This combines so many of my favorite things — springtime, Philadelphia, cartoons (the hand-drawn kind) and dogs — that I feel compelled to share.
He intended to draw some people. But most of the people had dogs attached to them.
Auth, after 40 years as editorial cartoonist at the Inquirer, serves as the first “digital artist in residence” at NewsWorks, the online home of WHYY News.
You can find more of his work at TonyAuth.com.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 17th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, art, cartoonist, cartoons, dog, dogs, dogs and owners, drawing, editorial cartoons, newsworks, owners, park, pets, philadelphia, rittenhouse square, sketches, spring, springtime, tony auth, walk, walking
We don’t know if Fidèle bit, but the millionaire’s dog, back when they were both alive, did write some pretty biting letters.
The art uprooting happened last year when, against his will (the written kind), the Barnes Foundation toted the eccentric collector’s masterpieces from suburban Merion to downtown Philadelphia — 181 Renoirs, 69 Cézannes, 59 Matisses and 46 Picassos included.
The dissing of Fidèle — a mid-sized black and white dog — just occured.
An exhibit at the new museum containing Fidèle’s dog bed, and several letters that the dog “wrote,” has been closed to make room for a showing of sculpture by Ellsworth Kelly, Bloomberg reports.
As the Bloomberg reporter sees it, the change — while maybe not anyone’s intention — further removes Barnes from the impressive array of art he collected:
“Less than a year after Albert Barnes’s art, uprooted from its original home in Merion, Pennsylvania, occupied new quarters, the collector himself has been removed from the Philadelphia museum that now houses his treasures.”
Last May, after years of lawsuits and heated opposition, and in a saga far too intricate to fully cover here, the Barnes Foundation, which oversees the collection, moved the art to a modern building in downtown Philadelphia, where it was thought it would be more accessible to the public.
That ran counter to what Barnes specified in the will he had written before his death in 1951, in which he expressly forbade moving the pictures from Merion.
The foundation – to show some respect to the man they were disobeying — opened the new downtown museum with a special show in tribute to him, entitled, “Ensemble: Albert C. Barnes and the Experiment in Education.”
It depicted the history of the collection, and the man behind it — a doctor, chemist and the developer of Argyrol, an antiseptic useful for the treatment of gonorrhea.
Fidèle once wrote Winston Churchill to congratulate him on the liberation of France (where she was from). More commonly, she wrote to express her owner’s anger over something, or to art critics who had requested to view his master’s collection. Generally, she would reject the requests, sometimes in a rude and sassy manner that reflected Barnes’s distaste with the art establishment.
“While the Barnes tribute was never described as permanent, its removal struck some as a further slight to the man and his legacy,” Bloomberg reported.
The new exhibit, “Ellsworth Kelly: Sculpture on the Wall,” opens May 4. A spokesperson for the foundation said that, despite the old exhibit closing, continued efforts are underway to ensure Barnes keeps a high profile.
Fidèle’s profile appears to be less of a concern.
Maybe she should write a letter.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 26th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: albert barnes, animals, art, barnes foundation, bed, cezanne, collection, collector, dog, dogs, exhibit, fidele, last wishes, letters, matisse, merion, moved, museum, pets, philadelphia, picasso, removed, renoir, replaced, will
Vivian Peyton, a pit bull mix and former bait dog, was honored as a Purina Therapy Dog Ambassador.
Vivian was in the second graduating class of Philadelphia’s New Leash on Life USA, a program that, unlike some similar ones, actually sees dogs and inmates become cellmates.
It’s aimed at helping both dogs in need of homes and inmates in need of job skills. Poorly socialized or misbehaving dogs, through the training, get a better chance to be adopted; the inmates, in addition to getting a break from their otherwise mostly lonely and idle existence, learn to be dog trainers.
New Leash on Life USA is currently training their fifth class of dogs, with 28 dogs scheduled to graduate, according to a press release.
Vivian, was rescued by New Leash on Life USA and spent three months completing the prison training program.
