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older dog care

Pets can be a significant assistance to older people, not only as trained assistants but, through friendship, actually improve or maintain health and activity (who wants to walk alone and cleaning the litter pan is daily exercise.) But, too frequently, as the story below discusses, people don’t know how to care for the oldest pets. Many people worry about care for their pets after their death or a lengthy illness or if an assisted living residence is needed.

Every dog, horse and bird at the elder-care animal sanctuary and hospice south of Santa Fe has a story, and most stories belie the wagging tails and the contented neighs heard here. …

Most of the animals at Kindred Spirits have ended up at the sanctuary under dire circumstances. Many were abandoned at animal shelters because they were old or ill, or their human companions had died or could no longer take care of them. The sanctuary rarely takes animals from private individuals; they are generally referred by veterinarians, shelters or other animal-welfare organizations.

On-site workshops on death and dying, first-aid and caring for elderly animals help people grow, but changing attitudes toward senior companions is an uphill battle.

“It’s about making a lifelong commitment,” Schildkraut says. “Animals aren’t disposable. I don’t think people realize what they’re saying to their children by doing things like that. There’s a value — across the spectrum of life, (aging) is just another phase. You can teach your children to ignore it or be fearful of it, and that’s a disservice. They really need to embrace this phase of their life just like any other.”


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How to Dremel Dog Nails @ DoberDawn.com

I have an older dog, currently 12 1/2 years, and still active (Thanks Eukanuba Senior diet). She’s a tough terrier / Australian cattle dog and fed up with the nail clipping. Increasingly it’s been difficult for me to keep her nails trim—what with my in between eyes, reluctant dog, occasional cuticle mistakes.

Using a cordless rotary tool to sand the nails actually works. Dog even tries to lick my hand while I’m working. (Cat is not interested at all. But her nails are clear.)

Excellent instructions with illustrations are here
http://www.DoberDawn.com

The pet Dremel is hard to find on the tundra and Amazon won’t postal mail anything labelled “hardware” to Alaska; other on-line stores, including the pet stores, refuse to use postal mail ($4.05 at priority rates), preferring the other two shippers, at over $25 to $50 to ship a $25 purchase. Fortunately, a friend was visiting Wal-Mart (400 miles away as the raven flies; no roads) and found the Mini-Mite (model 754). No wrenches are needed and it is re-chargeable. It comes with just one battery pack so a second one will have to wait for another friend to go to the Big City.

And, it is safe for use with in-between eyes on my own toenails.

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Picturing Alaska history : USA territory to statehood

Turner Publishing (http://www.turnerpublishing.com) asked if I would consider reviewing a new book. I’m glad I agreed. Historic Photos of Alaska has just been published, a large format book of black and white photographs from the period 1867 to 1979. Dermot Cole, long-time columnist for the Fairbanks Daily Newsminer, provides the text and captions.

As a journalist, Dermot also has an interest in history (apart from his twin brother, Terrance, history professor at University of Alaska Fairbanks). Dermot Cole is the author of Amazing Pipeline Stories published by Epicenter Press in 1997, about the people and Fairbanks during the Alaska oil pipeline construction.

The perspective of Historic Photos of Alaska, is for those readers outside Alaska. That is, this is a pictorial history of Alaska as part of “America”. [Through no fault of this book, many in the US will still consider Alaska as a foreign body, along with New Mexico.]

The photos are arranged by time periods, from purchase to statehood– 1867-1905, 1906-1919, 1920-1940, and 1941-1979. These periods represent significant periods of US and Alaska relations. The orientation is a deliberate effort to stand apart from the usual Alaskana picture books. Another significant difference in this book is the choice of rarely seen photos and not the ubiquitous ones. The photos are reproduced with sufficient quality to review again and again and see something new each time.

Readers can follow themes such as regional changes (southeast Alaska also known as the Northwest Coast compared to Nome in northwest Alaska) and transportation. However, other themes can be chosen by readers according to personal interest.

    Dogs
    Most of the dogs are Alaska huskies (freight variety), such as ones on pages 44 and 55 and in harness, page 58. However, the team on page 67 is actually part of a Saami family (reindeer herders originally from Scandinavia. Note the hats and boot toes.) The harness setup is very different from that of the Eskimo family team on page 128. There are also sporting dogs (early 20th century conformation) such as the one on page 92 belonging to Jim Haly. Look carefully. The dog has just spotted another dog out of view, and kicked up a cloud of dust with his hind legs.

    Electric trees
    Even on the frozen tundra of Nome (page 111) and sprouting ever more branches over time in populated areas such as Cordova page 120 and Fairbanks page 151.

    Military
    One way to trace the influence of the military in Alaska is through men’s hats in the photos. Since Territorial days, the military has been a significant economic and development force in Alaska. Much of the early geological studies and geodetic surveys were military. World War II and then the Cold War continued the inflow of money and people. Photos from pages 168 to 180 show differing aspects of building the Al-Can or Alaska Highway and the later battles of Attu and the Aleutians. (see related posts here on the Al-Can and the Aleutians, https://theelderlies.wordpress.com/special-projects/photo-index-cking-wwii/)

    Miscellany
    Everywhere. The curiosity of Edwardian women’s fashion in open-air fish camp (useful against mosquitoes I suppose); the plank streets (for cars and horses) 400 miles from the nearest highway; even a Piggly-Wiggly store outside of the South.

