Fall, a refreshingly cool and vibrant season, is the perfect time to brush up on our dog lessons.
On the home front, we kick off a new series, Human Grade, Human Made, exploring home cooking for our dogs. Knowing that it should be simpler and more accessible than we’re warned it is, we invited the perfect guide to kick off the series. Greg Martinez, DVM and author of Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet, gives us his “starters” guide. From the front lines—i.e., the kitchen—I provide some additional cooking tips and including how best to determine the number of calories we should be feeding our dogs. While this is really much easier than you may think, there still is a lot of information to impart, so we’ll be continuing the discussion online, where you’ll find the app we’ve created to do the more complicated calculations for you. See thebark.com/food for more. We also go inside to see how designers are applying their craft to making our homes a lot more welcoming to dogs. Plus, interior decorator Vern Yip, who’s a big-dog aficionado, shares a few field-tested pointers. We also go along on a transcontinental bike trip and see how one co-pilot handled all those miles.
Bestselling author and cognitive researcher Alexandra Horowitz has a new book out, Being a Dog, in which she examines the role scent plays in dogs’ lives. We talk with her about the subject, and get the scoop on just what dogs’ noses know, and how that might also inspire our own sniffing.
Jesse Miller tells us how best to determine what method a trainer adheres to—understanding the lingo is vital. Another language lesson comes from Linda Lombardi, who tells us about the challenges shelters face when trying to assign breeds and breed mixes to their charges, and questions the necessity of doing so. We all know about the horrors dogs contend with in hoarding situations, but not much about how that environment might affect their behavior after they’re rescued. Fortunately, researchers are investigating this subject and developing protocols on how best to address these dogs’ needs, so we asked Jessica Hekman, DVM, to examine recent studies and report back to us.
Resource guarding—one of the negative behaviors that hoarded dogs rarely display—is a fairly common canine issue exhibited by many dogs. Animal behaviorist Karen London shares her insights on how to work with dogs who guard everything from food dishes to toys and sometimes, even their humans.
Our cover dog, the adorable Allie, herself offers both a question and a lesson. How did a small dog survive on the loose in an urban wilderness for so long, and how quickly would she adapt to her new life as a much-loved lap dog? See how she did it.
On the international front, our international humane editor, Twig Mowatt visits Bhutan and brings back a story on the importance of cooperation, and how a small country in a remote part of the world took on the challenge of a nationwide spay-and-neuter campaign in partnership with Humane Society International.
On the lit front, we have a couple of lovely, touching essays and a poetry selection that celebrate the love the authors feel for their dogs. I am especially pleased to publish Abigail Thomas again, and to introduce (or reintroduce) readers to the work of poet Janet McCann and the UK’s Lucie Britsch. Hope you enjoy what this issue has for you, thanks for picking us up.FEATURES
Bark Talks with Alexandra Horowitz: Leading cognition researcher tells us about her latest book—get ready to sharpen up the sense of smell.
Human Grade, Human Made: Cooking tips and feeding guidelines.By Claudia Kawczynska
Home Cooking: Get started with home-prepared meals, the slow cooker approach. By Greg Martinez, DVM
Bike Adventure: Transcontinental cycling trek. By Jen Sotolongo
Our House/Dog House: Home design inspired by dogs. By Janice Costa
Eternal Mysteries: Loving a special dog. By Abigail Thomas
Small Country, Big Idea: Spay/neuter project adds to Bhutan’s canine Gross National Happiness. By Twig Mowatt
A Modern Master: The art of William Merritt Chase By Cameron Woo
Endpiece: Losing Blue, Finding Him Too By Lucie BritschIT’S A DOG’S LIFE
HEADS-UP: DIY Checkup - Learn how to do basic at-home physical exams. By Shea Cox, DVM
INNOVATIONS: Knee News - A new device potentially avoids osteotomy and preserves maximum motion. By Jess Elliott
DESIGN: Living with Dogs - Designer tips from a leading expert. By Vern Yip
COGNITION: Memory Crucial for problem solving, prey-hunting, smell recognition and more. By Victoria Stilwell
ENRICHMENT: Scent Stimulation - The way to dogs’ brains is through their noses. By Sheldon Siporin
TRAINING: Truth in Advertising - When shopping for a trainer, look behind the language. By Jesse Miller
SERVICE DOGS: Fighting for Independence - Parents take on school districts that flout the ADA. By Donna Jackel
BEHAVIOR: Resource Guarding - What to do about this pesky behavior. By Karen B. London, PhD
RESEARCH: Helping Dogs Heal - Insights into the behavior of dogs rescued from hoarders. By Jessica Hekman, DVM
HUMANE: What’s in a Name? - A shelter dog’s fate can rest on his label, and the labels are often wrong. By Linda Lombardi
GALLERY: NY DOGS By Violet Lemay
POEMS: By Connie Hills, Elizabeth Devore, and Janet McCannREVIEWS
Being a Dog; The Secret Language of Dogs; Run, Spot, Run; Just Life; Farm Dogs; Home Alone—and Happy!DOGPATCH
Cover Dog—Allie’s incredible journey
Dogs Smell Homecomings
Dog-friendly Community Living
Glamping—Canine camping in style
What’s New—cool stuff for us and our dogs
Memorials; Vaping dangers; Leather cleaner.
