SPONSORED BY VOYCE™
March 1 2015
Ah, modern life. Every day, we wade through a sea of information. To be confident in our decisions, we need information points that make sense. Not just an unruly mass of statistics but rather, data that’s been sorted, analyzed and presented in a way that allows us to wisely apply it to our individual situations. Data that stirs us to take action. Smart data.
The cliché, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” handily summarizes another fact of life. When it comes to our dogs, identifying health issues can be a challenge. Though they’re pretty great at non-verbal communication, they’re not so good at telling us where it hurts, or even if it hurts.
So, imagine how fascinated we were to learn about Voyce™, a new product that acts as a kind of translator and guide to our dogs’ interior world.
The sleek, simple, waterproof band remotely monitors a dog’s key vital signs and wellness indicators 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Its potential is transformative.
Voyce uses noninvasive sensors to record its wearer’s resting heart and respiration rates, activity levels, sleep patterns and calories burned. It collects these markers in a dog’s normal environment (at home rather than in a vet’s exam room) in real time, and wirelessly syncs them to the Voyce cloud platform, where they’re sorted and reported in charts that can be viewed in a variety of ways. Then, whenever we want and wherever we are, we can review the results via computer, tablet or smartphone. This is truly smart data.
These metrics aren’t just collected and charted—they’re also explained. If we see a worrisome trend, we can cue up a vet visit, which, ideally, will prevent an issue from becoming a full-on problem.
We can make that visit even more effective by sharing the trending information with our vet, either at the time of the check up or beforehand via the cloud. Or, if a problem arises, we can use our dog’s record to help identify its time of origin and track its resolution.
“Voyce is a service, not just a health band. What we’re doing is taking information from that health band, comparing it against what is a baseline … and providing notifications to the dog owner on when there are changes,” says Jeff Noce, president of i4C Innovations, Inc., the maker of Voyce.
As part of that service, Voyce goes beyond measurement offering other proactive ways to help our dogs live better healthier lives. On our individual member page, we can add notes about our dog’s medical history, including keeping all their medical and vaccination records in one place … get expert advice from canine health, behavior and training authorities … be notified about pet food recalls, schedule medication and activity reminders … and set goals that help us to be better pet parents. (Example: Spend More Play Time! Remember to give heartworm and flea meds tomorrow!)
Voyce’s trend charts, symptom checkers and articles from experts—a roster that includes canine cognition whiz Alexandra Horowitz, PhD; DVMs Andy Roark, Jessica Vogelsang and Justine Lee; and Applied Animal Behaviorist Karen Overall, DVM, PhD—are powerful tools that we can use to help maintain and improve our dogs’ health and longevity.
Considering how much joy and comfort our dogs give us, we think that anything that increases the number and quality of their years helps make us better pet parents to the furry buddies we love.
On the Road to Discovery
February 20 2015
We have a special theme for our Spring issue so be prepared to be carried away as we consider the transportive idea of “journeys,” the many ways our trusty canine co-pilots guide and accompany us on the road—both real and metaphoric—to exploration and revelation.
In this issue’s globe-spanning stories, a dog helps a traveler navigate an ancient ruin and imparts an invaluable lesson, an adventurous Belize pup finds a new calling and a new home, and an innovative humane organization blends international relief with travel. A woman samples the joys and dogs of neighborhoods across the nation when she takes up housesitting as a serious pursuit, and a relocation to Europe inspires an owner to find an attractive alternative to air travel for herself and the family dog.
We have the backstory to a touching photo of a man and his elderly dog in the waters of Lake Superior. There’s also another “dog-and-water story” about a pup who had a hankering to hang 16 with his fellow surfers. In our interview with Melissa Holbrook Pierson, we discover what’s behind the training “journey” from aversive to positive methods. And we have an essay about how a shelter adoption lead to a backseat copilot keeping a steady watch and clocking in many a mile with her new driver. And in the endpiece, a man is reminded by a stray dog whom he saves from a busy street about “just how unpredictable life is, and that special bonds can form at any moment.”
We take a look at another interesting dog park, that is an integral part of a neighborhood renaissance in Cincinnati. We also welcome nutrition expert Linda Case, who explains the issue of “meals” and how the protein content of this important pet food ingredient can vary. We learn why all dogs don’t learn the same way and our behavior expert suggests strategies to understand what might work best for your dog. We try our hand at making treats out of spent grain, a home-brew byproduct. We take a look at easy-to-do agility games that get your dog, cat, bird, bunny and, yes, even an alpaca, going.
So we hope that you enjoy taking this Spring trip with us and find something that inspires you in this very special issue.
Doing Good: Cats and Dogs International: Enlisting tourism partners in humane causes. By Susan Tasaki and Photographs by Tracey Buyce
Picture This: Profile of photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson who took the shot which reverberated worldwide. By Konnie LeMay
Machu Picchu by Night: How a very unusual guide took the author on the adventure of a lifetime. By Elissa Van Poznak
A Dog Abroad: Getting from point A to point B sometimes requires thinking outside the airline cargo hold. By Michaele Fitzpatrick
Travels with Millie: Nothing goes so well with a car as a dog. By Susan Harlan
Have House, Will Travel: See the world by housesitting is a boon for the adventurous animal lover and the companion animals in their care. By Susan Caba
A Dog Named Sulli: A dog finds that teaching caring and compassion to school children in the Belizean jungle is her chosen calling. By Sean Houlihan
Surf City Dog: A dog with an urge to find the waves. By Sherrie Owens
Rescue on Route 498: A chance encounter on a rainy night, and two lives shift gears. By Mike Waters De Luz
IT’S A DOG’S LIFE
ACTIVITIES Interspecies Agility Fun. By Sharon Ulrich
AUTHOR’S NOOK: Q&A with Melissa Pierson, author of The Secret History of Kindness, interviewed by Lee Harrington.
ASSISTANCE: Dementia service dogs. By Susan Tasaki
BEHAVIOR: What’s your dog’s learning curve? By Karen B. London, PhD
ARTIST PORTOFILO: Rick Bartow
NUTRITION: What’s the Deal About Meals? Protein and quality differ widely. By Linda Case
TRAINING: The Importance of Socialization for a Pup. By Jeff Stallings
ART: Mural a father/daughter team up.
The Secret History of Kindness; A Matter of Breeding; The Honest Truth; Pet Poo Pocket Guide; Miracle Dogs; Fit Dog; What the Dog Knows
Guest Editorial: History of Seeing Eye Dogs By Steve Neumann
The Importance of Play—Just do it! By Claudia Kawczynska
Abe Lincoln and his dog Fido; Ingredients Watch List; Elliott Erwitt
Rescue Veterinary Services; Jazz pianist Justin Kauflin’s new CD
New Legislation: California and Utah. Minding your manners.
Dog Park: Cincinnati’s Washington Park is their newest. By Katherine Barrier
Spent brewery grains make healthy treats. By Sophie Cox
Smiling Dogs: Simply Irresistible
Bark’s Best Places to Work: The winners are in!
Dog's Life: Travel
February 3 2015
Florida attracts visitors year round, but the winter and spring seasons are especially inviting. On the northeastern shoreline—known as the “quiet side”—Palm Coast and Flagler County deserve special mention for their dog-friendliness. This stretch of oceanfront has a laid-back, smalltown flavor; unlike other coastal areas, the beaches are uncluttered by cars or buildings—no high-rise hotels here! Hiking opportunities abound, with more than 100 miles of trails. Plus, the longest designated scenic highway on the East Coast—the A1A Scenic Coastal Highway—passes through, so there’s always a reason to take a ride and see the sights. The tourism folks offer other tips on planning your “dog-cation,” with a list of activities that includes paddle boarding; hikes along the eight-mile-long Lehigh Trail (part of an abandoned 195-acre railroad corridor); and visits to the popular Wadsworth Park, where you can meet up with the locals at its fenced dog park, which has separate areas for large and small dogs. A must-stop for nature enthusiasts is the 1,500-acre Princess Place Preserve in the northern part of the county. Its many scenic viewpoints provide lots of places to catch a sunset. (Wild hogs and alligators also call it home, so best to keep your pup on leash.) Among the affordable accommodations with dog-welcoming policies are Whale Watch Motel and Fairfield Inn and Suites. Or, if you’re interested in private rentals, try vacationrental pros.com; for camping recommendations, check floridastateparks.org. For good eats, there’s Johnny D’s Beach Bar & Grill, Flagler Fish Company or the High Tides at Snack Jacks. Finally, make it a point to stop by the Bark Spot, the local dog boutique. Palmcoastandtheflaglerbeaches.com
January 28 2015
Neva, a lovely combo of Scottish Deerhound, Irish Wolfhound and perhaps Pointer, spent three months in a Kansas shelter before being adopted in 2012 by Alexandra Judycki. Alexandra drove six hours each way to get Neva and bring her home to New Mexico. When Alexandra and her fiancé Linton were married in Telluride, Colo., Neva was their regal maid of honor (see photo). Currently, Neva serves as ambassador to the Red River Ski Area. According to the Judyckis, “Neva lights up our heart every day, and has become our greatest love.” She even has her own hashtag: #nevadog.
November 10 2014
For the final issue of 2014, we are tickled to have Hilary Swank (and her dogs, Rumi and Kai) on the cover. While it’s been our custom for all-dog covers, we’re going “All Star” here because we were inspired by Hilary’s co-producing a rescue extravaganza on Thanksgiving evening called Fox’s Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Special. I talk with her about her rescue work and about how dogs have inspired her and what she is hoping for in this remarkable program. Be sure to tune into Fox from 8 to 10 that evening. We have been digging around for answers to questions that have long puzzled us. Have you ever wondered if gender factors into dog training—if women approach it differently than men? We did, so we asked our behavior specialist Karen London to look into it. Then there is the question of the why and when dogs became domesticated. While the definitive answer isn’t in yet, Jane Brackman reports researchers sing data gleaned from prehistoric burial sites to shed light on the millennia-old dog/human bond.
Then, there’s the sibling thing. When we’re looking at a passel of puppies, it’s so easy to think, Why not just take two? Jeff Stallings explores that question and we found his answer to be spot on.
Donna Jackel looks at the importance of shelter play groups, part of a recent program that gives dogs a chance to blossom and, one hopes, increases adoption rates. Another way of improving the lives of shelter dogs is covered by long-time columnist Lee Harrington, who focuses on her local shelter’s amazing Animal Reiki practitioner.
On the “dogs helping people” front, Amy Kantor, VMD, examines NYPD K-9 teams and the deep bonds police officers have with their canine partners, and contributing editor Rebecca Wallick follows a study that aims to answer the question, “Do sick children benefit from animal-assisted therapy?”
Rounding out this issue’s dog-pourri, Meghan Lewit shares a millennial’s perspective. And, Meghan Daum again graces us with her, “The Gift of a Great Dog,” and reminds us of the need to make room in our hearts. Kevin Roberts tells us what gets him jazzed about skijoring (thrilling at both ends of the bungee!), and we go up to the Arctic Circle with Leah McFail on a Husky-infused Lapland Workaway program. In the good-eats category, our “turkey-burger topper” recipe is nutritionally deconstructed, and we talk with esteemed cookbook editor (she was Julia Child’s editor) Judith Jones about home-cooking for herself and her pup. And, in what is likely a first for a dog magazine, we welcome our new comic book editor-at-large, Mark Peters, who recommends a well-drawn prizewinner written entirely in “dog.”
We know you’re busy making lists, and suggest you start at BarkGoods, our new store. We’ve gathered some of the best-designed, most useful products around, and we’re always expanding the offerings. Visit often and take advantage of our rewards program.
Finally, for a truly feel-good gift, pencil in time on your calendar for a visit to your local shelter: drop off toys or gently used collars and leashes, visit with the dogs, take one for a walk or, even better, foster. (Your dog might love a new playmate!)
We wish everyone a joyous and peace-filled season.
P.S. We are dedicating this issue to Dr. Sophia Yin, her work in positive reinforcement training affected the lives of untold thousands. Her generous and compassionate spirit is sorely missed. Please read tributes and recollections from those whose lives she touched.
Hilary Swank: Starring in All-Star Dog Special
Digging Up Bones: What can archeology tells us about the “connection” origins. By Jane Brackman, PhD
Men, Women and Dog Training: What’s gender have to do with it? By Karen B. London, PhD
Postscript: Grace Chon’s Zoey and Jasper.
Serious Play: Playgroups are enriching lives and reducing stress for dogs in shelters. By Donna Jackel
Growing Up: Millennials take on caring for another, furry, someone. By Meghan Lewit
Animal-Assisted Therapy: Do sick children benefit? By Rebecca Wallick
On The Job: NYPD’s K-9 teams are partnerships bound by loyalty. By Amy Kantor, VMD
The Arctic Circle, with Dogs: Volunteering with Huskies in Lapland. By Leah McFail
The Gift of a Great Dog: Recognizing the “one” but taking on another. By Meghan Daum
It’s a Dog’s Life
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