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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 - America's Finest Dog Blog (12/21/13)

The Barking Lot

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: Areas of freezing fog early. Otherwise cloudy. High of 32. A winter storm warning goes into effect at 6:00 tonight until 6:00 Sunday night.  Tonight: Cloudy with snow. Low 28. Winds NE at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 90%. Snow accumulating 3 to 5 inches. "F"

SUNDAY: A 90% chance of snow, 3-5 inches. High of 29. "F"

Here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer with this week’s main blog:

The two dogs I had when I was young were EXTREMELY spoiled.  Not $bazillions-spent-on-kibble spoiled, but still very indulged.

Since my Basenji mix had short hair there wasn’t much insulating her skin in the winter.  As she aged, she had sweaters in cool weather and a hand-sewn coat in cold months.  Keep in mind at the time we owned these pets, the industry to pamper your pooch hadn’t exploded into what it is today.  It was actually difficult to find a coat for Sugar so that’s why my mom made one.

Skippy, our English Springer mix had long hair and tolerated the elements better than her “sister.”  She LOVED going out in the rain and snow.  We’d toss snowballs at her to catch!  So she never actually got any coats or sweaters.  But her paws were different than Sugar’s; in the winter she’d “clack clack clack” across our floors ‘til the little snowballs between her pads would melt.

Honestly we never thought about getting her boots.  I don’t know if they even really existed.  If they did, I wouldn’t have wanted to be the one to try to get four of them on a high-spirited canine like her.  For our family, I think warm towels and perhaps the blow dryer set to low were better options on freezy days.

As I look forward to owning our first family dog, I wonder about so many things… how will we feed her (packaged food, homemade food, or a combo); will she be crate-trained (pros and cons); just how indulged will she be?  We won’t be one of those over-the-top families whose dog rates higher than human members of the pack.  But if boots would help her be more comfy in the winter, why not?

Apparently the jury is out on this topic.  While dog lovers and experts agree that cold weather can be harsh on dogs’ feet, what to do about that fact remains open to discussion.



Love him or not, Cesar Millan weighs in with his opinion.  A lengthy essay in The Dog Journal discusses likes and dislikes of different boot options.

On the other end of the spectrum there are those who believe dogs’ paws are their own natural snow boots.

As with any aspect of dog ownership and indulgence, the choice is entirely yours.  But if you realize that your dog suffers from during this time of year, wouldn’t you do anything possible to lessen that?
---Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer.

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

Woman rescues dog, returns home to find house on fire.

It's the dog story of the week: Blind man gets to keep Orlando.

Dog hit by car gets wheelchair.

Dominic is a real comfort.

Dogs can protect children from asthma.

It's called doga.

Dog owners, don't take it personally.

You may not like the Detroit Lions, but you'll love Billy Palmer.

Dutch saving Christmas dinner is a winner.

Yes we do love a happy ending.

Here's another happy ending.



It deserves another look.

Cecil Williams pets his guide dog, Orlando, in his hospital bed following a fall onto subway tracks from the platform, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, in New York. The blind 61-year-old Williams says he fainted while holding onto his black Labrador who tried to save him from falling. Both escaped without serious injury. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

And we combine our photo with one of our videos of the week. At an emotional press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Cecil Williams says it's a miracle he's alive after he lost consciousness and tumbled with his guide dog in front of an oncoming New York City subway train.


Photos of this next story went viral.


 And finally, check out this life-saving service dog…

That's it for this week. Remember to tell a fellow dog lover about us.
This is from an e-mail I received: "If you've seen a better picture than this picture of a dog dressed as two dogs carrying a present, I don't believe you."


See ya, BARK, next week!

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