Dog's Life: Humane
These greyhounds get a ticket home.
July 13 2017
School’s out for the year, but for the dogs in the all-volunteer Prison Greyhounds foster program, classes are still in session. At the Putnamville Correctional Facility near Greencastle, Ind., two-man inmate handler teams work with retired racing Greyhounds to prepare them for life on the outside.
Specially selected inmates are coached by Prison Greyhounds volunteers; once trained, the men teach the dogs house manners, how to walk on a leash and basic commands. After the dogs are adopted, Prison Greyhounds stays in touch, working with the adopters to ensure a smooth transition, and will rehome a dog in the event a placement doesn’t go as planned.
Inmates selected for this work are nonviolent offenders who, in the process of developing the dogs’ social skills, learn to work as part of a team and be responsible for the success of their canine students. Like the dogs, the men benefit from the experience, as does the larger inmate population.
For example, take Thor, track name, LK’s Hemsworth. The 85-pound tuxedo boy is three years old and described as “confident and friendly.” For Thor and all the dogs it takes in, Prison Greyhounds underwrites the cost of supplies— food, bedding, leashes—as well as vet care, and finds families for the dogs after they graduate from the program. It also provides non-institutional foster homes for dogs who have been retired as a result of racetrack injuries—most commonly, broken legs—and encourages the adoption of dogs with these “repaired fractures.”
Prison Greyhounds’ dogs come from Daytona Beach Kennel Club racetrack in Florida via the nonprofit Greyhound Pet Adoptions of Daytona Beach (GPA Daytona), which is responsible for the full cost of transporting the dogs to non-racing states. This long-distance delivery of Greyhounds from Florida to a better life is pricey: shipping costs for a full load of 28 dogs is $2,100, or $75 per dog. To offset it, Prison Greyhounds has joined GPA Daytona in a campaign they call “A Ticket Home.” Donations are tax-deductible and help dogs on their journey to better lives as someone’s companion.
Prison Greyhounds, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is funded entirely by donations; no taxpayer money is involved and the program is provided free to the Putnamville Correctional Facility. See available dogs and make a contribution to the organization and to A Ticket Home at prisongreyhounds.org.
News: Guest Posts
July 7 2017
Dog's name and age: Floyd III, 1 year
Floyd III was spotted in the middle of a storm floating on a piece of wood during the flood. The two men who found him began searching for other puppies or the mother in the waters. After a few minutes of searching, and at the risk of their own lives, they found a dog house submerged underwater. Unfortunately, the dog house had been pinned down by a fallen tree with the mother and her six puppies inside. Floyd was the only survivor. Thankfully, Floyd was rescued and was adopted into a loving home.
Floyd's human decided to name him Floyd III as a tribute to the previous two dogs that he shared his life with. Although they are expecting their first human child this month, Floyd III will be always our eldest son.
Dog's Life: Lifestyle
Celebrate the big day with charity.
July 5 2017
Around 2.2 million couples marry in the U.S. every year. Surveys show that the average amount spent on a wedding is around $35,000, and the average gift carries a $99 to $127 price tag. Now, an increasing number of couples are either requesting charitable giving in lieu of these gifts or adding it as an option to their registries.
As a recent article in the New York Times noted, the trend largely stems from the millennials, “who have a growing awareness that what you do with your whole life should reflect your values.” It also is a great boost for the charities, which get “prominent billing on a couple’s wedding day.”
The Times profiled a couple who credit their rescue dog with bringing them together; they’re asking friends and family to donate to a L.A. no-kill shelter. The article also mentioned a couple who had their dog in their wedding and were able to raise more than $15,000 for the Humane Society of New York.
To make it easier to customize and track the gift giving, there are now a few websites—among them, SimpleRegistry, JustGive, Blueprint Registry and the GoodBeginning—to make such arrangements easier.
July 1 2017
Rescuing Penny Jane by Amy Sutherland. A survey of what it means to be a shelter dog, and strategies for shelters success.
The Dogs of Avalon by Laura Schenone. Profiles of courageous Irish women and the Greyhounds they fight to save.
Imp: The Imperfect Pup by Jody Rosengarten. A lighthearted take on the serious matter of a how the human drive for perfection might actually screw-up dogs.
The Science Behind a Happy Dog by Emma Grigg, PhD and Tammy Donaldson, PhD. Dog behavior experts explore our current understanding of canine well being in this engaging and authoritative training guide.
The Right Side by Spencer Quinn. A a war veteran and her unforgettable dog, both with distinctive qualities set out on a quest.
Pack of Two by Carolyn Knapp. It’s coming up to its 20th anniversary, this is still one of the best books on the intensity of the human-canine bond.
The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell, PhD. No one explains our relationship to dogs better.
