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News: JoAnna Lou
Dogs are Born to Run
Study finds that our pups experience “runners high”
Sometimes it takes a good amount of effort to get myself off the couch and out for a run. But when I manage to get moving, it feels great. On the other hand, my dogs seem to naturally love running and could probably gallop around all day. As it turns out, exercising is another way that humans and canines are alike. Researchers at the University of Arizona recently found that, like people, dogs...
News: JoAnna Lou
Social Network Finds Lost Dog
A new website connects neighbors online
Years ago, it took a runaway cat for me to befriend several of my neighbors who lived down the street. Eventually Izzy was found and I gained some new friends in the process. Unfortunately, it often takes an emergency to get communities to rally together. As we become more and more dependent on technology, our isolation has only become worse. A recent study found that over 65 percent of adults...
News: JoAnna Lou
Agility by Scent
A handicapped dog negotiates obstacles with his nose
Navigating an agility course isn’t easy, so it would seem impossible for a dog who can’t see or hear. But there’s one pup in Texas who is proving everyone wrong. Charlie is from a litter of deaf and blind puppies who were slated to be euthanized at a Texas shelter. Tara Stermer, a local trainer, and her friend, Carol Knight, took in Charlie, the mom, and two of the other puppies. Tara and Carol...
News: JoAnna Lou
The Growing Pet Weight Loss Industry
Companies respond to the canine obesity problem
Human weight loss is a billion dollar industry, covering everything from books to personal training. When I first heard about a local doggy daycare’s canine “fat camp,” I thought it might be taking advantage of our obsession with shedding pounds. Activities at the camp include hikes, walks on a treadmill, doga (canine yoga!), and swimming. The marketing is certainly creative, but the camp is...
News: JoAnna Lou
How We Choose Our Pups
Study looks at how adopters decide a dog is “the one”
The first thing I noticed about my oldest dog, Nemo, was the cluster of cute freckles on his nose. But I knew he was “the one” as soon as I held him in my arms and he licked my face. The ASPCA wants to understand more about how we pick our pets so they can better help homeless animals find new homes. They conducted a study of 1,500 prospective adopters at five animal shelters across the nation...
News: JoAnna Lou
Dogs of the Titanic
The doomed ship's survivors included three canines
April 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Knowing that only 31 percent of the ship's human passengers survived, I was surprised to learn that three dogs made it safely to New York. Only first class passengers were allowed to bring dogs on the voyage and many belonged to prominent families. There were 12 confirmed dogs on board the Titanic including a Toy Poodle, a Fox...
News: JoAnna Lou
Conflicting Gestures of Affection
Hugs have the opposite meaning to dogs
As a kid, I remember watching the emotional scene in the movie Homeward Bound and seeing the oldest boy hug his Golden Retriever, Shadow, upon being reunited. I also remember reenacting the scene many times with my poor cat (unfortunately for the cat, I didn't have a dog when I was younger). We regard our pets like family, so hugging them feels natural. According to a recent survey, 30 percent...
News: JoAnna Lou
Pit Bull Takes a Bullet for His Family
N.Y. pup chases away an intruder and survives a bullet to the skull
Pit Bulls get a bad reputation in the media, especially in my area of New York. But a heroic Staten Island pup brought the bully breed a bit of much deserved positive press this week. On Saturday, Justin Becker and Nicole Percoco had an intruder visit their apartment, posing as a FedEx deliveryman. As the man tried to force his way inside, Justin trapped the armed suspect in the doorway, but was...
News: JoAnna Lou
From the Round Pen to the Office
Building better work dynamics through herding sheep
I fund my agility addiction with a job in corporate professional development. Over the years, I've seen a lot of parallels between how people and dogs learn. For instance, human or canine, it's best to break down new behaviors into small achievable pieces. And, whether it comes in the form of a good performance review or a click from a clicker, feedback is rarely given often enough. We have a...
News: JoAnna Lou
Breed Ban: Next Stop Airlines
United is next in line to discriminate against certain dogs
The United/Continental Airlines merger has been causing quite the stir lately. And because United is a federal contact carrier, any policy changes greatly affect military personnel. Last month, the airline changed the way they transport pets, dramatically increasing fees flying into countries with certain regulations. United ended up making an exception for military families, but it ruffled a...

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