"With the advances being made in animal medicine (veterinarians) are able to treat more illnesses and injuries. They’re now doing hip replacements, back surgeries, and many dogs need transfusions when suffering from anemia."
Click the link above for the full story. It’s something that I never really thought about, but it makes sense when you think of all the surgeries that are available to dogs today.
That’s right. Some dolphins helped draw attention to a dog in distress:
Earlier this week, an eleven-year-old Doberman named Turbo escaped from his yard and plunged into a canal in Marco Island in Florida. Since the vertical walls of the canal are high, Turbo couldn’t get out, and was forced to tread water against the current for over half a day. Nobody noticed him until, fifteen hours into his ordeal, a lady living nearby heard strange splashing. It wasn’t Turbo, who by that time was exhausted. It was a pod of dolphins who had found him and were staying with him, splashing loudly until they received human attention.
Click the link above for the full article from the NYMag.com. Kind of a heartwarming story.
A third-grader in Florida invented a device called the “Puff ‘N Fluff” that will dry your dog off after a bath, as this article from the St. Petersburg Times describes:
Marissa Streng didn’t like getting soaked drying her dog, Mojo, after his bath. She turned to science and created a better way to dry her pug.
Marissa’s Puff ‘N Fluff, a dog-drying device the third-grader invented, won the grand prize Feb. 11 in the elementary school division of the University of South Florida’s 2011 Young Innovator competition.
That’s pretty impressive. When I was in third-grade my greatest achievement was picking my nose. Hopefully this contraption will make life easier for wet dogs and their owners!
Sonny, a miniature schnauzer from Arizona, won the best in breed competition at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show:
Sonny was judged best in breed at this week’s 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the U.S.’s most prestigious canine competition.
Owner Marilyn Lande said she knew something was special about Sonny from the time he was about a year old. But she didn’t get her hopes up as she sent her now 5-year-old off to the Madison Square Garden Center in New York.
"I was about as surprised as anybody could be. I absolutely never expected to win the Garden," Lande said. "This year, for the first time, I never even sent a picture in for the catalogue because I was pretty sure I’d never win."
My own schnauzer will always be my personal “best in breed,” but congratulations to Sonny!
The LA Times has an article regarding a study conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia which says what I think many dog owners already know:
The teens in dog-owning families logged about 15 additional minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per week after the researchers controlled for factors such as gender and socioeconomic status.
Could it be that kids actually walk the family dog instead of the parents (after begging for a dog and promising their parents they would walk the dog)?
"Children and adolescents may not have the primary responsibility of walking the dog but may actively play with the family dog, thus contributing to their overall minutes engaging in physical activity," the authors wrote.
While this study is limited to teens, I think the notion that having a dog in your life can make you more active applies across the board. I, for one, know for sure that I get much more exercise thanks to my dog!
This short article from the sunherald.com provides some tips from the American Kennel Club on keeping your dog’s ears clean. Sometimes I notice my dog scratching his ears and when he starts doing this I know that it’s time to take a look inside his ears for gunk.
If his ears look dirty, use a clean cloth, cotton ball, or cotton swab to clean them. Moisten the swab or cloth with ear wash or a little water to remove the dirt or wax. If you decide to use a cotton swab, be extremely careful to not put the swab into your dog’s ear canal.
It’s easy to overlook the ears but they are an important part of your dog’s health.
Looking for an alternative to the Super Bowl? Then check out Puppy Bowl VII on the Animal Planet channel. Click the link above for pictures from the Orange County Register. Animal Planet describes the activities as follows:
Puppy Bowl VII brings viewers a loveable lineup that’s itching to play in a winning combination of terrier tackles, touchdowns, puppy penalties, fumbles and Fido first downs. Featuring fan favorites like the Water Bowl Cam, tail-gating fans, and the Ice Breakers blimp and its hamster crew, this year’s big game is sure to be a tail-wagger. For the first time ever, viewers can watch the action from the puppy’s point-of-view with the new Puppy Cam.
I love the Super Bowl, but I’ll definitely check out the Puppy Bowl too! Have a great weekend, which ever “game” you end up watching.
A man in North Carolina was shot when his dog knocked a gun off a counter, as explained in this story from wbtv.com:
The man from Knightdale told police that he was shot on Jan. 15 when his dog jumped onto a kitchen bar, knocking his loaded gun onto the floor, WRAL reported. The gun fired when it hit the floor and a bullet hit John Sidney Daniels in the right knee, police told WRAL.
Nothing good can come of leaving a loaded gun on the counter. Fortunately there were no fatalities in this accident….or WAS it an accident? *cue dramatic music*
At the New Glarus Middle School in Wisconsin, dogs who were brought in as part of a program for special needs students are having a big impact on the whole school, as this article from Madison.com explains:
Students who struggle with communication skills can form bonds with a dog. In addition, dogs can provide a real life reason to work on academic skills when they are used for a reading program and students keep track of the animals’ expenses.
As fringe benefits, Douty said the dog “automatically increases social status” for her students and allows them a chance to be on the giving end of help rather than on the receiving end.
Dogs have a way of brightening up the lives of those around them, and it looks like the middle school setting has been perfect in this case. Click the link above for the full article about this cool program!
Scientists have developed equipment which would allow humans to give orders to dogs from a distance. This article from Escapistmagazine.com explains:
The technology is actually built into a custom harness that is worn by a dog. Within this harness, there is a GPS unit, sensors, and a radio system that’s controlled wirelessly from a computer. Vibrations on the left and right side of the harness, as well as different audio tones, are used to guide the dog.
Cool concept, but it’s a reminder of the dangerous situations into which working dogs are placed.
What do you feed your dog? This Seattle Times article discusses how some owners opt for homemade food instead of store-bought kibble. The theory is that homemade food is healthier and may prolong your dog’s life:
According to many veterinarians and pet food producers, it can, in fact, be quite hard to formulate an animal’s diet at home. But Laino, the students in her workshop and others say they have reasons for taking on the challenge. Many of them say they made the switch out of desperation after their animals had lingering illnesses that resisted medicine and other remedies. With home-cooked meals, they say, those health problems cleared up.
I’ve become more picky when choosing what my dog eats, but I have never tried cooking for him at home. An interesting option, if you have the time and resources. If it will prolong my dog’s life, then maybe it’s worth looking into, with the proper research, of course!
Scientists have discovered the remains of a 9,400 year-old dog, who appears to have been eaten at some point by some humans. This news article from Discovery.com explains:
“This is an important scientific discovery that can tell us not only a lot about the genetic history of dogs but of the interactions between humans and dogs in the past,” Samuel Belknap III, who made the discovery, was quoted as saying in the press release. “Not only were they most likely companions as they are today, they served as protection, hunting assistants, and also as a food source.”
It appears that dogs were first domesticated approximately 15,000 years ago (the discovery in Texas signifies the oldest remains found in the U.S. Older remains have been discovered in Europe). No wonder we have such a strong bond with our canine friends!
In Mississippi, a dog named Cinnamon helped a woman fight off a robber who had entered a house. This is a short and simple story, but if you see the video of the small dog (who appears to be wearing a sweater), you’ll see that all dogs - both large and small - will spring into action when someone threatens their loved ones! The story at wapt.com says:
Sheriff’s Department officials said Williams kicked in the door of the home and tried to steal Cindy Davis’ purse. Cinnamon, a Jack Russell terrier, bit Williams while Davis beat him with a broomstick, investigators said.
"I just started whacking him with the broom," Davis said. "He called me some names and then he just got in his truck."
Petside.com posted their “Top 25 Pet People of 2010.” Check out their site for a full description: “Every day, an avalanche of articles vies for our attention, both in print and online, so if you missed the headlines about our picks for this year’s news-worthiest pet people, you’re not alone. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We based our rankings on the individual’s impact on the welfare of pets this year, their capacity to raise the public profile of pets in need, and finally their ability to inspire others to action…”
You can read more about this list at the San Francisco Chronicle’s “Tails of the City” blog here. I’m guessing that Michael Vick at #10 will be somewhat controversial.
This LA Times article discusses the possibility that our dogs may be able to forewarn us of the weather and other major events:
"Scientists have suggested animals sense bad weather because of changes in barometric pressure or other factors, LaFarge said, and dogs anticipate seizures, low blood sugar or other medical problems because of hormonal changes. But they haven’t figured out what alerts pets to earthquakes, bad news or other events — or if it’s just in the eyes of their owners."
Interesting. Click the link above for the full article. There definitely have been times when my dog seems to sense things that I do not.
Allergic to peanuts? Then maybe this is the dog for you. A pitbull mix named Layla has been trained to sniff out peanuts and fragments of peanuts. This is an extremely valuable skill as it will help people with peanut allergies from accidentally ingesting peanut products. This dog is literally a potential life-saver.
Check out this weekly podcast (called the “Dog Cast Radio”) about our favorite topic, dogs. Click here for a link to the podcast page, including an episode in which the author of “Merle’s Door" is interviewed (it was my Dog Book of the Week a few weeks ago). Dog Cast Radio covers a variety of topics and the host, Julie Hill, has a very calm, intelligent demeanor.
Here’s a review of the new animated film, “My Dog Tulip,” which is based on a 1956 memoir by J.R. Ackerley. It’s been getting pretty good reviews across the board. I used to see an older gentleman in my neighborhood slowly walking around with his German Shepherd. This movie kind of brings back those memories. Check out the trailer here.
Inmates at the El Dorado Correctional Facility are helping to care for dogs as part of a foster home agreement with a group called Alex’s House, as stated in the article: “They now have five dogs at a time from Alex’s House, with two inmates providing care for each dog. One of those inmates provides the 24-hour care of feeding, watering, bathing and playing with the dog.”
Click the link above to read more about this cool program.
"101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog" by Kyra Sundance. I’m currently trying to teach my dog some of the tricks in this book. It’s has many illustrative photos and is easy to follow. There are many great tricks to keep your dog’s mind healthy and happy! Check it out.
There’s a new law in Illinois which requires pet stores and shelters to disclose the history of a dog, including information on breeders. Hopefully this will prevent dogs from being victimized by so-called “puppy mills.”