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Tag: gift

Almost-mailed puppy up for adoption

So many people have expressed interest in adopting “Guess,” the 5-month-old poodle-schnauzer mix who was almost air-mailed, that the city of Minneapolis plans to hold a drawing to help determine where he will call home.

The drawing will be held around 2 p.m. Friday at the Minneapolis Animal Care and Control shelter, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Ten names will be initially drawn, and assigned a number. Those people will then fill out an application. After screening, the dog will be awarded to the first eligible  person whose name was drawn.

The new owner will be required pay the standard adoption fee, and for a pet license, and sign an agreement to have Guess neutered on “Spay Day” (Feb. 22) before taking him home.

On Jan. 25, Stacey Champion put Guess in a box sealed with packing tape and dropped the package off at a post office near her home, telling postal officials it contained a toy robot. The box was addressed to her 11-year-old son in Georgia, for whom Guess was intended as a birthday gift.

Postal workers opened the box after noticing it was moving and hearing the dog panting.

Champion, 39, has been charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty. She attended an administrative hearing in hopes of getting the dog back but was turned down. On Monday, when she failed to post a bond to pay for Guess’ shelter expenses, she lost any future chance to get the dog back, which would have been a possibility had she been found innocent.

That cleared the way for Guess to be officially put up for adoption.

“We’ve gotten calls from all over the globe,” Jeanette Wiedmeier of Minneapolis Animal Care and Control told Fox News. “311 has taken calls from Europe. They’ve taken emails from people who are outraged and excited about this story, and they want only the best for this dog. We’ve just been overwhelmed with the amount of attention this little six-pound guy has gotten so far.” 

(Photo by Elizabeth Flores / Star-Tribune)

Bo Obama’s value placed at $1,600

You can’t put a pricetag on the family dog, but in the case of Bo Obama it’s $1,600.

The value of Bo — a gift to the president from the late Sen. Ted Kennedy — was listed on annual financial disclosure forms the White House released Monday, according to the Associated Press.

Dollar-wise, the Portuguese water dog, was a mere drip compared to the president’s other income, including royalties from his books, “Dreams From My Father” and “Audacity of Hope,” which brought in between $1 million and $5 million each.

In addition to his $400,000 annual salary, Obama  listed a number investments which, including those held jointly with his wife, were worth between $2.2 million and $7.5 million in 2009. His Nobel Peace Prize carried a $1.4 million award, but the president donated that to charity.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Princely gift of pricey pearls turns up in poop

A pair of expensive pearl earrings that Prince William gave to his girlfriend Kate Middleton on her 28th birthday have been recovered, slightly the worse for wear after going in one end of Middleton’s dog, Otto, and out the other.

The Daily Mail reports that Middleton suspected Otto, a black cocker spaniel, gobbled down the antique earrings. After monitoring his output for several days, her suspicions were confirmed.

Alas, Otto had chewed the jewelry so that, even after they reappeared, the earrings were unwearable.

The Mail reports that the earrings went missing from the ornamental dish on Middleton’s bedside table where she kept them.

“It seems that Otto had got into her room and eaten the pearl earrings. He was sitting on the end of her bed looking very pleased with himself and licking his paws,” the newspaper quotes an unidentified friend of the couple as saying.

When Kate told William she feared her dog had eaten the earrings, he burst out laughing, the friend said.

Kate monitored Otto closely, taking him for walks several times a day, and during one of them the earrings finally emerged — too chewed up to be rescued.

The prince has promised her another pair.

What I don’t want for Christmas

I’m going to poop on this party.

A dog collar that can open a beer bottle may be mildly funny the first time around, but I’d think the novelty would quickly wear off this novelty — even among frat boys.

On top of the whole dog-as-appliance indignity — among all the noble purposes dog serve, I wouldn’t rank opening your beer too high among them — I would think there could be safety concerns as well.

The Bark4beer website seems to say as much: “Please use with adult supervision as this product is not intended for children. Bark4Beer, L.L.C.. shall not be liable for any special or consequential damages that result from the use of, or the inability to use, the materials on this site …”

collar3attachedIf something’s not safe for children, I don’t want my dog wearing it.

The idea for the collar came at a pool party, where two young entrepreneurs were forced to use their dog’s collar to open a beer bottle’s non-twist-off top.

“After months of product testing, we are confident to release our revolutionary invention,” their website says. The inventors add, “Essentially, we can turn your favorite four-legged friend into the ultimate party animal ensuring that there is no shortage of tail at your next party.”

