News: Guest Posts
October 20 2017
Dog's name and age: Huck, 7 years How you named your dog? Huckleberry Finn was named after Mark Twain's character. He was an orphan pup who seemed like he was ready for a life of adventure as my little wing man. Adoption Story: Huck was dumped in a high-kill shelter when he was eight weeks old as a "street stray." A volunteer realized his thigh was broken so the woman contacted a rescue organization and begged them to take him. He was so tiny that he was put in with the cats. The rescue gave him a leg cast and placed him with a fabulous foster family. When I visited the Huck in foster care we had instant chemistry. After finalizing the adoption the next day, he was being held by his foster mom, took one look at me as if to say, "There you are. I've been waiting for you." And we've never looked back. We have an amazing bond. He is my universe. We are a family.
News: Guest Posts
October 13 2017
Dog's name and age: Lily, 6 years old
Share similar personalities?
What are Lily's favorite tricks?
Go Night Night: Lily will lie down on her side and stretch her legs out until I say, "Wake Up" then she hops up with a big smile.
Hop Sit: From a down position, Lily will hop about two feet in the air and land in a sit. It’s super cute!
News: Guest Posts
October 6 2017
Dog's name and age? Bear and Moose, 8 years old
Can you tell us how you named your dogs?
Bear's name is self-explanatory, but she also harvests the qualities of a bear: powerful, yet sensitive and intelligent. And Moose, well if you give a moose a muffin...he'll ask for some jam to go with.
After breaking my hand, I was going to be out of work for 2 weeks. I wanted a dog to bond with, keep me company, and go explore with so I went to the rescue during my down time. The shelter was filled with Chihuahuas... it was loud and chaotic! But I witnessed the sweetest, fluffiest dog, sitting quietly and patiently at the front of her cage. Bear. The calm in the chaos. I knew she was meant to be.
News: Guest Posts
October 4 2017
Set in the green and rolling Texas hill country, Austin is known for its eclectic cultural events—think Austin City Limits and SXSW—Lady Bird Johnson’s bluebonnets in the spring and the bats of the Congress Avenue Bridge. It’s also a pretty dog-crazy place, as noted by Beth Bellanti Pander of Austin’s own Tito’s Handmade Vodka, where she’s the company’s Program Manager of Vodka for Dog People. Here are some of her hot spots …
Ahh … the water, the trees, the squirrel sightings: Red Bud Isle and Emma Long Metropolitan Park’s Turkey Creek Trail are great places for a leash-free dog to unwind. Dogs can go also off-leash at Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park, 293 acres of trails (which, FYI, they share with cyclists), hills and creeks. For a more contained experience in the central city, give Norwood Dog Park a try; it’s fully fenced and has a large, shaded main section and a separate area for small dogs. For time on the water rather than in it, stop by Zilker Park Boat Rental, where your dog’s welcome to join you in a canoe (bring his life jacket, as the rental company doesn’t provide them for dogs). Finally, if you and the pooch are in the mood for a movie, look into Austin’s “Movies in the Park” series, which runs through November in parks across the city; the pup will need a leash, but you’ll both enjoy being entertained under the beautiful Austin night sky.
During the upcoming Austin City Limits Music Festival held at Zilker Park, Tito’s Handmade Vodka is partnering with the nonprofit Emancipet to make veterinary care accessible to all pet owners. Throughout this weekend and next (Oct. 6–8, 10–13), festival attendees will have the opportunity to give back by taking and sharing photos in front of a special mural which will prompt donations (up to $10,000) from Tito’s to Emancipet.
Then on October 21, the 10th Annual Dogtoberfest celebration-fundraiser will be held. It will feature a 1K walk and an outdoor event that includes a costume contest, dog demonstrations and silent auction—all raising money for local dog rescue organizations.
Also on that day, the 4th Annual Dog Beard and Moustache Competition will be presented at The Mohawk, benefitting The Schrodi Memorial Training Fund which helps owners who can't afford top-dollar training be able to train and keep their dogs.
