Stories from 2005 to 1996


Meet The World's Cleverest Dog


Mom, dog helped each other through medical problems

Dog bird's best friend

No dogma in dogs' abilities to help humans

Does my dog really love me? 

Dancing With The Dogs

Dog Trainer Has Eye Out For Animal Acting Roles

Dog Alerts Family to Fire

Seniors With Pets Tend To Have Better Health

'Assistance Dog' Designation Opens Doors For Pooches
With State's Blessing, S.F. OKs Hundreds of Therapeutic pets

Boy Saved By His Dog in Bangladesh

Low-Calorie Diets May Help Dogs Live Longer

Dogs Being Trained To Smell Cancer

Dogs May Be More Intelligent Than People May Think

'Puppy Ciao' -- Top Dogs Get Roman Beach Holiday

Dogs Are Doggone Good at Chasing Away the Blues

Paws For Thought In Katherine Harris Campaign

Clinton Picks Irish Name For New Dog

Pooches Get Playtime At Doggie Day Care

Dog Displays Strength, Intelligence On The Job

Baby's best friend: Alert pooch saves infant

Search and Rescue Dogs Honored

Dog Retrieves Owners' Prescriptions

Dogs Help Terrorist Attack Victims

New York Dogs Get Donations Too

Chicago Considers Dog Microchips

Beijing Dogs Have a Dog's Life

Kids With Pets Have Fewer Allergies

Missouri Dog Dodges Death ­ Twice

The Benefits of Pet Therapy

Rescue Dogs Find Local 4 Reporter In Practice Drill

Company May Be On Verge Of Cloning Dogs


Presidential Pets

Woman's Best Friend Is Dog Who Saved Her

Animal Adoption Takes to Internet

Law to Reverse No-Pet Policies

Bush Names New Dog 'Barney'

Man's Best Friend Not So Dumb

Dogs And Their Owners Dine In Style At Bellingham's Doggie Diner

Dog Adoption Network on Web

Dog Barking Law Unconstitutional

Bank To Preserve Fido's DNA For Cloning

Hero Dog Prevents Suicide

Pet Dog May Help Control Blood Pressure During Stress

Valley Pooch Goes From Rags To Riches

Ralston Purina Company Donates food to Starving Sled Dogs

Dog Guards U.S. Embassy in Belgrade

House Bill To Save Military Dogs

Taipei Sends Stray Dogs To School

Condos Can't Ban Fluffy, Fido

Pets May Have to Buckle Up in U.K.

San Francisco Court Going to the Dogs

Suspect Flees Into Dog-Filled Yard

Greyhound Racing Is Going To The Dogs

Six-Year-Old Boy Gets New Dog

Clinton Puppy Gets Executive Privilage

Dog Credited With Saving Girl In Freezing Weather

Dog gets new leg up on life

Dog Saliva Helps Lick Infection

Ride and Groom

Licking Baldness

Man's Best Exercise Buddy

Adoption of Police Dogs Made Easier

Senate Allows Seeing-Eye Dog to Enter Chamber

Politician Wants Dogs Diapered

New York Senate Passes Pet-Napping Bill

When to Vaccinate Your Dog or Cat

The Dog and the Bear

Death Row Dog Gets New Leash On Life

Allergies No Match For Love Of Pet

Dog Nuzzles Woman In Court

Glenn Close Upstaged By Own Dog

Indiana Dog Shoots Man's Foot

The Most Popular Breeds

Kennedy Newlyweds Travel With Dog

Genetic Disease in Dogs

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Attorney Champions Rights Of Death Row Canines

The Dog vs. The Mailman

Other Dog Sites

The Wolf Credo


Visit my other sites:

Maggie's Page and Dog Issues

Dog Parks of the San Francisco Bay Area, Dog Photography

My Two Dogs, Dog Jokes, Dog Origins and Behavior.

How to Photograph the Golden Gate Bridge

Photos of San Fracisco's famous icon in a new way

Eric's Photography

The rest of my photos from around the world and photos from A to Z

Peptide chemists and organic chemists can go further on this page but all the rest:

it's jargon time. Pardon me. You can wade through my resume and see how we got here.

Cleavage of Peptide Resins with Halotrialkylsilanes

Eliminates the need for toxic and dangerous hydrogen fluoride

in peptide-resin cleavage and makes large scale peptide production possible.

My resume

Been there, done that.








Meet The Worlds Cleverest Dog

November 21, 2004

LONDON: Training your pets to shake hands and fetch the ball is passe as it is time to meet the world's smartest dog who can not only do all the regular stuff but also buy lottery tickets, post the mail and do your shopping.

According to the Sun , the dog, Endal, who is owned by a wheelchair-bound owner, Gulf War veteran Allen Parton, stays by his master's side throughout the day.

When Allen wakes up in the morning, Endal springs into action. The Labrador tugs back the covers with his teeth and pushes Allen's legs round so he can get into his wheelchair.

The dog then helps Allen withdraw money from a cashpoint, buys his newspaper and even turns on the lights in the house after it gets dark, after which he helps Allen put the clothes for a wash and fetches him a knife, fork and plate to eat.

Allen says that he discovered the dog by accident, "This 11-week-old puppy came over and placed something in my lap and I didn't take a blind bit of notice. The dog was clearly annoyed that he hadn't got a reaction or any praise so he tried again. He eventually piled so many things onto my lap that I broke a smile and our magical partnership was born," says Allen, whose wife works in a pet shop.

Go Back



Scripps Howard News Service
Release date: 01-04-97


Experts in animal care are virtually unanimous in their recommendation to stick to domesticated animals when choosing a pet. Although wild animals may be cute and cuddly in the early months of life, they tend to become less and less suitable as human companions as they mature. The characteristics that have helped their species survive over the millennia are rarely desirablefor life in captivity.

In no instance is this more poignant than with wolves and wolf-dog hybrids. Although wolf-dog hybrids have long been common among Native Alaskan sled dog teams, it's only been in the past decade or so that the practice of breeding dogs with wolves has spread to other parts of the country. ''Some people think that these are going to be some kind of cool, macho watchdog, which is
totally wrong,'' says Randall Lockwood, an animal behaviorist and vice president for training initiatives of the Humane Society of the United States. ''Then there are the wolf groupies, who see owning a wolf or hybrid almost as part of a spiritual or religious quest, as their link to the wild. They have their wolf art-work and medallions, and while they may see something in the animal on a spiritual level, they often are ill-equipped to meet the animal's basic biological
needs.'' Many of those needs are quite different from a dog's. ''We spent at least 100,000 years turning a wild animal - the wolf - into an animal that can
fiot well into human society,'' says Lockwood. Even the biggest dogs have smaller teeth than wolves, and they tend to look to a person, not another dog , as their pack leader, or master. While wolves roam vast territories in search of
food, dogs have been bred to stay much closer to home. But in addition to breeding some of the characteristics of wolves out of their dogs, people have also bred into domestic dogs a kind of territorial aggressiveness needed to make good watchdogs that is absent in their wild cousins. Wolf hybrids contain an unpredictable mix of these features. ''Usually you have an animal that's quite a bit larger than either wolves or dogs, that is naturally selected for traveling miles and miles every day, that's now essentially relegated to living on a chain in someone's back yard or pickup truck,'' Lockwood says. ''It still has the predatory instincts of the wolf and yet at the same time might have some heightened aggression that we've bred for in dogs.''

Lockwood, who has studied problems related to wolf hybrids around the country, says these animals are less apt to become vicious toward people than they are to cause other problems that often land them in local animal shelters. ''They get bored, and because they're very strong, they almost always escape, injuring themselves or others in the process,'' he says. ''They go after neighbors' dogs, they jump fences and get hit by cars, they jump out of windows, they eat your house.''
If wolf hybrids often turn out to be a disappointment for their owners, they pose a real threat to the wild wolf population. Exterminated throughout most of the country decades ago, wolves are just beginning to make a comeback, thanks to the determined efforts of wildlife groups and a gradual shifting of public opinion in favor of restoring natural habitats. Small numbers of wolves have migrated from Canada to remote areas of Minnesota and Montana, and a controversial reintroduction effort has restored healthy wolf populations to remote areas in Idaho and near Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and Montana.

Wolf-hybrid owners, often among the strongest supporters of wolf reintroduction projects, may do more harm than good to their cause. ''A lot of
people who get hybrids think they can help defuse the 'Little Red Riding Hood' myth in their community,'' Lockwood says. ''And yet the first time their animal bites somebody or gets into other trouble, they've just made things much worse.''

Owners who give up in frustration and abandon their fertile hybrids in the woods in areas inhabited by wolves cause even greater harm by contaminating the wild population with dog genes. For anyone who yearns to own a piece of the wild, Lockwood has simple advice: ''If you want to get a wolf hybrid or a wolf because you want to help the wolves, save the $15,000 you'll spend buying the
animal and a high fence and give it to one of the groups that are working for wolf recovery.''

(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service.)

Go Back



Mom, dog helped each other through medical problems
Posted on Wed, Jul. 06, 2005
By Linda Goldston

Frank and Bernadette O'Hearn got Danzig for their son's 16th birthday, but it was clear from the beginning that the Labrador-Dalmatian mix was Mom's dog.

He followed Bernadette around constantly and would go into a back room and sulk when she left the house without him.

Out in the yard, his favorite activity was to retrieve tennis balls and bring them to Bernadette -- or run around with a slightly deflated soccer ball in his mouth. But no matter what, Danzig, a.k.a. Danny, kept his eye on Mom.

``I could have a rotten day at work and come home and he'd make me feel so good,'' Bernadette said. ``He was always giving me kisses.''

``Unfortunately, when Danny was about 3 years old, my wife began to have a series of medical problems, ranging from back surgery to cancer,'' her husband, Frank, said.

``Danny was always there for my wife and spent hours by her, sleeping on the floor while she recuperated. When she was in the hospital, just the mention of the name `Mommy' would set him off to the front window, where he would sit for hours waiting for her return.

``Her last bout with cancer resulted in the removal of one of her kidneys and, as tough as she was, that knocked her for a loop. She spent many hours on the family room couch in obvious pain.

``When it got too bad, Danny seemed to sense it and would gently place his head -- large as it was; he was a big boy -- next to my wife's head and softly lick her head or hand.''

When she was lying on the bed or the couch, Danny would stretch out beside her. In the morning, when he needed to go out to the bathroom, Danny would waken Bernadette by coming to the side of the bed and licking her face. It was their special ``wake-up call, time to start the day.''

When the San Jose woman recovered, Danny continued to stay by her side. As he got older and developed severe arthritis, Danny struggled to keep up with Bernadette, but he did whatever it took to be at her side.

``It would break my heart,'' Bernadette said. ``He'd be thumping along behind me and get himself all situated if I sat down and then have to struggle to get up again when I did.''

Sometimes, if ``Bernadette moved too often, Danny would give her a look like, `Settle down, lady, I'm tired,' '' her husband said. ``But he would still follow her.''

Danny's own medical problems continued to worsen.

On the day Bernadette decided the daily struggle for the 14-year-old dog was just too painful for him, ``he was the one comforting me,'' Bernadette said.

``He kept licking my face, licking away my tears. I really feel he knew, and he was saying it was OK.''

Two years later, ``I miss him like it was yesterday,'' Bernadette said.

The family did get another dog, Danielle, a Dalmatian. And while Bernadette is her caretaker, Danielle is ``Daddy's dog.''

If Frank leaves the house, Danielle will go to a back room and sulk, just as Danny did for Bernadette.

Both dogs were loved and treasured by the whole family, but it was Bernadette for Danny and Frank for Danielle.

It just works out that way sometimes.

My dog, Lucy, loved to try to make me jealous by fawning over anyone who came to visit, sitting in their laps and giving non-stop kisses.

But I'd catch her looking at me to make sure I was watching. And then she would come back over to me: Gotcha!

Lucy was a dog who loved life and people dearly, but she always let me know that I was really the only one.

In the weeks since her death May 14, I have marveled at the gifts sweet Lucy gave me. Life was never boring and each day was often special. Lucy would make sure of that.
Contact Linda Goldston at

Go Back


Dog bird's best friend
10jul 05

A RESEARCHER drawing up a blueprint to attract birds to the suburbs has made an intriguing discovery -- dogs can be good for our feathered friends.

Grant Daniels, 22, has surveyed 214 gardens in 10 Hobart suburbs and found that those with dogs are more likely to have a healthy population of ground-feeding birds like superb fairy-wrens.

Mr Daniels, a University of Tasmania school of geography and environmental studies graduate, said it appeared the dogs ignored birds and, because of this lack of aggression, birds in turn were happy to co-exist with the canines.

"Where there are dogs you are more likely to find fairy-wrens and possibly masked lapwings," he said.

"Ground-feeders have learned they have nothing to fear from most dogs, unlike the threat posed by cats."


Mr Daniels, from Clifton Beach, said a big factor was that dogs tended to chase off cats, or at least spoil their predatory attempts, and this was good for ground-foraging birds.

But, in the wider environment, there was a downside to dogs' behaviour.

"Dogs might be beneficial in some cases in the garden environment, but it should not promote irresponsible dog ownership in areas of shorebird habitat or muttonbird rookeries," he said.

Although cats were the natural enemy of birds, Mr Daniels said his own research didn't lead to this conclusion.

He was quick to point out, however, that a garden-scale project might not accurately reveal the influence of birds on suburban gardens because cats ventured into most suburban yards regardless of their own residence.

On making gardens more bird-friendly, he found the right combination of plants, and their height, could have a crucial effect on bird populations.

Mr Daniels said he devised his honours project because little research had been done on the garden environment, even though each year vast areas of Australia were enveloped by suburbia.

He hopes his research on the factors influencing bird populations in the back yard -- or, as he describes it, "variation in the bird species assemblages of domestic gardens" -- will aid planners and architects to factor in the needs of wildlife when new housing developments are planned and help gardeners in existing suburbs make their yards more bird-friendly.


Go Back


No dogma in dogs' abilities to help humans

By Josh Farley
Jul 09 2005

POULSBO - One of the reasons assistant dog trainer Diane Canafax was able to save Rufus, a 3-year-old Labrador retriever mix, from being euthanized at the pound was that she knew he could be trained to save others' lives.
Little did she know that the very same pooch could be one to return the favor and save hers.
It is ironic that Canafax, who through the organization "All Things PawsAble," which helps train dogs to assist humans with vision, hearing and other problems, found out she, too, is going deaf. And soon, Rufus will become her "ears."
For Canafax - who admitted she once slept through a fire at a hotel because she couldn't hear it - having the dog is a truly a potentially lifesaving measure.
"Animals can touch us in ways that humans cannot," she said. "These dogs are being trained to be a partner for people who need them."
Though they're often trained to become eyes and ears for people, recent scientific research and new therapy methods are proving canines can help humans - and save their lives - in many ways.
"The dogs help us to understand our problems," said Donny Diaz, 12, a student in the North Kitsap School District's Summit Program. "At the beginning of the year, I was not taking responsibility for my actions. I've started to now."
The Summit Program is designed to help behaviorally challenged students, who have significantly disrupted their school to the point of removal from their classroom environment.
Summit takes those students and, while continuing their education, attempts to correct their behavior. It is viewed as a last resort for students who don't behave at school.
"My job is to integrate them back into their classes," said Summit teacher Phil Campbell. "It's a temporary place for them. Unfortunately, some do make it and some don't."
Last year, Diaz and four of his classmates began working with abused, neglected and homeless animals every Friday at the animal shelter Furry Tale Farms on Bainbridge Island.
Though it may seem like a contradiction, students with behavioral problems that work with troubled animals produces mutually beneficial results for both animal and human.
"These kids have trained long and hard with these dogs," Campbell said.
"These guys have developed the skills to help the dogs get back on track."
Their work ethic and discipline with the canines has translated into the classroom, Campbell was happy to report.
"We've seen improvement across the board," he said.
The program will continue next year, thanks to a Kitsap Community Foundation grant that will allow Canafax - with Rufus and other dogs that visit the school in tow - to continue working with the dogs and the students.
Part of the program's success stems from the canine's amazing senses and the students acknowledgment of them. As a result, the students know the dogs' behavior will be a result of their own.
"If you're mad the dog will be scared," wrote Davis Mueller, one of the summit students, "and if you're happy, then the dog will be happy."
A canine's intuitive senses are being utilized currently in many breakthrough scientific experiments. A recent study by Amersham Hospital in Britain found that dogs can detect bladder cancer through a patient's urine, with a success rate of 41 percent.
Dogs, which are thought to have from 10,000 to 100,000 times the sense of smell that humans possess, have also been at the center of countless stories from skin cancer survivors, who claim their pooches sniffed constantly at particular moles that turned out to be cancerous.
A familiar site on Kitsap Peninsula are the police K-9s used to sniff out possible bombs boarding ferries.
For the Summit program's purposes, it is the canine's ability to detect human emotions. Dogs have an especially heightened sense to smell fear, which Rufus has since used to save a life. During one therapy session before Rufus' Summit stint, the pooch became highly anxious and excited around a particular student in the district. Kimbra Kern, a learning specialist in the district who has worked with troubled animals for 10 years, talked extensively with the student and learned he was contemplating suicide that day.
A child's behavior around a dog can tell educators invaluable information. Campbell said that if a child is willing to maliciously harm an animal, they could be on the verge of bringing - and using - a gun at school.
Animals have since been used to help people recover from all kinds of tragedies and crises.
Canine therapy was heavily utilized following the Columbine High School tragedy in April 1999. The severe trauma and emotional shock endured by students who witnessed that horrific event caused, quite literally, a temporary termination of certain brain functions, such as verbal skills. Trauma often suppresses the brain's ability to produce serotonin, a neurochemical connected with moodiness, impulse control, sleeping, depression and memory.
In many cases, the dogs could draw out suppressed emotions of the trauma victims, through basic interaction - by petting, playing and just being there with them - thus greatly enhancing the healing process and restoring those brain functions.
"They're more than just an animal," said Summit student David Parker, 14. "They're practically human."



Go Back


Does my dog really love me? 
 July 07, 2005

By Sarah Etter
Did Lassie really love Timmy? Or was she only saving him from disaster, time and again, so that he would reward her later with a tasty morsel from the dinner table?
Scientists, veterinarians and dog owners have long questioned the relationship between man and his best friend. Even philosophers have ventured opinions on the idea: Plato described dogs as "lovers of learning" and Voltaire refuted Descartes' theory that dogs were merely unintelligent machines.

The idea that dogs feel emotions, specifically love, is debatable. Though older schools of scientific thought refuted the notion that dogs had human-like feelings, some researchers today believe the subject deserves more attention.

All mammals, including dogs, have a "pleasure center" in their brains that is stimulated by dopamine, the chemical that regulates feelings of happiness. For example, when a dog is playing fetch, dopamine is released in the pleasure center and the dog is "happy." Since humans have similar brain chemistry, can we assume that dogs and humans are much more alike emotionally than previously thought?

According to Fred Metzger, a guest lecturer in animal sciences at Penn State and a State College veterinarian, "Dogs probably don't feel love in the typical way humans do. Dogs make investments in human beings because it works for them. They stand something to gain from putting so-called emotions out there. The more 'cute factor' they give us, the more we feel like they love us. This makes it more likely that we will give them more attention, food treats, outdoor access -- all based on how much of a show they put on for us." Metzger theorized that dogs "love" us as long as we continue to reward their tricks and antics with treats and attention.

In a statement sure to shock dog lovers everywhere, Metzger added, "If we moved our dogs to our neighbor's house and that neighbor gave the dogs as much as we gave them and in the same motivational forms, I believe our dogs would adapt to the new life and would become as loyal to the neighbor as they were to us."

The idea that Fido's love could be easily transferred to the family next door may seem unsettling, considering the amount of time and emotion most people invest in their canine counterparts. However, Leslie Burgard, a certified dog trainer in State College, does not think the subject of puppy love is quite so simple.

"Their loyalty is unconditional -- much like that between a parent and child," Burgard said. "For the most part, our dogs would go to bat for us, even on our worst and most intolerable day. All parents have days when they may not really like their kid that much, but they always love them unconditionally; even parents of troubled or criminal children love them on some level. The love and the loyalty that drives that emotion is instinctual ... I think dogs have a 'love' or connection with their humans that is free of preconceived perceptions."

Susan B. Eirich, a biologist and psychologist and founder of the Earthfire Institute, thinks that primatologist Jane Goodall's research gives us a good indication that animals actually do have emotions. "From a behavioral perspective, it only makes sense that animals would experience emotions ... As Goodall notes, social animals must be able to read other animals in their society and must be able to maintain social bonds."

"When you think about it," explained Eirich, "strong emotion underpins social behavior and connection."

Eirich suggested that emotions underlie intraspecies communication, from barking to growling to the baring of teeth to show anger and aggression. So, are those "puppy dog eyes" signaling true love or a manipulation to get dog biscuits out of you? As long as science remains undecided, the meaning of your dog's "happily" wagging tail is up for interpretation.

Source: Penn State


Go Back

Dancing With The Dogs

Correspondent Bill Geist,

NEW YORK, July 10, 2005

(CBS) Oh, sure, you love your dog, but ask yourself: When was the last time you took that special pet of yours out dancing? Doggie dancing, reports CBS News Sunday Morning is all the rage in the canine crowd.

Hard to believe, you say? Doggie dancing not only exists, there are doggie dancing competitions, such as one international event held at the fashionable Airport Ramada in Portland, Ore. Carolyn and her golden retriever, named Promise, were there dancing, sort of, to the "Beer Barrel Polka." How does it compare to human dancing? Carolyn, who is canine freestyle competitor, says it's more fun. But she admits she hasn't been out dancing with her husband in 36 years. Sydney, another canine freestyle competitor, and her papillion, Romeo, came all the way from Miami to perform a Mary Poppins routine. What do your friends say when you tell them you're into doggie dancing? "They all know I'm nuts," says Sydney. Here they call doggie dancing "canine freestyle." Patie Ventre is founder and president of the World Canine Freestyle Organization. She's spreading the doggie dancing gospel worldwide. What do people think? Ventre says, "Some of them laugh and say, you're out of your mind. What are you, crazy?" Is she a little bit crazy? Ventre responds: "I think you have to be, but you know, in today's world you look for things that are fun and just make you happy and make you smile, and dancing with your dog is fun." It's not always easy promoting a new and unusual sport. Ventre said there were about 70 people at the event. She says getting a hotel can be a big problem. She estimates that 10,000 people, and an equal number of dogs, are now involved in organized doggie dancing. It's all very professional. Judges rate the couples on technical merit and artistic impression. What about costumes? Ventre explains, "The dog is only allowed to wear a decorative collar and ankle bands. If you start putting hats, dresses, coats, you know, reindeer ears - it starts to get a little tacky. We wanted to keep the dignity and the elegance of the breeds." There are no such rules to protect the humans, however. You probably won't be seeing a canine "Swan Lake" ballet anytime soon, but some of these doggie dancers are quite accomplished. When Patie and her border collie, Dancer, perform, it actually looks quite like dancing. "You need to go from move to move with flow and transition, just like dance, just like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers," says Ventre. Many of the dogs are like Joey, who just isn't totally into this whole inter-species dancing thing. Some say doggie dancing is like Olympic ice dancing: a sport, with athletes. In fact, Ventre's talked about having high aspirations for doggie dancing, having it in the Olympics. "My goal is to live long enough to see that happen, and I believe that we have all the ingredients to make this an Olympic sport some day," she says. ©MMV, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.



