Issuu on Google+

Photo by Sachiko Suzuki courtesy Ennis CVB

c o n t e nts feature 25 Party Animals Go Wild: 20th Birthday Celebration at Cameron Park Zoo 32 Dog Gone to Training: Get a Leash on Bad Behavior 36 Healthy Chow is Essential for Healthy Pets: An Interview with Mars Petcare US 39 Horse Health Preventative Health Care

home and garden


43 C i t y Chic ks Ro o st in Styl e

style 49 C la s s ic Cou ntry

travel 53 F loat A ll You r Wo rrie s Away o n t he Fr io River


health & fitness 59 S ave You r Sk in: S umme r he at int e ns ifies chron ic skin co nditio ns 63 C li m b You r Way to Fitne ss

TexTalk 10 12 16 20 22

calendar spotlight Michalk, Beatty & Alcozer, L.P. scene well fed head neighbor

in every issue

6 editor ’s letter 66 t h erapy 4

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25 Photos by Sher i Hemrick

It’s true! I love to visit exciting places like the Caribbean and Costa Rica! In fact, I’m planning another trip for next summer. If it all works out, I’ll be traveling to Italy. When I’m not traveling, I’m home in Killeen, teaching, and working toward my Master’s in Education. Of course, I couldn’t do the things I enjoy without some help. I’ve been a part of Texas Partners since I was 16 – and they’ve been there for me at every step of my life. If you want to see the world and build your career at the same time, you’re just like me. See Texas Partners about a loan, and start packing! But don’t forget your assignments!

Kisha Marsland.

Whether your passion is traveling or teaching, do what Kisha did. Stop by a nearby Texas Partners branch, or visit us online at

See how a signature loan can bring us together. Federally insured by NCUA

2445 North Main Street • Belton, TX 76513 • 254.933.2097 809 South Main Street • Copperas Cove, TX 76522 • 254.547.7795

1011 Wales Drive • Killeen, TX 76549 • 254.526.3081 6935 West Adams Avenue • Temple, TX 76502 • 254.773.8852

editor’s letter


Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” — Anatole France 

Who doesn’t like a good reality show these days? No pre-planned cheesy plots, just spontaneous and unpredictable entertainment. One minute everything is all dandy—the characters are funny, cute, maybe even a little romantic — but the next second without any warning, BAM! Things take a real nasty turn and get wild and violent. I will admit, some scenes can get pretty intense, even disturbing just like the program content warns: Not all scenes may be suitable for small children. Intended for mature audiences only. However, what can I say. Like so many others, I have a real fascination, or just call me plain nosey, with the lives of others. Other animals, that is. Thank goodness for the programming on the Animal Planet, National Geographic, and the Discovery channels—I am wild about “reality” animal documentaries. Entertaining and educational! Furry and feathered critters are fascinating, but while I am personally not fond of all the creepy crawly, scaly or slithering ones, apparently they have their admirers too. The pet industry estimates we’ll spend $55.53 billion this year on pet food, supplies, vet care, live animals, and pet services—grooming, boarding, etc. We really LOVE and adore our pets! But who else in our lives is ever as patient, trusting, loving and loyal to us, never talks back or utters ugly snide comments to us, and always thinks we are beautiful and willing to kiss us when we are at our worst—depressed, grumpy, lazy, even messy, stinky, sweaty and dirty, than our beloved pets? Bless their little hearts! Happy 20th Birthday to a true Central Texas jewel, the Cameron Park Zoo. Please join us for all the “party animals” in Waco to help them celebrate 20 great years of conservation! Learn more about the zoo and its upcoming festivities on page 25. We also met some real cool chicks who have plenty to crow about when it comes to farming with style on page 43. Can you really teach an old dog new tricks? Absolutely, according to Robin Wheeler at Sit Means Sit. Learn more about why training your dog is important for their health and safety, and your sanity, on page 32. For all the “stable” people out there, we also visited Dr. Theresa Dwyer (DVM) at Dr. T’s Equine Clinic in Salado to learn more about the keys to good horse health. And we visited with her associate, Dr. Aden Hardison (DVM), who is certified by the International Veterinary Chiropractor Association, to learn more about chiropractic care for horses and why it is an important step in your horse’s routine health care and how it can help your horse improve its health and performance. In addition, a special thanks to all of our readers who shared their fabulous “pampered pets” with us. We enjoyed looking at all of their cute little furry faces and we know our readers will too! I hope you will be as wild about this issue as I am and have a howling good time reading it! Best wishes,

your voice Hi Teresa - I’m just calling to rave about the new edition of the magazine. Each one just gets better and better. I really like the book section and also the darling picture of Harley from Whitetail Books. If you’ve never been in there, it is a really neat place and they are wonderful people. Congratulations to you and your staff on another just beautiful magazine.” ­ —Roberta King of Salado

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Find us on Facebook Teresa K. Hernandez Editor | 6

JUly 2013 Tex Appeal

Tex Appeal Life & Style in Central Texas

Published by Frank Mayborn Enterprises, Inc. Killeen Daily Herald 1809 Florence Road, Killeen, TX 76540 Temple Daily Telegram 10 S. Third Street, Temple, TX 76504 Publisher Sue Mayborn Magazine Director Teresa L O’Brien 254.774.5264 Editor Teresa K Hernandez Copy Editor Lee James Graphic Designer Christeen Clark 216.407.2777 Photographers Priscilla Z photography

Cover Kelsey Ann Adkins of Killeen Photography by Priscilla Z Photography Cover Design Ryan Duty

Tex Appeal Magazine is available by subscription for $24 a year. If you would like to have each month’s edition delivered to your home, please mail a check with your address and contact information to: Tex Appeal Magazine, PO Box 6114 Temple, TX 76503-6114.


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JUly 2013 Tex Appeal

alk ex TT sp otlight:

Michalk, Beatty & Alcozer, L.P. pg 13

A G i r l ’ s B est F r ie n d pg 22

Pampered Pets pg 16

C ale n da r sce n e sp o tlight well fed head n eighb o r


C ale n da r

4 Independence Day July


National Park & Recreation Month


4 th o f J uly K ick - Off B B Q Jul y 2, 11:30a m-1pm


Great food and fun for the whole family at Yettie Polk Park. For more information or to pre-order lunches for pick-up contact Mark Arrazola at 254.939.3551 or email Yettie Polk Park, Belton

8 9 th A n n ual 4 th o f J uly C eleb r ati o n & F esti val o n N o la n C r eek Jul y 4, 10a m-4pm USA Today named Belton’s 4th of July Parade as one of the nation’s “Top Ten Places to Fly Your Flag on the 4th.” The 4th of July parade begins at 10 am. The festival continues with arts & crafts, activities, water slides, and a variety of foods along the banks of the Nolan Creek. Catch some tunes at the 9th annual Texas Old Time Fiddler’s contest. For more information contact Judy at 254.939.3551 or judy@ Downtown Belton

B elto n ’ s P RC A Ro de o Jul y 4-6, 7-9:30pm Rip roaring family fun, the rodeo is back in action in Belton! Featuring Lancaster Pro Rodeo Company of Fairfield, Texas. Bell County Expo Center, Belton

F i r st F r iday A rt- A fte r - Da r k Jul y 5, 6-9pm An evening of art, wine, food & FUN at Frames & Things! 216 Cove Terrance, Copperas Cove

S alad o S wi r l Jul y 13, 5-9pm See, sniff, swirl, sniff, sip, savor your way through the Village of Salado. Salado


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at Johnny’s Outback 301 Thomas Arnold Rd., Salado

Yo u n g P ro fessi o n als B usi n ess L u n che o n Ju l y 18, 1 1 :45a m-1 2 :45pm Connect and network at the Greater Killeen Young Professionals monthly business luncheon. No RSVP is required, free for GKYP members, $5 for non-members and lunch is included! For more information contact or visit Workforce Solutions of Central Texas 300 Cheyenne Dr., Killeen

L egally B l o n de Ju l y 1 9, 7 -10pm Sorority girl and social maven Elle Woods can handle anything. So when her boyfriend Warner dumps her for someone “serious,” she decides to follow him to Harvard and win him back. With some help from her Chihuahua Bruiser and some seriously loyal new friends, Elle proves that being true to yourself never goes out of style. $20 adults/$15 students. Vive Les Arts Theatre 3401 South WS Young Dr., Killeen

S alad o L ege n ds at Table ro ck Ju l y 20 The 21st Annual Salado Legends Central Texas’ favorite outdoor musical drama. Written by playwright/lyricist/ nationally honored Jackie Mills, and directed by Donnie Williams. This play was ensconced in the Library of Congress for depicting life in the 1850’s. For the optional dinner, reservations are required. Dinner begins at 7:15pm, $8 adult & kids. Show begins at 8:15pm, $17 adult/$5 kids under 12. Tickets online at www.tablerock. org or call 254.947.9205. Tablerock Amphitheater, Salado

L O C A L FA R M E R S M A R K E T      

J as o n C assidy i n C o n ce rt Jul y 13, 7pm

B elto n S at u rd ays, 8a m-1 pm

Come out and enjoy an evening of BBQ and Texas music under the summer stars with Top 20 Texas Music Chart artist Jason Cassidy! Tickets $10 online

Downtown on Water Street in front of The Gin

C o ppe r as C ov e Mo ndays 3- 6 p m S at u r days 10 am - 2pm VFW 1506 Veterans, Ave.

S o gg y B otto m G oat  Fa r m T he M a r ket at 3 5 S at ur days 8am - 4pm 7068 S. General Bruce, Temple

H a r ke r H eights Fa r me r ’ s M a r ket S at ur days 7 am - 12pm Carl Levin Park, 400 Miller’s Crossing

K illee n Tu es days 3- 6 p m F r i days 3- 6 p m S at u r days 9 am - 1pm 717 N. 2nd Street, downtown Killeen

T emple Tu es days an d Th ursdays 7a m-1pm 212 S. Main St.

T roy S at u r days 9 am - 1pm Troy Community Center 201 E. Main St.

S c ott & W hite H ealthca r e Fa r me r s M a r ket Wednes days 9 am-1pm Healthy cooking demonstrations, 9:30-10:30 and 11:30-12:30. On lawn north of the Vasicek Cancer Center. 2401 S. 31st Street, Temple

B u r n et S at u r days, 9 am - 1pm Master Gardeners and specialists on hand to provide gardening tips. On the Burnet Square


Michalk, Bea

Attorneys and Counselors at Law

Advocating “ for the business professional, injured, disabled, veterans and the accused.” Practicing a vast area of law at Michalk, Beatty & Alcozer, L.P., we take a team-oriented approach in representing our clients. Central Texans ourselves, we understand the legal needs of our neighbors. Our professional backgrounds and education include construction, engineering and medicine, all of which means we can offer you a diverse, knowledgeable and experienced legal team. With more than 50 years of legal experience in Texas law, Michalk, Beatty & Alcozer, L.P. is the legal team you can trust. ★ Experienced in veteran benefit appeals, claims and other legal processes involving the Veterans Administration. MBA Advocates are dedicated to serving our service members and veterans. ★

Social Security Disability, Board Certified* Personal Injury Real Estate Law Consumer Law Family Law Commercial Law Construction Law Probate & Wills Veterans Benefits Criminal Law 12

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tty & Alcozer,

exTalk T L.P.

sp o tlight

JAY R. BEATTY, Partner Jay Beatty is both a trial and transactional lawyer experienced in business and commercial law, consumer law, construction law, personal injury, probate, wills and real estate law. A graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Jay was admitted and licensed as an attorney and counselor at law by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1990. He is a member of the Bell County Bar Association and the Texas Land Title Association. Jay earned a bachelor degree in building construction and engineering from John Brown University in 1982. Prior to obtaining his law degree, Jay was a project engineer and project manager overseeing the construction of multi-million-dollar office buildings, hospitals and hotel projects. Utilizing his vast experience as a construction project manager and trial and transactional attorney, Jay expresses his client’s claims, demands and viewpoints to juries, judges and those on the other side of the table with passion, understanding, and fortitude.

Manuel Alcozer,* Partner Manuel Alcozer is an experienced trial lawyer and is board-certified in Social Security Disability Advocacy by the National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy. He is a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives and the State Bar College. Manuel prides himself on helping Social Security disability and personal injury clients, by helping on a contingency-fee basis, which means you do not pay any legal fees upfront. A graduate of Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, Manuel was admitted to the Texas State Bar in 1992. A former health care provider, Manuel worked at Metroplex Hospital and Scott & White Memorial Hospital as a respiratory therapist from 1983 to 1989. During this period, he also earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in finance and economics from the University of Mary Hardin Baylor in 1988. Manuel focuses his practice on Social Security disabilities, personal injury, consumer law, commercial litigation, and family law. He is a member of the State Bar College and the Bell County Bar Association. Hablamos espanol.

GLENN W MICHALK, OF counsel Native Texan Glenn W. Michalk was admitted and licensed as an attorney and counselor at law in all the courts in Texas by the Supreme Court of Texas on May 18, 1970. He received his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Houston College of Law in 1970 and a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Houston in 1966. Before private practice, Glenn served as the city attorney for Killeen and assistant district attorney for Bell County District Attorney’s Office. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and currently assists the firm as Of Counsel on matters relating to personal injury, real estate, probate and business matters.

JESSE T. HERNANDEZ, Associate From an early age, Jesse Hernandez knew he wanted to be an attorney. However, Jesse was doubtful he would ever get an opportunity to go to law school. “I was raised in a single-parent household by my mother. She had a very strong work ethic and worked two jobs just to make ends meet. She always told me ‘You can be anything you want to be if you work hard,’” says Jesse. Her words turned out to be Jesse’s most valuable life lesson. To help support his family, Jesse began his first job at a Temple restaurant at the age of thirteen. Starting at an entry-level position at Scott & White Hospital, Jesse worked his way up through several departments, while also earning an Associate Degree of Applied Sciences in Nursing, an Associate of Liberal Arts, and a Certification in Surgical Technology from Temple College. He then went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi and became a Registered Nurse. Jesse continued to excel academically. At Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, he received the prestigious MacLean Boulware Graduate Award and a teaching assistantship in the legal research and writing department. Licensed to practice law in Texas since 2004, Jesse is proud to assist clients in matters concerning family law, personal injury, criminal misdemeanors and general civil litigation. “I have the privilege to work with a dynamic team of attorneys at MBA. We’re not only co-workers, we’re family,” says Jesse.

Robert “Alex” Bass, Associate A graduate of Belton High School, native Central Texan Robert “Alex” Bass can personally relate to the multifaceted and sometimes ominous challenges that face business owners today. No stranger to back-breaking laborious work, Alex grew up working in his family’s local business, R.K. Bass Electric Inc. After graduating from Stephen F. Austin State University and double majoring in Business Management and Communications, Alex returned to central Texas to work alongside his family as the Business Manager supervising multi-million dollar electrical construction projects and the company’s safety program. However, law school beckoned Alex back to school, where at the University Of Oklahoma College Of Law he earned numerous academic awards and law competitions including: the OU Order of Solicitors, OU American Jurisprudence Award for Trail Techniques and Antitrust I, OCU CALI Academic Award for Legal Research and Writing II. After graduating with honors (Magna Cum Laude), Alex returned home to practice law in Central Texas. The combination of academics, real life work experience, and in-depth knowledge of the construction industry provides Alex with a highly diverse and unique range of expertise for assisting clients with business, contractual consumer law; personal injury; probate and wills; real estate; disability benefits; and veterans benefits.

Office Locations

Photos By Priscilla Z Photography

Principal Office 3106 S. W.S. Young Dr. Bld. D, Ste. 401 Killeen, TX 76542

By Appointment Only: 1821 Everton Drive Temple, TX 76504

Local: 254.781.0515 ★ Toll free: 800.461.7291 Contact our firm today to book an initial consultation. We offer free consultations in the area of Personal Injury, Family Law, and Social Security/VA Disability. Call 254.781.0515 or toll free at 800.461.7291. Hablamos español.

Board certified social security disability Advocacy by the national board of social security disability advocacy

To feature your business or event as the Spotlight, please contact your advertising sales representative or Teresa O’Brien at 254.774.5264.



Pets with Tex Appeal Belle

Photos courtesdy of our readers

Athena Biscuit



Brandy & Bella Booger


Alfred Weeks



Captain Nemo

Bubba & Lady Yoe


Cavalli Dior

Chelsea Chloe

Cooper & Riley 16

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Chompers & Liam


TexTalk S ce n e

Coco Daisy Mae


Daisy Daphne


Ellie May

Dee Dee

Easty Lake


Emma Lou


Gracie & Tucker Gemini


Harley Davidson Hank




Harley Luke



Juliet & Pogo



Maxie Lacy River

Lil Red Mark & Cayman

Molly Anna Mia Maximus Cutimus Mickey

Molly Molly




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Prrecious & Lucky

Ruby Rip




Sadie Mae

Sugar Plum Snookums




Tulip Tripper

Tullie Walter


The Complete Visual Guide to “Good Dog” Training By Babette HaggertyLine

W ell F ed H ead

B o o ks

The Dogs Who Found Me By Ken Foster

Disaster–prone writer and reluctant dog rescuer Ken Foster finds himself adopting an ever-growing collection of stray dogs, from a beagle abandoned in a New York City dog run to a pit bull in a Mississippi truck stop. Their circumstances offer a grounding counterpoint to his own misfortunes: the shock of New York City after 9/11, the evacuation of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, and the day his heart nearly stopped for good. Paperback, 194 pages Published March 1, 2006 by Lyons Press

Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food By Ann N. Martin

The commercial pet food industry has a secret to hide — and Ann Martin wants to make sure you know it. Her research reveals some startling facts: that the pet food industry conducts animal testing in order to improve their product, and includes euthanized cats and dogs in the mix to heighten protein content. In this revised and updated edition, Martin continues to explore the shocking processes by which commercial pet foods are produced. She offers alternative recipes for feeding pets, nutritional advice, and an exploration of “Pet Peeves,” in which she explores several scams aimed at pet owners. This groundbreaking book gives us a glimpse into exactly what we are doing when we buy pet food. Paperback, Third Edition, 200 pages Published July 23, 2008 by NewSage Press  (first published 1997) 20

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Not Left Behind By Best Friends Animal Society, Troy Snow, Bob Somerville Not Left Behind is the story of how Best Friends Animal Society rescued thousands of pets from the stormravaged, flooded streets of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The story is told through the images of Best Friends photographer Troy Snow and the words of five best friends, rescuers, and frontline troops representing thousands of volunteers across the country who helped save lives and reunite families. Hardcover, 95 pages Published July 25, 2006 by Yorkville Press