Smiling Dogs—Always irresistible and unforgettable.
You will enjoy what we have in store for you in this summer issue. If, like me, you relish digging into the newest trove of fascinating dog books for your summertime reading, don’t miss our special book section, which highlights our best picks, along with excerpts from some of them. You’ll also see a new feature we call Bark Talks (something like TED talks), which zoom in on our favorite subject with Frans de Waal—just what is behind that unique bond we have with our dogs.
This issue’s cover dog—a coconut-coveting Lab named Bono—is a rising Brazilian wave-riding star. Coconuts, we’re told, are a favorite find among Copacabana canines, and Bono’s no exception. We visit an extremely dog-friendly town in Patagonia, Julie Hecht gives us a run-down on the latest research into dogs’ fondness for following our lead, and we catch up on evolutionary news, including a project that’s wrangling disparate hypothesizers into a joint effort that might result in a date for domestication all can agree on.
Plus, you will meet an amazing woman who is the winner of Bark’s Shelter hero contest, pros and cons (mostly) on e-fencing, airport therapy dogs, and Karen London probes if our dogs make us more appealing (let’s hope she’s right). From a young person’s perspective, we learn how lessons gleaned in the conformation ring included this rule, “always stand by your dog—after all, your dog will always stand by you.” We catch up with Cat Warren as she trains her new scent-detection dog. Our endpiece, by Mat Zucker, takes a humorous look at the nature/nurture question, probing the differences between boy and girl pups. Hope you enjoy it all.FEATURES Shelter Heroes The people and practices making a difference. What’s the Point? Studies focus on dogs’ ability to follow our gestures. By Julie Hecht Summer Reads Best picks from The Bark bookshelves Day One of the Search [Dog Gone] A Golden goes missing during mountain hike and the family reaches out for help. By Pauls Toutonghi The Dog Who Hated Surprises [Pets on the Couch] A vet behaviorist gets to the root cause of a fear-aggressive behavior. By Nicholas H. Dodman, BVMS, DACVB What’s in a Breed? [Pit Bull] Scrutinizing the science behind a misunderstood and complicated behavior. By Bronwen Dickey Shelter Dogs [Underdogs] A woman at a turning point, on the verge of ignoring the unwritten no-dogs-for-kids ban in the service-dog industry. By Melissa Fay Greene Battle Scarred Wounded Warrior Dogs by sculptor James Mellick celebrate America’s canine heroes. By Susan Tasaki Game On! Training a scent-detection dog. By Cat Warren Origin Story State of the debate on canine domestication and the descent of dogs. By Jane Brackman, PhD Dog Days Are Forever Rules for dog-handling … and life. By Erin Tack Endpiece: The Nature/Nurture Question By Mat Zucker It’s a Dog’s Life CRAFTS: Alexandra Thurston’s personalized porcelain plates. DISPATCH from Patagonia: The dogs of El Calafante. By Johnny Runnette SPORTS: On Board Man and dog ride the waves together. By Marcia Triunfol DOGS AT WORK: Stress BustersAirport therapy dogs turn down the volume for harried travelers. By Rebecca Wallick WELLNESS: Canine Disease Forecast, 2016A review of what’s trending in the veterinary world. By Heather Loenser, DVM TRAVEL: Pound Puppy Hikes Exploring Utah’s red rock country with shelter dogs. By Rebecca Wallick BARK TALKS: Frans de Waal, renowned ethologist, talks about animal behavior and his new book. TRAINING: Faux Fences The debate on electronic barriers continues. By Tracy Krulik BEHAVIOR: Animal Attraction Does your dog make you more appealing? By Karen B. London, PhD MASTERWORK: Henri Rousseau, le peintre primitif REVIEWS Underdogs, Dog Merchants, What Is a Dog?, Pit Bull, Heal Q&A with Arlene Weintraub, author of Heal With Bev Thompson BARK TALKS: Kim Kavin, author of The Dog Merchants With Claudia Kawczynska DOGPATCH Dog Parks Rule What’s in a Hug?; LA’s Dog Café States promote their dog-friendliness. Good Kids: Making a difference Heads-Up—It’s Summer Brian Wilson’s Pet Sounds; Shakespeare Quotes; Jim Harrison Smiling Dogs: Always Irresistible What’s New: Round-up of new product picks. Poetry S. Siporin, Brian Beatty, Tom Greening
Welcome to our 85th issue, with the winsome Abby as our cover girl. A German Wirehaired Pointer and hardworking SoCal ranch hand, she’s the second GWP to grace our cover. (Our own rescue GWP, Lola, was the first.) There’s something so compelling about their laser-focused gaze, and Abby’s cream-flecked facial “furnishings” (as they’re called) give her an almost human look, don’t you think?
