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Finally!  After the first few episodes I stopped watching Cesar anyways.  I tried tapping JoJo on the shoulder and making hissing sounds...but it just did'nt seem to work.  Too bad the show is over, I always wanted to get JoJo in front of Cesar to see IF she could be tamed?!   Now I will never know.  But I fondly remember an episode with an English Bulldog that gave Cesar a run for his money!  Bulldogs are seriously stubborn...but smart. 

 
 
I'm pleasantly surprised that Los Angeles (of all places) is leading the way on this issue.  The LA City council voted 11-1 in favor of banning pet stores from selling dogs and cats that are NOT rescues.  Wow.  It always seems to come down to marketing.  Take a dog from a rescue, stick 'em in a nice pet store and wa la!  Everyone is happy.  I think it has chance at working.  I suppose that if you want a puppy, you will have to find a breeder.       
 
 
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If there was any doubt in your mind that dogs are capable of true friendship, look no further.  This story is equally sad and refreshing.  The body language of the black lab says it all.  Clearly grieving the loss of his companion.  A recent article in TIME Magazine describes true, quantifiable friendship among wild animals.  The authors outline three requirements for animal friendship...constancy, reciprocity, mutual defense.  I'd say that domesticated pets were bred to express those three traits! 

 
 
A couple months ago Kyle Dyer, a Denver news anchor, was bit in the face while doing a piece on a dog rescued from an icey lake.  When Kyle got too close to the Argentine Mastiff, he bit her in the face!  It was all captured on tape, see it here.  We always tell kids to let the dog smell their hand before petting and never put your face too close to a dog that you do not know.  I think anyone could be lured into that false sense of security.  Dog lovers especially, since we tend to anthropomorphize animals and treat them like human babies.  Just the other day I witnessed a woman walking a German Shepherd and she tripped and fell to the ground.  I ran over to her, grabbed her dog and helped her up.  Luckily, the dog was very friendly...I thought about this case as I was petting the large German Shepherd.  But I was tempted to put my face close and interact with it like I do with JoJo.   
 
 
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China seems to be in the spot light these days, as it undergoes a socioeconomic revolution, reshaping both itself and the world.  If you know anything at all about China, you probably know that there are a ton of people in that country, the vast majority economically poor, living in the countryside.  But as a small percentage of young Chinese gain affluence and adopt Western standards, the new guard challenges the old.  A recent story from NPR, "Headed For The Butcher, Chinese Dogs Are Rescued" by Frank Langfitt, caught my attention.  In summary, a truck full of dogs crammed in cages was stopped by an angry group of "activists" demanding their release.  In the end, the activists raised $8,000 to free the dogs.  Not sure if they found every dog a new home...or what.  But the bigger question, in my mind, is whether or not eating dog meat is right or wrong? 
People eat animals.  Cow, pig, lamb, sheep, chicken and rabbit are among the most common for Westerners.  Dogs and cats, not so much.  I consider myself an adventurous eater and I would NEVER eat dog or cat meat.  Wouldn't even taste it!  In our culture dogs have been domesticated over the course of 15,000 years and we keep them as pets for companionship.  End of story.  But in other parts of the world, dogs are fair game like any other animal.  They are not viewed as pets.  Is a dog different than a pig?  Not by much.  We've all seen pet pigs in the US...they're actually pretty smart and can give affection.  But it's perfectly acceptable to eat bacon!  It's ingrained in us.  Just like eating dog meat is wrong.  But who are we to judge what is best for another culture?  Their dog is our pig.  Simple as that.  But what China should do, and what activists should fight for, is the humane treatment of farm animals.  Who are we to judge which is the "right" animal to be killed and consumed?

It is inevitable that China will eventually lose its appetite for dog meat.  As urbanization spreads from the cities and the world simply shrinks, the new generation will undoubtedly view dogs as pets and not as food.  Having traveled through China and South East Asia I know first hand the dichotomy that exists from city to the countryside.  I've seen dogs on leashes as pets in the big cities of Shanghai, Saigon and Bangkok.  And as I traveled outside the cities, it was obvious that the mentality had changed and dog meat was part of the peasant life.  

In general, China has a long list of problems and hurdles before it becomes a "respectable" world power.  Human rights probably comes before animal rights...I hope.  How about we start with the smog problems in Shanghai!         

 
 
By now you've probably read about Romney and the dog he stuck on the roof of this car for a 12 hour drive in 1983.  Yikes!  Everyone, especially dog lovers, first impression is 'this guy's an a#%hole'.  And I actually agree, despite my political viewpoints.  But think about how far we've come in thirty years when it comes to dogs and how we treat them.  Thirty years ago dogs lived outside, year round.  Thirty years ago doggy couture wasn't even a concept (nor should it be today!).  Thirty years ago, people drove around with their dogs loose in the bed of their truck.  Heck when I was a kid, my dad drove my friends and I around in the back of his pickup!  That would be considered child abuse by today's standards.  He didn't kill the dog, although as the story goes...when the dog urinated in it's crate, he pulled over and hosed down the car AND the dog.  That's pretty unbelievable.  Okay no excuses...Romney IS a moron. 
 
 
That's one heavy duty English!  BTW, how did an English Bulldog get a French name like Jacques?   
 
 
Okay, prepare yourself.  This is pretty ridiculous.  There is now a cable channel ONLY for dogs.  Time Warner and COX Media are currently testing DOGTV in San Diego, CA.  I can't imagine people paying an extra $4.95/month for a washed out, blurry channel featuring dogs silently running around (dogs don't like barking on TV, duh).  Couldn't you just leave the TV on and give the same background?  I would rather make my own crappy video for JoJo...and just repeat it over and over.  With the cost of cable getting out of control, we don't need another stupid channel.  I can't believe that this guy, Gilad Neumann got money for this venture.  Read the S.F. Gate article here
Actually, that was pretty (yawn) re....la........xing......zzzzzzzzzzzz
 
 
The entire video is hilarious...but Brigitte the Frenchie (from Modern Family) makes her appearance 5 mins in to it...
 
 
An Ohio photographer rented out a billboard in Los Angeles (for $6,000!) showcasing her dog Denali.  The billboard read "Ellen, Denali the dog wants to meet you."  Give me a break!    The lawyers advised that the billboard should come down ASAP due to trademark sort of infringements, i.e. use of Ellen's name, etc..  The poor dog...the picture isn't even cute, it's actually weird looking. Don't get me wrong, I love retrievers and Denali looks like a sweet heart...but it's the owners who are most ridiculous.  You just can't buy fame.  Nice try...and you're out 6 grand. ouch.  If only she could get Denali to smile.  Looks like sad...kinda like Andy Warhol....  
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Photo: Robert Mapplethorpe
Full article at LA Times.
 

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