Chuck Shuck was star struck, but his dog Gabe took meeting Betty White in stride, as you might expect from a weapons sniffing dog who conducted 210 combat missions in Iraq.
Gabe, the American Humane Association’s “Hero Dog of the Year,” received his award last month in Los Angeles. (The ceremony will be shown on the Hallmark Channel at 8 p.m. this coming Thursday, Nov. 8.) Betty White was honored with two awards during the event.
“That was the highlight,” Gabe’s handler, Sgt. 1st Class Charles “Chuck” Shuck told The State. “Just to be in her presence was amazing.” Gabe, he said “was just his normal self, but I did get him to bark during the standing ovation.”
Another highlight was the grand prize — $10,000 that Shuck will use to support other service dogs and handlers now fighting in Afghanistan.
Now 10 years old, the Lab mix was rescued as a puppy from a Houston shelter the day before he was to be euthanized.
His luck continued in Iraq, where, in 2006, he and Shuck survived when a roadside bomb struck the vehicle they were riding in.
Shuck, 33, is now a Senior Drill Sergeant Leader at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. Gabe, who eventually became sensitive to the sound of explosions and guns, was retired. Since then, he’s gone from 67 pounds to 98 pounds.
About 3 million votes were cast in the hero dog competition.
Betty White received two awards from American Humane Association, the National Humanitarian Medal and the Legacy Award, for dedicating herself to protecting and improving the quality of life for animals.
You can find the American Humane Association’s news release about the ceremony — and information about the other finalists — here.
(Photo: At top, White and Gabe, courtesy of Charles Shuck; above left, Shuck and Gabe, file photo from The State)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american humane association, animals, awards, betty white, ceremony, charles shuck, detecting, dog, dogs, explosives, fort jackson, gabe, hallmark, hero dogs, honors, iraq, military, pets, sniffing, television
I don’t want a Father’s Day card from my dog.
While I may — colloquially — refer to myself, or permit others refer to me, as “Ace’s dad,” I don’t see myself as exactly that, especially if he ever decides he wants to go to college, in which case the best I could do would be to buy him a handbook on how to apply for doggie student loans.
I don’t like to call myself Ace’s father (for that either humanizes him or dogizes me). I don’t like the term “owner” (too reminiscent of slavery), or “caretaker” (for that is something mutual that we do for each other). “Partner” doesn’t work either. (Though it comes closest, the word has come to have extra connotations in modern society.)
Friend will suffice nicely.
And no card — Hallmark or otherwise — is necessary.
Father’s Day cards from the dog — and this is no big surprise — are becoming more popular, which is just fine with greeting card companies.
The Washington Post’s John Kelly commented on the phenomenon in a column this week:
“When I was at CVS, I saw Father’s Day cards for your dog. Not for you to give to your dog, but for the dog to give to the man of the house …
“Hallmark is brilliant. They don’t let a little thing like our traditional notion of Father’s Day — that it’s a day for [human] children to give cards to their [human] paternal units — stand in the way of sales. They know that they can add millions in revenue to their bottom line if they can just expand the boundaries of Father’s Day.”
One of the things I most like about dogs is that, unlike us, they don’t fall prey to such marketing and gimmickry. Dogs don’t buy Father’s Day cards. Dogs dont get on the computer and invest in stocks or sign up for matchmaking services. Dogs don’t try to buy one and get one free, or enter contests. (You may already be a weiner dog.)
To be clear, we’re not talking here about Father’s Day cards that merely have images of dogs — but personalized cards, meant to be from the dog.
Here’s one I found on Squidoo, the inside of which reads:
“I’m all wags for my woof-woof-woofunderful Dad!”
The one at the top of this post is from Zazzle.com, which has a wide selection.
Petside.com offers several you can print out, and they appeared to be free.
A more philanthropic option is to order dad an ecard through the Maryland SPCA – and a portion of profits goes to benefit homeless animals in the shelter.
I’m not telling you how to live your life. Feel free to buy a card for Dad and pretend it’s from the dog. (Feel free, too, to purchase Dad a far more useful Travels with Ace calendar, half of the profts from which go to Rolling Dog Farm, a sanctuary for deaf, blind and disabled animals in New Hampshire.)
