Altamont, May 15, 2014

We received an e-mail from Jim’s niece that she and her husband had purchased a motor home and were making plans to travel across the country. 

Laurie and her husband, Steve, came to visit their daughter and grandchildren over a year ago but decided that travel would be much more enjoyable with their own home rather than trying to find a hotel or motel that would accept pets.

Laurie and Steve were both raised in families that had dogs. Laurie’s family had cats, hamsters, and parakeets as well. Her mother even had a Macaw who threw seed all around the room and disturbed everyone by talking loudly day and night.

There is something special about a dog. I recently read a poem that I would like to share with you. The title is The Creation and the author is unknown.

“When God had made the earth and sky

The flower and the trees,

He then made all the animals

The fish, the birds and bees.


And when at last He had finished

Not one was quite the same.

He said, “I’ll walk this world of mine

And give each one a name.


And so He traveled far and wide

And everywhere He went,

a little creature followed Him

until its strength was spent.


When all were named upon the earth

And in the sky and sea,

The little creature said, “Dear Lord,

There is not one left for me

Kindly the Father said to him

I’ve left you to the end

I’ve turned my own name back to front

And called you dog, My friend.

There are many things to like about pets, but there seems to be a special, unique bond between people and their dogs. Yes, there are special relationships with other animals; cats, birds, fish, horses, and so on, but it is the dog, the direct descendent of the gray wolf who started following cavemen around thousands of years ago, and through some amazingly beautiful act of fate, we have developed a truly symbiotic relationship with the dog as we know it, today. 

Many people believe that dogs are on the planet specifically for us, to be our faithful loving companions.

What do we have to do to honor this bond? It really is very simple. We need to give them commitment. We need to give them exercise, leadership, protection, food, shelter, care, and love. 

Dogs, like humans, thrive on love. In turn, they will give us their very lives. Dogs have integrated into our society, and fused with humankind to serve us, and protect us, providing a marvelous, unique fellowship, and no matter how old you are, there is no getting around how a dog can enrich your life, and open your heart.

Even though dog behavior is not rocket science, it is another language, and it is important for us to do the footwork to learn that language in order to maintain the bond with our canine friends.

Caring people across the country have set in place programs to meet the specific needs of our recent military men and women, returning from war, with major medical issues.

One soldier who has a war related hearing loss, as well as PTSD, was paired with a suitable dog that could be trained to meet his specific needs.

A German Shepard mix was adopted by him, from a local shelter. Training classes at a service dog facility workrd with both the soldier and the dog. At the end of eight months of training, the team was certified. The dog now alerts the soldier to sounds that he is not hearing as well as sensing when stress related issues are about to occur. 

The dog’s full body weight on the soldier’s lap helps him to realize he is shaking badly and stroking the dog’s head helps him release the stress. This team has helped the soldier to face his daily life with less fear of the unknown. He will always have flashbacks of his tour in Iraq and Afghanistan, but nowadays he has more important things to think about, like what are he, and his dog going to do today, tomorrow, and the days to come.

Please remember that having a pet means taking responsibility for their care. You take care of them and they will take care of you.

Eastern Star met

Members of Helderberg Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, met at the Altamont Masonic Hall this past Thursday with Patricia Irwin serving as the chapter’s matron in the absence of Stacey Wright, current matron. Gerald Irwin assisted as patron. Refreshments, prepared by Pat Irwin and Beverly Harrington, were enjoyed prior to the meeting. 

GHS seniors

The Guilderland High School PTSA has announced that the Catherine Paten Scholarship will be given to a graduating senior based on the student’s community service.

The application can be picked up in the guidance office.  Deadline for turning in the completed application is Tuesday, May 20.

Zumba classes

The village of Altamont has announced that Zumba classes are back.  The classes are being held at St. John’s Church on Maple Ave. For additional in- formation contact Cari at 527-5341.

Water aerobics

Again this summer, water aerobics classes are available to Altamont residents at the pool located at the Benjamin Crupe Park off of Gun Club Road. The classes will begin Tuesday, June 24, and run through Thursday, Auugust 7.  For additional information or to register for the class, call the village office at 861-8554.  

GCSD closing

The GCSD board of education announced on April 8, that barring any emergency closing of the schools in the district, schools will be closed on Friday, May 23. 

Memorial Day

THE GCSD will be closed on Monday, May 26, in observance of Memorial Day.


The annual Memorial Day Parade will be held on Sunday, May 18 . The parade route will be from the Altamont Fairgrounds, to Brandle Road and up Main Street to the village park. The parade will begin at 2 p.m. 

Dinner in the round

Members of St. Lucy/St. Bernadette Church will hold their popular Dinner in the Round on Saturday, May 17. Dinner will be hosted by various members of the church. Cost for the dinner is $25 per person paid to the host as a donation to St. Lucy/St. Bernadette Church.

Following the relaxing dinner all will gather at the parish center around 8 p.m., for a basket drawing and live auction.

To participate in this annual event or more information, contact Ray Lauenstein at 861-8239.

Lost sand dollar

Last Friday a first grader on bus 40 lost a sand dollar that he had brought to school to show the other students. His grandparents had just brought back the gift to him from Myrtle Beach. The shell was in a square Christmas box that was accidentally left on the bus.

If you have seen it or picked it up, please bring it to the school office. If you know

of its whereabouts, please call Peter at 844-6967.


Happy-anniversary wishes are extended to:

Wendy (Giambo) and Mike Arsenault celebrating on May 16; 

Lizbeth and Michal Conboy on May 21; and 

Mary and Paul Toscano on May 22.


Happy Birthday wishes are extnded to:

— Danielle Alterwisher, Janis Berschwinger, Jim Burns, Melissa Lynch on May 16;

— Benjamin Hale, Kelsey Moak, and Marlene Schager on May 17;

— Sandy Felgentreff, Charles Gardner Sr., and Anthony Santulli on May 18;

— Frank Anetzberger, Teresa Bareis, Jimmy Gifford, Karen Hulihan, and Leah Zimmy on May 19;

— Scott Bresney, Jessica Jacklett, Karen Jones, Josh Lear, and Jason Kaczmarek on May 21; and

— Sadie Alexson, Scott  Laselle, Susan Meineker, Marion Sisk and Craig Smith on May 22.