March 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 and Sue Doctrow 
A-DOG logos designed by Lisa Berasi for Arlington Dog Owners Group, all rights reserved

Nora comes home to be an Arlington dog

"Despite her Southern roots, she loves long walks in the snow..."

by Bob Schueler


My wife Dolores and I love dogs. We have had a succession of four wonderful golden retrievers. One was a puppy from a private litter, two were neighborhood adoptions and one was a rescue found at a yard sale advertised among kitchen items and toys. But after we lost our fourth, sadly, in 2011, we needed to find another lead for an adoption. I did lots of online research, staring at doggy profiles and learning to decipher the code. By the spring of 2013, I was ready to make my move. 


We planned on another golden, but the adoption organizations either demanded we make our selection sight unseen, or had other restrictions, such as minimum fence heights. We finally decided on an organization based in Memphis that would allow us to travel there to then make our selection, but the home visit was delayed several times, and there was this open house for Great Dog Rescue in Woburn. 


After hanging out in a small room with people, adults and puppies (and their excretions), one of the staff told me about a young lab female who was in the parking lot. I spotted her sitting while a man holding her leash talked to a couple and their two young children. While they talked, I petted her. She was very sweet, just what we were looking for, but I figured I was too late. The family seemed quite taken with her as well. I hurried home and put in an application anyway, listing her as first choice, followed by a couple of others. Ours was the first application received for her.


Nora came to Great Dog on the transport from Jackson Tennessee, along with her seven two week old puppies. She was horribly undernourished and sick at that time, and when we met still emaciated. Her wonderful foster family also had her 9 week-old puppies and three dogs of their own. She seemed happy there, but they had a difficult time getting her to eat, and during her first few months with us, she was often a reluctant eater. She quickly developed into an eating machine, though, and we have grown accustomed to the comments, such as "I didn't think she could get any bigger, but..." She's definitely a trauma survivor, but very loving and gentle with everyone. She has eyes that would melt any heart, a very calm disposition, perfect for us. 


She is not, however, a candidate for obedience champion. She does not like being told what to do and shows no interest in learning tricks. Fortunately for us, she generally does what we want her to do anyway. Despite her background, she is a princess, and expects to be treated that way. She doesn't like to fetch or run, but loves her walks, seeing her friends and hanging out in Menotomy Rocks Park. Despite her Southern roots, she loves long walks in the snow, tolerates the rain, and just wants to hang out and enjoy life. Look for us around the neighborhood, from Kelwyn Manor to Robbins Farm. 




Nora's photo contributed by her owners, Bob and Dolores.


Daria Pannesi: Arlington's K-9 Recreation Activity Director
"It takes a community to care for a dog..."

Daria Pannesi, owner of StrutnPup LLC dog care and walking service, is Arlington's new K-9 Recreation Activity Director.

The appointment was announced on March 16, 2015 by Joe Connelly, Arlington's Director of Recreation. 

Pannesi will be responsible for developing programs and events for Arlington's dogs and their owners. She will be preparing a calendar of interactive recreational events and activities, beginning in June, at various parks around the town. She will also be recruiting a volunteer committee to assist with activities.

"We wanted to find a way to develop recreational venues for dog owner's in Arlington so we created a new position. It is clear that Daria is the quintessential dog lover and wants to share that experience with all Arlington dogs and pet owners," Connelly said.

In addition to her dog care service, Pannesi has extensive credentials in marketing, management and fundraising from positions she previously held in the healthcare field and gaming industry. She and her husband have lived in Arlington for over 17 years and feel a true connection with the town.

"There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a community to care for a dog," said Pannesi. "That is what I want to create in Arlington - a place where fun dog activities bring people and their canine companions together."

 A-DOG looks forward to working with Daria on our shared mission to keep Arlington a wonderful place for people and their canine family members!  


