Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
"Back By Popular Demand: Bilbo The 'Baywatch' Dog"
Campaigners Delighted To See Return Of Canine Lifeguard
By Jonathan Brown
(Saturday, 28 March 2009)
"With his lustrous mane of brown hair, well-toned 14-stone physique and powerful swimming action, Bilbo the dog would have been a welcome addition to the cast of Baywatch.
"His instinct for saving lives and determination to leap into crashing seas rivals that of David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson in their prime and made him an instant hit with the surfers and bathers around Land's End in Cornwall where he lived.
"So when the chocolate Newfoundland found himself ordered off the beach where he had successfully been passing on a safe swimming message to holidaymakers for two years it was unsurprising the decision would generate uproar.
"Thousands of people signed petitions demanding Gordon Brown – and the Queen – intervene and persuade officials to reclassify the six-year-old pooch alongside guide dogs as a legitimate working animal and allow him back to his rightful place alongside his lifeguard owner.
"And yesterday, to the delight of his supporters across the world, it was confirmed that Bilbo had prevailed and would now be allowed to return to Sennen beach and others where he is credited with having directly taken part in at least three rescues as well as indirectly saving scores more from getting into difficulties.
"His owner Steve Jamieson, who at 57 is Britain's longest-serving lifeguard and now area supervisor for the RNLI, which is responsible for beach safety on the western tip of Cornwall, said he was delighted at the decision.
"'The people not just in Cornwall but the whole of the UK have taken Bilbo to their hearts and, in the end, something had to be done about it. The council and the RNLI have done a stalwart job while Bilbo is ecstatic that he will be able to get back on the beach', he said.
"Problems started when Bilbo, who had earlier been banned from riding the lifeguards' quad bike because of health and safety reasons, fell foul of blue flag regulations that excluded all dogs except guide dogs from the sands. A compromise was eventually reached allowing him to "work" on a part-time basis.
"But supporters argued that Bilbo's track record diving into the foaming depths, warding off swimmers on rough days and his vital role showing bathers they should only swim between the safety flags, should make him a permanent exception to the no-mutts rule.
"More than 10,000 people signed a paper petition; a further 2,275 put their names to one on the No 10 website, while 7,000 joined a Facebook group. There was a popular website, a YouTube film and even a biography, The True Story of Bilbo the Surf Lifeguard Dog, for which Bilbo will be attending a signing in Truro today.
"Mr Jamieson said Bilbo was a prodigious swimmer. Later this year, he will take part in the annual Newlyn to Penzance open water swim as usual, expecting to complete the one-mile course in a respectable 30 minutes. Newfoundlands were long valued by New World whalers for their ability to rescue mariners flung overboard.
"Bilbo has spent recent years visiting schools helping children learn the basic rules of safety around water. Sporting a red and yellow jacket he shows swimmers where it is safe to bathe and has had a dramatic effect. At Sennen beach, before Bilbo's arrival, lifeguards would make between 20 to 30 rescues each season. That fell to 12 and, in his last full year, lifeguards were called on to make just a single intervention."
Friday, March 27, 2009
"Sick Dog Found Abandoned In Local Woods
Marshal Is In Desperate Need Of Medical Attention"
Updated: Thursday, 26 Mar 2009, 9:01 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 26 Mar 2009, 8:32 PM EDT
Reported by: Mike Montecalvo
LINCOLN, R.I. (WPRI) - "A Newfoundland dog in desperate need of medical attention is found abandoned at Lincoln Woods.
"The dog was found Wednesday morning wandering in the park. A lady walking spotted the dog named, Marshal, and called animal control. The 4 to 5 year-old Newfoundland was taken to the animal shelter in Lincoln where he has been ever since.
"The dog has a large tumor on his stomach and a smaller one on his shoulder. On Friday, Marshal will be taken to a vet to determine what kind of treatment is necessary.
"Colleen Llink, an animal control officer says that no one has called to inquire about any dogs dropped off. The SPCA will investigate and try to track down the animals owner who if found could face charges.
"'We just want to make sure that if anyone recognizes the dog, please don't hesitate to call the police, whoever did leave him in this condition to make sure they are prosecuted, there are plenty of rescues out there if you're looking for help, if you need assistance. Please do not dump them in the woods anywhere', says Officer Llink.
"If you would like to help with Marshal's medical expenses call Lincoln Animal Shelter at 401-333-0950 to find out how to donate. If you have any information about who the is owner call Lincoln police at 401-333-8281."
Here is the account by Linda Houle, who found Marshal:
"I found Marshall on that Wednesday morning. I was walking my dogs about 9am when a man approached me to warn me of a large dog up the hill that looked like a bear. He was visibly shaken. I immediately went to see if I could help. Marshall (I called him Newfie) apparently was left to die in the woods. Being an avid animal lover I was not about to let this beautiful, lovable dog die or be alone. I watched him from a distance and when I saw he layed down I ran to bring my dogs home to return and stay with Newfie until help came. His cry could be heard echoing in the trees. I told a few people along the way but they were not interested to help. State Police being called I knew help was on the way. As I returned to the woods I was running up the hill as a park ranger picked me up and we went to Newfie again. I stayed with Newfie til Colleen and assistant came. I truly believed it was over for Newfie. I reinforced to him that he was safe and the angels were on the way. After all I could see he went through I wanted his last words and touch from humans to be of the same unconditional love that he was. He rested his head on me and he was so very thankful... He was trying to reach me to give me a kiss. This fabulous dog has been suffering for a long time. What a relief when I saw that shelter van and I knew Newfie was in great hands. As the girls lovingly loaded him on the soft comforter I exclaimed 'I told you the anglels would come. I love you Newfie.' I am also very grateful to Dr Finnocchio from the RISPCA. He will get to the bottom of this.
Thank you to all who cared so much for Marshall (Newfie) Blessings Linda Houle."
Our prayers are with you, Marshal, and all the Newfies and all the abandoned dogs should be thanking Linda for showing such humanity in the face of such inhumane conduct by Marshal's guardians.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Karazan Music of the Night -- Andrew(or "Puppy", "Androol", "AnDrulzelot", "Cookie") scored big today at the Salinas Kennel Club Show. After taking the American Bred Dog class, he went on to take Winner's Dog, then Best of Winners, then Best of Opposite Sex in the BOB competition. He beat his brother, ScoldyBoy, in the Winner's Dog competition, and is enjoying a big steak dinner while Scoldy (who did get Reserve Winner's Dog) is staring at his dry kibble. Justice for Puppy!
(Congrats to Jolie for yet another breed win.)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
A Man’s Best Friend - The Story of Old Drum
Ever wonder where the old saying, "A man’s best friend is his dog", came from?
Well, if you guessed Warrensburg, Missouri, you were right!
Senator George Graham Vest won a court battle and the ears of dog lovers everywhere when he paid his famous tribute to the dog during the 1870 Burden vs. Hornsby court case in Warrensburg. The speech included the line, "The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog."
The "eulogy to the dog" won the case for Charles Burden whose favorite hound, Old Drum, was shot by a neighbor, Leonidas Hornsby, who had sworn to kill the first dog that came onto his land. Although Hornsby had hunted with Drum and acknowledged him to be one of the best hunting dogs he had ever seen, he carried out his threat when one night a dog was found prowling in his yard. That dog was Old Drum.
Burden immediately sued Hornsby for damages and the trial quickly became one of the strangest in the history of this area of the country. Each man was determined to win the case. After several appeals, the case finally reached the Supreme Court of Missouri. Burden was awarded $50 in damages for the loss of his favorite hunting dog. Vest’s eulogy to the dog, which he made in his final appeal to the jury, won the case and became a classic speech.
Through the direction of the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce and coordinated efforts by many dog lovers across the country, Old Drum was immortalized in a stature on the Johnson County Courthouse lawn in Warrensburg on September 23, 1958.
While no record was kept of the last half of Vest’s tribute to a dog, the first portion has fortunately been preserved. It was this speech that originated the saying, "A man’s best friend is his dog." George Graham Vest speaking:
"Gentlemen of the Jury, the best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it the most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.
"Gentleman of the Jury, a man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that encounters the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.
"If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies. When the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death."
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Basic Color Inheritance In the Newfoundland Dog
(Courtesy of Cindy Williams, Pipeline Newfoundlands)
In every dog, every characteristic, such as size, color, eye color, coat, shape of skull, etc., is controlled by a pair of determiners which we call genes. At conception, when a new individual is formed, one gene is inherited from each parent so that the new individual has two genes to control each physical trait. A great many characteristics are what is known as simple dominant, or simple recessive traits. This means that if a gene for a dominant trait is present, the dog will show that trait even if he also carries the gene for the recessive trait. On the contrary, if the trait is recessive, it will be hidden in any case where the dominant gene is present.
This pattern is easily illustrated by the inheritance of the Landseer color in the Newfoundland. The color Black is dominant in Newfoundlands. Let us name the dominant Black gene with a large B and the recessive Landseer recessive with a small l. If we have a Black dog that carries only the dominant Black genes, we will call his color inheritance BB. Mated to a bitch that is also carrying only the dominant Black, the puppies produced will have a color inheritance as follows - every time:
BB mated to BB
BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB
All of the puppies will be Black, and will be purebred for Black. Under no circumstances, no matter what they are bred to, can they ever produce Landseer offspring.
Now, suppose that one of these BB pups is mated to a Landseer bitch, or one of the bitches is mated to a Landseer male. The resulting litter will inherit the following pattern:
BB mated to ll
Bl Bl Bl Bl Bl Bl Bl Bl
Every puppy in the above mating will be Black, but each of them will carry the recessive gene for Landseer. This is not optional - it will happen every time, because the Landseer parent has no Black gene to offer, and therefore gives every pup a Landseer color gene.
Now suppose that you took two of the Bl puppies and mated them together or bred one of them to another Bl dog. You would expect the following results:
Bl mated to Bl
BB BB Bl Bl Bl Bl ll ll
Two puppies would be Black, and be purebred for Black, having taken a Black gene from each parent. About four would be Black, but carry Landseer, having taken one recessive color gene from each parent. Two pups would be Landseer, having taken the recessive Landseer genes from both parents. Generally, the number of puppies used to demonstrate the likelihood of color inheritance is eight, because this is large enough for color variations to be averaged.
If you study the following chart, it is easy to see that two Landseers can produce nothing but Landseers when mated, but apparently Black dogs can produce Landseers, because they can carry the recessive. In other words, when a dominant characteristic is not visible (i.e., Black), it is not present at all. With a recessive, however, it can be masked for generations only to reappear when the conditions are right - when it is teamed with another recessive gene.
It must be remembered, however, that the following Mendelian Expectation chart applies over large numbers, with the expectation to be exact in only lines 1, 2, and 6 where no variation will occur.
Since the color Grey is recessive, like Landseer, it is obvious that a great many dogs can carry Grey, but the only time a Grey pup will show up in a litter is when both parents give their recessive Grey gene.
Irish Spotting, on the other hand, is recessive to Black, but dominant over Landseer. If you bred a Black female that carried Irish (I) to a Landseer, you might expect the following:
IL IL IL IL BL BL BL BL
About half of the pups will be Irish Spotted, and half will be Black. All of the puppies will be Landseer recessive, because with one Landseer parent they have no alternative but to carry Landseer - the Landseer parent has to give a Landseer gene.
If you took the same bitch and bred her to a dog that was purebred for Black (BB), the resulting litter would be as follows:
BB BB BB BB BI BI BI BI
All of the pups would be Black, but about half of them would carry Irish Spotting, having taken the dominant Black gene from their father and the recessive Irish from their mom.
Take the same Black Irish Recessive female and breed her to a dog that is Black Landseer recessive and you could expect the following results:
BB BB Bl Bl BIrish BIrish IrishLandseer IrishLandseer
Most pups will be Black, carrying either Irish or Landseer. You will likely get some Irish Spotted pups, in the case where they took their father's Landseer gene and their mother's Irish Spotted gene. The Irish Spotted gene will dominate the Landseer gene, as will the Black. You cannot get Landseers out of the breeding unless both parents carry a Landseer gene. It must be noted that when dark Landseers are bred into a line that is known to carry Irish Spotting, it can be difficult to determine if you have a very dark Landseer or a very light Irish Spotted.
If you took two dogs that were Black/Irish Spotted and bred them together, you could expect the following genetic breakdown on color:
BB BB BB BI BI BI II II
Some of the pups will be Black, and purebred for Black. Some will be Black carrying Irish, and a couple will be Irish, carrying only Irish.
MENDELIAN EXPECTATION CHART
SIRE AND DAM PROGENY
LL LL LL LL LL LL
BB LL BL BL BL BL
BL BL BB BL LL BL
BB BL BB BB BL BL
LL BL LL BL LL BL
BB BB BB BB BB BB
(Editor's Note: How do you determine the sex of a chromosome? Pull down its genes.)
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
According to a recent survey, one out of every thousand Newfies suffers from the affliction known as "Scoldyshore", a combination of "Hangashore" and "Scoldyness". Recent studies suggest that this malady is one-hundred percent preventable. The suffering it causes is beyond description - just look at the pictures. We ask that you take a few minutes to view this video and that you then donate what you can, however small, to help prevent Hangshorism and Scoldyness among the Gentle Giants.
The Society to Prevent Scoldy Hangashores
Saturday, March 7, 2009
The Royal Order of the Irish Spotted Newfoundland Society ("ISNS") is proud to bring you its inaugural video. The ISNS will soon have its own website, and membership is not only free of charge (until we get a few members who we can charge) but open to all Newfies. The ISNS has been formed, in part, in order to ameliorate the centuries of discrimination against these lovely creatures. Any reference to "mismarked" will be met with swift action, legal or otherwise (by some "retired" gentlemen from North Beach). The ISNS has plain-old fun as its main goal, so please do not be put off the any images herein. Satchie is working on the Irish Spotted Hangashore Society but, as yet, it is short on fun-ding.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Lay my head on the groomer's table
Take my paw-prints if you are able
Check my leash, check my collar
Steal some DNA and come back with a swabber
Run every kind of test from 'A' to 'Z'
And you'll still know nothin' 'bout me.
Run my name through your computer
Mention me in passing to your judge's tutor
Check my records, check my facts
Check if I paid my Newfie tax
Pour over everything in my pedigree
But you'll still know nothin' 'bout me.
You don't need to read no books on my history
I'm a Spotted Newf, it's no big mystery
In the cold weather, I don't need a glove
At times like this, a Scoldy Boy like me needs love.
Search my house with a fine tooth comb
Turn over everything 'cause I won't be home
Set up your microscope, and tell me what you see
Because you'll still know nothin' 'bout me
You'll still know nothin' 'bout me
You'll still know zip a-bout me.
But boy do I love Puppy.