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Thursday, Nov. 1


Chip and Clip, 5-7 p.m., Chow Hound in Standale. The Humane Society of West Michigan is offering $20 microchips and $10 nail trims.

Furry Friday films, 5:30-9:30 p.m., Humane Society of West Michigan, 3077 Wilson Dr.ive NW, Grand Rapids. Kids in grades K-5 are inviited to join HSWM for a fun night of animal time, games, crafts and an animal-related movie. Pizza, pop and popcorn are provided. $25 per child with a $1 0 sibling discount. To register, contact Jan Self-Aulgur (616) 791-8066 or

PAWS for Lunch, noon to 1 p.m., a special behind-thescenes look at Paws With A Cause. Held at Paws with a Cause national headquarters, 4646 South Division in Wayland. Lunch is provided. For information or to RSVP, contact Samantha (800) 253-7297 or

Wednesday, Nov. 7 &14 BISSELL Big Paw Grant for CSNIP. Reduced spay/neuter event Oust $25) for larger dogs 50 pounds and above, sponsored by the BISSELL Pet Foundation. Event located at C-SNIP, 1675 Viewpond SE, Kentwood, 49508. For information and to make an appointment, contact C-SNIP at (616) 455-8220 or

Tuesday, Nov. 13 Toddler Talis, 10-10:45 a.m. at Humane Society of West Michigan, 3077 Wilson Drive NW, Grand Rapids. Have a toddler who loves animals? Toddler Tails is designed for ages 2-4 and keeps your tot engaged through stories, activities, crafts and animal interactions. Cost is $5 per family. Preregister by contacting Jennifer Self-Aulgur (616) 791-8066 or

The Dog Show, 9:30p.m. to 2 a.m., at Diversions, 10 Fountain Street NW, Grand Rapids. An adult drag show featuring several entertainers and put together by Sydney Chablis and Adina Monroe. Cover charge is $3 for adults and $5 for minors 18 and older. All proceeds benefit the Humane Society of West Michigan and C-SNIP. Seating is limited; early arrival recommended.

1Uesday,Nov.20 Companion Animal Grief Support, 6-7 p.m., Humane Society of West Michigan, 3077 Wilson Drive NW, Grand Rapids. Group sessions offer a safe, confidential, structured place where those bound by the experience of the impending loss or death of a pet can come together on a regular basis to share stories, receive validation of concerns and feelings, learn about grief and the mourning process, and reflect upon the meaning of it all. Please pre-register by noon on the day of the meetings with facilitator Ginny Mikita (616) 460-0373 or Jen Self-Aulgur (616) 791-8066 or

Thursday, Nov. 15 PAWS for Lunch, noon to 1 p.m., a special behind-thescenes look at Paws With A Cause. Held at Paws with a Cause national headquarters, 4646 South Division in Wayland. Lunch is provided. For information or to RSVP, contact Samantha (800) 253-7297 or

4 • DOGSUnleashed

Saturday, Dec. 1 Pet photos with Santa, 2-5 p.m. at Shampoochie, 4445-B Breton Road SE, Kentwood. Have your pet's photo taken with Santa Claus for a donation, with all proceeds going to help Crash's Landing cat sanctuary. For information, contact Shampoochie grooming and boutique (616) 262-2298.

SIUday, Dec. 1

FlldaJ, Dec. 21

Holiclay Open Houae, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at Humane Society of West Michigan, 3077 Wilson NW, Grand Rapids. Help homeless animals go home for the holidays! Adoption specials, refreshments and more. Contact Nicole Cook (616) 791-8089 or

Funy Friclay films, 5:30-9:30 p.m., Humane Society of West Michigan, 3077 Wilson Dr.ive NW, Grand Rapids. Kids in grades K-5 are inviited to join HSWM for a fun night of animal time, games, crafts and an animal-related movie. Pizza, pop and popcorn are provided. $25 per child with a $10 sibling discount. To register, contact Jen Self-Aulgur (616) 791-8066 or t-C

Tllursdly, Dac. I Chip and Clip, 5-7 p.m., Chow Hound in Breton Village. The Humane Society of West Michigan is offering $20 microchips and $10 nail trims.

To have your event listed, email information to:

PAWS for Lunch, noon to 1 p.m., a special behind-the-scenes look at Paws With A Cause. Held at Paws with a Cause national headquarters, 4646 South Division in Wayland. Lunch is provided. For information or to RSVP, contact Samantha {800) 253-7297 or

SaUday, Dec. 8 Harbor H1111ane Bow Wow & Meow bowling event: Noon to 3 p.m., Century Lanes, 478 E. 16th Street, Holland. Cost is $50 per bowler, includes shoes and ball rental, beverages and pizza buffet. Lane sponsor opportunities available. More information coming soon at

'IU8sd1J, Dec. 11 Toddler Tails, 10-10:45 a.m. at Humane Society of West Michigan, 3077 Wilson Drive NW, Grand Rapids. Have a toddler who loves animals? Toddler Tails is designed for ages 2-4 and keeps your tot engaged through stories, activities, crafts and animal interactions. Cost is $5 per family. Preregister by contacting Jennifer Self-Aulgur (616) 791-8066 or

'lbesday, Dec. 18 Comparjon Animal Grief Support, 6-7 p.m., Humane Society of West Michigan, 3077 Wilson Drive NW, Grand Rapids. Group sessions offer a safe, confidential, structured place where those bound by the experience of the impending loss or death of a pet can come together on a regular basis to share stories, receive validation of concerns and feelings, learn about grief and the mourning process, and reflect upon the meaning of it all. Please pre-register by noon on the day of the meetings with facilitator Ginny Mikita (616) 460-0373 or Jan Self-Aulgur (616) 791-8066 or

Tllursday, Dec. 20 PAWS for Lunch, noon to 1 p.m., a special behind-1he-scenes look at Paws With A Cause. Held at Paws with a Cause national headquarters, 4646 South Division in Wayland. Lunch is provided. For information or to RSVP, contact Samantha (800) 253-7297 or



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ALWAYS A CHARMER Charming Dog Charms What It 15: Unique hand-crafted glass pendants that can be personalized with a photo of a favorite pooch. Created by Sassy Glass Necklaces, these charms are inexpensively priced at $5 and come with a ribbon or a keychain. But walt, there's more: This homegrown company, based In Spring Lake, Is a family affair. The pendants are created by Laura Pulsifer and finished by her husband, Jim, and her mother, Marilyn Biczak. Fett:h It: Available at or email at

A-TISKET-A-TASKET All Natural Gift Baskets Wlurt It 15: All Natural dog food delivered to your home. Contains high quality protein-like meat and flsh, brown rice, oatmeal and omega fatty acids with no artificial colors, chemical preservatives or crude fibers. Seven varieties are offered: Lamb Meal &Rice, Grain-free, Salmon Meal &Rice, Lean Diet Maintenance, Chicken Meal &Rice and Puppy Formula. But walt, thent's more: Barb Pitcher, Pet Chef Express distributor for Muskegon, Ottawa, Oceana and Newaygo counties, will create and deliver gift baskets just In time for the holiday season. Fetth it: For Lakeshore counties call Pitcher at (231) 288-9805 or email For Grand Rapids and all other Michigan locations, email petchefmi@att.netorcall (616) 724-4189.

