Category Archives for "Dog Tales"

A collection of dog tales that don’t really fit into any particular category, but they made me smile – or cry.

So are we sitting comfortably? I hope you will enjoy the dog stories that follow.

Affiliate disclaimer – I make a small commission from the sale of the above products, at no extra cost to you. It’s how I fund the development of this blog.

By the way…. if you have a special story of your own dog and would like to see it here, please send it to me, along with a picture of your dog.

I’d love to hear from you – please contact me with the outline of your story, plus permission to publish and I’ll give you further tips on getting your own special dog tale published.

Sooty and the Curtains

SootyWhen I was a “little girl” – well, about ten I suppose, the family puppy “Sooty” was a real live-wire.

Sadly I have to confess that I can't find a photograph of the “real” Sooty. This was many years ago, and we weren't the sort of family to waste money on “films” and developing them, unless there was a really special occasion. So thanks for this image are due to Katzenfee50 from Pixabay

It is remarkably like the real Sooty, and I shall check with my Dad if photos of Sooty are lurking at home still.

Anyway, back to the story of Sooty and the curtains.

One morning, before teenage sleepy habits kicked in I woke-up and came downstairs – before my Mum – only to find that the red velvet curtains had been absolutely massacred overnight! Aaaagh.

There was only one possible culprit – Sooty – although to see him bouncing about thrilled to see the first human of the day, you would have thought butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.

Hmmm – I knew just what sort of trouble he'd be in when Mum came down. (Dad was already at work and torn curtains probably hadn't even registered on his radar).

So I crept to the sewing basket, fetched out the biggest needle I could find, plus some red cotton, and set about mending the curtains.

Well – they were torn right across the width, diagonally, so you can only imagine the mess a ten-year old would make trying to repair them with big loopy stitches.

My make-shift curtain repair fooled no-one.

However, Mum saw the funny side of my repair attempt, and Sooty was forgiven. The curtains were a total write-off, but I think that secretly Mum was pleased of an excuse to buy new curtains!

Lost Dog Flyers On Pizza Boxes

Florida pizzeria works with Lost Pet Services

Reuniting lost pets and their people is too important to limit the ways that we try to make that happen. That’s why a pizzeria owner in Florida has teamed up with Lost Pet Services to help more dogs find their way home.

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Postcard From Costa Rica: Dogs in Pavones

The (almost) Wild Dogs of Pavones, Costa Rica
Luciana (Lu) Guglielmone, a long-time resident of Pavones, with her dog Shanti
Shanti (left) and Panda, a neighbor’s dog
A few members of the author’s neighborhood pack
A few members of the author’s neighborhood pack
Julio (left) and friend, ready to play

It’s a rare dog who wears a collar in the town of Pavones, located along the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The ones who do obviously have owners, though most of the time, pinpointing who it is can be challenging.

Some of the dogs here act like free agents, nosing around restaurants for handouts, finding some shade under a coconut tree or trotting down the beach to where the Rio Claro runs into Golfo Dulce for a drink of fresh water and a swim.

Spaying and neutering dogs is a common practice but is not a priority for many dog owners. Surprisingly, I’ve seen fewer scuffles here than in most dog parks—a reminder that it’s not always a dog’s testicles that are the problem; more often, it’s the lack of space dogs have to roam and explore.

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Book Review: The Wonder of Lost Causes

By Nick Trout (William Morrow)

Nick Trout is not only a veterinary surgeon with Boston’s Angell Animal Medical Center, he’s also a highly regarded author. His new novel, The Wonder of Lost Causes, is the latest on a list that includes two fiction and three nonfiction books, including Tell Me Where It Hurts.

This new work is also his most personal, tapping as it does into a context with which he is intimately familiar: living with and caring for a child with a debilitating, life-threatening disease. His main character, a boy named Jasper, suffers from cystic fibrosis, a condition that also afflicts Trout’s daughter Emily. The disorder is one of the book’s throughlines; be prepared to learn how challenging and complicated it is to provide care for a CF child. Also, be prepared to be transported to a world where the love of and attachment to a dog can not only be lifeaffirming but also lifesaving.

The story is told in two alternating first-person voices. One belongs to Kate Blunt, Jasper’s mom, a hardworking single parent who is both a vet and the manager of an animal shelter in Cape Cod. Her life revolves around keeping the shelter out of the red, finding homes for its temporary canine residents and tending to the medical needs of her son. The other voice is Jasper’s, a precocious, self-aware, soccer-loving 11-year-old who is acutely aware of his chronic condition and the constraints it puts on his life, and on his mom’s life as well.

The book begins with a cleareyed look at Jasper’s condition: he’s “always hungry … Not for food. I’m always hungry for air.” At times, he feels that he’s “about to starve.” We also learn that he yearns for a dog of his own, a longing Kate nixes, mostly because of his health condition (which has entailed long hospital stays), but also because their rental doesn’t allow pets. To satisfy his longing, he devotes much of his after-school time to walking and keeping company with the dogs at the shelter.

One afternoon while Jasper is at the shelter, a stray dog—heavily scarred, 100 pounds, mostly black, mixed breed—is brought into the shelter. And thus begins the story arc of this compelling and entertaining novel.

Jasper and Whistler, a name the boy intuits for the dog, make eye contact and have an immediate coup de foudre moment. It’s so intense that Kate thinks she witnessed the dog and her son “looking inside each other.” Jasper admits that he understands some dogs at some mysterious, deep level, a connection he is careful not to share with his mom. But with Whistler, he knows that this bond—his reading of the dog— goes deeper than any he has ever felt before. Whistler’s empathy for Jasper is equally profound and intense. The dog even has a cough that sounds very much like Jasper’s, so much so that Kate mistakes one for the other. We learn all of this by page 25.

Most of the rest of this delightful, insightful 400-plus page book is unique in the coming-of-age, Before I give away too much more of the story, I urge you to read The Wonder of Lost Causes to learn about Whistler’s gift, and to be transported by this love story between a special boy and a remarkable dog. Dr. Trout has created a sure winner—or as Anglophile Jasper would say, a “brilliant” book—one that deserves your attention.

This excerpt is in Jasper’s 11-year-old voice. Here he is musing about a shelter volunteer, who also is his best human friend.

… when it comes to dogs, Burt is really smart, notices everything about them, and never forgets. That’s why he knows so many neat tricks. Like how you hypnotize a dog by scratching in his armpits because it’s one of the few places on their body that’s impossible for them to reach. And how massaging a dog’s paws gets them used to playing with their feet, which makes it a whole lot easier when it’s time to clip their nails. I love it when Burt talks about dogs and how to read them. Burt’s eyes may be sad and brown and tangled in a spider web of wrinkles, but I reckon he’s lived my version of the perfect life—a life full of dogs. I’m pretty sure no person with CF has ever grown up to be as old as Burt. That’s why I always pay attention to people who have lived a long time and done lots of interesting stuff. When you have CF it makes sense. If I can’t get there myself, why not find out what it might have been like?

Original source:

Blind Man To Run Half Marathon With Guide Dogs

Unusual team to toe the starting line
On a training run

Three guide dogs will lead Thomas Panek in the New York City Half Marathon on March 17, 2019. He will be the first blind runner to finish the race with the guidance of dogs rather than of other human runners, and his Labrador Retrievers will be the first athletes from their species to participate in the race. The race is 13.1 miles long and the dogs will each guide him for a portion of that distance.

The guide dogs’ health and safety are extremely important to everyone involved, and care will be taken to make sure they are hydrated and doing well in every way. Volunteers and veterinarians along the course will monitor the dogs and provide check-ups. The dogs will be wearing footwear for protection and they will all set their own pace.

Original source:

Packing for Guide Dog Training | TOP Things to Bring to Guide Dog Training | What NOT to Bring!

