What is TTouch?Dogs/ Cats / Rabbits etc. - Companion AnimalsHorses - TTeamArticlesPractitionersWorkshopsResources
contact us
site map

  links newsletter photos testimonials fun & inspiration SHOP  
What is TTouch? Body Work Groundwork TTouch & Vets
Dogs Cats Birds Rabbits/ other Practitioner Training How to do the Touches
Horses - TTeam Playground of Higer Learning Practitioner Training
TTouch TTouch & Vets Puppies Clicker Training
What is Clicker Training Clicker for Shelters Articles Workshops
Practitioners in your Area How to Become a Practitioner Level Explanation
Complimentary Practitioners Products that help Healing Kennels & Catteries Pawtraits Where to buy Books & Products
DOGS      - Workshops      - Client Mornings      - Practitioner Training for
         Companion Animals
     - Lectures/Demos      - Clicker Training      - Puppy Classes CATS HORSES      - Workshops      - Practitioner Training      - Lectures/Demos/Client
12.   EVENTS
      e-mail this page       print this page  


December 2011


(Print and read at your leisure – copyright - Eugenie Chopin

Unless otherwise stated)

www.ttouch.co.za - for more info on any subject!

Your four legged would want to read this with you!


1. Eugenie’s Letter

2. Practitioner Training - for Companion Animals –JHB & Cape Town!

3. Horse Workshops – JHB

4. Cat Etiquette for the Holidays

5. On Christmas Morning I Wish

6. Wrapping Presents with a Cat

7. Puppies

a. So your child wants a puppy for Christmas…

b. A Dog is for Life, not just for Christmas

c. Puppy Socialization Classes in your area

8. Behaviour / Health

a. Behaviour: Lost dog Behaviour

b. Traveling with your Dog

c. Health: Keeping your cat safe during the Holidays

9. A Dog’s Christmas Promises

10. Christmas Foods to avoid for dogs

11. Odds and Ends

b. Song of the month – A doggy Wonderland

c. Poem of the month: Christmas Dog

d. Interesting Links

12. Events

a. Dog weekend with Lindy in Bryanston Jan. 14th

b. SAINTS Mega Christmas Book and Gift Fair

13. Dogs or Cats Urgently Needing Homes / Lost animals

Note that things highlighted in yellow refer to Western Cape


Hello TTouch Friends,

I thought I’d do something different this year for Christmas and make this a fun/serious Newsletter full of entertaining and helpful Christmas/Holiday thoughts. It includes precautions to take when travelling in case you lose a pet while on the road and how to look for them if lost. It includes fun songs and verses as well as thoughts for those animals who don’t have homes. We also hope to make you think if you want to get a new pet during this season, so make sure you read "so you want a Puppy for Christmas".

This is the last weekend before many people go on Holiday, so the stores are packed with people doing their shopping and finishing up the bits and pieces from the past year. As a result, it’s a bit of chaos here in Johannesburg, but from experience I know that on the 15th and 16th, many people will be leaving town and JHB will become for many of us left here, a magical city of little traffic and peaceful surroundings. I have purposefully chosen to be here this year to enjoy the "few" friends that are left in town as well as my absolutely delicious Christmas decorations. And of course, the best of all, some peaceful quiet time.

Some of you may not know that I’m American from the "south" and tradition is full of OTT Christmas decorations, fairy lights and anything that makes it magical. So my house is lit up inside and out with lights and hundreds of ornaments, etc. I took a quick pic of Shanti and Harley in front of the tree, so here they are:

We are also anticipating having Linda Tellington-Jones here with us in the New Year. It’s been way too long Linda! She is such an inspiration for me and for so many of our Practitioners. I know many of you are going to enjoy getting to know her as well. Linda will be teaching a Companion Animal Training both here in Johannesburg and one in Gordon’s Bay, Western Cape, as well as a 5 day horse training in Midrand. If any of you haven’t yet done one of our 5/6 day trainings, this is an opportunity not to be missed!

I wish you all a super Holiday Season. I hope it is what you wish for - whether it’s Parties, Peace, Fun with family and pets or just relaxing at home and rejuvenating after an intense year. The best is to just let life happen and not get involved in the drama.. 

Warmest Regards,

Eugenie Chopin

Tellington TTouch Practitioner 3 for Companion Animals



Holiday Etiquette for Dogs
Be especially patient with your humans during this time. They may appear to be more stressed-out than usual and they will appreciate long
comforting dog leans.
They may come home with large bags of things they call gifts.
Do not assume that all the gifts are yours


March/April 2012

With Linda Tellington-Jones, creator of this amazing work

JHB: 18-23 April 2012

Cape Town: 30 March – 4 April 2012

This program is designed so that you can start at any time. We love mixing beginners with more experienced students. It seems to benefit everyone. We have also been inspired by the number of people interested in this program and don’t want you to have to wait for 2 or 3 years to join us.

And YES, we are coming back to Cape Town! We had a super class in October 2011, so we’ll be back at the end of March. The Venue belongs to one of our Practitioners, Claire Grobbelaar, who has opened a fabulous new indoor training facility in Gordon’s Bay and has offered it to us as a Venue. You can find out more about Claire, Canine Concepts and the venue at www.canineconcepts.co.za. We are really looking forward to being back in that beautiful space, place and atmosphere.

The training runs over 3 years, with 2-week long sessions per year lasting between 6 days. You do NOT need to have any previous experience to join this training. However, you might like to join a 1 or 2 day workshop before then if you are keen to start. Having a basic knowledge can help you retain more of your first session, but again this is not necessary for you to be part of the TTACT IV class. If you are interested in a workshop, please go to our website at www.ttouch.co.za and have a look at the workshop page.