50 SHADES OF POOCH Endearing Dog Tails What It Is: Life with Solly, Uttle White Dog Toils and Ufe with Sally, Still SpinnirfToils, by Grand Haven author Tricia McDonald. Sally is a toad licking, garden-rake loving, miniature bull terrier with a canine brother named Ell and obsessive compulsive disorder tendencies. McDonald chronicles her often-humorous adventures In these two quick reads. But~ th~ more: Parents who have ever had to coerce a squirming child onto

Santa's lap for a holiday photo may get a kick out of Sally's visit to the jolly old elf in the "Ho Ho Sally"chapter in Still Spinnin'Toils. Fetch it: Available at local pet stores and book stores as well as at

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PAWS FOR A MOMENT Doggie Relaxation

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Canine Massage LLC, says massage can sooth pre- and post-operative stress,. improve circulation, relax animals who take part in competitive events and calm an anxious dog.

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But wcrit, tflcom more: Eshenaur is a member of the International Association of Animal Massage and Bodywork. She's offering a coupon to Dogs Unleashed readers for a 30-minute massage for $25.

Fetr:hlt: For more Information or to schedule an appointment, contact Eshenaur at or call her at (616) 402-3837.

THE OTHER THING WE UVE FOR Snack Time What it Is: Organic doggie snacks from Ebby's Pet Bakery. Made in Muskegon with Michigan honey, free-range eggs and other natural ingredients, but no chemicals or preservatives. Choose from a variety of cookies as well as carob or apple cinnamon bonbons, and treats In the shape of frogs and chickens.

But wcrit, tflcom more: Some products, like the Oatmeal Owls, are specifically created for dogs with allergies to wheat. For the holidays, Ebby's is also offering leaping reindeer, dancing snowmen and Christmas tree cookies.

Fetr:hlt: Available at Must Love Dogs Boutique and Spa In Grand Haven.

YOU'LL WANT TO SIT FOR THIS A Novel Idea What It Is: Dog 281,a novel about a woman who is thrown into the unscrupulous world of dog theft and animal research after her dogs are stolen. Her determination to rescue them gives her courage, and when she opens herself to new ways to help animals, she also finds herself opening her heart. But walt, them m01'8: Author Janet Vormlttag of Grandville, editor and owner of Cats & Dogs magazine, Is writing from experience. Dog287 was Inspired by her sister's black Labrador retriever, Frasier, who disappeared from Montcalm County in 2001 and never returned.The book is dedicated to him.

Fetr:hlt: Dog 28 J is available at bookstores and pet stores throughout West Michigan as well as at and

TO HAVE YOUR PRODUCT FEATURED IN Send us a professional product shot of your featured item along with a description to be written in our FETCHI format to the email address below. Photo should be at least 300 ppi with the smallest full-size dimension at least 2 Inches. Do not use software to Increase the resolution. Save In JPEG format. Send to:

OOGSUnlellbed • 7

CONTRIBUTORS ~thanksto~flnedog-fown·~o Patll EddlngiDn (Fetchl p. 6) is a freelance journalist who is married to Dr. James Moore, owner of Harborfront Hospital for Animals in Spring Lake. She owns a ridiculously needy, but lovable greyhound named Gabbana Huffington, and writes a blog about her life: "Don't Look in The Freezer, the Life and (Sometimes Strange) limes of a Veterinarian's Wife." Her blog can be found at

Ginny Mlldta (Good Grtet, p. 20) is a certified candidate for ordination In 1he United Methodist Church and for the past two years has served as Night Chaplain at Spectrum HeatthButterworth. Ginny is a 1991 graduate of Nob"e Dame Law School and was honored to be named by Michigan Lawyer's Weekly as one of Michigan's Top Ten Lawyers in 1998 for her work in the animal protection field. Ginny and her husband, Bob Kruse, have their own law practice, the Mikita Kruse Law Center. They have two school-aged children and one black lab/beagle rescue named Kadie. Mall Nemacek (The Tall End, p. 34) is an art student at Grand Valley State University who creates whimsical pet portraits in his spare time. His digital creations can be found on his Facebook page, PetPortrattsGR. Contact Matt or schedule an artistic rendition of your pet at petportraits.grOgmail.corn

Wendr SWift, DVM, (Ask Dr. Swift, p. 9) Is Associate Veter1nar1an at Ottawa Animal Hospital and Surgeon for C-SNIP at West Michigan Spay Neuter Clinic. Contact Dr. Swift at

Shane Tbellna~, DVM, (Holiday pet dangers, p. 18) recently opened Modem Health Veterinary Hospital in Grand Rapids with his wife, Nikki, who also is a veterinarian. The Thellmans have a son, Clayton, as well fiVe cats, two dogs, a tortoise and an iguana. Contact Dr. lhellman at

Jennn.. Walars (Pet holiday gntetlng cards, p. 14)

Is a professional pet photographer at Grumpy Pups Pet Photography. She also Is a freelance writer and volunteer photographer at Harbor Humane Society. She credits her three boxers - the original "grumpy pups~ -for her love of working with animals. View her work at or email her at

Dtcla Woolfenden (Doggy Destination, p. 22) is a

Unda Odette (Pet Store Santas. p. 26) is a freelance

Michigan native living and working in Boca Raton, Fla. She writes about food, gardening, and craft beer for the New limes and is researching and writing a nonfiction book about wild birds. Though she's a devoted "cat lady,• she loves all animals and hopes to one day welcome a golden retriever Into her family. Contact Trtcla at

writer and fan of Johnny Cash and the Detroit Tigers. She is a former newspaper features editor and writer based in Grand Rapids. Unda and her husband, photographer Dave Odette, are proud owners of a rat terrier, Otis. Contact Unda at


LaAnn Sacord (Wortdng Uke a Dog, p. 10) is a professional fund raiser for the Pilgrim Manor Foundation, sustalnablllty grant researcher for Chase Park Grants, and a freelance wrtter for Women's Ufestyle Magazine. An asplr1ng guitarist and comic book enthusiast, LaAnn also volunteers for West Michigan Therapy Dogs with her golden retriever, Koda. Contact LeAnn at blanklsecord25@gmail.corn.

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Muskegon Chronicle. Email her at

Brad Uhl has decades of experience in a variety of specialty publications, including

from the Puppy Alii page 31


Mary Ullmer Is a former manager, editor, reporter and blogger who previously worked for the Grand Rapids Press, Chicago Tribune, Souttl Florida SunSentinel, Springfield News-Leader and




management, sales, marketing, printing and distribution. He most recently was a manager in the Grand Rapids Press advertising department. Email him at

Art Dlraclllr Tom Dodson is a former art director from Dallas, Texas. He is an experienced

graphic artist, accomplished commercial photographer and lecturer, and owned a successful ad agency in Fort Worth. His work has bBBn appreciated wortd-wide. Email him at


Dr. swift,

Ask l)r. Swift

I would like to give my niece a puppy for Christmas, as she loves spending time with my dog. Is this a good idea?

• Dr. B • S a~s

~t As pet parents, we all

TAT-1 :i~




unconditumallove that our pets provide. gifts • may not be the answer, especially during the holiday season. Friends and family may enjoy visiting with our pets, but they may not want the responsibility of having a pet themselves, and here is why: Pets are a long-tenn commitment. The average dog and cat will live to be older than u. A family has to be ready and willing to accept a pet into their home. Pets cannot be an impulse buy! The ASPCA. estimates the annual cost to care for a mediumsized dog is more than SI,500. Costs to consider include food, veterinary care, toys and training classes. Owners must take part in choosing their pet. Some people do not mind, and even enjoy, grooming their pet, but others would never want a long-haired pet or one that needs to be taken to the groomer. Other owners may want an active dog in their home, while some may want a couch potato. Children take part in caring for family pets, but parents are the main caregivers. The adults in the home must buy food and pet supplies and schedule trips to the vet:erin.arian. Giving a pet as a gift to a child must include communicating with the adults in the home, or it may lead to a broken heart if a pet cannot be kept long term. The holiday season, which extends from Thanksgiving through New Year's, is not the best time to add a new family •

member. Most people travel during this time and cannot spend the amount of time necessary to acclimate a new pet to their home. Dogs and cats are not the only type of pet available. "Pocket Pets,. that live in a cage or aquarium may be a better option for the family looking for a new family member. H you are still set on purchasing a pet for your niece for Christmas, consider a gift certificate for adoption at a local animal shelter. Gift certificates allow for families to pick which pet will £it into their li£C$tyle and will help find a forever home for a homeless pet. In addition, you could volun~ or foster at a local animal shelter with your niece so she can have wonderful experiences with animals if the time is not right for her family to own a pet. ...

