Monday, August 31, 2009

The Scoop keeps growing!

Can you believe that I have had literally thousands of visits since launching earlier this summer? The best part is that so many of my readers return regularly and share my website with their friends.

I now have 800 followers on Twitter! Join the crowd there, of become one of my facebook fans to have my stories delivered right into your regular newsfeed. Please help me spread the word by posting to your facebook page or re-tweeting my tweets. Thanks for all the word of mouth support, and keep all the great tips coming to!

Four legged lifeguards

Check out these working dogs in Italy! They are trained to be lifeguards and are out there saving lives. The dogs are trained for two years before working the beaches with their human counterparts. The dogs are mostly Newfoundlands, Labradors, and Golden Retrievers, all natural swimmers. They are trained to notice signs of drowning and can even rescue a drowning person on their own. These dogs can pull up to three people at a time! Italy's National Civil Protection Agency runs the program with a league of 70 dogs.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Are you an eco-pet?

Does your person help you reduce your carbon pawprint? Chuppy, pictured here, and his person help collect trash from the beaches every Saturday. If you and your person are doing your part, enter this photo contest for the cutest eco-pet with Greenwala. You could win a $250 gift card to Petco--thats a lot of new toys!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Remembering the dogs of Katrina

Over 15,000 dogs were rescued after Hurricane Katrina
hit New Orleans 4 years ago. Only 3,000 have been reuinted
with their original owners. Almost all of the rest were placed
with new families, but for some, their original pack is still
looking for them and fighting to get them back. This struggle
has been profiled in a new documentary, "Mine."

There isn't really a bad guy here--the folk that left their dogs
behind did what they had to do to save their lives. At the time,
the rescue efforts would not allow people to bring their pets.
I am sure most of these folks consider it one of the most worst
things they had to do throughout this tragedy.
The people that rescued the dogs thought that they lost their
original pack for good, and wanted to give the dogs a new life.

It is a difficult and sad situation for the humans involved, but the
hidden blessing is that these dogs have lots of people that love them.

I have posted the trailer for the documentary, "Mine" but I will
warn you it is very sad. You can also read the MSNBC article about the

The strays of Moscow

The very first story I wrote was about the strays of Moscow that have learned to ride the subway. Apparently the strays of Moscow are pretty famous. has a great slideshow about these smart but homeless mutts getting by on the street. They estimate that 30,000 dogs live on the streets of Moscow, so they are a staple in the scenery. They have learned to ride the metro, and even wait for a green light to cross the street! Somehow they even survive the cold winters. Lots of them live in packs, but some have buddied up with a homeless human and work the begging circuit together. Check out the whole slideshow linked above--25 pictures of the city-savvy mutts!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Jake v. pack of cougars

Raymond Orr, who is 89 years old in people years, was in a car accident with his dog. He was hurt pretty bad and was stuck outside for two days. Luckily, his dog Jake was there to look out for him. When cougars (yes COUGARS) showed up, Jake fended them off to keep his person safe. Paramedics were a little skeptical when they heard the story, until they discovered cougar tracks all over the place. Jake is very brave!

Cougars were not on my list of the top 10 wildlife threats to dogs, but I am sure Jake thought they were the number one threat!

[Image courtesy of PhotoBucket]

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What type of pet owner are you?

David Blouin, a cultural sociologist at Indiana University South Bend decided to study the relationships that people have with their pets. He found that pet owners fall into three categories: humanist, protectionist, and dominionist. The humanists treat their dogs like four legged people, protectionists place a high value on animals generally, not just as pets, and the dominionists view animals as less important but useful for working purposes.

Blouin also found that a dogs place in your life can change with a major change in your life, like having human children. People treat their dogs differently based on lots of factors. For example, people living in rural areas where dogs often roam freely outside are more inclined to be dominionists. Empty-nesters may treat their dog like a surrogate child, being humanists.

What category do you fall into? I think my person is a protectionist because she shows me and other animals a lot of respect, but she doesn't try to dress me. I think all three are ok--there are lots of ways to love a dog!

[Image courtesy of PhotoBucket]

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What are you hiding?

Some dogs fall for it every time--the fake-out-ball-throw. But some catch on quick. Now science tells us why! Since dogs have evolved with humans, we are especially perceptive of human cues of deception. Our people always know where the food is hidden, so some dogs manage to figure it out even when you are trying to fool us!

Wags to tipster Shep for the story!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Top 10 dog-safe cars

Kelly Blue Book has teamed up with Bark Buckle Up
to rate the top 10 safest cars for dogs. They looked
for things like A/C in the rear, D-rings to tether pups
and crates, and side air bags. Back up cameras also
prevent dogs from being run over when you are in reverse.
Kia Borrego and Subaru Tribeca topped the list, but there
are 8 more to choose from. So, if you are considering taking
advantage of the cash for clunkers program, be sure to pick
a new ride that is safe for your dog too!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Saving $ at the vet

ABC 6 News in Philadelphia's "Saving with 6" has some great tips on saving money on veterinary care during tough economic times, but some warnings too. Skipping vaccines could cost you big time if your dog gets sick. Heartworm prevention cost just $100 a year, but if your dog gets the potentially deadly worm, treatment could run you $700. Same goes for flea and tick control. Another great tip is keeping your dog lean--as obesity is the leading driver of health costs.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wear your thunderwear!

Thunder doesn't really bother me, but a lot of my dog friends get really nervous during storms. What can you do? It is important not to scold your pup because that wont help at all!

MSNBC has a great article about why some dogs get scared, and strategies you can try to help ease their anxiety. The article also talks about the science behind the fear may be about more than just noise--the drop in barometric pressure and increase in static electricity can be uncomfortable for you dog. Some of the solutions include "thunderwear" for your dog--snug and comforting unitards (aka swaddling), anti-static capes, or earmuffs. Click here to read a review of the storm defender anti-static cape. You can also play loud music or the TV during the storm to help drown out the thunder.

It sure doesn't sound like there are any silver-bullet solutions for dealing with this but if your dog has anxiety over stormy weather, you are probably ready to try anything. Like $60 capes.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pack of small dogs on their way to Baltimore

Last week, I hope you read the great article about the "underground railroad for dogs." Baltimore's Humane Society is an example of this movement. They recently arranged for the transfer of 31 dogs from a rural shelter in Tennessee, where the pups were scheduled to be euthanized. The transfer was largely of small breed dogs and mutts, which are more popular in northern states and in cities.

It is so great that shelters around the country are working together to find forever homes for these dogs. Wags to the Baltimore Humane Society for their new initiative to rescue dogs from overcrowded rural shelters in the south.

Woah, Mama!

Terrie, the 4-year old Rottweiler in England just gave birth to 18 puppies! Woah, Mama!

Her person said she was huge when she was pregnant, but never expected a litter twice the normal size. Unfortunately 2 of the pups did not make it, but the remaining 16 are healthy so far. Feeding may be complicated, as Mama Terrie has just 10 nipples. Take turns kids!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Flying dogs to safety

Jeff Bennett is no ordinary pilot. A lifetime dog-lover, he is now flying them to safety. Bennett is a volunteer for Pilots N Paws, an organization that connects pilots around the country with overcrowded shelters in need of help transporting dogs to places with extra space. It costs him a few hundred dollars per trip, but that is a small price to pay for saving the lives of these pups. Bennett has saved 86 dogs so far and has no plans to ground his plane anytime soon.

You don't have have to have a plane to help transport dogs. There are dog transport networks all over the country that might need help with a just a 2-hour leg in a car transport.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Texas to Miami, and back again

Sunshine was from adopted from the Texas SPCA, so how did she end up Miami? We will never know. What we do know is that Sunshine was lost 2 months ago, and turned up 1,000 miles away. Some nice people found her looking sick and dirty on a street corner. They brought her home and gave her a bath. They decided to check her for a microchip, and the lucky girl had one! She just arrived back in Texas, and they are planning on having a party for her.

Rest in Peace Gibson

Gibson, the current record holder for the "World's Tallest Dog" sadly passed away this week. But lets reflect on what made him so notable. He was 43 inches at his shoulders, and over 7 feet tall when standing on his hind legs. At 180 pounds, he had quite an appetite too--eating 8-10 cups of kibble and over 2 pounds of wet food every day! That makes for one big dog!

