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Archive for January 19th, 2009

Puparazzi? Photog returns Aniston’s dog

Who says the paparazzi are good for nothing?

TMZ is reporting that Jennifer Aniston’s dog, Norman, escaped from her Malibu home over the weekend, and was found and returned by a photographer. What’s more, the photographer saved the dog from walking into traffic, TMZ said.

Aniston, now appearing in Marley & Me, is shown here with Norman, a corgi-terrier, in a 2005 Elle magazine spread.

A video posted on TMZ.com shows a paparazzo taking the dog back to Aniston’s home. No comment yet on the incident from Aniston.

“Chloe’s” bill: a crack down on puppy mills

An Illinois lawmaker has proposed legislation aimed at cracking down on puppy mills by regulating large-scale dog breeders and pet stores.

Among other things, the bill would limit breeders to 20 dogs per license, prohibit breeders from keeping dogs in tiny cages and requires that they provide dogs with adequate heat, ventilation and veterinary care.

Animal welfare activists and state Rep. John Fritchey (D-Chicago) announced the proposed law Sunday at PAWS Chicago, a no-kill animal shelter in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

The bill — backed by the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals —  is called Chloe’s Bill after a young female dog that was rescued from an unlicensed puppy mill in rural central Illinois.

Chloe was one of 55 sick dogs housed in overcrowded, dangerous and filthy conditions, according to CBS 2 in Chicago.

Chloe, the only surviving member of her litter at the puppy mill, was adopted by the head of animal control in Macon County, Roy Austin. She’s now 6 months old. She attended the news conference wearing a collar with a large bow.

When she was removed from the puppy mill, Chloe and the hother animals were covered with feces and fleas, and had internal parasites, matted coats and damaged paws from standing 24 hours a day in urine-soaked wires cages, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“Any breeder in business for the love of animals will welcome this legislation,” Fritchey said. “Those who look at puppies as nothing but cash crops are in for a rude awakening.”

Dogs shoo birds at 20 U.S. airports

Here’s one way to reduce the number of birds at airports, and cut down on accidents like the forced Hudson River landing of US Airways jet last week.

Her name is Sky.

Sky (click the link above for the video) is a 1-year-old border collie about four months into her job shooing birds away from Southwest Florida International Airport.

“She’s not aggressive at all, but to the birds, she looks like a predator — a wolf or a coyote,” said James Hess, airport operations agent and Sky’s handler. Big birds or flocks of birds, in addition to getting sucked into jet engines, can disable wing tips, dent the fuselage and break windshields.

Southwest Florida International is among about 20 airports nationwide using dogs for some form of wildlife control, according to Rebecca Ryan, owner of Flyaway Farm and Kennels in North Carolina, which has supplied dogs to both military and commercial airfields.

Southwest Florida International was among the first U.S. commercial airports to employ a bird dog, beginning in 1999, according to airport director Bob Ball. Sky is the third generation of her breed to patrol the airport southeast of Fort Myers.

According to USA Today, Charleston (S.C.) International and Canada’s Vancouver International also use dogs for wildlife control.

Marley & You

(Today, ohmidog! kicks off a new feature, a monthly column on dog training and behavior, written by Lauren Bond and Carolyn Stromer of B-More Charming School for Dogs. To keep up with their reports, click on the Behave! tab on the right side rail.)

I’m sure that by now just about every dog person has seen the movie “Marley and Me.” We laughed, we cried, then we cried some more.

Some experienced dog owners, and trainers like ourselves, have even offered our two cents about Marley’s upbringing, saying that his owners were irresponsible, that if we owned a dog like that we would most certainly have put him in his place. We wouldn’t have allowed our couch to be eaten, or our drapes to be torn down, or our gold necklace to go in one end of the dog and come out of the other.

But the truth is we have all been there.

We’ve all been first-time dog owners, overwhelmed, unsure where to turn. Some of us, even by our third or fourth dog, remain that way.

Why won’t he get off of the furniture? Why do my shoes, hairbrush, wallet, cell phone, (insert object of choice here) always wind up in his mouth? Why can’t I come home, just once, to the trash can being upright, untouched, with all of the trash still inside? How come my “NO’S!” and “STOP ITS!” only lead to a game of catch-me-if-you-can? Is it really too much to ask of man’s best friend that he just be calm, listen to what I tell him and lay quietly at my feet waiting for further instructions?

To be completely honest … yes, it is.

Think back to the day you brought your first puppy home. He didn’t come with an instruction manual. Maybe, at best, the shelter gave you a brochure, or some information on his vaccine record and what kind of food and toys he liked. But there was nothing on how to influence his behavior, no foolproof tips for getting him to stop jumping all over guests when they walk through the front door. Or teaching him to walk nicely on leash. Or keeping him from chewing up your new Blackberry.

You might have tried staying one step ahead by reading up on dog behavior before you brought him home. There’s a ton of conventional wisdom out there, books galore, dog magazines and an entire Animal Network. How could you go wrong?

Easily.

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