dogs

Wayne Alarm: Tips for a pet-friendly home

SAFETY TIP OF THE DAY

SPONSORED BY WAYNE ALARM AND HONEYWELL.

Our four-legged fur friends are not just pets, but a part of our families. Their safety is just as important as ours. Whether is making sure they get enough nutrition in their food or ensuring pavements are not too hot or cold to protect their paws, their safety is just as important. Follow along for some pet-friendly protocols to have in your homes for their safety:

  1. The best way to minimize damage is to create a space just for your furry friend. This helps acclimate and dog friendly near their bed can make a difference.
  2. Dogs enjoy hiding and running around and it can sometimes be too dangerous for them. The best way to prevent them from running out unsupervised is with deadbolts on doors, locks on windows and even baby gates on stairs. Cabinet doors should also maintain secure with latches, as it can cause your dog to get trapped in the cabinet.
  3. Get rid of dangerous items that they can reach and bite such as electrical cords by using cords protectors. Safely store detergents and other household cleaners in locked cabinets or high on a shelf. Be aware that trash cans can also be dangerous for their consumption, consider a closed-lid trash can instead. Prevent falls and kitchen fires by not allowing pets in the kitchen when cooking or when stove is on.
  4. Invest in a video surveillance security to keep track of what your dog does at home when you are not around. View live footage of your pets from work or anytime you are away from home, ensuring they are okay and not in any danger.
  5. It is common for pets to accidentally trigger home security motion detectors and cause false alarms. This is dangerous because an emergency personnel may not know if it is a real threat or if a pet triggered the alarm. The best way to prevent this is to ensure your system accommodates animals during the installation stage.

For additional safety information and security system installation, contact Wayne Alarm by calling us at: 781-595-0000 or visiting us online at www.waynealarm.com.

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Barking up the right tree

ITEM PHOTO BY SPENSER HASAK
The dog memorial in Lynn Woods sits just off the trail.

By MATT DEMIRS

LYNN — There’s a tree in Lynn Woods, along the shore of the reservoir, where more than 30 dog collars and tags hang like necklaces, a memorial to lost, loving companions.

Dan Small, the Lynn Woods ranger, said the memorial existed before he took the job in the early 2000s. He doesn’t know how or when it started.

“It just sort of happened on its own,” he said.

The tribute is on the blue trail along Walden Pond. Among the sentiments stuck to the tree trunk: “Best hiking buddy ever. Rest in peace sweet angel Jakk,” “Bruski, awesome dog and my best friend,” “We miss you and now you can play all you want, RIP.”

One of the collars in the collection belonged to Erna Wiley’s dog, Lacey. Wiley added it eight years ago when Lacey died.

These days, Wiley walks in the woods regularly with her dog, Coco, a rescue from Puerto Rico. She fondly remembers her friend Lacey and their time spent in nature. She hasn’t noticed recent additions to the tree, which she said is probably a good thing.

A sneak peek at Aspire

Wiley and Coco were just a few of the folks and doggies walking the trails Thursday morning.

“It’s doggy Disney World,” said Dale Orlando, who routinely walks with her dog, Shadow, through these woods. She remembers nearly all the dogs whose collars appear on the tree. Most dog-walkers tread the trails daily, allowing pet owners to get to know each other and their furry friends, she said.

There is a Facebook group “Our Lynn Woods Dog Family Includes …” where people share news of their pets, including their passings, Orlando said.

Tags on the tree date back to 2004.

Small said the memorial remains untouched by park management and it has no intention of removing it.

“There would be no reason to take anything from the memorial down,” he said. “These things become landmarks for some people.”


Matt Demirs can be reached at mdemirs@itemlive.com.

Cook up some yard sale magic

COURTESY PHOTO
Find the recipe for a yard sale picnic below.

By ROSALIE HARRINGTON

I’ve begun to lose faith in yard sales.

Not as a consumer — I still love to discover wonderful surprises I can take home for a dollar or two, and my walls at home include work from amateur artists that is expressive and well-crafted, but cost only $5 or $10.

