Modern Dog Fall 2013

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VOL 12

NO 3





34 Canines in the Classroom With bullying and illiteracy epidemic in our school systems, educators are turning to an unlikely educational ally—dogs. BY KELLY CALDWELL 46 58 64


Get Snack-tastic! Creative, Healthy Treats to Give Your Dog 12 single-ingredient dog treats found in your cupboard and crisper.


Back to School Roger That 40 Thrill your dog with these interactive toys! The road home: Operation Roger truckers transport rescue dogs to their forever families. 44 Style at Home BY JEN REEDER File this under “Want It!” Drool-worthy finds for your home. Black Beauty Black dogs have their day.


56 Get Outside! Gotta-have-it fall gear. Meet the Models Behind the scenes at the Modern Dog “Black Beauty” 102 Best Beds photo shoot. Dreamy beds to delight your dog, a.k.a Master of Naptime.

82 What’s Love Got To Do With It? Well, Everything An exclusive interview with Jennifer Love Hewitt. BY MARY-JO DIONNE; PHOTOGRAPHED BY KHAREN HILL 68 Tie a Yellow Ribbon on it; The Find; Keep That Compost Under Wraps! 90 Crime-Fighting Canines From catching bad guys to providing support services to 70 Pantry Patrol; Scented Stickers for Blind Dogs; Texas Bans Gas Chambers victims of crimes, for these special dogs it’s all in a for Dogs; Does Your Dog Really Need to be day’s work. BY COREY VAN’T HAAFF Revaccinated? 96 When Training Isn’t Enough 72 Try This! Terrific Toppers You Should Be Managing personality disorders in dogs. BY STEVE DUNO Adding to Your Dog’s Dinner 106 Beware the Howling Dog 75 More Dogs Are Watching TV An examination of the cross-cultural belief that dogs possess supernatural or psychic abilities. 76 The Doctor Is In BY STANLEY COREN “Honking” Small Dogs; Rabies in the 21st Century


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FALL 2013


Read Your Breed Get to know the German Shepherd and Bichon Frise.

P H OTO F R O M D O GS W H O S M I L E ( T H O M A S D U N N E B O O KS , 2 01 3 )



The Importance of Positivity The power of positive training in dog behaviour and beyond. BY VICTORIA STILWELL


Stars and Their Dogs A Q & A with dog-loving actress and rescue proponent Charlotte Ross. BY CHRISTOPHER AMERUOSO


Doppel Dogs Get to know five frequently confused breeds.


DIY Eat: Mix & Match Treats Healthy, fast, and budget-friendly, these mix and match treats are sure to please. BY MAXINE MATISHAK


DIY Craft: Ombré Rope Leash Make it! A length of rope, some fabric dye and you’ll be the envy of the dog park with this delightful DIY dip- dyed dog leash. BY CAPREE KIMBALL

104 The Basenji Out of Africa, into your heart. BY KELLY CALDWELL

DIY Eat: The Barefoot Contessa’s Whole Wheat and Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits No need to run to the store; whip up these dog- approved treats with cupboard staples! BY INA GARTEN


Ask a Trainer: Pack Mentality Aggression Curbing the lunging and barking on a multi-dog walk.


Ask a Trainer: Bed Sharing Dealing with a bossy, aggressive canine bed mate.


Ask a Trainer: Is Treat-less Training the Way to Go? To treat or not to treat, that is the question.


Ask a Trainer: Made Crazy by Crating How to accustom a resistant dog to a crate.


How I Met My Dog “Help me! I’m homeless!” BY CINDY BRODY


We’re Giving It Away! We’ve got three months of groovy giveaways, from a gorgeous, handcrafted leash and collar set to terrific treat prize packs, and winners every week!


DIY Craft: Pencil Me In Jazz up your desk with these canine-silhouetted cork- covered pencil cups. BY ALLISON PATRICK

REGULAR FEATURES 6 Editor’s Letter 8 Contributors 10 Our Readers Write 12 Stuff We Love 14 The Scoop 24 Smile! Photo Contest 129 Marketplace



Jennifer Love Hewitt and her rescue dog Duke. Photographed by Kharen Hill. Hair, Michael Reitz; Make up, Merc Arceneaux; Styling, Sarah Kinsumba; Stylist Assistants, Devorah Phillips & Melina Imloul. Jennifer wears a G-Star light blue button down shirt and Faubourg du Temple ivory skirt. Earrings and bracelet, Kuumba Jewelry; gold bangle, Outerbridge Jewelry. Get the coverdog look! Duke wears a Paco Collars handcrafted leather “Giant Ruadh” collar (

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Art Attack: Pay It Forward A peripatetic pet portraitist finds her sweet spot.


Connie’s Book Club Curl up with a good dog and a good book. Editor-in- Chief Connie Wilson’s selection of fall must-reads.


Ask Dog Lady Bothered and bewildered? Crazed and confused? Dog Lady delves into your most dogged dilemmas.


Last Lick: Mister Pazu Fall’s here. BY DIANA THUNG



In USA: MODERN DOG (ISSN 1703-812X) Volume 12, Issue 3. Published quarterly by Modern Dog Inc. at 142 Churchill Drive, Newington, CT 06111-4003. Periodicals postage paid at Hartford, CT and additional offices. POSTMASTER: send address changes to Modern Dog, PO Box 310402, Newington, CT 06131-0402.


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With much love,

Allow your dog to Take you for a walk every day. It’s good for the body and It’s good for the soul. — Eckhart Tolle, Guardians of Being

W O R D S © 2009 E C K H A R T T O L L E , E C K H A R T T E A C H I N G S , I N C . A L L R I G H T S R E S E R V E D .

Connie Wilson, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief M U T T S C A R T O O N S © 20 0 9 P A T R I C K M C D O N N E L L . A L L R I G H T S R E S E R V E D


’ve just finished reading Susannah Charleson’s wonderful new book The Possibility Dogs, an exploration of the remarkable contributions of psychiatric service dogs that caused me to reflect on what a blessing our dogs are. Apparently I’m not alone in this recognition as this emerging field of therapy is quickly gaining momentum. The positive and often dramatic results achieved with the help of psychiatric service dogs are leading care facilities to increasingly utilize these dogs and leading doctors to prescribe them for patients. And with good reason: these dogs work wonders, soothing anxious children, stabilizing panic attacks, helping overcome obsessive compulsive disorders, assisting returning veterans in conquering post traumatic stress disorder…the list goes on. Charleson has firsthand knowledge of the difference these dogs can make. She herself suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and found that Puzzle, her intuitive search and rescue dog, helped her to recover. Inspired by her experience, she learned to identify abandoned dogs who have service potential, oftentimes plucking them from shelters shortly before a scheduled euthanasia, then training them to assist a partner in need. Isn’t it terrible to think these dogs—dogs with so much to offer in return for their salvation— were in some cases moments away from being destroyed? Now in loving homes, they are making meaningful contributions, enabling their owners, people struggling with disabling psychiatric disorders, to live better, happier lives. All of which makes me reflect on the ways our “regular” dogs are of service to us. How many dogs not actually trained to be “of service” still rescue us on a daily basis? Sure, in less notable ways,


but the positive impact is nonetheless irrefutable. I can think of many, many ways my own dogs have helped me, from getting me up from my work desk to take a much-needed walk, to making me laugh in all too serious moments, to keeping my life interesting by introducing me to new people and new situations on our daily walks together. These “less notable” positives are recognized in statistics that confirm that our dogs help lower blood pressure, ward off depression, and boost immunity, statistics we dog lovers don’t need to see to know that a life with dogs makes us happier, healthier people. With the many blessings our dogs bestow on us, it’s no wonder we’re committed to their health and welfare and to exploring and bettering our bond with these amazing creatures. Our fall issue is a celebration of this bond and we’ve jam-packed it with inspiring, life enhancing stories, advice, and how-to’s, from a training approach that shapes dogs’ learning in a positive way (find out why this is so important on p.42) to delish DIY healthy dog snacks (p.80 + 104). We’ve got celebs, heartwarming rescue stories, dogs helping children stamp out bullying, groovy craft projects, fall must-reads, and so much more! So come on, jump into the season with us!


VOL 12

NO 3


Modern Dog Inc. Editor-in-Chief

Connie Wilson

Capree Kimball is our kinda girl. She’s the Managing Editor at Dog Milk, a site dedicated to modern dog design, and when she’s not geeking out about dog stuff, she’s sharing awesome DIY decor ideas on Curbly, where she’s the Deputy Editor. How cool, right? In this issue, Capree shares how to make your own dipdyed ombré dog leashes, something we’re currently obsessed with. Get the how-to on page 88. Follow Capree on Twitter at @CapreeK.

Editor & Creative Director

Jennifer Nosek Circulation Manager & Marketing Director

Jessica Nosek Circulation Supervisor

Jane Hope Audience Development Coordinator

Lauren Cheal Design & Production

Maxine Matishak Design & Production Assistant

Vanessa Dong Sales & Marketing

Sara Lima, Mary Liu, Julia Klymenko, Nicole Boechler Accounting and Subscription Services Assistant

Celine Benipayo Controller

Cecilia de Roca Chan Donations Program Liaison

Jessica Nosek

For the styling of this issue’s cover story with Jennifer Love Hewitt and her dog Duke, we enlisted style expert Sarah Kinsumba. Sarah began her career in Paris as an assistant stylist at WAD magazine. Lucky for us, after several years freelancing she decided to move to Los Angeles to further her career. Her eclectic styling has been put to work for international magazines, celebrities, brands like Mercedes Benz and Virgin, and, now, Modern Dog. Check out the exclusive photos from our photo shoot with Jennifer Love Hewitt on page 82.

Honourary Editor-at-Large

Jytte Wilson Subscription inquiries call (800) 417-6289 Advertising inquiries call (866) 734-3131 In Canada: MODERN DOG (ISSN 1703-812X) Volume 12, Issue 3. Published quarterly by Modern Dog Inc. at Suite 202–343 Railway St, Vancouver, BC Canada V6A 1A4 POSTMASTER: send address changes to Modern Dog, Suite 202–343 Railway St, Vancouver, BC Canada V6A 1A4 In USA: MODERN DOG (ISSN 1703-812X) Volume 12, Issue 3. Published quarterly by Modern Dog Inc. at 142 Churchill Drive, Newington, CT 06111-4003. Periodicals postage paid at Hartford, CT and additional offices. POSTMASTER: send address changes to Modern Dog, PO Box 310402, Newington, CT 06131-0402. PHONE

(604) 734-3131 OR TOLL FREE (866) 734-3131 (604) 734-3031 OR TOLL FREE (866) 734-3031


The publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, images, photographs or other materials. By accepting and publishing advertising the publisher in no way recommends, guarantees or endorses the quality of services or products within those advertisements.

We’re thrilled to have Victoria Stilwell—world-renowned dog trainer, TV personality, author, and public speaker—contributing to this issue! Star of the hit TV series It’s Me or the Dog, Victoria is widely recognized as a leader in the field of animal behaviour. She’s also the Editor-In-Chief of positively. com and the CEO of Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training, a global network of positive reinforcement dog trainers, making her uniquely suited to hold forth on “The Importance of Positivity.” Turn to page 42 to read what she has to say—and transform your approach with those you love.

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Copyright 2013 by Modern Dog Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means, electronic or mechanical, including the Internet or photocopying without the written permission of the Publisher. Modern Dog and its logotype are the trademarks of Modern Dog Inc. One-year subscription prices: Canada $16CAD, U.S.A. $16USD, foreign $45USD. Subscription orders and customer service inquiries should be sent to Modern Dog Subscription Services, Suite 202–343 Railway St, Vancouver, BC Canada V6A 1A4

PRINTED IN CANADA Publications Mail Agreement Number 40743013 We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Bark Back! OUR READERS WRITE LIKE! Happiness is coming home last night after two weeks in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland to find the latest edition of Modern Dog magazine in my mailbox! No unpacking the suitcases until I have finished reading it!—Bridgit McLeod

#Question of the Day WE ASKED: What’s your dog’s favourite unusual snack or dinner topper?

A dollop of Greek yogurt @bcgirll



Sliced apples and a

Blueberries! tablespoon of cottage @AndreaGrane

cheese—Cabo Dog Boutique

Green beans. They love ‘em! @97crush

Fresh red pepper

Frozen Brussels sprouts —Dani Dorrestey

Any kind of cooked fish, but she especially likes trout—Terry McNamee

We tried your yogurt/blueberry popsicle treats for a cool down after some fun in the pool! She LOVED them! Thanks for the recipe idea.—Marissa Ionno

TRY IT! Get the recipe at

—Denise Tucker

Fresh raw green tripe! —Diamond Creek Pet Retreat & The Canine Sports Center

Frozen chicken feet —Karen Branson

WE’VE GOT MAIL Thank you for featuring the beautiful Miranda Lambert in your summer edition! As an Oklahoman, I was very moved when she performed live during the Moore tornado benefit concert and dedicated her song to the dogs and cats who had lost their homes and were still missing. Lambert is an amazing animal rights activist, performer, and role model!—Priscilla Forehand

What’s my dog’s favourite unusual snack?

—Steve Drennan

For a behind-the-scenes look at what we’re up to in the MD offices, the latest breaking stories and videos, cool contests, events, and exclusive giveaways, become a fan of Modern Dog on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest. Go to, &

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Lately I’m going to have to say toilet paper... Grrr...

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STUFF WE LOVE Modern Dog staffers’ picks of the litter


1 Tell it like it is with a “Love Me, Love My Dog” Jessica Kagan Cushman natural resin Nantucket bangle. Hand carved, inked, polished, and signed, these bangles are limited edition—get yours while you can!—Jennifer ($42,

2 I’m always on the look out for cleaning products that are safe for my dog and the environment but still have the muscle to clean up after the dirty little creatures I share my life with. Better Life products do just that and smell great too!—Jessica (7 piece Love Your Dog kit, $49,

3 Stay warm, cozy, and gorgeous all while doing some good! Alqo Wasi’s soft neck warmers are hand-knit from a luxurious alpaca blend by Peruvian craftspeople. Your purchase supports remote native communities known for their incredible weaving and natural dying techniques. (Alqo Wasi means “Dog Home” in Quechua, the language of the Incas.)—Dachshund Rose ($25,


4 I’m thrilled with the new Snuggle Bed from P.L.A.Y.! It converts to four different beds

to suit whatever mood your dog is in--whether he’s into lounging, snuggling or cuddling, the Snuggle Bed’s got you covered. Featuring a luxurious faux fur on one side and dirtresistant canvas on the other, it’s perfect all year round!—Mary (From $55,


5 My human and I always go to work together and my Sherpa Original Deluxe carrier

makes our commute super easy. I love travelling—by car, train, or plane—and my Sherpa carrier ensures I’m always comfy.—Chubby Pug Genji ($65,

6 The large capacity and sleek raindrop design of the Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel


Drinking Fountain makes it ideal for a multi-pet home, and I love that it’s dishwasher safe!—Lauren ($89,

7 Both long road trips and quick drives to the park just got a lot easier and more comfortable for our dog Timmy! With Solvit’s booster seat, travelling with our little rascal isn’t so bad anymore!–Cecilia ($45,

8 When our Labrador, Wally, found his forever home with us, his rescuers told us that he was a little obsessed with his toys. They were not kidding. Wally regularly leaves a trail of destroyed tennis balls in his wake. Luckily, we were able to find the Unbreakoball, which lives up to its name no matter what Wally does.—Jane (from $15,

9 Snuggling is my top priority so my pick for coziest bed goes to the Urban Lounger

from Bowsers. The sturdy bolsters provide a comfy place to lay my big head and the soft cushion is perfect for nesting on my own or with my Pug sister!—Mastiff mix Marshall (from $100,



10 The Bonemat keeps bones or other chewies in place so there’s no more slobbery goo on my furniture and floors. Now my dog Penny and I are both happy!—Connie ($30,

11 I’m a picky little thing, but I give Stella & Chewy’s all natural Carnivore Crunch


treats made from raw, freeze-dried, naturally raised meat two paws up! And with no grain, fillers, artificial preservatives, colouring, or other nasties, my guardian/servant feels good about giving them to me. Score!—Discerning Dachshund Esther (From $10,

12 Ice, snow, salt or hot pavement, Pawz Dog Boots, now available in black, have my pup’s

paws covered. Reusable and made of natural rubber, they’re 100 percent biodegradable, waterproof, and so comfortable that my dog doesn’t mind wearing them!—Maxine “These Boots are Made for Walking” Matishak (From $15,

13 These may be the cutest bowls EVER! Enjoy eating your ice cream, noodles, and

everything in between in these ceramic bowls with pretty sketches of Chihuahuas, Pugs, Labs, and Poodles. Perfect for when your dog-loving pals come over!—Celine ($38,

BL (

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Barking Up the Family Tree Meet Snoopy’s siblings in Barking Up the Family Tree, the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center’s current exhibition Charles Schulz created one of the most famous cartoon dogs in the world. We’re talking about Snoopy, of course. Schulz, CHARLES SCHULZ FEEDING HIS DOG, SPIKE, FROM A COKE B O T T L E , A R O U N D 1940-45 a lifelong dog lover, found inspiration in his real-life canine companions, from his childhood dogs Snooky and Spike to the dogs his family had after he was married with children. He cited his childhood dog Spike as the biggest influence in the creation of Snoopy, and Spike was later the namesake for Snoopy’s most well known sibling. Schulz’s “heart dog,” however, was Andy, a mixed-breed dog rescued by his wife, Jean Schulz, from a Fox Terrier rescue group in 1988. Fittingly, Andy made it into the Peanuts comic strip in 1994 as one of Snoopy’s siblings, joining Snoopy’s “band of brothers” Spike, Marbles, and Olaf, along with sister Belle. Get to know the whole crew in Barking Up the Family Tree, an exhibition of 70 original Peanuts strips, running through October 14th at Santa Rosa, CA’s Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center (



“Andy brought some new truths into my life. He taught me the wonderful love that a person can have for a dog.”



Photo meme of the moment Our favourite Internet meme of the moment? Dog Bearding! Like many of these movements, it began with our feline friends (hello, cat beards) but the results proved so charmingly hilarious that we dog lovers didn’t take long to get in on the bearding action. What’s involved? Simply you, a camera, and your dog. Position your pup in front of the lower half of your face, get her to look up, and snap a pic at the moment your faces merge into one beautifully bearded visage. Fun for the whole Internet! Share photos of your best dog beard with us on Twitter (@moderndogmag) or Facebook ( moderndogmagazine).

Cool App

—Charles M. Schulz on his favourite dog, Andy


Download now: MapMyDogWalk

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Map your route and just how much ground you’re covering on your dog walks with this free app that tracks the route, time, distance, speed, pace, and calories of your dog walk in real-time using your GPS enabled mobile device (available for both Apple and Android). Pretty cool if you ask us.


Make a Wish Come True New Online Tool Helps Animal Shelters Get Exactly What They Need

Animal shelters need more than just donations of cash to provide top-notch service for unwanted animals. Of course, monetary donations are welcome (and greatly appreciated!), but there are so many other things that can help shelters deliver top-notch care for the animals they help. Shelters need food, toys, crates, driving services, foster families, volunteers, and countless other bits and bobs that come up unexpectedly in the wild world of caring for a large number of animals, but often struggle to get the word out to would-be volunteers and donors. To the (ahem) rescue? Shelter Wish List, a new, remarkably easy-to-use web application that rescue organizations and shelters can employ to help them get exactly the supplies, services, or support they need. The Shelter Wish List program allows shelters to create a completely customized web page that showcases their needs—from volunteer services to needed items—with images and text. Supporters can also contribute partial amounts to help the shelter purchase a bigger item, like an X-ray machine for animals with special medical needs, with the website tracking contributions, allowing each donor to see how their contribution is helping the shelter reach their goals. It’s like Kickstarter for animal shelter fundraising! Another standout feature of the program is a classified ad service that allows supporters to post online ads for anything they like, pet-related or not, and then contribute all or a portion of the profit from the sale to the shelter. And that’s not all. Shelter Wish List comes with Facebook integration options and a widget tool that can be easily embedded in other websites to display the most recent posts in a scrolling box, as well as, a “Pay it Forward” adoption option where a person who is unable to adopt a new animal can donate the cost of an adoption so that someone else can adopt a new friend for free. Awesomeness. The program is brand new so let your local shelter/rescue group know about it. The toolkit it offers can be used to dramatically increase donations, helping these organizations get exactly the supplies and services they need to continue their good work. Pretty cool if you ask us. Learn more about the program at!—LC

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THE SCOOP Pet Store Dogs More Likely To Have Behavioural Issues

CAPTION THIS! Exercise your funny bone. Create a caption for this cartoon and submit your entry at The most comic captions will be published in the next issue.

C A R T O O N S © 2013 B Y D A V I D J A C O B S O N

The results are in: dogs purchased from pet stores are more likely to have behavioural problems than those from responsible breeders. Though this may not surprise those who know that dogs can respond to stressful environments with bad behaviour and that puppies require attention and mentoring to become well-behaved adult canines, it’s now backed by science. A recent study undertaken by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in conjunction with Best Friends Animal Society concluded that puppies from pet stores show significantly more aggression toward human family members and are almost twice as likely to exhibit aggression toward unfamiliar dogs. Just one more reason why you ought not to ask, “how much is that doggie in the window?”—LC


AND THE WINNER FROM THE SUMMER ISSUE IS... “Fido suddenly realized that the purpose-built suitcase would jeopardize his career as a smuggler.”


87% of Modern

Dog readers vacation with their dogs.


RUNNER-UP CAPTIONS “I work pro bono, here’s my card.” SUBMITTED BY AMY HEYLIGER

“I’m so relieved that my treat bag came out ok. I was afraid the Labrador baggage handler was going to ‘misplace’ my bag again.” SUBMITTED BY MARGARET THOMPSON

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Great Giveaways


We’re giving it away! Enter to win fabulous giveaways each and every week in September, October, and November. Go to to enter! Lucky readers will win every week.




Win a matching Artemis collar and leash set from California Collar Co. including a personalized Padlock ID! Fits a 14" neck or larger.

Win one of six KONG Aussie Sticks treat packs including beef and lamb! Your dog will love you for it.

15th-21st Win one of five NZYMES Antioxidant Treats prize packs. These delicious and healthy treats have proven to help with joint pain, shedding, and more!

22nd-30th Win one of four prize packs from Pork Chomps including their premium baked pork skin treats which are 100% rawhide free and 99% digestible.


1st-7th Win one of four warm and comfy Aspen Pet Self-Warming Beds lined with a special material that generates warmth by reflecting your dog’s own body heat.


Win one of ten copies of Brain Games for Dogs, a fun and interactive way to build a strong bond with your dog.


Win a Dog Lover Wine gift basket from Yappy Hour Vineyards including a cookbook, wine glasses, and dog treats nestled in a wooden trunk.

Win a three-month supply of By Nature dog food! Keep your dog feeling young with its mix of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for a strong immune system.

Win one of six Stella & Chewy’s samplers including Phenomenal Pheasant Dinner, Stella’s Super Beef Dinner, and Carnivore Kisses in Salmon. Only the good stuff!







Win one of eight Madra Mór Canine Spa Treatment Mud Baths. Cleanse, protect, and rejuvenate your cherished canine with nature’s way to clean and treat.

Win one of two GoDogGo Remote Fetch Machines for your ball-crazy dog! GoDogGo is the first automatic ball launcher designed for dogs.

Win one of two small PetZenDen beds, the patent pending instinctively comfortable two-component pet bed designed for your dog to den and burrow in!

No purchase necessary to enter or win. Beginning September 1, 2013 at 12:01 AM (PST) through November 30, 2013 at 11:59 PM (PST), enter each day at Each week’s giveaway ends at 11:59 PM (PST). Each week, the specified number of winners for that week’s giveaway will win the prize featured in the giveaway calendar (ARV: $200). Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. Contest is open to legal Canadian and US residents 18 and older as of date of entry. Void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law. Giveaway subject to complete official rules available at

Read Your Breed THE GERMAN SHEPHERD For the past 50 years, the German Shepherd Dog (GSD) has been among the American Kennel Club’s (AKC’s) top four most-popular breeds, a standing unmatched by others, and with good reason; this all-purpose dog is both a hard worker and a wonderful family companion. Originating in late 19th-century Germany, the GSD was molded from old herding breeds and farm dogs. The resultant multi-talented working breed has proved itself in almost every field of endeavour open to dogs. The AKC Standard describes the GSD “a working animal with an incorruptible character combined with body and gait suitable for the arduous work that constitutes its primary purpose.” Today, the noble, rugged GSD is the world’s foremost police, guard, and military dog, as well as treasured companion of presidents (Franklin D. Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, JFK), performers (Jake Gyllenhaal, Shania Twain), writers (Robert Ludlum, Maurice Sendak), and other celebrities (Gene Roddenberry, Picasso). Despite his success in the field, the GSD is a loving family pet and generally very fond of children once a relationship is established. The breed is dependable, approachable, loyal, direct, and fearless, making it a great choice for many families. Energetic and fun loving, the GSD does require regular exercise and grooming of his thick double coat, but the rewards are great.

H A W K E Y E 1©2013/ D E B O R A H S A M U E L

A multi-talented working breed

For more on this breed, go to

THE BICHON FRISE Small, soft, and cheerful, the Bichon Frise (pronounced BEEshon free-ZAY) is a companion dog through and through. Of Mediterranean ancestry, the Bichon Frise is a breed with ancient roots. The dogs first became established in the Canary Islands. Eventually the little white dogs were taken back to the mainland by sailors—undoubtedly as objects of trade—becoming cherished objects of adoration in Italian, Spanish, and French royal circles. The breed continued to be popular through the reign of Napoleon III. It’s unclear why it subsequently lost favour, but by the close of the 1800s, the Bichon was reduced to the status of a shaggy little street dog. Larger or less resilient dogs might have simply disappeared, but the little Bichon flourished, becoming a companion to urchins, organ grinders, and circus performers because of its ability to learn tricks and its bright, lively, intelligent nature. Following World War I the potential of the dogs was recognized by a few French fanciers and their lines established. Today, the little Bichon Frise (typical weights are between 12 and 18 pounds) ranks 38th in AKC registrations; no wonder as their sensitive, alert, playful, and affectionate nature means that few people are immune to the appeal of this charming breed with the cheerful attitude.

For more on this breed, go to

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A lively, charming, trickster of a dog

! E L I M S

Modern Dog’s Photo Contest Winners!


Chinese Crested

Brylle Zoe & Dani Lab Mix

German Shepherd & Great Dane puppy

Tonka & Tebow

Belinda & Volga

English Bulldogs

German Shepherd

Constance Pekingese




Border Collie


Chinese Crested 24 moderndog

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French Bulldog


Jack Russell Terrier/Pug

Lucky Sheltie

Bolt Sadie Boxer

Jillian & Olive

Italian Greyhound/Chihuahua

Giant Schnauzer


Jobi & Wilf

Labrador Pug & Shih Tzu

Pointer mix

Priscilla & Detlef Chihuahua




Shepherd mix


Australian Shepherd

Bueller Bulldog

Think your dog ought to grace the pages of Modern Dog?


Bull Terrier


Upload your dog’s photo at Not only will he or she be entered to be our Dog of the Week, but a selection of the photos entered will appear on these pages!

Chow Chow



The Basenji

Out of Africa, into your heart By Kelly Caldwell


S T E V E N . J U R I .1 ©2013 D E B O R A H S A M U E L

Photographed by Deborah Samuel


few years ago, I was chatting with a Dog Show Judge who asked me what kind of dogs I had. “I have two Basenjis,” I happily replied. Her smile turned to a frown and her next words were, “Oh, what horrible little bush dogs.” I took no offence. Long ago, I learned that the Basenji is a polarizing breed, one you’ll either love with a passion or want absolutely nothing to do with. The Basenji Club of America (BCOA) notes that cave paintings in Libya dating back to 6000 BC feature pariah dogs that bear strong resemblance to the Basenji. In recent years, DNA testing has identified the Basenji as an early example of canine development. This ancient breed is native to Central Africa, where Basenjis were—and still are—used to assist hunters by driving game such as antelope into nets. These dogs hunt by sight and scent, and their prowess is matched by a fearless and determined nature. No doubt, a large part of the breed’s survival over the centuries stems from the value it has consistently brought to a tribe’s table. Efforts to bring the breed from the Congo to Europe and beyond began in the 1880s, but weren’t successful until the mid-1930s. A standard was developed and today the American Kennel Club (AKC) allows for a height range from 16 inches to 17 inches at the withers and a weight of 22 to 24 pounds. Accepted colour varieties include red, black, tricolour, and brindle. The exotic look of the Basenji sets it apart from the crowd, and the same can be said about its unique temperament. Is this breed half-cat? Well, Basenjis do love to keep themselves fastidiously clean and they tend to be cautious around new people. And Basenjis almost universally dislike the water. One of mine acted like she was being tortured if asked to walk on wet grass, let alone endure a dreaded bath. Lastly, the Basenji doesn’t just lavish affection on anyone. Much like a feline, he loves selectively, but gives his whole heart to his chosen few. Often, the Basenji is referred to as “the bark-less dog.” True, they don’t bark per se but they can be very vocal. Of my two, only one was a talker. Coming home to his happy yodels and barroos was a delight. His female counterpart in the household only occasionally made funny grunts and chortles that, to my ear, made her sound more like a pig or a chicken than a dog. The breed is alert and highly intelligent but has a reputation for being difficult to train. Some will claim the breed lacks smarts, but this is not the case; it simply lacks an innate desire to do man’s bidding. Unless man’s bidding is to hunt, that is. I once came home to find a tennis ball in my backyard. I knew the culprit and called my dad. “I take it you tried to play Fetch with the dogs,” I said. “Tried is right,” he scoffed. “What kind of dog doesn’t want to chase after a ball?” I just laughed. Over the years, dad would occasionally try again. My female would train her eyes on the ball and then squint at my dad as if to say, “You pick it up.” My male was more of a people-pleaser. He’d sometimes run half-heartedly after the ball, but upon realizing it wasn’t a living, breathing thing he’d just flop on the grass and sunbathe. Could this unique breed be the right choice for you? Here are a few things to consider. First, the Basenji needs companionship and will not be happy left to exist on the


The Basenji AKC Ranking: 88 Size: Medium. The AKC breed standard allows for a size from 16 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder and a weight between 22 to 24 pounds. Activity level: High The Basenji is built for speed and needs plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to thrive.

B O O F E L D S .1 A N D T R I R Y A N .1 ©2013 D E B O R A H S A M U E L


fringes of your family’s day-to-day activities. Is this a dog that is content to be left alone all day? Not in my opinion. Bored and left to his own devices, the Basenji can act out, and believe me, Basenji destruction can be epic. Most Popular When it comes to training, you need Dogs in the U.S. to be committed and patient. Start from According to the most recent day one with puppy kindergarten and AKC registration statistics work on training every day to ensure [1] Labrador Retriever that bad habits don’t become the norm. [2] German Shepherd Dog In terms of activity level, remember [3] Golden Retriever that the Basenji is a hunting breed, built [4] Beagle for speed and endurance. The Basenji [5] Bulldog will not thrive in any environment with[6] Yorkshire Terrier out adequate exercise. Daily walks are [7] Boxer an absolute minimum. Even better, join [8] Poodle a breed club and take your Basenji out to [9] Rottweiler enjoy lure coursing, even if only for fun [10] Dachshund races and social stimulation. [88] Basenji Speaking of running, they will... right out of your backyard, if it isn’t fenced. The Basenji’s prey instinct is acute and so is their interest in searching for escape routes. Protect your dogs by having a secure yard where they can run and play but stay safe. As with all purebred dogs, there are some inherited diseases that affect the breed, including Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Fanconi Syndrome, and thyroid problems. Responsible breeders take great steps to ensure that they use healthy stock for their breeding programs. As part of an effort to increase the Basenji gene pool, the BCOA and AKC have worked together to introduce foundation stock from Africa on a number of occasions. Horrible little bush dogs? Well, perhaps to the kind of person who wants a dog to fulfill the role of a pliable, biddable friend who simply does what he’s told. But for those of us who appreciate a dog who can think for himself, there really is no substitute. n

If you like the Basenji, you might also give some consideration to the Shiba Inu, Ibizan Hound, or Whippet.

Heritage: This fearless hound has been used as a hunting companion in Central Africa for centuries. For information on Basenji rescue in the United States or Canada, visit


Grooming: Low The Basenji keeps himself fastidiously clean. A weekly brush of his short fur should suffice, but a thorough shedding often occurs at least once a year.

Shiba Inu

Ibizan Hound



For more breed profiles, go to

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craft D.I.Y.

Pencil Me In Just in time for back to school!

“Take me to work!”

By Allison Patrick We’ve got the perfect DIY project to jazz up your desk and help you not just dig in but welcome a return to work and school. These cork-covered pencil cups with their cool canine silhouettes will keep you organized and remind you of your own creativity. We asked blogger and crafter extraordinaire Allison Patrick of The 3Rs Blog (—those R’s would be for Reduce, Reuse, Redecorate) to show us how it’s done.

STEP 2 Take your roll of cork and cut a strip with a width equal to the height of your can and a length that will wrap around the can and overlap by 1/8". Who doesn’t love a good old recycled can? I’ve been turning them into pencil cups since I was 12, but recently perfected my technique and updated their look to match my more modern aesthetic. Here’s how to make your own:

SUPPLIES • A recycled aluminum can • Spray paint • Roll of cork, available at craft stores • Hot glue gun and glue sticks • One full-sheet laser/ink jet mailing label • Craft paint or house paint

HOW-TO STEP 1 Give your clean, dry can a nice coat of spray paint in whatever colour you fancy. Paint the inside of the can first, then once its dry turn it over and paint the outside.

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STEP 3 Have your hot glue gun plugged in and ready to go! Put one line of glue down the can’s seam edge and attach one end of your cork strip. Then, working slowly, apply a line of glue to just the top and bottom of your can (leave the middle unglued), attaching the cork as you glue. Add a thin line of glue down your first edge to secure the overlap. STEP 4 Now you’re ready to jazz up your cup with a fun canine silhouette! Go to pencilcupstencil for an array of ready-to-print silhouettes. Print your silhouette to a full-sheet laser/ink jet mailing label. Using an X-Acto knife cut out your silhouette to create your stencil. STEP 5 Peel off the sticker-backing and stick your stencil to your cork-covered can. Paint it in the colour of your choosing and carefully remove the stencil. STEP 6 Now simply add pens and enjoy! I like the clean modern look of just the cork and the stencil, but if you wanted you could always add a strip of ribbon to the top or bottom for a little extra pizzazz. Make a whole family of cans in different sizes to suit all your desk organizational needs!


FIGHT FAT! Treats should comprise no more than 10 percent of your dog’s daily caloric intake.


Single-Ingredient Healthy Dog Treats Found in Your Cupboard & Crisper

Get snack-tastic! Creative, healthy treats to give your dog

bage b a C 1.

2. Frozen Sardines

These tiny fish are rich in omegas and tasty to boot. Due to their small size, sardines can be fed whole. Keep a bag of them in the freezer for a chilly, crunchy little treat.

3. Brown Rice

Bland yet filling, brown rice is especially good for feeding to dogs with upset stomachs.

A member of the cruciferous vegetable family, cabbage is cancer-fighting. Try steaming a little cabbage and add to your dog’s dinner—add just a bit though, so as to not upset your dog’s stomach or have him clear the room with post-dinner flatulence. Too much cabbage equals gas.

5. Dehydrated Liver

Most dogs are crazy for dried liver. Made of just liver, with no preservatives or additives, it’s a treat you can feel good about giving your dog. Make them yourself in your oven or, better yet, a dehydrator like the Excalibur (, and save some money.

4. Red Pepper

Packed with vitamins, slices of raw red peppers are a sweet treat lots of dogs adore. Feed fresh or slice and freeze for a cool treat.

6. Pumpkin

This bright orange veggie is rich in carotenoids, beta-carotene, alphacarotene, fiber, zinc, iron, vitamin A, and potassium. Either cook it in the oven or buy it canned, unsweetened, of course (Be sure to not accidentally buy pumpkin pie filler!). We like Fruitables holistic canned pumpkin supplements ( Best of all, pumpkin can help your dog lose weight; it’s low fat but filling thanks to its high fiber content, so you can decrease your dog’s dinner portion but top it up with a bit of canned or cooked, pureed pumpkin to help him feel full. Because or its high fiber and water content, it can also bulk up stool and help with diarrhea and constipation. Start by giving a tablespoon or two of pureed pumpkin a day. Pumpkin is also a great ingredient to add to many homemade dog treats!

7 . Apples!

Lots of dogs love sweet, crispy apple slices—which is great as apples contain calcium, vitamin K, vitamin C, and pectin (soluble fibre). Remove the core and seeds, though; apple seeds and stems contain cyanogenic glycosides, so you’ll want to avoid letting your dog consume a bunch of apple cores.

8. Quinoa

10. Cauliflower

Many dogs love cancer-fighting cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. Our dogs have been known to beg for little bits of both, fed raw. If your dog needs more convincing, chop it so it resembles feta and sprinkle on your dog’s dinner. (This is also a great technique for fooling kids into eating their veggies!) Keep in mind that too much broccoli and cauliflower, particularly raw, can cause gas so keep those portions small!

This ancient grain has received a lot of buzz as of late, and with good reason. It’s great for dogs with grain sensitivities and, like brown rice, is a good stomach settler.

11. Cheese

Most dogs simply adore a tidbit of cheese, making it a great high-value reward for training. Just mind those calories and keep in mind that softer unripened cheeses are more likely to cause stomach upset.

9. Carrots

Pack a raw baby carrot or two for a great on-the-go dog treat. Or cook them and mash into your dog’s dinner for a sweet and healthy addition. Or freeze some baby carrots for a chilly sweet treat that will naturally clean your dog’s teeth. Options abound.

12. Dehydrated Apricots

Dried apricots make for a sweet healthy treat that travels well, perfect for indulging a dog with a sweet tooth. Do mind the portion size; dehydrated apricots contain all of the nutrients of the hydrated ones but they have no water, so only feed little bits of dried apricot to prevent tummy upset.


Canines inthe Classroom By Kelly Caldwell

Illustration Celia Krampien

With bullying and illiteracy epidemic in our school systems, educators are turning to an unlikely educational ally—dogs


arry Baranowski remembers the encounter vividly. The fourth grader approached him after class, looked him straight in the eye, and said, “You know the stuff we’ve talked about the last few days, about how a bully does things? That’s me. I do the things that a bully does. I’ve done them to my friends, to animals, and to other kids here at school. I know how wrong it is now, and I’m never going to do it again.” The conversation took place at school, but Barry isn’t a teacher. He’s a volunteer Humane Educator with Wayside Waifs, a no-kill pet adoption campus set on over 40 acres in Kansas City, MO. Every year, the non-profit group delivers Humane Education programs to more than 30,000 students in the region. Their No More Bullies campaign is designed to teach children why bullying is wrong, and it’s accomplished with educators and a curriculum starring, you guessed it, man’s best friend. Humane Educators from Wayside Waifs each work with their own specially-trained therapy dog. During the school year, a dog and handler team head to a classroom where they’ll return every day for a week, staying each time for an hour. It’s an intensive curriculum that gives students plenty of time to interact with the dog and also gives the Humane Educator time to dig deeper into the issues surrounding bullying. So how exactly does bringing a therapy dog into a classroom relate to bullying? “The animal is the aid,” explains Communications Manager Jennie Rinas. “Lessons are taught by making it about the dog, but the Humane Educators lead discussions to point out that the same lessons and standards of treatment also apply to people.” Students learn that animals have feelings, the kind of tasks involved in being a responsible pet owner, and how to respond if they see an animal in distress. The curriculum emphasizes lessons on kindness, compassion, and self-control. Those may sound like basic concepts, but as the epidemic of bullying would suggest, many young people are not learning those lessons at home. The program is taught to students from grades three to five, because a key goal of Wayside Waifs is early intervention—to reach out to young people before they head down a path of abuse. “We know that at least 70 percent of people who are in prison for violent crime started out by abusing animals,” says Baranowski, “and we make sure the kids know that, too.”



“Top Dog” Reading Buddies

From Top: Seventh grade students from Raytown Middle School in Raytown, Missouri, along with teacher Harriet Halterman, enjoy a visit from Wayside Waifs Humane Education Assistant Instructor Jan Acklin and Papillon cross Dante; Lab-cross T.J. encourages a participant in the Paws to Read Program at the Acton Public Library in Georgetown, ON; Barbara Kelly, TPOC’s Director of Children’s Programs, and her Golden Retriever, Brent, now retired, at a Children’s Spring Break Reading Program in Elgin, ON.

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All dogs in the Paws To Read program are Child Certified Therapy Dogs— the cream of the therapy crop. Dogs must be experienced at providing therapy visits with adults and seniors, and only then can they (and their handlers) go through testing to determine if they are suitable for working with kids. Barbara Kelly describes the dogs as, “bomb proof”— trained to remain calm and nurturing even while noise, sudden distractions, and general classroom chaos occur around them. Dogs don’t have to be purebred to participate in the program. “A Heinz 57 dog is more than welcome,” says Kelly, “so long as he’s vet-approved for health and meets the standards for temperament and obedience.”

During the lessons, the handler’s dog interacts with the students, often wandering from child to child in search of a gentle pat. The therapy dogs come in a variety of shapes and sizes and some are world-class entertainers. Dante the Papillon can give kids a high five or push a button on a musical radio and start dancing to the music. Not to be outdone is Wally, a Spaniel/retriever mix whose trick repertoire includes plenty of the classics, along with a unique ability to hold a cracker in his teeth until a volunteer puts some “doggie spray cheese” on it and gives him a command to gobble it down. As for Barney, Baranowski’s Boston Terrier/ Chihuahua mix, Barry admits his sidekick isn’t exactly a master of tricks, but the little dog’s incredibly laid-back nature wins all the kids over. All of the dogs in the program are wonderful, so it’s no surprise that, over the course of a week, children bond with their new furry friends. That bonding is a critical part of the program’s success, because it makes it that much easier for kids to understand why bullying any dog would be wrong. Another Human Educator, Jo Dean Hearn, sees firsthand how engaged kids are in the program, and believes No More Bullies is changing lives and making a difference. “Children report not only learning how to stop a bully, but how to gain respect the right way,” she says. “They tell us that they have learned the importance of reporting animal abuse, not only to help the animal, but because they now know that a person who abuses and bullies animals also bullies people.” Kids who go through the program have a fun time interacting with the therapy dogs and learning about animals. At the same time, they’ve talked at length about bullying pets and why that’s

“We know that at least 70% of people who are in prison for violent crime started out by abusing animals and we make sure the kids know that, too.”

wrong. On their own, most children connect the dots, and realize that other kids are just like the dog they’ve gotten to know—deserving of their kindness and compassion. The No More Bullies program has received worldwide attention. “We’ve gotten inquiries from South America, Asia…all over the world,” says Rinas. The goal is for the program to reach far beyond the borders of the Kansas City region. Let’s hope it happens. Paws To Read Another organization making great strides in the area of Humane Education is Therapeutic Paws of Canada (TPOC), a non-profit organization run by a nationwide network of volunteers. As part of their mandate to provide animal resources for human needs, the group uses therapy dogs for a number of outreach programs, including Paws To Read. Founded in 2003, Paws To Read is designed to assist children who are struggling with reading comprehension. While the program typically assists kids in grades one, two, and three, Barbara Kelly, Director of Children’s Programs, notes that is a guideline. “The reality,” she says, “is that some children continue to struggle with reading in later grades. Those kids can request one-on-one time with the therapy teams. We go where there is a need.” In the sessions, a child sits with a team consisting of a trained handler and his or her Child Certified Therapy Dog. Typically, a child gets comfy and snuggles in close with the dog. Sessions last for about 15 minutes and the child can read whatever he or she wants.


“We’re not teaching,” says Kelly, “and we aren’t correcting.” It is, after all, the dogs that the children are reading to, and, as Kelly so succinctly puts it, “Dogs never judge.” Not surprisingly, most kids quickly develop a bond with their new reading buddy and look forward to returning for more sessions. Their practice pays off, often with dramatic results. Kelly receives letters from educators and parents who note that some kids advance a year or even two in reading comprehension in a short time through the program. It may sound simple, but consider just how many academic struggles are rooted in social issues. Emotionally, it can be devastating for young kids in school when they lag behind in reading. “Often,” says Kelly, “when a child is reading well below her grade level, it comes down to a self-confidence issue.” Rather than compounding anxieties with more tests and pressure, a child simply relaxes while reading. Kelly describes the experience of watching kids gain confidence and improve their fluency and word recognition skills as, “amazing.” One parent wrote to tell her that her daughter told her she felt “very special and very safe” while she was reading with her new canine friend. Could we ask for anything more for our kids? It’s clear that this is a labour of love for the 150 Child Certified Therapy Teams working across Canada. It has been for Kelly as well—her Golden Retriever Brent retired in December 2012 after spending seven years as part of a therapy team. “He always knew who needed a visit and would gravitate towards that person,” Kelly notes with pride. With so many benefits and so many willing volunteers, you’d think this program would be a no-brainer for schools across the nation. But think again. While Paws To Read is taking place in some schools, the vast majority of the sessions occur in public libraries or other venues. “Unfortunately,” says Kelly, “a lot of school boards won’t approve the program due to concerns regarding allergies or other fears.” Some boards will work with the organization to learn more and seek assurances; others unfortunately will not. So, for many young people, gaining access to the program doesn’t simply involve a walk down the hall to the school library. It may require a trip across town—and that may or may not be feasible for them or their parents. Those who want to learn more about the program are encouraged to contact TPOC. And if your child’s school board has a ‘no dogs allowed’ policy, start there and try to open their minds to considering the benefits a program that is making a real difference for children who struggle with reading. These days, there is so much pressure on children to fit in socially and perform academically. Parents and educators try their best to help, but while many kids overcome their challenges, a great many do not. For some children, success in school seems insurmountable. Whether it’s trying to stamp out bullying or helping students overcome learning shortfalls, today’s most progressive educators are those with an open mind when it comes to finding solutions. Looking beyond text books and academic theories, some are finding their answers where so many of us have found ours: in the heart of a dog. n

>>Go! Learn more about these non-profit organizations and their Humane Education programs at and

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The Aikiou Feeder helps slow down dogs who can’t help but bolt their food. Several compartments with different access points make the challenge unique, and your dog will be encouraged to use his nose and paws to find his food. A great choice for overweight pups!


Challenge your dog to figure out this treat dispensing toy from Planet Dog! The Orbee-Tuff Mazee provides a mental workout that will keep him sharp, and the treat at the end rewards his dogged efforts!

$8 - $14

Keep your dog busy, engaged, and interested with the Wigzi Treat Toy. It bounces high and features two pockets that can be stuffed with different tempting treats. Available in glow-inthe-dark material!


The Kong Genius Mike is named for Michaelangelo, and your pup will get to experience a creative renaissance of her own when she puzzles out how to get the treats out of this toy. This toy is part of a connectable set, which means there are ways to build even more obstacles for your super smart canine.


Thrill your dog with these interactive toys

$5 - $7

The Mammoth Dogsavers Treat Ball will provide your inquisitive hound with hours of fun. Its heavy duty, super-durable construction is fun to chomp on and allows it to float in water. It even comes with a secret compartment to hide treats in to reward your curious pooch.

$45 $9

The Grass Ball, part of JW Pet’s great line of interactive treat toys, offers chewing surfaces that promote dental health, openings for treats, and doublemolded rubber that will stand up to the toughest jaws. A great combination toy with endless possibilities!

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The unique design of the Northmate Green Slow Feeder works by restricting access to food that is sprinkled throughout the “grass”, requiring your dog to work for his dinner. A handy tool in the fight to prevent gulping and bloating!

The power of positive training in dog behaviour and beyond By Victoria Stilwell


’m sitting across from a husband and wife that are on the verge of divorce. They’ve started arguing again and seem to have forgotten that I’m in the room. I’ve been in their home only 30 minutes and already I’ve been exposed to the most intimate details of their lives, the wife accusing her husband of wanting to be with the dog more than he wants to be with her and the husband telling her how ridiculous she sounds. He loves his dog even though the dog has bitten his wife on a number of occasions, and he refuses to give in to her demands to give the dog away. In situations like this, it’s hard for me not to become emotionally embroiled, but I have to think clearly and logically about what the next steps should be. I am not a trained marriage counselor, but have learned that being a good dog trainer means sometimes having to deal with difficult human situations in addition to providing solutions to complex canine behavioural issues. The two go hand in hand, as many of the canine issues I see have been caused or greatly influenced by the people dogs live with or the environment in which they live. Early in my work I discovered that just listening to people talk about any given situation is a big part of the human rehabilitation process—talking about feelings provides profound relief. Helping people communicate successfully—which frequently means framing problems positively or without blame—enables

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them to air out differences and create solutions not just for the humans in the household but also for the dogs. Positivity is powerful on so many levels. It improves communication, facilitates understanding, and promotes patience. Endeavouring to understand how a family member feels or why a dog is misbehaving lets you address the root cause of the feeling/behaviour and the empathy this understanding gives you helps to tackle the problem in a positive manner, giving both dog and person a greater chance of success. This is why I call my teaching methods positive training and why my company is called Positively; a positive approach yields results. It’s not always easy, but thinking and teaching positively greatly enhances learning and strengthens the human/animal bond. The use of positive methods when teaching a dog has been universally endorsed by the behavioural scientific community at large as the most effective, long-lasting, and humane dog training method, not to mention the safest. Basically, with positive reinforcement—which is essentially rewarding a behaviour you like—there’s a better chance of that behaviour being repeated. Not that it’s all treats or praise. Positive training still utilizes “negative” punishment (the removal or withholding of something the dog wants like food, atten-

Positivity is powerful on so many levels. It improves communication, facilitates understanding, and promotes patience.

tion, toys, or human contact for a short period of time) or vocal interrupters to redirect negative behaviour to a wanted behaviour. It’s all about guiding a dog into making the right choices. Traditional (old school) trainers often argue that positive training shows weakness and a lack of leadership, but the truth is that the most respected and successful leaders are able to effect change without the use of force. Punitive trainers also believe that positive training only works on small dogs with minor behavioural issues and that a heavier hand is needed with large, unruly dogs or those dogs that are highly driven, such as working dogs. But in reality, positive principles are by far the most effective way to teach all kinds of dogs, including those that suffer from severe anxiety or aggression. Contrary to what many people have been led to believe, most dogs are not trying to be dominant when they misbehave. The truth is that dogs are not on a quest for world domination. They are not socialized wolves who are constantly striving to be “top dog” over us, and they are not hard-wired to try and control every situation they are in. Unlike what traditional training ideologies and much modern media would have people believe, most canine behaviour problems stem from insecurity and/or a desire to seek and maintain safety and comfort, not from a desire to establish higher rank and be the “alpha.” Therefore, teaching dogs “who the boss is” by forcing them into some mythical state called “calm submission” is precisely the opposite of what dogs really need in order to learn effectively and overcome behavioural issues. Resisting the urge to project our human insecurities onto how we believe our dogs think and feel is a prerequisite to being able to understand and build truly balanced and healthy relationships with them. Recent studies show that dogs have cognitive abilities comparable to that of a twoyear-old child. Extensive studies have also shown that punishing children can compromise learning, promote insecurity, and cause problem behavioural issues as the child grows. People have made great strides in understanding how children should be raised and it is important to do the same for our dogs. Children and dogs might be very different in many ways, but they are both vulnerable beings that rely on us 100 percent to protect them, to help them learn, and give them the confidence and tools they need to be successful in their environment. This is done with kindness, positivity, effective boundaries, and continual encouragement and reinforcement of good behaviour. I try to be a positive person in everything I do, not just when I am working with animals. I never fail when it comes to teaching dogs but sometimes I have a hard time staying 100 percent positive in my personal life or when clients are being combative or fail to do the work I give them. Like most of us, I have on occasion gone down that negative road, especially when my emotions get the better of me, but nothing good comes of it. My job is to promote change for people and their animals and the only way I can do that most effectively is to live positively myself. I can say from experience that the results are worth it. As for the warring husband and wife? They are still together and positively working through their issues. Thanks to our many sessions, there is clearer understanding of each other’s needs on both sides and a deeper bond is forming between them and their dog. n


The Minnie Mouse bow, the afro, the long locks, the beatnik turtleneck... we want every single one of Swedish designer Lisa Bengtsson’s frame-worthy Dachshund prints. $30,

Glassybaby’s beautiful, handblown glass candle holders not only look good, they feel good too. Founded by a three time cancer survivor, Glassybaby has donated over $1.4 million (!) to charities dedicated to helping people and animals heal. 10% from the sale of each “Wet Dog” Glassybaby candle holder (pictured along with the lighter coloured “Purr”) is donated to the HSUS to help dogs and their owners after natural disasters. $44,

We’re loving these new Willow Bowls from Simply Fido. They function both as a kibble scoop and a food bowl—talk about multi-tasking! What’s more? They’re eco-friendly and come in four lovely pastel colours. $25,


The Drawwg chest of drawers is quirky Danish design at its finest. Love the dog-ification of a classic piece of furniture. $2800,

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Let visitors know who owns your heart while causing all those uninvited to wonder who might be lying in wait on the other side of the door with a solid bronze dog-head door knocker. It’s beautifully handcrafted, cast from an original sculpture, and available in a whole array of breeds. Makes a great gift! $120,

Perfect for your modern home, this feeder’s sleek minimalism pops with a slick of bright colour. Stainless steel bowls are nestled in 3/8" slab of BirchPly topped with an acrylic layer and finished with low metal legs. $89,

The Urbanest bed is made for flopping, nesting, and snoozing! Designed by Tiziana Agnello and handcrafted in Brooklyn, these statement-making beds boast eco-friendly inserts and linen/ cotton-canvas covers featuring exclusively designed prints. $190,

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{Editor’s Pick}


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ROGER THAT The road home: Operation Roger truckers transport rescue dogs to their forever families By Jen Reeder

Illustration by Kim Smith


avid Binz, a trucker based in Kelso, WA, cares deeply about his hitchhikers. There was Shelby, a Pekingese rescued from a tin shed in Oklahoma, who he drove to a new home in Alaska. There was Sierra, a Border Collie he drove from an animal shelter in Wyoming to a forever home in North Carolina. He fondly remembers Ginger, an elderly terrier mix whose owners gave her to a pound in Texas because she was having health problems they couldn’t afford. So she rode with Binz to meet her new dad, a disabled Navy veteran in Nebraska. Binz even ended up adopting Jessie, a Pit Bull puppy he drove from Oklahoma to Washington, but whose new home didn’t work out. Binz volunteers with the nonprofit Operation Roger, a self-described “rag-tag group of some 20-30 pet-loving truckers” who transfer dogs and cats from animal shelters or individuals to new homes in the U.S. and Canada—for just a $25 donation. The group has transported over 700 pets since its inception in September 2005. “You’re able to take this little animal and instead of it being put down somewhere, you give it to a wonderful family who will give it a great life,” Binz says. “You get hooked pretty easy when you’re able to have that kind of feeling over and over and over again. It’s really good.” Operation Roger is the brainchild of retired trucker Sue Wiese, a Texas resident who was concerned about the pets stranded after Hurricane Katrina. She says she asked God what she could do and he said, “transport.” She named Operation Roger after her beloved Manchester Terrier and began organizing a network of volunteer truckers to reunite pets who were separated from their owners during the storm. Post-Katrina, the efforts continued, now matching homeless pets with new families. It was and is tricky, since truckers cannot deviate from their scheduled work routes. Pickups and drop-offs can be at mid-day or in the wee hours of the morning, usually at truck stops and often met by volunteer shuttle drivers with four-wheeled vehicles that can navigate narrow streets that trucks can’t. Operation Roger also relies on volunteers with layover homes, so that if a trucker can only get a dog as far as a certain city, another trucker can pick it up and continue the journey. “Layovers take the pet for an indeterminate time—it could be a month or six weeks—it depends on when the next driver can get there,” Wiese says. “We always have a need for layover homes, drivers, and donations.” Wiese says while Operation Roger primarily transports dogs and cats, drivers also have helped other small companion animals like birds, snakes, iguanas—even a miniature pot-bellied pig. Truckers must attend an orientation jokingly called “Operation Roger University” to prepare them for the job. “It’s things we’ve learned over the past eight years—what to do and what not to do in order to keep the pets, the truck, and themselves safe. The last thing they want to have to do is call the shipper and say they lost their dog,” she says.


Trucker David Binz’s rescued canine passengers en route to their forever homes.

“You’re able to take this little animal and instead of it being put down somewhere, you give it to a wonderful family who will give it a great life.” She also encourages drivers to keep their trucks extra clean so that their companies don’t establish no-pets policies, which many truck companies already have in place. Toni Bowser, lead coordinator of Operation Roger, says Operation Roger is firmly focused on transporting rescues as opposed to dogs from breeders. “There are so many dogs that are needing homes,” Bowser says. “This is Operation Roger’s way to turn around and help the rescues get their dogs to adoptive homes…We would rather give the rescues all the help we can.” The need for help is great: the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates three to four million dogs and cats are euthanized at animal shelters each year in the United States alone (60 percent of dogs taken to shelters and 70 percent of cats). That’s why Operation Rescue tries to attend truck shows as often as possible to try to recruit more drivers— the more drivers they have, the more animals they can save. Operation Roger is entirely run by volunteers, so the cost to shippers (often, this is a rescue group, but sometimes an individual) is minimal. The $25 donation barely covers phone and Internet costs associated with the transport, Wiese says. Shippers provide the pets’ food, medical records, collars, leashes, and toys while the truckers provide fresh water, exercise, and TLC along with a lift. The recipients are invariably grateful to Operation Roger when they receive their new pets. Don Smith, a resident of Sherman Oaks, CA, received his Pit Bull Sassy in February 2013 from Operation Roger, and says he is proud to have been transport number 679.

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“That means there were 678 extremely happy human beings and saved puppies before me,” he says. “Operation Roger is absolutely fantastic—I cannot praise them enough.” Sassy was about nine months old and living in Oklahoma when her owner became homeless right as he learned he was terminally ill, so he surrendered her to a shelter so that she wouldn’t have to live on the streets. Smith saw Sassy’s photo online through a Pit Bull rescue group and “fell in love.” He told Operation Rescue’s Bowser “Get her to California and I’ll take her,” and about 10 minutes later, Bowser responded, “I can do that.” It wasn’t a fast process—it took a month and a half for a driving team’s schedule to work out—but it did happen. Operation Roger drivers Frank Rinchiuso Jr. and Jenny Lee Burdett picked up Sassy in Oklahoma and texted a photo of her to Smith with the note: “Here she is. She’s coming.” Like all Operation Roger dogs, she rode in the cab with the drivers, who continued texting updates to Smith every few hours, either about her behaviour (“She’s not eating right now;” to 10 minutes later: “She just had a piece of pizza crust;” to 30 minutes later: “Oops, she threw up”) or their progress on the road. “My sweetheart rode in the cab with them. There is no crate, the dog is up in the cab with them getting love, getting treats, just being spoiled every inch of the way,” Smith says. “These aren’t just a bunch of people that are doing this so they get notoriety. These are people that have this in their hearts to help reunite animals with a loving home.” Smith drove over 100 miles to meet Sassy and the Operation


Roger team at a truck stop at 10 o’clock at night—recipients must agree to meet the truckers whenever and wherever their schedule allows—and hasn’t looked back. He says Sassy is a “Daddy’s girl” who sleeps in bed every night with him under the covers, and gets along well with his other dogs and cat. He plans to train her to be a therapy dog. He gives updates to Rinchiuso, who calls from time to time to check in on Sassy and see how she and Smith are doing. “I am absolutely in love and feel so blessed to have this little sweetheart in my life, and to have met and be connected with such an absolutely wonderful organization,” Smith says. “These are people who do this out of the goodness of their heart. If more people did things like this—I’m not talking just about animals, but in general—our world would be a much better place.” Glenn Whitecotton, a trucker based in Roswell, NM, has volunteered with Operation Roger since it started in 2005. Since then he’s transported around 40 dogs and six chinchillas (South American rodents) for the group. Whitecotton, who drives an average of 150,000 miles a year, says he thinks he gets more out of it than the dogs. “I’m 69, so I’m just like a grandpa—I get a dog on the truck and I spoil it. They wind up sleeping with me and everything,” Whitecotton says. “I fall in love with all of them. I even cried once.” The dog with whom it was so difficult to part was Buddy, a Boxer stray he picked up in Utah. “He was real skinny and underweight, so every morning I would give him a sausage/egg biscuit. And every morning he expected it—he was smelling in my pockets or wherever I had it. ‘Where’s my sausage/egg biscuit?’” Whitecotton says with a laugh. They spent 15 days together driving from Utah to Oregon to Colorado to Texas to Indianapolis and, finally, Chicago, IL, where Whitecotton turned Buddy over to another Operation Roger driver to help him reach his new family in Maine. “He probably gained five pounds in the 15 days because I made sure he had something to eat,” Whitecotton says. “The people that he finally went to, they said every morning they had to give him a sausage/egg biscuit.” He says it is rewarding to witness reunions between dogs and their owners who have been temporarily separated by circum-

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“These are people who do this out of the goodness of their hearts. If more people did things like this—I’m not talking just about animals, but in general— our world would be a much better place.”

From top: Trucker David Binz with rescue pup Sierra, one of the 11 pets (10 dogs and one cat!) that made up his first transport for Operation Roger, along with Sierra’s new mom, Sharon. Don Smith, a resident of Sherman Oaks, CA, received his rescued Pit Bill Sassy from Operation Roger in February, 2013.

stances like divorce, as well as first-time encounters, and to share a camaraderie with other Operation Roger drivers, who share information and sometimes even meet for lunch on the road when their schedules allow. “It’s like a fraternity between the drivers,” he says. Whitecotton says there are even health benefits to transporting dogs. He stops every two hours to walk the dogs he transports, which in turn forces him to exercise. The dogs can also act as protective guard dogs, and help pass the long hours on the road. “When you’ve got the dog on board, you’ve got somebody to talk to,” Whitecotton says. “I think everybody ought to have a dog on a truck.” n

>>Go! Operation Roger volunteers hope to transfer 900 pets by their ninth anniversary on September 16, 2014. For more information or to get involved, visit


AQ&A with Charlotte Ross Interview & photograph by Chris Ameruoso

Charlotte with Taco, left, and Tyler, right.

“I think they both have a bit of my personality.”

Actress Charlotte Ross has played many roles— Quinn Fabray’s mom on Glee, a malevolent daughter on Days of Our Lives, NYPD Blue detective, to name but a few—but the one we love her best in is that of her animal-loving self. Q: Tell us about your dogs Taco and Tyler. A: Taco was a homeless dog on the streets of Puerto Rico. I was shooting a film there and feeding the homeless dogs on my days off and found him limping on the side of the road. He was less than a year old then—and that was 16 years ago! I also rescued four other dogs from Puerto Rico and found homes for them with loving families. I’ve been wanting to do a documentary about the homeless “Santos” in Puerto Rico for while now as I’m hopeful that with more awareness there will be better treatment of the dogs there. Taco is my shining example that homeless, skittish dogs with “issues” can make the best, forever grateful, most loving pets you can ever have. My dream is that people always go to their local city shelter first when deciding to get a dog. Loving dogs are killed every day as most shelters simply do not have the space and resources to keep them all. It’s tragic. Tyler is from the South Central LA shelter.

Q: What personality traits do you share with your dogs? A: I think they both have a bit of my personality, I suppose. Taco is a true survivor. I left home very young with no financial support and, even harder, not a lot of emotional support. I respect people—and animals!—that have had to survive and prove themselves entirely on their own. Tyler is like me because sometimes all he wants to do is play and honestly only sees the good in people, which I try to do.

Where did you get your big heart for animals? A: I did a PETA ad [anti-fur], idolize Jane Goodall and her organization, and do a lot of work for the HSUS and many oth-

ers. I’ve been involved in animal rights for years. It’s something I’m very passionate about. I’m proud to be the official spokesperson for Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL). They are kind of like the Red Cross for homeless animals. City shelters and rescue groups from all over call them with transportation problems, temperature problems. Studies have shown that a toy or a bed, towel or blanket can actually make an animal more adoptable. I’ve seen OBOL come to the rescue of so many animals!

Q: What have you learned from your pets? A: Not to fight back. I’ve seen other dogs get aggressive with Tyler, but he just walks away, doesn’t engage. I try and do the same thing. When people are mean, rude or aggressive with me, I believe in not engaging and simply turning the other cheek.

Q: What is one thing people can do to help animals? A: Everyone can do one thing to help animals. I bought some lemonade from some kids and their Mom who were then donating the proceeds to their local animal shelter. How awesome is that? It helps the animals and teaches the children the joy of giving to others in need. Something this society could use a bit more of, you know?

Q: If your dogs could tell us one secret about Charlotte what would it be? A: That some of my happiest times are spent simply cuddling with dogs.

>>Go! For more info on Operation Blankets of Love, visit


Dog Doppels Know your dogs. We asked the American Kennel Club to set the record straight on these commonly mistaken breeds. Here’s the AKC low down on differences between these similar-looking dogs. Photographs by Mary Bloom




Whippet • Greyhound • Italian Greyhound

THE GREYHOUND Tall and lean, the Greyhound is the fastest breed of dog. As a sight hound, the breed pursues game using its vision and speed. Today, however, the Greyhound primarily serves as a sweet and personable companion. The breed can be any colour, including black, fawn, and red, often combined with white or brindle markings.

• Hound Group; AKC recognized in 1885 • Ranging in size from 60 to 70 pounds • Hare hunter

In fact, the Whippet is an English Greyhound in miniature, hence the layman frequently confusing the two breeds. A medium-sized sighthound, it gives the appearance of elegance and fitness, denoting great speed, power, and balance. The Whippet is the fastest domesticated animal of his weight, capable of speeds up to 35 m.p.h. A very versatile breed, they can appear in a wide variety of colours and markings. Although keen when racing or coursing, they are quiet and dignified in their owner’s living room.

• Hound Group; AKC recognized in 1888.• Ranging in size from 18 to 22 inches tall (typically 20 to 40 pounds) • Race dog; rabbit courser

THE ITALIAN GREYHOUND The Italian Greyhound is extremely slender and barely over a foot tall, but has all the grace and sweetness of his taller Greyhound relatives. There is debate as to whether they were originally bred for hunting small game or meant to be simply a companion. In all likelihood, both are true, as they are adaptable to city and country life. Playful and intelligent, the Italian Greyhound is generally easy to train and prefers to spend most of his time with his owner. They like attention and affection, and are a peaceful, gentle friend to adults and children. Italian Greyhounds are an active breed that loves to run and play and requires daily walks. Their small size makes them ideal for an apartment and his short, smooth as satin coat makes him one of the easiest breeds to groom.

• Toy Group; AKC recognized in 1886 • Ranging from 13 to 15 inches tall (typically 8 to 18 pounds) • Companion, small game hunter

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Japanese Chin • Pekingese

vs THE JAPANESE CHIN The Japanese Chin’s origin and development in its native land of China is wrapped in royalty and adoration. They were bred for the sole purpose of accompanying the ladies of the Imperial Palace and warming the laps of Chinese aristocracy. There are illustrations on ancient pottery and embroideries that are centuries old, and evidence suggests that one could not purchase a Chin—they were kept in the hands of the nobility and frequently given as gifts of esteem to diplomats and to foreigners who rendered some outstanding service to Japan. The Japanese Chin is a bright, alert, and playful breed.

• Toy Group; AKC recognized in 1888 • Ranging from 8 to 11 inches tall (typically 4 to 15 pounds) • Companion dog

THE PEKINGESE The Pekingese is a well-balanced, compact dog of Chinese origin with a heavy front and lighter hindquarters. They are small dogs but are not to be considered delicate or dainty. Their image is lion-like, implying courage, dignity, boldness, and self-esteem. They can be any colour. Chinese art throughout the ages, starting with the Tang dynasty of the 8th century, abounds with images of the Pekingese, who gets his name from the ancient city of Peking, now called Beijing. Pekingese were held sacred in ancient China and could only be owned by royalty. At that time, the punishment for stealing a Pekingese was death. Pekingese possess a regal dignity, intelligence, and self-importance, making them good natured, opinionated, and affectionate family companions.

• Toy Group; AKC recognized in 1906 • Weigh less than 14 pounds • Watchdog, canine companion


Treat rashes, windburn, puppy acne, and a host of other issues with this 100% natural cure-all containing shea nut butter, a super-moisturizing natural sunscreen and anti-inflammatory. From $5,

Doodie Pack’s light weight utility dog backpack let’s your dog share in carrying the load (perhaps literally). Comfortably designed with with roomy pockets to hold bags of dog waste and walk essentials, it’s available in sizes to fit dogs 8 – 180 pounds. From $30,

If you’ve got a pup that loves to chew on leashes, you know all about regular leashes getting worn and stinky really fast. Solution: a chew-resistant, odour-free leash from Dynoleash! They’re super durable, lightweight, flexible, and come in bright colours. The best part? They’ll easily fit into your pocket once you hit the off-leash trails. From $25,


Protect your dogs paws from the harsh elements with dog boots from Muttluks. These boots are lined with fleece to keep paws warm and they come with self-tightening reflective straps to allow for quick and secure fastening. From $46,

Gotta-have-it fall gear

With the long, cold, dark days ahead of us, it’s important to keep your dog visible when you’re out and about on walks and adventures. Bergan’s Bright Steps reflective leg bands come in three different sizes and colours to keep your dog safe and visible. From $8,

The retro-styling of this Sherpa American Airlines duffle carrier has us dreaming of our next trip! It’s lightweight, sporty, and approved by most major airlines as an on-board carrier. Bon voyage! From $67,

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Always on the go? The new Dexas H-DuO with Collapsible Companion Cup will come in handy. It’s BPA-free with dual drink chambers, so both you and your dog can have a drink while exercising. Or choose to use one of the watertight chambers to store dry items like treats for your deserving dog! From $15,


BlackBeauty Photographed by Tanya King


a senior Chihuahua/Boston Terrier cross, wears a Buddy Belt Leather ID Collar in caramel leather. Buddy Belt also makes awesome harnesses; this collar was designed to match, allowing you to to remove your dog’s Buddy Belt harness without removing your dog’s ID! 58 moderndog

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black beauty


a Pit Bull, wears a stylish embroidered leather Remy Leabeau collar from Ella’s Lead. From $75,


Tikka ,

a Border Collie/Pomeranian cross, wears a redhot waterproof Hydro collar decorated with western charms. From $14,

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thought to be a Lab/German Shepherd/Great Dane cross, wears a whimsical “How to be a Dog� collar exclusively from 2 Hounds Design. From $35,


black beauty


a sweet mutt (Golden Retriever/German Shepherd/ Saint Bernard?), wears a sassy pink and brown Retro Dots collar from Roverdog8productions. From $50,

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Don’t Judge a Pup by his Colour

Black Dog Syndrome. No, it’s not a disease, but rather a sad statistic. Black dogs, particularly large ones, have a much harder time finding homes. They’re often the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized. “Overwhelmingly, we hear from the shelter and rescue groups that black dogs, especially the big black dogs and black cats take longer to get adopted,” says Kim Saunders, vice president of shelter outreach for online pet adoption website Much of it comes down to the fact that black pets have a harder time standing out at overcrowded shelters and are more difficult to photograph, making it hard for shelter staff to market them. Want to help? Awareness of the problem is key. Spread the word about Black Dog Syndrome and share an adoptable black dog or two through Facebook or Twitter. Rescue groups have also reported that dressing the black dogs up in bandanas, tees or bright collars can help get them much needed attention so if you’ve got a few gently used items hanging about your house matching that description (or toys, beds, or blankets, for that matter), drop them by your local shelter. Photographer Seth Casteel of Little Friends Photo in Los Angeles runs a free, nationwide, nonprofit program called Second Chance Photos. His site,, has tips for volunteers to take good photos of shelter pets. He notes, “positive photos are key to adoption,” and stresses the importance of highlighting the dogs’ unique characteristics. One great tip? “Take the dog on a short run before the photo shoot so that he or she will pant, which looks like a smile.”

Kingston and Kessler ,

Cocker Spaniel brothers, both wear faux snakeskin Firenze leather collars from Cece Kent’s Lilly Collection. Kingston wears a dazzling iridescent lime colour while Kessler shines in crystal blue. From $65,


y t u ea B k lac B

BEHIND THE SCENES: MEET THE MODELS By Rose Frosek Photographed by Tanya King

Like so many these days, Nicole Stinn found true love through an internet matchmaking site. But it wasn’t Ok Cupid that hooked her up; it was After see-


ing a photo of , a Border Collie/Pomeranian cross, “it was love at first sight!”

TIKKA GOES CRAZY FOR.... Kittens! She was fostered with a lot of cats and kittens and now thinks she is part feline.

DISLIKES? Getting up in the morning.

PECCADILLOES? Sneakily gathering all the socks she can find and piling them up on her bed.

LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED FROM YOUR DOG? Not to underestimate smaller dogs. She is just a big dog in a little, sporty package. This is our first dog under 70 pounds and Tikka is just 15 pounds of pure joy!

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Lisa Wagner and her family met


their dog , an 11-year-old Chihuahua/Boston Terrier cross, following a Christmas charity drive Lisa had undertaken with a colleague. When they dropped off the donated items to the recipient rescue, SAINTS, a senior-animal sanctuary located in Mission, BC, there was Tux. Needless to say, this cutie made quite the impression, and Tux now counts himself a much loved member of the Wagner family.

IF TUX WERE A CELEBRITY, WHO WOULD HE BE AND WHY? He would be Nick Cannon—full of life, energy, and not afraid to be silly. At the same time, a loyal family man.


KINGSTON AND KESSLER, one-year-old Cocker Spaniel brothers, were brought to the photo shoot by West Coast Cocker Rescue, a small not-for-profit rescue dedicated to saving Cocker Spaniels from high kill shelters mostly in the Los Angeles area. Founded by Bonnie Marshall of Vancouver, BC, and Elyse (Avila) Smith of New Port Beach, CA, the organization, with the help of many amazing volunteers, fosters, and adopters, endeavours to find these beautiful dogs their forever homes. We’re thrilled to report that just following the photo shoot this adorable pair were adopted and, at this very moment, are most likely doing one of their two favourite things—snuggling with their humans or roughhousing with each other.


Carmin Lepitzki met her best friend when a rescue group brought the large black dog of uncertain lineage (Golden Retreiver/German Shepherd/Saint Bernard?) to Carmin’s workplace. Calbella had been pulled from Animal Control where she was on the list to be euthanized. In a Hollywood-worthy turnaround, Cabella’s fortunes changed on a dime when she connected with Carmin. She is now Carmin’s near-constant companion; they spend every moment possible hiking the many trails around Vernon, BC, or paddleboarding out on Kalamalka Lake.



LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED FROM YOUR DOG? When I am with her, I feel like I can truly appreciate the moment we are in. Her love of life—a life that was almost taken away from her—makes me realize how truly amazing each day is.


Pit Bull remarkable story begins in Pembroke, Ontario, where passersby heard a commotion while walking down the street and went to see what was going on. What they found was a man lying on top of a dog in the middle of the road, fighting with her, strangling her, and literally eating her alive— and all the while she never fought back. When she finally got away from her attacker (who was also her owner), she was taken to Animal Control where she went home with an officer there named Michael Street to be nursed back to health. Rescue group Bullies In Need heard about her story, which was being reported on national news, and pleaded to have her released into their custody. Word was no Pit Bull had made it out of Pembroke Animal Control— until Streets came along. Her incredibly soft and gentle nature throughout her ordeal had changed many minds in regards to Pit Bulls, but most importantly it changed that of the powers that be, and soon enough she was released into rescue. When Bullies in Need got her she was emaciated and covered in dirt, blood, and scars. After recuperating a bit, she was sent to Vancouver-based rescue group Hugabull, but not before they gave her the name Streets in honour of the officer who saved her life. It was at this point that Streets met Mary Dyck. Streets was coming into Mary’s workplace, Dizine Canine, as a foster dog. Mary tells us, “When we first met her she was friendly, but clearly a very sad, very lost, shell of a dog. She wandered around in her own world with a worried look etched across her face. It became my mission to change that. It became pretty clear that I had fallen in love with this girl, and soon enough I was given permission to take her home with me just in time for Christmas. We initially expected her to have some trust or fear issues with people, given her history, but she surprised us by having absolutely none! She fit right in from day one. It may have taken her a while to come out of her shell, but it was definitely worth the wait. We couldn’t imagine our family without her.”


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LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED FROM YOUR DOG? Above all, Streets has taught me quite a bit about forgiveness, strength, and trust. For her to go through what she did, without even fighting back, and come through it ready to trust and love people again—that to me is just amazing.

STREETS IS A FANTASTIC DOG BECAUSE... She’s incredibly intelligent and fearless, always up for anything, and most of all just wants to love and be loved. She is living proof that rescue dogs are NOT “damaged” dogs.


Kim Graham met her dog , thought to be a Lab/Shepherd/Great Dane cross, by chance. Kim was at the Vancouver SPCA looking at adult dogs and was about to leave when the manager mentioned there was a pup available for adoption. She wasn’t sure she wanted a puppy but reluctantly agreed to take Daisy for a walk.“She was so cute and small, all 10 weeks of her,” says Kim, “but it wasn’t until she looked up at me and yawned with her spotted Chow-like tongue that the deal was sealed.”

DAISY’S FAVOURITE THINGS? Belly rubs, sticks, couch cuddles, leaning on people, racing through the forest, and her beep-beep toys!

PECCADILLOES? Loud yawning first thing in the morning when she wants us to get up already! Nosenudging you to pay attention to her when you are in the middle of a project. Dropping soaking wet balls/Frisbees/tug-toys on your chest when you are lying down in the park/ yard reading a book.

DESCRIBE DAISY’S PERSONALITY IN THREE WORDS. Gentle, sweet, and totally silly.

IF DAISY WERE A CELEBRITY, WHO WOULD SHE BE AND WHY? Angelina Jolie. Why? They are both tall, sleek, and beautiful. Angelina dresses frequently in black, and Daisy, well, she IS black. They both have “ink” (tattoos), had a rough start in life, and were both pretty rebellious growing up. Both stand up for the under-dog, and have adopted families themselves (Daisy chose and adopted an abandoned kitten, our cat Squeak). And both get A LOT of attention wherever they go!

WHY ADOPT? Because it’s an awesome, crazy adventure with the most rewarding outcome. n


Tie a Yellow Ribbon On It Let others know your dog needs some space with a simple ribbon Genius in its simplicity, the Yellow Dog Project is a global movement encouraging the use of yellow ribbons to identify dogs in need of some space. Whether it’s because of fear or aggression issues, pain from recent surgery, or training not yet completed, dogs that would appreciate not being touched or greeted can let others know they need some space by simply wearing a yellow ribbon. The effort was begun by Tara Palardy, a dog trainer in Red Deer, AB, who commiserated with her many clients that complained of people approaching their reactive or rambunctious dogs, or of kids, unchecked by parents, getting uncomfortably close to nervous pups. Realizing the need for something to help identify their dogs as not being approachable, Palardy started The Yellow Dog Project Facebook page, introducing the concept to 250 of her friends and clients. Six months later she had 15,000 followers on Facebook alone. Clearly, she had struck a chord. “I had no idea thousands of people would join,” Palardy says. “I figured some friends, other trainers...but nothing global. And surprise! Here we are.” For more on the initiative, go to—RF



Keep that Compost Under Wraps! With an ever increasing number of cities implementing municipal composting programs (yes!), we thought a timely reminder to keep your compost and garbage bins secure was in order. Dogs can and will get into any food items not locked down, regardless of suitably/ level of decomposition—Labs, we’re looking extra closely at you. After all, no one wants their dog accidentally poisoning himself with the shrivelly grapes so thoughtfully deposited in the compost container.

The Find We’re always looking for ways to help our dogs stay healthy and fit and here’s our latest find. The vet-endorsed K9FITvest from DogTread provides your dog with fitness, therapy, safety, and sensory integration by blending resistance training benefits into a weighted vest. The resistance helps burn more calories while improving muscle strength and endurance while the hug of the vest helps with problems such as anxiety. The starter kit comes with starter weights for different levels and exercise program instructions for maximum health benefits. From $70,

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Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend never owned a dog.



“I may not to be able to see but I sure can smell my way around!”

