Modern Dog Winter 2020

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EXPERT ADVICE INSIDE: Behaviour, Healthy Aging Tips & Tricks Plus More!

The lifestyle magazine for modern dogs and their companions WINTER 2020/21

Feel-Good Rescue Stories

Brilliant Boredom Busters!

Get ready to happy cry! p16

Awesome toys & activites p66


Does your dog need a friend?

What Dogs Understand People Foods for Dogs

Cold Weather Gear Guide!


Grieving the loss of a dog

Dreamy Dog Beds Adventuring Essentials DISPLAY UNTIL MAR ‘21


Gift Ideas Galore!


Why your dog stares at you

The Shed Factor: Breeds That Shed the Least—and the Most!


Awesome Giveaways

VOL 19

NO 4


WINTER 2020/21

14 FEATURES How Dogs Understand Us It’s not just what you say to your dog, but how you say it.



Getting Over the Loss of a Dog Why grieving a pet can be as hard—or harder—than the loss of a human family member, and how to heal your heart. BY TRACEY TONG



Why Does My Dog Stare At Me? The eyes are the window to your dog’s soul.


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


Cold Weather Gear Guide Canine essentials built for adventuring.


Perfect Presents Gift Guide Inspired gift ideas for all the dogs and dog lovers on your list.




Precious Cargo Rescue dogs airlifted from overcrowded shelters and disaster areas to awaiting homes. BY JANE MUNDY Is Chemotherapy Right For Your Dog? Cancer affects nearly a quarter of all dogs. But is chemotherapy the right decision after a diagnosis? Here’s what to consider. BY DARCY MATHESON


9 People Foods To Improve Your Dog’s Health Add these powerhouse foods to your dog's diet and reap the benefits. BY ROSE FROSEK


The ‘Bad News Bears’ Dog Sled Crew That’s Winning Hearts—and Races With a pack comprised of rescues a Utah couple is harnessing the power of dog sledding to transform dogs' lives. BY KATIE NANTON


Does Your Dog Need a Friend? How to choose the perfect pal for your pup!

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Commonly Confused Breeds The German Shepherd vs. the Belgian Malinois


The Border Terrier Alert and energetic, devoted and loving—this scruffy little terrier is an up-for-anything dog that’s ready to roll with you…no matter what! BY KELLY CALDWELL




What’s the Deal With Dog Farts? How to stop dog farts in their tracks.


Healthy Aging Tips Activate your older dog’s body and brain with these expert tips.





40 DOG LIFE 22

We’re Giving It Away! We’ve got three months of cool dog stuff up for grabs, from custom portraits to cozy dog beds, and winners every week! Turn to page 22 to see what’s up for grabs.


How to Read Your Dog Lili Chin’s winningly adorable illustrations expertly capture and explain the nuances of dog body language.


Boredom Busters Fun ways to keep things fresh and interesting for you and your dog.


The Shed Factor The top 10 breeds that shed the least—and 10 that shed a lot.



Oakley the Australian Shepherd photographed by the amazing Shaina Fishman. Cover inset illustration by Michelle Simpson.

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Is My Dog Aggressive? Or Fearful? Reactivity vs. aggression. BY NICOLE WILDE


Doggone Funny Cartoonist Dave Coverly sends up dog guardianship in all its wonderfully weird and very funny glory.


Healthy Paws Solutions for everything from itchy skin to stomach upset and mobility issues.


Choose Love Life lessons from a second-chance Pit Bull. BY LORI FULLER


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Connie’s Book Club Curl up with a good dog and a good book! Editor-in-Chief Connie Wilson’s winter round up of must-read dog books.


Last Lick: Tiny Dog Stories Miniature, reader submitted dog stories of no more than 100 words.



6 Editor’s Letter 8 Contributors 10 Stuff We Love 12 The Scoop 20 Smile! Photo Contest 94 Marketplace



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Circle Only use blue and/or white. For more details check out our Brand Guidelines.

Our Biggest Fan Maddie can’t wait to read the Fall edition! —Kim Fowler


he holiday/winter season is upon us! For some, it brings snowsparkled dog walks, for others, much welcome respite from warmer temperatures. Either way, it’s a wonderful time of year to celebrate family in all its forms, dogs included, of course, for that’s exactly what dogs are—family. Thus, we’ve devoted this issue to the relationship between dogs and their people. And what a relationship it is, dating back to the Stone Age (p 12)! In setting out to explore and celebrate the human-canine bond, our aim was nothing less than to illuminate, inspire, and spark joy, while giving you the tools to do best by your dog. We hope we’ve hit the mark! We look at fascinating new research that illuminates how dogs understand us (p 28), delve into canine body language, and share feel-good rescue stories along with reader-submitted Tiny Dog Stories of no more than 100 words. Wellness takes center stage in articles that look at how to decide if chemotherapy is right for your dog following a cancer diagnosis, healthy aging tips, and people foods you can (and should!) share with your dog. Like all good relationships, that with your dog needs attention to really blossom, so we’ve packed the issue with tips, ideas, and finds to help you and your dog live your best lives. From brilliant boredom busters (p 66) to cold weather gear made for adventuring, along with expert behavioural advice to help you better understand your sometimes enigmatic canine bestie, and finds to make your house a (dog-friendly) home, it’s all here. We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we loved putting it together. Thank you for being a part of our endlessly inspiring community of dog lovers! With Love,

Connie Wilson, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

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One Happy Dog! I have taken some tips from the article "The Top 10 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Dog's Life" from the Spring 2020 issue. My dog had a fun time getting the treats out of the food puzzle I gave her. I started giving her a more predictable routine, like what times I'll take her outside or what times I will refill and clean my dog’s food bowls. I have been rewarding her with treats for good behaviour and doing tricks, like stay and come. I also started switching out her toys to keep them fresh and engaging. Finally, I started using a front clip harness and it seemed to put less stress on her neck. Since my dog appeared to like me using these tips I will continue to do them.—Luke Umstetter





JJ Galloway, an

internationally collected artist who has shown in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Cincinnati, Washington, D.C., and Miami, creates animal portraits with a culinary twist. Whimsical crowns composed of ramen, cupcakes, vegetables, and sushi top her furred and featured subjects. Her fascination with pets comes naturally—she grew up in a house full of search and rescue Bloodhounds (which is saying something) and now shares her studio with her rescue pup, Ruby. See JJ’s delightful illustration for “Foods To Improve Your Dog’s Health” on page 62.

WINTER 2020/21

VOL 19

NO 4


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 Sales & Marketing Assistant

Georgia Riddle-Olsen Audience Development Coordinator

Yaunna Sommersby Subscriptions & Office Assistant

Becky Belzile

Vancouver-based writer with over 13 years of industry experience, a decade of which she spent on-staff at NUVO Magazine as managing editor. A lifelong lover of dogs, Katie looks for Corgis on every corner and counts a zesty little Corgi-BeagleAussie Shepherd puppy named River—owned by her friends Kim and Ward—among her latest obsessions. Turn to page 68 for Katie’s look at Rancho Luna Lobos, where a Utah couple is harnessing the power of dog sledding to rehabilitate rescue dogs.

Advertising inquiries call (866) 734-3131 In Canada: MODERN DOG (ISSN 1703-812X) Volume 19, Issue 4. 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 19, Issue 4. Published quarterly by Modern Dog Inc. at 142 Churchill Drive, Newington, CT 06111-4003. Periodicals postage paid at Hartford, CT and additional offices. POSTMASTER: send address changes to Modern Dog, PO Box 310402, Newington, CT 06131-0402. PHONE

Teoti Anderson of A Dog’s

Best Friend in Fort Lauderdale, FL, is a certified professional dog trainer with more than 26 years of experience. Her books include The Ultimate Guide to Dog Training, The Dog Behavior Problem Solver, Puppy Care and Training, and more. A popular speaker, she gives educational presentations on canine behaviour to pet parents and other pet professionals across the USA and internationally. Learn more at On page 40 of this issue Teoti answers “Why Does My Dog Stare At Me?”.

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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 2020/21 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 $16CAD, U.S.A. $16USD, 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

PRINTED IN CANADA Publications Mail Agreement Number 40743013 We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada. Nous reconnaissons l'appui financier du gouvernement du Canada.


GET YOURSELF A SUBSCRIPTION! Give us a call at 1-800-417-6289 or subscribe online at

Katie Nanton is a

Stuff We Love

Modern Dog staffers’ picks of the litter! 1 Add a personal touch to your home décor (or give someone an incredible gift!) with a custom water colour pet portrait from Christy!Studios. Submit a photo to Christy Freeman Stark and she’ll create a stylized portrait just for you! I couldn’t love these more.—Hayley (from $75, 2 The Wagnetic leash has become my daily leash and a lifesaver on long walks with my dog Chilicheese. I can store extra poo bags, keys, and small toys in its expandable, fully removable pockets for adventures around town. Plus, it’s a great conversation starter at the park!—Becky ($16, find it on Amazon) 3 Feeding your dog a high quality diet should be a top priority! Black Gold Explorer Ocean Fish and Oat Formula provides complete nutrition for active dogs. It’s quality protein with no corn, wheat, or soy, plus an essential oil blend, prebiotics and oatmeal to help out sensitive stomachs, and antioxidants from fruits and vegetables provide everything your best friend needs! —Amanda ($49.99, 4 Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge dog nerd! I’m getting into the holiday spirit and showing off my favourite breed with these adorable and stylish Christmas ornaments from Mirage Pet Products. They come in a whole variety of different breeds so you can choose your faves!—Yaunna ($12, 5 A little sparkle for the holidays in 12 different colours! Auburn Leathercrafter’s Tuscan Crystallized collars are stunning. Soft, durable, and studded with genuine Swarovski crystals, you’ll dazzle through the New Year!—Connie ( 6 Protect your dog head to toe! Made from soft knit fleece fabric, the MuTTuque is designed to comfortably protect a dog’s ears, head, and neck in frigid weather. Meanwhile, their best-in-class Muttluks deluxe fleece-lined boots protect paws from cold, ice, and salted sidewalks. Bring on the winter weather adventures!—Georgia (MuTTuque, $20, Muttluks Deluxe boots, from $80, 7 The perfect way to dress up your dog’s collar for any occasion this holiday season, the handmade Red Poppy Dog Collar Flower from Darcy’s Canine Designs is stylish and durable. Featuring a hook and loop fastener, it easily attaches to your pup’s collar and can be adjusted for the right fit!—Vicki ($12, 8 If your dog loves chasing after tennis balls and playing with squeaky toys, the Logical Pet Tennis Squeaky Ball will be a sure hit! Pawfect for outdoor play, this ball combines the fun and perfect throw-ablity of a tennis ball with a built-in squeaker to encourage play.—Linda (from $8, 9 Is your small dog able to slip through the bars of your fence or balcony? Keep your dog safely where they belong with a Puppy Bumper! These comfortable, stuffed safety collars easily attach to your dog’s collar, come in a variety of fun designs, and keep your dog from escaping!—Jennifer ($24, 10 Holiday pup portrait attire, anyone? Adorable for all holiday occasions, this Poinsettia collar adornment from Mimi Green is handmade, washable, and lightweight! Simply use the elastic ring to secure it to your dog’s existing collar or purchase a matching collar from Mimi Green while you’re at it!—Cecilia ($15,

THE SCOOP a love eter nal

Archeologists Discover Dog Remains More Than 8,400 Years Old Buried Next to Human


Being part of a team making discoveries like this “makes you feel even closer to the people who lived here,” museum project manager Carl Persson said in a statement. “A buried dog somehow shows how similar we are over the millennia when it comes to the feelings like grief and loss.”

DOG DOMESTICATION DNA samples suggest that domestication started approximately 20,000 to 40,000 years ago, with the process beginning when wolves began to approach huntergather groups to scavenge for leftovers, says Krishna Veeramah, an evolutionary ecologist at Stony Brook University. The breeds we know today were created when dogs began to be bred for special skills, like herding. 12 moderndog

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The remains have been safely removed from the dig site and transported to Blekinge Museum for further study. "The dog is well preserved, and the fact that it is buried in the middle of the Stone Age settlement is unique," the museum’s osteologist, Ola Magnell, told the Associated Press. In August, a team at the University of Siena also discovered what are believed to be the oldest domesticated dog remains in two caves in southern Italy. These remains are estimated to be 14,000 to 20,000 years old. Such caves were also inhabited by humans during the same time period, the researchers wrote in their August Scientific Reports study. “Dogs were the first animals domesticated by humans, long before the advent of agriculture,” the University stated. “Besides occupying a special place in our present day lives, dogs had important functional and symbolic roles throughout human history.”—Yaunna Sommersby


an’s best friend” has even more enduring roots than previously thought. This fall, the archeology team from Blekinge Museum in Sweden discovered dog remains that are more than 8,400 years old. They were found buried next to a human in a site near the southern Swedish town of Solvesborg. Researchers involved in the dig believe the site was explored and occupied by hunters during the Stone Age.

Pinups for Pitbulls Calendar of burlesque beauties benefits bully breeds


dvocacy never looked so good! Non-profit organization Pinups for Pitbulls is taking aim at Pitbull stereotypes with the goal of restoring the image of bully breeds to that of America’s sweetheart. Deirdre “Little Darling” Franklin founded the organization after learning about the unacceptable euthanasia of many healthy, adoptable dogs simply due to their classification as a Pitbull-type breed. She became passionate about advocacy and education, and, using her modeling and education in fine arts, created the very first Pinups for Pitbulls calendar in 2007. (She has since earned her Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Drexel University and speaks on the issues facing Pitbull-type dogs throughout the country.) The calendar proved an instant success and has become the cornerstone of the organization’s education efforts. 100 percent of the proceeds are used to continue educating the public on the history and plight of bully breeds, and raise awareness about the inefficacy and inherent cruelty of Breed Specific Legislation. The hallmark of the calendar is timeless photos of

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beauties with bully breed dogs. This year’s calendar photos span the decades with colourful depictions of Pitbulls as loving companions or ambassadors of wartime strength. Rather than hiring professional models, Pitbulls for Pinups seeks everyday people with a passion for the cause. Each year, they hold an open application and encourage anyone who is interested in helping spread the message to apply. “One of the most interesting aspects of the Pitbulls for Pinups calendar is that we do not choose ‘models’,” says Jeffington Bear, Treasurer, Pinups For Pitbulls. “We seek everyday people who are more interested in providing a voice for these dogs. We have had people from all walks of life and backgrounds featured in the calendars.” In addition, Pitbulls For Pinups helps over 1000 dogs annually find a safe forever home by partnering with smaller organizations that can benefit from their audience reach to help promote adoption or fostering. You can help make a difference by making a donation or purchasing their upcoming 2021 “Greatest Pits” calendar, currently available for pre-order. Get yours now—they sell out every year!—Becky Belzile

D ESI G N & L AYO U T - D AV I D S E I D M A N ; H A I R & M A K E U P - R A I N A C L A R K E A N D K I R S T E N S Y LV E ST E R




“I love dogs and I would like them to find a caring home and family just like I did.”


Orphaned Child Helps Abandoned Dogs Young animal activist knows what it means to be left behind. Found in a basket at nine months and adopted at two, this now-14-year-old is committed to helping rescue animals


14-year-old animal advocate in California is dedicating her time to giving senior rescue dogs a forever home. She too experienced what it’s like to be abandoned. At nine months old, Meena Kumar was left in a basket on a college campus in India, spending a year in an orphanage before she was adopted by a family in San Jose, CA. She was two years old when she came to California, already possessing “a passion for animals,” the teen says. Her past left her with a strong empathy for animals left behind. “I love dogs and I would like them to find a caring home and family just like I did,” says Meena. “The people who cared for me worked with the agency in the US to find me a lovely home and I want to provide the same support for dogs in need.” At the age of eight, Meena got her first dog from the Humane Society. “I wanted more pets and kept asking my parents to adopt more dogs,” she says. “My parents felt that adopting more dogs would be a lot of work and suggested that I think of other ways to help dogs.” One evening she met her neighbour, Dr. Kathy Stecco, walking an older dog named George. Meena discovered that her neighbour takes care of senior dogs from Muttville, and

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learned about the rescue’s founder, Sherri Franklin, a 2016 CNN Hero. Meena has since become one of Muttville Senior Dog Rescue’s “most passionate” supporters, says the rescue organization. “I did some research and saw that most senior dogs have a tough time finding a forever home,” Meena shares. “I felt that no dog should feel unloved and abandoned, and wanted to help them in some way.” Volunteering wasn’t an option because Meena was a little too young, so she began brainstorming other ways to help, ultimately hitting upon an idea: “I decided that I would take care of dogs around my neighbourhood and donate all the money I earn to Muttville.” Meena started Pet Fairy Services, a dog-sitting service, in 2014 and has since donated $14,000. "When I first met Meena I knew she was something special,” says Muttville’s founder Sherri Franklin. “She has great passion for the plight of senior dogs, and her contributions have saved many lives! We are so grateful. It's great to see a new generation picking up the cause." Now working towards a $25,000 goal by the end of 2020, the teen has partnered with Pebble Naturals, a human-grade pet supplement company, for a fundraising campaign. 100 percent of the profits from each bottle sold will be contributed to Meena's fundraising campaign. (Use the code "MEENA" on and 100 percent of the profit will be donated to Muttville.) “Meena is a living example of how a business can be a powerful force for good. We’re so impressed by Meena’s big heart, and we’re excited to be a part of her fundraising campaign,” said Dr. Kate Mezan and Nayoung Susie Kim, the company’s co-founders. Meena says family has been very supportive in her work. “Without their full support and help, I could not have done this. My entire family including my parents and grandparents have grown to love the companionship of dogs.” Meena and her family adopted a Chihuahua Spaniel mix from Muttville that was found as a stray. “These old dogs often get euthanized just because they are older and they need more help than younger dogs at other shelters,” says Meena. “I want to help them find a forever loving home, the same way I found my forever home,” says Meena. She encourages everyone to find ways to help animals and people in need “no matter what state they are in because it could sadly be you one day in their shoes,” she says. “Many of the senior dogs at Muttville remind me of my grandfather who passed away last year. I want to take the best care of senior dogs, the same way I took care of my grandfather. I want to help them feel at home.”—Michelle Morton For more on Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, check out



These cuties are three of the featured dogs currently available for adoption:





s sporting events resume, teams and stadiums have faced a unique challenge: how to fill the stands as fans watch from the safety of their homes. Our favourite of the inventive stand-fillers, which have included cardboard cutouts of fans, mannequins, and videos of supporters watching from their living rooms, comes from the Philadelphia Union soccer team, part of the Major League Soccer organization. They chose to fill their stands with cardboard cutouts of rescue dogs, an initiative undertaken in partnership with the soccer club’s Sons of Ben fan group and Subaru Loves Pets. All the pups featured on the cutouts are adoptable dogs awaiting forever homes at local Philadelphia shelters. The rescue-dog takeover started in late August; to date, a total of 56 dogs have been adopted as a result. If you live in Philadelphia and are interested in finding out more about the dogs available for adoption, check out You’ll find bios and adoption details for dogs like three-week-old Ellie: “Poised to take on the world, Ellie is ready for all the tummy rubs and team hugs!”

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“You’re such an over-retriever, Frank.” Submitted by Carolyn Maciejko RUNNER-UP CAPTIONS "I planned to only bring home a stick, but they were having a trunk sale!” Submitted by Sylvie Ravenhill

"Thanks for the tree-t." Submitted by Jim Bensley

"Why is everything a competition with you?" Submitted by Phyllis A. De Smet-Howard

"I hate to squash your enthusiasm, but that's not going to fit through your doggie door." Submitted by Tracey Copeland


Adoptable Dog Cutouts Fill The Stands At Soccer Games!


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

! E L I SM

Modern Dog’s Photo Contest Winners!


German Shorthaired Pointer Mix


Miniature Long-Haired Dachshund


Archilles Pomapoo

blue Terrier

Tucker Chihoula


Great Pyrenees

Siberian Husky


St. Bernard


Golden Retriever

molly Maltese


Olde English Bulldog


Saint Bernese



Labrador Retriever/ American Bulldog Mix

Terrier/Miniature Pinscher Mix


Australian Shepherd Mix


Siberian Husky


Miniature Long-Haired Dachshund


Golden Retriever

mochi noxus

Golden Retriever



Australian Shepherd


English Bulldog


French Bulldog

Think your dog ought To be in Modern Dog?

gus Pug

oscar Chihuahua

Upload your dog’s photo at 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 December, January and February. Go to to enter! Lucky readers will win every week.



Win 1 of 3 prize packs from Imagilin! Keep your pup happy and healthy with a selection of their probiotic supplements.


Win 1 of 3 custom 12” x 12” watercolour portraits on canvas of your dog from Christy! Studios.











Win a Lucky Dog prize pack! It includes a 32-pack of zero plastic poop bags, a dog crate, a pet cot, and an orthopedic pillow.

Win 1 of 15 Large Premium Ham Bone chew toys from TEX’s Smoke’N’Chews! Made from durable, BPA-free material and perfect for aggressive chewers.

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

Win 1 of 5 Wondurdog Indoor Dog Shower Kits! Wash your pet, don’t get wet with this quality at home dog wash kit that connects to the shower.

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

Win 1 of 10 gift bundles from Pet Product Innovations! It includes a Paw Plunger, Zen Clipper Precise, Bandana Bowl, and SmartLeash.



Win a full interior prize package (worth $285) from Waglii! It includes a front seat cover, large rear seat cover, cargo liner, seat belt leash, and rope leash.

Win 1 of 5 Eco-Cotton Fleece Four Season Hoodies from UPZ Pet Products! Designed in Canada and available in a selection of sizes.

Win a large custom dog bed from Lilly & Abbie! Choose from a wide selection of beautiful fabrics to match any home.

Win 1 of 8 prize duos from Bernie’s Perfect Poop. Solve your dog’s poop problems and support their digestion with this 4-in-1 gut health formula.

No purchase necessary to enter or win. Beginning December 1, 2020 at 12:01 AM (PST) through February 28, 2021 at 11:59 PM (PST), enter each day at Each week’s giveaway ends at 11:59 PM (PST). Each week, the specified number of winners for that week’s giveaway will win the prize featured in the giveaway calendar (ARV: $200). Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. Contest is open to legal Canadian and US residents 18 and older as of date of entry. Void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law. Giveaway subject to complete official rules available at

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

Commonly Confused Breeds





s that a small German Shepherd? Even GSD lovers may need to take a second glance to tell the Belgian Malinois from the German Shepherd. The two breeds look incredibly similar in style, size, and colouring and both are frequently used for police and military work. The Secret Service formerly used the Malinois exclusively though their current program now includes other breeds. Though they resemble each other, the two breeds have very different backgrounds. The Belgian Malinois was first developed as a herding dog (and retains this instinct today. Like other herding breeds, he may occasionally herd you, your children, and guests) and has adapted to service work. The German Shepherd, on the other German Shepherd Dog



hand, was developed as a utility dog from the start by a German military captain. Visually you can tell them apart by their build. The Belgian Malinois has a more slender frame, whereas the German Shepherd is more robust and is longer than he is tall. What are these dogs like to live with? Both breeds are incredibly loyal, hardworking, and intelligent. If you’re looking for a smart, devoted dog with an incredible work ethic, look no further. These confident dogs need strong, positive leadership; in return you are rewarded with an incredible, unbreakable bond. Mals and GSDs alike adore their owners and need your company and attention but tend not to be indiscriminately friendly with strangers. Both love having a job to do so exercise and activities are key. Belgian Malinois




Rosé all day! The adorable Happy Hour Crusherz Rosé toy from ZippyPaws encourages play, combining squeakiness with the crunchy noise of a water bottle!




Sustainable AND super comfy, the eco-friendly dog beds from Former Fibres are handmade with upcycled fabric and thread made from recycled plastic bottles! Buy just the cover (from $50) or add on eco-friendly, all-natural Kapok stuffing (from $35). Durable, machine washable, and ultra-cozy, these beds get rave reviews!

Super-stylish ideas & solutions for your dog-friendly home




Modern Dog’s very own Charlie Brown has been immortalized in this adorable personalized illustration from Illustrate-it! These stylized, custom illustrations are a perfect way to pay tribute to a beloved canine while personalizing your home or office décor.


Create a luxurious and custom dog bed with Lilly & Abbie! With over 250 fabrics to choose from, these handmade dog beds and covers are durable, feature a hidden zipper for easy removal, and are machine washable.



Best gift idea ever! Julie Anne Caldwell of JAC Portraits creates gorgeous custom pen-and-ink pet portraits. Simply send her photos and she will produce a portrait for you capturing the essence of your pup!

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Keeping your couch clean and protected can also be stylish! The Alpha Pet Flex Waterproof Couch Cover not only looks good and prevents damage to your couch, it’s comfy too. Machine washable and vacuumable, it features a noslip backing and seat anchors to help it stay in place on any couch.

How Dogs Understand Us It’s not just what you say to your dog, but how you say it By Stanley Coren

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Praise be! Dogs, like us, process emotional tone independently of lexical meaning.


e all talk to our dogs, and most of us believe they understand a lot of what we are saying. But what exactly are they interpreting? Our words? Our tone? Or both? In spoken language, there are two streams of information: the meaning of the word itself, and the emotional content expressed via intonation. Researchers wanted to know: do dogs analyze both aspects of human spoken language separately, in the same way that people do? The laboratory headed by Attila Andics of the Department of Ethology at Eötvös Loránd University, in Budapest, Hungary, decided to find out. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), they studied speech recognition in the dog's brain.The level of activity in specific brain structures are indicated by changes in blood flow and oxygen levels. Getting dogs to participate is a difficult task, however, not only because it requires the dog to remain motionless in a confined space for a period of time, but also because MRI machines make a lot of noises. The whirring gear sounds along with loud clanks and bangs would startle most dogs, causing them to move. Because of this it is not surprising to learn that several months of training (and heaps of treats and praise) are needed to get a dog to remain motionless in the MRI apparatus. The experimental methodology these researchers used is really quite simple (once you have a well-trained dog who will lie quietly, and of course the multimillion-dollar MRI machine, the computers for analyses, and the highly trained scientists who will interpret the data). Earphones are placed on the dog and he listens to a series of words (in Hungarian of course). Some of these are familiar praise words (clever, well done, that’s it) and others are unfamiliar neutral words (such, as if, yet). The trick here is that each of these words can either be said in a flat neutral tone of voice (which means that there is only the word meaning available and not any emotional tagging) or the words can be said in the high-pitched animated tones we use when praising dogs. The initial studies of the brain activation images show that dogs, like us, process emotional tone independently of lexical meaning. They use their left hemisphere to process word meaning and the right hemisphere to decipher tone and intonation. But which do they process first, meaning or tone? When humans analyze speech sounds they do it in a hierarchical manner, first processing the emotional tone then the actual meaning of the words. This is actually an important feature for maintaining our safety. Consider the following situation as an example. You are walking down the street and you hear voices of people engaging in some kind of conversation. You are too far away to be able to make out the meaning of the words, but it is quite clear from the intonation that these individuals are angry. 



It took months to train the pet dogs in the study to stay absolutely still.

A reasonable strategy here would be to change course in order to avoid encountering these people since you know that there is hostility in the air around them and understanding the words which would tell you the reason for that anger is not important. The researchers wanted to know if dogs process information in the same hierarchy, with emotions interpreted before word meanings are decoded. To answer this question, a new research team from the same laboratory took a new batch of 12 dogs trained to participate in MRI scanning. This time the scans were monitoring not only which hemispheres of the brain were being activated, but also whether the brain activation was primarily in the cortex, where higher processing is known to take place, or in the sub cortical regions which are more primitive in their processing ability but tend to respond much more quickly. The results show that dog brains, just like human brains, process speech hierarchically with intonation being responded to more quickly (mostly in sub-cortical regions) while known words are processed in higher cortical centers later on in the sequence. (This explains why your dog first perks up then backs away when you say the known-word ‘medicine’ in a deceptively happy, cheerful tone of voice.) From a scientific point of view, this data is important because it shows that the way we and our supposedly “speechless” companion dogs process speech is remarkably similar. It also shows why dogs make such great partners.

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John W. Pilley, a professor emeritus of psychology at Wofford College, trained Chaser the Border Collie to recognize more than 1,000 words. At a practical level, it offers guidance about how we should speak to our dogs. The old-time dog trainers used to say that what you say to a dog may be less important than how you say it. One of them told me that she used to spend the first session with her dog obedience students having them practice the tone of voice that they were to use in issuing commands to their dogs. She said, “If you say the dog's name and issue the command ‘Come!’ sounding like an angry drill sergeant, then all the dog is going to hear is your tone of voice and he will never get around to processing the meaning of what you want.” This data suggests that she might just be right. 


Rain, snow, or slush, the winter season means muddy paws! The Dexas MudBuster is an easy way to clean your pup’s feet. Simply add water into the tumbler and insert your dog’s paw; soft, gentle, and thick silicone bristles effortlessly remove all traces of mud and dirt. A must-have for the car and entry way! (from $15,


Cold r e h t a e WEAR GUIDE G Canine Essentials Built turing for Adven

Walking multiple dogs can be tricky. Inspired by the demands of professional dog walking, the Lead-All Leash system from TinyHorse is specifically designed for pack management and safe handling of multiple dogs when out for walks. (from $20,

The Split Cargo Liner from 4Knines is a must if you want to protect your car from winter adventures with your dog! Available in three sizes, this heavy-duty cover is waterproof, easy to install, and easy to clean. ($90,

Keep your dog cozy in the extra warm and breathable Silver Puffer Vest from UPZ Pet Products! Water resistant and lined with organic cotton, this adorable vest will keep your pup warm and comfortable during winter walks. Available in sizes to fit Chihuahuas to Labs! (from $40,

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Insulating and protective, the Zippy Dynamics Cozy Full-Body Suit has a thick outer shell and an inner lining that keeps warmth in! With a full body fit that’s adjustable, this stylish performance suit will shield your pup from rain, dirt, and snow, so you can venture out no matter the elements! Available in sizes to fit dogs 8 to 50 pounds. Use code MD15 for 15% off! (from $95,



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Getting Over the Loss of a Dog Why grieving a pet can be as hard—or harder—than the loss of a human family member, and how to heal your heart


By Tracey Tong | Illustration by Michelle Simpson

or Tanya Rowan, her Weimaraner Leonardo was more than her best friend— he was her protector. As a service dog for Tanya, who has a neurological nerve disorder that can affect any part of her body at any time, Leonardo would alert her for oncoming migraines, fainting spells, and when her blood pressure would spike. He helped her with daily tasks such as bringing Tanya her medication, shoes, keys, purse, blood pressure monitor, and would help her up and down the stairs. “Leonardo and I were extremely close; we were together 24/7,” says the New Hartford, NY resident, who owns Platinum Weimaraners. “He slept with me every night, he’d sit outside of the shower making sure I didn’t lose my balance and fall, and he was well known around town and loved by everyone that met him.” When he passed away suddenly from unknown causes a year ago at the age of five, Tanya was so upset that she suffered a mini stroke. “Losing my service dog Leonardo was by far the hardest thing ever,” says Tanya. “I felt like I lost a part of me.” Even a year later, Tanya says she still feels lost, even though she happened to have acquired a Weimaraner puppy two weeks before Leonardo passed away. Tanya isn’t alone. People are seeing their dogs as much more than pets and companions. Many consider them to be children, and soulmates. “Research does support the idea that more and more, people of many different cultures see their pets as having an important place in the family,” says Monica Weiss-Sharp, hospital administrator for Animalia Health and Wellness in Franklin, TN. The veterinary medical technician and a licensed Master social worker in the state of Tennessee continues, “this sense of importance and closeness certainly contributes to the sense of loss and grief when a pet dies.” According to Monica, grief is a totally normal and natural response to the loss of someone or something. “The feelings and behaviours that ensue can be very complex as the person works to process the meaning and impact of the loss,” she says. “In the case of grieving a pet, people can experience feelings that are just as intense as those associated with any other loss, though that may not be the case for everyone. It can also be what is called a form of ‘disenfranchised grief,’ because some people may tend to minimize the other person's experience in a way that they likely wouldn't if a human friend or relative passed away. In other words, no one is likely to say, ‘why are you so sad, he was just your brother,’ but some might say, ‘why are you so sad, she was just your cat.’ This can make it much harder for folks to get the support they need and deserve while they make their way through their grief journey.” With this in mind, Animalia’s staff does its best to offer support to clients whose pets pass away, says Monica. “This can include supporting them as they make the decision about euthanasia, reminiscing about the pet’s life, reassuring them that they are wonderful pet parents, and providing them with resources if they would like to get more formalized support as they grieve.” 


