We conclude today’s series on dancing dogs with a non-dancing one — a pug who seems not the least bit inspired by Chopin’s “Minute Waltz.”
Not everyone knows this — unless they have been classically trained, read Camille Bourniquel’s riveting (I’m guessing) biography of Chopin, or visited Wikipedia — but the composer got the inspiration for the waltz as he watched a small dog chase its tail.
The little dog, named Marquis, belonged to French novelist George Sand.
(Sand, despite being named “George,” was a woman. “The Minute Waltz” despite being named “Minute,” generally lasts about two minutes — “minute,” in its case, being used to mean small.)
Chopin initially named the piece “Valse du petit chien,” or “The Little Dog Waltz.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 4th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, chopin, dancing, dancing dog, dancing dog day, dancing dogs, dog, dogs, minute waltz, music, pets, piano, pug, videos
During an inspection of their car at the border, the Wilcken family, of Waterloo, Ontario, handed their dog over to customs officials, who placed Ash in a crate.
As she was being returned, she pulled her head out of her collar and ran from the inspector holding her leash.
Customs officials apologized for the incident, and have been searching for the dog, a Jack Russell-pug mix, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The family drove on to Atlanta, but plans to return to Detroit on their way back next week and check shelters.
“Everyday, our son says something about that dog. I remind him of the nice moments we had with her. … We have two presents on the tree for Ash,” said Ana Wilcken.
The family has received dozens of messages of support at the address they set up in hopes of finding their dog – firstname.lastname@example.org – but none with information about the dog’s whereabouts.
Employees at the city animal-control shelter said they they had not seen the dog, adding that none of the dogs now in the shelter will be euthanized until Jan. 7, because the shelter is on a holiday schedule.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ash, border, canada, crossing, customs, detroit, dog, dogs, help find ash, inspection, jack russell, lost, missing, mix, pets, pug
The owners of Quentin the pug say he is an accomplished sleeper, devoting about 20 hours a day to the cause.
There is no situation he can’t fall asleep in — including, as shown here, while sitting up.
You can see more of him at www.quentinthepug.com
To see more sleeping dogs, click here, then click on a headline for a video.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, behavior, dog, dogs, dreams, pets, pug, quentin, sleep, sleeping, sleeping dog videos, sleeping dogs, videos, zzzzz
The Oct. 20th U.K. edition of Closer features an interview with Terri Graham, a mother of two human children.
Breastfeeding her pug Spider, she says, makes her feel like a better mom.
“Having Spider suckle on my boob means I finally feel complete and a better mother,” said Graham, who was unable to breastfeed her children for reasons unexplained.
Graham said she has been breastfeeding Spider for two years — ever since the dog licked a bottle of breast milk she had pumped for her newborn son. Apparently, Spider liked it so much, she decided to let him start drinking directly from the source.
There’s definitely a boundary line between what’s acceptable and what’s not when it comes to how close we get to our dogs, and how humanly we treate them — and we meant humanly there, not humanely. I don’t assume to be the one who defines that line, but, in my humble view, this crosses it.
Even though we “ooh” and “aww” when we see a female dog take on the feeding responsibilities to newborn animals of other species, most of us will probably “euuwwww” at this example.
The significant difference between those cases and this, of course, is that a nine-year-old pug doesn’t require breast milk to grow, and the surrogate mama dogs in those cases don’t generally seek headlines.
This, in my view, is fairly outrageous, which accounts for the story’s popularity. We seem to have an appetite for the outrageous, and no shortage of media happy to serve it up and let us suckle. A photo of the article about Graham was posted to a Reddit forum devoted to strange news, and it quickly rose to the site’s front page. It was subsequently regurgitated by The Huffington Post, and given good play by Doghatersunite.com, a website that says it serves “people who hate dog-loving idiots and their Darwin-defying fleabags.”
One has to wonder how the original publication got onto this story: A phoned-in tip? Peering through a window? Logging into breastfeedingyourdog.com? (Just kidding, there’s no such website.) Or did the subject of the story, sensing the magazine’s zeal for boob coverage, volunteer the information?
All said, while the case of the breastfeeding pug raises some interesting questions, one should probably consider the source — not just tabloid readers, but especially Spider — and perhaps seek their nourishment elsewhere.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, behavior, bond, breastfeed, breastfeeding, breasts, california, closer, dog, dogs, human, humans, interspecies, magazine, milk, nourishment, pets, photo, pug, spider, tabloids, woman
Once she recovers from her injuries, she’ll be adopted by the owners of the Texas ranch where she was found.
Hope was the subject of a day-long search. She was found — with numerous cuts and her jaws bound shut with electrical tape — on a ranch owned by Kit and Charlie Moncrief.
