The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (07/11/20)

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:   Scattered clouds with the possibility of an isolated thunderstorm developing during the afternoon. High of 84.  “A”

:  Partly cloudy skies. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High of 76   “A”

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

Check out these photos.

Simply put, the two dachshunds are different.

The second dog is Obie from Portland, Oregon. Obie appeared on the TODAY Show in 2012, weighing 77 pounds. That’s more than twice the size of an average dachshund. He’d make a return visit to the program after losing 54 pounds thanks to regular exercise and a high-fiber, low-carb diet.

The difference between the two pictured dogs goes beyond their weight.

San Diego Humane Society

It might be hard to believe. Then again, maybe not. But it seems overweight dogs are perceived in a negative way by veterinarians, even worse if their owners are overweight. That could have an impact on the quality of attention and treatment the dogs receive.

If that sounds serious it’s because it is serious. About half of all dogs in North America are overweight or obese. Dogs that weigh too much are at greater risk of all kinds of diseases. And they wind up in vets’ offices.

Knowing that obese humans confront discrimination, researchers at the Department of Psychiatry at the Perlman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania wanted  to find out if obese pets were also victims of bias.

So they conducted two identical online studies. One included 205 practicing veterinarians while the other had 103 veterinary students.

Again, all of them got the same instructions. Each was presented with one of four images featuring 1) either a lean dog and a lean owner;  2) a lean dog and an overweight owner; 3) an overweight dog and a lean owner;  4) or an overweight dog and an overweight owner.

Next, they were all asked to describe how they felt about the dog and owner separately, AND how much they liked the dog and its owner.

What did the researchers find out? Brutal honesty.

Both the veterinarians AND the veterinary students reported more negative emotional responses when the dog was obese. Specifically, that meant feelings of disgust, frustration, blame, and contempt. That’s how they felt about the fat dogs AND their fat owners.

So, how did that influence the analysis and treatment by these lovely folks in the white coats?

In the case of overweight pooches,  veterinarians actually admitted and reported that they liked the owners less than owners of dogs that weren’t fat. They did not believe the owners of fat dogs would adhere to their recommendations to help the dogs lose weight.

Proving the bias of the study participants, if the owners of overweight dogs were also overweight, the veterinarians and students concluded that it was the owners’ fault the dogs were fat because the owners obviously had poor food and health habits. And they were transferring their bad behaviors onto their dogs.

That’s bad enough. Because the vets and students jumped to this erroneous conclusion, they also completely dismissed from their minds that beyond eating there might be other factors causing  the obesity, and thus, also dismissed other alternative treatments that could be considered or administered that could actually be useful.

This research is damning to vets. How can you trust them? Apparently that depends on the size of your dog.
—-Jennifer Fischer

Thanks Jennifer!

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

The news isn’t always good. And we try to refrain from those stories, but this was a big one this week. Florida police identify 3 killed in dispute over dog.

Legislative candidate in Wyoming shoots neighbor’s dog.

Do dogs really see in just black and white?

Now you tell me.

OK Ask Amy. What about this one?



A dog carries a basket of bread from the El Porvenir mini-market as he makes a delivery on his own in Medellin, Colombia, July 7, 2020. Photo: AP 

A photographer’s inventive dog portraits show just how human-like our pets can be.

We close as we always do with our closing video. And we have a few that means they’re really, really good.

From FOX 6 Milwaukee:

“Nothing short of a miracle” in this next story from Coldwater, Michigan:

Next, beware of this scheme:

We do love a happy ending.

In New Jersey, Washington Township police Officer John Kuligowski uses a kayak to free a boxer/mastiff named Akela from pond muck on Wednesday  with an assist from Chief Thomas Cicerelle and Officer Dallas Overko on shore.

A neighbor saw the dog trapped in a pond and called police saying  the gray boxer/mastiff mix narrowly avoided getting hit by a car, headed for the pond and was stuck. Officers spotted the dog apparently tangled up in plants on the bottom and unable to escape, its head sometimes submerging in the muck.

That’s it for this week.

Thanks for stopping by.

We kindly ask that you please share with other dog lovers you know.

See ya, BARK, next Saturday morning!

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