All of your feelings are valid and deserving of recognition. It doesn’t matter that you are grieving the loss of pets instead of humans. They were your family just the same and that loss is no less significant or painful. This formalized support, which includes pet grief psychologists, counsellors or therapists, has become a more sought-out service across North America. As a result, the demand for these services has definitely increased, says Monica. “Certainly, the changing role of pets in people's lives is a major reason for this,” she says. “I also think there is more understanding that it is completely reasonable and helpful to seek out support for any kind of grief, and that trend has opened the door for people to reach out for this kind of support following the loss of a pet. While the body of research is still growing, we are also starting to have more formalized understandings of the impact that pet loss can have, and I think that also offers a level of legitimacy that wasn't available many years ago.” Misty Fields, who lost three dogs to various health-related issues over a 10-month span, was one such person who sought grief counselling. “It was, by far, the hardest thing I have ever dealt with,” says Misty of the deaths of Maggie, a Jack Russell Terrier; Pippin, a Rat Terrier; and Zeta, a Jack Russell Terrier/Rat Terrier mix which occurred between May 2017 and March 2019. The fact that she is a licensed veterinary medical technician, who deals with loss on a weekly basis, didn’t help. “Nothing prepares you for losing your own pets,” she says. Misty found herself in tears either on her drive to or from work, in the work bathroom, or at home, where sad songs, commercials and movies all triggered her. “I slept a lot,” says the Nolensville, TN resident. “My husband even noticed that I was severely depressed. I had no desire to get out for any type of social interaction. I literally went to work and came home to crash on the couch. The only time I left the house was when I had to in order to get groceries, run necessary errands, etc. My husband would try his best to help and make me feel better. He was so supportive, but nothing could seem to alleviate my grief. I missed them so much.” Her surviving dogs, sensing her distress, would stay close by in an effort to console her. She had lost her paternal grandparents, who raised her, in 2012 and 2017. “While those losses were devastating, I found my grief over my dogs to be even more severe,” she says. “I felt like I had lost children. I

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have been criticized by many moms of humans for making that statement, but that is honestly how I felt. I do not have human children by choice. I prefer dogs, and to me, my dogs are my family.” Pet loss depends on the individual, but can be debilitating, says Joelle Nielsen, social worker and program coordinator of the Honoring the Bond Program at The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center. “The level of grief experienced by the loss of a pet will vary, based on many factors, just as it would when losing a human family member or friend. It could definitely be as difficult, or even more so, than the loss of a human. This is valid, as grief is grief, says Monica. “It is very tricky to quantify grief. It is a very personal experience, and it can be harmful to get into comparing grief across people and/or circumstances.” Misty finally attended grief counselling at the beginning of 2020. “I was tired of being depressed, getting no sleep, and just being fatigued and exhausted with no hope in sight,” Misty says. “I had my initial evaluation with a psychiatrist the first Monday in January. Then, I was matched up with a therapist best suited to my need. I met with her once weekly for six months… As each session progressed, I was able to voice my feelings to an unbiased party, and in turn, she taught me many coping mechanisms for processing my various feelings. The single most important thing she ever said to me was, ‘All of your feelings are valid and deserving of recognition. It doesn’t matter that you are grieving the loss of pets instead of humans. They were your family just the same and that loss is no less significant or painful. Don’t listen to anyone who tried to tell you differently.’ She listened to me grieve, cry, and did so without judgment.” Misty also began practicing yoga and meditation, learned to recognize the stages of grief, and joined a Facebook grief support group, where she has met others who have dealt with the same type of loss. Michele Martinez took a different path. She did not attend counselling after the death of her Chow Chow/Pit Bull cross, Maximus Aurelius. Instead, she says: “I tried to just give myself permission to feel how I felt and mourn his loss. I did lean on my immediate family and friends for support because they understood our bond. I was very surprised at the people around me who were more concerned with wanting to control my grief and suggested I get over it because it was just a dog. It was eye opening as to who was truly supportive.” To Michele, Maximus was more than a dog. She refers to him as “my soul dog” or “my son… I actually had a very vivid dream years after he passed where his soul came to visit me as a reflection on a door and after I saw him, his soul became the soul of a young boy,” says the Hayward, CA resident. “I cried tears of happiness to see him and of love for him… Maximus has left a hole in my heart that will always be open.” The journey of grieving looks different for so many people, and you can argue that it never actually stops, Monica says. She refers to it as waves of grief. “Over time, those waves tend to get less intense and less frequent,” she says, “but every so often, you might go somewhere or see something that prompts some strong feelings of missing the pet, even if it has been many years since they died. That is totally normal.” 

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better, day by day. There will probably be back steps, but if there is movement toward the positive, that is the process. It is when a person feels ‘stuck’ and can’t seem to ever start to feel better that I become more concerned.” Monica says the key is finding ways that work for each person to safely express their feelings, get support when they need it, and adjust to life after the loss. “In other words, being able to simultaneously remember their beloved pet, feel their feelings, and be able to reinvest in their life in order to move forward,” Monica says. “There is no one ‘right’ way to do this, but many people are helped by going through rituals and leaning on their support systems. If you think about how there is usually something like a memorial service or celebration of life when a person dies, that is an example of the kind of ritual that can really help people take the first important steps in processing their grief.” Monica suggests getting together with a couple of friends to tell stories about your dog, making a donation in your dog’s honour, planting some flowers or a tree to memorialize your dog, spreading their ashes in a place that they loved—as Eric plans to do with some of Sable’s ashes—or any other way that feels right to acknowledge how important your dog was. “If someone is having a hard time or feels ‘stuck’ in their grief, that is when reaching out to a support group or therapist can make a tremendous difference,” Monica says. “Sometimes we need a little help, and it is a brave thing to ask for it when we need it.” Although the pain is real, life does go on. “Realizing they were happy helps me get through the loss,” Renee says. “The other thing I can say that helps is I spent as much time with them as possible, and did my very best to give them a good life.” Misty, too, is now looking forward instead of back. “I have come a long way,” she says. “I am no longer crying


There are signs that a bereaved pet owner is more likely to experience a complicated, extended or intense grief, says Joelle. If, as in the case of Tanya, the deceased animal was young and had been a significant source of support for the owner, or died a traumatic death (especially if witnessed by the owner), lived alone with the owner, or if the owner spent significant financial resources to try and save their pet or a great deal of time tending to the medical needs of the pet, the grief is likely to be particularly heavy. Eric Senatori of Kingsford, MI is one such owner. His Cairn Terrier/Cocker Spaniel mix, Sable, had diabetes, and caring for her was part of his daily routine. After her death, he was unable to get rid of any of her medical equipment, and still has it five years later, even though he has adopted a new dog, Squirt. Sable’s death hit Eric hard. He missed work after her death. “At first, I couldn't concentrate very well as the daily routine changed so much,” says Eric, who wears Sable’s cremated remains around his neck. Losing one dog is hard, but Renee Engelbach lost five of her six dogs—her constant companions—in the last six years. “Even now, I can’t stop crying,” says the Columbus, OH resident. “Each time one of them left, things felt different. I lost plenty of sleep and I cried for weeks. Sometimes a memory strikes and I cry again. Losing a pet is like losing a family member. Sometimes it feels worse than that.” Renee has advice for those who have suffered the loss of a dog. “You have to grieve and realize there is no timeline for grief,” she says. “I would say if one finds themselves unable to face the day at all six months later, it may be wise to seek professional advice.” Joelle agrees. “That’s one of the hardest things…the uncertainty of how long the process will take. “Often, owners ask me, ‘when will I stop feeling this bad?’ Ideally, the person feels

Dealing With Grief Monica’s advice for owners who have suffered the loss of a pet


Reach out to people who love you and loved your pet.


Find a way that feels good to you to memorialize and honour your pet.


Give yourself permission to feel the full range of emotions that grief can bring and know that is totally normal.


Ask for help if you need it! You deserve any and all support that will help you following the loss of a pet.


The University of Tennessee's Veterinary Social Work program has a list of resources for pet owners following the death of a pet that can be found at: resources_for_animal_owners/

on a daily basis. I am sleeping better. I am able to enjoy social outings again. And while I still shed a tear and miss my pets terribly from time to time, my grief is minimal and manageable now. Fond memories are more prevalent than sad moments.” As for Tanya, she has been task training Monet since Leonardo’s death. She’s happy to report that Monet is coming along nicely. “I know it will take a while but I am grateful to have her. No dog will ever replace Leonardo and I will always have a piece of my heart missing,” she says. “But Monet is turning out to be a remarkable puppy and is doing a great job taking care of me.” 


Why Does my Dog Stare at Me? The eyes are the window to your dog’s soul By Teoti Anderson


was mentoring a student dog trainer. One day, she approached me and complained, “I’m having a problem with my dog trying to dominate me.” “What makes you think your dog is trying to dominate you?” I asked. “She stares at me every time I eat potato chips! She’s trying to dominate me into giving her potato chips.” “She’s NOT dominating you,” I laughed. “The girl just wants a potato chip! Your dog is begging. That’s not dominance.” Unfortunately, many pet parents—and pet professionals—confuse normal dog communication for “dominant” actions. While modern education has done a lot to refute these beliefs, we still have a long way to go. So why does your dog stare at you? It depends. There are lots of reasons why a dog will look into your eyes.

AFFECTION Does your dog look at you with squinty eyes? His body will be relaxed, and his tail may be wagging. He’ll blink. If so, he’s looking at you with affection. Some pet parents

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get scared when their dogs look them in the eye, but most of the time it’s absolutely fine. He’s staring into your eyes because he loves you.

COMMUNICATION Sometimes when your dog stares at you, he’s trying to tell you something. Ever wake up and open your eyes, only to find your dog’s eyes peering right back at you? He may be willing you to wake up and take him outside. Your dog may try to catch your eye when he’s hungry. He’ll stare at you, then at the pantry door where you keep his food, then back to you. Many a dog has dropped a ball in a lap and stared at their owner, hinting strongly that you should throw the ball. If you have children and the baby starts crying, your dog may come and stare at you to get you to stop the wailing. I once had a Labrador who would put his head in my lap and stare at me, pleading, when his younger Belgian Tervuren brother was too relentless in treating him like a chew toy. My Lab was too sweet to discipline the rambunctious puppy on his own, so he came to me to intervene.

WARNING There are times when a dog stares at you in warning. If he’s giving you a hard stare, and not blinking, be very careful. He may do this if you try to take something away from him, or move him off the sofa. You might see this when you encounter a strange dog who is not happy about your arrival. Staring a dog in the eye is considered assertive, so avoid doing this to dogs you don’t know or they could perceive it as a threat.

TEACHING FOCUS Teaching your dog to look you in the eye is a valuable behaviour. If he’s not paying any attention to you, he certainly won’t come when called, or stop jumping on your guests. Teaching eye contact is a foundation exercise and one of the first things you should teach your dog. An efficient way to achieve this is by teaching your dog to look at you when you call his name. Get some delicious treats. Say your dog’s name one time. If he looks at you, say “Yes” to mark the moment and hold the treat up to your eye, to sustain the eye contact a few seconds. Then lower the treat and give it to your dog. If he doesn’t look at you, don’t repeat your dog’s name over and over. This is just nagging, and isn’t teaching him to look at you right away. Instead, go to him, touch his nose gently with the treat, then draw it up to your eye. When your eyes meet, say “Yes” to mark the moment, then lower it and give it to your dog. Start training this behaviour in an area with few distractions, then work up to more challenging environments. Keep in mind you will undo this important behaviour if you say your dog’s name a lot. “Is Fido hungry? Does Fido want to go outside?” In these cases, you’re just using his name in conversation, so it will lose its impact. To keep the behaviour strong, only use his name when you want him to look at you. Use affectionate nicknames for conversation. It’s said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. When your gaze meets your dog’s it’s a link to a deeper connection.



Rescue dogs airlifted from overcrowded shelters and disaster areas to awaiting homes By Jane Mundy

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he largest pet rescue flight in history—Paws Across the Pacific—is to airlift over 600 pets from the Hawaiian Islands to Seattle this October. This isn’t the first flight that Wings of Rescue has flown, but it will be the biggest. Ric Browde, CEO of the non-profit organization, has been flying animals from peril (disaster areas and overcrowded shelters across the U.S.) to safety since he joined Wings of Rescue in 2013. Wings of Rescue, in partnership with organizations such as Greater Good Charities, the ASPCA, and Humane Societies, has now flown more than 40,000 pets to safe havens across the U.S. and Canada. In fact, it is the only donation-based charity to fly this number of pets to safety. In the first ten months of 2020, Wings of Rescue transported a whopping 8,142 pets from disaster areas and overcrowded shelters a distance of 27,942 miles on 105 flights, and they have delivered 40,290 pounds of humanitarian aid to earthquake damaged shelters in Puerto Rico. And that’s even with being grounded for 10 weeks because of COVID-19. Ric runs a well-oiled machine. Most Wings of Rescue's flights carry 100 or so pets at a time. Their record evacuation (before the Hawaii run) was 278 animals rescued from Memphis to shelters in the Pacific Northwest. “It’s an expensive ride, but our passenger satisfaction rate is better than any other airline. And our passengers are cuter, friendlier, and often better behaved than those flown by other airlines,” Ric says, laughing. “Once we hit 3,000 meters [above sea level] all the dogs fall asleep, like someone waves a magic wand. And when we start our descent, it’s like having a plane full of three-year-olds asking, ‘Are we there yet?’ Then they all wake up at the same time.” From January until October 2020, Wings flew 102 times, and they took 10 weeks off for COVID. “We have six volunteer pilots. Their leased PC12 plane (a single-engine turboprop aircraft) has been grounded so Wings is chartering cargo aircraft until another PC12 becomes available. “Sure, it’s way more expensive to charter but consider what you can do with that money, how many pets can be saved,” says Ric.


Ric flies “shotgun,” accompanying the pilots on most major runs. His function is more about animal care and logistics; he tends to the pets on the flight, sometimes using Rescue Remedy and homeopathic treatments to calm his precious cargo. For the most part, dogs behave well in their crates, “but if we see a dog getting fractious, disruptive, and anxious, chewing at their crates (sometimes Pit Bulls get too hyped up) we will respectfully say sorry, they cannot be transported.” The PC12 plane requires refueling on some trips, such as the flight to Victoria, Canada last July from southern California. “We want the dogs to be as comfy as possible so we looked for the coolest place, temperature wise, to land. The fastest route was Arizona but every step of the way we think about dog comfort, including bedding in crates and pilots with a level of compassion and care, so we took a short detour to San Diego. Ideally, we want pilots with their own pressurized planes. We want to be able to fly over mountains and don’t want pets with oxygen masks. Pets are in the cabin with us on all the PC12 flights, rather than cargo, so they are literally breathing the same air as us. This is how Ric figures out how many dogs will fit into the plane. “It’s more about calculating the volume of crates and we base dog weight on a point system. For instance, a 20-pound or less dog is designated one point; a 40-pound and above dog is six points. A great Dane would be 10 points because it needs 51 inches of vertical space. The PC12 can handle 106 points—maximum.” Being a donor-based charity, Ric says Wings of Rescue relies on the kindness of strangers. “I am amazed when people ask me why I do this,” he says. “Everyone has the power to do good and if everyone did that we could make a difference in this world. We support any rescue that is done responsibly. So get off your couch and help someone out.”

Paws Across the Pacific Paws Across the Pacific will achieve nothing short of a miracle. It is a coordinated effort led by Greater Good Charities, Wings of Rescue, and John R Peterson Foundation involving more than 100 people and several pet shelters on

both sides of the pond, as well as the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association to ensure the safety and health of pets on the flight. This operation is also more complex than Ric’s usual trips, loading an average 150 pets into a few planes. The Greater Good Charities’ shelter experts and engineers have designed the load for stability, while working with veterinarians and cat behaviourist (and Greater Good Charities board member) Jackson Galaxy to ensure the comfort and safety of pets on the flight. The crates are stacked on pallets then netted so they don’t move. Pets will be picked up at five islands so the team’s biggest challenge is getting loaded quickly. Ric expects loading to take about five hours, then just over seven hours across the pond to Seattle. Seven shelters in Hawaii are sending pets to about 12 or so shelters. “The Hawaii government has been wonderful, cutting through red tape getting vehicles to the airport on time,” adds Ric. “They really want to make it work.” “At the end of August I got a call from the John R. Peterson Foundation, asking what I needed during the pandemic,” says Mirah Horowitz, executive director, Kauai Humane Society. “I needed a plane.” Her pipe dream turned into a statewide mission that happened almost overnight. The Foundation called on Wings of Rescue and Greater Good Charities—the latter secured transport clearances through the state via its disaster response program. Sisters Phylis and Moki, age 10, are on the flight. The hound-mix girls were surrendered by their owner in July. “They were so sweet and favourites of the staff and volunteers,” says Mirah. “We have mixed emotions...they will be missed but we are happy they are getting adopted. Two other sisters, Cindy and Lindy, are also hound mixes that we had for a long time. They were both strays and so shy they hid at the back of the kennels. Now they come up to us and walk on leashes—we are so excited for them. “We are so grateful for everyone who made this rescue flight possible—they are lifesavers. We do everything not to euthanize but our shelter is full. Now we have room for feral and street animals—I think our shelter will fill up in no time.” 


“Ric has given all receiving seven shelters a list of animals with their basic information, including size, age, and breed mix. We don’t discriminate, but we usually take a mix of small breeds and senior dogs, and there are always some bully breeds,” says Lisa Hockins, PAWS Shelter Operations Manager in Lynwood, Washington. She has been with PAWS shelter 14 years and has worked with Ric for most of those years. “All the shelters work together and if a few animals aren’t ticked off the list, Ric will assign them. It always works out.” “Any Wings of Rescue transport is well organized—no hiccups,” adds Lisa. “We all meet at the airport where everyone is labeled. We collect the animals, move them directly to the shelters, and do health checks.”

On an earlier mission in July 2020, Wings of Rescue flew 28 dogs from Mexico to Victoria, B.C. “A friend in Bellingham, Washington got in touch with Wings and two of their pilots, Kale and Anji Garcia in Bend, Oregon, contacted me— they made it happen,” says Marlene Davis of Mex-Can Pet Partners in Victoria. Kale and Anji have their own plane and have been volunteering with Wings of Rescue since the beginning. “They worked on the logistics that the dogs needed to come to Canada, such as vaccine worming, flea and tick treatment—they do their homework. And they don’t want to pass on a problem such as behaviour and health issues. Ric is extremely conscientious.” “The only problem with Chesley is that everyone wants him,” says Deb Wellburn, a corporate flight attendant, who adopted one of the Wings transport dogs. It was love at first sight, even through the crate. She was working at the Shell AeroCentre, which provides corporate aircraft services at Victoria airport, when Wings landed. She saw a volunteer open a crate (the dogs had just been taken out of cargo). “The volunteer took this beautiful dog for a walk. His top half is Golden Retriever and the bottom half Corgi, perfectly imperfect,” says Deb. The volunteer told Deb that she had to apply to adopt through Mex-Can Pet Partners, which she did that night. “I can’t say enough about Marlene Davis and her rescue. She excels in finding forever homes. Chesley is our first rescue and so adorable, so willing to please. We don’t know much about his background except Marlene said he was found on a rooftop with another dog—they were abandoned. We were surprised at how well he gets along with everyone, including people, horses, and other dogs. He walks by our side, loves to roll in grass, loves routine, climbs onto our boat no problem and he seems always excited to be with us. “I now encourage people to apply for a rescue dog. A pilot and two other workmates have already applied. As well, I talked to my boss: he said Wings of Rescue can always park here. When the dogs landed it was a super-hot day. A

tent was pitched outside but my company let everyone come into our air-conditioned building. Even our cleaning lady was so excited—she didn’t care if they piddled. And it was wonderful talking to people being united with their pets. I can’t wait for the next rescue!” Recently, Wings of Rescue, in conjunction with the Sato Project, flew 116 rescue animals from Puerto Rico after the horrific earthquake that left shelters dealing with damage or overcrowding after owners surrendered their pets. The flight made stops in Delaware, New Jersey, and Florida. The animals were relocated to shelters in those states as well as Pennsylvania and New York. “It’s goosebumps and tears. The minute you hear those doors open. It’s just an incredible feeling knowing those animals may not have been alive had it not been for that mission,” Linda Torelli, Marketing Director of the Brandywine Valley SPCA in Pennsylvania told Fox News. That SPCA took in more than 30 dogs. "There’s a huge variety that came up on the flight. We’ve got little babies all the way up to adults of about five to six years old," said Linda. After reading about the rescue, the Oakley family went to the rescue and went home with Zule, the first Puerto Rico earthquake survivor at the shelter to find a new home. “It just makes me feel good to rescue dogs,” Julie Oakley told Fox. According to SPCA officials, the animals would have likely been euthanized because of limited space and a lack of food and water on the island. 

Wings of Rescue is a donation-based charity flying large-scale transports of at-risk shelter pets from overcrowded shelters and disaster areas to brick and mortar shelters where there is empty kennel space. No local shelter pets are displaced by the flights. Since it began to “Let The Fur Fly” in 2013, Wings of Rescue has flown more than 40,000 pets to safety. To donate, please visit

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Forever Homes



Gift Guide What they did. Where they went. Surprises happened! Love accompanies adopted shelter dogs Bea, B.B., and their “parents” on four unforgettable nonfiction road trips. Find it on Type in: Dog Vacations

Recycle in style! The new Earthstyle collection from 2HoundsDesign combines colourful upbeat designs with earth-friendly webbing made using recycled plastic bottles. Choose from six retro-hip designs.

Fashionably style your pooch with Puccissime Pet Couture’s luxury handmade harness & leash sets. Everything is uniquely designed and created by the owner, Ahoo, in her workshop in Vancouver, Canada.

Your pet will love to play & stay on the 4Legs4Pets special edition Retro Gaming printed cot. Available in 3 sizes to suit all dogs. Order before it’s game over.

Being good all year can be ruff, so reward your furry friend this Christmas! P.L.A.Y.’s Merry Woofmas Collection features a stocking, plate of cookies, ornament filled Christmas tree, tug-able elf and silly Santa.

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Bond with your pet with HandsOn Gloves! These award winning gloves allow you to easily groom your dog, creating a happy and less stressful experience for both of you. Now available in purple!


Gift Guide Rebel Dawg is a fully customizable tag & charm shop. Personalize yours with 25 shape and colour options! They’re lightweight, jingle-free, USAmade and perfect for both dogs and cats! Use code MDRD15 for 15% off.

These fun and festive collars from Mirage Pet Products are sure to make your pup the talk of the holiday party! They are available in four different sizes to fit every breed.

An adorable, delightfully detailed stuffed animal… of YOUR dog! Original Sock Dogs capture your pup’s unique appearance and personality. A beautiful, handmade keepsake you’ll cherish forever.

Help your pup live their best life with SwiftPaws! SwiftPaws = the best game of chase ever. Easy setup & built in safety features make SwiftPaws the perfect option for high-energy dogs.

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.

Tired of walking behind a smelly bag of poop? Snap a YUCKY PUPPY poop bag carrier on any leash, bag or belt—only your dog will know what’s inside!



Gift Guide Make mealtime fun for your pup with the ZippyPaws Pineapple slow feeder! The raised design allows your dog to eat up to 10 times slower, helping to prevent bloating, belching and choking.

Perfect for fans of All Creatures Great and Small, Barby Keel’s Will You Love Me? is the emotional, joyful true story of a Greyhound named Bailey, the woman who rescued him, and the miraculous healing power of love.

Dr. Marty Nature’s Blend is a premium freezedried raw food designed for your dog’s health and happiness. Made with turkey, beef, salmon, duck—and zero artificial ingredients, harmful preservatives, or fillers.

Give the gift of health with Brutus Broth! Brutus Bone Broth is all-natural, human grade, and fortified with turmeric, glucosamine, and chondroitin for digestive and joint health. Enjoy 20% off with code MODERNDOG.

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Keep your dog safe with Puppy Bumpers! This patented stuffed safety collar keeps your pup on the right side of the fence or balcony. Plus, they’re available in a selection of fun patterns and colours.

The WoofPack dog walking accessory bag features an inner antimicrobial lined compartment to store bagged doggy waste plus separate pockets for personal items. It's the “go-to” carryall for dog lovers on-the-go everywhere. Available in five colours!


Gift Guide CBD Living Pet Soft Chews for Dogs combine 5mg CBD, nutritious prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes, and fibres with a delicious all-natural peanut butter, banana and pumpkin flavour your dog will crave. Give your dog a spot on the couch that you will both love with the Alpha Pet Flex! Perfectly designed to stay in place, fully waterproof, and easy to clean.

Carnegie, a pampered Russian Wolfhound show dog, comes of age in a misguided, daring, and delightful adventure to find her royal Russian home. Award-winning Long Nose Legacy makes a heartwarming gift for any dog lover! Available on Amazon and all online booksellers

Get a PawPad to contain and control shedding, odour, drool, dirty paws, light incontinence and more! It’s lightweight, waterproof, and washer & dryer safe.

The perfect gift for your dog and your home! Bowsers designers have transformed an everyday item into a functional, eye catching architectural piece. Contemporary, sleek and sophisticated.

The perfect multi-functional gift for any dog lover! The Wagnetic dog leash offers two expandable zipper pocket compartments for hands free storage of personal items, pet toys, treats & more. Find it on Amazon!



fft pff

How to stop dog farts in their tracks


og farts. They’re (usually) a normal, if stinky, part of everyday life with a dog. A bit of daily gas is nothing to worry about but if your dog is continually dropping stink bombs, it warrants looking into further.

few days while your dog is recovering.) However, several health conditions can cause G.I. problems in dogs, including canine colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal parasites, cancer, and pancreatitis.

Why does my dog have a lot of gas?

If you suspect it could be diet related, try slowly switching your dog’s food. Look for a food labelled as highly digestible or designed for sensitive stomachs. Avoid those containing harder-to-digest ingredients such as peas, beans, dairy, and high fiber.

Dogs have gas for a number of reasons. Your dog may eat too fast and swallow air, or your dog may be eating foods that disagree with him. Anything spoiled is a sure culprit, but lactose found in milk, bread, beans, and soya products, such as thickeners used in some dog foods, can all be the problem. The most likely cause is a change in diet or dietary indiscretion (your dog eating something ‘off’). If the problem is chronic, the issue is usually a diet that is poorly digested by your dog.

What causes the bad smell? The noxious smell is caused by the bacteria in the gut producing a sulfur gas during digestion. Foods with high sulfur composition, such as milk, red meat, or plant-based proteins are most likely to cause this.

Is it normal for dogs to fart a lot? All dogs fart, but if your dog is having trouble digesting his food, you can end up with a gassier-than-normal pup. Some gas each day is totally normal but if your dog routinely clears the room, get to the bottom of the cause. Swallowing a lot of air when eating and drinking can contribute to flatulence. Dogs that speed-eat or are short-nosed (brachycephalic) breeds, including Bulldogs, Pugs, and Boston Terriers, are especially prone to swallowing air, which finds its way out via farting. Is it a recent development? If your dog has diarrhea and/or blood in his stool, the gas can usually be attributed to dietary indiscretion. (Keep the garbage under lock and key and watch your dog closely on walks if they’re prone to scarfing whatever they encounter. Feed a plain diet of boiled chicken and rice for a

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Is a single ingredient the bad actor? In order to determine if a food allergy or a food intolerance is at play, you may need to put your dog on an elimination diet to figure out the culprit.

What home remedy can I give my dog for gas? If your dog bolts her food, use a food puzzle or slow-feeder dish that will slow down your dog’s eating, and thus the amount of air swallowed. We like the Zippy Paws Happy Bowl slow feeding bowls, available in adorable Pineapple and Donut designs. ($10, Steer clear of fart-causing foods. Some foods that are safe and healthy treats for your dog can still cause gas. We’re looking at you, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. If your dog is prone to gas, limit servings. Bernie’s Perfect Poop digestive supplement has natural fibres, enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics to support your pup’s digestive health. (from $12, Natural digestive aids like goat milk, ginger, yogurt, and probiotic supplements can help gassy pets. Good bacteria = a happy gut! Raw Goat Milk from Primal Pet Foods is not only extremely nutrient-rich, it’s blend of three beneficial microorganisms deliver five billion CFUs per ounce, plus is has added probiotics for even more digestive support! (from $7,


NATURAL DOG Products to enhance a healthy canine lifestyle 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!

Keeping your dog healthy throughout the winter months could not be easier than by adding Ocnean’s Profauna 100 to their daily diet. With billions of bacteria and prebiotics, simply scoop Profauna powder onto your dog’s food to boost both immune and digestive health for your fur baby.

I’M-YUNITY for Dogs. Improve your dog’s immunity and quality of life with I’m-Yunity. It’s the only clinically proven medicinal mushroom extracts of Coriolus versicolor. I’m-Yunity contains proprietary and standardized extracts to help to reduce pain and fatigue while improving energy levels, mobility, and appetite. Use code “moderndog” for a 5% discount and learn about clinical results at!

Does your dog experience occasional hip and joint pain? Grizzly Pet Products’ Hemp-Enhanced Joint Aid provides a synergistic blend of five joint support ingredients plus organically grown, broad spectrum hemp oil with CBD. It supports joint flexibility and mobility, provides connective tissue support, and helps relieve occasional joint stiffness.

