Dog Blog

The Dog Blog is a community of ordinary dog lovers who have come together to discuss our extraordinary dogs. Each Monday, a new topic is introduced. If you've got an opinion, share it. If not, look for the current "anything goes" topic and introduce a discussion of your own. On Fridays, weigh in about your training questions and successes.
Your host: Mike Lewis is a little-dog nerd and the proud owner of Eddie and Jillian, a pair of Yorkies who think they're huskies, and Lucy, a sweet Chessie. R.I.P., Rusty. Contact mlewis@adn.com

Parks and Rec Committee approves fenced dog park - 1/10/2013 3:33 pm

AACCC Adoption of the week: Meet Scout - 1/9/2013 12:12 pm

Kitty and K9 Connection: Meet Nano - 1/4/2013 7:04 pm

What are your New Year's resolutions for your dogs? - 1/2/2013 4:29 pm

AACCC Adoption of the Week: Meet Rudy - 1/2/2013 4:14 pm

Take extra precaution with dogs on New Year's - 12/31/2012 11:58 am

Friday training talk -- what's up with your pack? - 12/28/2012 11:09 am

AACCC Adoption of the Week: Meet Chris K - 12/27/2012 12:27 pm

What is your dog worth?

Take our poll

Recent allegations of pets being injured or killed by tainted food has sparked discussion on the value of a pet's life. Is your dog worth more than its market value? Should you be compensated for pain and suffering if your dog is wrongfully injured or killed? Conversely, if your dog is running loose and attacks and kills another, should you be required to pay an amount far beyond that dog's market value?
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PICTURE OF THE WEEK

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Are Anchorage dog parks working?

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The snow is gone, the poop has been scooped, and Anchorage dog owners are once again returning en masse to the five off-leash dog areas around the city. This will be the fifth summer of the dog parks, and the questions arise: Are they working? Could they be better? What do you like about them? Have you had any bad experiences?

Unleashed dog areas in many other cities consist of enclosed areas where dogs and owners keep to themselves. But in Anchorage, unleashed dogs share trails with walkers, joggers, cyclists, et. al. Do you think there should be some enclosed areas for walking dogs, or is what we have the best solution?

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Scoop the Poop Day April 22

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Every winter, many Alaska dog owners take a "what happens in the dog park stays in the dog park" philosophy about cleaning up after their pooches. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Come spring, what happened in the dog park washes into our lakes and creeks and creates a toxic mess called fecal coliform bacteria.

On Sunday, the municipality and the Anchorage Waterways Council in cooperation with Anchorage Unleashed and other groups have scheduled their annual Scoop the Poop day to give offending dog owners a sort of amnesty for their offenses. Spend a few hours cleaning up with a group of civic-minded volunteers and stash that guilt away for another year.

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What can be done to make dog food safe?

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It has been three weeks since Menu Foods announced a recall of pet foods it believed responsible for killing dogs and cats, yet pet owners still aren't entirely confident that the food they are buying is safe. In the short term, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has created a Pet Food Recall Resource Center to track developments. In the long term, the U.S. Senate is holding hearings this week to press the FDA to work with states to establish standard regulations.

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Exercise during breakup

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Springtime can be a miserable time of year to walk a dog. The snow becomes abrasive, icy, rife with ankle-twisting holes. And if that's not bad enough, there's the runoff. Previously reliable trails become impassable to master if not dog and drench fleece booties to the point of uselessness. This week, share your secrets or your frustrations in trying to exercise during breakup.

PICTURE OF THE WEEK
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Spencer in the Kenai Peninsula powderSpencer in the Kenai Peninsula powder

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Modern veterinary care

Poll: How much would you spend on your dog?
Pet owners are opening their wallets and their bank accounts to save, or improve, the lives of dogs they love at a rate never seen before. But how much is too much? Would you spend the same amount to heal a 1-year-old hunting dog as you would a 12-year-old lap dog? Would you go into debt to save the life of a dog you love, regardless of age? How about just to improve its life? This week, share your experiences in how far you've gone or how far you'd go for your beloved pooch.

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What do you think of the pet food recall?

Take our poll about the recall
What is your reaction to the report that pet food is suspected of causing kidney failure that killed at least 16 dogs and cats? Were your pets eating any of the products on the suspect list? Have you changed your feeding habits because of it?
List of recalled foods
Voice your opinion

PICTURES OF THE WEEK
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How cold is too cold?

Take our poll about the cold
The first time I saw a husky cover itself in snow and curl up for a nap outside, my jaw dropped. How could any pet survive in that kind of cold? It turns out some can, some can't. This week, I'd like to hear what your limits are for allowing your dogs in the cold. Do your dogs spend their days outside? Do they spend their nights outside too? What precautions do you take to ensure they are safe from the cold? Straw to lay on? Shelter from the wind? A heated water dish? Is there a temperature where they always come in the house? Be sure to list your dog's breed.

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Close encounters of the moose kind

Any dog owner who has lived in Alaska for a season or two knows that dogs and moose don't mix. The standard encounter goes something like this: Dog barks at moose, moose charges dog, dog races back to owner with moose on its heels. It can get ugly in a hurry. This week, tell us about your moose encounters. And tell us what you do to avoid moose while on walks with your dogs.
Take our moose encounter poll

PET FOOD RECALL
An Ontario-based company has announced the recall of millions of bags and cans of dog and cat food sold across North America, and at least some Alaska stores were pulling the products off the shelves.

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Unusual behavior problems

Years ago, telling someone that your dog was undergoing therapy for behavioral problems would have landed you, not your pooch, on a shrink's couch. But the idea has become much more mainstream. This week, tell us about your dogs. Are there any unusual behaviors that you can't figure out? Or have you had success changing some? How did you do it?
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PICTURE THEME OF THE WEEK
J.J. Tranquilla swears her dog can balance a beer with equal aplomb.J.J. Tranquilla swears her dog can balance a beer with equal aplomb.

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Tell us about your dogs

What's your favorite dog story? It doesn't have to be the time your collie Lassie rescued your son Timmy from the well. Just share a story that illustrates why dogs really are our best friends.
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PICTURE THEME OF THE WEEK
Send us pictures of your dogs with toys. Everything goes: sticks, pigs ears, hooves, Nylabones all count. As usual, if you don't have a picture on topic, feel free to post something else.
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A dog gallery is born

Alaskans, your dogs rock. We asked for photos, and you delivered more than 130 the first week. It was heartening to see that, in the land of the working sled dog, pet owners have a sense of humor. The antlers and Santa hats were a nice touch, Heather Roberts and Tanja Morris. And Andre Kaeppele, the Aces could use Harley in his hockey gear come playoff time. As for Asha P., I've got just the Yorkie to fit in Shanie's saddle. Alaskans, you are fanatical about your dogs, but you're in good company. Keep the pictures coming.

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JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Anchorage Daily News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

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