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Tag: river

Woman dives into Hudson to save her dog

Molly Pfeiffer was walking with her unleashed Wheaten terrier near New York’s Pier 54 Tuesday when the dog, named Boogie, ran after a gull and jumped into the Hudson River.

Molly, 29, followed, snagging her dog, hoisting her up on a plank beneath the pier and calling for help as she hung on to a pylon.

“I saw her go down into the water and I went after her,” Pfeiffer told the New York Daily News. “The current was pretty strong. She was going to drown … I grabbed Boogie and pulled her up on to one of the wooden supports on the pier. It was covered with algae and really slippery.”

A passerby heard Pfeiffer’s cries and dialed 911, and officers on a police department boat plucked Pfeiffer and Boogie from the water.

Pfeiffer thanked the stranger who called for help: “He saved my life and Boogie’s.” She said she’d do the same thing again: “I love [Boogie] very much or I wouldn’t have done it otherwise.”

Most Daily News readers feel the same way. In an online poll, the newspaper asked readers if they would jump into a river to save their pet.

Eighty percent answered “in a heartbeat.”

(Photos: From the New York Daily News)

Are we thirsty in the desert? Oh Ace is

Ace — though he seems to appreciate the slightly wobbly stability our temporary trailer home in Cave Creek, Arizona, is providing — woke up Saturday morning raring to go.

Where, I do not know.

Maybe, with all the driving of the last six months, he now feels the need to ride. Maybe it was the crisp morning temperatures; or perhaps he’d gotten worked up by all the coyote howling the night before. They sounded as if they were having a feast, or a fight, or possibly an orgy.

Ace galloped out of the trailer, ran up to the car and took a seat in the dirt, his wagging tail kicking up dust and a look on his face that said, to me, “What are we waiting for?”

So, on the spur of the moment, I decided we’d revisit Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area — 2,154 acres of desert that over the years has been home to cowboys, Indians and mining operations. Now it’s part of the Maricopa County park system — and it’s just a few miles of paved and dirt roads from where we’re staying.

I’d driven out there last weekend, hearing it was a good place to romp with dogs, but didn’t really explore. On Saturday, I tossed Ace’s leash, water bowl and jug in the car, and off we went — planning not a long hike, just a 30 minute tour to better check things out.

The first thing we encountered was not a gila monster or a rattlesnake, but an extremely nice sheriff’s deputy. He was explaining the lay of the land to me and suggesting some trails when three guys on horses rode up. Ace, who had been around horses only a little — like back when we were passing through Maine — was a perfect gentlemen, and sat at my side. His eyes got big, as they seem to do when he’s amazed, but his hackles stayed down.

The weekend cowboys rode off, and the deputy and I talked some more. I asked if there were any areas where dogs weren’t allowed. He said they were fine everywhere — that rules call for them to stay leashed, but that the rules were pretty flexible. Well behaved dogs, he implied, could romp a bit off leash.

So, 50 yards down the path we chose, off it came.

Ace walked tentatively, avoiding the rocks as he veered from one side of the dusty path to the other, carefully sniffing the various types of cacti as I tried to remember their names, all of which I’d made a point of learning when I moved to Tucson 35 years ago — saguaro, cholla, prickly pear, barrel, agave … my memory of the rest had gone dry.

So had Ace. Not planning a long hike, I hadn’t brought any water — for me or him.

I wasn’t particularly thirsty. We’d only been walking 30 minutes or so, and at a very slow pace, with lots of pauses for sniffing. But Ace, who seems to have a better understanding of the need to hydrate than I, was clearly wishing for water.

He got his wish.

I didn’t know there even was a Cave Creek — as in an actual creek — much less that we were headed towards it, or that it, unlike most alleged bodies of water in these parts, would actually, at this particular time anyway, have water running through it.

Ace, after approaching cautiously, made the most of it. First he pawed it, then he took a tiny taste, then he plunged his head in, taking a long drink, running in circles, then drinking some more.

It wasn’t exactly a raging river, but here in the desert, you take what you can get. We hiked a little deeper down the trail, then turned around. By the time we reached the creek, he was ready to celebrate it once again.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Dogs have a way of living fully in the moment – no matter how piddly a moment it is — and we could learn from that.

Our 30-minute hike took two hours. We encountered five other dogs along the way, people on horses and people on mountain bikes, one of whom, as he rode, was singing at the top of his lungs. Possibly that guy was living in the moment, or just a nut.

We had one sour moment, when a lone female hiker snuck up behind me and decided I needed a scolding for not having Ace on a leash.

I hooked him up and let her pass, holding him to my side and assuring her that he was friendly. “That’s what everybody whose dog has ever bitten anybody says,” she said. She kept mumbling as she went by and, once at the trailhead, reported me to the sheriff’s deputy, who — though he didn’t consider it a hanging offense — reminded me of the official rules.

