Zeus, the world’s tallest dog, is dead.
The Great Dane passed away earlier this month — two months shy of his sixth birthday — from “symptoms of old age,” according to his owner.
Great Danes have shorter life spans than most dogs — most likely the result of breeders intent on making the breed larger yet, and the strain that size puts on their organs — which only makes the death of Zeus doubly sad.
“We’ll really miss him,” said Zeus’ owner, Kevin Doorlag, of Otsego, Michigan.
Doorlag and his wife, Denise say Zeus was a “wonderful dog” — famous both for Guinness World Record-setting size, and for his work as a therapy dog in their hometown.
He stood 44 inches at the shoulder — 7 feet, 4 inches on his hind legs. He claimed the Guinness World Record in 2012, and still held the title in the 2013 and 2014 editions.
The previous World’s Tallest Dog was Giant George, a Tuscon, Arizona, Great Dane. He died at age 7.
Kevin Doorlag said one of the things he will miss most is seeing the joy Zeus brought to others.
The death of Zeus is, first and foremost, a time to remember and celebrate Zeus.
But if it makes us question why, in the name of seeking extremes, we accept purebred breeding practices that lead to ill health and short lives, that’s fine, too. They’re in need of questioning.
What there’s less need for — whether it’s in pursuit of ribbons, world records, or sales — is making fluffy dogs fluffier, long and skinny dogs longer and skinnier, short snouted dogs even more shortly snouted.
We don’t need (sorry, Marmaduke) cartoonish dogs, or dogs that, through breeding them with close relatives, become exaggerated caricatures of their breed.
Healthy dogs will do just fine.
(Photo: Kalamazoo Gazette)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 13th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, big dogs, breeding, caricature, dead, death, dies, dogs, giant george, great dane, great danes, guinness, guinness world records, life span, michigan, old age, otsego, pets, practices, purebred, records, short, tallest, tallest dog, world, world's tallest dog, zeus
Brian, the family dog in Fox’s long-running animated hit “Family Guy,” died Sunday night when he was struck by a car.
The Griffin family’s faithful dog – a far more level-headed being than any of the human characters on the show — was killed off and, after some grieving, replaced with a new dog, named Vinny.
Brian’s multitude of fans want him back, and so do we (and at the end of this post, we have a suggested story line that would allow him to return, at least in a form).
The death of Brian came Sunday night in the sixth episode of “Family Guy’s” 12th season — and seemed to hit fans of the show hard.
A petition on Change.org is gathering thousands of signatures after being launched Monday by an Alabama fan asking the show to bring back Brian.
“Brian Griffin was an important part of our viewing experience,” the petition reads. “He added a witty and sophisticated element to the show. Family Guy and Fox Broadcasting will lose viewers if Brian Griffin is not brought back to the show.”
Brian, who was an aspiring novelist, was voiced by “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane; Vinny, the new dog, is voiced by Tony Sirico of “The Sopranos” fame.
The Los Angeles Times wondered whether fans will get to see their beloved dog again, and didn’t rule out the possibility.
Reuters reported that Brian appeared in more than 200 episodes of the show, which averages 6 million viewers an episode.
At Brian’s funeral, Peter Griffin noted, ”Brian wasn’t just my dog, he was my best friend in the whole world.”
We don’t know how much memories of Brian are going to play into upcoming episodes, but we’d guess that — as with any dog owner — it’s going to be hard for the show to just let him go.
And, while it’s too late, we can see some great opportunities — story-line-wise — growing out of his death.
For one, an exploration of what really happens at “Rainbow Bridge.” MacFarlane’s mind, and writers, could have some fun with that.
Better yet, what if it turned out the Griffins had hung on to a hunk of Brian’s tissue, and sent it off to South Korea for a clone to be created. It happens in real life, and it sounds like just the sort of thing Stewie would go for.
Having written a book about it, I don’t favor cloning pet dogs, and generally don’t see it as a laughing matter. But “Family Guy” has always had a way of making things that aren’t laughing matters pretty laughable.
If a clone of Brian were created in a lab, and the family “reunited” with him, would it really be Brian, brought back to life — as those behind cloning initially would have us believe — or just a similar-looking dog with his own distinct personality?
And, assuming writers followed a factual route, and Brian’s clone was not the same character Brian was, how disappointed would viewers be?
It could be a funny and informative route for the show to follow.
As many problems as I have with dog cloning, as blanketly against it as I am, I would have to be in favor of reanimating Brian.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 26th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animation, best friend, brian, bring back brian, cloned, clones, cloning, cloning dogs, dead, death, death of brian, dies, dog, dog cloning, dogs, family guy, fox, funeral, griffin, new dog, peter, pets, plot, reanimation, seth macfarlane, stewie, story, suggestion, television, the family guy, vinny
Victor Garcia was walking with his 6-month old Labrador retriever, Ruger, Wednesday afternoon at the Perrine Wayside Dog Park in south Miami-Dade when he threw an object into the park’s man-made lake for the dog to fetch, CBS4 reported
After the dog jumped in, Garcia said, he began acting strangely.
“All of a sudden, as he got closer to the center of the fountain, he started screaming, yelping, bloody murder,” said Garcia.
Garcia said when he ran into the lake to rescue he too was zapped by what felt like electric shocks.
“I just couldn’t pass this wall of electricity and I had to watch my best friend drown right in front of my face, essentially, I mean that dog is my whole entire world to me, he’s the reason I wake up in the morning.”
Garcia didn’t require hospitalization, but his dog was killed.
