Elephant Butte is going to let Blue continue to roam, at least within the one-acre confines of a wireless electric fence.
Officials in the New Mexico town voted Wednesday to make some amendments in their leash law.
As a result, Blue — an Australian heeler who was abandoned in town more than 10 years ago and has since become a mostly respected resident — can continue to hang out at the Butte General Store and watch the world go by.
Caretakers of the store, who feed Blue, initially sought an exemption from town leash laws for the dog, citing his friendly demeanor and long-time presence in the community.
After the town declined, a compromise was reached, and approved in a council vote, according to the Associated Press.
Invisible Fence of New Mexico donated a fence that gives Blue about an acre of territory to roam around the store. The system delivers an electric jolt when Blue crosses the perimeter, as he’s done once so far.
“They did a lot of training with him, but it’s going to take a while,” said Janice Conner, who owns the general store with husband Bob Owen.
Blue, who has repeatedly run away from homes that have tried to adopt him, has spent most of his time around the store since the death about two years ago of the owner of Casa Taco, Blue’s previous hangout.
Community members have built him an air-conditioned and heated dog house and store visitors regularly donate for his care.
The debate over what to do about Blue led to some positive changes in the town’s dog law. Under the new ordinance, pet owners must be given warnings before a dog can be picked up by animal control, and any complaints about a dog must be verified before pet owners are cited.
On top of that, Conner said, the controversy led to Blue making 3,700 Facebook friends.
“In his name, people have donated money to people with other dogs in need,” she said in a telephone interview. “Dogs have been adopted through his Facebook page. All around, it has been a real positive thing.”
While Blue has rarely exhibited aggressive behavior, some residents began complaining about Blue after a fatal pit bull attack in neighboring Truth or Consequences. Based on a complaint from a resident who said Blue was following her, Elephant Butte issued a citation for a leash law violation to Owen, even though he wasn’t the dog’s official owner.
Albuquerque attorney Hilary Noskin took up Blue’s cause and, in addition to representing Owen, negotiated with the city to grant Blue a leash law exemption.
(Photo: From Blue’s Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, australian cattle dog, blue, bob owen, butte general store, city council, community, compromise, dog, electic, elephant butte, exemption, fence, heeler, invisible, janice conner, leash laws, new miexico, pets, wireless
Affected product may contain small pieces of blue plastic, which the company says entered the food during the production process.
The source of the plastic has been identified and the issue resolved, the company said in a press release.
What that source was isn’t identified in the press release.
Mars Petcare says some consumers have reported finding the plastic pieces, but there have been no reports of injury or illness.
Only cans of Pedigree weight management varieties with the production codes shown below are included in this voluntary recall. Each product will have a lot code printed on the end of the can that begins with 209, 210, 211 or 212 and a Best Before date that falls between 2/24/2014 and 3/23/2014.
The recall is for the following Pedigree canned dog foods:
The affected lots were distributed to retail customers throughout the United States.
Pet owners who have questions about the recall should call 1-877-720-3335 or visit www.pedigree.com/update.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, blue, canned, cans, choking, codes, diet, dietary, dog, dog food, dogs, food, health, mars petcare, pedigree, pets, pieces, plastic, recall, risk, safety, upc, urgent, voluntary, warning, weight management
Blue’s not totally destitute. He has an air conditioned dog house, $1,800 in savings, a Facebook page and a lawyer, who’s now working to get him an exemption from local leash laws so he can continue his free and rambling lifestyle.
Abandoned as a puppy 10 years ago, Blue, also known as Bluedog, was left at Casa Taco and cared for by the owner, who died two years ago, according to the Associated Press.
Janice Conner, co-owner of Butte General Store and Marina, took over feeding Blue after that. But when a citizen complained about Blue following her and her dog on walks, someone in the city decided that Blue should receive a citation for being off leash, and issued it to Conner’s husband, Bob Owen.
Albuquerque attorney Hilary Noskin offered her legal services, and is trying to get Owen, who doesn’t officially own the dog, off the hook — and win an exemption that would allow Blue to live out the rest of his years, preferably untethered, in front of the store he now calls home.
“He’s one of my favorite clients,” says Noskin. “He is a sweet, sweet dog. He doesn’t meet any vicious dog standards. Somebody said he snarls … but I am not sure I believe that.”
