Last month, while comparing the records of the two major presidential candidates when it comes to dog friendliness, we questioned whether Donald Trump, as some reports suggested, even had a dog.
We noted that he had reportedly tweeted about his dog undergoing surgery back in February.
While various media outlets would go on to make references to that dog — named Spinee — the tale turned out to have come from a fake Trump Twitter page.
Trump has no dog, according to a post on the Washington Post’s Animalia blog.
The Post post speculates his fear of germs might be the reason — and it goes on to say that, as president, he probably should have a dog, for political reasons alone.
“In the digital age, when interest in online animal content dwarfs interest in political news, the absence of a Trump pet amounts to a forfeiture of low-hanging political fruit,” the Post post says.
(This kiwi, for one, resents that last remark.)
The Post says every president except James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson has owned a pet (if you count horses) for at least part of his term in office, and that having one can serve to soften a politician’s image.
Trump seems to be a man who, though he might soften a stance or two, wants to keep his image hard-edged.
While there is not a single photo of Trump with a pet of his own on the Internet, he regularly invites the best in show winner to Trump Tower and poses for a photograph, which then makes its way onto social media.
What’s Trump’s motivation for that? I suspect it’s just his way of showing support for the show, as opposed to wanting to hitch a ride on their moment of fame.
Can we expect the next four winners to be invited to the White House — especially if and when those approval ratings (prone to falling once a president takes office) take a substantial dip? I wouldn’t be surprised.
Will he give the White House a new first dog? Doubtful. It’s probably safe to assume that, while he enjoys hobnobbing with purebreds (how he is with mutts is another question), he is not the kind of person who must have a dog.
Then again, maybe his son Baron will push for one at some point.
Trump, a self-identified “clean hands freak,” may be “averse to the microbes that come with a four-legged friend,” the Post speculated.
“While it is not known whether Trump enjoys the company of animals, he has been publicly criticized by the Humane Society of the United States for his close relationships with critics of animal welfare activists as well as for his sons’ passion for trophy hunting.”
It was exactly a year ago that ohmidog! declared Trump an Afghan hound — back when there were 12 Republicans vying for the candidacy, and we assigned a dog breed to each of them, based on looks, personality, and breed stereotypes.
In the years ahead, he could prove himself to be some other breed — maybe one that’s not so widely considered aloof, stubborn and slow to learn.
In the meantime we’ll just wait and see — among much else — how good a dog might be for him and, much more importantly, how good he is for dogs.
(Photos: From Facebook, at top, Trump with Banana Joe, an affenpinscher who won Westminster’s Best in Show in 2013; Trump posing with Malachy, the Pekingese who won best in show in 2012; Trump and Miss P., the beagle who won in 2015; and Trump with Foxcliffe Hickory Wind, the Scottish deerhound who won in 2011)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 1st, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, best in show, dog, dogs, donald trump, elect, first dog, first family, image, mutts, pedigree, pets, politics, presidency, president, presidential, presidential pets, purebreds, republican, spinee, trumps, westminster, white house, white house pets, winners
MetLife has given Snoopy his walking papers.
After proudly serving the insurance company for 30 years, Snoopy is being put out to pasture as part of a company-wide “refresh” aimed at portraying MetLife as more sophisticated and financially savvy.
The beagle who has been appearing in MetLife ads since the 1980’s is not the sort of symbol they say they now need.
“We brought in Snoopy over 30 years ago to make our company more friendly and approachable during a time when insurance companies were seen as cold and distant,” said chief marketing officer Esther Lee.
“Snoopy helped drive our business and served an important role at the time,” she added. “We have great respect for these iconic characters. However, as we focus on our future, it’s important that we associate our brand directly with the work we do and the partnership we have with our customers.”
In other words, Snoopy and the Peanuts gang — as loved and symbolic as they are — are not the kind of symbols the company wants representing them in these times of doing whatever is necessary to make all the money you can possibly make.
You’ve got to admit, the Peanuts characters have never been known for their financial savvy.
Making obscene profits, and being able to talk with saying anything, are vital skills for the modern day American company.
MetLife seems to have that second part down. It’s not until the bottom of its press release about ushering in a new era that the company press release mentions the phasing out of Snoopy and the Peanuts gang — not until after they go on and on (and on) about their bold new company logo.
It’s the letter “M” — but not just any “M.”
“MetLife’s new visual branding is built around a clean, modern aesthetic,” the press release says. “The striking new brandmark brings contemporary blue and green colors together in a symbol of partnership to form an M for MetLife.
“The iconic MetLife blue carries forth the brand’s legacy, but has been brightened and now lives alongside a new color – green – which represents life, renewal and energy. The broader MetLife brand palette expands to include a range of vibrant secondary colors, reflecting the diverse lives of its customers.”
