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
Our answer is a qualified “yes” — but based on far different reasons than those being hammered away on by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and other Republicans.
The former presidential candidate from Minnesota said she thinks having a caretaker/dogwalker assigned to Bo is one example of lavish and excessive spending at the White House.
“We are also the ones who are paying for someone to walk the president’s dog — paying for someone to walk the president’s dog,” she said over the weekend (serving as her own echo).
Bachman, who has a beagle named Boomer, made the remarks at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, held just outside Washington .
We, too, think the president should walk his dog — not as a money-saving measure, but because we think those peaceful moments of solace and reflection (assuming Bo is not a tugger) will make him a better president.
Walking the dog not only clears the head, it reminds one of what’s important in life. It’s good for the brain, it keeps the blood circulating, it lets you smell the roses and it calms the soul. I want a president with a calm soul, or at least as calm as the office permits.
While I think Obama and family should walk their own dog at every opportunity, I find nothing wrong with the White House having a full time dog walker on staff — even if, as some not 100 percent confirmed reports suggest, it”s a $100,000- a-year position.
(Also, I offer to fill that position should it ever become vacated — or even on a fill-in basis.)
As reported on the CNN blog, Political Ticker, Bachman, in her speech, blasted what she called “a lifestyle that is one of excess.”
“Now we find out that there are five chefs on Air Force One. There are two projectionists who operate the White House movie theater … They regularly sleep at the White House in order to be regularly available in case the first family wants a really, really late show. And I don’t mean to be petty here, but can’t they just push the play button?”
The Obamas, though always very well dressed, don’t strike me as lavish, and I don’t think Bo experiences the same amenities of, say, Queen Elizabeth’s corgis.
Our nation’s First Dog deserves, at least in some ways, royal treatment — even amid all the fiscal cliffs and sequesters that, dramatic as they are, were created by lavishly living (often) politicians out of touch with the real world.
Dogs help keep the word real. I want my president to keep it real. So I want my president to walk the dog whenever possible.
If it comes down to tending to a world crisis and taking Bo outside to pee, by all means, tend to the world crisis, and let the highly paid dogwalker handle the duty, as well as the doody.
(My far bigger questions about all this are whether the Obamas personally scoop Bo’s poop from the White House lawn, and whether Bachmann picks up Boomer’s droppings at her home, valued at $1.27 million, on the 18th hole of the Stoneridge Golf Course.)
Grabbing and bagging a handful of feces is how you keep it really, really real.
But back to our main point. Routine and mundane as the task might seem, there is much to be gained from time spent walking your own dog. (Just ask Leon Panetta.)
In trying times, when the head gets too clogged by all the stress, there is no better way to return it to a state of reason and clarity than the simple pleasure of walking the dog – whether you’re a queen, a president, an assembly line worker, or even unemployed.
(Photos: Bo and the president, official White House photo by Pete Souza; Michele and Marcus Bachmann, with Boomer, AP photo by Craig Lassig)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 18th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barack, bo, bo obama, dog, dog walker, dog walking, dogs, first dog, first family, fiscal cliff, lavish, lifestyle, michele bachmann, obama, pets, politics, poop, president, republicans, scoop, sequester, spending, taxes, taxpayers, walking, white house, who walks bo
Bush broke the news on his Facebook page, where he also made public a recent oil painting he did of his dog.
“After twelve and a half years of life, his body could not fight off the illness,” Bush said in the post.
Barney had lymphoma.
Barney was born Sept. 30, 2000 — two months before Bush was elected to his first term.
In his Facebook post, Bush wrote, “Barney greeted Queens, Heads of State, and Prime Ministers. He was always polite and never jumped in their laps. Barney was by my side during our eight years in the White House. He never discussed politics and was always a faithful friend. Laura and I will miss our pal.”
Barney’s mother was Coors, a Scottish terrier owned by former Environmental Protection Agency Director Christine Todd Whitman, and his father was Kelly of Champion Motherwell Stormwarning.
Barney had his own section on the Bush administration’s official White House website, starred in numerous videos and was a fixture at the White House, the Bushes’ Crawford ranch and Camp David, where Barney’s favorite activity was chasing golf balls on the chipping green.
He was a “fierce armadillo hunter,” Bush wrote, who loved going along when he fished for bass at the ranch.
“Barney guarded the South Lawn entrance of the White House as if he were a Secret Service agent. He wandered the halls of the West Wing looking for treats from his many friends. He starred in Barney Cam and gave the American people Christmas tours of the White House.”
Barney also once bit a reporter who got too close.
The president, who has taken up painting since leaving the White House, also released a portrait he did of Barney. It is signed “43.” Bush was the nation’s 43rd president.
Barney is survived by Miss Beazley, another Scottish terrier who lives with the ex-president, and Bob, a cat.
(Photo: Bush’s portrait of Barney, from Facebook)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 2nd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barney, bush, death, died, dogs, first dog, first dogs, former, george, lymphoma, news, passed away, pets, presidency, president, president bush, presidents, scottish terrier, texas, w, white house
Nearly 150 dogs were seized from a rescue organization in Marion County, Oregon, early Monday, and its director was arrested and charged with 120 counts of animal neglect.
The Statesman-Journal reported that Alicia Marie Inglish, 24, is president of Willamette Valley Animal Rescue in Brooks.
Oregon Humane Society officials said the rescue was one of the largest in the state’s history.
Both the sheriff’s office and humane society had received complaints about the facility.
The dogs, many of which were in need of medical attention, were taken to the Oregon Humane Society in Portland before being transferred to other other local shelters.
Don Thompson, of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, said 120 of the dogs were suffering from neglect and that many were malnourished.
After serving a search warrant, deputies found unclean conditions in the building, with some dogs running free, and some caged in crates. Some dog carriers, intended for single dogs, were filled with as many as four. There was no food available, little access to clean water, and one dog had his head stuck in a wire cage, deputies said.
According to its listing on Petfinder.com, the organization held adoption fairs at a local Petsmart. In the listing, it described itself as foster care-based but said it was hoping to open a shelter in 2012.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 15th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: alicia inglish, animal, animal welfare, arrested, brooks, charged, dog, dogs, malnourished, marion county, neglect, neglected, oregon, pet, president, rescue, seized, shelter, willamette valley animal rescue
Here’s Bo Obama, tip-toeing through the White House to check out the First Family’s holiday decorations — many of which he inspired.
The video was released by the White House yesterday.
The seasonal decorations include 40 “Bo-flake” ornaments hanging from the trees, a life-sized replica of Bo in the East Garden Room, and a larger than life, edible Bo in front of a 300-pound gingerbread house located in the State Dining Room.
About 90,000 visitors are expected to go through the White House this holiday season.
You can find out more about the 2012 White House Holiday celebrations, including the special tributes to troops, veterans and military families at wh.gov/holidays.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bo, bo obama, christmas, decorations, dog, dogs, holiday, obama, pets, portuguese water dog, president, video, white house
This time, President Obama told Sasha and Malia how proud he was of them during his victory speech — but that they shouldn’t expect a second dog.
Looking at his word choice, though, he didn’t seem to totally rule it out:
“… And I am so proud of you guys. But I will say that, for now, one dog’s probably enough.”
Between the “probably” and the “for now,” he seems to leave the door open.
You can read the full transcript of his victory speech a lot of places — even on Fox News.
According to the latest numbers, Obama garnered 303 electoral votes, compared to 206 for Romney, the Republican candidate who, long ago on a family vacation, once transported his Irish setter, Seamus, in a crate on the roof of his car.
Last night’s victory means Bo, the Obama’s Portuguese water dog, gets four more years in the White House, whose lawn, we’d note, seems plenty big for another dog or two.
(Photos: Top photo, Associated Press; Bo photo, White House)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barack obama, bo, dogs, election, malia, obama, pets, portuguese water dog, presidency, president, reelection, results, sasha, seamus, speech, victory
Here’s another: Metro Paws LLC is offering biodegradable dog poop bags emblazoned with the candidate of your choice — Romney or Obama, whoever you like the least.
They’re calling the marketing drive ”Smear Campaign.”
Here’s how they described their thinking in an email to ohmidog!:
“Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, we can all agree that politics these days are a big stinkin’ mess. Smear Campaign poop bags give you the chance to let out a little political frustration every time you pick up after your pup.”
Political Dog Poop Bags can be ordered here, and sell for $14.99 for a package of four rolls, or 80 bags.
Metro Paws LLC is a New York-based family business that described itself as being “dog owners first and entrepreneurs second.”
Smear Campaign, the company says, is the only political degradable poop bag on the market. Metro Paws teamed up with RS Kmiec Design to make the bags. “Our message is fun, whimsical, and yet calls for all Americans to vote,” the website says.
They’re available in some stores, including New York’s Who’s Your Doggy?, a pet store in Fort Greene that is keeping track of which bags sell the most.
“Whoever sells the most will lose the Presidential election,” predicted the store’s manager, Julia Rosenfeld.
As of Monday afternoon, Patch.com in Fort Greene reported, Romney’s red poop bags were outselling their blue Democratic counterparts 24-8, according to a tally written on a dry erase board behind the store’s register.
“There’s been a little bit confusion among some customers because they see that Romney is winning. We have to explain that it’s people voting for Romney to pick up poop with,”Rosenfeld said. “We’re running out of Romney.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bags, biodegradable, dog, dogs, election, feces, fort greene, metro paws, new york, obama, pet, pets, political, political dog poop bags, poop, president, presidential, products, romney, smear campaign, waste, whos your doggy
I know from experience that, for a writer of news, the jaws of a cliche can be a difficult thing to escape.
You’re in a hurry, you need an image people can relate to, you need to somehow make the political convention you’re writing about seem exciting, as opposed to just a multi-day display of balloons and bluster, pomp and propaganda.
The cliche, often, is the first term that pops into your head, and once it latches on — legend has it they exert a force beyond any other words, something like a million pounds per square inch — you just can’t shake them off.
So, unless you find something you can describe as a “game-changer” — it having quickly risen up the cliche ladder — you pepper your reports with terms like “attack dog.”
This being convention season, “attack dogs” are everywhere.
Just in the first few days of this week — as the Democratic National Convention got underway in Charlotte – Vice President Joe Biden, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, to name a few, have been described in the news media as attack dogs.
Rest assured, the pack will grow as the convention progresses, as will the use of the misnomer.
They are not attack dogs; they are attack humans. And it’s unfair to identify them by lumping them into a whole different species — a species that’s smart enough to eschew the back-biting world of politics.
I have no problem with the political parties designating certain politicians to be the tough guys, to say the things that — be they borderline truths, senseless vitriol or other comments deemed too indecorous — the presidential candidate himself probably shouldn’t utter.
But let’s leave dogs out of it.
Let’s come up with another descriptive term, like Clint Eastwoods.
A true attack dog, of the canine variety, is a dog that humans have done all they could, through breeding, through training, through constantly reinforcing aggression, to instill that behavior. It’s not, at least since dog was domesticated, their natural way.
With politicians, I’m not so sure.
Those creatures you see at the political conventions are growling, smarmy, snarling humans, doing what their masters tell them to do. That’s not a behavior learned from dogs; it’s a behavior learned from politics.
(Photo: West Highland terriers Ricky and Reba, who, like most dogs, aren’t attack dogs at all)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attack dogs, biden, castro, cliches, conventions, coverage, democrats, dogs, eastwood, networks, news, news media, news writing, o'malley, pets, political, politics, president, quinn, reid, republicans, terminology, vice president, writing
DEVO’s Jerry Casale has released, “Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro,” a song that mocks Mitt Romney for strapping his Irish setter, in a crate, to the roof of his car on a family vacation trip.
The new single, subtitled “Seamus Unleashed,” was written by Casale and will be released in conjunction with a game app titled The Crate Escape: Seamus Unleashed.
The song and the game will launch August 26, which is both National Dog Day and the day before the Republican National Convention.
In releasing the single, DEVO joined forces with Dogs Against Romney, an online advocacy group with more than 70,000 members on Facebook, to help call attention to Mitt Romney’s “crate-gate” scandal.
Have a listen:
“I can’t overstate how excited we are to have DEVO’s Gerald Casale as a partner with us in making sure every voter in America knows Mitt Romney strapped his dog, Seamus, to the roof of his car for a 12-hour trip to Canada,” said Scott Crider, founder of Dogs Against Romney. “The new DEVO song Gerald created with his bandmates is awesome, and I believe it will be the soundtrack for Romney’s defeat in November.”
DEVO recorded the song as an anthem for pet lovers and as a message to others to never forget what happened to Seamus in 1983, when the Romneys drove from Boston to Ontario with the dog crated on the roof of their station wagon.
The single will be available at all digital music retailers; the game is initially being launched as an app on iTunes.
“We are delighted to have a new DEVO song as part of our game’s offering,” said Andy Berryman, chief marketing officer for Censault, LLC, the game’s developer. “It’s exciting to break new ground in the mobile/social gaming space – first as a game that is both fun to play and promotes a positive social message, and now as a new distribution medium for popular music.”
More info on the game can be found at www.facebook.com/CrateEscapeGame.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Casale, who has raised funds for Obama in Akron through a DEVO performance, said of Romney’s nearly 30-year-old mistake, ”It’s just a deal-breaker about the man … What you want in a leader is a guy with some humanity at his core … I think any animal lover that hears the story will learn so much about the character flaw of Romney.”
DEVO may include the song in its act when it tours America this fall with Blondie, he said.
While the song may or may not become the 1970′s-80′s-era band’s first hit in a long, long time, it has already gotten off to a better start than my suggestion for a Seamus song, a reworking of the Pink Floyd tune of the same name.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, app, campaign, canada, car, censault, crate, crate gate, devo, dog, dogs, dogs against romney, don't roof rack me bro, game, ipad, irish setter, jerry casale, listen, mitt romney, pets, politics, presidency, president, presidential, preview, released, ride, romney, roof, scott crider, seamus, seamus unleashed, single, song, the crate escape, vacation
President Obama made his first public reference to Seamus — the dog his opponent once strapped to the roof of his car for a family trip — while on the campaign trail in Iowa.
Appearing in Oskaloosa, a town named after all those actors who were nominated but didn’t win Academy Awards — (that’s a joke) — Obama referred to Seamus, though not by name, while discussing energy policy, specifically windmills.
Appearing in front of the Nelson Pioneer Farm and Museum and touting the job-creating potential of wind energy in Iowa, Obama criticized Romney for saying, “You can’t drive a car with a windmill on it.”
“Now, I don’t know if he’s actually tried that,” Obama said. “I know he’s had other things on his car.”
Romney in 1983 toted his Irish setter on the roof of the family station wagon, in a crate, on a trip from Boston to Ontario, Canada, for a family vacation.
In response to Obama’s remark, reported by ABC News and many others, the Romney campaign said the president “continues to embarrass himself and diminish his office with his un-presidential behavior.”
“This election is about creating jobs, turning around our economy and helping the middle class. The President’s policies have failed on all counts and he will do anything to distract from his abysmal record,” Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said in a written statement.
Obama’s appearance in Iowa came as the GOP nominee campaigned in coal country.
“Gov. Romney said, let’s end the tax credits for wind energy production. Let’s get rid of them. He said that new sources of energy, like wind, are imaginary. His running mate calls them a fad,” Obama said
The president, who is pushing Congress to extend a production tax credit for wind energy companies, added, “These jobs aren’t a fad. These are good jobs. And they’re a source of pride that we need to fight for.”
(Photo: Carolyn Kaster / AP)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barack obama, campaign, car, crate, dogs, energy, family, iowa, irish setter, mitt romney, obama, pets, politics, presidency, president, presidential, reference, romney, romney's dog, roof, seamus, speech, station wagon, strapped, trip, windmills