City Manager Alan Briley says the city has received complaints about Blue snapping and growling and almost being hit by cars crossing the street.
Blue has resisted efforts to adopt him, always making his way back to the store. Local residents have donated more than $1,800 his care, Conner said, and they’ve also built him a dog house with heating pads for the winter and air conditioning for the summer.
“Everybody just loves this dog. People who can’t afford a dog bring their kids here to play with Blue. … He is the only dog I know who got four plates of Thanksgiving dinner at his dog house,” she said.
Conner says she has collected more than 1,100 signatures in support of Blue, who is on Facebook as Bluedog EB-Mascot.
“He was here before we became a city” she said, “so all we are asking for is for the city to grandfather him in as a representative of the community.”
(Photo: From Blue’s Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air conditioned, australian cattle dog, blue, blue dog, bluedog, butte general store, casa taco, citation, citizens, city council, communal dog, dog house, donations, elephant butte, everybodys dog, exemption, facebook, heated, hilary noskin, homeless, janice conner, lawyer, leash laws, new mexico, off-leash, residents, savings account, stray, wanderer
There’s a new product on the market called “Dog Flags” — designed, their maker says, to “simplify the relationship between dog owners and the public at large.”
They come in five colors, with five labels — “Please Don’t Approach,” “Friendly,” “I’m in Training,” “Special Needs,” and “I’m Shy.”
You attach them to your dog’s leash. They cost five bucks. They also come in bandana form.
“With over 80 million owned dogs as pets in the United States alone, being able to know at a glance which canines you can approach and which ones you should leave alone goes a long way to avoiding unwanted incidents,” the company behind them says.
The flags may not be an entirely stupid concept. But they do over simplify things. Flag or not, it’s still best to ask the owner. Dogs, like humans, can be friendly one day, shy the next. To put a “Special Needs” label on your dog would seem to raise more questions than it answers — not that there’s anything wrong with that. And as for “I’m in Training,” aren’t we all? Pretty much always?
As for those dogs who need a red flag, some of them shouldn’t be out in the park/streets/coffee shops in the first place — at least not in those cases where they are still under the guardianship of the human who most likely turned them into a red flag dog. Then again, those humans aren’t likely to purchase a flag for their dog, anyway.
The tiered color system is similar to that used at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah, but that’s a special environment where dogs are being rehabilitated. To suggest that all dogs in society should bear temperament flags (though nobody is, yet) is a little too Big Brotherish for my taste.
While there may be situations in which they come in handy, Dog Flags seem a shortcut to a more desirable scenario, a public — and I’m talking about both dog owners and non-dog owners — that’s more educated about dogs and how to approach and treat them.
Planting flags on dogs — “I hereby proclaim you … Shy” — seems a tad paternalistic. As with shock collars, my opinion is, unless you’re willing to try one on yourself first, don’t subject your dog to it.
Then again, Human Flags could come in handy.
I would probably get a yellow one — not for Ace, but for myself — and perhaps a red one for times I want to be alone, and maybe a green one for when I’m feeling frisky.
If they ever come out with a purple one that says “Freak,” I would probably get it, too, for there are times — rare though they are — that I feel like letting my freak flag fly.
If I did get one for Ace, it would have to be the green one. Sometimes, people veer away and cross the street when they see him. People often assume because he’s big he must be mean, or at least don’t want to get close enough to find out. But I’d probably rather a select and interested few take the time to slowly approach and get to know him than slap a “friendly” label on him and have children start climbing aboard.
“With … dogs increasingly going to human destinations, such as coffee shops, and cafes, Dog Flags become an important tool in preventing unnecessary incidents,” the Dog Flags website says. “… When your dog is wearing Dog Flags, everyone will know what to expect.”
It’s not that quick and easy. One can never totally know what to expect, with dogs or humans. So we suggest approaching both with a little bit of caution — no matter what their flags say.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bandana, behavior, blue, colors, dog flags, dog products, dogs, flags, friendly, green, humans, i'm in training, labels, leash, orange, pets, please don't approach, products, public, red, relationship, shy, special needs, tags, temperament, warning, yellow
Old Blue passed away a few years ago in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
New Blue, a cloned copy of the original — a mastiff-Great Dane mix — is now 12 weeks old and, according to his veterinarian, thriving.
The dog’s unidentified owner paid $100,000 for the genetic duplicate, which was produced in a laboratory in South Korea.
You can see a story and video about Blue on KOAT, but its a bit off the mark when it estimates there are seven dog clones living in the U.S. It’s actually closer to 25.
The story doesn’t mention the name of the South Korean company that cloned the dog, or that of the dog’s owner.
An American company, which has since gone out of business, brought at least 17 cloned dogs into the U.S. Those clonings were performed by Hwang Woo Suk, the scientist, who, after leading the team that cloned the world’s first dog, Snuppy, was fired from Seoul National University for falsifying results of human embryo research. He went on to open his own lab, Sooam Institute, which has cloned scores, if not hundreds, of dogs.
A second South Korean company, RNL Bio, continues to market the service, and is cloning dogs for bereaved pet owners, laboratory use and government duties, such as providing security at Seoul’s Incheon Airport.
The history and ethics of dog cloning, and the marketing of the service to pet owners — which began before the first dog was even cloned — are recounted in my book, “DOG, INC: The Uncanny Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend,” soon to be available in paperback.
As for Blue, his local veterinarian, Dr. David Caffey reports, “he has a great personality” and is in good health.
Caffey revealed few details about the dog’s owner, and called the cloning ”a special situation.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 31st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, blue, book, clone, cloned, cloned dogs, clones, cloning, dead, dog clones, dog inc., dogs, genetics, great dane, mastiff, mix, new blue, old blue, pets, reproduction, RNL Bio, science, snuppy, south korea
And one city council member, who has been fighting on behalf of the dog, seemed thrilled about the crime.
On Monday, the dog, named Blue, was reported missing by staff at the Albany Pet Hotel, according to the Albany Democrat-Herald.
Albany police said the perpetrator apparently broke a window and entered the kennel sometime between Sunday night and when employees arrived Monday morning.
“Bless their hearts,” said Councilor Dick Olsen, who had urged the city council to let the dog be retrained. “I didn’t do it,” he added. Asked where the dog might be, he said, “I hope crossing the Nevada-Arizona line as we speak.”
The Democrat-Herald said Olsen made the comment before heading to a Monday evening meeting about changes in the city’s ordinance on dangerous dogs.
Police said the dog is considered dangerous. He allegedly bit a neighbor in July 2009, and, more than a year later, bit his owner’s grandson in the face.
Blue was impounded at the Linn County dog shelter on Sept. 12, 2010. A judge confirmed the police department’s finding that Blue was dangerous and ordered him put down.
The dog remained in custody as his owner, Richard Raymond, took legal measures to try and stop him from being euthanized.
A group of Blue supporters appealed to the city council to release the dog, but the council declined to take action.
(Top Photo by David Patton / Democrat-Herald; bottom photo KVAL News)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: albany, albany pet hotel, animal control, animals, bit, bites, blue, blue lacey hound, city council, dangerous, death row, dick olsen, disappears, dog, dogs, euthanasia, kennel, linn county, oregon, pets, police, richard raymond, stolen
A Washington D.C. resident says one of several police officers chasing a man on a bicycle shot her dog twice without provocation.
Blue, a three-year-old male pit bull, was shot in the shoulder and hip.
“This is wrong. This is animal cruelty, this is excessive”, his owner, Tiffany Reynolds, told ABC7.
Last week’s shooting comes nearly a year after a pit bull mix was pushed or thrown into a stairwell by a D.C. police officer trying to break up an altercation between dogs during a street festival. The officer said the dog was charging toward him when he fatally shot him.
That dog, named Parrot, was being fostered while awaiting adoption through Lucky Dog Animal Rescue.
In last week’s incident, Reynolds said an officer came up an alley, near the 900 Block of Crittenden Street, NW. His gun was drawn, and he told her to grab her dog, who wasn’t on a leash.
She said she was reaching for her dog when the officer fired what neighbors say was five shots: “As I’m grabbing him,” she said. “The officer could’ve shot me. I’m grabbing toward toward the dog and he’s shooting my dog.”
Thursday night, an police spokesman confirmed that an officer did fire his weapon, that a dog was shot, and that an internal investigation is underway.
Blue ran off, and was discovered by a neighbor several blocks away. He was treated at an animal clinic and is expected to survive.
Reynolds was issued a citation and faces a $100 fine for not having her dog on a leash.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 6th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, blue, dc, dog, dogs, investigation, lucky dog animal rescue, mpd, officer, parrot, pets, pit bull, pitbull, police, shoot, shooting, shot, tiffany reynolds, washington
Acrylic on canvas
By John Woestendiek/2011
Depicting man’s dogged uphill climb – the abysses he must cross, the spillage that inevitably occurs, and above all the Sisyphean, never-give-up perseverance that is at his emotional core (know what I’m sayin’?) — “Copperseverance” is the first in John Woestendiek’s “Copper” series.
A one of its kind artwork, it is currently is on display in the artist’s home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, but available for purchase (shipping and handling not included) because he can always just make another one and, because it was kinda fun, probably will.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 20th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: acrylic, art, artist, artwork, blue, canvas, color schemes, contemporary, copper, copperseverance, decorating, do-it-yourself, home, masterpice, modern art, painting, palette, travels with ace
A mystery mutt has become an unofficial mascot of the riots in Greece by turning up at every major demonstration in Athens for the past two years.
As this video shows, when there’s violence and unrest — and in Greece, that means almost daily – the dog has a habit of appearing amid the crowds.
Fans have even created a Facebook page for him.
“He doesn’t seem to get scared of tear gas, explosions, petrol bombs and people screaming all over,” wrote one blogger. “He actually seems to enjoy himself a lot!”
The dog wears a blue collar, indicating he’s a stray who has been vaccinated.
Some Athens-based bloggers claim his name is Kanellos, which is Greek for “cinnamon.” But others say that dog died in 2008, and the one pictured is Louk. Still others say his name is Theodorus and he lives in Syntagma Square, which has become ground zero for violent protests.
As for why he keeps turning up at the riots, nobody knows.
Some suspect he belongs to either a photographer or police officer. But in most recent photos, the New York Post says, he seems to be “showing solidarity with hooded rock-throwers and barking at cops in riot gear.”
More likely, being a dog, he’s neutral.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 10th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, Athens, blue, collar, demonstrations, dog, dogs, facebook, Greece, kanellos, louk, mascot, news, ohmidog!, page, pets, photographs, photos, riot, riot dog, riots, stray, theodorus, unrest, video, violence
If you watched last night’s Final Four in Indianapolis, you may have caught a glimpse of Butler Blue II, the mascot of the Butler University Bulldogs, a school that apparently — as the home team — got some special treatment from the NCAA.
The NCAA made an exception to its rules prohibiting live animals on the basketall court, allowing Blue II to make an appearance before the game, which saw Butler beat Michigan State for a spot in the final game against Duke.
Bulldogs, quickly growing in popularity — they’re now No. 7 on the AKC’s most popular breeds list — also serve as the mascots for Yale, Georgetown and the University of Georgia, not to mention the U.S. Marine Corps.
Butler University adopted the Bulldogs name in the 1920s, but never had a bulldog on campus other than as an occasional fraternity pet.
Then, in 1998, Kelli Walker, a Butler graduate, went to work for the school’s alumni office as the associate director of alumni and parent programs. Walker began researching the possibility of getting an actual bulldog donated to the school to serve as mascot.
Instead, she found an alumnus who donated money, allowing Walker to purchase the original Butler Blue from a local breeder, according to the Morris Daily Herald.
The original Blue retired in 2004 and now lives with Walker in Morris, Ill. Blue’s breeder offered to donate the school’s second mascot, Blue II.
Butler Blue II celebrated his sixth birthday on March 27 — the same day his teamed earned their final four berth. Blue both Tweets and blogs, and his favorite treats are milk and ice cream, but, as the video above shows, clearly not watermelon.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, basketball, blue, blue II, bulldog, bulldogs, butler, butler blue, butler blue II, butler university, championship, college, dogs, final four, indianapolis, mascot, mascots, ncaa, news, ohmidog!, pets, sports, tournament, video