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
The Power of Name-Calling: Labeling affects how we see our dogs. By Dale M. Kushner
Home Exercises: Increase agility, mobility, strength and balance in dogs with painful conditions. By Michael Petty, DVM
Copy That: Profile of Claudia Fugazza and her “Do as I Do” training program. By Karen B. London, PhD
Repackaging and Rebranding: How simple, innovative changes can improve shelter and rescue adoption rates. By Kim Kavin
Pet Meds: From supplements to compounded drugs and generics—what should we be looking for? By Sheila Pell
Mother, Mutts and Mercies: A youthful folly leads to a career saving animal lives. By Michael Caron McGuill, DVM
Endpiece: Learning to Love Louie By Jeannette Cooperman
Thomas Hart Benton’s A Boy and His Dog, and tribute
On Exhibit: Gustave Caillebotte’s Le Pont de l’Europe