My Rescue Hopee

Learn more about Hopee who was featured in the Spring 2015 Smiling Dog section of The Bark.

This is one of my dogs, Hopee.

She was rescued from Hurricane Katrina by Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah, six months after the hurricane hit.

Almost five years later, a friend and I volunteered at Best Friends for a week. She was the first dog I walked on the trails. I could not believe she had not been adopted in all that time. She was very shy, so it had been hard for her to meet people. She certainly didn't belong in a sanctuary, though.

I spent a lot of time with her that week and when I returned home, I applied for her. I had to drive back to Utah for three of my dogs to meet her and I got to take her on some outings, and about a month later they put her on a plane in Las Vegas, and I picked her up in St. Louis that evening.

We think she is about 14 now and she has never given me a minute of trouble and has come out of her shell quite a bit. She has a thyroid condition, is on phenobarbytol for seizures that started about two years ago (she's been seizure-free ever since) and was recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

She is so special to me!

Rose Hutches
Springfield, Ill.

Thinking Outside The Cage
How The World's Worst Dog Became Our Shelter's Best Teacher

Eddie was not a particularly magnanimous little dog. While he was sweet and loving with people he knew, he was a snarling, snapping nightmare with children and other dogs. As he weighed less than ten pounds, it was a manageable situation but who would want to manage it? Making matters worse, he was a tan Chihuahua in an area up to its ears in tan Chihuahuas. If shelters in other states suffer from an overabundance of wonderful large black dogs, California has a Chihuahua overpopulation issue reminiscent of the “Tribble” episode of Star Trek.

After having Eddie in our care for two years we were at a total loss for how to find him a home. Facebook posts, adoption ads, offering free training - nothing worked. Stymied, our Adoptions, Behavior and Marketing teams sat down to a situation room conference and came up with a drastic idea: complete honesty. We wrote a no holds bar blog about why you probably didn’t want to adopt Eddie, crafted a satirical press release noting the same, produced a couple jarring videos, and made some memes to distribute through various marketing channels.

It went completely viral. Our phone lines jammed and the media turned out in force to talk about little Eddie. America embraced Eddie. To say this was a huge learning experience for us at Humane Society Silicon Valley would be an understatement. After two weeks of near bedlam, Eddie was comfortably ensconced in a new home and our staff was older - and much wiser - than we used to be. Three big lessons stuck out from our crash course in unconventional marketing.

1)    Everyone owns an Eddie. As the Eddie blog scampered it’s way around the internet on fleet little paws, we heard a resounding chorus of one sentence: “He’s just like my dog!”. While we may strive for perfection in ourselves, people are unfailingly willing to embrace imperfection in their companion animals. As a society, our love of the dogs we share our lives with far outweighs our need for control and order. While statistics have always borne out the fact that the reason dogs wind up in shelters has more to do with changes in the owners lifestyle, Eddie’s raging popularity - and the surfeit of people that stepped up to meet him - showed us anecdotally that we accept our dogs, warts and all.

2)    Inform, don’t restrict. In deciding to go the route of radical honesty, we also decided to trust as well. Too often shelters deal with difficult animals by restricting the adopters - no kids, adult only, experienced homes. By doing that, we drastically cut down the number of options for animals already at a disadvantage for finding homes. We also forget a vital fact: most of us didn’t come to dog ownership as experts. None of us were born conversant in the lingo of behavior theory and versed in positive reinforcement training. It was a relationship with a dog that encouraged us to seek out information - to learn and grow. Even the most expert pet professionals usually came to their career through the very simple act of loving an animal. By frankly presenting Eddie’s problems and removing his restrictions, we allowed for the possibility of that transformative relationship, allowed his potential adopters to make an informed decision about what they were capable of. And they did.

3)    You don’t need to write a horror story to make people care. Noticeably absent from all of the media we did about Eddie was one simple thing: his rather unremarkable history. Eddie wasn’t a victim of abuse or neglect - he was simply an under socialized dog who got loose and was a bit too much for his owners to handle. Too often in shelter marketing, we make the mistake of thinking that we need to return to the same narrative of good versus evil. If there’s one thing we learned from Eddie the Terrible, it’s that people are more complex - and their hearts are larger than we anticipated. 

Eddie forced us to reevaluate how we approach more challenging animals that enter our doors and how we interact with potential adopters.

And perhaps these are lessons that can save more lives. 

Chemical Enhancement of Social Information
Oxytocin improves dog performance

A new study in the journal Animal Cognition that reports that oxytocin increases canine responses to human social cues adds to the large number of known effects of this chemical. The more that oxytocin is studied, the more influential it seem to be.

All the articles that refer to oxytocin as “the love hormone” are simplifying to the point of distortion. Sure, levels of this chemical rise in the early stages of romantic love, but that’s just a small part of its role in our lives. Oxytocin is a biologically occurring molecule made of a short chain of nine amino acid acids that has strong effects on the body and on social behavior. Ever since a study roughly 20 years ago showed that it played a key role in the choice of a lifelong mate in the famously monogamous prairie vole, a series of studies have shown its key role in a number of species in trust and social interactions, including bonding. New human parents of babies show a rise in oxytocin, for example.

On the other hand, the moms out there experience other effects of oxytocin related to parenting, and those aren’t all so sweet and glorious. The same chemical that helps us love our babies also helps our babies enter the world and thrive in it. That’s because oxytocin is important for the production of contractions during childbirth and also for lactation to feed our infants.

>To make matters more complicated, oxytocin can make memories of negative social interactions more intense. So, again, “the love hormone” is really not a fair and complete way to describe its social function. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that it focuses our attention on social information and gives us the ability to understand it at a deeper level. The recent study. “Oxytocin enhances the appropriate use of human social cues by the domestic dog (Canis familiaris) in an object choice task ” supports this view of this powerful biochemical.

The researchers who conducted this study investigated the effects of oxytocin on canine performance in an object choice test (OCT). In an OCT, a person gives a non-verbal, social cue to a dog to indicate the location of a piece of hidden food. Based on the dog’s response, it is possible to learn what cues are meaningful to dogs and which ones they can correctly interpret. Two common cues in OCT studies are pointing and gazing in the direction of the food. In this study, dogs and their guardians came to the test center twice, 5 to 15 days apart for a set of 40 OCT trials, 20 for each cue—gazing or pointing. On one visit, the dog was given an intranasal dose of oxytocin prior to the study and on the other visit, an intranasal saline control was given. The order of these two treatments varied between dogs.

The dogs who were given oxytocin first performed better in their first session than those dogs given saline during the first visit to the testing center. Effects were not as obvious in the trials involving gazing. In gazing trials, the dogs given oxytocin performed no better than if they guessed randomly where the food was hidden, while the dogs given saline first did even worse. Since previous studies have suggested that dogs actively choose to avoid locations that humans have gazed at, this research suggests the possibility that oxytocin counteracts that negative interpretation by dogs, and that they simply guess.

vious OCT studies, dogs have shown no improvement over time. Since learning occurred no matter which treatment dogs received first, it does not appear as though the oxytocin was responsible.

Maybe it’s the science geek in me who has always been fascinated by social behavior, but I’m just as thrilled with the idea of oxytocin as “the social information enhancer and clarifier chemical” as I ever was by the term “the love hormone.”

