August 2015
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!

Wags and Tags editorial team:  Joan Black, Sue Doctrow, Ellen Leigh, Judy Weinberg 
A-DOG logos designed by Lisa Berasi for Arlington Dog Owners Group, all rights reserved

Join us August 23 to swim with your dog at the Arlington Recreation  Dog Days of Summer to support Thorndike dog park!!  See the Calendar section below for details.

Dog and Cat are (Slowly Becoming) Friends

 An Arlington-dog/cat pair.....

by Mary Rowen

In late May of this year, our family adopted a feisty little cat named Sherlock to be a companion for our eleven-year-old kitty, Jack. Jack had lost his longtime partner to cancer during the summer of 2014, and he seemed lonely.
Now we also have a very active dog named Spencer, who had pretty much ignored our felines since he came to live with us a couple of years ago. So we assumed that would continue to be the case.
However, just about two weeks after Sherlock joined the family, Jack began acting ill, and we noticed that his stomach was bloating. And sadly, after a long, stressful visit to the vet, we discovered that he also had cancer, and would need to be put down.
Suffice to say, it was a difficult and confusing time for all of us, human and animal. But as we mourned Jack's loss, we also noticed that Sherlock was actively seeking out Spencer's company. Which sort of amazed us, because for as long as we've had pets, certain areas of the house had been unofficially designated feline while other ones were canine.
But Sherlock didn't care for that arrangement. He seemed to want freedom to roam anywhere he liked, so he was constantly trying to play with (or at least antagonize) the poor dog. Honestly, it was hard for us to tell what was going on in his cat brain. He'd sit on a table or countertop, and when Spencer walked over to give him a sniff, Sherlock would strike out quite viciously with his claws. Then Spencer - who's a formidable hunter outdoors - would run away. For a while, we were afraid Spencer would turn on Sherlock, so we humans kept a close eye on the two of them, and made sure to separate them whenever we left the house. But as the days passed, it became increasingly evident that the dog didn't want to hurt the cat.

Current dog psychology informs us that dogs are pack animals, and apparently, Spencer has begun to view Sherlock as a member of the pack. Yes, he'll chase the little guy, but whenever Sherlock jumps onto the kitchen table, Spencer "gives up." He'll walk away "defeated," but in fact, he and I both know that he can hop up on that table in a heartbeat if he so chooses. I've caught him up there plenty of times, searching for crumbs or whatever tidbits we humans have left behind.
Also encouraging is the way the animals have recently begun greeting each other with nose touches. And they've started sleeping together on the couch like a couple of people who've been married for a while (sharing a bed, but facing opposite directions).
Perhaps even more importantly, they've started causing trouble together. One day recently, when all the people were out of the house, Sherlock climbed up into our pantry and knocked a large bag of dog treats onto the floor. Unfortunately, the bag hadn't been sealed tightly, and when we arrived home, we found poor Spencer looking quite sick with the last of the treats dangling from his mouth. Then, as we tried to recall how full the bag had been and wondered if we should call the vet, he vomited-all over the living room rug of course-and was fine. (The rug's OK too, thanks to a lot of scrubbing and a generous dousing with Nature's Miracle.)
It was a good lesson for us (make sure to seal those bags carefully, and keep the pantry door closed!) but we also couldn't help laughing a bit about how the cat had helped the dog with his ongoing quest for treats.
Then, a few days later, I heard some noise in our back hallway-where we keep random stuff-and was surprised to discover that the cat had clawed a hole in a bag of dog food, and both animals were enjoying the kibble that had fallen to the floor. They weren't squabbling over the food either. They were just snacking peacefully together; one piece of kibble for you, one for me. Again, I cleaned up the mess with some annoyance, but more amusement. I guess it's time to find a new storage spot for the dog food.

But I'm proud of these crazy creatures. Here they are - a rescue dog who spent his formative months wandering the woods of South Carolina and a cat who was recently surrendered to an animal hospital because his owner couldn't care for him - learning to trust each other and even share food. It may sound corny, but it gives me faith in humanity. After all, if two animals with diverse and difficult histories can manage to coexist in peace, surely people can do so as well.


Mary Rowen is an A-DOG member and an Arlington author.
 Photos (top to bottom): "I thought the couch was canine territory..."; "A mid-morning nap"; and "Finishing off the kibble in the back hallway."
Arlington's New Animal Control Officer
Welcome to Arlington, Officer Katie Kozikowski!

Not only dog owners, but all of us who care about animals were so happy to learn that Arlington has hired a new Animal Control Officer.  We are really looking forward to working with Katie to continue to promote responsible dog ownership in Arlington!

Here is an announcement from the Arlington Police Department Facebook Page: 

"Meet our new Animal Control Officer, Katie Kozikowski! Katie comes to us with 10 years of experience with animals including working in shelters and with the MSPCA. She looks forward to meeting and working with the residents of Arlington. They all have been very helpful and welcoming thus far."

A-DOG Donation to Robbins Library
A feast of dog books!

by Ellen Duranceau

If you have a new pup or rescued dog who needs training, an older dog facing health issues, or want to understand your dear companion a little better - or are just looking for some great dog books for your late summer vacation - watch the shelves at the Robbins Library, where A-DOG recently donated funds for 7 key books about dogs.   Ellen Duranceau worked with Jenny Arch, Adult Services Librarian, and Sue Priver, collections/acquisitions Librarian, to make these books readily available to the community.*
A-DOG's gift included a range of titles intended to increase our understanding of our canine companions and help build our bonds with them, as well as to make significant, engaging books about dogs more easily accessible in town. 
The mini-feast for all you dog lovers includes:

  Do over Dogs: Give Your Dog a Second Chance for a First Class Life, by well-known positive trainer Pat Miller. This is a great resource for those who are training dogs who came to them through rescue.

It's Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet, by Victoria Stilwell. An accessible, brief overview of the positive training approach, this is a terrific book for a family with kids who has a new puppy. 

The Culture Clash, by Jean Donaldson. This is the 2nd edition of a now-classic work on positive dog training and dog/human relationships which will have you looking at your dog and yourself in new ways.

Good  Old Dog: Expert Advice for Keeping Your Aging Dog Happy, Healthy, and Comfortable   by the Faculty of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman. A readable and up to date book about health issues faced by older dogs.

Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs, by Suzanne Clothier.  A thought-provoking training book about building our relationships with dogs, which focuses on how to communicate with our canine companions.

How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain, by Gregory Berns. Offers fascinating canine neuroscience within a fast-moving personal narrative, helping readers understand how similar dog and human brains are, and the implications for dogs having empathy and emotions like our own.

Izzy & Lenore: Two Dogs, an Unexpected Journey, and Me,  by Jon Katz. This memoir provides moving stories about the author's the rap y dog visits with people in hospice; one of Katz's many fine books on dogs.

This gift is the latest collaboration between A-DOG and the libraries in Arlington. It follows a presentation on therapy dogs at the Fox Library and several educational programs at the Robbins. A-DOG continues to partner with Robbins and Fox libraries to provide quality information and programming about dogs, right here in Arlington.
*At the time of this writing, the books are still being ordered/processed and are not on the shelves.

Ellen Duranceau is an A-DOG board member and a librarian at MIT.

Sweets for Our Sweeties

A healthy dog treat idea -- dehydrated sweet potatoes to make at home

by Sue Doctrow
Sweet potatoes are a healthy component of several high quality dog foods, including those to address food allergies, reduce fat and meet other canine dietary needs. Many of these diets are recommended, for example, in  Whole Dog Journal.
My dogs love vegetables, not only carrots but also just about any other vegetable, even celery and broccoli. But, fresh veggies are not always handy and it is convenient to also have an easily stored, healthy and wholesome treat readily available. Dried sweet potatoes are perfect for this. They are commercially available at premium dog treat prices.  But they are so easy to make that there should be no reason to pay those prices.  Also, when you make your own treats, it reduces concerns about potentially toxic additives or contaminants.
I originally got this idea from my friends, A-DOG members Pat and Audrey, who have been making dried sweet potato treats for their dogs, and their doggy visitors, for years.  (Pat and Audrey even gave me a food dehydrator as a birthday gift one year!)  Here is my version of sweet potato treats.
I buy organic sweet potatoes, slice them about ΒΌ inch thick, and par-boil them, about 4 min in boiling w ater. The n I drain them, let them cool a bit and cut them into bite size pieces.  (Pat, in contrast, slices hi s sweet potatoes lengthwise for a longer treat about the size of a rawhide chew.)  I arrange the slices in my food dehydrator and follow the manufacturer's instructions.  In this case, I use 135 o F until dry, approximately 18 hr.  The dry treats should last a long time in a sealed jar or bag on your pantry shelf, but probably your pup will gobble them up as quickly as you can hand them out!


Sue Doctrow is an A-DOG board member and on the Wags and Tags editorial team.  Photos show (top to bottom) the final product, sliced sweet potatoes before par-boiling, and pieces loaded onto the shelves of the food dehydrator before drying.

"Two Front Paws Up" for Pawsome People and Awesome Dogs!
Congratulations to.....

by Joan C. Black, A-DOG representative for K9-RAC

     A-DOG was pleased to participate in and help with the organization of  K9-RAC's  VERY successful RAVE held at the Ed Burns Arena on July 18 evening, under the direction of Daria Pannesi. Over 120 people attended with an estimated 130 canine companions. Proceeds from the RAVE will be used to benefit and maintain the Thorndike Dog Park. Dogs and their human families enjoyed a variety of activities including: BLUE SKY DOGS' Photo Booth, RUNNING THE PACK' s complimentary frozen doggy yogurt,  the "Off Leash" PLAY Area, refreshing WHOOPIE PIES, Face Painting by CLOVER, Canine Massage compliments of BELOVED COMPANION, "Scent Trail -Try It" with DOG WILLING, Training Advice offered by MY WONDERFUL DOG, "Name the Breed Game" as well as Off-Leash hours and other park  information provided by A-DOG, natural treats from SIT STAY BEG and an exciting RAFFLE table with 10 prizes awarded to some very enthusiastic winners.  Many other vendors, businesses and participants contributed to a festive and exciting evening of FUN and FROLIC for the entire family. Be on the look-out for more Arlington K9-RAC sponsored events in the very near future, including the Dog Days of Summer swim-with-your-dog event at the Arlington Res. TWO P AWS UP and a RAVE REVIEW for the K9 RAVE!

LAST HOPE K9 RESCUE made a HUGE  impact at the K9 RAVE. Many people visited   the booth to learn about their "Adoption & Foster Programs" and how LAST HOPE saves lives. LAST HOPE rescues dogs from "high-kill" shelters across the United States and does not discriminate in terms of age, pre-existing medical conditions or breed. Two adorable ambassador "foster" pups named Terrance and Derby came in search of forever homes and to enjoy the festivities. LAST HOPE placed over 2500 dogs since inception in 2011 and over 500 dogs already in 2015 and is always seeking to expand its Foster based Program with a network of interested volunteers. For more information and ways to become involved contact LAST HOPE.

NCAN and Telemundo Boston have partnered with dozens of shelters in six states to help homeless animals waiting for forever families with this Special ADOPTION DAY event. There is a list of participating shelters and organizations located in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Potential adopters and volunteers are needed. If interested in becoming involved in this or future events, contact a shelter near you. There might be a pet waiting just for you or consider    donating your time and financial support. Together we can SAVE them all.

Photos:  (top to bottom)  Scenes from the K9 RAVE:  Jen Burns' Blue Sky Dogs photo booth; Janice Zazinski of Beloved Companion offers dog massage; an adorable LAST HOPE foster dog meeting potential adoptees. Jen Burns of Blue Sky Dogs and Joan Black of A-DOG are on the K9 RAC committee (a committee of Arlington Recreation organized by K9 Recreational Activities director Daria Pannesi) and worked hard with their team to bring us the successful K9 RAVE!
PAWS to Mark Your Calendar!
Save the dates for coming events
APRIL MAY BE OUR OFFICIAL MEMBERSHIP MONTH BUT WE NEED YOU ON OUR TEAM ALL YEAR!  If you haven't already, join the A-DOG Pack.  "NEW" or "RENEW", IT IS EASY TO DO...Sign up today here.  