Zzzzzzzz. Good grief! AAUGH!!!
And Snoopy will no longer appear on the MetLife blimp.
Don’t cry too much for him, though.
He has plenty on his plate, or in his bowl.
PETA has offered him a job, at least in a tongue in cheek way, as mascot of its doghouse donation program.
Likely, he won’t jump at that, because he’s already sitting pretty. He — or at least descendants of his creator — still reap profits from arrangements with Hallmark, Warner Bros. and Target, CNN reports.
The Peanuts brand has more than 700 licensing agreements in about 100 countries, according to SEC filings. Iconix Brand Group (ICON) partnered with the family of Charles M. Schulz to buy the brand from two publishing houses for $175 million in 2010.
His TV specials will probably be watched by our great great grandchildren.
And he still has his gig with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Snoopy has floated down Broadway 39 times, more than any other character.
Let’s see an “M” do that.
(Woof in Advertising is a recurring ohmidog! feature that looks at how dogs are used in marketing. You can find earlier posts in this archived collection.)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 27th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: advertisements, advertising, animals, charlie brown, commercials, company, corporate, dogs, dogs in advertising, dropped, fired, image, insurance, logo, lucy, marketing, met life, metlife, peanuts, perceptions, pets, snoopy, symbols, woof in advertising
A UK man was gobsmacked to see his deceased dog’s image in a slice of ham.
You see it too, don’t you, there in the upper right quadrant?
George Hembry, 21, of Bath, told the British tabloids it’s the spitting image of his dog, Stink.
He saw the slice on the counter as his mother was making him a sandwich.
Hembry found an old photo of Stink and laid it next to the slice of Tesco British Crumbed ham. The resemblance freaked him out so much he refused to eat it.
Hembry said he had bought the meat himself, at a shop he and Stink used to frequent.
Adding to the strangeness of it all, he said, he and his mother, Sarah, had been talking about Stink earlier in the day.
“We’d been talking … about how much we missed him because an old photo memory popped up on my Facebook page,” he told the Daily Mail.
“It’s funny to think he’s maybe still looking over us somehow,” he is quoted as saying in The Mirror.
Hembry said he considered keeping the slice, but decided it would be unwise. “I suppose it would have gone off after a while.”
“I reckon mum’s probably eaten it,” he added, “but I couldn’t have done that.”
(Photos: Daily Mail)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 27th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bath, cold cuts, death, deceased, dog, dogs, england, george hembry, grief, ham, image, loss, perception, pet, sees, slice, slice of ham, stink, tabloids, uk
Allegations of wide-scale voter fraud may not effect the presidential race, but they have kept a one-eyed Chihuahua from appearing on the tail of Frontier Airlines jets.
The Denver-based airline announced Monday that it has suspended its “Mascot on the Tail” contest because it had been “compromised” by fraudulent voting.
“We have determined that the contest has been compromised by fraudulent activity and ineligible voting that has created an unfair environment for all participants,” the airline said in a statement. “We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience.”
The contest, launched in March, invited universities, high schools and other organizations to campaign and vote for their mascot to appear on the tail of some Frontier planes.
Given that getting themselves free publicity (and gathering as many email addresses as possible) were the real reasons for Frontier to hold the contest, and given online contests aren’t exactly the epitome of the one-person-one-vote ideal, the airline’s explanation came across as a little hollow, and a little suspect.
Especially to those supporting Harley, a one-eyed Chihuahua who was the mascot of National Mill Dog Rescue.
Harley, a puppy mill survivor and the American Humane Association’s Hero Dog for 2015, was among the top vote-getters in the contest (voting was scheduled to end April 30) when it was abruptly called off.
“Once entered, Harley quickly gained tremendous support thanks to you – his fans – and he also gained the support of several news stations, animal welfare organizations and even celebrities,” a statement on on Harley’s Facebook page says.
“Over the course of a week Harley reached over 37,000 votes and was in first place. He was well ahead of all other contestants…It soon became clear that Harley had an excellent chance of winning the contest. Then, suddenly, Frontier Airlines suspended the contest. Their explanation was that there was voter fraud and they blamed international voters.”
Frontier spokesman Jim Faulkner said the airline did not suspend the voting due to the possibility of Harley winning, the Denver Post reported.
Instead, the contest was halted due to “several” instances of fraud, including cases of ineligible, non-U.S. residents voting, he said.
Faulkner did not pinpoint any particular contestant that was benefiting from “fraudulent” voting.
The airline plans to send $20 travel vouchers to everyone who voted in the online contest as “a token of good will,” he added.
Harley’s supporters freely admit to campaigning heavily for their candidate. They saw it as a way to educate the public about the horrors of puppy mills and honor the memory of Harley, who passed away last month at the age of 15.
Creating a social media buzz, and spreading the word about the contest served them well, and served Frontier Airlines well.
We’d hate to think politics were involved, or that some airline big wig thought the image of a one-eyed dog might besmirch their shiny jets.
Other mascots competing in the contest included Colorado State University’s Cam the Ram; University of Colorado’s Ralphie the bison; University of Florida’s Albert and Alberta Gator; and the University of California Santa Cruz mascot, Sammy the Slug.
Harley, a little dog who came to represent perseverance and resiliency, was the only contestant with a message — and maybe that frightened the airline. Maybe they were afraid of losing any unethical breeders they had as passengers.
Michele Burchfield, marketing director for the National Mill Dog Rescue, said Harley’s high number of votes were the result of his message and an active social media and e-mail campaign that caught on with puppy mill opponents across the country.
“If Frontier opens up the contest again, we would be thrilled to enter him again and honored to have him on the tail of a plane knowing that our voting is legitimate and honest,” Burchfield said. “We did everything we could to bring this honor to him.”
“This little guy could get a million votes in a month if he needed it,” she said.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 7th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airplane, american humane association, animals, breeders, breeding, cancel, cancels, chihuahua, contest, dog, dogs, frontier, frontier airlines, harley, image, jets, likeness, mascot, national mill dog rescue, one eye, one-eyed, online, pets, photo, public, puppy mill, rescue, survivor, tail, vote
Not too far into 2015, an amazingly asinine Internet discussion began over what became known as simply “The Dress.”
Millions wasted valuable hunks of life debating what color it was.
Between social media and news media, the dress became one of the most viral images of all time.
Now, as 2015 nears its end, comes an even more asinine debate — over dog pants, specifically over how dogs should wear pants.
As we ring in the new year, the question is getting more attention than many presidential candidates — despite the obvious fact that dogs shouldn’t wear pants at all.
There are few, if any dogs, who are shaped in such a way that pants worn over all four legs would stay in place. (Four separate doggie leggings, held in place by elastic, would be a much better route.) And traditional pants preclude a dog from being free to go to the bathroom.
(Please tell me I’m not seriously discussing this.)
In true “meme” form, we can expect many variations of the doggie pants question to arise. “How should a cat wear a poncho?” “How should a hamster wear a mumu?” And, around the time Donald Trump wins the presidency because we’re all preoccupied, “How should a camel wear a pashmina?”
I’m not a big fan of memes. I like them even less than mimes. And I would prefer to bound into 2016 with a song in my heart, as opposed to a meme on my mind. Memes do seem to get stuck in your head, like bad songs (see below).
This one got its start on Facebook, where it was posted by a 19-year-old techie type from Belgium.
After seeing a dog in pants, worn over the two hind legs, he started wondering if there was another way for dogs to wear pants.
“I thought that pants are a human invention so for us it’s normal to wear them like that. But dogs have four legs so technically, their pants should go on each leg,” the man, identified as Norbert K., told the Washington Post.
(That’s right, the great dog pants debate has made the Washington Post, or at least one of its blogs, called Intersect.)
After appearing on the Facebook page for “Utopian Raspberry – Modern Oasis Machine,” the image was shared and borrowed and ended up on other social media, including Twitter.
Jared Keller, who works at Maxim, played a large role in catapulting the image into the viralsphere — posting it to his Facebook page, then to his Twitter feed, and then writing a piece about it for Maxim, the Washington Post reported.
The Post even invited readers to take part in a poll by the newspaper on how dogs should wear pants.
But when we clicked on the link to vote we were taken to a YouTube video of Rick Astley singing “Never Going to Give You Up.”
As a result, we can share this piece of vital information with you: Rick Astley wears his pants really high up on his waist.
(Image from Facebook)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 30th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, clothing, debate, dog, dogs, facebook, how should dogs wear pants, humor, image, meme, pants, pets, ridiculous, social media, the dress, twitter, viral, wear
By way of wishing you a happy Thanksgiving, we present this photo — and offer our thanks to the photographer, and his dog, Bailey, who posed not once but six times.
Bailey played all six roles for the re-creation of this family scene.
The photos were taken by her owner, John Nebbia, of Omaha, Nebraska. Photoshop probably deserves some credit too.
The image appears to show a holiday gathering of six different dogs, but they are all Bailey, who was decked out in six different wardrobes.
“We just moved her from chair to chair and gave her a break in between shots,” Nebbia told the Huffington Post. “When she was in the position, we were snapping a few pictures every second.”
It took about 40 minutes to shoot and about an hour to edit, he said.
Nebbia posted the photo on Bailey’s Facebook page.
Bailey is also the star of a 2016 calendar featuring some of Bailey’s best poses. It can be ordered at GoldenBailey.com.
Nebbia also put together a video showing what was involved in making the Thanksgiving photo:
Posted by John Woestendiek November 26th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bailey, calendar, dinner, dogs, edited, gathering, golden, golden retriever, golden retrievers, image, john nebbia, pets, photograph, photoshop, retriever, thanksgiving
BADRAP, the San Francisco organization best known for defending pit bulls from being maligned, abused and discriminated against, lost a good friend last week — Sally, the friendly pit who served as both mascot and inspiration.
What follows, reprinted with permission, is a beautifully written eulogy, penned by Donna Reynolds, Sally’s mom and BAD RAP’s director:
“Some news to share, with a heavy heart. Our muse, our founding dog and our best gal – the irrepressible Sally – passed away last Friday, leaving a legacy as wide as her smile.
“Who was she? She came to us in 1998, back when pit bulls wore a scarlet letter and suffered the consequences of breed stereotypes and misinformation. She seemed to know that we needed a little levity in a world that had started to lose its heart for dogs. She was supposed to be a visitor, but unpacked her bags and before we knew it, staked her claim as a monolithic influence in our personal lives and catalyst for our organization.
“She was our four legged Google before Google existed; our touchstone for dogs from her tribe. We weren’t exactly sure what a pit bull was – we still aren’t – but Sally was happy to take on the role of ambassador of a forgotten country that was begging to be explored. We built BADRAP’s message and key programs around the lessons she graciously offered. Along the way, her beauty inspired her favorite human (Tim Racer) to take up chisels and memorialize her and then other beloved dogs in wood carousel sculptures.
“With a larger than life personality, she had no concept of personal boundaries and was unapologetically obsessed with people – ‘over socialized,’ we joked. She screamed like a lovesick banshee when she heard the voices of people she knew. When she reached them, she scrambled to taste them, slurping straight up surprised nostrils with ecstatic, impatient licks.
“We didn’t train Sally; we worked out agreements with Sally. “Sit calmly until the child is ready to touch you and then you can have a tiny kiss.” She’d tremble, working against every fiber in her being to keep her butt on the ground so she could earn her prize moment.
“She was bold, bawdy and uninhibited and she reveled in being alive, beating back cancer for ten of her 17 years. She body surfed in the Pacific and knew how to catch the best waves and ride them to shore like a pro. She never once took the winding path down to the beach; instead, she plowed down the side of the steepest dune so she could get to the water first. When she tired, she’d find a quiet perch and stare out at the horizon as if reading a sonnet in the waves. When she slept, she curled her heavy head in the crook of an elbow and rumbled softly, occasionally peeking with a twinkling brown eye to solicit a soft kiss.
“In 2007, she nearly derailed our much anticipated assignment to assess the survivors of Bad Newz Kennels by falling very ill and sporting a suspicious mass deep in her bowels, just as we were making our flights to Virginia. Then, after noting our double distress, she granted us permission to travel by dutifully pooping out a plastic toy car in its entirety – Crisis averted. (Thank you, Sally.)
“She schooled the Vick dogs as soon as they arrived in CA. To her, they were just dogs – and she reminded us of that right away. She took great pleasure in humping good manners into Jonny Rotten aka Jonny Justice and in pissing far above Hector’s pee spots, aiming for a target as high as her business end could reach. ‘You’re welcome here, new dog. But just don’t forget who the Queen is.’ They politely deferred, so she gave them straight A’s.
“To Sally, life was one long party with momentary pauses along the way. She marched in the SF Pride Parade nearly 13 years in a row, convinced that the fanfare of waving, screaming spectators had assembled just for her. She zig zagged and pulled as hard as she could towards the throbbing music and sun oiled bodies and she always managed to end up in the lap of one or more of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence – naturally.
“Despite her hurricane nature, she was also tender and affectionate and sensitive. Too strong of a reprimand horrified her, and she felt responsible for restoring peace when her humans argued or swore. She schooled hundreds of foster dogs and counted many as her best friends, but she took no guff from ill-mannered dogs. After finding two boy pups fighting over food in HER kitchen, she body slammed both dogs across the room in different directions. Conversation done and over.
“All and none of these traits marked her as a pit bull. She was Sally before she was a dog, and she was a dog before she was a pit bull; a force of nature who blew into our world and rattled us awake, then wagged her way back home 17 deliciously happy years later.
“‘Rest in Peace’ is not a fitting epitaph for this game changer. Rather: ‘Long may you rail and adventure around the cosmos. Thank you dearly for stopping by and including us in your exciting travels.'”
“Sally Racer 1998-2015. Long live the Queen.”
(Photo of Sally courtesy of BADRAP)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 28th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advocacy, animals, bad rap, badrap, dead, death, dies, dog, dogs, donna reynolds, eulogy, image, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, rehabilitation, remembrance, reputation, sally, san francisco, vick dogs