Bark’s Best Places to Work
A directory of dog-friendly companies

The following businesses understand the value of working in the company of dogs— whether it’s writing code, blowing glass or saving the environment … work is just better with a dog by your side. We’ve gathered together the most comprehensive list of dog- friendly workplaces in America, both large and small, covering 30 states. We salute these companies for working and playing hard, and valuing a belly-rub and as much as a balance sheet. (If you know a dog-friendly company we’ve missed, please add it in the comments)

Company: 3five, Inc. 
Headquarters: Minneapolis, MN 
Business type: Web/Mobile Design 
Number of employees:

Company: Advent Software 
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA 
Business type: Software 
Number of employees: 1141 
Dog-friendly notable: The company hosts dog-related event and "holistic health" classes for their pet owners. 

Company: Amazon 
Headquarters: Seattle, WA 
Business type: Online Retailer 
Number of employees: 88,500 
Dog-friendly notable: Dogs must remain on a leash unless it is behind a baby gate or in an office with a closed door. 

Company: archer>malmo, inc.
Headquaters: Memphis, TN
Business type: Advertising/Marketing
Number of employees: 160

Company: Assembly of Dog 
Headquarters: Seattle, WA 
Business type: Dog Daycare / Boarding 
Number of employees:
Dog-friendly notable: Employees dogs board for free and receive treats and poo bags.  

Company: Autodesk 
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA 
Business type: Software 
Number of employees: 7000 
Dog-friendly notable: Autodesk offers pet insurance as a benefit, and dog ID tags. 

Company: Average Joes Entertainment
Headquaters: Nashville, TN
Business type: Record Label
Number of employees: 25

Company: Ben & Jerry's  
Headquarters: South Burlington, VT 
Business type: Ice Cream Manufacturer 
Number of employees: 110 
Dog-friendly notable: Approximately 110 human employees and roughly 15 to 20 dogs 

Company: Big Communications 
Headquarters: Birmingham, AL 
Business type: Advertising/Marketing 
Number of employees: 43 
Dog-friendly notable: Milk bones, dog beds and Frosty Paws aplenty.  

Company: Big Foot Media
Headquaters: Chicago, IL
Business type: Media/Video Production
Number of employees: 5

Company: Big Spaceship 
Headquarters: Brooklyn, NY 
Business type: Advertising/Marketing 
Number of employees: 62 
Dog-friendly notable: Office dogs have professional photos taken for website feature. 

Company: BISSELL Homecare, Inc. 
Headquarters: Grand Rapids, MI 
Business type: Floor Care Products Manufacturer 
Number of employees: 2000 
Dog-friendly notable: Pet Spot, is their pet-friendly facility featuring work stations, conference area, indoor kennels, dog bathing station and play area. 

Company: Bitly
Headquaters: New York, NY
Business type: Advertising/Marketing
Number of employees: 65

Company: Boa Technology 
Headquarters: Denver, CO 
Business type: Technology 
Number of employees: 72 
Dog-friendly notable: Hosts dog-friendly events and pet health/wellness programs. 

Company: Boly:Welch 
Headquarters: Portland, OR 
Business type: Consulting 
Number of employees: 32 
Dog-friendly notable: Longstanding relationship with the Oregon Humane Society through volunteerism and in-kind support.   

Company: Bomber Industries
Headquaters: Silverthorne, CO
Business type: Retailer
Number of employees: 4

Company: Bravo! Vail
Headquaters: Vail, CO
Business type: Music Service
Number of employees: 15

Company: Build-A-Bear-Workshop 
Headquarters: St. Louis, MO 
Business type: Toy Manufacturer 
Number of employees: 4,250 
Dog-friendly notable: Featured on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For list. 

Company: Bulkley West 
Headquarters: Seattle, WA 
Business type: Manufacturers Representative Group 
Number of employees:
Dog-friendly notable: Current staff/dog ratio: 5 employees and 8 dogs  

Company: Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners 
Headquarters: Sausalito, CA 
Business type: Advertising/Marketing 
Number of employees: 150 
Dog-friendly notable: Listed on Outside magazine's 50 Best Companies to Work, their day includes a daily group dog walk. 

Company: Camp Bow Wow of Bridgewater 
Headquarters: Bridgewater, NJ 
Business type: Dog Daycare / Boarding 
Number of employees: 45 
Dog-friendly notable: Provide free daycare, discounted boarding/training/grooming. 

Company: Canine Detection and Inspection Services 
Headquarters: La Grange, IL 
Business type: Inspection Services 
Number of employees: 10 
Dog-friendly notable: All dogs have full health coverage and an abundance of toys/treats/snuggles. 

Company: Cape Art Tiles
Headquaters: Truro, MA
Business type: Print Manufacturing
Number of employees: 6

Company: Carnation Corners 
Headquarters: Carnation, WA 
Business type: Retail 
Number of employees:
Dog-friendly notable: Treats for all.  

Company: CattleDog Publishing
Headquaters: Davis, CA
Business type: Publishing
Number of employees: 6

Company: Century Box 
Headquarters: Methuen, MA 
Business type: Folding Carton Manufacturer 
Number of employees: 120 
Dog-friendly notable: Employs a dog walker while the pooches are on-site. 

Company: Certified Wildlife Friendly  
Headquarters: Bainbridge Island, WA 
Business type: Non-Profit 
Number of employees:
Dog-friendly notable: Closes office for annual ski day and summer outings—including dogs on cross country skiing and summer adventure (paddling, hiking or biking).  

Company: Chehalem Wines 
Headquarters: Newberg, OR 
Business type: Winery/Distillery/Brewery 
Number of employees: 14 
Dog-friendly notable: Grassy one-acre fenced-in dog area next to the winery provides room for playing and socializing. 

Company: Chuck Latham Associates 
Headquarters: San Diego CA 
Business type: Pet Products Broker 
Number of employees: 50 
Dog-friendly notable: Pets get to test and taste products from companies represented. 

Company: Clif Bar & Company 
Headquarters: Emeryville, CA 
Business type: Manufacturer of Food 
Number of employees: 350 
Dog-friendly notable: Large off-leash area, VPI pet insurance discount, unlimited paid time-off to volunteer for animal causes. Included on Outside's Best Places to Work list in 2010. 

Company: Country Walkers 
Headquarters: Waterbury, VT 
Business type: Tour Operator 
Number of employees: 23 

Company: Cram Crew
Headquaters: Houston, TX
Business type: Education
Number of employees: 50

Company: Culver Brand Design
Headquaters: Milwaukee, WI
Business type: Design Agency
Number of employees: 18

Company: Dean Insurance Agency
Headquaters: Altamonte Spring, FL
Business type: Insurance
Number of employees: 4

Company: Delphic Digital
Headquaters: Philadelphia, PA
Business type: Digital Agency
Number of employees: 42

Company: Diamond Creek Pet Retreat & The Canine Sports Center 
Headquarters: Goshen, CT 
Business type: Dog Training 
Number of employees: 15 
Dog-friendly notable: Outdoor exercise area for on and off-leash activity, dog treadmill when weather is bad, numerous treats. 

Company: Doggyloot 
Headquarters: Chicago, IL 
Business type: Online Retailer 
Number of employees: 15 
Dog-friendly notable: Copious amounts of samples, chews, treats, toys and doggy accessories. 

Company: dogIDs
Headquaters: Fargo, ND
Business type: Retailer
Number of employees: 11

Company: Dogster/SAY Media 
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA 
Business type: Entertainment 
Number of employees: 300 
Dog-friendly notable: Poop bags and treats aplenty. Brings together visiting children and dogs for added fun. 

Company: Dogtopia 
Headquarters: North Bethesda, MD  
Business type: Dog Daycare / Boarding 
Number of employees: 84 
Dog-friendly notable: Complimentary dog daycare services, discounts on boarding and retail products. 