I’ll pass on this one, Santa.

SPCA supervisor in Texas convicted of cruelty

The former supervisor of a local SPCA in Texas was found guilty yesterday of allowing her 5-month-old German shepherd puppy to starve to death inside her Plano apartment.

Alicia Marie Martin, while qualifying for a two-year state prison sentence, received three years probation, a $500 fine and four days in the Collin County jail — the four days before Thanksgiving, the Dallas Morning News reported.

“I’m sending you there so that hopefully, when Thanksgiving rolls around each year, you will thank God that you are not incarcerated in jail somewhere,” State District Judge Mark J. Rusch said. “I’m not interested in crushing you … I am interested in your rehabilitation. I am interested in you knowing this was unacceptable behavior.”

As part of her sentence, she is forbidden to own a pet.

Martin, the former supervisor at the McKinney Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, was fired after her arrest in March.

According to prosecutors, Martin, 24 and a single mother, let the puppy starve to death inside her waterlogged apartment. She adopted the dog as a Christmas gift for her daughter, now 3, but the puppy became ill. She said couldn’t afford to take the dog to a veterinarian and was too embarrassed to take him to the local SPCA  where she worked for help.

When the electricity was cut off she temporarily moved to a hotel and left the dog at the apartment, returning once a day to let him out of his crate  and feed him. A veterinarian who testified, however, said the emaciated animal had no signs of food or fat in his system and was covered with open bedsores.

Blind “Idol” contestant receives guide dog

Scott MacIntyre is no longer in the running for “American Idol,” but the blind contestant did win a surprise gift from Paula Abdul last week — a guide dog.

Abdul presented a guide dog to MacIntyre at a Guide Dogs of America event on Friday as part of the official kick-off of  National Guide Dog Month.

MacIntyre had been told he was at the ceremony to perform, but instead Abdul informed him that he would be receiving a guide dog after his upcoming tour, according to a press release.

Abdul, Natural Balance Pet Foods, Petco and independent pet stores nationwide are teaming to raise funds and awareness for guide dogs, with hopes of raising more than $2 million during May.

“Being part of this important cause is truly special and very close to my heart,” said Abdul. “Most people have no idea how much time and money it takes to train these beautiful animals to give such a precious gift to those who need it most. It can take more than two years and $40,000 to properly train a guide dog. Together, we can help guide dog schools provide more of these life-changing partners to people who are blind.”

Throughout the month of May, PETCO’s more than 950 locations nationwide and many independent pet stores will be selling specially marked bags of Natural Balance dog food with Paula Abdul’s picture on them, and donating 50 cents of the purchase price to participating guide dog schools.

PETCO shoppers can also “round up” their purchases at the register to donate the difference to the cause, or make donations directly online at PETCO.com.

“Having Paula Abdul, a huge animal lover, as our spokesperson will help us get the message out to raise money to match people who are visually impaired and in need of these amazing guide dogs”, said Dick Van Patten of Natural Balance Pet Foods.

Bo does diddly for the adoption cause

President Obama and family — while selecting a majorly cute dog — missed out on a chance to further the cause of animal adoption worldwide by opting for a breeder-produced purebred.

Bo, the six-month-old Portuguese water dog gifted to the Obama’s by Sen. Edward Kennedy, was proving an unpopular choice among animal welfare advocates, though some tempered their remarks by pointing out that, while not a shelter or rescue dog, Bo had been rejected by a previous owner.

A litter mate of the Kennedy’s newest dog, Cappy, Bo apparently had a previous owner, but was returned to the breeder because he didn’t get along well with the owner’s other dogs.

On the bright side, that means it was a breeder responsible enough to insist on reclaiming dogs whose placements don’t work out.

On the not quite so bright side, though, Obama missed out on an opportunity to raise awareness of homeless dogs — at a time when a lot of shelters desperately need some help.

“They were looking at shelters but in the end the Kennedys learned of this litter mate of their dog who needed a home, and they wanted to give the girls a gift – and here we are,” Catherine McCormick-Lelyveld, a spokesman for the First Lady, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “He moves in Tuesday.”

President Obama had expressed a preference for a shelter dog, but the family also needed a “hypo-allergenic dog because of daughter Malia’s allergies.

“…Our preference would be to get a shelter dog, but, obviously, a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me … So whether we’re going to be able to balance those two things I think is a pressing issue on the Obama household,” the president said shortly after taking office.

“This is a missed opportunity to set a pet-adoption trend among Americans,” said Abbie Moore, executive director of Adopt-a-Pet.com. “With pet relinquishment up 20 to 30 percent due to the poor economy, pets in shelters can use all the help they can get.”

Since the Obama’s did not get the dog from a shelter, the Sun-Times reported, the Obamas will instead made a donation to a humane society.

(White House photos)

Celebrity bulletin: Nick gets Mariah a Jack

Nick Cannon gave his wife Mariah Carey the gift of dog for their one year aniversary, Us Weekly reports.

Although the anniversary isn’t until May, Cannon already procured and gifted the pup — an eight-week-old  female Jack Russell terrier named Cha-Cha. The couple was secretly married last spring in the Bahamas.

Cannon laughed off rumors that he and Carey are expecting a baby.

The dog who saved Nixon

The No. 1 rule for a website, most will tell you, is to write short. We at ohmidog! have never been too fond of rules. Today, with all the hubbub about Obama’s yet-to-be-named dog, with gift dog offers pouring in to the Obama family, we travel back in time to look at another dog gifted to a politician, how that gift came to be given, and how Checkers, arguably the most famous dog in politics, rescued Richard Nixon’s career. This article (written by me) originally appeared in the Baltimore Sun on Sept. 22, 2002.

She taught music. He was a traveling salesman. They never gained much fame. But, with help from their cocker spaniel Boots, they may have changed the course of history.

Had Beatrice Carrol not been hired to teach piano at a women’s college in Texas, had Lou Carrol not picked up a newspaper to read during another lonely dinner on the road, had Boots not been paired up with a stud named Ace and given birth to a litter of black and white cockers two months before the Republican National Convention in 1952, Richard Nixon — it could be argued — might never have been president.

It was the Carrols who — back when TVs were black and white and Communists were “Reds” — gave the Nixon family the puppy they would name Checkers.

And it was Checkers who provided the sentimental hook in a speech that helped the then-U.S. senator from California secure his role as Dwight Eisenhower’s vice presidential running mate.

Nixon’s “Fund Speech,” better known as his Checkers speech — given 50 years ago tomorrow — was historic on several levels. It was the first time a politician, bypassing news organizations, made a direct appeal to the public on television. The speech was watched by the largest audience TV had ever amassed. And, most historians now agree, it resulted in Eisenhower turning around a decision — all but made, Nixon found out shortly before going on the air — to remove him from the ticket.

But like so much else when it comes to the man who would later serve as the nation’s 37th president, the Checkers story is full of contradictions.

Nixon barely knew the dog when he gave the speech. He implied she was a surprise when, in fact, his staff had known about the planned gift for more than a month. And, in the speech, he both got her gender wrong and incorrectly stated where she had been picked up.

Those discrepancies — granted, not as alarming as an 18 1/2 -minute gap on a White House tape recording — never got the kind of scrutiny that Nixon would in 1974, when the Watergate scandal and investigation led to his resignation as president.

For Lou Carrol, “that whole Watergate mess” made for some uncomfortable times, as well. While he had remained in relative obscurity, while he had never boasted about his gift to Nixon, he became, after that, hesitant to mention it at all.

To this day, few know he is the “man down in Texas” Nixon referred to in the speech. Other than appearing on two TV quiz shows in the 1950s — I’ve Got a Secret and What’s My Line? — Carrol never received much publicity. “Nor,” he says, “was I seeking it.

“It was just one of those things you do spontaneously. There’s a joy in doing that kind of thing,” he said. “Every time I’d see those children — those pictures of them and the dog and how happy they looked — it put a smile on my face.”

Read more »

How much was that doggie in the window?

A California man who gave his girlfriend a 3-month-old yellow Lab for Christmas has been taken into custody.

Officials say the dog was stolen – three days before Christmas — from a Stanton pet store.

The theft of the Marley look-alike from Pet City was caught on the store’s surveillance cameras, according to the Orange County Register.

The boyfriend – Ryan Rickman, 23, of Orange – returned to the store with the dog to pay for it Tuesday, but instead was booked into county jail on suspicion of burglary and grand theft, officials said. Later, the puppy was turned over to Rickman’s girlfriend, who ended up paying for her own Christmas gift.

Sheriff’s investigators have identified a second man involved in the theft but have not been able to contact him, said an Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokesman.

Security video shows two men walking into the store and spending several minutes talking to clerks. After one of the clerks leaves for a lunch break, one of the men distracts the remaining clerk while the other man lifts the puppy from a cage and runs out the door.