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DEWEY The Small -Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

posted May 15th, 2012 by
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Book Review by Suzanne Gunn

I CAN’T TELL YOU how many times since 2008 when “Dewey” was published that my mother asked me, “Oh, Suzanne, have you read ‘Dewey’? You really should, you will love it!” Even though I’ve always had cats along with dogs, I see myself as more of a dog person than cat person and lean more toward dog books than cat books. I finally sat down to read “Dewey, The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World” by Vicki Myron, and I am so glad that I did.

This is a book that people anywhere can relate to if they’ve had a relationship of any kind with a cat. I especially think anyone who has ties with small town and farming communi­ties will appreciate and relate to this book.

The story of Dewey begins on January 18, 1988. On the coldest day, when opening the library in Spencer, Iowa, a sound is heard coming from the night book drop box. As the librarians investigate and empty the drop box, they find a tiny freezing kitten. Hearts are melted and a love affair en­sues between the library staff and the kitten. Winning over the library board, they are allowed to keep him and start calling him “Dewey” after Melville Dewey, inventor of the Dewey Decimal System.

They soon hold a contest to allow the townsfolk to help name the kitten, and he becomes “Dewey Readmore Books.” It doesn’t take long, and the townspeople fall in love with Dewey, too. People are affected by Dewey in profound ways, amazed at how Dewey seems to know what they need and who needs his attention most!

Word travels to other towns and states and even other countries, and Dewey draws people to the small town of Spencer, Iowa, for a chance to meet Dewey the Cat. Dewey was even featured in a Japanese documentary.

Vicki Myron, the library director at the time who saved Dew­ey that fateful morning, tells the story of Dewey and also shares the story of her own life and lessons she learned along the way.

Her story is one of a young mother married to an alcoholic who gains the courage to leave. Readers can find encour­agement in the single mother working full time and pursuing an advanced education while battling multiple health issues —issues so many of us face in our own lives but don’t always have the courage to talk about or admit.

This is an inspiring book about how people hold up each other and their town, and how even one cat can bring a town together like never before! The book is well written and enjoyable—definitely worth reading! I am going to call my mother now and tell her she was right! Happy reading!

Studio D Cutest Pet Contest 2012

posted May 15th, 2012 by
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STUDIO D PHOTOGRAPHY (formerly Moto Photo) held its annual “Cutest Pet Contest” from January 2 through February 29. Contestants could enter with a $10 or more donation to the Tulsa SPCA, and they received, in turn, a free portrait sitting session and a 5×7 portrait of their pet, plus a chance to be picked as Tulsa’s Cutest Pet! And the best part is all proceeds benefit the Tulsa SPCA.

The winners were chosen March 20 by a panel of three judges: D’Ann Berson, operations director of the Tulsa SPCA; Lori Hall, administrative director of the Tulsa SPCA; and Marilyn King, publisher of TulsaPets Magazine. Of course, all of the entries were “Awww” worthy. But after much deliberation, and with a record number of 92 entries, the winners were selected.

The Top Dog took home $200, with a $100 and $50 prize to second and third places respectively.  Proudly, $731 was donated to the Tulsa SPCA, which will be used for the great cause of helping the animals there.  A big thank you to all who participated to make this long-time annual contest a success once again! Your generosity will help save the lives of many local animals.

Meet the First Cat of Tulsa, Spencer Bartlett

posted May 15th, 2012 by
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by Sherri Goodall

Photos by Sirius Photography

MEET SPENCER BARTLETT, the first cat of Tulsa. But you better not blink; Spencer is fidgeting in the Mayor’s arms dur­ing her photos, and it’s very clear that she’d rather be outta there! The minute her four white paws hit the ground, she’s gone! I didn’t expect her to sit quietly in the chair while we did the interview; after all, she is a cat, and she does what cats do best… whatever they want.

Spencer is a lovely “tuxedo” cat—black with white mark­ings on her chest and white paws. She also has white whis­kers, which are rare.

We wondered how she got the name Spencer, assuming it was a male name. Seventeen years ago (before Mayor Bartlett and his wife, Victoria, were married), Spencer was a shivering kitten stuck in a tree in Newton, Kansas. Victoria was visiting her brother in Newton at the time with her two daughters, one of which (Ann) heard mewing outside during a snowy Thanksgiving night. Ann’s uncle rescued the cat who immediately snuggled into her arms. The bonding between kitten and child began.

