Fall is Here
With a nod to the fall “back to school” season, this issue’s theme is learning and discovery.
We lead off with a visit to the opening of LA’s Wallis Annenberg PetSpace, an adoption and learning center that promises to be a trendsetter not just in the humane movement, but also in the study of the importance of the human-animal bond.
Mindfulness seems to be everywhere these days, so we had Christie Green share insights about this meditative practice and how our dogs can be our perfect guides. Their “otherness,” trusting natures and the very in-the-moment ways they engage with the world can help us slow down and learn to appreciate the moment ourselves. Ever had a DRI (dog-related injury)? Carol Withers has, and she’s here to tell us about the many forms it takes. Learning how serious some injuries might be can make us—yes—more mindful, and help avoid future mishaps.
From around the nation: Amy Sutherland looks at the innovative methods shelters in Texas and Colorado are employing to both find homes for dogs and to ensure that the homes are forever. Rebecca Wallick takes us to a Wyoming sanctuary that cares for retired lab animals along with offering swank accommodations for volunteers. Then, in Chicago, Julia Lane goes behind the scenes of an urban circus that promotes dog training and showcases two very talented Pit Bulls.
On the DIY scene we have easy-to-follow directions for whipping up a “snuffle mat,”—an enrichment toy for dogs to sniff out hidden treats. Behaviorist Karen London tells us how most dogs practice anger “management,” but helps us with those who still might need work. We have an in-depth look at canine dementia, and steps to recognize its symptoms and treatment.
We talk with Fern Levitt, director/writer of Sled Dogs, an engrossing, must-see documentary. She takes viewers behind-the scenes of commercial sled-dog kennels and along the course of long distance races like the Iditarod. HSUS’s Wayne Pacelle provides an insightful review of the film as well.
We cover an exhibit at DC’s National Art Gallery with works from the golden age of Dutch art. These 17th-century paintings of scenes from everyday life (“genre” art) often incorporate dogs, most of whom are Spaniels. Dogs, epitomizing loyalty and home, are familiar to a 21st-century audience too and it’s a familiarity that makes these treasures even more appealing.
So, that’s it for now. We urge you to please subscribe to our magazine, and sign up for our e-newsletters. Your support is vital to the ongoing publication of independent magazines like The Bark—we’re relying on you!
Mindfulness How to obtain bliss when walking your dog. By Christie Green
Kindness Ranch: Wyoming sanctuary that is a haven for rescued lab animals. By Rebecca Wallick
The Dog-Related Injury: Love ’em we do, but sometimes, they break the hands that feed them. By Carol Mithers
Midnight Circus: Pit Bulls steal the show and create community in parks in Chicago. By Julia Kamysz Lane
Sled Dogs: Interview with director Fern Levitt about her documentary exposé of commercial sled dog operations and the Iditarod. + Film review by Wayne Pacelle
Exhibitions: The Golden Age of Dutch Painting from the 17th Century: Dogs are everywhere. By Sophie Ploeg
In the Borderlands: Respecting the “wild” in dogs. by Zach Fitzner
Endpiece: For the Sake of Names By Pat Tompkins
IT’S A DOG’S LIFE
TRAINING: Teaching to Whisper A guide dog learns to modulate her vocalizing By Deborah Armstrong
ARCHITECTURE: Classic Doghouse A Frank Lloyd Wright’s design and the boy who “commissioned” it. By Susan Tasaki
HEALTH Genes at Work A new treatment enlists dogs’own immune systems to fight a deadly disease. By Alexandra Anderson
HUMANE Safe at Home: Post-adoption behavior support is a winning strategy. By Amy Sutherland
BEHAVIOR: Peeved Pups: Despite lots of reasons to do so, dogs rarely display true anger. By Karen B. London, PhD
HEALTH Canine Dementia: What it is, what you can do about it. By Susan and Michael Cain
GOOD READS: Artists and their Pets A new book on kindred spirits.
REVIEWS What It’s Like to Be a Dog by Gregory Berns ; Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima; Collared by David Rosenfelt; Waggish by Grace Chon; + Q&A with Gregory Berns
BACKSTORY William Wegman on his photography
Ask the Experts: Dog Park Ps&Qs
Saying good-bye to summer—photos from our readers
New Annenberg PetSpace explores the bond.
Dog Stats; HipCamp
Calorie Counter, Celebrating Black Dogs
Heidi Bekebrede’s Cuteware
Joy Sessions: honoring lives well lived.
DIY: Dog Enrichment—Tie up a Snuffle Mat by Liz Palika
Smiling Dogs: Readers’ Favorite and Always Irresistible
In the spring of 1967, I moved to San Francisco and had a couple of months to become acclimated to the West Coast climate—both social and meteorological— before summer hit. Hard to believe that 50 years have passed, but that summer has stayed in my memory. In retrospect, it was a seminal moment, although the magnitude of this cultural watershed wasn’t apparent at the time. Even so, we knew that something was definitely happening here: be-ins; love-ins; and music by the likes of Janis, Jimi and Jerry and a long playlist of others flowing almost nonstop from clubs and parks. I think of that time now not only to mark its golden anniversary but also because, while so much has changed, some societal and political similarities have persisted over the past half-century. Still, for me, it was a great time and place to be a young adult—to actually be there. The good times really did rock (and roll).
