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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...
News: JoAnna Lou
Dog to Be Killed in Ebola Fight
Sick nurse's pet is targeted as Spain tries to control the deadly virus.
The internet has been buzzing about Western Europe's first case of Ebola, diagnosed in a Spanish nurse on Monday. Teresa Romero, her husband, Javier, and two others were quickly ushered into quarantine. If that wasn't stressful enough for Teresa's family, the government announced yesterday that they plan to put down her dog, Excalibur, as a precaution. Teresa and Javier objected to the decision...
News: JoAnna Lou
The First 'Pup Nup'
U.K. animal welfare organization creates a pet version of the prenup.
These days it's common for couples to sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married. While it protects money and other material assets, it makes no plan for what happens to pets after a divorce. As a result many animals end up in shelters when their parents split up. U.K. animal welfare organization Blue Cross estimates that marital conflict and relationship breakdown results in four...
News: JoAnna Lou
British Airways Launches Onboard Pet Entertainment
The airline's new Paws and Relax in-flight channel is designed to soothe passengers.
Flying can be incredibly stressful these days, between getting through security, navigating crowded terminals, and squeezing into tiny economy cabin seats. So British Airways decided to soothe passengers by harnessing the calming ability of animals. Paws and Relax, an in-flight entertainment channel dedicated to cute pet videos, launched in long-haul flights just a few weeks ago. It can be found...

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