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Misty Pines Gazette

January 2015
Volume XI: Issue 1

Happy New Year

Upcoming Events for:












How to Create a Well-Mannered Dog


All Levels Obedience

Starter Orientation

CGC/TDI/Public Access/Service Dog Prep Class

All Levels Obedience

Puppy Orientation


All Levels Obedience

Nuisance Behaviors


Goodbye 2014!

The Old Man is leaving and a New Baby is being born. The New Year's Baby is great symbolism for Misty Pines as we did have a few new additions this year, particularly our new Daycare yards! But we'll get to that in a minute...

The first addition of 2014 was a Scent Work class in February that taught dogs to use their nose to identify target odors. Olfaction, the act or process of smelling, is a dog’s primary special sense. Dogs have more than 220 million olfactory receptors in their nose, while humans have only 5 million! With such a powerful tool at their disposal every dog can participate in Scent Working. The class was limited and working spots sold out quickly. We hosted 3 levels of classes, each becoming more in-depth than the last. Everyone who began Level 1 went on to complete all three levels! We will have more of these classes, but space will be limited, so keep your eye on the calendar and get your spot fast.

In April, Ian Dunbar brought his New Concepts for the Treatment of Dog Aggression seminar to Misty Pines and was well received by a good sized audience. The 80+ who were in attendance all appreciated the valuable information and really enjoyed Ian's showmanship. His ability to teach while keeping the atmosphere light lent to keeping everyone's full attention for the entire seminar.

The Misty Pines Kids Camp is always one of the highlights of the year, especially for Jeff who really enjoys spending time with the kids. Each year we have a list of kids that are unable to attend Camp due to scheduling reasons, so this year we added a second week to give everyone an opportunity to experience Kids Camp. Both weeks were full of kids and their dogs playing, learning and having fun together. With such a positive reception we have scheduled two weeks of Kids Camp again this year! Looking forward to having a great time with all the kids and dogs in 2015.

Maniac Magazine is a local fashion magazine and has a yearly issue with a focus on dogs. Maniac has launch parties for each of their issues so when we were approached with the idea of having one of their launch parties here and benefiting Animal Friends, well, how could we say no? The party was held on Friday, July 25th and featured drinks, catered chicken and pasta from Alla Famiglia, a large amount of raffle items and a host of Vendors. All of the vendors who came out were excellent and mingled with the guests. There were two Mini Coopers provided by MINI of Pittsburgh that all the pups were welcome to take pictures in. We had a great turn out for the event and Maniac was able to raise a very large sum of money for Animal Friends. Thank you to all of those who donated, helped and supported this event and Animal Friends.

And finally, the wait was over...On September 1st we opened our new Daycare area! Our new and improved yards are roofed over and complete with K9 Turf and brand new obstacles. We have 5 yards at our disposal to separate dogs into optimal play groups for all the dogs visiting us on a given day. Pictures hardly do justice, so if you have not brought your dog for daycare since the yards opened, please come by soon. We're very proud and would love to share our new space with you and your dogs.

Thank you all for wonderful year! We're hoping you'll join us, and maybe bring a friend along, in 2015 and create another year full of fond, furry memories. Please visit our Facebook page to see pictures from all of our events from this year.

11th Annual Café DownStay

For the past 11 years, Misty Pines has partnered with Pat and Bridget Joyce to host the DownStay Café benefit luncheon. For one afternoon in December, The Joyce’s open up their restaurant, The Southside BBQ Company (previously the 17th Street Café) to allow Misty Pines clients to bring their dogs and enjoy great food and even better company.

This year, the beneficiary was the It’s About the Warrior (IATW) Foundation, whose mission is to assist and empower tri-state (Western PA, Eastern OH, & Northern WV) area post 9/11 veterans and their families with financial, educational, recreational, or therapeutic needs, thus leading to a successful and enriched life. IATW promotes veteran’s well-being by providing a state of the art wellness facility that emphasizes trust, respect, caring, and a compassionate environment. They also assist families and provide accessible, quality mental and physical care.

