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12.   HEALTH
16.   EVENTS
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Hello TTouch Friends,

Two exciting things are happening for me this month. One is that I’ve found a new puppy that will come to live here next month. And the other is I’ve been tuning into the Oprah/Eckhart Tolle interviews.

I’ve been calling around and talking to breeders for almost 2 months now while looking and deciding on first “what” breed I want and then which litter. The journey has been very interesting indeed and isn’t actually over as the litter I have found has 10 puppies, 7 of which are male. As they are only 4 weeks old, it’s too soon to decide which pup is the right one for me or anyone else. If you’d like to know more about how I chose, go to

If you haven’t yet heard of Eckhart Tolle’s new book “A New Earth – Awakening to your life’s Purpose”, then you might want to have a look. Tolle is the author of “The Power of Now” and this book takes us into a place that makes life more meaningful. Shattering modern ideas of ego and entitlement, self and society, Tolle exposes the fears that hang over us all and shows how each of us can find happiness and health through a series of simple, life-affirming steps. If you’re wondering what this has to do with animals…. Well nothing and everything! Learning that our thoughts aren’t who we are and therefore learning to interact with people and animals differently  - with more awareness and non-judgement is very much a TTouch thing.

I actually only realized that Oprah and Eckhart were having the Monday night chats when Linda Tellington-Jones emailed me very excited about the interviews. So the deal is this: Every Monday night Oprah and Eckhart have an hour and half conversation on the Internet. You can access it with Skype. Or if you’re like me and don’t want to watch at 3:00 a.m., you can simply go on line and listen any time. Each week they talk about the next chapter and March 24th was Chapter 4. There is a workbook and awareness exercises you can download as well. It’s truly an uplifting book and experience!

Don’t forget that we have Client Mornings April 26tha and 28th. This happens during our Practitioner Training where clients come and get a private session with a couple of our Practitioners in Training. It’s a fun and great experience for everyone. For more information go to Client Mornings

Warmest Regards,

Eugenie Chopin

Certified Practitioner III for Companion Animals


If I didn't have dogs...
I could sit how I wanted on the couch without taking into consideration how much space several fur bodies would need to get comfortable.

TTACT III, session 3 – April 23 - 28, 2008 with Instructor Debby Potts

This 3-year training started early in 2007, so next April will already be our 3rd session. This means that if anyone has missed starting the training this year, then still joining us becomes a bit complex.

Having said that, we sometimes let very enthusiastic people join in session 3 if they have attended a number of weekend trainings, etc. If you are someone who would like to do this, please contact us here in the office and we’ll fill you in on the details.

TTACT III, session 4 – September 24-29, 2008 with Edie Jane Eaton

If I didn't have dogs...
My house could be carpeted instead of tiled and laminated.

This is one of our most popular offers. Your opportunity to experience TTouch first hand for only R100 for you and your dog! As most of you know, we have a Practitioner Training Program on the go and are now in our second year of training. So as part of the training program, we set up Client Days for our Students. This is always a fun experience for both the Client and the Practitioner – In – Training.

You may, if you wish choose to come for both days! It is often useful to have 2 sessions with your dog.

Cost:             R100 per day with a dog
Date:             Saturday,
April 26th 10:00 a.m. until about 12:30 p.m.
Monday, April 28th (Holiday) 10:00 a.m. until about 12:30 p.m.
                       Please indicate which date you prefer (or both)!
Venue:         Broshacarm Kennels, Midrand

Booking:     Eugénie or Heather at info@ttouch.co.za or Tel: 011-884-3156 or Fax: 011 783-1515
These two client days will be under the supervision of Debby Potts

She will be assisted by Eugénie Chopin & other TTouch Practitioners.

If you’re a client already, it will be a fun experience to mix with the other students and Practitioners! If you’ve been to a workshop, here’s a chance to have someone else work privately with your dog!

On arrival, you will be introduced to the students who will be working with you & your dog. The students will do what amounts to a private session with you and your animal. Everyone will then come together for feedback from you and the students. This is a great way for us all to learn and hear advice from everyone in the group. These sessions are great fun and a wonderful learning experience. I know you will enjoy it as well as seeing what TTouch is really about!

You are welcome to book for one day or both days if you feel this will benefit your dog.

We will send you a Registration form, all relevant details and directions to the Kennels when you book.

Book ASAP as these places always go within days! If not hours of sending a flyer!

Many thanks and I hope to see many of you there!

If I didn't have dogs...
All flat surfaces, clothing, furniture, and cars would be free of dog hair.

with Edie Jane Eaton
For the first time ever a TTEAM Clinic will be given in Cape Town by Edie Jane Eaton – an International TTEAM Instructor and Feldenkrais Practitioner.






Sorgh Vliet Lodge Hout Bay
Cape Town
3 days or 6 days Option

10 – 15 May 2008

  3 Days – R2100
6 Days – R3700

Catherine Williams
082 569 8641

Sorgh Vliet Lodge
Hout Bay
Cape Town
Clinic Participants Free

10 May 2008

  R180  xcl. 

Catherine Williams
082 569 8641

TTEAM: 1 – 5 October, 2008 with Edie Jane Eaton – Johannesburg, Donnybrook Stables

AFRICA HORSEBACK SAFARI: with TTouch Instructor: Edie Jane Eaton
18 – 28 May 2008: 5 Days in Johannesburg, South Africa / 5 Days at Macatoo, Botswana - home of African Horseback Safaris in the magical Okavango Delta.

For South Africans: 5 days in the Delta Only is possible!

For more information contact the TTouch Office or Email: Edie Jane Eaton at ejrett@earthlink.net  

If I didn't have dogs...
When the doorbell (or phone) rings (for real or on TV),
my house wouldn't sound like the SPCA.

The TTouch class is a great way to learn & absorb TTouch at it’s best. Over a 6-week period, you have the opportunity to go home, practice and then come back for more! SEE YOUR DOG MAKE CHANGES IS A FEW WEEKS!

For more info, call 011 884-3156 or email eugenie@ttouch.co.za






Brameley, Johannesburg

Weekend TTouch Workshop

21 March
(10h00 – 14h00)
22 March
(13h00 – 17h00)


Nicky Lucka: 083 408 1517
lucka@absamail.co.za or
Kim Heller: 082 570 0463

 Port Elizabeth
                                             Weekend TTouch Workshop

 29 & 30 March   2008


Lynn Scholtz tuscanystaffords@isat.co.za
073 064 8038

If I didn't have dogs...
When the doorbell (or phone) rings, I could get to the door (or phone) without wading through four or five dog bodies who beat me there.

The Mouth TTouch and Veterinary Dental Care

The mouth TTouch can help an animal more easily accept dental work by a veterinarian.

The following article, "Porcupines on Pogo Sticks - Dental Care" by Stacy J. Lewis stacy@dancingporcupine.com has been posted with permission from TTouch Practitioner Stacy Lewis and was originally posted in the November 07’ Dancing Porcupine Newsletter - a source of wellness, education and support for animals and their humans.

Having had braces for six years as a kid, I ended up with dental phobia as an adult. However, I also learned early on the importance of having a healthy mouth, so I’ve sought out really fantastic, gentle, compassionate dentists over the years. I once read that on an energetic level, what’s going on inside your mouth is directly related to your financial success or demise. Dreams about teeth are related to money, so it made sense to me. Because of that, I’ve always taken really good care of my own teeth and my pet’s teeth. A few weeks ago, Java went into Pet Crossing for her first dental cleaning. We’ve brushed for years, but it was time.

Walking in, Java and I were greeted by a staff of smiles. Dr. Kate crouched down, told Java how beautiful she was, and within moments was being graced with Plott Hound kisses. Back to an exam room, two techs met us and Java and I taught them how to use some simple TTouches to help reducing an animal’s anxiety when checking heart rate, temperature and administering medications. Dr. Kate met us in the surgery room, administered the anaesthesia, and I was able to stand in the room with Java during the entire procedure. She was placed on soft blankets with a pillow, and each process was explained in detail - including full mouth x-rays!

A recovery room was prepared for Java with a super soft bed with a pillow, dim lights, tea for the human, and meditation music! The care with which they handled Java throughout the procedure filled my heart with joy. She received many kisses and gentle TTouches during the procedure and I taught the techs how to help reduce pain and swelling (Raccoon TTouches), improve body awareness upon waking (Body Wrap/Noah’s March/Abalone TTouch), and help the anaesthesia to leave the body more quickly (Ear Slides). As our day came to a close, one of the techs (Eliza) came into the recovery room to go over the details of the procedure and to make sure Java was sturdy enough on all four legs to go home. We scheduled a follow up appointment to go over teeth brushing and a follow up for an ear infection, and we were on our way.

Oh, and Java’s teeth were in fantastic shape. After all, she likes to show them off!

Stacy is the author of JAVA: The True Story of a Shelter Dog Who Rescued a Woman - a true account of the trials, tribulations and incredible triumphs of her work with her dog, Java. Drawing from her twelve years of experience in teaching children, animals and adults, her book showcases the mindset and methods needed to work with challenging creatures successfully. Java is an accomplished teacher, student, dancer, and warrior. She is an exuberant Plott Hound with the wisdom of a sage and the spirit of a puppy. She is the dog who led Stacy to where she is today, and vice versa. Stacy and Java make their home where their heart is. Together.

Stacy Lewis
Level 2 Tellington TTouch Practitioner for Companion Animals
Shamanic Practitioner
Animal Communicator

If I didn't have dogs...
I could sit how I wanted on the couch without taking into consideration how much space several fur bodies would need to get comfortable.

Clicker Training on the Run by Emma Parsons

Time crunch

Many of us lead busy lives and there seems to be a perpetual shortage of time. That makes it easy for me to choose a topic to write about this month: How do you train your dog when you simply have no time? What we must be talking about is "clicker training on the run!" This topic is one close to my heart; I have recently acquired a 16-month-old papillon named Wylie-Rae who, regardless of my hectic schedule, still needs to be worked.

The essential clicker

The answer to my "how-to" question is a simple piece of advice: carry your clicker with you at all times! You never know when you can fit in some quick training. If you find yourself without a clicker at one of these opportune times, you can always use a verbal marker, which is not as precise as the click, but informative nonetheless. If you can click, you can very quickly communicate to your dog that you liked the particular behaviour he just exhibited—anywhere, anytime. Although a click commonly leads to a treat, it can also lead to a favourite game or a favourite activity. Vary the reinforcers that you give to your dog for best results.

How do you train your dog when you simply have no time?

One way to build clicker training into your schedule is to use one of your dog’s meals as the reinforcement. Instead of setting down your dog’s food bowl, ask him for certain behaviours and then hand feed him the kibble. In this kind of session you can teach him to sit, down, roll over, or perform any other behaviour that you might want him to learn.

If your dog is not familiar with the behaviour that you are asking him to do, teach him by luring him into the required position, click once as the behaviour happens, and then follow up with a treat. For example, you can teach your dog to sit by holding a treat above his nose. Click just as his back end hits the ground. Feed him your treat. Be sure to work in a quiet environment first, and then slowly increase the distraction level as the behaviour becomes more reliable. Our busy lives are full of distracting places and people; use those situations as opportunities to add more complicated dimensions to training behaviours.

Capturing fun and practical behaviours

Don’t forget that you can also capture your dog’s behaviours, again in everyday living situations. Behaviour that is marked will more than likely repeat itself; as the dog performs the behaviour again, add a cue right before it happens. Two of my friends have creatively taught their dogs to shake and stretch this way. Amanda taught her German shorthaired pointer, Riley, to shake on cue. After giving a bath, and right before Riley would shake off the excess water, Amanda inserted the verbal cue "Twister." When Riley shook, Amanda would mark that behaviour. It did not take long before Amanda could cue Riley to "Twister" and have her shake her entire body when asked!

Cassie taught her rescued dog, Max, a number of helpful behaviours. Max will bend into a play bow when Cassie throws both of her hands into the air. This is the body signal for stretch. She has also taught Max to "swallow" medicine on cue as well as to "jump" over puddles. Because I feed my dogs in their crates, I will tell Wylie to "kennel up" right before I put in his meal. I make sure to click just as he runs into the crate. I can also use this cue to indicate that Wylie should enter his crate in the car or get comfortable in the soft-sided Sherpa bag I carry him in over my shoulder.

It takes only a clicker and a keen eye, and the ability to steal moments of time, to teach your dog to do a variety of behaviours. Mark the behaviour that you want your dog to do again and ignore the behaviour that you don’t.

Emma Parsons, author of Click to Calm: Healing the Aggressive Dog

With kind permission from Karen Pryor. For more wonderful articles, go to http://www.clickertraining.com/

If I didn't have dogs...
I would not have strange presents under my Christmas tree... like dog bones, stuffed animals or have to answer to people why I wrap them up.
Next 6 week class TBA

If I didn't have dogs...
I would not be on a first name basis with three vets.


SIBERIAN Husky dog breeder and animal rights activist Natalie van der Merwe discovered with horror through the Daily Dispatch’s expose earlier this week that a woman of the same name has brought suffering to countless people and puppies through classified ads in newspapers countrywide. Now “Siberian Natalie” has compiled a thorough “Buyers Beware” checklist so that the Dispatch’s animal loving readers can arm themselves against all kinds of unscrupulous animal dealers.

RED FLAG  1: DO NOT buy a puppy from the classifieds column in a newspaper!!!

RED FLAG  2:  Beware of contact details being limited to a cellphone only.

RED FLAG  3: DO NOT purchase a puppy through a puppy broker/dodgy pet shop/puppy farmer.

