Featured Shelter Pet: Jasmine, the Border collie mix

Jasmine is a 7 year old Border collie mix with lots of love to share with a new forever family.

** UPDATE 9/14/10: YAY!! Jasmine found a forever home today! She’ll be living with a mom, dad, young boy, a beagle and four cats. The perfect active environment for her! **

Don’t be misled by Jasmine’s age: at almost 7 years old, this Border collie mix has lots of spunk! She loves to go for walks and is just itching to romp in the yard and play with a new family. I don’t know how much Border collie she has in her DNA, but it’s clear she’s lively and looking for some fun. She and her new family might enjoy an agility class together!

I’ve taken Jasmine out a few times for walks; when we sit on the benches outside the shelter, she jumps right up with me and sits to be pet – which makes me wonder if at her former home she spent a lot of time on the couch! She got a bath today, and while I don’t think it was her favorite thing to do, she stood very still and let me lather her up and run my hands all over her body to get her fur nice and clean. Then we went for a nice long walk in the sun, and she went back to her kennel nice and shiny.

She also let me hug and kiss her … lots. In other words, Jasmine is a great family dog looking for a great family!

You can visit with Jasmine at Rochester Animal Services at 184 Verona Street.

Your kids can do better in school with the help of a dog

Scout and his reading buddy pick a book during one of their reading sessions. (photo copyright 2009 Wonder Dog Communications)

It’s back to school time, and along with the pencils, notebooks and other school supplies, did you know that a dog could be an essential tool for school success?

Last year, my dog Scout and I participated in our local elementary school’s reading program. Every week, we would meet up with a student for a half hour in the library; the student read a book while Scout licked the student’s face and listened to stories. The program stems from Therapy Dog International’s Tail Waggin’ Tutors program.

The idea behind Tail Waggin’ Tutors is that kids who are struggling to read, or who are just lacking in confidence, can find a warm and nonjudgmental ear with a furry reading partner. And the snuggling isn’t bad, either! Continue reading

Celebrating 50 years of dogs in space

This week marks the 50th anniversary of Soviet space dogs' Belka and Strelka's successful space orbit.

This week marked the 50th anniversary of the first living creatures to make an orbital space flight and return alive.

On August 19, 1960 Soviet space dogs Belka and Strelka spent a day in space aboard Korabl-Sputnik-2 before returning safely to earth. They were accompanied by a grey rabbit, 42 mice, 2 rats, flies and a number of plants and fungi. All passengers survived, making it the first successful orbit for Earth-born creatures.

Continue reading

Study shows dogs increase productivity in the workplace

Bandit and Scout handle some paperwork around the home office

Research has proven that having a dog around can make people feel better and even offer actual health benefits. That’s why dogs are even being used in therapy in places like nursing homes and schools.

But what about at work?

Christopher Honts and his colleagues at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant decided to find out. They conducted experiments where they had two groups carry out a task, one with a dog in the room and one without. In the end, the groups that had a dog in the room had more trust, team cohesion and intimacy.

I confess that one of the biggest benefits to working at home is having the dogs around all day. Then again, they can be a giant pain in the tail when I need to concentrate and they want to play. (In fact, as I write this Bandit is taking silverware out of the sink and carrying it around the house.) But I wouldn’t trade those wet kisses and snuggles while I’m working for any bigger paycheck.

Bark back: If you could, would you bring your dog to work? What benefits do you think there would be if you could? Any drawbacks?

K9 police dog finds drugs during routine traffic stop

Hats off to Bara, the Wayne County K-9 police dog!

When state troopers this week pulled over 43-year-old Adolfo Hernandez for driving 68 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone in the Town of Ontario, a Wayne County K-9 unit also responded. 

Police dog Bara did her job, alerting her human partner Deputy Lorenz to heroin, hypodermic needles and other drug paraphernalia hidden in the engine compartment and Oxycodone pills inside the vehicle.

According to new reports, Hernandez was issued several traffic tickets and taken to Cayuga County Jail, where he is being held without bail.

(I don’t have a photo of Deputy Lorenz and Bara; if you do, I’d love to add it to this post. Email contact@barkaroundtown.com.)