Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me. It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then it’s DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!
THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.
TODAY: Snow showers. High of 21. "F"
SUNDAY: Partly cloudy. High of 32. "D"
Here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer with this week’s main blog:
Despite the fact that I love to see dog walkers (often the entire family is involved from strollers to grandparents) go past our house, I shudder to see that many of them are ill-equipped. I’m not talking about doo-doo bags; every single owner I observe carries and USES some sort of plastic baggie for picking up. I’m talking about evening walkers, not-prepared-for-the-elements walkers, and walkers of “special needs” dogs.
You love your dog and presumably yourself. Don’t put either of you at risk unnecessarily. Make your walk as safe and pleasant as possible. I’ve experienced these sorts of situations personally so I’d like you, neighbor/dog walker, to consider a few things:
Even if a driver is obeying the subdivision’s speed limit of 25 MPH, that’s still fast enough to cause serious harm if there was a collision. So PLEASE – if you walk your dog after the sun goes down, invest in a few reflective accessories such as collars and leashes like these. You might consider a reflective vest for yourself as well. There have been times that if I wasn’t 110% aware of my surroundings, I could have easily missed a walker after dark. (Here in God’s Country our subdivisions don’t have a lot of street lighting.)
In the summer, it doesn’t matter if you’re planning just a 15-minute “do your duty and let’s go home” jaunt. If you’re hot, so is your dog. Did you bring a water bottle for yourself? Great! But what about the friend on the other end of the leash? They dehydrate too! You might not need or want to pack like you’re on a cross-country trek but some of these items could really come in handy. (Hint: the WATER BOTTLE AND “BOWL” CLIP.)
The other extreme of course is winter and the perils of walking on ice. Unless you want to try to reenact your version of Lassie and hope that your dog can either save you from falling or run for help when you’re down… do something to protect yourself and your bones. A small investment in something like this could be the difference between a season of walking and a season of recuperation.
I personally know the challenge of owning a deaf dog. For neighbors, we’ve had a blind dog as well as rescue dogs that are skittish and nervous on a good day. We got to know them slowly and on THEIR terms. While it’s essential to use common sense in approaching any dog, as an owner please recognize if your pooch has “special needs.” Help get information to pedestrians (walking by themselves or with their own dog) with a color-coded message leash and/or collar. I realize evaluating dog personality and behavior is subjective and varies by owner. But it might help alleviate an unpleasant situation.
The items I listed aren’t over-the-top expensive. As a dog owner, you already know a furry friend isn’t cheap. Price shouldn’t be an excuse to keep you, your dog, and others safe, happy, and healthy. Perhaps one or all of these will be a purchase for your family soon. If you already own something similar or buy something because of this blog, please leave a comment to let me know how it works for you!
Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.
Airline apologizes to soldier.
Are dog lovers prejudiced?
In Ireland, Christmas dumping of dogs has begun.
We no longer euthanize...we fix.
Don't let your pet eat your nest egg.
A combo of beer and cigarettes worked.
Another case of a naughty dog.
It had to happen.
A new element at the Westminster Dog Show.
Callia, a standard poodle, demonstrates her mastery of an agility test during a news conference in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. For the first time ever, the Westminster Dog Show will include an agility competition, open to mixed breeds as well as purebred dogs. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
THAT'S IT FOR DOGS IN THE NEWS.
HERE'S OUR DOG PHOTO(S) OF THE WEEK:
Cecilia Canetti practices yoga on a stand-up paddle board as her dog Polo accompanies her off Barra de Tijuca beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. Canetti is training her dog to accompany her as she stand-up paddle surfs, along with other paddle surfing dog owners preparing for an upcoming competition of paddle surfers who compete with their dogs. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
A dog named Jack stands at the front of a paddle board as his owner trains off Barra de Tijuca beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. Jack is being trained by his owner to accompany her as she stand-up paddle surfs, along with other paddle surfing dog owners preparing for an upcoming competition of paddle surfers who compete with their dogs. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
People pose for a photo with their dogs next to a statue of San Anton (rear), Spain's patron saint of animals, after a priest blessed their pets inside San Anton church in Churriana, near Malaga, southern Spain, Jan. 17, 2014. Photo: Jon Nazca/Reuters
A cat hisses at a Great Dane dog while waiting to be anointed outside the Saint Anton church in Madrid, Jan. 17, 2014. Photo: Paul White, AP
And we close as we always do with our closing video. This week: Getting rid of doggone doggy odors:
And finally, Nathan the hairless dog goes viral!
That's it for this week. Don't forget to tell a fellow dog lover or 10 about us. Thanks for stopping by!
See ya, BARK, next week!