Cover Dog Lola: Nature Lover, Little Sister, Crosscountry runner, Funny Girl and Bark’s newest co-pilot.
I discovered our new dog Lola via petfinder.org. When I saw her photo, I was instantly besotted. I had only a few criteria in mind for a new dog: She should not look like our dog who had recently passed away (our dearest Nellie), be good with cats, have no “issues” with old dog Lenny (meaning she would have to accept his bossiness and his proprietorial ’tude towards me), be good in an office setting, and be generally sweet and biddable. And there she was, with her Lucille Ball head of liverish/blondish fur; long, floppy ears; and forelock curls going every which way (the casual windswept ’do many of us would want for ourselves).
I thought she was an adorable mutt, but in fact, this amber-eyed beguiler turns out to be a German Wirehaired Pointer, a breed not often seen in urban areas. She and her brother, Jack, were found in a rural foothills area in California, a pair of runaways eventually found by rescuer Julie Duarte in a local “shelter.” Lola is now part of our Bark team, and certainly part of our family. She has already opened many doors for us, especially in the area of trying to understand how training can modify genetic drives—she definitely has that “drive” in fifth gear most of the time. So, frankly, before the Amanda Jones photo session, I was a little concerned, I simply didn’t know if she would sit still in front of a camera, much less in a studio filled with bright lights and other distractions. But as I watched the photo session develop, my fears were quickly dispelled. It turned out to be an interspecies pas de deux—within minutes, Amanda had created an uncanny connection with Lola, and the two of them worked in sync; it was truly fascinating and inspiring to watch.
Our winner for this issue is Sarah Babcock, who sent us three submissions, all charming dogs adopted from the Richmond SPCA in Virginia. When we queried her about her entries—trying to see if it would be possible to fit all of them on the cover—we learned that Sarah had, in fact, three more dogs whose photos she had not submitted! So with all that talent on our doorstep, we decided to make Sarah and her dogs our first winners. We proudly feature her Flake, Gadget and Pilot on the cover and, on the foldout, include her senior and noble Crosby. Amanda Jones, the nonpareil portrait photographer, captured the essence of all six of Sarah's dogs perfectly—the ultimate prize!
Rudy, the Shepherd-mix shelter pup formerly known as Tazzie, was adopted by Lauren Bianco from the Liberty Humane Society in Jersey City, N.J., when he was five months old. Now, two years later, he’s strutting his stuff on our cover, and we couldn’t be more pleased. Rudy and his family call Hoboken home, and he loves city life—especially the dog parks, where he has many friends—and car rides. We couldn’t resist Rudy’s “every-dogness,” his engaging gaze and sturdy, down-home vibe, all of which were captured by talented portrait photographer Amanda Jones. Join us in welcoming Rudy, the all-American mutt, to our growing pack of 2008 cover dogs.
Is that a Setter, a Spaniel, a Dalmatian? Nope, he’s a Large Münsterländer (a German breed with Longhaired German Pointers and English Setters in the line) and Helene Rubinstein’s Boog. Named after the 1970s Baltimore Orioles first baseman, Boog Powell, the two-year-old pup has yet to meet a person or dog he doesn’t like; at the dog park, they call him the “ambassador,” because he’s the only one who’s never gotten into a tussle. Boog lives in Tarrytown, N.Y., with his big “sister” Georgie, a seven-year-old Border Collie mix who has done quite well in agility. Boog is also learning agility, and though his hunting nose sometimes distracts him from the jumps and tunnels, he can do some mean weaves! This Large Münsterländer is indeed large, but Rubinstein thinks he’s worth every inch. Boog rolled out his biggest grin for photographer Amanda Jones.
Penny (right) and Nemo (left) live with Melissa Boesch in Dallas, Texas, and recently posed for a “cover dog” session with famed photographer, Amanda Jones. As Melissa poignantly described, Penny was found lying in a ditch with a broken pelvis; she was also malnourished, pregnant and infected with heartworms. A scar around her neck showed that a rope had once been embedded in her skin, and there was a bullet hole in her thigh—such a long list of suffering for a dog who was barely a year old! Penny was taken in by the SPCA of Texas, and from there, went to a remarkable program, the Hard Luck Hound and Kitty Society at Highland Park Animal Clinic. At the clinic, the vets worked to give her a new life. She had been there for three months when Melissa adopted her. Nemo, Penny’s “mini me” Beagle companion, was born with a deformed leg, and Melissa decided to give the little pup a home as well, naming him after the brave fish in Finding Nemo. The story doesn’t end there … Having Nemo helped push Penny out of her timid shell. As Melissa tells it, the adorable Nemo got so much attention, “it didn’t take Penny long to understand that if she wanted attention also, she would have to step up and ask for it.” Nemo transformed Penny, and in turn, both dogs have worked their magic on Melissa as well.
Though Porchie now calls New England home, he started life as a Southern gentleman. This mixed-breed Hound originally hailed from Waveland, Miss., a small town that was almost literally wiped off the map by Hurricane Katrina. After the hurricane, Bev and Andy Trushaw—she a vet tech and he a police sergeant from Florence, Mass.—spent time as HSUS volunteers at the Hattiesburg, Miss., shelter, where they met Porchie. Taken with his calm demeanor and unique looks, they put their name on a list of potential adopters.
Time passed; Porchie went off to Atlanta to be fostered and the Trushaws went back to Florence, not expecting to see him again. Then, a month after they left Mississippi, the couple made another trip south to pick up their boy and bring him home.
Like many Katrina dogs, Porchie had some health issues, which have since cleared up, and he’s now in fine form, an easy-going, happy dog who gets along with everyone, both two- and four-legged. As Andy rightfully observes, Porchie “is the face of hope, for all the dogs who lost their people and yet ended up in a good place.”
