Friends of Falmouth Dogs - Founded in 1990.
 
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Current hours
 
Sunday: 3:00-5:00
Monday and Thursday:
10:00-12:00 & 4:00-6:00
Tues.,Wed.,Fri., & Sat.:
10:00-12:00

location
Animal Control Center
150 Blacksmith Shop Rd.
Falmouth, MA

Send mail to:
P.O. Box 438
Falmouth, MA 02541

phone number
508-548-7742
 

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Our Events Calendar      
Next Event: Blessing of the Animals, Waquoit Congregational Church - September 30 from 10 AM to noon

Our Weekly Falmouth Enterprise Column

 

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, September 22, 2017

Irish poet W.B. Yeats gives us a poignant image of old age, laced with, well, laced with poetic tenderness. Here we present his words on aging, which we tweaked for a more dog-centric flair. But we're pretty sure that's what Yeats meant anyway.

When you are old and grey and full of sleep

And nodding by the fire, think back to when

your days were new and you were young

and all the world was filled with love and, too, of fun.

Your dog will one day be a senior dog. Or maybe already is. And as dogs age, bringing with it many changes in their bodies and minds, their care should also change. There are many ways to address these changes and keep your older dog happy and healthy. We checked around and here's what we learned:

1) Because older dogs tend to sleep more, beds should be soft and plentiful. Memory foam as a base and extra blankets for cushioning will help old, arthritic bones. Extra beds scattered around the house will make it easier for a tired dog to find a ready place to nap.

Dustin, Yorkie/poodle mix

2) Entering and exiting cars and climbing stairs may be more difficult, so ramps might be required. Making things easier to navigate means your dog can still accompany you as before. Their desire to be with you won't change.

3) They may be more susceptible to fluctuations in temperature, especially in summer and deepest winter. During hot weather, walk them early or late, when it's usually coolest. In winter, of course, a coat or sweater and briefer walks will protect them.

4) Exercise is still important, but the walks will be shorter and slower. If your dog has always been a ball chaser, there's no reason to quit. Perhaps throw the ball a little closer and end the game a little earlier.

5) The type of food, the amount of food and the frequency of feedings may all need adjustment. A senior dog's nutritional needs usually change but this is where you should consult your vet before making drastic alterations. Also, helping your dog maintain a healthy weight is crucial.

6) In general, senior dogs will develop many of the conditions humans do, which include either a loss of vision or reduced eyesight, hearing loss, arthritis and general aches and pains. Accommodations should be made for these limitations and your senior dog should be handled more gently and patiently.

These simple, practical steps will help guide your dog through its senior years.

* * *

That's not to say our current dogs are old. Not by a long shot. Our two in residence are young and youngish.

Rookie is a young male Lab. Large and boisterous, he is full of energy, exuberance and seems bursting with good cheer. We don't think he has spent much time in a home environment, so has not had a chance to develop house manners. Windowsills, table tops and furniture are all targets for exploring, according to Rookie. We are introducing him to some lessons in a home environment under the tutelage of a trainer and some volunteers. Because Rookie really craves the company of people, he should be a willing student. Rookie loves to run after tennis balls, which helps burn off energy and also helps build a bond with whoever is throwing the ball. And when that game is done, he will line up balls in a straight, neat row, then bury them in the sand one by one. And if you're really, really lucky, he will present a sand-and-drool-covered tennis ball right into your lap.

Dusty is about 6. This terrier mix (mini-schnauzer plus wild card?) has a pure terrier temperament. He's sure of himself, smart and bossy. But Dusty is also a little needy and sometimes seeks the reassurance of a lap and two arms. He weighs around 13 pounds, but believe us, he be

We remind you to watch our website as we're expecting a couple of new (small) dogs to join our census soon.

* * *

Please join us Saturday, September 30, at the Waquoit Congregational Church on Route 28 for the annual Blessing of the Animals. The event runs from 10 AM to noon—and all animals are welcome! Just be sure that they are safely restrained, either by leash or carrier. It's always a wonderful event.

* * *

We'd like to express our gratitude for last week's successful Antique Appraisal event that benefited our medical fund. Because Atria Woodbriar Place donated the venue and spectacular refreshments, and Michael Kasparian donated his expertise in giving the appraisals, all the proceeds are profits and will help our shelter dogs with their medical problems and also help replenish our Pet Assistance Fund. And a huge thank-you to all of you who brought your treasures for appraisal. Please know that you are helping shelter dogs, too.

* * *

We are at the shelter 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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