The Barking Lot – America’s finest Dog Blog (09/25/21)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Originally written by both my lovely wife, Jennifer and me, this blog brings you the latest news about our furry friends including articles, columns, photos and videos. Enjoy!

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

TODAY:  Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny. High of 69.  “A”

SUNDAY:  Intervals of clouds and sunshine in the morning with more clouds for later in the day. High of 79.  “A”

Before we get to DOGS IN THE NEWS, one more summer rerun of a previous dog blog (yes, I know fall has arrived, but it still feels like summer doesn’t it?). Jennifer wrote this in July of 2020:

Last month, our daughter Kyla’s smile wattage increased with the addition of shiny silver brackets on her top teeth.  Believe it or not she was actually looking forward to getting them.  She needed some “prep work” in the form of a palatial expander which was inserted in January.   While she realized it was part of the treatment process it didn’t look or feel like real braces.  The next phase was delayed because of, what else, the virus.  Finally, June 8th was THE DAY.  Despite an unusual new routine for arrival and appointment she was a trooper.  (We expected nothing less in all honesty.)

Admittedly it took some getting used to…  Traditional brackets on the top, a retainer that remained IN while eating on the bottom, and the palatial expander still cemented in place.  Eating was a new adventure for a few days and I wouldn’t have asked her to say “She sells sea shells by the sea shore” and expect any enthusiasm.  But the look on her face that afternoon speaks volumes…

Kyla Braces

While my childhood braces corrected a slight overbite, Kyla’s are working to fix a crossbite.  It’s a little more complicated than what I experienced and she’s likely to have a second round of them in high school.  She fully understands and is more than willing to have a lifetime of straight teeth with no complications of jaw problems and difficulty biting & chewing.

Now, it’s no secret that 2/3 of the Fischer Family want a dog with fierce desperation.  It’s also no secret that the 1/3 remaining pays the majority of the bills, including orthodontia-related ones.  Generally high costs related to dog ownership are one of the top three reasons Kyla & I haven’t won our arguments.  Yet.    But you just know that in the back of his mind he’s thinking that with his luck even our dog will need its bite corrected.  And not in that canine vs. mailman way.

While I certainly hate to admit he could have a point about an additional expense for Fido, he’s kind of right.  Dogs CAN need braces!  But then again, who could possibly resist the cuteness of a doggo with dental work?
—-Jennifer Fischer

Thanks Jennifer!

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

Dog reading newspaper ⬇ Stock Photo, Image by © damedeeso #48171735

‘We’ve been close to putting a dog in a bathroom’: Chicago-area shelters deal with overcrowding due to financial strain on owners, worry about eviction moratorium ending.

Typical dog owner values their dog’s life at $10,000 according to first of its kind economic analysis by UW professor.

Woman claims she was ‘scammed’ by dog breeder: ‘This is insane.’

Determined firefighters refuse to let dog die deep in Illinois well.

Four legs and a nose for safety: How dogs keep Honolulu’s airport safe.

Forget a pre-flight drink. Pet an airport therapy dog.

September is National Service Dog Month.

Are Dogs’ Nose Prints Really Unique and Unchanging?

More from Stanley Coren: Some dogs blessed with a sense of humor similar to children’s.

Take Very Good Dogs on Walk in Dog Park Board Game.

It’s called a ‘Bark Mitzvah.’

Lou the coonhound is famous. Here’s why.

Today in Orange County, CA, from 8am – 3pm western time the annual Surf City Surf Dog event at Huntington Dog Beach features a multi-heat dog surfing competition, guaranteed to entertain and impress. The event is free to attend and spectate. Surf dog competitors will have twelve minutes to catch his or her top five waves and be judged by local celebrities and surf judges on confidence level, length of ride, and overall ability to ride the wave.

In this photo, Gidget, left, and Derby, hang ten together in the tandem heat of the 2019 Surf City Surf Dog event in Huntington Beach, CA on Saturday, September 28, 2019. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register)

You can see Gidget in this video from this past July at the Incredible Dog Challenge and Surfing Competition in Huntington Beach.

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!

Surf City Surf Dog

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (09/18/21)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Originally written by both my lovely wife, Jennifer and me, this blog brings you the latest news about our furry friends including articles, columns, photos and videos. Enjoy!

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

TODAY Sunny. High of 72. “A”

SUNDAY:  Sunny. High of 81. “A”

Before we get to DOGS IN THE NEWS, a Barking Lot Summer rerun.

Here’s a dog blog Jennifer wrote back in January 2020:

The following are photos of dogs I know personally or at least know their owners.  Different breeds to be sure, all of them “good dogs” in their own right.  Take a look at them… What do you notice about their facial hair?  Different amounts?  Different lengths?  Different locations?  How about all of those?

Gibbs Whiskers
Knox Whiskers
S'mores Whiskers
Finn Whiskers

Gibbs the Pug and Knox the Lab Rescue have what I would call basic whiskers.  You know, the kind you’d expect to see on a dog.  S’mores has some noticeable “extras” along his cheek and eyebrow regions.  Finally, our buddy Finn.  Look at him again:

Finn Whiskers

Check out those bad boys!  I mean no disrespect in this crustacean comparison but he reminds me just a bit of a spiny lobster!  Such pronounced eyebrows!  Such long, if not a bit droopy, whiskers!  I can’t get enough!  Kyla & I met Finn this past summer and we had a delightful time:

Finn & Kyla

We asked our friends to provide photos of their dogs showcasing their whiskers and the four photos are what they shared.  These comments were left under the photo Finn’s owner shared on Facebook:

Finns are so long! Haha

I know right!!! Lol. I always accidentally pull them when we’re playing tug of war.

All I can say is DON’T YOU EVER, EVER CONSIDER TRIMMING THEM!!!!

No, this isn’t for vanity’s sake.  There are real, scientific reasons why you should never groom your dog’s whiskers even if you think they are too long, too unruly, or get in the way of your tug of war game.

Dr. Stanley Coren (I really, REALLY want to meet him some day!) tells us that while a dog’s sense of smell is absolutely incredible, vision is a sense that is quite limited.  Thus, whiskers come in handy for helping them “see” better, especially close up.  I guess if that’s the case, Finn could find a career in watch & jewelry repair.  (That is, if he had thumbs.)

In all seriousness, here’s the fascinating reason you never want to trim your dog’s whiskers.
—-Jennifer Fischer


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

Dogged determination…

Lady Gaga’s dog walker recalls night he was shot by dognappers in his first TV interview: “They didn’t think I was gonna survive”….

S.F. woman, killed in hit-and-run near Sacramento, had faced infamous animal cruelty case in city.

Woman and dog crawl out of car smashed by falling tree in California.

Rescue Dog Who Lost Her Back Paws Adopted by San Diego Detective with Prosthetic Leg.

From upside down to right side up…

Karl Rove writes about…dogs?

Pet owner enrages family with ‘uncomfortable’ name for dog: ‘I don’t think I did anything wrong.’

New photos of ‘dog-bone’ asteroid reveal that it’s truly weird.

It’s back…next Saturday.

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!

May be an image of 1 person and smiling

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (09/11/21)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Originally written by both my lovely wife, Jennifer and me, this blog brings you the latest news about our furry friends including articles, columns, photos and videos. Enjoy!

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

TODAY:  Mostly sunny. High of 89.  “B”

SUNDAY:  More clouds than sun. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High of 74. “C”

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

Dog Reading Newspaper - Paint By Number - NumPaint - Paint by numbers

Four hundred military service dogs were left at the Kabul Airport.

Michigan dog who chewed off own leg garners public support, donations as search begins for rehab shelter.

A dog that saved its owner’s life appointed South Korea’s first honorary rescue dog.

Watch Arlington firefighters rescue a 15-year-old deaf dog from a storm drain.

Adorable photos of Doberman Pinscher nursing an abandoned kitten will melt your heart.

Pet Dogs Can Alert Owners to Epileptic Seizures.

‘Dog bone’ asteroid spied by astronomers in new photos.

The new Roomba uses AI to avoid smearing dog poop all over your house.

Here in Franklin on Friday our popular drive-in movie theater had a great double feature: E.T. followed by Jaws. On a post I placed on a couple of Franklin pages one Franklin woman asked if she could bring her puppy.

Another Franklinite responded: “don’t be one of those people.”

An angry emoji from the woman who posed the question followed and I inquired from the gentleman as to what he meant by “don’t be one of those people.”

His answer: “take your small dog everywhere.”

Turns out he wasn’t upset or angry or being a jerk. He was chiding with some jealousy the woman for actually for actually having the capability to be with puppy as much as possible

Turns out there are lots of folks like that.

FINALLY, a pair of videos about dogs and 9/11.

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!

Denise Corliss and search dog Bretagne at Ground Zero in New York City in September 2001.

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (09/04/21)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Originally written by both my lovely wife, Jennifer and me, this blog brings you the latest news about our furry friends including articles, columns, photos and videos. Enjoy!

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

TODAY UPDATED: Cloudy. Periods of light rain this morning. High of 74. “C-” in the early morning hours, “B-“ the rest of the day.

SUNDAY:  Mostly sunny skies. High of 81.  “A”

LABOR DAY MONDAY: A mainly sunny sky. High of 78. “A”

Before we get to DOGS IN THE NEWS, a Barking Lot summer rerun. This one is from May of 2019 and delves into the unthinkable:

My lovely wife, Jennifer, has the week off so I’ll supply the main blog. And I want to explore a topic that’s been on my mind for several weeks. The idea was inspired by something a regular reader once said to me:

“Who doesn’t like dogs?”

Indeed. Who doesn’t?

Turns out, a lot of folks.

Just check out social media, which by it’s very nature can be very crude, putting it mildly.

I think dogs are filthy, repulsive, and in all honesty I’ve been in gas station toilets that smelled better. I don’t consider the daily routine of scooping poop and pushing the horny dog off your leg to be any sort of substitute for real human companionship. A dog cannot have a conversation with you. A dog cannot share in your deeper interests.

That said, that’s only a personal opinion. If somebody wants to love a dog, that’s their business, not mine. But I would be more respectful of dog owners if they would not automatically hate me just because I don’t want to kiss their pit bull on the mouth or because I’m not advocating for more tax dollars to be spent on dog parks. It’s okay to not like dogs, and it doesn’t make you a cold-blooded, heartless monster.

ANIMALS ARE NOT LITTLE PEOPLE. But people think they are now. They want a pet which they can mold into an accessory, an artistic expression, a doll, a child, an extension of them which has no ability to talk back or run away. It’s a way for needy people to always have that security blanket whenever they feel too fat or lonely or uneducated or impoverished, or too thin or too bald or too wealthy or too oppressed or… you get the point.

I don’t want something nosing at me that just licked its own privates or behind a few minutes ago. They tend to stink no matter how often they are bathed, and have zero respect for your personal space, and their breath is just downright disgusting.

But too many times have I had dog owners dismiss my “Sorry, I’m just not a dog person, I’d rather not touch your dog” and insist their dog is a really friendly one and is so excited to see me, I should pet him! They immediately assume I’ll love their dog as much as they do, and that I won’t mind if it sheds hair where I want to sit, is in my way everywhere I want to walk, licks me, rips my tights with its claws jumping up at me, slobbers into my lap, or constantly hits me with the wagging tail.

I ******* hate dogs. Unfortunately I live with 2. My hubs adores them hence why I put up with them. Honestly ive nothing good to say about dogs. I dunno how anyone gets any joy of owning one and trust me my hubs trains his but they don’t always comply and my house skinks and constantly dirty and don’t start me on the furniture thinking they can lie anywhere they want. I patiently await the day they both die.

I’m a certified vet tech.

And.

I am not a dog person.

I have resuscitated more dogs than you ever will in your lifetime. I have pushed emergency drugs into I don’t know how many dog veins to keep them alive. I have acted fast when hit-by-cars storm through the front doors and work tirelessly to stabilize them. I have helped I don’t know how many dogs learn to walk again after suffering trauma. I have held hundreds upon hundreds of paws of those dogs who’s owners DROPPED THEM OFF FOR EUTHANASIA. That’s right, they didn’t want to be present, so guess who was there for them? Me. I have spent hours on patients who refuse to eat to get them to at least take 1 bite of food. I have missed so many lunch breaks, and have had to hold my own pee for hours because your dogs needed me there, my undivided attention. I have spent way more time at work with your dogs than with my own family.

So don’t give me any **** about not being a dog person. I’m in veterinary medicine because I love VETERINARY MEDICINE.

Let me not be a dog person in God damn peace.

My biggest problem with dogs is that I don’t like needy people or animals. Anyone that requires constant attention is extremely annoying to me plus the filth. Most dog owners have dirty homes.

I don’t dislike dogs however I don’t really understand what the big deal about them is either. All the fuss – clothes, carrying them, constant attention, etc. sometimes I think the people that are obsessed with dogs don’t have many friends or significant relationships in their life. I just don’t get it – cleaning up poop and the shedding slobber just aren’t worth it.

OUCH.

Let’s look at this without being so cruel and judgmental.

I think we can respectfully agree that for a lot of people not caring for dogs is understandable.

They’re allergic.

They’re afraid.

They don’t want the various responsibilities that come with being a dog owner.

They’re just not into pets.

So the best thing for that group is to simply not have them, because they’d be lousy owners, and that would be extremely unfair to the innocent dog or whatever.

Reasons for not liking dogs…understandable?

Not according to a writer at holidaybarn.com who, in a very thoughtful piece, offers five explanations as to why, unlike the readers of the Barking Lot, there are individuals who want nothing to do with man’s best friend.

Take a look.

In closing I’ll bet some of you were seething when you read the above social media ranting. Here’s my response to those commenters.

The Barking Lot, May 4, 2019

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

Dog Reading Newspaper - Paint By Number - NumPaint - Paint by numbers

Pentagon denies, criticizes viral reports that US left service dogs in Afghanistan…MORE.

‘Drowning in dogs’: How 2 Colorado sisters are helping neglected dogs in a U.S. territory 2,600 miles away.

Which Dogs Are Most Likely to Show Mental Decline with Age?

Study: Your Dog May Know If You’ve Done Something On Purpose, Or Just Screwed Up.

Dog born with upside down paws learns to walk after Oklahoma State surgery, video shows.

A dog named ‘Storm’ went viral after wandering into on-air weather forecast.

Bizarre call: Ohio man claims dog shot itself in face.

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!

May be an image of text that says 'They still talk about you Iknow. I know.'

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (08/28/21)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Originally written by both my lovely wife, Jennifer and me, this blog brings you the latest news about our furry friends including articles, columns, photos and videos. Enjoy!

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

TODAY:  Partly cloudy skies. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High of 93. Too hot.  “C-”

SUNDAY:  Partial cloudiness early, with scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Storms may contain strong gusty winds. High around 90. “B” in the morning, “D+” in the afternoon.

Before we get to DOGS IN THE NEWS, a Barking Lot summer rerun from my wife Jennifer a few years ago:

Regular readers know that I am very interested in and enjoy writing about research, studies and science related to dogs. Kevin ribs me about it. Not again! What can I say. I’m fascinated.

When he used to sub for talk radio hosts he always told me he picked topics he was into. If he wasn’t interested in the discussion, how could his listeners be? Dull and boring would be the result.

So, it’s no wonder that I often wonder about what makes a dog a dog. What does a dog think? What does a dog feel? How does a dog attempt to communicate. And what’s it like being a dog.

Back in February our blog included a video about Gregory Berns who has spent his entire life around dogs. When his most beloved pet passed away, he began to wonder whether his dog reciprocated the same love and care he felt for him. As a neuroscientist at Emory University, he took his curiosity to the test. Now, he scans the brains of dogs using MRI machines, trying to decode canine behavior using brain activity.

Take a look.

That was February. Now we learn more about Berns and his work from a recent article, including how he got started on his lifelong mission to discover “what makes a dog tick.”

One scientific thought suggests Berns is wasting his time. Humans couldn’t possibly the inner thoughts and workings of dogs or any other animals. Consider beautiful dolphins. We can’t swim or leap like those incredible creatures. There are simply few similarities. Thus, Berns is on a path to failure.

Except Berns isn’t buying it. Berns believes we have a lot more in common, and unlocking that mystery can help us  treat and understand animals better than we do now.

Berns says we better because the successors to humans on our planet could be far more advanced and actually behave towards  the remaining human species in the same manner we handle our pets and other animals.

I’m not so sure about that hypothesis. And I’m not sold on Berns’ support for legal rights for animals. However his work is intriguing and could unveil wonderful details about the animal world.

Read more here.

Berns’ book is now out in paperback.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51MZSNRFMML._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
—Jennifer Fischer, 12/01/18

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

Week in Review: Netflix Dog-umentary, Daylight Savings & Dogs, Autumn  Dangers & More - The Dogington Post

Army Study Evaluates Use of Dogs in COVID-19 Detection.

Cuomo responds after report he abandoned dog at executive mansion.

Biden’s dog, Major, bit Secret Service members for 8 days in a row, email says.

Veterans Can Train And Adopt Service Dogs Under A New Law Signed By Biden.

Service dogs heal the trauma of war.

Billboard advertises elderly dog who’s been in shelter for 2 years.

For Millennial Women, Are Dogs and Cats a Stand-In for Kids?

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!

z animals (2) - Dump A Day

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (08/21/21)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Originally written by both my lovely wife, Jennifer and me, this blog brings you the latest news about our furry friends including articles, columns, photos and videos. Enjoy!

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

TODAY:  Scattered thunderstorms in the morning, then mainly cloudy during the afternoon with thunderstorms likely. High of 85. Chance of rain 60%.  “B” in the morning, “D” in the afternoon.

SUNDAY:  Sunny. High of 76.  “A”

Before DOGS IN THE NEWS, a Barking Lot summer rerun. From July 30, 2016. Jennifer wrote:

My childhood dogs had free reign of our back yard and driveway, and it’s where they did their business.  When the grass was snowed over, they used the driveway.  We weren’t a “walk-to-poop” family.  We just picked up after them.  Before you even BECOME a dog owner, you know what you’re in for.  True, it’s the very last thing on your list of “why I love having a dog” but it is what it is.

Perhaps that’s why so many people jumped at the chance to install an app called “Pooper.”  Call it lazy, selfish, squeamish, or hooked on your phone.  Whatever the reason(s) if there was a chance to have someone else do your dirty work, why not?

Personally, I wouldn’t bother.  The skeptic in me immediately wondered, “Where’s the proof they will actually pick it up?”  The frugalista in me thought, “Why on EARTH would I pay someone to pick up my dog’s poop?”  And the relic in me assumed, “The app wouldn’t work right anyhow and I’d STILL be left holding the bag.  Literally.”

But what about you?  Would YOU take advantage of the service?  I wouldn’t judge, really.  I’m sorry to burst your though.  This time, there really ISN’T an app for that.

Speaking of park amenities, dog owners, dogs, and dog poop…  All of this leads to my recent personal experience at a lovely Franklin park.  Kyla has been taking tennis lessons this summer through the Franklin Recreation Department and they are held at Lions Legend Park.  We love this park… the play sets are great, the tennis courts are well-maintained, and the volleyball pits do double-duty as an endless sandbox for little ones.  There are plenty of picnic tables, an abundance of shade, and the restrooms are incredibly tidy.  What’s NOT to love?

While I watch Kyla play tennis, I also observe many dog-walkers.  Sometimes I’ll chat with them or just comment on their cute four-legged friend.  So far I’ve never met an unfriendly owner who isn’t happy to brag about their companion.  It’s just one more reason to like that park.

But as I was walking from the tennis court to a picnic table, I nearly collided with a fresh pile of dog poop.  I was NOT happy.  It wasn’t that my sandals would have been covered in poop, although that wouldn’t have been entirely pleasant.  It was the laziness of the dog owner!

“Maybe they just didn’t have a bag with them.  I’m sure they didn’t mean to leave a mess.  I’m sure they would have picked up after their pooch.  The probably just forgot a bag.”  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I’d like to think that way too.  Unfortunately they were about 25 feet away from THIS at the time…

Dog Bag Station Lions Park

I kid you not.  While you might not be able to tell, this photo was actually taken at my beloved park.  Literally 10 steps away from the pile.  I was dumbfounded.  Makes me wonder…  If someone at our park can’t use a FREE bag in plain sight, would they even remotely consider PAYING for a poop service would one be available?  Perhaps, since someone else would be doing the dirty work.  Good grief.
—Jennifer Fischer



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

Business Dog Wearing Glasses And Tie Reading Newspaper Isolated.. Stock  Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 114255793.


The FDA Suspects Tainted Pet Foods Poisoned Hundreds Of Dogs.

Time for Pandemic Puppies to Learn How to Be Alone.

Dog Tied To Pole Reaches Out Paw To The Cop Who’s Come To Save Him.

Milwaukee dog, owner reunited; pet spotted on FOX6 WakeUp…

The canine-human bond is strong; the hunter-dog bond stronger still.

Scientists show that cuddling with a dog significantly improves your well-being.

OPINION: Has the latest status symbol become a vegan dog?

Next Thursday is National Dog Day.

AND FINALLY, the answer is no. From British Columbia…

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!

May be a cartoon of ‎1 person, dog and ‎text that says '‎SAFELY ENDANGERED WEBTOON HI, WHAT'S YOUR NAME? I THINK IT'S 'GOOD BOY' ا HEY, THAT'S My NAME TOO HEY DID SOME ONE CALL ME? SAME HERE SAME‎'‎‎

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (08/14/21)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Originally written by both my lovely wife, Jennifer and me, this blog brings you the latest news about our furry friends including articles, columns, photos and videos. Enjoy!

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

TODAY:  Sunny. High near 80.  “A”

SUNDAY:  A mainly sunny sky. High of 81. “A”

Before DOGS IN THE NEWS, a Barking Lot summer rerun. From June 1, 2019, Jennifer wrote:

Here’s a serious subject.

Are dogs property?

Jessica Sardina, 25, has lost her battle to win joint custody of Honey, the dog she lived with for three years when she was with then-boyfriend Kelvin Liriano (pictured together).

The pair from Bangor, Maine met on Tinder in 2014 but became serious the following year. He moved in to her apartment at the time, bringing Honey with him, a dog he adopted just a month  before.

They lived together for the next three years with her two other dogs Murphy and Beasley.

Can you figure out where this is headed? If you guessed a courtroom you get a gold star.

When they broke up in 2018, Liriano claims Sardina stopped him from taking Honey with him when he moved out.

Liriano argued before a district judge that he should have sole custody. Sardina fought back.

When the case was appealed to Maine’s top court, Sardina’s lawyer, Gene Sullivan submitted the dog in question is not property. It’s much more.

“A dog that greets you and plays with you and loves you is presently on the same level as an inanimate object, like a couch, a diploma or a blender. We won’t see any of those objects on Christmas cards, but people across the country will put their companion animals on holiday cards to other family members and friends because they view their pets as part of their family. This is true for both married and unmarried couples.”

Liriano’s attorneys countered, claiming Sardina hadn’t presented the court with any authority for the proposition that having sex with someone gives one rights to the other’s property.

The district judge ruled in favor of Liriano. The judge’s ruling was affirmed just this week by the state’s highest court, Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court.

Chief Justice Leigh Saufley mentioned that on the same day the court was deciding the fate of Honey it also had to rule on cases involving the death of an infant and a sexual assault.

“What happens with the dog when unmarried parties go their separate ways – is that really something we want judges in this state to spend their time on?” Saufley asked.

And what was the key reason Liriano won the case? Saufley and the other judges ruled  Honey belonged to Liriano because only his name appeared on the adoption papers.

Pets are considered property in all 50 states. So what do you think? Are they? The dispute begs two questions.

1) Are pets property? The law says they are. The Portland Press Herald editorializes:

The court system is one of the best ways ever devised to resolve disputes, especially when they involve money. We cannot demand that judges start considering the rights and opinions of animals, who, as far as we can tell, don’t know that we still exist when we are not in their sight. And how would a judge determine the dog’s wishes? Look deeply into her eyes? See if she wags her tail?

If dogs have legal rights in custody cases, what about other animals? Should wage-and-hour laws apply to dairy cows? Can deer sue for a shorter hunting season?

2) OR, are pets part of the family?

In response to the Press Herald editorial Paula Gerstenblatt wrote a special column. She’s an associate professor at the University of Southern Maine School of Social Work.

