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newsSeeing as April is Fetch’s 13th anniversary, we thought the end of March would be the perfect time to close for a week,remodel, and re-open with gleaming floors & freshly painted walls.  When we reopen, we’ll not only be looking spiffier, we’ll also be called ‘The Fish & Bone‘ (which is our trademarked name).  We’re also going to link our two stores computer-wise, so that our customers can redeem and earn rewards in either store, and we can easily transfer products from one store to the other, if one store is out but the other one isn’t, for instance.  We’ll be keeping the Fetch name alive though…watch for it on a line of local treats and maybe some other fun things.

Fetch, soon-to-be-known as the Portland Fish & Bone, will be closed for remodeling from March 18-25.

So please dear Portland customers, provision your furry family before then!  And please get your food orders in to us by noon this Monday, March 10th, for pickup by March 17 (or wait till we reopen on March 25).  We do apologize for any inconvenience! Andwe hope to see you the week we reopen!

Nature’s Variety has recalled a batch of Instinct Raw Frozen Organic Chicken Medallions and Patties because the batch has been found to contain small pieces of clear plastic, which could cause choking or injury. The company reports that no animals have been harmed from the recalled product. Because Nature’s Variety has moved quickly to respond to the consumer complaint & announce the recall, we believe this is likely going to be the beginning and end of the story; but we’ll definitely keep you posted if it isn’t.

We don’t currently carry the Organic Chicken formulas, so we don’t anticipate that you will have any of this recalled food in your freezer, but we want to keep you informed on all recalls. If you do have any of the recalled bags, you may return them to us regardless for a full refund. Please read the recall for details on where to find the ‘Best If Used By’ date.

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Ella is Etta’s older sibling. We adopted Ella from H.A.R.T about 3 years ago. When we brought Etta home Ella was curious but mainly wanted nothing to do with her. Today things remain much the same. Occasionally Ella will deem it acceptable to play with Etta, which results in crazy rumpus running from one end of the house to the other, but generally they keep their distance. I had hopes that they would be best buddies but I know these things take time. I think, from what I have seen so far, that they will continue to warm up to each other. Etta wants nothing more than to play with Ella 24/7. She does chase her occasionally but we have made sure that Ella has lots of places to escape to where the dog cannot harass her.

The one time when these two can be shoulder to shoulder and not care one bit is meal time! At meal time Ella meows her pretty little head off while Etta sits quietly. I have never met a cat that was more food motivated than Ella! In fact, “motivated” is too gentle a term. Ella DEMANDS her food. In the past Ella has had a tendency to get a little plump. We switched her to raw food over a year ago and up until recently she has maintained what our vet calls an “athlete’s physic”. While Ella moans and cajoles then scarfs her food down, Etta is more of a grazer. She has never been super food motivated and will wait quietly while I prepare her food. She likes to take a nibble, go play, then return for more food. Unfortunately Ella is quite the opportunist; she has been sneaking over and polishing off Etta’s food while she is distracted! I am happy that Etta does not guard her food but I am concerned about Ella putting on weight.

Right now Ella and Etta are both eating Stella & Chewy’s raw food. It is really nice to have them on the same diet. I don’t have to take up space storing separate foods and getting their meals ready is super simple and fast. The food its self is not the issue but rather, how to make sure the cat doesn’t inhale Etta’s food. For now, I have been moving Etta into the office for breakfast where I can close the door and make sure the cat stays out. This is less than ideal since the office is carpeted and Etta is not the most tidy eater. I have also tried feeding the cat on the dinner table, but this leads to her feeling like the dining room is her own sovereign domain. I think I will just have to get a place-mat and keep Etta secluded while she eats. It is a little extra work for me but in the end, it is better than having an overweight cat and all the health issues that can come along with that.

– Roxanne

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Oh sure, it is a cute face now…

But it is not cute when she takes off at the park and refuses to listen as you call in vain!
As I mentioned before I have been taking Etta to the park for some off leash dog group play time, every Sunday. For the first few weeks she was a little angel. She came when called and did not venture more than a few hundred feet from me. The last two weeks have been a different story! She will stick close by for a few minutes and then she runs off to greet every dog she can see from here to the horizon. Part of me is really happy that she has become so much more confident but the bigger part of me is horrified that one day she may not come back. She adores playing and running with the other dogs but I hate to take that away from her. Right now, for her own safety, it is back to practicing recall. This situation is partly my fault for slacking on practice. I am going to try and do at least 10 good recalls with her a day. I need to remember to always have some high value treats in my pocket at all times so that I am ready when she is. It is a wonderful feeling to graduate from training class but us humans need to remember that training is never finished, it is a life long thing that we must do with our pups.

Here is a terrific article from Whole Dog Journal with some tips for recall.

