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10.   HEALTH
14.   EVENTS
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Hello TTouch Friends,

We had an absolutely FAB time at the World of Dogs and Cats. So many of you came by to chat or to watch a Demo. I was also extremely proud of so many of our Practitioners-In-Training who showed just how good they are going to be when they qualify! I was also proud of new puppy Harley who handled himself and thousands of people like a Pro!


We have a great new PA in the office. Her name is Morag Barkhuizen and that’s whom you’ll be speaking to when you call. Give her a warm welcome will you?


I know that some of you were disappointed that our Client Morning filled us so quickly, but you can still come as a Spectator for the Demo if you’d just like to see what the work is all about. If you want to attendend please email Morag at info@ttouch.co.za


I’m off to the States today. I’ll be doing a 9-day intensive on EFT (Emotion Free Technique) and I’m very excited about this. I’ll also be learning how to use this technique to work with animals. Then I’ll make a quick trip to Louisiana to see the family. Hopefully there won’t be too much Hurricane damage where I’m going! If anyone needs to get hold of me personally, you can reach me at eugenie@ttouch.co.za


We have had overwhelming response to Sarah Fisher’s “Talking To Animals” on National Geographic Wild. It seems to keep being rerun, so if you missed it, keep looking as it may well be repeated in the future.


Warmest Regards,

Eugenie Chopin

Certified Practitioner III for Companion Animals



TTACT IV will have it’s first Intro September/Oct. 2009

If you are interested in this program and want to get started, we recommend a weekend workshop or weekly class. This will give you a taste of the work to see how it can affect your own pets.


TTACT III, session 4 – September 24-29, 2008 with Edie Jane Eaton (limited to TTACT III students)

TTACT III, session 5 – March 26 – 31, 2009 with Linda Tellington-Jones (limited to TTACT III students)

TTACT III, session 6 – September 24-29, 2009 with Robyn Hood (limited to TTACT III student

A cat isn't fussy — just so long as you remember he likes his milk in the shallow,
rose-patterned saucer and his fish on the blue plate. From which he will take it,
and eat it off the floor.
— Arthur Bridges


An opportunity to spend quality time with your dog and learn new ways to communicate, problem solve or just bond.


Learn how balancing your dog’s Body can influence Balancing the Mind and Emotions!




How do TTouch bodywork, which includes a variety of TTouches

How to read your Dog’s body Language

How to Use a Body Wrap, a wonderful tool for many things including fear of Thunder and Fireworks

To Find the Perfect Equipment for your Pet and How to use it: Sometimes, changing a Harness or Head Collar can make a huge difference to your ability to not only control your dog, but in helping you communicate what it is you want him to do!

To Do Groundwork, for helping dogs balance, learn, improve gait, gain confidence and much more!

How to increase the bond with your pet through mindful interactions

How to Problem Solve your Personal Situations
How to Communicate on many Levels

How you are affecting your Dog’s Life, Confidence and Behaviour









Bryanston Johannesburg

2 Day Weekend
with Niki Elliott

20/21 September Saturday               8:00 - 13:30.

 Sunday 9:00 - 17:00 


Niki Elliott

082 451 0433

Bryanston Johannesburg

2 Day Weekend
with Niki Elliott

11/12 October 2008


8:00 - 13:30.

 Sunday 9:00 - 17:00 


Niki Elliott

082 451 0433

Cat's motto: No matter what you've done wrong, always
try to make it look like the dog did it." - Unknown









TTOUCH and Confi Kitten Workshop
• Niki Elliott
• Lindy Dekker


07 Nov (evening &

08 Nov

Saturday Confi Kitten,


R 450

     Niki Elliott              

082 451 0433




TTOUCH and Confi Kitten Workshop
• Niki Elliott
• Lindy Dekker



09 Nov 2008




R 350

     Niki Elliott              

082 451 0433


If you are doing both Classes: Cost R750

A dog may be man’s best friend but a horse made history - Anonymous  






Donnybrook Stables Johannesburg

5 Day TTEAM with Edie Jane Eaton & Lindy Dekker

                                    Oct. 1-5


Lindy equibalance@iafrica.com        083 616 0577


1 1/2 Day workshop on TTEAM
• Lindy Dekker

21-22 Nov 2008
Friday afternoon and Saturday all day


R 500                

Sandra Mouton


Hout Bay

Quadri-Sense @ Sorgh Vliet Lodge

Welbevind Way off Valley Road near the World of Birds

Two workshops offered split over 2 mornings. Attend either or both.

Wednesday    17 September         9am – 12pm


Thursday 18 September          9am – 12pm

               R300 per session   (2 mornings)                




quadrisense@gmail.com   /or/  (082) 569-8641

Catherine Williams (082) 569-8641


Hout Bay
Quadri-Sense @ Sorgh Vliet Lodge

Welbevind Way off Valley Road near the World of Birds



Two workshops offered split over 2 mornings. Attend either or both


Wednesday 8 October              9am – 12pm


Thursday 9 October            9am – 12pm




R300 per session (2 mornings)





quadrisense@gmail.com   /or/  (082) 569-8641


Catherine Williams (082) 569-8641

"An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language
- Martin Buber



The Khulisa Project is a Diversional program for teenage first-time offenders.

The teenagers are sent on the program rather than being sent to jail.

Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW) has become involved in Khulisa and in May this year started running Saturday morning sessions with these youngsters. The sessions are held at their clinic, which is on the Durban Deep Mines property.


