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Monday and Thursday:
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150 Blacksmith Shop Rd.
Falmouth, MA

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Falmouth, MA 02541

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Recent Falmouth Enterprise Columns


June 16, 2017
June 9, 2017
June 2, 2017
May 26, 2017

May 19, 2017
May 12, 2017
May 5, 2017
April 28, 2017

 

Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, June 16, 2017

Sometimes we think that pit bulls and even pit bull mixes are the Boo Radleys of the canine world. Misunderstood, sometimes isolated, and often feared. But most people who really know pit bulls and pit mixes are quick to debunk the myths, legends and fears.

And Shorty would like the chance to do a little debunking of his own. This 2-plus-year-old mix of pit bull and Rottweiler has a creative build, a quirky nature, and a very special appeal. He carries his large head atop his muscular body atop his short legs. He's a hoot.

Shorty adores people and craves affection and attention. He is very smart and, best of all, he wants to learn and he wants to please. He responds well and quickly to praise and correction. Although he loves his treats—and his dinners, and more treats—he also craves hearing "Good boy, Shorty" when he understands what you've asked of him and accomplishes it.

Because he is so strong (and smart), Shorty will need consistent training starting from day one. But also because he is so strong, and a bit willful, he needs an adult home without children. That family should also be active and have bully breed experience.

We will try to resist the urge to be trite and say that a Rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But she does. Even if her name were Petunia or Iris or Dahlia, she would be as sweet.

Rose is a 9-year-old yellow English Lab. We stress the English in her breed because they are typically a shorter, stockier breed than the American Lab. And while Rose does need to watch her weight (well, let's be honest here: we need to watch her weight for her), she will never be svelte.

Rose is extraordinarily sweet and lovely and lively. She needs lots of exercise and she especially needs a home where someone is around much of the time. Rose craves human companionship and loves being the center of attention. Can anyone spell D-I-V-A?

We just received the most wonderful report from the family fostering George through his heartworm treatment: George, the 7-year-old German shepherd, aced his recent checkup. His heart and lungs sound good, according to the vet. And his formerly dry, coarse, unpretty coat is becoming soft and touchable.

He is beginning to parade through the neighborhood and recently passed a gauntlet of barking dogs, which left him unfazed (his foster family described it as "unimpressed") until he passed another German shepherd. This dog seemed to catch his attention. Kindred spirit? Long-lost cousin? None of this would have been possible without superb veterinary care and even "superber" love in a family. That family says it best: "Love is the best healer of all."

We will keep you posted as he nears ready-for-adoption status.

* * *

Last week we alerted you to the dangers to pets of some flowers commonly found in the yard. This week we want to alert you to even more common dangers found in the yard: mulch, fertilizers and compost. We found these on the website of Pet Poison Helpline, (24/7 Animal Poison Control Center, 855-764-7661), and are only giving a summary here. We recommend that you do your own research, for your pet's sake.

Cocoa bean mulch comprises the hulls or shells of the cocoa bean, which are byproducts of chocolate production. Dogs may be attracted by the chocolate scent and try to eat them. Like chocolate itself, the hulls can contain theobromine and caffeine, both of which can be toxic to dogs. Ingesting large amounts can result in vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures and even death.

According to the helpline, most fertilizers are safe for dogs. But those that contain blood meal, bone meal, feather meal and iron may be extremely tempting to dogs and can be dangerous in large amounts. They may become compacted in the stomach and obstruct the gastrointestinal tract, cause pancreatitis and even cause iron poisoning. It goes without saying that pesticides and insecticides can be life-threatening.

And even compost, which we think of as organic, friendly and safe, can be dangerous to dogs. The Pet Poison Helpline points out that as organic matter decomposes, molds can grow, some of which produce toxins. In as little as 30 minutes after ingestion, a dog can be affected. Symptoms include panting, agitation, drooling, vomiting, tremors and seizures. Prompt veterinary attention is required.

