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No More Doggies in the Window

When I was growing up, there was a store called “Puppy Center” down the street from our church, and oftentimes I would sucker my mom into going in and looking at all the puppies (even playing with them.)  But these memories soon won’t exist anymore for children nowadays. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

While I covet the memories of looking at the adorable dogs with my mom, the restrictions that have been happening in multiple states are for the better.  Smaller chains of stores as well as privately owned shops often are responsible for selling dogs.  The problem with this is that many stores get their puppies from subpar commercial breeders and puppy mills.  The conditions in these mills in poor, there is often interbreeding among dogs too closely related, and forcing pregnancy after pregnancy on dogs whose bodies are not ready to carry more puppies yet.  These conditions often cause puppies to be born with bad defects or cause them to be predisposed to fatal illnesses.  Many of these dogs live very short lives.

Florida is one state that has just recently banned the selling of dogs in all pet stores.  While this will, unfortunately, put a lot of people out of business, it will help shut down bad puppy mills and require breeders to have better conditions.  Healthier, happier puppies will be the result!

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Hero Spotlight Sunday – Angel

Today’s story involves another dog who lives up to her name.

Angel, at a young eighteen months old, saved her 11-year-old owner’s life four years ago in Boston Bar, British Columbia.

It was about 5:30 p.m. when Austin Forman was gathering firewood outside to help out his family.  His mother, Sherri, says he came into the house at one point saying that Angel was glued to his side.  Sherri thought this was strange, because though Angel usually likes playing around outside with Austin, she was never a dog that was attached-at-the-hip.

It is said that animals often have intuitions that humans don’t, and this seems to be true in Angel’s case.  A cougar had been watching, and charged at Austin.  Angel, however, intercepted the attack and began to fight the cougar off.  The animals fought under the family’s deck as they called 911. Thankfully, an officer was in the area and was able to intervene.  He killed the cougar before it could do any more damage to Angel.

Miraculously, Angel came out alright.  She has some deep scratches and wounds, but healed well. The first thing she did when the cougar’s body was pulled off her was run to Austin to make sure he was alright.

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Breed Feature – Saint Bernard

Saint Bernards – we know them as large and in charge!  They run at an average of 30 inches tall and can weigh up to 264 pounds.  Saint Bernards were actually at one time significantly smaller, but were bred with mastiffs upon their arrival to America and this is where their breed grew to the massive average size it is now.

Stephen King’s famous novel-turned-movie Cujo painted a pretty vicious image of Saint Bernards and it seemed that the Saint Bernard was the number one monster for a while in the 80’s.  However, people soon came to their senses when they realized how sweet these gentle giants are!

While they are not aggressive by nature, Saint Bernards make very good watchdogs because of their massive size.  Though not aggressive, these dogs can be troublemakers.  It is highly encouraged to begin training Saint Bernards from the time they are a puppy.  They can get quite rambunctious, and because of their extremely large size, are very difficult to control once they are grown.  However, if properly trained, Saint Bernards can be loving, affectionate pals!  Just make sure they don’t know over your children by accident.

bernard

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Can Your Dog Get Ebola?

As we all know, there has been quite the scare lately concerning the Ebola virus spreading.  After one man, Thomas Eric Duncan, tested positive for Ebola and later died in a hospital in Dallas, Texas, the paranoia has heightened.  In a recent update, a nurse from the hospital who breached protocol when she repeatedly visited the man, has also tested positive for the virus.

The nurse who tested positive has a dog, Bentley, who has been quarantined by the Dallas Animal Services, which set in even more panic. While the virus can be and is being controlled, this does not stop the worry from setting in.  Soon people are thinking, “Will I get it?  Will my family get it?  My friends?  My dog?”

Everyone, take a deep breath.  Studies have shown that dogs and cats cannot contract the Ebola virusMany people have been concerned that dogs and cats do not get screened on flights to and from countries.  However, officials from the Center of Disease Control state that there is no evidence to suggest that it is possible for a dog or cat to get or spread Ebola.

So don’t worry, Bentley will be just fine, and so will your dog.

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Hero Spotlight Sunday – Kankuntu

Kankuntu’s story is one unlike any of these other pooch heroes. You think you’ve heard it all until you hear his heroic tale, a dog saving his owner from pirates.

Peter and Betty Lee, a couple from the UK, were sailing their yacht off the coast of Venezuela when a fishing boat began rapidly approaching them at a high speed. The men on the boat fired a gun at the couple, then jumped aboard and moved in to attempt an attack. When one pirate raised his gun and aimed it at Peter, Kankuntu leapt into action. He attacked the lead pirate and his crew, and didn’t give up until he was shot and stabbed.

The pirates abandoned the ship, and poor Kankuntu remarkably survived his injuries. Even though it took a few days to get him back to shore for help, Kankuntu was strong for his humans. He not only saved their life, but held onto his own!

Kankunto

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Breed Feature – Irish Wolfhound

If you’ve ever seen an Irish Wolfhound, or even a picture of one, you know just how massive they are! These dogs tip the scale at 120 pounds and stand tall at 32 inches. They actually rank as the tallest dog breed!

Though one would assume they get their name because they resemble their canine cousin, wolves, they actually are called “wolfhounds” because they were originated to hunt wolves. Irish Wolfhounds are “sighthounds” meaning they hunt primarily by sight and sound, as opposed to most other hounds who hunt by scent (called scenthounds.)

Unlike most dog breeds who have distinctive characteristics associated with their breed, Wolfhounds are known for their unique quirks and individuality. However, qualities common in many are a boisterous, mindless play. They tend to be carefree over defensive or guarding.

Author and Wolfhound breeder Linda Glover refers to these dogs as “guardians” rather than “guard dogs.”

Irish_Wolfhound_Sam

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Dog Hotel Revealed as Unkempt Kennel

A doggy staycare in Westbrookville, New York, run by a man named Roland Fox, has been exposed as a
filthy, unhealthy set of kennels. Fox, who claimed to be a “canine expert” ran a training center called
Fox K9 Instinct Barkour. This training center was supposed to serve as a place where owners could leave
their pets when they went on vacation and could be pampered. But as it turns out, Fox was doing the
opposite.

The owner of two dogs, a golden doodle named Santana and a 10-month-old Charles King Spaniel
named Cappy, left his pooches with Fox while he went on vacation. He expected them to be cared for,
but instead, received a phone call while he was away from Fox saying that the dogs had been killed
by a black bear. Not only did Fox reveal this, but then said that he had the animals cremated without
permission because they were “starting to smell.”

This is every animal lover’s and dog owner’s worst nightmare. The dogs’ owner was so upset with
what happened that he hired a private investigator to look into Fox’s business. What they uncovered
was shocking. Fox was not at the residence he advertised. Instead, he was in a tent on the Catskills
mountainside surrounded by filthy kennels. Dogs were tied to trees and housed in filthy makeshift
kennels. The investigator reports many of the dogs looked neglected and even emaciated. Fox even
went so far as to lure a bear onto his property and shot it, claiming it was the bear that killed the
owner’s dogs.

This is a sad, shocking, and unusual case. However, it certainly serves as a warning. When you leave
your dog in a kennel, however “luxury” the advertisements make it out to be, always look further into it
to avoid any tragedies like this.

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Reasoning of Dog Compares with Toddler

A new study shows that dogs have the potential to have the mental capacity of a two-year-old child. While this may not sound like much, it actually is. Previously, it has been thought that dogs do not have the ability to use something called “social inference” but as it turns out, they can!

Social inference is something that refers to how a child learns. For example, if a father asks his one-year-old which cup a ball is under, and he does not know, he will not pick up a cup. However, if the father then points to a cup, the baby will look under that cup because he is inferring that the ball is under that cup.

This is the way 86-year-old retired psychology Professor, John Pilley, claims his Border Collie, Chaser, has been learning. Pilley has been teaching Chaser for up to five hours, five days a week for the past nine years. Chaser has learning vocabulary for the past nine years, and has maintained a whole lot. She knows the names for 800 cloth animals, 116 different balls and more than a hundred plastic toys. That is a total of 1,022 vocabulary words that Chaser knows. The study that observed Chaser resulted in her identifying the correct toy 95% of the time.

This just goes to show that if you have lots of free time on your hands and a faithful companion, you might just be able to teach them over 1,000 new words!

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Two New Breeds Now Part of Dog Show

The Westminster Kennel Club has announced that they will be allowing two new breeds to compete in their 139th dog show next year.

 

One is a Wirehaired Vizsla, a natural hunting dog with a lean and athletic body.  This Hungarian breed is  called “wirehaired” because of their rough, wiry coats.

 

Quite the opposite, the other new breed is out of Madagascar, a breed called “Coton de Tulear.”  This type of dog is especially expensive, going for about $2000 or $3000.  Unlike the tall Vizsla, Cotons are small and fluffy.  They have big, white coats and are very chill compared to the athletic Vizsla.

 

These dogs, who will compete in the Westminster Show in Madison Square Garden in February, are now  part of 139 breeds that are recognized by the Westminster Kennel Club.

 

I don’t know about you, but I’ll be rooting for these cute newbies come February!

 

-Jenna Gomes

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Parvovirus Outbreak in Indiana

This serves as a good warning to get your dogs vaccinated!  It seems silly to get your dog vaccinated for something you believe is rare or difficult to catch, but recent cases in Indiana prove otherwise.

 

Parvovirus, or “Parvo” for short, is spread through a dog ingesting the feces of an infected animal.  Sounds gross, but we have to be aware that dogs will be dogs, and sometimes, they do things like that.

 

Not only has there been a large breakout of Parvo in Indiana, but the cases that have surfaced have lasted much longer than average.  The average case of Parvo lasts about two to three days once the dog is hospitalized.  However, in the cases that have been happening in Indiana, the disease has been taking longer to get out of the dogs’ systems.  As opposed to two or three days, it has been taking an average of six or seven days for the dogs to get over the infection.

 

Veterinarians aren’t sure why the disease is staying in dogs’ systems so long, but point out that it dogs can even get infected by shoes or clothing that carries the disease into the house.

 

-Jenna Gomes

 

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