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Tag: jay leno

World’s tallest dog loses leg to cancer

Gibson, the Guinness World Record’s Tallest Dog, recently had his front right leg amputated due to complications from bone cancer.

Standing at 42.2 inches tall, the harlequin Great Dane has held the Tallest Dog title for four years.

Gibson, who has appeared on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” also serves as spokesdog for K9 Grass, an artificial grass designed for dogs. A certified therapy dog, he has worked work with cancer patients, veterans and amputees.

The surgery was performed to prevent the cancer, found in the dog’s paw a few weeks ago, from spreading, according to a company press release.

The surgery gives Gibson a 95.5 percent greater chance of surviving. He’ll be having follow up chemotherapy treatments in the upcoming weeks.

Gibson will continue to hold his title as the World’s Tallest Dog and be the official spokesdog for K9Grass, ForeverLawn Inc.’s line of artificial turf designed for dogs.

(Photo: Courtesy of ForeverLawn Inc.

Only 1 in 6 distinguish dog from human food

The American Association of Wine Economists has reported that a blind taste test it conducted shows most people can’t distinguish a certain brand of high-end, canned organic dog food from human food.

So the good news is, should the recession force you to turn to dog food, it will be both palatable and good for you. The bad news is you probably won’t be able to afford it, either.

Researchers provided 18 volunteers five food samples to try in a blind taste test – all blended to the same pate-like consistency and topped with parsley: duck liver mousse, pork liver pate, liverwurst, spam and Newman’s Own-brand organic Canned Turkey & Chicken Formula (for Puppies/Active Dogs).

Only three testers were able to identify the canine food. Eight participants believed the liverwurst was the dog food, and four picked Spam as the culprit. Two people identified the pork liver pate as dog food, and one identified the duck liver mousse as dog food.

Given what’s gone on with dog food in recent years, the test results aren’t really that surprising. In the last few years, organic dog food made with human-grade free range meat and fresh vegetables has jumped in popularity, and some dog food companies have humans taste test them. There are lots of dog foods on the market that are probably better for you than some of the stuff on the human food shelves. Paul Newman himself took a big bite of his dog food on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2006 to demonstrate its wholesome goodness.

The far weirder part of this story is what the wine industry is doing running dog food tests.

“We have this idea in our head that dog food won’t taste good and that we would be able to identify it, but it turns out that is not the case,” said Robin Goldstein, a co-author of the study.

Goldstein said the tasting demonstrated that “context plays a huge role in taste and value judgment,” even though researchers warned the participants that one of the five foods they were going to taste was dog food.

Which is a fancy way of saying, with proper packaging and marketing, and if you charge way too much for it, a product will sell no matter how crappy it really is.

The authors of the report conclude that: “Although human beings do not enjoy eating dog food, they are also not able to distinguish its flavor profile from other meat-based products that are intended for human consumption.” Even though most couldn’t identify it, 72 percent of those in the study rated the dog food the worst-tasting of the five.

The study didn’t look at what wine goes best with dog food, but I would recommend a nice merlot with canned, and perhaps a sauvignon blanc with kibble.

The Million Doodle March

At first glance, the Million Doodle March — a last gasp effort to persuade the President and his family to get a Labradoodle (as opposed to the Portugese water dog some members of the family have expressed a preference for) — struck me as a frivolous pursuit, the work of people with nothing better to doodle.

Not to mention too little too late.

Obama, appearing on the Tonight Show last week, implied that the choice of first dog has been made – and that it could be arriving in coming weeks. Beyond that, and the Special Olympics comment he wishes he could take back, the president shed little light on either the dog’s breed or where it will be coming from.

But even if Sasha and Malia are cuddling a Portugese water dog by then, the Million Doodle March will likely go on March 29 — the day organizers are calling upon doodle owners everywhere to parade their pooches in their hometowns in a show of doodle solidarity.

For while the march is capitalizing on all the public interest in the First Family’s dog, its more important purpose is to raise awareness about autism.

The event is being organized by the owners of Bocker the labradoodle (above, an accomplished model, frequent fundraiser, and seasoned show biz pooch) and Matilda 1st dog. It will raise money for autism and  Canada’s National Service Dog Organizatios.

More information on the march can be found here.

On February 25, First Lady Michelle Obama told People Magazine that the family was leaning towards getting a Portugese water dog.  But Mrs. Obama’s press secretary later said they had not decided on a breed. Initially, both Portugese water dog and Labradoodle were said to be under consideration.

Questioned by Jay Leno on the Tonight Show, Obama first said jokingly the dog was just a campaign promise. The he said the family was “laying the groundwork” for the new animal. He went on to indicate the dog had already been chosen and would soon be arriving, but remained mum on its breed, or whether — as many animal welfare types have urged — it will be a rescue or shelter dog.

With the march, Bocker’s owner is hoping to turn the tide (if it hasn’t already come in by then) towards Labradoodles.

“On March 29, individuals from across North America are lobbying for a cause they truly believe in. An issue yet to be answered.. but often in heated debate. A decision that President Obama will be responding to in the coming weeks, which will be highly anticipated. This will not address the economy, the war, or global warming… but for many people takes on its own personal significance. What type of dog will be the First Dog of his administration?

“On March 29, Doodle owners (and their dogs and friends) from across North America have joined forces for the first ever MILLION DOODLE MARCH. This passionate event will make it clear, that Doodle owners want their voices heard.”

Bocker the Labradoodle, through his website, fund-raising drives, and his modeling and acting gig, has become an internationally known star and spokesdog for labradoodles and pets of all kinds, according to his owner, Marie Shelto, an animal advocate, fundraiser and former information systems analyst.

Here’s the full exchange — on the subject of dogs — between Leno and Obama:

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