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KEEP ‘EM AROUND:
Ensure Your Canine’s Health for Years to Come
KATIE: TAKE TWO!
HEFTY HOUND? Keep Weight In-Check
SERVING MORE THAN THEIR SENTENCE The Benefits of Cell Dog Programs
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Brehmer Barks April 2014 marks the 3-year anniversary of The Triangle Dog magazine’s production. When we started this business in October 2010, we had no idea where our life would take us. It has been more than interesting. The journey has probably been one of the most wonderful, inspiring, aggravating, and humbling learning experiences we have ever had. Over the last three and a half years, we have met some of the most caring and compassionate people in the world; all ready, willing, and able to help any dog (or cat) in need. We have made life-long friends. We have seen and heard unimaginable stories, both good and bad. We have sponsored numerous events, donated thousands of dollars to charity, and even rescued a Beagle or two along the way.
But personally, life gave us the biggest changes. In March 2012, as many of you know, we moved out of North Carolina, and then in April 2013, moved farther away and settled in the mid-west where we have been running The Triangle Dog. This process has only been possible because of the wonderful friends we have made over the last few years, without whom we could not have done it at all. However, two years later, we examined the choices that life has dealt us and after much evaluation, discussion, and tears, we have decided that publishing a local magazine over a thousand miles away is not a job we can sustain any longer. Thus, with a heavy heart, we announce this issue, April 2014, as the last issue of The Triangle Dog magazine, as you know it. It is my hope that there is someone out there reading this issue who would be interested in taking over this wonderful and important publication, and I would love to speak to that person about the rewarding challenges running a local publication offers. If that person is not out there, I hope you find this issue to be as helpful and informative as the past dozen issues have been. We have chalked it full of the usual columns such as Breed Basics, where we are focusing on THREE breeds this issue, the Greyhound, the Labrador Retriever, and the Pug; Safety 101, with advice on how to make sure your dog does not overheat; and Natural Dog, where you can read about how to help your dog live to be 126 years old. We are also focusing on a few themes this month. The first one is working dogs. I feel this theme is fitting, since the first issue we did in April 2011 featured working dogs. In this issue, you’ll learn about a special blind therapy dog named Charlie, dogs working with vets, and inmates working with dogs. The second theme is reader submissions. Over the past three years, we have received many article submissions. Too many, in fact, to feature throughout our issues. There were two submissions in particular that are meaningful pieces and it would have been a shame if we never published them, so in this issue you will find “My Lab” and “The Perfect Run.” Thank you to everyone who has submitted an article over the last three years. I am only sorry we were not able to publish them all. And before we leave you, we need to take a moment to say a special thank you to a few of those people who have made publishing a local magazine from over a thousand miles away possible. Thank you to Michele, Allison, Mary, Diane, Tara, Michelle, and Betty. We know you have given so much time and support to The Triangle Dog and for you all, we are forever grateful! In closing, overall we feel, and truly hope, that The Triangle Dog has made an impact on you and helped you create a better life for your dog. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making the last 3 years more than we could have ever dreamt it would be. Until we meet again—woof! Sincerely, Chuck & Angie Brehmer (and Millie, Elsie, and Cindy Lu) Publishers/Editor-in-Chief 4 Volume 4 • Issue 2
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“Helping You Create a Better Life For Your Dog” Publisher Chuck Brehmer
Editor-in-Chief Angela Brehmer
On The Cover: Courtesy of: Details: Cover Photography By:
Volume 4 • Issue 2
Founders: Chuck Brehmer and Angela Brehmer
Katie Laura Kneavel & Mike Worsham “Katie: Take Two” InBetween the Blinks Photography
Distribution Manager Mary Price
Cover Photography InBetween the Blinks Photography
Art Director Michele Sager
Advertising Director Betty Schomer
Website Designer/Manager Michele Sager
Communications: Please send all correspondence to The Triangle Dog magazine, 6409 Fayetteville Rd, Suite 120-376, Durham, NC 27713, or via email at email@example.com. Entire contents are copyright 2014. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means without prior written consent from the publisher. Publication date: April 2014. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, the publisher makes no warrant to the accuracy or reliability of this information. Views expressed by editorial contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.
The Triangle Dog 6409 Fayetteville Rd, Suite 120-376, Durham, NC 27713, 919-249-8364 (TDOG), firstname.lastname@example.org
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TABLE OF CONTENTS VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 2 Departments: (continued) 34 Ask the Groomer 36 Picture This! 44 Ask the Vet
Columns: 14 Breed Basics: Greyhound 16 Breed Basics: Labrador Retriever 18 Breed Basics: Pug 22 Dogs @ Play: Calling All Kids! 24 Animal Health & Wellness: The Lowdown on Laparoscopy
25 The T-Dog 10…A Pet’s Ten Commandments
28 Nutrition: The F-Word 30 Safety 101: Dog-Days of Summer 40 Natural Dog: How Your Pet Can Live
Tails from the Heart: Molly’s Match
12 Katie’s Caring Family
4 Publisher's Note 5 Masthead 6 Table of Contents 7 Bark Back! 8 Contributors
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by Angela Brehmer
10 Seeing the World a Little
32 Sit. Stay. Read!
by Eliza Kuklinski
Differently by Patricia Tirrell
20 Serving Those Who
Served by Clare Reece-Glore
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26 A Win-Win
by Brian P. Mulligan
38 My Lab by Isabelle Reddy
42 The Perfect Run by Tim Spring
Just a Dog
From time to time, people tell me, “Lighten up, it’s just a dog,” or “That’s a lot of money for just a dog.” They don’t understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for “ just a dog.” Some of my proudest moments have come about with “ just a dog.” Many hours have passed and my only company was “ just a dog,” but I did not once feel slighted. Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by “ just a dog,” and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “ just a dog” gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day. If you, too, think it’s “ just a dog,” then you probably understand phrases like “ just a friend,” “ just a sunrise,” or “ just a promise.” “Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure
unbridled joy. “Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person. Because of “ just a dog,” I will rise early, take long walks, and look longingly to the future. So for me and folks like me, it’s not “ just a dog,” but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment. “Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day. I hope that someday they can understand that it’s not “ just a dog,” but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “ just a man” or “ just a woman.” So the next time you hear the phrase “ just a dog,” just smile, because Typically, Bark Back is a way for they “ just don’t readers to voice their comments understand.” about The Triangle Dog. Since this ~Unknown is our last issue, I thought it fitting Author~ to sum up why we’ve worked so hard, “helping you create a better life for your dog” over the last three years. Here is a piece written by an unknown author, but I am sure each one of you reading this now can relate.
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JOE GORDON, DVM Dr. Joe Gordon is passionate about exemplary customer service, trusted client education, and quality veterinary medicine, and has been for over 25 years. Dr. Gordon enjoys meeting the wonderful people of the Triangle and treating their pets. When not working, Dr. Gordon enjoys spending time with his family and pets, and experimenting with different flavors of home-made ice cream. Stop by our Oberlin location for a sample! Visit the Care First Animal Hospital website at www.CareFirstAnimalHospital.com and be sure to follow us on Facebook! Photo by Care First Animal Hospital
BRIAN LAPHAM, DVM Dr. Brian Lapham received his veterinary degree from the University of Florida in 1999. His true passion lies in preventative care—preventing disease before it can manifest itself as cancer, osteoarthritis, epilepsy, or the like.
Photo by Lindsey McDaniel
Outside of the hospital, Dr. Lapham is often occupied spending time with his family, woodworking, completing home improvements (which never seem to end!), and running. Included in the mix are his menagerie of pets, currently including two cats, Pia and Kitten, and Elizabeth the guinea pig. Dr. Lapham’s daughter is still vying for a puppy— coming soon!
DEBBIE PELL Debbie Pell is the Administrative Assistant of the National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE). Prior to her position at SAVE, Pell was the Administrative Secretary of the Communication Department at North Carolina State University. She graduated from Virginia Western Community College in Virginia with a degree in Data Processing. Her passion for animal welfare has led her to Rescue UR Forever Friend Animal Rescue where she fosters and rehabilitates rescued animals. Pell has written articles for The Triangle Dog and The Garner Citizen.
KAREN SMITH Karen Smith is a Triangle-area dog trainer at All Dogs Allowed, Inc. Training. Since 2000, she has counted not only dogs as her students, but also horses, sharks, and tigers, just to name a few! If she can train an 800 lb male tiger to stretch on command with a clicker, she can train your pint-sized pup. Smith specializes in obedience training, fun sports, and canine activities. She is recommended by area veterinarians and rescue groups. Photo by Diane Lewis
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She loves snuggling one of her five dogs, three cats, or assorted other menagerie members—husband included—and tromping through the woods with a handful of dogs in tow. Visit her at www.AllDogsAllowedInc.com.
