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Dogs are one of the more well-known farters of the animal kingdom. As you know from my previous posts on the Dog Fart Suit, we’ve not only peered into the content of dog flatus, but have even considered how to make their farts less stinky.Tags: blogguest editorialbook reviewsreviews
Citizen science opportunities for dog loversYou are the expert on your dogs. You’ve spent years observing them closely, noting their habits and feelings and quirks. Your watchful eyes are capturing data that could help researchers understand and improve care for dogs in all stages of life. You can share that data by participating in canine citizen science. Citizen science projects rely on large numbers of volunteers to collect data, and then submit it online. More and more canine researchers are turning to the internet to gather information about pet pups. These projects allow you to participate in science research taking place all over the world.Tags: blogresearch
It’s the end of an eraQueen Elizabeth II is mourning the death of Willow, one of her beloved Corgis, who died at the age of nearly 15. The dog had been battling cancer for some time. The Queen has grieved for every Corgi she has lost, but this is an especially difficult loss because Willow is the last in a long line of Corgis that she has bred and that have shared the palace with her.Tags: blognews
Pet sitters play a crucial role in the lives of pet parents who wish to travel or need to leave their pets for an extended amount of time. Many pet sitters make multiple daily visits to their clients’ homes and some even sleep over. Your aim as a pet sitter is to provide excellent care to the pet, communicate effectively with the client and make the experience as pleasant as possible for all beings involved. The difference between a good (or even great) pet sitter and a mediocre one are in the details. Anyone can feed and leave water for a pet but, to be an excellent pet sitter and one that your clients rave about, then you should follow these three rules:Tags: lifestyletips
What's your dog's name and age: Bird, 4 years old What are your dog's nicknames? Birdy, Birdy Boy, Joon, Susan About Bird: We had been visiting PAWS animal shelter on our Saturday errands a few days after my birthday. We saw our sweet guy sleeping in the corner of a room. Our hearts just melted. Unfortunately, we weren't ready for a dog just yet, so we left the shelter without him. We checked the website everyday to make sure he was still there until one day he wasn't. We were absolutely heartbroken but we kept checking everyday. Thankfully a week later he reappeared healthy from after a bout of kennel cough and we rushed over to meet our little bud. We haven't left his side since then. Tags: smiling dogs
It's easy to imagine these miniature vessels coming to life at night on their shelves, breaking into song and dance in a Looney Tunes moment of … cuteness. Heidi Bekebrede is the Northern California multimedia and ceramic artist who crafts this Cuteware collection. She tells us that her inspiration “is my desire to convey the joyful feeling that is evoked by the Silly Symphony cartoons from the 1930s. All the bees, trees, cats and dogs are singing and dancing with the plates and cups in a lovely colorful world of happiness. I make colorful cartoon folk art that is sometimes functional or at least pretending to be useful.” Bekebrede studied studio art at the University of California, Davis in the late 1970s, under the tutelage of Robert Arneson and Roy De Forest, artists...
Hunter Bowen, who earned his DVM from Texas A&M in 2011, lives and practices in Austin, Texas. Both at home and in his work at the Firehouse Animal Health Center, he taps into tech that has the potential to make life with dogs (and cats) easier to manage. Following, Dr. Bowen calls out a few of the trends and gadgets that have come to his attention. HIGH-TECH DOORS Doors controlled by key fob and/or microchip have obvious security benefits, but I’m equally impressed with this technology’s application to keeping our companion animals safe. Summer heat in Central Texas can be brutal, so something that allows me to control a pet door remotely —or allows my dog or cat to do it themselves—has real potential. I have no preference for a specific brand, but two to consider are High Tech Pet and Plexidor Electronic Pet Doors.Tags: productslife with dogslost petsreviewsproduct reviewstipstechnology
A faked death, jail time, contempt of court The rescue organization that placed Mack with the Patterson family did some wild things in an attempt to prevent the reunion of Mack with his family after the dog ran loose. Jamie Patterson and her seven children adopted the Boxer-Mastiff mix from Rough Road Rescue in Missouri in January 2015. He turned out to be a bit of a Houdini dog, which is behaviorist-speak for a dog who loves to break out of houses or yards and run free. In fact, the family was cited several times by the city because Mack was out and about.Tags: shelters & rescuesbloglaw & politics
Lessons from the Sawtooth PackSusan TasakiJim and Jamie DutcherOver a period of six years, Jim and Jamie Dutcher spent countless hours in intimate contact with three generations of a North American gray wolf pack. During this time, they handsomely documented the wolves’ lives to an impressively detailed level. In their new book, they focus on wolves’ many virtues, and reflect on values shared by both animals and humans. While their work is both intriguing and beautiful, it is somewhat concerning that the wolves in this pack—which was started in 1990 with captive pups in an enclosed “wolf observation camp” by Jim Dutcher—have not and never will live truly wild. Moved to a new location following the end of the couple’s work in 1996, the pack is now owned by a Dutcher-founded nonprofit in conjunction with the Nez Perce tribe. Those who read The Wisdom of Wolves will have a greater understanding of these charismatic animals (who share an ancestor with our domestic dogs), and, it is hoped, will be inspired to become active stewards of the wild world. Tags: 
Get clued in to what your dogs are trying to tell you.Just as the words “there,” “they’re” and “their” sound the same but mean different things, so do many dog behaviors. When dogs growl, they may do so to ask something scary to back off, or they may do so while they’re having fun. Dogs pull on-leash to get to a happy place as quickly as possible, or they pull to get away from a threat. They chew shoes, pillows and toys because … well … they’re dogs, or they chew a doorframe because they’ve been left home alone and are panicking. In order to teach our dogs to do things such as walk politely rather than pull or chew an approved toy rather than a doorframe, we need to understand which version of the behavior we’re looking at. A front-clip harness is a great tool for teaching enthusiastic leash-pullers to slow down, but it’s not going to help the dog who’s pulling to get away from a scary sewer grate or a toddler running straight at him.Tags: behaviorlifestyletraining
Is your dog lazy, or is an underactive thyroid to blame?My first dog, Ouzel, a quiet and gentle Lab mix, seemed to have an old soul from the start; a toddler could walk him on a leash. When he was two and staying at a friend’s while I was out of town, he tolerated being sat upon by her Aussie, Okra, pretty much the whole weekend. My friend suggested that he might be hypothyroid. And indeed he was. He had the classic signs: weight gain, lethargy, cold intolerance, and skin and coat changes (yeasty-smelling fur; dark, lacy patches in his groin), vague and subtle symptoms that had snuck in slowly. Basically, his metabolism was working at a crawl.Tags: wellnesshealth carehealthy living
Survey reveals similarities and differencesWe are more alike than we are different. That’s not just a fact, it’s a perspective on life, and it applies to people with pets. According to a recent survey of 1000 people with dogs and 1000 people with cats, both share a love for their furry family members, regularly take their pets on vacation with them and often eat their meals together. Guardians of both cats and dogs celebrate birthdays and holidays with gifts (though dog people are twice as likely to throw a full party to mark the occasion). People with dogs, as well as those with cats, take their animals into account when planning their weekly schedules. Tags: blogresearch
Events with dogs on the riseFun and fitness are two of the many advantages of having a dog, and if you want to combine them in a race, there has never been a better time. The number and variety of races which welcome (and even cater to) dogs are increasing. Health researcher Bethany Merillat, a self-described “nerdy academic”, researched races in the United States that allow dogs to participate. The results were greater insights into the range and breadth of dog races and a searchable database for finding dog races in your state.Tags: activities & sportsblogresearch
Dogs don’t show consistent paw preference across tasksI’m right handed. Utensils, pens, pencils, and of course my toothbrush are all operated by my right hand. Like roughly 90% of people, my left hand simply isn’t cut out for much on its own.  Dogs, outfitted with paws not hands, also appear to prefer one paw over the other. In dogs, paw laterality—or paw preference—is explored not with forks or pencils, but with more dog-appropriate motor tasks. Studies have asked which paw dogs use to reach toward food or which paw they use to remove something from their body, like a blanket. Researchers have even checked which paw dogs first lift to walk down a step and which paw they “give” when asked to “give” paw. To date, it has been assumed that, like us, dogs have a “hand” preference. Tags: behaviorresearch
Claudia KawczynskaSigrid NunezThe publishing world’s Year of the Dog celebration starts off auspiciously with the release of two stellar works that explore the life-changing effect dogs can have on us. Novelist Sigrid Nunez’s The Friend (Riverhead Books) is a poignant story of loss and grief as well as a meditation on the redemptive relationship between a woman and the Great Dane she inherits. Poet Stephen Kuusisto’s memoir, Have Dog, Will Travel (Simon & Schuster), is, true to its title, a joyous trip into the intensity of the partnership between a blind man and his guide dog. The Friend is told from the viewpoint of an unnamed female narrator, a writer and teacher who’s floundering after her best friend and mentor, a much-admired literary figure, commits suicide. Contemplative and darkly funny, she examines the meaning of their friendship and questions the point of being a writer après le déluge of profound loss. In recalled and imagined conversations, she probes the reasons for his death, often relying on examples from literature (great quotes abound). In the midst of this introspection, she gets a call from her mentor’s “Wife Three,” who informs her that he has bequeathed her his dog, a Harlequin Great Dane named Apollo. And though she lives in a small, pet-unfriendly NYC apartment, she accepts the bequest. At that point, the story’s focus...
Author of the novel The Friend In Sigrid Nunez’s new novel, The Friend (Riverhead), one of the central characters is a bereaved Great Dane named Apollo, who comes to live with the novel’s narrator in her small, “no dogs allowed” NYC apartment after his owner, the narrator’s mentor and best friend, commits suicide. It’s also a meditation on the writing life, and what it requires from those who live it. Bark’s editor-in-chief, Claudia Kawczynska, recently discussed the work with Sigrid Nunez. Bark: What informed this storyline–why did you add a dog to it?Tags: literatureinterviews
It was 45 degrees and drizzling, and I tucked my six-pound shivering Chihuahua, Chibi, into my coat. Wren and George, twice her size, were on leash, jacketed, game for the street. The rain started the minute I shut the door. I wanted to go back inside, but Wren and George had other ideas. We went to the green space nearby, where they gamboled off-leash, chasing robins and smelling the wet grass. When my hat soaked through and Chibi disappeared completely into my raincoat, I clicked the leash on George and whistled for Wren. She turned her head but then started to trot away from me, faster than I knew she could. On new pain meds for shoulder arthritis, she was quick and full of the devil.Tags: endpieceessays
Question: Recently, my dog and I were at the dog park and I called her to me. Though she eventually came, along the way she visited with and slammed into other dogs and even ran in the other direction first. Should I have given her treats when she finally did turn up? If I leashed her at that point, did she think she was being punished for coming to me?   Response: Though it feels weird to reward a dog who takes so long to respond, I definitely recommend doing so. It wasn’t the recall you were looking for, but she did eventually leave whatever was so interesting and come to you. If you don’t make her glad she did, she will be even less likely to do so the next time. Whenever possible, reinforce her with treats or toys, then release her to go play again so she doesn’t associate coming to you with losing her freedom.Tags: Bark Basicsdog parks/off leash areastraininglife with dogs
Sometimes it makes sense to bend the rules. Such was the case when hospital staff made the compassionate decision to grant a terminally-ill man his dying wish to see his dog one last time. Due to infection control, regulations at the renown Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, Scotland, do not allow animals into their facilities except under exceptional circumstances. Staff had asked relatives of the 70-year-old Peter Robson, who was suffering from fibrosis of the lungs, whether he wanted any comforts from home before he died. Robson’s only wish was to see his dog Shep one last time. Aware of the hospital restrictions, the family was shocked when hospital staff granted Mr. Robson’s wish and allowed Shep to be brought to his companion’s bed to say goodbye.Tags: family dognews
Campaign implores “Get a dog who gets you. Adopt adult.”Convincing people to adopt a puppy is an easy sell. At most shelters and rescues, puppies fly out the door immediately. Often, there are not enough of these little balls of fluff to meet the demand for young dogs in the community. Finding forever homes for adult dogs is much more difficult, but a recent ad campaign by the Animal Protective Association of Missouri (APA) is doing a great job with this challenge. With a series of print ads and the hashtags #grownassadult and #adoptadult, this organization is educating people about the many advantages of adopting grown-up dogs. Tags: humaneorgs that mattershelters & rescuesblog