Issue 82: Summer 2015

There are many reasons to think about the climate these days, including the drought where we are in California. And we learn in the summer issue that global climate changes 45,000 years ago might have also played a hand in ancient humans teaming up with proto dogs. Together they were able to survive an ice age that downed many other species, including the Neanderthals. Pat Shipman tells us just how fortutious we are that friendly wolves joined our campsites! So it’s rather perfect that in this issue, we look at the many reasons to be thankful to our first and best friends. Twig Mowatt follows the story behind “Get Healthy, Get a Dog,” a Harvard Medical School study that concluded that the way to a have a healthy life is to share it with a dog. Handily, Karen London provides us with tips on choosing the right dog. Rebecca Wallick looks at dogs’ remarkable ability to sniff out disease, and how it’s opening doors to earlier cancer detection and better understanding of the disease. Psychologist Marian Silverman relates how her therapy dog, in overcoming her own fear, helped young patients gain invaluable insights. Plus, we have an excerpt from a new memoir, George the Dog, John the Artist, by John Dolan; in it, a stray Pit provides the reason, and the inspiration, for a man to turn his life around. And as an apt testament to the value dogs have to us, Alexandra Anderson describes a program at the University of Pennsylvania that is helping train and raise dogs for search-and-rescue work, saving countless lives worldwide.

Then, Judy Jennings recounts an epic road trip—and a spiritual migration—from Maine to the Yukon made by noted photographer Linda Griffith, accompanied only by her two dogs.

The inner dog also gets quite a bit of attention in this issue. In an excerpt about “brain foods” from a breakthrough new book, Canine Nutrigenomics, by W. Jean Dodds, DVM, and Diana Laverdure, we learn that food “speaks” to the body at the cellular level, which in turn plays a role in determining our dogs’ health (and our own). See our exclusive interview with Dr. Dodds here.

From cells, we move to the microbiome, an invisible world of the hundred trillion bacterial, viral and fungal microbes that live on and in us and our dogs. Jane Brackman takes us on a tour of the research into this microscopic universe, and what it may reveal about pathways to better health. We look at canine chronic renal disease and its management, and consider low-stress handling and why it’s so important to our dogs. And then for a twist on separation anxiety, Tracy Krulik looks at how this condition can be a two-way street. We take a gander at one of the best and largest dog parks in the U.S., the Off Leash Area in Shawnee Kansas with so much going for it, including spaciousness and wise-management. From tips on finding shed antlers, to book, comics, movie and theatre reviews—and a glimpse of one amazing doghouse, we have packed this summer issue with a host of informative and entertaining articles. So whatever the weather’s like where you are, take it slow and easy this summer, and take time to enjoy some fun with your co-pilot and dig into Bark’s offerings. You can subscribe to the magazine and ensure getting this issue, or buy a single copy too.


Get Healthy, Get a Dog: Harvard Medical School study makes it official, dogs are good for us. By Twig Mowatt

Brain Food: What we feed our dogs has a nose-tail affect on their quality of life. By W. Jean Dodds, DVM and Diana Laverdure, MS

Gut Feeling: Exploring the microscopic ecology of the microbiome. By Jane Brackman, PhD

North to Alaska: Suburban dogs share an epic road trip into the wilderness. By Judy Jennings, Photographs by Linda Griffith

George, The Dog Who Saved My Life: A stray Staffordshire Terrier provides the reason, and the inspiration, for a man to turn his life around. Text and art by John Dolan

Letting Go:  A therapy dog overcomes her own fear and helped young patients gain invaluable insights. By Marian Silverman

ENDPIECE Strawberry Blond: An unforgettable gardening buddy. By Eileen Graham

It’s a Dog’s Life

HEALTH: Canine Chronic Renal Disease. By Sara Greenslit, DVM

WELLNESS: Low-Stress Handling is the best approach to win trust. By Amy Kantor, VMD

COMICS: Rover Red Charlie By Mark Peters

DETECTION: Smell Test Sniffing out cancer. By Rebecca Wallick

BEHAVIOR: The (Next) Love of Your Life Choosing the dog right for you. By Karen B. London, PhD

PROFILES OF RESCUE: Donna Reynolds, BADRAP. By Jesse Freiden

Tethered by Love: Separation anxiety can be a two-way street. By Tracy Krulik

DOGS AT WORK: Training Working Dogs: A look at new program at UPenn. By Alexandra Anderson

AUTHORS SPEAK: Pat Shipman talks with Claudia Kawczynska about first dogs and probes into the disappearance of the Neanderthal.


The Invaders; Canine Nutrigenomics; George the Dog, John the Artist; Scents and Sensibility; Strays


Guest Editorial: Slumber Parties by Judith Gardner

Asheville’s Aloft Hotel and Portland’s Inn by the Sea help in rescue efforts.

Mural Art “Homecoming” by Agostino Iacurci

Dog Parks: Kansas shines with Shawnee Mission Park Off Leash Area

Postcard from Down Under: Dog Buildings Extraordinaire.

Finding Shed Antlers by Cynthia Howle

Flea-Tick Diseases

Film review: Hungary’s White God by Devon Ashby

Smiling Dogs

Theatre Review: Comfort Dogs by Joanna Lou

Poetry: Irene Willis, Karen Ray

From This Issue

• Bone Picking - For some unplugged fun, train your dog to find shed deer antlers.
• Fight the Bite - Summer is prime time for fleas and ticks.
• Shawnee Mission Park Off-Leash Area - Room to Run in Shawnee, Kansas
• Smell Test Sniffing Out Cancer - Dogs’ remarkable ability to sniff out disease is opening doors to earlier cancer detection.
• Letting Go - A therapy dog overcomes her own fear and helps young patients gain invaluable insights.
• Training Working Dogs - A look at an innovative dog training program at University of Pennsylvania
• Dementia Service Dogs: Service Dogs for the Elderly - Expanding the frontiers of the canine capacity to help us carry on.
• Canine Chronic Renal Disease - It can’t be cured but it can be managed—partnering with your vet is the key.
• Comics: Rover Red Charlie - Even the apocalypse can’t keep good dogs down.
• Choosing The Dog Who’s Right For You - The (Next) Love of Your Life
• Film Notes: Training Dogs for the film “White God” - Animal trainer Teresa Miller’s canine cast is Oscar-worthy
• Q&A With Pat Shipman, Author of The Invaders - How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction