With temperatures in the 90s and 100s in recent weeks, Whole Dog Journal decided it was a perfect time to test products designed to keep canines cool during the dog days of summer. We found a number of products that utilize the same technology: polymer crystals that absorb several times their weight in water, then release the water over a period of several days. The evaporation of the water creates the cooling effect.
I was trying to be a responsible dog owner. We lived in a rural area of Northern California, in a house with no fenced yard. My boyfriend's Irish Setter had recently been shot and killed while chasing a neighbor's goats. A hard lesson to learn, and one I wasn't about to repeat. So when we were leaving the ranch for a day I insisted we tie up our recently acquired St. Bernard, Bear. We tied him to a tree, made sure he had access to plenty of water and shade and was nowhere near a fence that he could climb over. Confident that we had done the right thing, we drove off.
When I was growing up, I knew a family that kept a dog just for finding and killing skunks. My friends lived on a big cattle ranch, and all their dogs had jobs. They had a couple of Australian Kelpies for working cattle, a number of tall, rangy hounds for hunting wild pigs, and then there was poor Frank, the skunk dog. I don't remember where my friends had obtained Frank, or even what breed of dog he was, but I recall that there had been numerous cases of rabies in the county where I lived as a child, and that skunks were the main carriers.
We all love seeing our dogs run and frolic on turf – but we seldom consider the chemicals that may be dangerous to their health.
Your kids always buckle up, and you usually do. It's time to take the next step, and get that dog a seat belt. We'll tell you which one is a winner.
In previous issues Whole Dog Journal reviewed products designed to make picking up dog poop easier. We also compared some commercial poop bags
Non-dog folks turn pale at the thought. But responsible dog owners, knowing how important it is to clean up after our dogs, think nothing of reaching down and picking up a fresh, fragrant pile of Fido's feces with our hands. Oh, not our bare hands, of course, but often with nothing more than a couple of millimeters of flimsy plastic between epidermis and excrement. No big deal. Until, that is, one of those handy plastic bags breaks. Intrepid as committed poop-pickers may be, even we will blanche at the thought of . . . well, you can imagine.
Because we feel deeply that dog training should be pleasurable and effective, and because we have personally witnessed innumerable successful demonstrations of completely pain- and fear-free training, we have taken the position that training tools and methods that inflict pain are inferior (a strong word, we know) to those that do not.