Friday, December 31, 2010

Sami reminds us fireworks can be scary for dogs

This article is from Please share:

The Holiday fireworks and other fanfare are often frightful experiences for dogs. The loud noises can hurt their sensitive ears.

Frightened dogs have different reactions: some tremble at their owners' feet, others retreat to a hiding place, some try to run off (traveling for miles), and others display bizarre behavior. According to behavior specialist Dr. Elizabeth Shull, low-frequency, percussive noises such as fireworks and summer thunderstorms trigger wild fear in about 20% of dogs. Under such circumstances, ordinarily well-behaved pets may become aggressive, destructive and/or unpredictable.

Here are some precautions you can take to help your pets:

* Exercise utmost caution when taking a dog into new environments.

* Make sure all pets always are wearing well-fitted collars and securely fastened ID tags. Microchips and tattoos are great ID techniques, too. Even a back-firing car or shot in the woods can be enough to incite a dog to run off, so avoid taking any chances.

* Don't take pets to events with fireworks.

* If fireworks are being set off nearby, or if you're having guests over for a holiday celebration, find a quiet, secure place to keep your pets. Darkening the room can help. Crating is also a good idea -- place the crate in the quietest part of the home. Make sure you put safe chew toys in the crate to occupy and distract the pet during the event. You can close the curtains and turn up the radio, CD player or TV to drown out noise.

* Do not leave pets outside, even in a fenced yard, anytime when fireworks might be set off in the distance.

* Rather than cuddle a frightened dog, try to distract the dog from the disturbing noises with physical activity such as playing ball.

* Remember that scolding or coddling a scared dog will not help. Scolding will scare and confuse the animal, and coddling serves to reinforce fearful behaviors. Instead, assume your pack leader role and act confident and unbothered by the noise and activity outside. You can give your pet a gentle massage, or use Tellington Touch techniques (see the T-Touch Dog Tip on the PAW website) or even just place your hand calmly on the pet's head.

* If the sounds and lights of fireworks frighten your dog, here's an innovative technique from the most recent issue of "Unleashed! The Pet Care Forum's Newsletter for Dog Lovers" ( Make an "anxiety wrap" using an adult or children's T-shirt. Put the dog's front legs through the arm holes, then knot the hem over the dog's back. This technique is related to the massage and Tellington Touch therapy approaches. Wrapping fabric around an animal can give the pet a feeling of greater security.

* Vets can prescribe tranquilizers for frightened dogs. Also, some people find that non-prescription remedies such as Rescue Remedy or Serene-um calm their dogs.

* If you're going out of town for the holidays, entrust the care and feeding of pets to an adult friend or a boarding kennel you know very well.

* If you know someone whose pet escaped, advise that they call their veterinarian and other local veterinarians, local emergency animal clinics, the local shelters and animal control offices. The owner can post a description and picture of the lost pet or search the Pets 911 database at (or call toll-free 1-888-PETS911). Another good resource is

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Holidays - See you in 2011!

I am delighted that the holidays and end of the fall semester are upon us. It was fast, but what a wonderful semester we had! We started in August as a recognized campus and that put such a positive atmosphere around SES. We have worked hard at raising our level again and 2011 is going to prove that we truly are the best at what we do. We are proud of our kids and their efforts—we will continue to strive to be successful in everything we do.

Have a safe and joyous holiday and we look forward to seeing everyone in the new year!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Planting complete!

Thank you to Mrs. Medrano for orchestrating the planting in the Outdoor Learning Center with teachers and students. The plants add a beautiful touch to the area and will benefit student learning opportunities throughout the years to come.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Excitement at SES

As usual we had a great week at Smithville Elementary. Below is a recap of the week and a preview of what's planned for next week.

All this week you could find students in the hallway with more books than normal due to the Scholastic Book Fair. Students shopped from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. everyday. The book fair was even busy until 6:00 p.m. Thursday evening. It's always great to see kids excited about reading.

Mrs. Medrano had students of all ages planting in the Outdoor Learning Center. Students have learned so much about soil prep, handling of plants, and watering that they could probably teach their parents a thing or two.

3rd graders are putting the finishing touches on their Christmas Music Program scheduled for next Thursday at 2:45 p.m. A lot of hard work and patience has gone into preparation for the big show.

Mrs. Middleton's classes have been working hard on their annual Christmas Play scheduled for this coming Tuesday. The shows will be on Dec. 14 at 8:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. in the Red Brick Auditorium. The shows are always fantastic.

In the spirit of giving our students continue to bring in their loose coins for Change for Pete. Teachers are also adding to the contributions by paying to wear jeans on Thursday for Jeans for Pete.

Our 5th graders participated in their D.A.R.E. Graduation this afternoon in front of parents, teachers, and community members. It was nice having Dr. McNulty, Mrs. Burns, Mr. Trousdale, Chief Supak, and Judge Jones in the crowd. Officer Stewart did a great job this semester and we are looking forward to many years of D.A.R.E. to come.

Next week is sure to bring smiles, excitement, and good nights of sleep for all the activities leading up to the holiday break.

Monday: 5th grade listens to the 6th grade band concert.
Tuesday: 4th grade Christmas Plays
Thursday: 3rd grade Music Program
Friday: Winter Parties & Early Release at 1:25 p.m.

Planting in the Outdoor Learning Center continues next week as well.

We hope you will enjoy our festivities with us next week. There are plenty to choose from.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Planting Day in the Outdoor Learning Center

4th grade watches the Electric Junction

Johnny Saunders demonstrating what happens when people touch downed power lines. Bluebonnet Electric visits Smithville Elementary each year to talk electricity safety with our 4th grade students.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Safe Routes to School Bike Maintenance Workshop this Saturday

Safe Routes To School Bicycle Repair and Maintenance Workshop is this Saturday, December 11, 2010 from 10AM-NOON at the Smithville Recreation Center. Email to register. Or you can call 237-3282 ext. 2109

Registration deadline is December 8th.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Shopping this weekend?

Anyone who goes to Borders this weekend (Saturday or Sunday) and buys ANYTHING will get a $15 gift card for the school of their choice. If you also buy the book “Waiting for Superman…” you get a SECOND $15 gift card for your school.

Borders Link

Kermit keeping Mrs. Gutierrez warm this morning!