"The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog."

How to train your dog?

Training-A-Puppy“Obedience Training is among the best actions you can take for your dog or yourself” and puppy, said Greg Smith canine consulting.
Obedience coaching doesn't solve all conduct problems, but it may be the foundation for solving about any problem just. Training opens up a relative line of conversation between you as well as your dog. Effective communication is essential to instruct your pet about what she actually is wanted by you to do. You can train her anything from 'remain' (don't bolt out the entranceway) to 'sit' (don't leap up on the site visitors) to 'off' (don't chew the furniture).
Dogs are social creatures and without proper coaching, they shall behave like animals. They shall soil your home, destroy your belongings, bark excessively, dig holes in your backyard, fight other canines and bite you. Nearly all behavior issues are perfectly regular canine activities that happen at the incorrect time or location or are fond of the wrong point. For example, your dog will eliminate on the carpet of outside instead; your dog will bark forever long rather than just when a stranger will be prowling around outside; or your dog will chew furniture rather than his own toys. The main element to preventing or dealing with behavior problems is understanding how to teach your dog to redirect his organic behavior to outlets which are suitable in the domestic establishing.
Obedience training can be an easy way to establish the social hierarchy also. Whenever your dog obeys a straightforward request of 'come right here, sit,' she actually is showing compliance and regard for you. It is NOT essential to set up yourself as best dog or innovator of the pack through the use of extreme measures like the so-known as alpha rollover. IT IS POSSIBLE TO teach your pet her subordinate part by teaching her showing submission for you in a paw increase (shake fingers), roll over or hands lick (provide a kiss). Most canines love performing these methods (obedience instructions) for you personally which furthermore pleasantly acknowledge that you will be in charge.
Obedience training ought to be fun and rewarding for you personally and your dog. It could enrich your partnership and make living more enjoyable together. A well-trained canine is more confident and may more securely be allowed a larger amount of independence than an untrained one. A tuned dog shall come when called.
Some social people debate whether you'll be able to train puppies, and other people ask whether it's possible to teach a vintage dog new tricks. The solution to both questions can be an unequivocal YES. Whatever the age group of one's dog, the proper time to now begin training is right! The most important amount of time in your dog's existence is at this time. Your dog's conduct is constantly changing. Today won't necessarily remain this way forever a dog that's well-behaved. New problems can develop always. Existing problems can usually get worse.
Enroll in an area dog obedience training course to understand the basics. Then most training and teaching can and really should be done in your house. It is advisable to begin trained in an area that's familiar to your pet and with minimal quantity of distractions as you possibly can. When you sense both you as well as your dog are experienced at several obedience instructions, then take these instructions to different areas. Introducing distractions might seem like again starting all over, but it's worth your time and effort. In reality, who cares if your pet will sit remain when nobody is around? What you need is really a dog who'll sit-stay when company reaches the hinged door. Who cares if your pet heels beautifully is likely to back yard? But you have to start there in the event that you eventually want your dog who'll heel beautifully when strolling down Union Street.
If you want your pet to be obedient in your vehicle, guess where you must practice? In the event that you suddenly want your pet to down-stay when you are trying to shift over 3 lanes to create an exit, then you've got to find time to exercise those obedience instructions in the automobile long before you will need them. Don't drive and exercise simultaneously. Practice while the motor car is parked or while another person is driving.
Keep the obedience workout sessions sweet and short. It is boring and boring to routine tedious and lengthy workout sessions. Instead, integrate coaching into your day to day routine. Make obedience coaching fascinating and meaningful to your pet. If Pup insists on pursuing you from space to room when you are getting prepared for the day, insist he have something to accomplish too then.
"Heel" from the bed room to the toilet. "Down-stay" as long as you're brushing your tooth. "Heel" from the toilet to your kitchen. "Sit-remain" while grinding the coffees. "Go discover the ball" when you get dressed. Right now "go obtain the leash" so that you can get a walk. "Sit" once the doorway is opened, "sit" once again when the doorway is shut. And so on. Make sure that obedience coaching infiltrates your dog's favourite activities and your dog's favorite actions infiltrates coaching. Your dog's favorite actions should become training, in order that training gets the dog's favorite activity.

Enhancing the Powerful Canine Nose

Scientists discover that zinc can triple a dogs' sensitivity to odors.
Dogs have amazing noses that we rely on for sniffing out everything from explosives to cancer. A new study has shown that we might be able to enhance their sense of smell with tiny particles of zinc. Scientists at Auburn University in Alabama found that spraying nanoparticles of the metal can triple a dogs' sensitivity to odors.

The zinc effect by discovered by chance while researchers were investigating its ability to kill cancer cells. When they isolated the zinc nanoparticles and added them to tissue taken from the noses of rodents, the electrical activity tripled in the presence of an odor.

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Behavior of Hoarding Victims

These dogs don’t act quite like other dogs

When people accumulate animals in large enough numbers that the basic needs of those animals cannot be met, it’s called hoarding. Rescues of dogs from hoarding situations often make the news because the conditions are generally horrific—unimaginably unhealthy and unsanitary. There is usually significant malnutrition and disease, and death is common. Whenever possible, dogs rescued from such situations are nursed back to health and adopted into pet homes.

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Make-A-Wish Request to Help Shelter Pups

11 year old Anna Getner forgoes vacations and concerts to create a play space for dogs.
Most Make-A-Wish foundation wish requests involve traveling to places like Disney World or Paris, or meeting celebrities. But Anna Getner, a sixth grader at Middlebrook School in Wilton, Conn. had a different dream in mind. If anyone deserved a fancy vacation, it was her. The 11-year old recently completed an 821-day long treatment regimen for leukemia.

But when Make-A-Wish Connecticut asked Anna what her one true wish would be, she told them that she wanted to make a puppy playroom at the local animal shelter. Anna had a very specific vision for an indoor/outdoor park for the rescue dogs to feel comfortable and to serve as a nice place to meet potential adopters.

Make-A-Wish worked with local business, volunteers, and other supporters, who were eager to help make the space a reality.

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11 Things I Learned Volunteering at an Animal Shelter


Shannon Kopp Rescue Dog (Puppy)

1. Every time you volunteer, you are fueled by love. And that kind of fuel is different from greed, or fear, or competitiveness. It will give you the strength to do things you never thought you could do. And then some.

2. Dress for the occasion, meaning wear jeans and a T-shirt that have seen better days. Leave your jewelry, especially dangly earrings, at home. Keep your hair in a messy bun (some dogs mistake pony tails for rope toys). Please don’t bother with makeup, it will inevitably be licked off your face. And for the love of God, no flip flops. The day you wear them will be the day you inevitably step in poop.

3. Don’t be afraid to talk to the animals. Tell them about the advice you give but cannot follow. Tell them your secrets and fears. And then let their tongues and thumping tails and clumsy paws remind you that there are still plenty of reasons to smile. That life is not as serious as it seems.

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How and Why Dogs Play Revisited: Who’s Confused?

Beliefs do not substitute for data

Watching dogs play is very exciting, and there has been a lot empirical research on how and why dogs (and other animals) engage in this activity with boundless zeal. A number of people have asked me to comment about dog play after reading this section in a new book by Raymond Coppinger and Mark Feinstein called How Dogs Work. So, I decided to do so.

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There’s a Dog Up a Tree

Even more surprising, it’s a Great Dane

We all know that rescue people are called in to save cats from trees. It’s not even that unusual for kids to need help getting back down to earth from time to time. However, when firefighters were called to help a Great Dane who was stuck in a tree, they thought it was a prank—until they arrived and saw Kora, all 120 pounds of her perched 20 feet high in a huge tree.

Her guardians don’t know how Kora managed to get up so high in that tree. They do know that she loves to wander and that she chases small animals, so their best guess is that some little critter enticed her to jump a five-foot fence and climb so high in the tree that she couldn’t get down.

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Rescue Tubes

Insurance against the unexpected

We all go to great lengths to keep our dogs safe when they are with us, and also when we must be away from one another.  Safety measures can be basic, like a leash or a crate. They can also be more complex, such as microchipping or an industrial grade fence. Information is big part of safety, which is why many people have their dogs wear identification tags or have their phone number embroidered on the collar.

I recently learned about a product that is another tool in the safety battle, and it’s one that is all about information. It’s called “Dogs on Board: Open in Emergency” and it stores information about your dog. It’s designed to attach to your dog’s crate or be stored in your car, and you can put any material in there that you need emergency personnel to know in any urgent situation.

