Police Puppy

Police dogs often face great danger while doing their jobs, and bullet proof vests can help them stay a bit safer.

Take a look at this German Shepherd puppy, named Tuco, from the Boston Police Departments K-9 force wearing his future vest:
VValYw6
(boston.com)

He still has a bit of growing to do before it fits him, but he looks so cute!

The vest is from Massachusetts Vest-A-Dog, a nonprofit organization which works to provide dogs to law enforcement along with other essentials like bulletproof vests, other equipment, and training.

Just look how happy Tuco is!
1392025_10152499202247685_8616466402641449194_n
(facebook)

– Fizz

The Loyalty of Dogs

This week saw the unspeakable horror of yet another senseless shooting, this time a terrorist attack at Canada’s National War Memorial on Parliament Hill. Corporal Nathan Cirillo was shot and killed. A single father and animal lover, he is dearly missed.

1414099840322_wps_38_10153651_1015266468913485
(mail online)

His dogs still faithfully wait at home for a master who will never return:
1414100004345_wps_41_A_dog_peeks_out_from_unde

1414099945723_Image_galleryImage_Dogs_peek_out_from_under_

1414099987317_Image_galleryImage_Dogs_peek_out_from_under_
(mail online)

These pictures are heartbreaking. They capture the sense of loss and grief over this tragedy. Dogs have been called man’s best friend for a reason, their love and loyalty is without bounds. I hope these dogs will be treated well and taken care of now.

Our thoughts and prayers are with this family and Canada,
– Fizz

You can see more pictures from the horrific incident at The Daily Mail.

2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Winners

The competition honors nature photographers from around the world and is hosted by the British Natural History Museum and the BBC. Professional, amateur, and young photographers can enter their photographs.

The overall winner (and winner of the black and white category) is a shot of lions and their cubs, “The Last Great Photograph,” by American Michael Nichols:

lions
Michael Nichols is an award winning photographer who works as an editor for National Geographic, you can read more about him here.

The winner in the mammal category is “The Mouse, The Moon, and The Mosquito” by Alex Badyaev:
mouse
A beautiful shot with the play of light and shadow on such small subjects.

The winner of the birds category is “Herons in Time and Space” by Bence Mate:
Screenshot 2014-10-23 at 2.19.21 PM
The photographer went to great lengths to get an amazing shot of these grey herons in Hungary. He used two timing devices for his camera, one to move the focus and one to adjust aperture. It took 74 nights before the conditions were right to get a photograph of both the herons and the stars in the sky.

The winner of the world in our hands category is “The Price They Pay” by Bruno D’Amicis:
worldhands
Selling fennec foxes is illegal in Tunisa but it is still widespread. In the above photograph a teenager offers this young fenec fox for sale after it was recently dug out of its den in the desert. Issues like this are important to understand when considering the obstacles many endangered species face from humans.

You can see more winners here, and all of the entries at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year website. Below are some more images that I wanted to share from the competition.

A finalist in the mammals category, “Intimacy,” by Michael Nichols.
Screenshot 2014-10-23 at 2.15.09 PM

A finalist in the birds category is “touche” by Jan van der Greef:
bird
The hummingbird with the long beak is called a sword-billed hummingbird. It is the only bird with a bill longer than its body.

A finalist in the 11 – 14 year old competition title “Owlets United” by Sitara Karthikeyan:
Screenshot 2014-10-23 at 2.36.10 PM

A finalist in the 15 – 17 year old competition titled “Snowbird” by Edwin Sahlin:
1510734_10152450018131305_6679775990404199624_n

Here are a couple of the People’s Choice Award finalists which is a new special award:
“Feel Safe” by Juan Carlos Mimo Perez
Screenshot 2014-10-23 at 2.29.11 PM

“Red Deer and Cranes” by Marek Kosinski
Screenshot 2014-10-23 at 2.30.02 PM

 

If you like these photos I highly suggest you check out the rest of the finalists and winners at the Natural History Museum’s website.

-Fizz

Can Your Pets Catch Ebola?

Have you heard enough about Ebola recently?

