A wandering veteran who lost his dog while living out of his camper in Utah has been reunited with him, thanks to a chance encounter, a blog entry, and a woman who had a feeling someone was missing the dog her father brought home.
Rusty Reed woke up on a summer morning earlier this year and tied his dog, Timber, to a 50-foot leash so he could get a little more sleep. When he awoke, Timber was gone, having pulled free of his collar.
Reed searched for three days, until, with wildfires approaching, he was forced to leave the area. He went back to Arizona, grieved, felt guilty and gave up on hopes for finding his dog. Two weeks later, he threw away Timber’s toys and dog food.
But the story – told, quite beautifully, in yesterday’s Arizona Republic, in an article by Scott Craven — has a happy ending.
Here’s the beginning: Reed came into possession of Timber three years ago. He was visiting Washington and ran into a friend who owed him money. The friend asked if he’d rather have cash or a dog.
“The dog,” Reed recalls having said. “A dog lasts longer than money.”
Calling Flagstaff, Arizona, home in the summer, and wintering in Lake Havasu City, Reed would walk Timber every day — either on a six-foot leash, which Reed called the “walkin’ leash,” or a 50 foot leash, which he called the “explorin’ leash.”
And when Reed hit the road in his camouflage-painted 1975 pick-up truck, which it sounds like he did often, Timber would come along.
Earlier this year, while camping, Reed met a woman named Sue Rogers, who was living the gypsy lifestyle as well in a camper with her two dogs, and blogging about her adventures at rvsueandcrew.com.
Four months after she posted about meeting him, Rogers heard from Reed again, who called to tell her about losing Timber.
“Rusty starts a tale I immediately sense is not going to have a happy ending,” she wrote on her blog after the talk.
Shortly after midnight on Aug. 26, Rogers posted a piece about Timber going missing, which led to numerous comments, and a few of her readers turning detective in hopes of helping locate the homeless veteran’s dog.
One of those posted a notice that, according to Fidofinder.com, a shepherd mix had been found July 10 near Loa, Utah. The listing included no photos, but Rogers contacted the poster and forwarded photos of Timber to her.
When Daisy Pettem, of Boulder, Colo., looked at the photos, she tried the name on the dog her family was calling Willy.
His ears went up.
Her father had found the dog as he camped outside Loa in early July and, unable to locate an owner, brought him home.
Pettem said that, given how sociable the dog was, she knew he belonged to someone, and that someone was likely missing him. It was she who posted the ”found dog” notice on Fidofinder.com.
Pettem communicated with Rogers, and then Reed, who, when he called her, asked her to put the phone to the dog’s ear.
“To to Timber, how are you boy? Daddy’s Number One Timber,” Reed said. Timber barked.
After some repairs to his pick-up, Reed headed to Longmont, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. He heard Timber barking when he stopped his truck.
Timber jumped out of an RV and dragged the holder of his leash over to Reed.
“Daddy’s here, boy, daddy’s back,” Reed said.
(Photo: Stephen Root / 12 News)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arizona, blog, bloggers, blogging, camper, daisy pettem, dog, dogs, fidofinders, found, homeless, pets, returned, reunion, reunited, road, rusty reed, rvsueandcrew, sue rogers, timber, traveling, utah, veteran
A couple of Psychology Today bloggers are arguing over whether dogs can indeed soothe the savage breast — or at least help keep the heart that’s ticking inside of it from imploding.
We’re not a scientist — we’re not even a we – but it’s our firm belief that dogs lower blood pressure, unlike blogs, which raise it.
So, in our view, Alex Korb and Hal Herzog, the dueling bloggers, would both be better off, healthwise, to quit looking up and reciting old studies and spend that time bonding with dogs.
Korb, a postdoctoral researcher at UCLA and a scientific consultant for BrainSonix, says scientific studies have clearly shown dogs are good for the human heart — not just in mushy romantic terms, but the actual pump itself, and all the conduits leading to and from it.
Herzog, a professor of psychology at Western Carolina University and author of “Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard To Think Straight About Animals,” says no they haven’t — at least not with any consistency.
Scientific studies, we will point out here, are like courtroom experts — you can usually find one that supports your cause (and, if not, you can always fund one).
