Category Archives: Dogs

Now Paw-tucket can live up to its name

The city of Pawtucket, Rhode Island had a 10-year old ordinance banning the ownership of pit bulls until earlier this week.  A judge ruled that a 2013 state law banning breed-specific legislation meant that the city’s law was now illegal.

This is a win for the fight against breed specific laws and restrictions.

Pit bull owners in Pawtucket celebrated on Sunday with a parade.  There was also a free dog training class offered afterwards.  A local group, Pit Bulls for PTSD, also participated in the parade.  The group trains pit bulls to become service dogs for autistic children and veterans suffering from PTSD.

Please remember:  punish the deed and not the breed!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Freshpet goes public

Earlier this month, Freshpet Inc, the first and only fresh, refrigerated pet food brand distributed across North America, commenced trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.  It’s trading abbreviation is FRPT.

Freshpet logo

This listing is yet another indication of the growing pet products market in the USA (and worldwide).  Pet owners have incredible purchasing power and this power grows every year.

Freshpet’s operations began in October 2006.  Their food is delivered to Freshpet Fridges in over 13,000 retail outlets.

Freshpet display cabinet

All products are cooked in small batches and then refrigerated immediately and come with a best before date.

I don’t live in the USA and so haven’t experienced Freshpet firsthand.  If you feed their foods, what do you and your dog think about them?

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Pelorus Jack – remembering World War I

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I and commemorations are being held across the Globe.

It’s a fitting time to remember the animals that served during the conflict.

Pelorus Jack, a Bulldog, was the mascot of the HMS New Zealand.  In fact, there were two Pelorus Jacks because the first mascot was killed and subsequently replaced.

A model of Pelorus Jack with his collar and leads (photo courtesy of NZ History)

A model of Pelorus Jack with his collars and leads (photo courtesy of NZ History)

The first dog was a gift to the ship from a New Zealander living in England. He was named after the famous dolphin that accompanied ships traveling in the outer Marlborough Sounds between 1888 and 1912.  He was killed when he fell down the forward funnel of the ship and was officially ‘discharged dead’ from the Navy on 24 April 1916.

In his will he had requested that his successor be a ‘bull pup of honest parentage, clean habits, and moral tendencies’.

The second Pelorus Jack, also a bulldog,  was terrified of the noise of the ship’s guns.  He achieved the rank of leading sea dog before his final discharge in October 1919.   On his return to New Zealand, he was gifted to the City of Auckland along with his silver collar, a brass studded collar and leading reins.

The Auckland War Memorial Museum holds these items in its collection, along with the collar of Caesar the Anzac Dog.  Read my blog about Caesar here.  Another Pelorus Jack collar is kept in the Royal New Zealand Navy Museum in Devonport.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Source:  New Zealand History

The dog mayor of San Francisco

On Tuesday (18 November 2014), Frida the Chihuahua was sworn in as Mayor of San Francisco for the day.

Frida, after her swearing in ceremony (photo by NBC News)

Frida, after her swearing in ceremony (photo by NBC News)

Frida earned the honor because her owner had the winning bid of $5,000 at an auction to benefit the Department of Animal Care and Control, which runs the city’s animal shelter.

“We applaud Mayor Frida’s ability to rise above her humble start as a single mom in an animal shelter to Mayor for the Day,” said Miriam Saez, acting director of the Animal Care and Control Department.

Frida

At the end of the day on Tuesday, Frida’s retirement package included a dog bed, toys and a gift basket.

Go Frida!

The dog effect – what’s a dog story worth for newspaper readership?

A new journal article in PS:  Political Science and Politics outlines research done in tracking coverage of news stories in regional newspapers.
The researchers found that by mentioning a dog in the news story, more people are likely to read the news item and increase readership of that issue of the newspaper.
It’s called the ‘dog effect.’
I’ve included the Abstract and the full journal citation below, but you will have to pay to read the entire article if you are not a subscriber to the journal…
Since I love to blog about news involving dogs, this research doesn’t come as a big surprise to me.
There are dog lovers throughout the world and we love to read about dogs!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

ABSTRACT

Journalists consider the importance of events and the audience’s interest in them when deciding on which events to report. Events most likely to be reported are those that are both important and can capture the audience’s interest. In turn, the public is most likely to become aware of important news when some aspect of the story piques their interest. We suggest an efficacious means of drawing public attention to important news stories: dogs. Examining the national news agenda of 10 regional newspapers relative to that of the New York Times, we evaluated the effect of having a dog in a news event on the likelihood that the event is reported in regional newspapers. The “dog effect” is approximately equivalent to the effect of whether a story warrants front- or back-page national news coverage in the New York Times. Thus, we conclude that dogs are an important factor in news decisions.

 What’s a Dog Story Worth?
Matthew D. Atkinson,Maria Deam and Joseph E. Uscinski (2014).
PS: Political Science & Politics,
“>Volume 47
, Issue04, October 2014 pp 819-823http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?aid=9365716

The hero dog of Ashland (MA)

The Boston Globe has reported on a newly-recognized hero dog:  Dax.  Dax is the first recipient of a state heroism award.  In July 2013, Dax saved his handler from a suspect armed with a shotgun.

Dax’s medal came with a special backing to protect him from its sharp edges when he wears it.

Good dog!

Ashland Police Officer Christopher E. Alberini along with his partner Dax were awarded the Medal Of Valor. Governor Patrick gave Dax a pat on the head.  Photo by:  David L Ryan/Globe Staff

Ashland Police Officer Christopher E. Alberini along with his partner Dax were awarded the Medal Of Valor. Governor Patrick gave Dax a pat on the head. Photo by: David L Ryan/Globe Staff

 

Border collies patrol at airports

In today’s Christchurch Press, comes news that Christchurch Airport has employed its first Border Collie, Jet, to scare away geese and other birds from the runway areas.

14-week old Jet, Christchurch Airport's newest employee, will undergo training to get her used to the noisy runways at the airport (Photo by The Press)

14-week old Jet, Christchurch Airport’s newest employee, will undergo training to get her used to the noisy runways at the airport (Photo by The Press)

Bird strike is a major hazard for modern aviation.  Bird strike was the cause of the engine failure on US Airways Flight 1549 in 2009, for example.  That plane landed safely in New York’s Hudson River in what was called the “Miracle on the Hudson.”  Bird strike can also cause damage to aircraft windscreens and fuselages, not just engines.

Jet’s arrival in Christchurch is a first for New Zealand but Border Collies have been patrolling airports in other countries for many years.

Birds view the dogs as natural predators and so, where they may become accustomed to other scare tactics like sirens, the birds will always be wary of being chased by a dog.

Airports that use Border Collie patrols include Southwest Florida International Airport, Vancouver International Airport, New Bedford Regional Airport (Massachusetts), Dover Air Force Base (US Air Force), Ramat David Air Force Base (Israel), Cold Lake Air Force Base (Canada), and Augusta Regional Airport (Georgia).

A Border Collie at the Southwest International Airport in Fort Myers, Fla. By Marc Beaudin, The (Ft. Myers, Fla.) News-Press

A Border Collie at the Southwest International Airport in Fort Myers, Fla.
By Marc Beaudin, The (Ft. Myers, Fla.) News-Press

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand