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thursday, July 5, 2018

chestnut hill local • PetaPalooza

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Hill ‘manic menace’ bullies bulldozers, bikers, trucks by Rod Bartchy


out from the laptop. But she was still a dog, which she proved to us when we brought a kitten into the house months later. Cassie glared at it with unnatural intensity, pupils eerily dilated, her mouth open, long canine teeth ready and eager to deal with this invader. We hurriedly scooped up Audrey, the kitten, and sequestered her in the master bedroom. Audrey did get even. Cassie would lurk menacingly outside the bedroom. Audrey would languidly slide a paw under the door. The dog would hurl herself nose first into the narrow space, convinced beyond all logic that she could force passage. Audrey then took a swipe at Cassie’s nose. This could go on for hours, and it was as close a relationship as the two would ever have. Just like Washington Suzanna Bartchy and Cassie in Wissahickon Park when they were young. Cassie politics when you think about it. looks sweet and innocent, but she had a Jekyll and Hyde personality, which is why It seemed that anyone she’d

ur 7-year-old daughter, Suzanna, wanted a dog. Hey, we all did. The result was Cassie, an innocent little border collie puppy. But was the innocence a scam? She gnawed at the metal partitions in her crate. She nipped at my daughter’s heels with sharp puppy teeth, relentlessly herding her, in tears, into corners. The allure of a dog began to dim. Then, almost overnight, our manic menace became an angel. Gentle, highly attuned, loving and loyal, she’d greet us daily with her wagging tail and wet nosed dog kisses. Nights she’d spend sweetly curled up on my daughter’s bed, both of them adrift in blissful slumber. She’d rest her head on your knee so you’d take a needed time her nickname was “Wolverine.”

encountered in her first six months with us was part of her beloved pack. Anything else was not. If you weren’t pack, you were an enemy of the pack. Her job was to protect us, something she did all too well. Though securely leashed, walking her in the Wissahickon became increasingly challenging. Runners, hikers, equestrians and other dogs all got the crazed stare, bared teeth and a threatening growl. But bikers were Cassie’s bete noir. One hapless cyclist on the Yellow Trail got the full treatment. Raised hackles, blood curdling snarl and a manic lunge with incisors aimed for his lower thigh. Panicked, the biker crashed headlong into the thorny brush, then recovered and madly pedaled down the trail, as if barely escaping with his life. I worried that Friends of the Wissahickon would banish her (Continued on page 19)

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chestnut hill local • PetaPalooza

thursday, July 5, 2018

Tell-tail signs of pet heart disease by Dr. Edward Aller


nfortunately, similar to humans, as our pets age, so do their hearts. Signs can be different between species and may present differently for each individual; however, there are some telltale signs that you may see and that should throw up a red flag. During yearly/bi-yearly exams, a Counting the number of breaths of your pet at complete rest is an easy way to veterinarian will auscultate (listen keep track on a potential heart problem. Most patients should breathe fewer than with a stethoscope) to your pet’s 30 times in a minute. heart. This allows us to determine

whether they have a heart murmur. A heart murmur is an abnormal whooshing sound between the lubdub beats of the heart. We also check for an arrhythmia, which is an abnormal rhythm of the heart. There are normal and abnormal arrhythmias, so not every variation is worrisome. If we do notice a new or worsening murmur or arrhythmia, there are a few different steps we may suggest. Our recommendations are based on the age of your pet, history of prior murmurs/arrhythmias, medications, clinical signs you may have noticed, breed and other factors. Murmurs are graded from 1-6 based on multiple criteria; however, mainly the intensity of the whooshing noise. For a new murmur in an older dog that is mild, we may have you watch it at home and recheck in six months. For worse murmurs or pending your answers to certain questions, we may recommend X-rays of the heart or a cardiac ultrasound (echocardiogram) with our cardiologist. Regardless of whether it is decided to watch your pet for clinical signs or investigate further with diagnostics, there are a few changes you can watch for at

