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Tag: owner

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 trapped in car honks til he’s freed

A veterinarian says a dog trapped in a car on a 90-degree day in eastern Pennsylvania honked the horn until he was rescued.

Nancy Soares said the 11-year-old chocolate Labrador — named Max — was brought to the Macungie Animal Hospital last month after he had been in the car for about an hour.

She said Max’s owner, Donna Gardner, of Upper Macungie Township, had gone shopping, returned home, unloaded her packages, but forgot that Max was still in the car. The owner later heard the horn honking, checked outside, then went back in. When she heard the horn honking again, she went outside and saw Max sitting in the driver’s seat, WFMZ reported.

Soares said the owner immediately gave Max cold water to drink and wet him down with towels before rushing him to the clinic, where — though he was warm and panting heavily — he was determined to have suffered no lasting injuries.

Dog leads police to fire on owner’s property

It looks like something straight out of Lassie — a dog leads Alaska State Troopers down a series of winding back roads to a fire in his owner’s property.

It was all captured on a dashcam video that shows the German shepherd — Buddy — running to meet the trooper’s vehicle, then racing to the house on Caswell Lakes on April 4.

Troopers say Buddy and his owner, 23-year-old Ben Heinrichs, were in the family workshop when a heater ignited chemicals. According to the Associated Press, Heinrichs told Buddy: “We need to get help.”

The dog eventually found a trooper responding to a call about the fire and led him to it. Heinrichs suffered minor burns on his face, and his workshop was destroyed.

Buddy is receiving an award from the State Troopers today — an engraved silver-plated dog bowl in Anchorage.

Survivor: One-eyed dog keeps looking forward

kennedyIn December 2008, Robert Kennedy spotted a blue towel in the weeds of  Murphey Candler Park in DeKalb County, outside of Atlanta.

Upon closer inspection, he found a dog underneath it, one whose head had been badly beaten. An investigation would later determine the dog, named Austin at the time, had been bashed in the head twice with a sledgehammer. His owner, Joe Waters would later be arrested.

The case led to international headlines, and an outpouring of support.

Today, Murphy, as he was renamed — after the park — belongs officially to Kennedy. The 9-year-old Australian shepherd mix has only one eye, and a dented head, but he’s managed to teach Kennedy volumes.

As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution put it, “Murphy is far more focused on what lies ahead, not what is behind him.”

“I hope if I ever have any challenges, I can recover like him,” Kennedy said. “I take my cues from Murphy, and he has forgotten all about it.”

Kennedy, who found Murphy on his 60th birthday, took him to the closest veterinarian he could find. Stephen Pope, the medical director at VCA Pets Are People Too in Dunwoody, performed surgery to repair the skull and jaw fractures and to remove the damaged left eye. Eight days and $10,000 worth of care later, Murphy was released into Kennedy’s custody.

The dog suffered no long-term neurological damage and behaves much like any other dog, compensating only with the occasional cocked head to use his good eye. Under Kennedy’s care, Murphy’s weight has gone from 38 to 53 pounds.

Kennedy set up a trust fund for the dog’s care after offers to help poured in from 30 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. He raised $38,000 — money that will last throughout Murphy’s life and then go to nonprofit pet rescue groups.

The dog’s previous owner was convicted of a felony and two misdemeanors. He says he thought his pet had been poisoned and was attempting to mercifully kill it. He was sentenced to one year in jail.

Immediately after the ruling, a prosecutor presented Kennedy with notarized papers, declaring Murphy was his.

“He couldn’t be happier with life,” Kennedy said. “My wish for everybody is to have room in their heart to take a dog into their home and know that kind of happiness.”

(Photo: Vino Wong /Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Dog rescued, and re-rescued, from Lake Erie

Koozie, an 8-year-old mix-breed was rescued — and then re-rescued — from icy Lake Erie in New York. Monday.

After wandering away from her owner’s home outside Buffalo, she was spotted Monday night about 30 miles away, trapped on the ice off Westfield.

An Erie County Sheriff’s Department helicopter was summoned, but the rescue effort was put off until yesterday, when a crew member was lowered in a basket and plucked Koozie from the ice.

After being brought to shore, the dog immediately trotted back out onto the ice and had to be rescued a second time by the helicopter crew, according to the Associated Press.

She was checked out by a veterinarian and returned to her owner.

The scoop on Sadie

sadie_WestminsterHere’s the lowdown on America’s new top dog, courtesy of the American Kennel Club.

Breed: Scottish Terrier

AKC Name: CH Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot. (Sadie’s father and his littermates were all named for cars.)

Age: 4 years

Residence: Rialto, California

Biggest Wins: “National Champion” at the 2009 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship; Best in Show at both the 2009 Montgomery County Kennel Club and Philadelphia Kennel Club Dog Shows; won the Terrier Group at the 2009 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Seventy-nine Best in Show wins in 2009.

Favorite Pastime: When she’s not at home playing in the backyard or snuggling on the couch with her handler, Gabriel Rangel, Sadie loves being at dog shows. She loves the attention, the roar of the crowd and the treats she gets in the ring, the AKC says. When judges look at her, she looks back and makes it clear that she expects to be admired.

Favorite Treat: Sadie loves hot dogs made from organic chicken.

Exercise regimen: A long walk in deep grass in the morning and afternoon workouts on her treadmill

Beauty Regimen: Daily brushing, with a hair trim early in the week; on the morning of a show, she is bathed and blown dry.

Pedigree: Sadie is descended from the 1967 Westminster Kennel Club Best in Show winner Ch. Bardene Bingo. Bingo’s handler, Bob Bartos admires Sadie so much that he lets Sadie use Bingo’s show lead.

Fetishes: Sadie has a penchant for footwear. If a closet door is left open, Sadie helps herself to the lining of Rangel’s shoes.

Best friend: A Chihuahua named Tad.

Sleeping habits: In bed with her human family.

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.”