On his last day in office — Valentine’s Day – Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta spent some quiet time with his right hand man, who is also his sweetheart, and also happens to be a dog.
He’s seen above taking a final walk with Bravo at CIA headquarters.
Bravo is widely believed to be a golden retriever, but inside sources tell us not to jump too quickly to that conclusion.
Bravo, who frequently accompanied Panetta to work, was at his side during his term as CIA chief, and as the operation to terminate Osama bin Laden was plotted.
“Bravo was in the room when we were talking about the bin Laden operation at the CIA,” Panetta said in an interview with Esquire magazine.
“I remember going through that whole thing with him sitting by me,” Panetta said. “And the ability to put my hand on his head and feel his presence just kinda made me feel ‘OK, this is an important issue and it’s a big issue, but in many ways, it’s about whether or not we are able to protect the quality of life that we enjoy,’ and having a dog there just makes you a little more aware of what life is really about.”
(Department of Defense photo by Glenn Fawcett)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 22nd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bin laden, bravo, c hief, cia, dogs, final, golden retriever, headquarters, last walk, leon panetta, osama bin laden, pets, photo, secretary of defense, walk, walks, workplace
Ace and I had a visitor over the holidays — a highly vocal, but not too demanding 12-year-old mutt named Gracie.
My cousin and her husband in Charlotte were headed off on a cruise and they were having problems finding a petsitter for Gracie, who has never been kenneled. So I volunteered.
It wasn’t my first adventure in petsitting. I’d had a handful of canine guests in my home in Baltimore, and served as wrangler for three more while housesitting in Santa Fe. I’d learned, both times, that most issues that come up can be easily worked out, usually by the dogs themselves.
I decided they should eat in separate areas, just to be safe, so I’d fill one bowl, and call one dog. Both, because their names rhymed, came. When I said “stay,” both stayed. When I attached their names to the commands – ”Ace stay, Grace come” — that didn’t work either.
Finally, I got one to the porch, and fed the other inside, confusing them both in the process.
On day two, Gracie stopped eating entirely. Even blobs of liverwurst — in which her pills get hidden — had no appeal to her. Wanting her to get at least a little nutrition, I smeared peanut butter on her nose and let her lick it off.
Eventually, I broke out the most special of my special dog treats, and after a good sniffing, she decided to try one. On day three, she was eating normally again, and I’d figured out that feeding them both at the same time in the same place worked best.
By the second day, I’d noticed Gracie, who spent the first night on an extra dog bed, was eyeing mine. It’s only a foot off the ground, but she just stood by it, put her head on it and looked at it longingly. Being old and arthritic — her, not me – I gave her a boost and she spent almost the whole day there.
I worried that Ace, who likes my bed too, would take offense at her occupation of it, but, once I told him it was OK, he just jumped in and joined her.
If they were positioned right, there was plenty of room for both. With only minor repositioning, I could fit in, too.
For walks, I’d take them both on a short one, then give Ace a longer one. That seemed to suit them fine.
What I never totally figured out was Gracie’s whining/singing. She whines when she’s happy, she whines when she’s not. She whines when she wants something. She whines, I think, when she wants nothing at all, except maybe to hear her own voice.
Ace, puzzled by that behavior, quickly got used to it. At first, he’d rush to her side, but eventually — as I kept saying, “What is it, girl, what do you want?” — she became background music to him.
Just about every worry I had, when it came to the two of them, turned out to not be worth worrying about. As long as I supplied the food, water, walks and love, they’d easily figure out the rest — the less help from me, the better.
It’s us humans who make things complicated.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, attention, beds, behavior, complications, dog, dogs, elderly, feeding, grace, gracie, guest, humans, old, pet sitting, pets, petsitting, visitor, walks, whining, worries
High School teachers Steven and Debbie Leatherman headed to the basement with their cocker spaniel Sugar when the tornado sirens sounded in Joplin, Missouri, on May 22.
After turning on the television and seeing what was headed their way, they decided to seek the additional protection of their storm shelter.
Sugar, 10, must have sensed their anxiety. She bolted back upstairs to her own favorite hiding place, under a bed.
Less than a minute later, the twister tore their house apart.
When they emerged from the shelter, debris was all that remained of their home and Sugar was missing. Their son Daniel, a University of Missouri student, drove home from Columbia the next morning, helping his parents sift through the rubble and seek out their dog.
Meanwhile, Daniel’s aunt in Kansas turned to her computer, searching for a clue to Sugar’s whereabouts.
On Facebook she found a dog resembling Sugar that had been picked up in a storm ditch several blocks from the Leatherman’s house. The dog’s rear legs were paralyzed and she was unable to get out on her own.
At the Joplin Humane Society, a veterinarian advised the Leathermans to seek care for their pet in another city, due to the strain on resources in Joplin.
Daniel Leatherman called the University of Missouri Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, where vets agreed to take a look.
The next day, Fred Wininger, an assistant professor of neurology and neurosurgery in the College of Veterinary Medicine, examined the dog and noted that while she had no use of her hind legs, she retained pain sensation in her paws. He determined she had sustained something called a traumatic T12-13 intervertebral disc rupture.
Wininger explained: “The intervertebral disc is like a jelly donut that is soft at its core and harder on the outside. Its function is to cushion the vertebral bones around the spinal cord. With severe enough injury, the “jelly” center, also known as the nucleus pulposus, can extrude out of the shell and compress the spinal cord.”
The rupture caused severe bruising to Sugar’s spinal cord and mild subluxation, or malalignment or the bones. Wininger performed a surgical procedure known as a hemilaminectomy, which created a window in the vertebral bone allowing him to decompress the disc and hemorrhage that was pushing on the cord.
