Panthers head coach Ron Rivera gives a police dog a tummy rub on his way to practice. NFL photo
Super Bowl 50, or as I like to call it, Super Bowl L will be held Sunday in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, drawing 70,000 to the stadium and thousands more to sports bars around the Bay Area. Millions more across the country and across the world will be watching on television.
Making it a perfect target for terrorists.
Terrorism at the Super Bowl has been the subject of two popular novels. Black Sunday (1977) is the story of a group threatening the stadium filled with 80,000 people and the President of the United States. The Sum of All Fears is a 1991 Tom Clancy/Jack Ryan novel in which terrorists detonate a nuclear bomb at the Super Bowl, killing many people, including cabinet members.
On Sunday U.S. Air Force and California National Guard F-15 fighters are prepared to enforce a 10-mile no-fly zone around the stadium. Helicopters are patrolling the streets and are prepared to transport the players to the stadium in case of any street trouble. Police sharpshooters will be stationed on rooftops. Thousand of local and state police will be deployed.
Security on the streets and around train stations will be high as authorities remember the Paris attacks where the Stade de France was targeted by three suicide bombers during a soccer game.
Bomb sniffing dogs will alert to vest-, shoe- or underwear bombers. The dogs have been training all week not to be distracted by the noise and vibrations of the helicopters. They will add to the security by patrolling train stations, streets, and the stadium area.
According to Yahoo Sports the puppy challenge is sweeping the National Hockey League.
It goes like this--
Adorable young fan with amazing seats makes a sign informing a specific player that his or her parents will get them a puppy if that player scores a goal.
Player sees that sign, and is thus motivated to do the 2016 version of Babe Ruth hitting a home run for a child in a hospital bed, which is scoring a goal to get a privileged young person a gift from his or her parents.
Player scores a goal. A puppy finds a home.
It seems like harmless family fun to me but several years ago there was a Facebook page with a picture of some children that read: “Dad said if we got 10,000 Likes we could get a puppy.”
Huanglongbing (HLB) is a bacterial plant disease that is fatal to citrus trees. Diseased trees produce bitter, misshapen fruit and die within a few years of becoming infected. There is no cure and they must be isolated and destroyed so they won’t infect other citrus trees.
HLB threatens the multi-billion citrus industry, as well as trees in backyards. The disease is spread by a tiny insect called the Asian citrus psylled which feeds on the leaves and stems of citrus trees. HLB has devastated citrus crops in many parts of the world.
Detection of HLB can be difficult. The symptoms may not show up for more than a year after the tree has become infected. The first symptoms are yellowed leaves, but there are other causes for yellowing leaves.
Fortunately dogs have been successfully trained to detect HLB disease in citrus, according to Mary Palm, national coordinator for citrus pest programs. Five dogs are currently being trained and tested. Trainers are expected to come up in the next year or two with certification criteria for HLB detecting dogs.
To train the dogs, around 80 trees are put inside every night, positive ones in one greenhouse and the negative ones in another. The next day the trees are taken out and put in new positions for the dogs to inspect. Even the handlers don’t know which is which.
The Golden Poodle award will be shared by Oliver the Chihuahua who won a forever home by praying and to John Hwang, the shelter photographer who took the picture.
The son of President Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe drove from North Dakota to the capital to kidnap the Obama family dog and announce his run for President. Police found guns, ammunition and weapons in his car.
The Lizard Brain award goes to the judge who released him from custody with an ankle monitor.
The Neanderthal award goes to lawmakers in Romania who made a sorry attempt to interfere with the prehistoric relationship between shepherds and their dogs, something no homo sapiens would ever attempt.
Ludivine, a 2½ year old Bloodhound from Elkmont, Alabama, finished seventh in the Elkmont Train Trek Half-Marathon. Her owner, April Hamlin, had let her outside for a potty break when she noticed some humans having a lot of fun, so she just joined in.
According to Hamlin, Ludivine is normally a bit of a sloth, friendly and lazy. But on this day she was channeling her inner Usain Bolt and having a lot of doggie fun. She made friends along the way, stopping to smell a dead rabbit and greeting some cows in a field before rejoining the pack of 165 runners.
Hamlin worried that Ludivine had been a distraction to the runners, but instead they are going to rename the race the “Hound Dog Half’ in her honor.
In 2011 Dozer the Goldendoodlejoined 2000 runners halfway through the Maryland Half Marathon, a fundraiser for cancer research. He continued to raise money through a web page that was set up for him.
Now 20, Nano claims she realized she was born a cat when she was 16 and has adopted cat mannerisms since then.
Nano wears pointy dark cat ears and a white tail. She meows and purrs, she hates water, she hisses at dogs, she uses a litter box, and she claims to have a superior sense of hearing and sight which allow her to hunt mice in the dark (although she has never caught one.)
She explains her unorthodox lifestyle in this YouTube video which has been viewed over 100,000 times.
I’ve whined bitched written about the large number of homeless Chihuahuas in California shelters a number of times. Some of them find a way to attract a human to love them.
Two-year-old Oliver the Chihuahua was brought into a California shelter where, luckily John Hwang, 41, an occupational therapist, worked as a volunteer photographer. His hobby is telling shelter dogs’ stories through pictures to find good homes for them.
He posted the picture of Oliver on his Facebook page. The picture was shared more than 2500 times and two days later Oliver found his home. Hwang had people messaging him from all over the world. This is what he wrote about taking the picture.
“Every time I tried to get up and move away from the kennel, he’d getting up on his hind legs and kept putting his paws together, as if he was begging me to help him,” said Hwang. “He would just come right up to the fence and he would do it. I said, ‘I got to get a photo of that.'” Source
I remember seeing other Chihuahuas in a prayer or begging stance. Here are some that we found irresistible.
There are a lot of people in history I would like to have at a dinner party.
One would have to be the first person to eat a truffle.
First, they had to fight a pig for a dirt covered fungus that the pig had dug up from the ground in the forest. And then they had to figure out how to prepare it and finally to actually eat it.
What were you thinking? How hungry were you?
Today dogs rather than pigs are the animal of choice to find truffles. Pigs love to eat truffles and fight with humans over possession. Dogs prefer other cuisine and are more trainable. So for years hunting dogs have mostly been used in Europe to find truffles.
The Oregon Truffle Festival opened early this month in Eugene and will continue through January. As part of the celebration of the pricey fungus, dogs competed at the 2nd Annual Joriad Truffle Dog Championship.
Working as a team with their owners/handlers, dogs of all breeds and sizes tramped through the forest in the pouring rain, competing to find the most truffles. Winners are based on how many truffles they find and, if there is a tie, by weight.
According to one truffle dog trainer almost any dog from a tiny Dachshund to a large German Shepherd can be trained to sniff out truffles as long as they can move around and smell. They should also listen to you, have good recall and good manners.
Unlike other dog activities, hunting truffles can be quite profitable. As the world’s most expensive food, black truffles cost about $95 an ounce while the more rare white truffles cost around $168 an ounce. That is up to $1200 a pound. The world’s largest truffle sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $61,250 to a phone bidder from China.
An Alaskan Malamute can be a destructive force of nature or a gentle breeze.
As a college student, Karissa Lerch from Durham, NC couldn’t afford a dog. So she went to Toys-R-Us and got a toy dog instead.
When she finally was able to get a dog, she chose an Alaskan Malamute, named her Luca and gave her the toy dog. They quickly became inseparable. Karissa says:
It’s her baby :) She carries it around everywhere and always has. Source
Through the years Luca has destroyed many toys, but the Toys-R-Us dog she has always kept by her side.
My blogging buddy Marianne from Northview Diary and I agree that we love these high energy Nordic dogs as long as they belong to someone else. She writes:
I remember when a lovely full-grown, as in really, really, really, big Malamute was surrendered at the animal hospital where I worked. A guy adopted him within a day or two..he was truly a beautiful dog.
The guy had a nice truck.....had being the operative word. His folks wouldn't let him keep the dog inside so he left him in that nice truck overnight. Every thing that could be chewed or pooped on was. No seats. No steering wheel. No seat belts. No carpets, no nice truck any more. He even left tooth marks on the window glass. I was awful glad I had Brandy then and didn't adopt him myself.
--a breed known to be extraordinary athletes and first class escape artists with some astonishing instincts.
In his quest for freedom and adventure, things went terribly wrong for this adorable pup when his head got stuck in a dryer vent.
Fortunately it took the Ventura Co Fire Station 50 in Camarillo, CA about 5 minutes to release him.
Through the years some of my favorite blog stories have involved Huskies.
They are remarkable dogs, funny dogs, but almost never ordinary.
There are the beautiful athletes who run in the Yukon Quest and Iditarod. Once in a while one of them, like Whitey-Lance, will get impatient while the team is stopped and scare everyone by running their own much longer race without food or human care. They are always grateful to be rescued.
There wasAkirathe Husky who was caught on surveillance tape a few years ago strolling into a grocery store straight to the pet food aisle, picking up a rawhide bone, and walking out without paying for it.
The tape was played by TV stations all across the world before her owners finally realized it was their dog who had traveled 12 miles to get to the store.
Moonthe Husky got separated from her owner and his two other dogs while they were traveling. It took her 8 days to make her way 77 miles to get home across a high desert and two mountain ranges in Nevada.
Gonzothe Husky lost his eyesight when he was 3-years-old, but not his love of running. His Husky brother Poncho seemed to understand and helped him run in tandem.
Zanderthe Husky got so depressed when his owner went into the hospital that he made his way two miles across a stream and through streets where he had never been to reach his beloved human.
Albertthe Husky stray was lonely wandering around all by himself, so he dug his way intoananimal shelter to introduce himself and make new friends.
Lucy the Husky, nicknamed The Destroyer, beat out hundreds of contenders by chewing her way to freedom to win a national Bad to the Bone contest.
Cato the Husky from South Carolina was caught red pawed shoplifting pigs’ ears, beef bones and dog food from a neighborhood Dollar General store and burying them nearby.
Juneau the Husky saved his owner’s life after he was left paralyzed in a skiing accident.
Toby the Husky had a running account at the local shelter in Alaska and cost his owner over $2000 in fines and citations.
Khyra the full-time Huskyand part-time hussy has her own blog.
When Valerie Parrott got married recently in Sioux Falls, SD, her service dog Bella played an important role, according to ABC News.
For the past nearly three years Bella has been helping her to cope with anxiety, panic attacks, and migraines. A wedding day can often bring all three conditions.
Just before the ceremony Parrot said her anxiety started to rise as her heart pounded. She and Bella shared a special moment that was captured by wedding photographer Maddie Peschong.
"Since she’s with me all the time, we wanted to make it special for her as well,” Parrott, 25, told ABC News. “We made a special vest for her and a tutu and she walked by my side down the aisle and sat up front with us during the ceremony.
“The photos were just sort of us together while we were acknowledging that it was going to be a busy day and we needed to focus on the good things."