So what has this got to do with TTouch? Well, Cora Bailey of CLAW asked me if I would like to run sessions in which the children “train” some of the many dogs CLAW has in the clinic. The objective was for the children to have the benefit of interacting with dogs and for the dogs to learn to walk on a lead, sit to command, etc, and as a result hopefully become more adoptable.


I called in the help of Phyllis Dannhauser another TTouch practitioner and so far we have run three wonderful sessions with these youngsters. On our first session we were met with a few children dragging unwilling, unhappy dogs about on the ends of leads. This was not a pretty sight! Neither the children nor the dogs had the skills to cope with collars and leads.


My focus has been to explore the very important area of the senses in general and touch in particular. We know that so many people have been inappropriately touched and may have real issues about touch. So I planned very interactive, fun workshops about touch and slowly introduced one or two touches per session. We also taught the children how to safely approach a dog, how to look for calming signals, and looked at the “fright, flight, freeze, fool around response” and how to respect the animal and it’s response.


By Session 3 we felt the children had enough skills to start working safely and respectfully with the dogs. They all (dogs and children) had such a good time! Armed with fistfuls of my homemade liver cake the children had dogs trotting about on the ends of leads. Those with frozen dogs were doing “leash stroking” of which Robyn Hood would have been very proud ! We had dogs “sitting” and even some dogs doing Figure 8’s between children’s legs!

It was wonderful to see the dogs and the children having fun and growing in confidence. We have more sessions planned and I will let you know how it goes.


Finally, there is one young girl in the group who is really scared of dogs. So I pared her up with my own cheerful little Corgi-cross, Aggie. Aggie is the kindest little dog and tries so hard to please. Well Aggie wove her magic and soon the two were trotting happily backwards and forwards. Aggie worked hard, was exhausted and slept soundly on the way home. What a good day!


Sue White

TTouch Practitioner Level 1

01 July 2007      

The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too. ~
Samuel Butler, Notebooks, 1912

How to Tame Your Kitten, Clicker-Style by Joan Orr (Part 2)
Canny cats

Necessities of life

Every kitten will have to go to the vet for shots, spaying/neutering, and micro chipping. Visiting children will almost certainly try to pick up a kitten at one point or another. Teach your kitten to tolerate touch, using the same methods as for carrier training. Click and toss a treat (or dangle a toy for a few moments of play) when the kitten looks in your direction, then when she comes a little closer (and closer), and then when she comes to sniff your hand (if there is a little cat food gravy on your hand this will speed up the process!). Touch the kitten in different ways and on various parts of her body while letting her eat soft cat food from a syringe. Click and toss a treat any time the kitten makes contact or allows longer contact. Handle her feet, look in her eyes, feel her tummy, open her mouth as if you were the vet doing an exam. Click and treat each step to reinforce the kitten for cooperating.

When you play with the kitten, click and treat if she is fairly careful with her claws. Stop the game if she gets too rough. Raise your criteria so that she gets a click and treat (or more play) only when she uses soft paws (no claws at all). 

Taming shy or feral kittens.


Fearful or standoffish kittens benefit significantly from clicker training, because it gives them the control they need to build confidence.

Some kittens don’t want anything to do with humans and are fearful or standoffish. These kittens benefit significantly from clicker training because it gives them the control they need to build confidence. Click and toss a treat to a kitten from across the room. Allow the kitten to decide on the next move and click/treat anything that is a little closer to friendly or less fearful behaviour. Maybe just looking at you without hissing is worth a click.

Kittens can learn cute tricks like waving, spinning, standing on hind legs, and jumping to a chair without having to come too close. The clicker gives you a way to communicate with the kitten without encroaching on her space. Jennifer Shryock reinforces shy kittens with a click and treat (or play) when she sees them stretching. The stretch is a tension reliever for the kitten and, if reinforced, will be repeated. More stretching means a more relaxed kitten; eventually, the kitten can learn to stretch deliberately in order to calm herself.


Rewards for all


Clicker training will help any kitten gain confidence. The training increases the kitten’s trust in you, and she will be more likely to seek out your company. She may even get to the point of snuggling in your lap. If you are involved with kitten rescue or work at a shelter, clicker training cats and kittens to come to the front of the cages and to wave or give a high five makes them instantly more adoptable. Clicker training is easy to teach to new owners, and kittens adjust very quickly in a new home where the owners know how to give familiar cues and reinforce with a click/treat.

The click is non-emotional, clear, precise, and consistent—what a relief for the kitten when she discovers that these new people are just as trainable as the old ones!


  With thanks for permission from Karen Pryor’s website www.clickertraining.com

From the dog's point of view, his master is an elongated
and abnormally cunning dog. ~Mabel Louise Robinson

PUPPY SOCIALIZATION ACCORDING TO The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviour

Below is a fantastic article put out by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviour, and I say “Hallelujah”. For many years the old school Veterinarians were not in favour of puppies attending Puppy Schools. They felt that as the pups were not fully vaccinated they were at risk of picking up infection. Their protocol was to tell the owners they must wait until the pup was 6 months old! This meant that the puppies missed out on the early crucial stage of learning.  *The Critical Period of Socialization ends by three months of age! This is the crucial developmental stage during which puppies learn to accept and enjoy the company of other dogs and people. (*Ian Dunbar – Before you Get your Puppy).

 Ian Dunbar, in his book Before and After you Get your Puppy, said that the risk of infection in a controlled environment far outweighed the possibility of the puppy being euthanazed due to behaviour problems later on in life. The shelters are filled with adolescent dogs, dogs around the age of 6 – 9 months who have never been to any sort of Puppy Training. These dogs are extremely difficult to home and often, if they are homed, they are returned within six months.

In the “Process of Socialization” below the article states  “where possible, classes should be held on surfaces that are easily cleaned and disinfected (e.g. indoor environments). Visits to dog parks or other areas that are not sanitized and/or are highly trafficked by dogs of unknown vaccination or disease status should be avoided.” Here in South Africa there are very few indoor areas that we can utilize for classes, but we do have the very best natural disinfectant on the planet in plentiful supply. THE SUNSHINE.  Well run puppy schools - where no puppy is allowed unless it has had its first vaccination and has been de-wormed, two weeks prior to starting class, is very unlikely to be the place where the puppy will pick up infections. I do agree that puppy owners need to stay away from public parks until the puppy has had all of its vaccinations.

Make sure that you do the research of Puppy Schools in your area and look for the one that works for you. Take note of all the points below - there is really not much more to be said as this article says it all.

Niki Elliott. ThinkingPets Puppy Schools.

AVSAB Position Statement On Puppy Socialization www.AVSABonline.org

The primary and most important time for puppy socialization is the first three months of life.1, 2 During this time puppies should be exposed to as many new people, animals, stimuli and environments as can be achieved safely and without causing over ­stimulation manifested as excessive fear, with­drawal or avoidance behavior. For this reason, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior believes that it should be the standard of care for puppies to receive such socialization before they are fully vaccinated.

Because the first three months are the period when sociability outweighs fear, this is the primary window of opportunity for puppies to adapt to new people, animals, and experiences. Incomplete or im­proper socialization during this important time can increase the risk of behavioral problems later in life including fear, avoidance, and/or aggression. Behavioral problems are the greatest threat to the owner-dog bond. In fact, behavioral problems are the num­ber one cause of relin­quishment to shelters.3 Behavioral issues, not infectious diseases, are the number one cause of death for dogs under three years of age.

While puppies’ im­mune systems are still developing during these early months, the combination of maternal immunity, primary vac­cination, and appropriate care makes the risk of infection relatively small compared to the chance of death from a behavior problem.

Veterinarians specializing in behavior recom­mend that owners take advantage of every safe opportunity to expose young puppies to the great variety of stimuli that they will experi­ence in their lives. Enrolling in puppy classes prior to three months of age can be an excellent means of improving training, strengthening the human-animal bond, and socializing puppies in an environment where risk of illness can be minimized.

For this reason, the Amer­ican Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior believes that it should be the stan­dard of care for puppies to receive such socializa­tion before they are fully vaccinated.

In general, puppies can start puppy socialization classes as early as 7-8 weeks of age. Puppies should receive a minimum of one set of vac­cines at least 7 days prior to the first class and a first de-worming. They should be kept up-to-date on vaccines throughout the class


1. Serpell J, Jagoe JA. Early experience and the development of behaviour. In Serpell J (ed). The       
    Domestic Dog, p.82-102, Cambridge University Press 1995

2. Freedman DG, King JA, Elliot O. 1961. Critical periods in the social development of the dog. 
    Science, 133, 1016-1017

3. Miller DM, Stats SR, Partlo BS, et al. Factors associated with the decision to surrender a pet to an
    animal shelter. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:738- 742

4. Duxbury MM, Jackson JA, Line SW, Anderson RK. Evaluation of association between retention in   
    the home and attendance at puppy socialization classes. JAVMA, 223 (1), 2003, 61-66

5. Eskeland GE, Tillung RH, Bakken M. The effect of punishment, rewards, control and attitude in
    obedience and problem behaviors in dogs. Proceedings IVBM 2007;103-104.

6. Hilby EF, Rooney NJ, Bradshaw JWS. Dog training methods: their use, effectiveness and
     interaction with behaviour and welfare. Animal Welfare 2004;13: 63-69.

7. Bradshaw JW, McPherson JA, Casey RA, Larter LS. Aetiology of separation-related behavior in
    domestic dogs. Vet Record 2002;191:43-46.

The Process of Socialization:

Puppies should be handled from birth, learning to accept manipulation of all body parts. Every effort should be made to expose them to as many different people, well-socialized animals, situations, places, etc. as possible. Puppies should be encour­aged to explore, investigate, and manipu­late their environments. Interactive toys and games, a variety of surfaces, tunnels, steps, chutes, and other stimuli can enrich the puppy’s environment. Puppies should accompany their breeders/owners on as many car trips as possible. These exposures should continue into adulthood to maintain an outgoing and sociable dog.

Puppy socialization classes can offer a safe and organized means of socializing puppies and more quickly improve their responsiveness to commands. Each puppy should have up-to-date vaccinations and be disease and parasite free before entering the class. Where possible, classes should be held on surfaces that are easily cleaned and disinfected (e.g. indoor environments). Visits to dog parks or other areas that are not sanitized and/or are highly trafficked by dogs of unknown vaccination or disease status should be avoided.

Classes and at-home training should be based on positive reinforcement with frequent rewards praise, petting, play and/or treats. Positive and consistent training is associated with fewer behavioral problems and greater obedience than methods that involve punishment and/or encourage hu­man dominance.