When she arrived, she was wounded, severely underweight and apprehensive around people, but it only took a few days for her to come out of her shell. She went on to pass her canine good citizen test in prison.
Then she was adopted by Michele Pich, a Veterinary Grief Counselor at PennVet. Vivian, now a certified therapy dog, comforts grieving pet lovers and visits children at the Ronald McDonald House.
“We are incredibly proud of Vivian Peyton for showing the resiliency of animals and what can be accomplished with love and care,” said Marian V. Marchese, the founder of New Leash on Life USA. “She will always be New Leash on Life USA’s ambassador dog.”
(Top photo courtesy of New Leash on Life USA; bottom photo, of Vivian and Pich, by Connie Kang / Daily Pennsylvanian)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, ambassador, animals, bait dog, counselor, dogs, grief, michelle pich, mix, national dog show, new leash on life, new leash on life usa, pets, philadelphia, pit bull, prison, prison dogs, prisons, program, purina therapy dog, rescues, shelters, socialization, therapy dog, therapy dogs, training, veterinary, vivian peyton
A photo Vick posted on Twitter shows a box of Milk Bones at the edge of the frame, indicating he might have gotten the family a pet, as he has recently mentioned he was considering.
Then again, they could be part of his diet. Or maybe they just keep them on hand for visiting pets, though I’d doubt there’d be too many of those.
In the photo, Vick is shown studying a game film on an iPad, while his daughter appears to be doing homework. At the edge of the picture, there’s an opened box of Milk Bones.
“It’s not hard to connect the dots from there,” Chris Chase wrote in his USA Today blog
The picture was quickly deleted and replaced by a similar, biscuit-less one, Chase wrote.
Under terms of his probation, Vick was ordered not to own a dog for three years. That period expired several months ago. In July, Vick, in an interview with Piers Morgan, said he’d like to get a dog for his children.
“I can’t take that dream away from them,” he said.
While his ownership of a dog would be legal now, it’s bound to be a source of contention among those dog lovers who still harbor a great deal of resentment toward the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback who admitted to drowning, electrocuting and beating to death dogs that did not perform in the dogfighting ring.
Vick, as part of his rehabilitation, has been working with the Humane Society of the United States, speaking to young people about the importance of treating dogs humanely.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, biscuits, court, daughter, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, eagles, expired, family, michael vick, milk bones, order, ownership, pets, philadelphia, photo, prison, probation, quarterback, terms, treats, twitter, vick
I think that I shall never see
a tree unscathed by doggie pee
– Not Joyce Kilmer
Maybe there are some out there — a tree or two that, in their lifetimes, have somehow avoided ever being annointed by dog.
But, sharing the country with 75 million dogs, as both trees and we do, that is unlikely — and even more so in paved-over urban areas, where dogs sometimes outnumber trees, the living things they seem to most like to pee on.
For centuries, there seems to have been an unwritten agreement — a pee-ful coexistence — between dogs and trees. But, at least for half a century or so, there have been worries expressed about the cumulative effect of the continual sprinkling that some trees undergo, especially those in densely populated urban areas.
Some were recently voiced by a Philadelphia woman with an interesting perspective. Carrie Maria owns Monster Minders, a Philadelphia dog-walking service, and she’s a graduate of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Tree Tenders program.
“Urine is highly acidic,” Maria wrote on the The Monster Minders blog. “Simply put, dogs’ urine ‘burns’ the tree’s trunk to the point that the tree becomes susceptible to diseases, pests, dehydration and nutrient loss.”
Maria’s report drew the attention of The Atlantic, which ran a lengthy piece on its blog, Atlantic Cities, complete with photos she had taken of disfigured trees in her neighborhood she says are likely victims of pee-blight.
We can’t confirm that the damaged trees she photographed (pictured here) are solely victims of dog pee — and neither could experts. But we give her credit for speaking up for the underdog, which in this particular case is trees.
“Your dog ‘marks’ the tree, then another dog walks by 10 minutes later, smells your dog’s scent and hits it again, 15 minutes later and another dog walks by, hits it again. This goes on day in and day out … One dog’s scent ends up on a tree and others just keep marking it, over and over until the tree is compromised.”
