OUR BEST FRIENDS

whs-logo

The Sergei Foundation

shelterpet_logo

The Animal Rescue Site

B-more Dog

aldflogo

Pinups for Pitbulls

philadoptables

TFPF_Logo

Mid Atlantic Pug Rescue

Our Pack, Inc.

Maine Coonhound Rescue

Saving Shelter Pets, Inc.

mabb

LD Logo Color

Tag: wheels

Smiles bloom when River rolls through town

Here’s a sweet little story out of Albany, Minnesota, where a dog named River — described as part pointer, part “Walmart greeter” — serves as both friend and inspiration to many in the small town.

River lost the use of his hind legs after being attacked by two larger dogs while out on a walk.

But he has persevered, and — aided by a set of wheels — he’s enjoying his walks as much, if not more, than he ever did, his owners say.

Carol Mader says River seems more concerned about the people around him since his injury.

“He pulls out the people, I think, that are hurting.” she told KARE11. “It’s just like he senses they need attention.”

“He has no use of the back legs at all,” says her husband, Herby. “Probably a lot of dogs would give up, you know, where he’s not.”

River’s veterinarian Dr. Wendy Womack calls the 11-year-old dog “a regular icon” in Albany, a town of about 2,600.

The Maders take River for walks four or five times a day, during which he makes new friends and revisits old ones.

“…I always see him every day, twice a day, three times.” says Ron Koczur, who lost a leg to diabetes and greets River from his wheelchair. “Even though he’s lost of a couple limbs, he’s still happy and proud.”

Anderson Pooper, dachshund on wheels

She didn’t win the race, but a disabled dachshund named “Anderson Pooper” was the clear crowd favorite at the annual Wiener Dog Races at Emerald Downs in Washington state.

Partly paralyzed, Anderson Pooper bested several other dachshunds in her heat, some of whom veered off the trail or never budged from the starting gate. Twenty-four dogs participated in the races.

A video of the July 18 race, sponsored by Seattle radio station Star 101.5, was posted to YouTube by Anderson Pooper’s owners, and led to an article about her (she’s a female) in the New York Daily News this week.

David Sizer and his wife Brenda, who runs Animals with Disabilities, adopted the dog four years ago. Her rear legs were paralyzed as a result of a spinal injury

Her paralysis requires the 7-year-old dachshund to wear diapers. Between the frequent changing those required, and Brenda’s maiden name (Anderson), the family decided to name the dog Anderson Pooper.

“She loves running. Any chance she gets she’s all in for it,” David Sizer said. “We’ll take her to the coast and she’ll run on the beach and we have a hard time keeping up with her.”

Highway Haiku: Don’t Call Us Trailer Trash

 

“Don’t Call Us Trailer Trash”

Like your roots can’t rot —

That’s how it feels, when living

In a house with wheels

 

(To see all of our Highway Haikus — attempted poetry, composed from behind the steering wheel during our 20,000 miles of travel — click here.)

Two wheels for Tuzik

More than six months ago, a dog was hit by a car in St. Petersburg, Russia, and left to die.

But witnesses to the accident picked up the dog and brought him to a veterinary clinic. A veterinarian performed surgery, for free, but the dog’s spinal injuries were such that he lost the use of his back legs and wasn’t expected to walk again.

He was taken to an animal shelter, whose staff couldn’t bear the thought of the dog, who they named Tuzik, spending his life laying in the shelter’s dirt yard.

After a flurry of Internet searching and email exchanges, hampered by language differences, arrangements were made for Tuzik to be shipped to the U.S. and taken in by Pets With Disabilities, a non-profit group in Prince Frederick, Maryland.

The organization rescues and finds home for animals who have been injured through trauma or disabled by illness. It provides support and resources for the families of disabled pets and for shelters attempting to place special-needs animals into loving homes. Joyce Darrell and her husband, Michael Dickerson, founded the organization in 2000 after their dog Duke broke his back playing as a puppy. Tuzik10-09

Tuzik arrived in October.

“Why a dog from Russia? We were wondering the same thing for many months,” Darrell says on the Pets With Disabilities website, “But Tuzik was on a mission to find a better life – and meet a family that would appreciate all he had to offer.” Darrell says he has “brought a sense of royal majesty to the rescue. It’s hard to explain, but when you sit with him, you have no pity for him – he really is not looking for that…

“He’s moving around the rescue with more confidence everyday. He’s begun to play with toys – and he has a huge heart to offer the right family.”

Tuzik is available for adoption. To see more of him and the organization’s other disabled dogs in need of homes, click here.

(Photo courtesy of Pets With Disabilities)

Animal Control: Stuck in the mud

squirrel

 
Here’s a nutty, and muddy,  little story — one we’ll tell in pictures and words.

homelessguy2

All the pictures were taken Sunday, at Riverside Park in Baltimore, where after three straight days of rain, sunny skies had finally prevailed, along with temperatures so toasty that the squirrels took a break from hoarding their nuts to eat some, and the homeless guys — usually homelessguy1up and gone by mid-morning — slept in.

It was really more like a spring day, except for  the turning leaves, hitting their peak of redness on some trees, burning bright orange on others. Those already brown and fallen, after three days soggy, were starting to regain their crunch under the warming sun.

Football and softball games were getting underway on the sports fields — never mind the puddles. Parents and children filled the swings and slides in the fenced-in play area. 

parkdog2

And dog walkers were out in abundance — some with their pets on leash, some of whom had let them off, which, in this particular park, as of now, is against the law.

Nevertheless, a lot of us do it — keeping an eye out for the white animal control van while we let our dogs enjoy a little freedom, exercise and squirrel chasing.

It was one of those free and easy, good to be alive, laid back Sunday mornings — quiet but for the happy squeals of children, the chirping of squirrels and that thwickety thwickety noise of dogs charging through piles of leaves — when what should appear but …

DSC07382The white animal control van. Usually the animal control van keeps to the paved paths, stopping to warn those with their dogs off leash to hook them up, sometimes writing citations, which carry a $200 fine.

This animal control van was — for reasons unknown — driving through the grass, which, in addition to not being good for the grass, could prove problematic for homeless guys sleeping thereon, not to mention children playing, families picnicking, or squirrels a scurrying.

DSC07379

Anyway, the animal control officer pulled his van to a halt in the grass, apparently to confront some lawbreakers, and when the time came to leave, he couldn’t. The van’s back wheels became mired in the mud, sinking deeper the more they spun.

stuckvanThe officer called for a tow truck and, about an hour later, one arrived. Its operator attached a chain to the animal control van’s axle and hoisted it out of the muck.

While his van was being saved, the animal control officer found the time to take some photos of off-leash dogs running in the distance. That’s what his camera was pointed at, at least. Then again, maybe he was just shooting the foliage.

acphotoOnce freed, the van departed the park, leaving some big muddy ruts behind.

It’s unknown if the animal control officer issued any citations Sunday morning — and if so, whether the revenue those bring in will be enough to cover the towing fee and other damages left in the wake of his morning patrol.

After freeing the bogged down animal control van, the tow truck operator acccidentally hit a bolted-to-the-ground trash can, which he then used his truck to bend back into an upright position before pulling off.

garbagecanMaybe sending animal control officers to hunt for unleashed dogs walking in parks with their owners — as opposed to cracking down on abuse, neglect and dogfighting — is a legitimate use of their time. Maybe citing the owners of dogs who are bothering no one, and who no one has, specifically, complained about, makes the city a safer place. Maybe it’s not just a heavy-handed, wheel-spinning waste of tax dollars.

But the only visible marks left by yesterday’s patrol were these:

ruttrashcan2

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Photos by John Woestendiek/ohmidog!)

Game on, tortoises — bunny Ethel gets wheels

A British rabbit whose lost her hop is now getting around on a set of wheels made in Texas.

The four-year-old rabbit, Ethel, lost the use of her back legs after coming down with a mystery illness.

Vets advised owner Zoe Holbourne to put the rabbit down – but she refused and turned to Internet.

There, she found a mom and pop company on the outskirts of Houston that makes customized miniature carts for disabled animals and placed her order.

The Telegraph of London reports that Ethel is “now happily bounding around in the contraption, which is made from toy wheels and lightweight plastic tubing.”

Miss Holbourne, 46, said: “It looks bizarre but it is just amazing. It has given Ethel a new lease of life … At first she struggled to keep her balance and kept tipping over, but she soon got to grips with it, especially on flat surfaces. Now she loves it.”

Ethel also lost control of her bladder and bowels due to the illness, according to the Telegraph, and has to wear “a special nappy at night.”

Ethel’s was the first cart Dogs To Go has built for a rabbit, and the first they’ve shipped to Britain.

“Most of the carts we make are for dogs, but we’ll consider any animal so long as it isn’t too large, said Laurie Miller, a veterinary technician and director of Dogs to Go. “We even make some carts for skunks which people keep as pets.”

Laurie manages the company, while husband Larry builds the carts. The couple has two disabled pets of their own.

“Larry is our cart builder. He works a full time job, then comes home and builds your custom cart,” the Dogs to Go website says. “He puts a lot of love into every cart because he knows how much you want your baby to get back to a normal life.”

(Photo: A Pug gets his wheels; courtesy of Dogs to Go)

Wiener Fest: Standing tall in Texas

 

Texas likes to tout its bigness, but, here in College Station, Saturday was a day to celebrate a breed that never rises more than a few inches from the ground — the low but not lowly dachsund.

Being in College Station, home of Texas A&M, for some book-related research, I found myself with some time on my hands Saturday, so I grabbed the camera and headed over to a local park where the Brazos County Animal Shelter’s “Wiener Fest” was being held.

It was just the second year for the event, but you couldn’t tell it from the huge crowd that turned out — most of them with their dogs, a surprising number with their dachsunds. Wiener Fest organizer Judy LeUnes said the event is based on a similar one held in Buda, Texas, south of Austin.

One reason dachsunds might be so popular in these parts, or so I’m told, is that this, College Station, as the name implies, is a college town, where a lot of students and others live in small apartments, making the dimunitive breed a popular pet.

Hundreds of them turned out for the festival, and most of them took part in the races. (They were up to the 35th heat when I finally left.) But there were dogs of all shapes and sizes, as you can see in the slideshow above, including one whose owner deemed him big enough to give a toddler a ride.

While the races were the highlight, the event also included a costume contest, agility demonstrations, music and, of course, barbecue.

The race heats were divided by age and sex, and there was one race for handicapped contestants — between two blind dachsunds and one, named Flip, who has no use of his hind legs.

Flip (you can see him in the slideshow) is owned by Jackie and Chris Curfman, who found him on the streets of Dallas when he was about eight months old. When he was 4, Flip jumped off their bed and herniated a disk, putting pressure on his spinal cord, causing him to lose function of his hind legs. He gets around (as he did in the race) via a wheeled contraption whose frame is made of PVC pipe.

Flip won his race, which just goes to show you, no matter how close to the ground you might be, no matter whether you’re propelled by paws or wheels, no matter whether you’re saddled with a moniker like “wiener,” one can — even in Texas — still stand tall.