January 2016
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, Jen Burns, Sue Doctrow, Ellen Leigh, Judy Weinberg, Janice Zazinski 
A-DOG logos designed by Lisa Berasi for Arlington Dog Owners Group, all rights reserved

In this issue: 
On some computers, you might have to click twice to reach the article. We've found, too that these links do not work on all devices.
Leo Has a New Brother, Gio!
One "A-dog" welcomes another into his pack

by Audrey Sallese 

Meet our two Labrador retrievers, Leo and Gio, 6 years and 7 months old respectively. We were always a one-dog family until this past summer. My husband Pat would often campaign for another dog but I had reservations, citing cost, time, work, and lack of room on the bed.
The breeder who has supplied us with our last two wonderful pups was selling one of her females that had turned out not to be a show prospect, a black female named Vegas, 8 months old. My eyes lit up, and I was thinking this would be OK because she was already trained and beyond much of her puppy rowdiness.
As it turned out, Vegas went instead to a family that already owned her sister. Pat and I suddenly felt as though we had lost a great prize and immediately told the breeder to save us one of her future puppies. I had thrown caution to the winds. We told ourselves that if we waited much longer to have another Lab we would feel too old for such an active breed.
Gio came home with us in mid-August, 12 weeks old, and pranced his way into our hearts before the day was through.
He has fit right into our lives, quickly learning the household rituals, loving his crate where he sleeps and naps, and torturing his big brother with as much gusto as Leo will tolerate. He is a robust eater, will entertain himself with any thing that squeaks, and loves to hike.
Since we are frequent travelers, we have peace of mind that he will be welcome at a wonderful cageless kennel in Stoneham where our last two dogs have eagerly gone.
Pat had to get up with Gio at ungodly hours and wait patiently while he played for a while until getting sleepy again, and then they would both nap for a few hours in the den. I suggested that he be put back to bed after going out to do his business, but Pat can't stand to hear puppies cry, so I left it up to them to work it out while I slept! Things have improved greatly in the last two months, though.
Leo has slowly accepted Gio's playfulness and is beginning to "fight" back. It's still too early to tell if Gio will be the alpha, but I am seeing signs that they'll be affectionate equals. Gio is starting to save his rough-housing for younger dogs that welcome that behavior much more happily. In sum, I haven't discovered any real drawbacks to having two dogs, and there have been some big positives, including double the love and laughter (and double the fur tumbleweeds).


Audrey Sallese and her husband Pat are A-DOG members.
Nine Common Dog Training Mistakes and How to Fix Them 
Ask a dog trainer!

trainerAn article by Dog Guy Josh  with introduction by Janice Zazinski
When I had my first dog as an adult, in the mid-1990s, few trainers talked about positive reinforcement and reward ... a weekly session with a trainer was supposed to be enough to show your dog who was "boss." Modern training theories have demonstrated that our dogs are always learning - every interaction with them is an opportunity to reinforce a behavior we want (such as Daisy laying quietly in the room with a stuffed Kong as I write this) as opposed to a behavior we don't want (if not for the Kong, Daisy would have continued to pull paper out of the wastebasket and shred it).
Now that we know this, Daisy's treat pouch goes everywhere ... on our morning run (to reinforce calm behavior when we see another dog) ... to the field where she plays with other dogs and we practice recall ... and every room in the house has a small bowl of kibble to work on 2-minute training games. Every morning Daisy has to do one of her 3 tricks for breakfast ... and she quickly learned to launch into her routine before we even ask. The point of which, as you'll see in the Dog Guy's article, is to teach her self-control and continue to shape and reinforce the behaviors we want.
Here is the link to Dog Guy's article

  Janice is a member of the A-DOG board and a Certified Small Animal Massage Therapist. Her business, Beloved Companion Animal Massage & Bodywork, serves Arlington & environs. Photo: "Daisy Sitting Pretty for her Treat"
Around the Doggone Web
Useful online information

Janicewebby Janice Zazinski
In an Internet of inanity and misinformation, it can be hard to discern truly helpful Web sites. A-DOG is here to help! Check out the ones below and feel free to send us your favorites.
  • Is there a puppy or dog in store for you in 2016? The late Dr. Sophia Yin was an animal behaviorist and veterinarian whose positive reinforcement, science-based training work continues at her websiteHere you'll find behavior Q&As, lists of essential equipment for your new dog, and great training videos. Her e-book, Perfect Puppy in 7 Days, kept us sane when we brought our fearful rescue puppy home. Her Top 10 Dog Training Tips are unique --we threw away Daisy's food bowl on day two.
  • Beat winter boredom with Dognition, a program of Dr. Brian Hare's (author of The Genius of Dogs) at Duke University. He's developed intelligence games you can play indoors with your dog. Most of the games are free (and the book is a fascinating read).
  • The Association of Pet Dog Trainers has winter safety and winter training tips at their website. 

