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Tag: pets

He made his hallway a ball pit — for his dog

I don’t think you want this guy speaking at your next church function, but the video he made of his Siberian Husky playing amid 5,400 balls is worth a look.

Maybe not a listen — I’ll let you decide that for yourself — but definitely a look.

The man, who calls himself penguinz0 on YouTube, heard his local Toys “R” Us was going out of business, bought 5,400 ball pit balls and filled his hallway with them.

The balls had been marked down to $2 for a pack of 200 — or a penny a piece.

His video, posted Monday, is already nearing 1 million views.

And we’re guessing he’s pretty f—ing happy about that.

A bear of a mistake in China

Another case of a wild animal who was mistakenly thought to be a dog has surfaced in China — and this one’s a doozie.

Just a few days after news broke that a woman found out the spitz she bought from a Chinese pet store last year is actually a fox, another woman is telling the story of how her dog was actually a bear.

What a Tibetan Mastiff pup looks like

What a Tibetan Mastiff pup looks like

According to The Independent, Su Yun, from Kunming in the Yunnan province of China, bought the animal from a roadside dealer while on vacation two years ago, believing it to be a Tibetan Mastiff.

Yun and her family were impressed by their pet’s massive appetite — on a typical day, it would eat a box fruit and two buckets of noodles.

The family realized their mistake when the pet did not stop growing — to 250 pounds — and started showing a talent for walking on his hind legs.

“The more he grew, the more like a bear he looked,” said Yun. “I am a little scared of bears.”

The animal — once confirmed that he was an Asiatic black bear — has now been taken into by the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Centre.

Staff were so intimidated by the animal – which had lived in the family home – they sedated it before transportation.

Saved from the lava: Rescue efforts continue as more eruptions are predicted

lava

Dogs on Hawaii’s Big Island continue to be rescued from the unpredictable flows of lava that have spewed from the Kilauea volcano since its eruption last week.

Many pets are said to have bolted away from their homes during the earthquake that preceded the eruption, and more have been lost during evacuations.

Further eruptions are being predicted in the days ahead.

“It’s a sad situation,” said Adam Pereira, the shelter manager at the Hawaiian Island Humane Society told BuzzFeed. “They had to evacuate so fast and lots of people thought they’d go back the next day.”

The Hawaii Island Humane Society combed through every street in Leilani Estates last Tuesday looking for pets still remaining in the neighborhood. It was the third mission to retrieve animals since the area was evacuated on Thursday.

The first time the humane society went into the evacuated zone on Saturday, it retrieved six dogs and two tortoises.

One woman recovered her two dogs, missing for 10 days, on Sunday, after they were found near a lava vent.

cani-eruzione-kilauea-2-281x300Carol Hosley, who was being evacuated by firemen at her Leilani Estates, said Brus, a Jack Russel-pug mix, fled the house as she was packing up her things. Little Dude, a black terrier mix, followed close behind him

Hosley adopted Brus from Aloha Ilio Rescue six months ago, and that group aided in his rescue, according to HawaiiNewsNow.com.

“We’ve been looking for him for 10 days, and we’ve just kept going back, and going back,” said Daylynn Kyles, president of Aloha Ilio Dog Rescue. Kyles, accompanied by two friends, finally found the dogs on Sunday, trapped between a cooled lava flow and a fence line.

“They were stuck behind a fence, and they couldn’t get out because the lava had surrounded them,” Kyles said. “It was crazy.”

Kyles and her companions had to crawl through the grass and over the fence line to reach the dogs who were badly shaken, and bitten by red ants.

cani-eruzione-kilauea“We just knew this dog was probably just terrified, he was truly stuck, he couldn’t get out,” Kyles said.

Kyles said they were searching near the 17th fissure, and could hear the ground rumbling.

“It sounded like a freight train. You just heard these constant, big booms.”

Brus and Little Dude are recovering at Aloha Ilio while Hosley tries to find more permanent housing.

“I’m just thrilled to death, I just couldn’t be happier,” Hosley said. “The other stuff is stuff, but I got the dogs.”

(Top photo, U.S. Geological Survey; lower photos of Brus and Little Dude, courtesy of Aloha Ilio Rescue)

Is this why “The Blue Boy” is blue?

The_Blue_Boy“The Blue Boy,” artist Thomas Gainsborough’s most famous work, featured a dog at one point in its evolution, and come September you’ll have a chance to see its ghostly image in person.

At some point in its creation, “The Blue Boy” lost his dog. Gainsborough painted over the fluffy white dog in the painting’s lower right hand corner, covering it with a pile of rocks.

Not until 1994, when an X-ray revealed the dog sitting by his master’s feet, did that become known to the world.

The painting’s ongoing restoration at The Huntington Library in California is now becoming an exhibit in itself, featuring a look at the painting’s history, mysteries, and artistic virtues, the revelations X-rays have provided over the years and explanations of the techniques being used to restore the work.

Project Blue Boy will open Sept. 22 at the Huntington, where the original painting has resided since 1921.

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Of course, the boy’s blueness had nothing to do with any feelings of melancholy; instead the painting depicts a young man who appears confident, proud of his station in life and maybe a little bit defiant, as if prepared to defend himself against any teasing about his frilly blue outfit and plumed hat.

The painting isn’t as vibrant as it once once, and that’s why the museum has undertaken the restoration project.

“Earlier conservation treatments have involved adding new layers of varnish as temporary solutions to keep it on view as much as possible,” said senior paintings conservator and “Project Blue Boy” co-curator Christina O’Connell.

“The original colors now appear hazy and dull and many of the details are obscured,” she added.

In addition to contributing to restoration research, the project will likely uncover new information of interest to art historians. O’Connell is using a Haag-Streit surgical microscope to closely examine the painting. To gather material information, she is employing imaging techniques including digital x-radiography, infrared reflectography, ultraviolet fluorescence, and x-ray fluorescence.

The restoration project has also uncovered an An L-shaped tear more than 11-inches long, which is believed to have dated back to the 19th century when the painting was in the collection of the Duke of Westminster.

The painting was sold in 1921 to railroad tycoon Henry Edwards Huntington, leading to an outcry among the English, who were horrified that “The Blue Boy” should leave his homeland. The sales price is believed to have been about $700,000, or about $9.3 million today, which made it the second most expensive painting in the world, behind Leonardo da Vinci’s Madonna and Child.

In 1939, an X-ray was taken of the painting that revealed the canvas had once been an incomplete painting of an older man. The dog didn’t appear in that X-Ray.

Many believe the painting pictured ironmonger Jonathan Buttall, the first owner of the painting, but the true identity of the model remains a mystery.

No one knows why Gainsborough decided to rid the painting of the dog, either.

O’Connell will continue her examination and analysis of “The Blue Boy,” and her efforts to restore it.

Visitors to the Huntington will be able to observe her at work in the Thornton Portrait Gallery on Thursdays, Fridays and select Sundays from Sept. 22 through January 2019, PasadenaNow.com reported.

The painting will get a final treatment and reframing after that and will be rehung in its former location in the Huntington’s portrait gallery in early 2020.

(Photos: At top, the original painting (ca. 1770), lower, the painting under digital x-radiography; courtesy of The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens)

Woman in China finds out her spitz is a fox

foxIt only took a few months for Ms. Wang to start noticing her “dog” was a little odd.

The woman bought the fluffy white pup from a pet store in China about 10 months ago.

She thought she’d bought a spitz.

But in the months ahead she noticed its tail was growing longer and fluffier than that of the average spitz.

And when it was three months old, it stopped eating dog food, preferring fruit and produce.

And its snout grew more pointy.

And the “dog” never barked.

Then there was the reaction other dogs had to it when they went out on walks. They seemed a little scared.

Eventually, Ms. Wang took her doubts and her pet to Taiyuan Zoo, where she was informed that what she’d been living with was a fox.

“Based on the size, it is a domesticated fox,” the zoo’s Sun Letian told Shanxi Network Television. “It carries a smell in their body and the smell can get stronger as it grows older.”

The fox is currently about a foot long and is expected to grow larger.

Ms. Wang gave the fox to the zoo, where after a month in quarantine, it will live in the fox enclosure.

She was invited to come visit it anytime.

