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First-class for Fido.

On a recent trip to Germany, I discovered that dogs are important family members in Europe and are included on visits to the finest restaurants and most picturesque sites.

I shared my first close view of the fotress at Wurzburg with a French poodle, and my gasps of appreciation for the BAvarian Alps with an Old English sheepdog. I discovered dogs of all descriptions lying quietly at their owner's feet at restaurants, varying from the small rest stop on the autobahn to chandelier-adorned castles in Bavaria. Well-behaved and quiet, each dog appeared intent on earning a "doggy bag" by its good behavior.

However, my experience back home with the traveling dog has been that, like people, some dogs like to travel while others like the security of home. You know very quickly the kind of dog to which you belong.

Spotty, my fox terrier, hated the car. After crouching at my feet until we were out of the garage, he'd sprinkle my legs and then proceed to shift from the front seat to the rear seat and back again, using the over-and-under route. I vowed each trip would be his last, one way or the other.

One boxer I know of spends more time in pickup-truck camper than in his doghouse; he's afraid that he might be left behind and doesn't seem to care if it's a trip to the corner gas station or the annual excursion to grandmother's in Arkansas.

However, whether you are traveling with your dog out of necessity or for the pleasure of its company, there are certain factors to consider.

Most states require entering dogs to have a health certificate and rabies vaccination by an accredited veterinarian. If your dog will be traveling to another country, allow plenty of time to have the necessary papers completed. Requirements for countries of destination can be obtained by contracting the United States Department of Agriculture.

Air travel must be coordinated with airline officials. Shipping cages should be large enough for the dog to stand up and to turn around. Breed characteristics and acclimation of your dog should be considered when shipping during extremely cold or hot weather. For example, brachycephalic breeds such as the bulldog are especially susceptible to heat stroke.

You would be wise to contact motels or hotels about the availability of kennel space and the policies for dogs staying in the same room with you. Certain amusement parks, such as Six Flags over Texas, have excellent kennel facilities, but advance reservations are a must.

Again, when traveling to hot climates, remember that dogs are much more susceptible to heat stroke than humans--so don't leave your dog in a closed car without air circulation or water for any length of time.

Don't overfeed your dog before or during the trip, especially if he tends ot suffer from motion sickness. Antimotion drugs such as Dramamine or tranquilizers to decrease anxiety may be prescribed for your dog by your veterinarian. The dosage for these drugs must be adjusted for the individual animal; what is too much for one may be too little for another. Therefore, it is a good idea to test tranquilizer effects before departure and to pack an adequate supply of any medication that your dog takes routinely.

You dog's vaccinations should be current before starting on the trip. If you will be traveling to mosquito-infested areas of high heartworm intensity, contact your veterinarian about heartworm preventive. The house dog that might rarely be bitten by a mosquito at home will be vulnerable on a camping trip. Extra tick, fly and flea control with collars, sprays or powder should also be considered.

IDentification tags with your name, address and telephone number are a good idea for both the stay-at-home or the traveling dog.

Traveling with your dog can be a pleasurable event, but as with traveling with small children, adequate preparation makes the trip more enjoyable.

Questions for the Vet Dear Dr. White:

We would like to take Gretchen, our Maltese, on vacation with us this fall, but we always have the problems finding motels that will allow her to stay in the same room with us. This is especially a problem in small towns. What do you suggest? Dear Flo:

I recommend a book called Touring with Towser, which is a directory of hotels and motels that accommodate guests with dogs. The directory can be obtained by sending $1.25 to Gaines, TWT, P.O. Box 1007, Kankakee, Illinois 60902. Be sure to call for reservations in advance. Dear Dr. White:

My 1-1/2-year-old beagle, Barney, has a most peculiar habit. Barney eats everything within his reach. Last spring he had a close call because he swallowed a medium-sized staple and ended up with pancreatitis. Barney eats rocks, dirt, sticks, berries, dust, bird droppings and his own feces. He has tried to eat a nail file, puzzle pieces, ink pens, etc.

We have to watch BArney like a baby. He sleeps in an adequate-sized dog cage, and we can't allow him to run free even in his own fenced-in yard. Barney has done this almost his entire life. I am at my wit's end with him. I had him neutered, hoping that might help. He is very affectionate, lovable, smart beagle with AKC registration. He has so many redeeming qualities--he was completely housebroken at eight weeks!

Please let me know if you have any suggestions for our constant ordeal. I'd like to know if it is behavioral or a vitamin deficiency. Thank you for any help you can give me. Dear Vicki:

Barney's vice of eating things is certainly a health hazard. It has been suggested that this type of behavior involves puppies that are orally oriented either naturally or through early action with owners during play (tug of war).

Behavior modification involves command-response obedience training. Stop all petting of Barney. Before giving affection, direct Barney to respond to a command, then praise him or pet. Establish routine patterns of feeding and taking him out for elimination. Offer a chewing substitute such as nylon bone.

I suggest that you buy a good book about canine behavior and training. Investigate as well the types of obedience-training classes available in your area. Dear Dr. White:

I have a four-year-old cat that persists in wetting on the rug. She is the sweetest, dearest little cat to me--but to all others she is ferocious. She is a lynx Siamese and looks just like a lynx. When she gets angry at anyone she looks like a wild animal, but she never, never bites or scratches me. I do not know how she grew this way--she had not been hidden away from anyone. She just slowly became unfriendly, but at night she sleeps on my shoulder and looks like an angel.

I had heard that this type of cat is bred from a distant relative of a wild cat. Is this true?

And also, how do you train kitties not to potty on carpets? I have five others that never, never do this!

Thank you for any consideration given my letter. Dear V.J.:

There are many people who claim that most cats are relatives of wild cats and are the least domesticated of our companion animals. The undesirable behavior pattern exhibited by your cat may be influenced by its (wild) nature.

Bruce Fogle, in his book Pets and Their People, says house cats that have returned to the wild often use the same places repeatedly to urinate and defecate as a type of territorial marker. Cats can also use this type of behavior for sexual communication.

Have you had this cat checked by a veterinarian to eliminate cystitis, or bladder infection, as a cause of this problem? Once health problems are eliminated as the cause, the next step is behavior modification, difficult at best. The cat should be restricted to a room in which it has not previously eliminated except in its litter box. If this cat is allowed out of the restricted area and starts to urinate on the carpet, negative reinforcement such as squirting with water should be used. The negative event must be associated with the place of undesired urination. Each of your cats should have its own litter box located in a place that offers some privacy. Empty litter boxes frequently. Good luck. Dear Dr. White:

I have recently read, with great interest, your article in the January/February '84 Saturday Evening Post regarding the value of pets, especially for the handicapped.

I grew up with horses and dogs, not to mention all other animals, on the family farm in County Galway, in the west of Ireland. Last October I had the good fortune to become involved with the weekly riding program for the autistic at Pineland Stables, on John's Island near Charleston, run by Bob and Alicia Story.

I expected to be living in Paris for the next school year and was wondering if you would know of an organization similar to the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association there. You mentioned the work of Dr. Boris Levinson and Dr. Leo K. Bustad and I wondered if they might have any information that would be helpful.

I would greatly appreciate any suggestions and help you can give me. Thank you for contributing such an interesting and worthwhile article. Dear Ms. Burke:

I suggest that you contact the Delta Society, which is an international resource on the relationships between people and animals. That address is 212 Wells Ave. S., Suite C, Renton, Washington 98055, telephone (206) 226-7357. The Delta Society is engaged in discussions with the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association and riding groups in Europe about extending an invitation for the 1988 International Congress for Therapeutic Riding to be held in the United States.

A copy of The Educational Use of Pets with the Handicapped Youth by Dr. Jama Jacobsen of the Family Support Center, Inc., Indianapolis, is available from the Delta Society for a postage and copying charge of $2.85.

Thank you for writing, and best wishes for your study in Paris.

Dear Dr. White:

I have a little poodle. He is five years old and his right leg in back is giving out. The vet says it's common in poodles. My heart aches when he tries to walk. And he sits on it. I'd surely be grateful if you could let me know what to do for him. I give him a cod-liver-oil pill every day. I'll be waiting to hear from you and would be very grateful to you. Dear Mrs. Montague:

I am guessing from the description of your poodle that the problem may be the stifle joint, which is the same as our knee joint. If the patella (knee-cap luxates (moves out of its proper position) due to weak ligaments, ruptured ligaments or a malformed joint, the poodle may experience problems such as you describe.

Surgery may be an option to consider. Of course, this suggestion is made without benefit of examination and radiographs. Therefore, you should heed the recommendations of your veterinarian. The College of Veterinary Medicine, Ft. Collins, Colorado, had resident orthopedic specialists available. Dear Dr. White:

I have long been interested in being a veterinarian, but I have been informed that I will have to perform vivisection--the cutting open of live animals to study them--or other forms of painful experiments on living animals. I have no wish to torture an animals, so I would like to know if vivisection is required as a student and a licensed vet, and what sort of experiments are performed. I would appreciate your help. Thank you. Dear Ms. Perey:

I am concerned about your fears of vivisection in veterinary school. A veterinarian takes an oath to alleviate the suffering of animals and to temper pain with anesthesia.

The United States Department of Agriculture enforces the Animal Welfare Law at all institutions, including veterinary schools, that utilize animals. These laws are ensure that animals receive adequate shelter, food, water and veterinary care.

Many veterinary-school curriculums include student surgery on animals. In all cases, animals receive anesthesia and pain-relieving drugs. Veterinarians can only obtain the skills needed to alleviate the pain and suffering of other animals by experience gained in such classes.

although much controversy rages about the use of animals in research, I cannot begin to list the miraculous medical cures for both humans and animals that have been obtained by research conducted with animals. Modern heart-valve (bypass) surgery for humans was perfected first in animals. Again, these animals receive anesthesia, proper care and pain-relieving drugs.

Much has been done in recent years to replace animal experimentation with tests that can be performed in the test tube. However, certain results can only be obtained by monitoring effects on a living person or animal.
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:White, H. Ellen
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Sep 1, 1984
Words:2135
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