The kitten was found on Spencer Street, so now you know the rest of that story. (Incidentally, Victoria grew up on Spen­cer Street). Ann’s new kitten slept in her bed every night until she went away to college. Since the cat had become so com­fortable and accustomed to sleeping in a bed, she now sleeps in the Bartlett’s bed.

This was pure karma… frightened, freezing kitten; Thanks­giving eve; and a child with keen hearing, which brings me to the question I posed to the Mayor: “Does anyone ever buy a cat?” Most cat owners we know are “adopted” by their cats. Spencer was part of the “dowry” when the Mayor and Vic­toria married. Up until then, Spencer had never muttered a “meow.” She purred, but that was it. “When I began to ‘meow’ to Spencer, she became a meowing little motor mouth,” the Mayor said. Still motivated to speak in the comfort of his arms, she was quite vocal during her photo shoot.

As the one who brought about her voice, so to speak, the Mayor and Spencer have a special relationship and routine. She wakes him every day at 4:30 a.m., and they spend the morning together. He likes to watch the news and read the papers in his great room. After Spencer eats, she settles into the Mayor’s lap. When she becomes bored with that, she takes her favorite perch, high above the Mayor on top of a cabinet, overlooking the great room and the chair where he is seated. Victoria says that Spencer has become the Mayor’s buddy, even though he is really a dog person. (Do not tell that to Spencer.)

Growing up, Dewey Bartlett spent a great deal of time on his father’s cattle ranch near Grove, Oklahoma. Border Col­lies became his pets. He tells the story of Harriett, one of the Border Collies that invented a unique sport. She would grab hold of the hairy part of the cow’s tail and plant her four feet while the cow took off. Harriett “water skied” behind the cow until she would emerge in a cloud of dust.

Fast forward to two years ago, the Mayor had to put his be­loved Trooper down, a 12-year-old Golden Retriever. “I want­ed to get another dog,” he says. “But Victoria convinced me that my schedule wouldn’t allow much time with a new dog.” So, Spencer took up the call, and now she and the Mayor are BFFs, (aka: best friends forever).

As a daily witness, Victoria says it truly is a special bond that the Mayor and Spencer share. “It is impossible to ignore the love and affection a cat innately bestows upon its caretaker,” she says. “Ann’s departure to college was in close proximity to the death of the Mayor’s beloved dog, Trooper. In Ann and Trooper’s absence, the Mayor made it his daily task to serve Spencer breakfast. In turn, she showered him with affection. The Mayor often ex­changed barking sounds with Trooper in playful communication. Much to all our surprise, through imitating him, the Mayor, ultimately, taught Spencer to meow. That daily course of commu­nication won this de­voted dog lover over to the world of feline af­fection. The Mayor fre­quently chuckles and says to me, ‘This is one terrific cat.’”

True (Pet) Love

posted May 15th, 2012 by
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by Camille Hulen

YOU HAVE PROBABLY SEEN him hitch-hiking beside the road —the tattered man with his dog. Or perhaps you have seen the picture circulating on the Internet of the homeless man sleep­ing with his dog, or begging with a menagerie of dogs, cats, and rodents. But have you experienced such love in real life, as they say, up close and personal?

I got a call recently on behalf of a couple heading to the Tulsa shelter for the homeless as they were in need of a place to stay. Before they would go there to seek shelter for themselves, they needed to find shelter for their two cats. Yes, these cats were that important to them. They would not simply move out and leave them, as so many irresponsible people do every day.

This is not the first such call I have received. A few years ago, another couple was living in their car until they could find a place for their cats. Another girl was desperate be­cause financial circumstances, incurred by student debt, had forced her to move in with relatives who would not accept her cat. The list goes on.

I have been hesitant to write about this, lest some think that I am seeking acclaim for helping these people. I am not alone in doing this; other people have contributed to their welfare, as well. However, the underlying story to be told is an important one: that of unconditional love.

On the other hand, I have gotten calls seeking a particular breed of cat. “I want a Persian because they are so pretty.” “I want a Siamese. I don’t know why. I just think they are cool.” “I want a kitten, not a cat, because they are more fun.”

I ask myself, “Does that person want a living, breath­ing companion or a trophy or a toy?” One need only look at the number of breed-specific rescue groups to see the answer. The trophy cat for which they paid hundreds of dollars suddenly becomes a burden. The child throws away his toy, and it ends up in the animal shel­ter.

From my experience, it seems that the forgotten in our society often treasure their pets the most. The animal accepts them for who they are. The cat does not care that they look different than other people, or that they are handicapped in some way. As the writer George Eliot said, “Animals are such agreeable friends —they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.”

The love is deep, and there is true communication across species. You may not believe it until you witness it. The cat comes running to greet them at the sound of their voices. They cry for sheer joy at the sight of their cat.

Did you ever stop and think that perhaps this is the reason the “crazy old cat lady” has 15 cats? She will sacrifice her own material goods in order to care for her cats. Why? They give her the love that humankind will not, so perhaps we should not be so quick to judge. The same is true for the older per­son who refuses to go to a care facility without his or her pet. That animal is the most important thing in that person’s life. And when he or she dies, why would a relative not cherish the pet in his or her memory, but, instead, put it to death? This I fail to understand.

I leave you, the reader, with this thought from Anatole France. “Until one has loved an animal, part of his soul remains unawakened.”

Publisher’s Letter

posted May 15th, 2012 by
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by Marilyn King

DEAR PET-LOVING READER:  It seems like I just wrote my March publisher’s letter—and here it is, May! Welcome to this new issue—come on in; there’s a lot to explore!

As some of you may know, we held our first online magazine cover auction from January 15 through March 15. The high bidder won his/her pets on the front cover of our May issue, with all proceeds to benefit our local Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF).

Congratulations to Mr. Adam Sewards, who was the high bidder at $1,700! We had a nice surprise when we did the photos, as Mr. Sewards had recently gotten a new puppy, and he offered to increase his bid if we could include the pup in the photo. So, here is Isaac, Jacob, and the puppy (as yet unnamed). Adam generously handed over a check for $2,000 to ARF, and Jaynie Ozment, ARF’s president, was with us to accept it. Stay tuned for the announcement of our second online cover auction!

Also, I’m very pleased to include the article on pet CPR in this issue—invaluable information for all pet owners. Thank you to the Tulsa Chapter of the American Red Cross for giving us the information and letting us photograph their recent pet first aid class. We hope this proves to be a valuable resource tool for you, our readers.

I also want to extend a public thank you to Mayor Bartlett and his wife Victoria for taking time out of their incredibly busy schedules to meet with us on a Saturday morn­ing, so we could, in turn, meet Tulsa’s First Cat, Spencer, and interview Mayor Bartlett. Their gracious hospitality is much appreciated, and I know you will enjoy this peek into the less formal side of the Mayor’s life.

In community news, I recently attended Tulsa Boxer Rescue’s Third Annual Bark Walk and was pleasantly surprised to see how it has grown in three short years. There seems to be more and more pet-oriented events, benefits and galas in the Tulsa area lately. It is heartwarming and encouraging to see our pets getting more and more rec­ognition as to how important they are in our lives.

Keep those Pets About Town pictures coming, please! Also, be sure to “like” us on Facebook and join our circles at Google+. And, as always, you can visit us at www.tulsapetsmagazine.com. Enjoy!

Laser Therapy Alternative

posted May 15th, 2012 by
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Safe, Effective Pain Management for your Pets

Lasers are becoming a popular alternative to the use of traditional pain relief medications in companion animals. Par-ticularly helpful in man-aging chronic arthritis, veterinarians are also us-ing laser therapy to pro-vide relief for ligament and muscle strains as well as in the treatment of skin wounds and lick granulomas. This tech-nology is also effective in speeding the healing process when used after surgical procedures.

According to Dr. Den-nis Henson of Hammond Animal Hospital, laser treatments offer a safe, more natural method of relieving pain and stimu-lating recovery in pets while avoiding the po-tential side effects of traditional medications. A laser directs a ray of infra-red light energy into the injured or inflamed area of a pet’s body. This energy then reduces inflammation and in-creases blood flow to the treatment area to encourage healing while also causing the re-lease of endorphins-the body’s natural pain killer. It can also provide an overall boost to the pet’s immune system.

Laser therapy is non-invasive, relaxing and won’t cause your pet any problems. The laser used in this type of applica-tion will not burn your pet’s skin or cause irrita-tion. A regular course of treatment, to be deter-mined by your veterinar-ian, can provide your pet long lasting, positive ef-fects.

To learn more about the applications of laser therapy in veterinary medicine and how your pet might benefit, contact Dr. Dennis Henson or Dr. Lauren Johnson at Hammond Animal Hospital.

Hammond Animal Hospital

Promising our best, so you can share their best.

Drs. Dennis Henson & Lauren Johnson

2301 E 71st St

Tulsa, OK  74136

918-494-0151

www.hammondanimalhospital.com

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