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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Crowdfunding a Canine Film
Student makes a documentary about a special town dog
From the outside, Rockford, Alabama is just another symbol of the bad economy, a community of just 400 people on the verge of becoming a ghost town. The recession hit Rockford hard, forcing many of the town's shops to close and many people to move away in search of jobs. But those who know Rockford, know that it's a special town with a rich history and character. Ava Lowrey, a film student at...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Sniffing Out Superbugs
A Beagle is trained to detect Clostridium Difficile
With the recent flu outbreak, controlling contagious diseases has been a hot topic lately.  While the flu is mostly a seasonal challenge, hospitals and nursing homes battle "superbugs," or antibiotic resistant bacteria, year round. Illnesses related to superbugs can be difficult to control in health care facilities and pose a serious health threat.  Transmission can be prevented with early...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Mistaken Identity
Labradoodle masquerading as a lion results in a 911 call
It was a case of mistaken identity. Earlier this week, a 911 call came in reporting a baby lion walking down Colley Avenue in Norfolk, Va. The police immediately called the Virginia Zoo, but all lions were accounted for. It turns out that the big cat in question was a 3-year old Labradoodle named Charles and the caller wasn't crazy. Charles really did look like a lion. Daniel Painter has his dog...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Playing with Our Pups
Dog Cognition Lab is looking for play videos
A couple years ago, I brought my two Shelties to the Harvard Canine Cognition Lab to participate in a study on dogs’ understanding of human gestures.  Boston isn’t exactly close, but I was happy to drive the three hours to check out the research being done on the canine brain. As pets become a bigger part of our lives, universities are getting more funding to understand what going on in our dogs...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Stolen Pup Reunited
NYC Good Samaritan saves a pet and identifies a dognapper
Last week the Bendrat family was shopping in Manhattan when they tied their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Marley, outside of a grocery store while they picked up a couple of last minute supplies. When the family came back out, the dog was gone and surveillance videos showed a man stealing Marley.  Later on the other side of the city, Tina Cohen saw a man selling a Cavalier Kind Charles Spaniel...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Dogs Join Protests in Chile
Demonstrators take on furry mascots at the front lines
For the past year and a half, students in Chile have been demanding education improvements, redistribution of wealth, and environmental protections. Their protests have meant almost daily confrontations with police, but there has also been another presence on the front lines. Stray dogs learned to follow the sounds of sirens after realizing there were water cannons at the other end. The strong...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Dog Eats Christmas Lights
Wires were the only clue to the intestinal blockage
Our pets eat a lot of strange objects, but this may be a first!  Charlie, a mixed breed pup in Southampton, England, recently got life-saving surgery to remove a string of Christmas lights that he ate. Charlie’s family didn’t even notice that the lights were missing, but became concerned after finding wires in his poop.  An x-ray painted a clear picture of his stomach’s tangled contents and the...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Diabetic Alert Dogs
Trained pups can outdo medical technology
When Dustin Hillman developed severe hypoglycemic unawareness, a complication of diabetes, it would often land him in the emergency room from low blood sugar.  At its worst, the condition left him unconscious more than six times in a two week period.  It also threatened Dustin's independence, almost forcing him to drop out of graduate school and move in with his parents. That all changed when a...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Bringing Comfort to Newtown, Conn.
Therapy dogs help a grieving community
No words can describe the tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday. As we try to make sense of the second deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, most of us can only begin to imagine what the Newtown, Conn. community is going through right now. People around the world have offered to help in any way they can, including a team of therapy dogs from Illinois. Nine Golden...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Puppies for Rent
College student makes dogs available to fill a void
I missed my pets so much when I was in college, especially when I was stressed out during exam time.  After graduation, I volunteered with Nemo and other therapy dogs to visit students at a local university during finals.  It always made me wish I had visiting pups to cheer me up during those stressful nights. After seeing how many students at Bringham Young University were craving a pet fix,...

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