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Misty Pines Gazette

September 2014
Volume X: Issue 9

Dog Swimming

Upcoming Events for:











Labor Day


North Park

Starter Orientation


Puppy Orientation

CGC/TDI/Public Access/Service Dog Prep Class

Test Out



Our New Daycare Facility


Misty Pines is pleased to announce that our Doggie Daycare facility and program has reopened! We are very please to offer you and your dog our new and improved Daycare yards. Our goal at Misty Pines is to provide the highest quality of specialized care for your dog in our Daycare program. To ensure we are capable of such a high standard of care we will require reservations for Daycare and limit the number of dogs that participate on a day-to-day basis. While your dog is at Misty Pines for Daycare they will receive mandatory breaks throughout the day to make sure they are receiving a healthy amount of mental and physical rest. In addition, we will have programs for your dog to participate in during Daycare such as obedience training, nature trail walks, treadmill training, agility and much more. Hours for Daycare will remain the same and though our prices have changed we still offer our Daycare Card which entitles you to one free day of daycare for every 10 punches on your card.

Daycare is available Monday through Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Extended daycare hours available Tuesdays and Thursdays.
7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

1/2 daycare:
extended daycare:
daycare training:

 $24 (4 to 8 hours between 8 and 5)
 $20 (up to 4 hours between 8 and 5)
 $28 (7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.)
 (1/2 hour): $35 plus cost of daycare

Every dog is an individual and our goal is to find out what program benefits your dog and which program your dog enjoys the most while they attend Daycare. Please call our office if you have any questions or to schedule a daycare reservation for your dog.

Daycare Programs


$15 / 15 minutes

Our conditioning and exercise programs will help get your dog in shape and help him/her stay fit and active. Short sessions throughout the day help with the initial training and give the dog a well deserved break after each 5 minute period.


$15 / 15 minutes

Jumps, Scrambles, and Dog Walks! Your dog will have a blast running and playing on all of our Agility obstacles. If your dog doesn't know how to do an obstacle, we'll teach them.


$10 / 15 minutes

For the ball chasers and retrievers. A Misty Pines staff member will throw a ball or special toy for your dog to run, fetch and play with.


$10 / 15 minutes

A staff member will spend one on one time with your dog. A great option for first time boarders, shy dogs, geriatric dogs and any dog that loves people.


$10 / 15 minutes

A Misty Pines Pet Care Technician will spend special one on one time with your dog taking them for a leisurely walk around our park and hiking trails.


Kong – Your dog will enjoy a stuffed Kong.

$5 / 15 minutes.

Ice Cream – A cold Sweet Spot for hot days!



$35 / 30 minutes or $20 / 15 minutes

The Misty Pines professional trainers will work with your dog on any commands you would like. Some of the most popular requests we address are jumping up, pulling on leash, sit and down, stay and come. Your choices are unlimited. Whatever your need, we can help.


$35 / 30 minutes

Half an hour swimming in our Dog Pond with one of our staff members. They can have a session of water retrieving, diving off the dock after retrieving bumpers.



Certain dogs need help acclimating to Daycare. Over a 1 hour period your dog will be given 4 cycles of being taken to the Daycare Yard for 10 minutes then brought in for a 5 minute rest. These constructive encounters, followed by a brief time of relaxation, will help ease your dog into the Daycare atmosphere and help build positive associations with a group of dogs.

Misty Pines Donates PTSD dog to Vet Taxi

Veterans Taxi was created with the a goal of providing all military personnel and their families assistance as they transition back into civilian life. Veterans Taxis are wheelchair accessible, American made MV1 vehicles powered by American CNG fuel, and driven by veterans, who are “Proud to serve you- again!”

Veterans Taxi fills a pressing need not just of providing transportation alternatives to the men & women who made countless sacrifices in service to our nation, but also to our returning veterans by offering a better chance at making a good, honest living for themselves.

We're sure that over the past year you have all see Jeff walking around with a large, very handsome German Shepherd named Ajax. Ajax came to us through a series of fortunate events and while he has lived with us this past year he has gone through regular training with all of our trainers. Being a German Shepherd, Ajax has a great need to bond with individuals so when a representative of Vet Taxi called looking for a dog to be featured in their ads it seemed like a perfect fit. What other breed comes to mind so readily when thinking of a military dog mascot? Well, perhaps a bulldog, but...moving on.

Jeff met with the owner of Vet Taxi, who is himself a Vietnam vet, and introduced him to Ajax. Bob and Ajax created an instantaneous bond and it was suggested that perhaps Ajax could be a PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) dog for the son of Vet Taxi's owner. Due to the fact that Ajax already had a high level of training it took very little to have him pass his Therapy Dog International and Public Access tests and have him ready to become a service dog for a great young vet adjusting to life off of the battlefield.

It was the decision of Jeff Woods, President of Misty Pines, to donate Ajax to Vet Taxi, as a mascot, and to the owners' son as an assistance dog. While working with Vet Taxi Ajax also helps to comfort other vets using the service by helping them focus on him rather than on their surroundings. PTSD is more common than most people think and dogs have played major roles in helping those afflicted with this disorder function in day-to-day life. The un-judging, uncompromising, unwavering love and companionship offered by dogs give those that suffer with PTSD an emotional crutch to lean on during difficult times.

We're proud to send Ajax to work with these great people and wish Vet Taxi and Ajax nothing but the best.

Dock Diving Fun Trial

For the past few years Misty Pines has hosted Dock Diving competitions during the summer. These competitions are all about fun and spending time with our dogs doing something they enjoy. This year we had two such events and the second was held on Sunday, August 24th.

Everyone had a great time and the jumps were fantastic. We had some exciting Extreme Vertical demonstrations with dogs jumping over 7 feet in the air! We can't wait till next year!

Below are the winners of each category. Check our Facebook page for pictures.

Till then...keep jumping!

Theresa with Barley 24' 10"
(22' 03")
Cathy with Hank 24' 10"
(21' 05")
Roxane with Switch 20' 10"
Lynn with Jackson 20' 06"
Cheryl with Sophie 19' 10"
Veronica with Annalei 19' 0"
Jeanine with Joyzee 12' 02"
Jim with Moka 11' 02"
Rachel with Sebastian 10' 0"
(9' 0")
Brandon with Izzy 10' 0"
(8' 06")

Burt's Bees

It was the summer of ’84 and Maine artist Roxanne Quimby was thumbing a ride home ( back when you could still do that sort of thing). Eventually a bright yellow Datsun pickup truck pulled over and Roxanne instantly recognized Burt Schavitz, a local fella whose beard was almost as well-known as his roadside honey stand. Burt and Roxanne hit it off, and before long, Roxanne was making candles with unused wax from Burt’s beehives. They made $200 at their first craft fair; within a year, they’d make $20,000. Pretty auspicious beginning – but just the beginning all the same.

From those first candles to the iconic beeswax lip balm we all know today, Burt’s Bees has stayed true to a very simple idea: what you put on your body should be made from the best nature has to offer.

Burt’s philosophies have now transferred over to the family dog! As family structures have changed over the years and our dogs have become parts of our homes as members of our families we have naturally included their needs in with that of the rest of the family’s. For their skin and coat, we only want the “best nature has to offer,” so Burt’s Bees has crafted a number of Pet Grooming and Health products, some of which can now be found at Misty Pines.

Groom your dog with gentle, natural ingredients that leave you, your pet, and the environment happy. Bring nature’s solutions to your pets with products featuring ingredients like Honey, Chamomile, and Lavender.

    Now at Misty Pines:
  • Waterless Shampoo with Apple and Honey
  • Tear Stain Remover with Chamomile
  • Calming Spray with Lavender and Green Tea
  • Soothing Hot Spot Spray with Apple Cider Vinegar and Aloe Vera
  • Soothing Skin Cream with Honey and Eucalyptus

All Burt's Bees products sold at Misty Pines can be found on our online store!


North Park Class

Tuesday, September 9th @ 6:30 - 7:30 PM


Saturday, September 13th & 27th @ 8:00 AM

CGC/TDI/Service Dog/Public Access Prep Class

Saturday, September 20th @ 8:00 AM

Test Out

Wednesday, September 24th @ 6:30 PM

Customer Appreciation Day

Saturday, September 27th - All Day Event


Yoga With Your Dog

Wednesday, October 1st @ 7:00 - 8:00 PM

CGC/TDI/Service Dog/Public Access Prep Class

Saturday, October 4th & 18th @ 8:00 AM


Saturday, October 11th & 25th @ 8:00 AM

Back to Schedule!

It’s that time again: time to go back to school. Parents everywhere are rejoicing while kids everywhere are groaning. But really: why the difference in emotions? Why do parents long for this time of year? Are parents really that anxious to get rid of their offspring for a few hours a day? Let’s delve into this topic for a moment.