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FINALLY! Etta and I have made it through the front door. This is a huge triumph in her little life. Why has getting through the door such a big deal? When I first got Etta she was very shy and scared of nearly everything. She would not walk on a leash more than two or three feet near our home in the country, so walking on a crowded Commercial Street, in downtown Portland was out of the question. That did not keep us from trying. I got Etta an Easy Walk Harness and it made a huge difference. As soon as she had it on she was able to walk normally down our quiet street at home. I think the harness helped her feel secure, it also keeps her from pulling like mad due to fright. Had she been a larger dog, with more strength I would probably have opted for a Freedom No-Pull Harness since it gives you a little more control.

When I bring Etta to work with me I need to take her outside for pee breaks. At first these breaks were very challenging. As soon as Etta saw her harness come out she would take off and hide under a desk. I would have to pick her up and carry her out the door. She would NOT come out from behind the counter. Once we did get outside she would not walk down the front steps or around the corner to go potty. It was very frustrating and it made me so sad to see her scared.

In order to desensitize her to the people and the traffic I began coming in extra early so I could walk her around the Old Port while it was quiet. We would take short walks before 7am and slowly increase the length of time. She got to the point where she would walk without too much trouble except for on Commercial Street right in front of Fetch! I started feeling a little defeated. I couldn’t even get her to follow her Buddy Capone outside. I even had my husband, her beloved human dad, come and wait outside the door to greet and praise her. It didn’t work. She ran right back behind the counter.

I admit that I gave up for a little while. I thought; if I have to carry her out the door forever so be it. I am not really fond of giving up so I decided I would just take a break from pushing her for a little bit. I think we both needed it. A few weeks ago I started calling her to the door, with the door closed and her harness off. She would have to come from behind the counter, right up to the front door on her own to get a treat. I did this for about two weeks. Two days ago we finally made it out the door! I didn’t think she was going to do it. She came from behind the counter to say hi to another dog in the store and then we just kept going. She went right through the door, hesitated a bit on the steps and then followed me down and around the corner.

I am so thrilled! we have done the same thing a number of times since. Some days it is easy and some days she still hesitates, but now I know there is hope! It took us almost 4 months to be able to get through this. This was a huge reminder to me that I need to be patient with her and that I need to take things at her pace and not push too hard. So, any of you who are struggling with a rescue pup keep at it. Take a break, breath, play with your dog and have fun and then try again. It may take time but eventually you can get there!

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Etta is not the only critter we have around here. Aside from the cat, we also have 8 chickens; Buff Orpingtons, Easter Eggers, Partridge Rocks and a Golden Comet (in case you were curious). We got Etta as soon as we moved into this house and the chickens came very shortly after. Before we had the chickens on site I had some lovely pastoral visions of the dog sleeping in the afternoon sun with chickens scratching in the turf all around her, everyone living in harmony… Well that is not exactly how things turned out. When we got the Pullets I would take Etta down to the coop every time I had chicken chores to do. I would praise her when she was calm, which was about half the time. The other half of the time she would tear around the fenced in run making the chickens go nuts. This was clearly not acceptable. My daydreams of Etta protecting the chickens were not to be. I really had to rethink how this was going to work. I wanted the chickens to be able to free range without risking an Etta perpetrated chicken massacre. I decided to try and teach Etta to keep her distance from the coop and the chickens, rather than trying to teach her to love them (and I mean love them like siblings, not like dinner).

I needed to teach Etta to respect the girls and the fact that I value them. She needed to understand that they are not just feathered squeak toys! I started having her sit and stay about 100 feet away from the coop while I fed and watered the chickens. If she crept closer or made a fuss I would put her back inside the house or put her on her tie out line. So far this has worked out well. I am able to have Etta outside, off leash and line. We can play fetch and hang out on one side of the yard and she has never darted toward the chickens, even when they are out ranging and come within about 100 feet of us. When the chickens are loose I never let her out unsupervised. I love Etta to death but I still do not, and probably never will, trust her to remain civil with the birds when I am not there. If you get a pup around chickens when they are very very young you CAN teach them to herd and protect the chickens. Herding and protecting breeds can be especially good at this. As much as we may want our pets to act a certain way and respect certain boundaries, we have to remember that they are animals with instincts. Etta is a bird dog, a hunting, stalking hound at her core and that is something that will not change. Had we adopted her at 8 weeks, rather than 4 months I think my visions could have been a reality but now I will be happy with harmony at a distance.

You can see the hens in the photos above. Their names are: Enid, Eunice, Belinda, Bertha, Ginger, Penny, Lucy and Laverne!

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For the last few weeks Etta and I have been heading to the local recreation area for some play time with other dogs (and chit chat time with their owners for me). As I am sure I have mentioned before, Etta is shy with people but she LOVES other dogs. When she is around her furry kind she comes out of her shell and is so much happier. It is great to see her being the goofy, outgoing dog I know at home around the people she meets when we are out at the play group.

All of the dog parks in and around Portland are a bit of a trek from my home but I still want Etta to get some play time in on the weekend, so I put the word out about the play group. Last week there were about 10 dogs who showed up with their people and it was great fun! Etta had an especially terrific time tearing around with three young Vizslas.

