No. 1 Mutt Mom
Sherri Franklin of Muttville Senior Dog Rescue of San Francisco has been chosen as one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2016 and could be voted hero of the year. Franklin is the only animal welfare person on the list and has been invited to attend the awards show on Dec. 11 hosted by Anderson Cooper and Kelly Rippa where all will be recognized for their endeavors in a live telecast. Franklin works tirelessly on behalf of canine seniors to find them forever homes, and her fans can help her win top honors by casting votes here: www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cnn.heroes/vote/ and on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about the rescue, Muttville, visit www.Muttville.org.
Cubby’s Dog Park
Pleasanton has a new dog park, Cubby’s Dog Park, named for the city’s first police dog. It almost became Bernal Bark Park, since the park is near Bernal Avenue. That’s the name the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission preferred, reported the East Bay Times. But the City Council had the final say in a community-wide naming contest that drew about 300 suggestions and opted to leave bark out of the equation. A Cub Scout, Aidan Husenjnovic, 10, lobbied for Cubby once he learned about the K-9 unit pioneer handled by Officer Jay Graves, now retired, from back in 1974 when the unit debuted. Aidan’s mom, Julie Husenjnovic, urged her son to think up a name with local historical significance. “We thought it was a great idea to name the park after a local hero,” Julie Husenjnovic said.
Expanding Its Reach
DOGTV now reaches 14 countries and 23 million American homes since it was started in 2013 by founder Ron Levi, also the chief content officer. Programming, Ozy.com reported, ranges from dogs taking walks to pups romping in water, and DOGTV is looking toward China. To watch it, humans pay a $5 monthly subscription fee and stream the commercial-free programming through DirecTV, Apple TV, Roku, and others to keep their dogs occupied and entertained. Levi is a longtime radio host and TV writer from Tel Aviv who took up creating on-demand animal content and films all over, including San Francisco’s Bayview Park. By the way, there’s also FidoTV. What’s your pooch watching?
In the Mood
Want to know how your dog really feels? Try out the new Inupathy, a mood harness just for pups. Biologist Joji Yamaguchi, wrote JoAnna Lou for The Bark, created one that measures heart rates to produce an algorithm that shows different moods with LED lights. Red is for excited or anxious; blue, relaxed; white, focused; and rainbow for happy.
Love Lives On
A Danbury, Conn., couple—Kenneth and Ann Gleszer—left $600,000 to area police departments to enable them to bring canine members to their forces. Ann was a pilot in World War II and later a test pilot, and Kenneth served on Liberty-class ships and held patents. His border collie gave him great comfort, thus the sizable donation to police departments in Danbury, Bethel, Brookfield, Newtown, and New Milford, NewsTimes.com reported.
Speaking of border collies, a few—10 currently—are making their living chasing geese for Chris Santopietro, founder of Geese Relief. The Greenwich, Conn., company uses herding dogs to get geese off golf courses and out of parks and other spaces. The dogs, 2½ to 13 years old, patrol for more than 120 clients in New York City and North Westchester, Conn., according to Crain’s. And their task is simple: chase away the fowl, though only Canada geese; the dogs know to leave alone ducks and swans. Sounds like a pretty good business, with revenue exceeding $1 million. It costs from $500 to $2,800 per month to hire the dogs. “Lucky for me, geese don’t take vacations,” Santopietro said.
The Eyes Have It
In case you didn’t know, dogs could benefit from corrective lenses, too. Primate researchers, Seeker said, noticed impaired eyesight kept primates from doing normal tasks like grooming and concluded prescriptive eyeware could aid them. Dog owners can pick up glasses from Warby Barker and goggles from Doggles with veterinary ophthalmologists today measuring noses, faces, and eye shapes for better-fitting glasses that won’t shatter and offer UV protection. “Doggles were worn by the dog who helped find Bin Laden,” said Roni Di Lullo, the founder of Doggles.
Dr. Matt Kaeberlein and Dr. Daniel Promislow, researchers from the University of Washington, have completed their first round of clinical trials in The Dog Aging Project and want to embark on a nationwide study to track aging in dogs. The first round tested Rapamycin, a drug taken in large doses by humans to fight organ transplant rejection. The doctors said their research showed Rapamycin in low doses can extend the life of lab mice. Rose Bigham’s 10-year-old dog Rascal participated in the trial, and she said the drug helped. The trial tested Rapamycin in about 30 middle-aged dogs over 10 weeks. They got a low-dose Rapamycin pill three times week. Kaeberlein and Promislow said money is a limiting factor for their research. They’re currently working on a large federal grant proposal. If fully funded, they say within five years they hope to increase healthy lifespans of dogs by two to five years.
Worth Every Penny
In Britain, the country’s 8.5 million dog owners spend about 10.6 billion pounds on their dogs annually, according to The Mirror, with the average owner spending about $1,252 annually. The money pays for vet bills, dog food, medicines, toys, grooming, day care and boarding, treats, clothing, accessories, and “pawlates,” aka Pilates for dogs. Pooch parents today spend more today than they did five years ago on their four-legged friends. Today’s British pound is about the equivalent of $1.25 U.S. dollars.
Optimist or Pessimist?
A recent Australian study suggests dogs, which most people think of as optimists, may be pessimists. The blog The Doubting Dog reported the finding, which defined animals that showed heightened expectation of positive outcomes as optimistic and those more likely to expect negative outcomes as being pessimistic.