The photo (provided by Daria Pannesi) shows Daria with her dogs, Domino, Diva, and Bonita. The above article was modified from a March 16, 2015 press release by the Town of Arlington, Recreation Department.  Find information about Arlington's recreation department, including future K-9 events, at their website


Living with Coyotes
Expert John Maguranis describes our eastern "coywolf"





by Sue Doctrow


On January 29, Arlington Animal Control sponsored a presentation "Living with Coyotes" in the Arlington Public Safety Building.  The speaker, John Maguranis (see his biography) is the Massachusetts Representative to Project Coyote, as well as Belmont's Animal Control Officer. 


I know that coyotes are present in my neighborhood, for example in the Mt. Gilboa conservation land and Arlington Great Meadows, and many of us have been concerned and curious about them.  This presentation was engaging and informative, covering a wealth of information about coyotes and addressing misconceptions.  For example, John explained that, based on DNA and other evidence, the coyotes in the eastern part of the country are related to wolves, so closely that their species is becoming known as the "coywolf". In fact, they are hybrids, created when the Eastern wolf bred with coyotes. This lineage is distinct from that of the coyotes in the western U.S.  He also stressed the value of coyotes to our local ecosystem, because, as hunting mammals, they control the population of rodents and other pests, including rats, squirrels, and rabbits. 


John focused on several topics of direct concern to pet owners, while describing key aspects of the coyotes' habits and life cycle.  What some might believe are coyote "packs" are actually families. Coyotes breeding pairs mate for life, raising their pups to adulthood.  At times, their young adult offspring will return to the family to help raise new pups.  Coyote families occupy certain territories.  If a coyote family is driven from an area, chances are that another coyote family will move in to take its place.  Whereas, if the family stays, other coyotes will respect its turf and keep away.  For this and many other reasons, a strategy of living harmoniously with coyotes is better than trying to remove them.  John noted that, in January and February, it is the coyotes' mating season, a time when they will be particularly territorial.  This is when they are likely to see larger dogs as a "challenge" if approached by those dogs.  While some look tall and lanky, John explained that coyotes are comparable, at 50 lbs or less, to a medium sized dog. While not generally capable of killing a large dog, a coyote defending his turf can cause injury, so it is best to avoid such situations.  John advised that dogs be kept on leash in coyote territories, especially during these months.  Most certainly, keeping your dog close, with good recall, is important.  As for smaller pets, small dogs and all cats, they are always at risk from coyotes as potential prey, regardless of time of year.  Keeping your pets close, not letting them roam alone outside, is always the safest policy. 


Around October, according to John, the pups are grown and starting to leave the family to explore their surroundings.  This is the time when groups of coyotes may approach people.  While to some it may feel like they are being "surrounded" in a menacing way, John explained that the young coyotes do this because they are curious.  Coyotes, unless rabid, are extremely unlikely to attack humans.  An attack is, of course, a risk with any rabid animal, and John showed data illustrating the low incidence of rabid coyotes as compared, for example, to rabid raccoons.  (I asked John about a report, from several years ago, about a coyote attacking a toddler in Wilmington.  He said that this animal was not caught, but that the witnesses' description was very consistent with its being a grey fox and, also, that the behaviors described suggested that it was rabid.)


While, to me, the young coyotes' curiosity about us is fascinating to contemplate, John explained that, as wildlife, coyotes will be much safer if they fear humans.  Otherwise, they may be shot by those who do not understand that they are not a threat to humans.  Sadly, this is one prevalent cause of coyotes' death, even at the hands of misinformed authorities.  Though, John noted that being hit by cars is the major cause of death for coyotes in our state.  Overall, keeping coyotes afraid of humans is a worthwhile goal, and the practice of "hazing" helps accomplish this.  In "hazing", volunteers go to known coyote habitats and, if coyotes approach, make noises, stand "tall" and even stomp toward them.  This will teach coyotes, especially young ones just learning and feeling curious, to fear and avoid humans.  It should not drive a coyote family from its territory, but should teach them not to approach humans.  


Please report sightings of coyotes in town to our Animal Control Officer to help her keep track of where they are living.  Interested volunteers may also want to help with hazing efforts, in Arlington or elsewhere in MA.





