Even sleeping dogs can be controversial.
Bizkit — possibly the most viewed sleeping dog ever — carried on to such extremes in her sleep that many, including her owners at one point, suspected she might have something seriously wrong with her.
Among the episodes her owners videotaped was one of Bizkit flailing on the floor, getting up, and running into a wall — all seemingly in her sleep.
Some viewers found that funny, some did not. Some comments on the videos urged her owners to get her treatment, and speculated she might have a neurological disorder.
Some commenters even suggested she was in need of an exorcism.
According to this feature on Bizkit on Animal Planet (below), Bizkit’s owners — in addition to getting her a sleep helmet — did get her medical attention.
They say their veterinarian told them nothing was wrong with Bizkit and that she was simply sleepwalking.
To see more sleeping dogs, click here, then click on the headline for the video.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 14th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal planet, animals, biskit, controversial, disorder, dog, dogs, funny, habit, pets, running, sleep, sleeping, sleeping dogs, sleepwalking, videos, wall, zzzzz
Haatchi, a three-legged Anatolian shepherd, will be honored today by the International Fund for Animal Welfare for helping a 7-year-old boy with a genetic disorder face the world.
Owen Howkins, who has a condition known as Schwartz-Jampel, which causes his muscles to be permanently tense, was withdrawn and afraid to leave his house until his family adopted Haatchi, according to his parents.
Now both he and Haatchi are blazing new trails.
Haatchi is receiving an Animal of the Year Award today from the IFAW in a ceremony hosted at the House of Lords. The award is being presented by Queen guitarist Brian May.
Haatchi lost a rear leg after being hit by a train. He recovered and was later adopted by Colleen Drummond, her fiancé Will Howkins and his seven-year-old son Owen, who live in Hampshire.
“Before his arrival, Owen didn’t like going out — he was practically agoraphobic,” said Drummond. “When he first started school, he became more aware of being different, and he became even more withdrawn.”
But Haatchi, in addition to being a steadfast friend, brought Owen out of his shell, and seeing Haatchi cope with three legs has led the boy to feel differently about his own condition.
Seeing the change led Owen’s parents to get Haatchi qualified as a therapy dog. Now just over a year old, he’s scheduled to make regular visits to amputee soldiers rehabilitating from injuries suffered in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as sick children in hospitals and hospices.
Other IFAW award winners this year include former Olympian Fiona Oakes, from Essex, who runs a sanctuary for 400 rescued animals, veterinarian Vikki Fowler, who rescues and rehabilitates neglected horses, and Julie Hinks, who cares for and rehomes tortoises, many of which are rescued after being smuggled into the UK illegally.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: anatolian, anatolian shepherd, animal action awards, animal of the year, animals, awards, brian may, disorder, dog, dogs, genetic, haatchi, hachi, hatchi, ifaw, international fund for animal welfare, owen howkins, pets, queen, Schwartz-Jampel, shepherd, therapy dogs
Here’s a dog named Starship who’s guaranteed to send your heart into the stratosphere.
She has an ailment that requires her to eat in a high chair, like a baby.
Shelter officials at Greenville County Animal Care in South Carolina say the four-month-old dog, a collie mix, was starved for the first few weeks of her life and developed digestive issues. Specifically, the disorder is called Megaesophagus, meaning her esophagus is dilated.
She has to eat while sitting upright, which helps her food travel down into her stomach.
Once done dining, she has to stay in the high chair for another 30 minutes, according to this report by WSPA.
It took no time at all for her to adapt to the eating routine: “She just crawled right in and turned around,” said a shelter worker.
A South Carolina company, Archway Renovations, built the chair — called a Bailey chair — for Starship, and has offered to make an adjustable one for her as she grows larger.
Starship is looking for a new home, and shelter staff are hoping someone comes forward who’s willing to continue the feeding routine. She needs to eat 4-5 times daily and must be watched while eating and drinking.
“It’s just like someone who is handicapped, they figure a way to live their life happily,” said the shelter worker.
More information is available at Greenville Animal Care.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adoptable, adoption, animal care, animals, archway renovations, baby, condition, county, digestion, digestive, disorder, dogs, eats, greenville, high chair, megaesophagus, pets, pup, seat, seeks home, shelter, starship, starved, upright, video
Attention humans: Today’s lesson comes from Tanner and Blair — two hopeless cases that, together, found some hope.
Tanner is a two-year-old Golden Retriever who was born blind and with a seizure disorder. When Sooner Golden Retriever Rescue was unable to find him a home, he ended up at Woodland West Animal Hospital.
Blair is a one-year-old black Labrador mix brought to the same hospital after she was shot while living on the streets. While recovering physically, she was timid, nervous, and unlikely to find a forever home, either.
“One day they were exercising in a play yard together and they got together,” said the hospital’s director, Dr. Mike Jones. “Blair all of a sudden seemed to realize that Tanner was blind and just started to help him around.”
Seeing the connection, hospital staff began to board Tanner and Blair together, with amazing results.
Tanner began seizing less; Blair came out of her shell.
“His seizure disorder was really, really bad and nothing — no medications — seemed to be helping,” Jones told ABC News. “Anytime he [Tanner] seizes he expresses his bowels.”
Tanner had been seizing almost nightly, Jones said, but after two or three weeks with Blair, “we realized Tanner wasn’t seizing anymore. He’s not completely seizure free but it’s not constant anymore.”
If Tanner has a leash on, Blair will pick it up and guide her friend around. Tanner, meanwhile, has had a calming influence on Blair, making the former street dog — now that she has a mission – less timid and anxious.
Now the hospital and Sooner Golden Retriever Rescue are trying to find the two dogs a home together.
“They absolutely have to be adopted together,” Jones said. “But it’s going to take a special home with someone who understands their special relationship plus understands seizure disorder and is ready to take on the responsibility.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adoptable, animals, black, blair, blind, cure, disorder, dogs, each other, golden, help, hope, ills, lab, oklahoma, pair, pets, rescue, retrievers, seizure, shelters, shooting, shot, sooner golden retriever rescue, tanner, teamwork, woodland west animal hospital
A pit bull who helped show Baltimore the breed’s good side, inspired a blog and turned a young couple’s life around passed away at the end of last week.
Knox, only about 3, died from complications associated with a blood parasite for which he recently tested positive.
His final days, and his short but joyous life — at least since being adopted — are recounted on the blog Pittieful Love: Adventures in Fostering and Loving America’s Dog.
Knox was adopted by a young couple named Brian and Jess DeLeon in May 2010 from BARCS (Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter), the same shelter Ace came from.
Upon his arrival at BARCS, he’d been given the name Oil Change, because he (and his brother, dubbed Dipstick) came to the shelter from a gas station, where they apparently were leading pretty neglected lives.
His adoption would turn that around, as well as life for Brian and Jess.
“We went from young 20-somethings who wanted to rescue a dog, to two completely devoted owners who also are now completely devoted to this breed (which we didn’t know jack about before) … We brought home a “Baltimore Mutt” (aka a pit-mix) and had no idea how much of an influence he would have on us, on the world he lives in, the streets he walks, and the people he’d meet. Not to mention the people whom he’d introduce us to.”
Knox was a regular participant in Pit Bulls on Parade, a series of weekend walks sponsored by B-more Dog, aimed at correcting public misconceptions about pit bulls. He was a friend and guide to the other fosters Brian and Jess took in, and a blood donor, as well. And he’d inspire the couple to fight for pit bulls city-wide, through their connections with B-More Dog, Mid-Atlantic Bully Buddies and BARCS.
Just before Christmas, Knox was diagnosed with the blood disorder, and, as Jess blogged, became a different dog — no longer as lively, or as willing to place his 68 pounds, at least half of that seemingly head, on your lap.
In her blog, Jess astutely reflects that, after the long fight, sometimes it’s best to let nature take its course — especially when the heroic efforts you’re making are, at their core, not for your dog but for yourself.
“It may sound horrible, but I refuse to string him along for no reason, not to mention waste thousands of dollars to keep him alive for my own personal benefit … Keeping him alive, barely…who is that serving? Certainly we love him too much to be that selfish … We love him way too much.
We extend our condolences to Jess and Brian, and encourage them to keep focusing not on the loss, or the void, but on the substantial contribution Knox made, and the joys — big and little – he provided, both to them and others.
Judging from yesterday’s Pittieful Love blog post, that’s exactly what they’re doing:
“You, sneaky boy, were wild. WILD. But you loved us right away, and we loved you. We met you at first in an escort room. Small, tight space, but we weren’t intimidated by your jumping, your tail, your huge head and that awesome smile. We wanted to take you outside to the run. You were in HEAVEN. And you loved to run! But you kept coming right back to us, and sitting on our feet. The fresh air, the open space, you loved it! But you loved us too. And that was a good sign to us. We couldn’t stop smiling.”
(Photo courtesy of Pittieful Love)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, ambassador, animals, b-more dog, baltimore animal rescue & care, barcs, blood, breeds, brian deleon, death, disorder, dogs, dying, foster, goodwill, grief, jess deleon, knox, loss, memories, misconceptions, misperceptions, mutts, oil change, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pit bulls on parade, pitbull, pitbulls, pits, pittieful love, rescue, shelter, stereotyping
Leo, the former Michael Vick dog who became a therapy dog and an ambassador for his breed, died last week from a severe seizure disorder.
Marthina McClay, president of Our Pack, an advocacy group for pit bulls, announced his death Sunday in a Facebook post:
“It is with great sadness I must announce the loss of a wonderful soul. This week Leo passed away from a severe seizure disorder. Leo was my working partner, friend and family loved one and I will never forget how wonderful he was. He was so many things to many people and to many dogs.
“Leo came to Our Pack from the Vick case and I was lucky enough to later adopt him. Even though he didn’t have a good start in life he made life for others around him better. Just after arriving to us, Leo quickly turned inhumanity into humanity. He gave love that wasn’t even given to him.
“He worked with cancer patients as a therapy dog. He showed kids that no matter what you can still show love and compassion toward others regardless of how life has treated you. He showed the world that one should not be judged based on what property he lives on but on who you are and what you do as an individual. Many dogs are alive today and many people have smiled because of Leo and his work. He gave a second chance to other dogs that may never have gotten one because of who he was and what he did.
“Please join me in remembering the good that Leo has done and pass it on. We’ve suffered a great loss but we’ve also received a wonderful gift in the time we were lucky enough to share with him. Leo accomplished so much in so little time. Thank you Leo, I love you so much and you will never be forgotten….Ever.”
Leo was one of about 50 dogs seized in the raid of Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels in Smithfield, Va.
Our Pack was one of several animal welfare groups that worked to rehabilitate the dogs. Leo was officially adopted by McClay and became a certified therapy dog, working with cancer patients and others.
(Photo: Leo and McClay, courtesy of Our Pack)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 20th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bad newz, death, died, disorder, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, kennels, leo, marthina mcclay, michael vick, our pack, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, redemption, rehabilitation, seizure, therapy dog, vick dog
An animal shelter has received hundreds of offers of help after seeking a new home for an inseparable pair of Great Danes — one blind, the other her guide dog.
The manager of Dogs Trust Shrewsbury said more than 200 people had responded since the shelter, near the Welsh town of Newport, publicized the pair’s need for a new home.
“It’s been phenomenal,” Louise Campbell said.
Campbell said that Lily, 6, came to rely on Maddison, 7, after a medical condition called entropion caused her eyelashes to grow into her eyeballs, leaving them so severely damaged that they had to be removed
Believed to be passed on genetically, the disorder is not uncommon among large breeds and and those with droopy eyelids, like shar-peis.
The pair reminds me of two Great Danes we visited in Charlotte, Skyler and Pierce — one half blind, one deaf, but together, a well functioning team.
Lily and Maddison, similarly, never stray far from each other.
“Everything they do involves close contact, they check in with each other all the time,” Campbell said. “They have developed such a strong bond, they always know what the other is doing, so we wouldn’t split them up, that would be quite unfair to both dogs.”
The Daily Mail (where you can find more great photos of the pair) reported that their original owner surrendered the dogs to the shelter “because she could no longer cope.”
A post in the article’s comment section, however, alleges that the owner “has gone to live in Cyprus with her boyfriend who owns a £750,000 house with 2 acres ground.” The comment is signed by members of a rescue organization.
(Photo: Dogs Trust of Shrewsbury)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 25th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoptive, animals, blind, dependent, disabilities, disorder, dogs, dogs trust, entropion, eyes, genetic, great danes, guide dog, handicaps, home, lily, maddison, needed, pets, removed, shrewsbury, team
Scientists studying compulsive behaviors in Doberman pinschers have located a gene they believe is associated with OCD — a finding that could lead to pinpointing a genetic source of obsessive-compulsive disorder in humans.
In dogs, compulsive behavior includes tail chasing, licking their legs until they develop infections, and pacing and circling — canine versions, perhaps, of repeated hand washing and other behaviors displayed by the 2.2 million Americans estimated to be affected by the disorder.
The Doberman study was done by researchers at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, and the Broad Institute, according to the Boston Globe.
Scientists took samples from 92 Doberman pinschers that displayed compulsive behavior. Dogs with the disorder compulsively suck their flanks or blankets. Researchers also used samples from 68 normal dogs, and did a genome-wide scan, searching for spots that varied between the two samples.
They found a genetic hot spot in dogs with the compulsive behavior — within in a gene called Cadherin 2, known to be active in the brain and in a family of genes recently implicated in autism.
Dr. Dennis Murphy, a laboratory chief in the National Institute of Mental Health, said he is working to follow the research by studying the same gene in more than 300 human patients with OCD, 400 of their relatives, and about 600 people without OCD.
“Identifying a specific gene that could be a candidate gene for a complex disorder like OCD is a gift to have,’’ Murphy said. “This might be a quick route in to a meaningful gene that just could be involved in the human disorder, as well.’’
Posted by jwoestendiek January 5th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, broad institute, circling, compulsive, dennis murphy, disorder, doberman pinschers, dobermans, dogs, gene, genes, genome, licking, mental health, national institute of mental health, obsessive, ocd, pacing, pets, research, science, study, tail chasing, tufts university, university of massachusetts
We liked him as a comedian, and early indications are we’ll like him as a politician — not that we see too vast a difference between the two.
In his first piece of legislation as Minnesota’s junior senator, Al Franken is trying to expand the number of service dogs available to wounded veterans.
In an opinion piece published Monday in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Franken proposed a pilot program that will train “a statistically significant number of dogs,” put them to work and measure the benefits they provide to veterans living with devastating war injuries.
Franken believes the dogs’ companionship provides invaluable health benefits — both physical and emotional — to veterans suffering from debilitating injuries and psychological disorders.
The service dogs will help “reduce the suicide rate among veterans, decrease the number of hospitalizations and lower the cost of medications and human care,” he said.
Franken’s said the legislation was inspired by a meeting he had last January with a wounded former Iraqi intelligence officer and his golden retriever, “Tuesday.”
“Service dogs like Tuesday can be of immense benefit to vets suffering from physical and emotional wounds,” wrote Franken.
Franken said service dogs typically cost about $20,000 to train and another $5,000 to place with a veteran — a cost that is well worth the investment.
“It is my strong belief that a service dog will more than pay for itself over its life, and my bill is designed to determine the return on investment with a pilot program that provides service dogs to hundreds of veterans,” said Franken.
Franken’s bill would be his first piece of legislation since officially becoming a senator on July 7.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 22nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: al franken, assistance, bill, commentary, disorder, dogs, emotional, injuries, law, legislation, minnesota, proposed, psychological, senator, service, suicide, train, trauma, tuesday, veterans
Scientists in Sweden have tracked down the source of sensory ataxic neuropathy (SAN) — a recently identified neurological disorder in golden retrievers.
The disease strikes goldens in puppyhood, causing them to move in an uncoordinated manner and have sensory deficits.
The researchers were able to trace back all affected offspring on the maternal side, over more than 10 generations, to a female that lived during the 1970s, confirming that SAN is caused by a mutation in the mitochondrial DNA.
The study by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala University and the Karolinska Institutet was published May 29 in the journal PLoS Genetics.
The researchers showed that about five percent of the golden retriever population in Sweden carries the mutation causing SAN — and that, with proper screening by breeders, the disorder could be eliminated.
“This is a good example of how a close collaboration between clinicians and geneticists led to a rapid detection of a harmful mutation that can now be eliminated from this dog population to reduce suffering and disease,” said co-author Karin Hultin Jäderlund.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 2nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: detection, disease, disorder, dna, generations, genetics, golden retriever, maternal, mitochondrial, mutation, san, science, screening, sensory ataxic neuropathy, sweden, swedish, swedish university of agricultural sciences