In Elkmont, Alabama, on a Saturday earlier this month, April Hamlin let her big ol’ hound out the door to pee.
Prone to wandering a bit, the dog, named Ludivine, ended up about a quarter mile away, at the starting area of a half marathon.
She mingled with the runners and, when the race started, she ran the entire 13.1-mile course.
Ludivine came in seventh, with an unofficial time of 1:32:56
Then she started receiving texts and photos of Ludivine at the finish line.
“All I did was open the door, and she ran the race on her own accord,” Hamlin, 43, told Runner’s World.
“My first reaction was that I was embarrassed and worried that she had possibly gotten in the way of the other runners.”
Her second reaction was that marathons aren’t normally Ludivine’s style.
“She’s laid back and friendly, so I can’t believe she ran the whole half marathon because she’s actually really lazy,” Hamlin said.
Ludivine — the name is a shortened translation of “divine light” in French — often strolls around Elkmont on her own. The town has about 400 residents, most of which know Ludivine.
“She came bouncing up, and I petted her on the head,” said Tim Horvath, one of Ludivine’s fellow runners in the inaugural Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon. “… Elkmont is a small town where everyone knows everybody, so it didn’t strike me as unusual.”
Ludivine managed to place seventh despite detouring to romp through streams, sniff the grass in a few yards, check out some mules and cows in a field and investigate a dead rabbit, runners said.
Once she crossed the finish line, she slowed to a walk. Volunteers put a medal around her neck and started taking photos.
The race was held to raise funds for the cross country team at Elkmont High School.
“It’s the first half marathon in Elkmont, and the people who started it are parents of the kids who run cross country … Our school system doesn’t have a ton of money for cross country, Hamlin said.
“Because of this dog, they are getting so much publicity, and I think that’s the best part.”
(Photos: Ludivine approaching the finish line, and showing off her medal, from the Elkmont Half Marathon Facebook page)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 26th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alabama, animals, bloodhound, completes, dog, dogs, elkmont, finish line, half marathon, hound, ludivine, marathon, pee, pets, race
Buttercup can thank dog for being alive.
The Key West cat received a blood transfusion from a dog last month — not an unknown procedure, but a pretty rare one.
It’s called xenotransfusion, and according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine only 62 cats have been known to undergo the procedure.
On Sept. 16, Dr. Sean Perry from the Marathon Veterinary Hospital pumped the blood of a greyhound into an orange tabby, in hopes of increasing the cat’s red blood cell count.
Veterinarians decided to use dog blood they had on hand after learning that suitable cat blood could take weeks to receive.
“It’s a situation where you can’t give type A blood to a type B blood cat because it’ll cause a severe immune reaction,” Perry said. “It was actually safer to give the cat dog’s blood.”
Buttercup’s owner, Ernie Saunders, brought the cat to the vet after it became lethargic, ABC reported.
After a few tests, veterinarians learned Buttercup’s red blood cell count was down to 7 percent. Cats should have a red blood cell count of at least 35 percent, Perry said.
“Cat’s blood is a little harder to come by and not as available as dog’s blood,” Perry said. “We had greyhound blood packs that we get from a blood bank that has red blood cells separated from plasma. Buttercup showed no signs of rejection during the transfusion.”
Perry said as far as veterinarians know, cats are the only animal that accept transfused blood from dogs, and that after it is done once it can’t be done again.
Since the procedure, Saunders said Buttercup has been more active.
In addition to learning about xenotransfusion, Saunders learned something else from the vet visit.
Buttercup, who he thought was a female, is a male.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 15th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, blood, buttercup, cat, cat blood, dog, dog blood, florida, health, key west, marathon, medicine, pets, transfusion, veterinary, xenotransfusion
A 19-year-old survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing was told her service dog was not allowed to walk the aisles of a TJ Maxx in New Hampshire.
Sydney Corcoran says she was shopping at the store in Nashua when a store manager said her service dog needed to be placed in a store-supplied “carriage” or leave the store.
Corcoran suffered shrapnel wounds in the bombing and her mother, Celeste, lost both legs. Sydney Corcoran got Koda, her service dog, to help her deal with post-trauamatic stress disorder.
“He’s crucial to my everyday life now,” she told WCVB.
Last Thursday, Koda was wearing his service dog vest when a manager approached and said, “If you want to keep your dog in the store, you have to put him in the carriage.” Sydney said she informed the manager that Koda is a service dog and that he wouldn’t be able to fit comfortably in the carriage. The manager, she said, told her the carriage was a new policy, and that she was required to comply.
“She said, ‘I’m sorry.’ And I said, ‘That’s not good enough. You should have known,'” Celeste said. “You just made someone with an emotional disorder so much worse.”
She added, “There are so many people with invisible, silent injuries — and the public needs to be aware that their service animals are sometimes their lifeline.”
TJ Maxx said in a statement: “We are taking this customer matter very seriously. Customers with disabilities who are accompanied by their service animals are welcome in our stores at any time.
“We have looked into the particulars regarding this customer’s experience and deeply regret that our procedures were not appropriately followed in this instance. We are taking actions which we believe are appropriate, including working with our stores to reinforce the acceptance of service animals.”
(Photos: Top, Sydney and Celeste Corcoran with Koda, WCVB; bottom, Celeste and Sydney in this year’s Boston Marathon, Reuters)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 14th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: americans with disabilities, apology, bomb, boston, boston marathon bombing, celeste corcoran, disabilities, federal, koda, law, marathon, new hampshire, post traumatic stress disorder, service dog, store, survivor, sydney corcoran, tj maxx