The true meaning of loyalty, like the true meaning of Christmas, often goes overlooked.
Leave it to a Ukranian dog named Panda to show us the epitome of the former here in the season of the latter.
After his friend Lucy was apparently injured when hit by a train, Panda reportedly spent two days at her side — on the tracks — as more oncoming trains passed over the two of them.
Malafeyev said as they approached the dogs, an oncoming train came into view, and he recorded it as it passed over the dogs.
“I saw a train approaching – and felt sick,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
“The male dog heard the sound of the approaching train, came close to the female dog and laid down next to her. Both of them pushed their heads towards the ground, and let the train pass.”
Local media in Uzhgorod published news reports about the dogs, and tabloids in the UK picked up the story, pulling out their adjectives lists to describe the “spine-tingling” but also “heartwarming” video and recounting the “harrowing” ordeal of the “terrified” dogs who faced “certain” death in the “bitter” cold.
If ever there was a dog story that didn’t need to be injected with hyperbole, this was it. But stories in the Daily Mail, The Sun and others are all oozing with it, and both overdo it a bit in describing what’s going on in the dog’s heads with human emotions.
“Loyalty” is the only one I would find acceptable, because even though there are human versions of it, I’m pretty sure dogs invented it.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 28th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, denis malafeyev, dog, dogs, dogs on tracks, emotion, emotions, facebook, human, loyalty, lucy, panda, pets, run over, tracks, train, tseglovka, ukraine, uzhgorod, video
If we can trust the source of this study — and sleazy as the source may be, we probably should — dog owners are less likely to cheat on their partners.
IllicitEncounters.com, a dating website in the UK for married people, has found that of all the pet owners using its service to start an affair, dog owners are the least represented.
The website surveyed members, finding only about 10 percent of them own dogs — a far smaller portion than in the UK’s overall population.
“There has already been a plethora of scientific studies that claim that owning a dog, or dogs, makes you happier and healthier, and now you can add loyalty to that list,” said website spokesperson Christian Grant.
Grant noted that, in a way, pet owners seem to reflect the personality of their pets, at least when it comes to dogs and cats.
Dogs are generally viewed as loyal, he said, while “a cat’s loyalty is a little more unclear. Often lazy, they’ve been known to drift to whomever is offering them more food, so it’s of little surprise to see that lack of loyalty reflected in our study.”
Fidelity is rarer among cat owners, if the study is to be believed. They make up 25 per cent of the website’s membership.
According to The Telegraph, the website surveyed 700 members of its members.
Apparently, even while juggling spouses and paramours these cheaters had time to take the survey. (We’ll assume they didn’t cheat on it.)
Of those member surveyed about 16 percent said they owned fish, 13 per cent hamsters or gerbils, 11 per cent rabbits and 11 per cent reptiles.
But the biggest disparity between the spouse cheaters — or at least hopeful spouse cheaters — and the general population was how few had dogs in their homes.
“Man’s best friend is the UK’s most popular pet, and has been for a very long time, but not among this particular community it seems,” Grant said.
The website claims it has had more than 1 million users since 2003, and it issues the following disclaimer on its opening page:
“WARNING: NOT EVERYONE IS SUITED TO HAVING AN AFFAIR. THEY ARE NOT AN ALTERNATIVE TO WORKING ON OR ENDING A MARRIAGE. NOT ALL AFFAIRS HAVE A POSITIVE EFFECT ON A MARRIAGE, SOME CAN BE VERY DAMAGING. ALWAYS CONSIDER OTHER PEOPLE AND IF YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE AN AFFAIR, PLEASE SELECT YOUR PARTNER WISELY.”
Posted by John Woestendiek September 7th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: affairs, animals, cat owners, cats, cheat, cheating, dog owners, dogs, fidelity, illicit encounters, infidelity, loyal, loyalty, members, owners, partners, personality, pets, sex, spouses, survey, types, uk, website
An Akita named Maya has become an Internet sensation after spending six days waiting at the door of a hospital in Spain for her owner to recover from surgery.
Maya was traveling home from a vacation with her owner Sandra Iniesta, 22, and Iniesta’s father, Andres Iniesta, when Sandra had to be hospitalized to have her appendix removed.
