Barkcenter World Pup Update

**Spoiler Alert**

In case you have been locked in a windowless room or living under a rock, you probably already know that the USA Men’s National Team has made it through to the Knockout Stage of the World Cup despite the 1-0 loss to Germany earlier today! As the competition heats up in Brazil, the World Pup is now down to the final 4!

Is your #1 still alive in the quest for cuteness world domination?

The semifinal matchups are:

The Great Pyrenees (Spain) vs. The Shiba Inu (Japan)

The Olde English Sheepdog (England) vs. The Shar-Pei (China)

As of right now, both of these head-to-head competitions are pretty lopsided. But, there are still six days left to vote in this round. Will Spain and/or China make a run at an incredible comeback? Go to http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/world-pup.htm to log your vote now!

Fun fact of the day – Out of the four remaining breeds, three of the represented countries have been eliminated from the World Cup (Spain, England, and Japan), and the fourth was not even in the competition (China). I think it’s safe to say that the World Pup and the World Cup have zero correlation to one another!

Dogs Of Manhattan Goes North of The Border

This past weekend I took a trip up to Toronto. It was my first time up there and I was surprised to see how dog friendly the city is. Everywhere I looked there was someone with a dog. Nearly every store I went in had a bowl of water and treats available. It was so much nicer than seeing dogs tied up to trees and bike racks here in NYC.

On Saturday afternoon, we were walking around Toronto’s lakefront area and we happened to come across a competition taking place. The best part was, it was all about dogs! Toronto was playing host to an event called DockDogs – “The World’s Premier Canine Aquatics Competition”! (www.dockdogs.com).

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The dogs take part in one or more of the three events: Big Air, Extreme Vertical, and Speed Retrieve. Pups that are registered in all three events are eligible to have all of their scores combined and compete for the Iron Dog.

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Regardless of the event, it involves adorable dogs running down a 40ft. platform and jumping into a pool.

It was so much fun to watch, even when we got splashed. The dogs genuinely seemed to be having a good time and their playfulness and excitement to be released into the pool was hysterical.

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I’m so happy that I had my camera on me because this was an amazing thing to capture!

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Taz (the dog in the middle photo above) is currently tied as the world record holder for the Big Air competition at 31ft!

Hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I enjoyed watching and the dogs enjoyed participating!

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National Take Your Dog to Work Day

We all know the dates of the big holidays – Christmas is on December 25, Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November, July 4th is….well it’s July 4th. But it seems like there is a day to celebrate everything these days. July 30th – National Cheesecake Day. May 23rd – National Taffy Day. October 18th – National Chocolate Cupcake Day. November 10th – National Vanilla Cupcake Day….Yes, they each have their own day!

There’s also Pi Day and Pie Day. Some of you have participated in “Bring Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day”, but do you know what today is? Today is actually “Take Your Dog to Work Day” (http://www.takeyourdog.com). I had no idea – and if I did, I would have written about this much sooner so I could actually participate in this glorious occasion! Perhaps there are a bit too many holidays and “national days” to keep track of.

I guess it’s ok that I didn’t bring her with me today. Not because I don’t want to participate in the holiday, but because I actually take her to work with me quite often.

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My company is dog friendly, but our office building isn’t. But, do you think that stops me?? Every so often, I create my own “Bring Ziggy to Work Day”. On the days that I bring her to daycare, I sometimes go get her in the afternoon and launch a covert operation to sneak her into the office. After we elude the security (which involves just walking past them with her zipped in her bag), she comes up to the office and sets out on her mission to immediately brighten up everyone’s day. Instantly, everyone is smiling, stopping by my desk to play with her, and telling me how they want her to come in every day! She’s usually so tired from daycare that most of the afternoon is spent sleeping in a ball on my desk.

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Work is so much better when she’s around. I encourage those of you who work for dog friendly companies to make every day “Bring Your Dog to Work Day”. Because I know the positive impact that it has on everyone. And even if it doesn’t, you still get to have your little love bug with you!

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Round 2….

After the first week of an intense competition of cuteness, half of the field in the first ever World Pup have been eliminated. Sadly, my terrible luck when picking brackets has struck again and my favorite to win has been knocked out of the competition. The Frenchie went down to the USA’s Alaskan Malamute. I guess I can consider it a “win” – at least I can have some pride for my country!

The global tournament of cute fur-babies is now in the second round and there are four matches that require your votes to determine who moves on to the semis!  They are:

Spain vs Germany (Great Pyreness vs Dachshund)

USA vs Japan (Alaskan Malamute vs Shiba Inu)

Mexico vs England (Chihuahua vs Old English Sheepdog)
China vs Japan (Shar-Pei vs Smoyed)

Voting has already begun and as of today, you have six days left to lock in your choices. The competition is heating up and there is still so much more excitement left as the world narrows down its choice for cutest pup in the world!

Click on the following link to vote and to see the current results:

http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/world-pup.htm  

Good luck to all those adorable little representatives of their countries!

World Cup vs World Pup

I love sports just as much as the next person. And worldwide competitions give me a chance to have some pride for my country. However, while some of you may be caught up in World Cup fever, there is another competition that also began today which I think might just be more important! It’s the first ever “World Pup” hosted by Animal Planet.

The World Pup is a chance for viewers from around the globe to help vote for the cutest dog in the world via a series of head to head matchups between representative breeds from each country. Voters can either fill out brackets on the Animal Planet website or they can go on Twitter and use each dog’s hashtag to log their vote.

There are sixteen breeds in the tournament and each single-elimination round will last one week. After each week, the field will be reduced in half until the winner is crowned on July 10.

According to Miguel Monteverde, Vice President of Digital Media for Animal Planet in an interview with TODAY.com, “one of the great things about an international event like the World Cup or the World Pup is that you end up learning things about your neighbors overseas. At its core, we think people will learn about breeds they didn’t know before.” I think that this is a fantastic idea. For each dog, there are videos and other facts that allow you to learn about each breed before or after registering your vote.

Who do you think will win? Will you vote based on patriotic pride? Or will you fall in love with the cuteness of another country’s puppy? Below is a link to the World Pup website where you can register your vote. As of right now, this is what my bracket looks like – although I have to admit that I’m rather torn. I love the USA and want to vote for the Malamute, however, I HAVE A FRENCHIE! So, I think I have to go with the French Bulldog because they are the best!

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Match 1- Spain, Great Pyrenees

Match 2 Cameroon, Basenji

Match 3- Portugal, Portuguese Water Dog

Match 4- England , Old English Sheepdog

Match 5- France, FRENCH BULLDOG

Match 6- China Sharpei

Match 7- Japan Shiba Inu

Match 8 – Russia , Samoyed

Check back here each week, as I will provide updates on the World Pup competition. Since the Puppy Bowl isn’t until February, we’ll just have to live with the other type of football for now!

http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/world-pup.htm?_ga=1.123147149.749269829.1402610090

Summer in the City

Finally! Summer is right around the corner.  Longer days with lots of sunshine are just what I need after the brutal winter we had here.  Unfortunately, with that heat, it means restricted time spent outside with my Frenchie. In warmer weather, French Bulldogs could have trouble breathing, which leads to them not being able to cool their body temperature down quick enough. This could lead toward them fainting – or worse.

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This is because French Bulldogs are one of the many brachycephalic breeds of dog. In case you are unaware, brachycephalic dogs have a flat and wide skull that restricts their breathing. This is the opposite of long nosed breeds such as a Lab or Retriever (which is called dolichocephalic). A brachycephalic dog’s skull appears as if it has been compressed from front to back so it makes identifying them pretty easy. They are basically all of those really cute dogs with those adorable smushy faces! (for an unofficial list of brachycephalic breeds, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cephalic_index#Cephalic_index_in_animal_breeding).

Regardless of what type of breed you have, there are some very important things to remember when you have your dog outside on a hot summer day: 

  1. Never ever leave your dog in a car.  The temperature inside of a car can rise very quickly – even if you leave a window cracked open. It can easily become lethal and is just not worth the risk.
  2. Always have water with you, or have some readily accessible. 
  3. When outside with your dog for an extended period of time, try to be near an area that has shade and maybe even a breeze. 

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Inside, make sure their water bowl is constantly refilled (and always remember to give them fresh water at least once a day). You may also consider investing in a “keep cool mat” so after being outside, your dog can lie on something to help cool them down. 

The Humane Society has a fantastic site that provides tips on how to keep dogs safe in the heat and what do to in case of an emergency.  This is a page I suggest you bookmark: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/pets_safe_heat_wave.html.

While keeping your dog safe and happy during the summer, always remember to have a fun time with your little fur-baby! If you and your dog are anything like my Ziggy, you can’t wait to dive into summer!

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Responsibility, a big part in being a dog owner.

As dog owner, I have several huge responsibilities. I am charged with making sure that I provide the best care for my dog, provide her with love, and with exercise and socialization with other dogs. Above all else, my primary responsibility to her is to keep her safe. In a city like Manhattan,  where backyards are luxuries, and most people rely on sidewalks, parks, and dog runs, safety becomes a shared responsibility. I must look out for my dog and keep my eye on the actions of other dogs.and owners.

Last night, at my local dog run, my dog was attacked by a much larger and stronger dog. My 20lb dog, unprovoked, was pinned down and the larger dog’s jaw was clenched down on her jowls. My boyfriend instantly jumped in the middle and was pleading with the other dog’s owner to help him separate the two.  Instead, the other owner just stood idle and watched. As my boyfriend was screaming for him to help, his response was to “let the dogs be and they will eventually stop.” My boyfriend had to physically lift the other owner’s dog, and when he did my dog was hanging by her jowls in the other dog’s jaw. Finally, he was able to separate the two and evaluate the injuries.  The other owner did not apologize. He did not ask if she was ok.

Some of you may be thinking: “why did your boyfriend take your smaller dog into the park with the bigger dog?” My boyfriend, exercising his responsibility of keeping our dog safe, asked the owner if his dog was friendly prior to entering the park. He was told that the dog was friendly, playful, and has never attacked another dog.

After the altercation, and learning from the police that there were no laws against dog on dog violence, we spoke with other people who subsequently showed up to the park. Three separate dog owners told us that they will not bring their dog to the park if they see him because this exact scenario has played out several times before – including the dog attacking other dogs, and even biting another owner in the arm prompting police action. Each time, the dog’s owner stood there and watched. I have a problem with this as should all dog owners, dog lovers, and anyone who has a shred of common sense.  If you know your dog is not friendly, do not bring it to a park. Or, because the dog still deserves exercise, wait until the park is empty. And, if this is truthfully the first time it has happened, step up and apologize. Simply put, do the right thing.

Owning a dog is one of the greatest gifts I have ever known. I take full responsibility for my dog’s actions. She does not bite or even know how to injure another dog. But, if the situation was reversed and my dog was the aggressor, I guarantee that I would have acted differently than this person did. Unfortunately there are no laws against ignorant people owning dogs. If there were, maybe there would be a lot less animal abuse by humans and a lot less dog on dog violence.

It’s not hard. If you have a dog, socialize them while they are young. If you rescue an older dog, there are ways to socialize them in a safe environment for everybody. Please don’t bring unfriendly dogs to the park and put the other dogs and people at risk of injury or something worse. Take responsibility for your dog and for the safety of the dog community.