Archive for the ‘Long Island’ Category

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10 Sep 14

Fall pet care tips ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

As we fall into autumn, our daily pet care can get pushed aside due to our increased busy schedules. Here are some reminders to help you and your pets ease into the new season:

  • Now that your kids are back in school, or your work schedule is more intense – do take the time to do dog training sessions with your dog as a refresher for both of you.  New noises, different schedules, and lack of attention could make your dog anxious and not listen quite as well.
  • Make the sessions short and sweet with plenty of praise and/or treats.  Work on ‘stays’ recalls like ‘come’ or ‘home’ if your do knows that command and ‘wait’ for teaching them to wait at the door, (school buses, kids, deliveries, etc.), and wait for when you are arriving at the park – your dog should know he has to ‘wait’ before he can jump out of the car – until you say so!

  • It’s important to also do these sessions outside of the home, in the yard, and in a different location altogether – as most dogs may be amazing at home – but get them in a new environment – and that goes out the window!
  • If you got a new puppy or adopted a dog over the summer now is the time, before the holidays creep up, to look into a group dog training class to help with doggie socialization and a more structured training environment.

Pet supplies

Did you get your pet a summer collar or perhaps too much swimming in the pool, lake or salt water?  Time to purchase a new collar for the fall and winter – be sure the collar is fitted properly.  If you forgot to take their collar off in the summer while they were swimming, chances are the metal hardware you attach your leash to may be rusted and break.  Or the fabric or leather is not as strong anymore.  Investing in a good collar for the fall and winter is important to keep your pet safe.

If you have a cat that goes outside or gets into things, make sure their collar is a breakaway collar so it can safely come off if they get caught on something.  And if your cat is an indoor-outdoor cat, put a bell on that collar too – to give the birds at your bird feeder chance to hear them coming!

Did your pet loose his or her ID tags? While many pets these days are microchipped, it is still important to have an up to date ID tag with current phone number, (cell phone is best as most people don’t change their cell number), and email address.  One great new product that you can get is the Twigo pet tag. This fun new tag requires no engraving and are instantly personalize-able with a ballpoint pen – simply write, boil and wear. The tags self-attach and are completely silent, ideal for those who dislike the jingling noise and remove their pet’s tags while inside the house.

Clothing – remember when it used to seem crazy to dress our pets?  That notion is a thing of the past as our pets are pampered, live inside with us and are used to AC and heat.  So in the cooler weather, your pet may need a properly fitted coat to go on that walk to go potty.  Last winter was brutally cold here on LI and I had to put two coats on my dog to walk him – his short hair would not have kept him warm for long outside. Raincoats are a great option to – to keep your pup from getting soaked and less time for you to dry them off when you get back inside.

Seasonal allergies

You may be sneezing at ragweed; did you know your pets could also be affected by seasonal allergies?  They can loose their fur, be scratching and chewing themselves raw.  Bring your pet to a good veterinarian who is an expert in allergies and have your pet tested.  It may be food they are allergic to – or it could be seasonal – knowing is the power you will have to properly treat your pet and not play a guessing game.


This time of year is the perfect time to go for a long walk in the woods with your dog, see the fall foliage – and check for ticks.  Yep, ticks are out until the temperature drops below freezing.  So after that hike, check your dog thoroughly before you go back into the house, bring a flea and tick comb or tick spoon with you so you can remove that tick promptly.  You should also check in-between your pets paw pads, not just for ticks but sticks, stones, splinters, rocks and any cuts or scraps so you can treat them.

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20 Aug 14

Doggie Day Trip: Historic Montauk ...

By Nancy E. Hassel,

If you are looking for another historic and dog friendly spot on Long Island to take your dog on a Doggie Day Trip too – you’re in luck.  In our article series Historic Dog Friendly Long Island, and another of our series of Doggie Day Trips – this is combo of the two!

When we think of Montauk, aside from the beaches and laid back vacation vibe, you may not realize that there is a Suffolk County Park that is a piece of history, and dog friendly.  Montauk County Park is located just before the oldest horse ranch in America on the left hand side heading east on Montauk Highway.  It’s a bit of a secret spot because you may just be driving by out to the lighthouse and pass right by not realizing what you are passing.  On a recent Doggie Day Trip, I was accompanied by Snoopy Brunn, the cutie pie Boston Terrier in all the photos.  She an east end native, but this was her first visit to these MTK spots!

