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Our Weekly Falmouth Enterprise Column
By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer
Friday, August 29, 2014
Pardon us if we use this space as a sort of bully pulpit but that's just what we're going to do right now. Many of you may be aware of the parvovirus outbreak that has occurred in Lowell, killing many dogs, but the alert bears repeating. We consulted experts on parvo (American Veterinary Medical Association) and didn't like what we learned. Parvo is deadly. Unvaccinated dogs usually die and even vaccinated dogs can suffer and die. It is easily spread through contaminated dog feces, and can also be transmitted via kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes and even through contaminated human hands and clothing. It affects the dog's gastrointestinal tract and causes severe vomiting, bloody diarrhea, fever, dehydration and extreme lethargy. Infected dogs should be isolated immediately. And here's a chilling thought: death can occur within 48 to 72 hours from the onset of symptoms. Infected stool can be found wherever dogs congregate, visit or even just walk: trails, woods, beaches, parks, sidewalks. All dogs should be vaccinated. We urge you to contact your vet for more information.
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Choices. So many choices. What's a dog to do? Mickey's biggest challenge right now is deciding which toys to play with first; which to chew; which to present to a friend; which to return to; which to parade around the play yard; how many he can hold at the same time. And that's quite nice—for a dog that was abandoned, suffering from an uncomfortable skin irritation, worms and Lyme disease, it's nice that his biggest challenge right now is deciding about toys.
He now knows that he's safe and well-fed and all his medical issues have been treated and eliminated. His only other challenge is getting people to look past his breed and see the dog. Mickey is a 2-year-old black and white Staffordshire terrier mix. His saturated coloring is striking and adds to his appeal. Mickey is smart and very trainable. His vocabulary is growing as is his fan base. He seeks a strong owner (with a sense of humor).
Whether you debate post-Kantian aesthetics or tell her to go get the tennis ball, Karma will pay attention with that laser-like shepherd intelligence. You will find she is smart and eager to learn. Karma is a 1-year-old German shepherd with beautiful markings, elegant carriage, and people-oriented temperament. She is quite lean but then, she is still a puppy. She is being treated for a skin condition and is responding to that treatment. She is interactive when playing fetch, a typical happy, frolicking puppy, but when she gets stressed, she seeks you out for comfort, with an imploring look, a paw on the knee or by leaning into you. How flattering is that?! Karma doesn't know too much about walking on a leash but she is learning.
Ladybird is back with us. We had forgotten just how small she was. And pretty. While in her recent home, this little girl tried very hard to share the attention of her people, but it was so difficult for her. She originally came to us as a stray, so of course we don't know anything about her background; perhaps she was starved for attention. At the shelter she made friends with Caper and loved hanging out with him, so we thought she could handle sharing the attention of people in her orbit. Maybe we asked too much of her. The upside is her recent family had five months to get to know her—really get to know her—and that will help us find the home she needs. They tell us that she did learn to treasure the attention of people. Ladybird needs a home without other pets.
Caper, the senior German shepherd, welcomed Ladybird back with grace. He has sort of eased her transition back to shelter life and the two spend lots of time together. Well, when Caper is not spending R&R at a B&B. He has finagled special privileges at a vacation-like house, where he hopes to visit a couple of afternoons a week. So, if you want to meet this older boy, give us a call to make sure he is accepting company. He would love to meet you, we're sure. Caper will thrive in a home where someone is around much of the time and with someone who will offer him the leadership he wants.
Alfie. What a flurry of activity this pup exhibits. Saying he is full of energy is like saying the Sahara can be a bit warm. Alfie is about 9 months old and a darling mix of breeds, probably mostly terrier. We aren't sure whether his energy stems from his tender age, his breeds or his personality. We are sure that he will need training and exercise. Lots of both. But he is definitely worth the effort.
Molly, the 11-year-old dachshund, is in foster care soaking up all the attention she can get. This little dog, while timid at first meeting, can bond closely with those she loves, which can be just about anyone she gets to know. (Some might call that fickle!) She doesn't require miles of walking; she enjoys a stroll around the yard or up the street and then she's set. She does, however, love to be with people. She is at the shelter every Saturday but can be available any day.
Also in a foster home now but needing a new home is Scruffy, a 6-year-old bichon, whose elderly male owner recently died. This little dog (at 28 pounds, the size of a miniature poodle) is timid in new situations but once he's comfortable, he is affectionate and attentive. Scruffy, who used to sit on the sofa with his owner, will follow you around like a shadow. He needs a quiet home without a lot of people in and out. He is frightened by children and big dogs. Give us a call if you want to learn more about Scruffy.
Also in his own home but needing a new home is Lou, a Lab/beagle mix. This 10-year-old dog is fully housetrained and has free run of the house. His owners tell us he is friendly with older children, dogs and cats and is living with another dog now. He seems like a pretty laid-back guy and he loves the attention of people. He has shown some signs of food guarding with one member of the family but she has trained him to sit politely until his food bowl is placed in front of him. We can connect you with the owner if you'd like to meet Lou.
We are open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to noon; Sunday from 3 to 5 PM; and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 4 to 6.
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