Puppy Love

Soldier sends war buddy home to his family in Chester, By Ellen Teatum

Chester — War is ugly. But beautiful things do happen, even in a war zone. The soldier who cares for an injured child. The native who befriends a foreign soldier.

For Staff Sergeant Michael Golembesky, stationed in Afghanistan with the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, beauty came in the form of a puppy.

On their third day defending a hilltop in a major Taliban-controlled area, Michael and his unit were on patrol in a nearby village. They found a nine-week-old puppy in a bombed-out building. He was shaking, dehydrated, and hungry. He had no tail and no ears. The Afghans cut them off so that the dogs can fight the wolves that threaten their herds. Sometimes, the dogs are used to fight one another.

The soldiers named their new puppy “Bear.” He latched onto Michael, who took him back to his barracks.

In January Golembesky called his wife, Sabrina, a Chester native, to tell her how much he loved this special dog, and how it would break his heart to abandon him when the time came for his return to the States.

Sabrina went right to work.… Continue reading

Going to The Dogs

Girl Scouts lead way in creating park for Warwick’s 2,300 dogs and their owners, By Dulcie Pavuluri

Warwick – The more than 2,300 dogs licensed in the Town of Warwick have some very good friends in Florida Girl Scout Cadettes troop 571.

The scouts are spearheading the efforts to create a 1.2 acre dog park at the town park at Union Corners. It will allow the community a safe social location for dogs as the troop works to achieve the Silver Award, the second highest any scout can receive.

“The Girl Scouts decided the fenced in area would allow dogs to be off leash and keep the kids safer who were playing in the nearby fields,” said Heather F. said a Cadette involved in the project.

A large fund raiser, “Bark in the Park,” will be held Saturday at the park to help raise the $16,000 needed to build a dog park with an agility course and separate off-leash, fenced-in area for dogs over and under 30 pounds.

Dog lovers

With nine out of the 11, Cadette-level Girl Scouts owning dogs, the idea seemed like a good one to enjoy during and after the project was over.

“We all thought… Continue reading

Eagles Vick evokes strong emotions from mid-Hudson residents

By Kevin Gleason
Times Herald-Record
Published: 2:00 AM – 12/19/10

Shari Forst sits in the gazebo at Warwick Valley Humane Society petting Hoyt, a pit bull whose name derives from the road nearby on which he was found abandoned last month. Believed to be 3 years old, he has a stunningly beautiful black coat and white streak starting on the forehead and expanding to cover most of his face and belly.

Hoyt arrived with issues. He’d sharply lift his head each time he heard the sound of a pickup truck, presumably the kind of vehicle driven by his previous owner. Forst says Hoyt “would growl at everything, including me,” and trusted no one, clear signs of neglect and abandonment. A month later, and with Forst’s help, Hoyt is up for adoption as a friendly tail-wagging, face-licking sort who seeks attention.

Forst, who lives in the Village of Florida, has dedicated a good part of her life to caring for dogs. She’s been a trainer for 22 years and board certified companion animal behavior counselor the past decade. Now Forst is asked her reaction to hearing that Eagles quarterback Michael Vick wants a dog.

She answers quickly and disdainfully. “I wanted… Continue reading

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Before and After Videos

Frequently Asked Question

Why do dogs have separation anxiety?

Many people use the term, Separation anxiety as a catch all to describe a dog’s action given a particular situation.  There are really many types of separation anxiety and many causes for separation anxiety.  Below are just a few of them to give you an idea of the different types.   Since there are many types of separation anxiety, they cannot be treated the same.  Often books, TV shows and the internet; give ‘expert advice’ on how to treat separation anxiety, but without identifying the type and cause for the particular case, this is highly irresponsible and rarely affective.  This is also why simply placing the dog on a medication, rarely works.  The choice of what medication to use, if any, needs to be targeted to the specific type and cause of the dog’s separation anxiety, usually in conjunction with a modification program, to be truly effective.  When we have a client whose dog is suffering from this ailment, we conduct a detailed evaluation to determine the type and cause of the separation anxiety, then design a custom plan to reduce and resolve the problem.

Medical separation anxiety occurs when a dog has an ailment, often unknown to the owners, that causes an insecurity when they are left alone.  Since dogs cannot tell us how they are feeling, they speak to us through their behavior.  Unfortunately, it is not financially realistic for us to do body scans and MRI’s on our canine companions; this is often not discovered from a medical screening but can be recognized by a behavioral evaluation.

Geriatric separation anxiety occurs as a dog ages and during specific situations they become confused and react through behaviors that would be deemed separation anxiety.  Again, this is something that can be identified and treated through a behavioral consultation.

Specific triggered separation anxiety is another form.  This occurs when a dog develops an association towards a specific sight, sound or smell; that caused a traumatic reaction.  Often this manifests into other areas through something known as forward chaining and by the time the owner notices the dog suffering from separation anxiety, it has morphed far from the original issue.  This type of separation anxiety usually requires a behaviorist to evaluate the dog in order to determine the cause and develop a program to resolve the reaction.

Another big form of separation anxiety is dominance based or lack of leadership. If your dog does not feel you are the pack leader then the job of protecting the pack falls to them. Could you imagine how you would feel if you had a young child that you are responsible for and that child walked out of the house and disappeared without you knowing where they went and if they are safe or not. This is what the dog experiences every time you leave the house when they feel they are responsible for your safety. In order to stop the anxiety the dog has to know that you are in charge and not them. While living with us in our world a dog is not capable of being in charge and only can be well behaved and happy if it is clear that you are the alpha, capable of making decisions for the pack and ensuring the safety of the pack. In the wild when the alpha wolf goes out to hunt those that stay behind do not stress over his or her leaving because they are confident in their leadership and know they will return. The alphas comings and goings are never questioned it is their right to do so and canines operate with this same mentality.

This is by No means a complete list, but as you can see from just these few examples, separation anxiety is a complex disorder that cannot be handled through a ‘cookie cutter’ approach.  A dog suffering from this requires a behaviorist to conduct a scientific evaluation to determine what type of separation anxiety is occurring and why it started, so that a Proper modification program can be developed to resolve the behavior.  Often dog’s suffering from separation anxiety display severe behavior or causes substantial damage but the issue can be resolved once the type and cause is determined. We have had many cases where dogs were set to be euthanized or re-homed due to this disorder but after a few weeks of work the situation was resolved.


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