Animal Clinic of Kalispell - December 2020




How the Scout’s Motto Still Informs My Life

I don’t like surprises. If I have the chance, I’m

With 2021 on our heels, it’s time to start preparing for the new year. I was in the Boy Scouts from the time I was around 7 to when I was about 15, and I am an Eagle Scout. As many people know, the Boy Scout’s motto is “Be Prepared.” This is so important to me that it’s part of my personal and professional motto. I don’t like surprises. If I have the chance, I’m going to prepare. Sometimes I even do it in my sleep. Well, almost. I lose sleep stewing over plans in the middle of the night. Now I keep a pen and paper on my bedside table, so when I wake up at 3 in the morning and I’m thinking about something, I can write it down and get it off my mind. Otherwise, I can’t sleep — that’s just how my brain works. When my boys were old enough, I brought them up in the Scouts too. When they were Cub Scouts, my wife and I were Cub Masters. I became a Scout Master when they moved up into the Boy Scouts (and both are Eagles!). Even though both my sons participated in the Boy Scouts and were exposed to that same “Be Prepared” motto, it really only sunk in for one of my sons. Aaron, my youngest son, is just like me. He’s the one you want in charge of planning a vacation. He prepares by doing research, organizing plans, and double-checking that everything’s in order. My oldest son, Daniel, is much more of a “freethinker.” I wish I had at least a little of that! Last year, Aaron and Daniel went on a ski vacation, and when the time came to head out on the trip, Aaron went to pick up Daniel only to discover he was nowhere close to being ready. The next time they go on vacation together, Aaron says he’ll make preparations for everything.

clients get ready for whatever the future may hold for their pets so there are no surprises. We’re here to educate and assist people so their pets can

going to prepare.

live long, happy, and healthy lives. Of course, there are certain things we can’t predict, such as emergencies, but we can prepare for most other things, like the effects of aging.

As our pets age, they get a little slower and their risk of disease increases. We’re here to help pet owners get ready for this and to treat pets at whatever stage they’re at in their life. Keeping your pets healthy when they are young, will ensure they stay healthy as they age. For example, tending to your 3-year-old dog’s oral health will decrease their risk of having serious dental issues when they’re 10. Feeding them a great diet now has proven positive effects for their later life. 2020 has been so interesting. I mean, who could have predicted this? Though we couldn’t have known there’d be a pandemic, nor predicted its far-reaching effects, we still made general preparations that helped us during the unknown. It truly goes to show just how important it is to take even the smallest steps to prepare, especially when we’re faced with the unknown. The good news is that we can use the lessons of this year to better prepare ourselves for the coming year. And when it comes to your pets, we’re here to help any time.

As you can probably imagine, this drive for preparation isn’t confined to my home. I bring the same drive to the clinic. Our goal here is to help our

– Dr. Jevon Clark



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MEET GEORGE The Driven Dog Who Loves Hunting an

Hi Everyone,

My name is Georgette, and I’m a springer spaniel and a hunting dog. I’ve been with my Dad, Dyrk Eddie, ever since I was a puppy, and I’ve been hunting for just as long too! So far, I’ve hunted with my dad in Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Idaho. I was just 6 months old when I went on my first hunting trip. I was so excited when Dad and I got in the car and took off. I didn’t know where we were going, but even then I could feel something in my bones, like I was meant to do this. When Dad shot a pheasant on that trip, something in me just came alive! I sprang forward to get the pheasant, which was almost bigger than me I might add, and brought it to my dad. It was like I was born to do this! Dad says that he’d never seen a dog do that before in his life. “The determination she showed to just do that was unreal. It was amazing that, at 6 months, Georgette would do that.” I’ve heard Dad say that people tell him he’s been blessed to have a dog like me, but I say I’m blessed to have a dad like him! Pheasant hunting wasn’t something that Dad did a lot before I came along. He used to hunt with Labradors, but since I found my calling, Dad has gone on a lot more pheasant hunting trips. He goes bird hunting because I enjoy it. I’m so grateful to have such a thoughtful and wonderful dad!

