All posts tagged: maryland
2019

Shopping for holiday gifts for your dog loving friends and their pets? Surprise them with these wonderful gifts and dog-themed stocking stuffers!

Dog Play Pack

If dogs made gift lists, this five-piece set would appear at the top. The machine-washable 30″ x 40″ fleece blanket provides a soft spot to nap, a choice that will be quite appealing after a session of vigorous play with the toys. Your pup can squeak the 12″ duck, tug the 16″ natural wool bone and chase the two 2.5″ sport balls, all of which can be spot cleaned. A family-owned company that started life as Triboro Quilt & Mfg. Corp. in 1933, Tall Tails is now known for its line of durable, high-quality and affordable dog goods.  $54.99 talltailsdog.com

By Clive D. L. Wynne

Think of the word “dog” and the word “love” comes to mind almost immediately. For most Bark readers, it’s probably fair to say they’re synonymous … in fact, it’s part of dogs’ appeal. And according to some interesting recent research, we may be genetically hardwired to love them back .

The recently released book Dog Is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You gets into the science of 
the attraction. Author Clive Wynne is a founding director of the Canine Science Laboratory at Arizona State University, Tempe. Drawing on work done at his lab as well as at others around the world, Dr. Wynne considers how dogs became able  to build such exceptional (and unusual) interspecies bonds; what dogs need to build these bonds; and how we can use what we know to help dogs lead richer and more satisfying lives.

Thankfully, this is science for the nonscientist—an interesting, carefully written book that’s technically well-grounded yet accessible, with practical applications. Reading it will give you a whole new appreciation for the evolutionary wonder that is dog love. 

Issue 99: Fall 2019

Players and staff love Zöe, their French Bulldog

If other professional football teams want to know the secret behind the San Francisco 49ers amazing start this season (eight consecutive wins and no losses at the time of this writing), they might want to consider Zöe’s role. Zöe is the National Football League’s first emotional support dog , and she is an asset to the team.

Zöe helps both players and staff, lessening stress and anxiety and bringing happiness to a group of people who are frequently in physical pain as well as dealing with emotional issues. Yes, the players and many of the coaches have their dream jobs and love what they do, but that does not mean that they have an easy life. Working for the NFL means being in a pressure cooker, and constantly dealing with that stress takes its toll.

Does your dog whine when he sees you heading for the door? Are shredded pillows a frequent welcome home from work? Does your otherwise housetrained pooch have a problem with accidents in your absence?

If so, your dog might have a case of separation anxiety.

Kit Darling, infection control coordinator at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, says canine separation anxiety is a condition born from love.

“Since dogs have been domesticated over thousands of years, there has been the development of a bond between dogs and people,” Darling said. “Dogs are social animals and thrive on companionship. They would like to spend all of their time with you if they could.”

Separation anxiety arises when a dog becomes stressed and anxious in the absence of their owner. Oftentimes, this distress manifests in symptoms that mimic misbehavior.

In rural northeast Alabama, a small group works to help shelter dogs become more adoptable.  It’s a simple concept, but in this part of the country animal shelters have little time or money to help dogs with behavioral issues.  Encore Enrichment Center for Shelter Dogs was established to do just that.

In 2017 Julie Madden, a certified nose work instructor, and her husband Tom were looking for a place to start teaching K9 Nose Work®, and they stumbled onto the former United Cerebral Palsy of East Central Alabama building.  It had been vacant for three years and UCP was anxious to sell it.  Although it was much bigger than what they needed for nose work classes, they were struck at just how perfect the facility was to bring in shelter dogs and provide enrichment activities.

A Story of Love, Search, and the Power of Reunion

Jill Hedgecock
By Susannah Charleson

In 2010, Susannah Charleson’s debut book, Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership , rocketed into the literary world, appearing on the New York Times, Dallas Morning News and Denver Post bestseller lists. The book, which delved into the author’s experiences as a K9 search-and-rescue (SAR) handler/trainer, was optioned for television the same year.

Her next book, The Possibility Dogs: What a Handful of Rescues Taught Me About Service, Hope, Taught Me About Service, Hope, and Healing (2013), chronicled her work with rescue dogs trained for mental health service work.

Now, she has a new book: Where the Lost Dogs Go: A Story of Love, Search, and the Power of Reunion . In her latest work, Charleson reports on her experiences with SAR for lost pets. The book is filled with heart-lifting rescue stories, as well as the nuts and bolts of what to do when a pet is lost.

The unwavering spirit of Ace, a special Maltese-mix shelter dog; her special relationship with Puzzle, an aging Golden Retriever; and tales of her complex relationship with her parents—who laid the foundation for her desire to help animals—enrich the account.

More than a heartwarming and entertaining story, the book is peppered with fascinating details about dog behavior. For example, she discusses Kat Albrecht, head of the Missing Animal Response Network, and her system of classifying dogs into three temperaments, each with its own challenges for recovery: the gregarious dog, who enjoys human company and will seek it out when separated from his owner; the aloof dog, who’s shy and easily overwhelmed by strangers; and finally, the xenophobic dog, who’s fearful of almost everything and may be so traumatized that she loses the ability to recognize her owner. According to Albrecht, well-meaning helpers can actually make the chances of recovery worse if they don’t understand the dog’s temperament.

Two of Charleson’s beloved SAR dogs, Puzzle and Ace, are the threads that link the parallel stories of her challenging upbringing and her work reconnecting lost pets with their owners. In introducing us to Ace, a bedraggled stray slated for euthanasia, she calls him “the one in the back of the cage.” Charleson details Ace’s health issues and physical appearance when she saw him in the shelter; none of them stopped her from leaping to his rescue. After nursing the sweet dog back to health and unable to find his owner, she decides to train him for SAR work, a job the little white dog takes to immediately.

My greatest hope is that those who read this book will be inspired to follow the “Lost-Pet Checklist” recommendations in the appendix, especially the advice to plan ahead. Having these critical preventive measures in place could mean the difference between recovery or a tragic permanent loss. The appendix also lists search strategies and provides guidance on what to do if you find a pet.

A hole in the fence, a slipped leash, fireworks: when the unexpected happens, Charleson’s insights and information could mean the difference between a happy reunion or a tragic outcome. As one of the book’s most poignant lines reads, “This is another thing the search for lost dogs has taught me: they don’t wander until they do.” Thanks to Susannah Charleson sharing her pet-finding expertise in this new book, we now have tools we can use to increase our chances of finding our beloved pets if the need arises.

Can I find a reliable family dog at the shelter?
Adoptable dog Flash (Rocket Dog Rescue rocketdogrescue.org)Adoptable dog Sassy (Muddy Paws Rescue muddypawsrescue.org)

Adoptable dog Alexandra Cabot (badassbrooklynanimalrescue.com)

Dear Bark: We really want to adopt a young-adult shelter dog but are concerned about socialization issues. Without information about a dog’s early life, how do we know if the one we choose can be trained to be a good, reliable family dog? We hear that the first eight weeks of a dog’s life is so important, but not knowing that, could it be too late?

—Ready to Adopt

Cheers for shelter adoptions and three cheers for adopting an adult dog from a shelter! Millions of people have adopted their best friend from a shelter as an adult (dog), and there’s every reason to believe that you can find you can, too.

It’s still a challenge, but there have been improvements in recent years

Hurricane Katrina taught our society a number of lessons. One of those was that many people will not evacuate if they cannot bring their pets with them, even if that means putting their own safety at risk. With massive wildfires threatening communities all over California and leading to large-scale evacuations, the number of dogs and other pets being displaced along with their people is alarming. Though bringing dogs to safety is still a challenge, there are more options than there used to be in the face of natural disasters. The improvement reflects an increased understanding that these animals are a part of our families, even among people who are not dog lovers themselves.