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Barbara Dobbins

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Barbara Dobbins has been writing for WDJ since 2011 with a focus on veterinary and canine health topics. Her lifelong fascination with dogs has led her in many directions. As a youngster she would round up her dogs and horse for a day of adventure exploring and searching for buried treasure in the California hills. Inspired by Margaret Mead with a nod to Indiana Jones, she went on to study anthropology, archaeology, and museum studies and obtained a masters degree in art history. Then two new puppies bounced into her life, and Barbara launched into studying animal behavior and training and spent hundreds of hours volunteering in the behavior department at her local shelter. When her beloved Border Collie Daisy was diagnosed with a rare cancer, she dug deep to research all she could about the disease, and has written extensively about all sorts of canine cancer for Whole Dog Journal. Liaising between pet owners and veterinary practice, science, and research, she synthesizes these complex and data-driven subjects into accessible information. She continues to take inspiration from her two research assistants, mixed-breed Tico and Border Collie Parker.

Latest Blog

First Rattlesnake of the Season

I have relatives visiting from out of state, and after a two-day drive to get here, they want to stretch their legs...

#goldenhour #nofilter #summertempsalready #swimthenhike #goodestdogs ...

Woody’s such a good boy. ...

91 degrees today, oy! Time to fill up Otto’s sandbox with clean, deep sand for the summer. (He approved.) ...

“Outstanding in his field.” A dad joke that will never get old 🙂 ...

He’s still well and happy, but at 13 and a half years old, I feel his spirit starting to wander when he sleeps. I didn’t used to be able to get anywhere close to him when he was sleeping without him waking up and greeting me with a wag and a sweet squinty hello. Our every day together is precious. ...

My heart. Senior dogs are so precious. ...

“We picked up a weirdo!”

(The Muppet Movie, 1979)
...

#wildflowers #spring #hike ...

No dog looks as comatose, or as happy, as a dog who is soaking up sunshine on grass in the spring ...

Poor Woody. He doesn’t love her, but she, like all the foster pups, loves him. I have to find a home for her!! ...

Haven’t yet managed to take a picture of the foster dog that doesn’t scream EARS! ...

Balancing on a rail fence! (He jumped off before I could get a shot that showed the fence more clearly... we will try again!) ...

A little drama right at sunset last night. I always pray to be with my dogs if those last golden rays of light break through like that. ...

I love it when they smile in their sleep. #anthropomorphicanimals ...

Best result from several attempts to get six dogs to stay still for one minute ...

“Something moved in the grass, I’m telling you!” ...

Two of these dogs don’t much care for the tractor-mower. One of them is riveted. I’ll bet you can guess which dog wouldn’t stop following me today. ...