Happy an imals. A better environment. Products made from green & recycled materials.

Yllendy Swift, DVM, is an Associate Veterinarian at Ottawa Animal Hospital and SU!geOfl for 0-SN/P

at !Nest Michigan Spay Neuter Clinic.

Submit ..-Hons to Ask Dr. Swift at

Shop: Fetch us: Twitter, FB & Etsy: A porfion of our proceed~ & produc~ are donafed

fo we(( being cau~e~.

3lk up to the stone and wrought iron gate of the picturesque Irish Rose Alpaca Farm in Ada, Mich., and not only will you be greeted by the view of the 17o-year-old Irish Rose Manor, but also by a barn full of alpacas, any number of Great Pyrenees and the lone alpha dog, a ParsonJack Russell terrier. t(!)'l

The Manor-its name was retained from the previous owners-is a stunning, multilevel, five-bedroom home fronted by rose bushes that sits on eight acres. It's home to Lori Anderson, her husband, John Byrne, and their 10 Great Pyrenees, 5 cats, 24 alpacas and the Jack Russell.

The couple didn't always have such an assortment. Their family dog had passed away; and Byrne and Anderson were looking to add a new family member. They discovered the Great Pyrenees, a large, white guardian breed, while at the Golden Gate bench show in California. They found a breeder in Michigan and, soon, puppies Lulu and Pooh-Bear joined their fold But when the couple realized their dream of starting an alpaca farm two years ago, they also realized they would need livestock guardians. Lulu and Pooh-Bear, despite their instincts, were house dogs. Soon, Byrne and Anderson added working dogs BonBon and Kopy. At, it turned out, BonBon was pregnant (not even her vet was aware of the "silent" heat period). Byrne and Anderson were on their way to building their own herd of xo Great Pyrenees, a preferred guardian breed for alpacas. Things fell into place for Byrne and Anderson, creat:.in8 a happy balance of having their dogs and building a successfUl alpaca farm. "Things just reallyworh:d out perfectly," Anderson said

GlURDUNS OPTHBHBRD Great Pyrenees are not herders, nor are they guard dogs. They are a guardian

breed. Where guard dogs tend to be aggressive, guardians function on the defensive. "'The Great Pyrenees will exhibit the

least amount of force to deter an intruder as possible," Anderson said. "Our dogs will do perimeter checks and randomly bark, alerting any potential intruders to their presence. Ifan intrusion is detected, then they will check. it out. But they start with the least effort and proceed as the situation requires."

These guardians are the gentle giants of the canine world. wrhey are so great and gentle with small animals," Anderson said. "Titey arc so wonderful with the cats and even acknowledge Tucker (the Jack Russell) as the alpha dog. They approach smaller animals with cwiosity and gentility." Presently, only BonBon and Kopy live with and keep watch over the z4 alpacas. The other eight Great Pyrenees live in the home. None of the couple's Great Pyrenees, Anderson said, ha:ve any formal training and instead rely on their instincts when it comes to watchin8 over the property and the alpacas. BonBon and Kopy even developed their own system: There is an understanding that Kopy handles the ni&ht shift and BonBon, the day shift. They are great problem solvers and work well togethe& "There was a mouse in the female alpacas' bam. BonBon and Kopy worked together to ÂŁtush the mouse out from its hiding place among some cinder blocks," Anderson said. "One of





them made noises at one end to encourage the mouse to head out in the direction where the other dog was waiting. It was incredible to watch them problem-solve and work together like that." BonBon and Kopy help prevent intruders from getting near the alpacas. Particularly troublesome are deer, which are host to the meningeal worm that can be deadly to alpacas. In addition to this essential dut:J; the dogs assist in orienting the alpacas to interactions with people.

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"'The alpacas will tend to watch us interact with the dogs, and come to realize that those behaviors are natural and OK. For example, they observe us brushing the dogs and the alpacas then learn that it is OK for us to brush

them," Anderson said. "Kopy also serves as the 'copulation police.' Alpacas live to breed." "We needed to ha:ve a double fence with a 'dead zone' between the boy and girl pens. But we don't ne00 that anymore with Kopy around," Anderson said, langhing.

THBHBRD The alpacas themselves are surprisingly very low maintenance. They are sheered once a year to harvest their fiber, which is considered a luxury fiber because it is hypoallergenic, soft, warm, silky and colorful. Their fiber often covers the cost of their care and then some. Alpacas are increasing in popularity; and not just because of their valuable fiber. In terms of sanctioned animal shows, alpaca shows are the third-most popular behind dog shows and horse shows. These shows include judging of the alpaca B.eece's springiness and micron count in addition to the traditional judged traits of training and handling.

Anderson sells her alpaca fiber and is hopeful of becoming an alpaca breeder. The domestic alpaca business has grown in the past several years in the United States. There even is a formal alpaca registry to ensure breed purity and standards are met. Byrne and Anderson didn't always plan to be alpaca farmers. They met while both were wofkin8 in the medical field, Anderson as a medical data analyst and Byrne as an anesthesiologist and an aecutive, in San Francisco. When he was being recruited from Califomia for a position in Grand Rapids, Byrne was being shown around West Michlgan and was introduced to a physician who happened to own an alpaca farm. The experience stuck with Byrne and Anderson, who moved to West Michigan 10 years ago. They ended up purchasing their first alpacas from that same physician Byrne had met on his initial visit to Grand Rapids. Byrne continues workms in his field, for Spe<:trum Health, while Anderson tends to the farm fiJl1 time. "None of this was planned, but it all

fits great together," Anderson said, gesturing toward her surroundings. "I love my dogs and just can't understand people who do not bond with their animals. H you bond with 'working1 dogs, they still do their job ... often happier." The Great Pyrenees at Irish Rose Alpaca Farm certainly earn their keep. But theyre also handsomely rewarded, from the affection Anderson shows them to the vast property on which they roam to the meaty treats they get on a nightly basis. And while these dogs work to earn their keep, Anderson is ri&ht akmgside them. Raising the alpacas and the dogs is a labor oflove for her, which is evident just by watching her interact with her animals. She runs around the yard with the dogs, and knows all2.4 alpacas by name. Like any person who is passionate about somethiDg, Anderson loves to show them of£ She welcomes visitors. "Come visit!" she says. "I love sharing our animals and their stories!" ...

• aun1que gift for pet ICMHS all 816.322.5581 to IIChadule an •ppolntment

TilE GAME GOES SOMETIIING LlXB TillS: I tab a sum of money-funds that

surely would have been better spent on a day at the spa-and instead spend it on stiff, formal holiday outfits made in a special factory with only the itchiest tag material. I ask my kids to wear these clothes exactly once, and while doing so, stand arm-in-arm. in front of the Christmas tree, smiling in a wq that demonstrates how much love and joy they have for each other and the holiday season. To win this game, I must capture that joyous moment-that brief visual summation of all the wonderful things that have happened to us in the past year-as a photo that can be whisked off to Costco's print center in time to get my holiday photo cards on the last mail truck out of town before Santa takes over deliveries for the night. I never win this game. .My kids, of course, are not on my team. They've won "Kill the Christmas Spirit" three years in a row, using smart defensive strategies such as the "Grit and Grin," "I Hate Standing So Close to You" and, my personal weakness, the "Bunny Ears Axe Hilarious!• sneak play. Last year, to keep my memory card from fi11in8 up and my blood pressure from shooting up, I decided on a trick play of my own. Friends and family opened their envelopes to find a photo of two doe--eyed and excessively jowly Boxers sittins calmly in front of the same Christmas tree where my kids should have been. My dogs, loyal teammates that they are, helped me create one ofthe most memorable- and adonble- holiday cards of the year. Sure, some people wondered out loud if I still had children, but if the point of a holiday card is to send a smile and a wish for a happy seasOftt what better way to do that than with a humorous or sentimental photo of the furry four-legger you love?

