Archive for the ‘Horses’ Category

We Made It!

November 20, 2011

Quinn and yours truly in travel mode

I’m pleased to report that our menagerie (my hubby and I included) have arrived, safe and sound in North Carolina! Thankfully, our trip was mostly uneventful. We had only one hiccup along the way and that occurred in our very own driveway in California. We had packed the bed of the pickup truck with oodles of stuff including a wooden table. With the very first turn out of our driveway, the gooseneck of the horse trailer pushed the corner of that table right through the rear window of our pick up truck. The result was an explosive noise and flying glass. Fortunately, no one was injured, but I’ve never witnessed two dogs fly from the back seat of a vehicle into the front so quickly! We cleaned up the shattered glass, used cardboard and “gorilla tape” to replace the missing window, took a really deep breath, and headed east. The remainder of the trip was smooth sailing.

Our overnights were spent in Bakersfield, California (where our younger dog Quinn was rescued from a “kill shelter”), Flagstaff, Arizona (a gorgeous place), Tucumcari, New Mexico (I love the way the name of this town rolls off my tongue, but never have our dog’s feet encountered such nasty stickers), Cromwell, Oklahoma (this year a tornado, an earthquake, and a severe drought have ravaged the area), and Jackson, Tennessee where we truly felt like we were in the “east” for the first time.

Part of the gang right after arriving in North Carolina

We encountered fabulous people at every overnight stop along the way. All had fascinating stories to share about their lives and why they ended up where they have. The common thread for all of our hosts was a profound love for animals as evidenced by properties filled with horses, dogs, cats, sheep, goats, cattle, and donkeys. Michelle, our host in Cromwell, Oklahoma has several adorable rescue dogs desperately in need of homes. If you live anywhere near Cromwell and are ready to add a new member to your own menagerie, please let me know and I will put you in touch with Michelle. By the way, she also has a rescue horse she is hoping to rehome.

We arrived at our North Carolina home in lovely 70-degree weather and some remaining fall color. Some of the leaves are such brilliant shades of red and orange, that trees appear as if they are on fire. After six days on the road, we all thoroughly enjoyed stretching our legs. My husband’s horse galloped around his new pasture (I am currently horseless, but hopefully not for too much longer), our kitty enjoyed inspecting her new surroundings, and my husband, the dogs, and I took a long hike through a six inch carpet of crisp leaves. The dogs must have run a good five miles on our one-mile hike. It feels great for all of us to be in our new home and we are looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving here.

Have you ever moved cross-country with animals in tow? If so, would you ever consider doing it again?

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones,

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

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Goin’ to Carolina

November 5, 2011

While you are reading this, my husband and I are in the process of driving cross-country with our animals in tow. We’ve decided to follow our hearts on a new adventure and are leaving the warm slopes of northern California for the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. The decision to move 3,000 miles certainly wasn’t made on the fly. My husband and I are big thinkers and planners, carefully weighing in on all the pros and cons over and over again. But, boy oh boy, this is a biggee and I vacillate between feeling super excited and scared to death!

Our friends, relatives, and colleagues (particularly those who have never been to western North Carolina) have all asked, “Why are you doing this?” The answer is really quite simple- our response is “Because we can.” Our three little chicks have left the nest and are doing their thing out in the world (Wyoming, Ohio and Germany). My hubby and I like to think of this major life change as our attempt to make our “third trimester” all that we want it to be. We are both avid horseback riders and we’ve longed to live on property abutting an extensive trail system. This means saddling and up and riding out with no horse trailering involved! Our new property abuts Dupont State Forest, a veritable mecca for horseback riding.

After figuring out where we wanted to live I checked out job prospects. The closest specialty hospital is Upstate Veterinary Specialists.  Now this part is too good to be true- not only did this hospital win the 2011 American Animal Hospital Association Specialty Hospital of the Year Award, the hospital owners want me to work with them! I will begin my new job in early December.

You won’t hear from me for another week or two. Not to worry, once settled I will resume my regular blogging habits, although you may begin to detect a bit of a southern accent!

