As is now known by fans of Irving the talking dog — and I’m not one of them, at least when it comes to the talking part – the Boston terrier didn’t make it to the finals of “America’s Got Talent.”
Still, in terms of the exposure alone, it was a win for ventriloquist Todd Oliver, whose Branson, Missouri-based act has become more popular than ever.
Branson features three dogs in his performances, all equipped with flapping contraptions attached to their lower jaws. He controls the devices remotely, making the dog’s mouth move in time with the words he supplies, via ventriloquism.
In other words, Oliver uses his dogs for dummies.
No, I don’t think Oliver’s act should be banned. I don’t think we need to get PETA on the phone. I don’t think the appendages attached to the dogs for the act are hurting the dogs, or even bothering them to any great extent.
I am merely saying that it’s another example of us putting words in dogs’ mouths, of our humanization of them — solely for our own amusement.
I don’t like that Pedigree’s DentaStix ad campaign, featuring dogs with human dentures, either — for the same reason. In addition to the TV ads, the campaign allowed us to, with help from our computers, put not just human dentures, but the words of our choice, into dog mouths.
I’m not one of those to unnecessarily sound the anthropomorphization alarm — mainly because it’s too hard a word to say — but I do believe we should enjoy dogs as dogs, and not try to transform them into us.
Oliver seems like a nice guy who does a lot for dogs and animals, and as far as what he does to them for the act, it’s probably not abusive and even somewhat cute, at least for the first few minutes.
He says on his website that the device was developed with a veterinarian.
“Todd is just a true animal lover. He often assists local shelters and rescues dogs from unfit environments,” the website says. ”Everything in Todd’s act is 100% safe and registered with the USDA and the Missouri Department of Agriculture.”
I know that, again, I will be criticized for being overly sensitive, but in my opinion we’ve already tinkered with dogs too much — by shaping them, over the centuries, into breeds whose looks please us; by using them in lab experiments and, in recent years, cloning them; by dressing them up, teaching them to dance, and all the other things we do for our own amusement.
They’re pretty amusing and animated just as they are, without our help. Our attempts to make them more amusing, I think, are often both dopey and disrespectful. But who’s going to listen to me?
If only I could get a dog to say it.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 4th, 2012 under videos.
Tags: act, america's got talent, amusement, animals, anthropomorphization, dentures, dog, dogs, dogshaming, dummies, dummy, entertainment, funny dogs, humanization, humans, irving, irving the talking dog, mouth, pedigree, pets, talking dogs, tinkering, todd oliver, ventriloquism
A mother dog was photographed rescuing her litter of puppies from a house fire in Chile.
In the photos, a German shepherd mix named “Amanda” carries five of her 10-day old pups in her mouth, dropping each onto a fire truck as flames ravaged her owner’s home Thursday in Santa Rosa de Temuco, Chile.
The puppies were transported to La Clínica Veterinaria Altamira where four are recuperating with their mother.
One of the puppies died on Thursday night after suffering burns to his abdomen and mouth.
Veterinarian Felipe Lara told the Chilean newspaper Soy Temuco that Amanda defended her puppies when they tried to take them away for treatment.
(Photos: Associated Press /Jose Monsalve, Diario El Austral de La Araucaria)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 10 days old, amanda, boxer, car bomb, carries, chile, danger, dog, father, fire, five puppies, german shepherd, house fire, mother, mouth, omar torres, photo, photographs, photos, protects, puppies, pups, safety, santa rosa de temuco, saved, temuco, tire truck, tumbaito jose torres, viral
The mixed-breed dog was discovered by employees at the Animal Clinic of Rogue River on Friday, alive and alert, but laying in a pool of his own blood.
“It looks like the muzzle of the gun was stuck in the dog’s mouth and it was shot execution-style,” Rogue River police Chief Ken Lewis told the Medford Mail Tribune.
“He had a large hole in his face, just under the chin,” the police chief said.
The dog, believed to be about two years old, had no identification. He was rushed to Best Friends Animal Hospital in Talent for emergency surgery.
“He had two fractures in his jaw that had to be fixed with a wire,” Dr. Margarita Garcia said. “The wound is still leaking, but he can now eat watered-down food.”
Best Friends Animal Hospital workers say the dog has a friendly disposition. “We all have fallen in love with him,” said veterinary technician Erin McCreary.
The animal hospital will continue to treat the dog until he is fit for adoption, Garcia said.
Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call Rogue River police at 541-582-4931
(Photo: Bob Pennell / Medford Mail Tribune)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, animal clinic of rogue river, animal cruelty, animals, best friends animal hospital, clinic, cruelty, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, face, hospital, mouth, oregon, prets, rogue river, shot, tied, veterinary
When a missing West Highland terrier in Florida returned home after three hours, her owner could tell right away something was wrong.
“She wobbled back into our yard about 10 p.m. I could tell she had been kicked because she screamed when I picked her up,” said Shawne Boardman, 49.
But that wasn’t the worst of it.
“Bailey’s jaws were glued shut,” Boardman told the News-Press. “She was having trouble breathing.”
The North Fort Myers woman said she and her boyfriend pried open the 13-year-old dog’s jaws and fed it water with a turkey baster. She says she didn’t take Bailey to a veterinarian because they were able to open the dog’s mouth. But on Saturday, Bailey took a turn for the worse.
“She died in Dan’s lap,” Boardman says. “She was a great dog. Bailey was like our baby.”
Boardman says she buried Bailey next to a gardenia bush in her yard.
Glenn Johnson, operations manager for Lee County Animal Services, says whoever glued the dog’s jaws shut faces a third-degree felony. The maximum penalty is a fine of $5,000 and a sentence of five years in prison.
The incident is similar to one last month in Sanford, N.C., where a Chihuahua mix with its mouth glued shut was abandoned at a local shelter, according to pet-abuse.com
“The dog was unable to open its mouth,” said Abbey Lindauer, adoption coordinator for Sanford’s Carolina Animal Rescue & Adoption (CARA). CARA workers spotted the dog’s suspected owner driving away in a red truck.
Lindauer said the dog died later that night after it was transported to the Lee County Animal Shelter.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, abused, animal cruelty, animals, bailey, breathing, closed, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, florida, fort myers, glue, glued, jaws, missing, mouth, pets, shut, torture, west highland terrier
Kyle Dyer, the Denver anchorwoman bitten on the air, said she probably did stick her face too close to the 85-pound Argentine mastiff, and that’s she glad he’s back home with his family.
Dyer, of KUSA-TV, was bitten on the mouth earlier this month while doing a segment with the dog’s owner and a firefighter who had rescued the pet from an icy pond.
“Everyone says ‘you were too close to the dog.’ I guess I was because this happened. I guess we’ve all learned a lot in the past two weeks,” she said in an interview with the Denver Post
“For me it has been in its odd way a positive experience. In this business, yes, what you look like is a lot. What this whole experience has taught me is it’s more than that. It may seem like a superficial busines, but the people out there in Colorado are not superficial, the way they’ve reached out to me, and letting me know ‘you’re beautiful inside and out’ and all that.”
“I just keep reading those letters and know that I’m healing. I don’t know how quickly, but I will.”
The station said Dyer had a second surgery on Monday. She was given 20 new stitches and had the 70 stitches that were initially put in on Feb. 8 removed.
As for Max, the dog that bit her, Dyer said, “I’m glad the dog’s back home with his family. I never wanted anything but.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: anchor, argentine mastiff, bite, bitten, denver, dog, ice, interview, kusa, Kyle Dyer, lips, max, mouth, news, on air, pond, rescued, stitches, surgery
The Colorado news anchor bitten on the air last week received 70 stitches and is unable to speak because her mouth is sewn shut.
That’s according to her Facebook page.
Kyle Dyer, morning news anchor for NBC’’s Denver affiliate, KUSA, was doing an in-studio interview with a firefighter and the owner of a dog who had been rescued from a frozen reservoir. When Dyer bent down to kiss the dog, an 85-pound Argentine mastiff, named Max, turned and bit her.
On her Facebook page, she says she spent four hours in surgery, receiving 70 stitches in her upper lip, lower lip and nose.
“I am unable to talk because my mouth is stitched shut to allow for the skin graft to take and get the blood circulating in my lips again.”
Dyer was released from the hospital Thursday.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: anchor, bit, bite, bitten, denver, dog bite, facebook, frozen, hospital, interview, kusa, Kyle Dyer, lake, lips, mastiff, max, mouth, news, released, rescue, reservoir, sewn, stitches, surgery
What is it about police agencies and the press in, shall we say, non-urban areas, that prevents them from seeing dog abuse when it seems to be staring them in the face?
The Muskegon Chronicle reports that deputies are “not sure abuse was involved” in injuries suffered by a dog found Monday afternoon … HANGING FROM A HOOK ON A TREE.
Pardon my caps. This reminds me of our recent report about a pit bull in Missouri who was dragged behind a car, tied to a pole and set on fire before being found dead, in a case the local TV station called “alleged animal abuse.”
In the new case, a young male Sheltie-Pomeranian mix is expected to recover from the injury left by the large hook that protruded from the roof of his mouth.
Muskegon County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Herremans said the incident is being investigated and that while abuse has not been ruled out, it also is possible the dog was victimized by an illegal coyote trap.
Rescuers, however, told WOOD TV-8 the animal was abused, and a local veterinarian who treated the dog concurred.
(It’s also interesting to note how, while the police and reporter call the male dog an “it,” the veterinarian refers to him as a he. Is there a connection, you think, between people who call a dog, even when the gender is known, an “it,” and how seriously they take animal abuse?)
Herremans said deputies are seeking the dog’s owner, who lives across the street from the wooded spot where the animal was found. He theorized it was possible the dog got caught in “some type of coyote trap.”
However, an official at Pound Buddies, a non-profit group that operates the county animal shelter, told WOOD TV-8 that the hook was too high for the small dog to reach by himself.
Residents in the neighborhood said the dog was normally kept tied up.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, animal abuse, attitudes, coyote, cruelty to animals, dangling, deputies, hanging, hook, hung, investigation, law enforcement, michigan, mouth, pomeranian. muskegon, pound buddies, rescue, rural, sheltie, sheriff, small towns, survived, trap, tree, veterinarian, video
Shylo, a 5-year-old husky, spent more than an hour bobbing in the icy waters of the Rock River in Illinois before firefighters tossed him a rope.
Shylo grabbed the rope in his mouth and held on, getting tugged partly to shore before a firefighter slid across the ice to pull him the rest of the way out.
Even then, back on land and in the arms of his rescuers, he kept the rope gripped in his mouth, not releasing it until after he was back home with his owner, the Rockford Register Star reported.
This week the dog’s owner Peggy Yarber, brought Shylo to the Harlem-Roscoe Fire Department to thank the firefighters who hauled him out of the river.
“This dog is my whole life,” Yarber said. “I can’t thank you enough. I really can’t. If it weren’t for you, he wouldn’t be here.”
Yarber was visiting a friend when Shylo wandered off. He was found about a mile away, having fallen through the ice in the river. A nearby homeowner called authorities.
A Winnebago County animal control officer, tossed Shylo the rope that he latched onto to amid the ice chunks to help keep his head above water. As he neared shore, firefighter Christi Wilson crawled across the ice to grab him and slide him to shore.
On Tuesday, Yarber took her dog with her to thank the firefighters. Wilson greeted the dog with a bag of treats.
“Just him being here is enough thanks for me,” she said.
(Photo: Scott Morgan/Rockford Register Star)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 21st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, christi wilson, dog, dogs, firefighters, grip, huskie, ice, icy, lifeline, mouth, owner, peggy yarber, pets, rescue, river, rock river, rope, shylo, thanks, winnebago county
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has granted Merial Limited full licensure for a therapeutic DNA vaccine designed to aid in extending survival of dogs with oral melanoma, the company reports in a press release.
Merial, a licensee of Vical Incorporated, plans to launch the product, called Oncept, at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando Jan. 16 – 20.
Melanoma is a common type of cancer in dogs and is the most common malignant tumor of the dog’s mouth. It can also occur in the nail and footpad.
The vaccine contains a gene encoding human tyrosinase, an enzyme associated with skin pigmentation. The tyrosinase produced from the human DNA is similar to canine tyrosinase and has been shown to stimulate an immune response against canine melanoma cells producing tyrosinase. The use of DNA from a noncanine species causes production of tyrosinase that is considered foreign by the canine immune system, stimulating an immune response, acording to the vaccine’s makers. It is similar enough to canine tyrosinase that the dog’s immune response will target canine melanoma cells.
Normal treatment for canine oral melanoma includes surgery and radiation, but even after successful local treatment, the melanoma frequently spreads throughout the body, including the lymph nodes, liver, lungs and kidneys, and is often resistant to chemotherapy.
“The approval of Oncept is a milestone in the cancer vaccine field and a significant advancement for our DNA delivery technology platform,” said Vijay B. Samant, Vical’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 12th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agriculture, cancer, canine, department, dogs, footpad, medicine, melanoma, merial, mouth, nail, oncept, oral, radiation, spread, surgery, treatment, tumor, usda, veterinary, vical incorporated
When she caught up, Rivera found her dog Gizmo standing over a seemingly lifeless puppy in a drainage ditch, licking its face.
The white puppy, about 12 to 16 weeks old, was curled up in a four-foot deep drainage ditch with his muzzle tightly wrapped with duct tape. “We thought he was dead,” Rivera told the Wayne Independent.
Rivera, owner of Lizzy’s Head to Toe Salon in Newfoundland, Pa., found the puppy while visiting a friend in Hamlin, Pa. Tuesday night. An animal lover, she had brought her two Pomeranians, Angel and Gizmo, with her, tucked safely in her pocketbook when she exited the car around 10 p.m. But Gizmo jumped out and made a mad dash for the nearby ditch.
The dog Gizmo found growled when Rivera and a friend attempted to reach for it, but after letting the dog sniff their hands, the pup allowed the tape to be removed.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 13th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, adam, Add new tag, animal, cruelty, dessin, ditch, dog, dog warden, dogs, duct tape, elizabeth rivera, gizmo, hamlin, left for dead, mouth, newfoundland, pennsylvania, pomeranian, puppy, rescue, rescued, reward, saved, shelter, shut, snout, state, tape, taped