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Gone to the Dogs

posted March 18th, 2019 by
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Gone to the Dogs

By Bill Snyder


Nancy Gallimore runs with a strange pack. A self-confessed “crazy dog lady,” she and her friends work together to save countless at-risk dogs every year.


How crazy? Let’s start with her home near Mounds. Right now, she and her partner Jim Thomason are sharing it with 24 dogs. Then there’s the horses, mules, donkeys, hog and other animals that don’t get house privileges. Nancy’s been an animal lover all her life, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.


“We are outnumbered,” she says. “I’m a professional dog trainer and have been working at Pooches for over 13 years now. Dogs have always been my thing. Jim, it’s always been his thing too. It’s our passion.


“You do learn how to live with them and make sure they’re all happy together. I can’t tell you that I can take any dog into my home, and they’ll be OK—that’s not the truth—but we’re pretty good at introducing dogs and making sure they can coexist.”


With a long history of taking care of many animals at once, Nancy and business partner Lawanna Smith gained the know-how to successfully run Pooches at 5331 E. 41st St. in Tulsa, where they offer daycare, training, boarding and grooming services for dogs.


“I always say she’s the brains, and I’m the one with arms long enough to reach things on high shelves,” Nancy says.


Jim has a background in training as well. They have that many dogs at home because they take in and shelter pups in need, particularly their favorite breed, the Dalmatian. Their charity, the Dalmatian Assistance League, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Tulsa.


“Dogs get dumped out by our house fairly regularly. We’ve taken in a lot of dogs that were dropped off on our road, and we find them new homes,” Nancy says. “We’re just not the type to drive by a stray dog.”


The Dalmatian rescue group started in the early 1990s, taking in homeless Dalmatians and placing them in forever homes.


“It’s somewhere they can recover and then hopefully find happy homes, or just stay, that’s fine too,” Nancy says. “Not to look like a hoarder—you worry because you hear of 25 dogs in a house—well that’s not always a bad thing. We are set up for it. We do keep special needs dogs that won’t find a home, or if they’re too old, they can stay. They have a home for life if they need it.”


While they love all dogs, Jim says their fondness for Dalmatians stems from the breed’s desire for connection and to be a part of the family. That trait, however, sometimes causes problems in unprepared households. He says that Dalmatians that don’t get enough attention can act out and misbehave.


“They bond to you and want to be with you more than some other breeds,” he says. “One reason we often get rescue Dalmatians is because people don’t spend enough time with them and treat them like a member of the family. They crave being a part of the family.”


Jim says that in addition to that breed, they also have a soft spot for older dogs, what he said they call “silver muzzle rescue,” those in the last few years of their lives and unlikely to be adopted. A number of their dogs are special needs. He said that they’re passionate about giving them a place to spend their last days and eventually want a facility for older dogs.


“It’s not the fault of any of the dogs we have that they’re in a rescue,” Jim says. “We treat each like our own; it’s not their fault.”


Nancy says she wouldn’t have it any other way.


“We don’t have a house that’s necessarily ever perfectly clean or hair free, but it’s happy, and we’re never cold sleeping at night,” she says. “It’s always at least a 10-dog night.


That’s not the record, but there are a lot of dogs that like to curl up. Our theory is that our foster dogs should live just like our dogs do until they can find their own home, so they can be prepared to live that life.”


Nancy volunteered with a number of animal welfare groups for years and owned mixed-breed dogs, but in the late 80s when she wanted to start participating in obedience competitions, the AKC only allowed purebred dogs, so she got her first Dalmatian puppy. She and some fellow Dalmatian lovers then started a club and a rescue organization for the breed.


“Who knew we’d keep doing it for this many years,” she says. “I’m not sure I even know how to stop. Your name and number gets out there, and it’s really hard to say no if somebody calls and tells you there’s a Dalmatian at a shelter or a stray. It’s hard to not go get it. We meet a lot of dogs. I’m like a grandma; I get to love the kids and then send them to homes.”


