Category Archives: Lab

5 Dogs That Received an Honorary College Degree

By Linda Cole

Colleges and universities often bestow honorary degrees to individuals for outstanding contributions or distinction. Sometimes it’s a four legged individual that impresses committee members. Ellis, Samson, Zeeke and Elvis are dogs who received honorary degrees for their contributions to their humans, and Dylan received a posthumous award for his owner.


Amanda Davis is legally blind, but having a disability didn’t stop her from realizing her dream of getting a law degree. While she was getting her undergraduate degree at the University of Tampa, she was paired with a black Lab named Ellis after she applied for a guide dog from the Seeing Eye in Morristown, NJ. Davis was accepted into the New York Law School to continue her education, and Ellis was by her side the entire time. The school made room in the classrooms and gave Ellis time for breaks when they were needed. When Davis and Ellis crossed the stage on graduation day in 2012, she received her law degree and Ellis was given an honorary degree for his outstanding work as a service dog.



In 2011, a 2 year old yellow Lab named Samson graduated from and received an honorary degree from Oklahoma University. He entered the hallowed halls of higher education as an eight week old pup. Occupational therapist and faculty member in the Rehabilitative Services Department, Dr. Mary Isaacson, would spend the next two years training Samson as a service dog. Part of his training included learning how to hold open doors, retrieve objects on the floor, and turn lights on and off. Samson completed his education, donned his cap and gown, and graduated as a certified service dog ready to assist someone living with a disability in Oklahoma. When Samson received his honorary degree, he sat and shook the Dean’s hand, like any other graduate. The 300 other graduates were thrilled to share their special day with a dog they knew and loved.

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Top Five Grossing Dog Movies

By Langley Cornwell

Like most animal lovers, I enjoy reading books about pets and watching movies about them, especially if the movie involves real animals. When looking at the top five grossing dog movies, it’s interesting to note that there are a mix of cartoon dogs and real dogs in the films. Here is a list of the highest grossing dog movies as published by Box Office Mojo:

1. Scooby-Doo (released on 6/14/02), has a Lifetime Gross (Theaters) of $153,294,164.
2. Marley & Me (12/25/08), has a Lifetime Gross of $143,153,751.
3. 101 Dalmatians (11/27/96), has a Lifetime Gross of $136,189,294.
4. Beverly Hills Chihuahua (10/3/08), has a Lifetime Gross of $94,514,402.
5. Cats & Dogs (7/4/01), has a Lifetime Gross of $93,385,515.

Scooby-Doo topping the list makes sense; when kids love a movie they beg to go back to see it multiple times and this is definitely a kid’s movie. The characters were first seen in 1969 on the long-running Hanna-Barbera cartoon called Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? The movie is a live-action comedy/adventure. Scooby-Doo himself is computer-generated. The movie was so popular, a sequel called Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed was released two years later and ranks as number 6, grossing $84,216,833. Scooby-Doo received 2.5 stars from the Internet Movie Database.

I loved the Marley & Me book so much that I was hesitant about seeing the movie. I’m glad I did. The film stars Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson and twenty-two different yellow Labradors playing Marley at various stages in his life. The thing that I liked the most about this story is that it’s autobiographical and it illustrates the power of the canine-human bond. This is a must-see for dog lovers. The Marley & Me movie received 3.5 stars from the Internet Movie Database.

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Think Pink All Year Long with a Pink Ribbon Puppies Calendar

By Suzanne Alicie

We are thrilled to share with you a wonderful and inspiring project that has been put together by a long-time member of the CANIDAE breeder program. While the Pink Ribbon Puppies website may appear to be just an adorable site with puppies on it, there is a serious and touching story behind it.

The Pink Ribbon Puppies 2011 calendar is a fundraising project for breast cancer research. It features a litter of nine beautiful lab puppies born this past September. When the co-owner of the dam of this litter was diagnosed with breast cancer, it was decided that as much as she was looking forward to the puppies and wanted to be involved, she needed to focus on her healing process and leave the whelping up to the other co-owner. So while she underwent radiation therapy for five days of each week for six weeks, her friend and “co-mommy” began her days with puppy breath as she helped get the puppies off to a great start in life.

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Meet One of the Very First CANIDAE “Consumers”

By Julia Williams

This is a true story about Scout, a 15-year old chocolate Lab who has been eating CANIDAE dog food since the company started about 14-1/2 years ago. Scout began eating the All Life Stages formula as a 6-month old puppy, which makes him one of the company’s very first customers!

Considering that the average lifespan of Labrador Retrievers is estimated to be about 10-12 years, Scout is doing quite well. Moreover, Scout’s longevity is a testament to CANIDAE and their commitment to offering consumers premium quality pet food. Scout thrived on his all-CANIDAE diet as a young strapping pup, and as he grew and aged, his good health continued.

Scout now eats the CANIDAE Platinum formula for seniors and is still very healthy. Although he does have some arthritis in his legs, this is to be expected for such an old dog. As you can see from these recent photos, Scout is an energetic happy boy, still loving life and going strong at the age of 15.

Scout belongs to Duncan Reid, whose mother Debbie is a longtime friend of CANIDAE customer service rep Diane Matsuura. Debbie bought Scout from a breeder who was also one of the first sales reps for CANIDAE, back in the mid 1990s when the company was just getting started. Duncan said Scout was born in March of 1995, and was his 8th grade graduation present.

“My parents saw a ‘Labrador Puppies Available’ ad on the bulletin board at San Dimas Grain Company in California and decided it was time for me to have a dog of my own. When it came time to choose, there were so many cute puppies that I had the hardest time picking one. I remember looking over the group of puppies and seeing a small shy puppy amongst all the other strong energetic puppies. He was getting pushed around and most people would have overlooked this shy puppy, but I fell in love with him. I don’t know what it was; I just could not leave without him. We named him Windy River Scout after his mother, Marilyn’s Windy City, and his father, Mad River Burt.”

Duncan said he has so many fond memories of growing up with Scout. He remembers sleeping with him on the floor of the laundry room when he was a puppy so he wouldn’t whine in the middle of the night. He also remembers playing with him in the backyard every day after school. “One game we played was hide and seek. I would sneak into the bushes and be very quiet. When I was properly hidden, I would call Scout’s name and wait for him to find me. It was our own little game and he always won.”

Scout is a beautiful chocolate Lab with a “golden” heart. In addition to being Duncan’s faithful companion for all these years, Scout earned his American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen certification many years ago, and attained his Rally Novice title at 11 years of age. “It is amazing how long he has lived, and I cherish every memory,” said Duncan.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Great Movies for Dog Lovers

By Julia Williams

A few weeks ago I gave you some suggestions for good cat movies to watch, so it’s only fair that I recommend some good dog movies too. I thought selecting a few of my favorites would be far easier than it was for the cat movies. Upon further reflection, I realized there were so many really great dog movies to choose from, it was hard to pick just a handful. But I couldn’t include them all, or this article would stretch into next week! After much wrangling, I whittled my list down to five. Gather the family, pop some corn and curl up with your favorite canine to enjoy one of these delightful dog movies.

My Dog Skip (2000) is a heartwarming coming-of-age tale about the special friendship between a shy boy and his extraordinary canine companion. Young Willie isn’t good at sports, he has trouble making friends and his relationship with his Dad is problematic. Willie’s Mom gives him a dog for his ninth birthday, and his life changes for the better, largely because Skip becomes well loved by everyone and even helps the boy make friends. Set in the 1940s in the small, sleepy town of Yazoo City, Mississippi, My Dog Skip was loosely based on the best-selling memoir by the late Willie Morris, and stars Frankie Muniz, Diane Lane, Luke Wilson and Kevin Bacon.

Trivia: Six different Jack Russell terriers played Skip. One of those was Moose, the dog best known for his role as Eddie on the TV sitcom “Frasier.”

Because of Winn-Dixie (2005) is another “dog changes lonely child’s life” story, only this time it’s a girl. Though not nearly as endearing as My Dog Skip, it’s still a feel-good family film that’s enjoyable to watch, especially for children. Ten-year-old Opal adopts a stray dog and names him after the local supermarket where she found him. The two become constant companions, and the mischievous Winn-Dixie helps Opal make friends and meet all sorts of eccentric characters in their small Florida town. The movie was based on Kate DiCamillo’s children’s book by the same name, and stars Jeff Daniels and Cicely Tyson.

Trivia: Five different Picardy Shepherd dogs played Winn-Dixie. The Picardy Shepherd is a rare breed that’s also known as the Berger Picard.

Best in Show (2000), starring Eugene Levy and Parker Posy, is a hilarious comedy about dog shows that will have you howling with laughter, from the opening scene to the end. It’s presented as a mock-documentary of the obsessive owners (and handlers) of five show dogs—a Norwich Terrier, Weimaraner, Bloodhound, Standard Poodle and Shih Tzu—as they prepare to compete at the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show in Philadelphia. A film crew interviews the comical characters as they prepare for the trip, arrive at the hotel, and backstage during a national dog show. Best in Show was nominated for a Golden Globe, and in 2006 the movie magazine Premiere voted it one of “The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time.”

Trivia: According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), filming for the scenes with numerous dogs went remarkably well, with only one unscripted bark. The bloodhound in the movie is named Hubert. Bloodhounds are also known as St. Hubert hounds.

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993) is a remake of a classic 1963 Disney film which was based on the best-selling novel, The Incredible Journey, by Sheila Burnford. The movie chronicles the epic adventures of two dogs and a cat as they trek across the Sierras on a quest to find their family. Chance (voiced by Michael J. Fox) is an American bulldog pup with energy to spare; Shadow (voiced by Don Ameche) is an old, wise Golden Retriever; Sassy (voiced by Sally Field) is a snooty Himalayan cat who lives up to her name.

Trivia: in the original book, the animals’ names and breeds were all different. It featured a Labrador Retriever (Luath), a Bull Terrier (Bodger), and a Siamese cat (Tao).

Marley and Me (2008) is based on the best-selling autobiographical book by John Grogan, and stars Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson and Kathleen Turner. This touching tale presents dog ownership in a true-to-life way that many people can relate to. When a young couple adopts a yellow lab puppy (named after reggae singer Bob Marley), the rambunctious dog wreaks havoc on their household. Despite his naughty nature, Marley becomes an important member of their family.

Trivia: Marley and Me is the second highest-grossing live-action dog movie of all time (movies starring real dogs, not animated films) behind only Scooby Doo released in 2002. There were 22 different dogs that played Marley.

Although this list is by no means inclusive of all the great dog movies available on DVD, it should give you some ideas for what to watch on family movie night.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Breed Profile: Labrador Retriever

By Ruthie Bently

Labrador Retrievers are a special breed, as anyone that has owned one or been involved with one can tell you. I didn’t grow up with a Lab, but one of my favorite books was “The Dog In My Life” by Kurt Unkelbach. It was about a young lady named Cary and her dog Thumper of Walden, and the adventures they had on and off the dog show circuit. Another of my favorite books was “The Incredible Journey” about a Labrador, a Bull Terrier and a Siamese cat and the journey they undertake when their owner leaves them with a friend for safekeeping.

The Labrador Retriever is a member of the Sporting Group and was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1917. Their outgoing personality and versatility makes them ideal as either a family pet or a sporting dog. They excel in tracking, agility, obedience and service work. It is because of their trainability that they are used for rescue work as well as guide dogs. The height for a male should be between 22-1/2 inches to 24-1/2 inches at the shoulder, and his weight should be between 65 to 80 pounds. A female’s height should be between 21-1/2 inches to 23-1/2 inches and her weight should be between 55 and 70 pounds. There are three colors that are acceptable for showing: yellow, black and chocolate. Additionally, in Britain a Labrador needs to have a working certificate or it cannot become a bench show champion.

The Labrador actually originated in Newfoundland not Labrador. The original Labrador breed died out in Newfoundland, due to a heavy dog tax and the restrictions on importing the breed into England. The original Labrador breed traces its history back to a dog known as the St. John’s Water Dog, which came from a cross between small water dogs and Newfoundlands. The Duke of Malmesbury was the one credited with naming the breed, after he admitted that he had always called his dogs Labradors. Accurate pedigrees of the Labradors of today can be traced back as far as 1878, to two dogs “Peter of Faskally” and “Flappe.”

Labradors were used by fishermen in Newfoundland to help pull in nets and catch escaping fish that got away from the fishing lines. A Labrador Retriever has a dense short coat that is weather resistant. Their tail is known as an “otter” tail and they should have eyes that are friendly and “kind.” They should have a good temperament and be intelligent, and since they are primarily bred as a working gun dog, their soundness and structure are very important. Because they are a “working” dog, Labs need a job so they do not get bored. I used to tell my customers that a Labrador needed the equivalent of a five mile walk every day. If you choose a Lab make sure you have the time to spend with them so they get the exercise or workout they need. They are also a dog that uses their mouth, and they tend to chew more than some of other breeds.

My personal experience with Labrador Retrievers is that they are very intelligent, loving, family oriented dogs. My brother-in-law has a lab mix, though she looks more like a Lab to me than the other half. Her name is Wings, and she gets into all sorts of things; she has even followed my boyfriend Steve home from my brother-in-law’s house and will sit in our yard at night guarding it from what she perceives as danger. Once you own a Lab, they will own you. They really want to please and in turn, they wiggle their way into your heart.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.