March 14, 2014
by Sam Bourne
5 Comments

US Skier’s Sochi Puppies Make Emotional First Appearance on Today Show

Gus-Kenworthy-Pups-Blog

Olympic skier and silver medalist Gus Kenworthy made some waves in Sochi — and not just for his slopestyle performance. After seeing the sheer amount of stray dogs walking around the Olympic village and city, he took it upon himself to personally rescue a few of these poor dogs.

RELATED STORY: Pics: Adorable Puppies Saved in Sochi, US Olympic Skier Takes Home More Than Just the Silver

Now, almost a month later, Gus is finally returning home with his three new Russian pooches: Mama, Jake and Mishka. Having finally finished dealing with all of the red tape involved with bringing his new furry friends back to the states, this morning Kenworthy introduced his puppies to America on the Today Show.

RELATED STORY: How to Adopt Shelter Dogs

Sadly, not all of the puppies made it back. Due to the malnourished and generally unhealthy state these puppies were found in, two of the puppies passed away during the month long wait for them to be cleared to leave Russia.

Thankfully, the other three dogs (two puppies and their mother) were eventually allowed to leave Russia, and are now living in a loving home where they are getting all the food and care they could need.

RELATED STORY: 10 Questions to Ask When Adopting a Dog

To see the Today Show segment, watch the clip below.

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March 14, 2014
by Sam Bourne
0 comments

‘Puppy Dog Eyes’ Scientifically Proven to Help Dogs Get Adopted

Dog-Faces-Blog

Awww, just look at him! How can you say no to that face?

Evidently, we can’t.

A recent study shows that puppy dog eyes beat tail wagging, along with any other cuteness factor, for boosting a dog’s adopt-ability.  In a study where 27 different dogs, all up for adoption, were monitored with a tool specially designed to analyze doggy facial expressions, the results showed that those with more emotive, child-like faces were almost always chosen sooner than their more steely-gazed, yet tail-waggly, counterparts.

However, though this study is only a few months old, could this be yet another case of modern science proving something we have known for a long time?

People can learn a lot about how another person feels simply by looking them in the eyes — hence the old expression “eyes are the windows to the soul.” It is easy to tell if someone is engaged, bored, happy, upset, angry, or sleepy, by the way their eyes are moving. Given the way our brains decode the ocular cues of those people around us, it makes sense that our dogs would learn to harness the power of those particular eye movements that elicit from us a strong response.

RELATED STORY: Reading Dog Body Language

For thousands of years, domesticated dogs have relied on the generosity of humans to sustain themselves. The first dogs were initially thought to have hung around our settlements, waiting for permission to pick at our scraps. It follows suit that those dogs with the gentlest, most sympathetic features would have fared the best at this Dickensian game of “please, sir, can I have some more?”

So why do we value these characteristics above others? Paedomorphic (or child-like) characteristics show us that the dog is being submissive, which means that we recognize them — consciously or subconsciously– as not posing a threat and therefore fit to live among humans.

RELATED STORY: Your Short History of Dogs

The truth is that dogs with overt paedomorphic features are not necessarily any friendlier than those without; they are just better equipped to play off our sympathies. So, next time your pooch breaks out the old doe eyes around dinner time, know that it is thousands of years of genetic selection that gave them the power to tug at our heartstrings so effectively.

For a full write-up of the study, check PLOS One

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March 12, 2014
by Emily Pope
6 Comments

One Couple’s Mission to Save Aging Canines: Susie’s Senior Dogs Will Warm Your Heart

Susie, 13, above, from "Susie's Senior Dogs." Credit: Brandon Stanton

Susie, 13, above, from Susie’s Senior Dogs. Credit: Brandon Stanton

Meet Susie, the face that launched a viral campaign to save adoptable senior dogs from animal shelters around the country.

RELATED STORY: Senior Dogs Get Their 15 Minutes Thanks to One Photographer’s Passion

This lucky pup was discovered by Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind the hugely popular blog and book, Humans of New York, or HONY, which documents “interesting” people on the streets of New York City. Stanton snapped a photo of Susie while on the job, and posted it to HONY’s Facebook page. Continue Reading →

March 10, 2014
by Lauren Anderson
1 Comment

Chihuahua and Kitten Bond to Survive Freezing Temperatures Until Rescue

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Photo via Helen Woodward Animal Center Facebook

Forced to face freezing temperatures, an unlikely pair bond together, proving that love really has no bounds.

A Chihuahua was discovered on the evening of February 28th nursing an abandoned kitten outside of a family’s home in Barstow, California. Nicknamed Beignet (Chihuahua) and Gumbo (kitten) in honor of Mardi Gras, they were rescued after neighbors heard noises outside. Continue Reading →

March 5, 2014
by Sam Bourne
6 Comments

6 of the Best Websites for Finding a Pet Sitter or Dog Walker

dog-sitting-blog

In 1983, Patti Moran was laid off from her job and, in a move that would later become a watershed moment for pet care professionals, decided to start her own pet-sitting business right out of her home. 21 years later, Pet Sitters International is one of the largest institutions in pet sitting education and certification.

RELATED STORY: What’s the Cost to Kennel a Dog?

In honor of Professional Pet Sitters Week (PPSW), we are taking a closer look at this necessary profession, and more specifically, the way in which the internet now makes it possible to find a reputable person to look after our precious pets. These are six of the best websites for finding a pet sitter or dog walker. Continue Reading →