Held this year at Tanglewood Park, outside Winston-Salem, the two-day event featured dock diving, agility contests, flying disc competitions, dachshund races and flyball and agility demonstrations.
The event raises money for The Sergei Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to families needing help to pay for their pets veterinary care.
The dock-diving dogs were drawing the biggest crowd. Some of the dogs entered into the competition – run by Ultimate Air Dogs! — were seasoned leapers, while others were newcomers who seemed content just to cool off.
Then there was Petunia, a bulldog who wasn’t part of the diving competition, but managed to find some relief from the heat all the same.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 19th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agility, animals, bulldog, care, clemmons, dock-diving, dogs, event, expenses, flyball, flying disc, north carolina, pets, petunia, sergei foundation, tanglewood park, triad dog games, veterinary, winston-salem
Seems like Ace and I, as we keep piling on the years, take turns these days experiencing health problems — from the pesky to the potentially fatal.
Saturday was his turn again.
He woke me up about 5:30 a.m. to be let outside, not all that unusual. But then he declined to come back in. He just wandered about the backyard, stopping here and there, straining to pee, but to no avail.
Once he did come back in, he wanted out again two minutes later, where he again attempted, unsuccessfully, to complete the task.
As I do with my own ailments, I got on the Internet to Google the possibilities — urinary tract infection, stones of some sort, or some other kind of obstruction that was blocking him from doing what he needed to do.
Given it was already 10 a.m. when I called his vet, and that they close at noon on Saturday, I wasn’t too surprised when I was told all slots were filled. But I was promised that a vet would call me back.
When he did, about 30 minutes later, I told him Ace was struggling to pee and that, to my knowledge, he hadn’t been able to all morning. Otherwise, he seemed fairly normal, and not in pain, not even when I pushed and prodded around his abdomen.
The vet — not the one I usually see at the practice — told me that, while I might have to wait around for an opening, I could bring Ace in. And he told me I probably should. If I waited until Monday, and Ace went all that time without peeing, he’d likely be dead by then.
After taking some X-rays, the vet showed me what he said were bladder stones — faint little circles, and some not so little, inside his bladder. He said it would take some testing to determine which kind of stones they were (some are more easily treated than others). The first priority though, was to get that obstruction cleared and that bladder drained, so he suggested a catheter.
I winced at the word. It has only been a few months since I was treated to that process while in the hospital for bypass surgery. Of all the highly intrusive things they did to me (okay, for me) the installation of the catheter remains my most traumatic memory. The mere word gives me shivers.
Why, I wondered then, and still do, would they install this device into a person without knocking him out — good and out — first?
I would not wish it on my worst enemy, much less my best friend.
Ace, his tail tucked between his legs rather than in its normal full and upright position, was ushered to a back room, and I stepped outside to pace and worry. I didn’t exactly “feel his pain,” but I did remember mine.
As soon as I stepped back into the office, only about five minutes later, the vet and a technician came into the waiting room with Ace and said things were flowing again. Ace, thanks to the catheter, had peed, and peed some more, and one little stone came out in the process.
The vet tech took Ace outside and he peed some more. His curled-up tail, which had been in the down position all day, was up — generally a sign that all is right with the world, or at least his world.
While the emergency was over, the ailment remains. Tests of his urine this week will determine whether the stones still inside his bladder are of the struvite variety, which can sometimes be treated with a therapeutic diet, or calcium oxalate stones, which require surgical removal to totally get rid of them.
Whatever the case, I’m sure Ace will handle what’s ahead in a far more classy and stoic manner than I would.
These days, we both grunt a bit now when settling down, or getting up. We’re both a little slower. We both have to shift around a bit to get comfortable, then stretch ourselves out when we get back up again.
But somehow he is better at this aging thing than me. It has been almost three years since he, now 10, surpassed me, now 61, according to most formulas for comparing dog years to human years. Now, as a large dog, he’s aging much more quickly than I am — even though you wouldn’t know it to look at us.
This week’s medical agenda includes the testing of his urine, whatever steps are deemed necessary for him after that, an echocardiogram on me to assess how my heart is working after quintuple bypass surgery, and another visit to my physical therapist for a continuing back and shoulder problem, now being treated by something called “dry needling.”
I’ll spare you the details of that. Suffice to say, for me — and even for my dog — getting old is getting old.
(A special thanks to Brian LeFevre at Winston-Salem’s Ard-Vista Animal Hospital for working Ace into his schedule and getting things flowing again.)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 18th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, aging, animals, bladder stones, care, catheterization, catheters, dog, dogs, getting old, health, human, old dogs, pee, pets, stones, straining to pee, treatment, urine, veterinarian, veterinary
Depp, who is in the country filming the latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, had been accused of failing to declare his two dogs to customs officials — a violation of Australia’s strict quarantine laws — when he flew them into Queensland last month on his private jet.
