23 December 2008
22 December 2008
After coming under fire for buying a puppy from a breeder in PA (where violations have been cited in the past), Vice President-elect Joe Biden is vowing to add another dog to his growing family.
This time, he’ll get one from a shelter.
“We’re gonna get a pound dog that my wife wants,” Biden said. He told ABC the new puppy will likely be a golden retriever — and that he’s not just adopting from a pound just to silence critics. “We’ve always had two dogs,” he says. “We’ve always had two big dogs so they can have companionship. I’ve had German shepherds from the time I was a kid. I’ve trained them and shown them.”
Biden also told Stephanopoulos that his family is no stranger to pound pets. “We already have a pound cat — we’ve had pound animals in our house,” he says.
19 December 2008
If the shoe doesn't fit, take it back to the store. And if the black dog doesn't match the white sofa, well, you might as well return him, too.
That's the screwy logic some former UK pet owners have followed when surrendering their animals to shelters, Dogs Trust, a leading British dog welfare agency in England, announced Monday. The organization released a list of the top 10 "most irresponsible reasons" people have given for abandoning their dogs.
The sofa gripe placed first; dissatisfaction that a dog "looks evil and has different colored eyes, just like David Bowie," came in second. The list also includes complaints about dogs that didn't match the carpet, opened all the presents on Christmas eve, ate the Christmas turkey, and those that were deemed "too old."
One dog got the boot after the family's pet guinea pig became "worried" about its looming presence. Another dog received a one-way ticket to a local shelter because its owner knelt in its urine while cleaning up after it. A Staffordshire Terrier had only its breed's reputation to fault for his owner's concern that his docile dog would turn aggressive. It, too, was deposited at a shelter.
Across the pond, it's more of the same excuses from some stickler pet owners. New Yorkers have returned dogs and cats because they do not bark or meow, Richard Gentles, spokesman for NYC's Animal Care and Control, told Pet Pulse.
Other justifications include: the pet did not match the new furniture or decor, got caught between a wall in a house, and was "too nice" to aggressively guard the house.
One cat was surrendered after its owner found it "did not alert me when my phone rings or someone is at the door," Gentles said.
A New Jersey couple brought a pig to the Jersey Shore Animal Shelter in Brick, N.J., after it "grew," the shelter's director, Pat Wallace, told Pet Pulse. "The pig grew to be a few hundred pounds, surprise surprise," Wallace said. "How they didn't realize that piglets grow up to be pigs, I don't know."
Another pet owner surrendered a dog that wasn't the breed the pet store had said it was, Wallace said.
Dogs Trust compiled and released the odd complaints with hope of promoting responsible dog ownership, especially during the Christmas season, when more people seek out pets as gifts for others.
"Having a dog is a long-term commitment and our anniversary offers the perfect opportunity to remind people that dogs are not fashion accessories or disposable items that can be upgraded or discarded after just a few months," Dogs Trust's Chief Executive, Clarissa Baldwin, told the Daily Express.
"Some of the reasons we hear for dogs being abandoned are truly outrageous and saddening," she continued. "The slogan 'a dog is for life, not just for Christmas' is as relevant today as it was when I created it 30 years ago."
18 December 2008
From pooches on the big screen in Beverly Hills Chihuahua and the upcoming Marley & Me to the endless speculation about the Obamas' future "first dog," canines have leaped from supporting status as man's best friend to star billing in entertainment magazines and on the front page.
Publishers, too, have hopped on the doggy wagon. And with gift-giving time just days away, there's sure to be a dog-related book that'll bring smiles and wags (well, at least from your more effusive friends).
A Very Marley Christmas, by John Grogan, illustrated by Richard Cowdrey (HarperCollins, $17.99). Take one rambunctious Labrador retriever puppy (dubbed "the world's worst dog" by his adoring but exasperated family), add breakable ornaments, deliciously chewy wrapping paper and eminently tuggable fir trees (Marley can't resist a good tug of war), and what've you got? One big happy mess. (For ages 3 to 8.)
Phodography: How to Get Great Pictures of Your Dog, by Kim Levin (Amphoto, $17.95). Ms. Levin gets into the nitty-gritty of terrific animal photography, with fantastic advice and sections on such vital topics as close-ups (it's all about the nose and ears), getting the perfect "head tilt" and staging action shots ("Rolllllll over, googums, googums, googums. Yes, we love that wiggly belly!").
Bliss to You: Trixie's Guide to a Happy Life, by Trixie Koontz as told to Dean Koontz (Hyperion, $16.95). Mr. Koontz's fans know his deep devotion to his golden retriever, the late Trixie – he is pictured with her on just about every one of his books, and he features golden retrievers in many of his story lines. Trixie's thoughts are concise and not necessarily grammatically correct (hey, what did you expect?) but often shine with wisdom. Example: "Thomas Jefferson said life mostly sunshine. Hitler said life mostly suffering. Freud said life meaningless. You know whose dog had more fun."
Woof! Writers on Dogs, edited by Lee Montgomery (Viking, $24.95). This canine-themed anthology focuses on the relationships between dogs and their humans, with contributors including Rick Bass, Abigail Thomas, Denis Johnson and Antonya Nelson. With humor and pathos, the writers pay tribute to ordinary dogs who become extraordinary contributors to their families' lives, just by being their wonderful, slobbery, perfect doggy selves.
Izzy & Lenore: Two Dogs, An Unexpected Journey, and Me , by Jon Katz (Villard, $24). Mr. Katz, who once worked as a journalist at the Dallas Times-Herald, continues his series of nonfiction books about the dogs (mostly border collies, but here including a black Lab puppy) at Bedlam Farm, his farm in upstate New York. Here he takes the dogs off the farm, as trained hospice volunteers bringing canine comfort to those who need it most.
Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs, by Gene Weingarten, with photographs by Michael S. Williamson (Simon & Schuster, $19.95). This is a heartfelt, upbeat paean to the wonders of the graying muzzle, the shaky-hipped gait, the ears that don't always hear the mailman. Each photo is accompanied by a story that captures character – of one dog, or of many. To wit: Buffy, 14, a cocker spaniel, has appointed herself the family's paper girl. Her owner says Buffy "has to make sure she shakes the newspaper violently from side to side, to break its neck. Only then will she bring it in for us."
Dogology: What Your Relationship With Your Dog Reveals About You, by Vicki Croke and Sarah Wilson (Rodale, $17.95). The writers good-naturedly help you figure out your own psychological tics and traps by looking at how you treat your dog – what you call him or her ("Hey, you!" is a different type than "Pooky-love-doodle"), how you praise, what you expect and how you show your love. You might be a buddy, a free spirit or a dynamo (and if so, you probably own a golden retriever, a border collie or a miniature pinscher, respectively).
It's a Cat's World ... You Just Live in It: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Your Furry Feline, by Justine A. Lee (Three Rivers Press, $13.95, available Dec. 30). Ms. Lee, a veterinarian, lets the cat out of the bag on some eternally puzzling questions. "Do cats get high from catnip, and can I use it?" (Her answers: Yes, and no.) "Should I dump my boyfriend because he doesn't like my cat?" (Her answer: Yes. We suspect a slight prejudice on her part.)
Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter (Grand Central, $19.99). On a bitter-cold night, someone stuffed a kitten into the book-return slot at the Spencer, Iowa, public library. Maybe they were playing a prank, or just trying to put the kitten in a place where he could warm up. He was found by the library director, Ms. Myron, the next morning – and he stayed for 19 years, becoming as much a fixture as the filing system for which he was named. Meryl Streep is slated to play Ms. Myron in the movie version; this could be next year's Marley & Me at the movie-plex.
17 December 2008
During the busy holiday season, it is important to keep your dogs in mind. Here are Cesar's Top Tips for a balanced dog all Winter long!
1. Exercise your dog before taking him to visit, or receiving, holiday guests. Holiday visits may involve more excited energy than usual. Your dog is more likely to behave if it has just had a nice long walk.
2. Don't forget rules, boundaries, and limitations just because it's the holidays! Holidays bring many new temptations in the form of smells (freshly baked cookies and a tree in the house), sights (bright lights and visiting relatives), and sounds (Christmas carols and sleigh bells). Use this opportunity to reinforce the household rules.
3. Protect your dog from the cold. Many breeds are not built for cold weather. Check out your local pet store for suggestions, such as doggy boots or paw waxes, to help your dog handle the elements.
4. Stick to your dog's normal diet! It can be tempting to share those tasty table scraps with your dog, but too many rich foods (like turkey and sauces) can lead to serious inflammation of the pancreas, which can be life-threatening.
5. Beware of hazardous holiday items. Ingested poinsettia plants cause dogs to vomit; chocolate is poisonous to dogs; and tinsel has sent many a dog to the emergency room. Keep fragile ornaments toward the top of the Christmas tree; only place sturdy ones near the bottom.
6. Do your holiday boarding research in advance! You want to feel confident that your pet will be safe and comfortable while you are away. Start by getting recommendations. Find two or three facilities that meet your requirements, and investigate further.
7. I don't recommend giving a puppy as a holiday gift. I strongly believe that the whole family needs to have basic knowledge about the commitment and responsibility of pet ownership before receiving an animal.
8. Include your dog in your New Year's Resolutions! Make a commitment to be a pack leader 365 days a year, practice calm-assertive energy in all aspects of your life, and work toward achieving calm submission from your dog.
16 December 2008
Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps and Nastia Liukin guest star in the final holiday doggie video from the White House. In the "Barney Cam" Christmas greeting, the first family's Scottish terrier scampers amid the White House's red, white and blue holiday decorations before retiring for a nap and imagining himself as an athlete.
Barney is shown in cutout animation as an Olympic vaulter, swimmer and synchronized diver with fellow terrier Miss Beazley, both in red swimsuits. He also dreams of sinking the final putt to secure the Ryder Cup, with the entire U.S. Ryder Cup team chanting "Barney, Barney, Barney!"
The Barney Cam was an instant holiday hit when it was introduced in 2002 and got 24 million Web visitors on its first day. Since then, Barney's holiday videos have featured former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Bush adviser Karl Rove, country singers Dolly Parton and Alan Jackson and other stars.
The videos aren't Barney's only star turn, though. He was an inadvertent hit on YouTube recently when he was taped biting a reporter who tried to get his attention.
The Barney Cam spot introduced Monday starts with President George W. Bush, his wife, Laura, and their daughters, Jenna and Barbara, reminiscing about their times together in the White House, then sending Barney off to decorate and nap.
After a wake-up from President Bush ("We're sprinting to the finish, not napping to the finish"), Barney gets a "10" score from Liukin and fellow gymnast Shawn Johnson.
Phelps tells Barney: "I'm glad the decorations are finally coming together and you're using my favorite color, gold."
[Source: The Associated Press]
15 December 2008
President-elect Barack Obama promised his two daughters a puppy if he won the White House, but Malia and Sasha Obama weren't the only ones promised a dog. Last week, Vice President-elect Joe Biden got a puppy of his own, making good on his wife Jill's agreement that he could get a dog if the Democrats won.
On an Election Day flight from Richmond to Chicago in the early afternoon, Biden was too superstitious to talk about what kind of dog he might end up getting. "I don't know what kind I'm going to get yet," he said. "But we're not there yet. The deal is not closed yet."
Jill made the promise to her husband when he was being vetted by the Obama team this summer, when he was still weighing whether he wanted to join the Democratic ticket. "Take the vice presidency and get elected, you'll get a dog," Biden recalled his wife telling him.
The Daily Local News (Chester County, Del.) reported that Biden picked out a 3-month-old German shepherd puppy last week. The veep's selection comes as no surprise. The Delaware lawmaker has owned German shepherds in the past and is a known fan of big dogs.
The Daily Local News reports that Biden's granddaughters will get to name the puppy. Two of Biden's granddaughters, Finnegan and Natalie, joined him during the improptu press availabilty on the Richmond-Chicago flight.
10 December 2008
In 'Wendy and Lucy,' opening today at Manhattan's Film Forum, Wendy (played by Michelle Williams), is a down-on-her-luck girl who's heading to Alaska to work in a fishing cannery and start a new life with her dog Lucy. When Wendy's car breaks down in Oregon and she gets thrown in jail for stealing dog food, Lucy - who is tied up outside - is left behind.
It's every dog lover's worst nightmare, and Wendy's desperation to find her best friend is palpable: She scours the streets, hangs flyers, checks the local animal shelter, and sleeps in the woods hoping Lucy will find her.
Lucy is the real-life pooch and constant companion of the film's director Kelly Reichardt, who lives in Astoria, Queens, and rescued the retriever mix from a Brooklyn shelter.
This film is a poignant reminder of how much we rely on our animals - and they on us.
[Source: NY Daily News]
To the list of the qualities of dogs — enthusiastic and steadfast come to mind — can be added another. That pooch of yours, researchers say, may be envious.
Scientists in Austria report in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that a dog may stop obeying a command if it sees that another dog is getting a better deal.
In this way dogs may be showing a sensitivity that is similar to, although perhaps more primitive than, that shown by chimpanzees and some monkeys. Until now those primates were the only nonhumans to show what is called “inequity aversion” in the absence of a reward.
The finding may come as no surprise to some dog owners, and it didn’t completely surprise Friederike Range, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Vienna who led the study. “We have a dog at home,” she said, “and I know how jealous she is of different people and situations.”
The study tried to quantify the behavior by using well-trained dogs that readily offer a paw on command. The researchers used two dogs side by side but treated them differently, giving one a better reward (sausage) and the other a lesser one (bread) when the paw was given, or giving one dog no reward at all.
They found that the quality of the reward made little difference. But in the case in which one dog got no treat at all, that dog became less and less inclined to obey the command.
[Source: NY Times]
08 December 2008
Soon after President-elect Barack Obama spoke at a news conference about getting his daughters a pet from an animal shelter because “a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me,” Patrick McDonnell, creator of the comic strip “Mutts,” leapt into action. He quickly devised six strips supporting shelter adoptions.
“I normally stay away from politics, but this was a perfect fit,” Mr. McDonnell wrote in an e-mail message.
The sequence, which begins on Monday, features Mooch the cat and Earl the dog, above, discussing the next first pet. “If the Obama household adopted a mutt,” Mr. McDonnell added, “it would make a huge statement.” “Mutts,” distributed by King Features Syndicate, appears in more than 700 newspapers worldwide and online at muttscomics.com
[Source: NY Times]
04 December 2008
Homeless pets in New York City are at the center of a campaign that has set out to find permanent homes for 1 million cats and dogs this holiday season.
