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Adventurer kills, eats faithful dog in 2-month survival epic

ADVENTURE — Here's a Canadian survival story with an unusual twist that has some animal lovers saying a desperate man made a heartless decision.  

But doctors treating Marco Lavoie after his rescue in the wilderness of northern Quebec say he may not have survived his four-month ordeal had he not killed and eaten his dog.

Some fascinating points to the story:

  • Lavoie, 44, was close to death when a rescue crew found him last week.
  • His canoe and vital supplies were destroyed by a bear at the start of a planned two-month trip in August.
  • Lavoie's German Shepherd may have saved Lavoei's life by chasing away the bear in the initial attack.
  • But three days later, facing the possibility of starvation Lavoie, killed his doting companion with a rock.
  • The first words Lavoie reported spoke to medical staff: 'I want to get a new dog.'

Lavoie had lost 90 pounds and was suffering from hypothermia when rescuers found him Wednesday. News reports from Monday indicated he was still in critical condition.

Could you kill your faithful canine companion if you thought it would be the difference between your life and death?

Salmon poisoning: Dog’s fishing trip ends with trip to veterinarian

FISHING — John and Gail Palumbo of Spokane have taken their dogs with them on salmon fishing trips to the Columbia for years, the the odds for their dogs contracting "salmon poisoning" caught up to them this week.

Writes Gail:

Want to thank you for the article on 9/29/13 about Salmon Poisoning in dogs. Fankly we had never heard of it. We go salmon fishing every year below the Priest Rapids dam. (I call it "Camping at the Rock.") We have been going there for years and taking our dogs with.

We have two new young dogs this year and it was a first for both of them to come along.
We read your article and tried to keep the dogs away from the carcasses left on the beach when we were ashore.

Long story short: one of our young dogs (9 mos.) is at the vet now with Salmon Poisoning. We did not put 2 and 2 together about his symptoms until he was quite ill and took him into the vet. After blood tests they confirmed it.
 
We thought this would never happen to us.  All the years going fishing here and taking dogs and everyone else taking dogs, no dogs had ever gotten sick nor even heard of this poisoning.

Family seeks shorthair pointer lost near Medical Lake

HUNTING DOGS — Even if the pheasant hunting season weren't days away, Jack Dolan and his wife would be sick that their six-month old German shorthair pointer has gone missing.

The dog ran off after it was lightly struck by a vehicle late Sunday afternoon just west of Medical Lake and the Veteran's Cemetery near the Dolan's driveway at Hallet and Espanola roads

The dog's name is Chip. His collar was broken off by the impact. He panicked and ran across a field and out of sight.   Although there's no collar on him now, he has been micro-chipped and can be identified by a veterinarian.

The family points out that Chip could have covered a lot of ground, so they're posting signs in Reardan, Airway Heights and around the region.

If anyone sees, finds or hears anything that could lead to this dog, please call Dolan at (509) 389-8481.

Dolan, 72, was featured this summer in an S-R story about the extraordinary hunter education course he's been teaching as a volunteer leader for 26 years.  This dog, shown in the photo above, is his prized possession.

City projects could affect access to South Hill bluffs

TRAILS — The City of Spokane's plans to "remodel" High Drive in 2014 while updating sewer lines could change bike lanes and reduce parking options for the popular South Hill bluff trails.

Traffic flow, pedestrian walkways, and bike lanes will also be affected, according to the Friends of the Bluff.

A neighborhood meeting on set for 7 p.m.-9 p.m. on Tuesday (Oct. 8) at he new Jefferson Elementary School Multi-Purpose Room, 123 E. 37th Ave.
 
This might be the public's best chance to see the initial plans and provide constructive input, the Friends group says.
 
 

Field report: Clark Fork back in action for anglers

FLY FISHING — My friend David Moershel and I drove over Lookout Pass on Thursday, dodged lightning storms and endured weather ranging from cool to hot over two days to check out Montana's Clark Fork River a week after fishing restrictions were lifted after weeks of water too warm for the health of the trout.

The verdict:  The Clark Fork is back in action, when it's not being cruel.

The three photos with this post (click continue reading) show the thick 14- to 16-inch cutthroat, rainbow and cuttbow I caught on dry flies and nymphs in a two-hour period on Friday morning.  They were among five other fish I caught including a whitefish in three hours of walkng and wading.

Not bad for a guy who casts like a zombie and was trying to train his English setter to stay on a rock and NOT retrieve the fish as they were reeled in.

But while we had periods of good fishing, we also had stretches when we couldn't buy a trout.  On Thursday evening we drove to several spots that have been good to us in the past and we couldn't find a rising fish.

The moral: When it's hot, it's hot; when it's not, it's not.

Give bird dog attention before the hunt

HUNTING — My Outdoors column today bags some tips from pro trainer Dan Hoke of Dunfur Kennel for easing bird dogs into the seasons safely and efficiently.

Many hunters get all excited about opening days — forest grouse and mourning doves open Sunday.

But the best and safest hunting for a bird dog is later in the seasons, when the field is cooler, damper and there's been more opportunity to get in tip-top shape after the dog days of summer.

Just wondering

Have you ever, as a child or adult, had a dog named Lady?

http://arkanimalcentre.wordpress.com

Montana tests dogs for deterring wolves, bears from livestock

PREDATORS — Defending livestock from wolves and grizzly bears appears to be going to the dogs in Montana.

Study in Montana tests effectiveness of dogs to deter wolves, grizzlies
The National Wildlife Research Center, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services in Utah, has provided $80,000 to study the use of different breeds of dogs to keep wolves and grizzly bears away from livestock in Montana, including Kangals, a long-legged Turkish breed.

—Great Falls Tribune

Higher calling: hunter strives to follow dog’s example

HUNTING — I marvel at my English setter, and all the various faithful breeds preferred by my friends.  Here's one angle on why.

If you can…

  • Start the day without caffeine.
  • Always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains.
  • Resist complaining and boring people with your troubles.
  • Eat the same food every day and be grateful for it.
  • Understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time
  • Overlook it when those you love take it out on you when through no fault of yours, something goes wrong.
  • Take criticism and blame without resentment.
  • Ignore a friend’s limited education and never correct him/her.
  • Resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend
  • Face the world without lies and deceit.
  • Conquer tension without medical help.
  • Relax without liquor.
  • Sleep without the aid of drugs.
  • Honestly say deep in your heart that you have no prejudice against creed, color, religion or politics.

….Then, you are ALMOST as good as your dog.

High alert for bird dog owners: Cheatgrass in full bloom

HUNTING DOGS — The national plant of veterinarians across the West is in full bloom.

Cheatgrass that was only a spotty problem two weeks ago has been cured by the recent heat wave and I can tell you from personal experience that it's at full capacity to inflict harm on your dog's ears, toes, nose and other body parts.

I'm plugging my dogs' ears with cotton for even the shortest romp, and checking them thoroughly afterward, especially between the toes.

I'll be suspending most field dog training and doing most of my dog's physical conditioning by taking him hiking in the mountains and throwing retrieving dummies into lakes.

The extreme danger to dogs will continue until some point in August when wind and pounding thunderstorms drive most of the seed spears to the ground.

While dog owners are at Hoopfest

Their pets just might get together and decide to run amok. "Hey, check it out — we're all service dogs." 

www.thebaraza.wordpress.com

CPD: No Dogs Allowed In City Parks

Coeur d’Alene is the host to numerous outdoor events during the summer months. Many of the planned activities take place in the city parks. Every year animal control officers deal with complaints of citizens bringing their dogs to the parks. Citizens are reminded that dogs are not allowed in any City Parks with the exception of Tubbs Hill. Allowances have been made for users of the Centennial Trail in which dogs are allowed on the concrete portion of the Coeur d’Alene City Park. Softball, Baseball, and Soccer fields are not an exception. Owners are not allowed to bring their dogs to the playing fields. Residents who live in the area of City parks are not allowed to let their dogs use the park as an area for excrement. The 4th of July celebration in the park brings about the largest number of complaints/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department. More here.

Question: I would like to see dogs outlawed from major community events, like the Art on the Green, Car d'Lene and the 4th of July Parade. How about you?

Americans love their dogs; not so in Iran

HUNTING — I had some interesting conversations over meals with a professor from Iran a few years ago centered on our common love for hunting chukars. We don't hear much about that part of Middle Eastern culture, but he was a solid enthusiast for walking the steep river canyons and swinging a shotgun for sport.

I made my gaffe when I expressed dismay that he hunted alone without a bird dog.  He winced a bit but was polite.

Still clueless, I invited him to hunt with me and experience the excitement of hunting behind a pointing dog.

He respectfully declined and that was that.

Later I learned that buying and selling dogs is illegal in Iran. Iran’s parliament also passed a bill to criminalize dog ownership, declaring the phenomenon a sign of “vulgar Western values.” 

Pursuing birds without a dog would leave a huge hole in my experience, so I'll be hunting my chukars here in the United States of America, which has the highest dog population in the world.

YOO-ESS-AY! YOO-ESS-AY! 

France has the second highest and some South American countries may rival our country for dog populations, except  nobody seems to own all the strays that roam the streets.

Upland birds getting weather break for nesting

HUNTING — I don't want to jinx the odds, but a lot of upland bird hunters are noticing this is the driest weather we've had in several years for the peak period of the wild quail, chukar and pheasant hatching season. 

Upland bird chicks are particularly vulnerable to hypothermia if cool, wet weather persists in early June.  

Last year's season was boosted by a good second hatch of birds.

This could be the year the first hatch blossoms.  

Shhh.

How many WSU families…

…have dogs traditionally associated with the University of Washington?

www.vetstreet.com

Hiker and dog highlight State of the Scotchmans gathering

 WILDERNESS — Long-distance hikers Whitney "Allgood" LaRuffa and his dog, Karluk, will make a keynote presentation highlighting the annual State of the Scotchman's gathering Friday to update the pubic on the campaign for winning wilderness designation for the Scotchman Peaks area northeast of Lake Pend Oreille.

The gathering organized by the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness will start at 5 p.m. Friday (May 31) at Eureka West, 513 Oak St. in the Old Granary District of Sandpoint.

This is a chance to catch up with wilderness advocates and get an update on the political state of the proposal, which has gotten a boost this year from the March release of the movie Grass routes: Changing the Conversation by Wildman Pictures.

"Exciting things are happening around the movie," says Phil Hough, FSPW exec, "and more than ever before, it feels like the time is now for a bill for the Scotchmans."

Eichardt's Pub, Grill and Coffee House will be provide no-host beer and wine at the event and Jupiter Jane's food bus will standing by to feed the hungry. Bring a folding chair for seating during LaRuffa's presentation.


Hough, LaRuffa and Karluk will lead a "doggy" hike on the new Star Peak Trail in Montana on Saturday (June 1) as part of the National Trails Day celebration nationwide.

Sign up for the hike by email: phil@scotchmanpeaks.org.

Every bird dog owner needs a skunk kit

HUNTING DOGS — It's easy to be prepared for the unexpected but inevitable day your hunting dog is sprayed by a skunk.

And you should ALWAYS be ready. Even at home, as I experienced this week when my dog was sprayed in the backyard just before I was to leave for work.

Since an Eastern Washington University chemistry professor tipped me off to the formula in the 1980s, I've kept a skunk kit in my pickup and in my bird hunting gear basket. I've given the kits as holiday gifts to my hunting buddies.

(See my dog, Scout, above, looking at the kit as though he knows it's his only ticket back into the house.)

I once took a midnight call from a friend who was in Montana with his daughter and dog. They were in a pickle. They were camping with his wife's new SUV and she'd warned them they'd better take care of it in her absence. But their dog got sprayed by a skunk 300 miles from Spokane and father-daughter needed the recipe or they'd be in the dog house with the dog.

I gave them the recipe and two days later I found a thank you note and a bottle of wine on my door step.

THE RECIPE is simple: One quart of hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap.

THE KIT makes it easy to apply. Buy a small Tupperware-type container just big enough to hold two quart bottles of hydrogen peroxide, two plastic zipper bags with measured amounts of baking soda and a small plastic bottle with dish soap.

(I like this "double" recipe approach just in case two dogs get too friendly with a skunk at one time. You don't have to make choice on which dog "gets lost" on the way home.)

Also in the container, include one or two pairs of Latex or rubber gloves, a wash rag and a small drying towel. You're set.

Should your dog get sprayed, you can remove the skunk odor in the field (if you have rinse water) without stinking up your rig.

Mix the ingredients at the time they are needed, NOT BEFORE. Wash the dog with all of the solution. Having the washcloth helps you keep it out of the dog's eyes.

Rinse thoroughly. You may want to do a second wash with dog shampoo, but a thorough rinse seems to work fine and prevents the peroxide from changing the color of your dog's fur.

Done. Whew!