In photos (provided by Amanda Kennedy) John shows a taxidermic coyote to a rapt audience in the Community Room.  Thank-you to our Animal Control Officer, Amanda Kennedy, for organizing this program!  Amanda informed us that Arlington Whole Foods and Starbucks donated refreshments.

This article is the author's review of the presentation, as an attendee, and any inaccuracies are her own.  Opinions are those of the author, or those of the speaker as recalled by the author, and do not represent official positions of A-DOG.  


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




Maida Pharmacy & Compounding Center, Arlington's only independent pharmacy, can help pet owners take on the sometimes challenging task of giving medicine to man's best friend.


Meeting health needs that cannot be met by off-the-shelf, commercially manufactured drugs, third-generation pharmacist and owner Larry Maida, R.Ph., prepares compounded medications in the form of flavorful dog treats, easy-to-apply ointments, or allergen-free doses.


Compounding, a centuries-old art and science that has evolved into a well-regulated pharmacy specialty, involves the customized preparation of a medicine that is not otherwise commercially available.  Pharmacists mix prescribed drugs to better suit the needs of individuals - whether people or pets.  Larry Maida collaborates with physicians and veterinarians to determine the most appropriate therapy regimen for patients or pets; formulates medication in ideal strengths and dosage forms; and designs a delivery system that best suits unique medical needs with minimal side effects for our four-legged friends.

For dogs, common compounded medications are potassium bromide for seizures, tramadol for pain, and ibuprofen or ketoprofen for anti-inflammatory purposes.  Chewable doses can be prepared in a variety of flavors including beef or chicken.

Founded in 1933, Maida Pharmacy & Compounding Center is a family-owned pharmacy serving Arlington and surrounding communities.  In addition to its veterinary medicine service, Larry and his pharmacy staff - including his wife, Maria - provide everyday prescriptions and custom compounded medications; over-the-counter and nutraceutical products; homeopathic remedies; durable medical equipment; and surgical supplies.

Maida Pharmacy & Compounding Center is located at 121 Mass. Ave., Arlington. 

Please stop in and say hello!  For more information, visit the pharmacy's website, call 781-643-7840, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Maida Pharmacy & Compounding Center is proud to support A-DOG by offering a $5 discount coupon valid for any non-prescription item in the store to any member who brings in a new prescription compound for their pet. 

Ask your veterinarian to contact Larry Maida about your dog's or other pet's prescription.



 A-DOG is grateful to Maida Pharmacy & Compounding Center and to all our other Friends of A-DOG for their support!  Photo shows Larry Maida, R.Ph.

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



APRIL IS OUR OFFICIAL MEMBERSHIP MONTH!  If you haven't already, join the A-DOG Pack.  "NEW" or "RENEW", IT IS EASY TO DO...Sign up today here.  



Tuesday, March 24 (7:30-8:30 pm)  A-DOG MEETINGJefferson Cutter House Community Room, Arlington Center.  (This will be our second of four A-DOG meetings in 2015. Doors open at 7 pm and refreshments will be served.  Rescheduled due to storm on Jan 27.)


Saturday, March 28. (8 am to 8 pm) Arlington's Town Election.  If you won't be in town, get your absentee ballot from the Clerk's office.  Vote to keep Arlington a great place for your family, including your canine family members!  Candidates on the ballot have already been determined for this year, but if your Precinct still has an opening, consider a write-in campaign for Town Meeting Member.  Town Meeting is our legislative body, approving the bylaws that regulate our town.  Contact us with questions and consult the Arlington Town Election link (Clerk's office) for more information.


Future A-DOG Meetings:  Tuesdays, May 26 and October 27 (7:30 - 8:30 pm) Jefferson Cutter House Community Room, Arlington Center.  




Photo (by Monica Bernstein): In honor of our record snowfall, and because we loved this project so much, we are reprinting last month's illustration showing Jessie and some Menotomy Rocks doggies with the MRP Snowdog.  

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 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 or Your Wonderful Dog.
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 and Sue Doctrow

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



Our second  A-DOG meeting  for 2015
A-DOG is having four meetings in 2015. Come join us on Tuesday, March 24 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.  

Future meetings will be in 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 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 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!

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.