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Astronaut Leland Melvin's Dogs

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
Smiling Dog: Roosevelt

Dog's name and age: Roosevelt, 1 year

Adoption Story:

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
Smiling Dog: Scout

Dog's name and age: Scout, 10 years old

Adoption Story:

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
Smiling Dog: Maggie

Dog's name and age: Maggie, 14 years old

Adoption Story:

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.

Maggie's Interests:

Tasty treats, taking up the whole couch, and doing tricks like high-fives.

News: Guest Posts
Smiling Dog: Lexi
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.
Magazine: 2015-2017
Issue 90: Summer 2017
Summer of Love Redux

To help you tap into some good vibrations this summer, we chose “Journey” as our issue’s theme, trippin’ in both the metaphorical and the literal sense. To start off, we’ve packed this issue full of reasons for you and your dog to get out and about. We have 51 tips for exploring with your dogs, from “California to the New York Island.” We also give a special nod to Austin for its five-star dog friendliness, as well as to New Mexico’s Sunrise Springs Spa Resort, where guests relax while helping with the socialization of future assistance dogs.

If you’re thinking about wandering overseas, you’ll be inspired by a Belgian photographer work at Thailand’s Headrock Dogs Rescue, where he contributed his talents during a working “volunteer vacation.” For our literature coverage—what would summer be without lots of good reading material?—we travel with author Laura Schenone as she covers the stories and meets the people who started Greyhound rescue in Ireland and beyond. We dip into our archives to bring back Michelle Huneven’s essay, “Lala the Loot,” from our anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot. Her story, about a charming little dog whose cuteness inspires others to snatch her, has a happy ending, so be prepared to smile. In another entry with a journey theme, Laurie Priest tells us how a kayak vacation to Baja California’s Sea of Cortez netted her a honey of a dog, along with an amazingly complicated return trip with the dog to her home in Massachusetts. Dana Shavin’s essay, “There Is Now Only This,” comes with another twist—how being dogless just doesn’t feel right. Finally, our “Backstory” features a man who traveled into outer space with the support of his pups, whom he considered to be his family.

On the department front, we learn why bite inhibition matters and how it develops; plus pro pointers on starting a rescue; and the history of the R.E.A.D. program, which is now in just about every country, and how it came to be. We look at another reason to consider getting a doggy-pack for our dog; how research into human color blindness was helped by a Poodle aptly named Retina; new treatments for arthritis; and we interview the star and writer of “Downward Dog,” a new TV comedy we hope hits it big. 

Features

+50 Ideas for Fun this Summer: Pondering a getaway this season? Bark editors offer up a tip for every state in the union.

The Dogs of Avalon. Introducing the amazing activists who are fighting to save Greyhounds worldwide. By Laura Schenone

Headrock Dogs Rescue: Photographic essay on international travel with a purpose.

Honey’s Story: A Journey of Many Blessings. A vacation in Mexico opens doors, and hearts, to a stray dog. By Laurie Priest.

Lala the Loot: How a small dog charms many people who want to claim her for their own. By Michelle Huneven

There is Now Only This. Dogs can help shape our lives and give it greater meaning. By Dana Shavin

Of Dogs and Other People: The Art of Roy DeForest This this dog-loving artist’s first full career retrospective. By Cameron Woo

 

It’s a Dog’s Life

ASSISTANCE DOGS: A trip to Sunrise Springs Spa Resort’s Puppy Enrichment Center.

By K.M. Burke

 

TRAVEL: Austin is a mighty dog-friendly place.

By Susan Tasaki

 

RESEARCH: Baby Face The allure of cute dogs.

By Jamie Hale, PhD

 

TELEVISION: Downward Dog

Interview with lead actress and show writer about their entertaining, must-watch hit program.

By Cameron Woo

 

RESEARCH: Eye to Eye
How dogs are helping researchers cure color blindness.

By Erica Goss

 

HEALTH: Pain Management New treatments for canine arthritis are on the horizon.

By Sarah Wooten, DVM

 

THERAPY DOGS: See Spot Read

Dog listeners do wonders for a child’s reading skills.

By Ernest L. Abel, PhD

 

RESCUE: Starting Your Own Dog Rescue: Six Golden Rules
By Carin Ford, CPDT-KA

 

BEHAVIOR: Bite Inhibition Matters

A soft mouth can be the difference between life and death for dogs.

By Karen B. London, PhD

 

REVIEWS

The Dogs of Avalon: The Race to Save Animals in Peril; The Right Side

Endpiece: A Love Letter By H. Lovelyn Bettison

 

DOGPATCH

Guest Editorial: Greyhound Prison Program

In Lieu of Gifts: Wedding gifts for a greater purpose.

Summertime Reading Picks

Dog-Eared: La Rose

Kitchen Tricks: New treat making equipment + recipes.

Smiling Dogs: Readers’ Favorite and Always Irresistible

A Dog Needs a Pack by Heather McKinnon

News: Guest Posts
Smiling Dog: Cassie

Dog's name and age: Cassie, 3 years

Adoption Story:

Cassie, was waiting for a forever home at a rescue group in the Sacramento, CA area. Her soon-to-be people had made an appointment to meet another dog that day, but that dog had been adopted just before they arrived. Lucky for Cassie, they found her so friendly with other dogs and people with such a big heart it won them over!

Cassie's Interests:

Cassie loves meeting her friends at the Rescues United For Fun (RUFF) Meetup at either Pt. Isabel or Crissy Field, in California. It's this group that has given her the title of "social director" since she shares her love with all! Cassie willingly shares toys, food, and water since it's the interaction she enjoys the most.

She has a best friend and role model, Max, a golden retriever that she adores and plays tug of war with, and she admires her walking buddy, Duke, a labrador, and his human, Michelle. She also loves her neighbor, Mary. Cassie will run at breakneck speed 2 blocks to jump in the mail truck when she sees Jim, the mailman coming.

Cassie loves to go for rides in the car because there are always new people to meet when they stop. When she goes outside, she smells the flowers blooming on the back step before continuing on her way. Like most dogs, she loves digging in the sand and running on the beach. She likes meeting people on the street in San Francisco. And, nothing would make her happier than meeting you and your dog!

Culture: DogPatch
Author W. Bruce Cameron Talks to Bark About His New Book

On May 12, The Bark had the pleasure of hosting author W. Bruce Cameron for a special Q&A on Facebook. Cameron is a #1 New York Times and #1 USA Today bestselling author with several books to his credit, including A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Journey. His newest book, A Dog’s Way Home (Forge Books), was released in early May, and Cameron shared his thoughts on his new work as well as on one of his favorite subjects: dogs.

Bark: Tell us about A Dog’s Way Home …

W. Bruce Cameron: A Dog’s Way Home is a story of utter devotion, of a bond between a person and a dog, a bond so powerful that the dog will do literally anything to be with her human family. Bella is a rescue and Lucas, a young man, is her whole world. When Bella is banned from the city in which they are living (she is a Pit mix) and relocated hundreds of miles away, she decides a mistake has been made and sets off on a multi-year trek through the Rocky Mountain wilderness to find Lucas.

Bark: Is it fair to say it’s a little different than your previous books?

W. Bruce Cameron: I’m told that A Dog’s Way Home is rapidly turning into a reader favorite. I think it has to do with the lack of fantastical elements! In the “A Dog’s Purpose” series, there is the reincarnating dog; in Emory’s Gift, there is a bear who may or may not be real. In the “Repo” series, a man has the voice of a ghost in his head. But A Dog’s Way Home is a very realistic story about a dog separated from her people who needs to find her way back to them. Could happen—in fact, DOES happen—all the time.

Bark: For us dog people, the fear of being separated from our dogs is always at the back of our minds, isn’t it?

W. Bruce Cameron: I once had a dog—her name was Chinook—who was lost for seven days. She hopped the fence in a thunderstorm. She was eventually found by a farmer, who called in response to my newspaper ad. She was 50 MILES away.

Bark: What inspired you to write about this particular subject? Do you have a special interest in breed-ban laws and the work canines do with veterans? Is there a story behind the canine character being a Pit Bull?

W. Bruce Cameron: My dog Tucker gave me most of the ideas, or at least, that’s what he’s been telling people. I’m not a political agitator, but I just don’t believe Americans want their government telling them what kind of dogs they can own, especially when the law is about how dogs look, not how they behave. It is as ludicrous as arresting someone because he looks like a criminal.

I am proud of and grateful to our men and women in uniform—they have made great sacrifices for our country. Some have had experiences that left them with injuries, not all of which are physical. Dogs can be wonderful in helping veterans cope with and recover from trauma.

I have met many Pit Bulls and Pit mixes and generally find them to be among the most gentle and loving of breeds—though, let’s face it, the majority of dogs are gentle, loving and devoted. 

Bark: Your books often involve a journey, sometimes of the heart, sometimes a physical journey. In A Dog’s Way Home, a 400-mile trek is at the center of the story. Can you talk about the role journeys play in your storytelling? 

W. Bruce Cameron: My novels look at characters who evolve over time and distance. In this new book, Bella is an entirely different animal at the end of the trek than she was when she started out. 

Bark: What message do you want people to take from your “A Dog’s Purpose” series?

W. Bruce Cameron: I guess it’s that dogs need us and we need them. That the ones we rescue, rescue us. That without us, they are lost creatures and they need our love, our help and our kindness.

News: Guest Posts
Smiling Dog: Stanley

Dog's name and age: Stanley, 1 year

Adoption Story:

After their fourteen-year-old dog Sparky died, they knew they would eventually want another dog. The name Stanley was decided upon, it was just a matter of finding him. The family was continually look at the Humane Society's website looking for their Stanley. One day this past summer the family went to the Humane Society to visit the available dogs. When they met this dear dog the family agreed that they found their Stanley!

More:

Stanley loves going to work with his dad who helps transport elderly and underprivileged people to their doctor's appointments. Stanley loves riding in the van and his passengers get a kick out of it.

News: Guest Posts
Smiling Dog: Huey

Dog's name and age: Huey, 6 years old

Adoption Story:

At the shelter when he was surrendered, Huey's person-to-be was instantly smitten with the one-year-old pup. She rocketed out the door to go home to talk to family about the potential adoption. Everyone agreed right away but by that time the shelter had closed. First thing the next morning, she raced back to the shelter to secure the adoption. She found another couple was at the shelter for the same reason. After a cordial, but spirited discussion, the shelter manager ruled in her favor. There were handshakes all around. Huey has had a huge impact on many people since then!

More about Huey:

Huey goes by the nicknames "Chick Magnet" and "Pumpkin".

He was named after a well known 80's band Huey Lewis and the News.

He's the middle dog in his family.

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