After the Introductory Session and between sessions, students are encouraged to assist at workshops for further experience and do case studies. The program comprises only 2 sessions a year in order to help students with their finances and the need to get time off work. The workshops are scheduled to include a weekend in order to make it as convenient as possible.

The Program is a comprehensive training of hands-on work with Companion Animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, etc.

DATE: JHB: 18-23 April 2012

OR CT: 30 March – 4 April 2012

VENUE: JHB: Broshacarm Kennels – Midrand

CT: Canine Concepts, Gordon’s Bay

COST: +/- R4550.00

CONTACT: Eugenie on 011 884-3156 or email eugenie@ttouch.co.za

Advanced Training - open only to Practitioners of Tellington TTouch with Robyn Hood

Date: 15-17 Sept 2012

Cost: R2300

Venue: Brochacarm Kennels JHB

Contact: Eugenie on 011 884-3156 or email eugenie@ttouch.co.za

Holiday Etiquette for Dogs
Be tolerant if your humans put decorations on you. They seem to get some special kind of pleasure out of seeing how you look with fake antlers
Editor’s Note: I did try with candy striped antlers, but they just wouldn’t stay on – Harley was very relieved!

3. HORSE WORKSHOPS: April 11-15, 2012 with Linda Tellington-Jones

Come and get a taste of this wonderful work to help your horse be the best he/she can be.

TTeam, a technique developed over the last 30 years, uses TTouch and non-habitual movement to help make the lives of our equine friends a little easier, and to enhance the relationship between horse and owner/rider.

The 5-day Horse Clinic can be used as one of the 4 Clinics necessary to become a Horse Practitioner. (For more information on How to Become A TTEAM Practitioner go to: www.ttouch.co.za. This clinic is suitable for both professionals & novices alike. This 5-day Clinic includes TTEAM philosophy, bodywork, ground exercises, riding and is also a good overall view of the Horse work.

Learning the TTEAM techniques will help each rider increase communication with their horse, identify and relieve areas of bodily soreness or discomfort, and help solve training blocks while enabling the horse to learn without fear.

A truly inspirational method for influencing behaviour, health and performance, including the following:

Increase your horse’s willingness to learn and ability to perform

Identify and alleviate soreness without drugs

Train your horse safely, with confidence, even if you are inexperienced in handling horses

Overcome resistances without fear, pain or force

Enhance healing and speed recovery of injury related problems

Learn ground exercises to improve balance and develop coordination







Donnybrook Stables

5-day TTEAM workshop Linda Tellington- Jones

11-15 Apr 2012


Lindy Dekker on equibalance@iafrica.com or 083 616 0577 or Eugenie Chopin on 011 8843156

Midrand Donnybrook Stables

5-day TTEAM workshop with Robyn Hood

Starts 27 Sept 2012


Lindy Dekker on equibalance@iafrica.com or 083 616 0577 or Eugenie Chopin on 011 8843156

Holiday Etiquette for Dogs
They may bring a large tree into the house and set it up in a prominent place and cover it with lights and decorations. Bizarre as this may seem to you, it is an important ritual for your humans, so there are some things you need to know:
- don't pee on the tree
- don't drink water in the container that holds the tree
- mind your tail when you are near the tree
- if there are packages under the tree, even ones that smell interesting or that have your name on them, don't rip them open
don't chew on the cord that runs from the funny-looking hole in the wall to the tree


Editor’s Note: While I don’t think many South African’s travel with their cats, this is an interesting article and much of it applies to any pet you might want to take visiting friends and family.

Cat Etiquette for the Holidays

By: Joan Paylo

Planning to take your pet along when you go to see friends or relatives this season? Think again. Not every hostess – or pet, for that matter – can deal with a holiday visit.

Reasons to Leave Them Home

First off, many animals don’t enjoy being away from a familiar home, and they really don’t look forward to playing with your cousin’s pet. In fact, your cat, your dog and your budgie don’t know or care that it’s one holiday or another.

Some of the things we humans look forward to all year are nothing but a nuisance for many animals. A crush of family and friends may annoy them, and they can turn snappy. Rich holiday foods can make them sick. Decorations can pose health threats. Cats may claw at electrical wires and even chew on them; ribbons can get caught in an animal’s

throat; scented candles are sometimes toxic – and certain plants, like mistletoe, are dangerous.

Another reason to leave the cat home is the sensibility of your host or hostess. Some hosts may shrug off a nervous pet’s accident on the carpet, and your holiday visit may work out just fine. Some people, though, have allergies or animal phobias – which aren’t so easy to ignore. Others usually seem easy going but, confronted with holiday entertaining, turn into meticulous control freaks, easily rattled by an animal’s unpredictable ways.

Preparing for a Visit

It goes without saying that all visiting pets must be well behaved. If your cat tends to have accidents when he’s nervous, if he won’t stay off the table or howls at all hours of the night, do everyone a favour and leave him home.

Before you make your plans, have a straightforward talk with your host and ask the right questions. Even if your host agrees to put your cat up for a night or two, find out how he, his partner and his kids really feel about animals. Are the children of the house afraid of them? Does the family know what to expect from a four-legged visitor? If they have pets of their own, how do their animals get along with others? Is the host willing to pet-proof his house? Making a place pet-friendly is difficult at any time of year, but more so at holidays, when traditional decorations can become an issue. Ingested tinsel or broken tree ornaments make for medical emergencies.

Never arrive with an unannounced pet – even if you think your visit worked out fine last year. What you remember and what your host recalls may differ diametrically.

Be sure there is a quiet place where your pet can be alone. If the unexpected happens – their kids scare your pet; their pet threatens yours – it’s not sufficient to confine your pet in a crate in a bustling room. It’s best if there is an extra room where you and your pet can stay together, and where the crate or carrier can be placed for your pet’s peace of mind.

Making the Trip

Give your pet reliable identification. Tags are not enough. Tattoos and microchips are more secure. Carry veterinary records and a recent color photo of your pet, just in case.

Understand how travel affects your pet. Tricky weather conditions and heightened airport congestion at this time of year are particularly stressful – even dangerous – for a pet. Make sure you check with your airline about their rules well in advance. Regulations have changed over the past year, and each carrier has slightly different requirements. Remember, too, that Amtrak doesn’t allow any animals (except service dogs) aboard the train.

If you go by car, holiday traffic will lengthen your driving time. Plot a route where you can stop to let the cat take a bathroom break. Always crate cats while they are in the car. If your pet has a tendency toward motion sickness, ask your vet for medication that will relieve it or reconsider whether the trip is worth the animal’s misery.

When You Arrive

Be gracious. Bring a gift for your host’s pet, perhaps a toy or homemade biscuits. Author Peter Gethers, who has travelled the world with his Scottish fold cat, Norton, suggests carrying over-the-counter antihistamines to dispense to allergic friends. (Editor’s note: I love this one! I have actually had people at my home who want to be here enough to take an allergy pill as they arrive!)

Pack a kitty bag. Bring along your pet’s favourite toys and blanket. Include grooming tools to limit nervous shedding and a dependable lint remover. If you’re not sure that your pet’s regular food is available at your destination, bring it with you. Also bring litter and a box.

Introduce animals slowly. Don’t plop your little visitor in the middle of his four-legged hosts or allow your cat to go scampering around the house.

Keep your cat in a carrier and release her first in the closed-off area where you’ll be staying. Keep her confined to a room with a "Keep closed" sign posted on the door. It doesn’t matter whether you have an indoor or outdoor cat; in mere seconds, your precious, frazzled baby can dash out the door and disappear. Bring along a litter box and, just as you do at home, establish one spot to keep it throughout your stay.

•Don’t leave your pet alone with the pet-in-residence!!!!!!

Holiday Etiquette for Dogs
Your humans may occasionally invite lots of strangers to come visit during this season. These parties can be lots of fun, but they also call for some discretion on your part:
- not all strangers appreciate kisses and leans
- don't eat off the buffet table
- beg for goodies subtly
- be pleasant, even if unknowing strangers sit on your sofa
don't drink out of glasses that are left within your reach

5. On Christmas Morning, I wish

For every dog searching trash cans for breakfast,

a filled bowl with his name printed in bright letters.

For every dog who slept fitfully last night, chained in a frozen Yard,

a soft warm bed with a person snoring gently nearby.

For every shelter dog, spending Christmas morning in a soiled run,

a forever home, filled with sounds and smells of family.

For every "Christmas" puppy given today

a tolerant, caring owner who won’t abandon you as you grow into a real dog.

For every ailing pet,

enough money for your owner to pay the bills to make you well.

For every lost dog,

a clear, safe road, and well-marked path, to lead you home

For every old and tired friend,

a warm fire, and soft bed, to ease your aches and pains.


For every Heart Dog at the Bridge,

a moment when you know that you are remembered today, missed again,

and loved forever.

Author unknown


Wrapping Presents with a Cat

1) Clear large space on table for wrapping present.

2) Go to closet and collect bag in which present is contained, and shut door.

3) Open door and remove cat from closet.

4) Go to cupboard and retrieve rolls of wrapping paper.

5) Go back and remove cat from cupboard.

6) Go to drawer, and collect transparent sticky tape, ribbons, scissors, labels, etc. . .

7) Lay out presents and wrapping materials on table, to enable wrapping strategy to be formed.

8) Go back to drawer to get string, remove cat that has been in the drawer since last visit and collect string.

9) Remove present from bag.

10) Remove cat from bag.

11) Open box to check present, remove cat from box, replace present.

12) Lay out paper to enable cutting to size.

13) Try and smooth out paper, realize cat is underneath and remove cat.

14) Cut the paper to size, keeping the cutting line straight.

15) Throw away first sheet as cat chased the scissors, and tore the paper.

16) Cut second sheet of paper to size - by putting cat in the bag the present came in.

17) Place present on paper.

18) Lift up edges of paper to seal in present. Wonder why edges don’t reach. Realize cat is between present and paper. Remove cat.

19) Place object on paper, to hold in place while tearing transparent sticky tape.  


20) Spend 20 minutes carefully trying to remove transparent sticky tape from cat with pair of nail scissors.

21) Seal paper with sticky tape, making corners as neat as possible.

22) Look for roll of ribbon. Chase cat down hall in order to retrieve ribbon.

23) Try to wrap present with ribbon in a two-directional turn.

24) Re-roll ribbon and remove paper, which is now torn due to cat’s enthusiastic ribbon chase.

25) Repeat steps 13-20 until you reach last sheet of paper.

26) Decide to skip steps 13-17 in order to save time and reduce risk of losing last sheet of paper. Retrieve old cardboard box that is the right size for sheet of paper.

27) Put present in box, and tie down with string.

28) Remove string, open box and remove cat.

29) Put all packing materials in bag with present and head for locked room.

30) Once inside lockable room, lock door and start to relay out paper and materials.

31) Remove cat from box, unlock door, put cat outside door, close and relock.

32) Repeat previous step as often as is necessary (until you can hear cat from outside door)

33) Lay out last sheet of paper. (This will be difficult in the small area of the toilet, but do your best)

34) Discover cat has already torn paper. Unlock door go out and hunt through various cupboards, looking for sheet of last year’s paper. Remember that you haven’t got any left because cat helped with this last year as well.

35) Return to lockable room, lock door, and sit on toilet and try to make torn sheet of paper look presentable.

36) Seal box, wrap with paper and repair by very carefully sealing with sticky tape. Tie up with ribbon and decorate with bows to hide worst areas.

37) Label. Sit back and admire your handiwork, congratulate yourself on completing a difficult job.  

38) Unlock door, and go to kitchen to make drink and feed cat.  

39) Spend 15 minutes looking for cat until coming to obvious conclusion.  

40) Unwrap present, untie box and remove cat.  

41) Go to store and buy a gift bag

Holiday Etiquette for Dogs
Your humans may occasionally invite lots of strangers to come visit during this season. These parties can be lots of fun, but they also call for some discretion on your part:
- not all strangers appreciate kisses and leans
- don't eat off the buffet table
- beg for goodies subtly
- be pleasant, even if unknowing strangers sit on your sofa
- don't drink out of glasses that are left within your reach

7a. PUPPIES: So You Want a Puppy For Christmas?

Editor’s Note: While this article was actually written for children, it’s good for adults as well. Or perhaps you have children who want a dog for Christmas – here are some ideas to discuss with them.

Article and pictures obtained off www.loveyourdog.com website

Do you want a puppy more than anything else?

Do you promise to take care of it, train it, and love it forever? That’s great!

Are you ready for a suggestion that will help you be a responsible, caring person? Okay.

Here’s what you do:

Don’t ask for a puppy for Christmas.

If you want to start out the right way with your new pup, then wait until after Christmas. That’s the best time. Or you can get your pup before the holidays arrive, say in November.

Can you do that?

Below are five really good reasons why it’s best to wait just a little while for your new dog.

1. During the Christmas holidays everyone is very busy. Lots of people come over. A new puppy might be frightened by all of the new people, the noise, and even the smells. Just think about yourself. Are there places that scared you, the first time you went there?

2. You will probably visit relatives and friends more than usual during the holidays. Your new dog would be lonely when you are gone. Where will you put him? What will he do while you’re gone? Remember your home is a strange, new place for a young dog. This may be the first time he is away from his brothers and sisters.

3. When a puppy is very young, he learns every time something happens to him. That’s why it’s important that your dog experience good things in his new home. Stress and loneliness can lead to behavior problems that won’t be very easy to fix.

4. Your new puppy will need lots of extra care and attention no matter when you bring him home. Be sure you and your family have the time and energy to spend time with him for feeding, grooming, petting, walking, and training.

5. Your family should share the experience of choosing a new dog. Make sure everyone in your family feels comfortable with and likes the dog as much as everyone else. Don’t surprise a family member with a puppy. It’s best to choose the dog you want with your whole family.


So you are willing to wait a little while for your new dog. Here’s a gift your parents can give you while you wait for your new dog. This would be good for your parents to read:

Instead of giving you a dog for Christmas, why not give you the dog supplies now that you will need later?

• dog dishes

• a leash

• chew toys

• a brush

• books about dogs

• gift certificates to pet supply stores

And here’s what you can do while waiting for your new pet:

Read books about dogs.

Find websites on the Internet about dogs and read them

Volunteer at a shelter or humane society.

Watch great movies about dogs.-

You can walk your neighbour’s dog.

Get a stuffed animal

You can write a cool story about dogs

Draw pictures of the kind of dog you want


Twas the nite before Xmas when all thru the house

Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse

the stockings were hung by the chimney with care

In hopes that St. Nick soon would be there

The children all nestled all snug in their beds

With No thought of the dog filling their head

And mamma in her kerchief and I in my cap

Knew the dog was cold, but didn’t care about that

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter

Away to the window I flew like a flash

Figuring the dog was free of his chain and into the trash

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow

gave the luster of mid-day to objects below

When what to my wondering eyes should appear

But Santa Clause with eyes full of tears

He unchained the dog once so lively and quick

Last years Xmas present now painfully sick

More rapid than eagles he called the dogs name

and the dog ran to him despite all his pain

Now Dasher, now Dancer, now Prancer and Vixen

On Comet on Cupid on Donner and Blitzen

To the top of the porch to the top of the wall

Let’s find this dog a home where he will be loved by all.

I knew in an instant there would be no gifts this year

For Santa had made one thing quite clear

The gift of a dog is not just for the season

We had gotten the dog for all the wrong reasons

In our haste to think of the kids a gift

There was one important thing we missed

A dog should be family, and cared for the same

You don’t give a Gift, then put it on a chain

And I heard him explain as he rode out of site



7c. Puppy Socialization Classes:

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

Bedfordview/ Edenvale/Linksfield/Orange Grove: Puppy Starter Session -One private session with comprehensive booklet; Contact Scotty on 011 882 2418 (h); 082 928 0102 or scotty@scottysdogs.co.za

Brixton / Auckland Park: Puppy classes; contact Candi Moon: furbabies.sanctuary@gmail.com, 079 490 3233, http://www.furbabiestraining.co.za/

Bryanston, Puppy 1&2, Classes Wednesday evening & Saturday afternoon. Private sessions on request. Niki Elliott 082 451 0433 or niki@thinkingpets.com

Cape Town, Bellville; Puppy Socialization Saturday afternoons, call Debbie on 083 992-8767 or email Debbie.conradie@telkomsa.net

Centurion: Puppy Socialising, Basic Obedience & Clicker Classes, 8-Week Course Weekdays and Weekends. Heather Whitfield 083 566 7009 or email heather4paws@gmail.com

Gordon’s Bay: Puppy Classes for pups under 4 months. On-going: new every 6 weeks. Claire Grobbelaar 021 856 5886 or 082 784 7524 Claire.g@mweb.co.za

Heidelberg: Jordaanpark, Every Sunday; contact Ilze van der Walt:

zafira.ilze@webmail.co.za or 082 921 4448

Hermanus, Gordon’s Bay, Somerset West: Puppy l & ll. Tel 082 490 1650 and e-mail janina@krugerphotography.co.za

Lyndhurst, Gresswold, Bramley, Kew, Waverley Area: Puppy Socialising, 6 Week courses on Sundays. Nicky Lucka 083-408-1517 lucka@absamail.co.za

Oaklands, JHB: Puppy Socializing Sundays 9 & 10 a.m. Tersia Kock 082 828 0505 tkock@telkomsa.net

Parkwood: Puppy Classes, 6 Week courses on Saturday afternoons R480 Tersia Kock 082 828 0505 tkock@telkomsa.net

Pretoria – Lynnwood Glen, Puppy classes for pups until 16 weeks and Basic obedience classes (using clicker training) for dogs 16 weeks and older. Contact Manuela 076 427 9166

Cape West Coast - Langebaan/ Vredenburg, Puppy 1 Classes Tuesday & Thursday evenings. Adult classes in Langebaan. Private sessions on request. Wendy Wilson – overthemoon@iafrica.com 0833361761.

Holiday Etiquette for Dogs
Likewise, your humans may take you visiting. Here your manners will also be important:
- observe all the rules in #4 for trees that may be in other people's houses.
- respect the territory of other animals that may live in the house
- tolerate children
turn on your charm big time
Holiday Etiquette for Dogs
A big man with a white beard and a very loud laugh may emerge from your fireplace in the middle of the night. DON'T BITE HIM!!
Found at http://corsinet.com/braincandy/hdogx5.html


Editor’s Note: Thanks to Missing Pet Partnership for allowing us to re-produce these articles!I have personally picked up a dog on New Year’s Even after fireworks, so I know how often & easily this happens. Here are some tips if you lose a dog over the Holidays.

© 2007 Missing Pet Partnership.


Reasons Why Dogs Leave

The three most common reasons why dogs become separated from their families are opportunistic journey, wanderlust, and blind panic.

Opportunistic journey is when a gate or door is accidentally left open. While some dogs will remain in their yards or at their homes, most simply can’t refuse the temptation to

explore when presented the opportunity. Although these dogs might not actively attempt to leave, their noses just lead them on a journey that can take them blocks or even miles from home.

Wanderlust is a common problem in intact male dogs of any breed as well as certain breeds like hounds. These dogs will actively attempt to escape by climbing, digging, or wiggling to escape their yards. They will also bolt out a door or pull to get away from their handler if the opportunity presents itself. Wanderlust is responsible for the displacement of many dogs and a major contributing factor to the stray populations in our shelters.

Blind panic is a situation in which the "flight" instinct (from the hardwired "fight or flight" response to stimuli) kicks in and a dog runs in what we call a blind panic. This can happen for three reasons: xenophobic (skittish) temperament, loud noises (thunder, gunfire), or traumatic incident (involved in car accident, explosion, etc). These dogs are the most difficult to catch since they will travel far, travel fast, and avoid human contact, even with their own family members!

There are human behaviours, animal behaviours, and other factors that influence the distance that a lost dog will travel. When giving recovery advice to someone who has lost a dog, be sure to consider the following:

Factors That Influence Distances Travelled

There are six major factors that influence the distances that a lost dog will travel: Temperament, Circumstances, Weather, Terrain, Appearance, and Population Density.

Temperament of the Dog

How a dog behaves towards strangers influences how far it will travel (when lost) before someone intervenes and rescues it. There are three primary behavioral categories of lost dogs: Gregarious Dogs, Aloof Dogs, and Xenophobic Dogs.

Gregarious Dogs: Wiggly-butt, friendly dogs are more inclined to go directly up to the first person who calls them. Depending on the terrain and population density where the dog was lost, these dogs will generally be found fairly close to home or will be picked up by someone close to the escape point. Gregarious dogs are often "adopted" by individuals (not shelter or rescue workers) who find them.

Aloof Dogs: Dogs with aloof temperaments are wary of strangers and will initially avoid human contact. They will be inclined to accept human contact only after they have overcome fear issues and become hungry enough. While these dogs can travel a great distance, aloof dogs eventually can be enticed with food and patience, typically by experienced rescuers who know how to approach and capture a wary dog. These dogs are often recovered by rescue group volunteers, and their wariness can be easily misinterpreted as "abused." In addition, these dogs are often not recovered for weeks or months after their escape, giving them the physical appearance (thinness, injuries, stickers, ticks, etc.) that they are homeless, abused, and unloved.

Xenophobic (Fearful) Dogs: Xenophobia means "fear or hatred of things strange or foreign." Dogs with xenophobic temperaments (due to genetics and/or puppyhood experiences) are more inclined to travel farther and are at a higher risk of being hit by cars. Due to their cowering, fearful behavior, people assume these dogs were "abused," and even if the dog has ID tags, they will refuse to contact the previous owner. Some of these panic-stricken dogs will even run from their owners! It may be necessary to use other dogs to get close enough to capture them or to use baited dog traps.

Circumstances Surrounding the Disappearance

A dog that digs out from a yard to explore a scent will tend to travel a short distance before it is found meandering and doubling back as it explores a scent. On the other hand, a dog that bolts in panic due to fireworks or thunder will take off at a blind run and can run for several miles.

Weather: A dog that escapes on a beautiful spring day may travel farther than one that escapes in a snowstorm. Extreme weather conditions (snow, hail, rain, sweltering heat) will decrease the distances that lost dogs travel.

Terrain: A dog that escapes in a residential area will not travel as far as a dog that escapes in a mountainous area. Fences that create barriers will influence a dog’s travel since a dog will tend to take the "path of least resistance" when traveling. Cactus, heavy brush, and steep cliffs can be barriers that influence whether a dog continues on a path or changes directions.

Appearance of the Dog: What a dog looks like can influence how quickly it will be picked up by a rescuer. In general, most people are less inclined to pull over and attempt to grab a loose Pit Bull they perceive as being "aggressive" than they would a "friendly" Labrador Retriever. Also, size matters as people are more inclined to pick up small dogs because they look vulnerable and are easier to transport and house than large dogs. In addition, people are more likely to attempt to rescue a purebred dog that they perceive to have value than a mixed breed dog. When average motorists see a mixed breed dog trotting down the sidewalk, their impression is often that the dog belongs in the neighbourhood or that it is a homeless stray. But when those same people see a Boston Terrier, they are inclined to believe that, because it is a "valuable purebred dog," it must be a lost pet.

Population Density: A dog that escapes in Manhattan will travel a shorter distance than will a dog that escapes in the Rockies or in rural farmland. When dogs escape into areas with a high number of people, their chances of being found close to the escape point are increased. But in areas with an extremely low number of people, dogs tend to travel farther and their chances of being found close to the escape point are decreased. A dog that escapes in the middle of the night will travel farther before being seen than a dog that escapes during rush hour traffic.

Owner Behaviours That Create Problems

Dog owners often behave in ways that actually inhibit their chances of recovering their lost dogs. Some develop a "wait and see" approach (believing their dog will return home like Lassie) and by the time they start actively looking, the vital first few hours to locate the dog (or witnesses who saw the dog) are gone. Others develop "tunnel vision" and fail to find their dog because they focus on wrong theories. They assume their dog was "stolen and sold to research" when in fact their dog might have been rescued and put up for adoption through a local adoption event. They experience "grief avoidance" and quickly give up their search effort because they really believe they will never see their dog again. They feel helpless and alone, often discouraged by others who rebuke them and tell them "it was just a dog" and "you’ll never find your dog."

In addition, the level of human animal bond (HAB) will influence the recovery efforts. People with a strong HAB will go to extremes to find their lost dog. They will accomplish the "impossible" task of visiting all shelters, posting flyers, and contacting rescue groups while maintaining a full-time job and other family commitments. On the other hand, people with a weak HAB will quickly become discouraged, assume they will never see their dog again, and will stop searching.

Rescuer Behaviours That Create Problems

People who find stray dogs often misinterpret the dog’s behavior; they assume that the cowering, fearful dog was "abused" when in fact the dog has a xenophobic temperament and has been shy and fearful since it was a puppy, due to genetics and puppyhood experiences. Dogs found in rural areas are often assumed to be "dumped" and homeless; many rescuers never think this could be a dog that was lost. Some people who find a stray dog that does not have a collar automatically assume it is "homeless" and therefore they immediately work to place the dog rather than attempt to find the dog’s owner. In addition, the first place the owner of a lost dog will search for his or her dog - the local shelter - is typically the last place that someone who finds a loose dog will take it (due to the fear of euthanasia)!

8b. Traveling with your dog:

Taking a recent color photo with phone numbers and heavy card stock when you travel with your dog is a great idea.

Other things to consider are to be sure you have a secure collar with ID tag, that your dog is microchipped, and that you have an action plan in place should something bad happen and your dog escapes your care while on the trip.

Editor’s Note: We highly recommend that you do this whether your dog is travelling with you or not. If your dog is home without, they are more likely to wander; if your dog is in a kennel or staying with friends, it might sneak out and want to get home. A microchip isn’t dependent on your dog wearing a collar, so it’s the best way to ensure that you can find him, if lost.

The primary thing to understand that when a dog is missing, HOW IT BEHAVES TOWARDS STRANGERS when it is stressed will influence the distance that it will travel when lost.

If the dog is wiggly, friendly, and especially if it is a purebred dog, it will likely be picked up quicker than a fearful or aggressive dog that will shy away from people or growl at them when they approach.

For those who own a dog that has a skittish, shy temperament then I highly recommend that you create a NEW ID tag to add to your dog’s collar with the existing tags...it should say, "I’M THELMA, I’M SHY, & I’M LOST! (559) 555-1212". Because if a shy dog escapes from your care (i.e. ejected from the car in a roll over car accident) in the countryside with sparse population, anyone who finds that dog will automatically assume that the dog was DUMPED, tag or no tag, and they will typically make no attempt to call whoever is listed as the owner on the ID tags.

8c. HEALTH: Keeping Your Cat Safe during the Holidays


By: Linda Perney

Christmas, New Year’s, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa – and all the celebrations they entail pose safety problems for pets. Aside from the overexcitement and confusion caused by too many guests, there are purely physical problems: A cat can singe a tail on a candle or can swallow tinsel and wind up with an intestinal blockage that may need surgery to repair.

"Overall, clinic visits at this time of year increase slightly," says Dr. Debra Primovic, a veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic in St. Louis. "But we see more cases of toxicity, cases related to an animal’s biting an electrical cord or cases related to a pet eating chocolate or table scraps and developing pancreatitis."

Here’s how to keep a pet safe during this holiday season:

The Tree

The natural smell of a Christmas tree attracts pets. But remember that needles (even artificial ones) are indigestible. So, keep your pet away from the tree (using a baby gate in the doorway or low lattice fencing around the tree itself) and, since cats like to climb, secure it so he can’t knock it over.

Artificial trees pose their own hazards. Small pieces of plastic or aluminum can break off and be swallowed, causing intestinal blockage or irritation to the mouth.

Don’t use preservatives in the stand water. They can be toxic if consumed by a thirsty pet. Carefully cover the top of the stand with a tree skirt so your pet can’t get to it.

Lights can get very hot - remove them from the lower branches of the tree so they won’t burn a curious cat.

Tinsel is dangerous. Its sharp edges can cause cuts in the mouth. If a pet swallows it, it can block intestines, causing decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, listlessness and weight loss. Treatment usually involves surgery.

Don’t use edible ornaments or fragile, easily breakable glass decorations to trim the tree. Your pet may knock over the tree trying to get to them and your cat may decide they’re toys and cut himself trying to play with them.

Don’t use angel hair. It’s made of spun glass and can cause irritation on contact.

Make sure electrical cords are out of reach, taped firmly to walls or floors. Chewing on wires may cause burns or pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs), which can be fatal.

Don’t use wire ornament hooks that can easily snag an ear or a tail, or, if swallowed, can lodge in the throat or intestines. Instead, fashion loops of yarn, ribbons or light weight twine. And be careful not to leave any of that lying around.

Editor’s Note: I have to admit that Shadow, my cat, was immediately intrigued by the Christmas tree and found the ornaments to be enticing toys. It is also a great place to get away from the dogs as it’s in the corner of the room. Now I try to keep out the visions of the dogs trying to get to her behind the tree, so yes, we’ll be wiring the tree to the wall!

The Gifts

Check out the "toys" your pet or kids receive as gifts. A pet can swallow small parts; plastic items can be easily broken and swallowed, too.

Gift wrappings can be dangerous to a pet’s health: String and ribbon can cause obstruction of the small bowel if swallowed. Cats, especially, love to eat the string used to tie up the turkey as it cooks.

Before throwing away large boxes or cartons, check the insides to make sure a kitten hasn’t curled up inside.

The Food

Alcohol and chocolate are toxic - keep drinks and sweets out of a pet’s reach. Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, and even a single ounce of pure chocolate can be lethal to a small cat. Dark and unsweetened baking chocolate are most dangerous. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, hyperactivity and seizures.

Turkey bones left in an accessible place are almost irresistible to pets, but they can lodge in an animal’s throat or block the intestinal tract. Remove leftovers from the table and don’t leave garbage where animals can get to it.

Indoor Hazards

Certain plants are a menace to cats: Poinsettias irritate the stomach and eyes. Berries of the Jerusalem cherry are toxic, and cause pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Holly and mistletoe, amaryllis, chrysanthemum, rhododendron and winter broom as well as Christmas berry, cherry, pepper and rose can all cause problems to pets that ingest them. Note: Liquid potpourri can cause terrible burns in an animal’s mouth should it be ingested.

Space heaters, wood-burning stoves and fireplaces can cause burns if animals get too close.

Candles are a great attraction for pets, but don’t leave them alone in a room with a menorah or candelabra blazing-the swish of a tail can be disastrous.



Christmas is for humans, and I will not ruin the surprises by opening all their presents.

Christmas light bulbs, Christmas ornaments, Christmas stockings, and tinsel from the Christmas tree are not food.

I am the alpha dog, therefore I do not need to protect my new Christmas rawhide from the omega dog by taking it outside to eat when the wind chill is -10 F.

I will not demolish the Christmas tree and drag the string of lights out into the backyard through the doggy door.

I will not dive into the Christmas tree to get the candy canes (which I will eat -- paper and all).

I will not eat my Christmas doggie treats until after they’re out of the stocking!

I will not even THINK about going underneath the Christmas tree and piddling on the dining room rug.

I will not get into a fight with the bigger dog next door, making my human have to call the vet’s at Christmas.

I will not get tangled up in the Christmas tree lights and pull the tree down while trying to get at a cat through the conservatory window.

I will not pee on Grandma’s Christmas presents that are under her tree as soon as we enter her house.

I will not pee on the Christmas tree.

I will not steal the neighbour’s Christmas light bulbs.

The bowl underneath the Christmas tree is not a dog dish. I will not drink from it. It will make me sick.



It’s Christmas Time!

Do you know what your dog is eating?

If a healthy, happy dog is on your list of things to be thankful for, make sure that this Christmas time your pup doesn’t ingest anything that could cause her to be anything less. Plenty of human-safe foods can actually prove quite toxic to canines, so if your sweet potato pie recipe calls for raisins or you add extra onions to your stuffing, watch that Fido’s not licking any of the plates.

Top Ten Toxic (to Fido) Christmas Foods/Ingredients

• Cooked turkey bones

• Coffee (including beans and grounds)

• Onions

• Nutmeg

• Artificial sweeteners

• Chocolate

• Tomatoes

• Macadamia nuts

• Walnuts

• Raisins



a. SONG of the Month: A Doggy Wonderland

Editor’s Note: Along with my "Southern" Christmas traditions is the singing of Christmas carols. Anyone who has ever been at a Christmas party at my house will have experienced singing carols. Years ago, before we all had computers, a friend of mine had his secretary type up the words to many carols and we printed enough copies for a large party – so no excuses for not singing! Below is a dog’s version of a Winter Wonderland.

Dog tags ring, are you listenin’?

In the lane, snow is glistenin’.

It’s yellow, NOT white - I’ve been there tonight,

Marking up my winter wonderland.

Smell that tree? That’s my fragrance.

It’s a sign for wand’ring vagrants;

"Avoid where I pee, it’s MY pro-per-ty!

Marked up as my winter wonderland."

