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The Columbia Star
Columbia, South Carolina
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August 21, 2003     The Columbia Star
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August 21, 2003
 

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L 12 * AUGUST 21 . 2003 THE C 0 LU rv"l E]I/ Homeless man ris danger to save kitte On July 14, Kim Hamilton was out for a simple errand to pick up her son's car from a repair shop when she heard the frantic cries of a kitten. Hamilton, a long-time ani- mal lover, immediately began searching for the source of the cries. A home- less man nearby also heard the kitten and joined Hamilton in the search. They finally found the kitten trapped in a pipe buried vertically about four feet under ground with an opening only four inches in diameter. The situation was urgent because the pipe was filled with several inches of water. "She was drowning. I wanted to call the fire department because I thought there was no way either of us could reach her, but the man insisted on trying," said Hamilton. The unknown man exhibited the feats of a con- tortionist in attempts to reach the kitten. "I think he must have dislocated his shoulder. I have never seen anything like it," she said. When the man finally reached the struggling kit- ten, it was so frightened it bit and scratched him. "She tore him to shreds. There was blood everywhere, but he never let go," said Hamilton. The man told Hamilton he wished he ould help the kitten, but he could not take it to the shelter where he was stay- ing. "I felt so bad because I had no bandages or money," said Hamilton. He was more concerned with the kitten's injuries than his own. The little kitten, later named Molly after the Unsinkable Molly Brown, was severely undernour- ished and dehydrated. She also suffered a hernia from a stomach injury inflicted by a bolt on the pipe. Molly was also bow-legged from a bad case of rickets, and she weighed only 13 ounces. Hamilton's veterinari- an, Carolyn Weber, joined in the fight by offering her services at a discount. After weeks of medical attention and the loving care of her owners, Molly now weighs a little over two pounds, and her legs are nearly straight. "She was a real fighter, absolutely too good to be true," says Molly's grand- mother Pat Hamilton, Kim's mother. The Hamiltons have made many attempts at finding the unknown home- less man who saved Molly. "It is amazing that this man who has so little in the world would go to such great lengths to save a kit- ten and end up injured in the process," said Kim Hamilton. She has posted flyers around town at the Oliver Gospel Mission and the Salvation Army, but has gotten no response. He was a man from 35-45 years old, average build, and dark hair. "This man was truly a hero, I just wish we could find him." Jeff Munshaur Pampering can reinforce timid behavior I just spent a good deal of time helping a won- derful couple get a handle on their dogs. I've known them for some time but had no idea they "rescued" miniature poodles from var- ious problem situations. They just got another one and wanted some advice. Their cause is noble and their intentions are grand and I applaud what they are doing. I also gave them some rather direct advice. A couple of the dogs have behavior problems. One is a fear barker and timid. Another is very timid. The new one has no visible problems yet. The first thing I noticed was each time the barker barked and tried to hide, the owner told her she was OK and held her and petted her. Her inten- tion was to reassure the dog. The reality was she was praising the dog for barking and being timid. The very timid dog was picked up and held every time it tried to hide. Obviously, these dogs had the owner trained. The love and care the owners pro- vide these dogs is com- mendable. The misdirected kindness, however, only serves to exacerbate their behavior problems. The new dog was described as abused or neg- lected. It had been a breed- er and kept in a kennel most of its life. The ironic thing is the dog was per- fectly content in his crate. He knew no better because he had no other experience. It was human kindness and emotion that projected the behavior problems onto the dog. He exhibited no prob- lems but because he hadn't been pampered, the owners assumed he must have behavior problems. Quite the contrary, he just has no experience. In effect, he is basically a puppy. Kindness and love for a dog blur our objectivity. Transferring human emo- tions and thoughts onto our dogs skews our ability to diagnose problems. To be successful with "problem dogs" you have to think like a dog and correct accord- ingly. The wonderful thing about dogs is they cannot lie. There are no =hidden agendas" Their behavior is there for all to see. There may be underlying prob- lems that cause those behaviors but don't assume a dog is "unhappy" because of its background. Dogs act and react according to their environ- ment. Reason and logic, to our way of thinking, don't play into a dog's life. Therefore, we must use dog logic to overcome timidity and its related behaviors. We often find ourselves in the unenviable position of re-weaning the dog. And that's the solu- tion. You have to build con- fidence in the dog. More importantly, he has to build his own confidence. The only way to do this is let them experience everything and figure out their own problems. Let them face their fears and ignore their whines or retreats. If you let them rely on you when- ever something frightens them, you are indirectly endangering them. Murphy will raise his ugly head when you're not around, and the dog will bolt. Then the search is on. Unfortunately, timid dogs must be made to fend for themselves to some extent. One of the hardest things to do is turn your back on a dog that's scared, but it's often the best answer. If you can't do it, let a pro. Just don't jeopard- ize your timid dog by being overly protective. Build an environment where they can socialize, mature, and gain confidence. As their confidence grows, their tem- perament will stabilize, and youll have a much happier and healthier dog. Contact Jeff Munshaur with your ques- tions or comments at his website: www.jeffsdog- works.com. ao H00ey look I I II III II III I Flea & Tick Season is here! * We carry Frontline Topspot Advantage Shampoos/Dips/Sprays Yard and house treatments EASTERN STATES SERUM CO. Complete Line of Dog & Cat Supplies California Natural Innova BII-Jac Science Diet Monday - Friday 10 - 5:15 1727 Harden St. 254-4445 I II Pets are taken when owners are in, We all know that in a car accident there are peo- ple to take care of us, but what about our beloved animal? Emergency care of pets when their owners are injured can be handled in several ways. One of the most important precau- tions a pet owner can take is to put an identification tag on your pet. It should include personal informa- tion, such as street address and phone number as well as the name and phone number of your veterinari- an. This information is very valuable to a rescue officer and animal services when they are determining how to treat your pet. At the scene of an accident, animal services is called on to assess the situ- ation. If enough informa- tion is available, animal lost or services can contact the vet a or nearest relative to take care of the pet. This infor- mation is also helpful is because the vet will have of rice e the medical history of the pet if it is injured in the blades accident. If the people are from ties out of state or the animal can does not have a tag, animal services will take the ani- mal to the shelter and hold it until the owner can claim it. They will also more work with their veterinari- an or emergency clinic to your treat the animal if it is injured. Superintendent of Columbia Animal Services, Marli Drum, suggests try- pet'e ing a new form of pet iden- tification that can be very effective if the animal has Rabies has inc The number of con- firmed rabies cases this year has exceeded the 2002 total prompting health offi- cials to remind South Carolinians to avoid strange animals and vacci- nate their pets. There have been 168 confirmed rabid animals statewide this year. In 2002, there were 162 con- firmed cases of rabies. Rabies is fatal to humans and animals. Anyoqe exposed to the sali- va of such an animal must undergo immediate treat- ment to prevent the virus from reaching the brain. Vaccinate your pets. If bitten or scratched by a wild animal or even a domestic pet, immediately make Andrews Auto Service Inc. Is your vehic/e needing summer maintenance? 2015 Harden Street at Calhoun Street 256-1516 IO-WEEK CLASSES BEGIN CALL 803-319-9213 TO f SPONSORED I ?i your