The Bark Blog Has A New Dog House
It's the day before Thanksgiving and folks at The Bark haven't dressed the tofurkey or spiked the sweet potatoes yet. We've been too busy--and excited--readying our new website, which launches today. Just in time for the holiday, we are happy to deliver a new portal to The Bark with lots of bells and whistles. You'll find the full text of many articles, plus web-only extras, such as downloadable patterns for D-I-Y projects, video interviews, and photos of smiling dogs that didn't make the magazine. You also get early notice about exclusive contests, such as a chance to win a private theater screening of Hotel for Dogs to benefit your favorite shelter or rescue.
The new site will also be the new home for our blog. We'll expand our efforts to keep track of news that matters in the dog world, from the sublime to the essential to the ridiculous. We hope you'll continue to check in and provide your perspective. One note, not all the posts from our old blog will appear at the new site.
We hope to hear from you when you sniff around the new site.
Does Petland Support Puppy Mills?
An eight-month-long investigation by the Humane Society of the United States alleges that Petland, the nation's largest puppy retailer, sells puppies from large-scale commercial breeders (otherwise known as puppy mills), despite telling customers that the pups come from reputable breeders. Last time I checked, reputable breeders do not sell puppies to be treated like retail merchandise, nor do they keep dogs in cages their entire lives, or dump or shoot them when they can no longer breed. Watch the "Petland Linked to Puppy Mills" video for more details.
Julia Kamysz Lane
Dog & Owner Reunited After 3 Years
What an incredible journey for Czar and owner Michelle Garza of Lisle, IL! The 13-year-old mixed breed finally came home after three years thanks to his microchip. I still can't believe a senior dog survived as long as he did. If you haven't already microchipped your pup, now's the time! And if your dog is microchipped, be sure to update your contact info. With the holidays upon us and company coming in and out on a regular basis, it'd be easy for your dog to make an unexpected escape. A microchip will give you peace of mind, and better yet, improve your dog's chances of being safely reunited with you.
Daily Dose of Feel Good
What could be better than a puppy rescued from a fire? How about dozens of puppies? Over the weekend, volunteers worked in the face of a raging fire fueled by hellish winds to evacuate 80 dogs from the California headquarters of Guide Dogs of America in Sylmar--not far from the Oakridge Mobile Home Park where nearly 500 homes were destroyed. Watch a story on the rescue. It seems a miracle that the Guide Dogs building was unharmed--the canines now all safely returned. I hope that the spirit of courage and generosity that saved these four-leggers will extend to all of the families and pets displaced by these fires.
Is Washington Going to the Dogs?
It certainly looks that way. When Senator Edward Kennedy, who is fighting a malignant brain tumor, returned to his Capitol Hill office today, he was accompanied by his wife Victoria and their two Portuguese Water Dogs. I figured dogs in the halls of Congress was news but it appears I'm simply out of the loop; Sunny and Splash are practically lobbyists.
The One She Saved
Sometimes its hard to imagine what your veterinarian is thinking. This honest report from the trenches by buckeyedoc, a veterinarian-turned-veterinary pathologist, provides some heartfelt insight.
The Myth of the Hypoallergenic Hound
The Obamas' quest for a hypoallergenic dog looks doomed. According to a story in today's Vancouver Sun, there is no such thing.
"It is a common misconception that people are allergic to a dog's hair, and it is falsely believed that dogs that shed less will not cause a reaction," the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology said.
"However, allergies to pets are caused by protein found in the animal's saliva and skin glands which gets deposited on the hair. These proteins are carried on microscopic particles through the air as an invisible aerosol. When inhaled, they trigger reactions in allergic people. As all dogs secrete these proteins, there is no allergy-free dog."
Will these tiny airborne truths dash our dreams of Tramp slurping spaghetti in the Oval kitchen?
Have You SNIF'd Your Dog?
I want to hate this idea; it's so Big-Brother-meets-Match.com. But the more I read about these SNIF tags, the more intrigued I am. The little lime-green collar gadgets use radio, software, Internet and social networking technologies to allow humans to monitor their pup's activity and spark up new relationships -- all from a distance. I like the idea that witnessing your dog's inactivity while you're away at work might inspire better activity interventions. I'm not sold on the promise of the SNIF tag as a catalyst for friendships.
Are there any BARk readers out there who have Beta-tested these gadgets? I'd love to hear a report from the field.
Oregon Sends A Vet to Washington
By a 3-to-2 ratio, Oregon citizens elected veterinarian and small farm owner Kurt Schrader (D) to represent the state's 5th Congressional District on Tuesday. For those living in rural areas desperate for quality veterinary care this could be good news. Alleviating the shortage of rural veterinarians is a priority for Schrader. He says he'll work to create scholarships or student loan repayment programs for vets who commit to working in underserved areas.
First Dog Bites Reporter
Reporters are always on the lookout for a sound bite, but I don't think this is what political writer Jon Decker had in mind. The Reuters reporter spotted First Dog Barney on a walk with his handler and asked if he could pet him. The dogwalker said sure but the Scottish Terrier wasn't as agreeable. Or perhaps he was making a political statement of some kind. Fortunately, Decker was treated by the White House physician and will be fine.
Julia Kamysz Lane