Alessandro Forlani’s guide dog, Asia, helps him see. But when Forlani got an unexpected chance to meet the new pope Monday — and found himself temporarily speechless – Asia helped out with that, too.
Forlani, a visually impaired radio reporter, wasn’t sure he would be allowed into the pontiff’s first meeting with the press because dogs are prohibited from the auditorium in which it was held.
“As I waited in line to enter the hall, the security guards told me that most likely I wouldn’t be allowed to get in with the dog,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “But after a few minutes, Vatican officials gave me the green light and I was accompanied by a Swiss guard to the audience hall.”
To Forlani’s surprise, he and Asia, a yellow Labrador, were shown to seats in one of the front rows.
He listened to Pope Francis talk, and then stood in the background as reporters who had been approved to meet the pope lined up to greet him.
Although Forlani was not on the approved list to meet the pope, he was approached by Vatican officials. “They said that Pope Francis had asked to meet me,” the reporter wrote. “He had seen Asia and wanted to see both (of) us.”
Once standing with the pope, Forlani — despite being a host for Italian public radio — was at a loss for words.
But Asia helped out again, serving as a conversation starter, according to Rome Reports.
Forlani, once the words came, asked for a blessing for his daughter and wife, which Pope Francis provided.
“And then he thought about my dog saying, ‘and one for the dog.’ He reached down and patted my dog,” Forlani said.
Pope Francis’s namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, was the patron saint of animals.
(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 21st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alessandro forlani, animals, asia, blessed, catholic, dogs, guide dog, host, italy, meets, pets, pontiff, pope, pope francis, public radio, radio, religion, reporter, rome, visually impaired
A British talk show host – while he was quite genteel about it, at least from an American perspective — threw some hard questions at Cesar Millan last week.
Alan Titchmarsh, a UK afternoon talk show host, politely accused Millan of using old-fashioned and inhumane techniques that include punching, kicking and using shock collars on dogs.
“You punish dogs, you hit them,” Titchmarsh said. “I’ve seen you punch a dog in the throat to get it to behave and to most people, like myself, I would say that is totally unacceptable as a way of training a dog.”
“Well obviously I would respectfully disagree with that,” Millan replied. “It’s not a punch, it’s a touch.”
The “Dog Whisperer” — appearing just slightly uncomfortable at some points — responded calmly, asserting that he never punches dogs, but only touches them to redirect negative behavior.
Millan, while some in America are critical of his methods, is even more controversial in the UK, where many, including the RSPCA, view his techniques as unacceptable.
“Adverse training techniques which have been seen to be used by Cesar Millan can cause pain and fear for dogs and may worsen their behavioral problems,” the RSPCA said in a statement read on the air. “The RSPCA believes that using such techniques is unacceptable, nor are they necessary to change dog behavior for the better when other dog trainers use reward-based methods to train dogs very effectively.”
“We’ve never had so many complaints about a guest,” Titchmarsh told Millan.
More than 1,000 people joined a Twitter campaign calling for the appearance be cancelled, and a Facebook page set up by protesters attracted 1,600 followers. Animal welfare activists threatened to disrupt the show, leading to extra security staff being called in.
After the appearance, critics and supporters of Millan continued to go after each other on various Internet forums, including YouTube, where comments grew so heated they were removed and shut down.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: alan titchmarsh, animals, barbaric, beating, british, cesar millan, cruel, dog, dog whisperer, dogs, host, inhumane, kicking, methods, pets, rspca, shock collars, talk show, techniques, television, training, uk
Up until now, I’ve been pretty much against debarking — a surgical procedure whose proponents like to call it “bark softening.”
But this video makes me realize that, possibly, in some cases, it may be justified.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 27th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: bark, bark softening, barking, beck, biden, conservative, debark, debarked, debarking, fox, glenn beck, host, network, news, obama, politics, stimulus, television, video
Italy’s state-run RAI TV has suspended popular cooking show host Beppe Bigazzi for touting cat stew as a Tuscan delicacy.
The suspension is for an unspecified amount of time,” the Associated Press reports.
Bigazzi, 77, who hosts a popular morning program that offers food tips and recipes, said he had enjoyed cat stew many times. When that startled his female co-host, Elisa Isoardi, Bigazzi defended his culinary tastes, noting Italians eat rabbit, chicken and pigeons. Horse meat also is sold in Italian shops.
“Cat, soaked for three days in the running water of a stream comes out with its meat white, and I assure you I have eaten it many times,” he said on the program. “Now there will be letters from nature lovers. Why don’t they defend rabbits?”
His critics included Health Ministry Undersecretary Francesca Martini, who said Italian law protects pets from mistreatment and that Bignazzi’s comments contradict the growing public sensibility toward animals in Italy.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 19th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, beppe, Beppe Bigazzi, bigazzi, cat, cat stew, cats, co-host, cooking, cuisine, culinary, eating, eating cat, elisa isoardi, fracesca martini, health ministry, host, italian, italy, pets, rabbit, RAI, sensibilities, show, television, tuscan, tv, video
Westminster host David Frei lost his dog Teigh earlier this month.
Teigh, a therapy dog, passed away Jan. 9 at age 14, USA Today’s Paw Print Post reported yesterday.
Frei is the director of communications for Westminster, co-host and analyst of the dog show and president and CEO of Angels on a Leash, an animal-assisted therapy group.
Teigh was the first dog allowed in the Bone Marrow Transplant unit at New York Hospital; the first dog to visit at the Ronald McDonald House in New York City, helping to create a thriving therapy dog program there; the first therapy dog allowed to visit in-room at Mt. Sinai; and he was part of a historic pilot program that brought the first dogs ever allowed at Sloan Kettering.
Frei and his wife, Cheri, a chaplain at the Ronald McDonald House, lost another one of their dogs, Belle, last year.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 20th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: angels on a leash, cheri frei, co-host, david frei, dead, death, dies, dog show, dogs, frei, host, mt. sinai, new york, pets, ronald mcdonald house, sloan kettering, teigh, therapy dog, therapy dog program, westminster
And the new voice of Westminster is … Mario Lopez?
The USA Network — apparently attempting to squirt some youthful juice into the old show — announced yesterday that Lopez will be the new co-host of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Lopez, thank goodness, isn’t replacing David Frei (that would qualify as sacrilege), but he is taking over from NBC anchor Lester Holt who has been a co-host for the past three years .
Lopez, who is actually 35 now — still young by Kennel Club standards — is host of the entertainment magazine show “Extra.” He will join the venerable Frei, who is in his 21st consecutive year of hosting the show. The 134th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show takes place Feb. 15 and 16.
Lopez, a teen star on “Saved by the Bell,” gained further fame on the third season of ABC’s hit “Dancing with the Stars,” which led to his Broadway debut in the musical “A Chorus Line” — all, clearly, qualifying him to host the foremost dog show in the world and the second longest continuously held sporting event in the United States.
USA officials did not say why the change is being made but Holt apparently will be involved with NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics in February, the Tampa Tribune reports.
“I am really excited to be a host of the 2010 Westminster Dog Show,” says Lopez. “I’ve been doing my research and checking out some of the world’s top dog shows, so I’m well prepared on show day. I can’t wait to be a part of the Super Bowl for canines.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 8th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 134, 2010, co-host, david frei, dog show, extra, host, kennel club, lester hold, lester holt, mario lopez, saved by the bell, teen star, television, tv, usa network, westminster
“He was just gone. He just disappeared,” said Krenn, who works for WDVE radio. “I’m just beside myself. As every pet owner knows, this is a worst nightmare.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 19th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal friends, dog, gizmo, host, jim krenn, lost, missing, morning, pittsburgh, radio, rat terrier, search, talk show host, wdve
Take ”Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” replace the straight guys with dogs, throw in some firm tugs on the old heartstrings, and you have a basic understanding of the Animal Planet’s soon to premier program, “Underdog to Wonderdog.”
Every episode will feature the “Wonder Team” — made up of a groomer, carpenter, trainer and, of course, good lookin’ and energetic host — transforming an “unkempt, undernourished, unloved” shelter dog into a well coiffed, housed and trained family dog.
Having not seen it yet, we give it a D for originality, a C for the inadvertent slap in the face to shelter workers, and a B for meaning well.
The show promises to send each dog through “a complete metamorphoses, becoming the dog it was always destined to be. Every shelter dog is rescued, groomed, trained and rehabilitated before finally being placed into a loving home – equipped with its very own custom-designed dog house.”
The show starts Saturday, January 3, at 8 p.m.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 16th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal planet, carpenter, dogs, groomer, host, lucky, makeover, makeovers, maryanski, media, mutts, olivia, programming, reality, ryan smith, shelter, television, trainer, tv, underdog, underdog to wonderdog, wonderdog, yorkshire terrier