SJPD Open House at their new location on Business US 27

by Maralyn Fink

On Thursday I stopped in for the grand opening of our new Police Station on Business US 27. This was held from 4-6 p.m. with light refreshments served. Attending were City Officials, Mayor Eric Hufnagel, Clinton County Sheriff, Police Chief Kirk along with the Police Officers

There was a nice turnout for this event. The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was done by Mayor Hufnagel, Chief Kirk and Officer Helms, Officer Verlindey. A tour of the building was given to visitors to showcase their new building and to see the much needed space for the Department. Congratulations to the Police Department on their new journey.

A sneak peak at Newsies – an album by Maralyn Fink

Miss Marie’s fabulous career is in the books

If you were to stop by the Briggs District Library in St. Johns right now, you would see the overwhelming gratitude from the community Marie Geller has served for over 40 years. We never knew the impact she had on so many lives until we began to prepare for her departure.

Miss Marie is retiring from her post at the library at the end of the year.

There is a display of countless thank you notes from families, teachers, and children whose lives she has touched. Reading all of the thank you notes and cards she has received over the years was so touching. It is hard to describe the connection she has shared with so many people.

Who knew that when Marie began working at the then Bement Public Library, at age 15 with her Grandmother Cleo Desprez, that her career would span over 40 years? She started out working part-time as a page. Later in her career she became the Children’s Services Coordinator.

She has dedicated so much of her time, talent, and treasure to the children of this community. Miss Marie, as she is affectionately known, has created over 300 programs for children such as Toddler Time, Lapsits, Pre-Reader Story times, Chapter Chatter, March is Reading Month activities, Summer Reading, the Science, Art and Math series, and the always popular Santa Program, reaching over 7,000 children. She also provides outreach programs to many of the surrounding schools.

Not only does Marie provide programs of her own creation, she also participates in many community events such as the 4-H Fair, The Pumpkin Festival, and the Mint Festival Parade. She has even taken her programs out into the business community to see “behind the scenes” of places like Krogers, the Courthouse, and the fire station to name a few.

Miss Marie’s idea of success is when former story-time children bring their own kids back to the library for her programs.

In 2016 Marie’s hard work and tremendous dedication led to her being awarded the Patron Services Award at the Loleta Fyan Small and Rural Libraries Conference on Mackinaw Island.

According to Library Director Sara Morrison, “Marie is the heart and soul of our library. Without her dedication, creativity and drive, the library would not be where it is today. She does not seek out or expect accolades for a job well done. She goes the extra mile because she believes in the value of the library to change lives and she truly enjoys what she does. The library and community have been lucky to have been blessed with such a talented individual.”

Briggs District Library is hosting “One Last Chapter,” a program for all ages, to celebrate Miss Marie and her amazing career. The program is on Friday, November 8 from 3:00 to 9:30 PM. It will be a fun-filled evening of stories, songs, food, face painting, and games.

Please stop in to wish Marie well as she begins a new chapter in her life. More program information is available on the library website or by calling 989-224-4702.

Letters – His Cup Runneth Over thanks community

His Cup Runneth Over organizers gathered with volunteers and their families for our end of season appreciation dinner. During the 2019 season we served 5,385 FREE meals!

Thank you to all who helped in any way to make this season possible. It takes many hands and every part is an important piece.

A donation of food or baked goods helps us to prepare the meal to be given away for free.

A donation of money helps us to get the necessary paper products, additional food items needed to make the meals, pay for the license and insurance and make repairs needed on the trailer.

Volunteering your time at a serving site to help prep, serve, clean up or getting to know the people who come for a meal helps to meet the needs in our community of a warm meal and a friendly face that cares.

Pulling the trailer to and from a serving site helps make it possible to serve at various locations in our community to reach people where they are at.

If you want to get involved in being part of the team for the 2020 season let us know. There is a spot for you to serve.

– His Cup Runneth Over

Maralyn’s Pet Corner – Dog Dementia: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Life Expectancy

Canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD) syndrome is a condition related to the aging of a dog’s brain, which ultimately leads to changes in awareness, deficits in learning and memory, and decreased responsiveness to stimuli.

Although the initial symptoms of the disorder are mild, they gradually worsen over time, which is referred to as “cognitive decline.”

In fact, clinical signs of cognitive dysfunction syndrome are found in nearly one in three dogs over the age of 11, and by the age of 16, nearly all dogs display at least one sign.

Here’s everything you need to know about dog dementia, from the symptoms, causes and life expectancy to treatment and prevention.

Symptoms of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction

These are the most common symptoms of dementia in dogs:

– Disorientation/confusion
– Anxiety/restlessness
– Extreme irritability
– Decreased desire to play
– Excessive licking
– Seeming disregard for previously learned training or house rules
– Slow to learn new tasks
– Inability to follow familiar routes
– Excessive barking
– Lack of self-grooming
– Fecal and urinary incontinence
– Loss of appetite (anorexia)
– Changes in sleep cycle (e.g., night waking, sleeping during the day)

Causes of Dog Dementia

As dogs age, the brain atrophies, meaning that the cells die. This likely impacts brain function. Small strokes and other accumulation of damage may also have a role in canine cognitive decline.

The exact causes are not known, but many of the same changes that cause problems as people age are likely to also cause problems as our pets age.


You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health to your veterinarian, including the onset and nature of the symptoms and possible incidents that might have precipitated the unusual behaviors or complications.

They will then perform a complete physical examination to evaluate your dog’s overall health status and cognitive functions.

Routine blood tests, ultrasounds and X-rays are also employed to rule out other diseases that may lead to behavioral changes associated with canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome.

Treatment of Dog Dementia

Dogs with canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome require lifelong therapy and support. However, you can make a world of difference when it comes to improving your dog’s cognitive functions.

For example, although it will not “cure” your dog, maintaining a healthy and stimulating environment will help slow the progression of cognitive decline. This typically involves imposing a daily routine of exercise, play and training (re-training).

Making your home more accessible and safer for your senior dog can also help:

– Night lights can help your senior dog navigate in the dark.
– Potty pads near doors give your pup a place to go if she can’t make it until you come home or wake up.
– Orthopedic foam beds (with washable covers) can make sleep more comfortable.

In addition, medication and behavioral therapy can be used to help keep your dog comfortable and active.

Your veterinarian may also suggest employing a special, balanced diet to improve your dog’s cognitive function in terms of memory, learning ability, etc.

This diet is also typically supplemented with antioxidants, vitamin E and C, selenium, flavonoids, beta carotene, carotenoids, omega-3, and carnitine—all considered excellent for improving a dog’s cognitive functions.

Life Expectancy of Dogs With Dementia

Since canine cognitive dysfunction is a degenerative process that occurs in a dog’s senior years, similar to Alzheimer’s in humans, life expectancy can be a tricky prognosis to make.

If a dog is otherwise healthy, then the dementia will eventually diminish your dog’s quality of life, but there has not been a specific time frame established.

The best way to monitor your dog’s health and cognitive functioning is to work with your veterinarian and track your dog’s quality of life. This will help you determine when your dog is letting you know it’s time.

Vet Checkups for Dogs With Dementia

Your veterinarian will evaluate your dog periodically to monitor their response to therapy and the progression of symptoms.

However, if you notice any behavioral changes in your dog, notify your vet immediately.

In geriatric dogs, any change can be serious, so it’s important to talk to your veterinarian at the first sign. For stable patients, twice-yearly checkups are sufficient enough, unless new problems arise.