From now through Jan. 5, a partnership between the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and Iams Home For The Holidays seeks to heighten awareness for the need to place area shelter pets in new homes. According to these organizations, pet adoptions are needed this year more than ever because of foreclosures, job losses and other economic challenges.
To help address these issues, an active schedule of adoption drives has been launched throughout the city. The Mayor’s Alliance, an umbrella organization that includes more than 140 shelters and rescue groups, would like to encourage responsible adoptions during the holiday season, said Jane Hoffman, president.
“By combining the dedication and passion of the remarkable shelters, rescue groups and volunteers that comprise the Mayor’s Alliance with the inspiring and successful Iams Home 4 the Holidays program, we hope that more New Yorkers will open their hearts and homes to a new furry family member,” Hoffman said in a statement.
The ultimate goal is to help place 1 million abandoned cats and dogs into homes during a time when shelters are overflowing with adoptable pets. Iams Home 4 the Holidays has placed more than 2 million pets into homes since it was founded by Helen Woodward Animal Center in 1999.
03 December 2008
When filmmaker David Frankel showed a rough cut of his film "The Devil Wears Prada" to his boss, Fox 2000 Pictures president Elizabeth Gabler, she was so pleased that she handed him a copy of another best-selling book to adapt into a movie: "Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog."
Written by newspaper columnist John Grogan, the 2005 book recounted his and his wife Jenny's experiences with their Labrador retriever Marley, who grew from an adorable, precocious puppy into a hyperactive, relentlessly mischievous dog who discovered altogether new strains of canine bad behavior.
Although Frankel liked the book, he politely declined the opportunity to turn it into a film. "It's a lovely book, and it made me cry, but I just didn't see the movie," Frankel said earlier this month over a glass of wine at a cafe just a few blocks from his home in Coconut Grove, Fla. "There's no conflict in it. It's charming chapter by chapter, but it's just an account of these people's lives. I didn't see how the pieces fit together to make a movie."
A few months later, Gabler again pitched the project to Frankel, this time giving him an actual script, by screenwriter Scott Frank ("Get Shorty," "Out of Sight"). And this time, Frankel immediately saw a movie, which wound up being filmed mostly in South Florida.
"What Scott wrote into the script was a sense of longing," Frankel said. "He didn't make it an episodic, literal translation of the book. He made it the story of a marriage -- the whole rollercoaster ride this couple goes through over a period of 14 years. I felt like it was as close to an autobiographical film as I could possibly make, because it's about a happily married writer who lives in South Florida with his dog, and I'm happily married, living in Miami, writing some of the time, and I have five dogs."
Unlike Marley, Frankel's dogs are all strays. Much like Marley, they are all "crazy," he says. "You come to my house, and you'll find chairs with holes six inches deep. There are no bedspreads in my home that have not been chewed up."
More important, though, the 49-year-old Frankel, who has two children, connected with something deeper in Frank's script: The restlessness felt by John (played by Owen Wilson) who, despite his love for his wife Jennifer (Jennifer Aniston) and their three kids and his job as a successful newspaper columnist, still yearns for that archetypal, elusive "something "more."
"That's what I wanted the movie to capture, and that's why the dog is such a beautiful metaphor for happiness," Frankel said. "Dogs don't look forward, and they don't look back. They are all about 'How can I be happy in this very moment?' People often forget to do that. My wife called it the most wistful movie she's ever seen."
Less easy was wrangling the 22 dogs it took to play Marley from puppydom to age 14. The bulk of Marley's scenes as a young adult, which take up two-thirds of the movie, were played by Clyde, a Labrador that Frankel says was "trained" to be rambunctious.
"The trainers could get him to do whatever we needed, but he's never been taught not to jump up on people or chew whatever he wants to chew," Frankel said. "Basically, he's never been told 'No.' He's crazily energetic, and Grogan testified he's the spitting image of the real Marley. The trick was that the actors "had" to be ready to go on take one, because Clyde was always was brilliant on the first take. But he would get easily bored after that."
Many of the other dogs that played Marley were cast for their ability to do one specific trick, like howling at the window or circling around in the water. One older dog portrayed Marley as a senior. Even though the real-life Marley's health deteriorated over the span of a couple of years, Frankel condensed the dog's aging to a couple of short moments in the film.
"This is a movie about a man who is now middle-aged and acknowledging - not confronting, but acknowledging - his own mortality. We all have to deal with the end of things. Hopefully the movie provides you with a lot of space to project elements of your own life into it. In that sense, the spareness of the story - the simplicity of it - is beautiful.
02 December 2008
A miracle-making doggie door is growing in value as shoppers are outbidding each other online. Two years ago, Roger Bowman spotted an image of Jesus on a doggie door. It was posted last week on eBay with a starting bid of $990.
Two job layoffs and the housing market crash put Bowman's family in an economic hole, the family said last week. They were hoping that their "gift from above" will pull them out. After telling his story on November 28, Bowman reports that the bidding as of Monday was up to $1,185. "I think it created a calm and happiness in our house and that's a miracle," says Bowman.
Before the sighting, two unruly dogs ran the house. Bowman planned on getting rid of them, putting one to sleep. Once he saw the imagine, things changed. Some are calling the change a "divine intervention."
"I believe it was divinely created. It's too much of a coincidence," says Bowman. "The dogs created the image that saved their lives." Bowman's 12-year-old son says the door creates all kinds of miracles from making his family happier to fixing things.
"Our ice machine was broken for a long time and it wasn't working yesterday, but then today there is ice," says son Sean Vasquez. "I guess it's the miracle of Jesus." Now, Bowman hopes the divine doggie door will perform one more miracle and help his family get through the tough times. Bidding for the doggie door started on Tuesday and will end on December 5th. For more the complete story of the divine doggie door, check out ebay.com
01 December 2008
Jake the dog is somewhat of a celebrity in the veterinary world. The 11-year-old yellow Labrador retriever of Grand Rapids was the first dog in the Midwest and only the 11th in the world to get a new type of elbow prosthesis that reduces infection and wear and tear - and that eventually could be used in humans. The $5,000 surgery was performed at the Michigan State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital last spring.
Now, after six months of rehabilitation that includes running on an underwater treadmill, Jake is giving high fives, jumping off the bed and going without his leash. "He's actually acting like he's a younger dog again, which is so cool," owner Sue Falk said. "He's just more playful and not as concerned about each step." Jake's turnaround is a dramatic difference from several years ago, when he had a bad limp and refused to go on daily walks in the woods behind Falk's home.
"We are very happy with Jake because, with other dogs, the recovery has not been as fast," said MSU Dr. Loic Dejardin, who performed the four-hour surgery in April. In the six months since getting his new elbow, Jake has undergone extensive physical rehabilitation. In addition to running on an underwater treadmill, Jake has been navigating obstacle courses and doing home exercises with Falk.
Since Jake received the elbow, Dejardin has performed similar surgeries on four other dogs at MSU and will fly to Canada soon to perform another. Dejardin said the elbow - which became available in March - has worked so well in dogs that it is being considered for use in ankle replacements in people. "If it happens, that would be the first time that we know of an implant designed with a dog in mind having an application in humans," Dejardin said.
26 November 2008
Sweaters are not just a silly accessory. Many dogs need to wear them in cold weather, even inside. Shorthaired breeds, older dogs, sick dogs and puppies are likely candidates for a cover-up. If you'd like an unbiased second opinion, ask your vet what they think.
To be effective against cold, a sweater should completely cover your dog's stomach, keep its legs free for easy movement, fit snugly and end at the base of the tail.
If you are unsure which size your dog should wear, consider their weight along with their size. Toy breeds under 20 pounds wear small, beagle-size dogs 20 to 35 pounds wear medium, retriever-size dogs 40 to 80 pounds wear large and dogs the size of a Saint Bernard wear extra-large.
If all else fails, hold the sweater up to your dog to check for size.
If your dog is wide and short like a bulldog or basset hound, buy the size that fits around them and then cut the sleeves to fit.
Choose a sweater that will be easy to care for. You might want to avoid dry clean only. If you're the kind of pet parent that likes to go all the way for their little furry baby, consider boots for your dog to protect the pads of their feet from cold.
To help them adjust to their new outfit, have your dog wear the sweater anytime it goes out in cold, wet weather. Make putting on the sweater a part of the dog's routine, like putting on the leash, then when they see the sweater come out, it's joy not dread they feel.
There are literally hundreds of places to shop online to find what you are looking for, but going to a local pet supply store to shop may be a lot more fun.
[Source: News 10 Now]
25 November 2008
The NBC Thanksgiving Day special "The National Dog Show Presented by Purina" will crown one of America's great show dogs as its 2008 champion while offering special coverage of famed Uno the Beagle (pictured) and introducing the newest American Kennel Club-sanctioned breed, the Dogue de Bordeaux.
The holiday special follows the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC and is watched annually by a total of almost 20 million viewers. Over 150 breeds vie for "Best in Show" honors at the tradition-rich Kennel Club of Philadelphia competition.
The 7th annual, two-hour NBC special will also feature:
The appearance of Uno, the Beagle, who became an instant celebrity earlier this year when he won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Uno received congratulations from President George W. Bush in a White House visit and he threw out the first pitch at two major league baseball games this past summer. Uno will also appear on NBC during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, riding on the Peanuts float while fellow famous beagle Snoopy is elsewhere on the parade route in his annual role as a giant balloon.
The Thursday TV special, set for 12-2 p.m. in all time zones, is hosted for the seventh straight year by John O'Hurley, the "Seinfeld" ensemble actor who emerged as the ultimate champion on ABC's inaugural presentation of "Dancing With The Stars." O'Hurley will be joined by expert analyst David Frei, who is the face and voice of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on USA Network.
Unlike traditional dog show coverage, the two-hour special offers family-oriented features on dogs and pet care, facilitated by the open format of the event, one of only five remaining "benched" shows in which the dogs are on display all day for the visiting public.
[Source: Market Watch.]
24 November 2008
Tootsie, the adventuresome dachshund who went missing more than five years ago, is on his way back home to Pleasantville, N.J. Tootsie was found two weeks ago wandering around Wilkinsburg, PA. He was taken to the Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania and was traced back to his owners using a microchip implanted in his neck.
"Donde estaba?" -- Where have you been? -- his owner Elda Arguella said as she wrapped Tootsie in her scarf outside a television studio in Harrisburg -- the halfway point between Pleasantville and Wilkinsburg. Tifanie Tibero of the rescue league delivered Tootsie to her there. The dog was shivering from the cold but appeared content in Mrs. Arguella's arms.
The family believes the dog was taken from their gated yard more than five years ago. "I looked for him for many, many days," said Mrs. Arguella, who brought along her children Edna Colon, 18, and Daniel Colon Jr., 16.
So much time had passed that when the rescue league sent her a letter several days ago she hadn't remembered losing a dog. "I said, 'What about Tootsie?,' " Daniel remembered. "I just put that out there but I didn't really think they could have really found her five and a half years later."
[Source: Pittsburge Post-Gazette]
20 November 2008
Noel Gallagher saved a dog from being kidnapped. The Oasis guitarist scared off a group of thieves who were trying to snatch a black Labrador - belonging to his neighbor, former Bond girl Caroline Munro - tied up outside a supermarket.
A source said: "Noel was so brave - the men could have been carrying knives but he just didn't care. He's a tough guy and he doesn't like people taking what isn't theirs so he tackled them and they quickly fled."
Caroline - who played pilot Naomi in "The Spy Who Loved Me" - was quick to express her gratitude to Noel, 41, when she was reunited with her pet.
The source added to Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper: "The dog is the cutest little thing and wears a red neckerchief. Caroline takes him everywhere - even to the pub so she was ever so grateful for what Noel did. She would have been devastated to lose him."
19 November 2008
Due to the onset of cold weather, the Greater Birmingham Humane Society would like to remind pet owners that the most comfortable place for your pet is inside. If your pet cannot live inside, here are some tips to keep them safe:
- If you use a dog house be sure to face the doorway out of the wind or cover it to reduce draft. The temperature may not be freezing, but the wind-chill can still kill.
- If you have a garage, use it for the colder months to protect your dog from extreme temperatures.
- Dogs eat more in the winter, be sure to supply plenty of food. Keeping warm requires a lot of energy. Check water bowls every morning to crack the ice.
- Allow plenty of bedding. Dogs will ‘nest’ in whatever material is available to keep warm.
- If you have more than one dog, buy a dog house big enough for them to sleep together to keep warm.
- Certain breeds with short hair or naturally low body fat reserves are not suitable to live in cold temperatures. For example greyhounds do not retain enough weight to keep warm outside.
- Heating pads and raised dog beds can be purchased to make your dog more comfortable.
- It’s never too late to train your dog to live inside. Remember, dogs are social creatures and prefer to live within a family group.
- Cats, much like the smaller dogs, often do not have the body fat or thick fur coats to keep warm during cold weather. If you permit your cat to go outdoors or live outdoors completely, it is especially important to provide adequate shelter during cold weather.
- If your cat is kept outdoors throughout the year, make sure you provide increased amounts of food during the winter months and check the water bowl daily.
- Your cat may also appreciate a warm place to get out of the weather – i.e. a small dog house with appropriate bedding or access to your garage.
- If your cat is typically kept indoors, please remember that the shock of the temperature change can be very detrimental to your cat’s health.
18 November 2008
Dogs get jealous when jilted, suggests a new study that found canines feel especially intense jealousy pangs when in a "love triangle" involving their owner and another, more recently introduced, person or animal.
The finding suggests dogs may also experience pride, embarrassment, shame and other secondary emotions outside of basic emotions such as anger, anxiety and surprise. Scientists previously thought only humans and chimpanzees showed behaviors linked to secondary emotions.
A genetic propensity for jealousy may even run as deep as a dog's ancient wolf ancestors. "I would definitely think you would find jealousy in wolves," said lead researcher Paul Morris. "For example, sexual jealousy would be an extremely powerful motivator in the wild state. Jealousy would also relate to position in hierarchy and alliances between animals within a pack."
The researchers asked the pet owners to report observations of both primary and secondary emotions in their animals, which included cats, pigs, horses, rabbits, rats and hamsters, as well as dogs. All the animals received high scores for secondary emotions, with over 80 percent of owners claiming their dogs showed signs of jealousy.
Morris also studied the phenomenon directly with his own two dogs, Silver and Jessie. He went out of his way to shower Silver with attention, and then only occasionally gave Jessie her usual head pat. Jessie showed her teeth and snarled, but contained her anger and tried to push her way back into the mini pack.
"Jealousy is at its heart related to the real or anticipated loss of love, affection and attention," Morris told Discovery News. "Dog jealousy is different to human jealousy, in that it is tied to the here and now; dog jealousy occurs only in the presence of the interloper. So when I talk about dog jealousy, I see it as a much more primitive and hugely less elaborate version of human jealousy."
[Source: The Discovery Channel]
17 November 2008
It takes a village of some 4 million to raise six cuddly pups, or at least to ogle them for hours on end.
What began as a way for a San Francisco couple to keep tabs on their pet Shiba Inu dog Kika’s litter while they were at work has become an unlikely Web sensation. Viewers flock to the Internet site Ustream.com to monitor the 5-week-old brood’s growth, watching the energetic pups paw and play with one another and have at it with their chew toys.
Ustream co-founder Brad Hunstable explained how a private dogsitting webcam became a worldwide phenomenon. “It started out in the Ustream offices; our employees found the puppies when they only had one or two viewers,” Hunstable told Holt and Robach.
“We fell in love with them, we forwarded them to our friends and our friends forwarded it to their friends. The next thing you know, mothers were forwarding it to daughters and daughters were forwarding it to mothers. Over 4 million people in the last week have tuned in to watch.”
The universal reaction among viewers is “Awwww...how cute!” as the fuzzy brown look-alike pups live their lives out in a “Truman Show”-like existence. Viewers know the pups by name and by the color of their collars. They include boys Aki (green collar), Akoni (black collar), Ando (blue collar) and girls Autumn (purple collar), Ayumi (yellow collar) and Amaya (red collar).
14 November 2008
13 November 2008
A world-first dog trial has proved central to turning around the fate of Warrnambool's Middle Island penguin colony - and now the next generation of pups is set to continue the good work.
After dwindling to a dire population of just four in 2005, penguin numbers at Middle Island have rebounded this year. An early start to the breeding season has already seen eight penguin chicks leave the nest and another 16 are still on the island in various stages of development. Deakin University PhD student Amanda Peucker, who is monitoring the penguins' progress, said the population growth could largely be attributed to the success of the guard dogs in keeping predators, like foxes, off the island.
"A couple of years ago we had something like 180 penguins killed by foxes, now there aren't even any fox prints in the area," she said. Mrs Peucker said about 51 penguins returned to Middle Island this breeding season. "Every year we get just a few more birds breeding," she said. "It's very exciting going out there and seeing the chicks grow. The early breeding season this year was a bit of a bonus too, so hopefully we'll get some more eggs laid in the next few weeks."
After the success of the trial, two female Maremma puppies are undergoing training to become the permanent guardians of the little penguins during breeding season. Environmental scientist and dog trainer Dave Williams said he expected the dogs would be placed on the island full-time next month, when they were six months old.
Right now the pair is regularly on Middle Island learning the ropes from Esta, an older Maremma that is teaching the puppies guardian behaviour. The Maremma guard dog project, which began late in 2006, hasn't been without controversy. The dogs were taken off the island last December after accidentally killing 10 penguins.
However, Warrnambool City Council decided in May this year to extend the project for another 12 months at an estimated cost of $40,000. This includes the employment of a Maremma carer, dog training and monitoring equipment
[Source: The Age]
12 November 2008
Denise Ronayne has been breeding dogs for 20 years, a family business called Country Home Yorkies that she runs out of her own home. She raises and trains Yorkshire terriers and miniature dachshunds, not as show dogs, but as family pets.
The dogs have the run of the place, with dog beds and dog “playpens” in every room. Two very young litters of puppies — their eyes have not yet opened — rest with their mothers in playpens in the computer room. They are painfully cute, soft as velvet, each one able to fit in the palm of your hand.
Once the puppies are old enough to be adopted, Ms. Ronayne said, she spends hours interviewing prospective dog owners, making sure the dog and owner are the right fit. “I want to know how the dog is going to affect your life,” she said. “I try to match the personality of the dog to the home.”
She has a long list of clientele that includes NFL players and coaches, doctors, CEOs and airline pilots, who have each chosen to pay nearly $2,000 for one of her signature pets. Without the media exposure gained by bringing dogs to shows, Ms. Ronayne said, her business has grown mostly by word of mouth and referrals.
That may change this weekend, when her Yorkshire terriers will be featured on “Dogs 101,” a television show on Animal Planet that features different breeds of dogs every week. Television crews came into Ms. Ronayne’s home three times to tape footage for the show, Ms. Ronayne said, and the dogs played and nuzzled on a bear rug in her living room.
“It was delightful, certainly, to be noticed,” she said. “This is really a small family business. It’s something I love doing.”
“Dogs 101” introduces Animal Planet viewers to different breeds of dogs every week. Along with Yorkshire terriers, this weekend’s episode will feature bloodhounds, Great Danes, Shih Tzus and Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
[Source: The Worcester Telegram]
Gus, a one-eyed, three-legged dog, died yesterday in Florida, succumbing to skin cancer. He was nine.
A hairless Chinese Crested dog who had been rescued from a crate in someone's garage, Gus garnered global attention when he was named the "World's Ugliest Dog" in a contest this past June. Fighting cancer at the time, Gus' guardian said that they would put the $1,600 cash prize towards Gus' radiation treatments.
Gus' endearingly misshapen appearance was part illness and part folly. He lost a leg to skin cancer, and an eye to a particularly ill-tempered tomcat.
[Source: Examiner New York]
11 November 2008
As stress levels rise and spending power diminishes in today’s tough economic times, dog owners are finding that when the going gets tough, the tough... go play with their dogs. While there’s no denying that dogs come with fixed costs ranging from food to vet care, your dog can also be your best friend during an economic downturn. Here are nine ways Rover just might be your answer to the recession:
1. He’s a Good Reason to Stay Home. Staying home—rather then heading out and spending money—is never more appealing than when there’s a four-legged friend waiting for you.
2. He’s a Great Exercise Partner. Need to save money by cutting back on a fitness club membership? No problem. You’ll never have a more dedicated personal trainer you’re your dog who will remind you — and remind you, and remind you — that it is time to get out and exercise.
3. He Loves Day Trips. Can’t afford that week at a Caribbean resort? Fido’s happy you’re staying home and considering taking him on a day trip to the lake or local park.
4. He Doesn’t Mind Cutbacks. OK, you might not want to opt for a home haircut yourself, but your dog doesn’t mind if you cut out the groomer and just give him a trim yourself.
5. He’s Happy with Used Items. Do the kids want the latest toys in the stores? You won’t have that same pressure from your dog. He’s happy with used toys from garage sales and thrift stores, perfect for playing fetch or romping around the yard.
6. He’s a Great Stress Reliever. Economic problems cause stress, there’s no doubt about it. But it’s a proven fact that dogs are an excellent stress reliever and also do wonders to lower high blood pressure.
7. He’ll Help You Get Out and About. Whether you’ve lost your job and no longer see your usual crowd of people or you’ve just cut back on social events, economic difficulties can mean less social interaction. Your dog, by encouraging you to get out and walk or to play in dog parks, helps you to interact with people with similar interests.