Company: DogTrekker 
Headquarters: San Rafael, CA 
Business type: Travel Directory / Online Services 

Company: Dogwise 
Headquarters: Wenatchee, WA  
Business type: Book Publisher 
Number of employees:
Dog-friendly notable: Dogs encouraged to try new products—toys and treats. 

Company: Etsy 
Headquarters: Brooklyn, NY 
Business type: Online Retailer 
Number of employees: 200 
Dog-friendly notable: Since its start in 2005, the craft marketplace site Etsy has been a dog friendly office. 

Company: Flathead Spay & Neuter Task Force
Headquaters: Columbia Falls, MT
Business type: Veterinary
Number of employees: 30

Company: Fluent City
Headquaters: Brooklyn, NY
Business type: Education
Number of employees: 8

Company: Found Animals 
Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA 
Business type: Non-Profit 
Number of employees: 40 
Dog-friendly notable: Dog food/treats aplenty. Ample time allotted to employees for walks/playtime with pets. 

Company: Frenchie Winery 
Headquarters: St. Helena, CA 
Business type: Winery/Distillery/Brewery 
Number of employees: 50 
Dog-friendly notable: For every bottle of Frenchie wine sold, $1 was donated to the ASPCA foundation to support animal rights. 

Company: Freshpet 
Headquarters: Secaucus, NJ 
Business type: Pet Food Manufacturer   

Company: Fueled 
Headquarters: New York City, NY 
Business type: App Design 
Number of employees: 30 
Dog-friendly notable: Dogs welcome in the office at all times, doggy toys/food available. 

Company: Giraffe Marketing 
Headquarters: Durango, CO 
Business type: Advertising/Marketing 
Number of employees:
Dog-friendly notable: All outdoor events include dogs and in company cars, a canine co-pilots encouraged. 

Company: Glassy Baby 
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA 
Business type: Glass Blowing   

Company: Google 
Headquarters: Mountain View. CA 
Business type: Web Search Engine 
Number of employees: 20,000+ (Mountain View)  

Company: Grassroots solutions, inc 
Headquarters: Minneapolis, MN 
Business type: Consulting 
Number of employees: 40 
Dog-friendly notable: Treats, toys, cozy sleeping areas provided. 

Company: Halmoni 
Headquarters: Oakland, CA 
Business type: Retail 
Number of employees:

Company: Harbors Home Health & Hospice
Headquaters: Hoquiam, WA
Business type: Home Care
Number of employees: 48

Company: Healthwise 
Headquarters: Boise, ID 
Business type: Health Information Provider 
Number of employees: 210 
Dog-friendly notable: Dogs have played a part in its culture from the first day, thanks to Healthwise’s dog-loving CEO, Don Kemper, who currently shares his office with a Bulldog mix named Tuba 

Company: Healthy Paws Pet Insurance 
Headquarters: Bellevue, WA 
Business type: Insurance 
Number of employees: 30 
Dog-friendly notable: Discount on pet insurance, healthy snacks, former vet technicians on staff. 

Company: Helen's Salon 
Headquarters: Claremore, OK 
Business type: Beauty & Cosmetics 
Number of employees: 4

Company: HelloSociety
Headquaters: Santa Monica, CA
Business type: Advertising/Marketing
Number of employees: 22

Company: Humane Society of the United States 
Headquarters: Washington, DC 
Business type: Non-Profit 
Number of employees: 623 
Dog-friendly notable: Employees reimbursed for pet care expenses incurred due to work-related travel. Discounts on pet insurance. Flexible visits permitted for vet appointment, vacation leave or other needs.  

Company: Hydro Flask
Headquaters: Bend, OR
Business type: Manufacturer
Number of employees: 34

Company: Ideapark 
Headquarters: Minneapolis, MN 
Business type: Advertising/Marketing 
Number of employees: 26 
Dog-friendly notable: Full treat jar in the kitchen and a smattering of beds around the office. 

Company: IMC
Headquaters: Holmdel, NJ
Business type: Advertising/Marketing
Number of employees: 15

Company: IMRE 
Headquarters: Baltimore, MD 
Business type: Advertising/Marketing 
Number of employees: 83 

Company: InsightSquared
Headquaters: Cambridge, MA
Business type: Software
Number of employees: 105

Company: Integrated Benefit Consultants 
Headquarters: Rolling Hills Estates, CA 
Business type: Insurance 
Number of employees:
Dog-friendly notable: Pet insurance is provided as part of our employee benefits. 

Company: Intent Media 
Headquarters: New York City, NY 
Business type: Technology  

Company: Jaime Ellsworth Studio
Headquaters: Friday Harbor, WA
Business type: Arts
Number of employees: 4

Company: Jersey Printing Associates 
Headquarters: Atlantic Highlands, NJ  
Business type: Print Manufacturing 
Number of employees: 26 

Company: Joliet Slammers
Headquaters: Joliet, IL
Business type: Baseball
Number of employees: 300

Company: Jones Soda 
Headquarters: Seattle, WA 
Business type: Manufacturer of Soda 
Number of employees: 20 

Company: Justia 
Headquarters: Mountain View, CA 
Business type: Legal Portal / Online Services 
Number of employees: 80 
Dog-friendly notable: Dogs roam free, attend meetings, go on walks, offered treats and special birthday celebration. 

Company: Justuno
Headquaters: San Francisco, CA
Business type: Software
Number of employees: 9

Company: JVST USA LLC.
Headquaters: San Francisco, CA
Business type: Advertising/Marketing
Number of employees: 7

Company: K9 Country Club & Training Academy 
Headquarters: Bulverde, TX 
Business type: Dog Daycare / Boarding 
Number of employees: 12 
Dog-friendly notable: Employees gets access to the Beach Club, discounts on grooming, doggie daycare. Offer field trips with their dogs. 

Company: Karmaloop 
Headquarters: Boston, MA 
Business type: Online Retailer 
Number of employees: 200 

Company: Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. 
Headquarters: Indianapolis, IN 
Business type: Non-Profit 
Number of employees: 21 
Dog-friendly notable: Office dogs sit in on staff meetings, hang out with the employees and play outside. 

Company: Keiler 
Headquarters: Farmington, CT 
Business type: Advertising/Marketing 
Number of employees: 46 
Dog-friendly notable: Incorporated “Puppy Policy” into employee handbook—allowing dogs to accompany their owners into the office on any given day of the week.   

Company: Kiosked Ltd
Headquaters: Los Angeles, CA
Business type: Advertising/Marketing
Number of employees: 45

Company: Klutz 
Headquarters: Palo Alto, CA 
Business type: Gaming 
Number of employees: 43 

Company: KolbeCo 
Headquarters: O'Fallon, MO 
Business type: Advertising/Marketing 
Number of employees:
Dog-friendly notable: 5th year of producing an annual donation drive—Frills For Furbabies—to support local animal shelter Stray Rescue of St. Louis. 

Company: Kriser's 
Headquarters: Chicago, IL 
Business type: Pet Food Manufacturer 

Company: Kyjen 
Headquarters: Centennial, CO 
Business type: Pet Food Manufacturer 
Number of employees: 26 
Dog-friendly notable: Dogs are a vital part of the creation of Kyjen products. Regular company outings with dogs. 

Company: Larson Family Winery 
Headquarters: Sonoma, CA 
Business type: Winery/Distillery/Brewery 
Number of employees: 20 
Dog-friendly notable: Provides dogs 100 acres of land and vineyards with a creek to roam and explore.  

Company: Law Offices of Daniel F. Brookman 
Headquarters: Santa Monica, CA 
Business type: Law Firm 
Number of employees:
Dog-friendly notable: Offers leashes, water dishes, treats and toys for all the dogs, plus daily dog walk breaks. 

Company: Le Chateau Pet Resort
Headquaters: Amarillo, TX
Business type: Pet Resort
Number of employees: 24

Company: LeashLocket, Ltd./AEI 
Headquarters: Denver, CO 
Business type: Pet Product Manufacturer 
Number of employees:
Dog-friendly notable: Office features plenty of dog beds, treats, chews and toys, plus time for dog walking. 

Company: Liftopia 
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA 
Business type: Online Retailer 
Number of employees: 35 
Dog-friendly notable: Dog toys, dog beds aplenty. 

Company: LocalResponse 
Headquarters: New York, NY 
Business type: Advertising Network 
Number of employees: 25 

Company: Lovely 
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA 
Business type: Rental Listing / Online Services 
Number of employees: 15 
Dog-friendly notable: Outdoor and indoor space for dogs—indoor facilities offers bean bags and lounge chairs to share with employees.  

Company: Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards 
Headquarters: Solvang, CA  
Business type: Winery/Distillery/Brewery 
Number of employees: 34 
Dog-friendly notable: Company dogs have been featured in winery promotion photos. 

Company: Madison House Assisted Living Residence 
Headquarters: Cortez, CO 
Business type: Assisted Living Residence 
Number of employees: 17 

Company: Marcus Thomas LLC 
Headquarters: Cleveland, OH 
Business type: Advertising/Marketing 
Number of employees: 150 
Dog-friendly notable: All the meeting rooms are named after their dogs.  

Company: Martinez Animal Hospital  
Headquarters: Martinez, CA 
Business type: Veterinary Hospital 
Number of employees: 17 

Company: mcgarrybowen
Headquaters: New York, NY
Business type: Advertising/Marketing
Number of employees: 600

Company: Midland School 
Headquarters: Los Olivos, CA 
Business type: School 
Number of employees: 24 
Dog-friendly notable: 2,864 acres of open space to frolic, dogs live in dorms with students, integrated into study and work life.  

Company: Milton M. Muraski DDS Inc.  
Headquarters: Hilo, HI  
Business type: Dental Office 
Number of employees:
Dog-friendly notable: Office dog(s) provide love and relaxation for patients and staff. 

Company: Ministry of Supply
Headquaters: Boston, MA
Business type: Retailer
Number of employees: 10

Company: Momofuku Milk Bar 
Headquarters: New York City, NY 
Business type: Bakery 
Number of employees: 89 
Dog-friendly notable: Daily dog walks with employees, plus occasional baked treat extraordinaire.  

Company: Morristown Deli 
Headquarters: Morristown, NJ 
Business type: Restaurant  
Number of employees: 20 
Dog-friendly notable: Active supporter of local shelters and rescue organizations. 

Company: Motivators
Headquaters: New York, NY
Business type: Distributor
Number of employees: 60

Company: Mrs. Grossman's Sticker Factory 
Headquarters: Petaluma, CA 
Business type: Factory and Store 
Number of employees: 100 
Dog-friendly notable: Outside kennels for factory workers dogs, office dogs accompany their owners. 

Company: Natural Habitat Adventures 
Headquarters: Boulder, CO 
Business type: Wildlife Safaris 
Number of employees: 36 
Dog-friendly notable: Dog treat stations throughout the office, extensive open space for walks/runs.  

Company: Nebo Agency 
Headquarters: Atlanta, GA 
Business type: Web/Mobile Design 
Number of employees: 45 

Company: Neff Associates 
Headquarters: Philadelphia, PA 
Business type: Advertising/Marketing 
Number of employees: 12 

Company: NORTH
Headquaters: Portland, OR
Business type: Advertising/Marketing
Number of employees: 30

Company: Now What
Headquaters: New York, NY
Business type: Strategy/Research
Number of employees: 30

Company: O.H.S.O. Eatery & nanoBrewery 
Headquarters: Phoenix, AZ 
Business type: Winery/Distillery/Brewery 
Number of employees: 65 
Dog-friendly notable: Homemade dog treats to all guests, sponsors fundraisers benefitting dogs. 

Company: ODEL PLC 
Headquarters: Colombo, Sri Lanka 
Business type: Clothing 
Number of employees: 200 
Dog-friendly notable: Sponsors adoption programs, rescue and treatment plus education programs aiding street dogs. 

Company: Ogden Contract Interiors, Inc.
Headquaters: San Francisco, CA
Business type: Contractor
Number of employees: 25

Company: Ombud 
Headquarters: Denver, CO 
Business type: Software 
Number of employees: 10 
Dog-friendly notable: Monthly grooming, daily runs/walks by dog walker, dog pantry, dog picnics, visits to Dog Adventure Park. 

Company: Onestop Internet 
Headquarters: Compton, CA 
Business type: Technology 
Number of employees: 220 
Dog-friendly notable: Doggie breaks, treats and playtime. 

Company: OverGo Studio
Headquaters: Southport, NC
Business type: Advertising/Marketing
Number of employees: 10

Company: Page One Web Solutions
Headquaters: Portland, ME
Business type: Web Development
Number of employees: 18

Company: Palantir Technologies
Headquaters: Palo Alto, CA
Business type: Software Company
Number of employees: 750

Company: Paula's Choice 
Headquarters: Seattle, WA 
Business type: Beauty & Cosmetics 
Dog-friendly notable: Offers discount pet insurance. 

Company: Paws 
Headquarters: Tucson, AZ  
Business type: Veterinary Hospital 
Number of employees: 20 
Dog-friendly notable: Provides free pet training, free pet food once a month and underwater treadmill.  

Company: Peskind Law Firm 
Headquarters: St. Charles, IL 
Business type: Law Firm 

Company: Pet Sitters International (PSI) 
Headquarters: King, NC 
Business type: Association 
Number of employees: 14 
Dog-friendly notable: Provides annual $50 veterinary-care reimbursement, annual Hungry Bowl™ Pet Food Drive and an Annual Take Your Dog To Work Day® celebration. 

Company: PetPeople 
Headquarters: Hilliard, OH  
Business type: Pet Supplies Retailer 
Number of employees: 11 
Dog-friendly notable: Offers employee discounts, store dog uniforms for in store/event dogs, discounted vet visits. 

Company: Peterson Milla Hooks Advertising
Headquaters: Minneapolis, MN
Business type: Advertising/Marketing
Number of employees: 65

Company: Pose 
Headquarters: Santa Monica, CA 
Business type: Technology 
Number of employees: 14 
Dog-friendly notable: Employees take turns walking and playing with whichever dogs are present. 

Company: Possible 
Headquarters: Seattle, WA 
Business type: Advertising/Marketing 
Number of employees: 1500 
Dog-friendly notable: Dog owners alias to share info or schedule play time in office. Large chalk mural in the main lobby showcases 11 office pups. 

Company: PrintingForLess.com 
Headquarters: Livingston, MT 
Business type: Print Manufacturing 
Number of employees: 170 
Dog-friendly notable: Ample outdoor space for the dogs to run and exercise. 