Best wishes for good health,

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

Please Joe, Say it Isn’t So

June 9, 2009

My heart aches today for Joe Camp.  Although you may not recognize his name, chances are you’ve heard of Benji, the adorable dog of movie fame.  Benji was Joe’s creation.  Joe recently wrote a wonderful book called Soul of a Horse.  I’ve corresponded a bit with Joe, author to author, and have followed his blog posts.  I’ve loved hearing about his gorgeous buckskin mustang mare Noelle, and her incredibly adorable three-month-old foal Malachi.  Joe’s descriptions of Malachi’s antics have been priceless. 

When I opened my email today, my heart sank.  The title of Joe’s email was “Malachi is gone.”  As much as I didn’t want to read the email I forced myself.  I learned that Malachi passed away on June 3rd, the result of a freak accident- the kind no one can possibly predict when it comes to unpredictable horse behavior.  I have no doubt that Joe and his wife are devastated as are every single one of Joe’s fans, myself included.  Poor Noelle is without her baby.  It all feels so nonsensical.  

If you have a moment, I encourage you to reach out to Joe.  You’ll find him at Joe@TheSoulofaHorse.com.  It doesn’t matter whether or not you are fond of horses.  If you understand the human animal bond, Joe will feel your support. 

Wishing you and your dog good health,

Dr. Nancy Kay
Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine 

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A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross

Website: http://www.speakingforspot.com

TTouch – Linda Tellington-Jones

November 29, 2008

Linda Tellington-Jones is a legend amongst people who love and care for animals. She truly understands what makes them tick, not just from an intuitive standpoint (although her intuition is remarkable and powerful), but from a scientific point of view as well. Linda is world renowned for TTouch, a form of bodywork that evolved from her time spent working with Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais. The Feldenkrais Method teaches mind-body integration for the human nervous system. Over the course of several years, Linda applied what she learned to hundreds of horses and observed remarkable improvements in their behavior, balance, and ability to learn. Her work became known as the Tellington Touch Equine Awareness Method, or TTEAM. Her work didn’t stop there. Linda learned that dogs could be helped by many of these same techniques. She has authored several wonderful books all of which provide clear, easy-to-follow instruction for anyone interested in learning the Tellington Method. Linda travels worldwide giving instructional clinics.

I recently had the pleasure of auditing a Tellington TTEAM horse clinic in Northern California, close to where I live. I was profoundly inspired by what I observed. There were approximately 25 participants including people with their horses, teachers, and Linda herself. What an inspirational woman! After the hundreds, perhaps thousands of clinics Linda has taught, I anticipated she might be supervising rather than actively teaching. Boy was I ever wrong! Linda was a completely “hands on”, patient, enthusiastic, compelling instructor. She has the energy of a twenty-year-old and that energy is contagious to her students (the energizer bunny has nothing on this woman!).

The clinic participants and their horses literally blossomed before my eyes. There was Jonelle’s mare, so “out of her mind” and difficult to control that Jonelle was afraid to even lead her from paddock to arena. Within just a couple of days, they were a team- the mare calm, in fact, downright peaceful, and Jonelle’s fear was gone. Darran was there with her new horse who could not hold his feet still because of pent up anxiety. Within a few days, she was able to ride him at liberty (no bridle) around the arena because he had transitioned to such a state of calmness.

I particularly enjoyed my time spent chatting with Linda. Here is what I learned. She has traveled the world and lived in some of the most beautiful places imaginable. She has interfaced with people from every walk of life and her stories are fascinating. She’s a definite “people person.” Her interactions are relaxed and comfortable and she’s a good listener- clearly something animals sense about her as well. In summary, Linda Tellington-Jones is a true master at teaching techniques that improve the quality of life for animals and the people who love them. It simply doesn’t get much better than that!

Dr. Nancy Kay meets Linda Tellington-Jones
Dr. Nancy Kay meets Linda Tellington-Jones

Linda Tellington-Jones (left), Dr. Nancy Kay (right)

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Please visit www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Dr. Kay’s book. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog. SPEAKING FOR SPOT is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller.