April 7, 2010
In a recent blog post, Maria Goodavage wrote about Dogs in Art, a video created by Moira McLaughlin. Moira writes about Dog Art on her blog, Dog Art Today. She’s published over 840 posts about the creative ways dogs appear in every form of art. She focuses on “the joyful depiction of dogs and the eternal bond that they have made with the artists in their lives.” Dog Art Today contains a long list of dog art sites as well as sites for the dog lover.
What’s particularly striking about the Dogs in Art video is Moira’s dedication. She says she had been inspired by a YouTube masterpiece on Women in Art and knew immediately that she wanted to create a video even though she had never done anything like this before. The project took her over two years to complete. Dog lovers are truly an amazing breed!
The list of art shown in the video is quite exhaustive, some dating back as early as 50 A.D., up through the ages to present day artists you may be familiar with and some not as well known. In any case, it’s a masterpiece.
Are you a dog art lover? What are some of your favorite paintings? Tell us about them.
March 31, 2010
Dog Tails interview with Emily West, DogWatch Hidden Fences of Columbus. Emily and Pat West have been DogWatch Hidden Fence dealers since 1992.
DT: You’ve been a DogWatch dealer for the past seventeen years—what’s your most poignant training experience working with a family and their dog?
EW: Don’t know that there is one particular story that really sticks with us. But the most poignant and satisfying thing is when we run into one of our customers and are greeted with a big hug and they tell us something like “You guys are the reason my dog is alive” or “You have saved my dogs life so many times, I can’t thank you enough.” It is the most satisfying and fantastic feeling in the world to know that you have meant that much to that family. It makes us know what we do is really important to families and their dogs.
DT: What’s your funniest story?
EW: Pat and I differ on our favorite stories. Mine has to do with a pot-belly pig that he trained, but Pat says it isn’t relevant because it isn’t a dog story. If you’d like it anyway, I’d be happy to share.
Pat’s favorite and funniest training story happened several years ago when we got a call that a dog was leaving the yard. The customer didn’t explain over the phone and just asked us to come out as we had to “see” the problem. So when Pat got there, the customer brought him into the kitchen and let the dog out. Pat watched from the window as the big Great Pyrenees proceeded to “walk” on his two back legs right through the fence, all the while making sure his neck and collar stayed above the level of the range of the fence. It was an easy fix as once the range was a bit higher the dog could no longer go through without correction, but it was quite the amazing circus act.
DT: People often have strong personal biases about whether to get a purebred dog, a mixed breed–and some have strong personal preferences for going with a rescue dog? How would you guide people with these decisions?
EW: Regarding pure bred, mixed breed or rescue dogs. Pat and I do have strong feelings about this, but it may not be what you think. Obviously, we feel it’s important to rescue dogs and we’ll always support our local rescues, shelters and Humane Societies.
However, we feel that it’s equally important to get a dog that is well matched to your life style. For instance, we NEVER recommend that anyone gets a dog simply because “it’s cute”. We always encourage people to do research regarding whatever type of breed or mix. Size, shedding, exercise, barking tendencies, temperament around other dogs, temperament around children, and digging habits are all important aspects to look at. And people need to be honest with themselves about what they are willing or not willing to do for a dog before they pick one out.
If people do the necessary research BEFORE they get a dog, Pat and I feel many fewer dogs would end up in shelters. And keeping dogs out of shelters is just as important as rescuing them once they are in shelters.
DT: We’ve noticed that DogWatch of Columbus has many online presences e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Blog, LinkedIn. What interested you in having social media presences? How has it worked for communicating with clients, prospects and others in your industry?
March 25, 2010
There are many good reasons to get a dog and some are the extra perks which come with the territory—so to speak. If you’re here on Dog Tails we’d probably be preaching to the choir if we started listing them in this space. We’ll cut to the chase. Walking.
“Healthy and active living is an attitude and a lifestyle approach, and one that will improve your quality of life forever. If you make it a priority and you truly value it, you will make it happen,” says Gabriela Tymowski, professor of kinesiology at the University of New Brunswick. Stick-to-it-ness around exercise usually involves making a plan. A commitment. Even better is to try not going it alone. Find a partner. Tymowski suggests a dog for a walking partner. As he says, “You won’t find a better exercising partner who would always rather do more than less.”
Glenna Hanley, adds “You won’t be able to get Fido a membership at your local fitness club, but he will be more than willing to go for a walk or a run – and in any kind of weather, too.”
Walking with your dog is a win-win situation all around. Dogs do better physically and mentally with a daily, consistent routine for walking. Hmm, how about you? Do you feel better from the walks with your friend?
image credit: flyingsamphoto.com
March 17, 2010
Dr. Nancy Kay offers a wealth of dog-related health information in her book Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life. She suggests that part of loving our dog means becoming an advocate—taking care of their medical needs at annual visits, becoming comfortable speaking with our vet, and being prepared to handle more serious health problems when they arise.
How do you become a good advocate? Dr. Kay recommends that we take the time to “get smart” about our dog’s health by asking the doctor and clinic staff lots of questions, reading current and reliable medical information in books and on the internet.
While Dr. Kay acknowledges that even well-intended people are are apt to fall into anthropomorphism, making the assumption that animals have the same feelings or behaviors we do, she suggests that anthropomorphizing can often cloud our decision-making processes. As a result, we might run the risk of dismissing legitimate options in our dog’s medical care because we’ve come to some emotional conclusion on our own that the dog will be miserable if they had to endure one treatment or another. She writes, “The recipe for successful medical decision-making calls for a pinch of gut instinct combined with a whole lot of clarity about the potential risks and benefits of the available options.”
Speaking for Spot covers questions about immunizations, anesthesia, surgery, spaying and neutering, breeding, cancer diagnoses and treatments, and a watch list of symptoms a-z which may warrant a visit to the vet.