Back to the present … I just read a research paper in Science Daily with the intriguing title, “Lifting your spirits doesn’t require many reps,” which concludes that simply getting out of your chair and moving around can reduce depression and lift your spirits. As I was reading it, my three dogs urged me to do just that, barking their need to see what that darn squirrel was up to in our back yard. Even though I was mildly annoyed with them for breaking my concentration, I knew I had something to thank them for. As a bonus, the paper’s lead author, Gregory Panza, observes that the study’s results suggest that the “more is better” mindset may not apply when it comes to the connection between movement and our sense of well being. So, even short bursts of mild activity, like walking around the block with your dog (or chasing them around the yard, as it was in my case), can improve your mood.
To help you tap into some good vibrations this summer, we chose “Journey” as our issue’s theme, trippin’ in both the metaphorical and the literal sense. To start off, we’ve packed this issue full of reasons for you and your dog to get out and about. We have 51 tips —one for each state and the District of Columbia—for exploring with your dogs, from “California to the New York Island,” as Woody Guthrie famously sang. We also give a special nod to the fine city of Austin for its five-star dog friendliness, as well as to New Mexico’s Sunrise Springs Spa Resort, where guests relax while helping with the socialization of future assistance dogs.
If you’re thinking about wandering overseas, you’ll be inspired by Belgian photographer John Thai’s work at Thailand’s Headrock Dogs Rescue, where he contributed his talents during a working “volunteer vacation.” Similar opportunities to help animals in need abound, many in scenically beautiful locales.
For our literature coverage— what would summer be without lots of good reading material?—we travel with author Laura Schenone as she covers the stories and meets the people who started Greyhound rescue in Ireland and beyond. We interview her and excerpt her book, The Dogs of Avalon, a thoroughly enthralling and inspiring read. We dip into our archives to bring back Michelle Huneven’s essay, “Lala the Loot,” from our anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot. Her story, about a charming little dog whose cuteness inspires others to snatch her, has a happy ending, so be prepared to smile.
In another entry with a journey theme, Laurie Priest tells us how a kayak vacation to Baja California’s Sea of Cortez netted her a honey of a dog, along with an amazingly complicated return trip with the dog to her home in Massachusetts. Dana Shavin’s essay, “There Is Now Only This,” comes with another twist—how being dogless just doesn’t feel right. As she notes, “My meticulous tending to the ever-expanding needs of my dogs became the point of my life. It was what defined me.” Without that, who are we? Finally, our “Backstory” features a man who traveled into outer space with the support of his pups, whom he considered to be his family.
On the department front, Karen London tells us why bite inhibition matters and how it develops; Carin Ford provides pointers on starting a rescue; and Ernest Abel explains how the R.E.A.D. program, which is now in just about every country, came to be. Heather McKinnon gives us another reason to consider getting a doggy-pack for our dog; Erica Goss reveals how research into human color blindness was helped by a Poodle aptly named Retina; Sarah Wooten, DVM, shares new treatments for arthritis; and we interview the star and writer of “Downward Dog,” a new TV comedy we hope hits it big.
In this issue, you’ll find a new short feature, “Dog-eared.” If you’re like me and read a lot, you have no doubt encountered references to dogs in books that are not about dogs at all, perhaps as a refreshing plot turn or as part of a character’s environment. We’ve started collecting these dog-eared finds, and if you run across any you’d like to share with us, we would love to hear about your discovery (be sure to note the source’s title/author/page number). To kick it off, we found the perfect paragraph in Louise Erdrich’s wonderful LaRose; in a very few words, we come to know both characters better (see page 20 in The Bark Summer 2017).
Finally, as always, we have some unforgettable artwork for you to feast your eyes on.
We hope you take a liking to what we’ve put together, and that your own 2017 summer of love goes well. We look forward to connecting up with you again in fall. You can purchase a copy of The Bark Summer 2017 here or subscribe to get all these wonderful articles.
Summer of Love Redux
To help you tap into some good vibrations this summer, we chose “Journey” as our issue’s theme, trippin’ in both the metaphorical and the literal sense. To start off, we’ve packed this issue full of reasons for you and your dog to get out and about. We have 51 tips for exploring with your dogs, from “California to the New York Island.” We also give a special nod to Austin for its five-star dog friendliness, as well as to New Mexico’s Sunrise Springs Spa Resort, where guests relax while helping with the socialization of future assistance dogs.
If you’re thinking about wandering overseas, you’ll be inspired by a Belgian photographer work at Thailand’s Headrock Dogs Rescue, where he contributed his talents during a working “volunteer vacation.” For our literature coverage—what would summer be without lots of good reading material?—we travel with author Laura Schenone as she covers the stories and meets the people who started Greyhound rescue in Ireland and beyond. We dip into our archives to bring back Michelle Huneven’s essay, “Lala the Loot,” from our anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot. Her story, about a charming little dog whose cuteness inspires others to snatch her, has a happy ending, so be prepared to smile. In another entry with a journey theme, Laurie Priest tells us how a kayak vacation to Baja California’s Sea of Cortez netted her a honey of a dog, along with an amazingly complicated return trip with the dog to her home in Massachusetts. Dana Shavin’s essay, “There Is Now Only This,” comes with another twist—how being dogless just doesn’t feel right. Finally, our “Backstory” features a man who traveled into outer space with the support of his pups, whom he considered to be his family.
