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Falmouth, MA

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Falmouth, MA 02541

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Recent Falmouth Enterprise Columns


January 12, 2018
January 5, 2018
December 29, 2017
December 22, 2017

December 15, 2017
December 8, 2017
December 1, 2017
November 24, 2017

 

Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Nancy E. Bennett

Friday, January 12, 2018

Where do your dogs come from? That's one of the questions we frequently answer; our dogs come to us as strays or surrenders.

After a stray dog, who was found in Falmouth, is unclaimed by its owner for seven days, there is a good chance it will enter our program. We give the dog a name and take it to the veterinarian for shots and a checkup. We train as needed and we learn about the dog to determine what would be the best kind of new home for that dog.

For surrenders it is a little different. We have some history on these dogs. We know their name and some of their likes and dislikes.

There are several reasons why dogs are surrendered to us. One of those reasons is because the owner died and there is no family member who can take the dog.

Molly, the 9-year-old shih tzu, came to us with her housemate Patrick for just that reason. Patrick was adopted a couple of months ago, and Molly's turn will be coming soon. We have some wonderful prospects for Molly and by the time this column is published, she may be with her new family.

It is always a good idea to have a plan in place for your pets in case something happens to you. Don't assume a relative will take your pets; check with them. If relatives are not an option, ask a friend.

Upcoming Event

We have a table at Petco on the second Saturday of every month from 10 AM to 2 PM. While we do not bring our dogs to this event, we do have people there who can answer your questions. Stop by and say hello on January 13.

Volunteering

We are always interested in volunteers who have experience with dogs of all sizes. If you are 18 or older and are interested in volunteering, we invite you to visit the shelter and learn more about our program.

Hours

The shelter is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to noon, Sunday from 3 to 5 PM and also on Monday and Thursday from 3 to 5 PM.

 
 

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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Nancy E. Bennett

Friday, January 5, 2018

There are many tips for what to do when you bring an adopted dog into your home, but one of the biggest ones is to discourage visitors for the first few days so your dog is not overwhelmed. Resist the urge to show off your newest family member to everyone you know. Instead give the dog time to adjust to the new environment and its new pack.

For little Molly, the 9-year-old shih tzu, that advice is extra important because she has been reeling from all the changes in her life. Molly is looking for a quiet home with people willing to be patient as she adjusts.

Her foster family says she is playful, sweet and cuddly. Whenever she comes in from outside, she grabs one of her toys and gives it a couple of squeaks. It has become part of her routine.

They also say that Molly received three new toys over the holidays and really enjoys them. She has even been trying to get the other (older) dog in the household to play with her.

Molly loves to go for short walks (her arthritis prevents long ones) and to roam the yard. She enjoys nature and is not daunted by most weather. She loves to romp in the snow.

Molly is on medication for her arthritis, and her breed does require regular grooming. She visits the shelter on Saturdays from 10 AM to noon.

* * *

If you are looking for a dog, the best advice we can give you is to make sure you know the breeds that will work for you. There are many websites that can help you match your lifestyle with breed characteristics. Don't fall for looks—it is personality that matters!

If you are looking for a dog, be sure to read this column, check our website or give us a call, because our census can change quickly. Also, on our website you can see any courtesy listings we might have posted. These are dogs still in their homes who for various reasons are in need of new homes.

Acknowledgments

Thank you to everyone who sent us Christmas cards and dropped off gifts for the dogs and the volunteers. It was all much appreciated!

Volunteering

We are always interested in volunteers who have experience with dogs of all sizes. If you are 18 or older and are interested in volunteering, we invite you to visit the shelter and learn more about our program.

Hours

The shelter is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to noon, Sunday from 3 to 5 PM and also on Monday and Thursday from 3 to 5 PM.

 
 

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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, December 29, 2017

There's a really small, really darling book shop in Chennai, India. It's called Giggles. And we mean small, really small: about 100 square feet. The proprietor, Nalini Chettur, sits outside. In a lawn chair. But it's a fully functioning, respected and respectable purveyor of books (and, in fact, won a booksellers award in 2003).

Closer to home, there's a really small, really darling shih tzu at Friends of Falmouth Dogs. She's called Molly. And she's a fully functioning, fully adorable 9-year-old dog. Fortunately, she is living in a foster home, where she is ensconced until her forever home comes along. This little gal is very shy, very timid and a bit insecure. Abrupt change and lots of activity overwhelm her. She needs a quiet, adult home where someone is around a good deal of the time.

Molly enjoys walking, in good weather and inclement weather (just a little warning there: snow and rain won't necessarily keep her housebound, so make sure you have boots and an umbrella). But because of some arthritis, she won't need long walks. She also enjoys being out in the sunshine. Molly has lived with quiet adult dogs and a cat. We are hoping for a home in the Falmouth area, so that a gradual transition can be made. Molly visits the shelter on Saturdays and can also be seen by appointment.

* * *

We encourage you to either call us or check our website regularly because our census can—and does—change regularly. Who knows, your new "best friend" may be waiting for you one of these days.

* * *

And a great big, heartfelt thank-you to all of you who have supported us throughout the year: donations, food, treats, toys, beds, blankets, cleaning supplies, gift cards, time and encouragement. We're stronger and better and helping more dogs because of you. We hope you'll join us as we head into another year of surprises, challenges and more wonderful stories.

* * *

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 3 to 5. Please stop by and say hello.

* * *

Each dog that comes to our attention throughout the year is important to us—whether they are part of our adoption program, a stray, or a dog in the community needing our help. Each one holds a place in our hearts. So here, once again, we pay tribute to those dogs we were involved with in 2017.

Names of dogs that came to our attention throughout the year.  

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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, December 22, 2017

Pooh said it, and Molly agrees, "Sometimes the smallest things take the most room in your heart."

And that's a fact. Molly is small but she will take up the most room in your heart.

This pretty little shih tzu is 9 years old. She's small and she's timid and it's such a big world out there. But for now, she is safe and cozy in foster care. We know a lot about her because her foster family keeps us updated. We know, for example, that Molly enjoys snuggling with her people, but she is not the type to want to be carried about like an accessory. She prefers "all her feet on the ground." We know she likes laps but wants options.

We also know that Molly can bond with a person but needs time and patience. And a quiet atmosphere. If there is too much going on around her, she will retreat into herself. Therefore, we are looking for a quiet, adult home without children. That home should expect to take her out on walks (even in snow!), so that she can explore the world, but because of some arthritis, shorter walks will be best.

Her ideal home will be one where someone is around much of the time. We are hoping for a home in the Falmouth area, so that a transition can be made gradually. Molly has had enough upheaval in her life. She has lived with quiet, older dogs and with a cat but she also will do well as the only dog in the home.

Molly visits the shelter on Saturdays and can be there by appointment.

* * *

Dog advocates all over the state were encouraged when recent changes were made to the Massachusetts General Laws pertaining to how dogs are kept. The changes became effective November 17, 2016. Here we extract an overview of the new laws, but we urge you to read them for yourself. And remember, the laws to protect dogs cannot be implemented if the authorities are not made aware of the violations. That's where you come in. Individually, we need to act if we know of an animal in distress. Following are just some of the changes:

Section 174E: Chaining or tethering dog to stationary object; confinement; restrictions; penalty:

(a) No person owning or keeping a dog shall chain or tether a dog for longer than 5 hours in a 24-hour period and outside from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., unless the tethering is for not more than 15 minutes and the dog is not left unattended by the owner, guardian or keeper. A tethering employed shall not allow the dog to leave the owner's, guardian's or keeper's property. The tether shall be designed for dogs and no logging chains or other lines or devices not designed for tethering dogs shall be used. No chain or tether shall weigh more than &mfrac18; of the dog's body weight. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a person from walking a dog on a hand-held leash. No dog under the age of 6 months shall be tethered outside for any length of time.

The law then goes on to define the types of pens/enclosures/fences/runs in detail; restrictions about confining dogs outside.

And here's an interesting section:

(d) A person shall not leave a dog outside when a weather advisory, warning or watch is issued by a local, state or federal authority or when outside environmental conditions including, but not limited to, extreme heat, cold, wind, rain, snow or hail pose an adverse risk to the health or safety of the dog based on the dog's breed, age or physical condition, unless the tethering is for not more than 15 minutes.

Moreover, it addresses cruel and inhumane conditions, such as filthy pens, dirty water, noxious odors, dangerous objects and exposure to attack by other animals. Violators can—and should be—punished by fines and/or removal of the animal.

And finally,

A special police officer appointed by the colonel of the state police at the request of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Animal Rescue League of Boston under section 57 of chapter 22C may enforce this section following the same procedures relating to notice and court procedure in section 21D of chapter 40 for the non-criminal disposition of a violation, if an animal control officer contacted by either of these agencies in response to a violation of this section is unresponsive or unavailable.

* * *

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 3 to 5.

We will be closed to the public on Christmas Day.

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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, December 15, 2017

Lest you think the cold weather is hard on the dogs at the shelter, fret not. Why, just the other day—okay, in reality it was during a frigid snap last winter—a volunteer counted 15 blankets in one little dog's kennel. And that was in addition to a crate within the same kennel, also filled with fleece. That dog was so insulated against the cold that she probably needed a fan.

But our no-such-thing-as-too-many-blankets mindset pales in comparison to that of the Tudors. A typical royal bed in winter would be a riot of layers: a bedstead, canvas, featherbed made of the finest down, bolster, fustian, bottom sheet, pillows, cases, top sheet, fustian, quilts, woollen cloth from the Netherlands, damask and counterpoint. Did you get that? Not just one fustian. Two fustians!

Of course, none of this makes any difference to Molly. She's in foster care in a home filled with beds. And love. And attention. This 9-year-old shih tzu is a darling but a very timid little darling. What she lacks in confidence she makes up for in sheer sweetness. Molly needs a quiet home—and we mean quiet—without lots of people in and out. We know she can bond to a family as she has bonded to her foster family, but she needs time and patience to sort things out. Molly is living with a respectful, older dog and seems to enjoy his company. She lived with a cat in her previous life and she will also do well as an only dog.

But, and here's a great big but, don't let her daintiness and girly-girlishness fool you. This gal must have a little Nordic blood somewhere in her DNA because she loves the snow. Actually, her foster family said she loves the weather in general. So apparently she's no fragile little hothouse orchid. Molly does enjoy walking but because of some arthritis, she needs a measured pace. We're hoping for a home in the Falmouth area because we'd like to let her adjust slowly, with visits, as she learns to relax.

And oh, did we tell you? Renee is home for Christmas. She left for her new life earlier this week. We couldn't be happier and we know she couldn't be happier. Renee brought out some wonderful applicants, and the decision was not easy.

* * *

We assume that our readers are dog lovers and are already aware of the dangers of cold weather. But it never hurts to be reminded of cold weather tips to keep your dog safe and healthy. Following is a compilation of tips:

A wellness exam with your vet can rule out any hidden problems, which might be exacerbated by cold temperatures.

Accompany your dog when outside in the cold. Your pet still needs exercise but remember, cold pavement can be felt quicker on paws. Chances are if it's too cold for you outside, it's too cold for your pet. Some breeds, especially those with thick coats, can tolerate cold temperatures better and longer than small breeds, short-coated breeds, and very young and senior dogs. But all dogs should have warm, protected shelter.

Dogs can lose their scenting ability in snow and ice. Make sure your dog is tagged whenever it's outside.

If you live near water—a pond or lake, for example—be extra vigilant when it's cold enough to freeze over. The dangers are obvious.

Wipe your pet's paws after walking outdoors. They may have picked up salt on their pads, especially after walking on sidewalks. Many salt compounds used to treat roads are toxic to dogs.

Go shopping! Sweaters and coats abound in pet stores. Just make sure the clothing isn't restrictive for the pet. But even when wearing a coat, a dog's extremities are exposed to the cold and subject to frostbite.

And perhaps the most important tip of all: If you see a pet in distress, please notify your local animal control department. In Falmouth, the number is 508-457-2552. If the situation is an emergency, please call the police. The authorities can't help unless they're made aware of the situation.

* * *

We're looking for volunteers for two shifts in particular: the Thursday afternoon shift from 3 to 5 (which will revert to 4 to 6 when Daylight Saving starts in March), and the Friday afternoon shift from 4 to 5. If you would like to consider joining us, those are the times we could best use you.

* * *

We are open 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.

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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, December 8, 2017

Is there anything cuter than a picture of Santa and a dog? We think not. Well, maybe add two really cute kids. Yeah, maybe that's cuter.

And there was a whole lot of cuteness going on last weekend with our Pet Photos with Santa fundraiser. And because the venue (Waquoit Congregational Church through the generosity of the Reverend Nell Fields), the photographer's skills (Brenda Sharp) and Santa's time were all donated, every cent we made benefits our medical fund. Thank you to Joe Yukna of Dogman Dog Training in Mashpee for giving us his time at the event. Thank you to all who turned out. And special thanks to Falmouth Pet Center, which donated gift bags chock-full of fun things that were handed out to all the pets who came to "see" Santa.

And speaking of cute, Molly's visit with Santa was cuteness to the nth degree. And beyond. Molly is a sweet and gentle 9-year-old shih tzu who is in foster care. She is also a very timid, insecure little gal. For that reason, we are looking for a very special home for her; one where she can learn to relax, be confident and enjoy being a dog. Her foster family has stressed that Molly is very shy when she meets new people; she also gets nervous in crowds of people (which could mean even just four or five). Her new home will need to exercise lots of patience as Molly learns to settle in. She has had several upheavals in the past couple of months and is trying her very best to adjust.

