We’re all getting a little tired of the “win-win.” For one thing, it’s a cliche. For another, with so many “win-wins” being pointed out these days, two wins just no longer seem enough.
So how about a win-win-win-win?
Last Friday, the PreVet Association at Illinois State University brought a dozen dogs to campus, accomplishing, by my count, four wins:
First, students, stressed out by exams, had an additional – and far healthier than some other alternatives – way to unwind.
Second — with students paying $1 to walk, pet and play with rescue dogs — the event raised a little money for Wish Bone Canine Rescue, which brought the dogs to school.
Third, dogs in need of homes got a chance to show off, increasing the chances of getting adopted or fostered.
And fourth, the dogs got gobs of attention and a chance to socialize during what organizers call “Dog Days on the Quad.”
“This is a good chance for stress relief,” said Erin Mortimer, ISU Student PreVet Association vice president. “A lot of students miss their dogs from home and enjoy taking these dogs for a walk.”
The dogs benefit at least as much as the young humans do. On top of getting some attention and learning socialization skills, it’s an opportunity for them to find a future forever home, or a temporary foster one.
“We try to let students know that they are also able to foster for Wish Bone,” said Kim Bill, volunteer coordinator for Wish Bone. “It is a great way for them to have a dog on their own schedule. On top of that, everything is provided by Wish Bone — food, toys, medical care, and support.”
You can see a slideshow of it all at Stateside, the school’s alumni magazine.
Half the proceeds from the event went to Wish Bone for food, shelter, and medical treatment. The other half went to the ISU Student PreVet Association to allow students to participate in symposiums and special lectures.
Adding up, actually, to five wins.
(Photo: Stateside magazine, Illinois State University)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 25th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animals, attention, campus, college, dogs, exams, foster, fundraiser, fundraising, illinois state university, mental health, pets, play, pre vet, pre vet association, rescue, shelter, socialization, stress, unwind, veterinary, walk, wish bone canine rescue
Tech XX, the English bulldog that served as mascot at Louisiana Tech University, died of heat stroke after being left out in the heat Sunday.
Though initially reported missing, the four-year-old English bulldog was left outside by an employee, who has since been fired, according to the veterinarian that cared for the dog.
The employee, according to news reports, tried to cover up the dog’s death.
“Tech XX was a member of our immediate family and a daily part of our lives for the past four years,” Patrick Sexton said in a statement. “We are devastated over the circumstances of his passing, and there will be a large void in our hearts for some time to come. As with any family member, we will spend considerable time grieving his passing.”
In a statement, the university said that since becoming the mascot in 2008, Tech XX got superior care from Sexton’s team.
Tech XX’s predecessor, Tech XIX, was retired in 2007 because of health concerns after suffering heatstroke, the university said on its website.
Originally, a worker said he let the dog out to go to the bathroom and the dog went missing, said Sexton, who kept Tech XX at his home. Dozens of students and residents searched for the dog, and rewards were posted.
For four days, the employee kept Tech XX’s death, and location, a secret, according to the Shreveport Times.
“That employee unfortunately chose to handle it the wrong way and attempted to cover it up,” Sexton said. “Due to this negligence, the employee is no longer employed by Sexton Animal Health Center.”
Tech XX was owned by the school’s Student Government Association, the president of which, Will Dearmon, said, ”It’s extremely disappointing and sad news this happened to our beloved Tech XX.”
“We’ll work through that in the coming days and there will be a Tech XXI, but right now our hearts are broken,” he added.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: athletics, college, cover up, death, dies, employee, english bulldog, fired, heat, heat stroke, louisiana, louisiana tech university, mascot, mascots, patrick sexton, reward, ruston, search, sports, team, tech, tech XX, university, veterinarian
The poisonings are similar to those attempted last year at Tarheel Tamaskan, a Tamaskan dog breeder outside of Elizabeth City, N.C.
In that case, the parents and two siblings of Tuffy survived.
Last week, five dogs were poisoned, again using bowls of fish doused in antifreeze that were buried in the animals’ owners’ yard, according to FoxSports.
