This Year’s Hero Dog Award Goes to… a Cat?
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The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Los Angeles gives out the “Hero Dog” award every year; however, this year the winner was not a dog at all, reported Barbara Campbell of NPR.
Some of us might remember Tara, a Tabby from Bakersfield, CA. She was caught on camera saving 4-year-old Jeremy Triantafilo from danger. Young Jeremy was riding his bike in the driveway when the dog next door grabbed him by the leg.
Less than 2 seconds later, Tara came running into the scene. The fearless Tabby slammed herself into the dog and chased him away. Campbell reports, Jeremy needed 8 stitches in his leg, and as for Tara? “She is my hero,” said Jeremy.
Apparently others agreed and this year a cat took home the historically canine trophy along with the award, Tara also won a year’s supply of cat food.
While I’m glad Tara could be there for Jeremy, keep in mind that often times it is cats that are the target of outdoor attacks, and there is not always a hero to save them. Keeping your cat inside is the best way to protect her from many dangers.
Cheers to you, Tara! Enjoy that cat food!
Click here to learn more about the importance to keeping your cat indoors with Dr. Ruth MacPete >>
Click here to read more about pets being heroes >>
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
It’s Major: Pets poised for a return to the White House
WASHINGTON (AP) — Major Biden is getting an early start in the spotlight as a presidential pet after a play date ended with his owner, President-elect Joe Biden, suffering a broken foot. As if that weren’t enough for one weekend, it was also confirmed that Major will have to share the White House with, of all things, a cat.
In a few weeks, Major, fellow German shepherd Champ and the TBD feline are expected to make the move to the White House. Presidential pets provide their owners with a source of comfort, entertainment, occasional drama and generally good PR.
The arrival of the Biden pets will also mark the next chapter in a long history of pets residing at the White House after a four-year hiatus during the Trump administration.
“Pets have always played an important role in the White House throughout the decades,” said Jennifer Pickens, an author who studies White House traditions. “It not only provides companionship to the president and their family, but I believe it also humanizes and softens their political image.”
Having a dog or cat will give some pet-loving constituents a connection with the president, added Tom Whalen, a presidential historian at Boston University.
“When a president, the leader of the country, the leader of the free world really, is seen with a dog or a cat, you know, basically there is a bond that they have with their public, whether they’re Republican or Democrat,” Whalen said.
President Theodore Roosevelt had Skip, who is described by the White House Historical Association as a “short-legged Black and Tan mongrel terrier brought home from a Colorado bear hunt.” Warren G. Harding had Laddie Boy, who sat in on meetings and had his own Cabinet chair. And President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had his beloved terrier Fala. At night, Fala slept in a special chair at the foot of the president’s bed.
More recently, President George H.W. Bush’s English springer spaniel Millie was featured on “The Simpsons” and starred in a bestseller, “Millie’s Book: As dictated to Barbara Bush.” Hillary Clinton followed Bush’s lead with a children’s book about family dog Buddy and cat Socks: “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets.”
When he declared victory in the 2008 presidential race, Barack Obama told his daughters: “You have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House.” Several months later, Bo joined the family, a gift from Sen. Ted Kennedy. A few years later, fellow Portuguese water dog Sunny would arrive to provide companionship.
Some notable pets belonged to first kids, including Amy Carter’s Siamese cat, Misty Malarky Ying Yang, and Caroline Kennedy’s pony, Macaroni. The Kennedy family had a veritable menagerie, complete with dogs, cats, birds, hamsters and a rabbit named Zsa Zsa.
President Harry Truman famously said that “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” It should not be a surprise that many presidents have taken him up on that advice. The first President Bush once said, “There is nothing like the unconditional love of a dog to help you get through the rough spots.”
“From a presidential perspective, you know, a dog or cat or horse, they’re great because they’re nonjudgmental. They’re going to give you their unqualified love. And they’re not going to criticize what you did in Somalia or how the economy is doing,” Whalen said. “The pets are always there for you. And I think presidents, whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, need that kind of reassurance from time to time, given how things are.”
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The Pet Industry Federation has revealed the finalists for this year’s record-breaking Pet Industry Awards.
This Year’s Hero Dog Award Goes to… a Cat? - pets
Dogs have long been called Mankind’s best friends, and on May 8 it was apparent why, as American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, honored some of America’s bravest, and often most underrecognized canine friends at the May 8 New York City kickoff of its annual Hero Dog Awards campaign. This annual national effort seeks out and recognizes the most heroic hounds from across the country.
American Humane and philanthropist Lois Pope, who serves as the presenting sponsor for the Hero Dog Awards, were joined by a galaxy of nearly 150 animal-loving VIPs and entertainment stars to thank and pay tribute to America’s most courageous canines at the National Arts Club in Manhattan.
American Humane President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert introduced two of the past Hero Dog Awards winners, including 2016 Therapy Dog of the Year Mango, a paralyzed rescue who, with the help of a tiny wheelchair, helps inspire disabled veterans with physical disabilities, and 2012 Therapy Dog of the Year Stella, who brings hope to patients with developmental disabilities and critical illnesses. She then introduced Military Dog Cena, who saved the life of his handler, USMC Corporal Jeff DeYoung (Ret.), sharing with guests American Humane’s work with the U.S. military, reuniting battle buddies like Corporal DeYoung and Cena, and rescuing and training shelter dogs to become service animals for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress – efforts supported through the generous support of Crown Media Family Networks.
Philanthropist Lois Pope said, “It would be impossible to count all of the ways that dogs make our lives safer, happier, and healthier. We should never forget that some of America’s bravest heroes come on four legs and we need to pay tribute to their remarkable work and achievements.”
Legendary country star and national ambassador for American Humane Naomi Judd reminded the audience that even heroes sometimes need heroes to rescue them, and urged the crowd to support the work of the American Humane Rescue program, which for 100 years has saved and sheltered animals in wars, natural disasters and cruelty cases.
Among the many guests, supporters, animal advocates and philanthropists were notables Jean Shafiroff, Amanda Bowman, Ronnie Perl, Natalie Pray, Abigail Trenk, and Sharon Bush. Entertainment was provided by Alex Donner & the Alex Donner Orchestra, and singing sensation Franco Corso.
In a touching moment, American Humane CEO Dr. Ganzert made hero dog Mango and her owner Judy Walter national ambassadors for the organization, and then thanked all those present for their support.
“For thousands of years, mankind has had a special relationship with dogs, and the American Humane Hero Dog Awards are our way of honoring the best of our best friends,” said Dr. Ganzert. “I want to thank all those who serve as our hero dogs’ best friends: Lois Pope, who has been the presenting sponsor of the Hero Dog Awards for seven years, the host committee, our board members, our national ambassadors, illustrious guests, and Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food, for generously underwriting this event. Thank you all!”
Visiting Vet: Annual Labor Day awards
From Fake News to All Fluffy Lives Matter, here they are.
It’s time for Dr. Jasny’s Almost Annual All Creatures Great And Small Labor Day Awards. OK, I’m a little late but, as one Islander said recently, September is the new August. And the Vineyard is the new Upper West Side … or Brooklyn. I get why many folks who normally would have left by now are choosing to stay. There are pros and cons for both seasonal residents and for year-rounders.
So the Rising Tide Lifts All Boats ribbons go to all seasonal residents extending their stay on-Island, while trying to support local businesses and being thoughtful about the fact that year-rounders are not used to accommodating so many people for such a long time. As a very weary veterinarian, my November Third Please Leave Gracefully When Your Time Is Up ribbons go to a select few pet owners who expect a handful of overworked country docs to provide 24/7 care at the level of New York’s Animal Medical Center (the world’s largest nonprofit animal hospital). No, I don’t have a blood bank at my practice. Yes, I am on call all night, but I just worked a 12-hour day, and I’m working again tomorrow, so since your dog has been vomiting for three days, yet you waited until eight this evening to call, why don’t we see him now, instead of waiting to see if you feel the need to call me back at two in the morning?
