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Tag: michigan

Dachshund fights off bear 100 times his size


A four-pound dachshund is being credited with scaring off a 400-pound bear and keeping it from harming a group of friends on a trip through the woods in Michigan.

The dog, named Bradley, was killed in the effort, but he just might have saved the lives of the humans his owner believes he was protecting.

bradley“I believe honestly the outcome would’ve been different if Brad had not been with them,” John Force, Bradley’s owner said. “If the bear had attacked Brad, it certainly would’ve attacked the men who were bigger than Brad.”

On Saturday, a group of friends visiting the Forces ventured into the woods in Oscoda County on a golf cart, taking Bradley along for the ride, according to Upnorthlive.com

When they came across a mother bear and her cubs they stopped. As the bear and men stared at each other, Bradley jumped out and ran at the bear.

“Brad jumped off the golf cart and attacked the big bear, they got into a scuffle,” Force said.

Bradley ran back to the golf cart, but his bite wounds were severe and he died an hour later.

“He was only four to five pounds, but in his mind I think he thought he was 100 pounds,” said Lisa Force, John’s wife.

“…He was a little fighter a little scrapper,” John Force said, “and he didn’t think twice about attacking a bear. I guarantee you, he would have did it again.”

Traumatized dog finds some deer friends

Eleven days after Lacy, a Great Dane, ran away from a highway accident in Michigan she was found and returned to her owner.

But the odd part of this story came at the nine-day mark, when Lacy’s owner, Jamie Brill, who’d been searching for days with her boyfriend, spotted her dog in a field, through a pair of binoculars.

Lacy was standing next to two adult whitetail does and two fawns.

“Mark handed me the binoculars and said, ‘Do you believe this?’ I looked, and Lacy was licking the head of one of the fawns,” Brill told Lansing State Journal columnist John Schneider.

When Brill tried calling Lacy from afar, she didn’t budge, remaining instead with the deer.

Brill, stationed with the U.S. Navy in Grand Rapids, rolled her Mini Cooper on Interstate 96 on Aug. 11. Her two dogs – Lacy and Koko – were in the car. Brill was taken to the hospital. Koko was taken to a veterinarian, and Lacy ran off.

Two days after Lacy was spotted hobnobbing with the deer, Schneider, the newspaper columnist, got a call from a man who had spotted Lacy — whose disappearance by then had become a big story.

Schneider called Brill in Grand Rapids, and she called a Lansing veterinarian who had been involved in the search and agreed to check out the sighting.

Veterinarian Leslie Ortlieb drove to the vacant house and on its porch saw Lacy, who was described as being a skittish sort even before the accident.

But Ortlieb apparently said the right words: “Do you want to go see Koko?”

The Great Dane walked up to her and got into her car.

Lacy was emaciated and had a small cut on her leg, but otherwise appeared in good health.

“Dog” returned, 76 years later

Seventy-six years after he checked it out, Mark McKee has returned “A Dog of Flanders” to a Michigan library.

No late fees will be charged.

In 1934, McKee, then a 13-year-old, checked out “A Dog of Flanders” by English author Marie Louise de la Ramee, from the Mount Clemens Public Library in Michigan.

Seventy-six years later, he found it among his possesions and mailed it back, according to an Associated Press report.

McKee, now 89, said in a letter to the library that  he was initially “entranced by the book and kept it with my prized possession.”  Later, it got lost in the shuffle of life until he recently discovered it.

“My conscience took over,” wrote McKee, who is former publisher of The Macomb Daily in Michigan, and now a winter resident of Chandler, Arizona.

“A Dog of Flanders,” an 1872 novel published under the pseudonym “Ouida,” is about a Flemish orphan named Nello who befriends an abused dog named Patrasche.

Library Director Donald Worrell Jr. said he was thrilled to get the book back.

In his letter, McKee said he estimated the fine on a book overdue for 76 years could total thousands of dollars. But Worrell said there won’t be a fine.

“We figure the story is better than the money,” Worrell said.

Days out … Dads Inn … Y not?

We didn’t know the whole story behind this, but sometime this summer a motel changed names in Lansing, Michigan.

With the simple switch of one gigantic yellow plastic backlit letter, what was once a Days Inn, became Dads Inn.

We guessed that the Days Inn franchise shut down, leaving a multi-story motel vacant. We guessed that some guy — likely a dad — stepped in and took over, and either didn’t want to be a Days Inn or wasn’t accepted by the chain.

In any case, “Days” became “Dads.” Maybe the “Y” was already missing or damaged. Maybe the new owner spent some time reviewing the possibilities: Dabs Inn, Dags Inn, Dals Inn, Dans Inn, Dars Inn, Dats Inn.

He opted for another “D” though, not quite the same width as the first “D,” and a little brighter yellow.

After having some fun conjecturing, we looked up the facts — as initially reported the Lansing Journal.

Seems the Parsippany, N.J.-based hotel chain parted ways with its south Lansing franchisee, Frank Yaldoo, after Yaldoo declined to spruce up the place. The chain wanted him to spend more than $200,000 to replace beds, update computers and — of all things — change its signs.

The article didn’t mention where the new “D” came from, or whether Yaldoo is a dad, but we’re guessing he’s a thrifty guy.

No more dogs in Ann Arbor bookstore

The Borders bookstore in downtown Ann Arbor is dog-friendly no more.

After years of allowing dogs, the bookstore has decided to enforce the chain’s company-wide policy prohibiting pets from entering.

“We prioritize the safety and happiness of our customers,” Borders spokeswoman Mary Davis said. “We think that it’s important to put this particular store in line with our other stores, which currently only allow service dogs.”

AnnArbor.com reports that the store’s general manager said she had “received a number of complaints about the dogs, some of which she described as ‘nasty,’” (meaning the complaints, I’m pretty sure, and not the dogs).

Borders declined to specify the nature of the complaints. At least one was made to county health authorities, who pointed out the store, since it houses a coffee shop, is licensed as a food service establishment.

Some patrons expressed sadness about the new no-dog policy.

“My dog has never fought with another dog or eaten a book or a person,” said Marcia Polenberg, who was standing outside the store with her dog, Caravaggio. “I don’t know that this is a good policy. I will be much less inclined to shop here.”

Chihuahua hoarder gets probation

The Michigan man charged with animal cruelty after authorities found hundreds of Chihuahuas in his home, live and dead, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement yesterday.

Kenneth Lang Jr. of Dearborn, will serve five years’ probation under supervision of a Wayne County mental health court.

Lang, 56, admitted in the plea that the animals in his home were subjected to abusive conditions because he was overwhelmed by their sheer numbers, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Lang will not be permitted to own any animals. He’s also required to make $3,000 restitution to the Animal Legal Defense Fund for the examination of the dead dogs, and restitution to the city of Dearborn.

Lang’s lawyer, James Schmier, said Lang has an IQ of about 70 and suffers from several psychiatric conditions. “He’s a very human guy with a very human story, and with very human frailties,” the lawyer said.

Lang was found living in squalid conditions with more than 100 live Chihuahuas and more than 100 dead ones found frozen in freezers. The prosecutors said of the 105 that were rescued, all but 13 have been successfully adopted. Those are living in a no-kill shelter.

Michigan county nixes barking ordinance

We like this little story out of Van Buren County, Michigan.

The county board has rejected a proposed ordinance that would have allowed ticketing of dog owners if their pets barked, yelped or cried for more than 15 minutes straight between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.

The ordinance, which also required that dogs be on leashes while outdoors, had been debated for more than two years, with critics calling it an intrusion on their rights. Hunters objected, as did those who use guard dogs. Only one member of the county board voted for it.

But the real reason we like it is for its dateline, for the vote was taken in the county seat – a little town called Paw Paw.

(The town is named after the Paw Paw River, which was named by Native Americans after the paw paw fruit that grew abundantly along the river’s banks.)

FBI dog killed in raid will be memorialized

freddyFreddy, a Belgian Malinois killed in the line of duty in Michigan Wednesday, will have his name added to a memorial wall at FBI headquarters in Quantico, Va., the agency said Thursday.

Freddy was killed by gunfire at a Dearborn warehouse during a raid on members of a group the FBI described as a radical, violent and separatist black Muslim group.