Barkitecture 2017, the custom doghouse design show, is set for Nov. 4. The fundraiser is hosted by Animal Lovers of Austin, and showcases the creations of city’s brightest architects, interior designers and builders.STAY
Consider taking the HomeAway route; at press time, the online booking site had 157 pet-friendly listings in Austin—which, coincidentally, is its home base.
Dog-friendly eateries are thick on the ground in Austin. Jo’s Coffee not only welcomes dogs, it also sponsors the annual Lyndon Lambert Easter Memorial & Pet Parade. Perla’s serves some of Austin’s tastiest seafood, which can be indulged in on the patio in the company of your dog. Likewise, Mozart’s Coffee Roasters has patio seating (in this case, fronting Lake Austin) as well as—you guessed it—fine coffee drinks and a decadent selection of desserts. Three venues go the extra mile when it comes to kicking back with canines. Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden not only provides a leash-free area, it also makes a sausage just for dogs. At Dog House Drinkery, dogs are welcome to congregate with their people in the bar area or run off some energy in one of the Drinkery’s fenced OLAs. Wet your whistle under a shady tree at the Yard Bar’s off-leash dog park while your dog goes nuts on the agility course; the bar’s full-meal menu includes two “Dog Food” entries: Bones and Co sliders and house-made ice cream.
Beth notes that on Amplify Austin day, Tito’s Handmade Vodka does its part to raise money for local charities by creating a special cocktail served at participating watering holes.
News: Guest Posts
September 29 2017
Dog's name and age: Sherman, 18 years old
Adoption Story: Sherman came into our lives as a "therapy" puppy; I had recently lost my younger sister and he provided an enornmous amount of unconditional love. He was our first pet as a newly married couple and gave us so much love for 18 years. As a young pug, Sherman loved to play with toys and was always the perfect companion. He went everywhere with us and truly was our "kid"!
This picture was taken last year (2016), one week before he peacefully passed away at home. Sherman was truly a gift and holds a big part of our hearts. As he grew older, he was definitely a Southern gentlemen who loved everyone and everyone loved him!
News: Guest Posts
September 14 2017
Dog's name and age: Peanut, 14 years old
Peanut now well into her senior years has degenerative myelopathy, so her back legs don't work so well anymore. The vet initially thought she might not be the type of dog to take to a doggie wheel chair, but I had faith in Peanut and decided to try. After a few false starts, she got rolling and began taking short walks around the neighborhood.
People driving by often slow their cars down to watch and cheer her on! Peanut is quite happy to take in all of the sniffs and smells through the walk. Sometimes we still visit Peanut's favorite park in the East Bay hills, where this photo was taken. Peanut enjoys a double happy bonus, because she always gets a treat once she's out of her wheels and back indoors. I've learned old dogs really can learn new tricks, and am grateful and inspired by each walk and every day we get to spend together.
Fall is Here
September 8 2017
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.
REVIEWS What It’s Like to Be a Dog by Gregory Berns ; Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima; Collared by David Rosenfelt; Waggish by Grace Chon; + Q&A with Gregory Berns
BACKSTORY William Wegman on his photography
Ask the Experts: Dog Park Ps&Qs
Saying good-bye to summer—photos from our readers
New Annenberg PetSpace explores the bond.
Dog Stats; HipCamp
Calorie Counter, Celebrating Black Dogs
Heidi Bekebrede’s Cuteware
Joy Sessions: honoring lives well lived.
DIY: Dog Enrichment—Tie up a Snuffle Mat by Liz Palika
Smiling Dogs: Readers’ Favorite and Always Irresistible
Dog's Life: Humane
September 1 2017
Dogs and vodka? At first glance, an unlikely pairing. Dig a little deeper, however, and the connection emerges. Through its Vodka for Dog People program, Tito’s Handmade Vodka of Austin, Texas, pursues its mission to “unite with our friends, fans and partners to better the lives of pets and their families far and wide.”
Today, the company is honoring that mission as southeastern Texas reels from the havoc created by Hurricane Harvey. The VDP program is actively supporting the work of nonprofit Austin Pets Alive! with a $10K donation to help the organization purchase food, supplies and shelter for displaced animals, and giving locally to Wags Hope and Healing and Bailing Out Benji for food and supplies. On the people front, the company is partnering with the American Red Cross, offering a dollar-for-dollar match up to $50K (lend a hand by donating here).
