Once called H.D. — for Homeless Dog — and now known as Bear-Bear, a chow mix has been living for years with the homeless who come, go and camp along the railroad tracks on the southern edge of downtown Greensboro.
Greensboro News-Record columnist Jeri Rowe says it has been at least four years since he first noticed Bear-Bear — a reclusive sort, a bit skittish when it comes to outsiders — and some say she has been around for as many as eight.
“I’ve tried to get close,” Rowe wrote in a column about the dog yesterday. “Can’t. She runs away and disappears like the wind. But minutes later, she’ll reappear out of nowhere — staring, making sure I don’t get anywhere close … Bear-Bear is like an afternoon shadow. She bobs and weaves in between the spindly oaks beside the homeless camp and disappears only to come back minutes later, atop her knoll of dirt to lie in the sun.”
Bear-Bear serves as guardian and mascot of the homeless encampment and, in exchange, gets enough handouts to survive — like dog biscuits, spaghetti, Hamburger Helper and whatever else her human counterparts might be able to scrounge up, Rowe noted:
“She fascinates me. She’s beautiful with a thick coat of fur that shines black, brown, cinnamon and cream in the winter sun…But what gets me is … that the very people who desperately need help are the very people who help her.”
Rowe writes that he ran into the dog most recently while attending a seminar on homelessness at the Interactive Resource Center, which provides services to the needy, sometimes more than 250 of them a day.
Rowe talked with one of Bear-Bear’s caretakers — a 48-year-old man who has gout in both legs, walks with a cane,and has a bad heart. The first time they met, Rowe wrote, the man, named Keith, wore a t-shirt that said “Don’t Analyze Me. It’s a Deep Dark Hole, and You Don’t Want To Go There.”
Keith lives in a tent near the hole Bear-Bear sleeps in, and shares his food with her:
“I’m out here, and I get help, so why not help her?” Keith told him. “Ain’t an abundant supply of wild animals to eat, and we know she has to eat. We feed her. Everybody loves her…
“She is pretty smart. She has survived like we have, and you know, it goes to show you, it don’t make no difference how hard it gets. You can still survive through thick and thin.”
(Photo: H. Scott Hoffman / Greensboro News-Record)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 5th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bear, bear-bear, camp, chow, column, columnist, dog, dogs, greensboro, guardian, hd, homeless, homeless dog, jeri row, mascot, news-record, north carolina, pets
Reports from citizens about a lion on the loose in Norfolk led police to check in with the Virginia Zoo to make sure both of its lions were in their cages.
And that piqued the interest of Virginia Zoo Director Greg Bockheim (above) enough to track down the alleged cat, who turned out to be a dog.
It wasn’t the first time that Charles the Monarch — a Labradoodle shaved to look like a lion — has been mistaken for being king of the jungle, or the first time police were called about him.
Police received a morning call about a baby lion on the loose, on Colley Avenue near 50th Street. The first thing officers did was make sure both of Norfolk’s real lions, Mramba and Zola, remained in their cages at the zoo, the Virginian-Pilot reported.
Later, they realized the animal on the loose was Charles, whose owner has him shaved to look like the mascot of Old Dominion University.
Owner Daniel Painter said Charles — who has his own page on Facebook – typically hangs out at his business, Daniel’s Lawn and Garden Center, on Colley Avenue.
“I tell people he’s a Lab-a-lion, and half the people believe that,” he said.
Painter said police have told him before they’ve received reports about the dog from callers who thought he was a lion. Painter says he sometimes takes his dog to the zoo, then watches people run to their cars.
“They think it’s a lion out there,” he said.
(Photo: Virginia Zoo)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 9th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 911, animals, callers, calls, charles, charles the monarch, Daniel Painter, dogs, Greg Bockheim, groom, grooming, hair style, haircut, labradoodle, lion, loose, mascot, norfolk, old dominion university, owner, pets, police, reported, shaved, streets, virginia, virginia zoo
The college, though it’s reportedly handling the matter in an “amicable” manner, says its husky is ”intellectual property,” and that the Connecticut high school is, in effect, trespassing.
College officials apparently fear that, with other similar hand-drawn husky heads lurking out there, they might rake in less money from all the products to which the UConn husky logo is affixed.
We, though no one asked us, have to go with the underdog in this mild and not-too-controversial controversy.
We think the high school’s logo — that’s it at top left, as it appears in the middle of the school’s basketball court — is different enough.
UConn’s husky — that’s it at the bottom – looks far more well-fed, more protective, and has its tongue hanging out.
We — and that’s the editorial we, meaning I — think all hand-drawn husky heads, like all huskies, are going to look at least somewhat similar, and we’d submit that the university is maybe being a little overly possessive of what it considers its turf.
Officials at the Morgan School, a public school, say they were informed last spring that their husky too closely resembled the university’s, according to the Hartford Courant.
“We’re trying to work with them. We’re not looking to shut them down or anything like that,” Michael Enright, UConn’s associate athletic director for communications, is quoted as saying. “We are protecting the state’s intellectual property.”
Clinton Superintendent of Schools John F. Cross said Morgan School has had a husky as its mascot for at least 25 years.
In a letter from James D. Aronowitz, associate general counsel for the Atlanta-based Collegiate Licensing Company, which represents UConn, Clinton educators were asked to stop using the logo. The letter said use of the similar dog could interfere with UConn’s ability to “effectively market and license” the use of the logo.
Cross said the university isn’t being nasty about it, and isn’t insisting the high school change its logo right away, only that it eventually do away with it.
“It really is a practical matter that we are trying to work out with our big brother at Storrs. It’s not adversarial,” Cross said.
Cross said the logo has been removed from the school’s website. The school district will also use a different husky on the gymnasium floor when it opens a new high school.
The old husky head at the new school football field, just recently completed, will be a more difficult matter, he said. Changing it, he estimated, would cost $20,000.
Cross said students are at work developing a new husky dog logo that will be sufficiently different from UConn’s, and we wish them the best on the project.
But what if they both just dropped the whole thing, and that $20,000, and all the money UConn spends on lawyers to ensure its husky drawing isn’t too closely replicated by anyone, was given instead to, say, a husky rescue group, or some other cause that benefits huskies, by which we mean the animals?
Of course, that — paying back the breed whose image they have seized and profited from — will never happen in the real world.
But “intellectual property” aside, it was their head first.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, basketball court, clinton, colleges, dogs, drawing, editorial, football field, head, high school, huskies, husky, intellectual property, logo, mascot, morgan school, pets, sports, teams, trademarks, uconn, universities, university of connecticut
Tech XX, the English bulldog that served as mascot at Louisiana Tech University, died of heat stroke after being left out in the heat Sunday.
Though initially reported missing, the four-year-old English bulldog was left outside by an employee, who has since been fired, according to the veterinarian that cared for the dog.
The employee, according to news reports, tried to cover up the dog’s death.
“Tech XX was a member of our immediate family and a daily part of our lives for the past four years,” Patrick Sexton said in a statement. “We are devastated over the circumstances of his passing, and there will be a large void in our hearts for some time to come. As with any family member, we will spend considerable time grieving his passing.”
In a statement, the university said that since becoming the mascot in 2008, Tech XX got superior care from Sexton’s team.
Tech XX’s predecessor, Tech XIX, was retired in 2007 because of health concerns after suffering heatstroke, the university said on its website.
Originally, a worker said he let the dog out to go to the bathroom and the dog went missing, said Sexton, who kept Tech XX at his home. Dozens of students and residents searched for the dog, and rewards were posted.
For four days, the employee kept Tech XX’s death, and location, a secret, according to the Shreveport Times.
“That employee unfortunately chose to handle it the wrong way and attempted to cover it up,” Sexton said. “Due to this negligence, the employee is no longer employed by Sexton Animal Health Center.”
Tech XX was owned by the school’s Student Government Association, the president of which, Will Dearmon, said, ”It’s extremely disappointing and sad news this happened to our beloved Tech XX.”
“We’ll work through that in the coming days and there will be a Tech XXI, but right now our hearts are broken,” he added.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: athletics, college, cover up, death, dies, employee, english bulldog, fired, heat, heat stroke, louisiana, louisiana tech university, mascot, mascots, patrick sexton, reward, ruston, search, sports, team, tech, tech XX, university, veterinarian
Volunteering at the Forsyth Humane Society has been a great experience overall. I mean, besides scooping the “bio-waste,” to put it delicately.
I spent most of my time playing with and walking dogs of all energy levels, backgrounds, and breeds.
And I spent some of my time in a costume, serving as the humane society’s mascot at community events.
Fun as it has been, I have also come to two unsettling realizations.
I have also concluded that with age and time since intake, the chances of an animal’s adoption decrease. A dog who has been there two months stands much less chance of finding a home than a new puppy. Puppies come and go quickly, whereas older dogs are often overlooked.Ideally, all dogs would find homes, and everything would be fine. A perfect world where all dogs have a lifelong home from birth probably will never exist. However, isn’t it morally wrong that the ones who have been caged up their whole lives are the ones that don’t get adopted?
Even if you don’t want to get a dog, you can still make a difference. Volunteer at your local Humane Society or shelter and interact with the animals there. You’ll have that warm feeling of having done something to help pets feel secure during a time of need. And aside from that, it can be fun, too.
Here are some of the things I did this summer at the Forsyth Humane Society, in Winston-Salem, N.C:
I walked dogs (picking up after them as I did so). If someone wanted to see what a dog was like, I’d let them walk the dog and I’d just follow and scoop. If they wanted, they could also take a dog into the playpen outside and play with them (as long as a volunteer or staff member was there).
I also did quite a bit of playing myself, tossing tennis balls to the ball-playing dogs, running with the more energetic ones down the trail, and if they were really hyper, I’d do a bit of doggie “bullfighting.” I’d hold a bone or something, and sidestep at the last second and try to avoid having the bone taken for a few minutes, at which point I’d let the dog grab on and it would become tug-of-war. It was great exercise for both me and the dogs, though I usually wound up being the one worn out first. It’s also quite fun, if you don’t mind one or two accidental scratches here or there from a paw.
But then there’s another side to the volunteering. That’s the real reason to go — the difference you can make in a dog’s life. For me, that feeling came while working with dogs like Truvy, a pit bull.I didn’t know anything about her history at the time, so I took her for a walk like I would any other dog. Someone (I can’t remember who) who was walking another dog said it was good that I was walking her because she was afraid of men, likely as a result of having been abused by one. After learning this, I set myself a goal for the day—to get Truvy to not be afraid of me.
I took Truvy to the end of the walking trail, where I sat down, and after about thirty minutes, she did too, but still cowered when I tried to reach out and pet her. When Truvy finally started to feel safe enough to lie down, a sudden boom (likely a truck on the overpass a couple hundred yards away) scared her, and we were back to square one. So we went to the playpen. It took about forty minutes to get her to try to pick up a tennis ball. She dropped it when I approached her and she ran to the corner. When I was told that it was time to put Truvy in back in her cage and let another dog in the playpen, I sat with her in the cage. She curled up in the corner, and I sat down next to her and started petting her. I sat with my arm around her for a while.
By the end of my two-hour shift (at least half an hour of which was in the cage), Truvy had curled up against me with her head on the inside of my elbow. So I wound up completely filled with that warm fuzzy feeling I mentioned earlier—except in my left arm which was numb from the elbow down.
I also enjoyed volunteering at the events like “Pups in the Park,” where dogs can come to the baseball game with you. Before the game, the Forsyth Humane Society bus, ROVER, parks in front of the stadium, and visitors are invited to walk through it and see some of the animals that are up for adoption.
Some of the volunteers walk the dogs around with “Adopt Me” harnesses on, and others hand out bags to people so they can pick up after their dogs. Then there are the people who sell T-shirts to raise money for FHS, and those who run the games that entertain kids while their parents look around.
And finally, there’s the all-important mascot duty. That was my job of choice at events — even though it got a little hot in there. I walked around in a dog costume, sometimes freaking out the real dogs. Lots of them barked at me, some sniffed me, and one grabbed my tail. Humans waved at me, hugged me and took pictures. Best of all, I got into a baseball game for free.
Do you have to go to these extremes or anything to make a difference? No. Volunteering can mean simply playing with a dog for a few minutes or taking it on a walk. These simple things help a dog learn how to interact with humans so that, when he or she does find a home, the transition can be smooth. It’s a fun, rewarding experience for both you and the animal whose life you improve with every minute you spend with them.
Can we have a utopia? Maybe not. However, we can donate an hour or two at a local shelter and make the world a better place — one pet at a time.
Editor’s note: Volunteers are the foundation of most animal shelters — if not the heart and soul, at least the arms and legs. In this new feature, we invite shelter and rescue volunteers to share their thoughts. If you’ve had an experience with a particular dog, or a particular program, if you’ve found new inspirations, learned some lessons or just want to write about the day-to-day work you do with animals, send your story along, with photos if you like, including one of yourself, to email@example.com.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adventures in volunteering, animal shelters, animals, dogs, essays, forsyth humane society, guest, guest posts, humane society, joe woestendiek, mascot, pets, posts, rescue, shelter, spca, submissions, volunteer, volunteering, volunteers
The poisonings are similar to those attempted last year at Tarheel Tamaskan, a Tamaskan dog breeder outside of Elizabeth City, N.C.
In that case, the parents and two siblings of Tuffy survived.
Last week, five dogs were poisoned, again using bowls of fish doused in antifreeze that were buried in the animals’ owners’ yard, according to FoxSports.
Two of the dogs, including Tuffy’s father, were euthanized this week, according to Tarheel Tamaskan’s Facebook page.
Tuffy’s mother died in October after choking on a sock.
No charges have been filed, in either the year-old case or the recent one, but police say they have some leads.
Pasquitank County Sheriff Randy Cartright said officers found fingerprints on a buried dog bowl, and that they suspect the same person or group commited both crimes.
The owners of Tarheel Tamaskan, John and Christina Bannow, weren’t available for comment.
After ingesting the poison, the dogs were taken to Chesapeake Animal Hospital in Virginia, but were later transferred to Greenbrier Emergency Hospital in Charlottesville, Va., where Tuffy’s father, Blaze, and his 6-month-old cousin, Nusia, were put to sleep.
The other three poisoned dogs returned home Monday evening and are expected to recover.
N.C. State, though it had used costumed humans for mascots, switched to a live dog in 2010 at the suggestion of athletic director Debbie Yow. A Tamaskan dog was chosen because it most resembles a wolf.
(Photo of Tuffy by Peyton Williams / North Carolina State Athletic Association)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, antifreeze, blaze, bowls, breeder, buried, college, dogs, father, fish, investigation, mascot, mascots, nc state, north carolina, north carolina state university, Pasquitank County, pets, poisoned, siblings, tamaskan, tarheel tamaskan, tuffy, wolfpack
Owney, a stray dog who became an unofficial postal service mascot during the years he rode the mail trains in the 1800s, is being honored by the postal service — appropriately, in his case, with a forever stamp.
Because Owney’s still around.
Although he died 114 years ago, Owney’s form has lingered — a bit misshapen and straggly as a result of 19th century taxidermy techniques and the passage of more than a century. He has spent most of that time at the Smithsonian Institution.
When the Smithsonian heard the dog was to be honored with a stamp, they decided to refurbish his stuffed likeness as well.
The new and improved Owney, with added fur, a new nose, shiny new eyes and more, will debut this week.
Owney wandered into the Albany, N.Y., post office one day in 1888, spending the night on a pile of mailbags. Cared for by mail clerks, he started riding along with the mailbags on the Railway Post Office, traveling across the United States on the trains while guarding the mail.
He died in Toledo in 1897 when, after attacking a mail clerk, he was shot by the town marshal.
Owney’s benefactors deciced to have him preserved by a taxidermist. He was originally displayed at the Post Office Department’s headquarters in Washington, then moved in 1911 to the Smithsonian.
“When my son first saw Owney when he was a kid, he had nightmares afterward,” Linda Edquist, a conservator at the National Postal Museum and the force behind Owney’s restoration, told the Washington Post. “The first thing you saw was his belly with this big suture mark running up it, so no wonder.”
Word that Owney was to be honored with a stamp — it’s scheduled to be released tomorrow — prompted Edquist to get Owney the repairs he needed.
“We saw it as the perfect opportunity to carry out the restoration that we had been talking about doing all along,” she said.
