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The bark stops here: why your dog barks and how to stop it p76

The lifestyle magazine for modern dogs and their companions

Woof! Woof!


36 Summer



expertur o behaviice adv e insid

The best toys, gear, & so much more!


p14 Adorably unlikely best friends

Help your adopted dog settle in p36

Kids & Dogs Dog Tattoo Inspiration

Meet the Scottie! p24

p28 Who you gonna call? Pet psychic!

moderndogmagazine.com DISPLAY UNTIL SEPT '21


p72 American Staffordshire Terrier

Cancer sniffing dogs, super stylish solutions for the dog-friendly home + get published in Modern Dog!



NO 2


VOL 20




Who You Gonna Call? Pet Psychic! Two pet psychics give dogs new leash on life. BY JANE MUNDY

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Pandemic Pups Adopted dogs offer a furry support system. BY VIVIEN


Photographer Pairs Dogs With Lookalike Humans. The Results? Glorious Doppelgänger duos delight with uncanny resemblances.


Meet the Scottish Terrier! Is the dapper, spirited Scottie dog right for you?


The American Staffordshire Terrier Hopelessly devoted to you. Get to know this American treasure.



Cancer Sniffing Dogs The remarkable canine nose is saving lives, diagnosing cancers with incredible accuracy. BY VIVIEN FELLEGI


Kids & Dogs: Why Children Should Have a Dog Study finds dog ownership significantly benefits the social– emotional development of young children. BY TRACEY TONG



Summer Gear Make the most of the season with the best toys, gears, and more!



How Stella Learned to Talk Speech pathologist teaches her dog to communicate using 45-plus words. BY ROSE FROSEK


At-Home Treatments for Canine Skin Conditions Natural remedies for your dog’s skin problems.

The Dog Gear Look Book Your at-a-glance guide to the best stuff for your dog.


Style At Home Super-stylish ideas and solutions for your dog-friendly home.


Healthy Paws Solutions for everything from anxiety and hot spots to digestive issues.

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We’re Giving It Away! We’ve got months of cool dog stuff up for grabs, from toys and treats to leash and collar sets, and winners every week! Turn to page 22 to see what we’re giving away.


What To Do When You Bring Your New Rescue Dog Home How to help your adopted dog settle in. BY TEOTI ANDERSON


Going With Grace One photographer’s mission to capture comforting images of dogs in their last days.


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“Bone Bar” Connects Neighbours & Their Dogs A Covid-grounded flight attendant discovers a way to bring joy to her neighbourhood.

Connie’s Book Club Editor-in-Chief Connie Wilson’s summer selection of mustread books for dog lovers.


Home Alone Barking Why your dog barks and how to stop it. BY




A Journey Without End Bucket list travels with a beloved dog inspires book.

REGULAR FEATURES 6 Editor’s Letter 8 Contributors 10 Stuff We Love 12 The Scoop 20 Smile! Photo Contest 86 Marketplace




Tiny Dog Stories Dog love in short form: miniature, reader-submitted dog stories of no more than 100 words.


Last Lick: Dog Tattoos We're here with your dog tattoo inspiration via these inked tributes to canine best friends.


Mac, an 11-year-old Scottish Terrier, photographed by the endlessly talented Jason Krygier-Baum. For more on the Scottie, turn to page 24! Top cover inset: Photograph by Rinsa Lee (@casperandromeo) Middle cover inset: Illustration Michelle Simpson

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In USA: MODERN DOG (ISSN 1703-812X) Volume 20, Issue 2. Published quarterly by Modern Dog Inc. at 142 Churchill Drive, Newington, CT 061114003. 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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Circle Only use blue and/or white. For more details check out our Brand Guidelines.


Bedtime Stories

Lexi is an 11-year-old rescue that we have had for four years. She reads with our son Jack every night and he has become an exceptional reader. We are convinced she can read as she always makes sure her head is right where she can see the pages. When I saw them reading Modern Dog last month I had to snap a picture.—Sara Dean


ummer! Is there a season more freehanded in its glories? Endless sunshine, peak produce, and long days just made for exploring with a pup have us ready to jump into the dog days of summer. After what has been a tough year for many, time outside with our dogs is just what the doctor ordered. Whether you’re looking for an entertaining beach-read while your dog romps at the shore, gear picks to get you outside, or expert advice to solve challenging dog behaviour problems, this issue has you covered! Our expert behaviourists, Nicole Wilde and Teoti Anderson, provide an action plan for tackling home-alone barking and helping a new rescue dog settle in, while our Summer Fun Gear Guide outlines all the best dog gear of the season. Contemplate getting your dog-love inked with our dog tattoo showcase (p 88), laugh at the most perfectly matched lookalike dog-human pairs we’ve ever seen, and find out why every kid needs a dog. We explore the world of pet psychics, take a fascinating dive into cancer sniffing dogs (if your dog keeps sniffing one spot on your body, have it checked!), and publish more reader-submitted Tiny Dog Stories. (Find out how you can get published on page 84.) You’ll also get to know the frequently misunderstood American Staffordshire Terrier and the dapper Scottie dog. Oh, and there are, of course, months of giveaways, super stylish solutions for the dog-friendly home, adorable pups on every page, and so much more. Dive on in!

We Love Our Pack!

Blue, an eight-year-old Bull Terrier/Frenchie cross, with her latest copy of Modern Dog. "She is the love of my life and I'm not ashamed to say I spoil her," writes Nerina of her beloved deaf dog.

Wishing you a wonderful summer with your dogs. With love,

Saturday is for the dogs Connie Wilson, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

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Finally... if you need me, this is where I’ll be the rest of my Saturday (while my dog Cash Risner naps by my side).—@kkaypuff




Jason Krygier-Baum

is a professional animal photographer from Toronto, ON. His studio focuses on creating graphic, engaging, and joyful fine art portraits of his clients’ animals—like this issue’s adorable cover dog!—as well as commercial animal photography. He is always looking for challenging projects that push the creative limits. Jason’s animal menagerie includes studio dog Ella, cats Walter and Hazel, and Stanley, the friendliest snake you’ll ever meet. Keep up with his latest projects on Instagram @jasonkbphoto.

VOL 20

NO 2


Modern Dog Inc. Editor-in-Chief

Connie Wilson Editor & Creative Director

Jennifer Nosek Design & Production

Hayley Schmidt Sales & Marketing

Linda Helme, Amanda Dalla Zanna Comptroller

Cecilia de Roca Chan, CPA, CGA Accounting Services & Subscription Services

Vicki Szivos Marketing & Sales Assistant

Simran Parekh Audience Development Coordinator

Yaunna Sommersby Subscriptions & Office Administration

Becky Belzile

Lisa Kanarek is a freelance

Office Assistant

Isabelle Orr

writer and the author of five books about working from home, including Organizing Your Home Office For Success. She’s a dog lover who writes about family, relationships, and acts of kindness, and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Reader’s Digest, Best Friends, PBS’s Next Avenue, and CNBC. Turn to page 68 for her wonderful story on a Covid-grounded flight attendant who is creating community via the free-dog-treat stop she set up in her yard.

GET YOURSELF A SUBSCRIPTION! Give us a call at 1-800-417-6289 or subscribe online at moderndogmagazine.com/subscribe Advertising inquiries call (866) 734-3131 or email advertising@moderndogmagazine.com In Canada: MODERN DOG (ISSN 1703-812X) Volume 20, Issue 2. Published quarterly by Modern Dog Inc. at Suite 101–2930 Arbutus St, Vancouver, BC Canada V6J 3Y9 POSTMASTER: send address changes to Modern Dog, Suite 101–2930 Arbutus St, Vancouver, BC Canada V6J 3Y9 In USA: MODERN DOG (ISSN 1703-812X) Volume 20, Issue 2. 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.

Julie Anne Lee, DCH,

RcsHOM, has been the owner and practitioner of some of the busiest and longest standing holistic veterinary hospitals and clinics in North America. This includes founding the first licensed, strictly holistic veterinary clinic in Canada. She developed and taught a three-year post-graduate program for veterinarians at the College of Animal Homeopathic Medicine, and over the last 20 years she’s presented lectures at various institutions on homeopathy and functional pathology, treating chronic disease, the gut microbiome, and many others. Turn to page 50 for Julie’s at-home treatments for canine skin conditions.

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(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. Copyright 2021 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. Modern Dog is published four times a year. One-year subscription prices: Canada $18CAD, U.S.A. $18USD, foreign $45USD. Subscription orders and customer service inquiries should be sent to Modern Dog Subscription Services, Suite 101–2930 Arbutus St, Vancouver, BC Canada V6J 3Y9


www.moderndogmagazine.com Publications Mail Agreement Number 40743013 We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada. Nous reconnaissons l'appui financier du gouvernement du Canada.

Stuff We Love

Modern Dog staffers’ picks of the litter! 1 If your dog loves squeaky toys and hide and seek, the adorable Zippy Burrow Chicken Bucket is the perfect pick! This plush toy set comes with one chicken bucket and three small squeaky drumsticks hidden inside. Watch your pup delight in finding and freeing the toys!—Simran ($14, zippypaws.com) 2 Nothing says summer more than camping! From the tent with sleeping bags to carob s’more, each toy in the adorable Camp Corbin plush toy collection from P.L.A.Y. is made with eco-friendly materials, is machine washable, and is sure to delight your pup. Can be purchased individually or as a full set! —Isabelle (from $12 or $60 for the whole set, petplay.com) 3 Ever wonder why your precious dog is the only one riding loose in the car? This car seat could save your dog’s life! Did you know 1.2 million dogs die in car accidents each year? The Wuffguard car seat absorbs up to 2,000 pounds of force. Designed to keep your dog safe and comfortable, it’s easy to set up, safety tested, and non-restrictive.—Amanda (from $186, wuffguard.com) 4 Does your dog suffer from joint pain and discomfort? Support your dog’s joints, bones, and connective tissues with Agility, a supplement from PureForm Pet Health combining joint-care gold standard ingredients like glucosamine with Vitamin C and magnesium to improve your dog’s mobility.—Hayley (from $63, pureformpethealth.com) 5 No more marked furniture! Rocky and Maggie’s Pop-up Pee Pads are the first and only pee pad designed especially for male dogs. These superabsorbent pads include a vertical target in a cute hydrant shape to attract your dog—and save your couch!—Vicki (from $15, rockyandmaggies.com) 6 Picking up after your dog is made easy with the PawPail Pet Waste Station. Designed to be used outdoors, this disposal system is made with weather resistant materials and comes with high quality PawBag pet waste bags and an activated carbon air filter.—Cecilia ($150, pawpail.com) 7 If your dog has allergies or food sensitivities, finding the right training treat can be tricky. Jack’s Premium Training Treats are limited ingredient treats made with real meat and come in a variety of proteins. Yum!—Yaunna ($10, jackspremium.com) 8 “Their tails like magic metronomes measuring the joy in the air…” Transport yourself with Dogs in Topanga, a lovely collection of poems by Jane Marla Robbins celebrating dogs and the myriad ways they enliven and brighten our lives.—Linda ($15, janemarlarobbins.com) 9 You scream, I scream, we all scream for Rebel Dawg’s Double Sided Ice Cream Dog ID Tags! 100 percent customizable, jingle free, and super cute, these are the ultimutt summer dog tags!—Connie ($44, rebeldawg.com) 10 Let them eat treats! These Chicken Crunchy Bites from Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food are a yummy daily reward for your food-motivated pup! With chicken as the first ingredient, these low-calorie treats have the crunch and taste dogs love.—Becky ($5, chickensouppets.com) 11 Keep boredom and destructive chewing at bay with the Simply Country Twisted Pizzle treats! Slow baked and made with all-natural ingredients, these long-lasting treats are a great way to keep your dog busy.—Jennifer ($10, tevrapet.com)


Sweet Lab-mix Sisu had his eye on the prize: a purple stuffed unicorn at the local Dollar General in Kenansville, North Carolina.


he stray had reportedly entered the store no less than five times in an attempt to steal the mythical creature right from under the staff’s noses. After a call to Animal Control, the dog was apprehended for his repeated B&E efforts and taken to the local shelter, but not without his prized possession. It seems Sisu had melted the first of many hearts to come; Samantha Lane, the animal control officer tasked with the stray’s capture, first purchased the $10 unicorn for her new charge to snuggle with at the shelter. Sisu was reportedly happy to head off once he had his new toy. According to People magazine, the shelter gave the wouldbe thief the name Sisu after the dragon in the latest Disney film, Raya and The Last Dragon. The shelter staff shared Sisu’s adorable attempts at thievery on Facebook and the story went viral. Sisu was adopted just one day later. The Duplin County Animal Services Facebook post describes him as very vocal, “sassy with other dogs, and will not tolerate any back talk.” Sisu just knows what he wants, and we think he deserves it. For their part, Dollar General donated dog food to the Duplin County Animal Services shelter and made sure to throw in a few extra unicorns for Sisu’s forever home.–Becky Belzile

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T h e Od d Couple: R

omeo and Casper, two perfect balls of white fluff, have become an inseparable, if unusual, duo. Casper the Samoyed’s smiling countenance is delightfully countered by the grouchy visage of his unlikely bestie, Romeo, a flat-faced Himalayan Persian, a juxtaposition that has catapulted the duo to internet stardom.

The pair were introduced slowly and with intention. First, they were separated for a week and introduced to each other only by smell. Romeo was very curious but nervous about Casper, who seemed eager to bridge the gap to a full-fledged friendship right away. Over time, Romeo’s nerves dissipated and the two became joined at the hip.

It helps that their pet parent, Rinsa Li, is a professional photographer, capturing the adorable duo gallivanting together from their home in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Don’t let Romeo’s grumpy façade fool you. Belying his sourpuss face, Romeo is actually quite the cuddle buddy and attention-seeker, and his love for Casper is unrivalled. He follows Casper around and loves to pose for photographs with his brother. After all, at only three years old, he spent the formative years of his life getting to know and love his big bro.

Six-year-old Casper is the original family pet with a sweet and talkative demeanour. But Li had dreams of owning a cat and wondered how Casper would react to a feline friend. After an experimental encounter with a friend’s cat, Li decided to make a move to find the cat of their dreams.

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Whether they’re napping on the couch together or headed out on an epic road trip, their fans are equally delighted.

Though they travel every couple of weeks to picturesque locations, hanging out at home seems just as fun—just take a look at their super-cute Instagram posts. One thing is certain—their charm is undeniable, as evidenced by their 45,000 Instagram followers, YouTube channel, and international news coverage, including People and The Daily Mail. Perhaps we can learn a thing or two about friendship while watching Casper and Romeo, who appear so opposite but share such a strong bond. At the very least, we can find some joy in watching them together! Follow them at @casperandromeo.—Becky Belzile


Smiley Samoyed & His Grumpy Faced Feline BFF Delight Internet



Pet Therapy Could your dog benefit from a therapy group? New animated show Housebroken explores just that


riends fans, Lisa Kudrow is back—as a pet! Premiering May 31st, irreverent animated comedy Housebroken follows a group of neighbourhood pets as they work through their issues inside and outside their therapy group. Kudrow voices Honey, a Poodle who hosts the group and struggles with her own problems, such as her arranged (by her human) marriage to Chief, a sloppy St. Bernard who enjoys eating socks and licking himself. Honey opens her living room for the group to come and support each other through the mayhem and majesty that is being a pet. The group includes a chonky, co-dependent cat named Chico; The Grey One, a street-smart cat who has his one eye on aging Persian cat beauty queen Tabitha; Diablo, an anxious, sweater-wearing terrier; and Elsa, a power hungry, know-it-all Corgi and fake service dog; among others (like a hamster, and George Clooney’s pig). The show’s co-creators and Executive Producers Clea DuVall, Gabrielle Allan, and Jennifer Crittenden found inspiration in their own pets. DuVall came up with the idea for the show based on her complicated relationship with her cat, Twig.

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“I am obsessed with our cats Pilot and Twig. I talk to them and about them all day, every day,” laughs DuVall. Allan’s six-year-old Cockapoo, Carter, is featured in an episode as a “troubled dog.” And Crittenden’s 12-pound terrier mix, Molly, “a scruffy terrier with a comical underbite” also shows up. “We used her ‘lewk’ for the character ‘Diablo,’” says Crittenden. “The similarity is mainly dental.” Featuring the voices of Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte, Clea DuVall, Nat Faxon, Sharon Horgan, Tony Hale, Sam Richardson, and Jason Mantzoukas, Housebroken promises a hilarious look at human behaviour told through the lens of a quirky group of pets and their dysfunctional relationships. Our kind of must-watch TV! Housebroken premieres Monday, May 31st at 9PM ET/PT on FOX.




Exercise your funny bone. Create a caption for this cartoon and submit your entry at moderndogmagazine.com/cartooncaption. The most comic captions will be published in the next issue.

Two-Year-Old Adopts Shelter Dog With Same Birth Defect: “They instantly loved each other”


Toddler and puppy, both born with a cleft lip, are a pawfect match When Brandon and Ashley Boyers discovered Lacey, a black and white puppy with a congenital birth defect, at the Jackson County Animal Shelter in Jackson, MI, they knew she would be the perfect companion for their two-year-old son, Bentley. Like their toddler, the puppy had been born with a cleft lip. Brandon was visiting the shelter when he realized one of the puppies had something in common with his son. “He Facetimed me. He goes, ‘I think this one has a cleft lip’ and I said, ‘get her! We need her,’” Ashley told local news station WILX. When the overjoyed toddler visited the shelter to meet Lacey for the first time, the team was able to capture an adorable series of photos highlighting the instant bond shared between the boy and his new puppy. “It’s so hard to put into words how meaningful this adoption is to all of us so we are going to let the pictures speak for themselves,” the shelter said in a Facebook post. “...They instantly loved each other.” Being able to see yourself reflected in the world around you is so important. “To see him have something in common with a puppy means a lot ’cause he can grow up and understand that he and his puppy both have something that they can share,” Ashley said. Lydia Sattler, the Jackson County Animal Services Director, noted that Lacey should not have any additional health issues. “Her disability is really not holding her back, and as she grows, they’ll be able to see more if there’s any change that has to do with that. But she’s really doing well,” Lydia told WILX. “She might look a little different than a normal dog would, but it’s not slowing her down at all.”—Yaunna Sommersby

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"That guy that pees on your rose bushes is out front again." Submitted by Todd Van Allen RUNNER-UP CAPTIONS "I'm telling you, you're pushing it. He's coming back, and you know he's going to wonder who opened that Merlot..." Submitted by Susan Lane

"Ugh, he's back again, time to start barking." Submitted by Cheyenne Bilge

"He's home early! Clean up, quick! I'll go poop on the floor to distract him!" Submitted by Sian Thomson

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Modern Dog’s Photo Contest Winners!







French Bulldog




zeus chaney Pomeranian

Sadie & Wally Golden Retrievers


Labrador Retriever




Olde English Bulldogge

hannah Mix

dexter million Miniature Dachshund


Chocolate Lab


West Highland White Terrier


American Bully






German Shepherd





snickers Beagle





Boston Terrier


Australian Shepherd








Think your dog ought To be in Modern Dog?

Holiday Bernedoodle


Golden Retriever

Upload your dog’s photo at moderndogmagazine.com/ photocontest. 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!


We’re giving it away! Enter to win fabulous giveaways each and every week in June, July and August. Go to moderndogmagazine.com/giveaways to enter! Lucky readers will win every week.



Win 1 of 12 FurZoff, the new and better way to remove pet hair from your home and vehicles. Made in USA of 90% recycled material, it’s 100% durable!



Win 1 of 3 ALL-IN supplement prizes from Vetericyn! Includes a 90-day supply of supplements (3 bottles) with your choice of puppy, adult, or senior.










Win 1 of 6 prize packs from SodaPup! This prize pack includes one of their Emat Licking Mats, a Mod Bone dog chew & enrichment toy, and two bags of tasty treats!

Win 1 of 3 prize duos from PURICA! Keep your pup happy and healthy with a bottle each of their Pet Recovery Chewables and Pet Curcumin+.



Win 1 of 5 Summer UV Cooling Shirts from Unicorn Petting Zone! Help keep your dog cool in the summer heat with this lightweight, UV protected cooling shirt.

Win 1 of 2 $100 Pet Wellbeing gift cards! Choose from an array of all-natural veterinarianapproved health supplements to support your furry friend’s specific wellness needs.

Win 1 of 4 Luxe Vegan Leather collar & leash sets from PetPonia! Enjoy luxury, comfort and durability on walks with your best buddy. Each set is handmade of the highest quality vegan leather.

Win 1 of 5 HandsOn Gloves—the massage your dog will beg for! These gloves provide a more thorough shedding, bathing, and grooming experience for you and your pup!

10 lucky winners will each receive a 16-ounce bottle of Sammy’s Shiny Coat, an Omega-3 rich, 100 percent virgin, cold-pressed flax oil, and a Tick Key from Stengel Oils!

Win a one-year Wellness Box subscription from My Pet Defense! Each box includes a 30-day supply of the following: flea and tick prevention, enzymatic dental support, and nutritious soft chews!

Win 1 of 3 prize packs filled with Imagilin’s premium plant-based, patented probiotics! Included are formulations for your dog, and also for you—MitoMax, MitoMax Cranberry, NutriLots Peach, and NutriLots Lemon.

Win a Pet Resort Kennel with Sunbrella Canopy Cover from Lucky Dog! Shade your furry friend from the sun with this easy-to-install, water resistant, stylish kennel.

No purchase necessary to enter or win. Beginning June 1, 2021 at 12:01 AM (PST) through August 31, 2021 at 11:59 PM (PST), enter each day at moderndogmagazine.com/giveaways. 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 moderndogmagazine.com/giveaways.

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s y a w a e v i G t a Gre



Meet the Scottish Terrier! Is the dapper, spirited Scottie dog right for you?


ith his distinguished good looks, alert expression, and trademark silhouette, the Scottish Terrier is an instantly recognizable member of the dog world. Though short-legged, he’s solid, weighing 18 to 22 pounds. This strikingly bearded terrier offers personality plus in a compact package. The Scottish Terrier is an independent, confident companion of high spirits with a dignified, almosthuman character, notes the AKC. These high-energy terriers are up for brisk walks and vigorous play, like games of tug. ✔ Aloof towards strangers. ✔ Excellent watchdog. ✔ Strong hunting instinct (may bother cats).

ent, d i f n co nt, e d n e indep ed spirit

✔ Wiry topcoat and soft, dense undercoat requires regular grooming. Though commonly black, Scotties can also be wheaten yellow or brindle-striped. ✔ Known for being ill-tempered with other dogs. ✔ Clever and energetic. ✔ Great choice for small homes or apartments.


Find your perfect breed at moderndogmagazine.com/breeds

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Your dog will be the most adorable hiker on the trails with the Adventure Backpack from ZippyPaws! Made from a lightweight, breathable fabric to keep your dog cool, this comfortable pack is designed to hold water, treats, and other day-trip necessities. zippypaws.com


Dog Talker buttons teach your dog how to talk to you, unlocking amazing potential for communicating with your dog. Easy to push, the buttons are completely customizable. Simply record any words you’d like to teach your dog and your dog will be able to tell you whether he is thirsty, hungry, wants to play or would like to go outside! cheekypetz.com

Make the most of the season with the best toys, gear, & more!


If your dog loves to play tug of war and fetch, the RompiDogz Tug N’ Toss Rope will be their new favourite toy! The soft rope makes it easy for dogs to grip and the interwoven design creates elasticity and strength. rompidogz.ca or amazon.ca


How fun is this Corn on the Cob Treat Dispenser from SodaPup? Made with natural rubber, this durable, dishwashersafe chew toy challenges and entertains your pooch as they work to get the treats out. sodapup.com

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$15 for 10 rolls

Finally, a poop bag you can feel good about! Do Mother Earth a solid and ditch the plastic. Lucky Dog’s plant-based poop bags are ASTM D6400 compostable compliant and won't break or leak. luckydogdirect.com


Your summer wardrobe, solved. Show off your dog love with this adorable “My dog gets me!” crew-neck tee from Fetching Apparel. fetching-apparel.com


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Pet Psychic! Two pet psychics give dogs new leash on life By Jane Mundy | Illustration by Michelle Simpson


ave you ever wanted to have a conversation with your pet? What if your dog could actually talk to you? Well perhaps he can, via a pet psychic. When Victoria Marks’s Schipperke puppy went missing, she didn’t waste any time. “Right away I called pet psychic Shira Plotzker. She said Freddy would come home when he wants and he wasn’t far away,” says Victoria from Chandler, AZ. Hmm. You don’t need to be clairvoyant to say that, but what came next changed Victoria from skeptic to believer. “Shira also asked if Freddy was wearing a scarf. I was thinking this call was a mistake—we didn’t put a scarf on him,” says Victoria. “Then the local vet clinic phoned. An employee found a lost puppy (microchipped) on her way to work—we immediately jumped in the car and found Freddy sporting an orange bandana!” Incidentally, Shira lives in Nyack, NY, over 2,000 miles away from Victoria and Freddy. To some extent, we know what dogs are thinking by understanding their body language and the way they bark. And according to many pet psychics, you communicate with your

pets telepathically all the time, without even knowing it. Even so, you’re likely not comprehending your dog’s depths. Some pet psychics, after a one-on-one chat with your pets, may describe them as hilarious or boring, happy or sad—either in this life or in the afterlife. I talk to Lizzy, my Karelian Bear Dog, all the time. I tell her daily that she is beautiful and a good girl and I love her the most, and “Enough with the sniffing,” on our walks. But not once in 13 years has she replied. Of course I’m not expecting to have a conversation with Lizzy, but I would like to know if anything is bothering her, or if she has an “owie” that not even the vet can detect. A few years ago Lizzy got into an altercation with another dog and required surgery. She recovered physically but I am still concerned about her behaviour. Lizzy seems overly anxious; sometimes she hides in the closet and under my desk and even seems to be having nightmares. As, ahem, research for this story I called Shira, as well as pet psychic Angel Morgan in Toronto, ON. I sent Angel a photo of Lizzy while Shira just asked me her breed. After contacting Lizzy, this is what they said. 



Angel tells me via Zoom:  Lizzy says you get frustrated and you should take more breaks. Potentially she will get more attention and maybe a walk.  She wants you to know that it’s OK to get frustrated. Lizzy is a mental-verbal communicator (some dogs are more audio) so when you talk to her she completely understands.  When you are upset she puts her head on your lap or sometimes lies down near you.  When we follow up a few weeks later, Angel says that Lizzy telepathically communicated that “after that mean dog attacked me a few years ago I always thought it was my fault, that I did something wrong. Phew, I feel so much better. I hope my mum can move on too and stop worrying about me so much. She also worries about me slowing down—please tell her that I’m fine now.”

Shira tells me via phone call:  People stop in their tracks because Lizzy is so beautiful.  Lizzy likes the new person at home and new food changes that make her coat silkier. (I have a temporary roommate.)  Whatever rough patch she went through is gone.  I see you with more than one dog. (Roommate has two dogs and a cat.)  Someone snores so loudly she can wake Lizzy from a deep sleep. But she has the best time with this person. “You and your dog are lucky to have her as she is very thoughtful and has great snacks.” (My close friend, Lizzy’s “Mummy 2,” snores very loudly. And she spoils Lizzy.) “There are some animals I don’t like talking to and some don’t want to talk. Siamese cats and cockatoos are too independent. Fish in an aquarium don’t listen and they don’t care,” says Angel. “Not all the animals want to talk to me. I have some animals that flip me the paw,” says Shira, laughing.

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Why People Ask for Psychic Help More people have reached out to both Shira and Angel during the pandemic, and most people who call ask if they can speak directly with their pet. Angel says that dogs couldn’t understand why their people were home, and then went back to work. They ask why their playmate isn’t visiting: ‘Has something happened to them? Have I done something wrong?’ She advises that we sit down and talk to our animals. We don’t give them enough credit. Some are depressed and we need to explain how our world has changed. “As well, I like working with Bach Rescue Remedy. I spray it on my hands and pet my animals with it so it gets into their energy field,” Angel adds. Often clients call a psychic after their pet has died, or as Angel says, “has gone over the rainbow bridge.” One grieving woman called Shira because she wanted to talk with—not about—her dog. “Ozzie said, ‘Tell Mummy she did the right thing with me, I am happy, whole, and complete in heaven’”, said Shira. As well, psychics specialize in certain areas. While Shira has successfully found Freddy and other lost pets, Angel prefers not to get involved with missing animals. “There was one case where the animal found a new owner and didn’t want to come back, which I found difficult to convey. Sometimes you have to honour the animal,” Angel says. Maybe you want to know why your dog started behaving erratically, or why they aren’t getting along with the new family member. Perhaps you want to know if a rescue dog is a good connection. “I connect to the spirits of the dog(s) already in your family and the rescue dog to see if they are a good fit,” Angel explains. Johanne Hubert couldn’t understand why her Chihuahua didn’t want to leave the house. “Max would hide under the bed as soon as he heard the tinkle of his leash,” she says. Johanne called Shira and found out that Max hated his coat—it was itchy. Shira said that Max wants a motorcycle jacket and the plaid jacket gives him vertigo,” says Johanne. How on earth could she know that? Johanne never mentioned the plaid. “I bought him fleece and cashmere and now Max can’t wait to go walkies.” Or perhaps you can’t decide whether it’s time to say goodbye to your sick dog. Angel is sometimes asked by a family to join them and their vet while the dog is passing—after they have asked her if it is the right time. “I will speak with the animal and connect with their guides and guardians,” she says. “And when your pet has crossed over I can help with the grieving process. If you just want to validate what you already know, I can reassure you.” Still not convinced? Would you be less skeptical if a veterinarian believes—to a certain extent—in pet psychics? Dr. Aleda Cheng, a New Jersey-based veterinarian, works with “animal communicators,” AKA pet psychics, mostly for behaviour issues. While she doesn’t believe in substituting spirituality for science, “they can help adjust the critter’s thinking. For instance, the kid goes to college and the dog feels abandoned,” says Dr. Cheng. “A communicator will explain to the dog what is happening and I consider that a medicine.” 