The Gift of Pets: Stories Only a Vet Could Tell By Bruce R.Coston “The life of a country veterinarian has never been as accessible since the bestselling books of James Herriot.”–The Tucson Citizen on Ask the Animals. In Coston’s enjoyable second memoir, he again celebrates the gift of pets. Coston continues to work at his own veterinary practice in Virginia, meeting adorable pets and their loving and quirky owners every day. These include Precious the parrot, remarkably friendly and unafraid for a bird, Dahmun, or “Mountain of Love,” the Bull Mastiff, named by his linguist owner in a language he created, and Greco the beagle shepherd mix, who likes to eat rocks because he is too macho to chew on toys, his Greek owner insists. In stories ranging from humorous to heartfelt to tragic, this book makes a lovely gift for any animal lover. Hardcover, 320 pages Published August 7, 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books

Babette Haggerty brings her foolproof dog training classes, developed over thirty years of experience, right into owners’ houses and yards through step-by-step photographs of every part of every important lesson you need to train your dog, plus a few fun tricks. It’s like she’s right there transforming your dog from rascally newcomer to well behaved and considerate companion. She offers a wide array of effective techniques to get every dog to walk smartly on a leash, come on command, listen and follow when off the leash, and become forever house trained. Her methods are as effective on Maltese’s as Rottweiler’s so training your dog is as easy as looking-and-learning, no matter what breed or size. Babette is a sought out expert for many national dog associations as well as the Westminster Dog Show. Paperback, 160 pages Published October 19, 2012 by Race Point Publishing

Chicken Soup For The Pet Lovers Soul By Jack Canfield, Carol Kline This joyous, inspiring and entertaining Chicken Soup collection relates the unique bonds between animals and the people whose lives they’ve changed. Such as the dolphins who helped a paralyzed woman heal when doctors offered little hope; the dog who brought life into a failing marriage; the kitten who helped a mother mourn; and the flying squirrel who taught a man the power of laughter. Packed with celebrity pet-lore “Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul” relates the unconditional love, loyalty, courage and companionship that only animals possess. Just like our furry, feathered and four-legged friends, this enchanting book will bring a smile to any pet lover’s face ... and it’s housebroken. Audio Cassette Published by Health Communications  (first published January 1, 1998)


Making Animals Happy By Temple Grandin, Catherine Johnson In her groundbreaking and bestselling book Animals in Translation, Temple Grandin drew on her own experience with autism as well as her distinguished career as an animal scientist to delivery extraordinary insights into how animals think, act, and feel. Now she builds on those insights to show us how to give our animals the best and happiest life - on their terms, not ours. It’s usually easy to pinpoint the cause of physical pain in animals, but to know what is causing them emotional distress is much harder. Drawing on the latest research and her own work, Grandin identifies the core emotional needs of animals. Then she explains how to fulfill them for dogs and cats, horses, farm animals and zoo animals. Whether it’s how to make the healthiest environment for the dog that you leave alone in the house during the day, or how to keep pigs from being bored, or how to know if the lion pacing in the zoo is miserable or just exercising, Grandin teaches us to challenge our assumptions about animal emotions. Paperback Published by Bloomsbury UK (first published May 4, 2009)

Top Tips from Top Trainers By Association of Pet Dog Trainers, Joann Woy, Stephanie Fornino, Mary Ann Kahn Top Tips from Top Trainers features 1,001 exclusive tips from members of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), the most highly regarded group of its kind in the world. Unlike other dog training books that focus on basic advice, this innovative guide offers the average dog owner a plethora of interesting and helpful factoids previously known only by the professional dog trainers who developed them. From everyday problem solvers to cool ideas and time savers, these expert trainers share their favorite positive training methods to help all dog owners become more successful pet parents. Paperback, 256 pages Published March 1st 2010 by TFH Publications Inc.

well fed head

The Dog Owner’s Problem Solver By Amy Fernandez The Dog Owner’s Problem Solver thoroughly yet concisely covers the eight most common dog owner’s problems: excessive barking, begging, chewing, digging, jumping up, leash pulling, mouthing and biting, and not coming when called and offers simple yet effective training techniques to solve them. Each chapter focuses on a specific behavior problem and offers expert step-by-step instructions on how to successfully correct and prevent it. The book discusses the motivations behind natural canine behavior to help clarify any misunderstood actions, how positive training techniques and behavior modification can be customized to address even the most challenging behavior issues, and the importance of teaching your dog good manners so he can become a happy member of the family. The straightforward page layout is designed for quick reference, with numerous tip boxes and sidebars that make finding information fast, to provide an informative yet convenient read. Paperback, 64 pages Published June 28, 2002 by TFH Publications

The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health By Cynthia M. Kahn & Scott Line The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health delivers animal health expertise in everyday language that all pet owners can understand. This in-depth new resource, authored by over 200 veterinary experts, covers the full spectrum of today’s pets, from dogs, cats and horses to birds, reptiles, fish and other exotic pets. No other book provides as much health information on as many types of animals. The one resource for a lifetime of pets. Paperback, 1300 pages Published October 23rd 2007 by Merck


A irl s’ Best Friend G

By Teresa K. Hernandez Photos by Priscilla Z Photography


self-proclaimed animal lover and aspiring veterinarian, fourteenyear-old Breanna Farrell has always known she wanted to work with animals. Even with a variety of pets at home, it didn’t stop Breanna from rescuing yet one more two years ago; and that is when she brought home her best friend River from the Temple Animal Shelter. The two started taking dog obedience training classes at Sit Means Sit soon after. Initially, they enrolled to help River overcome some fears she had, which were a result of a traumatic car accident. “River got hit by a car before she came to the shelter and


JUly 2013 Tex Appeal

so she wouldn’t let anyone touch her back feet and legs. If you got too close, she would get nervous and growl at you. This was an area we had to work on when we first started attending training classes. Now it doesn’t bother River anymore when people touch her back or get near her legs,” says Breanna. One of the best things Breanna claims she learned during their training classes was how to keep your dog’s attention and make them listen to you. “I never knew you could take your dog off the leash and still have it obey all of your commands and listen to you from over 100 feet away.”

Learning how to properly handle and train River was important to Breanna. “I’ve always wanted to help children using pet therapy--a dog. At the time, I didn’t know much about therapy dogs or how I could get started; but, once we began our classes, I started learning more about therapy dogs and their training and we got started with it,” says Breanna. Therapy dogs visit schools, hospitals, libraries, nursing homes and other facilities where they can entertain and interact with people, thus providing therapeutic benefit. Accompanied by their handler, therapy dogs can do tricks, shake hands, play fetching


n eighb o r

schools and even participated in the Dr. Seuss Reading Day program at Tyler Elementary and River does great. However, the sound of a motorized wheelchair still scares River a little and so we need to work on that so she won’t get scared when we visit children’s hospitals,” explains Breanna. Breanna will be a freshman at Belton High School this year and is excited about taking classes in animal science and small animal management. “My mother and I would also really like to form a training group at Belton Independent School District where we can help more kids get involved with training dogs and working as therapy teams.” However, for now, when this therapy team isn’t busy training or reading at the library, they love to go to the park and play games of fetch and go swimming. “River is pretty much spoiled rotten,” laughs Breanna.

"Children enjoy petting River as they read to her. Her friendly, gentle personality helps them to feel relaxed and develop positive feelings about reading." -Erin Gaines, Temple Public Library games, and sit with people and allow them to pet them. All of this contact interaction is therapeutic and helps people to momentarily forget all about their aliments or problems. To begin therapy dog training, River first had to pass a test that measured her level of aggression, and her disposition and personality. This is important as therapy dogs are exposed to crowds of strangers and small children, all of whom generally want to get real close to the dogs and touch them. After passing this test and working on more specialized training, Breanna and River were certified as a Therapy Team. Breanna and River visit the Temple Public Library every other Saturday where they sit down and read with children. “The kids can sign-up at the front desk for us to read to them and then we all sit down and spend 15 minutes reading together. All of the kids at the library love River. They especially love sitting next to her and petting her,” says Breanna. Today, the pair continues to train once a week so that Breanna can get River ready to start visiting children’s hospitals and more elementary school programs. “We have visited some elementary


Call for details. Offer expires 7/25/13. Promo code: TEX APPEAL

Call for details. Offer expires 7/25/13. Promo code: TEX APPEAL


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fe ature

Go Wild

20th Birthday Celebration at Cameron Park Zoo

by Teresa K. Hernandez Photos by Sheri Hemrick, Laurel Shannon, and Brett Jameson


“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi


aving a howling good time, swinging from ropes, splashing in the water, slinking around rocks, and feathers a ‘flying--there’s simply no denying this place is a zoo. Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! All of the animals at the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco are going WILD in anticipation of the zoo’s 20th birthday celebration and festivities; and they have plenty of reasons to celebrate. Twenty years ago when the zoo first opened it only had 57 animals and today it has over 2,000! The zoo sprawls across 52 acres and is adjacent to the 460-acre Brazos River Park. Chosen for its beautiful landscape and rich native vegetation, the park offered the ideal setting for creating natural and authentic habitats for animals. The cascading waterfalls, ponds, and lake also create a very peaceful and picturesque setting for both animals and guests. “We were very fortunate to be able to


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plan and build our habitats and exhibits in and around this natural setting. Instead of building an exhibit and then trying to figure out how to recreate a natural setting around it—we just designed the exhibit into the natural setting. This allowed us to incorporate multiple species into an exhibit, which enables us to ‘tell a story’ as you move through the zoo,” says Jim Fleshman, the director of Cameron Park Zoo. The main mission of the Cameron Park Zoo is to promote conservation awareness and cultural enrichment through education and recreation. Moreover, the zoo’s conservation and research efforts have not been limited to only local or state efforts, but globally. In 1993, it helped fund the SMO Tiger Rescue in Indonesia and the Orangutan Conservation Programme in Sumatra. The Cameron Park Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and it upholds exceptional standards for animal care and

management.  The animal care staff devotes a tremendous amount of time and energy toward providing the best of care, including training, proper nutrition, veterinary care, and life enrichment. From the zoo’s earliest conception, conservation has always been the goal. Zoos are more than just entertainment. A zoo educates and challenges people to take action for animal protection and promotes conservation, recycling, and efforts to protect and preserve our environment. Not only does it change lives, it enriches lives,” explains Jim. Featured in the article, “Ten Zoos in the U.S.” by National Geographic, the Cameron Park Zoo is recognized globally as one of the world’s leading zoos for animal care, conservation, and natural habitats. In 2011, the zoo was selected to be the host the 2011 Orangutan Husbandry Conference because of its outstanding orangutan exhibit and husbandry program. Orangutan researchers from all over the world attended this event. Not only is this a large exhibit, but its impressive

design has been recognized as the “perfect model” for orangutan exhibits. As a result, it attracts visitors and researchers from all over the world. “The key to this exhibit’s design is the fact we built it around, and in, a preexisting, natural setting with plenty of lush, natural greenery and shade. We didn’t build a concrete exhibit and then try to go back and add greenery to an unnatural setting. We are also the first zoo to design and incorporate overhead elements into an orangutan exhibit, which allows the orangutans to get up high and off the ground–exactly where they prefer to be and more true to their natural habitat in the wild,” says Terri Cox, program and exhibits curator. Cameron Park Zoo also participates in AZA programs such as the Species Survival Plans (SSP), Taxon Advisory Groups (TAG’s) and Population Management Plans (PMP’s). These programs ensure responsible breeding, excellence in captive management, and in-situ conservation for threatened and endangered C o n ti n ued o n page 3 0

Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way. – John Muir


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28 22 Jaguars 23 Coyotes 24 Brazos at Night 25 Bison 4 Gibbons 26 Ranch House 5 Pavilion Classroom 6 Nature Trail 27 White Tailed Deer 7 Meadows 31 28 Wild Turkey 8 Bald Eagles 29 Herpetarium 9 Macaws Reptiles 10 Galapagos 30 African Savanna Entrance Tortoises 31 African Birds 11 El Rey De La Montaña (South American Habitat) 32 Tree Tops Cafe & Village 33 Dik Dik Antelopes Squirrel Monkeys 34 Kori Bustards Sloth 35 Greater Kudu Scarlet Ibis 36 Crowned Crane Conures 37 Giraffes Agouti 38 Gerenuks Capybaras 39 Storks 12 Grammy Nell’s Playspace 40 Rhinos 33 41 African Shore Birds 13 Brazos River Country Entrance 42 African Elephants 14 Marine Aquarium 43 Meerkats 15 Shore Birds Aviary 44 African Lions 34 16 Alligators 45 Asian Forest Entrance 17 Mountain Lions 46 Sumatran Tigers 18 Otters 47 Komodo Dragons 19 Black Bears 48 Orangutans 20 Fresh Water 49 Jungle Jim’s Playspace Aquarium 50 Lemur Island 21 Ocelots 1 Zoo Entrance 2 Gift Shop 3 Plaza Cafe


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“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.” –Martin Buber C o n ti n ued f ro m page 2 7

animal species. In addition to participating in these conservation efforts, the animal care staff also manages a comprehensive enrichment program that incorporates activity, physical, and mental training programs into the animals’ weekly care. “In a sense, these programs are like physical therapy. We do weekly activities with them to keep the animals mentally and physically engaged. Boredom and an inactive lifestyle

are not healthy for people or animals. Physical and mental activity improves their health, husbandry, and helps the animals live in a more stress free manner,” explains Terri. Over 250,000 visitors a year flock to the Cameron Park Zoo, and over fifty percent of these visitors are from outside the Central Texas region. Unsurpassed for its outstanding membership and visitor services, innovative designs for building natural habitats where animals can thrive, and advancements in animal health and care, husbandry, and

research programs, has turned the Cameron Park Zoo into a national and global destination for animal lovers. “We have over 137,000 children, 12 and under come through our gates each year and that is great! Kids love animals, so we have an excellent opportunity to plant that seed early about the importance of conservation and the significance of living responsibly. Using animals and interactive, fun programs, we are working to raise the next generation of conservation-conscious citizens,” says Jeff.

Birthday Celebration In recognition of the zoo’s past two decades of phenomenal growth, success, and unwavering community support, the Cameron Park Zoo is kicking off a yearlong celebration (July 2013 to June 2014) with an Ice Cream Social for Zoo members on July 18, followed by a weekend with 1993 “throw-back admission prices.” Each month until June 2014, the zoo will announce a special event that focuses on one of their exhibits. “We could not have achieved all that we have these past 20 years, had it not been for all of the tremendous support we have received from our community. Now it is our turn to give something back. We want everyone to come out and help us celebrate 20 years and enjoy all of the fun events we have planned for this upcoming year,” says Jim. 30

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Zoo hours

Upcoming zoo Events

9am to 5pm 11am to 5pm

Monday - Saturday Sunday

20th Celebration July 18 July 20-21

Admission Fees: Adults (13+) $9 Children (4-12yrs) $6 Children 3 years old and under FREE Sr. Citizens (60+) $8 Military discounts: Adults $8 Children 4-12 $5 Tickets are available for purchase on post, or at the gate with a valid military ID. Special rates for groups of 21 or more are available. For more inforamtion on tour groups: senior citizens, church, motorcoach, school groups, etc. please call 254.750.8400.

Ice Cream Social (Zoo members only) Throw-back admission prices

2013 Zoo Events September 21

World Rhino Day 10am-2pm

October 5

Bird Conservation Day 10am-2pm

October 31

Zoo Boo 6pm-8pm

November 9

Elephant Conservation Day 10 am-2pm November 9 The Great Zoo Stampede

Cameron Park Zoo is fully accessible.

Directions: Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

to Dallas

Brazos River University Parks Drive Avenue

Cameron Park Zoo 1701 North 4th Street Waco, Texas, 76707 Contact: 254.750.8400




treet From Killeen-Temple, head 4th S treet north on I-35 and the 335A exit 5th S in Waco, then simply follow the signs to the zoo!

I-35 to Austin

Or for directions from your address, visit


Put a Leash on Bad Behavior By Teresa K. Hernandez Photos by Priscilla Z Photography


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fe ature “Properly trained, a man can be a dog’s best friend.” The old saying “you can’t teach an old dog A well-behaved dog is not only a joy to be Sit Means Sit uses an attention-based new tricks” is one we have all heard time and around, but important for the health, safety training program to teach dogs to pay again. Truth be told, most of us are probably and overall well- being of the dog. “Training attention to their owners whether the leash all guilty of using it as an excuse for our dog’s is on or off, regardless of the bad behavior, or maybe even our distance between the dog and Sit Means Sit specializes in controlling a variety of bad own bad behavior. It’s an old wives’ its owner, or the distractions behaviors, including: tale, but most dog owners still surrounding the dog—strangers, believe if they failed to have their other dogs, crowds, etc. Initially, Jumping up or on people Excessive barking dog trained during that first crucial a training collar that releases a Running away Destructive behavior year, they’ve missed their only vibrating sensation to get the Separation anxiety Leash pulling opportunity to have an obedient dog’s attention is used. The owner Soiling the house Nipping and chewing dog. However, according to Robin controls it by remote control. Aggression And other annoyances Wheeler, the owner of Sit Means However, as the training program Sit in Belton, “It’s never too late to progresses, the dog will learn to train a dog. Even old dogs can learn is simply teaching a dog a new language. Body watch the owner for cues. The ultimate goal is new things. just like us, they never lose their language, verbal commands, a leash, and to be able to have the dog leash-free in a busy, ability to learn something new. However, the even toys are all tools for teaching this new distracting public environment such as a park, sooner you start training the better.” language,” explains Robin. and for the dog to ignore the distractions,


From left to right: Craig Hanna (professional trainer), Tony Williams (professional trainer), Robin Wheeler (owner), Candice Waugh (office manager), Karen Thorn (professional trainer) Not shown in photo: professional trainers Grace Jackson and Delvon Rice, and office assistant Jeanie Stevenson.

paying only attention to the owner and his discover they are expecting—two weeks before commands from 100 feet away. Sit Means the baby’s due date is not enough time.” Sit uses only safe, staged areas to train for these types of situations, and does not encourage or recommend pet owners to take their dogs off their leashes in public places or parks. “We can also help expecting parents prepare their dog for the day they A dog trainer who spends a significant bring home the new baby” says Robin. “This amount of time with a dog begins to training should begin as soon as the parents know your dog’s behavior and physical

characteristics so well, he or she may notice or recognize small changes in your pet’s behavior or physical activities that are signs of mild-serious health issues, such as allergies--things even an owner may not recognize as a medical symptom. Generally, veterinarians do not have an opportunity to spend enough time with your dog at its annual check-ups to know his personality or normal behavior (vets are used to dogs being nervous in their office) and not realize anything is out of character for

“My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am.”


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your dog. Keep in mind, a dog trainer is not a substitute for good veterinarian care and they should never attempt to diagnose your pet. However, their experience and knowledge of dogs can help them to identify things you may need to bring to your veterinarian’s attention. If you are interested in training your dog to be a service or therapy dog, you can learn more about the training process at www.akc. org/akctherapydog/organizations.cfm. Sit Means Sit will offer the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen Test on Aug. 11, 2013. You must pre-register and the cost of this test is $25. This test evaluates your dog’s social behavior to see if it meets the temperament and personality requirements to become a service or therapy dog. The first step towards a smarter, happier, more confident and well-behaved dog is scheduling a free consultation with a trainer to evaluate your dog’s needs. 1027 W. US Hwy 190 Belton, Texas 76513 (254) 541-3343 Offers a wide array of training packages, private lessons, puppy training (done by private lessons in your home), boarding, and even boarding with in-house training for dogs that show signs of “red zone” level aggression (dangerous behavior) or are at risk to become a bitter are available.