Company: Procter & Gamble 
Headquarters: Cincinnati, OH 
Business type: Pet Food Manufacturer 
Number of employees: 358 
Dog-friendly notable: Provides free pet food to employees up to 400 lbs. annually; 5% discount on pet insurance. 
iams.com eukanuba.com

Company: Qualey Granite & Quartz 
Headquarters: Veazie, ME 
Business type: Counter Top Fabricator 
Number of employees: 18 
Dog-friendly notable: Provides 2 fenced acres for play and recreation. Dogs have full run of the office, including quiet spots.  

Company: Radio Systems Corporation
Headquaters: Knoxville, TN
Business type: Manufacturer
Number of employees: 627

Company: RE/MAX Results So Co 
Headquarters: Saint Louis, MO 
Business type: Real Estate 
Number of employees: 30 
Dog-friendly notable: Open door pet policy at all times. 

Company: RedRover 
Headquarters: Sacramento, CA  
Business type: Non-Profit 
Number of employees: 14 
Dog-friendly notable: Offers annual veterinary allowance associated with emergency care to eligible employees.   

Company: Replacements, Ltd. 
Headquarters: Greensboro, NC 
Business type: Retail 
Number of employees: 450 

Company: Road Rebel Entertainment Touring Logistics 
Headquarters: San Diego, CA 
Business type: Travel and Logistics 
Number of employees: 50 
Dog-friendly notable: Features a "pup commissioner" as well as a dog committee to promote a happy, healthy, puppy environment. 

Company: Rover.com 
Headquarters: Seattle, WA 
Business type: Sitter Listings / Online Services 
Number of employees: 30 
Dog-friendly notable: Provides communal dog treats and pet clean-up supplies, plus walk breaks. 

Company: RSA FILMS 
Headquarters: West Hollywood, CA 
Business type: Production Company 
Number of employees: 50 
Dog-friendly notable: Treats plus mobile dog grooming service visits once every three weeks. 

Company: Ruffwear 
Headquarters: Bend, OR  
Business type: Dog Product Manufacturer  
Number of employees: 25 
Dog-friendly notable: Supports positive feelings dogs bring to the office environment.  

Company: S/Nipped 
Headquarters: Coos Bay, OR 
Business type: Non-Profit 
Number of employees:
Dog-friendly notable: Offers medical services and products to employees and board members at cost.  

Company: Sam Simon Foundation
Headquaters: Malibu, CA
Business type: Dog Training / Non-Profit
Number of employees: 8

Company: Service Dog Project 
Headquarters: Ipswich, MA  
Business type: Dog Training / Non-Profit 

Company: Sevnthsin 
Headquarters: Minneapolis, MN 
Business type: Web/Mobile Design 
Number of employees:
Dog-friendly notable: Community doggy water dish and several doggy beds for naps. 

Company: Scream Agency
Headquaters: Denver, CO
Business type: Advertising/Marketing
Number of employees: 6

Company: Small Dog Electronics 
Headquarters: Waitsfield, VT 
Business type: Retail 
Number of employees: 30 
Dog-friendly notable: Insurance for dogs of all full time employees. 

Company: Small Girls PR
Headquaters: Brooklyn, NY
Business type: Advertising/Marketing
Number of employees: 14

Company: SoundCloud
Headquaters: San Francisco, CA
Business type: Music Service
Number of employees: 18

Company: SpareFoot 
Headquarters: Austin, TX 
Business type: Technology 
Number of employees: 90 
Dog-friendly notable: Dog snacks aplenty. Employees keep track of pets on official Puppy Calendar. 

Company: Sports Basement 
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA 
Business type: Outdoor Retailer  

Company: Springbox Digital Partners
Headquaters: Austin, TX
Business type: Digital Media
Number of employees: 45

Company: StackMob, Inc. 
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA 
Business type: Technology 
Number of employees: 28 
Dog-friendly notable: Provides free doggie daycare, belly rubs, treats. 

Company: Summit Contractors Group 
Headquarters: Jacksonville, FL  
Business type: Construction 
Number of employees: 60 
Dog-friendly notable: Fenced-in playground, full interaction with clients and other employees.  

Company: SUP ATX 
Headquarters: Austin, TX 
Business type: Retail 
Number of employees: 32 
Dog-friendly notable: Complimentary meet-up group for people and their dogs for instructions on how to paddle board. 

Company: Swift
Headquaters: Portland, OR
Business type: Advertising/Marketing
Number of employees: 85

Company: Swift Collective 
Headquarters: Portland, OR 
Business type: Advertising/Marketing 
Number of employees: 23 
Dog-friendly notable: Dogs are welcome at everyone's desk and in every meeting. 

Company: SwiftTest 
Headquarters: Santa Clara, CA 
Business type: Software 
Number of employees: 65 
Dog-friendly notable: Employees take dogs for walks, include them in meetings, play fetch.  

Company: Synapse Product Development 
Headquarters: Seattle, WA 
Business type: Product Development 
Number of employees: 165 
Dog-friendly notable: Dog club promotes dog events, plus Dog Faces directory on a wiki, dog resources and information. 

Company: Tassel Depot 
Headquarters: Deerfield Beach, FL  
Business type: Manufacturing  
Number of employees: 16 
Dog-friendly notable: Promotes a home-like welcome to dogs. 

Company: theAmplify
Headquaters: Culver City, CA
Business type: Advertising/Marketing
Number of employees: 10

Company: The Clymb 
Headquarters: Portland, OR 
Business type: Outdoor Retailer 
Number of employees: 108 

Company: The Glenn Group 
Headquarters: Reno, NV 
Business type: Advertising/Marketing 
Number of employees: 40 
Dog-friendly notable: 4th annual “Dog Mob & Fair” benefits pet-approved organizations, including The Shakespeare Animal Fund and The Animal Foundation. Annual bring your dog to work event and party hosted at their offices.  

Company: The Golden Paw 
Headquarters: San Diego, CA 
Business type: Pet Resort 
Number of employees: 18 
Dog-friendly notable: Access to doggie day care, free overnight lodging and discounts on grooming/retail/food. 

Company: The Honest Kitchen  
Headquarters: San Diego, CA 
Business type: Pet Food Manufacturer 
Number of employees: 26 
Dog-friendly notable: The "co-woofers" receive discounted  pet insurance, frequent pet trainers, nutritionists, birthday celebrations. 

Company: The Nerdery 
Headquarters: Minneapolis, MN 
Business type: Interactive Design 
Number of employees: 450 
Dog-friendly notable: Weekly "dog frolics unleashed in the Nerditorium." 

Company: The Squires Group, Inc. 
Headquarters: Annapolis, MD 
Business type: Consulting 
Number of employees: 25 
Dog-friendly notable: Fido-friendly, stress easing workplace featured on a local ABC News Channel. 

Company: The Watering Bowl
Headquaters: St. Louis, MO
Business type: Doggy Day Care
Number of employees: 36

Company: Tito's Handmade Vodka 
Headquarters: Austin, TX 
Business type: Winery/Distillery/Brewery 
Number of employees: 60 
Dog-friendly notable: Web launch to fundraise for national low cost spay neuter called "Vodkafordogpeople.com" 

Company: Tomlinson's Feed & Pets 
Headquarters: Austin, TX 
Business type: Pet Supplies Retailer 
Number of employees: 60 
Dog-friendly notable: Treats, socialization, and entertainment aplenty. 

Company: TrainingPeaks 
Headquarters: Boulder, CO 
Business type: Software 
Number of employees: 48 

Company: Treats Unleashed 
Headquarters: St. Louis, MO 
Business type: Pet Food Manufacturer 
Dog-friendly notable: Pet amenities feature the 'Barking Lot' and the 'Woof Top Dog Run' for their dogs to play.  

Company: Trupanion 
Headquarters: Seattle, WA 
Business type: Pet Insurance 
Number of employees: 250 
Dog-friendly notable: Full-time dog walking service with option for trips to the dog park, pet bereavement day, baby gates and tethers at every cubicle pod, pet insurance, official pet team to oversee the pet policy. 

Company: Vaughn building
Headquaters: Austin, TX
Business type: Real Estate
Number of employees: 6

Company: Vision 360 Design  
Headquarters: Dallas, TX 
Business type: Hospitality Design  
Number of employees: 10 
Dog-friendly notable: Website dogs claim positions of Head of HR, Security, and Public Relations Representative. Company provides doggie treats, walks, babysitting, birthday parties, and photo shoots. 

Company: WAKA Kickball & Social Sports 
Business type: Social Sports 
Number of employees: 150 
Dog-friendly notable: All employees work out of their home offices, thus pet-friendly.  

Company: Wasabi Rabbit
Headquaters: New York, NY
Business type: Advertising/Marketing
Number of employees: 17

Company: Wild Goose Chase, Inc. 
Headquarters: La Grange, IL 
Business type: Wildlife Management 
Number of employees: 32 
Dog-friendly notable: Full health insurance package as well as all the toys, treats, vitamins, and nutritional supplements aplenty. 

Company: Winchester House 
Headquarters: Libertyville, IL 
Business type: Long Term Care/Rehabilitation 
Number of employees: 100 

Company: Wolf Conservation Center 
Headquarters: South Salem, NY 
Business type: Non-Profit 
Number of employees:
Dog-friendly notable: Staff dogs can accompany employees/volunteers on trips — modeling for the online store or as an impromptu therapy dog on a visit to a local center for people with developmental disabilities. 

Company: Working Dogs for Conservation 
Headquarters: Bozeman, MT 
Business type: Non-Profit 
Number of employees:
Dog-friendly notable: Offers working dogs the opportunity to be happier, healthier dogs and contributing better scientific data while bonding with handler. Dogs get a full retirement when their working career is over.   

Company: Wyatt Technology Corporation 
Headquarters: Santa Barbara, CA 
Business type: Scientific Instrument Manufacturer 
Number of employees: 102 

Company: Zynga 
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA 
Business type: Gaming 
Number of employees: 1757 
Dog-friendly notable: The company pays a portion of pet insurance, offers a rooftop play area and hosts a professional photo-shoot on annual Puppy Love day.  

Adventures in Dog Bathing
The great escape

The moment I looked out my window and saw the dog running down the street, I had a pretty good idea what had happened. He was dripping wet, which narrowed down the possibilities considerably, as it is too cold for standing water, but the suds all over him were the real give away. This was a dog who had escaped mid-bath and was running all over the neighborhood.

I understand that many dogs don’t like baths, and I’m sympathetic to a point. I really feel for them, and I certainly urge people to be gentle and kind as they bathe their dogs. I also recommend that a dog be bathed no more often than necessary. For many dogs that is almost never or just a few times a year, while for dogs with high grooming needs it may be every 4-6 weeks. Still, it’s my personal view that into each life, some rain must fall. Sometimes a dog needs to be cleaned up, whether it’s for routine hygiene or because he rolled in something foul, and that’s just the way it is

Rather than his psychological state, my more immediate concern about this dog was that temperatures would be dropping near zero overnight, and it’s not safe for a soaked dog to be roaming outside in such conditions. I rushed to get treats, a towel and a leash in the hopes that I could lure the dog to me, bring him inside to warm up and find out who was missing one half-clean dog.

By the time I made it outside, the dog was out of sight. I walked half a block hoping to catch sight of him again, and I saw that a neighbor was holding the dog. I rushed over to lend my leash and towel to the cause. After feeling relief for the dog, I looked at the man with concern. The man was wet and a little sudsy, his pants and shirt were torn, and his knees plus one elbow were badly scraped. He had made a diving grab at the dog, which was successful, but not smooth. I was impressed. Having spent a year working as a dog groomer, I know how hard it is to hold onto a wet soapy dog, and I’ve never had to “make a tackle in the open field” as they say in football.

Neither of us knew who the dog’s guardian was, but as we were heading to my house to warm the dog up, a very damp, slightly soapy and tearful woman came running around the corner, screamed “Shadow!” took the dog in her arms, and hugged him so hard I thought for sure he would have preferred the bath to the embrace. She told us that Shadow had jumped out of the sink right as her kids were coming home, and he had bolted through the open door. Luckily, it had only take her about 10 minutes to find him.

Few guardians’ lives have been free of adventures in dog bathing, though it’s rare for a dog to flee to the great outdoors. It’s typical to have dogs jump out of the tub, shake all over the living room, and rub their bodies along every bed and couch in the house, though some dogs simply try to hide.

Has your dog ever escaped during a bath?

Skiing with Dogs
Enjoying the snow with our pets can be fun, but dangerous.

As an avid snowboarder, there's nothing that I would love more than to share my favorite winter hobby with my dogs. I'm captivated by ski patrol canines that help rescue people trapped in avalanches and dogs that run alongside people cruising down in the backcountry. But the sharp edges on skis and snowboards that let us carve into icy slopes also make it potentially dangerous for our four legged companions.

Avid backcountry skiers Don and Polly Triplat regularly take their dogs Scarlet and Brodie with them in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Normally they're careful to separate the dogs from the ski party as each person tears down the mountain, but accidents can happen in a split second.

Earlier this month the couple was skiing with friends, when Scarlet darted in front of a friend just as he was starting his descent. Scarlet managed to get caught in his ski causing a tumble that left the skier unharmed but left the poor pup with a deep gash in her front leg. The wound was so serious that it sliced through her skin, muscle, and artery to the bone, resulting in an injury that could result in fatal blood loss.

Fortunately the Triplats are trained in wilderness first aid and were able to calmly assess the situation and make a plan of action. Don quickly clamped Scarlet's artery to the bone and created a tourniquet with gauze and duct tape to stop the bleeding. Then Don carried Scarlet on his shoulders as he descended the mountain, while friends helped. One skied ahead to break trail, creating an easier path, and another raced ahead to reposition their car to the nearest place they could reach the road.

Since the accident, the Triplats have stopped taking their dogs on backcountry downhill trips and have opted for including them on tamer cross country skiing excursions. They were fortunate to have the training necessary for a successful outcome, but the couple wants to warn other skiers to be aware that taking a dog skiing is a big responsibility.

This story makes me think of the rescue of Missy in Colorado. It shows how important it is to be prepared for an emergency when taking your dog into the backcountry, whether it's skiing, hiking, or boating. Always bring first aid supplies (and know how to use them!) and have a plan for how to carry your dog to safety (when hiking, I always bring a backpack large enough to carry my dog if necessary).

Do you ski or snowboard with your pups?

Dog-Dancing Taken to New Heights
Sandra Roth and Lizzy with a showstopping performance

Dog-dancing is taken to its heights and none display this better than Sandra Roth and Lizzy at The Open European Championships in Heelwork to Music and Freestyle 2014, held in Stuttgart, Germany. “There are no compulsory movements or elements, so each team can present their individual strengths and skills,” reads Dogdance International’s preamble. “No other dog sport offers that much flexibility to ... adapt each performance to the capabilities and needs of each team member (dog as well as human).”