Spur Cross is the newest addition to Maricopa County’s Regional Parks System. Citizens of Cave Creek voted to pay more taxes to help the county and the state to buy the land. The conservation area’s trails pass through through archeological sites of the ancient Hohokam, who once lived along the creek, and one can see relics as well of its mining heritage and its days as a dude ranch.

None of that mattered to Ace. But he sure liked the water.

Pup-tossing girl won’t be prosecuted

The Bosnian girl seen in a video throwing puppies into a river, and laughing while she did it, will not face any charges, the New York Daily News reports.

The News, citing as sources members of PETA in Europe, said police have dropped the case because the girl — whose identity hasn’t been released — is too young to be prosecuted.

While it was reported that allof the puppies were rescued down river by an old woman who found them along the shore, animal rights activists said they doubted that story was true.

“This is outrageous,” a PETA spokeswoman, Nadja Kutscher, told a German newspaper. “The puppies that the old woman was with were completely different ones to those thrown into the river in the video. The puppies would never have survived.

Were pups thrown in river saved downstream?

A grandmother in Bosnia is claiming she saved the six newborn puppies that a young woman tossed into a fast flowing river — an act that was captured on video and has outraged dog lovers internationally.

The Daily Mail is reporting that Ruza Pavlovic, a 75-year-old woman who lives in Bugojno, Bosnia, says she saw the pups struggling in the river and fished them out.

The Mail article points out that it hasn’t been confirmed that the puppies are the same ones that a woman in a red hooded sweatshirt was videotaped throwing one by one into the river.

The “saved” puppies seem to have a brownish coloring not seen on those in the video. And the “savior” is making it known that she is too poor to provide them with food. “They are healthy and happy,” they quote her as saying. “My problem is that they need at least three litres of milk a day and I live only on my small pension, but I do not have the heart to abandon them.”

Police, the Mail article reports, have tracked down the girl they believe threw the animals into the river and are set to interview her. The name of the girl, also from Bugojno, has not been published to protect her safety.

The video was posted on Facebook, and appeared on YouTube and LiveLeaks, enraging animal lovers at least as much as last year’s video of a man in Lithuania throwing a dog off a bridge.

Another animal rights group – SOS, which is based in Sarajevo – also claimed to have information confirming the location of the girl, who was reportedly filmed by her brother.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has offered a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the young woman.

Meanwhile, several Facebook groups have formed, seeking to bring her to justice as well.

Rescued L.A. River dog back with family

Spikey, the German Shepherd mix who was rescued from the rain-swollen Los Angeles River last month, is back home with his owners.

After forking over $85 in fees — part of which covered installation of a microchip — the Medina family picked up Spikey when he completed his quarantine period.

The dog  made headlines nationwide when video of his dramatic rescue from the L.A. River was aired on TV stations and the Internet.

The Medina family, which has had the dog for seven years, didn’t see any of the news coverage, but a granddaughter of his owner saw video of the rescue of the dog – nicknamed Vernon while in shelter — on the Internet.

Dog rescued in L.A. river reclaimed by owners

The dog pulled from the rain-swollen Los Angeles River a week ago has been reclaimed by his owners after they recognized him in a video of the dramatic rescue on YouTube.

The dog, dubbed Vernon after he was pulled from the river by a firefighter dropped from a helicopter, is actually named Spikey. His family had searched their neighborhood in Maywood for him, but found him on the computer.

“Somebody from the family noticed that the dog was on YouTube, and that’s how we finally figured out that was the dog, ” said Ramon Medina, son of the dog’s elderly owner.

The family contacted officials at the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority on Monday to claim the dog, officials said.

“We’ve interviewed him at the animal care center, we’ve gone to his house, interviewed neighbors, verified dog license and vaccination records,” said SEAACA director of operations Captain Aaron Reyes. “Vernon went nuts when he saw him. His whole demeanor changed — like he found a long lost friend.”

Spikey will be released as early as next Tuesday, after he is cleared from his quarantine, NBC in Los Angeles reported.

Spikey’s older brother, a yellow lab named Polo, also escaped from the home last week and was found loose Saturday in the same area where Spikey was rescued. Polo is also being held in an animal control facility. Officials believe young children may have left the gates open at their grandmother’s home, allowing the dogs to escape.

“Maybe he was looking for Vernon/Spikey,” Reyes said. “We don’t know.”

Dog rescued from ice floe in the Baltic Sea

A dog that was carried nearly 100 miles on an ice floe was pulled out of the Baltic Sea by sailors.

“My crew saw… a shape moving on the water and we immediately decided to get closer to check if it was a dog or maybe a seal relaxing on the ice,” Jan Joachim, senior officer aboard the Baltica, told Reuters.

The dog was struggling not to fall into the water when the sailors found him.