By the way, when I came to work Monday and mentioned that my dog had been sprayed by a skunk, a colleague came over with her wallet and pulled out the de-skunking recipe I'd published in the S-R Outdoors section years ago. "It saved me once, and I wanted to make sure I always had it just in case," she said.

Area pooch on dogoftheday.com today

http://www.dogoftheday.com/

Baffled about the dog's puppydom nickname, but am hoping there's some benign explanation. Don't want to believe it's just INW-style casual racism, because I really like this dog and don't want to think her owners are dim bulbs.

Living with Coyotes program presented by South Hill bluff group

TRAILS — In mid-April last year, several off-leash dogs were attacked by coyotes that were defending the territory around a den near a popular South Hill bluff trail below High Drive.

Candace Hultberg-Bennett, a local wildlife biologist, will present a short program on what people can do to live safely and peacefully in the same neighborhood with coyotes.

  • The program starts at 7 p.m. at St. Stevens Church Parish Hall, 5720 S. Perry.

The Friends of the Bluffs have asked her to speak on her studies on how urbanization and the reintroduction of wolves have impacted coyote populations in northeastern Washington.

A public sentiment that emerged from the coyote-dog conflicts last year was the simmering discontent trail users have with people who violate city-county laws by walking, running and even bicycling with their unleashed dogs.

HELP IMPROVE BLUFF TRAILS

The Friends of the Bluff have scheduled another trail work party, 9 a.m.-noon, on April 27.

Meet at the High Drive and Bernard trailhead. Wear suitable work clothes and gloves, bring water to drink.

Info: robertsd@wsu.edu

Grass widows not alone on South Hill bluff

TRAILS — Local writer Jim Kershner, a household name to long-time readers of The Spokesman-Review, is having a ball watching spring explode along the trails of the South Hill bluff below High Drive.

Last week he found a few bunches of arrowleaf balsamroot blooming a bit ahead of normal.

On Saturday he found the slopes alive (above) with grasswidows — that clearly were having nothing to do with being alone this season.

Coyote advisory:  Remember last year, when several dogs were attacked by denning coyotes as they joined their owners for hikes or runs on the South Hill Bluff trails? 

The Friends of the Bluffs are sponsoring a free program, "Living with Coyotes," at 7 p.m., April 17, at St. Stevens Church Parish Hall, 5720 S. Perry. 

Meantime, be proactive in your dog's favor: Keep your dog on a leash.

Tick paralysis cause of mysterious dog illness

ANIMALS — A dog that walks like it's drunk, or starts loosing control of its legs, or unable to get up could have a number of ailments.  But one thing you should check for immediately is tick paralysis. 

The cure if caught early is as simple as removing the problem-causing tick.

Here's a case in point from Mary Franzel of North Idaho who encountered the problem over the weekend with her dog, Zip:

To my dog owner friends: Yesterday Zip got "Tick Paralysis." It's a toxin that some ticks have that causes progressive paralysis. It started by her not being able to stand up on her hind legs to look out the window. It progressed to her barely being able to use her back legs.

Thank heavens Celeste Boatwright Grace happened to be over for a hike. After ruling out an injury, she thought of this tick borne disease. We found 4 ticks & after a bath I found one more. If the tick is removed soon enough it reverses & the dog usually returns to normal. It can be fatal if the tick remains attached & the dog ends up going into respiratory distress. It's most common in the Rocky Mountains & the Pacific Northwest.

Ponderay Vet has already seen 1 case last week. It is rare, but from now on I'm treating all my dogs with topical tick medication.  A heads up - you may want to treat your dogs!

I tried to post a video of Zip stumbling but my speedy internet connection wouldn't let me. She is very tired today but seems to be walking fine. :-)

5 months to grouse season: Got a dog?

HUNTING — Yep, a good bird dog pup can be a handful for a few months, but he'll be worth his adult weight in gold for a hunter, as a companion and a working dog.

I saw this handsome three-week-old German shorthair pointer at Dunfur Kennel off I-90 near the Four Lakes Exit.

Friends of Bluff planning future for South Hill trails

PUBLIC LANDS — The Friends of the Bluff is beginning to develop a comprehensive plan for the popular trails on the south-facing slope of city-owned land on the South Hill.

The group already has set “sustainable trails” as the highest priority.

The public meeting set for Wednesday (March 27), 6:30 p.m., at St Stephens Episcopal Church will consider questions such as:

  • What is a sustainable trail?
  • What is a “multi-use” trail on the Bluff?
  • When do we have enough trails on the Bluff?
  • How do we maintain existing trails?
  • When do we decommission unsustainable trails?
  • Trail signage or no signage?

Info: Diana Roberts, 477-2167

Email: robertsd@wsu.edu

Elk near Fairfield being chased by dog

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Wolves and cougars aren't the only critters posing a threat to the region's elk herds.

Tom and Jane Smith of Spokane Valley were driving southbound on Highway 27 toward Fairfield Tueday around 1 p.m. when Tom reports, "I saw the largest herd of elk I've ever sighted." 

Just north of the Elder Road turnoff, we saw a herd of between 20 and 30 animals—several bulls—being chased by a dog.  They were headed east toward Highway 27 then turned back west.  We lost them in the hills. 

Great to see (not the dog, but the elk).

Sled dog racing hits full stride this week

WINTER SPORTS — Sled dog racing hits high gear in the Inland Northwest starting this week — and skiers should note that skijoring is a category insome sled dog racing events nowadays.

The Eagle Cap Extreme Sled Dog Race starts today (Jan. 23) and runs through Jan. 26 in the Wallowa Mountains based out of Joseph, Ore. Known for its challenging elevation gain, the event includes a full-scale 200-mile race for teams of 12 dogs — a Yukon Quest qualifying race. Also scheduled is a 100-mile race for 8-dog teams, a new 62-mile, 2-day mid-distance "pot" race.

The Cascade Quest Sled Dog Race runs Feb. 1-3 based out of Lake Wenatchee. It includes four events: an 8-12 dog 100-mile stage race, a 6-dog 75-mile stage race, a 2 to 6-dog 24-mile recreation-class race and a purebred race. 

The Priest Lake Sled Dog Races run Feb. 1-3, based at the Priest Lake Airstrip, with a range of events including skijoring for skiers with their dogs. See the video above for a description of all the events.

Skijorers back their dogs at Mount Spokane

WINTER SPORTS —  Learn to ski with dog power in a skijoring clinic Sunday (Jan. 27), 2 p.m., at Mount Spokane State Park.

The Mt. Spokane Skijor Group will teach basic skills and etiquette for the trails that are open to skijorers at designated times twice a week.

Cost: $10, due by Thursday (Jan. 24).

Preregister: Diana Roberts, email dianaroberts21@comcast.net or call (509)570-8242.

Montana cougar hunter loses three dogs to wolves

PREDATORS — A 20-year-old Stevensville hunter thought he'd done everything right before he let his three mountain lion dogs go on a set of fresh tracks Sunday afternoon.

He'd been hunting with others in the Ninemile drainage north of Missoula since Sept. 3. In all that time, they had not seen any sign of wolves in the area.  He saw no wolf tracks in the snow heading up to his hunting area last weekend.

This day wasn’t any different than the rest of the season — until his GPS unit indicated his dogs had stopped.

Read the chilling story in the Ravalli Republic.

Best things about hunting dogs revisited

BIRD DOGGING — A Facebook friend recently sent me several poignant quotations regarding dogs, which made me think fondly back over the German shorthairs, Brittanys and English setters I've been privileged to own, know, love and hunt.

But honestly, I couldn't help but make a few reality checks after thinking about these Dog Wisdoms for a moment.  I've added my two cents from decades of experience in bold face.

*Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful. Indeed, the tail wagging may be a devious attempt to delay you from discovering the chewed up bamboo fly rod.  - Ann Landers

*If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went, unless it's into the barnyard to roll in cow pies.  - Will Rogers


*There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face, and that's a good thing because a psychiatrist is much more likely than a puppy to have been licking something icky before it licked you. - Ben Williams


*A neutered dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down. - Robert Benchley

*If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise and you clearly aren't a chukar hunter. - Unknown

This date in Slice history (1996)

Nikki Sauser was in the Kinko's on the South Hill when this guy came in and started making photocopies.

He hadn't been at it all that long before a loud car horn sounded from outside. The guy's face scrunched into an exasperated look and he scurried toward the door.

Sauser noticed that several people near the front windows were chuckling. Then she saw why.

Inside the guy's pickup truck was a big dog with a paw on the horn.

"You could see this was no accident," said Sauser. "The dog knew what it was doing. And you knew from the way the guy acted that this wasn't the first time."

Sauser got a kick out of the scene. But she said she hopes her dog, Eddie, doesn't learn that trick. "My life would never be the same."