Go Back

Dog trainer has eye out for animal acting roles
Burlington County Times
Is your dog the next Lassie? Or does it just need to stop chewing up the rug? If so, Dawn Wolfe is ready to give your animal a new leash on life. Wolfe, a township resident, has been a dog trainer for 15 years and has worked with canines used by private individuals and police departments. "Seeing the original 'Benji' movie as a kid is what got me interested in training dogs," Wolfe said. "I would love to be the one who trains the next big star." To that end, Wolfe, 37, owner of, launched last year to promote that aspect of her business. She describes as a tool for casting directors, agents and others to find animals for the entertainment business. "No need to contact an agency in New York," she said. Her Web site provides a listing of animal trainers, seminars related to animal acting, and a list of resources. For $25, pet owners with film aspirations for Fido can list their animal on the site, and they can include a photo. The service is free for her clients or those who have attended her training seminars, Wolfe said. Two of her own Jack Russell terriers are well trained and have star potential, Wolfe said. One of them, Miss Hope, was cast in a commercial for MTV that was filmed in Brooklyn, N.Y., Wolfe said, but the commercial never aired. She said she hasn't trained a "star" yet because is new, yet she feels the business fills a void. "I am not aware of anyone who supplies animal talent be-sides us near Philadelphia," Wolfe said. "Most are located in New York City." Wolfe is a friend of Captain Haggerty, an actor who has ap-peared in several films and who wrote a book titled "How to Get Your Pet Into Show Business."Ý Haggerty's daughter, Babette, has helped Wolfe conduct how-to seminars for getting an animal into show business. How would she train the next would-be Lassie? Wolfe said she would do nothing different than she would with a regular pooch. "Obedience training is the foundation on which we build," she said. Wolfe's love of training dogs goes back to her childhood in Colorado, where she began working with animals when she was 7. "I'm a natural-born animal trainer," she said. "I've always had a knack for it." She started in 2000 after moving from Alaska. Most of that business involves training homeowners' pooches. Her focus is using what is known as the "e-collar" or "invisible leash." Using a transmitter, she can deliver a mild electric jolt to an animal wearing a special collar up to a half-mile away, Wolfe said. "There is not a faster, more humane way to train a dog than this," Wolfe said. Working from her Lumberton home, Wolfe is assisted by her husband, Glenn, and her son, Carrick. She has two Web sites, and Email:

Go Back


Dog alerts family to fire Ellenburg Center home destroyed
By SUSAN TOBIAS Staff Writer

Like a bad dream, Priscilla Tavenier awoke at 2:30 a.m. Friday and heard the dog barking frantically. Wondering what was going on, she ventured outside to find that her house at 210 Brandy Brook Road was on fire, nearly three weeks after a fire destroyed the familys barn. Jake, a 13-year-old St. Bernard/Chow mix, sounded the alarm just in time for Priscilla to awaken the rest of the family and get them outside. Her husband, Clement, their son, David, his wife, Tina, and their three children, Deanna, Robert and Steven, and a family friend, Fred Lethbridge, all made it out safely, thanks to their furry canine. It is suspected that the fire started outside the shop that is attached to the garage, which, in turn, is attached to the house, where theyve lived for about a dozen years. The configuration made it easy for the fire to gain momentum before firefighters arrived.

The North Country Chapter of the American Red Cross is helping the Clement Tavenier family, the David Tavenier family and Fred Lethbridge, whose home and all of their belongings were destroyed by fire Friday. The families are in need of all clothing, household goods and furnishings. Clothing sizes: Clement: pants, 44x29, shirt, large; shoe, 7 1/2. Priscilla: pants, 24; shirt, 1X; shoe, 6 1/2 wide. Adam: pants, 32x32; shirt, medium; shoe, 11 1/2-12. Fred: pants, 30X32; shirt, medium; shoe, 9. David: pants, 32x32; shirt, medium; 9 1/2. Tina: pants, 16-18; shirt, medium-large; shoes, 8 1/2. Deanna (8 years old): pants, 8; shirt, 8; shoe, 4. Robert (4 years old): pants, 2T; shirt, 2T; shoe, 9. Steven (14 months): pants, 18-24 months; shirt, 18-24; shoe, 6. To help, call Red Cross at 561-7280, ext. 100. When the barn burned on Sept. 26, it was an alert passerby that notified the family at 2:30 a.m. The barn fire had gained such a head start that Ellenburg Center Fire Chief Danny Barcomb said he could see the "whole sky lit up" from his house two miles away. A hay mow containing 8,000 bales of hay fueled the inferno. The Taveniers neighbor, Stanley Russell, has nothing but praise for his neighbors and feels badly about their misfortune.

"They're good people," he said. "When I had my open-heart surgery a couple of years ago, David came and did the chores for my family so they could be with me. Adam came and helped out, too. I cant imagine how this can happen." Russell said he is trying to figure out how to get the neighbors together to do something for the Taveniers, but it was hard to figure out the best way to help. "They are a very independent family," he said. "When their barn burned, they didnt run around trying to get other people to milk their cows. They pulled a bunch of hay wagons together in a square, put a tarp over top and have been milking the cows like that. They are people who make do with what they have." According to Clinton County Fire Control, Ellenburg Center Fire Department was recalled to the scene several times to extinguish flareups during the day on Friday. contact the Press-Republican, Phone: (518) 561-2300 or send mail to: Press-Republican, 170 Margaret St., P.O. Box 459, Plattsburgh, NY 12901 Copyright 2004, Plattsburgh Press-Republican, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.

Go Back


Seniors with pets tend to have better health
by William Arnold
Oct. 18, 2004 12:00 AM

Recent stories about hurricane victims and their pets raised the issue of seniors and pets. About 60 percent of U.S. households have at least one dog, cat, bird or other companion animal. Many have more than one. I checked with a local veterinarian about her experiences with pets and older people. Veterinarian Tracy Wight reports that pets, particularly cats and dogs, help her older clients feel less lonely. They tell her it is like they have a special friend. Wight's grandmother, who lived with her parents, created a special bond with a cat. She said she did not like cats but always managed to give Pele a special rub with the tip of her cane. Pele, a reclusive cat by nature, never hid from her and seemed to appreciate the attention. I looked at the research on pet ownership and health.

The data is clear that having a pet reduces blood pressure and even reduces the number of trips to see a physician. A 1999 study in the Journal of American Geriatrics demonstrates that seniors living on their own who have pets tend to have better physical health and mental well-being than those who don't. They are more active, cope better with stress and have better overall health. They also reported shorter hospital stays and less health-care costs than non-pet owners.

One other study found that the daily activities of living, such as eating and grooming, declined less for those with a dog or cat than those who had no pet. The health benefits How does pet ownership keep the owner healthy? First, pets need walking, feeding, grooming, fresh water and fresh kitty litter, and they encourage lots of playing and petting. All of these activities require some action from owners. Even if it's just getting up to let a dog out a few times a day or brushing a cat, any physical activity can benefit the cardiovascular system and help keep joints limber and flexible.

Consistently performing this kind of minor exercise can keep pet owners able to carry out the other normal activities of daily living. Again, Wight reported that many of her clients tell her that taking care of a pet is a reason to get up in the morning and often a reason to get dressed and go for a walk. Second, pets also aid seniors simply by providing some physical contact, affection and companionship.

A pet as a gift?
Should you get a pet for an older relative? Any pet purchase should involve the person who will be responsible for the pet. The last thing you need to do is to spring a cocker spaniel or a tabby cat on an unprepared person. You should discuss the value of a pet with the older person to be certain that it will meet his/her needs. If they are interested, other issues need to be considered. First, does the person actually have room for a pet? Clearly a collie would be inappropriate for a relative living in a small apartment on the third floor. In this case, a cat might be a better fit. (All of this assumes that the property, if being rented, allows pets.)

Dogs and cats are better companions than birds or other pets because they require less maintenance. Although I don't have space here to discuss all the breeds and how they relate to people, that should be considered. You may want a pit bull to protect your older relative or friend, but that strong, active breed may not be the right choice. Talk first to a veterinarian about breeds and their temperaments.

Second, does the future pet owner travel a lot, thus requiring someone else to care for his/her pet? Traveling is not a reason not to get a pet. It is just an issue that should be addressed beforehand. There are a lot of very reliable pet sitting services that will provide tender loving care almost as good as the owner's.

Third, does the person who will be caring for the pet have the ability to do just that? A person in an apartment will have to be able to walk a dog many times a day. A great deal of bending and lifting is required with pet ownership. And, of course, pets create more housecleaning chores, too. Finally, depending on the age and the health of your older relative or friend, you might want to look for a previously owned but loved pet.

Housetraining a new puppy can put a real burden on the older person. Cats are easier in that regard. Any new pet should be seen by a veterinarian for a complete physical very early on or prior to adoption to avoid problems later.

Pets and beyond
If your older friend or relative is forced to move to an assisted-living facility, you should look for one that allows pets, has its own pets or allows visits by pet therapists. This is a rapidly growing service for our aging population because of the companionship value of a pet. See the following Web site as one example: .html.
Another site of interest is: needpets.html.

William Arnold is an Arizona State University professor and an expert on aging. He welcomes reader comments. You can reach him at

Go Back


'Assistance dog' designation opens doors for pooches
With state's blessing, S.F. OKs hundreds of therapeutic pets
Rachel Gordon, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 19, 2004

In this dog-eat-dog world, Frank Jackson finally found solace in a sweet-faced cocker spaniel named Topper. Jackson, 55 and HIV-positive, had trouble with depression and was feeling isolated, not really wanting to leave home. But two months ago, he adopted Topper from a rescue agency. "It's the best thing I've done in 20 years,'' he said. "He needed love and affection as much as I did.''

One of the first things Jackson did was register Topper with the Animal Care & Control agency in San Francisco as an "assistance dog.'' The official designation gives Jackson the legal right to take his four- legged companion on the bus or in a taxi and into shops, restaurants and public buildings. And, perhaps most importantly, his landlord had to make an exception to the no-dogs policy for the apartment Jackson rents in the city's Upper Market neighborhood. Topper is not alone. By last week, San Francisco had issued 658 tags for assistance dogs -- a number that reflects a big jump since a 2002 ruling by a state regulatory agency that gave people troubled by psychological and emotional problems the right to keep companion dogs and to exercise the legal benefits that go along with it.

Service dogs traditionally have been paired with the visually and hearing impaired, and people using wheelchairs. Now, however, more are helping people who are depressed or anxious and who rely on canine companionship to help them cope. San Francisco began issuing assistance dog tags in 1998. In 1999, the first full year of the program, 60 tags were given out. The number issued last year ballooned to nearly 160, and the applications keep coming. "The bottom line is that we're seeing a lot of people come down here with notes from their doctors saying they need a companion dog to improve their quality of life,'' said Carl Friedman, director of the city animal control agency. "Now we're seeing a lot of people applying for the tags who have psychological issues.''

Just about all it takes to get an assistance tag in California is a note from a doctor and a signed statement from the owner that the dog has been specially trained. That training, however, can be done by the owner and can be as simple as teaching the dog to wag a tail and lick a face if that's what it takes to make someone with a diagnosed depression feel better. "Most dogs do that -- lift your day,'' Friedman said. "The difference between lifting someone's day and helping them get through the day is a fine line.''

San Francisco trumps other jurisdictions in the Bay Area when it comes to the number of tags issued. For instance, county and humane society officials say 199 have been approved in Marin County, 48 in San Mateo County, 19 in Alameda County, 60 in Contra Costa County and only a handful by the Silicon Valley Animal Control agency, which includes Campbell, Monte Sereno and Santa Clara. When asked why San Francisco -- a city with a dog population estimated at 100,000, or about one for every 7.5 humans -- is so different, Friedman sat back in his chair and laughed. "Boy,'' he said, "I'd need about two hours to explain.'' One reason, he suggested, is that San Francisco started the program before other counties. But on top of that, the city has a large population of people with disabilities and a keen awareness of individual rights.

California law stipulates that county animal control agencies only have to process applications for assistance dogs -- not the miniature horses, monkeys and other critters some disabled people have used to help them out. "We had one person come in who wanted a tag for a pot-bellied pig, but we rejected the request,'' Friedman said. "I didn't want to get into that. What if a guy comes in asking about his hamster, and wanted to take his hamster to Macy's? Because this is San Francisco, we had to draw the line somewhere.''

San Francisco business owners, building managers and public agencies are starting to get the hang of what's required of them, said Sgt. Michael Sullivan, the Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator for the San Francisco Police Department. He helps mediate disputes between merchants and customers, trains officers on how to enforce the intricacies of access laws and tries to educate Muni drivers and others working with the public. Patty Hontalas, manager of Louis' restaurant, up the street from the Cliff House in San Francisco, said she had to be educated when a man came into the oceanfront dining spot with his small dog last year. At first she told him that dogs weren't allowed -- the health code generally bars animals from entering eating establishments -- but the customer insisted otherwise, arguing his dog was an official companion animal. With the customer showing no noticeable disability, Hontalas wasn't sure what to do and called the SPCA for a quick lesson on the law. "Now I just ask if they have a tag for their dog,'' said Hontalas, adding that she doesn't have any problem with well-behaved dogs in the restaurant. "I am seeing a lot more people bringing their dogs into businesses.'' The spike in San Francisco started around the same time the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing issued a ruling in 2002 that sided with a Placer County couple. The husband and wife, both of whom suffered from depression, had been told by their condominium association that they had to abide by the no-dog policy and couldn't keep their wire-haired terrier mix, Pooky, on the premises.

The state civil rights agency ruled that the condo association discriminated against the couple based on their doctor-diagnosed disabilities. This past August, the state Court of Appeal upheld the agency's ruling, saying that the condo association failed to reasonably accommodate the couple. "For the first time, the California courts have linked fair housing with the companion-animal question. The decision signifies that just as a service animal may assist a person with physical disabilities, the emotional support derived from a companion animal can help a person suffering from depression or other emotional illness,'' the Department of Fair Employment and Housing said in a written statement.

Kristi Kissell has no doubt. She got the special tag from the city for her dog Rocky after she had a hard time renting an apartment in San Francisco. She told her new landlady after she signed the lease that her corgi-Chihuahua mix would be living with her. By that time, there was little the owner could do because of the legal protection afforded Kissell as long as she had the official stamp of approval. "I'm HIV-positive, and a lot of times it's just me and my dog. He's always there for me and won't leave my side, helps with my loneliness,'' said Kissell, 41, who lives in the Sunset District. "He really is great support and had made a big difference in my life.'' Jackson -- Topper's human companion -- said his life has profoundly improved after securing the special tag from the city's animal control agency, allowing him to keep a dog at home. "The most tangible thing I can point to is I wake up in the morning with a smile on my face now,'' he said. "I can't remember the last time I did that.'' E-mail Rachel Gordon at

Go Back


Boy saved by his dog in Bangladesh
Saturday October 23 2004, 3:14 PM

A boy who was attacked by a mob on his way home from a mosque in northern Bangladesh was rescued by his dog, a news report said Saturday. The 15-year-old boy was returning home after evening prayers at the mosque when the group attacked him, binding his hands and legs with rope and stabbing him, the daily Manabzamin said. His dog, who had accompanied him, then jumped on and began biting the attackers, who fled the scene in Rangpur district, 248 kilometers (155 miles) north of the national capital Dhaka. The boy's neighbors, hearing the dog barking, reached the spot and rescued him, the report said. His condition wasn't known. It wasn't clear what prompted the attack, but the report quoted the boy's family as saying they were involved in a land dispute with some neighbors. It didn't provide further details. Officials and family members could not be reached for comment Saturday.
Go Back


Low-Calorie Diets May Help Dogs Live Longer
Wed Sep 18,10:33 AM ET


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Adding to the growing evidence that calorie-counting might make for a longer, healthier life, a study of dogs suggests that cutting down on Fido's treats could tack up to 2 years onto his life.

Researchers found that Labrador retrievers raised on a lower-calorie diet not only lived longer than their more gluttonous litter-mates, but also avoided common canine conditions like osteoarthritis for a longer period of time.

Past research in organisms ranging from yeast to rodents has suggested that calorie restriction aids ( news - web sites) longevity. The authors of the new study believe this is the first to tie low-cal living to a longer life span in a mammal larger than rodents. Research in rhesus monkeys has already suggested lower-calorie diets can forestall chronic disease.

Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and Nestle Purina Pet Care in St. Louis, Missouri, led the study. The results were published in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

In the study, 48 Labs from seven litters were paired off to compare the effects of two diets. One dog in each pair was fed until his heart's content until about age 3, when their diets were reigned in to keep them from becoming obese. The other dog in each pair ate 25% fewer calories than his partner, before and after age 3.

The researchers found that the median life span--the age by which half of the dogs had died--was nearly 2 years longer among the calorie-restricted dogs (13 years, versus 11.2 years). The dieting dogs also tended to go longer without needing treatment for chronic conditions--age 12, on average, compared with age 10. In both groups of animals, osteoarthritis was the most common medical problem, but the calorie-restricted dogs developed the condition an average of 3 years later than their litter-mates.

"Because osteoarthritis is painful, this deferral represents a substantial boost in quality of life," study co-author Dr. Gail K. Smith, of the University of Pennsylvania, said in a statement.

Throughout much of their adult lives, the calorie-restricted dogs also had less body fat and lower levels of certain blood fats, blood sugar and the sugar-regulating hormone insulin. In humans, these traits are associated with a lower risk of major disorders like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

SOURCE: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 2002;220:1315-1320.

Go Back


Dogs Being Trained To Smell Cancer
Animals Can Smell Scents Given Off By Tumor Cells

Updated: 10:27 a.m. EDT August 7, 2002

CLEVELAND -- Researchers have found a new way to hunt for cancer cells, possibly before even the most sensitive equipment could detect them.
They're not using expensive hospital equipment, but rather, man's best friend.
Shing Ling, 2, is more than just a furry companion for researcher Michael McCulloch.
He and other researchers are developing a pilot program to train dogs to identify who has cancer.
"(Cancer patients) have a different bouquet of odor that's detectable to the dog," he said.
McCulloch collects breath samples for both lung cancer patients and healthy patients.
Shing Ling is being trained to detect which is which.
"The project is to very carefully measure how good the dog is at distinguishing between lung cancer samples from a normal person," McCulloch said.
Dogs have 40 times the number of scent-receiving cells in their noses than humans have, making them able to sense the most minute scents given off by tumor cells.
The goal with the dogs is to detect tumors before the most sophisticated technology can.
Shing Ling's trainer commands the dog to tell him which one smells like cancer. When the dog chooses which one she thinks has the cancer scent, she taps it with her paw.
After a year and a half of perfecting the training methods, he said Shing Ling is right 87 percent of the time. But many doctors won't believe it until real evidence comes in.
McCulloch isn't the only researcher with these ideas. Scientists in Florida and England are also seeing if the dogs' noses know.

Go Back


Dogs May Be More Intelligent Than People May Think
Wed Jul 31, 3:48 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Dogs are probably much cleverer than most people think, according to a new study.

Slideshow: Dogs at Work and Play

Scientists are convinced that dogs can count and researchers at the University of California Davis say they try to convey different messages through the pitch and pace of their barks.

"Animal behaviorists used to think their bark was simply a way of getting attention. Now a new study suggests that individual dogs have specific barks with a range of meanings," New Scientist magazine said on Wednesday.

Dogs usually use high-pitched single barks when they are separated from their owners and a lower, harsher superbark when strangers approach or the doorbell rings, according to Sophia Yin, an animal behaviorist at the university.

Playful woofs are high-pitched and unevenly spaced.

Dogs also know when they are being short-changed on treats because they have a basic mathematical ability which enables them to tell when one pile of objects is bigger than another.

"But to count, an animal has to recognize that each object in a set corresponds to a single number and that the last number in a sequence represents the total number of objects," New Scientist added.

Robert Young of Brazil's Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, tested the theory on 11 mongrels using dog treats.

The canines were shown treats and then a screen was lowered and the goodies were left as they were or some were added or taken away.

If a treat was added or taken away the dogs looked at the treats much longer than they did when the goodies were not disturbed, presumably because they had done their sums and the numbers did not meet their expectations.

"Dogs are descended from wolves, which not only have a large neocortex -- the brain's center of reasoning -- but live in large social groups," the magazine said.

Young believes the mathematical ability could have been used to work out how many allies and enemies they had in a pack.

Go Back

'Puppy Ciao' -- Top Dogs Get Roman Beach Holiday
Thu Aug 1,10:49 AM ET

By Alessia Pierdomenico

MACCARESE, Italy (Reuters) - For the mutts of Maccarese, it really is a dog's life.


Slideshow: Dogs at Work and Play


When summer comes, there's no more pining away behind closed doors while their owners dash off to the seaside. Now they just make straight for the beach, too.

Set up four years ago to satisfy man's best friend, Bau Beach is a stretch of the Mediterranean just north of Rome where the average sunbather is as likely to have four legs and a tail as a string bikini and a smile.

It may be nothing new in other parts of the world, but dogs on beaches are a recent phenomenon in Italy where there are tight restrictions on letting dogs off leashes.

There are still only two dozen Italian beaches that accept dogs, but the idea is catching on.

On a sunny day at Bau Beach, packs of hounds can be found frolicking in the waves, lounging under their own mini-umbrellas or enjoying a dig in the sand while their owners take it easy.

"Up until this came along it was difficult to go on holiday with your dog," said Carlo Ambrosio, enjoying a day by the sea with Becky, his Canadian gray husky. "If I had my way, I'd make them put a beach for dogs every 10 km all the way around Italy's shoreline," said Ambrosio.

Becky, who spent most of one recent afternoon digging a big hole and then barking at anyone who came near it, appeared to agree, every now and then taking a refreshing dip in the ocean.

And when she's not digging, she has plenty of time to hang out with Taro, a yellow Labrador who's a Maccarese regular, or Max, a large Newfoundland who lives up to his reputation as a good swimmer by appearing to give lessons to novices.

For a 10 euro ($10) season pass and five euros a time, dogs at Bau Beach get just about all the benefits of regular beach goers, including an umbrella and a towel. They also get a dog bowl and their owners are handed a shovel.

