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News: Karen B. London
Do Dogs React to Being Laughed At?
I wonder if it makes them feel bad
Marley had jumped up on our bed, as he is allowed to do, but the rule is that he has to get down if he is asked to do so. On this particular night, he seemed exhausted and eager to go to bed. Once ensconced in his favorite spot, he avoided eye contact with all of us. Wherever our faces were, he was looking the other way. I proposed the idea that perhaps he was trying to avoid being told to get...
News: Karen B. London
Can Your Dog Rock The Cone?
How to wear one with style
I’ve never liked the term “cone of shame.” That’s in part because a medical device that helps keep dogs safe has no business being associated with derogatory names. It’s also because I see no reason that dogs should ever be ashamed or made to feel so. Perhaps that’s why I was especially delighted to see these examples of pets whose time in a cone was treated light-heartedly. Decorating these...
Dog's Life: Humane
“Shelter” Is a Noun
“I could never set foot in one of those places. They’re so sad. I’d want to bring all the dogs home.” When I tell people I work for Humane Society Silicon Valley, I hear this a lot, the “it’s-so-sad” card. This is usually followed by a tale of horror about a local city shelter or, worse yet, how they cry whenever they see that Sarah McLachlan ad on TV. The Sarah McLachlan ad doesn’t make me cry,...
Dog's Life: Work of Dogs
On the Job: NYPD’s K-9 Teams
NYPD’s K-9 teams are loyal partnerships.
When NYPD officer Benny Colecchia brought his partner, Blaze, a nine-year-old German Shepherd, to the lower Manhattan emergency veterinary practice where I worked as surgeon in 2010, the big, stoic dog was displaying symptoms of colonic torsion, an uncommon twisting of the colon. If it wasn’t surgically corrected, Blaze could die. Given Blaze’s age, even with surgery, the prognosis was guarded....
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Don’t Take Two Littermates
Littermate syndrome has potential downsides.
The email described a familiar scenario: “We were planning to adopt one puppy, but the breeder said that raising two sisters would be easier. After we brought the girls home at nine weeks, their behavior became increasingly out of control. My husband and I could not get their attention for more than a second or two—it was as if we weren’t even in the same room. And then they started displaying...
Dog's Life: Travel
Pan-Am Hwy Trek
For the ultimate road trip, set your GPS for Patagonia via the Pan-American Highway
For those who cannot imagine a vacation without their canine companions, a road trip is the obvious way to go. And when it comes to roads, the Pan-American Highway is the mother of them all. Stretching 30,000 miles from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to the southernmost tip of Patagonia in Ushuaia, Argentina, it traverses almost every type of terrain imaginable, from deserts to rain forests and tropical...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Naturally Fearful Dogs
Not all “scaredy” dogs have been mistreated.
“She must have been abused,” is a comment I hear with alarming regularity. When a dog cowers and shakes or barks and growls at a person wearing a hat, it’s natural to think that the strong reaction is proof of previous harsh treatment by someone wearing a hat. It’s easy to conclude that a dog who’s scared of children was teased by the neighborhood Dennis the Menace. Similarly, it’s logical to...
News: Karen B. London
Honoring Dog Grief
No need to compare it to other grief
Here is Scout, whose family misses her so very much
Naturally, I don’t consider losing a dog to be LIKE losing a family member, because I know it IS losing a family member, and I’ve always shared deep sympathy with anyone who has had to say good-bye to a dog. Lately, friends mourning dogs, (including Scout, pictured here) have had a tendency to say in response to my condolences, “But I know what you’ve gone through lately,” or words to that effect...
News: Karen B. London
The Frozen Kong
It’s solid goodness
Straight from the freezer or straight from heaven?
There are a few kernels of wisdom related to dog training and behavior that I feel compelled to share with others as often as possible. One of these is the value of a frozen Kong. Of the many tools at our disposal for making life better for ourselves, and for our dogs, the frozen Kong is one of the most universal. Kongs offer a wonderful option for feeding our dogs in a way that keeps them...
News: Shirley Zindler
Making the Holidays Sweeter for Dogs
The holidays can present a different picture for animal control officers and shelter workers. It’s hard going to work each day and seeing all the homeless faces. Some eager and hopeful, some scared and lonely. All in need of someone to show them how good it can be. Of course not everyone can adopt a pet and certainly in most cases pets shouldn’t be given as gifts. The exception is a parent who is...

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