Sheena Cornwell, a 28-year-old home health aide, hung the 15-year-old pit bull, named Lilly, by her collar and leash from a rafter in the garage, police said.
Cornwell lived in Des Moines with her boyfriend. He told police that she’d been annoyed with Lilly for two months, because the dog paced a lot.
“(Sheena) had complained about the dog before, but she never abused her,” Joshua VanDyke told the Des Moines Register. “She wanted to get rid of her, but she never said anything about doing something violent to her.”
Police reports indicate Lilly was barking in the garage when Cornwell left the room, returning a few minutes later to tell VanDyke, “She’s dead, I killed her.”
Animal control officers removed the dog from the home after police were called. Cornwell was charged with one count of animal torture.
ABC News reported Cornwell could face up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $6,250 if convicted.
(Photo: Des Moines Register)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 9th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animals, cruelty, des moines, dog, dogs, elderly, garage, hangs, home health aide, hung, iowa, lilly, old, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, rafters, sheena cornwell, woman
Grey, creaky and 18 – pretty darned old for a black Lab mix of his size — Bear Dog is hanging around a little longer.
But then he’s always been a persistent sort.
Bear Dog is pretty well known around Castle Rock, Washington, at the western base of Mount St. Helens. For almost two decades, he has hung out at the town’s riverfront, the ball park — just about anywhere his owner, Don Caulfield, went, and a few places he didn’t.
At the North County Recreation Sports Complex, near Caulfield’s mobile home, there are signs, posted by the city, that read, ”No pets allowed inside baseball complex or on soccer fields, except Bear Dog.”
Since 1996, the highly social dog has been befriending workers — including those who built the sports complex — as well as tourists, hikers, students and fishermen.
Whenever anyone walked by Caulfield’s mobile home with a fishing pole, Bear Dog wanted to join them. He’d also swim out to fishing boats, leading anglers to drop what they were doing, haul him aboard and bring him ashore.
At the ball fields, Bear Dog would meet Janice Vinton, the concession stand manager, in the parking lot, walk her to the concession stand and then sit and wait for a hot dog. He’d always get one, at least until he had a heart attack and Vinton decided he should avoid them. When Vinton would close the concession stand at night, Bear would wait for her and walk her to her car.
At Caulfield’s home, visitors would frequently drop by to take Bear Dog for a hike on the trails, or drop off treats and presents. A Seattle man brought short ribs to him every weekend.
“How he got so popular, I don’t know,” Caulfield, a 62-year-old retired trucker, told the Daily News in Washington. “He done that himself.”
About two months ago, though, sightings of Bear Dog became more rare. His back legs had stopped working, and the only way he could walk was by Caulfield using a towel as a sling to lug him in and out of the house. Even as an invalid, Bear Dog still wanted to go out and meet any visitors that stopped by.
Given the dog’s age and condition, Caulfield’s veterinarian advised him it was time to put Bear down, but Caulfield didn’t have enough money to cover the $150 euthanization fee.
He went home and cried, and then he started digging a hole in the yard.
“I knew what had to be done,” he told the the Daily News, which published an article Sunday about Bear Dog.
But Caulfield couldn’t bring himself to shoot Bear, and when he called friends to ask they do the deed for him, they all declined.
Bear Dog was living out what appeared to be his final days until one day he dragged himself outside and promptly fell down the porch steps. Caulfield heard a pop and feared his dog had broken his back. Instead, Bear Dog got up, walked, and even tried to chase a rabbit.
“Every time I think it’s time, he bounces back somehow,” said Caulfield. “I don’t know how he does it.”
We have a theory: Maybe it’s because so many people are pulling for him — and even more since the newspaper story.
Since the article on Bear Dog appeared, he has received a slew of visitors, gifts and phone calls, the Daily News reported in a follow-up article.
Caulfield returned from church Sunday to find people parked in front of his trailer. One offered a new fishing pole. Another man brought over a top sirloin steak, a roast and a tub of dog bones for Bear. And one woman promised to pay for any medical treatment Bear needs, as well as – if and when it becomes necessary — the cost of putting him down.
“He’s quite the legend out there,” Castle Rock Mayor Paul Helenberg said last week of Bear Dog, who became the sports complex’s unofficial mascot by virtue of hanging ot there so much when it was being built.
Some dog-owning residents don’t understand why Bear Dog gets special privileges at the complex, and their dogs don’t, but Helenberg said Bear Dog is something of an institution. He even spoke of building a monument to the dog once he passes away.
“It’s going to be real sad,” the mayor said. “We’ll do something special.”
From the looks of things, Castle Rock, and the friends of Bear Dog, already have.
If you’re going to honor a dog, that’s really the best time to do it, before he’s a memory – not by building a sculpture when he’s dead and gone, but by pitching in and helping out and making him happy while he’s still alive.
Which is not to say a statue of Bear Dog isn’t appropriate — only that one honoring the friends of Bear Dog might be, too.
(Photo: Bill Wagner / The Daily News)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 28th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 18, animals, ball park, bear, bear dog, black lab, castle rock, concessions, daily news, dog, dogs, don caulfield, euthanasia, euthanize, everybodys dog, fishermen, friends, grey, help, helping, hikers, honor, honoring, institution, labrador, lame, mayor, memorial, money, north country recreation sports complex, old, paul helenberg, pets, put down, retriever, sick, statue, support, trucker, washington
Jamie Carpentier decided after his boxer passed away to start looking for another dog. He got on his computer and started reading descriptions of adoptable dogs listed on the Humane Society of Greater Nashua website.
There, in the mix, was one that reminded him of his old basset hound, Ginger.
This one was 13, which, once he did the math, he realized was how old Ginger would be by now. This one was also named Ginger.
“It can’t be her,” he said to himself. “It’s been so long.”
Carpentier hadn’t seen Ginger in 10 years, not since his ex-wife got the dog in the divorce. What he didn’t know was that she gave the dog up up a short time later, and Ginger was adopted, spending the next ten years with another owner. When that owner became unable to care for her, Ginger was surrendered back to the shelter again.
Carpentier, after looking over the description, emailed the shelter, asking for photos of the dog. Once he saw them, he knew the shelter’s Ginger was his old Ginger.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day he went to the shelter to see her, the Nashua Telegraph reported.
“She heard my voice. I walked up to her and she kind of gave me a couple of licks or kisses. And I was like, ‘She knows who I am, she remembers my voice,’” Carpentier said.
“She was stuck to me like glue … I have her now, and she has a place to live and stay,” he said. “The end. It’s awesome.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 21st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, animals, basset hound, bond, custody, divorce, dog, dogs, ginger, humane society of greater nashua, Jamie Carpentier, new hampshire, old, pets, reunion, reunited, reunites, shelter, surrendered
Ace and I had a visitor over the holidays — a highly vocal, but not too demanding 12-year-old mutt named Gracie.
My cousin and her husband in Charlotte were headed off on a cruise and they were having problems finding a petsitter for Gracie, who has never been kenneled. So I volunteered.
It wasn’t my first adventure in petsitting. I’d had a handful of canine guests in my home in Baltimore, and served as wrangler for three more while housesitting in Santa Fe. I’d learned, both times, that most issues that come up can be easily worked out, usually by the dogs themselves.
I decided they should eat in separate areas, just to be safe, so I’d fill one bowl, and call one dog. Both, because their names rhymed, came. When I said “stay,” both stayed. When I attached their names to the commands – ”Ace stay, Grace come” — that didn’t work either.
Finally, I got one to the porch, and fed the other inside, confusing them both in the process.
On day two, Gracie stopped eating entirely. Even blobs of liverwurst — in which her pills get hidden — had no appeal to her. Wanting her to get at least a little nutrition, I smeared peanut butter on her nose and let her lick it off.
Eventually, I broke out the most special of my special dog treats, and after a good sniffing, she decided to try one. On day three, she was eating normally again, and I’d figured out that feeding them both at the same time in the same place worked best.
By the second day, I’d noticed Gracie, who spent the first night on an extra dog bed, was eyeing mine. It’s only a foot off the ground, but she just stood by it, put her head on it and looked at it longingly. Being old and arthritic — her, not me – I gave her a boost and she spent almost the whole day there.
I worried that Ace, who likes my bed too, would take offense at her occupation of it, but, once I told him it was OK, he just jumped in and joined her.
If they were positioned right, there was plenty of room for both. With only minor repositioning, I could fit in, too.
For walks, I’d take them both on a short one, then give Ace a longer one. That seemed to suit them fine.
