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Tag: master

Dog amputates his diabetic master’s toe

Kiko the terrier not only detected his master’s diabetes, he went so far as to perform surgery — chewing off his owner’s toe, and possibly saving his life.

The Jack Russell terrier apparently sensed an infection festering in his master’s right big toe — and, unlike his master, took steps to resolve the situation.

A trip to the hospital afterwards confirmed that Jerry Douthett’s toe required amputation, and Douthett credits the dog with helping him realize he has been suffering from Type 2 diabetes.

Douthett had a dangerously high blood-sugar level of 560 when admitted to the hospital, according to the Grand Rapids Press – many times the recommended 80 to 120.

Kiko apparently even waited until his owner, a 48-year-old musician, was well anesthesized before beginning the operation.

“Jerry had had all these Margaritas, so I just let him sleep,” his wife, Rosee, a registered nurse, told the newspaper. “But then I heard these screams coming from the bedroom, and he was yelling, ‘My toe’s gone, my toe’s gone!’”

Douthett said his toe began swelling several months ago, but he didn’t tell anyone:  “I was hiding it from people, Rosee included … It smelled, and I look back now and realize every time we’d visit someone with a dog, their dog would be sniffing all over my foot.”

At the hospital, doctors determined his toe was infected to the bone, and amputated what was left of the digit.

Researchers have found that dogs may be able to tell when their diabetic owners are in danger of having a severe diabetic episode. In a 2008 survey at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, researchers found that 65 percent of diabetics reported that their pets had reacted by whining, barking or licking when they were having a blood sugar emergency.

At the Cancer and Bio-Detection Dogs Research Center in Aylesbury, England, dogs are trained and paired with diabetics so that they might be alerted when their blood sugar drops dangerously low.

(Photo: Katy Batdorff / The Grand Rapids Press)

Dog stays at dead master’s side for a week

ladyWhen Parley Nichols, 81, went missing from his home in Hartville, Ohio, his family wasn’t surprised to learn that the dog who never left his side was missing, too.

Six-year-old Lady, a golden retriever he bought as a puppy, was his constant companion.

Nichols, who suffered from dementia, had been missing for more than a week when a neighbor called his family to report that a dog had been heard barking in a field outside of town. After searching the area twice, the family found Nichols dead, and Lady at his side.

“Lady was standing by his side protecting him,”  Parley’s son Terry Nichols told PEOPLEpets.com. “We are sure that she never left my dad for seven days, staying alive by drinking water from the creek.”

Terry Nichols said the family had to pull Lady away from her master and place her in the back of their pickup truck. “I don’t know how dogs perceive things but she knew she had to stay with dad no matter what,” he said. “And she did.”

A preliminary autopsy conducted by the Stark County coroner found that Parley Nichols died of heart failure, and could have been dead for the full week.

Lady has moved in with other members of Nichols’ family.

“Lady seems fine now… she is a friendly, happy dog,” Nichols said. “I don’t know if she misses my dad, but she is responding well to the rest of us. She did the right thing for dad, and we will always be comforted by that.”

(Photos: WKYC-TV)

How to slander a Rottweiler

DSC07857If conclusion-jumping was a Winter Olympics event, both the police and the press would be deserving medals for their handling this week of an incident in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, that saw a  dead woman’s Rottweiler locked up as her suspected killer.

The facts of the case are these: Carolyn Baker, 63, was found dead at her back steps, wearing only a thin polyester nightgown and boots, with bite marks on her arms and shoulder.

Here are just a few of the headlines (online versions) that followed over the next two days: 

Cleveland Heights Woman Dies Afer Being Attacked by Rottweiler

Ohio Woman Dies of Suspected Dog Attack

Woman Found Mauled to Death by Pet Rottweiler

POLICE: Woman Mauled to Death by Dog

Of course, headlines are never the whole story; and sometimes the whole story isn’t the whole story, as was the case with these.

Instead, as it turns out, the police and, in turn, news media, may have jumped the gun — perhaps a little too eager to place  blame on a dog because of his breed, which is, of course, nothing new.

While pit bulls have taken their place as Public Enemy No. 1, Rottweilers have long been victim to the same kind of negative stereotyping. Zeus, maybe, is just the latest.

