News: Guest Posts
March 10 2017
What’s your dog’s name and age? Steve, 7 years
Found walking along the street with another dog in Ft. Worth, Texas he was picked up by a good Samaritan. After effort to locate an owner failed, Steve's fate seemed doomed to the animal shelter. The rescuer called up his friend thinking he and Steve might be a good fit and upon meeting they were instantly best friends.
Steve loves scratches behind the ear, eating chicken and the song "Free Bird". When Steve isn't grooving to the music, he can be found hanging out with his best pal Snickers the beagle or snuggling with his people. He is an unparalleled hugger.
Bark's Spring 2017 Cover Dog Winner
March 9 2017
Clementine, the first winner of our 2017 cover dog contest, was adopted by Sachino Abe and Joshua Haskins from Posh Pets Rescue (PPR) in New York City in October 2015 at a pop-up event organized by Best Friends. She was in the U.S. after being rescued from the dog-meat trade by Soi Dog Foundation; PPR is one of the many groups working with the foundation to rehome dogs saved from the dog meat trade. Like many of us, Sachino and Joshua weren’t aware that a thriving dog meat trade existed in Thailand, where people still consume dogs locally as well as sell them on to neighboring countries like China and Vietnam. Many of the dogs swept up in this trade were pets. No one knows Clem’s history, but it’s their guess that she was a family dog because she is so trusting and loving toward people. She was a natural in front of the camera, and her sweet, winning personality charms everyone she meets. The photo was taken by our pal, New York photographer K C Bailey, and marks her second Bark cover session. We first worked with her during our visit to the “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” back in 2012. For Cover Dog contest entry info visit thebark.com/cover.
Twenty Years and Counting
March 9 2017
Welcome to our 20th anniversary year kick-off issue. We are showcasing reader’s dogs on all four of this year’s covers—so we lead off Clementine, who not only has what it takes to be the perfect studio model—calm, charm and an endearing smile—but also, a compelling and inspiring backstory. Don’t forget to enter your dog in our cover dog contest, thebark.com/coverdog.
Patricia McConnell set a high bar for writing about the behavior of dogs and their people with The Other End of the Leash; she followed up with numerous self-published training books and an almost 10-year stint as Bark’s behavior columnist. We talk with her about her new memoir, The Education of Will, and provide you with a preview.
Amy Sutherland, also has a new book, Rescuing Penny Jane, in which she looks at shelter dogs and the people who care for them. She offers perceptive profiles and interviews with leading experts about best practices to increase adoption rates and decrease the number of unnecessary deaths in shelters. We talk with her as well, and have an excerpt from her engrossing book.
As we’ve been doing for the past 20 years, we dive deep into topics that we believe have special significance or long-lasting importance to dog lovers. Vet care tops that list, which is why we arranged to reprint a (very) long form journalism piece from Bloomberg Businessweek about increasing corporate control in the vet healthcare sector.
Rebecca Wallick, our legal expert, looks at the thorny issue of how the law handles what happens to pets when people divorce. Then we learn what a coalition of off-leash recreation groups discovered when they used the Freedom of Information Act to force the National Park Service to provide documents used to determine a change in dog rules at a national recreational area. See the results on woofieleaks.com. Kama Brown fills us in on the top 10 talking points in the training world, and Cynthia Howle looks at what great exercise partners our dogs can be, with tips that go well beyond walks. Globetrotting Jen Sotolongo shares her tips on finding dog-friendly inns on the go. In this issue we are showcasing a gem from our archives, with Ann Patchett’s lovely “On Responsibility,” that originally appeared in our 2003.
We also scope out how to cope with flea allergies; how better diets might support longer and healthier lives, and why simple names might not really define what is going on with your dogs. Dig in!
