A much beloved Internet celebrity has died.
He was part of a cooking team — the less shy half, the English-speaking half, the more comfortable in front of the camera half, the poodle half.
Francis the dog was the host and narrator of “Cooking with Dog,” which also featured the human he lived with, an unnamed Japanese housewife who had never been on camera before a producer friend proposed they put together a cooking show for the Internet.
She was hesitant, as she was a private sort, and felt alone and insecure in front of the camera.
With Francis at her side, though, she was up to the task and the duo went on, over the next 10 years, to rise to Internet stardom — Chef, as she is called, doing all the cooking and making an occasional comment in Japanese, Francis providing the narration, in English, with a French accent.
“Cooking with Dog” began in 2007 after the producer, who also likes to keep his name private, returned to Japan from Los Angeles, where he had spent several years working in the entertainment industry.
He said he wanted to keep working in film and television, and promote Japanese culture — in a way English-speaking audiences could follow.
“There are many cooking programs on TV and I just wanted to make our show look different and unique. And also I don’t know any celebrities or famous people and I didn’t have a large budget,” he told The Japan Times last year.
Having Francis narrate the show gave it a quirky edge, and opened it up to English-speaking audiences.
“Cooking With Dog” has over 1.2 million subscribers, making it one of the most popular food channels on YouTube. Nearly a third of the viewers come from the United States.
Over the years, its title has raised some eyebrows and led to a little confusion. Some who have stumbled across it thought it might be about cooking for your dog, or about recipes that used dog meat as an ingredient.
Dogs are, after all, raised for their meat and consumed by a small minority of the population in several Asian countries.
But anyone who watched a video quickly became aware nothing nefarious was afoot — it was a just a pure and simple cooking show in which a soft-spoken chef calmly puts together elaborate and often ornate Japanese dishes as her dog looks on.
It’s a refreshing change from American cooking shows, where there has been a distinct shift toward manic hosts, who are generally overseeing some sort of cut-throat competition.
Gizmodo reports it is uncertain if “Cooking with Dogs” will continue without Francis.
If not, we still have the more than 300 episodes that have been produced. You can watch them at the Cooking with Dog, YouTube channel.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 9th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: accent, animalss, cook, cooking, cooking with dog, cuisine, death, died, dies, dog, dogs, francis, french, host, internet, japan, japanese, narrator, pets, poodle, recipes, television, youtube
This public service ad from France lays it on a little thick — but maybe that’s what’s necessary to get through to humans so thickheaded and coldhearted that they would abandon a dog.
Launched by French animal welfare group, Foundation 30 Million D’Amis (30 Million Friends), the video begins with a dog at his owner’s side in the hospital.
Through flashbacks we learn the owner had driven his dog to a remote area, ordered him to stay, and then drove off.
When he spots the dog in his rear view mirror running after his car he has an accident — and guess who saves him?
Each year in France, tens of thousands of pets are abandoned — most of them during the summer.
NPR reported a few years back that many such abandonments take place while families are on vacation:
“Every summer an estimated 100,000 domestic animals are abandoned in France by owners who say they are unable to take them along or find someone to look after them,” the report said.
The ad — just the latest in an ongoing campaign by humane organizations against abandonment — is being shown online and on French television.
If nothing else, it reminds us which species is the more loyal.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 17th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 30 million friends, abandon, abandoned, abandonment, ad, animal welfare, animals, campaign, dog, dog owners, dogs, france, french, loyalty, pet owners, pets, public service, summer, television, video
Six dogs who, with a little help, overcame their horrendous pasts will be featured this weekend in a special Animal Planet program that documents their journeys from frightened canines to forever companions.
The network partnered with the ASPCA to produce “Second Chance Dogs,” a behind-the-scenes look at the ASPCA’s Behavioral Rehabilitation Center at St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey.
The center works to rehabilitate dogs that have been removed from hoarding situations, puppy mills and other atrocious conditions.
“The animals have lived their lives in constant fear and neglect, resulting in extreme distrust of humans and at times complete catatonia,” according to an Animal Planet release. “These conditions make them unsuitable for adoption, and in some cases at risk to be euthanized.”
The program airs at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 16.
Launched in 2013, the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center calls itself the first and only facility dedicated to rehabilitating dogs suffering from severe fear and undersocialization resulting from puppy mills, hoarding cases, and other situations that put them in peril.
“While we can’t yet answer all of the questions associated with rehabilitating at-risk animals, we continue to witness amazing transformations, dogs that conquer their anxiety and fear despite years of behavioral damage,” said Matthew Bershadker, president and CEO of the ASPCA. “These transformations change the trajectory of their lives.”
The ASPCA, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, plans to open a second rehab center next year in North Carolina, The new $9 million, 35,000-square-foot facility will be located at what used to be a cement plant in Weaverville, North Carolina, just north of Asheville.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 15th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abused, animal cruelty, animal planet, animals, aspca, behavioral rehabilitation center, dog, dogs, hoarders, mistreated, neglected, new jersey, north carolina, pets, puppy mills, rehabilitation, second chance, second chance dogs, socializing, st. huberts, television, weaverville
Cesar Millan will not be charged with animal cruelty in connection with an episode of “Cesar 911” in which a dog he was training attacked a pot-bellied pig.
Los Angeles County animal control authorities said Monday that they’d completed a month-long investigation into the complaint and found no evidence of neglect or harmful intent, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“After a comprehensive investigation by our officers, we presented a very thorough and complete report to the District Attorney’s office and they were unable to find anything to charge Mr. Millan with,” said Aaron Reyes, deputy director for animal care and control. “It’s a fair decision.”
Reyes said investigators watched the full video “several times,” interviewed people involved in the episode and reviewed veterinary reports.
“You can tell that it was not intentional and [Millan’s] reactions were swift and effective,” Reyes said. “The injuries to the pig looked worse than they really were, and they got immediate veterinary care.”
In the episode, which aired Feb. 26, a French bulldog Millan was training bit a pot-bellied pig standing nearby.
Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney David Jacobs wrote in a case evaluation statement that “there is no evidence that the pig was used as bait, and all parties who witnessed the incident felt it was an accident. Although in the video the pig is seen bleeding, the dog’s act was merely a nip and did not tear or bite the skin off.”
The dog, named Simon, remains with his owner.
“The clip caused some concern for viewers who did not see or understand the full context of the encounter,” National Geographic Wild said in a statement. “The pig that was nipped by Simon was tended to immediately afterward, healed quickly and showed no lasting signs of distress.”
Millan said in a statment he was pleased with the investigation’s findings.
“My team and I are 100% dedicated to the proper care of all animals, including the farm pig in this case,” he said. “I am continuing my work rescuing and rehabilitating even the most difficult problem dogs, which has saved the lives of thousands of animals that otherwise would have been euthanized.”
(Photo: National Geographic Wild)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 13th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, attack, bite, bitten, cesar, cesar 911, cesar millan, charges, district attorney, dog trainer, dog training, dogs, french bulldog, investigation, national geographic wild, pets, pig, pot bellied pig, simon, television, training, tv
Hard to tell if they were spellbound by Laurie Anderson’s music or just very well trained, but an audience of six dogs seemed to be listening pretty intently during her performance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Wednesday.
The performance artist has held two concerts for dogs since 2010, an idea she says came about while speaking with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
She performed for thousands of dogs at a festival in Sydney, Australia in 2010. Earlier this year, she threw a similar concert in Times Square.
After being interviewed by Colbert, Anderson performed with a cellist and a percussionist as the dogs watched and listened. (The performance starts at about the 3:30 mark of the video.)
The performance began with “a section of lithe, elegant plucking that moved deftly into dissonance and scraping before coalescing into a rumbling, stirring close,” Rolling Stone reported.
Anderson’s recent film, “Heart of a Dog” — in which she reflects on the deaths of her mother, husband Lou Reed and her dog — is scheduled to debut on HBO April 25th.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 18th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, dog, dogs, hbo, heart of a dog, laurie anderson, movie, music, music for dogs, pets, stephen colbert, television, the late show
Cesar Millan is being investigated by the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control after a dog he was training attacked a pot-bellied pig during an episode of his TV show.
Investigators say they will determine whether a crime was committed after reviewing the video and interviewing those who took part in the Feb. 26 episode of National Geographic Wild’s “Cesar 911.”
Millan said no crime occurred.
“We know what we saw, and if you saw the entire video, then you know what we know,” said Aaron Reyes, deputy director for the animal control department, told the Los Angeles Times. “There’s no question that what happened, happened. A dog under Cesar Millan’s control escaped and attacked another live animal, in this case a pot-bellied pig.”
“The dog that was in question, that Cesar was attempting to train, broke away from him in the video, and immediately charged the pig. Now, what we’re hearing from the [complaining party] is that the biggest concern is someone had that pig, a male adult was holding one of those pigs, those rear legs, and holding the pig up, which made the pig squeal, which made the dog [go] into a frenzy. And it immediately charged at that pig. And the dog attacked,” Reyes added.
The complaint was filed by an animal rights activist who viewed the episode.
“I do have a large group of fans and a small group of people who don’t agree with me. They are taking this the wrong way and blowing it way out of proportion,” Millan said in an interview with the Associated Press.
Animal control officers and sheriff’s deputies visited Millan’s home Thursday night and spoke with his son, Reyes said. The son contacted Millan, who was out of state.
The incident took place at a 45-acre dog-training ranch in Santa Clarita, Reyes said.
In a statement, National Geographic Wild explained what happened in the episode:
“Millan was working with Simon, a French bulldog/terrier mix, who frequently attacked other animals, including his owner’s pet pot-bellied pigs. A short clip from the episode was shared online and showed Simon chasing a pig and nipping its ear, causing the ear to bleed. The clip caused some concern for viewers who did not see or understand the full context of the encounter. The pig that was nipped by Simon was tended to immediately afterward, healed quickly and showed no lasting signs of distress.”
The dog’s owner, identified only as Sandy, told 10News that Millan only helped her dog, Simon.
“Nothing but good came out of this episode,” she said.
“The deal that everyone’s making about animal cruelty and animal rights and everything is absurd,” she said. “It’s not what happened.”
Posted by John Woestendiek March 14th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal care and control, animal control, animals, attack, bite, cesar 911, cesar millan, dog, dog whisperer, dogs, french bulldog, los angeles, national geographic wild, pets, pig, pot bellied pig, television, training
I would have no problem with a dog winning Australia’s Got Talent — and, no, that is not any sort of commentary on the amount or quality of talent in Australia — but a robot dog?
PerezHilton.com reports that Erik The Dog — a sassy and highly mobile four-legged hunk o’metal — might be about to win the show this season, which would mark the first time a singing and dancing robotic has won a quarter of a million dollars in a talent contest.
I’m sure at least some of that would go to his partner, Joel Salom, an Australian born circus performer, juggler and comedian.
During the semifinals, Erik joined a team of dancers and sang “I’m Too Sexy.”
PerezHilton.com says hosts Sophie Monk and Kelly Osbourne seem particularly enamored with the robot dog.
Here, in case you haven’t seen enough, is some more Erik, including some not at all exclusive behind the scenes video:
Posted by John Woestendiek March 1st, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, australia, australia's got talent, competition, contest, dancing, dogs, erik, erik the dog, finalist, finals, joel salom, pets, robot, robot dog, robotic, robotic dog, robotics, robots, singing, television, tv, video