Town & Country Veterniary Clinic - January 2019

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JANUARY 2019

Never Stop Improving

Make 2019 a Year of Learning

Why do people make New Year’s resolutions every year? They never seem to stick. Think about how many people make a resolution to work out regularly. In January, you can’t get a parking spot at the gym, but by February, it’s a ghost town! I don’t think this is a sign that people can’t stick to something or improve themselves. The way I see it, the problem lies with the fact that goals are pretty ineffective. They focus on the finish line, not on what goes into winning the race. Scott Adams, creator of the comic strip “Dilbert” and author of “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big” explains this perfectly: “A goal is a specific objective that you either achieve or don’t sometime in the future. A system is something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of happiness in the long run.” With a goal or resolution, you are literally failing until you obtain it. But with a system, it’s the action that matters, not the destination. Every day, you have an opportunity to make the system a part of your life. “How to Fail […]” is just one of the excellent self-development books I’ve read over the years. Reading is a big way I aim to keep growing and improving as a person. I am constantly reading books on business, marketing, or self-development. My wife always insists I should “read something fun,” but I enjoy these kinds of books. At the risk of sounding like a nerd, learning is fun! One great resource I’ve discovered to help me find useful books and read more is MentorBox. This is a subscription service that sends you a couple business or self-development books once a month. With each book, you also get a link to watch interviews with the author and hear them discuss the concepts they wrote about. It’s a system designed to help you read and learn more twice as fast. Even if I get a book about a topic that I don’t do a lot of work with, I still read it or

listen to the interview with the author. I’ve learned how important it is to learn as much as you can in life. You never know when you’ll need those skills.

When I first got out of vet school, I was working in a rural clinic doing a lot of house calls. At the time, I hated it. The late nights and 80-hour weeks put me off ever doing house calls again. But 16 years later, I’ve realized that providing house calls would be a great help to my patients and clients. Thanks to my past experience, I was able to jump right into doing house calls again with very little stress, because I already knew what to do. Though resolutions rarely stick, the new year is a good time to look for opportunities to improve ourselves and our world. Even if you don’t have a specific system in mind, I encourage you to make a point to learn something new in 2019. Pick up a hobby, learn how to knit, or read up on social media trends.

–Dr. Derrick Nelson

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New Year’s Menagerie Legend of the Chinese Zodiac

Get Your Kids to Eat Healthier Than Ever

You have probably heard of the Chinese zodiac and the 12 animals that represent each year: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Maybe you already know which animal claims your birth year, and you’re ahead of the game if you know that we’ll be celebrating the Year of the Pig in 2019. But do you know how these specific animals earned such a high honor? According to legend, when the celestial Jade Emperor created a way to measure time, he invited the animals in his kingdom to earn a spot on the zodiac by winning a race. Cat and Rat, who were best friends back then, were both eager to participate. Wanting to be well-rested, Cat took a nap before the race. But when the time for the race came, Rat, who was determined to win, sneaked away without waking his friend. Rat’s cunning didn’t stop there. When the race reached a raging river, Rat secretly climbed on the back of Ox, who was in the lead. When they reached the other side, Rat jumped off, crossing the finish line before Ox and claiming the first year of the zodiac for his own. The other animals finished the race in the order they appear in the zodiac, each taking a place influenced by their unique traits. Now, you might be wondering how Dragon came in fifth place. Unlike their monstrous brothers in Western mythology, Chinese dragons are wise, helpful creatures. During the race, Dragon saw a village suffering from a terrible drought, so he stopped to help make rain so the farmers’ crops could grow. Even with the delay, he still finished well before most of the other animals. And what about poor Cat? When he woke up to discover he’d missed the race and would be left out of the zodiac, he was enraged. He declared vengeance on Rat, and to this day, cats still hold their grudge against rats. Was there really a celestial race that named each year in the Chinese calendar? Probably not. After all, cats hadn’t been introduced in China when the zodiac calendar was first put into use! But it’s an exciting story and one that’s always fun to tell on the Chinese New Year.

Do your kids get enough nutrients in their diet? If they’re like most kids, the answer is probably no. You want your children to eat more vegetables and less processed junk, but they certainly don’t make it easy. Even getting the average kid to chow down on a serving of broccoli can be a huge chore. In fact, food manufacturers have built an entire industry that takes advantage of our kids’ penchant for sugary cereal and fast food. However, a diet of highly processed foods can lead to a host of problems. Not only do these poor dietary habits carry over into adulthood, but a poor diet can hinder brain development and may even cause behavioral issues. A study in the American Journal of Public Health found links between poor diet and the development of depression in kids and teens. But how can you encourage your kids to eat healthier? Often, it comes down to presentation. A mound of plain old veggies is not appetizing — not to a 10-year- old and not to a 40-year-old. Instead of presenting vegetables as a boring side dish, think of them as an ingredient. Take lasagna, for instance. This tasty, familiar dish is easy to modify. Instead of using lasagna noodles, use zucchini. Simply slice the zucchini into thin, noodle- like strips, then layer them as you would typical noodles. The same can be done with other pasta dishes, such as spaghetti. Zucchini noodles — or “zoodles” — are delicious in marinara sauce and decadent in Alfredo. If push comes to shove, you can easily hide vegetables in foods your children already know and love. Did you know you can make brownies with avocado and black beans? Slipping in a few healthier ingredients here and there can deliver those nutrients in a pinch, especially during a chaotic school week. But, if you’re hoping to foster long-lasting healthy habits, the best thing you can do is offer your child a choice. Say something like “You can have the cauliflower, or you can have the broccoli. It’s up to you!” Let your child have that control. Psychologists and social scientists, including the famed Dr. Maria Montessori, argue that when kids feel in charge of a decision, they are more likely to embrace one of the options — even if it’s a vegetable. Ultimately, as a parent, you are in charge of your child’s diet. Help them explore new foods and foster a positive culinary environment. Your kids will develop a taste for healthy eating in no time!