The 2-year-old Akita Inu stationed herself in front of Elda Hospital, near Alicante, and remained there until, six days later, Sandra was released.
Maya refused to budge.
Hospital staff and others brought her food during her wait.
“I think she knows what is happening and she is showing that she can be patient,” Andres Iniesta told the newspaper, Información.
The hospital put a post about Maya and her vigil on its Facebook page, and word spread from there. People started dropping by to visit her, take her photo and bring her gifts.
“She is just doing what she does in Barcelona,” Sandra later wrote on Twitter, after her release. “Whenever I go inside some place or another, she waits for me at the door.”
The loyalty of the Akita is the stuff of legends, the most famous being the Japanese dog Hachiko, who, after his owner died of a stroke at his office, continued to go to the train station to wait for him for 10 years.
This public service ad from France lays it on a little thick — but maybe that’s what’s necessary to get through to humans so thickheaded and coldhearted that they would abandon a dog.
Launched by French animal welfare group, Foundation 30 Million D’Amis (30 Million Friends), the video begins with a dog at his owner’s side in the hospital.
Through flashbacks we learn the owner had driven his dog to a remote area, ordered him to stay, and then drove off.
When he spots the dog in his rear view mirror running after his car he has an accident — and guess who saves him?
Each year in France, tens of thousands of pets are abandoned — most of them during the summer.
NPR reported a few years back that many such abandonments take place while families are on vacation:
“Every summer an estimated 100,000 domestic animals are abandoned in France by owners who say they are unable to take them along or find someone to look after them,” the report said.
The ad — just the latest in an ongoing campaign by humane organizations against abandonment — is being shown online and on French television.
If nothing else, it reminds us which species is the more loyal.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 17th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 30 million friends, abandon, abandoned, abandonment, ad, animal welfare, animals, campaign, dog, dog owners, dogs, france, french, loyalty, pet owners, pets, public service, summer, television, video
It may be a dog in Japan who is most famous for demonstrating the true meaning of loyalty, but the vigil of a Montana dog, named Shep, is at least equally heart-wrenching.
The story of Shep’s vigil begins, almost eerily, the year after the death of Hachiko, the Akita who, after his master died, famously waited for him every day at a train station for nearly 10 years.
Hachiko would accompany his master, a university professor, to the train station every morning, and be waiting for him when he returned. When his master didn’t get off the train one day, having died while at work, Hachiko continued going to the train station every day for nine years and nine months, until he died in 1935.
In 1936, a sheep herder in Montana took ill and was taken to St. Clare Hospital in Fort Benton. His dog followed him into town, and waited outside the hospital.
A nun who ran the kitchen at the hospital brought the dog food as he stood vigil for the next several days, until the sheep herder, whose name has been lost to history, died.
His body was put into a coffin and taken to the train station in Fort Benton to be shipped to his family back east.
As it was loaded onto the train, Shep was there watching. Reportedly, he whimpered as the door slammed shut and the train pulled away,
The dog chased the train for a while, then turned back.
For the next five and a half years, Shep, believed to be a collie mix, never left the train station. He lived underneath the train platform, and would greet each train that stopped — about four a day — in hopes of seeing his master.
According to FortBenton.com, Shep “eyed each passenger hopefully, and was often chased off as a mongrel but never completely discouraged. Neither the heat of summer days nor the bitter Montana winter days prevented Shep from meeting the next train.
“As Shep’s fame spread, people came from everywhere to see him, to photograph him, and to try and make friends and possibly adopt him. All of the attention was somewhat unwelcome; after checking the train he often retired quickly to get away from those who came to see him. Most people missed the point that Shep was a one-man dog.”
Railroad employees fed Shep, and the story of his vigil was carried in the old “Believe it Or Not” newspaper feature, and picked up by other news media of the day.
As time went on, though, Shep was slowing down, probably arthritic, and he had grown hard of hearing.
One day in 1942, unable to hear an arriving train and too slow and frail to get off the icy tracks, Shep was struck and killed.
His death made headlines and thousands of people sent in condolences.
Hundreds attended his funeral, at which a boy scout troop carried Shep in his coffin up to a bluff and buried him.
An obelisk and sign mark the spot of his burial, and 50 years after his death the town of Fort Benton commissioned a statue memorializing Shep, which now sits alongside the Missouri River.