What I never totally figured out was Gracie’s whining/singing. She whines when she’s happy, she whines when she’s not. She whines when she wants something. She whines, I think, when she wants nothing at all, except maybe to hear her own voice.
Ace, puzzled by that behavior, quickly got used to it. At first, he’d rush to her side, but eventually — as I kept saying, “What is it, girl, what do you want?” — she became background music to him.
Just about every worry I had, when it came to the two of them, turned out to not be worth worrying about. As long as I supplied the food, water, walks and love, they’d easily figure out the rest — the less help from me, the better.
It’s us humans who make things complicated.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, attention, beds, behavior, complications, dog, dogs, elderly, feeding, grace, gracie, guest, humans, old, pet sitting, pets, petsitting, visitor, walks, whining, worries
The dogs are kept at a kennel at a home in Pineville that has been cited for a possible zoning violation.
“We were very recently made aware via a mailed notification that our current location may not be zoned for our rescue and the notification allows just 30 days to appeal,” Autumn Chandler, a Hope for All Dogs board member, told the Charlotte Observer.
Chandler, a 36-year-old registered nurse, is worried the dogs will end up in local shelters and face the possibility of being euthanized: “If the appeal is rejected, all animals will be removed from the property immediately by animal control and will face a certain death.”
The rescue, based at a home in the Old Whitehall neighborhood, received notice Dec. 4 that it must “cease and desist operating” within 30 days or face citations. While the rescue is a nonprofit organization, the city sees it as a commercial kennel, which zoning codes prohibit in residential neighborhoods.
While the group has been rescuing dogs for about five years, it was formally established this past summer, with a mission of sheltering and rehoming senior and special needs dogs of all breeds.
Many of the adoptable dogs can be viewed at www.hopeforalldogs.com. The organization holds monthly adoption events in several locations, including Blakeney Shopping Center.
Chandler said that if the zoning matter can’t be resolved, the group will try to adopt all of the dogs out quickly.
“We have worked so hard to rescue these sweet dogs. We cannot bear to stand by and watch them lose their lives because of this zoning issue,” she said. “I would like to make special plea to the Charlotte community that they consider adopting one of our very special animals. The love of a rescue is like no other.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animals, charlotte, disabled, dogs, elderly, hope for all dogs, north carolina, old, pets, pineville, rescue, senior, shelter, sick, violation, zoning
Leo fell into a Dumpster and couldn’t get out.
An aging Australian cattle dog mix, Leo apparently climbed a ramp attached to a large Dumpster and, when no one was looking, either jumped or fell in.
Barbara Grabell and her husband George Anderson searched high and low for Leo after he disappeared from their ranch in Alfalfa, Oregon.
“I thought he – sometimes, they just go off to die privately. I was walking the property, looking under trees, the sagebrush,” Grabell told KTVZ.
Grabell said she walked over to the nearby trash transfer station and looked in the 9-foot-tall Dumpster, which has a ramp that allows residents to more easily dump their garbage. It was about two-thirds full of garbage by then, but she didn’t see Leo. She shouted his name, but he’s hard of hearing.
Four days after Leo disappeared, the Dumpster was picked up for the trip to the Knott Landfill in Bend.
There, Paul Decker, a driver for Bend Garbage and Recycling, was watching its contents pour out when he saw, amid the trash, a dog — dazed and confused but alive, apparently having survived on a diet of garbage.
The dog was taken to the Humane Society of Central Oregon, which Grabell had called earlier to report Leo missing. They notified her he’d been found. She picked up Leo, took him to a vet to be checked out, and then back home.
“He’s home and he’s resting comfortably,” she said Saturday night. “I’m so thankful and relieved, you have no idea.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aging, alfalfa, alive, animals, australian cattle dog, barbara grabell, bend garbage and recycling, bin, climbed, disappeared, dog, dogs, dumped, dumpster, fell, garbage, humane society of central oregon, jumped, landfill, leo, lost, mix, old, oregon, paul decker, pets, survival, survived, trash, trash bin
With exactly what, I don’t know. But in the past four days, he has taken to yelping when he gets up from a long nap or makes a sudden move.
At the dog park this week, he has plodded along lethargically, showing little interest in other dogs — even when he ran into this little white fellow who shares his name. How’s that for a pair of Aces?
I have poked and prodded every inch of his oversized body, but I’m unable to pinpoint what particular spot might be hurting him.
