While, as you can see above, the First Lady quickly seized control of the situation, the Second Dog got in a little trouble yesterday at a White House Christmas party.
Sunny Obama, the second Portuguese water dog the Obamas adopted, was part of a minor incident in which, by most reports, the one-year-old dog’s over-friendliness caused a party guest, 2-year-old Ashtyn Gardner, to fall over.
Sunny, adopted in August, jumped up on the toddler during the 2013 White House Holiday Press Preview.
The moment – not the worst violation of etiquette to ever take place in the White House, but maybe the cutest — was captured by Associated Press photographer Charles Dharapak.
Michelle Obama hosts the party every year, unveiling the White House’s holiday decorations with families of military service members.
Ashtyn, both of whose parents are in the Navy, was attending the party with her father, John Gardner, who later said that Ashtyn was fine.
Sunny reportedly apologized right after the incident by licking Ashtyn’s face, and both Sunny and Bo, the Obama’s first Portuguese water dog, were allowed to remain in the room afterward.
The Washington Post said Sunny “bounded into a State Dining Room full of children dressed in sparkly shoes and lacy dresses and headed right for little Ashtyn Gardner, 2, from Mobile, Ala. All of a sudden the blond girl with ringlet curls … was down on the rug. …
“Are you okay?” said a concerned Obama, mom-in-chief, tugging back on Sunny’s leash. But there was no need for damage control. Before Ashtyn could answer, she was back on her feet and Sunny was licking her face. All seemed well again, and the kids from military families could get back to frosting cookies and making paper poinsettia flowers with the first lady, crafty projects that have become a part of the Obama holiday traditions.
The Associated Press also avoided saying Sunny made contact with the girl, reporting Ashtyn “lost her balance and dropped to the carpet when Michelle Obama led the leashed puppy (a separate handler held Bo) into the State Dining Room…”
The dogs, in addition to attending the fest, also are a large part of its theme. Two life-sized replicas of the Portuguese water dogs, made from black satin ribbon, are on display, and miniature versions of them, made of chocolate, are part of the annual gingerbread White House display.
(Photo: Charles Dharapak / Associated Press)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 5th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ashtyn gardner, associated press, bo, bo obama, Charles Dharapak, christmas, decorations, dogs, etiquette, first dog, first lady, girl, jumped, michelle, michelle obama, navy, obama, party, pets, photo, photographer, portuguese water dogs, president, second dog, sunny, sunny obama, white house
We’re not big on dogs being tethered to anything — posts, parking meters, even, except when necessary, humans.
And, entanglements sometimes being easy to get into and hard to get out of, it’s definitely not a good idea, generally speaking, to leash them to each other.
But this was brief, and supervised, and kinda cute.
Ace was recruited into babysitting duty over the weekend when, on the quatro de Mayo, we went to a Cinco de Mayo party at a former neighbor’s home.
Two other guests brought their little dogs. First came a pipsqueak of a pup named Penny who, after greeting everyone, still had lots of energy to spare. With a fairly busy road nearby, it was suggested Penny be tethered to a somewhat stationary object — namely Ace.
Plus, he was used to being latched to smaller dogs, having shepherded a dachshund friend several times without stepping on him.
Plus, he was so happy to return to his old neighborhood he wasn’t about to dart off, or even saunter off, dragging two little balls of fluff behind him.
Plus, I was watching over it all pretty closely.
Ace didn’t seem to mind the arrangement a bit, and Penny put up with it, sometimes walking along in stride with him. She figured out pretty quickly, when she did try to scoot of on her own, that it was hopeless.
After exploring together, Ace decided to lay down, and Penny settled nearby, finding a stick to chew on.
About then, Charlie arrived, another fluffy little dog — slightly larger than Penny. That led to an energy surge, at least among the smaller, younger dogs, so we decided to hook Charlie to Ace, too.
As Charlie and Penny frolicked, Ace monitored them for a while, then worked the crowd, begging for food and ignoring the occasional little tugs on his harness.
Eventually, Charlie and Penny were freed, and they were so into playing, they didn’t go anywhere, except in tiny circles around each other — ignoring their babysitter entirely.
I think Ace liked briefly having a mission.
Like all good things though, it came to an end.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, babysitter, babysitting, backyard, charlie, cinco de mayo, dogs, harness, leash, leashed, party, penny, pets, play, supervision, tethered, tethering
The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) is having a party Saturday — and it’s a chance to get your pet a gift and support hundreds more who need homes.
A Pet Junkie Party will take place in the Conference Room at BARCS, starting at 4 .m. tomorrow (Saturday). BARCS is located at 301 Stockholm Street in Batimore, near M&T Bank Stadium.
Pet Junkie representative Denise Smallman-Chilcoat will be selling dog and cat toys, pet-themed home decor items, jewelry, T-shirts and more, with 35 percent of sales going to BARCS.
For those unable to make it to the party, Pet Junkie will donate 35 percent of online sales to BARCS.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 19th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, barcs, bling, cats, denise smallman-chilcoat, doggie, dogs, fundraiser, gifts, jewerly, online, party, pet junkie, pet products, pets, sales, t-shirts, toys
Yesterday, I came across the website Momlogic, by virtue of an article appearing therein that triggered my special Internet alarm that goes off when somebody, somewhere is verbally bashing dogs.
The article was headlined Your Dog Grosses Me Out.
In it, Jennifer Ginsberg — a Los Angeles mother, writer, addiction specialist and producer of the website angstmom – recounts a dinner party experience in which she encountered not one, but two dogs, who were not only inside the house, but behaved, well, like dogs.
“If you choose to cohabit with dogs, then how about putting them outside for meals and parties? I know that you consider them to be a part of the family, but they are animals, not people, and it is not acceptable for them to infringe on the comfort of your guests.”
She continues: “It is freaking annoying when I sit down on your fur-covered sofa with a plate of food and your dog stands one inch from me, panting his nasty doggy breath and whimpering as he begs for my crudites. My 2-year-old daughter didn’t enjoy when Shlomo sucked on her toes while she was eating birthday cake, either!
“Humanizing animals is a glaring example of our society’s broken moral compass. It’s easier for some people to feel frothy emotion about the imagined plight of an animal over actual human suffering. It’s also simpler to have a relationship with a pet than a person — there aren’t any real emotional requirements, and you get to feel loved unconditionally for no good reason.
“If these self-proclaimed dog lovers really cared about animals, perhaps they would strive to meet their genuine needs, rather than attempt to turn their dogs into submissive love slaves. These poor dogs are tools for people to get their narcissistic needs met, while they deserve to be respected for the animals they are. The truth is, dogs don’t belong in houses — their natural habitat is outdoors — and they certainly don’t belong at a party with young children running around.”
I’m guessing Ginsburg won’t have to worry about being invited back to a party at that dog-contaminated house again. What’s puzzling, though, is why she went to the party in the first place, given her feelings (or lack thereof) about dogs, and given she admits to knowing there’d be at least one there: “I knew that I would have to deal with Shlomo, their big, stinky dog.”
From time to time, I see a similar sort of behavior at the park: The person with an unsocialized and leashed dog, though plenty of alternate routes are available, opts to walk him right through the middle of 20 unleashed ones, then complains when their dog is approached by one of them. Some people just seem to thrive on confrontation.
While it’s true that wolves, from which dogs evolved, may not “belong in houses,” neither do apes, from which we evolved into the ruling, supremely intelligent, somewhat bossy species we have become.
Given her field of expertise, you’d think Ginsburg would at least be a little more understanding about the plight of the dog-addicted.
Meanwhile, I have only this advice for the next time she’s invited to a party where there might be a danger of her comfort being infringed upon by her gracious host’s lowly dogs:
Stay at home, mom.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: angstmom, animals, apes, behavior, complaint, confrontation, dog, dog-bashing, dogs, evolution, friends, habitat, homes, humanizing, humans, indoors, inside, jennifer ginsberg, logic, mom, momlogic.com, mothers, natural, party, relationships, species, status, stay at home, wolves, your dog grosses me out
Ben — a Jack Russell terrier rescued from a puppy mill — will be hosting his fourth annual cruise this Friday.
One of 300 dogs freed and re-homed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund in a North Carolina legal case, Ben moved to Annapolis.