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Founders: Chuck Brehmer and Angela Brehmer
“Helping You Create a Better Life For Your Dog”
Thank you Angie and Chuck for a wonderful magazine and your friendship. You have helped create a better life for my dogs and me. Michele
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SEEING THE WORLD A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY PATRICIA TIRRELL Patricia Tirrell is a lifelong animal lover who has been involved with animal rescue and training dogs in the RTP area since 2001. She lives with her two dogs Charlie and Jade, who are both her Pet Partners and have the therapy dog title from AKC. Tirrell has a special interest in and often works with animals that are visually impaired and/or deaf. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed, Tellington TTouch Companion Animal Practitioner, member of The Pet Professional Guild, The Association for Professional Dog Trainers, and Licensed Delta Society Pet Partner Evaluator. For more information, visit www.confident-dog.com.
id you know pet partner teams visit nearly 500 people each year? One of my Pet Partners is Charlie, a blind Beagle. We’ve been a team for six years, and we have visited around 3,000 people over the years. If I think about the work Charlie and I do in those terms, I am amazed! When we are on a visit, I find that I am humbled by how much it means to each person Charlie visits.
Photos by Diane Lewis Photography
We are often asked a few questions when we visit or meet people: What type of training did Charlie need to become a therapy dog? Did he get special consideration during his Pet Partner evaluation because he is blind? And, what does he do on a visit? Let’s start with training. Charlie had the same training other dogs have to become a therapy dog. Each dog needs to be able to perform basic obedience skills like sit, down, stay, come, and walk nicely on a leash, to name a few. Charlie’s training began as a puppy and continues today because training doesn’t stop just because class is over. To become a Pet Partner Team, Charlie and I had to pass the same evaluation as every other team. For more information on the Pet Partner program, go to http://www.petpartners.org/. Other therapy dog organizations include Therapy Dogs Inc. at http://www.therapydogs.com/ and Therapy Dogs International at http://www.tdi-dog.org/. We have only had one modification made for us due to Charlie’s blindness. One of the places we visit approved an alternate route for Charlie to enter and exit the facility. They made this accommodation to make it easier for him to walk to the floor we visit. The standard route required Charlie to walk up a narrow stairway with a sharp turn in it. The new route is perfect for Charlie, even though it is a longer walk and requires 10 Volume 4 • Issue 2
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a ride in a glass elevator. I think it is wonderful the facility addressed Charlie’s special needs and gave him an alternate route. When we go on a visit, many people want to hear Charlie’s life story. I tell them the abridged version— Charlie was abandoned on the side of the road at about 8 weeks old. He came to live with me about a week later via the Durham County Shelter and Triangle Beagle Rescue. When he was found, one of his eyes had a hole in it. Later, we discovered that the hole was due to glaucoma, and he was blind. After going to specialists, we learned that he was blind before he developed glaucoma. We decided it was best to remove his eyes; the surgery was completed by the time he was 3 months old.
It doesn’t take long to recognize that Charlie sees with his heart, not with his eyes. He loves every person he meets for who they are, not what they look like, what they are wearing, or if they are healthy or sick. Charlie’s unconditional acceptance combined with his ability to see with his heart and love for others make him an awesome therapy dog. Charlie’s world may be full of darkness, but everything about him is full of joy, light, love, and laughter. People are often amazed that a blind dog can be so happy. They ask me, “Are you sure that he is blind?” I laugh and point to his eyes and ask them “how can he be faking it?” That often helps to lighten the mood. Charlie’s joy is contagious and has earned him the nickname “Magical Miracle Worker” (MMW) by the nurses in hospice and the hematology/oncology unit he visits. Other patients he visits who have spinal cord injuries say that since Charlie’s eyes were removed, he is a fellow amputee! (Many of these patients have had a limb amputated.) They see that Charlie’s body isn’t whole, but he hasn’t let it interfere with living his life. They see a dog without eyes that can do anything he wants to do. They see one of the happiest dogs they have ever met. Charlie inspires his “fellow amputees”
in ways we can’t even begin to imagine. They say, “If Charlie can do it, I can do it!” If you knew nothing else about Charlie, that would be reason enough to love him. One woman we visited adopted a blind dog because she met Charlie. I’ve heard that before. I was surprised when I learned her reason was that Charlie saved her life, and she wanted to help another blind dog in his honor. My first reaction was, “How could Charlie have saved her life?” I didn’t remember Charlie doing anything heroic. I was stumped until I remembered that Charlie visited her in the hospital. It was only one visit, but it meant the world to her. I learned that after his visit, she became engaged and began to get better. Medicine alone doesn’t always inspire us to get well. In this particular case, Charlie was the inspiration for her recovery. I was deeply touched when I learned that she chose to honor Charlie by helping another blind dog. Charlie inspires people with his heart and love. Charlie has a way of knowing just what people need to make them feel better. The love that Charlie and other therapy dogs share with strangers humbles and amazes me every time I go on a visit. The Triangle Dog
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KATIE’S CARING FAMILY by Angela Brehmer
Photos by Tara Lynn of InBetween The Blinks
f you are an avid follower of The Triangle Dog magazine, you might remember our cover model Katie from last year at this time. Typically we don’t make it a habit of offering the cover to the same dog twice, but Katie is one special dog and has VERY special owners. Owners who not only care a tremendous amount about Katie, but owners who care about all animals and especially rescuing them and finding forever homes for them. That is why Katie is on the cover for a second time; Katie is again the winner of the Live Auction bid at the SPCA of Wake County Fur Ball that was held October 13, 2013 at The State Club Park Alumni Center on the North Carolina State campus. Katie’s owners, Laura Kneavel and Mike Worsham, first attended the SPCA Fur Ball with friends who invited them. Mike and Laura were so fond of the event that they attended regularly for a few more years, even before they ever set foot in the SPCA Curtis Dail Pet Adoption Center. This delay in visiting the adoption center was because Laura didn’t want to visit a shelter and feel bad for all the animals that needed homes, based on her view of what a kennel was.
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When Mike and Laura did visit the adoption center for the first time, it was for an event called the Bark & Wine. They figured this was a great opportunity to visit but be able to focus on something other than just scared animals in pens hoping for adoption. Mike recalled that he and Laura were stunned to discover that the center was a “happy place with a positive vibe,” one in which dogs and cats of all backgrounds and stories were surrounded by caring and compassionate staff members and a steady supply of potential adoption families touring the facility. This feeling was attributed to the great design of the adoption center, making it peoplefriendly and displaying the animals in this no-kill facility through glass walls in spacious rooms. In other words, these animals are not in kennels; they are free to play with other select animals in protective glass-windowed rooms. After this experience, Laura started volunteering and became more involved with all aspects of the SPCA. Laura took every volunteer class offered and began fostering cats and kittens from her home in Cary. Mike and Laura are currently completing a major addition to their home, with plans that include a separate foster-devoted room.
any way possible. Below is a little extra information about the SPCA of Wake County. The SPCA of Wake County was founded in 1967 and is a non-profit animal welfare organization whose mission is to protect, shelter, and promote adoption of homeless animals; to provide education about responsible pet ownership; and to reduce pet overpopulation through spay/neuter programs. In 2013, the SPCA was extremely grateful to have rescued, nurtured, and found loving homes for 3,086 animals. The SPCA loves volunteers and depends on them to operate their shelter! They have many volunteer opportunities from hands-on work with the animals to administrative and clerical work. They are incredibly grateful to have volunteers be such an important part of the SPCA of Wake County. Laura is also part of the SPCA board and just started her sixth year in March. Mike and Laura agree, the best thing about the SPCA is that “it is obvious that the staff really loves and has a heart for the well-being of all animals.” Outside the SPCA, Laura is involved in many other animal compassion programs including Trap/ Neuter/Return (TNR), benefiting community cats. As for Katie, she gets to live every day in a manner deserved by all animals—to be in a home with a loving family who has her best interests at heart. In addition to having a great home environment, since the last time we heard about Katie, she has started going to day camp, which is helping smooth out her “nervous social tendencies” and enabling her to become more accepting of other potential dog friends. This increased acceptance might be leading up to Katie having another forever friend in the house. But if this does happen, “Katie would have to approve!” proclaimed Laura.
If you want to help the SPCA rescue more animals in Wake County but don’t have the time to volunteer, you can start by walking in their annual SPCA K93K Dog Walk, which is happening this month— April 19, 2014. In addition, they have the Fur Ball, the event where Katie won the auction to be on the cover of The Triangle Dog, which will be held October 5, 2014. And they have a Santa Paws 5k Run Event being held on November 16, 2014. The SPCA of Wake County is a great organization; not only have thousands of animals been saved because of their involvement but because of their amazing fundraising, great dogs like Katie get to be on the cover of The Triangle Dog. Why not find a pet of your own and introduce him or her to a forever home, as well!
If, like Mike and Laura, you are thinking about helping out the SPCA of Wake County but aren’t sure about being in a shelter with all those animals, fear not! The no-kill adoption center is a great place. I personally have been there many times and would encourage anyone to support them, The Triangle Dog
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Breed by Clare Reece-Glore, owner, YAY Dog!
Graceful Greyhounds Elegance and sweetness are what I see in the Greyhounds I have been fortunate to know. This breed has some unusual characteristics, which do set it apart from other breeds, but they are still often quite lovely dogs. The Greyhound is a large, tall sight hound used for coursing, taking rabbits, and racing. These dogs are 27-30 inches high at the shoulder with a lean, slim, elegant build. Males may average 65 lbs and females average 60 lbs. This dog has almost no body fat and shows its beautiful structure of muscle and bone covered by delicate skin. Any color is acceptable for a Greyhound, though I hear the black dogs may be harder to adopt out, just like black dogs in other breeds. We have the notion that this breed originated in ancient Egypt, and sight hounds do come from that part of the world. However, our modern dogs in the United Kingdom and US come from European stock, which traces back hundreds of years. There are two main registries for Greyhounds in the United States: the National Greyhound Association (NGA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC). The NGA dogs are the racing stock and the AKC dogs are shown for conformation. The AKC dogs may be taller and have a more arched back. The NGA dogs are the functional athletes.
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As with any breed, there are common misconceptions about Greyhounds. The following information dispels fact from fiction: • Greyhounds are so fast and athletic they are unsuitable to live in homes. Fiction! These dogs are bred to sprint, and even at the track, they spend a lot of time resting. They are called “the 40 mph couch potato” by their ardent friends and adopters. Their nature is placid, sometimes a bit reserved, but very affectionate. • Greyhounds are so predatory they can’t live with cats, other dogs, or even children. Fiction! Some Greyhounds (as with other dogs) cannot live with cats and/or have a high prey drive. Some, however, can live with other dogs or cats and do well with
Basics children. Work to find out about the background and possible issues of the individual dog you may want. • Greyhounds have some different physiological characteristics than other dogs. Fact! These dogs have been developed to have a larger heart and other characteristics designed for running. They may not tolerate some anesthesia as other dogs do, and may test differently on kidney function and blood tests. So, if you get a Greyhound, make sure your veterinarian is familiar with these differences. There are some other physical differences, too. Greyhounds are not built for sitting, so you may do other commands for them as part of training. Their skin is really thin and delicate, so even mild rough-housing with other dogs or a collision with furniture can result in a cut that needs stitches. They will also need sweaters or coats in the winter—not as a “silly” fashion accessory but as a reality for a dog with almost no body fat. Typically, Greyhounds are a pretty healthy breed. There is a high incidence of bone cancer in older dogs, which is being studied more now. The dogs may have some foot issues, and should be fed on a raised platform to help prevent bloat, but in general there are not too many health issues to worry about. Some Greyhounds in a home may have some separation anxiety at first, if they have always lived with other Greyhounds. AKC Greyhound breeders are fairly rare, but there are now more opportunities to adopt a retired racing Greyhound. Greyhound rescues typically get dogs from track sources, and Greyhound racers are more
likely now to work with a rescue. The rescues will house the dogs for a time and work with them to help them adapt to a home setting. Living at a track, the dogs won’t have been exposed to home noises, other types of animals, children, and even stairs! They need help to adjust, and if you want to adopt a Greyhound, you should ask the rescuers what socialization the dog has had and what issues there might be. I have helped some Greyhounds with these issues, and I find them to be a calm willing dog to train. They aren’t jumpy, but may seem a bit hesitant at first. You can tell when one starts to go “0-40” in a flash, but it’s not the power and exuberance of a Labrador Retriever, for example. Last summer, as I was walking one on each side, I started to fantasize about great 1930s clothing and a big hat as these two elegant creatures walked calmly with me. In other words, they made even me feel elegant!
For more information on this breed, check out these groups and resources: www.greyhoundfriends.com (beautiful farm facility in Oak Ridge, NC) www.trianglegreyhound.org www.getagrey.com (Randleman, NC)
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Breed by Clare Reece-Glore, owner, YAY Dog!
Photos by Tara Lynn of InBetween The Blinks
Loveable Labs The friendly Labrador Retriever, known as the lab to its many fans, was named the most popular dog worldwide in 2010 by Guinness World Records. The Labrador Retriever has three basic coat colors of black, yellow, or chocolate and is used for hunting, guide dog work, and companionship. Lab mixes are common, such as the Labradoodle, a cross of Labrador Retriever and Standard Poodle. The Labrador Retriever breed actually originated in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where it was the smaller “Newfie” bred to retrieve boat lines from ship to shore, as well as fetch waterfowl for hunters. In the 1820s, the Earl of Malmesbury brought the dogs to England and started a breeding program. It would be 100 years before the breed reached the US in any numbers, and the first American field trial was in 1931. The Labrador Retriever is a sturdily built dog, 22.5-24.5 inches at the shoulder and typically weighing 65-75 lbs. They have a waterproof double coat and are built for swimming and athletic pursuits. Their tail is strong and rather thick and can act as a rudder in the water. The tail is also ideally designed for clearing objects off of coffee tables. Enthusiasm is the word I associate with labs. They are generally loving, playful, and very loyal. There is no hidden agenda with a Labrador Retriever. These dogs are quite trainable and are often a lovely family dog, but not a great guard dog. (It is dangerous to generalize too much, because there are so many “types” of labs, and with such a popular breed, there are a lot of poorlybred dogs.) Labrador Retrievers with English bloodlines tend to be heavier-boned, have shorter legs, and a bit more stolid temperament. Here in the US, the dogs we say have “field trial” (hunting) bloodlines tend to be taller, lighterboned, and more active. There are also some lines of labs that have been bred for guide dog work, and they tend to be smaller and calmer. 16 Volume 4 • Issue 2
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Again, because of the breed’s popularity, there are some serious health issues. Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, knee problems, and diabetes are fairly common. As these dogs age, they may become overweight, especially if owners are still feeding for the hunting or active days of the past. They should be kept slightly lean. Their enthusiasm may be an issue during adolescence, and as with any dog, this dog needs training and socialization. It’s not fun to have a wiggly 65-pound “puppy” who wants to jump on guests to show them how glad he or she is to see them, or whose idea of a walk is tearing around the neighborhood, towing you behind. Labradors may have a long adolescence, so your dog may not be mature until 2 years-plus. The good news is that these dogs usually learn well and love training and
Basics work. So, if you think you would like to share 12 or more years of your life with a Labrador Retriever, check out prospects carefully. First, think about your activity level and get a lab to match. Please don’t fall for that adorable puppy from field trial lines if you are pretty sedentary; there are nice labs all along the activity level spectrum. If you want a puppy, they do take a long time to mature and you must train them— unless you want a large, happy dog marauding through your house. If this is the breed for you, you will have lots of good company. Just mind the coffee table.
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by Clare Reece-Glore, owner, YAY Dog!
Playful Pugs Charming and playful, Pugs have been clowns and companions for centuries. This ancient breed, somewhat akin to the Pekingese, originated in China around 600 BC, and the pups were companions for monks in Buddhist monasteries. Pugs were brought to Europe by the 16th century. The empress Josephine smuggled notes from prison to her husband Napoleon by concealing them under the collar of her beloved Pug named “Fortune.” The breed came to Britain in the 1860s when sailors brought the dogs back after war in China. Pugs did not get to America in any numbers until the late 1800s. Today, they have a loyal following based on their “uglybut-cute” look and great personalities. The Pug is a toy breed, and the standard calls for them to be 10-11 inches at the shoulder and 14-18 lbs. Pugs are supposed to be very squarely built, symmetrical, and compact dogs. The head should be large, and the eyes should be bold and round but not bulging. The short tail should curl over the back. There are only two acceptable breed colors: fawn (with a black mask) and black. The character of these small dogs is what inspires such partisan loyalty. Pugs are outgoing, often good with children, great travelers, and engaging. They often get along well with other animals, and they normally don’t bark much. They are playful but not high energy. They are often great apartment dogs or good dogs for people who want to cuddle their dog but not do high energy sports with them. Pugs are a true companion breed and are happiest being with their owners at all times. These dogs may live 12 to 15 years. There are downsides to the breed, as with any breed. Pugs, according to websites devoted to the breed, have a number of health issues and often cost more to own than the average dog. Here are some of the health issues specific to the breed: 18 Volume 4 • Issue 2
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• Elongated Soft Palate (ESP)—obstruction of the airway in a short-nosed dog and if severe may need medical attention or surgery • Stenotic Nares—a birth defect where the nasal tissue is overly soft; nasal passages may collapse and surgery may be required • Eye problems—eye injuries or progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) • Pug Dog Encephalitis—an ultimately fatal brain inflammation • Luxating patella—“trick knee,” somewhat common in small breeds and highly treatable There are two other factors to consider about Pug health. First, because they are a brachycephalic (short-muzzled) breed, they are very susceptible to hot and cold and should not be left outside on their own for long periods. Here in NC, we have to be especially careful about Pugs exercising or traveling in our hot weather. Second, they should not be allowed to become overweight, but this can be hard to manage as they love to eat. Practice resisting that face…. Pugs snore and snort, and they may be somewhat difficult to housebreak. They also shed, even though they are a short-haired breed. Even with these caveats, the loving, adaptable character of this little dog makes staunch fans of people. Hopefully, breeders and fanciers can begin to work on some of the health issues of this fun and funny canine.
