Tag Archives: albany

Smiles bloom when River rolls through town

Here’s a sweet little story out of Albany, Minnesota, where a dog named River — described as part pointer, part “Walmart greeter” — serves as both friend and inspiration to many in the small town.

River lost the use of his hind legs after being attacked by two larger dogs while out on a walk.

But he has persevered, and — aided by a set of wheels — he’s enjoying his walks as much, if not more, than he ever did, his owners say.

Carol Mader says River seems more concerned about the people around him since his injury.

“He pulls out the people, I think, that are hurting.” she told KARE11. “It’s just like he senses they need attention.”

“He has no use of the back legs at all,” says her husband, Herby. “Probably a lot of dogs would give up, you know, where he’s not.”

River’s veterinarian Dr. Wendy Womack calls the 11-year-old dog “a regular icon” in Albany, a town of about 2,600.

The Maders take River for walks four or five times a day, during which he makes new friends and revisits old ones.

“…I always see him every day, twice a day, three times.” says Ron Koczur, who lost a leg to diabetes and greets River from his wheelchair. “Even though he’s lost of a couple limbs, he’s still happy and proud.”

Big probation officer shoots tiny terrier


A 300-pound probation officer in Southwest Georgia, saying he feared for his life, fatally shot a woman’s 12-pound dog last week while on a routine visit to check on her son.

Cherrie Shelton’s two-year-old dog Patches approached officer Antoine Jones as he arrived at her home, she told FOX 31 in Albany.

As she was explaining to the officer that the dog wouldn’t bite, he pulled out his gun and shot the dog, she said.

Patches died 30 minutes later.

Shelton said the officer told her he feared for his life.

patches“He stated that he gave the dog verbal commands to get back but the dog continued to come towards him in an aggressive manner so he fired one shot at the dog using his duty weapon,” a police report on the incident said. The report noted that the probation officer is 6 feet tall and weighs nearly 300 pounds.

The Georgia Dept. of Corrections said in a statement that the officer’s force was justified, and that the officer was “required to use of force against an aggressive canine during a field visit. An incident report was filed and it was determined that the Probation Officer responded appropriately.”

Shelton told FOX 31 she can’t understand why a such a large man would react that way to such a little dog, or why he couldn’t just scare off the dog by kicking his foot or stomping.

The bullet hit Patches on the left side. The dog then walked to the side of the house, where she died 30 minutes later.

Dog poop: Do I need to draw you a picture?

All Over Albany” has noticed that dog poop is, well, all over Albany — and they’ve fashioned a helpful flow chart to help address the (fecal) matter.

(Click on the illegible version above to be taken to the full size chart. Then come back, for this isn’t just an upstate New York issue, but a national, nay, global one.)

At my park in Baltimore, and probably your’s, it seems that, when the snow and cold arrive, the manners of some otherwise responsible dog owners depart.

Whether it’s because people don’t want to traipse throught the snow to scoop it up, or because it’s just so darned cold, there are a lot more lingering dog droppings to be seen, and stepped in.

In a perfect world, those not scooping would be the ones stepping in it — but it never seems to work out that way.

And while, granted, solidly frozen poopage won’t despoil your footwear, neglected droppings, amid continued freeze and thaw, can come back to haunt us.

“We’ve thought a lot about this issue,” Alloveralbany.com reported in a piece last month. “And we finally came to the conclusion that winter somehow impairs the ability of some people to make good decisions about whether they should pick up their dog’s poop.

“So, we’re here to help. We’ve constructed a flow chart to assist citizens of the Capital Region in their decision-making process on the all important question: ‘It’s winter. My dog has pooped. What now?'”

A tale of two cities, and two Nippers

albanynipperWhat do Baltimore and Albany have in common?

Giant Nippers.

The cities sport the only remaining giant statues of the RCA Victor mascot that were placed atop RCA warehouses in the northeast in the 1950’s.

Albany’s (left) is the largest — 25 feet tall and weighing almost four tons.

Its history was recounted this week by photographer Chuck Miller on his Times-Union blog.

New York Nipper, erected in 1954, sits atop what is now Arnoff Moving and Storage in North Albany’s early industrial warehouse district.

The bulding was once the RTA warehouse, an RCA Victor electronics distributor, then went through several different owners, serving as a  furniture store, flea market and art gallery. The object on Nipper’s ear is an aircraft beacon that keeps low-flying airplanes from hitting him.

In 1997, according to Miller’s report, there was talk in Albany of removing Nipper, who had deteriorated a bit over 40-plus years, from the top of the building. But Michael Arnoff, owner of Arnoff Moving and Storage, announced the company would spend $1 million in building renovation, including repairing Nipper’s steel skeleton and giving him a new paint job.

baltimorenipperThe Baltimore Nipper statue is 18 feet tall. It was originally installed on the RCA building in Baltimore around 1950. When RCA temporarily discontinued using the icon in 1975, the statue was sold to Virginia resident Jim Wells, reportedly for $1, who moved it to his property in Merrifeld, Virginia.

Twenty years later he decided to sell his land for development as a townhome community. (The street leading to the development is named Nipper Way, according to Wikipedia.)

Wells sold Nipper back to a group of Baltimore citizens, reportedly for $25,000. It is now located on the roof of the Maryland Historical Society at Park Ave. &  W. Centre St.  Unlike Albany’s, Baltimore’s Nipper sculpture still includes a gramophone.

The real Nipper was  a fox terrier-pit bull-maybe something else mix born in Bristol, England in 1884.

When the dog’s owner died, Nipper was passed on to two French painters, Marc and Francis Barraud. In 1895, Francis Barraud saw Nipper gazing intently at a nearby gramophone, and painted the scene, calling the work “His Master’s Voice.”

He later sold the painting to the president of a music company in London called the Gramophone Co., Ltd., where in 1900, Emile Berliner – the inventor of the disc gramophone – saw it and had it registered as an official trademark. Berliner’s company later evolved into the Victor Talking Machine Company, which would later become RCA Victor.

The dog and gramophone trademark appeared in the company’s advertising campaigns, on phonograph cabinets and lids, on records and, in numerous cities, atop buildings.  Most of the rooftop Nippers didn’t stand the test of time, falling out of fashion and victim to weather.

But in two scrappy cities — both known for being proud of their pasts and unashamed of their quirky sides — Nipper is still sitting pretty.