With the people of whom he is fondest
My dog Ace has a habit immodest
After you greet
He’ll sit on your feet
To make sure that you stay the longest
(Sometimes, the poet within wins. To read all his verse, click on the logo to the left.)
It’s not often that I share the personal frustrations of being a dog-blogger — especially one who tries to stand out from the crowd by keeping a lid on the pablum and fluff, and presenting from time to time some stories of depth about important dog-related issues.
Yesterday was a case in point.
I posted three items — about the daily average for ohmidog!
One was a mention of an upcoming motorcycle ride, sponsored by a motorcycle club and Baltimore’s Anti-Animal Abuse Task Force, to raise money for abused and abandoned dogs.
One was a story about a day of global protest against eating dogs in South Korea.
One was an update on a story I wrote a few years back after meeting in Los Angeles a homeless man and his three legged pit bull (her fourth leg was lost as a result of a police shooting). Both have fallen ill and need help.
I was especially proud of the latter two, as they both contained some original reporting, and original photographs, and displayed a little first hand knowledge I had gathered, mostly during the year and a half I was working on my book.
Checking my Google Analytics, as I do from time to time, I saw this morning that the dog-eating post (of global significance) drew 116 views; the post on Michael and Topaz (of national significance) got 46 views; and the post on the fundraising motorcyle ride (of local significance) got 16 views.
What drew most readers to ohmidog! yesterday — 676 of them — was a post, nearly 50 days old, about Jennifer Aniston getting her dog Norman’s name tatooed on her foot.
Thereby showing you the significance of celebrities. It blows my mind.
How people try to remember and memorialize their dogs is a legitimate story — and a large part of the book I wrote — and the fact that more people are going the tattoo route, as the New York Post reported this week, is worthy of note.
But let’s face it, it was Jennifer Aniston that brought me those readers — and while I appreciate her, and those readers who dropped by, it bugs me that her foot tattoo so overshadowed two stories of deeper importance and deeper humanity. But, despite all that’s in the bowl, they chose only that.
My little corner of the universe, or the Internet, serves it seems as a microcosm of what’s happened to the news media, which, to survive, has caved in to the pressure to give readers easily consumable, barely newsworthy bits of what they want, rather than fully fleshed out stories on topics of greater importance to the species, be it human or dog.
Looking at my Analytics — and I think it’s OK to share this proprietary information, given that I am the proprietor — a total of 435 pages and posts were viewed yesterday, 1,941 views in all.
The vast majority, though, were focused on Jennifer Aniston’s foot.
For those consumed with numbers, and getting them to increase, and paying the bills, the thinking would reasonably follow: We need more Jennifer Aniston, more tattoos, more feet, or more of whoever or whatever else is, at this given moment, “trending.”
Here’s one of the things that has happened. News organizations, and bloggers, see what’s “trending” and base their coverage on that, thereby making it “trend” even more, while items of higher significance — worth some digging up — fall unseen by the wayside.
Add to that the fact that those who write strictly for the Internet, often, are no longer writing for humans. Instead of writing for quality, instead of writing, even, for readers, they’re writing for robots — those search engine Peruse-a-trons that scan our words, mathematically determine their import and influence how many readers come our way.
Add to that the fact that average online writer now spends more time touting what he has written via social networks and elsewhere than actually writing what he has written. Time once spent on research and the craft of writing is now mostly absorbed by shouting about and hyping what one has written, even if that “writing” was little more than a cut and paste job.
We’ll even admit to doing some of that — what is now called “aggregating,” what was once called plagiarism. We’ll admit to touting stories we’re proud of on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll even admit to, once in a while, posting a story because we think it will draw a crowd.
Were ohmidog! a true money-making venture — which in some ways would make more sense than being poor and principled — we might follow the route that so many have, bringing you a steady diet of the cute, the happy, the adorable and the celebrity-related.
But, Jennifer Aniston aside, we plan to continue to vary our fare — presenting the cute, from time to time; the uplifting, as often as we can find it; but also the cruel and depraved acts of humans that lead to animal suffering.
If, in the three years we’ve existed (did I mention we’ve just turned 3?) and in the 3,000 posts we’ve posted, ohmidog! has shown anything, it is this: the depths to which humans can sink and the heights to which they can rise when it comes to dogs.
We’re going to keep doing that.
And you can tattoo that on your foot.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 16th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggregating, analytics, animal rights, animal welfare, animals, blogging, blogs, cute, dog, dog inc., dog stories, dogs, eating dogs, facebook, fluff, foot, google, internet, jennifer aniston, korea, michael, news, news media, newspapers, norman, ohmidog!, online, page views, pets, readers, robots, search engines, social networks, tattoo, topaz, tout, touting, trending, trends, twitter, visits, websites, writing
I don’t find that too bizarre, given some of the far more outlandish lengths bereaved pet owners go to — all covered in my book, “DOG, INC.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend.”
I don’t find it particularly newsworthy, either.
But it is Jennifer Aniston, and it is her foot, and she did love her Norman, a Corgi-terrier mix.
As many a pundit has noted, including those at the Daily Mail, which devoted major space to the story yesterday, it was a truer and longer lasting relationship than she has seemed to enjoy with any of the men in her life.
Norman died last month at age 15.
Aniston confirmed that the tattoo was a tribute to her pooch while talking to James Lipton during a taping of “Inside the Actors Studio,” People reported.
In 2008, Aniston, while doing publicity for the movie version of “Marley & Me,” in which she starred, told a magazine she wished men were as faithful as Norman.
Aniston, who divorced Brad Pitt in 2005 and had recently split from singer John Mayer, told the magazine she longs to meet a man that is more like Norman.
“It wouldn’t be bad if, when a man comes home, he’d run to his woman with his tail wagging,” said Aniston. “This sort of excitement is something I’ve always missed in a man, to be honest.”
Norman was already slowing down by then, and was undergoing a full regiment of therapy, at a cost of $250 a week, including massage, Reiki and and acupuncture, according to media reports.
In DOG, INC., a chapter is devoted to the sometimes extreme lengths people go to in trying to hang on to the memory of their pets — from freeze-drying to modern-day mummification. Cloning, in a way, is only the newest, not to mention most expensive and controversial, one.
I’m glad Aniston — at least as far as I know — didn’t choose to pursue that route.
In comparison, a tattoo is almost tasteful.
(Top photo: Aniston in a 2005 Elle magazine spread)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, aniston, celebrities, clone, cloned, clones, cloning, dead, death, dog, dog inc., dogs, entertainment, foot, honor, jennifer, jennifer aniston, media, memorial, name, norman, past, pets, remembrance, tattoo, tattooed, tattoos, tribute
An Onslow County, N.C. couple appeared in court Tuesday to face charges of child abuse after a dog they were pet-sitting chewed the toes off the left foot of their four-month-old son.
The child is reported in stable condition.
Robie Lynn Jenkins, 20, and Tremayne Spillman, 23, were asleep in their Jacksonville home when the dog, described in news reports as a pit bull, attacked the child.
Authorities say Jenkins was on medication and didn’t hear the attack, which occurred in the same room while the baby was sleeping on a fold-out couch. Jenkins was sleeping in another room and didn’t hear the child crying.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 2nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: attack, charges, chewed, child abuse, dog, dogs, foot, infant, jacksonville, north carolina, petsitting, pett-sitting, pit bull, robie jenkins, toes, tremayne spillman
A year ago, it was a struggle just to keep up on family walk. Now, with help from doctors at N.C. State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and some state of the art technology, Cassidy has the ability to run again.
Since getting an implanted prosthesis in his leg in July, 6-year-old Cassidy has been back to the vet school several times to make sure the implant was fusing with the bone, making it stable enough to support what would eventually become Cassidy’s right hind leg. On Tuesday, doctors fitted Cassidy with a titanium leg complete with a running foot that will replace a temporary peg leg Cassidy has been wearing.
Steve Posovsky, Cassidy’s owner, said the dog’s artificial leg has gotten a lot of attention. “You can’t even walk down the street,” he said. “People take pictures of him, you get stopped constantly … ‘What is this, how did it happen? I’ve never seen it before. Can I take a picture with him?’ It’s non-stop.”
The new titanium prosthesis and its padded “foot” are designed to be more lifelike than typical artificial limbs, allowing Cassidy’s leg to bend naturally. A carbon fuse inside the prosthesis allows for rotation of the leg and guards against undue stress on the implant.
Doctors say the technology is moving in the right direction for eventual use in humans.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 11th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, artificial limbs, bone, cassidy, dog, dogs, foot, fuse, implant, leg, medical, north carolina state university, pets, posovksy, prostheses, prosthesis, technology, three-legged, titanium, veterinarians, veterinary
Here’s a screwball story out of Florida (land of sunshine, and screwball stories).
Fire officials are investigating a St. Lucie County firefighter who allegedly pirated an amputated foot from a crash scene last week, took it home and used it to train her cadaver dogs.
The attorney for Karl Lambert, 46, of Melbourne, told WPBF News on Thursday his client’s leg had to be amputated at the scene of a crash Friday on Interstate 95 in Port St. Lucie. Lambert was airlifted to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, but his leg was left behind.
The attorney, Raymond Christian, told the TV station that one of the firefighters at the scene took the severed body part because “she was some kind of training person for cadaver dogs, and she basically took the leg.”
WPBF News 25 identified the firefighter as Cindy Economu.
Christian said Lambert was notified by a Florida Highway Patrol investigator Wednesday.
St. Lucie County Fire District Chief Ron Parrish said his department was told the firefighter only took the foot and not a leg. “After the patient was airlifted, it was alleged one of our firefighters removed a foot from the accident,” Parrish said in a news conference.
Standard procedure is for amputated limbs to brought to the hospital with the victim. “It’s not normal for remains or pieces or parts to be removed from an accident scene other than by the appropriate authorities,” fire district spokesman Buddy Emerson said.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 29th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, cadaver dogs, crash, dogs, fire department, firefighter, florida, foot, leg, news, rescue, st. lucie, stolen, taken, training, victim