The Man Woman Person Camera TV ribbon is mine. Most years I spend hours reviewing my appointment book for this awards column to remember every pet’s name and every interesting case. This year is more like Dog Cat Owner Hairball Vomit. In other words, whatever randomly comes to my mind.
In the Fake News Category, the second-place ribbon goes to the woman who insisted on an emergency appointment for a relatively minor concern on an insanely busy day, then didn’t show up or even call after I moved everything around to squeeze her in. Blue ribbons to all the folks whose dogs ate marijuana, but who steadfastly denied the presence of such products in their environs. First of all, it’s legal now. Chill. And if it’s not yours, do you have teenagers or young adult children? Don’t be offended. I’m not impugning your kids. I’m just trying to diagnose your dog. Finally, it would have been helpful information if you told me at the beginning of our 20-minute conversation that you had taken your pup for a walk in the park (where all the young folks hang out) one hour before he started looking drunk, staggering, and leaking pee all over. There’s a reason edibles are called edibles. Trust me, your dog found a stray gummy bear under a bench. He’s going to be fine. Just watch out for the munchies.
It’s hard to stay positive sometimes, with all that’s going on these days, so here’s the Restoring the Soul (of Tired Veterinarians) category. Our Black Lives Matter ribbon goes to the foster owner of Rocket, a tiny black kitten rejected by its mother. This woman devotedly hand-raised him, despite his persistent constipation issues, requiring regular intervention. My five minutes cuddling Rocket when he comes to see me helps keep me going. The All Fluffy Lives Matter ribbons go to everyone who will stop talking politics for a few minutes and just focus on their pets. I have clients from the right, the left, the middle. Isn’t it wonderful we have a common bond in our love for our animals?
Continuing in Restoring the Soul are the Fruits of Our Labor ribbons. Third place to all who left me flowers, produce from their gardens, and blueberry hand pies, or who simply said thank you. You know who you are. Second place to the young woman who delivered my curbside groceries to my car. In the box among the kiwis, I was delighted to find a quickly scrawled note thanking me for being “a great vet” to Luce and Tulip. First place to Leo’s owner, who wrote a lovely tribute to me after his dog’s passing, though I continue to be teased about his calling me “a no-nonsense” person … but he’s right. The Maybe I Need MORE Nonsense Award goes to the owner of Babs, who messages me funny animal videos. Don’t the rest of you start doing that. Babs’ dad has dibs on this. He also gets credit for hearing about raisin and grape toxicity many years ago, and alerting me to what was then emerging information.
Now COVID-19 Awards. At the beginning of the pandemic, we were struggling with figuring out how to keep everyone safe. Clients, staff, doctors. So much was unknown. Was it safe to touch people’s pets? Dog collars? Cat carriers? Were dogs and cats susceptible? Should we wear full PPE for each patient? Was it irresponsible to purchase these items when human health care workers were suffering shortages? Pants on Fire awards go to the few people not fully forthcoming about their exposure and health. Seriously. In mid-April, if you arrived from NYC yesterday, don’t tell me you’ve been here a month. The blue ribbon goes to the client who admitted (by phone) he had a fever and severe malaise yesterday, but wished he hadn’t told me so I would see his dog today. Dr. Fauci’s Seal of Approval ribbons go to the vast majority of clients who followed social distancing directions and gave positive support for our no-contact curbside drop-off protocols.
Beau Biden Memorial Awards for lives well lived go to all those we have lost this year, including Dolan, Boogie, Phoebe, Nellie, Mufti, Rufus, Chloe, Sara, Grizzly, Mufasa, Tinker, Odin, Tillie, Maggie, Molly, Tigger, Squishy, Binx, Toby, Cassie, Menemsha, Rocky, Simba, Arno, Gazelle, Kitty, Stella, Riley, Mouse, Poly, Vercingetorix, and many more. Finally, Bipartisan Blue Ribbons to all my fellow Island veterinarians, for pulling together to provide essential care for Vineyard animals throughout this difficult time. May next year be easier for everyone.