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 John Woestendiek 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 John Woestendiek 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
The Great (Dane) Debate is over: The “World’s Tallest Dog” is Giant George of Tucson, Guinness World’s Records has proclaimed.
The 250-pound blue Great Dane wrested the title away from Titan, a white, partly blind Great Dane from San Diego who held it little more than three months.
Guinness World Records says George is the tallest dog ever on record, standing 43 inches tall at the shoulder, three-quarters of an inch taller than Titan.
Titan was named World’s Tallest Dog last November after the death of the previous title-holder, Gibson, a harlequin Great Dane from Grass Valley, Calif., who died of bone cancer.
Giant George was in the running then, but disputed measurements and late paperwork left his owner, David Nasser, unable to qualify.
Guinness officials say there were conflicting reports about Giant George’s height, so they sent a judge to verify it.
Guinness made the announcement this morning, and George and Nasser appeared this afternoon on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
Diana Taylor, Titan’s owner, told the San Diego Union-Tribune she didn’t intend to watch the show because she was busy Monday trying to find a swim vest that would fit Titan, her 190-pound deaf, epileptic and partly blind “special needs dog,” for his first water therapy session.
A blog post on Titan’s website site argues that Titan should still be tops. Taylor says she intends to lodge a dispute but won’t exert a lot of energy on a challenge if Titan’s reign is officially over.
Giant George, we should point out, has his own website as well, which, according to Taylor, was part of a massive public relations effort to steal the title away from her dog.
“Regardless of whether he’s the world’s tallest dog or not, he’s still this beautiful deaf and blind Great Dane, and no one can take that away from him,” Taylor said of Titan.
The blog post read, in part:
“Despite the fact that it detracted from our mission of helping rescue and special-needs dogs, I strived to take the high road. But now, after months of having our accomplishment overshadowed by this media blitz-kreig of poor sportsmanship (and on the eve of this dog actually being on Oprah) I’ve decided it’s time to let the public know the truth about ‘Giant’ George.
“…Confused at how to measure his dog, this owner took two official measurements… one at the shoulder and another halfway up the neck. Guinness requirements state an animal must be measured at the shoulder. See below — when measured correctly George is only 39 1/8″ compared to Titan’s certified height of 42.25”.
“George’s ‘record-breaking’ 43″ is based on a measurement halfway up the neck, a procedure that does not follow industry standards or meet Guinness requirements…”
Guinness spokeswoman Jamie Panas said last week that Nasser’s claim to the title was one of more than 100 the company received since late last year.“It’s a huge record for us,” she said. “The pet records resonate the most with our readers.”
(Photo: Courtesy of Guinness World Records)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 22nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arizona, blind, blue, contested, david nasser, deaf, diana taylor, dispute, disputed, dogs, george, giant, giant george, gibson, great dane, great danes, guinness, oprah, pets, record, records, san diego, show, tallest, titan, title, tucson, white, winfrey, world, world's tallest dog
A 3-year-old Arizona girl, missing for more than 15 hours, was found with her feet swollen, her body covered in dirt and scratches, and her Queensland heeler, named Blue, at her side.
Victoria Bensch, who apparently wandered away from her Cordes Lakes home while looking for her other dog, was spotted by a helicopter — about a half mile from her home, according to the Arizona Republic.
Authorities said she was lying on the ground, with her dog next to her.
Victoria, who had been the subject of a massive ground search ran throughout the night,was taken by helicopter to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. She was treated for mild frostbite on her feet.
“The dog kept her alert, warm and gave her companionship throughout a very cold night,” said Dwight D’Evelyn, spokesman for the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 22nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 3, arizona, bensch, blue, child, cordes lakes, dog, found, girl, heeler, helicopter, missing, news, queensland, victoria, yavapai county
“Lady” and “Bear” top the list of most popular dog names in the U.S., the American Kennel Club announced today.
In the male category, Bear is followed by Blue, Max, Duke and Buddy. For female dogs, the next most popular names are Bella (or Belle), Princess, May and Rose.
The results are based on a survey of 2007 AKC registration statistics.
“Traditionally names based on a puppy’s physical appearance or personality, such as ‘Spot’ or ‘Sassy,’ have been popular with dog owners,” said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “Today we are seeing human names, such as ‘Jack’ and ‘Molly,’ and names that reflect a pet’s stature in the home, such as ‘King’ and ‘Princess,’ gain in popularity as more people consider their dog a valued member of the family.”
The AKC says short, sweet and easily recognizable names work best in getting your dog to be responsive. It recommends using a name that is one or two syllables, ending with a vowel, such as “Sadie” or “Rocky.”
They recommend against name that is long or difficult to say, such as “Sir Barks A Lot,” saying it will only confuse your dog. It also says names that sound like commands — Joe, for instance, sounds like no — should be avoided.
Other recommendations from the AKC include, picking a name that will fit your dog regardless of his age, testing the name out for a day or two before making a 10-15-year commitment, using the name often so the dog can learn it quickly, and not raising your voice every time you call your dog by name. “Try to use his name in positive, playful settings, such as when you feed him, play with him or pet him,” the AKC suggests.
Here’s the full AKC list of most popular names.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 1st, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, bear, bella, belle, blue, buddy, dog names, dogs, duke, lady, max, may, most popular, names, news, popular, princess, rose