May 10th 2010 12:18 am
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Hello... I'm Peanutty Crankite reporting on Monday, the 10th of May. This is your 60 seconds of news on Dogster.
Happy Monday! Today is "Windmill Day" and "Lupus Day."
When Opposites Attract! Dog and Leopard Fall in Love
Tommy the golden retriever and Salati the leopard grew up together. Raised by humans at the Glen Afric Country Lodge, the pair are now inseparable.
The owners of the lodge, a country retreat located in Pretoria, South Africa, rescued Salati as an orphaned cub when she was just 10 months old. They had previously helped to rehabilitate other injured animals, including elephants and giraffes, so they took Salati in and walked her along with their family dog, Tommy.
"Wherever you see one, the other is right behind," animal wrangler Richard Brooker told the photo agency.
Salati spends her days chasing after Tommy, and they find themselves snuggling up to each other after their walks. For this dynamic duo, love knows no bounds.
60 Second's adopted dog of the day
Iris is a three-year-old spayed female Australian Cattle Dog/Blue Heeler. She was picked up as a stray. Iris is an active, but gentle, girl. She would be a great running or hiking partner. Pretty Iris needs a loving furever home. Let's hope that she finds one very soon! ♥
Cute Dog Video Of The Day
Dog Passing Out
Who is this?
It's singer John Legend (with girlfriend Danielle Abreu) and his bulldog, Putty, going for a stroll in N.Y.C.
Dog Gift Idea Of The Day
Bone Pick-Up Pak
The bone-shaped pick up pack is both attractive and functional. Roll of bags inserts easily into Pik-Up-Pak. With a quick pull, bags dispense one at a time. Pik-Up-Pak conveniently clips onto belt or leash to keep bags handy.
The Pick Up Pack:
* Is a convenient pet waste disposal system.
* Includes a roll of 12 bags.
* Replacement bags are available. Be sure to get extras.
* Clips to belt or leash.
American Parents Going to the Dogs After Human Kids Leave the Nest
CANTON, Ga.—Ever the doting mother, Christina Stafford exposes her little one, Lilly, to a full program of enriching activities. There are swimming lessons, a twice-a-week agility class and, on a recent Saturday, a sheep-herding course.
It's a busy schedule for her white poodle.
Ms. Stafford, a 59-year-old retired banker and mother of two adult children, is one of many baby boomers who drive their pets from activity to activity as they once did their human offspring. "I believe dogs, like children, should be exposed to things," says Ms. Stafford, a cheerful woman who carries a fanny pack of treats for Lilly.
At Canine Ranch, on a picturesque country road, Ms. Stafford and more than 100 others set up lawn chairs and coolers to watch their pets compete in dog sports.
The house pets chased sheep in the herding ring, practiced swimming in "Pool Parkway," caught flying disks in "Frisbee Fairway" and leaped tiny hurdles in "Agility Alley." There also is "dock diving," in which dogs, chasing a rubber toy, compete to see who can jump the farthest off a dock into a pool of water.
Such weekend gatherings are popping up around the country, and organizers say they are dominated by empty nesters who no longer have children at home whose time they can schedule.
At Canine Ranch, which opened in 2008, owner Chris McLeod says about 80% of her business is from empty nesters. "This is like their kids' softball or ballet, but now it's their dogs," she says.
"They transfer the kids' activities to the dog," says Annie DeChance, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Dog Agility Association, which holds events nationwide.
DogSport Magazine says 92% of its readers are between the ages of 45 and 54, and many of them are women. Among dog-owning households, parents over the age of 45 are by far the largest group, at 24% of the total, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, which polled 80,000 families in 2007.
In Seattle, a similar clientele frequents University Canine Learning Academy (UCLA), which offers 12 classes a week in dog sports. "Almost all of them have either high-school-age kids or kids that are going into college," says owner Linda McVay. "Their lives are changing, and they are looking for something to fill the gap."
Ferrying loyal canine companions around in the minivan has distinct advantages over carting whiny teenagers to and from Little League, dog sports insiders say. "When your child doesn't do well, he knows it. And you have to deal with that," said Pam Hanley, a 58-year-old former self-styled soccer mom. She now happily chauffeurs her two dogs between a dog Frisbee league, sheep herding and "canine freestyle," in which pet owners learn to dance with their pets.
She pointed to her mutt Sully, gleefully digging in the dirt. He's happy whether he wins or loses, as long as he gets a treat, she said. "He's always smiling—that's the difference."
Four of the six people who showed up at the ranch on a recent Sunday morning for one-on-one instruction in dock diving and "novice swimming" said they had turned to dog sports after their children left home.
Evie Bronikowski, who is 56, said that as a stay-at-home mother, she took her children to sailing, rowing, swimming, soccer, tennis and water-skiing lessons. After they left, "I thought, 'Holy Toledo, I've got a lot of time,'" said Ms. Bronikowski.
Her new passion: her three dogs, Tebow, Annie and Buzz.
Once a week, each pooch takes an agility class—separately since each is at a different level—learning to jump hurdles, navigate teeter-totters and run through tunnels.
Ms. Bronikowski had driven an hour to Canine Ranch to try dock diving.
"People think I've lost my mind," she said, rubbing Tebow's soppy head, "but these are my new children, my furry children."
On the big crowded "fun day" at the ranch, the poodle Lilly, with her fluffy white curls, blended in with the sheep in the herding ring. Instead of rounding up the livestock, she kept stopping to gaze longingly at Ms. Stafford.
"She's worried about mom," said Ms. McLeod, the ranch owner.
"I know it; I love her, too," Ms. Stafford said softly.
Many in the friendly crowd were from a 53-member Jack Russell Terrier club, on an outing from Atlanta. Rick Davis, a 57-year-old retired fireman in a floppy hat, waited with his Jack Russell, Buddy, for a turn at the lure course, in which dogs chase a plastic bag across a field. The bag is on a battery-operated pulley. Buddy howled and tried to jump out of Mr. Davis's arms while other dogs were running the course.
"He gets so crazy waiting his turn," Mr. Davis said. He put his hands over Buddy's face. "I have to cover his eyes and turn him away."
Mr. Davis used to spend free time coaching his daughters' softball teams. "We did that for ages. Now it's the dogs," said his wife, Vicki, who is 52.
Along with Buddy, who "likes chasing a white paper bag across a field," the couple has Annie, who "likes to hunt critters," Mr. Davis said. "One is quiet and orderly and will listen to you; the other is more rambunctious—just like our kids. We always say, we ended up with dogs just like our kids. How about that?" Mr. Davis said.
On weekends, they drive as far as 150 miles in their camper so Buddy can enter lure-course competitions. Buddy won first prize at one in November. "Every time someone comes over, I show them the ribbon like a proud papa," said Mr. Davis.
That will do it for this edition of the news. Thanks for reading. Enjoy your day! This is Peanutty Crankite, signing off. And that's the way it is.
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