It's tough to beat stories about dogs. No outrageous, muckraking exposé can generate as much reader interest as a cute little brief about a hero pooch. Every month, Missouri Conservationist seems to carry at least one item about our furry best friends. A pudelpointer graced the cover last month, posed in a regal stance near the stone hearth of a woodland lodge. Inside, the scribes at the Conservationist gave the lowdown on which lanky breeds make the best hunting dogs. For the August issue, the magazine ran an in-depth piece about dogs' noses -- how canines have such a keen sense of smell. But this isn't Dog Fancy. The taxpayer-funded outdoor mag offers regular features about Missouri wildlife, ecology and environmental issues. The pictures are great, and the articles often provide great ideas for weekend excursions for the whole family -- dog and all.