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Dog-Dancing Taken to New Heights
Sandra Roth and Lizzy with a showstopping performance

Dog-dancing is taken to its heights and none display this better than Sandra Roth and Lizzy at The Open European Championships in Heelwork to Music and Freestyle 2014, held in Stuttgart, Germany. “There are no compulsory movements or elements, so each team can present their individual strengths and skills,” reads Dogdance International’s preamble. “No other dog sport offers that much flexibility to ... adapt each performance to the capabilities and needs of each team member (dog as well as human).”

Sandra Roth is a ballet and jazz dancer with a passion for dogs, so moving into dog-dancing was a natural for her and turned out to be the perfect sport. As for Lizzy, her dancing companion, Roth writes in her profile that “Lizzy has been learning tricks and freestyle moves since she was a puppy. But we’ve had many problems and she was not an easy dog. So our main focus for the first 3 years was on her social behaviour and not on dog sports.”

Roth continues that Lizzy “gets more and more confident and our relationship has improved a lot. She is also starting to enjoy the attention by the audience.”

And Roth adds that, “Other than dancing we also do some obedience training, we do Treibball, scent work, lunging, dog scootering and whatever is fun for both of us.”

Don’t you agree that their performance takes your breath away? And by the time Lizzy is doing her front-leg-crossover, I couldn’t stop the tears, this was oh so lovely.

 

Culture: Reviews
20 Dog Picture Book Pleasures For Young Readers
Illustrated dog themed books for children

You can count on librarians—they always come through with the goods! In the book review section of our Winter 2014 issue, we cover a handful of recent children’s picture books featuring dogs. But we knew that was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg—oh-so-many more deserve mention.

With absolutely no advance warning, we swooped down on two local librarians—Theresa McGovern and Carolyn Potter of the Marin County Free Library at Fairfax, Cal.—and asked them for a list of their young library users’ faves, not just recent, but across the years. Within hours, we had it in hand and are sharing it with you here. (Your local children’s librarians might suggest others—check with them the next time you’re in.)

As you’ll notice, the suggested age range begins at two and goes up, so if you’re looking for a gift for a dog-loving child, you’re sure to find one that’s age-appropriate. Many are available as e-books as well, though, traditionalists that we are, we can’t imagine anything better than sitting with a child, turning paper pages and lingering over beautifully printed illustrations.

Bad Dog, by David McPhail (2014)
Forgiveness and love triumph at the end of this charming story of a family dog who’s rarely on his best behavior.
(Suggested Ages 2–7)

Ball! by Mary Sullivan (2013)
A dog with a ball is one of the most relentlessly hopeful creatures on earth. Forced to go solo, the dog begins a hilarious one-sided game of fetch.
Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book
(Suggested Ages 4–8)

A Ball for Daisy, by Christopher Raschka (2011)
A wordless picture book about all the fun a dog can have with her ball.
Caldecott Medal Winner
(Suggested Ages 3–7)

Bark, George, by Jules Feiffer (1999)
What’s a puppy to do when he can’t sound off with an arf or two? (also, his Henry the Dog with No Tail).
(Suggested Ages 3–8)

Bubba and Beau, Best Friends, by Kathi Appelt (2002)
Bath day for Bubba and Beau and their favorite blankie—a sad, sad day in Bubbaville.
(Suggested Ages 2–5)

City Dog, Country Frog, by Mo Willems (2010)
Award-winning story of an unlikely friendship for all seasons (also, his Pigeon wants a Puppy!).
(Suggested Ages 3–6)

Dog Breath, by Dav Pilkey (1994)
Hally is a loving dog with horrible breath (also, his Dogzilla).
(Suggested Ages 4–8)

Good Boy, Fergus! by David Shannon (2006)
Fergus experiences the perfect doggy day—except for the bath, of course!
(Suggested Ages 3–5)

Harry the Dirty Dog, by Gene Zion (1956)
A white dog with black spots gets so dirty that his family doesn’t recognize him. This classic has been around for more than 50 years, and was named by the National Education Association as one of its “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children.”
(Suggested Ages 3–8)

Little Dog Lost, by Monica Carnesi (2012)
True tale of a curious dog adrift on a sheet of ice, seemingly beyond rescue.
(Suggested Ages 3–5)

Martha Speaks, by Susan Meddaugh (1992)
After eating alphabet soup, Martha starts to speak, and she has a lot to say (also, her other “Martha” books).
(Suggested Ages 4 & up)

Mister Bud Wears the Cone, by Carter Goodrich (2014)
Canine pals Mister Bud and Zorro encounter … the cone.
(Suggested Ages 4–8)

Mogie: The Heart of the House, by Kathi Appelt (2014)
A rambunctious puppy finds a home at the Ronald McDonald House. (Note from Bark: This one also appears on the Bark list.)
(Suggested Ages 4–8)

Sally Goes to Heaven, by Stephen Huneck (2014)
When Sally goes to heaven, she lives happily and helps her family on earth find a new pet.
(Suggested Ages 5–8)

Skunkdog, by Emily Jenkins (2008)
Dumpling is a lonely dog with no sense of smell and no friends—until she meets a skunk!
(Suggested Ages 4–8)

The Stray Dog, by Marc Simont (2001)
A heartwarming tale of a stray dog who finds a home.
Caldecott Honor
(Suggested Ages 4–8)

Trouper, by Meg Kearney (2013)
A moving story of a three-legged stray dog who finds a loving boy to call his own.
(Suggested Ages 4–8)

The Way I Love You, by David Bedford (2005)
A little girl celebrates all of the ways she loves her puppy.
(Suggested Ages 4 & up)

And, of course, these classic picture book series featuring two favorite canines: 

Good Dog, Carl, by Alexandra Day (Suggested Ages 4–8)

and 

McDuff Moves In, by Rosemary Wells (Suggested Ages 2–5)

 

Note from the librarians: Some descriptive content provided in our library catalog by Syndetics.

Dog's Life: Lifestyle
What’s New: Products
With many new products on the store shelves, these caught our eye.
CarpetSaver

Keep floors dry and clean with CarpetSaver’s absorbent foam-backed (non-skid) fabric that grabs debris and water. Just shake it out or toss in the washer when it’s dirty. Comes in two widths, three colors and a variety of lengths.
Carpetsaver.com

Minnesota’s Mendota Products is in the “pink” over a new color they introduced to their pliable, durable safety collar line. Pink teams up with yellow, green and orange as the high-visibility colors now being offered. Cleaning is simple—dirt and odors are quickly rinsed off.
Mendotaproducts.com

Ma Snax’s sweet smiling leprechaun cookies are sure to bring good luck. Wheat/ corn/soy and preservativefree. Baked in small batches in Sonoma, Calif., to ensure freshness; hand-decorated.
Masnax.com

Skookum Dog makes a synthetic sheepskin, memory foam bed whose curvy design looks like the “real” thing. Perfect for a nap out on the porch or anywhere inside too.
Skookumdog.com

Sleepypod’s Clickit™ Utility claims to be the world’s first three-point dog safety harness, offering a safer ride for your favorite co-pilot. It was named the 2013 Top Performing Pet Safety Harness in a Subaru and Center for Pet Safety collaborative study to test the effectiveness of pet harnesses.
Sleepypod.com

Add new flavor and zing to your dog’s kibble meals with Doggie Shotz. It comes in six flavors including Three Cheese, Chicken Stir Fry and Turkey ’n Mash. Just shake, pour on and stir into kibble.
Doggieshotz.com

Moso Bags are a safe, natural way to purify and dehumidify your home. Made of bamboo charcoal, it’s non-toxic and fragrance free. Great around dog beds, litter boxes and anywhere odors linger in a house!
Mosonatural.com

These useful microfiber cleaning cloths from Poochie-Pets feature fun “Live in Dog Years” designs, and are great for cleaning fingerprints or nose “kisses” off your tablets and phones. Available in six designs.
Poochie-pets.net

For a soft, durable collar, Timely’s rounded styles are handcrafted from the finest Italian and Finnish leathers. Developed by a small family-owned Danish company, they are designed with a unique “inside stitch” technique with no outside edges.
Timelyus.com

The Loop is an easy, stylish way to carry the all-important poop bags with you. “Loop” it through a leash, or even through your handbag strap; refilling is simple. Comes in six fashionable colors.
Loft312.com

Dexas presents its H-DuO, the first bottle carrier designed for both you and your active dog! Carry two drinks at the same time—one for you, and one for your dog. A companion cup collapses flat against the side of the bottle—it’s BPA-free too.
Dexas.com