With a nod to the fall “back to school” season, this issue’s theme is learning and discovery.
We lead off with a visit to the opening of LA’s Wallis Annenberg PetSpace, an adoption and learning center that promises to be a trendsetter not just in the humane movement, but also in the study of the importance of the human-animal bond.
Mindfulness seems to be everywhere these days, so we had Christie Green share insights about this meditative practice and how our dogs can be our perfect guides. Their “otherness,” trusting natures and the very in-the-moment ways they engage with the world can help us slow down and learn to appreciate the moment ourselves. Ever had a DRI (dog-related injury)? Carol Withers has, and she’s here to tell us about the many forms it takes. Learning how serious some injuries might be can make us—yes—more mindful, and help avoid future mishaps.
From around the nation: Amy Sutherland looks at the innovative methods shelters in Texas and Colorado are employing to both find homes for dogs and to ensure that the homes are forever. Rebecca Wallick takes us to a Wyoming sanctuary that cares for retired lab animals along with offering swank accommodations for volunteers. Then, in Chicago, Julia Lane goes behind the scenes of an urban circus that promotes dog training and showcases two very talented Pit Bulls.
On the DIY scene we have easy-to-follow directions for whipping up a “snuffle mat,”—an enrichment toy for dogs to sniff out hidden treats. Behaviorist Karen London tells us how most dogs practice anger “management,” but helps us with those who still might need work. We have an in-depth look at canine dementia, and steps to recognize its symptoms and treatment.
We talk with Fern Levitt, director/writer of Sled Dogs, an engrossing, must-see documentary. She takes viewers behind-the scenes of commercial sled-dog kennels and along the course of long distance races like the Iditarod. HSUS’s Wayne Pacelle provides an insightful review of the film as well.
We cover an exhibit at DC’s National Art Gallery with works from the golden age of Dutch art. These 17th-century paintings of scenes from everyday life (“genre” art) often incorporate dogs, most of whom are Spaniels. Dogs, epitomizing loyalty and home, are familiar to a 21st-century audience too and it’s a familiarity that makes these treasures even more appealing.
So, that’s it for now. We urge you to please subscribe to our magazine, and sign up for our e-newsletters. Your support is vital to the ongoing publication of independent magazines like The Bark—we’re relying on you!
Mindfulness How to obtain bliss when walking your dog. By Christie Green
Kindness Ranch: Wyoming sanctuary that is a haven for rescued lab animals. By Rebecca Wallick
The Dog-Related Injury: Love ’em we do, but sometimes, they break the hands that feed them. By Carol Mithers
Midnight Circus: Pit Bulls steal the show and create community in parks in Chicago. By Julia Kamysz Lane
Sled Dogs: Interview with director Fern Levitt about her documentary exposé of commercial sled dog operations and the Iditarod. + Film review by Wayne Pacelle
Exhibitions: The Golden Age of Dutch Painting from the 17th Century: Dogs are everywhere. By Sophie Ploeg
In the Borderlands: Respecting the “wild” in dogs. by Zach Fitzner
Endpiece: For the Sake of Names By Pat Tompkins
IT’S A DOG’S LIFE
TRAINING: Teaching to Whisper A guide dog learns to modulate her vocalizing By Deborah Armstrong
ARCHITECTURE: Classic Doghouse A Frank Lloyd Wright’s design and the boy who “commissioned” it. By Susan Tasaki
HEALTH Genes at Work A new treatment enlists dogs’own immune systems to fight a deadly disease. By Alexandra Anderson
HUMANE Safe at Home: Post-adoption behavior support is a winning strategy. By Amy Sutherland
BEHAVIOR: Peeved Pups: Despite lots of reasons to do so, dogs rarely display true anger. By Karen B. London, PhD
HEALTH Canine Dementia: What it is, what you can do about it. By Susan and Michael Cain
GOOD READS: Artists and their Pets A new book on kindred spirits.