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Tag: resemblance

Breathing new life into Goldberg

1919-armory-dogHe was never among the most famous of military dogs, but a terrier named Goldberg who served in World War I and went on to stand guard at an Illinois National Guard armory for 60 years is garnering some attention again.

Goldberg was taken in as a pup by members of Battery B of the 122nd field artillery, and was smuggled inside the sleeve of the bugler’s overcoat when the unit was sent in 1917 to England, and from there to France.

According to old Chicago Tribune reports, he was gassed at Argonne in 1918 and went missing, later reuniting with this unit. He’d also see battle in St. Mihiel, Toul Sector and Verdun, suffering shrapnel and other injuries before newspapers reported he, upon returning home with the unit, had been given an honorable discharge.

He was not an official military dog, more of a mascot, but it is said he did his part to help keep morale up, right up until he and his unit came home.

After that point the historical record gets a little fuzzy.

A Chicago clothing manufacturer named Joseph Bach advertised Goldberg as available “for sale or booking” in 1919 in “The Dog Fancier.” He put a $350 price tag on what he said was his son’s dog, and listed the many honors Goldberg had received.

forsalegoldberg

In the early 1930s, members of the artillery unit took it upon themselves to track the dog down, and he ended up in the custody of one of its members, William McKieghan.

McKieghan announced the dog’s death in 1933, saying he and his fellow unit members planned to have him “stuffed.”

After death, Goldberg’s mounted pelt went on to stand in a glass case near the entrance to the armory in Rockford — except for when he attended reunions of the unit.

When the armory was demolished in 1993, Goldberg survived that, too. He was moved to the the Illinois State Military Museum in Springfield, where he has been on display since.

According to WAND, Goldberg, who has been called an Irish terrier and a Skye terrier over the years, is now getting a much-needed refurbishing.

Sgt. Justin Lutz, currently serving in the Illinois National Guard, runs a taxidermy business on the side and the military museum called him in to handle the project.

goldberg

Time — all tolled, nearly 100 years, counting life and death — has taken its toll on Goldberg, and Lutz is handling his makeover.

“It’s pretty exciting. I’m pretty honored,” Lutz said. He hopes to have the project finished by December.

When dog and owner look alike

dogowner

 
Are dogs and their humans so entwined that they tend to take after one another in appearance?

The question — one drawing increasing scrutiny from scientists — was asked, but not really answered, in a piece in the the Health section of yesterday’s New York Times.

In 2004, researchers in San Diego found that people were able to correctly match pictures of dog owners with their pets more often than not, but only when the dogs were purebreds. Similarities in facial expressions played a big role in the choices.

 The same year, a psychologist at the University of South Carolina challenged the findings in a separate study, but the San Diego researchers countered with a reanalysis that confirmed their initial findings.

Earlier this year, a scientist in England conducted a study in which 70 subjects were asked to match pictures of 41 dog owners to one of several breeds. They were able to match successfully more than half the time.

As with the San Diego study, the subjects later said they matched mostly by looking for personality traits that they believed the dogs and their owners shared.

What’s not known is whether that’s because dog and owner tend to take on a similar appearance (my personal theory), or because people look for certain traits or predispositions that might match their own when choosing a dog.

(Photo: courtesy of afunnystuff.com)

Doggedly presidential look-alikes

The votes have been counted, and the results have been announced: The winners of The “My Dog Looks Like Obama or McCain” Dog-Look-Alike Photo Contest are Amore Francine and Ginny Doll.

 
The Obama Look-Alike winner, Amore Francine, is a 52-pound boxer, prone to tilting her head, from Mt. Clemens, MI. The McCain Look-Alike winner, Ginny Doll of Rochester Hills, MI, is a 7-pound Maltese with well-groomed white hair, and what contest organizers called a “relatable, friendly face.”

The winning photos, along with more information about each dog and the contest, are available at Rover411.com, a website that celebrates dogs and their owners.

The dogs were chosen from ten finalists in an online contest. Each week, one dog from each category with the lowest votes was eliminated. Over 4000 votes were received.

All this brings to mind my own comparison of presidential candidates and dog breeds, which appeared on my old Baltimore Sun “Mutts” blog.

For Obama, I chose this one …

And for McCain: