They say everything has a beginning, a middle and an end, but when it comes to an Alabama dog named Pig, she seems to have gotten short-changed on that middle part.
Between her sizable head and her rear end, there’s not much real estate, and as a result of her abbreviated torso, taking her out in public has always led to a lot of stares, and a lot of questions — chief among them, “What kind of dog is that?”
What accounts for Pig’s unusual appearance is called short spine syndrome, a birth defect that prevents the spine from fully forming and often makes everyday tasks — like running, jumping and eating — difficult.
Dogs with the disorder — though it can compress their organs and lead to health problems as they grow — generally can lead normal lives, and reach their full life expectancy.
They can also, as in Pig’s case, become international celebrities.
Pig developed a large following after appearing at this year’s Do Dah Day festival in Birmingham. She was featured in a story on AL.com, and her Facebook page, “Pig the Unusual Dog,” created in June, has more than 76,500 followers.
Now, following up on just what it is that makes Pig Pig, AL.com reports that her owner, Kim Dillenbeck of Helena, has received the results of a DNA test she had conducted on the dog to determine what breeds are in her.
A Wisdom Panel test says Pig is a Boxer, Chow Chow, American Staffordshire Terrier mix.
Dillenbeck who has heard guesses ranging from her dog being half rabbit to half not there, was surprised by the results.
“Everybody thought Akita,” Dillenbeck said. “I was was thinking something like a smaller dog, but I was wide open … Pig has all these interesting traits, and there are so many breeds out there.”
Other breeds showing up in the test results as possibilities include Portuguese Water Dog, Alaskan Klee Kai, Scottish deerhound, Lakeland terrier and Maltese.
Pig weighs in at just 16 pounds, much less than one of her siblings, who doesn’t have the disorder and weighs just under 40 pounds.
Dillenbeck’s experience with Pig led her to form the nonprofit Pig’s Foundation to help raise funds for people and organizations rescuing animals. Another mission of the foundation is to raise awareness that animals who look unusual can still have a happy life.
“Pig is her own breed,” Dillenbeck said. “To me, she is just one in a million. As much as I can see her potential in all these breeds, she is still just Pig.”
(Photos: Mark Almond / AL.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 31st, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alabama, american staffordshire terrier, animals, birmingham, birth defect, boxer, breed, breeds, chow chow, dna, dog, dogs, helena, pets, pig, short spine, short spine syndrome, shortened, spine, test, wisdom panel
Hector, a pit bull rescued from Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring, has died of cancer at his Minnesota home.
One of 51 dogs rescued from Bad Newz Kennels in 2007, Hector was rehabilitated at Bad Rap and, about a year later, adopted by new owners, Roo and Clara Yori in Rochester.
During the six years he spent with them he became a therapy dog, visiting local nursing homes and hospitals.
About a month ago, Hector was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.
In recent weeks, his owners twice scheduled appointments to have Hector put down, but both times they backed out.
This week, as his suffering intensified, they went through with it, according to Hector’s Facebook page.
The Yori’s placed this post on that page Tuesday, written from Hector’s point of view:
“Hello everyone. Unfortunately my time has come, and if you’re reading this, that means that I have already passed. My last day was as good as one could ask for. The sun was shining, the frogs were out for me to chase at the pond, and I had Roo and Clara to carry me off the trail when my legs just couldn’t go any further. I called shotgun to assume my co-pilot position on the way to the vet, where I passed away surrounded by people who love me.
I think my past life caught up with me and caused my time to come a little early. However, I can proudly say that I gave it everything I had all the way until the end. To my Vick Dog family, and all the other dogs rescued from similar cruelty situations, keep carrying the torch! There are a lot of dogs out there that still need help, so keep proving they deserve their chance through our success…
“Please remember that dogs don’t really have a choice on where they end up, and some really good dogs end up in a bad spot through no fault of their own. Before you pass judgement, give them a chance to show who they are regardless of appearance or past life. You never know how it will turn out…”
(Photos: Hector on his final hike, from his Facebook page)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 29th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, animals, bad newz kennels, bad rap, cancer, clara yori, dead, death, died, dies, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, former vick dogs, hector, michael vick, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, rehabilitated, rescued, roo yori, seized, vick dogs, yori
Facing death threats, the organizer of an event aimed at softening the harsh view many Muslims have of dogs has apologized for the furor his “I Want to Touch a Dog” gathering has created.
Syed Azmi Abhalshi, reacting to complaints that the event in Malaysia was insensitive, said he was only trying to educate people — Muslim and non-Muslim.
He said his intention was not to convert Muslims into dog lovers or lead them to violate the precepts of their faith.
Many Malays took offense at photos from the event.
“I organized this event because of Allah, not to deviate the people’s faiths, try to change the Islamic rules of law, poke fun at the ulama or encourage pluralism,” Syed Azmi said.
Since the event last Sunday, he has received threats, and posts on social media platforms have accused him of being “a Christian in disguise, according to the Straits Times.
Syed Azmi spoke at a press conference Saturday in Kelab Sri Selango – but left abruptly because he feared for his safety, his lawyer said.
“We are very concerned with his well being,” his lawyer, Syahredzan Johan, said.
In the week since the event Syed Azmi, a pharmacist, has received more than 3,000 phone messages on his phone, many of them hateful and a dozen of them threatening physical harm, the New York Times reports.
The event, aimed at dispelling negative perception of dogs particularly among Muslims, started out as a small get-together for those curious about dogs, but it was attended by about 800 people, about half of them Muslims.
Syed Azmi said he never meant to encourage people, particularly the Muslims, to adopt dogs as pets but was merely trying to offer advice on how to deal with dogs.,
“During the event, the participants were also given detailed explanation on rules and regulations on how to handle dogs,” he said, including instructions in sertu, the Islamic way of purifying.
Some Muslim attendees kissed and cuddled with dogs, but organizers said that — despite the event’s name — wasn’t the intention of the program.
“There were those who wanted to learn to touch the dogs and there were those who just wanted to observe,” said co-organizer Norhayati Ismail. “I admit we had no control over the crowd and what they did to the dogs. There could also be those who came late and did not hear our explanation from the Islamic perspectives,” she said.
Although many Muslims in other countries do not view touching dogs as forbidden, conservative Islamic groups in Malaysia view dogs as unclean and followers are required to undergo a ritualistic wash if they come into contact with canines.
(Top photo: Najjua Zulkefli / The Malaysian Insider)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 28th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, apology, controversy, death threats, dogs, event, furor, i want to touch a dog, islam, malaysia, muslims, perception, pets, religion, syed azmi, Syed Azmi Abhalshi, threats, touch a dog
Bulldogs are not at the top of the list when it comes to dignified behavior, which is why I like them.
So I wouldn’t say this compilation features bulldogs behaving badly — just bulldogs behaving like bulldogs.
Dog and baby videos are a dime a dozen.
But there’s something about this one — perhaps it’s a reminder of the innocence and curiosity we (dogs and humans) are born with, and which we (mainly humans) tend to let slip away.
So, at no cost to us (we ripped it off of Facebook), here’s a look at a dog and a baby — still pure and untainted — getting to know each other.
It may only be a short-term one, but a dying man in a Kentucky hospital seemed to have a new lease on life after a visit from his Chihuahua.
And ditto for the dog.
James Wathen, after a month in the hospital, wasn’t doing well, and had stopped eating, hospital workers say.
Social workers at Baptist Health Corbin, trying to lift his spirits, talked to him and learned he was troubled by the loss of his dog, Bubba, who had been picked up by animal control after he was hospitalized.
Between hospital staff and workers at the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter, Bubba was tracked down at a foster home, and — despite rules forbidding dog visits — one was arranged at the hospital earlier this month, WKYT reported.
“One of our social workers realized it was mourning the loss of the dog that was making our patient even worse and emotionally unhealthy. We pulled out all the stops and found the dog,” Kimberly Probus, chief nursing officer at Baptist Health Corbin, said.
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the room,” Probus said of the reunion.
Wathen, 73, began to cry when he saw his elderly, one-eyed Chihuahua, and then his mood began to brighten.
Bubba’s condition — he’d been emotionally distraught since their separation, and had stopped eating, too — also seemed to improve.
Hospital officials say they plan to have Bubba visit Wathen regularly, and — based on what they saw — they are also looking at implementing a new pet visitation policy.
“To see James and Bubba get back together. It was heartwarming. It’s why we do what we do,” Mary-Ann Smyth, Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter President, said.
Smyth said Bubba seemed sad on the way to the hospital, but perked up about 20 steps from Wathen’s room.
“The dog quit eating a week ago, which is very strange,” she told Today. “The dog didn’t know where James was and James didn’t know where the dog was and believe it or not, they both stopped eating at about the same time.”
By the time Bubba returned for a second visit on Oct. 14, there were visible changes in both Wathen and Bubba’s conditions.
“He’s done a complete turnaround, Smyth said of Wathen. “He’s speaking, he’s sitting up, he’s eating. He doesn’t look like the same guy. And the dog is eating and doing better now, too.”
Posted by John Woestendiek October 24th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, baptist health corbin, bond, bubba, chihuahua, dog, dogs, health, hospital, james wathen, kentucky, knox-whitley animal shelter, loss, mourning, patient, pets, reunion, separation, shelter, visits, wellness
The Spanish nursing assistant whose dog was exterminated after she was found to have contracted Ebola from a patient has been pronounced free of the virus.
But along with the good news, Teresa Romero has learned what the rest of the world has known for two weeks.
Her dog Excalibur was seized, killed and incinerated days after she was diagnosed after officials hastily pronounced him a health risk — despite no evidence the dog had the disease, and over the objections of family members and protesters.
“She is asking herself why they killed the dog, who wasn’t to blame for anything,” Limón told EL PAIS.
Limón, staying in a room a floor below his wife at Madrid’s Carlos III Hospital, said he and his wife are pleased with her recovery, but frustrated by what happened to Excalibur, and by how Romero was criticized by health officials for not following proper hospital protocol.
“I couldn’t fight when they killed the dog and I couldn’t defend my wife when they said all those lies and slanderous things about her,” he said.
Romero tested positive Oct. 6 after coming in contact with Spain’s first Ebola patient.
As part of her treatment, she received plasma from a recovered Ebola patient, but health authorities have disclosed no more treatment details, according to NBC.
Just two days after she was diagnosed with the disease, health officials had her large mixed breed dog, Excalibur, seized, killed and incinerated out of fear he might have gotten the disease.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., Bentley, the first dog of an American Ebola patient, is being held in quarantine and tested regularly. The Cavalier King Charles spaniel shows no signs of the disease, officials say,.
Bentley is being cared for at the Hensley Field Services Center, a former military reserve base in southwest Dallas. He will continue to be tested and monitored until at least early next month.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 23rd, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bentley, dog, dogs, ebola, euthanasia, excalibur, health, hospital, javier limon, madrid, pets, quarantine, spain, teresa romero, virus