Ever get the feeling that your dating life can best compare to a year in the life of a dog, like an ideal man comes along every seven years? While that thought has crossed my mind more than once, it was the love of man's best friend that led me to the March/April issue of Bark.

Bark's elegant cover of a Weimaraner positioned much like the five bars in the Cingular ads immediately drew me in. The publication succeeds in writing about serious topics while simultaneously fulfilling our unspoken need to see dogs dressed up in human outfits. I'd make fun of this more, had I not subjected my dearly departed cocker spaniel Freckles to her fair share of sweaters and bandanas while I was growing up.

Bark profiles online job site for its "DogFriendly" section, in which 400 companies, including Google and Amazon, have nationwide positions available that allow dogs in the workplace.

Then the mag takes a serious tone, drawing attention to "Dealing Dogs," a HBO documentary about a man who went undercover to expose horrific animal conditions taking place at an Arkansas kennel.

Pendulating back to happy, there's a piece about a California woman who combined her love of dogs and baking into a business called Debbie Does Cakes (I am not making this up) where she creates anything from lifelike dog cakes (do I really want to pay tribute to my dog by eating a pound cake version of her?) to edible purses and X-rated body parts.

Knocking my serotonin level back down was a story about dog racism. Did you know that black dogs, regardless of their breed, are often overlooked for adoption because of the color of their coat? The dogs are given the acronym "BBD" for big black dog, and often wait years to be adopted.

Mocking James Frey and JT Leroy in doggie-style fashion was a satirical column looking at the many ways industry dogs have pulled the wool over its fans. Lassie was really a boy? McGruff the crime dog took Mafia kickbacks? For shame.

Two cover stories--one on people who quit their day jobs to start a business working with animals; the other on artist William Wegman, known for his photographs of Weimaraners--should not be missed. It also doesn't hurt that Wegman bears a striking resemblance to his subjects.

A section called Bark must-reads ran entirely too long, with 22 pages of writer profiles and book excerpts. This was subsequently followed with four additional pages of book reviews... major overkill.

The book concludes with a heart-wrenching story of a woman whose dogs reacted strongly to her husband's death, with physical illnesses and overprotectiveness toward their owner.

The back-and-forth segue between humor and serious topics might prompt its readers to take a Dramamine, but you can't read a magazine like Bark and not end up with a smile on your face.

The mag is as heavy on copy as it is on adorable pictures. This dog lover gives Bark a well-deserved two paws up and a scratch behind the ears.

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