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Just a Number Don’t Let Old Age Define Your Pet

It’s time to retire the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” The truth is, older dogs can be trained just as easily as puppies! Older dogs often have a longer attention span, so they may learn new tricks even faster. And though notoriously difficult to train at any age, older cats should also not be counted out. Age shouldn’t define your pet, regardless of how old they may be. Here are a few ways you can help your senior dog or cat feel like a new pet again. Learn a New Trick Not only can older pets still learn and enjoy new things, mental stimulation and challenges are also good for their overall health! New games, toys, food puzzles, or even taking a different route on your morning walk can give your pet a much-needed brain boost. Change Up the Menu Senior pet foods aren’t just another marketing strategy from pet food companies. Older pets really do have different dietary needs. But before you grab the first bag

of senior cat food at the grocery store, chat with us about what specialized foods can help with your pet’s specific health and activity level. Remember: Old Age Isn’t A Disease Never discredit a major change in your pet’s mood or behavior as they grow older. While getting old will certainly bring changes in your dog or cat, old age alone doesn’t cause sudden weight loss, decreases appetite, dramatic hair loss, or changes in bathroom behavior. Illnesses like diabetes, arthritis, dental problems, hyperthyroidism, or Addison’s disease may be the real culprit. If you can get your pet properly diagnosed and treated, you will see great improvement. You can’t turn back the clock, but you can help your pet enjoy all their years of life, no matter how old they are. This month, our clinic wants to help senior pets lead happy, healthy lives with 10 percent off senior wellness packages. Start the new year by helping your senior pet feel young again!

Food Hounds ! PAWSitively Hilarious ! CHICKEN CHOP SUEY Ingredients

2 teaspoons sugar

2 large or 4 medium chicken thighs

2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 4 tablespoons water

3 pounds bok choy, cut into 3–4-inch ribbons

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons oyster sauce

Directions 1. In large pot, boil three cups of water. Add chicken and reduce to simmer, cooking for 30 minutes. Remove chicken and let cool. Once cooled, remove skin and bones, chop, and set aside. Reserve the cooking liquid. 2. In a large skillet over high heat, heat vegetable oil. Once simmering, add bok choy and cook for 1 minute, stirring throughout. Add half of reserved cooking liquid, cover skillet, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Transfer bok choy to a plate. 3. Add remaining cooking liquid and chicken to the pan, maintaining high heat. Heat chicken, then add oyster sauce, sugar, cornstarch-and-water mixture, sesame oil, and bok choy. Season to taste, toss together, and serve over rice.

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Inside

When Do We Stop Learning?

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Happy Year of the Pig!

Trick Your Kids Into Healthy Eating

Is Your Dog Too Old to Learn New Tricks?

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Chicken Chop Suey

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What Happens to Military Service Dogs?

Sgt. Fieldy Comes Home Reuniting Brothers in Arms

There are around 2,500 military working dogs currently in service, and their efforts help save the lives of countless soldiers and civilians every day. One of these brave military dogs is Sgt. Fieldy, an 11-year-old black lab who was trained to locate the No. 1 threat in Afghanistan: IEDs. Sgt. Fieldy was deployed to Afghanistan with his handler, Cpl. Nicolas Caceres, in 2011. Early in their deployment, their vehicle struck a pressure plate while they were on patrol. Fieldy and Caceres were all right, but one of the other Marines in their company was badly injured in the explosion. The injured Marine could not be evacuated by helicopter until the landing zone was secured. Fieldy found another IED in the area and alerted Caceres. The bomb was quickly disarmed, and the injured soldier was taken to safety. This wasn’t the only IED Fieldy found. His sharp nose and dedication helped save thousands of lives. After his deployment, Caceres returned home, but Sgt. Fieldy served several more tours without him. While Fieldy continued to protect soldiers and civilians by tracking down IEDs, Caceres worked tirelessly to make sure he could bring Fieldy home when his service was over.

Military working dogs can be adopted by former handlers, law enforcement, or qualified civilians when they retire. After three years apart and a total of four tours served, Sgt. Fieldy was reunited with

Caceres. In 2016, Fieldy received the K9 Medal of Courage Award, and in 2018, he won the American Humane Hero Dog Award for his service.

“These dogs are out there with us,” said Caceres when he and Fieldy accepted the Hero Dog Award. “The dangers we face, they face them too. They deserve to be recognized. We ask so much of them, and all they want is to get petted or play with a toy. They’re amazing animals, and Fieldy is just an amazing dog. I can’t begin to express the gratitude I have for him.”

If you are interested in supporting our nation’s working dogs or would like to adopt a retired working dog yourself, you can learn more at Missionk9rescue.org.

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