June 19, 2014

Deployed Soldier's Ex-Girlfriend Sold His Shiba Inu on Craigslist

Robert Gabbert, who's been in Afghanistan for the past six months on his second deployment, recently went through a surreal episode trying to get back his dog, Baxter, a Shiba Inu he raised from a puppy.  

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During a previous deployment, he left the dog with his dad. This time he left the dog with his ex-girlfriend. When she told him a few months ago that she couldn't handle the dog any more, he said no problem. He told her he'd pay to have dog shipped to his dad, according to MailOnline

Instead, his ex-girlfriend sold the dog on Craigslist.  

When he found out, Gabbert was stunned. So was his family. His Dad told MailOnline, '"That’s his baby. He bought that dog before he went the first time. He did a lot of research to find the right one with the right color coat. He paid a lot of money for that dog. This kid even belongs to the kennel club." 

And thus began the search to find Baxter, which began with Gabbert posting his own ad on Craigslist:  

“I am currently deployed and my ex sold my dog. I just found out and I am trying to find the people (person) who bought him. I will pay anything to get him back. His name is Baxter and he is a Shiba Inu. I do not have my phone with me. You can email me. The phone number is my mom’s -- she is helping me locate him. If you have any information PLEASE give us a call or an email.” 

Online sympathizers noticed the post and started a "Help Bring Baxter Home 2014" Facebook page, which quickly attracted media attention and thousands of likes. Gabbert, with six months left in Afghanistan, was able to only watch from the sidelines, pining for his dog. 

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Finally, the couple who bought the dog came forward -- and dropped a bombshell: They didn't want to give up the dog. They said their children had grown attached to him. 

For the second time, Gabbert was stunned. So was his family. They pleaded their case, both to the family, who remains anonymous, and to the world via the media. 

"They keep saying they have children that are attached," Gabbert's mother, Karen, told KOAA 5. "Well my child is attached to the dog. Just because he's older doesn't mean he's not my child." 

"That's just not something we should let him sit over in Afghanistan worrying about, his dog," said supporter Nancy Wallace. "He should be doing the job he's there for and not having to worry about that. He should know that his dog is home and with his family and will be waiting for him when he gets home." 

"No one wants to out them," she continued. "No one wants to give them any negative publicity. We just really want Baxter back home with Robby."


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Supporters kept up the pressure, even raising money to give to the family to buy a new dog if they gave up Baxter.  

"Now that they know about it, they can do the right thing," Wallace told KOAA 5. "They can teach their children, 'Yeah this is very difficult, but we do the right thing.'" 

Finally, the family did. In the face of an unrelenting social media case and increasing media attention, they agreed to give up the dog. They did the right thing, even if it took a online army to convince them.  

One of the terms of the deal? The "Help Bring Baxter Home 2014" Facebook page had to come down (and it has). The vitriol against the family was apparently too much to bear.  

Via MailOnline and KOAA 5; photos via Gabbert's Facebook page

Read about dogs in the news on Dogster:

June 18, 2014

It's Almost Too Late to Vote for the World's Ugliest Dog!

How ugly is your dog?

Most people would take immediate offense to that question, but in the World's Ugliest Dog Contest, held every year at the Sonoma-Marin Fair, that question is the whole point. If you want to win, your dog has to be as ugly as possible.

It's not as cruel as it might sound at first. The contest is done out of love for those dogs who don't match the greeting-card ideal of what an adorable, loving dog should be. A lot of them are rescues that started out in puppy mills and shelters, and might have wound up on a euthanizing table had their owners not been able to see beauty of a somewhat less conventional kind in them.

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Peanut is in the lead for ugliest dog right now. His previous owners set him on fire.

The contest has been giving homely dogs their day for 25 years, and this year's reckoning is coming up this Friday. If you have an opinion on which dog deserves to be crowned as the World's Ugliest Dog for 2014, there's still time to make your voice heard. Until 10 p.m. Pacific Time tomorrow (Thursday, June 19), you can vote online at the Sonoma-Marin Fair's website.

There's some pretty stiff competition, aesthetically speaking, but as of this writing, there's one clear leader in the voting: a dog named Peanut, who came to the contest from North Carolina. As of right now, Peanut has a solid lead of 1,154 votes, well ahead of his nearest competitor, who has a little more than 250.

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Peanut is indeed ugly, but there's a heartbreaking story behind his appearance. According to his owner, Holly Chandler, Peanut's former owners set him on fire, scorching him from head to tail. He can't close his eyes because his eyelids were burned off. His lips were also burned off in the fire, giving him a somewhat aggressive appearance because his teeth are always bared.

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Faith, a Jack Russell Terrier, suffers from an autoimmune disease which has caused her to lose her hair and teeth.

Faith, who's trotting in at a distant second to Peanut, has made a whole career out of being ugly. Afflicted with an autoimmune disease that has caused her to lose 11 teeth and the hair over much of her body, Faith has a web page and Twitter feed, and a children's book about her adventures has been written by her owner.

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Rascal, a Chinese Crested.

Of course, no discussion of ugly dogs would be complete without taking a moment to remember Elwood, the Chinese Crested who won the 2007 contest and had a devoted following for the rest of his life. Elwood died last Thanksgiving, but he will be remembered through a scholarship for special needs children that his owner, Karen Quigley, is working to establish.

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Elwood, in all his adorable ugliness. From Facebook.

The contest is less about mocking ugly dogs than it is about remembering and valuing the bond between humans and their pets, so feel free to go vote for the ugly dog of your choice.

Via CBS and Sonoma-Marin Fair

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Watch Duffy the Blind Irish Terrier See His Family Again

Like many dogs, Duffy the Irish Terrier faced a hard road when he got diabetes. After he was diagnosed months ago, he quickly went downhill. 

One member of his family posted his story to Reddit. BenZino21 explains, "One day he started peeing in the house ... which wasn't like him. He is a very well-behaved dog. So we took him to the vet and they determined that his body wasn't breaking down sugars, etc., and he was diabetic. So he started getting shots twice a day but we weren't able to keep his numbers in line due to the dosages the vets gave us, and he got progressively worse." 

Duffy's eyesight failed -- quickly. 

