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Tag: youtube

The real million dollar dog

NPR’s Scott Simon took up the subject of dogs today — specifically, those two tsunami survivors we first showed you four days ago.  (Here they are again, above.)

They were caught on camera by Fuji TV in Mito, Japan – the brown and white dog seemingly guarding over the apparently unconscious other one, and placing its paw on the other’s head when it finally stirs.

The heart-wrenching images quickly spread around the world on YouTube, and the lack of any confirmed reports on what became of the dogs left many wondering, and trolling the Internet for information.

Simon reports, as others have — based primarily on a Facebook posting by Kenn Sakurai, the president of a dog food company, who has been among the volunteers –that both dogs were rescued and are in a veterinary clinic in the Ibaraki Prefecture.

Simon’s interpretation of the scene, like most, was: ”The dog was sticking by his friend, and asking for help.”

It was similar to what he saw with humans, he says, while covering Hurricane Katrina: “…It seemed that the commonest reason people who stayed through the storm gave for refusing to evacuate was, ‘I couldn’t leave my pet.’

Simon goes on to say: “Among the thousands of volunteers who have been mining the rubble of the earthquake are Japanese Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support, who look and listen for dogs and cats among the ruins. To those who might find such relief work frivolous when so many people are hungry and homeless, Animal Rescue and Support says, ‘helping the pets in Japan is to help people. All of us who are animal lovers can relate to what it would feel like to be reunited with a pet after a disaster.’”

While dogs go homeless in Japan, Simon notes, it’s business as usual in China, where Tibetan mastiffs continue to bring in huge bucks. An 11-month old Tibetan mastiff puppy named Hong Dong, or Big Splash, sold last week for $1.5 million, the highest price ever paid for a dog (unless you count cloning).

In China, Simon says, “Tibetan mastiffs are massive, fluffy status symbols … Hong Dong has been raised on beef, chicken, abalone, and sea cucumber. His breeder told Britain’s Telegraph, ‘He is a perfect specimen.’”

Simon concludes the piece by asking this question: “The million-dollar puppy that’s been fattened with abalone, or the grimy dog with brown and white splotches who stood over his friend until he found help: which do you think of as a perfect specimen?”

I’ll have to go with the grimy, wave-tossed mutt who has made a far bigger splash than Big Splash  — and who is a symbol of something far more important than status.

A dog that sings AND plays piano

The Kennedy family says Tucker, their one and a half year old Schnoodle, plays the piano and sings along at least 3 or 4 times every day, but, despite all the practice, doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

Apparently, the public enjoys the pooch’s musical stylings: In only a month on YouTube, the Tucker video has garnered near a million views.

Some Christmas music, courtesy of Sierra

Singing Sierra is back, and just in time for Christmas.

Adam Yamada-Hanff, a Baltimore area community college student, has posted several videos on YouTube of Sierra “singing” as he plays his saxophone. This latest one also features Cody, who clearly considers himself a backkground vocalist.

We met Sierra and Adam back in May, when they — well, Adam, anyway — agreed to a quick sidewalk performance during my “Hey, That’s My Dog!” photo exhibit at Captain Larry’s, a bar and restaurant on Fort Avenue in South Baltimore.

Adam uses Sierra’s singing abilities to help raise money for animal shelters and rescue organizations.

Neglected dogs will head to better homes

Credit Facebook, or credit Michelle Ingrodi, but four neglected dogs in Cumberland, Maryland, will soon find better homes.

Ingrodi, of Baltimore’s Charm City Rescue, was visiting relatives when she came upon the dogs, all of whom were either chained or confined in and outside of what appeared to be an unoccupied house. Ingrodi fed them and took some video, posting it to her Facebook page and YouTube.

“The dogs had been in there a long time. They didn’t get walked. They don’t get played with,” Ingrodi told the Channel 11 News I-Team in Baltimore. “They were neglected. They lived in there. The smell was nothing I ever want to smell again.”