RED FLAG 4:  If purchasing through any other channel than the breeder, request the name, contact number (cell number as well as a landline) and physical address of the breeder for your information/legal recourse.
Request the breeder’s KUSA membership number.  Phone KUSA (Kennel Union of Southern Africa) to verify the breeder’s membership.  

RED FLAG 5: Request to personally see the dam (and the sire if possible) of the puppies (check the condition of the dam – is she healthy and free of parasites?).
Check the condition of the rest of the litter (are they fat and healthy and free of parasites?). 
Check the condition in which they have been raised (is the area clean, have the dam and puppies got an area in which they can play freely and is the area free of parasites?). 
If you cannot go personally (if the litter is in another part of the country) – get someone you trust (who lives in the area) to check this important aspect out on your behalf.

RED FLAG  6: Puppies to preferably be 8 – 10 weeks of age – NOT YOUNGER.

RED FLAG 7: There is no such thing as a thoroughbred dog (only horse breeders use that term).  The term used in dog breeding is purebred. The terms “pedigreed” and “champion blood lines” are subject to misinterpretation and should also not be used in advertising.

RED FLAG  8:  If the puppy is sold as a “pedigreed puppy” with supposedly registered dam & sire, insist on receiving a CERTIFIED copy of the sire & dam’s registration papers, BEFORE parting with one cent of your hard-earned money.  Check that there is a stipulation in the contract as to the timing of receipt of the puppy’s registration papers, so that you – as the buyer, have legal recourse if necessary. 

RED FLAG 9: Ethical and reputable breeders ALWAYS provide a written contract, which lists the conditions of sale, health guarantees and clauses for possible replacement or remuneration in exchange for the animal. 

: Reputable breeders will always be able to provide written proof from a registered vet of the sire and dam’s health (breed specific health problems included).

* Breeder interviews the prospective puppy buyer, informs them of the breed’s positives and negatives. 
* Breeder checks that the prospective puppy buyer is the “right fit” for their specific breed and that the whole family is aware of the responsibility entailed in looking after a puppy.
* All pups (to pet homes) sold on a strict spay/neuter contract only.
* Buyer should not purchase any animal without a written sales contract specifying conditions of sale and guarantees. 
* All pups to come with a written health GUARANTEE (part of the contract). 
* The animal is to be examined by a vet within 48 hours of the sale for condition of general health.  If the vet deems the animal unsuitable for reasons of health, it should be exchangeable for a 2nd animal or a total refund. 
* Pups to AT LEAST have had their 1st inoculation (at age 6 weeks).
* Pups to have been dewormed at least 4 times (at 2 weeks, at 4 weeks, at 6 weeks and again at 8 weeks of age) prior to going to their new homes.
* Pups to be accompanied by their individual vet book (reflecting the innoculations, deworming and complete medical history in the case of an older dog).
* Pups to be accompanied by a “puppy pedigree” from the breeder (this is until the official KUSA registration form is forwarded and will be subject to the individual breeder’s stipulations in their individual contract – I personally forward the pup’s registration papers once the pup has been spayed/neutered according to my contract). 
* The “puppy pedigree” should reflect the breed, the names AND registration numbers of the sire and dam, breeder and date of birth of the puppy.
* The pup should ALWAYS be a healthy, happy individual.


If I didn't have dogs...
The most used words in my vocabulary would not be: out, sit, down, come, no, and leave it.

õ    Blue Hills / Kyalami, Puppy 1 & 2, Basic Obedience & Clicker Classes, Saturdays 8 Week Course
Tersia Kock 082 828 0505 terko@ananzi.co.za
õ    Bryanston, Puppy 1&2, Classes Wednesday evening & Saturday afternoon. Private sessions on request.
            Niki Elliott 082 451 0433 niki@thinkingpets.com
õ    Centurion, Puppy Socialising, Basic Obedience & Clicker Classes, 8 Week Course on Saturdays

            Heather Whitfield 083 566 7009 whitfield@webmail.co.za
õ    Durbanville, Puppy Classes for pups under 4 months. Ongoing: new every 6 weeks
Claire Grobbelaar 021 979 0848 or 082 784 7524 claire.g@mweb.co.za
õ    Edenvale, Puppy Socialising, Sundays Mornings 8 Week Course
Tersia Kock 082 828 0505 terko@ananzi.co.za
õ    Lyndhurst, Gresswold, Bramley, Kew, Waverley Area, Puppy Socialising, 6 Week courses on
Nicky Lucka 083-408-1517 lucka@absamail.co.za
õ    Randpark Ridge, Puppy Socialising with Clicker, 7 Week courses on Saturday mornings.
            Wendy Wilson, 083 336 1761

õ    Sandringham, Puppy Socialising, 6 Week courses on Sundays & Weekday evenings ongoing.
            Kim Heller 082 570 0463


à Are you worried about leaving your puppy at home every day?
à Is your puppy getting him/herself into “trouble” through boredom?
à Does your puppy need some practice with his/her training and you don’t have the time because you are
     getting home too late to work with your pup?