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"Within about 3-5 months he went from a totally normal eight-year-old dog to a dog who was completely blind," writes BenZino21. "It broke my heart seeing this dog I grew up with … running into things, not being able to recognize me."

Fortunately, the diabetes treatment worked, and BenZino21 says they were able to get Duffy's numbers "steady." Then, vets figured they could attempt surgery. 

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"If we didn't do it then, they said he would be blind for life. Thankfully the surgery was a success."

And then, when it was time for Duffy to finally see his family again with his eyesight restored, someone captured it on video. The reunion is heartbreaking: 

BenZino21 said the surgery cost $5,000, and it was worth every penny. 

"I know most people will say that was a waste of money, but whatever. He's happy and he makes us happy, he's family to us. You can't put a price on family."

Read about dogs in the news on Dogster:

June 17, 2014

You Can't Make This Up: Green "Hulk Puppies" Born to Spanish Breeder

The comics nerd in me, the part that spent my elementary school years worshipping at the altar of Marvel Comics from the Silver Age and considered Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko to be the Holy Trinity, was delighted to read the announcement that "Hulk puppies" with green coats had been born in Spain. How could you not love such an announcement? At last! I would be able to have a dog that would not only defend the threshold of our home against senior citizens calmly walking on the sidewalk, but would steadfastly protect against the predations of invading Skrulls or the death-dealing legions of HYDRA. Excelsior!

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The pups born in Spain this month bear absolutely no resemblance to Sirius the Gamma Dog, who had some serious obedience issues.

Unfortunately, it was not to be. It turns out that not only do the pups recently born in Spain have little in common with Sirius the Gamma Dog, but the story is a little more bittersweet and sad than my geeky fantasies.

For one thing, the two puppies born with green coats weren't strong enough to smash alien invaders; one of them wasn't even strong enough to live.

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The two green puppies were born to a Spanish breeder on June 3, the smallest and weakest of the litter. Aida Vallelado Molina, who breeds hunting dogs with her father, told European news site The Local, "I couldn't believe it when I first saw them. I thought the puppies were dirty and tried to clean them, but the color wouldn't come off."

One of them, a female, died shortly after birth. Her brother is still alive, but very weak and struggling.

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What made them green? We know it's not envy, and not a dose of gamma rays; for now, the best explanation is that they may have been exposed to biliverdin, a pigment found in the uterus. That was the explanation in a previous case of a Labrador Retriever who was born in England with a green coat in 2012. Another green Labrador pup was born in Sao Paolo, Brazil, in 2010.

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So will the surviving pup have to go through the rest of life with a green coat? Emphatically, no. In fact, the coloring is already beginning to fade, and he should be normally-colored within a few weeks.

And in the meantime, I'm going to have to find another way to keep Skrulls out of the back yard.

Note: The video below is in Spanish, but the adorableness knows no language barrier.

Via The Local and Time

A Maltipoo Plunges 15 Stories Down a High-Rise and Survives

Susie, a four-year-old Maltipoo, had a wild ride down a Fort Lauderdale high-rise Friday evening. The night started innocently enough; Susie and her owner Elaine Caralis, who live in the building, decided to visit a friend on the 16th floor. Once welcomed inside, Susie noticed a scent. She followed it through the apartment into an open closet. Then things went very bad, according to CNN

"(Susie) walked into the closet and fell down into the exhaust shaft," said Caralis. 

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Down she went, one floor, two floors, three floors ... all the way down, a little dog tumbling down a dark, narrow exhaust vent. She finally stopped at the second floor. 

Caralis expected the worst, and she called 911. Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue showed up and located the dog, who had come to rest on a piece of concrete in the shaft near the second floor. Everyone was shocked that the dog was conscious. 

"I thought she died, but I was calling her from the wall and she was barking, so I knew she was alive," said Caralis. 

Yet nobody knew how hurt she was. The crew cut holes above and below the second floor to try and free the dog. Timothy Heiser of Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue said the crew "eventually managed to get close enough to the pup to remove her from the shaft before she could fall any further." 

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Susie had been stuck in the shaft for three hours. A waiting ambulance rushed her to Oakland Park Animal Hospital. Caralis and the vets feared the worst.  

"I'm thinking 15 stories, there are going to be multiple fractures, severe internal injuries or worse," said the emergency vet who treated her, Dr. Spencer L. Ratnoff. "I was worried she might need to be euthanized."

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But that wasn't the case. Susie had no internal bleeding, no broken bones, just serious bruising. 

Ratnoff called it a "miracle" -- two times, in fact. Once for surviving the fall in the first place, and another for coming away relatively unscathed. She is expected to make a full, quick recovery. 

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"I don't have children," Caralis told CNN, "so Susie is my life, Susie is my family. They treated it like they were searching for a human being."

Via CNN 

Read about dogs in the news on Dogster:

June 16, 2014

Japan Gives Dogs Luxurious Retirement -- For a Price

Getting old is hard, but it might be a little bit harder for dogs. Here in America, if a senior dog winds up in a shelter, there's a very good chance that the dog will stay there until death. Very few people go to shelters to find pets with gray muzzles; that's why it's a very good thing that we have groups such as Muttville, who specialize in finding homes for senior dogs.

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Sad old dog by Shutterstock.">
Sad old dog by Shutterstock.">
Sad old dog by Shutterstock.

In Japan, older dogs just got one more resource on their side: A new nursing home especially for dogs is set to open later this month just outside Tokyo. Frankly, the resources available to the residents exceed most of the places that I've lived: access to a 24-hour clinic, a swimming pool, a playground, and hourly temperature check on each room. There's also a webcam so that the owners can watch their dogs from the comfort of home, 24 hours a day.

The drawback, of course, is that all of this pampering isn't just for any pooch that happens to need care. The new home comes with a hefty price tag: About $1,000 per month, depending on the size and breed of the dog.

This statue of Hachiko in the city of Tokyo remembers a dog known for his loyalty, even years after his master's death. Japan's laws are beginning to show some of that same loyalty. beibaoke / Shutterstock.com

The new retirement home is inspired in part by a law passed last year that requires dog owners to care for their animals until they die. In addition, the company, Aeonpet, has already run a luxury pet hotel at Narita Airport for several years. Representatives from the company say that they saw a need because owners and pets were getting older. Chiyo Sakurai, a company representative who has headed the hotel and is now in charge of getting the nursing home started, told NBC News that "Ten years of running the hotel at Narita, we realized that pets were getting older, and there have been owners who themselves were no longer capable of providing care." Some of the owners will probably be in nursing homes themselves, and therefore unable to directly care for their dogs.

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Mt Fuji and Cherry Blossoms by Shutterstock.">
Mt Fuji and Cherry Blossoms by Shutterstock.">
Mt Fuji and Cherry Blossoms by Shutterstock.

Any additional resource for older dogs is a good thing. If this venture takes off, we hope there will be more easily affordable options. Maybe we could even see more care for senior dogs in America.

Via The Telegraph and NBC News

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Who Leaves 8 Dogs In a Hot Van While on a Shopping Spree?

Late last week, it was balmy, in the 70s, in San Francisco, and Pamela Uberti, as owner of 4 Your Paws Only dog walking and pet sitting service, was tasked with keeping eight dogs entertained and exercised, happy and healthy, for an extended period of time. She got everybody in her windowless work van and headed out. 

First stop: Stonestown Galleria. The mall. Where Uberti shopped -- and shopped, and shopped, and shopped. For two and a half hours, according to KRON4. Primarily Nordstrom, it looks like, but she probably hit up some other shops in that time -- two and a half hours is a long time to shop.

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As for the dogs, they didn't get to shop. Uberti left them tied up inside the van. For activities, she let them bark. She also let them pant -- she had parked in direct sunlight and left the windows up, and the van soon grew sweltering on that warm day. Witnesses said the dogs also had no water.  

"Those dogs were tied up in a hot van. No water, nothing," one told KRON4. "There was a lot of stress. It was extremely hot." 

"They were barking up a storm," said another. "I told her that her behavior was deplorable."

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The witness called police, and fortunately, when animal control officers arrived, they found the dogs in good condition. Because the dogs were "not in immediate danger," according to animal control, they were released to Uberti, but officers told KRON4 that they expect her license will be taken away this week. 

"It was just heartbreaking when they opened the van seeing the animals tied up like that, and being completely defenseless," said a witness, "completely at the mercy of this sadistic woman."

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Uberti's dog-walking website

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Image of Uberti from her website


Read about dogs in the news on Dogster:

Our Monday Miracle is London the Two-Legged Pittie

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When the call came in to the Del Norte County Shelter about a Pit Bull puppy with broken legs, the circumstances surrounding the dog's injuries seemed mighty suspicious. The story shelter workers got over the phone didn't seem to add up, but with the puppy in desperate need of immediate care, there was no time to investigate how he ended up in his condition.

The puppy -- who would come to be called London -- was transferred to Panda Paws Rescue, and then taken to the Animal Care Clinic in Washington.

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What a sweet face!

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His human friends affectionately call this "landshark mode."

Vets discovered that London's front legs and shoulders were utterly shattered, his injuries consistent with a fall from some extreme height. He was also covered in burns and sores, indicating that he'd been in contact with something hot and that he had languished in pain longer than any dog should. Despite his injuries, London demonstrated a profound will to live, and manage to move even with his front legs crushed. Vets determined that amputation of both his front legs was London's best option.

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Like a meerkat.

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Nice wheels!

As London went into surgery, Panda Paws Rescue received evidence of what really happened to the Pit Bull: His legs had been deliberately broken and left untreated. The suspects were arrested and agreed to plea bargains, but London's new family is seeking further justice.

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Meanwhile, however, London recovered from his surgery and found himself a new home. He's got his own set of wheels and a smile that will melt your heart. He's an advocate for his breed, for animals with special needs, and for the fight against animal cruelty. He's a reminder that even in the face of tremendous violence, there are more people out there who will help instead of harm.

All photos via London's Facebook page. Go follow him there for more adorable photos.

Read about what other dog owners experience 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!

June 13, 2014

This Bonehead Washed Her Dog's Butt in a Water Fountain

On Tuesday, a woman was in Central Park with her dogs -- an often-used, very popular location in the park -- when one of her dogs had some sort of undefined poop issue in his nether region, according to Gothamist. Might have been nothing more than a (pardon me for this) dingleberry, or it might have been a (also for this) poop-smeared horrorshow apocalypse.   

In any case, the woman looked around, and to her great relief saw she was near one of the many dog-butt-washing stations located around the park. You might know them as drinking fountains. She hustled over and began a long, incredibly thorough butt-washing, much to the surprise of parkgoers.

This woman is our Bonehead of the Week. 

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Too see a up-close photo of the event, check out the story on Gothamist

According to witness Emily Leisz Carr, the woman crammed the butt of her dog right up against the spigot -- the spigot is where the mouth should go -- and kept it there for a good long while. Imagine that for a second. When someone finally came up to complain, stating concerns about hygene and saying that "human people put their faces there," the woman said it was okay and she would clean it up. Carr told Gothamist that it was only when the woman was confronted did the woman seem to think that what she was doing was in any way wrong. 

After she finished, the woman left with her dogs. Ten minutes later, she returned with a "balled-up plastic bag," according to Carr, to give the fountain a half-hearted once-over. Gothamist notes that the woman cleaned her dog's anus with much more zeal that she cleaned the fountain, almost like she knew that a balled-up plastic bag was a poor choice of a cleaning implement. 

After she was done, the weirdness continued. A documentary film crew happened to be in the park, because of course one was, and it filmed the event, because screw the script we're going with this! After filming wrapped, a producer asked the woman to sign a release, and she did. Meaning her cute butt-washing-in-a-water-fountain interlude could appear in a documentary film one day. How lovely for her. 

This Bonehead made some great choices on Tuesday. 

Via Gothamist

Read about dogs in the news on Dogster:

June 12, 2014

Grab a Tissue and Watch These Homeless Dogs Get Life-Saving Makeovers

I've known people who swore that they'd die if they didn't get something new done with their hair or clothes or makeup, but I've rarely taken them literally. With shelter dogs, it's another matter; a good makeover can literally make the difference between life and death, as these videos from The Pet Collective show.

