A day after declining to respond to rising speculation that he had gotten a dog — prompted by a box of Milk Bones appearing in a family photo he tweeted — Vick released a statement through his publicist:
“I understand the strong emotions by some people about our family’s decision to care for a pet. As a father, it is important to make sure my children develop a healthy relationship with animals.
“I want to ensure that my children establish a loving bond and treat all of God’s creatures with kindness and respect. Our pet is well cared for and loved as a member of our family. This is an opportunity to break the cycle. To that end, I will continue to honor my commitment to animal welfare and be an instrument of positive change.”
Vick posted a photo on Twitter last week of his daughter and him seated at a table. A box of Milk Bone dog biscuits could be seen on the right side of the photo, next to a book or folder with puppies on the cover. The photo was later deleted and replaced with a similar photo in which the Milk Bones box didn’t appear.
Last Wednesday, he initially evaded questions about it, according to Philly.com, and seemed to say his personal life — even if he Tweets about it — is private.
“I’m here to strictly talk about football,” Vick said. “What goes on in my personal life is not to be talked about. What’s most important right now is the Philadelphia Eagles and getting the win Sunday.”
Vick was barred from owning a dog during a three-year probationary period after his release from prison, where he served 19 months for owning and operating a dogfighting ring. He served an additional two months of house arrest after his release in May.
In July, as the probationary period drew to a close, he told CNN’s Piers Morgan that he did not want to deprive his daughters from having a pet.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, biscuits, box, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, michael vick, michael vicks new dog, milk bones, new, pets, philadelphia eagles, photo, prison, probation, quarterback, table, terms, treats, tweet, twitter
A photo Vick posted on Twitter shows a box of Milk Bones at the edge of the frame, indicating he might have gotten the family a pet, as he has recently mentioned he was considering.
Then again, they could be part of his diet. Or maybe they just keep them on hand for visiting pets, though I’d doubt there’d be too many of those.
In the photo, Vick is shown studying a game film on an iPad, while his daughter appears to be doing homework. At the edge of the picture, there’s an opened box of Milk Bones.
“It’s not hard to connect the dots from there,” Chris Chase wrote in his USA Today blog
The picture was quickly deleted and replaced by a similar, biscuit-less one, Chase wrote.
Under terms of his probation, Vick was ordered not to own a dog for three years. That period expired several months ago. In July, Vick, in an interview with Piers Morgan, said he’d like to get a dog for his children.
“I can’t take that dream away from them,” he said.
While his ownership of a dog would be legal now, it’s bound to be a source of contention among those dog lovers who still harbor a great deal of resentment toward the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback who admitted to drowning, electrocuting and beating to death dogs that did not perform in the dogfighting ring.
Vick, as part of his rehabilitation, has been working with the Humane Society of the United States, speaking to young people about the importance of treating dogs humanely.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, biscuits, court, daughter, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, eagles, expired, family, michael vick, milk bones, order, ownership, pets, philadelphia, photo, prison, probation, quarterback, terms, treats, twitter, vick
Among those watching Nicola Adams win a gold medal for the UK in boxing was her Doberman.
The Leeds boxer won her flyweight event on Thursday, becoming the first woman to ever win a gold in the new Olympic sport, SFGate reports.
Sheli Dobbie, manager at Mypetstop, said requesting a television for one’s dog isn’t all that uncommon anymore. “However, this will certainly be a first where the dog can watch their owner – especially in the Olympics – so I’m sure Dexter will be excited.”
Andy Murray, who won gold and silver medals in tennis, shared his achievement with his dogs after the fact, allowing his terriers, Maggie May and Rusty, to each wear one for a picture posted to Maggie May’s Twitter page.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 2012, andy murray, animals, bond, boxer, boxing, doberman, dog, dogs, gold medal, kennel, leeds, nicola adams, olympics, pets, photo, sharing, television, terriers, tv, twitter, uk, watches
Ostrosky Stern broke the news on Twitter this week, saying, “We lost our precious Bianca today. My sweet little girl, may you rest in peace. I love you forever.”
Howard Stern, who has Bianca’s name tattooed on his arm, also tweeted: “Tough day today my friends. Thanks for all the kind messages. Give your dog a hug for me tonight.”
The 10-year-old English bulldog participated in the couple’s New York wedding in 2008, and her photo is on the cover of Ostrosky Stern’s 2010 book (no relation to ohmidog!), “Oh My Dog: How to Choose, Train, Groom, Nurture, Feed and Care for Your New Best Friend.”
According to MSNBC, Bianca was purchased in 2002 from a “rescue breeder.” (Maybe they meant a breed rescue.) There has been no word on the cause of death.
The dog would often accompany Ostrosky Stern, who is a spokesperson for the North Shore Animal League, on appearances.
(Photo: Beth Ostrosky Stern’s Twitter page)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america's got talent, animals, beth ostrosky stern, bianca, bulldog, dead, death, dogs, english bulldog, grief, howard stern, north shore animal league, oh my dog, pet, pets, twitter
Lennox the alleged pit bull is scheduled to be euthanized in Belfast this week, despite continuing international efforts to save him.
A protest Saturday in Belfast included demonstrators who flew in from the U.S., England and Dublin, according to UTV in Belfast, and demonstrations are scheduled at the British and Irish consulates in New York today, organized by No Kill New York.
Victoria Stilwell, host of “It’s Me or the Dog” on the Animal Planet network, offered to find Lennox a new home in the U.S., and cover all expenses, but on Sunday she told msnbc.com she has received no response.
The 7-year-old dog was seized in 2010 after pit bulls were banned under the UK’s Dangerous Dog act.
The dog’s owners say he is an American bulldog-Labrador mix, but dog wardens, after taking measurements, declared him a “possible pitbull type” and claimed that — though he has bitten no one and been the subject of no complaints — he had a personality disorder.
Protesters say they are trying to raise awareness not only about Lennox but also to show that breed specific legislation is unfair.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, bans, belfast, breed, breed bans, breeds, dangerous, demonstrations, dogs, euthanasia, execution, facebook, ireland, laws, lennox, news, offer, pets, pit bull, pitbull, protests, save lennox, twitter, uk, victoria stilwell
She named the pup Happy, and Tweeted a photo of herself getting her hair washed while holding him.
“He was left in a box in front of Walmart. I don’t understand how people can be so cruel. That’s why we named him Happy,” she wrote.
Cyrus thinks the dog is a Rottweiler-beagle mix.
Happy joins Miley’s other pooches Ziggy, Lila and Floyd, reports People magazine.
But the story doesn’t answer the biggest question of all: What was Miley Cyrus doing at a Walmart?
Posted by jwoestendiek May 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, animals, box, celebrities, cyrus, dog, dogs, floyd, found, happy, lila, miley, miley cyrus, pets, photo, pup, puppy, tweet, twitter, walmart, zigggy
Since we’ve shown you the musical stylings of the world famous Adam Yamada-Hanffff and his dogs, Sierra and Cody, a few times, it’s only fair we give some space to this relative newcomer to the field, some guy named Kiefer Sutherland.
Sutherland posted a video on Twitter of his dog singing along as he played guitar, along with the comment, “Even the dog can sing better than me.”
The actor, who’s now starring in the TV series, Touch, didn’t bother to mention his dog’s name in the post.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 24, adam yamada-hanff, animals, celebrities, cody, dog, dogs, guitar, howling, jack bauer, kiefer sutherland, pets, post, sierra, singing, singing dog, touch, twitter, video
Charlie, a King Charles cavalier spaniel, has apparently bounced back and forth between the Playboy model and the Playboy mogul.
Guess which of the three we actually give a hoot about.
Harris, who departed with a three carat diamond ring worth an estimated $90,000, and a Bentley, apparently still wants the dog, too, according to the Daily Mail.
Harris, 25, called off her engagement to Hefner, 85, in June, announcing it on her website and, at the same time, asking the media for “‘the privacy we deserve during this time.” Then she went on to take part in interviews about the break-up and their sex life.
Hefner expressed his regrets about the break-up in a tweet both realistic and philosophical, not to mention maybe the understatement of the decade: “After all is said and done, staying single is probably the best,” he posted.
He also reported on Twitter that he missed the dog, who Harris took with her when she left.
Then he tweeted that the dog had been brought back: “Crystal brought Charlie back because she thinks he’s happier here & I appreciate it, because I really missed him,” Hefner posted.
Apparently the matter isn’t entirely resolved.
“We both love the puppy,” Hefner told People magazine. “I told her if she wants to keep the ring and the Bentley, then maybe I can keep the puppy. I hope we will work it out.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, break up, bunny, celebrities, charlie, crystal harris, custody, dispute, dog, engagement, hugh hefner, king charles cavalier spaniel, model, mogul, people, pets, playboy, tweets, twitter
Three days after we bemoaned the seemingly trending practice of putting words in dogs’ mouths via animation, a new Internet e-card company has launched, offering just that service.
It’s pretty much the same schtick as Pedigree’s “Denture Your Dog” ad campaign for “DentaStix” – upload a photo of your dog, position the talking mouth, type in what you want your dog to say, click, wait and, voila, you have a talking dog video you can distribute via Facebook, Twitter and email.
To hear what Ace thinks of it all, click on his picture above, then click on play on the page to which you are taken. (I swore I’d never do it, but then again, I also swore I’d never use the word “trending”.)
Pet-a-Greeting launched Tuesday, calling itself the first-ever site that allows members to upload a photo of their dog, cat or other pet and create a customized talking message to share.
“We’re taking the e-greeting card experience to a whole other level,” said Gregory Baker, co-founder of Pet-a-Greeting. (Confession: I tried to find a photo of Baker online so I could use his website to make him bark, but there are too many Gregory Bakers.)
“We developed Pet-a-Greeting because we love our animal friends,” Baker continues in a press release, “and we want people to be able to share a unique experience with their friends and families, while giving a voice to those that typically don’t have one.”
If that’s not noble enough for you, consider this: Pet-a-Greeting says it has a strong commitment to helping animal welfare organizations both locally and nationally. “By becoming a member and sending Pet-a-Greetings, you are supporting the welfare of companion animals.”
No details, or percentage, or beneficiary is mentioned in the news release, so I guess we have to just take their word for it.
Pet-a-Greeting offers a 10-day free trial, where members can send unlimited personal greeting cards. A year’s membership is $9.95, and a two-year membership is $14.95.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 8th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, animated, anthopomorphic, denture your dog, dentures, dogs, email, facebook, greetings, gregory baker, internet, launch, make your dog talk, new, pedigree, pet-a-greeting, pets, talking dogs, technology, twitter, video, website, words
Everyone knows about the six degrees of separation, or at least knows somebody who knows somebody who does.
To put it in its simplest terms — as opposed to the manner of the bubbly graphic above — it’s the theory that you know somebody, who knows somebody, who knows somebody, who knows somebody, who knows somebody who is lucky enough to know me.
In this small and growing smaller world, only five people stand between us — usually tall ones who block the view.
While the six degrees of separation may be an accepted algorithm, I have found it holds truer in your big cities — your Tinsel Towns, your Windy Cities, your Big Apples — moreso than in places like the one I’m living now, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
In Winston-Salem, there is only one degree of separation, if even that. More often it seems, there is no degree of separation.
Then again, as you’ll recall, I recently moved into the house where my parents lived when I was born. In doing so — returning to my birthplace after 40-some moves and 57 years of separation — quite possibly I altered the algorithms of my six degrees of separation beyond repair.
In any case, in Winston-Salem, everytime I go out I run into either somebody who knows me (and I only know about three people here, having moved away at age 1), or someone who knows my mother.
That translates into a degree of separation of zero, or one, at the very most two. Take my recently moved-in neighbor here in College Village. Her grandfather lives in the same retirement community as my mother. That same neighbor and the neighbor on my other side went to high school together, then ended up, after attending different colleges, two doors away from each other. The neighbor on my other side has a brother who used to date my neighbor four doors down.
A lot of great brains have wrapped themselves around the six degrees of separation, including actor Kevin Bacon, who some people think invented it. All he did though was come up with a game version, which he has since refocused on philanthropic purposes.
In actuality, the six degrees concept is even older than him.
Mathematicians, sociologists, and physicists alike have long been captivated with the field of “network theory,” which, contrary to what you might think, existed even before Facebook. In 1929, Hungarian author Frigyes Karinthy published a volume of short stories titled Everything is Different, which included a story called “Chain-Links.” The story investigated and elaborated on his belief that the modern world was shrinking due to the increasing connectedness of human beings.
Since his time that connectivity has increased exponentially. With the advent of telephones, and advances in transportation, the world got smaller yet. And when the Internet came along, the world shrank, shrunk, shrinked a little more, as did correct use of grammar.
Indeed, thanks to the Internet, Facebook and the like, the world has become so small that I sometimes get claustrophobic. There’s a study that shows the degree of separation between two users of social networks such as Twitter averages 3.43, under an optimal algorithm.
Of course, that is why we are signing on to Facebook, and Twitter, and Linked In, and Genealogy.com and Match.com — to connect.
We humans — like dogs, who do it mostly by peeing — have an insatiable urge to connect. Whether it’s with old friends, dead relatives, new friends, potential business associates or hotties of the opposite sex, we want, and maybe we need, the linkage.
My personal belief is that — with all those websites that link us, at least superficially — we will all become so connected that something is going to short out. Either that, or we will all bore each other to death with details of last night’s dinner and how it was prepared.
What we often fail to realize, amid our quest for connections is that, when it comes to degrees of separation, sometimes more of them is better. Sometimes, having a hermit side to me, I get in a mood where six is not enough, where I would like twelve or fourteen of them instead.
If you’ve been following Travels With Ace, and our dispatches on resettling in North Carolina, you know that, while I’ve somewhat sequestered myself, I’ve also grown interested in reconnecting with my past, and exploring my family tree — both my father’s side and my mother’s.
Zonja Woestendiek is, or was, a German model who was also featured in a series of commercials for Volkswagen called, “Unpimp My Ride.”
Believe it or not, I once owned a Volkswagen — not a beetle, which makes the world seem even smaller, but a van with a pop-up roof, which makes the world seem larger, unless you are driving behind one.
Between exploring family trees and researching degrees of separation, I’ve been marveling at all the small world coincidences I’ve come across, especially in the past week since getting two teeth pulled.
They lived next door to each other, separated only by plaque in what, according to my dentist, was a deteriorating neighborhood.
The pain pills prescribed by the dentist, while blurring some things, have allowed me to focus clearly on others, like the six degrees of separation, and Zonja.
In researching the six degrees of separation, I came across something interesting — something I’m sure I have some connection with as well, given the similarity in names and other eery coincidences.
There is a Flemish television production company named Woestijnvis, that produces a show called “Man Bijt Hon,” or, in English, “Man Bites Dog.”
(My last name is Woestendiek, and, though I’m not biting much of anything these days, I do a dog website.)
The production company gots its name from a wrong answer provided by a contestant on the Flemish version of Wheel of Fortune, called Rad van Fortuin.
(I used to watch Wheel of Fortune all the time, and was very good at it.)
In the game, the following letters were showing: W _ _ S T _ _ N V _ S.
The correct answer would have been “WOESTIJNVOS,” or desert fox. But the contestant answered “WOESTIJNVIS,” or desert fish — humorous, to the Flemish at least, insofar as one rarely finds fish in the desert, or for that matter in dessert.
Anyway — stay with me now — on the show “Man Bijt Hond” there’s a weekly feature called Dossier Costers, in which a recent event of worldwide significance is linked to Gustaaf Costers, an ordinary Flemish citizen, in 6 steps.
I was able to find this episode on YouTube. It’s in a different language but — either because of my European roots or my Vicodin — it made perfect zippety-do-dah sense to me.
Let’s see if it does to you.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 7th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: algorithm, associates, chain links, claustrophobia, coincidences, connect, connecting, connections, connectivity, conspiracies, degrees of separation, dossier costers, facebook, family, family trees, flemish, friends, frigyes karinthy, gustaaf costers, internet, kevin bacon, linked, linked in, links, man bijt hon, man bites dog, networks, north carolina, ohmidog!, pain pills, past, peeing, rad van fortuin, relatives, shrinking, six degrees of separation, small world, social, social networks, twitter, unpimp my ride, vicodin, volkswagen, wheel of fortune, winston-salem, woestendiek, woestijnvis, woestijnvos, zonja woestendiek