8. He Knows You Are King. A beleaguered bank account or a pink slip can leave you feeling worthless. All you have to do, though, is look in your dog’s eyes and you know that you’re the best there is.
9. He Knows the Best Things in Life are Free. Your dog values your companionship more than anything in the world. Money doesn’t mean a thing to him but you do. There’s no greater gift you can give your dog than your own time.
10 November 2008
President-elect Barack Obama informed reporters at a packed press briefing Friday that one campaign promise was proving more challenging than expected.
Obama promised daughters Malia and Sasha a new puppy if elected and in his acceptance speech he pledged to make good. The problem? Malia is allergic. Obama noted that there were several breeds that were hypoallergenic but the issue quashed presidential hopes of getting a pound puppy.
"Our preference would be to get a shelter dog," Obama said, who then joked that it could have been, "a mutt, like me."
The American Kennel Club has a suggestion for the first family. How about a poodle? "This poodle is a breed that doesn't always get the respect it deserves, but it is truly an ideal family pet," said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "And while poodles require frequent grooming, their consistent and predictable coat is crucial for Obama's daughter and all who suffer from allergies."
[Source: Market Watch]
07 November 2008
Here's a lesson for those who like to keep their vehicles clean - never take your dog with you when you're at the car wash. A Pryor, Oklahoma man learned that lesson the hard way on Thursday, after he left his pooch inside his automobile while he was busy cleaning it at one of those do-it-yourself places.
The 70-lbs. pit bull got restless while his best friend was taking care of business, jumped in the front seat and somehow shifted the car into reverse. The vehicle then started moving, headed onto the highway, drove in a loop for a minute or two, and finally, mercifully came to a stop in one of the car wash's automated lanes.
No one was hurt and amazingly, nothing was hit. But the owner lost his car anyway when police coming to check out the report of a vehicle being driven by a dog found the man had no proof of insurance. He was forced to walk the canine home after the now spotless car was towed away.
Fortunately, the animal wasn't charged for his little sojourn into the human world. After all, the dog already had a licence.
[Source: City News]
06 November 2008
These aren't just lovely portraits of people posing with their pets, but look a little closely and you'll see that the owners are wearing sweaters and vests that resemble the fur of their dogs. And they should because they were literally made from them. This is a series of photographs (an ongoing project) by photographer Erwan Fichou of people posing with their beautiful dogs, sporting canine couture... actual sweaters and vests made from the hair (fur?) of their own pet dogs. Here is the description of the series:
Dogwool series, 2005-2007. Eleven portraits (in progress)
The hair, especially hair known as the stuffing, once recovered after brushing, is carefully preserved until the amount necessary to achieve the knit structure. The hair is spun into balls of 50 g by a specialist before returning via mail, to its owner.
C-prints, 40 * 50 cm, Marie-Louise, glass, wooden framework.
[Source: If It's Hip, It's Here]
They were voted off CBS-TV's "Greatest American Dog," but Beth Joy Knutsen and Bella Starlet Dog refuse to stay in the doghouse and whine.
Knutsen and Bella Starlet are nominated in the "best musical" category for the 2008 DogCatemy Awards, held Nov. 6 at the North Shore Animal League America's annual gala in New York. Their entry is a video about their relationship, scored to the Turtles' song "Happy Together."
"We have an appeal to people who are passionate about their dogs and about life," said Knutsen, who sports a tattoo of Bella Starlet on her left leg. "I get e-mails from a woman with lupus and a woman with cancer, saying they are in so much pain, but watching us on TV makes them smile."
Knutsen tirelessly advocates for rescue dogs, warning that more pets are being abandoned as economic times get tougher. Scarcely less busy is Bella Starlet, a blonde mixed breed with strawberry and silver highlights. A rescue dog herself, Bella Starlet has a forthcoming line of dog-and-human jewelry, a new clothing line, and a new foundation to help raise money for rescue agencies.
Belgian martial artist and actor Jean-Claude Van Damme has cancelled promotional appearances for his new flick JCVD to take care of a puppy. Van Damme, who earned himself the nickname 'Muscles From Brussels', had recently adopted seven dogs from Bangkok, and one of them is said to be in a coma.
"Van Damme will stay in Thailand to see this dog through this very trying time," the New York Post quoted a source as saying.
JCVD is a fictional biopic about an action star who struggles with financial problems and a custody battle. Van Damme will be playing as himself in the movie. More detail could not be obtained about his role, as his manager did not return calls and e-mails.
05 November 2008
There's quite a long history of lovable, furry four-leggers in the White House, and it's great that the Obama Family will be continuing that tradition. If you're interested in learning about presidential pets past and find yourself in Annapolis, Maryland, be sure to check out The Presidental Pet Museum.
The Museum highlights past and current White House Pets. See a portrait of Lucky (President and Mrs. Reagan's Bouvier des Flandres) made from her own hair, and photos and exhibits of famous pets from George Washington's Horse, Nelson, the Clinton's famous Buddy and Socks to the current White House Pets!
Worry not dog lovers, the White House will still have a “First Dog” under a Barack Obama administration. Obama had promised that whether or not he won the White House, his daughters Sasha and Malia could get a dog.
“Sasha and Malia, I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us,” Obama said at the start of his victory speech. His predecessors dating back several administrations had dogs and yes, a few cats occupied the White House too.
Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden, is also getting in on the act. He told reporters traveling with him earlier that his wife had promised him a “big dog” if he got elected. Jill Biden had taped pictures of different dogs on the back of the seat in front of him on his campaign plane to inspire the candidate as he criss-crossed the country in the final sprint to election day.
“Jill had said the only way you are getting a dog is if you are president...we didn’t think about vice president,” said Biden. “She said at least if you live in the White House you are home.” He dropped out of the presidential race but when Obama asked him to join the ticket, his wife Jill said if he did so she would let him have the dog he wanted.
03 November 2008
If you live in New York City long enough, you'll eventually develop a bizarre sense of pride for the subway line you ride most often. You might love it, you might love to hate it, or you might develop complex theories about how it is faster or slower or warmer or colder or has more mariachi band invasions than the other subway lines. But if you want to really solidify your identity as an F train rider/A train survivor/remember when the 1 train was the 9 train-er, you've simply got to check out this new line of MTA licensed gear for dogs.
Brightly colored and richly embroidered, durable nylon leads and collars along with doggie T-Shirts and hoodies sporting subway line and station symbols are a stand out in any crowd. Definitely a conversation starter!
Check out the full collection at The Transit Museum Store
31 October 2008
Happy Halloween from all of us at Dog Clothes Horse. Here are a few tips to make sure your holiday stays fun and safe for two-leggers and four-leggers alike:
• Trick-or-treat candy is not for pets. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs, and tinfoil and cellophane candy wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed.
• Be careful of pets around a lit pumpkin. Pets may knock it over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned.
• Don't dress the dog in costume unless you know s/he loves it.
• If you do dress up your dog, make sure the costume isn't constricting, annoying or unsafe. Be careful not to obstruct his vision.
• Even the sweetest dogs can get snappy when they can't see what's going on around them.
• All but the most social dogs should be kept in a separate room during trick-or-treat visiting hours. Too many strangers in strange garb can be scary for a dog.
• Be careful your cat or dog doesn't dart out through the open door.
An Albuquerque man said he was shocked to receive a voter registration card for his dog after he jokingly filled out a form at Wal-Mart.
Don Pizzolato said he filled out a voter registration form for his dog, Tuckup Koepke, with a phony birth date and Social Security number, the Albuquerque Journal reported Thursday. However, Pizzolato said he never expected the form to result in an actual voter registration for his dog. He received a card for the canine only weeks after filling out the form.
"I fully expected the form to be returned to me," Pizzolato said. He said he feared the situation was symptomatic of a larger problem that could lead to voter fraud.
"I just have one data point to go off of, but in my opinion, if it's this easy to thwart the system, I'm sure it's not an isolated case," he said. Pizzolato said Tuckup Koepke will not be voting in the upcoming election.
30 October 2008
This improbable picture was taken at an exotic bird farm in Germany and shows the extraordinary moment when a one-year-old pelican body-searched a dog in search for a missing meal. Captured by the owner of the bird farm, Roland Adam, they show how Petri the Pelican took exception to the theft of its meal.
"I was preparing foods for the birds in our outdoor kitchen, when I noticed Petri at my side looking for a snack," explained the 38-year-old. "I decided to feed her one of the chicks I had been preparing when Katijina raced in, caught the frozen bird mid-air and gobbled up Petri's dinner."
Confused and slightly irritated by missing out on the proffered snack, Petri decided to scour every inch of the Rhodesian ridgeback - named Katijina - for the discarded chick.
"It was hilarious," said Mr Adam. "We have so many animals on the farm that they are very tame and at ease with each other. Katijina is no different and she was more than happy to allow Petri to come in for closer inspection."
Me Adam's exotic bird farm is in Hoerstel near Osnabrueck and houses everything from ostriches to flamingos. "You see a lot of things on my farm but I have never seen anything like this before and I just had to get my camera to prove it was real," he said. "But I suppose when it came down to it, Katijina was just too quick."
29 October 2008
The Apple store has come out with an iPhone application that is self described as "the greatest application for all the dog lovers".
Whenever you take picture of your dog, the most difficult part is to attract his attention. Bow Cam is the best solution for it. Launch the app, and once you are ready, touch the "BOW" button. The iPhone will bark and call the dog for you!
Yes, this app will bark for you in order to capture your dog's attention. And there are 10 different barks to choose from! Credit to the developer for originality.
28 October 2008
Cramped after a Saturday night flight from Detroit, Choochy the poodle broke free after her plane landed at Boston's Logan Airport and for the next 17 hours, the tiny white fugitive managed to elude nearly a dozen Massport employees and State Police, holding up runway traffic as she cavorted on the tarmac.
Gideon Lester, a passenger on a delayed US Airways flight to LaGuardia in New York, saw the event unfold. "I'm sitting on a plane at Logan waiting to take off. The runway had been closed because a stray dog, looks like a poodle, is running around the tarmac."
Her romp ended yesterday afternoon when she was finally coaxed into custody, but not before she managed to delay at least eight flights for about 20 minutes each, according to Phil Orlandella, a Massport spokesman, who said the pup "did create a little havoc."
The poodle "seemed to be having a good time," said Lester, artistic director of the American Repertory Theatre. "They looked like they were running cattle." His fellow passengers were mostly amused rather than annoyed by the runaway, he said, but were "a little incredulous that it would take so many men so many hours to catch this little dog."
"Obviously, she's hungry and she's afraid," Orlandella said earlier in the day as employees chased Choochy around the runways. A safe but tired Choochy was reunited with her family, who live in Revere. Orlandella would not release the name of her family.
[Source: Boston Globe]
27 October 2008
Cat people worship felines like pharaohs; dog people talk to hounds like people. New research shows that cat and dog people really are different -- in marital status, economic standing and education among other things.
"Our studies have shown that there are some interesting differences between cat owners and dog owners," says James Flanigan, head of marketing at the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). "Our surveys show that single people are more attracted to cat ownership, while dog owners are married with children."
The AVMA conducts surveys of pet owners every five years, and publishes the results in the U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographic Sourcebook. In the 2007 edition, the image of a dog as a family pet is shown to be true: 67.0 percent of dog owners are married compared to 61.8 percent of cat owners, and 52.6 percent of dog owners are families of three or more, compared to 47.0 percent of cat owners.
As for what is America's favorite pet ... it depends on how you read the most recent pet demographic statistics. There are more cats, 81.7 million compared to 72.1 million dogs, but there are more dog owners, 43 million compared to 37.5 million cat owners. This is because cat owners are more likely to have more than one cat.
[Source: PR Newswire]
24 October 2008
John Grogan has a Hollywood star at his feet. No, it’s not Jennifer Aniston or Owen Wilson, the actors who play Grogan and his wife Jenny in the upcoming film version of Grogan’s bestselling book, “Marley & Me.”
The star is Woodson, a now 8-month-old Labrador Retriever puppy who was one of 24 dogs to play Marley in “Marley & Me,” which opens Dec. 25. Woodson lives with Grogan, his wife, and their three children – plus three cats, two chickens, and another Lab, 4-year-old Gracie – in the family’s suburban Philadelphia home.
The real Marley died in 2003 and is buried in Grogan’s backyard under several cherry trees and wild raspberry bushes. Grogan told USA Today that there is no headstone to mark the resting spot of one of publishing’s most famous canines. “I intentionally wanted him to blend into the landscape,” he says.
Two fishermen were left reeling in surprise when they caught a dog a mile out at sea. At first when they spotted the animal swimming against the tide they thought it was an otter, but when they realised that it was a dog the two lifted him on board.
Freddie, a 14-year-old cairn terrier, was later reunited with his owner - who revealed that he dislikes water so much that he hates taking a bath and avoids walking through puddles. He had become disorientated in the fog while on a walk with owner Jean Brigstock and had slipped into the water as the 73-year-old searched frantically for him. And instead of swimming back to shore at Amble, Northumberland, he had mistakenly struck out for the deeps of the North Sea.
Mrs. Brigstock said: 'It was a beautiful day, and I was taking him on his usual walk, but all of a sudden, a heavy sea fret set in quickly, and I couldn't see Freddie anymore. I looked for him for hours, and others helped. There was no sign of him, but I was convinced he would eventually turn up.'
She added: 'I was desperate. He's my companion and he's so important to me. I knew he hated water so I thought he'd head for the dunes rather than the sea. It really didn't enter my head that he would swim. He rarely goes through a puddle and has an aversion to baths.'
But Freddie was found three quarters of a mile out to sea after a long doggy paddle and was rescued by trawlermen Jimmy and Alan Thompson from Red Row, Northumberland. A lifeboat was launched to collect the dog because their trawler was not yet due to return to shore.
By chance, Mrs. Brigstock's daughter Wendy, who had taken over the search for Freddie, came across the wife of one of the fishermen, who told her they had found a dog.
Mrs. Brigstock adopted Freddie as her own three years ago after his previous owner, a friend, went into a nursing home and was no longer able to look after him. She said: 'He looked like a drowned rat when they found him. I'm so grateful to the two fishermen, the Coastguard and the inshore lifeboat men who took so much trouble to find him and take him to safety.'
Sea-dog Freddie, 14, is no worse for wear after his ordeal. He was taken to the vets but found to be unscathed. Mrs. Brigstock said: 'Freddie is back to his normal self. I'm not surprised he survived - he's a bit of a character really. The night he was rescued, he was a little bit under the weather. He was quite quiet and feeling sorry for himself. But the next morning he was ready for his breakfast.'
