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Culture: Reviews
Cesar’s Way
The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding & Correcting Common Dog Problems
Almost every dog-training book has something to offer the discerning reader, and Cesar’s Way is no exception. The book’s strength is as an autobiography of National Geographic’s TV dog-trainer star, Cesar Millan. If you’re curious about how Millan got where he is today, this book will tell you. If you’re looking for significant help training your dog, however, look elsewhere. Many in the...
News: Guest Posts
Indie Gem: Wendy and Lucy
Next week, when the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announces the Oscar short list, it’s likely the lovely, affecting Wendy and Lucy will not be included. That’s Hollywood’s loss. This sensitive and restrained portrayal of the human-animal bond, starring Michelle Williams, cuts right to the heart of it. Reviewing the film for Bark (Nov/Dec 2008), Heather Huntington wrote: “Wendy and...
News: Guest Posts
FlexPetz
Rent a dog, save a life? Not likely, according to animal advocates
On the surface, FlexPetz founder Marlena Cervantes came up with a smart idea. There are plenty of people who enjoy dogs, but cannot have one of their own. Why not let them borrow a dog for a walk in the park or a weekend excursion? FlexPetz matches one of its dogs to the client’s needs and everybody’s happy, right? Well, not exactly. “I am concerned that these ‘rent-a-pet’ enterprises devalue the...
Culture: Reviews
Wendy and Lucy
A new indie film focuses on the heart of the human-dog bond
In Hollywood, the holidays are reserved for mainstream blockbusters and last ditch-efforts at getting Oscar contenders in under the wire, and this year is no exception. The media blitz surrounding traditional studio fare, including the release of Marley & Me, makes it hard for a small film centered on the human-canine bond to be noticed. But those looking for a quieter, more reflective take...
News: Contests
Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Favorite Shelter or Rescue
Winner of free private screening of Hotel for Dogs to be announced soon
(Update: Thanks to everyone who nominated a deserving shelter and rescue organization. It's been inspiring to hear about all the wonderful efforts to help companion animals around the country. The contest is now closed to entries. We'll announce the winner of the Hotel for Dogs screening soon.) Thanks In the new movie Hotel for Dogs, a couple of street-smart siblings in a foster home with a...
News: Guest Posts
Dog Is My Boyfriend?
These days, dogs on the small screen are doing less fetching and romping and more relating. On The Sarah Silverman Program, a Chihuahua-Pug mix named Doug, is essentially Silverman's rent boy. Last night, she amped things up by declaring herself engaged to Doug (mostly to rain on her sister’s betrothal). It's edgy, funny stuff—the sort of thing that keeps Prop 8-proponents up at night. While the...
Culture: Reviews
The Behavioural Biology of Dogs
CAB International, 266 pp., 2007; $70
Rejoice! In this new book, a long-awaited triumph of collaboration has been achieved. The Behavioural Biology of Dogs thoroughly covers canine behavior at all levels: genetic, social, physiological, ecological, evolutionary and physical. This is also a truly international effort—experts from Sweden, Austria, Germany, Italy, Australia, Hungary, the UK, Norway and the U.S. are represented—with each...
Culture: Reviews
The Loved Dog
Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 223 pp., 2007; $24.95
Everyone wants a well-behaved dog—one who comes when called, doesn’t jump on people, sits and stays, walks without pulling, and is a joy to be around. The problem is that most of us, especially first-timers, don’t know how to turn our much-loved, sometimes frustrating animal into a joyful companion. In this easy-reading training guide, Tamar Geller, owner and operator of The Loved Dog, Southern...
Culture: Reviews
And Baby Makes Four
TFH Publications, 95 pp., 2007; $9.95
This friendly and attractive guide, written by a trainer and former adoption counselor at the Pasadena Humane Society, argues that pregnancy need not result in the surrender of the family dog to the local animal shelter. Most dogs can be prepared for the arrival of a baby, if the mother is careful to follow exercises in basic obedience, status reduction and desensitization. (Status reduction is a...
Culture: Reviews
Shaggy Muses
Ballantine Books, 288 pp, 2007; $24.95
When Maureen Adams experienced a bout of depression after moving her family from Kansas City, Mo., to Sonoma, Calif., her dog Cody adjusted his role from family pet and children’s playmate to calm, supportive presence for the distraught Adams. In fact, the basic tenet of her book stems from this relationship, with Cody—and hence all dogs—serving as attachment figure, witness, source of limbic...

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