U.S. army braces itself for increase in PTSD in sniffer dogs

by Mark James on September 20, 2011

The American Marine Corps is taking steps to combat post-traumatic stress disorder in its’ bomb sniffing dogs, as it prepares to increase the number of those on duty in Afghanistan.

The highly trained canines recently hit the news when Cairo, a Belgian Malinois, accompanied the team that stormed the compound of Osama Bin Laden in May. So far, he is the only personnel to be named as taking part in the operation.

However, as the armed forces begin to rely on dogs more and more, the numbers that are wounded or killed on the front line are rising steadily. In fact, 14 highly trained dogs have died on the front line since May 2010. In that period, six were wounded (more…)

Labrador causes a bit of a kerfuffle for Walliams

by Darren Jamieson on September 19, 2011

David Walliams, part man, part comedian, part fish, rescued a dog that got into difficulties whilst swimming in the Thames on the latest leg of his charity swim.

The star of Little Britain and Come Fly With Me was approaching Coockham Lock, Berkshire, on his gruelling 140-mile (225K) swimathon along the UK’s most famous river, when a Labrador named Vinnie leaped off the bank to join him.

Vinny’s owner, Gina Fidler, explained that her dog has a fixation with water: he has a bad hip, and (more…)

Choosing a pet from an animal shelter

by Leanne Thompson on September 18, 2011

It is all too easy to pick a puppy if you are looking to introduce a dog into your family. Certainly, puppies have their appeal, not least because of their cute looks and playful manner. They can be trained and depending on the breed, can be introduced into families with young children. You may also prefer to get a pedigree rather than a cross-breed that you may find in the local animal shelter.

However, dogs in general give so much love and companionship that it is worth considering taking one of the many unwanted or abandoned dogs at a rescue shelter into your home. Of course a shelter should be responsible and not house a dog (more…)

Introducing a new dog to your pet

by Vivien Richardson on September 17, 2011

If you are a dog lover, you may decide that having just one pet is not enough. Some dog owners choose to buy two pets at once, perhaps from the same breeder, in order to train their puppies at the same time. This can sometimes be a recipe for chaos! However, introducing a new dog into your home when you have an existing pet also brings some concerns to mind and it is worth being well prepared and organised.

Your new dog or puppy should be vaccinated and examined by a vet before bringing the pet home – you do not want to inadvertently spread any bugs to your existing dog. Your vet should be able to advise you on what the risks (more…)

Abandoned Pit Bulls at large in Australian suburb

by Leanne Thompson on September 16, 2011

Dangerous dogs have been running wild in a suburb of Victoria, Australia, as owners abandon them in the face of a crackdown by authorities.

So far, four Pit Bulls wandering around Hume have been captured by government dog handlers in the past several days.

Authorities think that the animals have offloaded by owners in an effort to avoid prosecution for importing or breeding dangerous animals. In fact, a hotline set up received information on 125 pit bulls and pit bull crosses within the first seven days it was active.

The tough new measures were put into effect following a fatal attack on a (more…)

Dog owner finds new love to share house and wardrobe with her Yorkies

by Mark James on September 15, 2011

The ‘mother-in-law’ of the UK’s ugliest dog has finally found love for herself after shelling out an incredible £100,000 on her pet Yorkies.

In early 2011, Louise Harris spent £20,000 on a wedding for Lola, one of her Yorkshire terriers, who got hitched to Chinese crested Mugly, the owner of the Britain’s Ugliest Dog crown since 2005.

After years of misplaced affection, she has now found a beau of her own – Dan Hill, presenter of TV show The New Reclaimers.

After meeting Dan at a fashion show, the two became smitten. In fact, Louise brought him to heel in record time. Although they have only been together for little over three months, she now dresses Dan in identical (more…)

Come by! TV institution set for return

by Mark James on September 14, 2011

Sunday nights were never the same without One Man and His Dog. Marvelling at how well trained the collies were, wondering how the shepherd made those piercing whistling noises and trembling in anticipation at whether or not the sheep would finally enter the pen were a staple for many.

However, after a period away from our screens, sheepdog trials are due for a return to our screens, albeit with a few new twists.

The World Sheepdog Trials, due to air on More 4 this Thursday 15th September, will feature heartrate monitors attached to the sheep to indicate how nervous they are, and therefore how likely they will be to make a run for it, accelerometers on the dogs’ collars to record how fast they (more…)

Hero pup saves heart attack Gran

by Darren Jamieson on September 13, 2011

A grandmother has credited her pup with saving her life after she was struck by a heart attack.

Gwen Risby, 76, of Norwich, collapsed at home after a massive cardiac arrest. Sensing that something was wrong, her 16 week old pup Candy, a Shih Tzu / Jack Russell cross, managed to revive her.

Mrs Risby came to as her pet pawed and scratched at her, and somehow found the strength to make a phone call to her daughter. She said:

“I definitely owe my life to Candy.”

“She was absolutely brilliant. She was so young but she had the sense to bring me round just enough to make a phone call.”

“I was scratched and bleeding but I didn’t really care. Candy just sensed that there was something wrong. Without her I would not be here because no one would have known.”

Critically ill, she was rushed to Norwich University Hospital and was hooked up to life support. thankfully, she recovered fully and was reunited with Candy.

It has long been thought by some that dogs have an spooky sixth sense when it comes to their owners being in danger.

Jenny Smedley, author of several animal books, thinks that dogs are ‘in tune’ with humans, and know when things go awry. She said:

“In the case of the heart attack victim, the dog did not understand what her owner was experiencing but she did sense that her energy had become dangerously low and this would have given the puppy the urge to try to revive her.”

Petra Ecclestone buys LA mansion for her pet dogs

by Mark James on September 12, 2011

Petra Ecclestone, daughter of Formula One grand poobah Ernie Ecclestone, has revealed the real reason behind her purchase of a £52 million ($82.8 million) mansion in a swanky area of Los Angeles: it’s to giver her dogs more space.

22-year-old Ecclestone admitted that her purchase of the 14-bedroom luxury property (made with her father’s money, naturally) was out of concern for her five pet dogs. According to her, they deserve a larger place to live, despite the fact that she owns another mansion in Chelsea worth £56 million ($89.2 million).

Constructed by the now deceased TV producer Aaron Spelling, whose hits include Charlie’s Angels and Dallas, the sprawling French chateau-styled mansion has acres of gardens, a swimming pool, gift wrapping rooms, and a (more…)

Considerations before buying a dog

by Vivien Richardson on September 11, 2011

Buying a dog is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. As much pleasure as owning a pet can be, the responsibility of owning a dog is huge, and the decision should be considered from many angles before taking the plunge. Whilst choosing a dog can be an emotional decision, there are financial and practical concerns that you should address.

Cost is a major consideration. Not only the initial outlay of buying a dog (as a rescue animal may not cost you anything) but there are vet’s bills to consider should your dog require emergency assistance. Food, pet insurance and additional expenses such as grooming, kennels if you have to go away or help with dog walking if you are working long hours all day should also be weighed up.

How much free time you have should also be at the top of your list of considerations. Depending on (more…)

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