Check out these Pug websites for more information on this loveable breed: www.pugvillage.com www.pugs.org www.pugrescueNC.org www.midatlanticpugrescue.org
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SERVING THOSE WHO SERVED
CLARE REECE-GLORE Clare Reece-Glore is the owner of YAY dog!, a Durham company that provides in-home coaching services, as well as dog care seminars, for people and their dogs. Reece-Glore holds a M.S. in adult education and has worked in a veterinary clinic and volunteered with animal rescue organizations for many years. A lifelong equestrian, she brings her knowledge of natural horsemanship techniques to her work with dogs. YAY Dog!’s spokesdog Andy came from the Animal Protection Society of Durham.
here is a place in Durham on Holloway Street where two very special programs to help veterans are housed. It is a place of acceptance, healing, and hope—and yes, dogs are involved! (Isn’t that perfect?) The two programs are the Next Level Veterans Outreach Campus and Vets to Vets United, Inc. Next Level works with homeless veterans and other veterans to provide a variety of counseling services and resources. Vets to Vets United, Inc. is a Durham-based non-profit designed to help veterans work with others to train their own service dogs. The covenants of the organization state that the dogs must come from shelters or rescues. Captain Newborn, Executive Director of Next Level, has given space and support to the newer Vets to Vets program. Male and female veterans who served from Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq are here. Dogs from 4-75 lbs are here. Volunteers from dog training backgrounds, military families, and the community are here. Vets to Vets United, Inc. was started by Dr. Terry Morris, who has a background as a research veterinarian and a Ph.D. in immunology. Her father was an Air Force pilot who was killed during the Cuban missile crisis. She has dedicated the program to her dad, Captain Willis C. Morris and her sister Captain Karon D. Crawley, the first female graduate of the Tuskegee University Air Force ROTC pilot training program. Dr. Morris is passionate about helping veterans and animals at the same time. She raised a service dog puppy for a local organization and became familiar with the positive-based training methods and the steps it takes to train a service dog. She was also haunted by the statistic that 18 veterans commit suicide each day. This waste of human life
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is coupled with the loss of so many pets in shelters each year. So she put the ideas together and Vets to Vets United, Inc.—veterinarians (and others) helping veterans—was born. Service dogs cost thousands of dollars, and training organizations have waiting lists. In addition, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs will subsidize the cost of a dog for a veteran with physical disabilities but not for PTSD. So, through Vets to Vets, Dr. Morris wants to ensure that there is no charge for the veterans. Currently, there are several veteran/dog pairs working each week with Dr. Morris and other volunteers. Each veteran must go through a screening process. Some have come with their own dog picks and others may be paired through the organization. Each veteran spends time learning and perfecting the training process. Training for a service dog has several levels. First, the dog must develop general skills and pass a public access test. Then the dog and the veteran may begin training in public more, and eventually the dog will learn the specific skills to support the veteran. Some dogs provide companionship and confidence, which can help veterans who suffer from PTSD. Others may provide bracing and physical support for someone with a physical impairment. And others may support veterans with hearing loss or diabetes. Each dog is a “custom fit” for the needs of the veteran. The veterans, dogs, and volunteers come together several times a week. Each one has a story. Ida Bishop comes with her husband James, a Vietnam-era vet who has hearing loss and PTSD. He has a new dog, a mixed breed named Wendy. Ida says that he and Wendy have really bonded at home. “I don’t feel bad about leaving him alone now. It has made life more manageable,” she noted.
Photos by Sara McCormick of McCormick & Moore Photography
Judi Hummel is a volunteer who has worked with animal rescue for a long time. Hummel went to high school with Dr. Morris and they re-connected via Facebook. Hummel raised Wendy and her sister Melanie after they were found dumped in a box in the rain. She has been helping with the training for some months, and recently let Wendy go for her mission to be Bishop’s canine partner. In some ways, this process was hard for Hummel, but she “loves saving animals to heal veterans.”
eating in a restaurant. Volunteers come by, pretending to be waiters or trying to ply the dogs with food. The group also works in the community more to prepare for the public access test or other duties. Linda Tilley of Falls Lake Kennels teaches the ongoing “Dog about Town” class one evening a week in central Durham. She donates two free class slots for Vets to Vets members. This opportunity gets the veteran and his or her dog working real-life obstacles with new dogs and people.
The training sessions may be intense, and some days one person or one dog doesn’t work as well. But Dr. Morris always creates an environment of acceptance. She sets up a line of chairs for people to practice getting the dog to “go in” (go under the chair) and “stay.” Each dog must also obey the vital “leave it” command and ignore tasty food tidbits dropped closer and closer to it. Next, the group congregates around a table to simulate
I have been a volunteer for a few months now. My dad retired from the Army and my mom was a Red Cross volunteer in England—this is a way for me to say “thanks.” I get to experience firsthand the joy of working with these wonderful dogs and people. Hugs all around are the order of the day, and I have the joy of (in a small way) supporting people who gave so much for all of us.
Vets To Vets United, Inc. 919-452-8745 email@example.com
Next Level Veterans Outreach Campus 1107 Holloway Street, Durham, NC 27701 919-683-6398 The Triangle Dog
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DOGS @ PLAY
by Karen Smith, owner, All Dogs Allowed, Inc.
Calling all Kids!
markers and clickers, and practice basic obedience skills, such as loose leash walking and down stays. Teams learn tricks (“Take a Bow” is a group favorite!) and practice sports such as agility and rally. We keep snacks, water, bathrooms, and a parent on-site to help the class run smoothly, and the groups stay small at five children or less.
My 14-year animal husbandry and training career has always had a strong central revolution around one thing: education. Teaching animals is a fun and rewarding job, but teaching humans about animals is what truly brings me the gratifying sensation of making a difference. And over the years, I’ve found one type of student to be the most rewarding to work with: children. The reward associated with working with children eventually became so painfully obvious that I knew something had to be done about it. It didn’t take long for Junior Trainers to be born, and this amazing program has become a constant source of fun and inspiration for all of us at All Dogs Allowed, Inc. Junior Trainers is a group class offering where all the handlers are between the ages of 8 and 16 years old—grown-ups are not allowed! Of course, we always have at least one parent on-site as a chaperone, but parents are encouraged to sit on the sidelines and let their children build confidence and skills on their own and with their peers. Children attend Junior Trainers with their family dog, but not all families are able to keep a pet, so “loaner dogs” are also available. The loaner dog program provides a dog each week for children without a dog of their own at home. Class lasts one hour and meets each week, although weekly attendance is not required. Each week is something new. Children and dog teams learn fundamental concepts of training, such as how to use 22 Volume 4 • Issue 2
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One of my favorite aspects of teaching this class is the reaction of the parents. We often hear that the family dog is better behaved for the children than mom or dad after a few sessions of class, or that a shy child has come out of his or her shell after bonding in a brand new way with a furry, non-judgmental
friend. The flexible and hands-on nature of the class also allows for children with disabilities to attend, such as our Junior Trainer of the Year for 2013, Amanda Mielock. Mielock teaches her peers about autism, practices group social skills, and bonds with her own ”loaner dog” Fiona each week. As a result, Fiona has inadvertently become a therapy dog for Mielock. The bond between the two of them touches everyone who gets to witness their friendship and progress; Mielock has managed to teach many skills to Fiona the Great Pyrenees, which may not seem shocking, unless you know that Great Pyrs are infamous for being “untrainable”! I can certainly say that as an instructor, I feel like I’m teaching these children skills that will help them in all walks of life. But without a doubt, these children and dogs teach me much more than I’ll ever be able to offer to them. My husband and I welcomed our own little Junior Trainer in March, and I am now more grateful than ever that the parents in the Triangle share their children with us in such a fun and special way. I love watching our Junior Trainer family continue to grow and am so proud of all they accomplish!
