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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Dogs in School
Literacy pups help kids develop a love of reading and writing
As a certified Good Dog Foundation therapy team, Nemo and I have visited our local library many times over the years. During these visits, I’ve noticed that the children develop more confidence every time we see them. We’ve even helped one girl overcome her fear of dogs. In today’s world of video games and television, it’s great to see kids get excited about reading and focus their attention on...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Counterfeit Meds
Unregulated companies sell repackaged pet health products
The internet is my favorite place to shop because of the unbeatable deals on everything from books to pet supplies. The trade-off is that you don’t get to see the products you’re buying in person and the companies selling these products are largely unregulated. For years, the sale of counterfeit pet medicine has been a problem, leading the FDA to advise only buying pet medication from reputable...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Be Prepared
Plan ahead for emergencies
After attending a canine emergency seminar last year, I put together a first aid kit that included Elizabethan collars, bandages, eye wash, antibacterial ointment and contact information for the emergency vet. I was feeling pretty prepared, though, of course, I hoped that I’d never have to use any of it. Unfortunately, earlier this week, my dog, Nemo, crashed into our coffee table, injuring his...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Beating Rabies
Bali to implement a humane rabies control program
Earlier this week I attended a panel discussion on dogs at Barnard College and was shocked to learn that 55,000 people die each year of rabies. Ninety-five percent of those deaths occur in Asia and Africa. Because only one to three of those deaths occur in the United States, I didn’t realize rabies fatalities were such a big problem. Developed countries are lucky to have measures in place to...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Calling All Working Dogs
UPDATE! Dept. of Homeland Security looks to recruit 3,000 pups
Editor's update: JoAnna Lou gets her wish. The Department of Homeland Security has bowed to pressure and agreed to screen shelter dogs to work as canine federal agents. Many animal welfare advocates, including PETA, cried fowl when the department made the call for increased breeding to supply the “right” sort of dogs. It worked.   [Original post: 8/12/10] As the government gears up to protect the...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Relief While Traveling
D.C. airports unveil high-tech pet potty areas
If you’re headed by air to Washington D.C. with your crew, now your pups have a special place to stretch their legs and go to the bathroom. Dulles and Reagan National Airports have recently opened “pet relief areas” in accordance with a federal ruling requiring potty areas for service dogs (though these spaces are open to all dogs, regardless of service status). Dulles already made Jaunted’s Five...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Training Goals on the Web
Using social media for a push
As someone who works in professional development, I always tell people that in order to reach your goals, you have to hold yourself accountable. This looks different for every person and committing can be as simple as writing your goal down on paper. Goal setting is also important when it comes to our dogs because it motivates us to carve out time to train and develop our relationships with our...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Ribbon Recycling
Donate your old show ribbons to a good cause
My dog sport friends often tell me that they don’t take the ribbons they’ve won because they end up stuffed into old shoe boxes at home.  When I first started competing in agility and rally with my first dog, Nemo, I couldn’t believe that people had so many ribbons that they wouldn’t take them! Each of the prized ribbons Nemo and I earned meant so much to me, a representation of our hard work and...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Treibball
Dogs herd balls in a new sport from Germany
I've always wanted to try herding with my Shelties, but it’s not easy to find sheep in the New York City area! Nemo is also a little impulsive, so his interaction with a sheep or duck seems like a big wild card to me. I guess I’m a little worried he’d pounce on a duck or get run over by a sheep, though admittedly I know nothing about herding. This week, I discovered a sport that could let us try...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Testing Hips
The standard OFA test may underestimate the risk of hip dysplasia
When we were ready to add a Sheltie to our family, I made sure prospective breeders met a long check list of requirements from socialization to genetic testing. Since Shelties are prone to hip dysplasia, I only considered breeders who screened the parents’ hips. The standard screening model is the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals test, or more commonly known as the OFA. So I was shocked to find...

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