31 July 2009
29 July 2009
Tongue flailing, ears pushed back by the wind and its tail wagging happily. Driving down the highway with a shaggy dog poking its head out the car window is an iconic American image.
However, like the 70-mph lap-child, it’s an image that should be relegated to times gone by. People who would never consider Junior riding in anything less secure than a state-of-the-art child seat will still allow a 75-pound dog to roam free at highway speeds within a car’s passenger compartment.
Properly securing a pet while riding inside a moving vehicle not only makes it a safer ride for an animal, it helps keep the interior clean and avoids potentially hazardous situations. It may be exciting to see a flying squirrel or flying fish in the wild, but within the confines of an automobile, a soaring schnauzer is a danger to both man and beast.
According to pet safety Web site barkbuckleup.com, when driving 35 mph, a 60-pound unrestrained dog can cause an impact of 2,700 pounds, slamming into a car seat, windshield or passenger. Keeping the animal restrained is the first step toward the comfort and well-being of all living things within your automobile.
For small dogs and pets, purchasing a portable kennel is the simplest answer, particularly a carrier that’s already familiar and comfortable to the pet. These can easily be securely strapped down in the back of a station wagon, minivan or SUV or, with appropriate fastenings, in the backseat of a passenger car. “In-vehicle pet restraints should be part of every dog owner’s safe travel practices,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.
Going several steps further, Honda recently showed a concept version of its boxy Element crossover wagon that’s purposefully dedicated to hauling the family dog, right down to paw-print logos on the fenders. “In an interesting turn of events, cars are now chasing dogs,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda. “Factory integration of a cushioned pet bed, restraint systems and other components are intended to transform the Element into the ultimate dog car.”
With its concept vehicle, Honda has paid dogged attention to canine comfort and safety. Older dogs, particularly those too big to be carried, can enter via a ramp into the rear cargo area.
Other features in the dog-friendly concept Element include a cushioned pet bed in the cargo area with an elevated platform, a rear ventilation fan, second-row seat covers, rubber floor mats and a spill-resistant water bowl.
[Source: Daily News]
24 July 2009
It's not unusual for visually-impaired humans to rely on a guide dog - but now a shelter in the UK has found a blind border collie with his own inseparable canine companion.
Best friends Bonnie and Clyde were brought to the animal shelter in Norfolk after they were found wandering the streets in a rain storm.
When the pair are together Clyde, five, seems as capable as a fully sighted dog - but he won't move unless Bonnie, two, is close.
Bonnie guides him on walks or towards food and lets him rest on her when he becomes disorientated.
Cherie Cootes, who runs the Meadown Green Dog Rescue Centre in Loddon, Norfolk, said: "He totally relies on her the whole time. When she walks she tends to stop and make sure he's there - she does look out for him."
Vicky Bell, a spokeswoman for Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, said she had never heard of a dog voluntarily acting as a guide for another dog.
"There's absolutely no option of homing them separately - they have to go as a pair," she said. "This is a very unusual case - it's such a lovely story.
"Some dogs take to guiding better than others because they naturally have the right temperament."
22 July 2009
You may not understand what your dog is trying to tell you, but your baby might. Infants as young as six months old can tell what kind of mood a pooch is in by its bark, according to a new study.
Brigham Young University researchers showed babies two different pictures of the same dog, looking aggressive and then friendly. They then played sound recordings of a happy and an angry bark in a random order.
Amazingly, the babies spent most of the time staring at the matching picture after hearing the sound.
“Emotion is one of the first things babies pick up on in their social world,” said Ross Flom, a professor at the university and lead author of the study. “We chose dogs because they are highly communicative creatures both in their posture and the nature of their bark.”
The experiment backs up the idea that even before they can speak, babies can understand and respond to the tone of human and animal voices.
Thankfully, it seems no babies got too alarmed by the aggressive barks. “Many of them enjoyed it,” Dan Hyde, one of the study’s co-authors said of the experiment. “Others just looked on.”
20 July 2009
New Yorkers opened their hearts and wallets on Sunday for the North Carolina woman who saved a five-legged puppy from a Coney Island freak show as they hailed the big-hearted animal lover as a hero.
A Manhattan vet was so touched by the actions of Allyson Siegel, the Charlotte woman who bought Lilly for $4,000 to spare her from a life as a Surf Ave. freak puppy, that he offered to remove the dog's extra leg for free.
Dr. Neil Shaw, co-owner of NYC Veterinary Specialists on W. 55th St., said his hospital would evaluate the 6-week-old Chihuahua-terrier mix and then plan the surgery.
"We would be more than happy to help out," he said.
Siegel was thrilled by the generosity.
"That is so nice. I'm so happy!" she said on Sunday.
Siegel, 45, said her local vet told her it would charge $2,000 for the operation. NYC Veterinary Specialists runs a foundation it can tap to help pay for the care of needy animals.
Daily News reader Tony Raimi, 27, called to find out Siegel's address so she could send her and Lilly a care package.
"When I read about her, it made me think, 'There are still good people out there,'" the Staten Island native said Sunday.
"I was at work when I read the story and had to walk away from the counter because I started to cry."
Raimi and readers who posted comments on the News' Web site cheered Siegel's decision to spend $4,000 to save Lilly.
"Allyson Siegel, you are my hero!" wrote Paula DeMarta Mastroianni. "Big big hugs to beautiful Lilly, and thank you for doing this!"
"Lucky Little Lilly," wrote Rose Young-Stewart. "The other animals on display at the Coney Island freak show need to be given good homes. Who wants to spend their life being stared at, ridiculed, laughed at, so the owner can make a living off them?"
Another reader called Siegel an "angel."
"She is showing that there are guardian angels even for animals," wrote reader Jeppydog. "What a truly wonderful person. God bless you, Allyson!"
17 July 2009
Here's your "awww" for the day: two newborn red pandas, rejected by their mother, have found a surrogate mom in a friendly dog, who's nursing the cubs as her own.
The red pandas were born at the Taiyuan Zoo in China's Shanxi province June 25, and were immediately rejected by their mother as a large crowd of zoo visitors looked on, Xinhua News Service reported.
Zoo staff quickly began the search for a surrogate, and chose the dog from among three canine candidates.
"It's good-natured and has sufficient milk. The baby bears seem to like it, too," zoo staffer Ha Guojiang told Xinhua.
Unfortunately, being a surrogate has caused the dog to refuse to nurse her own newborn puppy, but Ha has taken over feeding the pup.
Red pandas, also called lesser pandas, are furry, tree-dwelling, raccoon-like mammals that are a protected species in China, like their black-and-white Giant Panda relatives.
15 July 2009
Clean your act up this week and save 30%. Just shop our Grooming category and enter the coupon code BLGROOM at checkout to save 30% on all Grooming products.
To check out all things soapy and sweet, head on over to Modern Tails
13 July 2009
You could be gazing at the animal of your dreams, but you just can’t tell what she’s thinking behind that furry face. What if you knew a little something about her personality and habits before you moved in together? The ASPCA’s Meet Your Match program wouldn’t let you go home without knowing who’s in that carrier or on that leash. MYM is the only method in existence today that evaluates an animal’s behavior and interests and matches them to an adopter’s preferences so that you take home a pet you can really click with.
The Meet Your Match Canine-ality/Puppy-ality assessment begins with an initial MYM SAFER™ (Safety Assessment for Evaluating Rehoming) behavior screening to make sure each pooch is a good candidate for adoption. Dogs are then tested on their friendliness, playfulness, energy level, motivation and drive, and placed into one of nine color-coded Canine- or Puppy-alities. Some pooches are laid-back “Couch Potatoes,” others are curious “Busy Bees,” and then there are the action hero “Go-Getter” types.
As an adopter, you also get a color based on your preferences and lifestyle. On your visit to the adoption facility, you’re given a purple, orange or green guest pass to match the pets who might suit you best. You don’t always have to go with your own color, but at least you’ll know who you’re mixing with!
For more information, and to get your match color, head on over ASPCA.org
08 July 2009
Richard Gere stars in a Hollywood remake of Japan's long-cherished story of Hachiko, a faithful dog that died at a train station waiting for its master. But "Hachi: A Dog's Story" is more about the dog than about Gere, the 59-year-old actor said Wednesday.
"On this movie, I was definitely second-class," he told reporters at a Tokyo hotel.
The movie premiered in the U.S. at the Seattle International Film Festival in June, and opens in Japan in August.
The story of Hachiko is a legend among Japanese, a pet-loving nation that honors self-sacrificing loyalty.
Hachiko, the story goes, always used to wait at Shibuya train station for its master, a professor at the University of Tokyo.
Even after the professor died, the dog waited every day at the station for a decade, until it died in 1935.
People were so moved they built a statue of Hachiko at the station, which remains a popular rendezvous spot for Japanese today.
The story of Hachiko was made into a 1987 Japanese movie. Gere's version transports that story to a station in Rhode Island.
Gere said the Japanese breed of dogs called Akita used in the movie are close to wild dogs and very difficult to train. In the beginning, Gere was instructed not to even look at the three dogs that played Hachi.
"They only do something because they want to. You can't really buy them with food," said Gere, last in Japan four years ago for another remake of a Japanese story, "Shall We Dance?"
Gere said the new film evokes the artistry of silent movies.
Often, the crew would film the dog for 12 hours, and take just 10 minutes to shoot Gere's segments, he said.
"We were capturing something that was organic and real that was happening between me and the dogs," he said.
06 July 2009
03 July 2009
Everyone is celebrating the 4th of July in some form or another, so why not include the pets as well? There are events all over the U.S. that pet owners can bring their pets to. Some are parades for their pets and others are just festivities for the family including their pets. Most of these events are during the day so pet owners will be able to take their pets home before the firework events start. If pet owners keep their pets with them, keep in mind that July 4th is one of the highest round-up nights for the local humane societies and animal control officers. Pets get scared and run away from their owners and get picked up. Do use extreme caution if keeping your pet out for the fireworks displays. And, above all, Have fun! For a great survey of 4-legger friendly events around the country, head on over to Examiner.com
01 July 2009
Monday July 6th pamper your pup on the plaza. If you are in the NYC area, bring your dog to the TODAY show plaza and at 7AM they'll be scanning the crowd for dogs in need of an Ambush Doggie Makeover! Come early to get a good spot in the crowd.
The selected three dogs will be styled like they’ve never been before! Under the sure hands of celebrity groomer Jorge- the dogs will get a hair styling and trim. And then Dara Foster will bring her dog fashion stylist magic and outfit the dogs in some of this summer’s coolest new trends!
For details, head on over to Pupstyle.com.