As we often reiterate on Dogster, it's hard for a dog to get adopted into a forever home. Lots of dogs wind up living for years in a shelter, and too many just get euthanized.

The shelter shown in these two videos has a high kill rate, and it's easy to see why the two dogs, Maggie and Charlie, wouldn't have strong chances of going home with someone. Their hair is so dirty and matted that they look miserable, even sick, and it would be hard for anyone to look past that to see a potential addition to their family.

Enter The Pet Collective and Hollywood Grooming. The Pet Collective says it has five of these videos so far, all taken at the same shelter on the same day. They show each of the dogs going through a transformation at the hands of the groomers, going from sad, horrible messes to adorable young pups who are ready to go home with a family.

That's not just hyperbole, either; according to producer Brittni Brown, all five dogs were adopted within a few days of the visit.

The transformation in the two available videos is quite remarkable; Maggie in particular looks like she's in distress from the thickly matted hair smothering her body. By the end of her makeover, she looks happy and energetic. Some life even seems to come into her bad eye.

Did these makeovers save Maggie and Charlie's lives? It's hard to say; it's possible that one or both of them, or any of the other three might have gotten adopted even without the grooming. But the one thing that's obvious is that they're both much happier, and it's easier to imagine yourself taking one of them home.

Professional makeovers, whether for humans or dogs, are often dismissed as mere vanity or narcissism, but as Pet Collective videos show, they can be a very important part of caring for one's physical or mental health. Our compliments to Pet Collective and Hollywood Grooming in making this effort.

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Purin the Soccer Beagle Reminds You the World Cup Starts Today

The World Cup starts today with Brazil vs. Croatia, and many of you will celebrate by not watching the game. Many of you will celebrate by being completely unaware that the World Cup has even started, or that Brazil is hosting the games and the game that they are playing is soccer. 

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Many of you will put down the hoots and shouts emerging from various bars and homes as you go about your day as simply the exhortations of a particularly vigorous exercise regimen, or a hot bingo game. If you even think of soccer at all, you couldn't imagine that people would be cheering for it, right out in the open like that, standing three deep at a bar. It would never cross your mind that it would be on television.  

"Nonsense," you will tell your nephew. "They're watching the Super Bowl."

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So, here is our reminder to pay attention, at long last, to the beautiful game, for once in your miserable life. Football. Soccer to you. This is Purin, a dog who plays soccer. She plays rather well, dribbling downfield and launching the ball into the corner of the net, grabbing fast strikes as a goalie, and doing that insane thing where she walks around with her hind legs in the air -- what is that? 

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Purin is something of a legend in Japan as a dog who performs tricks -- she knows 70 of them -- showcasing many on her YouTube and Facebook sites. She tends to go viral; This video of her playing soccer has had more than 200,000 views in three days. Watch her play:

Watching her bat all those balls down, you'd almost think she really knows the game, like she's the second coming of ... well, crap, we don't know any actual soccer players. 

The World Cup starts at 1 p.m. (PT), with Brazil vs. Croatia at Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo. There's still time to catch up. 

Read about dogs in the news on Dogster:

June 11, 2014

Anti-Vaccine Ignorance Is Bad for Dogs and Humans Alike

They say that ignorance is bliss, and until I started checking the news feeds this morning, I was indeed blissfully ignorant that anti-vaccine madness had spread to pet owners as well as parents. In hindsight, it seems naïve that I would have thought otherwise. Bad ideas are more contagious than the most easily spread virus. The truth is, I hadn't really given any thought to the matter.

What ended my ignorance and thereby eroded a little bit of my faith in human nature (and I really don't have much of that to spare) was this article on ABC News about dog owners who refuse to vaccinate their pets. It focuses on Rodney Habib, a blogger and pet nutrition activist who refuses to vaccinate his three dogs beyond the original cluster of shots for parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis, and rabies. Habib claims that booster shots are dangerous and unnecessary, and that the original shots should keep his pets immune for years, if not their entire lives. Scientific research says otherwise, of course.

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Medical Examination of dog by the vet by Shutterstock.">
Medical Examination of dog by the vet by Shutterstock.">
Medical Examination of dog by the vet by Shutterstock.

The current hysteria around vaccines originated with a 1998 study published by a grossly incompetent and unethical researcher named Andrew Wakefield. The study claimed, based on a sample of 12 children, that there was a link between administration of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine -- known as MMR -- and development of regressive autism. Not only was Wakefield's sample tiny, but much of the data that he did collect was fraudulent. Although he claimed that nine of the children in the study developed regressive autism after receiving the MMR vaccine, later investigations revealed that only one of the subjects was actually diagnosed with the disorder, and three of them definitively did not have regressive autism. Other children had pre-existing medical issues that Wakefield reported as having first presented after the vaccine. The results could not be replicated by other scientists, and it was later revealed that Wakefield was being paid to testify in a lawsuit against vaccine manufacturers at the same time that he conducted the study.

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Syringe and vaccine by Shutterstock.">
Syringe and vaccine by Shutterstock.">
Syringe and vaccine by Shutterstock.

So extensive were the procedural and ethical problems with the paper that in 2010, Wakefield's license to practice medicine in England was revoked, and The Lancet retracted the paper. But by that time, the damage had been done: For 12 years, Wakefield and his followers had been building up hysteria, not only around the MMR vaccine, but around vaccines in general. The cost to our society hasn't been merely an abstract one of truth vs. falsehood. Just last week, the CDC announced that measles cases are at a 20-year high in the United States. This is not a trivial thing that means your kid stays home a few more days from school. Thanks to successful vaccination campaigns, most of us have never seen why measles was once such a feared part of childhood. Its consequences can include brain inflammation, permanent deafness, and death.

Which brings us back to dogs. To Habib's credit, he's not one of the extreme vaccine denialists, who would rather risk disease than the minuscule chance that some problems might result from the vaccine. But the fact that this argument is considered credible among pet owners at all is a problem. As with humans, canine diseases that were previously well-controlled, such as parvovirus, are making a comeback. Just last month, Los Angeles County officials announced a highly increased rate of parvovirus infection in the first four months of this year. The same problem is happening in England. Last year, the Britsh charity People's Dispensary for Sick Animals issued a release urging owners to get their dogs vaccinated after they saw 1,800 cases of the virus show up at their hospitals in the first six months of 2013 alone.

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German shepherd injected with vaccine by Shutterstock.">
German shepherd injected with vaccine by Shutterstock.

The ABC story also quotes Kate Berger, from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, who lays out the facts simply: "Abnormal responses occur so infrequently, and more unvaccinated animals die from the diseases the vaccines prevent, that the benefit of vaccination outweighs the minimal risk of the abnormal immune response."

The majority of arguments against vaccination are based not on long-term research, nor on broad-based studies that are subjected to peer review, but anecdotal accounts of individuals. People such as Rodney Habib are getting their ideas from what a friend of a friend has said, and selectively choosing what to listen to through confirmation bias. We are all biased in the direction of things that confirm what we already believe to be true; that's why real science has checks and counterbalances built in to account for confirmation bias.

The preponderance of scientific evidence backs up what Dr. Berger says. When you get your dog or your child vaccinated, it's not simply to protect them; it's also to protect the people and pets around them. There are people and animals who, for whatever reason, do have adverse reactions to vaccines. When those of us who can get vaccines do so, we're also helping to keep those most vulnerable around us safe by creating what's called "herd immunity." Herd immunity happens when a significant majority of a population is vaccinated against a disease, giving it fewer and fewer avenues of transmission. As herd immunity diminishes because of lower rates of vaccination, those who can't get vaccinated themselves are at greater risk.

We owe a lot to the fact that vaccination for some of the most horrible diseases known is now cheap, easy, and common. We cannot afford to throw that away.

Ignorance might be bliss, but only for a while. In the end, it can kill you or someone you love.

What are your thoughts? What's your vaccination strategy with your dog? On what do you base decisions on health and care for your dogs or other members of your family?

Via ABC and British Medical Journal

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Aww of the Day: Service Dog Gets a Spot in a Seventh-Grade Yearbook Next to His Human

He's right next to Rachel Benke in Hector Garcia Middle School's yearbook: a dog, a regal, dignified Labrador-Golden Retriever mix called Taxi Benke, posing like a champion, his posture straight and true, the look in his eyes, knowing. It's picture day. He's giving it all he's got. Look: 

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The little girl on the left is his best friend, Rachel Benke. She has suffered from epileptic seizures since birth, according to TODAY.com. She's the one he protects and serves. Sometimes she would have 200 seizures a day. For the first six years of her life, she was completely nonverbal. She ate only baby food.  

But after two corrective brain surgeries, Rachel improved, and four years ago, Taxi came into her life. Rachel's family didn't go looking for a service dog, but one found her. A chance meeting between Cindy Buechner, who trains seizure alert dogs, and Rachel's mom at a jewelry party led to the happy pairing. 

"They found us," Teresa, Rachel's mom, told TODAY.com. "We hadn't been looking into service dogs. We thought she might need one when she was older, but it was just a God thing that he found us." 

Taxi and Rachel go everywhere together, including school, where Rachel leads Taxi around on a leash.

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"He predicts she's going to have a seizure up to an hour and half before it happens," Teresa said. "It seems to be a smell that the body emits, but until dogs can talk we can never know for sure."

Taxi also makes sure Rachel is not in an unsafe place when a seizure occurs. So far, he's warned her and the people around her of approaching seizures when Rachel was in the pool and on a trampoline. He also helps her through the ordeal. 

"He always stays on her left side because she falls on her left," Teresa explained. "He breaks her fall."

As for how Taxi got in the yearbook this year, thank Mom for that. "Last year I joked, 'Where's Taxi's picture?'" Teresa said. "He's here every day, he deserves to be in the yearbook, too."

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So this year, Teresa, who attends picture day each year to help her daughter focus and smile, asked the photographer to snap a picture of Taxi, too. He did. Nobody thought much about it, but when the yearbook finally arrived, everybody was shocked to see Taxi. Teresa posted the picture to social media, and it took off. 

"When I posted that picture, never in a million years would I have imagined that it would rise to this magnitude," Teresa says. "It's been fun, and it's been even more fun watching [Rachel] get excited about it. Three years ago this wouldn't have even registered for her."

Via TODAY.com 

Learn more about dogs with Dogster:

June 10, 2014

In Barcelona, a New Water Park Lets Pooches Cool Off in Style

If your dog is looking for a vacation spot this summer, Spain seems to be the place to go. A dog-loving entrepreneur, Fedrico Cano, just opened an enormous five-star resort for dogs, complete with a swimming pool.

Usually people put a lot of effort keeping the pooch out of the pool, especially the public ones. But at Resort Canino Can Jane, getting the dog wet is the big selling point, and the one that's getting them international press coverage. The pool, which is certainly more luxurious than the facilities at any place your average Dogster freelancer is likely to stay for vacation, includes slides and fountains designed especially for the canine set.

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Why a pool for the dogs? Cano told the International Business Times that "I don't see why dogs should not be allowed to enjoy a swim when the weather gets hot just like people can -- especially here in Spain where it gets really hot. I designed it so that it was a little bit like a beach with a gradual slope; that is exactly what dogs appreciate."

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So far, there's only one glitch in the system: Cano needs to come up with a stronger filter, because all that dog hair floating around in the water kind of does exactly what you'd expect when it hits the pipes. The current filtration system is a bit overwhelmed by the shedding dogs.

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If the video below can be believed, it looks like a lot of fun for humans and dogs (and maybe, someday, writers). Cano claims that it's a good solution to your high-energy dogs who want your entire vacation to be about them: "The best thing is that they really burn off a lot of energy coming here," he said in Metro. "Take the dog to the resort for an hour and I can guarantee that it will sleep for the next two days."

Via International Business Times and Metro

All photos from Resort Canino Can Jané Facebook Page.

Laugh with us on Dogster:

Mayor of California City Throws Dog Poop Into Neighbor's Yard

Mayor Dennis Kneier of San Marino, California, was taking leisurely stroll with his wife around his neighborhood, not throwing bags of poop around, when he came upon a bag a poop sitting there on the ground. We imagine his wife quietly touching his arm and whispering, "No, Dennis. Just walk past it." 

But the mayor didn't walk past that bag of poop. He was mayor, damn it. He wanted to throw that bag of poop. He wanted to pick it up and toss it, a nice underhanded lob, right onto his neighbor's walkway. A man claws his way to the top for what? A nice parking space? 

Dennis picked up the bag of poop and threw in his neighbor's walkway. Here, look: 

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Unfortunately, his neighbor, Philip Lao, is no slouch in the home surveillance department, keeping tabs on his little slice of San Marino with a full slate of outside cameras. When his wife discovered the bag of poop on his walkway, Lao knew exactly what to do. He sat before his monitor and replayed the tape.  

The mayor

By 6 p.m., the police were at Lao's home, reviewing evidence, interviewing the Laos, and taking photographs of the poop, according to NBC4.

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"The bag was tied closed and appeared to have been intentionally placed on the walkway entrance,” officials report. “After reviewing video surveillance, which monitors the exterior of their residence, the residents were able to identify their neighbor, Dennis Kneier, as the person who had placed the plastic bag on their walkway.”

Busted. Busted hard, mayor. 

Mayor Kneier immediately went into survival mode, drafting a friendly "Dear Phil" letter and sending it to Mr. Lao:

“Dear Phil, Late in the day this past Saturday, June 7, Liz and I were returning from a walk in Lacy Park when we noticed a bag of dog waste in your west parkway near the lamp post. Rather than leave it or dispose of it properly, I placed it on your side walkway. This was a mistake, for which I apologize. It won’t happen again. Sincerely, Dennis Kneier.”

Case closed, right? Maybe not. According to NBC4, it turns out that Mayor Kneier might have thrown the poop for a reason other than recreational poop-throwing -- and that he is in fact being dishonest in his claim that he was merely repositioning the bag of poop as part of his one-man-on-a-walk neighborhood beautification efforts. 

What we have here is the beginning of a poopgate. 

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Another shot of the mayor, just strolling down the street with a poop bag (he doesn't own a dog).

According to NBC4, Lao believes the mayor is retaliating against him because Lao posted a "no poop zone" sign on his front yard, which he placed there because of his home's proximity to a dog park -- a dog park the mayor supported. 

Asked about it, Kneier told NBC4 that he doesn't personally like the signs, but there is no animosity between him and Lao. He says the "no poop zone" sign is "not the look we want to have in San Marino," but that it is not against any city ordinance. 

Hmm. A man posts a no-poop sign the mayor doesn't like, then has poop thrown in his yard by the mayor. 

"I take responsibility for what happened," Kneier said. "I’m sorry it happened ... this was a mistake."

In other news, the weather down at city hall today? A sh-t storm!

Via NBC4.

Read about dogs in the news on Dogster:

June 09, 2014

Police Officer Saves Chihuahua in a Submerged Truck

Over the weekend, police in Carver, Massachusetts, got a call that a truck and had crashed into a pond at South Meadow Village. When officers Melo and Harriman arrived, they discovered a tranquil scene -- on the surface of the pond, all was still, but submerged eight feet down, they could just make out a Toyota Tacoma.  

On the shore was Debra Titus and one of her dogs. She and the dog had escaped the truck as it sank, and they swam to shore. But her second dog -- a Chihuahua named Moochie -- was still inside. Titus was frantic. Officer Harriman has an English Bulldog at home, and he's known in the department as an avid dog lover. He took off his gun belt. 

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“We showed up at the water and saw the vehicle was submerged," he told BostonHerald.com. "We were told a dog was still in it so I did what I felt I should do -- go in and get the dog.” 

He gave his gun belt to his partner and jumped in, held his breath, and swam down to the car to save Moochie. “It definitely wasn’t easy. I was able to get the door open and then go through some items in the back until I was able to find the dog," he said.  

Moochie, however, wasn't moving. Officer Harriman gave him "a little squeeze," and the dog came to life. They sped to the surface of the water. 

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“Once I got him out of the water, he was breathing,” Herriman said. “I was getting air and he was getting air.” 

Moochie was unhurt by the ordeal and returned to his owner "in good health but a little frightened," according to Carver Police Facebook page

As for Harriman, he headed back home to get set of dry clothes -- “We only had a few officers, so I had to get back to work” -- but he returned later to see how Moochie was doing. 

“An hour later, when I went back to the scene, he looked like a little fluff ball,” he said. “We’d all do it. I know it’s something that’s important to us.”

Meanwhile, that photo of Harriman and the dog atop the submerged car is going viral; it's racked up more than 45,000 likes on the Carver police department's tiny Facebook page since Saturday. We think it should get a few hundred thousand more. Go and like it. 

Via BostonHerald.com.

Read about dogs in the news on Dogster:

Meet Pig -- She's a Dog with Half a Body But a Whole Heart

The star of this year's Do Dah Day festival, the annual pet parade in Atlanta, was a charming mutt (possibly an Akita) named Pig. What's so striking about Pig is that she's literally only half there. She was born missing part of her spine and several ribs, and some of the vertebrae that she does have are fused and twisted.

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Since the Do Dah Day parade last month, Pig has become something of a media sensation, although she hasn't quite made it to the status of a meme yet. Her story is one that's undeniably touching, because there are so many reasons that she shouldn't have survived her first day, never mind made it to the parade and become a media star. She was born wild, to a feral mother in the woods northeast of Atlanta. A local woman found the small family of pups when Pig started barking. A vet recommended that she have Pig euthanized. But fortunately for Pig, Kim Dillenbeck was visiting her sister for Christmas and came to see the new pups. She and Pig were an instant match.

"Pretty quickly, I decided to be her mother because she probably wouldn't live," she told the Birmingham News. "We assumed that by now, she would be suffocating under her own organs, or something like that, because of her shape."

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Pig's physical problems don't cause her any visible pain; she loves to run around and play, and she can stand on her hind legs, but she does need special care. Dillenbeck watches Pig while she eats so that she doesn't eat so quickly. Her internal organs are pressed together so closely inside her that Pig could suffocate if she eats too quickly. "I've actually had to Heimlich her a couple of times," Dillenbeck says. "She doesn't have the space in her to eat large meals without getting out of breath because her lungs are crowded."

