Pampered Paws Upon the Potomac

Pampered Paws Upon the Potomac
Alexandria Doesn’t Stop At Yappy Hour and Masseuses for Dogs

By Annie Gowen, Washington Post Staff Writer

One recent balmy evening in Alexandria, the dogs — pugs, Labs, golden retrievers, poodles — led their owners down a gangplank to board a boat for their moonlit cruise on the Potomac. Some had started at Yappy Hour at the Barkley Square Gourmet Dog Bakery & Boutique next door and still had wet whiskers from bobbing for hot dogs. Flashbulbs popped; one of the doggie “dads” clutched a video camera to record the moment.This was Alexandria, after all, otherwise known as Dog Town, home to some of the most cosseted pups in the region. The city’s got three pet biscuit bakeries and two doggie happy hours and a dog masseuse who does house calls. It’s the kind of place where, when the health inspector decided to crack down on al fresco doggie dining a few years back, dog owners marched to City Hall — and won.



Golden Parker – Teacher’s Pet

Wisconsin Weekend Package
By Eric Lindquist, Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire

Parker is one of the most popular attendees at Memorial High School. It’s easy to see why: He greets everyone enthusiastically, maintains an upbeat personality and genuinely enjoys every minute of his time at school. Parker is so well liked that his mere presence frequently prompts classmates to spontaneously shriek his name as he makes his way around the halls.Despite his poor attendance record – he typically attends school just one day a week – Parker also is a hit with the teachers, some of whom even sneak him treats whenever they see him. Yes, you could call Parker a teacher’s pet.

Technically, the 3-year-old golden retriever belongs to Memorial speech and language pathologist Lesa Cramer. Parker was just a 3-month-old puppy when Cramer proposed bringing him to school as a way to help reach her special education students.

Cramer was familiar with studies showing companion dogs can have positive emotional and social effects on children with disabilities and had seen dogs work wonders with residents while working previously at Northern Wisconsin Center for the Developmentally Disabled in Chippewa Falls. After doing a little research of his own, Principal Tim Leibham determined it was a doggone good idea.


Logan is Britain’s Top Dog

Logan is Britain’s Top Dog
By Ben Hurst, Birmingham Post

WITHOUT guide dog Logan, Carl Griggs would constantly crash to the ground. Carl, 40, from Harborne suffered a serious injury playing rugby aged 19 which initially left him blind, deaf and paralysed.Now he can hear and walk – but is still blind and so unstable on his feet that the slightest collision knocks him over. One blow to the back of the head in a rugby game caused serious problems with his central nervous system.

Logan the golden retriever is Carl’s eyes – and the dog’s adaption to his disabilites has amazed everyone.

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Golden Katie and Owner Emma have a Tail to Tell

Golden Katie and Owner Emma have a Tail to Tell

Katie originally belonged to Emma’s godmother, Margaret Jessop, who died two years ago. Katie and Emma also formed a special bond – so much so that Emma was allowed to start training her and competing in obedience and heelwork to music.Katie now lives with another friend, but Emma still spends lots of time with her and earlier this year the loveable retreiver stayed with Katie and comforted her while she recovered from a serious illness.

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Golden Retriever Puppy can Sure Work the Crowd

Golden Retriever Puppy can Sure Work the Crowd
By Megan Reiter, Staff Writer, The Times-Tribune

A notebook, pen and squirming, 3-month-old golden retriever puppy demanding attention from every passer-by do not make a good combination. Considering the way my dog, Peanut, has commandeered my house since I brought her home about a month ago (it’s really her couch — she just lets me sit on it occasionally), I should have perhaps reconsidered taking her with me to cover the Pet Expo at the Humane Society of Lackawanna County. But I couldn’t pass up the chance of seeing her interact with other dogs since taking her away from her brothers and sisters, so I clipped on her leash and let her jump in the back seat.Like the children who live in my neighborhood, the attendees at the Pet Expo descended on Peanut, proclaiming her “precious.” It’s not hard to love a puppy who, when a stranger decides to lavish her with attention, acts as though she has never been petted in her life.


Ponies to Guide the Blind

Ponies to Guide the Blind
BBC News

Shetland ponies are being trained to help people who are blind or partially sighted.
The ponies, which are only slightly bigger than dogs, could have a longer working life than labradors and may also have a better memory. And a centre in Nottinghamshire is already half way through a training schedule for a 27-inches-tall pony named Rosie.Guide Horses UK’s Janine Martin of Fiskerton, near Southwell, Nottinghamshire, says Rosie is completely house trained and may make a better guide for a blind person than the traditional dog. Ms Martin said: “Horses have a fantastic long term memory and will remember commands for decades afterwards.”