Tag Archives: Elvis

The Dogs of Graceland

On holiday in Tennessee, I visited Graceland yesterday. Another tick off my bucket list.

Whenever I travel, I (of course) look for things about dogs. According to Graceland’s official website:

Elvis had a number of dogs over the years. He had a Basset Hound named Sherlock, Great Danes named Brutus and Snoopy, and Edmund, a Pomeranian he gave to his aunt Delta, because the two bonded so quickly. Get Lo, a Chow, was another of Elvis’ dogs. He was once flown to Boston on Elvis’ small Jetstar plane to get treatment for a kidney ailment. He stayed in Boston for three months as he was treated, and then was flown home, where treatment continued. Sadly, Get Lo didn’t make it.

Elvis also had dogs he named Whoosh, Oswald and Michael Edwards, named after Elvis’ character in “It Happened at the World’s Fair.” Elvis shared his love for animals with his loved ones. He gave Gladys a tiny dog named Sweet Pea in 1956, and at Christmas 1962, when she was visiting from Germany, he gave Priscilla a puppy poodle named Honey.

What I liked about touring Graceland was the ‘hunt’ for dog-related items. This is what I found:

Colonel Tom Parker’s pen set, featuring Little Nipper the mascot of RCA Records. RCA purchased Elvis’ contract from Sun Records in 1955
Another desk set with a dog – this one was from Elvis’ upstairs office at Graceland
This dog statue was also in Elvis’ office

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Is your polar bear pregnant? Ask Elvis

Elvis is a very special beagle.  He’s been trained to sniff the feces of polar bears to determine if they are pregnant and his success rate is 97%.

Photo by Cincinnati Zoo

Photo by Cincinnati Zoo

Traditional pregnancy detection methods like hormone monitoring and ultrasounds don’t perform well when testing polar bears for pregnancy.  Scientists at Cincinnati’s Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife decided to try the beagle training since beagles perform so well as detector dogs in other settings.

Elvis is only 2 years old and so he hopefully has a long life ahead of him helping zoos in the United States determine if their polar bears are pregnant.

Climate change is causing a decrease in the amount of sea ice, which is affecting the polar bear population because it reduces their hunting season.  There have also been reports of drowned polar bears being found in the Arctic Ocean; the bears have become exhausted when swimming because of the increased times it is taking for them to reach the safety of ice again.

Polar bears have been listed as a Threatened Species under the Endangered Species Act.  The number of Polar Bears in the wild is expected to decline primarily due to starvation and decreased reproduction.