December 2013
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 us!

A-DOG logos designed by Lisa Berasi for Arlington Dog Owners Group, all rights reserved
Our Dogs!

Meet Blarney -- an Arlington dog


This is Blarney also known as "The Mayor" or "The Hooligan" depending on the day and the location.  He can usually be found at Robbins Farm in the early mornings during the week or at the "Res" on the weekends. If you see Blarney without his orange ball in his mouth you know there must be a problem..


Blarney is almost 5 years old.  He was found on a Chicago Street at 6 months, his family didn't want him . That was Pam's lucky day, she has been Blarney's forever mom since.  He lives with his three cat siblings in the Heights.  From Pam: "Say hi when you see us, everyone else does."




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 (link below) with "Newsletter" in the subject line.   
Maybe you'd like your dog to be one of our "
Arlington dogs, or A-dogs", like our November dog, Shinoo or our December dog, Blarney.  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 memorial tribute to a beloved canine family member you've lost.  
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 our November Friend, Bette Yip's Picture Perfect Pets and our December Friend, Menotomy Beer, Wine and Spirits.  
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 no larger 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 the website  


Therapy Dogs Panel with Dog B.O.N.E.S.
November Event On the Many Benefits of Therapy Dogs

A standing-room only audience of adults and children enjoyed this informative, moving event about Therapy Dogs. The program was organized and moderated by Ellen Duranceau, volunteer and instructor for the nonprofit organization Dog B.O.N.E.S.:  Therapy Dogs of Massachusetts.  (We are proud that Ellen is also an A-DOG Board Member!)  

Ellen explained the many physical and psychological benefits that therapy dogs can bring to people of all ages, including patients in hospitals, residents and staff in nursing homes, and children with reading difficulties.  She also described how her organization certifies therapy dog teams, not only dogs but also their handlers, to work closely together to provide these valuable services to others.  

A panel of three Dog B.O.N.E.S. teams participated, with Brittany DeLorme, Agnes Shanahan, and Marci Goldberg Gorski, each describing her own experiences as the human member of a therapy dog team.  Importantly, they were accompanied by their therapy dogs -- Brittany's Charley, Agnes' Suzie (and Rosie, soon to be certified) and Marci's Sophie.  (The photos above show Ellen (l) and Marci and Sophie (r).)  The dogs all demonstrated their calm, soothing temperaments and their love of meeting new people, including the many children who excitedly gathered around them throughout the program.

Read more about the event, and see more photos in the article on our website.  And, please learn more about Dog B.O.N.E.S., including how to become a therapy dog team here.  


Two Local Dogs Make Their Stage Debut
Arlington Friends of the Drama's December Production

The December production at Arlington Friends of the Drama, Legally Blonde the Musical, is pleased to have - for the first time ever - two dogs in the cast!   


When a script calls for animals, it can be a challenge. Does the director go for live animals, which can be hard to handle both on and off-stage? Or does the director go with

fake animals, that look, well, fake?  AFD is pleased to announce that the director decided to go with the former. It was up to me, as the show's production manager - and A-DOG board member - to do some recruitment. 


The script calls for a Chihuahua named Bruiser, Elle's dog which she brings from Malibu to Harvard Law School. I found her by reaching out to an acquaintance of mine in town who is involved in small dog rescue, I had a strong feeling she'd have a lead on a Chihuahua. Lulu Rae lives in Arlington with her humans, Kim and Craig. LuLu Rae's bio from the playbill: 


"A purebred long hair Chihuahua (with a short haircut), LuLu Rae was born in Missouri's Ozark Mountains, and at 8 weeks of age was barely a handful at a mere 6 ounces.She is now 6 years old and resides just a few blocks from the theater. She has been photographed hundreds of times for a large pet supply catalog and a story book. She loves her big sister Moki and keeps the entire feline home-front in check with her moxie attitude"


The other dog in the play is Rufus, which can be any breed. While walking my two coonhounds one morning in Menotomy Rocks Park, I met Nena who lives in Watertown with her human, Sam. She has soulful eyes and a gentle disposition, and Sam readily agreed to share her with our production. Following is her bio:


"Nena was discovered at Menotomy Rocks Park in Arlington!  She is an American Pit Bull Terrier and English Pointer mixed breed, rescued in Philadelphia, and hopes that her appearance on stage will raise awareness and belly rubs for other Pit Bulls. Nena dreams of the day all the squirrels stay in trees and there are no more lawnmowers."


Legally Blonde the Musical is a fabulous show for all ages - and the singing, dancing, and acting are all top notch. It runs the weekends of 12/6-8, 12/13-15, and 12/20-22, Fri/Sat at 8PM and Sundays at 4PM. Tickets are $25, for more information or to reserve your tickets visit the Arlington Friends of Drama website


by Judy Weinberg



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

Menotomy Beer, Wine and Spirits on Broadway in East Arlington is a dog-friendly business that hosts very popular wine-tasting events for A-DOG members, as well as donating generous gifts for our drawings!  


