|There are as many definitions of doging as there are breeds of human. Pictured here is a moment from the off- track Canine Agility trials, as one of the top contenders clears the water hazard.|
|Until Recently Ithaca was nationally recognized as the best town in the nation in which to be a dog, Ithaca having been pretty much free range territory for dogs up until the nineteen seventies.|
|Until then, dogs ran free on the Cornell Campus, which was often called Dog patch U. This era began a long decline in terms of dog freedom, starting when the actress Cameo White was partially devoured by her own pack of seven, although this was due to their having been shut in with her for a week after her death before they were all discovered, not feasting on her so much as respectfully nibbling at her body, so that in a week only one leg was gone.|
|The Dog free range began a more precipitous decline many years later when Tripod, a three legged Malamute from Alaska, became king dog on campus and, in order to enforce his rule, killed another dog. Nowdays dogs are better subjected to human law and order.|
|Ithaca is now in the forefront of the movement to create dog parks, which are where people take their dogs in order to mill around with other humans while carrying little plastic bags of poop.|
|Animal behaviorists and others working at Cornell and with their own animals, have lately come to the understanding that, play as they may, dogs want nothing more than they want suitable employment, the lack of which has come to be recongized as a major current mental health problem, besides being a major contributor to canine obesity.
In the 1980's the editor of a local weekly trained his dog to clilmb trees, which was mostly a matter of running at and up them, which was good for twelve feet of elevation on a nearly perpendicular trunk, to get at a can of topless dog food lodged in the first fork. The editor tried for years to interesty dog food companies and advertiers in his dog's talent. but did not suceed into the big time. Much more attention was gotten in the following decade by a woman who, to make a point, or just to make an impression, insisted on breast feeding a foundling puppy on the Ithaca Commos.