards. “People love getting them as another token of our caring and a remembrance of their pet.”


Russo also likes the Rainbow Bridge poem and notes that there are many memorial books people can make to remember a pet. “Memorial books are something tangible. And if an animal is cremated and people plant a tree, then there’s a place to go. We do encourage that,” she says, noting that some people actually do plant trees in their yards to mark


Veterinarian Ginny Johnson of Hadlock Veterinary Clinic suggests people think about end-oflife care for their best friends before it becomes necessary. She’s seen here with her own dog, Krisi, who is 12 years old, healthy and doing well. Courtesy photo where an animal is buried. Children can get involved in marking the departure by decorating a box or writing notes to their pets to place in the box, if the animal is going to be buried. Russo also is aware of a trend to have what she calls a “cattoo” – a tattoo of a loved pet. “There’s a range of what people do,” she says.

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It’s not just people who grieve, however, Russo says. Other pets in the house also may grieve when a housemate departs — and they can’t call a hotline for advice.

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If an animal is going to be euthanized at home, Russo says to be watchful if the animal that is not being euthanized might confuse a veterinarian for someone who is going to harm the dying friend. “If the animal thinks that someone is harming the other pet, that might not go over well,” she says. That said, she suggests that the animal that is not dying be allowed to smell the deceased pet as a form of closure. And after the pet is gone, Russo says, it’s important to keep a good schedule with the pet that remains. “If they’ve never slept with you and you invite them in and then you want them to go back to their dog bed, that won’t work,” she says. “Keep the schedule the same, so that the animal doesn’t get extra attention or extra treats. “Even though we want to make the animal feel better and we want us to feel better,” the last thing the remaining pet needs is for the extra attention to taper off and then face another change. “Animals do get depressed and they can be put on meds. You have to watch for behavioral changes as well,” she said. She’s quick to add that extra walks don’t

PET LOSS HOTLINE IS FREE The Pet Loss Hotline is operated by a group of Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine student volunteers who have taken a course on helping people grieve the loss of a pet. The students then volunteer to staff the hotline, which also takes calls during the summer months when school is not in session. The free service, which is supported by Purina, is available from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays; and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Call 866-266-8635 or email plhl@vetmed.wsu.edu. normally hurt anyone.


And finally, there’s the question of when it’s time to get another pet. “If it’s an elderly person, is it really good for her lifestyle to have a puppy? Don’t just fix it with a new pet. Understand the new pet’s role,” says Russo. “People can still hold the love and memory and honor Fluffy, and we can have another,” she says. Russo says that when her Doberman pinscher died some years ago, she took time to think it through. When an opportunity rose for her to get another Doberman, she did, even though she

didn’t have the ashes back from her beloved pet. Since then, she’s downsized from Dobermans to Boston terriers. “I loved my Dobermans, but we had to downsize. I could not carry my 100-pound dog to the car. I can throw Luna in the car and everything she needs,” Russo says, adding that she also has a car seat for her 6-year-old terrier. Russo remembers that when she was growing up, her dogs had their beds in the garage. A car seat for a dog probably would have been laughed at back then. Now, car seats for dogs are commonplace. And as for grief, “The tighter the bond, the more grief people feel. That’s the price for loving: grief.”

MARCH-MAY 2017 CALENDAR OF EVENTS MARCH PORT TOWNSEND & JEFFERSON COUNTY •  Old Time Fiddlers Jam, Tri-Area Community Center, Chimacum, March 26. Confirm at www.d15.wotfa.org. SEQUIM & DUNGENESS VALLEY •  Wednesday Morning Bird Walks, Railroad Bridge Park. •  “Over the River and Through the Woods,” Olympic Theatre Arts, March 31-April 16. PORT ANGELES •  Farmers Market, The Gateway, 125 E. Front St., Saturday mornings. •  Second Weekend Art Event, downtown. FORKS/WEST END •  10th annual Welcoming of the Whales Ceremony, La Push, March 31.

APRIL PORT TOWNSEND & JEFFERSON COUNTY •  Gallery Walk, Port Townsend, first Saturday. •  Port Townsend Community Orchestra Spring Concert, Chimacum High School auditorium, April 30.

•  Old Time Fiddlers Jam, Tri-Area Community Center, Chimacum, April 23. Confirm at www.d15.wotfa.org. •  Port Townsend Farmers Market reopens, Lawrence and Tyler streets, opens first Saturday in April. SEQUIM & DUNGENESS VALLEY •  “Over the River and Through the Woods,” Olympic Theatre Arts, through April 16. •  Olympic BirdFest, Dungeness River Audubon Center, 360-681-4076, April 7-9. •  First Friday Reception & First Friday Art Walk, April 7. •  Wednesday Morning Bird Walks, Railroad Bridge Park. •  Old Time Fiddlers Jam, Shipley Center, 921 E. Hammond St., April 9. Confirm at www.d15.wotfa.org. PORT ANGELES •  Farmers Market, The Gateway, 125 E. Front St., Saturday mornings. •  Second Weekend Art Event, downtown. •  Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra, Port Angeles High School auditorium, April 22. •  “Dracula: The Musical,” Port Angeles Community Players, 1235 E. Lauridsen Blvd., April 28-May 14. FORKS/WEST END

•  Easter Egg hunts, various locations, April 15. •  Easter Breakfast, Elks Lodge, April 15. •  RainFest, multiple venues, April 21-23. •  Fabric of the Forest Quilt Show, April 21-23. •  RainFest 2017, downtown Forks, April 21-29.

MAY PORT TOWNSEND & JEFFERSON COUNTY •  Port Townsend Farmers Market, Lawrence and Tyler streets. •  Gallery Walk/Artists Receptions, Port Townsend, first Saturday. •  Rhody Festival, Port Townsend, May 14-21. •  Old Time Fiddlers Jam, Tri-Area Community Center, Chimacum, May 28. Confirm at www.d15.wotfa.org. •  Brinnon Shrimpfest, field between Cole RV and the Yelvik Store, 303375 U.S. Highway 101, May 27-28. SEQUIM & DUNGENESS VALLEY •  First Friday Art Walk, May 5. •  Wednesday Morning Bird Walks, Railroad Bridge Park. •  Irrigation Festival, May 5-14, www. sequimirrigationfestival.com.

•  Port Angeles Symphony Chamber Orchestra, Sequim Worship Center, May 13. •  Old Time Fiddlers Jam, Shipley Center, 921 E. Hammond St., May 15. •  Sequim Irrigation Festival Grand Parade, May 13. PORT ANGELES •  Port Angeles Farmers Market, The Gateway, 125 E. Front St., Saturday mornings. •  Second Weekend Art Event, downtown. •  Port Angeles Symphony Chamber Orchestra, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, May 12. •  Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts, multiple venues, May 26-29, www. jffa.org. •  North Olympic Mustang Annual Show, May 6-7. Cruise at 11 a.m. Saturday from Price Ford; registration 9 a.m. Sunday at Gateway Center, www.northolympicmustangs.com. FORKS/WEST END •  Forks Lions Club White Cane Days Live Auction, Blakelee’s Bar & Grill, May 6. •  Annual Kids Fishing Derby, Bogachiel Rearing Pond, May 7. •  Forks Logging and Mill Tour, Forks Chamber of Commerce, starts May 31, Wednesdays through Sept. 6.

Spring 2017 LOP 11




After a lull in interest, the squeeze box is making a comeback Story and photos by Mary Powell When Elsa Laresser was a 7-year-old, presumably happy, little girl growing up in Switzerland, her parents decided she and her sister should learn to play the accordion. At the time, she said, she hated it. Little did she know she would not only enjoy the instrument, but would teach many a budding accordionist, as well as winning her share of trophies in national and international competitions. “In Europe,” she said, “accordion players and teachers are held in as much esteem as orchestra players.” That was yesterday. Today, while it’s true the accordion as a preferred choice of instrument is on the rise, its popularity took a nosedive for quite some time. Yet, here we are in Sequim where every other month a good number of accordionists gather at the Shipley Center for an accordion social. And another good number of people — usually between 60 and 100 — show up for some good oldfashioned accordion music. Elsa and her husband Herman are almost always among the entertainers, Elsa either playing her Steirische harmonica accordion or her favorite Italian accordion with handmade reeds. Herman, on the other hand, plays a variety of instruments, including guitar, a zither and of course, an accordion. Herman is from Austria and like Elsa, has played music most of his life. Both he and Elsa agree the accordion lost its oomph in the 1980s and 1990s, but are pleased to see more and more people become interested. To be honest, when I was asked to write this story, my thoughts were along the line of, seriously, do people still play accordions?

12 LOP Spring 2017

A trio of Sequim accordionists includes, from left, Ilse Osier, Alice Duncan and Caryl Dowell.

I do remember my family dutifully gathering around the black and white TV on Saturday evenings to watch “The Lawrence Welk Show,” where after a one-and-a-two, he would begin squeezing the bellows. Sometimes Myron Floren, one of America’s best known accordionists, would join Welk or perform his own solos. (For those under a certain age, Lawrence Welk was an American musician, accordionist, bandleader who hosted “The Lawrence Welk Show” from 1951-1982. Those over a certain age remember this well. Welk died in 1992, Floren in 2005.) Walking into the Shipley Center for its February accordion social, I got my answer: a definitive yes, people do play accordions and play them with gusto. It almost felt like I was watching the Welk show all over again.


European immigrants introduced the instrument to the United States in the 1800s, but it really started to take off shortly before World War I. “It was considered very cool,” said Joan Grauman, a board member and historian for the American Accordionists’ Association. “Beautiful actresses were portrayed in cigarette ads holding a gorgeous accordion and a cigarette.” In 1922, Italian immigrant Carlo Petosa founded the Petosa Accordion Company in the basement of his home. It joined the scores of similar stores and schools popping up all over the country. “Some towns had as many as four accordion schools in a couple of blocks,” said Grauman, who also added that by the 1950s the accordion likely was one of the most studied instruments in the country. By 1938, the American Accordionists’ Association was founded in New York and its first president, Pietro Deiro, became fondly known as the “daddy of the accordion.” The group’s initial goal was to show the public that the instrument was as serious as any other. A year later, it succeeded by helping to facilitate the first-ever accordion performance at Carnegie Hall. The Petosa Accordion Company survives today as the only U.S.-owned-and-operated accordion manufacturer around. Many of its

Husband and wife Herman and Elsa Laresser, longtime Sequim residents, team up for a couple of lively duets. Herman plays several instruments, but here plays a 50-year-old zither. rivals started to die out as rock and roll came to prominence in the 1960s. Acts like The Beatles popularized the guitar-drums-vocals setup that remained the pop-culture standard for decades to come, though ironically, according to Grauman, both Elvis and John Lennon played the accordion before beginning the guitar.


Altogether nine accordion players with varying levels of expertise showed up for the Feb. 12 social at the Shipley Center. Elsa Laresser was the advertised featured entertainment. Caryl and Tom Dowell, designated hosts for

the afternoon event, cheerfully greeted folks as the room filled with those looking for an afternoon of gathering with friends and neighbors, good music, singing, dancing and enjoying a table heavily ladened with plates of homemade treats. No one came away disappointed. Caryl herself is an accordionist, having picked up the instrument three years ago. She was on the dock for performing a few pieces; Tom, however, said he was a much better emcee. Off to the side of the room, the accordionists, a convivial group who appeared to know one another well, talked accordions, which themselves were lined up like soldiers waiting for orders.

ACCORDION NOTES • Accordions are a family of box-shaped musical instruments of the bellows-driven free-reed aerophone type, colloquially referred to as a squeezebox. A person who plays the accordion is called an accordionist. • The bellows is located between the right- and left-hand manuals and is made from pleated layers of cloth and cardboard, with added leather and metal. It is used to create pressure and vacuum, driving air across the internal reeds and producing sound by their vibration, applied pressure increasing the volume. • Playing the accordion requires coordination. Not only do players use both hands, but the left arm operates the bellows while the player reads music. As difficult as this sounds, a student can learn to play a piece of music in his or her first lesson. The accordion is

an incredibly versatile instrument. • A melodeon or diatonic button accordion is a member of the free-reed aerophone family of musical instruments. It is a type of button accordion on which the melody-side keyboard contains one or more rows of buttons, with each row producing the notes of a single diatonic scale. • The accordion was invented by Friedrich Buschmann in 1822 in Berlin. He called invention the Handäoline. In 1829, Cyrillus Damian of Vienna created another version of this instrument and gave it the name of accordion because of the addition of buttons, played by the left hand, that sounded chords. Source: Wikipedia; Atlantic Monthly, January 2014 Spring 2017 LOP 13

Shortly after Tom made introductions and opened the floor to the talent, Kit Tulin strapped on his 22-pound accordion — that’s the average weight of a piano accordion — and took the mike. “I’ll break the ice by playing first,” quipped Tulin, a retired Sequim pediatrician. With an easiness about him, he broke into a waltz he said could be played at a wedding. After a few more well-played tunes, he grinned and strode back to the sidelines. I asked him later if he ever entertained his young patients. “No,” he laughed, “I wouldn’t subject them to that.” Following Tulin, soloists, duets, trios entertained: Cami Apfelbeck, from Poulsbo, a newcomer to the accordion, played her mother’s accordion, which she said she inherited; Ilsa Osier, born and raised in Germany, who said her mother traded two pounds of butter for Ilsa’s first accordion; Alice Dencan, who hails from Bainbridge Island; and Caryl Dowell, joined forces and played a few lively tunes; and later Caryl and Ilsa played a polka and a waltz. Several couples in the audience couldn’t resist taking to the open dance floor behind the players. Ken Lillagore, who took the ferry over from Edmonds, was one of the best of the afternoon, almost professional. Yet, he said, he is selftaught and simply plays for his own self-enjoyment. Then it was time for a sing-along, which meant it was time for none other than the 2015 Grand Pioneer Helen Bucher to grace the stage with her accordion. Helen is an 86-year-old bundle of energy and joy. A true delight. I don’t think I saw her trademark smile leave her face the entire afternoon. Of course, she’s quite the accordionist. While playing the tunes printed on the song sheets, she coaxed the crowd to sing, sing, sing. Which they did. Who can deny a Grand Pioneer? Bucher is one of those rare birds who has lived in Sequim all her life. Her father John Bucher came from Switzerland at age 18 and met her mother Nellie Sutter, a thirdgeneration family living on the Olympic Peninsula. They married and bought their farm in 1920. The Buchers were part of a local Swiss community including Gebhart Zwicker, Jack Ryser, Joe Eberle and others and helped on each others farms during the haying season. Featured player Elsa Laresser and

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Accordion people are very nice. — Herman Laresser, Sequim musician

her husband Herman stepped up with their assortment of accordions, guitars and, of course, Herman’s zither. The couple are well-known in and around Sequim — and in particular, within the accordion ranks. Elsa was the subject of a front-page Sequim Gazette story in 1996, where, I must confess, I gleaned some interesting information (thank you Cathy Grimes, author of the story). Elsa emigrated to America with her husband Herman nearly 50 years ago. Herman grew up in Austria and was a miner. When the mine in his village closed, he decided would have a better chance of finding work in America. Long story short, the couple spent 20 years in New York and in 1988 came to the Northwest and after a few years in Seattle, they drove over to Sequim one day, looked a a few parcels of property and decided on the spot this was the place for them to

retire. “It looked like home,” Grimes reported Elsa saying. In the meantime, Elsa resumed playing her accordion(s), took on a few students and here she and Herman are today. The couple are easygoing and like to poke fun at one another while playing accordion and guitar together. Elsa likes her Italian accordion, saying the better the instrument, the better the sound. She also enjoys her Steirische harmonica, a diatonic, bisonoric accordion that is arranged in three to five button rows. Diotonic means that in each row only the seven tones for one scale are present. I know, had to struggle with this myself. Personally, this accordion looked like a small, very old, but fascinating accordion. After treating the audience to an impromptu history lesson regarding the zither, Herman and Elsa

Helen Bucher not only is a longtime accordion player, but sings and often accompanies other accordionists working the spoons. If the name Bucher sounds familiar, she was a Grand Pioneer at the 2015 Irrigation Festival.

joined together to make such beautiful, haunting music, one could close one’s eyes and be summoned to a lush forest with a rippling stream. That’s what a good zither player can do to the imagination. And just like that, accordions are back and the future looks bright. Indeed, Carlo Petosa’s clientele has transitioned over the decades from early-century players who were trained in classical accordion from a young age, to lone solo accordionists pursuing it as a hobby, to, now, players affiliated with musical groups. Petosa said the age of customers also has changed, with 60 percent now under the age of 30, whereas 10 years ago it was only 10 percent. And over the past three years, “we’re almost selling more accordions than we’re making,” Petosa said. Shenandoah Davis is one of the recent musicians to join the accordion world. The 28-year-old grew up playing classical piano and studied opera performance in college. She discovered the accordion six years ago, and after only a few days playing it, was swept up into a country-rock band called Jack Wilson and the Wife Stealers. Davis believes the rise in popularity of the accordion has a lot to do with today’s anything-goes music industry, enabled by the Internet. “I think in general people have felt a little bit braver about what kind of music they’re creating,” she said, “and more interested in stepping outside of the realm of what pop or rock music is supposed to sound like.” There’s also the fact that the instrument is in line with the so-called “retromania” of the new millennium. While the accordion is, as Petrosa said, “one of the only instruments that’s basically found in every style of music throughout the world,” it’s largely associated with European and American folk music. Which, of course, is cool again, as seen in the popularity of acts like Mumford & Sons and Of Monsters and Men. Chris Novoselic, an American rock musician and former bass guitarist with grunge band Nirvana, is the first accordionist (yes, he plays a mean accordion) recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And to think right here in our own backyard we have the likes of Elsa and Herman Laresser, Helen Bucher, Caryn Dowell, Ilsa Osier and Kit Tulin, and hopefully many more in the future. Keep on bellowing the squeeze box, friends.


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The Olympic Peninsula is replete with hiking-with-dog opportunities. Take extra care of your four-legged hiking buddies by packing extra gear and provisions. Here, dachshund Louis catches an interesting scent as his owner Mike Dashiell gets ready to snap a memory. Photo by Patsene Dashiell

TAKE A HIKE — WITH YOUR HOUND Story by Michael Dashiell I don’t know if it’s the breed, or small-dog syndrome or simply bad upbringing, but my dog does not like to be carried. My 8-year-old dachshund Louis won’t have it. He’d rather eat an avocado pit which he actually did earlier this year. But he loves to hike. So oftentimes there comes an awkward part of our day’s hikes when I have to make a choice of — heavens! — embarrassing my dog by picking him up and carrying him over the log or across the stream, or simply waiting for him to make up his mind he can either do it, or end our hike early. The North Olympic Peninsula is a great place to strap on the old hiking boots (and for the dogs, little booties, if you like). While pooches aren’t allowed in nearly all Olympic National Park venues (some beaches and parking lots are exceptions), there are plenty of city and county parks, various trails and Olympic National Forest land they can visit. In late 2015, the Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau aggregated information about dog-friendly places on the Olympic Peninsula to help visitors with furry friends find the best spots for outdoor fun. Stefanie Rotmark, the bureau’s social media manager, worked with many area agencies and a local designer to gather the data and create a map indicating places and trails where pets are welcome.

16 LOP Spring 2017

A webpage dedicated for furry fun has been added the Olympic Peninsula Tourism Commission site (www.OlympicPeninsula.org/dog-friendly). “Over the past year we’ve had numerous inquiries in all seasons about traveling with dogs: ‘Where can we hike? Can dogs be in the national park? Are they allowed on the beach? Where can I camp with my dog?’” Rotmark said. “We had written blogs and posted information on our Facebook page, but the message didn’t seem to be getting to the right people. So, I decided to help travelers by creating a map and finding all the places where dogs are welcome.” The map can be found at http://tinyurl.com/OPDogMap. While most places in Olympic National Park do prohibit dogs, there are thousands of acres to explore with dogs. Several places, including Kalaloch beaches between the Hoh and Quinault reservations, the Moments in Time Trail and Spruce Railroad Trails at Lake Crescent, and Rialto Beach to Ellen Creek are some of the places mentioned on the website. The Olympic National Forest and all state and county parks are dogfriendly, too.


And since we’re (hopefully) breaking out of our cold snap in the coming weeks, here are a few tips before we get to my favorite local dog-friendly hikes:

1. Carry poop bags. Can’t stress this enough. I see too many dogaccessible trails ruined by hikers/ walkers who don’t clean up after Fido. Don’t be that hiker, please. Take a couple of little bags, stuff ’em in your pocket or backpack and get going. 2. Bring extra water. Dogs get thirsty, too. A collapsable dish and an extra water bottle makes a big difference for your hiking buddy. 3. Bring extra dog food. See above. 4. Check your dog’s paws. We get to wear the nice, thick-soled boots while most times dogs are on their own pads. While this usually offers good protection, even short hikes over rough ground can do damage. Check those paws several times during long hikes in particular. 5. Bring a blanket. If it’s a short hike, leave it in the car. Dogs have an amazing ability to carry mud, dirt and who-knows-what from Mother Nature into your vehicle, so it never hurts to have an old rag or two to dry him (and you) off after your sojourn. 6. Stay aware. Not all dog hikers are friendly and not all human hikers are friendly. Plus, many of our local trails are horse-friendly and oftentimes horses and dogs in close proximity do not mix well. 7. (Most importantly!) Stay on leash. I know, I know, you want Fido to run free. So do I. But for reasons above and others I haven’t dreamed of, your dog needs to stay close to you and under control — for your hiking party’s sake and others.


How hard: Moderate How long: 3.6 miles to ONP boundary, 5.2 miles to Deer Park campground How to get there: Drive 2.5 miles west of Sequim on U.S. Highway 101 to Taylor Cutoff Road. Follow sweeping right turn onto Lost Mountain Road. Turn left on Forest Service Road No. 2780, then right on Forest Service Road No. 2875. Look for trailhead and parking area at Slab Camp on right. No pass is required. On the web: www.nps.gov/olym/ planyourvisit/deer-ridge-trail.htm (Also see trail reviews at www.wta.org). Pets are allowed on trails in Olympic National Forest and most state-managed Department of Resources land, so dog hikers and their owners are in luck. Check out Deer Park Trail, one that offers astounding views of Mount Baldy, farther back toward Buckhorn

Mountain, Mount Deception, across the Graywolf River and into the Buckhorn Wilderness. Completing the Deer Ridge Trail means trekking into Olympic National Park, where pets are not allowed, so those with dogs should only expect to finish two-thirds of the hike up to the park boundary. With clear skies, see grand views of the Buckhorn and snowcapped peaks of the Olympics. A full trip takes hikers up nearly 3,000 feet to the 5,400-foot Deer Park campground. The steepest part of the trail is a 3-percent grade, but even small dogs like my dachshund Louis will just fine with that kind of climb.


How long: About 2 miles roundtrip How hard: Easy How to get there: From downtown Sequim, take Sequim Avenue one mile north to Port Williams Road, then turn right. Drive about 2.5 miles east — or until car submerges in Sequim Bay. A gem of a park at Port Williams Beach is Marlyn Nelson County Park. The park itself is about an acre, with four picnic tables, a saltwater boat launch, parking lot, toilets and little

else. It’s not the size of the park that people come for, but rather the hundreds of yards of public-access beach to the south and about 1,000 feet of access to the north. Both north and south paths have typical Washington state beach properties — lots of rocks of various sizes, driftwood, sand fleas, sea plants in varying states of decomposition. To the north the walk ends somewhat abruptly, as about three football fields down the coastline the public access ends at the Graysmarsh Farm property. Despite the occasional dour-weather Sequim day, many dogs and their “handlers” flock to Port Williams. Young dogs in particular will enjoy this hike. I’ve seen dozens of wideeyed pups frantically racing to and fro between the chilly saltwater of the strait and the bulwark-like cliffs looming above Port Williams Beach.


How long: 3.4 miles of foot trails and 2.5 miles of equestrian trails. How hard: Easy. How to get there: Take U.S. Highway 101 to Dryke Road west of Sequim. Turn north on Dryke; the parking area is on the right, before the road’s first curve. Or take Old

Olympic Highway to Vautier Road, turn left, then drive to Pinnell Road and turn right. Parking area is on the left. Robin Hill Farm County Park is a fine place to go for a day hike along more than 3 miles of foot trails. Spend a few peaceful moments in the upper meadow, explore some of the agriculture projects the WSU Cooperative Extension program’s got going on and possibly meet some new friends on the trail — as long you don’t mind a little mud. There’s so much to like about Robin Hill: the pedestrian-only trails, the horse trails, the wetlands and pocket forests, the varying terrain. The people we meet at the park seem to be looking for a respite from their media-driven worlds. Located just a few hundred feet from U.S. Highway 101, it feels miles away from almost everything. But be warned: As a sign at the Dryke Hill trailhead indicates, the county has decided to spend money on trail materials rather than trash cans. If you bring a picnic — or more importantly for dog-walkers, your pet decides to leave a present — be prepared to pack out your garbage. And, as the trailhead note indicates, you should keep “yippy” dogs off the horse trails, to avoid freaking out their much larger trail brethren.

Spring 2017 LOP 17


Hurricane Ridge Kennel Club excels in agility, obedience, camaraderie and knowledge Story and photos by Patricia Morrison Coate EVERY EARLY JUNE and late July some of the sharpest minds on four legs gather in Sequim for the Hurricane Ridge Kennel Club’s trials and shows, typically attracting several hundred canine entrants. Ranging at the withers (shoulders) from 8 inches to 24 inches, dozens of breeds from all over the Northwest and beyond gather to compete in their size divisions at each three-day event. Agility trials are by size, conformation is by breed. Jo Chinn is the club’s treasurer and the avid owner of flat-coated retrievers Dinah and her daughter Flo. In demonstration, Dinah rapidly succeeds in finding her master’s scent on one article among others and Flo perfectly follows hand-signal directions in their dining room. These are just two of the many exacting tasks dogs and owners enjoy competing in, Chinn said.


In the (June) Agility, Rally and Obedience trials, dogs run obstacles, jump bars, walk on A-frames and teeter totters and bound through hoops. The judge makes the course for various levels of agility proficiency — novice, advanced and excellent. The ARO draws in about 300 entrants. “At the ARO, I share the thrill the border collies feel as they speed around the course, some barking in excitement. I delight in the light-footed papillons as they fly up and over the A-frame and dog walk,” Chinn enthused. “I watch in awe as the beautiful Afghan, coat swaying in rhythm, clears the 24-inch jumps with inches to spare.

