Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 27, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:8

JUST FOR BEST FRIENDS Mountain Views-News Saturday, May 27, 2017 8 JUST FOR BEST FRIENDS Mountain Views-News Saturday, May 27, 2017 8 

Back when I first had my bloodhound, Tatertotts, 
I remember the vet telling me to watch out for 
foxtails during the dry months that follow the 
more or less wet months in southern California. 
At the time I had to go home and look up just 
what a foxtail was, because having grown up in 
the deep south, I’d never before heard of such a 

Named for their uncanny resemblance to the 
tail of a fox, foxtails are seed clusters that come 
from what is commonly known as foxtail grass. 
There are various types of foxtail grass, several of 
which prevail in the western part of the United 
States. Like most seeds, foxtail seeds ride the wind 
and they have awns designed to burrow the seed 
into the ground, so needless to say foxtail grass 
grows just about anywhere it is allowed to grow in 
our region.

During the dry, hot summer season, the seeds 
that emerge and fan out of a cluster from the tall 
stems of foxtail grass are needle-thin and razor 
sharp. Somewhat like a fish hook, the awns of 
these seeds are barbed. They feel smooth to the 
touch when rubbed upward from the stem, and 
thorny or pokey when rubbed downward. And 
much like a fish hook, because of their biological 
properties, when foxtails poke their way into a 
soft surface such as skin, they can be very painful 
and nearly impossible to pull out.

The vet’s concern with my bloodhound sniffing 
around in the local foxtail fields was that she would 
likely get a foxtail seed stuck in her enormous 
nose, in which case she would sneeze repeatedly 
in a futile effort to get it out. When the foxtail seed 
refused to budge from her nostril, Tater would 
likely have sneezed relentlessly, possibly resulting 
in cardiac arrest! I could hardly believe what the 
vet was telling me. My dog could die from sniffing 
in the grass? Really?

Indeed it is true, and I later came to learn it 
is actually quite common. Further, those foxy 
foxtails not only pose a serious health threat to 
our furry friends‘ nostrils, they also present a 
major medical concern to our pets by simply 
coming into contact with the surface of their skin. 
The paws and ears of our furry friends are also 
major at-risk areas for the foxy foxtail.

The issue of foxtails on the dog’s skin becomesparticularly precarious for thosesporting thick, fluffy coats. If notdetected and removed promptly,
the seeds can burrow down 
under the lighter top coat of afluffy dog and hide in the thickerundercoat, just above the surfaceof the skin. 

Over time, as the dog goes 
about his daily routine of 
running, rolling around and 
lounging, the foxy little foxtail 
takes the opportunity to burrow 
deeper beneath the dog’s 

Happy Tails 
by Chris Leclerc 

undercoat and ultimately under the epidermis 
where it will stay until it is surgically removed. If 
not removed surgically, the relentless barbed seed 
will inevitably fester beneath the surface, causing 
serious infection. 

A foxtail can also find it’s way into the digestive 
system of a precious pet, and because the 
tenacious tail of the seed is not broken down by 
the metabolic process, it can become a serious 
medical emergency for an unwitting dog and it’s 
owner. If the foxtail probes it’s way through the 
wall of the digestive tract and into the soft tissue 
of a major organ, infection is inevitable and 
potentially fatal.

Clearly, no one wants their beloved four-legged 
friend to be at risk due to the seeds of foxtail grass. 
So, the best practice for those of us who love our 
pets like family, is to avoid coming into contact 
with foxtails altogether if at all possible. Back 
when my vet warned me about the possibility of 
Tater having a heart attack after sniffing in a seed, 
I immediately removed all of the foxtail grass 
from my yard and I continued to dig it out as soon 
as I saw it growing back in.

I know it can be a challenge to deter a weed that 
is extremely prolific and amazingly mobile in our 
area, but if one is dedicated, willing and tenacious 
about performing the task of repeated removal of 
the grass over the course of a month or two, it can 
be done. And I’m sure you’ll agree the work is well 
worth the result if it means preventing the risk 
of a health hazard for your beloved four-legged 

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lick the hands of anyone who pets him. It’s his 

How does yoga

make the world 

a better place 


The short answer 

is awareness and 
compassion. What I love about yoga is its complete,
dynamic approach to living. The yogic path thatcreates this awareness and compassion is comprisedof many workable parts. We’ve got the physicalpractice for optimum health and function. Prayersand Mantras serve as medicine for the mind and 
the meditation practices cleanse, grow and sustainour spiritual condition. The practice as a wholeis unique because it’s completely individual. Weeach have our own experience, gain insights and 
progress at our own pace.

One of the greatest benefits of yoga --whichcountless students report-- is an increased feelingof self-acceptance and self-love. It’s the foundationfrom which we grow, transform and heal. Imagineif each yogi cultivated awareness of themselves(physical, mental, their energy, and their choices) 

and also cultivated compassion for themselves.
The world would, and DOES transform. It’s just anorganic cause and effect.

When we treat ourselves with love and high 
regard, we act better and we are able to give more 
and see and empathize with our fellow brothers 
and sisters. One good act leads to another and, 
when we make a mistake and take responsibility 
in a graceful way, people are inspired by that. 
It’s in embracing our humanness with careful, 
thoughtful awareness that the world begins to 
respond. There is a starting place for each one of 
us on the path. Give your body a little love and 
spend some time in your practice. You never 
know who you may inspire. 

Feel free to contact me at Yoga Madre or via I'd be very happy to helpyou explore yoga and cultivate greater awareness.
Namaste and Love, 

Keely Totten,
Yoga & Meditation Teacher@Yoga Madre 


Your worry doesn’t prove that Theodore Roosevelt 

you care and the suffering 

caused by your distress does When there is some issue of concern, try doing 
not make you a martyr. a brain dump. Write all that you know about 

Incessant worry is an abuse of your your matter on a piece of paper. Usually, the 
imagination. We are all creative beings. We situation will seem less dire and overwhelming. 
create the life that we live in our thoughts and Then ask yourself, questions to guide you to a 
our imaginations first. Then we experience the solution. Rather than asking yourself, “How 
life of our creation. We can design and vision a am I ever going to get out of this mess?” Try the 
life that we would love to live, or we can imagine reporters’ questions, who, what, when and where 
the worst case scenario. When we worry, rather are excellent starting points.
than resting in the present moment, we terrorize Who do I know that has expertise in this area?
ourselves with thoughts of a future horror. Who do I know that knows someone that 
Things that we do not want to experience.could help me?

Give up your addiction to angst and develop a Check out Google University; there is always a 
new mantra. wealth of information on Google.

Consider this modified dialogue from the Make a list of ideas and act on the best ones. 
Steven Spielberg movie, Bridge of Spies:Remember the most powerful question is 

“Am I worried?” always, “what possible good could come from 

“Would it help?” this situation?” 

Invariably, the answer is “no.” So carry on, and Now notice something, you’re still here. No 
move into the land of the solution. matter how terrible the situation may seem 

It’s easy to say don’t worry. Replace your at this moment, you still have the capacity 
negative thoughts with something else; nature to conquer it. You are still standing. Remind 
abhors a vacuum. You will need to put something yourself of all of your past accomplishments. 
in its place, not just some affirmation that you Remember past difficulties that you mastered 
don’t yet have the capacity to believe. Singing to encourage yourself to persevere. Resilience 
“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” alone is not going to can be cultivated, but you’ll have to master your 
change the situation or the way that you feel. mindset. 
What should we do instead? Taking action is the Lori A. Harris is a lawyer and empowerment 
key. coach that helps women that women live their best 

lives. You can find out more about her at www. 
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you and download her free app the 
are.”Gratitude Train in Google Play and the App Store. 

Real Life Tips from LIfe's Instruction Manual 
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