In the wake of late rains, Spring is in full bloom. In fact, some days it feels like summer is scratching at the door. Although our seasons here in the Bay Area aren’t as clearly defined as in some places, we can still pretend that summer fog is different than winter fog.
For a mental change of climate, imagine Afghanistan. Now imagine Afghanistan in full combat gear. For the American men and women wearing those uniforms, having a dog for a trench buddy, a canine comrade in arms, a furry sidekick makes things slightly more tolerable.
“The Department of Defense may officially consider military working dogs to be equipment, but most handlers… see things quite differently,” says San Francisco author Maria Goodavage. She left her comfortable chair after penning several successful dog-friendly travel guides(Dog Lover’s Guide to the Bay Area, Dog Lover’s Guide to the California) to explore the lives of Soldier Dogs for a new book. We’re honored to share a few pages of it (plus lots of photos) in the excerpt here.
Our fights closer to home may be less dangerous than foreign wars but are not any less heartfelt. Emily Rosenberg calls us to action in her piece about the upcoming vote for off-leash space near Lake Merritt in Oakland. It’s been proven that nearby parks, especially those with designated off-leash play areas, actually increase property values in a neighborhood. Less crime can be attributed to more park visitors, and creating space that’s shared by all residents is one surefire way to nurture a sense of community. Please support the Lake Merritt Dog Park effort by attending the meeting at Oakland City Hall on May 2.
Speaking of fighting the good fight, Rebecca Katz, Executive Director of Friends of San Francisco Animal Care and Control, is determined to save the Hayden Bill. Its potential repeal could endanger thousands of animals and the shelters that care for them. See her Shelter Zone piece for more details, then do your part to keep this life-saving law on the books.
2012 Beast of the Bay Award winner, Dr. Ilana Strubel, writes our Ask Dr. Dog column this month, all about choosing the food that’s right for your canine companion. As most of us crazy dog people know, caring for dogs means more than feeding them the right food — it means helping them thrive on every level. Sadly, some dogs with behavioral problems fail to survive, much less thrive, because their issues are too daunting for potential adopters. Krista Maloney of the SF/SPCA writes about the physical and emotional rehabilitation of a dog named Cooper. See this month’s Good Dog! column for this inspiring success story.
Kelly Gorman-Dunbar is back again in Ian’s spot this month, advising us humans to quit making canine faux pas — see The Monthly Woof. Diane Karagienakos tells her story about falling in love, quite unexpectedly, with a dog named Picard. Bay Woof’s Holly Fogleboch explains how to keep you and your dog safe when encountering coyotes – good to know, since many have been seen skulking around the local parks and trails lately.
Spring forward and enjoy the reading!