So, go out and enjoy your garden, but be a savvy gardener.

* * *

We are at the shelter seven days a week: 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, June 9, 2017

Vivien Leigh, arguably one of the most beautiful women of her generation, was blessed with many things. In addition to beauty, she possessed refinement, exquisite taste, intelligence, talent, and poise. But she had a sore spot—an Achilles' heel, so to speak. Her hands. They were disproportionately large in comparison to the rest of her. She was always terribly self-conscious about them and had a large personal wardrobe of gloves to camouflage them.

Shorty is pretty much like Vivien Leigh. Except that he's not a woman, he's not British, he's not an actor, and he doesn't own even one pair of gloves. But Shorty has a head that's a bit disproportionately big for his body. Fortunately, he's not self-conscious about that.

Shorty is a young mix of pitbull and rottweiler. His muscular body sits atop short, stocky legs, and his black and brown coloring is beautiful. Shorty is extremely affectionate and loves human attention. And belly rubs? Pure bliss. He has nice leash manners except when he sees a rabbit. Or a squirrel. Or probably anything small and swift darting near him. Then he turns his attention and all his power into chasing that hapless little creature. And this guy has formidable strength. Shorty is full of confidence, so he will need a family that also is full of confidence and can offer the leadership he needs. The ideal family will have lots of experience with bully breeds. Because of his strength, we are looking for a home without children. Shorty is smart and capable of learning lots of things.

By the time you read this, we will have a new resident at the shelter. Rosie is a 9-year-old yellow Lab. Don't let the age deceive you. This super-friendly girl acts like a much younger dog. She, too, loves human attention. We are still getting to know her but we already know an important thing about her: she is über sweet.

George continues to improve while undergoing his heartworm treatment. Thankfully, that treatment, which isn't pleasant, is being administered while he is safe, comfortable and loved in a foster home.

George is a 7-year-old German shepherd. We are pretty sure that somewhere in his lineage, he has superb DNA, because he's a superb kind of guy.

His foster family continues to learn fabulous things about him. For instance, he doesn't beg at the table when the family is eating. And that's a very big deal for a dog that has known real hunger. You see, heartworm is only one of the issues George arrived with. Among other things, he arrived very much underweight with a coarse, dry coat. We don't even know the last time he had been fed a regular diet. And while food was very important to him at the shelter, he has since learned that he will always have access to fresh, healthy food. So now, when the family eats, he often wanders into another room to relax. He clearly knows his manners. We'll keep you posted on his progress.

* * *

They look demure and sweet and their perfume is coveted by old maiden aunts everywhere. But they have their dark side. We're referring to lily of the valley. These flowers contain cardiac glycosides, which, according to the University of California at Davis, are sugars that affect how the cardiac muscle contracts. Dogs who eat any part of the plant could be at risk for vomiting, diarrhea, decreased heart rate, heart rhythm abnormalities and even seizures.

And the lily of the valley is not alone. Other common garden flowers can be equally dangerous—among them, daffodil, tulip, hyacinth, rhododendron, cyclamen, chrysanthemum, and crocus. From heart problems to kidney issues to vision problems, these plants can prove very dangerous to pets. But perhaps most dangerous of all are lilies such as tiger, day, Asiatic, Easter and Japanese show lilies. Again according to UCDavis, "What makes lilies so toxic is unknown, but ingesting any part of the plant can cause complete kidney failure in 36-72 hours. First symptoms appear in a few hours and may include appetite suppression, lethargy and vomiting. Even small ingestions, such as the pollen, can be fatal."

Who knew? Now you do.

* * *

We can always use good-quality canned dog food. Adding a bit of canned food to the kibble makes mealtime extra fun for our "guests."

* * *

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.

