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Tag: huffington post

German photographer drawing flak for her “flying” dogs photos

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A German photographer is taking some heat — at least on the Internet — for a series of photos capturing dogs in mid-air.

Dogs used in the photo shoot didn’t plummet too far, apparently only a couple of feet or so, after being dropped by their (off camera) owners onto a mattress.

slide_383962_4580588_freeBerlin-based photographer Julia Christe came up with the idea of photographing dogs while they were airborne during an assignment shooting photos for an undisclosed animal pharmaceutical product.

The photos were picked up by more than a few media outlets, including the Daily Mail, which called them “hilarious,” and the Huffington Post, which termed the dog’s faces “precious,” pointed out no dogs were injured and noted, “We’re betting some of them even wanted to go again, since dogs are just awesome.”

Readers, almost unanimously, had, an entirely different view of it. Almost all those leaving comments on the Huffington Post post, called it animal cruelty, with many noting the fear they say is evident in the dog’s eyes.

Nearly 100 dogs and their owners turned up at Christe’s studio after she issued a call for canine models — and none of the owners apparently had any problem holding their dogs in the air and dropping them onto a mattress.

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Christe (left) said she was seeking a unique perspective for her dog photos, and that all the dogs who took part seemed to have fun doing so.

“The dogs were dropped by their owners onto a mattress from as low a height as possible, and the impression of flight was enlarged by wind machines,” the photographer explained in the Daily Mail.

But as some commenters noted, even light landings can be hard on small dogs like dachshunds, and — regardless of how far they’re falling — the stress and fear it causes constitutes cruelty, some say.

“It’s actually incredibly dangerous for doxins to jump, let alone be dropped,” wrote one. “Their backs are very fragile and can break. This is more about a photographer wanting the spotlight, than it is art. Shame on you for putting your ego before these dogs’ safety and well being.”

We’d go a step further and say it’s also about websites who pander to dog lovers without pausing to think about what they’re pasting onto their sites — the ones that, in their haste to get more hits, slap an “adorable” label on anything dog-related and share it, failing to apply anything close to critical or responsible thinking.

2351CC9300000578-2842131-Behind_the_scenes_at_the_photoshoot_this_bearded_collie_prepares-24_1416480491504Was Christe’s project cruel to dogs? That’s debatable. Was it stupid? Definitely (and that applies to the volunteer dog owners, too).

“I really love animals, and so everything was safe, I would never take a chance on them getting hurt,” Christe said in the Daily Mail article. “…I feel the photographs show off both the grace and elegance of the dogs, which makes them appear in a slightly different way than usual.”

For all those pet photographers who would put a dog at risk so that they may achieve a new artistic perspective, we’d suggest they fling their own selves through the air, or turn their own selves upside down.

Because all those down-to-earth dogs are perfectly happy with the perspective they already have.

(Photos: Julia Christe  / HotSpot Media)

Marmaduke trailer drawing bad reviews

Poor Marmaduke. The movie’s not even out yet, and already its trailers are drawing bad reviews.

I’m not sure when trailer reviews became part of the media landscape, but it seems a little like reviewing a meal before it’s out of the oven.

“Worst thing ever,” huffed the Huffington Post.

“(It) actually gets progressively worse as it goes along, which is quite a feat for a two minute video. It starts with Owen Wilson as “the duke,” himself. Nothing wrong with that. Who doesn’t like some Owen Wilson? But before you know it you’re in the midst of mind-blowing awfulness, being slapped around by Fergie, terrifying talking animals, and toilet jokes that even children would frown upon.”

New York Magazine called the trailer “safe and effective birth control” — meaning, I guess, that people will forego reproducing so they don’t have to take the kids to this movie:

“There’s only one thing about the Marmaduke trailer that isn’t an insult to dogs, people, and the art of moviemaking itself, and that is the nice car William H. Macy is probably now enjoying with his small-role earnings. We guess it could be worse — that bad CGI of all the dogs dancing in the park at the end could have been set to “Hallelujah.”

“Marmaduke trailer is a real dog,” reads the headline at Latinoreview.com.

“The trailer shows just how awful a movie can be. Not only is the CGI really, really bad but the laughs are non existent. I’m not sure what kid would possibly find any of this funny. Especially since it has jokes that I’m sure they’ve seen a hundred times before.”

Looks like, in the view of  the critics, anyway, Marmaduke should have never left the comics page.

A pug-ugly situation in New York’s subway

New York City had its usual share of murder and mayhem Monday, but some police officers chose to focus their crimefighting efforts on one particular evil scourge: an uncrated pug in a subway station.

A Brooklyn woman carrying her dog, Dempsey, in her arms was handcuffed, hauled to a transit police station house and cited for not having her pet pug in a container.

Chrissie Brodigan, 32, who writes for The Huffington Post and other websites, said she was bruised on her arms when an officer handcuffed her in the Bedford Avenue train station in Williamsburg about 5 p.m. on Monday. “He punched me in the back,” she told the Daily News. “He kicked my ankles apart.”

Dogs have to be in a “container” while in city subways, police said. Brodigan said the 15-pound dog was out of his carrier because he had been sick.

Brodigan, who admits to reacting rudely to being busted, was also cited for disorderly conduct and failure to identify herself.

Brodigan was handcuffed by Joel Witriol, the NYPD’s first Hasidic officer, who she says repeatedly told her, “If you’re going to act like a woman, I’m going to treat you like a woman.”

Does mimicking Cesar lead to dog bites?

Is “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan contributing to the number of dog bites?

That question is posed in an interesting piece by Sophia Yin in the Huffington Post, and it brings a long-simmering debate between two schools of animal trainers into the spotlight — right in the middle of National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

Yin, a veterinarian and applied animal behaviorist, cites experts as saying that “Dog Whisperer” watchers trying to mimic the dominance-based techniques Millan uses may be — as the phrase goes — asking for it.

The article includes an anecdote from Dr. Kathy Meyer, president of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB), which is on record as opposing such techniques.

“Last year I consulted with an owner who was having trouble with his Shar-Pei becoming aggressive toward the dog-walker when on walks. The owner had no trouble with his dog on-lead outdoors, but the walker complained of escalating aggression. Upon further discussion, it was discovered that the walker claimed he was utilizing some methods demonstrated by Cesar Millan on the Dog Whisperer. Instead of walking the dog on a loose lead, he would place a choke collar high up on the dog’s neck, where it is the most painful and can shut off the airway…

“When the dog didn’t respond to a command, he would punish the dog by tightening the collar, even lifting the dog’s front feet off of the ground. As the punishment escalated, the dog began to growl, snarl, and snap at the walker. The walker even began to take a tennis racket on walks to try to subdue the dog when he became aggressive, a technique he saw on Millan’s televised show. My advice was simple. Find another dog-walker who knew how to calmly walk the dog on a loose lead and did not try to intimidate him. A new walker was introduced and the dog continues to do well, with no aggression on walks.”

The article also cites a recent study published in The Journal of Applied Animal Behavior (2009) that suggests those who take an aggressive approach with their dogs might find their dogs being aggressive too.

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