The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (12/14/19)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then it’s DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY:  Cloudy in the morning, partly cloudy in the afternoon.  A high of 32. “D-”

SUNDAY:  Mostly sunny. High of 32.  “D-”

Now, here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer with this week’s main blog.

I don’t know where time has gone.  When Kyla was in K5 I honestly never imagined she’d be a silly, happy, talented and bright 5th grader in the blink of an eye.  One of the things I am most grateful for in her academic career at St. Anthony’s is her love of reading.  I credit this with many factors including that Kevin & I are avid readers as well as her amazing teachers who have always encouraged her to stretch her mind and read beyond her grade level.  In fact, her third grade teacher introduced her to the amazing world of Harry Potter.  She even came to Kyla’s HP-themed birthday this past year:

Finster & Kyla Bday Crop

In addition to taking after my love of reading she takes after my obsession with dogs.  So what happens when you take that budding K5 reader to the Franklin Public Library program called Tail Waggin’ Tutors?  You get one very happy five-year-old Kyla and Puzzle:

Reading To Puzzle 005


Reading To Puzzle 007

At the beginning of her Kindergarten school year, Kyla was close to a second grade reading level.  So I’ll admit that when we signed up to read to Puzzle, it was more for the canine interaction than the necessity to work on reading skills.

An excerpt from the blog I wrote just after that interaction in September 2014:

We also enjoyed chatting with his owner, Kathy, when we were done.  She explained to me how successful the program is, and how much SHE enjoys working with Puzzle and the kids. 

Kathy told me that Puzzle’s reading program was so successful at the Greendale library that they expanded their opportunities to include the Franklin library.  She shared that the key to this amazing program is letting the kids read in a comfortable environment.  A dog is completely non-judgmental and easy to work with.  The children can read to the dog, a parent or other caregiver can read to the child in Puzzle’s presence, or the child can simply enjoy Puzzle’s company while they become more comfortable with the setting and then hopefully, eventually, they will want to read.  Kathy is present during every interaction but never interrupts or interjects. 

Fast-forward to Kyla’s recent Interim Assessments scores for ELA (English Language Arts) in October of this year. She scored 20/23 for an “Advanced” proficiency level.  Her recent report card also reflected these skills with an “A” in her ELA class.  Needless to say we continue to be proud of her accomplishments.

Why this reflection on Kyla’s Kindergarten reading journey now?  Dr. Stanley Coren recently wrote an article about this very topic.  I love his research and writing style with all his articles.  But naturally this piece truly touched my heart.  Enjoy!
—-Jennifer Fischer

Thanks Jennifer!

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

Woman, family devastated, says vet euthanized the wrong dog.

Heiko to the rescue: Police dog helps find lost hunter.

Lily the dog helped UNCC shooting survivor recover. Now, both are paying it forward.

Family Trees For Dogs? DNA Tests For Pets Take Off, Ahead Of The Science.

‘Pooper-scooper’ robot autonomously detects and cleans up your dog’s mess using cameras and sensors.

My Dog’s Perfect Day: Written in a diary.



Family Pet Photo 2019 Barking LotKathy Smith, 30, of Wales managed to get all 17 of her pets sitting perfectly still for a family ‘pawtrait’. It took seven days to get all eight dogs and nine cats lined up on and around the sofa, staring down the lens. Kathy said she took a series of warm-up photos of her pets before embarking on the impossible challenge of lining up dogs Ruby, Ben, Max, Sheba, Teddy, Rio, Storm, and Mishka with the not-so-disciplined cats. She said she had to dash backwards and forward with her camera on standby and had to reassemble them three times for the final shot. Within a split second after pressing the button they dispersed to carry on doing what cats and dogs do.

We close as we always do with our closing video. And we have a few.


This video captures man’s heroic rescue of dog after leash gets shut in elevator doors.

AND, Huxley, let go!

That’s it for this week. Thanks for stopping by.

We’d really appreciate it if you forward this on to other dog lovers you know. Let them have some fun!

See ya, BARK, next Saturday!

Image may contain: dog, tree, plant and outdoor

3 thoughts on “The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (12/14/19)

  1. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (12/16/19) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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