Two days after surgery — and every day for seven days — therapists electrically stimulated Sugar’s hind limbs to help prevent muscle atrophy, and the dog began underwater treamill therapy as well.
On June 6, two weeks after the tornado, Sugar began to show movement in her hind legs for the first time.
The Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital through its Silent Partners Fund and College of Veterinary Medicine absorbed the cost of Sugar’s treatment and therapy. Orscheln Farm and Home in Columbia also helped out by donating food and toys to help with Sugar’s care.
A little more than a week later, on June 14, Daniel Leatherman collected the family’s beloved pet to continue her recovery at home. “We are so warmed by everything that has been done,” he said. “It has given us back our family.”
(Source: University of Missouri News Bureau)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, cocker spaniel, college of veterinary medicine, daniel leatherman, debbie leatherman, disc, dogs, electric, facebook, found, fred wininger, joplin, lost, misouri, paralyzed, pets, rear legs, reunited, rupture, spinal cord, steven leatherman, stimulation, subluxation, sugar, surgery, therapy, tornado, university of missouri, veterinary, veterinary medical teaching hospital, victims, video, walks
Faith, the two-legged dog, continues to spread inspiration — most recently last weekend when she visited McChord Air Force Base and Fort Lewis in Washington state.
Faith met thousands of soldiers — some headed to war, some coming back.
“She just walks around barking and laughing and excited to see them all,” Faith’s owner, Jude Stringfellow, told the Associated Press.
“There is a lot of crying, pointing and surprise. From those who have lost friends or limbs, there can be silence. Some will shake my hand and thank me, some will pat her on the head. There is a lot of quiet, heartfelt, really deep emotion.”
Faith, a Lab-chow mix, was born to a junkyard dog around Christmas of 2002. Her mother rejected her and she was rescued by Jude Stringfellow’s son, Rueben, now in the Army. The mother and son taught the dog to walk on her rear legs — using peanut butter and a lot of practice.
Since then Faith has done the talk show circuit, and Stringfellow has become a motivational speaker. She has written two books about Faith and is working on a third, “Faith Walks.”
They get more than 200 letters and e-mails a day, run a website and make dozens of appearances every year, including stops at veterans’ hospitals across the country to cheer injured soldiers.
Rueben Stringfellow left Iraq in September and is stationed in Alaska. He is scheduled to get out of the Army and head home on Jan. 1.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 17th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: air force, army, base, chow, coping, disabilities, dog, faith, fort lewis, hope, inspiration, jude stringfellow, lab, legs, limbs, lost, mcchord, motivation, on two legs, rear legs, rueben, soldiers, two legs, two-legged, video, walks, washington
You don’t know the face, but you may know the leg: A khaki-clad hunk of it often shows up — generally from the knee down — in photographs of Bo Obama.
The leg belongs to Dale Haney, who, when the First Family is too busy to walk the dog, assumes the duty.
As a keeper of the White House grounds for nearly 40 years, Haney has managed to cultivate relationships with the presidential pups — all the way back to Richard Nixon’s Irish setter, King Timahoe.
“They heard about me and they called me to come over here for an interview and I came and here I still am,” he told the Associated Press during a tour of the gardens on a rainy morning when first lady Michelle Obama — Bo’s primary walker — was out of town.
“I have him a little bit more” when she’s traveling, said Haney.
Before Bo came along, Haney had walked and played with President George W. Bush’s Scottish terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley. But he says he was most fond of Spot, an English springer spaniel whose mother, Millie, belonged to Bush’s father, President George H.W. Bush.
“I do have a soft spot for Spot,” he said in an online chat in 2003. “I was there when she was born and now she’s back.” Millie gave birth to Spot at the White House in 1989; the younger Bush and his wife, Laura, put Spot to sleep in 2004 after she’d had several strokes.
Haney began at the White House as a gardener, then was supervisor of grounds maintenance and lead horticulturist before becoming superintendent of all the grounds last fall.
Besides helping out with Bo, Haney tends to the nearly 19 acres of lawns, trees and gardens around the White House.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 4th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: barney, bo, bo obama, dale haney, dogs, first dog, first family, george bush, grounds, groundskeeper, horticulture, horticulturist, king timahoe, michelle obama, millie, miss beazley, obama, president, presidential, pup, richard nixon, spot, superintendent, walker, walks, white house
We’re not taking credit (or blame) for these, just passing them along, as they were passed along to us — the top 10 Pet Peeves of Dogs:
1. Blaming your farts on me … Not funny … Not funny at all.
2. Yelling at me for barking. I’M A DAMN DOG.
3.Taking me for a walk, then not letting me check stuff out. Exactly whose walk is this anyway?
4. Any trick that involves balancing food on my nose. Stop it!
5. Any haircut that involves bows or ribbons. Now you know why we chew your stuff up when you’re not home.
6. The sleight of hand, fake fetch throw. You fooled a dog! Woo hooo! What a proud moment for the top of the food chain.
7. Taking me to the vet for ‘the big snip’, then acting surprised when I freak out every time we go back!
8. Getting upset when I sniff the crotches of your guests. Sorry, but I haven’t quite mastered that handshake thing yet.
9.Dog sweaters. Hello??? Haven’t you noticed the fur?
10.How you act disgusted when I lick myself. Look, we both know the truth. You’re just jealous.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 25th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: barking, behavior, dogs, fake fetch, fart, food, haircut, humor, lick, list, nose, peeves, pet, pet peeves, sniff, sweaters, top ten, walks