Tag: everybodys dog
Grey, creaky and 18 – pretty darned old for a black Lab mix of his size — Bear Dog is hanging around a little longer.
But then he’s always been a persistent sort.
Bear Dog is pretty well known around Castle Rock, Washington, at the western base of Mount St. Helens. For almost two decades, he has hung out at the town’s riverfront, the ball park — just about anywhere his owner, Don Caulfield, went, and a few places he didn’t.
At the North County Recreation Sports Complex, near Caulfield’s mobile home, there are signs, posted by the city, that read, ”No pets allowed inside baseball complex or on soccer fields, except Bear Dog.”
Since 1996, the highly social dog has been befriending workers — including those who built the sports complex — as well as tourists, hikers, students and fishermen.
Whenever anyone walked by Caulfield’s mobile home with a fishing pole, Bear Dog wanted to join them. He’d also swim out to fishing boats, leading anglers to drop what they were doing, haul him aboard and bring him ashore.
At the ball fields, Bear Dog would meet Janice Vinton, the concession stand manager, in the parking lot, walk her to the concession stand and then sit and wait for a hot dog. He’d always get one, at least until he had a heart attack and Vinton decided he should avoid them. When Vinton would close the concession stand at night, Bear would wait for her and walk her to her car.
At Caulfield’s home, visitors would frequently drop by to take Bear Dog for a hike on the trails, or drop off treats and presents. A Seattle man brought short ribs to him every weekend.
“How he got so popular, I don’t know,” Caulfield, a 62-year-old retired trucker, told the Daily News in Washington. “He done that himself.”
About two months ago, though, sightings of Bear Dog became more rare. His back legs had stopped working, and the only way he could walk was by Caulfield using a towel as a sling to lug him in and out of the house. Even as an invalid, Bear Dog still wanted to go out and meet any visitors that stopped by.
Given the dog’s age and condition, Caulfield’s veterinarian advised him it was time to put Bear down, but Caulfield didn’t have enough money to cover the $150 euthanization fee.
He went home and cried, and then he started digging a hole in the yard.
“I knew what had to be done,” he told the the Daily News, which published an article Sunday about Bear Dog.
But Caulfield couldn’t bring himself to shoot Bear, and when he called friends to ask they do the deed for him, they all declined.
Bear Dog was living out what appeared to be his final days until one day he dragged himself outside and promptly fell down the porch steps. Caulfield heard a pop and feared his dog had broken his back. Instead, Bear Dog got up, walked, and even tried to chase a rabbit.
“Every time I think it’s time, he bounces back somehow,” said Caulfield. “I don’t know how he does it.”
We have a theory: Maybe it’s because so many people are pulling for him — and even more since the newspaper story.
Since the article on Bear Dog appeared, he has received a slew of visitors, gifts and phone calls, the Daily News reported in a follow-up article.
Caulfield returned from church Sunday to find people parked in front of his trailer. One offered a new fishing pole. Another man brought over a top sirloin steak, a roast and a tub of dog bones for Bear. And one woman promised to pay for any medical treatment Bear needs, as well as – if and when it becomes necessary — the cost of putting him down.
“He’s quite the legend out there,” Castle Rock Mayor Paul Helenberg said last week of Bear Dog, who became the sports complex’s unofficial mascot by virtue of hanging ot there so much when it was being built.
Some dog-owning residents don’t understand why Bear Dog gets special privileges at the complex, and their dogs don’t, but Helenberg said Bear Dog is something of an institution. He even spoke of building a monument to the dog once he passes away.
“It’s going to be real sad,” the mayor said. “We’ll do something special.”
From the looks of things, Castle Rock, and the friends of Bear Dog, already have.
If you’re going to honor a dog, that’s really the best time to do it, before he’s a memory – not by building a sculpture when he’s dead and gone, but by pitching in and helping out and making him happy while he’s still alive.
Which is not to say a statue of Bear Dog isn’t appropriate — only that one honoring the friends of Bear Dog might be, too.
(Photo: Bill Wagner / The Daily News)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 28th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 18, animals, ball park, bear, bear dog, black lab, castle rock, concessions, daily news, dog, dogs, don caulfield, euthanasia, euthanize, everybodys dog, fishermen, friends, grey, help, helping, hikers, honor, honoring, institution, labrador, lame, mayor, memorial, money, north country recreation sports complex, old, paul helenberg, pets, put down, retriever, sick, statue, support, trucker, washington
Blue’s not totally destitute. He has an air conditioned dog house, $1,800 in savings, a Facebook page and a lawyer, who’s now working to get him an exemption from local leash laws so he can continue his free and rambling lifestyle.