The ideal home will most likely be a single adult with a quiet life and someone who is around much of the time. She is not familiar with children, so we won't be placing her in a home with children, even older children. Her original owner was an older man, so she tends to warm up to men a little quicker. Her breed needs regular grooming, which should be a factor to consider in adopting her. Molly enjoys walking but, because of some arthritis, her exercise needs to be tailored to her. We are hoping to find a home in the Falmouth area, so that we can introduce Molly to her new family and surroundings on a gradual basis, to give her time to acclimate and get to know the family.

As you can see, her foster family knows so much about this little girl that will help us find her the ideal home. Molly will be at the shelter this Saturday from 10 AM to noon. Call us if you'd like to meet Molly but cannot be there Saturday.

And then there's Renee! Who is not at all like Molly. Renee is young and big and lively and full of herself. An 11-month-old husky/shepherd mix with ice blue eyes, she's still pretty much a puppy and needs exercise, training, consistency, training, someone around much of the time, and more training. And more exercise. Renee exhibits separation anxiety and will chew inappropriately if left alone too long. Proper redirection, exercise, patience and guidance should all help reduce this behavior. She enjoys jogging, and one of our volunteers said she caught on quickly and kept pace with him. She is still showing lots of puppy behaviors, such as jumping and mouthing, so we're looking for an adult home, or one with older teenagers. That home will have someone around much of the time.

* * *

And in our next "where are they now" installment, we will share the latest update from one of our happy adopters. Remember the little Chihuahua from a few months ago? Here's just some of what his new family has reported:

"Rocco enjoys everything around him. He has been GREAT on the jobs I take him to: outside maintenance, landscaping, painting. We can't thank you enough on how wonderful Rocco has made our lives. He is the best."

Aw, shucks, we just love hearing things like that!

* * *

We've had several strays in and out of the shelter recently. We're always happy when they get reunited with their families and don't have to spend the night at the shelter, which is not easy for many dogs. And the quickest way to reunite dog and owner is if the dog is wearing an ID tag with a current phone number. That's a not-so-subtle reminder to make sure your dog is tagged.

* * *

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.

 

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Falmouth Enterprise Archived Column

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Friday, December 1, 2017

They call it Eleanor blue. It was coined to describe the color of one of the four inaugural gowns that Eleanor Roosevelt would wear in the four terms of her husband's presidency. Eleanor blue is an especially lovely ice blue, almost other-worldly and certainly mesmerizing.

We call it Renee blue, and we coined it to describe the color of our newest resident's eyes. Renee is an 11-month-old husky/shepherd mix with the most startling, ice-blue eyes imaginable. Paired with the color of her coat, the effect is unexpected and quite beautiful. Because of her size, it's hard to remember that she is still a puppy. Renee is a bundle of energy, vitality, curiosity and affection. Renee loves people. She is still a work in progress but is very responsive to training. We've had volunteers take her on miles-long walks/runs and she is simply thriving with the exercise. She still has puppy behaviors, which includes chewing inappropriate objects, some mouthing and some jumping. Because of her size, we won't place her in a home with small children. She also exhibits some separation anxiety, so the ideal home will be an adult, active, athletic home where someone is around a good deal of the time. She pulls a bit on leash, but that's to be expected. Renee has proven to be a most popular young gal.

Molly, who is in foster care, is learning day by day, week by week, how to mingle in the world and deal with its inhabitants. She is a wee little shih tzu, 9 years old, and very, very sweet. Molly came from a loving, protected, quiet environment and is living in a foster home with a quiet, gentle dog. High energy, drama and noise are not her cup of tea. When faced with strangers, she will usually seek the comfort of her foster family. But she is improving all the time and her confidence is growing bit by bit. Molly needs a quiet, patient adult home with perhaps a single person and perhaps another quiet dog. She has lived with a cat. Her foster family says that she seems to love this autumn weather, and "she likes the breezes and checking to see what might be under the leaves." Molly will have a spa day this week to ready her for her Pet Photo With Santa tomorrow. Molly visits the shelter on Saturdays and can also be seen by appointment.

And that brings us to this very busy weekend:

Tomorrow, Saturday, we are hosting a Pet Photos With Santa from 11 AM to 1 PM at Waquoit Congregational Church on Route 28. Cost is $10 per photo and all proceeds benefit our veterinary fund. Your photos will be ready in plenty of time for the holidays.

And Sunday, December 3, is the annual Falmouth Christmas Parade. We will be partnering again with The Black Dog of Falmouth as we march. We invite all of you, with leashed dogs and without dogs, to join us. It's a slow, easy walk that offers tons of fun. We will be meeting on Dillingham Avenue (behind the Gus Canty Community Center). The parade steps off at noon but those of you with dogs can line up with us closer to 11:30. Please remember to bring doggy waste bags with you and water if you think your pet will need it. If there are any last-minute changes, you can check our website for details.

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.

 

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