Posted October 23rd, 2008 by dogdude
Traveling by plane is rarely ever a pleasant experience for a dog. It is often confusing and frightening, and at worst it can be dangerous. The bottom line is that dogs should only be transported by plane if it is absolutely necessary, and not because you can’t bear to be without Fluffy for three weeks while you’re on vacation. This being said, when it really is necessary for your dog to fly, there are ways to make it as positive for him as possible.
First of all, spare no expense. Never try to cut costs when it comes to transporting your dog on a plane. This is not the time to look for a bargain. It may turn out that you spend more money for your dog’s plane travel than for your own—but it can be worth it if it means a safe and stress-free trip for your pet. Also, you need to plan your dog’s trip as far in advance as possible to make sure that all the details are covered.
Consider a pet travel agent. In fact, don’t just consider it, seriously consider it! A reputable pet travel agency will help you plan your dog’s plane travel from beginning to end. They will know details about pet plane travel that you hadn’t even thought of. They will also have sound advice about what you need to do before your dog ever gets on the plane, and what to do once your dog’s plane lands. What these people know and the connections they have can be invaluable to you. There is an organization called Independent Pet and Animal Transportation Association International that has members who are professionals dedicated to ensuring safe plane travel for pets. These include pet travel agencies, veterinarians, and kennel owners. Their website address is http://www.ipata.com, and it is a great place to start for finding people that can help you transport your dog by plane.
You know your dog better than anyone, and you need to use this knowledge to figure out how to make his trip as stress-free as possible. If your dog has a favorite toy, you might consider letting him travel with it, as long as it wouldn’t be dangerous to your dog in rough turbulence. If there is a blanket that your dog is used to sleeping on, you could put it on the bottom of the crate that he will be transported in. Along with this, you could also put in a pullover shirt that you’ve worn so that your dog will have your scent with him. Of course, you want to make sure that he has a sturdy, comfortable crate for traveling. None of these things are over the top—they are the least you can do to minimize your dog’s stress in an unfamiliar environment.
Take your dog to the vet no more than two weeks before his trip. If he’s current on his rabies shot, make sure you have the certificate. Get him his shot and certificate if he needs one. Have the vet give him a complete physical examination. If your pet has any health problems, you need to know about them and get treatment for them before he travels. It’s usually not a good idea to ask the vet for tranquilizers for your pet’s trip. Though tranquilizers may seem like a good idea at first, it really is better for your pet to be awake and alert during his trip so his health and welfare can be monitored properly. Of course, whether you are traveling within your own country or overseas, you need to know the laws about transporting a pet in the place where he’ll be going. Some states and most foreign countries have strict rules, often including quarantine.
Do everything that you can to ensure that your dog’s plane travel will be safe and as incident-free as possible, and not only will your dog be happier, so will you!
Posted October 22nd, 2008 by dogdude
C’mon…admit it. You’re crazy about your dog, and with that honor you are desperately trying to openly embrace the fact that sometimes Fido needs Fashion. Nothing evidences this fact more than walking into a Petco or another pet store in October.
You’ve seen the end caps filled with bright, tiny little Halloween costumes, spooky witch hats, darling fairy costumes, some you may even envision looking good on yourself.
Why do people do this? Is it because we feel it is our duty to make our pets feel they are part of our family at any length? Is it the thrill of dressing your pup in an outfit that he normally wouldn’t sport walking down the street? Let’s face it. When is the last time you saw a dog with red horns on the top of his head? Or how about a bright orange pumpkin with four legs?
Yes, you guessed correct, Devil and pumpkin pet costumes are the most popular choices of Halloween 2008. Witches, Princesses and Angels aren’t too far behind.
According to a study Wal-Mart conducted in 2007, 7% of dog lovers purchase Halloween costumes for their furry four legged friends. The number is expected to be even higher this year.
I wonder who will hold the doggy bag when the pups go “barking” for Halloween Tricks or Treats?
Posted October 16th, 2008 by dogdude
We’ve all seen it happen. Our once loyal and easy-going friends vanish into the deep, dark void known as parenthood. They look at you with exhaustion written on their faces, a hint of desperation in their eyes and dried puke on their clothing and insist that you can’t possibly understand the joys of parenting. From where I’m sitting, it doesn’t look that great. I can imagine that when you hold your own tiny newborn in your arms and gaze into those sweet eyes, the thrill and excitement you feel from knowing that another living creature’s fate rests in your hands is exhilarating, the sense of power intoxicating. But there is a cheaper, easier way to experience that sensation: Get a dog! Having a pet trumps having kids any day and here’s why:
1. VIRTUALLY PAINLESS
Here are the facts: puppies come from pet stores. Babies come from, well, not pet stores. Bringing a dog into your world is as simple as scoping out an ad in the paper or visiting a nearby pet store or animal shelter and handing over some cash. In case you haven’t heard, bringing a baby into the world is not so simple. Plus, as an added bonus, purchasing a puppy will not result in excessive weight gain, bloating, fatigue or nausea.
2. FREEDOM OF CHOICE
Let’s face it. Not all babies are created equal. To be quite honest, some babies are ugly. Worse, once they arrive, you don’t have the luxury of putting them back and waiting for a cuter version. With dogs, you’ve got your pick of the litter. Literally. Before ever bringing a dog into your home, you get to approve it that it lives up to your standards of attractiveness. And even if you weren’t blessed with the best genetic makeup, that shouldn’t hamper your ability to own the cutest dog in your neighborhood.
3. MORE COST-EFFECTIVE
Everyone always talks about how expensive it is to get a dog. You’ve got to pay for vaccinations, check-ups, neutering and so on. Sure, when you first buy a puppy, there are some required expenses, but I guarantee that in eighteen years, your dog isn’t going to expect you to pay for their higher education, nor will they demand a car on their sixteenth birthday or beg for spending money to go to the mall. They want you to feed them and hang out with them. That’s it. And that’s all they’re ever going to expect from you. In these difficult economic times, the financially responsible decision is to choose a dog over a child.
It’s a proven fact that dogs are cleaner than kids. I’m not sure who proved it but I feel in my heart that it’s true. With determination, you can have a puppy house-broken in two weeks. Kids take about two years, which means you, as the parent, are the one responsible for cleaning up their bodily functions. And sure, dogs do vomit from time to time (although it’s typically very rare) but they would never dream of doing it down the front of your shirt. In public, no less. And I have never once heard a dog owner complain about their canine coloring their walls or furniture with permanent marker.
5. LESS SUPERVISION
One word: kennel. Dogs don’t require constant supervision. You can leave for hours at a time without the slightest concern for your dog’s well being because he’s resting safely inside his kennel, plus you never have to worry about the hassles of finding and paying for a babysitter. And really, what is a crib if not a giant, open-roofed kennel? But just try to leave your kid in there while you run to the supermarket or head out to a movie and see how people react. Two words: Social Services.
6. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
Unlike kids, the older your dog gets, the deeper his love and commitment towards you grows. Dogs don’t go through hormonal teen years where they see you as the enemy. You have my guarantee that your dog will never scream in your face, slam the door and/or blast emo music from his bedroom. Dogs don’t talk back, blame you for all their problems in life or talk about your inadequacies to their therapists.
When kids come into the world, they can’t do anything for themselves. They are little squishy balls of nothingness. They don’t know how to walk, talk, eat, or go to the bathroom on their own. You have to teach them everything. Dogs are quite different. Even if you get a newborn puppy, it comes knowing how to walk, eat, and go to the bathroom (although it will be up to you to teach it where to go to the bathroom). It sleeps through the night, eats when you tell it to and has no qualms running around the yard for hours on end while you’re busy with something more important.
So if you’ve reached that uncertain crossroads in life and you’re wondering how to make your life more complete, make the obvious choice. Run, don’t walk, to the pet store! And maybe stop to pick up some birth control on the way…
Posted October 16th, 2008 by dogdude
Having a bad dog doesn’t necessarily mean that the dog is bad. The breed could have a bad reputation, or the breed isn’t right for the owner. Or, maybe the owner is not right for the dog. Then, of course, sometimes “bad dog” means just that. Celebrities are just like the rest of us when it comes to dogs. Some like the ‘bad’ breeds, and some just have bad dogs.
“Best” and “Worst” lists are not uncommon in the celebrity world; so let me present my list of the 5 Worst Celebrity Dogs.
1. Purse Dogs - Topping my list is any breed of purse dog, owned by a myriad of celebrities. Sure, they are cute, and there’s a certain “aw” factor, but dogs are dogs. They’re not accessories. No matter what their size, they’re not on this planet to make celebrities look good. Did you know that not long ago paparazzi caught Paris Hilton without a purse pup, and she tried to buy one just to make the photos cuter? Luckily the pet store refused to sell her the dog. Check the bottom of your bag, Paris. There may be a pup in there you forgot about.
I’m not telling you to stay away from small dogs. Small dogs are great. Just get one because you want it for companionship, not because it’s the latest trend.
2. Chihuahuas owned by male celebrities - Adrien Brody and Brendan Fraser have both owned Chihuahuas. Chihuahuas are one of the least manly dogs out there. Yet, these manly men have owned them. I don’t know, there’s something odd about seeing a big strapping man with a little hyper dog.
3. Bulldogs - Did you know that Bulldogs are one of the most flatulent breeds of dogs? Maybe that’s why so many men have them. Adam Sandler loves bulldogs. He’s had Meatball, Matzoball, and now Babu. I know from experience just how gassy bulldogs are. We had a beautiful English Bulldog named Churchill when I was growing up. We’d be in the family room watching TV after supper, and the air would be suddenly filled with this horrible smell. My brother and I would blame my dad; my dad would blame the dog. We came to find out it really was the dog. Boy, those were some nasty farts.
4. Designer dogs - are hybrid pooches such as Morkies, Maltipoos, Puggles, Labradoodles – the list goes on and on. Again, there’s an “aw” factor associated with designer dogs just like with purse dogs. I don’t understand what all this crossbreeding is about. What’s wrong with a plain ol’ poodle? It seems that designer dogs can’t walk either. I’ve never seen Blake Lively’s Maltipoo on the ground. I’m not even sure she’s got a real dog. It looks like a stuffed toy.
5. German Shepherds - Coming in at number 5 is a real bad dog, Jennifer Lopez’s German Shepherd guard dog Floyd. On a flight to Los Angeles earlier this year, Floyd nipped at a flight attendant, resulting in a $5 million lawsuit against Lopez.
I feel sorry for the dogs of celebrities. Some of these poor animals are in the limelight almost as much as their famous owners. Like us, most celebrities choose their dogs for companionship. Because they are famous, their dogs are too, whether they like it or not.
Posted October 14th, 2008 by dogdude
When you’ve made that momentous decision to adopt a dog, your next step is to decide what kind of dog you want. There are a lot of different breeds to choose from, and which one you decide is best for you can depend on a lot of factors. One factor that you want to take into consideration is intelligence—your own intelligence as well as the dog’s intelligence.
Measuring how smart you are is probably pointless when it comes to the following list of dogs. They are wonderful breeds, but to own one you need a healthy self-image and a good sense of humor. Any one of these breeds can outsmart you on a regular basis. They can also bring you years of happiness and make you look good in front of your friends.
Here is the countdown:
10. Australian Cattle Dog – This dog has a daily agenda, and that is to get things done. This doesn’t mean that your Cattle Dog isn’t a loving pet; he surely is if you treat him right. What it means is that he thrives on working and has the brains and the drive to do the best job possible. Cater to this dog’s need to work and you have his loyalty and love for many years.
9. Rottweiler – Rottweilers are extremely loyal and protective. They are also very loving and undeniably intelligent. When you adopt a Rottweiler you get the muscle and the brains. Just be sure you have what it takes to keep up.
8. Papillon – The first things you think of when you see this butterfly-eared little canine are “cute” and “alert”. Both are good starts in describing this incredibly smart canine. Loyal, loving and full of energy, this little dynamo will entertain you with its antics and keep you constantly amazed at its intelligence. Try not to be intimidated.
7. Labrador Retriever – Intelligence simply shines from this dog’s eyes. Equally at home in field and hearth, this canine is tirelessly loyal and endlessly loving. These two traits could almost divert your attention from the fact that this dog has some serious brains—until it outsmarts you. You’ll swear it’s laughing. You’ll probably be right.
6. Shetland Sheepdog – Also called “Shelties”, these little dogs can be a bit shy with strangers at first. They have sweet dispositions, though, and a highly developed sense of loyalty to their families. Interact with one for a while and you’ll quickly notice how sharp they are.
5. Doberman Pinscher – Dobermans are affectionate and faithful with a keen intelligence that makes them stand out for more than just their sleek beauty. Take a stroll in the park with this dog and notice how much attention you get. Be careful, though; he can easily outrun you and frequently out-think you.
4. Golden Retriever – It is suspected that one reason this brainy canine is so sweet to humans is that it pities us for our inferior intelligence. Who cares! You would be hard pressed to ever meet a person who was unhappy with their Golden Retriever. These sweet, intelligent dogs can win over the grumpiest of people.
3. German Shepherd – Never underestimate German ingenuity, and never underestimate this dog! When the German Shepherd accepts you and loves you, you should feel honored. They are seriously smart dogs who deserve owners that take them seriously. When you adopt a German shepherd, there won’t be a day that goes by where you won’t be amazed at all he is capable of—including an abundance of love.
2. Poodle – You knew this breed had to be near the top. Poodles are bright, demanding, affectionate, manipulative, and entertaining – and you can’t help but love every fluffy inch of them. Own a poodle for a while and it won’t take you long to start questioning who is training
1. Border Collie – If you have ever seen a Border Collie in action then you know why this dog is arguably the smartest breed out there. You might think this makes them easy for anyone to train, but this isn’t necessarily so. Though loyal and loving, it is a strong-willed breed that will use its keen intelligence to match wits with you on a regular basis. If you have the time, energy, and fortitude for this brilliant and enthusiastic dog, you might be up to the challenge.
Plenty of dog owners will argue with this list and claim that their unlisted breed of dog is the smartest. And of course there are mixed breeds. The real point here is that to underestimate any dog’s intelligence can be a mistake. Have a little respect for how smart our canine friends are. You’ll find that the love and respect you get in return will be tenfold.
Posted October 9th, 2008 by dogdude
Ever tune into the Westminster Dog Show to catch sight of your favorite breed or breeds, and to get a glimpse at breeds you’ve never before seen? I do every year and usually end the night ohh’ing and ahh’ing over a few pooches I declare I must have. Of course, my current three dogs rule the house, the sofa and the bed, so I simply have no more room. Heck, there’s no longer room for me. But there’s definitely lots of room for incredible, rare and unique breeds, along with the ones we all know and love, in the world of dog. Here are ten breeds that easily make the “most unique” list, discussed here in no particular order other than moving from the hairless to the hairiest.
Xoloitzcuintil - Thank heavens I’m writing this because I wouldn’t have a clue how to pronounce this or its other name, Tepeizeuintli, but I could manage its more user friendly name, the “Mexican Hairless.” Widely kept in ancient Aztec settlements and prized for their healing and magical powers, this dog, which now comes in toy, miniature and standard sizes, and both as Hairless and Coated (with a full coat of short, sleek, glossy hair), the Xoloitzcuintil is one of the rarest and oldest breeds in the world. Although they don’t necessarily look that cuddly, they were used by the Aztecs as bed warmers. Ah well, to each his or her own, bed warmer that is. The breed is affectionate and intelligent and sensitive, and the dogs do demand a good deal of attention. They are not suited for cold climates. They are relatively inactive and are thus suited to apartment living which seems to be in line with their serving as fine bed warmers.
