Many canines think that print publications are only good for fetching, peeing on, and wearing as three-cornered hats. Today's Groupon teaches dogs another use for the written word: for $7, you get a one-year subscription to The Bark magazine (a $15 value).
A magazine about canine culture, The Bark melds readable articles about animal behavior and health with the pooch-related ponderings of writers including Augusten Burroughs, Ann Patchett, and Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Mary Oliver. Subscribers who read the current issue out loud to their bibliophilic bichon frise can absorb an article by Camille Ward and Barbara Smuts, which focuses on how dogs resolve conflicts, or snicker at Rex and the City author Lee Harrington's sly skewering of a dog lover's foibles in "The Chloe Chronicles."
Founded in 1997 as a newsletter for off-the-leash dog-park advocates in Berkeley, The Bark has blossomed into a glossy mag that is published five times a year and has garnered a readership of more than 250,000 humans as well as six anamorphic cartoon poodles. The publication's prolific editors have published several books, including the most recent Dog Is My Co-Pilot, a compilation of short stories and commentaries that document the age-old bond between owners and the tiny sweaters they knit for their pets.