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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Fulfilling a Canine Bucket List
Boy seeks treats for his dying service dog
When eleven-year old Cole Hein found out that his Jack Russell Terrier had only weeks to live, he created the “Lick It List,” a canine bucket list to honor his pup Bingo. For five years, Bingo has been taking care of Cole, who has a medical condition that can stop his breathing. The thirteen-year old dog is trained to alert adults if the boy needs CPR. In the first six months the two were...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Dangerous Snack Bags
Penn. pup suffocates from a potato chip bag
It’s well known that plastic bags pose a suffocation risk for both children and pets. Most packaging carries a warning as a reminder. However, I never considered that snack bags could also be dangerous.  Last month a Pennsylvania family came home to a heartbreaking scene. The Elwoods knew something was wrong when their 4-year old Pit Bull didn’t greet them at the door. Amid trash scattered...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Facebook Pup Learns to Herd
Mark Zuckerberg introduces his dog to sheep for the first time
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla, made headlines last year when their family grew by one 8-week Puli named Beast. Since then they’ve been spoiling the furry pup in their Palo Alto home. Beast has his own Facebook page and even escorted Priscilla down the aisle when the couple got married in May. Going back to the Puli’s Hungarian Sheepdog roots, Zuckerberg recently took...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Bark Inspiration in the New York Times
Our article prompts a foray into truffle hunting
Last week I was reading an article about truffle dogs in the New York Times and spotted a Bark shout out! Elizabeth Kalik, a former search-and-rescue trainer in Oregon, read about canine truffle hunters in our magazine and decided it would be the perfect activity for her crew. She tracked down the man we interviewed and trained her Newfoundland and Beaucerons to hunt for the prized fungi. Kalik...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Phelps to Teach Dog How to Swim
In retirement, the Olympian plans to spend more time with his pups
After winning a record 22 medals, Michael Phelps is retiring as the most decorated Olympian of all time. Now with a little more time on his hands, one of Phelps’ first plans is to teach his dog, Stella, how to swim. Phelps adopted the Catahoula mix in December after appearing on the Today show to talk about his Olympic training regimen. As part of the Bow to Wow segment, Phelps walked out the...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Dogs and Attachment Theory
A deep emotional connection with our pets brings many benefits
When I’m having a bad day, my dogs know just how to lighten the mood and bring a smile to my face. Pet lovers have long known that animals lower our stress levels, and that fact has been proven by scientific research over the years. A new study published in the Journal of Research in Personality looks at the relationship we have with our pets from the perspective of attachment theory. Like...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Obstacles for Psychiatric Service Dogs
More veterans are turning to canines to cope with PTSD
More and more returning veterans are turning to dogs to help cope with post traumatic stress disorder. Last week, the Senate passed a bill (HR 1627) that would require the Veterans Affairs Department is open their housing facilities to veterans with service dogs. The current version restricts assess to canines trained by certain accredited organizations.  While these animals are becoming more...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Caring for War Dogs
Paramedics receive training to treat canines in combat settings
There are plenty of stories that illustrate the important role war dogs play in assisting the military. Many soldiers consider these canines partners and credit them with saving lives. The military employs doctors and veterinarians, but if anything happens in action, paramedics are the first ones to respond and often have to give treatment at the scene. These people receive elite training for...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Honoring their Final Minutes
Photographer takes pictures of shelter dogs before they're put to sleep
Photograph by Tou Yun-fei
A photographer in Taiwan is on a mission to get people to take a serious look at the way animals are treated in his country. Tou Yun-fei takes photos of dogs at the Taoyuan Animal Shelter in the moments before they are euthanized. In the last two years, he's captured the images of 400 dogs. Activists say that 70 percent of dogs in Taiwanese shelters are killed after the 12-day waiting period. ...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Sniffing Poop to Save Wildlife
Ex-shelter dogs are trained to become conversation canines
Conservation Dog
  Families often misjudge how much exercise dogs need, which is how many pets end up at the animal shelter. Insatiable play drive is bad for the average home but great for working canines. The Center for Biology Conservation adopts many of these dogs and trains them to sniff out wildlife droppings. Yes you read that right! Scientists can learn a lot from scat, including sex, species, and even...

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