Give your dog the best health from the best treats with Homescape Pets. They have 100% natural, air-dried single-ingredient treats and chews that are appropriate for your pet’s body. Their products are made in the USA using responsibly sourced ingredients. Use code MODDOG20 and get 20% off your order.

Build, maintain, and restore your dogs’ joints with HAPPYBOND’s collagen+ essential nutrients for pups of all ages. This all natural, human grade collagen+ powder is enhanced with glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins that can easily be added to your dog’s daily routine.



Healthy Aging Tips, Tricks & Games Activate your older dog’s body and brain with these expert tips


ork that brain! Senior

dogs, like senior people, need to keep mentally active to stay sharp. One easy and fun way to achieve this is with treat puzzles. Simply fill these interactive toys with treats and let your golden oldie figure out how to maneuver it to release the prize! We like Pet P.L.A.Y.’s Wobble Ball 2.0 ($19,

Take time to smell the roses—and the bushes and the… Walks with a senior dog definitely require a slower pace. Make them much slower as well as more frequent to accommodate bladders that need to be emptied more frequently. Most senior dogs will need to relieve themselves every four to six hours, or more often depending on age, breed, and medical conditions. If you work away from home during the day, consider enlisting a neighbour or hiring a pet sitter or dog walker to let your dog out to do his business—or install a dog door to allow your dog outside access as needed. Sure PetCare’s SureFlap microchip pet door for small dogs keeps unwanted animals out of your home, only allowing entry to those identified by their microchip or the included collar tag. It also includes a curfew mode so you can set the door to lock and unlock at set times. ($200,

Feel bored by the slower walking pace? It’s the perfect time to get in those lunges, listen to audio books, or catch up on podcasts.

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Give your dog a lift. Mobility challenges don’t need to mean the end of walks. Dog owners rave about Walkabout Harnesses, used for dogs with arthritis, hip dysplasia, spinal trauma, or general fatigue. The easy to use sling offers the rear-end support needed to help your dog stand and walk, do the stairs or get in the car. (from $32, 

Master the basics of scent work at home! HERE’S HOW: use birch oil, cotton balls, and a clean mint tin with holes punched in it. Outside or far away from your dog, such as in the bathroom, place two drops of the birch oil on the cotton ball or cotton swab and carefully place it in the tin. Be sure you don’t get any on your hands or in your environment as this will confuse your dog. Put a treat in one hand and the tin in the other, placing your hands about a foot apart and present to your dog. When your dog stops smelling your treat-hand and sniffs the tin, say “yes!” and bring your hands together, feeding your dog the treat near the tin. Once your dog is reliably sniffing the tin to get a treat, place the tin on the ground near you and let your dog find it, rewarding with treats once he goes to it. Increase the difficulty of the hiding spots and even take the game outdoors!


Proven natural relief from aches and pains. A growing number of dog

Continue to engage and interact with your dog by finding new activities that suit your less active golden oldie. Holistic veterinarian Dr. Peter Dobias of Natural Healing For Dogs recommends walking uphill or walking on fallen logs as low-impact, strength building exercise that is kind to aging joints. Scent work is also an incredibly rewarding mental activity that isn’t physically demanding and lets older dogs go at their own pace. Also called “nose work,” this challenging activity lets dogs harness their strongest sense—no running or jumping needed.

owners are singing the praises of CBD, a nonpsychoactive hemp extract, for giving their senior dogs a new lease on life. Dr. Katherine Kramer, medical director for VCA-Canada Vancouver Animal Wellness hospital, reports that dogs suffering from pain, among other ailments, have shown remarkable improvement without suffering the side effects of conventionally prescribed medicines. For Kimberly Pike’s German Shepherd, Zoey, it was transformative. “Within a couple of hours, I could see a change in Zoey,” she says. “No whining or moaning or struggling to get up. Within a couple of days, she was up and down the stairs with ease.”

TWO TO TRY: Suzie’s CBD pet treats, made from hemp grown on their own USDA farm, are full spectrum, human-grade, organic, and dogs love them! An easy and tasty way to provide the benefits of CBD. ($20, Grizzly Pet Products’ Hemp Enhanced Joint Aid Liquid is a synergistic blend of five active joint support ingredients, wild fish oil, and organically grown hemp oil designed to help reduce joint pain, inflammation, and stiffness. ($30,

Get your dog a joint-cushioning bed. It is estimated a quarter of all dogs, regardless of age, are affected by osteoarthritis, making it the most common chronic disease they face. Be kind to sore joints with a bed designed to cushion achy bodies. We love the Oslo Ortho Bed from Bowsers Pet Products. A memory foam cushion insert infused with Cool Gel Micro Beads cushions sore joints, providing an ultra-comfy, supportive sleep spot. Plus, the scooped front means older dogs can enjoy a bolstered edge while still having easy access to their bed. Bonus points for an easily washable cover! (from $135,

Help sore joints. Unfortunately, most older dogs experience some degree of joint pain. Purica Pet Recovery Extra Strength Chewables can help strengthen bones, muscles, and connective tissues and reduce pain and inflammation. Deliciously flavoured, these tablets include active ingredients like glucosamine and hyaluronic acid for optimal joint support. (from $28,

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Don’t let a lack of mobility stop your dog from spending time with the family. Pet ramps or stairs to the couch or bed let your dog continue to access favourite places and spend time with family as before. DoggoRamps dog ramps are adjustable, fold flat, and feature a PAWGRIP Anti-Slip Surface, allowing your dog to safely and easily access the couch or the bed. The bed ramps include removable and reversible safety railings. (from $289, 

Is Chemotherapy Right For Your Dog? Cancer affects nearly a quarter of all dogs. But is chemotherapy the right decision after a diagnosis? Here’s what to consider. | By Darcy Matheson


self-described English Bulldog fanatic, Ali Schumann describes Bogart as a “dream dog.” At age eight, Bogart, the “sweetest, kindest dog you could imagine,” started getting sores on his feet that wouldn’t go away. After two years of frequent vet visits and unsuccessful skin treatments, a biopsy revealed skin lymphoma. While her vet recommended chemotherapy for the cancer, Ali was skeptical because of the “horror stories” she’d heard from fellow dog owners about adverse side effects. She also worried her dog wouldn’t understand why the treatment intended to help him was potentially making him feel worse. Ultimately

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she went ahead with treatment after her vet recommended a pill that had a good success rate for Bogart’s type of cancer, epitheliotropic lymphoma. “I had originally thought if my dog gets cancer I would never put it through chemo—putting it through hell only for it to pass away—but after the vet told me about the pills it seemed like a lot of dogs really did well with that type of treatment,” she says. Bogart did nine rounds of chemo over six months, a total cost of $675. He was lucky: The dog had no visible side effects and his appetite remained healthy. The cancer went into full remission. Unfortunately, several months later it returned “with a vengeance,” and Bogart passed away shortly after.

Still, he was the longest surviving cancer patient the seven vets at the animal hospital had ever seen. With a prolonged life and high quality of health until the cancer’s return, Ali says she would recommend going ahead with chemo to anyone whose dog had the same type of lymphoma. “It really worked for us. There was no pain and our dog didn’t feel like crap. It was a very positive experience,” she says.

The Commonality of Cancer Having a cancer diagnosis for your four-legged friend is terrifying, but more common that you might imagine. The number of dogs that will develop cancer in their lifetime is staggering. One in four will be affected—and that goes up to 30 percent for dogs over the age of seven, according to the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF). It is also the leading cause of death for senior pups, says the agency. Chemotherapy is a commonly diagnosed tool to treat canine cancers. The series of drug treatments uses powerful chemicals intended to slow or hopefully eliminate the progress of the disease. It attacks cancer cells that rapidly divide but in the process also attacks healthy cells that rapidly divide, like hair cells. It can be offered

“When we are treating with chemo our goal is to buy more days but that they are good quality days.” Is Chemo Right For Your Dog? These are the main factors Dr. Charney says owners should examine when considering chemo: Overall health: What is the animal’s overall health except for the cancer? It can be harder to treat an older animal with underlying conditions like heart or liver disease, or their prognosis might be worse. Age: Dr. Charney frequently tells clients “age is not a disease,” and doesn’t preclude treatment. But part of the calculation, however, is how long the animal has in general in terms of expected life span. Owners with a 15 year old animal may still go ahead with chemo to buy as many good days as possible with their pet. Finances: Unless you have pet insurance, there is no thirdparty payment system for chemo. And it can be expensive because it’s the same drugs as the ones used for humans, albeit in smaller quantities. So the treatment cost is often weighed as a factor. Life circumstances and the emotional toll: In many cases, dogs who go through chemo will not be cured. So Dr. Charney says pet parents need to consider how they’ll look back and feel about the situation in five years from now. And be honest about your own feelings. “For some people it’s knowing I did everything I could to know my animal had as long as possible for as long as possible. Others may say I wish I hadn’t taken my dog to the doctor and go through treatment,” she says.

as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with radiation and surgery, depending on the type and severity of the disease. But going through chemo isn’t a guarantee your dog will beat the disease. There’s also a risk of side effects. Like humans, the side effects from chemotherapy for dogs include nausea, vomiting, and low energy levels. Diarrhea, dehydration and lethargy can also follow, and canines can be prone to bladder irritation—or cystitis—according to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. The negative effects of treatment can be much more pronounced with senior animals, whose immune systems and energy levels are already decreased.

Making the Decision The decision whether or not to proceed with chemotherapy isn’t straightforward. It’s emotional and personal, and can be draining both on your pet’s wellbeing and your wallet. Dr. Sarah Charney of Boundary Bay Veterinary Specialty Hospital, in Langley, BC is a veterinary medical oncologist and radiation oncologist who has treated thousands—quite possibly tens of thousands—of dogs with cancer in her career. She sees the decision to pursue chemotherapy as a delicate balancing act of extending the animal’s life as long as possible, but without suffering. The goal of her cancer practice is to provide treatment options to extend the dog’s life without sacrificing quality of life. “When we are treating with chemo our goal is to buy more days but that they are good quality days,” she says. “If we just get more days and the dog is sick all the time and is not having a good quality of life then that’s something we shouldn’t be doing for that animal.” The first step is talking about what kind of cancer it is and where in the body it is. Then talk about prognosis with and without cancer, and whether the owner wants to pursue treatment. When dealing with cancers that are treatable with chemotherapy, there will always be some cells that are resistant. “But we’re trying to buy time by knocking back the number of cancer cells,” she says.

Factors to Consider While chemo can be the best chance of beating certain cancers, the success rate is also dependent on a host of other factors. That includes how early the disease is detected, the health and age of the animal, breed, the type and grade of cancer, and whether treatment is in conjunction with surgery and radiation.

Side Effects Dr. Charney says the vast majority of pups, about 85 percent, will have no negative side effects whatsoever when they go through chemotherapy. She estimates around 15 to 20 percent of patients can see some vomiting or diarrhea, and occasionally owners will say their dog is more tired. But generally, dogs tolerate the therapy quite well, she says. All of her canine patients aren’t given anti-nausea medications from the onset, so if they do become nauseated there are drugs that can be administered to make them feel better. If she knows it’s an issue, those drugs can be given preventatively before the next round of therapy. Charney says she’s frequently asked by pet owners what they would do if it was their own pet. 


“If we think chemo will increase the odds of survival I would 100 percent do it on my own dog,” she says, adding that no therapy is set in stone and a good treatment plan should be flexible and modify as it progresses. “If it’s not working and the dog isn’t feeling well we can stop.”

The Emotional Toll In more than two decades of practicing, Dr. Adrian Walton of Dewdney Animal Hospital diagnoses cancer at least once a month, and sees owners struggling with the decisions surrounding treatment. For him, the conversation people should have with their vet isn’t about whether it’s physically possible to do chemo, but rather, whether you “should” proceed with it. “In veterinary medicine we have a tendency to talk about all the amazing things we can do. Because we really can do all the things for dogs that we do in human medicine,” he says. “But I don’t think we spend enough time talking about the ‘should we’ part of the equation.” While some dog owners have unlimited funds to spend on their animal—he’s seen one spend $50,000 on treatment—many don’t, and owners who don’t have the financial flexibility to pay for cancer therapy can end up feeling wracked with guilt if they don’t pursue chemo. Walton says pet guardians should consider the emotional and financial burden of the process and weigh that against the relationship they currently enjoy with their pet. “For some clients, after diagnosis, from that point on they are just so emotionally drained because they see their dog as mortal and that winds up impacting their relationship with their pet,” he says. “I want people’s memories of their pets to be the 10 years of wonderful life they had with their dogs insead of the last six months of constant vet visits and the stress that goes with that.” It’s not up to vets to make the decision for you, says Dr. Walton, and instead it needs to be a thoughtful dialogue weighing all the factors, including the cost, emotional journey, and likely outcome. “I think people have to have that realistic conversation with their vet and their family—is this something for them or not,” he says.

Not for Everyone After her senior Rottweiler-Border Collie Keara was diagnosed with mammary cancer, Kerri-Lynne Wilson opted not to go ahead with surgery and chemotherapy. With the dog’s already advanced age, she didn’t anticipate her life span being more than a few years—even if she was healthy. Keara had spent 12 years running and hiking with Kerri-Lynne, and the dog owner didn’t feel it would be fair for the last months of her life to be just recovering from surgery and chemo. Plus, Keara loathed the vet, with each visit causing a great deal of anxiety and stress. “We didn’t think doing chemo would be fair because she wouldn’t understand. Dogs live in the moment. And the additional stress of going to the vet multiple times would be so jarring,” she said. The cancer, which presented as inflammatory carcinoma, was quick to take the dog’s life. It was only two to three months after the diagnosis that Kerri-Lynne put Keara down. She believes the decision not to go ahead with chemo was the right one for her “sensitive” dog. “For me, it came down to quality of life and what the dog understands. She wouldn’t have known the pain [of chemo] is that you were trying to help them,” she says. “You have to gauge… is this fair to your dog?” 

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How CBD Can Help “CBD can be helpful in mitigating the symptoms of cancer and the common side effects of chemotherapy, which include pain, nausea, anorexia and anxiety,” says Dr. Katherine Kramer Medical Director at VCA-Canada Vancouver Animal Wellness Hospital and Director of the Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine. Dr. Kramer recommends speaking with your vet, especially if your dog is receiving chemotherapy since there are some potential drug reactions that could make the chemotherapy less effective.

Three to Try: Designed to work quickly, the Extra Strength Health Drops from Healthier Pet combine 99.2% pure CBD isolate with organic hemp oil and fish oil for added health benefits. This unique formula will help treat a variety of ailments, including pain and loss of appetite. (from $53, The high-quality hemp derived CBD pet treats from Beloved Paws CBD are designed to alleviate pain, decrease inflammation and anxiety, and support joint mobility, all with a bacon flavour your pup will love! ($46, A great natural option for helping with pain, inflammation, and anxiety, CBD Living’s Pet Calming Water Booster couldn’t be easier to administer; just add it directly to your dog’s water bowl! Formulated specifically for pets, these CBD drops easily dissolve and don’t leave any taste behind. ($40,




How To Read

Your Dog Lili Chin’s winningly adorable illustrations expertly capture and explain the nuances of dog body language


e’ve been big fans of the artist Lili Chin for a while now. Though best known for co-creating the Warner Bros hit animated series “Mucha Lucha,” it’s her utterly charming and pitch perfect “Doggie Drawings” as she calls them, that have won our hearts. And we’re not alone—her viral Doggie Language poster has been translated into many different languages and is used by dog rescues and shelters around the world to help guide dogsafe interactions by depicting dog body language and its meanings via clear—and super cute!—illustrations.

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Now, you can get your paws on her first book, Doggie Language: A Dog Lover's Guide to Understanding Your Best Friend. In it you’ll find dog body language clearly illustrated and explained in a winning way that will help you better read your dog. Her muse and the inspiration behind the book is her rescued, blue-eyed Boston Terrier, Boogie. “Many years ago, I was watching a video of myself training my dog, Boogie,” Lili shares in the book’s prologue. “I had seen this video several times before, but this time I noticed Boogie yawn and lick his lip after I tugged his collar. In my earlier viewings, I was so focussed on how well Boogie was responding to ‘Sit’ that I had completely missed these signals. “Having just read Turid Rugass’ On Talking Terms With Dogs, this time I noticed and understood that the “yawn” and “lip lick” were signs of discomfort and that these were Boogie’s responses to the collar pressure on his neck. This was a mind-blowing realization for me, and from then on, I could never un-see these signals again.” Lili became a student of dog body language and, realizing that she was not alone in failing to read her dog’s signals, shared what she was learning via drawings. She has since created many illustrations for welfare groups and training professionals, helping to educate myriad people in better understanding dogs and thus improving dog-human relationships. Join the club by picking up a copy of Doggie Language. Your dog will thank you.




Add these powerhouse foods to your dog’s diet and reap the benefits

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By Rose Frosek | Illustration by JJ Galloway


contains a powerful natural anti-inflammatory called curcumin. When added to your dog’s daily diet, turmeric can help prevent a whole host of problems by reducing chronic inflammation, which is now believed to be one of the major root causes of age-related issues, including joint degeneration, heart problems, declining mental faculty, and even cancer. DOSAGE: Add ⅛ teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight daily to your dog’s dinner.


is a superfood that has a whole host of benefits, including improved skin and coat condition, better digestion, and allergy reduction, thanks to antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. HOW TO ADMINISTER: Give orally on a spoon (most dogs love the taste) or add a spoon to your dog’s dinner. Give unsweetened, natural coconut chips as a naturally sweet, crunchy treat dogs love. Apply directly to the skin and coat to make it softer and healthier.


its enzymes, gut-friendly bacteria, and a slew of important vitamins and minerals, apple cider vinegar confers a whole host of benefits, including boosting the immune system, improving skin and coat condition (think reducing itchiness,

dander, hot spots, fleas), and fighting urinary tract infections. It’s also thought to help with candida (aka yeast). DOSAGE: 1 teaspoon for small dogs and 1 tablespoon for medium-large dogs, added to their food once a day. You can add it to your dog’s drinking water if your dog doesn’t mind the taste. Be sure to use organic, unpasteurized (raw), unfiltered, naturally fermented apple cider vinegar. We like Bragg's. Do NOT use white distilled vinegar.

4. RAW MEATY BONES have physical,

nutritional, and mental benefits for dogs. The gnawing and chewing prevent periodontal disease and improve oral health, while the minerals provided by animal bones are part of a healthy, balanced diet. Plus, chewing on raw meaty bones is tremendously engaging for dogs, providing often lacking mental stimulation. Are they right for your dog? Many dogs adore their raw meaty bones and thrive with them. But there are also stories of dogs that have chipped or broken a tooth, or swallowed a fragment of bone, which could potentially cause a blockage. Never feed your dog cooked bones, which tend to splinter. Always choose bones with plenty of marrow and connective tissue. Ian Billinghurst, author of Give Your Dog A Bone and The BARF Diet, advises feeding uncooked bony parts of chicken (think necks, wings, and backs), turkey necks, beef knuckles, marrow bones, and lamb bones. 


They also contain high amounts of phytochemicals, which have been shown to help fight cancer in humans. Supervise your dog when he has a raw meaty bone and take it away to dispose of once he’s done with it (don’t leave it sitting out for your dog to return to in another session.) Inspect the bone before you toss it to make sure there are no broken or splintered pieces. UNSURE OF WHAT TYPE OR SIZE OF BONE IS RIGHT FOR YOUR DOG? Ask at your local natural dog store. Many stock raw bones in their freezer and they can help choose the bone that’s right for your dog.


Yes, dogs can—and should!—eat blueberries. This superfood makes a terrific, healthy treat; research has shown blueberries to improve the health of animals, from lowering cholesterol and improving cardio health to building stronger bones. BLUEBERRIES PACK A LOT OF NUTRITIONAL PUNCH: They’re high in fiber, low in calories, and rich in vitamin C. They also contain high amounts of phytochemicals, which have been shown to help fight cancer in humans. Plus, they’re packed with antioxidants, which are key in helping fight the free radicals that cause cellular and molecular damage in both dogs and humans. Bonus for senior dogs: studies have found that adding antioxidants to your dog’s diet can help the aging brain! FEEDING: Small and large dogs alike can enjoy blueberries, which can be fed either fresh or frozen. Remember that all treats should make up no more than 10 percent of your dog’s daily diet.

6. EGGS are excellent

for dogs, either as a treat or an addition to their diet. They’re a complete food source and 100 percent bioavailable. A nutritional powerhouse, eggs are high in protein and contain many essential amino acids and fatty acids. They’re a good source of linoleic acid and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A. They can even help to soothe your dog’s upset stomach, providing easily digestible protein. HOW MANY EGGS CAN YOUR DOG EAT? Dogs can eat a little bit of egg each day. How much depends on the size of your dog. Keep the 10 percent treat rule in mind. FEED: Boiled or cooked.

7. BONE BROTH is a super-charged health elixir.

This nutrient packed broth is extremely bioavailable to the body and has a ton of benefits. It improves digestion and helps

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heal leaky gut, reduces inflammation and helps alleviate joint pain, strengthens bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and more. Furthermore, the glycine in bone broth helps detox the liver and the collagen is great for the skin and coat! You can make bone broth by simmering bones on low for eight to over 24 hours with apple cider vinegar (find the recipe at or you can buy it ready to go! Brutus Bone Broth for dogs is an all-natural, human-grade broth made with high quality ingredients such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and turmeric for happy joints! (from $9,

8. ORGANS MEAT and glands

are nutritional powerhouses. Think of a lion and their kill—they always go for the organs first for good reason! Dogs can benefit from organ meat such as the liver (builds strength and endurance), kidneys (vitamin A), adrenal glands (vitamin C), pancreas, brain (Omega-3), stomach/tripe (probiotics) and heart (CoQ10) added to their diet. With organ meats, it is particularly important to choose organic and pasture-raised where possible. AMOUNT: Many commercial diets and those making homemade diets will follow the 80-10-10 rule (80% muscle meat, 10% bone, and 10% organ meats).

9. SMALL, OILY FISH such as

anchovies and sardines are brain food. Packed with Omega-3’s, they also offer antiinflammatory benefits, lubricate joints, promote skin, coat and eye health, and more. Visible benefits may include a reduction in shedding, relief from itching, and a softer, shinier coat. Plus, these small fish are “cleaner” in that they haven’t had a chance to accumulate the toxins levels found in large fish like tuna. DOSAGE: start low and work your way up. Smaller dogs: start with half a sardine per day. Increase the portion depending on your size of dog. There are also high quality commercially prepared oils available for dogs that make dosage easy. Just measure and add to your dog’s food! We like Iceland Pure’s Sardine Anchovy oil. It contains high levels of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids, is unscented, and easy to administer! (From $15, 



Stuck at home? Keep your dog entertained with the award-winning iDig from iFetch, makers of the automatic ball launcher. The innovative iDig provides an outlet for the innate desire to dig and hunt, while keeping brains and paws busy. How it works: Load with toys or treats and watch your dog dig away for the treasure. Different flap designs provide varying levels of digging challenges, providing mental and physical stimulation. Suitable for big and little dogs. $80,

Boredom Busters!

Fun ways to keep things fresh and interesting for you and your dog


older weather plus the coronavirus have definitely made for more time at home for dogs and people alike. Keep boredom at bay with these ideas to keep things fresh and exciting for you and your dog, whether you’re indoors, in your backyard or out on your daily dog walks.


Create the best game of chase ever in your own backyard. Dogs that love to run and chase will go wild for SwiftPaws Home, an easy to set up at-home lure course that provides excellent, healthy exercise and lots of fun. Dogs delight in chasing the fast-moving flag, wearing off pent up energy in the process. You decide on the size of the course (200-300 feet), the speed (0-30 mph) so you can easily adjust the play style to suit energetic working dogs or slower seniors. $389,

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Add some goal setting to those daily walks Instachew’s new leash helps you monitor daily activities, track your steps, and provides a summary of where you walked your dog! An LED torch light makes it safe for you and your pup to go for walks early in the mornings or at night, plus you can personalize the pattern of colours for the side ring. A hands-free design means you can wear the handle on your wrist and the app allows you to connect with other dog owners! $75,

At-home agility! Agility is beloved by dogs and their owners alike. It provides mental stimulation, exercise, and is incredible for building a bond, requiring you and your dog to work together as a team. Reap the benefits with an at-home agility set. Beautifully designed for dogs to tunnel through and run up and down the exercise ramps, Gyms For Dogs' Home Run Bridge Club is an all in one multi-functional play product featuring incline and decline ramps for agility training and play time, plus an elevated training platform and underneath tunnel/shade area. $1790,

Teach your dog to retrieve toys by name.


Trick training. Pass a rainy Saturday learning some new tricks! Tricks are great mental exercise and awesome for bond building. Three to try:


Enliven that game of fetch! The Flingerz Ball Launcher is adored by dogs big and small. Dogs love chasing the irresistible whistling ball as it soars through the air. The lightweight handle makes for easy, hands-free pickup of the super-durable, fun to chew, easy to throw ball—perfect for epic games of fetch! $20, Giveaway! The first 50 people to message Flingerz on Facebook will receive a free Flingerz!

Sneeze on command. Wait for your dog to sneeze and then “capture” the behaviour by saying “sneeze” and giving a treat and verbal praise. Dogs learn to “sneeze” on command amazingly quickly with a bit of repetition. This one’s a crowd pleaser! Take a bow. Use a treat or toy to lure your dog into the “play bow” position (or wait until your dog naturally assumes this position), say “take a bow”, treat, and praise. Retrieve toys by name. Start with just two toys. Give them names and ask your dog to retrieve one of the two by name. Treat/praise for a correct response. Gradually add in more toys. Chaser, a Border Collie, could correctly recall the names of 1022 different toys.


With a pack comprised of rescues, this Utah couple is harnessing the power of dogsledding to transform the lives of surrendered, abandoned, and abused dogs desperately in need of a second chance | By Katie Nanton


wice every night, at three and five a.m., the husbandand-wife team behind Rancho Luna Lobos are gently awoken by 79 howling dogs, their yelps rising through the high-desert air like a chorus. For Dana Ramirez, these calls of the wild are her favourite part of her day. “It’s the dogs’ way of doing a pack check—they also do it at nine p.m.—and they’ll keep singing until everyone has chimed in,” says Dana, who runs the rescue and rehabilitation centre, professional racing kennel, and educational dog sled tour business with her husband, Fernando. If just one dog is missing, or has recently passed away, the pack will cry all night long looking for him. It’s apt, indeed, that Rancho Luna Lobos translates into Ranch of the Moon Wolves. While most people wouldn’t look forward to having their sleep interrupted before an 18-hour work day, Dana, 33, and Fernando, 35, are not your average dog owners. From their mountainous 55-acre property in Peoa, Utah,

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just outside of Salt Lake City, the couple takes care of those 79 singing dogs—along with their own five children. They are fuelled by a deep-set passion for dogsledding as both sport and therapy, having seen first-hand the transformative rehabilitation effects it can have on neglected, abused, or disabled dogs. It all began back when an eight-year-old Fernando took to the idea after watching Balto—a based-on-a-true-story movie about an outcast half-wolf, half-Husky who becomes a hero after leading a dog team across 600 miles of Alaskan wilderness to fetch medical supplies. Crafting a makeshift sled out of a plastic table and skis, young Fernando harnessed up his little yellow Lab, and successfully trained him as a lead dog. Watching their son’s passion manifest, Fernando’s parents enforced a rule: if he wanted to race, all the dogs needed to be rescues. So, he gathered up a team of underdogs, and started mushing. Fernando’s professional scope eventually turned toward competitive running, and he left the dogsledding behind. Then, while training to try to make the Olympic marathon team, he met Dana. “One day we were driving around, talking about what our dream jobs would be, and he just said ‘Dogsledding. I would love to be a musher,’” she recalls. Surprised at first, Dana quickly sensed his earnestness. “So, we just went for it!”



“He is not only incredible to watch,” says Dana, “but he is living proof that if you have disabilities or obstacles in your life, there is a way for you to achieve your goals and dreams.” Within a week they had not only assembled a team of sled dogs, but had established a theme for their kennel— taking in rescues. In 2010, Rancho Luna Lobos was born. Initially, the couple sought out shelter dogs in need of a second chance, often the last stop for many of those animals. These days, they still work with animal control and shelters, but direct interest from people needing to rehome dogs has skyrocketed; Rancho Luna Lobos has an ever-growing wait list of dogs wanting to join the pack. Canines with any trace of Northern breed are accepted: from Lab-Husky mixes to high-content wolf mixes to Greyhound-Huskies, and everything in between, their rescues hail from all over the United States. For the Ramirez’s, their primary goal is rehabilitation and a desire to unlock a sense of joy in these canine lives. “A lot of these guys have been through some hard situations,” says Dana. “We use the dogsledding as their therapy.” The couple finds that, above all, Alaskan Huskies are particularly wired for the sport, showing a heightened endurance and recovery rate over most of the other breeds

and mixes—not to mention the fastest speed—making them top contenders for their race team. With constant energy and drive to run, calming them down can be a challenge. If a dog is given plenty of time to try the sport, but they don’t take to it, it is never a problem; the couple will take their time—sometimes up to five years—to find them a great home. For the ones that thrive on running, Fernando mushes the very best on their professional dogsledding team, which is currently ranked 12th in world, placing 12th at both the 2020 Pedigree Stage Stop Race in Wyoming and the 2020 World Championship Dog Race in The Pas, Manitoba. From mid-December to mid-March, when the snow lays thick amongst the sage brush, scrub oak, and aspen trees, Rancho Luna Lobos offers junior musher and adult musher programs, and also offers highly interactive dogsledding that takes guests up and down the mountainsides of the scenic ranch. “We hold true to the athletic sport that it is,” adds Dana of this bucket-list experience. “You have to be able to hike, push behind the sled and run, lean like you do on skis, like a real musher would. Not sitting in the sled like in the movies.” Before anyone jumps on a dogsled, however, guests are given a kennel tour and a presentation about Fernando and Dana’s story and what some of their rescue dogs have overcome along the way. The Ramirez’s are believers in education first and are adamant that dogsledding is neither circus ride nor performance. “We know there is a gray area and a weird light around this sport, either that it is cruel, or that we force the dogs to run,” says Dana. “But that’s just not how it is. We want to show people how much these dogs love it, and that it can be done in the right way, in an environment where the dogs can be over-the-moon-happy.” (As for COVID-19, the ranch is open this winter seasons with social distancing and mask-wearing protocols safely in place.) 


