I don't know about you, but I donate to so many animal organizations that I could wallpaper my house with all the calendars they send. Here, to kick off the New Year: the PETA calendar for 2007. I flipped to my birthday month, September, and found a ...beaver! Little Puff, whose beaver family was killed by a mean person who destroyed their dam. Suggestion: If you're overloaded with critter calendars, take some to a daycare center so the kids can look at the pictures and learn their numbers.
It's Jan. 3, for Dog show USA, the online dog show.
From the website:
Is it your pup's year to be Top Dog? Enter your pooch pal in Dog Show USA - the world's largest dog show, and leave those pedigree papers at home! Purebred and mixed breeds alike are welcome in our online arena. Just mail in or upload photos or video of your dog at his most dapper, and you could win some pretty spectacular prizes including a trip for 2 to the National Dog Show and a year's food supply from Purina.
Click here for more information.
You'll find it in the New York Times business section today, in a story headlined: Japan, Home of the Cute and Inbred Dog. What follows is a nausating recitation of how "rampant inbreeding" for appearance and size (the tinier, the better - or worse, depending on your perspective) is causing widespread genetic defects in dogs, and thus untold suffering and unnecessary death.
As I've said before, when we domesticated the ancestral wolf, we made a deal: You protect and work for us, we'll feed and care for you. When humans violate that compact for the sake of vanity, they are not holding up their end of the bargain.
Click here to read the story and work up a real head of steam.
Many people found many reasons to like President Gerald Ford, who died Tuesday at 93. Here's another: He and his family kept pets in the White House. They had a miniature sealpoint Siamese cat named Shan, and a golden retriever named Liberty who produced a litter of puppies in the First Family's residence.
A fascinating source for great stuff about the nation's FIrst Critters is the website of the Presidential Pet Museum in Lothian, MD (who knew such a thing existed)? Turns out that all have kept pets but three: Millard Fillmore, Chester A. Arthur and Franklin Pierce.
Assemble the rest of the White House menagerie and you've got a virtual Noah's Ark. In addition to the cats, dogs, birds and barnyard animals you'd expect through history, there was wildlife like Teddy Roosevelt's badger, jungle beasts like James Buchanan's elephants, and oddities like John Qunicy Adams's silkworms.
Among the most prolific keepers of creatures: George Washington, who had a huge pack of hounds, and JKF, who had lambs, ponies, parakeets and Pushinka, the offspring of a Soviet "space dog," given to daughter Caroline by Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschchev "as a peace offering after the Cuban Missile Crisis," according to the museum site.
This is Rocky, a 3-year-old male Rottweiler found roaming the streets. He loves to be cuddled, according to shelter staff, enjoys playing tug-of-war with his rope toys, and gets along well with other dogs. He's got hip dysplasia and will eventually need surgery.
Socks and Oreo are 2-year-old brothers: terrier mixes. They were abandoned and obviously were abused, said shelter staff. They sleep, eat and play together, and must be adopted together because they are so attached to one another. They're high-energy, sweet and affectionate.
Mickey is a "very sweet and petite'' 3-year-old rat terrier mix, says the staff. His owners surrendered him because they were having surgery and couldn't take care of him. Mickey gets along well with other animals and is a great companion.
Go to humanesocietymiami.org for adoption information.
Good morning. I hope you're recovering from whatever celebratory excesses you committed this holiday weekend. I also hope you thoroughly enjoyed committing them.
Please take a look at page 8 in the A section of today's Miami Herald. There you'll find the 12 Dogs of Christmas poster, a glossy version of which was to have been included in yesterday's paper but, for reasons too complicated to explain, did not. You can also print it out from the MiamiHerald.com website. I'm sorry that the original plan didn't work out as planned; I'll let you know if/when/how the glossy version will be available.
Thanks to everyone for your support of the project. I can tell you that from e-mail and calls I've received, it accomplished its goal: to raise awareness of shelter animals as wonderful pets.
These dogs have been at the Humane Society of Greater Miami/Adopt A Pet for a very long time: one-two years. They REALLY deserve loving "forever'' homes. Please read these descriptions by shelter personnel, and consider adopting one of them.
From the top: Katya is a 4-year-old Labrador Retriever mix with diabetes. Her condition is easily managed with a special diet and shots twice daily.
Tucker, a 6-year-old German Shepherd mix. "He is very sweet and walks great on a leash. He gets along well with other dogs and he would do great in a home with children. He is often used to assist Humane Society educators in schools because of his sweet and gentle disposition. Everyone loves Tucker.''
Zana, a 2-year-old female German Shepherd/Great Dane mix. "Zana is a fun-loving, affectionate girl and she enjoys playing fetch. Zana is extremely picky about her dog and cat friends so she must go to a home where she is the only pet.''
I'll post more tomorrow.
To all critters, human and otherwise: We wish you a safe, peaceful, loving, meaningful holiday.
From Ellie and her critters (human and otherwise): Jake, Harley, Cowboy, Gracie, Moose, Shadow, C.C., Bart and Chaucer.
Last week, The Humane Society of the United States revealed that coats being advertised as "faux fur'' were in fact real. One line was the Sean John Hooded Snorkel Jacket: $237.99 at Macys.com. The jackets allegedly were made with imitation rabbit fur. But HSUS investigators found labels in them reading, "genuine raccoon fur."
Sean Combs just sent the following statement to HSUS. Good for him.
"I was completely unaware of the nature of this material, but as soon as we were alerted, the garments were pulled off the Macy's floor and website. I have instructed our outwear licensee to cease the production of any garments using this material immediately. I appreciate the tireless work that the Humane Society does and would like to thank them for bringing attention to this issue."