Last month, while comparing the records of the two major presidential candidates when it comes to dog friendliness, we questioned whether Donald Trump, as some reports suggested, even had a dog.
We noted that he had reportedly tweeted about his dog undergoing surgery back in February.
While various media outlets would go on to make references to that dog — named Spinee — the tale turned out to have come from a fake Trump Twitter page.
Trump has no dog, according to a post on the Washington Post’s Animalia blog.
The Post post speculates his fear of germs might be the reason — and it goes on to say that, as president, he probably should have a dog, for political reasons alone.
“In the digital age, when interest in online animal content dwarfs interest in political news, the absence of a Trump pet amounts to a forfeiture of low-hanging political fruit,” the Post post says.
(This kiwi, for one, resents that last remark.)
The Post says every president except James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson has owned a pet (if you count horses) for at least part of his term in office, and that having one can serve to soften a politician’s image.
Trump seems to be a man who, though he might soften a stance or two, wants to keep his image hard-edged.
While there is not a single photo of Trump with a pet of his own on the Internet, he regularly invites the best in show winner to Trump Tower and poses for a photograph, which then makes its way onto social media.
What’s Trump’s motivation for that? I suspect it’s just his way of showing support for the show, as opposed to wanting to hitch a ride on their moment of fame.
Can we expect the next four winners to be invited to the White House — especially if and when those approval ratings (prone to falling once a president takes office) take a substantial dip? I wouldn’t be surprised.
Will he give the White House a new first dog? Doubtful. It’s probably safe to assume that, while he enjoys hobnobbing with purebreds (how he is with mutts is another question), he is not the kind of person who must have a dog.
Then again, maybe his son Baron will push for one at some point.
Trump, a self-identified “clean hands freak,” may be “averse to the microbes that come with a four-legged friend,” the Post speculated.
“While it is not known whether Trump enjoys the company of animals, he has been publicly criticized by the Humane Society of the United States for his close relationships with critics of animal welfare activists as well as for his sons’ passion for trophy hunting.”
It was exactly a year ago that ohmidog! declared Trump an Afghan hound — back when there were 12 Republicans vying for the candidacy, and we assigned a dog breed to each of them, based on looks, personality, and breed stereotypes.
In the years ahead, he could prove himself to be some other breed — maybe one that’s not so widely considered aloof, stubborn and slow to learn.
In the meantime we’ll just wait and see — among much else — how good a dog might be for him and, much more importantly, how good he is for dogs.
(Photos: From Facebook, at top, Trump with Banana Joe, an affenpinscher who won Westminster’s Best in Show in 2013; Trump posing with Malachy, the Pekingese who won best in show in 2012; Trump and Miss P., the beagle who won in 2015; and Trump with Foxcliffe Hickory Wind, the Scottish deerhound who won in 2011)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 1st, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, best in show, dog, dogs, donald trump, elect, first dog, first family, image, mutts, pedigree, pets, politics, presidency, president, presidential, presidential pets, purebreds, republican, spinee, trumps, westminster, white house, white house pets, winners
Pedigree, the dog food company, found one thing Clinton and Trump supporters can agree on.
As a social experiment, Pedigree sent a woman to Clinton and Trump rallies, where she pretended she had found a lost dog.
She wore a Trump T-shirt to the Clinton rally, and a Clinton T-shirt to the Trump rally, and walked up to supporters of the opposing candidate asking if they knew anything about the golden retriever she told them she had just found it running loose in the area.
Die-hard supporters of Clinton and Trump (and is there any other kind?) avoided any snide comments and vitriol, treated her with civility, bonded with the “lost dog” and offered their assistance.
At the end of each visit, the “owner” of the dog rushed up on cue and reunited with the dog to the pleasure of the crowds.
It shouldn’t take a lost dog to remind us of our humanity. But, hey, whatever works.
