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December 2009

Fleas in the Winter?

Scratchingdog Don't be fooled. Here in the Carolina mountains, even though temperatures can fall during the Winter, flea season is year round. Fleas typically do NOT die during the colder months -- they just become dormant. If fleas are present anywhere in your home (which is highly likely if you have a dog), they will continue to be a problem regardless of the weather outside.

That's why the Companion Animal Parasite Council recommends that pet owners continue to use regular monthly treatments for flea prevention all twelve months of the year. There are many flea treatments available and it is best to check with your veterinarian to determine the most appropriate one to use for your dog. For information about the safety of commercial flea treatment products, visit the website For information about natural flea control, check out  

Asheville Humane Society Hit Hard by Storm

Treeonahs (2) The worst winter storm in 15 years took its toll on the Asheville Humane Society's animal shelter at 72 Lee's Creek Road in Asheville. The building was threatened by a fallen tree that knocked down a power line. The shelter lost power, including water and heat, for several days. Heroic efforts by staff members who braved the storm helped keep the animals fed and safe. This video takes you on an inside tour of the shelter during the power outage.

Power was restored yesterday afternoon. Many of the animals have been temporarily transferred to volunteer foster homes. The shelter is currently closed to the public until the situation is under control. Asheville Humane Society is asking for donations of blankets and lots of towels, as well as AA, AAA, and D batteries. Donations can be dropped off at the shelter or at Blaze N Skyy Pet Boutique, 30 Battery Park Avenue in downtown Asheville.

Monetary donations are also welcome. Visit to donate.

It's a good idea to check with the animal shelter or an animal rescue organization in your area and see if they need any additional assistance at this time. You'll find a list of these organizations on our Adopting page. 

A Good Time to Visit a Dog Bakery

Threedoggingerbread The holiday season is a good time to visit a dog bakery. The concept was pioneered in 1989 by Three Dog Bakery. Today, dog bakeries are common in major cities and dog-friendly towns. Baked goods for dogs can also be found at specialty pet stores.

Around the holidays, dog bakeries are even more fun for you and your dog because of all of the exceptional treats available. Holiday cookies and cakes prepared for dogs look good enough for humans to eat. Often you can sample these treats, since many baked goods for dogs are made with all-natural, healthy ingredients. But you probably won't like the taste -- recipes are slanted towards canine tastes, which means much less sweetener and a limited amounts of other seasonings.

These are the local dog bakeries or stores with specialty baked goods for dogs worth barking about:

Asheville, NC
Something to Bark About
811 Tunnel Road, Suite E

Three Dog Bakery (the only Three Dog Bakery in NC)
21 Battery Park

Waggers Dog Depot
1020 Merrimon Avenue

Black Mountain, NC
Bone-a-Fide Bakery and Boutique
118-A Cherry Street

Candler, NC
MoonDoggies Natural Pet Foods
1263 Smoky Park Highway

Charleston, SC
Three Dog Bakery (the only Three Dog Bakery in SC)

Dillsboro, NC
Smoky Mountain Dog Bakery
429 Haywood Road

Greenville, SC

The Barkery Bistro
118 North Main Street

Paws and Claws
1803 Augusta Street

Hendersonville, NC
Pet Source - Big Kahuna's Barkery
1927 Spartanburg Highway

York, SC
Dogma & Fetch
45 N. Congress Street

If you can't make it to a dog bakery any time soon, click on the Three Dog Bakery button to the right under "Good Buys" and order some doggie treats online!


Montreat memorial garden Montreat is a tiny, secluded town north of Black Mountain that is home to Montreat College and the Montreat Conference Center, which is surrounded by 2,500 acres of unspoiled wilderness. Montreat is a dog lover's paradise because it is an ideal destination for either a casual walk or a serious hike. There are numerous trails, many of which run alongside rushing creeks, set amidst dense trees in the mountains. If you're looking for a spot that gets you close to nature and elevates your spirits, Montreat is it.

While Montreat is typically a spring and summer destination, it is less crowded in the fall and winter. It is cool year-round, so dress appropriately.

For an easy, flat trail that runs alongside a creek, go through the Montreat stone gate and enter the gravel parking lot immediately on your right. There you'll find a memorial garden and a good walking trail that's shaded and cool and has plenty of opportunities for your dog to go into the rushing water of the creek.

Montreat092709 028 For more vigorous hiking, go all the way up Assembly Drive until it becomes Grayhead Trail. Continue to the end until you reach the Trailhead. There are a number of trails there that lead through the forests, some more challenging than others.

You can find a link to a trail map and detailed trail descriptions on the Montreat Conference Center's website at: For more information about Montreat, visit the CANINE CRUISIN' page.

Keeping Your Dog Safe Around Holiday Food

Holidaycake Holidays are a time for lots of good food, and many of us are tempted to include our dogs in the festivities. Unfortunately, food for humans is generally not healthy for dogs to consume -- and some aspects of human food are downright dangerous. Here are several tips to keep your dog safe during your holiday feasts, courtesy of Asheville Humane Society (

- Even the most docile, well trained dog might discover that a turkey, roast or bone simmering on the stove or counter or accidentally dropped on the floor might be worth fighting for. This could result in the dog biting anyone who attempts to take it away, including a small child that just happens to walk by.  Keep food and bones out of reach and keep your dog out of the kitchen during preparations and servings. 

- If your dog normally joins the family at dinnertime, remove him/her from the room and provide a favorite chew toy or Kong instead.

- Watch those hot containers filled with turkey and ham drippings on the stove or table. Your dog can easily tip them over causing severe scalding and burns to themselves.

- Don't feed dogs the cooled drippings from meat. Human seasonings aren't good for dogs, and the rich stock and drippings can easily upset their digestive systems.

- Dogs should not be garbage disposals for holiday left-overs. Any sudden change of diet, even for just one meal, can give your dog stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating or other health problems. This is particularly true for older animals, whose digestive systems are often more delicate and nutritional requirements more strict. Consumption of human food can also result in pitiful begging, an aggravating habit hard to break, when the family sits down for meals.

- BONES ARE DANGEROUS!  Please, please don't feed your pets bones, especially poultry bones. Poultry bones splinter easily. Each year thousands of pets are treated for consumption of splintered bones, causing pain and sometimes death. Only offer bones that are specifically designed for dogs to chew on.

- Aluminum foil that has been wrapped around meat and disposable baking pans might be attractive to a pet, but do not let your dog near these -- ingestion of aluminum foil may cause vomiting, intestinal blockage or even more serious problems. Also be careful of aluminum foil wrapped candy. 

- Plastic food wrap can cause choking or intestinal obstruction. Some dogs will eat the plastic wrapping when there are food remnants left coating its surface.

- Bright and attractive candy wrappers can be a choking hazard or cause digestive problems. Also, chocolate is toxic to dogs.

- Spicy foods, alcohol, and fatty foods may seem harmless but can lead to upset stomachs. For example, onions can be toxic to cats and dogs. 

- Instead of "people food," have appropriate dog and cat treats available and give sparingly.

Forever Farm, Lake Toxaway, NC

Foreverfarm There are numerous shelters and rescue organizations throughout the Carolina mountains that work day in and day out and with limited resources to shelter, care for, and save the lives of dogs and cats. We're focusing on one -- Forever Farm -- because of its unique mission.

Forever Farm in Lake Toxaway, NC is a sanctuary for senior and special needs dogs and cats. About 30 dogs and 100 cats live there in a homelike environment consisting of both private and group living rooms, porches, and large fenced grassy play areas. The majority of Forever Farm's residents are adopted, but some who are very old or ill may remain there for the rest of their lives. Most of the animals come to Forever Farms from Western North Carolina, with an emphasis on Transylvania County.

Forever Farm is operated by Friends for Life, a nonprofit organization. Friends for Life opened the Forver Farm facility in 2005. Since the organization's inception in 2003, they've helped over 1000 special dogs and cats. They're currently full to capacity.

Friends for Life receives no government funding and they urgently need donations. They also have animals available for adoption. To learn more about Friends for Life and Forever Farm, visit:, call 828-508-2460, or email them at

Herding Dogs, Listen Up!

Chester-herding If you have a dog that's a herding breed -- or you've noticed that your dog seems to like herding other dogs at the dog park -- you might want to consider taking your buddy to a herding clinic at Possum Hollow Farms in Rutherfordton, NC. Vicki Hughes and her team of trainers offer herding clinics just about every month on a drop-in basis, no reservation required. Your dog will get to experience what herding sheep is like in a controlled environment.

Possum Hollow trainers can also assess your dog's herding instinct, offer you private herding lessons, and even have your dog stay with them for a week or a month of training. For more information, visit:, email, or call 828-429-6388.

The Shelter Pet Project

Petproject Maybe you've seen (on TV) or heard (on the radio) the new ads for The Shelter Pet Project. These provocative ads feature talking animals who, not surprisingly, seem to be smarter than their human owners. The point of the ads, though, is to make it clear that animals adopted from shelters are not "bad" or "damaged" -- they're just unwanted by their owners. The Shelter Pet Project is designed to "give shelter pets a voice" and it is a joint venture between the Humane Society of the United States, Maddie's Fund, and the Ad Council.

The website for The Shelter Pet Project ( also features talking animals, plus a lot of cool resources, such as an "Adopt-a-Gram" you can send to family and friends, "Pet Personals" to help you locate a perfect pet, and "The Adopter Network," where you you can get questions about pets answered by experts. You can also view the clever television ads on the site.

Great Holiday Gift Ideas for Local Dog Lovers

Holiday-gifts Still searching for that special holiday gift for a dog lover... or a favorite pup? Here are some of our perfect pet picks for this holiday season.