à Does your puppy suffer from separation anxiety when you are gone all day?

à Are you getting complaints from the neighbours because your puppy barks or cries all day?

à If your puppy is home alone every day of the week from 8:00am – 5:00pm, and you would like to have a
     safe, secure place to send him, where he can learn some “stuff” and have fun playing with other puppies
     then contact us!

We offer Puppy Day Care on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for half a day or a full day. Puppies attending day care must be well socialized, have had their first three vaccinations, and must have been dewormed in the previous month before their first day of attendance. Deworming must then be carried out every three months. Tick and flea control must be carried out strictly according to instructions on the relevant product used.

A maximum of 5 puppies a day will be accommodated at play school on a given day.

Cost for half day is R55.00/day and for full day R75.00/day.

The Day Care Play Group is run by Niki and Maxine.

Niki is a Guild Certified TTouch Practitioner 2 for Companion Animals. She runs Puppy Classes & Socialization/Basic Obedience/Clicker Classes for  Dogs & Cats , Kitten Habituation Classes
Contact Details: e-mail : niki.elliott@wol.co.za  website:

Cell: Niki on 082 451 0433 & Maxine on 082 575 1448

If I didn't have dogs...
My house would not be cordoned off into zones with baby gates or barriers.
12.   HEALTH

DOG ALERT! Raisins are extremely poisonous for DOGS

If you have a dog...PLEASE read this and send it on.  If you don’t have a dog, please pass along to friends who do.

Written by: Laurinda Morris, DVM: Danville Veterinary Clinic, Danville, Ohio

This week I had the first case in history of raisin toxicity ever se en at MedVet. My patient was a 56-pound, 5 yr old male neutered lab mix that ate half a canister of raisins sometime between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM on Tuesday. He started with vomiting, diarrhea and shaking about 1AM on Wednesday but the owner didn’t call my emergency service until 7AM. I had heard somewhere about raisins AND grapes causing acute Renal failure but hadn’t seen any formal paper on the subject. We had her bring the dog in immediately. In the meantime, I called the ER service at MedVet, and the doctor there was like me - had heard something about it, but....

Anyway, we contacted the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center and they said to give IV fluids at 1 1/2 times maintenance and > watch the kidney values for the next 48-72 hours. The dog’s BUN (blood urea nitrogen level) was already at 32 (normal less than 27) and creatinine over 5 (1.9 is the high end of normal). Both are monitors of kidney function in the bloodstream. We placed an IV catheter and started the fluids. Rechecked the renal values at 5 PM and the BUN was over 40 and creatinine over 7 with no urine production after a liter of fluids. 

At the point I felt the dog was in acute renal failure and sent him on to MedVet for a urinary catheter to monitor urine

output overnight as well as overnight care. He started vomiting again overnight at MedVet and his renal values have continued to increase daily. He produced urine when given Lasix as a diuretic. He was on 3 different anti-vomiting medications and they still couldn’t control his vomiting. Today his urine output decreased again, his BUN was over 120, his creatinine was at 10, his phosphorus was very elevated and his blood pressure, which had been staying around 150, skyrocketed to 220.He continued to vomit and the owners elected to euthanize.

This is a very sad case - great dog, great owners who had no idea raisins could be a toxin. Please alert everyone you know who has a dog of this very serious risk. Poison control said as few as 7 raisins or grapes could be toxic. Many people I know give their dogs grapes or raisins as treats including our ex-handler’s. Any exposure should give rise to immediate concern.

If I didn't have dogs...
My purse would not contain things like poo pick up bags, dog treats and an extra leash.

How to Decide on “What” to add to the family by Eugenie Chopin

As most of you know, I lost my old boy, Danilo in early December. I have wanted a new puppy in the family for 2 or 3 years now, but had decided that it wouldn’t be fair to Danilo in his old age to have a rambunctious puppy around. As a result I only started seriously thinking about a puppy in early February.

When I did, I seriously started the “hunt”. At the time, I wasn’t actually sure what I wanted. I had thought of a Springer Spaniel and actually found a delightful Mom and pups, but then decided I would go for a slightly larger dog this time around. So I began the search for a Golden Retriever or a Labrador Retriever. I do seem to have an empathy with the Gun Dog group although I am certainly not into guns!

So where to start – The Dog Directory is an annual publication put out by Panorama Publications and it lists Breeds, Breeders and Clubs, so it’s usually where I start my phone calls. Getting in touch with the Chairman or Secretary to a Breed Club is a good way to get your name out there and they often know who has puppies available.

Now if you’ve ever wanted to try to get the “perfect” puppy, you’ll know that there are some basic things you want to look at:

* How is the litter being raised? I have found a litter where the pups are being raised inside the house, with Mom, Dad, small child and other adult dogs. They are hearing the sounds of the TV, hair dryer, washing machine, vacuum cleaner and all other household noises – as well as getting attention from guests, friends and family. Puppies soon learn to go outside on the grass to do their business. This is in stark contrast with puppies that are raised in Kennels or Dog Runs. Those pups never come into the home and have less interaction with people and other dogs. As a result when you take them home, you have to start from scratch! And that window of opportunity to get them used to multiple stimuli starts very late.

*  What does the Breeder want to know about you? Breeders that really care about their puppies want to know that they will be going to the best possible homes. I remember getting a Corgi years ago where the breeder actually came to see the home and garden before agreeing to let us have the pup. Recently, the questions that come from concerned Breeders have been wanting to know if there is someone at home during the day? And who is it? Is the garden big enough? Do I want to work with the dog? What will be the purpose of the dog? All are questions that can let the breeder know if you are the right kind of person for that breed of dog. As I have settled on a Golden Retriever and they are often very attached to their humans, working from home was a big plus in my favor!

NOTE: If a Breeder isn’t interested in these things, then why are they breeding? I emailed one Breeder about a puppy after seeing they had pups on their website. I received back an email saying they would be in JHB the next day and could bring a puppy through. I have to tell you, I was shocked. I can’t imagine taking a puppy with no information about it and I can’t imagine selling a puppy casually to someone that you’ve never even spoken to. I emailed the person back and said I’d like to speak with them first. I never heard back……

*  Do you know what the Health Problems for this Particular Breed? If you don’t know what to look for in the health of a litter, you won’t know the right questions to ask! I did my homework on the Internet before I started calling Breeders. That way I had a better idea of what I needed to ask. For instance in too many breeds these days, HD (Hip Dysplasia) is a huge problem. What I didn’t know is that KUSA (Kennel Union of South Africa) and the SA Veterinary Assoc. have changed the grading of HD. It came into effect in January 2007. The old grading of 0 now has 3 grades in the new system from excellent to fair. The old grading of 1 now has 3 possibilities in the new system from Marginal HD to Mild to Moderate HD. For me the jump from “marginal” to “moderate” can be quite large. I was very grateful when one Breeder I had found emailed me to say the Mother had 1:1 in her hips although this was acceptable to KUSA for breeding, I really wanted parents that preferably had 0! In the end I  would have asked to see and have a copy of the papers, but honestly always impresses me.

And of course we all know of dogs that have had mild or even bad HD and they lived long and productive lives, so it’s always a choice of what you need now in your life. I once had a divine Lab named Flora who had severe HD. And then we never know how the puppy will turn out, even if we have done everything we can to ensure that the health and temperament of both parents is what we want. And because when I commit to a new puppy, I will do so no matter what happens in the future. For me it’s a lifetime commitment and one not to be taken lightly. There are too many dogs given up to Shelters because the owners couldn’t cope with either the Behaviour or the cost of Health Care.

NOTE: One of the thins that impressed me about the Breeder that I didn’t receive from any other is an immediate email with the Genealogy of the parents as well as all the Medical Documentation for HD, Elbow Dysplasia and Eyes. This immediately tells me there is nothing to hide and that the Breeder is very proud of the puppies!

* Have you met the Parents? At the very least you want to meet the Mother and see what sort of temperament she has. Can you view the puppies with her around or is the Mom taken out of the room first? This will tell you that Mom isn’t too happy around strangers and your puppy ends up taking the lead from Mom for the 1st 8 weeks of it’s life. Not a good start! If it’s not possible to meet the Dad, have you spoken to Dad’s people on the phone? Did you ask about Temperament? Do the parents and the puppies look Healthy? How are they being touched?

*  Are you Getting Pressure from the Breeder? I would suggest that you always meet Breeder, Bitch and Puppies before committing to buy a puppy. I had one breeder call me when the puppies were 6 days old and wanted a firm commitment to buy a pup. I was told that others were prepared to put up the money with pups sight unseen. While these puppies are probably divine, I do wonder why it’s necessary to pressure people so early? It would be easy to end up with problems if one fell into the trap of wanting a puppy NOW and therefore didn’t do the proper research.