* * *

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, June 2, 2017

Real men do wear pink. And real men do eat quiche, but that's not germane to this week's column, so let's just stick to the subject at hand, shall we? Returning to the issue of pink: George is a big, beautiful and brave German shepherd in foster care. And George's favorite nesting place in that foster home? A large, fluffy, frilly pink comforter. And he totally rocks the color. Of course, George has lots of favorite nesting places in his foster home, but the pink comforter is his very special favorite, we are told.

George is in foster care because he is being treated for heartworm. His foster family reports that he's doing well and improving day by day, but there have been some tough moments. Happily, just the other day, he began to play with a soft, stuffed bunny, so he must be feeling better.

(Please, please get your dog tested for heartworm annually and treated with a preventive. It's a terrible, painful, miserable and expensive disease to treat; it's fatal if left untreated; and it's totally preventable.)

We will keep you posted on George's progress. He still has to undergo further injections in his treatment, but when he is cleared for adoption, we will let you know. And, boy, will we all celebrate.

* * *

Just a reminder: almost weekly we get calls from people who need to rehome their dogs. The breeds, ages and requirements are varied, so if you're beginning your own search to add a dog to your family, we encourage you to stay in touch with us. Waiting in the wings just may be that "match made in Heaven."

* * *

Speaking of waiting in the wings, we have chosen a name for the delightfully quirky, one-of-a-kind piece that was donated to us a few weeks back. Created and donated by local artist Sue Beardsley, the little guy stands watch in our Memorial Garden. But it needed a name, and many of you submitted suggestions. We know, we know—get to the point, you say; which name was chosen? Drum roll here: Rusty. How perfectly appropriate for the bits and pieces of items that have outlived their first incarnations and have been combined and repurposed in one great piece of art. And as a matter of fact, the name Rusty was chosen by more than one reader, so T-shirts will be making their way to them. And thanks to all of you who took the time to respond. Please come down and meet Rusty. He's there all the time.

* * *

We continue to see strays come into the shelter regularly. Some have been there more than once. Many end up spending the night until their owners can claim them and this can be difficult for old dogs, young dogs, ill dogs, frightened dogs and dogs with sensitive natures. And it can be particularly tricky for out-of-town dogs whose family is visiting. If these dogs go missing, they are in unfamiliar territory, making it harder to locate them. A simple, inexpensive and foolproof ID tag can eliminate this. Please attach to your dog's collar an ID tag with your telephone/cellphone number where you can be reached at any time. If your dog is found by a Good Samaritan, you can be reunited quickly and without extra stress for both you and your dog. Personalized tags can be bought locally or ordered online.

* * *

Those of you who follow this column or visit our website may sometimes wonder how our alumni are doing in their new homes and new lives. And it's something the volunteers are always curious about. Over the years, we've had some dogs that have had dramatic impacts on all of us, either because they were with us so long or because their stories were so poignant. But dramatic or not, all the dogs that have gone through our program have been loved and are remembered.

We invite those of you who have adopted from us, even long ago, to send us a few lines about how your adopted dogs managed to change your (and their) lives. We would like to include some of those stories in this column and on our website from time to time. Rest assured, we will keep your confidentiality. But we—and, we think, our readers—will be interested to hear any updates. You may send your submissions to info@friendsoffalmouthdogs.org.

* * *

We still have loads of great tote bags in fun and happy and wonderful colors. The colors will satisfy the fashionistas out there; the utility will please the eco-minded. They are insulated, sturdy and only $5 each. And the purchase of each bag will help our program.

* * *

Oh, and we still can use good-quality canned dog food. We find that adding some canned dog food to their kibble helps with picky eaters, adds some fun to their meals and is also a good way to administer pills when needed. Grain-free canned food is always a good option.

* * *

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, May 26, 2017

Montesquieu was a man of letters, a student of the law, a biting satirist, a prodigious traveler and a political philosopher. But when he wasn't running around lettering, lawyering, satirizing, traveling and philosophizing, he had a soft, sensitive side. In perhaps one of his best known and widely acclaimed works, "Persian Letters," Montesquieu wrote: "Friendship, that sweet bond of hearts which creates a gentleness of existence."

