Her poodle Norman ate her airline ticket — and that was the least of her problems.
Rhode, seeking to become the first American to win individual medals at five Summer Games in a row, went to the airport in Los Angeles on Friday intending to fly to Copenhagen for training camp.
Flight cancellations forced her to miss training camp, and instead she later flew directly to London — after being reissued a ticket because her four -month-old dog, who she referred to as “hell on wheels” ate the first one.
She finally arrived in London Tuesday, AFP reports.
“My dog ate my ticket,” said Rhode, 33. ” … I know that sounds crazy but I can honestly say and I have the pictures to prove that really happened. It’s not just an excuse.”
Rhode, who is taking part in women’s trap and skeet, said she was looking forward to the arrival of her teammates on Wednesday.
“Some of them sent me some well wishes on Twitter and Facebook. I know they’re having a blast in Denmark. They’ve gone and seen ZZ Top and have been training really hard — a lot of team-building going on there. I’m kind of bummed that I missed that,” she added.
Rhode is seeking her fifth straight medal and her third gold overall.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 2012, airline, animals, arrival, ate, cancellations, delays, dog, dogs, kim rhode, late, london, norman, olympic, olympics, pets, poodle, shooting, team, ticket, training camp, u.s.
In another month, he’ll be trying to bring home some gold, but it was back in November that Michael Phelps went to New York for a “Today Show” appearance and came back to Baltimore with a dog.
The olympic swimmer was there to talk about his training regimen — and it was the same day the show was presenting another segment in its Bow To Wow series, in which shelter dogs get makeovers.
Now renamed Stella, the dog is doing fine, Debbie Phelps, Michael’s mother, reports, and she’s getting along well with Michael’s other dog, a bulldog named Herman.
Michael’s mom told MSNBC that Michael plans to teach Stella to swim soon — maybe once the Olympics are out of the way.
(Photos: Top, MSNBC; close-up by by Lisa Dixon)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, adopts, animals, appearance, baltimore, bow to wow, bulldog, catahoula, dog, dogs, from bow to wow, gold, herman, london, makeovers, medals, michael phelps, mix, nbc, new york, olympics, penelope, pets, shelter, stella, swimmer, swimming, today show
But it turned out not be hers.
And it turned out to have been dyed pink for a good cause — dyeing for a cause being slightly more tolerable than dyeing for no reason at all.
So like a lot of celebrity stories, it wasn’t much of a story at all.
Initial reports said Watson owned the dog, which was described by the Daily Mail as “a shocking shade of bubblegum pink.”
That article and others quoted PETA officials and veterinarians who questioned the practice, as well as the groomer who pinkified the dog, who says the vegetable-based dyes he uses are harmless.
Some news reports called the dog, named Darcy, a Maltese, others referred to her as a bichon frise.
But the 23-year-old Harry Potter star got on Twitter to magically set the record straight: She doesn’t own a dog. She was just walking Darcy for a friend, who had the dog temporarily dyed pink in connection with a breast cancer research fundraiser.
(Photo: GoffPhotos.com / Daily Mail)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: actress, animals, bichon frise, breast cancer, cancer, dog, dogs, dye, dyed, dyeing, emma watson, fundraising, groomer, london, maltese, news, pets, pink, research, walking
I’m looking forward to seeing “Tabloid” — the new Errol Morris documentary about the 1978 scandal that saw a beauty queen from America go to London to track down the object of her affection (a Mormon missionary named Kirk), kidnap him, according to police, and, if you believe the court testimony, have her way with him against his will.
That’s because, for better and worse, that woman, Joyce McKinney, changed the course of my life, too.
Thirty years after the scandal that erupted when McKinney tried to reclaim, one way or another, the man she saw as her one true love, I would spend more than 100 hours on the phone with her as she went about an equally — or perhaps even more — dogged pursuit.
“Tabloid,” the documentary, focuses on the scandal and all the fun the British press had with McKinney’s exploits — from her arrest on charges of abducting the young missionary named Kirk and keeping him tied up in a cottage in the countryside, to the celebrity status she enjoyed after her release from jail, to her fleeing the country before trial disguised as a member of a deaf mime troupe.
