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Tag: socialize

Roadside Encounters: Soula

Name: Soula

Breed: Catahoula leopard dog mix

Age: 8 months old

Encountered: At a Starbucks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Backstory: Soula was adopted from a shelter in South Carolina. When we ran into her, she was eager to meet Ace, but got a little upset when her owner started giving Ace whipped cream from her cup.  Soula kept lunging and nipping — gently and only at the air. Ace kept lapping up the whipped cream, as Soula’s owner, working on teaching her to share, held her down with one hand.

The Starbucks served as my home away from while I was visiting Winston-Salem. Like all Starbucks, they welcome dogs outside. More important, I could get a good Internet connection there. As a result, I had too much coffee, and Ace had too much foam. The day after we met Soula, Ace approached another table in hopes of getting treated — and sure enough, he did.

(Roadside Encounters is a regular feature of “Dog’s Country,” the continuing account of one man and one dog spending six months criss-crossing America.)

Beware the wild beagles of Long Island

A band of wild beagles is scaring residents on part of Long Island, WABC-TV reports — even though it’s nothing new.

Dot Faszczewski, of Orient Point, was walking her dog, Trapper, when she encountered two or three of them.

“I could hear them coming towards me, it was a ferocious kind of barking,” she said. “I quickly grabbed my dog and came running into the house, just as we got in the dogs jumped at the door. I thought it was just some wolves coming at me.”

The report noted the beagles have been a problem for many years — the result of dogs being abandoned by hunters for failing to meet “rabbit-catching quotas.” 

Area shelters have been trying to round up the beagles, socialize and rehabilitate them and find them adoptive homes. Reports of the beagles being aggressive don’t surprise shelter officials.

“Certainly if they’re out in a pack and their starving and their freezing they’re going to become aggressive,” said Pam Green of the Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton. She said her shelter takes in about 40 beagles a year.

You can take the dog out of the canyon, but …

Can you take the Grand Canyon out of the dog?

Shaggy, a mutt that spent six years surviving on his own in the Grand Canyon, will serve as an answer to that question as Best Friends Animal Sanctuary tackles the formidable task of socializing the feral dog.

Tonight’s episode of “Dogtown” features Shaggy and Best Friends Animal Behavior Consultant Sherry Woodard, who will try to gain his trust, teach him the ways of the civilized world and turn the dog — the only surviving member of a litter born in the canyon — into an adoptable pet.

Tonight’s show, also features Reggie, an Elkhound-mix with a mysterious and disfiguring skin condition, and an out-of-control beagle.

“Dogtown” airs at 10 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel.

Study looks at health benefits of dog walking

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I’m not going to make fun of this study. I’m not going to make fun of this study. I’m not going to make fun of this …

Ah, I can’t resist.

A study at Cornell University is trying to determine whether walking the dog helps owners shed and keep off unwanted pounds, according to USA Today’s Paw Print Post.

If that sounds like a no-brainer — one of those things that perhaps man could figure out without an expensive study —  consider this: “An early look at the data shows that the dogs who walk the most steps have a better body condition score.”

In all fairness, there’s more to the study than determining whether exercise is good for us and our dogs; and dog walking habits could, if properly approached, make for some pretty interesting reading.

Basically, I see three types of dogwalkers: Those who jog with their dogs, clearly getting exercise; those who hike or walk laps with their dogs, also getting exercise; and those who take their dogs to the park and let the dogs get all the exercise while they sit on the bench, yap with fellow dog walkers, smoke, or talk on cell phones.

In defense of the latter group, it should be pointed out that we they, are still getting exercise by virtue of walking to the park, and that, rather than being total slouches, they may prefer to let their dogs playfully romp and socialize off leash with other dogs — thereby getting even more exercise (the dogs, anyway) than they would by being walked in boring circles on a rope.

It should also be pointed out that members of the more sedentary latter group — while violating leash laws — are also allowing their dogs to gain social skills, and, perhaps, honing their own in the process.

But back to the study. Cornell researcher Barbour Warren says they are analyzing everything from how much dogs and humans actually walk together to human attitudes, and the decisions to walk the dog or not walk the dog.

“We’re trying to get people to make small changes in the amount of food they take and the amount of physical activity they take,” says Warren, “and finding out how dog walking might be involved and how typical veterinary practices might be involved in helping more.”

Warren says the study stems from the rise of obesity in the USA and obesity-related illnesses, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and arthritis. More than two-thirds of the people across the nation are overweight and one third are considered obese. Dogs are increasingly falling into those categories as well.

“We became interested in trying to prevent weight gain,” he says. “Dog walking offers two of the key elements for regular physical activity, purpose and companionship. Dogs can provide both of these in spades.”

The goal of the study is to develop the necessary data and tools to build a program to combat obesity by increasing dog walking as a form of family exercise.

Canines & Cocktails … for a cause

The second in a summer-long series of dog-friendly cocktail parties is Friday night at the Loews Annapolis Hotel.

The gatherings —  held the last Friday of every month — each feature a different theme, and benefit a different cause.

This Friday’s “Spring Fling Posy Party” benefits the Anne Arundel County SPCA, and features an opportunity to paint Paw Posies with your pooch — as well as an opportunity to lap up some beverages, enjoy complimentary munchies and socialize (both you and your dog).

The events run from 5 to 8 p.m. on the Weather Rail outdoor patio at Loew’s Annapolis, 126 West St. Admission is free. They are sponsored by Loews and Paws Pet Boutique. Parking is available at Loews for $2.

Here’s the rest of this summer’s line-up:

June 26: Patriotic Pooch Contest, benefits Oldies but Goodies Cocker Spaniel Rescue

July 31: Canine Ice Cream Social, benefits Davidsonville Wildlife Sanctuary

August 28: Best Dog Tricks, benefits K9Lifesavers Rescue

Sept. 25: Paws Fido Fashion Show, benefits Modest Needs