All joking aside the real reason is because we are now back on a schedule and though a lot of us adults don’t want to admit it, we love our schedules and routines. Wake up at 5:30. Take a shower. Get dressed. Make coffee. Wake the kids. Eat breakfast. Feed the dogs. Pack lunches. Adios! See you at 3:00. Work. Home at 5:30. Eat dinner. Homework and entertainment. Kids in bed at 9:00. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. What’s not to love about that? You can plan your life!

When you first have kids, there are only pseudo schedules. Bedtime is flexible because there is really no reason to need to be up early. Lunch time varies on your morning activities and dinner can happen whenever because…why not? School forces a child’s schedule to be upheld much the same way that work does for adults.

Why are we talking about adults and kids when this is about dogs?

Now that the rest of the family is on a schedule our pets should be on one too. Dogs are pack animals that thrive on routines, schedules and work. If they lack structure they are more likely to act out and have bad manners. Our schedules are pretty cut and dry and are largely put in place for us without the need to do much thinking about it. Our places of employment determine our hours of work during a day and our commute determines when we get home at night and when we need to leave in the morning. The school’s hours dictate when our children must arrive at school and when they leave and their bus schedule says when to be ready to leave and when they’ll arrive at home. Perhaps it would help to give our dog’s lives some of the same structure by providing a daily schedule for them. While they do not have the demands on their time that we do they still crave structure but lack the means or ability to give it to themselves, so it is up to us to lend them a hand, or paw.

Begin by making their meals a part of your morning routine: pour your bowl of Cap N’ Crunch…I mean…Total, and then give them their meals for the morning. Before leaving for the day give them a raw bone in their crate or if they have free run of the house, perhaps a stuffed Kong, Bob-A-Lot or some other Prolonged Release Interactive Food Dispensing Device. If you think to yourself that you would like to get your dogs to daycare try to make it a habit of coming on the same day. Many of our clients have specific days that they come for daycare and have made that part of their dog’s lifestyle and routine. Believe it or not after a while they’ll start to know which day it is and wait by their door to come to play with their friends.

Daycare is a great option for providing structure, exercise and social interaction for our dogs. While visiting daycare at Misty Pines dogs are able to participate in a variety of activities that include obedience training, agility work, nature walks, afternoon snacks and more. While the benefits of daycare can largely speak for themselves there cannot be enough said about the importance of giving your dog extra activities to break up their day and help keep them mentally sharp. Even a 15 minute training session can go a long way towards shoring up their manners and giving them some much needed mental stimulation to break up their playtime. After all, it’s not all about playtime.

Much like our children we love to see our dogs playing and having a good time but there comes a time when they need to take a break from the play and refocus. At Misty Pines we give each dog a break from playtime while they are here for daycare but that break is really not a substitute for a good, well suited activity. If your dog loves to fetch and play ball, then a session of play ball time would be the best option for your dog. Or maybe your dog enjoys running on a treadmill or agility or sniffing through the woods; no matter what your dog enjoys we have a program that they’ll love.

Beyond just daycare, think of incorporating your dog’s needs into your families evening routine as well. Get the family together for a few minutes of fun obedience work, such as fetching objects and returning them or a game of hide and seek to work on recall. Evening walks can be used for more than just letting Scruffy check his "pee-mail," you can incorporate behaviors that you have learned in your obedience classes such as; easy, heel, this way, pull or even sniff. Challenge your dog's minds by making them heel through portions of the walk and make random stops to make them sit. Frequent direction changes with a "this way" cue will keep them alert and keep their minds sharp. If you would like to give them a work-out, have them "pull" you up a long or steep hill. There are ways to include training into everything you do with your dog, just be creative.

Most of our evenings end with personal grooming before bed: brushing hair, brushing teeth, showers, cutting nails and so on. Don’t forget that your dog needs groomed as well. Take 10 minutes to brush out your dog’s coat each evening as a calming down time before bed. Use this time to examine ears, nails, feet and all your dog’s parts to make sure they’re healthy and staying clean. Dogs often need help keeping up with their ears, so this is a great time to clean their ears as well. A simple cotton ball with some wintergreen alcohol will remove the waxy build-up and leave their ears smelling nice and fresh. If you’re comfortable and have had some practice you could even cut their nails. If you’re not up to that particular task feel free to bring your pup to Misty Pines and we’ll get those nails trimmed in no time. As a matter of fact, Misty Pines can handle all your grooming needs but even our professional groomers can’t make up for the daily brushing and care of your dog’s skin and coat.

    Let’s recap how to include your dogs into our daily lives and give them a schedule to provide a stable routine:
  1. Include your dog’s feeding into your morning routine.
  2. Provide mentally and physically stimulating activities such as Interactive toys or bringing the dog to daycare.
  3. Feed the dog during or around your dinner time.
  4. Incorporate your dogs into your evening family time with fun obedience games.
  5. Include training into your walks to provide mental stimulation and keep your leash handling skills sharp.
  6. Provide for your dog’s grooming needs with evening brush outs and examinations.

If you have any questions regarding how to help your dog have a schedule or how to incorporate your dog into your lifestyle please e-mail or call Misty Pines and our professional staff will be happy to give you suggestions. While speaking with our staff you may also schedule daycare or grooming visits.

11 Reasons a dog treadmill can be good for dogs

by Krista Wickens

Let’s face it running outside gives us and our dogs an element of freedom and stimulation that exercising inside just doesn’t accomplish. The smells, the sights, the fresh air have documented benefits to our body and mind. However, there are times and situations when it just isn’t possible to get outside. Then what?

First, let’s dispel the myth that dogs have the same phobia to treadmills that many people inherit. Like their humans, some dogs will enjoy it more than others. Largely enjoyment (or lack thereof) depends on the training and the experiences that are provided around the treadmill. For instance, if you are pushing your dog to get in his/her 20 minutes a day with your stop watch and whistle in hand, it probably won’t be fun.

On the other hand, if it as a new fun trick that gets rewarded with excitement (and an occasional healthy treat), the outcome is much different. Exercise works when it is fun – anything else is just work – and it starts with you.

Truthfully, and quite often, what we are doing outside with our dogs just isn’t enough to keep them healthy and fit. The evening stroll or sniff is great for the senses, not so much for the body. That is when a dog treadmill and other indoor exercise equipment can be a dog’s other best friend. Not a replacement for outside adventures, merely a supplement to fill in the voids.


Rain or snow can dampen any good running intention. Not necessarily your dog’s intention, but yours. Running inside on a dog treadmill means that you don’t have to have to cancel a workout because of bad weather. It also includes weather that is too hot. Since dogs don’t cool efficiently the tendency to overheat is much more common than for humans. A dog treadmill means that you can provide a temperature-controlled environment which translates to more regularity and fewer excuses.


Some treadmills designed specifically for dogs are equipped with shock absorption platforms that result in less stress on the joints, as compared with running on asphalt or concrete. This is especially helpful for dogs approaching their golden years. If sized correctly, a dog treadmill will also provide an adequate running platform that enables your dog to stride out in comfort vs. a human treadmill which may be too short. Choppy strides developed from avoiding the rear roller are not an enhancement to your dog’s bio-mechanics; make the investment in a running platform that fits your dog’s body.


Running outside means that your dog is tempted to stop and sniff often. While this is also important to your dog’s overall well-being, it doesn’t help to keep the heart rate elevated to promote overall conditioning and health. Dog’s that exercise with intensity burn more calories and produce more feel-good endorphins which packs a double fitness punch for weight management and behavior.


One of the best conditioning exercises you can provide for your dog is the Extended Trot Gait for approximately 20 minutes. This weight-bearing exercise works both sides of the body evenly. It is very difficult to maintain this gait consistently outside because of terrain and distractions. Plus it helps you keep track of mileage and time.


By changing speed and incline you can mimic outdoor conditions to keep the mind stimulated and the body adjusting to new parameters to improve strength and conditioning levels. Many cities enforce tight control on leash laws, which limits the areas your dog can run effectively. If you don’t have space to stride out, a dog treadmill can be a great alternative to stretch the muscles and work on endurance.


Dog movement involves every organ system in the body; up to 99% of the skeletal muscles and their bony structures. Just how well the organ and muscle systems are working together (or lack thereof) is often seen in your dog’s gait. A dog treadmill platform will give you an unobstructed view to watch your dog’s gait for any abnormalities.


Most dogs run by instinctive reaction. As they age and eyesight and hearing decrease, it is more important to use a running surface or track that is designed to limit impact. It also means that you don’t have to deal with potential running hazards like cars and busy street traffic.


According the APPA National Pet Owners Survey 50% of dogs are left home alone during work hours. For most, this means their dog can be left alone for 6-10 hours at a time. This puts workout time in the wee morning hours or late at night…or maybe not at all. Running on a treadmill offers convenience and often a safer alternative for many dog owners. Plus it gives you the flexibility to work out before you leave in the morning and upon your return.


