Issue 95: Fall 2018


Fires in California, nonstop fiery tweets and record-setting temperatures worldwide have many of us yearning for cooler days. While we wait, good news can be found in people and organizations giving their all to improve the lives of dogs. We highlight a few in this issue.

Take the guest editorial from GREY2K USA Worldwide, whose mission is to support laws to protect Greyhounds and promote ex-racer adoptions. Their Amendment 13 is on the Florida ballot that will, if passed, phase out dog racing in that state, do hope they win and this barbaric industry is ended.

A fitness and service-learning course offered at East Carolina University, also inspires us. They have a course about getting fit with a local shelter whose dogs were badly in need of regular walking and enrichment opportunities. Such a simple and humane concept.

We’re big fans of Sara Varon’s whimsical and witty graphic novels. So, when she told us she was going to Puerto Rico to help with a spay/neuter/vaccination clinic and was going to keep an illustrated journal and would we possibly be interested, we jumped right on it. I want to give a special shout-out to a review of The Doggie in the Window, by Rory Kress. This is a very impressive piece of investigative journalism that examines the whys and hows of puppy mills, and is a fascinating page-turner.

We also have a couple film reviews that deserve your attention, Life in the Doghouse and Pick of the Litter. One profiling an amazing rescue “in-home” organization, the other shows us just how remarkable guide dogs are, and why so few make the cut.

As the national conversation about the medical benefits of cannabis and CBD products ramps up, interest in their potential value for canine ailments is increasing. But most veterinarians are prohibited from employing these remedies. With the intent of helping our readers be better informed, we offer a primer on CBD and dogs.

Then, Linda Case gives us a crash course on what the latest pet-food scare is all about. Could it be that in the industry’s rush to “grain-free” products, they may have gone overboard in substituting legumes aplenty for grains and created a larger risk for some breeds to develop a cardiac problem? We aren’t yet sure if the problem is the legumes or a combination of factors. But it does point out how important it is to be aware of what we’re feeding our dogs.

More information-rich pieces: Jessica Hekman’s profile of the Darwin’s Dogs/Darwin’s Ark genetic research into links between genes and behavior, Amy Sutherland’s feature on how comparative medicine is helping both humans and canines, and Karen London’s teaching recall, a truly valuable lesson.


DARWIN’S DOGS Hunting the genes that influence canine behavior.

By Jessica Hekman, DVM, PhD


THE HEART OF THE MATTER—Understanding Taurine-deficiency Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Could it be grain-free diets, are legumes too much of a good thing?

By Linda P. Case


CANNABIS AND DOGS: A Primer Examining CBD’s potential value for our dogs.

By Susan Tasaki


COMPARATIVE MEDICINE Saving Lives: Human and Canine.

By Amy Sutherland


ADVENTURES IN VOLUNTEERING: An illustrated travel journal about helping out at a spay/neuter clinic in Puerto Rico.

By Sara Varon


Gypsy: A unforgettable boyhood best friend.

By Brodie Lowe



FILM REVIEW: Life in the Doghouse and Pick of the Litter.

SAFETY TIPS: Are There Hazards Lurking in Your Kitchen? By Catherine Ashe, DVM

VET HEALTH: How to Cope with a Serious Diagnosis: 10 Tips.  By Karen Fine, DVM

BEHAVIOR: Upgrading the Recall: From accidental to intentional—teaching dogs to come when called. By Karen B. London, PhD

ADOPTIONS: offers a new way to connect dogs and adopters.  By Linda Lombardi

SERVICE DOGS: In Conversation with Regina Lizik, director of Animal Farm Foundation. By Lee Harrington

FLASH FICTION: The Scent of Glory By Philip W. Merten

PHOTOGRAPHY: The portfolio of Andrew Pinkham. By Cameron Woo

BOOK REVIEW: The Doggie in the Window

Q&A: Dave Barry talks about his dog Lucy. By Michael W. Michelsen, Jr.

ENDPIECE: Roxie and Verna  By Kathy Ewing




COURSEWORK: Getting in shape and helping shelter dogs—and earn credits at the same time.

TRAVEL: Fall Foliage; The Great Divide

WEARABLES: Bark Picks for keeping warm and dry.



Pat Tompkins; Jenny Blackford; Lois Levinson

From This Issue

• Dog-Friendly Fall Travel Ideas - Lake Placid, NY; Asheville NC; Taos, NM; Mount Ranier, WA
• The Scent of Glory - In Their Voices
• 10 Tips for Navigating Tough Decisions about your Dog - How to Cope with a Serious Diagnosis
• CBD Oil & Dogs: Everything You Need to Know - CBD for Dogs - Primer Part 1
• Getting in Shape and Helping Shelter Dogs - University classes for fitness walking with dogs
• is a New Way to Adopt Dog - Website offers new way to connect dogs and adopters
• Teaching Dogs to Come When Called - Upgrading Recall Training from Accidental to Intentional