Inside a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz, PhD. A thorough investigation into what it means to be a dog. (Plus new young reader’s edition.)
Dog's Life: Travel
A tip for every state in the union (and then some)
Bark editors offer up a tip for every state in the union, plus D.C.
Alabama: On-leash dogs are welcome everywhere at Little River Canyon National Preserve, including in the visitor center, where we’re told treats are often available at the information counter.
Alaska: The glaciers and ice fields of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park are perfect for thick-coated, snowloving creatures such as bears, harbor seals and Malamutes. Answer the call of the wild in an area as big as six Yellowstones. (Note that while unleashed dogs are allowed on trails, bears and moose are also on the loose here.)
Arizona: Sedona is the center of the state’s legendary Red Rock Country. The area offers much to marvel at: red-rock spires, sandstone cliffs and postcardperfect views. Several companies offer dog-friendly jeep tours.
Arkansas: Try canoeing down sections of the Ouachita River. One of the most popular trips is the journey from Oden to the Rocky Shoals; the 10-mile stretch features deep pools and shady banks.
California: Carmel, with its leash-free, pristine white sand beach and 37-acre Mission Trail Nature Preserve, is a canine paradise. Cafes, inns, shops all cater to happy dogs.
Colorado: Aspen has everything from fine dining with your dog to miles of trails, including Smuggler Mountain Road. If you’re dogless but yearning for some canine attention, spend a day with an eager companion courtesy of Aspen Animal Shelter’s “Rent-a-Pet Program.”
Connecticut: The folk tale of the Black Dog of West Peak haunts the Hanging Hills. Hikers explore the deep gorges and clear waters of Merimere Reservoir, watching out for the legendary dog that foretells danger or joy.
Delaware: Cape Henlopen State Park, one of the few places in the state where (with some restrictions) dogs are allowed year-round. The American Discovery Trail begins here; hike its first few miles.
Florida: Key West (aka Bone Island) is historically one of Florida’s most dog-friendly tourist destinations. An abundance of inns, guest cottages and restaurants welcome dogs.
Georgia: Take a leisurely stroll along the Eastside Trail, the first leg of Atlanta’s Beltline project. This 2-mile path is part of a huge “railsto- trails” revitalization effort to transform 33 miles of vine-covered railroad into parks, multi-use trails and transit around Atlanta.
Hawaii: While canine visitors are subject to quarantine, shelters on Kauai, Maui and the Big Island invite you to check out approved dogs for day-long field—or beach —trips. Even better, sign up for a shelter pet transfer program and give a homeless dog a shot at a new life on the mainland.
Idaho: Ketchum offers Bald Mountain Trail and alpine walks and lakes throughout Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Famous for skiing, Sun Valley is also a nature (and dog) lover’s delight in summer.
Illinois: Chicago-based Camp Dogwood utilizes facilities at nearby Lake Delton, Wisc., 600 acres of fields, woods and lakefront. The focus here is on bonding rather than competition.
Indiana: Walk the rolling dunes of Indiana Dunes State Park, where 10 trails pass over tall drifting mounds of sand, across miles of lakeshore beach, along marshes and through 1,800 acres of woods.
Iowa: One of the best states for rails-to-trails and a great place to try out dog-friendly bicycle gear. Bike the 63-mile Wabash Trace Nature Trail (Council Bluffs to Blanchard).
Kansas: Wichita State University is home to the Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection, one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the country. Includes works by Andy Goldsworthy, Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson and Joan Miró, among others.
Kentucky: Daniel Boone National Forest is a birder’s mecca—bring your binoculars in search of hooded mergansers and scarlet tanagers. Dog-friendly accommodations, plus homegrown bluegrass and bourbon, are close by in Lexington.
Louisiana: New Orleans offers legendary history, architecture and gardens, best explored on foot. Your canine companion will be welcomed at 80-plus eateries with outdoor seating, including Chartres House Café, Café Beignet, Parkway Tavern and The Bulldog.
Maine: Acadia National Park encompasses more than 47,000 acres of granite-domed mountains, woodlands, lakes and rugged coastal shoreline; its 100 miles of easy-to-challenging trails offer adventures and respite for both dogs and their people.
Maryland: Catoctin Mountain Park features miles of on-leash, dog-friendly trails that wind through the rugged hardwood forest of this Appalachian highlands park. Picnic and camping areas available.
Massachusetts: Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod, has much to offer, both old and new. Stroll down its main street; explore its beaches (the city-managed beach is leash-free), marshes and dunes; or run off some energy at Pilgrim Bark Park, one of the top five in America. Your pup can even travel with you via public transportation on Bay State Cruise Company’s ferry service between Boston and Provincetown.
Michigan: Agility, flyball, backpacking, boating, herding, tracking all await you and your dog at the Dog Scouts Camp in the beautiful Northern Lower Peninsula.
Minnesota: The Twin Cities’ long list of off-leash parks includes the crown jewel Minnehaha Dog Park in Minneapolis on the Mississippi River, and four in St. Paul, notably High Bridge, a fully fenced 7-acre site.
Mississippi: Follow the ancient, winding routes of Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians along the 445- mile Natchez Trace Parkway and take in antebellum mansions, river views and more than 60 miles of wildflower-fringed hiking trails.
Missouri: Dip toes and paws in Bliss Spring for cool relief, just one of the many natural wonders to be found along White’s Creek Trail in the Ozarks’ Irish Wilderness area, part of Mark Twain National Forest.
Montana: Whitefish loves its dogs. In town, visit the 5-acre Hugh Rogers Wag Park. Just outside of town is the Whitefish Trail, miles of stacked loops, scenic overlooks and gated logging roads.
Nebraska: Hike or bike along one of the many trails in Nebraska, the “Historic Trails” state. The Lewis and Clark, Mormon Pioneer, Pony Express, Oregon, and California National Historic Trails crisscross the state.
Nevada: Spend a day rafting a peaceful 5-mile stretch of the Truckee River, near Tahoe City. Check in with Truckee River Rafting for details.
New Hampshire: Great North Woods state parks offer many dog-friendly parks and natural areas. Swimming holes and waterfalls abound, and keep an eye out for covered bridges.
New Jersey: Sunfish Pond, formed 15,000 years ago, is the southernmost glacial lake on the Appalachian Trail. The rock formations and hardwood forest host an abundance of flora and fauna.
New Mexico: Wonderful discoveries await you, from Taos’ Rio Grande Gorge area, with its stunning vistas and many small hot springs, to Carson National Forest.
New York: Explore the natural beauty, small towns and tranquility of the Catskill Mountains, including rummaging at the many flea markets and unmatched hiking and fishing.
North Carolina: Asheville provides mountain hikes (nearby Lookout Trail) and a number of (leashed) dog-friendly festivals, from traditional folk music to regional crafts.
North Dakota: The tall-grass prairie on the rolling hills of the Sheyenne National Grasslands is a significant contrast to the stark badlands found in the Little Missouri National Grasslands. Or, visit the leashed-dog-friendly International Peace Garden in Rugby.
Ohio: The Buckeye Trail circumnavigates the state and is the longest loop trail in the country. Hike the wild 25-mile stretch in Hocking Hills State Park, and camp at one of its dog-friendly campsites.
Oklahoma: One of historic Route 66’s longest stretches goes through this state. Look for roadside attractions like the Totem Pole Park in Foyil or the giant Blue Whale of Catoosa. Stop by White Dog Hill restaurant outside of Clinton for some home-style cooking.
Oregon: The state’s tallest peak, Mount Hood, provides hiking and cycling in a Cascade Range forest. Explore long stretches of secluded coastline at Cannon Beach and Lincoln City.
Pennsylvania: Is Philadelphia America’s most dog-friendly city? Their chamber of commerce thinks so, and pup-welcoming establishments Hotel Palomar and restaurants like the White Dog Cafe and Honey’s Sit ’n Eat support their claim.
Rhode Island: Well-behaved dogs are welcomed on Gansett Cruises in Newport, plus get treats and a special blanket to sit on. Take a scenic harbor tour or sunrise cruise on Narragansett Bay.
South Carolina: Congaree Swamp National Monument has 20 miles of trails (dogs must be leashed on trails and are not allowed on boardwalks). Nature abounds with old-growth cypress and tupelo, woodpeckers, cardinals, and hawks.
South Dakota: See the landscape as Lewis and Clark may have along the Native American Scenic Byway from Chamberlain to Pierre, as it passes through two American Indian reservations.
Tennessee: The only state declared a Civil War National Heritage Area by Congress, which makes it a prime spot for al fresco history lessons. Dogs are welcome at several historic battlefields, including Shiloh National Military Park.
Texas: San Antonio Missions National Historical Park allows leashed strolling along the famous River Walk, and around the grounds of the 18th-century Spanish missions, including the Alamo.
Utah: Best Friends, in picturesque Angel Canyon outside of Kanab, is the nation’s largest sanctuary for abused and abandoned cats and dogs. The dramatic setting and humane mission are inspiring. Plan a working holiday: arrange a sleepover in one of the cabins and host an appreciative animal for some snuggling.
Vermont: At Dog Mountain, 150 acres of private mountaintop in St. Johnsbury, artist Stephen Huneck’s Dog Chapel celebrates our spiritual bond with canines. There’s no leash law here—dogs are free to run, play and swim (don’t miss the new agility course).