Returning home can be a hard transition for veterans, their family, and their friends. The reality of a returning combat veteran is that the life they had before being deployed is now not normal and it can be hard to adjust. IATW’s mission is to create, promote, and maintain a positive and supportive environment for our veterans. The Foundation also seeks to reintegrate military members with society and help heal the wounds of the soul that war creates. Through social interactions with others in the same situation, the veteran can begin to trust and eventually heal.

On December 13, 2014, through the DownStay Café and the generosity of our clients, Misty Pines was able to donate $2,852 to the It’s About the Warrior Foundation! Rich Johns, secretary of the IATW Foundation, attended the event and expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the donation. Rich said a few words to those in attendance, described the organization, and shared their mission and goals. He stated that 100% of the proceeds will go directly to helping local post 9/11 veterans reintegrate into civilian life.

Also in attendance was James Fair and his family. James is a wounded veteran who lost his eyes and arms in combat. He has been the recipient of previous DownStay Cafés and other benefits at Misty Pines. Through the years, we have helped James acquire a service dog named Oakley and have a fund to provide all of Oakley’s necessary care.

Misty Pines would like to thank all of those who attended and donated to this great event and the many causes that we have assisted throughout the years. Your continued generosity and compassion are inspiring. Our next DownStay Café is scheduled for Saturday, December 12, 2015. We are already looking forward to hosting our clients and their dogs for lunch to help another great cause.

For pictures of the event, please visit our Facebook page.

How to Create a Well-Mannered Dog

One of the most common issues for owners and dogs, especially for younger dogs and puppies, is jumping up on people when greeting. This problem and lack of manners can occur on the street or even in the home. In our new "How To Create A Well-Mannered Dog" training class we will be addressing meets & greets, pulling on leash, lunging on leash, counter surfing, jumping up and more. While this may sound like our Nuisance Behaviors class we will be focusing more on having polite and civil dogs versus addressing negative behaviors such as barking and chewing. When registering for this class, please include a note regarding your specific problem areas.

This class is ideal for young dogs or dogs with little or no training.

Class will be held Saturday, January 3rd, 2015 @ 8:00am.

Intact Males in Daycare

Misty Pines is dedicated to the health and safety of your dog while visiting our facility. Male dogs that are sexually intact often become pushy or confrontational as they mature, especially toward other male dogs. Behavioral changes associated with testosterone in adolescence most commonly begin after six months of age.

Many daycare facilities do not accept unneutered male dogs for group play. Managing the social dynamic created by unneutered males in a large group requires specific skills and carries additional challenges and liability for staff and other dogs. Not all dogs are good candidates for group play.

Beginning January 1st Misty Pines will accept unneutered males that have been assessed by our trainers for daycare. There are additional fees for unneutered males attending daycare or that are receiving play times during lodging. This fee applies to male dogs over the age of 8 months that are not neutered.

1/2 Day Daycare:
Extended Daycare:


 $48 (4 to 8 hours between 8 and 5)
 $40 (up to 4 hours between 8 and 5)
 $56 (7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.)

While Boarding

½ Day of Daycare:

$14 (1 hour of socialization with other dogs)
$40 (4 hours of socialization with other dogs)

Product Spotlight

Starter PackMushers Secret

A few of the essentials you'll need to have a great start with a new dog. This package has a "Prolonged Release Interactive Food Dispensing Device" ... the Bob-a-lot, a Trek And Train Bait Bag for use when training, Grannick's Bitter Apple to stop nuisance chewing on particular items and a DuraChew Nylabone to redirect your dog to something appropriate to chew.

Take 15% Off when you purchase the Starter Pack!
  • It can be filled with treats or food in a top or bottom chamber, and then must be manipulated by the dog's nose or feet to extract the goodies inside. Both the top and bottom chambers feature adjustable openings to regulate the difficulty in which the dog removes the treats. It holds up to three cups of food in a variety of sizes, and is a great way to feed and exercise your dog.
    Trek & Train Bait Bag:
  • The "Trek & Train" is a must-have training item! The new magnetic closure makes it quick and easy to open and close. Roomy with a slim profile, the Trek & Train Bait Bag includes a zipper down one side that creates a pocket out of the entire back panel-great for money, credit cards, keys, or pickup bags.
    Grannick's Bitter Apple:
  • Bitter Apple comes in a spray bottle and is a taste deterrent for dogs. Most dogs don't care for the unpleasant taste which aids in keeping them from what it is sprayed onto. It can help puppy-owners during the months of teething by spraying it on whatever the puppy is chewing on. It also can help with keeping an injured dog from chewing off his bandages and good for use around Hot Spots as well. It should not irritate the skin, and should not damage wood furniture.
    Nylabone DuraChew:
  • Designed so dogs can have the benefit of a chew that is both soft for carrying, yet durable for chewing. Small bristle-like projections help keep teeth clean and massage gums during chewing. A soft rubber, minty fresh center keeps breath fresh, and durable ends satisfy even the most determined chewers.

