April 2014
Wags and Tags
Celebrating the canine-human bond!

          This newsletter is brought to you by Arlington Dog Owners Group (A-DOG), a 501(c)(3) community organization promoting the rights and interests of responsible dog owners in Arlington, MA.  

If you're not already a member, we hope you'll want to join A-DOG!

A-DOG logos designed by Lisa Berasi for Arlington Dog Owners Group, all rights reserved
Meet some Arlington Dogs or "A-dogs"!

A happy canine family -- 2 pugs and a greyhound!




Our home has always been blessed with critters of all kinds - dogs, cats, hamsters, turtles, fish, and I'm fairly certain my son may have had a snake in our basement for a bit even though I didn't have the nerve to confirm that one way or another.  In fact, the critters have almost always exceeded the number of humans in our family.  These animals have always enhanced our lives and added blissful chaos to our household.


From the time my son was very young (he is now 24), dogs have been a part of our family.   First, there was our beautiful, gentle Mack.  Mack was adopted at age three from Greyhound Friends in Hopkinton.  He had been a champion racer at a track in Rhode Island.  On our first trip to Greyhound Friends we met several dogs and had decided that we would definitely be adding one of these beautiful dogs to our family.  As we were leaving the facility, a van filled with rescued Greyhounds was entering the property.  A beautiful brindle was looking out the window and we caught each other's eyes.  I thought about this a lot over the next week.  When we visited Greyhound Friends the following weekend, we were introduced to Mack and we knew instantly.  That brief interaction was the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship. 


I have a very hard time resisting puppies (and, if you're reading this, I might win the bet that you do as well).  A friend was adopting a pug puppy and asked if I would go with her to help her decide which puppy to choose.  You guessed it, we BOTH left with adorable pups.  Mack warmly welcomed Ozzy and they became instant friends.  As Mack was nearing the end of his life, we wanted to be sure that Ozzy would always have a canine companion.  And that's the beginning of our life with Coco, Ozzy's half sibling.  The three dogs spent a wonderful few months together until Mack crossed the rainbow bridge. 


Today, Ozzy and Coco continue to grace our lives.  They are sweet and adorable and are never more than a few inches from each other or from us.  We cannot imagine our lives without them.


by A-DOG member Laura Huber, shown (r) with Ozzy and Coco. Mack and Ozzy (l).


A-DOG Members Form New Therapy Dog Teams
Recent A-DOG graduates of Dog B.O.N.E.S. program



 Last November A-DOG helped to sponsor a Therapy Dog panel presentation to educate the public about therapy dogs and their work.  The event, hosted by the Fox Library branch, featured Ellen Duranceau of Dog B.O.N.E.S. Therapy Dogs of Massachusetts, accompanied by three therapy dog teams, including Marci Goldberg Gorski and her dog Sophie.  Marci and Ellen are both A-DOG members in addition to being Dog B.O.N.E.S. volunteers and instructors. 


This well-attended event inspired three other A-DOG members to register for training workshops to prepare to become Dog B.O.N.E.S. therapy dog teams.  All have now successfully completed their training.  These new A-DOG teams are Sue Gilday and Sasuke (both shown above), David White and Benny (shown below) and Sue Doctrow and Candace.  


Sue Gilday (Sue G), shown with Sasuke at their Dog B.O.N.E.S. graduation, wrote an article on the A-DOG website describing her experience.  In her article, Sue G stressed that the workshop was for the owner at least as much as it was for the dog, and summarized several misconceptions she'd had, and others may have, about therapy dogs that the training helped to clarify. For example, she learned that not all visits involve the infirm or disabled.  About this she wrote, 

"Among the opportunities that I'm most looking forward to are visits to colleges where therapy dogs offer stress relief to students during midterms or finals. A request recently came in to talk to a cub scout troop about what therapy dogs do. Another opportunity (for which you need additional training) is to be a reading buddy to young readers." Sue G also notes that a dog doesn't have to be perfectly trained or adaptable to any situation in order to have success as a therapy dog.  Therapy dogs are not service dogs, they need to be cute and sweet, and their main job is to be petted.  As Sue G writes "there are so many opportunities for different types of visits.  At least one is bound to suit your dog's taste." 


Sue Doctrow (Sue D) recently brought her yellow lab, Candace, on her first official visit, to  Alzheimer's patients at a local nursing home.  Therapy dog owners frequently report that many patients suffering memory loss brighten at the sight of a dog, and, for some, the dog seems to trigger memories of dogs they've had as pets in the past.  Sue D's experience was consistent with this, and very rewarding, with three delighted residents mentioning dogs they'd had in their lives. To prepare for this first official visit, the new therapy dog team did a "practice" visit to a friend undergoing therapy for a joint replacement in a rehabilitation facility that shares space with the nursing home.  While walking to her friend's room, Sue D was impressed by how excited many staff members and residents seemed to be to see Candace.  It took her several extra minutes to reach her friend, because others along the way asked to pet Candace. Sue D notes that several of the experienced therapy dog volunteers had described that, often, the staff at facilities are as stressed as the patients, and really appreciate a calming therapy dog visit.  Sue D and Candace plan to return regularly to this facility, where the staff has assured them they'd be most welcome.


