Friday, June 21, 2013

Reading Goes to the Dogs!

Should you read to your dogs? Maybe. That’s what a group of students in Hamilton, Montana, have been proving once a week when they troop down to their local animal shelter to spend some quality time reading to the canine inmates. From The Huffington Post:
Once a week, students from the Keystone to Discovery Enrichment program, a nonprofit summer and after-school project for behaviorally or academically at-risk youth, head to Bitter Root Humane Association to read to shelter animals that are waiting for adoption. The program not only gives the kids a chance to work on their reading skills, but also helps soothe the animals.
"The dogs really respond to the kids. It really helps to have somebody talk to them," Bitter Root's lead animal care attendant, Charlotte, told HuffPost. Charlotte chose not to disclose her last name.
As terrific as the program sounds, it’s not revolutionary. The powerful impact reading to pets can have -- on both the reader and the readee -- has been under study for some time. In fact, in 2010 Medical News Today reported that a study had recently been completed that proved that “reading to dogs helped children improve their fluency by up to 30 per cent. Many animal organizations and libraries in the US already have reading improvement schemes where they pair up children and dogs, but until now the evidence has been more anecdotal than research-based.”
Part of the Library Dogs program, this collie
seems to be paying close attention to the story.

A program called Library Dogs has put these thoughts into strong and successful action. From their web site:
Children reading storybooks to dogs -- what could be cuter? But every day we’re learning there’s more than just cuteness when this happens. The smiles on a child’s face, the wagging tail of the dog, the excitement of doing something different (even forbidden in some public places) proves there’s anticipation when it comes to reading in this particular setting. And that’s what it’s all about. Youngsters of all ages are not only learning to read, they’re looking forward to it. They’re learning to love to read!
Meanwhile, back in Montana, Ria Overholt, the director of the program that brings student to the shelter reports that it isn’t just the kids who benefit. “We’ve seen that the sound of their voices is soothing for the dogs and cats.” Overholt said to the Ravalli Republic. “It is relaxing to the dogs to hear those calm and steady voices."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dogs in the Office

Remember casual Friday? Well, that was fun. But this? This is so much better!

The 15th annual Take Your Dog to Work Day happens on June 21st: this coming Friday! A great way to do share your canine pal with your whole crew while easing your conscience about leaving your baby.

And Take Your Dog Work Day has deeper benefits than might at first be apparent. For starters, as the web site tells us, “Take Your Dog To Work Day celebrates Dogs and Promotes Their Adoption.” And, of course, none of that is bad.

Take Your Dog to Work Day was first celebrated in 1999 by Pet Sitters International, one of the professional organizations Love on a Leash is proud to be a member of. It’s always celebrated on the Friday following Father’s Day. The idea behind the event was to celebrate the great companions dogs make
and promote their adoptions. Also, the event encourages employers to experience the joys of pets in the workplace for one day. You can learn more here.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dog Loving Dads Deserve Dog Themed Father’s Day Gifts

Though we’re a little late to the plate with dad’s day offerings, there’s still time to put together an gift package worthy of your dog-lovin’ pop. Typically men seem to be the hardest to shop for so we’ve come up with some dog themed ideas for gifts he’s sure to love. Whether it’s Father’s Day, his birthday or Christmas, these suggestions will hit a home run for the Dad that loves his pooch as much as he loves his family and friends.
Cufflinks from Fuzzy Nation.

If you aren’t familiar with Fuzzy Nation and you have pet lovers on your gift list, you need to go direct to their site and browse ASAP! Fuzzy Nation is the perfect resource for great dog-themed gifts for your pet-loving friends and family and these smoking cufflinks and cool cardholders are no exception. You can upload his pet’s photo to personalize these items and enter the code “Dad” for a 15% discount on orders over $50.

Linda Mackie photo.
We’ve said it before and will say it again: a pet portrait session, with a professional pet photographer will leave you photos that will stay near and dear forever. Capture your pet on film, along with the rest of the family, and you’ve got another great gift idea under your belt. We highly recommend two animal loving ladies whose photography work hits the mark when it comes to capturing your pooch on film.
Angie Wojciechowska photo.

Here’s a link to Linda Mackie’s Doggie Super -Soul Photo Sessions and Angie Wojciechowska of Off Leash Photography’s Father’s Day Gift Specials.

Original painting by Connie Townsed.
We’re also big fans of art featuring our beloved pooch. Two artists we absolutely love? Connie Townsend is known North America-wide for capturing the true spirit of our best friends. Her endearing and playful paintings of dogs (and cats) riding motorcycles and driving vintage cars have collectors stating she hits the mark and captures the animal’s personality to a T”.      

Locally, Vancouver artist Emily Z puts her heart and soul into capturing your pet’s personality on canvas and she is rapidly building a name for herself in our fair city.  

J Crew’s signature cotton boxers, featuring the beloved Retriever, are specially washed to be supersoft and incredibly comfortable. Order online. $21.50 per pair.

For a fun and comfy weekend away with your best guy and his best friend, head to Cougar’s Crag Extreme B&B on Vancouver Island. Just 30 minutes from Victoria, this gorgeous B&B consistently receives five star ratings from past guests for the fabulous scenery, delicious breakfasts, warm “dog friendly” hospitality, and super comfy loft-style rooms.

Cougar’s Crag has created a new style of accommodation geared to both the casual, nature-loving traveller and the serious eco-tourist. Something for everyone with as much, or as little, outdoor recreation as you feel up to.
Cougars Crag B&B incorporates the ambience of a lodge, the amenities of a hotel and the intimacy of a bed & breakfast, giving you everything you need to make your holiday or weekend hassle free.

Best of all, they will welcome your dog with open arm, so bring your pooch, your bike, even your muddy boots because they are all welcome at Cougar’s Crag!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hitting Your Dog’s Sweet Spot!

During the run of sunny, warm weather we’ve recently been enjoying, my dogs went absolutely head over paws for Nature’s Variety’s SweetSpots, the frozen treats that I picked up from Tisol on Arbutus.

SweetSpots come in two dog loving flavors -- Peanut Butter and Honey and Sweet Potato and Molasses, both of which my dogs really loved. No artifical coloring, flavor or preservatives, low in fat, and loaded with live active yogurt cultures for a cool treat on a hot summer's day without adding to your dog’s waistline.