Healthy Chow is Essential for Healthy Pets An Interview with Mars Petcare US One of the global leaders in the pet care industry is right here in Central Texas. Located in Temple, Mars Petcare US manufactures Pedigree pet food. Tex Appeal recently had an opportunity to visit with Mars Petcare US to learn more about their history in the pet care industry, the products they make, and the importance of providing good nutrition to our pets.


How long has Mars Petcare US been in Temple, and what kind of pet food do you manufacture there?

The Mars Petcare US plant in Temple, Texas was built in 1987 and manufactures PEDIGREE® Brand Food for Dogs, particularly our dry recipes and private label pet foods.



Can you share a little history on Mars Petcare US?

Mars Petcare US is the U.S. pet care operation of Mars, Incorporated, one of the world’s leading food manufacturers.  In fact, the global petcare segment at Mars, Inc. is the world’s largest pet food manufacturer.  Since 2006, Mars Petcare U.S. has been headquartered in Franklin, Tenn., and employs more than 2,200 associates who make, sell and distribute high-quality pet food from manufacturing facilities located in communities across our country, like Temple, Texas.      Mars recently announced the removal of fishmeal from API fish foods and launched fishmeal-free brands in the U.S. and Europe. Can you tell us a little bit more about this initiative?


At Mars Petcare US, we take the sourcing of our ingredients very seriously. In 2010, we announced our commitment to only use responsibly sourced fish in our pet food products by 2020.  Following the recommendations set forth by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program, Mars Petcare US took the first steps and launched three responsibly sourced SKUs under the SHEBA® Brand.  While this particular product is not made in Temple, Texas, it reflects the commitment and future of our entire business.  


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What does the PEDIGREE Foundation do? 

The PEDIGREE® Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to help dogs find loving homes.  The Foundation has its roots in the PEDIGREE® Adoption Drive, which was started in 2005 by PEDIGREE®, one of our most iconic brands.  Through the support of individual donors and the PEDIGREE® Brand, the Foundation is able to provide Operation and Innovation Grants to make a meaningful impact to 2,500 shelters and rescues across the U.S.


What is the key to maintaining health and nutrition in pets?

“Making sure your pet receives regular checkups by

a veterinarian is the most important thing you can do for your pet’s health,” said Dr. Tiffany Bierer, health and nutrition scientist at Mars Petcare US. “A good vet will recommend a pet food that is 100% complete and balanced, like the PEDIGREE® products made in Temple, Texas.  Also, make sure to not over feed your pet and provide plenty of opportunities for exercise. This will help ensure that both you and your pet will have a happy and healthy life together.”   What can you share with us about the research and science Mars Petcare US uses to formulate pet food?

fe ature


For almost 50 years, the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition has been the fundamental science center for Mars Petcare, with a focus on the nutrition and wellbeing of pets and their benefits to humans.  Located in Leicestershire, England, WALTHAM has pioneered many important breakthroughs in pet nutrition and provides the Caring Science and expertise behind our iconic brands, such as the PEDIGREE® products made in Temple, Texas.  In fact, it’s the science behind all Mars Petcare pet food brands globally.   We’re currently building an $87 million, state-of-the-art innovation center in Thompson’s Station, Tenn., which will be focused entirely on the innovation of nutritious pet food and treats. The Center will encompass our Pet Feeding Center, Product Development Center, Innovation Center, and a Focus building. This is where we’ll be applying years of already proven study and expertise from our partners at worldrenowned Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition to develop innovative products that are both beneficial and enjoyable for pets.  The dogs and cats living there will be a part of our family from the moment they arrive.  They will be loved, cared for and protected as our own.   What is caring science?  


Caring Science is the approach taken by Waltham to obtain research without compromising the welfare of the pets we love. Pets are an important part of our family so we strive to look after our pets in an enriched environment with the highest standard of care to ensure both their health and happiness. Caring Science is the standard of care each pet will receive at our Regional Innovation Center in Thompson’s Station, Tennessee.



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fe ature

Horse Health

Preventative Health Care By Teresa K. Hernandez


roperly managing a preventative health care routine is important for your horse’s health, performance, and overall well-being. To learn more about the fundamentals of good horse health care, Tex Appeal recently had an opportunity to visit with Dr. Theresa Dwyer (Dr. T) and tour her clinic, surgery and breeding facility at Dr. T’s Equine Clinic in Salado. Dr. T and her staff of veterinarians, Dr. Aden Hardinson and Dr. Beau Whitaker provide a wide range of

equine services. Her equine clinic sits on 25 scenic acres and features a clinic, surgery facility, emergency care, lab for blood chemistry, digital imaging, chiropractic care and breeding and reproduction facility, as well as numerous barns and stables. According to Dr. T, maintaining an annual vaccination schedule and managing the following health care steps can reduce the risks of your horse developing some potentially serious and life-threatening conditions.


Dr. Aden Hardinson floats “Smart Pepto’s” teeth for owner, Billy Fleming. REST: Dr. Aden Hardison , assisted by Technican Torie Muse, doing chiropractic therapy on “Hook’em,” also owned by Billy Fleming.

Deworming “Just in the last few years, we’ve changed how we use dewormers. Parasites have developed a resistance to them, and unfortunately we will not have any new dewormers available to us for the next few years. It takes some time for labs to identify and develop new treatments,” says Dr. T. “The best way for horse owners to manage this issue for the time being is to have your vet test your horse. Only once the parasite has been identified do you begin to treat it . What you do not do is give your horse a “general” dewormer. Not only is there no such thing anymore as a “one-stop shot” for all, but giving your horse the wrong dewormer can actually cause more harm than good.”

Dental Care Have your horse’s teeth checked annually. Unlike humans and other animals, a horse’s teeth are constantly growing. Horses that are in the pasture and graze all day naturally wear down their teeth as they grind their food. However, horses that are stabled and fed only twice a day do not get an opportunity to graze long enough and this reduces their ability to wear down their teeth. Therefore, stabled horses should have 40

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their teeth floated more often than a horse kept in the pasture. Floating is the process of filing down the sharp points and overgrown teeth. Check their teeth regularly. Stabled horses should have their teeth floated 2-3 times a year, and pastured horses at least once a year.

Hoof Care To prevent lameness, a good hoof-care routine consisting of cleaning, trimming and shoeing should be followed regularly. Depending on the amount of riding or level of wear, horseshoes need to be changed every 6-8 weeks. However, not all horses need to wear horseshoes--only those living on or being ridden on rough, rocky terrains. Hard, sharp surfaces are damaging to a horse’s hooves, and if not properly cared for can cause lameness.

Equine Chiropractic Care In addition to equine medicine, Dr. Aden Hardison, certified by the International Veterinary Chiropractor Association, offers equine chiropractic therapy.. Clinical studies and trials support the health benefits of spinal manipulations and shows it may slow down

progressive and degenerative issues in aging horses. A healthy diet combined with regular exercise and chiropractic therapy reduces the advancement of osteoarthritic disorders, and is shown to relieve back and neck pain and to reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve. “Chiropractic therapy is another great preventative routine to incorporate into your horse’s regular health care program, especially if they are active in competitive or performance-based activities, “says Dr. Aden. An initial chiropractic exam is $100 and follow-ups are $80.

Obesity According to Dr. T, one of the leading contributors to health problems in horses is obesity. “Over 70 percent of horses are too fat. This is mainly a result of horses not getting enough physical activity (are not being ridden enough), and the fact that owners have a tendency to over-feed their horses. Horses that are too fat have a higher risk of developing colic and other serious health-related issues, including equine metabolic disorders, Cushing’s disease and diabetes.”

Summer Heat Issues During the hot Texas summer months it is critical to ensure your horse has access to ample shade and water. Once dehydration sets in, a horse loses the capacity to control his body temperature. When dehydration sets in, it reduces his ability to sweat and the horse’s natural cooling system begins to fail. This causes the body temperature to rise to dangerously high levels, 104-108, and can put your horse at risk for heat exhaustion, heat stress or even heat stroke.

Advice from a HORSE

Take life’s hurdles Loosen the reins. Be free spirited. Keep the burrs

in stride.

from under your saddle.


your friends when they need it.

Keep stable. Gallop to greatness! —Llan Shamir

The lawn you want. Minus the work you don’t.


Important Annual Vaccinations Tetanus Caused by bacteria that lives in the ground.

Influenza (Flu) A virus that causes fever, cough, and nasal discharge. Can be transmitted to other horses.

Encephalomyelitis (EEE/WEE) A neurological disease (sleeping sickness) transmitted by mosquitoes that can cause death.

West Nile A killed virus vaccine to protect against the mosquito transmitted West Nile Virus.

Rhinopneumonitis (Rhino) Caused by the herpes virus and can cause cough, fever, and nasal discharge. Contagious and spreads easily.

Rabies Affects humans, horses, cats, and dogs.


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home & garden

City Chicks By Teresa K. Hernandez Photos by The Fancy Farmgirl Photography


s the natural food movement first began to sweep across the United States, folks soon discovered the joys of growing their own viable food sources. Motivated to expand into a more selfsustaining lifestyle using only all-natural methods, some began adding a few hens to their backyard farms. Chickens offer a natural solution to controlling pests in the garden without the use of harmful pesticides, provide a rich and natural fertilizer to the soil, with an added bonus --fresh eggs.