Sandra Roth is a ballet and jazz dancer with a passion for dogs, so moving into dog-dancing was a natural for her and turned out to be the perfect sport. As for Lizzy, her dancing companion, Roth writes in her profile that “Lizzy has been learning tricks and freestyle moves since she was a puppy. But we’ve had many problems and she was not an easy dog. So our main focus for the first 3 years was on her social behaviour and not on dog sports.”

Roth continues that Lizzy “gets more and more confident and our relationship has improved a lot. She is also starting to enjoy the attention by the audience.”

And Roth adds that, “Other than dancing we also do some obedience training, we do Treibball, scent work, lunging, dog scootering and whatever is fun for both of us.”

Don’t you agree that their performance takes your breath away? And by the time Lizzy is doing her front-leg-crossover, I couldn’t stop the tears, this was oh so lovely.


Dog Beds Can Be Stylish
Home décor meets canine functionality

I’ve already put considerable thought in to why the dog is so often under the table even when nobody is there, eating and dropping food by mistake. I suppose it was natural that I would next contemplate why the dog bed is NOT under there. As long as the dog will be resting beneath the table, why not make it as comfortable for him as possible?

There’s the added bonus of having the dog bed out of the way. Beds are wonderful items, but they take up so much floor space, especially if they are for big dogs. They usually have dog fur so they match the rest of our furnishings, but they are less intrinsically stylish and not always as attractive. It was natural that appreciating the design advantages of putting the dog bed under the table led to further consideration of aesthetics.

I generally just try to stay in our color scheme and let the dog beds fall where they may, meaning that I put them where they work for dogs. Since my focus is always on dog behavior, I still stand by this guideline as hugely important. That’s why I like dog beds to be where dogs will not be stepped over, where the temperature suits them and not right by windows that cause them to be vigilant instead of relaxed. Depending on the dog, a bed that is out of the way, allowing true peace and quiet, may be best or one that is right in the middle of the action may make more sense. Ideally, dogs have choices with their resting spots so they can be off by themselves or not as the mood strikes them.

It turns out that I am way behind the curve when it comes to decorating my home with an eye for style while incorporating dog beds. There are so many ways to make them part of the furnishings, whether it is under a table, in an old television or as part of a storage area. I’m definitely impressed by the creative ways to avoid allowing dog beds to detract from a home’s beauty. Function and the dog’s happiness are most important to me and always will be, but I’m newly inspired to work within that framework while making the dog beds more appealing to humans. And to think, I recently thought myself clever just for putting a dog bed out of the way under the dining room table!

How does your dog’s bed fit into the design of your home?

Pit Bull Service Dogs
Organizations specialize in helping people and reversing stigma.

Pit Bull lovers are constantly battling the breed's negative reputation. It can be heartbreaking to see someone cross the street to avoid your pup or usher their kids away at the park, but it happens every day to bully breeds. Every friendly, well socialized Pit Bull is an advocate for the breed, but it can be slow to shift mainstream perception.

Two organizations are on a mission to change that stigma by recruiting rescue Pit Bulls to help people. The Animal Farm Foundation's Assistance Dog Training Program in New York trains shelter Pit Bulls to push wheelchairs or help people regain their mobility and avoid falls. It's believed to be the only American training school that exclusively trains shelter Pit Bulls to be service dogs.

Another group in Chicago, Pits for Patriots, trains rescued Pit Bulls as comfort, therapy, and support dogs for veterans, police officers, and firefighters. The organization's co-founder, Kelly Yearwood, says that veterans and first responders identify with bully breeds because they've both seen a lot of trauma.

For former Marine, Joe Bonfiglio, his Pit Bull service dog, Zen, has been a life saver. Joe was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from Afghanistan and struggled to get his life back to normal. Now he can hang out with friends, shop at the mall, and has even started to take classes at a local college.

Not everyone agrees that Pit Bulls should be trained as service dogs, but if the right evaluation and training protocols are in place, it seems like a win-win. Pit Bulls make up the overwhelming majority of my local animal shelter, so this is a great way to give them a loving home and a purpose.

Deductions For Your Dog
Some tax laws benefit guardians

It can be psychologically damaging to keep track of how much we spend on our dogs. There’s something to be said for just acknowledging that the dogs create a problem area in the budget and moving on. I realize this goes against what every financial planner says, but it’s hard to put a price on our mental well-being.

On the other hand, with possible tax deductions available from the IRS for dogs, it may be worthwhile to face the music and log those expenses. It can take a lot of money to care for dogs, so it makes sense to try to figure out if some of those expenses are deductible.

The bad news is that even though most guardians consider their dogs to be family members, they are NOT deductible as dependents. The good news is that there are still ways that you may be able to write off some canine expenses. If your dog qualifies as a medical, business or hobby expense, there may be tax benefits for you. The costs associated with moving your dog when you relocate for a new job may be written off. Fostering pets from qualified organizations also allows you to deduct certain expenses.

It’s worth checking with a tax professional, and saving the receipts, just in case. For heaven’s sake, though, don’t add them up unless it’s necessary in order to file your taxes!

Reading Human Emotions
Study shows that dogs can discriminate between our expressions.

I don't think that we need a study to know our pups can tell when we're happy or sad, but it's still fun to see formal research explore our dogs' abilities and inner thinking. With all of the canine cognition labs cropping up at colleges around the world, there's been a lot of research showing that dogs can read human emotions. However a new study coming out of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna claims to represent the first solid evidence that an animal other than humans can discriminate between emotional expressions in another species.

In this study, the researchers set up an experiment that they believed could only be solved by applying knowledge of human emotional expressions to unfamiliar pictures. The dogs were trained to discriminate between images of the same person making either a happy or angry face. In each case, the canine participants were only shown the upper or lower half of the face. After training on 15 picture pairs, the dogs' abilities were tested in four situations where they were shown (1) new faces (but the same half as in the training), (2) the other half of the faces used in training, (3) the other half of the new faces, and (4) the left half of the faces used in the training.

They found that the dogs were able to select the correct facial expression more often than would be expected by random chance in every case. Not only could the dogs learn to identify facial expressions, but they were able to transfer their learnings to people they'd never seen before.

Interestingly the researchers also discovered that it was harder to get the dogs to associate a reward with an angry face, suggesting that prior experience had taught them to stay away from a person that looks mad. From my own experience, dogs learn this very quickly!

Next, the scientists hope to study how dogs express emotions and how those emotions are influenced by people.

Adopted Dogs Star in Oscar Ad
Home is where the dogs are in new Coldwell Banker spot

There are few things better than coming home and being greeted with the wagging tails and the unbridled joy our dogs exude. These moments are gloriously featured in a new commercial titled “Home’s Best Friend” the made its debut during ABC’s airing of The 87th Academy Awards on February 22.

The 30-second ad spot is produced by Coldwell Banker Real Estate and features 16 rescued dogs discovered on Adopt-a-Pet.com. To help more dogs find a forever home, Coldwell Banker is announcing the “Homes for Dogs Project.” By teaming up with Adopt-a-Pet.com, the largest nonprofit pet adoption website in North America, the campaign aims to find homes for 20,000 dogs in 2015.

“Our previous spots have showcased the joy of coming home, so this year it made sense to portray who’s on the other side of the door,” said Sean Blankenship, chief marketing officer for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “With more than 43 million U.S. households having dogs, there is no question that our pets go hand-in-hand with our love of home. The ‘Homes for Dogs Project’ takes this a step further, allowing our affiliated companies to join us in helping adoptable dogs find homes.”

It’s an admirable goal, and a good example of how some corporations are partnering with humane organizations to brand their values and philanthropy. “Dog love” also resonates with consumers, and this effective commercial captures the delight that many of us experience every time we walk through the door.

