Thoughts from the Wild

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The One Candidate Everyone Can Agree On: A Dog

September 17, 2020

With the presidential race now running full throttle, it’s understandable that you may pine for a kinder, gentler political campaign. One in which there’s no mudslinging, no partisan squabbling and no overblown claims requiring fact-checking. That’s why we’re happy to share this special edition of Dogs at Work featuring pet politicians who have held political …

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Dogs at Work: Virus Detection Dogs

July 23, 2020

In the United States, one of the biggest problems with COVID-19 has been the dearth of diagnostic kits and the ability to identify asymptomatic carriers. While scientists are scrambling to develop vaccines and testing kits, researchers in Pennsylvania and the United Kingdom are exploring another innovative option: virus detection dogs. The hope is that high-powered …

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Dogs at Work: Ratter Dogs Win the Rat Race

February 27, 2020

At the American Kennel Club Earthdog competition, terriers and other small breeds race through tunnels in search of rats. No rats are harmed, the AKC is quick to point out, because the rats are in cages, safe from canine jaws. Dogs win by simply finding the rat and barking within an allotted time. The whole …

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Dogs at Work: Standard Poodles Were Born to Be Bird Dogs

January 23, 2020

Not all standard poodles are froufrou, overly coiffed dogs adorned with diamond-studded collars and red-painted toenails. Some of them actually like to get dirty. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Standard poodles were originally bred as bird dogs and can now be found leaping from duck blinds, flushing waterfowl and retrieving the birds with a soft mouth. …

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Dogs at Work: Keeping Airport Runways Safe

December 12, 2019

It was a flock of Canadian geese that led to the infamous landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River off Manhattan. The mid-air bird strike caused the plane to lose power in both engines, requiring Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger to deftly maneuver the aircraft into a safe water landing. That’s why it …

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Dogs at Work: Surfing Dogs

November 14, 2019

You’ve witnessed dogs on skateboards. Dogs diving off docks. And dogs racing through obstacle courses. But dogs on surfboards? It’s true. In states like California and Hawaii, dogs have been cresting the waves on surfboards, either alone or with a human, for almost a century. But the first official dog surfing competition didn’t happen until …

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A Man and His Dog, Protecting the Great Outdoors

October 24, 2019

Brock McArdle is almost breathless as he tells the story of the case. A wounded victim, lost on a mountainside. A one-in-a-million shot at finding the subject. But thanks to the literal doggedness of Brock’s partner, Cash, the duo found who they were looking for. Case closed. “It was a needle in a haystack,” the …

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