Sue G closes her website article with "Now that we're card-carrying Dog B.O.N.E.S. team, our real test will be out there in the real world.  We can't wait to get going!  Stay tuned for updates on our first few visits."


Watch Wags and Tags for more stories as Sue G., David, Sue D. and, perhaps, other A-DOG members report on their experiences volunteering as Dog B.O.N.E.S. therapy dog teams!





 David White's therapy dog partner, Benny


March in the Arlington Patriot's Day Parade
March with your dog and your A-DOG friends on April 21!





These paws were made for walking and that's just what they'll do!  Soon A-DOG will participate in its fourth annual march in the Arlington Patriots Day Parade!  Bring your well-socialized, leashed dog and march proudly with A-DOG!  


The Parade will be on Monday, April 21 at 9:30 a.m.  (Note the time because it is much earlier than in previous years.)  In past years, we've been assigned to gather near the Appleton St/Mass Ave intersection but we do not learn our assigned spot until that morning of the Parade.  So, we have a sign-up sheet where we can get your contact information to notify you where to meet the group.  Please sign up here.  If you have trouble with the online sign-up sheet, send us an email at arlingtondogowners@gmail.com.  


Feel free to add your own personal touch (costumes, etc) to let your dog express himself!  One year, "A-dog" Barkli was dressed as Arlington's own Uncle Sam.  Or, just show up with no pressure for preparation and enjoy the fun!  Parade begins near Arlington Heights (location of the A-DOG group's assigned meeting site will be available on Parade day) and will march through Arlington Center ending at Walgreen's in East Arlington.  Each year we have about 20 dogs with their owners and the dogs are always so popular, especially with kids along the parade route!  See more photos from last year's parade on our website.  

A-DOG was proud to donate this year to the Arlington Patriots Day Parade, one of our favorite events!
The Community Preservation Act
 Town Meeting will consider a townwide vote for adoption



A view of the dog park built in Randolph, MA with Community Preservation Act funds (photo from the Friends of Randolph Dog Park website)



by Pam Hallett 


As many A-DOG members are also Town Meeting members I am reaching out to you to be sure you understand the Community Preservation Act (CPA).  I am working with a small group of individuals trying to bring The Community Preservation Act to 2014 Town Meeting for adoption.  (If Town Meeting votes in favor of the CPA, it will then be put on the ballot so that the voters can decide whether Arlington should adopt the CPA.)  This link gives an overview of the Act.  This flyer explains how a small property tax surcharge ($86 per average household per year) could generate a significant amount of funding to use on open space, parks and outdoor recreational facilities, historic preservation and affordable housing.


So, think new dog parks, Thorndike Dog Park improvements, Menotomy Rocks Park and the Arlington Reservoir improvements to name a few parks/recreational facilities which could use the funding.  The Town of Randolph received funding from their CPA to create a new dog park in 2011 and again in 2013 to plant a screen of mature trees along the edge of the park.  

The state provides an annual match to the fund.  Last year it was a 52% match.  Arlington could be looking at collecting over $1M each year to spend as the community sees fit.  The State match would increase that amount significantly.   Please read the information on the links for more specific information.


I hope that A-DOG will support the adoption of the CPA and that Town Meeting members who are also A-DOG members will stand up and support the adoption of the CPA at Town Meeting. Please contact me for more information and discussion. 

Pam Hallett <phallett@housingcorparlington.org>




Notes: This article represents the opinion of the author, an A-DOG member, and not an official position of A-DOG.  The Board of Selectmen has now voted (4-1), in their March 10 hearing, to recommend that Town Meeting vote in favor of the CPA.  Their draft recommended vote is

here.  A report from the Town Manager to the Selectmen, describing possible projects the CPA might contribute to, is here. In its 2014 session, beginning April 28, Town Meeting will decide whether the CPA should be put on the ballot for consideration by Arlington's voters.


Friends of A-DOG
Thank-you to our supporting businesses, including....


Unleashed by Petco, your neighborhood Arlington Heights pet store, has now joined the Friends of ADOG businesses that offer valuable support to help us help to keep Arlington dog-friendly!  


Thanks to General Manager of Unleashed Steve Tan, for making a very generous donation to A-DOG.  This donation, 60,000 (300 rolls) dog waste bags, will be presented to Arlington Recreation for use in the Thorndike Off Leash Recreation Area (OLRA).  This represents a year's supply of bags to help keep the Thorndike OLRA clean!  


In the photo, A-DOG's Sue Doctrow (l) and Molly Flueckiger (r) receive the first shipment of bags from Steve Tan (center), while Molly's dog Gus happily looks on, perhaps thinking of his next trip to the OLRA.  Molly and Sue, both members of the A-DOG Board of Directors, are also founding members of A-DOG's Friends of Thorndike Dog Park subcommittee.   


