Ah, the joy of sports. Whether or not you’ve ever played them, your dog is your biggest fan. And chances are he’s the most active athlete in your household: running the apartment obstacle course, jumping on the bed from a dead stop, gracefully (or not) diving for the tennis ball under the couch, catching a fly from the back edge of the chair, twitching and moaning as he chases a squirrel/cat/bird in his dreams ....
This month’s issue isn’t about armchair quarterbacks, though – it celebrates the trained canine athlete. To the agility, disc catcher, and scent hound competitors out there – this one’s for you! Mark Rogers graces our cover this month with a beautiful action shot of Bizzy, his companion ball-chaser. Here, Sandy Rogers talks about the love, support and training that goes into the making of a world-champion agility athlete.
The dogs say, “What better place to host a dog event than a ball park?!” We Bay Area residents are big into baseball, as evidenced by both the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s hosting dog-friendly events at their respective stadiums. We’ve got a piece on the Oakland tradition here. The Oakland A’s “Dog Days of Summer” is a huge canine to-do, sponsored by Walnut Creek’s Central Garden & Pet, parent company of Nylabone, Avoderm, and many other pet-loving products popular among the four-legged set. If you missed the A’s game (it’s happening today as we go to press), swap your gold and green for some black and orange, and get thee to the Giants Dog Day scheduled for August 25th.
Remember our annual Beast of the Bay Awards issue in March? You, loyal readers, named your top four dog sports, and we profile them. Local sports fans/trainers Kelly Gorman-Dunbar, Sandi Pensinger, and Steve Teer contributed to the huddle.
There’s been a lot of hubbub around town regarding the W.O.O.F. program proposal from former SF Supervisor Bevan Dufty, designed to pair rescued pets with low-income humans, including a stipend for care and feeding of the canine. PETA chimed in on the “con” side, offering a $10,000 donation to SF/Animal Care and Control if it abandoned the project. The concept is definitely controversial, strong safeguards are needed for the dogs involved, but this kind of out-of-the-box thinking makes the Bay Area a leader in both human and canine welfare. Our Assistant Editor Deborah C.Z. Hirsch covers the story here.
Siam Sam is back in Sandi Thompson’s second and last installment about rescuing canines in Thailand after last year’s devastating floods. “Diamond Dog” Wylie, a well-traveled service dog, is awarded frequent flyer points, and trainer Kelly Filson covers treat training in this month’s Good Dog! column. Shelter Zone focuses on the East Bay SPCA’s behavior training programs utilizing volunteers, and Ask Dr Dog is all about when and why to choose a vet specialist.
The usual suspects, i.e., The Monthly Woof, Mr. Smarty Pants, and Tails of the City are reliably present. And if you’re off-leash this month and looking for stuff to do with your hairy beasts, check out the calendar listings for local dog-friendly happenings. (The calendar and all our articles go live online at baywoof.com the first of every month so you can access us easily wherever you may wander.)
That just about covers this month’s issue. We hope you’re inspired to grab a ball, a disc, some agility cones, and your canine pal and get moving –both of you will reap the health benefits of playing together, and your personal bond will get stronger, to boot.
Next month look for our first-ever Food issue, and in October we bring you our annual Canine Health and Wellness issue. There will be lots to bark about this fall in Bay Woof – thanks for reading!
— M Rocket, Publisher