From The Expert

The Creation of the American Dog

Our domestic dogs are descended from wolves and jackals and though they may not have gained in cunning, and may have lost in wariness and suspicion, yet they have progressed in certain moral qualities, such as affection, trust-worthiness, temper, and probably in general intelligence.–Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871)   Then the Woman picked up a roasted mutton-bone and threw it to Wild Dog, and said, “Wild Thing out of Wild Woods, taste and try.” Wild Dog gnawed the bone, and it was more delicious than anything he had ever tasted, and he…

From The Expert

Enrichment, Brain Games, or Mental Exercise

Years ago when I started volunteering at a local animal shelter I would walk dogs and get them out of their kennels to stretch their legs. When we would return to the kennels they seemed to be content and tired. One day I met a dog who was literally jumping at the door to get outside and I would walk him and take him back to his room and he would still be bouncing around. After weeks of his bouncing, I couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t tired. I read through my volunteer manual and saw something about Enrichment and…

From The Expert

Adopting a Senior Companion Animal

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, so I’d like to share how adopting a senior companion has changed not only our lives, but the pets we’ve taken in as family. In the spring of 2013, my family and I adopted a 13-year-old male Chihuahua named Calvin. Calvin had entered the rescue organization, at which I volunteer, under somewhat unclear circumstances. He was found as a stray and was microchipped; however, his previous owner’s contact information at that time was invalid. So, Calvin came home with me, to live with four humans, as well as an array of cats and…

From The Expert

Let’s Toast the Black Cat in October!

Black cats have been the subject of superstition for centuries and this time of year conjures up the many myths and superstitions. In the Middle Ages, the color black was associated with mystery, darkness, and evil, therefore, black cats were often associated with witches and thought to be bad luck. Some people believed these cats were demons in disguise, so the woman who owned the cat was thought to be a witch. But anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting a black cat knows they are truly wonderful and loving animals. There is even a Black Cat Appreciation Day…

From The Expert

Being A Good Urban Dog Parent

Living in a city has its own unique challenges. As Wagsburgh is located in the heart of the North Side, I thought I’d address this with my first column. Some things to think about when you live with a dog in a city are: what do you do with your dog when you are not home, what equipment should you use to walk your dog, and what cues should you teach your dog to be a good urban citizen? Most of us leave our dogs loose in our houses when we leave. But, many use crates. Still, others have doggie…