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Fighting Valley Fever

Chocolate lab sits on the dried grass. Discussions of Valley Fever in Arizona's research group.

Arizona genetics researchers are taking the unusual step of asking for dog lovers’ help in fighting a mysterious, potentially lethal infection that plagues both dog and man.

They are looking for dogs to be registered and potentially to have their DNA collected to help combat valley fever, a fungus-based disease once confined to the Southwest desert but is now spreading across the country.

Valley fever can be triggered by inhalation of just a handful of spores of a particular fungus. People, dogs and cats are susceptible to the illness that was once believed to occur only in Arizona and California. The disease is not contagious and is not spread from species to species.

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Pawternity Leave

More companies are providing time off for new U.K. pet parents.
A new benefit is joining maternity and paternity leave, and it has to do with kids of the four legged variety.

According to pet insurance provider, Petplan, nearly one in 20 new pet owners in the United Kingdom have been offered time off to care for furry family members. Dubbed pawternity leave, this perk ranges from a few hours to up to three weeks of paid time off.  

Insurance company Mars Petcare was one of the first companies to institute a formal policy, which allows employees 10 hours of paid leave when adding a new pet to the family. This allows people to take their pups to a training class or veterinary appointment, or just spend quality time creating a bond. Mars also has a pet friendly office where employees can bring dogs to work, so they clearly already have a progressive attitude in this area.

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Not-So-Picky Drinkers

Is your dog bothered by foul water?

Dogs are famous for drinking out of the toilet. Though that does make me wrinkle my nose, it is far from the most disgusting water that I have seen dogs drink. I’m not talking about dogs who are lost in the desert taking in fluid from any source to stay alive. Even from my human perspective, that seems like an extremely rational choice.

I’m talking about healthy, well-cared for pets who think that a nearly dried up scum-covered pond that is more muck than water looks extremely appetizing. I’m thinking of dogs who pass up a freshly filled, clean water bowl to lick the muddy spots that melted off my snow boots and onto the kitchen floor. And I’m calling to mind those individuals who are drawn to the water that has run through the pot containing a houseplant and into the saucer below. Yes, I’m referring to the one that is coated with algae and has probably never been cleaned.

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How Much is a Dog Worth?

The Supreme Court of Georgia will soon decide if pets are worth more than their 'market value."
Our pets are cherished family members who share our bed, accompany us on walks, and cheer us up when we're sad. But in the eyes of the law, animals are pretty much considered property. This distinction will soon be up for debate in Georgia.

Back in 2012, Bob and Elizabeth Monyak boarded their two dogs at Atlanta kennel Barking Hound Village while they were on a family vacation in France. When the Monyaks dropped the pups off, they gave special instructions to give Rimadyl to their Labrador Retriever, Callie, for her arthritis. But when they picked the dogs up, it seemed like something went wrong. Their Dachshund mix, Lola, had no appetite and started trembling the next day.

When they took Lola to the veterinarian, she was diagnosed with renal failure, which the vet believed was consistent with an overdose of Rimadyl. Lola received countless treatments from veterinarians in Georgia and Florida, but sadly Lola passed away nine months later.

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Lean, mean running Bean

For all his flaws quirks, and despite his litany of fears, there is one thing that focuses Cooper, gives him confidence, and lets him blow off all that pent-up drive: Running. Cooper loves to run. He would run until he dropped, sleep it off, then get up and run some more if we let him. (We […]

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On being my dog’s guardian #GrainFreeForMe

With his 13th birthday on the horizon, Emmett’s facing a handful of age-related problems like arthritis and loss of muscle mass. We’ve been working with him on a series of measures to prevent injuries. For instance, we put a set of pet steps at the foot of the bed to help him climb up and down […]

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8 Great Backyard Ideas to Delight Your Dog

These dog-friendly landscape and garden ideas will keep your pooch safe, happy and well exercised outdoors

A dog or dogs happily romping in the backyard is a classic dog-owner dream. Achieving this, though, takes more thought than just sending your dog out in the yard and hoping for the best. Take the time to make sure your yard provides your dog with the amenities he or she needs and loves. Fortunately, pet-friendly yard amenities are also great for people as well.