Pig has had a better -- and longer -- life than she might have expected, but her future isn't clear. The problem is that although Pig is still about half the weight of her siblings, she's still growing and gaining weight, and that could be lethal.

"She has the potential to gain another 20 pounds, and that would probably kill her," Dillenbeck says.

The problem is that although her body is small, her organs don't know that, and they're already too close for comfort. If she puts on too much more weight, they won't be able to function.

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Fortunately, Dillenbeck has a lot of experience with rescuing dogs and knew the risks. The vets at Hope Animal Clinic who take care of Pig, David Fuller and Rachael Hudson, say that Dillenbeck has done everything right. But even they can't say what Pig's future is. Her case is far too unusual for them to make predictions, and she's already survived the predictions that were made in the beginning.

"I think [Dr. Fuller] knows as well as I do that whatever time we get with her is our gift," Dillenbeck says. "I'm the lucky one. She makes me laugh every day."

Via Birmingham News

So, Our Editor-in-Chief's Dog Jumped Out a 3rd Story Window...

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Separation anxiety in dogs is no joke, and it manifests itself in different ways. Roxie, the speckled deaf Labrador mix I dog-sat in Malibu, was fine if she was with her dog companions, but cried and whined and panicked on her own. I remember one notorious drive to the vet where she cried from the back of my station wagon during the entire trip.

And a Pit Bull owned by a friend of mine -- whom he sort of impulsively adopted from the shelter one day when he was feeling particularly lonely -- tore up the blinds, the bedroom door, and much of the carpet in an anxious frenzy. (Don't worry, my friend has worked extensively with Bella, and she's doing great now.)

But what do you do when your dog's separation anxiety drives him to jump out of a three-story window?

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Not too bad for a little dog who jumped out a window, right?

That's exactly the scene Dogster Editor-in-Chief Janine Kahn arrived to after leaving her dog, Moxie, at Community Manager Lori Malm's home while the two went out for lunch.

A crowd had gathered on the sidewalk, trying to figure out what to do with the dog, who had sustained severe injuries but was, miraculously, still alive. Janine and Lori sprung into action, rushing the dog to the vet.

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Because humor is healing.

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Looking as dignified as possible.

It's been a pretty traumatic incident, and Moxie is on mandatory bed rest for a few months, but he's expected to make a full recovery. Not bad for a dog who failed to fly! (But that's not justification to try to do it again!)

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Those drugs are good, huh?

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Janine is stoked her dog is still alive!

All photos via Moxie's Facebook page -- check it out to keep up to date on his progress!

Read more about Janine Kahn's life with Moxie: 

Read more about rescue 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!

June 06, 2014

This Bonehead Dumped His Dog at a Shelter and Ran -- Twice!

Sometimes here at Bonehead HQ we get a bonehead who whose actions toward a dog truly baffle us. Colorado resident Daniel Sohn is one of those people. For his contributions to the harm of a dog he adopted and promised to treat well, he's been cited for animal cruelty and neglect, according to Denver Animal Control. He's due in court July 2. 

This is what authorities believe he did. Buckle up. A week ago, Sohn took his dog back to the shelter he got him from in October of last year, because he wanted to give the dog back. Nothing wrong with that. Sometimes dogs don't work out. But there is something wrong with Sohn, because when he was presented with the paperwork he had to complete in order to surrender his dog, he turned heel and ran out of the building. 

His dog, named Bronson, ran after him. 

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Later, he said to 7NEWS reporter Molly Hendrickson, "Well, I didn't ditch him. I actually dropped my dog off at the shelter where I did pick him up at. I actually gave my dog a choice if he wanted to be with me or possibly find an owner he might feel better with."

Come again? Forget about it -- let's go back to the scene, with Sohn running out of the shelter with his dog running after him. Sohn got in his car and took off. His dog followed, running after the car. Here's what that looked like, thanks to a someone who snapped a picture of the heartbreaking scene: 

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Next, witnesses say Sohn hit his dog with his car. This is what he said later about the incident to 7NEWS: "I didn't accidentally hit him. He jumped in front of my car but I felt he was triggered to do so as if, like, he was a mechanism of the surrounding people."

Got that? His dog was a mechanism of the surrounding people. It's gets even weirder. After he let the dog back in his car, he returned to the shelter for the second time to drop off the dog, but again he bolted out before filling out the paperwork. 

And again, his dog ran after him. 

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So, what ultimately happened to Bronson? Sohn told 7NEWS that he drove to Los Angeles with the dog --  Sohn lives in Colorado, remember -- and the dog jumped out of the car at a gas station in Beverly Hills.

Where he vanished. Bronson disappeared into the streets and has not been found. 

Talking to 7NEWS, Sohn appeared blithely unconcerned about the fate of his dog.

"He's a stray and some dogs just stray, and he's probably onto the next owner," he said. "Is he still alive? I’m sure he is."

Sohn is due in court July 2, and officials are asking people who might know the the location of the dog to call Denver Animal Control at (720) 337-1800. Let's hope Bronson is found, and that those charges of animal cruelty and neglect stick. 


Read about dogs in the news on Dogster:

Hundreds Gather in Canada to Mourn 6 Dogs Who Died from Heat in Their Walker's Van

Last weekend, hundreds of dog lovers gathered in a park in British Columbia to remember six dogs who died because of the alleged negligence of their dog walker. Known now as the "Brookswood Six," the dogs were reported missing by Emma Paulsen on May 13. She told the police that the dogs had been stolen from her van after she had walked them at Brookswood Park, but after an extensive search lasting several days, a very different story emerged. Investigators believe the dogs had not been stolen, but died of heat exhaustion when she left them alone in the van for an hour. The police found the bodies dumped in a ditch.

Jennifer Myers, whose dog Buddy was one of the six, said that the walk was not just to remember the dogs, but to thank the people who have given support through the entire trauma.

"I know all six dogs came here quite a bit," she said. "This was Buddy's favorite spot to come for a walk."

