Mack, a much-loved mutt in Michigan, spent this past week as he has spent the last 10 years — hanging out with the regulars at O’Duffy’s Pub in Kalamazoo, enjoying his favorite snacks and the company of friends.
Last Sunday, though, was Mack’s last Sunday — the 13-year-old German shepherd-collie mix is scheduled to be euthanized today after vets found a large tumor on his liver and other complications.
Jamie Kavanaugh, owner of O’Duffy’s Pub/Cosmo’s Cucina, took Mack to the veterinarian Tuesday and received the diagnosis. “His body is shutting down,” Kavanaugh said.
Mack spent most every day of the last 10 years at the Irish pub in Kalamazoo’s Vine neighborhood, according to MLive.com.
“He’s been a big, calm boy for all of his life. He’s very laid back, good with other dogs, people, kids. He’s very tolerant and loving,” Kavanaugh said. “He’s enjoyed being here. He makes his rounds, eats some treats. St. Patrick’s Day won’t be the same without him.”
Since learning of Mack’s illness, Kavanaugh said he’s showered the dog with companionship and treats. On Wednesday night, when Mack stopped by the pub, a customer ordered a filet and gave the first bite to Mack. Kavanaugh planned to bring Mack to the pub last night for a final goodbye.
“The number of people who love this guy, I can’t imagine what the actually number is. It’s people I don’t even know who love him, that come here and enjoy his company. It’s a real testament to the love of this community,” Kavanaugh said.
Kavanaugh lost his wife, Kim, the restaurant’s co-owner, just over two years ago
“When my wife passed away … I was really afraid he was going to follow her. Instead, he stuck by my side, stayed by my side and he’s been with me on this journey ever since,” Kavanaugh said of Mack. “Now, I think he feels his work is done. And he’s tired. All I can do is pass the love on.”
Kavanaugh said he plans to have Mack cremated and may take his ashes to Ireland to scatter off the coast of the Irish Sea.
(Photo: Erik Holladay / MLive.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bar, collie, cosmo's cucina, dog, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, german shepherd, irish pub, jamie kavanaugh, kalamazoo, liver, mack, michigan, mix, mutt, o'duffy's pup, oduffy's, owner, pets, put, st patricks day, tumor
My dog Ace likes to forage — to graze on grass, cruise for crumbs under the backyard grill, and gobble up any leftover vegetables my neighbor puts out for the squirrels and rabbits.
It’s not that he’s a glutton, constantly in search of food, but when no one is around to visit it’s generally how he passes the time. I attribute it to him spending his formative early months as a stray — scavenging meals where he could find them.
While he seems willing to sample just about anything that might be distantly related to food, he has thankfully been avoiding the mushrooms that have been popping up all over in recent weeks.
The ones above seemed to sprout overnight. Ace went over to see what they were this past weekend but turned his nose up at them, almost as if he knew they were not to be messed with.
And they’re not. Certain species of wild mushrooms are fatal to dogs, but rather than bombard you with scientific names I might misspell — like Amanita Phalloides — I’ll keep it simple:
Keep your dog away from any mushrooms growing outdoors. Beautiful as they are, they can be deadly.
It’s the wisest course of action, even if you know a thing or two about fungi. You may know the difference between a toxic species and a non-toxic one, but likely your dog doesn’t. So if he or she gets anywhere close, or starts to sniffing, holler “No!” – in Ace’s case three times usually works, though sometimes I have to add, “I mean it.”
Mushroom poisoning in dogs can cause abdominal pain, drooling, liver and kidney damage, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, coma and death.
There have been several cases of mushroom poisoning reported in Arizona, including one woman who, in a letter to the editor of her newspaper, reported all three of her dogs became sick from eating them
Earlier this summer, a family in Buffalo lost a second dog to mushroom poisoning. After the first one died, the family got a new dog, gave it the same name, and watched as it too got sick from eating mushrooms in their yard and died.
The ASPCA and other organizations advise making sure your dog avoids all mushrooms growing in the yard.
You, too, no matter how pretty they are.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, avoid, damage, deadly, dog, dogs, fatal, fungi, fungus, health, kidney, liver, mushroom, mushrooms, pets, poison, poisonous, safety, sick, toxic, vomiting, warning
Topaz, the pit bull who lost a leg after being caught in a barrage of police gunfire in Inglewood more than three years ago, is in need of a home in the Los Angeles area.
The health of her human, a formerly homeless man named Michael Reed, has deteriorated to the point where he can no longer care for her, and can barely care for himself, say those trying to help out the once inseparable pair.
I met the two of them three years ago in Los Angeles, after spotting Reed, his shopping cart and his three-legged dog walking down the sidewalk.
They were homeless at the time, and just recently reunited.
He told me their story: how police opened fire on another homeless man they thought was pulling a gun in Inglewood. The gun turned out to be a toy, but that wasn’t discovered until, 47 shots later, Eddie Franco had been killed, and Topaz had been struck by four or five bullets.
Reed, by virtue of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, was taken into custody, and his possessions, Topaz included, were confiscated.
He was later released – but he was given no information about his dog. Having watched as she went down in the hail of gunfire, he presumed she was dead.
Two days later, though, a message was relayed to Reed that his dog was alive.
Months before the incident, Ingrid Hurel-Diourbel, founder of Streetsmarts Rescue, had seen Reed and his dog on the street, collecting recyclables, and stopped to talk to him. She placed one of her organization’s rescue tags on Topaz, who otherwise had no identification, and Reed gave her his stepmother’s phone number.
When the animal shelter in Carson — where Topaz was taken after the shooting — saw the tag, they called Ingrid and she relayed the news to Reed.
Ingrid started trying to raise money for the pair then, to cover the cost of Topaz’ veterinary care, and — because of their additional misfortunes – she hasn’t stopped since.
For a while, things were looking up. Michael got off the streets and moved into a trailer, but not long after that he learned he was terminally ill with cirrhosis of the liver, and that Topaz had cancer.
Topaz had surgery again, and Michael has been in and out of the hospital. During one recent stay, another member of the rescue was caring for Topaz when he noticed a mass around her vulva, which led to yet another operation for Topaz.
Ingrid – that’s her narrating the video at the top of this post — says that operation went well, and early signs, though biopsy results are still pending, indicate Topaz may be cancer free. Her hospital stay, surgery and treatment cost more than $3,500, which Ingrid is still trying to raise.
Michael, meanwhile, has continued to decline, mentally and physically – so much so that the man who so graciously let me take photos of him and his dog three years ago, isn’t allowing his photo to be taken anymore.
He gets incommunicative, and neglects to take his medications, friends say.
“We have no more money for rent for him,” Ingrid said, “and unless his SSI kicks in soon, he will need to move out of the trailer … He has no family and he really needs care every day to maintain him.”
That’s led the rescue to intensify its efforts to find Topaz a new home, preferably one that will allow the dog to continue to make visits to Reed.
It’s also still trying to pay off the veterinary bills. Donations can be made via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by jwoestendiek November 21st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, animals, california, cancer, care, cirrhosis, costs, dog, dogs, donations, expenses, health, home, homeless, illness, inglewood, ingrid hurel-diourbel, liver, los angeles, michael, michael and topaz, michael reed, needs, pets, pit bull, police, rescue, shooting, shot, streetsmarts rescue, surgeries, terminal, three-legged, topaz, update, veterinary
It has been nearly three years since ohmidog! brought you the story of homeless (at the time) Michael Reed and his three-legged pit bull, Topaz.
I ran across them during a visit to Los Angeles, where I first saw Michael pushing a shopping cart down a sidewalk in Inglewood, with Topaz in tow.
Suspecting they had a story, I followed them to a vacant lot next to a gas station, where, sitting on the sidewalk with a bottle of King Cobra malt liquour — Topaz, as always, at his side — he graciously consented to share it.
The story, that is.
A couple of months earlier, on August 31st, 2008, Topaz had gotten caught in the middle of a barrage of gunfire. Police were shooting at another homeless man named Eddie Franco, who they thought had a gun. Franco was killed. His gun turned out to be a plastic toy.
Topaz, shot 4 times, was taken away by animal control — leaving Michael without the dog he’d grown to depend on, or, for that matter, any idea whether she was still alive.
Through a stroke of fortune, he managed to get Topaz back.
Months before the incident, Ingrid Hurel-Diourbel, founder of Streetsmarts Rescue, had seen Michael and his dog on the street, collecting recyclables, and stopped to talk to him. She placed one of her organization’s rescue tags on Topaz, who had no identification, and Reed gave her his stepmother’s phone number.
When the Carson Shelter’s animal control unit — where Topaz was taken after the shooting — saw the tag, they called Hurel-Diourbel, who got the message to Reed, and helped raised the funds needed for surgery.
Topaz would lose one of her hind legs, but she and Michael would be reunited, resuming their life on the streets for several months. Then, with more help from friends, Michael and Topaz moved into a trailer park, almost two years ago. Things were looking up.
Now comes word from Los Angeles that both Michael and Topaz have fallen victim to some serious medical problems.
Streetsmarts Rescue in Hawthorne reports that Michael is terminally ill with cirrhosis of the liver and Hepatitis C. Topaz has a cancerous lump on her neck — a round cell tumor that will require surgery.
Hurel-Diourbel is trying to raise funds again — about $1,000 for the operation Topaz needs. She’s also trying to find a home for Topaz, for when the day comes that Michael can no longer care for her.
Hurel-Diourbel says she recently spent the day with Michael, who she says has no family to speak of, at the Veteran’s Hospital in Long Beach.
“Michael, homeless at one point, now was being treated with much respect and dignity. It was wonderful to witness,” she said. She added that, during his hospital stay, he told anyone who would listen about his dog.
He has since returned to his trailer in Torrance, which he moved into only with the assurance that Topaz could live there, too. Michael, who acknowledges he has some mental problems, had been looking for work, but without success.
Because it’s not known how much longer Michael will be able to live on his own, Hurel-Diourbel is trying to line up a new home for Topaz, who is 6-years old.
As an outsider, here’s my hope, based on our short visit, and the connection I saw between man and dog: That whoever adopts Topaz — if that occurs before his death — might be willing to let Michael share time, lots of time, with her during his final days.
To learn how to contribute to Topaz’s surgery, visit the ChipIn page that Hurel-Diourbel established.
(You can find a subsequent update on Michael and Topaz here.)
(Photos by John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, bond, cancer, cirrhosis, dogs, health, hepatitis c, homeless, homelessness, ill, ingrid hurl diourbel, liver, los angeles, michael reed, pets, pit bull, police, rescue, shelter, shooting, sick, streetsmarts rescue, surgery, three legs, three-legged, topaz, tumor
Veterinarians and dog owners in New York are on alert for leptospirosis after reports this week that two Brooklyn dogs died of the disease and dozens more have been hospitalized.
The infectious illness rarely strikes the city in high numbers, but vets say it seems to be hitting a little earlier and harder this year, the New York Daily News reported.
“Lepto likes warm, wet weather and we’ve got that to a T,” said Dr. Cathy Langston, a renal specialist with the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan, which is treating three dogs for the disease.
The swift-moving illness is spread by a bacteria in the urine of rats, skunks, raccoons and other infected animals, which dogs can come in contact with through contaminated water or moist soil. The disease can damage the kidney and liver and prove fatal if untreated.
The first signs in dogs are weight loss, vomiting, lethargy, depression, muscle pain and sometimes diarrhea or bloody urine.
The Daily News article says Amy Tiscornia, a waitress, returned home from work to her 4-year-old pit bull Bird unable to move. The white dog’s skin and belly were glowing yellow from jaundice and his eyes, she said, “were the color of Mountain Dew.”
The dog fully recovered after three days of treatment in a Long Island animal hospital.
And after a week of round-the-clock IV and treatment at a Long Island animal hospital — amounting to a $7,000 bill — Traci Schiffer’s Boston terrier Fenway also recovered.
Both women live in the East Village and frequently take their dogs to East River Park, where the canines play in the soggy fields and puddles of still water left by the intense rains, the story noted.
A Health Department spokeswoman said it is not considered an outbreak. In 2007, 17 cases were reported in the five boroughs.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 6th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bacteria, brooklyn, contaminated, deaths, disease, dog, dogs, illness, kidenys, lepto, leptospirosis, liver, new york, puddles, raccoons, rats, sick, skunks, soil, standing water, symptoms, veterinarian, veterinary, vets
We’re branching out here at ohmidog! with the unveiling this weekend of our brand new, fresh from the smokehouse, hand-made, all-natural dog treats — “ohmidog-O’s.”
They may not save the world, but they will help a dog or two. All profits from the sale of “ohmidog-O’s” will go to animal welfare organizations — in this weekend’s case, the Maryland SPCA. We’ll be hawking them at the ohmidog! booth at Sunday’s March for the Animals.
Each bag of “ohmidog-O’s” contains three different O-shaped treats — liver niblets, a freshly ground chicken, beef and vegetable blend and dried sweet potatoes; and the label features Ace and a couple of his close canine friends.
All our raw materials came from K-9 Kraving Raw Diet Dog Food in Baltimore, one of our sponsors, where owner Bob Barrett was gracious enough to let us don aprons and funny hairnets to create our cookies out of rolled out portions of his Raw Diet Dog Food. Using circular cookie cutters we spent an afternoon carving out a thousand or so at the Boesl Packing Co., then rolled them into the smokehouse, where, after some wood chips were added to the fire for flavoring, they slow-cooked for another day.
Just today, they got the Ace seal of approval. We’ll be bagging them up, along with the sweet potato-O’s and the liver-O’s, in the days ahead and selling them at $6 a bag –a price high enough to both pay Bob for the meat and, according to my calculation, make a contribution of several hundred dollars to the SPCA, assuming of course you come to the March for the Animals and buy them.
We’ll be having some other fun and games at the ohmidog! booth as well, including our highly popular ball toss (throw a tennis ball into the ohmidog “O” and win a prize) and our renowned “Kiss My Ace” Kissing Booth and Dog Breath Emporium, which premiered at last year’s BARCStoberfest. All proceeds from those events will go the Maryland SPCA as well.
March for the Animals is Sunday, April 19 at Druid Hill Park, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Click the banner on the top of this page for more information.
And don’t forget to stop by our booth and say hello (and pick up a bag of “ohmidog-O’s”).
Posted by jwoestendiek April 16th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, baltimore, boesl packing, dog, dog treats, dogs, k-9 kraving, liver, March for the Animals, maryland, maryland spca, meet, ohmidog!, ohmidog-o's, rescue, shelter, sweet potato, treats
A Shanghai distributor of a popular brand of dog food said Monday it had suspended sales of the product following reports that dogs who ate it died from poisoning.
While China’s recent food safety scandals have centered on locally made products, it wasn’t immediately clear whether the suspicious dog food was local or imported, the Associated Press reported.
A customer service manager at Shanghai Yidi Pet Co. said the company stopped selling Optima brand dog food last week after reports that more than a dozen dogs who ate it had died from aflatoxin poisoning.
A report Monday in the Shanghai Daily newspaper said at least 20 dogs in four Chinese cities, including Beijing, had died since the end of November from liver complications from aflatoxin.
It wasn’t clear who makes the Optima brand involved in the complaints.