Not Just a Corn Cob Pipe and Button Nose THE SURPRISING HISTORY OF THE SNOWMAN

Building a snowman is one of the most picturesque winter activities, which is why snowmen have become a wintertime cultural icon. A snowman appeared on the very first postcards, was the subject of some of the earliest photos, and even starred in silent movies. Frosty may be a happy snowman now, but his ancestors have a much more varied — and sometimes dark — history. The Middle Ages Snowmen were a phenomenon in the Middle Ages. They were constructed with deep thought and great skill because, during a time of limited means of expression, snow was a free art supply that literally fell from the sky. These artistic feats were popular winter attractions for well- to-do couples who wanted to get their fix of temporary art. Snowmen were often created by famous artists, including 19-year-old Michelangelo who, in 1494, was commissioned by the ruler of Florence to sculpt a snowman in his mansion’s courtyard. The Miracle of 1511

When Dad and I aren’t out hunting, I love to spend time at home with the other members of my family. I’m always in the house and love being around my people. My favorite thing to do at home is make my family happy and keep everyone on schedule. I’m the type of dog that loves having routines! When everything happens exactly when it’s supposed to happen — that’s a great day. One of my favorite routines happens at 4 p.m. every day; that’s Holiday Pet Food Gravy

In Brussels in 1511, during six weeks of subzero temperatures called the Winter of Death, the city was miraculously adorned with hundreds of snowmen. The spectacle told stories on every street corner — some political and some demonstrating anger with the church, many too risque to speak of. For the people of Brussels, this Miracle of 1511 was a defining moment of artistic freedom. But when spring came and the snow thawed, the Belgians were


2 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken or turkey broth

left with damaging floods. The Schenectady Massacre

1 lb low-fat ground turkey

2 tbsp cornstarch or tapioca flour

Not all snowmen have an innocent history. In 1690, former Fort Schenectady in upstate New York was home to a remote Dutch settlement, which was under the constant threat of attack. Soldiers guarded the gates at all times because they were frozen open, but during a blizzard, they left a pair of snowmen to protect the gates while they sought shelter. That’s when 200 French Canadian soldiers and Native Americans approached. Naturally, they were unfazed by the snowmen and ruthlessly invaded the settlement. Building a snowman seems like a simple and charming activity, but after learning about its surprising history, you might find those piles of snow seem a little more complicated and a lot more meaningful than before.



ETTE! nd Routines

KEEP TABLE FOOD OUT OF REACH Avoid Feeding Fido Under the Table

when I get fed. My family can always find me ready and waiting for my food at that time.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easter, and the Fourth of July — these are the holidays when our clinic receives a sudden influx of patients with major

I’m also very determined to have my walks every morning. My mom is the one who likes

gastrointestinal problems. A lot of these visits are due to dogs eating food that isn’t healthy for them.

walking me most, and it’s definitely become one of my favorite routines, aside from eating and hunting. We usually go on 4–6-mile walks, and sometimes I don’t understand why we take them later or why, on the rare occasion, they don’t happen. If walking time comes around and I don’t see my leash anywhere, I’m following Mom around trying to figure out why we aren’t outside yet. I’ll push and push until we get outside, and the next day, I make sure that we’re on time. Walks not only get me outside, which I love, but they also get my family out too. I know my family needs to walk and get exercise just like I do. It’s always up to me to get us outside, and I’m glad to be that motivator for them! Today, I’m 11 years old and going strong! All the walking we do keeps me and my family in good shape, and my dad keeps me healthy by taking me to my doctors at the Animal Clinic of Kalispell. I’ve been going there since I was a puppy. Even if it’s still a bit scary, I know the people there keep me as healthy as can be, so I can continue doing what I love — hunting, spending time with my family, and keeping all our routines on track. I love my family and my life. I’m so blessed!

Sometimes it’s the dog that is naughty and gets into the garbage after a holiday meal. Sometimes it’s a relative who’s naughty and gives the dog a snack

under the table — except this “snack” might be a lot of fatty, salty gravy. This can lead to a lot of problems for dogs and owners alike. A dog having acute gastroenteritis after the holidays is never fun for anyone, especially when it happens at 2 a.m.