My book focuses on dog cloning, the first commercial customer of which was that same Joyce Bernann McKinney. In 2009, McKinney became the first person in the world – unassociated with the fledgling business – to pay to have her dog cloned, a deceased pit bull named Booger.
My book revisits the old scandal, too, because, to me, there seemed to be some similarities between reclaiming Kirk and cloning Booger.
As suggested in ”DOG INC.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend,” both were attempts to, at any cost, recapture lost love — one through feminine wiles, if not force, the other through science.
As if her life hadn’t already oozed enough pathos and irony, McKinney’s attempt to resurrect Booger, or at least bring a genetically identical copy of him back into the world, would lead to an embarassing resurfacing of the old scandal. While doing news media interviews, in exchange for a discount on her cloning bill, she was recognized as the women who, as the British tabloids told the story at the time, manacled and raped the young Mormon missionary.
By 2000, McKinney had thought the scandal was finally behind her. She’d gone on to a new life by then, after years as recluse, living with her dogs and other animals, first in North Carolina, then in California. In California, she began using the name Bernann instead of Joyce and, having not lost her soft spot for dogs, continued taking in abandoned and unwanted pit bulls.
All were loved, but none were Booger, a dog she found on the highway in North Carolina who she says later saved her life when she was attacked by another of her dogs. After that, Booger went on to become her unofficial service dog, helping her with the day to day tasks her injuries made difficult.
After Booger died, she sought to have him cloned — first through an American company that was working with Texas A & M University to clone a dog. That research was funded by John Sperling, founder of the University of Phoenix. Unable to produce a canine clone, Texas A & M dropped the project. Scientists at Seoul National University picked up the research and cloned the world’s first dog, Snuppy, in 2005. McKinney then signed on with a South Korean company that had formed after that success.
McKinney first contacted me while I was a reporter at the Baltimore Sun, after I ran an item about dog cloning on the newspaper’s pet blog that mentioned a then-anonymous woman who was paying $150,000 to have her dog cloned.
So began a conversation that would continue, off and on, for a year, and lead me to quit my job, travel to Korea, and write a book about dog cloning.
While we hit it off initially — both being dog lovers, both being from North Carolina — McKinney, as the months went on, would grow angry with me often. The first time was when I told her that, rather than writing a book with her about Booger, I wanted to write a book that looked at dog cloning overall — how the new business got started, how it was being marketed, and the animal welfare concerns it raised.
That would be the first of our many “break-ups.” But always, she would eventually call me back, updating me and seeking assistance with this or that.
On her trip to meet the newborn clones, during which she appeared globally in TV interviews, someone made the connection, raising the possibility, later confirmed, that the woman cloning her dog and the “Mormon manacler” were one in the same. She blamed me for that, though I had nothing to do with it.
She had feared there was a possibility that might happen. I was pretty sure it would. (Although I had written a newspaper story by then, it didn’t mention the 1970s scandal; at the time she had only vaguely referred to it and I had only reached 99 percent certainty that she was the same woman — a fact that she would confirm, and go into great detail about, later.)
After another period of silence, she reconnected with me again, this time asking me to go with her to pick up the clones. She wanted me to pretend I was handicapped so that I could claim one of the clones was my service dog, and she — if she found three more conspirators — could avoid having them fly home in the jet’s cargo hold.
For ethical reasons, I declined. But she still stayed in touch during her trip to pick up and return the dogs, an effort that didn’t go smoothly, as you can read in this excerpt from “DOG, INC.”
Back home with her clones, her troubles continued. At one point, all five clones, and her other dogs, were seized and impounded by animal control, though she managed to reclaim them.
After an argument, she moved out of the house she shared with a friend, bounced with the clones from motel to motel, and eventually moved back in.
That was about the time she was contacted by Morris.
I’m sure Morris, as was the case with me, found that dealing with her, to put it mildly, had some ups and downs. She, while appearing with one of the clones at an early screening of the movie, denounced its accuracy, even as Morris stood next to her.
I won’t see it until this weekend, but I’d guess, from what I’ve seen of previews and knowing the work of Morris, it fairly portrays all sides. And given his trademark style of turning on the camera and letting the subject talk into it, I’m sure McKinney gets ample chance to share her version.
