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January 2010


Max-patch-102109 041 If you're looking for a little piece of heaven for both you and your doggie, cruise on up to Max Patch. True, it's in the middle of nowhere, close to the Tennessee border, more than an hour northwest of Asheville, NC. And as you drive up about seven miles of gravel-packed, winding road to reach Max Patch, you'll be thinking "This better be good."

It's worth it. Max Patch is a bald about 4200 feet high, and the road gets you pretty close to the top. A short hike and you reach a flat, open area that is breathtaking, to say the least. You'll love the 360-degree panoramic views. You'll feel as if you're on top of the world. Your dog will love cavorting on the large grassy hillsides. No one seems to mind well-behaved off-leash dogs up there. It'll be easy to spot your buddy from most any vantage point.

File this one away for a lovely spring day or, better yet, make it an outing on a hot summer day. The cool breezes and spectacular locale are guaranteed to help you chill out.

You can reach Max Patch off Route 40 West (Exit 7), but a recent rock slide may get in your way. The alternate route, not nearly as direct, is to wind your way through Hot Springs. (See the CANINE CRUISIN' page for detailed directions and additional information.)

Recommended Reading: The Secret Lives of Dogs

Secretlivesofdogs Ever wonder why your dog dislikes having his feet touched? Or why he lifts his leg to urinate? Or why he might eat grass... drink from the toilet... or be afraid of climbing stairs? These and other mysterious canine behaviors are explored in the fascinating book, The Secret Lives of Dogs. Jana Murphy, a former editor of Pet Life magazine, tells you why dogs do these things and more -- she covers fifty-two behaviors in all.

You'll learn all about a dog's natural instincts, breed-specific features, and ways to modify your dog's behavior. Enhanced with beautiful full-color photography and case studies, The Secret Lives of Dogs is highly recommended. Buy The Secret Lives of Dogs online at a special price.

Urgent Alert - Stolen Dogs

Urgent alert On Tuesday, January 19 at 3:30 AM, unidentified individuals broke into the Cool School for Dogs Puppy Dog Day Care facility in Johnson City, Tennessee and stole a total of 14 dogs. Three of the dogs taken were personal pets. Included in the stolen dogs were rescue Dobermans, a lab, a min-pin, and a mixed breed. See this link for further information including pictures of the dogs:

If you have any information about where these dogs might be or have been taken, please call the Johnson City Police Department at (423) 434-6168, or Crimestoppers at (423) 434-6158, or visit the website: If you think you have located any of the dogs, please contact Tammara at Canine Hope Rescue, (423) 773-8113, or via email:


Pet First Aid in Hendersonville on Jan. 23

Redcross The Hendersonville County Chapter of the Red Cross is offering a Pet First Aid class on Saturday, January 23 from 10 am - 2 pm. This Red Cross certified class covers a host of emergency situations for you to be prepared to help your pet. The four hour class covers symptoms and care, common ailments and emergencies, instructions for creating a pet first aid kit, and tips for 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


The next class will be in April so don't miss this one!

Cesar Millan - A Different Breed

Cesar-millan One of the most compelling and successful personalities in the dog world is Cesar Millan. Known to millions as the star of "The Dog Whisperer" on the National Geographic Channel, Millan uses a combination of psychology and calm assertive energy to "fix" even the most outrageous dog behavior problems.

What his fans may not realize, though, is Cesar Millan also gives back a huge amount to the dog welfare community through the Cesar & Illusion Millan Foundation. The foundation sponsors a national spay and neuter public service campaign, as well as numerous programs that directly help animal shelters.

You can subscribe to "Cesar's Way," Cesar's new magazine, through this blog (look for the magazine cover to the right under "Good Buys"). Read more about "Brand Cesar" this week on

ReTail Scene: Cold Weather Gear for Outdoor Dogs

We recently posted an article about Dogs and Cold Weather. Carolina Mountain Dog does not endorse dogs living outside. We feel, as do animal experts, that dogs need to bond with their human families and be part of a pack. Dogs are susceptible to dangers living outdoors, including changes in climate and potential attacks from other dogs or animals who live in the wild.

We recognize, however, that there are owners who choose to have their pets live outdoors. The recent cold weather is extremely dangerous for outside dogs, so we urge anyone who keeps their dog outside to take special precautions. Two products that are especially useful for cold weather conditions are:

Lectro kennel heated pad 1. Lectro Kennel Heated Pad - This pad can be used on the ground or attached to the wall of a dog house and it is designed for outdoor use. It is made of rugged plastic and a steel wrapped cord and comes in three sizes (small, medium, and large). Available from our partner, Cherrybrook.

Heated water bowl  2. Heated Water Bowl - A water bowl designed to keep water from freezing even if temperatures reach minus 20 degrees F. All electrical elements are safely sealed in the steel cord. Available from our partner, Cherrybrook.

Dogs and Cold Weather

Siberian husky in snow The unusually cold weather we've been having in the Carolina mountains can be difficult for dogs. Here are some tips from veterinarian Janet Tobiassen Crosby of

1. All pets need adequate shelter from the elements and insulation against cold weather. Pets should not be left outside for long periods in freezing weather -- like humans, they can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite. Young and senior pets are especially at risk.

2. If your dog lives outside, set up a suitable house in an area protected from wind, rain, and snow. Insulation, such as straw or blankets, will help keep in body heat. Pet supply vendors sell heated mats for pets to sleep on or to be placed under a dog house. Fresh water is a must at all times! Pets are not able to get enough water from licking ice or eating snow. A heated water disk is a wonderful tool. The water stays cold, but doesn't freeze.

3. Dogs walking in snowy areas may get large ice balls between their pads. For dogs that have a lot of hair between the pads, keep it clipped shorter to prevent ice ball formation. Pets walking on sidewalks where salt or chemicals have been used are prone to dry, chapped paws. This will encourage dogs to lick their paws and ingest the chemicals, which may cause stomach upset. Wash off your dog's feet after an outing with a warm wet cloth.

4. Thirsty and curious pets will lap up antifreeze. Just a few licks can be fatal. Lock up antifreeze containers and clean up spills immediately.

5. If your dog has arthritis, it can be worse during cold and damp weather. Take special care to handle your pet gently, watch out for icy walks, and provide soft (and possibly heated) bedding.

For more detailed information, visit:

What You Can Do to Reduce Pet Over-population

Doginwall As 2010 unfolds, one of the problems we will continue to face in the Carolina mountains is pet over-population. Here is a stunning statistic: In the U.S., about 10,000 human babies are born every day. In contrast, almost 3,000 puppies and kittens are born every hour. That's why shelters and rescue organizations in our area are so overwhelmed with stray, homeless, and unwanted cats and dogs.

There are three important things you can do to help reduce pet over-population:

1. Spay or neuter your pet. It is essential to "fix" your pet so it cannot reproduce. In many areas, it is unlawful to own a pet that has not been spayed or neutered. As the statistic above proves, dogs and cats proliferate with ease, producing litters of typically 4 to 8 animals with each birth. Low cost spay and neuter procedures are available in Western North Carolina at Humane Alliance in Asheville ( and in the Upstate at Animal Allies in Spartanburg (

2. Adopt a pet. If you are thinking of getting a dog or cat, please OPT TO ADOPT. Local shelters and animal rescue organizations have many animals available of all breeds, sizes, and ages. These are not "rejects" -- they are animals that are typically available because they have been found as strays or they have been surrendered by their owners. Rescue animals make the best pets -- they know they are being saved by their new owners and they become lifelong, loyal companions as a result. See the list of shelters and rescue organizations to find one near you. Please DO NOT buy pets from a pet store or a "backyard breeder" -- these animals are often bred in deplorable conditions and it is not unusual for them to have behavioral and health issues.

3. Help put puppy mills out of business. Puppy mills are hellish operations run by people whose sole purpose is to make a profit by selling as many puppies as possible. Female dogs are often kept in the worst imaginable conditions and used as breeding machines. Puppies produced at these mills are poorly socialized and often genetically or medically unhealthy. Many people don't realize that most pet store puppies come from puppy mills. Unfortunately, North Carolina is home to many puppy mills. You can help put these places out of business by boycotting pet store puppies and urging family and friends to adopt dogs from shelters and rescue organizations instead. For more information on how to put an end to puppy mills, check these resources: