Archive for January 7, 2009

Rube Goldberg Obedience Challenge

And other assorted weirdness from Japanese television.

I have absolutely no idea what Japan’s TV Challenge series is about — but apparently, back in October they featured an episode where dog trainers were challenged to turn problem pets into obedient companions. To test  each contestant’s work, the producers set up an elaborate course full of distractions and temptations that would have made Rube Goldberg proud.

Here’s a clip:

Apparently multiple commands were allowed.  “Mate” (mah-tay)  is Japanese for Stay.

Here’s another clip of a show where Japanese dogs compete to see who can do the best trick.  IMO, the last dog won hands down (or is that… paws up?)

And last, but not least — the amazing Japanese Double Dutch Dogs:

January 7, 2009 at 3:22 am Leave a comment

Dogs in the News

First from our That Was a Really Stupid Idea files the Waseca County News reports:


A little over a week has passed since a dog was discovered inside a Dumpster on a cold Waseca night.

While Precious, a female rat-terrier mix, is doing well at the Animal Medical Center of Waseca, her owner faces a misdemeanor charge relating to the incident.

The dog was discovered by a Subway employee at the bottom of a Dumpster behind the restaurant around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 28.


According to Police Chief Keith Hiller, Precious was intended to be in the trash bin only temporarily.

Hiller said it appeared as though there may have been an issue of having a dog in a home where pets were prohibited.

He said that the owner told police that the dog was put into the trash temporarily as a way of hiding her from the landlord.

While the owner will make her first court appearance later this month, a number of things can happen with Precious down the road.

She could be returned to the owner, or someone who knows the owner and can provide a good home for her. The other option would be to put the dog up for adoption.

Hiller said that if a pet owner is unable to take care of their animal, there are a number of options available to them, but abandonment is not one of them.

Uh yeah.  How bright do you have to be to understand that stashing your dog in a restaurant dumpster, even on a temporary basis, is a bad idea? 

Newsday features the story of a Vicious Pit Bull Attack — sadly, this is the story of an innocent dog attacked and killed by its owner.

A Middle Island man was arrested after he called police and told them he stabbed the family dog to death in self-defense Tuesday morning, Suffolk police said.

Lamont Yarborough, 36, of Wilson Ave., was charged with felony animal cruelty after he used a knife to stab the 80-pound pit bull named Buster three times at his family’s home, police said.

Around 5:13 a.m., Yarborough called 911 and told responding officers that he killed the dog after being attacked in a bedroom, according to Det. Sgt. James Madden at a news conference in Selden Tuesday.
Yarborough went to the kitchen for a six-inch knife and stabbed the dog three times — once in the head, once in the groin and a fatal wound to the left rib cage, puncturing the dog’s left lung, Madden said.


Madden called Yarborough’s response excessive, noting that he had a “superficial” scratch on one hand.

“I believe Mr. Yarborough could have confined his dog in a room and if he thought he was a threat, he could have called 911,” Madden said. “The results are over the top.” A woman at Yarborough’s house declined to comment. A neighbor described hearing the dog screaming and howling Tuesday morning.

I’m quite sure that there’s a special place in Hell for Yarborough…

Good Intentions Gone Terribly WrongZooToo reports the sad story of a woman who, unfortunately, provides a graphic illustration of why you must always make sure conditions are safe before trying to rescue a loved one, whether they’re on two legs or four.


A New Jersey woman sacrificed her life for that of her grandson’s dog on Saturday, when she fell into a frozen pond after trying to rescue Apollo, a German Shepherd puppy.

Though the 6-month-old dog survived the icy incident, the woman, Janet Howard, 61, drowned in the Plainsboro Pond, in Plainsboro, N.J.


The tragic incident generated double acts of heroism, as a Plainsboro resident witnessed Howard’s fall, and plunged into the frigid waters after her.

The resident, Austin Hearn, told police he was riding his bike along a nearby trail when he saw Howard and Apollo struggling to stay afloat.

“The woman was barely keeping her head above water and appeared to be growing weaker by the second,” the Plaisnboro police department said in a news release. “She was separated from the bank by a solid sheet of ice; the dog was also floundering in the water.”

Hearn first attempted to pull Howard from the pond with a branch, veering off about 15 feet away from the water’s edge.

“It’s impossible for me to imagine leaving someone there and abandoning her,” Hearn told NY 4 News. “My first priority was to get her to safety. That’s why I got the branch.”

Yet the initial rescue attempt “didn’t work out,” Hearn said, after the ice caved in under him, too.

Despite his 15 years of experience as a lifeguard, Hearn recognized that the circumstances were challenging, at best.

Note: when I searched for information on emergency scene safety to link to this story (as a former HAZMAT responder and trainer, this is something I’ve drilled into many people’s heads) I found that more EMS providers are injured or killed from motor vehicle collisions and roadside incidents than from violence each year.  Violence is a very real threat to first responders — and so are drowning, being overcome by toxic fumes, falling — and back injuries.  Dying or getting severely injured is a bad idea under any circumstances.  Don’t go there.

Last, A Bit of Heart-Warming NewsDallas News writes that:


David Hartwig’s beloved dog, Skidboot, had died, but the phone kept ringing with performance requests.

Bring your other dogs and do your routine, they told him. We love it.

But Hartwig wasn’t in the mood. His new batch of Australian blue heelers were just “average dogs of average intelligence.”


Fans kept calling, however, and Hartwig eventually caved in. Now his trio of doggies – Tiedown, Bois’d’arc and Little Skidboot – entertain audiences in the spirit of Skidboot, who died in 2007.

“I had to let the public convince me it was still worthy,” he said. “They said, ‘You have something, and we want it.’ “


“If you had never seen Skidboot, you’d think this was a real smart dog,” he said, talking about one of his new charges. “But compared to Skidboot, this dog has a bad case of dumbworms.”

But the new dogs are talented, and audiences can’t get enough of them.

In a time when the main message behind the top-rated movie in the U.S. is that dogs are furry, lovable members of the family especially when they’re undisciplined and obnoxious — and that it’s perfectly acceptable to raise enable them in an utterly passive way; a story celebrating trained dogs and the people who love them truly warms my heart!

January 7, 2009 at 12:54 am 4 comments

Because A Dog’s Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste


Copyright notice

All original content on this Web site is copyright © on the date of publication by this author. All rights reserved except, of course, that others may quote from original content under the 'Fair Use' provisions of US copyright law.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 284 other subscribers

RSS New Stuff in our Library

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Top Clicks

  • None
Top Dog Blog
Featured in Alltop


Add to Technorati Favorites
Dog Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
blogarama - the blog directory
Blog Directory
Blog Directory & Search engine
January 2009