There is a lot of press coverage out there, but it is important to keep up to date on new findings and information. And while Ebola is very dangerous to people, there is not much information about how much danger our pets are in. The CDC states that while the virus can affect certain animals (it only mentions African fruit bats and monkeys here specifically), pets in the US are not at significant risk. The CDC is continuing to research how Ebola affects domestic animals and release guidelines in response.

Ebola is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be transferred from animals to people. It is possible that Ebola outbreaks in Africa were, or sometimes are, caused by a spillover event where a human comes into contact with an infected animal like a fruit bat or primate. This is only a theory. It is currently unknown if there is one specific natural host animal, but scientists lean towards infected fruit bats consumed as food by humans as a likely candidate. Primates in Ebola stricken areas have also shown signs and symptoms of Ebola, and should be avoided when symptomatic. None of this information means that domesticated pets will be affected the same way.

Studies have found that domestic goats, horses, and guinea pigs infected with Ebola remain asymptomatic or develop only a mild infection. There has however never been Ebola found in wild populations of these animals. I am guessing the above animals were infected on purpose for the study of the disease rather than this information coming from a natural encounter with them.

At this point, there have been no reports of dogs or cats infected with Ebola or of such animals spreading the disease to humans and other animals. Limited studies show dogs may be able to become infected and produce antibodies, but there is no evidence of them passing it on. This has however resulted in a lack of standards for dealing with animals in the homes of those who catch the disease.

In Spain, a nurse caring for an Ebola patient came down with the disease and her dog Excalibur was taken from her home and put down even though people were protesting the decision.

Excalibur:
ebola1
(inquisitor)

Here are some protesters:
excaliburprotest
(dailymail)

This is an easy way for the government to “reduce risk,” but it is unfair to the family, the dog, and from a scientific standpoint. These few cases are a chance to really see what the risk to pets are in a controlled way. Keeping Excalibur alive would have been an invaluable contribution to the study of Ebola’s risks to domestic dogs. Did he have the disease? If he did, could he pass it on? How long would he have remained infectious to others? These are the questions that we need to answers to. And if he never came down with the disease he could have gone back to his home and lived a full life.

In the US, of the three Ebola infections I only know of one who had a dog. Luckily, people here are willing to take a wait and see approach and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Bentley is in quarantine.

Bentley:
bently
(nypost)

Recently he began undergoing tests to see if he has the disease or not, all while being safely kept away from other people and animals by the City of Dallas Animal Services and Texas A&M University emergency veterinary team at an undisclosed location. All workers caring for he dog wear layers of personal protective equipment.

Playing with his caretakers:
download
(US News)

Now that Bentley is in the testing phase it will be known soon whether or not he has Ebola. If not, his quarantine period will end at the beginning of November.

Hopefully cases like Bentley’s will make it possible to answer the necessary questions so pets can be handled correctly at a scary time when we want to do everything possible to make sure no one else catches a deadly disease. The more information the better, and hopefully further research will prevent tragedies like the loss of Excalibur.

– Fizz

Sources:
NBC News – Ebola Patient Nina Pham’s Dog, Bentley, Enters Testing Phase
CDC – Questions and Answers about Ebola and Pets
Forbes – Can Dogs Transmit Ebola?

Wednesday Woof! – Husky Puppies

Wednesday is here again, be that good or bad! Have some middle of the week cheer brought to you by these husky puppies:

FbQjBK7
(source)

I love how these puppies have already found the way to get out of their pen! Huskies are really good at this to begin with, and the best way to get proficient at something is to start early! Hope they are not too much for their current owner to handle.

– Fizz

Top 10 Inventive Dog Halloween Costumes

Halloween is quickly coming, does your dog have a costume yet? That is if they enjoy wearing one, some do and some would rather rip it to pieces.

You can always buy one from the store, but if you are feeling more abitious or plan to enter any contests here are 20 inventive dog costumes which go above and beyond to give you inspiration:

1. Pumpkin
579bf0da7db6c037b56ecfbfe8d5963c
(pinterest)

This costume goes well with the dogs natural color and shape. Even if the little pumpkin hat doesn’t sit on straight it still looks adorable.

2. Hawaiian Luau
enhanced-buzz-20325-1382710848-16
(imgur)

Grass skirt, flowers, a lei, and a Hawaiian shirt and you have the makings of a great costume! I can see a dog not appreciating the grass skirt so much though, so that would be something to test out before making the commitment to such an idea.

