Kids & Pets
December 19, 2018
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Holiday happiness and mishaps Thomas Page Middle School - Principal honor roll Thomas Page Elementary School - Lifeskill awards Helping out in Paradise Rohnert Park tree lighting ceremony Bark After Dark benefit a great success Monte Vista School Student Builders for Dec. 4 Black is beautiful! Penngrove School - For the life skills of gratefulness Monte Vista Elementary Student Builders-2018 Rancho Cotate High School Students for the month of Nov. Bark after Dark is coming Nov. 3 John Reed Elementary Positive Office Referral recipients Hahn Elementary School - Life skills for Nov. 2018 Monte Vista School Student Builders for October 2 Rancho Cotate High School Recognition of Curiosity for the month of October John Reed School Positive behavior winners for Nov. 27 Hahn Elementary School Monte Vista Walk-a-thon The Richard Crane School Cougar Cub Character Assembly students November 5 Taking work on vacation John Reed Elementary School A beloved dog, a stolen car and...a happy ending Broken legs in cats very costly Furry fire victims Penngrove Elementary School A lifetime commitment Hahn Elementary Life skills awards - October, 2018 Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Young kittens are lots of work RCHS awards for Kindness the month of October Penngrove Elementary Life skills awards- Oct. 24 Disaster preparedness for our pets CPI offers support University Elementary School Monte Vista School Sept. 18 Free-roaming cats – is it safe Living with multiple pets Richard Crane School for Sept. 17 University Elementary for September Penngrove Elementary for Sept. 12 Visiting Cape Town SPCA Step up your kids’ STEM skills Monte Vista Elementary-Student Builders for Sept 4 Penngrove School Lifeskill award for Sept. 5 Penngrove Elementary - Lifeskill Award for Aug. 31 Teacher Amy Miller is wrapped up Some assembly required: Putting together the pieces of your rescue pet University Elementary School life skill awards for the month of August Penngrove Elementary Lifeskill winners for the week of Aug. 22 John Reed positive behavior winners for Aug. 28 Happy Birthday Small dog syndrome: When predators are also prey Richard Crane School walk-a-thon Hope unleashed for pets with cancer Penngrove School Aug. 8 Richard Crane School Cougar Cub Character Assembly students for Aug. 20 Penngrove School for Aug. 15 Penngrove Elementary Lifeskill award winners for Aug. 1 Rescuing Pitbulls: When myths affect reality Try attending Sonoma County VegFest Aug. 18 “Stuff the truck” Time to get immunized before school starts 5 tips for bringing your pet to work this summer School bus safety 101 Can we can clear the shelter?

Living with a 3-legged dog is not easy

By: Mickey Zeldes
August 3, 2018
All About Pets

It has been two months since my dog Brandy had his front leg amputated and I thought I’d share an update. He’s doing great – I think - no, I know, it was harder on me. I was the epitome of a helicopter mom, worrying about everything! Dogs live so much in the moment. They aren’t thinking about whether or not the cancer is gone, or where it might have spread, or about being extra protective of the remaining front leg. Brandy wanted to chase a ball and go for a walk and I was the one limiting his activity!

I bought several rug runners to cover our slippery floors so he could have safe traction and I feed him on a step to make it more comfortable for him. We also purchased a pet step to help him in and out of the van. Jumping in was easy but I was worried about him jumping out and landing with all 65 lbs. of weight on his one remaining front leg. That’s actually what fractured his bad leg and forced our hands to do the amputation in the first place! C & D Pet Products ( sells well-made carpeted pet steps in varying heights and everyone who allows their pets up on the couch or bed should have one. Ligament and tendon tears are very common and often caused by landing wrong when getting down from high places (especially a risk if your dog is overweight or has back issues).  

It’s totally funny to see me taking him for a walk. He only has two speeds now – run and stop! I think walking is awkward because of the bouncy hop each step requires and when he runs it sort of smooth’s out with the forward momentum. But he wants to smell and mark on every tree and bush so I call it my interval training! Run from bush to tree and make a quick stop (without falling over the dog), then run to the next tree! I’ve gotten some mighty strange looks for sure – and I know some people must think I’m cruel to be running with a 3-legged dog when it’s warm out but I let him set the pace and just follow his lead. He would probably go further than he can handle because he’s not aware that we then have to go back all that distance. He hates turning around so I’ve become clever in figuring out circular paths that we can follow so he doesn’t realize we’re heading back home!

He just had his post-surgery check-up and everything looks good. His appetite is as good as ever (still gets into the garbage if given the opportunity! Typical Retriever!), his weight is stable and he has energy and interest in doing things. His fur is growing back and soon you won’t be able to notice the surgery site. If it wasn’t that he was standing like a ballerina (front leg centered and turned out slightly for optimal balance) you wouldn’t even be aware that he was impaired.  And that’s the way he would prefer it! He accepts all treats and belly rubs but is not interested in sympathy or being coddled. That’s a lesson I hope to learn from him.


Upcoming Events:

“Get Them Back Home” Campaign – Every lost pet should have a way to get back home. FREE pet ID tag and a back-up microchip are available to all residents of Rohnert Park and Cotati. No appointment necessary, just come by the shelter during our regular open hours: Wed. 1-6:30 p.m.; Thur.-Fri.-Sat. 1-5:30 p.m.; Sun. 1-4:30 p.m.

Fix-it Clinics – Free spay and neuters for cats; and $60 dog surgeries (up to 80 lbs.) for low-income Rohnert Park and Cotati residents. Call 588-3531 for an appointment.


Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at