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Tag: fur

Artist and her dog wear each other’s hair

hairexchange

No surgical procedures were involved — thank God — but Japanese artist Aki Inomata and her dog, Cielo, have exchanged hair.

As an artistic exploration into the relationship between pets and their owners, Inomata has made a coat out of her own hair for her dog to wear, and a cape out of her dog’s hair, which she can be seen modeling above.

hairexchange2It took several years of gathering the locks of herself and her dog, followed by much weaving, to assemble the hair and fur into wearable items.

An art installation that displays both coats, and a video of the process, is entitled, aptly enough, “I Wear the Dog’s Hair, and the Dog Wears My Hair.”

The coat exchange was an exercise in empathy, Inomata says.

“I have had various pets, and do so now as well,” Inomata is quoted as saying in an article on DesignBoom.

“I believe that all people who have pets wonder at some point whether their pet is happy, and I face the dilemma of whether it is right to make a living creature into a pet. Within this context, I have had these animals appear in my artwork.

“My works take as their starting point things that I have felt within everyday experiences, and transplant the structure of these experiences analogically to the modes of life of the animals. The concept of my works is to get people to perceive the modes of life of various living creatures by experiencing a kind of empathy towards them.”

You won’t be seeing this one at Westminster

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The Federal Trade Commission ruled last week that a “raccoon dog” is not a dog.

More commonly known as the “Asiatic Raccoon,” members of the fox-like species (Nyctereutes procyonoides) are raised and skinned by fur farmers in China, Finland and other countries.

The creature, native to East Asia, is technically a member of the Canidae family, which includes wolves, foxes, coyotes and the domestic dog.

But the FTC, in a 59-page ruling, rejected a bid from animal welfare advocates to have it renamed “Raccoon Dog,” a move aimed at slowing the importation and sales of its fur, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The fur ends up in clothing sold in the U.S., where the Humane Society of the United States has been waging a campaign for years to ban or relabel the product — under the thinking even a cold-hearted wearer of fur wouldn’t wear dog fur.

“To our knowledge, no single furbearing animal has ever before been so mistreated and completely misrepresented to the public,” the HSUS said in a statement in 2008: “Raccoon dogs are not raccoons (Procyon lotor) — they merely have facial markings that resemble raccoons.”

In an update of fur labeling rules, the Federal Trade Commission rejected that argument: “It has rings around its eyes and it climbs trees.” the document said. “The name ‘Asiatic Raccoon’ best identifies this animal for fur consumers.”

Industry leaders praised the decision, saying the anti-fur campaign “relied on confusion, misinformation and the sympathies it created to disparage the fur trade and convince consumers that the fur industry was trading in products made of domestic dog.” The Humane Society, as you’d expect, was less than pleased.

“Here’s an example of the FTC bending over backwards to accept an industry name made up out of whole cloth, in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence and common English usage,” chief program and policy officer Michael Markarian wrote.

“A raccoon dog isn’t a raccoon, just as a kangaroo rat isn’t a kangaroo — and the FTC should know the difference.”

(Photo: Zumapress.com via the Wall Street Journal)

Shake: When dogs let the fur fly

As stunning as Carli Davidson’s photographs are in “SHAKE” — a new book featuring dogs caught in the middle of letting the fur (and drool) fly — this video produced in conjunction with her may be even more breathtaking.

SHAKE, the book, was released today by HarperCollins. Inspired by Davidson’s own dog, a mastiff named Norbert, who regularly flings drool at her home, it presents more than 130 full-page portraits of dogs shaking off water. The photos began showing up on the Internet in 2012, went viral, and were shaped into a book.

As a side project, Davidson worked with Variable, a New York production company, to produce the video.

shakeThe still photos are magnificent, capturing dogs in a millisecond –  their heads caught in mid-swivel, their ears in mid flap, their jowls contorted, their fur frozen in flight, and their slung streams of drool stopped in mid-air.

The slow-motion video, though, shows the whole intricate dance – and how the simple act of a dog shaking is really pretty complex. Exactly how many different muscles, going in how many different directions, does doing that take? And how is it possible to be so grossly contorted and amazingly elegant at the same time?

The answer is you have to be a dog.

You, as a human, can dance with stars, dance with the devil, or dance ’til you drop, but I don’t think your moves will ever parallel what a dog is able to pull off in the simple — or not so simple — act of shaking off.

Davidson, a native of Portland, Oregon, began experimenting with taking high-speed photos of dogs shaking off water in 2011. The next year she began posting them online, and they received millions of views.

In 2012, members of the team at Variable saw Davidson’s photo series online and contacted her about making a video.

“Fortunately for us, Carli responded to our enthusiastic e-mail with an even more enthusiastic e-mail stating that she was totally down to collaborate and had a very similar vision! After months and many meetings of trying to figure out how we could even afford to make this film, we all just decided to empty our pockets, pull some serious strings, and make the video purely for the fun of it.”

Mother cat set on fire in Baltimore

In yet another case of animal abuse in Baltimore, a teenager doused a young female cat with lighter fluid and set her on fire.

The cat, and the kittens she recently gave birth to, were taken to Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) after police responded to a call in the 3300 block Saint Ambrose Street.

The cat, who has been nicknamed Mittens at the shelter, is suffering from burns on most of her body.

Witnesses told police that, earlier this month, a juvenile placed the cat in a milk crate on the back porch, doused the milk crate and the cat with lighter fluid and then struck a match and threw it in the crate.

In flames, the cat broke free from the milk crate and ran from the yard, running in circles until the fire was extinguished, BARCS said. She then returned home and hid under a table.

Police have not reported whether any arrests were made at the residence, which they said still smelled of singed skin when they arrived.

The cat and her kittens are residing in “Critter Care” at BARCS. Mittens has third and fourth degree burns. She is expected to survive, but will need long term treatment.  It will be months before she is healed and her fur may not grow back

“This is another horrible case of animal abuse in Baltimore City, ” said Jennifer Brause, BARCS’ Executive Director. “Mittens is a wonderful cat, who despite her injuries is still caring for her kittens and is very affectionate to the staff.”

Mittens’ medical bills will be covered by BARCS’ Franky Fund, a fund that relies on donations from the public to pay the veterinarian and medical bills of injured animals that come to the shelter for care.

Donations to the Franky Fund are accepted through the BARCS website, or at the shelter, located at 301 Stockholm Street in South Baltimore (near M&T Bank Stadium).

Ochocinco says: Don’t skin animals

Chad Ochocinco has shot two “super hot” ads for PETA, in which the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver is cloaked in nothing more than a football.

Wait a minute, aren’t footballs made of pigskin?

Actually, no. They were intitially made with pig bladders, but those days are long gone. They are still made with leather, though, and an estimated 35,000 cowhides a year are used to make NFL footballs, according to a New York Times blog.

Of course, those 35,000 cows aren’t slaughtered to make footballs, but they are slaughtered to make meat, with their hides then being used to make footballs.

Probably, if one wanted to try hard enough, they could find some hypocrisy here, especially considering the tagline of the new PETA ad is, “Ink Not Mink: Be comfortable in your own skin and let animals keep theirs.” On top of that, probably even more cowhides are used to make official NFL leather jackets.

Then again, given Ochocinco’s admirable abs, and the fact that a football is the only thing covering his privates, I doubt the focus of most people will be on such a teeny tiny possible double standard as this: Killing animals for their skin is wrong, but separating dead animals, killed for other purposes, from their skin is OK?

Given the ill will between the NFL and much of the animal welfare community — especially after convicted dogfighter Michael Vick was invited back to the league — Ochocinco’s public service ad is still a huge step, unless you’re a cow, in the right direction.

“To tell you the truth, when I was younger growing up, I thought it was all fake … they didn’t really kill animals,” Ochocinco says in the ad. When he found out how animals are killed for their skins, “he really wanted to become a part of this campaign,” PETA says. “Animals killed for their fur endure tremendous pain and suffering before being turned into coats, hats or used as fur trim. Foxes, minks, rabbits even dogs and cats are bludgeoned, stomped, electrocuted, and gassed to death. and sometimes skinned while alive.”

Ochocinco, PETA notes, is “known for making superstar plays on—and off—the field. He hosts a football show with fellow Bengals teammate Terrell Owens called the T. Ocho Show and has set multiple franchise records for the team. He charmed viewers on season 10 of Dancing With the Stars and captured the hearts of lucky ladies on his own VH1 dating show The Ultimate Catch. This NFL legend is everywhere…and is now showing off everything! Chad, an avid animal lover, posed nude for PETA’s iconic ‘Ink, Not Mink’ campaign to protest the cruel fur industry and prove that he’d rather go naked than wear fur.”

You can back Chad’s new cause by signing a PETA petition.

Camp Bow Wow wants your dog hair

Camp Bow Wow in Columbia — always happy to have your dog come in for a stay — is now accepting just your dog’s hair as well.

One of many groups and businesses across the country that have joined in the effort to collect dog and human hair to help combat the gulf oil spill, Camp Bow Wow is offering several options.

You can bring your pup in for a de-shedding treatment, or collect your dog’s shed hair and drop it by. Also, Camp Bow Wow will accept donations of human hair, if you know of any hair salons or barbers that want to pitch in.

The hair — as we explained last week, and as the video above shows — is being used in the making of oil booms that are being used to help absorb the oil.

Feathers, fur and other natural fibers, such as used nylon stockings are also used to make the booms, and Camp Bow Wow is accepting donations of those as well.

All the donated items collected — as well as cash contributions — are being passed on to Matter of Trust.

How your dog can help with the oil spill

You may not think your dog is in a position to do much about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But he is.

As oil continues to gush into the gulf from the April 20th BP rig explosion, booms and mats are being put in place to contain the floating slicks — many of which are made with dog and human hair, stuffed into casings.

The idea of a hair boom and hair mats came from Phil McCrory, a hair stylist from Alabama who came up with it after watching television coverage of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, Suite101.com reports.

Using hair clippings from his salon, McCrory experimented to find out just how much oil could be absorbed with hair.

Among those organizations recycling scraps of hair for use as booms is Matter of Trust, a San Francisco nonprofit.

It  accepts donations of hair from all over the world and disperses them to oil spill disaster sites. It asks that individuals not mail in single donations as hair collections in bulk saves processing time.

Dog owners wanting to donate dog hair to the Gulf oil spill cleanup can sign up with the ExcessAccess program, or inform their local groomer about the program.