[Source: Daily Mail Online]
23 October 2008
In case you missed it, last week the Associated Press wrote about how Russian officials tested the country's forthcoming satellite system on an unlikely subject--Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's dog. But don't fret, animal activists aren't worried. We'll let the Associated Press take it from here:
Putin listened as his deputy, Sergei Ivanov, briefed him on the progress of the Global Navigation Satellite System. Then footage broadcast on Russian TV showed them try a collar containing satellite-guided positioning equipment on the prime minister's black Labrador Koni.
Ivanov said that the equipment goes on a standby mode when "the dog doesn't move, if it, say, lies down in a puddle."
Putin interrupted him jokingly: "My dog isn't a piglet, it doesn't lie in puddles. She wags her tail, she likes it," Putin said after watching Koni outside his collonaded residence on Moscow's western outskirts.
Fortunately for Putin's dog and many others, the satellite-guided tracking systems carry no known health risks, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
"While PETA is not familiar with the actual device that Prime Minister Putin used on his dog, if the collar is similar to those used in the U.S., which are not shock collars, it is probably harmless," PETA spokesman Michael McGraw said in an e-mailed response.
The GPS tracking devices in the U.S. use the Global Positioning System to determine the precise location of an animal, person or vehicle. When put on wild animals, usually in a collar, they allow scientists to study their behavior and migration patterns.
[Source: Los Angeles Times]
22 October 2008
They met on the local hot rod scene. They looked like heavies, a band of Hells Angels, with nicknames equally tough: Mike Tattoo, Big Ant, Johnny O, Batso, Sal, Angel, Des. They meant no harm. Clad in leather, inked to the hilt in skulls and dragons, with images of bloodied barbed wire looped about their necks, they shared something else — a peculiar tenderness for animals, and the intensity needed to act on the animals’ behalf when people abuse them.
“I’m a vegetarian,” said Mike Tattoo (real name Mike Ostrosky), a former bodybuilding champion with a shaved head, great arms covered in art and a probing clarity in his blue eyes. “And Big Ant has in his backyard three guinea pigs, a couple of rabbits, birds, cats — and fish everywhere. But just because a person has tattoos, they wouldn’t come running with us.”
The group became a little larger over the course of about 15 years, with various animal-loving, tattooed bikers in the New York area joining the conversation. One member, Angel Nieves, a 47-year-old retired city police detective, grew up in the projects on West 125th Street and remembered taking in strays from the streets as a boy, as did many of his cohorts. He owns a tiny, white bichon frisé named Cris.
Having run in crowds where animal abuse was rampant, often involving pit bull fights, the men volunteered at shelters and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and they tried to solve cases of missing or abused animals that other organizations had neither the time nor the resources to address.
A man named Robert Missari pulled everything together. Mike Tattoo met Mr. Missari about 18 months ago at a hot rod convention called the Rumbler. Though Mr. Missari is not inked — he works in catering — he loves animals and broached the idea that the bikers should become more than just friends bound by a commitment to a common cause; he wanted them to become an organization. About a year ago, they took up the name Rescue Ink, and now work full time investigating cases of animal abuse.
Mr. Missari is the executive director and the dispatcher for this biker brotherhood, working from his office in Manhattan, where he spends some of his time phoning in leads to the men on the road (“Yo, we got a report of five pit bulls living in 55-gallon drums”). He gets up to 250 calls a day.
The men rescue pedigreed animals sold for a pittance to buy drugs, animals used for fighting and bait, and colonies of feral cats that angry neighbors have tried to shoot or poison. They have received calls from Australia (“Dingoes, I guess,” Angel said) and reports of a serial cat killer in Pennsylvania.
They hand cases of criminal activities to the police. “That’s not our specialty,” Mr. Missari said. “We specialize in getting the abuser away from the dog. We truly work with the abuser. We go to a house; if it’s really cold out, we see two dogs in the back, we build them a doghouse.”
[Source: The New York Times]
After years of tracking the most popular names for pets, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) set out to find the most unusual cat and dog names from among its more than 465,000 pets insured nationwide. VPI employees selected 50 unusual dog names and 50 unusual cat names, and then voted for the 10 most unusual names in each category. Check out these winners, listed in order, with the most unusual at the top. Now sit. And read.
1. Rush Limbark (enjoys listening to the conservative radio talk show host)
2. Sirius Lee Handsome
4. Low Jack (a corgi mix with very short legs)
6. Peanut Wigglebutt (a dachshund puppy who shakes her tail so hard she falls over)
7. Scuddles Unterfuss
8. Sophie Touch & Pee (an excitable golden retriever with an unfortunate habit)
9. Admiral Toot
1. Edward Scissorpaws (a playful paw leaves a scratch right under the owner's eye)
2. Sir Lix-a-lot
3. Optimus Prrrime
4. Buddah Pest
5. Snoop Kitty Kitty
6. Miss Fuzzbutt
7. 80 Bucks
9. Rosie Posie Prozac (an ex-boyfriend spots neurotic tendencies)
10. Toot Uncommon (perfect for the Egyptian mau breed)
[Source: Chicago Tribune]
21 October 2008
Jessica Simpson attended the launch of her new fragrance “Fancy” at Dillard’s in Dallas, Texas on Saturday (October 18), but not alone. Her dog, Daisy, tagged along and looks enviably well-behaved!
[Source: The Celebrity Blog]
20 October 2008
While rescue groups and shelters brace themselves for the expected "buyers demand" for Chihuahuas due to the Disney film "Beverly Hills Chihuahua", the stars of this movie are speaking out on behalf of the little dogs locked in puppy mills and pet stores.
Actresses Jamie Lee Curtis, Loretta Devine and Ali Hillis, are unabashed in their support of adopting rescued dogs. In Best Friends Animal Society's viral public service announcement they enthusiastically urge people to break the puppy mill cycle and adopt, rather than buy from pet stores supplied by puppy mills. Child stars Madeline Carroll and Sage Ryan Campbell also add their voices, and national TV news personality Jane Velez-Mitchell is the PSA's narrator. Even the dog star, Papi, who was himself rescued at a Moreno Valley shelter "speaks," imploring people to not "buy my family."
17 October 2008
An international team of scientists has just identified what they believe is the world's first known dog, which was a large and toothy canine that lived 31,700 years ago and subsisted on a diet of horse, musk ox and reindeer, according to a new study.
Remains for the older prehistoric dog, which were excavated at Goyet Cave in Belgium, suggest to the researchers that the Aurignacian people of Europe from the Upper Paleolithic period first domesticated dogs.
If Paleolithic dogs still existed as a breed today, they would surely win best in show for strength and biting ability. "In shape, the Paleolithic dogs most resemble the Siberian husky, but in size, however, they were somewhat larger, probably comparable to large shepherd dogs," said Mietje Germonpré, a paleontologist at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.
Isotopic analysis of the animals' bones found that the earliest dogs consumed horse, musk ox and reindeer, but not fish or seafood. Since the Aurignacians are believed to have hunted big game and fished at different times of the year, the researchers think the dogs might have enjoyed meaty handouts during certain seasons.
The earliest dogs likely earned their meals too. "I think it is possible that the dogs were used for tracking, hunting, and transport of game," she said.
[Source: The Discovery Channel]