Welcome to the summer issue of The Bark. With oh-so-many dog books coming out this season from the expert/science community, we decided to include a special “summer school” section. We agree that summer should be fun, but I do think we owe it to our dogs to really dig into getting to know them better, and that itself can be a lot of fun. From how to become a citizen ethologist to hunting for truffles, these experts make learning enjoyable, entertaining and elucidating.
We’ve also expanded our essay offerings in this issue—they make for such inspirational reading—and have a thought-provoking fiction piece as well. Dogpatch is chock-a-block with “by the numbers” items; my particular favorite concerns the genes that contribute to canine athletic prowess. The “Flash Fiction: In Their Voices” contest we launched in the spring has gotten off to a great start; two of the winners appear in this issue, and there are more to come. This is an ongoing contest, so send your entry in today. (Remember, this is “flash” writing, so no more than 300 words.)
Because summer’s also about getting out and about, we include a travel section focusing on the Berkshires, an inspiring, arty area that gets kudos for dog friendliness. We look at what dog food labels tell us and, as importantly, what they should be telling us. (Why do they make it so confusing to understand what’s in their products?) We take a behavioral look at how dogs greet other dogs, and why that matters in and away from the dog park.
We have a memorable story on how dogs bring comfort to disaster victims, including Parkland student survivors. And we consider the ways electronic pollution affects our dogs. Be sure to see our review of “Boundaries,” a new film written and directed by the dog-loving Shana Feste. See our interview with her about how dogs did certainly “inform” this film.
Hope you enjoy it, and that a “walking on sunshine” kind of summer is ahead for you and your dog.