Class Details: Where: All Dogs Allowed, Inc. 110-A Woodwinds Industrial Court Cary, NC 27511 When: Class days and times vary and are subject to availability. Please contact All Dogs Allowed, Inc. for current schedule options. Contact: Karen Smith, owner and head trainer, at Karen@AllDogsAllowdInc.com or www.alldogsallowedinc.com. Find us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/AllDogs-Allowed-Inc/202054703155453
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ANIMAL HEALTH & WELLNESS by Joe Gordon, DVM
The Lowdown on Laparoscopy Jesse, a 12-year-old Havenese with the SPCA of Wake County, was in quite a bit of pain due to severe bladder stones. Having already fought a battle with liver disease and now early cirrhosis, a major surgery could cause him not to recover or heal. But a laparoscopic surgery to remove the stones from his bladder would allow him to heal faster and with significantly less pain than traditional surgery. Laparoscopy is standard in the human surgical field, though relatively new to the veterinary field. Rather than creating a large incision in the body wall, minimally invasive surgery requires only two or three small keyhole incisions the size of a pencil. With this method, spay procedures, biopsies of internal organs, less invasive evaluation of the sinuses or ears, bladder stone removal, and abdominal exploratory can all be performed with
Dottie, a young, energetic Golden Retriever, loved going to day camp every day and seeing Mary for dog training. By receiving the laparoscopic approach for her routine spay procedure, Dottie was able to return to day camp the very next day and spend time with Mary! With a traditional spay surgery, we recommend a pet be confined for at least seven days following surgery, with no jumping, running, or playing so that there is no risk of opening the incision. The laparoscopic approach is beneficial for other procedures, as well. For example, larger breed dogs, such as Standard Poodles, Dobermans, Great Danes, and more benefit from the laparoscopic approach for gastropexy (stomach tacking) to prevent a potentially life-threatening condition of bloat and volvulus of the stomach. Another patient to benefit from laparoscopy is Isabel, a 50 pound Doberman who required a liver biopsy. A traditional surgical incision would have been over six inches long and would have required overnight hospitalization and strong pain medication! By utilizing the laparoscopic approach, we were able to make just three keyhole incisions, taking a small sample of her liver for biopsy with less stress on her body. During the procedure, we were also able to view the liver and other internal organs in better detail.
minimal discomfort for the pet. Tissue and blood vessels are sealed rather than cut and sutured, which significantly decreases the risk of blood loss and eliminates the risk of internal suture reactions. Magnification provided by the laparoscope (camera) improves visualization of organs and allows for better diagnostics. Pets are not required to be confined after surgery, generally do not need as much pain relief medication, and have a faster recovery time, enabling everyone to get back to a normal routine faster.
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Many pets like Jesse, Dottie, and Isabel have benefitted from the laparoscopic approach. For pets that are more active and do not do well with cage confinement, the minimally invasive approach allows for quicker return to normal activity. All pets will appreciate the smaller incisions, which take less time to heal. While traditional surgical methods are safe and effective, we are proud to offer this advanced approach to our beloved patients at Care First Animal Hospital.
A Pet’s Ten Commandments
Courtesy of Stan Rawlinson
1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful. 2. Give me time to understand what you want from me.
4. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as a punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you. 5. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.
6. Be aware that, however you treat me, I will never forget it.
hy y Dog Photograp Photos by Sleep
3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my wellbeing.
7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet I choose not to bite you. 8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak. 9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old. 10. O n the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can’t bear to watch. Don’t make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there because I love you.
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by Brian P. Mulligan
Before - Sarah (white dog in front) in training
any people have heard the term “cell dogs,” but most are unclear as to the details of what a cell dog is or how a cell dog program actually works. Cell dog programs are varied in scope and tailored to meet the conditions of each facility, but they all share some common aspects. In these programs, shelter dogs, usually those that have not been adopted in the allotted time frame, are placed with a carefully screened inmate in a participating penal facility for about eight weeks of basic obedience training. The dogs live with the inmates during this period. Outside volunteers from the sponsoring organization, like K9 Buddies, Inc. or others, teach the inmates how to train dogs in basic obedience such as sit, stay, down, recall, etc. The goal is to make these dogs more adoptable through training and intense socialization. Upon graduation, the dogs are either adopted as family dogs, or, for those dogs that demonstrate certain aptitudes, they go on to advanced training to become service dogs. In some mature cell dog programs, inmates may be qualified to provide this training, and in others the service dog training is provided by service dog organizations that place them with those in need.
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After - K-9 Sarah went on to become a seizure alert dog
The Inmates: They learn a valuable trade that can produce revenue for them upon their release back into society. They experience unconditional love (many for the first time) and learn responsibility. They literally save a life and the lessons learned and experienced while in the program will be taken back to families and friends. They get the opportunity to give back to the community. Many inmate participants in these programs report that the experience is a life-changing event for them as they begin to feel empathy and a sense of purpose. They learn that they can make a positive difference in their life and the lives of others. Very few “rehabilitation” programs can boast of such results. The Staff: They report reduced behavior problems and improved attitude among the program participants. Many inmates in the general population aspire to join the program and become model inmates to achieve that goal. The General Public: Inmates who have a way to generate income after their release are less likely to return to incarceration. K9 graduates of these programs make wonderful family dogs, and the need for welltrained service dogs is partially addressed. You can find additional info at http://www.k9buddies.org and other sites. Please know that these fantastic programs depend heavily on donations and volunteers to operate, so please inquire about any cell dog programs in your area and offer your support.
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by Brian Lapham, DVM, Southpoint Animal Hospital
You all know the word I am talking about, the elephant in the room (so to speak).
weight: ar thritis, diabetes, he ar t disease, and even cancer.
They all mean the same thing—your pet is too large! This situation happens to the best of us with the best intentions. A few extra holiday cookies, one less walk per week, and the weight starts to add up. Before long, your dog has a spare tire, and the neighbors are starting to talk. And we all know the issues of this added 28 Volume 4 • Issue 2
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The way I console myself (“My name is Brian, and I too have had a fat pet…”) is that putting on weight is a very natural method for animals to store energy when the getting is good, to help with the lean times. Except that our pets very seldom (I would argue never) have lean times! Their food bowl seems to fill up twice a day regardless of hunting skills, weather, or season—all of which would normally help regulate how many calories they might consume. So, how do we tell if our pets are fat? A scale? Nope. Body weight can be very
misleading. Gaining a pound of fat versus a pound of muscle gives the same number. I much prefer using a Body Condition Score (BCS), which is a way to quantify their relative muscle to fat ratio. What I also like about this method is that it can be used at home, with no cost, and the calculation is very easy to perform. We would like most of our pets to score around a 5. OK, once we know whether (or perhaps confirm) our pets are fat, now what? The simple answer: less calories in and more calories out. The more complicated answer: the right food in the correct quantity, and the proper amount of exercise for the individual. In other words, every pet is different and has different needs and abilities. Your veterinarian can help you customize a weight loss approach and ensure there is not a medical reason for this weight gain, such as arthritis or thyroid problems. However, I offer the following generic recommendations. Less calories in. This generally means a bit less than you are now feeding. Most research shows that a 1020 percent decrease in total calories taken in will lead toward weight loss. I tend to focus that decrease on foods that are not very good for them to start with. Less pizza, chips, crackers, and soda. That does not mean you can’t give treats—my pets would stage a coup if I did not give them a daily snack! But you can use raw carrots, small bits of lean meat, rice cakes, or even some
of their regular food held back from breakfast. Also, using treat balls or Kong toys with some peanut butter in them can not only give them a food reward but also take them some time and energy to get that reward. Notice I did not say diet food. For the majority of dogs and cats, diet food is not necessary and may be contraindicated. More calories out. Now the hard part: exercise. Nobody wants to hear this part. Our pets have to work more (which often means WE have to work more). No matter how much you think they are exercising, it’s not enough. It is hard to get fat if you are exercising enough. Just look at how much Michael Phelps eats! Going for an extra walk is a good start, but these guys and gals are carnivores. They are meant to run hard to catch their prey. Throwing the ball, visiting dog parks, participating in play groups, and utilizing doggy daycare are all great options for our canines. The key is consistency—doing it every day like clockwork. The other important part of reaching any goal is to be able to measure and monitor the change. Usually checking their BCS every two weeks and recording your findings is a great way to note changes and evaluate progress. Don’t forget to reward yourself and your pet once you reach your goal: a new collar, chew toy, or trip to the park. Make it fun! Good luck!
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SAFETY 101 by Brian Lapham, DVM, Southpoint Animal Hospital
The dog-days of summer are right around the corner, and our hot summer weather results in a host of potential health concerns for our four-legged family members. At the top of the list is heat stroke, as our canine housemates cannot perspire like we do. This anatomical difference limits their ability to rid their body of excess heat. Please take a moment to read some of the suggestions below and remember that your animals are dependent on your common sense and awareness of health risks that lurk throughout our—and their—daily lives. Though it may seem cool outside, the sun can raise the temperature o inside your car to 120 F in a matter of minutes, even with the windows rolled down. If you need to run some errands, leave the furry ones at home. As you're outside enjoying the warm weather, keep your pet leashed. It will keep him or her from getting lost, fighting other animals, and eating and drinking things that could make him or her sick. This tip isn't just for dogs—even cats can learn to walk on a leash if you train them. Whether you're indoors or out, both you and your pet need access to lots of fresh water during the summer, so check the water bowl several times a day to be sure it's full. If you and your furry friend venture forth for the afternoon, bring plenty of water for both of you. Though all that fur helps protect him or her, your pet can get sunburned, particularly if he or she has light skin and hair. Sunburn in animals can cause problems similar to those it can cause in people, including pain, peeling, and skin 30 Volume 4 • Issue 2
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cancer. So keep your pet out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and when you do go out, rub a bit of sunblock on unprotected areas like the tips of ears, the skin around lips, and the tip of the nose. Keeping your pet well groomed will help his or her hair do what it was designed to do: protect from the sun and insulate from the heat. If your pet has extremely thick hair or a lot of mats and tangles, the fur may trap too much heat, so you may want to clip him or her. Humidity interferes with an animal’s ability to rid itself of excess body heat. When we overheat we sweat, and when the sweat dries and evaporates, it takes excess heat with it. Our fourlegged friends only perspire around their paws, which is not enough to cool the body. To rid themselves of excess heat, animals pant. Air moves through the nasal passages, which picks up excess heat from the body. As it is expelled through the mouth, the extra heat leaves along with it. Although this is a very efficient way to control body heat, it is severely limited in areas of high humidity or when the animal is in close quarters. Though exercise is an important part of keeping your dog at a healthy weight, which helps the body stay cool, overdoing it can cause him or her to overheat. Keep the walks to a gentle pace and make sure he or she has plenty of water. If your dog is panting a lot or seems exhausted, it's time to stop. Elderly, very young, and ill animals have a hard time regulating their body
temperature, so make sure they stay cool and out of the sun on steamy summer days. Dogs with snub noses, such as Pekingese, Pugs, Boxers, and Bulldogs have a hard time staying cool because they can't pant efficiently, so they also need to stay out of the heat. Overweight dogs are also more prone to overheating, because their extra layers of fat act as insulation, which traps heat in their bodies and restricts their breathing capabilities. Animals shouldn't be left outside unsupervised on long, hot days, even in the shade. Shade can move throughout the afternoon, and pets can become ill quickly if they overheat, so keep them inside as much as possible. If you must leave your pet in the backyard, keep a close eye on him or her and bring your pooch in when you can. Heatstroke is a medical emergency. Although core body temperature should not be used as a sole determinant of heat stroke, persistently high body temperature (>104.5) is alarming. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke (see sidebar), you must act quickly and calmly. Have someone call a veterinarian immediately. In the meantime, lower the animal's body temperature by applying towels soaked in cool water to the hairless areas of the body and in the groin area. Often the pet will respond after only a few minutes of cooling, only to falter again with his or her temperature soaring back up or falling too far below what is normal. With this in mind, remember that it is imperative to get the animal to a veterinarian immediately. Once your pet is in the veterinarian's
care, treatment may include further cooling techniques, intravenous fluid therapy to counter shock, or medication to prevent or reverse brain damage. Even with emergency treatment, heatstroke can be fatal. The best cure is prevention, and Fido and Fluffy are relying on you to keep them out of harm's way. Summer does not have to be fraught with peril—with ample precaution, both you and your furry friends can enjoy those long, hot dog-days of summer.
• Panting excessively • S taring into space and non-responsiveness • Anxious expression • Refusal to obey commands • Warm, dry skin • High fever • Rapid heartbeat • Vomiting • Collapse or weakness The Triangle Dog
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SIT. STAY. READ!
ELIZA KUKLINSKI Eliza Kuklinski is a writer and dog lover who lives in the Triangle with her dog and black cat Jax. She enjoys hiking, playing fetch (with help from her lab/Basenji mix, Brooke), baking homemade dog treats, and swimming (with her dog, of course). By the end of the day, she is usually covered in fur, dog licks, peanut butter, mud, and grass stains. She has written for several animal-themed magazines and websites and previously maintained her own blog. Now, she generally skips the blogging so she can have more time to play fetch and tug of war, but that’s fine with her.
hen I walked into a sunny classroom at Jordan Lake School of the Arts (JLSA), I was met by a small group of children joyfully gathered in semicircles around handlers and their dogs. The dogs were part of an organization called See Spot Read (SSR), a large group of canines and handlers dedicated to helping kids enjoy reading. “See Spot Read volunteers read with children to instill self-confidence and self-esteem in their reading abilities and skills, as well as give them motivation to read more and have fun with their reading,” explained Beth Cooke Weaver, coordinator and organizer of SSR. “It is always done in a safe and fun environment with no judgment being given.” It was very obvious that both the kids and dogs were enjoying their special time together. The children appeared to be relaxed and happy, and the dogs were very sweet. SSR teams currently visit approximately thirty locations throughout Wake County. Originally, the organization began with only five dog/handler teams, who visited two locations. There are now 65 therapy dog teams that are a part of the program. There are mixed breeds and purebreds of varying sizes and colors, although they all share a calm and friendly temperament. If you want to be a part of the SSR organization, you must be registered with a nationally recognized therapy organization, and you must have attended a See Spot Read New Member Orientation before you can go to any of the events. 32 Volume 4 • Issue 2
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“I love dogs,” explained one of the kids while she petted Kyra, a beautiful, friendly Golden Retriever that is a proud member of SSR. Kyra licked her hand in response. Across the room, kids read to and petted Vinnie and Pia, two beautiful lab mixes, both of which were rescue dogs. Pia walked around the kids, wagging her tail, while Vinnie laid on a mat and listened to a story, wagging his tail with contentment. After happily listening to many different books and being petted by many different hands, the three SSR dogs finally finished their visit at JLSA. However, there are usually several SSR events every day of the week, and those same dog/handler teams will likely be visiting a different location within just a few days, or maybe even immediately after the visit they have just finished. But the dogs never grow tired of their visits, because giving kids love is what they do best. See Spot Read hopes to give kids confidence in their reading. But this organization is so much more. They help kids get over their fear of dogs; they help them learn that sometimes our best friends have more than two feet. Some of the kids may not have a chance to interact with dogs at home, and SSR lets these kids know how loyal and loving a pet can be. Giving kids an early start on building relationships with our furry friends is so important—those kids learn to be a voice for the voiceless and to have respect for all creatures, even if they chew up your toys on occasion.
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ASK THE GROOMER
I was wondering what a good way to do the “in-between” trim on your pet would be. I have a neighbor who has a long-haired dog that needs grooming, and she is a little scared to trim the fur in the eyes, but only does grooming every 6 weeks. This might pertain to trimming toe fur, too. I know I am always scared to do that myself, so it is a good thing I have short-haired dogs!
~Angie, Durham, NC
A: BETH JOHNSTON Beth Johnston is a lifelong animal lover who, at 10 years of age, first groomed the family dog in the driveway and has been grooming animals for over 20 years, working with dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses. She has also successfully competed in canine events including conformation, rally obedience, and agility. She was a foster mom for the Central Carolina Poodle Club and helped rehabilitate and place poodles in forever homes. She is a certified member of the National Dog Groomers Association of America and is certified with the American Red Cross in Canine First Aid and CPR. Beth currently owns, and can be found grooming her canine friends at, Beth’s Barks N Bubbles, LLC in Durham. 34 Volume 4 • Issue 2
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There are a lot of breeds that can benefit from an “in-between” grooming. Double-coated dogs can be bathed and combed out or, at the very least, be combed out for a short session. Terriers, hounds, and other breeds can get a pedicure in between to help ease joint strain— or scratches to their owners’ floors! Poodles can get bathed and have faces, feet, and tail area trimmed and the body just brushed out. Most groomers have what is called a “bath and tidy” or “bath and trim,” which usually consists of bathing, nails trimmed, ears cleaned out, and the face, feet, and potty areas neatened up. This routine helps keep tangles in check on grooming days, and keeps the pet clean, neat, and feeling good—plus you have the benefit of a professional groomer getting his or her hands on your dog to inform you of health or behavioral changes. And the rates are usually reduced as it is not a full body styling. I think your neighbor will enjoy these bath and tidy sessions as much as Fido!
I have a Poodle and the groomer always ends up shaving him down—what can I do to prevent this in the future? I would love to grow his hair out! ~Susan, Durham, NC
Well Susan, as you know, that Poodle hair can get out of control in a hurry! You need a soft slicker brush that is appropriately sized for your dog and a Greyhound comb with a fine to medium tooth spacing. If your groomer does not sell grooming tools, then perhaps he or she could direct you to an appropriate source. Also, it does not hurt to bring the tools you do have into your groomer’s shop to make sure that you have the correct tools and you are using the correct technique. Many times in our shop we find that clients are trying to keep tangles out, but unfortunately a pet store directed them toward the wrong tool. You also want to make sure you are using the tools correctly so your Poodle enjoys the experience and you do, too! And if your dog has behavioral issues that are preventing you or your groomer from doing the job that needs to be done, then you have two choices. One solution is to go to a professional trainer who can help you correct such behavioral issues; another is to just keep the shorter clip. Each individual case is different, so consulting your professional groomer who actually works with your Poodle is key to ensuring the results are favorable for all parties. Good luck!
Photo by Sleepy Dog Photography
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F r ec k l e s
Photo by Courtne y Rowe
G ol d i e
Stor m & Razzle
Lettinga Photo by J
Photo by Courtney Rowe
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Photos by K elly Farmer
flin Joyce He Photo by
B a nks
T T The TheTriangle TriangleDog Dog
Photo by Carrie Israelson
M a rci e
Courtney Photo by
Photo by LaRue Carter
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REGISTERING YOUR PET’S MICROCHIP
amazes me that my dog can lie in the middle of the living room floor, her long tail extended, and be perfectly composed. She doesn’t seem to entertain the notion that one of the humans taking a step over her body could, inadvertently, step on her furry coil of a tail. Her fearlessness and trust go further. She picks places like doorways, walkways, hallways, and of course, the foot of our bed, as her favorite spots to recline in indolent fashion. This last spot has caused some collisions, what with humans getting out of bed in the dark of the night, still in a sleep-induced stupor. We’ve almost killed ourselves, and her, by stepping on some portion of her anatomy, probably her torso, and then careening forward with a scream of terror that you would think would have registered. But no. This lovely Labrador, chocolate to the
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by Laura Lankford
core, that greets every new person as an instant best friend, continues practicing this reckless behavior. I don’t know where she gets the trust. She is smart about most things. I’m the opposite of my dog: I don’t trust. By chance, when I was growing up, my sister’s friend found a stray puppy in a parking lot and gave it to her. This dog became mine, as my sister soon lost interest. Before the year was out, our mother passed away without warning. My father, not sensitive to the nuances of a family pet, threatened to get “rid of the dog.” “You can’t,” intervened a close family friend. “Those kids don’t have their mother. They need that dog.” Fast forward many years; when the terrible news of our son’s passing reached us, I had a two-week-old puppy. Our house filled with grieving people, and I found myself bringing the puppy up from his crate in the basement so many times, because when people heard about our puppy, they wanted to see it.
That dogs have such trust, to occupy with complete abandon any area of the floor of the dwelling that they have been so fortunate to enjoy, is puzzling. Do they know that they are not in the family by blood, and that they are not even the same species? Some would reply that they are so comfortable because the food bowl is filled twice a day, but that theory doesn’t hold up. The dog that my sister brought home, Prudance, was picked up by the “dog catcher” on more than one occasion. Prudance kind of roamed the neighborhood. I think maybe one of our neighbors was a bit upset when his caterer left the door of the catering truck open to ring the doorbell and returned to the truck to find our dog inside, making quick work of the large roast beef. But when I went to collect my dog from the pound, they told me that she refused food. Ah, you think she was just full of roast beef? And all this mumbo-jumbo about the magic of dogs is a bunch of bologna?
If 77.5 million households in America own dogs, there’s got to be more to it. Many a dog is acquired for taskoriented purposes, such as hunting, protecting, or even scaring off bears. But very often, over time, something happens between man and hound. The dog, even if it resides in an outside pen, moves in and lolls about freely on the floor space of the owner’s heart. And the only explanation is love.
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NATURAL DOG by Brian Lapham, DVM, Southpoint Animal Hospital
How Your Pet Can Live 126 Years
We all want to live forever. OK, maybe just a long, healthy life. I think most of us want this longevity for our pets as well. Why not—they give us unconditional love and attention; wouldn’t it be fantastic to take them into retirement with us? The great thing is that we already have the knowledge and the tools to help lead them into their senior years. And I am not talking about just getting old and hanging in there, but thriving up until the end (I don’t know about you, but I really want to be surfing a week before I croak). This information is not earth-shattering; it’s nothing that will make you hit yourself on the head and say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” It isn’t a magic herb or supplement you have been forgetting. In fact, the key to a long, healthy life involves a combination of topics that we should all be familiar with for ourselves. Maybe we just have to start with the smarter creatures in our homes— our pets!
Nutrition: Nutrition is the cornerstone of health. Without proper nutrition, the rest is pretty much a waste of time. I could write an entire column, and then some, on this one topic. In a nutshell, we should be feeding a fresh, whole diet meant for a carnivore. For some folks, t his m a y be a home cooked or raw diet, or the best bagged diet that they can afford. Even adding a bit of fresh food mixed in with your dog’s current diet is a step up. We are what we eat! 40 Volume 4 • Issue 2
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Exercise: Oh boy, do we need exercise. The second most common disease that I see in practice is obesity. Obesity can lead to heart disease, diabetes, joint disease, pancreatitis, hepatic lipidosis—I could go
on. We all know this. But it is hard to refuse those big brown eyes or that extremely co mf o r t ab l e couch on a Saturday morning. It is still harder to watch an obese arthritic dog try to stand, and harder to give insulin injections to a cat, but it is hardest to watch a loved one die too early in life. Easy call: less food, more exercise—done.
Relaxation: After that harsh paragraph on exercise (yes, it was meant to make you feel a bit uncomfortable), I most certainly do understand the need and joys of laying spread out on the couch watching the world go by. Cats are masters at meditation—mine are doing this right now on the bed near my desk, where they have been
(or 18 Years
7 Dog Years)
seriously meditating for about four hours now. They should be as enlightened as Mahatma by now! Our pets need to recharge their batteries. Comfortable window ledges for the kitties, big soft beds for the dogs, and plenty of time to just relax outdoors in the sun or shade is critical.
prefer to prevent disease. Proper vaccination (notice I did not say YEARLY vaccination), dental care, weight control, blood work to catch organ diseases early, grooming care, of course good nutrition—these, and many more aspects of health care, are more important than the most powerful medication or treatment.
Pr eventative Options:
I enjoy treating disease. It is a big part of my training and practice. Taking a pet from the edge of ketoacidosis and sending it home healthy is fun for me! But I much
As I found out recently with an illness of my own, it is important to have a team of health care professionals in place in case of a health crisis, or even better to prevent such an occurrence. At Southpoint Animal Hospital, we have in-house diagnostics and therapies, as well as access to some of the best specialists around. Please let us know if you have any questions or health concerns regarding your pets.
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THE PERFECT RUN
by Tim Spring
man died and went toward the light. There was no pearly gate, no rainbow bridge, just an overwhelming presence. He fell face down and cried out, “God help me!” It was a simple prayer that he had often repeated in times of stress. He was totally unprepared for what happened next.
bright overpowering light. The man became aware of a movement in the light. It grew and grew and there was his friend. He was bowled over by his furry companion, just as he had been so many times before on earth. His face was being licked, a tail beat his legs, and a playful reunion was had.
A voice said, “Never fear my child, I am here. I’ll take a simple form, and we’ll have a talk.”
There were several agility teams there that day. God was to be the judge. The exhibitors walked the course, and the man was to be the third team to run. He watched the first team; it was a beautiful start. Then it happened: the handler took his eye off the dog and it took an off course.
The man was filled with peace and knew he had met his Maker. He realized he was being helped to his feet. The man who helped him to his feet had a radiance unlike anything he had seen before. He became aware of the conversation covering his life, beliefs, and why he should be admitted to Heaven. God said he had one last test. The man had competed in agility and had always wanted one more run with his favorite partner. God said he would grant one final run. A perfect run, and he and his dog would be granted access to Heaven. A failure, and he would not be allowed in. The man said to God, “Win or lose, thank you for one more run.” He asked God where he needed to go to find his faithful teammate. God called the man to him and said to stare into his eyes. Unbelievable peace and joy filled the man’s soul. God started to change into
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“You idiot!” yelled the handler. “What were you thinking?” A curtain covered the field and God’s voice could be heard but not understood. When the curtain parted, the previous team was gone. God beckoned the next team to the line. This team looked even better. Then a bar was knocked. The handler went to the dog and beat it. The man wanted to go to the dog’s aid, but an icy stare from a nearby angel froze him in his tracks. The curtain quickly drew around the ring. God’s voice boomed and the ground trembled. When the curtain parted, the team was gone.
God motioned for the man to come to the line. A quick placement at the line, one last scratch of the dog’s ear— they were ready. The stay was perfect; the man smiled, overjoyed for one last run. The man gave the command and released his dog. The run was one of those rare ones. The connection so right, the unexplainable feeling of being in harmony with your dog. Both the man and the dog beamed. One last cross and they would be headed home. But the man realized in an instant he had moved too soon. “I’m sorry, that was my fault,” he said sheepishly. They finished in fine form, but it was not a clean run. The curtain drew. God came over, and before God could speak, the man fell to his knees. “I’m sorry it wasn’t a perfect run, but thank you for one last run. It was so fun, but I just blew that cross. Please don’t punish my dog for my mistake; he only did what I trained him to do.” God lifted the man to his feet. “You passed the test,” God said with a smile. “I don’t understand,” stammered the man. “It wasn’t a clean run.” God answered, “I didn’t say your dog wouldn’t go to Heaven if you failed nor that the run had to be clean.” The man answered, “You said it had to be perfect.” God replied, “You see, I said the run had to be perfect, not clean. Up here, there is a big difference. Nobody can run this course clean. The joy of the run, the connection so close, makes it impossible to run this course clean. That is part of the test. Do you take responsibility for your
mistake? Do you treat your dog, my gift of love to you, with respect? The perfect runs are the runs where the handler takes responsibility for mistakes and allows the dog to make his. The dog doesn’t care if the run is clean, it just wants to have fun. You really passed the test before you ran. You thanked me whether you won or lost. Also, don’t think I didn’t notice that you reacted when that other handler abused the dog. You have shown great love. That was the test. To me your run was a thing of beauty; your conduct, even better.” The owner smiled. “May I have one request?” the man asked. God smiled and said, “I know you want to watch the other runs. If you look past the ring, you’ll see your old, ratty chair. I would love to have company today.” The man saw some stunning runs, but also some crazy runs. Dogs that did nothing but visit the Heavenly Host. Dogs that knocked every bar. Dogs that sailed over every contact. He smiled each time the curtain closed and watched God inform the handlers that though not clean, their runs were still perfect. He realized that he never saw another run where the handler was mean. Every run he saw brought another team to the sideline. Cheers arose and people rejoiced. It then dawned on the man. He was no longer waiting to get to Heaven; he was already there. At the end of the runs, the man said to God, “You must be pleased. Only two teams failed.” With a tear running down his face, God said, “If only that were true. Once you pass, you only see those that pass. But enough of that; we have a rainbow bridge to go visit. Some more of your friends want to see you.” The Triangle Dog
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ASK THE VET
Dear Dr. D., I was at the pet store the other day and saw a dog seat belt. Is that a ridiculous thought or good idea for my dog? ~ Thelma, Wake Forest, NC
A: Dr. Diane Deresienski , VMD, DABVP A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Diane Deresienski has been with Bowman Animal Hospital since 1993. She has also been an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Clinical Sciences at NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine since 1997. In 2011, Dr. D. became Medical Director of Bowman Animal Hospital. She enjoys surgery, internal medicine, and dermatology cases. She is certified in PennHIP radiographic technique and in Canine/Feline Practice through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners since 2000. She has also been featured on Animal Planet’s “Pets 101.” As an exotic animal veterinarian, she sees a variety of pets ranging from birds and reptiles, to small mammals such as rabbits, ferrets, and guinea pigs.
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A seat belt is actually a very good idea for your dog. We humans would never think of getting into a car without buckling up, and yet we often don’t think about restraining our pets at all. There are many reasons to do so, the most important of which is that when a car stops abruptly, even if just tapping on the brakes, your dog can become airborne. They can then either hit the back of the front seat (if they are sitting in the back seat) or the windshield or dash (if they are in the front seat). Even worse, if a collision occurs and they are in the front seat, they can be hit by the airbag. The same rules apply for dogs as they do for children in the front seat. There is almost no dog large enough to not be injured by the airbag. I have treated at least four dogs that have had severe spinal cord injuries from being thrown in a car and two of them are paralyzed for life. Believe me, the owners of these dogs have all wished they had used a seat belt or a crate for their pet when they were in the car. There are other reasons that it is a good idea to have your dog restrained while in the car. One is that your dog could become excited about its surroundings and obstruct your vision or disrupt your driving in other ways. Dogs can also be a distraction if they are jumping around in the car, causing you to lose your concentration on the road. Another reason to use a seat belt is one I have personally tested. I can’t bear to pass a turtle trying to cross the road, so sometimes I have to pull off the road quickly and jump out of the car. When I travel with my dog, he is restrained in his seat belt, so if I see an emergency and have to leave the vehicle quickly, I know that he will not be darting out behind me and into danger in the road.
There are many ways to restrain your pet in the car, but your specific question about seat belts is a good one. There are quite a few seat belts manufactured for dogs on the market now. Dog seat belts are not required to be tested by any governing body, so each company is responsible for testing, and several of the companies do not test their products at all. In 2013, the Center for Pet Safety, a non-profit group started by Lindsey A. Wolko whose own dog was severely injured in a crash and had been wearing a seatbelt, performed a
“Harness Crashworthiness Study” to evaluate the overall performance of dog automobile harness products available for purchase in the US. They actually used “Crash Test Doggies” at three different weight ranges to test out these products. The results were enlightening and a bit disconcerting. In this study, only one dog seat belt passed the test and ensured that the “dog” would not launch off of the seat with a quick stop at 30 miles an hour. This seat belt, called Sleepypod Clickit Utility, has a special three-point attachment design. The Subaru Corporation was a sponsor of the testing and after the findings came out, Subaru offered to make this seat belt an option in some of its automobiles. Some of the flaws in the other seat belts were quite dramatic and even included severe bodily harm to the dog from the belt itself. You may also consider crating your dog and securing the crate to keep it from flying during an accident. One thing is for sure: never let your dog ride in the front seat. I hope this information helps, Thelma. Happy trails to you and your canine companion!
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TAILS FROM THE HEART by Debbie Pell
Molly’s Match “She was a rescued dog who became a rescue dog. With Molly by my side, I can now go for a walk, ride my bike, or visit a friend without being dependent on someone else to go with me. Because of Molly, I am free to be me again. I know Molly will warn me if I’m about to have a seizure and will find help for me if I need it. Having her in my life has given me back my freedom,” Amy LaRue explained. Here’s Molly’s story:
for her, and I needed to be rescued. I knew Amy was my forever person the first time I smelled her, so over
No one can really understand what my life was like prior to my being “surrendered” to the local animal shelter. My former owner literally dragged me into the shelter while I was giving birth, and my babies were born on the outer office floor. From that moment on, for me, being surrendered was the beginning of my new and wonderful life.
the next five months, I worked extra hard and learned all the lessons the trainers could teach me. Now I am a Nationally Registered Service Animal. I can signal when Amy is going to have a seizure; if Amy falls and needs help, I can race home and get mom or I can pull Amy to safety. I keep Amy in my sight 24/7 and will search for her until I find her if she ever gets out of my sight. Amy is my world!
In the days that followed, my health improved, and my babies nursed and grew until a volunteer from Rescue UR Forever Friend (RUFF) came, bundled my babies, and transported us into a foster home. I loved being fostered, sleeping with my babies on warm thick blankets, playing with them in the sunshine, and teaching them how to be the best doggies possible. Time flew and before I knew, it was time for my babies to find wonderful homes with human families of their own. For me, however, a permanent home wasn’t easy to find. I was adopted and returned, and so I continued to wait. Meanwhile, my friend Amy was having problems of her own. Amy was experiencing seizures and would frequently fall, and despite visits to specialists and multiple medications, nothing helped. After reading an article on alternative medications, Amy’s mom thought perhaps a dog could be trained to signal an oncoming seizure, thereby giving Amy time to lie down and be prepared. And with that thought, their adventure began. During the weeks that followed, Amy and her mom talked to trainers, doctors, and therapists and eventually found the right dog. A task which proved to be more difficult than anticipated, for despite taking home several dogs, none seemed capable of being the type of service dog Amy needed. And that’s where I came in. RUFF volunteers recognized my strong mothering instinct, and, together with Amy’s mom, decided I might be the dog for Amy. It was a perfect match! Amy needed a strong, protective, nurturing dog, Amy’s mom needed an ally to help care 46 Volume 4 • Issue 2
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I am Molly. I was a rescue dog. Now I am a service dog, and my best friend is my human, Amy.
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