Time must be scheduled for puppies to play alone with their favorite toys (such as stuffed food toys) or take naps in safe places such as crates or puppy pens. This teaches puppies to amuse themselves, and may help to prevent problems of over attachment to the owners. Continuing to offer dogs a wide variety of experiences during their first year of life is also helpful in preventing separation-related behaviour.

Proper confinement training using pens or crates helps to ensure that puppies have safe and secure places for rest and con­finement. Puppies that are used to being crated will be less stressed if they must be hospitalised or be confined for travel by plane or car. Crates should serve as comfort or play areas.

Early and adequate socialization and programs of positive training can go a long way to preventing behavior problems and improving bonding between humans and dogs. While the first three months is the most important socialization period in a puppy’s life, owners of puppies that have passed this milestone are strongly encour­aged to continue to socialize their puppies to as many people, pets, and locations as is practical. However, owners of puppies displaying fear should seek veterinary guid­ance.

© 2008 AVSAB American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior

Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot little puppies. ~Gene Hill  

Puppy Socialization Classes:

All classes below are given by TTouch Practitioners or Practitioners in Training and incorporate TTouch in the Handling of puppies.

õ    Blue Hills / Kyalami, Puppy 1 and Older Dogs Sunday Mornings Tersia Kock 082 828 0505 tkock@telkomsa.net.

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 Weekdays and Weekends.  Heather Whitfield 083 566 7009 mailto:kimh@kti.co.za

õ        Durbanville, Puppy Classes for pups under 4 months. Ongoing: new every 6 weeks. Claire Grobbelaar 021 9790848 or 082 784 7524 .

õ        Edenvale, Puppy 1 and Older Dogs Saturday Afternoons Tersia Kock 082 828 0505  


õ  Heidelberg, Jordaanpark, Every Sunday; contact Ilze van der Walt:zafira.ilze@webmail.co.za
or 082 921 4448

õ        Lyndhurst, Gresswold, Bramley, Kew, Waverley Area, Puppy Socialising, 6 Week       courses on Sundays. 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 kimh@kti.co.za

Oh the saddest of sights in a world of sin,
is the little lost pup with his tail tucked in.
Arthur Guiter
10.   HEALTH

Top 10 Dog Behavioural Myths

Jean Donaldson, Dogs in Canada


A friend in Canada sent this to me. It seems so relevant that I hope I’m not treading on any toes by sending it out. Think of it as being important to the Mental and Emotional Health in your dog & You!


There are a lot of myths about dog behaviour so I whittled it down to ones that were pervasive and that made myth criteria, which are:
a) there is no (zero) scientific evidence supporting the contention;
b) there is scientific evidence against the contention and/or scientific evidence supporting alternatives.


Myth #1: Dogs are naturally pack animals with a clear social order. This one busts coming out of the gate, as free-ranging dogs, (pariahs, semi-feral populations, dingoes, etc.) don’t form packs. As someone who spent years solemnly repeating that dogs were pack animals, it was sobering to find out that dogs form loose, amorphous, transitory associations with other dogs.


Myth # 2: If you let dogs exit doorways ahead of you, you’re letting them be dominant. There is not only no evidence for this, there is no evidence that the behaviour of going through a doorway has any social significance whatsoever. In order to lend this idea any plausibility, it would need to be ruled out that rapid doorway exit is not simply a function of their motivation to get to whatever is on the other side combined with their higher ambulation speed.


Myth #3: In multi-dog households, “support the hierarchy” by giving presumed dominant animals patting, treats, etc., first, before giving the same attention to presumed subordinate animals. There is no evidence that this has any impact on inter-dog relations, or any type of aggression. In fact, if one dog were roughing up another, the laws governing Pavlovian conditioning would dictate an opposite tack: Teach aggressive dogs that other dogs receiving scarce resources predicts that they are about to receive some. If so practised, the tough dog develops a happy emotional response to other dogs getting stuff – a helpful piece of training, indeed. No valuable conditioning effects are achieved by giving the presumed higher-ranking dog goodies first.


Myth # 4: Dogs have an innate desire to please. This concept has never been operationally defined, let alone tested. A vast preponderance of evidence, however, suggests that dogs, like all properly functioning animals, are motivated by food, water, sex, and like many animals, by play and access to bonded relationships, especially after an absence. They’re also, like all animals, motivated by fear and pain, and these are the inevitable tools of those who eschew the use of food, play, etc., however much they cloak their coercion and collar tightening in desire to please rhetoric.


Myth # 5: Rewards are bribes and thus compromise relationships. Related to 4), the idea that behaviour should just, in the words of Susan Friedman, Ph.D., “flow like a fountain” without need of consequences, is opposed by more than 60 years of unequivocal evidence that behaviour is, again to quote Friedman, “a tool to produce consequences.” Another problem is that bribes are given before behaviour, and rewards are given after. And, a mountain of evidence from decades of research in pure and applied settings has demonstrated over and over that positive reinforcement – i.e., rewards – make relationships better, never worse.


Myth # 6: If you pat your dog when he’s afraid, you’re rewarding the fear. Fear is an emotional state – a reaction to the presence or anticipation of something highly aversive. It is not an attempt at manipulation. If terrorists enter a bank and order everybody down on the floor, the people will exhibit fearful behaviour. If I then give a bank customer on the floor a compliment, 20 bucks or chocolates, is this going to make them more afraid of terrorists next time? It’s stunningly narcissistic to imagine that a dog’s fearful behaviour is somehow directed at us (along with his enthusiastic door-dashing).