Where I live — not in a real big city, not downtown — the yard in front of my apartment has huge oak trees, planted probably a good half century ago, or more. Ace pees on his favorite one regularly, but it’s so well-established it doesn’t seem to mind, and show no signs of damage.
About this time of year, the oak trees start raining acorns, and every once in a while one drops and hits Ace in the head. He jumps up and looks around, unaware he has been the victim of poetic justice.
Impervious as the big oaks in my yard may be, saplings in cities — the ones growing in a few square feet of dirt, the ones that have become potty stops for dozens of dogs daily — are another story.
“Repeated hits with urine basically causes an ‘open wound’ right on the base on the tree. Since the bombardment from pee is semi-constant in an urban environment, the trees never have a chance to heal from past damage. These wounds open the trees up to a slew of diseases that they just can’t fight off.” Maria wrote.
Her solution: Curb your dog.
It’s an old phrase, and one that – outside of places like New York — lots of people don’t even understand. It means to pee where the street meets the curb. And while that may lead to gutters running yellow, and car tires taking on a pee-scent, thereby attracting more to dogs to take aim on them, Maria finds that preferable to the tree assault.
“It’s simple. Redirect your dog when he/she is headed for a tree,” Maria says. ”Teach your dog to ‘curb it.’”
How big a factor is dog pee, compared to all the other hazards urban trees face — like road salt, car doors, poor soil, limited room to grow and youths with pen knives? As the Atlantic Cities blog points out, experts aren’t sure:
“Whether pee hurts trees is a question that’s attracted virtually no research attention since its earliest mention in the academic literature …”
The post mentions one presentation, way back in 1959, in which a plant pathologist named Pascal Pirone warned of the dangers. In ‘Why shade trees die along city streets,’ a presentation given at the International Shade Tree Conference, he said ‘dog canker’ could kill trees up to 6 inches in diameter.”
But the Atlantic post also quoted a staff member at the Smithsonian Institution’s horticulture department as saying the trunk damage shown in Maria’s photos could have come from a number of causes, “including mechanical damage [i.e. mowers, car doors, pedestrians], southwest injury, disease [cankers], and insects [borers].”
While the extent of the harm caused by dog urine remains untallied, most experts agree it can’t be helping trees.
“We deal with it in the sense that I imagine trees get added stress or maybe anxiety” from dogs, says John Thomas, associate director at Washington, D.C.’s Urban Forestry Administration. “I don’t know how much dog urine you need to kill a tree. But there’s definitely something there…. Somebody could definitely get a masters or Ph.D. out of studying it.”
(Photos: Top photo by John Woestendiek; tree photos by Carrie Maria / Monster Minders)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: acid, animals, atlantic cities, blogs, carrie maria, curb, curb your dog, damage, dog, dogs, downtown, health, horticulture, marking, monster minders, pee, pets, philadelphia, saplings, scent, trees, urban, urination, urine
By his account — which varies wildly from that provided by police – Davis, who is homeless, was walking down Market Street before midnight with Bustaah on a leash.
When they passed a group of about five police officers, Davis said, Bustaah barked at one of them. One of the officers pulled his gun and shot the dog, according to Davis.
Police say officers responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting an unconscious man with a dog “not letting anyone get near him.” They say they found Davis drunk and passed out. Fire Rescue was called for Davis. The animal control department was notifed, but before they arrived Bustaah lunged at a police officer, who shot him, said police spokesman Lt. Ray Evers.
Philadelphia Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky, in a piece that ran today, puts more credence in the police version, but he noted that, either way, the homeless man’s dog will be missed by many.
Davis, a 53-year-old Montana native, has been hanging out with Bustaah for about a year at the City Hall Coffee House, on South Penn Square.
After a year crossing the country in his camper with Bustaah, looking for work, he’d landed in Atlantic City, where he worked as a house painter. When work dried up in winter, he was driven to Philadelphia by an Atlantic City police officer, who also gave Davis $20 and a bag of groceries.