Admittedly; as a professional pet photographer, capturing my canines was easier fo.r me than working with my own

kids. The great thing about toc:JaYs digital cameras and photo card services is that you no longer need to be a professional to get that print-worthy shot. With a little planning and these top tips, photographing your own pets can be a fun way to get the whole pack into the holiday spirit.

photo shoot. Capture your pet playing with a stockiDg-shaped toy or laying on a holiday pillow as a simple way to add a festive touch. I£ your heart is set on dressing Brutus in a full Santa suit and beard-but you know he's not havins it-wrap a oozy scarf around his neck. hang a snowBake ornament from his collar or opt for a festive bandana instead. Remember that not all props have to involve your dog. A large sprig of mistletoe (fake-the real mistletoe is poisonous to dogs) hung over a furry face is sure to get a smile.

Yes, your Maltese Yorkie Poo is oh-soadorable in his gingerbread man costume, but the jumbled mass of shoes and school backpacks in the background makes him look more like an afterschool snack than a lwbi.nge.r of holiday cheer. CleariDg the clutter from your background will elevate your photo to print-worthy status and more effectively convey the simple joys of the season.

Before recruiting your pet stau; spend a little time visualizing the photo you want and getting everything in place. Prep the background, familiarize your dog with any props and be sure to have a stash of treats and toys nearby as rewards. Prior to positioJliDs your dog, take a few test shots to make sure you get the angle and e3pOS1UC you want. Limiting the amount of time your pet has to "pose" will help make sure you both enjoy the process!

Ifyou find your dog is less than thrilled to be harnessed to a sled and seven other tiny n:indeer, consider less complicated props that convey the holiday mes~. A large gift-wrapped box with a towel or piJlow inside is a great way to keep puppies and smaU dogs comfy and stationary fo.r your

Lots of light. Your camera needs light to make an exposure. In a dusky room, the shutter has to stay open longer to soak up as much light as it can, resulting in animal blur ifyour pet isn't sitting perfectly still Open the curtains, tum on all the lights, and bring in extra lamps o.r candles to make sure your camera snaps fast enough to give you a sharp, well-exposed photo. Bonus: I£ you bring in enough extra light, you can skip the Sash, which startles some dogs and can cause glowing green eyes in others.

I hear this all the time as a photographer: "My dog is camera shy!" Irs true, many dogs don't like having a large black object with a giant eye placed in between your loving face and theirs. Ifyour pet looks the other way as soon

DOGsunleashad •


as the camera comes out, spend some time letting her sniff it, rewarding her with treats, toys and attention for getting close to it. Let her hear the click of the shutter while you play or pet her, rewarding her amply for her cooperation. If your camera has an LCD screen on the back, use this instead of the viewfinder so that you can continue to make reassuring eye contact with your pet while framing the shot.

IFYOURDOGSIMPLY ISN'T IN A FESTIVE MOOD, TAKE A BREAK. AND1RY AGAIN LATER Once the photo shoot is under way, use squeaky toys, whistles and crinkly, empty water bottles to get your dog's attention. Calling her name will only prompt her to come running to you, while fun and unexpected sounds often result in an adorable head cock and upright ears. If your dog simply isn't in a festive mood, take a break and try again later. Remember, the best prop is a happy smile, perky ears and bright attentive eyes. A dog with pinned back ears,

stress panting and tail between his legs says "Help! Help! Help!" more than "Ho! Ho! Ho!"

â&#x20AC;˘ Once you've got that winning photo, there are almost too many options to choose from when it comes to designing a card and getting it printed. To help you narrow it down, see the info box following this story for the top holiday photo card services available, depending on how much time and budget you have to spare. If playing your own pet photographer and card designer adds too much stress to the holiday season, take a look at some of the professional photography studios in your area. Many photographers will offer holiday photo cards as part of a regular family session or mini holiday package and pets are usually welcome. There also are many Santa Paws events taking place, where you can get your pet's photo taken with Santa. These can be a fun and simple way to spread the holiday cheer--or an off-center, flashbombed disaster, depending on the

expertise of the photographer. Call around before you go and ask about the photographer's qualifications. If you like the photo, ask the Santa Paws photographer for extra copies or rights to print more. There may be an extra fee involved, but it often goes to a good cause such as local animal shelters or food pantries. If you've really pushed the limit and simply don't have time to get your cards done, or you don't want the environmental baggage of all those mailed cards, there is now an app for that. According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 500 million e-cards are sent worldwide each year. Try Sincerely Ink ( to send e-cards directly from your iPhone, iPad or Android. Or, consider purchasing ready-made cards that benefit a non-profit animal group. The American Humane Association offers a nice selection ( that not only will carry your furry message of joy, peace and love to your mailing list, but also will make you feel good about giving back to animals in need. ~



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Now that you ----~~ ~ have that perfect puppy picture... l

Tiny Prints: Tiny Prints ( offers stunning designs that can't be beat, an easy-to-use site and full-service mailing options. You'll pay a little more, but the quality will show. Sister company Shutterfly ( is another reliable and friendly service, but with fewer designs to pick from and a slighliy lower price per card (on average).

Mplxr This consumer version of a professional photography print service offers stunning, modem designs and options such as flat, folded or round cards. Prices and quality are comparable to Tiny Prints, with an emphasis on great papers and coatings 1hat make your photo pop. ( Minted: The fun side of minted is their selection of dogspecific holiday card designs ( They also offer special shapes, custom colors, swanky lined envelopes and a selection of paper

upgrades. These options come at a price, but the opportunity to wish "Fleas Navidog" to friends and family may be priceless 1osome. Simply to Impress: This vendor understands that pets are family. Their selection of pet-specific photo cards ( isn't winning many design awards, but they convey your dog-loving vibe at about half the price of the previous printers. Photo Cards Direct= Dog design templates, affordable prices and a free e-a~.rd are among the reasons someone might choose to go with Photo cards Direct ( Watch for shipping specials 1hat can help you save on the total cost. Costcor When you're out of time and out of money, Costco

is the place 1D go. There are no dog-centered designs here, but you can tum your card into a free 12-month calendar and pick: up your order the next day at the nearest Costco. Usually you get what you pay for, but the quality of the Costco card belies the affordable price.