Besides traditional medicine, Dr. Cheng’s clinic offers holistic care, such as acupuncture and herbal remedies. “One client had a cat with asthma—I wanted to try acupuncture but the cat was not cooperative,” says Dr. Cheng, who had recently met Shira at a Pet Expo and, even though she was skeptical, gave her a call. “Shira advised targeting areas by acupuncture that weren’t related to respiratory problems and she told the cat that I was going to help him. He let me put the acupuncture needles in without any fuss—I couldn’t believe it! “I called Shira again when my dog got hit by a car. She got scared and ran off,” says Dr. Cheng. “Shira said my son would find him in one hour. Sure enough…” Dr. Cheng adds that pet psychics can help when their human dies. The pet doesn’t know what happened, so they cannot get closure, but a psychic can put their mind at ease. “Another client adopted a dog after the owner died—she came to see me because he wouldn’t stop barking. I suggested she call a psychic and the dog soon settled down,” Dr. Cheng says. “When I first started vet school everyone thought holistic medicine was voodoo; now it’s very accepted by mainstream veterinarians. I think in the future more veterinarians will accept psychic medication.” Having faith in psychics or not, it all boils down to whatever makes you—and your pet—happy.

Rates Shira charges $100 for 30 minutes to $200 for one hour, either in person, by phone or via Skype. shirasplace.com During COVID, Angel’s sessions are being done by phone or internet. One hour is $125. For more information and Angel’s blog, visit angelmorganpetpsychic.com Dr. Aleda Cheng DVM is available for telemedicine appointments including online by FaceTime and texts in New Jersey. drchengholisticvet.com 

You could say Shira Plotzker and Angel Morgan are modern-day Dr. Doolittles. Doctor Dolittle, the character who learned to speak the language of animals, had his 100th anniversary last year. “The Story of Doctor Dolittle” appeared in 1920 and readers learned, through their conversations with the good doctor, that animals possessed astonishing gifts of smell, sight, and hearing. But that’s old news. Neuroscientists, after studying dog brain scans (the dogs voluntarily underwent an MRI. A lot of treats were involved.) have concluded that our canines love us at least as much as food. And we are told that the mind of a dog is equivalent to that of a toddler (According to psychologists, before children learn a language, they think like animals, in pictures and emotions rather than thinking in words. And they are conscious, self-aware, and able to think and experience emotions the way humans do.).

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How To Communicate With Your Dog The timeless book “Kinship with All Life,” written by J. Allen Boone and published in 1954, explains how animals communicate with each other. And human animal-communicators have used this book as a source for their methods. According to Boone, this is how it works: 1. The psychic relaxes and calms her mind. 2. She uses her mind to make contact with the animal's energy. 3. She visualizes the animal and telepathically says its name to get its attention. 4. She asks the animal a question, often by transmitting a picture. The psychic may use pictures in addition to or instead of words. 5. The psychic imagines the animal responding and waits for a response. Angel says she feels an energetic shift and asks permission to be in their vibration, which opens her to their way of speaking. Shira says that animals respond using childlike voices. 6. She accepts whatever response she gets and acknowledges that she has received it. 7. The psychic passes the animal's answers to its owner and asks more questions if needed. The psychic may also transmit messages to the pet from its owner. If the owner hopes to correct a pet's inappropriate behaviour, the psychic will visualize the solution rather than the problem. 8. Some pet psychics will also scan the pet's body to diagnose health problems. If the psychic detects illnesses or injury, she will transmit healing energy to the pet.


Your at-a-glance guide to the best stuff for your dog


Hydro Waterproof Collars, from $20; hotdogsalldressed.com

Side-Release Dog Collar, from $29; auburndirect.com

Waterproof Leather Alternative Rolled Leather Dog Collar Dog Collar, from $37; with Plate, from $32; shopmimigreen.com centralkentuckytackandleather.com


Lead-All Leash Pro, from $62; tinyhorse.ca

Sleepypod Power Leash, from $40; sleepypod.com

Spring Ombre Rope Leash, from $28; woofandwonder.com

Halti Training Leash, from $17; companyofanimals.us

Walkaboot Dog Booties, from $20; walkaboutharnesses.com

Performance Boots, from $29; ethicalpet.com

Mutt Trackers, from $25; muttluks.ca

Medium Orange You Glad to See Me Bandana, from $15; chewyapproved.com

Zoomies Pup Scruff, from $16; pupscruffs.com

Organic Cotton Knit Bandana, from $24; lilarchies.com


City Shoes Summer Dog Boots, from $29; poochypawz.com


Red Western Bandana Collar, from $20; petponia.com

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What To Do When You Bring Your New Rescue Dog Home 5 tips for bringing your new dog home | By Teoti Anderson


you’re adopting a rescue dog, you’ve already proven you’ve got a big heart. Don’t forget to engage your head when it comes to bringing Rescue Rover home. Without proper planning, you’re the one who might need rescuing! It doesn’t matter your new dog’s background, whether he came from the streets, a neglectful home, or a loving home that could no longer keep him. He’s a stranger in YOUR home. You’ve completely changed his world. This means there’s going to be an adjustment period, typically several months. Understanding that he’s the new pup on the block will go a long way in helping him settle in long term. Here are five tips to help your new family member fit right in.


Take it easy on introductions

Admit it. You’ve already posted his picture on social media and you’ve got a crowd of people dying to meet the new guy in your life. As much as you want everyone to meet him, it’s best to slow down. When you bring a rescue dog home, you’re changing almost everything about his routine. Depending on his background, your loving home may be like a different planet! This is going to take some time for him to acclimate. Throwing a bunch of people at him right off the bat isn’t going to help him, even if he’s a friendly, outgoing dog. When you do let your friends meet him, only do a few at a time. If you have children, make sure your dog is on leash when they meet. Don’t let your kids overwhelm him. Instead, have them sit quietly and let Rover approach them at his own pace. Take careful note of his body language. Is he squinting his eyes, with a curvy body? This is a good sign. Is he stiff and straight, or does he avoid approaching the kids? This means he’s not ready yet. Remember that a wagging tail does not indicate a friendly dog. It indicates high excitement. The dog could be just as excited to kiss you or bite you, so don’t depend on just the tail as a cue. In general, a low, swishy tail is a good sign.

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Some breeds, though, naturally carry their tails curled or up high, so this isn’t your only indication. Look for stress signs, such as lip licking, yawning, whining, and avoidance. Another stress sign is an adrenaline shake off, when the dog shakes all over as if he’s wet, but he’s not. Do you have other pets? With dogs, let them meet on neutral territory. If the dogs are meeting on leash, be careful of leash tension. If the leash is too tight, this can create tension and trigger aggression. Allow the dogs to interact for a few seconds, then call each of them away, giving them treats for coming with you. Use lots of praise for appropriate interactions. Keep watching for signs of stress or aggression. If you have cats, always ensure your cats have a safe escape route from any room containing your new dog. For example, block doorways with baby gates your cat can leap over but the dog can’t. You may want to tether your new dog to a sturdy piece of furniture (always under supervision) to prevent him from chasing them. Cats are quick to understand exactly how long a six-foot leash is, so they can enter the room and still stay out of reach.


Spoil him… but not rotten

Set rules. Set boundaries and stick to them. Set expectations for his behaviour. It’s not fair if you let him get away with murder for the first week and then impose rules on him later. You don’t have to feel sorry for him—he hit the jackpot with you!


Confine him when you can’t supervise him

If you bring home a rescue puppy, it’s typical to crate train him until he is housetrained and chewproof. Adult dogs also need confinement, because you have no idea how they will act in your home. Even if your rescue dog spent time in a foster home, how he acted there may not be indicative of how he will act in his new home. When a dog is plopped into a new environment, he is often suppressed. He’s still figuring out where his next meal is coming from and who is regularly in his life, so he lies low for a while until he gets comfortable. At about three to four weeks, his true personality starts peeking through. The dog who never chewed a thing his first month just ripped your curtains to shreds. The dog who was quiet as a mouse suddenly started barking at dogs he sees through the window. Until you can be sure your dog will be safe and wellbehaved in your home, confine him when you can’t supervise him.


When unattended, separate pets.

During the “honeymoon period,” it may seem like all your pets get along. As your rescue pup gets comfortable, he may start to assert himself, which may not go over well with existing pets. Do not leave pets together when you are not there to supervise them. If there is an incident, you won’t be there to intervene. This can have tragic consequences. With time, it may be fine to leave pets alone together. Don’t leave this to luck—take the time to make sure everyone will be safe.


Start training now!

Don’t wait until your rescue dog develops bad habits. Training him with reward-based methods will build a faster bond between you. You’ll be setting your expectations for behaviour with him early, giving him needed structure in his new home. It doesn’t matter how old your dog is, as it’s never too late to learn. It won’t be long before it’s hard to remember what your life was like before you met your rescue dog. When you’re just starting out together, remember you have a lifetime ahead. Take things slow at the beginning and it will be a much smoother transition to your happily ever after. moderndogmagazine.com



PANDEMIC PUPS: Adopted Dogs Offer A Furry Support System Dogs ease anxiety and provide needed companionship during a tumultuous year of lockdowns and quarantines | By Vivien Fellegi


hen 81-year-old Manhattanite Jane Isay met her potential new pet on a cold winter’s day mid-pandemic, it was love at first sight. She sat on a bench in Central Park and the graceful Poodle ambled over and poked her head under Isay’s knee. Within a couple of days Tiffany (Tiffy for short), was hers. “She is just the sweetest thing,” says Isay. “I love her.” A week later, Isay came down with Covid and went into isolation, with only the dog for company. “You think you’re going to die,” says Isay, who wondered every night if she’d

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make it through ‘til morning. When she woke up in a panic, the dog in the adjacent chair would look at her or come over for a snuggle. Tiffy’s companionship helped Isay get through the ordeal. “She’s been such a comfort,” says Isay. Isay is not alone. Though long man’s best friend, a dog’s fellowship is needed more than ever. People have seen Covid rob them of their routines, community, and sense of certainty, says licensed psychologist Lori Kogan, Professor at Colorado State University, who conducted a survey of US dog owners during the pandemic. Unchecked, these pressures could lead to anxiety or depression, she says. Luckily, our animals can buffer some of these burdens, says Lindsay Hamrick, Director of Shelter Outreach & Engagement at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). “We know pets are one of the best antidotes to lowering our blood pressure,” she says. Both new and long-term owners are benefitting from their canine companions. The vast majority (76 percent)

After contracting Covid, “my grandchildren thought I was going to die,” says Isay. Her dog was the only creature she didn’t have to calm down. of Kogan’s survey respondents said their pets diminished their despair. Dogs are replacing some of the supports lost due to social distancing. “Having a living, responding entity” that cares for you, says Kogan, “can be very helpful in alleviating some of those feelings of isolation.” Dogs’ cuddles and kisses furnish us with sorely missed physical touch, and their entertaining antics yank us out of our preoccupations and into the present moment. Plus, our pets give us a sense of direction that has been missing for many during the pandemic, says Nancy Gee, Director of the Center for Human-Animal Interaction at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Medicine. Duty towards their dogs motivates older owners, in particular, to protect their health. “They might say, ‘I can’t die yet because I’ve got to take care of this animal,’” says Gee. Walking our dogs can also foster much-needed, socially distanced interactions with others as animal lovers offer advice or trade anecdotes about their pets. They also lower our stress, a service needed more than ever. More than 80 percent of adults reported the coronavirus pandemic as a significant source of stress in their lives, along with emotions associated with prolonged stress, an American Psychological Association survey found. “Nearly a year into the pandemic, prolonged stress persists at elevated levels for many Americans. …We can’t ignore the mental health consequences of this global shared experience,” said Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, APA’s chief executive officer. “Without addressing stress as part of a national recovery plan, we will be dealing with the mental health fallout from this pandemic for years to come.” Here again dogs help. Interacting with dogs not only makes us feel better, it also rewires us physiologically. In one of Gee’s recent studies, college students’ stress hormones (cortisol) fell and their focus improved after they attended dog therapy sessions. But pandemic pets have brought some burdens as well as benefits. According to a survey of companion animals conducted during the lockdown in the UK (AprilJune 2020), 67 percent of participants voiced concerns about their animals. Some worried they would catch Covid from their pets, while others questioned their ability to afford pet food or health care, says author Emily Shoesmith, Research Associate, York University (UK). Pet owners also feared their animals might develop separation anxiety when they eventually returned to their workplaces. In spite of some misgivings, the vast majority of owners appreciated their “non-judgemental, constant source of affection,” says Shoesmith. Three new dog owners would agree. For octogenarian Jane Isay, her Poodle, Tiffany, keeps loneliness at bay. Teenager Sonya Zacharek’s new Lab puppy, Sully, helps her relax after the grind of online studies. Editor Nancy McKeon’s terrier mix, Sadie Lou, leads her out of the house for marathon marches. Meet three people with different lives but similar gratitude for their pandemic pooches.  moderndogmagazine.com


What got Americans through the pandemic? Their pets.


of pet parents say they could not have survived 2020 without their pet(s)

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A Teenager's New Pup Provides Company During Remote Learning When the pandemic struck her hometown of Ann Arbour, Michigan, it shook 17-year-old Sonya Zacharek’s belief in a predictable world. She felt overwhelmed by dinner table conversations, where her parents, both healthcare professionals, worried about Covid’s spread. As her anxiety mounted, Zacharek had trouble concentrating on her studies. “(The) new way of life was super shocking,” she says. But there was a silver lining—a puppy. Though Zacharek had long yearned for a pet, her parents were too busy to help care for an animal. But when they began working from home during the pandemic, the perfect moment had arrived. The Zachareks found a breeder who recommended a “pretty chill” yellow English Labrador Retriever. “He was really cute and that swayed us as well,” says Zacharek. The “sassy” puppy, whom they named Sully, needed intensive house training. But this responsibility helped distract Zacharek from her problems and re-establish a regular schedule. When you’re learning at home, you can spend all day doing nothing, she says. But if your pet is hungry in the morning, that forces you out of bed. “You’re kept accountable to the dog,” she says, and that also “keeps you in check.” Caring for another creature has also boosted the teenager’s confidence. “You feel proud, especially if they’re acting right.” Zacharek gets back as much as she gives. Sully’s high spirits keep her entertained as she watches him explore like a toddler or “vacuum” up his dinner. At night the tired-out puppy helps her unwind when she strokes his soft fur. 

PA R E N TS I N T H E U . S . CO M P L E T E D B E T W E E N D ECE M B E R 22, 2020 A N D J A N UA R Y 4, 2021

When the pandemic struck last March, Manhattanite Jane Isay’s ties to humanity were severed overnight. The extroverted writer was used to daily dinners with friends, regular outings to the theater, and overnight stays with her children. But the fear of catching Covid kept her indoors, where the writer threw herself into a new children’s book. The isolation exacted an emotional toll. Anxiety invaded Isay’s thoughts and her body grew tense with unspoken fears. Her only relief came when she listened to her favorite classical composers. “I could let down my guard and weep of loneliness,” she says. By the summer, the former dog owner realized she needed the comfort of a pet. Isay applied at one rescue organization after another, only to be told the dog she wanted was already taken. “I felt the way you might feel in high school when you got an invitation to the party,” says Isay, “then they called and said it was a mistake.” Eventually, a friend found her a well-trained rescue Poodle “who’s as smart as most of my neighbours.” Isay felt immediate relief after Tiffany arrived in her home. “I breathed differently,” she says. Tiffany glommed onto her quickly, shadowing her everywhere and showering her with kisses. “I was just so glad to have another living entity in my life,” says Isay. Especially when she contracted Covid. Though her case was mild, Isay’s family feared the worst. “My grandchildren thought I was going to die,” she says. The dog was the only creature she didn’t have to calm down. Unlike her relatives, Tiffany revelled in mundane rituals, dancing with joy when she was taken for a walk. “She was just a dog,” says Isay, “and that was a great relief.” Looking after Tiffany also restored Isay’s sense of agency. The mother of two has always nurtured others and hated being the one in trouble. But she could feed her dog

and give her a hug even while battling a virus. “You can do that,” says Isay, “whether you’re coughing or not.” Today Isay continues to count her blessings. Tiffany’s steady presence continues to comfort her owner and keep her linked to the living. “She’s just here, and I find that wonderful,” she says.


An Octogenarian's Adopted Poodle Keeps Covid-Related Loneliness at Bay

Without a dog to walk, McKeon holed herself up in her apartment where she began talking to herself. Embracing him also helps to make up for the human hugs put on hold by Covid. “Just him being in the house makes it feel less lonely,” she says. Today the affectionate dog feels like Zacharek’s sibling when he trots by her side or just relaxes by her feet. He’s a far cry from an “angel dog”—he nips occasionally and leaps onto countertops. But Zacharek finds his escapades more amusing than irritating. He’s like a little brother,” says Zacharek. “He’s annoying, but you love him.”

A Rescue Dog Provides a New Yorker a Bridge to Socially Distanced Interactions For 74-year-old New Yorker Nancy McKeon, the pandemic was tolerable while her dog Bailey was alive. Though she missed sharing cocktail hour with her “girl gang,” her friendly dog attracted the attention of other pet owners on walks. “The dog opens doors,” says McKeon, “you meet people you didn’t know.” When the editor lost her four-legged socialite unexpectedly last November, her world imploded. Without a dog to walk, McKeon holed herself up in her apartment where she began talking to herself. A week and a half later, McKeon realized this monastic life wasn’t healthy. “It’s terrible about Bailey,” she told herself, “But I really, really need another dog.” After searching in four different states, McKeon found a lively rescued terrier-mix called Sadie Lou. McKeon was immediately taken by the dog’s charcoal grey colouring and her “outgoing” nature. “She was so sweet,” she says. Since acquiring Sadie Lou, McKeon gets a daily workout, sometimes trotting for miles beside her enthusiastic 10-yearold pet. “She’s a little frisky,” says McKeon. “It gets my heart rate up.” These outings aren’t always relaxing, though. Though Sadie Lou dotes on her human, she has a bone to pick with members of her own species. “She reacts to every dog on the street—she wants to rip their throats out,” says her owner. McKeon’s learned to anticipate potential sparring partners during their outings and whisks her little “bully” behind a parked car to avoid a scuffle. “It’s embarrassing,” she says. But Sadie Lou’s devotion at home more than compensates for her savagery on the streets. The dog provides a “healthy connection,” monitoring McKeon’s moods and listening to her voice. Unlike people who make constant demands, the dog accepts her as she is. “(She’s) willing to do whatever I want to do,” says McKeon. Sadie Lou also creates a sense of purpose for her owner. When she walks out the door with her dog, her owner feels anchored in space. “I have a right and a place to be in the physical world,” says McKeon. “That’s what she gives me.”

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PROBLEM SOLVERS Ingenious solutions to common dog-life problems


Simplify your outings with gear from TinyHorse, Canadian-made products for professional dog walkers. Their versatile leash solutions come in a variety of lengths and materials and are perfect for multi-dog homes, too. tinyhorse.ca



SOLUTION: The PawPad Waterpoof Cover for Dogs/Cats is perfect for use on beds, couches, carpets/rugs, cars, crates and more. Control and contain fur, dirty paws, and bladder leaks! It’s lightweight, absorbent, and machine washable. getapawpad.com


PROBLEM: POOR EATING POSTURE SOLUTION: The Fluff Trough is an ergonomic, elevated bowl that supports a dog’s natural eating position, helping with posture, digestion, and more. Available in two sizes with an optional slow-feeder insert + stainless steel water bowl insert. flufftrough.com PROBLEM: CAN’T FIND LARGE DOG CLOTHING SOLUTION: Midlee Designs was started to solve this problem! They had a German Shepherd they wanted to dress but couldn’t find anything that fit. They have costumes, dresses, tuxedos, shirts, and more for dogs up to 120 pounds. midleedesigns.com

SOLUTION: Great for dog training! We love our dogs so training them humanely is important. Pet Corrector is a constructive and positive way to interrupt bad habits like barking and retrain better behaviours for peace of mind around the house and in public! Find it on Amazon!

PROBLEM: DOG POOP IN YOUR YARD SOLUTION: Do you want a better way to clean up after your dog? PawPail’s pet waste station makes it convenient and sanitary to clean up their waste by dispensing bags and storing the filled poop bags, minimizing the smell with an air filter and vent system. pawpail.com moderndogmagazine.com


Photographer Pairs Dogs With Lookalike Humans. The Results? Glorious Doppelgänger duos delight with uncanny resemblances By Rose Frosek | Photos by Gerrard Gethings


O YOU LOOK LIKE YOUR DOG? These duos certainly do! In a captivating photo series made into a memory card game, British photographer Gerrard Gethings captured dogs and their doppelgangers with hilarious results, glorious blowing hair and all.

The popularity of the photos caught even their creator off guard. “To be honest, I didn’t expect it to be any kind of thing. And yet it’s in three exhibitions this year in Europe,” says Gethings. Just how popular is the series? In a word: Viral. Even Justin Timberlake posted a video of himself playing the game with Jessica Biel. Such brilliance doesn’t come easily. The effort was a year in production. Gethings photographed the dogs first and then set out to find their human lookalikes, a task that presented its own challenges.

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“I had to be really quite delicate," laughs Gethings. A lot of the times I’d really just compliment—start a conversation around their amazing hair. It is tricky to say, 'I think you’d be perfect to be the Bulldog—it’s not exactly complimentary.' “Sometimes they only found out when they came,” he continues. “They all thought it was really fun; it was a really positive experience. There was one guy who played the Schnauzer, a Turkish guy who works in the corner shop, he speaks hardly any English, I had to try and explain. He was a mini celebrity because it went viral when it went out.” North America, Europe—the photos were undeniably a hit. “I think it’s universal,” says Gethings. “Anything that’s so successful needs to be applicable in every country. This idea of looking like a dog… culturally it crosses everywhere. And weirdly, Germany—it sells more in Germany than everywhere else put together.” Find the Do You Look Like Your Dog memory card game (there's also a book!) on Amazon. Find Gerrard at gerrardgethings.com. moderndogmagazine.com



Cool New Dog Finds Capture your beloved pet in ink with a portrait from JAC Portraits. These unique pen and ink portraits make for a beautiful gift or accent to your home. jacportraits.com

The perfect gift for dog lovers! Funny rhyming text takes you through twentyseven unexpected and amusing varieties of dogs, with an ending that will make you laugh out loud! Available at amazon.com

Would you walk barefoot outside? Neither should your pup! Poochy Pawz protects paws from burning on hot sidewalks, asphalt and sand. Recognized as the #1 summer dog boot. poochypawz.com

“Dog medicine for the soul.” These 38 poems by Jane Marla Robbins are intimate, funny, moving, insightful and inspiring. The perfect gift for every dog lover. Available at amazon.com

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Habitable specializes in creating beautiful yet functional pet-integrated furniture that allows for you and your canine to better share living and working spaces. shophabitable.com

Your dog will love these dehydrated fish treats from Jack's Premium! These crunchy single ingredient treats are made from 100% whole fish and contain zero fillers or preservatives. jackspremium.com


Essentials for dogs & dog lovers

Chewy Approved bandanas don't blend in; they stand out! They make personalized bandanas in all sizes, to fit any breed. They bring barks to life! chewyapproved.com

Save your floors with a fabulous and fun pet feeding mat. Designed to last by artist Sherry Scharschmidt, the art will not flake, peel or scrub off. See all 10 designs—cats too! catsdogswords.com

Order your customized book from Eman Books! Your unique book features you and your dog, with a cartoonized version of your dog on the cover. They also make for a great gift for dog lovers of all ages! emanbooks.com

W. Bruce Cameron returns with the sequel to A Dog’s Way Home. A Dog’s Courage is a story about believing in our dogs as much as they believe in us. brucecameronbooks.com

We love this tee because it speaks to the heart of so many dog owners. Want to know the best part? This small business donates 20 percent of profits to animal rescues!! Go get it! Fetching-Apparel.com

Do bandanas drive you crazy? Having to re-tie and re-adjust them constantly? Pup Scruffs does away with all that. Super lightweight and quick drying, with over 40 patterns in 10 different sizes, you’ll find the perfect fit! pupscruffs.com moderndogmagazine.com



How Stella Learned to Talk oggone amazing: Speechlanguage pathologist Christina Hunger taught her dog Stella to communicate using the same method she uses to teach children to learn and speak words. Using a custom soundboard, Stella pushes buttons to form phrases up to five words in length. For example, upon hearing a noise outside, an excited Stella put together “Look, look, look, look, look, look, look, look, look! Come outside!” forming perhaps the most dog-like sentence ever. Other Stella phrasings include, “Park love you come outside!” “She definitely says ‘outside’ the most,” Hunger told CNN. “She absolutely loves being outside.” Stella also pressed the button “Help” when one of the buttons she had pushed failed to elicit a sound. “I’m in constant amazement,” says Hunger of her dog’s capabilities.

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Hunger began teaching Stella after noticing the gestures and vocalizations Stella was already using to express herself. She started with just a few recordable buttons that Stella could push to say, “outside,” “play,” and “water.” Hunger would indicate and name the object/action and push the button to say the word. Stella has surpassed all of Hunger’s expectations. Stella can now say more than 45 words, ask and answer questions, express her feelings (“mad,” “happy”), and participate in short conversations. Since Stella’s story broke in 2019, Hunger has inspired dog owners around the world to teach their dogs to talk using the same method, delighting Hunger: “I truly believe that everyone deserves to share their voice.” Now, Hunger’s new book, How Stella Learned to Talk, released in May, details their fascinating journey together. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in opening the doors of communication with their dog.—Rose Frosek



Speech pathologist teaches her dog to communicate using 45+ words

#1 To Bathe or Not to Bathe When a dog presents with skin issues, the “hygiene hypothesis” makes us believe we need to bathe, bathe, bathe, when in fact this causes the destruction of the body’s natural skin biome ecosystem, leaving it way more vulnerable to pollution and bacteria. Shampooing your dog weekly, monthly or even sometimes just yearly, and using topical antimicrobials or antibiotics all cause and contribute to your dog’s skin disease and allergies—and possibly your ill health too. Plus, the antibiotics help create drug-resistant superbugs and viruses.

Natural remedies for your dog’s skin problems | By Julie Anne Lee


he skin is the largest organ in the body, protecting dogs from everything in the world outside them. The biggest player in guarding against chemicals and the environment is the skin microbiome: the accumulation of bacteria, yeasts, and parasites. We all know the importance of a healthy ecosystem in the gut. Science is now realizing the role of the skin’s ecosystem, revealing that, like gut flora, it’s paramount in preventing allergies, skin disease, and autoimmunity, and protecting against infection and inflammation. Just as we’ve disrupted our dog’s natural flora in the gut with antibiotics, poor quality nutrition, stress, lifestyle, and drugs, so we have done with the skin! Thankfully, there are natural ways to improve the skin microbiome and get our animals back on the right track to healthy skin.

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Let your dog play in the dirt!! Not letting your dog get and stay dirty is probably the most important issue! That’s right! Mud, soil, manure, other dogs’ saliva, just plain old-fashioned dirt. Dogs and people used to get dirty: we gardened, they dug holes, ran through mud and played in everything. Today, everything and everyone lacks dirt and getting dirty. Stop bathing and let your dog’s natural microbiome do its job!

#2 Probiotics—Not Just for the Gut! Just as they do for the internal microbiome, probiotics can work wonders for the skin microbiome. Make a yogurt or kefir mask for your dog’s skin and coat. Use three tablespoons of organic yogurt or kefir and add half a teaspoon of a probiotic that has at least 10 strains and 30 billion CFU. Increase the amount of yogurt or kefir as needed for the size of your dog and cover her in the mixture. Leave it on for at least half an hour and rinse with just water. If you have to use any soap, use liquid Castile soap (it’s great as a household cleaner too). 


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Does your large breed dog have low energy, experience pain or have mobility issues? Superior Canine Joint Support contains seven powerful ingredients for maximum lifestyle impact. Boosts energy, relieves pain, improves mobility, and provides connective tissue support. A healthy part of your dog’s daily maintenance plan. Made in the USA. cheekypetz.com/jointsupport Free your dog from meat meals and unsavory by-products with BIXBI LIBERTY. Made with 100% USDA inspected and passed fresh meat and whole food ingredients steam cooked at low temperatures to lock in nutrients. Healthy, delicious, digestible dog food at a reasonable price. BIXBIPet.com Spurr’s Big Fix is ideal for use on cuts and scrapes, and is particularly helpful on hot spots. Simply spray the affected area and the antiseptic ingredients quickly disinfect while the soothing qualities of tea tree and other essential oils immediately go to work. It is all-natural and made in the USA. spurrsbigfix.com

HempCalm provides fast-acting calm and comfort support for stressed and anxious pets. The perfect remedy for stressful situations, travel & separation anxiety, vet visits & grooming, loud noises, and more. Contains proprietary blends of USDA Certified Organic Broad-Spectrum Hemp (with naturally occurring CBD) and patented C10 Calming Colostrum Complex™. Developed by a Board-Certified Animal Nutritionist. hempvet.pet

Ocu-GLO Soft Chews for Dogs and Cats are a blend of powerful antioxidants that complement traditional therapy. Formulated to protect vital cells in the eye at the DNA and protein levels from oxidative damage, this formula includes Grapeseed Extract, Lutein and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. It also includes Astaxanthin for enhanced antioxidant support! animalnecessity.com

I’m-Yunity for dogs is the only clinically proven medicinal mushroom extract of Coriolus versicolor. It helps to reduce your dog’s pain and fatigue while improving energy levels, mobility and appetite. Start improving your dog’s immunity and quality of life today! Use code "moderndog" for 5% off, and learn about clinical results and rewards programs at buyimyunity.com!