Myth # 7: Punish dogs for growling or else they’ll become aggressive. Ian Dunbar calls this “removing the ticker from the time bomb.” Dogs growl because something upsetting them is too close. If you punish them for informing us of this, they are still upset but now not letting us know, thus allowing scary things to get closer and possibly end up bitten. Much better to make the dog comfortable around what he’s growling at so he’s not motivated to make it go away.

8) Playing tug makes dogs aggressive. There is no evidence that this is so. The only study ever done, by Borchelt and Goodloe, found no correlation between playing tug and the incidence of aggression directed at either family members or strangers. Tug is, in fact, a cooperative behaviour directed at simulated prey: the toy.


Myth # 9: If you give dogs chew toys, they’ll learn to chew everything. This is a Pandora’s box type of argument that, once again, has zero evidence to support it. Dogs are excellent discriminators and readily learn with minimal training to distinguish their toys from forbidden items. The argument is also logically flawed as chewing is a ‘hydraulic’ behaviour that waxes and wanes, depending on satiation/deprivation, as does drinking, eating and sex. Dogs without chew objects are like zoo animals in barren cages. Unless there is good compensation with other enrichment activities, there is a welfare issue here.


Myth # 10: You can’t modify “genetic” behaviour. All behaviour – and I mean all – is a product of a complex interplay between genes and the environment. And while some behaviours require less learning than others, or no learning at all, their modifiability varies as much as does the modifiability of behaviours that are primarily learned.

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." - Unknown  

: A Look at Dog Reactivity in the Home

by Eugenie Chopin


I’m about to write to you about a very difficult subject. The fact that almost 2 weeks ago, Shanti had a go at Angelique. I believe it’s important to tell you about this as so very many people have reactive situations in the home and don’t know how to resolve it. It’s also important to know that many of us who have or have had reactive dogs are in the business of working with animals and it doesn’t mean that we’re immune to the problems!


I was hoping that it was a once off attack and a few days of cooling off would solve the problem, but it hasn’t been the case. As far as I can tell, there was no discernable trigger to the incident other than the fact that it was next to me under the office desk. So maybe it’s partially a space issue. I have thought a lot about it since then and there are several factors that I think have contributed to Shanti’s stress in the last couple of months. And as we know Stress can completely change the chemical balance in the body.


 It’s serendipitous that I just received a great book about Stress in Dogs (next month’s Book of the Month). It then starts to become clear that if it’s taken time to build up Stress, then it will take time to de-stress the dog as well, so Patience is going to be a big virtue around here in the next months.


Possible contributing factors:


* Pain: Shanti has an injury between two of the toes on her front foot (probably from agility jumping) that will make her limp from time to time. There is no cure for this as an Op can make the injury worse. The most we can do it anti-inflammatory / pain meds to make her comfortable. She had been limping on and off for more than a month. I had actually taken her again to a specialist just to make sure that is what it was and nothing more. At the time of the Vet visit (2 weeks before the attack) I told the Vet I felt like she was depressed. I’ll also mention that Shanti (like her Mom) doesn’t handle pain very well!


* Less Exercise: Because of her limping we were trying to keep her more contained and therefore she was getting less play and exercise.


* New Puppy in the House: Shanti has been the Puppy in the house for 7 years. She got the most attention, played the hardest and had everyone who entered the house at her beck and call. In early May, Harley arrived and because need dictated that her be trained quickly, he started to receive lots of attention as well as having an irresistible “cute” factor for anyone who entered the house. I can well believe that Shanti was feeling left out and displaced.


* Loss of Danilo last year left Shanti and Angelique as the only 2 dogs for 5 months. The loss was already one factor of having 1 less dog to share attention with and then bringing in Harley again changed the family dynamic.


* Gautrain Blasting: Yes, the Gautrain is running practically under the house and we’ve had daily blasting and drilling for a several months. And as has been pointed out to me, we don’t know how much more she is feeling and hearing from the blasting that what we are. Shanti is definitely sound sensitive and I’m sure this is adding to the stress levels.


* New PA in the office: With new full time staff in the office, the dynamic of the house has changed. This is always an adjustment until everyone gets used to the new person.


So you can see that it’s not a straightforward issue like food, chew toys or even my attention. It’s more complex than that and it’s going to take time to sort out. The fact that Shanti has had so many stressful factors tells me that what we have to do is minimize that stress in the best way we can.


How we might be able to do this:


* Pain: For a couple of days after the incident I gave her 75mg of Rimadyl in the hope that we could start to make her feel better physically. I have since started her on Flexi-joint, which seems to have helped in keeping the foot feeling better. For the emotional stress, she is getting 2 Nutri-Calm in the morning and 2 in the evening.


* Less Exercise:  It’s a well known fact that exercising the mind and be more productive than exercising the body, so I and others will be doing more clicker work with her as she not only loves to work, but it will stimulate her in a meaningful and fun manner.


* New Puppy in the House: Well the boy is here, but we’ll try to keep the activity on an even and equal level as much as possible. Also I can see that Harley is really pushing her at playtime and I want to try not to have the equilibrium disrupted there as well. It’s going to be a bit of a juggle and I want to have Harley be with both dogs during the course of the day.


* Loss of Danilo: Not really much I can do about this other than to speak to Shanti in a manner that can help her know that I’m trying to understand how she’s feeling.


* Gautrain Blasting: Again, there is not a lot I can do about the situation. However, I can treat it the way I do thunderstorms and Fireworks and that is to play a bit when it happens, talk with a cheerful voice and hope that it stops soon! Actually as it is usually only for a few seconds (up to maybe 20) it’s over before I can make any kind of association, but it’s still impacting on Shanti.


* New PA in the House: As I’m leaving for the US next week, I’ll be asking Morag to do some Clicker work and some Play with Shanti. I’m sure this will help to fast track their relationship and let Shanti know that she has a friend there. It’s great to know that Morag has the training and experience with dogs to do this.


* General: Needless to say, I’m doing TTouch on Shanti. Making sure that I work the ears as the Triple heater Meridian, which runs around them, influences the “Fight or Flight” response. Helping to loosen any tight muscles in the body can also help. Unfortunately Shanti has always been skin sensitive, so there is a limit to the touching I can do and putting body wrap on her would stress her even more. However, TTouch is not just about body work, but also in communication and how we react to situations and of course, doing some groundwork with her to help her focus and improve her confidence level.


So there you have the Situation. It’s certainly not an easy one and I knew I needed help, so I have called in a couple of people to help me. First of all, I’m too close to the situation and wanted to be sure I was seeing all the signs and then of course I only have 1 pair of hands and one set of eyes!  I’ll tell you more about that in the months to come!


All good thought are welcome!

"A dog is not 'almost human', and I know of no greater insult
to the canine race than to describe it as such."
-- John Holmes



My dog is so funny

He flops down, he rolls on his back,

He asks for a scratch of his tummy.


Then his clear brown eyes gaze into mine.

He says,

“I see your deep, dark pain,

But could you scratch my tum just one more time

And then the world will be just fine!”


Sue White



Most people know the traumatic effect that fireworks have on domestic animals as they witness the behavioural changes and attempt to cope with them. However, most people don’t realize how much urban wildlife there is and how badly these animals and birds are affected.

Globally, humanity is striving to elevate consciousness and awareness concerning environmental issues. We’re now aware of our carbon footprints, recycling our waste, planting indigenous, bringing Nature into our space and making informed decisions on these issues.  Despite these positive steps, holding fireworks displays negates the sound environmental decisions made by communities, schools and organizations!  While trying to maintain an unemotional response to this issue, the facts remain disturbing.  Fireworks displays happen during the early weeks of November, in the middle of breeding season!! Johannesburg is home to an extraordinary number of bird species and each year we record new species moving into the well treed habitat we’ve created ie: White-faced Owls and Grey Hornbills.  During fireworks, birds crash off their nests and roosts and fly blindly into trees, fences etc fracturing wings and legs. Once birds have abandoned their nests due to fright, do they come back that night or ever? Do their eggs and chicks die as a result? Are territories lost because of displacement?  Many mammals and reptiles such as Lesser Spotted Genet, Yellow and Slender Mongooses, Bats Hedgehogs, Porcupines, Bushbabies, small antelope, monitors etc, also habituate our suburbs. There is no doubt that all of these animals are affected too. I have personally monitored wildlife at Woodmead Country Club’s 2007 firework display and can assure you that the response of birds, antelope and small mammals was extremely disturbing to watch.  The Fourways Gardens display is clearly audible at our Centre, and I stayed here that night to monitor the reaction of our patients.  A young Eland calf  I was raising jumped the paddock fence and crashed blindly through the bush on this 50acre reserve, badly lacerating himself. 

Arguments for fireworks include various decibel tests done, but these test the noise levels for human beings not animals. Also cited is that there has been no conclusive research done on the effects of fireworks on wildlife. Internationally, every animal welfare organization condemns fireworks.  FreeMe’s stand on this issue is to support urban wildlife on every level. I am appealing to every body to help us do this by using your vote NOW!



Senior Animal Manager




Sent to us by Reader Arlene Kalcher –




What matters most in life ... A wonderful dog story.


Mary and her husband Jim had a dog, Lucky. Lucky was a real character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy. Inevitably, someone would forget and something would come up missing. Mary or Jim would go to Lucky’s toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all of Lucky’s favorite toys. Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box.


It happened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her she was going to die of this disease, she was just sure it was fatal. She scheduled the double mastectomy, fear riding her shoulders.


The night before she was to go to the hospital she cuddled with Lucky. A thought struck her...what would happen to Lucky? Although the three-year-old dog liked Jim, he was Mary’s dog through and through. If I die, Lucky will be abandoned, Mary thought. He won’t understand that I didn’t want to leave him. The thought made her sadder than thinking of her own death. The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated and Mary was hospitalized for over two weeks. Jim took Lucky for his evening walk

faithfully, but the little dog just drooped, whining and miserable. Finally the day came for Mary to leave the hospital. When she arrived home, Mary was so exhausted she couldn’t even make it up the steps to her bedroom. Jim made his wife comfortable on the couch and left her to nap.


Lucky stood watching Mary but he didn’t come to her when she called. It made Mary sad, but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed. When Mary woke for a second she couldn’t understand what was wrong. She couldn’t move her head and her body felt heavy and hot.


But panic soon gave way to laughter when Mary realized the problem. She was covered, literally blanketed, with every treasure Lucky owned! While she had slept, the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement bringing his beloved mistress all his favorite things in life. He had covered her with his love. Mary forgot about dying. Instead she and Lucky began living again, walking further and further together every night. It’s been 12 years now and Mary is still cancer-free. Lucky? He still steals treasures and stashes them in his toy box but Mary remains his greatest treasure.


The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards BUT they are the ones who care.


