And, groundless as the accusations are, the New York Times saw fit to print them.
Cruz, a three-year-old Samoyed, died just a few days after competing at Westminster.
The New York Times calls it, “A whodunit that has rattled the show world and ignited tensions between animal activists and purebred-champion breeders.”
Why point the finger at animal rights rowdies for the death of Cruz?
Robert Chaffin, Cruz’s handler, says simply that they are the most likely suspects.
“Unfortunately, dog shows have been plagued by some of these people for years,” he said. “I’ve heard horror stories about other people’s dogs having their setups tampered with, being poisoned, but I never thought it would come to me.”
While animal rights groups have long protested dog shows, tampering with and poisoning canine contestants — a rare occurence — has traditionally more often been perpetrated by the human competitors, either out of jealousy or to better their chances to win.
Based on known facts so far, Cruz’s humans seem to be making a pretty big leap.
Chaffin accompanied Cruz to New York for the Westminster competition and says he paid close attention to everything the dog ate, including a steak he fed him the night before. Despite his monitoring, he said, “It would have been easy for someone to throw something in his cage.”
On top of that, Chaffin said he remembered a stranger at the Westminster show glaring at him and making a disapproving remark about Cruz having been debarked, a process in which a dog’s vocal cords are removed.
Chaffin admitted there was no evidence that Cruz had been deliberately poisoned, and no confirmation that poisoning was even the cause of death.
No necropsy was performed.
Lynette Blue, one of Cruz’s owners said she declined a necropsy because she was confident that he swallowed poison. Blue says she called New York City police after Cruz died to report possible foul play.
Cruz, 3, died on Feb. 16 in Lakewood, Colo., where he was competing in another show. He began vomiting blood, and Chaffin took him to Animal Critical Care and Emergency Services in Lakewood, where he was hooked up to an intravenous drip and received oxygen, but died shortly thereafter.
“We have been devastated and in shock,” Blue said. “This is one of the most painful experiences of my life.”
Molly Comiskey, the Colorado veterinarian who treated Cruz, said his symptoms resembled those of a poisoned dog, but that his cause of death remains unclear. She saw no reason to believe he’d been intentionally poisoned.
“Dogs are dogs. It’s not anyone’s fault. They eat stuff; they get into things; they make bad decisions,” she said.
The Times article points out the possibility that Cruz may have had an undiagnosed genetic disorder, but quotes Blue as saying he had no history of such. The lack of answers, it seems, is leading to some pretty wild speculation.
“We keep thinking of the various scenarios, and it’s starting to feel like something we may never know,” Blue said.
Given his owners passed on a chance to help solve what they see as a whodunit — namely, having a necrospy performed — that might very well be the case.
(Photo: Lynette Blue)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 28th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: activists, animal rights, animals, blamed, colorado, cruz, death, died, dog, dog shows, dogs, evidence, handler, lakewood, mouse poison, owners, pets, poison, poisoned, purebred, rat poison, robert chaffin, samoyed, suspected, westminster, westminster kennel club dog show, whodunit
A moonlighting New Orleans cop who brought his police K-9 to a private security job broke no law, his lawyer argued Friday– and commited no malfeasance any more serious than failing to shine his shoes.
The dog, named Phantom, fell down an elevator shaft and to his death while he and Sgt. Randy Lewis were working a private security detail at a closed hospital building.
Lewis was not charged with animal cruelty, but with malfeasance.
Judge Ben Willard, after hearing closing arguments in the case Friday, delayed any verdict for another week. Lewis faces five years in prison and a $5,000 fine if found guilty, Nola.com reported
Lewis, a former supervisor in the department’s K-9 unit, took Phantom to the shuttered Charity Hospital in May 2009, where he had been hired to clear vagrants from the property. The dog fell from the 17th floor through a partially open elevator door.
Lewis took Phantom to the job without police department approval, and had signed forms saying no police equipment or animals would be used in the private job.
