by Walker Parks | on December 1st, 2011 | in Features, Swag the Dog
OK, here’s the conundrum. You want to bike to work, but you also work at one of those exceptionally cool companies that lets you bring your dog to work. You can either teach your dog to heel perfectly beside you, even in heavy traffic (extremely dangerous), or … you can get one of these new Croozer Designs dog chariots. It’s essentially a crate on wheels and provides a safe harbor for your pup at sporting events like Ultimate™ frisbee tournaments and Critical Mass rides.
by Walker Parks | on October 17th, 2011 | in Features, Swag the Dog, Things Dogs Wear
If you’ve ever experienced that problem of a wet or muddy dog messing up your furniture or car upholstery, here’s a solution from same folks who make the FURminator fur remover. The new FUR Dry wearable dog towel simultaneously dries your dog’s fur and keeps it from making contact with, well, anything you don’t want to smell like a wet dog. Works great for post-grooming, too.
by Walker Parks | on September 20th, 2011 | in Books, Features, Media
Next week, wildlife photographer Art Wolfe releases a compilation of his favorite dog photos from around the world. With and introduction captions and intros by noted dog-book author Jeffrey Masson, Dogs Make Us Human ($30, Bloomsbury) illustrates the universal bond between humans and dogs.
“Our relationship with dogs is the single most important symbiotic relationship between humans and another species on the planet,” writes Masson in his introduction, “the most delightful and in many ways still the most mysterious.”
Wolfe’s photos span the globe. Dogs Make Us Human introduces readers to Kelpies herding sheep in New Zealand, sled dogs pulling sleds in the northern Cascades, and Yorkies in cute outfits. Put it on your coffee table.
by Walker Parks | on June 29th, 2010 | in Features, Who's Cutest?
This week, we welcome our latest contributors, the Aspen Ski Patrol and their team of rescue dogs. Patrol’s Ali Wade will keep us updated on the training and daily lives of their outstanding pack.
Reina, chocolate Lab
Sara, border bollie (black and white… BIG ears)
Abel, big golden retriever
Kaya, the smallest black Lab
Jane, medium black Lab (and the prettiest)
Dante, big-headed black Lab
Gus, black, white, and brown Australian shepard
Booker, brown and white Aussie
Caleb The BIGGEST black lab
Lhotse german shepard
by Walker Parks | on June 1st, 2010 | in Features, Swag the Dog
Ruby and Angus have been on the road a lot this winter, traveling back and forth between Santa Fe and Taos. But when you’re covered in mud and shedding enough to knit a new dog, it’s good manners to bring your own bed. Which one to pack depends—camping? staying at the dogsitter’s? sleeping in the car? Banished outside for scarfing up three bags of blue corn chips (never mind…).
So we had them test the best travel dog beds out there. Their methods don’t lie: Like a bed? Curl up on it. No like? Ignore it. Once they were done trashing them, we tested them to see which cleaned up best and came up with a few clear winners. —Elizabeth Hightower
Ruby, packed and ready with her Mud River suitcase and Mud River Cache Cushion. Think of them as her checked and her carry-on luggage.
Ruby ready to bivvy with the Harry Barker Hemp Bedroll and the Ruffwear Mt. Bachelor Pad
1) The Frisco, $80.00
Mud River Dog Products, mudriverdogproducts.com
Folded 30”L x 6”W x 22”H; Unfolded 44”L x 30”W x 3”H
Here’s how cool they are at Arkansas-based Mud River: They bring other people’s dogs to work. When we talked with Morgan at this gentlemen’s hunting outfitter (Motto: “Dirty Trucks, Lonely Wives, Happy Dogs”), she’d brought a former employee’s pup to the office. She sent the monster Frisco, which has inspired Mud River’s hunters to proclaim: “If I’da wanted to bring a suitcase, I’da brought my wife!” Nonetheless, this seemed like the best option for geriatric Angus: three inches of thick EVA foam, heavy waxed canvas cover, and the size of a climbing crash pad. He was not interested. In fact, no dog set foot on the Frisco in three months of exposure. Our 8-year-old friend, Finn, however, made quick use of the pad. Motto: You’ve got to have smarter dogs to use this one.
2) The Cache Cushion, $30
Mud River Dog Products, mudriverdogproducts.com
29″ L x 37″W
A really handsome portable number, backed in waxed canvas. Pros: With velcro straps, it rolls up tight, with quality construction and a snappy color scheme of loden fleece trimmed in safety orange. Cons: Not for a 90-pound lab. If Angus thought the Frisco was “tooooo hard,” this one was “tooo small and toooo thin.” We passed it on to Danger and Cooper, our K9 rescue friends, for their travel crates. Also, keep this in mind for all travel dog beds: Hair really likes fleece. The Cache Cushion cleans up nicely in the wash, but until then, it’s a hair party waiting to happen.
3) Mount Bachelor Pad, $59.95 medium, $74.95 large
Medium (38” l x 29” w, 1” loft); Large (48” x 36”, 1” loft)
Faced in recycled fleece, filled with thermal padding, and backed in PVC-free, waterproof recycled polycloth, the Bachelor Pad is the only one of these to block ground moisture. Throw it in the mud, hose it off, drip it dry, and then roll it up tight with its velcro straps. By far the best for camping and any wet pursuits, and the dogs seemed to dig it. Downside? Check out the hair.
2) Hemp Stripe Bedroll, $48.00-84.00
Harry Barker, harrybarker.com
Extra Small (25″ l x 19″ w); Small (31″ x 21″); Medium (37″ x 24″); Large (43″ x 29″)
Ruby Likes! Major style points for this one—it comes in five different colors of haute-hippie stripes—plus it’s got the most loft. Everything is eco, from the azo-free dyes to the recycled fiberfill padding; the hemp is plenty rugged, and dog hair brushes right off. It’s also the easiest to roll up, with an attached hemp strap and Fastco buckle, as opposed to Velcro straps. We were dubious that this one would dry well, since it’s a bit thicker than the rest. But it was wash and wear. The bedroll also comes in five colors of recycled fleece, from $14.99 to $29.99. Match the color to your dog hair, or go with our recommendation and spring for the durable hemp.
For camping, wet work, river trips or active use, the Mount Bachelor Pad is the bed to beat, and a doggie fave. Visiting friends, road-tripping, heading to the ski house? Pack the Hemp Stripe Bedroll, the comfiest of the bunch. Hunting? You’ll need Mud River, if only for the bomber quality and safety orange chic.
by Walker Parks | on April 12th, 2010 | in Features
Ride your bike on any major road in my hometown, Jackson, Wyoming, and there’s a chance you’ll ride past a row of stopped cars and dozens of wide-eyed, camera-toting tourists, gawking at moose, elk and bison. Animals are literally everywhere in this little northwestern corner of the state.
I don’t like road running, especially in a place where tourists’ eyes seem to never be on the road. Lucky for me, Jackson has a prolific number of off-leash trail systems where my dog, Santos, can sprint up a hillside and then dive bomb into a river. He’s a very happy dog.
Santos is my trail running partner, my ill-advised pace setter, and my inspiration to run. He’s almost the perfect little training buddy, until we run into a moose that is, which brings up today’s lesson: How to Run in Moose Country.
Santos was nine months old when he met his first moose. We were running in town when he took off into someone’s yard. It wasn’t a squirrel he was after. The tables turned quickly and soon that baby moose was chasing my brand new mutt, kicking its double-jointed legs at him. He survived, unscathed, but he squealed like a frightened pig all the way home. Perfect!, I thought. He’s scared of moose. And he was, for exactly one year and three months.
Then last week, my now two-year-old pup recovered from his post-traumatic stress and decided to enact revenge on the giant, four-legged, antlered creatures. Santos and I were training on Jackson’s most popular dog-friendly trail, Cache Creek, which also happens to be one of the favorite hangouts of moose and elk. It’s generally not an issue. They tend to ignore dogs and munch on foliage by the river. Dogs, on the whole, bored by the moose and elk’s seemingly constant presence, ignore them, too. Santos, however, not only noticed the largest male moose I’ve ever seen but chased after it in ecstasy while simultaneously suffering from a rare case of instantaneous deafness. Funny how that happens.
I was appalled and embarrassed. It was barely spring. This moose was using up calorie-deficit reserves! Does Santos not understand the importance of the moose preserving energy in the winter? Does he have no empathy for wildlife? Is my dog heartless?
Santos and I had a long discussion and we decided that I will still allow him to train with me as long as he follows a more stringent set of rules: 1: Disobey me once and he’s back on the leash. 2: Come back immediately when I call him and he gets a giant treat. 3: Don’t run to me if a moose starts chasing him. I will be in or behind a tree.
–Christina Erb, christinaerb.com
by Walker Parks | on February 10th, 2010 | in Who's Cutest?
Bozzie is a 2 year-old Labradoodle who lives in Alameda, CA. He loves running, sniffing, playing with the neighbors and going on long walks along the Bay. His most unusual quirk: he has nyctophobia (he’s afraid of the dark) and refuses to venture outside after sunset. He also refuses to enter darkened rooms and if the skies start to darken while he’s outside, he walks super close to his owners.
by Walker Parks | on October 29th, 2009 | in Swag the Dog, Training Equipment
Can’t really have too many training dummies around when you’re always chucking them in the river. Inevitably one or two never return. The Avery models are hollow rubber, more like an artfully decorated version of the classic boating bumpers. $25
by Walker Parks | on October 23rd, 2009 | in Features, Who's Cutest?
I adopted Cosette in 2007 from the Little Big Dog Rescue group. I’m still not certain what kind of dog she is, but when the rescue group originally found her at 8 weeks she was suffering from severe demodectic mange, had lost the majority of her fur and could barely walk. She and I are pretty much attached at the hip, and she has accompanied me on filming assignments all across the country. She loves traveling, running, hiking, and sleeping anywhere soft.
by Walker Parks | on October 19th, 2009 | in Features, The Wildrose Way, Training, Video Clips
by Walker Parks | on October 9th, 2009 | in Features, Who's Cutest?
This is Baron, my 15 month old Australian shepherd. He loves frisbee, swimming, camping, and just being outside. He is constantly trying to sneak sips of beer, especially when he thinks no one is looking. He is probably the cutest dog ever. —Matthew Aliota, University of Wisconsin-Madison
by Walker Parks | on September 18th, 2009 | in Things Dogs Wear
Planet Dog announced last week that they’re adding new sizes and colors—pink, blue, and natural—to their fleece-lined Cozy Hemp Collar and Natural Hemp Leash. The combo is straightforward and simple—perfect for around-town use.
by Walker Parks | on September 15th, 2009 | in Features, Pampering, Swag the Dog
Dogs don’t need much help when it comes to sleeping. They’re amazingly proficient at it. If there’s a couple square feet of soft turf somewhere out there, they’re probably already snoozing on it. But I’ve noticed something about the Big Shrimpy Original dog bed my two dogs have been snoozing on for the past year or so. They’re addicted to it. I’ve had a few other beds floating around the house, and there’s no shortage of space on the carpet and backyard. Yet every time I pull the three-inch thick Big Shrimpy bed out from under mine, both dogs practically jump over me to stake out their spot on it. (more…)
by Walker Parks | on September 14th, 2009 | in Features, Who's Cutest?
This one comes to us from Chris Carpenter of Albuquerque. Sue is an 18-month-old German shorthaired pointer. Here’s she’s demonstrating some excellent chimnying moves to get closer to her owner’s homing pigeons.
by Walker Parks | on September 14th, 2009 | in Toys
Here’s a new chew-ball out from Ruff. The Square ball features heavy construction and thick rounded corners that make it look enviting enough to gnaw on, yourself, just to see what you’re missing. The hollow center is perfect for hiding jerkey-style strip treats.
by Walker Parks | on August 31st, 2009 | in Features, Things Dogs Wear
Ever leave your pup at home because the terrain you’ll be tackling is too rough? Now you’ve got another option: add your pooch to your ropeline. The RuffWear Doubleback Harness is a full, strength-rated climbing rig that cups your dog by the backs of the hind legs and chest—just like a full chest harness on a human. The Doubleback can be used to catch a canine fall, lower him off rapel anchors, or hoist him into a helicopter. Available later this fall. (We’ll update you when they’re ready and have a price.)
by Walker Parks | on August 28th, 2009 | in Tidbits
Among the gifts left behind by the late senator is Bo Obama, the Whitehouse dog. Here he is in the Oval Office.
by Walker Parks | on August 24th, 2009 | in Who's Cutest?
Lauren from Maine writes: My dogs are the cutest and you’ve lost your mind if you disagree! The pup is Eider. He’s nearly eight weeks old and hails from just outside of Oxford, MS (wink, wink). He enjoys naps, snacks and more naps. And snacks.