“We’re lucky to have her,” Kit Moncrief told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “It’s a natural fit. We’ve adopted quite a few dogs, and we were just horrified at the abuse this dog endured.” Hope will be living there with horses, and eight other adopted dogs.
“I can’t think of a better family for Hope to belong to,” said Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler, whose office continues to investigate the dog’s apparent torture. A $35,000 reward, including $25,000 from the Texas Humane Alliance, is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
Hope was found last Monday by Debbie Williams, who, after hearing reports about an injured dog wandering the area, joined in a search being conducted by animal control officials and other residents. Along with her husband, she corraled Hope in a brushy area on the Moncrief ranch in Weatherford.
The dog was dehydrated, suffering from blood loss and scared, Williams said. Hope required about 100 stitches to close four cuts, and she lost a small piece of her tongue, according to the veterinarian who treated her.
Kit Moncrief said she expects Hope will get along with the animals at the ranch. “Adopted animals are smart,” she said. “They know they’ve been given another chance and they tend to love each other.”
(Photo: Vet tech Rhonda Sears, shown with Hope, who’s wearing a necklace sent to her by supporters in Garland, Texas; courtesy Parker County Sheriff’s Department)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abused, adopted, animal cruelty, animals, charley moncrief, cruelty to animals, cuts, dehydration, dog, dogs, electrical tape, hope, investigation, kit moncrief, mix, muzzle, parker county, pets, pug, ranch, reward, sheriff, taped, texas, texas humane alliance, tortured, weatherford
A Manhattan man says he is going broke trying to regain custody of his puggle. He says he has spent $60,000 so far. Now he wants your help.
Craig Dershowitz says he considers Knuckles his son, and that’s why he’s hoping to raise another $20,000 over the Internet to continue his legal fight.
“I’ve pretty much gone through my life savings,” the 34-year-old gallery employee said. “It’s worth it.”
According to the New York Post, Dershowitz claims in papers filed earlier this year in Manhattan Supreme Court that his ex-girlfriend Sarah Brega “took unilateral control of Knuckles and kidnapped him” after they broke up.
Brega responds that Dershowitz gave her the dog as a gift, and that Knuckles is enjoying life in California.
“Knuckles lives a happy and healthy life in California with me, where he has ample room to play, and lives in close proximity to a beach for off-leash dog-park outings,” Brega said in court papers.
Dershowitz responds that Knuckles “hates water … He’ll be happy wherever he is — especially if he’s with his dad and the friends he grew up with.”
Dershowitz said he left Knuckles with Brega while looking for a new place after their breakup. She was supposed to return him when he found one, he says.
Brega, a wardrobe stylist, was initially ordered to return the dog, but she then retained her own lawyer to represent her in a case that involves courts in New York and California.
Dershowitz said he believes she’s trying to run up his legal bills. “Unfortunately, I don’t have the money to keep it going,” he said.
So he started a webpage to raise money for the fight, with his artist friends contributing “perks” for large contributors, like portraits of Knux, “Free Knux” t-shirts and, for $250, a chance to play fetch with Knuckles, once he’s back in New York.
The Post reports his campaign is off to a slow start — with only $85 being donated in the first week.
(Photo of Knuckles by Craig Dershowitz)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, appeal, battle, beagle, behavior, boyfriend, california, courts, craig dershowitz, custody, dogs, ex, fight, fund raising, fundraising, funds, girlfriend, internet, knuckles, lawyers, legal, mix, money, new york, pets, pug, puggle, relationships, sarah brega
This handsome boy is Brutus, estimated to be 10 years old, though he looks and acts much younger.
He was delivered Saturday by Mid Atlantic Pug Rescue to our friend Martha, who lives around the corner, and whose previous pug was once featured on these pages
Butch was one of the first dogs Ace met when we moved to Winston-Salem. He was 15 years old, blind, deaf and possibly had suffered a stroke, which would explain his tendency to veer in one direction. He died in November.
Martha said then she was going to get another dog soon, and that it would definitely be another pug.
But four months passed by.
For whatever reason — between the onset of winter, the loss of Butch, and some health problems of her own — we didn’t see Martha outside much after that.
Until a couple of weeks ago, when we started seeing her walking around the block again, without a dog.
Last week, she stopped at my door to give me the news. Her back problems were much better, and she’d applied to adopt a pug living in a Mid Atlantic Pug Rescue foster home in another part of the state.
A volunteer was scheduled to visit her for a home inspection, and Martha asked if I would be one of her references, which the organization also requires.
I was more than happy to do that, having seen not only the love she showed to Butch, but that she had that special kind of patience that seems to run through the veins of those who take in old and disabled dogs.
Brutus arrived Saturday, and though Martha had been told his hearing and eyesight may be fading, he seemed in possession of both.
