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News: JoAnna Lou
Building a Second Chance
Program gives at risk teens and homeless pups a future.
Dogs have a way of bringing out the best in people. A great example of this is in programs that teach prison inmates to work with shelter pups (as well as future service dogs). These initiatives have resulted in reduced re-incarceration levels and increased adoptions. In Georgia, the Department of Juvenile Justice started a new program this summer that gives teens and homeless dogs a second...
News: JoAnna Lou
Walking for Shelter Pups
App donates ad revenue to shelters in all 50 states.
Wouldn't it be great to help shelter pets by simply taking your dog for a walk around the neighborhood? Now you can do just that with the Walk for a Dog app developed by WoofTrax. The program uses money from sponsors, advertisers, and investors to benefit homeless animals around the country. Once you download the program to your cell phone, you choose the shelter you'd like to walk for, and then...
News: JoAnna Lou
Canine Neighborhood Watch
Police train dog walkers to spot suspicious activity
When you walk your dogs each day, you become very familiar with the details of the neighborhood. I immediately know which dogs (or people) are new to the area, which houses are having work done, and even which cars seem to be gone for the weekend. I can also catch up on neighborhood gossip when I stop to talk to others out for a stroll. If you think about it, dog walkers always seem to know what'...
News: JoAnna Lou
Braving the Doorbell on Halloween
All Hallows' Eve strategies for barking pups.
In my house, and countless other canine homes, the doorbell is followed by a chorus of excited barking. Training this behavior away takes a lot of patience (more than I have!) and is particularly challenging since barking is so self-reinforcing. So I embrace my canine "back-up" doorbells and let the dogs freely voice their opinion about incoming guests. There's only one time of the year that I...
News: JoAnna Lou
Instinctive Canine Comfort?
Does your dog know when you're not feeling well?
I always hear stories about how dogs sense when we're not feeling well and instinctively provide comfort. Although my own pups don't seem to care if I'm sick (my Border Collie, Scuttle, will just throw balls at me while I lay on the couch), I have no doubt that our pets can pick up on subtle changes that we can't see. Most notably, dogs have been successfully used to predict seizures and even...
News: JoAnna Lou
Therapy Dogs on Campus
Study looks at animal-assisted therapy and college students.
Last month Oklahoma State University launched the country's most comprehensive university-wide pet therapy program, part of their commitment to be America's Healthiest Campus. Most schools bring in therapy dogs only at stressful times, such as finals week, but OSU's goal is to be more proactive. I'd love to see more schools adopt similar programs, but they may be wondering, are therapy dogs a “...
News: JoAnna Lou
Mislabeled Food
Study finds that ingredients listed on packages differ from what's inside.
With recent allegations of mislabeled food, we've never been so far removed from where our meals come from. Last year a study across 21 states found that as much as 33 percent of seafood in the United States is sold as a different product than what's listed on the package. And it's not just human food. After reading about horse meat found in ground beef products sold in European, California's...
News: JoAnna Lou
Dog Allergic to Humans
Indianapolis rescue pup begins allergy shots this week.
Pet allergies are fairly common with as much as ten percent of people having some degree of sensitivity to dogs. In fact one of my fears is that if I have kids, one of them might have or develop an animal-related allergy. But can it happen the other way around? A few months ago, Indianapolis' Lucky Dog Retreat Rescue discovered Adam, a happy-go-lucky, but sad looking Black Labrador, at the local...
News: JoAnna Lou
High Tech Collars for Border Patrol Pups
Department of Homeland Security considers introducing new technology to their canine team.
Over the years, there have been talks of futuristic dog collars that would reveal if your pet was happy, hungry, or sad. But, unless someone is recreating the translating collar from Pixar's Up, these gadgets seem more like a novelty that would wear off after a few days. But now these collars are getting a serious look for their application with working pups. Last week, Customs and Border Patrol...
News: JoAnna Lou
Optimism in Dogs
Study looks at optimism and how it may predict successful service pups.
My perpetually optimistic pup, Nemo.
Those of us who live with dogs know that our pets have distinctly different personalities. My Sheltie, Nemo, is one of the happiest dogs that I know. A few years ago he was in a veterinary intensive care unit and the staff was amazed at how upbeat he looked, even while being whisked away for emergency surgery. I'm sure that his positive attitude contributed to his eventual full recovery. So I...

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