Fires in California, nonstop fiery tweets and record-setting temperatures worldwide have many of us yearning for cooler days. While we wait, good news can be found in people and organizations giving their all to improve the lives of dogs. We highlight a few in this issue.
Take the guest editorial from GREY2K USA Worldwide, whose mission is to support laws to protect Greyhounds and promote ex-racer adoptions. Their Amendment 13 is on the Florida ballot that will, if passed, phase out dog racing in that state, do hope they win and this barbaric industry is ended.
A fitness and service-learning course offered at East Carolina University, also inspires us. They have a course about getting fit with a local shelter whose dogs were badly in need of regular walking and enrichment opportunities. Such a simple and humane concept.
We’re big fans of Sara Varon’s whimsical and witty graphic novels. So, when she told us she was going to Puerto Rico to help with a spay/neuter/vaccination clinic and was going to keep an illustrated journal and would we possibly be interested, we jumped right on it. I want to give a special shout-out to a review of The Doggie in the Window, by Rory Kress. This is a very impressive piece of investigative journalism that examines the whys and hows of puppy mills, and is a fascinating page-turner.
We also have a couple film reviews that deserve your attention, Life in the Doghouse and Pick of the Litter. One profiling an amazing rescue “in-home” organization, the other shows us just how remarkable guide dogs are, and why so few make the cut.
As the national conversation about the medical benefits of cannabis and CBD products ramps up, interest in their potential value for canine ailments is increasing. But most veterinarians are prohibited from employing these remedies. With the intent of helping our readers be better informed, we offer a primer on CBD and dogs.
Then, Linda Case gives us a crash course on what the latest pet-food scare is all about. Could it be that in the industry’s rush to “grain-free” products, they may have gone overboard in substituting legumes aplenty for grains and created a larger risk for some breeds to develop a cardiac problem? We aren’t yet sure if the problem is the legumes or a combination of factors. But it does point out how important it is to be aware of what we’re feeding our dogs.
More information-rich pieces: Jessica Hekman’s profile of the Darwin’s Dogs/Darwin’s Ark genetic research into links between genes and behavior, Amy Sutherland’s feature on how comparative medicine is helping both humans and canines, and Karen London’s teaching recall, a truly valuable lesson.
DARWIN’S DOGS Hunting the genes that influence canine behavior.
By Jessica Hekman, DVM, PhD
THE HEART OF THE MATTER—Understanding Taurine-deficiency Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Could it be grain-free diets, are legumes too much of a good thing?
By Linda P. Case
CANNABIS AND DOGS: A Primer Examining CBD’s potential value for our dogs.
By Susan Tasaki
COMPARATIVE MEDICINE Saving Lives: Human and Canine.
By Amy Sutherland
ADVENTURES IN VOLUNTEERING: An illustrated travel journal about helping out at a spay/neuter clinic in Puerto Rico.
By Sara Varon
Gypsy: A unforgettable boyhood best friend.
By Brodie Lowe
IT’S A DOG’S LIFE
FILM REVIEW: Life in the Doghouse and Pick of the Litter.
SAFETY TIPS: Are There Hazards Lurking in Your Kitchen? By Catherine Ashe, DVM
VET HEALTH: How to Cope with a Serious Diagnosis: 10 Tips. By Karen Fine, DVM
BEHAVIOR: Upgrading the Recall: From accidental to intentional—teaching dogs to come when called. By Karen B. London, PhD
ADOPTIONS: GetYourPet.com offers a new way to connect dogs and adopters. By Linda Lombardi
SERVICE DOGS: In Conversation with Regina Lizik, director of Animal Farm Foundation. By Lee Harrington
FLASH FICTION: The Scent of Glory By Philip W. Merten
PHOTOGRAPHY: The portfolio of Andrew Pinkham. By Cameron Woo
BOOK REVIEW: The Doggie in the Window
Q&A: Dave Barry talks about his dog Lucy. By Michael W. Michelsen, Jr.
ENDPIECE: Roxie and Verna By Kathy Ewing
GUEST EDITORIAL: The Last Dog Race? By GREY2K USA
COURSEWORK: Getting in shape and helping shelter dogs—and earn credits at the same time.
TRAVEL: Fall Foliage; The Great Divide
WEARABLES: Bark Picks for keeping warm and dry.
Pat Tompkins; Jenny Blackford; Lois Levinson