The annual Oscar airing has become a popular launching pad for commercials trying to capture a more sophisticated crowd as opposed to the populist viewership of the Super Bowl. Advertisers often choose to debut their more thoughtful and cinematic spots during the Oscar telecast. For Coldwell Banker, they are hoping that the most memorial clip you saw at Hollywood's big awards broadcast was be their new commercial.

One Rescue Becomes Four
Left to Right: Ava as stray; Ava with Puppy

The scruffy little stray peered warily at me from under her filthy, matted curls. She looked to be a poodle mix of maybe 15 pounds and animal control had been getting calls about her for a month or so. I called softly to her but she tucked her tail and trotted away. I spent the next several weeks trying every trick in the book to capture the little dog but she was too shy to approach and too clever to be cornered or trapped. She slept under old cars behind the meat company and roamed the nearby car dealerships daily.

Finally after several weeks of trying different baits in the trap I was thrilled to find her safely confined. Back at the shelter she was terrified and trying to bite but I was able to wrap her in a blanket and get her vaccinated and scanned. To my surprise she had a microchip. There was no phone number so the next day I went to the home and met with her former owner. A pleasant man, whom I will call Marco, he stated that he loved his dog but had too many dogs and still had 4 of her puppies from a previous litter of 8.

It’s my job to help and educate rather than judge whenever possible and Marco needed help.  He showed me the 4 puppies. There were two males and two females and he told me that he was trying to separate them because the boys were trying to have “the sex” with the girls and he didn’t want any more puppies. It’s important to remember that Marco was doing the best he could with the education and information he had. Other than a bad limp on one of the female puppies, they looked healthy and well cared for. They had enough to eat and a cozy bed in a shed.

Still, the dogs were reproducing at random and I knew it wouldn’t be long before there would be more puppies and I was worried about the limp on the female puppy. Also my preference is always that dogs live in the home as part of the family. We chatted a few more minutes and Marco decided to surrender the original stray mama and her two female puppies and I gave him information on getting the males neutered. 

I took the little scared stray and the two puppies home to foster until they could be adopted. I named the mama Ava and she warmed up in no time, crawling tentatively across the floor and into my lap after a few moments. I bathed her filthy coat and trimmed the mats and scheduled her to be spayed as soon as she was more comfortable being handled.  I had the two puppies, Charlotte and Cookie spayed (Cookie was in season), vaccinated and treated for worms and fleas. I also Cookie seen for her leg and X-rays showed a partially healed fracture that was crooked and needed surgery.

One evening about a week after I caught her, Ava lay blissfully relaxed on my lap. I was absently stroking her belly when I felt movement under my hand. Two days later I woke up to a single puppy nursing happily in the bed with Ava.

Cookie had her surgery and was adopted by one of the wonderful vets who took care of her. Charlotte went home with a friend of mine and will have the best of everything. Mama Ava and her puppy Bruno will stay in foster care with me until Bruno is weaned. Then they will be spayed and neutered and adopted out.

 Ava running; Ava with Puppies

It’s funny how catching one little stray resulted in four dogs having a better life. I can’t help but think what good timing it all was. Little Bruno might have grown up under a car as a feral stray, if he even survived. The two female pups would have become pregnant and produced more puppies in the back yard. And little Cookies broken leg might never have been fixed, leaving her with a lifetime of pain.  

I think Ava and little Bruno, snuggled up in a warm bed in my living room would agree. 

More Determined As They Age
Are older dogs less willing to be interrupted?

“This way,” I said in that sing-song voice that tells the dogs in my life that I am about to get moving and that they should join me. It’s not a cue for a specific behavior, and it’s certainly not a command. It just means, “I am going to be moving, so you should pay attention to the direction I go.” When an off-leash dog hears it, I expect them to take note of me so they can follow me when they are ready to go.

Marley has always been agreeable about this, but this past weekend, he really had his nose to the ground and was slower to follow than usual. It didn’t bother me, though. We were in a safe place, I like him to have his freedom and I figured the warm weather was making smells extra distracting.

Then I walked him a couple of mornings later on leash around the neighborhood in sub-freezing temperatures and he did not budge when I gave him a typical, “Marley, let’s keep going.” This is also not a cue or a command but generally encourages him to keep it moving. Because I was cold and ready to go home, I really noticed that he did not want to interrupt his sniffing. I gave some serious thought to what is going on, and I think some of it is just a common age-related behavior.

Marley is at least six and perhaps a few years older than that, and I think he’s an older gentleman now who wants to do what he wants to do, rather than stop and do what I want him to do. Sure, the smells might be extra enticing, but I’m beginning to think he’s just more willing to assert his own desires rather than act as biddable as he has in the past.

He’s about the most agreeable dog I’ve ever known, and in no way stubborn as a major personality trait. I simply think he’s secure in himself and sometimes acts on his strong opinions, which include not wanting to stop doing something he’s enjoying just because I’ve suggested it. I’ve noticed this with other dogs over the years, too, and wondered about it.

I’m a big fan of letting dogs in their golden years have a little more leeway about doing what they want, and I try not to interrupt their sniffing or snoozing any more than necessary. Marley is far from being old, but he does seem to be channeling his inner middle-aged-fellow-who-wants-what-he-wants and is less willing to be influenced by anyone, including me. In my mind, I hear him saying things like, “In a minute,” or “Hold on a sec.”

His behavior does not reflect any sort of training issue. He’s still as responsive to cues as ever and will respond well to any that he knows, whether it’s something basic like “Sit” or “Come” or tricks like “Sit Pretty” and “High Five.” It’s just that he is not as quick to follow if I’m merely suggesting that I would like to move on. I love that he is smart enough to distinguish between cues that he’s supposed to respond to and mere indications of what I’m going to do. If I need him to come away from something, I can use his recall, and he’ll do it, but he used to act almost as if I had given the cue “Come” when I said, “This way.”

Has your dog become less likely to interrupt what he’s doing and respond to you as he’s gotten older?

Surprise Canine Visit at the Hospital
Iowa pup treks to Mercy Medical Center in search of her mom.

Nancy Franck had been in recovery post-surgery at Mercy Medical Center when she got the surprise of her hospital stay. When Nancy left home in Cedar Rapid, Iowa, she had to leave behind her beloved Schnauzers, Sissy and Barney. About two weeks into her hospital stay, Nancy's husband, Dale, noticed that Sissy was missing. He frantically searched for the 11 year old dog everywhere, but couldn't find her. About four hours later he got a call from hospital security with Sissy.

A surveillance camera in the hospital lobby caught the determined pup entering through automatic doors and wandering around. Sissy ended up being successful in her mission to see Nancy. When Dale's daughter came to pick her up, the hospital allowed Sissy to have a surprise visit.

Although the Francks only live 20 blocks from Mercy Medical Center, but the've never walked there before with Sissy. However, Nancy and Sissy have always had a special bond, with Sissy “choosing” Nancy when they firtst met eleven years ago. The then eight week old puppy came right up to Nancy, pawed at her leg, and then fell asleep on her shoulder.

Over a decade later, I can't think of a better way to be cheered up at the hospital!

JoAnna Lou

Karen B. London

Karen B. London

JoAnna Lou


Karen B. London

JoAnna Lou

JoAnna Lou

Shirley Zindler

Shirley Zindler

Karen B. London

Karen B. London

JoAnna Lou

Karen B. London

Karen B. London

Guest Posts

JoAnna Lou

Guest Posts


Guest Posts