The three-hour cruise, aboard Watermark’s Harbor Queen, departs at 7 p.m., this coming Friday (Sept. 18) from the Annapolis City Dock.
This year’s cruise will feature complimentary finger food, doggie treats, a cash bar, music by Dan Haas and Ben’s Bones band, a silent auction, and prizes and raffles — one of which is a trip to attend the filming of an episode of the television show “Dancing with the Stars” in Los Angeles.
Tickets ($55 per person, dogs are free) must be purchased in advance, either at Paws Pet Boutique, 64 State Circle, or by calling 410-263-8683. Raffle tickets can be purchased in advance as well.
To learn more about the cruise and other dog-friendly events in and around Maryland, visit ohmidog’s “Doggie Doings” page.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 12th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aldf, animal legal defense fund, annapolis, ben, benefit, cruise, dog, dog friendly, doggie doings, dogs, events, fundraiser, harbor queen, jack russell terrier, larry kownacki, michelle kownacki, ohmidog!, party, paws pet boutique, watermark
Tom McPhee and his award-winning documentary about pets during Hurricane Katrina — “An American Opera: The Greatest Pet Rescue Ever!” — are hitting the road on a year-long 80-city tour.
“The Rescue Party Tour” starts this month and will highlight local animal organizations in each city it visits (Baltimore’s not on the list yet).
The documentary is described as a “visceral, operatic vision of what happened to the pet owners of New Orleans who were forced to evacuate after Hurricane Katrina without their beloved pets, and the volunteers who came from all over the world to help.
“America suffered its worst domestic animal crisis in history when tens of thousands of animals were left to perish in neighborhoods all across the gulf. This heartfelt story follows the pets, vets, owners, officials, rescuers, and adopters of animals as they work through the chaos to do what is right, only to discover not everyone is working toward the same goal.”
For more information about the movie, visit its website.
For more information about the tour, see www.RescuePartyTour.com.
Local animal groups interested in showcasing the movie and their work in the community, can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by John Woestendiek May 24th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: an american opera, animal welfare, documentary, greatest pet rescue, hurricane, katrina, movie, organizations, owners, party, pet, rescue, shelters, tom mcphee, tour, trailer, volunteers
The Great Pit Ball, an all-day charity event to benefit the Villalobos Animal Rescue Center, the largest rehabilitation and placement facility for abandoned pit bulls in the world, is scheduled to take place March 14 in Las Vegas.
All proceeds from the night will go to the rescue center.
“Like many non-profits today, Villalobos has been under financial duress for some time due to the economic climate so we knew we had to do something to help,” said Brandon Bond, a tattoo artist from Atlanta who co-organized the event.
“People have many misconceptions about pit bulls, when in reality, they are the most loyal, loving and amazing animals,” said co-organizer Ralph Perazzo, award-winning pastry chef and owner of Rare Concepts Group.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 9th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: all or nothing tattoo, animal planet, art, ball, brandon bond, casinos, charity, chef, concert, dining for dogs, dinner, dogs, event, fundraiser, great pit ball, hotels, las vegas, mandalay bay, michael vick, movie, music, outlaw dogz, palms, party, pit bulls, ralph perazzo, rare concepts group, tattoo artist, Vicktory to the Underdog, villalobos animal rescue center, world premiere
My dog’s lineage took another wild swerve last night when it was revealed that — contrary to an earlier DNA test that showed him to be Rottweiler and chow — he is actually Rottweiler and Akita.
The two detectable breeds in my dog Ace (left) and Elliot (right) were revealed at our “ohmidog! Identity Crisis and Breed Reveal Party,” which raised $500 for the Franky Fund for sick and injured animals at Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS).
While Ace’s mix was correctly guessed by a member of the crowd that gathered at the Idle Hour Tavern for the reveal, nobody nailed the two breeds that showed up in Elliot Gould: boxer and golden retriever.
Kelly Gould, Elliot’s owner — though she has nothing against boxers and golden retrievers — immediately demanded a recount, saying the DNA test’s findings were not at all in line with what she suspected.
Elliot, the winner of our “What’s in Your Mutt” contest, spent the day before the party at my house, where he behaved, in true mutt fashion, magnificently. At the Idle Hour, guests sized up Ace and Elliot, and tossed their guesses, along with their Franky Fund donations, into a fishbowl.
At 8 p.m., the envelopes were opened and the test results were announced. The two winners — in Elliot’s case, the person who came closest, picking boxer/shepherd — will receive ohmidog! sweatshirts. From the rest of the entries, three more winners were drawn to receive dog treat baskets, courtesy of K-9 Kraving Dog Food.
Thanks to K-9 Kraving, the Idle Hour, Mars Veterinary (makers of the Wisdom Panel MX Mixed Breed Analysis test kit), Dr. Johnny Slaughter (the vet who took the blood samples), and all those who showed up for the party.
(Tomorrow: Now what? We’ll take a look at what, if anything, the test results mean — to the dogs and their caretakers.)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 12th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, akita, barcs, boxer, breed, breeds, chow chow, dna, dr. johnny slaughter, elliot, franky fund, golden retriever, guess, hey mister what kind of dog is that, identity crisis, mars veterinary, mixed breed, mutts, news, ohmidog!, party, reveal, rottweiler, test, testing, what's in your mutt, wisdom panel
Where: Idle Hour Tavern, 201 E. Fort Ave., Baltimore
When: Today, 6 – 9 p.m.
Background: My dog Ace had his DNA tested a year and a half ago, as part of a series of stories and dogumentary I did for the Baltimore Sun. The test, based on a swab from his cheek, showed him to contain Rottweiler and chow. Since then, the tests have become more sophisticated, and capable of detecting more breeds. So we tested Ace again, this time, using the Wisdom Panel MX Mixed Breed test kit, which analyzes DNA through blood samples. It came out differently. We also tested Elliot, who won our “What’s In Your Mutt?” contest. Two breeds were found in him as well.
Tonight, you can meet the dogs and, in exchange for a donation to the Franky Fund for sick and injured animals at BARCS (Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter), make a guess as to what breeds are in them. The two who guess correctly will receive (in the mail) ohmidog! hooded sweatshirts. (In the event of ties, the earlier guess wins.) We’ll start taking guesses at 6 p.m. The “reveal” takes place at 8 p.m.
Our little celebration of mutthood will also include a raffle for a treat basket from K-9 Kraving Dog Food, human snacks (including, of course “mixed” nuts), information on how to find out what’s in your mutt, and other prizes.
All proceeds will go to the Franky Fund.
My dog is not the dog I thought he was.
Some of you may remember that, a year and a half ago, I had the DNA of my shelter dog Ace tested as part of a series I did about trying to determine his heritage.
Rottweiler and Chow were the breeds that showed up, as we reported in the seven-part series for the Baltimore Sun, “Hey, Mister, What Kind of Dog is That?”
We used the Canine Heritage breed test, which had just come out on the market and whose makers said they could, with a fair degree of accuracy, pinpoint which — of the 38 breeds that they were able to test for then — were in your dog.
About a month ago, given the rapid pace of technological improvement in doggie DNA testing — they can now identify up to 150 breeds — we decided to test Ace again, this time with the Wisdom Panel MX, from Mars Veterinary.
The results are in, and they’re different, and — even though I no longer work at the Baltimore Sun – a correction is in order. And, we think, a party.
Seeing as I have lost my identity (after 30-some years, I can no longer call myself a newspaper reporter) and seeing as Ace, has lost his (being no longer a Rottweiler-Chow), and seeing as Elliot (the dog on the right) has never known his, we’re proud to announce the “ohmidog! Identity Crisis and Breed Reveal Party,” to take place this Wednesday night at the Idle Hour Tavern at 201 E. Fort Avenue.
If you’re reading this, you’re invited. Come as you are. (We ain’t exactly purebreds and this ain’t exactly Westminster.) To the contrary, it’s a celebration of mutthood.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 9th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, andrew gould, barcs, breed, breed test, breeds, canine heritage, contest, dna, dna testing, dog, dogs, dr. johnny slaughter, elliot, franky fund, fundraiser, k-9 kraving dog food, kelly gould, mars veterinary, mixed breeds, mutts, news, ohmidog!, party, wisdom panel mx