Research on the human-animal bond indicates pets are considered family, and the connection equals or exceeds that experienced between humans.

According to the American Pet Products Association, 68 percent of American households have companion animals, 86 percent of households with companion animals consider pets family and overall spending in the U.S. pet industry was $69.4 billion in 2017. Pet companionship can be an essential part of a human’s healthy lifestyle, physically and mentally, often providing social support and stress reduction. Characteristics used to describe this relationship include love, comfort and protection – also associated with human family members.

Research shows the loss of a pet can be as or more difficult than the loss of a human. The decision to euthanize a pet results in feelings of guilt and a deep sense of loss once the pet is gone.

You can read Gerstenblatt’s entire column here.

Property or family member?

Is this a tough call? Kev, what do you think?
—-Jennifer Fischer

Thanks Jennifer! And thank you for asking.

I’d have to say no. It’s not all that difficult. Having worked for 15 years in the Wisconsin State Senate I believe the writers of the newspaper editorial are correct. There’s no question pets and their owners have quite the bond going on. But the law is explicit and the hands of judges are tied. Pets are property. That’s what judges are ruling on. Expectations were that the appeal of the first ruling would take a month or two. It took a few days because the matter was so cut and dried.

Legislatures in the states need to change the laws if they choose. Judgment calls wouldn’t be less messy, I’m afraid. But judges would have some leeway as opposed to the rather strict “pets are property” laws on the books right now.

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

ᐈ Dog reading newspaper stock images, Royalty Free dog reading newspaper  photos | download on Depositphotos®

As we’ve said far too many times the news isn’t always good. And we’ve blogged about this often. Police officer’s desperate attempt to save dog left in hot car captured in bodycam footage.

The great American dog shortage.

How ‘The Pet Revolution’ Unleashed A New Top Dog In America.

I’m Disciplining My Dog, Not Torturing Her
Mark Naida, Wall Street Journal


The sticky note on the door jamb did us in. “Your dog has been barking since 10:55 a.m. I can hear it through the walls.” My wife and I had taken a short trip to the grocery store and left our Irish Setter, Charley, alone in her cage. She barked wildly in our absence.

Charley’s bad behavior has added a lot of stress to our lives. By the time the note appeared, we were sick of being pulled down the street during walks and barked at during video calls. Dogs are fun to have and dote on, but we weren’t enjoying ours much, especially because we felt we couldn’t leave her alone.

So, we went nuclear. We bought a prong collar and an e-collar, considered forbidden tools by most dog trainers and pet lovers. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) description of the prong collar captures the popular sentiment: “Prong collars are designed to punish dogs for pulling by inflicting pain and discomfort. They can cause serious physical and emotional damage to dogs and should never be used.”

In practice, the prongs tighten around the dog’s neck when they pull at the leash, giving the animal a clear incentive to walk by your side. If it really hurt, my dog, who is a bit of a sissy despite being an athletic 45 pounds, would yelp. She hasn’t yet.

The popular view of the e-collar—which can beep, vibrate and administer a small shock to correct misbehavior—is summed up in a headline on PETA’s website: “E-collars: Training Tool or Torture Device?” Guess which side PETA falls on. We haven’t used the shock feature yet. We set it to beep once and vibrate gently when Charley barks, and that seems to have done the trick. The vibration grabs her attention and provides an emotional reset. But if she starts to ignore that correction, we can always try the low-level shock.

For most dog trainers these days, the only acceptable way to train a dog is through positive reinforcement: Reward the dog for good behavior through treats, and teach good behaviors like sitting that replace bad ones like jumping on guests. Proponents think a spritz of water on the muzzle is cruel and ineffective, a smack with a rolled-up newspaper downright abusive. In theory, it sounds nice and humane. In practice, it’s a slow method. Estimates for having a well-behaved dog using this method run about 18 months.

Halfway there, I realized I didn’t have the patience. And despite the guilt I felt at resorting to “torture,” the reduction in stress from having a quiet, easy-to-walk dog has been worth it. Treating dogs “humanely” is a goal that doesn’t fit their social behavior. Take any puppy to a dog park and it will run around, barking at other dogs to play. Older dogs will get fed up and lunge, nip or bark at the puppy to get it to calm down. Yet humans should avoid using force whenever possible? Dog owners who, like me, have found themselves at their wit’s end should feel free to show their pets a little tough love.

Mr. Naida is an assistant editorial features editor at the Journal. This appeared in the August 3, 2021, print edition.

The above prompted this letter to the editor:

Pet ownership comes with responsibility. Training a dog, like raising a child, requires commitment. This is not for everyone—and apparently not for Mr. Naida. With a good trainer, a dog can be trained and housebroken in a timely manner. The habit of “pulling on the leash” usually can be cured in a day or two in a humane manner that does not involve the infliction of pain. If a human is unwilling to invest the time and money into working with and training a dog, then perhaps pet ownership is not for that human.

Johnny Lieberman
President, Colorado Canine Advocates
Colorado Springs, Colo.

Does this dog hate Bach?

Are Peas in Common Dog Foods Contributing to Canine Heart Disease?

Dog Treat Factory Blamed For Stinky Situation in NJ Town.

Mama dog at Minnesota animal rescue ‘adopts’ orphaned puppies.

Watch Caeleb Dressel’s awesome dog absolutely crush this 25-meter swim.

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!

10 Funny Dog Memes for Your Friday

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (08/07/21)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Originally written by both my lovely wife, Jennifer and me, this blog brings you the latest news about our furry friends including articles, columns, photos and videos. Enjoy!

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

TODAY:  Partial cloudiness early, with scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Chance of rain 50%.  High of 82. “A” this morning, “C” this afternoon

SUNDAY:  Mostly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High of 91. Not the best for walking, but it ain’t snow. “C”

Sunday night: Partly cloudy skies early. Scattered thunderstorms developing later at night. Storms may contain strong gusty winds. Low 71F. Chance of rain 40%. “D”

Before we get to DOGS IN THE NEWS, a Barking Lot summer rerun from spring of 2019 written by yours truly since Jennifer had the week off:

I want to explore a topic that’s been on my mind for several weeks. The idea was inspired by something a regular reader once said to me:

“Who doesn’t like dogs?”

Indeed. Who doesn’t?

Turns out, a lot of folks.

Just check out social media, which by it’s very nature can be very crude, putting it mildly.

I think dogs are filthy, repulsive, and in all honesty I’ve been in gas station toilets that smelled better. I don’t consider the daily routine of scooping poop and pushing the horny dog off your leg to be any sort of substitute for real human companionship. A dog cannot have a conversation with you. A dog cannot share in your deeper interests.

That said, that’s only a personal opinion. If somebody wants to love a dog, that’s their business, not mine. But I would be more respectful of dog owners if they would not automatically hate me just because I don’t want to kiss their pit bull on the mouth or because I’m not advocating for more tax dollars to be spent on dog parks. It’s okay to not like dogs, and it doesn’t make you a cold-blooded, heartless monster.

ANIMALS ARE NOT LITTLE PEOPLE. But people think they are now. They want a pet which they can mold into an accessory, an artistic expression, a doll, a child, an extension of them which has no ability to talk back or run away. It’s a way for needy people to always have that security blanket whenever they feel too fat or lonely or uneducated or impoverished, or too thin or too bald or too wealthy or too oppressed or… you get the point.

I don’t want something nosing at me that just licked its own privates or behind a few minutes ago. They tend to stink no matter how often they are bathed, and have zero respect for your personal space, and their breath is just downright disgusting.

But too many times have I had dog owners dismiss my “Sorry, I’m just not a dog person, I’d rather not touch your dog” and insist their dog is a really friendly one and is so excited to see me, I should pet him! They immediately assume I’ll love their dog as much as they do, and that I won’t mind if it sheds hair where I want to sit, is in my way everywhere I want to walk, licks me, rips my tights with its claws jumping up at me, slobbers into my lap, or constantly hits me with the wagging tail.

I ******* hate dogs. Unfortunately I live with 2. My hubs adores them hence why I put up with them. Honestly ive nothing good to say about dogs. I dunno how anyone gets any joy of owning one and trust me my hubs trains his but they don’t always comply and my house skinks and constantly dirty and don’t start me on the furniture thinking they can lie anywhere they want. I patiently await the day they both die.

I’m a certified vet tech. And. I am not a dog person. I have resuscitated more dogs than you ever will in your lifetime. I have pushed emergency drugs into I don’t know how many dog veins to keep them alive. I have acted fast when hit-by-cars storm through the front doors and work tirelessly to stabilize them. I have helped I don’t know how many dogs learn to walk again after suffering trauma. I have held hundreds upon hundreds of paws of those dogs who’s owners DROPPED THEM OFF FOR EUTHANASIA. That’s right, they didn’t want to be present, so guess who was there for them? Me. I have spent hours on patients who refuse to eat to get them to at least take 1 bite of food. I have missed so many lunch breaks, and have had to hold my own pee for hours because your dogs needed me there, my undivided attention. I have spent way more time at work with your dogs than with my own family. So don’t give me any **** about not being a dog person. I’m in veterinary medicine because I love VETERINARY MEDICINE. Let me not be a dog person in God damn peace.

My biggest problem with dogs is that I don’t like needy people or animals. Anyone that requires constant attention is extremely annoying to me plus the filth. Most dog owners have dirty homes.

I don’t dislike dogs however I don’t really understand what the big deal about them is either. All the fuss – clothes, carrying them, constant attention, etc. sometimes I think the people that are obsessed with dogs don’t have many friends or significant relationships in their life. I just don’t get it – cleaning up poop and the shedding slobber just aren’t worth it.

OUCH.

Let’s look at this without being so cruel and judgmental.

I think we can respectfully agree that for a lot of people not caring for dogs is understandable.

They’re allergic.

They’re afraid.

They don’t want the various responsibilities that come with being a dog owner.

They’re just not into pets.