Two of the dogs, including Tuffy’s father, were euthanized this week, according to Tarheel Tamaskan’s Facebook page.
Tuffy’s mother died in October after choking on a sock.
No charges have been filed, in either the year-old case or the recent one, but police say they have some leads.
Pasquitank County Sheriff Randy Cartright said officers found fingerprints on a buried dog bowl, and that they suspect the same person or group commited both crimes.
The owners of Tarheel Tamaskan, John and Christina Bannow, weren’t available for comment.
After ingesting the poison, the dogs were taken to Chesapeake Animal Hospital in Virginia, but were later transferred to Greenbrier Emergency Hospital in Charlottesville, Va., where Tuffy’s father, Blaze, and his 6-month-old cousin, Nusia, were put to sleep.
The other three poisoned dogs returned home Monday evening and are expected to recover.
N.C. State, though it had used costumed humans for mascots, switched to a live dog in 2010 at the suggestion of athletic director Debbie Yow. A Tamaskan dog was chosen because it most resembles a wolf.
(Photo of Tuffy by Peyton Williams / North Carolina State Athletic Association)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, antifreeze, blaze, bowls, breeder, buried, college, dogs, father, fish, investigation, mascot, mascots, nc state, north carolina, north carolina state university, Pasquitank County, pets, poisoned, siblings, tamaskan, tarheel tamaskan, tuffy, wolfpack
Letting your dog ride on the back of your motorcycle may not be entirely responsible behavior, but we love this old video anyway, and the way it kind of oozes the Eighties.
It was a less politically correct era, when you could get away with something like this without amassing critics, a time when you didn’t have to be Tom Selleck or Wilford Brimley to get away with wearing a moustache.
This vintage video featured Gary, a student at a community college in Troy, N.C., and his dog, named Dog.
Gary was enrolled in gunsmith school, and his dog, Dog, went with him everywhere, holding on tight to the shoulders of his master.
Gary, who traded a beer for Dog in California, described him as a “good companion, easier to get along with than a girlfriend and a little less expensive.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 1980s, animals, bond, college, community, companion, dog, dogs, gary, gary and dog, motorcycle, motorcycle dog, motorcycle riding dog, north carolina, pets, riding, traveling with dogs, troy, video
Hawkeye, the dog photographed lying next to the casket of his master, a slain Navy SEAL, may be taking part in a tribute to his owner at a University of Iowa football game this fall.
Iowa’s athletics department announced Tuesday that it will honor Jon Tumilson at a Hawkeye home game in November as part of a commemoration of Veteran’s Day.
The department said it will work with Tumilson’s family to determine what role his dog, Hawkeye, might play in the memorial.
Tumilson, from Rockford, Iowa, was one of 30 American soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Aug. 6 when their helicopter was shot down.
Tumilson’s Labrador retriever laid by his casket for much of the Aug. 19 funeral ceremony, after which photos of his loyal display went viral.
Tumilson, who joined the Navy after graduating high school in 1995, was a big Hawkeye football and wrestling fan, according to the Washington Post.
A former Iowa player suggested the dog lead the team on the field.
Tumilson’s mother, Kathleen, said her son made it clear he wanted Hawkeye at his funeral. “He didn’t have family; that was his son,” she said.
When Hawkeye went to their home after the funeral, she said, he went directly to her son’s room.
Hawkeye is now staying with her son’s friends in Texas.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 31st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: afghanistan, black lab, casket, college, dog, football, funeral, hawkeye, hawkeyes, jon tumilson, labrador retriever, navy, photo, seal, tribute, university of iowa, war
We interrupt these kudzu dogs to bring you a sad announcement from the beach: It’s time for Ace and me leave it.
I’ve always had difficulty leaving the beach — any beach. But this one, near Wilmington, N.C., is especially hard to tear myself away from.
While I have renewed my offer to our hosts, Steve and Louise Coggins, to be their live in gardener, while I’ve again contemplated being an island stowaway, bouncing from one unvacated house to the next, while the beach still beckons, tugs and all but wraps its arms around me, it’s time to go.
