Staff Newspaper Columns

Ken White’s Column

What A Face!

I bet you’ve experienced this yourself. It’s been a long and especially hard day, you’re feeling all kinds of emotions, and that includes feeling all alone. You look over at your dog or cat, and things start to shift. Your cat does it with her eyes, the way she...

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A Dumb Topic

Having written weekly columns for decades, this is the first time I have chosen a dumb topic. (Readers, however, may think quite a few others also qualify.) With Halloween coming, I’m reminded how often I’ve talked about this holiday’s real risks to our pets (from...

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Very Old Dog Teaches New Tricks

Although we’re certainly not always kind to them, people’s feelings about dogs can be considered a long-time love affair. But when did that begin…? We now have evidence of a first date going back further than previously estimated for here in North America. Scientists...

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Bees, Bats and Bombs

Back a few weeks to my Labor Day column, I mentioned bees used to detect explosives. As promised to a doubting reader, this is my further explanation of what seemed to her a highly suspect reference. Quoting here from no less a source than the December 7, 2006 issue...

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Learned At The Puppy’s Knee

Lola, the world’s most perfect puppy (my column, my rules), is celebrating her first birthday. Well, we’re calling this her first birthday since, as with almost every shelter graduate, the day of her actual birth – along with other early details – is only a guess. But...

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The Name Game

Here’s a question I often get asked: “What’s the relationship between Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA and American SPCA (ASPCA), Humane Society of U.S. (HSUS), and other national-sounding groups?” The question often comes as those organizations send mail asking...

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Labor Day

There are several theories about the history of Labor Day but none I’ve found pay any attention to the other than human animals used in labor, and that seems an oversight. The history of animals used in labor is frankly neither humane nor pleasant (and although...

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Quite the Dickens

A century ago, Maria Dickin set the goal of helping London’s animals. While even today we remain dissatisfied with the quality of life offered most animals, we know that current conditions are far better than those of the early 1900s. Dickin described an epiphany...

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The Original Tesla

At times it seems that we are a species possessed of apparently tiny memory as well as very little interest in the past. Here’s a case in point. Say the word “Tesla”, especially here in the Bay Area, and you’ll soon find yourself in a conversation about innovation and...

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Living With Animals: Fish Tales

Following last week’s story of my first pet, Spot, did you know that fish are the most popular pets in America? 14.5 million households have tanks containing 160 million finny friends. The highly profitable aquarium industry ($300 million/year) creates much animal...

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Living With Animals: Spot

Outside of work, I’ve lived with literally hundreds of animals, but all of that since leaving home at age 16. I spent childhood begging, unsuccessfully, for a pet. Rather than a pet-less childhood, however, it’s more accurate to say there were no pet-able pets. There...

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What’s In a Name

Our little Lola, the world’s best dog (my column, my rules) never meets anyone who is not her instant best friend, and most of those best friends burst into a spontaneous “Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets…” upon learning her name. And that, in turn, quite frequently...

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The First Dog

Love or hate him, among those traits which make Donald Trump unique is that he is the first president in a century to live without a dog in the White House. This realization made me turn to the “dog quotient” of those now attempting to take Mr. Trump’s place in...

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Summertime Blues

Summer has just begun but weather doesn’t pay close attention to the calendar, especially not here in the Bay Area. Let’s talk hot weather and pets! Prior to coming to PHS/SPCA I spent 7 years at Arizona Humane Society, so when I hear people complain about the heat I...

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Why Dogs Circle

For months now, our little Lola (the world’s most adorable puppy) (my column, my rules) has been entertaining us with super-excited mad dashes around furniture, racing from room to backyard to room, wearing a big ear-to-ear grin as she banks the turns, typically...

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Miss Behavin’

Suggestions for a good starter pet

Dear Miss Behavin’: We’re looking to adopt a pet! We aren’t sure what kind, and the kids are open to anything from a turtle to a dog. Our home is small, we’ll be first-time pet owners, and we’re often out of the house at least 8-10 hours a day. What’s a good starter...

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Working through potty training issues

Dear Miss Behavin’: I adopted a dog, Lolly, last week and the shelter told me she was potty trained. She did fine for a few days but now is having accidents daily. What’s the deal? There are lots of possible explanations for Lolly’s recent accidents, so let’s start at...

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What eye contact means in dogs

Dear Miss Behavin’: My last dog, Harry, used to gaze lovingly into my eyes all the time. It made me feel like we had such a good bond! My new dog, Hildy, rarely makes eye contact. Often when I call her name, she lifts her head but looks to the side. A friend said...

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Making a visit to the vet fun

Dear Miss Behavin’: Bringing our last dog to the vet was a serious ordeal. He hated going and always seemed to know when we were headed there instead of the park-not to mention the dramatics he put on once we arrived! We just got an eight week old puppy and we’d...

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Teaching dog to come when called

Dear Miss Behavin’: What is the best way to get my dog to come to me when I call him? That is a great question!  There are several things we can do to set our dogs up for a successful recall.  Here are a few suggestions that work to get everyone off on the right foot....

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Crate training your dog

Dear Miss Behavin’: We just got a new dog and have been hearing a lot of talk about crate training. It’s not something we did with previous dogs, but it seems like it’s all the rage now. Should we be doing this with our dog? There are many reasons that crate training...

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Curbing kitten antics

Dear Miss Behavin': Our two new kittens are really tearing up the house! We thought cats would be less destructive than a dog. What do we do? It's common for people to think that their cats will be less maintenance than a dog. The truth is that as adults, they usually...

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Keeping dog mentally stimulated

Daily News Columnist Dear Miss Behavin’: Our family dog is reaching her teen years and it seems like her body is tiring out faster than her adventurous heart. She gets fatigued quickly on our outings, but then seems bored once we’re back home. What can we do to keep...

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