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Tag: black lab

Did you hear the one about the guide dog in a nudist community?

fowlerandlauraA homeowner’s association at Paradise Lakes Resort doesn’t have weight limits when it comes to human residents, and we guess that’s a good thing — even though the condo community is a clothing-optional one.

But the association’s rules run a little stricter for dogs, including one that bans any dogs over 25 pounds — apparently even when it’s a guide dog that belongs to a legally blind resident of the nudist community.

By now you’ve probably guessed that this can only be happening in Florida, specifically in Lutz, where a homeowner’s association has told Sharon Fowler she needs to get rid of her black Labrador, Laura, or move out, according to a lawsuit.

Fowler filed a lawsuit against the association last year. It was dismissed by one judge, but now that dismissal has been overturned by an appeals court, and Fowler has renewed her fight to keep the dog she says she can’t get around without.

“She helps me to get around curbs and obstacles,” Fowler told the Tampa Bay Times.  “She’s 100 percent necessary to me. She’s my lifeline.”

According to a lawsuit filed last year, Fowler received a letter from the association telling her to get rid of the dog or move out.

The association said the dog violated their weight limits — something that wasn’t pointed out when Fowler filled out an application, disclosing the dog’s weight, when she moved in.

Even when Fowler provided documentation of her disability, the association did not withdraw the notice of the violations, according to the lawsuit.

“I felt demeaned, and I felt degraded,” Fowler said. “I’ve never felt so degraded.”

Her lawsuit seeks injunctive relief and monetary damages for mental anguish.

“It’s the principle of the fact,” Fowler’s husband, Craig, said. “The board needs to know they cannot bully us around.”

Fowler says she has been told to only walk the dog in specific areas, and stay out of the way of pedestrians. She’s also been told her dog is out of control, which she says is not the case.

“My dog is a highly trained service animal,” she said.

“Paradise Lakes Resort does not discriminate against any person with physical disabilities and does not prevent any person with service animals from visiting the resort,” owner Jerry Buchanan said.

Fowler’s accusations were directed at a homeowners condominium association not connected with the resort.

Fowler says she has a rare autoimmune disease called leukocytoclastic vasculitis, which has already affected her sight and could affect her hearing.

She doesn’t want to move because she has learned her way around Paradise Lakes, and appreciates being able to live in a clothing optional community.

(Photo: Fowler and Laura; by Brendan Fitterer / Tampa Bay Times)

Dog shoots hunter in the back

A California man was treated and released after being shot in the back by his dog.

The unidentified 53-year-old man was hunting in Merced County when he set the safety on his loaded shotgun and put it on the ground while he grabbed his decoy ducks, according to the Fresno Bee.

Merced County sheriff’s officials say the hunter’s black Lab stepped on the loaded shotgun, causing the safety to release and the gun to fire.

Make sure your black Lab is YOUR black Lab

bella

lailaIt’s not an unheard of kind of mistake, especially with black Labs, who sometimes look so similar even their owners can’t tell them apart.

It was Christmas Day when the Peterson family of Maple Valley realized the black Lab returned to them after a stay in a Seattle pet hotel two weeks earlier wasn’t their dog, Bella. Instead, they were hosting LaiLa, another black Lab who had been boarding at the same kennel.

As it turned out, Bella (left), who belongs to Stacey and Rob Peterson, ended up spending a few weeks in Issaquah with Anne Galasso, the owner of LaiLa (right). Galasso’s dog, LaiLa, spent time in Canada near Stacey Peterson’s parents, and then in Maple Valley when the Petersons returned from a vacation in Europe, according to the Seattle Times.

PetSmart PetsHotel of Issaquah, where both dogs were boarded, is planning on refunding both families’ boarding fees.

Both families suspected something was amiss, the Times reports.

The Petersons had noted the dog they thought was Bella looked skinnier when they got home, barked a lot more and didn’t respond to her name the same way. They figured maybe she was just upset by their absence.

Galasso noted the dog she thought was LaiLa licked a lot more than normal, but she attributed it to a recent move, and her dog having lost her former playmates.

Eventually, the Petersons took a look inside the mouth of the dog they thought was Bella, and saw that her missing teeth were no longer missing.

“Clearly this dog had all her teeth,” Peterson said. “And that’s when things started to make sense.”

Peterson called PetSmart, and took her dog to a nearby veterinary hospital that scanned her microchip, where she found out the dog she was in possesion of was really LaiLa.

The hospital called Galasso and notified her she actually had Bella. Galasso noted Bella had been sleeping at the foot of her bed with her cats, just like LaiLa does.

The two dogs were reunited with their real owners the day after Christmas.

Police dog mistakenly euthanized

felonyA black Lab named Felony who worked for the police department in Howard Lake, Minnesota, escaped from his kennel, ended up at the local humane society and, after getting labeled aggressive, was euthanized.

Felony, 10 years old and nearing the end of his police career as a drug sniffer, was discovered missing on October 30 when a police officer arrived to pick him up for work.

Police immediately called the Wright County Humane Society. The dog wasn’t there. But he did end up there a day later when a Howard Lake resident found him and called the local dog catcher, KARE11 in the Twin Cities reported.

“Our officer contacted the Animal Humane Society on Friday evening shortly after contacting the dog catcher, said Chief Tracy Vetruba. “Unfortunately, at that time the dog catcher still had the dog, who he did not believe was our dog, and it ‘was’ our dog.”

With no tags or microchip on the dog,  a spokesperson for the Animal Humane Society said workers had no idea Felony was a K-9 officer. Felony was placed on a 5-day mandatory hold, during which he demonstrated aggressive behavior. Tests determined that he was dangerous and unadoptable, and Felony was euthanized, the humane society says.

“Our officers were devastated to learn that he was put down,” said Cheif Vetruba. “He will absolutely be missed by our officers.”

Howard Lake’s police chief will look into the events that led to Felony’s death as part of a larger examination of the department’s K-9 program, and he hopes to get a new dog for the department.

This Marley went in a different direction

During her nine-year career as a search and rescue dog, Marley sniffed around the rubble left by eight hurricanes, and crawled through the ruins of the World Trade Center, says Tampa, Florida fire rescue Captain Mark Bogush.

In the years they worked as a team, Marley never left Bogush’s side. On Wednesday, when the black lab’s stomach became twisted and distended from a condition known as canine bloat, Bogush never left hers, according to Tampa Bay Online.

“I got 12 excellent years from Marley,” saud Bogush. “The best thing for her was to go to that little puppy palace in the sky.”

Bogush said he spent years steeling himself for the possibility Marley would suffer a fatal injury in a disaster area. Instead, after retiring a few years ago, she fell victim to far more common ailments –like arthritis, hearing loss and, finally, stomach bloat. Vets predicted little possibility that surgery would lead to a full recovery. It was up to Bogush to decide whether to euthanize her.

Bogush recalled the first time he saw her, when she was a 6-month-old puppy, wreaking havoc on the home of her owner. What the owner saw as trouble waiting to happen, Bogush saw as high energy, waiting for an outlet.

She took quickly to search and rescue training and treated the work like a game of hide-and-seek. Searching amidst the rubble of the World Trade Center, Marley was motivated by the idea that if she found trapped people, they would “pop up and play with her,” Bogush said.