According to a recent article of USA Today, the number of dogs being stolen has risen dramatically in 2011.
Stealing dogs with the intention of demanding a ransom from the owner is not
a new phenomenon. In fact, the first ever dognapping case was recorded in 1934. The stolen Boston Terrier was returned to its
owner after 5 long months so the story had a happy ending.
Dogs become part of our families. They will be just like a small brother or
sister to the kids. And when they are kidnapped and there is a chance that
money can buy them back, we pay gladly – provided that we have the money
demanded, that is.
Over time, as conformation showing became more popular, show dogs became the
targets of thieves. It’s easy to see that if the owner of a regular dog is
willing to pay thousands of dollars in ransom, the owner of a valuable show dog
might pay tens of thousands of dollars to get his pooch back.
Dognapping – not only for ransom but reselling, experiments and a number of
other purposes – has become widespread in the United States by the 60’s. So
much so that it had actually become one of the most talked about issues of the
time. The public dismay and the floods of letters demanding something to be
done put enormous pressure on the senate. As a result, the “Dognapping Law”,
which became the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 was born.
Huskies from the Movie: “Eight Below” ( 2006 )
Eight Below is a Walt Disney Pictures film which was released in 2006 in the US. It is the fictional re-imagining of the true events of the 1958 occurrence moved forward to 1993; the last year that sled dogs were used in Antarctica. Jerry Shepard is a guide at an Antarctica research base under contract with the National Science Foundation. UCLA professor, Dr. Davis McClaren arrives at the base and presses Shepard to take him to Mount Melbourne to find a rare meteorite.
Shepard does so against his own intuition, which tells him that it is too late in the season. Battling hypothermia, frostbite and near white-out conditions, it is the dogs’ stamina and keen sense of direction that gets Shepard and McClaren back to base. They are immediately evacuated, but with too much weight in the plane to carry both people and dogs, the human team plans to return later for the dogs. The dogs are temporarily left behind, but the storm is worse than expected. Five months later, Shepard decides to throw his all into rescuing the dogs. The dogs must struggle for survival alone in the Antarctic wilderness until Shepard and McClaren eventually return to rescue them, more than six months later. Six of the eight dogs survive.
Huskies are brave survivors. They are in their element when they can be free. They are a hardy and healthy breed.
Akita Inu: “Gin” from Silver Fang (1986)
This is a story of an Akita Inu pup called Gin (Japanese for “silver”) who leaves his owner, to join a pack of dogs. The pack gathers strong dogs from all over Japan to fight a deranged bear and his minions. The Japanese Cartoon: Silver Fang, was inspired by a news article which told of hunting dogs that had been abandoned by their masters and had begun living as wild animals…
All of us have had the frustrating experience of our dog rushing out of the gate before we can stop them. More likely than not, your attempts at chasing him or her down will fail. They’ll just keep running further and further when they see you coming.
Image Credit: paul+photos=moody
What I have found, is that the best way to get them back, is to walk towards them, as if catching them is the last thing on your mind! Look at the sky, the trees…hum to yourself. If they bolt a bit, and look back, pretend not to have noticed. And when you catch up to them, don’t grab them…not yet.
Go a little ahead so that you cut off the escape route, THEN chase them down. They will run towards your home, where another member of the household awaits them!
The Iditarod looks really tough. You need to cover 1,161 miles with nothing but your dogs to you help you. What makes it worse however, it’s held in Alaska! With wind chill reaching 100 degrees Farenheit, I shudder (even without the cold) to think of the ordeal.
Breeds like the Siberian Husky and the Canadian Eskimo dogs are famous for being sled dogs are and most used in these kinds of races. The physical strength, speed, and endurance that are needed are truly remarkable and they have been known to travel 90 miles in a day pulling 85 pounds each!
The Iditarod is completed by teams of 12 to 16 dogs and managing them throughout the race requires skill and dedication, not to mention the ability to stay in the cold for so long. No wonder the winners of the race are celebrities!
The eyesight of dogs differs from that of humans in various ways. It even varies from breed to breed. Some dogs have a field of vision that is wider than the 180 degrees of humans.
Dogs with long noses have something called a visual streak. This means that they are able to scan the horizon very quickly, the section of their retina that stretches from one corner to the other contains photoreceptors that are extremely sensitive.
However, dogs with short noses seem to have an area centralis. This means that like humans, they have a central area that contains sensitive nerve endings. This is thought to give them better depth perception, not unlike the eyesight of humans.
There cannot be too many airlines in the world which dabble in dog breeding. Well, the Russian Aeroflot Airlines has its very own dog breeding centre, and a new dog breed has been developed by them for the sole purpose of having a drug and bomb-sniffing hound at the Moscow Airport.
So what is this new breed like? They are a unique breed – a cross between a Siberian Husky and a Turkmen Jackal. Before you lift your eyebrows in shock, it is worth mentioning that this rather unique combination took 27 years to perfect and the result is amazing! The Russian Aeroflot claims it has managed to produce the world’s greatest sniffer dog, by combining the genes of a Husky with a Jackal. Their breeders claim that they are much more effective than the Labradors or German Shepherds that are more commonly used in the West.
At first sight, they look much like a normal Husky, although they are a bit smaller and have a Jackal’s thick black whiskers. The Husky and Turkmen Jackal were picked for the breeding project because of their extremely keen noses. The former has evolved to sniff out the faintest odors in Arctic conditions when the deep cold suppresses smells, while the jackal has a nose more sensitive than its cousin, the domestic dog. Siberian Huskies are known for their obedience, while pure Jackals make poor working dogs.