The dog’s body was not found until the next day, when the private company that hired him had the elevator drained. Lewis then had the dog cremated, before a necropsy could be performed.
Lewis, in his initial reports about the incident, said he was training the dog, and didn’t mention he was getting paid privately for his services.
His attorney, Eric Hessler, argued that Lewis had been working a private job and training his police dog at the same time.
Hessler likened the court proceedings to an officer being prosecuted for failing to shine his shoes.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 5th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cop, death, died, dogs, elevator, fell, job, k9, law enforcement, malfeasance, moonlighting, new orleans, pets, phantom, police, private, randy lewis, security, shaft, trial
Bush broke the news on his Facebook page, where he also made public a recent oil painting he did of his dog.
“After twelve and a half years of life, his body could not fight off the illness,” Bush said in the post.
Barney had lymphoma.
Barney was born Sept. 30, 2000 — two months before Bush was elected to his first term.
In his Facebook post, Bush wrote, “Barney greeted Queens, Heads of State, and Prime Ministers. He was always polite and never jumped in their laps. Barney was by my side during our eight years in the White House. He never discussed politics and was always a faithful friend. Laura and I will miss our pal.”
Barney’s mother was Coors, a Scottish terrier owned by former Environmental Protection Agency Director Christine Todd Whitman, and his father was Kelly of Champion Motherwell Stormwarning.
Barney had his own section on the Bush administration’s official White House website, starred in numerous videos and was a fixture at the White House, the Bushes’ Crawford ranch and Camp David, where Barney’s favorite activity was chasing golf balls on the chipping green.
He was a “fierce armadillo hunter,” Bush wrote, who loved going along when he fished for bass at the ranch.
“Barney guarded the South Lawn entrance of the White House as if he were a Secret Service agent. He wandered the halls of the West Wing looking for treats from his many friends. He starred in Barney Cam and gave the American people Christmas tours of the White House.”
Barney also once bit a reporter who got too close.
The president, who has taken up painting since leaving the White House, also released a portrait he did of Barney. It is signed “43.” Bush was the nation’s 43rd president.
Barney is survived by Miss Beazley, another Scottish terrier who lives with the ex-president, and Bob, a cat.
(Photo: Bush’s portrait of Barney, from Facebook)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 2nd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barney, bush, death, died, dogs, first dog, first dogs, former, george, lymphoma, news, passed away, pets, presidency, president, president bush, presidents, scottish terrier, texas, w, white house
Sergeant Rex, a bomb-sniffing dog who finally returned from duty in Iraq earlier this year and was reunited with his former handler, died Saturday at the age of 11.
Rex was assigned to Cpl. Megan Leavey in 2006 when, on a patrol in Iraq, the dog alerted his handler of a nearby bomb. Both tried to run away, but it detonated, injuring them both.
Leavey left the Marine Corps in Dec. 2007, but Sergeant Rex continued to serve. She tried to adopt the dog, but was unable to for years because he remained on duty after recovering from his injuries.
This year, when Rex was retired due to facial paralysis, Leavey renewed her efforts, receiving support form U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and an online petition that received more than 20,000 signatures. In March, Leavey received permission to adopt him. They were reunited in April.
Leavey, who lives in New York, announced Rex’s death last week on her Facebook page:
“Unfortunately today at 10:56 a.m. Rex passed away. I was faced with the decision that no pet owner wants to hear, but I know I made the right choice. This is all very sudden and thankfully he did not suffer for long, this all came about late last night.
“I am so grateful for the last eight months I got to spend with my partner and my best friend. Rex got to swim in a pool and play with my other dogs. He got to roam the yard and bark at deer, play with as many toys as he wanted all day everyday, sleep in a cozy bed next to me every night, chase and eventually make friends with my two cats, enjoy and play in his first snowfall … and so much other great stuff that he would have never had the chance to do if he was never retired.
“He knew I was with him the whole time and I laid next to him and held him and spoke to him and he was at peace in the end. He is now my guardian angel … even though he already was. So thank you to everyone who supported me and made it possible for me to spend those precious 8 months with my best friend.
“He was one hell of a dog, one tough ass Marine, and one very special soul. He will no doubt be greatly missed and never forgotten.”
A book about Rex came out this year, entitled “Sergeant Rex: The Unbreakable Bond Between a Marine and His Military Working Dog.” It was written by Mike Dowling, another one of Sergeant Rex’s handlers.
Rex searched more than 6,220 vehicles while stationed in Iraq, the Marine Corps says.
The publishers of the new book noted his passing in a Facebook post this week:
“Rest in peace Rex and thank you for your service and sacrifice. Once a Marine, Always a Marine … Semper Fi,” they wrote.
(Photo of Rex and Leavey from tribute posted at Findagrave.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bomb, bombs, bond, book, death, died, dog, handler, handlers, ied, iraq, megan leavey, mike dowling, military, reunion, reunited, sergeant rex, sniffing, war
Tish Cyrus, in an entry on her blog, says Ziggy “grabbed” Lila in “just the wrong spot and Lila didn’t survive.”
“For some unknown reason, Ziggy grabbed Lila …Not really sure if she was playing or what … We dont think Ziggy is a mean dog.”
She said Ziggy was “taken to SPOT dog rescue and they found her a new home with no other pets or children just in case it wasn’t a fluke.”
Miley Cyrus tweeted about Lila’s death last week: “For everyone asking … I have never been so hurt in my life My heart has never been so broken … Lila my sweet baby girl has passed away.”
Lila, a Yorkie mix, turned 2 in November.
Cyrus has adopted at least five dogs in recent years, including Floyd, an Alaskan Klee Kai, also known as a miniature husky, a Rottweiler-beagle mix named Happy, and a black and white mixed breed named Mary Jane.
Each time, news coverage resulted, as it did when she dyed Lila pink for her second birthday.
Her mother Tish said Miley was not ready to talk about what happened:
“As for Miley, its been a really tough week. As you all know her beloved baby girl Lila passed away. Everyone has been so precious and so supportive of her and I love you all so much for that. Miley loved Lila more than anyone can imagine. I know some people were saying its JUST a dog, but to Miley she was so much more.”
(Photos: Top, Cyrus and Lila; below, Cyrus and Ziggy / Twitter)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, animals, cyrus, died, dogs, english bulldog, floyd, grief, happy, killed, lila, loss, mary jane, miley, miley cyrus, miley cyrus dogs, mix, pets, rescue, shelter, surrendered, tish cyrus, yorkie, yorkshire terrier, ziggy
Five days before she made history in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren put down the golden retriever whose dignity and grace helped her cope with the often nasty senatorial campaign, and much more.
The emotional mix that the first female senator in Massachusetts was faced with in the final days of her campaign — seeing one’s political star rising while one’s dog is dying – was recounted last week in column by Brian McGrory in the Boston Globe.
Otis, Warren’s cancer-stricken golden retriever, was loyal, true, non-judgmental, honest, dignified and simple — in other words (and this is our opinion) everything politics is not.
Based on her description, quiet moments with her ailing dog brought her solace during the rough and tumble campaign.
“It’s the lack of complication,” Warren said. “I could spend time just running my hands through Otis’s coat, drawing circles in his short fur, and thumping him on the side, his big hollow chest, you know that sound. It’s possible to get lost in there. And that’s what I needed.”
Otis is described as an inseparable companion, who often accompanied Warren and her husband, Bruce Mann, to their jobs at Harvard University.
“He was with Warren in fall 2011 when she declared her campaign for the Senate. He was there as controversies flared, as accusations were leveled, as attack ads filled the airwaves. Polls rose and fell, criticisms alternated with compliments, but always there was Otis, blinking excitedly as Warren came through the door at the end of the day and always ready for a walk.”
