Thoughts from the Wild

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Step Right Up: It’s Circus Dogs

December 13, 2018

In its time, few things offered more entertainment in one place than the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Within three different rings, you could marvel at sword swallowers, trapeze artists, contortionists and strongmen. In addition to human entertainers, the circus showed off animal acts, enlisting animals with special talents. In fact, the circus employed a menagerie …

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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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Can Prison Inmates and Dogs Rescue Each Other?

August 23, 2018

It all started in 1975 when a state hospital inmate brought an injured bird back to the ward. Noticing that the bird improved the behavior of other inmates, the staff initiated an animal therapy program. The impact was profound: Inmates with access to animals required 50 percent less medication and were less violent than inmates …

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Water Rescue Dogs Take Lifeguard Duties Seriously

July 26, 2018

When the S.S. Ethie crashed into the rocky Canadian shoreline during a blizzard in 1919, a dog named Tang helped rescue everyone on board. With the ship’s rope clenched in his mouth, Tang paddled through frigid, choppy waves to the shore. All 92 passengers and crew, including a baby in a mail sack, were safely …

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13 Tips for Camping with Your Dog

July 19, 2018

Unplug your computer. Power down your phone. Disconnect from the stress of everyday life. And connect with your dog under a canopy of stars in the wilderness. What outdoor adventure is better than camping with your best friend? But before you pack up and head out, consider these tips to help make your trip safe …

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Could Your Pet Be a Social Media Star?

June 21, 2018

You won’t find Doug, Manny or Nala on the Forbes “Richest People in America” list. But they’re among Forbes Top Pet Influencers, pets on social media who help their owners cash in on marketing sponsorships, book deals, merchandise sales and more. A new branding strategy, influencer marketing enables companies to tie into online personalities with …

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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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