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Above: Circle the poodle and owner Patricia Starr concentrate on the next obstacle in the Novice Jumpers with Weaves agility class. Right: Seated for their “long sit,” these dogs watch their owners who are across the ring, nervously watching their dogs. The dogs must remain in the long sit for one minute, followed by a three-minute long down. This is the Novice obedience level. Photos courtesy of the Hurricane Ridge Kennel Club

I could never be bored at any kind of dog show! There’s so much action to follow! — Jo Chinn

“And of course, there always are a few dogs for whom I hold my breath: the bassett who stops at the top of the A-frame to ponder the steep trip down the other side or the poodle who races up to within inches of the jump and then effortlessly springs over,” Chinn said. “We also have the rally in which a judge sets a series of sign directions regarding what you should do with your dog, like make a 360-degree right circle, weave cones and spiral right or left. It’s all kinds of fun stuff and your dog is scored on how well it does with each sign, up to 100 points,” Chinn explained. There are three basic levels in obedience trials: novice, open and utility, the latter two that are done off-leash. Obedience requires heeling and recall or leaving the dog in a sit or down for 3-5 minutes with the owner out of sight. “Obeying only hand signs takes a significant amount of self-control for the dog,” Chinn noted. At the utility level, the exercises are all nonverbal and much more difficult with intricate heeling patterns, following directions through hoops and finding one owner-scented article among more than a dozen. “The dog needs to trust so much and have so much self-confidence,” Chinn said. “Watching obedience, I am always amazed at the exuberance dogs feel when they please their masters with their precise heeling and sitting. Some can’t wait to get into the ring to strut their stuff! Their energy seems electric and contagious! A handler gives the ‘down’ signal and 30 feet away, the dog instantly drops into position. A handler gives the ‘come’ signal and the dog flies across the ring to sit directly in front of his master,” Chinn said. “I always stop to consider the intense attention the dogs pay to their handlers. They ignore what’s happening in the other ring, where another handler and dog are working, they ignore what’s happening outside the ring, where a dog may be playing with a squeaky toy. And then, there’s always the dog who doesn’t pay attention or follow his handler’s directions very well. I cheer for that dog and hope that next time, he gets it right.”


The All Breed Show, attracting about 700

It takes just moments for Dinah to find the only item with her owner’s scent on it. entrants, focuses on conformation for two days with three days devoted to obedience and rally trials. Conformation judges each dog against its breed ideal. “The All Breed conformation show is more than a three-ring circus. Our show, in fact, is a six-ring circus with judging happening in all six rings at the same time,” Chinn explained. “German shepherd dogs may be showing in one ring with poodles in the next and St. Bernards in another with over 130 different breeds showing in one day. “Dogs and handlers are all groomed to their best and sometimes people watching can be as interesting as dog watching. You may see silk and satin and sequins, but check out the handlers’ feet, too. They almost always wear comfortable shoes. Running around in circles all day with a dogs at the end of the leash can be torture for the feet!” Chinn said the show draws dogs from as far away as the Midwest — there were 1,250 entrants in 2016. “There are dogs at our show that will be at Westminster next year. Even though this is a little town, it’s part of a huge, huge production,” Chinn said. “Our local dogs compete and do very well.”

HURRICANE RIDGE KENNEL CLUB • Agility, Rally and Obedience Trials June 2-4 South side of Carrie Blake Park 202 N. Blake Ave., Sequim • All Breed Show July 28-30 Next to high school fields Fir Street, Sequim


Club members meet at 7 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month at the Sequim Prairie Grange, 290 Macleay Road, Sequim, with 25-30 attending, representing many different breeds. Amid the buzz of conversation preceding the Feb. 15 meeting, several members were asked how the club benefits them and their dogs.

Spring 2017 LOP 19

Board member Anne Andritsch, the owner of Portuguese water dogs Lucy, 10, and Charlie, 8, said, “The No. 1 thing is the camaraderie and the knowledge all members are willing to share. Everybody is willing to help in every way. “For my dogs, the benefits are putting them with other dogs, the exposure to obedience and rally that keeps me and them engaged.” For Deborah Dowd, the owner of 7-year-old and 18-month-old standard poodles, the benefits are “putting me in contact with others who enjoy what I do and the sports I can do with my dogs. I think the shows benefit the dog community because people want to compete, so what we’re offering is a service for the dog community.” Board president Susan Parr said, “This is a diverse group of people who have been into dogs for a long time. We’re a community of friends and help each other with health and training issues — friends who have the communality of loving dogs. For my dogs, it’s access to others’ knowledge.” Parr breeds Bernese Mountain dogs and trains them for, among other tasks, cart work. Her dogs are Gandolf, 9 ½; Dallas, 4 ½; Nevada, about 3; and Kenya, a 6-monthpuppy. Of maneuvering carts through obstacles, Parr said, “My dogs love it — I pull out the carts and they go absolutely bonkers!” Then there’s longtime sheltie breeder Joe Larson who said, “It helps to be part of a group for the social interaction. “It’s competitive but it’s also like artistic expression. There’s kind of a beauty involved in my shelties’ appearance and behavior. I get a broad view of the dog show world as to which dog I take to the show. Shelties love agility and they want to please you. It takes about a year working very hard at it to be competitive for the first time.” Larson’s shelties are Bentley, a 6-year-old male, Ticket, a 4-year-old new mother and Rudi, a 2-year-old male.


The Hurricane Ridge Kennel Club was founded in 1988 in Sequim as a nonprofit and is American Kennel Club sanctioned. Its purpose is to promote purebred dogs in their activities and sports. The group currently has about 55 members. Prospective members must attend three meetings, apply, then be voted in. Annual dues are $20 for an individual or $25 for a family. For more information, visit www.hrkc.org.

Flo’s eyes remain fixed upon master Jo Chinn, ready for the next hand signal.


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Client Skip Newton and his chocolate lab Hershey are all done with their appointment and ready to head out the door as Dr. Pat Dowell and staff member Lori Ambrose look on.

MOBILE VET MAKES HEALTHY PETS ON THE WEST END Residents ‘pawsitively’ thankful Story and photos by Christi Baron Every Wednesday and Saturday, at 7 a.m., veterinarian Dr. Patricia Dowell and staff members Lori Ambrose and John (Phil) Dailey load up items they will need for their day in Forks. They try not to forget anything because it is a long drive back to Port Angeles if something important is left behind. At 7:30 a.m. they are on their way. Arriving in Forks and unloading about an hour later, the phone starts to ring almost immediately as an already tight schedule becomes even tighter as Ambrose squeezes in another appointment for a cat with a possible abscess. Pet owners soon begin dropping off animals for their spays and neuters. Patch Brandmire is being dropped of for neutering and he is throwing a fit in his pet carrier. Dowell usually does four to five surgeries before she begins seeing patients in the afternoon. And then there are the emergencies that pop up. Dowell says, “It is going to be a fun day,” as she smiles and begins her first surgery. Dowell originally is from Idaho and went to Washington State University. After graduating, she set up at a clinic in Boise but that didn’t

There is never a dull moment, especially out here.

— Dr. Patricia Dowell

work out and she decided she needed a change. “I wanted to live where it rained and I checked out the Washington coast,” Dowell said. She made it to Puyallup and worked at a clinic there for a year and a half and then heard of a clinic for sale in Port Angeles — that was in 2012. Things fell through on the purchase of that first property but in 2013 she opened Best Friends Pet Care at 1004 W. 16th St. in Port Angeles. It also was about that time that the only veterinary clinic in Forks closed. Members of Friends of Forks Animals (FOFA) approached Dowell about coming out to the West End. And in 2014, she opened her two-day-a-week clinic in Forks. Dowell says the best part of her job is helping people and animals and sometimes pulling an animal back from death. “There is never a dull moment, especially out here,” she added. “Dogs gored by elk, gun-

shot wounds and even sticks going places they should never go …” Dowell says she does her best to avoid farm animals because, “I am too old to fight with a cow.” But one time she did sew up a goat’s udder. The owner pleaded with her to save the goat that was bleeding to death and after clamping, stitching and a shot of antibiotics, the goat pulled through. Dowell usually sees 15 to 20 animals per outing to Forks, in addition to the surgeries, sometimes taking some animals back to Port Angeles, along with blood work and other test specimens. The worst part of her job is the neglect, Dowell saying that “sometimes people wait too long,” and the problem is beyond fixing. Dowell said her West End clients always are glad to see her and nobody complains if they have to wait. “Everyone out here is so nice,” she said, noting sometimes the FOFA members will bring Dowell and her staff doughnuts. Dowell works with FOFA on low-cost spays and neuters as well as helping adopt out kittens and cats. “We are suckers for a kitten,” Dowell said. “We will tame them if wild, and get them a home.

Spring 2017 LOP 23

We also adopt out some older cats, too.” Dowell said recently the travel to Forks has been interesting, with boulders and trees down around Lake Crescent this winter. The worst trip ever took two hours instead of one but they always have made it. But most trips are uneventful, “It is a nice trip, the lake is so pretty,” Dowell said. Dowell says that business is good and that she is working on getting another veterinarian to come on board, maybe for those large animals she does not want to fight with. She also would like to expand her Forks office and add dental work and X-ray equipment. Dowell usually keeps the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. but if there is an emergency, they will stay longer. Ambrose said, “We try to see as many patients as we can and will stay longer if needed because we know we won’t be back for a few days.” Sometimes blood work and specimens go back on the bus if the staff is tending to an emergency. Dowell said, “The fun never ends in Forks — you never know what is going to walk through the door.” Like the dog that was shot twice and lived, “that was a lucky dog.” “I feel like I am providing a vital service because if I were not here, some pets would just go without.” And that would be sad. Dr. Pat’s Pet Care is at 41 Bogachiel Way; call for 360-374-5566.

<< Shilo Hinchen, Steven Salsgiver and their puppy Zena wait for their appointment.

Pet Posse: To the rescue of lost loves Story and photos by Kathie Meyer When Shelléy Vancleave’s newly rescued dog got spooked shortly after she brought him home, he ran through a sliding glass door and remained lost for two months and two days. “I’d never lost a pet. I didn’t know what to do,” said Vancleave, who owns the Tiny Bubbles pet store at 1130 E. Front St. in Port Angeles with her husband, Bill. The Jefferson County Humane Society loaned her a “catch pole” for a week, but any more support than that was difficult for Vancleave to find. “I decided I can’t change our humane society, and I can’t change animal control, but what I can change is starting a group and helping our community, and that’s how Pet Posse got started,” she said. Pet Posse, established in 2014, is a 100-percent non-paid volunteer group that helps owners find lost pets and looks for lost pets’ owners. For the most part, the group works out of Port Angeles, but they’ve been known to take cases in Jefferson and Kitsap counties as well.

Recently, this 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, tallied over 900 pets that they have returned to their owners. A drywipe board in the pet store is where the organization displays its impressive track record of success-to-failure ratio. Volunteers were recruited from the store’s customers. Two volunteers, Gail Nivala and Lynn Whited, handle social media. Shari Hamilton picks up and drops off dogs as well as hangs fliers. Mike Love picks up animals that have died.


Bev Jacobs hangs fliers and provides a “magnet dog,” a lab and Rottweiler mix named Macha. A magnet dog can attract another dog whereas a human can’t always lure a frightened animal to safety. To attract a frightened pet back home, Pet Posse recommends putting a personal item that smells like the owner(s) outside near the door or urinating outside around your property.

>> From left, Lynn Whited, Gail Nivala, Shelléy Vancleave, Shari Hamilton and Bev Jacobs are committed members of the Pet Posse. They are shown here with Macha (left), a lab and Rottweiler mix who serves as a “magnet dog” on searches, and Heidi, the Posse’s mascot. 24 LOP Spring 2017


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Spring 2017 LOP 25



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The group has searched for pet hawks, prairie dogs, a turtle, rabbits, horses, goats, pigs, a Muscovy duck, and are regularly on call for 12 hours at a stretch. Presently, there are nine Pet Posse volunteers. “It’s a huge commitment,” said Vancleave. “Mostly dogs and cats is what we are designed to do, but when somebody calls and says their pet is missing or they’ve found something, it’s hard to say ‘no.’ ” Volunteer Shari Hamilton has lost a pet three times in her life. “It really tugs at your heart when you can sympathize with how people feel when their animal goes missing,” she said.

>> From left, Gail Nivala, Lynne Whited and Shelléy Vancleave recently were found at Big Lots in Port Angeles asking for donations for the Pet Posse’s work.



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>> Heidi came to the Pet Posse emaciated and hairless having escaped from a neglectful owner. A veterinarian said she would have died within two days if she had not been found. When Heidi was ready for adoption, Shelléy Vancleave and the others couldn’t bear to give her up, so she became the Pet Posse’s mascot. At times, this group has found themselves deep into the surrounding wilderness. Once, when they lost their cell phone signal and noticed fresh cougar tracks, the group realized their organizational needs needed some expansion. Now they have a concrete communication plan with designated meeting places and require searchers to work in pairs.


They’ve purchased whistles, sirens, a gurney for large immobile animals and ropes for rappelling, which they haven’t yet done but say they are willing to do if necessary. Other expenses include food, insurance, gas and vet bills. A can of effective bear spray can cost as much as $80, Vancleave said. Vancleave said the Pet Posse communication outreach system, which utilizes LED signs along the road as well as the other usual modes, can “reach thousands of people within an hour.” The group has, at times when it seemed appropriate, used a psychic who volunteered her skills at no charge. And the psychic has proven her worth with her accuracy. Is it easier to find a dog than it is a cat? “Absolutely. Cats have a big territory and they are what the predators are after,” said Vancleave. The Pet Posse does like to see owner participation while searching for a pet, but it is not required. A donation when a pet is returned is not required either, but certainly appreciated. The posted hours on the Pet Posse website, www. portangelespetposse.com, are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Vancleave said they’ve been known to head out on a search on Christmas day and the Fourth of July is always busy for them. “We get attached and have never even met the animal,” Hamilton said. “We remember these animals by name,” agreed Vancleave.

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Take a hike up Storm King, picnic at Bovee’s Meadow Story and photos by Laura Lofgren

Welcome to The Daytripper, Living on the Peninsula’s new editorial that features a North Olympic Peninsula destination anyone can visit in a day. To kick things off, we wanted to start with one of the most wellknown areas in our beloved Pacific Northwest community: Lake Crescent. While there are plenty of fun spots all around the almost12-mile-long lake, the Storm King Ranger Station is a good place to take in a lot in one day. For our first Daytripper, I decided to hike Storm King after having walked past the intimidating sign multiple times on my way to Marymere Falls and the Barnes Creek Trail. This is what is so great about this area, though; you have easy, intermediate and difficult options for your day trip. But first, to get to the ranger station, follow U.S. Highway 101 west from Port Angeles. After passing Lake Sutherland on the left, travel about 5.5 more miles until you see a sign for Lake Crescent Lodge, Storm King Ranger Station, Marymere Falls and NatureBridge. Take the right to a stop sign, then turn right again and follow the road to the ranger station parking area. There, you’ll find restrooms, picnic tables, a boat launch area and the trailhead for Marymere Falls and Storm King. So you’ve made it and are now faced with a few possibilities for your day: You can walk to the beautiful Marymere Falls, which is a nice jaunt for those with kids and has great photo ops; you can continue straight on the trail, past the turn for the falls, onto Barnes Creek and follow the gurgling water upstream a bit before turning around; you can take a side trail that leads back to the Lake Crescent Lodge area; or, you can do what I did and hike to the Mount Storm King Trail. No matter which way you choose, you’ll take the same oldgrowth forest trail past the ranger station and under U.S. Highway 101

28 LOP Spring 2017

Lake Crescent as seen from the first overlook on Mount Storm King in February 2017 to get to where you’re going. After a half-mile, you’ll reach the sign for Storm King. Storm King is a 3.8-mile roundtrip trail, which may not sound like much, but it is a legburner for sure. With an elevation gain of about 1,700 feet, you’ll be thanking the trail gods for the switchbacks and occasional flat-ish areas of the hike. If you’re a bit out of shape, be prepared for the huff-puffs as you ascend into the green and brown. This trail is rated as difficult for a reason! While this trail is not for beginners, kids or pets, most avid hikers

will appreciate the well-trodden trail that rises over Barnes Creek. On your way up, you’ll see a variety of plant life, including Douglas-firs, madronas, salal and Oregon grape. Hear birds chirping and the wind whipping through the trees when you pause to catch your breath. While keeping your bearings, you’ll catch glimpses of Aurora Ridge and Lake Crescent as you climb, climb, climb past lush trees and mosses. After about 1.4 miles — which feels like 5 to me — you’ll reach a series of vistas. Proceed with caution around this 2,000-foot elevation area, as a ledge drops abruptly to the north. If the clouds have cleared on your

day hike, from this point you can see the stunning Lake Crescent below. Take it all in as the wind whips about and stop for a quick picnic or continue on. A second viewpoint can be reached in another 0.5 miles and after another elevation gain (about 400 feet). The lake is hidden from this rocky ridgeback, but the verdant Barnes Creek valley is fully revealed, giving you some spectacular views. If you want to continue on, proceed with caution here. The trail is narrow and has quite a bit of scree and rotten rock. To reach the summit, there are some unmaintained ropes available to help the brave hiker scramble to the top. From bottom to top and back, the total hike was about 4 hours because my fiancé and I stopped frequently to catch our breath and take photos. Once you reach that not-sointimidating-now boulder, you can continue on to the falls or head back to the ranger station, hop in the car and head to Bovee’s Meadow near the Lake Crescent Lodge for a picnic. A popular summer spot, Bovee’s Meadow is a nice place to stretch after the strenuous Storm King hike. We brought sandwiches and ate in the car since it was pretty chilly near the lake. Once done, we got out to explore a bit. At the shoreline, take in the view of the lake again. Bovee’s Meadow is a nice swimming area when the weather is right and a lovely spot to bring your pup for a walk. At anytime of the year, Lake Crescent is a great introduction to Olympic National Park. There’s always somewhere for anyone of any age to explore. Whether you’re looking for a sweat-inducing hike, a nice photo op, a scenic walk with the kids or just a place to eat lunch, the Storm King Ranger Station and Lake Crescent Lodge area have you covered — all in just a day. Laura Lofgren is a special sections editor for the Peninsula Daily News in Port Angeles.


LIME VANILLA CRÈME BRULEE Kokopelli Grill, located at 203 E. Front St. in Port Angeles, specializes in handcrafted Southwest cuisine using local fresh seafood, steaks and produce. The downtown restaurant features a water-view lounge, family-friendly dining rooms and an extensive wine list, craft beers and handcrafted cocktails. Kokepelli is owned and operated by Michael and Candy McQuay. Moving to Port Angeles in 2009 from Texas, the McQuays brought some of the authentic flavors and techniques of the South with them. Everything is handcrafted, from salad dressings to signature sauces and soups. Chef Michael and chef Josh Barr combine the flavors of the Southwest with Michael’s classical culinary background and bring it all together with the best the Northwest has to offer. Kokopelli Grill is open Mondays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.kokopelli-grill.com or phone 360-457-6040.

INGREDIENTS: 3 cups (or 24 ounces) cream 3 ounces and 2 teaspoons whole milk 3 limes for zest 2 teaspoons vanilla paste 6 egg yolks 1 whole egg ½ cup sugar Pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 300oF. Combine cream, milk, zest and vanilla in saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally over medium heat. Whisk egg yolks and whole egg, sugar and salt until pale in a separate bowl. Slowly drizzle and whisk in hot cream mixture until combined, then strain into a third bowl. (Note if you drizzle the hot cream mixture too quickly you will end up with scrambled eggs.) Pour into 5 or 6 6-ounce ramekins. In a deep baking dish or hotel pan, pour some hot water halfway up the sides of pan. Put ramekins in pan and bake for 40 to 60 minutes until custard is set around the edges but still jiggles in center. Let cool before chilling ramekins in refrigerator until completely cold; wrap them if not used the same day. (May be kept for up to five days before using.) Liberally sprinkle top of each dessert with raw sugar. Using a butane torch, gently burn the sugar, being careful not to scorch it. Garnish with any berries of your choice.

Secret truths about pet food Guest opinion by Kendra Hoffman Do you have nutritional concerns regarding your four-legged family member? The plethora of food released by the manipulative multibillion dollar pet food industry may cause you to feel overwhelmed in the pet food aisle. Unfortunately, many human dietary trends have spilled into the pet food market, as well creating even more options for you to choose from. One of the many misnomers we deal with almost daily pertains to grains in pet food. Countless owners believe grains such as corn and wheat are not only non-digestible, but also a main culprit of food allergies. Numerous studies show that grains are in fact one of the least likely potential allergens, with protein sources being the most common. According to reputable studies, only about 1 percent of dogs and cats are truly sensitive to grains. Moreover, when processed into a meal and cooked, grains such as corn are quite digestible and in fact offer beneficial nutrients. An omega-6 fatty acid called linoleic acid is provided by corn. Fatty acids can support healthy skin and coats, while also serving as

a natural anti-inflammatory. Another controversial topic is by-products. People have been led to believe that meat and poultry byproducts offer inferior nutritional value to their pet. By definition, according to Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), byproducts are “Lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially de-fatted low temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hoofs … feathers, heads, feet and entrails.” While this may sound unappetizing to a human, these are the various things your pet would consume from a kill in the wild. Your best source for nutritional education is your veterinarian. Before you spend your hard-earned dollars, please find out what your pet truly needs and consult your veterinary team. Kendra Hoffman is a licensed veterinary technician and dietary consultant with Blue Mountain Animal Clinic, 2972 Old Olympic Highway, Port Angeles; 360-457-3842.



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Spring 2017 LOP 29


THE GINGER CAT By the Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith

“Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.” (Anatole France) If you’ve ever watched wildlife in nature — from soaring eagles to deep diving orcas to mountain lions padding quietly through the forest — you have been blessed by their presence. If you’ve ever lived with a domesticated animal, be it mysterious cat, affectionate dog, curious bird or quiet fish, you have been blessed as well. To commune with animal life is to commune with the very spirit of the Divine. It is to speak in a new language about the beauty of life and love. It is to honor the infinite variety that this takes. The Lakota of the First Peoples prayerfully honor Mitakuye Oyasin. This means “all my relatives” or “all my relations.” It is a prayer of oneness and honoring that encompasses all forms of life’s creations from people to animals to trees to rocks to rivers. It is a living embodiment of the Hebrew Scriptures that speak to us of being entrusted with all of life on our shared planet. Translations have altered this to having dominion over, but our First Peoples call us back to a deeper spiritual truth that transcends time and culture. To the earth-based traditions, the presence of animals is not only part of the circle of life but also of spiritual significance to humanity. The moment of the birth naming of a new child emerged from what was happening in nature and the animals around. A shamanic path will introduce one to a personal totem animal with the energies and life lessons to support one on their soul journey. To have an animal just cross your path is to have an anonymous letter sent by the Divine to you in that moment. To open to its message and to explore its mystical meaning will enrich your life immeasurably.

“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.” (Martin Buber)

30 LOP Spring 2017

Living on the Olympic Peninsula, one encounters animals everywhere. Sitting on the beach, one sees gulls and young eagles overhead. Relaxing in the garden, gray squirrels leap between the trees and gather their treasures. Sitting on a local coffee shop patio, one meets canine friends familiar and new as they stroll with their companion people. We all have our own stories of encounters with animals and life with beloved pets. They bring us into closer communion not only with love but with life itself. Flower Newhouse wrote a beautiful piece that reminds us that evolving animals will seek and find those humans who will look into their eyes and see their soul. In this exchange of life and spirit, both are blessed. Each grows in consciousness of soul and oneness expresses powerfully. We were created to truly see each other. There is a wonderful Port Townsend experience that expresses this profound soul connection between animals and us. On Sunday, Oct. 5, 2003, I was preparing for our first St. Francis of Assisi Animal Blessing Service at Unity of Port Townsend. We suddenly had a very special visitor … a beautiful ginger and white cat. Before the service began, I stepped outside for a prayer that all the animals would be welcome, well-behaved and kind to each other. I looked up to see this wonderful creature approaching the Masonic Center with very clear intent. The cat did not exhibit the traditional feline behavior of exploring all along the way. He came right up and was greeted outside by several people as he approached. Everyone went into the building for the service … only to be joined inside by the cat as the congregation gathered. Everyone was blessed during the service as this golden cat wandered from row to row, sometimes sitting on laps and sometimes rubbing against legs. He was welcomed by the other animals as well as the people. At the end of the message, we celebrated that

Yom Kippur began at sunset. This is the traditional Jewish Day of Atonement — and also for us in Unity, the Day of At-One-Ment. As soon as the cat heard the words “At-OneMent,” he began purposefully walking down the center aisle, gracefully approaching the lectern while making eye contact with me as I continued to speak. He came around the back and encircled my legs so I picked him up and cradled him in my arms as I finished my message. His purrs filled the sanctuary through the microphone and the prayer meditation time was done to this glorious sound. It was as though St. Francis himself had sent a special sign that the remembrance of the animals is truly an honoring of the Divine in everything. That week we put an article in the Port Townsend Leader to find out who owned this mystical ginger cat who had been such an amazing blessing that Sunday. We learned that he belonged to a nearby family and that his name was Agent. What a perfect name! He certainly was an “Agent” for St. Francis and for the power of uniting love. He disappeared soon afterwards, but will be cherished by many for a very long time. Perhaps now even by those who are reading this story. In honor of Agent and all the other special animals who have blessed our lives, let the words of the British veterinarian James Herriot capture the power of All My Relations: “If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.” The Rev. Pam DouglasSmith is the minister at the Unity Spiritual Enrichment Center in Port Townsend who leads international spiritual pilgrimages. Contact her at revpam@unitypt.org.




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Spring 2017 LOP 31


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ORTHOPEDICS It’s the sunset return to Port Townsend Bay as the conversation fades. It’s the dip and swing of the paddle in sync with your breath. It’s the slice and drag that pulls you back toward the shore — to what matters most.



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Special Sections - Living on the Peninsula, March 2017  


Special Sections - Living on the Peninsula, March 2017