#3 A Healing Touch Touch your dog! Many studies have shown that children raised with dogs in their homes are much less likely to develop allergies and autoimmune issues… but what about the other way around? Touching our dogs, especially if we’re dirty and sweaty, allows for cross species diversity and “seeding” to create a diverse microbiome for your dog and you! If your dog is really suffering with skin disease, try rubbing your body all over with a dry cotton towel BEFORE your shower and then wipe your dog with it, or lay it across her bed. To me, hugging and cuddling is even better but if you’re apprehensive about doing it with a dog who has severe skin disease then this is an alternative. One of the saddest things I’ve ever seen is when a family stops touching their dog because she’s smelly or looks “diseased,” causing her to become emotionally isolated. Add a stupid plastic cone to the mix, and now you know why it’s a huge passion for me to try and get to the bottom of the epidemic of skin problems in dogs.

#4 Homeopathy to the Rescue Homeopathy uses tiny amounts of natural substances, like plants and minerals, to stimulate the healing process. 1. Apis (Bee venom) Use when your dog has: dry, intensely

red skin covered with whitish or transparent flakes and marked swelling of the affected area. The marked burning and itching may be ameliorated by cold bathing or even ice-packs. 2. Rhus Tox (Poison ivy) Use when your dog has: contact

dermatitis or a contact allergy. This presents as fiercely itchy skin, often with oozing or discharge, or dry, red, chapped, raw skin—often looks like they have poison ivy. This dog will be very restless from the itch and can feel better if they go for a walk but as soon as they stop they itch again. 3. Belladonna Use when your dog has: inflamed, hot and

swollen skin, fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and/or is generally feeling terrible. 4. Arnica Use when your dog has: overall pain; when it looks

like your dog doesn’t want to move or be touched and just feels sick all over. 5. Chamomilla (Chamomile) Use when your dog has:

sensitive, painful urticaria/hives, often with irritability or restlessness. This dog will be averse to being approached or touched because their skin hurts. Chamomile can also be used as a topical to soothe itchy, irritated skin. Brew a strong tea, then add a little extra water, rinse your dog with the tea and leave on.

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6. Sulfur Use when your dog is: smelly, sweaty, and hot to

the touch. This dog seeks out cool places and feels better when cool. 7. Nat Mur Use when your dog has: dry, flaky skin. This

dog may go away to hide when itchy and may be sad and depressed from the itch. 8. Graphites Use when your dog has: itchy, thickened skin

that exudes honey-coloured fluid. How to administer: Try a 30c potency of the remedy that is most indicated and give every eight to 12 hours for three doses, ONLY then stop. If, at any point, your dog is worse, do not give the next dose. If, after four days, there is no change whatsoever, move to a different remedy. If your dog improves but then starts to decline, repeat the remedy the same way. For dogs who are in great distress you can use a single dose of arnica 200c and aconite 200c together. If it helps calm them down you can use as needed, up to once daily until the indicated remedy starts to work and to give the other tools you are using a chance to help on a deeper level. Sending love to you and your animals. You’ve got this.  As always, check with your vet before starting any new protocol.

The remarkable canine nose is saving lives, diagnosing cancers with incredible accuracy By Vivien Fellegi | Illustration by Nicolle Lalonde

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he moment Lauren Gauthier set eyes on the skinny, scared hound helping to shepherd fellow rescues into her car, she saw something special in the abandoned dog. “She was kind of maternal,” says the 42-year-old Amherst, New York-based attorney and founder of Magic’s Mission Beagle and Hound Rescue Inc. What Lauren didn’t know was that the rescued dog’s nurturing instinct would one day save her own life. Lauren decided to personally adopt the dog, whom she named Victoria. They bonded quickly. The hound tapped into Lauren’s moods, snuggling close when she was down. But a few months into her adoption, Victoria’s behaviour turned bizarre. She obsessed over a tiny red bump on her rescuer’s nose, sniffing continually at the spot and gazing worriedly at Lauren. “I thought, she’s trying to tell me something,” she says. She was right. A dermatologist took one look at the bump Lauren had dismissed as a pimple and performed a biopsy on the spot. It came back as a basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) and was removed just in time. Had the skin cancer gone deeper, Lauren’s face would have been disfigured, and she might even have lost her life. “I was pretty in awe,” she says. Victoria’s olfactory ingenuity isn’t unusual among canines. Service dogs have been sniffing out sickness for decades, sounding the alarm for plunging sugars in people with diabetes or impending seizures in people with epilepsy. Although the multiplicity and complexity of molecules produced by cancers make them harder to spot, research since the l990’s has documented dogs’ unerring nose for breast, colorectal, ovarian, prostate, and skin cancers. These findings could prove to be of massive help with the tussle against tumours. Many cancers sneak up on us without warning, producing symptoms only when they’re too late to treat. Routine tests on seemingly healthy humans flush them out earlier, when we can nip them in the bud. But our current screening tools, such as mammograms or PSA tests (for prostate cancer), are notoriously inaccurate. That’s why researchers in the canine cancer detection field hope to harness dogs’ sensitive snouts to root out disease in its infancy. “The goal will be to develop...an early detection test that’s accurate, low cost, and non-invasive that everyone can have,” says dog trainer Dina Zaphiris, founder and CEO of InSituFoundation, which trains cancer-detection dogs in Chico, California. “So far nothing has beaten the dog.” The animals’ superpowers of scent are firmly rooted in anatomy, says head dog trainer Liz Dick at Bio Detection Canada (Langdon, Alberta). Unlike humans, who exhale their whole breath, dogs retain a portion of air in their noses, concentrating odour molecules. It’s here they are soaked up by 300 million scent receptors (humans have only five million of these). These sensors relay olfactory information directly to the dogs’ odour processing centre in the brain, which is proportionally forty times the size of our own. Dogs’ sophisticated smelling apparatus helps them access information inscrutable to most other species. “They

can smell a drop of blood in a huge gigantic swimming pool,” says Liz. Dogs can also break down odours into their components. “You can come into a house and sense someone baked a chocolate cake, whereas a dog...knows exactly what you put into it,” says Liz. Dogs can also be trained to zero in on some data and ignore others. Dogs’ prowess for perception evolved from their forebears. A keen sense of smell enabled wolves to track prey whose scent had grown cold and divine their direction, says Liz. One whiff uncovered easy targets like the weak and the sick. Humans, too, signal sickness through their smell. Cancer has a particularly rank odour. “It smells a little bit like...rotting tissue,” says Dina. Our cells normally produce carbon dioxide and other waste products, but the abnormal metabolism of cancerous tissue generates altered byproducts (volatile organic compounds or VOCs) that escape the tumour and enter the blood, breath, and body fluids. The first rigorous study of dogs and volatile organic compounds was pioneered in 2003 by acupuncturist Michael McCulloch, who treats cancer patients at the Pine Street Foundation in San Anselmo, California. His interest in canine cancer detection was sparked by his own pet Poodle, who unerringly sniffed his clients’ bodies in the precise location of their tumours. Michael surmised that the animal was picking up the telltale markers of malignancy—the VOCs—right through their skin. As the Director of Research, Michael set out to test whether dogs could discern the same chemicals in the breath. He enlisted patients with lung and breast cancers as well as healthy controls to breathe into plastic containers which were then stationed throughout the lab. Michael recruited Dina to teach five dogs to distinguish between them, sitting down in front of malignant samples and walking past the benign ones. A few months later the animals had to sort out a new set of normal and anomalous breath samples. The results were staggering. The dogs were 90 percent accurate in picking up lung cancer, and 88 percent sensitive to breast cancer. Their specificity was 99 percent for both malignancies, meaning the dogs also labelled the normal samples correctly. “Our jaws hit the ground,” says Dina. “We couldn’t believe it.” But not every dog is cut out for the job. Canines with a desire to please and a penchant for pursuit are naturally motivated to seek out odours, says Liz. First you teach them to hunt down naturally appealing objects like treats. Then you pair a disease sample with the delicacy, gradually diminishing the amount of food and then eliminating it altogether. Once the dogs are tracking the cancer smell, you add in normal controls and reward them for telling them apart. Dog trainer Heather Junqueira, founder and CEO of Bioscent Inc., located in Tampa, Florida, has taught hundreds of dogs to cotton on to cancer. Her interest in the field was sparked by her father’s death from kidney cancer, found too late to cure. “It was so hard for me to believe that with modern medicine...it took so long to figure out,” she says.  moderndogmagazine.com


Heather made it her mission to leverage dogs’ extraordinary olfaction to unmask the malady in its infancy. “The earlier you find cancer...directly correlates with the number of lives that you save,” she says. Hoping to develop a screening tool for the sickness, she launched her own canine cancer detection study in 2019. Dogs were taught to distinguish between blood samples of patients with diagnosed lung cancer from those of healthy controls. The results surpassed expectation. Even when she tried to distract the dogs with savory treats, the animals correctly nailed the malignant samples 96.7 percent of the time. “The sensitivity of their noses...was really incredible,” she says. In spite of these promising findings, Heather recognizes the limitations of routine canine cancer

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testing. For starters, a screening facility would need to process thousands of samples a day. Since any one dog can only work for a limited shift, you would need an untenably large team of animals to do the job. “It wouldn’t be economically feasible,” says Heather. Regulating the canine cancer screening process could also be tricky, says Dina. “I don’t think the FDA can approve dogs...they’re not a medicine, they’re not a machine.” Luckily there are other ways to profit from the dog’s diagnostic deftness. “Our biggest potential is to figure out what they’re smelling,” says Heather. To do this, researchers are using chemical analysis to separate the tumour’s waste products into smaller units, which are then individually re-examined by the dogs. The samples identified as cancerous are further

subdivided. Eventually researchers hope to zero in on the characteristic elements (or biomarkers) emitted by a malignancy. Once they’ve identified these volatile organic compounds, scientists can develop a simple screen, similar to a pregnancy test, to detect a particular cancer. But a cancer’s signature smell is not synonymous with the sum of its parts, says MIT physicist Andreas Mershin, who has built an electronic nose using artificial intelligence. “A list of...molecules and concentrations… doesn’t work.” Although some cancers produce elevations in certain VOCs, there is no consistent recipe to reproduce a tumour’s unique odour. Environmental factors like humidity can affect their smell, and even two people with the same disease could produce somewhat different waste products.   When we focus so narrowly on the odour’s chemical properties, we miss grasping the gestalt, or the overall experience, says Andreas. Just as we appreciate a melody only when its notes are played, so too the dog formulates a “cancer-y” smell on top of the actual molecules it sniffs. “Dogs don’t know any chemistry (but) manage to get the feeling of cancer,” says Andreas. “That’s why they’re so powerful.” The physicist means to harness that power by teasing out the animals’ smelling strategy. “It’s not .... analytic…it’s…synthetic,” he says. In a recent breakthrough study on prostate cancer odour detection, he combined the data from machines calibrating the tumour’s chemicals with the way dogs sorted through the same urine samples. He found that the canines attended more to some VOCs than to others. Their accuracy was affected by training—dogs rewarded for correctly labelling both malignant and benign samples did better than the ones who scored treats only for positive identifications. Drawing on these findings, Andreas programmed a robot to sniff out prostate cancer.   


Research since the l990’s has documented dogs’ unerring nose for breast, colorectal, ovarian, prostate, and skin cancers.

In the long run, adding olfaction to the diagnostic toolbox will save more lives. “Whether that’s the dog or a machine, it doesn’t matter,” says Dina. Canadian Cancer Dogs’ co-owner Glenn Ferguson is rooting for the (under)dogs. The animal lover was baffled after watching a documentary on dogs’ phenomenal perception. If canines were besting machines in their predictions, Glenn couldn’t understand why doctors weren’t taking advantage of their abilities. When he asked oncologists the question, they were universally dismissive. “It didn’t matter how accurate dogs were...they basically said they don’t see dogs used clinically,” says Glenn. “That made me angry.” And determined. Glenn has dedicated his life to fashion an allinclusive cancer screen using dogs. The former graphic designer bought a team of dogs (three pups from Kijiji), and handed out thousands of flyers requesting breath samples from recently diagnosed cancer patients. “It takes a bit of nerve to do this,” he admits. After boning up on training protocols, he taught his team to recognize the general smell of cancer. They were 95 percent accurate. Glenn has focussed on firefighters in the U.S., whose exposure to

toxic gases makes them especially susceptible to cancer. To date he has screened 38,000 of them. The procedure is simple. After breathing into a surgical mask, each firefighter mails it to Port Hood, Nova Scotia, where the dogs make their diagnosis. Results are sent to the fire department managers, who relay the information to their colleagues. Those with positive results are advised to see their doctor and undergo procedures like colonoscopies to spot and remove precancerous growths like intestinal polyps, which can turn malignant if left unchecked. So far the dogs are spot on in their verdicts, even catching some pre-cancers. For proof Glenn tells anecdotes of firefighters with positive screens who turned out to have polyps. Once these were removed, their cancer screens turned normal. While these stories are heartening, so far they haven’t been backed by quantitative studies. In order to evaluate the precision of a screening tool, you need data tracking participants’ health over time. But the cost of such a thorough investigation would outstrip his means, says Glenn. Some firefighters are also leery of sharing their results. “We

depend on people volunteering that (information)...a lot of people won’t participate,” says Glenn. The absence of hard data doesn’t faze Chicago Fire Department Chief Dana Brown. Last year her own screen came back positive. When a red spot appeared on her back shortly afterwards, she rushed to her dermatologist. The doctor brushed her off. “I’m not really concerned about that,” she said. But a week later the biopsy showed a malignant melanoma, one of the most aggressive cancers, and the physician arranged an urgent admission for treatment. Luckily the tumour was caught in time. It was a close call. Had the dogs not sounded the alarm, Dana would likely not be alive today. “In a year...it would have been in my brain and my lungs, and I would be dead,” she says. Today Brown shares her story with as many other firefighters as possible, hoping to enroll them in the canine cancer screening program. So far, four of her colleagues who joined the initiative have also discovered early tumours that were successfully treated. “It feels like I have a purpose,” says Dana. “To keep pushing forward and to keep sharing.”




$80 $30

Dog toys everywhere? You need this adorable basket. Dogs love to play but aren’t great at keeping things organized! The Midlee cotton rope Pet Toy Storage Basket is a stylish way to keep toys out from under foot. midleedesigns.com

A must-have! Love having your dog on the couch and bed, but hate the mess? Protect your couch, bed, or car seat from accidents, dirty paws, fur, and drool with the PawPad protective cover. This lightweight, absorbent, waterproof cover protects anywhere your pets hang out. getapawpad.com

STYLE AT HOME Super-stylish ideas & solutions for your dog-friendly home



Your pooch will be dreaming the day away on this cozy and durable Dream Futon from Bowsers Pet Products! This versatile bed can be used as a crate mat or travel bed and can be machine washed and dried. bowsers.com



Invented by a Pug mom, the Fluff Trough helps flat-faced, elderly, and disabled dogs eat and digest their food. Its patented ergonomic design promotes better digestion. Made from food-safe, BPA-free plastic and silicone, it’s dishwasher safe and can be customized with your dog’s name and face! flufftrough.com

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{Editor’s Pick} Ah, the dinnertime happy dance! Artist Sherry Scharschmidt of CatsDogsWords creates the coolest dog-feeding mats around. Featuring her delightful original artwork, they’re absorbent, easy to clean, and non-skid! catsdogswords.com



KIDS & DOGS: WHY CHILDREN SHOULD HAVE A DOG Study finds dog ownership significantly benefits the social–emotional development of young children | By Tracey Tong


ids and dogs are a natural fit, but you might not know that your dog is benefitting the youngest members of your family in more ways than you may expect. Research from a recent Australian study revealed that dogs are good for children’s social and emotional development—and that compared to young children without dogs, young canine owners were significantly less likely to have behavioural problems or problems with their peers. Published in Pediatric Research, the official publication of the American Pediatric Society, the European Society for Pediatric Research, and the Society for Pediatric Research, the study highlights the physical activity and social-emotional developmental benefits of family dog ownership for young children.

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Scientists collected data from parents of 1,646 two- to five-year-old boys and girls, including the frequency per week their child went on family dog walks or played with their dog. “Our findings suggest dog ownership and interactions through dog play and walking are important mechanisms for facilitating preschool children’s socialemotional development,” says the study's senior author Hayley Christian. “Children’s social-emotional development is a critical part of their overall development and well-being,” Dr. Christian told Modern Dog. “Physical activity is important for young children’s social-emotional development. Our findings showed that young children who walked or played with their family dog more were more likely to have prosocial behaviours such as sharing and cooperating.”

Howie the Labrador Retriever likely taught three-year-old Henry to share, says Henry’s mother, Jen Kramer of Pensacola, FL. “Henry will have two toys, and give one to Howie. And no matter how much we try, we can’t stop him from throwing food on the floor to the dog,” she jokes. “I think that overall, Howie makes our son less shy, friendlier, and more comfortable with people other than just his father and (me).” It doesn’t take much time to reap important social and emotional benefits, says Dr. Christian, an associate professor and senior research fellow in the Centre for Child Health Research at The University of Western Australia and Telethon Kids Institute. Children who walked a pet dog with their families at least once per week and played with their dogs at least three times per week had higher prosocial scores than those

Compared to young children without dogs, young canine owners were significantly less likely to have behavioural problems or problems with their peers. who did so less often. This is important because healthy development helps children to reach maturity and participate in economic, social, and civic life. The results were noticeable. Dr. Christian says the “preschool children from dogowning families had 30 percent fewer peer problems and conduct problems, and more prosocial behaviours than children from non-dog-owning families; preschool children in dog-owning families who walked or played with their dog more often were 34 percent more likely to have pro-social behaviours”; and that “the findings highlight that the social-emotional benefits of owning a dog may begin very early in childhood—as young as two years.” Researchers decided to focus on a younger age group for this study, but older children would benefit from dog ownership as well, says Dr. Christian. “In older school-aged children, we have shown that dog ownership is associated with increased physical activity, increased likelihood of meeting physical activity guidelines, and more outdoor play.” Dog ownership also teaches children empathy by “being kind to animals, not mistreating them, and understanding their body language signs,” and responsibility “through the day-to-day routine of feeding, exercising and general care for a family dog,” says Dr. Christian. In Schererville, IN, the Metz family’s dogs, Lola and George E. Clooney, a Lhasapoo and Shih-Tzu-Maltese, taught the family’s two children, Torey and Mark, about responsibility from the time they joined the family when the children were ages three and two respectively, says their mother, Nanette Orr Metz. Despite obstacles—Torey, now 18, has intellectual disabilities, and Mark is on the autism spectrum and is legally blind—the kids have always helped with feedings and water, as well as cleaning up after the pets, says Nanette. After Lola’s death, the family adopted senior dogs Stan and Millie, who had kidney failure and required diapers. Although both Stan, a Poodle-Chihuahua mix, and Millie, a Yorkshire TerrierPoodle mix, were a huge undertaking—especially with Millie craving water and urinating in the diaper—the kids stepped up, says Nanette. “They took on the responsibilities with love and pride.” The long list of benefits of dog ownership to children continue. Dr. Christian says other research show that pets may be helpful for children’s self-esteem, autonomy, and building trust and confidence. “For many children, pets are a source of unconditional love and loyalty,” she says. They can also be social enablers. “Should I get a dog for my only child” is a common Google query. With more one-child families in today’s world, having a dog may even be able to partially replace the social and emotional benefits of having a sibling, says Dr. Christian. Dogs can “probably” but “not fully replace” the presence of brothers and sisters, says Dr. Christian. “Our recent longitudinal study with school-aged children showed that dog ownership was associated with better social-emotional development, and for children without any siblings, dog ownership was associated with better prosocial behaviour.” Rachel Yuen, a mother of one in Baltimore, MD, found this was the case. Since COVID-19 hit and the family began sheltering in place, forgoing their usual outings and playdates, Rachel worried that her two-year-old son, Ethan, would be lonely without any siblings to play with.  moderndogmagazine.com


“It’s such a crucial age,” says Rachel. “They’re exploring, they’re figuring out where they fit in. We were worried that not seeing anyone other than (us) would affect him, but our saving grace has been our dog, Leo.” The seven-year-old Cocker Spaniel has proven to be a patient and gentle playmate for Ethan, says Rachel. “He can keep (Ethan) entertained for hours, and Ethan never tires of playing with the dog.” Some of the group’s other research has also shown that dog ownership is associated with older children’s independent mobility (licence and ability to travel without adult supervision) and that the family dog should be considered an important form of non-adult accompaniment because of the company and perceived safety dogs can provide, says Dr. Christian. That feeling of security is especially important now, in our post-pandemic world. “With all that is happening around us with COVID-19, we may be feeling more stressed or anxious than normal— especially children,” says Dr. Christian. “Research shows that pets provide children with a number of mental and developmental benefits. The benefits of pets for children include lowering stress levels, better self-esteem, greater trust and sharing, helping and cooperating behaviours, empathy for others, and decreased feelings of loneliness.” Aidan Jean-Louis, an eight-year-old Grade Three student from Ottawa, ON, has found what his mother, Sheryl JeanLouis, calls “a kindred spirit” in his best friend, a 13-year-old German ShepherdHusky mix named Kellie. “Aidan suffers from anxiety,” says his mother, Sheryl. “Kellie has become almost like his emotional support animal. When he is feeling anxious, she will offer a snuggle and help to calm him down. She has a really good motherly instinct.” That support was in full force the night Aidan’s grandfather passed away. “Kellie did not leave our sides and would sit beside all of us and offer snuggles and support,” Sheryl remembers. It’s not just the kids that benefit, either. “Dogs especially are a great motivator for adults and kids to get moving every day. We know that being

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physically active helps us to also stay mentally healthy,” Dr. Christian says. All signs point to dogs being beneficial. But should you get a dog for your child? While the group’s research suggests that the social-emotional benefits of owning a dog may begin very early in childhood, many families choose to hold off on acquiring an animal until children are a little older and can take on more responsibilities. “Deciding to get a dog and choosing the right one for a family is an important decision to make that comes with a number of responsibilities related to caring for it, feeding it, exercising it, vaccinating, training and socializing it— these things all come with a significant responsibility and also cost money,” says Dr. Christian. “It is important to think about how a dog would fit with a family’s lifestyle, the age of children, and any existing pets they may have. You generally have a dog in your life for a long time.” After acquiring a dog, a family also needs to supervise children when playing with dogs and teach them to read dog body signs and how to interact with them safely, especially at first. It’s a lot of work—and for parents who want the benefits for their kids, but balk at the added responsibility, it may beg the question of whether owning the dog their children interact with is necessary to reap the benefits. That may not have the same effect, Dr. Christian says. “Based on our other research, it is important that children feel attached to their dog and they spend time with them each day for the health and development benefits to occur,” she says. "This generally happens through having the dog in the household (like another family member) and part of children’s day-to-day lives.” This means that a grandparent’s pet, or a visit to the animal shelter may not have the same effect. “There may be some shorter term social-emotional developmental and other benefits for children who spend time with and have a good attachment to dogs that may not be in their immediate household, but to my knowledge, this has not been examined for typically developing children,” Dr. Christian says.

Having a dog can teach children about responsibility, improve their health, and help them process their feelings.

The benefits of dogs for children include: ✔ Lower stress levels ✔ Less likely to develop allergies ✔ May experience fewer sick days ✔ Better self-esteem ✔ Greater trust and sharing ✔ An increase in helping and cooperating behaviours ✔ Empathy for others ✔ Decreased feelings of loneliness ✔ Help with processing feelings. Teaching children to confide in their dogs as if they were friends can help children recover from trauma.

Once the commitment to adopt an animal has been made, many young families will find that the hard work in dog ownership is worth it. “For most of us, our dogs are important family members,” says Dr. Christian. “It is nice to have their company, their positive distraction from what is happening around us, and they can be a source of storytelling, fun times, and family bonding.” 



GOING with GRACE One photographer’s mission to capture comforting images of dogs in their last days | Photos by Jennifer Starr et photographer Jennifer Starr’s specialty is an unusual one: end-of-life photo shoots. Starr’s journey as a pet photographer began in 2009 when she started photographing pets at local animal shelters. When she began receiving requests from people wanting emergency photo sessions, she realized there was a need for a special type of session celebrating a pet’s life and bond with their owner. “Typically, they would tell me their pet was diagnosed with cancer or another unexpected illness and wanted to capture their pet before they crossed the rainbow bridge,” she says. This realization spurred Starr to create Going with Grace. Her mission is to offer custom photography for senior or critically ill pets at a reduced rate.

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Advice For People Facing the Loss of a Beloved Dog As photographer Jennifer Starr’s dog Abby's health declined, she found peace by giving her dog a bucket list during the last couple months of their life together. “She experienced Burger King burgers, steak, ice cream, and even getting married, and adopting puppies,” says Starr. “I loved giving her extra attention and it was also a healthy distraction from focusing on end-oflife negativity.” She urges pet parents to photograph the family and pets together every year and compare photos as the years progress. “Even if you don't choose a professional, you can use the self-timer on your phone and set up a tripod,” she says. “Remember to take lots of videos too—the videos we discovered after our beloved Abby crossed the bridge provided us great peace.”

“I hoped offering a discount would encourage more people to have their pets photographed, since so many are also juggling the expenses of end-of-life care,” says Starr. “Helping people navigate these delicate moments in their life gives me a sense of purpose… I feel called to perform this service.” In January 2021, Starr did an end-of-life session with a dog named Vinnie. She had met and photographed him at an adoption event 10 years earlier, helping him find his forever home. A decade later, his adopters reached out for an emergency session after he was suddenly given a limited time to live. “When we found out that he was sick this past January, Jennifer was one of the first people I contacted, says Cara Neill. “We were still counting on a few more years with him, and after an unexpected and grave diagnosis, we only had a matter of days. When you're dealing with saying goodbye to your pet and trying to plan how to spend their last days, you want to capture the memories while you can. I was so glad I knew about her Going with Grace sessions and that we could get some final family photos with Vinnie.  moderndogmagazine.com


I think it's so important that dog owners know about this when their dog is healthy so they know who to reach out to when that time comes.” “It was a reminder how time-sensitive these sessions are,” says Starr. “Vinnie crossed the rainbow bridge just four days after our session.”

Cara Neill & Vinnie

Brooke Budke also booked a session with Starr. “Hudson, my twelve-and-a-half-year-old English Bulldog, helped me advance my career, move several times, overcome adversity, and celebrate the little things,” she says. “He was with me through all of the big and small moments in my life. For me, the memory of Hudson makes me both happy and sad, yet when I look at the images Jennifer shot during our Going with Grace session, I am brought to tears of joy seeing Hudson's sweet face.” When Karen Arokiasamy’s Shepherd/Husky, Betty, received a sarcoma diagnosis in November 2014, she reached out to Starr. “I emailed Jennifer the same day and said, ‘I hate that I need you, but I need you,’ recounts Karen. “Her photos captured my Betty's spirit perfectly. It was such a gift to connect with Jennifer.” “I see how much these photos mean to people, especially after they say goodbye to their pets,” says Starr. “Just knowing that a simple photo session can provide such immense comfort during and after their loss is beyond touching to me. It’s the heartfelt messages from people telling me how thankful they are that really keep me strong.” Find more about Jennifer and her Going With Grace photo sessions at petsgoingwithgrace.com.

In Memoriam

This spring we said goodbye to a beloved Modern Dog team member. Charlie Brown accompanied our Sales & Marketing team leader, Linda Helme, to the office every day. He had an unbeatable resume: he was an enthusiastic treat and toy tester, a morale booster, and ray of sunshine. Despite a cancer diagnosis, he loved nothing better than getting up and coming to work. He will be deeply missed. {Editor’s Pick} Celebrate a love that will last forever with a one-of-a-kind nose print pendant from Robin’s Loving Touch. Simply take a print with the kit they provide and receive a beautiful, custom pendant in 14 karat gold, white gold, sterling silver or solid chrome. (from $277, robinslovingtouch.com)

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“Bone Bar” Connects Neighbours & Their Dogs A Covid-grounded flight attendant discovers a way to bring joy to her neighbourhood By Lisa Kanarek


ecky Sydeski has devised a tasty way to create a sense of community between her neighbours, and a go-to spot for their dogs. By modifying the Little Free Library stand in her front yard that offered books to take or exchange, neighbours now have an opportunity to chat with one another at safe social distances, while their pets devour free treats. As a flight attendant, Sydeski traveled a few days each week for years. When the pandemic hit, she retired and traded a cabin view of the clouds for a sunroom view of a previously bustling park. Social distancing guidelines had put an end to outdoor movies, soccer games, and a festival held every May. Soon she noticed a trend outside her Minneapolis, Minnesota home. “The minute Covid happened, the traffic of dogs and people tripled, said Sydeski. “And this was winter.” Inspired by a friend setting out little toys for children, she decided to do something for dogs. One morning, she added treats to the selection of books available in the freestanding box and within days, the dogs in her Linden Hills neighbourhood guided their owners to the snacks. Word spread, traffic increased, and Sydeski went from filling the bowl once a week to almost every day.  When the treats inched out the books, her husband built a doghouse-shaped addition providing a separate space for the goodies. Sydeski dubbed it the “Bone Bar.” During walks with her Cavalier King Spaniel, Sandy, she asks dog owners if they’re part of the Bone Bar club. If not, she invites them to visit.

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Becky Sydeski and her Cavalier King Spaniel, Sandy

The notes range from “This is the best part of my day!” to “My dog pulls me here whenever we are within a block!” Curious about how many people and their pets were dropping by, she added a small notebook for visitors to leave messages with their pet’s name, breed, and where they lived. She wrote, “If you want the special treats, you need to sign up for the Bone Bar.” So far, more than 70 pet parents have shared the requested details about their dogs, along with messages. The notes range from “This is the best part of my day!” to “My dog pulls me here whenever we are within a block!” to “Thank you for the daily treats. This is a must-stop every walk!” At Christmas, Sydeski set out treat bags labelled with the name of each recent Bone Bar visitor. On Valentine’s Day, Bonnie Dudovitz and her dog Nuzzles, a Yorkipoo, passed by and noticed a container stuffed with small bags. Sydeski came outside and asked Bonnie for her dog’s name. They picked up the bag later that afternoon. “The following day, I left a poem and a box of chocolates on Sydeski’s door from Nuzzles, to thank her,” Dudovitz said. “Someone is thinking about

everyone else and giving a little perk, and I’m grateful for that.” The Bone Bar is more than a frequent destination for pets; It’s a way for neighbours to meet and connect. Friends Sydeski hasn’t seen in years stop by in the winter for a treat and when she spots someone outside, she waves from her kitchen or sunroom. In warmer weather, she chats with old friends and those new to the Bone Bar, all at safe social distances.

does Sydeski’s desire to enlarge the space. She also plans to offer a wider selection of treats and label them with signs designating each type. In addition to maintaining the Bone Bar, she’s working on a book called The Dogs of Linden Hills, featuring local dogs. She also started a “Bone Blog” and has gathered a few stories about the dogs who stop by. She anticipates collecting more tales within the next few months.

Sydeski provides a majority of the goodies, but neighbours occasionally drop bags of treats as a way to thank her for her generosity.

“Being a flight attendant, it’s the stories that I miss,” said Sydeski. “Now I can get the dog stories and people stories.”

One neighbour, Pat Conlin, donated a bag of treats to share with other visitors in honour of her Eastern European Shepherd’s eighth birthday. She and Brandiwine sometimes visit the Bone Bar two or three days in a row. “She knows treats are in there,” said Conlin. “She automatically sits down and gives me her paw.”

While the Bone Bar is a hobby, Sydeski takes her commitment seriously. When she’s received her two vaccines and it’s safe to travel, she’s going to visit her daughter in Arizona. Her main concern? Keeping the Bone Bar stocked while she’s away.

As the number of visitors to the neighbourhood snack spot grows, so

“I was an international traveller, now I obsess if I have enough treats in my dog house,” she said. “But watching the interaction is pure joy.”



Editor-in-Chief Connie Wilson’s Summer selection of must-read books for dog lovers Pup Fiction By Laurien Berenson

Adventures with Adoptable Dogs By Rachael Rogers Filled with adorable photos and heartwarming stories, Adventures with Adoptable Dogs highlights the importance of rescue and the magic of dogs. When volunteering for local rescue organizations, photographer and rescue advocate Rachael Rogers went on adventures with adoptable dogs in search of forever homes and took photos along the way to showcase their personalities. The wonderful book that emerged from these outings is an inspiration for anyone interested in being of service and helping shelter dogs find the homes they so deserve.

A Dog's Courage: A Dog’s Way Home By W. Bruce Cameron Fans of New York Times bestselling author W. Bruce Cameron are going to devour A Dog’s Courage, a riveting story of adventure, survival, and the ties that bind. This sequel to the acclaimed novel A Dog’s Way Home follows rescue dog Bella and her humans, Lucas and Olivia, on a weekend camping trip that turns disastrous when the largest wildfire in American history engulfs the Rocky Mountains. Bella and her humans are separated by the inferno, and she ends up alone in the wilderness, where she finds herself caring for two mountain lion cubs desperately in need of help. Torn between finding her way back to her beloved people and caring for the cubs, Bella encounters danger at every turn, embodying the bravery and determination of devoted dogs everywhere.

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In the latest installment in the Melanie Travis Mystery series, dog show champion and amateur sleuth Melanie Travis is thrown into the deep end when the arrival of three Dalmatian pups sets off a series of mysterious events at her sons’ summer camp, run by her friend. When the camp proprietor’s estranged ex-husband is found dead in the woods, Melanie has her hands full; she’s the only one who can prove her friend’s innocence.

What a Dog Knows By Susan Wilson As a travelling psychic, Ruby Heartwood is always moving around, working carnivals and festivals. It’s a life that works for her, until one stormy night when Ruby hears a distinct voice asking to be let in her trusty camper van. Shocked, she discovers it is a little dog—and she can hear his thoughts! Though some of the people in the small town of Harmony Farms don’t want her there, she decides to stay until she can find out why she can suddenly hear what dogs are thinking—and what secrets the town is keeping. This heartwarming novel from New York Times bestselling author Susan Wilson shows how dogs can change our lives.

The Puppy No One Wanted By Barby Keel Barby Keel is used to all manner of creatures arriving at the doorstep of her animal sanctuary. But when Teddy, a traumatised and neglected Irish Wolfhound puppy, is abandoned at her gates, she feels particularly drawn to the dog. Barby tries to rehome the desperate-for-love pup, but again and again he is returned. She realizes he needs her just as she receives the devastating news that her younger brother has received a shocking diagnosis, throwing her life into disarray. Can Barby and the pup heal each other? This heartwarming true story is a celebration of the trust, devotion, and unconditional bonds we share with our dogs.






dent, i f n o c good- , ed natur g lovin

The American Staffordshire Terrier Hopelessly devoted to you. Get to know this American treasure By Kelly Caldwell


he American Staffordshire Terrier goes by a few names—AmStaff and Staffie, for starters, but you’d likely know him to see him. But how much do you really know about this oftentimes misunderstood breed? In the dog world, it’s hard to think of a breed that more perfectly exemplifies the importance of not judging a book by its cover. With his powerful and muscular frame, large head, and that intense gaze… this dog has presence. Does he appear intimidating? To some. But in actuality, the AmStaff is perhaps the sweetest, most loving and hopelessly devoted breed in all of dogdom.

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Like other “bully breeds,” the American Staffordshire Terrier’s origins date back to England during a period in the 1800s when these dogs were used in various blood sports to bait and fight each other or large animals like bulls and bears. The “sports” were cruel and inhumane on every level conceivable; however, a number of today’s wonderful breeds emerged and evolved from them; the American Staffordshire Terrier is one of them. The breed is a combination of Bulldog and terrier: the Bulldog is a consistent genetic aspect to the various ‘bully’ breeds; terriers are the other part of the equation. (England is renowned for its love of terriers in various shapes and sizes, and Bulldogs have been carefully bred in England for centuries). The combo of Bulldogs and

Overcoming a Bad Rap The history of the AmStaff is rooted in a desire to create a dog that could fight. The same can be said for any number of our most beloved breeds. Just because he was designed 200 years ago to fight does not mean that he is a dog that wants to fight—or is ‘hard-wired’ to do so. The properly trained, wellsocialized Staffie is an absolute delight. Ambassadors for the breed are constantly challenging unfair stereotypes and punitive treatment of this misunderstood and wonderful breed.

Loyal, smart, and loving. For those who simply love to love their dogs, the rewards here will be plenty. various terriers—including the now-extinct White English and Black-and-Tan Terriers—are at the root of the breed we know today as the American Staffordshire Terrier. With their stocky and muscular frames, large jaws, and that tenacious terrier spirit, the early AmStaffs were sought after for their role in dog-fighting, up until the practice was banned in the 1830s. The ban didn’t completely end the practice, as enforcement was an issue, but the bully breeds’ purpose shifted to include general-purpose work and family companionship. As early as the 1870s, immigrants from England and Ireland brought their ‘pit dogs’ to America. At the time, they were known as Pit Bull Terriers, American Bull Terriers, or even Yankee Terriers. Regrettably, some were used for dog-fighting in the early days. But Americans thankfully saw much greater potential for these dogs. They embraced them for their usefulness as general-purpose farm dogs and hunting companions and discovered quickly that—despite their tough appearance and origin—they were loving and devoted family members. Embraced by American culture almost from day one, the AmStaff evolved into a distinctly American breed, one considerably larger than its close cousin, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Since the 1930s, AmStaff fanciers made a conscious effort to focus on honing temperament and type through selective, thoughtful breeding. Dogs that seemed aggressive were pulled out of the reproductive gene pool. Beefing up the breed in size and developing an extremely muscular and agile body type was also prioritized. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1936, though he was known still at that time as the Staffordshire Terrier. It wasn’t until 1972 that the AKC switched the breed’s name to recognize him as a uniquelyAmerican breed—the American Staffordshire Terrier. Today’s AmStaff is a medium-sized dog that moves with great ease and agility. For his size—the AKC accepts the breed at 18 to 19 inches at the shoulders for males; 17 to 18 for females is preferred—he is extremely strong. The AKC standard emphasizes a well-proportioned dog with a calm disposition. A relatively popular breed, the AmStaff today ranks 85 of the 197 breeds in the AKC. The American Staffordshire Terrier coat is very short, stiff, and glossy. The AKC accepts the coat in any colour, solid, parti, or patched. All white, more than 80 percent white, black and tan, and liver colours are not encouraged. So, what’s this breed like to live with? I’d say he’s an American treasure.

Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.

Staffies are According to the most recent AKC registration statistics known for being one of the most [1] Labrador Retriever (if not the most) [2] German Shepherd Dog docile and gentle [3] Golden Retriever among the bully breeds. They are [4] French Bulldog active and playful, [5] Bulldog but not nervous or [6] Poodle edgy. In short, it is [7] Beagle incredibly easy to [8] Rottweiler simply be around [9] German Shorthaired Pointer the AmStaff. As a family [10] Pembroke Welsh Corgi companion, [85] American Staffordshire Terrier the American Staffordshire Terrier has a well-earned reputation for being exceptionally patient with kids. This is a breed that becomes positively devoted to his family. He craves companionship and affection. For those who simply love to love their dogs, the rewards here will be plenty. The AmStaff is loving and loyal; he will not thrive in a home where he is an outsider in any way, shape, or form. This is a family companion through and through. This is not an outdoor dog. His short coat aside, he’d pine for time with his people. And while he may look intimidating, he’s the wrong choice for those in search of a dog to guard the home. This notoriously friendly breed is most likely to greet strangers with a wagging tail and a big, beautiful smile. All dog guardians have a responsibility to raise wellsocialized pets with good manners. But with a strong and powerful breed, this responsibility is particularly important. moderndogmagazine.com


Profile: The American Staffordshire Terrier Size: Medium. AmStaff’s stand between 17 and 19 inches at the shoulder. They are heavily muscled and extremely powerful for their size. Activity level: Daily walks are an absolute minimum for this active breed. Better yet, take advantage of the AmStaff’s strength, agility, and eagerness to please and partake in some canine sports! Grooming: With his short coat, the Staffie’s grooming needs are minimal. Just the basics are required to keep him looking dapper—some regular brushing and keeping those nails trimmed. Heritage: A bull-and-terrier breed, used originally in England and Ireland for baiting and fighting purposes. For more information on AmStaff rescue in the U.S. visit staffordshireterrier.rescueshelter.com. In Canada, visit staffordshireterrier.rescueshelter.com/ca.

If you like the American Staffordshire Terrier, you might also consider the...

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier



For more breed profiles, go to moderndogmagazine.com/breeds

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Your AmStaff should be introduced from an early age to a wide range of people and pets. The breed’s reputation for being aggressive towards other dogs may be an unfair stereotype—responsible breeders do not keep ‘dog hot’ dogs in their breeding programs—but leaving an untested AmStaff unsupervised with other dogs isn’t advised. The same can really be said for all powerful dogs, most namely those who lack training and are not well socialized. Letting your AmStaff ease into new friendships with other pets is a good idea. Common sense plays a role here— he’ll simply do better if he doesn’t have a new companion dropped into his orbit. And while it is true that the AmStaff is a couch-cuddler of legendary proportions, this is an athletic breed that absolutely needs physical exercise to thrive. The American Staffordshire Terrier’s strength and agility, combined with an intense desire to please his people, make the breed an exceptional candidate for any number of canine sports and activities—Agility, Flyball, Dock diving… you name it, and this up-for-anything lovebug will give it a shot and, likely, revel in the fun and challenges. One other aspect of life with the AmStaff that’s worth mentioning is that he is known to dig. Terriers and perfectly manicured gardens and lawns… well… just know what you might be getting in for. Like with other bully breeds, anti-dog legislation can rear its ugly head. State by State and town by town, rules vary. This breed has been banned in some areas and can also be targeted as problematic for home insurance. While the AmStaff is often referred Hopefully, the to as a Pit Bull, this is a misnomer. tide is turning, as There is no such breed as a Pit we do see some Bull. Rather, this is a broad catch communities repeal phrase that is used to describe breed-specific a number of different legislation and focus “bully” breeds. on punishing the deed not the breed. Health-wise, the AmStaff is quite a healthy and hearty breed, although as with any purebred it is critical to work with a breeder who is committed to both the health and good temperament of their dogs. As a breed, the American Staffordshire Terrier is largely misunderstood. His muscular frame and intense gaze may strike you as intimidating, but by nature he’s a soft-hearted, loving, and extremely eager-to-please dog. There’s a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to this misunderstood “tough guy.” To me, he is among the finest of breeds, and I think it would be an honour to experience that kind of love and loyalty. 

What’s a Pit Bull?






reader recently wrote, “Help! My dog barks when I’m not at home, and my neighbours are losing patience. I need a solution, fast!” To fix this problem of barking when home alone, we must first consider why your dog is barking. Is something happening nearby (for example, construction) that could be triggering barking? Is your dog bored, under-stimulated or under-exercised? Or, maybe your dog has separation anxiety. If you’re not sure, monitor him while you’re away. There are apps you can download that will allow you to monitor your dog. Just point your laptop's camera at your dog’s hangout area and then watch from your phone. Some will even alert you whenever your dog barks! (Two highly-rated apps available for both Apple and Android are “Barko” and “Dog Monitor & Pet Cam Watcher.”) Monitoring will tell you how much and how long your dog is barking, as opposed to accepting your neighbour’s subjective account. I once had a training client whose neighbour complained to animal control about her dog’s incessant barking. Upon monitoring the activity, we discovered the offender wasn’t even her dog, but the one next door! Outdoor noises triggering barking is less common than the other two reasons (boredom and separation anxiety), but if it is the case, confine your dog to an area away from the sounds with a white noise machine loud enough to screen it out. As for boredom, under-stimulation, being

under-exercised or having separation anxiety, in all cases your dog will benefit from a long walk or hike in the morning before you leave. How long and how challenging the exercise should be depends on your dog’s age, fitness level, and breed, but the goal is for him to be pleasantly worn out. Next, think about where your dog will spend his alone time. Some dogs do better crated (up to three or four hours tops), some do better left loose, and some are more relaxed with indoor-outdoor access via a dog door. If your dog is destructive or has potty accidents, containment such as a crate or gate will be necessary. Give your dog a stuffed Kong five to ten minutes before you depart. If he has separation anxiety, being immersed in a yummy excavation project should help him to focus on something other than you leaving. Even if the issue is simple boredom, the Kong will provide mental stimulation and help to discharge any remaining energy. The Kong could hold his morning meal (if you use dry kibble, add a bit of paté-consistency canned dog food to give it texture) and, if you plan ahead, you could even freeze it the night before so it lasts longer. After a long walk and a round of Kong unstuffing, your dog should be ready for a nap. But does that mean he won’t bark the rest of the day? Nope. Have someone stop by partway through the day to take him out for another walk or at least play with him and give him some attention. A professional pet sitter would be best, but if that’s not feasible,

Upon monitoring the activity, we discovered the offender wasn’t even her dog, but the one next door!

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think about who you know that could help. Keep a second Kong in the freezer so the person can leave it with your dog when they leave. That Kong could be filled with alternating layers of mushed up banana (overripe), dog cookies, a bit of canned dog food, or whatever your dog enjoys. All of the foregoing is helpful whether your dog is bored or has separation anxiety or not. Addressing separation issues is complicated and would be a book in itself (I’ve actually written one called Don’t Leave Me), but here are a few tips: ✔ Leave an item in your dog’s area that smells like you, such as a recently worn t-shirt. ✔ Keep your comings and goings low-key. ✔ Again, exercise your dog before you leave. ✔ Use pheromones. There is a product sold under the brand name Adaptil. It contains Dog Appeasing Pheromone, which mimics the pheromones given off by a lactating female dog. Turns out those pheromones are comforting not only to puppies, but to adult dogs as well. The product comes in an air-freshener type plug-in, a spray, or a collar. I prefer the plug-in (so long as you don’t have birds). Leave it plugged in; you won’t smell a thing. Will it work for every dog? No, because nothing does. But it’s definitely worth a try. ✔ Calming music. I like “Through a Dog’s Ear: Volume 1” which is available as a CD or streaming through iCalmPet. The magic of this beautiful piano music, played by a concert pianist, was created in conjunction with an expert in psycho-acoustics to create a relaxation response in dogs. I have seen dogs go to sleep when hearing it, while others simply relax. Just be sure to play it at other times as well so it doesn’t become associated with your absences. As mentioned, there is much more to treating separation anxiety. If separation anxiety turns out to be the underlying cause of your dog’s barking, consider enlisting the services of a professional trainer. You, your neighbour, and your dog will all be much happier. moderndogmagazine.com



A Journey

WITHOUT END Bucket list travels with a beloved dog inspires book | By Terry Fong

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he placard on the cage informed me his name was Prince, that he was a year old Border Collie/ black Lab cross, and “extremely intelligent.” The look on his face told me he was more bored than anything, but if I took him home, he’d be my best friend and companion. For the next 17 years he was true to his word. Princeton, as I renamed him, began his new life as my farm dog in Edmonton, Alberta. It was a life he relished, spending his days alongside me. He was soon an integral part of the farm, accompanying me wherever I went. Everyone I dealt or socialized with knew him. What I didn’t know is that he was to become an inspiration not only to me, but to others as well. When Princeton was 12, he developed osteosarcoma, a highly aggressive bone cancer with a very poor prognosis. My only knowledge of the disease was that it was the same cancer that had felled Canadian hero Terry Fox. Princeton’s cancer was particularly fast moving, and he was not expected to survive much more than a year, even with the most aggressive treatments, including the amputation of his right rear leg and six rounds of chemotherapy. Princeton, however, decided a poor prognosis wouldn’t stop him from living a full and rewarding life. He went on to live until he was 18, making him the

Terry Fong and Princeton at Long Beach in Tofino, Vancouver Island, BC.

longest known survivor of canine osteosarcoma. During this time he also defeated two other types of cancer, and when he passed it wasn’t due to any of these diseases. After Princeton’s treatments, I wanted him to experience as much of life as he could. I shut down my farm at various times to allow him to do what he enjoyed most: travelling. For five years Princeton and I travelled off and on in a camper van we affectionately called Poseidon. We drove through much of Western and Northern Canada together, seeing many wonderful places and making new friends. When I look back on the last five years of Princeton’s life, I realize it was the best time of my life as well. Shortly after Princeton’s passing, I began writing of our experiences together. Due to the nature of my work, I was only able to write between 2:00 and 3:00 AM each day. This went on for two years. To be honest, the manuscript was not intended to be shared with anyone. It was only meant to be a history of myself and my best friend. Nonetheless, I wanted it to be done as well as it could be and sent it out to two professional editors for their opinion and to provide polishing where needed. Unexpectedly, both remarked it was a story that needed to be shared with others. Somewhat reluctantly, I contacted a few publishers to gauge their interest. Surprisingly, the interest was strong.

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What concerned me, though, was that once I committed to a publisher, most of my rights would be gone. I felt I would be selling the memory of a friend to someone who could do with it what they pleased. I appreciated the

What pleases me the most is that it feels like Princeton is still travelling. My friend is off on his own now, meeting new people and seeing new places. offers, but this was something I wasn’t prepared to do. By then I did agree that Princeton’s story should be made available to others, but I wanted to do it myself.

I was told if I didn’t have the book published in the traditional manner, the likelihood of it ever reaching bookstore shelves would be almost nil. Truthfully, this didn’t bother me. I felt those who needed to read about Princeton would somehow find him. And indeed, that’s what happened. Like Princeton with his original cancer prognosis, the book, which I titled Princeton: A Love Story and published through a self-formed company, exceeded the expectations others had placed upon it and was picked up for distribution. It’s because of Princeton the book has done well. The memory of a very special dog continues to inspire. It’s both rewarding and terrifying to walk into a bookstore and see Princeton’s book displayed on the shelves. What pleases me the most is that it feels like Princeton is still travelling. My friend is off on his own now, meeting new people and seeing new places. It’s humbling to get emails from people thanking me for sharing Princeton’s story. I’ve received messages from such faraway places as England and Australia, and I’m so glad my friend has touched the hearts of those who wanted to know more about him. Princeton may not be with me the way he was before, but I’m happy he lives on through the hearts and minds of those who read about him. I know Princeton would be just as proud of this as I am of him. 


Terry and Princeton at Sign Post Forest, Watson Lake, Yukon.

Princeton in Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, BC.

Healthy PAWS Solutions for everything from anxiety and hot spots to digestive issues.

Head-to toe well ne solution ss s for your do g!

1. DRY, CRACKED SKIN & PAW PADS CBD to the rescue! This CBD Pet Balm from Penelope’s Bloom pairs fullspectrum CBD oil with shea butter and jojoba infused with essential oils like lavender for topical relief of painful dry, cracked skin and paw pads. (from $20, penelopesbloom.com)

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2. KEEP CALM & CARRY ON Does your dog struggle with anxiety? HempCalm chews from HempVet are made with broad-spectrum, non-GMO hemp complex and their proprietary C10 Calming Colostrum Complex. These chews will help calm pups exhibiting stress, anxiety, hyperactivity, and destructive behaviour. ($40, hempvet.pet)

3. HEALTHY TEETH & GUMS Effortlessly improve your dog’s dental health and hygiene. Oxyfresh’s Pet Dental Water Additive is safe, odourless, and tasteless and helps promote healthy gums, fresh breath, and fights plaque. Simply add it to your dog’s water bowl! (from $8, oxyfresh.com)

8. HAPPY EARS Protect your pooch’s ears from ear infections, skin irritation, and ringworm with the Banixx Pet Care antiseptic and anti-fungal spray! Odourless and sting-free, this spray is made without steroids and antibiotics. ($17, banixx.com)



Support your dog’s immune system and boost their energy levels with the I’mYunity medicinal mushroom supplement! Their proprietary formula is clinically proven to stabilize white blood cell counts and increase energy levels. (from $95, buyimyunity.com)

Worried about your dog’s stiff joints? Buddy Boosters Hip and Joint Softies are soft, palatable treats with chicken as the first ingredient and the added glucosamine and chondroitin help provide joint health support. ($7, buddybiscuits.com)



The Awesome Squash Fresh Topper from Primal Pet Foods is packed with butternut squash, apple cider vinegar, and organic cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger. These ingredients and the natural prebiotics and probiotics aid in digestion and promote a healthy GI tract. (from $8, primalpetfoods.com)

Ocu-GLO Soft Chews feature a unique combination of 12 different antioxidants that help protect eye cells and prevent vision and eye damage. Ingredients such as Grapeseed Extract, Lutein, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids help support your dog’s eye health! ($60, animalnecessity.com)



The Regular Strength Health Drops from Healthier Pet are formulated to help treat a variety of ailments. This formula is Health Canada lab tested and contains 250 mg of CBD, organic hemp seed oil, and coconut oil. ($45, healthierpet.org)

Made with ingredients such as cloves, rue, garlic, and Oregon Grape Root, Earth Animal’s No More Worms Organic Herbal Remedy is designed to cleanse the intestines and keep worms and parasites at bay. ($22, earthanimal.com)



Is your dog prone to hot spots or tender paws? The antiseptic and pet-safe essential oils in Spurr’s Big Fix Pet Antiseptic Spray helps soothe and heal cuts, scrapes, hot spots, and other wounds. ($20, spurrsbigfix.com)

Dogs can develop a wide variety of cardiovascular conditions that can lead to heart failure. Pet Wellbeing’s Young at Heart is formulated to promote healthy heart function, circulation, blood pressure, and heart muscle. (from $33, petwellbeing.ca)




A Tribute This is a memorial to Kathe Jeffries. She ran The Spay & Neuter Society Animal Shelter, British Columbia. After adopting our dog from her, we returned to the shelter every Christmas bringing toys and treats. With her special humour and quirkiness, Kathe would try and convince us to adopt yet another pet. A smile comes to my face recalling having to check our car, including the glovebox, in case she snuck a Chihuahua in there. I feel blessed to have known her and for receiving the gift of our two rescue dogs, Coyote and Harry.—Pam Grossman

Tiny Dog Stories Dog love in short form: miniature, reader-submitted dog stories of no more than 100 words.

Hair, No Hair One day early in her fight with breast cancer, Genie came home from work, took off her wig, and changed clothes. Then she came downstairs to relax. Our three dogs came running. When Genie hit the bottom step, she stopped, a hand going to her head. “I forgot my wig!” The dogs slid to a stop and threw their front paws on Genie. They reached up and licked her face. Genie laughed. “It doesn’t matter, does it? Wig, no wig, hair, no hair—they know it’s me. They love me regardless.” —David Weiskircher

Chester Chester did not come to the shelter empty pawed. The Cocker puppy brought along toys and a letter from his original rescuer who couldn’t keep him: “I just really love this little dog so much, and I hope you will grow to love him the same.” The note added that the family’s six-year-old had named Chester after her favorite US president, Chester Alan Arthur. I met bright-eyed, waggly-tailed Chet at the shelter and at first sight, grew “to love him the same.” The morning he became eligible for adoption, I rushed to apply for him—and got there first!—KL Snyder

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The Left Hand of Dog I wake up suddenly in the middle of the night. Too soon for yesterday’s problems to have faded, but early enough for tomorrow’s worries to rush in. Instinctively I reach out my left arm to find Kringle. She’s a petite Golden Retriever who is always there when I need her. For eight years, her last sleeping spot of the night is tucked into my left hip. Always right there for me, within reach, to calm my mind and ease me back to sleep. She knows, she just knows. Gradually I drift off with my left hand resting on her back.—A.D. Major

O’Connor I adopted my Chihuahua/Italian Greyhound mix during law school, and her ginger hair confirmed her name would be O’Connor instead of Ginsburg. She gnawed on the corners of casebooks, nudged my pen when I tried to take notes, and whined to go out at 4 a.m. But eventually her spindly legs and sharp face filled in the gaps the law took out of me. Just as Justice O’Connor led the way for the Supreme Court, dog O’Connor leads the way for me—she is the first to jump and greet me, nuzzle my face when I’m sad, and love me through the bad cases and the good.—Grace Hansen

Dogs Not Allowed Molly was a pregnant stray who found refuge in the open door of a school bus and the open heart of the bus driver, Miss Lulu. Miss Lulu found Molly and her new litter one morning and took them to her apartment which had a strict rule of no dogs allowed. After stressful weeks and near misses hiding the dogs from her cranky landlord, Miss Lulu came home to an empty house. She frantically searched and found the landlord laughing and playing with Molly and the puppies in the backyard. Dogs really are very much allowed!—Rhonda Enloe

Good Cheer My now 14-year-old Maltese, Jazzy, and I volunteered as a pet therapy team for five years. We visited a hospital floor where patients waited for placement in a long-term care facility. One patient was very animated during our visit, talking about the dogs she owned over the years. When we left, the nurse told me that the patient had been in the hospital for three months, and she had not uttered a word to anyone. I was so proud that Jazzy was able to provide a moment of cheerfulness and normalcy in a trying situation.—Jan Lynch

Letting Go Lena Beana, you are here for us. We are here for you. We know someday perhaps soon or perhaps long into the future you won’t be on my lap or looking for pets from my daughter or wig-waggling your butt at my husband. We won’t know how long, an uncertainty we don’t often think about. But have as of late. We know we might need to decide when your time with us comes to an end. We hope you’ll help us with that, showing us that it’s OK. OK to let go. Ok to love. And OK to have lost.—Kate Edenborg

“I thought: Ronald Weasley is a 10-pound Chihuahua; surely he’ll want to snuggle in my lap.” Not A Lap Dog I thought I was getting a lap dog. When I adopted him, I thought: Ronald Weasley is a 10-pound Chihuahua; surely he’ll want to snuggle in my lap every night. It turns out Ronald prefers blankets to my lap. He will completely disappear under a blanket and I won’t see him for hours. Sometimes his tail, head or paw is sticking out from the blanket. I don’t have a lap dog, but that’s okay. Watching Ronald burrow under his blanket has brought me endless smiles and laughs, and he’s happy and cozy. I wouldn’t change a thing.—Katie Allen Get published in Modern Dog! Submit your dog story of no more than 100 words (word count strictly enforced) to tinydogstories@moderndogmagazine.com. By submitting you are consenting to publication of your story.



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New Study Crowns The Pug As The Most Popular Dog Tattoo. Pugs are the most popular dog-breed tattoo, followed by French Bulldogs and Dobermans, according to money.co.uk. The pet insurance comparison site analyzed Google, Instagram, and Pinterest data to discover the most searched for and posted dog tattoos in order to reveal which breed inspires the most tattooed tributes.

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Modern Dog Summer 2021 - US Edition  

Whether you’re looking for an entertaining beach-read while your dog romps at the shore, gear picks to get you outside, or expert advice to...

Modern Dog Summer 2021 - US Edition  

Whether you’re looking for an entertaining beach-read while your dog romps at the shore, gear picks to get you outside, or expert advice to...

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