It takes only a small number of insects from out of the area to cause major damage to California’s multi-billion dollar agriculture industry.
So packages containing plant material sent into the state must be labeled and inspected. But many never get labeled or the labels are hidden or fall off.
Dozer is an 87-pound Labrador mix working as an agriculture inspector, trained to sniff out unmarked plant matter so that it can be inspected by his human partner.
Dozer is one of 13 highly trained former shelter and rescue dogs working to protect agriculture in California. They are specifically trained to sniff out odors of citrus, stone fruits, guava and apples and to scatch on the packages when they find them.
Not every dog can be trained as an agriculture inspector.
Labradors are ideal because they are high energy (unless they are overfed) and respond well to positive reinforcement when they accomplish a task. They must also be confident, focused and not afraid of loud noises in the facilities where they work.
Dozer races through the shipping warehouse trying to sniff out plant material in the packages so that he can get a reward.
At the end of the day most working dogs go home with their handlers. Dozer goes to a pet hotel. Can you guess why?
I’ll give you some time to think about it.
….tick tick tick…
Because he would spend the evening clawing at the refrigerator and attacking house plants, according to his handler, Jennifer Berger.
"That's his job, and he does it very well," she said. "But it wouldn't work out at home."
For a long time sled dogs have been wearing booties to protect their feet. This year some dogs in the Yukon Quest have been seen wearing leggings that stretch from the ankle to the shoulder, held on by bands across their backs.
It isn’t just a fashion statement. It seems that as breeding has changed racing dogs, the type of hair on their legs has changed. Today’s sled dog has hair that is softer and longer than the previous coarse, oily and wolf-like hair.
The leggings protect against chicken leg, an injury that can occur when the dogs run through snow that sticks to the back of their legs. It balls up and pulls out the hair, leaving raw spots. Expect to see these leggings on some of the Iditarod dogs.
The fabric can be made of spandex, polar fleece or other materials. Source
This is The Poodle (and dog) blog, not the National Enquirer.
The blonde was a male Golden Retriever puppy named Adlai and the mayor was the late Kevin White who served as mayor of Boston from 1968 to 1984.
As Boston mourned his recent passing, there were many stories of his love for animals, especially Golden Retrievers. White always had dogs, sometimes two or more which he walked daily, let them ride in his limousine and brought them to his city hall office.
But at one time while serving as mayor he found himself without a dog.
His wife, Kathryn, wasn't ready to go through the heartbreak that comes with the inevitable death of a dog. Their house was filled with five growing kids and there were increasing demands on the mayor.
Although White could rule Boston, he wasn’t the supreme authority in his own house. So he launched Plan B.
This involved the Parkman House, a mansion owned by the city just around the corner from White’s townhouse. White spent more than $600,000 in public and private funds to turn it into his private retreat.
When he found a suitable Golden puppy he named him Adlai and moved him into Parkman house.
…where the pup undoubtedly looked around at the expensive furniture, the soft carpets, the eager staff, and thought, “This will do.’’
And there Adlai lived, in semisecret, for many months to come, often with the mayor, always with the staff.
White walked him every day, brought him to his office, and shared the news with his kids, who would regularly visit him. But White never did get around to telling Kathryn.
Kathryn eventually found out when she saw their picture together in the newspaper. It is not known what took place in their telephone conversation, but later that day Mayor and dog took a slow walk home. They both had their tails between their legs, according to White’s son.
Obviously it all worked out. I’ve never heard of anyone who could resist the charms of a Golden Retriever.
In 2008, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) found that 44% of dogs and 57% of cats were estimated to be overweight or obese. Now, in 2011, only three years later, the same group finds that 55% of dogs and 53% of cats are overweight or obese.
All breeds are subject to obesity, but the hunting breeds seem to be the most prone to fatness. Various breeds of Hounds, Beagles, Labradors, and Bassets have a constant hunger.
This is tied to their hunting instincts. They are saying to their owners, “Either feed me or let’s go hunting.” If they are not hungry they have no desire to go out in the cold and rain to find furry food. Since most dog owners today are not hunters, it is easier to live with the dogs when they are well (or over) fed.
One of the reasons Labs and Beagles continue to be among the most popular dog breeds is that they are adaptable. If they live with active families, they will continue to be active, but they are happy to be couch potatoes as long as the food supply continues.
Although it’s hard to ignore those pleading hungry eyes, it is sad to see beautiful, active puppies turned into chubby lumps. More important an overweight dog is more at risk for many health problems, higher veterinarian bills, and a shorter life expectancy than a lean, active dog.
A lot of the obesity is caused by feeding the dog high calorie human food. My little guys have trained me to keep their bowls filled with premium kibbles and they don’t overeat. But I know that if a pepperoni pizza or a box of Twinkies would waft into the room, they would demolish it, container and all.
I’ve heard from many people that their veterinarian has suggested, besides more exercise, to supplement the diet with salt free green beans. Most dogs love them and they satisfy the constant hunger.
Fat camps for dogs are becoming more popular across the country. The regimen includes before and after weigh-ins and measurements, treadmills, swimming, yoga, free play and a reduced calorie menu.
These camps can cost $200 a week, so if your dog is putting on a few pounds, you may want to go with the green beans and longer dog walks.
Arbor, a Border Collie-Lab mix, is a rescue dog who is famous in Las Vegas for wearing a doggie cam and touring Las Vegas hot spots.
Recently she picked the winner of the Super Bowl and broke into her piggy bank for money to place a bet. She wasn’t put off when she found out that dogs can’t place bets. Dogs can always find a human to do their bidding.
"Picking winners comes naturally to me,” stated Arbor. “I just go for the one that smells most like sausage.”
For more of Arbor’s adventures in Las Vegas, she has her own website: Go Vegas Dog. (See Vegas Doggie Style)