The new video is a part of Pedigree’s “Feed the Good” campaign
“The message in ‘A Vote for Good’ is true to the core of the campaign that dogs bring out the good in all of us despite our differences,” said Craig Neely, Vice President of Marketing at Mars Petcare. “We only hope that we can play a small role in reminding people that we have more in common than we might expect.”
Posted by John Woestendiek November 7th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: a vote for good, animals, campaigns, clinton, common, democrats, dog, dogs, feed the good, lost dog, pedigree, pets, presidential, rallies, reactions, republicans, shared, social experiment, t-shirt, Trump, video
Even though this may be more marketing than science, we can’t help but like the results of this experiment in Australia.
Researchers, in an experiment funded by Pedigree, found that not only do our heart rates lower when we and our pets are together (as everybody knows by now), but they begin to mirror one another.
True, only three dogs and owners were involved in the study. True, the main interest of the company that sponsored it is to sell dog food. And true, what’s new about their findings — how closely the heart rates align — is probably of more poetic than practical use.
But still … It’s good to have a little science (if it can be called that) confirm our feelings of being in sync with our dogs.
In the experiment, three Australian dog owners separated, and then reunited with their pet in a staged but homey setting to see what kind of effect they had on each other’s heart rate.
Both dogs and owners were equipped with heart monitors.
“There was a really strong coherence in the heart rate pattern of both the owner and dog. Upon being reunited within the first minute, each heart rhythm became almost directly aligned and we saw a reduction straight away,” Mia Cobb, canine scientist and demonstration co-conductor told The Huffington Post Australia.
“This project is a really good illustration of what most owners experience every night when they come home from work and are reunited with their companion,” she added.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 4th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: align, aligned, alignment, animals, australia, beating, benefits, dog, dogs, experiment, health, heart, heart rate, heart rates, heartbeat, human, in sync, lower, owners, pedigree, pets, science, stress, study
Sometimes, slowing things down — way down — can make them far more awesome.
Lady detectives in the opening credits of TV shows, movie heroes departing exploding buildings, lovers running to each other on the beach are but three of examples of how slow motion — cliched as it has become — can add more cachet to the subject at hand.
In the video above, shot for a Pedigree dog food commercial, the effect is enchanting.
Shot at 1,000 fps (frames per second), it captures the facial expressions of dogs as they wait for an airborne treat to arrive.
Slow motion, in addition to increasing something’s beauty and awesomeness, can also lead us to a better appreciation, and understanding, of a subject — or even a revelation: How dogs drink water, for example. As our next slow motion video shows, dogs don’t use their tongues to lap water straight up into their mouths, as many suspect. Instead, they curl their tongues backward into the shape of a “J” and hoist the water up — a phenomenon that’s barely noticeable in real time.
Many things in life are better when we slow down — reading being the first example that comes to mind. Baths, highway safety and writing blogs being others.
Of course not everything should be slowed down. And not everything is more lovely in slow motion. Just as it makes the beautiful more beautiful, it can make the ugly uglier. A case in point:
Posted by John Woestendiek March 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: airborne, anticipation, appreciation, commercial, dog food, dogs, dogs drinking water, drinking, pedigree, photography, slow, slow down, slow motion, sneeze, sneezing, special effects, tongue, treats, video, videography, videos, water
Not being a close follower of his extra-curricular activities, I didn’t know Cowell has loaned his unexplainable celebrity to campaigns against wearing fur, for spaying and neutering, and cautioning against leaving dogs in hot cars.
Leave it to PETA to straighten me out.
Here are some excerpts of a recent interview PETA had with Cowell:
“…If I was buying a dog, I wouldn’t buy it from a pet shop, I’d go to a rescue shelter … It’s not where the dog came from, it’s the dog. … I get really annoyed when people start telling me about the make and the model of their dog like (it was a) car … A dog is a dog, no matter what background they’ve got … Often, the mutts, the strays have got more personality than a highly bred pedigree.
On dogs as accessories:
Well, I think the fashion accessory thing has become quite the thing here. You’ve got the rap and pop stars carrying around the highly bred dogs …. They think it’d be embarrassing to be seen carrying a mutt … when actually it would be endearing — people would think they cared more about the dog than their image.
I think we’ve got to be balanced on this…I think it’s nice that they have made an issue of buying a dog for the kids. What I think would be great would be if they also took in a shelter dog, just from anywhere, to balance it. I’ll even pay for the dog food!
On dog shows:
Well, again, I have two thoughts about them, because I think the vast majority of people who go and watch something like Crufts or who are involved are animal lovers, not animal haters. The problem (in the U.K. at least) is that we have elitism in the dog world, which does bother me, for who’s to say what makes the perfect dog?
Yeah, dawg. The nerve. What gives those dog show judges the right to put contestants through the hoops and then sit back in judgment?
For Cowell’s full remarks, visit The PETA Files blog.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american idol, anti-fur, blog, bo obama, bobama, campaigns, cars, celebrity, crufts, dog food, dog shows, dogs, fur, interview, judges, judging, mutts, neutering, pedigree, personality, peta, purebreds, rescue, shelter, simon cowell, spaying, strays, the peta files, westminster
ABC News has boldly gone where BBC went before, airing a Nightline episode last night that looked at the world of purebred dogs and dog shows — and how some of the former are suffering for the sake of the latter.
The Nightline segment didn’t really pick up where “Pedigree Dogs Exposed” left off — it was more of a rehash — but it does signify, at least, some attention to a controversial issue that, for the most part, has been far less likely to surface on American shores.
“The Westminster Dog Show is the showpiece for a multi-billion dollar industry, a festival of primped pooches, prestigious prizes and perfect pedigrees. This year’s big winner, a Sussex Spaniel called Stump, became an instant celebrity,” the piece began. “The owners love it. But whether such competitive shows are good for the dogs is debatable.”
A bulldog is the first to be featured, shown being sprayed with a cooling mist backstage at Westminster to keep him from overheating.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 12th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abc, akc, american kennel club, bbc, breed standards, breeds, bulldog, cavalier king charles spaniel, dog shows, dogs, health, james serpell, nightline, pedigree, pedigree dogs exposed, purebreds, university of pennsylvania, welfare, westminster
The London Times reports that judges at the prestigious but beleaguered Crufts dog show next week will be keeping a sharp eye out for any unhealthy animals as part of a campaign by Britain’s Kennel Club to lift the show’s tarnished image.
The club was badly damaged when the BBC One documentary “Pedigree Dogs Exposed” was broadcast last summer, followed by the network’s decision to scrap its coverage of the show after 42 years. The program was critical of club breeding standards that it said created dogs with diseases and deformities.
The club has since issued new breed standards that place more of a priority on health, less on appearance, and it has enlisted a team of vets and monitors to be on the lookout during the show for breeds deemed to be at risk from health problems, including the basset hound, bulldog, mastiff, pug and shar-pei.
Judges, meanwhile, have been told to ban dogs if they shows signs of sickness, lameness, shortness of breath or aggression.
“We all think dog shows are under threat,” said Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club. “There is a view among some animal welfare groups like the RSPCA that dog shows are bad … We have to get across that showing dogs is about improving the health of dogs and ensuring they have a good temperament.”
Kisko said Passionate Productions, which made the documentary, won’t be given a press pass to the event. “We see Crufts as a big celebration of dogs and we don’t want them there spoiling our day — and I don’t think breed people would be pleased to see them there.”
The show opens next Thursday, and the Kennel Club is expecting about 160,000 visitors to see 28,000 dogs over the four days.
While it won’t be aired on BBC, Crufts will be shown on a live webcast at www.cruftslive.tv.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 28th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bbc, breed, breeds, britain, crufts, deformities, disease, dog show, england, kennel club, monitors, pedigree, pedigree dogs exposed, purebreds, standards, vets, webcast