Otis was diagnosed with lymphoma in the spring. He was undergoing chemotherapy. The treatments, which at first appeared to be working, later lost their effectiveness.
On Halloween night, Otis watched trick or treaters come and go, too weak to get up off the floor. By the end of the night, Warren and Mann were convinced it was time to let Otis go.
“I called Warren after her victory to see if she wanted to talk about this quiet loss in the final days of a very public campaign. It hurt her to talk about, but in an hour-long phone call this week, one filled with her laughter and her tears, she did.
“She described ‘the white fur ball with big feet’ that arrived at her house 7½ years ago, the casual way he would approach his many admirers, how the ground used to all but shake from his heavy gait.”
On Oct. 28, Warren posted the photo above on Facebook. On Nov. 1, Otis was euthanized at Angell Memorial Hospital. On Nov. 6, Warren was elected as the first female senator from Massachusetts.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, campaign, cancer, chemotherapy, death, died, dog, dogs, election, elizabeth warren, euthanasia, euthanized, female, first, golden retriever, lymphoma, massachusetts, otis, pets, politics, senate, senator
The death of his owner during Hurricane Sandy has sent Lucas, a collie-shepherd mix, back to the same shelter he was adopted from about five years ago.
He’s grayer around the muzzle now than he was then — when a couple dropped him at the Staten Island animal care and control facility, saying they’d just had a baby and no longer had room for him.
This time, his route there was even sadder.
According to Examiner.com, Lucas remained by his dead owner’s side until they were both discovered in the aftermath of the superstorm.
A Facebook page for Lucas says he seems stressed and confused, and doesn’t like being caged. “When Lucas is out of the cage and outside his personality shines through. We think that a home with older children is best because he appears to have been in a home as a single dog with no other animals and is used to quiet.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal care and control, animals, collie, death, died, dog, dogs, hurricane, lucas, mix, new york, owner, pets, returned, sandy, shelter, shepherd, staten island, storm, superstorm
Booger — the heart, soul and sturdy foundation of a streetside act that brought together dog, cat and rat for performances that amused millions (if you count online) — has died.
The 13-year-old dog — a Rottweiler-Labrador mix – died Monday night from kidney and liver failure at a veterinary clinic in her hometown of Telluride, said her owner, Greg Pike.
Pike brought together Booger, a cat named Kitty and a rat named Mousie, taught them to arrange themselves in a pyramid and showed that animals can buck their stereotypes and view each other as more than predator and prey.
The hopeful message behind the act — in which Mousie stood atop Kitty, who stood atop Booger, most often on the west end of Pearl Street in Boulder — was that maybe we humans could do a better job of getting along, too.
It all started off on a bet, though.
Pike began putting the act together soon after he was given Booger as a puppy, according to the Boulder Daily Camera:
One day in a Telluride park, Pike and some others were discussing the limits of what’s possible, and he bet that he could get a dog, cat and rat to get along.
After finding Kitty and her littermates in a box under a house, Pike said he introduced the cat to Booger. They hit it off immediately and were inseparable from that point. Over the years, several different rodents have been used in the act.
Pike didn’t limit his entertaining to Colorado. To counter the sadness he saw in people after 9/11, Pike took the animals across the U.S. He said he enjoyed seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they saw the animals walking around, stacked on one another.
“Everywhere I brought them, they made people smile, and it just made me feel really good inside,” Pike said.
The act appeared on the Animal Planet series “Must Love Cats” and a YouTube video of them has been viewed more than 9.75 million times.
Pike said Booger will be cremated, and in the spring he will climb to the top of Gold Hill in Telluride to spread her ashes.
“I think my eyes are drained. It really hurts,” Pike said Tuesday. “She didn’t die in pain at all. She passed away in comfort in Telluride, where she loved to be.”
Kitty seems to be missing Booger as much as he is, Pike noted.
“I’ve never seen her curl up to me this much.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 31st, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: act, booger, boulder, cat, colorado, dead, died, dog, dog cat rat, getting along, greg pike, instincts, kitty, mousie, peace, performance, pyramid, rat, stereotypes, street, street performers, telluride, video, you tube, youtube
Where Ace and I are living now — just down the road from Mayberry — episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show” were being shown nearly all day long today after news broke about the actor’s death.
There are those who will tell you there is no real Mayberry in North Carolina. They’re the same ones who will tell you there is no Santa. In truth, in North Carolina, Mayberry is never more than 30 minutes away from wherever you are.
You just head down that country road, away from the big city — the Charlotte, the Raleigh, the Greensboro – and stop in the first town big enough to have gas pumps and a barber shop. If you’re greeted with a smile, and it appears genuine, you’re in Mayberry.
Mayberry is a state of mind — a zen-like destination, reachable only by slowing the hell down, caring about your fellow man, letting yourself think in an unrushed manner and having a second piece of pie.
And one man was the sparkly-eyed epitome of that. Andy Griffith, who died peacefully at his home this morning and, according to the local sheriff, has been laid to rest on the family farm on Roanoke Island.
The “Andy Griffith Show” always struck me as a lot like a dog — able to calm me down, and make me smile, and be convinced, for 30 minutes at least, that the world is a good place, and mankind not too shabby a species.
Dogs had center state in only a few episodes of the show, like the time Opie and a friend rigged a walkie-talkie to a dog and convinced Goober his dog could talk, or, my favorite, the time the sheriff’s office was beseiged with strays.
Of all the smallish towns in North Carolina, Mount Airy — Griffith’s birthplace — is the one that makes the most of its link to Mayberry, and, true to form, it’s only a half hour up the road. We’ve been there for a couple of visits.
But most times we get there via remote control. If you keep flipping, you can usually find Mayberry and, for half an hour, go back to a time and place where folks managed to be social without “social networks,” where the pace was slow, things were black and white, and life had just the right amount of complications — enough to keep it interesting without it being overwhelming.
That’s what I liked about Mayberry: Almost every problem could be resolved calmly, kindly, with unrushed reasoning — even what to do with a pesky pack of stray dogs:
PART ONE: In which Otis gets his breakfast and Opie finds a dog …
PART TWO: In which Barney takes the dogs — 11 of them now — to a happy place …
PART THREE: In which the strays save the day …
Posted by jwoestendiek July 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: andy, andy griffith, andy griffith show, andy taylor, animals, dead, died, dogs, episodes, icon, mayberry, memory, north carolina, nostalgia, opie, pets, sheriff, stray dogs, talking dogs, taylor, television
The mail carrier has been suspended with pay, WLWT reported.
Nelson Hamm said his three-year-old golden retriever, Nala (or Nayla, according to some news reports) was struck and run over by a postal vehicle last week, and that he witnessed it.
Nala, he said, was sniffing the mail truck’s tires when the postal worker drove the truck over her neck.
“When he ran up on her, he knew he was on something, and her legs was going like this, and he kept going, gunning it and gunning it and gunning it,” Hamm said.
The postal worker then made his next delivery before speeding out of the neighborhood, according to the Kentucky Post.
“She laid down in the foyer, base of the steps. My dad was crying, he kissed her on the nose. She looked him right in the eye, she licked him, and she just died,” his daughter, Lisa Hamm, said.
Covington City Commissioner Steve Frank said the postal service told him they extended their sympathies to the family and are investigating. Officials could not say how long the investigation will take.
“We made a strong suggestion that the postman not carry mail in the city of Covington for a while,” Frank said. ”Our message to the public is you will not abuse animals in the city of Covington.”
The family has retained an attorney for a possible civil suit. Nala has been buried near some trees where she used to play.
(Photo: Kentucky Post)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, carrier, covington, crushed, died, dog, dogs, family, golden retriever, investigation, kentucky, killed, mail man, nala, nayla, neck, northern kentucky, over, pets, post office, postal, postal service, ran, runs, truck, usps