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Recent Falmouth Enterprise Columns

November 10, 2017
November 3, 2017
October 27, 2017
October 20, 2017

October 13, 2017
October 6, 2017
September 29, 2017
September 22, 2017


Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, November 10, 2017

"Habits of the heart." That's what de Tocqueville called them. His frame of reference was the success—or failure—of the future of democracy in the United States after his visit here in the 1830s. He opined that our democracy's future depended on habits of the heart and how those habits were forged and by whom. He wasn't necessarily talking about feelings and emotions, but about character, imagination, senses, and intuition. It's all very complicated and intellectual stuff.

We also call them habits of the heart. But our reference is pretty straightforward: developing and nurturing a tender heart for all creatures. Wherever we find them. However we can help.

We turn our focus to Dusty, the 6-ish-year-old schnoodle (part poodle/part mini schnauzer). Dusty lives his life in terms of absolutes. He absolutely loves people. He absolutely loves playing. He absolutely loves walking, rain or shine. He absolutely loves mealtime. He absolutely would love a home of his own.

Over the past week or so, volunteers have taken this little 6-year-old schnoodle home for playdates and slumber parties. Each person simply raves about his house manners. One host introduced him to her own dog, a dowager of great presence. Dusty respected her position and her age and was very deferential. Later, during his walk along Main Street, this little guy interacted appropriately with strangers who stopped to say hi. She went on to report, "Dustin is a very curious dog and loves to explore and loves to walk. He happily did everything I asked him to do." Doesn't get much better than that.

Dusty seems fine with cats. Because he harbors a typical terrier temperament, we think Dusty will do best in a home with adults or teenagers.

Rookie is our Number-One Lab. He tops a list of one. He's a majority of one. He's one of a kind. This handsome, young adult is full of exuberance and energy. He grabs life by both paws and runs with it. He also runs after tennis balls and sometimes brings them back. And sometimes not. He loves swimming, so volunteers regularly take him to local ponds for his aquatic adventures. He really is a beautiful, graceful sight in the water. As you would expect in a Lab, Rookie is in his element when in the water.

Rookie is a very strong and very determined dog, so he needs a strong owner and lots of training and lots of exercise. But he is a good student and very smart. He enjoys the company of other dogs but because of his size and strength (he's 90-plus pounds), he would be too much for small, shy dogs.

He is learning how to behave politely in a house but needs more experience. Of course, we're looking for a permanent home for him but in the meantime, we are also looking for a foster home that could work on his house manners. When you foster, you provide the love and routine; we provide for everything else, including the training.

Molly, the 9-year-old shih tzu, continues to gain confidence in her foster home. She's living with an older dog who's been around the block a few times, and we're sure she feels protected with him looking out for her. Her foster home is quiet and her routine is predictable. Molly needs both elements in place to feel secure. She also needs patience. She needs time to form a bond, but once formed, that bond will be solid.

Molly enjoys her strolls but doesn't need long walks (she's no Dusty!) as she is a tad arthritic. She has lived with a cat. An adult home with a quiet atmosphere will suit her to a "T." She probably would do well in a home with another low-key dog. Molly usually visits the shelter on Saturday and can visit by appointment.

* * *

November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month. And while two of our dogs available for adoption don't qualify, we still want to remind you how wonderful senior pets can be. They're usually calmer, fully trained, reserved, grateful, and what you see is what you get in terms of size and temperament. We encourage you to consider adopting the seniors. You will be richly rewarded. You're not just saving a life; you're enhancing two lives—yours and your new pet's.

* * *

If you have an hour a week and would like to fill that hour with delight, fun and purpose, we could use your help. We have several afternoon hourlong shifts that could use an extra volunteer to help walk the dogs. These shifts run from 4 to 5 and are not open to the public. We are just there to feed, walk and play with the dogs. Tuesdays and Saturdays are in particular need. Give us a call if you'd like more information.

* * *

Quick reminder: Pet Photos With Santa is planned for Saturday, December 2, from 11 AM to 1 PM at the Waquoit Congregational Church. The $10 cost fully benefits our medical fund. (And there will be cookies for you and your dogs!)

And the very next day, Sunday, December 3, we are partnering with the Black Dog of Falmouth to march in the Falmouth Christmas Parade. This is pure fun and an easy walk. You are welcome to join us with or without a dog. Details will follow closer to the event.

* * *

We are at the shelter seven days a week: Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to noon; Sunday from 3 to 5 PM: and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3 to 5. Note the new afternoon hours.


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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, November 3, 2017

Do what you can with what you have where you are.

Teddy Roosevelt told us to do that. Well, actually, he didn't really tell us to do that, but he did say the words, and we know he meant everyone should and could do just that. So that's what we're doing. And what we have been doing for the past 27-plus years.

And right now we're doing it with Rookie, Dusty and Molly.

We're doing it with volunteers, clean safe kennels, nutritious food, and lots and lots of exercise and mental stimulation for the dogs.

And the dogs just love it.

Rookie seems to smile a lot because he loves it so much. Of course, he'd love a permanent home and permanent family even more, but Rookie is a pragmatist and living in the moment.

He is a handsome, young, healthy, active Lab. He's big and friendly. He loves chasing tennis balls. He also loves swimming in ponds, walking on the bike path, and going for car rides. Rookie is a novice when it comes to the social graces but he's learning how to behave in a home environment, thanks to the volunteers who take him for outings to their homes. But he's still kinda clumsy in the home.

Rookie is smart and seems to enjoy learning new things. Because he is so big and strong, we are looking for a strong, experienced owner(s) who are home a lot and will include him in family life. Teens and older children would be fine but Rookie would probably be too exuberant for little children. Not ready to adopt but itching to help? We are also looking for a foster home to teach Rookie the basics about manners in the house. We will provide for the training.

If Dusty were candy, he'd be a chocolate-covered cherry. His prickly-looking "outer" belies his gooey, cuddly "inner." Okay, maybe the analogy isn't very good, but he is a sweet, sweet little guy, when he's not busy being busy. And volunteers have seen his affection grow in direct proportion to the amount of affection he gets.

Dusty is an adult schnoodle—part mini-schnauzer and part poodle. His coat comprises wiry little stalagmites of hair, so he always looks as if he just came in from the wind. Or a particularly late night out with the boys. Dusty is small and very, very portable. He fits in most laps and doggie car seats.

He can be trusted with soft, squeaky toys without chewing them apart and he keeps his kennel pretty neat. But he's got attitude, so he needs an owner who won't melt when looking at his little face. An owner who can take charge and let him just enjoy being a dog. Because Dusty loves exercise, we're looking for a home that will give him plenty of walks and maybe a few jogs. He's fine meeting other dogs but sometimes gets a little bossy. He seems comfortable around cats.

Molly is a 9-year-old shih tzu in foster care. A timid soul with a sensitive nature, change is not easy for her, so she will need patience while adjusting to a new home. She adores her foster family, whom she's known for about a month, so we know she can bond with new people, given time. She communicates with tiny noises and gentle taps.

Molly is bit arthritic, so she needs help going up and down stairs. But she doesn't weigh much, so it's doable. She enjoys her walks and also likes to toodle around her fenced-in yard in the sunshine. She is living with another dog right now—an older, very respectful dog—but she also will do well as an only dog. Molly has lived with a cat. A quiet, adult home would be best because of her shyness.

* * *

We thought you'd like to hear from the family of another of our alumni. Hearing wonderful reports about successful adoptions never gets old. Here's the latest. Oh, and it answers the age-old question: "Who rescued whom?"

Good afternoon wonderful volunteers!

Scout is absolutely loving his new home, and we are loving him! We've discovered he is Mr. Personality! He loves the car, loves to try and steal a bite off your plate, loves to be a part of selfies, and loves to cuddle!

We're so thankful to have had the opportunity to adopt from Friends of Falmouth Dogs. Scout really rescued US!!!

* * *

Looking for something to do the first weekend in December?

Why not join us on Saturday, December 2, for Pet Photos With Santa? Santa will be at the Waquoit Congregational Church on Route 28 from 11 AM to 1 PM. Cost is $10 per photo and you will receive a lovely image of your pet just in time for Christmas. The church, Santa and the photographer are donating the venue and their talents, so all proceeds will benefit our medical fund.

The next day, Sunday, December 3, we will again be partnering with The Black Dog of Falmouth in the Falmouth Christmas Parade. Everyone is welcome to march with us—with dogs or without. The route is a slow, easy mile or so to the Village Green. The parade steps off at noon. We will give more details about when and where to join us as the date nears.

* * *

We are at the shelter seven days a week: Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to noon; Sunday from 3 to 5 PM; and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3 to 5. Please note the new Monday and Thursday afternoon hours, which will go into effect this coming Monday, November 6, because Daylight Saving ends.


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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, October 27, 2017

So there he was, standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, when such a fine....

Oh wait, that wasn't Rookie at all. It was someone totally different. Rookie is still with us at the shelter.

But he is such a fine sight to see. He's a young, handsome, healthy Lab who wants nothing more than a home of his own. In Winslow, Arizona, or Falmouth. He won't care where as long as it comes with a family to love him. Rookie is catching up with his house manners and is a quick study. Volunteers have brought him to their homes on several afternoons to work on this and he is learning what is appropriate etiquette. Jumping up on counters is not; sitting with "all four paws on the floor" is.

Rookie is smart and likes to learn. He is very strong on a leash, so will need a strong handler. He is a bit obsessed about tennis balls but we are using that heightened interest to teach him how to "leave it," a very handy tool.

Rookie enjoys the company of other dogs but because he is big (90-plus pounds) and exuberant, he can prove to be too much for smaller, shy dogs.

We are looking for a home for him where someone is around much of the time. In the meantime, we are looking for a foster home to help him acclimate to living in a house. We will provide for the training. But for now, every night when the sun goes down, he's just another lonely boy in town. We're hoping that will change for him.

Meanwhile, we're hoping Dusty doesn't feel as if he's checked into the Hotel California, 'cause we all know what happens there. Dusty is our schnoodle—a mix of poodle and mini-schnauzer. He is quirky and lively and smart and busy. Always busy. Although he's quite small at 13 pounds, he packs a huge punch in attitude. We hope Dusty keeps thinking he's the new kid in town and that everybody's talking 'bout the new kid in town because everybody loves him. Don't they? We certainly do.

Dusty needs an adult home with a routine, lots of exercise, and a strong leader (not strong in the physical sense but in the leadership sense). And although he enjoys other dogs, he'd prefer to be the star of that home and not share it with another dog.

So, to reprise with a little more help from the Eagles, we're hoping that these dogs find that peaceful, easy feelin' in peaceful, easy homes. We won't let them down.

* * *

Candy plus costumes must mean it's Halloween. But Halloween also means open doors as trick-or-treaters show up, and all of this can be stressful—or even harmful—to your pet. Please remember that dogs can be spooked by masks and costumes; candy is toxic to dogs; and open doors make it easier for a frightened dog to bolt. So to be safe, if you get lots of little witches and goblins arriving on your doorstep, make sure your dogs (and cats) are safely contained in a room away from the action. Maybe turn the radio on, watch a movie, or sit and read to your pet. But keep them safe. And you might want to walk your dog either before the trick-or-treaters start their rounds, or after everything is over.

* * *

Save the dates:

Saturday, December 2, Pet Photos With Santa at the Waquoit Congregational Church.

Sunday, December 3, Falmouth Christmas Parade where we will be partnering with the Black Dog of Falmouth.

Details will be furnished in upcoming columns and will also be available on our website.

* * *

We are at the shelter Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to noon; Sunday from 3 to 5 PM; and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 4 to 6. When Daylight Saving ends on Sunday, November 5, our Monday and Thursday afternoon hours will change to 3 to 5 PM.

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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, October 20, 2017

An author we only recently stumbled across writes of his journey to find a home. In his journey that is both practical and spiritual, Scott Russell Sanders says there is no reason to look for a home unless you're lost. And he felt lost. "I have been lost, in ways no map could remedy....If I am to have a home, it can only be a place I have come to as an adult...."

And except for rare exceptions, most dogs that end up in shelters are adult dogs looking to obviate that search that no map can remedy: A forever home. A forever family. We, as well as shelters across the globe, help these dogs on their journeys "home."

Depending on us right now are Rookie and Dusty.

Rookie is a young Lab. He's big and friendly and sometimes goofy. He loves to chase tennis balls; he loves other dogs; he loves his bedtime snack. And he loves to swim. Several volunteers have taken him swimming in local ponds, where Rookie is in his element: 100 percent Lab in every way. He virtually grins with happiness in and near the water. He likes it even more when there's a swimming partner in the pond with him.

Rookie is learning nice leash manners and is trying very hard to learn house manners. He means no disrespect in a home; he's just so excited to be there that he bounces around the room. He knows how to sit, lie down and "leave it" (a generally useful command for any dog).

Because of his size and exuberance, we're looking for an adult home or one with older teenagers who are familiar with big, bouncy dogs. We'd like that home to have someone around much of the time. Rookie gets lonely. In the meantime, we are looking for a foster home where Rookie could learn house manners (in an actual house!) to prepare him for a permanent home. We will provide for the training.

Dusty is as small as Rookie is big. Dusty is a 6-year-old schnoodle (mini-schnauzer-poodle blend). He's delightful and affectionate and engaging. And bossy and busy and smart. In short, he's a terrier.

A few days ago, Dusty spent the day with a volunteer in her home. She reports he was perfect. What she actually said is "He was absolutely perfect!" He spent much of the day outside, walking along the harbor, enjoying the sun, and meeting dogs and people. He really likes his walks.

Dusty needs an adult home where he can relax and let his family make the decisions. He needs to understand that he's not in charge. We think he will thrive as the only dog in the home, so that he can be the focus of attention.

* * *

We've got several fun events planned.

On Saturday, December 2, we will be holding Pet Photos with Santa. The event will be at the Waquoit Congregational Church, with a professional photographer and a "professional" Santa. Details will be furnished in this column and on our website as we get closer to the event.

That same weekend, on Sunday, December 3, we are again partnering with the Black Dog of Falmouth to participate in the annual Falmouth Christmas Parade. All our friends and supporters are encouraged to march with us—with or without a dog. This year, to make things easier for some dogs, we will have a classic car that dogs can ride in, and we will also have a dog carriage. Details will be listed in subsequent columns.

Please join us for these two events if you can.

* * *

The 2018 calendar is on sale now. Fifteen dollars will get you a million dollars of cuteness. Just look at the cover accompanying this column. We dare you to look at it and not say "awwwww."

* * *

We are at the shelter Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to noon; Sunday from 3 to 5 PM; and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 4 to 6. Don't be a stranger!

* * *

An early reminder: Daylight Saving ends on Sunday, November 5. This will mean a change in our afternoon shifts. Starting on November 6, our afternoon hours will be 3 to 5 PM on Mondays and Thursdays.

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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, October 13, 2017

There was actually an online survey recently seeking respondents' favorite numbers. Many thousands of people weighed in. We're not sure why, but there you have it; the survey exists. And according to the survey's originator (a British mathematician), the winning number is no surprise: seven. Poor little old 110 didn't even get one vote. In-between, other favorites were 3.14 and 1.618 (guess who voted for those). Forty-two was pretty popular. And number three came in at number two.