On the department front, we learn why bite inhibition matters and how it develops; plus pro pointers on starting a rescue; and the history of the R.E.A.D. program, which is now in just about every country, and how it came to be. We look at another reason to consider getting a doggy-pack for our dog; how research into human color blindness was helped by a Poodle aptly named Retina; new treatments for arthritis; and we interview the star and writer of “Downward Dog,” a new TV comedy we hope hits it big.
+50 Ideas for Fun this Summer: Pondering a getaway this season? Bark editors offer up a tip for every state in the union.
The Dogs of Avalon. Introducing the amazing activists who are fighting to save Greyhounds worldwide. By Laura Schenone
Headrock Dogs Rescue: Photographic essay on international travel with a purpose.
Honey’s Story: A Journey of Many Blessings. A vacation in Mexico opens doors, and hearts, to a stray dog. By Laurie Priest.
Lala the Loot: How a small dog charms many people who want to claim her for their own. By Michelle Huneven
There is Now Only This. Dogs can help shape our lives and give it greater meaning. By Dana Shavin
Of Dogs and Other People: The Art of Roy DeForest This this dog-loving artist’s first full career retrospective. By Cameron Woo
It’s a Dog’s Life
ASSISTANCE DOGS: A trip to Sunrise Springs Spa Resort’s Puppy Enrichment Center.
By K.M. Burke
TRAVEL: Austin is a mighty dog-friendly place.
By Susan Tasaki
RESEARCH: Baby Face The allure of cute dogs.
By Jamie Hale, PhD
TELEVISION: Downward Dog
Interview with lead actress and show writer about their entertaining, must-watch hit program.
By Cameron Woo
RESEARCH: Eye to Eye
By Erica Goss
HEALTH: Pain Management New treatments for canine arthritis are on the horizon.
By Sarah Wooten, DVM
THERAPY DOGS: See Spot Read
Dog listeners do wonders for a child’s reading skills.
By Ernest L. Abel, PhD
RESCUE: Starting Your Own Dog Rescue: Six Golden Rules
BEHAVIOR: Bite Inhibition Matters
A soft mouth can be the difference between life and death for dogs.
By Karen B. London, PhD
The Dogs of Avalon: The Race to Save Animals in Peril; The Right Side
Endpiece: A Love Letter By H. Lovelyn Bettison
Guest Editorial: Greyhound Prison Program
In Lieu of Gifts: Wedding gifts for a greater purpose.
Summertime Reading Picks
Dog-Eared: La Rose
Kitchen Tricks: New treat making equipment + recipes.
Smiling Dogs: Readers’ Favorite and Always Irresistible
A Dog Needs a Pack by Heather McKinnon
Lists … where would we be without ’em, especially at this time of the year? When you’re making yours, be sure that your dog is at the top. Dogs’ needs are rather simple. Make time for their walkies, even if the weather is beastly; give them mental stimulation (learning a few well-timed tricks will keep them sharp); and pencil in some extra-long petting sessions.
In this issue on the training front, Tracy Krulik considers the concept of “eager to please,” and how (or really, if) it plays out in the training process. Louise Thayer ponders the role of tension in relationships while training bird dogs for field work. Karen London dives deep in her excellent piece about “protecting the cue.” (I was relieved to learn that there are ways to refresh the cue/command once we muddy it; now, instead of come, I use another “ici” to summon my Pointer.) Kama Brown investigates the widely held suspicion that European dogs behave better than their American counterparts.
On wellness: Advice from vets and a canine physical therapist. Dr. Sarah Wooten tells us why we should be concerned about persistent coughing, and Dr. Sara Greenslit covers the use of cold lasers in treating those pesky granulomas (sores) caused by too much licking. Canine physical therapist Karen Atlas gives us an overview of what PT pros have to offer, and how to get the most from those sessions. And Donna Raditic, DVM—a vet nutritionist—tells us why she believes in the OMG protocol for supplementation. See what that is and how it can help your dog.
We interview British shepherd/author/pastoral conservationist James Rebanks about his charming new book, The Shepherd’s View. We cover the indie film scene in a Q&A with Musa Sayeed, director/writer of A Stray, a new, must-see-movie about a young Somalian immigrant in Minneapolis who helps a stray dog and begins to build a bridge to a new life in this country. This gem of a film also marks the acting debut of one of its stars, Ayla, who we are proud to have as our very special cover dog. And we report on the Syrian refugee crisis from a canine perspective in a report about a young musician who had to leave his beloved dog behind, and then mounted an international effort to reunite with her.
The culture list is anchored by a story on the works of Giuseppe Castiglione, a Jesuit who was a painter in the Chinese imperial court during the first half of 18th century. It’s said that he got the gig by showing the emperor one of his dog paintings!
Our essay list includes Laura Coffey extolling the charms of senior dogs. Tawni O’Dell unpacks the difficult decision to rehome a dog. In an especially moving piece, “Saying Goodbye to Shelby,” Thom Jones considers how he had much in common with his Boxer. Jones died in October and we decided to republish his remarkable essay—which appeared in our collection, Dog Is My Co-Pilot—as a tribute to his immense talent and his love for dogs.
