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Archive for December 10th, 2009

Five contestants win holiday feasts

Less than three hours after posting our contest, we’ve already got all five winners.

The winners will be getting  a “Fido Friendly Holiday Feast” from K-9 Kraving, makers of the only USDA-certified, natural, vitamin enriched raw diet dog food.

The Fido Friendly Holiday Feast is a treat bag stuffed with the festive flavors of the holiday season —  an 8 oz. bag of turkey and cranberry canine cookies, a sweet potato canine cookie, a duck and pumpkin canine cookie, and a K-9 Kraving flying disc thrown in so you and your dog can work off your meal.

Thanks to all that entered, and to K-9 Kraving for providing the prizes. Feel free to continue to play, but be advised all the prizes have been awarded.

Here are the correct answers.

1. Catahoula leopard dog

2. Any of these

3. Any of these

4. Newt Gingrich

5. Cody

6. Baltimore and Albany

7. Norah Jones

8. Preservatives, sugar, dyes, cereal grains, fillers or chemicals

9. Owen Wilson

10. ohmidog!

Win your dog some healthful holiday snacks

K-9 Kraving Promo(UPDATE: All five winners have been named.)

Given that our friends at K-9 Kraving have offered to serve up the prizes, we’ve put together another ohmidog! contest, designed to test your doggie news knowledge and sneakily take you to places on our website you might not have been before.

The first five readers who answer all ten questions correctly, in the form of comments attached to this entry, will win a K-9 Kraving “Fido Friendly Holiday Feast” from the makers of the only USDA-certified, natural, vitamin enriched raw diet dog food.

The Fido Friendly Holiday Feast is designed to allow dogs to enjoy the festive flavors of the holiday season without worrying about the unsavory after-effects of eating human table scraps, and it includes an 8 oz. bag of turkey and cranberry canine cookies, a sweet potato canine cookie, a duck and pumpkin canine cookie, a K-9 Kraving flying disc and brochure.

For a couple of the answers, I’ve provided links to help you get started. For the rest, you’ll have to navigate on your own. Hint: Use our search bar. Note: on some browsers, due to a quirk, you have to scroll waaaaay down the page to get the search results. We’re working on it.

Here’s the quiz:

1. What is the state dog of Louisiana?

2. Name one book that is mentioned on our “Good Dog Reads” page. (Clue: Check the tabs at the top of our rightside rail.)

3. Name one movie available in our Amazon “Dogs in the Movies” collection. (Clue: Check lower down on the rightside rail.)

4. Who is Newt’s Nook named after?

5. What is the name of the chocolate Labrador who was so rudely ousted from his gas station job in Florida recently?

6. What two cities still have giant statues of Nipper — the RCA Victor mascot — sitting atop buildings?

7. What female singer sings the praises of dogs as companions (over men) in a song called “Man of the Hour” on her recently released album?

8. Name three of the six things that K-9 Kraving Raw Diet Dog Food does not contain. (Hint: Find their advertisement on our left side rail, click on it, and read the second paragraph of their home page).

9. Who will be the voice of “Marmaduke” in the upcoming 20th Century Fox movie based on the comic strip?

10. If two trains leave the station at exactly the same time, one headed east, one headed west, both traveling at 90 miles per hour, and you were on one of them, and it had Internet, what dog website would you be most likely to read? (Hint: It starts with an “o“)

(Be sure and include your email address along with your answers. If you’re one of the five winners — the first five who submit comments correctly answering all 10 questions — we’ll contact you for shipping information. Prizes and shipping courtesy of K9 Kraving. Contest open only to residents of the (sorry Alaska and Hawaii) continental U.S. Offer void where prohibited, whatever that means. Employees of ohmidog! and their families and K-9 Kraving, and their families, are not eligible.)

“Pedigree Dogs Exposed” gets first U.S. airing

“Pedigree Dogs Exposed, ” the controversial BBC documentary that shed some much needed light on purebred breeding practices and the horrors they have produced, will get its first airing in the U.S. tonight (Dec. 10).

Probably the single most important piece of dog reporting in the past decade, the documentary led to the BBC dropping its coverage of Crufts, the UK’s equivalent of the Westminster Dog Show.

The documentary looks at how many breeds have had their physical appearance so exaggerated they’re unrecognizable from a century ago, and it examines some of the breed-specific health problems that have resulted from breeders emphasizing looks over health when breeding dogs for shows.

