We thought we’d heard of every way there is to immortalize a beloved canine companion — from taxidermy to cloning, from turning ashes into jewelry to inserting ashes into a stuffed animal — but this is a new one on us.
A British ex-soldier has paid tribute to the dog he served with in Afghanistan by getting a tattoo on his leg, made from ink mixed with the animal’s ashes.
Treo, a bomb-detecting black Lab, moved in with his handler after the two left the Army at about the same time.
Treo died in October at the age of 14, and now Dave Heyhoe, an ex-sergeant, wears a tattoo on his calf of Treo’s pawprint and 80 words relating to how the dog loyally served his handler.
“The tattoo completes me,” the former serviceman from Cheshire told the Daily Mail. “People might think it’s strange, but Treo was like a son to me, and his death has knocked me for six.
“Over the years we have seen gunfire, death and bomb scares together – I’ve been lost without him. Now it feels like Treo is by my side – where he’s supposed to be.”
During his service, the black Labrador is said to have prevented the deaths of dozens of British troops. He was awarded the Dickin Medal in 2010 for his service.
That tattoo is not Heyhoe’s only tribute to the dog.
He also wrote a book about him, “It’s All About Treo, Life, Love and War with the World’s Bravest Dog.”
(Photos: SWNS/Daily Mail)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 16th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, army, ashes, black, bomb-detecting, dead, death, dog, dogs, immortalizing, ink, lab, labrador, loss, memorials, military, pets, remembering, retriever, tattoo, treo dave heyhoe, tributes
By way of wishing you a happy Thanksgiving, we present this photo — and offer our thanks to the photographer, and his dog, Bailey, who posed not once but six times.
Bailey played all six roles for the re-creation of this family scene.
The photos were taken by her owner, John Nebbia, of Omaha, Nebraska. Photoshop probably deserves some credit too.
The image appears to show a holiday gathering of six different dogs, but they are all Bailey, who was decked out in six different wardrobes.
“We just moved her from chair to chair and gave her a break in between shots,” Nebbia told the Huffington Post. “When she was in the position, we were snapping a few pictures every second.”
It took about 40 minutes to shoot and about an hour to edit, he said.
Nebbia posted the photo on Bailey’s Facebook page.
Bailey is also the star of a 2016 calendar featuring some of Bailey’s best poses. It can be ordered at GoldenBailey.com.
Nebbia also put together a video showing what was involved in making the Thanksgiving photo:
Posted by John Woestendiek November 26th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bailey, calendar, dinner, dogs, edited, gathering, golden, golden retriever, golden retrievers, image, john nebbia, pets, photograph, photoshop, retriever, thanksgiving
Rowdy has been poisoned by river water and shot by police officers, but it’s a far less threatening skin condition that gives the 13-year-old black Lab his unique look
Rowdy has vitiligo, a disease whose most famous victim was Michael Jackson. In Rowdy’s case, it causes him to lose color in different patches on his body.
“He’s like our own little celebrity around town,” Rowdy’s owner, Tim Umbenhower told KPTV. “Everybody loves to stop us and wonder what we did to him or if we painted it on there.”
Umbenhower and his wife Niki, who livein Canby, Oregon, say Rowdy survived poisoning by river water and had to have his stomach pumped.
He was also once accidentally shot by police during what they thought was a burglary.
Niki, on her Facebook page, mentions the possibility of appearing on The Ellen Show and in a movie — and while she might just be joking, stranger things have happened.
(Photos: Niki Beiser Umbenhower’s Facebook page)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 18th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, black lab, canby, condition, disease, dog, dogs, health, labrador, mask, michael jackson, patches, pets, retriever, rowdy, skin, skin condition, veterinary, vitiglio, washington
A UK couple is £300,000 richer thanks to persistence, their Labrador retriever and a little luck.
Make that a lot of luck.
Jane and Alan Slater, of the Isle of Wight, had been playing the EuroMillions Lottery for 20 years — always the same numbers.
On Sept. 29, Mr. Slater, a customer relations manager for a ferry company, got home from work, checked the winning numbers and saw that they had matched all five of them. The payout was about £150,000.
A few gleeful days later, they took their dogs, Ruby and Kai, for a walk. Getting back in the car, Ruby bumped into a catalogue, causing a slip of paper inside of it to come out and float to the ground.
“I really can’t explain the way this piece of paper floated, it was like you see in slow motion in films, as though someone wanted me to notice it,” Mrs. Slater, 59, said. “I immediately reached down and picked up the slip of paper which turned out to be a lottery ticket.”
For the same drawing.
At first, Mrs. Slater thought Mr. Slater might have taken the winning ticket she had bought to work to show friends, and then left it in the car. She was a little upset about that on the ride home.
When they got home, and found the original winning ticket, they figured out what happened.
Mr. Slater, 65, not realizing his wife had bought a ticket, had bought one as well — for the same drawing, with the same numbers.
Suddenly they were not just £150,000 richer, but twice that.
“The ticket could so easily have disappeared in the rubbish when I tidied up the car, we couldn’t help feel that someone was looking down on us,” he is quoted as saying in an article in The Telegraph.
He said Ruby’s “discovery” came on her second birthday.