We have cold weather travel picks, a guide to TV vet viewing, a DIY project that would make a perfect holiday gift, GoPro tips, and a suggestion from a reader about how to become a shelter angel.
For now, please know that we’re grateful that you’re part of dog culture and reading our magazine. We wish you and your loved ones, furred or otherwise, a joyful and fulfilling holiday and new year. See you in ’17.
Canine Rehab: Physical therapy can help dogs get back on their paws. By Karen Atlas, PT, MPT, CCRT
Truman: This dog needed a job. By Tawni O’Dell
My Old Dog: Helping senior dogs will make you happy. By Laura Coffey, Photos by Lori Fusaro
War & Peace: A canine refugee’s journey from Syria to Belgium. By Kasper Goethals
Masterworks: Castiglione’s Ten Prized Dogs. By Cameron Woo
Dogs, European Style: Why are European dogs so well-behaved? By Kama Brown, CPDT-KA
Film review of A Stray and conversation with director/writer Musa Syeed and handler/owner Karen Radford.
A Shepherd’s View: Bark talks with James Rebanks about sheepdogs and his shepherding way of life.
Saying Goodbye to Shelby: By Thom Jones
Endpiece: The Opie Path By Bob Quarteroni
It’s a Dog’s Life
DIY: Decoupage Bangle.
By Twig Mowatt
BEHAVIOR: Protect the Cue
How to keep others from sabotaging your dog’s training.
By Karen B. London, PhD
LESSONS: Tension & Teamwork
Understanding the role tension plays in relationships.
By Louise Thayer
INNOVATIONS: Knee News
A new device as a way to avoid osteotomy and joint motion.
By Jess Elliott
HEALTH: Throat Woes
Coughing may indicate a hidden condition.
By Sarah Wooten, DVM
TRAINING: Eager to Please?
When it comes to training, it’s not about respect, it’s about reward.
By Tracy Krulik
WELLNESS: Light Work
Treating lick granulomas with cold laser.
By Sara Greenslit, DVM
Three dog-friendly supplements.
By Donna M. Raditic, DVM, DACVN, CVA
INGREDIENTS: The Omegas
Nutritionally vital and essential fatty acids.
By Claudia Kawczynska
Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither; Sirius; Beware of the Dog; Modern Dog Parenting
Guest Editorial: India’s Animal Aid Unlimited
Rescue Me: Photography by Richard Phibbs
TV Viewing Vet Round-up
Winter Travel: Lake Superior; Cape Cod
Pumpkin, the raccoon, and her dogs.
Smiling Dogs: Always Irresistible
Be a Shelter Angel
Gift Guide: Something for them all.
Poetry: Pat Tompkins; Adam Scheffler; Irene Willis, Gloria Hoffernan, Nancy Gustafson
Cover Dog: Ayla
From Our Readers
Fall, a refreshingly cool and vibrant season, is the perfect time to brush up on our dog lessons.
On the home front, we kick off a new series, Human Grade, Human Made, exploring home cooking for our dogs. Knowing that it should be simpler and more accessible than we’re warned it is, we invited the perfect guide to kick off the series. Greg Martinez, DVM and author of Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet, gives us his “starters” guide. From the front lines—i.e., the kitchen—I provide some additional cooking tips and including how best to determine the number of calories we should be feeding our dogs. While this is really much easier than you may think, there still is a lot of information to impart, so we’ll be continuing the discussion online, where you’ll find the app we’ve created to do the more complicated calculations for you. See thebark.com/food for more. We also go inside to see how designers are applying their craft to making our homes a lot more welcoming to dogs. Plus, interior decorator Vern Yip, who’s a big-dog aficionado, shares a few field-tested pointers. We also go along on a transcontinental bike trip and see how one co-pilot handled all those miles.
Bestselling author and cognitive researcher Alexandra Horowitz has a new book out, Being a Dog, in which she examines the role scent plays in dogs’ lives. We talk with her about the subject, and get the scoop on just what dogs’ noses know, and how that might also inspire our own sniffing.
Jesse Miller tells us how best to determine what method a trainer adheres to—understanding the lingo is vital. Another language lesson comes from Linda Lombardi, who tells us about the challenges shelters face when trying to assign breeds and breed mixes to their charges, and questions the necessity of doing so. We all know about the horrors dogs contend with in hoarding situations, but not much about how that environment might affect their behavior after they’re rescued. Fortunately, researchers are investigating this subject and developing protocols on how best to address these dogs’ needs, so we asked Jessica Hekman, DVM, to examine recent studies and report back to us.
Resource guarding—one of the negative behaviors that hoarded dogs rarely display—is a fairly common canine issue exhibited by many dogs. Animal behaviorist Karen London shares her insights on how to work with dogs who guard everything from food dishes to toys and sometimes, even their humans.
Our cover dog, the adorable Allie, herself offers both a question and a lesson. How did a small dog survive on the loose in an urban wilderness for so long, and how quickly would she adapt to her new life as a much-loved lap dog? See how she did it.
On the international front, our international humane editor, Twig Mowatt visits Bhutan and brings back a story on the importance of cooperation, and how a small country in a remote part of the world took on the challenge of a nationwide spay-and-neuter campaign in partnership with Humane Society International.
