March 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.
Missing Dogs Massachusetts
All-volunteer group helping to bring lost dogs home

by Beth Corr

MDMIn response to a clear need, Missing Dogs Massachusetts was incorporated as a 501c3 all volunteer, non profit organization on January 1, 2015. MDM works cooperatively with animal control officers, rescues, shelters, law enforcement, and the media to reunite lost and found dogs with their families.

When a canine family member goes missing, panic often sets in, and without direction, a search can seem overwhelming. MDM provides owners with low or no-cost methods to share their dog's image and information, proven steps to follow, and when necessary and possible, the means and equipment to help bring their lost dog home

Since its inception, MDM has assisted in the recovery of 725 dogs, including a dog missing for 79 days, one for 20 days, one for 9 months, & one for a year. Private pet recovery services often charge up to $500/day whether they are successful or not. At no charge, MDM personally contacts each owner & provides guidance and physically assists when needed. Frightened dogs are reluctant to be seen, and use of expensive equipment such as cellular cameras and humane traps (up to $500 ea.) is  often necessary. We make this equipment available at no charge to owners & animal control officers.  Loss prevention is key to our mission & we have started a partner program with retailers, vets, and other points of contact for dog owners.

Education as to lost dog behavior and recovery techniques is vital to helping families recover their missing family member. What is instinctual behavior when a dog goes missing is often not most effective. Our first impulse is to wander the area where a dog has gone missing and shout out their name. This, in fact, proves to be counter-productive.

When a dog is lost and in flight mode, its brain does not slow down long enough to recognize that the "scary noise" that it hears belongs to its beloved owner or companion. We have seen many a lost dog run when called to, even by his/her owner. We suggest walking quietly with a slip leash and stinky treats in hand. If the lost dog is seen, remain quiet, get down on the ground (do not make eye contact) and toss stinky treats his/her way. This gives the dog the opportunity to recognize your scent and realize that you are friend and not foe. In an effort to clearly outline recommended techniques, MDM has developed an easy to follow "Recovery Blueprint" that will greatly increase the probability of a timely recovery.

Expansion of our efforts in 2016 (equipment, education, training and loss prevention) will impact not only dogs and families, but shelters, rescues and animal control facilities who may better focus their efforts and resources on dogs that truly are in need of a forever home.

Pets are an important part of the fabric of a family, and their sudden departure can lead to a tremendous feeling of loss. If MDM can reunite one lost or found dog with their family and keep them from becoming a statistic, then we will have done a great thing.
Sommer's Story
Raising a puppy for a life of valuable service

by Lanie Cantor

SommerI am a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) which is a national, nonprofit organization that provides assistance dogs to people with disabilities other than blindness. These dogs go to the deaf as hearing dogs; to veterans with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder); to children with autism or physical limitations as skilled companions; to adults, including wounded veterans, with disabilities; to courts as comfort dogs; or to rehab facilities to incentivize folks doing occupational and/or physical therapy. While the cost of raising each puppy is estimated at about $50,000, CCI is able to provide these dogs free of charge due to the generosity of its donors.

My husband, Paul, and I live in Arlington, MA and are raising our 3rd puppy for CCI. Sommer, our current puppy, is a 15-month-old Lab/Golden mix who came to us at 8 weeks of age. As puppy raisers we provide a safe and loving home for the first 18-20 months of Sommer's life. We take her to obedience classes, ensure that she has plenty of exercise, a healthy diet, vet visits, many varied socialization opportunities, and - most importantly - lots of love! The socialization consists of taking Sommer to a wide variety of sounds and sights, including restaurants, libraries, buses and trains, medical appointments, yoga classes, etc. as well as exposing her to children of all ages, strangers, folks using wheelchairs and walkers, etc. 

During the 16-18 months while Sommer is living with us we also teach her 30 basic commands, many of which will lay the groundwork for her to ultimately be able to perform high-level skills including, but not limited to retrieving items from the floor; turning light switches on and off; opening and closing drawers, refrigerators, and doors; removing laundry from the dryer; removing socks from a person's feet; and carrying items. These higher level skills are taught over a 6-9 month period ("Advanced Training") by highly experienced trainers at CCI at their local region. National headquarters for Canine Companions for Independence is in Santa Rosa, CA, but there are 6 regional campuses; the Northeast regional campus is on Long Island, NY.

After the puppies complete Advanced Training, those that have met medical and temperamental requirements and mastered the required skill levels (approximately 40% of all puppies entering the program), will be carefully matched to their partner. Together they will attend 2 weeks of "Team Training" during which the graduate team  learns appropriate handling skills and becomes comfortable with each other. When that training is completed, there is a graduation ceremony at which time the puppy raiser hands over the leash to the new graduate to begin their life together. This is a ceremony that the public is always welcome to attend, but should you decide to do so, it is strongly recommended that you bring a box of tissues as it is a very moving ceremony!

As you can see, service dogs are extensively trained to a high level of skills.  They are comfortable in all situations and are relied upon by the person with whom they are carefully matched. 

I am often asked what the difference is between a service dog and a therapy dog. The definition of a service dog as stated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is as follows:  "a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person's disability. The dog must be trained to take a specific action when needed to assist the person with a disability." A service animal is not a pet.

Therapy dogs are trained to provide affection and comfort to people in places such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and stressful situations, such as disaster areas. Therapy dogs have no particular skills that are intended to physically assist a human; an even temperament is their most important characteristic. A therapy dog's primary job is to allow people, including strangers, to have physical contact with it and to enjoy that contact, either by petting or holding it. Though not always, the dog is often owned by the person handling it, who considers the dog to be a personal pet.

I hope this information has provided you with greater insight as to how service dogs are trained and the role of the volunteer puppy raiser. I should add that this role might differ slightly from organization to organization.
If you think you might be interested in learning more about Canine Companions for Independence, check their website. I am also very happy to chat with anyone who has questions about puppy raising for CCI.  You can email me here

Oh, and for those of you who are wondering, "How do you ever give these puppies up after 16-18 months?" here is what I can tell you: The dog was never ours. We are just a pit stop on her way to fulfilling someone else's life. Sure it will be a huge loss for me and my husband when we turn Sommer in, but we can feel that we enabled her to eventually bring to someone else all the companionship and unconditional love that she has given to us. Through the puppy we raise and love, we are giving her eventual partner increased independence, self-esteem, peace of mind, love, affection, and a huge part of ourselves, all in one furry package. What better gift?

ACO Katie's Corner 
Report on Reading Dog  Body Language and this month's winner!

Barbara and her pooch Freida are the winners of February's Leash it and Ticket program! Barbara and Freida were spotted walking on leash around the Reservoir in Arlington. As they were following the laws, they received a raffle ticket and won a gift bag of doggie treats and toys!
Thank you for following the canine control bylaws Barbara and Freida!
The next winner could be you!!

Highlights of "Reading Canine Body Language" Program, March 10th, by "guest" columnist Joan Black:


by Joan Black

DogBodyLang"Reading Dog Body Language" on March 10 with Nikole Roth, Carolyn Barney & Dasher,  a service dog in training from Operation Delta Dog, was an informative and valuable program. Thank you to Katie Kozikowski Arlington's Animal Control Officer for contacting the trainers and organizing with A-DOG to offer the presentation as a community service. Thank you to trainers Carolyn & Nikole for donating their expertise and time. Thank you to all who attended and provided thoughtful attention, questions and feedback for our A-DOG Survey.  Winners of the A-DOG Survey Drawing were: Beverly Kleiman, a Lakota Bakery gift certificate; and Emily Cahan, a 1 year Full Membership to A-DOG. Winner of the Ticket Drawing with Katie Kozikowski was Ellen Leigh, an autographed copy of Carolyn Barney's book "Clicker Basics".  CONGRATULATIONS!  A-DOG will also be donating a copy of "Clicker Basics" to Robbins Library.

The following video illustrates many behaviors and terms mentioned during the slideshow powerpoint presentation. Learning to observe and read "dog body language" takes practice and time.  Developing the skill can help owners & non dog owners alike to identify, understand and perhaps avoid potentially dangerous situations with more informed reactions. Dogs speak to us with their behavior. 

Enjoy the video: "Understand Dog Body Language: Learn how to read dog behavior better" by Kristin Crestejo. The focus of the video is how to recognize fear or dogs becoming stressed. It describes what dogs do when when stressed, nervous, or overstimulated. Stress signals are described for discomfort, anxiety or apprehension which are crystal clear for dogs but not to most people. Dog-to-dog communication are addressed as well as what is appropriate behavior or play.  When to step in and ideas for how to intervene are also suggested.  Watch the video for behavior examples including lip licking, yawning, paw lift, ground sniffing, avoidance, hyper vigilance, whale eye,  panting, tail, head and body postures etc. Becoming more observant can help you become a  "better reader" of your dog.

Watch the video here

Here is an opportunity to use your observational skills and read the changes in the mother dogs behavior.  What is she telling you here?
Watch the range of body language as this dog is rescued.  How many changes did you notice? Video here
ACO Katie's Corner present updates from Arlington Animal Control Officer (ACO) Katie Kozikowski. 
Joan Black is an A-DOG board member and member of the Wags and Tags editorial team.
Around the Doggone Web - March Edition
Useful online information

by 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.
  • We want to think it could never happen, but sadly, dogs get lost. Missing Dogs Massachusetts is nonprofit that works to reunite missing and found dogs with their families. MDM works with animal control officers, rescues, shelters, law enforcement, and the media and has excellent tips on their website. Under "Lost A Dog" is a flyer generator with important information in case your dog goes missing. Best tip ever: make the flyer before you need, it so you have it on hand. (See MDM's article in this issue of Wags and Tags).
  • Dr. Karen Becker is a holistic vet, and explains what exactly your vet is looking for during your dog or cat's exam here
  • Though it may take a bit longer than with a puppy, you can teach your old dog new tricks. Lori Gwyr, director of the Karen Pryor Academy, tells you how here. The  Whole Dog Journal  has a good free article here about the same issue.
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. 
K9 Cuisine
Feeding your dog with love

by Jen Burns
 K9Cuisine It's hard to know what to feed your pup these days.  Frequently we see reports of recalls, products causing injuries and even death from an item owners picked up at a store out of love for their pets.  Walk into any pet store and you are faced with row upon row of dog food options many produced all over the globe.  In this series, we'll parse through the nutritional "nuggets", visit local companies that are making a change, and share what we learn.
Our first stop was to Sit Stay Beg Cookie Company. The company was started in 2012 by two local dog walkers and pet sitters, Danielle Blanchette and Kerry Jones while searching for the best products for their own pups with food allergies.  They started baking their own gluten-free treats and still do with simple, human-grade ingredients without preservatives. My pup Lucy loved them when we visited their entrepreneurial kitchen in Amesbury, MA. After our visit, Sit Stay Beg became a Business Friend of A-DOG and we thank them for their donations.  Watch our visit to Sit Stay Beg Cookie Company here...
You can find Sit Stay Beg Cookies and Brittle for sale online.
 And at local pet boutiques:
Everything But The Dog in Reading 
Ciao! Bow Wow in North Andover 
7ate9 Bakery in Somerville. 
Jen Burns is an A-DOG board member and owns BlueSky Dogs.
"Two Front Paws Up" for Pawsome People and Awesome Dogs!
Recognizing those who help animals and people.....

PawsomeMarBe sure to "Save the Date" for A-DOG's Author program "Weekends With Daisy" April 30 from 2:00-3:00 pm, Community Room, Robbins Library in Arlington. Meet author Sharron Kahn Luttrell and her new foster service puppy as she describes her experiences raising a NEADS service dog.  This book was reviewed by Ellen Leigh (shown above, with Ricky) in February's Wags and Tags.

 #1. How A Dog Becomes A NEADS Service Dog. Here & Now: Audio story and slide show (Part 1)

by Robin Young: Introduction by Joan Black

Dogs in prison, weekends with foster parents, and intensive training mixed with love and patience is the recipe for the successful NEADS program. NEADS is located in western Mass and dedicated to training and providing assistance dogs for deaf and disabled Americans. Enjoy the following audio story and slide show featuring two handlers Bernard and Ryan at Northeastern Correctional Facilities in Concord, MA. as they demonstrate training and preparing their dogs Bailey and Griffin for their life with forever families as NEADS service dogs. Find the story here

#2. EYE ON EDUCATION: Dog Make Big Difference in Special Needs Classroom

by Paula Ebben: Introduction by Joan Black 

Beamer is one of the most loved and eager members of his class at Nathaniel Morton Elementary School in Plymouth, MA. He is a two year old golden lab service dog from NEADS. "Beamer is an important part of the entire school day," according to Beth Keane, classroom teacher. She had the idea of having a service dog for her special needs classroom. Beamer serves as reading companion, provides motor skills assistance and practice and gives emotional support. Students develop responsibility as they follow a daily schedule of reviewing command skills with him, giving food and water and taking him for walks. Students were responsible for raising the necessary funds to keep Beamer and their self esteem and joy soared when they reached the needed goal! The relationship between Beamer and his students is a special bond indeed.  Beverly and Holden are communities which also have assistance dogs in schools provided by NEADS.  To learn more and see Beamer in action click here.      

Compiled by Joan Black, an A-DOG board member and member of the Wags and Tags editorial team. Photo: Ellen Leigh and Ricky, also on the Wags and Tags editorial team. 
PAWS to Mark Your Calendar!
Save the dates for coming events

febcalendarAPRIL IS 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 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!

  • March 29 and certain other Tuesdays  (3:30-4:30 pm) 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 in April (12, 26), May (10, 24) and June (7, 21). Fox Library is located at 175 Massachusetts Avenue. 
  • Tuesday, March 22 , (6:30-8 pm) Jefferson Cutter House , 611 Mass Ave, Arlington Center.  Next A-DOG Meeting!  Refreshments will be served (soup, bread and salad beginning at 6:30; meeting beginning at 7). 
  • 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, March 26 Massachusetts School of Law 10th Annual Animal Rights Day beginning 8:30 am located at 500 Federal Street, Andover MA.  Event is Free & open to the public  and includes: information concerning legal issues surrounding animals, police dog demonstrations, dog training, story time with Shara Puglisi Katsos & "DIG", Greg Mahle of Rescue Road Trips, crafts, vendors and so much more.
  • Wednesday, April 6  (11 am-4 pm) LOBBY DAY FOR ANIMALS: Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St., Boston.  Opportunity for advocates to meet with elected officials and discuss legislation which impacts animals. For information and registration click here.
  • Saturday, April 9 (8-9 am), Walks of Nature - Part 2, Arlington Great Meadows, (sponsored by Arlington K9 Recreation).
  • Sunday, April 17 (2 pm)  Arlington Patriots Day Parade.  Come join A-DOG and PUPS on PARADE as we march down the Avenue with our tails held high. Email Ann at ADOG Membership to sign up. A-DOG was proud to send a donation to the parade and looks forward to participating again! (Photo shows Blarney and Pam marching in a previous Patriots Day parade).
  • Saturday, April 30 (2-3 pm).   A-DOG Author Reading, Presentation & Discussion with Q/A "  Weekends With Daisy" by Sharron 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.). Copies of book will be available for purchase and signing. Bring a personal copy for autograph. Proceeds from sales benefit NEADS.  "Weekends With Daisy" will be donated to the Library by A-DOG.
  • Saturday, May 7 (10-noon).  4th Annual BARK FOR LIFE at Arlington Reservoir. Consider joining  the A-DOG Team with Joan  or walk as an individual.  Business sponsors are welcome to have a table and feature products and services. Email Dee Savioli for details to sponsor. Information about how you and your pup can BARK for LIFE here.
  • Saturday, May 14 (2-3 pm), Community Room, Robbins Library A-DOG presents Shara Puglisi Katsos author of "The Doggie Investigation Gang" DIG, a chapter book series appropriate for third grade reading abilities or anyone who loves dogs. Three dog detectives of different breeds & diverse skills solve cases with teamwork.  Snacks provided and "DIG" Prizes to win. One doggie stars will join Shara. Proceeds from sales benefit PAWS New England. Program is perfect for children and adults. Copies of the books will be donated to Robbins Library by Shara.
  • Sunday, May 22. Fast And Furriest 5K, RUN, WALK, WAG at Assembly Row, Somerville, MA: Come for a family friendly FUNdraiser to benefit MSPCA  Angell. RUN,WALK, WAG will be followed by activities, vendor booths, food and entertainment. Registration begins around March 22. 
  • July 22-24 weekendChairful Where You Sit. This annual benefit for Arlington Public Art is seeking donations of old chairs for artists to decorate. A-DOG is encouraging members to participate by donating, entering or attending. Dogowners  and their dogs love the parks and open spaces. Chairful Where You Sit is held on Jefferson Cutter House lawn. Save the dates! To make a chair donations email Arlington Public ArtDetails for entering will be announced in future issues.  A-DOG is proud to support the event because public art, parks and dogs go together! 
  • June (first week), date TBA. WHINE & WINE Members Celebration at Mentomy Beer, Wine & Spirits.  Well behaved owners and canine companions are invited to attend our annual wine tasting event.  There will be delicious refreshments, exciting door prizes and engaging conversations.  Join us!. 

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 the recent 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 second  A-DOG meeting  for 2016
A-DOG held four meetings in 2015 and the 2016 schedule will be announced in Wags and Tags. The next one will be Tuesday, March 22 at 6:30 pm. Future meetings in May, August and October. 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, Arlington businesses  artlounge and Emily Mayne's handcrafted jewelry! Both generously supported A-DOG at our recent Paint Your Pet event. Our longtime supporter, Menotomy Beer and Wine donated a generous drawing  prize for the event, as well. Stay tuned for a story about this successful and fun evening, with photos of the artwork, in an upcoming issue! And, our very newest Friend of A-DOG is Pet Republic of Cambridge, offering a very generous 50% off tuition for Basic Manners training class to A-DOG full members. (If you are not a full member, please sign up and pay your dues at the link above for joining A-DOG. If you are unsure if your membership is still active, or need another membership card as proof, you can email us to check into it.)

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.