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Tag: today show

Sheepdog sets a canine scooter record

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Guinness World Records has proclaimed Norman, a three-year-old French sheepdog, the fastest dog on a scooter.

Then again, there aren’t too many other dogs riding around on scooters.

normanNorman set the record in Marietta, Georgia, on July 12 and received his certificate from Guinness World Records while appearing on the Today Show over the weekend.

Norman’s owner, Karen Cobb, told Today Show anchors that the dog is a quick learner.

“He picked things up really quickly,” she said. Norman balances himself on the scooter with his two front paws on the handle and a back paw on the scooter, then uses his other hind paw to push himself forward.

He first showed an affinity for the scooter as a pup. “He loved it. He wouldn’t get off,” Cobb said.

His record-setting ride was part of a charity event that benefited Road Trip Home, an organization that saves animals from high-kill shelters. According to Guinness World Records, he traveled 100 feet in just over 20 seconds.

He has also appeared on Cartoon Network and “The Late Show with David Letterman.”

Norman has also mastered the skateboard and can ride a bike with training wheels.

(Photo: Erik S. Lesser / EPA)

NBC report questions AKC inspections

The American Kennel Club is doing a much better job of protecting bad breeders than it is protecting dogs.

That’s the gist of this investigative report that aired yesterday on NBC’s  “Today” show

The accusations aren’t exactly new, and weren’t exactly uncovered by NBC, but it’s good to see the issue getting some national attention.

The AKC, investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen notes, calls itself ”the dog’s champion …

“But critics say there’s an ugly reality you don’t see: Some AKC breeders raising diseased dogs, malnourished, living in their own filth. It’s so disturbing that now two of the country’s largest animal welfare groups, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society, are condemning the AKC.”

The report included an interview with one dog owner, who purchased a Great Dane from a kennel  only weeks after that kennel was inspected by the AKC and found in compliance. The puppy turned out to have intestinal parasites, an upper respiratory infection and a congenital eye defect.

“Law enforcement went into the kennel just two months later, and rescued dozens of dogs,” Rossen reported.

Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, is featured heavily in the report, and makes the point that the AKC should be working with animal welfare groups to protect dogs instead of protecting bad breeders and fighting laws that would crack down on them.

AKC Director of Communications Lisa Peterson, also interviewed for the report, says she would give the AKC an “A” for its inspection program.

But when the reporter asked how many breeders are producing AKC-registered dogs, she said, “That’s a great question. We don’t know.” And when asked what percentage of AKC registered breeders end up getting inspected, she wouldn’t offer a ball park figure.

“We do thousands of inspections annually,” Peterson said. “We’ve done 55,000 inspections since the year 2000.”

“But what percentage of breeders actually get inspected?”

“… I don’t have that figure,” Peterson said. “I’m sorry.”

Peterson said there are nine AKC inspectors in the U.S. Asked “Do you think that’s an adequate number?” she said, ”That’s the number that we have.”

Before we make too much fun of China …

Folks in China may be going overboard decorating their dogs as wild animals, but leave it to America to take the bizarre practice of decorating dogs and turn it into a TV series.

“Extreme Poodles” will air on TLC, premiering this Sunday at 9 p.m.

The Today Show aired a segment on the new program today, featuring three highly defensive dog decorators who maybe need to get a new hobby.

According to them, the dog’s just love it — soaking up the attention while soaking up the dyes.

Olympian adopts dog he met on Today Show

Little did Today Show producers know when they came up with the idea of having members of the Olympic gold medal-winning U.S. bobsled team usher some adoptable dogs on stage that a love connection would result.

As part of its weekly “From Bow to Wow” segment, the Today Show asked Steve Holcomb and his bobsled team — who won the USA’s first gold in the event since 1948 — to walk four adoptable dogs onto the set.

Apparently Holcomb and one of the dogs, a 2-year-old, female golden retriever named Bailey, bonded during their short time together.

“I may take her home myself,” Holcomb said after ushering Bailey onto the set during the segment — jokingly, it seemed, at the time.

This week, the Today Show announced the Holcomb has adopted the dog, who had been at Animal Care and Control of NYC for about a month. The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals flew Bailey to Denver.

Here’s the Today Show update, and the happy reunion:

“I was just lucky that my dog was there”

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Here’s the Today Show’s report on the 11-year-old boy whose dog, Angel, is being credited with saving him from being attacked by a cougar in British Columbia. The dog had surgery yesterday and is still under veterinary care. The boy, Austin Forman, says he has bought his dog “a big nice juicy steak” for her return home.

Former Iraqi dog “Nubs” on Today Show

dennisnubs.jpgNubs, the one-time Iraqi street mutt — so named by American soldiers for the stubs where his ears used to be — appeared on this morning’s Today Show, along with the Marine major who rescued him.

Nubs befriended Marine Major Brian Dennis and his fellow soldiers while Dennis was on patrol in the Anbar province.

When Dennis was required to report to another location, 70 miles away, he bid his friend farewell and left with little hope that Nub would survive on the war torn streets. Already, the dog had his ears cut off, and had been stabbed in the side with a screwdriver — both, Dennis believes, by Iraqi soldiers.

Two days after Dennis arrived at his new location, Nubs showed up.

Dennis said he was inside headquarters when a fellow Marine came in and said, “You’re not going to believe who’s outside.”

“Who’s outside?” Dennis asked.

“Nubs is outside,” the soldier said.

After a joyful reunion, Dennis was informed that, since the military prohibits keeping dogs in war zones, he had four days to get rid of him. Given the bond they’d established and the dangers Nubs faced, Dennis was hesitant to do that.

Strays in Iraq, Dennis said today, serve as a needed escape for soliders — “an escape from the drudgery and the mundane life and the bad things you see at times.”

Dennis and his friends launched an Internet campaign and raised $5,000 to send Nubs to a friend in the U.S..

In March 2008, about a month after Nubs arrived, Dennis returned from Iraq and was reunited with the dog.

Now the whole story has become a book, “Nubs, the True Story of a Mutt,  a Marine and a Miracle.”

A dog that can read? You be the judge

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Willow’s owner claims her dog can read — only three phrases, but still.

What do you think? Is the dog actually reading the words? Or is something else at play?

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