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News: Guest Posts
Amazing Agility Pig
Louie lobbies for spot on canine team

Louie the pot-bellied pig was special when he would race to the agility field to watch her dogs train. His own aptitude for the sport became clear when she attempted to teach a dog to run through a tunnel and Louis zipped through it instead. Now nine months old, he is campaigning for a spot on the canine display team, which competes at the prestigious Crufts dog show. Do you think a pig should be allowed to compete in agility competitions?

 

 

News: Guest Posts
Our Dogs Make Poets of Us
Declare your love in rhyme, and maybe win a prize

I’ve been really enjoying the sweet odes des chiens on our Facebook page. In the run-up to Valentine’s Day, Bark has been greasing the wheels of heartfelt expression by inviting readers to convey your love for your dogs in verse on our Facebook page. The results so far convince me that our dogs make poets of us.

 

Here are two early entries that capture the spirit of the thing.

 

From Lisa Litz-Neavear: For Rocky and Sweetie: Roses are red
Violets are blue.
Having one dog's so great
That now we have two!   And from Tammy Robertson: Roses are red
Violets are blue
Tanner came into my life
Now we're stuck like glue.   Of course, I know contest prizes for Bark favorites (such as a Sweet Heart Collar Art from Beantown Handmade, a Doodle Dog Tote from Crypton or Valentine's cards from RiverDog Prints) isn’t the reason readers are posting comments in an A-B-C-B rhyming scheme, it’s just that you can’t pass up a chance to declare your devotion to your canine pals.   Sample the entries and create your own on our Facebook page through February 14 at 11:59 p.m. PST—maybe you'll win a prize or simply enjoy the warm glow of telling a loved one what they mean to you.

 

News: Guest Posts
Super Bowl Alternatives
Walk your dog, swoon over puppies

I live in Seattle, and walked my dogs during the first quarter of the Seattle Seahawks v. Chicago Bears NFL playoff game a couple weeks ago. I was thrilled with the traffic-free streets of my neighborhood. Many of the blocks around my house don’t have sidewalks, so normally Lulu, Renzo and I have to share the road with too-fast cars. Other than snow days, which paralyze this city, a football playoff game is just about the best street-clearing mechanism around.

  So, I totally get the idea behind the Subaru Game Day Dog Walk Event—essentially, roll yourself off the couch and walk your dog during the Super Bowl, Sunday, Feb. 6. Of course, I know Bark readers walk their dogs every day, and many of us do this two or three times a day, but wouldn’t it be fun to flood into car-free roads with our dogs at the same time lots of other folks with dogs flood into the streets. For a few hours, we could turn our neighborhoods into flash-mob meetings of the dog lover’s club.   Why stop there? Maybe this day can inspire us to walk other dogs, especially those of us who don’t have a dog in our life at this time (sigh). The Game Day Dog Walk Event could be a catalyst for starting a regular practice of volunteering as a dog walker for a shelter or rescue organization, or maybe just helping to walk the dogs of a neighbor who is sick, overworked, or taking care of a new baby.   Of course, I say all this knowing I will need to be home to check in on Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl VII, yes VII, which, it turns out Subaru is also sponsoring. (They’re everywhere!)

 

News: Karen B. London
Greetings While Skiing
Dogs make our outing more fun

A few days ago, we received the first really good snowfall of the season in Flagstaff, Ariz., and for my family, that means skiing. Since the downhill slopes are not yet open, we headed out on cross-country skis to enjoy the morning. Before the plows come, it’s good skiing in our neighborhood, starting right at our front door.

  As we skied, we saw other hearty souls who love the snow and wanted to play in it. That means that fellow outdoorsy people smiled and shouted out greetings, and that many dogs came over to say hello. Our friends Denali, Ruby, Aspen, Annie, and many more ran up to us, pouncing in the snow and wagging their tails. There’s a certain sort of enthusiasm that only dogs can express about snow, especially early on in the season when there’s the excitement of its novelty.   I so enjoyed the friendliness of the neighborhood canines, perhaps because they convey, far better than any of the people, their feelings of joy about the snow that was making all of us so happy. In fact, it made me think that one of the best ways to explain dogs to an alien would be to say that they are “happiness multipliers.”   How do dogs add to your winter delight?

 

News: JoAnna Lou
Dog Wash for Cancer
John Paul teams up with NCCF to Wash Away Canine Cancer

I remember when I found out that one in three dogs will be affected by cancer, and half of those cases are fatal. I was at an agility trial in New Jersey and a representative from the National Canine Cancer Foundation was in attendance.  During a break in competition, someone asked everyone to raise their hand if they knew a dog who had been affected by cancer. I was astonished when almost everyone in the room had their hand up.

Since then, the National Canine Cancer Foundation (NCCF) has been one of my favorite organizations. This month NCCF has teamed up with John Paul Pet to "Wash Away Canine Cancer." What’s better than helping out a good cause, while making sure your crew is squeaky clean? 

For a minimum $5 donation, you’ll get a dog wash packet that includes John Paul Pet shampoo, a pink “We are the Cure” window decal, a can of Halo’s Spot’s Stew, and a 30 day free trial of Trupanion Pet Insurance. On top of that, for every packet sold, FreeKibble.com will donate a meal of Halo Spot’s Stew to shelter dogs.

Visit the Wash Away Canine Cancer web site to order your packet and upload a picture of your newly clean pet.

 

News: Karen B. London
Pet Trivia Contest
How much do you know?

American Humane is sponsoring a pet trivia contest through this Friday, Nov. 5. There are six questions in the trivia quiz, and if you answer all of them correctly, you could win a prize package. There are 10 prize packages, and the winners will be chose randomly from all of the entries with six correct answers.

  So, if you know what Eddie on Frasier and the RCA icon have in common, what international incident involved Teddy Roosevelt’s dog, the breed of Paul McCartney’s dog Martha, or the name of the canine actor who played Toto, consider entering the contest. Though there are questions related to other types of animals, too, dog knowledge is part of what’s necessary for success.   Good luck!

 

News: Guest Posts
Critterati 2010: A Photo Contest
New Yorker enlists Bark publisher as judge

Purroust, Dr. Zhi-doggo, Puppy Longstocking: Weird things happen when you invite New Yorker readers to dress up their dogs like literary characters. So, of course, you want to do it again. The second annual Critterati photo contest at newyorker.com gets rolling just in time for Halloween, and this year Bark’s co-founder and publisher Cameron Woo joins Susan Orlean and Alexandra Horowitz for his Simon Cowell turn. Even better, each of the five winners receives a copy of Photobooth Dogs, Cameron’s just published collection of photobooth portraits from the last 80 years.

  The 411 on the contest: Dress your pet as a literary character or writer (wordplay and whimsy encouraged), snap a photo and upload it to the Critterati gallery. The five favorites, selected by the judges and announced Oct. 27, will have their photographs featured in an online slideshow. (Read the contest rules.)   You have time—submissions will be accepted through October 25—but don’t rest on your laurels. A black cape and fangs won’t cut it for this competition. Last year’s entries included Waiting for Dogot, Holden Clawfield, a pair of guinea pigs as Lilliputians, a cat hugging a doll as Lolita’s Humbert Humbert, and a chicken as fairly convincing Prince Genji. Check out the 2009 gallery. Good luck!
News: JoAnna Lou
Barking for a Cure
Celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month with your pup

This October, there are lots of ways to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month with your pup. From fundraising walks to grooming, check out these dog friendly ways to support a good cause.

Walks and Festivals:

Gloria Gemma Dog Walk - Oct. 9, Providence, R.I.
The annual 5K run/walk has always welcomed canine participants, but this year they’ve added a dedicated Dog Walk. There will be pet friendly activities and prizes for the most “Pinked Up Pup.” Event proceeds will go to the Rhode Island Department of Health Women’s Cancer Screening Program. 

Canines for a Cure Dog Walk - Oct. 10, Lake Geneva, Wis.
The Grand Geneva Resort and Conference Center is hosting a dog walk that includes raffles and a picnic lunch. All proceeds go to Journey for L.I.F.E., which benefits cancer patients and affected families in Walworth County, Wis. 

3 Dog Walk - Oct. 17, Del Mar, Calif.
DogtownSanDiego and Three Dog Bakery are teaming up for a fundraising walk that includes vendor booths, a dog fashion show, raffles, a dog costume contest and a book signing with Maggie Espinosa, author of The Privileged Pooch. All registration fees and donations go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Dogtoberfest - Nov. 6, Monroe Township, N.J.
Actually in November, this dog friendly festival features a corn maze, hayrides, corn train rides, vendors and pets for adoption. All proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Grooming Fundraisers:

Paws for Pink - All October at Dogtopia (various locations)
Dogtpia is celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month in all of its 22 locations throughout the United States. The daycare and grooming chain is donating 10 percent of all spa baths and nail trims in October to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. 

Fundraiser for Breast Cancer Research - Oct. 15, Baden Hound, Toronto, Ontario
On Oct. 15, doggy spa, Baden Hound, will provide bathing and blow drying services for $20 and nail trims for $5. All proceeds will be donated to the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. Even better, Baden Hound only uses all natural, biodegradable products. 

Online Shopping:

If you can’t make it out to one of the fundraising events, donating to breast cancer research is as easy as logging onto your computer. Whether you need a new food bowl, biscuits or a chew toy, you can find doggy products that support the cause. You can even get a Barking for a Cure bandana and matching leash so your pups can show their support.

News: Karen B. London
High Cost Pet Pampering
Hotel amenities includes Paw Package

For people who still find their bank accounts overflowing in these troubled times, here is one way to deal with the “problem”: Spend money on your dog. In this story in the Palm Beach Daily News, the author tells of her adventures with her Jack Russell Terrier getting spa treatments together at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota.

  For $130, Maggie the Jack Russell received an hour-long massage from a certified massage therapist. Options include Swedish, full-body relaxation, sports or senior massage, all in the guest’s room to comply with health laws. Maggie’s guardian later had her own massage and reflexology treatment at the hotel spa.   The complete Paw Package at the hotel consists of one of the massages, a canine manicure, a walk to an area full of shops, galleries and outdoor cafes, room service with organic pet stew, bottled water and a gourmet dog biscuit, and a souvenir photo. The cost for these luxuries is $350.   What would you do with and for your dog if you had unlimited financial resources?

 

News: Guest Posts
Meet Calendar Firefighters...
... and help dogs, Oct. 2, Miami

You know how the classic image of a burly fireman rescuing a frightened kitten from a tree is so familiar, it’s a cliché. Well, a crew of shirtless Southern Florida firefighters are breathing new life into the old idea by coming to the aid of animals in need.

  All thanks to radio/television personality Jade Alexander, who decided to think outside the box and connect two charities with whom she’s been involved over the years, often as an emcee at their events. She asked Lieutenant Luis Espinosa, who created the calendar, to include Friends Forever Rescue (a Florida not-for-profit working to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome homeless and unwanted dogs), as one of the charities to benefit from the sales of the calendar.   “Luis and Dee Chess (of Friends Forever Rescue) work tirelessly in helping the community in their individual efforts and I thought it would be a marriage made in heaven,” Alexander says. “Besides, can you imagine the cuteness factor of a firefighter holding a homeless dog? Of course, there’s the whole other audience that can’t resist a bunch of shirtless firefighters in bunker gear! Bottom line, the more calendars that are sold the more money we raise for abandoned and abused dogs.”   Details: Meet the South Florida Firefighters Calendar Men, Saturday, Oct. 2, from 11 am–3 pm at Petsmart, 13621 S Dixie Highway, Miami.

 

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