My dog Ace is always pretty cooperative — you might even say a ham — when it comes to having his picture taken.
But last week he went so far as to provide not just the photo op, but the frame.
We were wandering around historic Reynolda Village in Winston-Salem, where he generally checks each shop’s doorstep for water bowls or treats, then peers inside to see if anything of interest — i.e., food related — is going on.
When we came to Village Smith Galleries, an art and framing shop, it was closed, but Ace hopped up on a bench at the entrance. Both sides of the front step were surrounded by lattice, allowing opportunities for him to present his good sides (and there are many) in a pre-framed manner.
In case you can’t read it, that bandana he’s wearing — he got it as a going-away gift — says “I’m smarter than your honor student.”
Sometimes I wonder how true that might be.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 3rd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, art, dog, dog photography, dogs, frame, framed, frames, framing, north carolina, ohmidog!, pets, photo, photography, photos, reynolda, reynolda village, travels with ace, village smith galleries, winston-salem
A series of photos depicting some playful and reflective moments between Russian President Vladimir Putin and two of his dogs have been released to the public.
The photos, taken by Putin’s personal photographer, were made on a snowy day in March and show the president playing with his dogs Buffy (a Bulgarian shepherd) and Yume (an Akita-inu) at Novo-Ogariovo, his residence outside Moscow.
Both dogs were given to Putin as gifts, according to RT.com. Buffy came from former Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. Yume, which means ”dream” in Japanese, came from Tokyo as a gift to show gratitude for Russia’s assistance after an earthquake and tsunami devastated the country.
Putin has a third dog, Koni, a black Labrador who is 12 years old and sometimes attends official meetings with him. Koni was also a present, received from former Emergency Minister Sergey Shoigu in 2001.
(Photos: RIA Novosti / Alexsey Druginyn)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 11th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akita inu, animals, black labrador, bulgarian shepherd, dogs, koni, lab, official, pets, photographer, photos, president, public, putin, released, russia, russian, vladimir, world leaders
Dogs are much better than humans at showing their hearts – and in more ways than one.
Some dogs — and even cats — are walking Valentine’s Day cards.
Not being the mushy sort, we’re not going to make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day, other than wishing you a happy one.
You can find a dozen more photos of dogs and cats showing their hearts at Buzzfeed.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 14th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cats, coloring, dogs, fur, greetings, happy valentine's day, heart, heart shaped, hearts, pets, photography, photos, valentines day
Spiked collars, break sticks and Michael Vick’s indictment papers are among items on display at a new exhibit at the Crime Museum in downtown D.C.
The dogfighting exhibit, put together by the ASPCA, is scheduled to run through September.
“We want the public to see that dogs used in dogfighting are the victims of the crime, not instruments of the crime,” said Dr. Randall Lockwood, senior vice president of ASPCA Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects. “We want people to realize the brutality of dog fighting and see that it’s the greatest violation of the human-animal bond.”
Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer at the Crime Museum, told WTOP the exhibit seeks to expose the public to the brutality of dogfighting, but that attempts were made to keep it rated “PG.”
The exhibit features artifacts and evidence seized by the ASPCA during dog fighting raids, including the largest dogfighting raid in U.S. history, carried out in 2009.
The exhibit, “Dog Fighting: The Voiceless Victims,” also looks at the work of ASPCA veterinary forensic experts in investigating such crimes.
Among the artifacts in the exhibit is the indictment naming Michael Vick, the NFL quarterback who served time for his participation in dogfighting and has since worked to speak out against it and rehabilitate his image.
“Personally, I have difficulty in forgiving him, but if he can be helpful in the fight against dog fighting, we welcome whatever help we can get,” Lockwood said.
Also on display are a treadmill used to condition dogs for fighting; a “rape” stand used to immobilize female dogs for breeding purposes; breaking sticks used to force a dog’s release on another dog; a spring pole used to strengthen a dog’s bite, neck, and leg muscles as he pulls or hangs from the end, a handmade nailed collar used to antagonize fighting dogs; an electrocution device used to kill dogs who lost a fight or failed to show sufficient aggression; and a pit bull skull excavated from a dogfighting crime scene.
Lockwood says pit bulls have suffered most from dog fighting.
“Too often, pit bulls in general are demonized as the weapons of dog fighting, but from our perspective they are the victims of dog fighting,” he said.
The exhibit does have some upbeat notes, including the story of Dragon, a dog rescued from a Virginia dogfighting ring who has since been adopted into a new home.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 31st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animal welfare, aspca, break sticks, crime museum, dc, devices, displays, dog fighting, dogfighting, exhibit, forensics, indictment, investigations, michael vick, mueseums, photos, pit bulls, pitbulls, randall lockwood, spiked collars, tools, torture, washington
Having drawn my line in the technogical sand — though it’s subject to being moved — I am managing to get through life for now without texting, or using any mobile apps at all.
