Grey, creaky and 18 – pretty darned old for a black Lab mix of his size — Bear Dog is hanging around a little longer.
But then he’s always been a persistent sort.
Bear Dog is pretty well known around Castle Rock, Washington, at the western base of Mount St. Helens. For almost two decades, he has hung out at the town’s riverfront, the ball park — just about anywhere his owner, Don Caulfield, went, and a few places he didn’t.
At the North County Recreation Sports Complex, near Caulfield’s mobile home, there are signs, posted by the city, that read, ”No pets allowed inside baseball complex or on soccer fields, except Bear Dog.”
Since 1996, the highly social dog has been befriending workers — including those who built the sports complex — as well as tourists, hikers, students and fishermen.
Whenever anyone walked by Caulfield’s mobile home with a fishing pole, Bear Dog wanted to join them. He’d also swim out to fishing boats, leading anglers to drop what they were doing, haul him aboard and bring him ashore.
At the ball fields, Bear Dog would meet Janice Vinton, the concession stand manager, in the parking lot, walk her to the concession stand and then sit and wait for a hot dog. He’d always get one, at least until he had a heart attack and Vinton decided he should avoid them. When Vinton would close the concession stand at night, Bear would wait for her and walk her to her car.
At Caulfield’s home, visitors would frequently drop by to take Bear Dog for a hike on the trails, or drop off treats and presents. A Seattle man brought short ribs to him every weekend.
“How he got so popular, I don’t know,” Caulfield, a 62-year-old retired trucker, told the Daily News in Washington. “He done that himself.”
About two months ago, though, sightings of Bear Dog became more rare. His back legs had stopped working, and the only way he could walk was by Caulfield using a towel as a sling to lug him in and out of the house. Even as an invalid, Bear Dog still wanted to go out and meet any visitors that stopped by.
Given the dog’s age and condition, Caulfield’s veterinarian advised him it was time to put Bear down, but Caulfield didn’t have enough money to cover the $150 euthanization fee.
He went home and cried, and then he started digging a hole in the yard.
“I knew what had to be done,” he told the the Daily News, which published an article Sunday about Bear Dog.
But Caulfield couldn’t bring himself to shoot Bear, and when he called friends to ask they do the deed for him, they all declined.
Bear Dog was living out what appeared to be his final days until one day he dragged himself outside and promptly fell down the porch steps. Caulfield heard a pop and feared his dog had broken his back. Instead, Bear Dog got up, walked, and even tried to chase a rabbit.
“Every time I think it’s time, he bounces back somehow,” said Caulfield. “I don’t know how he does it.”
We have a theory: Maybe it’s because so many people are pulling for him — and even more since the newspaper story.
Since the article on Bear Dog appeared, he has received a slew of visitors, gifts and phone calls, the Daily News reported in a follow-up article.
Caulfield returned from church Sunday to find people parked in front of his trailer. One offered a new fishing pole. Another man brought over a top sirloin steak, a roast and a tub of dog bones for Bear. And one woman promised to pay for any medical treatment Bear needs, as well as – if and when it becomes necessary — the cost of putting him down.
“He’s quite the legend out there,” Castle Rock Mayor Paul Helenberg said last week of Bear Dog, who became the sports complex’s unofficial mascot by virtue of hanging ot there so much when it was being built.
Some dog-owning residents don’t understand why Bear Dog gets special privileges at the complex, and their dogs don’t, but Helenberg said Bear Dog is something of an institution. He even spoke of building a monument to the dog once he passes away.
“It’s going to be real sad,” the mayor said. “We’ll do something special.”
From the looks of things, Castle Rock, and the friends of Bear Dog, already have.
If you’re going to honor a dog, that’s really the best time to do it, before he’s a memory – not by building a sculpture when he’s dead and gone, but by pitching in and helping out and making him happy while he’s still alive.
Which is not to say a statue of Bear Dog isn’t appropriate — only that one honoring the friends of Bear Dog might be, too.
(Photo: Bill Wagner / The Daily News)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 28th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 18, animals, ball park, bear, bear dog, black lab, castle rock, concessions, daily news, dog, dogs, don caulfield, euthanasia, euthanize, everybodys dog, fishermen, friends, grey, help, helping, hikers, honor, honoring, institution, labrador, lame, mayor, memorial, money, north country recreation sports complex, old, paul helenberg, pets, put down, retriever, sick, statue, support, trucker, washington
Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS) is charging no fees for its next 52 adoptions to commemorate the retirement of Baltimore Raven Ray Lewis.
Lewis, who wears No. 52, will end his playing career when the Ravens season ends.
The free adoptions started yesterday,
BARCS is located at 301 Stockholm St. — across from the stadium in which the Ravens play — and is open from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
You can look at animals available for adoption here.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 15th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 52, adoption, adoptions, animals, baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, baltimore ravens, barcs, commemorate, dog, dogs, football, free, honor, nfl, no fees, pets, ray lewis, retirement, shelters
Ivan, a 3-year-old Belgian malinois, was shot and killed two weeks ago while trying to protect officers from an armed carjacking suspect.
The dog park at Purple Heart Park on East Rita Road, which officially opened over the summer, is where Ivan would go with his handler to unwind after his shift.
“(He) would allow him to run the energy off for the night before taking him home,” TPOA secretary, Officer Paul Sheldon, told the Arizona Daily Star.
Sheldon, at the request of Ivan’s handler, Officer Chris Fenoglio, is spearheading an effort to have the park named after Ivan. Last week, he took petitions to the park, seeking signatures in support of the idea.
The petition will be presented to Tucson’s Parks and Recreation department for approval at its next board meeting, after which it would head to the city council for a vote.
Sheldon said he hopes the approval process can be completed by February.
Ivan was shot on Dec. 13 by a carjacking suspect who pulled out a gun when officers encountered him. Released by Fenoglio the dog ran to the suspect and managed to bite his left arm before he was shot.
Sheldon said Fenoglio has received dozens of letters of support from the community.
If the dog park is named after the hero police dog, it won’t be the first time.
In 2006, a Tucson Police Department dog named Miko died after jumping off an overpass in pursuit of a carjacking suspect.
The dog park at Reid Park was named in his honor — Miko’s Corner Playground.
(Photo of Ivan courtesy of Tucson Police Department)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 31st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arizona, belgian malinois, bit, carjacking, department, dog park, dogs, honor, ivan, K-9, k9, killed, line of duty, memorial, miko, name, parks, petition, pets, police, police dogs, purple heart park, shot, suspect, tucson
Baltimore City Police Officer Dan Waskiewicz will be honored today by the Baltimore Humane Society for the compassion he displayed responding to a call about a “vicious” dog.
When Waskiewicz earlier this year arrived at the location where the vicious dog had been reported, in south Baltimore, he saw a pit bull being chased by children, who were throwing bottles at the dog.
The officer called the dog, who ran over with tail between legs and sat down next to him.
Waskiewicz, a rookie and recent graduate of the police academy, put the dog in his squad car and took it to Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS). He returned to BARCS during the next few days to visit. Three days after receiving the call, with no owners coming forward, Waskiewicz adopted the dog, who’s now named Bo.
Officer Waskiewicz passed the story and photo along back in May to a pit bull rescue group in northeast Pennsylvania, which blogged about it. The photo went viral, turning Waskiewicz into something of an Internet folk hero.
“So often we hear stories where law enforcement officers rush to judgment with violent action,” said Jen Swanson, Baltimore Humane Society executive director. Waskiewicz, she said, observed the situation calmly before he acted. “He saved the life of an innocent animal and avoided what could have been a situation with a tragic ending.”
The ceremony will take place at 2:30 p.m. in the Adoption Center at the Baltimore Humane Society on 1601 Nicodemus Road in Reisterstown. The public is invited.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, adoption, animals, award, baltimore, baltimore humane, baltimore humane society, barcs, bo, call, city, dan waskiewicz, dog, dogs, honor, jen swanson, officer, pets, photo, pit bull, pit bulls, police, vicious, viral
The U.S. Postal Service is issuing four new stamps that honor working dogs.
The “Dogs at Work” series celebrates the enduring partnership between working dogs and the people who count on them.
The four dogs depicted in the 65-cent stamps are a guide dog assisting a woman who is blind, a tracking dog on the trail of a scent, a therapy dog visiting an elderly woman in her home, and a search and rescue dog standing in a field.
Artist John M. Thompson created original paintings for the stamps, which were designed by art director Howard E. Paine.
The “Dogs At Work” stamps will come out in January, 2012, and are being issued at the two-ounce rate.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 29th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 65-cent, animals, artist, celebrate, detecting, dog, dogs, dogs at work, guide dog, honor, issuance, issue, john m. thompson, office, pets, post, postal, rate, rescue, search, series, sniffing, stamps, therapy dog, tracking, two ounce, working, working dogs
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
Even more than we love his name … Americus Rambeau … we love what the Baltimore police officer did on Dec. 29, 2010 — namely, jump into the icy waters of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to rescue a dog named Penny.
“She was happy to have somebody to hang onto,” he was quoted as saying after saving the dog’s life.
Aren’t we all.
On Jan. 26, at noon, the Baltimore Humane Society (BHS) will honor Rambeau and three other members of the Baltimore Police Department’s Marine Unit for their rescue of Penny, a black lab mix who ran out of her Federal Hill home, across Key Highway and into the harbor.
The ceremony will take place at the shelter building on the grounds of BHS. The event is open to the public.
Rambeau, along with Sergeant Michael Kain, Officer William Edgar and Officer John Wagner, arrived by boat to save Penny. She avoided them at first, but once Rambeau was in the water, she allowed him to get close enough to help her.
Once ashore, Penny was treated for “cold-water exposure and hypothermia,” said a spokesman for the BPD Marine Unit.
Penny’s owner, Rachel Naumann, was at work when her roommate opened the front door to sign for a package and Penny, who’s about a year old, got out and headed straight for the harbor, possibly in pursuit of a seagull.
Rambeau, who has multiple cats, told the Baltimore Sun he didn’t hesitate to jump in the water for Penny. He has done the same thing for other dogs, cats, deer and, in 1998, a 79-year-old man.