Half of Kentucky’s county animal shelters called substandard — and nobody’s watching

Trixie Foundation dogsleashes1

One day after basking in the nationwide attention the Kentucky Derby brings, Kentuckians woke up to the reality of how another species of animal is being treated by the state.

The Lexington Herald-Leader presented a package of stories addressing the often poor conditions in the state’s rarely monitored animal shelters.

In a state most famous for racing horses — and doing so in manner that almost appears civilized, what with the all the elegant outfits, mint juleps and whimsical hats — many dogs are living far less regal lives, stuck in county-run shelters that, under state law, receive almost no scrutiny from state agencies.

Unlike most states, Kentucky’s animal-shelter law does not include any inspection or enforcement provisions, which means any actions taken against them such shelters must from citizens.

Not until 2004 did state laws even get written to lay down minimum standards for county-run shelters. Those new measures required each county to have access to a shelter and animal-control officer, and set out standards that include protection from the weather; basic veterinary care or humane euthanasia for ill or injured animals; adequate heat in winter; clean and dry pens with adequate room for animal comfort; construction with materials that can be properly cleaned and disinfected; available clean water; uncontaminated food provided daily; and public access to the facility.

Those laws didn’t outline how, or specify who, was responsible for enforcing those standards.

A measure in the 2017 legislative session called for a study of ways to better fund animal shelters and cited the need for a “government entity” to enforce the state’s shelter rules, but it died without consideration.

That lack of enforcement is a large part of the reason the Animal Legal Defense Fund has ranked the state last in animal protection laws for 11 years in a row.

A study by the University of Kentucky, done in 2016, found that of 92 shelters covering Kentucky’s 120 counties – some of them regional facilities – conditions at 57 percent violated three or more provisions of Kentucky’s animal-shelter laws.

More than a fourth were considered “very substandard,” and only 12 percent were meeting all the rules the legislature put in place in 2004.

“Current laws do not appear to be fully satisfactory at accomplishing the goal of providing good shelter animal care across Kentucky,” said the study.

skaggsWhile county-run shelters operate with relative immunity, independent nonprofit sanctuaries and shelters get no such free ride, as was the case last week when the state Department of Agriculture seized 14 dogs from a no-kill sanctuary called Eden.

Randy J. Skaggs, who operates the sanctuary in Elliot County through his Trixie Foundation, faces 179 misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty in connection with poor health and living conditions.

Skaggs defenders say he has devoted his life to caring for animals because so many public shelters in the region were substandard.

Skaggs says he is housing animals no one else wants, and that shelters would end up euthanizing. He refuses to let anyone adopt dogs because believes their best chance to live a healthy and happy life is at his sanctuary.

Skaggs believes the criminal charges against him are retaliation over his efforts to bring attention to Kentucky’s failure to adopt adequate animal protection laws, his criticisms of county shelters and his efforts to push for improvements.

(Photos: Will Wright / Lexington Herald-Leader)

Amazon introduces its own dog food line

wagfoodAmazon (remember when it was a river?) continues its quest to dominate the world (make that the universe) — by selling everything that can possibly be sold, delivering it in ways never before possible, and taking people where they’ve never been able to go.

Now it wants to feed your dog, too.

In its march to ruling every retail category imaginable, Amazon has announced the debut of a dog food line, which will be part of a much bigger step into the highly profitable, nearly inflation-proof world of pet food and products.

According to Bloomberg, Amazon is calling the pet food Wag, named after Wag.com, which Amazon acquired in 2011. Wag.com now redirects to an Amazon landing page.

The food comes in several different varieties, with primarily protein sources including chicken, beef, salmon, lamb, and turkey. It will be available in puppy or adult formula and sold in five-, 15-, and 30-pound bags.

The food line is labeled “no grain added.”

Americans are projected to spend more than $72 billion on their pets in 2018, according to the American Pet Products Association. So the only real surprise here is, what took Amazon, which owns everything from Whole Foods to the Washington Post, which is renowned as a dog-friendly company, so long?

The move is seen as a threat to Petco Animal Supplies Inc. and PetSmart Inc., which purchased Chewy.com last year for more than $3 billion, as well as big box retailers and supermarkets that sell pet supplies online to many of the nation’s 85 million pet-owning households.

So don’t be surprised if you are seeing dog food-toting drones flying over head in your area some day soon.