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Tag: pug

One-eyed dog charms crowd at Crufts

A purebred flat-coated retriever won best in show, but it was a one-eyed mutt named Dudley, and his dazzling performance in an agility contest, that won over the crowd at Crufts — the pretentious, I mean presitigious, UK dog show that concluded this past weekend.

Dudley, a six-year-old Lhasa apso-pug mix who lost his eye as a pup, and later was given up by his owners,  won an official Crufts rosette for his performance in the agility ring, beating out other rescued dogs in the competition, according to the Southern Daily Echo.

While we’ve been known to poke fun at purebred dog shows, it’s good to see them — on both sides of the pond — opening things up to mixed breeds, like Dudley. And, if  the crowd reaction to him is any sign, it’s something they should do a lot more of.

“He was definitely the crowd’s favorite and got a huge cheer as he ran round,” Dudley’s owner, Lara Alford, from Southampton, said. “Over the last few days he has had so many admirers – he’s probably been one of the most photographed dogs at Crufts this year.”

Dudley had his right eye removed as a puppy because of an infection. At 14 months, his owners surrendered him at an animal adoption shelter.

Alford, shortly after adopting him, noticed his speed and maneuverability and began training him in agility. As they run the courses, she always stays on his left side, so he can see her.

At Crufts, the training paid off.  “It was one of the fastest rounds Dudley’s ever done,” she said.

More than 21,000 dogs vied for honors at Crufts, which opened Thursday. In the best-in-show competition, Jet, a flat-coated retriever, beat out a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, a German shepherd, a boxer, a wire fox terrier, a standard poodle and a bichon frise.

Roadside Encounters: Mikey and Soju

Names: Mikey and Soju 

Breeds: Pug and Great Dane 

Encountered: At Riverside Park in Baltimore

Backstory: I got to spend some time with two of my favorite local dogs yesterday — a day whose warm temperatures led both humans and canines to linger at Riverside Park, in no particular hurry to get back home.

Even if it’s not here to stay, the mild weather was welcome — especially to Ace, after a winter of being rushed through the dog walk by an owner hoping to quickly get the “mission” accomplished and himself back indoors …

“C’mon, do your business, my toes are frozen. It’s too cold. Let’s go.”

In retrospect, in this past month, I’ve probably been, in Ace’s eye, a bit of a buzzkill.

Doing his duty, I don’t think, has ever been the foremost mission in Ace’s mind during trips to the park (hence the urging). He sees it as more of a happy hour, or preferably two – a chance to add to his scent portfolio, visit old dog friends, meet some new ones, and track down those folks who, at some point in history, have provided him with a treat.

Yesterday was the kind of visit he likes best — a long one, with good dog friends to play with, new ones to sniff out, and lots of humans to mooch off. (If you have treats in your pocket, Ace will determine which pocket and, should you need prompting, attempt to insert his nose inside it. When it comes to freeloading, I think I have learned some of his skills, and he has picked up some of mine.)

We got to catch up with our old friend Soju — he’s named after the vodka-like (but sweeter) Korean beverage. Soju and Ace are old friends, and they used to wrestle endlessly at Riverside, a true up-on-the-hind-legs, paw-swinging battle of the titans. When one of them went down, you could almost feel the earth shake.

They went at it for a bit yesterday, with Ace, the older of the two, watching as Soju galloped around him in circles, then tackling him like a lazy linebacker when Soju veered close enough.

Mikey stayed out of the fray — a wise choice given he’s not much bigger than a football. Mikey, a therapy dog with one of the more expressive faces you’ll ever see, generally avoids the roughhousing, choosing instead to sit at your feet, looking up at you with big brown bulging eyes until you give him a treat, no matter how long it takes.

Good things, he seems to know, come to those who wait – and spring is one example. Yesterday didn’t mark it’s arrival, but even a false precursor was welcome, and dogs and humans soaked it up. It occurs to me that we should send thank you notes to spring — perhaps that would lead her to stay around a little longer and forestall the inevitable arrival of her evil sister summer, who always comes to early and stays past her welcome.

Speaking of staying past one’s welcome, Ace and I — after a glorious month in a friend’s empty house in Federal Hill — will be hitting the road again next week.

As of now, it appears we will be heading south, where we plan to stay in an undetermined location for an indeterminate period of time. How’s that for a plan?

Once again, we’ll tear ourselves away from Baltimore, where — in addition to promoting my new book — the last month has allowed us to get ourselves organized, experience a semblance of stability, soak in a hot tub on a rooftop deck (just me, not Ace) and savor the pleasures of our old neighborhood.