Gibson suffered from bone cancer, and had to have one of his front legs amputated earlier this year. His people have set up a memorial fund for Gibson that is intended to raise awareness of canine cancer.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Puppies Behind Bars helps inmates, veterans

Puppies Behind Bars is a great program that allows inmates to train puppies to be service animals. The dogs get the chance to help the people in prison learn about responsibility along the way. A lot of what I read about service dogs doesn't tell this part of the story. Training a puppy to become a service dog is a lot of work, and it is very rewarding for a family doing it, but it is amazing that this work can also help to rehabilitate prisoners.

This story on NPR tells the whole story: from the founder of Puppies Behind Bars, a former inmate trainer that now works for Puppies Behind Bars, and a veteran that now has a service dog that is a graduate from Puppies Behind Bars. If you have time, click "listen" to hear the whole story--it is a 40 minute program on Fresh Air.

I first wrote about Puppies Behind Bars when one of their pups and his veteran were featured in the Wall Street Journal. Programs like this have been gaining attention and there is a bipartisan bill pending Congress that would fund a pilot program where the VA would partner with non-profit organizations like Puppies Behind Bars to provide service dogs to our veterans. Earlier this summer I wrote about Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) introducing this bill.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Training Tip Tuesday: FOCUS, Sponsored by Anytime K9

Hello my fellow canines. It's Riley with another tip for your human. I just learned this cool new trick called "focus." It was so easy to learn and the treats were awesome. All my human did was take a piece of yummy deliciousness and put it close to my nose. Once I smelled it I was hooked. Then she raised the tasty morsel to her eye. I looked at that treat the whole way. She said "focus" as she did it and I just kept on staring. Well, I thought, "you can't get any easier than that, follow the treat, get the treat, simple." Little did I know there was a little more involved because the next time we tried this game she took the treat from my nose out to the side of her head. She said "focus". Well of course I did not let the treat out of my sight but for some reason she didn't give it to me. So I stared harder and harder at the scrumptious bit but that did not work either. Finally I looked her right in the eye to make sure she was paying attention, and she said "good boy" and gave me the treat. Well, you can imagine my surprise. As it turns out, I get the food when I look at her, Not when I look at the treat. Go figure. Pass the news around.

CEO (Canine of Extraordinary Obedience.
AnytimeK9, LLC

PS: If you live in the DC or NYC area and are interested in training classed or private lessons by Anytime K9, please visit our website. Be sure to tell them that Scoop sent you

Helping dogs through acupuncture

You can help your dog's struggling health with treatments other than drugs or surgery. National Geographic has a short video about the emerging trend of alternative medicine for dogs, including acupuncture. Acupuncture shows a lot of promise for these dogs suffering from all kinds of ailments, from nerve damage to allergies. Don't expect results overnight, but the proof is in the pudding for these dogs on the mend thanks to their veterinary acupuncturists.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Working dogs in NYC

You can usually count on dogs to lighten the mood, but this dog is helping his person get on stage to make people laugh.

Comedian Brian Fischler recently received a dog from Guiding Eyes for the Blind. The organization spent a lot of time training the pup to work in among all the craziness in New York City. With his guide dog, Brian can now easily navigate the city and live a more normal life. His pup even sits on stage with him for his stand up comic routines!

The other good news in the story is that the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan has donated the use of some of its space to allow Guiding Eyes for the Blind to train more working dogs to be city-savvy.

Guiding Eyes and Brian even made it onto the Today Show!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Vick: "I blame myself"....Now make it right.

Lots of people have been asking me what I think about Michael Vick now that he has been accepted back into the world of professional football. My person taught me "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." But I sure don't like the guy.

I have been closely following what the President of the Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle, has been saying. Last week he released a statement that read: "Michael Vick admits that what he did to dogs was cruel and barbaric, but now that he has served his time, he wants to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. He has pledged to make a long-term commitment to participate in our community-based outreach programs to steer inner-city youth away from dogfighting." I sure hope he delivers on that promise. I am skeptical, but dogfighting is such a big problem that it needs big names to combat it.

Vick appeared tonight on CBS's 60 Minutes. He said "I blame myself" but he sounds mostly upset about how it negatively impacted his career and doesn't completely understand how horrific his actions were. He says that he is ready to be judged now on his community work, and states that he now cares about animals...and is a living example of "what not to do." We stand ready to judge, not just on what he does this year, but after his NFL contracts are renewed years down the road.

HSUS's Pacelle also appeared on the show and made it clear that the HSUS would be holding his feet to the fire and would not let Vick use them just for "image rehabilitation." Watch the video or read the article here.

HSUS already has a very active campaign to combat dogfighting with inner-city youth.
The Pit Bull Training Team (PBTT) helps youth channel their competitive
interest in dogs into constructive activities that include positive reinforcement and agility training. Click here to see an adorable slideshow of the community dog ambassadors. This is progress, but so much more needs to be done.

I won't be rooting for the Eagles this year, but will be watching Michael Vick's actions off the field. I hope all this attention will at least make a difference for the dogs abused for sport by criminals every day.

Firefighter is a hero to dogs

Lots of wags go out to this very special North Carolina firefighter, Jeff Clark, who has shown a knack for rescuing dogs. Ten years ago he rescued this doberman from a burning building. You can see him pictured here with the dog, who is returing the favor with some special kisses.

Earlier this week, Clark showed up at house fire where the owner was outside with the mama dog, but the puppies were stuck inside--Oh no! Clark said the pups were making some noise so it wasn't too hard to find them. Clark, like most good firemen, chalks it up to the hard work of his team and the fact that he was just doing his job. But in the dog world, we consider him a hero.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The economy goes to the dogs (in a good way)

Recently I have read a lot about the increase in dogs ending up in shelters because of the economy. But there is some good news: for the 76 million dogs still in US homes, lots are still getting good treatment. The pet industry is apparently "recession-proof."

This article in the Christian Science Monitor calls it the Dog Revolution-a change in the way Americans looks at their dogs. We are no longer just pets, but family members. From doggie daycare, to pet airways, to organic food, to pet physical therapy, the industry is booming. So I guess means dogs are doing their part to stimulate the economy! Do check out the whole article, which gives an interesting history of the economy of dogs.

Wags to my friend Shep in Virginia for the great tip!!

Daizy's 10 months on the road

Daizy's family had to put her in boarding while they were doing major home repairs in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. It sounds like Daizy just did not like the kennel so much, so she escaped, but did not find her way home.

It turns out she had been hiding in an area of overgrown brush by the electrical towers a mile from the kennel. Daizy had lost 14 pounds and was covered in fleas and ticks when she was found 10 months after her escape. But she was happy to be home! It sounds like her family was pretty happy to have her back too.

Check out the whole story here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Seattle makes the cut of "Top 10 Dog Cities"

Thinking of moving but wondering if your destination is pet friendly? Well, check out MSNBC's list of the top 10 dog friendly cities:

1) San Diego
2) Chicago
3) Seattle
4) New York
5) Alexandria, VA
6) Portland, OR
7) San Francisco
8) South Lake Tahoe
9) Los Angeles
10) Boston

Check out the whole story to learn about the doggie hot-spots and special events in each city!

I am very happy that Seattle is on the list, because three of my dog-family members just moved there. Wags to Kramer, Lucy, and Madison--I hope you are having fun in your new home!

Crafting for your pooch

Do you have some free time to kill this summer? Well, Martha Stewart, who recently expanded her enterprise into the pet-industry, has some crafty tips for you. Check out her website to learn how to make the bowls pictured here, collapsable travel bowls, customized poop bag holders, and more fund stuff to pamper your pooch.

And remember, us dogs don't really care if your crafts don't come out looking just like Martha's....we love the attention no matter what.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

US Justice Department Recognizes Best Friends

There is always lots of good news coming from the good folks at Best Friends Animal Society. Because of their amazing work in rehabilitating the dogs seized from Michael Vick's dogfighting eneterprise, the US Justice Department's Organized Crime Task Force has recognized their work. They recently received the "2009 Asset Forfeiture National Award" from the Justice Department for “outstanding work with the dogs on the Bad Newz Kennels (the Michael Vick case).”