Puppy play groups are fun for dogs and their owners but it is always important for young dogs to be socialized around dogs of all ages. That way the older dogs (so long as they are well behaved) can teach the young pups appropriate dog manners. Of course, it is important to supervise the play and make sure no one is being bullied or becoming too dominant.

Here are some pics from last week’s romp in the park!

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Etta and Capone holding down the fort at Fetch

This past week has been a trying one; aside from general teenage dog angst, Etta managed to pick up tape worms! Generally this happens when a dog or cat ingests an infected flea, eats rodents, lizards or even rabbit excrement. Etta does not have fleas and I have not caught her eating mice or geckos so I am not sure where it came from. I do know that we have wild rabbits on our property so perhaps they had something to do with it. I first got a hunch that she might have worms when I noticed that she was eating more than normal. My suspicions were confirmed when I caught sight of a worm while I was stooping and scooping. I called my vet and described what I saw; a small white thing that looked like a grain of rice. The “grain of rice” is a segment of a larger worm that passes out when the dog defecates. I got Etta some Wrm Clear from Homeopet and that seems to have done the trick, as she is now back to eating normally and there have been no other worm sightings.

I did a little research into preventatives for tapeworms and I am going to try adding some ground pumpkin seeds and wheat germ oil to her food. Both of these make the intestinal track inhospitable to the worms. I have also begun giving her Brewer’s Yeast and Garlic to help boost her immune and digestive systems. A good option is Earth Animal’s Internal Powder. We carry this in tab form, which is tasty and can be given as a treat.

The cherry on top of this latest week of tribulations was when I woke up to cat puke on the carpet (the only carpet the animals have access to). Before I could catch her, Etta ran in and gobbled it down! Ewwww! Just when I had finished cleaning it up I heard heaving. There goes Etta puking on the same carpet! Argh. I took a deep breath and tried to be Zen about it. Deeeeeep Breath.

Thank goodness these creatures we choose to have in our lives are so darn cute! When they are more work than play I sometimes wonder why I am taking all of this on. But then, when they come over and snuggle into your side when you are feeling down or do something hilariously silly to make you laugh you are reminded how valuable they are. They make us smile and remind us to take time out and just live in the moment and not sweat the small stuff…like barf on the carpet!

– Roxanne

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Chowing down on a delicious trachea!

Last week Etta celebrated her half birthday! She is now 6 months old.
I thought I would review some of the achievements and most trying moments from the last few months.

The Bad:
– Etta having Giardia when we got her. It is very common in the south and can be hard to detect with just one test. It was hard to watch her unable to keep food in. Thank goodness it is simple to deal with once detected.
– Vet Bills: this is part of owning a pet. Prevention is the best medicine and a good diet is key but when you adopt a rescue, vet check-ins are important.
– Etta itching like crazy all the time: It has stopped now, thank goodness! We think it was just the drastic change in her diet and environment.
– The worry: maybe it is just me being a little neurotic but I was worried about every little thing that might be wrong with her; if she coughed a little in the morning I was convinced it was heart failure, when she itched I was sure it was mange. I cannot imagine how new human moms must feel! things are much more stable and stress free now.
– Pee on the carpet: Etta rarely has an accident but when she does it is on the carpet. every time. ugh!
– Howling from the crate: this made my heart break. We took advice from a dear friend and moved the crate to our room. The howling stopped right away. Now she is down the hall in the family room at night and we never hear a peep.
– Destruction of property: somehow Etta only ever destroys my belongings. So far she has destroyed my favorite flip flops, a swimsuit, and a pair of my running shoes. This has taught me to keep her well stocked with bully sticks, scapula and the occasional hoof for chewing.
– Puberty: She has just reached this age and boy is she becoming stubborn! She has decided that coming when called is for the birds (really, even our chickens come when I call them) and has become very curious about our neighbors yard.

The Good:
– Having a warm, happy, smiling puppy saying hello every morning. What could be better?
– Walking off leash: We did this the other day at Twin Brooks Recreation Area in Cumberland. She behaved like a champ and loved all the new smells.
– Watching her play with other pups: Puppy play time is really hilarious to watch. She is so fast!
– Nap time: We love napping on the lawn in the afternoon together.
– Fitness: Etta encourages me to be out walking much more than I was, next we are going to start jogging together.
– Training: going to training class was as much for us as for Etta. It was a weekly reminder that training never stops. It is a constant process for the entire lifetime of the dog
– Company: I have a constant little friend. It is so nice to have my little buddy with me at work. I look over and she makes me smile.
– Coming out of her shell: Etta is still very shy in some circumstances and watching her cower on our walks in the old port is hard for me BUT she has made such huge progress from when she first came to us. We had some friends over for a BBQ last weekend and she was playing with them and soaking  up all the belly rubs.

And there we are at the half way point in her first year! She just keeps getting better and we are so happy we decided to bring her into our lives.

 

– Roxanne

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Check out Etta getting her moment to shine as we talk about raw food in this recent News story that aired on WGME.

Click the link under the pic to watch the whole story!

WGME on Raw Food