"''h the season" foruaique cJaqers to our clop and many phone calls from c:ouc:era.ed OWII.ei'S. For those of us with short attention spans, I offer the most important advice first: IÂŁyou feel that your dog has ingested something toxic, before loading him up and driving across town to the nearest emergency veterinary office, call ASPCA Poison Control Center (888-..f-26-4435}. The call will cost S;; per call, but the center has the latest information on

three episodes), requiriDg prompt hospital care to replace lost fluids and dectrolytes. Larger dogs often have more excessive vomiting (more than six episodes), leading to critical complications including bloat or gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV}. Bloat, a painful condition of excessive air filling the stomach, potentially causes the stomach to twist on itself leading to GDV and a surgical emergency.

attention to the type (milk chocolate, semi-sweet, etc.) and ounces consumed. Whenever possible, grab the ingredients labd; There are formulas a veterinarian can use to predict the severity of to%ic reactions based on the weight of your dog and amount and type of chocolate ingested. Grapes and raisins are a lesser known toxin, but can be deadly to our dogs if eaten. The toxic component has yet to be identified and it is unclear if a single

wrapped up in eeJleblratiQjts veteriJtUI'riiaD, however, the holiday SellliOA typical family catheriags. " ILVI..Ji c..

toxins and treatment. The staffwill guide you in the next step and provide a case number should a veterinarian need to follow up for consultation. Of course, it would be best to take the prophylactic route and keep toxins away from our curious four-legged friends. Unfortunately. toxins not only are found in inconspicuous areas of the house, but typically aren't harmful to humans and therefore not obvious as dangers to our pets. 'While the most common toxins usually are ingested (versus contacted by touch}, every dog is affected differently. Smaller dogs, fo.r example, have a tendency to become dehydrated easily with only mild vomitiDg (two or

So what are these holiday tmins to be aware of?

dose or cumulative ingestion over time is problematic. In fact, some dogs routinely snack on grapes or raisins for life without a reaction, whereas others DEADLY SWEETS msest a handful ofgrapes or raisins and The most obvious, chocolate, has a become critically ill reputation for deadly to dogs. 'lbxic doses result in acute kidney Two to%ic components, theobromine failure with fatalities reported in 50 to and caffeine, are responsible for makins 7S percent of reported cases. Symptoms your best friend sick. However, these include vomitiDg, diarrhea, and either components vary in amount with the increased urination or complete loss of type of chocolate. In general, the less urination. All dogs should be treated sweet the chocolate, the more toxic it aggressively. even if they appear to be is. For example, unsweetened baking doing just fine. chocolate is seven times more toxic than It may take up to 24 hours before you notice kidney disease and by that time, milk chocolate! The toxic components of chocolate ingestion cause central the damage can be irreversible. So pay nervous system (CNS) stimulation, close attention to your dog at holiday increased heart rate (tachycardia), parties; Do not allow visitors to feed tremors (possibly seizures) and table scraps to your begging pooch! heart arrhythmias. Xylitol, a sugar substitute, is a newer IÂŁyour dog has ingested to%in worth talking about. Most sugarchocolate, pay close free gum contains xylitol, and it only


takes one or two pieces of gum ingestion to cause severe effects. Xylitol causes a profound drop in blood sugar by triggering a burst of insulin release from the pancreas. This drop in blood sugar results in weakness, collapse, even comas or seizures. Prompt care from a veterinarian is essential for blood sugar stabilization. Carefully consider where your guests place their purses and jackets as many of us are carrying a little stash of sugarfree gum with us.

AROUND THE HOUSE As we clean and prepare our homes

~-visitors, pay close attention to the r.~ment of those yummy smelling liqm<i potpourri containers. It may smell like p!~pkin pie to you and your dog, b. ut the e~tial oils in liquid potpourri contain de ents that cause severe burns to the ~re digestive syjlem (mouth, esopluigD?, stomad~d intestines) if ingesf'e d;.. .if.--. Unfortunately, vomitiygthis toxin only makes the symptom~orse. Some dogs even react to liquid potpourri when it comes into contact with their skin, suffering from intense pain, swelling or edema, and ulceration. Toxic plants are common in the home over the holidays, with poinsettias and mistletoe as the most prominent. Poinsettia stems, leaves and sap all contain toxic components. If ingested, the main symptoms are due to severe gastric (mouth, esophagus, and stomach) irritation and include vomiting, pawing at the mouth, retching and diarrhea. The poinsettia has had a reputation of being very toxic to dogs; however research has failed to show the actual lethal toxic dose to pets. Mistletoe's reputation has solid foundation as a holiday toxin, however. The entire plant (Viscum album), including the berries, is toxic. Within two hours of ingestion, your dog may suffer from severe vomiting. In the case of a large toxic dose, mistletoe can cause a drop in body lemperalure (hypolhermia), slowed

heart rate (bradycardia), stumbling (ataxia) and

possibly seizures. Even small amounts of ingestion will lead to diarrhea. There are many more toxic plants within the house that can cause problems if eaten. If you suspect your dog has eaten a toxic plant, even if he currently is not acting "strange," call your veterinarian for advice and treatment. Aside from toxins, another issue worth mentioning is foreign body ingestion. Who hasn't strung popcorn together using dental floss or fishing line to dress the tree? String, dental floss, tinsel, ribbons, bows and any other linear objects cause havoc within the gastrointestinal tract by bunching up the intestines and actually causing an obstruction. Most often surgery is required to remove this "foreign object." Bones, whether designed for dogs (such as rawhides) or bones in leftover foods, should be avoided as they, too, can lead to intestinal blockages that may require su~cal removal. ~:' Signs of 3.1! Pltestinal blockage may occur wi~In hours or days, depending on the' type of foreign body and location of obstruction. Vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia (not eating), stomach noise and general abdominal pain are possible symptoms of an intestinal blockage. Lastly, it is commonplace to give our loved ones a piece of the holiday spirit by offering special treats including table food. On the surface, I can see how a little table food would not seem like such a big deal, but there may be certain conditions that your guests may not know. Make sure you inform everyone who is visiting if you have a dog with predisposition to pancreatitis, diabetes or allergies, or have a dog on a strict diet. Consider giving your guests pre-approved treats for your dog! a-c

Mistletoe's bad reputation has solid foundation as a holiday toxin. The entire plant, including the benies, is toxic.



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Grooming starts at $15 Nail Trims $5





4445 #B Breton Rd SE

(behind Horrocks Market)

"It's so CUf'Wus: Ont ctm roist tears and 1Jehave'very wellin the hardest hours of grief But then someone makesyou afriendly sign behinda window, or one notices that aflower that was in !Judonly yesterday has suddtnly /Jbmomed, or a letter slipsfrom a t!Mwer... andeverything collapses. - SUhmt-Ga!Jrielle Colette

Memories ofyourpet may he 8':.eatest gift Ofall ~ ell-intentioned friends ezclaim,

"Happy holidays!" Andy illiams repeatedly c.roo.ns ~ reWl sound systems, "It's the Most Wonderful Tune of the Year., For those whose companion animals have died and will not be home for the holidays, it can, instead, be one of the most painful times of the year.

Whether it's the first holiday season without your beloved companion animal or the season has come and gone times since your pet's death, holidays can be particularly difficult. This year, consider giving yourself a gift. Gift yourself with pennission, quiet time and sacred space. Allow yourself to remember your companion animal and be fully present without judgment to all the emotions such remembering evokes: sadness and tears, anger and pangs ofguilt, joy and laughter. Here are just a few"gift" ideas:

Light a candle Th:at yourself to a beautiful candle. F'md a meaningful place in your home to place it during the seaso~ perhaps next to a favorite

20 â&#x20AC;˘ DOGSUnleashad

photograph of your pet. Set aside daily time-even 5 or 10 minu.tes-to light it, allowing yourself to be enveloped by its warmth. Reflect upon your time togethe~; focusing on your gratitude for and the lessons learned from your companions life being part of your journey.

Have a heartfelt talk During your candlelit moments, ifthe spirit moves you, have a conversation. Out loud. Or journal Share with your companion animal whatever is on your mind. You may have~ bottled up inside that have never been spoken. Perhaps the circumstances ofyour pet's death continue to haunt you. Perhaps you're considering or struggling with adopting another animal. Perhaps the loss triggers unresolved grief from earlrer losses. ~t those fee.1in&s out.

Share yourpet~ items Items that belonged to your pet-a toy with which she played, a blanket in which she smJ88fcd, clothing with her scent, are often all that's physically left behind and can be very difficult to part with. Ifyou're ~ the giving season may be the right time to share some or all of them.