Subsequent reports, like this one in the Cleveland Plain Dealer eventually gave the family’s suspicions given some ink — namely that 9-year-old Zeus, rather than being the stone cold killer police and the news media were portraying him as, may have merely been trying to rescue his owner after she collapsed in the yard.

The Cuyahoga County coroner’s office has yet to rule on the cause of Baker’s death, but her family believes she had another stroke or heart attack when she went into her yard to bring her dog inside late Saturday, and that Zeus tried to pull her to safety after she collapsed.

It wasn’t until 3 a.m. Sunday that a next-door neighbor called the family to tell them Zeus was in the Baker’s front yard barking. The dog had gone through a hole in the back fence. After letting the dog in, Baker’s husband found his wife at the bottom of the back steps.

Cleveland Heights police said Baker had severe arm and shoulder injuries and bite marks. While police intitially suspected Baker was “mauled” by her own dog, Baker’s family insists the bite marks aren’t from an attack, but from Zeus’ attempts to rescue his master.

“[Zeus] only locked onto her shoulder trying to bring her in,” said Baker’s son, Rinaldo. “My mom weighed about 200 pounds. The dog just grabbed her and tried to help her out. She had no clothes on or he could have grabbed that. There were no marks on her face, nowhere else.”

“That was her dog,” Rinaldo Baker said. “If we were to go upstairs that dog would run past us and go upstairs to be with us. But if my mom were to go upstairs, knowing how she can barely walk, Zeus would sit and wait for her to go up first and then he would go up. That’s a good dog.”

Zeus is being held at Pepperidge Kennels in Bedford pending the results of the autopsy. The Baker family wants him back.

“If Zeus wasn’t out there we wouldn’t have known till later on that something was wrong because he was the one who alerted somebody,” Carter said. “If he had ways of getting somebody to notice earlier, things may have been different than what they are now, but he did the best he could as a dog.”

Another dog and guardian die a day apart

Yesterday, we told you about Natt Nevins, and how her beloved dachsund, Nikkie, died the day after Nevins passed.

Now comes news out of Orlando of Becky Carter and her Doberman pinscher, Tasha, who enjoyed life together, fought cancer together and comforted each other through chemotherapy. Over the weekend, they also died within a day of each other — in this case, Tasha first, on Saturday, and Carter on Sunday.

We’ve all heard, and maybe even put a little credence in, those tales of married couples who have grown so close to each other that, when one dies, the other quickly follows. Might we be getting so close to dogs that the same holds true, or at least has anecdotal support?

“This dog and Becky were so close. It’s kind of like they were tired of fighting,” Becky’s husband, Kenny Carter told the Orlando Sentinel.

At the time of her death, Becky hadn’t been told of Tasha’s demise, which came as the Doberman was chasing squirrels. Tasha was 7. Funeral services were held yesterday for Carter, who was buried with Tasha’s ashes.

Carter, who was 62, found Tasha through an ad in the paper when the dog was a puppy.

In 2005, Carter was diagnosed with lung cancer and began chemotherapy treatments, Tasha would lay by her owner’s bed or at her feet. Two years later, as Carter’s cancer went into remission, Tasha was diagnosed with lymphoma and given three to five months to live. The couple started the dog on chemotherapy to buy a little more time. A month ago, veterinarians, detecting an abnormal heart rhythm, decided against another round of chemotherapy for the dog.

Her husband said he thinks Tasha died first so she would be there to welcome his wife into heaven.

Six weeks by her dead master’s side

A German shepherd named Cash spent six weeks near her dead master’s body after the man apparently killed himself in a remote area, Colorado authorities said. 

The 3-year-old female dog was found Sunday in the 200,000-acre Pawnee National Grassland, not far from the body of Jake Baysinger, 25, who it is believed shot himself, The Greeley Tribune reported Tuesday.

He had been reported missing on June 28, but Weld County Sheriff deputies had been unable to find the man or his pickup, according to a UPI version of the story.

A rancher found the man’s body after first seeing the dog, which apparently survived by eating mice and rabbits, the newspaper said. The dog was taken to the Humane Society of Weld County, where she was later picked up by Baysinger’s wife.