When nine-week-old Harper Brousseau stopped breathing during the night, a mutt named Duke woke up her parents.
Jenna Brousseau says Duke jumped up on her bed Sunday night, and woke up her and her husband with his shaking.
That was out of character for Duke, so the couple went to check on their daughter at their home in Connecticut to make sure everything was alright.
In the nursery, they found their daughter wasn’t breathing and called 911.
Paramedics were able to revive the baby, who’s now doing fine.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopted, animals, awakened, baby, bed, breathing, child, dog, dog saves baby, dogs, duke, infant, jumped, mixed breed, mutt, parents, pets, saves, shelter, stopped, woke
When the parents of an 18-month-old girl heard her cries and saw the tip of her finger had been severed, they immediately blamed the family pit bull.
They were wrong.
According to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, the parents were at home in Maine Township, Ill., one night last week when they heard their daughter’s screams, saw her bleeding finger and realized it was missing its tip.
They called 911 and an ambulance took the girl to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where a doctor realized that, based on the looks of the wound, it wasn’t a dog bite after all, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Frank Bilecki, a sheriff’s office spokesman, said authorities called to inform the girl’s father, who was still at home, about that.
At that point — and we can only assume he didn’t do this with the pit bull, or the story would have mentioned it – the father plunged his hand into the fish bowl, grabbing one of family’s two piranhas.
“He grabbed a knife and cut it open and found her fingertip right there,” Bilecki said.
The piece of her finger was taken to the hospital. Doctors were trying to re-attach it.
Bilecki said he did not know if the tank was covered or how the child got access to it, but he said the mother and father are not facing any citations after the incident.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, aquarium, bit, bite, blame, blamed, child, cook county, dog, dogs, finger, fingertip, fish, fish tank, illinois, maine township, parenting, parents, pets, piranha, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, safety, severed
As some of you know, the main reason for my lengthy layover in Winston-Salem, North Carolina — in addition to it being the place of my birth, and a lovely mid-sized town, and its temperate climate, and its thriving arts scene, and it’s cigaretty legacy — is that my mother lives here.
About twice a week we get together. They are brief and pleasant visits, usually for a meal at the retirement community in which she lives, though sometimes I manage to talk her into an outing.
It has been nice to live so near her, and we get along well, almost drama free. I feel we’ve grown closer, and that she’s grown closer to Ace, too — but not so close that she’s accepting when he drools on her, as he does when she breaks out the dog biscuits.
“It leaves a stain,” she says. “No,” I argue, “drool doesn’t leave a stain. It just disappears.” (I know this from my own pillow.) Usually, any disagreements we have are minor, like that.
There’s really only one recurring major issue we clash over: pants, namely mine.
Well, there is the job issue (as in I should really get one) and the health insurance issue (as in I should really get some). But mainly it’s pants.
She thinks I should have some ”dress pants.”
That’s her term. To me, it seems a contradiction. “Dress pants” is like “bottle can” or “shoe socks” or “underpants hat,” or like those half skirt/half shorts things women once wore that I think have gone out of style. What were they called? Culottes?
For nearly 40 years, I’ve worn blue jeans every day. There might have been a brief phase where I experimented with corduroy, but mainly my lower half is constantly clad in denim, which I’m pretty sure is the reason all the hair has rubbed off my lower legs.
I knew when I moved here that the official uniform of the southern male was khaki pants, but I figured I could get by with my one pair. Alas, in my mothers view, they — at least my pair — don’t constitute real dress pants.
This is because all my pants that aren’t jeans — and I think most of them were purchased in the 1980s or early 90s — have extra pockets and, often, a little loop for a hammer.
At some point — and perhaps it still is, I don’t know – it became fashionable for some men’s pants to have a little loop for a hammer, even though they were worn by non-carpenters who didn’t need a little loop for a hammer.
My other non-jean pants are what I think are called “cargo pants” — the ones with extra pockets and pouches with velcro flaps at knee level.
To my mother’s eye, neither carpenter-style pants, nor cargo-style pants, nor “casual pants” of any ilk qualify as dress pants.
In my defense, I ditched many of my belongings, possibly including some “dress pants,” before Ace and I began our travels. Maybe I figured I would be attending few formal functions on the road, and would be more likely to need pants with a little loop for a hammer.
Besides, I never liked “dress pants.” They are too billowy. I need pants that I know are there, that embrace me. It’s probably the same concept as that Temple Grandin hugging machine, or the Thundershirt.
With Thanksgiving coming up, I’ve been invited to join some friends of hers – my mother, not Temple Grandin – at the retirement community for dinner, so again last weekend, the subject of “dress pants” arose.
“Do you even have any dress pants?” she asked.
“These are dress pants.”
“Dress pants don’t have little loops for hammers.”
“Well you can do other things with the little loop,” I said.
“Nothing I can think of right off, but I’m sure there are other, more formal uses.”
The interesting thing about this tension — and what is Thanksgiving without some family tension? — is that it’s a carryover from my teen-aged years, a good 40 years past, when we’d have many an argument, more heated than the ones we have now, about appearance and especially the length of my hair at the time.
Recently, in going through her papers, with her permission of course, I found a letter I had written her one summer during my college years, lecturing her on how it was what is in one’s heart that was important, not the clothes upon one’s back or the length of one’s hair.
Such a sanctimonious little wannabe hippy I was.
Anyway, with Thanksgiving approaching, I have three options. Plan A is to wear a suit (I do have a suit). Plan B (because I do like to sometimes irritate my mother) is to wear my pants with a little loop for a hammer and actually put a hammer in the little loop. Plan C (because I also like to, on rare occasion, make her happy) is to go buy some “nice dress pants.”
Plan C is highly unlikely. (But I did get a haircut yesterday.)
I’m leaning toward the suit, or at least the pants from the suit. Chances are they will be a little tight, but I think maybe with help from the claw end of a hammer, I can squeeze into them.
Now where did I put my hammer?
Posted by jwoestendiek November 23rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, appearance, attire, big boy pants, blue jeans, cargo pants, carpenter pants, casual pants, clothing, dogs, dress, dress pants, families, haircut, hammer, holidays, humor, khakis, mother, pants, parents, peace, pets, spiffy, temple grandin, tension, thanksgiving, travels with ace
“Make Your Human Stay Home Day” (and I do expect to receive any and all profits associated with the concept both now and in the future) is not meant to replace Take Your Dog To Work Day.
Rather, it would be an additional day (a weekday, of course) on which all employees with pets are encouraged to stay home (with pay, of course) and spend some quality time with their dogs.
Employees without pets would be similarly excused from work if they promised to spend the day visiting their local shelter, considering, at least, adopting a pet.
That means the only people at the office would be those who don’t like dogs, or don’t have room in their life for a dog, or think dogs are disruptive — the sort of people who oppose Take Your Dog to Work Day. Coincidentally or not, these are usually the cranky and mean-spirited ones. So, in addition to getting a day at home with your dog, you would get a day away from them.
Unlike on the weekend, which most humans fill up with activities, some involving the dog and some not, this day would be all about your dog — not about showing him off, or thrusting him into a strange environment, but about you spending some quiet time in his world.
On this day, you would be encouraged to lay in the grass, take extended naps, bark at the postal carrier, chase a squirrel or two, sniff everything in existence and, if you are in really good physical condition, lick your own loins.
Because Make Your Human Stay Home Day could have an adverse impact on professional dog walkers, whose services would not be required on this day, we suggest you go ahead and pay them anyway because they probably deserve it.
If the concept proves as beneficial as I anticipate, we could extend it, and start having “Make Your Parents Stay Home Day.”
That, as well, could result in happier, closer families and, more importantly, another paid day off.
We expect some opposition to our idea from corporate America and from executives who, though they stay home whenever they please, don’t look kindly on their workforces being diminished, unless they are the ones ordering the diminishing.
Until we get this concept up and running, we continue to throw our full support behind Take Your Dog to Work Day, which you can read a good account about in today’s Baltimore Sun — where I used to work, and which didn’t take part in Take Your Dog to Work Day, which may be what inspired my genius idea for Make Your Human Stay Home Day.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 24th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: absence, adopt, animals, barking, children, day off, dog, dog walkers, dogs, dogwalkers, employees, excused, holidays, home, humans, idea, licking, make your human stay home day, naps, office, paid holiday, parents, pet sitters, pets, petsitters, proposal, shelter, squirrels, stay home, take your dog to work day, with pay, work, workplace
One pitfall of freeloading, I’ve learned – at least twice now – is that every person’s home has its own quirks, whether it’s a toilet that’s tricky to flush, water faucets in which the hot and cold are reversed, or doors that lock behind you when you step outside.
