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Leash Laws and You Texas Beach RICdog.com

Head Halters


Contents July/August 2012 Helping Hands Texas Beach Northside Pups on Parade Leash Laws Mach Title Pet Owners Head Halters Riverrock

Publisher Hunter Tate Photography Hunter Tate Ashlee Lipkind Contributors

Boots Dorfman Sandy Mattes Maria Lyn McGinnis www.RICdog.com hunter@ricdog.com 804-938-3451

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Helping Hands; Volunteer Supported Animal Hospital. By Hunter Tate

This mission of Helping Hands -- to see that no animal goes without the care it deserves. The fees are affordable, fixed, and all inclusive (bloodwork being the only exception). Fees are kept reasonable by a careful combination of cost cutting and volunteer dedication. Times are tight for families right now and pet care has been put lower on the priority list. Having to choose between paying your mortgage or saving your pet’s life is a choice no one should be faced with. Helping Hands is able to achieve its mission by limiting the scope of what it offers to surgery and dental care only, cutting out office visit/consultation time and fees, and only offering outpatient care.


A unique aspect of their hospital is that every bill ends in a five. For every procedure Pasternak performs, $5 goes directly into a “good citizen� account set aside for less fortunate pets in need of life-saving surgical procedures. Using Helping Hands services automatically makes you a good citizen, in our book. People who donate $50 or more are honored with a hand or paw print on their outside mural wall, generously donated by Happy the Mural Artist. The people who apply for this funding are required to repay their debt in community service to any local animal welfare group of their choosing -- or to Helping Hands, which asks only for one hour for every $10 discounted from their pet’s bill.


“Pet and Animal related items sold inexpensively on consignment”

2008 Clark St. Henrico, VA 23228 804-385-1246 Store Hours: Tuesday 10 am - 6 pm Wednesday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm


Dr. Lori Pasternak comes from a family of doctors and her love of animals drew her to the veterinary field. While at Virginia Tech’s veterinary college, she discovered her passion for surgery. After years of performing surgery at a full service hospital, she is now dedicating her time to providing quality, yet affordable surgical and dental care. The volunteers make up a large part of the team working at Helping Hands, Lori credits them with the success of the clinic. Without the support of the volunteers the fees could not be as low as they are. The main role as a volunteer is to comfort and watch the animals as they wake up from sedation. A secondary role is helping maintain the cleanliness of the operating room, kennels and the ever busy wet tables. The wet tables are used during teeth cleaning the ultrasonic dental scaler is cooled with water while the teeth are being cleaned. The volunteers get a front row seat to the world of surgery and dental care. Many of the volunteers come on a regular basis but this is not a requirement. If you would like to volunteer an all day commitment is preferred but they will make every effort work with your schedule if this is not possible.


The cat undergoing surgery swallowed several feet of ribbon which became obstructed in its intestines. Without the surgery she would have most likely died.

“In my 12 years of practice, surgery and dental care are the two things people will let their pets go without simply due to prohibitive high costs”, says Pasternak. She is joined by Jacqueline Morasco, her “Jackie of all trades” who has worked beside Pasternak for many years. Since opening its doors, Helping Hands has been a viable resource Richmond.


Texas Beach


By Hunter Tate staff writer Across the James river from Reedy Creek is Texas Beach, located east of Maymont and west of Hollywood Cemetery. This half mile of shoreline of the James River is unique due to the remnants of the Belle Isle dam slowing the current along the north bank. When the river level is running below 5 feet, many gently sloping sandy beaches await you and your dog.


The closest access point is the North Bank Park at the end of Texas Avenue, visitors must park in a parking lot, not in the street. The trail is rustic with very little maintenance occurring there are a few footbridges in muddy areas which help keep your feet clean (your dogs paws, not so much).


The trail from the parking lot offers a couple options one is a short steep trail to the bridge across the railroad tracks and the Kanawha Canal, the other is following the mountain bike trail through a series of switchbacks. Across the pedestrian bridge is a tower staircase which puts you at river level and on the trail to the beaches.


As the trail reaches the river there can be a few obstacles to reaching the largest of the sandbars. Depending on the river level, you might wade though 2 feet of water or tiptoe on rocks. The trail splits near the main beach, heading upstream will take you to the most used locations. There are a series of small islands just off the main bank of the river, some are easier to get to than others. At the most western part there is a large beach protected by an island further out in the river, here the river forms a wide shallow stream between the two. This spot can be ideal for larger groups as there is more of a clearing here than at many spots. There are at least 20 separate places for you and your dog to play in the river in this one area called Texas Beach.


Google map to Texas Beach http://goo.gl/maps/66DF or scan the qrcode below

What to bring:           

Dog Leash Dog waste bags Trash bag Water Insect repellent Towels Snack Sunscreen Camera Small first-aid kit (not a bad idea if you have kids).


Northside Dog Park The Friends of Northside Dog Park is a nonprofit organization made up of volunteer community members who are working in partnership with the City of Richmond to support and maintain Northside Dog Park. Their website is www.northsidedogpark.com for more information and to get involved. The dog park is located at the end of Forest Lawn Dr. behind Henderson Middle School. The park is now open and a grand opening is planned later this summer.

T Smith Contracting “If you need it, we will build it” New Construction, Residential and Commercial Renovations, Historic Renovations and Additions Tory Smith  804.332.4244  tory@tsmithcontracting.com


Northside Dog Park

Map to http://goo.gl/maps/lOMU or scan qrcode


For the newest dog park in Richmond the Northside Dog Park is the most techy members on the web page can interact with others who frequent the park. www.northsidedogpark.com


Fetch a Cure By Ashlee Lipkind For those of you unfamiliar with  FETCH a Cure, it  is an organization that promotes awareness and education about canine cancers, while offering financial assistance to families who cannot afford the life-saving treatments for their pets who have been diagnosed with cancer. Their annual event called Pups on Parade was held at Planet Zero to help them raise money for the various initiatives planned for 2012.   

Attendees were treated to food from several local restaurants including  Nacho Mama’s, Weezies  and  Station 2.  They also participated in a silent and a live auction. The items for the auctions were donated by local businesses most were certificates good for various services (dog grooming, dog training, salon services, home decorating), entertainment (tickets to see The Squirrels play, Cirque du Soleil), and a few hand crafted and autographed items.  The Steel Pups were the highlight of the Live action. Featured was the Steel Pup titled


“Buford” painted by local artist and musician Wes Freed who was inspired by his dog Buford. Buford was a happy dog who loved attention and long car trips but lost his battle with cancer a few years back. Freed grew up on a cattle farm in the Shenandoah Valley, an area that has inspired most of his landscapes and many of the characters that appear in his paintings.     Another highlight of the evening was the 2012 Awards. Honorees included Dr. Courney Beldon (Central Virginia Veterinary & Acupuncture), Millie the therapy dog (and Honorary Chairdog), Abby the golden retriever (who survived a battle with cancer which included 7 rounds of chemotherapy), and Hope Keck (a stray who was rescued but had spinal problems which resulted in partial paralysis of her back legs).   The event was a complete success. Money was raised, volunteers were honored, dogs and guests ate until bursting and went home feeling good for being a part of something bigger than themselves.


Leash Laws, Dangerous Dogs, and Damn Fools By Boots Dorfman

Until last year I owned a dangerous dog. She was an 80 lb. shepherd-lab mix we got from a Prince George family back in 1997. At the age of 13, Maggie finally had to be put down after she fell down our stairs twice in one day, but her memory lives on. I should stipulate that Maggie was only dangerous in her declining years. She was very sensitive and naturally skittish, so we’d tell visitors when they first met her to just ignore her and sooner or later she’d approach them for pets, which she dearly loved. But if one suddenly reached out and ruffled her ears she’d snap. Also, she’d not had a lot of recent experience with other dogs. Cats were another story; she doted on them, and regarded as her personal property, our various kitties over the years, with varying degrees of acceptance on their part. But after a couple of friends with whom we’d shared petsitting duties over the years moved out of state, Maggie just didn’t mingle with a lot of other dogs, and her canine social skills deteriorated. And thereby hangs a tale or two. A few years ago I was walking her on the leash in our old Montrose Park neighborhood when she was approached by the dog from across the street, a 30 lb. mop doggie named Griffin. The neighbor who owned him let Griffin run free on our street, and on this occasion Griffin sidled up to Maggie for a nose-sniff. Maggie stood stock still, then freaked out, picked up Griffin by his scruff, 8

and shook him like a rat. Griffin was shaken and stirred, but mercifully his neck was not broken as I feared it might be. I didn’t say anything at the time, but I wondered why our neighbor would risk his dog’s health and welfare by ignoring city leash laws. The next year we moved to 32nd  Street, across from Chimborazo Park. Our daily walks became a real gamut for Maggie and me, as numerous misguided souls who shared the “hood” allowed their dogs to romp around the park, off the leash and on a regular basis. Time after time, I’d have to drag my poor mutt away from a potentially deadly confrontation with a dog whose owner ignored not only city leash laws, but also federal park leash laws, clearly posted on big, brown and white, utterly unambiguous signs. Keeping Maggie from committing serial mayhem got to be a daily chore. The most irritating incident that sticks out in my mind happened not fifty yards from my own front porch. A dog came loping across the turf, looking for a dog party, while its owner, a short, truculent- looking guy, ran behind it, futilely calling it to come back to Daddy. As I dragged Maggie away I called out in a loud clear voice, “Please keep your dog on a leash.” The scofflaw’s reply was, “I don’t need lectures from you.”   Well. I’m an old-school hippie who always seeks the peaceful way out. I did not obey my first impulse, which was to get out my cell phone and say, “OK, I’ll get an animal control officer to break it down for you, using little bitty words even you can understand. Then you can get a citation and pay a fine.”


Instead, I explained, while he got his dog by the collar and poor Maggie got her neck half-wrung being pulled out of harm’s way, that I was just trying to prevent his dog’s injury at the jaws of my harmlesslooking but far from harmless bitch. I finally sweettalked him into shaking my hand, but I still get a little steamed when I think about the whole encounter. The  hell  he didn’t need a lecture from me. What he needed was to get it through his head that leash laws are for the protection of everybody, and they don’t work unless they’re obeyed by everybody.                 On another occasion I was taking my exercise walk, sans Maggie, below the city park’s canine corral when an off-the-leash dog came charging down the hill, yapping and snapping at my ankles. I studiously ignored it, but wondered if its owner understood than some people are scared of dogs, even little ones, and had I been that sort of person, had I panicked and tried to run away from it, I might easily have toppled off the stone wall I was walking next to and injured myself on the cobblestone pavement three feet below.                  This twit I didn’t bother to lecture. It would only have confused and outraged him to have it pointed out that he was standing right next to a sign ordering him to keep his dog on a leash when it was not in the corral. We all know that there are persons who come up to the Big Town, persons who were not gently-reared and who consequently don’t know how to behave in polite company. But we who read and contribute to this publication aren’t of that cohort, are we?


Sally Drash at age 79 earns MACH Title By Sandy Mattes

adopted Henry. She began training Henry where it became evident that he loved the sport of agility as much as she did. They became an inseparable team both on and off the field.

To obtain the MASTER AGILITY CHAMPION title (MACH), a dog must exhibit superior performance on the agility course. Speed and consistency are the two major qualities denoting “superior performance”. In order to acquire the MACH title, a dog must achieve a minimum of 750 championship points and 20 double qualifying scores obtained from the Master Agility Excellent “B” Standard class and the Master Excellent Jumpers With Weaves “B” class. But, with time, the human body can sometimes

We have all heard and used the words – determination, perseverance, inspiration and courage. But it is seldom that you can use all of these to describe one person. Sally Drash is the person for whom all of these adjectives can be used. She and her best friend, miniature poodle Henry, compete on the dog agility field and have been through some serious ups and downs. Sally started in the sport of dog agility some years ago with her standard poodle, Emma. Although they did well, Sally realized that Emma didn’t love competing. So, just about eleven years ago, Sally

let us down. Six years ago Sally had a knee replacement. Because she was fit and worked hard at recovering, she and Henry were soon back practicing and competing again. They had worked their way through all the agility levels – novice, open, excellent and masters. All that remained was a MACH (masters of agility champion, achieved by points and double qualifications in both jumpers and standard runs) title for Henry, which they were well on their way to achieving. However, Sally needed some more surgery. About 18 months ago, she had surgery on her left hand and, with a large bandage and wrap, was soon back at class working with Henry. They were doing well and getting ready for the trial season when she developed a fever. It wouldn’t go away and, instead, got worse. Sally ended up in the hospital with a major infection that had spread through her body to her replaced knee. As a result of this, the surgeons had to remove her knee replacement and put in a spacer until they could conquer the infection. It meant eight weeks of IV antibiotics and, also, no weight bearing on the knee with the spacer. She and Henry were spending a lot of quiet time together.


Finally the doctors were able to operate and put in a new artificial knee. Rehab started. Then Sally’s hip reached a point that it, too, had to be replaced. Only a couple of months after that surgery, she decided to bite the bullet and finish up with whatever had to be done. The second hip replacement closely followed the first. Finally, Sally was healthy and ready to get back to work with Henry. This team had a MACH to finish. But changes had to be made. Sally could no longer run the courses the way she used to. Henry was accustomed to running right next to her. Now she needed him to “go ahead”! They had to retrain the way they worked together. And it was hard. But Sally never gave up and never complained. She just worked harder and Henry was so happy to be back working again with her that he tried harder too. They entered trials again in the spring of 2011. Both spring and fall of that year were a lot of “almosts”. Adjustments were still being made. Henry was trying to understand what Sally wanted him to do. She could have been discouraged and quit. Certainly, everyone, including her family, would have understood. But quit is not in her vocabulary. The spring agility trial season of 2012 started. Sally and Henry were just two “double

Q’s” away from the coveted AKC MACH title. April 28th, at the Irish Setters Club trial held in Toano, Virginia, Sally and Henry did it! It was a surprise that none of the spectators, contestants – all friends, passed out. Everyone was holding their breath as this indomitable team headed for the finish jump. What a joyous moment as Henry cleared the jump. What do Sally and Henry do now? Do they finally head to the recliner? No way. Sally says that they are going to work on their second MACH.

