November 10 2014
For the final issue of 2014, we are tickled to have Hilary Swank (and her dogs, Rumi and Kai) on the cover. While it’s been our custom for all-dog covers, we’re going “All Star” here because we were inspired by Hilary’s co-producing a rescue extravaganza on Thanksgiving evening called Fox’s Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Special. I talk with her about her rescue work and about how dogs have inspired her and what she is hoping for in this remarkable program. Be sure to tune into Fox from 8 to 10 that evening. We have been digging around for answers to questions that have long puzzled us. Have you ever wondered if gender factors into dog training—if women approach it differently than men? We did, so we asked our behavior specialist Karen London to look into it. Then there is the question of the why and when dogs became domesticated. While the definitive answer isn’t in yet, Jane Brackman reports researchers sing data gleaned from prehistoric burial sites to shed light on the millennia-old dog/human bond.
Then, there’s the sibling thing. When we’re looking at a passel of puppies, it’s so easy to think, Why not just take two? Jeff Stallings explores that question and we found his answer to be spot on.
Donna Jackel looks at the importance of shelter play groups, part of a recent program that gives dogs a chance to blossom and, one hopes, increases adoption rates. Another way of improving the lives of shelter dogs is covered by long-time columnist Lee Harrington, who focuses on her local shelter’s amazing Animal Reiki practitioner.
On the “dogs helping people” front, Amy Kantor, VMD, examines NYPD K-9 teams and the deep bonds police officers have with their canine partners, and contributing editor Rebecca Wallick follows a study that aims to answer the question, “Do sick children benefit from animal-assisted therapy?”
Rounding out this issue’s dog-pourri, Meghan Lewit shares a millennial’s perspective. And, Meghan Daum again graces us with her, “The Gift of a Great Dog,” and reminds us of the need to make room in our hearts. Kevin Roberts tells us what gets him jazzed about skijoring (thrilling at both ends of the bungee!), and we go up to the Arctic Circle with Leah McFail on a Husky-infused Lapland Workaway program. In the good-eats category, our “turkey-burger topper” recipe is nutritionally deconstructed, and we talk with esteemed cookbook editor (she was Julia Child’s editor) Judith Jones about home-cooking for herself and her pup. And, in what is likely a first for a dog magazine, we welcome our new comic book editor-at-large, Mark Peters, who recommends a well-drawn prizewinner written entirely in “dog.”
We know you’re busy making lists, and suggest you start at BarkGoods, our new store. We’ve gathered some of the best-designed, most useful products around, and we’re always expanding the offerings. Visit often and take advantage of our rewards program.
Finally, for a truly feel-good gift, pencil in time on your calendar for a visit to your local shelter: drop off toys or gently used collars and leashes, visit with the dogs, take one for a walk or, even better, foster. (Your dog might love a new playmate!)
We wish everyone a joyous and peace-filled season.
P.S. We are dedicating this issue to Dr. Sophia Yin, her work in positive reinforcement training affected the lives of untold thousands. Her generous and compassionate spirit is sorely missed. Please read tributes and recollections from those whose lives she touched.
Hilary Swank: Starring in All-Star Dog Special
Digging Up Bones: What can archeology tells us about the “connection” origins. By Jane Brackman, PhD
Men, Women and Dog Training: What’s gender have to do with it? By Karen B. London, PhD
Postscript: Grace Chon’s Zoey and Jasper.
Serious Play: Playgroups are enriching lives and reducing stress for dogs in shelters. By Donna Jackel
Growing Up: Millennials take on caring for another, furry, someone. By Meghan Lewit
Animal-Assisted Therapy: Do sick children benefit? By Rebecca Wallick
On The Job: NYPD’s K-9 teams are partnerships bound by loyalty. By Amy Kantor, VMD
The Arctic Circle, with Dogs: Volunteering with Huskies in Lapland. By Leah McFail
The Gift of a Great Dog: Recognizing the “one” but taking on another. By Meghan Daum
It’s a Dog’s Life
September 19 2014
Dehydrating food is all the rage these days — great for summer’s fruit, berry and vegetable bounty, and for making sumptuous, healthy treats for your dogs (not to mention yourself). While it’s possible to dehydrate food in an oven, it’s much more efficient and convenient to use a dehydrator. And making it in your own home means you don’t have to worry about contaminants or adulterated ingredients. (We hear you can also make yogurt in a dehydrator — wouldn’t your dog love that!)
Here’s a recipe for every dog’s favorite: chicken jerky. Before you start, make sure you have a very sharp knife. Also, partially frozen meat is easier to slice, and the thinner the slices, the less time they take to dry.
It will probably take between 3 and 12 hours for the strips to fully dry, depending on how thick you cut them and the exact temperature of your dehydrator. After the first hour, start checking the strips on an hourly basis. To determine the dryness level, remove one strip from the dehydrator, cut into it with a sharp knife and examine the inside. When the meat is completely dried, you won’t see any moisture and it will be the same color throughout. If it needs more time, put it back in for another hour. As it gets closer to being finished, check every half hour.
When your chicken jerky is done, store it in air-tight containers; zip-lock bags work great for this. Refrigerate the containers for an even longer shelf life.
Sweet Potato Chews
Dehydrate at the highest setting 145-155 until done. Drying approximately 6-8 hours will leave them with a chewy texture. For crunchier treats dehydrate longer until the desired consistency.
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