Pet owners know this sweet bond of hearts on a visceral level. And anyone who has ever provided a lap for a napping dog's head feels that gentleness of existence.

Fortunately, it goes both ways. Just ask George. Well, actually, you can't ask him right now because he's enjoying his gentleness of existence in a foster home even as we speak. Yes, George, the German shepherd with heartworm, has moved to a very special foster family. And by the time this column goes to press, he will have started treatment for the heartworm. The good news is that George has proven to be a perfect houseguest—he's respectful, loving, obedient, grateful, housebroken, and just plain fun. His foster family tells us that he is a remarkable dog. He came to visit a few days ago and already the transformation in his physical condition is impressive. We'll keep you posted on his progress and as he nears time for adoption, we'll encourage you to come down to get more information.

* * *

Recently, we've received several calls from people needing to re-home their dogs, including such breeds as Labs, beagles and the ever-popular "mix." Often, the specifics of these dogs aren't known until after this column goes to press, so we encourage you to call us from time to time and get updates.

* * *

We know the worst of the hot weather is still down the road a bit but the few warm days we had last week remind us to remind you to remind yourself and to remind others NOT to leave pets in cars, even "just for a moment while I run an errand." Cars heat rapidly, especially on sunny days, even with windows partially open. Dogs can suffer heat stroke in a very, very short time.

* * *

One of our go-to websites is PetPlace for information, education and fun factoids. And a recent entry confirmed what we knew: play is serious business.

According to the experts, play serves a very real purpose and can even serve as a dress rehearsal for the real life to come. Running, jumping, mouthing, chasing and wrestling are all part of play. And when done at the proper stages of life and in the proper environment, puppies learn appropriate behavior that can take them to adulthood. (Ideally, puppies that bite too hard quickly learn how to control themselves.) You could call it Emily Post for the doggy set.

We've all seen the play bow, when one dog signals its intention to another. And the play bow may be accompanied by an open mouth, pricked ears, barks and sometimes leaping about. These are signs easily read by other, properly socialized dogs. Much of this behavior is learned during the crucial early months of a puppy's life, first with its littermates and later with its friends.

But there is also a form of play that manifests in chewing behaviors: balls, bones, stuffed toys, shoes, remote controls, eyeglasses—you get the picture. And anyone who's raised a puppy knows all about that!

And those of you who have older dogs probably know that although the types of play may be modified, your dog still has the need and urge to play. In fact, experts tell us that domesticated dogs don't outgrow their need for play, but rather, remain in a sort of permanent puppyhood. Interestingly, and sadly, dogs that are stressed, unhappy or unhealthy do not play. A word to the observant dog owner: If your formerly happy, playful pet stops enjoying his stuffed animals or tennis balls or whatever, he or she may be telling you something and you may want to consider consulting your vet.

* * *

And speaking of play, as always, we encourage you to come down and play with our dogs. (How is that for a subtle hint?) 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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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, May 19, 2017

If ever a dog were created to recline on a cushion of royal blue mulberry silk, it would be a black Pekingese. If ever there were a perfect candidate created for just that purpose, it would be the little black Pekingese now at the shelter. Because he's so cute, we call him a "Smurf."

And what's that, you say? You've always admired the black Pekingese? Then come visit him. This little guy is 13, exceedingly docile, and a bundle of sweetness. He has a few health problems that we are addressing but despite that, his temperament seems stable and gentle.

The Pekingese is also known as the Little Lion Dog, and true to that sobriquet, Smurf struts in fabulous glory after his recent grooming. The breed is known for its affectionate nature, and he is no exception. We think he will thrive in a quiet older home where someone can fuss over him (pretty much all the time). It's not that he's demanding. It's what we want for him.

