Editor’s note: Reporter Eileen McIver has covered Duly Noted for the CVN this summer, but her real interest is animals. McIver is returning to Healy, Alaska after this week. She wrote a final column on her favorite subject.

By Eileen McIver
Six kittens were born July 13 to mother Shadow. The kittens each weighed three ounces, and were three inches long. Places of birth include under owner Jen Bader’s couch, in a closet, on top of a staircase, and inside a box. The black and gray-furred kittens stay huddled together in their box. Shadow is protective, and covers them with her paw when a person comes too close. “The family is doing well,” Jen said.
Macky Cassidy and Jake Bell’s dog Kegan is recovering after being clawed in the face. Macky and friends were walking in downtown Haines at night a couple weeks ago with the 10-year-old mutt that encountered the bear in the bushes. Kegan suffered an open gash on one side of his face and three claw marks on the other. The Haines Animal Rescue Kennel responded, and Kegan was flown to Juneau, receiving stitches and antibiotics. “He looks like a warrior,” Macky said. But he’s still “mighty handsome.”
Don’t be surprised if you look out into Portage Cove and see a pug on a paddle-board. Olive the pug mix has enjoyed a summer of ocean paddle-boarding with owners Leslie Ross, Jon Hirsh, and daughter Rio. Olive stands on the paddle board with her owners, who do the paddling. “She’s a pretty adventurous pug,” Leslie said.
A “black cat tour” was a trip highlight for Karen Garcia’s parents, pet-lovers Luis and Judy Garcia of Glenview, Ill. The family stopped at the homes of black cats Willow, owned by Jane Pascoe, Little Black, owned by Kerry McIver, and Angus, owned by Lori and Mike Carter. The couple enjoyed petting the black cats and hearing a pet history by yours truly.
Falafel the dog was so distressed by some recent fireworks that he escaped from his house in search of owner Joe Parnell. Falafel walked a mile to the Valley of the Eagles golf course in search of Joe, a regular golfer. Joe received a call at the state fair from the course’s greenskeeper that Falafel was pacing and howling at the Hole 1 fairway. Joe said he held Falafel’s paw all night to calm him down.
Dog Charlie of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. was in town with owner Amanda Smalley. It was the 10-month old Australian cattle dog’s first visit to Alaska. They stayed with Kim Larson and her golden retrievers Tank and Catch, and cat Dr. Johnny Awesome. Amanda said Charlie seemed to enjoy the trip, which included hiking Mount Riley, time at Port Chilkoot beach, and waiting outside of Harriett Hall during Brianna Phillips’ wedding reception. Charlie also went for a motorcycle ride around town with Kyle Rush.
It wasn’t until a black-winged butterfly was fluttering around the house that Jon Hirsh and 9-year-old daughter Rio realized that their last pupa was just a slow hatcher. About a year ago, Rio got butterfly eggs, which turned into caterpillars and fed on dill plant. One hatched months ago, and turned into a butterfly. Rio let it loose, as she thought it was the only butterfly, with no one to mate with. The newly hatched butterfly, named Lost Soul, wasn’t interested in the house’s dill plant, a sign that it needed to mate, so Rio and Jon set it free. “Hopefully it found its mate,” Jon said. If anyone sees a black-winged butterfly in Highlands Estates, let Jon or Rio know.
The Haines Library wrapped up its “Read to a Dog” program Monday, when children read to dog Gus for the last time this summer. Sophia Sutcliffe Diaz, 9, said Gus looked at the pages and put his paw on the book as she read. Children’s librarian Holly Davis said Gus maintains concentration as children read. The border collie mix became a certified therapy dog last year. Owner Randa Szymanski plans to take Gus to Pennsylvania this winter, where disadvantaged school children, some of whom won’t speak in class, will read to him.
There’s not as much quacking going on at Melina Shields and Tim Hockin’s Mud Bay property. Melina’s favorite pet duck, La Morena, was carried off by a bald eagle two weeks ago. “She was a fine duck,” Melina said. She was friendly and a good layer.
Dog Finn of Anchorage is finishing up his summer in Haines with owner Dana Buchanan, a Haines guide. They’re staying with Tracy Cui, her roommates, and her dog Echo and cat Xiaogou. Finn and Echo, both yellow Labradors, have become friends, Tracy said. Finn has enjoyed hiking, swimming, and playing Frisbee with Echo. Finn also attended the July 4 fireworks show with Dana at the parade grounds.
The Moore family spent mid-July at the Monkey Tail Ranch in Hollister, Calif., where Alex Moore’s service dog Gus was trained three years ago. Gus got to meet other service dogs, Alex’s mother Victoria said. Victoria, husband Josh, Alex, Gus, and Chihuahua Gizmo spent five additional weeks traveling in their camper in the Pacific Northwest. The family met up with former residents Phil and Robin Benner and beagle Haylee in Seattle. The Benners recently put down their beagle Zoey.
Barbara Pardee’s classroom turtles Raphaella and Donatella, who resided in the Haines School the past 26 years, have a new owner. Barbara, who recently retired as the school’s reading specialist, turned the turtles over to school reading coach Teri Kanahele. The red-eared sliders are summering with Teri and her family until the start of school, when they’ll move into the K-5 computer lab. Different students have cared for the turtles each summer. In recent years they’ve resided in Pardee’s reading classroom. Pardee also had canaries, the late Skyler and Orange Sherbet, and a chinchilla, Gus-Gus, as class pets.
Mike and Lori Carter lost their beloved dog Snoopy, who died on summer solstice. He was well-loved and had many caregivers. Snoopy was the couple’s ring bearer at their wedding last summer. Snoopy, 15, had been blind and deaf the last two years.
Sonic, a dog owned by former Haines Animal Rescue Kennel executive director Steve Vick, has been running with Steve’s team of sled dogs in Fairbanks. Steve reports that the mutt is the unofficial mascot for his non-profit Noble Paws, a dog-mushing organization for people with disabilities.
The Haines Animal Rescue Kennel is offering dog obedience classes, beginning Aug. 10. Trainer Jennifer Loup of Michigan will hold classes for two weeks, including puppy kindergarten, basic obedience, and intermediate obedience. Specialized classes on topics such as preventing unwanted interactions with wildlife and teaching your dog fun tricks also will be offered. Personal consultation is available for tackling specific dog behavior problems. Call HARK at 766-3334.