This blog is a tribute to Belle, and all the dogs who have come before and after. They are my friends, my companions, my teachers and my students. They bring me both joy and heartache, laughter and tears. There is nothing as sweet as the smell of puppy breathe, and nothing as sad as the final goodbye.

Monday, July 16, 2012


K-9 Heroes of 9-11

These are the dogs that worked the trade center that are still alive but retired. 

They are heroes too…

Their eyes say everything you need to know about them. Just amazing creatures.
True heroes of 9/11 that are still with us today...

Moxie, 13, from Winthrop, Massachusetts, arrived with her handler, Mark Aliberti,
at the World Trade Center on the evening of September 11 and searched the site for eight days.

Tara, 16, from Ipswich, Massachusetts, arrived at the
World Trade Center on the night of the 11th.
The dog and her handler, Lee Prentiss, were there for eight days.

Kaiser, 12, pictured at home in Indianapolis, Indiana, was deployed to the World Trade Center
on September 11 and searched tirelessly for people in the rubble.

Bretagne and his owner Denise Corliss from Cypress, Texas,
arrived at the site in New York on September 17, remaining there for ten days.

Guinness, 15, from Highland, California, started work at the site with Sheila McKee
on the morning of September 13 and was deployed at the site for 11 days.

Merlyn and his handler Matt Claussen were deployed to Ground Zero
on September 24, working the night shift for five days.

Red, 11, from Annapolis, Maryland, went with Heather Roche to the Pentagon from September 16 
until the 27th as part of the Bay Area Recovery Canines.

Abigail, above, was deployed on the evening of September 17, searching for 10 days
while Tuff arrived in New York at 11:00 PM on the day of attack to start working early the next day.

Handler Julie Noyes and Hoke were deployed to the World Trade Center
from their home in Denver on September 24, and searched for five days.

Scout and another unknown dog lie among the rubble at Ground Zero,
just two of nearly 100 search and rescue animals who helped to search for survivors.

During the chaos of the 9/11 attacks, where almost 3,000 people died, nearly 100 loyal search and rescue dogs and their brave owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Now, ten years later, just 12 of these heroic canines survive, and they have been commemorated in a touching series of portraits entitled 'Retrieved.' The dogs worked tirelessly to search for anyone trapped alive in the rubble, along with countless emergency service workers and members of the public.
Traveling across nine states in the U.S. From Texas to Maryland, Dutch photographer, Charlotte Dumas, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade beyond 9/11. Their stories have now been compiled in a book, called "Retrieved," which will be published on the tenth anniversary of the attacks.
Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted "Retrieved" to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs. "I felt this was a turning point, especially for the dogs, who although are not forgotten, are not as prominent as the human stories involved," explained Charlotte, who splits her time between New York and Amsterdam. "They speak to us as a different species and animals are greatly important for our sense of empathy and to put things into perspective."

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Memorial Day from Ain't Misbehavin'

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wishing You a Safe and Happy Memorial Day 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ohio's new law in effect

Ohio, at least, will no longer call all pit bulls 'vicious
By Rene Lynch
May 22, 2012, 9:33 a.m.
Pit bulls have a new best friend in Ohio: lawmakers. Elsewhere, some officials are on the other side of the fence.
A new Ohio law went into effect this week that protects pit bulls from being labeled as "vicious" dogs simply because they're pit bulls. From now on, dogs in Ohio can be labeled "vicious" only if they do something to warrant it.
It's a hard-fought distinction waged by animal rights activists who say it will protect the controversial breed from discrimination. However, the new law does not overturn the rights of local communities to ban the breed outright, as a smattering of Ohio communities have done, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Previously, state law defined a vicious dog as one that hurt or killed a person, killed a another canine or was simply a pit bull, according to the Associated Press. The change now requires proof that a pit bull is actually vicious.
Many animal rights activists are applauding the  change, but it has plenty of critics who say that pit bulls do indeed make great pets -- until they don't. The breed is so powerful, and inclined to tug and attack until a victim is dead, that ownership should be discouraged, they say.
"Some pit bulls make good pets, but when the consequences are so great, why take a chance?" askedone Plain Dealer letter-writer.
The law change comes just days after the fatal mauling of a 3-day-old child who was momentarily left alone with the family's pit bull-mix in their Beaverdam, Ohio, home.
"Breed-specific legislation" is a hot topic in the canine community. Communities, fearful of injuries (and, let's face it, lawsuits), can turn to breed-specific legislation as a way to protect residents from dog attacks. But activists for animals, including the American Humane Assn., say breed-specific legislation can backfire and end up costing municipalities more dollars than would simply taking steps to enforce existing laws and educate the public about dog ownership.
The AHA points to a case study in Maryland, where one county spent more than $560,000 to enforce a pit bull ban by dedicating law enforcement to it, as well as housing dogs during the ensuing legal battles and appeals over breed determination. (Determining a pit bull is not as easy as it looks, activists say. Some of the most seemingly obvious markers, such as the squared-off head and powerful body, can be shared by other breeds.)
Tips from the AHA for protecting both people and dogs from harm include: Never leaving a child alone with a dog, spaying and neutering pets, socializing dogs around people and other animals from a young age, and taking steps to make sure animals are not able to get out and roam on their own.
By contrast, chaining a dog can cause its own set of problems: It causes an animal to become overly anxious and, as a result, overly aggressive. Chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite than unchained dogs, according to the AHA, which recommends secure fencing to keep a dog contained.
The AHA is also calling for better dog-bite reporting, noting that many studies about dog attacks rely on incomplete police data, hospital records and media reports. (Pit bull defenders say media reports can be skewed, playing up the involvement of pit bulls.)