Ingrodi said that, within an hour of posting the videos “I got a call from Georgia, Alaska, New York and Alberta, Canada … They wanted to send donations. They wanted to find out what they could do to get them out of there.”

Police were called when someone complained that Ingrodi was trespassing as she arrived to feed the dogs, Channel 11 reported. She wasn’t arrested, and the police contacted the property owner, who agreed to surrender the dogs after she was assured they would be made available for adoption.

“She made it clear as long as they would not be taken to animal control — as long as they would not be euthanized and they would go to a good home — and they will — she would agree to surrender them,” Ingrodi said.

The dogs were taken from the property late Saturday afternoon and are now in the care of Dogs Deserve Better, a rescue organization, awaiting medical clearance to be adopted.

(Photo: Dogs Deserve Better)

Dolly the pit bull

Dolly, a Florida pit bull, was a stray when she arrived at Seminole County Animal Control in 2009. She was adopted, but the ending wasn’t happy.

She was returned to the shelter earlier this year — with cuts, scrapes and scars.

The owner said Dolly was starting fights with his other dogs, but animal control thinks Dolly was being used as a “bait dog” in a dogfighting operation, according to TV station WESH.

Now Dolly’s wounds have healed, and Erica Daniel, the shelter worker who intended to foster her, has decided to keep her. Erica also made the video that’s above.

Dolly also has a Facebook page.

Love Me Tender, featuring Sierra on vocals

Granted, you can find plenty of singing dogs on YouTube. Granted, not all of them appear to be enjoying their performance. And granted, not all of them are ready for American Idol.

But Sierra, shown here with her rendition of “Love Me Tender,” is a dog that “really likes to sing” — especially this particular song, according to her owner, Adam Yamada-Hanff, a 21-year-old community college student. (That’s him on saxophone.)

Besides, she’s a Baltimore dog.

There are some songs Sierra doesn’t like (“Sierra is a Doggie Diva!” Adam says). But “Love Me Tender” is one of her favorites, and Adam’s.AdamRoger[1]

“The lyrics are very fitting for dogs,” he said.

Sierra is an English Shepherd, almost 2 years old. Adam is trying to figure out a way to use her singing talents to help out animal shelters and rescue groups. “A singing dog will definitely encourage some donations,” he said.

Adam grew up with a dog named Roger — that’s them to the left –  a stray that, though he died several years ago, Adam and his family still think about often.

Gory details: Will this poop song go viral?

Gory Bateson and Dougie Mac chose what they call “the famous dog poop sculpture in Beverly Hills” to record this “public service announcement” — a musical reminder to pick up your dog’s poop.

The sculpture isn’t really of dog poop (though there is some resemblance), it’s just modern art.

Similarly, “Gory Bateson” isn’t really Gory Bateson – he’s a modern-day artistic creation, as well.

Gateson is the internet persona of Nick Trujillo, a California State University, Sacramento, communications professor  who, a la Spinal Tap, established an alter ego as the burned out former lead singer of the mythic band The Ethnogs.

It’s all aimed at exploring how viral media works — how popular sensations emerge within the new media landscape. Trujillo has posted more than 70 videos on YouTube under the guise of Gory in hopes of seeing the character go viral.

Gory said he was inspired after he happened by the silver sculpture ( “Erratic,” by artist Roxy Paine, on Santa Monica Boulevard, across from Beverly Hills City Hall). “It looked like dog poop to me. I had dogs for 25 years so I tend to see the world in dog terms.”

Gory points out that he was not paid by Beverly Hills to make the announcement, but undertook it on his own, with his fellow Ethnog, ”Dougie Mac” (who’s really Dr. Bob Krizek, a professor of communication at St. Louis University.)

The song may be a fake public service announcement, performed by a made-up characters, in front of a sculpture that’s open to interpretation, but its message, Gory says, is real:

Pick up that poop.