The one who can fly is Orli. She is four years old and her hobbies including running full tilt around our house, then resting her head on our tables and counters. Why? Because she can.
by Walker Parks | on August 19th, 2009 | in Who's Cutest?
Nug and I have been together four years now and live in Mukilteo, north of Seattle where he loves swimming, hiking, squirrels, walks around Green Lake and car-riding with head in the wind and tongue out. Best buddy ever! —Kevin Yau
by Walker Parks | on July 24th, 2009 | in Features, Who's Cutest?
Bodie hails from Boulder, Colorado and readily admits that his dad is a pretty big fan of The Wire. When he is not stirring up his water bowl with his two front paws, he is happily chewing on whatever he can find around the offices of Mix1 – where employees are able to bring their dogs to work every day, not just June 24 (Take Your Dog to Work Day). Bodie has a little trouble listening sometimes, but if you have some food on hand, he is likely to do anything you ask for a treat!
by Walker Parks | on July 17th, 2009 | in Features, Who's Cutest?
by Walker Parks | on July 10th, 2009 | in Features, good eats
Healthy, organic dog treats are easy and inexpensive to make at home. Most recipes call for ingredients that anyone who likes to bake already has on hand, and if your dog has dietary restrictions you can also control exactly what goes into their treats. Homemade dog treats also make excellent party gifts for dog-loving friends. I chose two pretty simple recipes to start: bacon and cheddar biscuits and peanut butter biscuits (recipes follow) and have distributed the results among ten of our office dogs with the hopes of some feedback—woof! Two paws up or down? If these first two recipes are a success with our testers, pumpkin patch biscuits and carrot cheese muffins will be next. Stay tuned!
Bacon and Cheese Biscuits3/4 cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2/3 cup Butter
2/3 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 cup Cheddar Cheese — shredded
1/2 cup Wheat Germ
1/2 pound Bacon, Turkey Bacon or bacon bits
Combine flour, soda and salt; mix well and set aside. Cream butter and sugar, beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mix mixing well. Stir in oats, cheese, wheat germ and bacon. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 16 minutes. Cool and enjoy.
Peanut Butter Biscuits2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine flour wheat germ and salt in large bowl then mix in peanut butter, egg oil and water. Roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface till about 1/2 inch thick, then cut out the biscuits using a cookie cutter — (or make squares). Put the biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees, 15 mins for the smaller sized cookies and up to 35 mins. for larger shaped ones.
by Walker Parks | on July 1st, 2009 | in Features, Swag the Dog
The five-foot Knot-a-Leash, from Ruff, is sturdy and durable and with a carabiner to lock into the collar or harness there’s no worry that enthusiastic dogs will come unclipped. The style of the leash is inspired by a climbing rope, and the material pulls taught and absorbs shock well, while the Comfortgrip webbing handle makes for the most comfortable leash I have ever held. Even when a dog is pulling quite hard, the handle does not cut into or rub your skin and it can be comfortably held in your hand or around your wrist. $25
by Walker Parks | on June 24th, 2009 | in Features, Time Wasters
The fourth annual Loews Surf Dog Competition took place at Loews Coronado Bay Resort last weekend. The event raised approximately $15,000 for the Modest Needs Foundation.
And the winners are …
Category One: Small surf dogs 40 pounds and under
1st Place: Buddy, a Jack Russell Terrier. Owner is Bruce Hooker.
2nd Place: Abbie Girl, an Australian Kelpie. Owner is Michael Uy.
3rd Place: Kia, a Russell Terrier. Owner is Rene Bruce.
Category Two: Large surf dogs 41 pounds and over
1st Place: Kalani, a Golden Retriever. Owner is Andra Lew.
2nd Place: Stanley, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Owner is Craig Haverstick.
3rd Place: Louie, a Labrador. Owner is Karl Eberhardt.
Category Three: Teams (surf dogs and humans surfing together)
1st Place: Zoey, a Jack Russell Terrier, and his owners Scott and Tyler Chandler.
2nd Place: Booda, a mix, and owner Sydney Lovelace.3rd Place: Dude, a Basset/Beagle mix, and owner Barb Ayers.
Mayor Pro Tempore Lorie Bragg of Imperial Beach
Teevan McManus, Owner of Coronado Surfing Academy
Melissa Fitzgerald, Director of Finance at Loews Coronado Bay Resort
Each dog and team had three waves (or chances) to impress the judges and was scored on confidence level, length of ride and overall ability to “grip it and rip it.”