Booger — the heart, soul and sturdy foundation of a streetside act that brought together dog, cat and rat for performances that amused millions (if you count online) — has died.
The 13-year-old dog — a Rottweiler-Labrador mix – died Monday night from kidney and liver failure at a veterinary clinic in her hometown of Telluride, said her owner, Greg Pike.
Pike brought together Booger, a cat named Kitty and a rat named Mousie, taught them to arrange themselves in a pyramid and showed that animals can buck their stereotypes and view each other as more than predator and prey.
The hopeful message behind the act — in which Mousie stood atop Kitty, who stood atop Booger, most often on the west end of Pearl Street in Boulder — was that maybe we humans could do a better job of getting along, too.
It all started off on a bet, though.
Pike began putting the act together soon after he was given Booger as a puppy, according to the Boulder Daily Camera:
One day in a Telluride park, Pike and some others were discussing the limits of what’s possible, and he bet that he could get a dog, cat and rat to get along.
After finding Kitty and her littermates in a box under a house, Pike said he introduced the cat to Booger. They hit it off immediately and were inseparable from that point. Over the years, several different rodents have been used in the act.
Pike didn’t limit his entertaining to Colorado. To counter the sadness he saw in people after 9/11, Pike took the animals across the U.S. He said he enjoyed seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they saw the animals walking around, stacked on one another.
“Everywhere I brought them, they made people smile, and it just made me feel really good inside,” Pike said.
The act appeared on the Animal Planet series “Must Love Cats” and a YouTube video of them has been viewed more than 9.75 million times.
Pike said Booger will be cremated, and in the spring he will climb to the top of Gold Hill in Telluride to spread her ashes.
“I think my eyes are drained. It really hurts,” Pike said Tuesday. “She didn’t die in pain at all. She passed away in comfort in Telluride, where she loved to be.”
Kitty seems to be missing Booger as much as he is, Pike noted.
“I’ve never seen her curl up to me this much.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 31st, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: act, booger, boulder, cat, colorado, dead, died, dog, dog cat rat, getting along, greg pike, instincts, kitty, mousie, peace, performance, pyramid, rat, stereotypes, street, street performers, telluride, video, you tube, youtube
One dog came to the aid of another last week, leading rescuers to a drainage pipe where a 15-year-old miniature schnauzer named Casper had been stuck for up to three days.
The hero? A rat terrier named Rowdy, who belongs to a neighbor.
“He caught the scent and he just started barking, barking, barking,” said Rowdy’s owner, Patty Monk, whose dog led her to the 8-inch wide storm drain pipe in which Casper was stuck.
Seeing Casper inside, Monk, who is friends with Casper’s owners, ran a block to their home and notified them. They sought help from the Sacramento Metro Fire Department.
Firefighters, not wanting to injure the dog, wrapped a teddy bear around the end of a fire hose to push him out the end of the pipe.
Casper’s owners, who had searched for days and put up posters after Casper went missing, took him to a nearby animal hospital to have him checked out.
“We have one of these storm drains right in front of our house. He may have fallen in that one and crawled all the way here, we don’t know,” said Wayne Hernandez.
“We’ve been kind of taking him for granted, he’s been around for so long,” Hernandez told News 10 in Sacramento. “But we’re going to have to try and pamper him a little more. He deserves it after this.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, casper, department, dog, dogs, drainage, drainpipe, fire, firefighters, metro, miniature, patty monk, pets, pipe, rat, rescue, rescued, rowdy, sacramento, saved, schnauzer, stuck, terrier, wayne hernandez
A Pennsylvania woman, unable to cope with financial hardships, tried to kill her 29 cats, her dog and herself, authorities in Montgomery County, Pa., say.
The woman, Linda Muchnick, of Harleysville, was arrested on charges of cruelty to animals.
District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, Lower Salford Township Police Chief Thomas A. Medwid and Towamencin Township Police Chief Paul T. Dickerson announced the charges yesterday. They stem from an incident last week when police were called by a local veterinary clinic.
The clinic had “received information” that Muchnick intended to kill herself and her animals due to financial hardships, the district attorney’s office said in a press release.
Towamencin Township Police entered Muchnick’s home and found 29 cats in a locked bedroom with no open windows. Officers found D-Con rat poison had been placed in the food bowls of the cats.
Muchnick was found, unresponsive, in a separate, locked bedroom with a sick pit bull. More rat poison was found in the room, authorities said. Muchnick was treated at a local hospital.
One cat died as a result of ingesting rat poison.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 25th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, arrest, cats, dog, economy, financial, hardship, harleysville, linda muchnick, montgomery county, pennsylvania, poison, poisoning, rat, suicide attempt
Meet Gregory Pike — currently homeless in Santa Barbara, California — and his dog, cat and rat.
Most days, Pike can be found on State Street there, along with his dog Booger, his cat Kitty, riding atop the dog, and his rat Mousey, riding atop the cat.
The Mayor of Santa Barbara reportedly found it so heartwarming a scene that she had it videotaped and sent it out as a holiday card. We find it to be right up there with the elephant and dog story out of Tennessee.
We also find it more than a little ironic that, if you go to the comments section beneath the dog-cat-rat-getting-along video on YouTube, you can find dozens of petty, mean-spirited, bickering comments from humans who seemingly can’t.
The best factual account of Pike and his animals we could find was in The Bottom Line, a bi-weekly newspaper sponsored by the Associated Students of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Pike, originally from Telluride, Colo., says he has been studying animal habitats and psychology for about 30 years, has worked with animal rescues and rehabilitation centers for mountain animals, and has a diverse background in animal training.
Pike says the act started ten years ago “when someone said it couldn’t be done.”
“I understand animals and why they do things. I understand some of the barks, and the meows, and what the different ways they do it mean. I’m not a Doctor Doolittle, but I know what they’re asking for.”
Pike told The Bottom Line that he has some insights into what makes people tick as well, and with his act hopes to be able to catch the attention of people to pass on his messages of peace and humanity to the human species. “Peace can happen anywhere — if they can do it why can’t people?” he said.
Pike reportedly hopes to someday open a free pet adoption and rescue center, which is why he keeps a can out for money.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 31st, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, behavior, booger, california, cat, dog, dog cat rat, gregory pike, homeless, humans, kitty, mayor, mousey, peace, pets, rat, santa barbara, understanding, video