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Julia Kamysz Lane

Julia Kamysz Lane, owner of Spot On K9 Sports and contributing editor at The Bark, is the author of multiple New Orleans travel guides, including Frommer’s New Orleans Day by Day (3rd Edition). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.

News: Guest Posts
Britain's Purebred Dog Controversy

After years of investigation culminating in the documentary, "Pedigree Dogs Exposed," the BBC has decided not to broadcast Crufts in 2009. This is the latest blow to the Kennel Club, the purebred dog registry that hosts the world's most famous dog show. Long-time sponsor Pedigree announced earlier that it will no longer support Crufts. High-profile British charities the RSPCA and the Dogs Trust have also declined to set up information booths at this year's show.

 

The BBC had asked the Kennel Club for a compromise in which 14 "at-risk" breeds would not be allowed to compete in the main competitions, including "Best in Show" and group categories. The breeds range from the Basset Hound to the St. Bernard; all of them are believed to have severe health or structural issues due to improper breeding. The Kennel Club declined, claiming that it is doing its part to improve the health of all pedigree dogs. Subsequently, the BBC dropped the coverage.

 

It'll be interesting to see if the Kennel Club controversy affects the American Kennel Club and its prestigious National Championship dog show.

News: Guest Posts
Woman Steals Dog Poop Receptacle

Some people will go to any lengths to prevent dog poop near their yard. In this case, Carrie Fosdale of Algonquin, IL, literally took matters into her own hands. When her homeowners association refused to remove the community dog waste station installed near her townhome, Fosdale stole the waste bucket and hid it in her garage. A warrant went out for her arrest and she surrendered herself to the Algonquin police. She was released on $100 bond. If convicted, she faces up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.    

News: Guest Posts
Does Petland Support Puppy Mills?

An eight-month-long investigation by the Humane Society of the United States alleges that Petland, the nation's largest puppy retailer, sells puppies from large-scale commercial breeders (otherwise known as puppy mills), despite telling customers that the pups come from reputable breeders. Last time I checked, reputable breeders do not sell puppies to be treated like retail merchandise, nor do they keep dogs in cages their entire lives, or dump or shoot them when they can no longer breed. Watch the "Petland Linked to Puppy Mills" video for more details.

News: Guest Posts
Dog & Owner Reunited After Three Years

What an incredible journey for Czar and owner Michelle Garza of Lisle, IL! The 13-year-old mixed breed finally came home after three years thanks to his microchip. I still can't believe a senior dog survived as long as he did. If you haven't already microchipped your pup, now's the time! And if your dog is microchipped, be sure to update your contact info. With the holidays upon us and company coming in and out on a regular basis, it'd be easy for your dog to make an unexpected escape. A microchip will give you peace of mind, and better yet, improve your dog's chances of being safely reunited with you.

News: Guest Posts
First Dog Bites Reporter

Reporters are always on the lookout for a sound bite, but I don't think this is what political writer Jon Decker had in mind. The Reuters reporter spotted First Dog Barney on a walk with his handler and asked if he could pet him. The dogwalker said sure but the Scottish Terrier wasn't as agreeable. Or perhaps he was making a political statement of some kind. Fortunately, Decker was treated by the White House physician and will be fine.

News: Guest Posts
Dog-Friendly Travel Blog

Like to travel with your dog? Then you should check out Car Go Dogs. I drive all over the Midwest competing with my dogs in agility trials, so I'm always looking for dog-friendly vehicle info, accessories and travel tips. It's nice to find all these things in one spot!

News: Guest Posts
Soldiers' Pleas for Pup to Leave Iraq

Five months ago, Sgt. Gwen Beberg and a fellow soldier saved a little black and white puppy from a pile of burning trash in Baghdad. Soon, Beberg will return home to Minnesota and she requested that her beloved dog, Ratchet, return with her. The Army said no, according to Defense Department rules. Worried that Ratchet would not survive the streets of Iraq, or worse yet be decreed a "nuisance" by locals and killed, Beberg's supporters started an online petition urging the Army to reconsider. The petition has already garnered more than 12,000 signatures. Donations to help Ratchet and other Iraqi pups return home with their U.S. soldiers are gratefully accepted at Operation Baghdad Pups.

Something to keep in mind before you open your wallet: Terri Crisp serves as program coordinator for Operation Baghdad Pups. If you refer back to my post, "Noah's Wish Settles Katrina Allegations," from August 10, 2007, the Attorney General of California investigated Crisp's former rescue group, Noah’s Wish, for its alleged misallotment of Katrina funds. As part of a settlement that followed, Crisp agreed that she would not "serve as an officer, director or trustee, or in any position having the duties or responsibilities of an officer, director, or trustee, with any nonprofit organization for a period of five (5) years from the execution of this Settlement Agreement.” Granted, the title of program coordinator does not appear to break the agreement but I'm wary that she is involved with a rescue group again so quickly after the Katrina investigation.

News: Guest Posts
Poop Patrol Demands Dog DNA

The world has totally gone to the dogs ... and CSI! In a suburb of Tel Aviv, Israel, dog lovers are eligible for rewards if they scoop the poop. I have two questions: 1) who has the fun job of collecting and testing the properly bagged and tossed poop, and 2) is it really necessary to reward someone for responsible behavior? I'm all for positive reinforcement, but I hate to think that people will only do the right thing because of a "what's in it for me?" mindset.

News: Guest Posts
Church Sign Dog Debate

No matter your religious persuasion, or lack thereof, dog lovers will likely find these dueling church signs to be pretty amusing. I didn't find this debunked on Snopes, but a graphic-artist friend of mine thinks someone was having fun with Photoshop.

News: Guest Posts
German Shepherd Dials 911, Saves Owner

Given a chance, dogs are capable of mastering extraordinary skills. Buddy the German Shepherd called 911 when his owner, Joe Stalnaker of Phoenix, had a seizure. Help quickly arrived and thankfully, he survived. Stalnaker adopted Buddy as a puppy from Paws With A Cause so he could be trained as a Seizure Response Dog. As a dog trainer, I'm always looking for fun, new things to teach my pack of five dogs or my students' dogs. But I'll leave dialing 911 to service dogs only! What tricks can your dog do? Or what trick would you like to teach your dog?

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