Peruvian Inca Orchid - This extremely rare and ancient breed originated in Peru in 750 A.D. Given it is a gifted sight hound, it was highly prized by the Inca Indians. The name derives from the dog having been kept in rooms with orchids – I’d sure love to be kept in rooms with orchids — and its skin is pinkish, rather like a delicate cymbidium. Like the Xoloitzcuintil, the breed comes in both a Hairless and Coated variety. This breed, which is deer-like in look and gait, is extremely sensitive and fragile, so it’s probably not a dog to use as a bed warmer nor would it be a good choice for first-time dog owners or families with very young children. The dogs do not do well in sun or in cold climates and are best kept indoors as much as possible. They don’t require an inordinate amount of exercise but do thrive on spending time with their families for they are highly devoted, affectionate and loving.
Chinese Crested - Although the Chinese Crested has been featured a lot recently at Westminster and other shows, it has to be included because it’s so darn odd looking, both in its Hairless and “Powder Puff” varieties. The Chinese Crested is intelligent and entertaining, if, I suppose, you consider its ability to climb and dig holes entertaining. But to its credit, the Chinese Crested is a devoted family member and, given its gentle nature and cheerfulness, does exceptionally well with children and other animals. It is one of those rare things these days: a well-adjusted creature, able to get along with others, even those unlike itself. Ah humans, take note, there’s a lesson here (i.e., “can’t we all just get along.”). The breed can be relatively sensitive but if trained gently and appropriately, does well in obedience-type sports and is great at performing tricks. The Chinese Crested would be well suited to apartment life, and when outdoors, should be protected from harsh sun or cold weather. It is a toy breed, weighing 5-12 pounds, and standing between 11 and 13 inches tall.
Chinese Chongqing - I’m not sure how to pronounce the second word in this breed’s name, which sounds like a Chinese card game, but this breed originated in the Southwestern region of China 2000 years ago during the Han Dynasty and the dogs were mainly owned by the elite for protection and as a status symbol. The dogs are scent hounds and avid hunters of small game. Even today they are extremely rare and very difficult to find. They’re medium in size, ranging between 33-54 lbs., and standing 14-19.5” tall. Squarely and powerfully built, these natural guardians will not hesitate to defend their family, property or territory, and they need a dominant and respectful owner. This breed is not suited for city living, they require regular exercise and are not well suited for cold climates. The Chinese Chongqing is a primitive and evolutionary breed that was not developed through selective breeding, and they are terribly dignified and noble in appearance.
Sloughi - Another very delicate looking dog, the Sloughi is an ancient sight hound developed in North Africa as a desert hunter of fox, hare, jackal, hyena, wild boar and gazelle. It looks as if these dogs may not have been able to feast on what they hunted for they’re Hollywood starlet skinny. Although the breed was highly prized in North Africa, due to the French occupation and a rabies epidemic, the breed was decimated, and today this breed is exceedingly rare. The Sloughi is an affectionate and loyal breed and the dogs tend to develop a strong and deep emotional attachment to their owners. As a result, they do not change ownership easily and they require a good amount of attention. They become bored and destructive if left alone for extended periods and care should be taken with other small pets given that the Sloughi may interpret them as prey, even if they have been raised with them. They are as sensitive as they look and do not do well if stressed or if there are changes to their routines, so again, no bed warmer here but a slender, elegant and noble-looking creature.