Virginia: Blue Ridge Parkway allows dogs on more than 100 trails, ranging from easy valley strolls to strenuous mountain hikes. Check out the many festivals and music events in the area that enliven the Shenandoah Valley. Stay at Big Meadows Lodge built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
Washington: Ferry to the San Juan Islands (75 miles north of Seattle) for hiking, kayaking and cycling amidst some of the Pacific Northwest’s most spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife.
Washington DC: Rock Creek Park, more than 1,750 (dog-friendly) acres, lies north of the National Zoo and has hiking, biking and equestrian trails. Plus, the K9 Corps at the Historic Congressional Cemetery has a private dog-walking program permitted by membership only.
West Virginia: The New River Gorge offers multisport delights, from rafting and rock-climbing to hiking past old grist mills and waterfalls—all in the heart of Southern Appalachia.
Wisconsin: Sheboygan is a sportsman’s paradise—swim, kayak or fish on Lake Michigan or nearby Elkhart Lake.
Wyoming: Try your hand at cowboy life at one of the state’s many dude ranches. If you yearn for fresh mountain air, open spaces—and if your dog is horse-friendly—check out listings on duderanch.org
Dog's Life: Lifestyle
Think your daily commute is extreme? Then you may not have heard about two trips made by chemist, engineer and NASA astronaut Leland Melvin in 2008 and 2009: from Earth to the International Space Station and back. When it was time for his official portrait to be taken at Houston’s Johnson Space Center in 2009, Melvin was determined to have two of his biggest fans in the picture with him: his rescue dogs, Jake and Scout. Since NASA’s a dog-free workplace, getting them into the building required some fancy footwork. Once inside and dressed for the occasion in his orange spacesuit, Melvin was joyfully mobbed by his dogs, the photographer started shooting and the rest is viral history. Later, when asked about the photograph, Melvin said, “They were my boys. … It changed my life having those two dogs.” Read about Melvin’s inspirational career in his new memoir, Chasing Space, available in adult and young readers’ editions.
News: Guest Posts
Dog's name and age: Roosevelt, 1 year
We lost our 12-year-old Lab mix, Betsy, in December and our other dog, Hannah, seemed out-of-sorts and lonely without another dog in the house. I applied with the Pixel Fund Rescue (out of Florida and Maine) to be on their list of potential adopters. During the approval process, I saw Rosy's picture on their website (his name was Magoo at the time). What really drew me to him was the fact that he is blind. Hannah is blind and deaf, so I felt like it was meant to be that he would be her little brother. After talking to Rosy's foster mom several times, we decided that he would be a good match for our family.
On Dogs with Disabilities:
Both dogs are able to challenge peoples' assumptions about what a dog with a disability can do. We had no experience when we adopted Hannah, but she has shown us that she's 100% a dog first, and she does everything a typical dog does, in her own way. Roosevelt is the same; he's not very good at fetching a ball, but he certainly has other ways to play!
News: Guest Posts
June 23 2017
Dog's name and age: Scout, 10 years old
I first spotted Scout and his brother on a bike ride in South Texas; they were puppies abandoned in a ditch on the side of the road. I went back to look for them in my car after my ride and spotted Scout bravely exploring his surroundings while his brother was laying low. I figured I'd just drop them off at the local shelter. When I saw the condition they were in up close, I knew they wouldn't have a chance in the city shelter due to severe overcrowding our area was facing. I decided get them checked by a vet, get them healthy and find homes for them myself. Scout never made it out of my house. The name Scout just seemed like the right name for a bold puppy!
More on Scout:
Scout loves attention, chasing and barking at birds, being chased by his sister Gracie (a Great Pyr mix who is 11) and belly rubs. Scout has many tricks, but the best thing he does is come get me when Gracie doing something she's not supposed to!
What are Scouts's nicknames?
Bubba, Bubba Boy, Scooter, Barky Bark, and best of all, Sweet Pea because that's what he is.
News: Guest Posts
June 16 2017
Dog's name and age: Maggie, 14 years old
Originally from Minnesota, Maggie's previous person couldn't keep her, so she was given to the rescue group Washington State Setter Rescue. Living in Seattle at the time, Maggie's soon-to-be people and their beagle were excited to meet her so they scheculed a visit. Maggie, then known as "Mcgyver", and her foster mom came over for a meet and greet and it was love at first sight! Everyone in the family knew it was a perfect match.
Tasty treats, taking up the whole couch, and doing tricks like high-fives.
News: Guest Posts
June 9 2017
Dog's name and age: Lexi, 4 years Adoption Story: After deciding they absolutely needed to have a dog in their life, Lexi's people adopted her through a local rescue group. On the way home, they discussed names and they settled on Lexi as being the one they both loved. Lexi's Person Writes: Lexi is so precious, sweet and adorable that she makes my heart melt. I thank God for her every day that she's in my life. She is my child. My world. I love her so much.
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