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Archive for December 1st, 2009

Chihuahua wins “Cutest Dog” competition

A Colorado Chihuahua has won the All American Pet Company’s “Cutest Dog Competition,” and his owner says the $1 million in prize money will all be donated to the Dumb Friends Leage and the Max Fund Animal Shelter.

Dr. Papidies, owned by Dr. Leslie Capin, of Parker, beat out 60,000 other dogs for the title, which was awarded based on Internet voting.

Capin says she will donate half a million dollars to the Dumb Friends League and half a million to the Max Fund Animal Shelter.

Papidies was rescued from a puppy mill. He suffers from Addison’s disease and almost died three years ago, according to Dr. Capin. He recovered, and went on to serve as mascot for Capin’s doctor’s office, where people began referring to him as Dr. Papidies.

Minneapolis police dog dies after fall from roof

chaseA Minneapolis police dog died Monday after falling from the roof of a three-story building.

Chase, who had served in the department since 2007, was helping his handler, Eric Lukes, search the roof of a former car dealership during a burglary call when he fell.

The dog was taken to the University of Minnesota for medical treatment but he couldn’t be saved, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

“It’s tough to lose one of these dogs,” police spokesman Sgt. Bill Palmer said. “They’re invaluable in safeguarding the lives of our officers.”

Police said three suspects were arrested at the scene.

Why dogs are better than men — in song

norahjones-album

I have no statistics, just a hunch: Dogs — in addition to all the other places they’re appearing more often (books, TV and movies to name three) — are turning up more regularly on album covers.

The latest I’m aware of is the Saint Bernard who graces the cover of Norah Jones’ new album, “The Fall.”

The dog on the cover isn’t her’s — just one of several model dogs that the photographer planned to use in a group shot.

“She wanted to use a bunch of dogs because she likes working with animals. I thought it sounded fun,” Jones said in an interview with Hulu’s blog “We ended up just loving the Saint Bernard so much that we got some shots with just him. He was so beautiful.”

Jones is a dog lover, doting in particular on her rescued poodle Ralph.

“My dogological clock started to tick. So I got a dog … I’m madly in love with him,” the songstress told NPR’s Morning Edition. “I like to say that he’s a scruffy, manly poodle, because you say poodle and people start rolling their eyes… ”

Ralph also served as the inspiration for the closing track of the album, “Man of the Hour,” whose lyrics recite the many advantages living with a dog has over living with a man.

Here’s her recent performance of the song on “Good Morning America.”

First swine flu found in dogs in China

The first cases in the world of H1N1 influenza virus in dogs have been reported in Beijing, according to the China Daily News.

The virus found  was a 99-percent match for the flu currently infecting humans, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, which announced the canine infection on Saturday. The infection is believed to have been passed to the dogs by infected people. Health officials in China assure that infected dogs are “no risk to humans”

While dogs are susceptible to their own form of influenza virus, called canine influenza, the cases in China are the first documented ones of  the H1N1 virus strain, or swine flu,  infecting canines, according to Examiner.com

Canine influenza virus is said not to be transmissible to people, though it is easily passed from dog to dog.

The H1N1 virus has been found in many species, including pigs,  ferrets, cats and people.

Officials stated the virus will become a threat to people only if it mutates.

“Deluxe” FURminator easier on the hands

FURminator_blue_angle_01042The friendly folks at FURminator keep making a great, if pricey, product better — and ever more frustratingly difficult to get out of the package.

The product I was sent — the new fur-ejecting FURminator with an improved handle — worked amazingly well. They’ve improved the fur-ejecting technology, so, unlike with earlier models, hair shoots right out of the deshedding tool with the simple push of a button. The new handle is contoured to better fit the hand.

But the packaging! Why manufacturers insist on encasing their products in thick, clear plastic cocoons that take a hacksaw to open, I’ll never understand.

Perhaps it is to suggest that their product is so valuable it rates a hermetically sealed shroud that can be opened only by a team of physics majors.

Once I did manage to free the Deluxe FURminator from its package, which also featured a twisted wire to hold it firmly into its mold, it was smooth sailing.

As with earlier versions, it did a magnificent job of removing my dog’s loose hair and undercoat. In 15 minutes, not counting the 30 minutes it took to open it, I’d removed enough hair to fill a grocery bag. With the new and far more comfortable handle, I could have filled enough for two more bags, but I figured Ace might want to keep a little undercoat for winter.

The small “Deluxe Collection” FURminator, with fur ejector, retails for around $50, and the FURminator website lists some of the stores in which you can find it. The Deluxe Collection went on sale in pet stores today.

As for my now slightly used model, I repackaged it as best I could and it will be awarded — by Santa himself — to a worthy dog at the upcoming Pet Photos with Santa event at Riverside Park in Baltimore. (Saturday, Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. to noon). Proceeds from the event go to the Franky Fund for the care of sick and injured animals at Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS).