Author Archives: Steve

May / June OKC Pets Magazine

posted May 11th, 2015 by
20150515

Publisher – Marilyn King

Creative Director – Debra Fite

Advertising Sales – Marilyn King, Steve Kirkpatrick, Nancy Harrison, Cheryl Steckler, Nicole Castillo

Web Manager – Steve Kirkpatrick

Editor – Anna Holton-Dean

Contributing Writers – Marilyn King, Anna Holton-Dean, Holly Brady Clay, Emily Cefalo, Pat Becker, Lauren Cavagnolo, Nancy Haddock, Bria Bolton Moore, Nancy Gallimore, Khara Criswell, Animal Emergency Staff

PO Box 14128 Tulsa, OK 74159-1128

S&B Burger Joint and Half Price Books

posted May 6th, 2015 by
Ween Pic 23b

Ween Pic 22So our Saturday night did not go exactly as planned. We intended on an early dinner at Bleu Garten, 301 NW 10th,  arriving at 4:30 to beat the crowds. That was a huge joke, as a drive-by showed absolutely zero table space and not much parking. We had to make a quick decision, and drove one block over toS&B Burger Joint, 20 NW 9th St.

Now, this was NOT the first visit Mom and Pops have made to S&B Burgers. They have made several sans-ween trips to the location at 14020 N. May, to take advantage of their “Rock Hour” for cheap beer and sliders. They can usually get away for about $20 including two sliders and a couple drinks each, and split fries. But it has been a rocky road trying to make a wiener-centric trip.

The above-mentioned N. May location changes the set-up of their patio, seemingly with no pattern. Sometimes it is set up with bar tables and chairs. Sometimes it is set up more like a waiting area, with no real convenient place to eat. The two times Mom and Pops have intended on taking me, it has been the “waiting area” set up. So your results may vary.

We even tried to visit the 9th St. location about a year ago, and we were turned away by the hostess, saying dogs weren’t allowed. We think she must have been new or something, because S&B is a major advertiser for our friends at OKC Pets Magazine. 

So anyhow! The 9th street location does have a proper patio set-up and was more than welcoming to me on this trip. Since we were… Read More

The Animal Conference in Oklahoma City

posted April 5th, 2015 by
20150115B-1-.5c

Pic 2

2015 Animal Conference

reported for OKC Pets Magazine by Holly Clay

photography by Holly Clay and Austin Clay

The 2015 Animal Conference hosted by the Kirkpatrick Foundation was held on March 30 – 31, in Downtown Oklahoma City. The Conference prides itself on being a forum for impact, ideas and inspiration, focused on creating a safe and humane environment for all creatures.

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The Skirvin lobby

This one-of-a-kind event happens only once every three years. OKC was lucky enough to host this year’s event at the beautiful, historic Skirvin Hilton hotel. Attendees and speakers came from across the country, including prominent authors, public speakers and animal specialists, as well as the average animal enthusiast.

What is the Animal Conference?

The Animal Conference is a “breeding ground” of knowledge regarding the humane treatment of all animals. The Kirkpatrick Foundation of Oklahoma City not only hosted but sponsored the event. The Foundation has long been a prominent leader and activist for the wellbeing of animals with John Kirkpatrick also being the founder of the Oklahoma Zoological Society in 1954.

The event was a great opportunity to discover and explore ideas of meaningful and effective ways to complete Oklahoma’s goal of being the most humane, safest place to be an animal by the year 2032. What an accomplishment that will be! I personally could not think of a better place to bring a group of likeminded individuals together to create a safer place for animals and our environment.

A therapy dog attendee.

A therapy dog attendee

The Conference offered studies, lectures and eye-opening sessions that were not just limited to the average house pet. For instance, a wealth of information was shared regarding the humane treatment of livestock, horses, birds and other wild animals. The hallways and conference rooms were full of happy-tailed therapy dogs, adoptive kittens and mountains of resources about how to cultivate a better environment for animals and mankind alike.

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Kittens for adoption from Central OK Humane Society

Sunday, March 29, kicked off the event with a welcome reception at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, also open to the public. Attendees were treated to a special guest, National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore. Sartore’s career has taken him around the world, as he photographs amazing, exotic creatures.