I’ll miss my corner bar. Ace will miss his favorite park. But, as I think I said nine months ago — when Ace and I first embarked on our journey to discover America, its dogs and the people who love them — there’s one thing we’ll miss most of all:

Friends … big and small.

(To see all our Roadside Encounters, click here.)

Labs still tops; beagles, bulldogs rising

For the 20th year in a row, the Labrador retriever is America’s top dog.

While America’s three most popular dog breeds remained the same — Lab, German shepherd and Yorkshire terrier – the American Kennel Club’s annual list of most oft-registered purebreds had some surprises.

The beagle overtook the golden retriever for the No. 4 spot.

And the bulldog, who has been steadily rising up in rank, took 6th place away from the boxer.

“Not since the early 20th Century has the bulldog enjoyed such sustained popularity,” said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “‘Bob’ was the first AKC registered bulldog in 1886, and today the breed enjoys its highest ranking in 100 years at number 6.”

The AKC numbers are based on the numbers of purebreds registered with the organization.

Baltimore’s top five breeds reflected the national averages, except for the presence of the Rottweiler at No. 5.

Chihuahuas, ranked 13th nationally, were the sixth most popular breed for Baltimore.

Some other national highlights from the AKC’s count:

  • The French bulldog made the largest leap in the past decade, jumping 50 places from 71st to 21st. Other breeds with the biggest increase in rankings over the last decade include the Havanese (from 86th to 31st) and the Cavalier King Charles spaniel (from 54th to 23rd).
  • Closing the gap this year, a couple of breeds that had been on the decline over the past decade made double digit increases over the past year — Keeshonden (from 102nd to 87th) and Anatolian shepherd dogs (from 115th to 109th).
  • Three new breeds entered AKC’s registry in 2010, and the larger the breed, the higher they appeared in the rankings. The Leonberger, the largest of the new breeds, was ranked 33rd; the Cane Corso ranked 51st; and the smallest of the new breeds, the Icelandic sheepdog, came in at 82nd.

Roadside encounters: Buddy and Peggy Sue

 

Names: Buddy Holly (named after the performer) and Peggy Sue (the fawn-colored one, named after Holly’s hit song)

Breed: Pugs

Ages: Buddy is 3; pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty Peggy Sue is 4

Encountered: At what’s billed as the largest free-standing cross in America, located near Interstate 40 in Groom, Texas.

Backstory: The two pugs, and the couple who owns them, were headed home to Hobart, Oklahoma after a Christmas visit to Arizona.

The owners of the pampered pugs planned a stop at the cross, which is 19 stories tall and, in the flatlands of the Texas panhandle, visible from 20 miles away.

They were big fans of God, Buddy Holly, pugs and, judging from their racing jackets, NASCAR.

Buddy Holly and Peggy Sue enjoyed a long potty stop on the periphery of the property, then jumped back in the car while their owners went to see the church and gift shop.

To see all our Roadside Encounters, click here.

Spurned and burned, Wolfie bounces back

About four months ago, two dogs were found wandering the streets of Phoenix, both with what appeared to be fresh and severe chemical burns on their backs.

One of them was a puppy, a pit bull mix named Ash, who was featured in news reports and, after medical treatment and some time in foster care, adopted out to a new home.

The other was this fellow to your left, a one-year-old pug mix who has also recovered from his burns — though his back, too, remains scarred  – but hasn’t gotten as much press as his partner.

Maybe it was because his pug-something mix didn’t have the media appeal of a pit bull. Maybe someone found his underbite, which makes him look a little like a miniature wolfman, camera-unfriendly.

When I ran into Wolfie, as he has been named, at an adoption event/fundraiser in Cave Creek, Arizona, Saturday, he seemed eager to flash his grin and happy to pose for my camera.

But, by weekend’s end and after appearing at two adoption events — one at For Goodness Sake, a thrift store in Cave Creek whose sales benefit animal rescue groups, another at an area pet store — Wolfie remained in need of a permanent home.

He’s an affectionate little dog who — though he still gets scared by strange objects and sudden motions — gets along well with both other dogs and humans, according to Paula Monarch, who’s serving as his foster mom through Little Rascals Rescue.

Wolfie has been in Paula’s care since September — about a month after he and Ash were found in South Phoenix, both with severe burns that were believed to have been caused by chemicals, acids or pool cleaners.

Officials suspect it was an intentional act, but no arrests have been made.

Wolfie spent three weeks at the vet’s, getting his wounds flushed and cleaned several times a day, and his burns coated in silver sulfide.

They’ve healed over and no longer cause him any pain, but because of the hairless streaks on his back, he’ll probably need to wear sun screen or a T-shirt if he spends much time outside.

Paula said she suspects Wolfie may have suffered other abuse, as well. He gets nervous when she picks up the remote control, and will scurry away with his tail between his legs.

Before long, though, he’s over it and cuddling again.

Already, the tale of Wolfie is a brighter one than that of a Phoenix, a pit bull who was set on fire in Baltimore last year. Despite a valiant fight, she died several days later, but her case led to an ongoing re-examination of how best to fight animal cruelty in the city.

Wolfie made no headlines, and he’s still waiting for that one person or family who see courage in his bald spots, beauty in his underbite, and will ensure the next chapter of his story is a happy one.

If you’re interested in adopting Wolfie, email bu.ter.fly@hotmail.com, or call Jen at 623-210-6578, Ryan at 623-606-4855, or Patti at 602-943-7059.

Snychronized head tilt — pug style

There is nothing in the world cuter than a dog tilting his head.

Except maybe four pugs, with their furrowed brows and bulgy eyes, doing it together.

The video above features Minnie, Mabel and Max and Monte, whose adventures you can follow on their Twitter page.

Burglar who placed dog in oven is convicted

falanikoA tipster has received the $2,500 reward PETA offered last fall for information leading to the conviction of a man who placed a South Carolina homeowner’s dog in the oven during a burglary, propped a chair against the door and cooked the dog alive.

Teofilo Falaniko Jr., 21, was sentenced to 11 years in prison and three-and-a-half-years probation after pleading guilty to two counts of second-degree burglary and one count of unlawful treatment to animals, SCnow.com reported.

Dillon police said Falaniko already was in jail on two other burglary charges when he was charged. He told police he placed the dog — a pug named Penny — into the oven because it bit him during the burglary.

The tipster, whose identity is being withheld, overheard Falaniko bragging about his crime and contacted authorities.

Falaniko admitted to ransacking Bonnie Bowens’ Owens Street residence while she was at church. When Bowens got home, she noticed her front door kicked in and called police.  Officer checked the over and found the dog dead.

Pug tug of war leads to shared custody order

dexterAfter three years of litigation and $40,000 in legal fees, who gets Dexter — a six-year-old pug at the center of a New Jersey custody case — has been decided.

Dexter, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, will be shared.

Under a New Jersey Superior Court judge’s ruling yesterday, the dog will be rotated, every five weeks, between the homes of Eric Dare, who was originally awarded custody of the dog, and his ex, Doreen Houseman, who sued to get Dexter back.

Dexter has been with Dare since the initial court ruling, filed after the couple ended their relationship in May 2006. They spent 13 years as a couple, but never married.

An appeals panel earlier this year reversed the original ruling by Judge John Tomasello, saying the judge had failed to consider Dexter’s “subjective value.”

The panel said the dog was similar to a family heirloom, or work of art, that cannot simply be awarded to one person in exchange for a face-value payment. Houseman was paid $1,500, the price of the pedigree dog, but she wanted the pet, which she frequently dressed in costumes and lavished with gifts.

Both live in Gloucester County, N.J.

Houseman, 35, who now lives with her parents, said she was “very happy” with the ruling and can’t wait to give Dexter “a lot of hugs and kisses” when she sees him Friday. Dare, 37, said he was shocked and may appeal the ruling.

Dog custody case headed back to court in N.J.

Doreen Houseman is headed back to court to gain custody of Dexter, the pug that a New Jersey court awarded to her ex-husband, deeming the dog merely another piece of property.

Today, a second trial beings on the custody of the nearly six-year-old dog, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

In March, a three-judge appeals panel ordered the new trial, saying Superior Court Judge John Tomasello should not have treated Dexter as just another piece of furniture during the first trial, in Gloucester County, in 2007.

Gina Calogero, Houseman’s attorney, said the appeals paned issued a “landmark decision” on pet custody. 

Tomasello originally ruled Dexter was simply property and should go to the person possessing it. “Dogs are chairs; they’re furniture; they’re automobiles, they’re pensions. They’re not kids,” he said. “Canine affection” is irrelevant, he said.

Houseman’s ex, Eric Dare, a Williamstown police officer, was awarded the dog, and would compensate Houseman $1,500 – the pedigree dog’s purchase price – the judge said.

Houseman says she is happy she won another chance to prove she should be reunited with her dog.

“I hope he remembers me. I keep hearing that a dog never forgets your scent and your voice,” she said, with a nervous laugh.”

Then comes a pug pushing a baby carriage

How cute is this? It looks like he could keep on going forever. Let’s just hope he stays out of the pug-unfriendly New York City subway.