But I’ll admit I sometimes wonder what — other than being annoyed more often — I’m missing out on.
If this app is any indication, not much.
“Ever wondered just what your pet would look like as a baby?” read a press release sent to ohmidog! “Well wonder no more.”
Now, thanks to a new app called Petbaby, we can turn a picture of our dog into one of what he or she would have looked like had he or she been born human.
According to the press release, the new cellphone app allows you to “take a photo of your favourite furry friend and turn it into a little human with the simple click of a button! Whether your pet is a dog, cat or even a rabbit bring your pet to life with Petbaby!!”
I’m not sure why anyone would want to do that, or what we’re supposed to do with the finished product. Frame a copy for our desk at the office? Use it on our Christmas cards? Nor do I understand why Petbaby thinks our dogs, already pretty lively, have to be transformed into humans to be “brought to life.”
Merging animals and humans has a long history, most of which, fortunately, is in the realm of science fiction and fantasy, and now apps. Let’s hope — in a world where dogs are being cloned, where human “furries” dress up and pretend to be animals at conventions, where technology has a way of trampling right over reason — it stays there.
Because the result of such morphing — even if it’s just taking place on your iPhone — is creepy.
Even Fierce Mobile Content, a website that keeps up with apps, named Petbaby a “worst entertainment app,” called it “an exercise in extreme stupidity,” and noted in its review the parallels to Dr. Moreau, the fictional mad doctor who created new beings from vivisected animals:
“There’s nothing cute or cuddly about slapping Fido’s eyes and snout on a random baby’s head. In fact, if you saw some half-infant/half-schnauzer mutant on the street, you’d kill it with fire and not a jury in the land would convict you. Babies? Cute. Dogs? Even cuter. But Pet Baby? Ugh. It’s the most warped photo-warping app on the market.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: android, animals, app, apps, babies, cellphone, cloning, dogs, furbabies, furries, humans, iphone, morphing, pet baby, petbaby, pets, photos, technology, warping
Madison Bell, a seventh-grader at Mayberry Middle School, recently launched the Black Dog Club after noticing — while volunteering at the Kansas Humane Society — that black dogs tend to get passed over in shelters, at least more often than their multi-colored and lighter-colored counterparts.
“Black dogs are overlooked … You can’t see their faces very well,” said Madison, 12. “When I heard about it, I was shocked. I wanted to so something to help.”
Today, Madison is helping the Humane Society host the Black Dog Adoption Drive, an event geared toward getting more black shelter animals into loving homes, according to Kansas.com. All adoption fees for black animals are being waived, while fees for other animals are being discounted 25 percent.
She’ll also be encouraging visitors to join the Black Dog Club, which she launched last month as her Girl Scout Silver Award project. It has raised about $1,300 to help provide medical services and more for the shelter’s animals. (You can find more information, donate, and get the T-shirt here.)
Most shelter directors concur that black dogs often have more trouble finding a home — their facial expressions are harder to see, and photographs of them tend to not come out as well.
“They don’t grab your eye as quickly as brighter colored animals,” said Jennifer Campbell, spokeswoman for the Kansas Humane Society.
But as Madison points out, they’re just as special. “Black dogs are amazing,” she told KAKE-TV. “They’ve got personality just like any other dog.”
(Photos: Courtesy of the Kansas Humane Society)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopting, adoption, animals, black, black cats, black dog adoption drive, black dog club, black dogs, difficulty, dog, dogs, expression, facial, girl scout, kansas, kansas humane society, madison bell, pets, photography, photos, rescues, shelters, wichita
This week, I was accompanying a friend who was shopping for a car when I noticed this gentleman and his dog seeking handouts on an Interstate 40 exit ramp in Winston-Salem.
Given the alternative was dealing with a car salesman, I left Ace and my friend at the dealership, explained that I had to go take some photos and walked down the road to meet the man with a cardboard sign and his dog, tied to the guard rail.
When I asked if his dog was friendly, he said, “No, she can be a little temperamental,” which, he added, is how he wants her to be. He was fine with me taking some pictures, though.
He explained that he got Dog in Wytheville, Virginia, where he “camped” — his preferred term — before he and Dog hitchhiked down to Winston-Salem.
Dog was among several dogs that were being transported from a southern shelter to a northern one, where they had a better chance of being adopted.
She wasn’t part of the original shipment, but apparently was picked up as a stray along the way, he said.
He admired her for a while and felt a connection — “She was a stray and so was I,” he said — and he asked the driver if he could have her.
They’ve been together ever since, about a year and a half now.
