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Tag: maggie

Deaf N.C. pit bull finds new home with deaf woman in Niagara Falls

A deaf pit bull from North Carolina has a new home with a deaf woman in Niagara Falls.

Jessica Czamara read about Maggie on Facebook after the neglected dog was rescued from a backyard in North Carolina, where she’d been kept chained.

“She was very skinny and you could see her ribs and you could see where she sat all the time on the concrete, said Maria Sansone with Diamonds in the Ruff. “All the hair was worn off of the back of her legs.”

A friend of Czamara spotted the dog on the rescue organization’s Facebook page, and referred her to the post.

“I feel like I could relate to the dog because I’m deaf, and the dog is deaf,” Czamara told WGRZ in Buffalo. “There are some things that the dog does that we do in the deaf community.”

Czamara is teaching Maggie commands in sign language and says she’s responding well, and Maggie’s getting along fine with her other dog, Champ.

“It’s amazing,” said Kate Stephens with Educate-a-Bull, which assisted in getting Maggie relocated. “It’s absolutely amazing to see pictures of her intially and then bring her up on transport and take her out and meet her .. and to see her so well fitted to her new family, her home and her new brother.”

Stephens said the dog’s former owner had “all but forgotten her and left her out there and hadn’t bothered to name her because she was deaf.”

Now Maggie’s got a name, a home, and a human companion who probably understands her better than most.

“To get her attention, I have to pat her or wave to her,” Czamara said. “The same thing with deaf people you have to touch them on the shoulder or wave in their vision. And she’s funny and how she plays.”

“She’s just such a sweet dog. She gives lots of kisses,” Czamara said. “She’s a great addition to our family.”

Elephant treadmill will train Iditarod dogs

maggieWhat do you do with an ever-so-slightly used $100,000 elephant treadmill?

If you’re a zoo in Alaska, you do the same thing you did with your captive elephant – admit it was a mistake and find it a new home.

The Alaska Zoo had the treadmill custom made so that Maggie the elephant — fat, cold and lonely being the only elephant in Alaska — could get some exercise in her otherwise cramped quarters. When the zoo finally came to its senses and shipped Maggie to a sanctuary in northern California, that left them with a contraption that wasn’t in too great demand. Not the sort of thing you can put out at the yard sale. Though the zoo did try selling it on Craigslist.

While the zoo didn’t get paid for the treadmill, they did find a home for it: Iditarod musher Martin Buser has hauled it to his kennel to be used to train his dogs for the 1,150-mile race, the Alaska Dispatch reports.

While he won’t have it reassembled in time to train dogs for the coming race, Buser, a four-time Iditarod winner, expects to use it in the future. Built for an 8,000-pound elephant, it’s 10,000 pounds and 22 feet long, more than big enough to let a whole team of dogs run on at once.

elephant_treadmillAt Buser’s Happy Trails Kennels, he plans to use it to let his dogs run long distances while getting nowhere, invite scientists to use it to learn more about sled dogs, and possibly entertain tourists who want to see a team of dogs run long distances without getting anywhere — like the Iditarod, only without the freezing cold or the breathtaking scenery.

Maggie the elephant left the Alaska Zoo in 2007, after several years of controversy over whether she should ever have been brought there in the first place.

The treadmill was the zoo’s attempt to get Maggie exercising through Alaska’s long winters. It was one of the steps the zoo took to improve her controversial and cramped living conditions. Critics argued she should be in a warmer climate , with more open space, where she could walk outdoors year-round and be with other elephants.

But the zoo decided to try the treadmill experiment first. It didn’t work out, zoo officials admitted. Maggie would have nothing to do with the treadmill – an objection to which we can relate.

At that point, the zoo gave up and loaded Maggie on an Air Force C-17 for a flight to northern California, where, thanks in part to funding from animal activist/game show host Bob Barker, she’s living the rest of her life at ARK 2000, an animal sanctuary in San Andreas operated by the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).

After Maggie left town, Buser called the zoo and inquired about the machine. In exchange for the treadmill, Buser added the zoo to his list of official sponsors.

In addition to drawing tourists, Buser says the treadmill will allow for closer scientific research of his sled dogs. Instruments like oxygen consumption masks and heart rate monitors can yield valuable information, but can’t be used when the dogs are running outside.

Sled dogs cruise at 10 to 12 mph, the Swiss-born Buser said, but he’d like to get the treadmill up to 20 mph so he can put his dogs through some speed workouts. Buser said he probably won’t get his dogs on the treadmill until after the coming Iditarod, which has its ceremonial start in Anchorage on March 6.

Down Fido: Dogs names getting more human

Classic dog names — like Fido, Lassie, Rover and Spot –are continuing to fall out of use, replaced by more human monikers, according to the annual pet name survey by Veterinary Pet Insurance.

The nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance has again analyzed its database of more than 466,000 insured pets to find the most popular dog and cat names.

In 2008, VPI reports, Max, Bailey, Bella, Molly and Lucy were the most popular dog names. It was the sixth straight year Max has topped the list.

Only 13 dogs in VPI’s database went by Fido in 2008, placing the name at No. 2,866. Rover came in at No. 2,534.

In fact, VPI says, the list of most common dog names is beginning to look a lot like the list of most common baby names. Some of the most popular dog names — Bella, Chloe, Sophie and Bailey – also rank among the Social Security Administration’s most popular baby names.

Marley, we were surprised to see, didn’t make the top 10; maybe next year.

“Pets are often viewed as members of the family, treated like members of the family and, as a result, named like members of the family,” said Curtis Steinhoff, senior director of corporate communications for VPI. “Max may sleep on his owner’s bed, eat gourmet food and wear clothes to go out on the town. Rover probably does not.”

Since last year’s results, the most notable increase in any name has been Bailey, which was No. 9 in 2007. Other changes in 2008 include the addition of Sophie (No. 9) and Chloe (No. 10). Jake and Rocky fell off the list.

To view more names on the uncommon end of the list, visit www.wackypetnames.com. As for the most popular names, here are the lists.

      Dogs                    Cats
    1. Max                 1. Max
    2. Bailey               2. Chloe
    3. Bella                 3. Tigger
    4. Molly                4. Tiger
    5. Lucy                 5. Lucy
    6. Buddy               6. Smokey
    7. Maggie             7. Oliver
    8. Daisy                8. Bella
    9. Sophie              9. Shadow
    10. Chloe             10. Charlie

(Photo from pawpottery.com)