It's funny how dogs and cats know the inside of folks better than other folks do,
isn't it?
Eleanor H. Porter

a.   Book of the Month:       Control Unleashed   by Leslie Mcdevitt

      Leslie Mcdevitt’s versatile Control Unleashed program is designed to help “dogs with issues” learn how to relax, focus, and work off leash reliably in either stimulating or stressful situations. Eg: Dogs that are uncomfortable or unable to work off lead around other dogs, dogs that are easily distracted and have difficulty concentrating, reactive or easily aroused dogs, anxious or stressed and shut down dogs, and dogs that are unable to control their impulses when excited.

Control Unleashed is a bible for agility clubs to keep classes safe while ensuring that problematic dogs are not left out of the fun. Also a gold mine of training and behaviour modification advice for any owner, trainer, or behaviour counsellors who works with dogs with focus and arousal problems.

This book is currently on order and will be available shortly.

                                                                                                                                            Return to Top


b:  Website of the Month: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiGKWoJi5qM&feature=related

    A really inspirational video clip of the bond that exists between humans and animals.

Return to Top


c: Interesting Links

­à http://amazingacts.blogspot.com/2008/07/dont-try-this-at-home.html This has nothing to do with animals, but give yourself a treat and take a look. I had Goosebumps at the end!


à http://video.yahoo.com/network/100899001?v=3255795/9177017

à http://www.i-am-bored.com/bored_link.cfm?link_id=31868 - Singing Puppies to Sleep!

à http://www.findingjoymovie.com/ - A beautiful and inspirational way to start the day!


à http://video.yahoo.com/network/100899001?v=3255795/9177017


It is a strange thing, love. Nothing but love has made the dog lose his wild freedom,

to become the servant of man."

                                                      D.H. Lawrence

d: Kennels needed for The Society for Animals in Distress

I thought you might all be able to help with your ‘animal networks’.  Our local pamphlet has a request for the Society for Animals in Distress.  They are urgently looking for kennels for township dogs who have no shelter against the elements.  They will collect. The contact is Sandy 083-640-8824.

14.   EVENTS

EVENTS  - Ian Dunbar Seminar.


The ABC of SA is hosting a seminar in Cape Town and Johannesburg by Ian Dunbar and Kelly           Gorman.







Cape Town

Shelter talk

Friday 7th Nov 2008 - evening


Kelly Gorman

Cape Town

Behaviour & Temperament Problems

Saturday 8th Nov 2008


Ian Dunbar

Cape Town

Pet Dog Training


Sunday 9th Nov 2008


Ian Dunbar


        Shelter talk

Friday 14th Nov 2008 evening

R 195

Kelly Gorman


Aggressions – Fighting & Biting

Friday 14th Nov 2008

R 750

Ian Dunbar


Training Adult Dogs

Saturday 15th Nov 2008

R 750

Ian Dunbar


Off leash puppy classes


Sunday 16th Nov 2008


Ian Dunbar


Dr Ian Dunbar is widely recognised as the pioneer of “lure and reward” training and the father of puppy socialising classes.

Kelly Gorman ‘s talks on animal shelters regarding program implementation, layout, staff and animal training protocols.

If you are interested please contact Yolanda Beukes082 856 4030 or e mail

events@animal-behaviour.org.za. The price includes lunch and refreshments  


ABC OF SA will be hostinga golf day;


Venue: Randfontein Golf Club

Date:    16 October 2008

Contact Yolanda if you would like to book a 4 ball and / or sponsor a hole.

If you have any queries please contact Yolanda Beukes (Events & Promotions Coordinator) at:




Border Collie rescue invites you to a Fun evening


Venue:   The Barnyard Theatre Broadacres.

When:    Tuesday 28th October 2008-09-01

Time:      18.30 for 19.45

Price:      R 125 pp.

Contact: Irene 082 412 9969 or tailsup@mweb.co.za

Or   Diane 082 770 4733 / 011 615 1525 or jonty@highleighcorgis.co.za


The Federation of Boxer Clubs of South Africa (FBCSA) will be hosting a charity golf day in aid of NSPCA, SAVA-Community Veterinary Clinics and FBCSA.


 Venue:  Pebble Rock Golf Club

 When:  11 September 2008

 Contact Pam Zeiler FBCSA Secretary 012 664 2156 or fbcsagolfday@gmail.com

 Or    Fax  Armand on 086 637 0205.


World Rabies Day 2008: Awareness is the Best Defence against Rabies


The world is again joining together on September 28th to raise awareness and understanding about the importance of rabies prevention.  Rabies is the oldest and deadliest disease known to mankind and PUPPIES IN BALANCE is supporting this initiative.


Led by the Alliance for Rabies Control and supported by numerous human and animal health organizations worldwide, World Rabies Day is a unique campaign that brings together hundreds of thousands of people across the world to reinforce the message that rabies is a preventable disease, yet kills 55,000 people needlessly each year, half of which are children under the age of 151.


“Rabies is primarily a disease of children, who are particularly at risk from this terrible disease, due to their close contact with dogs, the major global source”, said Dr. Debbie Briggs, Executive Director of the Alliance for Rabies Control.  “Children are more likely to suffer multiple bites and scratches to the face and head, both of which carry a higher risk of contracting rabies.  Children are often unaware of the danger that dogs transmit rabies and may not tell their parents when a bite, lick, or scratch has occurred from an infected animal”, says Briggs.


