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Animal Control Center
150 Blacksmith Shop Rd.
Falmouth, MA

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Falmouth, MA 02541

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Recent Falmouth Enterprise Columns


October 13, 2017
October 6, 2017
September 29, 2017
September 22, 2017

September 15, 2017
September 8, 2017
September 1, 2017
August 25, 2017

 

Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, October 13, 2017

There was actually an online survey recently seeking respondents' favorite numbers. Many thousands of people weighed in. We're not sure why, but there you have it; the survey exists. And according to the survey's originator (a British mathematician), the winning number is no surprise: seven. Poor little old 110 didn't even get one vote. In-between, other favorites were 3.14 and 1.618 (guess who voted for those). Forty-two was pretty popular. And number three came in at number two.

If we were pressed to name our favorite number, we'd say we have two favorites. Our first would be whatever number of dogs we have at the shelter at any given time. Our second favorite number would be zero. That is the number of dogs we'd like to see in shelters needing homes.

So right now our favorite number is four (which came in fourth in the survey, by the way), because we have four dogs looking for forever homes: Rookie, Dusty, Molly and Patrick.

Rookie is a young, big, healthy male Labrador retriever. He has a beautiful face and a sweet expression. He's smart and happy and seemingly always ready to play ball. We know he needs a lot of training, patience, routine and exercise, but frankly, we're surprised he's still at the shelter. Rookie must have had a rough start in life, with little socialization, no leash training and certainly no training in house manners. But in the right home, he will be a truly fantastic dog. He is learning his "schooling lessons" at the shelter just as quickly as he can and he is an earnest student.

Rookie really enjoys the company of other dogs, but, because of his size and exuberance, if he goes into a home with another dog, that dog would have to be strong and lively, too. And if you're not in a position to adopt a dog but would like to help Rookie, we are also looking for a foster home to teach him house manners until his forever home comes along. We will provide for all the training.

Dusty is a typical terrier mix of bravado, confidence and intelligence. He also has the terrier bossiness, curiosity and zest for life. Dusty is a 6-year-old schnoodle (mini-schnauzer and poodle), who is small, agile and wildly haired. He loves his walks but he also loves hanging in the office with volunteers. He plays with toys appropriately and doesn't seem to be destructive, even with soft, squeaky items. We think Dusty will do best in an adult home or one with older teenagers who will understand that he needs to learn that he's not in charge.

In foster care are Molly and Patrick.

Molly is an 8-year-old shih tzu. Still somewhat shy with strangers, she is getting more comfortable every week with her visits to the shelter. In fact, last Saturday, she spent much of the shift on a volunteer's lap. She will give you kisses with very little coaxing and has learned to ask for attention. Recently, she tapped, ever so gently, the arm of her foster mom for a little cuddle. Or maybe to tell her it was time for dinner. We're not sure. Molly enjoys her walks, but is not a marathoner by any means.

Patrick is an almost-11-year-old Lhasa apso. Food doesn't seem to be as important to him as it does to other dogs, and, in fact, at breakfast time, he often sleeps later than the others in the foster home. But that's okay, because he's trained the family to hold his meal until he's ready. Hmm. According to his foster family, Patrick "has a dose of independence, a smidgeon of stubbornness, and some sweetness thrown in." Sounds like a recipe for a fantastic little creature. Which he is. Patrick and Molly are living in a home with another dog and doing quite well. And Patrick would also do well with a cat as a roommate. We are looking for an adult home for this little guy.

Molly and Patrick visit the shelter every Saturday and by appointment.

* * *

We never tire of hearing how our dogs are doing in their new homes, and we thought you'd like to hear about them, too. So, from time to time, we will share some of the lovely things we hear about the former shelter dogs.

This is an e-mail we got not long ago from a family who adopted the Australian shepherd named Sis, who, by the way, appears in our 2018 calendar.

"We'd be honored to have her pic taken. Anything to emphasize the good work you're all doing, and to recognize that older dogs are deserving of a second chance in life. Name the day. We're available anytime.

"We renamed Sis 'Gracie,' BTW, simply to reflect how grateful we are that she's come into our lives. We went to the vet's for a booster Lyme vaccination, and she told us that we all were a good match. I give the credit and thanks to you guys.

Awwww.

* * *

And just a reminder: our 2018 calendars are hot off the press and ready for purchase. At $15 each, they are a treat for the eye as each page features a real cutie that went through our shelter into a new home.

* * *

Don't forget the rabies clinic on Saturday, October 14, from 1 to 2:30 PM at the animal control center in West Falmouth. Cost is $10 per vaccination and the clinic is open to dogs and cats. All animals should be leashed or in carriers.

* * *

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 PM.

 

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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, October 6, 2017

There are lots of things that are hard to do.

Cleaning out the garage.

Crossing the Bourne Bridge on July 4.

Explaining Fermat's last theorem. Understanding Fermat's last theorem.

And there are lots of things that are easy to do.

Eating ice cream.

Laughing with friends.

Eating ice cream.

And there are some things that are very, very easy to do.

Loving a dog. That's it. Simply loving a dog.

We know that not everyone is in a position to adopt a dog at any given time, but shelters everywhere would welcome your time. So you can still simply love a dog. And, as someone we admire once said, "A lap is a terrible thing to waste." So please consider volunteering your time and skills at a shelter near you. (And in case you're asking, we're in West Falmouth.)

And we've got several dogs just waiting to be loved by you.

Rookie is a young male Lab. At 90-plus pounds, he's a big guy, and because he is untrained, he will require a strong handler. Rookie is an extremely handsome boy with the sweet, sweet expression that is the hallmark of Labs. He loves chasing balls, he likes his walks, he enjoys sitting near you, he enjoys his food—well, he pretty much enjoys all that life has to offer. What he really needs is training, routine, patience and exposure to living in a house. At the moment, he galumphs around the house, knocking things off tables, you know, just in case they're something to eat or play with. But volunteers have been taking him home and showing him how to act like a gentleman in a home. And he's learning how to act properly. Right now, he still acts like a puppy in new situations, getting into everything.

Rookie loves playing with other dogs and that is a wonderful outlet for his energy. Several volunteers have brought their own dogs by to play with him, which breaks up his day nicely. He also went swimming (on a long leash) in a local pond. Nailed it! His ideal home will be one where someone is around much of the time and will commit to training. In the meantime, we would love to find a foster home where he can be acclimated properly to house manners. We will provide for the training.

Dusty has been loving all the attention he's been getting. This 6-year-old schnoodle (part schnauzer, part poodle) is all terrier temperament. He's compact, quick, lively, a little bossy and very opinionated. Dusty also enjoys being with other dogs. He also really enjoys people, laps and all the attention he can get. Dusty needs an active home where he can get the exercise he so loves. Because he's bossy, a home with adults or older children is preferred.

And then we have Patrick and Molly, two dogs living in a foster home, or as they might think of it, vacationing at a bed & breakfast. And, as in a B&B, these two dogs get their meals free, their beds made, and room service, and their entertainment is provided by the management.

Patrick is an almost-11-year-old Lhasa apso. Patrick is a pretty independent sort and prefers doing things himself. He doesn't like to be picked up to spend time on your lap. No sirree. He prefers sitting in the sun, preferably near a window, until it's time to venture out for a walk. After a nice brisk walk, he likes to wander around the yard (so a fenced-in yard would be on his bucket list). Patrick lived with a cat and would probably love to have another cat in his life in his new home. Patrick also likes to have access to a cozy, secret spot where he can snooze uninterrupted.

Molly, an 8-year-old shih tzu, on the other hand, simply loves attention. She can be a little timid around new people, but that doesn't last long. Molly does have some joint issues, so she needs help going up and down stairs, but she's small enough to carry. She, too, enjoys her walks.

Patrick and Molly visit the shelter every Saturday and by appointment. So if you can't make it to the shelter on Saturday, give us a call and we'll try to arrange another day to suit your schedule.

* * *

Found! We are happy to say that the lost Jindo mix we mentioned last week is now home with her family.

* * *

Our 2018 calendars are in and they are fabulous. Just fabulous. They feature some of our beauties in "selfies" of a sort. Cost is $15 and they are available at the shelter. Proceeds, of course, help our program, but by purchasing a calendar, you're doing so much more. You're guaranteeing a smile every time you flip to another month.

* * *

A rabies clinic will be held at the Falmouth Animal Control Center in West Falmouth on Saturday, October 14, from 1 to 2:30 PM. Cost is $10. Both cats and dogs are welcome but should either be in carriers or on leash.

* * *

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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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, September 29, 2017

Our sweetest moments are spent tending to the dogs in our care. Watching them relax or watching them heal, or trust, or thrive, depending on their needs. And then watching them get adopted by families that will continue to care for them. It never grows old.

And we have four such dogs to tend and to help; each has its own story: Dusty, Rookie, Patrick and Molly. And they couldn't be more different.