Park officials say the fountain in the center of the lake was turned off, but apparently it was still sending an electric current into the water. Electricians have removed the fountain to inspect it.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 5th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: current, dade, death, died, dies, dog, dog park, dog parks, dogs, elecgtrocuted, electrical, electricity, fountain, labrador, lake, lakes, miami, perrine wayside, retriever, ruger, safety, shock, south, swimming, victor garcia, zapped
Nine people escaped a house fire early Saturday morning in New Jersey after a pit bull’s barking woke them up.
But the young dog died in the fire, police in Hammonton said.
None of the adults and children in the ranch home were injured, according to an Associated Press report in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Police said the occupants of the house were sleeping when the dog began barking around 4:30 a.m. When they went to investigate they realized the house was in flames. As they fled, a newspaper carrier in the area noticed the flames and called 911.
The cause of the fire, which destroyed most of the house, was under investigation.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adults, alerts, animals, barking, children, dies, dog, family, fire, hammonton, hero, house, killed, new jersey, news, nine, ohmidog!, pets, pit bull, pitbull, saves
Lady, who had been on medication for the past three years for a bad hip, was recently diagnosed with cancer, at 13.
The governor took the dog to a vet last month, after she became unable to climb the stairs to the bedroom, where she commonly slept on the floor on the governor’s side of the bed.
He shared the diagnosis with his wife, District Court Judge Katie O’Malley, who was at a conference in Russia.
They discussed waiting until the first lady’s return five days later but decided against that. Lady was put down the following day, May 14.
“It would have been unfair to Lady,” Katie O’Malley told the Baltimore Sun. “Martin had to go all by himself and hold her in his arms while she went to sleep. It was very, very sad for the kids.”
Lady, whose image graced state highway maps and the governor’s Christmas cards, was taken in by the O’Malley family ten years ago when her owner, a friend of a friend, had to giver her up due to health problems.
But the governor’s mansion is still home to Rex, a cocker spaniel; Winston, a Yorkshire terrier-poodle mix; and two cats.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 3rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cancer, dead, death, dies, dog, dogs, first dog, golden retriever, governor, katie o'malley, lady, martin, martin o'malley, maryland, news, o'malley, ohmidog!, pets
Miss Ellie, a Chinese Crested who won the 2009 World’s Ugliest Dog Competition, has passed away at 17, but her legacy will live on.
Miss Ellie appeared on The Animal Planet show, “Dogs 101,” was featured on Fox News, seen on billboards and a commercial, captured the ugliest dog contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in northern California and was the star dog at The Comedy Barn Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
She was rescued when she was 7 years old and brought to live with her owner, Dawn Goehring, and 13 other rescue dogs. In her final days, Miss Ellie was continually working on raising awareness and money for rescue animals, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times.
She was entered in the 2010 World’s Ugliest Dog contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, and had planned to travel to California next month to compete one more time.
She was also serving as the mascot behind an effort to raise $1 million dollars for the Sevier County Humane Society.
The goal of “Miss Ellie’s Mission” was to build a new shelter. The current animal shelter was built to hold 1,000 animals a year. It now holds about 5,000. Pigeon Forge Mayor Keith Whaley proclaimed Nov. 12, 2009 as “Miss Ellie Day” in Pigeon Forge for her efforts.
Miss Ellie had been named both the ugliest dog and the cutest, winning a 2009 contest sponsored by the All-American Dog Food Pet Brand. She came out top in online voting, over 60,000 other dogs.
Condolences can be sent to The Comedy Barn Theater at 2775 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, Tenn. 37863, or e-mailed to ComedyBarn@aol.com.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 3rd, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, california, chinese crested, comedy barn, dawn goehring, death, died, dies, dogs, fair, fundraising, humane society, miss ellie, miss ellie's mission, news, ohmidog!, petaluma, pets, pigeon forge, rescue, sevier county, sonoma-marin, world's ugliest dog
Since his death, the Arizona Republic reports, his owners have received about 400 e-mails, stacks of cards, floral arrangements and 1,000 new followers on Twitter.
The responses came within a day of the news that a second bout of cancer had ended his life, at age 11.
Gabriel inspired the founding of Gabriel’s Angels, a non-profit organization that today has 150 dogs and their human partners providing help to kids in Phoenix and Tucson.
“If it wasn’t for him, there wouldn’t be a Gabriel’s Angels,” says Pam Gaber, who adopted Gabriel on Jan. 1, 1999, from a Gilbert family.
Gaber was volunteering at Crisis Nursery in Phoenix, an agency dedicated to stopping child abuse and neglect. Children were so entertained by stories of her dog’s antics, she decided he should visit with her.
The pup made his first appearance there dressed as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
“If he had acted like a typical Weimaraner, which would have been, ‘I ain’t doing that,’ that would have been the end of it,” Gaber says. “But he walked in like, ‘Here I am!’ And because of that, Gabe started a revolution of therapy dogs helping kids.”
Gabriel’s Angels was founded in May 2000. Certified owner-pet teams (including one cat) began volunteering with Pam and Gabe. Now the agency each year helps about 13,000 kids through age 18 in more than 100 facilities, including shelters, schools, treatment centers and recreation programs.
The dog answered to English, Spanish and sign language. But it was his gentle ways the kids responded to most, learning from him and Gaber how to be gentle in return.
“Kids who were normally angry were loving and soft and kind with Gabe,” Gaber says. “He went to every single kid and said, ‘You rock. You’re a great kid.’ And the wall came down.”
In January, four months after the cancer returned, Gabriel retired as a therapy dog. Unwilling to let him suffer, Pam and Michael Gaber called a veterinarian, who came to their house on May 17 to euthanize him.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arizona, children, dead, death, dies, dog, dogs, gabriel, gabriel's angels, gilbert, kids, michael gaber, pam gaber, pets, phoenix, schools, shelters, therapy dogs, treatment, tucson, weimaraner