August 18, 2014
by Sam Bourne
0 comments

Mayor Dog “Wins by a Landslide”

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Cormorant, Minnesota, is going to the dogs – literally.

The votes for the most recent mayoral election have come in, and the results show a clear winner – Duke the seven-year-old mutt.

Duke is officially the small village’s mayor dog.

A Dog for a Mayor?

Not only did Duke win the election, but by all accounts he won by a landslide. Granted, the total of his “landslide” victory consists of 12 votes. But in a town where less than 18 people voted, that is as much of a landslide as you are going to get.

Even though the mayor dog doesn’t have the same firm grasp on American politics as other candidates, Duke has been serving the town his entire life. Duke is locally famous for patrolling the streets, making sure that they are free of any critter ne’er-do-wells. He also is known for spending much of his down time making sure cars driving through Cormorant stick to the speed limit — by barking and chasing after any fast cars.

And to sweeten the pot for his constituents, the mayor dog will not be taking a salary during his term. Instead, all he requires is a years supply of kibble – being donated to the democratic doggy by Tuffy’s Pet Food.

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SO. MUCH. FOOOOD!!

But given his sweeping win this election, it looks like Duke is going to stay at the helm for many years to come. And not just dog years.

Before being sworn in, Duke enjoyed a long and relaxing trip to the local groomers. He had to look sharp for his public.

Almost the entire town is excited to see their favorite dog at the helm of their town. However, Richard Sherbrook, owner of the Cormorant Store and Mayoral candidate, has yet to be reached for a comment. One can only hope to understand the kind of emotional toll it must take to lose an election to a dog. Perhaps he is beefing up his campaign for his run in the next term.

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Yes. I lost to a dog. That’ll be $5 for the flax seed.

Duke’s election is coming hot on the heels of another high-profile moment for Minnesota politics. While the sun comes up of Duke’s term as mayor dog, so it also sets on the two term run for Minnesota’s youngest political official, the now 5-year-old mayor of Dorset, Robert Tufts.

Minnesota’s Miniature Mayor

While many are sad to see the end of such an adorable reign, little Robert is more than happy to relinquish his seat as mayor. “I have to look at the cameras so much I can’t be googly eyes and fun and nonsense,” Robert told a local CBS reporter.

The end of his term may have been the best for everyone. Robert gets to return to a normal childhood, and the town is spared from a mayor that would have ended up abusing his power.

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I OWN YOU!

Even at the end of his second term, Robert was starting to show the warning signs of political corruption – “Nobody could arrest me, not even a cop,” a young Robert brazenly told reporters.

Tread carefully, Robert. Diplomatic immunity can be a double edged sword.

The last thing Dorset needs is a 5-year-old Rob Ford on their hands.

Sources:
Independent – Duke the dog becomes elected mayor of Minnesota town 
Fox Chicago – 7-Year-Old Dog Elected As Mayor in Cormorant, Minnesota

August 15, 2014
by Sam Bourne
1 Comment

4 Dog Care Hacks That Every Owner Should Know

7 dog care hacks that every owner should know

4 dog care hacks that every owner should know

Raising and training a dog can be a challenging endeavor for any person. The amount of time, dedication and patience can be exhausting, but it’s a rewarding experience in the end. With the right know-how and commitment, pet parents can have fun with training and caring for their furry friends.

To make the process easier, here are some useful dog care hacks to take advantage of during your ownership.

1. King Kong of cheese
Kongs, rubber toys molded in a snowman-like shape, are very popular among canines. They can spend countless hours chewing on the durable rubber, gnawing away at its rounded body after a long day of playing outside. But parents can take their furry friend’s Kong to the next level by adding in a few blocks of cheese and microwaving the toy for 5 seconds. Dog Vacay explained that the narrow openings on Kongs make for an exceptional challenge when it comes to devouring all of the cheese. Some owners also like to put dog food inside the toy during meals to have better control over their dogs’ eating habits.

2. Protect paws with Vaseline
This unique dog care hack comes from Bark Post just as the seasons begin to shift. While winter is still months away, that doesn’t mean pet parents shouldn’t begin preparing their pups for the inevitable chill. Humans are lucky enough to wear boots when trudging along sidewalks that are covered in a mix of salt, snow and ice, but dogs typically endure the harsh elements with their bare paws. However, applying Vaseline to their pads before taking a long walk outside can help protect canines from the pain of chapped and cracked skin. Afterward, rinse their paws in warm water to wash away any salt or chemicals that they may have picked up along the way.

3. Prevent burning eyes
It’s inevitable that the family dog will get into some serious horseplay throughout his life. After long hours frolicking through the woods or rolling around in the yard, canines are going to get dirty. While bath time can be a messy experience, it’s necessary to keep pooches looking and smelling good. The right dog shampoo can leave them feeling good as new, but sometimes soap and water can get into their eyes and cause irritation. According to ViralNova, using a teapot to rinse off dogs keeps them protected from various irritants by allowing pet parents to have more control over the washing process and keep soap out of their eyes.

