December 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!

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

Pet First Aid and CPR Workshop 
Educational A-DOG event featuring instructor Amy Breton and her dog Meeko 

In November, A-DOG sponsored a free Pet First Aid/CPR workshop featuring Amy Breton, CVT, VTS (ECC) of Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners of Waltham. Amy generously donated her expert presentation, accompanied by her "demo-dog", Meeko, a 10 year old Aussie mix who has assisted Amy with hundreds of workshops. A-DOG board member Mary McCartney organized the workshop. Arlington's Animal Control Officer, Amanda Kennedy, helped Mary to arrange this valuable, potentially life-saving educational event, which was held at the, Arlington Police Department Community Room. The large room was packed with an enthusiastic audience of pet owners. While admission was free, A-DOG collected optional donations for two charities. These organizations: Frankie's Friends, a charitable pet foundation that benefits pets needing life-saving medical care and the Animal Rescue League of Boston that helps animals in numerous ways, including helping our own Animal Control Officer rescue injured pets or wildlife. The event raised about $100 in donations, and matching gifts from A-DOG enabled us to donate $100 to each charity.



Amy's presentation covered many topics essential to canine and feline first aid in detail (she also briefly touched on emergencies involving smaller pets such as rabbits, rodents and birds.) This included information to help owners identify emergency situations, e.g., abnormalities in temperature, pulse and blood flow. It also discussed how to stabilize injured pets, for example techniques for bandaging, and transfer them safely to the emergency medical facility.   Urgent rescue measures such as CPR and Heimlich techniques to dislodge foreign objects in choking situations were also addressed. However, Amy stressed that, in such situations, it is critical to provide whatever first aid you can but seek emergency professional care as soon as possible. This very thorough two hour workshop included demonstrations of bandaging, CPR and other techniques on the very patient canine "patient" Meeko!  More photos at our website.  



Rescued by a dog....
A Rainbow Bridge tribute to Arlington dog, Cita



by Bob Sprague



I will miss my early morning walk with you along the scrubby trail on Hill's Hill littered with trash, some of it with scents that draw you closer. You'd tug at the leash, your active nose seeking a clearer idea about whether food lurked amid the refuse.

I put up with it for a moment, and then we'd move on past the clearing where teens drink, your curled Corgi-like tail, bowed over your brown fur tinged in black, wagging in all seasons.

And what of the midafternoon strolls, before I had to get one of our daughters from school? They'd often end with our family's best use of plastic bag that had contained The Times or Globe that morning.

You were part of the capstone of each day for the last nine years after I no longer worked newspaper night hours. Before bedtime, I'd walk down Candia Street to Charles, past the million-dollar "castle" built atop an elephantine boulder on which Joe Daly used to play when he was growing up. (Has the Arlington High School Hall of Famer, in his 80s, grown up yet?)

You knew none of that. You padded along on our nightly ritual, looking for a spot to mark. You stopped short and peered up at the "castle" only rarely -- when the owner's massive mastiff bayed, a frightening low howl.

Frost's poetry sometimes shaped our moonlit walks. I muttered in my mind:

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain-and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

Your poetry was an elaborate squat and pee or a graceful twirl and poo.

I had never had a dog. You were my first.

My daughters, their pleading eyes as large and brown as yours, talked me into it at Buddy Dog in Sudbury in January 2004. About this mutt named Carmencita rescued from the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico, I asked: "Who will take care of her?" They answered: "We'll help."

The girls decided to call you Cita, but help? It hardly ever happened.

My wife and I walked, fed, cleaned up after you. You appreciated our efforts by joining us on the couch where we watched the Patriots or "Chopped."

That's where, while one of our kids was watching Spanish TV, you growled. We're sure you understood.

That's where you would jump up and head for your corner on the couch, where you looked out the front window. After dark, we kept one shade raised a bit, so you could peer out.

Looking for what?

An occasional passing pooch spurred your rare bark.

Otherwise, you taught all of us calm.

Your cancer emerged in October. More recently, you could no longer jump onto your corner of the couch.

You were a quiet dog, and, as the December holidays neared, you went quietly, under the vet's needle.

You will be buried in our backyard -- and in our hearts forever.



Bob's tribute to Cita previously appeared in



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



THOUGH MAY IS OUR OFFICIAL 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, January 27 (7:30-9 pm)  A-DOG MEETINGJefferson Cutter House Community Room, Arlington Center.  (This will be our first of four A-DOG meetings in 2015.)


February 15.  Deadline for artists to apply for a public temporary art exhibit, Art Rocks Spy Pond, to be held in May, 2015. Sponsored by Arlington Recreation and Arlington Public Art.  Contact for more details.


February social event -- details to be announced!


Future A-DOG Meetings:  Tuesdays, March 24, May 26 and October 27 (7:30 - 9 pm) Jefferson Cutter House Community Room, Arlington Center.  





Photos.  Top, contributed by Molly Flueckiger, shows her Arlington dog, Gus, with Santa at the Thorndike Off-Leash Recreational Area. Molly reports that the Santa photoshoot at the dog park was compliments of Tracy Wallace from Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team.  Bottom, "Super Scottie" by Shunsuke Yamaguchi, at Arlington Public Art's previous art exhibition at Menotomy Rocks Park.  



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, Remy. Tammy 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 Isabel, Raleigh, Strummer and, this month, 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 (November, 2013), 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.

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 and Sue Doctrow

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



Our first A-DOG meeting  for 2015
A-DOG is planning four meetings in 2015. Come join us on Tuesday, January 20 at 7:30- 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.
Future meetings will be in March, May, and October (Annual Meeting) on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the same time and location.  In addition, there will be an August planning session for Town Day.  
Read the recent article about A-DOG and dog-friendly Arlington at the Mass Realty website!


A-DOG 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.  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.  
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