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News: JoAnna Lou
Saying Thanks
Who are the important people in your dog's life?
From political platforms to airing grievances, award show acceptance speeches give celebrities 30 seconds to fill the air with whatever is most important to them. Game of Thrones actor and winner of the Best Supporting Actor Emmy Award on Sunday night, Peter Dinklage, showed how much he loves his pup, Kevin, when he thanked his dog sitter in his acceptance speech, perhaps a first in the show's...
News: JoAnna Lou
Uptick in N.Y. Dog Theft
Even well identified pets are at risk
The recent increase in pet theft has hit close to home as there have been several dog kidnappings in my area this summer. Some are straightforward, like Matsu, the Yorkshire Terrier who was stolen when he was tied outside of a deli. Others are a little more complicated. A few weeks ago, Kumiko Masaoka and Michael Reinhardt were at a Brooklyn park with their West Highland Terrier, Winston,...
News: JoAnna Lou
Eavesdropping on Humans
Study: Dogs behave based on observations of people
My dogs always seem to be watching what I'm doing. I'd like to think they care about my well being, but I think they're more interested in any clues that I might drop food or that it might be dinner time. A recent study led by Sarah Marshall-Pescini at the University of Milan looks at the information dogs get from watching us and the decisions they make based on that data. Her research focused...
News: JoAnna Lou
Technology for Lost Dogs
ID tags with QR codes bring pets home
Little black and white squares have been popping up everywhere—on advertisements, business cards and magazines. These Quick Response (QR) codes are barcodes that are designed to be read by smartphones. People can take a photo of the square and retrieve text, contact information or open a webpage on their phone. Now these QR codes can help bring your dog home. A new company, PetHub, engraves QR...
News: JoAnna Lou
Remembering 9/11 SAR Teams
September events honor human and canine rescue teams
As we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11, there are many victims to remember and many heroes to honor. Among those to pay tribute to are the hundreds of search and rescue (SAR) dogs who worked alongside police, firefighters, and other rescue workers at the World Trade Center. Like many others involved in the rescue efforts, canine SAR teams are mostly made up of volunteers who willingly put...
News: JoAnna Lou
Adopting the Doggie in the Window
N.Y. store changes the concept of the mall pet shop
Mall pet stores always make me sad, partly because I know the dogs came from puppy mills and partly because I know these stores encourage visitors to buy pets on impulse. So I was excited to find out that a new pet store is opening at the Palisades Mall in West Nyack, N.Y. that does not sell any pets. Even better, the USA Dog & Pet Shop features animals for adoption from the Hi-Tor Animal...
News: JoAnna Lou
Weathering Hurricane Irene
Emergency plans with the dogs in mind
This past weekend, everyone on the East Coast was hurrying to prepare for Hurricane Irene. I wasn't in an evacuation zone, but I put together a “go bag” for my pets and put crates by the door, just in case we had to leave home. Fortunately, we didn't end up needing any of the emergency supplies. By the time Irene reached New York, the hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm and the damage...
News: JoAnna Lou
Cancer Detecting Pups
Dogs can diagnose lung cancer in humans
Earlier this week, I wrote about the depressing number of dogs affected by cancer. Many organizations and researchers are working towards finding a cure. Meanwhile, dogs may play an important part in curing humans. Lung cancer is the the deadliest form of cancer worldwide, but current detection methods have been unreliable. Scientists are looking at a possible test for volatile organic...
News: JoAnna Lou
Signs of Canine Cancer
One in three dogs will be affected by cancer
I still remember when I first heard that cancer affects one in three dogs. I was at an agility trial fundraiser for canine cancer research and the organizers asked anyone touched by the disease to raise their hand. Almost everyone had their hand up. It's a scary statistic that hit home recently. Three of my friends have lost dogs to cancer in the last month. The disease has become so...
News: JoAnna Lou
Budgeting for Dog Expenses
The ASPCA and Mint.com calculate annual and monthly pet costs
Dog lovers don't need a survey to tell us that we spend a lot of money on our pups. But exactly how big is our pet budget? The ASPCA calculated basic annual expenses for a variety of pets (not including one-time purchases, like a crate or leash). According to their survey, the average medium dog incurs the following costs per year: Food - $118 Recurring Medical - $236.30 Toys/Treats...

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