We’re pleased to introduce this month’s cover dogs, Liz Dodge’s boys, Tru and Jammer, of Coos Bay, Ore. Jammer, a five-year-old Aussie mix, competes in agility at the masters level, and young Tru is prepping for his first agility meet. Both dogs—as well as their packmates Mick and Jig—were rescued, as Dodge says, “not necessarily from bad situations, but from unwanted situations.”
Dodge first saw a snarling and barking Jammer at her local shelter, but it didn’t take her long to discover his true sweetness. And six months ago, Tru was a disheveled nine-month-old 24 hours from death row when Border Creek Rescue of Corvallis, Ore., pulled him from the shelter. His luck improved even more when Dodge (who had seen him on pnwbcrescue.org) added him to her pack. In her inimitable fashion, photographer Amanda Jones captured Jammer’s perma-grin and Tru’s Border Collie essence to perfection. (In fact, the well-trained, camera-ready Dodge dogs inspired Jones to take more than 500 photos!)
Cover Dog: Jan/Feb 2012
Kristen Byrne and her husband, Stewart Pelto, are proud parents of their dog, Finnegan, whom they adopted when he was just a "baby Ewok".
Cover Dog: Nov/Dec 2011
Back in June, Darlynn and Jay Lundi of Rolesville, N.C., fostered three Llewellin Setter puppies after rescuing them from an abusive situation. The Lundis have been fostering for their local shelter, the Wake County Animal Shelter for the past year. When they heard about some Setter puppies being raised in sub-standard conditions, Jay went out to investigate. What he found was a five male and two female littermates living in squalor, and an owner who could not afford to feed them. Jay convinced him to surrender three of the male pups, but sadly not the others. The dogs were severely underweight, weighing about 8 pounds at 12 weeks. They were roundworm and hookworm positive, and covered in fleas and ticks. The shelter treated them for the worms and fleas, and later administered their first vaccinations. Subsequently, the dogs were neutered, treated again for another bout of hookworms and quarantined in the Lundis’ garage for three weeks.
The couple decided to adopt two of the pups, whom they aptly named Buckeye and Freckles. Buckeye loves to chase butterflies, ants, grasshoppers and anything that flies and will run aimlessly around the yard chasing after anything that flutters and wags his tail non-stop the entire time. He also loves getting in the bathtub or baby pool and biting at the water and even dunking his head to retrieve diving sticks Buckeye loves tummy rubs, wrestling with his brother, Freckles, and stretching out on the couch for a nap. When photos of Buckeye and Freckles appeared as entries to our smiling dog contest, we fell in love with both of them. Buckeye, with his adorable smile and distinctive black-ringed eye, was deemed a excellent candidate for a cover dog.
Everything fell into place for a photo shoot. HeARTs Speak (the humane arts organization featured in Bark’s September issue) connected us with a great dog photographer, Diane Lewis, in the Raleigh area. Diane takes hundreds of photos of rescue dogs each year for Saving Grace, so we knew she could handle our cover assignment. Buckeye was calm and cooperative except every time his stance or position was adjusted, he would collapse to the floor on his back for a tummy rub! Our photographer was expecting him to be very energetic because of his age but being in a studio with no butterflies or birds to chase proved relaxing and calming. Darlynn and Diane worked hard to get Buckeye to be expressive … and we hope you agree everybody did a splendid job!
In a farmhouse yard on the central Texas prairie, a fawn-colored Frenchie playfully faces off with an East African grey-crowned crane, and a curious three-year-old girl keeps company with a dama gazelle and a fallow deer—all under the watchful gaze of a serene Golden Retriever named Riley.
We learned about Riley and his exotic “playmates” from Rebecca Ross, a wildlife biologist/zoologist/rehabilitator, who lives on and manages a privately owned sanctuary in Austin, Tex., with Camryn (daughter), Tank (a young Frenchie), Riley and various wild creatures from across the globe.
Rebecca entered Riley in Bark’s cover dog contest, and wrote that he’s a “one-in-a-million dog.” She backed up her claim with photos and video of her dog chillin’ with zebra; blackbuck, sitatunga and blesbok antelopes; a parrot; a Patagonian cavy (a very large cousin of the guinea pig); a feral piglet; and a red fox. So we asked her to tell us more.
Rebecca got her 10-week-old “almost pure white, fluffiest ball of joy you’ve ever seen” in Johannesburg, South Africa, six years ago, while she was working toward her master’s degree in zoology. “Riley was one of those more mature, serious puppies from the very beginning,” she says. “He never had an accident in the house. He never chewed anything. He just never did any of those typical puppy things.”
When Riley was six months old, Rebecca started training him for therapy work, and he was certified by the time he was a year old. They visited homes for the elderly, where he was a particular favorite because he’s so calm. In addition to therapy work, Riley proved a dedicated companion in the field. When Rebecca turned to wildlife rehabilitation, nursing injured or abandoned deer and antelope babies, she discovered that her sidekick had even more talents.
“Riley gets kind of excited [when I bring a baby home]. He’s usually very eager to lick them all over. I always encourage that; that’s what their moms would do. Sometimes it helps me bridge that gap because Riley’s a little more antelope-like than I am. A lot of times, they’ll try to nurse from him and I’ll slip a bottle down his side. He helps me out in situations where they are more comfortable with him.”
A few years ago, Rebecca and her husband, a South African who also works with wildlife, decided to move to the U.S. Rebecca came first, taking a temporary job tracking desert bighorn sheep at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, where Riley was, once again, her mainstay. Soon after the couple moved to Texas, their daughter Camryn was born. For Riley, “she was just another baby to be careful around. He’s one of those dogs she can lay all over and pull his ears.”
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