home. In dogs, the earliest signs we look for are an occasional cough that is becoming more frequent or severe, increase in breathing rate at rest, abdominal effort to breath, abdominal swelling, fainting or even just general lethargy. In cats, we tend to see similar signs without the cough. The earliest signs are usual a progressive cough or an increase in resting respiratory rate. Counting the number of breaths of your pet at complete rest is an easy way to keep track on a potential problem. Most patients should breathe fewer than 30 times in a minute unless discussed with your veterinarian. Panting does not count! Sleeping is also not the best time if a pet is dreaming; this may increase their breathing rate. Picking up on the earliest clinical signs and seeking re-evaluation as soon as possible may prevent hospitalization, rapid decline or other possible sequelae to untreated heart disease. Dr. Edward Aller is the owner/veterinarian at Art City Vets, 2001 Hamilton St. in Fairmount. For more information, call 215-563-VETS or visit

Petapalooza this Sunday


he Chestnut Hill Business District’s annual Petapalooza will take place on Sunday, July 8, from noon to 3 p.m. The event will feature a petting zoo, pet rescue organizations, photobooth, food, music, arts and more. Stay after the event for a petfriendly “yappy hour� from 3 to 5 p.m. at participating restaurants. For more see

HEAT STROKE WARNING: The Mt. Airy Animal Hospital at 114 E. Mt. Airy Ave. which has been providing the finest quality of veterinary care since its founding more than 70 years ago, offers this advice:“We are all aware of the dangers of leaving our pets in a parked car, even if ‘just for a little bit.’ Remember your pets can't tell you when they're feeling too hot, and they can go from being okay to being in trouble sooner than most people realize. Heat stroke can occur very quickly, and is often fatal if not addressed immediately.� More information at 215248-1886 or


Your pet will enjoy every moment of grooming with our advanced anti-static pet massage and grooming gloves. And you’ll enjoy the simplicity of using a glove over brushes. đƍ/!ƍ3$%(!ƍ0$%*#ƍ+.ƍ3/$%*#ƍ5+1.ƍ,!0 đƍ!2!.ƍ .+,ƍ5+1.ƍ.1/$ƍ#%*ē đƍ $%*!ƍ3/$(!ƍ* ƍ!/5ƍ0+ƍ(!* đƏ!/%#*! ƍ* ƍ//!)(! ƍ%*ƍ0$!ƍ

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thursday, July 5, 2018

chestnut hill local • PetaPalooza

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Sterilize all pets! Help solve the overpopulation crisis by Brenda Malinics


ost people do not realize the staggering problem of overpopulation of stray and feral dogs and cats in Philadelphia. A “feral” cat is unsterilized, unsocialized and fearful of humans, the result of abandonment or loss by its owners. As an animal advocate who has rescued thousands of animals, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of sterilization for all dogs, cats and other pets. In addition to educating people about the many important reasons for sterilization, we need laws to mandate these procedure. We also need more low-cost and traveling spay/neuter clinics. What I’ve learned from working and trapping in “The Hood” is that impoverished people do not have extra money for sterilization, so they allow their pets to continuously breed. Sterilization of a female can cost several hundred dollars at a private vet. Most poor

people do not own cars, so it is difficult for them to transport their pets to a clinic. Even a pet carrier to safely transport an animal on a bus is an expensive luxury. I try to find permanent homes for all the friendly cats that I trap or find in the street, but some are too feral to be placed. I have those ferals tested for leukemia and AIDS, vaccinated, sterilized, treated for worms and fleas, and return them to the location from which they came. This practice is all Trap-NeuterReturn (TNR). TNR is a nonlethal, cost effective, humane solution to controlling and decreasing the feral cat population over time. According to the Baltimore Humane Society, two uncontrolled breeding cats can become over 80 MILLION cats in just 10 years if all their kittens and all their kittens’ kittens (if none of the offspring are sterilized) have two litters per year with 2.8 surviving kittens per litter and have a 10-year breeding life!!

Sterilization also helps eliminate behaviors associated with mating and improves the cats’ relationship with their community. Other studies have proven that over time, feral colonies stabilize. And feral cats are also excellent rodent control. If you see a stray cat in the neighborhood, please don’t look the other way in the hope that someone else will rescue it from hunger, cold, pain and fear. It is up to each one of us to help and to stop the reproduction of animals who are destined to become strays and wind up in shelters where there is now a national trend to become “no kill.” This move is favored by the majority, who do not realize that the homeless and injured animals on the street will have nowhere to go when a shelter can refuse to accept additional animals if their maximum capacity has been reached. The web contains much information about TNR, low-cost clinics and local rescues. The Philadelphia Community Cats Council is a group

of volunteers whose mission is to reduce the number of cats in Philadelphia through TNRM (Manage after Return). BrendasCatRescue has many awesome cat and kitten rescues desperate for adoption. If you can’t adopt, consider becoming a temporary foster to one of those cats so desperate for a lap, a pet, a playmate. The love and loyalty of a pet turns a house into a home.

Brenda Malinics, who is also a certified bat expert, is the founder of Brenda’s Cat Rescue, based in Andorra. Brenda and her team of volunteers have rescued countless hundreds of stray, abandoned and abused cats and kittens in recent years and have found foster homes or permanent homes for many of them. Contact 215-8721636 or for more information.

NEW PET CEMETERY: The Laurels at 225 Belmont Ave. in Bala Cynwyd is a beautifully designed cemetery and center specially created to honor any pet’s memory.This three-acre landscaped and wooded property includes a walking trail there. She fell for him, utterly for loved ones to enjoy while visiting and remembering. West Laurel Hill’s probesotted, and followed him around fessional staff has served families since 1869. More information at 610-668-4258 or

Manic menace in Chestnut Hill (Continued from page 17)

from the trails. I imagined wanted posters with Cassie’s face on every tree. Instead, I was encouraged to continue my rounds by some park users who were less than enthralled with cyclists. They welcomed my wolverine on a leash. Nevertheless, Cassie and I retreated to the less traveled Andorra Natural Area. She escaped outlaw status. Deprived of living targets, Cassie creatively responded by expanding her definition of non-pack. One summer, we were all en route to the shore. Cassie was in the back, with the window half down so she could enjoy the breeze. As I drove, I began hearing mysterious sharp clacking sounds. They were coming from behind me. I looked back and Cassie was snapping at the passing trucks going northbound on Route 347. They were moving. They were not pack. Thus, as far as our protector was concerned, they

were the enemy. Once we got to the shore, we didn’t dare walk her on the beach. Instead, I took her for a stroll at a nearby construction site. We rounded a bend. She went into a low stalking crouch, approaching a massive bulldozer, her eyes hard with lethal intent. It sat motionless, sphinxlike. After a moment she backed off. Maybe she realized she had met her match. We moved on towards a small excavator and two dump trucks with exposed hydraulic hoses. Cassie lunged at them with furious barks and gnashing teeth. The trucks huddled in silence like terrified sheep. Satisfied, she rumbled a final growl, then strode away in imperious triumph, confident that they’d been put in their place. Only one person was exempt from the non-pack treatment, a contractor who visited our house to verify a code compliance issue. He ignored Cassie as if she wasn’t

with adoring eyes. Perhaps he’d been raised by wolves? An enigma to this day. Cassie lived for 11 years, protecting us from bulldozers, bicyclists and clipboard clutching activists. Now I trust she’s in dog heaven. On Mondays she harasses sheep, Tuesdays she stampedes wildebeests, Wednesdays she bullies backhoes. Other days she dozes on a high promontory, one eye half open to the wooded trails far below, hoping for an unwary cyclist to rouse her to action. It’s her bucket list, and I wish her well. We should all be so lucky. Rod Bartchy has lived in Chestnut Hill since 2009. Now a retired engineer and financial consultant, Rod is active with Meals on Wheels, tutoring kindergarten and second grade students through an AARP program and pursuing his passion of writing humorous essays.

Our Outside Seating Area is Pet Friendly!

Petapalooza Specials

MARKET at the FAREWAY (behind the Chestnut Hill Hotel)

Join us July 8 for $10 mutt-zarella margherita pizzas and $1 off belly rubbing Kolsch.