From a behavioral perspective, the same antidepressant-like effects associated with “runner’s high” found in humans is associated with a drop in stress hormones. But this is only achieved with a workout or run that is performed with intensity. For dogs that tend to be leash aggressive using a dog treadmill to work on leash behavior manners is ideal to prevent unplanned or embarrassing conflicts on the trail.


According to Pet Obesity Prevention Association nearly 52.5% of dogs are overweight. Exercise is proven to increase the metabolism which translates to more calories burned. For dogs that are obese, a dog treadmill that is flat will help get your dog moving slowly without distractions and undue stress on the joints. The monitored environment also helps you to stop the workout if your dog is too fatigued.


One of the least discussed attributes of fitness on canines is its indisputable impact on the pet-human bond. As pack animals dogs need the social connection with their leader. The type of activities you do and the manner in which they are performed helps increase the bond. Leaving exercise to someone else only enhances their bond with your dog, not yours. Seek activities that you can do together regularly and routinely. Exercising beside your dog on the treadmill is easy to do. Pick up some weights, do some lunges and praise your dog and you both for a job well done.

Misty Pines as been promoting better health in dogs through the use of treadmills for years and the dogs that use it, love it. We've been fortunate to have been able to help numerous dogs get to healthy weights, increase muscle tone and live happier, healthier lives. Treadmill time is a popular activity while boarding, but don't forget that this can be added on while your dog is at Daycare as well. A few hours of socialization mixed with a 15 minute Treadmill session will give your dog the mental and physical stimulation it needs. At Misty Pines we have a K9 treadmill in addition to human treadmills so we can accommodate any size dog and make sure they can reach their full stride. We also have Tread-wheels for those that need a bit more of a challenge.

If you'd like to schedule a lesson on the treadmill or just some extra exercise for your dog while visiting Misty Pines, please call our office at 412.364.4122 and our staff will be happy to help you.

Therapy Dog Visits

Once your dog has passed their Therapy Dog International certification, it's time for the fun to begin. These places are always looking for registered therapy dogs to brighten the day of the patients and residents:

West Haven Manor
Contact: Karen Zimmerman, Coordinator of Volunteer Services 724-727-3451

North Hills Health and Rehabilitation Center
Contact: Teri A. Slimick 724-935-3781

McGuire Memorial
Contact: Susan Matlock 724-843-3400

Excela Health Home Care and Hospice (Westmoreland County)
Contact: Joan Roth, Volunteer Coordinator

Family Hospice Palliative Care
Contact: Pam Tomczak 412-572-8803

Western Pa. Humane Society coordinates visits to multiple locations in the community with volunteers who have Certified Therapy Dogs.
Contact: Joy Kealey

Odyssey Health Care
Cliff Mine Rd., Pittsburgh
Contact: Barbara Coulter 1-800-861-8584

Condordia of Franklin Park
Contact: Carol Kosela 724-935-1075 ext. 103

VA Hospitals in Pittsburgh
Activities Director: 412-688-6000 ext. 3682

Country Meadows (South Hills)
Activities Director: 412-257-4566

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
Volunteer Coordinator: 412-690-6508

Animal Friends also coordinates a Pet Assisted Therapy program that visits multiple locations. To join their therapy group contact:

Ann Cadman: (412) 847-7031

Allegheny General Hospital
Jennifer Kopar: 412-359-3067

Tail Waggin Tutors at Baden Library
Laura Bain: 724-869-3960

Heartland Hospice
Barb Kralik, Volunteer Coordinator: 412-919-5617

Caring Hospice Services
Brittany Bailey, Volunteer Coordinator: 412-563-3300

Concordia of Wexford
Michelle Moon: 724-935-1266

Passavant Memorial Homes and Subsidiaries
Colleen Perry, Social Services Coordinator: 412-820-1015 ext. 521

Therapy Dog Services & Teams

If you would like to have Therapy Dogs visit your facility, please contact one of the following Therapy Dog Teams or contact Misty Pines to have your facility listed in the above section so that our teams may contact you. The Teams listed below are a small portion of those interested in visiting those in need of therapeutic visits from their furry friends:

Pets With Heart, Pet Therapy
Sister Sharon Costello: 724-869-6545

"The golden gift is this: Intimately connected with his own emotions, the dog cannot lie. What he feels, he expresses. What he shows in his body posture is true, without guile, completely and utterly honest. Distanced from our own feelings, bound by our fears, we treasure and are amazed by this quality of complete truth in our dogs."

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