Dogs can feel post-holiday letdown

Published: Friday, December 22, 2017 @ 7:41 PM

Teddy got a case of the holiday blues last year. (Photo: Jordan Blake/daytondailynews.com)
Teddy got a case of the holiday blues last year. (Photo: Jordan Blake/daytondailynews.com)

The day after Christmas last year was underwhelming for our family, especially for Teddy, our Lab.

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There was no laughter or jubilation around the living room Christmas tree and the shredded paper and empty boxes had been carried off to the trash bins.

There weren’t even any good breakfast smells in the kitchen as the humans replaced the previous day’s red-and-green pancakes with the usual fare of cereal, yogurt and muffins.

And with no new toys to be pulled out of stockings, what was a dog to do?

The pooch laid on the living room carpet. His head rested on his left front paw. His ears drooped. His gazed seemed aimless.

Teddy had a case of the post-holiday blues.

It’s not unusual for dogs to feel down, particularly in times of change, writes veterinarian Bonnie Beaver at webmd.com. John Ciribassi, past president of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, also at webmd.com says the “blues” can include less activity and socializing with humans or animals, and eating and sleeping habits can change.

Teddy looked like a black blob lying in our living room. A baby carrot was offered, and he turned his head.

Teddy’s human family was also feeling “blah.” No one seemed to have the energy to do anything.

Our house had gone from full-fledged holiday bedlam with all the bells and whistles to complete and utter calmness.

Both human psychologists and veterinarians agree that a simple case of the “blues” isn’t serious depression, but many people and dogs do experience it. It’s a basic psychological problem called contrast effect, JR Thorpe writes at bustle.com. Everyday life can’t compete with the excitement of the holidays.

Dogs sense their owners’ moods, according to Jill Sackman, at dodo.com. They can even become depressed because their human families are depressed.

So what do we do Dec. 26 to prevent the holiday blues from seeping into our home and sapping the good moods and energy from the day before?

Ed, my husband, Jordan, my daughter, and I can do what we did last year, which is nothing, or we can get moving and prevent the holiday blues from killing our “holly jolly” moods as well as Teddy’s.

Ed will take a long walk with the pooch. If it’s cold, they can bundle up in their warm winter coats. Both will reap the health benefits.

Jordan will play with Teddy more than usual. Rounds of keep-away with his new Kong toy will get them both moving. Jordan will laugh as she runs around the house. Teddy will prance after her with ears flapping and tail wagging.

Normal tummy rubs and games of fetch-shake-tug-chew will be played throughout the day. These activities will keep all four of us engaged and not moping around the house.

Dec. 27 and the days into the new year are just as important. To stay healthy and happy, my family, human and furball alike, needs to be active and socially engaged. I envision more walks, games and tummy rubs for Teddy in 2018.

Karin Spicer, a magazine writer, has been entertaining families for more than 20 years. She lives in Bellbrook with her family and two furry animals all who provide inspiration for her work. She can be reached at spicerkarin@gmail.com.

Police investigate man’s claim wife died during trip to Graceland

Published: Saturday, January 13, 2018 @ 11:09 PM

Man Claims Wife Died During Trip to Graceland, Police Trying to Find Her Body

Roberta Snider and her husband left their Ohio home to visit Graceland, but she never returned. 

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Her husband, Philip Snider, told police Roberta Snider, 69, died of natural causes in a hotel parking lot across the street from Elvis Presley’s estate the day they arrived, and then she was taken by an ambulance to a hospital.

However there is no record of her body in Tennessee, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.

“At first blush, what happened seemed reasonable,” Hartville Police Chief Larry Dordea told the Akron Beacon Journal

Now investigators are tasked with retracing their 725-mile route to find answers. 

“I think (Philip’s) recollection may be suspect,” Dordea said. “It’s a traumatic time for him, a lot of emotional pain. I’m not ready to clearly support any kind of thesis on this now. We have to painstakingly, methodically sift through the evidence.”

Philip Snider, 72, and Roberta Snider, known as Bobby, told their children they were going to the Memphis attraction one last time before she died. They left Jan. 4 and arrived two days later to the parking lot of a Days Inn hotel where Bobby had a medical emergency and died, Philip Snider said. 

He found an ambulance parked nearby and rescue workers told Philip they were taking his wife to a Memphis hospital. 

Philip did not know the name of the ambulance company or the hospital. He stayed the night then returned to Ohio. 

Authorities have searched their condo and investigators are tracking down surveillance video that could have captured footage of the couple during their drive, according to the Canton Repository.

“Whether this is a crime or not, we want to find Mrs. Snider and get her back to family so she can be laid to rest in proper manner,” Dordea said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Man dumped body of wife who never returned from Graceland trip, investigators say

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 9:33 AM

File photo.  (Photo by Mike Brown/Getty Images)
Mike Brown/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Mike Brown/Getty Images)(Mike Brown/Getty Images)

The story of an Ohio woman who allegedly died during a trip to Graceland has taken another surprising twist.

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Phillip Snider, the husband at the center of the investigation, told investigators in Benton County, Tennessee that he dumped his wife’s body in the Tennessee River, according to WBBJ.

Phillip and his wife, Roberta, left their Ohio home to visit Graceland, but she never came home. He told police his wife was in poor health and this was supposed to be their last trip.

Phillip Snider originally told police his wife died of natural causes in a hotel parking lot across from Graceland. He said they found an ambulance nearby and emergency workers told him they were taking her to a hospital.

However, there is no record of her body in Tennessee, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
Phillip didn’t know the name of the ambulance company or the hospital. As he returned home to Ohio, his story was brought into question.

Investigators in both Tennessee and Ohio have been trying to piece together the mystery.
In an interview with WBBJ, Benton County Sheriff Kenny Christopher revealed a conversation between Phillip Snider and investigators.

“He says he put her body in plastic and disposed of her body over this bridge,” Christopher told the Jackson-based TV station.

The sheriff said Phillip claims his wife had cancer and died “somewhere in Kentucky.” He allegedly continued to Memphis, stayed the night and dumped her body in the Tennessee River on the way home.

Roberta Snider’s body has not been recovered.

Investigators said Phillip could face charges.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

2018 SAG Awards: Gary Oldman, Frances McDormand, complete list of winners

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 8:18 PM

2018 SAG Awards Biggest Winners

Hollywood stars honored television and cinematic performances at the 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday. 

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Missing hiker found after calling for help before phone died

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 9:02 AM

Crews help a hiker on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, after he disappeared overnight in Canton, Georgia.
WSBTV.com
Crews help a hiker on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, after he disappeared overnight in Canton, Georgia.(WSBTV.com)

Authorities found a missing hiker alive early Monday after an overnight search in a Cherokee County park, Canton police said.

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Officers said Brendan Dowling, 41, of Kennesaw, was walking on the trails behind Boling Park in Canton when he called 911 about 6:30 p.m. Sunday and said he was lost on Rampley Trail. He told authorities that his cellphone battery was dying, and it died during the call, police spokesman Pacer Cordry said.

Officers launched a search for Dowling and found his vehicle in Boling Park a short time later. At that point, Canton police as well as Cherokee fire and sheriff’s officials launched a wider search using ATVs and a police helicopter.

Dowling was found on a wooded trail about 4:30 a.m. wearing a T-shirt and shorts, Cordry said. He was evaluated by search and rescue personnel and later reunited with family.

"He's an avid runner according to his family, so he's used to running in the woods and trails like this, but obviously he got turned around tonight," Cordry said.

Authorities are still not sure how he got lost.

“We’re still waiting on those details,” Cordry said. “I believe he just entered into the trail and it got dark really quick on him. It’s easy to get turned around in these wooded areas out here.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.