While for owners there are the occasional annoyances -- Taro seemed to have a tendency to get wet, roll in the sand and then want to sit on her owner's towel -- the managers at Bau Beach ( say it's a healthy day out for the dogs.

"They feel free, and when they're free they're happier and less aggressive, you can really see it," said Simone Bakra, one of a small team of dog lovers which runs the beach.

At the end of the day it only remains for the dogs to take a refreshing shower under a high-pressure hose -- something not loved by all.

Yet while Bau Beach and similar resorts around Italy try to make sure every dog has its day in the sun, they are painfully aware that it is too often not the case.

Italy, in fact, has one of the highest number of stray and abandoned dogs in Europe, with an estimated 150,000 ditched every year when their owners head off for the summer holidays, according to the Bau Beach Web Site.

Go Back

Dogs Are Doggone Good at Chasing Away the Blues
Fri Jun 28, 2002, 11:49 PM ET

By Serena Gordon
HealthScoutNews Reporter

FRIDAY, June 28 (HealthScoutNews) -- Dogs really may be man's best friend -- and woman's, too.

Nursing home residents who received visits from canine companions reported feeling less lonely than those who didn't have a furry friend, according to new research published in the current issue of The Journal of Gerontology.

"We already have a lot of anecdotal reports on the benefits of animal-assisted therapy," explains Maryellen Elcock, the director of animal-assisted therapy services for the Delta Society in Renton, Wash. "This study is a nice example of a well-controlled study, and it's something that has been lacking in the field."

Researchers from St. Louis University School of Medicine and the VA Medical Center in St. Louis recruited 45 elderly patients living in long-term care facilities for the study. Fifteen of them received one animal visit a week for six weeks, another 15 received three canine visits per week for six weeks, and the final 15 acted as a control group and did not have any animal visitors.

Most of the volunteers were women (80 percent), over 75 (70 percent), white (90 percent) and widowed (78 percent). None was cognitively impaired. All but two had had a pet during childhood, and they all said they would like to have an animal now, but couldn't because they were living in a nursing home.

The researchers administered three psychological tests at the start of the study, and then again after six weeks.

They found that visits from the animals, whether once or three times a week, significantly reduced loneliness.

These findings don't surprise Barbara Cowen, the volunteer coordinator for the "Pooch Program" at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. "There is so much anxiety and apprehension in the hospital and the dog brings in a more homey environment. Dogs make patients feel like they're not alone," she says.

Lori Martinez, a certified therapeutic recreation specialist at Baptist Hospital of Miami, uses animals with her patients and says animal-assisted therapy has numerous benefits: "Animal therapy improves a patient's socialization and communication. It brings them out of their room, helps with boredom and loneliness, helps them reminisce and brightens their mood."

Martinez adds the benefits aren't only psychological. For example, she uses dogs to help stroke victims regain the use of their arms or hands by stroking the dog repeatedly.

The best part, says Cowen, is the benefits are mutual. She says the dogs seem to love coming to the hospital, because "they get so much attention when they're here."

What To Do

To learn more about the benefits of animal-assisted therapy, visit Dog Play or the Delta Society.

Go Back


Paws for thought in Katherine Harris campaign

July 1, 2002 Posted: 7:13 PM EDT (2313 GMT)

MIAMI, Florida (Reuters) -- Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, a key player in the 2000 presidential election recount battle, faces a dogged opponent in her campaign for Congress -- a border collie-German shepherd mix, to be precise.

Charter boat captain Wayne Genthner of Sarasota, Florida, said on Monday he planned to enter the name of his dog Percy as a write-in candidate for the Republican primary ahead of the November election.

"We hope by running a canine against a nationally known political person we can draw attention to voter disenfranchisement and disconnect," he said.

Harris has set her sights on a seat in the House and is viewed as the favorite to win in her district in the Sarasota area.

Genthner said he wanted to satirize what he viewed as absurdities and injustices such as campaign finance, which he said put running for office out of reach of ordinary people.

Since election rules would prevent a dog from running, Genthner said that later this month he would send in the papers entering himself as a write-in candidate -- a person whose name does not appear on the ballot but can be inscribed by voters. But Percy would be the name voters would write and Genthner said he intended to act merely as "campaign manager."

While his action is intended as parody, he hoped it would send a serious message. "We want people to participate in democracy before it dies on the vine," said Genthner.

The campaign has so far cost some $600, mostly in copying fliers, said Genthner, adding that he had taken Percy out to meet voters at events such as stock car races.

Percy's manifesto promises a tough line on crime since the dog "will personally chase down any criminal he sees." It notes that he "has himself never been implicated in any sex scandal, thanks, he says, to his timely neutering."

Harris's campaign had raised some $1.7 million by the end of March and she is viewed as likely to steam-roller her challengers in a safe Republican district. Her campaign has taken the canine threat in good humor.

"The cute looking candidate, Percy the dog, has a lot of paws to shake to catch up with our grass roots effort and huge volunteer base," said her campaign assistant press secretary Jessica Furst.

Harris became a household name, praised by Republicans and vilified by Democrats, in November 2000 as supervisor of the hotly contested elections in Florida that turned out to hold the keys to the White House. Bush won the White House after a five-week legal battle over vote recounting.

Copyright 2002 Reuters.

Go Back


Clinton Picks Irish Name For New Dog
Thu Jun 6, 6:55 AM ET

By The Associated Press

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. (AP) - Former President Clinton (news - web sites) revealed in Northern Ireland that his new dog will have an Irish name.

At the opening Wednesday of a peace center named for him, Clinton encountered a chocolate Labrador retriever and told the crowd that his own chocolate Lab will be called Seamus, spokeswoman Julia Payne said.

Seamus, pronounced Shay'-muss, is the Gaelic form of James.

The dog is still being trained at the Maryland kennel where he was born in February and is expected to join the former president at his Chappaqua home later this month. At the

kennel he was called B.B., for Bill's Boy, while Clinton decided what to name him.

Clinton's White House dog, Buddy, was killed by a car in Chappaqua in January, an event the ex-president said was "by far the worst thing" to happen to him after leaving office.

Seamus was sired by Buddy's nephew, and breeder Linda Renfro said he seemed much like Buddy, "except that I think he's probably a bigger eater. From what I have seen of him, his

sole ambition 24 hours a day is to eat."

Clinton was in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, to open the Clinton Center, which is designed to be a base for Catholic-Protestant reconciliation work and international study of the Irish

conflict. Clinton's interest in Northern Ireland encouraged the Good Friday peace pact four years ago.

Go Back

Pooches Get Playtime At Doggie Day Care
A relatively new concept in canine care has finally made its way to northeast Ohio.


NewsChannel5 reported that a new doggie day care of sorts is perfect for dog owners on the go.


Does your dog and your busy work schedule have you in a daily scheduling tug-of-war? Well, the people at Metrobark in Cleveland said that they have the answer.


How about taking the bark out of your tension-filled workweek by taking your pooch to the wide-open accommodations of Metrobark Dog Day Care, a place where dogs can run free with their buddies all day long while you're at work.


The canine care concept has seen big success elsewhere, NewsChannel5 reported.


"There (is one) in every major city in the United States -- Seattle, San Francisco, Orlando, New York," said Mindy Doddridge, owner of Metrobark.


The company's Payne Avenue facility will take your dog from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Exercise is a key part of the curriculum.


"People who work long hours feel guilty for spending no time with their dogs," Doddridge said. "When a dog comes here, it gets socialization, exercise and human contact as well."


Doddridge said that her doggie day care will cost owners $19 a day, but she said the benefits are well worth it.


Dog baths and grooming are available at Metrobark. And many dog owners said that they have seen an improvement in their dog's health and personality.


"Most of us are coming downtown anyway," said Steve Mekinda, a dog owner. "We drop them off and come back at the end of the day. It's like spending time in the park every day."


There are a few breeds that Metrobark will not take into their day care, including akitas, chows, pit bulls and Rottweilers.


The service costs about $90 a week for the service, but a multidog discount is available.


Metrobark is considering opening two other facilities in northeast Ohio.

Go Back

Dog Displays Strength, Intelligence On The Job
It's almost 7 a.m. -- breakfast time in the Deroche home.

Melissa Deroche, 28, is just about ready to go to work -- and so is her best friend, Bear. The 2-year-old yellow labrador retriever is more than just a pet, though. He plays a very critical role in Melissa's life -- one that is a partnership of unconditional love and of ultimate trust.

Melissa is blind and Bear is her guide dog.

Just as Melissa has a job to do every day, so does Bear. Every morning, they go to work like so many other people around town. But, unlike so many other people, Melissa depends on Bear to get her safely to and from work.

"I gained a greater sense of confidence in my traveling skills with the dog," Deroche said.

The journey starts at their home near Gentilly. Before it's over, they will have taken two city buses across town, negotiated their way through rush-hour traffic and kept each other out of harm's way.

"He takes on such a responsibility in both of our lives in terms of working, watching for traffic as we're crossing the street or stopping at the curbs, getting around obstacles that would normally be problematic," Deroche said.

Melissa and Bear work as a team. When she gives the command, he knows to obey.

"He's real important and one of the most important things in my life," Deroche said. "He's just the center of my work, because his world is around mine and mine around his. Because we rely on one another. Because he has his responsibilities to me and I have mine to him."

As they arrive at work, Deroche, who is a mental health counselor, settles in for the day as Bear settles down for a nap. His job is done for now, until it's time to go.

"The thing is, they work for praise," Deroche said. "They work for praise. That is the main thing that needs to be in their life all the time is the praise for what they do, because that's what keeps them going."

Melissa and Bear are graduates of the nonprofit organization Guiding Eyes for the Blind. The group depends on volunteer families to raise the puppies, who then turn them back over to Guiding Eyes for training.

It costs $30,000 to breed, raise and train each dog that is matched with a blind partner.

Go Back

Baby's best friend: Alert pooch saves infant

May 17, 2002 Posted: 3:09 PM EDT (1909 GMT)

(CNN) -- A family's faithful companion, Bullet the aging golden retriever, turned out to be a hero when he seemed to know Pamela Sica's baby was gasping for breath. He went to summon Sica and she took him seriously. Doctors discovered the baby had pneumonia in both lungs.

Sica appeared on CNN early Friday to talk to anchor Jack Cafferty about the dog's life-saving feat and her baby's miraculous recovery.

CAFFERTY: Pam, welcome. It's nice to have you on the program. Tell us how Bullet was acting that fateful morning when, as we said, he saved your son's life. What did he do to alert you?

SICA: I was in the kitchen making the bottle. He (Bullet) was in the bedroom with my son. (My husband) went into the shower. Bullet was still lying down. And I guess when the baby was making the sounds, he came running down the hallway into the kitchen.
And he kept barking, and I was still making the bottle. And I asked him if he wanted to go out, and he kept barking and turning around and going into the hallway.

Then I finally went into the bedroom, and that's where I found my son. And he had his head back, and he was gasping for air. With that, he was turning a shade of red too, like, purple to blue.

And I screamed for my husband. He came out of the shower. And with that, he turned the baby upside down, he thought that I fed him. So he thought he was choking. So he hit him a couple of times on the back. And it didn't do anything, and he turned him around and started to rub his chest and do CPR.

I called 911. They were there within minutes, and the EMS was here. And by then, with Troy still doing CPR, the baby came around, and from there, the paramedics and the ambulance took him to Brookhaven Hospital, where they stabilized him. And then he went into another episode where they stabilized him.

CAFFERTY: Did you have any idea the baby had pneumonia at this point? You didn't know, did you?

SICA: No, I didn't know what it was. I actually thought he had apnea or SIDS.

CAFFERTY: Yes, right, sleep apnea?

SICA: Yes, I had no idea what it was. Nobody really knew until they brought him into Stony Brook Hospital, where they later did some tests and found out that he had double pneumonia and ASD, a hole in his heart.

CAFFERTY: Are you convinced the dog saved the child's life? You said your husband's in the shower, you were in the kitchen, and the baby stopped breathing. Had it not been for Bullet, are you convinced you could have lost the child right then?

SICA: Yes, I am. Because I would have been dilly-dallying, putting stuff in the dishwasher.

CAFFERTY: Sure, it's 4:30 in the morning. You're doing your chores and stuff. There's no way you're going to hear the baby stop breathing or start having trouble, right?

What was it, do you suppose, about the dog that made him do this? I mean, there are mysteries surrounding animals that I guess none of us are able to explain completely. But they know things that we simply don't know, don't they?

SICA: Yes. He knew it was his baby. He knew it belonged to me, and he was protecting his baby.

CAFFERTY: Take us back a few years. I mentioned the dog was lucky to be alive. A few years ago, the veterinarian discovered a tumor on Bullet's liver, and you had to borrow a bunch of money to have the dog operated on. Tell me a little about that and the fact that some people thought you were crazy to spend this kind of money to save a dog's life.

SICA: We took him for his regular checkup, and the vet found that he had an irregular heartbeat. From there, they ran tests and they did blood work. And they found that his liver enzymes were elevated from there. And from there, they did a sonogram, and they found like a pea-sized tumor in the liver.

But they were afraid to operate just then, because they didn't know if his heart could take the anesthesia. So we waited until September, and by then, they did another ultrasound, and the tumor grew to the size of a softball. And they told me that it's a situation where you have to decide because he is you know 12- or 13-years-old -- I forgot at the time -- you have to make that decision, and I didn't know what to do. I said he's been a part of my life for all these years, and there's no way I was going just to let him go.

CAFFERTY: So you borrowed the $5,000, got the surgery done.

I can't tell you what a story it is. I have got dogs and cats in my house. I've had them all my life. I have feelings for animals that exceed the ones I have for a lot of the people I've encountered along the way. A story like this just affirms that I'm right.

What about a special reward? Does Bullet get a special treat now, besides a perpetual nap that it looks like he's taking there? He gets steak dinners and chicken, right?

Anything he wants.

SICA: He did anyway. He was my first baby, right?

CAFFERTY: Yes, really.

Go Back


Search and Rescue Dogs Honored
By Ben Walker
AP Sports Writer
Tuesday, February 12, 2002; 7:21 AM

NEW YORK ­­ Preparing to walk on to the green carpet for the Westminster dog show, Pete Davis could barely keep from shedding a tear.

"It's very emotional," the New York police officer said Monday night. "We're very appreciative of the recognition."

On a day when the favored Kerry blue terrier got a nice cheer, the K-9 heroes drew the biggest ovation at Madison Square Garden, the kind usually reserved for star athletes.

Often called a beauty pageant for canines, America's most prestigious dog show broke tradition and paid tribute to 20 German shepherds and retrievers that normally would not make it to the event.

The search and rescue dogs were honored for their tireless work at the World Trade Center and Pentagon following Sept. 11.

"We were pretty nervous," admitted Lt. Daniel Donadio, head of the New York Police Department's canine unit. "We'd rather face gunmen than the crowd."

There was no need to worry.

The 10,000 spectators stood and cheered throughout the 15-minute ceremony in the center ring, which included actress Glenn Close singing "God Bless America."

The dogs ­ with their handlers ­ who had come from all over the country were introduced one by one.

As they walked out, public-address announcer Michael LaFave detailed their efforts in New York and Washington, along with places such as Nairobi. Officer Bobby Schnelle came with Atlas, the first canine on the scene at the World Trade Center disaster.

Davis brought Appollo, who was singled out last year for the American Kennel Club's Ace award for law enforcement.

Appollo was supposed to be honored on Sept. 11. Instead, he was called to duty and became engulfed in flames while walking on debris after the towers collapsed. The shepherd, nearly 10 years old, survived and kept working throughout the day.

Officer Suzanne McCrosson had to watch from a backstage aisle. Even though her German shepherd, Charlie, worked at the World Trade Center that day, McCrosson is now seven months pregnant and assigned to desk duty.

McCrosson said she watched a replay of last year's Westminster show with Charlie during the weekend.

Asked whether she thought her 3-year-old canine could win best-in-show, she was emphatic.

"Yes, he would! He's so handsome!" she said.

Near the end of the tribute, the USA Network, the Pedigree company and Westminster presented a check for $275,000 to Mike Tuttle, the president of National Association for Search and Rescue.

A Kerry blue named Mick also enjoyed a big day.

The 512-year-old terrier, born in England and now the No. 1-ranked show dog in America, needed only nine minutes to win the best-of-breed ribbon.

Hours later, the dog with the blue-silver coat and black beard breezed to win best-of-group.

The big prize, the best-in-show trophy, was to be awarded Tuesday night.

"There's always apprehension," Mick's handler-agent, Bill McFadden, said after the morning victory. "The dog can perform badly or the judge can perform badly."

"This is like 'Survivor.' If you get to this point, it gets easier. The ring gets bigger," he said.

Mick, known officially as Torum's Scarf Michael, was never in any danger. During the 2001 season, he won the terrier group in 137 of the 138 shows he entered, and was picked as top dog 87 times.

Among the other contenders will be a 612-year-old standard schnauzer named Charisma Jailhouse Rock.

The dog commonly called Rocky won the working group Monday night for the second straight year. He and Mick were the only dogs to repeat as best-of-group winners.

An affenpinscher named Yarrow's Super Nova won the toy group and a miniature poodle named Surrey Spice Girl won the non-sporting group.

Three more group winners will be picked Tuesday night, leaving seven contestants for best-in-show.

There were more than 2,500 dogs ­ all champions ­ entered and they represented the 159 breeds and varieties recognized by the AKC. While only one St. Bernard showed up, 41 Irish setters were entered.

No one left the Garden feeling any better than Donadio.

"I'm very proud of my people and my dogs," he said.
© 2002 The Associated Press

Go Back


Penn Hills Dog Retrieves Owners' Prescriptions
There's no need for one Penn Hills couple to drive to the drug store. Their dog will deliver their prescriptions to them.  

J.C. is a 5-year-old golden retriever. His owners, Chuck and Betty Pusateri, run J & C Hobbies, where J.C. has spent most of his days since he was 8 weeks old.

J.C. can come on command, sit, and give you his paw, but there is one thing he does that no other dog can do,

When the Pusateris need prescriptions from the drug store located in the same shopping center as their shop, they turn to J.C. for help.

"He started going up with me and would stand outside the door, and one day the owner, Diane (Silverman) said, 'Let him in,' and he started carrying it back with me," Chuck Pusateris said.

"We have a lot of dogs and cats that are customers here," Silverman said. "Although none of them come in. Just J.C. He's the only one that personally picks up his prescriptions."

After J.C. gets the prescription, he takes it back to the hobby store, where Betty Pusateris is waiting for her medicine.

Go Back


Dogs Help Terrorist Attack Victims

By Beth J. Harpaz
Associated Press Writer
Saturday, Oct. 27, 2001; 1:41 p.m. EDT
NEW YORK ­­ There's always a dog on the ferry that takes victims' families to the place where the World Trade Center once stood.

And there's always someone on the boat who needs to pat the dog.

"You're so alive," murmured one mourner as she scooped up Annie, a small caramel-and-white dog, on the way to the site of so many deaths.

Annie is one of several dozen dogs who bring smiles to tear-streaked faces, comfort to stressed-out workers, and companionship to distressed children at a center where victims of the World Trade Center attacks come for help. A dog travels on the ferry on its twice-a-day journey from the center to ground zero, about three miles down the Hudson River.

The dogs, leashed and accompanied by their handlers, also work in other areas near the family center ­ the desks where death certificates are issued, a day care center, the lines for rent and food money, the rooms where chaplains and psychologists offer counseling.

The animals provide a simple, happy antidote to grief and anxiety. If you pat a dog, the dog will like you; it's really that simple.

There's also a physical benefit: Studies show that when people interact with animals, it lowers their blood pressure and heart rate, according to psychologist Stephanie LaFarge, senior director of counseling at the ASPCA.

"You wouldn't expect to see dogs in a place where you come to get death certificates, but it gives people the feeling that it can't be all that bad here if there are dogs here," LaFarge said.

One day last week, a woman left the center weeping and a chaplain asked if she wanted to pat a dog. The woman nodded, and Sailor, a calm and solid Portuguese water dog, went to work.

Later, back inside, Sailor lay down while two brothers, age 2 and 3, fed her goldfish crackers, prattled babytalk and patted her black fur, soft as a plush stuffed animal's. "This is the most rewarding thing I've ever done," said Sailor's handler, Jean Ervasti, who lives in Brooklyn and has a doctorate in education.

Nearby, Minnie, a tiger-striped mutt with a cartoonish wolflike snout, stopped to be patted by a middle-aged woman.

"My own dog's been acting out lately," the woman told Minnie's handler.

"Do you know why the dog is acting out?" Minnie's handler asked.

"My husband is missing," the woman calmly responded.

Across the street, some 20-something volunteers from Americorps took a lunchtime break with the dogs. Like many workers spending long hours helping victims, the Americorps volunteers say the dogs help them get through the day.

"People just drop what they're doing and get down on their knees and start talking doggie talk: 'Oooh, you're so cute,'" explained Kelley Wall, 24.

"For that brief moment that you're playing with them, they make you forget," added Carey Gibbons, 20.

Cops, firefighters and soldiers also love playing with the dogs.

"It's OK for them to be soft and goofy and nurturing to a small 12-pound spaniel," said Annie's owner, Elizabeth Teal.

The dogs, whose owners are all volunteers, range from big mutts to tiny purebreds. All come from organizations like the Delta Society, the Good Dog Foundation, Therapy Dogs International and Thera-Pet, which train dogs to work in nursing homes, hospitals and centers for special-needs children. Some groups call them therapy pets, others use the phrase comfort dogs or pet partners.

But few animals are accustomed to the intense conditions and constant attention of the family center, so their time there is limited to two hours a day, a few days a week. Even so, they're exhausted after absorbing all that emotion. Some must be carried out; others sleep all the way home.

The day after a sobbing firefighter's widow threw her arms around Jesse, a golden retriever, "Jesse's eyes were bloodshot," said the dog's owner, Mario Canzoneri. "He was lying down. He wasn't the same dog. You'd think that dog had pulled 100 pounds on a sled for a month."

Canzoneri, a plumbing contractor from Staten Island, is credited with getting dogs into the center. He started out by bringing Jesse and his other dog, Jake, to parks and hospitals around Manhattan in the days after Sept. 11, just to give dazed and grieving New Yorkers some happy dog time.

Eventually, Canzoneri and the dogs stood outside the family center. An instant hit, they were soon invited in. It worked out so well that now a half-dozen dogs are there at any one time.

To avoid upsetting people with dog fears or allergies, the handlers have the dogs wait until someone makes eye contact or invites a pat. LaFarge says so far, there have been no complaints.

Yet handlers say the animals also have an uncanny ability to seek out those in need. Fidel, a feathery brown-and-white confection of a pooch, approached a woman who was crying and she instantly picked him up.

"He really sensed my pain," said the woman, a single mother who lost her job in the disaster.

