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Blog: Karen B. London
Traveling Without Dogs
Who cares for them in your absence?
I recently returned from nearly two weeks in Nicaragua. The trip was the field component of Northern Arizona University’s course “Tropical Forest Insect Ecology” for which I am one of the instructors. With a thousand things to do before departure--including taking exams, writing papers, packing, arranging for mail to be held and newspapers to be stopped, attending to vaccinations and anti-...
Dog Culture: DogPatch
8 Reasons It’s Better to Be a Dog Now than 25 Years Ago
By the Numbers
Congratulate the canines in your household for showing up on earth at just the right time, because, compared to those who lived 25 years ago, today’s dogs have many advantages. 1. Coercion training has been largely replaced by kinder, gentler positive methods. While not everyone is training with modern techniques, the trend continues to gain momentum. It is more effective and better for the...
Blog: Karen B. London
Decoding Dog Growls
Each kind contains specific information
Dogs growl in different contexts—when guarding something of value, when threatened by a stranger and during play. These growls can sound remarkably similar to the novice human ear, but a new study in the journal Animal Behavior suuggests that the meanings of these growls are very different to dogs.   Scientists in Hungary recorded growls by dogs in different situations and analyzed the structure...
Blog: Karen B. London
Lost Wallets
Can your dog’s photo help?
According to a psychology study by Richard Wiseman in Edinburgh, Scotland, the likelihood that your lost wallet will be returned to you is influenced by the photos in it. The highest percentage of wallets were returned when there was a baby picture inside (88 percent), but the next most effective photo was one of a dog at 53 percent. A family portrait prompted a 48% return rate while wallets with...
Blog: Karen B. London
Memories of Dogs
First childhood experiences
My parents, who are otherwise absolutely lovely people, are not that fond of animals, so I did not have a dog growing up. The year I was three, we spent one year away from Wisconsin in Palo Alto, California while my professor Dad was on sabbatical. I was ecstatic to learn that an Old English Sheep Dog lived across the street from us. I loved that dog! I used to go over to visit him as often as I...
Blog: Karen B. London
Finding Time to Train
One minute here, one minute there
Many people struggle to find the time to train their dogs, and with today’s busy lifestyles, I am very sympathetic to the problem. (Between my work with dogs, my writing, teaching at the university, being a wife and mom, coaching soccer and my running, I am always strapped for time. In fact, lately I have adopted a policy of, “If it’s not on fire, I’m not putting it out yet.”) And yet, I think it...
Blog: Karen B. London
Dog on a Roof
Where have you spotted one?
A few blocks from my house, I saw a dog up on the roof. Shea was not atop a dog house, like Snoopy, but some 15 feet off the ground on the roof of a people house. She looked comfortable up there, and though it made me a little nervous, I didn’t feel as though she was in immediate danger.   Racing home for my camera, I thought, “Please don’t come down until I get the photo, please don’t get down...
Blog: Karen B. London
Accidentally Euthanized
Shelter’s mistake was fatal
Most of us have lost dogs and suffered the agony of that grief. We all share the pain when someone we know is dealing with the death of a dog, but I don’t think my heart has ever hurt more than when I heard about what happened to Will Harlee and his family. It seems that Charlotte-Mecklenberg Animal Care and Control euthanized their two dogs, Deuce and Ralow, by mistake. And no amount of regret...
Blog: Karen B. London
Chastity Belts For Dogs
What will they think of next?
There’s a whole section of my mind devoted to ideas of the now-I’ve-seen-everything variety. The newest arrival to that part of my brain is the chastity belt for dogs. Its real name is PABS (Pet Anti Breeding System) and the purpose is to prevent an accidental breeding of a female in heat. Accidental breedings have happened on occasion to the dogs of some of the most responsible people I know, so...
Blog: Karen B. London
Whole Family Is Welcome at Church
Yes, that includes dogs
Covenant Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles allows dogs to come to its Sunday night prayer services, which are led by Reverend Tom Eggebeen. Welcoming canines to places of worship is a growing trend that reflects an increasing recognition of the strong bonds that people have with their dogs. The goal behind canine-friendly services is to make people feel more comfortable at church.   Sometimes...

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