Mark your calendar for SUMMER AND FALL EVENTS  including (*) those that involve A-DOG. Please consider attending or volunteering for the events involving A-DOG. Contact us if you're interested in volunteering at any of these events...we need you!
Saturday, August 15  (8 - 11 am) is CLEAR THE SHELTERS DAY! Save a Dog in Sudbury will be showing adoptable dogs from 8am-1pm that day. We're always looking for more volunteers (and furever families)! Help Clear the Shelters!

Sunday, August 16SAVE A DOG "DOGGIE WASH" at MetroPets in Natick Center.  Come to MetroPets, 2-4 West Central St., Natick and give your dog a bath! $20 for a self-wash. All proceeds to benefit Save A Dog. Nail clipping will be offered too for an additional $5.00. Hope to see you there! 

Saturday August 22 & Sunday August 23 . (see website for hours)  SAVE A DOG "YARD SALE", Sudbury, MA.  Come shop under the big tent at the Save A Dog yard sale and help raise funds to continue the rescue and placement of dogs in need of homes! Additional parking is available at the Medical Center (corner of Boston Post Road and Horse Pond Road). There will be something for everyone including house-wares and household items, furniture, vintage and collectibles, books, games and puzzles, toys, small electronics, holiday decorations, crafts, and of course, pet clothing and supplies.  More details at the Save a Dog website.

*Sunday August 23 (10 am - 6 pm) at the Arlington Reservoir. DOG DAYS of SUMMER.  Come on down to Reservoir Beach for a day of fun in the sun with your canine friend. The beach will be open for dogs and their owners for the day. Dogs can play on the sand or in the water. Please note that although the chlorination system has been turned off, the water may contain some level of chlorine. The same rules that apply to the Thorndike Off Leash Recreation Area (aka the dog park) will apply for the day. Please check with the Arlington Recreation Dept website  or call the Recreation Department at 781-316-3880 for more information. A-DOG will be participating and volunteers for our table/booth would be very much appreciated.  Cost $5 donation for dog and owner and $3 donation for each additional dog. Proceeds benefit the Thorndike dog park!

*Tuesday, August 25 (7:30 - 8:30) at Jefferson Cutter House, the A-DOG Meeting will focus on planning Town Day and other fall events. Come with ideas and enthusiasm.  

Wednesday, September 9SAVE A DOG GOLF TOURNAMENT to benefit homeless dogs.   Wayland Country Club, 121 Old Sudbury Road, Wayland, MA. Please consider joining us for a great day of golf (18 holes), buffet lunch and a live auction. All proceeds will help Save a Dog continue its mission of rescuing unwanted and abandoned dogs and finding their forever homes. Games will be played "best ball". The cost is $600 for a foursome and this includes a light continential breakfast, golf with carts and a buffet lunch. Register at th e Save A Dog website.

*Saturday, September 12 (10 am - 3 pm) ARLINGTON TOWN DAY will find A-DOG's booth filled with information and FUN Activities for everyone with and without dogs. Please volunteer to spend some time at the booth, helping to spread the word about A-DOG and responsible dog ownership in Arlington! Contact us (email below) if you can help.

Sunday, September 13 (10 am - 3 pm) SOMERVILLE DOG FESTIVAL a fun-filled annual event!  See poster above for more information.

Future A-DOG Meetings:  Annual Meeting, Tuesday, October 27 (7:30 - 8:30 pm) Jefferson Cutter House Community Room, Arlington Center.  Town Day booth planning session, Tuesday, August 25, same time and place. 

Send us calendar items for possible inclusion in this section in future Wags and Tags issues!  

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


Robin's Nest Pet Salon
is a family owned small business whose owners feel that "....your dog or cat should always come first. We have a cage free environment for the dogs. This way they are not stuck in a hot cage. We tell our customers that they can bring their dog in for eye trimming, nails and sanitary clips free of charge in between their grooming appointments.  This helps keep medical issues from happening.  The cats have a special time before the dogs come in so they aren't stressed out being groomed."

Robin's Nest Pet Salon regularly donates gift certificates as prizes for many A-DOG events. Most recently, they generously gave a gift certificate for a free grooming to a 2015 winner of our Dog Licensing Contest. The salon is located at 4 Mt. Vernon St., Arlington, MA. Husband and wife owners Robin & Steve can be reached by phone at (339) 368-7277 or by email at for any questions you have or to make an appointment. A-DOG is grateful to Robin's Nest and to all our other Friends of A-DOG!

Arlington-dog Ricky at his grooming appointment!
Does Your Doggy Wanna Be in Pictures?
Your dog can star in A-DOG's "Guess the Breed" game!

PHOTOGRAPHS and CLUES are requested  for A-DOG' s popular "GUESS THE BREED GAME".All ages enjoy testing their "Canine IQ" at our events. This photo is from the K9 RAVE, showing A-DOG's Joan Black presenting the game to a human and canine contestant team. We're looking for more photos and clues like the ones on the game board. They are magnetized so the person running the game can mix and match the dogs.

HERE IS ALL YOU NEED TO DO to have your dog included:
1. Send photograph of your dog(s), full body if possible/no people;  2. Provide  Dog's and Owner's Names;  3. List a BREED or MIXED breed possibilities;  4. Suggest a couple of facts for clues related to breed, behavior or personality. (If the dog is a mixed breed we will use clues about "most like" in size, fur, coloring, activities, behavior etc.);   5.  Visit the A-DOG BOOTH on Town Day or at other events;  6.  See your pup on display be ready to play GUESS THE BREED. Be prepared to win a prize!  Please send  photographs and information to Roslyn with "Guess the Breed" in the subject line. 
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!  I f 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, Remy. Tammy, potcake Lexi and others. 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 Sadie, Isabel, Raleigh, Strummer and Cita.  
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, BlueSky Dogs, GoPlay!, Menotomy Beer Wine and Spirits,Your Wonderful Dog and Maida Pharmacy & Compounding Center.
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 no greater than 1 MB. Please send the photo as a separate file, not imported into a Word document. Depending on the topic, you might want to write a longer version for our website, with a link in the Wags and Tags article.

Articles on any other topic of potential interest to dog owners are welcome. So are more volunteer editors and writers. Please send us your story proposals!  Wags and Tags editorial team:  Joan Black, Sue Doctrow, Ellen Leigh and Judy Weinberg

Pssst...We are well aware that our members are not likely to use spelling or grammar that's a little "ruff", but mistakes happen so don't worry....our editorial team will edit, as needed.
The Irish Setter on the computer photo is reprinted from a website called "iget2work". The "Bad spelling...image was posted on Facebook by Grammarly.  



Our final  A-DOG meeting  for 2015
A-DOG has planned four meetings in 2015. Our Annual Meeting is on Tuesday, October 27 at 7:30-8:30 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.  Doors open at 7 and refreshments will be served.  

In addition, there will be an August planning session for Town Day.  Unless otherwise noted, all meetings are on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Jefferson Cutter House.


A-DOG Membership!
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 Membership Drive information on our website.  If you join now, your annual full membership will be good through March, 2016.  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.  
Shop for A-DOG!  

Please support businesses that support responsible dogowners in Arlington by patronizing our Friends of A-DOG Businesses.  Welcome to our newest Friends of A-DOG, Maida Pharmacy & Compounding Center and Joe Trains Dogs.  Also, when you buy from Amazon, please start at the Amazon Smile website and choose "A-Dog The Arlington Dog Owners Group, Inc" as your preferred nonprofit group.  Amazon will make a donation to A-DOG and your purchase will not cost any more! Another way to shop for A-DOG: when you buy your wine at Menotomy Beer and Wine, mention A-DOG, this great Friend of A-DOG local business will donate a percentage to A-DOG and again your purchase will not cost any more!

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.