But I’m sitting here for a few more minutes in Steve and Louise’s all but empty oceanfront house — they both having gone to work on Monday morning. I’ll just have one more cup of coffee while my camera, computer, and cell phone enjoy the same kind of recharging my stay here has provided me.
Then I’ll go. I promise.
I should also whip out a quick thank you note. That might take a while. Then maybe one more walk on the beach. Then I’ll go. Really.
As I can’t find a pen, this will have to suffice, and maybe they will happen upon it.
Dear Steve and Louise and Earl (that’s their dog, pictured at the bottom of this post),
Thanks so much for inviting Ace and me to spend the weekend — and for all the wonderful food and drink and friendship.
I think I speak for Ace as well when I say there’s no place we more enjoy being — in part because of the scenery, in larger part because of your graciousness.
Sorry that you didn’t feel the time was right for a live-in gardener, but the offer remains.
It was great to see you guys again, and Earl, too. I’ll take him out for a quick walk on the beach as soon as I finish writing this, though that may delay my projected departure by another 30 minutes or so.
As a small token of our esteem, we leave you with a few beachy photographs — measly pictures of the things you see in real life everyday. The far greater and unrepayable gift is the one you bestowed on us by inviting us down.
Love, John and Ace.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 18th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, beach, college, departure, dog, dogs, earl, figure 8 island, friends, leaving the beach, louise coggins, north carolina, ocean, pets, photography, reunion, road trip, shore, steve coggins, travel, travels with ace, vacation, wilmington
When it comes to waterfalls, I am of the thinking that bigger isn’t always better — especially since our scary experience at Niagara Falls in October.
We were following John Steinbeck’s route — that he took with his poodle Charley — and stopped there for the day, on the Canada side. As I took pictures of Ace with the falls in the background, a little girl started squealing upon seeing him.
Not a fan of loud noises — be they squeals or breaking sticks – Ace jumped over the protective railing, onto a small patch of grass that led to a sheer drop off.
Luckily, I was able to grab his leash and quickly convince him to jump back to the safe side.
We, along with the former college roommates I was camping with, lingered there for awhile last week before moving on to check out Sliding Rock, pictured at the top of this post.
Sliding Rock is a natural 60-foot rock formation with a seven-foot deep pool at the bottom, and a popular summertime spot — all the fun of a waterslide and none of the tackiness.
It’s now an official U.S. Forest Service recreation area. Though accessible year round, it wasn’t open for the season yet, but when it is, there is parking available, a lifeguard is on duty and a small fee is required to enter.
Transylvania County in western North Carolina boasts 250 waterfalls. While those include Whitewater Falls — whose 400-foot drop is the highest of any waterfall east of the Rockies — most of them are more along the lines of soothing cascades than roaring death traps.
Looking Glass Falls, as its name might imply, was the perfect spot for quiet reflection, which my friend George seems to be doing, with an assist from Ace, in the photo to the left.
It’s right next to the highway, and just a few series of steps to get down to ground level, where one can find a comfortable rock, dip one’s toes, or paws, in the clear cold water and daydream the day away.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 25th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, brevard, college, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, falls, looking glass, mountains, niagara falls, north carolina, pets, pisgah national forest, recreation, reunion, road trip, roommates, sliding rock, transylvania county, travel, travels with ace, waterfalls
Friendships — like rose bushes, newborns and wimpy dogs – need to be nurtured.
But it’s good to know that, even when you’ve done a piss poor job at that, friendships have a kudzu-like ability to survive.
When I reunited with two college roommates on a camping trip in the mountains of North Carolina last week — one I’ve seen every five or so years, one I haven’t so much as exchanged words with in probably 20 – we picked up right where we likely left off, with a beer.
My ex-roommate George and I were originally planning to rent an RV and drive to Missouri. It was to be one of the final treks in my year of dogging it across America for Travels with Ace – a visit to Warrrensburg, where the phrase “man’s best friend” is said to have originated.
(Actually, what lawyer George Graham Vest said, in an 1870 courtroom speech, was that a dog was “the one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world.” Over the years, it was made more sound-bite friendly.)
