Browsing articles in life with dogs
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Get Your Puppy Off to a Good Start
There is no disputing the fact that having rich and varied social experiences in the first three months of life improves a puppy’s odds of a growing into balanced, confident dog. Also not in question is the reality that canine under-socialization can result in behavior problems, fear and aggression, all primary reasons for relinquishment and euthanasia in pet dogs. The window in which the most...
News: Karen B. London
The Challenge of Children
I’m sympathetic to many dogs
We all know that dogs and children can be a volatile mix, and that we must take care to protect kids from dogs. Regrettably, some kids are bitten and even more are scared or hurt by dogs chasing them or jumping up on them. As both a parent and as someone who works with dogs professionally, I see this as an important issue that we as a society must continue to improve. Still, many times the...
Dog's Life: Work of Dogs
Animal-Assisted Therapy
Do sick children benefit?
Bobby and therapy dog Swoosh hang out.
Every year, nearly 13,000 children are diagnosed with cancer, and some 40,000 are receiving treatment. It’s a scary time for both the children and their families, and anything that helps make it less frightening is a good thing. Can dogs do that? Those of us who love dogs already know how much they improve our lives, especially by providing absolute love and comfort when we most need it. This...
Culture: Stories & Lit
The Gift of a Great Dog
Recognizing the “one” but taking on a new dog.
If Rex could have talked, we would have finished each other’s sentences. We got another dog right away. That wasn’t the plan. But back in March, less than two weeks after Rex died and when I still had faint bruises from digging my fingers into my forehead amid uncontrollable sobs, I signed us up to “foster” a Saint Bernard mix that had been rescued from a crack den. It was a classic rebound move...
Dog's Life: Lifestyle
Millennials: Pet Parenthood
Growing Up
By now, I imagine everyone is pretty sick of the millennial trend piece—the repetitive cycle of laments about why those born post–1980-ish are so tragically immature. Nobody wants to admit that he or she fits rather neatly into the subject of a lazily researched cover story. But if I’m being honest, a number of elements of my life fit the prototype. I rent a ramshackle, one-bedroom apartment in...
News: Karen B. London
Do Dogs React to Being Laughed At?
I wonder if it makes them feel bad
Marley had jumped up on our bed, as he is allowed to do, but the rule is that he has to get down if he is asked to do so. On this particular night, he seemed exhausted and eager to go to bed. Once ensconced in his favorite spot, he avoided eye contact with all of us. Wherever our faces were, he was looking the other way. I proposed the idea that perhaps he was trying to avoid being told to get...
News: Karen B. London
Can Your Dog Rock The Cone?
How to wear one with style
I’ve never liked the term “cone of shame.” That’s in part because a medical device that helps keep dogs safe has no business being associated with derogatory names. It’s also because I see no reason that dogs should ever be ashamed or made to feel so. Perhaps that’s why I was especially delighted to see these examples of pets whose time in a cone was treated light-heartedly. Decorating these...
Dog's Life: Humane
“Shelter” Is a Noun
“I could never set foot in one of those places. They’re so sad. I’d want to bring all the dogs home.” When I tell people I work for Humane Society Silicon Valley, I hear this a lot, the “it’s-so-sad” card. This is usually followed by a tale of horror about a local city shelter or, worse yet, how they cry whenever they see that Sarah McLachlan ad on TV. The Sarah McLachlan ad doesn’t make me cry,...
Dog's Life: Work of Dogs
On the Job: NYPD’s K-9 Teams
NYPD’s K-9 teams are loyal partnerships.
When NYPD officer Benny Colecchia brought his partner, Blaze, a nine-year-old German Shepherd, to the lower Manhattan emergency veterinary practice where I worked as surgeon in 2010, the big, stoic dog was displaying symptoms of colonic torsion, an uncommon twisting of the colon. If it wasn’t surgically corrected, Blaze could die. Given Blaze’s age, even with surgery, the prognosis was guarded....
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Don’t Take Two Littermates
Littermate syndrome has potential downsides.
The email described a familiar scenario: “We were planning to adopt one puppy, but the breeder said that raising two sisters would be easier. After we brought the girls home at nine weeks, their behavior became increasingly out of control. My husband and I could not get their attention for more than a second or two—it was as if we weren’t even in the same room. And then they started displaying...