NBC’s Dateline carried a short report about Shep last week:
Posted by John Woestendiek January 12th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, dateline, dog, dogs, fort benton, hachiko, loyalty, master, memorial, missouri, montana, pets, sheep herder, shep, statue, train, train station, vigil, waiting
The pit bull, named Precious, sat by her owner as firefighters worked to extinguish a fire at their home yesterday, and they say she acted aggressively when they tried to approach the woman.
Eventually, firefighters sprayed the dog with a fire extinguisher, giving them time to get the woman onto a stretcher.
But it’s not the dog’s behavior that’s leading to her banishment; it’s merely the fact that she’s a pit bull.
The fire broke out at the home in Landover Hills early Wednesday morning.
The woman and her father were taken to an area hospital, and both are expected to be OK, according to NBC4 in Washington.
But they won’t be getting Precious back.
“It’s sad. I love that dog,” said the owner’s son.
The county passed a law banning pit bulls nearly 20 years ago.
According to a task force report, the county spends $186 per day per dog to confiscate, maintain and “dispose” of pit bulls — and between $250,000 and $500,000 a year on pit bull related costs.
Precious and two other family dogs are being held in a Prince George’s County animal shelter.
Officials say Precious won’t be put down, and that the family will be given time to find family or friends who live outside Prince George’s County to take the dog, and one of their two other dogs, who is also a pit bull.
If that doesn’t happen, the county will place the dogs with a rescue group or shelter elsewhere.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 3rd, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ban, bans, breed, dog, dogs, fire, law, loyal, loyalty, maryland, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, prince georges county, specific
There is really only one reason we duly report on the latest robot dogs hitting the market, or headed that way: To show how sadly lacking in intelligence our own species is.
To think that technology — even WiFi-equipped technology — can replace a living, breathing dog is, after all, folly.
Nevertheless, the robot dogs keep coming as toy makers continue their futile effort to duplicate dog.
Expected to hit the market late next year is a dog called CHiP, which stands for Canine Home Intelligent Pet.
CHiP will be the first robot dog that’s able to show something resembling loyalty.
Even with that though, we don’t predict much of a future for CHiP. Still being fine tuned by a company called WowWee, CHiP will likely go the way of all robot dogs, from Sony’s AIBO to iCybee — into the garbage.
How CHiP differs from earlier versions of robot dogs — and there have been a few — is basically this. It has sensors that allow it to locate its ball and its bed and you, and it is equipped with Bluetooth, allowing you to connect with it from a band worn on your wrist.
This means it can do a cheap and phony imitation of one thing that up to now only real dogs could do: Get excited when you walk through the front door (assuming you program it to do so).
How sad a little life does the grown-up person who would do that have?
You get out of your car, pause at the front doorstep, tap your futuristic wrist band a few times, and presto, Chip will be waiting for you with tail a-wagging the second you unlock the door.
The $199 black-and-white robot pup, which won’t hit the marketplace until sometime next year, is said to have more smarts than its predecessors.
The head alone has an array of carefully hidden infrared sensors that give it a 360-degree view, which it uses to find its special ball and charging bed. Yes, it can perform a variaton of fetch. Yes,it can put itself to sleep at night and wake up all recharged and ready to go. Yes, it can even be “trained”.
With its Bluetooth and special “Smart Band,” Mashable.com reports, owners can, rather than displaying real love by petting their dog, send their dog “likes,” reinforcing those behaviors they want to make a regular part of the dog’s repertoire.
Mashable says CHiP looks like a cute, big-headed puppy (we disagree). We think, with it wheels, and shiny white plastic coat, and 360-degree sight line, it more resembles a freakish hybrid between dog and army tank, between Linda Blair in “The Exorcist” and a “Star Wars” storm trooper.
“It does seem alive,” Mashable reports, adding that the robot dog’s tricks include sitting, squatting, shimmying, dancing around and making dog sounds.
We can think of only one proper home for such a dog — with the kind of person who wants none of the responsibility of dog ownership, prefers superficial relationships and probably shouldn’t have a real dog in the first place.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 11th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aibo, animals, bluetooth, canine home intelligent pet, chip, dog, dogs, equipped, icybee, loyal, loyalty, pets, robot, robot dogs, robots, technology, toys, wifi, wowwee