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