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dementia set in. Soon, Fernando and Dana will name their entire kennel Goofy’s Sanctuary in his memory, place a plaque to commemorate him, and have a statue of him made for the entrance of the property. Not all dogs arrive at Rancho Luna Lobos with difficult pasts: some are just Huskies in need of a home, their owners’ circumstances forcing them to give up their dogs for various reasons. These pups take their own time adjusting. As far as dogsledding goes, if they take to the sport it often happens in a flash—like a light switch turning on. “The pep just returns to their step,” says Dana, describing the joy that can set into a forlorn dog during the thrill of the race. “At the end of the day, our mission is for each dog find their identity, their voice, their passion, whether it is dogsledding or not. We just want them to tell us what they want.” That sense of deep communication with their canines is why some regard them as dog whisperers; Dana and Fernandez prefer to call it listening. “We always say, if you just shut off the noise for a second, you just feel it. When you look in their eyes, watch their behaviour, their fur, their ears, the energy they are putting off—that will really just lay it all out there. A feeling just washes over you.” An animal can communicate the world to them though their energy cues: hunger, fear, exhaustion, frustration, jealousy. “We allow them to have a voice, to speak, instead of doing it for them.” That type of compassionate discourse runs through everything they do. With a firm no-hands policy when it comes to disciplining the dogs, the Ramirez’s give cues similar to a parent-child relationship, using time-outs, or loss of special privileges, to push behavioural change. Naturally, scraps occasionally take place, but the dogs generally resolve it themselves. For the worst cases, their ranch dog is brought in; she’ll pin a dog and stare him down if needed, but will never bite. “It’s really a big game of compatibility,” says Dana. “People have gotten so used to chaos, noise, and the idea that you have to have this type of treat if you want your dog to do what you want them to do,” says Dana. “People forget that these guys are wild animals, in a sense, and they have their own form of language. If you stop long enough to learn it, they will talk to you.” 


During the winter season, a handful of extra employees join Rancho Luna Lobos to help with tours, but there is only one year-round employee, a ranch manager, to help out regularly at the family-run operation. Long days starts at 6 a.m. and wrap close to midnight with training, feeding, running, and playing with the dogs, rotating their boarder dogs inside-outside, and cleaning along the way; Fernando also studies dog therapy in the evenings. All revenue from tours, summer camps, and dog boarding are reinvested back into the business, which is currently in the process of becoming a non-profit organization. Despite Fernando and Dana’s hectic schedule, they ensure daily quality time is spent with each dog. Many of their rescues have never had a healthy relationship, and this one-on-one time builds up confidence and trust. Never wanting their dogs to feel like a number in the kennel, they know the unique personalities of each intuitively. A few especially hardy pups stand out among their pack. Four-year-old Humberto, an Alaskan husky mixed with a Shepherd-type dog, arrived skittish and bumped into everything. “Our vet confirmed what we had guessed: he was born 100 percent blind,” recalls Dana. “We thought naturally he would be super stressed out on a sled, so we would always leave him behind, but he’d just scream and cry.” When the couple tried hooking Humberto’s collar to another dog, a seeing-eye buddy of sorts, he navigated their yard so well that they tried him on a sled. Today, he is training to be a lead dog. “He is not only incredible to watch,” says Dana, “but he is living proof that if you have disabilities or obstacles in your life, there is a way for you to achieve your goals and dreams.” A giant timber wolf-Malamute-Shepherd mix named Goofy left a huge void when he passed away early this year. When he first arrived at the ranch as a badly abused ninemonth-old, his jaw had been fractured by his owner, and he was riddled with trust issues and anxiety. “It took a long time of working with him. But, one day, my husband kind of just took him and hugged him—they looked at each other like, ‘Are you okay with this? Yeah. Are you? Okay.’ And that was it. They were bonded.” Eventually, he became a skilled sled dog, running for four years before he was retired when



The top 10 breeds that shed the least—and 10 that shed a lot


ow much time you have to spend grooming your dog/cleaning up dog hair is a very real consideration when considering a breed match. Just ask Google—“breeds that don’t shed” is a common search query. So we asked Giselle Castro of the American Kennel Club (AKC) for her rundown of the top 10 breeds that shed the least—and 10 that shed a lot. But as you’ll see, low shedding doesn’t necessarily mean low maintenance! 72 moderndog

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Top 10 Breeds That Shed the Least:

1 Afghan Hound:


The Afghan Hound’s coat is long and silky and doesn’t shed. However, they require hours of brushing multiple days a week, as well as regular bathing to keep their coat looking its best.

2 Chinese Crested:


This breed barely has any hair which makes them ideal low-shedders. It’s important to properly care for their skin which is prone to irritations, sunburn, and other conditions.

3 Bichon Frise:


This hypoallergenic breed sheds minimally, but shed hair gets caught on their undercoat. This requires owners to brush them a few times a week to prevent any matting.

4 Maltese:


These low shedders have a long white coat which needs to be brushed daily to avoid tangles and mats. Regular bathing keeps their coat looking healthy and shiny.

5 Peruvian Inca Orchid:


This hound can be hairless or coated and is a minimal shedder. It’s important to make sure this dog wears sunscreen if it’s being taken outside to avoid sunburn.

Water 6 Portuguese Dog:


This working breed has a coat that requires extensive grooming, but sheds very little. Its coat can be curly or wavy and should be regularly groomed to keep them looking their best.


7 Lagotto Romagnolo:

The Lagotto has a double waterproof coat of hair and sheds minimally. To avoid matting, their hair should be groomed regularly.

8 Xoloitzcuintli:


This Mexican breed can be hairless or have a short coat. They require minimal grooming and shed infrequently. Owners of hairless breeds should apply sunscreen on their dogs daily to avoid getting sunburned while outdoors.

Hairless 9 American Terrier:


This breed comes in two varieties: hairless and coated. The hairless kind requires keeping their skin protected with sunscreen or clothing when going outdoors. The coated breeds hardly shed and should be brushed once a week.

Schnauzer: 10 Standard


Schnauzers have a double coat that is water-resistant and requires proper care to keep it healthy. They shed minimally as long as their coat is maintained and handstripped. Clippering the hair can ruin its texture and cause more dirt to be collected as well as more shedding. 


5 Golden Retriever:


Goldens have a heavy double coat which causes them to shed on a continuous basis. They go through a heavy shedding period twice a year. To control their shedding, it’s key to brush them at least twice a week.

6 Alaskan Malamute:


The thick coat of a Malamute is adapted for the harsh Arctic climate, which requires constant upkeep. They go through a heavy shedding period twice a year. They should be brushed daily to avoid matting and bathed every six to eight weeks (Show Malamutes are bathed weekly).


Top 10 Breeds That Shed A Lot

1 Samoyed:


The Sammy is known to shed all year round and requires regular grooming to prevent matting and dirt from ruining their coat.

2 American Eskimo Dog:


This breed has a fluffy white coat that sheds a lot. To avoid excessive shedding, it’s important to brush them multiple times a week.

Welsh 3 Pembroke Corgi:


This Corgi sheds on a regular basis and will shed even more so during late spring and early fall. Brushing them daily will help remove a lot of shed hair and regular bathing during shedding season will help loosen up dead hair.

4 Newfoundland:


The Newfie has a heavy coat that sheds heavily twice a year. They normally require frequent brushing, and during their shedding season will need daily grooming sessions.

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Mountain 7 Bernese Dog:

This working breed has a long outer coat and a wooly undercoat and sheds a lot. They shed even more so twice a year during their shedding season. To keep this dog’s coat looking healthy, it’s important to brush them weekly to avoid any tangling.

8 Saint Bernard:


This working dog can have a short or long coat which requires regular brushing to avoid tangles. During their shedding season, dog owners need to up their grooming and brush them daily.

9 Leonberger:


Known for their lion-like mane, Leonbergers are shedders that need daily brushings. They shed heavily twice a year and ideally, they should be thoroughly groomed once a week to avoid matting and keep their coat looking as healthy as possible.

10 Great Pyrenees:


Although Great Pyrenees require little grooming, they are still known to be heavy shedders. They have a long outer coat and a soft undercoat, which sheds heavily twice a year. Brushing them once a week helps keep shedding at bay and keeps their coats healthy and shiny. 


The Newfoundland



Is My Dog Aggressive? Or Fearful? Reactivity vs. Aggression By Nicole Wilde


ost of us would agree on the general definition of “aggression.” But when it comes to dog behaviour, the term can mean different things to different people. For example, Melissa describes her German Shepherd Bailey as aggressive. She bases her assessment on the fact that when he passes other dogs on walks, he lunges and barks at them. Justin too believes that his dog is aggressive. When people reach out to pet Milo the Shih Tzu, he sometimes snaps at their hands. Are Bailey and Milo truly aggressive? It’s possible, but chances are much greater that what the dogs are displaying is actually fearbased reactivity. Of course, there are truly aggressive dogs out there, but the vast majority of what owners typically call aggression is not actually an intent to cause harm, but a reaction to something that is scaring the dog or making him uncomfortable. Confusing reactivity with aggression is very common. Reactive dogs overreact to certain stimuli or situations, usually because they are fearful. Genetics, lack of socialization, lack of training/self-control, and/or a frightening experience, can all cause reactivity. And though reactivity is different than aggression, it can escalate. Adolescence is the developmental phase during which many pups begin to gain confidence. A dog who previously fled when encountering something frightening him may now take the offence. He learns that barking, growling, or lunging results in the big, scary thing—whether another dog or a person—moving away quickly. A dog who barks at other dogs on walks is rewarded by the other dog moving away, even though the distancing is really the product of simply passing each other. A dog who fears a hand approaching overhead may air-snap, causing the person to quickly draw the hand. These consequences are rewarding, and so the behaviour is repeated. It can be difficult to distinguish fear-based reactivity from true aggression, especially in cases where an owner believes their dog is guarding them. I’ve had clients who have told 

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Leash-reactive dogs often growl, bark or lunge toward things that make them nervous or fearful in an attempt to make the scary thing go away. Their triggers may be other dogs or people. me their four-footed bodyguard wouldn’t let anyone get close, only to discover that the dog was essentially protecting himself from strangers. It’s easy to understand how a dog who lunges while standing in front of his owner could be mistaken for a dog who is displaying guarding behaviour, but again, so often what seems like aggression is actual fear-based reactivity. So, how can you tell the difference? Just ask the dog. No, I’m not suggesting you inquire, “How do you really feel about that Jack Russell?” I mean that you can learn an awful lot just by observing canine body language. The next time your dog becomes reactive, look at his overall body posture. Is his weight more heavily distributed forward or backward? Or does he stand without leaning in either direction? A confident dog’s body weight is typically well balanced. If the dog is truly aggressive, the body weight will be forward. Of course, there are other reasons a dog’s body weight might be forward as well, including excitedly pulling toward something. The body weight of a dog who is fearful will be more heavily distributed toward the rear. A fearful dog’s ears will also be positioned further back. While a dog who is truly fearful will likely have his ears laid flat against his head, there are gradations. The ears may be only held

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slightly back, and sometimes only one ear is titled backward with concern. The ears of a confident or aggressive dog will have a definite forward point. Just as with body weight, there are other possible reasons for ear position. Forward ears could also connote interest or focus, while laid-back ears could indicate submission, for example. Ear positioning is easier to observe in dogs with pricked ears as opposed to floppy ones. For flop-eared dogs, looking at the base of the ear can be helpful in assessing position. The tail is another revealing part of the body language puzzle. A dog who is fearful will hold his tail in a low position; a truly frightened dog may even tuck it under his body completely. A nervous dog may hold the tail low while wagging in a fast, tight arc. A confident dog will display a higher tail carriage, and a dog showing aggression will have a tail that is held high and may be wagging stiffly. There are other parts of body language that should also be taken into account. The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but they are also the doorway to discovering how a dog is really feeling. A hard stare is a threat in the animal kingdom, and a dog who is staring with laser focus at another dog is not showing fear-based reactivity, but is presenting a challenge and possible danger. A dog who wants to avoid a threat will avert his eyes and possibly

also turn his head and/or entire body away from that threat. Other signs of nervousness include lip licking, yawning, sniffing the ground, or the dog developing a sudden itch. No, the dog hasn’t suddenly developed fleas; biting at his own hindquarters or using a back leg to scratch along the side of the face serves to momentarily turn the dog away from the threat, thereby creating a break in the tension. Although observing body language is helpful, with fear-based reactivity there can be an element of emotional conflict. A dog might bark and sound for all the world as though he is going to attack another dog, while at the same time his ears and body weight are back. In fact, in my experience that combination is pretty classic. Many times I have seen dogs who have been described as aggressive toward people where the dog will lunge and then dart backward while at the same time barking, as though to say, “You big scary thing, don’t make me come over there!” What these poor dogs really want is for the big, scary thing to go away. Each piece of body language must be assessed as part of the overall display and in the context of the situation in order to distinguish fearbased reactivity from true aggression. It is important to take the time to observe and come to the correct conclusion, especially because once a dog has been labeled as “aggressive,” people tend to see all of the dog’s behaviour through that lens. The dog might not get the proper rehabilitation he needs, or worse, he could end up rehomed or even euthanized. Understanding that a dog is displaying fear-based reactivity allows for the proper behaviour modification to take place, under the guidance of a professional trainer if necessary. If you believe your dog is truly aggressive, avoid his triggers and seek help from a professional. 


PROBLEM SOLVERS Ingenious solutions to common dog-life problems

PROBLEM: BAD BREATH SOLUTION: To share a wet kiss with your loving pet is a

happy moment. Daily dental care with ProDen PlaqueOff helps reduce plaque, tartar and bad breath today and throughout life.


of dogs are overweight or obese. SlimPaws, a daily chew, features a Fat Fighter Blend that is natural, safe and scientifically proven to help dogs lose weight and live longer.

PROBLEM: NO PET EVACUATION PLAN? SOLUTION: Pet Evac Pak’s emergency go-bags help keep your pet safe for up to 72 hours. The food and water have a 5-year shelf life, giving you peace of mind that you’re ready for any situation. PROBLEM: UNSAFE AND DIFFICULT NAIL TRIMMING SOLUTION: Safely and easily trim your dog’s nails with the Zen Clipper Precise from Pet Product Innovations. Adjust the opening of the blades to trim only the amount you choose – even if your pet moves or squirms.

PROBLEM: STILL HOLDING MULTIPLE LEASHES? SOLUTION: Simplify your outings with gear from TinyHorse, a Canadian company designing products for professional dog walkers. Their versatile leash solutions come in a variety of materials and are perfect for multi-dog homes, too.

PROBLEM: CHRONIC DISEASE SOLUTION: Buddy Custard is an all-natural frozen treat made specially for dogs. A few tablespoons added to a regular diet will help them avoid disease and ensure they live the healthiest life possible!


DOGGONE FUNNY! Cartoonist Dave Coverly sends up dog guardianship in all its wonderfully weird and very funny glory


ave Coverly clearly gets dogs (and dog people), sending up their antics and endearing peculiarities and peccadilloes in Dogs Are People, Too, a laugh-out-loud funny collection of dog cartoons from his brilliant nationally syndicated panel, Speedbump. “Pets have been ubiquitous in my life and so I naturally think about them a lot—and like the cliché goes, you should write what you know,” says Dave. “They are absolutely terrific fodder because it's something we have in common, which is a main ingredient of humour—and most of us anthropomorphize our furry kids already! This is probably the most important point, really. We don't think of them as animals, we think of them as family—and rightly so.” Dave’s send up of what it is like to live with dogs is pitch perfect, bringing laughs and nods of recognition. He captures dog guardianship in all it’s comedic, joyful, sometimes frustrating, and often perplexing glory. “To paraphrase Mark Twain, every jest should contain a nugget of truth,” says Dave. “Recognizing ourselves or others is an essential trigger for laughter.”

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Author and artist Dave Coverly with his dog, Macy.


