If 15-year-old Tatiana Sushko has a free minute, chances are you'll find her down the road from her Monkton home spending time with her pony, Scarlet. Her parents, Suzie and Adrian, bought Scarlet when Tatiana was just a year old, and the two have been inseparable ever since.
"She always wanted a pony," says Suzie of her daughter, who's a freshman at Hereford High School. "It's been a really nice experience."
Tatiana learned to ride on an older pony while her mom rode alongside her and trained Scarlet. As soon as Tatiana felt comfortable, she switched to Scarlet (the older pony is now retired and a family pet). Scarlet and Tatiana participate in eventing -- a sort of equestrian triathlon that incorporates dressage, stadium jumping and cross-country jumping in one competition.
"Cross country is our favorite," Tatiana says. "It's a huge thrill to gallop through fields and jump big logs. We also compete at pony races at Pimlico and Shawan Downs."
When he's not training or competing, Scarlet loves eating peppermints and letting Tatiana ride him bareback.
"All my family loves Scarlet and get along with him," Tatiana says, "but I am his main girl. We have a really special bond."
To have your pet -- including hamsters, snakes, horses, guinea pigs and the like -- considered for Collared, email information to email@example.com.
-- Kim Fernandez, for The Baltimore Sun (Christopher T. Assaf, Baltimore Sun photo /April 15, 2014)
How can I get my cat to stop tearing and eating paper?
The ingestion of any nonfood item is not a normal activity for a cat and should be diagnosed by your veterinarian to assess whether this is a medical, behavioral or nutritional issue.
You can assist with this diagnosis by logging and sharing the frequency, timing and consequences of this event. Does it happen each time there is paper in sight; is your cat alone when this happens; does this interfere with normal eating and elimination patterns of your cat?
Shredding and chewing paper could be the way your cat relieves his boredom. He may also be amused by the sound of the crinkling paper. Provide environment enrichment for your cat by providing safe cat toys. Change the location of his toys daily for him to seek out. Set aside time to actively play with your cat. This will provide him with a mental and physical substitute for choosing unsafe materials.
Be sure you are feeding nutritionally sound food to your cat. Again your veterinarian will recommend what is best.
Soon your kitty will be going "paperless." This week's expert is Betty Cox, hospital administrator at Cat Hospital at Towson (catdoc.com). To submit a question for a local animal expert, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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