The latter caught me again this week.
After spending a week with my brother in Gilbert, I headed up Friday to spend a couple of days with my father in Scottsdale. Ace, who he and his wife Bonnie had met before, reconnected with the both of them, and so dazzled them with his good behavior that they felt okay about leaving him in the house when we all went out to eat some Mexican food.
A couple hours later, around 8 p.m., they went to bed, first showing me the ropes – like the light that, because of no off switch, must be unplugged, the switch to turn off the ceiling fan, how their TV remote (a device that has grown increasingly complex in recent years) worked.
I kicked off my shoes, hopped on the couch, started blogging, switched to watching TV and dozed off.
Around 11:30 I was awakened by a beeping. The burglar alarm, though not enabled, was spouting off. They were sleeping right through it, so I decided to check the perimeter of their home, and smoke a cigarette while I was at it. I slid open the sliding glass door to the backyard and called Ace, who stuck his head out, felt the temperature outside and pulled his head back in like a turtle.
Fine, stay inside, I said, pushing the sliding door closed to preserve the precious air conditioning.
And hearing an ominous click.
Exactly one month after locking myself out the first time on this trip, at my mother’s home, I’d locked myself out again, at my father’s home. (Please feel free to psychoanalyze that behavior.)
I briefly pondered sleeping outside, but with temperatures still feeling like they were in the 90s, I motioned for Ace to come to the door, thinking maybe by some miracle he could lift his paw up and hit the lock to let me back in. Instead he stared at me through the window with a look that said “What are you doing out there?” turned around, walked over to the couch and, always the opportunist, climbed into the spot where I was formerly dozing.
So much for a Lassie-esque rescue.
In my socks, I walked through gravel whose pieces felt like they’d been individually sharpened, and around to the front door, checking windows on the way. Everything was locked up tight, including the front door, which not even my nearly over-the-limit credit card could get open. I briefly worried about the alarm company showing up, seeing me trying to gain entry, and unloading on me. After all, this is Arizona.
I rang the doorbell, once, then twice, then a dozen times, knocked on the door until my knuckles ached, but no one awakened, not even Ace. Then I took to slamming on the door, hard, with my open hand. That got Ace to barking, which, combined with a few dozen more doorbell rings, finally brought my father downstairs to let me in.
“What are you doing out there?” he asked.
I explained the whole thing. He went back to bed. Stressed out by the whole ordeal, I stepped outside for a cigarette, this time insisting my hero dog come with me, and leaving the door open a crack.
(To go back to the beginning of “Dog’s Country,” click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 26th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, ace does america, america, arizona, dog's country, dogscountry, family, freeloading, lassie, locked out, ohmidog!, parents, phoenix, reescue, road trip, travel, traveling with dogs, visiting, visits
Janice Lloyd, the voice of USA Today’s Paw Print Post, wrote a spectacularly moving piece yesterday about her brother’s golden retriever and the dog’s newfound bond with her aging father.
The dog, Lloyd writes, “has adopted my father since last Thursday, giving him a comfort he can find no place else right now.” At 93, she says, her father is showing signs of dementia, and since his wife fell and broke her hip on a recent vacation cruise, leading to a stay in a nursing home, he’s been staying with his son, Lloyd’s brother, in Delaware.
“My dad gets teary at night when he has to leave his bride in the home. He doesn’t understand why he can’t sleep with her. We explain that he can’t stay there. He thinks she seems OK and can go home. The conversation recurs nightly, often more than once.”
Sophie, the nine-year-old golden retriever, “seemed to sense immediately that Dad needed a care taker. She rose to the occasion. She curls up with him on the sofa and puts her head in his lap. My dad rubs her head and smiles at her. My brother says ‘she doesn’t even do that with me …’
“When it’s time for dad to go to bed, she goes downstairs with him and jumps up on the kingsize bed and stays the night,” Lloyd wrote. Her brother says when her father gets up early in the morning for a trip to the bathroom, he tells Sophie to wait for him in bed. When he comes back, he’ll say “Good girl, Sophie. I’m glad you stayed. Let’s go back to sleep. ”
A veteran of World War II, Lloyd’s father visits his wife in the nursing home every day, often falling asleep in a chair as he holds her hand.