Make a dedication Volunteer your service or mah a donation to a shelter or other animal-related organization in your pet's name.

Create a scrapbook Ifyou haven't already done so, create a scrapbook or 611 a bo::r. with favorite photos, wri~ and other memorabilia that remind you of your pet.

VISit a specialplace Visit a place-a dog pad:, a walking trail-that was special for you and your pet. Gently care for the space while there. You may want to leave something behind as a tribute, a flower or a favorite treat for the lucky animal who happens upon it first.

Attenda Blue Christmas Service Many Christian ch.utthes, especially in 'West Mic:Wgan, now have special services in early December designed especially for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

Continue to live and love While grieving plays an important role in healin& our pets, I believe, would want us to continue living and loving. Decorate your home. Han& your pet's stocking and 611 it with items to be given to a shelter or other animal-related organization. Most importantly, surround yourself with the love of others-other companion animals and people who respect your love for and loss ofyour pet. . . .

We Need Your Help! • • •• • •

• • • •

• • • • •

• • • • • • •

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• •

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Adopt Join us at our Holiday Adoption Event on December 1 from 10:30 am - 4 pm:




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Provide temporary shelter and care to an animal recovering from illness, injury, abuse or mothers nursing a litter until they can find their forever home. I

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Donate • Chech out our wish list on: • HSWM is 100°,.0 donor funded - we don't receive any funding from the government or national animal welfare organizations.



3077 Wilson Dr

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NW, Crand Rapids, Ml 49534

616-453-8900 .;:. Special thanks to our ad sponsor:

VC4:;l Animal




Doggy Destination: South Florida







South Florida-the all-encompassing term used. to refer to the three counties

on the state•s southeastern coast-is a highly developed. populous region with an international flair. From ritzy Palm Beach, south to playful Fort Lauderdale. and on to the always-hip Miami, there's much to do in this region. With a bit of planning and some insider info. you and your fourlegged travel companion can grab a slice of the real South Florida life. Fort Lauderdale: The Ideal Rome Base

Fort Lauderdale. that old spring break standby of yore, is an ideal home base for a weeklong sojourn to SoFia. The beachside city is centrally located in the re&ion- It has tons ofbars, restaurants, shopping and easy access to the major highways a-95 and the Florida Turnpike) you'll use throughout the week. The city's international airport boasts numerous inexpensive direct flishts from Michigan, and causes fewer headaches than Miami's bustling hub. .Afte.r settling into your room at a dogfriendly hotel, it's time to Many of South Florida's hit the reata1nnta feature dog-friendly beach. outdoor eating areas. Fort Lauderdale is home to plenty of wellheeled. residents and trendy ni&htspots, but it is overwhelmingly a playful city. The beaches are perfect for active types and offer excellent views of the Atlantic Ocean. While Fido isn't welcome in the surfitself (except in designated areas, like Canine Beach; see sidebar), the wide walking path along AlA in Fort Lauderdale is the perfect place for a morning or evening stroll. Ifyou and your pup have energy to bum o~ grab the leash and head inland to Snyder Park. There you'll find the

celebrity favorite. In fact, there's a good Bark. Park with multiple fenced-in areas catering to dogs of all sizes. ABility chance you and your dog will be able to courses allow for more focused play. If do some star spotting while you stroll you-ve got any misgivings about setting the wide multi-use paved path along Miami Beach. Spot loose in the ocean waves, try the The Lincoln Road Mall deserves at park's East Lake dog swim area for a salt-water-free splash. least a few hours ofyour time. The Post-park cleanup, it's time to think pedestrian area offers a mosdy car-free about dinne.t. Thanks to famously balmy stroll with access to dozens of shops, restaurants and bars, many of which will temps and year-round sun. outdoor dining is de rigueur in South Florida. happily accommodate a leashed. dog. Many restaurants with patios, sidewalk Palm Beach CoUDty: seating or decks will accommodate a lla.cJuJgenc:e ForYou Both well-behaved dog. but it always pays to call ahead and confirm. For a sure-fire welcoming, head straight to Coconuts, where the motto is "Be Nice." This casual waterside joint is in the thick of tourist territory, but rest assured, it's a locals' favorite, too. Get a table on the deck where you and the pup can look. out over the Intracoastal Waterway as you chow down on conch fritters or other local Onblonde Pet Spa Is a high-end pet favorites like mahi mahi tacos and boutique In Palm Beach County. jambalaya. Photo courtesy Onblonde Pet Spa. Miami• The Must-Do Day'l'lip

After you and your dog have checked out all of the pedestrian-friendly areas of Fort Lauderdale's hip Las Olas and Riverwalk. districts, it's time to branch out with a day trip to the hip gemstone of South Florida: Miami. Revitalized and re-imagined. since its days as a bullet-riddled cocaine war zone in the 1970s and 198os, Miami is in the midst of a cultural renaissance. With its pseudo-futuristic skyline as the backdrop, the city has nurtured an explosion of innovative art, fashion. and cuisine. Ifmusewns and art galleries are your want, it would pay to book a boartfin& session for your pooch. But there's no reason you can't bring him along for a da:y of outdoor exploration. A self-guided walking tour of the Miami Art Deco District in South Beach will give you a closeup of the Miami brought to you by movies and TV shows. The building&-the color of Pepto-Bismol and Easter candy-are a well-preserved relic of the glamorous old town that attracted stars likeJerry Lewis and Elizabeth Taylor in their day. But make no mistake; Miami remains a

Fort Lauderdale and Miami are no strangers to wealth and the luxurious life. But when you and your pooch are ready for some serious pampering, it's time to head north to Palm Beach County, home to moneyed cities like Boca Raton and Palm Beach Island. One popular spot for dog lovers and their en:eptionallywell-cared-for fur babies is Mizner Park in Boca Raton. The palm-tree-lined promenade/ outdoor mall is filled. with an array of restaurants, bars and specialty shops and it serves as the city's de facto downtown. Most any restaurant or cafe with outdoor seatiDgwill allow you and your parched. pooch to stop for a bite. but the Dubliner in particular rolls out the doggy~kome mat. Owned by a fiercely devoted dog lover, this rowdy Irish pub opens daily for happy hour and dinner and is situated. neD: to the equally lively and dog-friendly patio of Kapow! Noodle Bar. For a look. at how the other halflive, drive a bit north and visit Onblonde Pet Spa, a high-end specialty boutique in the heart of an upscale neighborhood. DOGSUnlaashed • 23

Onblonde owner Michael Martin said he and his wife designed the space for customers who '<want the best for their dogs." With its clean aesthetics and noticeable absence of '<wet dol( smell, the spa has been mistaken for a human salon on more than one occasion, Martin said. In addition to rare and imported products, the shop has an on-site doggy spa with products catered to each individual breed's coat. Martin, a Missouri native has an active family that includes four dogs (three rescues and one adoptee that came by way of a client), two cows, a few pigs, goats and rabbits. The mini menagerie makes its home on the :Martins' nearby J.S-acre farm, which also serves as a boarding facility for Onblonde clients. Converted stables act as climatecontrolled temporary housing for visiting pups, who get to spend their days running and playing in the grass. The store's dog concierge/boarding services allow lo~ and travelers a safe option for doggy supervision while the humans explore local sights. Once you've rinsed the salt water and sand out of her fur, pick up yoW' pup and head south to West Palm Beach for a dinner at Darbster. The casual waterside bistro-named for the owners' rescue poodle, Darby-is animal friendly in every sense of the term. Their all-vegan menu supports the Darbster Foundation, which, in tum participates in local animal welfare programs. Of course, dogs are welcomed with open ann.s on the restaurant's spacious deck and semienclosed dining room. In fact, don't be surprised ifYOW' friendly waitress brings out a bowl of ice water and a few cookies for your pooch before she even takes your drink order. The laid-back. restaurant has a neighborhood appeal, and with a breeze coming off the West Palm Beach Canal, it's an ideal spot for you and your pup to chill after a week of exploring what South Florida has to offer.,_.

IUIOW BEfORE YOU GO . _...r: Summer~r summerlike heat and humidly-can last from mid-April

thraugh mi~NtMmber and beyond. This rule applies anywhere in the cauntry, but it bears repeating: Don't leave your dog in the mr, Mn for a faw minutes. RagardiiSS of the time af year, the sun is more intense than what you and your dag are aa:ustomad fD and it mn heat the interier of a mr to 120 dagraas in a faw short minutes. In summ• and summerlika menths, kaap walks and eutd11r adivitias limited to mamings and lata in the IYIIing. Den't have a micrachip for your dog? Yeu may want fD reca1nsidlar..• if she's prone to belting during thundersllrms. Seuth

nlflrieus for daily aftern11n summer with the rumbling of thunder. h alsa hurricane season is June 1through Pealw: Sura, fleas, ticks and top• wums are a bether in all climates. But since there's nacald saasen ta help thin theherds, fleas in particular ara a year-round concern in Florida. Aslt your vet for a prescription-strength prann1utivl treatment at least SMral walks befera ll•n,......,,..

What your fUll Is 111cauntarts the dreaded Bufo marinus. This nen-naive .......... is particularfr abundant in the summer menl.... •ms Ia ba an ill'llisible target for curious dogs who Hft'l Hcaniasa pllllltially lethal toxin. Wclwa!Mng your dag in 1118J ll lhe early mDrning ar lata in the Mning uniiSS you've gat a Rasht~ght handy to spat 'load dangm.lf your pup gats a lufD in her moutb, n1n water in the side af 1he mauth, pointing 1he animal's head down to discouragt swallowing. Call a Ylf immediately.

Legal laue.: Sad fD say, but your IDYable pit isn't welcome in some cities in Florida. Residents of Miami-Dade Caunty votad in August to uphold a carrtrovarsial ban on awneHhip of pit bulls within caunty limits. Pit bulls are, howeww, permitted in citiaslika Fort lauderdale (lroward Caunty) and Baca Raton (Palm Beam Caunty), so plan acCDrdingly. Florida stotelaw requires that all dogs (and cats) titur ..-hs and aldw ba Immunized against rallias. Getptifimll fram JDII' wl prMS your Poach is up hi dati DR his shels. '


real jolly about visiting Santa. He might have to wait in line between a poodle wearing a silly red hat and a Labrador with anders. He's expected to sit in

the lap of a big guy with a white beard, dressed in a gaudy red suit. And, a big, weird black object with a giant eye keeps £lashing bright, white light. ~are anxious ... with a strange dude, the beard and everything," says Todd Urbanski ofAda, who has been "Santa P.a:ws" for charity dog photo events for 15 years. Urbanski has played the "strange dude" for Harbor Hwnane Society, the Humane Society ofWest Michigan and Safe Haven Humane Society in Ionia.

When It comes to holiday pet photos, these Santas know the drill. ogs don't cause the trouble when it's time for their annual picture with Santa. Humans do. "It's the people that cause the problems," says Connie Farell, with her sweet little Mrs. Santa laugh. "I say to the dogs 'sit' and they sit. The kids are another story;" Farell, 75, has played Mrs. at Grand Raven's Santa House for 24 •

26 •


years, and many of the photos have featured canines. Jennifer Waters, a West Michlgan animal photographer and owner of Grumpy Pups Pet Photography, agrees with Farell's assessment. "It's actually you who are freaklns the dDg out with your anxiety," she says. Considerins the surroundinBS, it's understandable if a dog might not be

lEARNING GOOD MANNERS Owners need to realize they are bringing their dog into a social environment full of commotion when they go to get pictures with Santa. ~lot of time, they're going to walk in to where there might be a line and be overly stimulated and excited," Waters

says. It can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to zo minutes to get the perfect picture of a dog with Santa, says Urbanski. "When you come in, try to be patient

school in the WOJ'ld, says from what she has seen over the years, dogs love Santas and Santas love dogs. "Dogs know when somebody is good and a dog lover. They sense it," Valent Sll)'S. It's quite logical ifyou think about it, Valent says, since dogs "have to be friendly with him when he comes down the chimney in the middle of


'"People like to humanize their dogs a little bit," Smith says. "People just love their dogs and want to do this for them." And those dog-loving Santas treat the dogs with as much love and care as they do people. "You meet great and loving people," Urbanski says. "I just have a ball doing it. I look. forward to it every Christmas season." Farell also looks forward to the holiday event. "It's so much fun and best ofall, it

doesn't cost me a cent," she says. "It's my Christmas.• 1-C


with your pet," he says. "It's not goiDg to be miraculously eas)t" "Dogs are pretty manageable once you start talking their language," Sll}'S Dean Smith of Muskegon, who has volunteered as Santa for the Must Love Dogs boutique in Grand Haven for about 5 years and has been a "people" Santa for n years. "Listen to what your dog tells you. You've got to let them do it on their own terms." RJ. Redmond. the resident Santa at Petco in Walker, suggests preparing your pooch before meeting the big guy. "'.lly to give them some exercise before you bring them in for their photo shoot," he says. "1bat way, they are a little worn out when they get the chance for their picture."


Urbanski's own dogs gave him his favorite memory; His family includes three golden retrievers: n-year-old Ryley and 5-year-olds Skylar and Cooper. But when his wife, Jan, brought them in for a picture nne year, they were a bit hesitant, and she had to drag them over to Santa

"But once they heard my 'HO-HOHO,' they were all over me, pulling my beard and hat off," Urbanski says. Others have had memorable

experiences, too. Grand ~s Santa's House, where

Farell plays Mrs. Claus, is a small space for taking pictures. She recalled a Great Dane from last year who was so big, "only his head got in the picture." A dozen rescued greyhounds who came in for their picture---with all of them in the same shot-amazed Smith (owner of a 13-year-old boxer named Samantha). "He brought them in all at once and I was impressed how well behaved they

were." None of these Santas has ever been bitten, experienced any crazy movie-like scenes of dogs racing through a store, or had a dog leave a "pacltage" for them that was not a Christmas present. Two of them had been peed on, but it was by an excited puppy in both cases, "so you've got to give him a little slack,"

Urbanski says. Holly Valent, assistant to the dean (who just happens to be her husband, Tom) at Midland's Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School, the longest continuously running Santa Claus

Redmond remembers two very enthusiastic-and huge-German shepherd dogs coming for a photo. Two large dogs usually need to pose at Santa's feet, but that wasn't what these dogs wanted-Redmond ended up with one on each knee.






PETSiniNG. 11~· fJt/t4IJIIIJI, ~~~~~

eatl· .. (616) 633-MOI


Dogs are an important part of people's lives, and for those with no kids, they're like their children, so they dress them up for their holiday picture.





Instead of a puppy in your stocking this year, you could ask for a book about a puppy!

For children and teen-agers dog has a loving and caring home with an owner who has time and is capable of who enjoy readiag and love giving them the love and attention they dogs, there are plenty of deserve. This book is great fo.r all ages good books available. and is about a little dog's adven~ from Surely, your parents couldn't in a pet store to a happy dog to say no to getting you a book aa puppy shelter dog to a loving forever home. as a holiday gift or stocking Author Karen Roberts donates all stu.ffer! proceeds from her books to help animals Here tll"e my recommmJatirms

for your reading list:

lHE IJT11.E IUE DOG by Karen J. Roberts

in need. She has four more books coming out soon, all promoting responsible pet ownership and adoption. They are designed to teach kids of all ages about compassion for animals.

n,., Liuk

Pages: 40

Blue: Dog

Ages: All (animated) Prtce/avallable: $13 at or

1m LittkBltu Dog is based on the dog Karen Roberts adopted from a Massachusetts animal shelter. It tells the story from the perspective of Louie, the little "blue" Chihuahua. I thought this was a very creative book with fun illustrations and a great me55age. Adopt, don't shop! I completely agree with this author and think. that it is very important that every 28 â&#x20AC;˘ DOGSURieubed

IT GilLY LOOKS EASY by Pamela Swallow

bars. The bike is stolen from her at the veterinary hospital, and life isn't looking very good for Kat. Kat finds a surprising friendship with the very old woman who ran over her pooch. The all-to~human protagonist has a funny insight on life that kept me reading v this book!




by Valer1e Hobbs



Ages: 8 and up Price/available: $12.48 (hardcover), $6.99 (paperback, Kindle) at,

Pagas:192 Ages: 8 and up Prtce/avallable: $6.99 (paperback) at, Kat Randall's dog, Cheddar, gets run over by an elderly lad.Jt It's the fint day of seventh grade fo.r Kat. In a rush to see her beloved pet, she leaves school and "borrows" the only unlocked bike, which just happens to be pink and have a "I heart New York" sticker on the handle

This is a fun book from a quirky border collie's point ofview. He moves from family to family, from place to place, trying to find a place to call home. He acquires many different names. Some people he loves, some people he hates. He finds the world is cruel, but there are still loving hearts left. It's a very innocent book about the hardships ofgrowing up and not belonging, and finding somewhere to call home.



by Berkeley Breathed

WOLIES by Jean

Pages:208 Ages: 8 and up

Craighead George

Price/available: $13.99 to $16.99 (hardcover, Nook, Kindle) at,,

Ages: 8 and up Price/available: $5.99 (paperback), $5.69 (Kindle} at


This book is about a dachshund named Sam and a girl named Heidy: Heidy rescued him from a crate at the airport, where he was going to become a show dog for a snotty rich woman. Heidy lives with her uncle, who throws Sam out on the street because of an incident in which Sam was set up by a poodle named Cassius. Sam meets some flawed friends during his life on the street, and they plan to exact revenge on Cassius at the Westminster Dog Show.

ADOG'SUFE by Ann Martin

Pages:182 Ages: Grades 4-6 Prtce/avallable: $14.53 (hardcover), $6.99 (paperback) at

A Dog's Lift is a fictional autobiography from the perspective of a dog named Squinel. The pup is born in a shed and has one sibling, named Bone. Her mother doesn't last lo.D8 and runs away from the pups when they are old enOlJ8h to fend for themselves. They wander away from their birthplace and get picked up by a family. They get cruelly separated, Squirrel being abandoned. Confused and alone without her brother, she finds a friend, another small dog. Her friend gets hit by a truck. She goes through many rough years, until she is getting older and scrawny. She wanders into an old woman's yard. Can two old broken hearts who have struggled thrOlJ8h life heal each other?

An Inuit girl of 13 escapes from her dangerous village into the endless tundra Miyax befriends a wolf pack, and learns from the wolf pups how to get food and how to behave. She becomes one of their own and lives with them for about a year. A detailed and strangely wonderful book, Jean Craighead George perfectly captures each wolf's personality and its behavior. Miyax's goal is to reach her pen pal in San Francisco. .Miyax doesn't know how she is going to get there, but she is convinced she will Miyax's American name is Julie. Is she the Inuit girl Miyax, who lives the old ways and follows traditions, or is she Julie, the typical teen-ager who follows the trends and speaks the language? The confused girl feels more lost than ever in the tundra, but she is convinced she will find out who she really is, find someone to take her to San Francisco, and begin to live her life as her newfound sel£

1HE UNDERNEATH by Kathi Appelt

Pages:336 Ages: 10 and up Price/available: $13.49 (hardcover), $7.99 (paperback) at

to get the roo-foot gator he saw in the bayou. And he will use any bait to get it. This book has many stories intertwined about three characters hurt beyond redemption and the different ways they cope. It's an amazi.D8 book about loyal~ and lore, and surviving the hardships of life, and good versus evil, and many. many surprises. It's a book I will treasure forever. ...C

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A small mother cat abandoned by her owners on the side of a rural road. An old broken hound attached on a ro-foot chain. A century-old curse set upon a creature of the woods who will come soon. And an abusive, gator-obsessed man known as Gar-Face who will do anything

ABOUT: Emma Fox is 13 years old. She is a dog lover and had two adopted shelter dogs that she adored in her home state of Oregon. Emma moved to Michigan in 2003 and adopted her dog Lexi in 2005. They have grown up together. Emma also is interested in art and horseback riding.

DOGsunleashed • 29

Cooking for Canines

Aunt Anne's Peanut Iutter lisscs Grand Rapids chef Tommy FitzGerald, owner of Cafe Stella and an animal advocate, offers a holiday cookie recipe that's sure to be a hit with your family, including your furry kids. Recipe courtesy of Chef Tommy FitzGerald Photo: Tom Dodson

•.•far lbe paacbia Ingredients 2 cups whole wheat ftour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 cup peanut butler (chunky or smooth) 1 cup milk Pnparallan Prahaat oven to 375°. Mix dry lngradlenta, set aside. Mix peanut butler and milk. Combine dry and wet lngredlelds to make dough. It Is best 1o roll out these coakill, about 1/4 inch thick. Tbis will allow you to do coal cookie cutDIIIB. Yau will hne1o flour your counter far this! Bake cookies 10 to

11 minutes at 375••

...far llle paple lngradlenls 3/4 cup peanut butler 112 cup butter 1-1/4 cups brown sugar 3 tablespoons milk 11ablespoon vanilla extract 1 egg 1-314 cups flour 314 teaspoon saH 314 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon baking powder Hershey's Kisses Pnparallan Preheat oven to m•. Again, mix dry lngradlants (ucept brown Sligar) and set aside. Whip peafllt buUer, buUer, brown Sligar, milk. vanilla and egg. Incorporate dry lngredlen111nto wet rrDtln. Scoop out coolclas on cookie altaet. Bake 10 1D 11 minutes at 375•, Just aftar removing cooki• fnlm the oven, put a whole Ha11hly'l Kiss in the middle of each cookie.



1. Why don., ... llllke good dlnoen? 2. What kind of dog lovlllldble blfh? 3. Wby do dop run In olrela? 4. Whit did the doggy 11 on top of hll boule? 5. Whit m1ke more nolle thin 1 dog blrklng?

John Grabosek of Grand Haven recen11y was put in charge of keeping an eye on his sister's dog. Max. on the beach at Grand Haven Slate Park. John's sister, Anita Grabasek. was visiting from New York City and was jagging on 1he beach. Max is a well-traveled 1-year-old mixed breed. Anita adoptad him In Ohio attar he was rescued from another shelter In North carolina.

Modern healthcare for your family d~ •••no matter what he looks lilg!. Modem Health Veterinary Hospital is a fully equipped pet care center utilizing the latest techniques and technology for the complete care of your dog or exotic pets. Dr. Shane lhellman is an experienced surgeon who, with his stair of pet health professionals, provides the animals you love with the finest most advanced care available. Young or old, paws or claws... the experience and care you need is waiting for you here at Modem Health Veterinruy Hospital.

Modern 1971 E. Beltline NE in Knapp's Comer • (6t6)



Dogs Unleashed - November-December 2012  

November-December issue of Dogs Unleashed, a lifestyle magazine for dog lovers.