Professional Football player A.J. Hawk of the Green Bay Packers is promoting a “Big Guy Small Dog” contest. The premise is simple, the best combinatino of a big man and his small dog wins. You can check out the contestants here and vote for them. Here’s an article from cnbc.com about the contest:
The Mighty Dog “Big Guy, Small Dog” contest searched the U.S. for “guy’s guys” who are proud owners of small dogs weighing 20 pounds or less. Professional football champ, linebacker and small dog owner A.J. Hawk kicked off the contest by showcasing his special relationship with his four-pound Chihuahua named Todd.
“It’s time to debunk the stereotypes about small dogs and the people who own them,” said Hawk. “I’m really happy to see that so many Big Guys stepped out of the shadows and proudly shared their relationships with their small dogs.
There’s a reason we all love our small dogs so much - they have Mighty attitudes and make every day a fun-filled adventure.” Thirty finalists have been selected from the hundreds of entries by an outside judging panel, and now it is America’s turn to vote to help select the 11 Grand Prize winners who may be featured in the 2012 Mighty Dog “Big Guy, Small Dog” calendar with A.J. and Todd.
Sounds like a fun contest that will showcase small dogs and how awesome they are.
According to this article from the Chicago Tribune, border collies help reduce contamination levels at beaches by chasing away sea gulls:
The dogs, who are trained to distinguish gulls from other varieties of birds, are used from dawn to dusk to chase away gulls, whose droppings contribute to E. Coli contamination, studies have shown. They are being used again this summer seven days a week at 63rd Street and on a part-time basis at 57th Street and South Shore, said Zvez Kubat, a Chicago Park District spokeswoman.
Overall, the report said, contamination levels at all the state’s beaches — defined as the percentage of beach-monitoring samples from Memorial Day to Labor Day that exceeded the state’s daily maximum bacterial standard — was about 14 percent, slightly lower than a year earlier.
I did not know that municipalities used dogs to clear out the beaches like this. I’m sure that the border collies have fun chasing the sea gulls away too! Click here for the full story and a video.
Here is a great article from shreveporttimes.com that summarizes the steps you can take to ensure that your dog does not get overheated while outside:
The first way to protect your dog is by eliminating extraneous outdoor exercise when the sun is at its zenith. And be advised that hot concrete exacerbates heat distress, because besides panting, dogs dissipate heat from the pads of their feet. If it’s too hot for the palm of your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s tootsies. Do NOT leave your dog in a hot car, and if you SEE a dog in a parked car, report it to law enforcement. You may save a life.
If you can’t bring your pooch indoors during the hottest part of the day, at least make sure he has a cool place on the shady side of the house. Unshaded, concrete kennels literally are a killer in the summer time. Make sure he has plenty of cool water. If your pet is an “outdoor dog,” an excellent way to insure a fresh water supply is with a Lixsit dog watering device attached to your faucet. This allows your dog to get fresh water at will.
Click here for the full article and more safety tips. One thing that I noticed is how hot the concrete can get outside. We humans wouldn’t notice it but if you imagine your dog’s paws touching the pavement, it would seem to be very uncomfortable. Be safe out there!
This article from msnbc describes a study on whether dogs can recognize when humans smile:
The ability to recognize human facial expressions, as well as other human cues, does not appear to be innate. Rather, the dogs acquire it as they come to associate, say, a smile with a reward, like extra doggie treats or affection, according to Udell.
“This study has shown that dogs that live closely with humans are also able to recognize positive facial expressions, indicating that these dogs have acquired the social skills helpful to survive. The ability to learn to discriminate human facial expressions must have helped dogs to adapt to human society,” Nagasawa’s team concluded in the study.
Dogs are really sensitive to human emotion and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they developed the ability to recognize smiles. So remember to smile at your dogs and have a great weekend!
More and more companies are allowing employees to bring their dogs to work, as explained in this article by the Baltimore Sun:
Though most companies still forbiddogs, on the nation’s 13th annual Take Your Dog to Work Day, which takes place Friday, officials say the workplace is warming toward pets. According to a recent survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, about one in five companies allows pets. And 3 percent of dog owners have brought theirs to work up to a couple of dozen times.
And it’s not just mom-and-pop gift shops withcats in the window.
Dogs are now welcome at mega-corporations including Amazon and Google. Lobbyists in California only wish they could hit as many high-level shindigs as Gov. Jerry Brown’s corgi. Even at North Carolina’s Replacements Ltd., the nation’s largest vendor of china and crystal, pets accompany the workers who tend to the fragile merchandise.
The growing allure of the office dog can be attributed to money, suspects Jennifer Fearing, a former economist for The Humane Society of the United States and co-author of a book about creating a dog-friendly workplace. It’s an inexpensive perk that goes a long way with the workforce.
Don’t forget that tomorrow is Take Your Dog to Work Day! If you participate, take pictures! Unfortunately I’m going to leave my dog at home, but I’ll make up for it by playing with him this weekend. Click here for the full story and a video.
Don’t forget that this coming Friday, June 24th is “Take Your Dog To Work Day!” Takeyourdog.com has this explanation:
First celebrated in 1999, Pet Sitters International’s Take Your Dog To Work Day® was created to celebrate the great companions dogs make and to encourage their adoption from humane societies, animal shelters and breed rescue clubs. This annual event asks pet lovers to celebrate the humane-canine bond and promote pet adoption by encouraging their employers to support TYDTWDay by opening their workplace to employees’ four-legged friends on this one special day.
This article from the Guardian says that taking your dog to work has benefits too:
A review of research on domestic dogs and human health, published in 2007 in the British Journal of Health Psychology, suggested that pet owners tend to be healthier. The review found evidence to suggest that dog owners have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and are less likely to have minor and serious health problems.
Earlier this year digital online marketing agency the Bio Agency conducted a survey of 3,000 office workers. Of the people canvassed, 16% had an office pet with the top 10 being fish, dogs, cats, tortoises, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, geckos, snakes and tarantulas. As many as 55% of those canvassed admitted they would feel more motivated if they did have a pet in the office.
“Pets at work can help employees to relax, reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure, which can decrease absenteeism and improve staff morale,” confirms Terri Bodell, a consultant clinical psychotherapist and stress expert. “Not only that, but employees that take a break to walk their dog seem to return to work in a more productive and positive frame of mind.”
I’m not sure if my employer will allow me to bring my dog, but hopefully yours will! I wish I could have my dog with me all day. Mark your calendars now!
“Doga” is a combination of yoga and being with your dog — basically yoga with dogs. You can see some photos of doga and sign up for lessons from a group in Florida, for example, at dogadog.com. You can also find books about Doga at Amazon.com including ‘Doga: Yoga for Dogs” which is described as follows:
Dogs have always been natural yogis, and their tranquility of mind, ability to be in the moment, and contented outlook are widely considered to be the result of their long and devoted practice of doga. Dogis Benny, Buster, and Cricket practiced in obscurity for years, perfecting their dogic principles. Now at last they reveal the powerful secrets of doga. Many of the movements and positions of doga can inspire and assist humans in their own yoga practice. Doga presents the major asanas or postures, from the Downward-Facing Dog to the relaxing Happy Puppy and restorative Pup’s Pose. Each stretch is demonstrated by one of the dogis, with accompanying text to help people adapt positions to their own practice. Also included are breathing techniques such as the hot breath, or pant, and tips on practicing with your own dogi. Anyone who does yoga or owns a dog is sure to find inspiration in these pages. On the path to health and inner harmony, Doga shows the way.
Apparently this trend has been growing for a few years as this article from abcnews explains:
The latest fitness craze for dog lovers is called “doga” and it’s coming to a mat near you. In a typical doga class, owners help their pups facilitate different poses, and they also do their own poses using the animals as helpful props. Owners also perform doggy massage and acupressure to help soothe and relax their pets.
I know nothing about yoga, but this sounds like something my dog would enjoy, especially as he starts getting older. Check out the links above for more info!
Get the tissues ready for this story from wtma.com about a dying man who was given one last chance to see his dog:
McClain had been living in his car in a Walmart parking lot when paramedics found him unconscious in early May. McClain was very sick and was taken to a hospital, while Yurt was found to be healthy and was taken to an animal shelter.
Hospice arranged for Yurt to visit McClain, and Erceg drove Yurt over in an ambulance.
“This dog, I swear to God she knew where she was going. She was just freaking out — yipping and shrieking. We got to the hospice house, and she just made a beeline for the front door,” Erceg said.
Yurt headed straight toward McClain’s room, where the dog jumped onto the bed that McCain was in and onto her owner. After more than an hour, Erceg gently tried to remove Yurt from the bed, but McClain grabbed his dog’s head and kept stroking it.
Erceg began to cry as she remembered his final words to Yurt. “He told her ‘behave. You behave.’ … That was his acceptance — he knew that was going to be the last time he saw her.”
McClain died the next day.
Yurt the dog was later adopted by a couple and currently lives in a new home. This is an example of the deep ties which exist between dogs and humans. *sniff*