On the lit front, we have a couple of lovely, touching essays and a poetry selection that celebrate the love the authors feel for their dogs. I am especially pleased to publish Abigail Thomas again, and to introduce (or reintroduce) readers to the work of poet Janet McCann and the UK’s Lucie Britsch. Hope you enjoy what this issue has for you, thanks for picking us up.FEATURES
Bark Talks with Alexandra Horowitz: Leading cognition researcher tells us about her latest book—get ready to sharpen up the sense of smell.
Human Grade, Human Made: Cooking tips and feeding guidelines.By Claudia Kawczynska
Home Cooking: Get started with home-prepared meals, the slow cooker approach. By Greg Martinez, DVM
Bike Adventure: Transcontinental cycling trek. By Jen Sotolongo
Our House/Dog House: Home design inspired by dogs. By Janice Costa
Eternal Mysteries: Loving a special dog. By Abigail Thomas
Small Country, Big Idea: Spay/neuter project adds to Bhutan’s canine Gross National Happiness. By Twig Mowatt
A Modern Master: The art of William Merritt Chase By Cameron Woo
Endpiece: Losing Blue, Finding Him Too By Lucie BritschIT’S A DOG’S LIFE
HEADS-UP: DIY Checkup - Learn how to do basic at-home physical exams. By Shea Cox, DVM
INNOVATIONS: Knee News - A new device potentially avoids osteotomy and preserves maximum motion. By Jess Elliott
DESIGN: Living with Dogs - Designer tips from a leading expert. By Vern Yip
COGNITION: Memory Crucial for problem solving, prey-hunting, smell recognition and more. By Victoria Stilwell
ENRICHMENT: Scent Stimulation - The way to dogs’ brains is through their noses. By Sheldon Siporin
TRAINING: Truth in Advertising - When shopping for a trainer, look behind the language. By Jesse Miller
SERVICE DOGS: Fighting for Independence - Parents take on school districts that flout the ADA. By Donna Jackel
BEHAVIOR: Resource Guarding - What to do about this pesky behavior. By Karen B. London, PhD
RESEARCH: Helping Dogs Heal - Insights into the behavior of dogs rescued from hoarders. By Jessica Hekman, DVM
HUMANE: What’s in a Name? - A shelter dog’s fate can rest on his label, and the labels are often wrong. By Linda Lombardi
GALLERY: NY DOGS By Violet Lemay
POEMS: By Connie Hills, Elizabeth Devore, and Janet McCannREVIEWS
Being a Dog; The Secret Language of Dogs; Run, Spot, Run; Just Life; Farm Dogs; Home Alone—and Happy!DOGPATCH
Cover Dog—Allie’s incredible journey
Dogs Smell Homecomings
Dog-friendly Community Living
Glamping—Canine camping in style
What’s New—cool stuff for us and our dogs
Memorials; Vaping dangers; Leather cleaner.
Smiling Dogs—Always irresistible and unforgettable.
You will enjoy what we have in store for you in this summer issue. If, like me, you relish digging into the newest trove of fascinating dog books for your summertime reading, don’t miss our special book section, which highlights our best picks, along with excerpts from some of them. You’ll also see a new feature we call Bark Talks (something like TED talks), which zoom in on our favorite subject with Frans de Waal—just what is behind that unique bond we have with our dogs.
This issue’s cover dog—a coconut-coveting Lab named Bono—is a rising Brazilian wave-riding star. Coconuts, we’re told, are a favorite find among Copacabana canines, and Bono’s no exception. We visit an extremely dog-friendly town in Patagonia, Julie Hecht gives us a run-down on the latest research into dogs’ fondness for following our lead, and we catch up on evolutionary news, including a project that’s wrangling disparate hypothesizers into a joint effort that might result in a date for domestication all can agree on.
Plus, you will meet an amazing woman who is the winner of Bark’s Shelter hero contest, pros and cons (mostly) on e-fencing, airport therapy dogs, and Karen London probes if our dogs make us more appealing (let’s hope she’s right). From a young person’s perspective, we learn how lessons gleaned in the conformation ring included this rule, “always stand by your dog—after all, your dog will always stand by you.” We catch up with Cat Warren as she trains her new scent-detection dog. Our endpiece, by Mat Zucker, takes a humorous look at the nature/nurture question, probing the differences between boy and girl pups. Hope you enjoy it all.FEATURES Shelter Heroes The people and practices making a difference. What’s the Point? Studies focus on dogs’ ability to follow our gestures. By Julie Hecht Summer Reads Best picks from The Bark bookshelves Day One of the Search [Dog Gone] A Golden goes missing during mountain hike and the family reaches out for help. By Pauls Toutonghi The Dog Who Hated Surprises [Pets on the Couch] A vet behaviorist gets to the root cause of a fear-aggressive behavior. By Nicholas H. Dodman, BVMS, DACVB What’s in a Breed? [Pit Bull] Scrutinizing the science behind a misunderstood and complicated behavior. By Bronwen Dickey Shelter Dogs [Underdogs] A woman at a turning point, on the verge of ignoring the unwritten no-dogs-for-kids ban in the service-dog industry. By Melissa Fay Greene Battle Scarred Wounded Warrior Dogs by sculptor James Mellick celebrate America’s canine heroes. By Susan Tasaki Game On! Training a scent-detection dog. By Cat Warren Origin Story State of the debate on canine domestication and the descent of dogs. By Jane Brackman, PhD Dog Days Are Forever Rules for dog-handling … and life. By Erin Tack Endpiece: The Nature/Nurture Question By Mat Zucker It’s a Dog’s Life CRAFTS: Alexandra Thurston’s personalized porcelain plates. DISPATCH from Patagonia: The dogs of El Calafante. By Johnny Runnette SPORTS: On Board Man and dog ride the waves together. By Marcia Triunfol DOGS AT WORK: Stress BustersAirport therapy dogs turn down the volume for harried travelers. By Rebecca Wallick WELLNESS: Canine Disease Forecast, 2016A review of what’s trending in the veterinary world. By Heather Loenser, DVM TRAVEL: Pound Puppy Hikes Exploring Utah’s red rock country with shelter dogs. By Rebecca Wallick BARK TALKS: Frans de Waal, renowned ethologist, talks about animal behavior and his new book. TRAINING: Faux Fences The debate on electronic barriers continues. By Tracy Krulik BEHAVIOR: Animal Attraction Does your dog make you more appealing? By Karen B. London, PhD MASTERWORK: Henri Rousseau, le peintre primitif REVIEWS Underdogs, Dog Merchants, What Is a Dog?, Pit Bull, Heal Q&A with Arlene Weintraub, author of Heal With Bev Thompson BARK TALKS: Kim Kavin, author of The Dog Merchants With Claudia Kawczynska DOGPATCH Dog Parks Rule What’s in a Hug?; LA’s Dog Café States promote their dog-friendliness. Good Kids: Making a difference Heads-Up—It’s Summer Brian Wilson’s Pet Sounds; Shakespeare Quotes; Jim Harrison Smiling Dogs: Always Irresistible What’s New: Round-up of new product picks. Poetry S. Siporin, Brian Beatty, Tom Greening
Welcome to our 85th issue, with the winsome Abby as our cover girl. A German Wirehaired Pointer and hardworking SoCal ranch hand, she’s the second GWP to grace our cover. (Our own rescue GWP, Lola, was the first.) There’s something so compelling about their laser-focused gaze, and Abby’s cream-flecked facial “furnishings” (as they’re called) give her an almost human look, don’t you think?
Much as I admire this breed, I need to add a word of caution: they are extremely high energy with intense drive, and require more exercise and running space than most people are able to provide.
Another member of the Sporting Group shows up in our review of a fascinating book, No Better Friend, by Robert Weintraub. The story focuses on a remarkable English Pointer, Judy, the only dog ever to be an official prisoner of war. The time was WWII, the place was Sumatra in Southeast Asia. You won’t believe what this heroic dog was able to do, from saving the lives of her fellow (human) prisoners to inspiring many of them to survive the horrors of that war.
We have three excellent training-related articles. Karen London profiles researcher Claudia Fugazza and her “Do As I Do” method, which taps into a dog’s imitative talents. Grisha Stewart provides us with an overview of the Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) program that empowers dogs to use behavior to control their safety. And Tracy Krulik reports on what the future of dog training might be as increasing numbers of trainers use digital communication tools to get the job done.
On the wellness front, pain expert Michael Petty, DVM, describes how to perform simple stretching exercises on our dogs at home, and we talk with him about his new book, Dr. Petty’s Pain Relief for Dogs (where we learned a lot, including that a dog’s dewclaw has a function!). Behaviorist Suzanne Hetts, PhD, covers the importance of an annual behavior wellness examination as a complement to the annual vet visit.
We have an excerpt from Kim Kavin’s engrossing new book, The Dog Merchants—the section that considers the ways shelters can “repackage and rebrand” to inspire more effective adoption rates. (Wait until you see Berlin’s state-of-the-art animal shelter.) Shelia Pell examines pet meds, from supplements to compounded drugs, investigating the possibility that we’re playing pharmaceutical roulette with our dogs. And be sure to read the lovely personal essay by Michael McGuill, “Mutts, Mothers and Mercies,” about a youthful folly and how it led him to a career that saves animal lives.
And there’s more including a look at the recent wolfdog craze, the unforgettable story of artist Thomas Hart Benton’s son’s dog and seasonal safety tips. As an extra special treat we have a series of strips from cartoonist Patrick McDonnell from his heart-warming and inspiring “Shelter” series that appeared in his Mutts feature. We also have a guest editorial that will shock you with its hard truths, offset by much that will inspire you and, as always, a selection of remarkable artwork.
Thank you for your support during these past Bark-filled 19 years. Now, we’re looking forward to reaching our 20th anniversary milestone, carried there by your enthusiasm for what we do.
