Animal Clinic of Kalispell - July 2020



M any years ago, my family accidentally found themselves in the Ennis Fourth of July parade. We lived in Butte at the time, and we left home super early on the morning of July 4 for a family trip to Yellowstone. We reached Ennis at around 10 a.m. and were stopped a mile outside of town. They were just about to start their Fourth of July parade! My brother and his family were with us, so we parked the car and went out to watch the parade. Ennis put on a good show, and when it was over, we all loaded back into the car to continue down to Yellowstone. For an hour or so, we drove about 1 mph. Ennis is on a main highway, so after the parade, all these cars were backed up and trying to get through the town. This should have been annoying, but it was actually pretty great. Folks stayed in the stands to watch the cars go by and we got to wave at them. It was kind of like the parade, part two. We had such a good time that we made it a family tradition, when my kids were young, to drive down to Ennis and be part of their Fourth of July parade. There are a lot of great things about Independence Day, from the food to the fireworks. To me, one of the best and most underrated traditions are the Fourth of July parades. This piece of Americana feels so special. There’s something uniquely “small town” about Fourth of July parades. Sure, New York has the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but how often do you hear about big cities putting on a parade for Independence Day. These are celebrations that only seem to manifest on small-town Main Streets — or, occasionally, the only street. GOOD OLD-FASHIONED AMERICANA A Salute to the Small Town Parade

One of the most interesting parades I’ve ever seen takes place in Johnson, Washington. This is a very small town. Honestly, it’s not even a town, it’s a street with a store on it. All the farmers in the area put on the Johnson Fourth of July parade. It goes down that one street, but the route is only about four blocks long, so when the parade reaches the end, they turn around and come back the way they came. Each half of the parade is going in both directions! It’s a lot of fun. A few thousand folks from Pullman and Moscow travel down to Johnson just for those few minutes to see the parade.

There are a lot of great things about Independence Day, from the food to the fireworks. To me, one of the best and most underrated traditions are the Fourth of July parades.

Anyone who says parades aren’t fun just aren’t going to the right parades. A good parade will include people throwing candy and/or popsicles for the kids. Ideally, the parade will end with a fire truck

going by, spraying everyone with the hose. Parade watching is best done with friends or family members that you have a good time with. You’re basically standing there watching cars, trucks, and grandmas on horses go by. It’s an objectively silly activity, so be with people who will embrace the strangeness. All these oddities are what make parades so American. There are plenty of ways to celebrate the Fourth of July — barbecues, camping, and boating are popular choices — but if your Fourth of July starts off with a parade, then you’re certain to have a pretty good day.

– Dr. Jevon Clark



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Gunner photos


HOST YOUR OWN FAMILY OLYMPICS The Olympics have been a time-honored global tradition since French historian and educator Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and reintroduced the world to the games in 1894 after a 1,500-year hiatus from its ancient Greek roots. Olympians like “fastest woman alive” Wilma Rudolph and famed swimmer Michael Phelps have inspired generations of athletes and spectators every two years.

Hello there!

My name’s Leeroy! I’m a German shorthaired pointer, and I just turned 2 years old. I’ve been living with Brittney, a vet tech at the Animal Clinic of Kalispell, and her boyfriend since April. They’re the best! We get to play together all the time.

My favorite game is fetch. Brittney taught me how to play when I first came to live with her. I love to run and catch toys, especially balls and ropes, but it took me a while to learn that if I bring the toy back to the person who threw it, they’ll throw it again. Fetch is so much fun! It’s almost as much fun as going on car rides, which is my second favorite thing. I don’t care if we even get out of the car — I just like going along for the ride.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IOC made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games to 2021. For the first time since World War II, our globe will not see athletes compete biennially against international foes for medals, glory, and the culmination of their life’s work. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the spirit of competition this summer. While you may not have Olympian-caliber athletes in your family, it’s the perfect year to host your own family Olympics. Set the rules, create the events, and embark on a new family tradition with these ideas. The Rules Get ready for your family’s first Olympics by determining a few rules. Decide if your athletes will compete solo or if you’d rather pair up in your fight. Next, decide how the winners will be selected. Are you playing the games for fun or will you keep track of who wins the most games for bragging rights? Ultimately, these choices lead you to the next task: deciding the games you will play. The Games What you play depends on several factors, but there are many options for families to choose from when it comes to organizing their first Olympics. Try these games or get creative and come up with your own.

I’m so glad I came to live with my new family. I love them so much that when they’re gone, I get really, really upset. What if they never come back? As soon as they leave, I get really stressed out and try to go find them. The veterinarian says I have isolation distress. Since I can’t open the door, I’ll howl and scratch at the door frame. If I’m left in my kennel, then I’ll try to scratch that open, too. Once, I was so stressed out, I almost ripped off one of my toenails while trying to get out.


Inspired by

• Beach Blanket Volleyball: In this version of volleyball, you just need two beach towels and a ball. This game is designed for two teams of two players each. Each person will hold one end of a towel and volley the ball to the other team using only the towel, not their hands or wrists. The first team to reach 21 wins! Make this game even more fun by setting up a tournament. • Laundry Basketball Relay: Leave the laundry on the floor for this game. Laundry baskets serve as hoops, and competitors are challenged with picking up a beach ball using only pool noodles and taking it across the yard to one basket. The next member in the relay picks it back up and transports it to the second basket. Whichever team does it the fastest wins! • Paper Plate Target Shooting: For this game, you only need one handball, several paper plates, and one big tree. Draw targets or point values on the paper plates and string them at various heights. Athletes take turns tossing the ball at the targets from different distances, and whoever gets the most points wins!

Ready to get more creative with your dog treats? You’ll have as much fun making these pretzel treats as your dog will have eating them!


1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 egg

1 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour

1 tbsp flaxseed meal


1. Heat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 2. In a medium saucepan, cover sweet potatoes with water by 2 inches and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain the water, and allow sweet potatoes to cool.

After a little friendly competition, enjoy your family’s own version of the closing ceremonies, honoring those who can brag all year and those who gave it their best shot.



WHEN THINGS GO BANG Protect Your Noise-Phobic Pets This Fourth of July


A Word from Leeroy

The Fourth of July is coming! For humans, this means parades, barbecues, and stunning fireworks shows. But for dogs and cats, Independence Day means a night of untold terror. Most pets are not fans of fireworks, and loud explosions can trigger their fight-or- flight response. The American Kennel Club reports that more pets go missing on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year. Keeping your pet inside during the fireworks show can help make sure they don’t run away. However, being inside isn’t always enough to help noise-phobic dogs or cats feel safe. The stress and anxiety caused by loud noises can lead to destructive behavior. Dogs and cats have been known to tear up the house while fireworks are going off. Some pets even hurt themselves in the process. Many pet owners tend to forget how their pet reacts to fireworks until July 2, when they begin frantically searching for a solution.

Brittney has been helping me learn to feel more comfortable with being alone. She got me some anxiety medication that helps me feel a lot calmer when I’m alone. I still cry for a little while after they leave, but I’m able to calm down after some time. In addition to the medication, I’ve also been going through training. That’s been helping a lot!

Feeling stressed out isn’t fun, so I’m glad Brittney has been working with me. I know she feels stressed out when I get stressed out. When I’m calm, everyone is happier. We can play and enjoy all the exciting things in the world together!

When pet owners call the clinic about helping their noise-phobic pets, they often ask for medication. While there are supplements that can help pets feel calmer, when animals are really wound up, there’s no drug that will help them calm down. Instead, it’s far more effective to focus on training and creating routines to help your pet remain calm even if your neighbors are shooting off fireworks in the street.

For some dogs, kennel training will help them feel secure while fireworks are going off. Other pets will respond well to low levels of noise

3. Transfer sweet potatoes to a food processor and purée until smooth. 4. In a small bowl, beat the egg. Set aside 1 tbsp for Step 7. 5.

exposure paired with positive reinforcement. Training also helps pet owners feel calmer. If you’re stressed out about how your dog is going to react during the Fourth of July, then chances are your dog will pick up on that and feel more stressed, too. Good training can also help keep pets calm during unplanned loud noises, like thunderstorms.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and flaxseed. Add sweet potato and remaining egg. Stir with a wooden spoon until dough forms. 6. On a lightly floured surface, roll a small piece of dough into a 10-inch rope. Shape rope into a pretzel twist and repeat with remaining dough. 7. Place pretzels on a baking sheet and brush with the remaining beaten egg. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let pretzels cool completely before surprising your dog with a crunchy treat.

Don’t wait until July 2 to start training your pet to better deal with loud noises.

Call the Animal Clinic of Kalispell now and get resources to help your noise-phobic pets have a far more pleasant Fourth of July.







Parades ARE Fun


Become Olympians With Family Games Meet Leeroy, the German Shorthaired Pointer Dog-Friendly Pretzel Treats Is Your Dog Ready for the Fourth of July? How Meals on Wheels Atlanta Stepped Up for Its Community



A Meal for Every Member of the Family


Meals on Wheels doesn’t often get the credit it deserves. The international nonprofit ensures those who are unable to buy or make their own meals get the food they need to survive. Of course, for many recipients, the efforts of the organization go far beyond “survival.” For those who receive food daily or weekly, those deliveries may be their only source of social interaction. And during times of social distancing, the program became more important than ever. Meals on Wheels doesn’t just serve meals to the elderly and people with disabilities — it also serves those people’s pets. In 2019, Meals on Wheels Atlanta realized there was a huge need in their community to feed the pets of senior citizens. It stands to reason that if an elderly individual is unable to shop or cook for themselves, their pets may be

in a similar predicament. And when someone’s pet is their entire world, making sure the animal is fed and healthy means everything. In response to this need, Meals on Wheels Atlanta began stocking up on cat and dog food, creating their own pantry to serve the local pet community. When volunteers made their rounds delivering meals to seniors, they made sure to bring cat and dog food along too. One volunteer with Meals on Wheels Atlanta, Larry Auberbach, had a unique experience delivering meals to Jeffery Jones and his dog, Grizzly. The volunteer told 11Alive News in Atlanta that Jeffery and Grizzly “have their own special relationship.” Larry loved Grizzly long before Meals on Wheels Atlanta started the pet pantry because he saw how much Grizzly’s companionship meant to Jeffery. Now, Larry enjoys his service that much more since he gets to provide for Jeffery’s beloved pet, as well. On top of delivering food to seniors and their pets, Meals on Wheels Atlanta also delivers pet toys and pet beds, and they are happy to take in any pet-related food or items for donation. The organization says this endeavor was done out of love, not only for the people they serve but also for the whole family — wagging tails, fuzzy whiskers, and all.



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