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Byline: BEN SWAN

Like many dogs that wind up in area animal shelters, the bulldog mix with the soft, trusting eyes has at least two names. And like many bully breeds -- neglected, abused and abandoned -- this sweet dog is a survivor.

Officially, the 2-year-old canine is known as Audrey. But Nan Hack calls her Mama.

Hack, the Santa Fe animal shelter's veterinarian veterinarian /vet·er·i·nar·i·an/ (vet?er-i-nar´e-an) a person trained and authorized to practice veterinary medicine and surgery; a doctor of veterinary medicine.

, has helped save hundreds of dogs that come into the shelter for a variety of ailments, but few dogs have touched her soul like Mama.

"For me, dogs have this underlying characteristic," Hack said. "You could tell that she was gentle and trusting -- her tail was always wagging. She was willing to do anything."

Animal-control officers brought Mama to the shelter's veterinary clinic at the end of last month after someone alerted them about the dog's plight. The pregnant stray had already delivered some puppies, but she remained in labor -- for three painful days.

Mama still looked very pregnant when Hack began the emergency C-section and consequent spaying. It was obvious, Hack said, that one puppy had become lodged in the birth canal, a potentially lethal condition.

The six puppies delivered that afternoon did not survive, nor did the three previous puppies born before the breech breech (brech) the buttocks.

The lower rear portion of the human trunk; the buttocks.

breech, britch

the buttocks of an animal; the backs of the thighs.
. But Mama has, and is ready for a forever home.

Still somewhat malnourished mal·nour·ished
Affected by improper nutrition or an insufficient diet.
, the brindle-colored dog has some superficial issues from the surgery and appears to have slight hip issues. But Hack only sees the dog's wonderful potential for a family.

"She's really bounced back," Hack said. "She has such a great disposition. She's so lovable."

Those interested in learning more about Mama are welcome to visit the shelter's adoption center, 100 Caja del Rio Del Rio (rē`ō), city (1990 pop. 30,705), seat of Val Verde co., W Tex., on the Rio Grande opposite Ciudad Acuña, Mexico; founded 1868, inc. 1911.  Road, or call the adoption desk at 986-4309 for more information.

u u u

If you've taken your animal to a veterinary clinic lately, you've probably met some of the most misunderstood and under-represented people in the animal-welfare world. I'm talking about veterinary technicians, those people who have always held a background role, but are the backbone of animal care.

This week is National Veterinary Technician A veterinary technician (also called a vet tech), is a person trained and licensed to assist veterinarians. Their job is similar to that of a nurse. Job description  Week, and Kelly Cronin, the head technician at the Santa Fe Animal Emergency Clinic, thinks it's a great time to acknowledge the tireless role these people play in making sure your animal is healthy and happy.

"Technicians are selfless, brave and a dedicated bunch," Cronin said in an e-mail. "We are often as well trained, if not more highly and widely trained, as human nurses, yet we earn half of what they do."

Veterinary technicians work closely with veterinarians, patients and owners to provide an essential link with all those involved in an animal's health care. Some of their duties include anesthetic monitoring, lab analysis, radiology, MRIs and CAT scans, nursing, client care, surgical preparation and customer service.

Join me in giving this group a shout-out, not just this week but every day.

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Dog petting and animal adoptions will be a welcome part of Saturday's LutherFest, the annual community festival at Christ Lutheran Church Christ Lutheran Church is a common name for churches, including:
  • Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Christ Lutheran Church (Wichita, Kansas)
, 1701 Arroyo Chamiso. This year's theme is Feed the Hungry, and organizers are asking that people bring one or more canned goods to help out.

The event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., features a flea market See computer flea market.

flea market

yard sale of used items at low prices. [Pop. Culture: Misc.]

See : Inexpensiveness
, arts and crafts arts and crafts, term for that general field of applied design in which hand fabrication is dominant. The term was coined in England in the late 19th cent. as a label for the then-current movement directed toward the revivifying of the decorative arts. , a silent auction of antiques and collectibles, books and live music by Uff Da Band. Aside from lovable pets ready for a forever home, expect to enjoy a bake sale of "indulgences," along with authentic Lutheran bratwurst, sauerkraut and applesauce. You might even run into someone named Luther there.

u u u

If you think there are only two gubernatorial candidates, you haven't been paying attention. A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that Travelin' Jack, Jill Lane's handsome sidekick, had a few tricks up his paw. Did I neglect to say they are political?

On Oct. 3, Jack, an English bulldog English bulldog

see bulldog.
, formally threw his Frisbee, er, hat into the ring. Guess he's just a political paw-n.

Jack, the canine star of "Jack's Tracks" on Travel Guide New Mexico, who's also featured in travel stories and has his own blog, made the announcement with great fanfare at the Albuquerque Balloon Museum. The Furry Friends Fiesta Day helped adopt out five puppies and raise about $600 for five Albuquerque-area animal-welfare groups.

Lane, who acts as Jack's press secretary, said more than 500 people and their pets attended the event, which was meant to draw attention to overlooked shelter animals and raise funds for animal-welfare groups.

Jack hasn't stopped hitting the campaign trail since deciding to chase Diane Denish and Susana Martnez in a run for the state's highest office. Last week, Jack entertained the masses at Rio Rancho's Watermelon watermelon, plant (Citrullus vulgaris) of the family Curcurbitaceae (gourd family) native to Africa and introduced to America by Africans transported as slaves. Watermelons are now extensively cultivated in the United States and are popular also in S Russia.  Mountain Ranch volunteer day and was a hit at the SocorroFest.

Next up is a 10 a.m.-to-noon appearance at Saturday's

Barkathon at the Kit Carson Park in Taos to benefit the Four Corners Animal League and an appearance Sunday in Chama.

Jack plans to be busy through Election Day, Lane said, hoping to get enough pet-itions to make a difference for animal welfare. He's even developed a campaign platform that includes social welfare (spaying and neutering); economic stimulus (traveling with your pet); health care (medical insurance for your pet); and border control (adopting a shelter pet).

All funds raised during Jack's appearance benefit animal-welfare groups. To follow Jack on the campaign trail virtually, visit or and click on Jack's Tracks.

Ben Swan, special projects manager for the Santa Fe animal shelter, writes about animal-welfare issues. Contact him at 603-8075 or
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Title Annotation:Scoop
Publication:The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM)
Date:Oct 14, 2010
Next Article:TRACKS.

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