Features & Essays
It’s a Dog’s Life
Each issue of The Bark is like a glorious mixed-breed, the result of contributions from multiple sources and with its own unique personality and quirks. I especially enjoyed assembling this one, which, as always, covers many facets of life with dogs. We take an insider’s tour of a training school unlike any other—the Canine Circus School, where tricks and balancing acts abound. The classes keep dogs spinning, and their handlers on their toes. From the world of science, Jane Brackman covers a large-scale study of cancer in Golden Retrievers that has implications for all dogs. Marsha Rabe introduces us to the Mutt-i-grees program that is redefining humane education across the country, and we profile Trevor Thomas, a hiker who is blind, and Tennille, the Lab who truly is his guide. We love stories about shelters who come up with novel approaches to two basic problems shared by all: how to enrich the lives of the dogs who are in their charge, and how to prepare them for and find them forever homes. In this issue, we salute the Maui Humane Society, for both their Beach Buddies program that makes dogs available to visitors who take them on outings, and their Wings of Aloha partnership with airlines and vacationers that enables dogs to be flown to shelters on the mainland and new homes. Then dog trainer Barbara Tran takes us to an ancient town in Viet Nam, where she observes the ways its dogs grow up with an understanding of communal space, how that is learned and how they express it. This topic neatly dovetails with one explored by Jessica Hekman, DVM, who reflects on the complexities of canine societies and how, at long last, researchers are starting to study group behavior and social hierarchies. Our cover dog is the impish, itsy Coffee Bean who was captured in a winning shot taken by Sophie Gamand; we also have a feature about the amazing oeuvre she is creating for international humane causes.
We know this is often the busiest of seasons for all of you, but we hope that you find the time to give your dogs the quality attention they deserve, as well as to share some time with a shelter dog. Visit them, take them for a walk, perhaps even volunteer to foster one. And of course, a contribution is always welcomed. Finally, we’d be thrilled to meet your dog-loving friends—wrap up your shopping by giving the gift of Bark. Your friends will thank you at least four times next year!
Canine Circus School: Learning how to do life better, one trick at a time. By Natalia Martinez
On the Trail of Canine Cancer: Large-scale study of Golden Retrievers holds hope for all dogs. By Jane Brackman, PhD
Value-Added Vacations: Maui Humane Society’s popular outreach programs attract vacationers and aids dogs. By Rebecca Wallick
Songmaster: JD Souther gets down with the dogs. Q&A with Cameron Woo.
Picture This: Featuring the photography of Sophie Gamand, author of a charming new book, Wet Dogs.
Redefining Humane Education: Mutt-i-grees program focuses on empathy, helps children learn. By Marsha Rabe
Blind Ambition: A guide dog goes the distance with her blind hiking partner. By Jennifer Dziuvenis
Shelter: Picking up the pieces, learning the meaning of shelter. By Carrie Brownstein
It’s a Dog’s Life
DISPATCH: from Vietnam: Free-ranging village dogs understand communal space. By Barbara Tran
BEHAVIOR: Entertainment options for the home-alone dog. By Karen B. London, PhD
HOWL: The McBickly Accord Beagles come to the table, humans try their best. By Jeff Steinbrink
WELLNESS: Dishing the Dirt Exploring the human and canine microbiome. Q&A with Dr. Robynne Chutkan
COMIC: Happy 60th Birthday, KryptoEven Superman had a co-pilot.By Mark Peters
RESEARCH: What we don’t know about dog societies.By Jessica Hekman, DVM, MS
ART: Essence of Dog Fabric Sculpture by Holy Smoke By Susan Tasaki
ESSAY: Lily—Life with an angel of a dog. By Eliza Thomas
REVIEWS: The Drifter; Sit! Stay! Speak!; Considerations for the City Dog; Sire and Damn; Two Dogs and a Parrot; Zen and the Art of Walking a Dog
SPOTLIGHT: Assistance Dogs of the West Celebrating 20 Years By Linda Milanesi
Here’s Looking at You—Oxytocin’s bond.
Downtown Avant-Gardists: Joan Jonas and Laurie Anderson
Skijoring; Hilary Swank Rescue Special; New Order’s “Stray Dog”
Art Book Picks and Holiday Gift Guide
Recipe: Mackerel Makes Great Toppers By Rick Woodford
Smiling Dogs Light up
Calorie Count: Popcorn and Tiny Treats; William Wegman Exhibit
This is the 10th anniversary of Katrina, one of the five deadliest hurricanes to hit the U.S. Back then, we were days away from our deadline when we began hearing about the flooding and the desperate situations so many people and their pets were facing. We decided to scrap our lead stories and concentrate on covering Katrina. Fortunately (for us, at least), there were Bark readers and writers in the area, and they shared their on-the-spot perspectives. In the end, one of the big takeaways had to do with the importance of dogs in our lives—and the phrase “Not without my dog” has become a part of the public’s consciousness. In this issue, we reflect on that storm and the hard lessons that were learned in a guest editorial by former NOLA resident Ken Foster. We also meet up with Sally, our 2005 Katrina issue cover girl. She was among the rescued “Katrina dogs” who headed west in the first wave of humanitarian flights. She is also among the lucky ones who went on to inspire their new families—we write about hers, and other survivors’ remarkable stories.
On the feature front, Susan Tasaki makes the case for more research into the possible health benefits that medical cannabis might have for dogs, and Rebecca Wallick introduces us to an amazing volunteer first-responder team whose mission is to help animals in crisis situations. In a new series we hear from dog professionals about their work; we lead off with home-visit veterinarian Melissa Shapiro.
