pet news

Tai Chi for Equestrians recent fundraiser clinic at Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship

January 21, 2009

An introduction to learning an easier and healthier way to move – on the ground and in the saddle

James Shaw combines the mechanics of how the human and equine bodies were designed to move with the bio-mechanics of martial arts to create his unique Tai Chi for Equestrians program. He has studied and trained in the martial arts for over 20 years and for the last ten years, he has focused on Tai Chi. Balance, coordination, strong supple muscles and mental focus are the key elements in Tai Chi.

Shaw’s classes and exercises are designed to teach riders to connect their physical and mental energy – what he calls “training from the inside out.” In his work with equestrians including cutters, reiners, and dressage riders, James says he observes that “55 percent of the body or more is opposing the movement of the horse. The goal is to receive and redirect the horse’s energy.”

Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship program tailors instruction to the individual needs of children and adults with disabilities. Several students joined the Shaw clinic and benefited greatly from his teaching as did the able bodied riders.

For more information on James Shaw, visit his web site at Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship Program is located on 14.5 acres in North Scottsdale. Visit or call 480-515-1542.

Courtesy Photos:
James Shaw guiding the group at the morning session through some exercises on the ground to “gain a feel and sensitivity of the body and teach the role of the bones.”

During the clinic afternoon session James Shaw assessed a student on one of the Camelot lesson horses.

Event to help FAR find a new home

By Curtis Riggs | January 21, 2009

Pasta For Paws set for Jan. 29 at Harold’s

CAVE CREEK – FAR volunteers hope next week’s fundraiser will go a long way toward enabling them to find a new, permanent home in the area.
Foothills Animal Rescue will hold the “Pasta For Paws” fund-raiser at Harold’s from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29. The festive event will include a spaghetti dinner, silent auction, raffles, balloon pops, a bake sale and live music by country-rock band, Young Country. Tickets are $20 at Harold’s and See Spot Shop or on the web at For tickets by mail: Send $20 per person FAR, P.O. Box 4865, Cave Creek AZ 85327

FAR Executive Director Dawn Kavanaugh worries FAR’s problems finding a new home are “out of sight and out of mind” for the myriad of community supporters, a real concern because some FAR foster homes have as many as 20 or 30 dogs waiting for adoption.

The goal for 2009 is to raise $200,000. Acquiring a new home would place them in line to receive funding for veterinarian equipment the rescue group desperately needs to continue taking in “at risk” animals, which range from animals with ring worm to ones who need other medical treatment.

Kavanaugh hopes to raise $10,000 at next week’s fund-raiser.

FAR President Tracy Didier hopes the group can gain momentum early in 2009 with Pasta For Paws setting the tone for other fund-raisers, which will follow throughout the year.

“We are going to continue to raise money and put ourselves out there,” she said.
Visit or call 480-282-0557 for additional information.

Courtesy Photo

February is National Pet Dental Awareness Month

January 21, 2009

Your pet needs proper dental care. Whether it is home dental care (brushing daily, oral rinses or using enzymatic chews) or a professional cleaning by your veterinarian, your pet’s health depends on it. While words like periodontal disease, calculus, plaque and gingivitis can medically describe your pet’s dental concerns, let’s get back to the basics of what problems dental disease can cause.

Bad Breath. (Halitosis) This is usually the first sign of problems.
Pain. Dogs and cats have the same nerve supply as human teeth. Gum disease hurts! It can be a major cause of loss of appetite as well as digestive disturbances caused from not chewing food properly. If the gums are red, it is painful.

Bleeding gums. (Gingivitis) A painful, obvious sign of dental disease.

Infection seed. Bacterial infection of the gums can easily serve as a source of infection for the rest of the body. As periodontal disease progresses and the teeth separate from the gums, many small blood vessels rupture (as evidenced by bleeding gums) and can provide the entrance of the infection to the blood stream. Research indicates that the major cause of heart valve problems in dogs result from the infection spreading from the mouth. Other common sites of infection include liver, kidney, lungs and even the spinal cord.

Loss of Teeth. Another painful, obvious sign of dental disease.

Potential human infection factor. Not only can dental disease cause health problems for your pet, it can also be a potential human infection factor. Infection could be transmitted by the pet licking the face or even wiping your eyes with hands contaminated with the saliva of your pet.

Research clearly shows that proper dental care is probably THE most important thing you can do to add years of quality life for your pet.

Courtesy Photo: It is estimated that dogs and cats can live 10 to 20 percent longer with proper dental care.