On the other end of the size spectrum is George, an older German shepherd. And handsome? Oh my, yes. But this big guy also has health problems: George has heartworm. Treatment will start soon, and we are hoping an angel will offer to provide foster care (or permanent adoption) while he undergoes that treatment.

The ideal foster home will be a quiet haven with someone who will pay attention to him. German shepherd (or large dog) experience is a real plus. We will pay all expenses associated with his care and give you as much support as you need. This is a chance to make a world of difference in the life of an animal in need.

* * *

And speaking of making a world of difference! We are happy—no, thrilled—to report that Bella has been adopted. Many of you may remember Bella, the little mixed breed with the major orthopedic issue. Bella had a severely deformed front leg—so deformed, in fact, that she walked on the inside wrist of that leg.

She was only around 2 years old, and specialists felt she was a good candidate for surgery, but surgery couldn't be performed until a foster or permanent home was lined up. And two angels stepped forward, took her home, got her settled, scheduled the surgery, and carefully monitored her recuperation during the subsequent 10 weeks' recuperation.

Bella healed beautifully, her personality was transformed, and along the way, she not only showed us the kind of home she craved, she captured the hearts of many of the staff at the veterinary hospital. In fact, a member of the veterinary team and her family (and menagerie) adopted her and now count Bella as part of their family. As all the good storybooks say: And they all lived happily ever after. It doesn't get any better than that.

Excuse us a moment while we swallow the lump in our throat.

Also jumping aboard the adoption train was Sasha, the wee Chihuahua-mix puppy who was only with us briefly. She now has a new family, a new name and a new place to hang her leash.

* * *

Recently in the news was an alert of a missing dog and the subsequent all-out effort to find the dog. Happily, the dog was found after five days and is now safely home. And we credit the owner with that happy return. She followed the proper protocol for what to do in the event a dog goes missing. We have a simple, easy-to-follow template on our Facebook page and website that will help you or your friends if you find yourselves in a similar situation. Please familiarize yourself with the basic, easy steps. We are also in the process of distributing printed versions to those agencies that can be contacted in the event of a missing dog (animal control departments, police, shelters, veterinary facilities, et cetera). Remember, the sooner you act and the farther you spread the word, the better chance for a happy outcome.

* * *

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, May 12, 2017

Can you figure out what Pansy, Fountenoy Hall and "Not In Our Stars" have in common? They all went on to earn fame and fortune under new names. Pansy became Scarlett; Fountenoy Hall became Tara and "Not In Our Stars" became "Gone With the Wind."

Can you figure out what Saturn, Rusty and Fancy have in common? They were all dogs that went through our program with those names until adoption, when they were renamed by their new families. And while they may not necessarily have gone on to fame and fortune, they certainly went on to fabulous lives. And that's all we hope for.

Waiting to go on to her fabulous life is Sasha, the 8-month-old mix of Chihuahua and something else. We think the something else is a Portuguese podengo pequeno, which makes her special. And striking.

UPDATE: Sasha has been adopted! Sasha, who is in foster care but visits the shelter regularly, is young and energetic and flirty and oh-so-sweet. But within that small caramel-colored body is a tiny bit of fire. Maybe ego. Certainly confidence. Always ready to play, she also enjoys time spent in laps.

We know she bonds very quickly so a new family will see that connection very soon after she joins them. Her foster family has seen all sides of her and will share their insights, which will give the new family a distinct advantage.

She is housebroken and plays appropriately with toys. Although she is living with another dog, she also will do well as an only dog. She will need a home where someone is around much of the time. Her age (and her temperament) require that.

* * *

We've had a whirlwind week. As we mentioned, Ted was recently adopted, and within a few days of that, Lady and Juneau were also adopted. Ted is the beagle in search of a canine buddy; Lady is the Australian shepherd in search of a job; and Juneau is the boxer in search of a hearth. All three found what they were looking for. And we are happy.

* * *

Also making us happy (and proud to live in a community that produces such altruistic youngsters) is a recent donation we received.

Last December, the 3rd and 4th grade students at North Falmouth Elementary School conducted a craft fair to raise money for a charity. The students were allowed to vote on which charity should be the recipient. They chose us and presented us with a check for $350. Three hundred and fifty dollars!

To all of you who helped raise that money: please know that you have helped pay veterinarian bills that will make several of our dogs feel better. They would thank you if they could. We thank you because we can.

* * *

We're still accepting names for the quirky and wonderful sculpture made from reclaimed items and donated to us by artist Sue Beardsley. It adds a touch of whimsy to our Memorial Garden but the little fella needs a name.

Please send us your ideas. You might want to honor a pet. Or a friend. Or a friend's pet. Or a teacher. Or a favorite character in a book. Whatever. The winning entry will receive a Friends of Falmouth Dogs T-shirt. Please either submit your entries through our Facebook page or e-mail them to info@friendsoffalmouthdogs.org.

* * *

Oh, and as long as you're asking, we can always use good quality canned dog food. Grain-free is always a good option as we sometimes get dogs that are sensitive to grain.

* * *

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, May 5, 2017

It's called blue space. Liquid landscapes. Surely researchers, psychologists, environmentalists and others who study such things have long known about it, but the concept was recently brought to our attention while, you guessed it, walking dogs. Outside. On the beach. In blue space.

In its simplest form, the phrase "blue space" refers to visible water. Apparently, it's more often used as a term in urban design. And according to two German researchers, Sebastian Völker and Thomas Kistemann, "Water is one of the most important physical, aesthetic landscape elements," and to that end, they have studied the "salutogenetic health effects" on the health and well-being of humans. In other words, spending time in blue space is a good thing. A very good thing.

Which is no secret to those of us here on the Cape. We're lucky. And so are our dogs.

The ocean, ponds, rivers, streams, and inlets are just outside the door. Dogs are pretty happy to have sand in their paws.

And no one is happier than Sasha, the 8-month-old Chihuahua (mix). But she's happy with sand or no sand. She's happy with life in general. And why not? This little gal is in foster care with an "older brother" and at the shelter most days, where she simply basks in the attention of all the volunteers. She happily hops from lap to lap, toy to toy, grass to asphalt, yard to car.

Her foster family says she is good with toys, has shown no inappropriate chewing, loves riding in the car, is quick to learn basic obedience commands, sleeps through the night (in her cozy, comfy crate for now), and is generally a treasure.

Because she may have another breed in her makeup (perhaps a Portuguese podengo pequeno?), she is not as fragile as many Chihuahuas seem to be—she's a little larger and a bit more solid.

She would do fine as an only dog. She also seems to get along with other dogs but because of her youthful energy, she might annoy older dogs who are past their peak playing years.

Because of her age, she needs a home where someone is home much of the time. Because of her people-oriented temperament, the same thing holds true. Sasha will do best in an adult home or one with older children.

* * *

This week's good news is about Ted, a former shelter resident, with the emphasis on former! Ted, the beautiful beagle, started his new life, the best part of his life, we're sure, with his new family. And in that family is a "sister," a very playful young puggle, who also was adopted from FFD. And she's happy to show him the ropes. Each day they learn new things about him and each day he learns new things about being a beloved pet. Ted, you landed in the winner's circle! Congratulations.

* * *

Last week we told you about the quirky and delightful dog sculpture created and donated by Falmouth artist Sue Beardsley. The sculpture made from reclaimed objects now sits in our Memorial Garden.

* * *

We also told you that we are accepting submissions for names for the sculpture. You might want to honor a childhood pet, or a character in a book or movie.

For those who can't get to the shelter to see it in person, we have put it on our Facebook page. Please send your entries either to our Facebook page or e-mail them to info@friendsoffalmouthdogs.org.

The winning entry will be drawn at random, and the winner will receive a T-shirt! How about that?