{Publisher’s Pick}

Scented Stickers Help Blind Dogs Navigate Although the idea of getting a seeing-eye service dog for your blind pup is ridiculously adorable, a more practical solution is to use Tracerz new adhesive scent markers (, a system specifically designed to help your visually impaired canine find his way indoors. Harnessing the power of your dog’s super sniffer, these discreet stickers are infused with essential oils to help your dog create a three dimensional map of your home in his mind. Each sticker-pack comes with eight scent markers that are used to create a path to an important location, say a water dish or a bed, as well as 20 obstacle markers used to warn your blind pet of an object he would commonly run into, say a table leg or door. A wonderful example of science and good sense combining to help our pets!—SL

Does Your Dog Really Need to be Revaccinated? Titre testing allows you to give as few vaccines as possible, while also ensuring that your dogs are protected from life-threatening viral diseases The last 15 years have seen a major shift in the thinking surrounding the vaccination of our dogs. Whereas vets used to give dogs yearly vaccine boosters against the “Big 3” viral diseases (distemper, parvo, and infectious hepatitis) by course, it is now increasingly common to use titre testing to check whether revaccination is necessary, thereby avoiding possible adverse reactions ranging from mild (fever) to severe (allergic reaction, arthritis, autoimmune haemolytic anaemia). Titre testing is a process in which a small sample of blood is taken from your dog and checked for circulating antibodies, the presence of which indicates that the dog is immune, and a booster or revaccination with core vaccines is not required. Two new in-practice titre-testing kits are now available which will allow your vet to do a titre test very quickly without sending the blood sample to a laboratory, saving you money! Ask your vet about VacciCheck (Biogal Laboratories) and TiterChek (Zoetis).—RF

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I love the Excalibur Food Dehydrator (from $150, Its horizontal airflow drying system directs a “jet stream” of thermostatically heated air to each tray, maintaining an even heat for safe, efficient, and consistent drying on each tray. I’m not only using it to preserve Fall’s bountiful supply of fruits and vegetables to enjoy later in the year, I’m also using it to make all kinds of delicious treats for my dog Penny (the chicken jerky treats and sweet potato chews are her favourites!). I feel a sense of pride having made her treats myself, as well as a sense of security as I know exactly what’s gone into them.—CW

Texas Bans Gas Chambers for Dogs The state of Texas has taken a stand for humane euthanasia for animals, joining 19 other states who have already banned the torturous practice of putting animals to death by gassing. We believe No-Kill is the shelter policy to work toward, but outlawing inhumane practices like gas chamber execution is a great step forward for the Lone Star State. Congratulations to Texas State Senator Kirk Watson who introduced and championed this important bill.—LC





Terrific Toppers

fish oil If there’s one thing you should be adding to your dog’s dinner, this is it. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are good for all manner of ailments, from poor skin and coat health to cancer—they play an important role in any cancer fighting regimen due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Omega3’s also promote healthy cells, joints, and immune system function, as well as cardiovascular function, brain health, and normal eye function. It’s a wonder supplement! Try Iceland Pure’s human-grade fish oils for dogs, Biologic Vet’s BioFats Omega 3-6-9 blend, or DHA Gold’s sustainable marine-algae derived omega-3 sprinkle. While you’re at it, get yourself an omega-3 supplement to take daily. It’s good for you, too.

flax seed Flax seed, either ground or oil, is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, great for skin, coat, and a whole lot more. Additionally, flax seed (as opposed to flax seed oil) is a source of fiber. Because it is all but tasteless, it can easily be sprinkled atop your dog’s dinner as well as added to your breakfast smoothie for a nutritional boost. Whole flax seeds are best if ground right before feeding as this type of fat can go rancid quickly; be sure to store the oil or seeds in the fridge in an air-tight dark container. Flax seed oil is a more concentrated form of omega-3 fatty acids without the fiber. It has a light, pleasing taste, perfect for drizzling a 1/2 teaspoon atop both your steamed veggies and your dog’s dinner.

chia Chia, an ancient seed and a super one at that, truly deserves the label “superfood.” Chia has more than three times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids as salmon. It is also high in fiber, promoting healthy bowel movements, aiding in constipation woes, and promoting weight loss. And that’s not all. It contains loads of iron, magnesium, and calcium (more than whole milk!), as well as phosphorus, potassium, copper, iron, and zinc. Plus, it keeps well (unlike flax seed) and has no taste/odour so it can effortlessly be added to a picky dog’s dinner. Add 1/8 teaspoon ground chia daily for every 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight. Ch-ch-ch-chia, indeed.

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turmeric/curcumin Turmeric/curcumin has been shown to act in a number of ways to prevent the growth or spread of cancer cells for many different types of cancer. It works as an anti-inflammatory, as an antioxidant, and by encouraging cancer cell death. Despite the bright yellow colour, it has very little flavour or odour, making it very easy to sneak into your dog’s dinner. Add 1/8 of a teaspoon daily for every 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight.

coconut oil Coconut oil speeds healing, improves skin, coat, and digestion, and helps with allergies. It supports healthy immune response and has an antiinflammatory effect. As well, coconut oil’s medium-chain fatty acids have been shown to improve brain function and decrease the amyloid protein buildup that negatively affects brain health in older dogs. Start by giving 1/8 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight daily. Check out Oscar Newman’s organic all-natural coconut products, from oil to coconut chips, made especially for pets (


Healthy Canine Enhance your dog’s health with the right products Treat your dog to great health with Chlorellies dog treats. Dogs love the taste of fresh chicken, carrots, glucosamine, and chondroitin combined with super nutritious chlorella algae. Owners love the healthiness of it all and the people at Chlorellies love to make dogs and owners happy. Chlorellies, the dog treat for the modern family.

The Drinkwell Everflow Fountain makes outdoor refills a thing of the past! Now pets always have access to fresh, filtered water with the Everflow Fountain. Outdoors, the fountain connects to a standard garden hose and automatically refills to the desired water level. When used indoors, the Everflow holds 1.5 gallons of water while continuously circulating and filtering pet’s water.

Spindrift’s Daisy Runner is the ultimate hands-free dog running/walking system because it’s incredibly light (3 oz) and extremely comfortable. Added neoprene in the padding of the slim belt prevents friction chafing and odour absorption, while reflective piping adds safety. Whether you’re walking one or multiple dogs, the quality in Spindrift American-made dog gear is apparent.

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Doggie Snack Bar is an online treat store specializing in earth friendly, healthy, delicious organic and natural dog treats. USDA/FDA approved ingredients, vet approved, no chemicals, and made in the USA! Create your own (gluten- and grain-free/hypo-allergenic) treats or choose from one of their great organic products! Feature treats: Organic Chicken Pupcorn and Organic Peamutt (Great for Joint Health!).

Epi-Pet’s Enzyme Cleansing Agent Shampoo is effective on dry, flaky, itchy, irritated, oily, smelly, and normal skin and coats. This multifunctional shampoo contains 16 natural extracts to condition, cleanse, moisturize, enrich, heal, and ease itchiness. A pleasant lavender-vanilla aroma will leave your dog smelling fresh and pleasant. Safe to use on puppies and kittens, it’s soap-free, tearless, and hypo-allergenic. Introducing Cocolicious from Party Animal Pet Food, a pet food company dedicated to producing organic and natural pet food. A first of its kind, Cocolicious is an innovative, fresh, new line of grain-free pet food made with organic ingredients that include coconut oil, kale, chia seeds, lentils, strawberries, and bananas. Find Cocolicious at retailers nationwide and


More Dogs Are Watching TV

Thanks to high definition flat screen TVs, we may end up having to battle our dogs for the remote control More dogs are watching TV due to the popularity of high resolution flat-screen TVs that can better capture a dog’s attention. Older CRT screens display images at 60 Hz, meaning the image is updated 60 times per second. For the human eye, which can only see 55 Hz or so, the image is perceived as continuous, but for the average dog, whose sharper vision can discern flickers at 75 Hz, it appears unreal. Our modern HD sets though? “Recently, changes in technology are beginning to increase the number of dogs that watch television,” writes dog expert Stanley Coren for the BBC. “The increased availability of high-resolution digital screens that are refreshed at a much higher rate means that the images are less likely to appear to be flickering to the canine eye.” “We are getting more reports of dogs who are very interested in various nature shows that contain images of animals moving,” he added. The corollary? There are now TV stations offering programming for this as-yet largely untapped audience. DOGTV, a 24/7 subscription-only channel for canines, launched last year. It’s programs are designed with the help of pet experts to captivate canines to “meet specific attributes of a dog’s sense of vision and hearing and supports their natural behaviour patterns,” the channel’s website posits. Prepare for the what-channel-to-watch battle to get even more heated now that the dog will be weighing in. Have an HD TV, but your dog’s still not that interested in the nature channel? Coren explains that dogs are most likely to respond to images that have been captured at a dog’s eye level. Most compelling are low camera angles that have recorded moving animals. Further, he notes that disinterest may result from your TV’s placement, which is likely situated at your eye level, not your dog’s (dogs do not tend to scan upward).


The Doctor is

Dr. Betsy Brevitz tackles common veterinary vexations



My seven-month-old Chihuahua sometimes makes a strange coughing or honking sound, usually when he’s excited. I was told this is normal for Chihuahuas because they have flat tracheas. Is this true, and if so, is it something to be concerned about?

A: It’s true that Chihuahuas and some other toy breeds (including Yorkies, Pomeranians, and Toy Poodles) have a higher incidence of collapsing trachea than other types of dogs. This doesn’t mean it’s normal for Chihuahuas to have a flat trachea; rather, it’s a common abnormality. The normal trachea is a tube supported by firm rings of cartilage. In collapsing trachea, the cartilage is weak and the trachea flattens in one or more areas along its length as the dog breathes, making it harder for him to move air in and out of the lungs. This narrowing of the trachea often produces a coughing or honking sound, especially when a dog exercises or is excited. A collapsing trachea tends to worsen over the years because the tissue lining the trachea becomes chronically inflamed and swollen, narrowing the airway even further. Occasionally the collapse is so severe that a dog will gasp for breath or pass out. This can be a lifethreatening medical emergency. If your puppy’s cough is in fact due to a collapsing trachea, will he develop serious problems as he gets older? That’s almost impossible to predict. Some dogs with the condition do fine and have a normal life span; others might require medication to decrease inflammation in the airways, or surgery to help support the trachea. Signs that a collapsing trachea is becoming worse include increased coughing, gagging, or shortness of breath when exercising. Ask your vet what she thinks of your dog’s respiration and overall condition. Depending on the severity of your dog’s symptoms, your vet might recommend either waiting and watching to see whether the cough becomes more frequent, or chest X-rays or a tracheoscopy (examining the dog’s trachea with a tiny video camera on a long, flexible tube) to further assess the problem. If the collapse is severe, surgery to place supporting rings around the trachea is sometimes recommended. That surgery is difficult, though, and would need to be done by a surgeon who is experienced in the procedure.


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The Doctor is

The newspaper recently reported that a puppy sold at a local flea market had died of rabies. Anyone who had petted the puppy was supposed to call a doctor immediately. I thought all dogs and cats were automatically vaccinated against rabies these days, so how could this puppy have caught it? Is it treatable?


Rabies is very common among certain wild animals, such as raccoons and bats. A bite from one of these animals can transmit rabies to a person, an unvaccinated cat or dog, or any other warm-blooded animal. Most puppies and kittens are vaccinated against rabies at the age of 12 to 16 weeks, but perhaps this puppy was younger than that or hadn’t been taken to a vet. There still is no treatment for full-blown rabies, and it is almost invariably fatal to people as well as to animals once symptoms have appeared. The rabies virus is concentrated in an animal’s saliva, so the risk from the puppy at the flea market is limited to anyone the puppy nipped or licked on the mouth, the nose, or an open wound. Anyone exposed to rabies in this way should be given a rabies vaccine by a M.D. (Rabies shots are no longer given in the abdomen. They’re given in an arm or leg muscle and are no more painful than any other injection.) If the vaccine is given before any symptoms of the disease appear the person is usually fine. In an animal, rabies often causes a change in behaviour, such as unusual friendliness, aggressiveness, or hyperactivity, followed within a few days by a decline from lethargy to stupor, paralysis, and death. Wild animals may lose their fear of people in the early stages of rabies, and be unable to flee in the later stages, which

is why you should never approach a wild animal that is acting strange. The incubation period of rabies—the time between a bite and the onset of symptoms—can be anywhere from three to eight weeks or more, depending on how concentrated the virus was in the animal’s saliva and where the victim was bitten. Rabies travels backward from the nerves at the site of the bite to the spinal cord and brain, so a bite on a dog’s face or neck will progress faster than a bite on a hind leg. If a dog that’s up-to-date on his rabies boosters is bitten by an animal that might be rabid —a raccoon that was out in broad daylight and acting aggressive, for example—the dog should be given a rabies booster as soon as possible to help fight the disease. If the biter is a stray dog, stray cat, or wild animal that can be safely captured by animal-control officers, then it will be euthanized and its brain will be examined microscopically for signs of rabies. Examining the brain is the only sure test for rabies. Each state has its own law about how often dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies. Once at the age of 12 to 16 weeks, once at the age of one year, and then every three years after that is a typical regimen. Your local vet can tell you what the law is in your state and what wild animals in your area, if any, are significant carriers of rabies.

Excerpted from Hound Health Handbook © 2004 by Urbanhound, LLC Used by permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc. New York All Rights Reserved. Available wherever books are sold.

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Mix & Match Treats Healthy, fast and budget-friendly, these mix and match treats are sure to please. By Maxine Matishak

Banana + Mint

Sweet potato + Cinnamon

Squash +Turmeric + Chia Seed

Sardine + Parsley

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Mix + Match Treat How-To 1/2 c canned or cooked pumpkin, purĂŠed

Step 1: Choose your add-in (choose just one) 1/2 c tuna or salmon 1/2 c sweet potato, cooked and mashed 1/2 c sardines mashed

TIP: Have too-ripe bananas stored in the freezer? Thaw one to use in this recipe!

1 banana, mashed

(Peel bananas & throw them in a Ziplock bag before freezing for ease of use)

Step 2: Choose your healthy flavour booster (choose 1 - 2) 1 tsp chia seed (soaked for 1 hour)

2 Tbsp shredded, unsweetened coconut (soaked for 1 hour)

1 tsp turmeric 1 tsp cinnamon

2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped

Step 3: Mix 2 cups all-purpose flour (or one cup whole wheat and one cup all-purpose if preferred), 1 egg, your

Step 4:

Roll mixture into 1 - 2" balls and place onto

lightly oiled baking sheet. Press flat with a fork if desired.

Step 5: Bake at 325° F for 15-20 minutes or until lightly

choice of add-in and healthy flavour

browned on the bottom.

booster in a large bowl.

Step 6: Cool and share! Store in an airtight container. Treats will keep for up to a week (freeze any extras).

With so many choices, the combinations are practically endless! Share photos of your mix and match creations with us on Twitter (@moderndogmag) or Facebook (



“I have been somebody who felt very lost. Very abandoned by the universe. And very much like how these dogs must feel: like, there’s nothing wrong with you, you’re just not found yet.”

Jennifer wears a G-Star light blue button down shirt and Faubourg du Temple ivory skirt. Earrings and bracelet, Kuumba Jewelry; gold bangle, Outerbridge Jewelry. Duke wears a Paco Collars handcrafted leather “Giant Ruadh” collar (

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What’s Love Got To Do With It? Well, Everything. An exclusive interview with Jennifer Love Hewitt By Mary-Jo Dionne Photographed by Kharen Hill Hair by Michael Reitz, Make up by Merc Arceneaux, Styling by Sarah Kinsumba Stylist Assistants: Devorah Phillips & Melina Imloul


ennifer Love Hewitt is anything but a one-trick pony. The girl who, nearly a quarter of a century ago, first graced our small screens in countless television commercials eventually rose to fame in her teen years on the Fox hit series Party of Five. Following her much adored portrayal of Sarah Reeves Merrin, she hit the big screen as Julie James in the cult classic I Know What You Did Last Summer and its sequel. However, if we thought we’d seen the best of her—as is sadly the case for all too many actors who get started in the entertainment industry as children—we hadn’t. Jennifer was just getting started. As an adult, we adored her as otherworldly communicator extraordinaire Melinda Gordon in CBS’s Ghost Whisperer, as well as in her Golden Globe-nominated starring role in The Client List, now a Lifetime series. However, as if dominating the small and big screens alike weren’t enough, this multitalented dynamo dominated the airwaves as well, when singles like How Do I Deal and Bare Naked hit the charts globally. And yet, as impressive as her success has been, it’s not been relegated to on-air entertaining. Her foray into the world of book-writing-meetsdating-advice was met with critical acclaim when, in 2010, her page-turner The Day I Shot Cupid was released. Perhaps most admirable of all, especially in this age of Hollywoodspawned body image hysteria, hers is an often-heard voice on the subject of women’s empowerment and self-acceptance—her middle name becoming increasingly relevant with every interview she gives on the topic. But when we recently chatted, it wasn’t on the subject of unconditional self-love or the baby she and fiancé and Client List co-star Brian Hallisay are expecting. No, this time she was ready to discuss a whole new breed of unconditional love, for a very fortunate dude called Duke.


“I think as you get older you realize there is no other bond that is so unconditional.” MD: How old were you when you knew you wanted to pursue a life in the entertainment industry? JLH: I would say probably six or seven. I had started singing back in Texas. I used to perform at livestock shows, because that was a very Texas thing to do. And at state fairs. I didn’t really know it was the entertainment industry that I wanted to be a part of, I just knew that I loved entertaining people and making them happy. And then I got a really unique opportunity to represent the United States as a good will ambassador in Russia when I was eight or nine and they taught me Russian and I learned a few songs. And when I got back, there was a lot of press around it and an agent out from L.A. asked me to come out and give it a try. We went out for one month…and then never went home. MD: Were you raised in a family of animal lovers? JLH: Being from Texas, there were animals everywhere. At any given moment there were peacocks, horses, cows, and pigs. And we had tons of cats growing up. Like, at one point we had six cats. We always had family animals. When I moved to L.A., my mom and I got a dog, which we had for a long time. And I became more of a dog person at that point. To me, dogs just seem like their love is unconditional. And I think as you get older you realize there is no other bond that is so unconditional. As human beings, we want to believe that we love unconditionally, but we don’t. We always have conditions…But with dogs, as long as you walk in the front door and you feed them and you love them…It’s like the simplest relationship. I just love it. MD: As a child you appeared in more than 20 TV commercials. What do you think starting out so young in this industry taught you? JLH: I think it taught me staying power. I learned at a really young age you don’t get anything necessarily easy. For some people you do just wake up one day and you get one part and you’re a big star. For me, it wasn’t that way. I really worked. I always had jobs. I haven’t so-called “struggled” in the industry, but I’ve always worked. I feel really glad that was my experience. I’m happy that I didn’t just come out and do one movie and then I was a massive superstar and people were throwing money and deals at me. I think at a young age it would’ve made me a complete disaster. And I wouldn’t be who I am today. What I really liked about my experiences is that I just worked…I was a workhorse. I learned rejection at an early age, which can go either way—it can either be a negative or a positive—but for me, it was a positive. Out of that

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Jennifer wears a pink dress from Nami.

rejection, I learned a stronger sense of self. I learned: no, that isn’t about me, that’s about them and about what they need. I learned I’m still a good, talented person and I’m just going to stay the course. I learned real ambition and drive. I also had an incredible mother who taught me all of those things. I think if I’d been one of those kids who sort of just got dropped off here without guidance, I don’t think things would’ve been this way so I give her 100 percent credit for all of that. I worked and had to earn everything and because I had to earn everything, I was grateful for it. And I still am. I’ve had the best of both worlds. I got to do work that I love and learn some really valuable life lessons along the way. MD: We’ve loved you in so many things over the years. Party of Five, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Ghost Whisperer, Hot in Cleveland, and now, The Client List. With a resume like yours—which even includes television directing—what roles are you most proud of? JLH: Surviving the business has been my biggest role. That’s probably what I’m most proud of. I’m now officially in my 25th year and I’m not even 35 yet so I’ve been doing this over half my life. I’ve loved all the characters I’ve played. Probably my best role would be… well, I loved Melinda Gordon on Ghost Whisperer; it was probably the most fulfilling part I’ve ever played. Everyday I felt like I was doing something extraordinary. Not necessarily in the performance I was giving but I felt like I was connecting with people. I felt like that show connected with people. I felt like I was getting to do something we all wish we could do which is just have one last moment… It was a very fulfilling job so I would say character-wise, that and getting to play Audrey Hepburn (in The Audrey Hepburn Story) would probably be my two biggest ones. But my biggest accomplishment is just still being here and getting to do it. MD: Does music still play a big role in your life and do you plan to record again? JLH: Singing has always been something I’ve loved. But I got to a point with it in the recording industry that it started to feel like work. It was a time that I was very busy with other things; I wasn’t just concentrating on music. I wanted to have something (in my life) that wasn’t my job. So I sort of backed off of it for a while. I’d love to do it again at some point, but it’s going to have to be at a time when I can just concentrate on that for a while and I don’t know when that is going to be.