Dermot Cole avoided the shop worn stash of Alaska photos. However, the next to last photo, page 197, is of the oil pipeline’s zigzagged engineering (to avoid temperature stresses) up the North Slope and over the Brooks Mountain Range. It’s a clever homage to the iconic Klondike gold rush photo of the future miners traipsing up the Chilkoot Pass.

I do have some quibbles with the book. There is an amazing variety of horses depicted but no photos of cows at Creamer’s Dairy in Fairbanks (I like the image of the wood stove chimney peeking out the milk truck to keep contents from freezing at 40 below).

More importantly, an outline map of Alaska is needed, with the places of photos identified.

The southwest of Alaska is mostly excluded. Considering that most folks in or outside Alaska believe everyone lives in an Eskimo igloo, it would also be helpful to include a map of languages/cultural regions in the state. Most readers will not be aware of the significance of the temporary, river going, hide boat depicted on page 44 built by the Athabascan Indian trapper to bring his skins to market. Compare with the more permanent skin boat built by Iñupiat Eskimo marine hunters on page 103. I already noted the Saami family.

The period of the first half of 1919 is missing although extremely important in the demography and history of non-urban Alaska. Upwards of 80% to 100% of people in some communities died during the pandemic of the “Spanish Flu”. The Jesse Lee Home (I ran across this recently published history) was one of several that cared for orphans left behind (those that survived long enough for help to reach them).

A suggested reading list would be nice, including Steven Langdon’s 1993. The Native People of Alaska. Anchorage, AK : Greatland Graphics. ISBN: 0936425172 9780936425177 OCLC: 27405205

A great companion volume would be John S. Whitehead’s 2004. Completing the Union: Alaska, Hawaii, and the Battle for Statehood. Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press. ISBN: 0826336361 9780826336361 082633637X 9780826336378, OCLC: 55665367

This book is not supposed to be a comprehensive pictorial history. Cole did an amazing job just to make a selection from all the possibilities and put together such an enjoyable book.


——————-
[Dermot Cole. 2008 Historic Photos of Alaska. Nashville: Turner Publishing Co.
# ISBN-10: 1596524243
# ISBN-13: 978-1596524248
# LoC 2007938665
Hardcover: 216 pages, Language: English, Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 10.1 x 1 inches, list price $39.95]


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Nonagenarian MySpacer, Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas nonagenarianLori Shepler / Los Angeles Times, click to view original

By Tina Daunt, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, April 4, 2008

AS F. Scott Fitzgerald once famously said, there are no second acts in American life. But Kirk Douglas, at age 91, has not only found a second act but now is writing a third in, of all places, cyberspace.

“Someone once told me, ‘Be ashamed to die before doing something for humanity,’ ” said Douglas, relaxing on one of the plush couches in his Beverly Hills home, with its gardens and courtyards, colorful paintings by Marc Chagall — a personal friend — and two beloved large dogs wandering in and out. “As you get older, you must think more of other people. You must strive to help other people. Who needs the most help but the young?

“What kind of world are we leaving them?”

It’s a question to which Douglas returns over and over on his website and in his new book, “Let’s Face It: 90 Years of Living, Loving, and Learning,” which was recently released as an audio book read by “Seinfeld’s” Jason Alexander.
[…]

MySpace page is
http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=171170276


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Tolstoy’s Bicyclist nonagenarian George Dawson and brain fitness

“Some people say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” Edwards said. “So I always like to mention George Dawson. He died a couple of years ago at age 102 or 103. What’s remarkable about George Dawson is that he learned to read at age 98.”

Dawson, of Texas, who was the grandson of slaves, then collaborated with co-author Richard Glaubman to write his autobiography, “Life is So Good,”‘ published in 2000 by Random House.

2011-05-28 Oprah recently posted this video about Mr Dawson’s legacy, George Dawson’s Legacy May 13, 2011

According to this entry, Mr Dawson published his first book at 102 years.

African American Read-In has a more detailed biography, “George Dawson also received two Doctorates of Humane letters from Texas Weslyan University and New School of New York City. In 2002, George Dawson Middle School was named in his honor in Southlake, Texas.” Click the photo to visit. George Dawson reading at 102

Mr Dawson’s accomplishments came up in a news summary of what the latest studies say about retaining or improving mental agility (caffeine in women. not men, is another finding). The summary is pretty good about the types of “neurobics” (stupid term, IMO) which are recommended more and more frequently. They also note the relationship between physical exercise and mental ability, “The general concept is: what’s good for your heart is good for your brain,” Mirza said.

In Bethel, they will probably just hide another jigsaw piece I hear they still won’t let the elderlies run the place.

Work your way to brain fitness
Posted by Linda S. Mah/Gazette August 21, 2007 17:14PM

…Physical exercise, social involvement, challenging activities and new experiences are all recommended as ways to help keep our brains in top-notch condition.

“The analogy may be trite, but the brain is like a muscle,” said Morry Edwards, a licensed clinical psychologist with Neuropsychology Associates in Kalamazoo. “The circuits strengthen when you use your brain. If you don’t, the circuits fade.”…

“Some more-recent research shows it’s not just the exercise but the type of exercise or variety of exercise that you do which is important,” Mirza said.
[…]

O’Folks off their rocker Add this to Bookmarks:

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