DOG TALK® (and Kitties Too!) on

icon of side silhouette of dog and cat drawn inside the dog Tracie Hotchner the Radio Pet Lady

DOG TALK® features Tracie’s interviews with authors, pet experts and animal welfare advocates from around the world, discussing practical and philosophical issues regarding our relationships with dogs, cats, other pets, wildlife and the natural world.

The show broadcasts from WLIW FM 88.3 in Southampton, the only NPR station on Long Island, reaching from the East End across Long Island into Southern Connecticut and Westchester.

The show’s theme song is “Mmm My Best Friend” by Sophie B. Hawkins from her album TIMBRE.

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Compassion Please for Shelter Workers and Volunteers

#823B: Victoria Wells spent decades working in animal shelters, especially as a dog trainer for years at the ASPCA in NYC. She asks the question: Who should be responsible for lifting the burden of emotional trauma from people doing the hard work in shelters?

Basepaws Wants to Use Cat DNA to Improve Their Health

#823A: Dr. Ernie Ward sings the praises of the DNA test Basepaws — what it means for cats now, and how in the near future it will be able to identify genetic markers for disease and improve feline health long term.

Wiggle-Butt Cuddle-Bug Ex-Puppy Mill Breeder

#822C: At 76-years-old, Margaret in Virginia was mourning the death of her beloved companion Cocker Spaniel, Oliver. Then her nephew Matt Cox (yes, Peter Pan’s Search & Rescue handler, who I interviewed about his trip to Turkey after the earthquake) told her that the local Oldies But Goodies Cocker Rescue had taken in discarded breeding moms from puppy mills. Here’s a story of Kylie Rae, a dog transformed by love — from fearful to adoring.

How a Vet in Crisis Was Saved by the Homeless & Their Pets

#822A: Dr Kwane Stewart created Project Street Vet [eventually backed by Fetch by the Dodo] when he was at a personal low, euthanizing dozens of pets every day at a municipal shelter. Now he tends to the needs of the people living on the streets in Los Angeles — and their pets — and is inspiring other veterinarians to follow his lead and become Project Street Vet doctors themselves.

Helping the Homeless Even Before She Became a Vet

#822B: As a young student, Kristin Schmidt used to bring food to people living in Philadelphia alleyways. So it was only natural that once she became a veterinarian in Georgia, Dr. Kristin would minister to the needs of the pets of the unhomed population as a Project Street Vet in Atlanta with her husband by her side.

Veterinarian to Those That Slither & Fly

#821B: Dr. Doug Mader wrote the surprising story of how he started out as a vet by opening a clinic in a dodgy neighborhood in “The Vet at Noah’s Ark: Stories of Survival from an Inner-City Animal Hospital” — as an exotic pet specialist, with the rollicking tales of his challenging patients, the human as well as animal ones!

Peter Pan to the Rescue from Fairfax VA to Earthquake in Turkey

#821A: After the Turkish earthquake, Matt Cox [Battalion Chief of the Fairfax (VA) Fire Department & Canine Specialist] was deployed with his brilliant Labrador Peter Pan to help with Search & Rescue in Turkey. Matt explains the very specific talents of his dog Peter Pan — a “live find” “concrete specialist” in “confined spaces” — and describes the process of how he and the team of 80 Americans got to Turkey and spent two weeks helping in the rescue effort.

The Other Family Doctor

#820C: Dr. Karen Fine talks about her poignant memoir, “The Other Family Doctor: A Veterinarian Explores What Animals Can Teach Us About Love, Life, and Mortality.”

Earth Animal is Everything a B-Corp Should Be

#820B: Stephanie Volo, the Chief Impact Officer at Earth Animal, explains what it means for her company to become certified as a B Corp and “use business as a force for good, benefiting all.”

Robo the Tracking Dog Returns

#820A: Margaret Mizushima’s newest Timber Creek K-9 mystery “Standing Dead” has plot twists and turns you won’t expect as it celebrates the relationship between working dog and handler.