April 22, 2014

Hank the Milwaukee Brewers Mascot Gets a Doghouse

You've might have heard of Hank, the Milwaukee Brewers furry mascot. We wrote about him when he was just a beaten-down stray who wandered on the Brewers spring training camp in Arizona looking for a shot. He got one. He made his mark. The brass called him up to the big leagues and shipped him to Milwaukee with the squad. The rest is history. Toast of the town, all that. 

Standing ovations? Check

Bobblehead Hank doll? Check.

Stuffed likeness? Check, check, check and check:

The Brewers won-loss record is now 15 and 5. First place in the National League Central and the best record of any team one month into the season. Did Hank have anything to do with that? I'd say so. 

In the meantime we've been admiring Hank from afar, the little southpaw with a wicked friendly streak, disarming even the most hardened coach and deranged lifetime Brewer fan. But now, we have to chime in. You see, the Brewers finally made Hank a doghouse, to be placed on the field during games, giving Hank a little place to call his own in foul territory.  

We can't hold back any longer. Get a load of this crazy doghouse!

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It seems the Brewers are treating Hank like a champ, which is nice to see. Also, according to Fansided, merchandise sales are "through the roof." Trends like that should keep Hank in wet food for a long while. 

Imagine -- just two months ago Hank was wandering the streets of Arizona, with no idea where his next meal was coming from, and now he's the toast of Milwaukee, glad-handing fans at Miller Park and leading the team onto the field. It can almost make you cry, if you weren't a tough-as-nails baseball reporter. 

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April 21, 2014

Not Again! Dogs in Danger as More Poison Meatballs Show Up Near Boulder, Colorado

What kind of person goes out of their way to randomly poison dogs, for no apparent reason at all? Twice in the past year, Michael Leaverton has written about how poisoned meatballs were showing up in San Francisco parks and along sidewalks. In July 2013 and February of this year, hundreds of meatballs laced with rat poison were found scattered around the Twin Peaks and Diamond Heights neighborhoods of San Francisco.

That was bad enough, but apparently the story doesn't end there. Last week, identical meatballs were found in a park in Gunbarrel, Colorado, a rural community near Boulder. At least three dogs were poisoned by the meatballs, and police have found a total of eight meatballs since then.

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One of the poisoned meatballs, with a key to show scale.

Dog owner Uli Bromme called the Boulder County Sheriff's Office last Monday to report that her six-month-old Golden Retriever, Amos, had eaten one of the meatballs in the park, and she'd prevented him from eating another.

"Everyone in this neighborhood is shocked," she told the Boulder County News. "We all know each other; the dogs know each other. That's where we go to socialize, and for our dogs to socialize."

The meatballs looked like hamburger embedded with bluish-green pellets, she said.

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Amos' other owner, Brandon Weill, said "You don't do this if you're mad. You tell somebody why you're mad, you don't just poison animals. You just don't do that."

Amos was treated and held overnight at a veterinary clinic and has returned to his family.

Local residents are contributing to a reward fund for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever has been spreading these meatballs in their park. So far, the reward has reached $4,500.

Three dogs are thought to have eaten the meatballs, but there have been no fatalities so far. Animal control specialist Sara Spensieri told the Boulder County News that "The little blue pellets in the meatballs are consistent with what looks like d-CON rat poison that's available at any hardware store." Symptoms can appear several days after ingestion and include lethargy, decreased appetite, difficulty breathing, and bleeding or bruising.

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Brandon Weill, one of Amos's owners. Amos was treated and has returned home.

The big question for those of us who were following the San Francisco case, of course is, how are the two cases connected? It seems like a stretch to say that they're not connected in any way at all. It's hard to know what's more disturbing, though: That there might be more than one person out there who thinks that scattering poison-filled meatballs around dog parks is a really neat way to spend a weekend, or that there's one person who enjoys this so much that they've decided to go on a national tour. Either way, I wouldn't want to be in the mind or the proximity of such a person, and hopefully the $4,500 reward will bring us closer to getting them off the streets and away from dogs.

Via Boulder County News

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Jess the Border Collie Punctured Car Tires for Six Months

For six months, someone was vandalizing cars in Brampton, Cumbria, puncturing tires and causing the dreaded slow leak, leaving motorists stranded and police taking off their caps and scratching their heads. Residents were so outraged they set up a surveillance camera to catch the villain. 

"I was having to replace car tires every couple of weeks," said a mechanic at a local car garage, according to the Daily Mail. "Everyone thought it was someone with a knife."

God knows why they didn't look at a dog first. Because it was a dog. A dog was puncturing tires for six months before anyone caught her. 

Meet Jess the Border Collie. 

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Jess likes nothing more than to run up to a car, get her teeth on some rubber, and start chewing. She's a tire-chewer. She likes to bite tires. Her owners used to let her off the leash during their walks and Jess would hightail it to the nearest car, bite some tire, and then head back. The tires would be flat by the morning. Jess' owners had no clue, and when they saw the surveillance footage that fingered Jess, they were shocked. 

All told, 10 people filed reports with the police, but who knows how many just shook their heads and fixed the flats. 

"We are both just mortified," Jean Morgan, a retired civil servant, according to the Daily Mail. "She is the most obedient and affectionate dog we have ever had, and it is just shocking to hear this terrible news."

To their credit, the elderly couple has reimbursed residents for their damages. 

"We are very distressed by what has happened. I couldn't believe it when I saw the CCTV footage," she went on. "To think that Jess has done this has made me feel very sad."

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PC Simon Amos solved the mystery, according to the Daily Mail. 

"These incidents have been happening for the last six months, with many residents being very upset at the thought of someone targeting them and causing the damage deliberate," he said. "The dog had been seen approaching the cars and many believe that she was just sniffing at the tires. It isn’t until you take a closer look that you can see her biting the tires."

Have a closer look yourself: 

Jean Morgan says she'll now keep Jess on the leash, and she has been spreading the word to reassure residents that someone wasn't deliberately targeting their cars.

"Border Collies are hardworking dogs, and are trained to nip sheep," she said. "I think she must get overexcited when she has had a good run."

Via the Daily Mail

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Big Changes: An Update on Obie, the 71-Pound Dachshund

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You remember Obie, don't you?

Obie made his debut as a 71-pound Dachshund. Now, I'm all for body acceptance and believe lots of different body types can be healthy at lots of different weights. Yet little Obie displayed health issues related to his weight because -- after all -- he's a Dachshund, and Doxies normally weigh about 30 pounds. Obie's atypical weight earned him guest spots on television shows, and the question on everyone's mind was, "How did Obie get so big?"

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Poor Obie!

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Obie had once belonged to an elderly couple who couldn't care for him properly, and they tried to make up for it with food and snacks, causing Obie's weight to balloon. That's when a family member stepped in and Obie ended up with a foster family who dedicated themselves to helping him lose weight with a strict diet and exercise regimen. 

Obie started losing weight and seemed headed toward a new, healthy life. Then he became embroiled in a legal custody battle between the folks who had come to his rescue, with Oregon Dachshund Rescue claiming that Nora Vanatta had agreed only to temporary care and was exploiting Obie's weight for publicity. Obie ultimately ended up staying in Vanatta's care, and, after losing a significant amount of weight, underwent surgery to remove his excess skin.

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Obie had two and a half pounds of skin removed.

I wanted to check in on the little Dachshund to see how he's doing. I almost can't believe it's the same dog!

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The new Obie digitally added to a photo of the old Obie.

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Obie looks great!

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Obie with his dog friends.

Obie is now down to about 30 pounds and he looks great. He lives with two other dog friends and goes on walks and hikes with them to stay fit. It's pretty obvious that Vanatta really cares for him, and while a lot of publicity has surrounded Obie, his human friend is using his visibility to bring awareness to the importance of getting exercise and eating well. Obie has lost 54 pounds in about a year and a half and that's no small feat! His perseverance and resulting success are an inspiration to all of us.

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Good job, Obie!

All photos via Obie's Facebook page, which you aren't already a fan of, you should go check out!

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About Liz Acosta: Dogster's former Cuteness Correspondent, Liz still manages the site's daily "Awws," only now she also wrangles Dogster's social media. That's why she wants you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and -- her personal favorite -- Instagram. See ya there!

Will Your Dog Get Cancer?

sad dog

Cancer is one of those diseases that most dog owners fear. When a beloved dog is sick, just hearing that cancer is on the list of possibilities is enough to strike fear in the heart of an owner. Cancer is not an uncommon disease. It may not be among the most the most common illnesses affecting dogs, but it is one of the most serious diseases. In fact, cancer is a leading cause of death in dogs. What is a dog lover to do?

...

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April 18, 2014

This Bonehead Lit a Dog on Fire -- and Then Wanted Her Back!

Editor's note: The first couple of photos below are pretty graphic, so viewer discretion is advised.

In March, someone doused a puppy named Hope, a Shar-Pei mix, in kerosene, lit a match, and threw it on her. She was chained up in the yard of a man named Larry Wallace. He was home; a neighborhood boy said later that he noticed a dog on fire and rolling on the ground, and then he saw Wallace throw water on the dog. 

Hope had burns covering half her body. Authorities arrived and the dog was brought to BluePearl Veterinary in Tampa.

