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Archive for December 23rd, 2009

Anne Arundel police shoot three pit bulls

Anne Arundel County Police shot and killed three pit bulls Monday night after the dogs were reported to be attacking livestock.

The dogs were among five that were reported to have been injuring goats and sheep in a fenced area on the 1600 block of Bay Head Road in Annapolis, WBAL-TV reported. Three dogs were still attacking livestock when police arrived Monday night.

“Fearing for their safety and the safety of the remaining livestock, officers located and shot three pit bulls,” police said in a press release.

None of the dogs had collars, microchips or other forms of identification.

In total, five sheep were killed, including two that had to be euthanized due to the extent of their injuries and a third that was shot by police to end its suffering. Four goats were injured during the attack.

Police said the dogs were owned by Richard Watts, 51. He was issued six citations — three for animals running at large and three for public safety threats.

“This was a very tragic incident as several animals died as a result of this attack,” said County Executive John R. Leopold. “I urge all pet owners to keep their pets on leashes and properly secure them from running loose and becoming a threat to public safety.”

Burglary suspect strangled dog, deputies say

Suspects in a Houston-area home burglary have confessed to choking to death a police dog who was pursuing them, FOX 26 in Houston reported.

Harris County deputies sent K-9 teams into a wooded area Tuesday night in  search of two of the three suspects, but one of the dogs — a five year old German shepherd mix named Bleck — never came back and was later found dead.

One of the suspects who was found in the woods confessed to fatally choking the dog, Fox26 reported. A third supect was found in a car trying to escape from authorities.

Members of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office say a necropsy will be performed on the dog.

Company for Christmas: Part One

cheyenne

 
My first Christmas guest has arrived and, after bumping into everything there is to bump into, has made herself right at home.

Cheyenne, raised to be a guide dog for the blind, never got to fulfill that role. The possibility that she was going to develop hip problems prevented her from going on with her training. The hip problems never came to be, but Cheyenne, now 11, started going blind herself at age 5.

As dogs will do, she has adapted magnificently.

She walks slowly and gingerly, high-stepping when in unfamiliar surroundings. When she bonks her head on something, she backs up and heads in a new direction. Outdoors, when we come to a curb, I, as instructed, say “step,” and she seeks it out with her paw and steps up. aceandchy

I have her for the week, while her owners visit family down south, and it has been amazing to watch her as she adjusts to new surroundings. Equally amazing has been watching how gracious my dog Ace has been — sharing the couch (it’s his favorite spot, too); not raising a stink when she walks over, into and even under him; and helping herd her in from the two feet of snow in the backyard when she loses her bearings.

On their first trip to the yard, Ace ran circles around and did that downward dog stance dogs do. Cheyenne just sat there, not knowing Ace was sending the play signal. Since then Ace has caught on, I think, to the fact that she’s blind. He’s extra careful around her, and acting like a big brother.

Cheyenne, who loves carrots and lettuce, will be with me through Christmas, and two more canine house guests are still to arrive. We’ll keep you posted on how it goes. My prediction: The couch is going to get pretty crowded.

(To read all of the “Company for Christmas” series, click here.)

Bob Dylan sings “Must be Santa”

In case you didn’t know, Bob Dylan recorded his first-ever Christmas album this year — featuring mostly traditional favorites, sung mostly traditionally. And then there’s this raucous number: “Must be Santa.”

The album, Dylan’s 47th, is called “Christmas In The Heart.” All of Dylan’s royalties from the album are being donated to Feeding America and other international charities.

“It’s a tragedy that more than 35 million people in this country alone – 12 million of those children – often go to bed hungry and wake up each morning unsure of where their next meal is coming from,” Dylan says on his website. “I join the good people of Feeding America in the hope that our efforts can bring some food security to people in need during this holiday season.”

What I don’t want for Christmas

I’m going to poop on this party.

A dog collar that can open a beer bottle may be mildly funny the first time around, but I’d think the novelty would quickly wear off this novelty — even among frat boys.

On top of the whole dog-as-appliance indignity — among all the noble purposes dog serve, I wouldn’t rank opening your beer too high among them — I would think there could be safety concerns as well.

The Bark4beer website seems to say as much: “Please use with adult supervision as this product is not intended for children. Bark4Beer, L.L.C.. shall not be liable for any special or consequential damages that result from the use of, or the inability to use, the materials on this site …”

collar3attachedIf something’s not safe for children, I don’t want my dog wearing it.

The idea for the collar came at a pool party, where two young entrepreneurs were forced to use their dog’s collar to open a beer bottle’s non-twist-off top.

“After months of product testing, we are confident to release our revolutionary invention,” their website says. The inventors add, “Essentially, we can turn your favorite four-legged friend into the ultimate party animal ensuring that there is no shortage of tail at your next party.”

I’ll pass on this one, Santa.

The top 10 dogs in American pop culture?

snoopy222Snoopy was named the top dog in pop culture by the American Kennel Club on Tuesday, as part of its 125th anniversary celebration.

The “Peanuts” comic strip character beat out Reveille, the collie mascot of Texas A&M University, whose surprising showing was likely the result of coordinated campaigning in the Lone Star State.

Nearly 76,000 online voters chose their favorites from a list of pop culture dogs drawn from television, film, literature, sports and art, according to a Reuters report.

Snoopy was the creation of Charles Schulz, who died in 2000. “Peanuts,” appeared in 2,600 newspapers in 21 languages. Its daily readership was believed to be the most of any comic strip in history.

Amazingly Lassie, Marley, Benji, Rin Tin Tin and Bo Obama (who came in 42nd) didn’t make the top 10.  Of those who did, only three were actually dogs; three more were cartoon dogs,  two were songs, one was a toy and one was a painting.

The rest of the AKC’s top 10 were:

3. Scooby Doo

4. Eddie from the TV show “Frasier”

5. Pound Puppy toys

6. Painting “Dogs Playing Poker”

7. Song “How Much is that Doggie in the Window”

8. Georgetown’s Jack the Bulldog

9. The song “Who Let the Dogs Out”

10. Brian Griffin from the animated TV show Family Guy