So today, we’re off to the vet.
My first thought was the hips. That’s based partly on the simple fact that he’s very big. Then, too, some of you might recall, when I took Ace to an animal communicator three months ago, she told me he was having some mild discomfort in that area. Add in the 10 months we’ve been traveling, and all the hopping up into and down from the back of my jeep he’s been doing, and the hips seem as good a guess as any.
I knew the day would come when the jumping in and out of the car would need to cease, and given his size, maybe that practice should never have started. Chances are — at age 6 — that day is here, earlier than I expected, and not without some accompanying guilt on my part.
Then again, it might not be his hips at all. Although he’s hesitating to jump into the car, he’s not yelping when he does so — only when makes a sudden movement, usually after laying still.
I’ve pushed on his paws, rubbed the lengths of his legs, looked into his ears and down his throat, poked his belly and prodded his hips. None of that seemed to bother him. He didn’t yelp. He didn’t do that thing he does where his eyes get big, which signifies, to me, anyway, rising alarm on his part. That would have told me I was getting close.
The only time he yelped was when I lowered his head, making me think maybe the pain is in his neck, or spine-related. A half hour massage followed, which, though it might not have helped at all, he seemed to appreciate.
Twice, I’ve come home to hear him howling — not howls of pain, I don’t think, but howls of loneliness. Twice I’ve left the video camera on, to try and capture their onset, but he didn’t howl those times. And the times he did, he immediately cheered up and ran around when I walked through the door.
I’m pretty sure Ace is less than in love with our new basement quarters, though he likes the upstairs and yard just fine. He has shown a distinct preference for being outside, content to lay at top of stairs, keeping an eye on the kitchen window of the mansion owner, who gives him a daily biscuit.
Something about the basement bothers him. And friends I’ve talked about it with have different theories. Maybe he was mistreated in a basement in his puppyhood. Maybe the old mansion we’re living under is haunted. Maybe, with a firehouse around the corner, the sirens are bothering him, though they never have before — and we lived in Baltimore, where sirens are background music. Maybe it’s the lack of sunlight, or he’s getting arthritic and the cold and dampness of the cellar aggravate it.
He’s moving slowly, lethargically (except when the treats come out), and rather than circling twice before laying down, he’s circling about eight times.
Yesterday, working with my theory that it might be his neck, I took a treat and moved it around in front of him — from side to side, then up and down. There were no yelps. Either it caused no pain, or the thought of getting food superceded it.
So, with fingers crossed, we’re headed to the nearest veterinarian, with hopes that whatever is bothering him is something minor, something that will pass or doesn’t cost too much to fix, something unrelated to all the traveling I’ve put him through — 21,000 miles of it over the past ten months, something that is neither chronic nor old-age related.
Because he’s too young to be old.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 16th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, aches, aging, america, animals, back, basement, depression, diagnose, discomfort, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, emotional, health, howling, howls, mansion, neck, north carolina, old, pain, pets, physical, road trip, sick, spine, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, veterinarian, veterinary, vets, yelping, yelps
Puck’s family thinks their aging dog has lost most of his senses. He’s deaf. He’s blind in the one eye he has left. And if you put a treat on the ground in front of him, he can’t seem to hone in on it by sniffing. It’s more of a random search. He may or may not taste his watered down food.
But at least one sense remains — not one of the big five, but an important one all the same — his sense of dignity.
At 17, Puck doesn’t run anymore. In recent years, his three block walks shrunk to two block walks, then one block walks, then no block walks. He can’t do the stairs anymore. He has epilepsy, an enlarged heart, a hacking cough. He goes through long periods where he seems to zone out – standing motionlessly like a mini-cow in pasture — possibly the result of mini-strokes. He wears a diaper around the clock.
These days, Puck doesn’t jump, doesn’t play – instead he spends his days asleep or in quiet reflection.
And that’s just fine with George Fish and Kathleen Sullivan.
Puck can cuddle as well as he ever did; relishes a scratch behind the ears as much as he ever did – maybe even more.
George was once my college roommate; and my overnight visit with them last week at their home in Fredericksburg, Virginia, was the third time I’d seen Puck – the first being when he was a youngster, the second about two years ago. When I reconnect with George on the phone, I’m usually afraid to ask about Puck, fearing the worst. But George generally volunteers the information: “Puck’s still alive.” Or “Puck’s still around.”
