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Dogs Go From Chernobyl to California

A Cool, Calif., resident is among the first people to adopt a puppy from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster zone, The Sacramento Bee reported.

The young pup, named Persik — “Persyk” was written on her arrival crate; it means “peach” in Ukrainian — had been scavenging in the semi-radioactive area in Ukraine. Strays roaming the area are now up for adoption in the United States, with about 20 young dogs that have been cleared of radiation expected to find American homes.

The El Dorado County resident, Christine Anderson, welcomed her new companion, estimated to be a 7-month-old, into her home around Christmastime after picking her up at San Francisco International Airport. The mutt had a rather circuitous route to the states, but her arrival means the youngster won’t face a harsh and possibly deadly Chernobyl winter. Anderson and her fiancé also have a second dog, Daisy, a 2-year-old shepherd.

Persik has big bat ears and shepherd and Lab features plus a short, dark snout, a tan body, and deep brown eyes. Her new family, who describe Persik as shy, a little quirky, clever, and sneaky, has said the newcomer has settled in nicely.

Persik arrived with the help of the Dogs of Chernobyl project and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International.

“I, like many people, saw it – it was a big story going around, the Dogs of Chernobyl,” Anderson said. “Part of it is just, it’s such a cool idea of something to be a part of.”


Dogs Unleashed

A dog museum — The American Kennel Club’s Museum of the Dog — will be unleashed on New York City again, Cox Media Group reported.

It opens to the public Feb. 8, returning to New York after moving to St. Louis in 1987. The museum features about 150 items from the kennel’s collection, in addition to about 15,000 books in its library. Exhibits include paintings of White House dogs, a 19th-century skeleton of a smooth fox terrier, and movie posters celebrating canine stars from movies, including Lassie and Beethoven.

The museum won’t have live dogs, except on special occasions. The kennel club runs the country’s oldest purebred registry. The club hopes the museum showcases how breeding helps to hone specific traits, whether they are for bomb-sniffing or hunting.

The museum opened in 1982 in New York. Hoping to increase the number of visitors from 15,000, it moved to a larger space in St. Louis in 1987. The museum had about 10,000 visitors last year. The historic St. Louis house did allow visitors’ pets. Only service dogs will be allowed in the new museum.


Opioid Resourcefulness

Veterinarians may be prescribing large quantities of opioids to pets, causing some people to think that owners might be using their pets to obtain addictive opioids for themselves, HealthDay reported on WedMD.

Such prescriptions from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine rose 41 percent between 2007 and 2017, even though the annual number of visits increased by just 13 percent, researchers found. Penn Vet distributed 105 million tramadol tablets, 97,500 hydrocodone (Hycodan) tablets, and nearly 39,000 codeine tablets during the study period, results show.

“I think it would come as a surprise to everyone, the quantities,” said senior author Dr. Jeanmarie Perrone, director of medical toxicology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.


An Apartment of Their Own

Cat sisters Tina and Louise have their own private $1,500-a-month 500-square-foot studio apartment in San Jose, complete with Apple TV and private bathroom, KTVU TV and The Mercury News reported.

The apartment, in upscale Willow Glen, is rented by Troy Good from David Callisch whose home fronts the apartment. The two are friends, and Good let his pal know he was facing a cat issue because his cat-loving daughter, Victoria Amith, was moving to cat-free dorm life at Azusa Pacific University in Los Angeles County. She desperately didn’t want the cats, which she got as kittens, to go to a shelter once her father couldn’t keep them at his home. Callisch, meanwhile, wasn’t sure what to do with his empty studio apartment and opted to help out his friend. The agreement allows the college kid to stay at Callisch’s when she comes to visit her dad and see the cats. Good pays the rent, and Callisch makes a daily visit to feed and play with the cats.

“They don’t argue, they don’t have wild parties, they are nice, and they are self- contained,’’ said Callisch. “I’m not a cat guy, but I do like them.”

One San Jose homelessness advocate organization denounced the catty arrangement, with a spokeswoman calling the situation “peak Silicon Valley” and insensitive.


Antler Antics

A Smithville, Mo., man, Roger Sigler, teaches dogs an interesting form of hunting: deer antler sheds, according to The Ottawa Herald.

Shed hunting is apparently a wildly popular outdoors enthusiasts’ hobby, and Sigler has trained more than 500 dogs in the United States, Canada, and Europe over the past 13 years to find such horns.

The shed-hunting season usually begins in January, after the deer’s antlers fall off, and runs through April. Finding big antlers is the main draw, but participants reportedly also like being outside and active with their families or friends while shed hunting.

Sigler, who also knows a lot about breeding shed-successful dogs (Labradors mostly) and has lots of experience training guard dogs and bird dogs (pointers primarily), suggested some hunters look for the horns to gauge prospects for the current or future hunting seasons for finding a big buck, perhaps one they may have missed previously.

Sigler charges $900 per month to train the dogs, and it usually takes two months to determine what skill sets they have and whether they should advance.

“What these dogs really are, as I’m talking to people all over — they’re antler dogs but what they really are — are hunting drug dogs. These are dogs for cancer or seizures or marijuana or antlers, until they’re taught what it is they’re looking for. Any of these real higher-level horn dogs are actually, I think, higher-quality drug dogs,” Sigler said. For more information on Antler Ridge Shed Dogs, go to


Just Around the Corner?

Robot dogs may add package and food delivery to their list of tasks, NBC News reported.

At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, German automotive company Continental displayed its four-legged delivery robot taking packages to a fake front door. At a demo at the Las Vegas Convention Center, a battery-powered ANYmal robot — made by Swiss robotics manufacturer ANYbotics — exited Continental’s CUbE autonomous vehicle, hopped over a scooter, and marched up porch steps. At the door, the dogbot used a paw to ring the doorbell, slid a package onto the doorstep, and did a little dance to celebrate the successful delivery.

ANYmal weighs 66 pounds, can carry up to 22 pounds, and moves at about one meter per second, easily going from pavement to porch. Wide-angle cameras, sensor-studded feet, and a radar-like technology known as LIDAR guide the bot.

Continental “wanted to tease” the delivery system but has no immediate plans to bring it to market. Other companies are working on their own robotic delivery systems.


Senior Dogs Suffer Dementia, Too 

Dogs, like humans, suffer from age-related illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, People reported.

Dogs, though, receive a diagnosis of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, or CCD, which is an age-related neurobehavioral syndrome that leads to a decline in cognitive function, affecting 14 to 22 percent of senior dogs. CCD may be inevitable, and there’s no cure, but there are things a pet guardian can do that may diminish the suffering.

There is apparently one medication licensed to treat CCD, Anipryl, that has some success in decreasing some signs of dementia. Supplements that have an antioxidant and/or anti-inflammatory effect, such as Silybin, S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe), omega fatty acids (primarily omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids) and Vitamin E, may help. Herbs that have an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect such as turmeric, ginger, and others, are thought to helpful for such dogs. Cooked, human-grade, whole-food diets may be good for these patients, while some veterinarians favor dog acupuncture and massage.


About Panting

It’s not exactly breaking news, but interesting nonetheless: Why dogs pant. According to a recent Readers’ Digest article, dogs pant: to cool off and/or cool down; to ward off heat stoke; to display excitement; to mitigate laryngeal paralysis; to lessen respiratory ailments such as allergic reactions, pneumonia, and bronchitis; to relieve cardiovascular trouble like fluid build up in the dog’s lungs; to show they are anxious or stressed out; or to relieve Cushing’s disease symptoms.


Sleeping With Dogs

A Tulsa, Okla., couple ordered a custom 10-foot wide mattress so they can fit their three dogs in bed with them at night, KJRH TV reported.

Joe and Sarah Klein said a king-sized bed was not big enough for them and their dogs, which includes Gypsy, a Great Dane. A normal bed is 6 feet wide. The Klein’s new bed is 10 feet wide.

The Kleins brought their three dogs to a store in south Tulsa recently to test out the mattress first, which is coming to them from Florida. They expect it will improve their sleep, but more importantly, it will allow them all to sleep in the same bed.

“[Joe] slept in a queen bed and [Gypsy] and I slept in a full-sized bed in the same room, but that’s not living like a family,” Sarah Klein said.

Main article photo by: Kendra Luck, The Dogumentarian