One of our biggest concerns about feeding pets table scraps is their fat content, which can really upset their system. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for dogs to get a hold of something fatty or out of their ordinary diet that inflames their pancreas, which leads to pancreatitis. This disease is a serious health risk and can be fatal to dogs.

No holiday feast is complete without gravy to pour on just about everything — including your dog or cat’s food! Get your pets excited about their dry food by revamping it with this quick and easy holiday gravy recipe.

1. In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a simmer. 2. In a skillet, brown ground turkey, breaking it up into small pieces. 3. When turkey is cooked thoroughly, strain off any remaining fat. 4. Sprinkle cornstarch or tapioca flour over meat and stir well to coat evenly. 5. Pour broth over meat mixture and bring it to a low boil until it thickens. 6. Let cool slightly but serve warm over your dog or cat’s favorite dry food. 7. Enjoy the holiday feasting together! Directions

Additionally, the caloric density of human food is much higher than dog food, so it does not take very much for a small snack to become a big

problem for our dogs. Dysbiosis, or the imbalance of natural bacteria in the gut, is a common secondary effect of eating different types of food and can lead to illness. It’s common for us to see dogs at this time of year that have eaten a lot of things outside their normal diet. This can lead to vomiting or diarrhea, which may alarm the dog’s owners. Thankfully, this is usually straightforward to treat. This holiday season, we encourage you to keep a vigilant eye on what your pets eat. But of course, some clever pets will still get a hold of something they shouldn’t be eating. If they do get sick, we’re ready to help in any way we can. To prepare ourselves for the inevitable influx, our team does ensure we have plenty of anti-nausea and anti-diarrhea medication on hand.

Inspired by







Being Prepared for the Unknown


The Surprising History of the Snowman


The Great Springer Spaniel Pheasant Hunter


Holiday Pet Food Gravy


Say No to Table Scraps


Meet Kismet, a Dentist’s Toothless Therapy Dog

Meet Kismet, a Dentist’s Toothless Therapy Dog

Therapy pets can have a powerful impact on dental patients, especially if those patients have anxiety. “The studies are very clear: People who sit and pet animals have lower blood pressure, and that’s what it’s all about,”

It’s especially amazing that the toothless Kismet found such a perfect new home with dental professionals! This past July, Cameron Garrett and his wife, Debra Garrett (a hygienist), adopted Kismet into their home as well as their dental practice. The serene dog has provided a special experience for patients who come for exams, cleanings, and even root canals. Of course, some patients are scared of dogs. In those cases, Kismet relaxes behind a closed gate. But over 98% of patients happily take Kismet on their laps while they undergo their dental procedure. Cameron Garrett told CNN, “Quite honestly, as a dentist, I’m as much a psychiatrist or psychologist as anything else. Kismet has allowed us to have another tool in our toolbox.” They can even use the toothless pup’s story to teach patients about the effects of periodontal disease. Getting love from patients also helps Kismet. “She just wants to be with us,” Debra Garrett explained. The new owners suspect that she was abused in the past and is still recovering from that trauma. “When she is on a patient’s lap, she’s providing them comfort, but she’s also getting comfort. It’s hard for me to describe how nice it is for me to be looking at her while I’m working. It’s just a win-win all the way around.”

Dr. Cameron Garrett told TODAY when the world found out about Kismet. Garrett’s dental practice employs the adorable 13-year-old Chihuahua rescue as a therapy animal that patients can hold and pet while they get dental work done. Kismet’s life has not been easy. The Muttville Senior Dog Rescue has invested thousands of dollars into Kismet’s health — they diagnosed her with heart disease, removed a cancerous tumor, treated a hernia, and removed all of her teeth due to periodontal disease. Yet, Kismet remains a very sweet dog. She never barks and loves back scratches and being held.

Our hearts are officially melted. It’s only fitting for a pet hero to have heroic owners, too!



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