Vest was representing Charles Burden, whose black and tan hound, Old Drum, had been shot by a neighboring farmer. Burden was seeking recompense, and won. He was awarded $50. There’s a statue of Old Drum in Warrensburg at the Johnson County Courthouse, and I figured Ace and I should see it.
After checking the mileage to Warrensburg, the rates to rent an RV, and my bank account, I decided against the trip, and George and I came up with an alternate plan — camping for a few days in the mountains, and inviting our friend John, who we had planned to visit, to join us at the campground instead.
George drove down from Fredericksburg, Va. — leaving his elderly dog Puck at home. Remembering the soggy camping experience Ace and I had in Provincetown, Mass., I persuaded George that we should stay in Winston-Salem for a day, waiting for the rain to leave the mountains.
On Wednesday, we loaded up my car, putting, in deference to Ace, as much as we could on the roof, including, once he was loaded into the backseat, the handicapped ramp he has been using to get in and out since he was diagnosed with a herniated disc.
Not fully over that, despite two rounds of drugs, Ace, up until we left, had still been emitting the occasional wimper, and was still being very careful whenever he shook his head.
George, Ace and I checked into the Davidson River Campground in Pisgah National Forest, which had been recommended by John, who lives in nearby Waynesville. We pitched, with some difficulty, my tent, sat back proudly to admire it despite some slight lopsidedness, then headed to nearby Brevard for provisions.
We picked up three steaks, some corn on the cob and, at George’s insistence, some make-your-own salads. To give you some idea of the kind of guy George is, he called John at work to ask him what ingredients he wanted in his salad. I would never have done that. Rather than ponder a friend’s salad preferences, I would have gotten macaroni and cheese.
I gave in to George’s carb-counting ways, built myself a salad and grabbed three different packets of salad dressing.
We got some charcoal, and beer, and a cherry pie, and bananas, and on our way back to the campground, where firewood was $5 a bundle, opted instead for some cheaper wood at a convenience store.
He went at it with great gusto and attention to detail, beginning a highly meticulous process of gathering kindling, and, much to Ace’s displeasure, snapping it into fire-pit-sized pieces.
Ace, who tends to get edgy when camping, freaked out about the noise of sticks being snapped and began seeking places to hide, jumping into the back of the car (without the aid of the ramp) and cowering in fear.
He’d have the same reaction every time the fire, once we got it burning, popped. His eyes would grow big, his curly upright tail would disappear between his legs and he’d slink back over to the car and hop in.
I attempted to reason with him, explaining he was in no danger, and he seemed to listen.
I told him to man up, or dog up, as the case may be — that we were tough and hearty campers, or at least pretending to be. But then the fire would crackle and he’d be back in the car again. He must have jumped in and out of the car 10 times, once squeezing through to sit in the front seat and be at a greater distance from the fire.
Eventually I gave up and let him rest there, figuring he would work up his courage and come out once the steaks hit the grill.
He brought his own firewood, which unlike that which we bought actually burned instead of just producing huge clouds of smoke. He brought a chair, an Arctic-rated sleeping bag, a bottle of wine, corkscrew and wineglasses. We discovered the next day that he had cloaked himself in long underwear as well — a wise decision, as it turned out.
On top of that, our campsite was located right next to a construction project. Crews were sandblasting an old pedestrian bridge that crossed over the Davidson River and will be returned there when work is complete.
We missed most of the sandblasting, being out on another excursion, and only had to put up with about 30 minutes of noise and dust.
That’s what they get for letting the non-planner do the planning.
As my steaks approached doneness — we’d splurged on filets — and the corn turned a golden brown, we turned to the question of salad dressing. I’d picked up a packet of raspberry vinaigrette, a red pepper vinaigrette and a sesame-ginger at the grocery store, the only choices at the salad bar.
We spent a good ten minutes deciding who should get which salad dressing — an unusually long time considering two of us really didn’t care at all, or at least pretended we didn’t, while George voiced a distinct preference for the raspberry vinaigrette.
Eventually, we got the matter settled — George got raspberry, John got red pepper vinaigrette and I got sesame ginger — and enjoyed a fine dinner. (I really wanted that red pepper vinaigrette.)
