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Archive for December 15th, 2009

The story behind the dramatic photos

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This happened way back in August, but since the dramatic photos are now making the email rounds — without attribution, photo credit or any citation of the original source —  we thought we’d show you what happened when gale force winds blew a Maltese-Shih-tzu named Bi Bi off of Brighton Pier in Victoria, Australia.

1The unleashed dog splashed into the choppy waters as owner Sue Drummond looked on.  “I thought he was going to sink and then maybe I wouldn’t be able to find him,” she told the Herald Sun. “I didn’t really want to hop in the water either because I wasn’t quite sure if I could make it to shore with a struggling dog.”

Raden Soemawinata — on the pier for a family ceremony to scatter his grandmother’s ashes into the bay, showed no such hesitation. He stripped down to shirt and underwear and dived in after the dog: 

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“It was pretty cold and windy, but it wasn’ such a hard decision to jump in, it wasn’t such a great feat,” Soemawinata, 20, said. “I’m a part-time model, so getting into my jocks isn’t so different to what I do for work.”The photos were taken by Chris Scott, and originally appeared in the Herald Sun in Australia.

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Again, it’s old news, but given we missed it the first time around, and the photos have bobbed up to the surface again, we thought both the photographer, the rescuer, and Bi Bi deserved to be more than anonymous.

A dog chastity belt: “Stop it, block it, lock it”

We’re going to withhold comment — since we’ve no experience with it — on how new, effective and convenient a product this is.

Don’t let that stop you, though.

Here, for your consideration, is the dog chastity belt, or PABS, which stands for Pet Anti Breeding System, invented by Dexter Blanch of Shreveport, Lousisana, who, as you can tell by his shirt, is president of Highly Favored Creations, LLC.

Blanch’s motto, when it comes to protecting the virtue of bitches in heat is: “Stop it, block it, lock it.”

Blanch touted his product at this year’s Westminster Dog Show where, according to him, it was a big hit with breeders.

The strap-on, machine washable device allows dogs to carry on with their bodily functions, but prevents any unwanted and accidental breeding. According to the website, Pabsforpets.com, the belts are a good alternative for owners that cannot fix their pets for health reasons, and for breeders who don’t want their prized bitches accosted/wooed by non-purebreds.

The standard model starts at $65 for small dogs and costs $85 for large ones, and the sanitary pads are extra.

AKC offers tips on preventing dog theft

The American Kennel Club says dog thefts are on the rise.

The AKC says it has has tracked more than 115 missing pets via incidents reported by news media and customer reports through Nov. 30 of this year, compared to a total of 71 in 2008.

The AKC offers the following advice to lessen the chances of your dog being stolen:

— Don’t leave your dog off-leash or unattended in your yard. Keeping your dog close to you reduces the likelihood it will wander off and catch the attention of thieves. Dogs left outdoors for long periods of time are targets, especially if your fenced-in yard is visible from the street.

— Never leave your dog in an unattended car, even if it’s locked.

— Don’t tie your dog outside a store. If you need to go shopping, patronize only dog-friendly retailers or leave the dog at home.

— Protect your dog with microchip identification. Collars and tags can be removed so make sure you have permanent ID with a microchip.

— If you suspect your dog has been stolen. Immediately call the police / animal control officer in the area your pet was last seen and file a police report.

– Don’t buy dogs from the internet, flea markets, or roadside vans. There is no way to verify where an animal purchased from any of these outlets came from.

Additional tips can be found on the American Kennel Club website.

Dog assists prosecutors in Marin County

Vivian, a 2-year-old retriever, has joined the district attorney’s office in Marin County, working as a service aide for traumatized crime victims and witnesses, especially children.

According to Marin prosecutors, Vivian is the first service dog to work for a California district attorney’s office.

Vivian is present while the victims are being interviewed, and she recently made her courtroom debut by sitting in  the witness box with a 4-year-old alleged domestic violence victim from Novato, according to the Marin Independent Journal.

“When he left, he gave Vivian a big hug and said he wanted to come back and visit her,” said Deputy District Attorney Andrea Buccine, who is the dog’s guardian and spearheaded the effort to bring her into the office.

She and District Attorney Ed Berberian started the program after learning of a similar one in the Seattle area.

The Seattle dogs were provided by a  nonprofit called Canine Companions for Independence, located in Santa Rosa, California. The organization breeds, raises and trains therapy dogs to help the disabled, and to work in hospitals, courthouses, schools and other venues.

“It just makes a very nice approach with these young kids,” Berberian said. “It puts them at ease, and helps these interviews go a little easier. It’s just a way to make very undesirable and unnatural situations more bearable for some of these victims.”

At least one defense attorney has problems with the program. Bonnie Marmor, a deputy public defender for the county, said the use of dogs by prosecutors could, like offering them candy or toys, sway their testimony.