Back at his son’s home, Sophie is the comforter.
“When I drove him to my brother’s from the nursing home Sunday night, Sophie ran up to the side of the car where Dad was sitting. She smiled at him. My brother says Goldens smile. Now I believe it. She greeted my Dad when he got out of the car. She never left his side while we watched a little TV before going to bed.”
Sophie, she says, ”offers a comfort none of us can give him.”
(Photo by Janice Lloyd / USA Today)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 27th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aging, animals, bond, comfort, dog, dogs, elderly, golden retriever, humans, janice lloyd, nursing home, ohmidog!, parents, paw print post, pets, psychology, relationship, sophie, usa today
At Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, faculty and staff bring their dogs to school every Tuesday during September, gather on a grassy field and allow students to have their homesickness washed away by spending an hour with the hounds.
The events are aimed at helping students overcome their homesickness, which often includes a longing for the family dog, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The “Dog Days” have been held on campus for five years.
They were started by former counseling director Kathy Bradley, now executive director of health and counseling at Gettysburg College. Bradley has started a similar program there. A few times a semester, Bucknell University in Lewisburg, which heard about Susquehanna’s program, brings trained therapy dogs – some owned by staff members – to campus to visit with students.
“The fact is that students miss their pets, sometimes more than they miss their families,” said Anna Beth Payne, associate dean of student life and director of Susquehanna’s counseling center.
Professors especially like the opportunity for the informal gatherings, saying they break the ice and can help make the campus, and the professors, seem less intimidating to students.
Nine dogs showed up on a recent Tuesday, a typical turnout, and dozens of students stopped to play with them, one of whom said she missed her dog, Babe, back home in Maine — at leas as much as she missed her mother.
“It’s a close tie between the dog and my mom,” she said.
(Philadelphia Inquirer photo by Robert Landry)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 5th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bucknell, campus, college, colleges, dog, dogs, educations, gettysburg college, homesick, homesickness, life, parents, pennsylvania, pets, professors, students, susquehanna university, universities
Just in time for school — and just a little bit creepy — a New Jersey company has announced what it says is the first enterprise of its kind: making drug-sniffing dogs available to parents concerned their children might be using drugs.
Launching to coincide with the back-to-school season, Sniff Dogs, LLC, offers a confidential drug detection service — police aren’t involved at all – in which dogs specially trained to locate drugs discreetly sniff out Junior’s room or workplace.
The company’s website explains how it works.
“You set up an appointment with Sniff Dogs when you’re going to be home by yourself. A search performed while the party-of-concern is not present is a critical success factor â€” as not only does it reduce conflict and anxiety, it also helps to retain discretion, should a subsequent search be warranted.”
The website says the dog doesn’t actually locate the drugs, or specify what type, but just gives a sign that they are present.
It’s up to parents to ransack Junior’s room after that.
Founded by a Union County woman, Sniff Dogs uses dogs trained to locate marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methadone, xanax and ecstasy â€“- “as a private service with no law enforcement or government affiliation.”
In a press release, the company says the discovery of drugs can lead to a “fact-based conversation with their loved ones regarding drug use, allowing for early intervention.”
Sniff Dogs was founded by a Summit, N.J. mother, who thought other means of drug detection were “extremely limited and universally intrusive,” and that drug-sniffing dogs “fosters a more supportive and family-friendly solution for intervention.“
Branches in Ohio and New Jersey have already been established and additional Sniff Dogs operations will be launching soon, the press release says.
All too often at my park, and maybe your’s, conflicts develop between those who go there to let their dogs get some needed off-leash romping and those who go there to experience something other than big, slobbery, barking, dirty-pawed creatures careening around like a pinballs.
The law, as most of us know, is on the side of the latter. Dogs are required to be on leashes at all times in all of the city parks in Baltimore, and violation of that law can result in a $100 fine.
Nevertheless at my park, Riverside, as at Patterson, Federal Hill, Carroll, Latrobe, Druid Hill, Wyman and others, dog owners regularly take that risk to allow their dogs some exercise. Dogs gotta run and, in the city, the parks are the only game in town.
Having only one official dog park — though more appear to be on the way — means all the rest of the parks must be shared by dogs and humans, which, with a little common sense and respect, is not all that hard to accomplish. In other words, we can all just get along. Read more »