“I get now why people rescue dogs…It was a lesson I had to learn. It’s been very healing for me. I feel I really came out of a fog. He’s lifted me up.”

MD: What dog-kids do you currently have? JLH: I have a very interesting dog. He’s a rescue. His name is Duke. He is Australian Shepherd/German Shepherd, Catahoula Hound—the very first American dog—and we’ve been told (that he’s) also wolf. He’s amazing. MD: How did he come into your life? JLH: I was working on The Client List and I was directing an episode this season and I’m friends with this wonderful actress named Elaine Hendrix. She does such amazing work with animals (with Animal Rescue Corp) and actually has this find-your-mate matchmaking organization for people and pets (thepetmatchmaker. com). So we were on the set talking and I was asking her how it was going—had she found a lot of animals homes—she was just so passionate about it. I had never had a rescue before, and…this year has been very difficult for me in that my mother passed away extraordinarily suddenly and she’s always been my best friend. And so when I was thinking about an animal this time, I was thinking, you know, I have been somebody who felt very lost. Very abandoned by the universe. And very much like how these dogs must feel: like, there’s nothing wrong with you, you’re just not found yet. So when Elaine was talking about animals, she was talking about it that way. And I thought: wow, maybe I have more of a connection now; maybe this is why I’ve never had a rescue before. This year, I’ve had a million moments where I felt I just needed to be rescued, and I’ve had to do that for myself. When she was talking about it, it really touched me in a place it hadn’t before. So I (told her), I’d love to maybe find a dog at some point… It was not meant to be in any sort of rushed situation. It was meant to be maybe, you know, next year I’ll find a dog. We finished up the episode, and she called me a couple days later and said, “I do have this one dog. He’s very special. ..He’s just a love. He’s 65 pounds but he thinks he’s five pounds and he constantly wants to be in your lap. Maybe you should take a look at him.” So I said great,


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can I take him for the weekend? She went through all the proper channels…I had him for one weekend and when I had to give him back…my heart sank. And so we decided to keep him. And it’s been great. I get now why people rescue dogs…It was a lesson I had to learn. It’s been very healing for me. I feel I really came out of a fog. He’s lifted me up. MD: In an industry that can be somewhat superficial, how does Duke help keep you grounded? JLH: In rescue, you have to prove yourself…I’m in this for the long haul. I feel like I’m earning his trust as much as the other way around. …There’s also something very grounding about loving something that much. They do become like children and family members. And particularly after having just lost a family member, it’s very profound to let go and to allow someone back in that space. It’s very moving, very grounding. It’s been a gift for both of us. MD: What do you do with Duke when you have long days on the set? JLH: Duke has his own trailer. It says Duke’s Room on the door. He has his water and toys and treats and he hangs out, and in between takes we hang out together. Everyone on the set stops by Duke’s Room for a visit. If you can’t find a cast member, they’re in Duke’s Room. MD: What have you learned about life from Duke? JLH: There’s a real friendship. I’ve learned commitment, dedication. I’ve learned what abandonment can look like. He was skittish and shaky and unsure and to watch as he becomes more confident and to see that transformation and how good it can be. You can really change people by loving them the right way. And dog’s are the same way. And you get all that yumminess in return. n

Look who we brought home from L.A... While in Los Angeles for our Jennifer Love Hewitt cover photo shoot, we stopped by the West L.A. shelter and adopted a couple little dogs small enough to fly back with us in-cabin to awaiting homes in Vancouver, BC. They are both so awesome and cute and funny that we came pretty close to keeping them ourselves. Thanks to the wonderful shelter staff, Much Love’s adoption event, Vancouver’s Dachshund Rescue Team, and our little friends’ new parents for giving these guys a new lease on life!



craft D.I.Y.

By Capree Kimball

We simply swooned over this DIY dip-dyed leash, so we asked the very cool Capree Kimball, blogger/crafter extraordinaire of and fame, to show us how it’s done. Turns out it’s not as tricky as it looks—a length of rope, some fabric dye and you’ll be the envy of the dog park! Take it away, Capree...

SUPPLIES • 2 - 2 ¼ yards of ⅜ thick cotton rope • 2 Rope clamps • 1 Snap hook • Rubber mallet • Large cooking pot


olourful rope dog leads have been all the rage in the pet accessories world lately—and I am obsessed! But with prices ranging anywhere from $70 to over $150, they’re a little outside most people’s “dog stuff” budgets. If you’d still like to get your paws on a stylish leash for your pooch (in whatever colour your heart desires) without breaking the bank, give this easy DIY rope leash project a whirl! Many rope leads use traditional nautical splicing and whipping techniques, but today we’re going to employ a bit of a shortcut! (If you want to learn how to splice rope, there are tons of video tutorials on YouTube.) So, are you ready to make your own rope dog leash? Awesome. Pawesome. Here’s what you’ll need!

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• Fabric dye

STEP 7 Now that your rope is dry, it’s time to attach the clamps and snap hook. Decide which end you want to place the hook. Feed the end of the rope through the ring then fold the rope over, creating a small loop.

HOW-TO STEP 1 Determine about how long you want your leash to be (anywhere from 4 - 6 feet is pretty standard) and cut it accordingly. Be sure to tape or tie off the ends so your rope doesn’t unravel. STEP 2 Soak your rope in some warm water. Meanwhile, prepare your dye according to the instructions on the bottle. You won’t need very much! A bottle of RIT Liquid Dye will go a long, long way.

STEP 8 Place the clamp on a flat surface with the prongs facing up. Lay the base of the rope loop inside the clamp, between the prongs. With a hammer or rubber mallet, hammer all four prongs securely over the rope. STEP 9 On the other end, fold the rope over to create a 6 - 7" loop (bigger or smaller depending on how big your hands are and what feels comfortable to you). Then repeat step 8.

STEP 3 Now for the fun part! For an ombré/gradient/dip-dyed effect, quickly dip and remove your rope from the dye. Then re-dip at different heights/levels, until you’re happy with the gradation. Want your rope all one colour? Submerge the whole rope in the dye, stirring constantly until the desired colour is reached. STEP 4 Remove your rope and hang it up (outside or in the garage), dark end at the top, to allow the dye to creep down the rope. You can help it along by squeezing the excess dye/water down the length of the rope.

STEP 5 Once you’re happy with the way the gradient is looking, rinse the rope in cold water until the water runs clear or use some RIT Dye Fixative before you rinse out the rope if you want to super-seal the colour. STEP 6 Allow the rope to dry thoroughly. This may take up to 24 hours.

Now, after you’ve attached the rope clamps, you could call it a day—you have a perfectly functional leash at this point. (Heck, you could skip the dyeing altogether and just attach the clamps and snap hook and—BAM—you’d have a leash.) If you really want to take this project into über-stylish territory though, you’ll want to add some finishing touches and cover those ugly clamps up! There are multiple ways to cover the clamps: you could wrap them in twine/yarn/string/ leather cording/etc. I chose to use some scrap leather and create a sleeve with some colourful stitching. If you'd like to do the same, get the how-to for the leather finishing at Then sit back and await the compliments! n



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Bottom: Officer Gregg Tawney of CA’s Elk Grove Police Department and his partner Rango, a Malinois, joint training with the Army National Guard in the event of a critical event necessitating canine response by helicopter. Above: Rango (minus the ear protection worn in photo below).


anuary 23, 2006 was the worst day imaginable for Vancouver Police Dog Nitro. He was just months shy of retirement after an almost seven-year partnership with Vancouver Police Department dog handler and trainer Constable Howard Rutter, when the pair was called to assist in apprehending two occupants of a stolen car. Police chased the vehicle from Vancouver, into neighbouring New Westminster where, ultimately, a moving train halted all traffic. The occupants exited the vehicle and began to run, first toward the train, then away. Once they were about 100 yards away from the train, Rutter felt it was safe to release Nitro, but one suspect suddenly changed direction and headed back toward the train with Nitro in pursuit. The suspect jumped onto the side of a train car, hanging on, and Nitro jumped too, latching his teeth into the suspect’s leg. The suspect shook him off. Nitro fell to the ground then got up to continue the chase. That’s when he got clipped by the train and pulled underneath its moving wheels. Nitro was killed in the line of duty. The loss was devastating for Rutter. “The dog is your partner. They are logged in as your partner in the computer system in the car,” says Rutter. Nitro, like all Vancouver Police dogs (and most police agency dogs), lived full-time with his handler and family. Rutter says he still misses Nitro, “the friendliest dog ever.” Though losing a police dog is rare, it has happened eight times since the Vancouver Police Department Dog Squad was formed in 1957. The bond between officer and canine is an emotional attachment at odds with the reality that someday, the handler may have to put the dog in a situation where it may be hurt or killed, in order to protect the public or another officer. “It’s an operational reality…but that doesn’t make it easier,” says Rutter. “You can’t make a tactically poor decision to save the dog. You can’t put yourself or others into danger. If you send your dog into a building and hear a gunshot and hear your dog yelp—if you run in after him, that’s a tactically poor decision. Now the guy will probably shoot you and if other police officers see you run in, they won’t let you go in alone. It’s a tactically poor decision to save the animal even if your first instinct says to do it.” Rutter’s new dog, Blix, another male purebred German Shepherd, is working with Rutter training other handlers as well as performing as a general service dog. Police dogs are generally cross-trained, first in general service—tracking suspects, clearing buildings, recovering evidence, and criminal apprehension work—and then either in narcotics or firearms or explosives. Since the dogs show the same passive alert when they find a target—they sit still—it is important that police officers reaching under a car seat know if they will find “a joint or a bomb. You need to know that. It’s kind of important.” The primary reason that these crime-fighting canines can locate suspects or evidence, or tell the difference between a bomb and an empty knapsack, is their exceptional sense of smell. Police dogs can track a suspect whether he went up a tree or out of the area.


Top: Constable Howard Rutler and his partner, police service dog Blix, a German Shepherd. Bottom: Delta Police Department Trauma Dog Caber.

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“Suspects crawl into crawl spaces where we wouldn’t find them; the dogs find that. In a busy urban environment they can find [a suspect] an hour after a crime has been committed, hours and up to a day in a rural environment,” says Rutter. “Sense of smell is the dog’s greatest asset, [that] and the speed at which they work. If there’s a high school B&E, it takes 20 minutes for the dog to clear it; six officers could take several hours.” That’s because, says Officer Gregg Tawney, dogs following a scent don’t try to reason. They don’t try to rationalize whether or not a person could fit in a space or go in a certain direction. “The dog doesn’t use its eyes; it follows its nose.” Tawney, an Elk Grove Police Officer in Northern California and Regional Trainer for Vigilant Canine Services International (VCSI), a K9 service provider for law enforcement, works with partner Rango, a male Malinois. “Malinois make great soldiers and police dogs. They hunt and search until I put on the brakes. They won’t stop. It’s awesome for us,” says Tawney. In fact, Tawney says that drive is one of the traits trainers look for. “They need this drive to hunt, chase, and bite. Now you have to put control into that drive.” For Tawney, everything while training is toy-related. Old-style training regimens used compulsive training, a type of negative reinforcement. Today, trainers have found using positive reinforcement gains the dogs cooperation faster and “when we both want the same thing, training is easier on both of us,” says Tawney. “It’s better if [the dog] views you as a fun and generous boss…I want the dog to try new behaviour without fear of being punished.” Police dogs need to be healthy, of course, and able to work in any environment, including those with extreme temperatures, challenging ground cover, or loud noises, without hesitation or distraction. The dogs also have to be highly social, not dog-aggressive, and courageous. A typically day can include tracking a bad guy, then doing a canine demonstration at an elementary school. “Not every dog is a police dog. [Even] if they’re bred for police work, [still] only 10 percent make it,” says Tawney, adding that the failed dogs often go on to make excellent working dogs in other fields, such as search and rescue or bomb-sniffing. There’s another great reason why police departments use dogs. “Working with dogs provides a commonality people relate to,” says Tawney. This is especially helpful when children witness domestic violence and see the police removing their parents. “The


A typical day can include tracking a bad guy, then doing a canine demonstration at an elementary school.


“Without a doubt, bad men are more fearful of the dog than the officer.” great thing about the canine unit is they allow us to build relationships. Kids see us, not just the uniform. They see the dog and pet it. It’s a dialogue with me and a dog, not an officer. They see us as more human.” It’s an aspect of police dog service that cannot be underestimated. Dogs calm people but also provide stronger motivation for surrender. “Without a doubt, bad men are more fearful of the dog than the officer,” he says. “Professionally, I find more bad guys and evidence; there are more drugs and guns off the street because of my canine partner. The service they give to the community is tremendous. I think without a doubt many potentially violent confrontations are diverted because I have him with me.” And yet, at other times, it’s just a dog, sitting there doing nothing, that counts for the most. B.C.’s Delta Police uses a trauma dog in its Victim Services section. The dog won’t catch a killer, but will help get people comfortable with aspects of an investigation. Crime fighting comes in many forms. Its trauma dog, Caber, is a five-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever that surely would have flunked out of police dog school. He is so laid back, he once fell asleep at a presentation and rolled off the stage. “He is extremely low energy,” says Delta Police Victim Services’ civilian handler and Program Coordinator Kim Gramlich. “He’s as soft as a dog gets. He provides support services to victims of crime and trauma. We reference him as a different type of police dog.” Just as general service dogs can find scents and people that an officer couldn’t, Caber the trauma dog can provide a special type of comfort that a person could not. Such was the case several years ago following a horrific incident that rocked the community. On Saturday, September 25, 2010, a stranger brutally attacked local 15-year-old high school student Laura Szendrei on a Delta, BC, park trail in broad daylight; Szendrei later died in hospital. Students were set to return to school the following Tuesday, and parents, teachers, and community leaders wondered how to help students cope with the fact that Laura would not be there amongst her friends. Caber showed up to the murdered girl’s first class and sat next to her empty desk. Students reacted and poured attention onto Caber. At each class break as students shuffled to their next class, there would be Caber sitting next to Laura’s empty desk. The scene repeated itself over and over that day. No human being could ever have offered what Caber did at Laura’s school. But for Caber, like for every other police dog, it was all in a day’s work. n

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When Training Isn’t Enough Managing personality disorders in dogs By Steve Duno Illustration by Nick Craine


riggs, Judy’s four-year-old Labradoodle, never had an easy time around strangers. He’d bitten several and couldn’t be trusted around most people. But unlike most aggressive dogs whose behaviour is fear-based and predictable, Briggs could be sweetness and light one moment, then a fire-breathing dragon the next. Though Judy had made some progress with the help of a local trainer, Briggs’ “Jekyll-and-Hyde” behaviour had everyone stumped. It took an experienced pet behaviourist to recognize the root of Briggs’ problem. While watching the dog eat, he observed that Briggs would randomly stop, then dart his head about erratically, as if watching a fly buzz around. Except there was no fly. Briggs was hallucinating. After a neurological evaluation, it was discovered he suffered from a form of epilepsy, causing him to hallucinate and become disoriented. This became the trigger and multiplier for his unpredictable aggression. He wasn’t fear-aggressive in the classic sense, but rather a delusional fear-biter. Prescribed several medications, Briggs’ hallucinations gradually ebbed. But years of neurologically induced delusions had left psychological scars and conditioned Briggs to distrust. He’d require medication and behavioural management for the rest of his life.

Nature versus Nurture Psychologists once believed that, though heredity did play a role in behaviour, anyone, given the optimal upraising and conditions, could become well adjusted and happy. Current studies have shown otherwise; those suffering from personality disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, attention deficit disorder (ADD), and even obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) show genetic predispositions toward these conditions and need medication to manage them. Though environmental factors can and do play an immense role in behaviour, it’s often genetics that defines the disease. Though trends in psychology point more and more to genetics as a major cause of psychological disorders, populist trends among dog trainers and pet behaviourists still focus almost exclusively on “nurture” as the main cause of bad behaviour. “It’s not the dog, it’s the person” has become an anthem among animal advocates across the world. But this point of view ignores how organic, brain-specific defects and inbred psychological tendencies can profoundly affect a dog’s attitude, behaviour, and health, independently of anything her guardian does or doesn’t do.


Nothing is less fair to a dog than to discipline her for behaviours she is not capable of controlling. It becomes vital then to know the difference between a disobedient dog and one behaving badly due to a deep-seated neurosis or a genetically caused psychotic condition.

The term psychosis defines a mental state in which the subject has a true break with reality, caused by a brain tumor or stroke, an inherited condition such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, an infection or a reaction to a drug. During a psychotic episode, a patient can suffer delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, or disorientation. Largely unresponsive to outside input, psychotics must be treated with drugs in order to gain control over the symptoms. Dogs who exhibit psychosis can be perfectly calm one moment, then enraged the next. Not completely aware of reality, these dogs usually can’t respond to commands or differentiate between a real or imagined threat. Though rare in dogs, it does happen. Neurosis, on the other hand, involves a mental state in which the patient is under emotional duress, but still able to respond to stimuli. A neurotic dog knows what is happening, but cannot necessarily respond in a “normal” fashion. Neuroses can have genetic or environmental causes, or a combination of both. For instance, if a dog is extremely hyper-vigilant toward other dogs and her guardian punishes her for it (or puts her into a highly social environment too quickly), the neurotic behaviour will only get worse. Obsessivecompulsive dogs (stress-induced chewers, separation anxiety sufferers, or incessant pacers, for instance), though capable of being managed, are nevertheless driven to the behaviour through a combination of genetic and environmental conditions.

Dogs Get Depressed Too Anyone who has seen a dog grieve over a deceased owner or dog friend knows that dogs can, like humans, become depressed. This can cause a variety of behavioural problems, including eating disorders, housetraining mishaps, escape, and even aggressive episodes, especially toward younger dogs. Generally, the depressed dog will eat and drink less, sleep more, be less responsive to commands or invitations to play and in general appear sad. She might develop a compulsive licking or chewing behaviour or even wander the home or neighborhood

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looking for the lost friend. The good news with dog depression is that it’s usually not genetically based and often resolves itself over time. In rare cases, though, medication may be temporarily necessary.

Hypo- or Hyperthyroid? Aberrant behaviours in dogs can sometimes be the result of hormonal, not environmental factors. A common example is when, for a variety of medical reasons, a dog’s thyroid gland either overproduces (hyper) or under-produces (hypo) hormones which regulate metabolism. Hypothyroidism often results in lethargy, weight gain, hair and skin disorders, and other metabolic symptoms, while hyperthyroidism, a less common condition, causes weight loss, overeating, hyperventilating, and excessive thirst. Oddly, both conditions can result in a more irritable, less trustworthy pet. Behaviour modifications cannot cure these conditions; only diagnosis and treatment by a veterinarian can. It becomes essential then, to rely on your veterinarian and an experienced behaviourist to identify and treat the issue.

Signs of a Problem Nothing is less fair to a dog than to discipline her for behaviours she is not capable of controlling. It becomes vital then to know the difference between a disobedient dog and one behaving badly due to a deep-seated neurosis or a genetically caused psychotic condition.

Symptoms of neuroses can include: • Compulsive licking or chewing on herself or objects • Constant panting or drooling • Continuous pacing, whining or compulsive tail chasing • Excessive barking • Itching with no discernible cause • Compulsive digging or fence running • Habitual destructive behaviour • Unpredictable changes in behaviour, mood or personality


Psychoses and Neuroses


• • •

Incessant herding of people or pets Hiding, especially when strangers visit Profound antisocial behaviour, especially toward non-threatening pets or people

Unlike neurotic behaviour, which is often triggered or intensified by an outside stimulus (such as a stranger or a loud noise), psychotic behaviour needs no such trigger. It can appear or disappear on its own, without the dog even being aware of what’s happening.