 

Modern Landscape by Pleasant Hill Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Huettl Landscape Architecture

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New Life-Saving Law in Florida

It’s now legal to break into cars to rescue pets and people

The governor of Florida just signed a law making it legal to break into a car to rescue a person or a pet who is “in imminent danger of suffering harm.” It applies to vulnerable people and pets (including cats and dogs), but does not apply to farm animals. Many people and pets die each year because they have been left in overheating cars, so this law could save many lives. It is especially important in a hot southern state like Florida with the summer months approaching.

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Staging a 'Pit-In' to Encourage Adoption

Arizona shelter worker camps out until an overlooked pup finds a forever home.
Lizzy, a three year old Pit Bull Terrier mix, had been passed over by potential adopters countless times at the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control Shelter in Phoenix. Her breed already put her at a disadvantage, but Lizzy also had a missing eye and behavioral issues that require her to be an only pet. However shelter worker Melissa Gable knew that Lizzy was special and deserved a great home.
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B.A.T. Proactive Training Gives Dogs The Tools They Need To Succeed

Canine Empowerment
Grisha Stewart

You’re walking your dog when an off-leash Lab puppy comes sprinting your way. Knowing that your dog is about to freak out, you shout, “Call your dog!” in the vain hope that the caregiver will (a) call her puppy and (b) actually be able to get the puppy under control. The common response, “Don’t worry, she’s friendly!” sends your pulse soaring.

It’s meant to reassure you, but few phrases are more terrifying when you know your dog is going to bark, lunge or worse.

What do you do? Outdated training advice directs you to just hold your ground until your dog goes berserk, then correct him with a hefty leash pop. That might make you feel like you’re doing something about the problem, but it’s actually not the best time to teach your dog a lesson. To get a predictable response, build up your dog’s experience with success, not failure.

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Six Tips on Caring for Older Dogs

We look at ways to make their lives easier.

In your eyes, your dog will alway s be a puppy, even if she’s getting up there in canine (and human) years, or her muzzle is beginning to gray. However, eventually the day will come when you notice that your pup is panting a little bit harder after a long walk and struggling to climb onto your bed. It’s time to start adjusting to the lifestyle needs of an older dog.

When a dog is considered a senior largely depends on breed. Smaller dogs (such as Chihuahuas or Terriers) don’t reach their golden years until they’re 10 or 12, while a Great Dane may attain senior status at the age of five or six. Beyond size and breed, genetics, diet and environment all have an impact on a dog’s life expectancy.

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The Challenge of New Experiences

Accepting them is a lifelong process

Dogs learn to be comfortable with the world through experience. Some dogs take most novel things in stride while others struggle to deal with anything different. Behaviorally healthy, well-socialized dogs have an easier time handling the unexpected than dogs who had rougher starts in life or are naturally less go-with-the-flow.

Learning to cope with new experiences is a lifelong process because there are an infinite number of them. For example, few dogs have had to deal with a child doing handstands, but Marley is one of them. He is accepting, though not particularly thrilled, about this activity. Here he is as my son wanders around him while walking on his hands. (Normally I encourage my son to be thoughtful of the dog and do his handstands at a greater distance from Marley, but I needed a video . . . )

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Couple Buys a Shelter in Israel

While scouting pups in need, a Canadian rescue organization ends up buying a shelter in Israel.
A few years ago Danielle Eden and her husband Rob Scheinberg were in their home country of Israel when they encountered four street dogs they decided to rescue and bring back to their current home in Canada. Inspired by the pups in need, they decided to create Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary in King City, Ontario, a custom made haven for animals waiting to be adopted. The 50-acre sanctuary features dogs in luxurious rooms decorated with chandeliers, paintings, and custom beds that look like antique furniture. The goal is to create a special space for people to interact with their next potential family member.
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Dachshunds Playing Hockey

We can all enjoy Canada’s favorite sport

Playing is an important part of being happy, and Crusoe the Dachshund has this part of his daily routine in order. In this video, he is playing hockey (or some variant of the sport) with his friend Oakley, who is also a Dachshund.

So many aspects of this video make it fun to watch. There’s the fact that it has dogs in it, which is of course the most important piece. There’s also the whimsical music, the anatomy-enhancing uniforms and the bouncy behavior of the dogs. The skillful editing is a big part of what makes this video so entertaining. My favorite moment is at about six seconds in when one of the dogs looks to his right as though he really is on the ice monitoring the positions of the other players in order to plan his next move.

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Time Apart Can be Beneficial

Dogs may need a break from each other

“I haven’t been more than 30 feet away from him in almost nine weeks!”

That was my older son’s answer when I asked the kids why they were uncharacteristically cranky with each other. It was a fair answer because it was almost literally true. When we spent all of last summer in Europe, it was a lot of family time. Only my husband, whose work was the reason for our travels there, spent some time away from the rest of us.

I know better than to allow that degree of excessive togetherness between dogs in the same family, and I was a little chagrined to realize I had made such a mistake with my human family. Oops. Even dogs who adore each other and are truly the best of friends benefit from some time apart. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Unless your dogs are the rare exception because they are emotionally incapable of being away from one another, some quality time apart can be advantageous.

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The Health Benefits of Having a Dog

Are dogs the ultimate health care companion?

They are funny, uplifting and sometimes seem to understand us in a way no other human can. Science is continuing to prove that the animals in our lives offer us much more than companionship. Simply by sharing our homes, pets can help ease our distress and protect us from allergies. Specially trained dogs can even sniff out developing diseases and warn us away from foods we should not eat. Here is a list of ways in which having a dog around can affect your health for the better.

GET STRESS-FREE SMILES

Having a dog to come home to at the end of a long day is proven to reduce stress and lower blood pressure.

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Service Dog is Mistakenly Adopted

An autistic boy nearly loses his pup for good when the Weimaraner runs away without identification.
Last August, the Carlisle family moved from Alabama to Florida with their autistic son's service dog in tow. However, during their first few days there, Delilah, a six year old Weimaraner, panicked in the new environment and escaped from their apartment.

Delilah had been by eight year old Zack's side since she was a puppy, detecting his seizures, providing comfort, and helping him communicate. Delilah draws Zack out of his shell and is often the only one who can get him to talk.

The family searched for days, handling out flyers and checking the local animal shelter, without luck. Zack was lost without Delilah. Then, in November, Zack's mom, Michele, came across a photo of Delilah on the Facebook page of a shelter 45 minutes away. But the family's excitement didn't last for long. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay had put Delilah up for adoption since she didn't have identification tags or a microchip. And the lovable pup found a home within days.

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Inhibition Affects Problem Solving

Experience with relevant objects has no effect

Anyone whose dog loves to get into the garbage for a trash party or is better than Houdini at escaping from a crate knows that dogs are problem solvers. In fact, their ability to solve problems is an active area of research, and the results are not always intuitively obvious. (That’s the way that scientists express what other people might say as, “Whoa! That’s not what I expected!”)

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Q&A Author New Book Dr. Petty’s Pain Relief for Dogs

Though in many ways, our dogs communicate with us all the time, when it comes to their pain, we have to figure it out on our own. Here to help with that daunting task is Michael Petty, DVM, author of the newly released Dr. Petty’s Pain Relief for Dogs in a Q&A with Bark editor Claudia Kawczynska.

What are the most common ways dog guardians can recognize that their dogs are in pain, beyond obvious signs like limping or decreased appetite?

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Home Exercises for Dogs With Painful Conditions

Tips to increase agility, mobility, strength and balance.

Not all exercises are appropriate for every condition, so it is important that your dog receive an accurate diagnosis prior to starting any of these rehabilitation exercises. It is equally important to make sure that your veterinarian gives the okay for your dog to start these exercises. Some are vigorous in nature and not compatible with certain medical conditions such as, for example, congestive heart failure.

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Runaway Pup Finds a Home and a Job

Gumby runs away from multiple homes until he finds a permanent spot at the shelter.

Last month, a seven year old hound mix named Gumby escaped yet again from his seventh adoptive home. It was the eleventh time he ended up back at the Charleston Animal Society (CAS) in the last year and a half.

When Gumby came to CAS in September 2014, his first adoption lasted only three days, the first of many short lived homes. The charming pup had no trouble finding new families, despite being warned of his Houdini-like skills, but Gumby always found a way to escape. Everyone loved Gumby, but all of the adopters ultimately returned him fearing he'd be injured on one of his adventures.

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Tribute: A Dog Named Jake

T.P. and Jake, Tempera on canvas mounted on board, 48 by 31 inches (121.9 by 78.7 cm) Painted in 1938. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.
The Benton family

The painting depicts a boy and his dog in a style that has become known as American Regionalism. It is signed “Benton” for Thomas Hart Benton, the movement’s greatest practitioner, best known for his murals embracing the populist idealism of pre-WWII America. On this painting’s reverse side is inscribed “For T.P.’s birthday/11 years old/From Dad.” The painting depicts the artist’s son, T.P. Benton, and his beloved dog, Jake.

Last November, the painting was one of more than 500 works from the A. Alfred Taubman collection auctioned at Sotheby’s in New York. T.P. and Jake was painted in 1938 and was estimated to fetch between $1.5 and $2.5 million. After a flurry of bidding, it sold for $3,130,000. Appropriately, the sale of the painting benefited the Sam Simon Charitable Giving Foundation, dedicated to saving the lives of dogs.

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Acupuncture Can Help Dogs

Holistic Medicine
Back Problems / Acupuncture

Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)—what some call a “slipped disc”—can smolder or it can strike full-blown, leaving your dog in excruciating pain and unable to walk. Initially, signs that a dog is afflicted can be subtle: a hesitation about going up or down stairs, paws that knuckle under or cross over, nail scuffing, an arched back, a tense abdomen. Dogs may shy from their food bowls to avoid bending their necks, or cry when picked up.

IVDD causes compression of the spinal cord and leads to weakness, pain and sometimes paralysis, and is divided into two categories: Hansen Type I and II. Type I often swoops in suddenly, usually in younger, smaller dogs ages three to six. The center jelly of the vertebral disc, called the nucleus pulposus, degenerates, then ruptures and presses on the spinal cord. Not surprisingly, the chondrodystrophic breeds (dogs with short legs and longbacks)—Dachshunds, Corgis, Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus and Beagles—are predisposed to this type.

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Goodbye, My Friend

The happiness, the laughs,
his barks, the baths
all he took with him.

The sorrow, the pain,
the tears, like rain,
left our hearts dull, lives dim.

The smiling eyes, the golden fur
tail wagging, heart pure
forever we remember him.

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On the Jaguar’s Trail

Detection dog essential for research success

For three years, scientist Chris Bugbee of Conservation CATalyst has been studying a jaguar named El Jefe, first with support from the University of Arizona and now from the Center for Biological Diversity. El Jefe is about seven years old and the only wild jaguar known to be in the United States. Most members of this species live further south, in Mexico and in other Latin American countries, but El Jefe has spent at least three years in the Santa Rita Mountains in southern Arizona. Jaguars are notoriously elusive, rarely seen and can have territories that cover hundreds of square miles, so the study of El Jefe represents a major success story. He’s not, however, the only animal associated with this study who is a success story.

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Cooper, the Hearing Ear Dog

It’s now part of Emmett’s permanent record. There it is, right at the top of his chart at his new vet’s office: Diminished hearing. To be honest, and to get my guilt out there, when asked how long it’s been in decline… well… I have no idea. None. Last year we were consumed with Lucas. […]

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Vet Ranch to the Rescue

Compassion in Action

Vet Ranch is a place where homeless animals come to be cured of treatable injuries or diseases that would otherwise result in their euthanasia. The brainchild of Matt Carriker, DVM, it’s solidly positioned at the intersection of technology and old-fashioned compassion in action. The young vet (Class of ’08) videos the animals he and his associates help— from the time they’re brought in, through their treatment, until they’re completely healthy and ready to be adopted—then posts the videos on YouTube. Both heartbreaking and heartwarming, the videos give rescue a face—and a wagging tail. Vet Ranch is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and all donations go directly to the cost of treating at-risk animals. 

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Can Dogs Detect Magnetic Fields?

New research suggests that canines may have a similar sense to migratory birds.
On the surface, dogs and birds don't seem like they have much in common. But a group of scientists in Germany may have uncovered an interesting similarity.

Many animals use the Earth's magnetic field for orientation and navigation. The most famous are probably migratory birds, which have been studied extensively, but others with this ability include select insects, fish, reptiles, and mammals.

Scientists attribute birds' magnetic sense to cryptochomes, light-sensitive molecules. Cryptochromes are a class of flavroproteins that are sensitive to blue light. They're involved in the circadian rhythms of plants and animals, and for some species, in the sensing of magnetic fields. Birds have cryptochrome 1a in their eyes' photoreceptors, which are activated by light to react to the magnetic field. But could our pups have this same ability?

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Book Review: The Drifter

Although this debut thriller isn’t about a dog per se, it does have a memorable and wellconceived canine character. Mingus, a large and rather ferocious dog, is hiding under a porch, awaiting his owner’s return when he is discovered by ex-marine Peter Ash. Ash is a war veteran plagued with his own devils who nonetheless works to help other vets and their families. Mingus lends his ample talents to assist Ash in his mission in this gripping, action-packed novel.

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Cover Your K-9 EMT Course Aims to Save Police Dogs’ Lives

Law dogs have the Police and Working K-9 Foundation on their side.
k9 Police Photo by Rob Hainer
During the program’s hands-on sessions, handlers practice splinting, bandaging and wound management on canine volunteers.
The foundation has provided more than 200 custom bulletproof and stab-resistant vests for California’s working K-9s.

Your Corgi is stung by a bee. Your Pit Bull snorts a foxtail, ingests snail bait or breaks her leg. Whatever the situation, you rush your beloved pup to the closest veterinary hospital and return home with a hefty bill and—more importantly—your recuperating dog.

But what if you’re a law-enforcement K-9 handler out in the field and your partner is panting uncontrollably after chasing a suspect in sweltering 90-degree weather? Or maybe your K-9 returns from a search through the woods with a swelling limb or suspicious bite on the neck. You’re nowhere near an animal hospital and your partner’s life may be in jeopardy. What do you do?

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Miraculous Dog at Sea

Californian pup survives five weeks after falling off of a fishing boat.
Last month, Nick Haworth was chartering a small fishing boat two miles off the coast of Southern California when his canine crew member, Luna, fell overboard and disappeared. Nick immediately called for help and started a search for the 1.5 year old German Shepherd/Husky mix. Even Navy crews from nearby San Clemente Island helped by looking for Luna from land and air. Sadly after two days of searching, Luna was still nowhere to be found. Nick was heartbroken.

But five weeks later, Luna miraculously showed up near a naval facility on the island. Crew members found her sitting by the main road, ready to be rescued. As soon as they opened the door and whistled, Luna jumped right in.

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Book Review: Sit! Stay! Speak!

This author has much to recommend her to Bark readers, including her decade-long work in animal rescue and this charming debut novel. Sit! Stay! Speak! introduces us to a troubled young woman, Addie Andrews, who relocates from Chicago to a small town in Arkansas after her fiancé tragically dies just before their wedding. She inherits her aunt’s house, which is sorely in need of her DIY skills. As she tries to find solace in restoration work, she is drawn out of her self-imposed seclusion when she finds a bedraggled Pit pup who needs her kindness and love even more. This is a touching and engaging book about friendships, family and the power of dogs to inspire changes in our lives.

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Dog Meds: From Supplements to Compounded Drugs and Generics

What should we be looking for?
How can it go wrong?
Jean Hoffman of Putney
The list is long...

When it comes to giving a dog a pill, a tasty disguise is often in order—trickery helps deliver the goods. But what if the dog isn’t the only one being fooled?

Sales of pet supplements are soaring, prescription drugs (“no prescription required”) are just a click away, and pharmacies are creating compounds tailored to a dog’s individual needs. Yet, tests keep proving that remedies aren’t always what their labels claim.

Veterinary drugs are federally regulated, but supplements fall into a regulatory abyss. In both cases, critics say, oversight is lacking. While Internet shoppers risk buying fake, unapproved and contaminated products, tainted pills can also be found on store shelves and in pharmacies.

Access to affordable medications is another issue. Can’t find a generic version of that expensive drug? It may be hidden in plain sight, thanks to covert efforts to block it.

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Book Review: Sire and Damn

We always welcome a new work from Susan Conant, one of the founding “dams” (along with Carol Lea Benjamin) of the dog mystery subgenre. A lover of all dogs, but with a special fondness for Malamutes, Conant has written another intriguing tale full of dogs, wit and keen insights into the foibles and follies of human behavior. Holly Winter’s good friend is getting married, and amid the hubbub and multitudes of visiting relatives, the bride’s dog is stolen. Not only that, a burglar is killed and a service dog might be next on the hit list. But as always, Holly and her fearless Rowdy not only solve the crime, they also prevent another from happening.

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Amtrak Incrementally Welcomes Dogs

The train line has been developing a program to include pets on trips.

A year ago, the White House and House of Representatives passed a bill to continue government funding for Amtrak. It also required the train line become pet friendly. While both political sides didn't fully agree, it was thought that the pet-related part of the bill won over many representatives for the bi-partisan vote. The provision was included in the bill by California Representative Jeff Denham who had been advocating for pet friendly trains since he realized several years ago that he couldn't ride Amtrak with his French Bulldog, Lily.

When the bill was passed, Amtrak had already been testing a small pilot program in Illinois, but this legislation gave the train line a year to figure out the parameters of an official program.

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Especially Breathtaking

What makes your dog’s beauty show?

Marley was in his element, taking a walk in one of his favorite spots with the nearby mountains showing off the last of their spring snow. The sunshine highlighted the reddish tones of his coat, and his face was radiant with happiness. I took a picture because my thought at the time was, “Everything about this moment shows off how magnificent this animal is.”

All dogs look especially attractive to me when they are happy, but it takes more than that to bring out the very best look in any dog. There’s often a perfect combination of factors that allows a dog’s beauty to show. It may have to do with their behavior at that moment, or the situation, or the specific facial expression. It’s rarely about how naturally nice-looking the dog is, because that’s not what’s important.

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Freddie Flealoader

It’s a summer day in 1994. Smoke drifts lazily toward the pale blue sky, its woody aroma penetrating the house. Looking out the kitchen window, I watch my husband Bill clear some of the acreage that will be our back yard. Bill drags a tree limb toward the fire. Carrying a small branch in his mouth, a stray dog follows close behind. He places the limb beside the fire, then follows Bill to retrieve more brush.

We had heard about a mutt who helped neighbors clean the creek after a hard rain. It had to be the same dog. The stray had been sleeping on a back porch of a nearby house, and each morning, the woman who lived there gave him a biscuit, his food for the day. Like hoboes of yesteryear, this dog apparently believed in working for his handouts.

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Book Review: Considerations for the City Dog

One would expect that a Boston-based, certified dog trainer’s first book would be about training a dog for city life, but McGrath’s is not a training guide. Instead, she explores bigger and broader subjects: how to be a responsible urban dog person and how to ensure that our relationships with our dogs are successful and fulfilling. She takes on subjects like breaches in dog-owner etiquette and other societal challenges that normally don’t come up in basic training class. We owe it to our dogs to read this resource-rich, highly informative handbook. As McCue-McGrath reminds us, we need to “know where they are coming from and what they need, and how to make their lives better,” which includes living in harmony with others in our communities.

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A Youthful Folly Leads To A Career Saving Animal Lives

Mother, Mutts and Mercies

Patches joined our family as a puppy when I was two, so she was 13 when I accidentally killed her. She was a mutt and looked like the RCA dog, all white with a brown patch over one eye, but 10 pounds bigger. She had 13 puppies in her first litter, which I took to mean she was Catholic, like our family of nine kids.

Patches licked everyone who came to the house: the Fuller Brush man, the Bourbeau brothers who lived across the street, even my crazy Aunt Madge. Patches smiled like a person, and when she was excited, she pranced, her nails clicking on the kitchen’s linoleum floor like castanets. Otherwise, she was the sole calm presence in the cyclone of our loud, melodramatic family.

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Two Dogs and a Parrot

This small volume of “lessons” and ref lections is written by a Benedictine nun who loves and appreciates animals. In it, she illuminates the signif icance that dogs and other pets have had in her life. Each chapter begins with a story of what an animal did to inspire qualities such as acceptance, purpose, enjoyment, empathy and diversity (plus many others). Each vignette is followed by a consideration of the importance those qualities should have in our lives. Not surprisingly, the book is constructed much like a sermon, but one that’s offered with a very tender, and at times humorous, tone.

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Book Review: Killing Trail

Foiling drug trafficking in Colorado’s high country keeps Deputy Mattie Lou Cobb and Robo, her K9 partner, on the run. But when Robo alerts to another, more ominous, scent—the remains of a teenage girl— the stakes get higher. The tightly plotted puzzle, which also involves a local vet, his daughter and a town’s dark secrets, scrolls out from there. Mizushima not only has a deft touch with dialogue, she’s also done her homework on the training and handling of law-enforcement dogs. This debut novel, with its bright, dedicated human and canine protagonists, is a promising first entry in what we hope becomes a series.

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