Dusty is a 6-year-old terrier mix. Most likely a blend of mini schnauzer and poodle, he's small (about 13 pounds) and feisty and confident. Dusty's coat always looks like he was caught in the rain. And speaking of rain, and wind, Dusty didn't mind the recent awful weather. He actually enjoyed his walks every bit as much as usual. There's that terrier temperament again: disturbed by very little. Because he's bossy, we are looking for a home with adults or older children. And no other pets. He's fine playing with dogs but he tends to get overexcited and doesn't always read their signals, which can become annoying to some dogs.

Rookie is a young Lab. Completely untrained in the finer etiquette of life, Rookie needs an owner with patience who will show him consistency, routine, training and love. A fenced-in yard would be ideal to burn off some of his energy running after tennis balls. Like all young dogs, he needs lots of exercise, and he is learning leash manners. We are looking for a home where someone is around much of the time. That home should be experienced with large, strong, untrained, lively dogs. In the meantime, we are doing some in-home training sessions hosted by various volunteers and a trainer is working on setting limits and working on his house manners. We would welcome experienced applicants who are interested in fostering Rookie and continuing his in-home training. Rookie seems to get along well with other dogs but might prefer to be the star of a new family. He's very big and very strong, so an adult home or one with older teenagers is best.

Patrick and Molly round out our census. Both of these dogs are in foster care and visit the shelter most Saturdays and other days by appointment or by chance. And both were recently groomed and look fabulous.

Patrick, a Lhasa apso (at 21 pounds, a large Lhasa apso!), will turn 11 in November. Wouldn't it be fitting if he could celebrate his birthday in a new home? Patrick is living in a foster home with two other dogs and doing quite well. His foster family also thinks he really likes cats and would do well in a home with a cat. He is active and enjoys his walks, but also needs a hidey-hole to curl up in when the spirit moves him. He, too, enjoyed all the wonderful scents borne on the wind last week.

Molly is an 8-year-old shih tzu. And a dainty eater, apparently. She prefers to eat her meals from a plate. Doesn't have to be fine bone china, but it does have to be a plate. No metal or plastic bowls for this little girl. Molly sometimes exhibits a little stage fright when in the presence of new people, but she is very comfortable in her foster home now and will follow her people around the house. Because she is not always obvious with her plea for attention, a family will need to initiate that affection and attention.

* * *

UPDATE: She has been found and is home safe! Lost Dog: A small white Jindo mix bolted from her new home just hours after she arrived. Please don't approach her—she is terrified of people. Call 508-274-3535 or 508-457-2552.

* * *

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 to 11 AM and all animals are welcome. Just be sure that they are safely restrained, either by leash or carrier.

* * *

A rabies clinic will be conducted on Saturday, October 14, from 1 to 2:30 PM at the Falmouth Animal Control facility in West Falmouth. Open to dogs and cats, the rabies vaccinations are $10. All animals should be leashed or in carriers.

* * *

We have two fun events scheduled for December: Pet Photos With Santa and a marching contingent with the Black Dog in the Falmouth Christmas Parade. We hope you'll join us for both. Details will be furnished in future columns.

* * *

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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Falmouth Enterprise Archived 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.

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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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, September 15, 2017

The inventories maintained by the officers of the wardrobe for Henry VIII (and we can be pretty sure that these officers were accurate because we all know what happened to people who crossed the king), show that at least 158 dog collars were commissioned for the royal pets. And these were not ordinary collars. They were as lavish as the king's personal wardrobe: the collars were made of cloth of gold and velvet and richly decorated with scallop shells and roses.

The leashes might be silver or even silk, dyed in the Tudor colors of white and green. So, if any of his dogs went missing, they were certain to be recognized and returned. And a favorite of his, a spaniel named Cutte, was known to wander. And of course, this was way before microchipping.

Although we don't have 158 dogs needing collars, we do have some wonderful dogs nevertheless.

Rookie and Dusty both wait patiently to start new chapters in their lives. And neither cares if their collars are made of cloth of gold or velvet. Anything that carries an ID tag displaying their new family's name and number is all they want.

Dusty is a small, wire-haired, energetic, self-confident little guy. We think he's 6 years old. We think he's part mini-schnauzer. We think he's had some training. But we know he's special. He loves people and enjoys playing with other dogs, although he sometimes gets a bit overexcited. He loves to walk and has the energy typical of the terrier breed. He also has the curiosity of the terrier breed. His favorite speed is full-steam ahead.

Sharing the shelter with him is Rookie, the young Lab, who is the quintessential bull in a china shop. We don't think Rookie had a lot of interaction or guidance in his formative years. The result is he still acts like a really active toddler in a teenager's gangly body. He's big and clumsy and full of curiosity. He will need training and routine and lots of exercise. But he enjoys the company of people, especially tennis-ball-throwing people. Although large and boisterous, Rookie has an insecure side and likes to carry soft toys in his mouth on his walks. How cute is that? We're looking for a home for Rookie where someone is around a good deal of the time.

Not ready to adopt but looking for a little "Lab" in your life? We would consider foster care for Rookie while he waits for his forever home. We are specifically looking for a foster home with large breed experience that can work on his house manners in order to prepare him for a permanent home. We will also provide training for the foster family.

And you may have noticed Pinto by his absence. By the time this column goes to press, Pinto will likely be starting his brand-new life in his brand-new home.

Watch this column (and our website) as we expect to have some new dogs joining our census in the next few weeks. We'll keep you posted.

* * *

October is adopt a shelter dog month and there's no reason to wait until the last minute to celebrate. Now, we know that not everyone can adopt a shelter pet (and if you already have, please accept our gratitude), but there are other ways to help.

Donate: No shelter can exist without funds. Money is needed to provide full veterinary care, flea/tick and heartworm preventives, prescribed medicines, the right food (including special diets), crates, collars and leashes, laundry detergent, trash bags, paper goods, nutritional supplements and storage. Your contribution, no matter how small, helps keep a shelter running.

Volunteer: The daily tasks are numerous. Dogs need to be walked, laundry needs to be done, floors needed to be cleaned, landscaping needs to be maintained, clerical tasks need to be completed. But even if you cannot cover a regular shift, you might want to help at our outreach and fundraising events. Or better: create a fundraising event of your own! Please consider helping us help the dogs.

* * *

When you walk, with or without a dog, there is another way you can help the shelter. If you download the app Walk For A Dog, and choose Friends of Falmouth Dogs as your shelter, Wooftrax will send us a check based on the number of people walking for us. It asks for your dog's name when you sign up and every time you walk it lists your dog's name. If you don't have a dog, you can enter the name of one of our shelter dogs.

* * *

Please join us for our 4th annual Antiques Appraisal on Saturday, September 16, at Atria Woodbriar Place on Gifford Street from 1 to 3 PM. Bring your treasures, and Michael Kasparian will give you an estimate of their worth (and a bit of context as well). All proceeds benefit our medical fund. Price is $10 per item and three items for $25. Light refreshments will be served.

* * *

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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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, September 1, 2017

You could read Wordsworth. Pore over Thoreau. Giggle with Dr. Seuss. And if you're lucky, all that reading, poring and giggling might help you get back to nature. Teach you how to keep it simple. How to enjoy the journey.

Or you could just hang out with your dog, who will show you how to do all that and have fun at the same time.

We know because we hang out with dogs. Shelter dogs. Our dogs. Friends' dogs. And all these dogs know how it's done. We keep learning from these dogs.

And we have three pretty good teachers at the shelter just waiting to show you how to keep it simple and enjoy the journey.

Dusty, a mix of possibly Yorkie and mini schnauzer, had a little surprise for us. During his recent vet visit, his age guesstimate was lowered a bit, so he's likely younger than 8. His teeth are very good, and he seems all-around healthy. And Dusty will soon have another surprise for us when he has his "day of beauty." We know a handsome little fella lurks under those wild curls! Dusty weighs about 12 pounds but will fill out a bit with regular meals and regular exercise.

Sometimes we let the dogs roam around the shelter. Some of them might choose to curl up in the office bed, some choose to help themselves to the toy box. Others look for biscuit crumbs or the unfinished meals of their kennel compadres. But not Pinto. He prefers to follow a volunteer from room to room. That volunteer might be washing dishes. Or changing water buckets. Or folding towels. Or any number of little chores. You look around, and there he is, just gazing all the way up at you (he's very small, you understand, so everything is all the way up). Watching. Watching.

Pinto is a black-and-white Chihuahua mix and a very curious little creature. About 8 years old, he's happy, nimble and quick. He can be a little grabby with toys but we're working on that. He loves people, attention, walks, blankets, dinner and toys, in no particular order. The accompanying photo shows him during his recent visit to Woods Hole. He had a terrific time exploring the waterfront, greeting passersby and generally enjoying the sun and attention.

And then we have Rookie, an all-around nice Lab. This young adult has a very nice temperament and although he loves to be around people, he is not pushy or obnoxious in seeking constant attention. He will chase after balls and return them—we're working on the release part!—and then might just find a shady spot to lie down in and observe the goings-on around him.

He is learning nice leash manners and enjoys his walks. Rookie needs a home where someone is around a lot and will give him the exercise he needs and the love he deserves.

* * *

We know that the devastation in Texas has been on everyone's mind and we are gladdened by the responses of help that have been pouring into the battered region. But it will be a very long, very hard road ahead, and the need for assistance, both material and financial, will go on for quite a while.

A large and well-organized response from this area was initiated by Paws New England for animals left homeless by the floods. They contacted shelters in our area asking for donations that they could transport to Texas. Our contact, Michelle Hall, choreographed the efforts locally, and we helped load her vehicle with food, bedding and crates. Her crew drove straight through and delivered all the precious items to shelters in the affected areas.

Much of what we loaded onto the truck was generously donated by Waquoit Feed & Garden and Uptown Dog Cape Cod in West Falmouth.

Also stepping up to the plate locally was Petco, which donated more than 30 large bags of premium dog food.

But we know the needs will go on for a very long time.

* * *

We remind you to check our website or give us a call because our census can and does change quickly and without notice. Dogs enter our program, dogs get adopted, and more dogs arrive. The variety is always enchanting.

* * *

And don't forget our 4th Annual Antique Appraisal fundraiser planned for Saturday, September 16, from 1 to 3 PM at Atria Woodbriar Place on Gifford Street. All proceeds benefit our medical fund. It's always a fun event. You can have your special antiques appraised for $10 per item or $25 for three items. And the refreshments are plentiful and wonderful. Please try to join us.

* * *

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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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, September 1, 2017

Speaking of the eclipse, you might be surprised to learn that we have a little eclipse of our own going on at the shelter. Remember we told you how cute Pinto was? Well, he may just have been eclipsed by another little darlin' named Dusty. Yeah, we thought that would be impossible, too, but there you have it.

And you also may be surprised to learn that modern horse racing can trace its roots to a legendary horse named, you guessed it: Eclipse.

This English racehorse's star ascended around 1769. And he was fast. Very fast. Some reports clocked his speed at 83 feet per second, covering 25 feet in a single stride.

And what's really, really remarkable is that in all regards, he was an average horse and his speed could be credited to his very "averageness." Experts at the Royal Veterinary College in London studied his skeleton (which is on display at the same college) and discovered that what gives a horse its speed is the ability to bring its legs forward quickly. Longer limbs on bigger horses are harder to move forward; shorter limbs—or average limbs—can move more quickly. Hence the speed. Hence the winning. Hence the trophies. So let's hear it for the average among us!

Except there's nothing average about our three residents: Pinto, Dusty and Rookie.

Pinto, the black-and-white-patterned Chihuahua, is getting very accustomed to being everyone's favorite lap dog. He will stare at you until you lift him into your lap. Then he'll look out at an admiring audience with his eyes half-closed, enjoying the attention. But all of this attention comes after he has had his walk.

You see, Pinto loves to walk. He willingly lets you put his little purple harness on his little limbs and attach his little leash and off you both go. Legs prancing high, tail even higher. Pinto is probably around 8 years old or so. He seems to really enjoy the company of the other dogs, especially Rookie, but because he's so small and Rookie's so big, we are introducing them carefully.

The eclipsing Dusty we just introduced above is beyond cute. Maybe part Yorkie, maybe part mini schnauzer, he is all whiskery terrier. Well, right now he's sort of wildly whiskery but after his day at the spa next week, he'll be stunning. This little guy, about 8 years old at a guess, is simply sweetness personified.

He is very people-oriented (in fact, all three dogs at the shelter are very people-oriented) and also enjoys his walks. He doesn't seem to be too interested in toys just yet, but that may come. Sometimes a little shy, he loves lying in the sun while he waits for volunteers to finish all their more prosaic duties, but when he sees the leash, he comes alive. He, too, loves his walks. Afterward, you'll find him curled against your legs, where he must feel very safe and loved.

Rounding out our trio is Rookie, everyone's favorite Lab. This solid, happy guy has so much potential. He seems housebroken, is learning how to walk nicely on a leash, and will chase tennis balls until the cows come home. He'd probably chase the cows, too, but we can't know for sure. Although he adores attention, he is not obnoxious about it. He is content to sit near you while you chat with a friend or knit something. Or even read a book. It's being in your orbit that is important to him.

Rookie is a bit chunky and needs to lose some weight. That will come with regular exercise. The ideal home for Rookie will be an active one where someone is around much of the time or someone who can take him to work with them. Because he's a bit clumsy about grabbing toys, a home with older children or teenagers would be best.

* * *

Did you know that your dog can suffer the "back-to-school blues"? All of a sudden, your pet's routine has shifted dramatically and that can be hard, especially on sensitive dogs. But there are some simple ways to ease your dog—and your family's routine with the dog—into settled waters.

1) Begin the new school routine before school starts. Perhaps set your alarm earlier and get your dog out for a bathroom break or walk that will mimic a school-time scenario. Repeat at the end of the day. New mealtimes may also have to be observed, so it's best to do that gradually.

2) Plan to factor in enough exercise, both in the mornings and the evenings. And a double benefit for the whole family is the chance to talk about everyone's day while you're out walking.

3) Give them something to exercise their minds—puzzle toys or games. Also, leaving a radio on tuned to soft music will help fill some silent hours. Hiring a dog walker is also a good option.

4) And this last tip goes for any time you leave the home and return. Stay calm and try not to smother your dog with attention. Let him or her know that your leaving and returning are perfectly normal and can be relied on.

* * *

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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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, August 25, 2017

An open door. A clap of thunder. A squirrel skittering across the yard. Any of these could be an instant invitation for a dog to bolt from the house. Or the reason could be something else entirely. But when a dog bolts, it doesn't matter what the cause is. The only thing that matters is getting the dog back safely. And quickly. Even the most vigilant among us can't control everything in the environment, but we can control whether or not our dog is tagged. (In fact, earlier this week, three dogs arrived as strays within an hour's time frame. None had ID tags.) Please make sure your dog is wearing an ID tag with a number where you can be reached. Rabies tags are little help if the dog goes missing after a vet's office is closed.

* * *

OK. Preaching over. Now on to the fun stuff: Pinto and Rookie.

Pinto is so cute that if aliens landed in the desert and wanted to know the definition of cute, we'd show them this little dog. He's probably mostly Chihuahua, but he may also have some pug, or Boston terrier, or even Jack Russell terrier mixed in there somewhere. Black and white (hence the name), quite small but very lively, this little guy is a sponge for attention and affection.

He loves to walk and keeps up a good steady pace. He also loves to hang in the office. By the time this column goes to press, we will have a complete vet report—and age guestimate—on him.

Rookie is our kinda-brand-new resident. He's a light brownish/tannish, youngish Lab. We're still getting to know him but we already see how sweet and people-oriented he is. His favorite forms of exercise seem to be chasing tennis balls and seeing how many stuffed dollies he can put in his mouth at once. He has pretty good leash manners and appears to be housebroken. So far, he's proven to be a terrific dog with a stable temperament.

Because both of these dogs crave attention, we will be looking for homes where someone is around a lot of the time.

* * *

The number of dogs described above in no way reflects a static census. In the past few months, the number of strays we've handled has remained pretty high. The lucky ones (with ID tags) were with us briefly until worried owners were contacted and rushed to the shelter. Now might be a good time to reread the opening paragraph.

* * *

As a courtesy listing on our website, we have posted Nala, a year-old husky mix. Nala, who is still in her own home, needs a new home. She is shy, fearful and suffers from separation anxiety. Nala will need a quiet, patient home where someone is around much of the time and will give her the exercise and attention she needs. If you'd like more information, give us a call and we'll put you in touch with the owner.

* * *

We'd like to take a moment to express our very deep gratitude to the Robert D. and Shirlee G. Burd Animal Welfare Fund of The Cape Cod Foundation, which has awarded us a generous amount to help us continue our mission. The Burds' love of animals, both domestic and wild, and their concern for their welfare is made clear in their bequest to us and other animal advocacy agencies. We honor the Burds as we use their donation for the benefit of the dogs in our care.

* * *

We hope you'll join us on Saturday, September 16, for our 4th annual Antique Appraisal event. Atria Woodbriar Place on Gifford Street is hosting the fundraiser (and providing great refreshments), and Michael Kasparian is conducting the appraisals, with a bit of historical context thrown in for good measure. The event runs from 1 to 3. Cost is $10 per item, and three items for $25. Because the venue and the appraisals are being donated, all proceeds will benefit our medical fund. Veterinary costs are by far our largest expense.

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