If we were pressed to name our favorite number, we'd say we have two favorites. Our first would be whatever number of dogs we have at the shelter at any given time. Our second favorite number would be zero. That is the number of dogs we'd like to see in shelters needing homes.

So right now our favorite number is four (which came in fourth in the survey, by the way), because we have four dogs looking for forever homes: Rookie, Dusty, Molly and Patrick.

Rookie is a young, big, healthy male Labrador retriever. He has a beautiful face and a sweet expression. He's smart and happy and seemingly always ready to play ball. We know he needs a lot of training, patience, routine and exercise, but frankly, we're surprised he's still at the shelter. Rookie must have had a rough start in life, with little socialization, no leash training and certainly no training in house manners. But in the right home, he will be a truly fantastic dog. He is learning his "schooling lessons" at the shelter just as quickly as he can and he is an earnest student.

Rookie really enjoys the company of other dogs, but, because of his size and exuberance, if he goes into a home with another dog, that dog would have to be strong and lively, too. And if you're not in a position to adopt a dog but would like to help Rookie, we are also looking for a foster home to teach him house manners until his forever home comes along. We will provide for all the training.

Dusty is a typical terrier mix of bravado, confidence and intelligence. He also has the terrier bossiness, curiosity and zest for life. Dusty is a 6-year-old schnoodle (mini-schnauzer and poodle), who is small, agile and wildly haired. He loves his walks but he also loves hanging in the office with volunteers. He plays with toys appropriately and doesn't seem to be destructive, even with soft, squeaky items. We think Dusty will do best in an adult home or one with older teenagers who will understand that he needs to learn that he's not in charge.

In foster care are Molly and Patrick.

Molly is an 8-year-old shih tzu. Still somewhat shy with strangers, she is getting more comfortable every week with her visits to the shelter. In fact, last Saturday, she spent much of the shift on a volunteer's lap. She will give you kisses with very little coaxing and has learned to ask for attention. Recently, she tapped, ever so gently, the arm of her foster mom for a little cuddle. Or maybe to tell her it was time for dinner. We're not sure. Molly enjoys her walks, but is not a marathoner by any means.

Patrick is an almost-11-year-old Lhasa apso. Food doesn't seem to be as important to him as it does to other dogs, and, in fact, at breakfast time, he often sleeps later than the others in the foster home. But that's okay, because he's trained the family to hold his meal until he's ready. Hmm. According to his foster family, Patrick "has a dose of independence, a smidgeon of stubbornness, and some sweetness thrown in." Sounds like a recipe for a fantastic little creature. Which he is. Patrick and Molly are living in a home with another dog and doing quite well. And Patrick would also do well with a cat as a roommate. We are looking for an adult home for this little guy.

Molly and Patrick visit the shelter every Saturday and by appointment.

* * *

We never tire of hearing how our dogs are doing in their new homes, and we thought you'd like to hear about them, too. So, from time to time, we will share some of the lovely things we hear about the former shelter dogs.

This is an e-mail we got not long ago from a family who adopted the Australian shepherd named Sis, who, by the way, appears in our 2018 calendar.

"We'd be honored to have her pic taken. Anything to emphasize the good work you're all doing, and to recognize that older dogs are deserving of a second chance in life. Name the day. We're available anytime.

"We renamed Sis 'Gracie,' BTW, simply to reflect how grateful we are that she's come into our lives. We went to the vet's for a booster Lyme vaccination, and she told us that we all were a good match. I give the credit and thanks to you guys.


* * *

And just a reminder: our 2018 calendars are hot off the press and ready for purchase. At $15 each, they are a treat for the eye as each page features a real cutie that went through our shelter into a new home.

* * *

Don't forget the rabies clinic on Saturday, October 14, from 1 to 2:30 PM at the animal control center in West Falmouth. Cost is $10 per vaccination and the clinic is open to dogs and cats. All animals should be leashed or in carriers.

* * *

We are at the shelter Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to noon; Sunday from 3 to 5 PM; and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 4 to 6 PM.


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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, October 6, 2017

There are lots of things that are hard to do.

Cleaning out the garage.

Crossing the Bourne Bridge on July 4.

Explaining Fermat's last theorem. Understanding Fermat's last theorem.

And there are lots of things that are easy to do.

Eating ice cream.

Laughing with friends.

Eating ice cream.

And there are some things that are very, very easy to do.

Loving a dog. That's it. Simply loving a dog.

We know that not everyone is in a position to adopt a dog at any given time, but shelters everywhere would welcome your time. So you can still simply love a dog. And, as someone we admire once said, "A lap is a terrible thing to waste." So please consider volunteering your time and skills at a shelter near you. (And in case you're asking, we're in West Falmouth.)

And we've got several dogs just waiting to be loved by you.

Rookie is a young male Lab. At 90-plus pounds, he's a big guy, and because he is untrained, he will require a strong handler. Rookie is an extremely handsome boy with the sweet, sweet expression that is the hallmark of Labs. He loves chasing balls, he likes his walks, he enjoys sitting near you, he enjoys his food—well, he pretty much enjoys all that life has to offer. What he really needs is training, routine, patience and exposure to living in a house. At the moment, he galumphs around the house, knocking things off tables, you know, just in case they're something to eat or play with. But volunteers have been taking him home and showing him how to act like a gentleman in a home. And he's learning how to act properly. Right now, he still acts like a puppy in new situations, getting into everything.

Rookie loves playing with other dogs and that is a wonderful outlet for his energy. Several volunteers have brought their own dogs by to play with him, which breaks up his day nicely. He also went swimming (on a long leash) in a local pond. Nailed it! His ideal home will be one where someone is around much of the time and will commit to training. In the meantime, we would love to find a foster home where he can be acclimated properly to house manners. We will provide for the training.

Dusty has been loving all the attention he's been getting. This 6-year-old schnoodle (part schnauzer, part poodle) is all terrier temperament. He's compact, quick, lively, a little bossy and very opinionated. Dusty also enjoys being with other dogs. He also really enjoys people, laps and all the attention he can get. Dusty needs an active home where he can get the exercise he so loves. Because he's bossy, a home with adults or older children is preferred.

And then we have Patrick and Molly, two dogs living in a foster home, or as they might think of it, vacationing at a bed & breakfast. And, as in a B&B, these two dogs get their meals free, their beds made, and room service, and their entertainment is provided by the management.

Patrick is an almost-11-year-old Lhasa apso. Patrick is a pretty independent sort and prefers doing things himself. He doesn't like to be picked up to spend time on your lap. No sirree. He prefers sitting in the sun, preferably near a window, until it's time to venture out for a walk. After a nice brisk walk, he likes to wander around the yard (so a fenced-in yard would be on his bucket list). Patrick lived with a cat and would probably love to have another cat in his life in his new home. Patrick also likes to have access to a cozy, secret spot where he can snooze uninterrupted.

Molly, an 8-year-old shih tzu, on the other hand, simply loves attention. She can be a little timid around new people, but that doesn't last long. Molly does have some joint issues, so she needs help going up and down stairs, but she's small enough to carry. She, too, enjoys her walks.

Patrick and Molly visit the shelter every Saturday and by appointment. So if you can't make it to the shelter on Saturday, give us a call and we'll try to arrange another day to suit your schedule.

* * *

Found! We are happy to say that the lost Jindo mix we mentioned last week is now home with her family.

* * *

Our 2018 calendars are in and they are fabulous. Just fabulous. They feature some of our beauties in "selfies" of a sort. Cost is $15 and they are available at the shelter. Proceeds, of course, help our program, but by purchasing a calendar, you're doing so much more. You're guaranteeing a smile every time you flip to another month.

