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Blog: Karen B. London
Man Saves Dogs With Lasso
They were trapped in a canal
Some skills are like riding a bicycle and never fade away. Those hard-won skills sometimes prove useful in unexpected ways years later. Take Jesus Villanueva, who learned to lasso in Jalisco, Mexico when he worked on a cattle ranch. It had been 30 years since he had roped an animal, but when he had the opportunity to save two dogs being swept away in a canal in Yakima County, Wash., he lassoed...
Blog: Karen B. London
Fallen Navy SEAL’s Dog Lies By Coffin
Image moves many people
Navy SEAL Jon Tumlinson died in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011. After leading the family into the gym where the funeral was held, his dog Hawkeye stayed by the coffin. Jon’s cousin, Lisa Pembleton, took a photograph of Hawkeye lying by Tumlinson’s coffin, and this stirring image has attracted attention worldwide. Among the many people moved by this photograph was Jon Lazar, who played...
Blog: Karen B. London
Photographing Terminally Ill Dogs
“Joy Sessions” by Sarah Beth Photography
The service dog’s name was “Joy” and photographing her had a profound affect on Sarah Ernhart. The photo session was a gift from a friend of Joy’s guardian, who was in hospice. Joy was among the most important individuals in the woman’s life, and the pictures meant so much to her that it inspired Sarah to start something new with her business, Sarah Beth Photography. The dog’s name gave her...
Blog: Karen B. London
Dog With Math Skills
Is it a case of the Clever Hans Effect?
The news is full of stories about dogs with incredible abilities. As a dog lover, I adore hearing about amazing canine skills. As a scientist, I am often skeptical and wonder if the dog in question is really capable of doing what has been claimed. The story of Beau is one such case in which I have been made to wonder. According to his guardian David Madsen, and to many witnesses, Beau can do...
Blog: Karen B. London
Girl Scouts Buy Badges for Police Dogs
Cookie sales fund the project
Girl Scouts in Troop 10470 met officers last year during a safety presentation by the police. The girls were saddened to learn that the canine police dogs did not have their own badges, and they decided to do something about it. Buying badges costs money, and we all know how Girl Scouts raise money. They sell cookies. It took more than 1,000 boxes to raise enough money to buy badges for the...
Blog: Karen B. London
Favorite Summer Movie Gets a Lot Right
Animal accuracy in Hollywood a rare treat
It’s always fun to scoff at Hollywood’s attempts to be scientifically correct, and the opportunities come up so often that resisting the urge to poke fun is usually futile. That’s why it was such a surprise to catch Disney getting so much right in the animated movie Bolt. If you're looking for a good kid-friendly summer rental that gets a suprising amount of canine behavior right, here's a good...
Blog: Karen B. London
Sound Sensitivity [Video]
Some dogs don’t have it
Last fall, we were dog sitting for a delightful dog called Marley. His breed is best described as “Hmm, hard to say. I’d guess he has some hound in him, but after that I’m mystified.” (Check out the blog Canardly Marley to see what people have guessed about his breed.) Anyway, while spending a lovely four days with Marley, I learned a lot about him. It’s always a process getting to know a new...
Blog: Karen B. London
Service Vest Controversy
EBay listing causes anger
No matter what you want to buy, eBay probably has it. Looking for an 1897 Pocket Kodak camera? What about a gold-plated mango fork? Or perhaps you seek a service dog vest about which the seller says, “Use this for your good puppy and take her shopping with you. May have to play blind or stupid, but you love your puppy.” This listing, which is no longer up, angered many people. Those with...
Blog: Karen B. London
The Floor is Common Ground
How has your use of the floor changed?
Recently, I decided to stretch on my living room floor. Naturally, moments later there was a dog right beside me, sniffing my hair, pawing at my leg and generally expressing enthusiasm about joining in the fun. Maneuvering through a series of stretches is far more entertaining with a companion, and I never mind the company of dogs, but it did make me ponder how I use and share my floor. In...
Blog: Karen B. London
Paws to Read
Literacy improves when kids read to dogs
When kids read to dogs, the dogs don’t judge kids who are still learning how to read or those who may feel hesitant about their skills. Dogs don’t laugh or tease, either. That makes the experience of reading to dogs very different than reading when other kids, or even adults, are around. Kids become more confident and are willing to spend time reading when the listener is a dog. Practice...

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