In Philly, coffee-shop manager Cosimo Tricarico allowed Davis to hang out with Bustaah, and the two quickly became a fixture in Center City.
Bustaah, described as 3 1/2-year-old, 75-pound Rhodesian blue seal, attracted dog-lovers who stopped to pet him. “Everybody loved him,” says Tricarico, who fed Bustaah meatballs. “He was the best dog ever.”
“Before long, Davis had a cadre of sidewalk supporters, mostly white-collar professionals who work in the buildings around the coffee shop. Bustaah’s Buddies started helping Davis in various ways, like creating a resume for him and giving him a cellphone. They say he refused cash, but accepted food he would share with other homeless people or with Bustaah.”
Friends of Bustaah say he was friendly, but would show a protective instinct if a stranger approached too fast.
Davis describes the shooting as all but unprovoked, and he says he was beaten by police, handcuffed, and released the next morning missing a cellphone and $650 he had in his pocket.
“Bustaah touched our lives, made our days brighter,” lawyer Elissa Katz said. “What happened is simply terrible — a beautiful, wonderful dog has been killed.”
(Photo: Bustaah’s body in a van / via Philadelphia Daily News)
The wolf-dog hybrid that was calling Philadelphia’s Pennypack Park home is settling into his new quarters at a sanctuary in Lititz.
Levi, now renamed Liberty, is believed to have been roaming Philadelphia from March until his capture by state wildlife officers on July 3. He was introduced to the news media Tuesday.
About 10 months old, he’ll live the rest of his life at the 22-acre Speedwell Forge Wolf Sanctuary, a private, nonprofit licensed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
The animal’s former owner, Kasey Lyons, came forward after seeing news reports about a wolf-like animal roaming the city park. He said he bought the dog for his girlfriend in Florida, and that they lost him during a visit to the park in March.
Lacking a permit for the hybrid — required in Pennsylvania — he agreed to relinquish ownership after Levi was captured.
Despite some health problems, sanctuary caretaker Darin Tompkins said of Liberty, “he’s actually doing very well.”
Sanctuary officials say, as a result of his four months of wandering, Liberty contracted Lyme disease, is at least 25 pounds underweight and also has bordatella.
Tompkins said Liberty will eventually be introduced to some of the 44 other wolves and hybrids at the sanctuary.
While he’s known to show his dog side — officials say he took dog toys from some homes in the park area before he was captured — he could become more wolfish when he starts living among others of his ilk.
“Liberty is used to humans, but he can’t trust them,” Tompkins said. “You can’t blame him.”
Posted by jwoestendiek July 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, dog, dogs, hybrid, levi, liberty, lititz, pennsylvania, pennypack park, pets, philadelphia, sanctuary, Speedwell Forge Wolf Sanctuary, wolf
The wolfish-looking creature who lurked for months in Pennypack Park has been caught, and it is indeed Levi, a Malamute-wolf mix that escaped when his Florida owner was visiting Philadelphia earlier this year.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission said the wolf-dog hybrid was captured using hot dogs and foothold traps, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The animal is believed to be a wolf-Alaskan malamute mix that was purchased as a pet in Florida and escaped when his owners were visiting in March.
The wolf-dog attacked no one during that time.
About a week ago, Game Commission officials began trying to catch the canine at the park in Northeast Philadelphia park, using traps, nets, snare poles, sedative-laced hot dogs and tranquilizing darts.
On Monday night, wildlife agents set foothold traps, one of which went off around 3:15 a.m. today. They followed the dog’s yelps. The dog was briefly aggressive as it was being put in a cage, said Jerry Czech, of the game commission, but he soon calmed down.
“He laid there, unfazed, did not growl, kick, spit, anything,” Czech said.
The wolf hybrid was taken to the Wolf Sanctuary near Lititz in Lancaster County, a 22-acre woodland refuge for wolves and wolf-hybrids. Wolf-dog hybrids are legal in Pennsylvania only with a special permit.
He believes the animal is Levi, whose owner, Kasey Lyons, searched for him at the park after seeing reports about the mystery dog on Philly.com.
Lyons bought the dog for his then-fiancee for Valentine’s Day. While visiting from Florida, they let the animal off leash in the park and lost him.
Lyons, who has since broken up with his girlfriend and moved back to Philadelphia, could be fined for transporting and possessing a wolf-hybrid without a permit, but Czech said his cooperation with officials will be taken into account.
(Photo: Alejandro A. Alvarez / Philadelphia Inquirer)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alaskan malamute, animals, captured, caught, dog, dogs, game commission, hybrid, kasey lyons, levi, lititz, malamute, mix, pennsylvania, pennypack park, pets, philadelphia, trapped, wolf, wolf dog, wolf dog hybrid, wolf sanctuary
That wolf-like creature that state wildlife officials are trying to capture in Philadelphia’s Pennypack Park may be somebody’s pet.
Kasey Lyons, 21, says it looks a lot like Levi, the timber wolf-Alaskan malamute mix he bought in Florida on Valentine’s Day for his then-fiancee. (That’s him above in his street clothes.)
A month later, while visiting Lyons’ mother, the couple lost the dog in Pennypack Park. Lyons placed ads and put up posters, but to no avail, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Tuesday night, Lyons saw a photo of the animal (left) and a story about the mystery creature on Philly.com.
He says it looked just like Levi, whose name is the same as Lyons’ middle one.
On Wednesday evening, Lyons searched a section of Pennypack Park where the animal had been spotted repeatedly over several months, bringing along Levi’s old leash, and his other dog, Tiny, a Lab-bulldog mix.
Lyons was living in Florida when he got the hybrid pup. He and then-fiancee Brittany Hopkin were training Levi when, according to Lyons, she let him loose and the hybrid ran off.
The couple have since broken up. Lyons lives in Philadelphia now, and Hopkin has relocated to Georgia.
Still, he wants to find the dog and return him to her. In Pennsylvania, though, one needs a special permit to own a hybrid wolf-dog. While Lyons says he bought the dog legally, for $400, in Florida and has papers and receipts, he doesn’t hold a permit.
Jerry Czech, a wildlife conservation officer with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said the wolf-dog, once found, would have to be forfeited.
(Photos: Philadelphia Inquirer)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, capture, dog, dogs, fiancee, gift, hybrid, kasey lyons, levi, lost, malamute, mix, officials, park, pennypack, pets, philadelphia, trap, valentines day, wandering, wildlife, wolf
The Pennsylvania SPCA has upped the reward to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of whoever doused a young female pit bull with gasoline and set her on fire last weekend.
The dog, named Chloe, died Sunday, about an hour after she was discovered on the 700 block of Gray Street in East Germantown and taken to an animal hospital in central New Jersey.
“This is an extreme case of animal abuse,” said Lisa Germanis, head veterinarian at the Pennsylvania SPCA’s Shelter Hospital.
Chloe was originally taken to the PSPCA shelter. But the extent of her burns and injuries led to her transfer to a rescue facility in Lambertville operated by Animal Alliance NJ.
Investigators say the dog appeared to have been doused with an accelerant and set on fire.
She suffered extreme burns on her entire body.
Veterinarians at the Pennsylvania SPCA’s Shelter Hospital evaluated Chloe, treated her burns and gave her pain medications before transferring her.
Investigators with the PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Department say they located the dog’s owner and believe Chloe lived near the location where she was discovered.
According to NBC10 in Philadelphia, investigators also believe there are multiple witnesses who have information on the people or person responsible. Authorities ask that anyone with information call the Pennsylvania SPCA Anti-Cruelty Hotline at 866-601-7722 (SPCA).
Posted by jwoestendiek June 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, accelerant, animal alliance, animal cruelty, animals, burned, chloe, cruelty to animals, dog, doused, gasoline, new jersey, pennsylvania, pets, philadelphia, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, pspca, reward, set on fire, soaked, spca, torture