After photos of the dogs in Australia were posted online, Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce gave the actor 50 hours to transport the pups back to the U.S., and said they would be euthanized if they remained.
The actor had brought the dogs into the country last month after he returned to California for surgery on a hand he injured during filming of the fifth installment of the movie. The Australian government provided a $20 million tax incentive to producers of the film, entitled “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.”
After receiving the ultimatum, Depp notified the Australian government Friday afternoon the he was shipping the dogs back to the U.S.
The Department of Agriculture in Australia says Depp could still face fines as high as $340,000 for violating the quarantine procedures.
The Daily Telegraph reported that transporting the dogs back to Los Angeles could cost as much as $400,000.
(Photo: Pistol, in a photo posted to Twitter by Depp’s wife, Amber Heard)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 17th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, australia, boo, depp, depp dogs, dogs, filming, johnny depp, johnny depp's dogs, laws, pets, pirates of the carribbean, pistol, quarantine, smuggled, yorkies, yorkshire terries
Dogs in the state of New York could soon be joining their humans for dinner at restaurants — without it being against the law.
A bill passed by the New York Senate Wednesday — by a 60-0 vote — would change state health law to give restaurants the option of allowing pet owners to bring dogs into outdoor dining areas, the New York Times reported.
The State Assembly is now reviewing its version of the same bill.
Dogs, under the revised law, would have to be accompanied by a diner, and restaurants that decide to allow dog would have to provide an alternate entrance to their patios, so dogs don’t walk through indoor dining areas.
Dogs will have to be on leashes, and would not be allowed into outdoor areas where food is being prepared.
The bills specifically forbid communal water bowls, requiring dogs be served water in disposable containers.
And, in what is sure to be the toughest of the new law’s requirements, restaurant servers would be prohibited from playing with dogs.
The bill is similar to one passed in California last year. As with that one, restaurants remain free to ban dogs from their outside areas if they so choose.
“With a large percentage of New Yorkers being dog owners, many restaurants would like to accommodate their guests and permit canine companions to join them,” said Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau County), a sponsor of the Senate measure.
In the Assembly, Linda B. Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) is the sponsor of the similar bill.
“People consider dogs and other animals to be just another member of the family,” said Rosenthal. “When you sit down to dinner, it’s your husband, your partner, your wife, your kids and your dog.”
“An overwhelming number of New Yorkers who have dogs take them everywhere they go,” she added. “So this is just another option for them to take their animals with them when they dine out.”
(Photo: New York Daily News)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 15th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, assembly, bill, dining, dining with dogs, dog, dogs, dogs in restaurants, law, legislature, new york, outdoor, patio, pets, restaurants, senate
Clearly, Johnny Depp broke the law when he smuggled his two Yorkies, Boo and Pistol, into Australia, where he’s filming yet another “Pirates of the Carribbean” sequel.
But must government officials, in enforcing Australia’s strict quarantine laws, be so heavy-handed and snarky about it?
“If we start letting movie stars — even though they’ve been the ‘sexiest man alive’ twice — to come into our nation, then why don’t we just break the laws for everybody?” said Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce. “It’s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States.”
Is it just me, or is there a little bit of pirate envy bubbling up in those remarks?
Depp and his wife, Amber Heard, are accused of not declaring Yorkshire Terriers Boo and Pistol to customs officials when they flew into Queensland by private jet last month, the BBC reported.
Joyce says the country’s animal quarantine laws — aimed at keeping rabies out of the country — applied to everyone.
“Mr. Depp has to either take his dogs back to California or we’re going to have to euthanize them,” Joyce told reporters on Thursday.
“He’s now got about 50 hours left to remove the dogs. He can put them on the same charter jet he flew out on and fly back out of our nation.”
There has been no immediate comment from Depp or Heard, but plenty of online reaction from animal lovers and Depp lovers.
An online petition to save the “cute dogs” had received nearly 5,000 signatures by late on Thursday local time in Australia.
“Have a heart Barnaby! Don’t kill these cute puppies,” it appealed.
“The dogs have been ordered into quarantine and the owners have been advised the dogs must be exported within 72 hours,” said a statement on the agricultural ministry website.
“Just because he’s Johnny Depp doesn’t make him exempt from Australian laws,” Joyce said.
“The way this works is if we are going to make an excuse for Johnny Depp because he’s got a private jet and brought in his dogs then I suppose you have to start making exemptions and excuses for everybody.”
When Joyce was asked if his tough stance might affect Depp’s view of him, he replied: “I don’t think Mr. Depp will be inviting me to the grand opening of the Pirates of the Caribbean.”
“As people know when they come in on a commercial flight … you need to make declarations,” he said. ” … People will sometimes make false declarations, if they get caught out, there’s a big fine attached to it, and no different to the same cards that people would need to fill out if they’re coming in on private jets.”
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the agriculture minister could have been a little more tactful with his message.
“Barnaby’s right but I would put it to him this way – diplomacy is key,” Tate is quoted as saying on ABC.net.
“I want to see Johnny Depp coming back to the Gold Coast, enjoy his experience here … so that he’ll have good words to say and make sure our film and television industry thrives here,” the mayor said.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 14th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agriculture minister, animals, australia, Barnaby Joyce, boo, deported, depp, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, johnny depp, johnny depp dogs, johnny depp's dogs, petition, pets, pirates of the caribbean, pistol, quarantine, rabies, sexiest man alive, smuggled, terrierist, terriers, yorkies, yorkshire
Prom night wasn’t on the agenda for seniors Delaney Johnson and Nick Ackerman.
The two teens, both with disabilities, go to different high schools and hadn’t even met until their service dogs — in a way — brought them together.
Nick, who has a service dog named Troy, was interviewing Delaney, who has a service dog named Griffin, for a school video project on service dogs.
Making small talk, she asked him, “Are you all geared for prom?” When he told her he had no plans to go to his, she volunteered to go with him. He accepted.
With their service dogs along, they attended his school’s prom, then hers.
A Lansing State Journal columnist and photographer went along — and you can find their story and video here.
Delaney, 17, goes to Haslett High School, where, before she got her 2-year-old Dutch shepherd Griffin, she would faint or pass out up to 20 times a day due to narcolepsy.
Between medication and help from Griffin, that condition — and a second neurological condition called cataplexy — have been brought under control.
Her dog acts to distract her if she’s experiencing anxiety and, in case of an attack, he’s trained to stay with her, lying on top of her if she becomes incapacitated so that she feels protected.
“Since I got Griffin, I’ve not had any major cataplexy attacks at all,” said Johnson, a singer and songwriter who plans to take Griffin with her this fall to attend Grand Valley State University. “…He’s my own personal little bodyguard.”
Nick attends Forest Hills Central High School in Grand Rapids, where he’s a champion debater. His service dog Troy helps Nick, who was born without arms, do everything from carrying things to zipping up his coat.
Nick, who plans to attend Eastern Michigan University in the fall, met Delaney two weeks ago, when he interviewed her for a class project on service dogs and the subject of proms came up.
On May 2, they went to his prom. Last Saturday, they went to hers.
The columnist and photographer accompanied the foursome — from home, where they posed for family photos, to a sushi dinner and then to the prom itself.
“I was going to stay home and eat ice cream and watch movies,” Delaney said later. “I’m just so glad I went…It was an amazing time.”
(Photos by Matthew Dae Smith / Lansing State Journal)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 13th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, disabilities, disability, disabled, dogs, high school, michigan, pets, prom, prom night, schools, service dogs, students
A Georgia man used a leg support from his wife’s wheelchair to smash the window of car containing a panting dog — and promptly got arrested.
Michael Hammons, a veteran of Desert Storm, said he saw a group of people standing around a Mustang in a shopping center parking lot in Athens, worrying about the safety of a small dog locked inside, without water.
“I just did what had to be done,” Hammons told 11 Alive in Atlanta.
Shortly after he broke the window, the dog’s owner came back to the car.
“She said you broke my window, and I said I did. She says why would you do that? I said to save your dog,” Hammons recounted.
Oconee County authorities said they arrested Hammons at the insistence of the car’s owner.
Georgia state law, while it allows rescuers to break a car window to save a child, doesn’t make that same allowance for those who do it to save dogs.
Chief Deputy Lee Weems said officers had no choice but to charge Hammons: “We didn’t want to charge him, but he told us he broke the windows and when you have a victim there saying she wants him charged, we had no other choice.”
Hammons wife, Saundra, said her husband suffers from PTSD and that he’s prone to coming to the rescue of those he perceives to be in danger.
“He has seen so much, and been through so much, his thing is he’s got to save him. Michael says I have to save lives because I couldn’t save everyone else over there,” she told Fox News in Atlanta.
The car’s owner said she had only been in the store for five minutes, but deputies issued her a citation as well.
“It wasn’t just five minutes like the lady stated, it was a lot longer,” Hammons said. “I personally felt the heat in the car; I saw the dog panting. This dog was in distress.”
“I’ve got PTSD, and I’ve seen enough death and destruction,” Hammons added. “And I didn’t want anything else to happen if I could prevent it.”
Hammons said he’d do the same thing again.
“I knew there’d be consequences, but it didn’t matter. Glass? They make new glass every day. But they could never replace that dog.”
Posted by John Woestendiek May 12th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arrest, Athens, broke, car, dog, dogs, georgia, heat, hot, parking lot, pets, ptsd, rescue, smashed, veteran, window