Watch your mouth

February 9, 2012


With love to the son of Bo-Bo Jangles

February 6, 2012

Our beloved Boston Terrier Max died of complications on Jan. 24, following a strong battle against congestive heart failure, liver disease and a host of other problems. While his final day was a bad one, Max did not suffer in the days, weeks or months prior to his death.

Max came into my wife’s life when she was just 22. She had left Brazil to get her masters degree at Southern Indiana University. A dog lover from her earliest days, Emilia chose Max to be her first dog. It was a brilliant choice.

When Emilia met Max, he was known as “Alpha.” He would dominate all the other puppies to get food and comfort. This would become a central part of Max’s personality. He spent his life learning new tricks on how to get whatever it was he wanted, which was mostly food. Being an extremely intelligent dog, he always seemed to get whatever he wanted.

And while he tended to try to dominate puppies, the fact was that Max was not a fighter, whatsoever. If his initial tough-guy act didn’t work, he’d back off or find myself or Emilia to handle his problems.

Max had a hobby. He’d literally spend hours sucking on stuffed animals. My belief was that it took him back to the days when his mother - Pink Lady- nursed him. For Max, however, it was a sign that he was utterly content when he’d sit next to you somewhere and suck on his toy.

Max was misunderstood genius. Being a Boston Terrier, his facial expressions were somewhat nil as compared to other dogs who get that “happy face” that draws people in. But while he showed little emotion, Max was a loving dog.

Max fit into being an older dog perfectly. He had a minor bit of grumpiness about him, which was irresistible. Making Max angry was one of our favorite games. That was how he played - by growling viciously and snapping at you. It was glorious.

My wife and I laughed recently when we read the opening words of Lord Byron’s wonderful “Epitaph to a Dog.”

Near this Spot
are deposited the Remains of one
who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferosity,
and all the virtues of Man without his Vices.

Max was the son of Bo-Bo Jangles. He was beautiful and vain. He was insolent without strength and ferocious without courage. He had all the virtues of man, with a few vices.

Max helped my wife through some of her toughest times and was always there for her. Max helped her define herself and become the person she is today. I knew him for 10 years and my heart is broken that he’s no longer with us. But he will always be a part of this family. He will always be missed.


Stop Animal Abuse in Brazil - Crueldade Nunca Mais - Sunday, Jan. 22

January 20, 2012

On Sunday (Jan. 22), we’ll be attending the Crueldade Nunca Mais rally in Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil. This is not just a nation-wide rally, but an international one, dedicated to strengthen extremely weak laws in Brazil against animal cruelty.

Coming from a military dictatorship, Brazil has erred on the side of caution when it comes to handing down sentences for crime (the maximum sentence for any offense, such as murder, is 35 years). Partly due to this, as well as cultural issues, the laws for animal cruelty are particularly weak, and cruelty against animals is always a problem here. From the Web site (Note: Disturbing images):

This event is the beginning of a series of actions to correct penalties for cruelty to animals.

The official goal of the movement is to collect 1.5 million signatures. … The demonstration is a peaceful movement and law-abiding, conceived and organized by animal protectors of Brazil, and will be the beginning of a series of actions intended to correct penalty for crimes of mistreatment of animals.

The events will be held throughout the nation of Brazil, as well as in other countries, including the United States and England. Check the Web site here for locations.

Pets have become an important part of Brazilian life. I’d like to thank Crueldade Nunca Mais for fighting to strengthen animal cruelty laws, and for fighting for the rights and lives of the animals we love.


Max chews it over

January 18, 2012


A quick update on the now-famous Boston Terrier Max (hey, has your dog appeared in the Washington Post?): Despite what seems like an endless array of problems thrown at him (including a perennially runny nose), the little guy keeps motoring along. Here he is this morning, enjoying a little chew.


Is that a frog on your dime or are you just happy to see me?

January 14, 2012

Well, I guess that is a frog. The world’s smallest variety of frog at that. Learn more about it at National Geographic.


Boston Terriers: The World’s Greatest Dogs, period

January 11, 2012

Boston Terriers are just the best. I shall not be disputed on this opinion.


Ok, I did it

January 10, 2012

P.S.: For those that have inquired about our little Boston Terrier Max, he’s doing well. He’s comfortable, gets in some solid napping and still attacks food like the greedy little piggy that he is. Also, his ego is through the roof now that he’s been featured in the Washington Post.



November 29, 2011

These beagles had lived their life in cages, being used for research. The Beagle Freedom Project rescued them. Find out more at Jezebel.


Puppies of Fire

November 16, 2011

HT Aravosis


My bark …

September 28, 2011





















… may be worse than my bite.



That’s a big girl

September 26, 2011

Nova - the world’s biggest female dog:



















Yes, this is an animal from the same species as this:


















Ah, the Gray Wolf has certainly given us a diverse group.


Like a Red-Headed Seal Child

September 19, 2011

Abandoned by its mother, this nearly-blind ginger seal was stumbled upon by a photographer and will now get a chance at life. See more here.


Howl you doing?

September 16, 2011

Jack howls in the start of a new weekend.


Let them eat Poop!

September 13, 2011

(I wrote this awhile back and don’t believe I ever posted here. - WKW)

I have two Boston Terriers – Max and Jack. For those of you that visit, Max is the surly, fat, smart one, while Jack is the happy, athletic idiot. Needless to say, we love them completely. Max and Jack have one driving passion in life, and of late, that passion has become a bit of a pain. You see, Max and Jack are poopy aficionados.

The Hunt for Poopy

Any venture outside is a grand hunt for poopy for Max and Jack. They just can’t seem to get enough. It doesn’t matter what variety of poopy they find, either. Dog, people, duck, porcupine, frog, parakeet, elephant, republican, democrat, you name it, they’ll wolf it down and comment on the ethereal ambiance of its tastes and flavors.

Now, while any poopy is fabulous poopy, cat poopy is the real victory. It’s comparable to chocolate for most humans I believe: while all poopy is fabulous, cat poopy is like the Godiva of poopy. It’s their purpose in life. Well, sleeping, chasing tennis balls and eating poopy are their purposes, in no specific order, but you get where I’m going.

Like most of us, however, dogs don’t get to eat out too often, so their own poopy is the target.

Drawing the Lines

Let me point out, that the quest for poopy often occurs outside, whilst my wife or I try to encourage them to create their own poopy. Still, the hunt for poopy, their own or the poopy of others can occur anywhere, at any time. Their talent for locating, and swallowing poopy before we can tell them not to would make the most advanced truffle-sniffing pig feel like, well, something that truffle-sniffing pigs look down upon.

So basically it is a test of wills – they doing everything in their itty-bitty little powers to procure and consume poopy, while we do everything we can to put an end to this poopy-lust forever. It is a war that will likely have no winners, and millions of poopies will probably be lost. Yet we strive forward, all four of us resolute in our goals.

Could Poopy Be Good?

One day I got to wondering if poopy-eating was all that bad for them. What if those sun-dried poopies that they eat like potato chips are actually giving them some nutrients that their adorable itty-bitty little bodies need? Could poopy be good for them? I was in a quandary, let me tell you. So, I brought out my old chemistry set, put it together on the kitchen table and stared stupidly at it for a while. Then, I called a veterinarian to see what someone with actual knowledge had to say about Max and Jack’s poopy prowess.

Of Course, Poopy is Bad

Dr. Debbie White of Lone Mountain Animal Hospital in Las Vegas, Nev., had the answers I was looking for, and then some. It turns out, poopy is not all that great for dogs, but not exactly like eating a dead, maggot-encased bird (Max ate one of those once.). Often animals do it to ingest more vitamins and nutrients. Some do it because they’re just gross.

“There are some other diseases that are shed in stool … Toxoplasmosis which is dangerous for pregnant woman, otherwise, just gastric upset,” White said.

Coprophagy, The Final Frontier

The act of eating non-food items for dogs is called pica. And, it turns out there is an actual word for poopy-eating — Coprophagy.

“This behavior comes from when the mother dog cleans the (poopy) from the litter of dogs birth to 4 weeks,” White said.

Many dogs will begin the practice of coprophagy during the time that their mother is cleaning their poop. The mother will usually continue this practice until the puppy is weaning. Often, the puppy will then begin to imitate its mother, and a new poopy-eater has been created.

Can This Coprophagic Behavior Be Stopped?

“They sell different products most include monosodium glutamate. 4-Bid, Deter, are two popular ones,” White said. “They are designed to make the stool taste bad. It sounds silly when you have to say it that way because you’d think poop would taste bad.

“Some will leave out a pile of poop and put jalapenos or Tabasco on it to act as a deterrent for that,” White added.

There are, of course, some other tricks to help cease this poopy addiction for your loving pooch. Should your dog be gripped by this brown menace, a good first step is to check your dog’s diet. Often coprophagy is the result of dogs not getting enough vitamins and minerals in its diet. Still, be careful not to overload your dog with vitamins, which poses its own problems.

Another reason behind coprophagy is often just plain boredom. Ever been so bored that you’ve eaten your own poop? Well, plenty of dogs have. If your dog spends most of its time in the house or small yard without much exercise, it will start looking for something, anything to keep itself entertained. A regiment of walks and play is always helpful for both owner and dog.

Other ways to help a dog lose interest in its own feces are to occasionally feed it a small amount of pineapple or other acidic fruit that will help change the flavors an ambiance of its poopy to something less desirable. When walking your dog in potentially poopy-populated areas, keep him on a leash and steer clear of temptation. Also, if you catch your dog in the act, call it away and reward it for saying no to poopy.

Finally, the simplest way to help the budding Coprophagics? Keep their area clean of temptation. Picking up poopy might be an arduous affair, but what better way to show your dog your love than to keep his area blissfully poopy-free?

What Not to Do

Remember, rebuking or physically punishingt your dog never has positive results, especially after the fact. Dogs just don’t remember things like that and it can lead to aggressive or fearful behavior.

Something to Look Into

So, it turns out I don’t have two dogs with disgusting eating habits. I have two coprophagists. So now all we have to do is find ourselves a pile of poopy, make it taste bad and Max and Jack’s party-pooping days may finally be over. It’s important to remember, however, that even the best canine experts out there still don’t have an exact theory on why dogs eat poopy. Results will vary from dog to dog, but eventually, with love and attention, you should be able to help your loving pet knock that poopy monkey right of its back.


Courtesy the Wayback Machine.

Just stay in bed

September 2, 2011

One of those weeks.

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