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"She won't be normal, ever," veterinarian John Gicking told Fox News in March. "She'll have significant scarring. She has a long road ahead of her, including numerous surgeries she's going to need down the road, as well as a long-term healing for her skin."

The man who owns Hope, Larry Wallace, said he didn't set her on fire, even though the dog's living area, a shed, smelled like gasoline, and police found a gas can on the site. Wallace was taken in for questioning and released, according to the Daily Mail.

“I don't know what happened to the dog,” Wallace told WFLA.  

That was on March 20. On Monday, police arrested him and booked him into DeSoto County Jail. He faces charges charges of arson and animal abuse, both felonies. It's not clear yet what led prosecutors to look again at Wallace, but good thing they did. Before his arrest, Wallace had been fighting to get the dog back after her treatment. 

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As for that treatment, Hope's recovery has amazed doctors at BluePearl Veterinary, but she still has a long way to go. Most of her body is still covered in bandages. Her corneas were burned and they filled with fluid -- the first week, she got eye drops around the clock due to concerns about her eyes rupturing. Her vision is foggy but may improve further, and she is expected to retain vision in both eyes. Her doctor says her eyes have made significant improvement in the past week and are in the best shape they've seen them. 

“As the eye continues with the healing process, her eye is attempting to grow blood vessels to try to heal the center of her cornea where the most damage was done, “ said  Dr. Tammy Miller Michau, a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist. 

Look at these amazing images of how Hope looks now:

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Here's a video showing her treatment. 

People interested in donating to Hope’s care should make donations directly to the Hardee Animal Rescue Team, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, via its website

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A California Cop Aims for a Dog But Shoots Himself Instead

Stories about gun-crazy police who shoot dogs without good reason never cease to appall me, but they do start to feel repetitive sometimes. In a way, that's what's most draining about them, and the similar reports about excessive force against human beings: It's the same story over and over again, with a few different details, and no one cares enough to change the script. However, this week, one incident in Riverside, California, did stand out from the rest of the pack: When a sheriff's deputy tried to kill a dog, he instead put a bullet through his own leg, sending himself on a ride to the hospital.

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The deputy on the way to the hospital.

The story as related by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department is that the deputy went into an enclosed yard to serve some court papers. Spokesman Armando Munoz told the Press-Enterprise that "A dog came at the deputy in an aggressive manner. The deputy, (attempting to defend himself) pulled his service weapon, shot one round, and injured himself in the leg."

When you read that, of course, the first question that comes to mind is, what does "came ... in an aggressive manner" mean, and why did it require lethal force? "An aggressive manner" could legitimately describe a low growl that means, "This is my house; behave yourself," or it could mean charging with teeth bared, fully intending to rip your throat out and use it as a chew toy. The latter is a legitimate excuse for pulling a gun.

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Jorge Rodriguez, Precious's owner, says she didn't attack.

According to the dog's owner, Jorge Rodriguez, it was more the former. He told an NBC news team that his dog, Precious, didn't attack, but only barked at the deputy and walked toward him.

"The officer got scared and unfortunately pulled his gun -- he shot himself," Rodriguez said.

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A department spokesman also described Precious as a "large Pit Bull breed dog [who] attacked the deputy." Looking at the footage, Precious could hardly be described as "large," which tends to elicit visions of Marmaduke or Cujo. It's more likely that the spokesman wanted people to think of the second, but NBC's footage of Precious, which shows her playing happily with neighborhood children, makes it pretty clear that she's a medium-size dog. If Precious is the department's idea of a "large" dog, then it is unmistakably clear that their officers haven't been adequately trained about the realities of handling dogs. Or, apparently, guns.

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Precious, accompanied by two neighborhood children.

Because Precious wasn't wandering around free when the incident happened, no further action is planned against her or her owner. The officer's injuries were non-lethal, and he will no doubt be serving papers again soon.

Via Raw Story and NBC Los Angeles

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April 17, 2014

True Story: A New Jersey Dog Gets Summoned to Jury Duty

When IV checked the mail, she saw every dog's worst nightmare: a jury summons. She looked closely at the name. IV Griner. She double-checked her name in her mind, making sure she was named what she thought she was named, picturing her dad Barrett calling it over and over -- IV, IV, IV. Yep, it was the same. She, a German Shepherd, was getting called up to New Jersey’s Cumberland County court to do her civic duty.

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She went to tell the news to her dad. If she was getting called up, then at least she should be able to talk regular-like and explain the situation. But she managed only a few weak barks. Her dad Barrett took the form and laughed. Sure enough, IV Griner was on the summons. His dog's legal name. 

"It’s kinda strange. I got the mail and I look at it, and I’m like IV Griner, this is my dog’s name," Barrett told NBC Philadelphia. "She’s a female, so I named her 'IV' without the 'Y' as sort of a play on words. Somebody had to physically type in that name and they didn’t pay any bit of attention to it." 

He immediately knew what mixed the court up, however. He, Barrett Griner, is legally Barrett Griner the Fourth, or Barrett Griner IV. 

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A quick call to Cumberland County Judiciary Coordinator Dennis Moffa cleared everything up, according to NBC Philadelphia. He said the summons are computer generated and name errors are common. 

"This happens many times. As an example, if you had John Henry IV, sometimes the notice might just say Henry IV," Moffa said. "I think that the computer probably randomly picks some things that are probably not as on point as they should be."

Indeed. IV Griner was not on point. 

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"She might be good for a cat burglar case or something like that," Barrett said. "The whole thing was just really, really funny."

It got us thinking, though. What if a dog was called up to jury duty? Or, vastly more important, how could a dog get out of jury duty? 

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Here are some ways a dog could get out of jury duty:

  • Sleeping under judge's robes
  • Eating bailiff's lunch
  • Lunging at court reporter
  • Barking at regular reporters
  • Growling at plaintiffs
  • Licking defendants
  • Peeing on witness stand
  • Howling during opening arguments
  • Itching during witness statements
  • Chasing tail during cross examinations
  • Emitting a low growl whenever DA gets within five feet
  • Treating courtroom as an agility course
  • Continued barking at regular reporters
  • Marking all the chairs in the gallery
  • Attacking whenever counsel approaches the bench
  • Curling up in the accused's lap
  • Determining guilt by the sniff test
  • Pooping in the jury box

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An Artist Aims to Paint 30 Dog Portraits in 30 Days

By the end of April, Houston artist Leiann Klein expects to have a lot more dogs around her house. In order to raise money for rescue dogs, Klein has launched a project where she's trying to paint 30 dogs in 30 days.

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Talking to Houston television station KHOU, Klein says that her project is "kind of like training for a marathon." Every day, she gets up, selects one of the many photographs that people have sent in, and starts painting. When she's done, each of the paintings will be auctioned, with half the proceeds to benefit Operation Pets Alive, a Houston group that rescues and adopts out pets.

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As you might imagine, Klein's fundraising campaign takes place as much on social media as it does on the canvas. It has almost become an interactive performance project; she shows off finished work as well as work in process via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and she solicits feedback from her followers.

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On the left, the beginning sketch of one of Leainne's paintings; on the right, the finished product.

The inspiration for 30 Dogs in 30 Days came when Klein adopted a rescue dog, an Australian Shepherd named Jasmine. Klein painted Jasmine's portrait and posted it on Facebook; the reaction was so overwhelmingly positive that she picked up five commissions to paint portraits of other peoples' dogs.

From those first few portraits came the idea of 30 Dogs in 30 Days, and using it to help Operation Pets Alive.

"Leiann has been doing a phenomenal job," said volunteer Misti Etheridge. "Not to mention, her paintings are fantastic. If she raises $5,000 and we get $2,500, that's going to save a lot of lives."

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A dog a day adds up to a lot of dogs, and a lot of paintings. Even though her house and studio are already covered with photos of more than 300 dogs people have submitted, more continue to come. Many of them come with stories as well.

"I read a lot of stories about how much people miss these dogs who've come into their lives," the artist told the Houston Chronicle. "To be able to possibly create a painting for people to remember them by, it's an honor."

The biggest rule that she has for submissions is that each must include a full head shot, with clearly visible eyes, nose, and mouth. Photos can be cropped, or she can crop them, but she needs a face to work with.

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Klein's project is very reminiscent of another, larger project: the Act of Dog project, by Mark Barone and Marina Devan. Since 2011, Barone and Devan have been trying to paint the images of 5,500 dogs who never found homes and wound up being euthanized by shelters.

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Klein, who compares her current project to prepping for a marathon, is just going to stick with 30 for now.

"I wish I had the stamina to paint 365 dogs in 365 days," she said in a TV interview.

For now, people seem to appreciate watching her just do 30.

Via Houston Chronicle and KHOU

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I Walked to Help Curb Canine Cancer

Last weekend, I walked to help raise money for the Morris Animal Foundation, a nonprofit organization investing in science to advance veterinary care for companion animals. I first learned about this organization when my sweet dog Buster, an Australian Shepherd/Lab mix, was diagnosed with cancer.

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We walked in memory of our sweet dog, Buster.

Buster had osteosarcoma, or bone cancer. At first we thought his slight limp was due to his age (he was 13 years old) and so I gave him glucosamine supplements. After his limp worsened and we visited the vet, we realized the awful truth. Bone cancer is a relatively common disease in large breed dogs and is a leading cause of death in some breeds, such as Greyhounds and Rottweilers.

Cancer is the most likely cause of death in dogs over two years old. Experts estimate that almost half of all dogs over the age of 10 will develop cancer and approximately one in four of all dogs will at some stage in their life develop a cancer. Purebred dogs in particular appear to be more susceptible to the disease.

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More than 1,000 participants and their dogs walked in the K9 Cancer Walk at Los Gatos, Calif.

This past Sunday, my husband and I walked with Sasha, our Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix, along with 1,000 other participants in Los Gatos, CA. Dogs who are cancer survivors sported purple bandanas while dog supporters wore orange bandanas. Many of the participants wore T-shirts commemorating loved ones who had crossed the Rainbow Bridge. In total, $110,00 was raised, which organizers reported was $40,000 above the original goal. Since 2008, the foundation’s walk program has raised more than $1 million for canine cancer research.

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Sasha is ready to start the two-mile walk for the Morris Animal Foundation.

I hope and pray that Sasha never falls victim to cancer. Now that I’ve learned a little bit more about the disease, I’m more vigilant about detecting any changes in her health or behavior. The National Canine Cancer Foundation has a list of the 10 early warning signs:

  1. Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
  2. Sores that do not heal
  3. Weight loss
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
  6. Offensive odor
  7. Difficulty eating or swallowing
  8. Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
  9. Persistent lameness or stiffness
  10. Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecation

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Walk participants cross the finish line at the K9 Cancer Walk.

The Morris Animal Foundation has funded more than 150 canine cancer studies, helping veterinarians to better detect and treat the disease. One study looked at Golden Retrievers and how the breed’s DNA deficiencies contribute to the development of lymphoma. One in eight Golden Retrievers is diagnosed with and dies from lymphoma. Dr. Eric Barchas wrote in more detail about the foundation’s study of 3,000 Golden Retrievers.

Have you had a dog with cancer? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

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April 16, 2014

The Heavy Breathing on the Phone Turns Out to Be ... a Dog

Heavy breathers on the phone have been around almost as long as the telephone itself. While it's true that the first official phone call was Alexander Graham Bell saying "Mr. Watson — Come here — I want to see you," it's almost a sure bet that sometime very soon after that was the first obscene phone call. Maybe someone broke into Bell and Watson's lab just for the purpose.

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Dog and Phone by Shutterstock.">
Dog and Phone by Shutterstock.">
Dog and Phone by Shutterstock.

So, it's understandable if the operators on a certain emergency dispatch line in England were not only perplexed, but a little creeped out when they answered and got nothing but heavy breathing. When the police showed up at the house, they found out that the caller was not some lewd member of what the Brits call the "Mackintosh Brigade," but Leighton, a two-year-old Belgian Malinois. Apparently, Leighton had stolen his owner's phone and somehow managed to dial 999 (the English equivalent of the American 911 service). He took the landline and ran off into the garden to ... do whatever it is dogs do with stolen phones. In this case, that turned out to be calling the emergency services and panting into the microphone.

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999 Emergency Sign by Shutterstock.">
999 Emergency Sign by Shutterstock.">
999 Emergency Sign by Shutterstock.

"Next thing I knew, there was a policewoman at the door asking if I was all right,"  Leighton's owner, Mary Amos-Cole, told the BBC. "That's when we realized it must have been Leighton. She said a colleague answered the call and all he could hear was heavy breathing, which I guess was Leighton panting."

But apparently, this isn't the first time that Leighton has summoned the local police for his personal entertainment. According to Amos-Cole, he has such a history of this sort of thing that it's almost become a habit with him. Several times, he's set off the burglar alarm just by running around the house, bringing the police.

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If Leighton keeps stealing phones and calling the police, it's only a matter of time before he tries to call from one of these. It's all fun and games until someone gets enslaved by the Daleks.

"He does seem to quite like the police," Amos-Cole says. "He's been in trouble a few times and seems to quite like them coming round. I actually think he has aspirations to be in uniform himself."

If so, Leighton might want to lighten up on the thievery. His owner says that he likes to steal things and is especially fond of mobile phones. Most reputable police departments frown on that sort of thing, at least as part of their public policy.

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Terrier Dog Holding Phone in Mouth by Shutterstock.">
Terrier Dog Holding Phone in Mouth by Shutterstock.">
Terrier Dog Holding Phone in Mouth by Shutterstock.

For now, Leighton seems to be sticking to his career as a plainclothes dog, albeit with a touch of larceny in his heart. And hopefully, he'll save his phone calls for more genuine emergencies.

"We all took it as a bit of a joke, but honestly, I could have ended up with the air ambulance or anything," Amos-Cole said.

Via BBC

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This Dog and this Baby Are the Cutest Things on the Internet

Grace Chon is a professional photographer based in Los Angeles, and because two of the cutest things in her life are scurrying around her feet every day, it was only a matter of time before she incorporated them into cute pictures. She did it beautifully. 

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On one side sits Zoey, her 7-year-old rescue dog she adopted from Taiwan. On the other, Jasper, her 10-month-old son. On both their heads: hats. The same hats. Also the same hoodies, the same headbands, the same earmuffs and so forth. She posted the photos to Tumblr, and the Internet dropped everything and headed over for a look.

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“I have a lot of really cute hats for Jasper, and its just really fun to put him in them,” Chon told Today.com. “And one day I realized it looked really good on Zoey; it fit her perfectly and she looked adorable. ... My sister was like, ‘You need to take a picture of them together wearing that hat.’"

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“Zoey loves wearing clothes and loves the camera,” Chon said of her dog. “She will dance around when the clothes come out, and she’ll go running over to her little spot as soon as I have my camera.”

You'll also notice that Zoey has a killer Blue Steel look.

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Chon says the series has allowed people to finally understand and really see her dog, who she says is misunderstood due to her anxious, shy personality.  

“Zoey is really shy, and she didn’t even let Jasper touch her until he was about seven months old,” she said. “Since we’ve been taking the photos, she’s just so into him. She’s really grown even more attached to him since we’ve been doing this.” 

“Most people don’t understand her because she’s very afraid and she barks. And I feel like finally now they’re getting to see what a beautiful, amazing soul she has through these pictures.”

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The success of the series also gives Chon the opportunity to spread the word about rescue dogs, especially black ones.

“Black dogs have the hardest time getting adopted -- [it’s called] Black Dog Syndrome -- and I'm so glad that the whole world can see what a beautiful black dog my Zoey girl is," she told Today.com.

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After the photos went viral, Chon, remarkably, heard from the woman who rescued Zoey in Taiwan and was her foster mom until she sent the dog to live in America. Five years ago the woman, named Joy, rescued the a litter of pups from the gutter and brought them home. She cared for them for a month, then put out a call for help; Animal Rescue Team responded and found foster homes for all the dogs -- except Zoey. Joy wanted to foster the dog herself, because the dog was the runt and the sickliest. 

When she had to leave for China for a job, Joy had to give up Zoey, but she always wondered about the dog. All she knew was that a woman in Los Angeles adopted her. 

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Now, she knows who. After seeing the photos online, Joy reached out to Chon, and the pair have been exchanging stories and photos of the special dog.  

As Chon writes on her Tumblr

What a blessing it’s been to hear about Zoey’s life in Taiwan and to see photos of her as such a little baby. I always knew Zoey was loved and well taken care of while in Taiwan, I just felt it. And speaking with Joy has only confirmed how much love and care she received before she came to me.

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I know one of the hardest parts of fostering is never hearing updates about the dog you loved while searching for their forever home. And it’s an absolute miracle that Joy never has to wonder again.

Thanks to all of you who’ve shared these images around the world, something truly amazing has happened. I have cried so many tears of gratitude in the last 24 hours because I connected with Joy. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Via Today.com; photos via Zoey and Jasper: A Rescue Dog and Her Little Boy Tumblr 

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Let's "Go Orange" and Help Prevent Animal Cruelty

Orange is probably my least favorite color. I know it's the color of honey and beer (two of my favorite things to consume), but I just can't dig it. There is no orange in my wardrobe or in my interior decorating. I love pink, red, and yellow -- colors normally considered obnoxious -- but you will find no orange among my belongings.

But when it comes to preventing animal cruelty, I'll gladly wear and display the color orange. Are you willing to "go orange" for the prevention of animal cruelty?

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All dogs deserve a loving embrace like this. Photo by Eunice

April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month because that's when the ASPCA's charter was signed back in 1866. The ASPCA's brand color is orange, so it makes sense to "go orange" to raise awareness and help promote dog and cat rescue. Of course we believe everyone ought to be thinking about preventing cruelty to animals every month, but we're also into raising awareness any way possible, so we're going orange in April.

Sometimes it seems like there's some kind of horrific animal cruelty news every day -- so much that you might feel like avoiding it. It's easy to feel defeated and helpless, but here are some things you can do to help do your part in the fight against animal cruelty:

  • Make a donation to your local animal shelter: Whether you donate money or your time, every little bit counts.
  • Don't support pet shops that sell animals from mills: Let your money talk.
  • Encourage adoption: If you know someone who is considering a new pet, help them find a rescue or shelter to adopt from.
  • Educate: Talk to friends, family, and your community about animal cruelty, and make sure to let them know there are ways they can help. 

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We are their voice. Photo by Tony Alter

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Photo by Ben Grey

But here's the obstacle a lot of people seem to think exists between them and activism: They feel that unless they're doing something "big" for a cause, their efforts don't really count. Activism doesn't have to be a grand effort. Some of the most effective activism comes in everyday gestures and by just being yourself -- people are paying attention, and the courage and passion you display can be really inspiring.

With that in mind, I'm updating the Dogster Facebook page with a new cover image in support of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, and I've created the graphics below just for you! The more of us who change our cover images all at once, the more visible our cause will be. It's a very small gesture, but it can have a huge impact -- a drop in the water can create vast ripples of change.

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What do you do to help raise awareness about animal cruelty? Share your work in the comments -- you might inspire someone!

Read more about the bond between humans and dogs on Dogster:

About Liz Acosta: Dogster's former Cuteness Correspondent, Liz still manages the site's daily "Awws," only now she also wrangles Dogster's social media. That's why she wants you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and -- her personal favorite -- Instagram. See ya there!

Puppy Love

puppies

It's so hard to resist a puppy. If I did not struggle to exercise self-control, I'd have a household full of yapping, piddling furbabies and my house would smell like puppy breath. Puppies are great, but they take dedication. They also grow up. No matter how cute and sweet that little pup is now, before you take her home you should make sure you are ready for a dog, puppy or not. If not, get your babydog fix by checking out some puppy photos.

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April 15, 2014

A Woman Dying of Cancer Seeks a New Home for Her Best Friend, Sherlock the Pit Bull

It's hard to know how to write stories that start with cancer. Just putting the word on the screen seems to bring everything to an end. It's an ugly little word, about an ugly thing, and the instinct is just to stop there, or worse, to slip into cheap melodrama.

So to put it bluntly, and without melodrama: Cancer kills, and it kills in a painful, degrading way. All the pink ribbons in the world will never change that.

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Patricia Cudd, with Sherlock by her side.

Soon, cancer will kill Patricia Cudd. Cudd is 62 years old, and she probably won't see 63. Two years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After years of grueling chemo, it's in an advanced stage, and she's preparing to go into hospice care. Before she does, she wants to find a new home for her beloved Pit Bull mix, Sherlock.

Cudd got Sherlock as a rescue from the Longmont (Colorado) Humane Society in 2010, and he has been her constant companion throughout her illness. She recalls how, after one especially harsh chemo session, he lay curled next to her in her hotel room, both of them "watching Harry Potter movies for a full day until I felt better."

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But she doesn't feel like she can give him the care that he deserves anymore. She can't take him running any more, and even walks are difficult. And of course, soon she won't be there at all for him.

"I am passing away," she told The Coloradoan. "I don't know when exactly. Of course, everyone is passing away. But the cancer, you know -- stage four is the ultimate stage -- and he needs a home."

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Sherlock

Pit Bulls can be difficult to place, of course. Even for those who love them, there's still the obstacle of landlords who won't rent to owners of Pits, a problem that Cudd herself has faced. She admits that he's territorial, and he would probably be better off with a family who doesn't have any other pets, but he has been her best friend through some very hard times, and Cudd thinks that whoever takes him will learn how much that friendship can mean.

"I have to place him somewhere. It breaks my heart," she says. "But if he could go to a good home, you know, it would help me so much. It would give me peace."

Anyone who is in the Northern Colorado area and might be interested in giving Sherlock a new home can call (970) 775-0797 or email rubyphoenix36@yahoo.com.

Via The Coloradoan

Read more about the bond between humans and dogs on Dogster:

Miley Cyrus Gives Away Her Replacement Puppy, Moonie, After Having Him 10 Days

We've written a lot about Miley Cyrus in the past few weeks. We've written: 

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Now we get to write another story about Miley -- Miley keeps making dog news, you see. Moonie, that adorable little dog that Miley's mom bought her right after Floyd died using some weird Mom-logic we don't understand at all, because Miley already had plenty of dogs and didn't seem ready for a tiny, helpless one just yet (what with all her Twitter mourning and singing to giant replicas of Floyd while onstage at the Barclays Center), is hitting the bricks. Moonie is out. Moonie is leaving the island. 

Poor Moonie. The only good part about this is that it's surely the best thing that could have happened to Moonie. 

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She broke the news on Twitter, because that is how Miley communicates. She tweeted, “Moonie, thank you for giving me so much love, comfort, & peace. It's just to soon for me right now #missingmoonie.”

Naturally, one of her best friends, a fan, asked her what had happened to the little dog. Miley said the dog had gone to live with a friend's mother, who already had a puppy. We think that's what she said:

“my friends mom who has a tiny pup 4 him 2 play with Molly After wht happened Im scared 2 have a tiny dog #moonieandmolly.”

Here's the punctuation for that sentence: ',.',. (And here's the missing "o" from the first tweet: o.)

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A stuffed version of Floyd with another of Miley's dogs.

We're not sure what the "scared" part refers to, but probably to the events of 2012, when Miley's Yorkie mix, Lila, was killed by her dog Ziggy, which we wrote about here.

In any case, Moonie's disappearance does not come as a shock. Miley has been very public about her struggles with caring for a new dog so soon after Floyd died. Here are some of her tweets from last week:

I was/still kinda am torn about Moonie bc I would do anything 2 hold Floyd. But I can't  Moonie is giving me so much  & 1 day @ a time

Just don't know if it's to soon  I still have so much love to give my Floydy 

But I just gotta take it one day at a time and take in all the love little Moonie is giving me 

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Miley in concert.

Again, truthfully, this is probably is the best result for Moonie. The dog might not be showered with diamond-studded collars and cashmere pet beds for the rest of his life, but many people believe that dogs do not need such things for a happy life. A friend's mom with a tiny pup named Molly might just be the best place for the young dog named Moonie. 

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If there's one thing to be learned from all this, perhaps it's that Tish Cyrus should stop immediately buying dogs for people when their other dogs die. Give it some time. A dog is not a gift. 

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Miley's other dogs, Mary Jane, Happy, and Bean.

All photos via Miley's Facebook page and Twitter

Read more about the bond between humans and dogs on Dogster:

April 14, 2014

"Share for Dogs" Video Turns Slacktivism into Fundraising

The Internet excels at few things more distributing adorable pictures of peoples' pets. Once upon a time, people had to do such things manually, by carrying pictures around in their purses or wallets. In those unenlightened times, you could show five, maybe six, people the heartbreakingly cute antics of your pup in the time that it now takes for a full-color, high-definition YouTube video to be watched on five continents.

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In Australia, the Pedigree Adoption Drive is trying to use the Internet's ability to spread mass cuteness not only for some heartwarming moments, but to help dogs in need. The way it works is this: Pedigree has created the video below, which is, without a doubt, freaking adorable. Via social media, it has pushed people to post, link, and retweet it until it goes viral. If the video gets watched enough, Pedigree gets a significant cut of YouTube's ad revenue, which it can use to promote dog rehoming programs on an international basis. It is, in short, a really clever way of turning Internet slacktivism into something with a real effect, rather than a fashion statement. Also, cute dogs!

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Will this work and get money to homeless dogs, or is Pedigree just adding to the mass of cute videos that are already clogging servers everywhere? Well, as of this writing, the video has been watched 118,145 times, and the campaign's hashtag, #sharefordogs, is moving along quite nicely on Twitter. If you really want to get behind the campaign and check out what Pedigree is doing, follow it on Facebook.

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The question is, of course, how many views does the video need to get to raise a significant amount of money for rehoming programs? For about the past year YouTube's revenue sharing program has been the target of complaints that it's harder for content creators to make money because of a combination of lowered ad prices and increased competition from all the other videos. It seems like Pedigree has a good start on making its video stick out from the crowd, though.

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It seems kind of churlish to criticize a video that is, as I say, so freaking adorable, but there is one thing that bugs me about it: Dogs are cute on their own, but Pedigree wants to hedge that bet by putting the animals in pumpkin costumes and lion suits, like a canine version of Anne Geddes. My favorite videos of dogs have always been the ones that show them in their everyday environment, and how they interact with each other and their human families. Ultimately, people should bring dogs home to be part of the family, not because they like the greeting-card ideal of a dog.

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But that quibble aside, be sure to check out the video. For once, when you're watching a cute dog video, you can tell your boss or family that you're not wasting time: You're doing important fundraising work.

Via Pedigree Adoption Drive Facebook Page

Laugh with us on Dogster:

Do You Think Dog Cloning Is a Stupid Idea?

Last week, we finally got a look at Mini-Winnie, Britain's first cloned dog. She came into being thanks to a contest run by the South Korean cloning outfit Sooam Biotech. The company held a contest in the United Kingdom for pet owners, hoping to raise awareness of its cloning services, which normally cost $100,000 a pop. The grand prize: a free cloned dog. Rebecca Smith, a caterer from West London, won the prize and offered up her beloved 12-year-old Dachshund Winnie for duplication.  

According to UPI, Sooam Biotech isolated her DNA via small samples of skin. That DNA was then injected into an egg collected from another Dachshund. Finally, the fertilized egg was implanted into the womb of a surrogate dog.

Time passed, and then: Mini-Winnie, a cute little cloned dog. 

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Almost immediately, critics came out to blast the whole thing. Noted geneticists, for one, demolised the notion that it would be the same dog. 

"You would have about as much chance of replicating your favorite pet by choosing one from Battersea Dogs Home as you would from cloning it," Robin Lovell-Badge, a geneticist at the National Institute for Medical Research in London, told the Guardian. "And the former is likely to be loved more as it will not fail your expectations."  

"It is extremely unlikely that a puppy cloned from a favorite pet will grow up to behave the same way," he went on. "I see no valid justification for cloning pets. It is a ridiculous waste of money and hope as well as being ethically very dubious."

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His colleagues agreed.  

"It is an absolute waste of money," said Dusko Ilic, a stem cell scientist at King's College London. "Cloned animals are like monozygotic ["identical"] twins –- similar, but never the same. As time passes by, the differences will be more and more pronounced, especially personality traits."

Lovell-Badge also said that cloning procedures often go wrong, citing among the risks abnormally developing embryos, consequences to the mothers carrying clones, stillborn animals, live-born animals with defects, and adults with compromised anatomy, physiology, and health.

It doesn't help that Dr. Hwang Woo-suk, the lead scientist at Sooam Biotech, is a intensely controversial figure. He was behind one of the worst scandals in modern science in 2004, when he claimed to have successfully cloned human embryos and extracted stem cells from them; that study, however, turned out to be fabricated. He was forced to resign from his job at Seoul University, and he was convicted of fraud.

Other people coming out against dog cloning include Sir Ian Wilmut, who led the team that produced Dolly the Sheep, the first mammal to be cloned. He told the Guardian, "I think that the owners might be disappointed -– so much of the personality of a dog probably comes from the way that you treat it. I think you would treat a cloned dog, particularly if you had spent $100,000, differently, so the dog would be different. I am sufficiently skeptical that I personally would not have a dog cloned."

Three judges of the cloning contest with two cloned puppies, via Dog Cloning Competition UK's Facebook page
 

And Lou Hawthorne, the forefather of dog cloning, is against the practice as well, years after he created the first cloned dog in 2007. 

“A cloned dog contributes to the happiness of a family, but I do not think it is possible to do it without a huge amount of suffering to hundreds of others," he told the Mirror. “I couldn’t care less if the cloning business world collapses, but I care about suffering.”

Hawthorne told the Mirror that Asian producers raise "up to 80" regular dogs as egg donors or surrogates to create one cloned dog. Then, once the dogs are past their usefulness, they are slaughtered for meat or destroyed.  

“Dog cloning is unviable. It cannot be achieved at a price people can afford," he said. "But the biggest issue is the suffering. Man’s best friend is a dog, but when it comes to cloning, it isn’t the case.”

What do you think? Is dog cloning a waste of time and money? Does the harm it causes outweigh the usefulness? Tell us your feelings in the comments.

Read more about the bond between humans and dogs on Dogster:

Meet Walter, an Inbred Min Pin Who's Getting a Second Chance

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Yes, this is another sad story about people being irresponsible. It's like, what the heck? Right?

Walter is a Miniature Pinscher whose severe deformities are the result of careless inbreeding. He was surrendered by his former owners who gave him up after a year of keeping him in a cage and barely feeding or caring for him. They weren't trying very hard -- they weren't trying at all. It's one thing to maybe not train your dog in foundational obedience, but to be too lazy to provide even the most basic care is almost beyond my comprehension.

However, dumping Walter was the best thing his good-for-nothing former owners ever did, because that's when Angels for Animal Rescue took the little dog in. A visit to the vet revealed the worst: His year in a cage exacerbated Walter's congenital birth defects, causing his muscles to atrophy. As you can imagine, Walter can't walk or run as well as a healthy Miniature Pinscher can.

But you know what? Whatever. Walter is still tiny and adorable, and we love him despite his differences. Just how tiny and adorable is Walter? Allow me to demonstrate:

1. Walter is so tiny and adorable he can wear this Barbie sombrero and sunglasses

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2. Walter is so tiny and adorable that he makes a child's stuffed animal seem huge

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3. Walter is so tiny and adorable that you might mistake him for the remote control

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4. Walter is so tiny and adorable that, for him, a laptop computer is the size of a desktop computer

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5.  Walter is so tiny and adorable that he could star as an ant in a remake of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

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5. Walter is so tiny and adorable you won't even notice when he crawls into your arms and steals your heart until you look down and you're all like, "Awww!"

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All photos are from Walter's Facebook page. Go like his page so you can check out his progress. Let him know Dogster sends our best.

Check out these adorable stories on Dogster:

About Liz Acosta: Dogster's former Cuteness Correspondent, Liz still manages the site's daily "Awws," only now she also wrangles Dogster's social media. That's why she wants you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and -- her personal favorite -- Instagram. See ya there!

It's Puppy Time!

Newborn Puppies

Now that Spring is here, you might start to see more puppies around than usual. In fact, this time of year is sometimes dubbed "puppy season." Of course, plenty of puppies are born year-round, but there seems to be a boom in the Spring. Animal shelters often have a puppy surplus beginning in March or April, so if you are ready for a dog, please consider adoption! And, don't forget that adult dogs need homes too.

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April 11, 2014

Pa Kettle, a Soulful Bloodhound, Is Now Mayor of Divide, Colorado

Meet Pa Kettle. He's the new mayor of the Colorado mountain town of Divide, according to the Gazette. Walter is a search-and-rescue Bloodhound. Handsome fellow, isn't he: 

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Here's the old mayor, Walter the cat. Walter is pisssssed off. He thought would be mayor indefinitely, or at least work the gig into a cushy life running the town on the sly, grafting off a nice chunk of revenue in the process. Things didn't turn out that way. 

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Actually, that's not entirely true. Walter wasn't even on the ballot this year. Pa Kettle battled Herbie the donkey, Gracie the mustang, Keyni the wolf, Blackberry the hedgehog, Buster the cat, and a bunch of other dogs for the mayorship. Pa Kettle won. Pa Kettle got 2,387 votes, beating the wolf, Kenyi, by only 55 votes.

Only 55 votes stood between Divide being run by a wolf instead of a dog. Can you imagine? 

By now you might wonder: What in the world are we talking about? Well, it seems the town of Divide has a sense of humor. It's a small town, and it doesn't officially have a mayor. So the local animal shelter, Teller County Regional Animal Shelter, runs an election every year to elect something non-human to be mayor. Every vote costs $1, which goes to the shelter. 

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In each of the 2010 and 2012 elections, the animal shelter raised more than $10,000; two weeks ago the 2014 campaign had already raised nearly $9,000. 

This year, Pa Kettle won, largely because of those soulful eyes, but also because of those long ears. Kenyi the wolf gets to be vice mayor. I imagine he's going to be the one doing the dirty work.  

Via the Gazette

Read the most talked about news on Dogster:

Want to Help a Dying Dog? The Denver Police Will Arrest You

One topic that I find myself covering repeatedly here at Dogster is police officers gunning down dogs for no discernible reason. The story plays out the same again and again: A cop is out on some call, a dog barks at the officer, and the cop pulls the trigger. In February, a cop in Idaho was caught on his very own dashcam as he killed a service dog that had gotten out of his backyard. The act sparked enormous public outrage. The case was typical in everything except that it was caught on video.

But as sick as I am of them, all these the cases have one merciful aspect to them: When the police officer pulls the trigger, the dog dies, quickly and easily. That's more than can be said for what happened in Denver yesterday, when police prevented a local resident from helping a dog who was lying in the street after being struck by a car. The dog lay there for some 90 minutes, uncared for, before dying from the injuries.

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Police officer by Shutterstock.">
Police officer by Shutterstock.">
We don't know whether guns were drawn, but what difference does it make?Police officer by Shutterstock.

Ross Knapp, who lives in the area, tried to comfort the dog and provide water, but police officers told him that if he didn't get away, they would arrest him.

"I had one of the officers tell me I had to leave and couldn't be near it. I tried a couple of times to go back and he just finally said I'm impeding on an investigation and if I came back I'd be arrested," he told Denver TV station RTV6.

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Neighbor Ross Knapp tried to give the dog water and comfort, but was threatened with arrest.

Video taken at the scene shows the dog lying helplessly on the road, gasping for breath, with bystanders forbidden to approach by police.

"It was in shock, its pupils were totally dilated. It couldn't really move," Knapp said.

Neither did the officers themselves attempt to care for the dog; they did call animal control, about 15 minutes after arriving, but no one showed up for more than an hour. When the animal control officer did arrive, the dog had been dead for several minutes.

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Spokesman Sonny Jackson said that the officers followed department policy.

The Denver Police Department is defending the officers' actions. Spokesman Sonny Jackson said that the officers had followed policy: "It's always about the personal safety of that individual. It's not trying to be cruel to the animal or cruel to the individual," he said. "It's best if we get the animal control people in there, let them do what they do as experts and let them take the actions."

But the fact is that no actions were taken, either by the police or the animal control officer. Actually, perhaps that's not true: The police did take action to make sure that no aid was given to a helpless, suffering animal that was in pain.

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Strobelight on top of police car by Shutterstock.">
Strobelight on top of police car by Shutterstock.">
Strobelight on top of police car by Shutterstock.

As of now, the name of the dog and its owner are unknown. The animal had no tags or collar. However, resident Connor Leiva has started an online petition demanding that the Denver Police Department issue an apology for its conduct to the neighbors and the dog's family.

"As leaders of our community it is within their responsibility to handle any emergency, even one concerning the life of an animal, with compassion and concern," the petition states. "When the department fails to do this they let down the public and create an image of mercilessness and cruelty."

The petition had 1,300 signatures. Cruelty by police officers, both against humans and dogs, is far too common. The Denver Police Department should take this opportunity to have a good hard look at their policies, instead of threatening citizens who try to help.

Via Denver Post and RTV6

Read the most talked about news on Dogster:

April 10, 2014

Has Your Dog Ever Caught a Train?

Meet Tie. She's a shepherd-Collie mix from New York City who saw a train start to move in a rail yard on 149th Street in the Bronx. Being a dog -- an energetic one at that -- Tie took off after the train. It seemed like a fun thing to do. She ran on a parallel track. She ran on and on and on ...

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... and on and on and on. The train was headed to Manhattan. The train went on a bridge over the Harlem River. Tie stayed right with it. 

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“The dog was in front of me, running in front,” engineer Joseph Delia told the New York Observer. “She’s not a very big dog. I was worried she wouldn’t make it and get electrocuted.”

Yep, the third rail. Even for dogs running after trains, the third rail must be respected. 

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Tie fell between the railroad ties a few times, but she made it all the way to Harlem. Passengers crowded the windows to watch her. Engineer Delia made sure to slow the train when Tie got too close. 

“She was just running like she didn’t have a care in the world,” he told The New York Post.

When they made it to the platform in Harlem, there was a crowd waiting. 

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“Yesterday there was a Yankee game so there were at least 100 people clapping and cheering,” MTA officer Luis Alvarez told DNAinfo New York. “They must have been animal lovers like myself.”

Officers whistled to Tie. She wagged her tail and trotted over. 

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“We whistled, called and it actually came to us,” Alvarez said. “It was actually very happy to see somebody, because remember, it came from the Bronx.”

The dog had no tags, so officers named her Tie (after railroad tie) and took her to Animal Care and Control to get her checked out. She had no microchip, but the center is certain she has an owner. 

“She looks very well cared for and very well-fed,” said Risa Weinstock of Animal Care and Control. “She did a lot of tricks and knows a lot of commands, that’s not something you learn on the street.”

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But if no owner comes forward, Tie won't have long to wait. One of the officers is ready to step in.

“If the owner doesn’t claim the dog hopefully I’ll be on the list to adopt her,” Alvarez said. “I have three girls, they are all texting me to get the dog.”

Read the most talked about news on Dogster:

April 07, 2014

It's Shedding Season Again

Picture of Dog Hair and Shedding Dogs

As many dog owners have already noticed, shedding season is here. Some dogs shed more than others, but if you have a dog that sheds at a high rate, you might be starting to see the "hair bunnies" gather in the corners of your home. Sometimes it feels like a waste of time to even bother cleaning the house until July. Unfortunately, the shedding must be managed - not only for our own sanity, but for the health of our dogs. The good news is that there are several ways to handle shedding in dogs.

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April 03, 2014

Help! Dog Pee is Killing My Lawn

French Bulldog in Grass

Happy Spring! For many of us, this season is synonymous with green grass and beautiful, plush lawns. But many dog owners experience the unsightly spots of yellow and brown grass ...

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March 30, 2014

Take Control of Your Dog's Well-Being

sick dog

Most dog owners worry about their dogs' health and safety at one time or another. Even the healthiest of dogs can become sick or injured. What is a good dog owner to do? Rather than worry about our dogs getting harmed or becoming ill, it makes more sense to learn how to prevent these problems in the first place. It also helps to understand the risks. Here are some ways to begin:

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March 24, 2014

Bugs and Your Dog

Photo of Itchy Dog Scratching

Spring is finally here, and depending on where you live, the days are probably getting longer and warmer. But nothing positive comes without some negative; Spring also brings bugs. For dogs, this means parasites like fleas and ticks. Warm weather also bring mosquitos, which are carriers of heartworms. These icky critters are ready to prey upon our beloved companions. Most of us are horrified by the idea of any kinds of bugs on our dogs. These three types of tiny vampires are downright nasty insects that pose health risks. It doesn't help that they are quite annoying to humans too. Fortunately, modern science has made it much easier to control these pests today than 20 years ago.

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March 20, 2014

Spring is Here, Time To Play Outside

saint bernard dog smells flowers spring

Today is the first day of Spring, and it can't seem to get here soon enough! Although many parts of the U.S are still chilly, temperatures will be coming up in time. Your dog is probably aching to get outside and enjoy some exercise, and he wants you there with him. Participation in dog sports is a wonderful way to get active and connected with your dog. While many require agreeable weather, other dog sports and activities can be enjoyed indoors. Agility is one of several dog sports can be done indoors or outdoors.

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March 17, 2014

Common Health Issues in Dogs

sad-dog-sick

Vomiting. Diarrhea. Skin issues. These are just of few of the most common health problems seen in dogs. Sound familiar? There are a number of health issues that can affect your dog, some more serious than others. Many of us are lucky enough to have healthy dogs that rarely get sick. However, any dog can get sick for a variety of reasons.

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March 13, 2014

Let's Play Tug-of-War

dog and owner play tug of war

My dog gets really into a good game of tug-of-war. We tend to play it more on really cold or rainy days in lieu of a long walk. She's pretty strong for a medium-sized dog, and once she gets going, it's really hard to end the game. I have found that a good game of tug-of war wears us both out just as much as a good walk.

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January 09, 2014

867 dog training lessons in 2013!

At the end of every year I run some reports from my systems that we use to find out exactly how many lessons and whatnot I did for the previous year. 2013 was sort of a banner year. In total last year I did 867 lessons. That comes out to about 2.5 lessons every single […]

The post 867 dog training lessons in 2013! appeared first on Fidelio Dogs.

January 08, 2014

What Dog Trainers do when they have to actually work on the business

When you have a business like Fidelio, there are always always always a myriad of things that need to be accomplished. Most of those cannot be done while I sit in the car driving between clients as I do most of the day, and they cannot be done when I arrive home and have to […]

The post What Dog Trainers do when they have to actually work on the business appeared first on Fidelio Dogs.

October 03, 2013

Product Review: Quit It!

Ever used a loud noise to stop your dog from jumping, barking, digging or fighting? I thought this "As Seen on TV" product was a gimmick, but to my amazement, it worked!

October 02, 2013

Enter PupLife's 2013 Halloween Dog Photo Contest

 

Have a great dog Halloween costume this year? Enter PupLife's 2013 Dog Halloween Costume Contest for your chance to win big. Here are the rules!

Photo Contest Rules & Instructions

Contest is open to U.S. residents over the age of 18. Sorry, international entries will not be considered. Entries must be submitted by posting via our Facebook contest page.

Only one entry per household. Only one vote per household. Recommended image size: 575 pixels wide and no larger than 1MB per in file size. To be considered, your dog should be dressed in an appropriate Halloween costume. Obscene, lewd or cruel entries where animals appear uncomfortable or in distress will not be considered.  Props may be included in your photo but are not necessary.

By submitting photos to the contest, you verify that you are the copyright holder for each photo submitted and have the legal authority to assign reprint rights to PupLife.com for this contest and all future purposes. By entering, you agree to allow PupLife.com to display your submitted photos and related bio information on PupLife.com, the PupLife Dog Blog, PupLife's Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter pages, the PupLife.com Newsletter, and any/all web sites and or projects that PupLife Inc. may build in the future. Also, by submitting your email address, you authorize PupLife to contact you with special offers and promotions, via PupLife's newsletter.

All entries must be received to PupLife by 12:01 AM (EST) November 1st, 2013


PupLife's Facebook fans will get to vote for their favorites.
 
The top 5 vote getters will receive awesome prize packages! Winners will be notified via email and will be announced on PupLife.com, in the PupLife.com Newsletter and on the PupLife's social media pages on or shortly after November 2nd, 2013. All decisions are final. PupLife reserves the right to disqualify entries for any reason. PupLife reserves the right to alter contest details for clarity at any time.

Prize Information

Prize winners will be determined by a final count of votes on Facebook.

1st Place

2nd Place

3rd Place

4th Place

5th Place

Winners may redeem prizes via PupLife.com through January 1, 2014. Winners should follow prize redemption instructions included with winning notification email. Please note that prize gift certificates may not be combined with other offers or coupon codes. By entering this contest, you allow PupLife to contact you with offers via our PupLife newsletter.

 

IMPORTANT: If you use a spam blocker for your email you must make sure you add woof (at) puplife (dot) com to your address book, to ensure that our emails can get through if your photo wins!

July 31, 2013

Meet The Official Vacuum Of PupLife World Headquarters

 

It's official: we're in love. With a vacuum company. After testing several brands, we fell head over heels for the Miele S8380 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum and it's upright sister, the Miele S7260 Cat & Dog Upright Vacuum Cleaner.

These are by far the best vacuum cleaners out there for pet owners. Powerful, quiet and versatile from room to room, the Miele canister and upright vacuum is a new PupLife favorite. And since they are designed specifically to tackle tough cat and dog hair, we can wholeheartedly recommend them to our customers.

Now available on PupLife, Miele's Cat & Dog Vacuum line is a great choice for any family with pets.

July 10, 2013

Enter PupLife's Doggy Dreams Pin To Win Summer Sweepstakes

Enter PupLife’s “Doggy Dreams” Pin To Win Summer Sweepstakes 2013

Pin your dog’s favorite things for a chance to win a $100 PupLife Gift Certificate. The theme for PupLife’s Pin To Win Summer Sweepstakes: Doggy Dreams

To enter, simply create a board with the title “PupLife Doggy Dreams” and then add your favorite product photos from PupLife.com. You'll find "Pin It" buttons on the bottom of each product page. Choose items that you and your dog dream about! 

Once your board is complete, simply add your URL to this blog page’s comment section or submit to us via email using our Contact Us page. We’ll pick our favorite PupLife Doggy Dreams Board based on inspiration and creativity.

Official Rules
No purchase or payment of any kind necessary to enter or win. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning.

Promotion Period
Pin it to win it: sweepstakes begins Friday July 12th at 9 a.m. central time (CT) and ends Friday, July 26th at 12 a.m. CT. All Pins must be received during the promotional period. The Sponsor's computer is the official timekeeping device for the giveaway.

Eligibility
The Giveaway is open to all legal residents of the forty-eight contiguous United States and the District of Columbia who are at least sixteen (16) years of age or older as of the date of entry. It is prohibited for anyone who does not meet the age requirement as of the date of entry to be allowed to participate in the Sweepstakes. Subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

How To Enter
During the promotional period go to our website (www.puplife.com) To enter, simply create a board with the title “PupLife Doggy Dreams” and add your favorite product photos from PupLife.com. Choose items that your dog dreams about! 

Once your board is complete, simply add your URL to this blog page’s comment section - or email us your web board address via our Contact Us page. We’ll pick our favorite board based on inspiration and creativity.

Entries are not limited - you can pin an unlimited amount for the promotional period. The use of automated software or computer programs to pinterest is prohibited. Valid entries must contain all information requested. Giveaway winner will be selected at random and will be announced Friday, July 26th. By entering participants acknowledge compliance with the Official Rules, including eligibility requirements.

Prize Drawing
One potential winner will be selected by the Sponsor on Friday, July 26th. Odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible entries received during the promotion period. Winner agrees to be bound by these official rules and the decisions of the Sponsor.

Prize
The winner will receive a $100 PupLife Gift Certificate.

Release Form
The winner will be notified by the email provided in the blog comment about 3 weekdays after winner selection and will be given five (5) days to confirm receipt of notification. Sponsor is not responsible for any change of email address. If potential winner cannot be contacted from the information provided, the Sponsor reserves the right to select another winner at its sole discretion.

CONDUCT AND DECISIONS: By participating in the Giveaway, participants agree to be bound by the decisions of Sponsor personnel. Persons who violate any rule, gain unfair advantage in participating in the Giveaway, or obtain winner status using fraudulent means will be disqualified. Unsportsmanlike, disruptive, annoying, harassing or threatening behavior is prohibited. The Sponsor will interpret these rules and resolve any disputes, conflicting claims or ambiguities concerning the rules or the Giveaway and the Sponsor’s decisions concerning such disputes shall be final. If the conduct or outcome of the Giveaway is affected by human error, any mechanical malfunctions or failures of any kind, intentional interference or any event beyond the control of the Sponsor, the Sponsor reserves the right to terminate this Sweepstakes, or make such other decisions regarding the outcome as the Sponsor deems appropriate. No more than the advertised number of prizes will be awarded. All decisions will be made by the Sponsor and are final. The Sponsor further reserves the right to: (i) terminate or declare any Giveaway null and void and rescind any prize, if in its sole judgment, the rules or the integrity of the Giveaway have been violated or compromised in any way, intentionally or unintentionally by any person whether or not a participant in the Giveaway; (ii) cancel, terminate or modify the sweepstakes if, in the sole discretion of the Sponsor, it is impossible or impractical to complete the Giveaway as planned for any reason, including, but not limited to, infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention or technical failures of any sort ; (iii) alter or amend these Giveaway rules at any time; and (iv) stop or conclude the Giveaway at any time without prior notice. Material changes to the Giveaway rules will be told on Twitter, facebook, pinterest and or Email if provided.

JURISDICTION: By entering, participants agree that all issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, participant’s rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of the Sponsor in connection with the Sweepstakes, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of State of Michigan without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules. By entering, participants consent to the jurisdiction and venue of the federal, state, government.

Sponsor: PupLife, Holland, MI 49423


Have You Created A Doggy Dreams Board? 
- or submit your address via email using our Contact Us page.

May 01, 2013

Inspiring Dog Quotes

Quotes About Dogs

We love dogs, and after almost ten years in the dog supply business, we've come across plenty of inspirational quotes about dogs. It recently occurred to us that sharing them with our readers might be a great idea! 

So, we've started a favorite Quotes About Dogs page. 

Check it out and maybe you'll find a quote that hits close to home. Have a quote we should add? Let us know!

April 30, 2013

We're Having A Tweet-a-thon

 

Are you on Twitter? If so, make sure to Tweet @PupLife this week, during our first ever Tweet-a-thon! Simply let us know your favorite thing about your dog, and you might just win a $25 PupLife Gift Certificate. 

Read the Official Rules here and then tweet us as many things as you like (we know it is hard to choose just one thing you love about your dog). We'll pick a random winner on May 6th. Good luck!

April 25, 2013

Hey Michiganders! Participate In The 2013 Kalamazoo Humane Society Dog Walk

Looking to support a good cause and have fun at the same time? Check out the dog walkathon in Kalamazoo, Michigan on May 4th, 9 A.M.-2 P.M.

Profits from the Dog Walk go toward the Kalamazoo Humane Society in their search to find the sheltered dogs a home. There will be prizes, giveaways, T-shirts, and much more. Plus, you get to see an array of dogs.

This year the entertainment consists of; Skyhoundz Hyperflite Flying Disc Competition, The Classic K9 Show and America's Best Frisbee Dogs. When not watching the live entertainment participants can enjoy a two mile walk along with lunch, pet adoptions, raffles and much more. It is a great time for your whole family (including fido).


Contact & More Info: Kalamazoo Humane Society Dog Walk

 

April 13, 2013

Ever Wonder What Your Dog Knows About You?


If you have ever wondered what your dog knows about you, you sure aren't alone.

As pet owners, it is only natural to wonder what dogs think and what they can sense from us. Since pets can't talk, we have to rely on recent studies. After doing some digging, we found it surprising just how much our dogs learn from our body language, facial expressions and tone. 

For more, check out PupLife's original article entitled Dogs Understand: 5 Things Your Dog Knows About You

March 27, 2013

Are Dogs Good For Children? Yes!


Wondering if getting a new dog for the family will impact your children? The answer is yes - in a very positive way. New studies are proving that dogs and children are a healthy mix, and the presence of a pet in the house may bring significant benefits to the health and well being of your child. Read our latest new dog owner tip, entitled Kids & Dogs: 3 Great Reasons Why Children Need Pets.

February 04, 2013

PupLife Named To List Of Top 15 iPad Friendly Retail Sites


If you have an iPad, you probably already know that we've optimized the PupLife site for the best tablet display possible. In fact, our site is responsive in terms of design. If you scale it from a full screen down to a tablet format, it automatically readjusts. It even scales down for great display on the iPhone, too.  So, we are very proud to see that Practical eCommerce magazine recently listed PupLife as one of their favorite 15 iPad Friendly Retail Sites. Hooray!

If you use an iPad (or any other tablet) feel free to share your thoughts on our site design. We always love hearing from our customers. Woof woof!

November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Good For Your Dog?



The following is a guest post by Louise Blake

Thanksgiving is great for humans, but it can be hellish for a dog.

Dozens of new and unfamiliar faces invading your cherished territory, terrible punishments for breaking those precious dioramas, and worst of all, the tantalising smell of a sumptuous feast without any possibility of getting to eat any yourself. So how do you know what Thanksgiving leftovers are safe for your pup to enjoy? Check against this list and you should be off to a good start!

If in doubt, check with your vet. A poor diet can lead to anything from dog skin problems to serious health issues.

Turkey
Avoid feeding turkey to your dog. The risk of salmonella from raw or incompletely-cooked scraps is just too great, let alone the risk of choking on bones.

Dogs are also unable to digest turkey skin properly, which could be fatal, and if they avoid choking on the bones straight away, there is a chance that larger bones will splinter in their mouths. This can be extremely painful and could also lead to bone fragments damaging their internal organs.

Dogs simply shouldn't be fed turkey scraps. So please don't do it.

Vegetables
A surprisingly large number of vegetables are OK for your dog to eat, but certain groups are very much not-OK.

'Sweet' vegetables like carrots are fine in small quantities but be careful about portion size – while we adults may enjoy pigging out during Thanksgiving, excessive pup portions could give your dog digestive problems later in the day.

Sweet potatoes and winter squash can be genuinely helpful to doggie digestion, as can green beans as they're high in fibre.

In general, you should avoid feeding your dog sugary fruit and sauces, and you should definitely avoid starchy vegetables such as potatoes, peas, or corn in large amounts. These are fattening foods that will only serve to damage your dog's health.

Chitterlings
Chitterlings are pork intestines, and form a traditional Thanksgiving side dish in many households but don’t add them to your dog’s bowl.

While some dogs cope ok with eating small amounts of raw meat, for dogs that are not adjusted to raw diets yet, this can result in a upset tummy. Suffice it to say that if you think the chitterlings smell bad before you clean, boil and pick them clean for your dog, you are in for a heck of a shock once the dog has started providing you with some solid results.

Furthermore, if they've been prepared for human consumption, they may be too salty for dogs, or have too much chemical preservative left on them. This preservation process also wipes almost all the nutrition out of them, making them a fairly useless, if tasty, treat.

Stuffing
Stuffing contains onions and sage, neither of which are ideal for dogs.

If you use breadcrumbs to help bulk out your stuffing, or if the sausage-meat provider used breadcrumbs to bulk out their product, you could cause your dog to suffer from bloat.

Once you've stripped out all the potentially harmful and definitely unhelpful ingredients from the stuffing, it'd basically be easier to feed your dog, well, food already esigned for consumption by dogs.

More Trouble Than It's Worth?
For the purposes of Thanksgiving, then, it is suggested that you treat your dog like a very fussy, old, sensitive, allergic vegan.

Either that, or treat them like an actual dog and buy him or her some special doggy treats!

Human food is human for a reason. Don't be afraid to give your young dog some vegetables now-and-again, but they get very little out of human food and can get some serious health problems.

Personally, I won't feed my pup any human food except squashes and pumpkin. But what about you? Do you have any healthy and nutritious human food that your dog just can't get enough of?

Please share in the comments!

About Louise Blake
Louise Blake is a career-focused mum-to-be with a passion for animal welfare. She can’t wait to be a mum, though she worries about how her beloved pets will cope with the new arrival. When Louise isn’t working as a Client Manager she can be found blogging for GKBC.

November 16, 2012

Friend Of PupLife: Hershey Kiss


This 5.5 pound chocolate toy poodle is named Hershey Kiss. Appropriate, given her colour and the fact that friends of PupLife adopted her as a puppy on February 14th. Isn't she a cutie?

November 05, 2012

New Dog Owner? Here's How To Get Off To A Great Start


Adding a new dog to your family is always exciting. Pets bring so much to our lives and of course, we always want to do the best for them. If you are planning on adopting a dog, we have a new article on the Top 3 Mistakes That New Dog Owners Make. By avoiding these mistakes, you can help your pet get off to a great start!

November 02, 2012

Winners Of The 2012 PupLife Dog Halloween Costume Contest




Congratulations to Odie The 3 Headed Chihuahua, the top winner of PupLife's 2012 Dog Halloween Costume Contest. Second place goes to Daphne as Harry Paw-ter and third prize goes to Odysseus the Kosher Hot Dog. Aren't they awesome?

Thank you to everyone that entered this year. This was the best costume contest ever and it was very difficult to decide. In fact, we have named several entries as Honorable Mentions this season, so check your email accounts for special notifications on that.

We hope everyone had as much fun with this year's costume contest as we did. Stay tuned as we'll be starting up a new contest soon for the holidays!

Dog Halloween Costume Contest: Elton John The Knight


Elton is a cavalier king Charles spaniel. The breed originated from Royal Spaniels of King Charles II. They can truly act like they think they are Royal and especially Elton. I sometimes call him Sir Elton and that is why I thought a knight costume was perfect.

I adopted Elton over a year ago and he has quite the personality. He thinks he is King of the Castle.  He sleeps in the bed with me. Sometimes I get pushed to the side of the bed, but if Elton is comfortable he will not budge.  He is only 12 pounds but he can hang with the big dogs. As you can see from this photo, he has eyes and can look at you and your heart melts.

Thanks

Dog Halloween Costume Contest: Lucy The Giraffe

My little Giraffe Lucy is a Mini Pincer/Chihuaha mix who just turned 1 year old on Oct 29th.  She loves being dressed up and loves to pose for the camera.  She is fun loving and a bundle of energy, and loves to give puppy kisses!

I saw this costume on a website and the cost was $45, i made this costume for under $10.  With her log legs, I knew she would look perfect in it, and as you can she, she comes pretty close!

Dog Halloween Costume Contest: Ice


This is ice my standard poodle she is a very bouncy little girl truly a gem.  Full of life and loves everyone she meets here is here halloween costume she was a web for the spider poms were candy corns.

November 01, 2012

Dog Halloween Costume Contest: Buddy As Michonne From Walking Dead



This is Buddy dressed as Michonne, from the Walking Dead tv series on AMC. The inspiration came from being fans of the show and dressing the family as the group in the show and included our pet too. Buddy is such a loving dog, sometimes he forgets he's a dog and thinks he's human. He loves to play and lots of attention. I assume he likes these crazy outfitts because he never tries to take them off and allows it haha! He loves kids and is very friendly. One last thing he is a fan of traveling in the car.

Dog Halloween Costume Contest: Magic Max


This is Max my 1 year old poodle.  I had just finished watching the Magic Mike movie when I realized that Max's belly band would work as one of the outfits the scantily clad men in the movie wore.  So I just inserted a few dollar bills in it and Magic Max was born.  Needless to say, Max wasn't amused.  Being the sweet pup he is he tolerated it very well...at least for a picture or two.

Dog Halloween Costume Contest: Sadie The Wonder Dog

The inspiration behind Sadie's costume came to me because she is my Wonder Dog and looks like a doggie version of Linda Carter. Sadie is my best friend and is who keeps me inspired every day. She knows how to make my neighbors, strangers walking on the street and friends happy even during sad times. A dog who likes to pose, who likes to dress and will do anything to make her mommy smile, now that is a Wonder Dog! I am blessed to have this little Wonder Dog Angel in my life and I hope she inspires others to vote for her and smile when they do.

Dog Halloween Costume Contest: Jack The Bad Boy


This is Jack.

He decided he wanted to dress up as a bad boy pup. He has an attitude of a rockstar and this costume suited him perfectly!

Jack would love to win!

Dog Halloween Costume Contest: Pongo The Dalmatian


Ziggy the Italian Greyhound as Pongo the Dalmatian

Dog Halloween Costume Contest: Marley The Geisha


This is Marley. She is a five year old shih-tzu with quite a personality. She loves dressing up and shows off her outfits to anyone who will look! She decided the Geisha contest was the winning look for this Halloween!

Dog Halloween Costume Contest: The Shihtzuation


I have lived at the Jersey Shore my whole life, so has my shih tzu, Pokerface... so naturally, he had to become the SHIHTZUation!   

October 31, 2012

Dog Halloween Costume Contest: Tippi Hedron


This is my dog Apple she is dressed as Tippi Hendren from "The Birds" the inspiration for her costume was based on how much I love Alfred Hitchcock. It dawned to me how amazing would it be if my dog was Tippi!? And this magnificent creation happened. The costume is homemade by my mom. Apples personality is like mine she mimics the things I do she's my daughter. She is a sophisticated little well mannered dog.

Dog Halloween Costume Contest: Darth Vader & Yoda



Attached photo of Sprocket (as Yoda) who is s 2 year old boxer mix and Ratchet (as Darth Vader) who is a 2 1/2 year old boxer. The inspiration was that Sprocket has a funny little face and quirky ears, so we usually call her Yoda ---and with any good Yoda, you need the big guy (87 lbs) Ratchet to be Darth! :)

Dog Halloween Costume Contest: Achilles The King


I would like to enter my nephew “Achilles” into your Halloween dog costume contest.  Achilles is three years old and we (my brother, his wife and myself) rescued him from a dog shelter (Shamrock House) in Kentucky.  We saw him on-line and fell in love with him. We live in New York State, so we had to drive about 13 hours to bring home this adorable puppy dog!  Achilles was no longer wanted by his owners so they kept him in a cage in the basement and tied to a tree. He never got any attention and was barely fed.  A neighbor reported this abuse and that’s when the Shamrock House stepped in. 
 
Since we brought him home…he has lived like a king.  He is my brother and sister-in-law’s dog and they spoil him to no end.  My brother travels a lot in his job, so when he is away my Mom and I watch him at my house.  This dog is never left alone.  He gets more attention than most kids.  He has turned out to be a beautiful, loving …sweet dog that is so smart and  he understands a huge vocabulary of words. 
 
My Mom (Achilles’ Grammy as we call her) sewed the costume below.  We felt that since Achilles now lives in a beautiful house, is very spoiled and lives like a king, only a king’s robe and crown would be appropriate for this very special dog.
 
Thanks for considering Achilles as a candidate in your contest.