Much as I admire this breed, I need to add a word of caution: they are extremely high energy with intense drive, and require more exercise and running space than most people are able to provide.
Another member of the Sporting Group shows up in our review of a fascinating book, No Better Friend, by Robert Weintraub. The story focuses on a remarkable English Pointer, Judy, the only dog ever to be an official prisoner of war. The time was WWII, the place was Sumatra in Southeast Asia. You won’t believe what this heroic dog was able to do, from saving the lives of her fellow (human) prisoners to inspiring many of them to survive the horrors of that war.
We have three excellent training-related articles. Karen London profiles researcher Claudia Fugazza and her “Do As I Do” method, which taps into a dog’s imitative talents. Grisha Stewart provides us with an overview of the Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) program that empowers dogs to use behavior to control their safety. And Tracy Krulik reports on what the future of dog training might be as increasing numbers of trainers use digital communication tools to get the job done.
On the wellness front, pain expert Michael Petty, DVM, describes how to perform simple stretching exercises on our dogs at home, and we talk with him about his new book, Dr. Petty’s Pain Relief for Dogs (where we learned a lot, including that a dog’s dewclaw has a function!). Behaviorist Suzanne Hetts, PhD, covers the importance of an annual behavior wellness examination as a complement to the annual vet visit.
We have an excerpt from Kim Kavin’s engrossing new book, The Dog Merchants—the section that considers the ways shelters can “repackage and rebrand” to inspire more effective adoption rates. (Wait until you see Berlin’s state-of-the-art animal shelter.) Shelia Pell examines pet meds, from supplements to compounded drugs, investigating the possibility that we’re playing pharmaceutical roulette with our dogs. And be sure to read the lovely personal essay by Michael McGuill, “Mutts, Mothers and Mercies,” about a youthful folly and how it led him to a career that saves animal lives.
And there’s more including a look at the recent wolfdog craze, the unforgettable story of artist Thomas Hart Benton’s son’s dog and seasonal safety tips. As an extra special treat we have a series of strips from cartoonist Patrick McDonnell from his heart-warming and inspiring “Shelter” series that appeared in his Mutts feature. We also have a guest editorial that will shock you with its hard truths, offset by much that will inspire you and, as always, a selection of remarkable artwork.
Thank you for your support during these past Bark-filled 19 years. Now, we’re looking forward to reaching our 20th anniversary milestone, carried there by your enthusiasm for what we do.
Features & Essays
It’s a Dog’s Life
Each issue of The Bark is like a glorious mixed-breed, the result of contributions from multiple sources and with its own unique personality and quirks. I especially enjoyed assembling this one, which, as always, covers many facets of life with dogs. We take an insider’s tour of a training school unlike any other—the Canine Circus School, where tricks and balancing acts abound. The classes keep dogs spinning, and their handlers on their toes. From the world of science, Jane Brackman covers a large-scale study of cancer in Golden Retrievers that has implications for all dogs. Marsha Rabe introduces us to the Mutt-i-grees program that is redefining humane education across the country, and we profile Trevor Thomas, a hiker who is blind, and Tennille, the Lab who truly is his guide. We love stories about shelters who come up with novel approaches to two basic problems shared by all: how to enrich the lives of the dogs who are in their charge, and how to prepare them for and find them forever homes. In this issue, we salute the Maui Humane Society, for both their Beach Buddies program that makes dogs available to visitors who take them on outings, and their Wings of Aloha partnership with airlines and vacationers that enables dogs to be flown to shelters on the mainland and new homes. Then dog trainer Barbara Tran takes us to an ancient town in Viet Nam, where she observes the ways its dogs grow up with an understanding of communal space, how that is learned and how they express it. This topic neatly dovetails with one explored by Jessica Hekman, DVM, who reflects on the complexities of canine societies and how, at long last, researchers are starting to study group behavior and social hierarchies. Our cover dog is the impish, itsy Coffee Bean who was captured in a winning shot taken by Sophie Gamand; we also have a feature about the amazing oeuvre she is creating for international humane causes.