In the meadow dad will build a snowman,

following the classical design.

Then I’ll lift my leg and let it go Man,

So all the world will know it’s


Straight from me to the fencepost,

flows my natural incense boast;

"Stay off of my TURF, this small piece of earth,

I mark it as my winter wonderland.

Found at: http://corsinet.com/braincandy/hdogx8.html

b. Poem of the Month: Christmas Dog

by Shel Silverstein

Tonight’s my first night as a watchdog,

And here it is Christmas Eve.

The children are sleeping all cozy upstairs,

While I’m guardin’ the stockin’s and tree.

What’s that now---footsteps on the rooftop?

Could it be a cat or a mouse?

Who’s this down the chimney?

A thief with a beard--- And a big sack for robbin’ the house?

I’m barkin’, I’m growlin’, I’m bitin’ his butt.

He howls and jumps back in his sleigh.

I scare his strange horses, they leap in the air.

I’ve frightened the whole bunch away.

Now the house is all peaceful and quiet again.

The stockin’s are safe as can be.

Won’t the kiddies be glad when they wake up tomorrow

And see how I’ve guarded the tree.

c. Interesting Links:

http://www.petplace.com/dog-videos.aspx?page=2&id=1000&utm_source=dogcrazynews001et&utm_medium=email&utm_content=petplace_article&utm_campaign=dailynewsletter. French Couch Dance – very cute

http://www.petplace.com/dog-videos.aspx?utm_source=dogcrazynews001et&utm_medium=email&utm_content=petplace_corepage&utm_campaign=dailynewsletter. Why we get dogs for our kids..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtIz1u8g1F0&feature=related. Baby elephant sneezes and scares himself.

http://youtu.be/G9_5Db9eZNA. Fireworks . We urge everyone to click on the link and watch this clever ad. But more importantly to forward it to anyone who might "benefit" from its message. Huge thanks to BLAST Advertising

12.   EVENTS



Date: Jan. 14- 15, 2012.

Contact Lindy Dekker at equibalance@iafrica.com

Cost: R700

Venue: Thinking Pets in Bryanston


Get ALL the family groomed for Christmas!

Fluffs-n-Tufts Grooming Boutique, owned by Niki Elliott of Thinking Pets, located in Bryanston, is open 5 days a week for Grooming. We do all breeds of dogs and cats.

Each animal in our care is TTouched & spoilt during their grooming experience. Please call Liz on 011463 0296 or 074 159 6813 or e-mail: liz@relmcon.co.za to book a real pamper session for your furry friend.

SAINTS Mega Christmas Book and Gift Fair

All Books only R10 regardless

Wed 14th 4pm – 9pm

Northriding Square, Bellairs Dr, Northriding

(NB it is NOT the Bellairs Mall on the corner of Malibongwe, but 3 robots down in Bellairs Dr)

Gift Market

You can do all your Christmas shopping, gifts for your Christmas table (a fantastic donation from Country Living) wreaths, tree decorations, linen napkins, table ornaments, platters, Christmas herbs, Pot Pourri , Christmas cards, wall clocks, jewellery, chocolates, bath goodies and so much more


Your order can be collected from SAINTs Book & Gift Fair – Northriding Square (Checkers & Dros centre) Bellairs drive, Northriding (4pm to 9pm) on Wed 14th Dec – come get some great books too. Email Vivian at vivsaints@live.com



Jack Desperately Needs A Loving Home - Ct But Can Be Flown Free Of Charge To Jhb, Pe, Dbn, For Loving Home. He is really struggling at the farm - keeps wandering off which is not the best idea (especially as they are next to a township!). He is fine with other dogs, but does appear to be quite dominant. Not great with cats apparently. Great with people. Contact Caro Luel Henley at piuel@icon.co.za, or +27 021 876 3904 or 083 441 0715.

Rescued blind cat needs special home

Beautiful Siamese cross was found in a shocking condition. Our vet, confirmed that she is completely blind in both eyes! She is now recovering in our vet’s care until she will be strong enough to be sterilized. This beautiful girl is an extremely affectionate cat and we believe that she once belonged to a family, but got dumped when she turned blind. Contact Tracy Fenton at tracyfenton29@gmail.com should you like to give this Siamese a loving home

"Hubble" needs a forever home urgently. She is approximately 2 years old. She was unwanted by her family but she’s a Boxer X, maybe with a bit of Pug too and a loving family dog. Alberton SPCA on 011 907 1568 as she has been waiting so patiently for her forever home

Please let’s find "rusty" and "mr. Chow" a home together

Rusty is cutest little Jack Russell and Mr Chow, well a Chow Chow. They cannot be separated, but can be flown to any centre in South Africa.

Contact Estelle on or phone 072 959 6201 timmsem@telkom.co.za

Kittens needing homes- JHB SOUTH

I am fostering these four little angels and they are almost ready to go to their new forever homes. They are between 6- 7 weeks old. There are 2 boys(beige and grey&white) and 2 girls. Please contact Judy on 0834087696 or jharding2@fnb.co.za. If you would like to meet these babies, they are situated in the South of JHB.

Please Help bring STEELE the Collie Home please – Cpt

Steele is a neutered male, and has a micro chip. He can be taken to any vet and check for an id scan. Call 083 777 8058 or 083 787 9224. Reward offered. Please help us to bring him home.


Editor: Eugenie Chopin, Certified TTouch Practitioner III for Companion Animal

PO Box 729, Strathavon 2031

Tel: 011 884-3156

Fax: 011 783 1515

Email: echopin@icon.co.za, Website: www.ttouch.co.za

© 2006 TTouch - eugenie@ttouch.co.za.   All Rights Reserved.