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Tag: battle

Skinniest in show: It’s Hatch!

hatch at cruftsLikely the oldest dog to ever appear at Crufts — and probably one of few mutts ever allowed entry – the skeleton of a sea dog named Hatch is on display at the prestigous UK dog show before heading to her forever home.

Hatch — a mongrel, believed to have been about two years old — died in 1545 when her ship, the Mary Rose, sank in the Solent Channel.

After Crufts, she’ll return to the south coast for display at the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth.

The dog was likely assigned to catch rats aboard the ship, a common practice at the time because cats were believed to bring bad luck.

According to experts, the formation of her skeleton suggests that she spent almost all of her life confined to the ship’s smallest and darkest areas.

mary-roseThe Mary Rose, the flagship of Henry VIII, sank in 1545 at the Battle of the Solent. Artifacts including clothing, jewelry, furniture, musical instruments, medical equipment and weapons were discovered when the vessel was raised in 1982.

The bones of Hatch were found on board the ship, near a hatch door that led to the carpenter’s cabin, the BBC reported. Staff at the Mary Rose Trust reconstructed her bones, and came up with her name.

John Lippiett, chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust, said: “Expert analysis of Hatch’s bones suggests that she spent most of her short life within the close confines of the ship … It is likely that the longest walks she took were along the quayside at Portsmouth, her home town.”

The animal’s skeleton  and will go on display March 26 at the Mary Rose Museum at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. A new museum to house the Mary Rose Collection is scheduled to open in 2012, and will display the preserved hull of the ship.

Man wrestles ‘roo to save his dog, Rocky

kangaroofightIt may not look like it, but Chris Rickard, a farmer in Australia, said the fight he put up to save his dog from an angry kangaroo that was trying to drown it, ended in a draw.

Rickard, 49, said he was walking his blue heeler Rocky on Sunday morning when they surprised a sleeping kangaroo in Arthur’s Creek, northeast of Melbourne. The dog chased the animal into a pond, where the kangaroo then turned and pinned the pet underwater. Rickard dove in and tried to pull his dog free, but the kangaroo turned on him, too.

Rickard said he managed to end the attack , and save his dog, when he elbowed the kangaroo in the throat as it tried to hold him under water, The Herald Sun reported.

“I thought I might take a hit or two dragging the dog out from under his grip, but I didn’t expect him to actually attack me,” Rickard said. “I was stuck having to hold onto the dog with both hands because it was half drowned and I couldn’t really see anything because the kangaroo just ripped into me.”

You can see a video of Rickard, recounting the incident from his hospital bed, here.

(Photo via Herald Sun)

Missing-in-action Labrador found in the desert

sabiAfter 14 months in the Afghan desert, a missing-in-action Labrador retriever — attached to an Australian Army bomb detection unit — was found by a U.S. soldier.

Sabi was declared missing after a bloody battle with the Taliban that began after an ambush of a convoy made up of U.S., Afghan and Australian soldiers. Nine soldiers, including Sabi’s handler, were wounded.

A U.S. soldier found Sabi roaming with an Afghan man in Oruzgan Province last week, Australia’s Townsville Bulletin reported.

The U.S. soldier said it was immediately obvious that the Labrador was specially trained — and understood English. ”I took the dog and gave it some commands it understood,” he said.

Sabi appeared in good health. She was flown to Kandahar to be checked by a veterinarian before her return to Australia.

The Australian Special Operations Task Group had made repeated attempts to discover the fate of the dog and never gave up hope.

”She’s a tough little bugger, absolutely as tough as nails,” Chief Trainer Sergeant Damian Dunne said. “For a dog to be missing for so long to be found … everyone is stoked.”

Sabi, like her fellow bomb detection dogs, came from a dog pound and was trained to sniff out improvised explosive devices. She was first deployed in 2007 and was nearing the end of her second deployment when she went missing last year.

Man could lose house for refusing to leash dog

A man in Tarpon Springs, Florida, is sticking to his guns — and threatening to use them — in a protracted battle over walking his dog without a leash.

Robert Wirth Jr. has spent $100,000 in legal fees on the case, and may lose his house, all because of walking his dog in a deed-restricted community without a leash.

“We’re running out of time because we’re running out of money,” said Wirth, 52, who works as a real estate broker and continues to walk his black Labrador, Cole, without a leash.

In January 2003, the River Watch Homeowners Association fined Wirth and his wife, Sandra L. Blaker, $1,000 for letting Cole walk without a leash. When the couple didn’t pay, the association filed a lien and, later that year, foreclosed on the home to collect the debt.

Last year, a circuit judge ordered Wirth and his wife to pay the fine, plus interest, attorney fees and other costs or the house would be sold. Wirth now owes more than $40,000, he said. He filed another appeal in February 2008, which has yet to be ruled on.

Wirth argued that the River Watch Homeowners Association deed restriction –  “A dog must be kept on a leash at all times when outside” — is too broad and, as written, required even dogs in fenced yards to be on leashes.

Wirth’s frustration have escalated to the point that he not too wisely said he would shoot and kill one of the board members if things don’t go his way. “I am not going to let them ruin me and my wife like this without standing up to them,” Wirth said.

Wirth’s comments were reported to the Tarpon Springs police, which followed up. The agency said the threat didn’t appear imminent, but that authorities would monitor the situation.

The St. Petersburg Times, in an editorial today, comes down on the side of the homeowner’s association, calling Wirth’s defiance of the rule ”stubborn and illogical.”

The editorial argues that the couple, by buying the house, agreed to the restriction and states that, no matter how well-behaved a dog might be “there are no guarantees when dealing with an animal.”

The full story an be found here. The editorial is here.