"Dogs speak a universal language," said Rachel McPherson, Fidel's owner. "They break the ice. Good dogs are good medicine."

Joanna Hernandez, 2, patted Sailor as her parents told their story. Her father was injured as he fled the twin towers, and now isn't working. "It's very difficult," said Joanna's mother, Carla. "But the dogs are nice for her."

Linda Burdick, whose daughter Danielle loves the dogs, has been staying in hotels since her apartment near ground zero became unlivable. "The dogs give you a sense of normalcy," she said. "New York feels so evil now, but here all these innocent, sweet dogs."

Jewel St. Hillaire says the dogs did wonders for her son. Her husband, a security supervisor at the twin towers, was badly burned as he fled the attack, and their 7-year-old son began acting out in school.

Then the boy met the dogs at the center.

"When he touched the dogs, they were sensitive to him," St. Hillaire said. "They put their heads in his lap. If you have a sulky look, they look back at you the same way. If you pat your chest, they give you a hug.

"They can tell," she added, "if your heart is broken."


On the Net:

© Copyright 2001 The Associated Press

Go Back


New York Dogs Get Donations Too

By David Crary
AP National Writer
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2001; 2:06 a.m. EST
NEW YORK ­­ The donations sent from across America to this stricken city after Sept. 11 weren't just for the people in need: there were dog booties by the thousands, dog food by the ton.

Most of the boots weren't needed by search-and-rescue dogs at the World Trade Center site. And at least 100 tons of surplus dog food remain in storage, ready for giveaway to hard-up pet owners.

But the donated supplies, plus hundreds of thousands of dollars earmarked for pets affected by the terror attacks, demonstrated the powerful affinity many Americans have for animals, even amid a tragedy with a staggering human death toll.

While the dog teams have now dispersed and the relatively few orphaned pets have found homes, the concern for animals persists.

The American Kennel Club's Canine Health Foundation and the Ralston Purina Co. are funding a $100,000, three-year study to assess the physical and psychological problems suffered by search dogs at the attack site.

University of Pennsylvania veterinarian Cynthia Otto, who will lead the study, said the dogs may have been affected by smoke and dust inhalation because they worked without the surgical masks worn by human search crews. She also said some dogs were demoralized by the grim magnitude of the search.

"Normally, these dogs work a little, then rest a little," she said. "Here they were working 12-hour shifts ­ their training is not geared to this kind of duration and intensity."

Many of the dogs had been trained to find survivors, rather than cadavers, and are accustomed to a playful reward when they succeed.

"There wasn't a lot of playing at the scene," Otto said. "That was hard on them."

When it became clear there would be no more survivors, some handlers tried to cheer up their dogs by staging "rescues" so the animals would get the satisfaction of finding a live person.

About 350 search-and-rescue dogs, many from faraway states, were deployed at the trade center.

Animal lovers across the country ­ including Scout troops, schoolchildren and purebred clubs ­ sent money and supplies to support the dogs. Reports that some dogs were cutting their paws on jagged debris prompted shipments of dog booties from as far afield as Alaska, even though experts said the dogs work better without boots.

"We had a room filled to the ceiling with stuff ­ everything from booties to gourmet pet treats," said Ruth First, a spokeswoman for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "We had to say thanks, but no thanks."

By early October, relief coordinators sent out word that no more dog supplies were needed, and asked that money be sent instead. First said the ASPCA alone received more than $1 million, and will use much of that money to develop programs for future disasters.

Anne Culver, director of disaster services for the Humane Society of the United States, said the surplus dog food is being distributed to animal shelters around New York and to food banks serving people affected by the attacks.

"That way people who need food for themselves can pick up food for their pet as well," Culver said.

Public support for the search dogs was matched by concern for pets living in areas of lower Manhattan that were cordoned off after the attacks. Teams from animal-welfare groups helped reunite hundreds of stranded pets with owners who weren't allowed to move back into their apartments.

"The elevators were out because there was no electricity," said Doris Meyer of the New York Center for Animal Care and Control. "Our teams would go up 10, 20 flights of stairs in pitch dark. There were cats that didn't want to be found, dogs that didn't want to walk down stairs."

Meyer said fears arose that pets of people killed in the attacks might starve to death while left unattended. But no such pet deaths were confirmed, she said.

Some "orphaned" pets were turned in to shelters, but Meyer said every one of them has found an adoptive home.

Animal-welfare groups received an avalanche of offers to help, from virtually every state in the nation. Some staffers said they were shocked by intensity of emotions, citing letters which complained that human victims of the attacks were getting too much attention at the expense of pets.


On the Net:


Humane Society of the United States:

© Copyright 2001 The Associated Press

Go Back



Chicago Considers Dog Microchips

The Associated Press
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2001; 9:12 a.m. EST
CHICAGO ­­ City Council is considering an ordinance in which dogs deemed dangerous would have to be spayed or neutered and fitted with a surgically implanted microchip for identification.

Under the measure approved by a council committee Monday, the owners also would be required to obtain $100,000 in liability insurance.

The measure was prompted by the dog-attack deaths of two young children and the mauling of a third ­ all in the past three months, said Alderman Shirley Coleman, the sponsor.

"We're sending a clear message to those irresponsible owners: You'd better get your act together," Coleman said.

The ordinance is to be considered by the full council Wednesday.

The bill also would impose mandatory $300 fines for dog owners who let their pets run loose. The owners could face $10,000 fines and six months in jail if their dogs seriously injure anyone while loose. Penalties for property damage by dogs running free would be full restitution, plus fines of up to $1,000.

Some 50 dogs a year are labeled dangerous by the Chicago Commission on Animal Care and Control after investigations that include signed statements from witnesses and a review of hospital reports. Under the old law, their owners were required only to post signs and keep their animals in enclosed pens.

© Copyright 2001 The Associated Press

Go Back


Beijing Dogs Have a Dog's Life --See Footnote
By Christopher Bodeen
Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, July 10, 2001; 3:00 p.m. EDT
BEIJING -- The police car pulled into a Beijing park, sending a girl and her mother rushing to scoop their black and white puppy into a plastic shopping bag.
"Bring it out, let's have some cooperation," said a burly officer, swinging open the back of the patrol car where a dozen other dogs sat in cages. The women handed over the animal with a whimper of protest and bicycled away.
Beaten, eaten and treated like vermin, dogs in China have never had it easy. But owners say Beijing, China's tightly policed capital, is particularly tough. To burnish its bid for the 2008 Olympics, the city has intensified checks for clandestine canines.
The woman and her daughter's crime was to not have a license. Because licenses are prohibitively expensive for most residents, many dog owners simply abandon their confiscated pooches, then buy another for a fraction the cost of registering.
China introduced the Pekinese and other breeds to the world, but Beijing is, at first glance, dog-free. Unlike in many Western cities, there's rarely dog poop on its pavements.
Only early in the morning and after 8 p.m. does the city allow owners to walk legally registered dogs. Owners call it the "no sunshine on dogs" policy.
Unlicensed dogs can be seized at any time.
Dog ownership was considered a bourgeois affectation by Mao Tse-tung's communist revolutionaries and discouraged after they seized power in 1949. Ownership was tolerated after Mao died in 1976, but Beijing imposed tight restrictions in the 1990s under then-Mayor Chen Xitong. Chen supposedly hated dogs because he was bitten as a boy.
Large dogs are banned, although officials don't define how big is too big. Registering a small dog costs $600, about half the average annual wage in Beijing, and another $240 each year. Fines are added if the animal was first seized as an illegal.
For some Chinese, dogs are dinner not pets. Beijing has many dog meat restaurants and dog is on the menus of many ordinary eateries too.
But dog ownership is growing among well-heeled Beijingers, perhaps in part because couples are allowed just one child. Parents tend to indulge their "little emperors" and older couples look to dogs for company after their only child leaves home.
Beijing, a city of nearly 14 million people, now has at least 100,000 dogs and owners spend about $2.4 million annually on their canines, the official newspaper China Daily said.
Illegal street vendors hide puppies inside their jackets, hold them up by the scruff of the neck for passers-by and sell them for as little as $12. Most owners whose illegal dogs are seized simply abandon them and buy new ones, said Wang Liqun, a critic of Beijing's dog laws who owns six dogs - two registered.
"They've essentially taken away the right of ordinary working people to keep dogs. It's like they want to annihilate them altogether," said Wang.
Special police divisions check dog permits and round up illegals. Police warned of intensified checks as part of a cleanup of Beijing for Olympic inspectors who assessed the city's 2008 bid in February.
"We hope those with dogs without licenses will get rid of them or quickly obtain registrations," said police notices stuffed into residential mail boxes.
Police won't comment on crackdowns but defend the city's dog laws as necessary to "protect the health and safety of the people and preserve public order and the urban environment."
China's wholly state-run media have suggested that Beijing's dog rules give it an edge over its rivals for 2008. The International Olympic Committee picks the host city on July 13.
"It's plain to see that wild dogs and mad dogs have become a potential drag on Paris' bid to host the Olympics," the official Liberation Daily newspaper said in a March article headlined: "Wild dogs, mad dogs run wild in the street. Paris must handle its dogs before hosting the games."
Fifteen days in a Beijing dog pound left Lady, an unlicensed Pekinese, near death, malnourished and blind in one eye by infection, said her owner, Liang Jinfeng.
Liang paid $646 to recover Lady and register her - nearly five times her and her husband's combined monthly pensions of $134.
"When I got back, the neighbors all said 'You might at least have got a decent looking one.' They just don't understand," said Liang, playing with Lady in the small courtyard of her home.
Angry owners demanding their dogs' return have protested outside police stations. Last year in Beijing, television station employees protested to demand the resignation of a policeman who killed an unregistered dog in front of its elderly owner.
Owners have formed informal networks to share information on police crackdowns and responsible pet care, and sent letters to city leaders urging more lenient rules.
"It's not that we don't love our country. We do, but the country is supposed to be moving ahead and in this area simply hasn't done enough," Liang said.
© Copyright 2001 The Associated Press


Does China deserve having the Olymics in 2008? The answer is no. Why should China with the worst record of human rights atrocities have all the benefits of hosting the Olympics? This country led by barbarians deserves no lime light. Any country that executes citizens 1000 at a time has no soul or compassion for its helpless citizens and should be held as a pariah.

The WebMeister

Go Back

Kids With Pets Have Fewer Allergies

Friday June 8 1:30 AM ET

By JUSTIN PRITCHARD, Associated Press Writer SAN FRANCISCO (AP)- Contrary to many parents' instinct, infants who grow up with cats or dogs may be less likely to suffer from allergies and asthma later in life, preliminary research suggests. ``Traditionally, most people have thought that increased exposure to these allergens leads to more allergies,'' said Dr. Darryl Zeldin of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. ``But I think those conclusions are being reevaluated.'' Most research has focused on how to reduce allergy sufferers' exposure to household irritants, such as dust mites and pet dander. But new evidence suggests that exposure to pets early in life might actually help the body build defenses against allergies and even asthma. ``Kids exposed to animals seemed to be better off,'' said Christine C. Johnson, a researcher with the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit who conducted one of several studies on the effects of pet exposure during infancy. Johnson's study, involving researchers in Georgia and Michigan, found that exposure to two or more cats and dogs at 1 year of age made children less susceptible to other allergyinducing substances by the time they turned 7, and that the exposure even improved some boys' lung function. The study tracked 833 children, testing 473 of them after six or seven years to determine how exposure to pets when they were infants influenced their tolerance to allergens. The results were presented at an American Thoracic Society conference last month. Johnson and other researchers still caution that the subject remains complex. ``Are we proposing that if every house in the county had cats, everything would be all right? I doubt it,'' said Dr. Thomas Platts-Mills, a University of Virginia allergy research specialist. Platts-Mills also found that early exposure to cat dander decreased the risk of asthma, though not necessarily most allergies. A team of Swedish researchers reached the same conclusion. Platts-Mills studied 226 children aged 12 to 14 in New Mexico and Virginia and published his results in March. Asthma rates have more than doubled since 1980- 17.3 million Americans suffer from the respiratory disease and 5,000 people die from it each year. Millions more deal with runny noses, swollen eyes and itchy skin caused by less serious allergies. Researchers say the new findings could be in line with what doctors call the ``hygiene hypothesis.'' The theory holds that Americans grow up too clean, that a lack of environmental contaminants means immune systems overreact when they encounter allergyinducing substances. On the Net: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Go Back

Missouri Dog Dodges Death ­ Twice

The Associated Press
Wednesday, May 23, 2001; 4:44 p.m. EDT
PARK HILLS, Mo. ­­ A small black dog that was hit by a mail delivery truck and presumed dead defied death twice ­ first by surviving the accident and then by digging itself out of a grave.

Sprawled on the pavement near the mailbox Monday, Sweetie seemed lifeless to owner Glenda Stevens.

Futilely seeking a heartbeat, Stevens assuming Sweetie was dead and dug a grave in which to bury her beloved pet. Hours later, Stevens saw Sweetie's hind legs sticking out of the ground. The presumed dead dog was digging itself out.

"Have you ever heard of an animal digging itself out of a grave?" Stevens asked. "She's my baby and I love her."

The dog suffered a broken front leg and a broken jaw. A veterinarian told Stevens that it would be best to put the animal to sleep. But after seeing Sweetie's will to live, Stevens refused. She planned to take the dog to a specialist to fix the broken jaw

The Benefits of Pet Therapy

Friday March 23 01:22 AM EST
In many households, pets are an important member of the family. According to the American Pet Products Manufacturing Survey, American families own 62.4 million dogs and 64.25 million cats. Roughly 40 percent of households have at least one dog and 30 percent have at least one cat. That doesn't include small critters, such as rabbits and hamsters, or larger pets, such as horses.

Research has shown having a pet can be beneficial to an owner's health. Pet owners tend to have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and triglycerides, decreased mortality rates after a heart attack, less psychological stress, and lower rates of isolation and loneliness. Senior citizens who own dogs are often in better health (from walking their pet), make fewer visits to the doctor, and are less afraid of becoming a victim of crime.

Pets in the Hospital

Many healthcare facilities use pets in a therapeutic setting. The programs are known as animal-assisted therapy (also called pet-facilitated therapy or animal-facilitated therapy). An experienced animal handler brings the pet into the facility with very specific goals in mind for each patient.

Animal-assisted therapy is a great tool for children in the hospital. Animals can reduce the loneliness and boredom of the hospital setting. Petting an animal can initiate physical therapy. Walking a dog can motivate a reluctant child to get out of bed. Frightened children often confide their concerns to a caring, nonjudgmental pet.

Not all pets can be used for animal-assisted therapy. Certifying organizations, such as the Delta Society or Therapy Dogs International, have rigorous testing and training standards for animals and their handlers. All pets must also be frequently bathed and groomed, and screened for infectious diseases. Animals must also be accustomed to working around medical equipment and wheelchairs.

Go Back

Rescue Dogs Find Local 4 Reporter In Practice Drill
Monday February 26 11:56 PM EST
Great Lakes Search and Rescue of Michigan is one of the top K-9 rescue units in the country.
The highly trained dogs can find missing humans when the humans have no idea where to look.

Local 4's Paula Tutman lost herself in a swath of woods in Oakland County. She climbed to an upper branch of a tree to see how long it would take to have one of the highly trained K-9s locate her. Paula wore a dark jacket to make like a chameleon in the tree.

At base camp, the clock started and K-9 Max got going. He picked up a scent along a creek, headed into the woods and spotted Paula before the humans even realized where she was. He found her in six minutes.

"Max is an area search dog," Joni Bernard of Great Lakes Search and Rescue said. "He looks for human scent, not anyone specific."

Next, a trailing dog named Maggie, a scent-specific dog, was used. To make it a little tougher, Paula ran in circles, climbed over trees and went over a creek and even accidentally went into a creek. She then settled on some brush in which to hide.

Maggie was harnessed up and given a sniff of Paula's boot. She was then sent to find Paula. Maggie headed for the trees over which Paula climbed, located her crossing point over the creek and even paused where Paula fell into the water. She then spotted Paula in no time flat.

Go Back

Company May Be On Verge Of Cloning Dogs
Issue Controversial Among Vets, Pet Owners

Friday February 02 11:45 PM EST 2001

If you are a dog owner, your dog has probably been part of your life for years.

NewsChannel5's Leon Bibb reports that many people go all out to keep their dogs around forever through cloning.

Pannini is Dena Tabor's baby. He's 10 years old and full of energy.

Pannini is getting up there in dog years, Bibb reports.

"When you have a pet that has become a family member, and you've had him for so long, we have talked about what we would do to preserve his life," Tabor says.

In fact, she says that she'd consider preserving him forever.

"I think it's a good thing," she says. "It doesn't freak me out."

Bibb reports that pet cloning is closer to reality than many may realize. There's a canine gene bank in Texas that could have the science of doggie DNA perfected with a year.

Mark Weshusin of Genetic Saving and Clone says that it's just a matter of time.

"We don't see any major obstacles that are holding us up," he says.

The program is named Missiplicity after a dog named Missy. Her owners shelled out $3 million to fund the genetics program. Missy would be first in line if the process is perfected.

"We were basically besieged by thousands of e-mails and calls from people who want to clone their own remarkable animals, generally dogs and cats," says Lou Hawthorne of Genetics Savings and Clone.

All a pet owner would have to do is make a trip to the veterinarian, who gets a tissue sample of the dog. That sample would need to be shipped to Texas.

The sample is then frozen until your dog dies. Then, you hand over $20,000 and get your dog back.

"We have very strong feelings that what we're doing is perfectly natural," says Charles Long of Genetics Savings and Clone. "The laws of nature have given us certain things to work with, and we're not doing anything outside those laws of nature."

Bibb reports that critics are already raising questions about the clones. Do they look the same? Do they have the same eye color? Hair color? Body type?

Is it even possible to duplicate a dog's personality?

Bibb says the answers to all those questions remain unclear.

Many believe that personality is a mix of intelligence and temperament, but veternarian Robert Hutchison disagrees.

He has studied canine reproduction for more than 20 years.

"Cloning is making a genetic replica, but it doesn't have the same (emotions), the same experiences, so it really wouldn't be the same dog," he says.

For Tabor, that doesn't matter. She is happy to know that just a piece of her beloved pet can live on.

"If it's just preserving Pannini's DNA so later in life I could have an offspring of Pannini, I think that it's positive," she says.

Go Back


Saturday,January 27,2001


- Associated Press Photos
Maybe he should have kept the cat.

Former President Clinton, who forsook White House feline Socks in favor of Buddy the dog, was knocked to the ground yesterday during a game of fetch outside his Chappaqua home.

Clinton was tossing a tennis ball to his chocolate Labrador retriever in the driveway when he and the dog got tangled with a parked security van, sending the former leader of the free world tumbling.

The ex-president was apparently unhurt and was helped up quickly by a security guard - in a scene that eagle-eyed lensmen quickly captured (above and below).

"You guys got a good shot," Clinton told photographers. "That's the first time he's knocked me down in all the time we've been together."

Socks was exiled after Clinton left office, mainly because the declawed cat couldn't get along with Buddy.

"I made more progress in the Middle East than I did between Socks and Buddy," Clinton joked earlier this month.

Betty Currie, Clinton's secretary, gave Socks a new home.

Go Back


Friday January 19 11:48 AM EST
Review of Previous Presidential Pets on Inauguration Eve


When Andrew Johnson was president, there were mice in the White House.

That didn't bother him. They were his pets. This weekend as George W. Bush becomes the next White House occupant, the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association took a fond look back at past presidential pets. President Bush will bring his dog and cat, which will replace Bill Clinton's famous cat and dog act, Socks and Buddy. It seems there's always been a dog in the White House. No fewer than 25 presidents have had one as their "First Pet." They're downright domestic compared with some of the other pets who have called the White House home.

Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt had a bear. John Quincy Adams kept an alligator. James Buchanan had an elephant. Herbert Hoover and Benjamin Harrison kept an opossum hanging around. Calvin Coolidge had a hippo, lion and antelope. Martin Van Buren had a tiger. Lyndon Baines Johnson had Lady Bird and a lovebird. The White House was the scene of a real dog and pony show under five presidents, including Caroline Kennedy's famous pony, Macaroni. James Garfield and Richard Nixon had a dog and fish. Whew! Only three presidents did not own a pet. Can you name them? Of course not. They are Franklin Pierce, Millard Fillmore and Chester Alan Arthur.

No wonder we don't remember them. You need a dog to be anybody.

Go Back

Woman's best friend is dog who saved her
Insistent barking alerts Firestone Park family to neighbor who'd fallen

Akron Beacon Journal staff write ­ 1/11/2001

Laverne Kling lay in the snow and ice, unable to move, and prayed for help.

Suddenly, the disabled Firestone Park woman heard a dog barking nearby.

``Keep barking, please,'' she yelled, and the dog kept yelping.

A few minutes later, the dog's owners, alerted by the animal's frantic tirade, found Kling on the ice and called 911.

Now, both Kling and Akron firefighters are crediting the dog, whose name is Amber, with saving her life.

``There's the wonder dog,'' Kling said yesterday, while hugging and kissing the spunky mixed breed for the first time since her accident. ``Thank you so much.''

Kling, who has multiple health problems and difficulty getting around, was walking to her neighbor's South Main Street house just before 5 p.m. Monday when she slipped on a large patch of ice in the driveway and fell. She said she briefly lost consciousness, and when she came to she was unable to get up.

The 51-year-old said she lay there looking up at the sky and watched several birds fly over. She started praying that God would send someone to her rescue. Then, she heard her neighbor's dog barking and yelled for the animal to keep it up.

``It was just like she knew something was wrong -- she wouldn't stop barking,'' Kling said.

Cheryl Easterling, Amber's owner, said the dog had been outside for about 10 minutes when the animal suddenly started barking. She initially thought the 9-month-old dog was barking at kids in the neighborhood, but when the barking continued, her 15-year-old son, Samuel, looked out the kitchen window to see if anything was wrong.

The teen saw Kling lying in the neighbor's driveway and alerted his parents, who called 911 and brought out a blanket to cover Kling until paramedics arrived.

Kling was taken to Akron City Hospital, where she was treated for multiple bruises and scrapes and released. She previously had a stroke and suffered a broken hip, which, combined with the effects of her fall, hampered her ability to get up on her own.

Akron Fire Lt. Al Bragg said it was lucky that the dog and its owners came to Kling's aid. He said Kling could have suffered serious injury -- or even death -- if left in the freezing temperatures for an extended period. The driveway where she had fallen was not lighted and is set back from the main roadway.

``If someone is lying on ice, they could be dealing with hypothermia, which can lead to severe consequences,'' Bragg said.

Easterling said her family knew something was amiss because Amber does not normally bark unless someone comes to the door or walks through the family's front yard. She said they were proud of the dog and lavished the animal with extra attention.

``As dark as it was getting to be, who knows when anybody would have found her?'' Easterling said.