Lowchen - This breed originated in France during the 14th century, was known as the Little Lion and was particularly favored by the aristocracy. During the first half of the 20th century, the Lowchen nearly became extinct. The Lowchen has appeared twice in the Guinness Book of World Records, once as the most expensive dog in the world, and once as the rarest dog in the world. The dogs possess a wonderful temperament, being well-balanced, playful and outgoing, with a regal bearing. They firmly attach themselves to their family and are good with children and other household pets. Although the Lowchen is fragile in appearance, it is actually robust and tough. The classic leonine look of the Lowchen must be professionally maintained but don’t let that look fool you: they like to dig, so they require proper training to discourage this tendency. The breed loves long walks and daily jogs and hiking, and they love off-leash opportunities to run freely, so although this is a non-sporting breed, they are very active dogs.
Mudi - The Mudi which originated in Hungary is a relatively new breed and is noted for its versatility as sheep herder, flock guardian, guard dog, cattle herder, hunter and companion. They have also been trained as rescue dogs. The breed, because it is new, is hard to find, but they’re rather irresistible given their most distinctive characteristic: their expression which is highly intelligent, focused and attentive. You almost expect the Mudi to engage you in an articulate conversation or a spirited debate about worldly matters. The Mudi, which stands between 14-20” tall and weights 18-29 lbs., is a very energetic dog and does best with a large yard or in a rural setting. The dogs thrive on working and lots of exercise, and most likely they’d be great at Frisbee catching. Loving and gentle, the Mudi will tend to form a close bond with one particular member of the family, and they do well with children, particularly those with whom they’ve been raised.
Lagotto Romagnolo - The name of this breed may sound like an Italian film star, and indeed the Lagotto originated in Italy where it served as a water retriever and hunter. The coat of the Lagotto is thick, curly and woolly and is considered hypoallergenic. Now this is a dog who’d make a great bed warmer or pooch to snuggle with. What’s most interesting about this breed, aside from the romantic name, is the fact that is it the only purebred dog in the world selected to search for truffles, those incredibly expensive, aromatic and edible fungi. As truffle lovers know, pigs have long been the chosen truffle hunters so it’s interesting to learn that a breed of dog will be putting its extraordinary scenting abilities to such good use ( that is, if you like truffles). The Lagotto, aside from being a great truffle sniffer, is an excellent companion dog. These dogs are highly intelligent and eager to learn, but they do require a great amount of exercise and mental stimulation. Don’t allow this breed to get bored because the dogs will become destructive and dig. After all, that is how they snoop out those prized truffles.
Coton De Tulear - I love this name, which means cotton in French, and the Coton De Tulear has a coat that is fluffy and cottony. The dogs look like big cotton balls. The Coton originated on the island of Madagascar in the early 20th century and they remain quite rare in the United States (the AKC doesn’t even yet recognize the breed). If you’re looking for a bed warmer, the Coton might suit the bill because the breed is an indoor companion and they do not require high levels of exercise. They’re happy to sit on your lap – and at 15-20 lbs., this would be pleasant – or at your feet, but they also love to play and are extremely sociable dogs, and they get along well with children and other pets. Of course with more hair comes more maintenance, so the Coton does require frequent brushing and combing, but that seems a small price to pay for such a charming companion.
Bergamasco - Last but not least, our hairiest dog, the hair being a combination of textures of wool, goat and, well, dog. These textures combine and mat into “cords” that will grow to reach the ground, covering the dog like a dense curtain. The Bergamasco stands 22-24” tall and weighs 57-84 lbs. The Bergamasco originated in Persia . It is an ancient sheepherding breed which nearly became extinct during World War II. The breed remains very rare today. Although this dog was never intended to be solely a pet, they are loyal, gentle and highly protective of their families. They are best suited for cold climates, and do best in rural settings with room to roam and with jobs to perform. The cords of their coat must be separated by hand and brushed individually, so the phrase “high maintenance” comes to mind. But the Bergamasco, bred to solve problems on their own, are intelligent, independent and free-thinking – what more could you want in a dog — or human for that matter? And bed warmer? Looks as if the Bergamasco would be great on cold nights.