Best Friends hope to raise awareness about so-called "bully breeds" like pit bulls. Just because some of them are exploited by criminals, people shouldn't discriminate against the breed. Even dogs that were forced into the fighting ring can be rehabilitated--That is why Best Friends calls them "Vicktory dogs." Halle, a dog seized in the Vick case just found her forever home. She is pictured here being a cuddlebug with her buddy Tacoma. Click the link for more on her story and pictures.

Congrats to Best Friends Animal Society for being recognized, and wags to Halle's new adopters for giving her the chance she deserves!

The 26 year old dog!

Max, a terrier mix, just turned 26 years old! That means that he was born in 1983..can you believe that? What makes it even crazier is that is 182 in dog years! Max is in surprisingly good health for his age--with cataracts just setting in and some arthritis.

The lucky guy got to enjoy a cream cheese and peanut butter cake for his birthday.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Day

We aren't all perfect--you humans aren't either! Some dogs that end up in shelters have some problems that make them harder to place in forever homes. But these aren't problems that make them bad pets, they just might not live up to your image of the perfect pet. But these pets often have compelling stories that make adoption that much more rewarding.

Some may have a disability--but if you have been following my blog at all you know that disabled dogs have a lot to give back! Some are blind or deaf, but these things can be overcome with some patience. Some have treatable diseases that the rescue may pay for if you take the pet into your home. Did you know that black dogs are often difficult to place? Read my earlier post about that here. Some are just seniors, and there is nothing wrong with that!

That is why today, August 12 is "Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Day."

Pet Adoption

[Wags to Beth for the Tip!]

Check out this new resource:, which aims to raise awareness about the danger of leaving your dog in a hot car. Did you know that even if it is only 82 degrees outside, a closed car can quickly heat up to 109 degrees? Even if the windows are cracked on an 88 degree day, that still means 105 degrees in the car--Yikes!

This is a project started by the United Animal Nations, which offers other great resources for handling pets during a crisis--natural or manmade.

MyDogIsCool also has a fun photo contest that you might want to check out...or enter yourself!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Training Tip Tuesday: Barking, Sponsored by Anytime K9

Hello my canine companions. It's Riley with another tip for your human. How to stop us from barking is something that many two-legged pack members have tried to do. What they don't realize is that they can't. We bark. That's what we do. The trick is to teach us the appropriate time to bark. Yes we should let our people know when there is someone lurking around the door, but sometimes we need to just keep our big muzzles shut!

Us dogs bark for various reasons. We bark because were excited. We bark because were bored. We bark because were territorial. We bark because were fearful or bossy. Heck sometimes we even bark because we learned that it gets us things from our humans. There are so many reasons we bark. The trick is to figure out why we are barking. I used to bark to protect my territory. I barked mainly when people came into our house. I couldn't control myself and I would go nuts whenever someone came to visit. My person started making me go to a certain place where I had to sit and stay and wait until the people came in and then said hello to me. She called it my"greeting spot" and whenever I was in this place I had to sit quietly no matter how much I wanted to bark. She mentioned something about her being the pack leader and only she, not me would, determine who was allowed into the pack. I began to welcome the arrival of visitors. The doorbell would ring and I would trot right over to my "greeting spot". Once the humans came in they would give me love and treats. The only thing left to do was sit around and listen to them barking at each other all night, except I think they call it talking. A happy ending once again.

CEO (Canine of Extrodinary Obedience)

PS: If you live in the DC or NYC area and are interested in training classed or private lessons by Anytime K9, please visit our website. Be sure to tell them that Scoop sent you!

Dog licks cure brain aneurysm (sort of)

Sometimes dogs just "know" when something is wrong. Take the case of hospice nurse Mary Phillips. She had a terrible headache and was lying on the floor in her office. She resisted pleas from coworkers wanting her to get checked at a hospital. When a coworker's dog, Jacqee-Pierre, made her way to the office, she started licking Mary's temple and acting nervously.