* How are the Puppies being allocated? I love the fact that my new puppy will be assessed at 7 weeks for temperament. While it’s not a must and many puppy owners just want a pet, if I am interested in something specific – as I am – then knowing which puppy is most likely to be suited to my needs can be a real bonus. So this actually means that it isn’t a first come, first serve basis, but rather the Breeder is really trying hard to make sure that each puppy goes home with the right family. For instance older people might want a more laid back dog, some men like a dog full of spirit, small children need a dog that is gentle, but playful, trainers want a dog with high drive, etc. etc.

* How long have the Ancestors lived?  Well, here’s one I forgot about until I was reading Ian Dunbar’s book, “Before you get your Puppy”. He says the best way to know the health of the litter is to know how long the grandparents, etc. lived. So don’t hesitate to ask about the longevity of the line.

As you can see, this has been a long and time-consuming task, but as I hope to spend the next 15 years or so with this being, I don’t mind the time spent. Wish me luck on my Journey and by the April Newsletter, I’ll have News of the little one. 

Eugenie is a Certified Tellington TTouch Practitioner, Level 3

If I didn't have dogs...
I would no longer have to spell the world B-A-L-L or F-R-I-S-B- E- E or R-I-D-E.

Our TTouch experience

Thank you so very much for the TTouch course. What invaluable lessons we learnt and as Quintin said, we have all only scratched the surface of communication and healing in our animals and may the research and learning continue. What TTouch has done for our dogs and us is just amazing. We loved your course and the wonderful cheerful assistants you had. They were great and so understanding.

Laska our ill treated rescue dog is getting stronger and stronger every day and her fear issues with people are definitely improving. We have learnt what to say to people who want approach or pet her, the calming signals we learnt are so useful and she responds very well to them. Her confidence on the whole has vastly improved, some how she seems happier. We expect her to fully recover from her trauma now, as in the beginning when we received her we had so little hope we thought she would remain in the corner and shiver endlessly, we felt helpless and possibly over compensated by being too mollycoddling. Now we understand and so does she how we can help each other over these scary obstacles and become a brave soldier like her mate Ikkyo.

Ikkyo hurt his right paw in the park on Sunday he limped badly all afternoon. We thought we would wait and see what it was like in the morning before we rushed him off to the vet, later that evening after dinner we calmed him down and the two of us did all the TTouch work we knew on his aching limb. Well, he’s fine this morning as right as rain, no more limping. We were pleasantly surprised at how much we had learnt and how effective it is in so many ways. We found it also calms Ikkyo’s crazy frustrated mind as Laska hits her peak in season. We see such a change in both our dogs and we are certain that humans can benefit from this too particularly if they are or can learn to be responsive to touch and posture.

We couldn’t thank you more for all the lessons learnt.

We want to learn more!

Dee and Quintin

The Old Man and the Dog - by Catherine Moore

"Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!" My father yelled at me.

"Can’t you do anything right?" Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn’t prepared for another battle.

"I saw the car, Dad. Please don’t yell at me when I’m driving." My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.

Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts. Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?

Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon. He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in the is house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess.

The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn’t lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn’t do something he had done as a younger man.

Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing. At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor’s orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, and then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone.

My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust. Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue. Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad’s troubled mind.

But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it. The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered. In vain. Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article." I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their Attitude improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.

I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uni-formed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs.

Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world’s aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed. Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray.

His hipbones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly. I pointed to the dog. "Can you tell me about him?" The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement.  "He’s a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we’ve heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow." He gestured helplessly.

As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. "You mean you’re going to kill him?"

"Ma’am," he said gently, "that’s our policy. We don’t have room for every unclaimed dog." I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. "I’ll take him"

I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch. "Ta-da! Look what I got f or you, Dad!" I said excitedly.

Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones.

Keep it! I don’t want it" Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house. Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. "You’d better get used to him, Dad. He’s staying!" Dad ignored me. "Did you hear me, Dad?" I screamed. At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw.

Dad’s lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.

It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne. Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet. Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years.

Dad’s bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne’s cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father’s room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.

Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad’s bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad’s peace of mind.

The morning of Dad’s funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life. And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers."

"I’ve often thanked God for sending that angel," he said. For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article. Cheyenne’s unexpected appearance at the animal shelter his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father . . .and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.

Life is too short for drama & petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly. Live While You Are Alive. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second time. But do share this with someone. Lost time can never be found. 

If I didn't have dogs...
I would not buy weird things to stuff into "kongs", or have to explain why I'm buying them, or what a "kong" is.

a.   Book of the Month: “A NEW EARTH, Awakening to your life’s purpose” by Eckhart Tolle

We each have the power to make a difference. A new earth begins with you….

