September/October 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
Remembering Strummer
Our Somerville Dog Owners Group friend and inspiration


Strummer, the beloved dog of our friend and longtime advisor, Michele Biscoe, passed away recently, a very sad loss for her family and for our community of people who share our lives with dogs.  Michele founded the Somerville Dog Owners Group in 2004 and served as its Chairman for 8 years.  Her dedicated, eloquent advocacy on behalf of human/canine families led to enormous changes in recreational opportunities for our dogs and socialization spaces for people to share with one another and their dogs.  This includes three fenced off leash recreation areas in Somerville and a five acre legal off-leash recreation area, Sheepfold, at the Middlesex Fells. Michele advised and inspired A-DOG in our own efforts to attain legal off-leash recreation opportunities for dogs in Arlington.  She has been a true friend, there for us since our beginnings in 2008.  Michele is a founder of MassDOG, the Coalition of Massachusetts Dog Owners Groups, of which A-DOG is a proud member.  She is also a founder of FellsDOG, which works with the DCR on behalf of canine/human families enjoying the Middlesex Fells.  Michele is now on the Massachusetts Trails Advisory Board, where she continues her work, focusing on recreational trails in the Commonwealth. She continues to be a member of Somerville Dog Owners Group, where she's been succeeded as Chairman by our friend Brian Davis, and FellsDOG.  Michele, thank-you for everything you've done for A-DOG and know that our heartfelt sympathy is with you and your family.  With Michele's permission, we are reprinting a letter she sent to her MassDOG colleagues, a tribute to her beautiful girl Strummer.  (This intro by Sue Doctrow, A-DOG)




Strummer (June 18, 1997 - September 27, 2014)


Dear MassDOG friends


Strummer passed away last weekend. I know that your lives have all been changed by a dog at least once. Strummer is the dog that changed my life. She is the reason that I began working for safe and legal access to public open space for people with dogs, so she is the reason that I know all of you!


I adopted Strummer in April 2004, when she was seven years old. I began advocating for public recreation and public open space in August 2004. Eighteen months later, the City of Somerville opened it first public off-leash recreational area. (We now have three.)


In late winter 2005, Penny Cherubino from Boston, Anne Dorfman and Susan Sullivan from Newton, and I started this [the MassDOG] Google Group as forum for the leaders of local dog-owner groups in Massachusetts.


My advocacy at the state level began in December 2006 at the Middlesex Fells Reservation. Through the MFR Trail Planning process (which resulted in, among other things, the designation of a five-acre area for off-leash recreation at Sheepfold in late summer 2011) and the Resource Management Planning process, I came to understand and advocate for trails as a specific category of public recreational resource.


I appreciate all you do for dog owners in your communities and in Massachusetts.


Thank you.








Michele with Sue at a Pints for Pups celebration for Somerville Dog Owners Group at Flatbread, Somerville. 

An Introduction to A-dog Tammy
She traveled to Arlington and found a loving home and more!



As dictated by Tammy and transcribed by Anita Pliner.


Hi there.  Yes, I'm Tammy.  A golden mix with a loving and sweet disposition.    I came all the way from Arkansas via Tennessee to New Hampshire nine years ago in a van.  What a long ride and scary ride.  These humans seemed to keep uprooting me from one place to another.   Finally I arrived at this Park and Ride to be met by new family - again!    And I just hoped they would be as kind as my Memphis family.  They seemed to be nice folks at first.  So much so that I didn't want to chance leaving their house once we arrived.  I made my poor new Mom carry my 38 pounds down the stairs to take me for a walk, but I didn't want to move - and I can be stubborn.   After all, who knows where we'd go and if I would come back.  This crazy lady carried me to her car.  From there she drove me to a park.   And from there she left the car and we walked home so I would get some exercise and relieve myself.  I then stayed in my comfy spot behind the living room chair as she left again to go get the car to drive it home.  What a crazy family I came to - and how easy to manipulate my new loving family! 


Then one day, a couple of months later, my Mom took me to work when there was siding being put up on the house.  Intuitive lady that she is, my Mom knew I would be scared if I had to listen to all the banging during the day.  So there I went to a mental health facility in Sudbury where she worked.  Nice town and nice lunch time walk down some trails.   It was such a great day, she took me again the next day.  I loved sleeping under her desk.  It was so cozy.  And then after lunch in came this woman to my Mom's office.  She had never touched an animal. Imagine that!  She came up to me to pet me and said I was the first animal she ever touched.  I felt mighty special and I've been a might special "mental health" pooch ever since.


Alas, my Mom's office moved and I wasn't able to go to work with her any more.  My devoted Mom left the clinic and started her own practice where I could go to work with her every day.  What a treat.  I poop, I ride in with her, lie in the corner of her office and nuzzle up with a kid when he or she feels anxious.  I also help people to calm down when they are feeling impulsive.  Nice deal.  So here I remain.  At home I usually sleep with one of my humans as I hate being lonely.  My Mom takes me for walks several times a day usually along the bike path and always feeds me Blue.  She even sometimes makes me turkey balls and freezes them as a treat.  Life's peaceful and great.  I'm not too happy about some wild turkeys that moved in to our neighborhood lately, but other than that, it's a great place.  So I've stayed and never did have to get back on that van!  And I found my forever home and even a job.  :-)

Save the Date!  Pet First Aid and CPR Basics Workshop
A-DOG workshop taught by veterinary emergency expert Amy Breton

Pet First Aid and CPR Basics Workshop

Cost: Free.  Optional donations to dog-related charities will be accepted.

Taught by Amy Breton, CVT, VTS (ECC) of Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners

1:00 to 4:00 pm

Saturday November 15

Community Room, Arlington Police Department, 112 Mystic Street, Arlington, MA


Preventative care through your primary veterinarian is the best tool for identifying potential ailments, but accidents and acute illness can pop up at any time! This fully interactive session is designed to teach you--the pet  owner--the basics behind the most common pet emergencies.  Awareness of hazards and recognition of distress signals in your  pet can be critical in stabilizing an emergency.


In this workshop, you will learn the following:


*Find a pulse and count a heartbeat

*Check the gums and identify signs of emergency

*Perform hands-on CPR

*Bandage a wound

*Respond to choking

*Set up a first aid kit


The instructor will be demonstrating techniques on her own pet dog.  Please leave your pet dog at home.


About the instructor:



Amy Breton, CVT, VTS (ECC) is a veterinary technician who is board-certified in emergency critical care.  She has been teaching classes throughout the state for 8 years and at one time was an instructor for MEMA who went around to local fire departments and police stations to teach them how to handle pet emergencies.  She has also taught classes at Logan International airport for their first responders in case there was a pet emergency there.  



Event is being organized by A-DOG board member Mary McCartney.  Our thanks to Amanda Kennedy, Arlington Animal Control Officer, for helping with arrangements particularly the APD Community Room venue.


Yay for Town Day!  
A-DOG's Town Day, 2014 booth was as successful and fun as ever

For the 7th year in a row, A-DOG sponsored our Town Day booth, featuring information for responsible dog owners in Arlington, doggy-focused games for kids, a free gift drawing, and more!  This year, our booth featured free canine massage, donated by Janice Zazinski of Beloved Companion Animal Massage.  This was a big hit and we hope to bring it back in the future! 


Janice Zazinski of Beloved Companion Animal Massage, offers canine massage at our A-DOG Town Day booth.


We also held a free gift drawing, thanks to generous donations by some A-DOG members and these Friends of A-DOG businesses:
We were delighted to present the gift bag to the winner, Lizzie Casanave and her family!


Thanks to everybody who visited our booth and we'll see you next year!  For more photos of Town Day, 2014, see our website.  

  Tony Morello, the "Dogfather" of Thorndike Dog Park stopped by.

To some, the "life-like" dogs were as much of an attraction as the live dogs!

PAWS to Mark Your Calendar!
Save the date for coming events



THOUGH MAY WAS  MEMBERSHIP MONTH, we still need you, if you haven't already, to join the A-DOG Pack. "NEW" OR "RENEW" IT IS EASY TO DO.  Sign up today here.


Tuesday, Oct. 28 (7-9 pm)  A-DOG ANNUAL MEETINGJefferson Cutter House Community Room, Arlington Center.  Agenda:  election of Board and Officers for the next 2-year term and discussing plans for 2015.  (This will be the last A-DOG meeting of 2014.)


Saturday, Nov 8 (Registration beginning at 7:30 am; conference ends at 5 pm).  Massachusetts Trails Conference.  Information, including registration, at this link.  From Michele Biscoe, who represents trail users with dogs on the Massachusetts Trails Advisory Board, the organizer of this conference: "This year Vera Wilkinson (The Cooperative Dog) and Richard Windish (Green Mountain Club) are among the presenters. (Richard Windish has a series of videos about hiking with dogs. " 

Saturday, Nov. 15 (1-4 pm) Canine First-Aid/CPR class sponsored by A-DOG, taught by Amy Breton, CVT, VTS (ECC) of Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners.  Free admission!  See further details in the article above.   





Photo shows our A-DOG booth at Town Day, 2014.

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 ( with "Newsletter" in the subject line.   
Maybe you'd like your dog to be one of our "
Arlington dogs, or A-dogs", like Molly (June), Remy (July), and Tammy (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 moving tributes to Isabel in March, Raleigh in May, and Strummer this 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), BlueSkyDogs (January), GoPlay! (February), or Your Wonderful Dog (June).
Suggested article length for the newsletter is 500 words or fewer but this is only a guideline.  We will also need at least 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 meeting -- our Annual Meeting
A-DOG's monthly meetings are scheduled for the 4th Tuesday evenings of the month. Our Oct meeting will be an Annual Meeting, Oct 28 at 7:00 - 9:00 pm at the Community Room of the Jefferson Cutter House, 611 Mass Ave (at Mystic, in Arlington Center).  At the Annual Meeting, we elect another Board of Directors, who serve a 2-year term.  Some Directors are also appointed as officers (President, VPs, Treasurer and Clerk).  At A-DOG, these Directors are very active volunteers who help carry out the mission of A-DOG.  Contact us (email below) to learn more!

The Community Room is accessible via the rear entrance at the municipal parking lot.  This will be the last regularly scheduled A-DOG meeting of 2014.  However, our activities and special events will continue -- Wags and Tags, our website, and our Facebook pages will give you updates!


A-DOG 2014 Membership Drive Is Still On!
A-DOG's membership year runs from April 1 through March 31, so some full memberships are up for renewal.  If your membership has expired, you should have received a reminder letter and there is 2014 Membership Drive information on our website.  As an A-DOG Full Member, you are entitled to discounts and benefits from our Friends of A-DOG businesses.  And, your dues and donations to A-DOG are tax deductible, to the full extent allowed by law.  
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