Home
blog
News: Guest Posts
Long-Term Impacts of Giving Up A Dog?
Research shows it may lead children to approach relationships as if they were less valuable.

Don't you love stories that catalog the health advantages (based on research, of course) of living with dogs? The list includes lowered blood pressure, better recovery from heart attack, less stress, less depression, lowered cholesterol and on and on. Kids with dogs develop greater empathy and are apparently more popular with peers! But a recent story in The Edmonton Journal pointed out something else about having dogs in a family with children.

“Children who have grown up in families that gave up their pets tend to approach relationships as if they were less permanent and less valuable.” I haven’t seen the research, but this is something I’ve wondered about, especially because my dog, Lulu, was given up at three-years-old by a family with a young son. I’ve often wondered how he felt about the decision and if it might have a lasting impact.

 

News: Guest Posts
Bark Dogs on TV
One look at the Bark Nov/Dec '08 cover and it's clear why Tru and Jammer -- both rescues -- were chosen out of 6,000 contest hopefuls.

One look at the Bark Nov/Dec '08 cover and it's clear why Tru and Jammer -- both rescues -- were chosen out of 6,000 contest hopefuls. They're super photogenic and have a twinkle in their eyes. Owner Liz Dodge of Coos Bay, Ore., was just getting over the shock of seeing her two dogs on the cover of a national magazine when the local TV station called. You can see the pups in action and hear more about their amazing story from shelter dogs to supermodels here. Hopefully, their story will inspire more people to adopt dogs from shelters and breed rescues.

News: Guest Posts
Good News Out of Bad Newz
Sports Illustrated trades swimsuits for collars with a story on Vick pit bull rescue.

I was thrilled to see the heart-stopping mug of a velvety pit bull named Jasmine on the cover of the latest Sports Illustrated. Beats the heck out of girls in bikinis. In the story, Jim Gorant checks in on the fate of a few of the 47—out of 51—ill-starred dogs rescued from Michael Vick’s dog-fighting compound. (Check out Bark's earlier story on the rescued pups.) Here’s a thought from Donna Reynolds, the executive director and cofounder of Bad Rap, to take from this bad experience into the new year. “Vick showed the worst of us, our bloodlust, but this rescue showed the best.”
 

News: Guest Posts
Have A Very Doggy Holiday

What is it that happens to dogs in the snow? From most reports, they become maniacs in the white stuff. So despite all the hassles and dangers of our recent winter weather, I'm thrilled by the idea of dogs all over the country romping in muzzle-deep snow this holiday. As always, our pups are a reminder to get out and have fun, to smell the tree trunks or just careen around in snow. If you're one of the unlucky folk who live below the snow-belt, check out the video below to get your snow-dog fix. Have a fabulous, frolic-filled holiday with your buddies.

News: Guest Posts
Dogs Decorate for Christmas

These clever canines would make Scrooge smile. Happy holidays, everyone!

News: Guest Posts
Say It's So, Joe

Veep-to-be Joseph Biden made lemonade out of lemons (see Julia's post below) when he told George Stephanopoulis on Sunday he planned to adopt a rescue or shelter pal for his new puppy. It’s probably pure politics, but a high-profile adoption sets a good example and we’re glad to see it.
 

News: Guest Posts
Dogs Shake Their Money Makers
Wet Dogs calendar raises money for Parkinson's research.

After being diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s three years ago, Alyssa Johnson called in furry assistants in her efforts to help fund a cure. “One night my husband [Barry] and I were brainstorming fundraising ideas and we were trying to think of things that shake because they are supposed to—earthquakes, martinis, salt and pepper shakers—and out of the blue my husband said ‘wet dogs.’ It stuck. (The martinis did, too, but we like our pups more than gin!)” Before long—and with the support of new friends on flickr.com—they created the Wet Dogs calendar (one of The Bark's holiday gift picks) to raise money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. In addition to raising more than $100,000 through various efforts so far, Alyssa and Barry threw their own dogs a bone. Their canine companions, Cassie (a sun-loving couch potato) and Riley (a party dog), shake their stuff in the calendar.

