Claudia Kawczynska and Cameron Woo founded The Bark in their garage, shortly after adopting their first dog, Nellie, and discovering it was illegal to allow their dog to romp untethered at their local park. The couple tapped into Kawczynska’s experience in public policy and Woo’s skills as a graphic designer to craft a publication that addressed the burgeoning issues faced by a new generation of dog owners.
Taking the magazine’s slogan to heart—Dog Is My Co-Pilot—The Bark became the first magazine to tap into the exploding phenomena of dog culture and lifestyle, focusing on the growing bond between individuals and their pet companions. Over the past twenty years, The Bark has chronicled the America’s love affair with dogs, the evolving status of canine pets and their role in society, as well as the incredible rise in services and products. The Bark has become the recognized expert on the social/cultural world of dogs in America, and what they mean to us.
The Bark’s impeccable pedigree includes publishing many of today’s most acclaimed authors including Ann Patchett, Augusten Burroughs, Rick Bass, Amy Hempel, and Pulitzer Prize winning poet Mary Oliver. The magazine features the writing of noted experts in science, animal behavior and health—Dr. Nicholas Dodman, Donald McCaig, Mark Derr, and includes animal behaviorist Patricia McConnell and nutritionist Marion Nestle as regular columnists.
The Bark has been twice honored with an Alternative Press Award for Best Magazine (lifestyle category) recognized for outstanding achievement in independent publishing. The Bark has also been honored with an Award of Merit from The Society of Publication Designers and a Folio Silver Award for Best Enthusiast Magazine. In September, 2003, Crown (Random House) published Dog Is My Co-Pilot: Great Writers on the World’s Oldest Friendship, an anthology from the editors of The Bark. The Bark’s second collection, entitled Howl: A Collection of the Best Contemporary Dog Wit was published in October 2007. DogJoy, a photo book featuring the magazine’s popular “Smiling Dogs” submissions will be published in November 2009 by Rodale.
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