Nancy also targets dogs from puppy mills for saving.


“You don’t want to see your own breed, or any dog, suffer like that,” she says. “It’s a horrible existence, so when we can get them out, we do. Sometimes we buy them out of auction, and a lot of people argue we’re just giving money to the puppy mill operation. My answer is ‘that dog is going to sell today; it could sell to another puppy mill, or it can sell to me. If it will sell to me, fantastic.’ We won’t spend copious amounts of money, but if we can, we buy the dog.”

Nancy says she was bringing one of those puppies to work recently, and her business partner Lawanna Smith started falling for it. The dog grew on her, and you can guess what happened next.


“She’s just as crazy as I am,” Nancy says. “Lawanna has her own herd of dogs.”


Nancy says that their intense love of dogs does bring difficulties from time to time.


“If you think about it, in a lifetime most people will have… what’s rational? Five dogs? Unless they have a couple at a time. I’ve had years when I’ve lost five dogs. It’s just a whole different world. As much fun as it is to be able to save dogs and live with them and love them, we also suffer on the other side because we experience a lot more loss. That’s tricky.”


A person with so many animals has to have a veterinarian on speed dial. One of Nancy’s good friends is Lauren Hanson Johnson, a DVM at Hammond Animal Hospital in Tulsa.


“She’s awesome,” Nancy says. “They are so good to us. We could not run a rescue if they were not so good at working with us and giving us breaks when they can. Or not thinking we’re crazy when we call them up at 9 p.m. on a Sunday night to ask if it’s normal when my dog does this, or would you be willing to board a dog for us for a few days. We try not to abuse them, but we kind of do.


“If you’re a crazy dog person, you need a veterinarian as a friend. That should be in the rulebook.”


A crazy time in their crazy dog life was August 6, 2017, when a tornado struck the area near I-44 and 41st Street. They had a full house in the Pooches kennel that night.


“I got a call at 2:30 in the morning from an employee, she was so sweet, who said, ‘I’m so sorry to wake you up. I just thought you’d want to know there was a tornado at Pooches.’ That will wake you up.”


Just getting back onto the property in the immediate aftermath was challenging. Nancy said they had to get around police barricades.


“We snuck in, and I just locked myself in there and hid to take care of the dogs while Jim ran out for flashlights and supplies,” she says. “There was no electric, no water, and authorities weren’t letting our employees come into the building. So Lawanna went and found a police officer and made her come to see that the building was full of dogs, and we weren’t leaving. They were great about working with us.”


The tornado hit early Sunday morning, and by that afternoon, thanks to the resourcefulness of Pooches Manager Lindsay Henry, a huge generator was set up to supply power to their facility. By Wednesday, the water was turned back, on and they were back in business.


While it might seem to an outsider that her world is dominated by dogs, Nancy says that the animals have created incredibly strong bonds with the people in her life.


“I would say that the majority of my closest friendships are because of my involvement with my animals,” Nancy says. “This is not the Nancy show. There’s no way I could or would do any of this—the business, the rescue, my home life—without my partners.


Then she adds with a laugh, “Those people are just as into it as I am, they’re maybe just not as vocal.”

Making a Splash

posted March 18th, 2019 by
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Making a Splash

K9 Manners & More’s Dock Diving Competitions


By Lauren Cavagnolo


From Toy Poodles to German Shepherds and Dobermans, jumping off of a dock into a pool is something any size or type of dog can do.


“We have all sorts of breeds and mixes. There is certainly no requirement,” said Mary Green, owner and trainer at K9 Manners & More. “It’s amazing; this is something that all dogs can do.”


K9 Manners & More opened their dock diving facility last July and has held two distance jumping events through North America Diving Dogs (NADD) with several hundred jumps logged per event.


This year, there are four events on the calendar, one being a qualifying event for the National Championship in Orlando, Florida, in December 2019. The first event of the year is scheduled for June with the pool expected to open in April for lessons and practice jumps.


Nicknamed the Black Pearl, Green says they have had an incredible response since opening the facility, partly due to the fact that the Broken Arrow group has the only dock diving facility in Northeast Oklahoma and is the only NADD sanctioned facility in the state. The next closest facility is in Dallas, and people are driving from Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri and all over the state to use the facility and participate in events.


“What we did last year was distance jumping,” Green said. “There are two types of events that NADD holds, one is a distance jump and one is an air retrieve. And we will add air retrieve this year, but we started with just distance jumping last year. The events are just tons of fun.”


In distance jumping, dogs are judged on the distance of their jump from the dock to where their tail hits the water in the 40-foot pool. The Guinness Book of World Records record holder is a Whippet named Sounder. Set at the NADD Championships in Orlando in December, Sounder jumped 33 feet and 6 inches.


The events, which are free general admission and feature a food truck, also offer “try its” for a $10 fee.


“Those are just exactly what is says, for people to be able to try it with their own dog,” Green said. “When all the dogs in a splash have jumped, we do try its and let people give it a shot with their pup and see if they like it. And generally, we do have opportunity to do on-site registration. We had a couple of times where somebody did a try it, and their dog was just brilliant at it. So, they went ahead and signed up and did the second day.”


A splash is a group of competing dogs, Green explained. Last year, their events had four splashes each, with splashes limited to 40 dogs, according to the NADD website.


Events can be entered for a pre-registration price $20 per splash or $25 on site the day of the event. Splashes include up to four minutes on the dock with one optional practice jump and two judged jumps, according to the NADD. Titles can be earned with five successful jumps in the different divisions of titles. NADD titles are also recognized through the American Kennel Club’s Title Recognition Program.


There are two divisions for measurement, and titles are earned by qualifications at certain jumping measurements. Dogs that are considered lap dogs measure shorter than 16 inches from shoulder to ground. Everything else is open, Green said.


“We are always competing for our own personal best,” Green explained. “To get the titles, our lap dogs don’t have to get quite the distance that our bigger dogs do.”
However, competitions aren’t the only way to enjoy the pool and dock diving facility at K9 Manners & More.


“We started out with a swim class because not all dogs know how to swim or how to swim in a pool versus in the lake. There is a big difference between dogs swimming in clear water versus dirty water, like lakes or ponds,” Green explained. “Either an instructor or an owner will get in the water with the dog, and we put lifejackets on a lot of them to make sure they are safe and comfortable.


“Just like with little kid swim lessons, you don’t want to freak them out; you want them to feel comfortable and have fun,” Green added. “A lot of dogs, that’s really what they will be doing is swimming for their fitness and wellness. Whether or not they ever come off the dock doesn’t really matter; they are getting the benefits from the exercise.”


Kim Sykes, owner and trainer at K9 Manners & More, says she has been amazed at the fitness difference in the dogs because of the swim classes.


“There have been some studies that have talked about the benefits of [swimming], and it is just amazing. And with that easy entry and exit ramp, it is great for the older dogs. It’s really good even for the younger dogs; it’s less impact,” Sykes said. “My 7-year-old Border Collie, this was her first introduction to swimming last year, and she was able to compete at an event. And she is not a huge jumper, but, boy, could you tell a huge difference in her muscles and her rear end. It just was amazing to me.”


A swim lesson is $25 for a one-time class. That class can be repeated as necessary. The next step is a jumping class that costs $120 for four weeks.


However, the facility is not offering water rehab, and anyone wanting to swim with a dog that may have any health concerns should visit with a veterinarian before enrolling in a swim program, Green added.


While there aren’t any pre-qualifications for the swimming classes, enrolled dogs need to have a family member or friend who can be in the pool with them as well as a favorite toy that will float.


“The dog may not want to come to the instructor, so we want the owner to be able to get in the pool with them. We don’t want the dogs to be fearful of getting into the pool or swimming,” Green explained. “Instructors know kind of how to hold them and support them and not be scratched up in the process, but the dogs are more comfortable with someone they know.”


After completing one or more swim lessons, some dogs and owners will go on to the dock diving classes, where owners learn the handler’s technique, safe jumping and mostly just have fun with their dog, Green said.


“It’s really a chase game,” Green explained. “The dock is 40 feet long, and the pool is 45 feet. The distance of the jump is measured where the dog’s tail hits the water, not the front end of the dog. The handler generally throws a toy ahead of the dog, and the dog is chasing the toy into the water. So, for dogs that really enjoy fetching or retrieving on land, it’s somewhat of an easier transition for them to do that off the dock.”


As for the dock’s nickname “Black Pearl,” it comes from the stain ending up much darker than expected.


“We just went with it. We have a bell up there, and when your dog either gets a title or a new personal best, a lot of people will jump in the pool with their dog; we call that ‘Walk the plank,’” Green said. “And the whole crowd will chant ‘Walk that plank, walk that plank!’ We have had a lot of fun with that. They ring the bell and walk the plank, and everybody celebrates.”


In addition to lessons, dock and pool rental is available to individuals to schedule their own time to practice jumping.


“I will say, people don’t think their dogs are going to be able to do it. Then they see their dog jump, even off the ramp, and swim, and then swim back to them where they are sitting on the ramp; it’s just pure joy,” Green said. “The dogs are having a blast.”




June 22-23

June Jump Event

July 27-28

July Jump Event

Sept. 7-8

Dog Daze of Summer, qualifying event for National Dog Diving Championships

Oct. 5-6

Fall Fling


K9 Manners & More

Be sure to check the website for more information including class schedules.

1000 E. Memphis St.

Broken Arrow, OK 74012

(918) 451-8446


North America Diving Dogs

Learn more about the rules and regulations.

TulsaPets Mag Mar / Apr 2019

posted March 12th, 2019 by
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TulsaPets Magazine  Mar / Apr 2019

Publisher – Marilyn King  [email protected]

Creative Director – Debra Fite

Advertising Sales – Marilyn King, Steve Kirkpatrick, Nancy Harrison, Rosalie Childs

Web Manager – Steve Kirkpatrick  [email protected]

Editor – Anna Holton-Dean

Contributing Writers – Marilyn King, Lauren Cavagnolo, Kim Doner, Nancy Gallimore, Sherri Goodall, Anna Holton-Dean,
Bill Snyder

PO Box 14128 Tulsa, OK 74159-1128

(918) 520-0611

(918) 346-6044 Fax

©2018 All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express written consent of the publisher.

TulsaPets Magazine provides Tulsa area pet owners with a one-stop resource for local products, services, events and information.  Now TulsaPets Magazine Online is able to provide you with all of that and much more, interactive and up-to-the-minute!

Your Pet’s Golden Years

posted February 22nd, 2019 by
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Golden Years


How to Take Care of Your Pet
in Their Golden Years

by Nick Burton 

Golden Years 

Pets can now enjoy longer lives than ever before. Much of their longevity is because of better diets, modern medicine, and improved veterinary care. However, this doesn’t mean that your pet will live a long and happy life all on their own; it takes special care and attention on part of the owner to give them a chance at long-lasting health and well-being. This is particularly true when your pet has reached their golden years. If you have a senior pet, here are some important tips for taking care of them and, possibly, extending their life.


Dietary Habits


The food and nutrition your pet needs in their later years will change. Healthier snacks (such as apple slices, mini carrots, and other fruits and veggies), lower calorie food, and an increase in omega-3s are common adjustments for senior pets. Also, many pets need antioxidants and joint supplements added to their diet as they age. Each pet is unique, so be sure to consult your veterinarian before radically changing your pet’s diet.


Another supplement that can be beneficial for your older pet is CBD oil. This oil can help ease joint inflammation and pain, skin problems, and mental health issues. If you want your pet to thrive in their golden years, check out Remedy Review’s guide to see the top 10 CBD oils of 2019. As with their diet, don’t give your pet a new treatment without consulting your veterinarian.


Veterinary Care


You’re probably used to annual visits to the vet, but you’ll need to bump that up to twice a year for your senior pet. Medical issues come more often for older pets, and going to the vet every six months will help you stay on top of their health. You can expect appointments to be similar to when your pet was younger, except there will probably be more bloodwork and other tests.


Physical Activity


Exercise is also vital for your pet’s health, as it helps them to maintain their mobility and keep their weight under control. You still want to get your pet physical activity when they’re older, but you will need to watch them more closely and modify when necessary. For instance, instead of playing fetch in the backyard for 45 minutes, it may be safer to take your aging pet on a walk in the neighborhood for 30 minutes. However, it’s important to not overexert your pet.


Managing Parasites


Parasites tend to affect senior pets more frequently than younger animals. This is because their immune system becomes weaker over time, which opens them up to health concerns from fleas, ticks, and worms. Fortunately, there are numerous options to prevent parasitic diseases, so ask your vet what the best path is for your pet.


Home Modifications


Just like with people, home modifications are often necessary for aging pets. For instance, since mobility and joint issues are common among senior pets, it’s sometimes best to keep their living space (bed, food, and water, etc.) downstairs; that way they won’t have to move up and down stairs every day. Here are some other modifications to consider for your senior pet.


  • Purchasing a portable ramp (for arthritic pets)
  • Purchasing an orthopedic bed
  • Putting in slip-resistant mats throughout the home
  • Installing a doggy door for easy access to potty outside


You can make changes to your pet’s life that will help them thrive in their golden years. Remember to ask your veterinarian for any dietary improvements that can be made, and look into whether CBD oil would be beneficial. Start taking your pet to the vet twice a year, and be sure to monitor their exercise. Finally, take preventative measures for parasitic health issues, and make the necessary home modifications for your pet to live comfortably and happy.


Photo Credit: Pexels

Grand Opening at Top Dog Ranch

posted February 9th, 2019 by
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Top Dog Ranch

Top Dog Ranch in Broken Arrow

TulsaPets Magazine had the recent opportunity to tour the new Top Dog Ranch facility during their grand opening, and what a facility it is!  From the calming blue paint to the easy-to-clean poured laminate floors, no detail has been overlooked in their multi-faceted campus.  Grooming, boarding, daycare and obedience training are all available here.


Plenty of well-lit parking


with an inviting entrance!


Plenty of folks attended the Open House


Lots of indoor training space


Plenty of individual spaces


Room for guest scrubbing!


Indoor / Outdoor runs are available


Clean and airy boarding pens in various sizes


Artificial turf group play yards


Giant natural grass play yards when the weather is nice and artificial turf yards when its not!


TulsaPets Mag Jan / Feb 2019

posted January 15th, 2019 by
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TulsaPets Magazine  Jan / Feb 2019

Publisher – Marilyn King  [email protected]

Creative Director – Debra Fite

Advertising Sales – Marilyn King, Steve Kirkpatrick, Nancy Harrison, Rosalie Childs

Web Manager – Steve Kirkpatrick  [email protected]

Editor – Anna Holton-Dean

Contributing Writers – Marilyn King, Angela Botzer. Lauren Cavagnolo, Connie Cronley, Kim Doner, Nancy Gallimore, Bill Snyder

PO Box 14128 Tulsa, OK 74159-1128

(918) 520-0611

(918) 346-6044 Fax

©2018 All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express written consent of the publisher.

TulsaPets Magazine provides Tulsa area pet owners with a one-stop resource for local products, services, events and information.  Now TulsaPets Magazine Online is able to provide you with all of that and much more, interactive and up-to-the-minute!

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