Lists … where would we be without ’em, especially at this time of the year? When you’re making yours, be sure that your dog is at the top. Dogs’ needs are rather simple. Make time for their walkies, even if the weather is beastly; give them mental stimulation (learning a few well-timed tricks will keep them sharp); and pencil in some extra-long petting sessions.
In this issue on the training front, Tracy Krulik considers the concept of “eager to please,” and how (or really, if) it plays out in the training process. Louise Thayer ponders the role of tension in relationships while training bird dogs for field work. Karen London dives deep in her excellent piece about “protecting the cue.” (I was relieved to learn that there are ways to refresh the cue/command once we muddy it; now, instead of come, I use another “ici” to summon my Pointer.) Kama Brown investigates the widely held suspicion that European dogs behave better than their American counterparts.
On wellness: Advice from vets and a canine physical therapist. Dr. Sarah Wooten tells us why we should be concerned about persistent coughing, and Dr. Sara Greenslit covers the use of cold lasers in treating those pesky granulomas (sores) caused by too much licking. Canine physical therapist Karen Atlas gives us an overview of what PT pros have to offer, and how to get the most from those sessions. And Donna Raditic, DVM—a vet nutritionist—tells us why she believes in the OMG protocol for supplementation. See what that is and how it can help your dog.
We interview British shepherd/author/pastoral conservationist James Rebanks about his charming new book, The Shepherd’s View. We cover the indie film scene in a Q&A with Musa Sayeed, director/writer of A Stray, a new, must-see-movie about a young Somalian immigrant in Minneapolis who helps a stray dog and begins to build a bridge to a new life in this country. This gem of a film also marks the acting debut of one of its stars, Ayla, who we are proud to have as our very special cover dog. And we report on the Syrian refugee crisis from a canine perspective in a report about a young musician who had to leave his beloved dog behind, and then mounted an international effort to reunite with her.
The culture list is anchored by a story on the works of Giuseppe Castiglione, a Jesuit who was a painter in the Chinese imperial court during the first half of 18th century. It’s said that he got the gig by showing the emperor one of his dog paintings!
Our essay list includes Laura Coffey extolling the charms of senior dogs. Tawni O’Dell unpacks the difficult decision to rehome a dog. In an especially moving piece, “Saying Goodbye to Shelby,” Thom Jones considers how he had much in common with his Boxer. Jones died in October and we decided to republish his remarkable essay—which appeared in our collection, Dog Is My Co-Pilot—as a tribute to his immense talent and his love for dogs.
We have cold weather travel picks, a guide to TV vet viewing, a DIY project that would make a perfect holiday gift, GoPro tips, and a suggestion from a reader about how to become a shelter angel.
For now, please know that we’re grateful that you’re part of dog culture and reading our magazine. We wish you and your loved ones, furred or otherwise, a joyful and fulfilling holiday and new year. See you in ’17.
Canine Rehab: Physical therapy can help dogs get back on their paws. By Karen Atlas, PT, MPT, CCRT
Truman: This dog needed a job. By Tawni O’Dell
My Old Dog: Helping senior dogs will make you happy. By Laura Coffey, Photos by Lori Fusaro
War & Peace: A canine refugee’s journey from Syria to Belgium. By Kasper Goethals
Masterworks: Castiglione’s Ten Prized Dogs. By Cameron Woo
Dogs, European Style: Why are European dogs so well-behaved? By Kama Brown, CPDT-KA
Film review of A Stray and conversation with director/writer Musa Syeed and handler/owner Karen Radford.
A Shepherd’s View: Bark talks with James Rebanks about sheepdogs and his shepherding way of life.
Saying Goodbye to Shelby: By Thom Jones
Endpiece: The Opie Path By Bob Quarteroni