Montauk County Park is packed with history, being the home to the first cattle ranch in the United States, and the historic “Third House” on the property was home to the early cattle keepers.  The home also played a significant role in the Spanish American war as it was Camp Wikoff – and served as the quartine area after the war for nearly 30,000 troops including Teddy Roosevelt.

While it’s not the biggest county park on LI – it’s a great stop to make on your way out to the lighthouse, especially if you’re traveling a distance to get there.  The park is dog friendly and the very historic grounds over look the horse ranch, and when we were there, there were no other dogs.  So if you have a dog that maybe doesn’t do great with other pups – this is a nice spot to visit, maybe bring a picnic for you and your dog and enjoy the quiet, beautiful scenary and clean crisp fresh air that seems to be just a bit different in Montauk.

Snoopy was very good observing the horses, don’t let your dog harass or get to close to the horses, respect their space – this is their home after all.

After hanging at for a while or if your just want to go straight out to the Montauk Point Lighthouse, while this is a state park that are generally not always dog friendly, (although we have a few state parks on LI that are dog friendly state parks), you can bring your dog to MTK lighthouse.  He is just not allowed on the lighthouse grounds or near the restaurant…but other wise you can walk the hilly trails which are great for hiking.  You can bring your dog down to the beach – leashed of course at all times, and have him pose in front of the lighthouse.  The beach is very rocky – but incredibly beautiful – the color of the water is gorgeous!

If you want to do the trails – it’s a great place to do a hike with your dog – I have personally done the trails a few different times with my dog in the past – and we always had a great workout.  Just be sure to check yourself and your pup for ticks after the hike if you go this time of year.  Also if you go during the off season – or in winter, be very careful as it is hunting season, and not all hunters abide by the rules of where they should be hunting and that they shouldn’t be doing so on the weekends.  (My friends and I learned that the hard way when we hiked in December on the weekends and heard gun shots very close to where we were the hunters were not supposed to be there). A suggestion is to have your dog and yourself wear bright colors and never take your dog off the leash while hiking the trails.

Snoopy posing at the beginning of a hiking trails.

The secret of Montauk? September is probably one of the most amazing months to visit, the weather is perfect, it’s not hot and less people. You can bring your dog through town and enjoy the beauty around you.  Have your pup pose for some pictures in MTK – and post them in the Facebook comment section below!  For a LOT more pictures of Snoopy’s adventure in Montuak, click here. And remember bring water, treats, a pet first aid kit and if you do the hike, be sure to check your pup for any buggers.   I have been many times in the past it’s a beautiful spot to visit, almost like you have left LI altogether. :)  Enjoy – and stay tuned for our next article Historic Dog Friendly Long Island – and Doggie Day Trips – coming very soon!

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11 Aug 14

Because horses need rescue too ...

By Nancy E. Hassel,

If your heading out to the North Fork during this summer and fall season, as you drive on Sound Avenue in Baiting Hollow you will pass a few bucolic horse farms along the way.  While you admire the beautiful scenery and think how you’re amazed your still on Long Island – you might be surprised to know that many of the horses you pass are actually horses rescued from slaughter or horrible situations.  Truth be told, the average person doesn’t want to know about this, that horses get slaughtered for meat consumption in other countries and not nessecarily humanely euthanized when they are no longer wanted or needed.  So I dare you to read on and look at the beautiful horses in the pictures I took below at North Shore Horse Rescue farm and stop by to visit these majestic and comical horses.  (I was laughing so much at these horses, who were, well horsing around – I can’t wait to go back!)

It’s not an easy topic to write about, let alone be one of the wonderful people who rescue, rehabilitate, re-home and save these horses lives.  It’s hard work, dedication, and lots of love to say the least.

The North Shore Horse Rescue, which is a 501 c 3 non-profit, is run by Laurel Palerno and Tom Renzetti and in the past 13 years they have rescued approximately 30 horses, re-homed 10, and currently have 17 rescue horses in their care along their own 14 horses.  Laurel said, “We get horses from everywhere, with many of the horses coming from the local area, especially in the last few years due to the recession.  We try to help out our neighbors a lot.”  Their very first rescue was a pregnant mare that just happened to be a Wild mustang who is now part of their sanctuary of horses that will stay with them.

This is Tate who popped his head out to see who was visiting – love that blonde coloring!

When I asked Laurel, how did you get into rescue, she responded, “I wanted to get my own horses and we moved from the south shore of Long Island to this location.  It wasn’t tooo long after I got my own horses that I started to find out more and more how many horses needed rescuing.”

This handsome boy above is Winston who is a 1/2 Arabian and 1/2 Thoroughbred who has an adoption pending.  Absolutely stunning to see in person.

Lakota is a privately owned horse, but was rescue who was adopted from another local horse rescue, Amaryllis – and the mini is Sam who is also rescue.

One of their horses there, is Jet he was abused, and I mean not just neglected but abused by someone who hit him in the head with a sledge hammer.  You read that right.  He has the scars on his head and face to prove it – but he was sweet and beautiful.  He wouldn’t be such a healthy beautiful horse if it was not for North Shore Horse Rescue. Some of the horses in the pictures are privately owned, but ALL were rescues.
So what can you do to help? There are many ways you can help, yes you one person!
  • You can donate, that’s the easiest way to help, no amount is too small or too big.  Horses lived up to 30 years, they are expensive to care for and eat a lot of hay. :)
  • You can share this article with all of your friends via social media buttons at the top, so they too are aware of the horse rescues in need on Long Island.
  • You can volunteer to help.
  • You can visit their website for more information.
  • And you can go and visit and learn more about the horses in their care and you may be motivated to do even more.

To find out more about them and see many of their upcoming events go to  To see many, more pictures for our visit, click here!

To read about another horse rescue here on Long Island, click here.

And oh yea, this horse does bite!

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03 Aug 14

Assistance Dogs on Long Island ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

This week we celebrate International Assistance Dog Week, taking place August 3 – August 8, 2014 across the globe. Locally we are fortunate to have 3 different groups groups right here on Long Island.  They are: Canine Companions for Independence northeast headquarters in Medford; The Guide Dog Foundation in Smithtown; and Guardians of Rescue’s Paws of War program based across our Island.

“International Assistance Dog Week (IADW) was created to recognize of all the devoted, hardworking assistance dogs helping individuals mitigate their disability-related limitations.” (From the IADW website)

Canine Companions for Independence provides highly trained assistant dogs who help with their owners every day tasks in life, such as: turning on and off lights, picking up keys, phones or objects that may fall on the floor, opening drawers, doors, refrigerators and much more.  They also can alert a deaf owner to sound and alarms. CCI dogs are raised by volunteer puppy raisers who attend puppy classes with them and teach them house manners and how to behave in public i.e. public etiquette.  The dogs then move on to a CCI campus to begin their formal training.  Each dog is then selected and matched with their new owner based on the needs of that person.

Dagger who recently graduated from his puppy raising and is now in training at CCI and doing wonderful so far!

The location on Long Island is in Medford – and CCI also hosts quarterly graduation ceremonies where the puppies who have been raised by volunteers will be moving on to their formal training.  The graduation brings in hundreds of people from all across the northeast.  You can learn more about how to become a puppy raiser volunteer or how to make a donation by clicking here.

The Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind was established in 1946 in Forest Hills, N.Y. and now it’s campus is now located in Smithtown, NY.  The Guide Dog Foundation provides dogs to assist people with vision loss and vision impairment have active, more normal lives.  They too have volunteer puppy raisers for the puppy’s young life from 7-week old puppy until the dog is 14 – 18 months old.  The dog then goes into formal training at the Guide Dog Foundation campus.  They are always in need of puppy raisers here on Long Island – you can learn more about becoming a puppy raiser here.

They also have another division called America’s VetDogs which provides dogs to military veterans with disabilities from all eras.  ’America’s VetDog places guide dogs with individuals who are blind; service dogs for those with other physical disabilities; and physical and occupational therapy dogs to work with service members in military and VA hospitals.’  (From America’s VetDogs website).

Both CCI and the Guide Dog Foundation use Labrador Retrivers, Golden Retrivers and sometimes a cross of the two.  They both have their own high standard breeding program that breeds only the best or creme of the crop puppies.  Not every dog makes it as a CCI dog or Guide Dog, and often the puppy raiser family takes the dog back to live their lives as a very well trained pet!  I have personally known a few of these incredible dogs – while they may have not made the stringent cut to serve a person – they are wonderful ‘pets!’

America’s VetDogs also works with shelters and has pulled shelter dogs, trained them through their program and are now working as service dogs for veterans! Love that!

Another organization that works with shelter dogs, has dedicated volunteer dog trainers and provide dogs to veterans suffering from PTSD, is Paws of War, by Guardians of Rescue.  Based locally on Long Island, and working with many area shelters and Save-a-Pet in Pt. Jefferson – they evaluate shelter dogs that will qualify for training, carefully matched with a veteran in need and provide and fund all training and any transportation needed.  They have placed about 17 dogs since 2012 when they started Paws of War.  It’s a minimum of six months training and we continue customized training afterward with the veterans. They presently have 9 volunteer trainers and continual training costs add up because the dogs are mostly out of state.  ”It’s hard work and takes dedication but we are privileged to help both ends of the leash,” said Dori Scofield of Save-a-Pet and Paws of War.

Additionally, their is a Long Island chapter of Pets for Vets, a national organization who trains companion animals for military veterans at no cost to the veteran.  All dogs are shelter dogs. ‘Our goal is to help heal the emotional wounds of military veterans by pairing them with a shelter animal that is specially selected to match his or her personality. Professional animal trainers rehabilitate the animals and teach them good manners to fit into the veteran’s lifestyle. Training can also include desensitization to wheel chairs or crutches as well as recognizing panic or anxiety disorder behaviors.’ (From the Pets for Vets website)Locally the have already worked with Brookhaven and with Last Hope in Wantagh.

To find out how you can get involved with Canine Companions for Independence, The Guide Dog Foundation or Paws of War, or Pets for Vets LI – contact them individually by clicking their links!  Each group is always in need of donations, volunteers and also offer facility tours and school educational programs (something for you teachers to think about – planning your guest speakers and possible field trips for the new school year).  You can also help by sharing this article – to bring more attention to these groups who often are only thought of when someone in your family is directly in need or involved.   Amazing local groups helping improve the lives of people with disabilities and our veterans.  Dogs are just incredible aren’t they!

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25 Jun 14

New Dog Parks on LI! ...

By Nancy E. Hassel,

In the past few weeks two new dog parks have opened on Long Island for dog owners and their pups to enjoy.

The first opening on Sunday, June 8, 2014 was held in the village of Southampton with a ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor Mark Elpey with his wife Marianne and their dog along with the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, (ARF) and the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation who also hosted Hampton’s Dog Walk immediately following.

Zoe Kamitses of ARF and Mayor Mark Epley of Southampton Village

This much needed new addition boasts 1-full acre of fenced in doggie bliss.  At the opening approximately 100 dogs were running, playing, rolling in the grass as their owners looked on with joy.  100 dogs, not one incident doggie growls – almost as if they all knew this was their place to just be and have fun.

The park is adorned with benches, poop pick up bag stations, an adorable sculpture of a dog – but of course.  There is also a founders rock, which the dogs were, well marking as you can imagine.   This park is a wonderful addition to the already dog friendly village of Southampton in which a lot of the beaches you can bring your dogs to and also have area hiking trails.  And now residents do not have to drive up to Springs in East Hampton where the only other dog park on the South Fork is located.  The Lola Prentice Dog park is located right in the heart of Southampton Village on Windmill lane next to the police station.  There is free parking right in front of the park and is open from dawn to dusk.

The organizers of the park are looking into to bringing in a water line into the park to install a pump or watering station.  While the park is one open acre – their may be plans to make a section of the park for little dogs.

To see more pictures from the opening day of the park, click here!

The 2nd dog park that opened was this past Saturday, June 21, 2014 in Dix Hills – however it is not a fenced in park but beautiful woodland trails nearly 2-miles at the Dix Hills Park.  Techinically it always had dogs being walked in there, but it is now officially a dog friendly place to walk with your dog.  LI-Dog was on hand for the ribbon cutting as well as officials from the Town of Huntington, and many excited dog owners.  LI-Dog lead a Pack Walk through the trails, gave out maps to anyone who was there to follow along, and information about the park.  To see more pictures from the park opening click here! Contact LI-Dog for more information about the park.