In this video I will share my three top recommendations for what to bring when you are training with a new Guide Dog. While most of these recommendations are generalizable regardless of the Guide Dog organization you may be training with, some are weather dependent, and some will vary based on the equipment issued by the guide dog organization you attend. I have trained and worked with three guide dogs, each through Guide Dogs for the Blind ( ) with headquarters in San Rafael, California and Boring, Oregon. I have only participated in training on the Oregon campus.

If you are interested in learning more about the process to obtain a Guide Dog, or you'd like to apply to receive a Guide Dog through Guide Dogs or the Blind, please visit for more information.

Welcome to our channel! I am a blind mom to two girls and wife to my high school sweetheart, who loves to share inspiration, joy, creativity, and the reality of growth through the struggle, and through supporting one another. As a blind mama, and with one daughter who has Autism, I share lifestyle, craft/DIY, mom-life, disability-awareness, disability-etiquette, and guide dog/service dog related content, videos, and vlogs.

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How Puppies Train To Be Guide Dogs

For 70 years, the Guide Dog Foundation has been training puppies to be guide dogs for the blind and visually impaired. At a young age, the dogs are introduced to their harness so it becomes a familiar and fun object. About half the dogs that go through the training program become guide dogs. The foundation's main concern is making sure the dog is happy and ready for their lifelong career.

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Produced by: Emily Christian

Pick of the Litter

Documentary shows the rigors of training guide dogs for the blind

By Don Hardy, Jr. and Dana Nachman (KTF Films)

I’m sure that many of us have wondered what it would be like to volunteer as a puppy raiser with a guide dog organization such as Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB), or are curious about how these dogs, elite members of the service-dog corps, are trained. While few of us will have either opportunity, in Pick of the Litter, the new film by Dana Nachman and Don Hardy, Jr., we get to witness just how rigorous and stimulating this can be for the people who work at GDB, the puppy raisers and the pups themselves.

This new documentary takes us into the lives of these remarkable dogs from the moment of their birth to their first eight weeks, during which the pups are socialized and begin learning complicated skills, then to assignments to home-based volunteers. After 16 months, they are returned to GDB for further screening and 10 weeks of intensive training to qualify as guide dogs. (I was surprised that it only takes 10 weeks of “graduate school”-level training to hone the unique skills that turn these dogs into invaluable guides for their blind partners.) Not all the pups make it that far, however; only 300 of the 800 born each year in GDB’s breeding program go on to become full-fledged guide dogs. The rest are either returned to GDB to join the kennel’s breeding program or are career-changed; some become pet companion dogs while others are retrained as service dogs in another field.

The litter tracked in this moving and captivating film is labeled with the letter P, which is reflected in each puppy’s name: Patriot, Phil, Poppet, Primrose and Potomac. The volunteers range from novices to the well seasoned who have cared for many of these pups (one couple is on their 10th dog). Every three months, the GDB staff evaluates the progress the pups and their humans are making. You can definitely see how differently those with more experience interact with their dogs. Early on, a couple of the dogs are reassigned to other volunteers who are thought to be better able to direct their development.

Once the home-based training is done, dogs are returned to GDB and their readiness for the final rigorous 10-week training session is assessed. That was the most interesting part of the film for me. With only five cue words— “forward,” “pop up,” “halt,” “left,” “right”—plus ample use of “good dog!” they learn to handle the myriad challenges and obstacles of modern life, including traffic, escalators, sidewalk-less streets and more. It is truly amazing that any of them pass.

Toward the end of this crisp 81-minute film, we learn more about the two people who will be paired with the “picks” of the P-litter. Ron, a 32-year-old from Kansas City who lost his sight as a baby, is getting his first guide dog, while Janet is being matched up with her fourth. We see the moving and appreciative graduation ceremony and marvel that at least 300 people receive life-changing partners this way every year.

Pick of the Litter is artfully scripted, directed and edited. Juggling many different storylines, the filmmakers have produced a work that is both seamless and suspenseful. In the end, we are left with an increased awareness of and appreciation for all the many people who help guide these remarkable dogs to their various destinies. This is an enthralling and very entertaining film.

Nationwide screenings; for more information, go to

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