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The Best & Brightest in the World of Dogs

You’d think being a renowned veterinary cardiologist and discovering the cause and cure for a fatal heart disease in cats would be enough for one lifetime. Not for Paul D. Pion. In 1991, Dr. Pion began building bridges among notoriously competitive vets through the Veterinary Information Network. With more than 42,000 participating colleagues, scores of databases, message boards, conference rooms, et cetera, et cetera, VIN is considered by many to be the most comprehensive online resource for and by veterinarians. 

When he wrote Home-Prepared Dog and Cat Diets, leading gastroenterologist Donald Strombeck created a first-of-its kind volume on alternatives to commercial pet food and made canine nutrition understandable to the general public. m

The experience, common sense and insider knowledge that made Marion Nestle the go-to expert on dietary policy for humans reached the dog dish with her compelling investigation of the 2007 recalls in Pet Food Politics

Clarence Rawlings led a team of researchers at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine in adapting minimally invasive surgical techniques for use with companion animals, reducing traditional surgical complications and improving outcomes. 

EXEMPLARS
Each one standing for many, these individuals and thousands like them manifest a spirit that inspires people to go beyond the ordinary on behalf of dogs.

Animal Law
As science demonstrates continuities between humans and other species, law professor Steven Wise addresses their legal implications. In groundbreaking books, he challenges the “animals as property” notion and argues for incremental recognition of their separate interests. 

Katrina Rescuers
On the front lines of animal welfare since 1980, Jeff Dorson has been known to risk his life undercover. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he and the Louisiana Humane Society he helped create rescued some 1,700 pets from the floodwaters. 

Therapy Dogs–9/11
When Rachel McPherson began producing a therapy dog documentary, she fell in love with her subject, turned off the cameras and created The Good Dog Foundation instead. McPherson’s nonprofit promotes these furry miracle workers, as well as providing training, certification and support. After 9/11, Good Dog teams came to the aid of families of victims, survivors and rescue workers. Based on that model, Good Dog created a disaster response course, and was deployed for families in need in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. 

Volunteers
Jana Brunner has a passion for shelter pets and volunteers as many as 40 hours a week to the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, taking photos to post on Petfinder.com, designing and managing their website, creating promotional materials, organizing offsite adoption events and supporting HSGKC financially. She’s been at this for 14 years, and her efforts have saved thousands. 

Dog Sports
Retired biology professor Charles L. “Bud” Kramer shook up the AKC’s Obedience regime—unchanged since 1937—by originating the livelier, freestyle Rally Obedience, as a club-sanctioned answer to the Agility boom.

Search and Rescue
Retired teacher Wilma Melville founded the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, which has exponentially increased the supply of FEMA-certified SAR dogs, many of whom were themselves rescued from shelters. 

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Submitted by AliKat | February 13 2010 |

Although I know the article wasn't about the dogs pictured on page 49, it was still a thrill to see the little round photo of our Chow Chow Rowdy in the picture(7th from left, down 3 spots), especially since The Bark has also just chosen him (puppy pic) and one of our other Chows(who passed 9/25/09) in the smiling dogs online for this past week. Rowdy was also in The Bark magazine as one of the smiling dogs in the Nov./Dec. 2008 issue. Naturally, we think he's a real handsome guy, but it's nice to know someone else thinks so too. Thanks Bark!

Submitted by Julie Hirt | March 12 2010 |

Hello The Bark!

I am surprised that Cesar Millan didn't make the list - of the top 100 or the honorable mention story above. I hear rumblings of him being a controversial figure in the dog world (not sure I understand why) but he has, at the very minimum taught thousands of dog guardians that a daily 20 minute walk a day is crucial to a dog's physical and mental well-being. Not to mention that he's been showing millions of viewers that it isn't the dog's fault - it is the human's.

I am trying to figure out why he would have been omitted. Maybe he is too commercial. I don't know. But isn't it important to note what he's been able to contribute to the overall collaborative work by the pet community as a whole?

Sincerely,

Julie Hirt

Submitted by Matthew | April 13 2010 |

Hi Julie,

Typical comments in our canine search and rescue group is that Cesar is 80% correct. Once you've advanced to the point that you understand which 20% is garbage, you don't need him anymore.

The nonsense is all that alpha-aggressive stuff. Granted I'm biased in that you can not teach wilderness Search and Rescue through discipline methods. No dog is going to go look for someone lost in the woods for 8 hours because of fear of reprisal. You MUST make them want to do the work more than anything else. There are zero obedience commands given during the actual search training. I know this colors my perspective on dog training. :)

For an alternative view, check out http://www.phoenixbooksandaudio.com/books/detail/the-behavior-savior/ .

Fair disclosure: Dina was a Mission Ready member of our search and rescue team before the tragic, untimely death of her partner. We've both trained dogs and taken classes together, and it my professional opinion that she is very good at what she does. This is my first working dog and I have certainly learned important lessons about my partner by applying her principles and methods. I'm also fortunate to be able to call her a friend. No, I don't get anything from mentioning her book.

Read Culture Clash; if you're in the area, work with Dina; and you'll have all the tools you need to develop a great relationship with your dog. After that it is up to you and your willingness to devote 1 hour a day to giving your dog exercise, obedience training, and affection. (That's a Dina saying. :)

Matthew

Submitted by Norma Freeman | September 14 2014 |

Because he constanty compares dogs to wolves, and talks about the leader of the pack. Wolves live in Families in the wild, not packs. They assemble in packs when in captivity as do Ceasar Milan's dogs in his compound.
In other words, though some of Ceasar's methods, etc. are sound, they have not been developed from sound knowledge.

Submitted by Anonymous | April 7 2010 |

I do not disagree with anyone on this list and what a wonderful list it is. There are some of the top people here and kudos to Bark for pointing them all out to the public. I am just wondering, where is Suzanne Clothier? She is one of the leading figures on canine assessments and relationship based training methods. Please consider her for next years list.

Submitted by pierre | August 19 2013 |

There are some of the top people here and kudos to Bark for pointing them all out to the public. I am just wondering, where is Suzanne Clothier? She is one of the leading figures on canine assessments and relationship based training methods. Please consider her for next years list.

http://binaereoptionen.webgarden.com/

Submitted by Laura | April 8 2010 |

But I have to agree...Where is Suzanne Clothier?? I hope she's considered next year!

I was relieved not to see Cesar Milan! Kudos to you for not including someone who uses a lot of controversial and harsh approaches.

Submitted by Anonymous | April 30 2010 |

Myrna Miliani is brilliant and it's about time we started to listen to what she has been writing (for years) about.

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