We think studies have produced piles of evidence on the health benefits of dogs; we think further that — while such studies are important — they don’t tell us dog owners anything we don’t already know.
Studies have looked at how simply petting a dog can lower blood pressure, and how it can also lead to increased production of oxytocin, sometimes called the “love hormone.”
But I think it goes far beyond petting. Playing with a dog, observing a dog at play, even watching a dog peacefully snoozing, all do the same, I’d bet. And I’d suspect eye contact is even a bigger factor. When Ace looks into my eyes, I can sense my blood pressure dropping. I can almost feel the oxytocin gurgling through my .. whatever it is oxytocin gurgles through.
On his Psychology Today blog, “Pre-frontal Nudity” Korb cites several studies showing dogs reduce the likelihood of death by a second heart attack, lower blood pressure and prompt us to produce oxytocin.
Korb points out that rats produce oxytocin when they are licked by their mothers, and that rats that are licked a lot grow up to be more well adjusted rats — or at least less anxious and stressed.
“Oxytocin works similarly in humans, and while it may be particularly necessary in childhood, even during adulthood it is important. Oxytocin is released by physical touch (hugs, kisses, handshakes, massages, breast-feeding … that sort of thing), and possibly even through social interaction.
“Humans are social animals. So I guess it’s not that surprising that having support from other humans, and other animals, has positive health benefits. Hopefully you also take away from this article the fact that there is not always a clear divide between physical health and mental health.”
I’d add to that maybe there’s not such a clear divide, either, between the mushy romantic heart and the actual pump mechanism — that maybe what keeps the metaphoric one happy and content, also keeps the real one pumping.
“So if you have a heart attack, reach for your poodle,” Korb concludes. “Well, reach for the phone first (or your LifeAlert), then maybe reach for the aspirin, then reach for the poodle.”
Herzog doesn’t see it that way. ”It’s a nice tight package – just the sort of science writing that makes for a good Psychology Today blog post,” he writes in ”Animals and Us,” his blog for Psychology Today. ”The only problem is that the story is a little too good to be true.”
Herzog goes on to cite studies that found conflicting, and sometimes opposite results, and concludes that the evidence is not conclusive.
“The $50 billion dollar pet products industry wants you to believe that playing with a dog or cat will ward off depression, cure autism, and cause you to lose weight. Unfortunately, the evidence for these claims is not nearly as strong as “the pet industrial complex” would have you believe.
As for oxytocin, he adds, while a South African study showed impressive increases in oxytocin of subjects who had engaged in petting sessions (with dogs), other neurochemicals also spiked during tests of the subjects.
“Who is to say oxytocin was the critical hormone, rather than, say, dopamine or endorphin – neurotransmitters which are also associated with pleasure and reward?
“… The fact is that many studies of the positive effects of pets on people do not pass the replication test. Further, pop science writers (of which I am one) are often guilty of only covering the good stuff when it comes to the animals in our lives.
“So you might want to dig a little deeper the next time you read that playing with a poodle will unclog your arteries and heal a broken heart.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 22nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alex korb, animals, animals and us, benefits, blog, bloggers, blogging, blood pressure, debate, dogs, hal herzog, health, heart, licking, love hormone, oxytocin, pets, pre-frontal nudity, psychology today, rats, science, scientific, studies, study
Examiner.com is reporting what it’s calling a “national outrage” — that Michael Vick has gotten a dog.
” …the latest cosmic injustice in the up-and-down saga of Michael Vick takes the cake … Judge Herman Wilton, who presided over Vick’s 2007 trial, has rescinded his order that Vick never again be permitted to own a dog. Vick is now the proud owner of a Beagle named HutHut.”
“The judge’s reasoning, if it can be called that, is (1) that Vick has been thrilling football fans with his play, (2) that he has won over the hearts and minds of the people of Philadelphia, and (3) that his young daughters really wanted a dog.”
The source for the Examiner report? The Weekly World News. The same people, or at least the latest incarnation of the publication, that brought us Bat Boy, Elvis sightings and predictions of an apocalypse at least every month.
Apparently, the Weekly World News and its playful reputation are fading from public memory — at least enough that a blogger for Examiner.com saw this report and took it at face value.
Even with such clearly doctored photos as this one, many people bought it — judging from the comments both on the Weekly World News piece and the Examiner’s. (The Examiner piece has since been taken offline.)
This proves three things. One, there is no limit to how gullible some people are. Two, legitimate newspapers had their place (bring them back). Three, this Internet thing, all this cutting and pasting and regurgitating what other people have said — at least when the original source is not one to be trusted, when the facts are not checked – is giving truth a beating.
In its paper version, on the grocery store checkout line, it was always clear to most people that the Weekly World News was a purveyor of hoaxes, sometimes mean spirited, sometime delightful.
I once went to its Florida offices to do a story on the collection of characters that put it out, in a backroom of the National Enquirer. They were a fun and creative group — from the grizzled editor to the artist who came up with Bat Boy, and insisted of course, like a professional wrestler, that the monster was real.
On the Internet, though, which is the only place where a semblance of it still exists, the Weekly World News pops up in searches just like any other publication, with no indication that it’s dispatches are meant in fun — and a slogan that even reads “The World’s Only Reliable News.”
The Weekly World News report quotes William Tacatoo (no such person), president of the Humane Society of the Pennsylvania (no such organization), as saying he has been around Vick a good deal over the last two years and feels confident Vick would be a great pet owner: “He loves dogs, he really does.”
It quotes West Virginia Judge Herman Wilton (no such judge) as saying he lifted the order banning Vick from owning dogs in the interest of the quarterback’s daughters: ”Ah, come on, we can’t deny the girls a dog.”
It reports that, as soon as the judge announced his decision, “Vick immediately went out and bought a cute, little beagle.”
Vick, though he has expressed a desire to have a dog, doesn’t have one.
The world is not coming to an end next week.
Elvis is still dead.
Bat Boy, though? I’m still not sure he’s not real.
(Photos: Weekly World News)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 5th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bat boy, beagle, bloggers, dog, dogfighting, examiner.com, hoax, humane society, huthut, joke, judge, michael vick, new dog, news, philadelphia eagles, quarterback, report, tabloids, vick, weekly world news
I’m even more honored to learn that we are in the category “misfits.”
Click the link on the top of our leftside rail to vote for us, though I should point out it does requiring logging in and setting up an account with the Sun – meaning not that you have to subscribe, only that they will probably bug you to later.
As I am a good week late learning of this competition, and as dogs don’t get to vote, I don’t hold out much hope of besting the other “misfits.”
But a respectable showing would be nice — at least topping, say, “The Baltimore Sewing Examiner.”
You can’t consume media these days without tripping over this story — roughly 240 Americans wind up in emergency rooms every day for sprains, fractures or other injuries from a fall caused by a dog or cat.
Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said dogs and cats account for about 1 percent of the 8 million fall-related injuries that end up being treated in emergency rooms each year.
Yes, 1 percent. Why, then is it such a big story? I’ll tell you why. Partly because newspapers are becoming less likely to do their own work these days. They want to fill their newsholes as cheaply as they possibly can — so they rewrite, or use wire stories, which are often already rewrites. And bloggers? They’re even worse, rewriting the rewritten rewrites.
Just as a sentence gets screwed up the more times it’s repeated from one person to the next, so can news, or alleged news.
Here’s what Reuters reported: ”Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said dogs and cats account for 88 percent of all fall-related injuries in emergency departments.”
Some simple math: 87,000 falls a year is not 88 percent of 8 million.
What the CDC did report was that 88 percent of reported pet-caused falls were caused by dogs, but that’s entirely different from saying 88 percent of all falls were caused by pets.
If 88 percent of all falls leading to hospitalization were caused by pets, that would be a big story. One percent? That’s barely a story at all. Yet it’s everywhere.
Words, math, dogs –they’re all easy to trip over. But before we start portraying pets as a health hazard — and at this point I would ask how many of those falls were caused by dumb humans, as opposed to dumb animals — we might want to take steps to get the facts right and put them in perspective.
(Photo courtesy of ihasahotdog.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 31st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bloggers, cats, cdc, centers for disease control, coverage, dogs, emergency rooms, error, fall, falls, health, hospitals, injuries, journalism, media, news, news media, newspapers, ohmidog!, pets, report, study, trip