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Tag: playing

Elk and dog at (what seems to be) play

Encounters between dogs and less domesticated species can sometimes be cute and heartwarming (see dog and goose) or violent and ugly (see dog and javelina).

This one — between dog and elk — looks to be a joyful one, at least if we humans are reading it right.

Elk have attacked dogs and dogs have attacked elk.

But these two certainly seem to be playing. Check out the dog’s wagging tail, and the seemingly playful gait of the elk.

Joe Fleck says his dog Clara played with the elk for a good 10 minutes last month in his back yard in North Bend, Washington.

“We’ve never seen it before,” Fleck told KING5. “We’ve heard her barking before but this is the first time we looked to see what she was barking at.”

“They kept running back and forth with each other. It struck me that it was like two dogs playing with each other,” he said.

Accordion-playing dog fails to impress

I wasn’t personally tuned in, but it seems Pup, the accordion-playing pooch vying to win the NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” competition, failed to make much of an impression last night.

Maybe he was overwhelmed by the bright lights, the big stage and the huge Hollywood crowd, but Pup only tugged a couple of times on the elastic strap attached to the accordion, and once it snapped out of his mouth, he stayed away from the accordion altogether.

After Pup balked, the act turned into a solo – basically his owner, Ed,  singing and strumming “Ghost Riders in the Sky.”

Pup failed to live up to the expectations of the judges, and his owner, Ed, from Oakhurst, California — and anyone else who saw his impressive audition tape (above).

“If Pup had continued we may have had a sensation on our hands, but we’re never going to know,” said judge Piers Morgan, who “X-ed” the act early on.

“We had some problems,” Ed explained afterward.

Pup’s on air performance — a bit painful to watch — is included in the video below.

Bear-Bear remembered in tribute

It started with some flowers and a dog toy left in his honor at the dog park, but by this evening a full-fledged memorial and tribute were underway for Bear-Bear, the Siberian Husky gunned down by a federal officer in Anne Arundel County this week.

Those saddened and upset with the dog’s death — he was fatally shot by a Department of Defense officer who felt Bear-Bear was playing too roughly with his leashed German shepherd — began gathering at Quail Run Park around 6:30 p.m. for a tribute that was expected to go until 8:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, at the recommendation of County Executive John R. Leopold, the Anne Arundel County Police Department will be investigating the incident — contrary to its earlier assertions — and receiving assistance in that investigation from the Humane Society of the United States.

HSUS representatives also plan to help the Severn community ensure that the Quail Run Community Dog Park is safe.

“I welcome the opportunity to partner with this national organization,” County Executive John Leopold said in a statement. “With our combined resources, I look forward to bringing closure to this egregious incident.”

Leopold said he was “outraged” and “deeply troubled” to learn about the killing. Police originally called the matter closed, but Police Chief James Teare called the case a “priority” Wednesday and pledged a full investigation, according to the Washington Post.

“The Anne Arundel County Police Department has taken this case seriously and is thoroughly investigating this incident that appears to involve the violent death of a beloved dog. We welcome the opportunity to work with Anne Arundel County on the investigation and to assist the community in making it a safer place for both animals and people,” said Justin L. Scally of the HSUS.

WBAL-TV reported that the unidentified, off-duty Department of Defense officer used his personal weapon to fire at Bear-Bear, and that he told officers he “feared for the safety of himself, his wife and their dog.”

Bear-Bear was taken to Anne Arundel Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Annapolis, where he died. Since the incident Monday, police have not released the officer’s identity.

When yellow Labs hit the slopes

Sure we had way too much snow this winter — though these two probably wouldn’t think so.

Here’s how yellow Labs keep their coats clean and have big fun at the same time.

Piano Cat performs with Lithuanian orchestra

Those guitar-playing birds we showed you yesterday were pretty cool, but they were just the opening act for Nora, the Piano Cat, shown here in a performance last year with the Klaipeda Chamber Orchestra in Lithuania.

The “CATcerto” was the project of Lithuanian conductor, composer and artist Mindaugas Piecaitis.

Nora, a rescued cat whose piano skills have been widely featured on the Internet, appeared via a pre-recorded video hookup.

For more information on the performance, visit catcerto.com.

If you would like to adopt a rescued cat and teach her to play piano, might I suggest Miley, whose musical talents are as yet untapped. (Piano not included.)

Dogs help students cope with stress of finals

It has become something of a tradition on the University of Wisconsin campus — just when student stress is at its highest, final exam week, dogs show up to help them chill out.

The Pet Therapy study break on the Madison campus was held again yesterday, with staff from University Health Services bringing their dogs to the Library Mall so students can pet and play with them.

In addition to the dogs soothing frazzled nerves, counselors from the school offer advice on how to deal with finals week — including telling them that all-night cram sessions are not the way to go. A good night’s sleep will probably be more valuable.

Students at the campus in Madison can also get free one-on-one counseling, and for $40, massage therapy.

(Photo: A scene from last year’s break, The Capital Times)

Bridge bling berated in Berkeley

The base of a statue on a pedestrian bridge in Berkeley has been decorated with medallions of dogs doing what they do best — playing, running, sniffing and more.

It’s the “more” that seems to be bothering some people.

Artist Scott Donahue of Emeryville, Calif., was paid $196,000 by the Berkeley Civic Arts Commission to create two large statues, one at each end of the bridge. At the base of one, he attached medallions showing humans engaged in human activities, such as kite flying. At the base of the other, he attached medallions of dogs doing the things dog do.

Those, as you may have guessed by now, include dogs-a-pooping and dogs-a-humping.

Some citizens are grumbling about the taxpayer-funded artwork, the designs for which didn’t reflect the objectionable — to some — dog activities, according to a Fox News report.

Berkeley civic arts coordinator Mary Ann Marker doesn’t seem fazed.

“You know they’re only 5 inches – the piece is 28 feet,” she says. “They’re just part of the bottom of the base as extra decoration. They are by no means the main thrust of the piece.”

Donahue says he stands by his work — the, uh, thrust of which is ”celebrating life’s vitality.”

“The sculpture is on the one hand serious — you’ve got these big sculptures — and on the other hand it’s playful. It’s both serious and playful simultaneously.”

The pedestrian bridge spans Interstate 80 in Berkeley, and the artwork — about 1.5 percent of the bridge’s total cost — was part of what taxpayers paid for its construction.