You may not know Darlene’s name, though many do, but you most likely know her books, and her influence in the pet world was pervasive for several decades.
And what follows is Darlene. Here’s an audio highlights of radio interviews, I must have done 20 of these with Darlene over the years. This is from my my national radio show, Steve Dale’s Pet World. Also here, one example of a comment from a newspaper column in 2005:
Our shih tzu digs holes trying to catch little lizards. We’re not able to catch her in the act, but we’ve tried sprinkling chili peppers in the area, saying, “No! Bad dog!” and swatting her on the rear. I know we’re not swatting hard because she doesn’t cry or yelp. Is there anything else we can do?
—C.B., Belleview, FL
“I can bet your dog is bored, learning that digging is a good way to pass the time,” says Darlene Arden, author of The Irrepressible Toy Dog (Howell Book House, New York, NY, 1998; $17.95). “For starters, supervise her when she’s outside. I worry about all dogs—but especially toy dogs—being left alone for long times in a yard. They may be taken away by a predator (like a coyote, alligator, bird of prey, etc), or taken away by a person.”
Arden suggests creating a designating digging area. Create a small place in the yard where your dog can dig. Encourage her by burying a hollow bone or Kong toy (available at pet stores) stuffed with treats. And praise her for digging where you want, instead of worrying about how to punish her for digging where you don’t want. And instead of lizards, toss a little ball for her to follow. We need all those little lizards.”
Listen HERE to Darlene talking about keeping pets safe in frigid weather (from 2013). Her focus, as it often was, on small dogs.
I must have recorded at least five or six videos with Darlene. This is the last one we did (and she told me it would be the last). It was recorded at the 2015 Convention of the American Veterinary Medical Association in her hometown of Boston. We talked about implications of medical marijuana for pets.
Several people have asked about where Darlene wanted contributions in her memory. She was very quietly an Advisory Board Member of Ovarian Cancer Symptom Awareness (OSCA) for a couple of years, and often spoke weekly to the organization, sometimes getting advice and sometimes giving advice.
The Veterinary Outreach Fund supports the work dogs are doing to detect ovarian cancer. And, Darlene set up a fund called the Ovarian Cancer Symptom Awareness (OCSA) Darlene Arden Veterinary Outreach Program Fund to support that work and to support a Veterinary Student Internship at Penn Vet Working Dog Center or the Veterinary Outreach Program. Be sure to designate your donation in memory of Darlene Arden.
OCSA’s core mission is delivered in a variety of ways to a variety of audiences, but none are more important than the partnership we have with animals. And no one understood that concept more than Darlene. A proponent of the One Health Initiative before it existed, Darlene all but begged medical doctors to attend veterinary conferences in order to learn about what would eventually reach human medicine. “If banging my head against the wall burned calories, I would look like a supermodel,” she once said. She was excited about the existence of OCSA and what she knew it could achieve.
Please consider making a donation in her memory at ovariancancersymptomawareness.org or sending a check directly to:
3225 W. Main Street St.
Charles, IL 60175
Attn: Vallie Szymanski
Your entire contribution is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, and we are required by law to notify you that no goods or services were provided in consideration of your gift.