From an Irish wolfhound named Finn to a Rottweiler named Maggie Mae, 29 dogs of various breeds are providing a different kind of security for travelers at Los Angeles International Airport.
The dogs have been comforting frazzled travelers for a year now, through a program called PUP, or Pets Unstressing Passengers.
Finn started last November, the day after a gunman opened fire at Terminal 3 and left a Transportation Security Administration officer dead, according to the Los Angeles Times
“I think after the shooting, Finn attracted attention because he represented something comforting,” owner Brian Valente said in an airport statement. “As passengers asked questions about Finn and started to pet him, I could see their bodies relax and their demeanors change.”
The one-year anniversary of the program was marked yesterday at a meeting of the L.A. Board of Airport Commissioners.
The dogs all wear bright red vests, and mingle with passengers in post-security-screening areas. The program is aimed at reducing the anxiety of travelers by letting them pet and play with the dogs.
The dogs are registered with Therapy Dogs, a national organization that supports pets that visit places such as hospitals, nursing homes and other special needs centers.
To see more of the dogs, click here.
(Photos: Los Angeles World Airports)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 22nd, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air travel, airport, calming, comfort, comfort dogs, comforting, dogs, emotional, finn, los angeles, los angeles international airport, maggie mae, nerves, pet, pets unstressing passengers, petting, program, pup, security, soothing, therapy, therapy dogs, travel, travelers
An Indiana dog who lost all eight of her pups at birth is now nursing six newborn pups left orphaned after the tornadoes in Oklahoma.
The Indiana dog, a 2-year-old Rottweiler mix living at a shelter in South Bend, was close to giving birth, but also close to being put down, when she was rescued by Second Chance 4 Pets Network and taken in as a foster by one of the group’s volunteers.
After a prolonged period of labor the dog, named Bertha, was taken to the vet.
“…They did an emergency C-section on her but all of her puppies, eight of them, were dead,” said JoAnn Palko, president and founder of Second Chance 4 Pets.
The group put word out to other rescues in the region, saying they had a lactating dog who could help if any group had puppies who needed to nurse — and that’s when they heard from another rescue, that had just acquired six newborn pups from an Oklahoma City shelter, according to NWI.com.
In the wake of the tornadoes there, a homeless and pregnant pit bull-shepherd mix ended up in a shelter. Staff deemed her aggressive. (Uunder those circumstances, who wouldn’t be?) After giving birth, she was put down.
Her six orphaned pups, rescued by Lakeshore PAWS, were brought to Merrillville to meet Bertha.
“She was unsure at first, but the foster got into the pool with her and she started cleaning them right away,” Pelko said.
“Here they had this sad mom and we had these puppies who needed help,” said Jeanne Sommer, director of Lakeshore PAWS said. “It worked out great for all of us.”
The puppies, who are just over a week old, are thriving, Palko said.
Second Chance is now considering training Bertha to be a therapy dog.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 5th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bertha, foster, homeless, lactating, lakeshore paws, merrillville, newborn, nursed, nursing, oklahoma, pregnant, pup, puppies, rescue, rottweiler, second chance 4 pets, shelter, south bend, tornadoes
On my first night in Missoula, I fell asleep with one dog and woke up with a different one.
On the next night, I fell asleep with two dogs and woke up with one.
On the third night, I fell asleep with two dogs and woke up with none.
For the first time in our five months of traveling, in the latest of the long line of friends and family off whom we have freeloaded, Ace opted to sleep with someone other than me.
My feelings are hurt, but not too badly.
Back in Missoula, Ace has found a lively playmate, and I’ve been in full freeloading mode, enjoying all the comforts of somebody else’s home.
Gwen Florio, a reporter for the Missoulian, who I used to work with at the Philadelphia Inquirer, was kind enough to invite Ace and I to stay with her, her husband Scott, and their dog Nell – a four-month-old Brittany spaniel.
I’ve eaten most of their leftovers, drank most of their milk, eaten most of their eggs, watched their TV and had my own room in the basement, featuring one of the top two beds I’ve slept on (the other being in Santa Fe) during our journey.
Two more weeks on it, and I think my back would stop hurting.
But, as much as I’ve enjoyed nesting at Gwen’s, it’s time to press on to Seattle.
On the first night, I retired early and Ace came to bed with me. When Nell jumped in – well to be honest, she jumped up, putting her front paws on the bed, and I pulled her up the rest of the way – Ace jumped off. I fell asleep snuggling with Nell, but when I woke up she was gone, and Ace was laying at my side.
On the second night, Gwen was working late on election night, and after watching a little bit of the “shellacking” on TV, I retired early. This time, Ace didn’t mind Nell joining us (if only Republicans and Democrats could learn to co-exist so quickly), and I fell asleep with the two of them – once Nell completed her process of nibbling my hands, squirming, walking over me, turning in circles, pawing at the bedspread, nibbling my hands some more, turning a few more circles and finally flopping down with a sigh. By morning, though (like many a Democrat), she was gone.
On the third night, I retired even earlier, and they both followed me to bed, and both got in. But when I woke up they had both abandoned me. While I slept, Gwen had returned home and the dogs joined her for the night. Fortunately, her husband was out of town so there was room in her bed for them both.
Ace and Nell have gotten along great, and it has been interesting to watch their play progress — from timid and restrained to no-holds-barred wrestling. She’s Muhammad Ali to Ace’s Joe Frazier. In her back yard, a stone’s throw from the base of Mt. Jumbo, she runs circles around him, eggs him on, gives him a jab or a nip, then darts away. He keeps plodding forward, swinging with his paws, then watching as she bounces across the yard like a pinball.
Ace — despite my initial fears — hasn’t tried to use Nell’s dog door. It’s the perfect size for her, and she speeds in and out of the house at her will. It’s the perfect size for Ace to get stuck in. I had visions of having to take the door off its hinges and taking them both to a vet, or a hardware store, to have dog and door surgically separated.
Luckily, Ace hasn’t tried to use it, or even poke his nose through, probably because it — also like politicians – flaps and makes noise .
Nell, at four months, still engages in the kind of mischief pups perpetrate. At home during the day, while I wasn’t paying attention, she snagged a full roll of toilet paper, took it through her dog door and proceeded to decorate the lawn with confetti. She managed to get into my toothpaste, but apparently decided not to make a meal of it.
Ace, though he seemed unsure how to react to her puppiness at first, now wrestles with her in the way he does with his favorite dogs, nipping at her legs, trying to put her entire head in his mouth, going after her little nub of a tail — all with his trademark gentleness.
When he tires of it all he flops down in the yard, as he did yesterday morning. The grass was white with frost, and Ace relaxed with one of Nell’s toys that he’s grown especially fond of, probably because it has, or once had, peanut butter in it.
For 15 minutes, as Nell alternately looked on, ran circles around him, darted inside and out again, Ace laid there with the purple toy, and when he got up, there was a big green circle where the frost had melted away under his body heat.
To me, it seemed symbolic (then again, I hadn’t had my coffee yet) of what dogs do for us.
They melt away our frosty exteriors, they bring out the unjaded us that can be buried pretty deeply beneath the shells we hide behind, the image we project, all our bullshit and bluster.
They knock down the walls we put up.
Maybe our politicians could learn a thing or two from them, to the point of even becoming bedfellows — not in the dirty sense of the word, but in terms of working together to achieve a goal.
How cool would that be, if they could all settle down, bark less, share the toys, and — as dogs do — make the world a better place?
Posted by John Woestendiek November 5th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, bed, befellows, behavior, bluster, brittany spaniel, bullshit, democrats, dog, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, election, freeloading, gwen florio, learn, missoula, montana, nell, play, playmate, politicians, politics, pup, puppy, republicans, road trip, shellacking, sleeping, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace
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.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 11th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: accordion, acts, america's got talent, animals, competition, dog, dogs, ed, music, musical, nbc, performances, pets, piers morgan, playing, pup, reality, talent, television, tv, video
This little beauty was found wandering the streets of Dundalk Saturday.
She was taken in by one good samaritan and passed along to another good samaritan, who is fostering her in Baltimore until a home can be found — either her original one or a new one.
She being called ”Ella.”
A spirited and loving mutt — my guess is a Rottweiler/Jack Russell mix …”Jack Rottsell?” — she was found just off Dundalk Avenue, near Sollers Point Road.
She was found without a collar or tags, is estimated to be about five months old and gets along wonderfully with other dogs.
If you’re interested in Ella, contact Lori at email@example.com
Posted by John Woestendiek February 22nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: baltimore, dog, dundalk, ella, found, found dog, loose, lost, lost dog, pup, puppy, rottweiler, stray, wanderer, wandering
Houston firefighters rescued three dogs from a burning apartment complex, including one pup that was resuscitated by its owner with mouth-to-snout resuscitation.
Authorities say two puppies and their mother were saved.
The cause of the fire, which left several units damaged, is under investigation. All of the residents were able to get out safely.
You don’t know the face, but you may know the leg: A khaki-clad hunk of it often shows up — generally from the knee down — in photographs of Bo Obama.
The leg belongs to Dale Haney, who, when the First Family is too busy to walk the dog, assumes the duty.
As a keeper of the White House grounds for nearly 40 years, Haney has managed to cultivate relationships with the presidential pups — all the way back to Richard Nixon’s Irish setter, King Timahoe.
“They heard about me and they called me to come over here for an interview and I came and here I still am,” he told the Associated Press during a tour of the gardens on a rainy morning when first lady Michelle Obama — Bo’s primary walker — was out of town.
“I have him a little bit more” when she’s traveling, said Haney.
Before Bo came along, Haney had walked and played with President George W. Bush’s Scottish terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley. But he says he was most fond of Spot, an English springer spaniel whose mother, Millie, belonged to Bush’s father, President George H.W. Bush.
“I do have a soft spot for Spot,” he said in an online chat in 2003. “I was there when she was born and now she’s back.” Millie gave birth to Spot at the White House in 1989; the younger Bush and his wife, Laura, put Spot to sleep in 2004 after she’d had several strokes.
Haney began at the White House as a gardener, then was supervisor of grounds maintenance and lead horticulturist before becoming superintendent of all the grounds last fall.
Besides helping out with Bo, Haney tends to the nearly 19 acres of lawns, trees and gardens around the White House.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 4th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: barney, bo, bo obama, dale haney, dogs, first dog, first family, george bush, grounds, groundskeeper, horticulture, horticulturist, king timahoe, michelle obama, millie, miss beazley, obama, president, presidential, pup, richard nixon, spot, superintendent, walker, walks, white house