Abandoned as a puppy 10 years ago, Blue, also known as Bluedog, was left at Casa Taco and cared for by the owner, who died two years ago, according to the Associated Press.
Janice Conner, co-owner of Butte General Store and Marina, took over feeding Blue after that. But when a citizen complained about Blue following her and her dog on walks, someone in the city decided that Blue should receive a citation for being off leash, and issued it to Conner’s husband, Bob Owen.
Albuquerque attorney Hilary Noskin offered her legal services, and is trying to get Owen, who doesn’t officially own the dog, off the hook — and win an exemption that would allow Blue to live out the rest of his years, preferably untethered, in front of the store he now calls home.
“He’s one of my favorite clients,” says Noskin. “He is a sweet, sweet dog. He doesn’t meet any vicious dog standards. Somebody said he snarls … but I am not sure I believe that.”
City Manager Alan Briley says the city has received complaints about Blue snapping and growling and almost being hit by cars crossing the street.
Blue has resisted efforts to adopt him, always making his way back to the store. Local residents have donated more than $1,800 his care, Conner said, and they’ve also built him a dog house with heating pads for the winter and air conditioning for the summer.
“Everybody just loves this dog. People who can’t afford a dog bring their kids here to play with Blue. … He is the only dog I know who got four plates of Thanksgiving dinner at his dog house,” she said.
Conner says she has collected more than 1,100 signatures in support of Blue, who is on Facebook as Bluedog EB-Mascot.
“He was here before we became a city” she said, “so all we are asking for is for the city to grandfather him in as a representative of the community.”
(Photo: From Blue’s Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air conditioned, australian cattle dog, blue, blue dog, bluedog, butte general store, casa taco, citation, citizens, city council, communal dog, dog house, donations, elephant butte, everybodys dog, exemption, facebook, heated, hilary noskin, homeless, janice conner, lawyer, leash laws, new mexico, off-leash, residents, savings account, stray, wanderer
We love a good dog movie. We even love a bad dog movie. “Red Dog” — the tale of a stray who wandered Australia’s outback in the 1970s — looks like it might be the former.
The movie, starring a dog named Koko as Red Dog — he’s a kelpie — made its premiere in Australia this week, to mostly good reviews.
Based on those, the book that inspired it, and on the movie trailer, we — not having the vaguest idea of how movie distribution works — say send it on over our way, mates, preferably with, rather than subtitles, a glossary of Australian slang for when we get stumped by the strange words you sometimes utter.
In all seriousness — at a time when not just some Chinese cities, but some U.S. towns, are rounding up and euthanizing strays — we detect in the movie a message worth sharing: That dogs who, through human sloth and neglect, end up as strays, aren’t disposable. That dogs who belong to no one belong to everyone. That, whether they are hitchhiking in Australia or turning over garbage cans in Fayetteville, N.C., homeless dogs, rather than being slapped with the label “feral” and put down, deserve a second chance.
That may not be the movie’s intended message — I haven’t seen it — but it is mine.
The movie is based on the 2002 book by English author Louis de Bernieres.
In 1998, de Bernieres was invited to Karratha, in northwest Australia, for the town’s first literary event. The manager of his hotel loaned him a vehicle so he could tour around in a land that, known mostly for mining, seldoms draws tourists.
Around Dampier he spotted a statue of a dog on the side of the road.
“It said something like ‘Red Dog 1979, erected by his friends’ – something like that. So I thought, ‘That’s really interesting, who is this Red Dog and why has he got a statue?’ I started asking questions.”
The author hung around town for a while, gathering Red Dog lore and making a map of all the various spots Red Dog spent time in. He returned two years later to do further research.
Red Dog had accrued quite a history, as it turned out, and was said to have hitched rides with locals and truck drivers from Karratha as far south as Perth and as far east as Darwin, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
While he was viewed as “everybody’s dog,” Red Dog, in the movie, finally ends up with a permanent human companion.
As the movie trailer concludes, “Sometimes we pick our dogs, sometimes our dogs pick us.”
Before the movie was released, its makers posted on the Internet what they say is Koko’s audition tape. Here’s a look at it:
Posted by jwoestendiek August 4th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: audition, australia, author, book, books on dogs, dampier, darwin, everybodys dog, feral dogs, hitchhiker, hitchhiking, homeless dogs, karratha, kelpie, koko, louis de bernieres, miners, mining, movie, movies on dogs, outback, perth, red dog, statue, stray dogs, tape, trailer, video