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HEALTHY SKIN & COAT Does your dog have itchy skin and coat-health issues? These Shine and Luster chews from Dr. Marty Pets support balanced histamine levels, fight against skin irritation and dryness, and support a shiny, healthy coat. ($65,

SORE JOINTS/ MOBILITY ISSUES The Mussel Mobility Complete from Homescape Pets is uniquely formulated with Green Lipped Mussel, organic turmeric, and organically grown raw CBDA Hemp extract to help dogs suffering with significant mobility and joint issues. ($39,

IMMUNE SUPPORT Worried about your dog’s immune system and energy levels? I’m-Yunity is a medicinal mushroom supplement that is clinically proven to boost energy levels and stabilize white blood cell counts. (From $95,

SENSITIVE GI SYSTEMS TRIM NAILS MADE EASY! Trimming your pup’s nails can be stressful for both you and your dog! The Zen Clipper from Pet Product Innovations has a patented conical blade that helps ensure you only cut the tip of your dog’s nail and avoid cutting the quick. ($26,

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If your dog has a “sensitive” gastrointestinal system or constipation, upset stomach or diarrhea, MitoMax for Dogs and Cats from Imagilin can help—just take a look at the testimonials. This patented, plantbased probiotic works to support your pet’s digestive and immune health. Simply give capsules directly or separate into your dog's meal. ($42 sale price,



The Border Terrier Alert and energetic, devoted and loving—this scruffy little terrier is an upfor-anything dog that’s ready to roll with you…no matter what! By Kelly Caldwell

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in 1920 by The Kennel Club, paintings of fox hunts dating back to the 1860s show According to the most recent AKC dogs bearing registration statistics remarkable [1] Labrador Retriever resemblance to the [2] German Shepherd Dog breed we know [3] Golden Retriever today. The breed was recognized [4] French Bulldog by the American [5] Bulldog Kennel Club (AKC) [6] Poodle in 1930. [7] Beagle The Border [8] Rottweiler Terrier has a fairly long and [9] German Shorthaired Pointer narrow body. His [10] Pembroke Welsh Corgi determined, alert [88] Border Terrier gaze is offset by a sweet, otter-like face. Weights range for males from 13 to 15 ½ pounds and females 11 ½ to 14. Proportions are important in the AKC standard. The height at the dog’s withers should be just slightly greater from the distance from the withers to its tail. The Border Terrier has a short, dense undercoat and wiry topcoat. The AKC accepts red, grizzle and tan, blue and tan, or wheaten coat colours. This is a dog bred to be hard-working, and he still can be—but he’s also a loving and devoted family companion. The Border Terrier will never thrive as an outsider. 

Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.


hat kind of mix is he?” That’s a typical comment when a Border Terrier walks in the room. Well, he may not look fancy, but he’s anything but ordinary. This scruffy little character might pass under your radar, but he shouldn’t. This terrific terrier with a rich history is a thief of hearts. This plucky little dog was originally developed in the 19th century by shepherds and farmers in the border region between England and Scotland. With herds grazing openly, the threat to sheep from predators was significant. They needed a tough, hard-working terrier who could handle rough terrain and weather, while keeping up with horses. A leggy terrier would fit the bill, but they also needed a dog that was small enough to go to ground and drive foxes from their dens. In developing the breed, a variety of other terriers were introduced for type and temperament, most notably the Bedlington and the Dandie Dinmont. Interestingly, because this breed needed to work and live alongside other dogs, such as Fox Hounds, there was a need to veer from a traditionally-terrier temperament. The trademark terrier stubbornness is milder in the Border Terrier, and unlike many terriers, he’s able to quickly make canine friends. This easygoing personality is a hallmark of the Border Terrier and sets him apart from his more argumentative cousins. Efforts to hone the breed were ongoing. While the Border Terrier was first accepted

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Profile: The Border Terrier Size: Small. A well-proportioned breed with legs very close in height to the length of his back, the Border Terrier weighs between 11 1/2 and 15 1/2 pounds. Activity level: Above Average. This active breed requires lots of exercise to keep him happy. Daily walks and play time are a must. His instinct to work makes him a great fit for canine sports. Grooming: His dense, weather-resistant coat does require some care, and is best brushed and hand-stripped, not shaved. Heritage: Developed in the border region between England and Scotland to aid Farmers and Shepherds by going to ground and driving foxes from dens. For more information on Border Terrier Rescue, visit

If you like the Border Terrier, you might also consider the...

Russell Terrier

Norfolk Terrier


Australian Terrier

For more breed profiles, go to

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He’s happiest with his people, including children Polite with whom the breed is notoriously loving. Playful Good with kids and rambunctious, a & other dogs Border Terrier may just turn out to be the best Obedient playmate your child ever Smart has. The Border Terrier is Energetic an active breed and needs daily exercise. Terriers are & athletic known for their stubborn Small-sized streaks, but the Border is among the more biddable of the group’s members. He is intelligent and will thrive with positive reinforcement training. At home, daily walks and lots of play time are a minimum to keep this busy breed happy. Border Terriers respond well to obedience training and, given their innate desire to work out solutions and overcome challenges, sports like Agility, Tracking, and Earthdog are well-received by this tenacious terrier. One thing to bear in mind is that he can be prone to make a run for it. Those working instincts remain strong and he loves to give chase… especially to smaller animals. Outside, keep him in a safe, fenced-in yard or on-leash. Those seeking a companion for outdoor adventures, take note! This is a terrific walking and hiking companion. He’s athletic and sturdy and he’ll follow you anywhere. Grooming requires a bit of effort. The Border Terrier’s wiry overcoat should be brushed and hand-stripped, not sheared, as it protects him from the elements. Learning to hand-strip your Border Terrier isn’t difficult and will save you some expense. The Border Terrier is a healthy and hearty breed with relatively few genetic problems. If you’re considering a puppy, work with a reputable breeder who takes great care to ensure their puppies possess a sound temperament and are in good health. Plucky, scraggly, and playful, the Border Terrier is a lovable ragamuffin. This up-for-anything dog is so easy to be around, and he’ll be there for you. Those in search of a true companion may find what they are looking for—a loving little shadow with a huge heart, sticking by your side through thick and thin. 


Playful and rambunctious, a Border Terrier may just turn out to be the best playmate your child ever has.




Life lessons from a second-chance Pit Bull By Lori Fuller


ecause I volunteer with an animal rescue, friends and co-workers frequently give me donations for the animals. One evening, as I was delivering gifts to the shelter, I looked up to see a Pit Bull charging across the parking lot with her handler in tow. I quickly assessed the situation and bent down to greet the medium-sized Pit Bull. She lunged toward me as she stood on her hind legs and threw her front paws around my neck, showering me with kisses. I rubbed her head as her bum wiggled and her tail wagged furiously. “Do you know her?” the handler asked me. “No, I’ve never seen her before.” I stood up and walked with the dog (I believe her name was Suede) and her handler into the kennel. In the lobby, where there was more light, I noticed that Suede had a lot of scars and had obviously given birth to many litters of puppies. “Was she a fighting dog?” “No,” came the curt reply. “She was bait.” My heart sank as Suede ran excitedly between her handler and me, asking for love from one and then rushing to the other for more.

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Every Saturday for weeks, Suede went to the adoption shows in hopes of finding her forever home. Each week, she happily greeted anyone who walked by. People shopping in the pet store stopped to play with her, or just sat on the floor and petted her as her tail wagged non-stop. She was a favourite of kids and adults alike because of her willingness to love everyone she met. Her handlers shared her story with anyone who stopped. She amazed everyone with her tremendous heart and courage to love. Suede’s scars kept some people from considering her, and others feared her breed. But one wonderful Saturday, Suede got adopted! After a thorough home inspection (they couldn’t let her go with just anyone), her new home was approved. She is now in a home where she is safe and spreads love to everyone she meets. She will never again be abused or have reason to be afraid of people. I think about Suede sometimes. Before she was rescued, her only interactions with people resulted in abuse. Despite that, she happily greeted every stranger she came across and still expected nothing but love. She had every reason to be angry and afraid. Instead, Suede chose love. My challenge to myself and to you: When the divisiveness and anger of the world gets you down, remember Suede. Choose love. Excerpted from Chicken Soup for the Soul: Life Lessons from the Dog. Check out the newest heartwarming book in the series, Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Dogs.




How to choose the perfect pal for your pup!


f you’re considering getting a pal for your dog, the match is all important. Of course, it all comes down to the individuals, but there are general rules to follow to help ensure a good pairing. Here, Gina DiNardo, breed expert and AKC Executive Secretary, shares the guidelines for choosing a dog who will get along well with your dog.

Does your dog enjoy the company of other dogs?


Some dogs love the company of people, but other dogs, not so much. Ask yourself if your dog really wants a canine companion. Though many dogs can do well with other dogs if socialized from puppyhood, there are certain breeds that typically like being with other dogs. Beagles were bred to hunt in packs and enjoy company, Bulldogs are friendly toward other creatures, and Collies tend to be tolerant of other pets, among others.


Do you currently own a male or female dog?

Gender: While there is no set rule that a female dog will be a better friend for a male dog, if you have never had two dogs at the same time it is generally easier and often safer to have dogs of the opposite sex. Same-sex combinations can be tricky to manage as dogs work out their dominance or pack order.


How old is your current dog?

Age: Take your dog’s age into account when considering a second dog. If you have a senior dog, getting a young, playful puppy might not be an ideal match. The older dog might find a rambunctious puppy too much to handle, especially if he has age-related issues.


How big is your dog?

Size: Keep size in mind. A very big dog and a toy dog would need plenty of supervision together to make sure the little guy doesn’t get hurt during playtime.

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What is your current dog’s energy level?

Matching your dog’s energy level is a good idea. That way, one isn’t overwhelming the other with their energy. Do you have a medium to large, high energy dog and are looking for a similar breed? Sporting breeds such as the Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever are energetic dogs that need plenty of exercise. Do you have a medium to large, calmer dog and are looking for a similar breed? Bernese Mountain Dogs are sturdy, hard workers with a calm, affectionate nature. Clumber Spaniels are mellow, sweet and easygoing, but can be relentless on a scent. Bulldogs are notoriously kind, friendly, docile companions. Do you have a small dog that doesn’t require a lot of exercise and are looking for a similar breed? The Brussels Griffon, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and English Toy Spaniel are all wonderful, small, playful companions.

CONNIE’S BOOK CLUB Editor-in-Chief Connie Wilson’s Winter selection of must-read books for dog lovers Dogs By Walter Chandoha

Good Dog: A Collection of Portraits By Randal Ford Award-winning photographer Randal Ford’s latest book, Good Dog, is a stunning collection of flawless dog portraits that manage to capture just what it is we love about dogs. Photos of 150 canines, from mutts to show dogs, highlight the rich diversity of our canine companions and convey the warmth, humour, and intelligence we see in our canine friends.

A Traitor to His Species: Henry Bergh and the Birth of the Animal Rights Movement By Ernest Freeberg Dive into the incredible true story of activist Henry Bergh and the work he did in Gilded Age America to lay the foundation for animal advocacy, shaping our modern relationship with animals. Award-winning historian Ernest Freeberg’s latest book provides a fascinating and entertaining look at the birth of the animal rights movement, capturing the gritty, dangerous streets and outlandish characters (Gangs! Robber barons! P.T. Barnum!), bringing to life the remarkable story of a man that gave voice to the voiceless.

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Dubbed the 20th century’s greatest pet photographer, Walter Chandoha is widely considered the father of modern pet photography. You can see why in Dogs, a new book of his collected dog photography, featuring over 60 breeds. These peerless photographs, dating from 1941 to 1991, capture not only the breadth of Chandoha’s remarkable work, but our enduring relationship with dogs through a historic lens.

Live Vibrantly! With L.J. and Her Dog George Eliot By L.J. Rohan To quote Live Vibrantly, “you’re never too old to act young and have fun!” Author L.J Rohan, a gerontologist, shares wisdom and tips on aging gracefully, happily, and healthily in this utterly charming illustrated book. In sharing experiences from her own journey with her adorable Havanese, George Eliot, as she navigates life after fifty, L.J. Rohan wants people to view aging as an empowering, positive, and natural part of life; her inspiring book does just that!

Dog Vacations By Carolyn West Meyer Pack your bags and tag along on this entertaining vacation! Join Carolyn, Kel and their rescue dogs Bea and B.B. on four exciting road trips across the United States. These wanderlust inspiring stories perfectly capture the adventures, challenges, and humour that accompany travels with dogs.

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Pawprints On My Heart I remember you as a puppy with paws too big for your feet. You were so rambunctious. Training was an adventure, to say the least. You mastered “sit” right away, but “stay” took a little longer. I remember the time I was yelling “stay” as you ran out the door, barking, towards the neighbour’s cat. You sort of listened because you stopped right at the edge of the yard. But I only saw the pawprints in the freshly set driveway. Now as I look at you speckled with gray, I realize those pawprints are cemented on my heart.—Joely Hart

A smile that saved

TINY DOG STORIES Dog love in short form: miniature, reader-submitted dog stories of no more than 100 words. Love is blind You were blind and diabetic, a combination that resulted in a life of daily shots and furniture that always stayed in the same place. Bones visible on your frail body and special dog food adorning our cabinets, we gave you a life of limited space. You went to the bathroom in a certain spot, slept in a certain spot, and moved where you could. I wish you could’ve known more, and that I could’ve known you more. As a dog more than sick. One day you crawled up to me like you knew me and I hope that was enough.—Alyssa Asaro

“I really need to leave a note,” she thought. But what could she say? Whenever she would bring up how depressed she felt, people would say, “You? What do you have to be depressed about?” and that would only make her feel worse. She would half-heartedly laugh and retreat inside herself, mired in the feeling of despair that consumed her with increasing regularity. As she sat palming the bottle, her Corgi Fry trotted up to her. Their eyes met and, in that moment, her despair subsided. The pills returned to the bedside drawer and they went for a long walk.—Dylan Schulz

D-O-G: Disciples Of God A little black rescue puppy changed my life forever. Baldwin, a Puli, was a high-octane ball of fluff. I quickly learned he needed a job and joined Therapy Dogs International. On our first hospital visit, Baldwin and I met Maria, a seven-year-old battling cancer. At first she looked pale and gaunt, but her colour started to return when Baldwin entered. Within moments, Baldwin lay across her lap and began to breathe deeply. While stroking his curls, Maria closed her eyes and breathed deep with him, looking better with every breath. That’s when I understood why “dog” is “God” spelled backwards.—Susan Hartzler

Pregnant Pause For one of my earlier litters, I vaguely remembered that I had ordered a bottle of Bitch Pills (a prenatal vitamin for dogs) from Thomas Labs. I looked up the number on Google (I had not yet become hooked on Amazon Prime).

Not a Casual Barker Harper is a barker. Not just a casual barker but an ‘every time I get into the car barker.’ We’ve tried everything to stop his barking in the car but to no avail. Although friends and family feel his barking is unnecessary and Harper needs discipline, I beg to differ. He barks not to be bad but is greeting all his friends. One day, while driving and talking on my cell to my niece, Missy, I explained that once out of the neighbourhood, he would stop. Twenty minutes later, my niece exclaimed, “wow, he has a lot of friends.”—Sandra Roth

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"Good Morning," a pleasant voice answered. "This is Jane McCormick. May I help you?" "Hi Jane," I replied. "Do you carry Bitch Pills?" Silence. With uncertainty she said: “This is the Albany Seminary.” “Oh my God,” I nearly said aloud, quickly adding “Oops, wrong number.” Almost before I finished, Jane laughingly interrupted: “Well, some of us up here may need some...”—Eleanor Green Winters

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