Naumann picked Penny up from the shelter the next morning, happily paying a $95 fee to pay to reclaim her pet.
“I’m just happy she’s back,” she said.
(Baltimore Sun photos by Kim Hairston)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 18th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: americus rambeau, animals, baltimore, baltimore humane society, ceremony, cold, dog, dogs, federal hill, harbor, honor, honored, hypothermia, inner harbor, john wagner, key highway, labrador, lalb, marine unit, maryland, michael kain, mix, penny, pets, police, rachel naumann, rescue, water, william edgar
The short documentary above — and, be warned, it will make you cry — chronicles the last minutes of a dog named Oden.
One of more than 6,500 submissions from thousands of artists and filmmakers, “Last Minutes with Oden” won top honors in a video contest sponsored by Vimeo, the online video sharing website.
The video focuses on Jason Wood and his dog Oden, who got cancer and had a leg amputated last year. But the cancer spread, leading Wood to make the anguishing decision to put down the dog who taught him how to love.
The video by Eliot Rausch documents the last day of Oden’s life. Vimeo’s panel of judges named it the best documentary, and the best video, and Vimeo presented the owners with a grant of $25,000. The awards were presented last month in New York City.
Jeremy Boxer, Co-Director of the Vimeo Festival + Awards called the video “one of those rare, intimate shorts that leads with its heart and soul.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 18th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: amputation, animals, awards, cancer, death, decision, documentary, dog, dogs, eliot rausch, euthanasia, festival, filmmaking, honor, jason wood, judges, last minutes with oden, oden, pets, phos, pictures, put down, sad, short, video, vimeo
Friends, family and fellow dog walkers in Salem, Oregon, raised funds to have a new bench installed at a dog park in memory of Darrel Valentine.
Valentine, 74, who used to walk his dogs, Lady, Velvet and Nicky, in the park every morning, was attacked in another park while walking his dogs, and died in September of last year.
The bench was completed and unveiled Friday at Minto-Brown Island Park’s dog park, according to the Statesman Journal in Oregon. A plaque on the bench reads: “In memory of Darrel Valentine. Beloved dog park friend.”
“He was kind of an icon down here,” dog walker Deede James said. “He was down here about two hours every morning.”
Friends and family raised more than $1,000 for the bench. They gathered for its unveiling Friday afternoon, along with Carole Miller, Valentine’s sister, who brought Valentine’s two labs to the park as well. Two of the dogs, Lady and Velvet now live with her. A third, Nicky, was adopted after his death.
Valentine was walking his dogs early Sept. 12 near Santana Park in southeast Salem when he was attacked. A suspect was riding by on a bike and demanded cash from Valentine, who said he didn’t have any. The man attacked and beat Valentine, who died days later. No arrest has been made in the case.
Valentine, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, devoted most of his time to his dogs after retirement.
“I think it is wonderful that everyone came together to do this,” said Mark Valentine, Darrel’s son. “It’s really nice.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 22nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, beaten, bench, darrel valentine, died, dog park, dog parks, dog walker, dogs, dogwalker, donated, donation, family, friends, honor, labradors, labs, lady, memorial, memory, minto-brown island park, new, nicky, oregon, parks, pets, plaque, salem, santana park, slain, velvet
News that Michael Vick is expected to attend the 32nd annual Ed Block Courage Awards dinner in Baltimore Tuesday has led to a change in the ceremony’s format and an increase in security.
Vick, who was convicted in 2007 of running a dogfighting ring, is one of 32 winners to be honored with the award, which singles out one member of each NFL team for his courage, sportsmanship and inspiration to his community.
Vick’s unanimous selection by his Philadelphia Eagles teammates triggered angry e-mails to the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation, a petition drive and a planned protest by dog lovers and animal welfare activists at the award’s ceremony, to be held at Martin’s West, 6817 Dogwood Road, from 4 to 10 p.m.
More than 100 people have already signed up to protest at the event — a number that could grow as a result of the news that the quarterback will be attending.
In addition to scrapping the long-standing tradition of having the athletes mingle with fans and sign autographs, organizers say they are boosting security, according to the Baltimore Sun.
“We’ve put in place enough [guards] to make sure that our players are safe and that everything runs smoothly.”said Ed Block Courage Award Foundation spokesman Paul Mittermeier.
The Block Award is named for a former team trainer of the Baltimore Colts, who worked for years to help abused children.
Criticism for bestowing the award on Vick has come from groups ranging from animal rights activists to the American Kennel Club. “It is unconscionable that a man who tortured and abused helpless animals be honored by an organization dedicated to ending abuse,” the AKC said.
Vick will be accompanied to the event by Michael Markarian, chief operating officer of the Humane Society of the United States, a group for which the quarterback has made public appearances in recent months, attempting to steer youth away from dogfighting.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 5th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, award, baltimore, ceremony, convicted, conviction, courage, courage award, demonstration, dogfighter, dogfighting, ed block, foundation, honor, increased, inspiration, martin's west, michael vick, news, petition, philadelphia eagles, protest, quarterback, security, sportsmanship, vick, vick protest