Thoughts from the Wild

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Cadaver Dogs Do Spooky but Necessary Work

October 18, 2018

Sad but true: Sometimes search-and-rescue operations become recovery missions. Whether it’s a missing person, a cold case, a crime scene or a natural disaster, cadaver dogs apply their finely tuned noses to pinpoint the location of remains that help solve mysteries and bring closure to grieving families. A Daunting Job Description Also known as human-remains …

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Following Bread Crumbs: Gluten-Sniffing Dogs

September 27, 2018

Just how sensitive is a dog’s sense of smell? Theoretically, it can detect a single spoon of sugar dissolved in a million gallons of water, the equivalent of two Olympic-sized pools, according to Alexandra Horowitz, author of the bestselling Inside a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know. Now, trainers are channeling those talented snouts …

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Left-Handed Pets: Can That Be Right?

August 9, 2018

Oh, the plight of left-handed people. It’s hard enough that they have to deal with right-handed scissors and can openers. Then there are cup holders in cars, situated inconveniently on the right side of the driver’s seat. Even writing in a 3-ring binder or spiral-bound notebook requires a certain amount of contortionism. Maybe that’s why …

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Conservation Dogs Work Where the Wild Things Are

March 22, 2018

Ruger, a Labrador retriever mix, was the sole member of his litter to escape being shot by his owner. Although he was already going blind when he was discovered at a local animal shelter, the folks at Working Dogs for Conservation, an organization that trains detection dogs for national and international conservation work, recognized Ruger’s …

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Herding Dogs: From Home on the Range to Home

October 12, 2017

It’s a scene that movies have branded on your mind (cue the harmonica) for generations: The mounted cowhands crack their whips, the lowing cows kick up dust as the trusted herding dogs nip at their heels in the sunset. Long an essential part of cattle drives and farm work, today herding dogs are more likely …

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Police Dogs Protect and Serve

September 14, 2017

Wanted: fearless, physically active dogs with keen noses to track down fugitives, defend citizens and safeguard their partners. Chihuahuas need not apply. In police departments across the country, K-9 officers are valued partners of law enforcement officers. These dogs track down and apprehend suspects, detect narcotics and explosives and help keep their partners safe in …

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13 Ways to Ensure a Safe Dog Park Experience

September 7, 2017

Does your dog want to romp in the Pacific? Check out Huntington Beach Dog Park in California. Are giant fire hydrants more their style? Visit Fort Woof Dog Park in Fort Worth, Texas. There’s a tennis ball tree —every retriever’s dream — at Beau’s Dream Dog Park in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. With 731 off-leash dog parks …

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