Being in hospice care, she knew that sometimes dogs and cats do things like this when something is terribly wrong, almost predicting death. Mary decided to go to the hospital, and it turned out that she had a walnut sized brain aneurysm. Yikes!

After two months, Mary is back at work. She wasn't a dog person before, but it sounds like she is a convert, and she now welcome's Jacquee-Pierre's visits to her office.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Oreo survives 6-story fall

A very mean person threw his dog Oreo off of the roof of a 6-story building. He is going to jail, but Oreo is a survivor! She has some serious injuries--including 2 broken legs and a bruised lung--but is expected to make a full recovery. She is already walking on her own and eating normal food. She cannot be adopted yet because she is still healing, but the shelter has received an outpouring of support and interest in her, so she shouldn't have trouble finding a good home.

A shelter worker commented that she is just one of the special dogs in need of help--so hopefully this outpouring of interest will help lots of dogs! Remember, we all have stories, but not everyone can get in the paper.

"Building Fido's Family Tree"

If you liked yesterday's post about the origin of dogs, check out this awesome audio slideshow about the study from the National Science Foundation that offers some neat information about the study, along with some great pictures of the special dogs they encountered along the way. Humans sure can learn a lot by studying the origin of dogs!

You want me on the helicopter? No way!

Gipsy was out hiking with her person when he sprained his ankle. To make things worse they were on a precarious ridge, and the weather was getting ugly. That might have been the scariest part for him, but Gipsy was the one who got scared when help arrived. When the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue’s helicopter arrived, it sounds like Gipsy was pretty spooked. Her person was put in the rescue basket, and they tried to put Gipsy in the attached bag--but she did not like that idea so much. Her person did not want to leave her below, so they waited until got some ropes to harness her into the basket. Even that didn't go so well at first, but they managed to get her tied up and get her to safety. Poor girl was just scared of the helecopter, but it sounds like she was one happy pup once it was all over.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Where do dogs come from?

Lots of individual dogs come from shelters or breeders, but what is the heritage of the modern dog?

Researchers now believe that domesticated dogs originally descended from wolves in northern Africa. The lead scientist--Adam Boyko-- studied the DNA from all kinds of dogs, but found that "village dogs"--semi feral dogs living near human settlements--had the most genetic diversity. High genetic diversity means that they are near the place of origin. The DNA of dogs in other areas of Africa was less diverse--similar to what you might find in an American shelter-meaning that they were mixes of modern breeds.

The really interesting thing is that so-called "African" dogs, like Rhodesian ridgebacks, don't actually have African ancestry.

National Geographic's article about this discovery also provides a little backstory--Researchers formerly seemed convinced that dogs originated in East Asia. Now it is not so clear. Boyko told National Geographic that these studies could help us understand ancient human migration patterns...because where people go, dogs have usually followed!

[Wags to Lisa in Georgia for the tip!!]

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The "underground railroad for dogs"

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently had a great article about how so many rescue dogs end up in the Northeast of the US. Poverty, lack of spay and neuter education, a large number of stray dogs, and underfunded shelters contribute to the numbers of dogs without homes in southern states. West virginia alone took in over 100,000 dogs, half of which had to be destroyed. Lots of the folks that work at these shelters are doing the best they can with the limited resources they have, but it still is not enough.

People dedicated to helping these dogs are working across state lines and have set up what has been unofficially called the "underground railroad for dogs." The internet has helped these folks organize elaborate transportation networks to bring these pups up to the northeast to place them in shelters with more public and private support, or in foster homes.

I encourage you to check out the whole is a worthwhile read about how all of this works with the help of dedicated volunteers. There may be some ways you can help that you didn't know about--like helping transport a dog for just a portion of his trip north. Could you spare just a half a day to help save a dog's life? I promise you will feel good about it.

I was at the "end of the line" at a shelter in North Carolina. Thankfully, the folks at Homeward Trails Animal Rescue helped coordinate my transport to Virginia. I am really thankful to the people that helped me find my way.