Easterling brought Amber to see Kling yesterday afternoon so she could thank the dog. Kling sat with the squirming pup on her lap as she recalled her ordeal.

Kling, who until recently worked at the Harvest Home shelter, said she will be forever grateful that Amber was around when she needed help.

``It definitely was a happy ending,'' Kling said. ``Who knows what could have happened?''

Go Back

Animal adoption takes to Internet
East Bay shelters and humane groups are posting photos of abandoned cats and dogs on their Web sites


Internet users can view photos of cats and dogs at Contra Costa shelters at:

Pets for adoption at Alameda County shelters can be viewed at:

By Denis Cuff

The virtual world of the Internet is beginning to transform the way East Bay residents shop for abandoned cats and dogs.

Call it e-business or e-rescue -- or just call it an easier way to match people with the pooch or kitty of their dreams.

East Bay shelters and humane groups are posting eye-catching photos of dogs and cats for adoption on the Internet in a new strategy to reduce the thousands of unwanted pets that are euthanized each year.

"It's a shame so many dogs and cats are put to death because no one noticed them, no one knew about them," said Linda Mansberger, a Pinole shelter volunteer who created Contra Costa's animal services Web site and personally snaps the photos of the pets up for adoption.

"This is a way of showing what the cats and dogs are like, so people make a connection with the animals and have more of a reason to drive to a shelter," Mansberger said.

The photos are already paying off just a year after Pinole shelter photos went online and four months after the Martinez shelter animals hit the Internet.

Several people who first spotted cats and dogs on the Web site,, ended up adopting them, said Mike Ross, Contra Costa County's animal services director.

His department doesn't have figures for how many.

"We know it's making a difference. People come in asking for a pet they saw online," Ross said. "The only down side is we get some calls from people out of state wanting us to send them a particular animal. We got one call from someone in Rochester, New York."

Contra Costa workers advised the man to seek a pet at a shelter closer to home.

In Alameda County, humane groups and a pet food company expanded a Web site in June to post photos of pets for adoption at shelters around the county, including ones in Berkeley, Dublin, Fremont and Oakland.

Internet shoppers can electronically request photos of pets of certain ages, sizes and activity levels from all shelters.

"This is the first Web site that takes an entire community and allows people to find an animal that will work out with their lifestyle," said Eliza Dexter, spokeswoman for the East Bay Society for Prevention of Cruelty of Animals

Offering pet photos and profiles online prevents the frustration families face when they take long drives to a shelter only to find no dog close to their wishes, said Mark Levy, president of Pet Food Express, a sponsor and underwriter of the Web site,

Levy said the Web site will be expanded over time to show photos of dogs for adoption at shelters around the Bay Area.

"I think people are a lot likelier to drive to shelters if they know they will see the type of dog they are looking for," Levy said.

While shelter operators are pleased the photos have helped adoptions, officials say they expect to do more good when they can post online photos of stray dogs and cats as soon as they arrive at shelters.

Shelters must hold dogs without tags for several days before putting them up for adoption.

Contra Costa's two shelters must wait four days before posting a photo of a dog for adoption. Until then, a lost dog owner must drive to a shelter to find his pet.

By summer, Contra Costa officials hope to start posting Internet photos of newly impounded pets.

"This will be a huge convenience for the consumer," Ross said. "We hope someone can get online and see if we have something resembling their pet before they drive here."

Although people without computers cannot check out the dogs at home, Ross said his department is working with public libraries to make it easier for people to view animal photos at libraries.

Denis Cuff covers county government and industrial safety. Contact him at 925-228-6172 or

 Go Back

Law to reverse no-pet policies
LEGISLATION: Complexes that operate under a homeowners association must soon
begin accepting dogs, cats, birds and fish.

December 15, 2000

The Orange County Register

Dogs, cats, birds and fish will be allowed inside mobile-home parks and
condominium complexes when a new law goes into effect Jan. 1.

Assembly Bill 860, signed into law by Gov. Gray Davis in September, allows
homeowners to keep pets in mobile- home parks, condominium complexes and
single-family homes that operate under homeowners associations.

The law will affect communities like Leisure World Seal Beach, a senior
community that opened in 1962 with a no-pet policy. Administrators there are
discussing how to implement the law.

Besides Leisure World Seal Beach, very few communities in Orange County ban
pets, according to the Homeowners Associations of California.

Pet ownership is a right granted with single-home ownership, but the issue
gets murky when dealing with other types of property ownership, said Chris
Tapio, a legislative consultant for Assemblywoman Helen Thomson, D-Davis,
who authored the bill.

The law's wording is vague to allow property owners and associations some
leeway when they must address the new pet law, Tapio said.

The pet clause must be added when associations renew bylaws, which for
smaller complexes may come sporadically, he said.

Bill Mavity, 64, of Irvine, opposed the bill because he feels those
decisions should be made by each community.

"There's a big philosophical issue that the Legislature is micromanaging,"
said Mavity, a member of the Homeowners Associations of California, which
opposed the bill. His condominium complex does not restrict pets.

Since the majority of communities already allow pets, those who are allergic
to animals have learned to live with them.

Leonard Bedoya has owned his single-family home in Rosewood Village in
Garden Grove for three years. Pets are allowed there, and since he is
allergic, he avoids visiting neighbors who have pets. He says he cannot be
around animals for more than 15 minutes.

"My eyes get watery, my nose gets runny, and I start sneezing," Bedoya said.

Bedoya, who is president of his homeowners association, would like to see
pets banned in his community, but said he would not want to infringe on any
homeowner's rights.

Leisure World Seal Beach, which has never allowed pets, now must grapple
with how to implement the new law. Administrator Bill Narang has concerns
about residents owning pets in the community of attached housing.

"A dog barking in one unit may disturb other residents in the same
building," Narang said. "We also have to worry about residents taking care
of their pets."

There are no parks inside the community, so giving a pet enough exercise
could be an issue, he said.

Still, there are residents who look forward to the lifting of the no-pet

"I don't want to own a dog; I just want my son's dog to come visit me
sometimes," said Ann Perkins, 98. "They don't even allow that right now."

Copyright 2000 The Orange County Register

Go Back

Bush Names New Dog 'Barney'
The Associated Press
Friday, Dec. 22, 2000; 3:23 p.m. EST
WASHINGTON ­­ Busy naming a cabinet, President-elect Bush and his wife Laura found time this week to name their new dog.
The 12-week-old Scottish terrier, a gift from New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman, will be known as Barney, said Bush spokesman Ray Sullivan.
Barney will share the White House with Spot, an 11-year-old English springer spaniel who is the daughter of George and Barbara Bush's famous Millie, and with two cats, Ernie and India.
Barney, black with a white spot on his neck, is the offspring of Whitman's Scottish terrier, Coors, named after the beer. Whitman had given him the temporary name "J."
Whitman also was named Friday ­ as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in the Bush administration.
© Copyright 2000 The Associated Pres

Go Back

Man's best friend not so dumb

PARIS, Dec 13 (AFP) -
Dogs appear to understand what we can see, a discovery that suggests they are smarter than generally thought, German scientists believe.
A team at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, eastern Germany, tested dogs to see if the animals behaved differently when they were being watched.
The researchers placed snacks on the floor in front of six dogs in turn, and forbade each animal to eat the food.
The researchers then ran a series of behaviour tests on the animals. They looked directly at the dog; kept their eyes shut; turned their back; or played a computer game.
The dogs stole twice as much food when the person was not looking directly at them, the investigators found.
The canines also altered their thieving strategy according to the eye contact.
If someone was watching the dog, the animal would usually take an "indirect" approach, cleverly wandering around the room before snaffling the food.
But if the human were distracted by a game, the dogs usually figured out that they did not have to be bothered with subtlety and simply headed straight for the chow.
Leading researcher Josep Call believes that dogs "are very attuned to the eyes" of a person, which suggests that the animals may be able to figure out what humans can see.
The British weekly New Scientist, which reports on the unpublished research in next Saturday's issue, says the findings "are far cry from the belief that all dog behaviour is governed by automatic, learned responses."
Instead, according to Call's theory, "dogs may have flexible minds that can piece together past experiences to produce solutions to new problems," it says.

Go Back

Dogs -- and their owners -- dine in style at Bellingham's Doggie Diner

BELLINGHAM, Washington, Dec 14 (AFP) -
Dining in the northwestern state of Washington has gone to the dogs.
The Doggie Diner, located in this small city near the Canadian border, provides table service for dogs and their owners.
"We serve people and dog food here," said Taimi Dunn-Gorman, the restaurant's co-owner.
Two- and four-legged customers are seated by the maitre d'hote. A waitress then brings each a bowl of water, and separate menus for each species.
Reservations are recommended because the place is wildly popular, with dogs and owners queuing up for kibble and vittles.
The dining room remains a sedate and peaceful place, with Dobermans dining with daschunds.
"We have a strictly-enforced leash law," said waitress Concha Briones. "Everybody has been very well-behaved."
"It's nobody's territory, so nobody's territorial," added Dunn-Gorman. "Besides, everybody's getting fed."
Stringent health laws in the United States prohibit public eateries from preparing food meant for human consumption in locations that allow animals.
The Doggy Diner circumvents this problem by cooking the "people chow" off the premises, at a nearby restaurant also owned by Dunn-Gorman and her partners.
The canine cuisine features snacks like cookies and muffins that are mostly vegetarian -- wholesome enough for humans but perhaps not quite to human taste.
"I tried the banana apple 'mutt muffin,'" said Sandra Clary, visiting from Vancouver with her Schnauzer, Fritz. "It was kind of bland, but Fritzi loves them."
Clary chose from the human menu, which offers soups and sandwiches.
"We're just happy to find a restaurant where all our family members are welcome," she said.
Dunn-Gorman was inspired by the laissez-faire attitude that pervades in European restaurants with respect to people and their pets. In cities like Paris, the canine caterer saw plenty of pups at the dinner table.
"They treat dogs like members of the family; it's not a big deal," she said.
"I thought it was a crazy idea when I first heard it. But then I did some research and found out that twice as many US households have pets than kids," said Ray Dunn, Taimi's husband and business partner.
The restaurant has been bow-wowing area pet owners, generating some 10,000 dollars a month in revenue since it opened in April.
The Doggie Diner's proprietors expect to quadruple their profits during the Christmas season.
But cat owners beware -- the Doggie Diner caters strictly to dogs, though cats can browse the Kitty Corner for sundries and treats.
"We can't guarantee a cat's safety," Dunn-Gorman said. "If one comes by, he's on his own."
The restaurant will cater birthday parties for dogs and their human families, complete with cakes for both species, sparkling water and cigars.
And, for 200 dollars, the Doggie Diner offers a deluxe wedding package for pups and their parents, if wedded bliss is in their four-legged future, with limousine service, interspecies wedding cakes and Champagne.
Though no one has been married yet, Dunn-Gorman has become a minister in anticipation of such an occasion.
What about same-sex marriages?
"I'll marry any two dogs who feel strongly for each other," she said.
And an interspecies, feline-canine union?
"Only with premarital counseling," she said. "I'd have to know why."

Go Back

Dog Adoption Network on Web
By James Hannah
Associated Press Writer
Friday, Nov. 24, 2000; 11:42 a.m. EST
ROCKFORD, Ohio ­­ It's a good thing the 25 wet noses sharing a farmhouse in western Ohio all belong to small dogs, because another orphaned animal is always on the way.
It's also probably good that these yappers' angel, Debra Linn, turned to the Internet for help in finding other mothers for the neglected and abused pups that kept showing up and tugging at her heart.
Since founding Furkids Rescue and Adoption in 1998, Linn has "rescued" about 500 Chihuahuas and other toy breeds from traditional animal shelters and placed them with adopters from New York to New Mexico. Thirty caretakers in six states have joined her network.
"It seems like it's grown faster than we can keep up with it," Linn said.
Facilitating more adoptions ­ a growing national trend ­ may seem like the obvious solution to overpopulated shelters, which euthanize languishing animals, said Kate Pullen of the Humane Society of the United States.
"But it isn't so simple. There are animals that enter shelters that should not be adopted for behavior reasons and for health reasons," Pullen said.
Furkids screens dogs and requires veterinary commitments from foster caretakers and permanent adopters, Linn said.
Despite the best-laid plans, most matches are imperfect, said Ruth First, spokeswoman for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
While the ASPCA favors Internet linking, it recommends meeting prior to adoption, First said.
Furkids' online matchmaking rarely allows for a prior meeting, Linn said. Its delivery method, which relies on truckers performing 100- to 200-mile legs of a cross-country relay, also is imperfect. However, extensive research of an animal and its prospective home tend to make for success, she said.
Denise Clark, a financial analyst, became a happy customer after failing to find a black Pomeranian at a Massachusetts shelter. Furkids located Foxy in Kentucky and 10 people shuttled it to her in a weekend.
"You obviously take a risk," said Clark, 32. "But it was kind of thrilling. I would do it again in a heartbeat."
The Humane Society is concerned about the long-distance trips and about groups like Furkids becoming overwhelmed. "That is the greatest flaw. They can't say no," Pullen said.
Linn rises by 5 a.m. to feed, water, medicate and clean the dogs. She repeats the process by evening after eight hours' work at a county social services agency.
Then, she handles administrative chores.
Last year, Linn spent $6,000 on the veterinarian, a figure she expects will reach $10,000 this year. The costs are offset by donations and by adoption fees, which average $150.
But Linn said the downside to finding homes for animals is the feeling of grief when they're gone.
"We have to be really careful about getting attached," said Linn, who lives with her husband and 9-year-old daughter. "I gave one up that made me cry. When I handed her over to the mom, the tears just started."

On the Net:

© Copyright 2000 The Associated Press

Go Back

Dog Barking Law Unconstitutional

Tribune Chronicle Tuesday, November 21, 2000
Court nixes area dog-barking law By BRENDA J. LINERT

WARREN It was the lowest level crime Youngstown attorney Robert J. Rohrbaugh, II, has ever taken to a district court of appeals.

In fact, he admits he was a little surprised when his client, Rosario Ferraiolo, gave a nod to filing the appeal.

But in the end, celebrating to chants of "Who let the dogs out," Rohrbaugh said a barking dog law ruling released Monday by the 11th District Court of Appeals means canine owners can breathe a little easier when they let their dogs out along with, according to court documents, owners of cats, parrots, parakeets, lovebirds and even canaries.

The whole thing started in June 1999, when Ferraiolo of Howland, was slapped, with a minor misdemeanor charge for not "confining and restraining" his German shepherds. In short, he was charged under a Howland Township resolution that bans barking dogs.

The resolution bans Howland residents from keeping any dog that "howls or barks or emits audible sounds which are unreasonably loud or disturbing ..."

His attorneys, Rohrbaugh and David D'Apolito, said Monday they believed the charges were unwarranted, and noted Ferraiolo's dogs are even kept in the garage, not outside.

In November, D'Apolito argued before Warren Municipal Judge Thomas Gysegem that Howland's dog barking law was too vague and the case against Ferraiolo should be thrown out. The judge disagreed and ordered him to pay a $100 fine.

Warren city Prosecutor David H. McLain, who prosecuted the case, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

"They (Ferraiolos) saw a situation where they are homeowners, they have dogs and this is one of their freedoms. And when they went to court and were found guilty of their dogs barking unreasonably loud, it didn't sit well with them," Rohrbaugh said.

They appealed to the 11th District Court of Appeals, making the same argument about the law's vagueness.

In a seven-page judgement released Monday, the appeals court judges agreed, overturning the conviction and ruling that Howland Township Resolution 95-148 which prohibits noisy dogs is unconstitutional.

In his opinion, Appellate Court Judge William M. O'Neill said, "As applied to the legislation in question, we conclude that an individual of ordinary intelligence would not understand his responsibilities under the law. ... A single bark, howl or yelp may be considered unreasonable by some if it occurs at an inopportune time."

The judge, however, did offer some tips for refining the resolution, including restricting length of time that a dog is barking or spelling out specific decibel restrictions.

In the opinion, the court referenced a previous ruling on a similar dog-barking issue made in Columbus' 10th District Court of Appeals nearly 40 years ago.

In the case, the 10th District said, "This ordinance could permit the arrest of any dog owner or keeper, because all dogs bark more or less and one barking of one dog could annoy some of the inhabitants of the city. It could permit the arrest of the owner or keeper of a cat that ¦mews'; a parrot or parakeet that talks; or lovebirds that ¦coo'; a canary that ¦sings.' In the words of Shakespeare in Hamlet, ¦Let Hercules himself do what he may, the cat will mew and the dog will have his day.'"

That court also ruled their dog-barking law was too vague.

Rohrbaugh said that Monday's ruling could be more far-reaching than just this case. In essence, he said it will set a precedent for all communities that vague dog-barking laws are unconstitutional within the five-county 11th District Court of Appeals jurisdiction.

"Any resolution or ordinance that is similarly read or based that doesn't define what is loud or unreasonable, based on this opinion, that statute is unreasonably vague," Rohrbaugh said.

Ferraiolo, who couldn't immediately be reached for comment, likely spent a lot more on legal fees than he would have on the $100 fine, but his attorney believes Ferraiolo will say it was worth it.

"It's something in the right direction," Rohrbaugh said. "This case, even though it's a minor misdemeanor, it really stands for the American dream."

Copyright © 2000 Tribune Chronicle

Go Back

Bank to preserve Fido's DNA for cloning

Tuesday, 3 October 2000 14:31 (ET)

Bank to preserve Fido's DNA for cloning

DALLAS, Oct. 3 (UPI) - Scientists trying to clone an anonymous
millionaire's dog at Texas A&M University believe they will soon be able to
clone your dog and a new bank, Genetic Savings & Clone, is ready to preserve
your Fido's DNA for the future.

Organizers of the new commercial venture say they will charge $895 to keep
your pet dog's DNA in the gene bank until the Texas A&M scientists in
College Station have perfected the pet-cloning technology, The Dallas
Morning News reported Tuesday.

"It's cradle to beyond the grave," said Lou Hawthorne, chief executive
officer of Genetic Savings & Clone. "Gene banking and cloning for the big
four - cats, dogs, cattle and horses."

Hawthorne told The News that his partners created the gene bank because of
public interest in the "Missyplicity" project at Texas A&M. An anonymous
millionaire donated $2.3 million to produce a clone of his 13-year-old Husky
mix named Missy.

"About six months into the project, we started getting all these calls
from people who would say, 'Can you clone my dog?'" he told The News.

A cat-cloning research project called Copycat has also been funded at
Texas A&M.

Hawthorne would not say how many pet owners have signed up for cloning so

Hawthorne is president Bio Arts and Research Corp., a San Francisco-based
company that is coordinating the research at Texas A&M in behalf of Missy's
owner. The research was supposed to be completed in August, but scientists
say they are close.

"It's just a matter of perseverance and research to get there," said Dr.
Mark Westhusin, an associate professor of veterinary medicine and the lead
researcher at Texas A&M.

Cows, mice and sheep have been cloned, but the techniques that worked in
one species don't automatically transfer to another species, he said.

The anonymous millionaire recently put up $1.35 million more to complete
the "Missyplicity"project, which scientists say may be only months away from

Missy's owner has never been identified, but The News said dog
registration and other records point to Dr. John G. Sperling, the
79-year-old multimillionaire founder of the private University of Phoenix in
Arizona and a Hawthorne family acquaintance.

Sperling is also listed as a director of Genetic Savings & Clone on
corporation papers filed with the California secretary of state. He did not
return calls from The News and Hawthorne would not confirm that Sperling was
Missy's owner.

Experts interviewed by The News wondered if pet owners understand what
cloning means.

Art Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of
Pennsylvania, said many pet owners don't understand that cloning a dog is
not like extending its life because the personality of the cloned animal may
be much different than the original.

"Cloning is not Xeroxing," he said. "I'm not sure it makes much sense to
talk about cloning in terms of solving your loss or your grief. You are not
going to bring back Fido or Fluffy by cloning them."
Copyright 2000 by United Press International.

Go Back

Hero Dog Prevents Suicide
Wednesday October 25 7:02 AM ET

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A dog has won a German government award for helping police to persuade a woman not to commit suicide.

Purzel, a four-year-old shaggy mongrel, received a bone from the interior minister of the state of Thuringia, a ministry spokeswoman said.

Police trying to save the 39-year woman, a patient in a psychiatric clinic who had locked herself in a toilet with a knife, enlisted Purzel's services when they were told the woman was a dog lover.

They chose Purzel from a line-up in a nearby dogs' home because he had the cutest face.

The strategy worked. As soon as the woman spotted Purzel sniffing though a crack in the door she dropped the knife and picked him up.

``He stopped her committing suicide,'' the spokeswoman said. ''We had the minister here yesterday and he handed over the bone.''

Purzel has yet to find a new owner and is still in the dog's home.

Go Back

Pet dog may help control blood pressure during stress
October 20, 2000

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - For people with hypertension, controlling high blood pressure and heart rate may only be a bark away, new research suggests.

According to scientists, dog owners caring for a brain-injured spouse experienced significantly lower stress responses than their non-dog-owning peers did.

"Somehow, nurturing and caring for the animal makes a difference in managing their stress--people perceive that these animals are somehow caring for them," according to Dr. Karen Allen, from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Allen presented her findings Thursday at the annual meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research in San Diego.

Allen spent one year monitoring the blood pressure and stress responses of 60 men and women who were taking medication for high blood pressure while caring for spouses who had undergone various types of traumatic brain injuries.

Half the group adopted dogs for 6 months, while all the participants continued their care-taking activities. After half a year, the other half of the participants also adopted dogs.

At the outset, all the participants registered similar reactions to real-life stresses and artificial laboratory stresses, Allen reported. But after the first 6 months, the group that adopted the dogs had a much smaller rise in blood pressure than those without the pets during stresses.

Furthermore, 6 months after pets were given to all the caregivers, the blood pressure readings again became balanced--with those who adopted pets at a later date matching the low blood pressure readings of those initially taking dogs into their homes.

The findings may prove to be very important because while typical hypertension medications are effective for normal daily activities or while resting, they have not proven to be helpful for people engaging in particularly stressful lifestyles or situations, Allen told Reuters Health.

Although more research needs to be done to pinpoint exactly why the dogs have such a beneficial effect on their owners, she said, "it seems to help to have a little time in your day when someone isn't judging you--when someone is just being with you and sharing your life."

Go Back

Valley Pooch Goes From Rags To Riches
Rescued Dog Wins 'Incredible Dog Challenge' Competition
Tuesday October 17 02:15 AM EDT 2000
You've heard of rags to riches stories for people-- now a valley dog, which was rescued from a kennel as a pup, is the talk of the town.
Extreme Pepper" is a four-year-old Border collie-Queensland mix.

Over the weekend, "Pepper" and his owner Chris Perondi captured the freestyle flying disc competition's gold medal at the Incredible Dog Challenge national finals.