 

News: Guest Posts
Solid Gold Recalls Canned Turkey Formula
Quick, check your pantry!

Quick, check your pantry! Due to customer complaints about mold, Solid Gold is voluntarily recalling 13.2 oz. cans of its turkey, ocean fish, carrot, and sweet potatoes formula. The cans in question feature a purple label, a "pop-top," and 01/02/2010 expiration date on the bottom. Cans should be immediately returned to the point of purchase. For more info, go to Solid Gold.

News: Guest Posts
Biden Pup Breeder In Doghouse

Elected to public office? Then congrats, you're getting a dog! Seriously, you'd have to live in a cave not to know that the Obamas are searching for a First Puppy. But who knew that Vice President-elect Joe Biden also made a doggie deal? His wife, Jill, said he could get one if the Obama-Biden ticket prevailed.

 

Last week, Biden visited breeder Linda Brown's Jolindy's Kennels in southeastern Pennsylvania to pick out a three-month-old German shepherd puppy. As someone who co-founded and volunteered for New Orleans German Shepherd Rescue for several years, I'm disappointed that Biden chose to purchase a puppy from a breeder. This magnificent breed is often passed over at shelters due to its large size or tough reputation. Yes, I know that some folks insist on having a young puppy, but you'd be surprised at how many young German shepherds ranging from six months to one year end up in shelters simply for "getting too big" or getting into trouble due to lack of training, exercise or attention.

 

On the upside, at least the Bidens didn't buy their puppy from a pet store or a backyard breeder just looking to make a buck. Then again, in looking at the breeder's Web site, it's unclear as to whether she is a member in good standing with a national registry like the American Kennel Club or the United Kennel Club. Or whether she tests her sires and dams for health problems commonly found in German shepherds, such as hip dysplasia, before breeding them. She appears to use mostly dogs imported from Germany in her breeding program. I much prefer the structure of the traditional working German shepherd versus the extreme back-leg angulation of American-bred show German shepherds. That's one important reason why the police and military import their working dogs -- their sound structure allows them to actually do the work for which they were bred.

 

But then I noticed that Brown has four litters available for sale, which is quite a few puppies. Most hobby breeders only breed one litter a year or less because they're not in it for the money. They carefully research the pedigrees of the prospective sire and dam and do the necessary (and perhaps even extra) health tests of eyes, hips, elbows, etc., and any genetic diseases that affect their breed. My guess is that Brown is a commercial breeder, one who breeds often in order to make money. Sure enough, Brown is believed to have 85 dogs at her facility. And she was recently cited for several violations, including "unsatisfactory ventilation, inadequate maintenance and sanitation, and missing sale and vaccination records." What's worse, according to AKC Board of Directors meeting minutes dated April 10-11, 2006, "The AKC's Management Disciplinary Committee has suspended Ms. Linda Brown, Spring City, PA, from all AKC privileges for one year, effective April 10, 2006, and imposed a $1000 fine for having submitted or caused to be submitted three litter registration applications that she knew, should have known, or had a duty to know contained false certifications as to the sire and/or dam (DNA exclusion)."

 

Maybe Biden should've adopted after all. Need more convincing? Check out BidenDog.   

News: Guest Posts
Tough Times Hit Dogs in Taiwan

As many as 400 stray dogs may be wandering Yangmingshan National Park, a recreation area in northern Taiwan, at any given time. According to a recent story in the Taiwan News, former companion animals have been abandoned in the park based on the misguided belief they can survive on food left by visitors and small wild animals. Many more dogs roam city streets.

Economic hardship is driving the wave of abandonments in and around Taipei. Large breed dogs are especially hard hit and, in a sign that tough times don’t discriminate, even expensive breeds are showing up in shelters. And, this may not be the worst of it. Reporter Flor Wang talked to a pet shop owner in central Taiwan, who worries more dogs will be abandoned around the Chinese New Year in late January “because money will be tight for many families then.”

 

Pages