So the best thing for that group is to simply not have them, because they’d be lousy owners, and that would be extremely unfair to the innocent dog or whatever.

Reasons for not liking dogs…understandable?

Not according to a writer at holidaybarn.com who, in a very thoughtful piece, offers five explanations as to why, unlike the readers of the Barking Lot, there are individuals who want nothing to do with man’s best friend.

Take a look.

In closing I’ll bet some of you were seething when you read the above social media ranting. Here’s my response to those commenters.

—The Barking Lot, 05/04/2019

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

451 Dog reading newspaper Stock Photos | Free & Royalty-free Dog reading  newspaper Images | Depositphotos

A new bill would allow you to bring your dog into more Wisconsin businesses.

In Milwaukee a dog run is planned for under I-794 downtown and it could use your help securing funds.

In the Green Bay area going to the dentist has never been so adorable. Meet Charlie, the therapy dog who puts patients at ease at Howard clinic.

We’ve said it many times. The news isn’t always good. Rover promises a network of ‘trusted sitters and dog walkers.’ That wasn’t enough to save these pets

University Defends Vaccine Tests on Dogs After Dr. Fauci and NIH Blasted With Criticism.

Your ‘Fur-Babies’ Are Not A Good Or Healthy Replacement For Human Babies
.

New ‘piece of the puzzle’: Why some dog foods may be linked to deadly heart disease.

People Are Marveling at This Extremely Tall Dog and So Are We.

In Montana…

Safe car travel with your dog: Crash-tested harnesses, crates and carriers.

Why So Many Millennials Are Obsessed With Dogs.

Do Dogs Spontaneously Imitate Behaviors? From our favorite, Stanley Coren.

Canine Disney Fans Can Now Enjoy Dog Treats with Their Favorite Characters’ Faces on The Bags.

PHOTO: Det. Efrain Hernandez greets Det. Jenny. NYPD add two therapy dogs, Det. Piper and Det. Jenny to their employee assistance program. The dogs were trained by female prisoners at Bedford State Prison by an organization called Puppies Behind Bars. Photo: NY Post

PHOTOS: Dog Lovers’ Photos Show Great Dane Puppy Outgrowing His Canine Siblings in 2 Years.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!

Funny Dog Memes That Are Sure to Make You Smile | Reader's Digest

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (07/31/21)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Originally written by both my lovely wife, Jennifer and me, this blog brings you the latest news about our furry friends including articles, columns, photos and videos. Enjoy!

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

TODAY:  Sunny, along with a few afternoon clouds. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High of 83. “A-”

SUNDAY:  Generally sunny despite a few afternoon clouds. High around 75. “A”

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

Week in Review: Netflix Dog-umentary, Daylight Savings & Dogs, Autumn  Dangers & More - The Dogington Post

We hear about these cases a lot. In Kentucky a woman is threatening a lawsuit over the way she and her service dog were treated…

See dog’s heartbreaking reaction after owner abandons him.

VIDEO: First-Ever Horse, Dog Showman With Disabilities From Chicago Area.

VIDEO & ARTICLE: Dixie the Praying Dog is a TV star — and a real-world hero.

REUNITED!

Do dogs really feel guilt?

Because inquiring minds want to know…why do dogs do this?

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!

Dog memes, part 5: The good, the sad, and the funny - DogTime

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (07/24/21)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Originally written by both my lovely wife, Jennifer and me, this blog brings you the latest news about our furry friends including articles, columns, photos and videos. Enjoy!

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

TODAY: Partly cloudy with afternoon showers or thunderstorms. Potential for severe thunderstorms. High of 91. Chance of rain 50%. “C”

SUNDAY:  Sunny along with a few clouds. High of 92.  “B”

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

Can Dogs Read? | Alpha Paw

Cats are better than dogs (at catching coronavirus).

Dog trainers in high demand from the pandemic puppy boom.

A canine that served as an emotional relief dog after the Surfside collapse in Florida has received some much needed care of its own.

Found!

Dog trapped inside stolen truck taken on high-speed police chase.

When a woman stole his dog, this man didn’t press charges. Instead, he’s paying for her drug rehab.

A moment that changed me: meeting the rescue dog who comforted me through unfathomable loss.

Ice cubes are safe for dogs, contrary to alarmist social media claims. That reminds me of a blog Jennifer wrote in July of 2018.

How Permanent Is a Dog’s Long-Term Memory?

Aquinas once asked: What if a dog consumed a consecrated host?

A Bloodhound Mary please bartender, and one for my dog.

Cat Sleeps Under Dog’s Ear in TikTok Video.

Last Sunday at the Bastille Day Pop-Up Festival in Mequon we met Zora the Water Dog.

She was named after Zorro, one of favorite and under-appreciated Disney characters.

We also met one of Zora’s owners.

Zora and Amanda Lowney have a special bond.

Watch this feature report from CBS 58 Milwaukee in 2019.

And FOX 6 Milwaukee.

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!

The 9 Dog Memes Every Respectable Dog Person Should Know - BarkPost