"Some of the tricks that we do are what I call combo moves. We'll do multiple moves one after another to let the routine flow, and I think that's what kind of gave us an up on the competition," Perondi said.

An ironic twist to the whole story is that Perondi rescued "Pepper" from a shelter when the dog was just 3-months-old.

A $75,000 check in the name of Perondi and "Pepper" will be donated to a shelter that helps rescue animals.

Go Back

Press Release
SOURCE: Ralston Purina Company

Ralston Purina Company Donates Purina(R) Dog Chow(R) to Starving Alaskan Sled Dogs

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Ralston Purina has donated more than 22 tons of Purina® Dog Chow® brand dog food to help Alaska's Senator Ted Stevens in his efforts to save Alaskan sled dogs that are in danger of starving. The donation is composed of 55-pound bags of Purina Dog Chow.

Sen. Stevens requested help from Ralston Purina after mushers in Yukon River villages reported their dogs were in danger of starvation because of a depressed chum salmon run in the river. Salmon is the primary diet for the sled dogs, which help haul water and wood and provide transportation in rural Alaskan communities.

``When Ralston Purina learned of Senator Stevens' concern, it was clear we needed to work quickly,'' said James R. von der Heydt, Ralston Purina's Executive Vice President of R&D and Worldwide Product Innovation. ``We are pleased to be able to respond with a donation of more than 22 tons of Purina Dog Chow. Purina Dog Chow provides 100 percent complete and balanced nutrition for dogs, which means these dogs can thrive on a diet consisting exclusively of Purina Dog Chow and water.''

The Purina Dog Chow was shipped from Ralston Purina's production facility in Clinton, Iowa, Oct. 11, and should arrive in Alaska for distribution Tuesday, Oct. 17. Transportation is being provided by Lynden Transport and Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE). Alaska West Express, A Lynden Company, picked up the food in Iowa and will truck it to Washington. TOTE will transport the dog food to Anchorage. Alaska Railroad will provide transportation to Fairbanks. Transportation was arranged with the assistance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Senator Stevens' office is working with the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) and AFN President Julie Kitka to distribute the dog food when it reaches Alaska.

Sen. Stevens noted that for the second time in as many years, Ralston Purina and its Purina Dog Chow brand have stepped forward with a donation of more than 20 tons of dog food: ``We appreciate the efforts of this company in assisting the dog owners affected by the reduced runs of salmon in the Yukon drainage.'' Stevens also thanked Lynden's President, Jim Jansen, and Robert Magee, President and CEO of TOTE for their help.

In 1999, an extremely low salmon run along the Yukon River left isolated villages in short supply, and Ralston donated 20 tons of Purina Dog Chow to mushers in villages surrounding Bethel at that time.

Ralston Purina Pet Products is the world's largest producer of dry dog and dry and soft-moist cat foods and a leading manufacturer of cat box filler in the United States. Its flagship Purina brand is the leading brand of dry pet food in North America.

SOURCE: Ralston Purina Company

Go Back

Dog Guards U.S. Embassy in Belgrade

By Slobodan Lekic
Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2000; 2:06 p.m. EDT
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia ­­ It is only a matter of time before American diplomats return to Yugoslavia. And when they get here, Yoka will be waiting.

Yoka, a cocoa-colored, short-haired mutt, has been guarding the U.S. ambassador's residence in Belgrade, patrolling the compound's rusting iron fence. For 18 months, she's been the lone sentry ­ staying put long after diplomats and U.S. Marine guards bugged out.

"She appeared immediately after the Americans left and has stayed there through the NATO bombing and everything else that has happened," said neighbor Milica Pandurovic.

Pandurovic, a retired English teacher who lives just down the street, fed Yoka even though other neighbors disapproved.

People were so furious at NATO during the 78-day bombing campaign they were ready to take out their anger on anything that smacked of America ­ even a dog who made her home at the U.S. embassy in the city's exclusive Dedinje neighborhood.

The crowds taunted the protective pooch, normally a friendly, playful little dog. Somebody managed to hit her with a rock, breaking a front right paw and leaving her with a permanent limp.

Still, the only American presence in Yugoslavia stood firm, running around the house as U.S. bombers screamed overhead, trying to stop the elegant residence from getting hit by cruise missiles.

Other embassy buildings elsewhere in the city suffered extensive damage as mobs set fires and ransacked the structures. Only the ambassador's house escaped relatively unscathed.

No one really knows whom Yoka belongs to. When diplomats fled the capital before the bombing campaign launched against Slobodan Milosevic's policies in the southern province of Kosovo, they took everything with them.

Pandurevic thinks Yoka might be a stray that began frequenting the mansion when former U.S. Ambassador Warren Zimmermann served here during the early 1990s. Zimmermann's wife, Teeny, was known to be an animal lover who often fed strays. Yoka, who is slightly gray around the snout, seems to be the right age for that era.

Pandurevic doesn't mind supplying the extra dog food, but is hoping that with the election of President Vojislav Kostunica, relations with the United States will improve ­ and that another ambassador will return to the mansion tucked among stately trees and a sprawling garden.

President Clinton and Kostunica managed to speak on the phone on Sunday, and State Department officials said it was only a matter of time before the first U.S. officials visit Belgrade. That could mean that Yoka will have a new master at the house.

At the moment, though, U.S. officials who insist on anonymity are making no promises.

"I have no idea," one official said. "This is the first I've heard of the dog."

© Copyright 2000 The Associated Press

Go Back

House Bill To Save Military Dogs

By Rebecca Sinderbrand
Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2000; 11:28 p.m. EDT
WASHINGTON ­­ Military dogs at the end of their service could get a new lease on life under a bill approved by the House Tuesday night.

The legislation, which was passed by voice vote and sent to the Senate, would allow former military handlers, law enforcement agencies and other qualified people to adopt the animals. The commander of the dog's last unit would decide whether the dog is suitable for adoption after considering recommendations of the unit veterinarian.

Under current Pentagon policy, military dogs cannot be adopted even though civilian police dogs often find homes with their handlers.

The Defense Department cages and eventually euthanizes military dogs when they are too old or sick to work, according to Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., who introduced the bill.

The Defense Department's Dog Center said, however, that military dogs are euthanized primarily for medical reasons; others die from natural causes.

Units often send retiring dogs to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, where the animals are used in training dog handlers. Retired dogs can be released to civilian law enforcement agencies but not to members of the public because of concerns the government might be held liable if the dog injures someone.

Bartlett's bill would require those receiving the dogs to agree they would not hold the federal government responsible for damages, injury or other losses after the transfer.

Working dogs have assisted American fighting forces in nearly every U.S. conflict. They have been trained and used to alert troops to ambushes; find booby traps, land mines and other hidden explosives; act as decoys to draw enemy fire; and to search for downed airmen.

More than 30,000 military dogs have served the in the military since World War II.

The military currently has about 1,800 dogs in service.

The bill number is H.R. 5314.

On the Net: Information on bills:

© Copyright 2000 The Associated Press
Go Back

Taipei Sends Stray Dogs To School
By Marcos Calo Medina
Associated Press Writer
Monday, Sept. 11, 2000; 2:54 p.m. EDT
TAIPEI, Taiwan ­­ Little Huang was once a lonely, flea-infested stray dog who wandered Taipei's streets, foraging for food and searching for someone to love him. Now, the Beagle mix has plenty to eat and hundreds of masters who stroke his white-and-gold fur.The frisky, floppy-eared mongrel, whose name means "Little Yellow," finally found a home ­ or rather, a school. He was saved by Taipei's "Love the Campus Dog," program, which allows high schools to rescue animals from the pound, where they are often mistreated. The program has been so successful that Taipei's government decided this year to pitch in, providing $162 a year for every dog a school adopts. By allowing schools to adopt dogs, the city is tackling a problem that was out of control about 10 years ago. Hundreds of mangy dogs ­ many with ribs showing, missing chunks of hair, festering sores and legs mangled in car accidents ­ wandered the streets, sullying Taipei's image as an emerging modern metropolis. A dog's life can be especially harsh in Taipei, where the subtropical climate breeds nasty skin diseases on animals that aren't cared for. Many of the city's large population of "new rich" are first-time dog owners who buy pets on impulse without considering the long-term responsibilities. "Taiwanese love dogs. But when they get bigger, they cause problems because Taipei apartments are so small," said Chou Yun-wei, principal of the Taipei Municipal Hsi-Sung Senior High School, which adopted Little Huang. Nobody knows how many stray dogs there are in Taipei, a city of 3 million people, but government figures this year show that 4,069 are being kept in public kennels, while 2,279 have been put down and 1,790 adopted. Last year, over 8,700 were killed and 2,813 adopted, the environmental bureau said.
Nearly 30 schools have adopted about 50 dogs, but Chou said the majority of schools surveyed said they don't want the responsibility. "The program has a long way to go," said Chou, as Little Huang and two other adopted dogs ­ Little Pai and Little Kuai ­ jumped on her skirt. "We want to teach students responsibility, how to live with dogs and take care of them," Chou said as she made her rounds of classrooms and offices, with Little Huang skittering behind her. Chen Kuang-hwa, a rosy-cheeked 16-year-old who found Little Huang near the school grounds, said classmates who can't have a dog are thrilled to have a pet at school. "They don't disturb our studies. They recognize all the students in uniforms and the teachers and don't bark," Chen said. Schoolchildren are encouraged to pick stray dogs off the streets and bring them to school. The school then either adopts the dogs or finds a suitable home for them. "When I found Little Huang, she was small and pitiful. I wanted her but I already have a dog and there's no room for another," said Chen, as she tossed Little Huang a piece of bread and ran her fingers over the dog's brown-and-white coat.

© Copyright 2000 The Associated Press
Go Back



Senate: Condos can't ban Fluffy, Fido
Sacramento Bee, California By Jon Matthews Bee Capitol Bureau
(Published Aug. 23, 2000)

The state Senate went to the dogs Tuesday -- and to the cats.

After a debate touching on their own four-legged friends, senators voted to
forbid condominiums and mobile home parks from completely banning pets.

Supporters said the bill would help many Californians, including older
residents, whose lives could be brightened by animals.

Arguing for the bill, Senate leader John Burton, D-San Francisco, recalled
that his own mother was greatly comforted by her little dog after Burton's
father passed away.

"That poodle was a companion of my mother, who naturally, after the death of
my father, was living at home alone," Burton said.

Another supporter, Sen. Debra Bowen, D-Marina Del Rey, called the pro-pet
measure "probably the most important property rights bill of the year."

But opponents, raising the specter of doggy doo-doo in more front yards,
said senators had no business telling thousands of condominium associations
that pets must be allowed.

"We all love pets. I have a nice little cat that runs around the garage, and
it is a great, great animal," said Sen. Ray Haynes, R-Riverside.

But Haynes said people who want to have pets, including himself, should not
move into housing that forbids them.

Many other people might not want to live "in a condominium where your
next-door neighbor takes the dog out the door, and the dog does whatever
dogs do on your front porch," he said. "The government has absolutely no
business getting involved in this kind of business."

But in the end, the measure passed on a bipartisan, 25-9 vote. It is
expected to receive final approval from the Assembly and go to Gov. Gray
Davis, who has not yet taken a formal position on the measure, according to
his staff.

The bill, AB 860 by Assemblywoman Helen Thomson, D-Davis, would require
mobile home parks and common-interest housing developments to allow
homeowners to keep at least one pet, subject to reasonable rules and
regulations." The bill would not apply to rental apartments.

Current law already requires landlords to allow disabled people to have
guide dogs, service dogs and signal dogs, and allows elderly people in
publicly funded housing to have up to two household pets, according to a
Senate staff analysis.

While some senators chuckled during the debate, the pet issue is a serious
one for many on both sides. It has even been heard in the courts.

The state Supreme Court ruled in 1994 that condominiums and similar housing
developments may generally ban pets. The case involved a 530-unit Southern
California condo complex that allowed only "domestic fish and birds."

The new bill isn't the Legislature's first effort to at least partially
overturn the court action. In 1997, former Gov. Pete Wilson vetoed an
earlier measure to allow disabled people or individuals whose doctors
prescribed a pet for companionship to have a pet in a condominium or similar

"While evidence suggests that pets enhance the quality of life for many
seniors and disabled persons, the resolution of any conflict should come
through the homeowner association board of directors and the homeowners
rather than through a bill that interferes in those private contracts,"
Wilson said.

Thomson, however, said studies have shown that senior citizens with pets can
live longer, go to the doctor less often, and generally have a more positive
outlook than those without a pet.

Copyright (c) The Sacramento Bee

Go Back

Pets may have to buckle up in U.K.
July 14, 2000

LONDON (Reuters) -- Seatbelts and insurance for pets could be the next expense for motorists on British roads.
The popularity of Britain's "passports for pets" scheme prompted a motoring organization and a chain of veterinary clinics to issue pet travel guidelines on Friday.
The RAC Foundation and Companion Care Veterinary Surgeries urged motorists to take out insurance covering them for any damage or accident their pet could cause because of its presence in a vehicle.
"The owners of pets which cause road traffic accidents can find themselves personally liable, especially when personal injury is involved," the RAC Foundation said.  Motorists, already taxed by the highest gas prices and new car costs in Europe,
were urged to fit seatbelt-like restraints for their pets.
A RAC survey showed that nearly all motorists who travelled with their pet had been distracted by it. About 11 percent of these motorists said this distraction had almost caused a crash.
"In a 30 mph (48 km/h) collision, an unrestrained dog can be thrown forward with the force of an elephant," said RAC Foundation executive director Edmund King. "In such a collision this would potentially kill the driver and the dog."
Britain relaxed its century-old quarantine laws in February with the introduction of a pet passport scheme allowing animals from 22 European countries to skip quarantine if their owners can prove they are free from rabies.

Go Back

Suspect Flees Into Dog-Filled Yard

Saturday, January 17, 1998; 7:41 a.m. EST

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) -- A man wanted in two carjackings was fleeing police when he ran into a yard occupied by four Rottweilers. The chase ended right there. The incident started when Alvin Ferguson allegedly jumped into an Oldsmobile just as the77-year-old owner was getting out of it, detective Lt. Michael Ricci said. ``He could not get the car to operate, so he took off,'' Ricci said. ``Several witnesses saw what happened and chased him.'' Ferguson ran onto Interstate 84 and began flagging down motorists, police said. He got a man to stop and ordered the driver out of the car and drove off. Police had trouble chasing Ferguson because of icy road conditions, but the car struck a wall and finally stopped in a driveway. That's when Ferguson ran into the yard -- and into the dogs, police said. ``He saw the dogs, laid down on the ground, and grunted,'' said Steve Sweeney, who owns the dogs. ``He did not resist the police after seeing the dogs.'' Ferguson was charged with robbery of an occupied vehicle, second-degree larceny and robbery. He was being held on $100,000 bond.© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

Go Back


Too much competition from riverboats, casinos

July 18, 1997

From Correspondent Jeff Flock

KENOSHA, Wisconsin (CNN) -- The turnstiles are turning slowly. The seats are mostly empty. The take is shrinking, and the sport, it appears, is dying. Greyhound racing in the United States is, to make a bad pun, going to the dogs. There's no question that we are a very troubled industry right now," says Roy Berger.Berger runs CNN's Jeff Flock reports.

Dairyland Park in Kenosha, Wisconsin, one of 48 dog-racing tracks in 14 states. A dozen tracks have gone out of business in the last five years, revenue is down $10 million nationwide and attendance is off 10 million. "The bottom line is: The sexier, glitzier, more glamorous type of wagering is in slot machines and casino-style gambling," Berger says. Riverboats and American Indian-operated casinos have been sprouting like weeds in the same economically challenged areas where dog tracks took root. Along with the lotteries, they are squeezing the tracks out. "It's basically work," says John Busam of Midwest Gaming and Travel. "Handicapping (picking race winners) is work, and it's much easier to pull a handle or push a button on a slot machine to gamble."

The tracks are trying. Dairyland, for example, is offering "mutt racing," where gamblers can bring their own dogs. Some tracks pipe in horse racing to bet on, and some allow slot machines and other gambling at the tracks. But in Wisconsin, where there are 17 Indian casinos that pay no state tax, that's not allowed. "If everything stays the same and there's no help from state legislatures," says Busam, "we're probably looking at an extinct industry in a period of time. There's no question about it." The cigar-chomping, blue- and gray-haired people who do like dog racing remain passionate about their sport. But in the gambling game these days, it seems that the riverboats win, the casinos place, the lottery shows and dogs are the also-rans.
Go Back


Tuesday December 30 2:06 PM EST

CHICAGO, Dec. 30 (UPI) _ Dashun McMiller has a new pet dog, and he's naming it in memory of his old pet, whom his parents say was responsible for saving the six-year-old boy's life.McMiller was given a German shepherd puppy today by a woman who heard the story of how the boy's old pet, a one-year-old Belgian shepherd named Missy, died while pushing him out of the path of a speeding car. The boy says he plans to give his new dog Missy. Meanwhile, Dashun's father, Anthony Matthews, remains convinced the old Missy is the only reason his son avoided injury Sunday. The dog saw a car speeding through an alley where Matthews and Dashun were throwing out garbage. When Matthews yelled at Dashun to get out of the car's way, Missy leaped and pushed the boy to safety. Matthews said, ``I thought (dogs) only did things like that on TV, like Lassie or Rin Tin Tin.'' While Dashun was uninjured, Missy was struck and killed. Police are still searching for the driver, who was in a maroon Chevrolet Cavalier or a Beretta.

Copyright 1997 by United Press International.

Go Back


Wednesday December 31 2:46 PM EST

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (Reuters) - The Sand Dollar vacation villa on the Caribbean island of St. Thomas usually has a strict "No Pets" policy. But Buddy, a Labrador, is not just any pet. Dolly Greblick, who owns the Sand Dollar, said she would waive the "No Pets" policy to allow President Bill Clinton to bring his new puppy with him when he flies to the U.S. Virgin Islands on Thursday for a brief vacation. "How can we refuse the first dog?" she asked. Clinton, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and daughter Chelsea, are due to fly to the Virgin Islands on New Year's Day and stay until Sunday. But Greblick said Buddy was the only animal she expected. While Buddy is visiting the Caribbean, the first cat, Socks, was expected to stay behind at the White House.

Go Back


December 29, 1997

LITTLE ROCK (AP) -- A dust mop of a dog stayed by a lost girl's side for nearly 24 hours after she got lost in a cold ravine, and his barking at a mysterious white owl kept the girl awake -- and alive -- in 14-degree weather.

Misty Harger, 12, strayed away from her foster family during an outing early Saturday afternoon; Scotty, another family's dog, happened upon her a few hours later and followed her into the Buffalo River valley. She was cold and hungry but otherwise fine Sunday afternoon when rescuers found her on the banks of the Buffalo National Big YelloRiver in northwest Arkansas.

Neither a state police helicopter with Pathfinder/Warner heat-seeking equipment nor a bloodhound sniffing along the ground were able to find her overnight. Rescuers were puzzled by her statement that the dog barked at a white owl through the night, since white owls are virtually unheard of in the area. "That's some kind of a sign -- a white owl. A white owl would be very rare. I've never seen one in my life, and I'm 59," said Scotty's owner, Gary Adams. Scotty, a mixed breed, received a hero's welcome and a ham-and-milk dinner at home.

Copyright 1997   The Associated Press.

Go Back

Dog gets new leg up on life

Friday September 26 5:18 PM EDT

Reuters New Media

SPRUCE GROVE, Alberta (Reuter) - Kal the rottweiller has a new leg up on life thanks to a new and relatively rare bone tissue transplant procedure for dogs. The 10-year-old dog was up and about on Thursday, the day after the transplant in this Western Canadian town near Calgary. Kal's hind leg had been diagnosed with cancer. Bone tissue is commonly transplanted in humans, but the technique isrelatively new among dogs, said veterinarian David Szentimrey, who performed the surgery. "It's a major procedure, but not for dogs. It doesn't matter what kind of bone it is," he said. Kal's new bone tissue came from a golden retriever. His owners, Heather Hayes and Mike Kelliher, opted for the transplant because they feared amputating Kal's cancerous leg would put too much stress on its remaining, arthritic limbs. For Kal's owners the C$5,000 ($3,600 US) operation was well worth it. "He's a really good dog. We think of him as a best friend and family member," Hayes told Reuters. "It was just a little thing we could do for him. We wouldn't think twice about doing it again."