The museum used a $10,300 Smithsonian preservation fund grant and donations to pay for Owney’s makeover.
The Smithsonian collection also includes more than 470 medals and trinkets Owney has received from admirers. Those items are also being restored as part of a newly designed exhibit.
Owney was reconditioned at the Point of Rocks, Md., studio of retired Smithsonian taxidermist Paul Rhymer.
Owney’s facial reconstruction included hand-sculpting a new snout — his old nose had shriveled — using a cast coyote nose. He got a new set of eyes. His claws were replaced as well. A coyote pelt was used to patch up some bald spots.
(You can find a fantastic slide show documenting the restoration at the Washington Post.)
In Owney’s honor, the Smithsonian is hosting a four-day family festival, beginning Wednesday and continuing with museum activities through July 30, coinciding with the release of the forever stamp.
The museum has also created an “augmented reality” program so that when the forever stamp is held up to a computer Webcam, Owney comes to life, barking and trotting.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, dog, dogs, exhibit, forever stamp, likeness, mail, makeover, mascot, mounted, owney, paul rhymer, pets, post office, postal service, railroad, refurbished, smithsonian, smithsonian institution, stamp, stuffed, taxidermist, taxidermy, train
A statue of the Greensboro Grasshoppers’ beloved bat dog, Babe, was stolen by thieves who left only her paws behind, team officials announced Tuesday.
Miss Babe Ruth, to use her full name, is renowned for grabbing players bats after their appearance at the plate. The statue of her was located on the southeast corner of the minor league team’s stadium.
“It is really sad that someone would steal the statue of Babe,” said Grasshoppers President and General Manager Donald Moore. “At every game, kids clamor to sit on that bench with Babe and Guilford.” (A statue of Guilford the Grasshopper, the team’s official mascot, also sits on the bench.)
Team officials called it “a malicious act of vandalism.”
They plan to have the statue replaced, but say that will take weeks.
The team has offered $1,000 for information leading to the thief’s arrest and conviction, according to WFMY.
The statue of Babe, a black Labrador retriever, was stolen over the weekend while the team was playing in Savannah, Ga.
(Top Photo: WFMY)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, babe, baseball, bat dog, dog, dogs, grasshoppers, greensboro, greensboro grasshoppers, mascot, mascots, minor league, miss babe ruth, newbridge bank park, north carolina, paws, pets, reward, stadium, statue, stolen, theft
One year after he was rescued from an ice floe, Baltic remains on the high seas — just not in them.
The crew of a Polish ship, named Baltica, pulled the dog from the icy waters of the Baltic Sea after observing him struggling. The dog was first seen on an ice floe in the Vistula River. Some estimated at the time that he traveled 70 miles atop the floe on the river, then another 20 miles out to sea.
Several people came forward wanting to adopt Baltic after his story gained headlines around Europe, but his rescuer Adam Buczynski decided to keep him.
Despite his bad experience, the dog is now there regularly at sea, serving as the research ship’s pet and mascot. He shows signs of anxiety when the sea is rough but sails around happily with the crew when it is calm, Buczynski said.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adam buczynski, animals, baltic, baltic sea, baltica, dog, dogs, floe, headlines, ice, mascot, news, one year later, pets, poland, polish, rescued, research, saved, sea, ship, update, video, vistula river
White English bulldogs, all from the same family line, have been serving as the school’s mascot since 1956, PeoplePets reports.
In 2009, UGA VII passed away from heart problems after less than two seasons as mascot. His five-year-old half-brother “Russ” was brought to serve as the school’s interim mascot until a permanent replacement could be found.
All eight mascots have come from the same purebred bloodline and are owned by the Seiler family of Savannah, Ga.
Uga VIII, also known as “Big Bad Bruce,” was named in honor of Dr. Bruce Hollett of the university’s school of veterinary medicine. He will take over as mascot this weekend in a ceremonial “passing of the collar.”
The new Uga, like the previous ones will sit in his own house on the football field as the game takes place.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 20th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: big bad bruce, bruce hollet, bulldog, colleges, death, football, heart problems, mascot, mascots, sports, uga, Uga VII, uga VIII, university of georgia, veterinary medicine