“When we save species, we are actually saving ourselves,” he said. If you missed this event, you can still check out some of his work online. He is an incredible photographer with many captivating stories.

Monday, the Conference continued with more amazing speakers, informative breakout sessions and even a tour of the new Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital, a state-of-the-art facility at the Oklahoma City Zoo, opening to the public in 2015.

During an award luncheon, the Foundation presented its Kirkpatrick Honor for Animal Wellbeing Award to Natalee Cross for her dedicated work to rescue and rehabilitate horses. The prestigious award is given to someone who possesses a great deal of integrity and willpower for the betterment of animals. Before the presentation of the award, a powerful video showcased Cross’s hard work to save horses that would have otherwise been killed. The video was extremely motivating and heart wrenching.

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Attendees view the video of Natalee Cross of Blaze’s Equine Rescue

Other events included intriguing and thought-provoking breakout sessions. Some of these sessions discussed the souls of animals and different religious traditions, historic views of animals and the existence of their souls. Especially beneficial to Oklahomans, some sessions centered on emergency preparedness when dealing with major disasters and pets, and understanding what happens with our beloved pets when disaster strikes.

Natalee Cross accepting the Kirkpatrick Honor for Animal Wellbeing award.

Natalee Cross accepting the Kirkpatrick Honor for Animal Wellbeing Award

Additional topics covered animal abuse and the human-animal bond. Of course, there were happy, uplifting sessions, such as the Great Horned Owl cam with Alessondra Click, which is now an Internet sensation with more than 6 million views (OKCOwlCam.com).

Tuesday brought even more exciting, fun activities, breakouts and events. In the Myriad Gardens, “high-flyin’ disc dogs” performed with their trainers, Lee Fairchild and Chris Meyers. Dora, Ace, JC, DD, JD and Gracie were nothing short of amazing with their tricks and stunts.

Local food trucks and vendors set up camp, along with The Bella Foundation who brought with them precious, adoptable kittens. The famous cat Sauerkraut who has over 200 thousand social media followers also made an appearance. Decked out in a pink stroller, Sauerkraut seemed to be OK with all the attention.

How can you help?

If you missed this incredibly cool event, you can plan to attend in 2018. Valuable resources can still be obtained; visit http://www.theanimalconference.com/.

To learn more about the new Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital opening 2015 at the Oklahoma City Zoo, visit http://www.safeandhumaneoklahoma.org/safe-and-humane/joan-kirkpatrick-animal-hospital.

Let’s all stay focused on the goal of becoming the safest and most humane place to be an animal by the year 2032.

Spring is Springing

posted March 29th, 2015 by
Ween Pic 21b
We want to give a shout-out to Fulfilled Coffee, 601 South Boulevard, Edmond. They have a great back patio that welcomes weens, and good coffee/sweets according to Mom and Pops. It is just a short jaunt away from Skinny Slims, which has quickly become one of our favorite ween-centric destinations.We have plans to visit many new, local places now that Mr. Sunshine has returned, so stay tuned! See the entire blog here!

Training 911 – Back to School

posted March 29th, 2015 by
20140915c

Training 911

Training 911

by Khara Criswell, MA, CPDT-KSA, CNWI

 

Back to School, Fall Activities

 

Since your kids have gone back to school, your pet might feel left out. Some pets experience anxiety and wander out of their yards to follow their little owners to school.

 

One helpful tip is to leave a T-shirt from your child in the bed where your pet sleeps at night. In the morning before you leave for work and kids leave for school, you can do some training with your pet. Practice waiting with the food bowl or at the door.

Wait at the Door

1.Stand in front of the door (any car door will work too) with your dog inside the house. Say, “Wait.”

  1. Start to slowly open the door. Whenyourdog moves forward, even just a tiny bit, quickly close the door, preventing him from going through it. You can use your body to block the dog from going farther .
  2. Good timing is important, so be sure to close the door the instant you seeyourdog start to move forward.
  3. If you close the door, start to slowly open the door again. Continue to quickly close the door whenyourdog moves forward until he stays put for a couple of seconds with the door open about a foot. When this happens, say, “yes!” and “good dog.” Then toss a treat in his direction.
  4. Next, say “free” or “ok” or whatever you wantyourrelease word to be to let your dog know his job is done. Open the door all the way and let your dog walk out of the door. (You want your verbal cue to release your dog from the wait position, not your body movement.)
  5. Restart the exercise from the beginning.

Also, provide plenty of enrichment activities, such as interactive toys you can place your pet’s kibble in—Kong, Nina Ottoman toys, Zane’s interactive toys, Squirrel Dude or Football Dude. Give your pet some chew toys because chewing reduces stress in a pet.

As fall parties begin, make sure to keep the human food away from your pet, especially candy and gum. Create a safe space for your pet to retreat to and relax when the house gets hectic. This is especially helpful during Halloween when the kids’ costumes can be scary to your pet. If your dog has a crate, make it into a fun place for him to hang out. You can teach your dog to go to his spot.

Mat Train

  1. With a treat in your hand, tell your pup, “Go to your mat,” in a cheerful tone of voice and point him toward the mat.
  2. Pause a second or two (one-one thousand, two-one thousand), then lure your dog onto his mat by putting the treat up to his nose and slowly moving it over the mat. If you move your hand too quickly or too far away from his mouth, he may give up and lose interest.
  3. As soon as your dog has four paws on the mat, give the treat.
  4. Tell your dog, “down/sit.” Give the hand signal or lure him if he needs helps. When he lies down, give him the treat. Continue to give treats to keep the dog on the mat. After a few seconds, tell your pup, “OK/free” and allow him to get up.

Repeat steps 1 through 4, gradually increasing the amount of time you ask him to stay on the mat.

Pick some time during the week that the family gets involved with your pet’s activities, like going for a walk during the evening, playing fetch, a game of “find it,” hide and seek (recall), or just getting petted on the couch will be enough to calm the dog and the kids down after a long day of school.

Two books/resources I recommend to my clients with kids or who are thinking of having kids are “Living with Kids and Dogs” by Colleen Pelar and “Happy Kids, Happy Dogs,” a paperback by Barbara Shumannfang.

With a little work, every family member including your pet will be adjusting well with the season’s change.

Savannah Station Therapeutic Riding Program

posted March 15th, 2015 by
20140915c

Savannah

Savannah Station Therapeutic Riding Program

 

By Brianna Broersma

 

“It’d be the best thing they’d done in their life,” advises Sparky Prudhome to parents considering equine therapy for their children.

Sparky and his wife Hazel are parents to 8-year-old Jason Prudhome who receives therapy through Savannah Station Therapeutic Riding Program (SSTRP) in El Reno.

 

Sparky and Hazel adopted Jason when he was 4 years old. “He was behind,” says Sparky.  Jason had physical and cognitive delays and could barely walk. “He enjoys riding, and it helps him use his hands, arms and legs,” Prudhome adds. Jason is able to ride his horse, Tequila, about once a week during the riding season in order to receive these benefits.

SSTRP was founded in 2013 by a group of 16 individuals, including Dr. Velinda Baker. The purpose of SSTRP is to provide equine-assisted therapy for children with special challenges. Dr. Baker’s back-ground as a physical education teacher includes adapted physical education for students with special needs. She was first exposed to equine therapy through her work at      the University of Tulsa and the State Department of Education.

“When I was at the University of Tulsa, my students and I became volunteers for  Bit by Bit, a therapeutic riding program through Rogers State University,” Dr. Baker says. She eventually became the director of the program. After relocating to Yukon, Dr. Baker helped found SSTRP and is currently the program director.

SSTRP currently serves 16 children with a spectrum of special challenges, including muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, deaf-ness and brain damage.  “We work on cognitive, physical, behavioral and social needs of the child,” Dr. Baker says. “We don’t just ride; we do activities that challenge them mathematically and scientifically. We bring all types of things that you would see in a classroom in our classroom on horseback. Every single horse is matched to a child for their specific needs.”

For example, children with hyperactive tendencies need calm horses to help them quiet down.  Riding on the horses helps the children use muscles in their trunks, legs, arms and hands. Riding the horse in different positions, such as frontward vs. backward, can help the children engage different muscle groups. Riding also helps to improve the children’s focus.

One of these children is 9-year-old Savannah Davis. Savannah is non-verbal, non-mobile and shows symptoms of  spastic cerebral palsy, such as thrashing and biting. “Not only has the horse therapy allowed [Savannah] to learn how to sit up on her own, it has improved her trunk control beyond what her therapist thought she was capable of,” says Savannah’s mother,  Athena Captain, a founding member of the program.

“She’ll actually grab the reins of the horse and hold onto them without thrashing or putting them in her mouth, which takes enormous focus,” she  says. The therapy not only benefits the children, but also the parents. “There are a lot of sports I don’t get to watch her participate  in,” adds Captain “She’s up there, she’s moving around, interacting with other children.” For example, “They’ll put her on a horse and have another child blow bubbles, and she’ll try to grab the bubbles, so she’ll have social interaction, and I  get to watch all of that.”

While Savannah was the inspiration behind the name of the program, it also has a deeper meaning. “The word ‘savannah’ means an opening in the woods. We see this as symbolic of an opportunity for the kids who run into so many obstacles,” says Dr. Baker. “Also in Australia, a ‘station’ is where everyone meets.”

SSTRP operates out of Glenn Farm in El Reno.  Robin Glenn, owner and operator of Robin Glenn Pedigrees, was contacted by Dr. Baker and quickly offered use of her barn to house the program’s horses.  After watching the program’s horse show in June, Glenn made the following comments on their Facebook page:

“The program is a true non-profit. This    is the hardest-working bunch of people I have ever been around and not one person takes a salary, even the program director. They are utterly, unconditionally devoted  to both the children they teach and their horses. I saw how much more engaged these children are in their horseback learning experiences than they could ever be sitting in a chair in a classroom, and I saw how absolutely thrilled each one was to be on horseback. I saw their excitement when they were able to complete tasks like picking up a stuffed animal from a barrel top and throwing it into a bucket from the horses’ backs. I saw the pride in both the riders and their families when each was handed a trophy. And I saw tirelessly loving parents and family members smiling and cheering their kids on.”

SSTRP also runs satellite centers. “Instead of all the children coming to us, we haul our horses to specific centers” throughout the metro, says Dr. Baker. They currently have a three-horse trailer, which allows them to take three, out of the program’s nine total, horses to satellite centers. Dr. Baker hopes they can expand the availability of this program to more locations when the program is able to purchase a larger trailer.

SSTRP is a member of the Professional Association of Horsemanship International (PATH; www.pathintl.org). “They have very specific guidelines about how much horses can be used and how often,” says Dr. Baker. The program takes a six-week break during the summer to allow the horses rest and shelter from the summer heat. All horses are thoroughly vetted to ensure they are a good match for children with special needs. A horse must be with the program for at least 30 days, during which time its temperament is assessed, before it can be used in a therapy session.

SSTRP does not charge individuals or their families to participate in the program. “Raising a child is expensive,” Dr. Baker says. “The cost of raising a special needs child is huge.” In order to provide no- cost therapy to the families, SSTRP relies  on private, tax-deductible donations and fundraising. Their big yearly fundraiser is The Roundup, which will take place on Friday, October 3, at the Oklahoma City Farmers Public Market, 311 South Klein Avenue.

The event will feature a live country band, dancing, a live auction and a silent auction. Swadley’s will also cater a barbecue dinner. Doors open at 6 p.m., and tickets are $30. Companies and organizations can also sponsor a table, seating up to 10 people for $500; “event sponsors” receive two tables for a $1,000 donation.

Program operations and fundraising are coordinated by a board of directors, including Robert Reed, David Pletcher, John Branscum, Russ Nation and Dr. Kimberly Quigley. The board is already at work planning future fundraising events. Possible spring fundraisers might include a trail ride or pasture golf (golf on horseback.)

SSTRP also relies on a roster of 65 volunteers to make the program successful.  Of these, 36 are trained to be in the arena with the horses, helping to ensure the safety of the horses and the riders. A therapeutic riding session requires the volunteers to assist each child; the horse is led by one volunteer, with the other two flanking each side.

“Working with the horses is my therapy. I marvel at their understanding, intuition and patience,” Jonnie Booth, volunteer, says. No experience with horses is necessary to volunteer for the program. One-day training sessions are offered for interested parties.

For more information on participation as a volunteer or therapy student, or to purchase fundraiser tickets, contact Dr. Baker at (405) 651-2324.

You can also learn more via Facebook at

www.facebook.com/SavannahStationTherapeuticRidingProgram. The program website, savannahstation.org, will be available soon.