Roost in Style

Originally intended to serve a useful purpose, urban farmers soon discovered their chickens were not just “fowl” farm animals that poop everywhere, but rather fun pets. As the old saying goes, “birds of a feather flock together,” so when friends, family, and neighbors saw their beneficial backyard pets, they too fell in love with them. The rest is history. Now there is an entire market for poultry pets—products, publications, websites, books, and organizations all dedicated to raising and keeping chickens as pets.


“You would never think in a million years that a chicken could have so much personality. But they do. They all have their own distinctive little personalities and quirks and they are so fun to watch.,” laughs Julie Baker, founder of Pamper Your Poultry. “They will come to you when you call them, sit on your lap, and even enjoy being petted.” Keeping a few hens in your backyard can be very rewarding and quite easy to do; however, it does require a chicken coop. If that thought turns you off because the vision of an ugly, ratty shack that smells disgusting comes to mind, I’d like to encourage you to spend a little time on Goggle or Pinterest browsing the keywords “urban chicken coop.” A cute little chicken coop can actually look like yard art. Speaking of fancy, how about hanging a crystal chandelier in a chicken coop? Bet that never crossed your mind. However, it did for professional blogger, photographer and creative stylist Tiffany Kirchner Dixon, a.k.a. The Fancy Farmgirl. Thinking outside the nesting box, Tiffany took her thrifty garagesale finds and used them to transform a small prefabricated storage building into a stylish, shabby chic boutique chicken hotel for her fancy feathered flock. “I just found things here and there at garage sales and since they were really cheap, I didn’t see any harm in putting them in the chicken coop. You don’t feel so bad if a $5 chair gets a little dirty, “she laughs. “Does it always stay immaculate like it looks in these pictures? Of course, not, it is a chicken coop. Chickens are messy and they poop a lot. You have to carve out some time to clean out the coop, light cleanings each evening and a thorough cleaning about once every other week.” Do not go chicken shopping without doing your research. There are hundreds of chicken breeds in existence and each has its own characteristics and personality traits. Choose a breed known for making good pets--nice, friendly and gentle. Some breeds just aren’t interested in being a pampered pet and won’t even let you near them, much less pick them up. Others will follow you around like a dog and want to sit on your lap. Tiffany’s favorite chickens are Cochins. These chickens are big, fluffy and friendly. They also look a little dressy with their feathers going all the way down to their feet. “They are so loveable and friendly, but they really aren’t great layers. My Marans are also friendly and they lay good. They lay large dark brown eggs,” says Tiffany. Tiffany also loves her Ameraucanas because they lay beautiful blue eggs. The market for urban backyard chicken coops has recently exploded and now numerous companies 44

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and individuals produce specialty coops, custom-designed for urban backyards and pet chickens. All shapes, sizes, themes and styles to fit any space--small ones to house 1-2 hens, medium size for 3-6, or large ones that can hold up to 8-10. If you’re handy with a hammer, you could save yourself a lot of money and build your own coop. Old cedar fencing that has been torn down can often be found sitting out on the curb for trash pickup. This is ideal lumber for building a chicken coop, especially if you like the rustic, vintage look. And what’s not to love about FREE!? Just remember a coop must be fully enclosed to protect your chickens from predators. When considering how many chickens you want and the size of coop you’ll need for them, Tiffany recommends a general farm rule of thumb: “You’ll need about two feet per chicken, a nesting box, and a perch for them get on at night.” Before you go out and purchase a coop, be sure to check with your city to see if they have any ordinances against keeping chickens in the city limits. They may have specific guidelines as to how many chickens you can keep, require you place the coop at a specific location within the backyard (150 feet from neighbor’s property, etc.), or limitations as to the coop’s size. To learn more about Tiffany Kirchner-Dixon, a.k.a. The Fancy Farmgirl and her pampered chickens, visit her blog online at:

Pamper Your Poultry After reading about a chandelier in a chicken coop, you probably thought you had heard it all. Well, I don’t want to ruffle your feathers, but I think I have one more that might just top the chandelier. How about chicken diapers? Yes, you read right, chicken d-i-a-p-e-r-s. A few years ago, Julie Baker took some scrap material and stitched up a couple diapers for some pet show chickens her daughter had to keep in the house for a few days. Julie’s kids raise and show poultry and frequently have to bring a few indoors to prepare for an upcoming show. The diaper worked so well, the kids started putting them on their favorite pet chickens so they could bring them inside and play with them as they watched TV. Julie also designed a “saddle” to cover a hen’s back so the rooster can’t ruin her feathers before a show. When friends in the poultry-showing community saw Julie’s chicken diapers and saddles, she started being bombarded with orders. On one of her trips to the Dominican Republic, Julie asked a group of women from a local church if they would be interested in forming a co-op and sew the diapers and saddles for her. They agreed and so Julie returned home, bought sewing machines, fabric and supplies, and carried them all back to the women in the Dominican Republic. “Some of the women knew how to sew and others didn’t. However, I taught them how to sew and got them all trained. Now I make regular trips down to the Dominican Republic to carry fabric and supplies to them, and bring back the ones they have finished,” says Julie. “I never intended, or ever dreamed, this would become a business or that I would be doing this. But there appears to be a demand for them, so why not? I 46

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Photography courtesy of Pampered Poultry

consistently sell anywhere from 50-100 a week, a little over 500 a month. However, recently I have started receiving some very large wholesale orders, which is great, I am not complaining. But it is making it very hard on me to keep up with orders. And all of this business is primarily coming from just one state. I am going to have to expand and hire more women to sew so I can get these big orders filled faster. I have been spending way too much time at my sewing machine lately.� For more information on Julie’s poultry couture and stylish fashions for chickens, featuring: diapers, saddles, as well as complete outfits for both hens and roosters, visit her online at:



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y r t n Cou She’s Gone

with these colorful and stylish straw accessories, Perfect for those hot summer days in Texas.

CHAIR: Bright turquoise straw purse with stripes, cloth lining with zipper and beaded handles by Blue Miami $69 at Dillard’s in Temple. Handcrocheted rainbow striped purse by The Sak $39 at Dillard’s in Temple. Woven floppy straw sun hat by Izod $19.99 at Kohl’s in Killeen. Montana West Turquoise Cross embellished sunglasses $27 (case included) at The Rustic Redhead Boutique in Belton.

Photos by Teresa K. Hernandez


Front Row: Baby blue multi-color floral baby doll dress by B.Darlin $24.15 at Dillard’s in Temple. Cavendar’s 10X Gus Palm Leaf cowboy hat with buffalo nickel hatband, $49.99. Spaghetti strap with criss-cross back orange and turquoise geometric print with belt by Teeze Me $69 at Dillard’s in Temple. Woven floppy straw hat by Izod $19.99 at Kohl’s in Killeen. Navy and white lace with woven belt by Sequin Hearts, MyMichelle Company $59 at Dillard’s in Temple. White eyelet cotton dress by B.Darlin $69 at Dillard’s in Temple. Mint green Boho print strapless dress with a ruffled top and off the shoulder half sleeves by 2 Hearts $49.99 at The Rustic Redhead Boutique in Belton. Strapless yellow hi-low dress with lace by Double Zero $36.99 at The Rustic Redhead Boutique in Belton. Fringed Cream dress by Ekklesia $42.99 at The Rustic Redhead Boutique in Belton. Black straw floppy sun hat, $4 at Dollar General Store.

Kick-up you heels in style when you step out on the town in this cool collection of summer sundresses from Dillard’s of Temple and The Rustic Redhead Boutique. 50

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y r t n u

Back Row: Bright orange striped maxi dress $39.99 at Dillard’s in Temple. Straw woven cowboy hat with wooden turquoise beaded hatband $16.99 at Target. Yellow with multi-color southwestern print and woven belt by GB $69 at Dillard’s in Temple. Navy white striped hat by Kate Landry $32 at Dillard’s in Temple. Strapless Royal Blue hi-low dress by Hot & Delicious $50.99 at The Rustic Redhead Boutique in Belton. Maxi dress in poppy with ruffled top, spaghetti strap, and yellow stripes $39.99 at Dillard’s in Temple. White straw floppy sun hat, $4 at Dollar General Store. Mint green and white pinstriped seersucker dress by Cremieux $77.40 at Dillard’s in Temple. Strapless black and orange floral print by Angie $29.99 at Dillard’s in Temple.


Raise Your Glass

to Creativity!



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Regularly Scheduled Classes (see our schedule online) 2-Hour Classes $35/Person 3-Hour Classes $45/Person

716 Indian Trail Suite 220 Harker Heights 254.393.0182

trave l

Float on the Frio River

By Teresa K. Hernandez Photos courtesy Frio River Cabins

Close your eyes and imagine the sweet sounds of a summer day at the river. Rippling waters softly flowing, birds chirping, singing frogs, and warm breezes blowing through the tops of majestic Cypress trees. Now add in the heat from basking in the hot Texas sun and the refreshingly cool, crisp spring-fed waters that make the heat tolerable and enjoyable, as you drift merrily along with their slow-moving, lazy currents.




or generations, Texans have been making annual summer pilgrimages down to the Texas Hill County to float down the beautiful Frio River. The word frio is Spanish for cold and it accurately describes the Frio’s clear, cool waters that emerge from underground springs, providing some of the cleanest, purest water in the state. This beautiful and picturesque river meanders through high limestone bluffs and huge 2,000-year-old Bald Cypress trees. Its gentle currents and mild rapids make the Frio a paddler’s dream for tubes, kayaks, and canoes. Shallow and easily navigated, it is also the ideal river for beginners and families to float. The Frio River begins in Real County about 27 miles north of the Edwards Plateau. Although the river is approximately 250 miles long and runs through multiple counties, the 47 miles that features the majority of all of the tubing and float vacation activities and entertainment, runs through Garner State Park, Leakey, and Concan. You will not have any problems finding places to rent tubes or offering shuttle services; and the rates are extremely inexpensive. Tube rentals generally are around seven dollars a day, and add a few dollars more (ten dollars) if you want to include shuttle services.


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The shuttle services are definitely worth the few extra bucks; they take you to the drop off point where you enter the river and then have someone available downriver to pick you up. After a long day of floating, having a ride to take you back up the river is super nice, especially when toting ice chests and children. Cabins and campgrounds are also easy to find. Simply Google “Frio River” to find a long list of private cabin rentals with pictures and details, or visit Garner State Park online at: state-parks/garner. The park offers cabins with or without fireplaces, campsites with your choice of “with or without water and electricity” for primitive tent camping, sites with water and electricity for RV’s, as well as larger sites to accommodate groups. However, whichever route you decide to go, it is important to call ahead and make your reservations, cabins and campsites go quick during the busy summer float season. After a great day of floating all your worries away on the river, the fun continues back at the cabin. As the sun begins to set fire up the grill and throw on some cowboy potatoes, fresh sweet corn (leave in the husks) and steaks. Then sit back with a Frio River cocktail and get ready to enjoy a magnificent meal under the Texas stars.


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There are also numerous other activities and attractions around the Frio River to enjoy while on vacation. Some of the best birdwatching in the state, hayrides, horseback riding, hiking, nature trails, bat flight tours, fishing, caves, and even outdoor music venues. Other nearby attractions include: Real County Historical Museum; John Nance “Cactus Jack” Garner Museum in Uvalde; Lone Star Motorcycle Museum; The Rio Frio Landmark Oak Tree; Stay at the “Home of the BEST Swimming Hole on the Frio.” Find cabins, vacation homes, and float rentals at Frio River Cabins in Leaky. Open year-round, Frio River Cabins is only one mile from Garner State Park. Named one of the “Top Ten Swimming Holes in Texas” by Texas Monthly Magazine. Located at 7069 South US Hwy 83, Leakey, Texas 78873. For Reservations call 830.232.5996 or


JUly 2013 Tex Appeal

Briscoe Grand Opera House, circa 1891; Briscoe Art and Antique Collection; Kickapoo Cavern State Park; Devil’s Sinkhole State Natural Area, Hill Country State Natural Area; Lost Maples State Natural Area; the ruins of historic Mission Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria del Canon, founded in 1749; Fort Inge, established in 1849; and the former U.S. Cavalry post and Texas Ranger camp, Camp Sabinal, established in 1856. Location:  Take U.S. 90 west of San Antonio for an hour to Sabinal. Turn right on State 127 and follow that to Concan. Turn right on U.S. 83. It leads to Garner State Park where you can get maps and information. Garner State Park: HCR 70, P.O. Box 599, Concan, TX 78838; (830) 232-6132 or Admission is $5 per person for day use. Children 12 and under are free.

es away Frio Canyon Events July 5-6 Leakey July Jubliee. Arts, crafts, July 4th parade, old time street dance, and rodeo.

The House Pasture Cattle Company Restaurant and Texas Music Venue 2013 Summer Concerts July 4

Wade Bowen

July 5

Randy Rogers

July 6

Cory Morrow

July 13

Stoney LaRue

July 20

Kevin Fowler

July 27

Kyle Park

Aug. 3

Bellamy Brothers

Aug. 9-10

Owen Temple Frio River Song Festival

Aug. 31

Turnpike Troubadours

For more information visit:


If you can’t escape to the river this summer for a Frio float trip, enjoy the next best thing, a Frio River cocktail on the patio. This delightful summer drink honors South Texas– home of the Frio River and the sweet Texas Rio star grapefruits that grows there.

Frio River Cocktail 1 1/2 ounces to 2 ounces of rye or bourbon 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth 1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice (GO TEXAS, use Texas grapefruit juice) 1/4 ounce Raspberry liqueur (Chambord, Mathilde Liqueur Framboise) 1 dash orange bitters 1 maraschino cherry Shake whiskey, sweet vermouth, grapefruit juice with ice. Strain into a pre-chilled Cocktail glass. Add orange bitters and a cherry. For added flair, use a slice of fresh Grapefruit to rim the glass, then dip in raspberry flavored sugar. (“Bohemian Raspberry” by Cocktail Candy) Courtesy of Texas Cooking,

Bring the delicious, hearty flavors of a camp out home with Cowboy Camp Potatoes, the perfect side dish for grilled steaks and chicken.

Cowboy Camp Potatoes 6 medium-large potatoes 1 large onion sliced 1 clove garlic, minced 2 slices of bacon, chopped ½ stick butter Salt and pepper 1 ½ teaspoons Paprika 1 cup grated mild cheddar cheese Preheat oven to 375. Wash potatoes and cut into ¼ inch slices (peeling not necessary). Slice onion into ¼ slices and set aside. Put chopped bacon in a cast iron skillet or baking pan and bake until browned. Add minced garlic to bacon and drippings. Pour bacon, drippings, and garlic over sliced potatoes and onions and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Pour everything back into the baking pan then top with sliced pats of butter, sprinkle with paprika and cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes or until potatoes are soft and tender. Remove foil and bake for another 5-8 minutes or until potatoes are slightly browned. Turn off the oven. Sprinkle grated cheese over the potatoes and onions and return to the hot oven. Allow the cheese to melt and stay warm until ready to serve. **Can also be cooked on a grill or over coals in a Dutch oven. Courtesy of Crazy R BBQ,


JUly 2013 Tex Appeal

Save Skin

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S u m m e r h e at i n t e n s i f i e s chronic skin conditions By Brenda Cox, PhD



s the days get hotter and the air gets drier, our skin takes a beating during the hot Central Texas summer months. But for those who have irritating skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, the combination of heat and outdoor activities can be unbearable. Depending on your skin condition, the range of relief options can be very drastic. Eczema and psoriasis are different, and the diagnosis and treatment options are important for customizing the right treatment. While eczema is thought to be a reaction to environmental irritants or allergens, psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition. Eczema is characterized by red, itchy, dry skin, while psoriasis is marked by patches of raised, reddish skin and covered with a silvery white layer. Both conditions are impacted by stress. Eczema can range from mild to severe and can be a minor infrequent annoyance or a chronic and serious disease. When not treated appropriately, eczema can result in severe and dangerous skin infections. The most prevalent type of eczema is atopic dermatitis, and this condition runs in families. Eczema isn’t contagious like a cold, but researchers do believe it is inherited. This condition affects about 10 to 20 percent of people at some point in their lives. Oddly enough, sufferers of eczema also frequently suffer from hay fever and/ or asthma because eczema is caused by an oversensitivity of the immune system. Eczema initially appears in childhood, but may completely disappear before the age of twenty-five. It is important to tell your doctor about any allergies you have or any unfamiliar substances you have recently encountered in order to get a proper diagnosis. Generally, a visual examination can help distinguish the particular type of eczema, although sometimes a skin biopsy or other testing is necessary. Treatment plans for eczema vary, depending on the type and severity of the eczema, as well as other factors. Treatment options generally include moisturizers and topical corticosteroids. Frequent moisturizing, particularly immediately after bathing, can sometimes help prevent flare-ups. Other tips include bathing in cool water while using a gentle cleanser,


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avoiding strong perfumes, avoiding scratching and keeping the fingernails short or wearing gloves at night. Dermatologists recommend that people with eczema wear clothing that lets the skin breathe and remove sweat from their skin immediately. In severe cases, doctors may recommend ultraviolet light therapy or medications that change the way the skin’s immune system reacts. Although there is no cure for eczema, these simple precautions can help those

Tips for Treating Skin Rashes: Cool Baths


Avoid Scratching

Clothing that Breathes


Loose clothing will let the skin breathe. affected deal with their disease. Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune disease that appears on the skin. It occurs when the immune system sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis, like eczema, is not contagious. There are five types of psoriasis. The most common form, plaque psoriasis, appears as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells. Psoriasis can occur on any part of the body and is associated with other serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and depression. Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disease in the U.S. As many as 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis (National Psoriasis Foundation, 2013). Psoriasis triggers are not universal. What may cause one person’s psoriasis to become active may not affect another. Common triggers include stress, injury to the skin and certain medications or infections. Other 62

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triggers reported by sufferers of the disease, but not substantiated by research include allergies, diet and weather. In the event of guttate psoriasis, also known as eruptive psoriasis, the trigger is almost always a strep infection. Many women report their psoriasis gets either worse or better during pregnancy. You should always notify your obstetrician if you have psoriasis because one recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that women with severe psoriasis are at a higher risk of having a low-birth-weight baby than women without psoriasis. Researchers are investigating how the genes in people with psoriasis make them more likely to get the disease than others. These doctors have uncovered some promising leads. For example, some evidence supports the fact that chemicals in the DNA may have errors leading to missing proteins. Other scientists believe some genes may be turned on or off at the wrong rate. Scientists also believe more people carry the genes for psoriasis than are actually affected by it. For example, scientists believe at least 10 percent of the general population inherits one or more of the genes that cause a predisposition to psoriasis; however, only 2 percent to 3 percent of the population develops the disease. This supports the belief that in order to get psoriasis an individual must not only carry a particular combination of genes, but also be exposed to specific factors that are triggers, such as some types of infections or stress. This summer, take time to relax and remove yourself from the everyday stresses that create so many health problems. More importantly, start thinking of ways to stay cool on the hot Central Texas days. If you have a chronic skin condition, be sure to take extra precautions this summer to keep your skin as healthy as possible—and we should all use sunscreen daily. To learn more about the causes, signs, symptoms, homeopathic remedies and treatments of these chronic skin disorders, visit The National Eczema Association at; The National Psoriasis Foundation at; or Homeopathy for Everyone,

fitne ss

Climb Your Way to Fitness By Jessie Oestreich, Certifed Personal Trainer

You love the outdoors. You only like to work out if it’s a challenge. You want your entire body completely exhausted from physical exertion. Rock climbing could be the very fitness outlet you’ve been searching for!



hether you’ve just done your first climb or your thousandth, you’re likely to be stiff the next morning. The human body is not designed for sustained vertical rock climbing. Running, jumping, lifting objects—these things come naturally for the human form; holding and pulling your entire body weight using the tips of your fingers are not. From another perspective, rock climbing has become one of the world’s more accessible fitness hobbies because of easy access of indoor climbing gyms, outdoor guide services and willing participants. Broad accessibility has led rock climbing to become one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. New climbers are flocking to climbing gyms and crags by the thousands. Many new climbers are individuals simply looking for a great workout. They want to feel the burn that happens when you’ve gone five feet higher than you thought you could. Or they want to develop the strength a climber needs to hang by his arms as he swings his feet up level with his face. Most of the benefits of climbing hinge on the fact that it requires you to use your muscles in unconventional ways. Again, intense rock climbing is not natural to the human form. If we were built to climb, we would look more like chimpanzees. No other sport forces your muscles to constantly switch from isometric, static contractions to dynamic motions as climbing does. Michael Edwards, a veteran climber. believes climbing is easy to start. “We can help you get started. We have everything you need as a beginner: the shoes, climbing gear, all of it is included in our ‘whole shebang’ package at Boulders in Harker Heights.”  Boulders also allows you to bring your own gear as well.  “Climbing is an excellent form of exercise and big confidence builder for all ages. It will slim you down without bulking you up. It’s great for building core and upper body strength for everyone regardless of what other type of workouts you are doing,” says Michael.

Benefits of Rock Climbing Improved Cardio Health As you are scaling a 40-foot mountainside, your heart rate, lungs, arteries, veins and other components are working to get your body to the top. Research shows that the only way to improve your cardiovascular fitness is to work it! Start with a 5 to 10-minute supervised climb, then slowly add more time and difficulty. Your cardiovascular fitness will improve with each climb!

Weight Loss Rock climbing is a moderate intensity exercise, so you will burn calories. Research shows that you MUST burn more calories than you take in, so by getting out there and climbing you are getting closer to that calorie deficit and your weight-loss goal.

Increased Muscle Tone One of the most obvious and exciting benefits to rock climbing is increased muscle tone. You are using your entire body to scale the side of a mountain. As your arms, chest, legs, and back strain with each step up the mountain, you are getting stronger. With more muscle tone comes a more efficient metabolism, which makes maintaining a healthy weight manageable.

Being OUTSIDE The average American spends 90 percent of their time inside..wake up, get in your car, drive to work, sit at your desk, drive home, cook dinner, go to bed...You are never outside. You have improved mood and overall health just by spending 30 minutes outside every day. 64

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Equipment Needed to Scale the Wall

Types of Rock Climbing

**The first piece of equipment isn‘t equipment at all. You need a partner. Rock Climbing is a two-person sport. One person needs to be on the ground, while the other is climbing.

Indoor Sport Climbing: This can be at a gym, sports club, or a home wall. Great for the first-time climber who wants to get a feel for the sport and see if it might be something they want to pursue more seriously. There are great opportunities for climbers who are looking to try it for the first time, or the climbers who want to hone their skills.

Climbing Harness: Fits on the person climbing the wall. This is attached to a rope that the person on the ground is holding.

Outdoor Rock Climbing: Not as predictable as indoor climbing, but it comes with amazing scenery and the opportunity to try a new location each time you climb.

Climbing shoes: Important for gaining secure foot placement and will support your foot as you use your toes to balance and find footholds along the edges of the cliff.

Bouldering: This requires the least amount of gear. Bouldering consists of close-to-the-ground climbing without ropes.

Carabiners: Coupling link with a safety closure.

Sport Climbing: The “clip and go” style of climbing allows the leader to move up the rock, without the worry of placing protection as you progress up.

Climbing Ropes: Used to connect the climber to the spotter on the ground. Helmet: Pretty self-explanatory—protect your noggin!

Traditional Rock Climbing: A true adventure, traditional climbing is a true test of adventurous spirit and has few permanent anchors.

Chocks, Nuts, Hexes: These are safety devices to keep the climber from falling.

Hot Spots to Climb in Central Texas Indoor Climbing

Boulders Sport Climbing Center Harker Heights 254-690-9790

Summit Recreational Center Temple 254-298-5348

Austin Rock Gym Austin 512-46-9299

Outdoor Climbing

Morgan’s Point, Main Wall Georgetown, The Riverside Sanctuary Rogers Park (Lake Belton)

Miller Springs Nature Area, Belton BLORA, Belton Enchanted Rock State Park CenTex Sportsman, Temple

Rock Climbing Resources Your Central Texas guide to rock climbing! A great place to learn the basics of mountain climbing The state’s guide to all great rock climbing hot spots! A great resource for climbing lessons


Barb Wired

Slightly Sharp & Twisted

By Kactus Kate

Something to crow about… Ignoring the pecking order ‘round here will land you in a pot of hot water faster than a knife fight in a phone booth.

One can learn some pretty valuable lessons about life living on a farm. And contrary to what many may believe, there are barn rules. So just for the record, being raised in a barn does not give you an instant “get out of jail free” card or a justifiable defense for going ‘round doing ignorant things. Just saying. Take for instance, the day Mr. Rocky went rogue. It’s a perfect example. Did he know better? Absolutely. He knew the pecking order ‘round here, but he let a little power go to his head. Ultimately, that is where it ended too, with his head. Yep, Mr. Rocky ruled the roost, but all that power came with responsibilities, too. He had to protect the entire flock, so he was always on guard for any signs of danger lurking around the ground or overhead. To tell the truth, he was actually quite the hero and saved countless lives. Whenever Mr. Rocky sounded his alarm, everyone stopped and dropped whatever it was they were doing, and ran for cover. Nobody in the yard is safe when a chicken hawk is circling overhead. But this hero also had a romantic side and he made sure all of the hens had their fair share of him—quite literally and regularly. Yep, Mr. Rocky kept all his eggs in a row, even if it meant having to do a little feather ruffling from time to time to remind the other guys 66

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who was in charge and running the show. Life was going along pretty well for ‘ole Mr. Rocky. He had all the girls he wanted and the respect of the fellows. Not much more you can ask for in the chicken world. But, as history warns, too much power can lead to poor judgment, and barnyards are no different. Mr. Rocky gradually started getting cocky. First, it began with the occasional cat whipping. He did not like the big calico to cross his yard. Then he shifted his focus to larger things. If the mood struck him right, he would mount a sneak attack and jump the dog. Mr. Rocky was a royal nuisance to everyone on the farm. Who did he think he was? The Godfeather? Nobody likes a loose cannon running around half-cocked. As Mr. Rocky descended further into his constant state of mischief and meanness, his bullying escalated. He started tweaking his battle plan. Instead of just launching attacks on convenient targets in his yard, he started a conquest to conquer more territory, which meant going out of his way to attack. And when I mean out of his way, I mean it did not matter if he was on the furthest end of this place, he would stop whatever it was he was doing and break out in a dead run towards an unsuspecting target to attack ‘em. All this cockiness soon began to block his better judgment and about the time he started losing interest in the dogs, he started gaining

interest in small grandchildren. By now, you are probably starting to see the wreck this train is speeding towards. Yep, his days were numbered alright. It was becoming more and more obvious by the day; nothing was going to save Mr. Rocky from himself. Not even all those pretty, colorful, iridescent feathers. Beauty was not going to make up for his excessive anger management issues. He was cracked far beyond any hope for behavior modifications or rehabilitation. One afternoon I came home from work and noticed some really large feathers scattered about the yard. Upon closer examination, I instantly recognized them as belonging to the infamous tyrant, Mr. Rocky. “Hmmm, strange,” I thought to myself. Yet it did not appear to be enough feathers to be alarming. I simply chalked it up as yet one more of his “bullying” sessions and headed towards the house. Wondering as I walked away, who it was that met his misfortunate that day with Mr. Rocky. When I opened the door, a wonderful aroma instantly greeted me. Something yummy was stewing on the stove. I walked in the kitchen to get a closer look and as I lifted the lid, it was only then; I made the connection between that yummy, familiar smell and all those feathers lying in the yard. True to history, tyrants always do themselves in by crossing the line; and that was certainly the case the day Mr. Rocky went rogue. Instead of just minding his own business and scratching around for some grubs on the far end of the yard, he chose to launch his own kamikaze attack. Only this time, his intended target was six foot three and counter-attacked with a shotgun. Life lessons from Mr. Rocky? One– Don’t be cocky; Two–Nobody likes bullies; Three–Never bite off more than you can chew; and Four–Tyrants never win. Ummmm, chicken n’ dumplings, now that’s something to crow about.



JUly 2013 Tex Appeal

TexAppeal July 2013