Animal Clinic of Kalispell - September 2020




Many Fond Memories of My Grandparents

Last month, my grandma turned 103 years old. Honestly, she doesn’t look any older today than she did 20 years ago. She can’t hear anything and is a little confused sometimes, but, otherwise, she’s in great health. I feel pretty fortunate to be 51 years old and still have a grandmother around.

watched TV in the evenings, and they only turned on “The Lawrence Welk Show.” My grandparents loved Lawrence Welk. As a kid, I remember being so frustrated that Lawrence Welk was the only TV we got to watch! Today, I can’t help but laugh when I remember my grandma sitting in her rocker, watching the show with her little dog, Pudding.

When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, the family did get a little worried about Grandma. She lives in a little assisted living facility out in Colorado. Fortunately, the staff at the facility has done a great job of keeping everything clean and safe. They haven’t had any issues. For Mother’s Day, the CNAs even set up a Zoom video call so the entire family could “visit” Grandma. All the kids, the grandkids, and even some of the great- grandkids were on the call. She was so excited to see everybody, and she recognized most of us! It was great that technology allowed us to stay connected like this.

My maternal grandparents lived on the western slopes of Colorado, in a place the family had homesteaded. They planted and tended orchards full of cherries and peaches. If we visited in June or July, we would be picking cherries. And if we visited in August, we’d be picking peaches. We loved going down the ranch, even knowing that we were going to work, picking fruit in the hot sun. I’m sure it was good for building my character and work ethic. When I was really young, going down to the ranch meant getting to visit my great- grandparents, too. Great-grandpa lived to a pretty

Today, I can’t help but laugh when I remember my grandma sitting in her rocker, watching the show with her little dog, Pudding.

During the call, Grandma was practically crying with joy and reminding us how much God has blessed our family. She’s really the matriarch of our family where faith is concerned. My grandma has always been very inspirational to me. My grandpa was a Baptist minister, and they traveled all over the place. Grandma was instrumental in my own Christian faith. She’s always been the sweetest, kindest lady I know. I’m very fortunate to have had good relationships with all my grandparents when I was growing up. We didn’t see them that often — we lived in Wyoming, and both sets of grandparents lived in Colorado — but that makes the time we did get together more valuable. I have some pretty fond memories of visiting Grandma and Grandpa’s house as a kid. They only

old age. What I remember most about Great-Grandpa was how much he liked Dad’s Root Beer. He lived in one of the original log houses on the property. When I was 7 years old, I would sit with him on the porch of the house in the afternoon, drinking root beer together in the shade. I’m very fortunate that I got to meet my great-grandparents and that my grandparents all lived long enough to be such influential parts of my life. I do keep their longevity in mind when thinking about retirement. If I have those centenarian genes, I may have to work until I’m 75 to make sure I am prepared for those golden years!

– Dr. Jevon Clark



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Hello everyone,

I’m Rosie the Beagle, and I live with a literal horde of animals. At first, it was just me; my mom, Kyla Hughes; and the cat, George. I was the very first dog my mom ever had. Then we were joined by another cat, Jasper the flame point Siamese. And then yet another cat, Tink the munchkin Siamese. I was fine living with so many cats. But then Myah, a heeler, came into the household. That’s where I had to draw the line. For a long time, I couldn’t stand Myah. I worried about her trying to eat my food and that she would get more food than I did. I got super stressed whenever she tried to play. I get that puppies like to play, but she was bigger

4 DECADES OF EARTH, WIND & FIRE’S ‘SEPTEMBER’ What Happened on the 21st Night of September?

than me, and she didn’t listen when I said no. It freaked me out. We never fought, but we often got into what my mom calls “kerfluffles.” And then a third dog came along. That was just about the end of the world for me. All of the animals at my house go to The Animal Clinic of Kalispell, myself included. This month, Dr. Clark asked me to share a bit about the hard work our mom has done to turn us into a happy pack. Life at home has done a total 180. “I had to learn what it meant to really be there for your pet,” Mom says. “And to know what they need and be willing to do it.”


“Do you remember the 21st night of September?”

In 1978, Maurice White of the band Earth, Wind & Fire first asked this question in the song “September,” a funky disco song that quickly topped the charts. While disco may be dead today, “September” certainly isn’t. The song is still featured in movies, TV shows, and wedding playlists. On Sept. 21, 2019, the funk hit was streamed over 2.5 million times. It’s no wonder that the Los Angeles City Council declared Sept. 21 Earth, Wind & Fire Day. The story behind “September” is almost as enduring as the song itself. It was co-written by White and Allee Willis, who eventually became a Grammy-winning songwriter and Tony nominee. But before any of that, Willis was a struggling songwriter in Los Angeles living off food stamps. When White reached out and asked Willis to help write the next Earth, Wind & Fire hit, it was truly her big break. White and Willis proved to be excellent songwriting partners, but they clashed over one key element of the song: the nonsensical phrase “ba-dee-ya,” which White included in the chorus. Throughout the songwriting process, Willis begged to change the phrase to real words. At the final vocal session, Willis finally demanded to know what ba-dee-ya meant. White replied, “Who cares?”

This journey started shortly after that third dog, Charlie, joined the house. I know my mom really wanted Charlie to stay with us, but she realized that Charlie would be happier in a single-dog household. She rehomed Charlie, who is now being trained as a therapy dog to help a girl Mom used to nanny. This definitely reduced the tension in the house. Mom’s next step was to reach out to a local dog trainer, Neil Day, owner of All Day Dog Adventures. Neil is fantastic! He just really gets pets, you know? Humans talk about their own mental health all the time, and Neil points out that good mental health is just as important for dogs and cats. Neil taught Mom how to help work on our brain stimulation and help us think every day. This sounds like it would take a lot of time, but it really doesn’t. Mom just looked for little ways to change our daily routine to include some mental stimulation. She started with meal times.

“I learned my greatest lesson ever in songwriting from him,” Willis recalled in a 2014 interview with NPR, “which was never let the lyric get in the way of the groove.”

I’m very food motivated, so I would get stressed when Myah was nearby while I was eating. But packs are supposed to eat together, so Neil told my mom to put a baby gate

The groove is why “September” has stood the test of time, right from that very first lyric. For decades, people have asked Willis and members of the band about the significance of Sept. 21. As it turns out, there isn’t much beyond the sound.

“We went through all the dates: ‘Do you remember the first, the second, the third, the fourth …’ and the one that just felt the best was the 21st,” Willis explained.

The truth is that nothing happened on the 21st night of September — except a whole lot of dancing.





E TO HAPPY HOME NO BONES ABOUT IT The Best Way to Help Your Pet Heal After a Fracture A Word From Rosie Rosie

Dealing with a broken leg can be incredibly stressful for pets and pet owners alike. Overly excited dogs can hurt themselves after jumping out of the back of a truck. Meanwhile, usually graceful felines tend to get hurt after falling off a fence.

Whatever may have caused your pet’s injury, the good news is that modern veterinary medicine can help your dog or cat and address the injury easily and effectively.


between me and Myah while we were eating. This helped us know our food was safe, while getting used to being near each other. We feel a lot more relaxed around each other now.

However, resetting the broken or fractured bone is only the first step. The real challenge of healing happens at home.

Another small food-related change Mom made was to throw my breakfast kibble in the grass. This sounds bizarre, but trust me, I love it! I’m a beagle, so I love to use my nose. I don’t exactly spend a lot of time hunting for foxes or tracking down criminals, so getting to snuffle around in the grass for my breakfast

For dogs, the first four weeks of healing are the most precarious. Dr. Clark admits to losing sleep during that healing process, constantly concerned about playful pups accidentally

is really good mental exercise for me. Mom also made some food puzzles out of Gatorade bottles that we can play with.

reinjuring themselves. Once the pain starts to go away, dogs don’t realize how injured they still are. Chasing after squirrels, slipping on the floor, or jumping into