I’ve only spoken with her once since my book came out, when she called, enraged, having seen a reference to it in a newspaper. She hadn’t read it by then, but denounced it, too, adding that I had no right to tell her story — either that of the scandal or that of the cloning.
McKinney told me repeatedly she didn’t want to see the two stories overlap — for she saw one as “tabloid filth” and the other — cloning her dog — as pure and heartwarming. Her hope is to start a center where pit bulls can be trained to be service dogs. She wants to call it Booger’s Place.
Some of those who see the movie, or for that matter read my book, may see her as manipulative and devious. Some may see her, in connection with the scandal, as a woman who holds little respect for the boundaries society imposes. Some may see her, in connection with cloning, as a person who was willing to jump over those nature imposes, as well. Some may see her, overall, as a person who will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
I’ll say this much: She is without a doubt the most determined person I’ve ever known.
(John will be discussing and signing copies of “DOG, INC.” from 6 to 8 p.m. at Barnhills, 811 Burke St., in Winston-Salem.)
(John will be speaking after the 3:30 and 6 p.m. showings of “Tabloid” at the Aperture Cinema, 311 W. Fourth St., in Winston-Salem, this Sunday, Aug. 21.)
(For more information on “DOG, INC.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend, click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 17th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abducted, author, booger, british, clone, cloned, cloning, documentary, dog inc., england, errol morris, john woestendiek, joyce mckinney, kidnap, kinky sex, kirk, london, manacles, media, missionary, mormon, newspapers, pit bull, press, rape, scandal, sex, sex scandal, snuppy, south korea, tabloid
A London police officer who left two police dogs in the back of his car tried to kill himself upon learning both of them had died, The Toronto Star is reporting.
The two dogs, a Belgian Malinois named Chay and a five-month-old German shepherd puppy called Milly, died Sunday after Sgt. Ian Craven allegedly left the animals in the back of an unventilated car at the police force’s dog training centre in the London suburb of Keston.
The RSPCA told the Star that officers were somehow made aware that the two dogs were in the back of the vehicle during the day. They smashed the windows, pulled the animals out and doused them with water. By the time the dogs were taken to a vet, they had died.
The Star cited British media reports that claimed Craven slashed his wrists when he learned that the two dogs had died. Police refused to confirm whether those reports were true.
“Two dogs have died that shouldn’t have,” Police Commander Bob Broadhurst told Reuters.
The incident is being investigated by the RSPCA, and Craven, 49, could face animal cruelty charges.
This is the second time the officer — a 30-year veteran of the force — is alleged to have left animals to die in the backseat of his car. In 2004, he was reprimanded for allegedly leaving a spaniel in a car on a July day. That dog also died, the Star reported.
According to The Guardian, police did confirm that an on-duty officer had abruptly left his post on Sunday, the same day the dogs died, causing other officers to fear for his safety. He was found with hand injuries and taken to a hospital.
Police would not identify the officer and said it wasn’t known if the wounds were self-inflicted.
“While we do not doubt that this was a tragic accident, we would have thought that the Met Police dog unit should be setting an example to others,” said Jan Creamer, chief executive of Animal Defenders International.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 29th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, attempt, belgian malinois, chay, death, die, dogs, dogs left in cars, german shepherd, guardian, heat, heat-related deaths, ian craven, K-9, keston, left in car, london, london police, milly, news, police dogs, reports, rspca, slashed, suicide, toronto star, uk, wrists
His own dog’s DNA helped convict a reputed gang member in south London of the murder of a 16-year-old.
Oluwaseyi Ogunyemi was killed in a “vicious” attack by a gang of youths who set upon him and his friends with their dogs. One of the dogs, a Staffordshire bull terrier-bull mastiff cross called Tyson, brought Ogunyemi down as he tried to climb over a fence, after which the youth was stabbed six times by its owner Chrisdian Johnson.
Johnson was arrested as he fled the scene of the murder last April, bare-chested and covered in blood.
New DNA technology proved by a billion-to-one probability that some of the blood on Johnson came from his dog Tyson, who had been knifed during the fighting. The rest came from Ogunyemi.