All of these items can be purchased in the Misty Pines retail store and do not need to be purchased together, although the discount only applies when purchased as a package.


How To Create A Well-Mannered Dog

Saturday, January 3rd @ 8:00 AM


Saturday, January 10th & 24th @ 8:00 AM

Puppy Test Out

Saturday, January 10th @ 4:45 PM

All Levels

Every Sunday beginning January 11th through March 29th @ 11:30 AM

CGC/TDI/Service Dog/Public Access Prep Class

Saturday, January 17th @ 8:00 AM

Starter Test Out

Saturday, January 24th @ 4:45 PM

Nuisance Behaviors

Saturday, January 31st @ 8:00 AM


All Levels

Every Sunday beginning January 11th through March 29th @ 11:30 AM

Treadmill & Treadwheel Class

Saturday, February 7th @ 8:00 AM

Small Breed Conformation Class

Sundays beginning February 8th @ 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM. The last class will be Sunday, March 29th.

Large Breed Conformation Class

Sundays beginning February 8th @ 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM. The last class will be Sunday, March 29th.


Friday, February 13th - Tests begin at 5:30 PM


Saturday, February 14th & 28th @ 8:00 AM

Puppy Test Out

Saturday, February 14th @ 4:45 PM

CGC/TDI/Service Dog/Public Access Prep Class

Saturday, February 21st @ 8:00 AM

Starter Test Out

Saturday, February 28th @ 4:45 PM

2015 Resolutions for Dogs and Their Owners

By Misty Pines Dog Park Co.

It’s that time again: to reflect on the previous year and determine if we need to make any adjustments for the coming year. Let’s begin with some ideas for resolutions for you and your dog.

  • Be More Well-Mannered

    Dog manners and human manners are very similar. We wouldn’t appreciate it if a human ran up, jumped, and kissed us all over to say hello. The same can be said for dogs. It’s about personal space and being considerate of others. We recently held a class called “How To Create A Well-Mannered Dog” and based on its popularity, we can see that this is a concern for many dog owners. In fact, we have added a second session of this class for newcomers and repeat students alike to polish up common problem behaviors. As a parent, one of the best compliments you can receive is, “You have such polite, well-mannered children!” That doesn’t happen by accident. Children require years of everyday reminders to say “Please” and “Thank you” before it becomes part of their behavior. It’s the parents’ job to explain the need for good manners and then be consistent in expecting those manners. The same applies to our pets – daily reminders along with consistent reinforcement will help create a well-mannered dog.

  • Make Time To De-Stress

    At Misty Pines, our certified training staff is well-versed in helping owners deal with their dog in stressful situations, ranging from separation anxiety to being storm-shy. This stress can often be managed with help. It’s hard to watch or hear our dogs be scared, nervous, or uncomfortable, so make some time this year to help your dog overcome its fears. A behavioral consultation can help you understand the cause and then develop a plan to manage or even eliminate a stressful situation for your dog.

  • Get Plenty of Rest

    Most dogs can get by on about 14 hours of sleep per day. Unlike humans, however, they can more easily adapt to different sleeping patterns. It is important to promote rest time for your dog, since dogs can easily wake up if there is a more interesting activity going on. Puppies may require 18 to 20 hours of sleep a day to recharge because they are so busy growing and taking in information. Sleep can help their brain process all of the new things they are learning and adapting to in their environment. Gentle giants such as Saint Bernards, mastiffs, Great Pyrenees’, and Newfoundlands also need much more sleep than average.

    All of this is to say: Don’t forget to leave time for naps and rest! When taking a trip to hike, visit a park, or spend time with family and friends always plan some quiet time for your dog to give them the mental relaxation they need. Misty Pines has added breaks to our daycare regimen to help dogs get rest and avoid getting overly wound up or stressed. Similar to humans, when dogs are tired they are more irritable, so even a quick nap in the middle of the day can help keep the play groups happy.

  • Exercise Their Mind

    Studies show that keeping your senior pet’s brain active can actually reduce cognitive deterioration. Keep your dog’s neurons firing by teaching them new tricks and practicing those they already know. Puzzle feeders are an excellent way to keep a pet’s mind engaged by forcing them to think through a task in order to be rewarded with a treat.

  • Get To Know Your Dog

    All dogs have different personalities and needs. As an owner, it’s important for you to understand what specific activities will help nurture your dog’s development. Is your dog active and social with other dogs? Our daycare facility may be a great option for them to socialize appropriately with other dogs. Is your dog more of a people lover? If that's the case you may want to look into Therapy Dog work where you would visit nursing homes and hospitals. Perhaps taking some time to visit our outdoor dog park is more your style. We have plenty of trails where you can spend some one-on-one time with your pet while getting out and about. Not all dogs enjoy daycare, and not all dogs enjoy human interaction. The staff at Misty Pines can help you determine what activities would be best for your pet.

And for the owners – The Three C’s for 2015

  1. Commitment

    Don’t just talk about it….do it!

    We’ve all run into someone we haven’t seen in a long time and used the line, “Hey, how are you? Haven’t seen you in forever. We should definitely grab lunch sometime!” but people seldom follow through with making those plans. Don’t let the same thing happen when you promise your dog, “Hey, now that you live with me, I’m going to take you to school every week and teach you all kinds of cool tricks!” Let’s commit to our pets this year and make every effort to spend quality time with them. Whether it’s a training class, visiting the park, playing fetch in the backyard, or cuddling by the fire, all of our pets need attention and it’s solely up to us to make sure they get it.

  2. Consistency

    Being consistent is one of the most difficult behaviors for humans. We see owners practice “Sit, Stay, Take a Break” in class, but don’t forget to practice this in all situations! Often when a dog is checking in for daycare, an owner will let the dog run off with the staff without releasing their dog from the sit/stay. This may seem minor, but after just two or three visits, the dog will then begin to anticipate this and as soon as our staff walks toward the dog, they will lunge forward to go with us. We love that dogs are excited to come play, but this undermines the hard work you’ve put into training them. If we’re going to teach the dog that it cannot move until released with a command, it MUST be the same every time. No exceptions. Becoming more consistent will make you more effective as a trainer and leader. Your dog will understand concepts quickly and begin to respond rapidly to cues. Remember, consistency is key!

  3. Consideration

    Taking others into consideration can be difficult. The amount of thought that goes into it can be staggering, but with practice, it can become second-hand. Put away your distractions (cell phones, tablets, video games…) and totally focus on your pet. Schedule time and devote it entirely for quality time with them.

    Also, don’t forget the other trainers and dogs that you encounter in the park and class. We are all still learning, and we may not be 100% in control of our dog or situation. If another dog runs and jumps on you in an off-leash park, be polite and step away. That can be a chance for you to help that person show their dog that they won’t be rewarded with affection after a break in obedience. Every opportunity can be a learning experience!

Misty Pines is the complete pet company that loves the company of people and pets. We are here to help you achieve your goals, provide care for your pets and enable you to enjoy a more fulfilled life with your pets. The staff at Misty Pines has enjoyed spending 2014 with you, and we look forward to helping make 2015 another great year!

Therapy Dog Visits

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


Baden Memorial Library
Dog reading program. Need volunteer for 2 Thursdays per month from 5:00pm - 6:30pm
and 1 Saturday per month for 1 1/2 hours.
Contact: Kathleen Wagner

Gateway Hospice
Contact: Sr. Linda Larkman OSB, Volunteer Coordinator 412-737-0969

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

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. Click the link below for teams that are interested in visiting those in need of therapeutic visits from their furry friends:

Services & Teams

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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