And, if you mention A-DOG when you buy wine, this faithful Friend of A-DOG business will donate 5% of the sale to A-DOG.  


Menotomy Beer, Wine and Spirits and our other Friends of A-DOG businesses offer valuable support to help us help to keep Arlington dog-friendly!

Arlington dog (A-dog) Lucy meets "Santa Paws" at Menotomy Beer, Wine and Spirits!
Ideas for End-of-the-Year Giving
Some meaningful ways to help animals

There are lots of ways to help animals during the holiday season and, really, anytime.  For so many of us it seems like our homes are already filled with "stuff", making us feel that it makes no sense to give one another even more "stuff".  One gift option chosen by more and more people is to make a donation in someone's name.  This is a lovely way to honor the relationship with the gift receiver while contributing to meaningful work.


Speaking of "too much stuff", you can de-clutter your home while also helping an animal shelter.  Shelters are almost always looking for donations of used towels, sheets and blankets.  Just make sure there are no feathers or electric blankets.  It will help make a homeless animal cozy during the holidays and beyond.


Shelters also appreciate donations of new items such as paper towels, kitty litter, bleach, dog and cat treats and toys. Or perhaps a gift card so they can buy exactly what they need. Some other organizations have wish lists on Amazon, giving donors a chance to have that "shopping" experience while doing something wonderful.


As parents we can encourage our children to think about those in need, be it an animal or a person.  Enjoying the abundance that so many of us are lucky to have by finding ways to share it can give our children some of their happiest holiday memories. 


Here are a few suggestions for holiday, as well as year-round, giving.  Many of the organizations helping animals are 501(c)(3) charities so your donations are tax deductable as allowed by law.  Consult each organization for details.  


There are many organizations helping animals throughout Massachusetts.  The two largest and with the longest history are the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) and the Animal Rescue League (ARL).  Both have multiple locations and provide law enforcement services as well as rescue and shelters offering pets for adoption.  Regarding law enforcement, these organizations work to solve animal abuse cases like the recent, high profile Puppy Doe case, every day.


There are also many volunteer-run rescue organizations that do not have headquarters but, instead, work though a network of dedicated rescuers and volunteers to facilitate placement of homeless pets into forever homes.  Two examples of reputable organizations that have matched local families, including A-DOG members, with loving family pets are American Lab Rescue and the New England Brittany Rescue


You might want to apply to volunteer at an animal shelter, or do other volunteer work for a rescue group, during the coming year.  This is a nice "New Years Resolution" because you will need to go through an application and training process for most animal adoption organizations.  


You might consider fostering an adoptable animal to give a homeless pet love and comfort and to help volunteer organizations, such as those mentioned above, rescue more animals.   Becoming a foster family or volunteering in other ways for a shelter or rescue organization are very rewarding.  Or, you might consider opening your home more permanently, as a "forever home", adopting a homeless pet.  There are so many wonderful pets just waiting for homes in adoption centers all over the state.  Those especially in need are older pets that often get overlooked.  What about giving a pet somewhere to finish his or her days surrounded by kindness and warmth? 


Donate unopened, unexpired pet food and treats to Arlington Food Pantry.  (And, while you're at it, donate some food for human family members, as well.)  Whole Foods in Arlington now has a bin where donations may be left.


Make a donation to an organization that supports therapy or service dog programs, including: Dog B.O.N.E.S.: Therapy Dogs of Massachusetts and NEADS:  Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans.


Make a donation to or volunteer for an organization that works to reunite families with their lost pets.  These include some of the organizations listed above (MSPCA and ARL) but also the Granite State Dog Recovery (GSDR), a volunteer run nonprofit organization that has successfully recovered many lost dogs in NH and MA.  (Most recently, an elderly, vulnerable Arlington dog that had wandered from home over the Thanksgiving holiday was safely recovered through outreach by GSDR.). 


Help Arlington's Animal Control Officer by donating items to help her recover and care for lost or stray pets.  There is an wish list or, for larger giving, contact her directly to learn about bigger projects and needs.  


Join us at our next  A-DOG Meeting!
Tentatively -- January 28, 2014, 7:00 - 9:00 pm Arlington Senior Center, 27 Maple St., Arlington, MA.  Please note:  The date and/or location of our monthly meetings might be changed because the Town is modifying its system of allowing the public to use its meeting space, so has not yet confirmed our reservation of the Senior Center space.  The January Wags and Tags newsletter will give final scheduling information.)
Agenda:  Goals for 2014
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