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Tag: border collie

Beloved BBC dog Mabel passes away

After 14 years on the world’s longest running children program, Mabel, a border collie mix, has died.

Seen by millions of children on “Blue Peter,” Mabel was the BBC program’s first rescue dog.

“She was dearly loved and that’s a credit to her quirky character. She’ll be sorely missed by the presenters and viewers alike,” said Helen Skelton, one of the program’s co-hosts.

Mabel, who retired last year, was the second-longest serving dog on the show. Another, named Petra, appeared on the show for 15 years.

Her death came barely a month after the death of her canine co-star Lucy, according to the Daily Mail.

Mabel was originally featured on the program in 1996 when then presenter Katy Hill met her while making a film about the RSPCA. She joined the show a month later. Her name came from the letters MAB1 which were written on her RSPCA kennel.

Mabel, who was thought to be 16, was notable for her different colored eyes – one brown, one blue – and a folded-over ear. She starred alongside 14 different presenters in hundreds of studio shows.

After retirement, she lived with a former member of the show’s production team

The BBC show’s presenters announced the news about the border collie to viewers last night.

And this year’s “Hambone” goes to …

A Labrador retriever who ate a beehive – bees included – has been named winner of this year’s “Hambone Award” an insurance company’s annual tribute to the pet with the most unusual insurance claim.

Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, chose 12 nominees for the honor – all selected from claims filed by clients. More than 3,000 people voted online to pick the winner.

Ellie lives in Santee, California, and the beehive was just the latest in a long line of items she has consumed in her young life – from wooden toy train tracks to laptop computer keys.

On top of the hive, and its thousands of inhabitants, Ellie also consumed pesticide – for the hive had recently been sprayed. On the plus side, that meant the bees she consumed were already dead. On the down side, the pesticide made her upset stomach even worse. She made a full recovery.

Ellie’s owners, Robert and Sandra Coe, will receive a bronze trophy in the shape of a ham as well as a gift basket full of doggie toys and treats, VPI announced this week.

The VPI Hambone Award is named in honor of a VPI-insured dog that got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire Thanksgiving ham before someone opened the door and found the dog inside, with a mild case of hypothermia.

This year’s second place honors went to Aubie, a border collie from Birmingham, Alabama, who wanted to meet (or eat) the mailman so badly he leapt through a closed living room window. The leap shattered the glass and left Aubie with a cut front leg that required 40 stitches.

“Aubie’s never been enamored with the mailman,” said owner, Sharman Martin.

Third place went to a West Highland white terrier named Darci, who attacked her owner’s running chainsaw. The chainsaw cut two small holes into Darci’s muzzle and she underwent five hours of surgery.

Additional nominees for the 2010 VPI Hambone Award included a boxer that chased and caught a moving delivery van by biting into one of its tires, a standard poodle with a taste for dirty diapers, and a Jack Russell terrier that suffered injuries from wrestling with a lizard.

All pets considered for the award made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for their medical care.

(Photo: Courtesy of VPI)

Running with dogs: All you need to know

Runner’s World magazine isn’t on my list of must-reads, anymore than jogging is on my list of must-dos, but I’m tempted to slowly walk out and get the latest issue right now — for it has gone (you guessed it) to the dogs.

Everything you ever wanted to know about dogs and running with them seems to be covered — from the top running breeds to how to avoid dangerous run-ins with dogs. It also has an interesting debate on whether dogs should be allowed off leash on running trails.

What are the top running breeds? Depends on the type of running you are doing. Runner’s World recommends weimaraners, goldendoodles, German shorthaired pointers, vizslas and Jack Russell terriers for long steady runs of more than 10 miles.

If you’re into shorter, speedier jaunts, go with a pit bull, greyhound, retriever or beagle.

If you’re running through more rugged terrain, or obstacles, choose a border collie, vizsla or Belgian sheepdog.

The magazine also suggests certain breeds for hot weather runs and cold weather runs.

Being Runner’s World, the magazine doesn’t suggest what type of dog is best for laying around and watching TV. But I can help you out there. Bulldog!

You can find links to all the dog-related articles in the issue here.

Dogs trapped in gold mine manage to escape

goldminedogsTwo dogs trapped inside a Colorado mine shaft since Monday managed to escape on their own.

Christy Huffman told KRDO that her border collie and Chihuahua escaped from her home Monday, along with a third dog who is still missing.

The two who ended up in the mine pit at the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mine in Teller County got out and are now in the care of the local animal control office.

Rescue crews had been trying to reach the animals since Tuesday, and Animal control officers Wednesday tried coaxing the dogs out of the mine shaft with food, treats and water, but had no success.

CC&V Gold Mine spokesperson Jane Mannon says the dogs were able to make their way out of the mine on their own.

Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Mikel Baker said officials were worried about  sending a search-and-rescue team down the 500-foot Ironclad Mine because the ground is unstable.

The dogs’ owners have been cited for letting their dogs run loose.

Spinning dog’s curious habit makes the news

Some dogs have a habit of chasing cars, but a border collie in Prince Edward Island has figured out a slightly safer way to work off his energy.

Two-year-old Tucker spends hours lying by the roadside in Emyvale, waiting for cars to come by. When one does, he gets up and spins about madly in a circle.

His owner, Clifford Green, said it was just something the dog started doing on his own -- and only for certain vehicles.

"He's not that stuck on the red [ones] and he don't like big trucks," Green told CBC News in Canada.

Tucker was featured on the Today Show yesterday, prompting some chuckles among the staff. But as some of our readers point out in the comments section below, Tucker’s behavior may be no laughing matter — and even a sign of an illness.

Spotting trends in the AKC’s breed count

lg_havanese10In the process of tallying the numbers of purebred dogs in America — or at least those that are registered — the American Kennel Club detected some interesting trends, such as how the nation’s most popular dog, the Labrador retriever, is losing ground in some towns.

The fastest climbing breed, meanwhile, in terms of popularity, is the Havanese.

According to the AKC figures, more U.S. cities featured a breed other than the Labrador Retriever in the top spot this year than in 2008.

The German shepherd took over as No. 1 in Columbus, Detroit, Honolulu, Memphis, Miami, Providence and West Palm Beach.

The Yorkshire terrier bumped the Lab in Oakland, Tampa, New York City and Philadelphia.

And the bulldog became top dog in Los Angeles (despite other surveys that say Chihuahuas are the most predominant breed there). The AKC says celebrity bulldog owners — Adam Sandler, Kelly Osborne and John Legend among them — might be a reason behind the bulldog’s rise.

In what strikes me as a particularly odd tidbit, the bull terrier — 57th nationally — is the most popular breed in Newark, N.J. (Please feel free to explain that to me if you know the story behind it.)

To find out where your dog ranks nationally (keeping in mind the nation’s most popular dog isn’t a breed at all, but the mutt), click here.

There was only one city in America where the Labrador retriever didn’t factor into the Top 5 – Providence, R.I. In 2008, the Lab was No. 2 in Providence.

Over the past 10 years, the AKC says, the fastest growing breed nationally is the Havanese, having risen from 92nd to 32nd. Also rising quickly in national popularity have been the bulldog (from 21st to 7th); the French bulldog (from 73rd to 24th); and the Cavalier King Charles spaniel (from 58th to 25th).

Working K-9 breeds favored by law enforcement and the military have shown modest gains as pets over the same period, with the Belgian Malinois seeing its popularity rise from 95th to 81st, the border collie going from 71st to 52nd, the bloodhound rising from 51st to 43rd, and the Doberman pinscher climbing 23rd to 15th.

The AKC suspects easy-to-groom breeds are becoming more popular, as evidenced by the mastiff climbing from 39th to 27th and the Rhodesian ridgeback going from 56th to 48th. Higher maintenance breeds, meanwhile, such as the  Komondor, the Puli, the Irish terrier and the Sealyham terrier, have all seen their AKC popularity ranking drop in the past 10 years.

Even pre-Bo, the AKC, the Portuguese water dog was on the rise in popularity. The breed chosen by the First Family ranked 80th a decade ago and climbed to 60th in 2009.

(Photo: The Havanese, America’s fastest growing breed/Courtesy of AKC)

Frozen dog is happier, lighter a year later

jiffyJiffy — an obese border collie mix found frozen to the sidewalk a year ago in Wisconsin — is 40 pounds lighter, a good deal warmer and living with a new family.

Adopted last spring by Patty and Peter Geise, the elderly dog didn’t suffer any lasting injuries from the incident, but it did lead to his previous owner relinquishing her ownership of the dog, the Sheboygan Press reports.

“He’s moving like a regular dog again,” said Patty Geise. Jiffy weighed 116 pounds then, about three times what he should. He’s now down to 76 pounds.

He’s still overweight, but nothing like he was in December 2008, when he arrived at the Sheboygan County Human Society shelter, where Patty Geise volunteers.

He had been found frozen to a sidewalk after being left outside overnight in single-digit temperatures after his owner couldn’t get him back inside the house. His girth turned out to be friend and foe. It contributed to him getting stuck to ground, but his layers of fat also are believed to have kept him warm enough to survive.

His former owner was charged with  intentionally mistreating animals following the incident, but the charge was later dismissed. The owner had tried to bring the dog inside, called 911 seeking help, put a blanket over Jiffy, and checked him periodically through the night.

After reports about the incident, the humane society was contacted by hundreds of people from as far away as Spain, all wanting to adopt Jiffy.

(Photo: Geise walks with Jiffy; by Gary C. Klein/The Sheboygan Press)

Bonnie and blind Clyde get new home

A new home has been found for Clyde, the blind border collie, and his guide dog, Bonnie, both of whom were found wandering on a country road in Suffolk, England.

More than 500 people came forward to offer a home to Bonnie and Clyde,  who the Meadowgreen Dog Rescue center insisted not be separated, according to a BBC report.

It is believed Clyde lost his sight because of a degenerative disease.

The border collies were taken yesterday to start a new life with an unnamed owner at home in South Norfolk, the Eastern Daily Press reported.  Apparently the original owner never came forward.

But Cherie Cootes of the rescue center said there was overwhelming interest in the two dogs.

“It’s been bizarre to say the least,” she said. “We’ve had calls from America, Australia, a Brazilian TV station who want to come down and do a bit of filming, and a German television station.”

The dogs were found running through Blundeston, near Lowestoft in Suffolk, during a storm three weeks ago.

Neither Clyde, believed to be about five years old, nor Bonnie, estimated to be around three, had identifying collars or microchips.

Which dog breed attracts the most women?

This is likely an advertisement in disguise (for the Sony Ericsson C510, with Smile Shutter), seems a trifle staged, and is far from scientific. But it passes the cute test.

In the video series, a camera is attached to the necks of different pups to document the reaction of the women the dog attracts. The purpose: to determine which breed is the best chick magnet.

In case you don’t have 10 minutes to spare, here are the results: The samoyed drew the most females, but the pug — at least in the view of the two dudes in the video — drew the hottest ones.

Owner of dog who froze to sidewalk cited

A Sheboygan, Wisconsin woman has been cited for animal neglect after leaving her overweight dog outdoors in single-digit temperatures, where it froze to a sidewalk but survived.

Shelter workers say Jiffy, who remains in their custody, was left in frigid weather last week but the “morbidly obese” (120 pounds) border collie was protected by layers of insulating fat.

Police issued 59-year-old Alice Bigler an ordinance violation for animal neglect. A misdemeanor animal neglect charge could be filed Dec. 22, when Bigler is scheduled to appear in court.

A number for Bigler was disconnected. It wasn’t immediately known whether she had a lawyer, the Associated Press reported.

Meanwhile, also in Sheboygan, police arrested a 37-year-old man Tuesday, who is accused of abandoning a sickly pit bull by leaving it tied to a pole in an alley. A nearby resident saw the dog and called authorities, according to another Associated Press report.

According to police, the dog was extremely underweight and had frostbite on its front paws, front legs and left ear. The dog is expected to recover.

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