* * *

A rabies clinic will be held at the Falmouth Animal Control Center in West Falmouth on Saturday, October 14, from 1 to 2:30 PM. Cost is $10. Both cats and dogs are welcome but should either be in carriers or on leash.

* * *

We are at the shelter Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to noon; Sunday from 3 to 5 PM; and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 4 to 6.


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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, September 29, 2017

Our sweetest moments are spent tending to the dogs in our care. Watching them relax or watching them heal, or trust, or thrive, depending on their needs. And then watching them get adopted by families that will continue to care for them. It never grows old.

And we have four such dogs to tend and to help; each has its own story: Dusty, Rookie, Patrick and Molly. And they couldn't be more different.

Dusty is a 6-year-old terrier mix. Most likely a blend of mini schnauzer and poodle, he's small (about 13 pounds) and feisty and confident. Dusty's coat always looks like he was caught in the rain. And speaking of rain, and wind, Dusty didn't mind the recent awful weather. He actually enjoyed his walks every bit as much as usual. There's that terrier temperament again: disturbed by very little. Because he's bossy, we are looking for a home with adults or older children. And no other pets. He's fine playing with dogs but he tends to get overexcited and doesn't always read their signals, which can become annoying to some dogs.

Rookie is a young Lab. Completely untrained in the finer etiquette of life, Rookie needs an owner with patience who will show him consistency, routine, training and love. A fenced-in yard would be ideal to burn off some of his energy running after tennis balls. Like all young dogs, he needs lots of exercise, and he is learning leash manners. We are looking for a home where someone is around much of the time. That home should be experienced with large, strong, untrained, lively dogs. In the meantime, we are doing some in-home training sessions hosted by various volunteers and a trainer is working on setting limits and working on his house manners. We would welcome experienced applicants who are interested in fostering Rookie and continuing his in-home training. Rookie seems to get along well with other dogs but might prefer to be the star of a new family. He's very big and very strong, so an adult home or one with older teenagers is best.

Patrick and Molly round out our census. Both of these dogs are in foster care and visit the shelter most Saturdays and other days by appointment or by chance. And both were recently groomed and look fabulous.

Patrick, a Lhasa apso (at 21 pounds, a large Lhasa apso!), will turn 11 in November. Wouldn't it be fitting if he could celebrate his birthday in a new home? Patrick is living in a foster home with two other dogs and doing quite well. His foster family also thinks he really likes cats and would do well in a home with a cat. He is active and enjoys his walks, but also needs a hidey-hole to curl up in when the spirit moves him. He, too, enjoyed all the wonderful scents borne on the wind last week.

Molly is an 8-year-old shih tzu. And a dainty eater, apparently. She prefers to eat her meals from a plate. Doesn't have to be fine bone china, but it does have to be a plate. No metal or plastic bowls for this little girl. Molly sometimes exhibits a little stage fright when in the presence of new people, but she is very comfortable in her foster home now and will follow her people around the house. Because she is not always obvious with her plea for attention, a family will need to initiate that affection and attention.

* * *

UPDATE: She has been found and is home safe! Lost Dog: A small white Jindo mix bolted from her new home just hours after she arrived. Please don't approach her—she is terrified of people. Call 508-274-3535 or 508-457-2552.

* * *

Please join us Saturday, September 30, at the Waquoit Congregational Church on Route 28 for the annual Blessing of the Animals. The event runs from 10 to 11 AM and all animals are welcome. Just be sure that they are safely restrained, either by leash or carrier.

* * *

A rabies clinic will be conducted on Saturday, October 14, from 1 to 2:30 PM at the Falmouth Animal Control facility in West Falmouth. Open to dogs and cats, the rabies vaccinations are $10. All animals should be leashed or in carriers.

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We have two fun events scheduled for December: Pet Photos With Santa and a marching contingent with the Black Dog in the Falmouth Christmas Parade. We hope you'll join us for both. Details will be furnished in future columns.