Go Back

Dog Saliva Helps Lick Infection
Friday June 13 1:47 PM EDT
NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Licking one's wounds may help heal them. So say British researchers studying the medicinal powers of saliva. "Licking of wounds promotes healing and reduces bacterial contamination, "say researchers at St. Bartholomew's and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry in London. Scientists have long suspected that wound-licking might possess therapeutic properties. Many animals (including dogs) instinctively lick cuts or abrasions, and a 1970 article in The Lancet reported that injured Fijian fishermen actually have pet dogs lick their scrapes and lacerations as an aid to healing. The researchers behind the current study sought to discover if these behaviors were, in fact, pharmacologically therapeutic. They theorized that nitrites found in saliva might oxidize when put into contact with the acidic surface of human skin. The resulting compound, nitric oxide, is "a powerful antimicrobial substance," according to the researchers, and might prove to be a natural, instinctively applied antiseptic. They recruited a group of 14 healthy volunteers, and asked all of them to lick both the palm and outer surfaces of their hand. They then measured the levels of nitric oxide on those moistened surfaces. Saliva nitric oxide concentrations were found to increase by up to 12-fold after contact with the skin surface, with the average test revealing oxidation at five times normal rates. The simple presence of nitrites might not be enough to cause such dramatic increases -- when nitrite dissolved in water was added to skin, oxidation rates were notably lower. The study authors speculate that another chemical present in saliva, possibly ascorbate, may act as a catalyst in the oxidation process. In any case, they conclude that the chemical reactions occurring when saliva meets skin seem to produce a natural disinfectant. "We suggest that nitric oxide derived from salivary nitrite applied to the skin contributes to the antimicrobial effects of wound licking."
SOURCE: The Lancet (1997;349:1776)
Go Back

Ride and Groom
Kim Rauhofer Goes Fur and Wide to Keep Her Shaggy Clients Happy
By Phil McCombs
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 5 1997; The Washington Post "That's a girl. Good girl!" coaxes Kim Rauhofer, mobile pet groomer. "Yes you are. Good DOG!" A familiar, soothing chant -- and indeed little Joey the cocker spaniel needs all the encouragement she can get. Because there are problems. The humans have been lax, again. Fortunately, Rauhofer -- with the panache of an Ace Ventura and the determination of cavalry riding over the hill to the rescue -- pulled up to the curb in front of Joey's ritzy suburban home just in time. "WAGGIN WHEELS" proclaims the logo on the big blue customized Ford Econoline, next to a pair of painted paw prints. It's bright and cheerful inside with a stainless steel bathtub, water heater, adjustable pet grooming platform and built-in blow dryer. An orange extension cord snakes from the van across the lawn, past a blooming dogwood and into a socket in the garage. Joey, standing on the platform, wags her stubby tail as the tall blond groomer leans over her in deep concentration. There's too much knotting and matting in Joey's lush beige coat. Worse, Rauhofer has found a tick hunkered down in a paw. She's getting annoyed -- and not at Joey. "Right now I should be able to brush through really quickly, and be able to cut her hair," she complains. "This is all extra time." It's also tough on the dog, who yips and whimpers now and again as Rauhofer struggles to unknot her gently. "She's very tired of this whole thing," Rauhofer finally sighs. "I don't blame her. I blame the owners." Joey's owners declined to be interviewed, though they graciously allowed a reporter unlimited access to Joey. The 1 1/2-hour session stretches to three, what with the initial brush and comb, facial trim, chin shave, bath, blow-dry, ear cleaning, skin check, tick check, toenail clip, post-bath brush, and now all this unexpected dematting and detangling. Then there's the final, overall "puppy cut" with electric shears, plus some nice ear sculpting with the barber's scissors. "Some customers say all they have to do is get out the brush and their dog turns into a barking, biting maniac, "the groomer huffs. "I say, `Well, they [the animals] don't give me a hard time. "Good girl! Yeah! Hold on!" she adds encouragingly -- to the dog. Joey gives an enthusiastic little tremble.
A Growth Industry
Rauhofer's customized van cost her $40,000, but she hopes to make it back quickly in a business that's flourishing in upscale neighborhoods across the country as people increasingly find themselves too busy to groom their pets. Joey's brick colonial is in one of those suburban Maryland greenscapes at once so luxe and dreary it would scarcely surprise you to see the trees budding twenties instead of leaves. Rauhofer says there are other reasons the mobile grooming business is booming, too. "I try to make it a positive experience for them," she explains -- meaning the pets. "That's why people have groomers come out to their homes -- because dogs find it upsetting to be elsewhere all day." Or, she adds, people are too insecure to be away from their pets. The groomer has a cozy habit of referring to pets and owners somewhat indistinguishably: "She [Joey] has a very fuzzy face. She [the owner] tends to keep it long -- she likes to keep her [Joey] feeling like a puppy." Dogs, owners, whatever -- there are 58 million dogs and 53 million cats in America today, and it's all great for business. Gwen Shelly, assistant editor of Groomer to Groomer, an industry publication, estimates there are 45,000 professional pet groomers in the country today, most working in grooming parlors or kennels. While mobile operators like Rauhofer are a small percentage of the total, they're the industry's fastest-growing segment. Citizens seem eager for any fresh twist when it comes to pets. On WAMU's "Diane Rehm Show" recently, a worried caller asked a pet shrink about her 2-year-old child -- not whether the kid would be safe with the German shepherd, but if separating them would "harm the dog." There are California restaurants with dog biscuits on the menu, just in case. Bookstores are stocking "What the Animals Tell Me," Sonya Fitzpatrick's new "step-by-step instructions on how to establish a telepathic link with your pet." "The majority of groomers are women," editor Shelly elaborates in a telephone interview from the magazine's offices in Mechanicsburg, Pa. Then she shouts to someone, "Why do you think most groomers are women, Sally?" There's a pause while publisher Sally Liddick responds. "She has no idea, but there's something going on," Shelly continues. "I think women are care people, and as far as caring for a pet, it's largely women who do take care of the pets. "Men don't see it as a paying occupation," Shelly continues. "It's the same way with hairdressing, which is mostly women. This is just pet-dressing. When you think of men and dogs, they like the more manly dogs, like your golden retrievers. And it's mostly men that have the pit bulls and the Rottweilers, the big dogs, ones they can go hiking and hunting with. "The women like the ones that are companions, and the women like the cuter, cuddlier, more devoted type of pet -- I shouldn't say `devoted,' because the big ones are, too -- but they like the elegant-type dogs. Basically, groomers are very artistic people, too. Working on a pet is like doing a sculpture. "She mentions poodles, bichons frises, cocker spaniels, schnauzers. Cats are also groomed professionally, though not very often; on the rare occasions when Rauhofer works on a cat, she has the owner stick around to hold the animal. Your average pet groomer, Shelly adds, tends to be "more an animal person than a people person." It just so happens that the leading national expert on mobile pet grooming is a guy -- Frank Weag (pronounced -- yes! - wag) of Ultrapet in Union City, N.J., who's been in the business a couple of decades. Worked as a groomer and surgical assistant for a vet before that. He's now organizing an international association of mobile pet groomers. The magazine sponsors a major Groom Expo every year, including a mobile grooming van contest. "Mobile grooming is in its infancy right now," Weag reports, "but it's a nice little business where you can make a nice living. Some of these individual units are making $80,000 to $125,000 a year." He says mobile groomers often begin -- as Rauhofer did -- by learning the trade at one of a score or so specialized schools around the country. Then they must buy and equip their vans, and build a customer base through advertising and word of mouth. Mobile groomers are especially popular in Florida, California and the Northeast, according to Weag, who teaches seminars for professionals and has produced a video on correct van setup. Mobile customers pay a little more, he says, but unlike what they might experience at some grooming parlors, they get "personalized, individual service. "It's not a production line."
Dog Dos
Kimberly W. Rauhofer, 34, got into this line of work after years as a professional dietitian. It hadn't satisfied. Her office was in a hospital basement. Nobody was going to like the food anyway, no matter what she did. She used to get horrible stress headaches. Her 35 underlings were constantly whining and bitching. A long dark night of the soul. Then one day the hospital sent her to one of those touchy-feely management training sessions based on Stephen Covey's "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." "It was about sitting down and figuring out your priorities," she recalls, "and how to take time for the things that are important. Here I was working 12-hour days, and I realized that family and friends and enjoying life were more important." She decided to quit. Growing up in New York and on her airline pilot father's hobby farm in North Carolina, Rauhofer had always enjoyed animals.They'd had horses and cows. She was big into 4-H. She and her three brothers had also kept the usual array of house pets, from dogs to hamsters. She didn't want to be a vet, because she'd have to be around animals when they were hurting; and she couldn't bear the thought of putting them to sleep. She'd also become a vegetarian. Grooming seemed a natural. Without quitting her day job, Rauhofer worked nights and weekends to get in 400 hours of training at a local pet-grooming school. Then she bought and outfitted her van and struck out on her own. That was just eight months ago. Rauhofer had had no trouble lining up as many customers as she could comfortably handle-- 80 to 100 regulars, whose pets she grooms every four to eight weeks. She's not taking new customers. She charges $50 to $70 a session, depending on breed, type of coat and the condition it's in. Setting her own schedule, she works four-day weeks at a higher income (something under $40,000) than she made at the hospital. The stress headaches have vanished. "I am having a ball," she says. "I love the animals, and I even have an `office' with a window. In the van, I feel like I'm outside all the time." On the day she groomed Joey, Rauhofer brought along a frequent companion, Pinkie -- her pug -- who spent most of the session asleep on the driver's seat, snoring contentedly. Rauhofer likes to start each session by entering the pet's home and discussing particulars with the owner. She logs any changes or requests in a notebook. Then, smiling and friendly, she escorts the pet to the van. "She really loves the dogs, she really cares about her pet customers," says one human customer, Joanna Pedas (pronounced "pet us"), a lawyer who lives with her lawyer husband, George, in Northwest Washington. Their apricot miniature poodle, Mozart, has been in Rauhofer's care for some months. Having a mobile groomer, Pedas finds, "is definitely cool. When we first had her come to our neighborhood, all our neighbors were, like, `Wow!' Our dog was sort of like the prince of the neighborhood anyway, but then it was, like, Oh my God, he even has his own pet groomer.' "You have to meet Mozart. We walk down the street and people don't know our names but they know his name -- he's just so cute. He wags his tail and wants to just run up and greet everybody. "He just loves Kim. When she comes to the front door he's barking and wagging his tail. He can't wait for his bath." Mozart, she adds, is "our first child. A real baby's on the way."
Now Hair This
Finally, regarding Joey: His owners are wonderful after all, Rauhofer reports. "Joey had been at the kennel for 10 days, that's why she was in bad shape," Rauhofer says. "The owner paid extra money to have that dog bathed and brushed, but apparently it didn't happen. Usually she doesn't have Joey in that bad shape. "I'm glad she had a good excuse."
Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

Go Back

Licking Baldness

By Dave Barry

Sunday, May 4 1997

The Washington Post

OUR TOPIC TODAY, on Breakthroughs in Medicine, is: New Hope From Dog Spit. I have here some very exciting scientific correspondence from William B. Yancey MD, who is a medical doctor and therefore legally allowed to (1) park anywhere; (2) give shots; (3) tell people to get naked; and (4) make scientific observations.

Yancey wrote to me about an observation that he scientifically made regarding his Labrador retriever, who is named Refrigerator. Refrigerator recently underwent hip surgery; in preparation for the operation, the veterinarian shaved his hindquarters. Then, realizing his mistake, he also shaved Refrigerator's hindquarters. No, seriously, the veterinarian's hindquarters have nothing to do with this, and I am instructing the jury to disregard them.

The point is that Refrigerator had all the fur removed from his rear end (or, in medical parlance, his "bazooty"). If you know anything about dogs, you know how Refrigerator spent his recuperation period: He licked himself pretty much full time. Dogs are very big believers in the healing power of licking. If dogs operated a hospital, here's how it would work: A patient would arrive in the Emergency Room, and a team of doctor dogs would gather around to conduct an examination, which would consist of thoroughly sniffing the patient. (They would also sniff the floor, in case anybody had left food lying around.) Then the doctor dogs would hold a conference, and whatever the patient's symptoms were -- coughing, lack of pulse, a spear passing all the way through the patient's head -- the doctor dogs would agree that the best course of treatment was: licking. And we're talking about a LOT of licking. Not just the patient licking himself or herself; but also the doctors licking the patient, licking themselves and licking the other doctors.

This is state-of-the-art medical care for dogs. Their equivalent of a CAT scan machine would be a big tube filled with tongues. So anyway, after his operation, Refrigerator was performing medical care on himself, and Yancey made a scientific observation; namely, that Refrigerator's hair "has grown fastest in the areas where he has spent significant time licking himself." Using this observation, Yancey was able to form a scientific hypothesis -- a term that is formed from two Greek words, "hy," which means "something," and "pothesis," which means "that pops into your head while you are watching a dog lick itself after you have maybe had a couple of brewskis. "Yancey's hypothesis is this: Dog spit grows hair. In fact, Yancey believes that unwanted hair, such as facial hair on women and nose hair on men, probably did not exist until the human race domesticated dogs and started getting licked all the time. But the more important implication is that dog spit could be a revolutionary new hair-growth treatment for balding men. Granted, we do not yet have actual laboratory PROOF of this. But we do have a published report in the form of this column, which has been printed in a magazine with professional-looking margins.

So I think it's time to move past the research phase of Yancey's hypothesis and go directly to the phase where we unleash the power of this amazing discovery to benefit humanity, to make the world a better place, and -- most important -- to make money. Specifically what I am thinking of is a franchised line of hair-growth salons, perhaps with a sophisticated name such as La Spitte du Chien Pour les Hommes. Upon arriving at a salon, a client would undergo a pre-treatment interview, during which he would be asked a series of scientific questions ("Do you have money?" "How much?"). The client would then be ushered into the Preparation Area, where his scalp would be coated with a scientifically designed, nutrition-enhanced, precision-balanced formulation consisting of Skippy brand peanut butter. Finally the client would enter the Treatment Area, where he would be instructed to lie down on the floor with his arms at his sides.

A door would then be opened, and a professional Hair Growth Technician, barking loudly, would sprint into the room at upwards of 400 mph, skid to a stop, and begin enthusiastically treating the client's scalp. All of the technicians at La Spitte du Chien Pour les Hommes would be carefully selected on the basis of friendliness, professionalism and not peeing on the clients. I grant you that this procedure has a few wrinkles that need to be worked out, such as the issue of creamy vs. chunky. But basically I think it makes at least as much scientific sense as the baldness cures you see advertised in magazines. I see no reason why we can't go ahead and start setting up franchise salons, and if any government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration have any questions, well, they can just send their inspectors around to meet with our board of directors, Big Boy and Fang. They LOVE inspectors. It's their favorite meal. © Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

Go Back

Man's Best Exercise Buddy

By Carol Krucoff

Tuesday, May 6 1997 The Washington Post

My father put on five pounds the summer after our cocker spaniel, Budgie, died. Without the family pet's need for an after-dinner walk, Dad stopped taking his nightly 45-minute stroll around the neighborhood. Within a few months, he gained the weight. I remembered this recently when I saw a friend who'd been trying to lose weight for years and discovered that he'd finally managed to shed 10 pounds. How? "Got a dog," he said. "We walk three miles every morning."

Fitness experts regularly advise people to work out with a buddy, because studies show that those who exercise with a partner are more likely to stick with their program. But while the research considers only human exercise pals, I'm certain the conclusions could extend to canine companions as well. Dogs provide wonderful camaraderie and motivation to be active, while adding an extra measure of safety and a huge serving of fun. And unlike a human workout buddy, your dog will never cancel on you at the last minute or bore you with obscure details of an intricate business deal. Plus, dogs are excuse-proof. Even the best-intentioned exerciser can find a rationale for hitting the snooze alarm rather than lacing up the walking shoes. But it's nearly impossible to turn off an excitedly wagging tail or to ignore the wet, sloppy kisses of a pooch pining for a morning jaunt.

Even when the electricity goes out and your treadmill is powerless, your dog keeps on moving. No batteries required. And few incentives to get moving are as powerful as the threat of household destruction if you are foolish enough to throw the covers back up over your head. Rain or shine. Hot or cold. The dog is an animal that must be walked. And so, health experts now know, is the human. Public health officials say that simply walking for 30 minutes a day can dramatically reduce the risk of disease. And few personal trainers are as successful in helping people adopt the habit of walking daily as "Man's Best Friend." Even regular exercisers can add a new dimension to their workouts with a dog.

Although I've been hooked on my morning run for years, it's become even more fun in the year since our family got Sheba the Beagle. Sheba's shaken up my old routine -- a 30-minute jog around the high school track -- since she can't abide merely running in circles and refuses to wait patiently for me while I do. So now I tackle something I once hated. We run hills. Up and down our hilly neighborhood, Sheba and I run several miles, stopping frequently to sniff for squirrels (Sheba) and breathe deeply (me). I call them "Squirrel Sprints" because our intense bursts of chasing small creatures interspersed with slower strolling and sniffing is a form of interval training that actually has increased my speed.

When we get to the high school, I'll tie Sheba's leash to the fence while I do sit-ups and push-ups -- a strengthening workout I'd often skipped when I used to run solo. Then we finish up with an all-out race home, where the winner -- Sheba -- gets the first drink of water. Of course, bringing a dog into your home is a serious responsibility. Unlike an exercise machine, you can't stick a dog in a corner and use it as a clothes hanger when you get tired of it. But in addition to being a fun way to get your whole family to be more active, having a dog also provides some simple -- but profound -- lessons in leading a healthy life.

Here, for example, are some health secrets I've learned from exercising with Sheba: Greet everyone you meet, but keep your ears cocked until you determine if it's friend or foe. Lap up water at every opportunity. Enjoy nature in all her moods. Walking in the rain or snow can be delightful. (Only a crazy human, however, would run in summer's midday heat.) Stretch frequently, especially when you've been sitting or lying down. The yoga pose called "Down Dog," which is modeled after a canine's favorite "paws forward, tail up" stretch, is an unparallelled way to remove kinks from the legs, back and shoulders. Live in the moment. Don't brood over the past or worry about the future. Embrace whatever you're doing -- running, eating, sniffing, sleeping -- with your whole being. Rely on more than just your eyes. Smell, taste, touch and hearing are also important ways to sense the world. Always take time to roll on the floor and play. Never be too busy to stop and smell the rabbit holes.

© Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

Go Back

Adoption of Police Dogs Made Easier

Wednesday, April 16, 1997 3:04 pm EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House wants to make it easier for federal law enforcement officers to adopt retired government police dogs. A bill passed by voice vote Wednesday would enable federal agencies to donate the dogs to their handlers. It has yet to be considered by the Senate. Under current law, an officer wanting to adopt a retired dog -- which is considered government surplus -- would have to go through the competitive bidding process. After years of specialized training, the dogs are unsuitable as pets except for officers trained to handle them. ``These canines should not simply be sold to the highest bidder at an auction to be taken home as a family pet,'' said Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif. Many government surplus dogs end up being destroyed or caged for long periods of time, Gallegly said. The bill is HR 173.

© Copyright 1997 The Associated Press

Go Back

Senate Allows Seeing-Eye Dog to Enter Chamber

Wednesday April 16 5:33 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuter) - The Senate, acting swiftly to defuse an emotional controversy, agreed Tuesday to allow disabled people to bring guide dogs wheelchairs and other needed equipment onto the Senate floor. The move followed a dispute that flared up Monday when a visually impaired aide to Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden was prevented from bringing her guide dog onto the Senate floor. The Senate is selective about who is allowed into the chamber and has no formal rules governing dogs. That meant consent of all senators was needed to allow the animal. An unnamed senator objected to Wyden's request, barring his aide, Moira Shea, from entering with her guide dog Beau. Wyden protested that the move was contrary to protections provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Two years ago, lawmakers voted for the first time to make Congress comply with federal health, safety and other workplace laws.

Tuesday, Republican Leader Trent Lott asked the Senate to give its sergeant-at-arms authority to allow guide dogs and other support services into the chamber on a case-by-case basis, while a committee considered an official change of the rules. "This is the right thing to do," Lott said. "The Senate is addressing an inequity that placed unnecessary roadblocks in the way of individuals helping us serve the American people." Lawmakers agreed to Lott's request with no fuss. Shortly afterwards, Wyden took the floor to thank Senate leaders for their prompt action and ask permission to bring Shea and her guide dog into the chamber. Permission was quickly granted, and the aide and dog came on to the floor, where they remained for about five minutes.

Go Back

Politician Wants Dogs Diapered

Friday, March 7, 1997 7:45 am EST
ADAMS, Mass. (AP) -- Tired of stepping in doggy droppings, Joe Lefebvre has a solution: Fido had better button up. The chairman of the selectmen wants dogs to wear diapers or pants when they're out and about. The Berkshire County town of about 9,000 enacted its pooper scooper law several years ago. But there's trouble enforcingt since a dog must be caught in the act for the owner to be fined $50. ``My feeling is if this isn't working, make them put pants on their animals,'' Lefebvre said Thursday. This is the second time Lefebvre has proposed the idea. ``The board just laughs at me,'' he said. ``I tell them, `You may think I'm a nut, but I feel this is the only way it's going to work.''' © Copyright 1997 The Associated Press

Go Back

New York Senate Passes Pet-Napping Bill

ALBANY, N.Y., March 5 (UPI) _ New York legislators passed a bill today (Wednesday) that would put some real bite into penalties against petnapping. The measure, which lawmakers call the toughest in the nation, would carry up to four years in jail and a $5,000 fine for anyone who grabs someone else's four-footed friend. The bill's sponsor, state Senator Norman Levy, says New York's current laws against purloining pets are inadequate because they treat animals like any other piece of property.

Under New York law, stealing a family pet is considered only a misdemeanor unless the owners can prove the animal is a purebreed worth more than $1,000. Levy, though, says most people see their cats and dogs as members of the family, on which no monetary value could be placed. He says stiff penalties are especially needed because of the gruesome fates often met by kidnapped animals. Levy says the cruel thieves often ``sell the pets on the black market to laboratories for research, as sparring partners for pit bull terriers, or in some cases for export to the Far East, where dog meat is considered a delicacy.'' The bill still faces approval by the state Assembly and the governor. Copyright 1997 by United Press International.

Go Back

When to Vaccinate Your Dog or Cat

The Philadelphia Inquirer
Sunday, March 2, 1997

The Pet Doctor By Tracy Acosta
Get dogs, cats vaccinated at 6 to 8 weeks. One of the primary responsibilities of every new puppy and kitten owner is to ensure that the new pet is properly vaccinated against the viral diseases that are especially life-threatening to young animals. To confer the appropriate protection requires a series of vaccinations, not just one trip to the veterinarian.
The vaccination series should start at 6 to 8 weeks of age. Many people ask why start then, why not sooner or later? The reason is that up to 6- to 8-weeks old, the young animals are protected from the antibodies that they received through their mother's colostrum and milk. After that, the protection begins to decline and the animals become susceptible to disease. Vaccinations begin at 6 to 8 weeks of age.
Boosters are administered at three- to four-week intervals until the puppy or kitten has received a minimum of four sets of shots until it is at least 16 and preferably 18 weeks old. The series is required to reduce the chance of disease This is because there can be a period when the protection from the mother, while declining, is still too high and interferes with the vaccination being effective. This period is referred to as the ``window of susceptibility.''
The exact time of this susceptibility varies from animal to animal. Therefore, by giving a series of vaccinations, we hope to lessen the chance of this occurring. Besides the life-protecting vaccinations, your pet will receive at each visit a thorough physical examination. This is important so that the young animal is checked for any congenital or other physical abnormalities, such as cleft palates, umbilical or inguinal hernias.
Immunization is the most generally applicable way of preventing viral diseases. In fact, the control of so many viral diseases of animals by immunization is probably the outstanding achievement of veterinary medicine in the 20th century. Do you have a question about your pet? Write to veterinarian Tracy Acosta at The Inquirer, Box 8263, Philadelphia 19101. Philadelphia Online -- The Philadelphia Inquirer, Lifestyle

Go Back-

The Dog and the Bear


©St. Petersburg Times, published

February15, 1997

Once upon a time in the Maine woods -actually, last week in the Maine woods -there lived a mama bear and her two cubs. One day a beagle came to visit. The weather was cold, and the bears were hospitable; they were reluctant to allow their guest to leave. So reluctant that it took a team from the state's Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to get the dog out. While it may sound like a fairy tale, "this is by no means an everyday story,'' said Sandy Ritchie, one of the wildlife experts. "I talked to several people who worked with bears their whole life and they had never heard of such a thing. ''The tale began Feb. 6, when William "Butch" McCormick of Wilton, Maine, went rabbit hunting with his beagle Dodger, who ran off, as beagles will. McCormick set out after him, aided by the dog's radio collar, which beams a directional signal to a hand-held receiver. No luck. McCormick searched till 1 a.m., then returned the next day. It hadn't been too cold the night before, not by Maine standards, and he hoped the dog had survived the 5- to 10-degree temperatures. But the unchanging pattern of beeps from the radio collar suggested Dodger had not moved. That was worrisome. Last Saturday, he finally caught Dodger's tracks and followed them to a snow-covered brush pile. When he called to the dog, Dodger appeared, climbing up from under the brush. "He got up half or two-thirds of the way, and that's when I saw the bear's head. "With McCormick just a few feet away, the big black bear "reached up enough to get ahold of the dog's legs (with its mouth) and pulled him down into the den again. "McCormick turned and ran. On Sunday, he returned with Thomas Jacobs, a state game warden. The warden had a shotgun, which he planned to shoot over the bear's head, if necessary, to scare her. He also carried a 5-foot pole with a loop on the end to pull the dog away. "I called the dog," McCormick recounted. Dodger yelped, but neither man could see him. "It's all dark in there, very very dark in there. . . . The bear wouldn't let the dog out, as far as we could tell. We could hear the cubs just a-squealing and whining, carrying on. "They concluded that a bear expert was needed and went back with one on Monday. This time they also had a jab-stick and a small-caliber rifle, both loaded with tranquilizing drugs. Just in case. At first "we couldn't see the dog," said Ritchie, a biologist. "We could hear the cubs, and the bear seemed to sense our presence, (and) became more active. "Bears don't hibernate in the strict sense of the word, she explained; "they are fairly easily aroused" by a disturbance or the warmth of spring. When McCormick called, Dodger struggled up and was pulled back by the bear. "The dog tried to climb again, and I kept trying to reach for him," she said. "Shewould gently pull him back. . . . It is my opinion that she felt this dog was one of her cubs" and was protectively keeping it close. Finally Ritchie was able to grab the dog's collar and pull him out. This caused the bear to climb out of its den, but when it saw the crowd, it gave up on the dog and headed off slowly into the woods. Two cubs were left in the den, Ritchie said. They were scarcely 4 weeks old, less than 10 inches long and weighed a pound apiece. With the sky clear and a cold night ahead, they would have frozen if left as they were, so the team bundled them up in blankets, hoping for the best. Which is what seems to have happened. When the team checked Tuesday morning, mama bear was back in her den. "She wouldn't stay there if they were dead," Jacobs said. As for Dodger, he was dehydrated, skinnier and hungry, but basically fine. Ritchie said that without the bear's warmth he probably would not have survived. The bear may have helped in another way, too. "We opened the dog's mouth, and we thought she could sense the smell of sour milk," Why would a bear mistake a dog for a cub? Ritchie offered a guess: "You have to realize that she had her young when she was in a state of semi-hibernation." From successful efforts in other cases to get bears to take on an orphan cub, she has concluded that "bears apparently can't count very well. "What is not in doubt is the bear's parenting skills. "She was very, very gentle with that dog," Ritchie marveled.

©Copyright 1997 St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.

Go Back

Death Row Dog Gets New Leash On Life


Tuesday February 11 10:31 AM EST

PORTSMOUTH, N.H., Feb. 11 (UPI) _ Charges have been dropped against a New Hampshire dog that faced the death penalty for killing a neighbor's rooster, but he's been ordered to get out of town. It took about five minutes for a judge to tell a media-packed courtroom Tuesday that Prince would be spared. The decision came after nearly five months of media attention focused on the black Labrador-wolf mix, who faced the death penalty under Portsmouth's three strikes ordinance. The charges could have resulted in Prince's destruction. The agreement to find a new home for Prince outside of Portsmouth came in an out-of-court settlement reached before the hearing. Under the agreement, Prince will remain at the Portsmouth Animal Hospital at owner Margaret Kristiansen's expense, until she can find a home for him outside of the city's limits. Prince was first collared for killing a neighbor's rooster in May. After a hearing, he was labeled a vicious dog and ordered confined and muzzled at all times. But he broke free twice and was caught. The second offense calls for the destruction of the dog. With tears in her eyes, Kristiansen told a media mob outside the courthouse that she was doing the right thing for her dog, even though she really wanted to keep him. She said ``I don't think that's what he deserves, but if that's what's going to take to save his life, that's what we have to do.''

Copyright 1997 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

Go Back

Allergies No Match For Love Of Pet

Friday February 14 12:26 PM EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Would you give up your pet if told that you were allergic to it? Almost 80% of pet-owners in a Canadian study said "No." "Apparently many people find pets sufficiently important to their lifestyle that they are willing to ignore both chronic allergic symptoms and specific medical advice in order to continue living with them," said psychologist Dr. Stanley Coren of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Coren studied the histories of 341 allergy sufferers who were advised by their doctors to give up their pets in order to gain full cessation of allergy symptoms. "The proportion of people who complied with these instructions was extremely low: only 73 (21%) rid themselves of their pets or removed them from the inside of their homes," Coren wrote in a letter published in this week's British Medical Journal. He also reported on a subset of 122 allergy patients who lost their pets due to natural causes, long after being told that the animal was a source of allergies. "In this group, despite the presence of allergies to their pet, and the advice of their doctor, 70% replaced the animal with a new dog or cat." "The emotional gain from the companionship associated with owning a pet is clearly sufficient to offset the physical discomfort caused by continued allergic reactions," Coren says. Cat or dog allergies are estimated to affect 15% of Americans. Allergies are most often caused by tiny flakes of dead skin, or dander, which become loosened from the animal's coat. Dander is then inhaled by humans as it is dispersed in air. Although some medications exist which can help control allergic reactions to household pets, doctors still recommend removal of the pet from the vicinity of the sufferer as the most effective treatment. SOURCE: British Medical Journal (1997;314:517) Copyright © 1997 Reuters Limited.
Go Back

Dog Nuzzles Woman In Court

Tuesday, December 3, 1996 4:50 am EST

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) -- A woman was barking up the wrong tree when she sued a judge for letting his dog snoop under her skirt in court. U.S. District Judge Gerard Goettel said Monday there was nothing he could do about Superior Court Judge Howard Moraghan or his dog, Kodak. Moraghan frequently brought his golden retriever to Danbury Superior Court and Barbara Monsky, a local political activist, claimed the dog had a penchant for sticking its nose where it didn't belong. She said the nuzzling occurred on at least three occasions during court proceedings and the judge refused to do anything about it. ``While it is unfortunate that Judge Moraghan's failure to restrain his dog may have caused plaintiff and other women distress, we do not have jurisdiction over the case,'' ruled Goettel. No doubt with tongue in cheek, Goettel said Monsky's claims ``do not give us pause. ``Contrary to plaintiff's dogged assertions, the fact that defendant was `about to assume the judicial robe' does not change his behavior that was entirely personal into state action. ''Monsky called the decision ``as insulting as having a dog sniff under a skirt.'' © Copyright 1996 The Associated Press

Go Back

Glenn Close Upstaged By Own Dog

Tuesday, November 26, 1996 3:38 pm EST

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Did revenge drive Glenn Close to play evil dog-napper Cruella De Vil in ``101 Dalmations?'' Does her gleeful portrayal have anything to do with being upstaged by her own dog? While she was a student at the College of William and Mary in the early 1970s, Ms. Close owned a small white dog named Penny, recalls theater professor Jerry Bledsoe. One day while she was appearing in a student production of ``The Miser,'' Penny got out of Ms. Close's dressing room and wandered into the theater. ``The dog slowly made its way down the aisle and climbed onstage,'' Bledsoe recalled. Penny appeared just as Ms. Close was just delivering the line, ``The devil sees you and takes you to hell, you beggardly dog.'' Instead of applauding, the audience laughed so hard the play had to stop.

Go Back

Indiana Dog Shoots Man's Foot

Friday, December 6, 1996 7:12 am EST

SPENCER, Ind. (AP) -- Forget dog bites man. Police here have a case of dog shoots man. Boo Boo, an Akita, was blamed for shooting Jame E. Baker in the foot with a 20-gauge shotgun as the man sat in a van Tuesday. ``My investigation is complete and closed at this point -- (I'm) calling this an accidental shooting,'' Sgt. William Snodgrass of the Owen County Sheriff's Department said Thursday. Baker and Susan Groomer stopped along a rural road so she could get an abandoned hornet's nest from a tree for use as a decoration. The gun, which belonged to Ms. Groomer, was under the driver seat, where Baker was sitting. ``Her dog was jumping around and stepped on the gun, and it went off,'' Baker said. A slug passed through his left heel. The heavy leather shoes he was wearing helped slow the slug and may have saved Baker's foot, said Keith Rademachir of Owen County Emergency Medical Services. No permanent injury was expected.

Go Back


Scripps Howard News Service

Release date: 01-04-97

By Scripps Howard News Service

Labrador Retrievers have been the most popular dogs in the United States for the past five years, according to the American Kennel Club:

Most Popular Breeds for 1995.

1. Labrador Retriever

2 Rottweiler

3. German Shepherd

4. Golden Retriever

5. Beagle

6. Poodle

7. Cocker Spaniel

8. Dachshund

9. Pomeranian

10. Yorkshire Terrier

Rankings are based on the number of purebred dogs registered with the AKC in 1995 from the 141 breeds it currently recognizes. (Source: American Kennel Club)

AP-NY-01-03-97 1054EST

Go Back

Kennedy Newlyweds Travel With Dog

Friday, January 3, 1997 2:59 pm EST

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) -- Wherever those Kennedy newlyweds go, their little dog goes, too. For New Year's, the black-and-white dog named Friday stayed at the Big Sky Ski resort with John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. ``We had a great time,'' Kennedy said Thursday after the trip. The couple tried to avoid a reporter's attention at the airport. ``It's our vacation. It's not cool,'' Mrs. Kennedy said. Friday, who did not travel incognito, sprinted in the terminal and turned several heads before being tucked away in a travel cage. ``He goes everywhere,'' Kennedy said.

© Copyright 1997 The Associated Press

Go Back

Thursday January 2 12:00 PM EDT

Institute for Genetic Disease Control in Animals: New Technology Targets

Genetic Disease in Dogs

DAVIS, Calif., Jan. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- A campaign to control genetic disease in the nation's dogs was launched today by the Institute for Genetic Disease Control in Animals (GDC). The effort is based on a revolutionary breeding approach that takes advantage of advances in medical diagnostics and genetics, coupled with state-of-the-art information technology.

About 37 percent of the nation's households own the country's 52.5 million dogs, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. In many of those homes, more than 300 known canine genetic diseases have becomehousehold words. Afflictions such as progressive retinal atrophy (causing night blindness), cardiomyopathy (weakened heart muscles), sebaceous adenitis (hair falls out), and von Willebrand's disease, a blood ailment found in 59 breeds, now cause epidemic emotional and financial hardship among America's dog owners.

Dogs suffer more frequently from hereditary ailments -- up to 70 percent of some breeds are afflicted -- than any other animals, humans included, says Dr. George Padgett, a professor of pathology at Michigan State University. At least $2 billion a year is spent in this country treating gene diseases in man's best friend, according to Dr. William D. Schall, a Michigan State professor of small animal surgery and medicine. That's more than the expenditure on any other kind of veterinary care, says Padgett.

GDC's efforts revolve around use of "open registries," plus a powerful computer program developed by one of American industry's leading scientific research directors, Dr. Martin Packard, a pioneer in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology. Dogs included in GDC's registries are tested for the genetic diseases most common to their breeds. The results of those tests are entered into a computerized database known as a KinReport(TM). It shows which dogs are genetically stricken, and which, despite normal appearance, are likely to be disease carriers. "After six years of developing its system, GDC can help dog owners bring genetic disease under control fairly soon," said Dr. Paul Poulos, GDC's executive director.

How soon? "Using GDC's resources, the country's dog lovers could easily reduce genetic disease by ten to twelve percent a year," said Padgett. "In a decade we could cut the rate of genetic disease to five percent from its present range of thirty-seven to seventy percent." "We're on the brink of a revolution in the health of America's dogs," said Poulos, who will summarize GDC's work at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, Florida, January 8 through 15. GDC's 1997 budgetary need is just $250,000. As part of its campaign, the organization is appealing to the largest companies in America's $20-billion-a-year pet industry for help. "We're hopeful industry leaders will step forward," said Poulos.

A detailed overview has been sent to the country's largest pet companies. For a copy of that report, which includes names and phone numbers of leaders in the nation's veterinary and dog fancy circles already supporting GDC's efforts, or for more information, contact Dr. Paul Poulos at GDC, 916-756-6773.

SOURCE Institute for Genetic Disease Control in Animals

Go Back

Fido Not Behaving Himself? Could Be Separation Anxiety

01/09/97 02:22:16 PM

By CHRYSTAL CARUTHERS The (Arlington Heights), Daily Herald

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) -- Life just couldn't be better when a new puppy breaks up the daily monotony and the two of you form an unbreakable bond. You shower the pup with love, doggy treats and even let him crawl into bed with you because you hardwood floors can be a tad chilly. But suddenly, your pup seems to be unraveling. You come home from work to find the couch arms chewed. Your cuddly pup has been scratching at the door so vigorously it's ground down its nails.

Veterinarian John J. Ciribassi of Carol Stream said these may be symptoms of separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is often followed by aggression in the most common behavioral problem for dogs, he said. Ciribassi placed a newspaper ad searching for owners who want their dogs to be included in a national study in which his office is taking part.

There are 10 cities involved. The study, sponsored by an unidentified drug company, wants to find out if an antidepressant that has been used to treat humans successfully will also benefit dogs. The first week the ad ran, he received 20 phone calls. ``So far, eight dogs are participating in the study. We want up to 30. ''But don't think that cutting up your Prozac and dissolving it in the water bowl is considered treatment. The drug, which Ciribassi refused to name, needs to be administered and monitored by a veterinarian. Separation anxiety is exclusive to canines. ``The theory is that dogs are more of a social animal so they become more dependent. They become members of the family pack.

Cats don't really have that same type of structure,'' Ciribassi said. Dogs brought home in the summer often suffer when children go back to school. ``There is a strong emotional and physical attachment between the dog and one member of the house. So much so that the dog cannot function when that person is gone,'' said Ciribassi. ``Dogs need to learn at an early age to function alone. ``There is a happy medium between leaving the dog alone without any social interaction and not leaving it alone to develop its own individuality. ''But don't start feeling guilty for loving your dog and start ignoring him in hopes of preventing this disorder. ``The main point is, some dogs have a propensity for this problem, '' Ciribassi said. ``As pet owners, there are things we can do to foster it.'' Linda Castle, director of the Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin, said there are steps that can help alleviate a dog's feelings of abandonment. ``You can gradually get a dog used to your leaving,'' she said. ``Leave for a short time at first, and gradually increase the time you're gone. He'll get used to it. Just don't do anything too rash. ''Ciribassi agreed, adding that there is no panacea for the disorder. ``Behavior problems cannot be treated with medication alone. In order to minimize the behavior, you can use a dog-walking service, a dog day-care service or a kennel.'' EDITOR'S NOTE -- For more information on the study, call 630-653-1000.

Go Back


[Comment for The 01/26/97 10:25:56 PM

BY SHERRY JOE CROSBY c.1997 Los Angeles Daily News

LOS ANGELES -- They all are accused of vicious crimes: maulings, bites and unprovoked attacks. But their attorney believes that these charged criminals deserve a good lawyer -- and a dog biscuit. Attorney Michael Rotsten of Encino, 17 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, said he is the only attorney in California who specializes in representing the owners of dogs sentenced to die because of their aggressive behavior toward humans. ``I'm on a mission and the mission makes me feel good about what I'm doing,'' said Rotsten, who sometimes uses character witnesses and animal psychiatrists to appeal his clients' death row sentences. The former criminal lawyer represents pet owners in a variety of cases. He said he has won settlements as large as $30,000 on behalf of his clients and successfully pursued dozens of malpractice suits against veterinarians who have botched flea treatments, neutering operations and misdiagnosed life-threatening illnesses. For animal lovers and their pets, the 54-year-old attorney is a dog's best friend. ``He's got a big heart for animals,'' said Herman Udaeta of Simi Valley, 35 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, whose 1-year-old mixed Rottweiler was run over by two Simi Valley police cruisers in November. ``Michael is a great guy. He's my sword and shield.'' For others, the crusading pet lawyer is a public nuisance who frees dangerous dogs who are only a nip away from seriously or fatally injuring someone. Destroying such a dog ``is the absolute way to make sure it doesn't happen again,'' said Chris Day, attorney for a family in Yorba Linda in neighboring Orange County, whose 7-year-old son, Zachary Anderson, was mauled in December 1995 by a bull mastiff. The dog escaped death thanks to Rotsten. The boy needed 70 stitches and staples to close scalp lacerations and is still suffering from the trauma of the event, Day said. ``It's been terrible for them,'' he said. ``The psychological scars remain but the physical scars have healed. (Zachary) is frightened to death of large dogs. He has nightmares.'' Rotsten handles about 60 animal cases a year, representing pet owners whose dogs have bitten or, mauled their victims, died at the hands of vets or who are fighting pet restrictions in apartments and condominium complexes. Of eight cases involving vicious dogs facing death, he has lost only one -- a Staffordshire terrier mix that, bit 15 people, including a 90-year-old woman, before it was destroyed. He has three more cases pending, including the one in Simi Valley. ``My favorite thing is dangerous dog cases,'' Rotsten said. ``The government is going against some dog owner and wants to kill the dog. Everything deserves to be alive, even a dog who bites someone.'' Since he began taking animal cases in 1992, Rotsten has won $30,000 from a security company, whose officers shot and killed a German Shepard that lived in a Laurel Canyon home they were patrolling and $15,000 for a cat that died after a veterinarian gave it a flea treatment designed for cows. ``I've always loved animals,'' said Rotsten, who owns three cats and grew up with a menagerie that included a desert tortoise, parakeets, guppies, dogs and cats. ``As a kid I wanted to be a veterinarian.'' Now Rotsten helps animals by representing their owners in court, using letters of reference to substantiate an accused killer's good behavior. For those who can pay, he will use an animal psychiatrist to determine why a dog may have attacked someone. ``The psychiatrist spends two to four hours with the dog, interviews the owners and looks at the paperwork on the case and tries to help figure out what's going on in the dog's brain,'' Rotsten said. In Simi Valley, he is representing Udaeta, whose five mixed Rottweilers escaped through a hole in their backyard fence Nov. 25. Four were safely captured but the fifth, a young, spirited canine named Little Boxie, was crushed underneath the wheels of two Simi Valley police cruisers. Udaeta, a 29-year-old pharmacist technician, maintains that his animals attacked no one and that the officers acted recklessly by running over the dog. Simi Valley police tell a different story. ``The dogs were growling and threatening the officers when they got out of their cars,'' Sgt. Bob Gardner said. ``The officers sprayed them with pepper spray. But they were still being threatening.'' Finally, the officers used their cars to intercept Little Boxie who was running toward two adults holding a small child, he said. The dog died from the impact. Rotsten also represents Acton resident Emma Harter, a 65-year-old retired school cafeteria manager who was convicted in December 1995 of operating a kennel without a license for about 40 Chihuahuas that shared her home. She received a suspended sentence of up to 180 days in jail, was placed on probation for three years and ordered to build a kennel and to work 16 days of community service. In July, animal control officers removed all but three of the dogs from her home. Now Harter is appealing her conviction and is looking forward to a court date later this month. ``I am confident (Rotsten) can get my dogs back for me because he knows his job and he has a lot of feelings for the dogs,'' Harter said. Neighbors, however, view the return of the barking dogs with trepidation. ``It's been great since they've been gone,'' said Donna Watson, who lives next door to the yapping Chihuahuas. ``They were loud. They were annoying. I would get woken up four or five nights a week.'' Rotsten said he is not trying to unleash annoying or dangerous dogs onto the public, but only trying to save worthwhile lives. ``It's like buying a spot in dog heaven,'' he said. NYT-01-26-97 2323EST

Go Back

The Dog vs. The Mailman

A Purdue University professor says anyone who thinks mail carriers are a favorite target of dogs is barking up the wrong tree. Alan Beck is an expert on the interaction of humans and animals. He says dogs naturally attack perceived threats to their territory and don't discriminate among their targets. It's not the uniform either. Says Beck- ``The number-one reason mail carriers get bitten is they keep invading the dog's territory. The same thing would happen no matter what the mail carrier was wearing.'' Approximately 2,850 U-S Postal Service personnel were bitten by dogs in 1995. In 1996, the Human Society of the United States and the Postal Service co-sponsored the second annual National Dog Bite Prevention Week to make people aware of how to avoid dog bites.

Source unknown.

Go Back

The Wolf Credo

Author Unknown (does anyone know the origin of this?):

Borrowed from Dave's Page (a Must See)

Respect the elders

Teach the young

Cooperate with the pack


Play when you can

Hunt when you must

Rest in between


Share your affection

Voice your feelings

Leave your mark.


Animal behaviorists and scientists say that we can understand the antics of dogs by studying the wolf. What dog owner has not seen the wolf credo in their dog? What if all people adopted this?


The Human Credo


Don't bad mouth ma and pa

Become a role model for your kid

Don't support a group that wants to murder


Don't be lazy

Get only what you need

Get enough sleep


Make love not war

Don't be a doormat


Got any better ideas? Send email.

Go Back

These stories are from various wire services. All rights reserved.

Other Dog Sites


2000 Dog Names

Alaskan Malamute and Belgian Sheepdog/Groenendael

Alaskan Malamute WebRing

Available For Adoption in San Francisco

Detecting Illegal Substances

Dog Breed Index

Dog Lovers Bookshop

Dog-Related Links


dogmark online magazine cool dog site of the day

Dog Information, News and Much More

Dog Owners Guide

Dogs and Their Incredible Noses

How To Open A Dog Run In Your Community

Hellyer Park Dog Run Web Page

Hollywood Hounds

How to Establish a Successful Dog Run in Your Community

How To Love Your Dog

Maggie's (My Dog) Favorite Place

Maggie's Page

Pet Assisted Therapy

Pearlie the WonderDog


The Pet Channel - The Complete Online Resource for Pet Owners and Lovers

Off Leash! (for Brooklyn Dogs)

San Francisco Humane Society: A Real Leader, Surf and See Why

San Francisco South Bay Off Leash Dog Parks

Welcome to NetVet

Comments? Use Email here

You are visitor number

Visit my other sites:

Maggie's Page and Dog Issues

Dog Parks of the San Francisco Bay Area, Dog Photography

My Two Dogs, Dog Jokes, Dog Origins and Behavior.

How to Photograph the Golden Gate Bridge

Photos of San Fracisco's famous icon in a new way

Eric's Photography

Photos from around the world of A to Z

Peptide chemists and organic chemists can go further on this page but all the rest:

it's jargon time. Pardon me. You can wade through my resume and see how we got here.

Cleavage of Peptide Resins with Halotrialkylsilanes

Eliminates the need for toxic and dangerous hydrogen fluoride

in peptide-resin cleavage and makes large scale peptide production possible.

My resume

Been there, done that.




Last change: 7/9/2006