But as a seller, as the person who organizes the stuff, puts it out on display, does the marketing and then sits and waits for people to arrive, or not, it seems to be getting less lucrative.

I gave it another shot this holiday weekend, setting up shop in the little driveway in front of my packed garage, open for business on both Saturday and Sunday. This was a different effort, as I had “helpers,” my two grandsons, age 9 and 11, who love making money. When they noticed that I had been organizing the garage lately, they became curious. “What are you doing, Noni?” When they learned that it had to do with making money, they became very interested.

I promised them a 10 percent cut if they would partner with me. Suddenly, everything in the garage looked perfect for resale. No, I needed the gardening tools, I explained, and those extra chairs hanging on the hooks, they are important when we have more than six for dinner, so they can’t be part of the yard sale, I explained.

For the past three weeks, whenever they were in the mood, we spent time in the garage — sorting, discarding, pricing, mostly with Ethan. Nick, the 9-year-old, is harder to get off of his scooter and focused on a project.

It gave me optimism having them involved, as they tend to get better results doing “pop-up” businesses than do I.  

A few years ago, the house at the end of the street was being remodeled. If you asked me, I would have totaled and rebuilt the structure, but nevertheless there were several workers every day working on the project. Nicky, 5 at the time, suggested we have a lemonade stand. My job would be to provide a table, an umbrella, make some brownies and cookies — “always a good thing Noni” — make the lemonade, provide plasticware and set up a “bank.” They would make a few signs — “Luminade 25 sents” was one, I recall, from Nick.

The sign worked just fine. Ninety-five percent of our customers were the workers from the renovation, given that we were essentially blocking the door to the house. As soon as break time came, the workers poured out of the house and were very sweet — buying everything we had.

There was a time when Legos were everywhere. Both boys were building them, and I began having nightmares about tripping over and being smothered by them. There were boxes of various pieces, in various colors, hundreds of them. Let’s wash them, I suggested, which appealed to my germ-phobic daughter (their mother), and bag them and sell them off! We filled 48 bags, weighing about a half-pound each. We would sell them for a dollar a bag.

A toast to the smashing avocado

My friend Marilyn, the owner of the lovely Vidalia produce and gourmet shop in Beverly Farms, agreed that we could set up shop in front of her store. She obliged us further with a table and chairs, so we were ready and opened for business. It was a very hot day though, and after a few minutes I left Nick alone for a moment to get an umbrella so I wouldn’t melt from the scorching sun. When I returned a few minutes later I noticed a fancy car in front of the shop and then saw Nick and a man I didn’t recognize chatting.

“He wants all the bags Noni, is that OK?” It took several weeks to prepare for this moment and just five minutes to reap the reward. Nicky made $48 and never got over how easy it was.

A few years earlier at the very same spot, older brother Ethan, then 7, wanted to make some money.  I had a cookie cutter in the shape of a dog biscuit, so we decided to dip a paw into the gourmet dog food business. I found a recipe for dog treats (I’m generally focused on feeding humans) and we forged a plan to make the biscuits together. He made a sign — “dog biskits 75 cents” — that I still have.

There was one small problem we had overlooked.  Ethan was afraid of dogs.  Everyone who came by had a dog on a leash, and with each one Ethan quickly stepped inside the store and I was left to be the seller of the “biskits.”  Ethan, who loves to draw, also made a few batman figures and sold them for a dollar each and that day we made $75. People raved about the dog treats, but we’re still waiting to hear back from the dogs.

After I picked the boys up from school last Friday we went to their house and made signs on recycled cardboard. Nick was too busy playing with his “Fidget spinner” (the latest toy fad) to help, so Ethan and I made the signs and we were both pleased. After the rain subsided I hung one up at the end of the street. Danielle posted something on Craigslist about the sale and my husband Todd posted some pictures on Facebook.