T Smith Contracting “If you need it, we will build it” New Construction, Residential and Commercial Renovations, Historic Renovations and Additions Tory Smith  804.332.4244  tory@tsmithcontracting.com


Loving Your Dog Makes It Easy To Be An Excellent Pet Owner By Maria Lyn McGinnis Owner of Pets at Play If there is anything I know, it’s how to be a pet owner. Whether it was taking care of dogs throughout my childhood or starting Pet Care, one of the first pet-sitting businesses in Los Angeles, or my neighborhood business here in Church Hill, caring for pets is more than my job. It’s my love. And to be a good pet owner that’s first and foremost – love your pet. Pets who are loved will love you back, especially dogs. But show that love with some easy-to-do care that will bring both of you a lifetime of joy and rewards. To start, socialize your dog. A socialized dog will be more at ease in all situations. Then, keep it well groomed. Would you want to be covered with fleas and gnats? Be sure to exercise your dog. A daily walk – if not two or three – is healthy for humans and animals. Proper exercise squeezes out a dog’s energy so it will be relaxed at home. While you are on that walk, always bring a bag to pick up the poop. That’s right; just pick it up. Picking up poop is no big deal. But stepping in it is! Lastly, if your dog or cat does not have tags with its name and your phone number, get them immediately. Tags are the primary reason lost dogs are returned to their rightful owners. Although pets are not assembly-required toys or high-tech gadgets that come with an instruction book, owning one is a huge responsibility involving many aspects – especially when taking the time to do it right. But following these few basic steps will help you learn how to get the full pleasure of life that only comes with owning and loving, a loved, pet.

Ten Commandments for Pet Ownership I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X

Thou shalt feed me just right. Thou shalt provide thee a collar with ID tags. Thou shalt provide shelter from the elements. Thou shalt train me well. Thou shalt take me to thy veterinarian. Thou shalt not let me reproduce. Thou shalt keep me free of fleas and worms. Thou shalt clean my teeth. Thou shalt keep me fit and mobile. Thou shalt be a benevolent, consistent leader.


Head Halters, When and How to Use Them By Ashlee Lipkind staff writer Are you one of those unfortunate dog owners who gets dragged down the street by your restless pooch? Dogs that are inactive much of the time can quickly become distracted and over-stimulated on a walk. You may start off with the best of intentions, making them sit while you put on their collar and lead, but as soon as that door opens they are off like a shot dragging you in their wake. The most effective way to correct this behavior is exercise, and lots of it. When a dog is tired, they are less reactive and it is easier for them to focus on you and control their impulses. Assuming you are like the majority of dog owners, the walk is probably your dog’s only exercise. Let’s work on giving you back control and making the walk more enjoyable. With a standard or choke collar, a dog’s reaction to tension on the leash is to pull against it. Think about it, if someone were to grab you from behind and put you in a choke hold your reaction would be to lean into the choke. Even though you know that leaning back would release the pressure of the hold. It is in our nature to resist, so when a dog feels that pull his first reaction is to pull in the opposite direction. That is why choke and prong collars can actually be dangerous, especially in smaller breeds of dogs. When using a choke or prong collar, you need to have the dog next to you and corrections should be a quick pull to the side. This type of correction will put your dog slightly off balance and shift his focus back to you; which is the goal of making a correction. You are trying to break his focus from whatever he is fixating on and put that focus back on you. The head halter makes this task much easier. Your dog will learn that he can not move forward on a walk until you are ready and will shift his focus to you. Only when you are ready will the walk continue. These halters look a lot like the harnesses you would see on a horse with a loop going around the dog’s nose and another loop that fits high up on the dog’s neck. The lead is then attached to a ring that is under the dog’s head so that when the dog pulls on the lead, instead of moving forward, the dog is pulled to the side. The head halter simply does not allow a dog to move forward when there is tension on the leash. This can be extremely frustrating for a dog that is accustomed to pulling and the harness can take some getting used to so be prepared for a temper tantrum or two. If you are patient and firm, this tool can be extremely effective.


“Pet and Animal related items sold inexpensively on consignment”

2008 Clark St. Henrico, VA 23228 804-385-1246 Store Hours: Tuesday 10 am - 6 pm Wednesday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm


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