[Image courtesy of PhotoBucket]

Friday, August 7, 2009

It is what is on the inside that counts

This poor guy, ET, has been called Britain's Ugliest Mutt. He has been stuck in a shelter for three months because everyone seems to judge him on his looks. The folks at the shelter say that he has a great personality and temperment, but just doesn't look like most dogs. In fact, one shelter worker even said that ET probably thinks that the other dogs are funny looking!

ET would be great for someone who has allergies or doesn't like vacuuming because he is practically hairless. Though he does require suntan lotion in the summer!

I think that ET's unique looks make him extra special. Either way, it is what is on the inside that counts.

I am not THAT stinky

Dogs make great soldiers and police officers, in fact, trained dogs are one of the most effective bomb detection systems available. But Iraqi soldiers are hesitant to add them to their ranks. In their culture, dogs are considered dirty, so the Iraqis are not keen on offering the affection that bomb sniffing dogs work for. Americans and Iraqis are working together to help the Iraqi police develop a more general acceptance of dogs. Read or listen to this NPR story on progress that is being made with this project.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Helping dogs with seizures

Did you know that an estimated 4 million dogs in the US suffer from seizures? Neither did I, but tipster Holly (pictured right), found me on twitter and emailed me at to tell me about some research that is going on in the San Francisco Bay Area that could help out these dogs. Seizures sure sounds scary, and I bet it is scary for their people too! Glad to hear that vets and scientist are working towards solutions.

Wags to Holly for the tip!

View more news videos at:

Snuggies for dogs. Seriously.

If you stay up late you probably have seen the infomercial for the Snuggie--the blanket with sleeves. Snuggies now have a cult-like following. To capitalize on this popularity, the creators designed a Snuggie for dogs. Seriously.

Creators said that Snuggie owners would no longer have to deal with "jealous glances" from their dog who was Snuggie-less. They are already for sale online, and will hit the stores next month. In case you were wondering, I will not be getting one.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What being best buds is all about

Dogs sure know how to help each other out. Bonnie and Clyde are best buds, but their relationship is extra special. Clyde is blind, and very shy and anxious on his own. When Bonnie is with him, he has a lot more confidence and you might not even know he was blind!

They are currently at the Meadowgreen Rescue Centre in England, and looking for a home. The nice people at Meadowgreen will only put them in a home where they can be together--the way it should be.

The picture I have of them isn't great, so Click here for a great video of Bonnie and Clyde from BBC news.

UPDATE: Bonnie and Clyde have been adopted! They were placed together in a country home that has other rescue dogs for them to hang with.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Popeye the Dog

Popeye is an extra special two legged pooch
with an amazing spirit. He has plenty of fun
on his two legs and makes wheelchairs look
fun too! He runs around and plays just like any
other member of the pack. Plus he just seems like
a happy little guy!

Can you believe he doesn't have a forever home? Go
to his website if you are interested in adopting him,
or if you just want to see more pictures and read about
his whole story.

Watch the video (My person told me to warn you that
you might get teary eyed):

UPDATE: Video is loading slowly for some people...if you
are having trouble, try watching it here.

Training Tip Tuesday: JUMPING, Sponsored by Anytime K9

My name is Riley and I am a 5-year-old chocolate Labrador Retriever. I used to jump on my human because I really wanted to get her attention especially when she first came home. I jumped so she would look at me and pet me and maybe even throw the ball. Sometimes I even jumped to demand she acknowledge me.

Of course we dogs know these are the reasons we jump, but most people don’t know that. Well do you know what she did? She did just the opposite of what I wanted. Every time I jumped on her she turned away and crossed her arms. She would not even look at me. So, I would walk around to see her face and when I jumped she turned away again. Well of course I became frustrated and barked at her, “hey don’t you see I want you to play!” but she just ignored me. I was so upset that I sat down and do you know what happened next? For some reason she turned around and pet me. Just like that! Well I got so excited that I tried to jump up and show her how much I loved her. Again, she turned around and ignored me.

After a few times I began to realize that when I was calm and not jumping she would look at me, pet me, and sometimes even throw my ball. It was pretty amazing!

My friend Lincoln’s human tried to do the same to him but he kept on jumping anyway. Those shepards are pretty persistent. Finally his human put on his leash and stepped on it to prevent him from jumping. He did not realize this at the time and continued to try and jump until he was pooped. He finally sat down and just then she looked at him and told him what a good boy he was. How cool is that?! My person tells all of her friends to ignore me if I jump. When I sit calmly in front of them they give me attention and sometimes I even get a treat!

Life is good when you don’t jump on your human. Spread the word.


CEO (Canine of Extraordinary Obedience)

AnytimeK9, LLC

PS: If you live in the DC or NYC area and are interested in training classed or private lessons by Anytime K9, please visit our website. Be sure to tell them that Scoop sent you!

Piglets & puppies

Tequila, a Rottweiler /pit bull mix was already a new mom. Then these piglets showed up asking for help! Now she is nursing her pups and the piglets. The amazing part is that until recently, Tequila was helping her person hunt wild pigs! But now it looks like she is taking extra special care of these little suckers.

Read the article--where there is also a link to an adorable video.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Beach Dogs just released its list of the top 10 beaches for dogs in the US. Check out the full list here, along with some great photos of dogs enjoying the beach!

This is good to know because not all beaches are dog friendly. Recently, Cape May police started ticketing folks for having their dogs off leash on the beach. Always check the local beach rules before bringing your pup avoid the hassle, and the ticket.

Man-dog athletic teams

This man-dog duo is competing in the Doggy Dash, a portion of the NYC Triathlon. Spencer, an energetic coonhound, was in a shelter for 7 months before being adopted by Oliver Rajic. Since adopting Spencer, Oliver has lost 20 pounds thanks to his regular runs with Spencer.

The Doggy Dash, sponsored by Iams, is a 5 mile course where human-dog teams run tandem. All dogs are checked by veterinary staff beforehand to make sure they are healthy enough to run. But I am sure Spencer is just fine, because they train 4 days a week!

Read more about the other Doggy Dash competitors--including pictures of them all!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Introducing Anytime K9

It took me a while to get adopted because I was not always on my best behavior--but no one ever taught me what that meant! When my person adopted me, she hired a trainer, Tonia Woods-Wilson, founder and CEO of AnytimeK9, to help me control my enthusiasm. Tonia really knows dogs, and she is graduate of the Animal Behavior College. Just goes to show that just because a shelter dog isn't perfect, it might be because no one ever taught them the right way to behave.

I am excited to announce that Tonia and I are working together again! Tonia, my first sponsor, will be a guest contributor to the Scoop, writing a column called "Training Tip Tuesdays."

Tune in weekly for tips, or if you need some extra help and live in the DC or NYC areas, you can sign up for training with Toni personally. She does private training and classes. Be sure to tell her that Scoop sent you!

[If you are interested in sponsoring the Scoop or advertising your business, email me at]

Dogs at church? Why not?

Rachel Bickford is a one-time veterinary hopeful turned pastor. Faced with lagging attendance at her church, she decided to try something new--Woof n' Worship--where she invited church members to bring their dogs along to the service. It was a tail-wagging success! Sure sounds like a good opportunity for people and dogs to socialize. They have biscuits and tennis balls in the church yard afterwards-sounds like fun to me. She even has a new church member that howls along to Amazing Grace!

Rachel wrote an article for telling others about her idea's success, so maybe others to try it too.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Contact lenses for pet cataracts

A German company is developing a new treatment for dogs and other animals with severe cataracts: contact lenses! The lenses come in different sizes to treat everything from cats to rhinos. I haven't been able find info on exactly how this solves cataracts, but the idea is sure taking off, causing a major expansion at S & V Technologies. Vets need special training to perform the procedure, so it is not widely available yet. But S & V offers training for vets around the world.

[Image courtesy of PhotoBucket]

A long way from home

Muffy was lost from her home in Australia nine years ago. Her family had thought she was long gone, until a shelter 1,200 miles away gave them a call. Muffy had been microchipped, so after she was discovered, the shelter folks were able to track down her family. Muffy is recovering in an animal hospital right now, but is getting on a plane soon to be reunited with her family. I bet they will be all wags when she finally makes it home!

Blog Archive