* * *

According to a favorite fun pet-factoid website (petplace.com), a cold, wet nose in a dog is not necessarily a sign of good health. In fact, a wet, runny nose can signify ill-health. And even a moderately moist nose by itself doesn't always mean a dog is well. Observant owners will pay attention to other signs, such as lethargy, poor appetite, change in behavior or seeming pain.

* * *

Conversely, healthy dogs can have dry noses. According to the experts, dogs just waking from sleep can have dry, warm noses but be perfectly healthy. And some breeds are prone to cracked, dry noses, such as bulldogs, pugs, boxers, German shepherds, collies, poodles and Pomeranians. The vigilant owner observes the whole dog.

* * *

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. Please stop by. Visit Sasha. Visit us. Visit the sculpture.

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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, April 28, 2017

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." So said Henry David Thoreau.

And we suspect that every rescue group can identify with that. Each group starts with a dream, a castle in the air. Then they set to work building the foundation—the actual rescue program itself. The lucky ones see their dream turn into reality. The really lucky ones see that reality grow. And thrive. We at Friends of Falmouth Dogs feel like the really lucky ones. Our foundation is solid and our mission is unwavering: finding a home for every homeless dog.

Not that our shelter dogs know that. Or care. And why should they? They live in the moment. As they should. Maybe we should all try that.

Last week we introduced you to Lady. This 4-year-old Australian shepherd continues to show us just how smart she is. And how athletic. And how willing to learn. In fact, she needs to learn. She needs to have her brain exercised as well as her body. To say Lady loves chasing her Frisbee is a huge understatement. She is a keen Frisbee-retriever-and-bringer-back-to-you-for-another-toss. Ad infinitum. And although she doesn't like to brag, she has been wildly popular this past week with visitors and applicants. Lady is still timid around men and needs time to warm up. She will need an adult home, or one with teenagers, that can give her body and brain the workouts they need.

And high on the oh-how-cute-is-that scale we have Sasha. This young Chihuahua (she looks like a bit of podengo is mixed in the bloodlines somewhere) is in a foster home. We learn more about her daily, but what we already know is that she craves human company and will follow you like a wee small shadow. After a lively game of fetch (she favors one perfect squeak toy and brings it back every time), she will jump into your lap, curl up and almost purr with contentment. This little dog can leap to great heights for her small stature, so that tendency will need to be curbed. A Chihuahua's delicate legs are just that—delicate. Sasha visits the shelter regularly but we suggest you call us before heading out to make sure she is visiting the day you want to come.

And no, we haven't forgotten Ted, the 5-year-old beagle. Ted is spending the week in a foster home, and we know he's much happier in that environment. Ted has a very sensitive temperament and at times shelter life stressed him. His ideal home will be one with a confident dog that will play with him and a fenced-in yard in which to pursue all that playtime. If you want to meet him, give us a call to confirm he is back at the shelter.

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If you have a chance, please stop by to visit our Memorial Garden. Why? Because it now hosts a sculpture created and donated by Falmouth artist Sue Beardsley. You may be familiar with her whimsical, unique and highly creative work. Examples of it can be found throughout Falmouth and beyond. For her metal work, Sue Beardsley rescues objects that have outlived their original purpose and finds new ways to give them beauty and life. You could say she "rehomes" these objects. Which, when you think of it, is kind of what we do with dogs. She is a dog lover of many years and she used that as her inspiration for the dog sculpture that now lives in our Memorial Garden. And here's another fun part: we are going to let one of you, our readers, friends and supporters, name the sculpture. We will offer guidelines for how to submit your ideas in next week's column. But in the meantime, if you can, try to stop by to see the sculpture in person.

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And don't forget our brand-new, colorful tote bags. These insulated bags, at only $5 each, are so pretty they could substitute for fashion accessories. Really. (Especially the purple one.)

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We are at the shelter seven days a week: 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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