4. Minimize shedding
Some dog breeds have coats that barely shed, if at all, but others can produce a never ending supply of hair that quickly sticks to anything in the house. Car seats, couches, clothes and countless other items can wind up covered in tufts of dog fur, even after a thorough brushing. Dog Vacay recommended an easy and cost-effective solution to removing the tumbleweeds of hair from around the house. All-natural dryer sheets can be used to pick up any stray hairs and pet dander coming off the family dog. This hack can be a significant relief for people with allergies who might have a hard time breathing during the summer. It also saves owners a lot of money in the long run.

And that’s not all! Stay tuned for the second installment of “Dog Care Hacks” for even more helpful tips that every dog parent should know.

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August 15, 2014
by Sam Bourne
0 comments

New dog park seeks to separate large and small dog breeds

dog-parkThe Daily Herald reported that a new dog park in Schaumburg, Illinois, could quickly run out of space for your furry friend. More than two years in the making, the K-9 Dog Park is poised to open this fall but owners in the area need to act soon to secure a spot.

According to city officials, only dog owners who have gone through the proper registration process will be allowed to use the park, and there’s currently a 500-person limit to the list. The sign-up period opens on Sept. 4, 2014, for Schaumburg residents and Oct. 1, 2014, for nonresidents. However, the latter group’s access will be determined by the number of spots still available.

Applicants must provide proof of up-to-date vaccines for several diseases, including rabies, and those who successfully register will receive a key ring tag that grants electronic access to the park. Each owner can register a maximum of four dogs.

The leash-free, 6.5-acre area will feature a large pond with a ramp that’s specifically designed to help canines get in and out of the water. When dogs are getting on in years, these kinds of amenities can help make their lives easier. Other components include a relaxing gazebo by the water, numerous benches and water fountains for beating the heat.

However, the park will also enact some size restrictions by designating different areas for small and big dogs. Officials didn’t provide a reason behind the division, but it might be for safety concerns. Far too many misconceptions exist about larger canines due to their somewhat intimidating stature. Big pups can be the perfect choice for some, and here are some examples of large breed dogs to love.

Bernese mountain dogs
Good natured, self-assured and docile, these burly canines’ sheer size can only be matched by their loving hearts, American Kennel Club explained. Since they’re outdoor dogs, they require a lot of space to roam about in a backyard or dog park multiple times a week. But don’t let their stature fool you – these four-legged friends are very fast during their younger years. Bernese mountain dogs also get along well humans, dogs and other household pets due to their affection, loyalty and intelligence levels.

Great Danes
Family Circle recommended these larger-than-life canines for families that have rambunctious kids. Despite their size, Great Danes can consider themselves as lap dogs and try to lay down on you like a Shih Tzu. This breed is known for being loving and protective of its owners and their children. For many people, one of the biggest advantages of Great Danes is the minimal grooming required to keep them clean. Short coats of fur make brushing and bathing these dogs an easy task.

Mastiffs
One look at this breed might be enough to turn away would-be robbers, but Mastiffs are actually warm-hearted and gentle dogs, SheKnows explained. Their size exhibits power due to barrel-chests and long, muscular legs. While they may not be as tall as Great Danes, they’re probably twice as thick. Although Mastiffs make excellent guard dogs because of their beast-like appearance, they’re an affectionate breed that’s extremely loyal to their owners.

These three big breeds might look intimidating at first glance, but there’s more than meets the eye with these dogs. Many larger canines are harmless and docile toward other furry friends and don’t need to be removed from smaller pooches. However, while the Schaumburg dog park’s officials didn’t give a specific reason, the segregation could be in place to protect small children from overly excited dogs. Whatever the case may be, a park catered to canines is perfect for exercise and socialization among the various breeds.

Sources

Daily Herald

American Kennel Club

Family Circle

SheKnows

August 13, 2014
by Sam Bourne
0 comments

Dog Saves Lost Girl After 11 Days in Siberian Wild

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Like a modern day Lassie, this heroic dog saves his little, lost companion from otherwise treacherous circumstances.

A little 3-year-old girl, Karina Chikitova, was recently rescued from the Siberian wilderness after spending 11 days out in the taiga.

Karina went missing after following her father as he left home on a job. Due to the remote area’s poor cell reception, neither of her parents were able to contact one another. Her mother was under the impression that Karina had gone off with her father on the job, while her dad assumed Karina was back at home. And while both of her parents were under the impression that their daughter was safe, Karina was lost and alone in the tall grass of the cold Siberian taiga.