She’s a barker, and helps protect his sleeping bag and other belongings, he said.
Dog barked nearly the whole time I was taking her picture, and when she wasn’t barking at me, she barked at trucks that passed by.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cardboard, dog, dogs, exit ramp, guard rail, guardrail, handouts, hitchhiker, hobo, homeless, money, north carolina, panhandling, pets, photography, photos, sign, winston-salem
There’s nothing wrong, most of the commenters said, with posting a photo of one’s dog, along with a sign describing how he or she has misbehaved, on the Internet.
What dogs don’t know won’t hurt them was the common refrain. Dogs don’t get on the Internet, and wouldn’t be smart enough to be humiliated even if they could. The photos, many added, are posted in a spirit of humor and love (at least most of the time). How dare I suggest that, rather than making a sign, taking a photograph and posting it on the Internet, some pet owners might be better served by applying that time to fixing the dog’s recurrent misbehavior?
How dare I raise the question of how humans might like it if they were the subject of “shaming” posts, presented of course in a spirit of humor and love, and all in good fun?
And shame on me for expressing my personal opinion — that I wouldn’t want my dog’s lasting and permanent legacy to be photo and statement of misdeed on the Internet. And for pointing out that, as species go, humans have much more to be ashamed of than dogs.
Dogs would never post pictures of us misbehaving on the Internet, I don’t think, even if they could.
But PETA would, and has.
PETA has come out with a series of photographs — these are but a few of them — that turns the tables, depicting humans confessing to their misdeeds when it comes to their pets.
As PETA notes, “Dogs give us all their love and affection, but what are some people giving them in return? Dog shaming. Dogs don’t deserve that, but we can’t say the same for some guardians.”
You can find more shame on PETA’s official blog, The PETA Files.
(Photos: The PETA Files)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, behavior, dog, dogs, dogshaming, guardians, humans, misbehavior, owners, pet owners, peta, pets, photos, shame, shameful, shaming, the peta files, training, websites
A mother dog was photographed rescuing her litter of puppies from a house fire in Chile.
In the photos, a German shepherd mix named “Amanda” carries five of her 10-day old pups in her mouth, dropping each onto a fire truck as flames ravaged her owner’s home Thursday in Santa Rosa de Temuco, Chile.
The puppies were transported to La Clínica Veterinaria Altamira where four are recuperating with their mother.
One of the puppies died on Thursday night after suffering burns to his abdomen and mouth.
Veterinarian Felipe Lara told the Chilean newspaper Soy Temuco that Amanda defended her puppies when they tried to take them away for treatment.
(Photos: Associated Press /Jose Monsalve, Diario El Austral de La Araucaria)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 10 days old, amanda, boxer, car bomb, carries, chile, danger, dog, father, fire, five puppies, german shepherd, house fire, mother, mouth, omar torres, photo, photographs, photos, protects, puppies, pups, safety, santa rosa de temuco, saved, temuco, tire truck, tumbaito jose torres, viral
For two years, Yun-Fei Tou has been photographing dogs heading to meet their deaths at the Taoyuan Animal Shelter in Taiwan, providing in the process some last-minute affection to the animals and a message to all: There has got to be a better way.
“I believe something should not be told but should be felt,” says Tou, 37, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. “And I hope these images will arouse the viewers to contemplate and feel for these unfortunate lives, and understand the inhumanity we the society are putting them through.”
He has captured the images of some 400 dogs, most of which were pets abandoned by their owners, sometimes hours before they are euthanized, sometimes just minutes, according to an Associated Press story.
And once in a while, according to a recent piece in the Washington Post, he is at their side when the lethal injection takes place.
“You treat them like your own dog or daughter or son. And then you play with them, as if they are your friend … You just make sure that when they are facing euthanasia, they are in peace,” Tou said.
A selection of some of the 40,000 dog pictures Tou has taken are scheduled to be exhibited in August in his first full-scale show, at the Fine Arts Museum in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung.
A few others are on display at Taoyuan city hall, aimed at heightening citizen awareness of the responsibilities that come with raising a pet.
Tou first became interested in photography in 1991 as a student at The American School in Switzerland. In 1998, he graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a major in photography.
His softly lit photographs reflect the dignity of the soon-to-be-killed dogs, who, despite often being mangy and emaciated, seem to have a grace about them.
Shelters in Taiwan will euthanize 80,000 dogs this year. In the U.S., between 3 and 4 million dogs are euthanized a year.
You can find more of Tou’s photos here.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, art, death, death row, dignity, dogs, euthanasia, exhibit, grace, memento mori, pets, photographer, photography, photos, shame, shelters, taiwan, taoyuan animal shelter, yun-fei tou