Myah’s nose isn’t as strong as mine, so sniffing around in the grass for treats wouldn’t be as fun for her. Instead, Mom made a snuffle mat out of felt and a puzzle box filled with paper towel rolls for Myah. She loves treats, so Myah gets to work her brain by digging around in these for her treats. These are just a few tips Neil taught our mom, and they’ve helped so much. I feel a lot more relaxed now that I’m working out my brain every day. I think this is how humans must feel when they start exercising. Myah and I have a lot more fun together, and we play all the time. Now, I actually love my sister — I know, I’m surprised, too!

the air to catch a ball are all recipes for disaster. We see dogs and cats back in our practice after breaking the

pins or bending the plates in their leg. If your dog is recovering from a bone fracture, it’s important to keep them as calm as possible. Even when they seem like they’re getting better, don’t allow any rough play. Make sure your dog is supervised at all times, DON’T trust them. However, if you’re caring for an injured cat, you’re likely in for an easier time. Cats heal amazingly well and are usually very content to lay around and rest until they are healed. Another important step when helping your pet heal from a fractured bone is to bring them to the veterinarian right away. With dogs, it’s usually very clear if they have been injured, but cats can be a lot more secretive about their pain. It can take cat owners a few days to bring their felines in after an accident because they “seemed fine” — even when evidence of the fracture is visible. Cats are notoriously stubborn about pain, so trust your instincts. If you think your pet might be hurt, get them checked out sooner rather than later. Regardless of whether you’re caring for a dog or a cat, it’s important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions to the letter. The healing process can be delicate, and you want to make sure your furry friend is on the best path to recovery.

Now that Myah and I are getting along, the cats are more relaxed, too. It helps that Mom set up a lot of good climbing and clawing spots for them. They have lots of safe spaces at home. George used to be very timid with strangers, but now she loves to hang out with other people. Meanwhile, Tink likes to ride on everyone’s shoulders, not just Mom’s. As for Jasper, well, he’s still Jasper, but he seems happy, too. I really appreciate all the work Mom has done to give us what we all need. We’re really becoming a pack, and life at home is a lot more peaceful.







Celebrating Grandma’s 103rd Birthday


The Truth Behind the 21st Night of September


Learn to Care for Your Pets’ Mental Health What Makes Healing a Bone Fracture So Dangerous


3 Fun Family Activities for Fall

Gardening, Gold, and Photo Shoots


Pan for gold.

It’s fall, which means social media will soon be saturated with pictures of your friends enjoying “classic” fall activities. Photos of leaf peeping, apple picking, and the occasional scarecrow run rampant. But rather than following the herd, you can make your family the trendsetter of unique fall activities! Here are a few outdoor endeavors your family will love.

Here’s one that’s really off the beaten path: Take your family on an adventure panning for gold! Start by planning a road trip out to an old ghost town. Many of them have great tourist attractions that include gold panning. You probably won’t get rich, but it will still be a fun story. If you’re not able to make the trip, you can always create a gold panning operation at home! Visit for a great step-by-step guide on how to go panning for gold in your own backyard.

Plan a fall photo shoot.

Get gardening.

It’s time to freshen up those family pictures hanging around the house. The changing leaves provide a beautiful background for any family portrait. Better yet, the cooler temperatures mean that an outdoor photo shoot won’t be nearly as uncomfortable as it would be in the summer. You can take your pictures by the trees in the front yard or make a daytrip of it. What about pictures at the corn maze or pumpkin patch? It’s never too soon to start planning this year’s holiday card.

Fall is the time for harvest, but if you want to enjoy flowers in the spring, it’s also a time for planting. The cooler autumn air is easier on plants, but the soil is still warm enough for roots to grow before the ground freezes for winter. Tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths are all spring bulbs that need to be planted in the fall. Do a little research with your family to determine the best time to start planting in your area.

Spend this fall outdoors and create great new memories with your family!



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