• The Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire is always looking for families willing to adopt a cat. The shelter is at capacity and open for adoptions on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 1 to 7 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from noon to 5 p.m. Call 472-DOGS to learn more.
• Starting on Saturday, March 20, and every third Saturday of each month, the Concord-Merrimack County SPCA, Penacook, will hold adoption days at Petco, 34 Fort Eddy Road, Concord, 225-7355. Visit with volunteers and meet the many adoptable pets.
• Have you ever considered adopting a retired racing greyhound? Greyhounds make wonderful and obedient pets for families. They range in age from 18 months to less than 6 years old. Call Greyhound Pets of America at 888-507-9597 to learn about these adaptable, loyal beauties or visit www.gpa-cnhc.org.
• Learn more about the Concord-Merrimack County SPCA pet adoption program, which is held several days per week. Contact them at 225-7355 for a schedule, or visit www.concordspca.org.
• The Animal Rescue League of New England (ARNNE) runs monthly pet adoption days (sponsored by Pelham Saddlery and Beaver Valley Farm, Inc.) on the last Saturday of every month, at the First Congregational Church, 2 Main St., Pelham. The next pet adoption day is scheduled for Saturday, Mar. 27, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Shelters from all over New England come to interact with the public and show pets that are available for adoption. Visit www.arnne.org. To reserve space at an adoption event for your shelter, call the Pelham Saddlery at 635-1263.
Support and fundraisers for sheltered animals
• The Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire is seeking vet care donations. Checks can be mailed to ARL-NH, 545 Route 101, Bedford, NH 03110. Donations can also be made at www.rescueleague.org. Be sure to include “veterinary care” in the designation line. Call Robin Ahlgren at 472-5714.
• A special diamond ring raffle has been set up to benefit Concord-Merrimack County SPCA. Tickets cost $5. The drawing will be on April 16 at the fundraiser event, “Dinner with the Animals,” at Marriot, 4 Gulf St., Concord. Call 753-6751 to order tickets.
• Do you have what it takes to kennel up with the animals for an entire day? On Thursday, March 25, from 1 to 6 p.m., the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire will hold its second annual “Kennel Up” event. The goal of this fundraiser is to have 30 or more people willing to join volunteers at the shelter for one day. Attendees will be educated about the mission, goals and needs of working for the animals, and will be asked to raise their own “adoption fee” to earn their “adoption” or release at the end of the day. The shelter will host a cocktail party for participants and any donor that commits to $100 or more, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
• Sign up now to take part in the Animal Rescue League’s Winefest at Incredibrew, 112 DW Highway, Nashua, to be held on Friday, March 5, at 7 p.m. For $60, enjoy light snacks and wine, and learn how to make wine. At the end of the evening bring home six bottles of wine, including the pinotage, super Tuscan, Granny Smith riesling, German riesling, gruner veltliner, and chocolate raspberry port. Meet the artist of the ARL-NH wine labels, Molly Poole, and have her sign one of the bottles. A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit the League. Call 891-2477 to reserve a spot.
• Ski for pets at the Pets Peak at Pats Peak event on Monday, March 8, through Wednesday, March 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lift tickets are only $25 on those days. Bring three pet items worth $15, and get a lift ticket for $10 ($15 of a $25 ticket will be donated to Concord-Merrimack County SPCA). Visit www.patspeak.com/winter_fun.php, or call 888-728-7732.
• On Thursday, May 6, The Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire will hold its 6th Annual Evening of Compassion Fundraising Dinner at the Event Center at CR Sparks in Bedford. The evening presents the opportunity to honor one special volunteer and share the shelter’s story, and to raise funds for the league. This event sells out each year. Tickets can be purchased now for $60 per person by calling Robin at 472-5714 or online at www.rescueleague.org/EOC2010.cfm.
• Check out the 4th Annual Plant Sale hosted by The Friends of the Manchester Animal Shelter, 490 Dunbarton Road, Manchester, on Saturday, June 5, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Last year the sale brought in proceeds and donations totaling more than $5,000. There will be adoption opportunities available. Anyone interested in donating plants or empty pots or helping to organize the event can contact Maria Remillard at email@example.com.
• The Salem Animal Rescue League, 346 South Broadway, Salem, www.sarl-nh.org, welcomes pennies for paws. A penny drive in a local school, office, neighborhood or church can help support SARL’s efforts to save more dogs. Pennies do add up. The league will roll any loose pennies dropped off at the shelter. Participants are asked to bring their pennies directly to the Salem Animal Rescue League anytime during open hours, or to call 893-3117 to arrange for a pickup.
• Attend an animal welfare seminar designed for pre-teens and adults, free of charge. To schedule, call the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire at 472-5788.
• Have you ever wondered what the benefits of dog massage therapy are? Learn all about it, and find out about a dog’s total wellness from Tracey Brown, who works primarily through Baker Wells Animal Hospital, Hampton Falls/Seabrook. Call her at 978-337-7965 or visit www.paws-in-hand.com for more information.
• Do you have a pit bull that needs to be spayed or neutered? Get the surgery done for free at the Manchester Animal Shelter (490 Dunbarton Road, Manchester, 628-3544, manchesteranimalshelter.org). The Friends of the Manchester Animal Shelter is sponsoring “Fix-a-Pit,” the city’s first-ever spay/neuter program free of cost to pit bull owners who live in Manchester. “Fix-a-Pit” will provide city pit bull owners with a free spay/neuter, rabies vaccine and a microchip. Call 628-3544 to learn more.
• Take a pet first aid class, offered by New Hampshire Gateway Chapter of Red Cross (28 Concord St. in Nashua, 889-6664, nashua.redcross.org). Classes include dog or cat first aid. Call to schedule.
• Attend the seminar “How to Choose the Best Food for Your Dog or Cat” on Tuesday, March 30, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Celery Stick Café at the Concord Cooperative Market, 24 South Main St., Concord. To register, call the Co-op at 225-6840 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
• No registration is necessary to attend the rabies and microchip clinic on March 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the New Hampshire SPCA (104 Portsmouth Avenue, Stratham, 772-2921, www.nhspca.org). Just walk in and receive a one-year rabies vaccine for $10 per animal, or a three-year vaccine for $15 per animal. The three-year vaccine requires proof of prior rabies vaccination. The microchipping procedure is $35 and includes implant and registration. Go to www.nhspca.org/community-services/rabies-clinics.html.
• The New Hampshire Humane Society provides low-cost spay and neuter services through S.N.A.P. and is available to all New Hampshire residents. Visit www.nhhumane.org/snap.php to learn more.
Fodder for pets
• Stop in at the open house and used tack sale at Gelinas Farm, 471 4th Range Road, Pembroke, 225-7024, on Sunday, May 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be a food booth and also a free “in-hand” clinic offered at noon. Call or e-mail Joanne@gelinasfarm.com.
• A non-profit group is working to establish a dog park in the town of Belmont. The “Happy Tails Dog Park of Belmont” will be open to dogs of all shapes and sizes. The planning group meets on the second Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. at The Corner Meeting House (upper level), 18 Fuller St., Belmont. All are welcome to attend.
Furry fun and events
• On Saturday, April 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire will host the “Bow Wow Bedford!” event. Sign up for microchipping (by appointment only until 3 p.m.; first come, first served from 3 to 4 p.m.), rabies vaccines, pet photos and more. Bedford residents can also use this opportunity to register their dogs with the town clerk, and although the microchipping is open to anyone, Bedford residents will receive a $5 discount off the regular $20 price. All dogs must be leashed for their safety. To make an appointment for a microchip, contact Maureen at 471-0888 and leave a message. Rabies vaccines and pet photos will be on a first come, first served basis. Call Robin at 472-5714 for more information.
• The Cat Fanciers’ Association will hold a cat show and exhibition at Douglas Everett Arena, 15 Loudon Road, Concord, on May 1 & 2. Visit www.cfa.org/exhibitors/show-schedule.html. To enter a cat into the show, or for more information, contact Jan Beardsley-Blanco at 526-4699 or e-mail email@example.com.
• Families with a child who has disabilities might want to explore the potential of horse-assisted therapy. On Sunday, March 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Halona Stables and HorseTalk Hippotherapy will be opening the barn doors to the public for free children’s speech and language screenings, occupational therapy parent consultations, chair massages, horse demonstrations, pony rides and exhibits. Various demonstrations will be conducted throughout the day, including equi/yoga, natural horsemanship, hippotherapy and therapeutic riding. Food will be provided by Milly’s Tavern as visitors are serenaded by the acoustic music of Melanie Stringer and Robert Knights. This is a unique opportunity to find out more about horse-assisted therapies and evaluate this equestrian property for horse boarding and lessons. Screenings and consultations are by appointment only. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The art of canine healing
A dog’s body has nearly 600 muscles. According to Tracey Brown, 45, a canine massage provider (www.paws-in-hand.com) who works primarily through Baker Wells Animal Hospital in Hampton Falls, these muscles are working pretty hard even when a dog appears to be lounging.
“Dogs can benefit greatly from canine massage. It can help relieve the stress and strain of muscles, in addition to promoting health and wellness,” Brown said. She offers a list of benefits for dogs that includes stimulating blood circulation, relaxing the muscles, increasing range of motion, breaking down of adhesions, strengthening of the immune system, reducing pain from joint problems, stimulating physical and mental processes, and increasing mobility.
Brown describes the process of canine massage as “the deliberate manipulation of muscles and soft tissues…with focus and intent, utilizing various hand strokes and degrees of light pressure.” In canine sports, for example, massage plays a key role in keeping the dogs agile while reducing their incidents of injury. But sports dogs are not the only canine companions that can profit from a good massage.
Tracey Brown points out that when a dog is experiencing subtle changes in enthusiasm, energy level and behavior, canine massage may provide the boost that is needed.
“Canine massage can influence every system of the dog’s body, from the circulatory to the nervous system, in a positive way. Massage won’t change the conformation of the dog, but it will allow the dog to use its structure to its full potential,” Brown noted. She also feels that a regular massage routine will provide cumulative effects over time.
Acupressure for canines is another possible therapy that supports a dog’s physical and emotional health. According to Brown, “Acupressure is safe, gentle, non-invasive and powerful. People have been using acupressure to care for animals for at least 4,000 years. Acupressure can help boost the immune system, assist with digestive issues, relieve muscle spasms, release emotional blockages, strengthen muscles, tendons, joints and bones, balance energy to allow the body’s natural ability to heal, and enhance mental clarity, calm, and focus in training and performance.”
Canine massage and acupressure are certainly not substitutes for veterinary care, and in some cases these procedures are not recommended. But for most dogs, a regular massage may fit nicely into a total canine wellness plan.
As for Tracey Brown, her first dog Zachary’s journey with cancer was her motivation to become a canine massage provider. “My desire to help him and the research I did enabled me to stumble upon canine massage. I think most dog owners find the concept to be interesting. They are receptive to the idea and feel it would be beneficial for their dogs, because they understand how it can help.”