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Jennifer Myers' dog, Buddy, who died with five other dogs.

Louise Scott's five-year-old dog Molly also died in the van.

"This is not easy," she said. "I still hope that she will walk in the door."

Barbara Brintell, who attended the memorial to support the owners, voiced a sentiment that's no doubt shared by many: "I think they should throw the book at her. To think those people went through all the heartbreak, all in the hope that their dogs could be found and then to find out what an end they had. It's terrible."

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Oscar, a Husky-Rottweiller Mix.

During the search, the community responded with online fundraising, social media campaigns, and a $5,000 reward offered by television host Sarah Daniels for the safe return of the dogs. Now that the truth has come out, funds are still being accepted for the legal expenses of the families. The SPCA has recommended that Paulsen be charged with six counts of animal cruelty, but no charges have been filed yet.

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Teemo, a Poodle cross.

The fact that a professional dog walker would leave six dogs alone in a van for an hour is disturbing; but the fact that she disposed of the bodies in a ditch and sent the families on a desperate hunt for their dogs is what makes it horrifying. Our best thoughts go out to the families, and the people who rallied around them.

Via CTVNews and The Province

Read about what other dog owners experience Dogster:

May 30, 2014

Help Your Dog Beat the Heat

summer dogs in doggles

June is almost here and Summer is just around the corner. Depending on where you live, temperatures are probably rising. While this means longer days for outdoor activities, it can also spell trouble if you are not careful. Every year, we hear tragic stories of pets (and even children) left in hot cars that suffer heat stroke. We saw our first heat stroke case of the season today at the vet clinic where I work. Fortunately, the dog survived and we hope he will continue to do well in the coming days. Vet clinics see an overwhelming number of dogs with heat stroke or, at the very least, exhaustion after a long day of outdoor activities. Have fun in the sun, but remember to keep it safe.


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May 28, 2014

Debunking the Biggest Dog Myths

terrier mix face cute

Take just about any subject and look it up (or ask people about it). Most likely, you will find a bunch of so-called facts circulating about the subject (some true, some false). After a while, people have heard the "facts" so many times that they might accept them as truth. The subject of dogs is no exception.


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May 26, 2014

Memorial Day and Dogs

Patriotic Dog

Happy Memorial Day! Before you light up the grill or pop open a beer, take a moment to remember the brave men and women who have lost their lives serving the United States of America. Then, take a moment to honor the dogs who serve the country, too.


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May 24, 2014

Deafness in Dogs

dog ear

Deafness is not uncommon in dogs. Some dogs are born deaf, while others become deaf due to injury or illness. Many senior dogs develop deafness as they age. If you find that your dog is losing his hearing, you should see your vet as soon as possible to rule out health problems. If your dog is a senior, it is likely that your vet will say the hearing loss is a part of the aging process. However, deafness is not the end of your dog's world. Just like deaf humans live normal lives, so too can dogs. In fact, most people cannot immediately tell the difference between a deaf dog and a hearing dog.


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May 21, 2014

Seizure dog and the unknown.

I’m checking my phone every few minutes in hopes that some sort of message will come in from the breeder or the vet or any of the specialist that we consulted about my dog Super. He started having seizures over the weekend. Bad ones, really really bad ones and he’s gone downhill from there. In […]

The post Seizure dog and the unknown. appeared first on Fidelio Dogs.

May 18, 2014

Dog Bite Prevention Week

National Dog Bite Prevention Week

May 18-24 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. A collaborative effort among the AVMA, the AAP and the USPS, Dog Bite Prevention Week aims to promote responsible dog ownership and increase awareness of dog bite risks. According to the AVMA, 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, and 800,000 of those dog bites results in injuries that require medical attention (half of these being children). What can you do to help prevent dog bites? Plenty. Here are some ways to get started:


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May 14, 2014

Could Giardia Affect Your Dog?

dog on bed

A few weeks ago my dog got sick. First, she had a little diarrhea in the afternoon and was quite gassy all day. That night, she vomited several times. The next morning, she had stopped eating and was still vomiting. Of course, I rushed her to the clinic where I work and did lab work, x-rays, etc. By then, she was having having watery, bloody diarrhea. As part of the routine testing we always do, I sent a stool sample to the lab. I was still waiting for those results, but the other test results were pretty normal. Meanwhile, I began some basic treatments to help with the nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.


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May 07, 2014

Prepare Your Dog for a New Baby

pregnant woman with boxer dog

Are you expecting? Congratulations! As are a dog owner, you may be wondering how it is all going to work out - especially if this is your first child. Having a baby does not mean you have to give up your dog, but it also means you have some preparation to do. No matter how sweet your dog, do not assume she will accept the new baby's arrival with open paws. However, many dogs simply fall in love with the household's newest human addition.


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May 04, 2014

This Week is All About Pets

Woman kissing her dog

Hug your dog, because May 4-10 is all about pets! First of all, this week is National Pet Week. Created by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), National Pet Week is intended to help reinforce the human-animal bond, encourage responsible pet ownership, and promote public awareness of veterinary medicine. Next, this week is also Be Kind to Animals Week. American Humane Association founded this event to help make a better world for animals. It's about helping animals in need, adopting homeless pets and taking good care of your pets. Finally, this Thursday, May 8th is National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day...

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April 30, 2014

Cats and Dogs Can Get Along

dog and cat together

I know we are "all about dogs" here, but I'm sure plenty of you have cats as well. Though I consider myself a dog person first, I definitely love cats! I actually have two kitties of my own at home. Luckily, my dog has always been good with cats. While some dogs will never get along with cats, I think most can at least learn to respect felines. Proper socialization (for puppies as well as adult dogs) can make all the difference in the way your dog responds to things throughout his lifetime.


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April 28, 2014

Summer Travel Season is Near

dog traveling in car

Memorial Day weekend is less than a month away, and it kicks off the summer travel season. I know many of you are looking forward to getting away. But what is the plan for your dog? Planning ahead for your canine companion is just as important as making your own travel arrangements. Bringing your dog along on trips can be lots of fun if you do it right. If you've decided to travel with your dog, make sure you plan accordingly to ensure a fun and safe trip.


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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 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.


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.