Friday, September 28, 2012

Loyalty - Italian Street Dog

When it comes to loyalty, dogs have the market cornered. Mutts and senior dogs have an edge because they may not be noticed for anything other than their unswerving loyalty to their masters – even if that master is dead. The most famous example of this loyalty was by Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye terrier. But the most heartbreaking example comes from an Italian MUTTnamed Fido. Remember that Fido really means “faithful one” -- not "dog."

With my surname being Messina, one cannot overlook this heart warming and,at the same time, heart breaking story about Fido an amazing Italian dog.

On a bitter night in 1941, bricklayer Carlo Soriani found Fido dying under a bridge. He took Fido home to his wife. They gave the mutt food and care until Fido was back in good health. Perhaps the only holistic integrated veterinary care used was none other than TLC. In a way still unknown to science, Fido and Carlo bonded. Fido would follow Carlo to the bus stop and wait at the stop for Carlo to come back from work and then the both would walk home.

But in December 30, 1943, Carlo never came home after boarding his usual morning bus. His factory was bombed and Carlo did not survive. Fido waited … and waited … and waited. He never stopped waiting. He refused to go home to where Carlo’s widow wanted him. Food and blankets were brought to the loyal dog. In 1957, the town gave their canine fixture a medal for loyalty. Fido would die a year later, still at the bus stop. His fourteen year wait was finally over.

It is still unknown why this one Italian dog waited in such an extraordinary way but is it any wonder that people remember dogs better than humans. But out of all the famous dogs, political dogs or humorous dogs offered up to memory, none was as loyal as an elderly mongrel named Fido.
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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Dogs, Kids and Dust: Healthier Together Than We Imagined

As if you needed more reasons to love your mutt, and to take it easy on the dusting... A recent study has shown that the house dust in homes with at least one dog living there helps to protect against the development of asthma in children. These findings were recently presented by researchers from the University of California at San Francisco during the 2012 Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

An obscure fact, indeed. You might be wondering how on earth the medical science community even got the idea to study such a thing. However, in some circles, this correlation between dogs and better respiratory health has been widely known about for some time. 

Apparently, whatever your dog is contributing to the dust in your home can have a positive and protective effect against respiratory infection. The dog dust seems to help shelter children from the common respiratory virus RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus. RSV is the virus that can lead to the onset of asthma in children, but your mutt's dust seems to help prevent it. (And to think you used to curse the extra dust your pooch left around the house!)

The 2012 study showed that laboratory mice that were fed house dust from from a dog owner's home and then injected with the RSV virus consistently did not exhibit any symptoms of the virus.

The findings of this study are the first step in being able to identify and isolate the exact, protective microbe from your dog that is conferring this protection to children. Once this healing component of dog dust is determined, it can then be used in a more focused way to benefit even more children.

For now, dog owners with children get to enjoy this added benefit of dog ownership even before science fully understands it. As if the adventure of training, raising and having fun with a dog wasn't reason enough to consider adoption! From pure breeds to shelter dogs, mutts and rescues, any type of dog can contribute this wonderful healing benefit to the household.

So take it easy on the dusting and give your mutt some extra petting time... More than ever before, science is proving what dog owners already knew: dogs can be a major contributor to the holistic health of a household. For more articles on Asthma, kids and pets click here
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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Chief Presidential Issue This Year? Dogs!

While a number of spotlights have paid tribute to the influence of dogs in political campaigns, the voice of the Mutt needs to be heard. The 2012 presidential election is rife with political dog stories ranging from reports of Governor Mitt Romney’s vacation with his dog riding on the roof of the car (belch!)  to his adventure saving a drowning  
Seamus Romney
Scottish Terrier while on a jet ski (who knew?). President Obama too has received questions from dog owners during his campaigns regarding his support of shelter dogs and rescues. This political season, it is important for you and all other dog owners across the nation to speak up about the importance of supporting shelters, rescues and getting another Mutt into the White House. 

The Incumbent First Dog

Bo Obama
Bo, the First Dog of the United States and close advisor to President Obama, is a Portuguese Water Dog. President Obama had originally intended on getting a dog from a shelter, however he cited his daughter’s medical struggles with allergies as reason for finding a hypoallergenic breed. At the time of his inauguration, President Obama expressed a kinship with Mutts along with his interest in shelter dogs stating that “a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me.” Many dog shelter organizations have prompted President Obama to keep with his word about adopting a dog and educated him on the fact that he could find a sheltered mutt suitable for his daughter’s health needs. In the meantime, the president’s family has been giving financial support to shelter organizations (yea!).

The Kennedy Mutts

Pushinka and Pupniks
Bo was given to President Obama by the Kennedy family. It was John F. Kennedy that brought Mutts into the White House by adding Pushinka and Wolf to his dog family and the former gave birth to a loving litter known as the pupniks. This was an important political metaphor as Pushinka was a gift from a Russian premier and pup of a Soviet space dog. By bringing in a Russian dog and breeding new pups with his own American dogs, Kennedy created a message of unity and kinship through the world’s love of animals. While most presidents have elected to bring home traditional breeds to the White House it is time for another Mutt to represent the country.

Training Presidents to Make a Statement

Presidential candidates strive to listen to their voters. The political dogs of America and you, their owners, must voice the importance of helping rescues and providing for shelter dogs. America is a country of dog lovers and if a president can make a valiant effort to show care towards senior dogs, rescues, and Mutts then the general public will be inspired to follow suit.  More on first dogs here.

This post represents Reba’s personal opinion but we encourage all pet owners to continue to support rescues and ban puppy mills no matter what the breed may be.
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