In Conversation with Patricia McConnell, PhD, who tells us what inspired her memoir, The Education of Will (with an excerpt from the book)
Who’s Adoptable?: Shelter stress takes can take its toll on dogs. By Amy Sutherland
Talking with Amy Sutherland about shelter dogs and her book, Rescuing Penny Jane
Field Notes: Wildlife researcher recalls his backcounty co-pilot. By L. Jack Lyon
Vet Care, Incorporated: Does a one-size-fits-all-approach work for our dogs? By Jason Clenfield
Citizens Fight Back: Agency stacks the deck against dog walkers. By Sally Stephens
Best of Bark: On Responsibility—Caring for two loves. By Ann Patchett
Illuminating Medieval Hunting Dogs: On the nature and care of 14th-century dogs. By Linda S. Slusser
IT’S A DOG’S LIFE
TRAVEL: Finding Dog-friendly Accommodations on the Go By Jen Sotolongo
ACTIVITIES: Dogs Make Great Exercise Partners By Cynthia Howle
WELLNESS: Scratch! Flea allergy dermatitis and what to do about it. By Sara Greenslit, DVM, CVA
HEALTH: Optimal Nutrition Do better diets support longer lives? By Donna Raditic, DVM, DACVN, CVA
BEHAVIOR: Beware of Labels: Simple names can create complex problems. By Karen B. London, PhD
LAW: Dogs and Divorce: What happens to pets when couples untie the knot? By Rebecca Wallick
TRAINING: Talking Points : Professional dog trainers are asking new questions. By Kama Brown, CPDT-KA
MASTERWORKS: Dogs at the Met Venerable NYC museum open its archives—look what we found!
ENDPIECE: Lucky the Dog By Rob Johnsen
ORGANIZATIONS THAT MATTER: Animal Care Sanctuary Celebrates 50 Years!
REVIEWS Rescuing Penny Jane, The Education of Will, The Domestic Dog
Guest Editorial: Soi Dog Foundation
How to Draw Dogs and Puppies
Smiling Dogs: Always Irresistible
Finding Shelter: Jesse Freidin’s Portraits
Cover Dog: Clementine
News: Guest Posts
March 3 2017
What’s your dog’s name and age? Buffy, 2 years
Adoption Story:Buffy was a picked up as a stray by a small shelter in Texas. Unfortunately, her chances of finding a forever home there were not good. Thankfully, a volunteer pulled Buffy from the shelter be be shipped up north for a better chance at adoption through the group Black Dog Second Chance rescue in New York. But, Buffy had a suprise in store for them! Upon arriving to her foster home, it was discovered that she was pregnant! Her new foster home did not feel up to the task of taking on puppies so she was transfered to one with more experience. Buffy ultimately delivered five puppies but two didn't survive. But this story has a good ending, Buffy and her three healthy pups (Bingo, Bruno, and Brandy) were all adopted into loving homes. Buffy's foster mom fosters through Black Dog Second Chance Rescue where she has fostered 32 dogs, including four pregnant mammas. She loves that dogs are just so happy to be with people and that they love you for how you are. If you're interested in reading more about the benefits of foster homes or are interested in becoming a foster parent to a pup in need read on.
News: Guest Posts
February 24 2017
What’s your dog’s name and age? Spooky Boo, 6 years
Six-year-old Spooky Boo was adopted from a local shelter. She's incredibly gentle and trusting but completely deaf with severe separation anxiety so she had finding a home. Luckily for this sweet girl she found a family who was happy to have her. Three years after being adopted, a freak accident during a walk lead to Boo's paralysis.
Spooky Boo's Determination:Her dad says seeing her wag her tail again following her accident is one thing he will never forget. She showed sheer determination and refusal to stay down during her first faltering steps when walking unaided. She is a real inspiration. Spooky Boo loves to run and now with her wheels she has her freedom back (though she has a knack for running over people's toes)! She has a wonderful spirit and zest for life.
News: Guest Posts
February 17 2017
What’s your dog’s name and age? Harley, 16 years Adoption Story: Harley's person saw an ad on the internet offering a four-year-old dog who could no longer be cared for. The previous owners had divorced, while one was always traveling for work, the other divorcee moved into a apartment too small for Harley. Harley had so much joy and couldn't wait to share it with his new person! He licked his new person's face and didn't stop for weeks. Harley's Interests: He loved daily walks and absolutely loved people. He would work a room like a politician, greeting each person while smiling, and making friends. Harley was a beautiful dog with a beautiful heart, he had charisma and was a joy to be around. Harley touched all the people in his life in a way that no animal had ever done before. Harley passed away last November, leaving a legacy of love behind. His family visits him often at a spot overlooking a pond, sharing stories of their walks in the woods and wonderful life.