My neighbor Betsy decided to clean out her shed and liquidate some weightlifting equipment and sports stuff that her grown kids no longer use, so we had two sales going. She kindly helped us set up a few tables. The sun came out and all was good.

I got bored waiting for the sale’s 10 a.m. start, so I ran inside and made a meatloaf for sandwiches later. I also roasted some stoned fruit while the oven was hot, as well as some grape tomatoes and small potatoes.

What a blessing to prepare something in five minutes and have the oven do all the work.

At noon we had a picnic outside with Betsy.  About a dozen people came by and bought a few items, several women who yard sale every week from Marblehead remembered me and we had a great time talking about Rosalie’s.  My friend Mary Lou visited and Danielle and the boys,who had apparently forgot about the sale, came by. So much for help from the boys.

Two days of work and just meager income without the little boy magic. But the project got me organized, and I had a pleasant weekend socializing in my driveway.


Yard Sale Picnic of Meatloaf, Roasted Tomatoes and string bean salad

Place 2 slices of broken-up bread in food processor with 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of chives, scallions or onion, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon salt, 5 tablespoons of grated cheese, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 cup of milk. Pulse until fairly smooth.

Put the mixture in a large bowl. Add to it 1½  pound of ground pork. (You can also use ground beef or veal or a combination of meat.)  Mix well with your fingers. Do not overmix, as it will toughen your outcome.  

Grease a pan like a pie plate with oil and spread the meat mixture out and shape into a circle about 1½ inch thick.

Spray with a little oil and place 10 small potatoes around the circle, then spray with more olive oil, and add a sprinkle of fresh rosemary and sea salt. Bake in a 325 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  

Remove from the oven and place the potatoes on another pan and roast until a fork easily pierces them, turning after 10 minutes to brown all over.  

If you like, you can also roast some tomatoes in another pan, treating them the same with oil, salt and rosemary or thyme. The tomatoes will begin to burst after 20 minutes or so, at which time you can take them out of the oven.  

For a salad, I made string beans, which I cooked in boiling water and chilled, then dressed with olive oil, sea salt and fresh lemon juice.

Serve everything on a pretty platter, with some slices of fresh mozzarella. Offer nice rolls, butter and mustard and mayo for sandwiches.            

 

Wayne Alarm: Winter Pet Safety

SAFETY TIP OF THE DAY 

SPONSORED BY WAYNE ALARM AND HONEYWELL.

Winter weather means implementing safety precautions for all of us, including our pets.  Here are three ways you can keep your furry loved-ones happy throughout the cold winter season.

Take caution of the cold: If you’re going out and want to bring your pet along, make sure pets are allowed ahead of time so they won’t have to stay out in the cold.  If they aren’t allowed, leaving them at home is your best option where they can stay warm and be comfortable. If you live in a bitterly cold area, keeping them warm indoors is the best way to ensure your pets are safe from the cold and happier overall.

Keep them away from cold-weather chemicals: When taking your four-legged pals out for a walk, double check that the sidewalk is durable for a walk. Salt and other chemicals that are used to melt the snow and ice easier, can irritate the pads of their paws. Always wipe their paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them, which can cause his/her mouth to be irritated, as well.  Antifreeze (car freeze) has a sweet taste that can attract dogs. A simple lick can be poisonous to them. If antifreeze chemicals are needed, consider switching to a Propylene Glycol product, which is much safer.  Also, consider getting “booties” for your pet to wear as they walk on the snow, ice, and winter melting chemicals.

Grooming and feeding: Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make sure the water is fresh and unfrozen. Instead of metal bowls, use plastic bowls during the winter. When temperatures are low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to a metal bowl. As for pet grooming, if you normally have their fur clipped or shaved, keep the length longer during the winter, giving them a permanent warm coat. You can also buy them a winter jacket.  If you bathe your pet at home, make sure he/she is 100% dry before stepping outside.  Having blankets available to your pets and keeping out any window/door drafts, can help ensure that they are not cold inside the home.

Always remember, speak out if you see a pet left in the cold by politely letting the owner know you’re concerned for their safety. If it does not go well, make sure to document what you see and have proof to boost your case. Contact your local animal control agency for help as soon as you can and let them know the details, so they can help the animal. 

For additional safety information and security system installation, contact Wayne Alarm by calling us at: 781-595-0000 or visiting us online at www.waynealarm.com.

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Breakheart Reservation is picture perfect

COURTESY PHOTO
Take photos of nature, dogs, wildlife and possibly more for the Winter Photo Contest at Breakheart Reservation.

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — Nature lovers with an eye for photography could see photographs they take in Breakheart Reservation end up on display in the local nature preserve.

Breakheart is holding a Winter Photo Contest, sponsored by the Friends of Breakheart Reservation, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and Hunt’s Photo & Video of Melrose.

In its second year, the competition has changed its categories to include a wider array of scenery options. Winners will be chosen in Wild Breakheart, Seasons of Breakheart and People and Pets categories. All photos must be taken at the park.

Last year, photos were strictly of nature, dogs and wildlife.

“I believe they have places at Breakheart that they wanted to expand the contest to include, like the visitors center,” said Peter Rossetti, chairman of the Friends of Breakheart. “For the animal one, they are trying to see if they can get something other than mostly dogs. A lot of people liked taking pictures of their dogs last year, that was probably the most popular category.”

Susan Tremonte of Melrose took first place in last year’s nature photo contest. Her photo depicts a walking path surrounded by tall trees with light peeking in between them. It was taken while on a hike with her parents, she said.

“I’ve always liked photography and I’ve been starting to work with some of my students on taking pictures with their iPhones,” said Tremonte, a recreational specialist at SEEM Collaborative, a Stoneham-based organization that provides educational programming services to students with moderate to severe disabilities in public schools. “I’m teaching them that they don’t need to have a lot of equipment, they just need to have an eye for it.”

When she won, the photo was printed and framed for her by Hunt. She showed it to her students to show them that they don’t need to be professionals at something to enter a contest.

“I want to encourage them to try something new and test the waters,” she said. “I encouraged them to enter the contest this year.”

After the competition was over, Tremonte chose to attend other events at Breakheart and volunteered for Park Cleanup Day. She has joined the Friends and, this year, will help judge the contest.

Submissions can be made by amateaur photographers from now until Feb. 28. First place winners will be awarded a $50 gift card to Hunt’s and all winning entries and a few chosen honorable mentions will be printed and framed by the store and displayed in their gallery.

Rossetti said he would also like to see the photographs on display somewhere at Breakheart, like the Christopher P. Dunne Visitor Center.

A gallery opening featuring contest winners will be held at Hunt on March 22.

“For people who want to get pictures in the snow, it’s a perfect time to get up there,” said Rossetti. “They have quite a bit of snow. For all the kids looking for things to do during their day off from school, a day up at Breakheart might not be such a bad idea.”

Museum weaves way through history


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.

Police sweep for safety

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Middleton K-9 officer Rob Peachey and his dog, Kai sweep Classical High School.

By THOMAS GRILLO

LYNN — Police and a K-9 unit swept the city’s four high schools looking for drugs and weapons on Wednesday and came up empty.

“We found nothing,” said Oren Wright, the school’s security officer who was in charge of the exercise. “The dogs found no drugs or weapons and that’s a very good day.”

As police from Lynn, Manchester by the Sea, Middleton, Winthrop, Nashua, N.H., and the state entered the schools at around 10 a.m., the buildings were in lockdown. No one was allowed in or out while students and faculty were confined to their rooms.

That’s when Vorik, a four-year-old Belgian Malinois, and his owner, Officer Guido Marchionda from the Nashua Police Department, got to work at Classical High School. Students studying math in Room A103 were asked to drop what they were doing and gather in a nearby hallway. They did so silently as the dog sniffed more than two dozen backpacks. The task was repeated in other random classrooms, but the team failed to discover weapons or narcotics.  

