Spring Pet Safety Tips: Mushroom Toxicity

By Dr. Wendy Merideth

Mushrooms play an essential role in the decomposition of organic matter. They are fundamental in nutrient cycling and exchange within ecosystems. Unfortunately, though, many of the mushrooms in Oregon are toxic to pets.

In late spring and early summer, Sunriver Veterinary Clinic in Central Oregon treats many patients for mushroom toxicity. These animals may present with profuse drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, or they may be in a coma. Apart from such obvious symptoms, bear in mind that toxic mushrooms can also injure your pet’s liver.

Treatment involves the induction of vomiting (if the animal is conscious) to empty the stomach of remaining mushrooms. Intravenous fluids are then initiated to help flush toxins from the bloodstream. Activated charcoal, given by mouth, binds the toxins within the gastrointestinal tract and the toxins that circulate through the liver and bile. Pets may also need supportive liver medications and supplements. With treatment, the prognosis is good.
Please inspect your yard for mushrooms and watch your dogs closely on the trail this time of year. Unless you are a mushroom expert, please assume all mushrooms are toxic to pets! Wear gloves when removing them from your yard and throw them away in a place your pet can’t reach.
If your pet ever ingests a mushroom, contact your veterinarian immediately.  

Dr. Merideth incorporates both traditional and alternative veterinary medicine in the care of pets at her  Sunriver Veterinary Clinic  in Central Oregon. She especially likes helping older pets feel better through acupuncture.

Dr. Merideth incorporates both traditional and alternative veterinary medicine in the care of pets at her Sunriver Veterinary Clinic in Central Oregon. She especially likes helping older pets feel better through acupuncture.

Spin the compass, and Get OUT!


Best Bets for NW Adventure

It’s no secret, the Pacific Northwest is a mecca of amazing pet-friendly places. Wherever your whims take you this summer, these wonderful, Fido-friendly hot spots are fantastic options that promise great adventure and wonderful memories.

Head East

Bennington Properties — Sunriver

The Bennington family puts the love in vacationing with your dog. With classy dog-friendly homes and lots of fun activities, you’re sure to make memories that last a lifetime. Visit Sun River and enjoy Yappy Hour snacks and beverages while your pups romp and tussle with their “vacation friends.” Check out the Pet Parade during the Day celebrations. There’s also the American Cancer Society Bark for Life. Like biking? There bike trailer rentals for the dog!

Cooper Spur Mountain Resort — Mt. Hood

Visiting Cooper Spur Mountain Resort is a cozy getaway. The pet-friendly resort has all the amenities, plus barbeque grills, picnic areas, and an on-site restaurant. All of this surrounded by the majesty of Mt. Hood National Forest.

Head West  

Idyllic Oregon Beach Houses — Tierra Del Mar

If long quiet walks away from city crowds are to your liking, this will feel like a slice of dog-loving heaven. Both the Pier St. and Guardenia St. houses live up to the idyllic name, with accommodations for pooches and nine to ten people, all just a blink from the beach in a quiet neighborhood. Enjoy walks on the beach, watching seals and winged wildlife, while your dogs romp happily alongside.

Surfsand Resort — Cannon Beach

Fireplaces. Balconies. Haystack Rock. This resort has a lot to offer pet lovers, and half the rooms are pet friendly. Surfsand throws in dog-savvy extras like pet beds, towels and sheets, dishes, doggie bags, and placemats, and tasty treats whenever your pup pops into the lobby. In the fall, the resort hosts a dog show to raise money for the Clatsop County Animal Shelter.

Head North

Tranquil-A-Tree — White Salmon, WA

What? A tree house you can take your dog to? That’s exactly what you’ll find at Tranquil-A-Tree — a dog-friendly two-story log cabin suspended in the firs. Enjoy the pleasures of taking in the nature and beauty around you, hiking and birdwatching, relaxing in the hot tub, and more.