She outfitted him in a purple leash and harness she had bought, and took him on a couple of spins through the neighborhood Saturday.
That night, he didn’t hesitate to sleep on her bed.
On Sunday, they took five walks — and real walks, as opposed to a the few minutes in the front yard that sufficed for Butch towards the end.
Martha says she has mistakenly called Brutus Butch a few times, just as she once called Butch by the same name of her pug before him, whose name also started with a “B.”
But Brutus was quick to leave his mark on the neighborhood — both in the way dogs normally do that, and through his own distinct personality.
Yesterday, they were going to the vet for a check-up.
I haven’t talked to Martha since then, but I suspect the vet diagnosed what I did — a new twinkle in both of their eyes.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adopted, adoption, animals, bond, breeds, death, dog, dogs, grieving, loss, mid atlantic pug rescue, mourning, new dog, north carolina, pets, pug, pugs, rescue, shelters, winston-salem
That’s the slogan of a new RSPCA campaign aimed at shifting the emphasis when it comes to breeding purebred dogs — from looks to health.
The campaign launched yesterday, with this ad — featuring a pug as the poster child — in the Daily Mail.
It’s directed mostly at breeders, who the RSCPA asserts often seek to meet dog show breed standards that place appearance above canine health.
But it’s also meant to change the thinking of consumers, who help create the demand and often aren’t aware of the genetic health problems many purebreds face.
“Everyone needs to be aware of the serious health and welfare problems affecting pedigree dogs and that dogs bred for looks are born to suffer,” RSPCA senior scientist Claire Calder said.
“A cute-looking puppy or dog can be hard to resist, but the result of not looking beyond this can be thousands of pounds spent on vets’ bills and a pet with long-lasting health and welfare problems. This is one of the biggest challenges facing dog welfare in the UK today.”
As we’ve written before — here and elsewhere — it’s one of the biggest challenges in the U.S., too, even though it rarely seems to rise to the forefront.
One major exception came last month, with an in-depth article in the New York Times magazine about the plight of the purebred bulldog.
But, by and large, the UK is leading the debate, which, while long-lurking in the shadows, was retriggered by Jemima Harrison’s documentary for the BBC, “Pedigree Dogs Exposed.”
Between its impact, and the efforts of the RSPCA, there have been some changes, mostly in kennel club’s breed standards that seemed to place appearance above health.
The RSPCA website elaborates on some of the problems those standards have led to:
“According to scientific studies some of the UK’s favourite breeds of dogs have been bred to such extremes that they can no longer breathe or walk normally. For example, dogs with short, flat faces often have narrow nostrils and abnormally developed windpipes. They can often suffer severe breathing difficulties and may have difficulty enjoying a walk or playing.
Dogs with folded or wrinkled skin are prone to itchy and painful skin complaints, and dogs with bulging or sunken eyes are prone to injury, pain or discomfort. These are only a few examples and a recent study showed that all of the 50 most popular breeds have some aspect of their body which can cause suffering
Recent research by the RSPCA shows the public is prone to thinking buying a purebred dog ensures that dog will be healthy. But dogs “bred for their looks,” the RSPCA says, ”are vulnerable to unnecessary disease, disability, pain or behavioural problems.”
Among those quoted in an RSPCA press release is Victoria Stilwell, dog trainer from the TV show “It’s Me Or The Dog.”
“I have nothing against dog showing and nothing against responsible breeders, she said. “But what I do have something against is breeding animals just for the way we want them to look, even though that animal is compromised both physically and, a lot of the time, mentally. So we have to change. Why are we destroying these animals just because we like the way they look?”
Unlike in the U.S., where interest seems to rise and fizzle, the issue isn’t likely to go away anytime soon in the UK.
Harrison is now working on a sequel to “Pedigree Dogs Exposed,” which promises to be just as hard hitting, or maybe harder hitting, than the first. You can keep up with those developments on her Pedigree Dogs Exposed blog.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, appearance, awareness, breathing, breed standards, breeders, breeds, bulldog, campaign, dog shows, dogs, genetic, health, health problems, jemima harrison, pedigree, pedigree dogs exposed, pets, public, pug, purebred, purebreds, rspca, trainer, uk, victoria stilwell
Over the years we’ve shared with you bad pug news, and sad pug news, harsh pug realities, and cute pug head tilts; we’ve covered baseball loving pugs and traveling pugs and baby-carriage pushing pugs; pugs with big friends and pugs at the center of custody battles.
So of course we can make room for a nice, short, simple and happy pug story.
Pugsly, living at the Pennsylvania SPCA, was the featured “Pet of the Week” in Monday’s Philadelphia Daily News. He’s not exactly a puppy. At 12 years old, he’s blind and deaf — not the sort you’d think people would rush out and claim.
But the same day his photo appeared in the newspaper, Pugsly was adopted.
It was love at first sight, Donna Franchetti told the Daily News, which every Monday features a pet from either the PSPCA or the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society
“My husband called me after he saw the picture in the Daily News and said, ‘You have to call now,’ ” said Franchetti, a veterinarian who works mainly with horses and lives in West Chester.
Pugsly headed to his new home Monday, where he joins a family of six other older pugs that the pair has adopted over the years.
Franchetti expects Pugsly will fit in well with their other dogs — one of whom, Wednesday, is also named after a character from The Addams Family.
“They’re great little dogs,” Franchetti said. “They make me laugh every day.”
(Photo: Philadelphia Daily News)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 7th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, adoption, blind, deaf, donna franchetti, pennsylvania, pet of the week, philadelphia daily news, pug, pugs, pugsly, spca
I don’t do it often, but every now and then, when a dog I’ve had the fortune to connect with passes on, I post a little memorial, like this one for Butch, a pug who lived down the road.
Butch’s human, Martha, had to have him put down last week.
Ace and I would run into Butch pretty regularly on our walks around the block since we moved into the neighborhood a few months back.
Usually, we’d see them not far from their front yard, because Butch, at 15, stayed pretty close to home. In addition to possibly having had some strokes and other health problems, he was also blind. And deaf.
He still had life in him, though. A few times, I saw him get playful, with Ace and once with another dog. Even though he couldn’t see them, he’d do a slow spin and do his best to get into a play stance.
But he’d always stop, wagging his tail even before I reached down to scratch him, as if he somehow knew it was coming.
A while back, when she was having back problems, Martha let me take him for a walk along with Ace. She explained the basics to me: Pull up on his leash to support when when he’s going up or down a curb. Try not to let him walk into a telephone pole. But if he does, don’t worry. He’s a resilient little fellow who has gotten good at absorbing the bumps life brings our way.
That resiliency came to an end last week. Seeing her dog constantly panting, losing control of his bowels, getting right up into her face and staring at her as if to send a message, she knew the time had come.
Martha told me the news on Friday night.
I said the words we say at times like those — always inadequate, but even moreso in her case, for I’d seen the strong bond between them, the joy he brought her, and the fine home she provided for Butch.
Feeling not the least bit helpful, I went home and got a copy of my book, “DOG, INC.,” which, while it relates to dog death, is definitely not feel-good, Rainbow-Bridge, chicken-soup type reading.
Instead, it looks at the ever-strengthening bond between people and their dogs, and the extremes humans sometimes go to after they lose a pet — focusing on the newest and most technologically dazzling of those: cloning.
Martha, I know, would never clone her dog, and, if you’ve read the book, you know I would never suggest it. Martha, pained as she was by Butch’s death, didn’t seem to be going over the edge, and I guess I wanted to give her the book because I admired that.
From our short talk Friday night, she seemed to be handling it, probably better than I would. She seemed to have the right approach — focusing not on the loss, not on herself, but on the happy times the two shared. Happy memories beat a stuffed version of your dog, jewelry made from his ashes, or a laboratory-created genetic replica any day, at least as I see it.
It doesn’t make it easy, but I think that having experienced all you can with your dog, having fully appreciated your dog during his or her life, can somewhat blunt the pain of his or her death — knowing the two of you, and that bond, became all it could be. That seemed to be the case with Martha.
I signed the book, “In memory of Butch, a dog savored in life and lovingly remembered in death — as it should be.”
I rang her doorbell and yelled at Ace to sit down — for he tries to enter any door that opens — and when Martha saw him she said, “Oh perfect!”
When your dog dies, decisions have to be made about what to keep and what to jettison. A favorite toy might be comforting to hang on to, but there are some things painful to look at, like the lingering treats that he or she will never be served. It hurts to see it. It hurts to throw it away.
“I’ve got some bacon I was saving for Butch,” she said. “I’d really appreciate it if Ace would eat it.”
I accepted the package, neatly wrapped in tin foil, and carried it down the sidewalk as Ace jumped up and down next to me, acting anything but mournful. I don’t think he paused for a millisecond to appreciate the significance of the bacon. To him, bacon needs no added significance. He gobbled all three strips down, barely chewing, and kept bouncing up and down beside me even when I told him it was gone.
From a dog who had dispensed much of it in his 15 years, it was like one final dose of joy, courtesy of Butch.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 20th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, blind, bond, butch, connection, deaf, death, dogs, euthanized, grieving, health, ill, in memory, losing a pet, love, memorial, mourning, neighbor, north carolina, old dogs, pets, pug, put down, sick dogs, strokes, winston-salem