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Tag: dies

One way Brian could be brought back

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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.

brian2Brian’s final words were: “You’ve given me a wonderful life. I love you all.”

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.

Florida dog fatally shocked by lake

A walk in a park turned fatal for a Florida man’s dog, which was apparently electrocuted last week when he jumped in a lake while playing fetch.

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.

Dog dies after saving nine from fire

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.

O’Malley family’s retriever, Lady, put down

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and family have put down Lady, the golden retriever they took in 10 years ago, when O’Malley was mayor of Baltimore.

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.

World’s ugliest dog passes away

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.

Gabriel the therapy Weimaraner

Gabriel, a Weimaraner who helped thousands of people in his ten years as a therapy dog, passed away recently in Arizona.

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.

Activist’s guide dog, Ruger, dies in New York

Ruger, a yellow Lab who helped his blind owner fight for the rights of guide dogs in New York, died this week of natural causes.

For nearly a decade, Ruger was at the side of Kevin Coughlin as the two went up against taxi drivers, restaurants and other establishments that illegally denied them entry.

Coughlin, 48, undertook several high-profile cases against businesses in the city that to refused to open their doors to guide dogs, including two complaints against the Taxi and Limousine Commission for refusing Ruger a ride.

In 2002, Coughlin filed a discrimination complaint against a coffee shop  for throwing his dog out, leading to a $1,000 against the owner.

The “CBS Evening News” once followed Coughlin and Ruger with a hidden camera and recorded business owners and taxi drivers giving him a hard time because of his dog.

Ruger, who had retired as a guide dog in 2008 and was living in Warwick, N.Y., died Wednesday at the age of 13, the New York Times reported.

“After losing my vision, I truly felt like I wasn’t going to experience joy again,” Coughlin, who became blind in 1997 as a result of a genetic condition, said Thursday. “But Ruger was just so full of joy. It was this in-your-face, all encompassing feeling. That was the biggest gift. He allowed me once again to experience joy.”

Mr. Coughlin held a retirement party  for Ruger in 2008, but has not seen him since. He said it would have been too difficult emotionally.

Coughlin has been working with a new guide dog, a black Lab named Elias, but Coughlin’s e-mail handle remains “misterruger.”

Batman leaves a legacy of hope behind

batmandogWord came this week that Batman, the dog whose brain tumor was being successfully treated with an experimental gene therapy at the University of Minnesota, has died of pneumonia.

“I wanted to let you know that sadly we lost Batman a few weeks ago,” his owner, Anna Brailovsky, wrote ohmidog! in an email. “The very good news is that it was not to brain cancer, so we can still consider him to be a great success story.”

Brailovsky and her husband Eric Baker found Batman him on the streets of Berlin as graduate students in 1999. He returned with the couple to the United States in 2001, and was happy and healthy until he had a series of seizures in 2008.

A tumor was diagnosed and Batman ended up at the University of Minnesota, where Dr. Elizabeth Pluhar, a veterinary surgery professor, and John Ohlfest, a pediatrics professor, had been considering an experimental brain tumor treatment for about three years.

Batman underwent the procedure — which, though it had been tried on mice, had never used on a dog before. Surgeons removed most of Batman’s tumor, much of which was then used to make a vaccine for the dog.  A year later the tumor was gone.

The experimental treatment could someday help people with the same disease.

“The study now has many more dogs in various stages of treatment and recovery, and they are steadily moving toward developing the protocol for human trials,” Brailovsky said.

To keep Batman’s memory, she and her family created a website that tells his story and features a university-made video on his treatment:

 

“Every dog is special to his family, but we were extremely fortunate that Batman’s life also had an impact on the lives of many others,” the website says.

“In the 18 months following the surgery and vaccine protocol, Batman was almost entirely back to his normal,  self, and we cherished every extra trip to the park and every extra cuddle on the couch that the experimental treatment had granted us. It was a miraculous gift.

