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The Wonders of Working Dogs

This is Bay Woof’s working dog issue, and it explores therapy dogs, service dogs, and herding dogs, thanks to the contributions of Stacey Gustafson, Anastasia Pryor, and Joyce Shephard, respectively.

Gustafson, a Pleasanton humorist, shares the inspiring story of her daughter, Ashley, and her success at turning Stanley, a cocker spaniel-bichon cutie pie, into the darling of Roseview Assisted Living Facility. The sprightly cock-a-chon earned his therapy chops before heading there to sit in laps, lick faces, and lift spirits with his darling and daring fashion show.

Pryor is the director of development at Bergin University of Canine Studies in Rhonert Park, the school that teaches people how to develop assistance dogs. Pryor writes about how service dog Ming, a golden retriever, and her assistance abilities enable her human owner and partner, Makenna Enger, to soar even more with confidence.

Shephard runs Shephard Ranch in Santa Rosa with Becky Self and discusses how she couldn’t run the ranch without the able assistance of her Australian Kelpies, including one, Red Zinger, that she swears outsmarted her when it came to saving a ewe in distress.

Meanwhile, doggie guru Kelly Gorman Dunbar in “The Monthly Woof” discusses her belief that every dog is a working dog to some degree, though it’s up to us guardians to figure out where they excel and then to become their career coach and motivator. As usual, she makes it sound so simple.

Finally Jen DiMascio is this month’s guest veterinarian for “Ask Dr. Dog,” and the Holistic Veterinary Care and Rehabilitation Center team member has advice for you on how to keep Rover and Spot out of danger from muscle soreness, joint pain, and ligament or tendon problems. Who knew that dogs, like their humans, can benefit from warm ups, stretches, and cool downs?