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Dog's Life: Lifestyle
All Rise for Mayor Junior
In Rabbit Hash, Ky., the top dog is …well … a dog
Rabbit Hash, a small hamlet on the banks of the Ohio River, is home to Kentucky’s oldest continuously operated general store, and the country’s only dog mayor: Junior, a 12-year-old black Lab who assumed office in 2004. He is, in fact, Rabbit Hash’s second canine mayor; the first was Goofy, who took office in 1998 and served until his death in 2001. In the election, Junior faced a pig, a donkey...
Dog's Life: Lifestyle
Down on the Farm
At Memphis’s Shelby Farms, it’s all about size
My five-year-old daughter and I go regularly to Shelby Farms Park to run and ramble with our pup, Lambchop. While people and their pets repeat rituals like these every day at off-leash parks around the country, this park has a unique characteristic, the stuff of dog-lovers’ dreams: size. Bigger than NYC’s Central Park and SF’s Golden Gate Park combined, Shelby Farms ranks as one of the largest...
Dog Culture: Science & History
The Canine Hall of Fame: Titina
A small orphaned Terrier was the first dog to fly over the North Pole
The annals of polar exploration are filled with tales of canine heroes who earned their fame by blazing trails and tracking through the wilderness. But one of the most beloved polar characters on four paws in the 1920s was a fierce little black-and-white Fox Terrier named Titina, who gained her glory by sitting on her master’s lap. Titina was the inseparable companion of one of the tragic figures...
Dog Culture: DogPatch
An NPR Happy Ending
North Carolina student takes inspiration from A Dog’s Life
Last Christmas, 11-year-old Mark Federman received A Dog’s Life: Autobiography of a Stray, by Ann M. Martin, as a gift. His foster mother, Cristina Skillin-Federman, thought he’d like it because “he really loves animals.” Fast forward to this year, when, as part of NPR’s “In Character” series, fifth-graders at his school (Isaac Dickson Elementary in Ashville, N.C.) wrote about imaginary...
Dog's Life: Humane
SOS for Puerto Rico’s Stray Dogs
Add your voice to the calls for more humane care
For years, those of us who work on animal welfare issues in the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico have wondered what it would take to get the attention of the island’s governor, the police, the courts, the media and the rest of the country. The daily atrocities—from abandonment and gross neglect to beatings, shootings, burnings, machete attacks, poisonings and more—carried out on dogs, cats and...
Dog's Life: Lifestyle
Oregon Garden Welcomes Dogs
Make a day of it and get great take-away ideas
How many public botanical gardens welcome both you and your dog? Not many, we’d wager. But the Oregon Garden, an 80-acre botanical sanctuary located about 45 miles south of Portland, takes another point of view. Among their more than 20 specialty assemblages is the appealingly named “Pet Friendly Garden.” Horticultural manager Jill Martini says that the purpose is to show visitors how to turn...
Dog's Life: Travel
Mendocino with Dogs
California’s coastal paradise
Given that it was the first county in the U.S. to ban GMOs (genetically modified organisms), has more organic grape acreage than anyplace else in the world and some of the world’s tallest trees—to name a just a few of its natural wonders—it’s no surprise that Mendocino County in northern California is one of the most dog-friendly spots on Earth. In most places, the only hotels that allow dogs...
Dog Culture: DogPatch
Two Puppy Toons
Canine animation 101
We need to be dogmatic here. Jean-Luc Godard once said that any discussion of cinema must begin with D.W. Griffith. Good enough. Any article on the animated dog must start with Pluto. He was the gentle pup who started a revolution. For film historians, he’s remembered as a breakthrough in character animation, the first cartoon personality actually to register thoughts and share inner feelings....
Dog Culture: DogPatch
Vintage Ties
Heart on sleeve, dog on tie
In the syntax of men’s suits, the tie is an exclamation point! Fashion may prescribe its width, politics code its colors—still, the tie affords a narrow window of self-expression. Or, perhaps, not so narrow: “A tie is like a canvas,” says Gerald Anderson, executive director of the Neckwear Association of America; “When you have a wide tie, you have more to work with.” These medium-width, rayon...
Dog Culture: DogPatch
Roadside Giants
Jim Heimann discusses roadside vernacular architecture
They’re part of the great American road trip—curious artifacts that startle the eye along the highway: giant oranges, artichokes, cows or coffee pots whose shape is meant to suggest what they sell. Or sometimes the shape tells a story, like “What fun it would be to spend the night in a teepee!” or “Let’s visit Santa in the summertime!” Mostly they’re relics of a time when food-gas-lodging signs...

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