“Unfortunately, curing the brain tumor did not get rid of the seizures originally caused by the tumor growth. With his indefatiguable spirit, Batman repeatedly recovered from the aftermath of a half-dozen serious grand mal episodes that left him temporarily blind and weakened for hours, sometimes days, at a time. He always bounced back as strong and healthy as ever, and we are deeply saddened that our miraculous survivor has finally ran out of second chances.

“On Wednesday, January 13, 2010 Batman suffered a prolonged series of seizures (and likely a stroke) that left him with severe muscle damage and immobolized him for several days. A fighter to the last, he was beginning to regain his strength and appetite when he was suddenly overcome by rapidly progressing pneumonia on the morning of January 18…

“It was a heartbreaking decision, but we had to let him go. He died in his favorite place on the couch.”

Cesar Millan’s pit bull “Daddy” dies at 16

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Daddy, a pit bull who was Cesar Millan’s longtime friend and partner in canine rehabilitation, died peacefully Friday at the age of 16.

Millan, his family, friends, staff and volunteers were mourning the death of a dog described by “The Dog Whisperer” as “one of the most loyal, trusting, well-balanced, and influential pit bull ambassadors the world has ever known.”

“He lived each day of those sixteen years happy and fulfilled as Cesar’s right-hand-man, helping to shape the behavior of entire generations of dogs by showing them the way to balance. He stood as champion for calm-submissive pit bulls everywhere, and was instrumental in helping to repair their image as violent, savage, uncontrollable beasts. He successfully battled cancer and weathered chemotherapy, and even got the opportunity to present at the 56th Annual Creative Arts Emmy Awards,” Millan’s website reported.

Millan said Daddy has been immortalized by fans in all mediums — from painting, to photographs, to charcoal drawings and papier-mâché sculpture.

“And, of course, he lives on in his work, reflected in the balance and calm-submission of his protégé Junior, the countless animals to whom he was a positive role model, and in the hearts and minds of everyone who knew him as a calm, sweet, and mellow example of a widely misunderstood breed.”

Millan announced the establishment of a fund to honor Daddy’s legacy — the Daddy’s Emergency Animal Rescue Fund, (DEAR) which will be operated by the Cesar and Ilusion Millan Foundation. The DEAR Fund will provide assistance for dogs who are victims of abuse or violence, man-made disasters, and large-scale natural disasters.

Fans who would like to express sympathy, are invited to post a comment on Daddy’s memorial page or send a message through the website’s contact form.

Casper the commuting cat killed by car

Casper the commuting cat, who made headlines in the United Kingdom and around the world, has died after being hit by a car.

The cat became a celebrity on Plymouth buses when he used to politely line up with other passengers, before hopping aboard to travel around the city on an 11-mile ride.

“I never dreamt I’d miss an animal as much as I miss him,” his owner, Sue Finden, told the Plymouth Herald. “He was lovely and loved people so much – he was such a different character.”

She said she only found out about his death when a woman knocked on her door to tell her she’d seen Casper get hit by a car. The driver didn’t stop.

Finden discovered Casper’s bus riding habits when he followed her onto a bus and the driver informed her the cat was a frequent rider.

“I thought it was only decent that I let the public know what had happened to him as he made so many friends and would turn up to the bus stop like clockwork.” Finden said after the cat’s death. She posted a notice at Casper’s usual bus stop in Poole Park Road, saying, in part, “Many local people knew Casper, who loved everyone. He also enjoyed the bus journeys… Thank you to all those who befriended him.”

“Casper touched many people’s lives and clearly had a very exciting life – traveling around Plymouth and who knows where else,” said Marc Reddy, Managing Director of the bus line. “I suspect he’s now exploring heaven and is telling all the other cats up there about the many adventures he had.”

Casper was so popular that an image of him was emblazoned onto the side of a bus. “Casper’s image will remain on the bus for some time to come,” Reddy said, “and we hope that seeing it around town will give Susan some comfort.”