I’m just saying that — even though cards with dogs on them are my favorite — I don’t need a card from Ace, or even a card from my human son, who’s now visiting with me.
Every day with them is a gift already (sorry, greeting card companies). If you feel the need to spend money, make a donation to an animal shelter in honor of dad.
I think that would be much more woof-woof-woofunderful.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, calendar, cards, cards from the dog, dog, dog cards, dog father's day cards, dogs, fathers day, gimmickry, greeting cards, gullible, hallmark, humans, marketing, pets, petside, rolling dog farm, squidoo, travels with ace, zazzle
Instead the movie, “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale,” will make its American debut on Sunday on the Hallmark Channel, the New York Times reports.
The movie, which has already sold more than $45 million in tickets during its release in Asian, European and South American markets, is a contemporary retelling of the story of Hachiko, an Akita who, when his human companion, a college professor, died suddenly at work, continued for two years to return to the train station to wait for him.
Gere plays the professor and is also the movie’s producer. It was directed by Lasse Hallstrom, who also directed the Swedish coming-of-age film “My Life as a Dog.”
“Hachi” was shot primarily in Rhode Island, using three Akitas to play the different stages of the dog’s life.
“Hachi,” the Times reports, was not eagerly received by Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio which controlled its distribution. Sony opted not to release it in American theaters.
“You think of all the people who really love their animals, love their dogs, love their cats, would embrace this specific movie,” Gere said. “But Sony just had no imagination for it. It was really bizarre.”
Hallstrom said the studio’s strategy was “a mistake of being overly worried about the size of the movie as opposed to the emotional impact of it.”
The Hallmark Channel, which broadcasts about 22 original movies a year, stepped in and bought it, and will premiere the film Sunday night.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 24th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: a dog's tale, akita, american, animals, channel, cinema, distribution, dog, dogs, film, hachi, hachiko, hallmark, japan, japanese, lasse hallstrom, marketing, movies, pets, premiere, richard gere, showing, sony, sony pictures entertainment, theaters, u.s.
After Greg Kincaid’s novel, “A Dog Named Christmas,” was published last year, a reader named Pam, who worked at a veterinary clinic in Florida, got inspired by what transpires in the book: Hayley, the fictional manager of a fictional animal shelter is so upset at seeing her kennels full that she calls up the news media and makes an offer — anyone who agrees to take a pet home for Christmas can return it afterward.
So Pam gave the same promotion a shot in real life. Her “Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays” program resulted in all 37 dogs at her shelter being dispensed to foster homes within 24 hours of the story appearing on a Pensacola TV station. One hundred more viewers who saw the report asked to be put on a waiting list.
Author/lawyer Kincaid made up the promotion while writing a story for his family a few Christmases ago, according to the Kansas City Star. It evolved into a published novel, and a TV movie that premieres tonight.
“A Dog Named Christmas” — the story of how a dog changed the lives of the family who adopted him — will air at 8 p.m. on CBS. In conjunction with the broadcast, CBS has agreed to sponsor a nationwide “Foster a Lonely Pet” program with Petfinder.com. More than 2,000 shelters and rescues across the country are participating.
Most shelters, despite their urgent need to find homes for dogs, refrain from encouraging holiday adoptions. Dogs adopted on impulse and as Christmas gifts often end up getting returned or, worse yet, abandoned. But placing them in foster care for the holidays relieves the pressure at shelters, ensures they will be returned if unwanted and often leads to full-fledged adoptions.
And it gives a shelter dog a nice break for the holidays.
“We do a lot of nice things at Christmas,” Kincaid said. “I was thinking, ‘Why is it that we have all these shelters with animals in them, and people don’t seem interested in extending the same generosity to them?”
(For more news and reviews of the latest dog books, visit our Good Dog Reads page.)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: A dog named christmas, adopt, adoption, book, books on dogs, christmas, dog books, fiction, foster, greg kincaid, hallmark, holidays, movie, novel, rescue, shelters, television, tv