We know this is often the busiest of seasons for all of you, but we hope that you find the time to give your dogs the quality attention they deserve, as well as to share some time with a shelter dog. Visit them, take them for a walk, perhaps even volunteer to foster one. And of course, a contribution is always welcomed. Finally, we’d be thrilled to meet your dog-loving friends—wrap up your shopping by giving the gift of Bark. Your friends will thank you at least four times next year!
Canine Circus School: Learning how to do life better, one trick at a time. By Natalia Martinez
On the Trail of Canine Cancer: Large-scale study of Golden Retrievers holds hope for all dogs. By Jane Brackman, PhD
Value-Added Vacations: Maui Humane Society’s popular outreach programs attract vacationers and aids dogs. By Rebecca Wallick
Songmaster: JD Souther gets down with the dogs. Q&A with Cameron Woo.
Picture This: Featuring the photography of Sophie Gamand, author of a charming new book, Wet Dogs.
Redefining Humane Education: Mutt-i-grees program focuses on empathy, helps children learn. By Marsha Rabe
Blind Ambition: A guide dog goes the distance with her blind hiking partner. By Jennifer Dziuvenis
Shelter: Picking up the pieces, learning the meaning of shelter. By Carrie Brownstein
It’s a Dog’s Life
DISPATCH: from Vietnam: Free-ranging village dogs understand communal space. By Barbara Tran
BEHAVIOR: Entertainment options for the home-alone dog. By Karen B. London, PhD
HOWL: The McBickly Accord Beagles come to the table, humans try their best. By Jeff Steinbrink
WELLNESS: Dishing the Dirt Exploring the human and canine microbiome. Q&A with Dr. Robynne Chutkan
COMIC: Happy 60th Birthday, KryptoEven Superman had a co-pilot.By Mark Peters
RESEARCH: What we don’t know about dog societies.By Jessica Hekman, DVM, MS
ART: Essence of Dog Fabric Sculpture by Holy Smoke By Susan Tasaki
ESSAY: Lily—Life with an angel of a dog. By Eliza Thomas
REVIEWS: The Drifter; Sit! Stay! Speak!; Considerations for the City Dog; Sire and Damn; Two Dogs and a Parrot; Zen and the Art of Walking a Dog
SPOTLIGHT: Assistance Dogs of the West Celebrating 20 Years By Linda Milanesi
Here’s Looking at You—Oxytocin’s bond.
Downtown Avant-Gardists: Joan Jonas and Laurie Anderson
Skijoring; Hilary Swank Rescue Special; New Order’s “Stray Dog”
Art Book Picks and Holiday Gift Guide
Recipe: Mackerel Makes Great Toppers By Rick Woodford
Smiling Dogs Light up
Calorie Count: Popcorn and Tiny Treats; William Wegman Exhibit
This is the 10th anniversary of Katrina, one of the five deadliest hurricanes to hit the U.S. Back then, we were days away from our deadline when we began hearing about the flooding and the desperate situations so many people and their pets were facing. We decided to scrap our lead stories and concentrate on covering Katrina. Fortunately (for us, at least), there were Bark readers and writers in the area, and they shared their on-the-spot perspectives. In the end, one of the big takeaways had to do with the importance of dogs in our lives—and the phrase “Not without my dog” has become a part of the public’s consciousness. In this issue, we reflect on that storm and the hard lessons that were learned in a guest editorial by former NOLA resident Ken Foster. We also meet up with Sally, our 2005 Katrina issue cover girl. She was among the rescued “Katrina dogs” who headed west in the first wave of humanitarian flights. She is also among the lucky ones who went on to inspire their new families—we write about hers, and other survivors’ remarkable stories.
On the feature front, Susan Tasaki makes the case for more research into the possible health benefits that medical cannabis might have for dogs, and Rebecca Wallick introduces us to an amazing volunteer first-responder team whose mission is to help animals in crisis situations. In a new series we hear from dog professionals about their work; we lead off with home-visit veterinarian Melissa Shapiro.
On the new book front we talk with Tracey Stewart (her husband recently retired from a popular Comedy Central news show) about her first book, Do Unto Animals. We also chat with New Yorker’s Maira Kalman about her new illustrated memoir with dogs. Intrigue novelist Alex Kava fields questions about her new series, anchored by a K9 handler with a true love for rescue dogs. Cathy Alinovi, DVM, and Susan Thixton, authors of Dinner PAWsible, promote the value of nutritious homemade meals. Amanda Jones reflects on her new book, Dog Years, which featuring dogs in youth and old age—she also took this issue’s cover photograph. And award-winning photographer, Traer Scott rounds out our “On Book” series with her new work, Finding Home, a tribute to shelter dogs everywhere. This list just hits the high spots, there is quite a lot more that we surely engage your interest and that you’ll be back for more.
P.S. As an added bonus, if you like Greek yogurt, be sure to see my take on how to whip up a batch, and what you can do with the “left behind” whey (here’s a hint: dogs love it).
A Good Herb? Medical cannabis might hold promise for ailing companion animals. By Susan Tasaki
It’s a Dog’s Life
BEHAVIOR: Nice to Meet You—taking the angst out of canine introductions. By Karen B. London, PhD
On the Road to Discovery
We have a special theme for our Spring issue so be prepared to be carried away as we consider the transportive idea of “journeys,” the many ways our trusty canine co-pilots guide and accompany us on the road—both real and metaphoric—to exploration and revelation.
In this issue’s globe-spanning stories, a dog helps a traveler navigate an ancient ruin and imparts an invaluable lesson, an adventurous Belize pup finds a new calling and a new home, and an innovative humane organization blends international relief with travel. A woman samples the joys and dogs of neighborhoods across the nation when she takes up housesitting as a serious pursuit, and a relocation to Europe inspires an owner to find an attractive alternative to air travel for herself and the family dog.
We have the backstory to a touching photo of a man and his elderly dog in the waters of Lake Superior. There’s also another “dog-and-water story” about a pup who had a hankering to hang 16 with his fellow surfers. In our interview with Melissa Holbrook Pierson, we discover what’s behind the training “journey” from aversive to positive methods. And we have an essay about how a shelter adoption lead to a backseat copilot keeping a steady watch and clocking in many a mile with her new driver. And in the endpiece, a man is reminded by a stray dog whom he saves from a busy street about “just how unpredictable life is, and that special bonds can form at any moment.”
We take a look at another interesting dog park, that is an integral part of a neighborhood renaissance in Cincinnati. We also welcome nutrition expert Linda Case, who explains the issue of “meals” and how the protein content of this important pet food ingredient can vary. We learn why all dogs don’t learn the same way and our behavior expert suggests strategies to understand what might work best for your dog. We try our hand at making treats out of spent grain, a home-brew byproduct. We take a look at easy-to-do agility games that get your dog, cat, bird, bunny and, yes, even an alpaca, going.
So we hope that you enjoy taking this Spring trip with us and find something that inspires you in this very special issue.
Doing Good: Cats and Dogs International: Enlisting tourism partners in humane causes. By Susan Tasaki and Photographs by Tracey Buyce
Picture This: Profile of photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson who took the shot which reverberated worldwide. By Konnie LeMay
Machu Picchu by Night: How a very unusual guide took the author on the adventure of a lifetime. By Elissa Van Poznak
A Dog Abroad: Getting from point A to point B sometimes requires thinking outside the airline cargo hold. By Michaele Fitzpatrick
Travels with Millie: Nothing goes so well with a car as a dog. By Susan Harlan
Have House, Will Travel: See the world by housesitting is a boon for the adventurous animal lover and the companion animals in their care. By Susan Caba
A Dog Named Sulli: A dog finds that teaching caring and compassion to school children in the Belizean jungle is her chosen calling. By Sean Houlihan
Surf City Dog: A dog with an urge to find the waves. By Sherrie Owens
Rescue on Route 498: A chance encounter on a rainy night, and two lives shift gears. By Mike Waters De Luz
IT’S A DOG’S LIFE
ACTIVITIES Interspecies Agility Fun. By Sharon Ulrich
AUTHOR’S NOOK: Q&A with Melissa Pierson, author of The Secret History of Kindness, interviewed by Lee Harrington.
ASSISTANCE: Dementia service dogs. By Susan Tasaki
BEHAVIOR: What’s your dog’s learning curve? By Karen B. London, PhD
ARTIST PORTOFILO: Rick Bartow
NUTRITION: What’s the Deal About Meals? Protein and quality differ widely. By Linda Case
TRAINING: The Importance of Socialization for a Pup. By Jeff Stallings
ART: Mural a father/daughter team up.