Rabies is a viral disease that can be transmitted to animals and humans.  The disease is transmitted mainly by bite, but exposure may also occur through contamination of broken skin or mucous membranes with saliva from an infected animal. Once neurological symptoms of the disease develop, rabies is fatal to both animals and humans.  The good news is that rabies is easily preventable.  “Vaccination prior to possible exposure is a crucial part of health management of domestic animals, and is the single most important factor in rabies prevention”, said Peter Costa, Global Communications Coordinator for the Alliance for Rabies Control.


Rabies prevention starts with the animal owner.  Protect yourself, your pet and your community by taking animals to be vaccinated.  Avoid stray animals and wildlife.  If you are bitten, wash bite wounds with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately.  If your pet is bitten, consult your veterinarian immediately.  Prompt and appropriate treatment after being bitten and before the disease develops can stop rabies infection and/or prevent the disease in humans and animals.


The World Rabies Day initiative also raises money towards local rabies prevention and control programs, with five projects funded in 2008.  “Through the World Rabies Day campaign we continue to engage all the major stakeholders associated with rabies to take action”, says Costa.  “We invite everyone to join the team that is Making Rabies History!” 

More information on World Rabies Day can be found at the official web site, www.worldrabiesday.org.


References: 1 WHO.  Human and Animal Rabies, Rabies: A neglected zoonotic disease.  Available at: http://www.who.int/rabies/en/.  Accessed on July 23, 2008.



Male Lab & Female JR Looking for a home: Owners moving

Bhakti, male Labrador & Kushi, female Jack Russell.

We are both one year old and have been together all our lives .It would be wonderful if we could find a home where we can continue to live together. 

Devangi:         082-885-1155    gf24@mweb.co.za

Ryan:               082-875-5335    ryanh@atio.co.za


 Two Pure bred American staffs with all papers. They must stay together. The male was born 14/06/04, and   the female 23/04/05. The female has been spade. Both have had dog training. They require lots of space. Contact Jolene on 0741 565 363 or Rowan on 0833058332. Our email address is thepalmers@vodamail.co.za


1x male Jack Russell-Stitch - Neutered, awesome with kids Around 4 yrs old, raised with cats.

1x miniature female Jack Russell-Sadie 5 1/2 years old Excellent with kids Gentle temperament. Raised with cats. Please call Cheryl 0832344851 / 031 7623135


Sasha, - cross breed -Mr. Chips sister. (The pup that was run over and had the femur head removal operation). Approx. 3 months old and has had her first vaccination and de-worming. Contact Wendy on 083 235 5362.


Female 8yr old Chow named Baby. Quiet, good-natured and sterilised, all inoculations up to date Please call


083 399 3999


Scooby, bullterrier, 5 years old, excellent with kids and adults but has never lived with other pets. He is currently being boarded at The Avenues Vet if you would like to visit him.
 He is due to be euthanazed at the end of the month, so there is some urgency to this.
 Contact Heather Hart 011 453 7073 or The Avenues Vet at 011 453 6049


Saartjie – Jack Russell female ex shelter, around 2 years old

Contact Isabella 0823279292.


Missing Dogs:


 Husky  - Rex (not chipped), male, Black & White 9 months old (quite big build). He went missing from the Nooigedacht, Muldersdrift area.

Contact  -Marie Barnard 082 776 1762


Husky: on Sunday 6 July 2008.

3-year-old female husky, black and white, both eyes blue, medium build with long


Contact Bev Randall - 011 882 2983 home , 011 800 6610 or  082 666 7035





Puppy (± 1 year old) found at Avion Park Golf Club in Kempton Park in mid August. Good with other dogs. She is at the Kempton Park SPCA and her reference number is 1108023. She is in very good condition, all her  inoculations were done before taking her to the SPCA-  011 975 6538.

Cats looking for homes:

Slinky (grey-tabby & white, 5 years old) is mom to TINKER BELL (white with tabby points, 4 years old) They are INSEPARABLE!

UNCLE (chocolate point, 4 year old male) and KIWI (black and white, 2 year old male) are BEST BUDDIES!  Tel 011 793 4339 / 083 453 8323 Jo Hatley


1x female spayed cat-3 yr old. Small, longhaired loves being indoors. Raised with dogs.

Please call Cheryl 0832344851 / 031 7623135

Miss Molly severely injured/mauled by a dog, extremely affectionate and talkative, but you have to touch and handle her gently because she most times cannot hear you approaching her as she now has a hearing disability. Contact Tracy – 082 4966 470 or 011 3712081

Missing Cat -   “Bear’, tabby- went missing on the corner of Duncan and Lynwood roads Brooklyn Pretoria  in late Feb of this year. He was not neutered when he went missing and is now around 11 months old .The distinct "M"-shaped marking on his forehead should help with identifying him.

Contact Gus Pinto 084 811 1185.


 Horses are being stolen in KZN, but they might be trying to sell them in provinces

Two horses stolen during the day on Tuesday 5th August 2008 - Stormy, who is a black gelding            He is thoroughbred cross percheron has a white spot on his forehead and a very bad scar on the inside of his right hind leg. He is approximately 15.1 hands high and still growing.            Fergie- She is a fifteen year old mare, is chestnut in colour with a white stripe down her face and two white socks on her hind legs. She is an anglo-arab and is 15 hands high.

Contact:   Caroline Tel: 0741927787   
© 2006 TTouch - eugenie@ttouch.co.za.   All Rights Reserved.