Two decades ago, when Tito Beveridge got serious about bringing his artisanal vodka to the marketplace, he got equally serious about using his business to help Austin-based charities, and has been doing so ever since. Dog-lover-in-chief of a company whose employees are also devoted to the animals in their lives—“We love dogs, cats, hedgehogs, iguanas, you name it,” he says—he naturally gravitated to humane causes.
As Beveridge tells it, career-wise, he had several false starts, ventures that didn’t turn out as he’d hoped. It wasn’t until he decided to turn his avocation—crafting vodka for friends—into his life’s work that he found success. And even that didn’t come easy.
During its early years, Tito’s Handmade Vodka (the first distillery in the state of Texas) was a one-man operation. Crafting, packaging, selling, delivering, and dealing with paperwork took every minute of his time; at night, he says, he often slept at the warehouse. But, though he was the only employee, he wasn’t alone: Dogjo, his big, rescued mixed-breed, was with him every step of the way.
Because the two pals were always at the warehouse, Dogjo had most of her meals there, and Beveridge stored 50-pound bags of dog food along with the ingredients for his product. Over time, stray dogs began coming around, and Beveridge fed them as well. He could see that many of these dogs needed vet care, but he wasn’t in a financial position to provide it. Then he discovered Emancipet, Austin’s community-based, no- and low-cost spay/neuter and preventive care network.
Like Beveridge’s business at the time, the nonprofit was in start-up mode. When it was founded in 1999, its only facility was a single mobile trailer. Fast-forward 18 years, and, again like Tito’s, Emancipet is on an upward trajectory. Last year alone, more than 100,000 dogs and cats were cared for in its multiple Texas locations, mobile clinic and new treatment center in Philadelphia.
One of Emancipet’s core principles is the belief that “every pet needs and deserves high-quality veterinary care to keep them healthy and happy for their entire lives.” Putting that principle into action, the organization focuses on those for whom routine vet care is financially out of reach, or inaccessible. Each year, its vets perform thousands of surgeries, and it provides other clinics with training to improve their services and skills.
Another part of Emancipet’s success can be attributed to its skill at collaboration with groups that reach out to people in need. For example, it partners with Meals on Wheels and those who serve the homeless to help participants’ dogs and cats.
Originally, Tito’s and Emancipet bonded over dogs, but as their partnership has matured, it’s become clear that they also have other things in common, including a dedication to compassionate service. As Tito’s has flourished, the company has remained a staunch supporter of Emancipet’s work, including helping with fundraising and underwriting adoptions. The Vodka for Dog People program is part of this commitment. As Amy Mills, Emancipet’s CEO, says, “They came up with this brilliant idea of selling these … products and brands as a way to fund our expansion and really bring awareness to the fact that we want to build as many clinics as possible.”
With Vodka for Dog People, Tito’s has created a truly inspired pairing: business and heart.
News: Guest Posts
September 1 2017
Dog's name and age: Izzy, 6 years old Izzy is extremely sweet and in touch with your mood often comforting when you're sick/hurt. It took years for her to get over loud noises and to trust. It's comforting, knowing that she has trust with us and we count on her as much as her with us. Her silliness is evident and her smile makes everyone smile. Favorites: Izzy loves running in the field, swimming in the pond, riding in the car, or anything her people are doing.
News: Guest Posts
August 25 2017
Dog's name and age: Mojo, 2 years old
In February 2016, we said goodbye to a great dog. Uncomfortably dogless for the first time in my life, we started thinking about another dog.
We decided we'd like to get a small, older dog who was calm and quiet. And then I met Mojo! Sixty pounds and only a year old. She was being fostered by a friend who suggested we take her home for the weekend to try her on for size. Needless to say, she never returned to foster care. Within days I had slapped a “Pit Bull Mom” sticker on my car and the rest is history.
Mojo is up for anything whether a country strolls or city walks. Want to head to a dog park or chill on the couch? She's there. She has a fearless and joyful enthusiasm for life that is quite contagious.
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