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It’s Your Turn, Again

Welcome back to Off Leash, Bark’s Wednesday open thread, your chance to catch up with other Bark readers and our editors and contributors during a real-time chat. Last week, the conversation ranged far and wide. We touched on serious topics, such as attachment issues related to fostering dogs and combating animal abuse, and learned what Bark readers and staff are doing for fun with their dogs, including Treibball and Nosework. Why not join the conversation?


This week we’ll be selecting one participant at random to receive a one-year subscription (or one-year extension) to Bark, so be sure to include your email when you register to comment, so we can contact you if you win.


For newcomers, the open thread is a little like the dog park: Get out there and run, sniff around and play nice. Obscene, abusive, offensive or commercial comments will be taken down. We close the thread at 4 p.m. PST. 


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Submitted by Jennifer B | April 20 2011 |

I don't know what to say. I typed up this huge long reply, but basically what I want to say is this - you are a good pet parent. It sounds like Oz wouldn't have been happy as a house cat and you wanted him to be happy. Sure you could've saved him from this tragedy but at what cost to your cat? He and you both probably would've been miserable if you kept him in. It sounds like he loved being outside and accidents DO happen. Celebrate his life with you, you made it good for him.

Submitted by Annie Elliott | April 21 2011 |

Jennifer, Thank you for your words. I will celebrate his life...and keep my outher babes close. Your words were very kind in a sad situation. Be well, the best to you and yours.

Submitted by Cally Florence | April 20 2011 |

Sorry to hear about Oz! The loss of a pet is never easy as they certainly take a piece of our hearts with them.

I used to think letting cats be indoor/outdoor was more natural, and fun for them! But I've realized that it's bad for everyone:
1) Native bird populations are devastated each year by outdoor and feral cats. It's the second biggest killer of birds and has wiped out entire island populations before. Small reptiles and amphibians are also at risk- you wouldn't believe how many biologists and ecologists are "anti-outdoor cat" once the stats were in!
2) Cats live longer lives indoors. They are much safer and if they are aren't fixed, don't risk reproducing and adding to the homeless pet population.
3) With the large amount of cat toys and games available, its easy to keep your kitty entertained and exercised indoors.

Once again, I'm sorry to hear about Oz. I'm sure Ginny and Tooper are no less loyal to you because of it, dogs are amazing at forgiveness! Eventually you'll forgive yourself and be able to use Oz's life as a lesson that will hopefully prevent this from happening to any other Bark readers as well.

Best wishes,

Cally Florence

Submitted by Annie Elliott | April 21 2011 |

Cally...your words are so true. I am loving all my babes and keeping Rosie cat indoors!!!! The best to you and yours. Annie

Submitted by Amy B | April 20 2011 |

God works in mysterious ways.

You had probably done this (letting Oz out) how many times before and nothing bad happened, so why would you think twice about letting Oz out last night? Easier said than done, but don't beat yourself up over it. God puts our animals in our lives for a reason; maybe *one* of Oz's was so you can educate others about pets & wildlife safety?

I'll light a candle for your Oz tonight. Love your babies, we never know how long we'll have them.

Submitted by Annie Elliott | April 21 2011 |

Amy, Thank you for your kind words and actions. Truly, you have no idea how much it ment for you to take a moment and write such a thoughtful note. Yes...I am lovin my babes...the best to you and yours.

Submitted by Anonymous | April 20 2011 |

It was our dog Lucky's birthday, so we decided first thing in the morning to take him to the beach in Wellfleet, mass. for a leash free romp.... Well, he took off chasing seagulls and ran directly into the ocean full speed. He kept chasing the birds as they flew further out to avoid his advances. My daughter and I watched shaking as he swam at least a quarter mile out in the ocean. I called and whistled, but he ignored us. People watching this from beach front condos came out to watch and offer support... He finally swam back and we eventually stopped trembling. This was his first time swimming in the ocean!

Submitted by Amy B | April 20 2011 |

OMGosh! That would have been sort of scary. What are your thoughts about it next time? Extendable leash so he can still run but you'll still have some control? How would you have any idea he would react that way. Guess he loved it...freedom! Exhilarating!

I would love to take our dogs to the ocean someday & feel the sand!

Submitted by Allison | April 20 2011 |

During our afternoon walk yesterday, Sandy dog and I found a beautiful and very friendly dog named Riley. Riley was playing in the street with no owner in sight. Sandy offered to lend Riley her spare leash and suggested we call Riley's mom (fortunately, her number was on Riley's tag). With some help from a neighbor, we got Riley home, safe and sound. Seems she dug her way out of the back yard. :( Hope she stays put from now on!

Submitted by Amy B | April 20 2011 |

That was nice you helped her home! Hope they do fix that spot in the yard.

Submitted by Claudia Kawczynska | April 20 2011 |

We are preparing for an interview on Friday with Ewan McGregor about his newest film, Mike Mills’ “Beginners.” Last week we were treated to a special screening of this film featuring McGregor and an amazing JRT actor, Cosmo, in the role of Arthur an adorable dog with separation anxiety. Hollywood trainer, Mathilde De Cagny had adopted Cosmo from a shelter, trained him (as she also did with Eddie/Moose of TV Frasier’s fame) for this starring role. Good news is that McGregor became so attached to his costar that he was inspired to adopt a dog.
Beginners opens in early June, so be sure to see it—but check out the trailer.
If anyone has any questions you would like us to ask Ewan McGregor, do let us know.

Submitted by Jennifer B | April 20 2011 |

I LOVED Ewan in Moulin Rouge! He was awesome and played the character perfectly! He was also great in Men Who Stare at Goats and Big Fish. Those are the only movies I've seen of his, and I think he sings awesome! Question - With his busy schedule, how does he get in time with his new pup? Is he doing his own training? Does he have a semi-permanent home or does he travel a lot? Will he send me an autographed photo? ;) He IS adorable, as I'm sure his new pup is too!
Thanks BARK! I love you guys!

Submitted by Erica | April 20 2011 |

What kind of dog did he adopt?? =)

Submitted by Cally Florence | April 20 2011 |

How exciting!

I would love to ask Ewan if it's hard to balance owning a dog with a busy schedule of an actor?

I'd also like to ask him how his adoption experience was, and whether he'd recommend it to other celebrities? (hopefully yes ;))

I wonder if celebrities own smaller, pocket-sized dogs, simply because it's easier to travel with them! But its always great to see stars who rescue, there are so many dogs (including tiny chihuahuas, yorkies, etc) that need homes across the country!

Submitted by Kat | April 20 2011 |

I made a puzzling discovery this morning when I went out to collect the dog for his walk. He prefers to sleep outside because he gets overheated indoors with his double coat. His enclosure fronts on the wooded part of our property. It's approximately 750 square feet has six foot chain link fences on three sides and is attached to our daylight basement on the fourth. He has a couch, big bench, smaller bench and dogloo for sleeping and about half of his enclosure is roofed by our deck. There was no wind last night and even when it has been windy his space is pretty well protected and I've not found things that have blown in except leaves. This morning there was a clear plastic bag (about grocery store bag size) and the wrapper off a grocery deli sandwich. He's a great respecter of fences so I don't think he's escaping and going shopping after we put him to bed but I do wonder if he's rented out his couch. I can't decide whether I should be concerned or not.

Submitted by Amy B | April 20 2011 |

Our 11 yr old dachshund is blind. It's been about 2 yrs now since we learned he had PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy, though there wasn't anything Progressive about it). Ever since he's been blind he's developed a fear of the sizzling sound whenever something's on the stove or when the oven beeper goes off (when we turn it on, or set the timer). He will go outside (dog door to fenced yard), or down the hallway up the ramp and lay on our bed. If I'm sitting on the couch he'll crawl all over me and I can feel him just shaking. We try to give him yummies when we turn on the oven so he learns to associate the noise with good things. We turn on the bathroom fan, oven fan, turn up the TV, etc.

I can't figure out what the change in vision had to do with this and what we can do to help him. Any thoughts?


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Join the Conversation for a Chance to Win 3 Great Books
Special Guest: Behaviorist Sophia Yin
Special Guest: Veterinarian Nancy Kay
Julia Kamysz Lane Joins the Conversation
Special Guest: Beth Finke
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