Books Inside of a Dog
- Alexandra Horowitz
Now you can understand the world from a dog's perspective. For example, Horowitz explains how a particular odor conveys a message to a dog. More than that, Horowitz says, a dog's sense of smell is the means by which he categorizes and identifies things. There are many other interesting insights here. Going "Inside of a Dog" is fascinating stuff. Purchase online: Inside of a Dog.
Dogtown: Tales of Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Redemption - Stefan Bechtel
Read the inspiring true stories, accompanied by photos, of dogs considered unadoptable by other shelters. These wonderful canines inhabit Dogtown at Best Friends, the nation's largest companion animal sanctuary. Inspired by the National Geographic Channel's hit television show, "Dogtown." Purchase online: Dogtown.
Asheville Doggie Guide, 2010 Edition - Barry Silverstein
This handy pocket-size guide includes adoption organizations, animal services, dog bakeries and boutiques, boarding facilities, doggie daycare, dog parks, grooming services, hiking trails that are good for dogs, and much more. Hundreds of listings in Asheville, Black Mountain and Hendersonville. Available at Three Dog Bakery, 21 Battery Park Avenue in Asheville, NC, or through this special online offer: Asheville Doggie Guide.

People Gifts
Angelacalexander Dog Art by Angela Alexander
Alexander C. Alexander is an Asheville artist whose contemporary dog art is known both locally and nationally. Her whimsical illustrations carry a unique trademark -- all of the animals wear spectacles. Angela is the featured artist at Woolworth Walk, 25 Haywood Street, Asheville from December 1-31. Her work is available at Woolworth Walk and Three Dog Bakery in Asheville, or online at   
Dogpillow Custom Dog Pillow by Boni
Boni from Asheville, North Carolina takes any photo of one or more dogs sent to her via email and turns it into a remarkable likeness against a color background of your choice. These quality pillows are handmade to order. Allow at least two weeks for your order to be completed, especially at holiday time. For complete information, visit the "Handmade by Boni" website at either, or
AHS-tile Personalized Tile from Asheville Humane Society
Honor or memorialize any pet on a color photo tile. This fitting tribute will be placed in the Asheville Humane Society's new Adoption and Education Center, which will open in the summer of 2010. For more information, go to

Dog Gifts
Gingerbread Holiday Treats from Three Dog Bakery
Your dogs will love the variety of scrumptious holiday treats crafted especially for them by Three Dog Bakery -- and you will too, because the treats are made with all-natural, healthy ingredients. Visit North Carolina's only Three Dog Bakery at 21 Battery Park, Asheville, NC (two blocks from the Grove Arcade) and South Carolina's only Three Dog Bakery at 430 King Street in Charleston, SC. Or if you can't make the trip, click on the Three Dog Bakery button to the right and order online. Use the coupon code Ginger2009 and get 20% off holiday treats through December 17.
Dogshirt OPT TO ADOPT Doggie T-shirt
Any canine will be proud to wear this quality t-shirt and show off the message: "Save a Dog's Life. OPT TO ADOPT! Available in all sizes to fit your doggie just right, and made in the USA. This is just one of many cool items for dogs and people, like t-shirts, calendars, mugs and more at the Carolina Mountain Dog online store.
Dogtag Designer Dog Tag
Choose from hundreds of cool designs and get a high quality dog tag with any information you want on the back. Dog Tag Art is an online company based in Asheville, NC. All dog tag designs are original creations and tags are guaranteed for life. Your doggie deserves one of these! To order, just click on the Dog Tag Art button on the right.


Pet First Aid Class in Hendersonville, NC

Redcross The Hendersonville County Chapter of the Red Cross is offering a Pet First Aid class on Tuesday, December 29 from noon - 4 pm, and on Saturday, January 23 from 10 am - 2 pm. It covers information you need to prepare yourself before a pet emergency, includiing symptoms and care for common ailments and emergencies, instructions for creating a pet first aid kit, and tips on maintaining your pet's health and well-being. The class will cover both dogs and cats, and participants will receive either a dog or cat first aid book and DVD. Everyone who has taken the class raves about the content and what they learn.


The cost for the class is $30 per person. (No animals in the classroom please.) It is held at the Red Cross, Henderson County Chapter, 203 Second Ave. East in Hendersonville. Advance registration is required. Please call 828-693-5605 for additional information or to register. The organization's website is

Angela Alexander Featured at Woolworth Walk, Asheville, NC

Angelacalexander Alexander C. Alexander, whose contemporary dog art is known both locally and nationally, is an Asheville artist and dog lover who often donates her time and talent to local animal welfare organizations. Her whimsical illustrations carry a unique trademark -- all of the animals wear spectacles. Angela will be the featured artist at Woolworth Walk, 25 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC from December 1-31.

The public is invited to an opening reception that will be held at Woolworth Walk on Friday, December 4 from 5 - 7 pm. From Dec. 4 to Dec. 6, Angela will donate 10 percent of the proceeds to Asheville Humane Society.

For more information about Angela and her work, visit