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Tag: golden

Dog earns spot in middle school yearbook


Here’s one 7th grader we’re pretty sure didn’t complain about his yearbook photo.

Taxi, a Lab mix, is pictured right next to Rachel Benke. He’s her service dog, and he’s trained to alert her and school staff when he senses a seizure is coming.

The Northside Independent School District in San Antonio decided Taxi deserved a spot in the middle school year book.

A golden retriever-Labrador mix, Taxi was being trained to be a guide dog, but he failed to graduate due to a tendency to chase cats, KMTV reported.

Instead he ended up with Rachel, who has suffered from epileptic seizures since birth.

Her mother, Theresa, says the dog accompanies her daughter everywhere, and that Rachel’s life completely turned around after meeting Taxi four years ago.

Last year the family joked that Taxi should get his picture in the yearbook too. This year the school made it happen, with Rachel and Taxi appearing in the yearbook as they appear almost all the time — side by side.

Highway Haiku: Oh Golden Tamarack

“Oh Golden Tamarack”

Amid evergreen

Monotony, let’s hear it

For diversi-tree

Dog ate the passport, student misses trip

A Wisconsin teenager’s excuse was true — his dog really did eat his passport — but, even so, he missed out on a class trip to Peru.

Jon Meier’s golden retriever, Sunshine, chewed the corner off his passport, obscuring some numbers, the Associated Press reported.

Officials at Chicago’s O’Hare airport told the 17-year-old not to worry, but authorities in Miami rejected the document, and refused to let him board. He couldn’t get another passport in time to join his Spanish class on the 12-day trip.

Meier, who attends Eau Claire North High School, said he held no grudge against his dog: “I love her too much,” he said.

Baltimore, a breed apart


How is Baltimore’s taste in dogs different from the rest of the country’s?

Going by AKC registration figures, released today, we’ve got a thing for smooshed in faces — the boxer, bulldog and pug all make our top ten list.

We’re most fond of big lugs — Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, German shepherds all make our top five. But we have a place in our heart for the little guy as well. The Yorkshire terrier is No.2 on both the national list and the Baltimore list. The Maltese and Chihuahua rank in our top ten, but not the nation’s.

We don’t give a shih-tzu a position in our top ten, unlike the national numbers, and we don’t seem as crazy as the rest of the nation when it comes to beagles and dachsunds.

Here, according to the AKC, are the top 10 registered breeds in Baltimore:

1. Labrador Retriever
2. Boxer
3. Golden Retriever
4. German Shepherd Dog 
5. Yorkshire Terrier
6. Bulldog 
6. Pugs (tie)
8. Poodle
9. Chihuahua
10. Maltese

The fastest riser on the Baltimore list is the bulldog, as was the case in the rest of the nation. The bulldog jumped from tenth to sixth most popular breed in Baltimore.

For a look at the AKC’s city by city rankings, click here.

Womb with a view

National Geographic Channel’s critically acclaimed “In The Womb” series returns this month with two new one-hour specials — including one that follows the fetal journey of four litters of canines.

Featuring some amazing visual images, the show follows the development of litters inside a Neapolitan mastiff, golden retriever, chihuahua and wolf – from fertilization through the remarkable 63-day journey that takes them from a single cell to man’s best friend.

“In the Womb: Dogs” airs Jan. 4 at 8 p.m.; followed by “In the Womb: Cats” at 9 p.m.

I screened the dog special last week, and can report that it’s both a visually riveting hour of TV and a highly informative account of what’s happened in the 15,000 years since wild wolves began making the transition to domesticated dogs — and of what man did to them after that.

The show intersperses dog history with visits inside the womb, showing how all breeds (more than 400 of them) stemmed from wolves, thanks to selective breeding of them by humans. So hunters wouldn’t have to go pick up the birds they shot, we made retrievers. To scare off intruders, we made mastiffs. To rid our land of varmints, we made short-legged dogs that could burrow into holes. It wasn’t always in dogs best interest — sometimes quite the opposite — but as a result, dogs became the most diverse species on earth.

Despite all that diversity, the four canines tracked in the womb are remarkably similar for the first month or so in the womb — both to each other and any other vertebrate, including us. Even then, though, they practice behaviors they will need once born, like running and panting.

After that, they begin to take on distinctive shapes. By day 39, the ears are formed. Floppy ears are a sign of the submission humans have bred into dogs, but erect wolf-like ears persist in a few species, including the Chihuahua. Snouts, too, develop relatively late. After 55 days of development, the wolf, mastiff, golden retriever and Chihuahua all exhibit traits particular to their breeds.

Sixty-three days after the eggs were fertilized, the puppies make their debut, leaving the solace of the womb for the real world. 

For more information, on the series, click here

(Image courtesy of National Geographic Channel)

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