Monday, February 20, 2012

Of Greatness, Dogs, and Great Dogs
by Professor Andrea Defusco-Sullivan on September 26, 2010
What do George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln have in common?
Brilliant minds? Eloquence? Patriotism?
But if the axiom “great minds think alike” is true, their like-mindedness centered around something particularly interesting…and furry. They were all dog-lovers.

George Washington’s character as a general and as president is well-known, but less publicized is the fact that he was the father of the American Foxhound breed in the United States. Just before the War of Independence, Washington paid for the safe passage of a pack of young foxhounds from England. In 1785, his friend, the Marquis de Lafayette, sent him three French foxhounds as a gift. The British hounds and the French hounds were bred, producing the hearty, good-natured American Foxhound.  He often mentioned his beloved dogs in his diaries, including one hound who routined vexed Martha Washington by breaking into their pantry and stealing whole Virginia hams.
Psychology Today suggests a link between dog ownership and greatness in a January 22, 2009 article. Stanley Coren, Ph.D., notes the character of some famous dog lovers, including General Washington:
That article contains a vignette which perfectly illustrates Washington’s honorable character as both a man and a dog lover:
During the Battle of Germantown, which was not going well for the Americans, Washington was encamped at Pennibecker’s Mill. On October 6, 1777, a little terrier was seen wandering the area between the American and British lines.  It turns out that General Howe’s little terrier had somehow gotten loose and had become lost on the battlefield. The dog was identified from its collar, and brought to Washington. His officers suggested that he might want to keep the dog as a sort of trophy which might weaken the morale of the British general. Instead he took the dog into his tent, fed him and had him brushed and cleaned. Then, to the surprise of everyone, Washington ordered a cease fire. The shooting stopped and soldiers on both sides watched as one of Washington’s aides formally returned a little dog to the British commander under a flag of truce.

Other Founding Fathers loved canines as well. John and Abigail Adams had two mixed-breed dogs: “Satan”, which was John’s dog, and “Juno”, Abigail’s puppy. In her letters, Abigail famously wrote “If you love me….you must love my dog.”

Benjamin Franklin acted as spoiled “grandfather” to his son’s Newfoundland, taking him on long walks and bringing him special treats during each visit. Thomas Jefferson loved the affable herding dog, Briards, so much that he not only imported a pregnant female from France, he routinely gave puppies to landowning friends, including James Madison. Abraham Lincoln’s dog, Fido, a lab mix, was well-known to be so spoiled that he ate at the table with the family. The hub-bub of the White House scared Fido terribly, so Lincoln made an incredible sacrifice–he gave Fido to trusted friends in Springfield, Illinois, with strict instructions to care for and love Fido. Subsequently, Lincoln became the owner of the first White House cat, Tabby, to whom Lincoln would give “belly-rubs” for hours at a time.
I think it’s worth noting that most of my colleagues and friends at ACHLS have loved, and been loved by dogs.  Dean and Professor Michael Chesson owns the very handsome Mick and has rescued cats as well as dogs from shelters; Lynne Snierson, our crackerjack PR person and admissions officer, owns one  dapper (and lucky) 13-year-old Sheltie named Reggie. My colleague in the writing program, Attorney and Professor Ruth-Ellen Post, still speaks fondly of  her now-departed family dog, whose loss is still fresh to her. 
Is there a link between dog ownership and greatness? Perhaps that axiom can’t be proven, but as I am proud to be owned by my hound, Ben, I do humbly admit that I can only aspire to his loyalty and good nature.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Does your pet watch TV?

Does your pet watch TV? Do you leave their favorite show on when you leave the house? Well, many people do! That's why last week Cox and Time Warner digital cable systems premiered DOGTV.

DOGTV will appear in the Health and Wellness category of Cox's Freezone, or by using the "guide'' function to go to Channel 2635. On Time Warner, it's on Channel 148, where viewers need to choose Find It On Demand and select My Pet.

"Loving our dogs so much, we feel guilty when we leave them home alone,'' said Gilad Neumann, CEO of DOGTV. "DOGTV provides customized television entertainment, while the rest of the family is away at work or too busy to play. Studies show it relaxes and stimulates our dogs keeping them healthier and more content.''

Does your pet like to swim?

Does your pet like to swim? Check out these incredible underwater photographs by Seth Casteel. Pet portraits have a whole new look!

Underwater Dog Photography By Seth Casteel

Seth Casteel, a famed pet lifestyle photographer for Little Friends Photography , is giving pet photos a whole new look with underwater photography.
Seth Casteel, a famed pet lifestyle photographer for Little Friends Photography, is giving pet photos a whole new look with underwater photography.
The photographer was able to capture the dogs swimming underwater while playing fetch. The composition of each image is perfect, and each photo is lit so that the camera captures every detail of the dog as he or she plunges into the pool. The dogs’ faces and expressions are priceless.
Check out the Little Friends Photo Album on Facebook for hundreds of amazing animal photographs and plenty more underwater dog shots. There’s over 600 and counting!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February Pet of the Month: Chopper Cascove

We are proud to honor Chopper Bascove as our February Pet of the Month! Chopper is a 7 year old Yorkie, who has frequented our hospital several times since August of last year. His first stay resulted in gallbladder surgery. He then returned in the beginning of the year where he waged a successful battle with pancreatitis. Most recently he has been seen to treat a tick borne disease called Babesia. Dr. Sessa has been Choppers primary doctor and has been vigilant in his care. Chopper has spent more then his share of time with us, but has always been a model patient. His parents, Stephen and Tracey have been the epitome of caring and compliant owners. This last ailment is responding well and while we will miss him, we hope he stays home with his parents for awhile! We are proud to honor Chopper as our February Pet of the Month!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dental Specials

Don’t just wrinkle your nose at Fido or Fluffy's bad breath…it may be more serious than you think! We are proud to offer Purina Dental Chews with every dental service in February...that includes non-anesthetic dentals! Be sure to join us on Monday February 20th and Monday February 27th when Pet Dental Services will be at our hospital performing non-anesthetic dentals. Schedule your pet's dental cleaning today by calling us at 954-920-3556.