Chicago Tribune Loves BARk!

To those of us who love dogs, the success of BARk magazine makes perfect sense. Who wouldn't want to read a smart periodical dedicated entirely to our cherished companions? But it's always nice when non-dog people (or entities) admit that they find it fascinating, too. So thank you, Chicago Tribune, for congratulating BARk on its 10-year anniversary in today's editorial, "That's 70 in dog years."

I especially like the dare at the end, in which the editors "defy anyone -- dog-haters and cat-lovers included -- to thumb all the way through BARk without grinning like a border collie. It will make you want to get a dog. Or be one." BARk readers, how do you feel after you read the magazine? Are you compelled to give your dog a big hug? Does it inspire you to try something new with your dog? Or add another pup to the pack? Let us know!

Julia Kamysz Lane

February 11, 2008 in Cool stuff, Current Affairs, dogparks, Food, Health, media, Recreation, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Not a Hallmark moment

I’m a sucker for a lost-dog reunion story. I want my free shot of feel-good, but have you ever noticed how in most lost-and-found stories there is usually some weird detail that gets in the way of true misty-eyed pleasure. The case of Luke in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today is a perfect example.

First, the woman who “found” the three-year-old shepherd-beagle mix, actually lifted him out of an off-leash area where she said she thought he’d been abandoned. Why she didn’t ask around or try to find the guardian somewhere in the park is never explained. But you can cut her a little slack because Luke was, after all, naked. At the end of the story, his guardian reveals that he wasn’t wearing a collar. Duh. (Oh, and we learn something about microchips, too: The vet didn’t scan for one.)

Lisa Wogan

February 6, 2008 in Cool stuff, dogparks, media | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dogs try to find Paradise

Our friends from the Sacramento Dog Owners Group alerted us to a piece in today's Sacramento Bee about their efforts in being able to use a portion of the American River for a place for their pooches to exercise, swim, and simply to enjoy the great outdoors unfettered by a leash. Even though Sacramento does have a few fenced in dog parks, they are mostly small neighborhood parks that certainly don't provide the amenities (i.e. a body of water to swim in) as the American River does. But the battle rages on, arguments are similar to what many Bark readers have encountered in other parts of the country and one that we are personally well familiar with when we worked on Cesar Chavez Park in Berkeley. The 17 acre park (within a larger 95 acre park) which is situated on a peninsula in surrounded on three sides by the SF Bay, still doesn't allow dogs in its waters! We would love to hear your thoughts, read the Bee piece, making sure to read through some of the comments as well.

July 17, 2007 in dogparks | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Dogs on the Go

Plenty of people fly with their dogs, but they can’t always count on a place for their pooch to potty. Now airports are following the lead of pet-friendly hotels by offering dog amenities such as their own green space (USA Today). Reno-Tahoe International Airport encourages dog guests to use Gate K-9 Bark Park, located near the baggage claim area. The landscaped park features trees and a canopy for shade, fresh water, poop bags and even a fire hydrant. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport offers not one but two dog parks, including the spacious 2,000 square-foot Bone Yard. For more guidance traveling as a pack, Pet Friendly Travelhelps you locate and compare the most Fido-friendly airports in the U.S., from Austin to Seattle. - Julia Kamysz Lane

May 21, 2007 in dogparks, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

GGNRA Dog Policy

For those of you in or near San Francisco who care about the fate of the dog policy in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the first meeting of the Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee for Dog Management at GGNR has been scheduled:

Monday March 6 from 4pm until 7pm
Landmark Bldg. A
Fort Mason Center
San Francisco, California

There are some who will be part of the negotiating who wish to eliminate dogs altogether from the GGNRA, so it's important for dog advocates to attend these meetings and speak up on behalf of the dogs and the responsible people who enjoy this national recreation area.

February 27, 2006 in Current Affairs, dogparks, Recreation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dog park rangers

Dear Doggers,
Thanks to Claudia for inviting me to post and thanks to Mark and Gina for their thoughtful observations.
I train and trial sheepdogs, so I’m an outsider to most problems dog people face in our dog-loving/dog-unfriendly nation. I get to dog parks infrequently, when I’m in the city, but I’ve seen the Dog Aggressive owners (Dog Thugs) Mark describes. Not had any problem so far but I’m a big son-of a-bitch with heavy, thick boots.
Many companion dog trainers I know disparage dog parks on account of aggressive and/or ill-trained dogs who can create dog fearful or dog aggressive dogs. (Mark’s Katie is no exception). But when I’m traveling with dogs (which I usually am), dog parks are an improvement exercising the dogs (off lead) through glass strewn building sites or beneath weedy billboards.
Ill-trained (untrained?) dog park dogs are common - indeed many of the dogs I saw at the Clinton Dog Park (11thAve & 53rd? NYC) had to be chased before they could be leashed and taken home. But the park was dog safe despite that.
Part of the safety was the presence of dog park volunteers who tended to keep order (although their own dogs were no better trained than the others), most of it was the rotating dog pack that used the park. The dogs (and owners) tended to come to the park the same time every day and they walked into a core pack which set the rules of doggy behavior even when the owners didn’t.
It’d be interesting to see how the 7 am pack differed from the 9 pm pack.
Some dog parks like this one seem to encourage pack mannerliness - in others (Washington Square NYC, Fort Funston SFC) - owners and dogs are pretty much on their own.
Now that dog parks are better established, I’d like to see dog ranger/trainers available during peak hours. Too many of the intelligent, well meaning people I spoke with in the Clinton dog park were clueless why their dogs did what they did.
They’d never been taught to “Think Dog”.
One puppy owner complained, “She won’t come to me when she’s called because she knows I’m going to snap a leash on her and take her home.”
I suggested, “Why not call her to you when you’re NOT going to leash her. Praise and make much of her when she comes and let her go back to her play. Then, maybe she’ll come when you DO want to leash her.”
“Gee,’ he said, “That makes sense.”
Donald McCaig

June 22, 2005 in dogparks | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack