Tails wagging at Bark-tober fest

The money raised at the event went to Peaceful Passings and Caring For Creatures (CFC).

Since Happy Tails opened its doors, Karen and John Dermbach have expanded the business from a small store with all natural dog foods, treats and toys to offering almost any product dog and cat lovers would need to keep their companion happy. Giving back to the community in this way is what matters to the Dernbachs. Karen used to be a volunteer with CFC.

Nicole Gibson – one of the two groomers at Happy Tails – demonstrated good grooming and hygiene. She suggested using Tropilclean as an easy way to clean a dog’s teeth.

“Just put some solution on your fingers and rub it on their teeth. This will decrease tarter and keep it under control.” She added that tooth brushes – worn on the finger or a regular toothbrush can always be used to clean a dog’s teeth but a regular routine will help save teeth and expensive dental treatments down-the-road. Tropiclean also has mint biscuits dogs like as well.

Many find shedding and brushing – particularly with long haired dogs – to be a challenge. Gibson suggested a few products, including the furminator, currie combs and shedding blades to accomplish the task with ease. Also, to keep dogs clean without the hassle of a bath, she suggested a spray-on shampoo or wipes, that can be used to wipe the dog’s ears, paws or other areas.

Jackie Meyers of Peaceful Passings, told the crowd emergency preparedness for animals in times of disaster is critical. She became a key advocate for a county disaster plan for animals after visiting New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Ever since then, Meyers, along with area animal shelters and the county, devised a plan.

“We now have an animal response team and with funding through Homeland Security, we were able to acquire the green trailer to help transport farm animals in times of disaster and other grants for another trailer for other animals. The county owns both trailers,” she said. “Shelters are set-up for three days. Boarding your dog if there is room is one option or pet friendly hotels and motels. Check on those in the area.”

She also added that having an emergency preparedness/first aid kit is always handy and one should be set up for pets. She handed out brochures on Pets and Disasters: Get Prepared by the Red Cross and The Humane Society of the United States as well as Saving the Whole Family, a pamphlet put out by the American Veterinary Medical Association, www.AVMA.org/disaster. Both the pamphlet and brochure have a wealth of detailed information on disaster preparation and pets.

“Items you might want to put in your pet disaster supplies kit would include disposable plates and other dishes, first aid kit of course, puppy pads or towels or rolls of paper towels. Also, hand sanitizer, and waterless shampoo.” She added that during the snowstorm a couple of years ago, she and her husband kept warm with sleeping bags and the animals helped to maintain body warmth. Meyers lives in Bremo and when electricity is out and there is no generator it is survival of the fittest.

She said to keep the pet’s routine as normal as possible during a disaster.

“Animals like structure.” She also suggested using calming products for pets, including Valerian Root, a Thunder Shirt to help reduce anxiety. “Remember, animals are highly sensitive and can easily sense and feel their owner’s anxiety.

“Always keep all your pets records handy in case of a disaster, current photos, identification, rabies vaccinations, Bordatella vaccines, and current medications.” She added other detailed information regarding pets and most of the information and the preparedness kit can be found in the Red Cross/ HSUS brochure. For more information contact Jackie Meyers at JAMeyers@aol.com.

At the event, trainer Ashleigh Morris, demonstrated basic training techniques.

“You want to capture and reward good behavior,” she said. “It’s more than sit, down, stay and come, it’s all about relationships. I’m not training your dog, I’m training you, they learn to trust you.” She echoed the same as Meyers by stating, “They pick up on our energy.”

Attendees also saw an agility presentation by Suzan Roberts, who took her top-winning agility dog Ginny-Bell through a quick demonstration. Ginny-Bell, scurried through the obstacle course in lightning-fast time without hesitation.

“This takes years of training,” said Roberts.

The event ended with Dr. Erin Davis of the Crossroads Veterinary Hospital answering questions.

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