Archive for the 'Random pile' Category

Putting the bark in politics

My sister bought me a Bark Obama for President dog tag. Whatever you might think about Barack Obama, you have to admit that’s pretty great wordplay. There are also McCain dog tags available but they read: McCain for Top Dog. Why not McCanine?

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Tough choices: safety v. freedom

Thanks to everyone who attended my Hiking with Dogs presentation at the Washington Trails Association TrailsFest. It was a wonderful event, and I was honored to be a part of it. One of my topics — a perennial topic — was whether dogs should be off-leash in the backcountry. While most of my advice suggested erring on the side of a leash, I know that there are times when a well-trained dog is so good it hardly seems necessary.

Today, I learned the sad story of Casey, a 12-year-old Labrador/Shepherd mix, who was euthanized after suffering severe injuries as the result of a fall during a hike in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. The announcement came to me from DoveLewis, an awesome 24-hour Emergency and ICU Animal Hospital in Portland. While it’s fuel for keeping dogs tethered, my first reaction was not: Why wasn’t that dog on a leash? My first reaction was those poor people; this is going to haunt them for a very long time. A few hours later, DoveLewis sent out a follow-up press release that put the guardians’ grief and guilt in a considered and compassionate context. I thought it was worth a read.