Dog and Cat above white bannerHolly, Jolly and Oh-So-Safe! Of course, you want to include your furry companions in the festivities, pet parents, but as you celebrate this holiday season, try to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible.

And be sure to steer them clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants, and dangerous decorations:

O Christmas Tree

Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.

Nov18DogTinsel-less Town

Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching “toy” that’s easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It’s best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.

No Feasting for the Furries

By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising fur kid will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.

Toy Joy

Looking to stuff your pet’s stockings? Choose gifts that are safe. Dogs have been known to tear their toys apart and swallow the pieces, which can then become lodged in the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible.

Long, stringy things are a feline’s dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn, and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that’s too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy, or the interactive cat dancer—and tons of play sessions together.

bellForget the Mistletoe & Holly

Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems, and many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.

Leave the Leftovers

Fatty, spicy, and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won’t lead to costly medical bills.

That Holiday Glow

Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface, and if you leave the room, put the candle out!

RedbulbWired Up

Keep wires, batteries, and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws’ reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock, and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth.

House Rules

If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you’re busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.

Put the Meds Away

Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.

Careful with Cocktails

If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill, and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.

A Room of Their Own

Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case, or in a separate room away from the hubbub.

New Year’s Noise

As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat’s intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears.

This pet safety article is from the ASPCA website.








Adult male Akita.

He would do best in a home with

teens and older and is good with cats

and most dogs he meets.



2-3 yr old male. Very sweet & loveable. Acts like a dog. Good indoor lap cat.



Available for adoption at Dessin Animal Shelter!

Call 570-253-4037.


lovelites2018_Layout 1A Reminder to Reflect in a Busy Season

Each year around Christmas time, the Wayne Memorial Hospital Auxiliary invites the public to honor or remember loved ones with lights hung on several trees at Wayne Memorial Hospital. At night, the lights glow and twinkle and remind all passersby that love lives. The lights cost $5 each and the names of those honored are placed in a memory book displayed in the hospital’s lobby from early December until mid-January. The book can also be found on the hospital’s website.

“It’s really a heartwarming tradition,” says Love Lites co-coordinator Diane Fox. “Hundreds of people contribute each year, so the tree is truly lit up. At a time of year that’s so busy—the holidays—it’s a way for people to have a moment of reflection about loved ones. No fuss, no big packages to buy or carry, just a little light on a tree that glows all through the season.”

“I try to do it most years to remember people I love,” says Carol Kneier, Pleasant Mount. “I work at Wayne Memorial so I can see the lights every day during the season—it’s nice.”

Love Lites originated in 1991 as an auxiliary fundraiser but also as a service to the community. The night of the lighting, this year December 10th at 6:30 p.m.,  includes a ceremony that brings together a variety of community groups.  St. Tikhon’s Choir and the Honesdale High School chorus both perform songs appropriate to the season and the event.  A member of the clergy offers a blessing. Hospital staff, auxilians and members of the public who perhaps purchased a light are all invited to participate.

To participate, fill out the coupon found at by Friday, December 7th.  Make your check payable to the WMH Auxiliary for $5 for each Love Lite and mail to Diane Fox, 435 Wanoka Rd., Honesdale, Pa 18431. Coupons can also be found in the hospital lobby and at various locations in the area.

For more information call Diane at

570-253-4378 or Kathie Carlson at 570-226-8115.


Everything cranberriesDec18



–By Anya Shaunessy

Although we are currently enjoying the beautiful fall foliage here in the Delaware River valley, winter is fast approaching.  With the water temperatures quickly dropping, the National Park Service would like to increase awareness of both the wonderful cold-weather recreational opportunities this area has to offer, as well as the steps you can take to stay safe while on rivers, lakes, and streams this winter.

We are surrounded by rivers, streams, and lakes that are excellent for fishing in the fall, winter, and spring.  Ice fishing, eagle watching, and cold-weather kayaking are some of the best recreational activities in the area.  However, there are some extra steps  you should take to make sure you stay safe this winter!

Being on the water in winter months is fun, but it can be dangerous.  Being submerged in cold water poses serious and life-threatening risks due to hypothermia.  Hypothermia is your body’s response to your core temperature falling below its normal range of 95° F to 98.6° F. Falling into cold water, even in water that is as mild as 70° F, can lead to hypothermia.  This is because the human body is cooled 25% faster in water than in air.  Water temperature, air temperature, currents, and wind, as well as gender, body size, and body fat percentage all play a role in how fast one’s body temperature drops once in the water.  Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to hypothermia, as well as people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The risk of fatality from hypothermia and drowning greatly increases as the winter months approach.  According to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, cold water incidents represent only 8% of the boating-related accidents; however, they result in 24% of the fatalities. The good news is that wearing a properly fitted life jacket can help save your life if you fall into cold water.  In fact, wearing your life jacket is mandatory from November 1 to April 30.  This means that everyone in a canoe or kayak, or in a boat measuring 16 feet or less, must wear a Coastguard certified life jacket.  This law was adopted in November of 2012 because of how effective life jackets are in keeping people safe while recreating on bodies of water in cold weather.  If you fall into cold water, wearing a life jacket will allow you to float without expending unnecessary energy, in addition to partially insulating your body.

Before you go out on the water, you should always make sure your life jacket is properly fitted and is in serviceable condition.  There is a simple way to ensure that your life jacket is properly fitted:  when you have put your life jacket on, stand with your arms straight up in the air, and have a friend tug upward on the shoulders.  If your life jacket is properly fitted, it should be snug and should not slide up past your chin.  Checking to make sure your life jacket is properly fitted ensures you will not slip out of it once in the water.  A snuggly fitted life jacket has the added benefit of acting as a layer of insulation between your body and the cold water.  Additionally, the life jacket should be in good, working condition.  This means that all buckles and zippers should be functional, and the life jacket should be free from rips, tears, or excessive wear.

Even if you are experienced on the river, accidents can still happen, and the best protection against hypothermia and drowning is knowing the conditions in which hypothermia is likely to occur, being able to identify and treat the symptoms of hypothermia, and making sure to observe the mandatory life jacket wear between November 1 and April 30.

Anya Shaunessy is the Centennial Volunteer Ambassador for Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River.  She is one of 70 young people chosen to work in National Parks around the country to help the National Park Service celebrate its 100th anniversary.  The National Park Service is committed to the safety of all visitors and to the preservation of natural and cultural resources for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.  Contact the author at: or at 570-685-4871 ext. 6610. Don’t forget to visit our website,, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram!


Falling into cold water, even in water that is as mild as 70° F, can lead to hypothermia. 

This is because the human body is cooled 25% faster in water than in air.