Unleashed is located at 1406 Massachusetts Ave and offers a variety of pet food choices for dogs and cats including natural and raw solutions.  They also provide unique toys, trendy fashion, and many items are made in the USA.  Unleashed also has monthly events and adoptions that take place in store.


Arlington's Recreation Director, Joe Connelly, and Park and Recreation Commission Chairman, Leslie Mayer, were enthusiastic to learn of this wonderful gift.  A-DOG looks forward to working with Unleashed on other projects to celebrate the canine-human bond and responsible dog ownership in Arlington!  We urge our members, while shopping at Unleashed, to thank Steve and his team for their support of our community.


Arlington's 2014 Dog Licensing Contest
Announcing the winners!

We promised last month to announce the winners of the 2014 Arlington Dog Licensing Contest.  So, without further delay.....here they are!

Alphonso da Silva, shown here (r) with Jocelyn and their dog Benny, won a $25 gift certificate donated by Menotomy Beer, Wine and Spirits.  Jocelyn sent us this beautiful composite photo.

Judy Glick won a $35 "Spring Cleaning"  deluxe grooming package, donated by GoPlay!!.  Her dog Summer is shown in two photos (below) at Acadia National Park with family members James (l) and Judy (r).  

Both winners also received A-DOG car magnets and brochures to tell them more about A-DOG.
We hope our contest, and our efforts to work with our Animal Control Officer to promote dog licensing, played some role in this year's high number of registered dog owners (the highest reported in many recent years). And, we hope that the steady increase in numbers of licensed dogs over A-DOG's 6 year history reflects our efforts to encourage responsible dog ownership.  In any case, we plan to repeat the contest next year!  We are grateful, again, to our Friends of A-DOG Businesses, mentioned above, for their generous donations of prizes.  



Photos:  above - James (l) and Judy (r) with Summer; top of page - Al and Jocelyn with Benny

Help Wanted: Your Dog's Face Here?
Wags and Tags Welcomes Your Contributions!

A-DOG Members and supporters, Wags and Tags is YOUR monthly newsletter!  If you have suggestions for an article, including one you'd like to write, for a future issue, please contact us (arlingtondogowners@gmail.com) with "Newsletter" in the subject line.   
Maybe you'd like your dog to be one of our "
Arlington dogs, or A-dogs", like Shinoo (November), Blarney (December), Sasuke (January), Donato (February), Annabel (March), or Mack, Ozzy and Coco (this month).  You don't have to live in Arlington, but can be a neighbor who enjoys Arlington's dog recreation benefits, or otherwise supports our mission.  You can also suggest a special Rainbow Bridge memorial tribute to a beloved canine family member you've lost, like the beautiful tribute to Isabel last month.  
Or, maybe you're a Friend of A-DOG Business and want to describe how you help A-DOG and what you offer to our community of dog owners and dog-friendly people.  Your business, too, can be featured like Bette Yip's Picture Perfect Pets (November), Menotomy Beer, Wine and Spirits (December), BlueSkyDogs (January), GoPlay! (February), or Arlington's Unleashed (this month).  
Suggested article length for the newsletter is 500 words or fewer.  We will also need one photo, preferably a jpg or gif format, compressed to a size of less than 1 MB.  Depending on the topic, you might want to write a longer version for our website, with a link in the Wags and Tags article.

The Irish Setter on the computer photo is reprinted from a website called "iget2work".



Our next  A-DOG volunteer session!
A-DOG's monthly meetings are scheduled for each 4th Tuesday evening.  However, in April we will, instead, use our meeting time for volunteers to help prepare the mailings for our annual membership drive.  We will send letters and brochures to newly registered Arlington dog owners who might not know about A-DOG. If you'd like to help, come on Tues, April 25, 2014, 7:00 - 9:00 pm at the Community Room of the Jefferson Cutter House, 611 Mass Ave (at Mystic, in Arlington Center).  The Community Room is accessible via the rear entrance at the municipal parking lot.
Reminder:  "Dog Park Etiquette" Workshop
Rescheduled due to February snowstorm:  April 23, 2014, 6:45 - 9:00 pm at the Robbins Library Community Room, 700 Mass Ave, Arlington, MA (Arlington Center).  More information here.



A-DOG 2014 Membership Drive Is On!
A-DOG's membership year runs from April 1 through March 31, so some full memberships will be up for renewal.  If your membership is expiring, you will receive a reminder letter and there is 2014 Membership Drive information on our website.  Stay tuned for more details from our membership team!


A-DOG members, Business Friends of A-DOG and other subscribers receive Wags and Tags each month.  If this issue was forwarded to you and you'd like to subscribe to Wags and Tags without joining A-DOG, click here or click the green sign-up button on the front page of our website.  

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Arlington, MA 02474