Symptoms of psychoses include: • Wildly unpredictable mood swings and/or behaviour • Uncontrollable rage toward people, animals or inanimate objects • Hallucinations • Barking or growling at nothing • Complete loss of appetite • Bizarre responses to ordinary stimuli • An inability to respond to human input Thankfully, true psychosis in dogs is rare. Though it is often genetically based, psychotic behaviour can be brought on by diseases such as rabies or distemper, by drug or toxin overdose, or by trauma to the brain.

Dealing with Personality Disorders in Your Dog Everyday personality quirks of dogs—excess barking, suspicion of strangers, pushy or fearful behaviour, housetraining issues—most of these can be dealt with without professional help by maintaining a regular obedience/training regimen, providing your dog with structure, routine, and plenty of enrichment activities (games, trick training, walks, chew toys, etc.), and by socializing her in a reasonable, measured fashion, with people and other pets who are well adjusted and tolerant. But if threatening, unpredictable behaviours of the types listed earlier suddenly begin it becomes vital for you to seek out professional help. Your first stop should be your veterinarian who will determine if injury, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, cancer, or some other organic malady is causing the change in behaviour. Often, medication (as with Briggs) can reduce or eliminate a serious issue.

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“There are a vast number of behaviour disorders in dogs that respond to behaviour-modifying drugs,” says Dr. Susan Mailheau, a Seattle, Washington-based veterinarian. “These include Clomipramine, Fluoxetine, Benzodiazepine, and Phenobarbital.” Clearly, the right prescription could mean the difference between an uncontrollable, despondent dog and one who can again be controlled, trained, and trusted. Care, though, must be taken when discerning between simple disobedience or quirks and a true personality disorder. Guardians of dogs acting out inappropriately solely because of spoiling or lax training can often be convinced to try mood altering drugs to “cure” the problem when all that is really needed is a change in how the dog is treated, trained, and managed. Anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, and other mood-altering drugs should be considered only after the condition is shown to be deep-seated and unresponsive to behaviour modification. “A drug can cause an undesired effect if used on the wrong dog,” adds Mailheau. “For example, a shy fear-biter given an anti-anxiety drug could become a more overtly aggressive dog due to the drug’s capacity to inhibit her shy nature.” In other words, if your dog is simply behaving badly, it’s inappropriate and perhaps irresponsible to try to medicate the misbehaviour away.

Behavioural Evaluation Even if your dog does have serious neurotic or psychotic issues, an experienced behaviourist should help you plan what to do after medication has begun. The behaviourist can determine if a misbehaviour is simply learned (and therefore treatable with behaviour modification) or truly engrained in your dog’s psyche. And, even if a medication removes the biochemical cause for the misbehaviour, the behaviourist will be able to help your dog get over the conditioned responses she’s developed over time in response to the medical condition. Briggs takes his medication and continues to work with trainers in hopes of extinguishing the conditioned responses he developed to cope with years of undiagnosed brain dysfunction. It is still a day-to-day struggle for Judy, but her love for her dog remains the best remedy for a condition that might cause others to consider euthanization. With the caring attention of a quality veterinarian, and the help of a good behaviourist, dogs like Briggs can be managed and given another chance. n


Dogs who exhibit psychosis can be perfectly calm one moment then enraged the next.


Fetch joy! Retrieve the memory with Zelda’s Song. Meaningful and beautiful custom photo-jewelry bracelets featuring your dog, for you—and a matching collar for your dog! The vintage-inspired Lake Country Collection from Auburn Leathercrafters is made to exacting standards. Handsomely stitched tan, black, or burgundy bridle leather collars come in sizes 14” - 26”. Matching leashes available.


The Molly Mermaid Rain Slicker by Ruff Ruff Couture is as sensible as it is cute! Fleece lined and made in the USA. Find this design and more at

No more wet dogs! Treat your best friend to the ultimate raincoat available in a large selection of sizes from XS to XXXL in three different colour choices.

Take your dog on a walk in style with Prissy Puppy’s Pet Collars. Handcrafted with crystals and pearls, Prissy necklaces make an exquisite addition to any pampered pooch’s wardrobe. New porcelain dog bowls from Hartman & Rose! Plain or patterned in gorgeous colours like tangerine, French navy, hot pink, and canary yellow. Sold in a satin-lined decorative box. $50,

Born in Los Angeles, Rocky & James was created to bring the world a mix of edge and elegance for dog lovers while still giving back. Find these perfect scarves on!

Say “O’Yes” to the stunningly jeweled O’Yes Collar on croco-embossed leather from L.A. Dog Collars. Available in M, M+, L, & XL sizes and various colours.

Durable, stylish, and chock full of stuffing, the Majestic Round Pet Bed ensures your dog a super comfy nap, indoors or out—the removable slip-cover is woven from outdoor treated polyester, enabling it to withstand the elements. Comes in 20+ colours and patterns to suit your unique dog. From $89,

Luca For Dog’s beautifully made camel lounger is just the thing for dogs that like a cozy bolster to rest their head upon, and just the thing to complement your living room. Their washable signature pillow covers come in a lovely array of patterns. From $145,

This West Paw Bumper bed is one of our all-time faves, beloved by the MD office dogs. Made of soft organic cotton, the removable cover makes for super easy cleaning, while the cushy filling is rather amazingly made entirely from recycled plastic bottles. From $79,

With its clean modern lines and plush padded walls, the stylish and super-comfy Urban Lounger will please both your dog and your aesthetic sensibilities. From $25,


Aspen Pet’s self-warming beds are just the thing for dogs that like to be super warm and cozy. The faux lambswool and corduroy bed is lined with a space age material that generates warmth by reflecting your dog’s own body heat. $50,

Let your dog relax in ultracomfort with a bed from Dream Ease. It offers the same quality and support as a mattress made for people, supporting your dog’s body and eliminating stress on her joints. $179,

We love the vintage-y vibe of this polkadotted cotton/cotton canvas navy blue and red “Pinup” dog bed from Charliebegood, available in sizes large enough to accomodate any dog, even Great Danes! $47 (sold un-stuffed),

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eat D.I.Y.

Whole Wheat & Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits By Ina Garten My friend Joanne Newbold’s adorable dog Baxter is a three-year-old Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen (PBGB for short). He’s a French scenthound (think Inspector Clouseau) and, being French, he’s a serious gourmet. For Baxter and all my friends’ dogs, I thought it would be a fun to bake a special treat to keep their tails wagging. Dogs can’t resist peanut butter and I’ve mixed it with whole-wheat flour and wheat germ so it’s also good for them. Hope your dog finds it a triple woof, too! Makes 10 – 20 biscuits



• 1½ cups stone-ground whole wheat flour

STEP 1 Preheat the oven to 325°C. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

STEP 2 In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the two flours, the powdered milk, oatmeal, peanut butter, and wheat germ. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg and 1 cup of water and mix just until it forms a slightly sticky ball.

• ½ cup powdered or dry milk • ½ cup quick-cooking oatmeal, plus extra for sprinkling • ½ cup smooth peanut butter • 2 Tablespoons toasted wheat germ • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash • 1 cup water

STEP 3 Dump the dough out on a wellfloured board (I use all-purpose flour) and knead it into a ball. Roll the dough out ½-inch thick. Dip the cookie cutters [pictured is a mini cat-head cookie cutter, $8,] in flour and cut out dog bone shapes. Collect the scraps, knead lightly, roll out again, and cut more dog biscuits. STEP 4 Place the biscuits on the prepared sheet pan and brush with the egg wash. Sprinkle with oatmeal and bake for one hour, until completely hard. Cool and toss to the hungry hound at your feet.

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The Barefoot Contessa’s


BEWARE THE HOWLING DOG Can dogs predict that someone is about to die? An examination of the cross-cultural belief that dogs possess supernatural or psychic abilities By Stanley Coren

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t is the opening scene of a Hollywood movie. As the night shot gradually comes into focus, we hear the plaintive howling of a dog. A moment later, we see him sitting on the front step of the house, his head pointed toward the dark sky. He gives a few widely separated barks and then returns to his mournful howl. We give a little shiver since we now know something bad is going to happen. Sure enough, the camera zooms in on a window of the house, where we see a small cluster of people: a mother and her grown daughter and a man in a dark suit bending over a bed in which an elderly man is lying. The man in the suit straightens himself and turns to the two women, sadly saying, “I’m afraid that he is dead.” This is not a complete surprise to us since the moment that dog started to howl we had the feeling that someone was about to die. The belief that dogs have supernatural or psychic abilities has a long history and is found in many cultures. One of the almost universal beliefs is the conviction that the howling of a dog is a death omen. Some people trace the association between dogs howling and death back to ancient Egypt. In that time and place, the god that took care of the dead was Anubis, and he was represented as having the head of a dog. Thus, a howling dog was believed to be calling a soul to Anubis. In Ireland, it was thought that dogs howl because they hear the spectral pack of hounds that lead their riders on the wild hunt through the sky collecting the souls of the dying. An ancient Norse legend has a more amusing explanation. It speaks of the Freyja, the goddess of love, fertility, and magic, but also death. When she is acting as the goddess of death, she rides the crest of a storm on her chariot pulled by giant cats. Because cats are dogs’ natural enemies, it is said that dogs would start to howl when they sensed the approach of Freya and her mystical felines. The superstition has roots in the southern states, too. When I was training with the U.S. Army at Fort Knox in Kentucky, I would take whatever free weekend time I had to wander through the countryside and talk to people about their dogs. I’m sure that part of my motivation was that I was missing my own dog and another part was that it felt good to be away from the formality of life on an army base. Fortunately, rural Kentucky is filled with lots of people who own and like dogs and are willing to just sit and talk about them to pass the time. One Saturday afternoon I found myself in the Southeast corner of the state talking to an old woman whom I knew only as Aunt Lila. Her son bred hounds—beautiful Redbone coonhounds. We were sipping some lemonade that she had made and waiting for her son to return from the field with several of his dogs when the minister from the Methodist church that Aunt Lila belonged to came up the steps of her porch. He sat down with us and accepted a glass of lemonade. The minister had dropped by to check up on Aunt Lila whose age had made her frail. Lila had also had a few specific health problems which gave the people she knew some concerns. Since her son spent part of each week trucking produce to the city, the minister


Fortunately, there is enough data to suggest a simple alternate possibility to explain our entrenched cross-cultural belief that a dog’s howl is a sign of a coming death, and it has nothing to do with Anubis or Freyja. had decided to pay a visit just to make sure that his parishioner was well and assure himself that she was being cared for. “Now don’t you worry about me dying,” she told the Reverend when he asked about her health. “You and me will know when the time is coming because the dogs will tell you.” “Just how will the dogs tell you?” I asked. “It ain’t complicated. If a dog gives two howls close together it means that Mr. Death is coming for a man. Three howls means a woman is about to die. You know which man or woman is about to pass away because dogs look in the direction of that person. My daddy said it was good luck to have a dog howl with his back to you. So far I can tell you, there ain’t no dog that looked me in the face and howled.” I looked from the old woman whose education had stopped just short of finishing grade school, to her pastor with his university training, and asked, “Do you believe that?” The minister smiled and said, “The bible certainly doesn’t say yes or no about that. But I feel comfortable with it. Don’t you get chills when you hear a dog howl? It may well be the fact that God has chosen the voice of the dog to send a message that something bad is about to happen, like a person dying.” As a scientist, however, I have a predilection to ignore most supernatural explanations. Fortunately, there is enough data to suggest a simple alternate possibility to explain our entrenched cross-cultural belief that a dog’s howl is a sign of a coming death, and it has nothing to do with Anubis or Freyja. It begins with a well-known thinking bias that human beings have. It is a kind of selective memory based on what psychologists call the “confirmation bias.” This refers to the fact that people tend to notice or even look for events that confirm their beliefs, and to ignore or perhaps undervalue the relevance of observations that contradict their beliefs. The classic example is that if a person believes that a full moon triggers an increase in crime, accident rates or social disputes, then he or she will take special notice when such events occur during a full moon and will be less likely to notice or remember these same events should they happen at other times. Obviously this would, over time, produce an unjustifiable belief in the relationship between a full moon and the occurrence of crimes, accidents or arguments. Now let’s turn to the howling dog. First, it is important to understand why dogs howl. In the wild, wolves, coyotes, and other undomesticated canine species howl to gather the pack. A typical howl means, “I am here. I am lonely. Where are you?”

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Once the pack is assembled, the nature of the howling changes and becomes more festive. Domesticated dogs howl a lot less than their wild cousins, however, the principal trigger for howling is still the same, namely loneliness and isolation. Now suppose that someone in a house is ill. Because of the need to care for that person, a dog that normally stays inside the home might be viewed as being a distraction, a bother or a source of noise that might disturb the patient. For this reason, the dog might be put outside or shut away for a while. Thus, a dog who is normally surrounded by his human family and might even usually sleep in the same room with the sick person now finds himself alone. Remember that dogs howl out of a sense of being alone since they are trying to call their pack mates for social support. So now the family dog begins to emit those sad sounding wails. The people in the house may be surprised by this behaviour, recounting, “Grandfather’s dog never howled before, but the night that grandfather died the dog howled so mournfully because he knew the end was near.” The truth of the matter might be that the dog never howled before because he was never locked up and isolated from his family before. So now we have the setup for developing a superstition. The elements involved are: • • • •

It is common to remove a dog from the house when someone is seriously ill. A seriously ill person may die. A lonely isolated dog is more likely to howl. We already have a tradition of believing that a dog’s howl might be a warning that something bad is about to happen.

Combine such chance associations with our tendency to only remember when our predictions are correct, and we have all of the elements needed to add yet another example to our belief in the psychic ability of dogs to sense the supernatural and predict the future—such as howling when death is near. In summary? Worry not if your dog howls, whether he’s looking at you or out on the porch at night looking at the sky. His howl does not presage your death (thank goodness!) but rather indicates that he is lonely. So simply take him in the house, give him some pats and company, and the howling should stop (the chill and trepidation you’ve been feeling should go away as well). n



Colleen Safford

Pack Mentality Aggression I have two fixed male Jack Russell Terrier crosses. When walked separately they are great on leash, greeting other dogs with respect, but when they’re walked together, they get into a pack mentality, lunging and barking at other dogs, often scaring them. How can I keep this from happening, other than walking them separately? —Troubled by Terrible Twosome Ah, confidence in numbers. The troublesome twosome is something commonly seen with siblings both on leash and off. Your mantra for addressing this is “walkie time is fun time!” It’s very important that you are engaged with your dogs during their walk—you need to be more valuable and fun than the temptation to terrorize other dogs. Fill your walks with games like tug, short distance fetch, and obedience practice. Your dogs must see you as something other than the anchor at the end of the leash. Be sure to always have an exciting toy and enticing high value treats, the stinkier the better! Here’s how to develop the strong, reliable, basic obedience skills essential for them to remain calm in the presence of their biggest trigger, other dogs:

. Attention exercises Each dog must learn “look” or “watch me.” To begin, place a high value smelly treat crumb (tiny bits for training!) at his nose and bring it up to your face, saying, “look!” When your dog’s head follows that treat towards your face, mark the behaviour with a clear, “yes” and reward him immediately. Over the course of a few days, increase how long you expect your dog to maintain focus on you before rewarding him.

. “Let’s go” This is an about-face command that will give you and your dogs space if you need it. During your walks, grab your dogs’ attention with “let’s go,” and quickly turn and walk in the opposite direction. As soon as your dogs hurry along with you, reward them for keeping up and moving with you.


e As soon as YOU spot another dog in the great distance, ask

your dogs for a “look.” Stay happy, loose and positive! Continue to keep your dogs’ attention and reward, reward, reward. Do NOT wait to see if your dog notices the other dog or is going to bark at the dog. Any time you see a dog, simply start the routine

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“Who, me? Bark at other dogs?”

of saying, “Mommy wants you to look at her (instead of bark at him).”

r BEFORE you get too close and lose your dogs’ attention, do a “let’s go,” and walk away from the oncoming dog to allow your dogs some space as the other dog passes.

t Gradually work up to passing by other dogs while your dogs are staring every so politely at you.

u If your dogs explode into ferocious furies during one of your walks, just realize they were pushed too far and next time give them a “let’s go” at a greater distance while continuing to practice “look at me.” Commit to this easy training routine and soon your trouble twosome will be two stepping in peace and harmony! n Trainer Colleen Safford raises awareness on pet-child safety, and understanding dog body language. Colleen’s companies, NY Walk & Train and Far Fetched Acres, have been voted “Best of NY” by New York magazine. Colleen receives daily training from her children and is proudly owned by her rescued Boxer(ish).



Inger Martens

These two have clearly learned the art of successful bed sharing.

Bed Sharing My Chihuahua/Miniature Pinscher-cross rescue dog insists on sleeping with us under the blankets. All is well as long as no one moves, but if so, she growls and snaps at whatever she can reach. So far she’s nipped my ankle, calf, knee, and bum! We’ve tried her in a crate—she simply can’t handle it; tried her in another room—she barks and screams and our tenant doesn’t appreciate that. She has many beds, a sheepskin, a basket—you name it. Any suggestions are welcomed.—Sleepless in Seatlle Your Chi/Min Pin is exhibiting territorialism over your bed, and that’s not good. Growls, snaps, and barks are basically telling you to get lost. This behaviour spells entitlement, which equals a big fat misunderstanding! It sounds like a little therapy is in order. She needs to learn how to self-soothe and never growl, while you need to establish her area, not the other way around. Try a corral and crate concept to help re-establish boundaries within your home and give your dog a safe place to snuggle. This new routine can psychologically help your dog to re-adjust her behaviours and will help you to reclaim your bed. Training can refer to many things but primarily it’s about establishing a routine and giving your dog direction on a leash, which creates eye contact and the drive to please you. The first step in this type of doggie therapy is to go back to “puppy concepts” and to create a den (that you choose) and teach her to self-soothe. Sounds like she missed that step somewhere in her puppyhood! There are three key steps to successfully use a corral/crate therapy

for an adult rescued dog. First, initiate the process while you’re home (always exercise your pup beforehand) and give your dog a bone to chew so that she thinks of it as her bone-chewing area. Always begin with small increments of time in a room that you spend a lot of time in so she gets used to you being there too. Maybe use a weekend to start, giving you plenty of time to implement. Use the leash to get her in and out of the corralled area. The leash is an important tool for addressing this issue. It allows you to guide your dog in a loving way yet stops you from coaxing or begging. Use the word “wait” to indicate a “hang out” time in this area. Don’t forget to praise and remember to be nice—it’s not a punishment, just a new place to enjoy a chew bone. The crate is an important tool too, so put it within the corral space. Leave the door of the crate open, so she can go in and out on her own. If you have a wire crate, cover the top and add a comfy blanket to create a cozy environment. After a week of short, successful periods of time spent hanging out in her space, move the corral and crate into your bedroom, so she can see you yet not be in your bed with you. It may take a few weeks of this new ritual before she gets used to this new process but ultimately she will feel safe going into her crate. After some time, you may not need to corral or crate and can replace them with a dog bed. Sweet dreams! n

This behaviour spells entitlement, which equals a big fat misunderstanding!

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Inger Martens is a celebrity dog trainer and behavioral expert. An author, television and radio personality, she has been dubbed “Best Dog Trainer in LA” by Los Angeles magazine. She is currently excited to announce her new online resource for dog owners,



Nicole Wilde & Teoti Anderson

Do dogs learn that way? Sure. Is it pleasant for them? Not so much.

Is Treat-less Training the Way to Go? In your view, what is the best way to train a dog? We’ve used a trainer who is totally against treat training. He believes in body language and tone of voice only. His method seems to work wonderfully for him (he is a retired police dog trainer) and some of his followers. I must say I pride myself in being a reasonably intelligent person and I’m very dedicated and hardworking when it comes to training my dog. However, I’ve not been very successful with the no-treat training, which has been quite discouraging. We also know that most people (apparently!) swear by training with treats. What do you think?—Vera Dolan In the traditional “body language, tone of voice only” style of training, once a dog has learned a behaviour but doesn’t respond properly, he receives a correction in the form of a choke chain jerk or similar aversive technique. Do dogs learn that way? Sure. Is it pleasant for them? Not so much. And there can be fallout from the stress caused by corrections. Also, because most dog owners do not have the timing of a professional, their dogs are often corrected at the wrong time, which can lead to confusion and even create unfortunate associations, thereby causing further problems. For training to be effective, non-coercive, and pleasant, the dog must want to cooperate. This is achieved by providing adequate motivation. For most dogs, food is extremely motivating, easy

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to use, and keeps the dog’s focus. If the owner’s timing isn’t the best, the worst that happens is that the dog receives an extra treat. Some owners are concerned that their dogs will become dependent on food. But there is a difference between bribery—waggling a treat so a dog will come, for example—and proper reward-based training. Once a dog understands and has practiced a behaviour, treats should become less plentiful. A schedule of random reinforcement can then be applied, where instead of the dog receiving a treat each time he performs a behaviour correctly, he’s rewarded on an unpredictable schedule. Like a slot machine, this generates an anticipatory eagerness to keep playing the game. Real life rewards should also be introduced. For example, a dog sits at the door before he gets a walk, or he must sit and wait before being released to eat a meal. Unfortunately, there is a lingering attachment in some circles to the older, traditional training methods where a dog is expected to do things “because we say so.” Modern trainers understand that motivating dogs with what is valuable to them is just as effective, if not more so, than using punishment. Reward-based training has the added benefit of creating a bond of trust between dog and owner. So keep up the good work! Nicole Wilde is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer who lectures worldwide on canine behaviour. She is the author of nine books, including Help for Your Fearful Dog and Don’t Leave Me! She can be found at NicoleWildeAuthor and

Made Crazy by Crating I’m attempting to get my dog accustomed to being in a crate/carrier so that she can travel with me in-cabin when I fly home over the holidays to visit my family, but every time I try and crate her, she cries and barks and screams so relentlessly that I cave and let her out. Please help!—Made Crazy By Crate Training It sounds like your dog has learned that barking and screaming gets her what she wants! Now, I am a rewardbased trainer, but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in boundaries and rules. You should be able to have your dog meet your expec-

tations for good behaviour, including peacefully relaxing in her crate or carrier. Crates are wonderful training tools (especially for house training), a necessity for travel, and a safe place your dog as a den animal can come to love, but it’s necessary to first properly introduce your dog to a crate and teach her that confinement is a good thing. If your adult dog already has a negative association with a crate, you will need to start training over from scratch. It sometimes helps to get a different type of crate so it will be new. Have a clicker (or use a verbal marker like “Yes”) and lots of treats. Have the crate door open and click and treat for any interest or movement towards the crate. Gradually shape her to where she goes in the crate for her clicks and treats. When she’s going in regularly, shut the door behind her and feed her some extra special treats through the crate door, then open it. Work on leaving her in the crate for longer and longer periods of time. Give her food-stuffed toys for longer periods. Do not let her out of the crate if she is screaming and barking—that’s not what you want to teach her. Only let her out when she is quiet. With some practice you should have your dog trip-ready and contentedly enjoying her crate in no time! n

Do not let her out of the crate if she is screaming and barking.

Teoti Anderson, CPDT, owns Pawsitive Results (, and is the past president of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. She is the author of Your Outta Control Puppy, Super Simple Guide to Housetraining, Quick and Easy Crate Training, and Puppy Care and Training.




“Help me! I’m homeless!” By Cindy Brody


t was early December when I got the phone call about a Pit Bull whose owner had died of a drug overdose. The caller, a concerned neighbour, had heard I was sympathetic to the breed and that I might be able to help them, being that I am an animal communicator. If the dog didn’t get moved quickly she would be put to sleep. I went to visit the dog and assess her mental state. The neighbour’s uncle took me into their barn to a stall that was serving as the dog’s holding pen. I could see this sweet female looking over the partition, desperate to get out. When she saw me her tail wagged out of control, her hips moving back and forth like they were hinged at her waist. As I lowered my hand to her, she found my fingers with her tongue and licked them hysterically. Her name was Cuddles. “Help me! Please let me out! I scared,” she wordlessly told me. “Help me! Please help me!” I made a dozen phone calls and came up with a course of action. The next day I would rescue the dog. She would go to a Pit Bull rescue. The morning of the rescue was beautiful. The sky was blue and the air was crisp. My friend Suzanne volunteered to help me transport Cuddles. When I arrived, Suzanne had already removed the ginger girl, who sat quietly in the sun in her crate. I looked at this beautiful dog and she stared intensely back at me. I smiled at her and put my fingers through the bars. She gently licked them. Her eyes were full of grief and sorrow, her brow furrowed in worry. In spite of her obvious fear and grief it was easy to see she had a heart of gold. “I’m going home with you,” she said. “I’m yours. I know this, and I’m coming home with you. Let’s get out of here! Please! Take me! I love you!” I had no intention of adopting a dog that day. I already had two wonderful dogs at home and was not looking for another. I looked at her and told her I was very sorry, but I was just her transporter; I was not her forever home. It broke my heart.

Her wagging tail continued to beat a riff on the metal crate. It punctuated every sentence as she spoke to me. “I’m going home with you. PLEASE!!! I’m good. I love you! Don’t leave me! Let’s go!” It was her mantra. My heart ached for her. I could feel her love. She had already been through so much and now she would have to adjust to rescue. My heart sank a little further. This was not going to be easy. Soon we had her secured in the back of my car and off we went. As I drove I sang to her hoping it would help to settle her nerves. I could feel her relief to be out of the barn, but I could also feel her fear of the unknown. I kept a positive banter going with her the whole way. She needed to hear she was going to be okay. I told her over and over: don’t worry we’ll keep you safe. We were almost to the Pit Bull rescue when she jumped into the front seat with me. She put her forelegs on the console, smiled sweetly, licked my cheek, then turned her back to me and watched out her window. My first job was to take her to the veterinarian for spaying. The doctor’s office was filled with cats, dogs, ducks, and peacocks. Still the dog behaved perfectly; she didn’t even bark. A few hours later, we got the call that the surgery had gone well and that the dog was waking up. I entered the office; she was lying on a crib mattress with her eyes closed and tail wagging. She was just opening her eyes. She was very happy to see me. The vet told me that she was perfect. “You’re not going to take her to rescue tonight now are you? he asked. “She could really use a couple days in a quiet environment. She’s such a nice dog; I would keep her if I could.” I swear I saw that dog wink at the vet. Cuddles did come home with me. I tucked her in for a sound sleep; she was still under sedation and needed rest. When I came back a few minutes later to check on her my husband was spooning with her on the floor. She had found her forever home. n

Email submissions for Last Lick to Because of the volume of email, the magazine cannot respond to every submission. Share comments on this essay at

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art attack

by Rose Frosek

Jade Zaworski

Jade Zaworski’s career path might not be described as conventional but she ended up right where she ought to be: making art, giving back, and loving life. From having her own self described “little silk screen clothing business” in Victoria, BC, Canada, hand-drawing and silk screening prints—mainly birds, fish, anatomy, and flowers—in her “studio” (aka her shed), to a pit stop along the way in Calgary, Alberta as a dog groomer, to the opposite end of the country, where she is now known as “the artist for animals,” Zaworski has had two constants: art and critters. In Calgary, a job working under a “very amazing” groomer saw her embrace the profession, but her art was not to be neglected. She hung a portrait she had done of her big beast Bison, a Landseer Newfoundland (a bit of foreshadowing here), and, as Zaworski relates, “Presto! People started ordering custom pieces of art of their dogs and cats. Eventually, art became a high demand and grooming, which I love, took the backburner.” But a rolling stone gathers no moss and there was still ground to traverse for this peripatetic pet portraitist. In 2012, Zaworski turned 30, got married, and, if that weren’t enough, her new husband broached a new adventure: Newfoundland, Canada. Zaworski was game. They packed up “250 pounds worth of dogs,” she recounts, “and set up life in one of the most amaz-

ingly beautiful places on the planet.” Zaworski continued as a pet portrait artist—one with heart. She works with a number of non-profit animal organizations throughout Canada, donating part of the proceeds from every commission back to one of the rescue groups she supports. “The animal advocate in me is just as strong as my love for art. The two blended together create a very positive and powerful business. The photos and phone calls I get for the money I donate to helpless animals…are my inspiration.” Zaworski layers up to 15 different layers of canvas, papers, tea staining, pen and ink, charcoal, acrylic paint, watercolours, and more on each custom piece. Her two trademark mediums are Tetley Tea staining and Sharpie pen and ink, an aesthetic she describes as “edgy art with a antique, heartwarming feel.” Her favourite part is the reveal. “I love that in most jobs, when the customer starts crying or is speechless, it’s a bad thing,” Zaworski shares. But not in her job. “I have made a lot of people cry and that is something I am very proud of—which I admit does sound odd.” n

“The animal advocate in me is just as strong as my love for art. The two blended together create a very positive and powerful business.”

Commissions start at $450. Check out more of Jade’s work at


Connie’s Book Club Above: from Dogs Who Smile (Thomas Dunne Books, 2013)

Curl up with a good dog and a good book


How Animals Grieve By Barbara J. King (University of Chicago Press, 2013) Thanks to the work of animal-behaviourist pioneers such as Barbara J. King, there is finally sway from the long-held belief within the scientific community that animals do not experience emotions, outdated thinking that anyone who keeps company with pets knows to be patently ridiculous. In How Animals Grieve, anthropologist King turns her attention to the specific question of animal grief and provides us with numerous fascinating and moving stories of both wild and captive animals displaying what would be hard to characterize as anything other than grief over the loss of family, offspring, and partners. Grounded in the latest science, this beautifully written, compelling book conveys current knowledge of animal grief along with illustrative stories that bring a deeper understanding of and connection with our animal brethren.

Traveling Light By Andrea Thalasinos Andrea Thalasinos, author of past Modern Dog Book Club pick An Echo Through the Snow, has, in Traveling Light, created another winning story that all dog lovers can relate to, for what dog guardian hasn’t found their dog, at one time or another, leading them along a path of enlightment? Certainly, such is the experience of Paula Makaikis, the novel’s protagonist. With a couple failed marriages behind her and her current marriage heading in the same direction, Paula is afraid to admit to herself, let alone others, the depths of her unhappiness. Instead, she focuses on her academic career. The problem is that, too, has of late become lackluster, as evidenced by her focus on the robins on the ledge outside her office window rather than on the mounting unanswered emails piling up in her inbox. Then a dog named Fotis changes everything. Paula had never considered adopting a dog, but when Fotis enters her life she soon can’t imagine herself without him, despite the fact her husband won’t approve. She decides to take an eight-week leave of absence and sets out on a road trip with Fotis that takes the pair northbound from New York City. At a rest


stop in northern Minnesota, she answers a help-wanted ad for a wildlife rehabilitation center. Soon Paula is holding an eagle in her hands and the experience changes her forever. The ensuing tale about fate, family, and healing explores what is possible when we cut the ties that hold us down and leave our hearts free to soar.

A Man of his Own By Susan Wilson (St. Martin’s Press, 2013) Susan Wilson, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dog Who Danced and One Good Dog, brings us another emotional page-turner about a very special dog and the human lives he touches. The story unfolds around Rick Stanton, who has returned home from active duty in World War II a paraplegic, his professional baseball dreams shattered. Before deployment, he volunteered his beloved dog Pax, a German Shepherd cross, to the Army’s K-9 Corp, so Pax also returns home a war vet, accompanied by Keller Nicholson, the soldier who fought with Pax at his side. While Rick and his wife Frances adore their dog, Keller and Pax share the type of profound bound that can only be forged in the trenches. Keller can’t bear to part with Pax after their experiences together and petitions the Stantons to allow him to adopt Pax. But the Stantons, desperately in need of their dog to assist in mending Rick’s broken spirit, are unable to honour his request; instead, they offer Keller a job helping out with Rick. The touching and heartfelt story that unfolds portrays how three lost souls are saved by this remarkable dog’s love and bravery both on and off the battlefield. It is also serves as a nice reminder of the terribly important roles dogs play today in helping returning soldiers bridge the challenges of life after war.

Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words By John W. Pilley (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013) Border Collies may well be blessed with more than their fair share of dog-smarts, but Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words introduces us to a remarkable canine that outdoes even his clever cohorts—and then some. Retired psychologist John W. Pilley’s Border Collie Chaser knows more than a thousand words—more than any other animal of any species except humans—and has now moved on to demonstrating an ability to understand the syntax and semantics of sentences

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and learn new behaviours by imitating owner and trainer John Pilley. Undeniably, this is one smart dog. But according to Pilley, his groundbreaking approach, one that has opened the door to a new understanding of animal intelligence, can be put to use by any dog lover. His book, Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words, considers what actually goes on in a dog’s mind and reveals their capability for deductive reasoning and complex problem solving. In doing so, Pilley opens the door to a new way of relating to and understanding our canine companions, offering lessons that underline the importance of incorporating learning into play and more effectively channeling a dog’s natural drives. A must read if looking for the key to unlock the mind of your own budding canine Einstein!

I Could Chew On This: And Other Poems by Dogs by Francesco Marciuliano (Chronicle Books, 2013) Bestselling author Franceso Marciuliono knows that you can’t keep a good dog down, so he follows up his beloved book of poems by cats, I Could Pee on This, with this hilarious take on life as a dog. Francesco’s canine laureates not only chew on quite a lot of things, they all reveal (revel in?) their “creativity,” hidden motives, and unbridled effervescence through such musings as “I Dropped a Ball,” “I Lose My Mind When You Leave the House,” and “Can You Smell That?” Accompanied throughout by portraits of the canine poets in all their glory, I Could Chew On This is a work celebrating the (often misguided) enthusiasms and unique personalities of man’s best friend.

Dogs Who Smile By Virginia Woof (Thomas Dunne Books, 2013) Whether your best canine pal has a winning smize (that would be when he’s smiling with his eyes) or a big toothy grin, all dog lovers recognize a happy dog when they see one. In Dogs Who Smile, readers are treated to a plethora of smiling pups, each with a sassy caption to make you laugh out loud. The dogs, ranging from Dachshunds to Dobermans, all share one thing: joyfulness guaranteed to make you smile, too. I was happy to spend some time letting these dogs chase my blues away. Makes a fun gift!



ask dog lady by Monica Collins


Dear Dog Lady,

When we were together as a couple, my boyfriend Tim loved my dog the way I do. He and Sasha, a lean hound mix I got from a shelter when she was a puppy, would run together. The dog loved it and so did he. I thought Tim and I were going to get married but he met someone else at work. I was devastated when he told me and it took a long while for me to get over it. Sasha finally caused the breach to heal. Because Tom wasn’t taking her running anymore, Sasha was jittery, chewy, barky, and needy. I gathered my courage and called him up and asked him to keep taking her out with him. He was happy to do it. They now run together four times a week. He keeps the key to my house and comes to get her whenever he wants. What do you think of this arrangement? — Ellen, Arlington, MA


From Sasha’s point of view, this convenient arrangement with your ex-boyfriend is obviously a sweet deal. From the human point of view, this agreement is dicey. How will you feel if your ex starts to include his new woman in the mix? Let’s say he doesn’t tell you and you find out because

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you’re home one day when he comes to take Sasha out running and there’s somebody with him. Will you feel hurt? Do you want to take the risk of having your heart hurt again? And again? This arrangement with your ex might be keeping you rooted in place and not moving on and beyond. After all, you suggested it. You may be trying to hold on when you should let go. You have much at stake emotionally with this arrangement. If Dog Lady had her druthers, she would probably dispense with the old boyfriend and hire a dog runner to take Sasha out for hearty exercise if you can’t do it yourself.

Dear Dog Lady, My landlord has been watching somebody’s dog for a couple of weeks. He ties the dog right outside my window during the day and leaves it there. The dog barks at everyone who walks by. I feel so badly about this. At least I get to go to work every day but the poor dog doesn’t seem to go anywhere. How would you suggest I approach the landlord about this situation?—Chaya, Port Chester, NY Geez, Dog Lady got mad reading this. How anyone can just tie up a dog and expect the

animal to be cool about the confinement is crazy. Say something to your landlord. What? Start from the humane point of view: “I don’t think it is kind treatment to keep an animal tied up all day . . .” See how the landlord reacts. If he pushes back, you have all sorts of methods at your disposal: shame him on social media; call your town’s Animal Control office and anonymously report him; withhold rent because the dog disturbs your right to quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the premises.

Dear Dog Lady, My family rescued a Yorkie recently. He’s about two- or three years old and not neutered. (I share this in case it plays into what I’m going to ask.) He’s a pretty laidback dog except there are times (at least twice daily) when he comes and sits in front of us with an intense stare, whines, and barks a really high-pitched bark. Obviously, he’s trying to tell us something but I don’t know what it is. It’s not his “bathroom bark” because it sounds different. It’s not the “I’m hungry” bark either. We shower him with attention and it calms him down for a bit, but as soon as we stop petting/playing/talking to him, he’s back at it. He doesn’t stop until I give

ask dog lady him a firm “NO!” He then walks away sulking, which makes us both feel bad. Since we rescued him, we don’t know his history. I have no idea what he’s expecting, and I don’t know how to find out. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. — Geeta, Los Angeles, CA If the sound is not the “bathroom bark” or the “hungry bark,” then obviously the yelp you hear must be the “find me a female because my hormones are going crazy bark.” Neuter your dog. You don’t explain why the Yorkie remains intact but the best course would be to “fix” your pet. Don’t worry that the procedure will hurt him or deprive him of an active sex life. Ultimately, he won’t know what he’s missing and your Yorkie will be much better off. Dogs live fuller, richer lives with spaying/neutering because the surgery (a simple and inexpensive “snip-snip”) always has a healthy outcome. Neutered animals display more temperate behaviour. They are healthier. Most crucially, they do not put themselves and other animals in peril through overpopulation. Many unwanted dogs are killed; every dog should have a home. Please act responsibly and take your Yorkie to be neutered.

Dear Dog Lady, I have a four-year-old spayed female mixed dog that was totally housebroken, until my son brought a puppy home (without my OK, but that’s another story!). His puppy does his “business” in the house, on the carpet, almost anywhere but outside. Now my dog has started to do the same thing. Is there any way to correct my dog? Do I have to resort to using a crate again? Please help. I really love my dog and can’t stand getting mad at her.—Grace, Columbus, OH Save your annoyance for your son. He’s the guy who should be taking out the puppy he brought home without your OK. He’s the guy who should be training his new dog not to pee and poop under your roof. The best help for you is through your son who is responsible for the new addition to the household. Unfortunately, when another dog is soiling the house, a welltrained pet can often be lead to a life of grime. Pack mentality can be a dangerous thing and the smells are overwhelmingly tempting to go indoors. Make sure you take out your own dog often and reward him for going outdoors so he remembers the right things to do.

Dear Dog Lady, My husband and I will be adopting a rescue dog from our local shelter. We seek a female puppy on the medium to large size. We aren’t into “toy” breeds. My question: What age do you recommend obedience school? She will be crate trained and


ask dog lady “Save your annoyance for your son. He’s the guy who should be taking out the puppy he brought home without your OK.”

since I’m retired and active, the dog will have plenty of home schooling and exercise. But I believe formal training is the way to go. We did it with our last pup (dear Gretta who passed away a year ago at age 14). Now I wonder if maybe Gretta was too young for class at six months. Although she turned out to be a great dog she was the youngest in the class by about four to six months and was often sent to the “principal’s office” for excessive barking and playfulness. Your advice will be appreciated. Thanks for helping to keep us dog lovers informed on how we can always strive to be better parents.—Mary Beth, Portland, OR

Take that newbie to kindergarten. There are “puppy kindergarten” classes especially for young dogs recently released from the natal nest. Puppy participants should have had their final shots and a veterinarian’s seal of approval for socialization. They should be at least 10 or 12 weeks old to enroll. Dr. Ian Dunbar, author of Before & After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy & Well-Behaved Dog (New World Library) says: “At the very latest, before he is 18 weeks old, your dog should start puppy training classes.” The class (ask your veterinarian, local animal shelter or pet store for a referral) is not only great for the dog but for the new dog owner who needs a primer in Canine 101. The best learning we can offer puppies is how to live in the big world of dogs, people, cars, and all the myriad creatures and modern conveniences. Dog Lady believes ultimately that dog training classes are really for the people not the dogs. Oh sure, the dogs may learn a thing or two but they absorb the lessons only because their human keepers are with them leading the way. You admit your dear departed Gretta frequently flunked in obedience class. Still, she still turned out to be a great pet. She wasn’t perfect but she was perfect for you. Behaviour classes may help but make sure you provide the bulk of the training and exercise. n Write questions or comments to askdoglady@gmail; read more at or

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Mister Pazu Fall is here Comic by Diana Thung

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