On the new book front we talk with Tracey Stewart (her husband recently retired from a popular Comedy Central news show) about her first book, Do Unto Animals. We also chat with New Yorker’s Maira Kalman about her new illustrated memoir with dogs. Intrigue novelist Alex Kava fields questions about her new series, anchored by a K9 handler with a true love for rescue dogs. Cathy Alinovi, DVM, and Susan Thixton, authors of Dinner PAWsible, promote the value of nutritious homemade meals. Amanda Jones reflects on her new book, Dog Years, which featuring dogs in youth and old age—she also took this issue’s cover photograph. And award-winning photographer, Traer Scott rounds out our “On Book” series with her new work, Finding Home, a tribute to shelter dogs everywhere. This list just hits the high spots, there is quite a lot more that we surely engage your interest and that you’ll be back for more.
P.S. As an added bonus, if you like Greek yogurt, be sure to see my take on how to whip up a batch, and what you can do with the “left behind” whey (here’s a hint: dogs love it).
A Good Herb? Medical cannabis might hold promise for ailing companion animals. By Susan Tasaki
It’s a Dog’s Life
BEHAVIOR: Nice to Meet You—taking the angst out of canine introductions. By Karen B. London, PhD
On the Road to Discovery
We have a special theme for our Spring issue so be prepared to be carried away as we consider the transportive idea of “journeys,” the many ways our trusty canine co-pilots guide and accompany us on the road—both real and metaphoric—to exploration and revelation.
In this issue’s globe-spanning stories, a dog helps a traveler navigate an ancient ruin and imparts an invaluable lesson, an adventurous Belize pup finds a new calling and a new home, and an innovative humane organization blends international relief with travel. A woman samples the joys and dogs of neighborhoods across the nation when she takes up housesitting as a serious pursuit, and a relocation to Europe inspires an owner to find an attractive alternative to air travel for herself and the family dog.
We have the backstory to a touching photo of a man and his elderly dog in the waters of Lake Superior. There’s also another “dog-and-water story” about a pup who had a hankering to hang 16 with his fellow surfers. In our interview with Melissa Holbrook Pierson, we discover what’s behind the training “journey” from aversive to positive methods. And we have an essay about how a shelter adoption lead to a backseat copilot keeping a steady watch and clocking in many a mile with her new driver. And in the endpiece, a man is reminded by a stray dog whom he saves from a busy street about “just how unpredictable life is, and that special bonds can form at any moment.”
We take a look at another interesting dog park, that is an integral part of a neighborhood renaissance in Cincinnati. We also welcome nutrition expert Linda Case, who explains the issue of “meals” and how the protein content of this important pet food ingredient can vary. We learn why all dogs don’t learn the same way and our behavior expert suggests strategies to understand what might work best for your dog. We try our hand at making treats out of spent grain, a home-brew byproduct. We take a look at easy-to-do agility games that get your dog, cat, bird, bunny and, yes, even an alpaca, going.
So we hope that you enjoy taking this Spring trip with us and find something that inspires you in this very special issue.
Doing Good: Cats and Dogs International: Enlisting tourism partners in humane causes. By Susan Tasaki and Photographs by Tracey Buyce
Picture This: Profile of photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson who took the shot which reverberated worldwide. By Konnie LeMay
Machu Picchu by Night: How a very unusual guide took the author on the adventure of a lifetime. By Elissa Van Poznak
A Dog Abroad: Getting from point A to point B sometimes requires thinking outside the airline cargo hold. By Michaele Fitzpatrick
Travels with Millie: Nothing goes so well with a car as a dog. By Susan Harlan
Have House, Will Travel: See the world by housesitting is a boon for the adventurous animal lover and the companion animals in their care. By Susan Caba
A Dog Named Sulli: A dog finds that teaching caring and compassion to school children in the Belizean jungle is her chosen calling. By Sean Houlihan
Surf City Dog: A dog with an urge to find the waves. By Sherrie Owens
Rescue on Route 498: A chance encounter on a rainy night, and two lives shift gears. By Mike Waters De Luz
IT’S A DOG’S LIFE
ACTIVITIES Interspecies Agility Fun. By Sharon Ulrich
AUTHOR’S NOOK: Q&A with Melissa Pierson, author of The Secret History of Kindness, interviewed by Lee Harrington.
ASSISTANCE: Dementia service dogs. By Susan Tasaki
BEHAVIOR: What’s your dog’s learning curve? By Karen B. London, PhD
ARTIST PORTOFILO: Rick Bartow
NUTRITION: What’s the Deal About Meals? Protein and quality differ widely. By Linda Case
TRAINING: The Importance of Socialization for a Pup. By Jeff Stallings
ART: Mural a father/daughter team up.
The Secret History of Kindness; A Matter of Breeding; The Honest Truth; Pet Poo Pocket Guide; Miracle Dogs; Fit Dog; What the Dog Knows
Guest Editorial: History of Seeing Eye Dogs By Steve Neumann
The Importance of Play—Just do it! By Claudia Kawczynska
Abe Lincoln and his dog Fido; Ingredients Watch List; Elliott Erwitt
Rescue Veterinary Services; Jazz pianist Justin Kauflin’s new CD
New Legislation: California and Utah. Minding your manners.
Dog Park: Cincinnati’s Washington Park is their newest. By Katherine Barrier
Spent brewery grains make healthy treats. By Sophie Cox
Smiling Dogs: Simply Irresistible
Bark’s Best Places to Work: The winners are in!
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