The Secret History of Kindness; A Matter of Breeding; The Honest Truth; Pet Poo Pocket Guide; Miracle Dogs; Fit Dog; What the Dog Knows
Guest Editorial: History of Seeing Eye Dogs By Steve Neumann
The Importance of Play—Just do it! By Claudia Kawczynska
Abe Lincoln and his dog Fido; Ingredients Watch List; Elliott Erwitt
Rescue Veterinary Services; Jazz pianist Justin Kauflin’s new CD
New Legislation: California and Utah. Minding your manners.
Dog Park: Cincinnati’s Washington Park is their newest. By Katherine Barrier
Spent brewery grains make healthy treats. By Sophie Cox
Smiling Dogs: Simply Irresistible
Bark’s Best Places to Work: The winners are in!
For the final issue of 2014, we are tickled to have Hilary Swank (and her dogs, Rumi and Kai) on the cover. While it’s been our custom for all-dog covers, we’re going “All Star” here because we were inspired by Hilary’s co-producing a rescue extravaganza on Thanksgiving evening called Fox’s Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Special. I talk with her about her rescue work and about how dogs have inspired her and what she is hoping for in this remarkable program. Be sure to tune into Fox from 8 to 10 that evening. We have been digging around for answers to questions that have long puzzled us. Have you ever wondered if gender factors into dog training—if women approach it differently than men? We did, so we asked our behavior specialist Karen London to look into it. Then there is the question of the why and when dogs became domesticated. While the definitive answer isn’t in yet, Jane Brackman reports researchers sing data gleaned from prehistoric burial sites to shed light on the millennia-old dog/human bond.
Then, there’s the sibling thing. When we’re looking at a passel of puppies, it’s so easy to think, Why not just take two? Jeff Stallings explores that question and we found his answer to be spot on.
Donna Jackel looks at the importance of shelter play groups, part of a recent program that gives dogs a chance to blossom and, one hopes, increases adoption rates. Another way of improving the lives of shelter dogs is covered by long-time columnist Lee Harrington, who focuses on her local shelter’s amazing Animal Reiki practitioner.
On the “dogs helping people” front, Amy Kantor, VMD, examines NYPD K-9 teams and the deep bonds police officers have with their canine partners, and contributing editor Rebecca Wallick follows a study that aims to answer the question, “Do sick children benefit from animal-assisted therapy?”
Rounding out this issue’s dog-pourri, Meghan Lewit shares a millennial’s perspective. And, Meghan Daum again graces us with her, “The Gift of a Great Dog,” and reminds us of the need to make room in our hearts. Kevin Roberts tells us what gets him jazzed about skijoring (thrilling at both ends of the bungee!), and we go up to the Arctic Circle with Leah McFail on a Husky-infused Lapland Workaway program. In the good-eats category, our “turkey-burger topper” recipe is nutritionally deconstructed, and we talk with esteemed cookbook editor (she was Julia Child’s editor) Judith Jones about home-cooking for herself and her pup. And, in what is likely a first for a dog magazine, we welcome our new comic book editor-at-large, Mark Peters, who recommends a well-drawn prizewinner written entirely in “dog.”
We know you’re busy making lists, and suggest you start at BarkGoods, our new store. We’ve gathered some of the best-designed, most useful products around, and we’re always expanding the offerings. Visit often and take advantage of our rewards program.
Finally, for a truly feel-good gift, pencil in time on your calendar for a visit to your local shelter: drop off toys or gently used collars and leashes, visit with the dogs, take one for a walk or, even better, foster. (Your dog might love a new playmate!)
We wish everyone a joyous and peace-filled season.
P.S. We are dedicating this issue to Dr. Sophia Yin, her work in positive reinforcement training affected the lives of untold thousands. Her generous and compassionate spirit is sorely missed. Please read tributes and recollections from those whose lives she touched.
Hilary Swank: Starring in All-Star Dog Special
Digging Up Bones: What can archeology tells us about the “connection” origins. By Jane Brackman, PhD
Men, Women and Dog Training: What’s gender have to do with it? By Karen B. London, PhD
Postscript: Grace Chon’s Zoey and Jasper.