Well, maybe not ALL alone…

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A Hero Dog Saves a Lost Girl

Lucky for Karina, she was accompanied by her puppy who kept her safe and warm in the Siberian wilderness – the area Karina was lost in is known for its high density of wolves and bears. Surviving the ordeal by sustaining herself on river water and berries, it is a miracle that little Karina made it at all. If it wasn’t for Kryachaan, the chances that Karina would have ever returned home were slim.

It took four days for Karina’s mother to discover that something was awry, at which point she launched a full search for her missing daughter. However, because of the topographical nature of the area, things like helicopters and drones were rendered useless. The tall grass made spotting Karina from the sky difficult enough. Add to that the fact that Karina had fashioned a bed out of the blades of grass, recovering the well-camouflaged lost girl was literally like finding a needle in a haystack. In situations like this, the job often falls to the keen nose. In this case, a dog saves the day.

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How Man’s Best Friend Earns The Title

Luckily, the dog realized that Karina’s family was never going to find her on their own, so he set off and caught up with them. The family was initially disheartened by the puppies arrival, having thought that it was by the dog’s presence alone that Karina stood a chance against the regions brutal climes. But when they realized that the dog was there to lead them back to their daughter, the Chikitova family leapt into action.

When they finally came upon Karina, rescuers said that she looked to be in surprisingly good shape given her circumstances. She did, however, dip into a worrisome weight range, weighing just over ten kilograms (22.5 lbs). But that is to be assumed after living on nothing but water and berries for over ten days. She was also badly bitten by mosquitoes and other bugs.

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Now in intensive care, her mother and father are not letting the little girl out of their sight. Spokeswoman Nadezhda Dvoretskaya had this to say about the incident – “Thanks to the dog who did his duty by his young owner when it really mattered to save her life.”

Sources:
Siberian Times – Three Year Old Miracle Girl Found Alive After 11 Days in Siberian Taiga – Thanks to Her Puppy
Siberian Times – First Picture of the Hero Dog Which Saved Three Year Old Karina

 

 

August 8, 2014
by Sam Bourne
0 comments

Can Your Dog Get Ebola? The Answer May Surprise You

Can your dog get ebola
The news has been running stories nonstop about this latest outbreak of the Ebola virus — and for good reason. Of the 1,323 reported cases, 932 have been declared dead, making this highly transmittable contagion one of the most lethal.

And now that a person with Ebola, Nancy Writebol, has been brought stateside and admitted into a hospital in Atlanta, people in America are finally starting to take notice. Many are concerned about how the outbreak will affect them.

But what about our pets?

Understanding Ebola

Ebola is a virus that causes the victim to bleed uncontrollably, both internally and externally. The virus takes 3 weeks to fully mature, and during the incubation period the victim often presents with headaches, weakness, a fever, and a sore throat.

Once mature, the virus causes the sufferer to lose function of their liver and kidneys. They will also start to hemorrhage blood from both inside and outside of their body.

Luckily, Ebola can only be transmitted via bodily fluids and tissues — it is not an airborne virus like the flu. That said, if it is contracted the victim has a 50% chance of survival — and that is being generous. Some sources put the mortality rate as high as 90%.

“But what about my dog?!”

Can Your Dog Get Ebola?

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So, can your dog get Ebola?

As it happens, cases of Ebola have been reported in monkeys, apes, rodents, pigs, bats, porcupines, and dogs.

Dogs are likely to contract Ebola as a result of eating or coming in contact with an infected animal, likely a fruit bat or a mouse. If your dog is notorious for bringing home little “presents” it may be a good idea to keep a closer eye on them.

An important caveat is, while dogs are able to contract Ebola, they do so asymptomatically. That means, while they can be a carrier of Ebola, they won’t present any of the signs and will therefore remain unaffected by the condition.

The fact that they can be a carrier, however, means that they are able to pass the virus on to us, which could present a problem. The odds that you would eat a fruit bat are very low (I hope), but the odds that your dog would lick your face after eating a fruit bat are much higher.

What Can I Do?

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For starters, try not to worry about it.

The outbreak has been, by-in-large, contained to West Africa (aside from Nancy Writebol, who has been quarantined and is under constant surveillance). The risk of you or your dog coming into contact with a carrier of Ebola is astronomically slim.

If you do suspect that you, your dog, or anyone else may have contracted the virus, stay calm. Contact your physician and vet, as well as the CDC, as soon as possible. The most important thing when dealing with a virus like Ebola is containing the outbreak.

Unfortunately, as of now, there is still no cure for Ebola, but researcher are working around the clock to finally put this virus to bed.

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Sources:
Center for Disease Control – Ebola Virus Antibody Prevalence in Dogs and Human Risk 
NY Times – Atlanta Hospital Admits Second American With Ebola 
Yahoo News – US Ebola Outbreak ‘Possible’ But Likely Not Large: CDC Chief 
DogChannel – Ebola Virus and Our Dogs