8221 Germantown Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19118 P: 215.247.0300 E: FREE Parking in the parking lot on East Southampton Avenue

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chestnut hill local • PetaPalooza

thursday, July 5, 2018

Jay McClellan, much-in-demand dog painter extraordinaire by Len Lear


ay McClellan, 41, a mega-talented painter of dogs who lives in East Falls and is represented by Gravers Lane Gallery in Chestnut Hill, is one of the Philadelphia area’s most in-demand painters of pet dogs, having completed more than 30 commissioned works in the past year. It is easy to see why. McClellan, who always has artwork at Gravers Lane (he also has his work up in Stone Harbor at Beacon Shortwave Gallery and at Gamut Gallery in Evansville, Indiana), is able to capture the soul as well as a virtual photographic representation of a beloved dog. His subjects look as if they are about to walk out of the painting and onto your lap. Jay, who also will be teaching at Jefferson/Philadelphia University in

East Falls in the fall, sold his first painting in Philadelphia in a unique way. After his first showing at a gallery in University City, the gallery owner offered to store Jay’s large paintings on the second floor. However, he later learned that the landlord had locked the building because of a dispute with the gallery owner and would not let anyone back in. “So I got the police involved,” recalled Jay, “as well as the building owner. As a result, my friends and I were able to get the paintings out. A lady happened to be walking by and saw the painting of Honey (one of Jay’s dogs) and bought it right there on the street. That was an interesting way to sell a painting.” Since that bizarre start, Jay has become one of the most successful painters of canines in the Philadelphia area. His large dog paintings hang in the White Dog Café restau-

LAP DOGS (TWO MEANINGS): These inseparable friends love to swim laps in their owner’s pool and then like to rest afterwards in her lap. They were painted by Ginger Garrett Arthur, a Chestnut Hill artist whose studio windows at 8044 Germantown Ave. are bursting with dog paintings. More information at or 267-259-6416.

rants in University City and Haverford, at Harrah’s Casino in Chester and numerous other locations. Jay was born in Maumelle, Arkansas, a small town outside of Little Rock. After 10 years of a lucrative career in the graphic design industry and his mother’s death due to pancreatic cancer, McClellan made the tough decision to go back to school. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Memphis College of Art and then a Master of Fine Arts from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Why walk away from a lucrative career to roll the dice on fine art, even though most fine artists are struggling to pay the bills? “I was looking for something more out of life,” he explained. “Long days of being creative in a pressure-filled environment was not the way I wanted to live my life. I really enjoy working with people, and I have found that painting commissions is a fulfilling form of being creative and collaborating. “There is a common but special connection that we make with the dog(s) that I like to share with the people I work with. ‘Struggling to pay bills’ is a part of life. For me painting has never been about money; it’s always been about the connection I make with the viewer and that common bond we have with dogs.” McClellan particularly loves to create paintings of his family life, which consists of his wife Stephanie and daughter Sophie Lynn, 1, and their two dogs — Lucky, 8, a coonhound mix, and Ava Belle Blue, 2, a bluetick coonhound. Honey, a former family member, died in January of this year at the age of 17. “The hardest thing I have ever

Jay is seen here with his painting of one of his favorite subjects, Honey, who died earlier this year at the age of 17. Jay is represented by the Gravers Lane Gallery, among others.

done,” Jay said, “was losing my mother and my two dogs, Tip and Honey … “The calmness and happiness that the dogs bring to me, I want to paint. People can tell when I haven’t painted in several days. I start to get antsy and irritable. Painting gets my motor running while serving as a form of relaxation.” McClellan’s paintings have been exhibited nationally and are held in many private collections including that of former Phillies second baseman, Chase Utley. Awards include Honorable Mention at the 45th Annual Delta Exhibition and the Mabel Wilson Woodrow Fellowship Award at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. One of his satisfied customers, Marcea Driscoll, of Chestnut Hill,

previously told us, “We love Jay's painting of our dogs, and the two paintings hang in our family room. They are bright and happy and a great rendering of our dogs. The best part is how Jay is able to capture the soul of the dogs in their eyes … One day, when our children have their own home, they will take these paintings of their beloved dogs with them and have them for the rest of their lives.” What is Jay’s biggest pet peeve? “People who don’t understand the bond between a dog and a human. It’s an extraordinary relationship that I wish everyone could enjoy.” What is the best advice Jay ever received? “To focus on the positive things in my life.” For more information: or 215-713-5639.

Petapalooza Special 2018  
Petapalooza Special 2018