Now the couple is considering retiring a little earlier than they had planned, and holding a big family party.
“We are a very close family and the wins mean we will be able to help our two children in the future,” Mr. Slater said. “There will be a big family party later in the year and a few more treats for Ruby and Kai.”
(Photos from The Telegraph)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 16th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alan slater, animals, couple, dog, dogs, euromillions, isle of wight, jane slater, labrador, lottery, luck, numbers, pets, retriever, uk, winner, winning
Born with dwarfism, and without eyes, a golden retriever named Smiley is bringing comfort and joy to hospital patients, school students and nursing home residents in the small town of Stouffville, Canada.
Rescued from a puppy mill when he was one or two years old, Smiley was timid at first, said his owner, Joanne George.
“He was very scared,” she recalled. “[The dogs] had never been out of that barn.”
But as he came out of his shell, she saw that he had a personality worth sharing:
“People were so drawn to him, so inspired by him.” George told CBS News. “I realized this dog has to be a therapy dog — I have to share him.”
Smiley joined the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog program and, now 12 years old, still spends several hours a day dropping in on patients at retirement homes, visiting with special needs children in a library reading program and comforting patients at nursing homes near Stouffville.
George said when she first brought him home Smiley quickly bonded with another one of her dogs, a deaf Great Dane named Tyler.
“Tyler was so bouncy and crazy and happy go lucky and [Smiley] turned into the same dog,” George said. “He came out from underneath the tables where he was always hiding.”
“Dogs can come back from anything, they forget their past,” George said. “We as humans dwell on the past.”
One of Smiley’s favorite people to visit is a man named Teddy, who lives in a nursing home and, up until he met the dog, hadn’t uttered a sound.
“One day, Smiley put his feet up in front of [Teddy] and he started smiling and making noise,” George said. “All of the nurses rushed into the room and said they’ve never seen him smile — never seen any kind of reaction.”
Now every time Smiley visits the nursing home, Teddy is the first person he sees.
After caring for Smiley for 10 years, George says she has learned a lot about how to care for blind dogs: “Don’ t be his eyes, don’t run his life, don’t’ keep him in a bubble … Does he bump into things? Of course, he does. But he does it very carefully.”
George said Smiley changed her life — and was there for many memorable moments. “He came on my first date with me. He was my ring bearer at my wedding.” He has also brightened up the lives of hundreds more.
Even now, as he nears the end of his, she says — his fur getting whiter, his steps slower — his “tail will never stop wagging.”
(Photo: Joanne George’s Facebook page)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 12th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, blind, blindness, canada, disabilities, dog, dogs, dwarf, dwarfism, golden retriever, pets, retriever, smiley, st. john ambulance, Stouffville, therapy dogs
We won’t be so anthropomorphic as to insist what you’re watching above is a “tender moment” between two species.
(But we will — privately — feel all warm inside and silently go “awwwwwwww.”)
This seal flopped his way up to a yellow Labrador on a beach in southwestern France and seemingly embraced him — as much as one with flippers can embrace.
The dog, meanwhile, took it all in stride.
The video was shot at Le Cap Ferret and uploaded earlier this month by YouTube user Elise Frebourg.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 22nd, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, beach, dog, dog and seal, dog and seal video, dogs, embrace, france, friends, hug, interspecies, labrador, pets, retriever, seal, seal and dog, seal and dog video, seals, species, unlikely friends, video, yellow lab
The Rev. Arlene M. Tully jokes that there are some similarities between her dog and members of her congregation.
“He sleeps through my sermons like everyone else,” the Methodist minister said.
But there is someone that Kirby — the golden-lab retriever mix who is almost always at her side — reminds her of even more:
“Kirby is a living, breathing metaphor for God’s love,” she told the Bangor Daily News. “The way he expresses love is as unconditional as God’s love. He instantly and fully embraces every person that he meets and that is a more accurate metaphor for God’s love than human love.”
Kirby the Ministry Dog attends services at First United Methodist Church in Bangor, Maine. He’s present for church dinners and other functions. He accompanies her on home visits, and trips to nursing homes and hospitals. And everywhere they go together, she notes, Kirby has a way of connecting with people, and getting them to open up.
“He’s a catalyst for those kinds of conversations,” said Tully,
The 2½ -year-old dog was trained as a service dog by Canine Companions for Independence at its campus in Medford, New York.
If Tully tells him to “visit,” Kirby will put his head in the lap of a person. If she says “lap,” he’ll gently place his paw on the leg of the person he’s visiting. When she say’s “push,” he’ll open an automatic door by pushing the button.
Tully, 57, became the church’s pastor in July. While she grew up a Roman Catholic, she left the church as a college student. She worked in restaurant management for 25 years before attending Andover Newton Theological Seminary in Newton Centre, Massachusetts.
Kirby, her second “ministry dog,” came to live with Tully in February while she was pastor of Pleasant Street United Methodist Church in Waterville, and he’s been helping her reach out to people ever since.
“Together, we have an instant bridge to people that I alone might not have otherwise,” she said.
(Photo: Ashley L. Conti / Bangor Daily News)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 30th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bangor, church, dog, dogs, god, kirby, maine, methodist, minister, ministry dog, pets, religion, retriever