“He didn’t even squeal. There was just fear in his big eyes,” said Adam Buczynski, engineer of the Polish ship. Buczynski managed to scoop the dog off the floe onto an inflatable dinghy and wrapped him in a blanket.

The dog was first seen on an ice floe in the Vistula River. It’s estimated he traveled 70 miles atop the floe on the river, then another 20 miles out to sea when the Baltica crew found him.

The crew is trying to locate the dog’s owner.

Firefighters defend saving dog from river

Los Angeles authorities have responded to critics of the massive effort to save a German shepherd trapped in the Los Angeles River.

“All life is important,” fire department captain Steve Ruda said Monday.

About 50 firefighters, a helicopter and swift water rescue teams responded to assist the German shepherd stuck in the rising Los Angeles River, whose steep concrete banks kept the dog from getting out.

The dog, nicknamed Vernon after the city where he was rescued, remained in quarantine at the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority shelter in Downey, south of Los Angeles.

While the rescuers who saved the dog on Friday have been widely hailed as heroes, they have also been vilified by a few in blogs, on social networks and story comment sections, the Associated Press reported.

“You’re not going to please everybody. There’s always 10 percent, they either don’t like animals or think we are wasting taxpayer money,”  said Ruda.

Joe St. Georges, 50, the 25-year firefighting veteran who hoisted Vernon to safety, lost a fingernail and fractured a thumb when the dog bit him during the rescue, video of which was televised nationally and shown on many Internet sites.

The dog, about 4 years old and 65 pounds, was eating everything given to him and sleeping well, said Capt. Aaron Reyes, director of operations for the  shelter. If no owner shows up, Reyes said, “we do have a mile-long list of people who want him.”

If Vernon hadn’t been rescued, Reyes said, he would have likely died. “Do you just wait at the mouth of the river and wait for the carcass? Any way you slice it, that is unacceptable. They would not have been able to live that down,” Reyes said. “They made a decision and we support that decision.”

Firefighter bitten during daring river rescue

The dog whose helicopter rescue from a rain-swollen river was captured by television cameras Friday is doing fine.

Despite getting bitten, the Los Angeles firefighter who rescued him is too.

Firefighter Joe St. Georges, 50, received at least one bite after splashing into the Los Angeles River to retrieve the frightened German shepherd. But, after his release from a hospital, he said he has no hard feelings against the dog.

“I knew the dog was scared and tired. It’s not too surprising that it was really upset with this big, loud noisy thing blowing all over it,” Fox News quoted St. Georges as saying. “And then some guy comes and jumps on its back — what a surprise the dog bit me.”

The dog, who wore no identification, has been nicknamed Vernon, after the town where he was found. He will be held for five days to allow time for an owner to claim him, after which he will be put up for adoption. Hundreds of families have already volunteered.

Vernon “appears to be well-maintained and cared for,” said Sgt. Charles Miller of the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority in Downey, Calif.

At least 50 firefighters responded to reports that the dog was in the river on Friday afternoon. For an hour, they throwing life vests and float rings from the river’s steep, concrete banks. Later, a helicopter was used to lower St. Georges into the river, where he wrestled with the dog and, despite getting bitten, held on as the helicopter hoisted the two to safety.

At a late afternoon news conference, helicopter pilot Scott Bowman said St. Georges took a muzzle with him but he wasn’t able to get it on, “so he decided to go for the capture.”

Lifelines: Dog clings to rope even after rescue

shyloShylo, a 5-year-old husky, spent more than an hour bobbing in the icy waters of the Rock River in Illinois before firefighters tossed him a rope.

Shylo grabbed the rope in his mouth and held on, getting tugged partly to shore before a firefighter slid across the ice to pull him the rest of the way out.

Even then, back on land and in the arms of his rescuers, he kept the rope gripped in his mouth, not releasing it until after he was back home with his owner, the Rockford Register Star reported.

This week the dog’s owner Peggy Yarber, brought Shylo to the Harlem-Roscoe Fire Department to thank the firefighters who hauled him out of the river.

“This dog is my whole life,” Yarber said. “I can’t thank you enough. I really can’t. If it weren’t for you, he wouldn’t be here.”

Yarber was visiting a friend when Shylo wandered off. He was found about a mile away, having fallen through the ice in the river. A nearby homeowner called authorities.

A Winnebago County animal control officer, tossed Shylo the rope that he latched onto to amid the ice chunks to help keep his head above water. As he neared shore, firefighter Christi Wilson crawled across the ice to grab him and slide him to shore.

On Tuesday, Yarber took her dog with her to thank the firefighters. Wilson greeted the dog with a bag of treats.

“Just him being here is enough thanks for me,” she said.

(Photo: Scott Morgan/Rockford Register Star)

Handle even the little candle, cozened his brain alilt with unsung song and the blinking days lost themselves in particular application.