Jumping off from the inspiring work he began in “The Power of Now”, Eckhart Tolle provides the spiritual background for anyone to make their own life – and therefore the world – better and more meaningful. Shattering modern ideas of ego and entitlement, self and society, Tolle exposes the fears that hang over us all and shows how each of us can find happiness and health through a series of simple, life-affirming steps:

            Understanding the illusory self

            Going beyond ego

            The secret of happiness

            Learning how to stop carrying the past
            Discover the joy of being

Prepare yourself for a stunning journey of self-enlightenment as A New Earth strips away the illusions we live by and provides a new basis for personal spirituality and self-improvement.

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b:  Website of the Month: http://www.oprah.com/

You can say many things about the Lady, but you have to admit Oprah’s in the forefront of helping people change and wake up to their potential. This series of conversations with Eckhart Tolle are a first in the world. The first in the series which was about Chapter one of Tolle’s new book has already been seen by more than a million and a half people who all went onto the Internet to listen or download. It’s ground breaking stuff. Actually it’s a Class that one can call into and ask questions – so go take a peek at what it’s all about. If that doesn’t interest you, there’s everything from food recipes to tips on just about anything in life!

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c: Interesting Links
à TTouch demonstration by Linda Tellington-Jones
Mad Cats??? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mF54xWd0mNs&feature=related 

If I didn't have dogs...
I would not have as many leaves INSIDE my house as outside.
16.   EVENTS


Animal Rehabilitation Initiative will be hosting a 2 day workshop with world renowned Ethologist Professor Raymond Coppinger on the 12 & 13 April 2008 in Johannesburg and 19 & 20 April in Cape Town.

 This unique workshop will allow delegates the opportunity to spend two days in Professor Coppingers’ company. Ray Coppinger is a Professor of Biology in the School of Cognitive Science at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, USA. He has studied and worked with dogs for decades throughout the world, and brings to light fascinating details about dog behaviour. He and his wife Lorna are the authors of Dogs: A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin and Behaviour – a must read for everyone involved in the Dog Profession.

Bookings will work on a first come, first serve basis so please let us know well in advance if you would like to secure your seat for this workshop. 
For Enquiries and Booking:

Phone: 021 790 9787. 09h00 – 17h00 (Monday – Friday), 09h00 – 13h00 (Saturday) or contact Mike Wood on mikwoo@iafrica.com

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b. Horse Power Workshop
Horse Power will be offering a unique personal growth experience running over a period of four consecutive Saturday afternoons from 2 – 5pm.  The dates for the next workshop are March 29th, April 5th, 12th, and 19th.

There is an early bird discount offered to people if they register and pay before the 24th of March. Please contact Sharon Boyce on 084 500 0672 for more information.

c. Listen to and learn from the animals! with Wynter Worsthorne

DURBAN, KZN - Introduction to Animal Communication, 26 & 27 April 2008, Advanced Day 28 April 2008
To book, contact Sabine on
ostara@polka.co.za or 076 124 5056.

If I didn't have dogs...
I would not look strangely at people who think having their ONE dog ties them down too much.

Rescue Dog looking for a permanent home
A medium size male cross breed dog was run over on William Nicol in Fourways. He was rescued & sterilised. The vet has given him a clean bill of health! A property check will need to be done. If anyone can please help this dog, contact Tarryn Day on 083 643 8313 or tarrynd@gmail.com

Black Lab looking for a home
Bono is a one-year old gorgeous, thoroughbred black Labrador (with all his registration papers) who will make a great family pet. He’s a great watchdog as well and all he needs is a walk once or twice a week and a loving
home. Owners are moving as is planning on putting it down on Friday. Please contact Dominique on 083 447 6833.

Abandoned German Shepherd X looking for a home
Max, male, around one year old, was abandoned in a Golf Estate. He is playful and good with other dogs - not sure if he is good with cats. If anyone can offer Max a good home, please contact Merinda on 011 464-2853 or 083-377-3219.

2 Huskies to find a new family – Urgent!
A gorgeous pair - they have both been sterilized and are looking for a home URGENTLY. Gypsy is a female and Blade is the male. They are both 2 years old. Very friendly and not aggressive at all. If anyone would like to adopt these two babies please

phone JoAnn 082 851 9576.

If I didn't have dogs...
I would not have to answer the question why do I have so many dogs from people who will never have the joy in their life of knowing they are loved unconditionally by something as close to an angel as they will ever get. Who else has a friend who considers you the MOST important thing in the whole wide world all the time.
© 2006 TTouch - eugenie@ttouch.co.za.   All Rights Reserved.