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News: Guest Posts
Paw It Forward

With Black Friday in the rearview mirror, it's time to think outside the big box store. In the spirit of do-good, feel-good opportunities, I introduce Maggie (Magnum, officially). He's been living in a Dogs Deserve Better foster home for three years. Now, I'm not suggesting you run out and adopt Maggie in a burst of egg nog-fueled euphoria. Adoption is obviously a serious commitment. But how about simply showering him with presents—a collar, leash, treats or a new washable bed, in particular—through DDB's Sponsor A Foster Dog Program?

And he’s not the only one. Maggie is one of many foster dogs, who were chained or penned for their entire lives before being rescued by DDL. They and their people could use a lift this season. Read the stories, view the photos, and tackle the wishlists of Freckles, Banshee, Maizy, Hannah Banana and the others. And deal with your own gift list by sponsoring a dog in the name of a pup-loving friend.

News: Guest Posts
18 Legislators Fail Animal-Protection Test

Five senators and 13 representatives scored big fat zeros for their efforts to protect animals this year, according to the latest Humane Scorecard. Every year, the folks at the Humane Society Legislative Fund provide a neat and tidy breakdown of the action on animal protection measures in the U.S. Congress, and this year, citizens can see which members did right (through key votes and cosponsorship) on initiatives including increasing dog-fighting penalties, stricter regulation of animals used in research, and incentives to relieve veterinarian shortages in rural areas. The scorecard is an excellent opportunity to bone up on the issues, gauge the efforts of your U.S. senators and congressmen, and gear up for action when the new Congress reconvenes in January.

Of the five senators to receive goose eggs, only George Voinovich of Ohio, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Jim DeMint of South Carolina will return will return next year. (We’ll be watching!) John Sununu of New Hampshire was defeated in the 2008 race and Pete Domenici of New York did not seek reelection for health reasons.
 

News: Guest Posts
Surf the Bark’s New, Improved Website

Who says an old dog can't learn new tricks? Today, The Bark launches a new site with expanded capabilities, and, boy, are our tails wagging! You'll find the full text of many of your favorite articles (with more added all the time), plus web-only magazine extras, such as a downloadable pattern for handmade window books, a video interview with Margaret Cho, and bonus gift picks for the holidays that we just couldn't fit in the December 2008 issue. At thebark.com, you get the skinny on events that celebrate dogs and early notice about exclusive contests, such as a chance to win a private theater screening of Hotel for Dogs to benefit your favorite shelter or rescue (more on that soon).

Most importantly, The Bark-online 2.0 gives us additional opportunities to hear from you. As always, we invite you to share your perspective in comments to the blog and to submit photos of your smiling dog. But we also hope you'll answer our online calls for creative input that might land your essay in our Readers' Forum or your dog on the cover. We've got our noses pressed to the window just waiting for you to stop by.

News: Guest Posts
The Patience of A Dog

Most recreational dog bloggers focus on their own pups. It's sort of a species of canine-navel gazing. That's why I love Jon Sung's Dogblog. He zeroes in on a simple slice of the urban canine's life--waiting outside shops, cafes and other no-dogs-allowed zones around San Francisco. In snapshots and laid-back commentary, stretching over nearly three years so far, he celebrates the patience, quirky charm and nobility of ALL DOGS.

News: Guest Posts
Does Petland Support Puppy Mills?

An eight-month-long investigation by the Humane Society of the United States alleges that Petland, the nation's largest puppy retailer, sells puppies from large-scale commercial breeders (otherwise known as puppy mills), despite telling customers that the pups come from reputable breeders. Last time I checked, reputable breeders do not sell puppies to be treated like retail merchandise, nor do they keep dogs in cages their entire lives, or dump or shoot them when they can no longer breed. Watch the "Petland Linked to Puppy Mills" video for more details.

News: Guest Posts
Dog & Owner Reunited After Three Years

What an incredible journey for Czar and owner Michelle Garza of Lisle, IL! The 13-year-old mixed breed finally came home after three years thanks to his microchip. I still can't believe a senior dog survived as long as he did. If you haven't already microchipped your pup, now's the time! And if your dog is microchipped, be sure to update your contact info. With the holidays upon us and company coming in and out on a regular basis, it'd be easy for your dog to make an unexpected escape. A microchip will give you peace of mind, and better yet, improve your dog's chances of being safely reunited with you.

News: Guest Posts
Daily Dose of Feel Good

What could be better than a puppy rescued from a fire? How about dozens of puppies? Over the weekend, volunteers worked in the face of a raging fire fueled by hellish winds to evacuate 80 dogs from the California headquarters of Guide Dogs of America in Sylmar--not far from the Oakridge Mobile Home Park where nearly 500 homes were destroyed. Watch a story on the rescue. It seems a miracle that the Guide Dogs building was unharmed--the canines now all safely returned. I hope that the spirit of courage and generosity that saved these four-leggers will extend to all of the families and pets displaced by these fires.

News: Guest Posts
The One She Saved

Sometimes its hard to imagine what your veterinarian is thinking. This honest report from the trenches by buckeyedoc, a veterinarian-turned-veterinary pathologist, provides some heartfelt insight.

News: Guest Posts
The Myth of the Hypoallergenic Hound

The Obamas' quest for a hypoallergenic dog looks doomed. According to a story in today's Vancouver Sun, there is no such thing.

"It is a common misconception that people are allergic to a dog's hair, and it is falsely believed that dogs that shed less will not cause a reaction," the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology said.

"However, allergies to pets are caused by protein found in the animal's saliva and skin glands which gets deposited on the hair. These proteins are carried on microscopic particles through the air as an invisible aerosol. When inhaled, they trigger reactions in allergic people. As all dogs secrete these proteins, there is no allergy-free dog."

Will these tiny airborne truths dash our dreams of Tramp slurping spaghetti in the Oval kitchen?

News: Guest Posts
Have You SNIF'd Your Mutt?

I want to hate this idea; it's so Big-Brother-meets-Match.com. But the more I read about these SNIF tags, the more intrigued I am. The little lime-green collar gadgets use radio, software, Internet and social networking technologies to allow humans to monitor their pup's activity and spark up new relationships -- all from a distance. I like the idea that witnessing your dog's inactivity while you're away at work might inspire better activity interventions. I'm not sold on the promise of the SNIF tag as a catalyst for friendships.

Are there any BARk readers out there who have Beta-tested these gadgets? I'd love to hear a report from the field.

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