Janice is a member of the A-DOG board and a Certified Small Animal Massage Therapist. Her business, Beloved Companion Animal Massage & Bodywork, serves Arlington & environs. 
Why License Your Dog? 
Katie's Corner, from our Animal Control Officer

JanKatieby Katie Kozikowski
Arlington Animal Control Officer

It's that time of year again...Dog licensing time! And here's to hoping we have the highest numbers yet! In 2014 we held the all-time record high of 2,273 dogs registered in the town of Arlington, wow!! While this is excellent news, it is nowhere near the total number of dogs we have living in town. This year, our goal is to have every dog over the age of 6 months living in Arlington registered!
Why should I register my dog, you may ask?

Did you know:
  • Almost twice as many animals are brought to Animal Shelters as strays compared to the number of surrendered animals?
  • The best way to ensure that your dog is brought back to you is with proper identification?
  • People have been known to pick up strays and drive them miles and miles away to the animal shelter they trust the most, even if it is in a different state or hours away from where the animal was found?
While microchips have played a big role in reuniting animals with their rightful owners, microchip scanners don't always function at 100%, 100% of the time. If your dog is registered with the town, the Animal Control Officer or any Police Officer can easily access the owner's information from the Town Clerk. Even if your pet loses his or her collar, a description of your registered dog is in the Clerk's database can help find the owner even without a tag present.

The low cost of a $15 or $20 registration fee can save both you and your pet a lot of pain and heartache in the long run. On top of that, it will also save you the pain of having to fork over a large fee for an unregistered dog. If your dog is not registered in the town you live in and you make a trip out of town or out of state, an animal control officer in any of those places has the authority to ticket for an unlicensed dog, no matter if the dog resides in that town or not. But, not only will you receive a citation for an unregistered dog, you will likely have to pay a $50 late fee on top of the registration cost.

Licensing your dog also allows the town to keep a census of the number of dogs residing in Arlington. The more we show how large of a dog community Arlington is, the more likely we will be able to continue to add dog related events to the town. If we have only small numbers of dogs on record, how can we possibly justify the need for more freedom to allow our dogs to be dogs? By registering your dog, not only are you following the town Bylaw, but you are also eligible to receive a Leash it and Ticket raffle ticket. So wear your tags proudly and let's show the town how responsible our dog owners of Arlington are. 

Katie's articles are featured on a regular basis with information, alerts and concerns in "Katie's Corner". 


Reminder from A-DOG:  The A-DOG 2016 Arlington Dog Licensing Contest is underway until March 1. All you need to do to be eligible to win a great prize is to make sure your dog is registered on the Arlington dog license list.  Great prizes! Details here. 
Want a Second Dog Park in Arlington Someday?
Arlington Residents: be sure to answer the 2016 Vision 2020 Town Survey!

by Sue Doctrow

dogparkArlington's Annual Town Survey should be arriving in our mailboxes any day. Some residents have received it already. 

This survey is given out with our Census forms each year and the response is always remarkably strong. (Last year, over 6000 of the ~19,000 Arlington households returned it.) It's a great way for the Town to find out what residents like and what they want to change.

The Town survey is sponsored by Arlington's Vision 2020, a partnership of town residents, leaders, employees working together. Vision 2020 is dedicated to ensuring that issues which are important to Arlington's future, both long and short term, are studied, acted upon and resolved through a timely process which is collaborative and fact-based, and whenever possible, creative and strategic as well. Thanks to Vision 2020 and Arlington Recreation these dog park related questions were included in the 2016 Town Survey.

Several years ago, the Survey also included questions about a fenced dog park in Arlington. Support from survey respondents was strong, which finally helped to justify creation of our first fenced dog park, the Thorndike Off Leash Recreation Area (OLRA), in spring, 2012. As all of us who enjoy the dog park can attest, it is very popular and a wonderful resource for dog owners who live either in our town or in other communities. 

This year, you will see that there are questions about whether residents use the current OLRA, and whether they would support Arlington creating a second one in another part of town. There are additional questions to help assess how such a resource might be funded. The questions are:

A. How often do members of your household visit the Thorndike off-leash recreation area for dogs (OLRA)?
B. Do members of your household believe that fenced off-leash recreation areas are an amenity that enhances the quality of life in a community?
C. Would members of your household support Arlington estabilshing a second fenced OLRA in another Arlington park?
D. Are members of your household more or less likely to support a second fenced OLRA based on the following: (several conditions are listed)
E. Would members of your household be willing to pay a reasonable fee to use a dedicated fenced OLRA?

To our members and other readers who are Arlington residents: Make your voices heard! Please fill out and return the 2016 Town Survey along with your Census forms. (Do not write any comments on the form itself, but on a separate page; the form needs to be scanned.) The survey must be returned by March 18, 2016 to be counted. Your support could help to make a second fenced dog park in Arlington a reality someday! 

Sue Doctrow is on the A-DOG board and the Wags and Tags editorial team; she is also a member of the Vision 2020 Standing Committee.
"Two Front Paws Up" for Pawsome People and Awesome Dogs!
Recognizing those who help animals.....


FBI Tracks Animal Abuse:  Animal Abuse is Officially a Felony
Introduction by Joan Black

There have been many posts praising the FBI for "making animal cruelty a felony in all 50 states."  These headlines are EXCEPTIONALLY misleading.The FBI collects crime STATISTICS from local law enforcement agencies nationwide- for example: how many crimes were reported in specific cities/counties, types of crimes committed, how many resulted in an arrest, the age, race, sex of offenders etc. All this "classification" does is change the way local law enforcement submit their stats because the FBI has, effective Jan 2016, created a new animal cruelty category in the Nationwide Crime Reporting programs. However, It does NOT make animal neglect, abuse, or cruelty a federal crime, initiate any investigation on the part of the FBI, create a database of animal abusers, etc. or even change the way these cases are handled, investigated, prosecuted, or sentenced in our local criminal justice system.  The reality is that the only REAL change is in REPORTING procedures. Making a difference still MUST start at a local level - report suspected animal abuse/neglect to animal control or law enforcement, let Sheriffs, Police Chiefs, Prosecutors, and Judges know that enforcing/prosecuting animal abuse laws in our community is important - that animal lives matter. We must petition State legislators to make changes to enhance/expand/upgrade our state's existing animal cruelty statutes. Be involved locally to make changes "globally" for the animals who cannot advocate for themselves. Read more here.


Soup Kitchen Offers Homeless Pets and Their Humans Meals & So Much More.
Introduction by Joan Black
    Homeless families and their pets struggle. Most shelters do not allow pets forcing people to stay on the streets even when the weather is severe or surrender their animals. One facility in New York COLLIDE (located inside Grafitti Church) not only provides a safe and welcoming space but meals, medical attention and emergency care for humans and their canine companions. COLLIDE recognizes the critical role of emotional support and unconditional love which pets provide owners who have lost so much. They explain,"We believe that all creatures  are valuable, and for us compassion extends from the end of the leash to the hand that holds it."  Read more here.
     A-DOG recognizes COLLIDE with the  TWO PAWS UP PAWSOME AWARD.

Photos: (upper) Congressman Katherine Clark's visit; (lower) Congresswoman Katherine Clark serving the 5th District Massachusetts & Brodie.

A Rufff Request.....
Tell us about your dog's BEST friend

RuffA-DOG's January Rrrrufff Request is for a photograph and brief description of your dog's BEST-est Friend. Friends come in all sizes, shapes and colors. "Friends" might be a person, other dog or animal, toy, blanket or thing. What makes a friend is Love.  Please help us celebrate "Puppy Love" for February's W&T by sending a photograph and brief description to Joan.c.black@gmail.com. We would love to share them during the year.
Here are BEST-est Friends "PUGLet & PIGlet." Teddy is Ginger's brother by another mother. They adore each other's company, snuggle and are very much loved and love each other. It is clear "Pug & Pig are Friends" just like Frog and Toad were.

Who or What is your dog's BEST-est friend? We all want to know.  

Description should be in a text file and jpg photo as separate attachments. 
PAWS to Mark Your Calendar!
Save the dates for coming events
CalendarJanWe hope you had a great holiday season like Jupiter did! 
( photo contributed by his owner, photographer Jeffry F. Pike and A-DOG member)

"NEW" or "RENEW", IT IS EASY TO DO...Sign up today  here .  

Mark your calendar for these great EVENTS. Please consider attending or volunteering for the events sponsored or co-sponsored by A-DOG (shown in BLUE).  Contact us if you're interested in volunteering at any of these events...we need you!