3. Angel
Much Love Animal Rescue Bow Wow Ween - Inside
(source)

Have a white dog and no other ideas? Make some wings and maybe a halo to create an instant angel. I like how this one looks like the wings are on a shirt with the extra feathers around the dog’s neck.

4. Hannibal (Silence of the Lambs)
2699597375_80813dcd9c_o
(The Greyest Ghost)

Extra points for the stuffed lambs which really pull this one together. You can have some extra props to go with your dog to make the costume make sense overall. If your dog will tolerate something over their muzzle then you have lots of options for masks.

5. Chomp Chomp
pcNfe
(imgur)

This one is extra cute because it is a child and dog duo, but there are a lot of video game characters which could be easily turned into dog costumes. A chomp chomp is perfect, and they usually come on a leash.

6. UP
UP
(BritCo)

This costume is too cute! All those balloons! This is a light weight and easy to pull around costume. It might just get caught up around other dogs if you are taking such a small dog out like this.

7. Facebook
Facebook-645x492
(BritCo)

This one is fun and could be used for a variety of social media or other websites.

8. Dragon
11h3J
(imgur)

This one has a lot of detail and the wings are impressive. I particularly enjoy the dragon mask.

9. Tron
MgxsS
mDYxM
(imgur)

This costume goes above and beyond as t actually lights up! A costume that lights up would be great to have on your dog if they come with you while out trick or treating.

10. Loofah
8e467c9e32f98b707a4ea1ce6ea99c02
(pinterest)

This is a simple but genius idea! Another example of the costume making the dog, who is little and poofie to begin with. The rubber ducky is nice touch just in case you might not get it.

11. Pinata
enhanced-buzz-28266-1382826103-0
(buzzfeed)

Pinatas are light and can be made to just about any shape. Making one into a dog costume is colorful and eye catching.

12. Smurfette
dog_smurfette
(costume-works)

Dyeing a dog’s coat can do wonders for a costume and open up many possibilites. It is easier than ever to find dog safe dye at the store and many dog groomers can do this for you. This is a fun costume that pops.

13. Minion
minion_from_despicable_me
(costume-works)

Another example of dog dyeing. Taking inspiration from popular children’s movies is a great way to assure that your dog is a hit while out trick or treating or when entering a contest.

14. Train
enhanced-buzz-12329-1348882725-4
(Frankie)

If your dog has a wheel chair then you have even more costume concepts. Just make sure that nothing could interfere with your dog’s range of motion. But I can think of so many fun ideas like famous vehicles, a chariot, or toys like slinky dog and pull ducks.

15. Flying Monkeys
photo
(the-tin-man)

These two already kind of look like monkeys, and these costumes look wonderful on them. The little tails add a lot to the ensemble.

16. Rainbow Dash
Rainbow-Dash-poodle
(fashionablygeek)

My Little Pony is a hot property right now. Rainbow Dash gives a great opportunity to work with multiple dye colors.

17. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
395a3c399b8ad21c90627e50a572ab16
(pugspot)

Do you need an idea for multiple dogs? These pugs are adorable as the Ninja Turtles. Googly eyes are always a plus!

18. Hulk
IMG_0348
(funcage)

The Hulk is very appropriate for a dog of this build. Just dye your dog green and make little cut up jean shorts. Great for a dog who won’t wear anything on this face or back.

19. Pumpkin Spice Latte
enhanced-buzz-29869-1382826187-34
(buzzfeed)

Have a dog that doesn’t really like to walk around, especially in crowds? Then something like this coffee costume is a great example of how you can hold your dog in something that acts like a large portion of its costume.

20. Toothless
toothless1
(costume-works)

If you have sewing skills the sky is the limit for the full body costumes you can make. Light weight wings and tails on costumes like this create great looks while not being too annoying to your pet.

Good luck with your dog’s costumes!

– Cola

Sevenly: 4 Paws for Ability

Sevenly is once again featuring a service dog charity! Sevenly is an online t-shirt shop (plus other items) which features a different charity every week and $7 from every purchase goes towards that charity. The t-shirts have a design created specifically for the cause of the week.

The charity: 4 Paws for Ability

4 Paws helps train and place service dogs with children with disabilities, and veterans, who need these animals to help them. They also help educate the public about service dogs.

Here is a video about a child with seizures who has benefited from having his own service dog:


Dogs can smell a chemical change in the human body just before and during a seizure. More than this they provide a companion and a sense of support.

Here are the shirt designs you can purchase this week to help the cause:

Classy Dog
1441-d1_1

This style is available in women’s styles: flowy V neck $24, flowy racerback tank $28, basic tee $24, flowy long sleeve $36, and flowy raglan $28.

It is also available for men as a basic tee $24, V neck $24, and baseball Tee $32.

Loyalty

1441-d2

This design is available in women’s styles: flowy racerback tank $28, flowy long sleeve $36, flowy raglan $28, flowy V neck $24, short sleeve tee $24, and as a racerback tank $28.

Men’s styles include a basic tee for $24 and a V neck for $24.

Love is Loyal
1441-s140_5

This design is also available in different styles, which you can search for on the site, but here is the link to the women’s flowy raglan.

You can always just donate money to the cause itself, but this way you can get a t-shirt to advertise the cause as well.

– Fizz

Australian Pygmy Possum

Happy Friday! What better on a day like today than an cute and tiny animal?

pygmypossom
(source)

Just look at those paws! Love the long toes!

This is an Australian western pygmy possum or a mundarda. It is of course from Australia and is a marsupial with a prehensile tail. It has bright cinnamon colored fur with a white underside. Adults, tail included, are around 3 inches long and can weigh up to 21 grams. They are nocturnal, prefer to live alone, and eat mostly nectar and pollen from flowers.

western-pygmy-possum-mrw0146
(Martin Willis Photography)

For being possums these guys are really cute! Very different from their larger and stranger American cousins.

– Fizz

Dog and Cat Restaurant

World Animal Day is October 4, a day to bring awareness to and celebrate all animals. In celebration the Royal Canin Experience Center in Amsterdam opened a pop up restaurant for dogs and cats.

There was a menu, and the bowls had each animals name on it for the photo shoot/press event:

6befd170-48ca-11e4-8cbe-a1337e7f73a3_h_51594473 (EPA/Koen van Weel)

There is a set of photographs online but very little further information.

6cafc610-48ca-11e4-9024-f9ca92bd972c_h_51594472(EPA/Koen van Weel)

But from all the cameras present it seems like people were very interested even if the dog didn’t seem to care about the food:

645b0d80-48ca-11e4-9a85-dd464e7b3042_04424901(EPA/Koen van Weel)

It looks like a fancy eating establishment. I mean, they made sure the dogs were arranged to eat at tables of the proper height and they had cushions to sit on.

68ea59a0-48ca-11e4-9fec-d3be2d9009c5_04424902(EPA/Koen van Weel)

While the human couldn’t find any more information about this event, but she gave us a little more information on World Animal Day. The date of World Animal Day coincides with the feast of St. Francis of Assisi who is the patron saint of animals.

Saint-Francis-preaching-to-the-animals-Hans-Stubenrauch-1875-1941
(source)

St. Francis spoke of the greatness and beauty of God’s creation and it is legend that he preached to wild animals who would listen to his voice and not run away. That is cool and appropriate for a day celebrating animals!

– Cola

Wednesday Woof! – Dog Chewbacca

October is upon us! Costumes and candy! Well, I don’t have any candy to offer but here is a dog dressed up like Chewbacca from Star Wars.

bRwvu16
(source)

This little guy took home third place at in a Star Wars costume contest at Petco. He looks just like Chewie to start with! The stuffed animals are a nice touch.

Are you wondering what costume could have possible topped this?

Here is first place:
neOmmpW(source)

I have to hand it to this dog’s human for the Photoshopping skills, but Yoda was totally not in this scene. I wonder if they had to have Chewbacca and Yoda in the picture together or something? This one could have been way better if it was a scene Yoda was supposed to appear in.

Hope that this starts you guys thinking of costumes your dogs can wear for Halloween! If your dog likes that kind of thing.

– Fizz