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.
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.
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.
Creative Canine Costumes
No matter how many Halloween parties there are and no matter how many treats they would get, my dogs would not be happy if I tried to dress them up. So I must live vicariously through other people's creative canine costumes. Pictured here is Kirby the "Greyhound Bus" and Linda Maton, her impeccably dressed driver, of Bellville, MI. They're the winners of Chicagoland Tails' annual Halloween costume contest. You can see more clever costumes here. If your pup has trick-or-treat plans, we'd love to see a photo!
Julia Kamysz Lane
A $75 Million Bone
If the obstacle to pet overpopulation is money--consider that challenge handled. Orthopedic surgeon, inventor, and 346th richest American Gary Michelson will give $25 million to the brainy someone who conjures a safe, one-time non-surgical means to sterilize male and female cats and dogs. And that's not all. Michelson's non-profit Found Animals Foundation will provide an additional $50 million to support the research into plausible approaches. Michelson and others, including the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs, believe an inexpensive, convenient alternative to traditional spay and neuter is the essential missing line of attack in the battle to save millions of dogs and cats from euthanasia every year. My favorite line in the USA Today story on the program is when Michelson says, "No one will stop what they're doing and turn their attention to this problem for $10 million. That's not enough."
Dog-Friendly Travel Blog
Like to travel with your dog? Then you should check out Car Go Dogs. I drive all over the Midwest competing with my dogs in agility trials, so I'm always looking for dog-friendly vehicle info, accessories and travel tips. It's nice to find all these things in one spot!
Julia Kamysz Lane
Michelle Obama Talks Dog
A shelter mutt in the White House? About as likely as a biracial president with an African name. Hmmm. I may be jumping ahead by imagining Kongs in the Oval Office, but one thing is now for sure: When Malia and Sasha Obama get their post-election pup, they’ll adopt that lucky dog from a shelter, rescue or foster situation. No pet stores or breeders for them. That's good judgment.
The Spirit of Argos
After a 14-month deployment in Iraq (that's more than seven dog years!), a soldier receives a classic canine welcome home.
(With a paws-up to Daily Dish, where I first saw this video.)
Big Moment for Little Dogs
I have to admit I’m a sucker for talking-dog movies, and so when I first saw a trailer for Beverly Hills Chihuahua, I made a mental note to track down a niece or nephew in need of a matinee chaperone some time soon. But it didn’t take long for that sinking feeling to creep up on me: the awareness that this movie--starring a sassy, sweet Chihuahua--would probably drive a new wave of people to puppy-mill supplied pet shops. Folks in Chihuahua rescue, already stretched thin by the breed's Hollywood-fueled popularity, have been bracing themselves for a surge in unwanted dogs ever since they first heard about the film.
But maybe this time can be different. After all, the film's hero Papi was a last-minute shelter save and folks at organizations such as Best Friends Animal Society are trying to put his high profile to good use with a push for Chihuahua rescue. (Click on their Rescue poster above or watch and share their Chihuahua rescue video.) As Papi might say, "It's time to put the WOW in Chee-wow-wa rescue!"
Stopping to Smell the Lupines
You probably know about the great work of scat dogs, which help biologists and ecologists by efficiently sniffing out "evidence" of endangered species such as wolves, grizzly bears and right whales. But have you heard of canine flower detectors? In a ground-breaking program, the Oregon Nature Conservancy teamed up with a Belgian Sheepdog named Rogue to track down Kincaid lupine. These dwindling native flowers support the Fender's blue, an endangered butterfly found only in that state's Willamette Valley. The canine surveys will be used as part of a conservation strategy.