Serious Play: Playgroups are enriching lives and reducing stress for dogs in shelters. By Donna Jackel
Growing Up: Millennials take on caring for another, furry, someone. By Meghan Lewit
Animal-Assisted Therapy: Do sick children benefit? By Rebecca Wallick
On The Job: NYPD’s K-9 teams are partnerships bound by loyalty. By Amy Kantor, VMD
The Arctic Circle, with Dogs: Volunteering with Huskies in Lapland. By Leah McFail
The Gift of a Great Dog: Recognizing the “one” but taking on another. By Meghan Daum
It’s a Dog’s Life
We’re about to usher in fall, our very favorite season, and are so relieved to bid farewell to summer’s hot, slow days. Like yours, no doubt, our dogs really do seem to perk up in the crisp autumn air. We have an especially content-rich issue for you. Among our new contributors is Sara Greenslit, DVM, who will be covering the integrative veterinary front; she leads off with an article on the “hot” topic of the gut and about its relationship to inflammatory bowel disease. Jessica Hekman, DVM, looks into the studies that examining the reliability of behavior-assessment tests, which many shelters use to make life-and-death decisions about a dog’s future. Martha Connors takes a look at current thinking on spay/neuter; while in terms of the big picture, it’s certainly the most effective way to reduce the number of homeless dogs, individual dog guardians now have other options and issues to consider.
Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Laurel Braitman, author of the highly recommended book Animal Madness; we talked about her investigations into commonalities in mental health issues among humans, canines and other species. Another first-time Bark contributor, Jessica Miller, looks at anxious-dog behavior and provides pointers on how to navigate life with a nervous pup, while Karen London addresses the commonly held belief that all fearful dogs have been abused (hint: not true).
Our happy cover dogs, Indie and Bogart, the Beagles, are poster pups for the successful rehoming of lab dogs, and for canine resiliency. They highlight our feature piece by Konnie LeMay reporting on the Beagle Freedom Project, a rescue group that works with the friendly, gentle dogs so commonly used as test subjects; many of the group’s charges, who have spent their lives in kennels, have never walked on grass or had any loving attention from a human. We welcome this opportunity to showcase the work being done by many humane groups in supporting legislation that allows for rehoming of lab companion animals.
It’s great to have acclaimed writer Susan Straight back in the magazine with her account of how an ordinary dog walk along the river turned into a too-close-for-comfort encounter with her dog’s canid cousins. Ben Spencer recalls a white-knuckle race to the vet ER with his bee-stung pup, and Ellen Cooney reveals a secret training technique she employed with her rescue dog (be sure to pick up her new novel, Mountaintop School for Dogs, one of our year’s-best lit picks).
We hope you enjoy this, our 79th issue, and stick around for many more. Explore all things dog, check out our new store, Barkgoods.com, and spread the word that The Bark is the best place to celebrate the world’s oldest friendship! On that front, we would like to thank all of our “fans” who pushed our Facebook page up to, and beyond 280,000—with your help, let’s see if that mark can be doubled by 2015!
It’s a Dog’s Life
Perfect for the summertime, we have oodles of good reading in store for you. From first-time book author Matthew Gilbert, a charming look at his Boston dog park scene and a good reminder that snap judgments can snap back in a positive way, and that letting go of assumptions can lead the way to a new attitude. Gail Caldwell is back with another memorable memoir, this time including a jumpstart to her life with a new pup. David Koff supplies a classic “how I found my dog” story, and Joshunda Sanders offers insights on how becoming a dog person helped her revise her own perceptions about the black community’s relationship with dogs. Jill Smolowe shows us that having a daily routine to look forward to is valuable to those on both ends of the leash. Finally, be sure to check out our editors’ top-pick summertime reading roundup. Also on deck: Veterinarian Ilana Strubel has tips on how to get—or keep—the pounds off your pup, and we have an excerpt from an excellent new book by Linda Case, who explains what to look for (and ask for) when reading pet food labels. Then, imagine paddling a canoe down the Mississippi with a canine co-pilot and find out how Lucas Will and Tischer fared on their more than 2,000-mile adventure. For more outdoor inspiration, Suzanne Roberts recounts a backpacking expedition with her husband and their dog, Ely, along a challenging section of the Pacific Crest Trail. On the “news you can use” front, Sheila Pell investigates the proliferation of ticks (climate change strikes again!) and what we can do to ward them off us and our dogs. We also check out stem cell and hyperbaric oxygen therapies and backyard barbecue do’s and don’ts, and serve up an easy recipe for delicious and nutritious whole-grain peanut butter dog cookies. Mardi Richmond reports on what happened when a top guide dog–training organization transitioned to clickers, and Donna Jackel looks at worthy, locally based humane groups that are making remarkable impacts on their communities. We have important safety tips about summertime activities, and many reader-supplied ideas on where to find the best off-the-beaten-track adventures this season.