News: Guest Posts
February 10 2017
Dog’s name and age: Peg, 4.5 years
Nicknames: Peggy Wiggle
Peg was rescued from a kill shelter in Romania where she had a badly infected paw and eye. Unfortunately, she hadn't been receiving any veterinary care while at the shelter in Romania so vets had to remove both as the infection had spread too far for either to be saved. Peg's people were looking for another special needs dog to adopt when they saw a notice on social media for her. Because Peg only has 3 legs and 1 eye, she didn't receive much interest from other adopters. Thankfully her people immediately started the adoption process after reading her story. Peg was in Romania but after her passport and transport could be arranged, she met her new people in the UK 13 days later. Though they had never met her before the adoption, as soon as they saw her, it was love at first sight. Her enormous smile just melted their hearts.
Does Peg with with other dogs?
Yes! She shares her home with 3 other special needs rescues.
She loves her hops around the neighborhood. Since she was a street dog, she loves watching the world go by and likes to stop at doorways hoping for a treat or a fuss. She sleeps on the bed with her people, so she races up the stairs to roll on the bed, then she'll stretch out for a full tummy rub before settling down to sleep every night without fail.
Peg is a free spirit, a fighter and survivor but hasn't lost the ability to love and be loved.
SHARE YOUR SMILING DOG!
News: Guest Posts
February 6 2017
What is Oratene Brushless Oral Care?
Oratene was created by the developer of Biotene, the #1 dentist recommended product for people with Dry Mouth. Oratene has been formulated specially for pets and based on the same 35+ year enzyme technology. Formerly known at Biotene Veterinarian Brushless Oral Care, Oratene features patented, dual enzyme systems which offer superior brushless oral care to help eliminate odor-causing bacteria and plaque biofilm.
Who will benefit most from Oratene?
All pets will benefit from Oratene but is especially beneficial to pets on medications.
What's the medication connection?
Just like people, pets can develop a condition called Dry Mouth (Xerostomia) due to their medications. Medications can alter the protective benefits of saliva by affecting the quantity or more importantly, the quality. Dry Mouth can lead to bacterial overgrowth, periodontal diseases, inflamed gums and even tooth loss.
What types of medications can contribute to Dry Mouth?
Some of the most common classifications are: Anti-hypertensive/diuretic/cardiac, behavior/anti-anxiety, incontinence, NSAIDs/Pain, anticonvulsants.
What is an indicator a pet may have Dry Mouth?
Halitosis and plaque are the most common; however, there are many others such as thick saliva, inflamed gums, periodontal disease and tooth loss.
Can both dogs and cats use it? Is there an age restriction?
Oratene is formulated to be safe for dogs and cats of any age. Does not contain Xylitol, alcohol, chlorine or toothstaining chlorhexidine so it is safe and recommended for everyday use.
Find a Retailer
January 27 2017
Television fans (and working women in particular) are mourning the passing of actress Mary Tyler Moore. She is the rare individual who not only entertained but inspired generations with her characters’ independence, smarts and spunk. The actress will also be missed by her beloved animals—the menagerie of cats and dogs she shared her home with, and the legions of animals saved through Broadway Barks, the animal rescue event/organization she founded in New York with her friend Bernadette Peters. The star-studded event benefits New York City animal shelters and adoption agencies, while educating New Yorkers on the plight of the thousands of homeless dogs and cats in the metropolitan area. In July, Broadway Barks celebrated its 18th annual fundraiser, contributing to 27 organizations and adopting out over 200 animals. The event and organization will continue as a living testament to the love and spirit of Mary Tyler Moore, actress, producer, philanthropist and activist.
The Shepherd’s View
January 5 2017
Last year, in his Bark review of James Rebanks’ remarkable memoir, The Shepherd’s Life, Donald McCaig observed, “It isn’t really a book about dogs. It’s about a world the dogs make possible. It’s the best book I’ve read this year.” Other reviewers also sang its praises; for example, New York Times literary critic Michiko Kakutani called it “utterly compelling,” and named it one of the Top 10 Books of 2015 (it was also on our list). So, we were thrilled to see that Rebanks has a new book, The Shepherd’s View: Modern Photographs from an Ancient Landscape, replete with his lovely and compelling photography and poetic essays. On its pages, he shares with us a unique view of the pastoral world of England’s Lake District. We caught up with him recently to find out more about these working dogs and his remarkable partners, Floss and Tan, the sheepdogs who help him tend the flock.
Bark: Where would shepherds would be without sheepdogs—would it even be possible to do the job without them?
James Rebanks: A shepherd isn’t a shepherd without a sheepdog, just a fool running round achieving nothing on a mountain. Sheep are quicker than people, and on their own terrain, impossible to manage without a good sheepdog. To gather the flocks on our mountains (we call them fells) takes 5 to 10 shepherds and shepherdesses, and 20 or more sheepdogs. They are our main tool, and key to what we do.
BK: How can you tell if a dog will be good in the field? Is it breeding? Are skills passed along genetically?
JR: We start training dogs when they are very young, so they learn their names and to come to us. They progress as the months go by, until they are fully trained at about two years old. My youngest dog, Meg, is a year-and-a-half and can do nearly all the work of my mature dogs, Floss and Tan. She has learned from them. Well-bred dogs from good families are incredibly gifted, and show their raw talent and focus as puppies. So I think a lot of the instinct is there, waiting to be harnessed and focused through training. Nature gives you the potential, but nurture determines how well that instinct and natural potential are harnessed.
BK: What makes a good working sheepdog? Does the environment determine how well they can do their jobs?
JR: I like a classic Border Collie-type sheepdog. I think they look right, but that is just vanity. All that really matters is how well the dog works. A pup comes to its new owners to start its new life at eight weeks old. Choosing a puppy is about knowing the working quality of the parents. Floss and Tan came from a noted sheepdog breeder whose dogs are remarkably good workers. Different types of landscapes require different types of sheepdogs; fell land requires dogs with stamina and an ability to hunt sheep out of bracken.
BK: Do sheepdogs have different skill sets?
JR: Yes. Some sheepdogs have strong “eye” (power over the sheep with their gaze and presence), and those kinds of dogs like working in small fields close up to the sheep. Others work best in the mountains and across big spaces; they can hunt sheep out of crags and rocky screes. This kind of dog is best for the fells.
All dogs have different character traits; some are confident, others timid. Part of training is learning to connect with the dog and to communicate with it and get the best from it. Floss is a very strong, confident dog who likes to work up close; she tries to dominate me and the other dogs. Tan is quiet and shy, and I have to encourage him and praise him. I change my tone of voice depending on which one I am working, or I can unsettle Tan.
BK: In your first book, The Shepherd’s Life, you said that it’s possible to “make a mess” of training a sheepdog. How does that happen?
JR: The thread between shepherd and sheepdog can easily break. The dog is often trying desperately to please the person she works for, so if you speak in the wrong tone, or get frustrated or cross, you can shake the dog’s confidence, or scare or sicken her and spoil her love of the work. But perhaps the commonest mistake is that the dog just doesn’t understand what the shepherd wants, and becomes disheartened.
A few years ago, I felt I didn’t understand training as well as I should, so I sought expert advice from a trainer called Andy Nickless, who makes DVDs about training sheepdogs. I use his training method and find it works very well.
BK: In the same book, you wrote, “Shepherds hate other people’s dogs near their sheep.” What kind of harm can off-leash pet dogs do?
JR: To sheep, dogs are just wolves. But the sheepdog who is well known to the flock becomes less stressful and scary, and they know it is under the shepherd’s control. A stray, unknown dog —which is often out of control— causes them stress. It may chase them until they collapse from exhaustion, or miscarry; it may attack and kill them. Even tiny dogs can do this. And even the nicest, friendliest family pet can be excited by fleeing sheep and become momentarily wild as the adrenaline kicks in.
So that’s why I hate other people’s dogs near my sheep: they are all potential disasters. Dogs should be kept on leads near farm animals, for everyone’s sake. Responsible dog owners can help by persuading others to do the right thing. And for that, we are grateful.
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