The hour-long task was repeated across town at English High School, Lynn Vocational Technical Institute and the Fecteau-Leary Junior/Senior High School.

While contraband was not found this time, it sends a message to students that drugs and weapons are unwelcome in the district’s schools, Wright said.

“We want the word to get out to anyone that might want to do harm or to a student who might be thinking about bringing drugs to class,” Wright said. “These lockdowns make everyone think twice since they are random.”

If drugs or weapons are found, the student faces immediate arrest, suspension and possible expulsion, he said.

Gene Constantino, Classical’s principal who accompanied Vorik and Marchionda on their rounds searching lockers and classrooms, said the annual event is a school safety check.  

“For the last five years, we’ve used this approach to let kids know we don’t want drugs in school,” he said.

One year, he said, they found narcotics in a locker and the student was suspended. But such instances are rare, he said.

Jaye Warry, deputy superintendent of schools, said over the last few years, the search has turned up few drugs or weapons.

“By and large it’s been clean with a few exceptions,” she said. “Our goal is to assure the public that we’re watching over our schools and they’re as safe as they possibly can be. It’s our way to communicate to students that drugs are not tolerated.”

St. Mary’s branching out with STEM building


Thomas Grillo can be reached at tgrillo@itemlive.com.

Dog days at Breakheart Reservation

PHOTO BY PAULA MULLER
Amy Wedge with her dog, Azia, and Farrah Keegan with Rosie, walk out of Breakheart Reservation after taking their dogs to the dog park.

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — Swimming may be off limits, but activity is far from frozen at Breakheart Reservation during the winter months.

Visitors can bring their four-legged friends to Bark Place, a dog park located about a quarter-mile into the woods from the Christopher P. Dunne Visitor Center.

The park is a large, fenced-in space where dogs can run around off leash. It was built about a decade ago when Ed Murray, the former president of the Friends of Breakheart, worried there wasn’t a place for people to bring their pets, said Peter Rossetti, the current president. Murray, who died in 2012, named the park after his dog Barkley.

Pat Jozsa, a longtime member of the Friends of Breakheart, said Bark Place has been a sanctuary for many residents’ pets, including her own.

“A lot of smaller dogs and younger dogs that need to exercise use the dog park,” Jozsa said. “It’s great for bringing puppies and just starting to get them acquainted with other animals.”

The fenced-in area has two gates to prevent escapees from running free, she said. The fencing is tall enough that they can’t jump over.

“It’s a great size and it’s always well maintained,” she said. “It gets a lot of use in the summer months but it’s open in the winter too.”

One step at a time for Saugus firefighter

The 652-acre state park has much to offer to more than just its furry visitors.

“For a lot of people it’s just going to the Visitor’s Center, especially if there’s a fire going,” said Jozsa. “It’s just so relaxing and cozy — especially when it’s snowing.”

The visitor center remains open throughout the season. The park has many outdoor amenities that carry over into the colder months. Avid hikers seek views of the park’s two freshwater lakes and section of the Saugus River. Seven rocky hills offer a look at Boston, southern New Hampshire and Central Massachusetts.

Ranger Dan’s Nature Walks are family-friendly paced hikes offered every Sunday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. An advanced hike that is several miles long and guided by park rangers is offered periodically.

Bird watchers, fishers, cross country skiers and nature lovers show up during the coldest season, said Rossetti.

Special events, including a Tai Chi lesson with state Rep. Donald Wong (R-Saugus) and movie nights will be offered.

“They’ll show a movie on a Friday evening and we’ll give them popcorn,” Rossetti said. “They can sit by the fire and watch a movie. It gives the parents a little break.”

A naturalist will guide a specialized hike and lesson on animal tracks, he said.

“When my kids were younger, one of our favorite things was wandering into the woods and looking for tracks in the snow and trying to figure out what the tracks were,” said Jozsa.

In February, maple sugaring season will begin. Rossetti said the Friends are hoping for adequate funding to allow them to continue their regular programs, which includes field trips, tours and maple syrup tasting.


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.