Johnson was also found guilty of the attempted murder of Seyi’s 17-year-old friend Hurui Hiyabum, whom he stabbed nine times.
Scientists used DNA profiling to prove that samples collected during the investigation were a billion times more likely to come from two specific dogs involved in the attack than any other animals, the BBC reported.
Police hailed the dog DNA technology, which had just been developed at the time of the murder, as a “hugely powerful investigative tool”.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 19th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal, attack, beating, chrisdian johnson, convicted, courts, crime, dna, dogs, gang, gangs, guilty, investigation, law, london, mauling, member, murder, news, oluwaseyi ogunyemi, pets, pit bulls, stabbing, technology, tyson, verdict
French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot creates works by drawing on the rhythms of daily life to produce sound in unexpected ways.
For his installation in The Curve in London, Boursier-Mougenot created a walk-though aviary for a flock of zebra finches, furnished with electric guitars and other musical instruments. As the birds go about their routine activities, perching on or feeding from the various pieces of equipment, they create a captivating, live soundscape.
The exhibit runs from Feb. 27 to May 23.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 6th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, art, aviary, birds, boursier-mougenot, celeste boursier-mougenot, electric guitars, exhibit, instruments, life, london, nature, rhythms, soundscape, the curve, zebra finches
A new wave of dogfighting is sweeping England, resulting in a 12-fold increase in dogfights since 2004.
And most practitioners — about two of every three — are youths, the Royal SPCA says.
A BBC report quotes RSPCA officials as saying a ban on four breeds, including pit bulls, has done little to slow the spread of dogfighting, or dogs biting people, and that a change in the law is needed.
The new wave of dog fighting, known as “chain fighting” or “rolling,” involves fights held in inner city public parks, on private estates and even in apartment elevators where ”young people, often gangs of young people … put two dogs in a lift at the top of the block of flats and will press the button and let the dogs fight until they get to the bottom,” the RPSCA’s Claire Robinson told BBC News. Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek October 5th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: attacks, ban, bites, breed, breeds, chain fighting, dog, dogfighting, dogs, elevators, enforcement, england, fighting, gangs, increase, law, london, parks, rolling, royal spca, rspca, surge, uk, young, youth
Elle Macpherson’s labradoodle is starring in a national advertising campaign as the face of Dogside.com, a dog fashion brand.
The brand boasts that five-year-old Bella is ideal for showing off its leads, coats, scarves and bowls for “today’s stylish urban dog.”
Macpherson, 46 – known as ”The Body” during her modeling days, known as a millionaire businesswoman now — has her own lingerie and cosmetics lines, and has often been photographed walking Bella near her Notting Hill home, according to London’s Daily Mail. Bella is being promoted as “The Dog’s Body.”
Macpherson is said to be receiving a five-figure sum for her dog’s work.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 28th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advertising, animals, bella, campaign, dog, dogs, dogside, dogside.com, elle mcpherson, england, fashion, labradoodle, london, model, modeling, pets, urban dog
A 12-week-old Chihuahua named Smokey survived two days with a barbecue fork in his head.
Smokey was being fed some table scraps at a backyard barbecue in London, Kentucky, when the person scraping scraps into his dish used the fork to shoo away another dog. The handle broke, sending the prongs flying into the dog’s skull, said veterinarian Mark Smith.
Smokey immediately ran off into the woods, where he hid for two days. When Smokey finally returned home, he was alive, and the large fork was still stuck in his head.
He was rushed to the Cumberland Valley Animal Hospital where Dr. Smith, after taking X-rays, anesthetized Smokey, disinfected the area around the fork, and simply pulled it out.
Smokey is recovering. “His nerve endings around the eye still seem to be a little slow but I think that will heal over time, he really is a little miracle,” a second veterinarian said.
Dr. Smith ordered six weeks of bed rest for Smokey, most of which will be spent in a crate.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 15th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animal hospital, back yard, barbecue, barbeque, brain, chihuahua, cranium, cumberland valley, dog, dogs, fork, freak, head, kentucky, london, penetrate, pets, runaway, smokey, stuck, survives, utensil