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Tag: red

Sheriff helps family get a new pet after their dog was killed during high-speed chase

ryanandchiliA 3-year-old  boy got a new dog this week, days after watching his first dog get struck and killed by a car fleeing sheriff’s deputies in Oklahoma City.

The boy and his family picked out the new pet, a Chihuahua mix named Chili, after Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel paid the adoption fees.

“You can never replace a pet, but I felt it was necessary that I do something to bring a smile to Ryan’s face,” Whetsel told KFOR.

“I have three dogs and I understand how much they mean to my family, so I just wanted to make sure Ryan had a four-legged friend to play with.”

Ryan was outside with his mother, Sarah Barrow, when a car being chased by deputies sped down the road — just as their 2-year-old Chow and Rottweiler mix, Red, was crossing it.

Red was struck by the speeding vehicle and died about 10 minutes later, and the incident was captured by a TV news crew that was in the neighborhood reporting another story — about crime problems in the area:

Deputies later arrested two suspects they said were in the car  and charged them in connection with three stolen vehicles.

Ryan had nightmares after that, his mother told the Oklahoman, and hadn’t slept for two days when Sheriff Whetsel called, offering to help the family get a new dog,

“When I found out that the bad guy had hit this dog, I just felt compelled to reach out and help them replace the dog for that little boy,” the sheriff said.

Barrow took him up on the offer, and the family went to Edmond Animal Welfare.

Though his parents were thinking of finding another big dog, Ryan seemed most drawn to a small one, Chili, who shelter staff named after the restaurant in whose parking lot he was found.

(Photo: Sarah Barrow and her son Ryan Underwood hold their new dog, Chili; by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman)

The color red in the state of Maine

The color for today, courtesy of the state of Maine, is red.

There has been no avoiding it since Saturday, when we made our way from Portland to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park amid a dazzling array of fall colors.

Nearly every town we went through was sporting red. Yellow and orange, too, but red seemed to be the dominant hue.

Leaves, vines, shrubs, stop signs and cars, barns and sunsets all seemed to be vying for the honor of reddest red.

Apple Fests were underway, and roadside stands stood ready with rows of baskets, filled with red and green apples. At every turn, it seemed, I encountered flashes of red.

Even when I stopped for lunch — and ordered my first lobster roll — the fluffy white meat had red running through it. I sat outside under crisp skies, at a red picnic table, as Ace sat at my side and drooled.

Just across the street sat a red pickup truck, under a tree that was putting its best red forward as well.

The reds especially popped when set against the backdrop of the deep blue sea, as was the case as we made our way through coastal towns like Rockland and Camden.

We saw red antique stores, and red vines climbing up brick buildings, turning redder and redder as if challenging the brick: “You think you’re red? We’ll show you red.”

We saw barns fighting, amid the beating Maine takes from the weather, to hang on to their red, picnic tables with a new coat of red, lobsters soon to depart their deep red shells.

I’m not sure whether Maine is a red state or blue state when it comes to politics. I’m sure I could look it up.

But I’m too busy … enjoying the red.

(To see a synopsis of Ace’s travels so far, click here.)

(To see all of “Travels with Ace,” click here.)

Former Vick dog turned mentor dies of cancer

redRed, a pit bull seized from Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation who went on to become a sweet-tempered mascot at the Monterey County SPCA, died this week while battling cancer.

Red arrived  with scars on his face, chest, legs and torso — one of three pit bulls who came to the Monterey SPCA after federal authorities seized 47 dogs in a 2007 raid of Vick’s dog-fighting compound in Virginia.

He was adopted by SPCA pet behavior specialist Amanda Mouisset.

“He just really blossomed,” Beth Brookhouser, community outreach director for the SPCA for Monterey County, told the Monterey County Herald. “He was like a regular employee, a friend and a fellow staff member.”

Red made the daily rounds with Mouisset and helped her train other dogs by providing a calm example to the shelter’s more hyperactive residents.

Ginger and Bunny, the other Vick dogs that went to the Monterey SPCA, are both doing well, the Herald reported. One was adopted by a SPCA staff member and the other is with a foster family.

Red was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and underwent surgery and chemotherapy, which was paid for by Vick as part of his sentencing. He took a turn for the worse last week and tests showed the cancer, thought to be in remission, had returned. He was euthanized Monday.

Red was 8 years old, which is three years more than he would have lived if those recommending all the Vick dogs be put down had their way.

“Before this case, dogs from the kind of situation were automatically euthanized,” Brookhouser said. “Red is a stunning example why animals should be treated as individuals — not lumped as a breed. He was the best ambassador for that breed any of us have ever seen.”

(Photo: Red with Katie Mouisset, daughter of SPCA pet behavior specialist Amanda Mouisset.)

Scientists announce fluorescent dog clones

South Korean scientists have finally announced what they pulled off almost 18 months ago — the births of four cloned beagles that glow red under ultraviolet light.

All named  “Ruppy” — a combination of the words “ruby” and “puppy” — the dogs are pups no more, as you can see in a photo I took in February during my visit to Seoul National University, where Snuppy, the world’s first dog clone, was born in 2005.

Seoul National University professor Lee Byeong-chun, head of the research team, says they are the world’s first transgenic cloned dogs.

The fluorescence serves no purpose — other than letting the scientists know that the modified genes they inserted during the cloning process were successfully transferred.

“What’s significant in this work is not the dogs expressing red colors but that we planted genes into them,” Lee told the Associated Press Tuesday.

Successfully cloning dogs with flourescent genes paves the way to implanting disease-related genes into dogs, which will allow scientists to study and develop cures for human diseases.

The achievement was first publicized earlier this month in a paper on the website of the journal “Genesis.”

The fluorescence is noticeable, even when the dogs aren’t under ultraviolet light. The Ruppy I met and photographed had pinkish skin around his nose, and pink claws.

Scientists in the U.S., Japan and in Europe have cloned fluorescent mice and pigs, but SNU’s achievement is the first time dogs with modified genes have been cloned successfully, Lee said.

He said his team took skin cells from a beagle, inserted fluorescent genes into them and put them into enucleated eggs cells from a surrogate mother dog. Those were implanted into the womb of the surrogate mother, a local mixed breed. Six cloned flourescent female beagles were born in December 2007, two of which died.

Lee said his team has already started to implant human disease-related genes during the cloning process, in hopes they will be able to discover treatments for genetic diseases such as Parkinson’s.

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