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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Pack Mentality?
New reality show features a family on a search for the perfect dog.
I don’t usually watch reality television, but when I heard about HGTV’s Leader of the Pack, I felt compelled to check it out. The show features the Reckseit family on a quest to find the perfect dog. They start out with eight rescues and vote off one per episode until they’re left with their new family member. The eliminated dogs are shown getting adopted by other people at the end of each...
Blog: Guest Posts
“Busted” on the Radio
Bark writer talks to Ron Reagan about puppy mills, May 4.
When I read about a giant puppy mill bust just north of Seattle in January, I was surprised. I had the mistaken impression that my little corner of the country was immune; that puppy mills thrived in the Ozarks, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Now, the local papers were detailing how 600 Chihuahuas, Shih Tzus, Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers and other small breeds were being liberated from shocking...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
The Dog Seen Around the World
Bo Obama inspires an international surge in PWD requests.
When the Obama family announced their new addition, animal groups around the nation braced for Bo-mania. In just three short weeks, Bo already has a book deal and a Beanie Baby on the shelves, catapulting the Portuguese Water Dog from a fishing breed once on the brink of “extinction” to an international sensation.  Global demand has spiked, resulting in people clamoring for a breed with little...
Blog: Guest Posts
Pay to Play
Once free, some dog parks now require a hefty fee.
When we lived in New Orleans, we regularly took our dogs to a fenced-in model airplane  field in the middle of City Park to play.  Friends who lived Uptown took their pups to a grassy levee area along the Mississippi River.  On especially hot days, we’d go to the lakefront, where Bayou St. John met Lake Pontchartrain, forming a perfectly shallow, sandy area for the dogs and their people. The good...
Blog: Guest Posts
Just Between Us
The Swine Flu outbreak should pose little risk to cats and dogs.
There is one worrisome scenario you can cross off your flu fear list. According to a recent statement from the ASPCA, the H1N1 virus—unfortunately known as “Swine Flu”—is not likely to jump the species barrier again and start infecting cats and dogs.   “At this time there is no data demonstrating any risk of dogs and cats contracting this strain of the virus,” says Dr. Louise Murray, the...
Blog: Guest Posts
Bad Chemistry
What’s worse than fleas? Maybe flea collars.
Almost before I finished typing up a blog about a disturbing report on the canine health risks posed by over-the-counter, spot-on pesticides, I saw the latest news about flea collars. Last week, the National Resource Defense Council filed a lawsuit alleging that 16 retailers and manufacturers—we’re talking the big guys here—failed to warn consumers about exposure to unsafe levels of known...
Blog: Karen B. London
Rip the Dog Has His Day
War hero’s medal fetches big money.
The prestigious Dickin Medal awarded to a British dog in the 1940s has sold at auction for $35,700 (or to be more accurate 24,250 British pounds), which was £10,000 pounds more than expected. The medal had been awarded to Rip, a wiry-haired stray, for his search and rescue work during World War II. He found more than 100 survivors who were trapped in the wreckage resulting from the German bombs...
Dog Culture: Tributes
A Poem for Mr. Peabody
Remembering a good friend in verse.
Always loyal and trusting, except when going to the vet! I’m talking about my four-footed friend, not a dog who was just a pet. I think how lucky I am to have had him all these years, Then quickly grab a Kleenex to wipe away the tears.   Seventeen years, not such a long time to those on two instead of four. But with four on the ground, long ears and a tail, seventeen years is a lifetime and...
Blog: Karen B. London
New American Humane Endowed Professorship
Bridging the chasm between academics and real world problems.
The American Humane Association has created an endowed chair at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work to focus on research into the human-animal bond and animal-assisted therapies. The professor who will occupy the position is Dr. Frank Ascione, an international leader in researching the bond between people and animals, and also in preventing cruelty to humans and other...
Blog: Guest Posts
Dog-friendly Hotels?
Double-check the fine pawprint.
As the owner of two 60-pound-plus pups, I am all too familiar with the bait-and-switch described in yesterday’s New York Times: Hotels draw in dual-species families with “dog-friendly” policies and then turn away canines weighing more than a big bag of kibble. Cutoffs start as low as 15 pounds. I really don’t understand why a hotel would exclude large dogs. The author of AAA’s Traveling With...

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