Sou’wester — Seaview, WA

Who hasn’t seen the vintage camp trailers that look like rolling toasters and thought how cool it would be to stay in one? Sou’wester Historic Lodge and Vintage Travel Trailer Resort invites you to check that one off your bucket list — with dog in tow. Keep the vintage vibe going by borrowing the resort’s bicycles or vinyl records, or indulge in a little pampering with massage and bodywork. Attractions include miles of beach, hiking, museums, lighthouses, and funky thrift stores.


Hotel Monaco — Downtown Portland

The uber dog-friendly (dare we say dog-crazy) Hotel Monaco in the heart of downtown actually employs a Director of Pet Relations to guarantee Fido gives them two paws up. Perks include no pet fees, no weight or size restrictions, and no limit to how many furry friends can join you. And how about a nightly dog-friendly wine reception? This is a staycation you’ll surely dig.

International Rose Test Garden — Portland

What good is it to live in the City of Roses without enjoying its signature flower? Set high in the hills above the city in Washington Park above the Oregon Zoo, visits to the garden are free and boast scenic views, rose variety, scents and colors beyond the imagination. Perfect for a picnic, and all of it dog friendly.

Lucky Labrador Brewing Company — Portland

Lucky Lab is a Portland fixture with its four locations and incredible dog-centric vibe. What more would you expect with a dog breed in the name? How about philanthropy? Yep, the Lucky Lab is into that too, presenting an annual dog wash to benefit DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital. When looking to enjoy a brew and bite, make it your summer goal to take the pup and visit dog-loving pubs on Hawthorne, Quimby, Capital Hwy and Killingsworth.

McMenamins — everywhere

This NW favorite has locations from Seattle to Eugene and in between, and the grounds and restaurant patios of many are dog friendly. Just west of Portland, the Grand Lodge in Forest Grove boasts lush, scenic grounds, and seasonal outdoor eating.  Just east of the city is pet-friendly Edgefield, with exquisite sprawling grounds. Each location offers craft beers and unique art that tells the stories of the area. 

The Oregon Garden — Silverton

Imagine 80 acres of lush botanical gardens, something for everyone, and all pet friendly. A short drive to Silverton takes you to this gardener’s paradise. Enjoy photography, geocaching, and learn about sustainable farming while strolling the fabulous grounds.

Hike the ‘Hood

If you’re looking to clock some miles under your hiking boots this summer, there are plenty of dog-friendly destinations close at hand. Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge (Sellwood) has miles of paved and unpaved hiking trails with views of the native forest, wetlands, and the Willamette River. Tryon Creek State Natural Area (Terwilliger Blvd) boasts bridges, a wetland boardwalk, shelters, exhibits, wildlife, and miles of multi-surface trails. Forest Park is a gem in the city, with more than 5,000 acres of vistas, views, and hiking galore.

Head OUT

Oregon State Parks

Most Oregon parks are pet friendly. Check website for information on day facilities, campgrounds, trailheads, and more. If you have time to book well in advance, consider a dog-friendly yurt or cabin at one of 22 campgrounds. Many activities are available at various locations, including hiking, wildflower viewing, beach walks, educational talks, biking, and swimming.

Learn more



Hike the ‘Hood — PortlandOregon.gov/parks











A Portland native, Kennedy Morgan has been around dogs her entire life – from the multitude of strays near the country home of her youth to the crew she calls her own now. Vegas, her retired agility superstar (Great Dane!) has been her primary inspiration for all things dog in the last decade, including her passion for writing.

Got a Snow-Loving Dog?


Treat them to a Dog-Loving Vacation

Wintertime Sunriver vacations suit two very different kinds of cold-weather travelers: those who love time lounging by a crackling fire, catching up on reading or binge-watching movies, and those who go for adventure, hitting the trails, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing, returning to their vacation home to recharge and hit the trails early the next morning.


A third kind of traveler loves both versions equally, diving into one or the other with absolute joy, and giving it best-day-ever status: dogs.

“There’s a distinct pine and juniper scent in the air,” says Robert Bennington, proprietor of Bennington Properties in Sunriver, “and they get excited in the car before you even get here, like arriving at the beach.” 

Both personally and professionally, Bennington is an expert at traveling with dogs. “I love dogs! I love mine and other people’s dogs,” he says. “And I love travel, which I’ve done a lot with my dogs, and I always appreciate it when I can bring them along. But I really seek out establishments that not only allow my dog but actually welcome my dog.”


Robert took that personal passion to work with him when he joined his parents’ company in 2002. Bennington Properties was just four years old at the time, and had acquired management rights to a handful of Sunriver vacation homes. “I did a campaign to convince the majority of our properties to allow dogs.” 

He succeeded. Today, Bennington Properties manages 174 Sunriver homes, 106 of which welcome dogs.

In these dog-friendly vacation homes, guests can savor not only customary Bennington Properties benefits such as bicycles, hot tubs, and free movie rentals at every home, but an array of pet-parent pampering as well. These include a nearby off-leash play area, a free on-site dog wash, and a welcome that includes special dog goodies.

Staff also happily provides concierge services for their human and canine guests — who they often think of as family — helping arrange everything from guided trips to local boarding, grooming, and pet sitting. Snowy hikes and romps are an easy 15-minute drive, made even better with complimentary Snow Park passes.

Robert likes to steer guests to a local tour that he says is a “phenomenal way to experience the winter here, from beginners to highly experienced explorers.” Well-behaved dogs are welcome on most guided snowshoe trips offered by Wanderlust, whose guides “make the snow and trees come to life with details about the natural history and ecology of the area.”

And those little details that might not have occurred to you?  The Bennington staff has you covered. “Dogs that may be coming from the city and aren’t used to spending time in the snow might need little booties to protect their feet,” says Robert, and we’re happy to help connect them to the vendors. We like to provide the same concierge services to dogs as to people.”

Over time, loyal guests and their dogs become part of the Bennington family, which makes Robert very happy. “As dog people go, I’m as crazy as they get! If somebody remembers my dog’s name over my own, they certainly have a place in my heart.”

The December 2017/January 2018 is brought to you by:  BenningtonProperties.com * Sunriver, Oregon * 888-467-9238

Paradise found — year round

Considering a Sunriver vacay? Bennington Properties tops the list for a getaway that promises lifelong memories. In the shadow of Mt. Bachelor, near 4 major rivers and streams, 30 lakes, and 5 snowcapped mountains, the destination is beautiful, and best of all, the Benningtons don’t just welcome dogs, they love them.

Proprietor Robert Bennington’s dog’s name is Ohana, meaning ‘family’ in Hawaiian, and family is exactly how guests — including the pups — are treated.

“Ohana, our Golden Retriever, comes to work with me every day,” says Robert with a smile. “And my employees are welcome to bring their dogs to work every day.”

“Here, you’re family,” affirms Robert. “We help you plan and book your trip as if it was our very own. No detail is too small and nothing goes overlooked. Your vacation begins to take shape the moment we answer the phone. Our staff take the time to get to know you, to find out what you want from the trip, and to recommend the perfect house or condo for your experience.”

Indeed, staff help with everything from pre-arrival grocery shopping to dining and activity recommendations — which might include horseback riding, golf tee times, or the perfect trail for your pack.

Each of the 174 unique Bennington Properties is carefully screened. From hot tubs and complimentary bicycles in all units to free movie rentals, popcorn, and high-speed internet, details matter. 109 of the properties — over 60% — welcome dogs.

The properties feature an off-leash play area and complimentary on-site dog wash, perfect for cleanup after a fun-filled day. Whether it’s romance for two or a reunion for 16, the accommodations, surrounds, and staff care cover every fantastic detail.

Mention Fido at reservation time and your pup (of any size or breed) will receive the royal Bennington treatment — including special doggy goodies waiting at your vacation home. Even puppies under one year are welcome (with a security deposit just in case). Mention the kids and receive the Kipa Ranger Guide, which is packed with fun activities.

Dog-loving activities are held year-round, and even tiny dogs can go, thanks to bike trailer rentals from Sunriver’s Village Bike and Ski. The locale boasts 30+ miles of paved pathways, some along the Deschutes River, and lots of fun off-leash areas.

Summer offerings also include Yappy Hour events, with complimentary beer, wine, soda, snacks and ice cream, and a fun-packed off-leash area for Fido. Find more summer fun online.

In winter, families love the dog-friendly groomed ski/snowshoe trail (Oregon’s first), just 15 minutes away at Wanoga Sno Park, elevation 5,500’. Sunriver Brewing Company’s K9 Keg Pull is a perennial crowd-pleaser.

Asked what makes him laugh out loud, Robert replied, “I would have to say, the wiggly butt of a dog. They kind of arch their back into a crescent moon shape, and their butt’s just wiggling, they’re so happy.”

Spoken like a true dog lover.

For more details about Bennington Properties’ beautiful rentals, too many fun activities to list, what to take on vacation and more, visit benningtonproperties.com.


Collecting coats for homeless dogs

BrightSide Animal Center in Redmond is collecting coats to give homeless dogs protection from the storm. Ruffwear Performance Dog Gear of Bend kicked off the drive by donating 26 dog coats, jackets and more. 

The BrightSide Pet Food Bank helps the needy almost daily, but bookkeeper Pat Bowling said they're also asking for dog coats in sizes medium, large and extra-large, as the shelter supply can't keep up.

Donations are being accepted at BrightSide Animal Center, 1355 NE Hemlock Ave in Redmond, Tues-Sat, 10am-5pm. Or donate through PayPal via the website. Donations can also be mailed to: BrightSide Animal Center, PO Box 1404, Redmond OR 97756.

Learn more about the nonprofit high-save animal shelter at brightsideanimals.org

Lost Dogs premiers at Bend Film Festival

A viral video showing one dog rescuing another off a busy freeway in Chile inspired Oregon filmmaker Vanessa Schulz to pack her bag and camera and head off to learn more about the plight of the more than 2 million stray dogs in that country.  The result is Lost Dogs, a five-year labor of love that will have its official premier during the Bend Film Festival, October 9-12. 

The film is touted as “A story of betrayal and redemption, failure and ultimate triumph, Lost Dogs proves that one dog can make a difference.”  Learn more about the film and see a trailer at LostDogsFilm.org.

BrightSide thrift opens in Redmond

BrightSide Animal Center, a no-kill shelter in Redmond, OR, opened a new thrift store in May.  The BrightSide Thrift Store is located at 838 N.W. 5th St., next to Grocery Outlet.  Offering used furniture, clothing, appliances and more, the store is open seven days a week, and helps provide financial support to the nonprofit Brightside shelter.  

Kitten Baby Shower

It’s kitten season and BrightSide Animal Center has sweet, tiny, fluffy kittens who need your help. Join them for a kitten baby shower on Saturday, May 10, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the shelter, 1355 N.E. Hemlock Ave. in Redmond.  They will be serving cake and punch, and conducting tours of the nursery too.

From 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., training will be offered for individuals and families who are interested in fostering kittens. Kittens are placed in foster homes for basic care and socialization until they are old enough to be adopted.  Foster applications will be available at the shower. To learn more about fostering in your home, please visit http://brightsideanimals.org/join-us/foster-in-your-home.

If you’d like to bring a shower gift, please see the wish list:

Kitten milk replacer and bottles

Purina kitten chow in 4-pound bags

Mainstays brand food scale

Cat carrier

Litter box

Used towels, blankets and beds

Gift cards

Cash donations

For more information, please call the shelter at 541-923-0882.


Contact: Sana Hayes, event coordinator, 541-923-0882 or  volunteer@brightsideanimals.org.

Your new best friend awaits in Central Oregon

Greyhound Pet Adoption Northwest will be at the Central Oregon Saturday Market in Bend, OR Saturday May 25, 11am-4pm, weather dependent, and June 15, July 6 and Aug. 31.  Visitors can meet, learn about and maybe even fall in love and adopt a gentle, retired racing dog.  Central Oregon Saturday Market is held Saturdays 10am-4pm at the Bend-LaPine School Admin parking lot, 520 NW Wall St, across from the downtown library.  Folks at the market hope to offer nonprofits free vendor space at the market; call 541-420-9015 for details.

Small but Scrappy


Redmond’s BrightSide Animal Center does things differently

Chris Bauersfeld has a no-nonsense way of talking that conveys the important work she has to do.  Bauersfeld is executive director of BrightSide Animal Center in Redmond, a shelter that sees a 96-97% save rate for cats and 98-99% for dogs.  “We back up what we say and feel by going high-save,” she says.  “When I got hired it was decided we would no longer euthanize a healthy animal based on space or convenience.  We embrace the idea that all animals deserve a home.”

Known as the Humane Society of Redmond since 1987, BrightSide underwent a transformation four years ago following financial challenges.  A new board and management took over, including Bauersfeld, who provided the philosophy and foundation of conviction that guides the shelter today.  The name change was an effort to let people know things are different.  “What we are doing is such a departure from business as usual that we want the community to relate to us in a new way,” says board member and volunteer Reese Mercer.

Doing things differently means not subjecting dogs to the constant stress of public viewing in the kennel.  People find an animal on Petfinder.com and then schedule a meet and greet with a counselor.  “We will spend hours with that family to feel fully satisfied that they’ve met all of the animals they could,” explains Mercer.  “That helps a lot in ensuring that our placements are sound and they aren’t going to come back to us.”


BrightSide intakes about 20 dogs and 20 cats each week.  Cats enjoy more open space here than at many traditional catteries.  “It’s an open landscape for the cats,” says Mercer. “That’s a nice existence; when you have an animal in a shelter but it’s not locked up in a cage, it’s interacting with people and becoming more socialized and friendly.”

Some BrightSide efforts are aimed at preventing the build-up of bad habits that can derail an animal’s placement.  For instance, an animal that only relieves itself on an indoor concrete floor may have picked up that habit at a shelter where it had no other choice. 

Chris Bauersfeld began volunteering in vet clinics at age 13, and by age 15 had secured a paid part-time position.  She then became a licensed veterinary technician, and eventually moved on to clinic management.  “Working in the vet field you reach a point where you feel you have to start giving back,” says Bauersfeld.  “You know there are animals that are not cherished by their owners and they deserve to find some comfort somewhere so you begin to devote your time to them.”

Since Bauersfeld took over, BrightSide’s volunteer commitments have skyrocketed.  They currently have 15 full-time employees, but their volunteer hours equate to an additional 15 full-time employees.  “Most are at minimum wage,” says Bauersfeld, “and I’m not paid at the normal scale for an executive director, but these are the things you do when you know it’s making a difference.  We might be small, but we’re scrappy and innovative in how we accomplish things.  You have to be when you don’t have a lot of money.”


The shelter offers resources to help animals stay in their homes whenever possible.  Bauersfeld told of a man who lost his job and couldn’t afford vet care when his companion of eight years became ill.  “He felt that surrendering the dog would be the only way that he could get the treatment,” says Bauersfeld.  Instead, BrightSide paid for treatment and worked out a payment plan so the dog could be restored to wellness and stay in the home.  “We really, really want people to look to us as a center for the community,” says Bauersfeld.  “We can help them.  We’re here for our community.” 

While BrightSide is an animal shelter, for Bauersfeld, the human side is just as important.  “We keep the animals at the center of everything we do, bearing in mind that people are important in this whole equation,” she explains.  “Most animals don’t get here on their own; there is a human element in this, and we are committed to giving the best public service we can on a budget you wouldn’t wish on anybody.  The resources are always stretched very thin and it’s a challenge.  But it’s a joy when you help re-home an animal, or you help someone take care of their animal that has a major medical problem, or the animal finds its owners again.”

Learn more about BrightSide at RedmondHumane.org or at “BrightSide Animal Center” on Facebook.