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We are at the shelter Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to noon; Sunday from 3 to 5 PM; and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 4 to 6.


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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, September 22, 2017

Irish poet W.B. Yeats gives us a poignant image of old age, laced with, well, laced with poetic tenderness. Here we present his words on aging, which we tweaked for a more dog-centric flair. But we're pretty sure that's what Yeats meant anyway.

When you are old and grey and full of sleep

And nodding by the fire, think back to when

your days were new and you were young

and all the world was filled with love and, too, of fun.

Your dog will one day be a senior dog. Or maybe already is. And as dogs age, bringing with it many changes in their bodies and minds, their care should also change. There are many ways to address these changes and keep your older dog happy and healthy. We checked around and here's what we learned:

1) Because older dogs tend to sleep more, beds should be soft and plentiful. Memory foam as a base and extra blankets for cushioning will help old, arthritic bones. Extra beds scattered around the house will make it easier for a tired dog to find a ready place to nap.

2) Entering and exiting cars and climbing stairs may be more difficult, so ramps might be required. Making things easier to navigate means your dog can still accompany you as before. Their desire to be with you won't change.

3) They may be more susceptible to fluctuations in temperature, especially in summer and deepest winter. During hot weather, walk them early or late, when it's usually coolest. In winter, of course, a coat or sweater and briefer walks will protect them.

4) Exercise is still important, but the walks will be shorter and slower. If your dog has always been a ball chaser, there's no reason to quit. Perhaps throw the ball a little closer and end the game a little earlier.

5) The type of food, the amount of food and the frequency of feedings may all need adjustment. A senior dog's nutritional needs usually change but this is where you should consult your vet before making drastic alterations. Also, helping your dog maintain a healthy weight is crucial.

6) In general, senior dogs will develop many of the conditions humans do, which include either a loss of vision or reduced eyesight, hearing loss, arthritis and general aches and pains. Accommodations should be made for these limitations and your senior dog should be handled more gently and patiently.

These simple, practical steps will help guide your dog through its senior years.

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That's not to say our current dogs are old. Not by a long shot. Our two in residence are young and youngish.

Rookie is a young male Lab. Large and boisterous, he is full of energy, exuberance and seems bursting with good cheer. We don't think he has spent much time in a home environment, so has not had a chance to develop house manners. Windowsills, table tops and furniture are all targets for exploring, according to Rookie. We are introducing him to some lessons in a home environment under the tutelage of a trainer and some volunteers. Because Rookie really craves the company of people, he should be a willing student. Rookie loves to run after tennis balls, which helps burn off energy and also helps build a bond with whoever is throwing the ball. And when that game is done, he will line up balls in a straight, neat row, then bury them in the sand one by one. And if you're really, really lucky, he will present a sand-and-drool-covered tennis ball right into your lap.

Dusty is about 6. This terrier mix (mini-schnauzer plus wild card?) has a pure terrier temperament. He's sure of himself, smart and bossy. But Dusty is also a little needy and sometimes seeks the reassurance of a lap and two arms. He weighs around 13 pounds, but believe us, he be

We remind you to watch our website as we're expecting a couple of new (small) dogs to join our census soon.

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Please join us Saturday, September 30, at the Waquoit Congregational Church on Route 28 for the annual Blessing of the Animals. The event runs from 10 AM to noon—and all animals are welcome! Just be sure that they are safely restrained, either by leash or carrier. It's always a wonderful event.

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We'd like to express our gratitude for last week's successful Antique Appraisal event that benefited our medical fund. Because Atria Woodbriar Place donated the venue and spectacular refreshments, and Michael Kasparian donated his expertise in giving the appraisals, all the proceeds are profits and will help our shelter dogs with their medical problems and also help replenish our Pet Assistance Fund. And a huge thank-you to all of you who brought your treasures for appraisal. Please know that you are helping shelter dogs, too.

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We are at the shelter Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to noon; Sunday from 3 to 5 PM; and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 4 to 6.


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