The Interior Department’s new secretary (Trump appointee Ryan Zinke) has told his employees that he plans to let them bring their dogs to work on a trial basis.
Zinke announced in an email to employees Thursday morning the start of “Doggy Days at Interior,” a program that will launch with test runs at the agency’s Washington headquarters on two Fridays, one in May and one in September, the Washington Post reported.
“I’m taking action to establish a pilot program for Doggy Days at Interior!” Zinke said in the email to Washington-area employees. The email included two photographs of him with his wife, Lolita, and their 18-month-old black and white Havanese, Ragnar.
Zinke made a splash when he rode a horse to work on his first day on the job.
Whether it ends up being an open-ended and ongoing invitation, or just a couple of days a year when employees can bring their dogs to work, the new policy would make Interior the first federal agency to go at least a little dog-friendly.
While former CIA director Leon Panetta was known to sometimes bring his dog to work, government rules prohibit it. General Services Administration Rule 102-74.425 states that: “No person may bring dogs or other animals on Federal property for other than official purposes.”
Particulars of the Interior Department pilot program remain to be worked out, such as whether there will be size or weight limits. Likely, participating dogs would have to be housebroken, be up to date on vaccinations and stay on their leashes.
Zinke, an avid hunter, former Navy SEAL and congressman representing Montana, portrays himself as both an outdoorsman and a dog lover. Earlier this this month, he arrived at his new workplace astride Tonto, a bay roan gelding who belongs to the U.S. Park Police and resides in stables on the Mall.
His email referred to his own dog, and the times they have shared.
“Opening the door each evening and seeing him running at me is one of the highlights of my day,” it reads. “I can’t even count how many miles I’ve driven across Montana with (Ragnar) riding shotgun, or how many hikes and river floats Lola and I went on with the little guy. But I can tell you it was always better to have him.”
Zinke said his dog policy’s primary goal is to boost morale at the agency, which includes the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management and six other departments.
Interior ranked 11th in employee morale of the 18th largest federal agencies in last year’s Best Places to Work in the Federal Government survey, with just 61 percent of its 70,000 employees saying they’re happy in their jobs.
(Top photo: Zinke, wife Lola, and dog Ragnar, courtesy of Department of Interior; lower photo from The Washington Post)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 24th, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, boost, cabinet, department of the interior, dog, dogs, dogs in workplace, federal, federal government, government, havanese, interior department, morale, offices, pet, pets, pilot program, policy, ragnar, ryan zinke, test, trial, Trump, washington, work
An 8-year-old Arkansas boy got to meet the dog who has inspired him from afar for the past year.
Thanks to an anonymous donor, Carter Blanchard, who has Vitiligo, an auto-immune disease that causes skin to lose its pigmentation, flew to Oregon over the weekend to meet Rowdy, a 14-year-old black lab with the same condition.
Rowdy is an ambassador for the American Vitiligo Research Association. He developed Vitiligo more than two years ago, giving the 14-year-old dog’s face the appearance of a panda in reverse.
With his owners, he works to further understanding of the condition, and help children — often embarrassed over and teased about the condition — to learn to be comfortable in the skin they’re in.
Carter, for example, began struggling with his self worth after his appearance changed when he was in kindergarten, his mother, Stephanie Adcock, said.
“He would go from room to room in my home looking at every mirror. I remember the day I picked him up from school when he said, ‘Mom, I hate my face,'” Adcock wrote in a letter to Ellen DeGeneres. “As his mother, it broke my heart that I could not change this situation for him.”
Earlier this year, Carter’s mother saw pictures online of Rowdy. She shared them with her son and contacted Rowdy’s owners, who included Carter in a video about Rowdy that went viral last fall.
When Carter saw the video, “He broke out in the biggest smile, according to his mother, and he said, “Me and Rowdy are famous.”
Carter started looking at his condition differently.
“For the first time in 2 years, Carter was proud of himself and his Vitiligo,” Adcock said in the letter. “He even said, ‘Mom, your skin is boring because you don’t have Vitiligo.’ Rowdy changed my son’s childhood. He changed our home and our lives.”
With Rowdy’s health declining rapidly, his owners decided they wanted Rowdy and Carter to meet, and one of his owners, Niki Umbenhower, started a GoFundMe campaign to allow Carter and his mother to make the trip from Searcy, Arkansas to Canby, Oregon.
Carter and his mom flew to Oregon Saturday and Carter and Rowdy met for the first time Sunday, KGW in Portland reported.
“The meeting was (and has been) one of the most gratifying, rewarding things I’ve personally ever experienced,” Umbenhower said.
Carter and his mother will return to Arkansas tomorrow.
Rowdy, meanwhile, wasn’t doing so well. On Sunday, he had a seizure.
His owner updated the situation Monday on Instagram:
“Rowdy saw a neurologist in the ER today. They are not sure if it was a seizure or a stroke or something else. They did a lot of tests and without a “much needed” (expensive) MRI and CT Scan, we may never know. He could have a tumor or a mass causing a lot of his issues.
“We left with them prescribing a new medication for seizures as well as some codeine for his pain. This could be age related, an isolated event, or he may have more episodes like today. . I want to thank EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU for the prayers, well wishes, and support!”
(Photos: By Niki Umbenhower / Instagram)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 22nd, 2017 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: American Vitiligo Research Association, animals, arkansas, black lab, Carter Blanchard, dog, dogs, inspiration, inspired, instagram, lab, labrador retriever, Niki Umbenhower, oregon, pet, pets, pigmentation, rowdy, seizure, skin, social media, stroke, video, vitiligo, white-eyed Rowdy
Lois Pope, a Palm Beach philanthropist, Trump friend and widow of National Enquirer founder Generoso Pope, says she has fallen in love with the goldendoodle she originally procured for the incoming president and his family.
Pope, though no one asked her to do so, began searching for a hypoallergenic breed for Trump once he won the election.
She found a handsome Goldendoodle, took him home and named the 8-week-old pup Patton, after Trump’s favorite military hero.
At Thanksgiving, when Pope joined the Trumps for Thanksgiving dinner at Mar-a-Lago, she showed Trump photos of the dog.
“Show it to Barron (Trump’s 10-year-old son). He’s going to fall in love with him,” Trump said, according to Pope.
But Pope fell in love first.
“I couldn’t sleep, and the reason I couldn’t sleep was because I fell in love with the dog,” she told The New York Post. “I thought, what am I going to do? I’m going to have to get him another dog.”
When the Trumps arrived in Palm Beach for Christmas, Pope again visited Mar-a-Lago, and informed Trump she couldn’t part with Patton.
“Donald said, ‘But, Lois, I can’t take the dog,'” Pope recalled. “He said, ‘Look at what I do. I’m here, I’m in New York, I’m in Washington. What am I going to do with the dog?’ And I said, ‘Well, you can’t have him!’
“We went back and forth between ‘You can’t have him’ and ‘I don’t want him’ for a little while,” she added.
Trump would be the first president since Reconstruction without a pet in the White House and the first since 1901 without a dog.
The last pet-less president, Andrew Johnson, was impeached.
Pope said her last conversation with Trump concluded with her offer to “scour the nation” for a first dog, should the family decide it wants one.
(Photo from The New York Post)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 17th, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, dog, dogs, donald trump, family, first dog, gift, goldendoodle, heiress, keep, keeping, lois pope, love, offer, offered, palm beach, pet, pets, president, rescind, Trump, withdraws
Imagine a brand new airport terminal that features a swimming pool, private suites with flat screen TV’s, around the clock medical care and a spa with massage services.
Sorry, it’s not for you. It’s for dogs, and other animals.
The $65 million terminal at New York’s Kennedy Airport is scheduled to open later this month, a 178,000-square-foot facility called the ARK that will help process animals arriving and departing on international flights — dogs, cats, birds, horses and even cattle.
That’s right, cattle could soon be receiving far more luxurious travel services while we humans continue to be treated more and more like cattle when we choose to travel by air.
The facility will hold newly arriving animals from outside the country, and those being quarantined and, for those in need of additional services, the premises will include a pet resort, veterinarians and groomers.
The ARK sits on 14.5 acres of land in a cargo area near the runways. It replaces Vetport, a facility that opened in 1951 and had a less than pristine reputation.
The new facility is billed by developer Racebrook Capital as the “world’s only privately owned animal terminal and USDA-approved, full-service, 24-hour, airport quarantine facility for import and export of horses, pets, birds and livestock.”
Company owner John Cuticelli says he expects about 5,000 horses, 10,000 small pets like dogs and cats, and hundreds of thousands of birds to come through the facility each year.
The company has signed a 30-year lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, according to the New York Post, which was recently given a tour of the new facility.
The Ark features a large animal departure lounge offering stalls, food and water for horses, individual climate-controlled units for horses, equipped with bedding and natural light, a veterinary hospital offering general and emergency care, a Paradise 4 Paws pet resort featuring a bone-shaped dog pool and a jungle gym for cats, and grooming, training and massage therapy.
“Right now, animals can wait four or five hours on the tarmac or in the cargo facility because there is no other way to process them,” Cuticelli said. “The ARK will be focused on the safe and humane transportation of animals.”
Posted by John Woestendiek January 3rd, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air travel, airport, animals, arriving, birds, cattle, departing, dogs, holding, horses, international, jfk, john cuticelli, kennedy, livestock, long island, new york, pet, pets, processing, quarantine, racebrook capital, resort, swimming pool, terminal, the ark, veterinary
Have you resolved to spend less time watching funny dog videos in the New Year?
This one, for instance, will take up 45 seconds to watch, and you’ll never get that time back. On the other hand, it’ll probably make you smile.
We’d suggest devoting the amount of time to watching silly dog videos that seems right to you.
If you’re in need of saving some time, we’d suggest not reading the text that accompanies silly dog videos, because they most often just describe what you’ve just watched, in a very wordy manner, throwing in lots of description but no facts you haven’t already discerned from watching the video you just watched.
Here’s an example from the Daily Mail, one of many media outlets that scour the internet for pet videos they think have viral potential, and then put together — based on no other facts — some words to fill space. (If that weren’t repetitious enough, they generally post numerous stills, taken from the video they just showed you.)
So as you watch this dachshund joyfully consume the bright yellow banana he holds between his paws while lying on his back, keep all that in mind.
And know we resolve — firmly, as with all our resolutions — to never fall victim to that practice.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 2nd, 2017 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal, animal videos, dog, dog videos, funny, internet, media, new year, online, pet, pet videos, resolutions, silly, videos, watching
After at least five years as a stray, avoiding human contact, surviving in a vacant field and regularly outsmarting animal control officers, a Texas dog named Bear may finally be heading for a home.
And good thing, because construction is expected to begin soon on the field he has called home, which is slated to become a housing development.
Bear is something of a legend in Hutto, a town of about 15,000 people, northeast of Austin. He’s a dog owned by no one, though many residents appreciate him from afar.
But in the past few years, one woman has gotten closer to him than most. Irma Mendoza and her son started bringing him food a couple of years ago, and also built him a dog house on the land.
Now, she is working to find him a home.
“It all started a couple of years ago when my mom found Bear by the block where we live,” said Alfonso Salinas, Irma’s son. ” …After that she just started to feed him and try to take care of him,” he told Fox 7 in Austin
Every day Irma comes to the field to give Bear food. She also gives him his annual medications.
“This dog is pretty much a family member,” Salinas said.
Bear has been seen roaming the neighborhood since 2010. Some think he was left behind when his owners moved.
Over the years, others in the community have pitched in to make sure Bear is taken care of.
“He is a survivor that’s for sure. He’s smart, he stays out of the way, stays out of the street, avoids people, and everybody has grown fond of him,” said Richard Rodriguez, who lives in the neighborhood. “He’s got his own Facebook page so that speaks something to how people like him.”
“No one can get close to him but Irma so we haven’t been able to catch him. He’s gotten wise to our dog traps, he recognizes the animal control truck so he’s very leery about new people,” Cunningham said.
Mendoza is now working with Cunningham to help find Bear a permanent place to stay — with a friend who has spent years helping her care for him.
“He deserves to be in a loving home,” said Niroshini Glass. “He would be so spoiled. He would get anything and everything he wanted, when he wanted, how he wanted it. He would be very, very spoiled.”
All this hinges on Bear’s cooperation, of course, but with the progress that Irma has made, the willingness of Glass to provide a home, and the field destined to soon become a construction zone, the time appears ripe to take Bear out of the wild.
Once he is caught, he will be taken to the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter to be evaluated before adoption.
A GoFundMe campaign has started to raise money to help pay Bear’s vet costs, and ongoing care.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 13th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abandoned, adoption, animal control, animals, austin, bear, dog, dogs, facebook, feral, field, friends, hutto, irma mendoza, pet, pets, rescue, shelter, socializing, stray, texas, training, trust, wild, williamson county
A UK man was gobsmacked to see his deceased dog’s image in a slice of ham.
You see it too, don’t you, there in the upper right quadrant?
George Hembry, 21, of Bath, told the British tabloids it’s the spitting image of his dog, Stink.
He saw the slice on the counter as his mother was making him a sandwich.
Hembry found an old photo of Stink and laid it next to the slice of Tesco British Crumbed ham. The resemblance freaked him out so much he refused to eat it.
Hembry said he had bought the meat himself, at a shop he and Stink used to frequent.
Adding to the strangeness of it all, he said, he and his mother, Sarah, had been talking about Stink earlier in the day.
“We’d been talking … about how much we missed him because an old photo memory popped up on my Facebook page,” he told the Daily Mail.
“It’s funny to think he’s maybe still looking over us somehow,” he is quoted as saying in The Mirror.
Hembry said he considered keeping the slice, but decided it would be unwise. “I suppose it would have gone off after a while.”
“I reckon mum’s probably eaten it,” he added, “but I couldn’t have done that.”
(Photos: Daily Mail)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 27th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bath, cold cuts, death, deceased, dog, dogs, england, george hembry, grief, ham, image, loss, perception, pet, sees, slice, slice of ham, stink, tabloids, uk