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Dogs in Art at OMCA

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See the Art of Roy De Forest

There is a treat in store for dog art lovers: a Roy De Forest retrospective at the Oakland Museum of California. Called Of Dogs and Other People: The Art of Roy De Forest, it represents the California artist’s first full career retrospective, according to the OMCA.

The world of De Forest, a formative member of the Funk and Nut art movements who lived out his latter years in Port Costa after a long career in Davis, is a wondrous one. It’s full of dreamlike dogs, animals, and creatures, all taken from memories of the farm he grew up on and the dogs, cows, horses, and other farm animals that populated it. His scenes are rendered in bright, eye-popping colors in forms lacking uniformity. It’s quirky, funky, colorful, playful, and dark artwork from one of the Golden State’s most influential artists.

This exhibition, which runs through Aug. 20, includes about 50 paintings and sculptures aside listening stations that include an unusual collection of voices, including a dog trainer and a 10-year-old kid, a sword swallower, and a landscape horticulturalist—a range of characters not unlike those in De Forest’s paintings. Visitors can build their own imaginary world using felt shapes in a hands-on space inspired by the paintings. This exhibition is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St., Oakland, 888-OAKMUSE (625-6873), MuseumCa.org.

 

All About That Bow

You know that look your dog gives you after he’s eaten your socks, knocked over the garbage can, or unrolled the whole roll of toilet paper? In other words, when he has done something wrong and knows it?

Researchers now call that look—a hanging head and tucked tail—an “apology bow” and said it’s your dog’s attempt at looking submissive and acknowledging you have the power.

Professor Nathan Lents, a professor of molecular biology at John Jay College in New York, blogged about the apology bow on the online magazine Psychology Today and suggested dogs likely inherited this behavior from wolves, their ancestors.

 

Park Scare

In early April, two pet owners claimed their dogs got sick after a trip to Precita Park in Bernal Heights where they may have been affected by a chemical, possibly fertilizer, sprayed on the grass.

SFGATE and news site Bernalwood reported the residents notified their district supervisor of incidents in which their dogs foamed at the mouth and then vomited after previously going to the San Francisco park.

The supervisor contacted the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department about the incidents and was following up and had not heard of any other similar incidents elsewhere.

 

Dog Snatching

A mountain lion apparently crept into a remote Pescadero home in April and snatched a 15-pound Portuguese Podengo.

San Mateo County officials told CBS SF they believed a mountain lion entered a partially opened French door to a bedroom where a woman, a child, and the dog, Lenore, were sleeping. The mountain lion was able to remove the barking pet, which had not been seen since, though bloodstains and paw prints similar to a mountain lion were spotted by authorities who searched the area.

Mountain lion sightings have become more prevalent in the hills above Pescadero, where the house sits.

 

The Cost of Pets

In Britain, dogs cost about twice as much as cats in their first year, with owners spending the equivalent of about $6,000 on food, bedding, toys, equipment, insurance, and the pet itself, The Telegraph reported.

The research showed new cat owners shelling out about $3,000 in the first 12 months, which was much more than they spent on rabbits and fish. Horses were the most expensive, according to the study by Nationwide Home Insurance, with those pet owners spending nearly $15,000 in the first year.

“Owning an animal can be extremely rewarding, but a very expensive experience,” Rob Angus, Nationwide’s head of general insurance, said. “Given a pet is for life, it’s important to plan ahead and budget for the potential costs involved; otherwise, animal ownership could turn into a financial headache.”

 

For the Dogs

Are you an SUV driver whose ride lacks dog amenities?

Nissan debuted the Rogue Dogue at the New York International Auto Show recently, with Fox 13 News revealing some of the doggie-centric features, including a sliding hideaway ramp, a non-spill water dispenser, a built-in clip-in harness, a poop bag dispenser, window cameras, and a dog washing-and-drying station. The Dogue Edition isn’t on sales floors yet, but Nissan is looking at adding a few things that dog-loving drivers may want.

Other modifications included a removable custom dog bed in the rear cargo area, a food dispenser, heated air vents for the rear cargo bed area, easy-to-clean custom interior materials, a removable pet partition, a second-row dog hammock, a raised floor in the rear compartment housing a utility drawer and a dog first aid kit. Now that would be some rig, though critics call it a “prison.”

 

Seatbelts Not Mandatory

A Maine lawmaker, state Rep. Jim Handy, recently proposed a bill, An Act Concerning the Transporting of Dogs in Passenger Vehicles, that would have required dogs to be harnessed or tethered in moving vehicles, the Waterloo-Cedar Valley Courier reported recently. Days later, however, he withdrew it, saying the constituent who had suggested the law had a change of heart.

Had it progressed, the measure would have made Maine a pioneer in pet seat-belt legislation. Some states have laws that restrict unsecured dogs in open pickup truck beds, and others allow police to charge dog-holding drivers with violations under distracted driving laws. Only Hawaii explicitly prohibits driving with a dog on your lap and letting an animal roam loose in a vehicle.

 

New Diagnostic Tool

Veterinarians at the University of Missouri at Columbia have found a new way to diagnose and treat small animals such as dogs with musculoskeletal injuries, TV station KRCG reported recently.

MU’s Motion Analysis Center uses pressure-sensitive plates and specialized cameras placed in strategic areas of the animal. Clinicians analyze how the dogs move in real time and determine how much weight the animal puts on each limb and joint.

Patients to be served include companion animals, sporting dogs, canine agility athletes, service, and military dogs injured on the job. MU veterinarians said the new development is helpful in the diagnosis process.

 

Miles for Mutts

A Chandler, Ariz., Girl Scout earned her Gold Award by helping dogs from the Lost Our Home Pet Rescue get out to stretch their legs, the East Valley Tribune reported recently.

Amanda Molina, 17, created Miles for Mutts last fall to help recruit dog walkers and treadmill walkers to the shelter. Since its inception, the shelter has received 69 new volunteers and been given a treadmill. Miles for Mutts puts volunteers on a quick, 45-minute training program that essentially allows volunteers to start walking dogs immediately.

The idea came to Amanda during peak Pokémon Go madness when she noticed people moving around outside and found inspiration to create something that would help people and dogs be more active.

Brita Nelson, the rescue’s marketing and fundraising coordinator, said the new program helps dogs with their leash skills and benefits their health at a shelter that can always use volunteers. “With this program, it streamlines the process. If they do want to do more for the shelter, they can come back and be trained more,” Nelson said.

 

Dog Ban

Eugene, Ore., has decided to ban all dogs in a 12-block downtown area for six months in response to dog attacks by aggressive dogs, The Bark recently reported.

The ban excludes police dogs, canines whose humans live or work in the area, and trained service dogs. It became effective in mid-April and sets forth a $100 base citation that a judge can up to $250. For the first few weeks, however, warnings will be issued instead of citations. The pilot program expires in November.

 

Safety First

Just because your dog is blind or has failing vision doesn’t mean she wouldn’t enjoy a park outing. Dogster recently offered these eight solid tips for a safe and pleasant visit:

1. Do a walk-through. 2. Go during off hours. 3. Make sure your dog is on solid ground. 4. Scout the park for obstacles. 5. Go on doody duty. 6. Stay clear of the play zone. 7. Inform others your dog is blind. 8. Stay attentive.

 

Tethering Illegal

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill making tethering in certain circumstances illegal, the Associated Press reported.

Dog owners could face new penalties in Washington state if they tie up or “tether” their dogs inhumanely for a reckless period of time without providing the dog with adequate access to food, water, shelter, and the chance to move around free of entanglement. The bill also requires owners to protects their charges from extreme heat or cold in safe, sanitary places.

Currently, Washington state lacks animal cruelty standards or penalties for tethering, and the new statute would allow animal care and control officers to issue warnings or civil infractions for inhumane animal tethering.

At least 20 other states along with the District of Columbia have enacted similar dog tethering laws, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.

 

Allergic Reaction

A new University of Alberta study indicated that babies from families with dogs may have lower risks of allergies and obesity, ScienceDaily.com reported recently.

In the study, about 70 per cent of the families studied had dogs, and the researchers found the infants in those families showed higher levels of two types of microbes associated with lower risks of allergic disease and obesity.

“There’s definitely a critical window of time when gut immunity and microbes co-develop, and when disruptions to the process result in changes to gut immunity,” said Anita Kozyrskyj. She is a U of A pediatric epidemiologist as well as a leading researchers on gut microbes—those living microorganisms or bacteria in digestive tracts.

The findings built on 20 years of research that show children who grow up with dogs have lower rates of asthma, because they are exposed to dirt and bacteria from fur or paws that can aid immunity. Additionally, they learned exposure to pets in the womb or up to three months after birth increases the abundance of two bacteria, Ruminococcus and Oscillospira, which have been linked with reduced childhood allergies and obesity, respectively.

 

New Record

Mike Minnick and his dog, Bixby, a mutt he rescued, tripled the previous Guinness World Record for longest electric bike trip, LifeWithDogs reported recently.

The pair have gone more than 14,000 miles together by electric bike. In 2015, they were 9,300 miles into a nationwide cycling trip while advocating for pet adoption when their bicycle was stolen in Mission Beach.

Since then, the two have been road-tripping to promote local animal shelters. And another bike tour—this one to raise money for animal shelters—sounds like it could be on their horizon.