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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Lab Mix Included in Restraining Order
Panzer becomes the first dog to be protected under a new law in Mass.
This summer Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a new law that allows pets to be included in domestic violence restraining orders and it's already been put to good use.   Just before Thanksgiving, a Labrador mix named Panzer became the first animal in Massachusetts to win protection since the new legislation passed. A Marshfield, Mass. woman filed the restraining order against her...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Taking Cues From Humans
Dogs look to us for guidance in times of uncertainty
My new rescue, Scuttle, is the bubbliest, most energetic puppy I've ever met--until something startles her. Then she freezes or runs into the corner and hides. I've never had a dog that was quite as fearful as she is, so I was often caught off guard when she reacted to something I wasn't expecting. I think I probably froze and then went into overcompensation mode, trying to feed her treats to...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Dogs Teaching Chemistry
Two talented pups make learning science fun
Chemistry was one of my worst subjects in school, but maybe if my teachers were dogs, I would've paid attention in class! Lauren Girard has been training her pets to do cool tricks ever since she got her Border Collie, Paige, five years ago. Her pups are so fun to watch that Lauren's sister shows her junior high school students videos of the dogs performing as a reward for good behavior. This...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
When Breed Bans Complicate
Dog loving baseball player is traded to an area with breed specific legislation
Breed specific legislation is unfair to the dogs who are automatically categorized as dangerous, but it's also unfair to the families who share their home with these banned breeds. Bully lovers have to worry about where to live and even where to vacation. The rich and famous are no exception. Last year, when MLB pitcher Mark Buehrle signed with the Florida Marlins, he chose to move to Broward...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Influencing Pit Bull Perceptions
Study finds that photos can influence how personality is perceived
It’s no secret that Pit Bulls are cast in a negative light, causing them to be passed over time and time again at the animal shelter.  Now with the popularity of online adoption web sites, like Petfinder, a good picture can make all the difference in whether a dog gets adopted or not.  I’ve seen great ways of boosting a pet’s chances, from using professional photographers (many who generously...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Blind Dog Paints for Charity
A Dachshund looses her eyesight but continues to create artwork
When Seattle artist, DeeDee Murray, taught her dog Hallie to paint, she had no idea that the activity would become so important to the both of them. Ten years after adopting Hallie, the tiny pup unexpectedly went blind in a matter of days. DeeDee then found out that Hallie had Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS), an autoimmune disease that attacks the retina. Hallie was...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
The Importance of Eating Breakfast
Study finds dogs perform better after a full belly
At my training club, we always tell people to come with a hungry pup. particularly those in our beginner classes who haven’t developed a solid working relationship yet. The thinking is that a dog on an empty stomach will be more motivated to stay focused for a reward. But it turns out that the opposite may be true. It's well known that humans perform better after we eat breakfast. So two...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Surviving Hurricane Sandy
Reflections on the storm and where to donate to help affected pets
In the 30 years I've lived in New York, I've never seen anything like the widespread destruction that Hurricane Sandy left behind. I was very fortunate that my family made it safely out of the storm. During the the hurricane I realized that us dog people are in a unique situation. While many of my friends stayed holed up in their homes, I had to venture outside, no matter what the weather, to...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Grants for Pet Friendly Women’s Shelters
AKC supports domestic violence services that welcome dogs
Nearly 50 percent of female domestic violence victims delay entering a women’s shelter because of concerns for leaving a pet behind. Not only does this prevent people from getting help, it also means animals remain in danger as well. 85 percent of women entering shelters talk about pet abuse in their family. Some shelters allow animals, making it easier for women to make the emotional decision to...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Anatolian Shepherd Transforms a U.K. Boy's Life
Kid and dog help each other through their special bond
When Will Howkins adopted Haatchi, a three-legged dog, he had no idea the impact the Anatolian Shepherd would have on his family. Will's son Owen has Schwartz-Jampel syndrome, a rare genetic condition that causes his muscles to be constantly tense. When it was time for Owen to start school, he quickly realized that he was different from the other kids and became scared to leave the house and...

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