  • Tuesday, January 19  (3:30-4:30 pm) (and alternate weeks) Come meet Reading Companion Dogs Thelma & Rufus at Fox Library. All ages and reading levels are welcome. Sign up for a ten minute reading time. Please pick up a ticket at the circulation desk starting at 3 on the day of the event. Happy tails are waiting to listen to your tales. Thelma & Rufus are also scheduled for February 2 & 16. Fox Library is located at 175 Massachusetts Avenue. See the photo of Rufus reading below!
  • Thursday, January 21 (11am ), Massachusetts State House 24 Beacon St., Boston: Hearings on MA Animal Bills. Bills that should be heard include ones to protect puppies in puppy mills, help abandoned animals and make sure the law about tethered dogs and cruel outdoor conditions has maximum enforcement. More information here
  • Tuesday, January 26, 2016 , (7-8 pm)Jefferson Cutter House , 611 Mass Ave, Arlington Center.  First A-DOG meeting of 2016!  Refreshments will be served and agenda will include planning our calendar events for the coming year. 
  • Wednesday, February 24, 2016 , (7-9:30 pm), Save the date and "Unleash" Your Inner Artist!   ArtLounge , 1346 Mass Ave, Arlington is holding a
    Paint Your Pet fundraiser for A-DOG. Come and paint a customized picture of your pet!  Here's how it works.  You email a digital picture of your pet and Art Lounge's amazing artists will sketch it onto a 16x20 canvas which will be ready to paint when you arrive.  Registration here  (go to the February 24 calendar date on the site) and  space is limited.  A percentage of your registration fee will be donated to A-DOG.  We'll also have some local artisans like Emily Maynewoods of Arlington selling jewelry.  Artlounge Arlington offers small plates and desserts for sale as well as beer and wine to round out the perfect evening.  Come have some fun and "unleash" your inner artist. Hope you can make it!
  • Thursday, March 10, (6-8 pm),  Senior Center 2nd floor on Maple Street "
    Understanding K9 Body Language" presented by  Trainer Nickole Roth .  The  Event is cosponsored by Arlington Animal Control & A-DOG.  
  • Saturday, March 26, (9 am-noon),  Volunteer Clean Up Day, Thorndike OLRA. Celebrate our only Off Leash Recreation Area by coming down and pitching in! Help us keep the park clean by donating your time. Refreshments will be served. A $5 donation is welcome the day of the event with helps support helps support Arlington's only fenced off-leash recreation area - a great place for dogs and their humans to play and make new friends! (Sponsored by Arlington K9 Recreation).
  •   Saturday, April 11 (8-9 am), Walks of Nature - Part 2, Arlington Great Meadows, (sponsored by Arlington K9 Recreation).
  • Saturday, April 30 (2-3 pm).   A-DOG Author Reading, Presentation & Discussion with Q/A "  Weekends With Daisy" by Sharon Kahn Lutrell, Community Room at  Robbins Library .  Join us for a lively and informative discussion about service dogs and their training with an anticipated special guest appearance by a NEADS puppy in training.  (This program is more appropriate for adults than chlidren.).

Stay tuned for future issues with details about: Beloved Companion Animal Massage workshop in February (TBA).

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

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

contributionsA-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 email 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. Or, write an article about Happy Tails Trails, describing your favorite place to enjoy nature with your dog, like last month's article about Whipple Hill. 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 Strummer, Cita. Jasper and Annabel. 
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 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, Jen Burns, Sue Doctrow, Ellen Leigh, Judy Weinberg and Janice Zazinski.

Pssst...We are well aware that  our members are not likely to have issues with spelling or grammar that's a little "ruff", but don't worry....our editorial team can polish your story, 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 first  A-DOG meeting  for 2016
A-DOG held four meetings in 2015 and the 2016 schedule will be announced in Wags and Tags. The first one will be Tuesday, January 26 at 7 pm. Unless otherwise noted, meetings are on the fourth Tuesday of the month 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. Refreshments are served. New members show up every time so please join us!


A-DOG Membership!
A-DOG's membership year runs from April 1 through March 31, so some full memberships are up for renewal each spring.  If your membership has expired, you should receive a reminder letter in early 2016 during our  Membership Drive.  T hough, if you join now for the first time, your annual full membership will still be good through March, 2017.  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 dog owners in Arlington by patronizing our Friends of A-DOG Businesses.  Welcome to the newest Friends of A-DOG, Sit, Stay, Beg Cookie Company and  Magic Bites Bakery

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!

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.