Touch a Truck, 2018

an album by Maralyn Fink

The Clinton County Arts Council sponsored a Plein Air Event on May 12, 2018. Plein air painting is about leaving the four walls of your studio behind and experiencing painting and drawing in the landscape.

– Best of Show was awarded to Cornelis vanSpronsen
– 2nd Place went to Tom Tomasek for the Divine Mercy Parish
– 3rd Place was award to Martha Elchert — with Martha Elchert Fine Art

All work will be available at the Art Gallery through the end of the month.

A Look Back – Car Salesmen

by Barry Clark Bauer

Jim Ruff & Red Devereaux were car salesmen at Bee’s Chevy & Olds, circa 1972. I don’t know much about Jim but Red left Bee’s and worked as an independent. He had a used car lot on E. State St.

This was one of a series of promotional pictures to feature Bee’s salesmen in the local paper.

Red also has a Federal-Mogul connection. His son, Randy, his wife, Olive and brother, Wendell “Dick,” worked there.

Bennie and Jessie’s Pet Info – Rainy Day Dangers for Dogs

Courtesy of John Gilpatrick

Rain is the ultimate disrupter. Whether you’re simply stuck in your office without an umbrella, getting poured on after enjoying a day at the park with your kids, or—worst of all—waiting to get on a plane at an overcrowded airport, a storm can destroy the best laid plans.

A dog’s routine is much simpler than that of his owner, but rain doesn’t spare his plans either. The evening walk he looks forward to? Postponed. Simply going outside to run around and relieve himself? Well, it’s still necessary, but it’ll be quicker and less pleasant than it usually is.

“In general, it’s best to stick to short bathroom breaks outside during heavy rain and save the outdoor play time for better weather,” says Dr. Sarah Tauber, a veterinarian at DoveLewis Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital in Portland, Oregon.

Unfortunately, rain can present some real health and safety problems for dogs. Here are four dangers to look out for:

Low Visibility

When it’s really coming down, drivers who can’t see well are a major safety risk for pups.

“Dogs may get spooked by the rain or by thunder and lightning, and this might make them run out into the street, which isn’t safe for the pet or the owner,” says Dr. Michelle Danna, practice manager and medical director for at Boston Street Animal Hospital in Baltimore.

You dog’s safety around cars in low visibility is one of the biggest reasons why rainy walks should be discouraged. If you rain is in the forecast but it’s not pouring yet, simply walk around the block a few times rather than putting in any real distance.


Frightening your dog into the street isn’t the only reason to worry about lightning. While it is rare, a lightning strike could harm both you and your dog.

“Anything metal might attract lightning, including an umbrella,” Danna says. “If you hear thunder or see lightning, seek shelter as quickly as possible, avoiding high points and trees along the way as best you can.”

One thing you shouldn’t do, Danna says, is remove your dog’s tags. While they’re metal, the risk of your dog running away while frightened by the storm is too high, so staying inside and taking short potty breaks should be your priority.


Some dogs love to splash in others, while others might walk through them unavoidably. In any case, a dog who comes into contact with standing water is potentially introducing himself to a variety of dangerous bacteria.

“Leptospirosis and giardia are two infectious agents that can potentially result when dogs consume diseased water [found in puddles],” Tauber says. “Consider getting your dog vaccinated against leptospirosis if your dog is outdoors often and has a tendency to lap up standing water. Another option is to keep your pet well hydrated by offering him plenty of water before and during your outside playtime. This will discourage him from drinking water from other sources.”

Tauber adds that puddles can also be dangerous if toxins like motor oil or lawn chemicals have spread to puddles during rainfall.

And even if your dog doesn’t drink this dirty water, he still might be exposed if he steps in the water and licks his paws afterwards, Danna says.

“One of the first things you should do when your dog comes in if it’s wet outside is soak his feet in diluted antiseptic, like Scope or Listerine,” she says. “Do this for at least 30 seconds, and then towel dry his paws well.”

Dr. Katie Grzyb, a Brooklyn-based veterinarian, recommends speaking with your veterinarian prior to soaking your pet’s paws in an antiseptic, particularly if he has any history of paw infections or skin allergies.

Danna adds that if you see symptoms including nausea, lethargy, fever, excessive urination in your dog, you should bring him to your veterinarian right away. Leptospirosis is very treatable in its early stages, she says, but it becomes more complex to treat if it’s not diagnosed early.

It should also be noted that leptospirosis is zoonotic, meaning it can spread to humans, Grzyb says. If you’re concerned that your pet is showing signs of leptospirosis, wear gloves or avoid interaction with your dog’s urine until your pet sees a veterinarian.


“If dogs are exposed to wet, cold weather for too long, their respiratory tract can become inflamed, which may lead to pneumonia,” Tauber says. This is especially true for both older and younger dogs, as well as any whose immune systems may be compromised.

Symptoms of pneumonia in dogs can include cough, lethargy, wheezing or difficulty breathing, and a runny nose, she adds. “This illness can be life-threatening if not treated, so it’s best to see seek medical care immediately.”

To prevent pneumonia, wipe your dog down with a towel or blanket as soon as he comes in from the rain. You may also want to consider putting a waterproof (not water-resistant) doggy raincoat on him before he goes out in the rain. If your dog is too big for one, Danna says you can cut holes in a large black garbage bag and put him into it.

Letters – Congrats on Spring Fling and Come Walk with Us

We would like to extend an invitation to all of our community. I host a Friendship walk every Tuesday beginning at the St John’s Depot. We gather at 6 p.m. inside pavilion and walk to Scott road. Once back to pavilion that’s a 1.5 mile walk. Then we venture to DeWitt road and back for a 4.16 mile walk, more than a 5 K!

In a few weeks we will add a third leg completing out a 10 K or 6.4 mile walk. Everyone can choose how far they want to walk, we have all levels all speeds. Come enjoy making friends. Bring water and a smile.


Congratulations, St Johns for an Amazing Spring Fling! Crowds everywhere! Vendors,food trucks, local merchants all enjoying the crowds in spite if the 49 degree weather. The spirit could not be dampened. Wonderful event.

– Marti Cooper

Maralyn’s Pet Corner – Whisker Fatigue in Cats

Courtesy of Carol McCarthy

While “whisker fatigue” might sound like something you get from kissing an unshaven man, it is actually a condition that can affect cats, causing them a good deal of stress. Learn more about whisker fatigue, and how amazing your cat’s whiskers are, below.

Why Do Cats Have Whiskers?

“Cat whiskers are extraordinary sensing hairs that give them almost extrasensory powers,” says Dr. Neil Marrinan of the Old Lyme Veterinary Hospital in Connecticut. Despite their evolution, whiskers (which scientists call tactile hairs or vibrissae), have remained as features on most mammals in some basic form.

For cats, whiskers are much more than facial adornments that add to their cuteness, Marrinan says. They act as high-powered antennae that pull signals into their brain and nervous system. The ultra-sensitive sensory organs at the base of the whiskers, called proprioceptors, tell your cat a lot about her world. They provide your cat with information regarding her own orientation in space and the what and where of her environment. In these ways, he says, whiskers help your cat move around furniture in a dark room, hunt fast-moving prey (by sensing changes in air currents) and help to determine if she can squeeze into that incredibly tight spot between the bookcase and the wall.

What is Whisker Fatigue?

While cats can voluntarily “turn on” the sensory focus of their whiskers exactly where they want, Marrinan says, whisker receptors mostly respond to a cat’s autonomic system — the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves that respond to the internal and external environment without conscious control (pupils constricting in response to bright light, for example).

You can think of whisker fatigue as an information overload that stresses out your cat. Because whisker hairs are so sensitive, every time your cat comes into contact with an object or detects movement, even a small change in air current or a slight brush against her face, messages are transmitted from those sensory organs at the base of her whiskers to her brain, Marrinan says. That barrage of “messages” could stress out your cat, eventually causing what some people call whisker fatigue.

However, Marrinan suggests that “fatigue” may not be the best description of the condition, since what your cat is feeling is probably more like distaste or aversion than soreness or actual fatigue. In fact, whisker stress is another term some people use for the condition.

Not all feline vets think whisker fatigue is a real condition or cause for concern. Dr. Cathy Lund of City Kitty, a feline-only veterinary practice in Providence, R.I, questions the validity of whisker fatigue. While a cat’s whiskers do serve as very sensitive tactile sensors, she does not believe contact between whiskers and objects causes stress in cats. That said, stress, for whatever reason, is a real issue of concern for cat owners and vets, Lund says.

What Causes Whisker Fatigue?

While your cat relies on her fetching facial antennae to navigate the world, she can’t tune out unnecessary messages the way we filter out background noise, Marrinan says. She inadvertently finds stimulation in the most common and ever-present situations, like at her food or water bowl. If her whiskers touch the sides of the bowl every time she dips her head to sip or eat, this can cause whisker fatigue, the theory suggests.

Your cat’s behavior at her food and water bowl will tip you off that she is stressed, Marrinan says. Some signs to watch for include pacing in front of the bowls, being reluctant to eat but appearing to be hungry, pawing at food and knocking it to the floor before eating or acting aggressive toward other animals around food. Of course these behaviors can also be related to potentially serious health conditions like dental disease, oral tumors, gastrointestinal diseases, behavioral problems and more, so if you have any concerns about your cat’s well-being, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Marrinan says many vets, regardless of their opinions on whisker fatigue, agree that cats often find eating out of a bowl unappealing in general and providing a flat surface for meals is preferable.

Whisker fatigue is not a disease (and is not caused by or related to any type of illness) and appears to manifest primarily with the repeated daily contact with food and water bowls, Marrinan says. However, a cat who is stressed is not happy, and if she avoids eating and drinking, she might become malnourished and/or dehydrated.

How Can Whisker Fatigue Be Prevented?

Luckily, preventing or stopping stress related to whisker fatigue at feeding time is as easy as replacing your cat’s food and water bowls. At meal time, provide a flat surface or a wide-enough bowl for food so that her whiskers don’t touch the sides of the bowl, Marrinan says. In a pinch, a paper plate can serve as a suitable food dish, he adds.

Most cats prefer a lip-less, large flowing water source, for drinking, he says. Ideally, cat parents should provide an automatic, fresh water source, which cats prefer “to an icky, stale bowl of water that might as well be from an old tire.”

Some cat parents believe another solution is to trim their cats’ whiskers, but this is a no-no. “Trimming whiskers mutes their expression, dims their perceptions, and in general, discombobulates cats and annoys them,” Marrinan says. “I do not recommend trimming cat whiskers.”