Posted October 3rd, 2008 by dogdude
Jake is a little rat terrier that was saved from a shark attack when his owner, Greg Lenoir, dove in and punched the shark in the back. While on his daily swim in Florida, Jake, was suddenly attacked by a 5 foot shark. Greg wasn’t having any of this, when he saw what was happening, he clenched his fist, dove in after his best friend, and punched the shark in the back. The shark let go of Jake and they both made it back to shore safely.
Jake is expected to have a full recovery. That’s what friends are for!
Posted September 30th, 2008 by dogdude
All right, pound puppies and hooch hounds–Hollywood has long been a town that caters to our love of the dog. From the friendly to the ferocious, dogs have played a role in more movies than you can shake a stick at. But who has time to watch them all (when you can be out going for a walk)? Here then is what we consider the top-ten list of movies that have so gloriously “gone to the dogs”. You can howl about the order of this list all you want., but all of these films left an impression on us moviegoers and helped cement the view of the canine in our popular culture:
10. Cujo (1983)
The “Jaws” of the dog world, the name still conjures up shivers for many. Cujo tells the story of a rabid dog that attacks and kills the people of a small American town. Based on the Steven King book of the same name, Cujo made staying in your car with the windows rolled up a national pastime. Check the movie out–especially the creepy scene where Cujo waits patiently for his meal to exit their automobile. He may not be Lassie, but this mean St. Bernard has become synonymous with a vicious, beastly dog, 25 years after the film was released.
9. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
Kids love this one–two dogs and a cat get separated from their family and must journey cross the country to reunite. Full of celebrity voices and political correctness, this family stuff never ceases to please. Not one of the best dog movies at all, but even a gruff old mutt like me gets choked up when Shadow (voiced by Don Ameche) comes bounding over the hill after you think he is dead. I can feel myself getting misty-eyed already.
8. The Incredible Journey (1963)
This is going to make a lot of young dog lovers mad, but the old, grainy Disney original vastly outshines the Michael J. Fox remake–which is a hokey, cheese factory. No talking animals with famous voice-overs, the original is just lots of footage of dogs fighting bears and a wonderful story of animal friendship. In the days before cruelty to animals was a crime, there was a king of the animal movie–and his name was Disney. Too bad this one isn’t available anymore commercially. Thank goodness for eBay.
7. Turner and Hooch (1989)
I am sorry, but critics be damned–a mastiff, Tom Hanks and that girl from Law and Order makes for one heck of a dog movie. A cheesy cop killer storyline while the dog slobbers on everything. I mean everything. Watch the movie for nothing else than the canine star’s drooling problem. Oh yeah, and academy-award winner Hanks is doing comedy in this one, long before he was Forest Gump.
6. 101 Dalmatians
No, not the live action versions, though the movie gets points for spawning live action versions decades after the original was released. The movie itself is a fine treat for the kids–but the real scene stealer is Cruella DeVille–she’s the fashion-conscious villainess who made a puppy-fur coat the “it” item.
5. White Fang (1991 )
Not one of the best movies, to be sure, but Jack London’s tale is still the definitive dog story in American culture. Full of savage fighting, wolves and plenty of snow–White Fang is a great story, and if the movie version gets one person to read the book (and “Call of the Wild” of course), then Jack London won’t be rolling over in his grave. As a side note, look for a young Ethan Hawke in this film, hamming it up for the camera. The dog’s acting is much better.
4. Benji (1974)
In the 1970’s, there was disco, polyester and Benji. This film (which became a rerun staple on TV in the 1980’s) is the story of America’s dog hero–he’s a scruffy mutt who loves the kids and gets the bad guys. My kind of dog. Maybe it’s just nostalgia, but I miss that little fur ball (*sniff*), America needs more dogs like him. As a side note–don’t check out the sequel “Benji: The Hunted”. It stinks worse than old dog breath.
3. Best in Show (2000)
This is really not a dog movie, but a movie about people who love dogs. A hilarious faux-documentary from Christopher Guest (Spinal Tap, Waiting For Guffman), “Best in Show” follows several different dog owners on their way to the Westminster Dog Show–gay dog owners, good old Southern boys, obsessive compulsive yuppies and rich and eccentric debutantes all make their stories known. A dry and satiric comedy in which the dogs are the most sane animals in the movie, anyone who has ever been to a dog show will be howling at this one.
2. Old Yeller (1957)
Many people consider this film to be the “definitive” dog movie (I know my dad does), but here is why it isn’t the alpha male of this dog pack–this movie does not stand the test of time. Those of you who argue, go back and watch it again. See, it just isn’t as good as you remember it. Sure, it still beats the pants off most of this list, but the writing, special effects and acting just aren’t as good as you hope. Still, Old Yeller fights the bear, gets into mischief, saves the kids, gets rabies, gets shot with a shotgun and fathers some children (a good life for a dog), but this classic just can’t beat our number one film…
1. Lady and The Tramp (1966)
Yes, it may be animated, but no movie has ever become part of our American subconscious like this Disney classic. Yes, Lassie and Old Yeller may be more famous as individual dogs–but they don’t hold a candle to the famous pasta-eating scene. Try and find a more popular movie with dogs as the main characters. Be sure and stick around for the rat killing scene–it still is filled with suspense, even if I have seen it 30 times. From eight to eighty years old, this movie holds up as the decades roll by. Besides, it’s got my favorite Disney song in it–the pound-dog jam, “He’s A Tramp”.
Now that you’ve seen our favorites, what are yours?
Posted January 4th, 2008 by kkibak
|They’re not as loaded as Leo na Helmsley’s pooch, but three dogs in western Maryland still have more money than they know what to do with.
The dogs - a beagle named Buckshot and Labrador mixes named Katie and Obu-Jet - inherited $400,000 and a house in Hagerstown when their owner, Ken Kemper, died last year. The trio is worth about $800,000 altogether.
The dogs, who were strays when Kemper adopted them, live at their house with caretaker Roy Grady.
“They don’t know they have more money than most people,” Grady told The (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail.
But they do enjoy the perks of their inheritance. On Friday nights, Grady treats them to a spaghetti dinner, complete with meatballs and garlic bread.
“They love it,” he said. “They know when it’s coming on Friday, too. They have that time clock.”
They also get top-notch veterinary care. When Katie sneaked out of a gate last summer and was hit by a car, she made 40 visits to the veterinarian’s office to mend her broken legs and hip. The bill was close to $6,000.
And unlike Helmsley’s dog, a pampered Maltese named Trouble who inherited $12 million from the late hotelier, they don’t court controversy. They seem content romping around their front yard.
“They’re the most loving dogs,” Grady said.
A fourth dog was included in Kemper’s will. Skye, a Jack Russell terrier, died of cancer earlier this month and is buried under a cross in the front yard.
Kemper worked for Voice of America, an international broadcasting service funded by the federal government. It was common for him to return to the United States with stray dogs from the Middle East and other parts of the world.
Each of the remaining dogs is about 10 years old. Karin Anderson, a longtime friend of Kemper and the executor of his estate, said when they die, she’ll probably donate their inheritance to an animal charity because that’s what Kemper would have wanted.
“He really loved animals,” Anderson said. “The man’s heart was so big, it needed its own ZIP code.”
Information from: The (Hagerstown, Md.) Herald-Mail, http://www.herald-mail.com
Posted December 7th, 2007 by kkibak
A Welsh police force is teaching its dogs to headbutt criminals because they are afraid dog bites are infringing on human rights, K9 Magazine reported.
The dogs, who will now wear muzzles, have been trained to leap at their targets, according to the magazine.
“Instead of biting, the dog is muzzled and launches itself like a missile at the midriff of the target,” Clive Wolfendale, the deputy chief constable of North Wales, told the magazine.
The new policy is a result of increased compensation claims from members of the public who have been bitten by police dogs.
A metal rod across the front of the muzzle helps absorb the impact of the strike and protect the dog, the magazine reported.