George and Kathleen’s daughter, Elizabeth, was 7 when they got Puck, and she came up with the name — as in pucker up — based on how much he liked to kiss. She’s 24 now and living in California.
The dog – part of a litter that resulted from an unauthorized get-together between a poodle and a terrier — didn’t look anything like a poodle, Kathleen notes. “But it was cute.”
She called her husband to let him know: “We sort of have a dog now.”
“George came home and I think in three seconds he was in love,” she said.
Nearly a generation later, Puck remains – less lively, less mobile and diaper clad. It attaches with Velcro and holds a sanitary napkin, a regular one during the day, a maxi pad at night. It’s removed for his trips outside, where he mostly stands motionlessly, his tail periodically going into bouts of wagging.
Every night, they tote him to his upstairs bed. Every morning, they carry him to his downstairs bed, which they call his “office.” Next to it is a family portrait, a toy fax machine,a stapler and a collection of Puck’s other favorite things.
George says he has learned a lot from Puck – both about patience and grace.
Puck has had to put up with eye ulcers, which led to the removal of one of his eyes a year ago, and after that he lost sight in the remaining one. Vet bills amounted to about $4,000 for the eye problems alone. He also has been on medication for epileptic seizures since he was a pup. He’s probably had some small strokes, and his cough has led to more vet bills and interrupted sleep.
How much does all that matter in the big scheme of dog-family love? Not a bit.
Some friends tell George it’s time to put Puck down, but George can’t see doing that – “not as long as his tail keeps wagging.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 29th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace does america, aging, animals, dog, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, elderly, fredericksburg, george fish, kathleen sullivan, mixed breed, mutt, old, old dogs, pets, poodle, puck, road trip, terrier, virginia
The burglars who hit Joey Graham’s home in Montgomery, Alabama can keep the digital camera.
But he wants his dog back.
Last week burglars ransacked his home, for the second time in six months, and took a digital camera and his 14-year-old schnauzer, Avery, who suffers from cataracts, TV station WSFA reported.
“This is the cruelest crime that I could ever imagine. They could’ve had anything in this house, but to take a person’s dog …He’s very old. He’s only of value to me,” said Graham, who has had the dog since college.
Graham is posting signs and advertisements to get Avery back home, and he’s offering a $500 reward for the dog’s safe return. “I’m willing to pay it. Not ask any questions. I just want the dog back.”
If Avery doesn’t return, he added, “There’s not going to be a Christmas here. Not this year.”
Two women who saw the TV news report called Graham Monday and said they had seen a dog matching Avery’s description in the neighborhood across the street from the Montgomery Regional Airport.
Graham was headed to the neighborhood when the women called him a second time to report that they had successfully enticed the dog to come to them and that they were holding him, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.
Graham got his dog back, and insisted on giving the women the $500, which he referred to as a “Christmas present from Avery.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 8th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 14, alabama, avery, burglars, burglary, christmas, crime, digital camera, dog, joey graham, montgomery, old, return, reward, stolen
Otto — a nearly 21-year-old dachshund mix from across the pond — has been proclaimed the world’s oldest dog by the Guinness Book of World Records.
To be precise — for all those who will be coming out of the woodwork saying their dogs are older — Otto is 20 years and eight months, the UK’s Daily Mail reports.
Owners Lynn and Peter Jones, from Shrewsbury, entered him for the title with Guinness World Records after learning of the death last month of the previous title holder, a 21-year-old dachshund in New York named Chanel.
Otto’s claim to the record was approved this week. Mrs. Jones, 53, has owned Otto since he was six weeks old.
They attribute his longevity to “plenty of love, plenty of good food” and regular veterinary check-ups.
Otto has arthritis, and doesn’t appreciate walks like he used to. “He gets about ten yards down the road then looks back over his shoulder as if to say ‘I want to go home,’” Mrs. Jones said. “But he’s still playful. He can still jump all over people when they come round.”
The oldest dog on record was an Australian cattle dog named Bluey, who lived to 29 years and five months before having to be put down in 1939.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 23rd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: age, bluey, book, chanel, dachshund, dog, dogs, guinness, life span, longevity, lynn jones, mix, old, oldest, otto, peter jones, records, shrewsbury, world, world's oldest dog