African Wildlife Foundation’s canine detection units are making it harder for poachers to profit off elephants and rhinos. They are specially trained to sniff out elephant ivory and rhino horn in Africa’s major airports and seaports. I like that it’s one area where dog’s hunting skills can be used to help wildlife and this kind of work is generally fun for them.
Click the link below to meet the first graduating class.
Happy Birthday, your Majesty! There are some great pictures in the link above, click the source article to see them all but I really enjoyed this one of Her Majesty with four of her dogs best. These are Willow, Vulcan, Candy and Holly at the rear of the East Terrace and East Garden in the private grounds of Windsor Castle. This article linked below is from a couple of years ago specifically about the corgis. Holly and Willow were 12 at the time of the Vanity Fair article, that makes them really old ladies now.
When we had Geoff the puppy living with us Rob very patiently taught him how to use the dog door. He jumped in and out a few times and then poked a toy through the hole from outside. After Rob waggled it to get his attention, he’d pull it through, as if to say, “come on, Mr. toy can make through the door and so can you.” It was so cute!
This was repeated until Geoff finally stuck his head through on his own but he wasn’t too sure about pushing out through the flap. Our dog door is installed kind of high since it was originally placed for Freya who was a tall German Shepherd and the pup’s legs weren’t that long but Rob barked and ran in circles until Geoff just couldn’t stand it anymore and finally jumped the rest of the way through. Soon he was flying through the dog door as if he’d been doing it forever.
100 rescue dogs searched the rubble of the World Trade Center for survivors and then for remains during the weeks after the plane attacks on September 11th, 2001. I spotted an interview in The Daily Mail with Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas about her book which “captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from 9/11.” The portraits are sweet, like the one above, of the dogs at home juxtaposed with pictures of the horrible event that brought them all together and stories about their encounters with survivors and with other rescue workers. I am so glad she did this now because they are a rapidly vanishing resource. When Dumas began travelling the US to take these portraits fifteen of the dogs were still alive, only thirteen are still with us.
To see more of her wonderful portraits and read the rest of the article, click: DailyMail.co.uk
June 6th is the day we brought Robert home! I figure most of you have never seen any puppy pictures so here are a couple along with some more recent ones. It is pretty hard to believe he wasn’t always part of the family and even harder to imagine what it will be like without him someday. He was about 6 months old and only 45 pounds when we brought him home… as you can see he was an adorable pup! Freya went along with the idea during the initial meet and greet at a friend’s home until it suddenly occurred to her that we meant to keep him, then she took a bit of um, convincing. He was always really good with her. In fact, when he was about a year old, Freya was getting really arthritic but still loved to play fetch so we would go to the park near us at night and let them both off leash. Scott would throw the Frisbee, Rob would chase and retrieve it, and then bring it right to Freya so she could return it to Scott for the next toss — all without a word spoken or a prearranged plan — it all just somehow fell into place thanks to Robbie.
That intuitive caring is why Robbie has been such an amazing therapy dog. I would take him to an assisted living facility for a scheduled visit and as we’d enter the common room where everyone was gathered for the event, I’d have him sit at the entrance to get our bearings. I’d watch him scan the room’s occupants and then look up at me to indicate he was ready. I’d nod to him it was okay to go and let him lead me as he walked right up to a specific person and engage them. Without fail, the event coordinator would come up to me and whisper, “That’s who I was going to ask you to be sure to visit. He or she has been having a really hard time. How does he do that?” I’d just beam at him and say, “He’s a rock star!”
I’ve heard it said that it takes a village to raise a child and a dog is no exception. Thanks to…
Audra, for pulling him from the Pierce County Humane Society
Dana & Larry Babb of Paws-Abilities for making training fun for us
My Mom for teaching him so many of his tricks
TDI, Therapy Dogs International, for giving Rob a job he loves
Drs. Theresa Hetrick and Tim Cavanaugh for taking care of him
The staff of the VCA Emergency Animal Clinic for saving his life a couple of years ago
Tanya for being the best dog-sitter in the world
Everyone else who falls in love with him everywhere we go.