The show, which led to some changes in Kennel Club and breeder policies and practices,  airs at 8 p.m. tonight on BBC America.

The documentary revealed that dogs suffering from genetic illness are not prevented from competing in dog shows and have gone on to win “best in breed”, despite their poor health. It says physical traits required by the Kennel Club’s breed standards in the U.K., such as short faces, wrinkling, screw-tails and dwarfism, have led to inherent health problems.

This excerpt from the program shows a prize-winning cavalier King Charles spaniel suffering from syringomyelia, a condition which occurs when a dog’s skull is too small for its brain.

The documentary looks at other problems that have resulted from mating dogs who are close relatives, all for the purposes of accentuating certain physical features deemed desirable by the dog show crowd — boxers suffering from epilepsy, pugs with breathing problems and bulldogs who are unable to mate or give birth unassisted because their heads are so big.

While picked up here and there by the U.S. media, the story of shaping purebred dogs to fit arbitrary human standards of beauty — despite the health ramifications — remains best told by the BBC documentary. By all means, watch it.

The Chihuahua glut goes beyond L.A.

beverly_hills_chihuahuaChihuahuas are becoming the most common dog in California’s animal shelters, replacing the pit bull as the breed most often forsaken by owners.

The “101 Dalmatians” effect that many predicted the movie “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” would lead to seems to have come to pass, exacerbated further by the Paris Hilton effect and, maybe even moreso, the yukky economy effect.

About a third of the dogs in San Francisco’s animal shelter are Chihuahuas or Chihuahua mixes, Kat Brown, deputy director of City and County of San Francisco Animal Care & Control, told Robert Siegel on NPR’s “All Things Considered” Wednesday.

About 60 percent of the Chihuahuas coming into the shelter are owner-surrendered, she said.

“I think it’s because a number of things. Some movies featured Chihuahuas. Also, a pocket pet kind of thing, from some of the movie stars, Paris Hilton. Also, the economy. I think we’re seeing more owner-surrendered animals generally across the board,” she said.

“But Chihuahuas unlike other dogs are more difficult to handle sometimes. People think of them as something, they’re like stuffed animals or whatever. But in fact they’re like a little dog, and they need all of the things that a big dog needs.”

Brown said the phenomenon seems to be California-wide:

“We have shelters from the Bay Area who also have the same sort of problem. Oakland, Contra Costa, Peninsula Humane Society. Silicon Valley. San Jose. LASPCA (in Los Angeles) said to us we don’t have time to count, there are so many of them.”

You can listen to the interview here.

“Pedigree Dogs Exposed” deemed mostly fair

Ofcom — the UK’s equivalent to our FCC — has ruled that the controversial BBC documentary “Pedigree Dogs Exposed” was mostly fair, but didn’t give Kennel Club officials a chance to fully respond to all of the allegations it made.

“Pedigree Dogs Exposed,” which is receiving its first U.S. airing tonight, alleged that events such as the Crufts dog show awarded top prizes to unhealthy and inbred animals and encouraged breeders to place appearance above health concerns.

The Ofcom ruling was in response to complaints by the Kennel Club, according to The Guardian.

Ofcom said that the way the film was edited was fair and that the Kennel Club was not, as it claimed, deceived about its purpose.” However, it added, the Kennel Club was “not given a proper opportunity to respond to an allegation about eugenics and a comparison with Hitler and the Nazi Party, or an allegation that it covered up the nature of an operation carried out on a Crufts Best in Show winner”.

The Kennel Club made complaints about the program in five areas. Ofcom — here’s the full ruling — rejected complaints in four of these areas stating that there was “no unfairness.”

Only the Kennel Club’s fifth complaint was deemed somewhat valid. The Kennel Club said it was not given an appropriate opportunity to respond to 15 specific allegations, and Ofcom agreed that was in the case for four of the 15.

In one of those, Jeff Sampson, the Kennel Club’s senior scientific adviser and spokesman, “was not given the chance to show how seriously he took the health problems confronting pedigree dogs,” Ofcom said.

The BBC said it stood by the program. “While we note Ofcom’s findings regarding some aspects of Pedigree Dogs Exposed, we stand firmly by the programme, which was clearly in the public interest, and we stand firmly by its conclusions,” said a spokesman for the BBC.

“The broadcast has accelerated unprecedented reform in the way pedigree dogs are bred, including new limits on inbreeding, changes to the written standards of 78 breeds of dog and a new code of ethics which prohibits the culling of puppies for cosmetic reasons,” he added.