After dinner, we talked, sat around the fire and drank — once the wine was gone — more beer. We got caught up on each other’s children, and worked to figure out who lived with whom when back in our college days.
John seemed to have the best memory for that kind of detail, I the worst. Still, it’s amazing how, with a little push from friends, memories can return, and then, like dry wood tossed in a fire, spark yet more.
Once our firewood supply — and reminiscence supply — began running low, we headed into the tent, joining Ace who had chosen to seek refuge there, coming out only for some steak handouts. He seemed happy that everyone was finally settling down in one place, and that it was away from the fire.
Lined up in a row, Ace next to me with his paw on my hand, we all went to sleep. I was first up in the morning and started making coffee. Ace peeked out of the opening in the tent, but decided to say there, settling in between John and George.
After a breakfast of bananas and cherry pie, we took a short hike along the river. Later we went into Brevard for lunch. George’s cell phone and mine didn’t get a signal at the campground — not a good thing for a doctor (both John and George are of the medical persuasion), but no big deal for me.
Besides, it was the price one pays when one ventures deep (about a half mile) into the woods and leaves civilization behind. We were too busy being rugged to let that bother us.
Whenever we went into town, service would kick in and reveal our messages, and during lunch George did get an important phone call. It was his hairdresser, informing him that the salon had gotten in some of the product he uses — transforming gel.
That led to a brief round of making fun of George, led by George himself.
Later in afternoon, we decided to wash our dishes from the night before, even though the campground urges people not to do so. We went to the nearby bathroom and I assumed a lookout position while George washed our three plates.
I stopped in my tracks, then backed up, quaking in my sneakers and having visions of finding the snake in my sleeping bag later that night. Just as I had with Ace the night before, I was now telling myself to “man up,” which is surprising because I really dislike that phrase.
George didn’t seem alarmed at all. He seemed pretty sure it was — though exceedingly large — a harmless black snake. But I wasn’t about to let a guy who uses raspberry vinaigrette and transforming gel be my field guide to snakes in the wild.
We took the long way back to the campsite to get the camera and seek out John’s opinion — he being mountain-born and the most wilderness-savvy among us.
John agreed that it probably wasn’t a killer. He, too, wasn’t the least bit bothered by it. Then again, he was leaving that afternoon.
When George and I, after some card-playing and beer-drinking, went to sleep that night — in my case not before a subtle patting down of my sleeping bag — I can assure you that snake was the most distant thing from my mind.
Or at least I pretended it was.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 24th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, america, animals, beer, brevard, camp, campfire, campground, camping, camping with dogs, college, davidson river, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, fears, fire, friends, friendship, man up, man's best friend, manliness, manly, memories, men, mountains, neurosis, noise, noises, north carolina, old drum, old freinds, pets, phobias, phrase, pisgah national forest, pretense, raspberry vinaigrette, reminiscing, road trip, roommates, salad, scary, sleeping bags, snakes, sticks, tent, transforming gel, travel, travels with ace, unc, university of north carolina, usa
No other place — and I’m just speaking for myself now — is, at once, so stimulating and soothing. Give us the sound of pounding surf, the sight of gliding pelicans and the smell of salt water and, of course, access to some air conditioning, and we are happy souls. All my senses, and perhaps even my brain, seem to to work better at the beach.
And this wasn’t just any beach. This was — in what was perhaps my biggest freeloading coup to date – a gated beach community, part-time home to North Carolina’s rich and famous, good old boys like Andy Griffith and not-so-good, not- so-old ones like John Edwards.
Figure 8 Island near Wilmington is a private paradise – not accessible to the beach-going hordes, private enough that celebrities (usually) find solace there, and dotted with mansions that seem to think they’re big enough to defy hurricanes.
Exclusive is what it is — the sort of place I’d be prone to make fun of, unless of course, I was invited in.
Once Ace and I were, we didn’t want to leave.
I’d made a point to time our continuing travels so that we’d be able to take advantage of an invitation to visit my former University of North Carolina classmates Steve and Louise Coggins, year-round residents of the island who were holding a mini-reunion for some college friends, most of whom I hadn’t laid eyes on in — as someone felt it necessary to point out — 35 years.
Steve, a lawyer, and Louise, a psychotherapist, are hard core dog lovers, and hard core people lovers as well. Earl, their Cavalier King Charles spaniel, is the latest in a long line of rescues. If rescuing dogs weren’t enough, Steve has also hauled some humans out of the ocean, and I’m guessing Louise, in her job, has pulled a few humans back from the riptides of life they were caught in as well.
They, and the other old friends I reconnected with, seem to remain just about as wacky as they were in college — Louise, who once tracked down Paul Newman on the island and talked him into posing for a picture, in particular. They seem to remain — despite all you hear about the vanishing idealism of my greying generation — just as idealistic and committed as they were then, too. Maybe even more so. If there’s a liberal cause, or a Democratic candidate, you can probably find its, his or her bumper sticker on the back of Louise’s car. (“Who would Jesus execute?” was my favorite.) And, beyond lip service, both she and her husband seem still up for a fight when it comes to what they think is right.
That, to me, was even more refreshing than getting slapped and tickled by a cold ocean wave, though I must report that the ocean is not cold at all. It’s the warmest I’ve ever felt it. (This continues to be the summer I came to believe in global warming.)
Ace and Earl hit it off immediately — Earl being a low key little dog who likes to sit in a lap, or other comfortable spot, and observe the humans, often with a quizzical stare that makes you think he’s still trying to figure out the species.
Ace — though he’s not big on swimming in the ocean, prefering to wade, was in his element, too.
He seems most content when among multiple friends, kind of like Steve and Louise. Their beach house — rebuilt after Hurricane Fran claimed their first — seems to have a steady stream of visitors coming and going. If it were a bed and breakfast, it would be doing a thriving business. I think there are long stretches between the times only they and Earl are there.
I hung around for two days, evening out my one-sided driving tan and pondering how I might extend my stay. I offered to become Steve and Louise’s live- in gardener — especially appropriate because, at their wedding, I, having gone attired in blue jeans, was mistaken for a gardener. I considered altering the dates of my visitor’s permit, or stowing away on the island, sleeping on the decks of unoccupied mansions during the night, frolicking in the surf by day.
But finally, and with great effort, I tore myself away.
Ace was even harder to tear away. For the first time on this trip, he didn’t come when I called him to jump in the car. Instead he walked up to the front door of the beach house and sat down — not the momentary, ready-when-you-are-sit, but that determined, try-and-budge-me sit dogs do.
But after taking in two days of good friends, good food, good sun, good surf, and a breezy oceanfront porch swing nap that — until Ace came over and started licking my hand — was perhaps the most restful nap ever in my entire history of napping, we forced ourselves back in the hot old car and headed north, headed in search of another piece of my past.
That story is coming soon. Suffice to say that — unlike my college friends, and their principles — it didn’t hold up so well.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 9th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace does america, animals, beach, cavalier, college, community, democrats, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, exclusive, figure 8 island, freeloading, friends, gated, king charles, liberal, north carolina, ocean, pelicans, pets, private, reunion, road trip, shore, spaniels, traveling with dogs, wilmington
Classes are underway at Dog College.
What is Dog College? It’s a series of free online courses — not for real college credits — being offered by Dog Fancy magazine in conjunction with DogChannel.com. It’s sponsored by Iams Healthy Naturals brand dog food.
This semester has already started, and includes nine courses that pet owners take over three months — including classes on physiology, natural nutrition, communication, genetics, environmental science, health science and art history.
Each course includes advice and information from dog experts, and includes reading material, video or slide shows. To graduate, students must complete all of the quizzes with a passing score of 60 percent or higher. To receive top honors, students must take all of the quizzes and score 90 percent or higher on each one.
A valedictorian, chosen from those who score 100 percent on all quizzes, will win a year’s worth of Iams Healthy Naturals dog food provided by PETCO. To learn more and sign up, visit at DogChannel.com.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 28th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, classes, college, courses, degree, dog, dog college, dog fancy, dogchannel.com, dogs, education, free, iams, news, ohmidog!, online, pets, school