So, settle yourself and your dog in a cool, shady spot and dig into the summer issue. We think you’ll find lots to ponder and put to use.Features Tick Talk Is climate change behind the rise in the numbers of ticks and the diseases they bring? By Sheila Pell Dog Paddling the Mighty Mississippi Down the river with a dog. By Lucas Will Backcountry Trek A dog with a job makes a perfect hiking partner. By Suzanne Roberts Label Smarts Ways to improve your dog-food-selection skills. By Linda Case On View In the Company of Cats and Dogs. By Cameron Woo Tula The challenges and rewards of a new pup. By Gail Caldwell Cell Phone Lady Dog parks are full of pleasant interludes. By Matthew Gilbert Walking Misty Daily routines provide welcome relief at both ends of the leash. By Jill Smolowe Finding Carson A stray meets her match. By David Koff Color-blind Love Opening our eyes to stereotypes and dispelling racial myths. By Joshunda Sanders DogPatch Guest Editorial: Go Walk Shelter Dogs Bark’s Summer Tips Travel—ideas from our readers. Dogfroyo; Instant harness; Tails to Trails Last Chance IPA; Keeping it clean; Beware Compost SMILING DOGS: Simply irresistible Healing oxygen by Susan Tasaki Recipe: Whole Grain Peanut Butter Cookies Grooming: Summer Shedding Secrets Pop Art: Vintage Labels It’s A Dog’s Life THEATRE: Of Mice and Men + dog by Amy Kantor, DVM HEALTH: Pounds be Gone Help your pup shed excess weight. By Ilana Strubel, DVM HEALTH: Self Healing Stem Cells. By Megan Cassels-Conway, DVM SECOND OPINION: The Barbecue Blues Tips. By Nick Trout, DVM BEHAVIOR: Lessons learned from aggression cases. By Karen B. London, PhD WORKING DOGS: Clicker training conversion. By Mardi Richmond WELFARE: Grassroots Animal Welfare: Helping dogs, one community at a time. By Donna Jackel REVIEWS: Off the Leash by Matthew Gilbert; New Life, No Instructions by Gail Caldwell; A Dog’s History of the World by Laura Hobgood-Oster; From Birdbrained to Brilliant by Dawn Antoniak-Mitchell; Paw and Order by Spencer Quinn; The Mountaintop School for Dogs by Ellen Cooney; Citizen Canine by David Grimm; Puppy Savvy by Barbara Shumannfang ENDPIECE: Murphy: A most unusual adoption arrangement. By Lisa Leshaw
With this Spring issue, we return to what made The Bark special when we began publishing almost two decades ago. We’ve often been called The New Yorker for dog lovers, probably because we tend to favor well-crafted, long form narrative essays and expository journalism. An essay, “Is It Time?” by Suzanne Roberts is the perfect example; when considering that question, the one we all dread, a longer treatment works best. As a perfect complement to Roberts’ piece, Katherine Goldberg, DVM, shares her experience as a hospice-care practitioner. It’s never easy to be confronted with the questions raised in these stories, but we believe you will be better equipped to do so after reading them. John Woestendiek tackles another question we all grapple with in “Finding Dr. Right”; as background, we asked you to tell us what you thought of your vets, what they might be missing and what they got just right. Some of you had nothing but praise, but like me, others seem to still be in search of that almost-perfect one. We also have an inspiring story from Melissa Fay Greene about how a little rescue Terrier helped her son during his recovery from cancer. And Terry Davis’ comedic “dog creationist” story, “Canis Mythicus,” is sure to delight and cause you to wonder how it did actually all come about. In the “life with dogs” category, Karen London considers ongoing research on tail wagging, an activity that not only reveals dogs’ inner attitudes but also shows that, like us, they have the left/right-hemisphere thing going on. Next, a young Polish couple tell us about a remarkable Himalayan trek they took with their dog; their photos of this trip are stunning and may make you long for similar adventures. And if you’re concerned about your dog’s vaccination schedule, Mardi Richmond explains the titer alternatives. We learn that dogs can aid in our recovery, and we examine the sanctuary trend in sheltering and discover how dogs respond to smooth tunes. Plus tips from an expert traveler, lacey crafts from a textile artist and so much more. Bark is a magazine for people who not only love dogs but also have an insatiable desire to learn about them. It has always been our goal to fulfill that need. So, without further ado, pick up a copy of the first issue of 2014 and enjoy!
It’s A Dog’s Life
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