Killed in the raid was Luqman Ameen Adbullah, the imam of the Masjid Al-Haqq mosque in Detroit and the alleged leader of the group, according to the Detroit News.

The FBI said in a news release that Freddy’s body will be returned to Quantico, where the dog was based.

“Freddy was born on Feb. 17, 2007 and entered on duty with the FBI on Sept. 8, 2008,” the FBI said in a statement. “In the line of duty, Freddy gave his life for his team. He will be missed by his FBI family.”

Donations to the K-9 Law Enforcement Memorial can be sent to the FBI Agents Association, Attn: K-9 Fund Freddy, P.O. Box 12650, Arlington, VA 22219.

Top ten dog parks in America

pointisabelPetside.com, which may love lists even more than dogs, has come out with the Top 10 Dog Parks in the U.S.

Topping the list is Point Isabel Dog Park in Richmond, California, recognized for its scenery, wide range of free activities, swimming holes and on-site cafe — all set on 23 leash-free acres.

Here’s the rest of the top five.

2. Dog Wood Dog Park in Jacksonville, Florida offers 25 acres of fenced play area, swimming, Frisbee fields, a sand pile for digging, and park-provided toys. There are designated areas for small dogs. Dues runs $289 annually, though day passes are available.

3. Jackson’s Howabaloo Dog Park in Edinboro, Pennsylvania features swimming and hiking, a play area just for special needs dogs. Dues runs $269 annually, but monthly and daily passes are available.

4. Fort Woof in Fort Worth, Texas has free admission, special events and the added benefit of being open after the sun goes down. The park is well-lit and stays open until 11:30 p.m.

5. Shaggy Pines Dog Park  in Ada, Michigan has  jogging and hiking trails, a swimming pond and play areas for different sized dogs. There’s also a coffee bar and lounge. Membership starts at $256 per year.

Rounding out the list are Bea Arthur Dog Park in Norfolk, Va.; Tompkins Square Dog Run in New York City; Ossining Dog Park in Westchester, N.Y.; Rocky Top Dog Park in Kingston, N.J.; and Happy Tails Dog Park in Plantation, Fla.

In recent months, Petside.com has also put out lists of the dog-friendliest college campuses, top dog beaches and dog-friendliest hotel chains.

For the dog park list, Petside.com says it took into consideration amenities, activities, hours of operation, and cost of entry.

(Photo of Jimmy at Point Isabel Dog Park, by Michael V., via Yelp.com)

The dog that helps clean up OUR mess

Sable_restingFor all those who fret obsessively about dogs leaving environmentally damaging messes behind — not that it’s not a valid concern — here’s a story of a dog who’s helping clean up the messes we leave behind.

Sable, a discarded German shepherd mix adopted from an animal shelter, has been trained to sniff out illegal sewer connections, which dump billions of gallons of bacteria-filled water into rivers, lakes and streams each year, leading to closed beaches, contaminating fisheries and costing millions to clean up.

Scott Reynolds adopted Sable with the idea of training him to sniff out illegal sewer connections. Now, after a year of work in Michigan’s Kawkawlin River, Sable has earned enough praise to be top dog at Environmental Canine Services, the Detroit Free Press reports.

“In the mornings, he runs to the back room and looks to the hook where his harness is, as if to say, ‘Do we get to do this today?’ ” Reynolds said. “He loves to work.”

Sable is scheduled to do his thing next in Santa Barbara, California, then head to Maine next spring to help track pollution that has closed shellfish beds along the coast.

Sable sniffs water in drains and pipes — often buried in deep woods or under fallen trees — to detect illegal sewer connections. He barks when he smells raw sewage.

Sable also  has his own website, sablethesniffer.com.

Sable has an 87% accuracy rate measured against lab results, Reynolds says.

Normally, municipalities send human employees to detect illegal sewer connections — a bit of a guessing game, and a process that requires lab tests that can take weeks.

The dog was turned over by owners who mistreated him, said Autumn Russell of Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary, near Grand Rapids. “No one had any idea of his potential,” she said.

Reynolds, who has trained other rescued dogs for search and rescue and narcotics detection, spent more than a year training Sable to sniff out waste, ammonia and detergents that signal illegal connections.

(Photo: By Robert Domm, courtesy of Environmental Canine Services)

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