Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

>Auburn greatness

July 28, 2010

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The 2004 Auburn tigers rocked, winning all 13 games including the Sugar bowl where they beat Virginia Tech.

Now they are likely to be awarded the National Championship for that season, since USC has been sacked with NCAA sanctions for that year and had to vacate 14 wins including the national championship game.

Congratulations, Auburn! A little premature, perhaps.

But there is more to Auburn than football. I’m a product of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Here’s a bit of what’s going on with the Vet School.

Canine Detection

Auburn’s Canine Detection Research Institute is the largest program of its kind in the nation.

The animals that come out of the program provide protection and security for U. S. soldiers and others in Iraq and Afghanistan by detecting explosives and narcotics.

EcoDogs have been developed for the A. U. School of Forestry and Wildlife Services and can detect scat related to endangered or invasive species, tree fungus and invasive insects that are affecting our habitats.

The Auburn trained bomb sniffing dogs patrolled the NBA All-Star game this year and will provide protection at the 2011 Super Bowl.

They have a Vapor Wake Detection canine team that can sniff body-worn explosives in a person in a crowd.

Auburn is about more than football championships, that’s for sure.

But, we’ll take it, if they award it.

War Eagle!

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>Western Tribune Column January 7 2009

January 8, 2009

>One of the things about posting these column online is that I can add pictures or links, which I can’t do in the paper.

Picture from Colbertnation.com

Marley and Me

In need of levity after all the gunfire that welcomed the New Year in Bessemer, we went to see a movie, Marley and Me, that we thought would be funny. Part of the humor in this is that Marley is supposedly the world’s worst dog, when many in Bessemer know that the title is currently held by my daughter’s dog. Or dogs. Sometimes they team up; it seems, to do their mischief.

That’s not the only similarity, however, as Marley’s owner is a newspaper columnist.

But I had an even greater interest in seeing the film. As a retired veterinarian I was interested in a story that explores the human – animal bond, which for many, is as strong as other family ties.

Whereas dogs and cats used to be thought of as disposable, to use a crude term, now most pet owners see these pets as irreplaceable. And we have learned in recent years that pet ownership has health benefits, especially for those who live alone, or are elderly.

Pets (with the exception of a couple) have a calming effect, and studies have shown that petting your dog or cat can actually cause a reduction in blood pressure and that ownership reduces cholesterol and risk of cardiovascular disease.

We are also learning that pet ownership can improve mental health and that symptoms of depression and other diseases can be reduced by owning and caring for a pet.

There are, of course, responsibilities that come with owning a pet. In the movie the owners, while being somewhat negligent where early training is concerned, remained responsible as their family grew with the birth of their three children, and the family benefited from having him.

There is a major difference between the dog in the movie and the dogs in this house. Marley provided enough material for his real life owner, John Grogan, to write years of columns and eventually the memoir that the movie is based on.

In other words, Marley brought big bucks to his owner. I’m fairly confident these dogs won’t bring in any money; in fact just the opposite seems to the case.

But it could be worse.

You might have to see the movie or read the book to understand, but at least we don’t have mangos growing in the yard.

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Uno Takes the Title

February 13, 2008

Snoopy must be proud. For years he has been the most celebrated beagle in the country, even claiming a favorite spot in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

But now, move over Snoopy. Uno is Numero Uno. Uno is the first Beagle ever to win Best in Show. Uno looks so cool, so sharp compared to all the fluff of the poodle and and fur of the Aussie. Go Uno!!!

>Uno Takes the Title

February 13, 2008

>Snoopy must be proud. For years he has been the most celebrated beagle in the country, even claiming a favorite spot in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

But now, move over Snoopy. Uno is Numero Uno. Uno is the first Beagle ever to win Best in Show. Uno looks so cool, so sharp compared to all the fluff of the poodle and and fur of the Aussie. Go Uno!!!