Bill Wynne, Smoky the War Dog
Smoky was a 4 lb. Yorkie, found in New Guinea during Bill Wynne's WWII tour of duty. The little dog flew 150 reconnaissance missions and holds the title of the First Therapy Dog. Bill is now 92 and he recounts his stories about Smoky quite lucidly as if they were yesterday.
In 1944, Bill Wynne was a 21-year-old airman from Cleveland in MacArthur's 5th Air Force, when he purchased Smoky, a four lb., 7-inch tall Yorkie, for 2 Australian pounds ($6.44) so the owner could get back in a poker game.
Smoky was originally found when some guys were driving through the jungle when their jeep stalled. Bill's friend Ed was driving, and he jumped out and started checking under the hood for the problem when he heard a yapping on the side of the road. Ed looked over and saw a little gold head trying to jump out of an abandoned foxhole. Ed then reached over, picked it up and put it on the seat of the jeep. Ed didn't like dogs, but he drove it back to the motor pool and gave it to the sergeant. Ed then came to the tent he shared with Bill and told him about the dog. Bill asked him why Ed didn't give the dog to him, and he replied that he didn't want a dog in their tent.
Bill immediately went to the sergeant and offered him 2 Australian pounds for the dog. There wasn't a deal, as the sergeant wanted 3 pounds. The next day the sergeant tracked Bill down and asked him if he still wanted the dog, at his original offer of 2 pounds, as he wanted to get back in a poker game. That is how Bill acquired Smoky.
Smoky turned out to be a great diversion for Bill; because it took any worries he had about himself, and put them into caring about the dog.
Smoky went through about 150 air raids and saved Wynne by warning him of incoming shells. She also flew 12 combat missions. Bill decided to take her on these missions, because his friends were arguing who'd get Smoky if he got knocked off, to which Wynne declared, "The heck with you guys, if we go down, we'll go down together."
During this period, Smoky lost her good conduct medal for a year when she had a surprise puppy. Bill was in the hospital and had someone take care of Smoky and they let her run loose. Bill didn't know she was pregnant and was working with her teaching he how to walk on the top of a drum (she knew over 200 tricks), when she all of a sudden rolled over on to her back. Bill didn't know what was going on, so he took her back to his tent, where she had one little black puppy.
After the war, Smoky was smuggled back to the US hidden in an oxygen mask carrying case. Bill said he had sweated over the thought of how to get her back to the states for two years. During the trip, he got caught and was fined $1,000, which was a lot of money back then. While Bill didn't have it, he knew he could borrow the money from his many buddies. When all was said and done, they got off the boat, where two lines of officers with the Star Spangled Banner playing saluted them. Bill came down the ramp, got into a GI truck and was safe on US land, after all that sweating.
Like many Yorkies, Smoky also loved to learn tricks and preform. She did so with the Special Services by entertaining soldiers in hospitals. For the next 10 years after the war, she made television and public appearances in Veterans hospitals until her death. Smoky is considered the first Therapy Dog on record.
Smoky died in 1957 and has a memorial on top of her grave in Lakewood, Ohio at Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River Reservation. The memorial is Smoky in a GI helmet made out of bronze. Smoky has a total of 6 memorials in the United States as well as one in Australia. There were several books written about Smoky, one being "Yorkie Doodle Dandy, A Memoir" by Bill Wynne.
Bill currently has two Yorkies, one named Smoky and the other Smoky Too, which he takes when he gives talks at such places as the library.
Westminster Opens Door To Mixed Breeds
David Frei, Angel On A Leash
Three new breeds have been added to the Westminster Show; the Chinook, New Hampshire's official state dog, which was developed there as a sled puller with power, endurance and a companion dog temperament; the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, which is a compact rabbit hunter; and the Rat Terrier, which was bred to rid farms of rodents.
However, no longer is a dog required to be a purebred to compete in some of the Westminster events. David Frei explains that while mixed breed dogs still won't be eligible to compete for "Best In Show," they are staging a new agility trial event for mixed breed dogs to compete in. They are calling these mixed breed dogs "All American Breeds."
While the Westminster Dog Show has continued their long streak with the 138-year-old event, they are starting a new streak with their First Annual Agility Trial. This event will bring in more dogs and have more people involved, and will show people what fun things dogs can do.
As David explains it, Westminster is a celebration of the dogs in our lives. It's not just about being the world's greatest dog show, which it is, but about the entertainment you receive with 190 breeds and varieties.
When watching the Westminster show, on February 10-11th, David encourages you to root for your favorite. For example, if you're sitting at home with your Brittany on the couch next to you, root for the Brittany. When it's all said and done, the real Best in Show dog is that dog that is sitting next to you on the couch anyway.
David Frei is the voice of the Westminster Kennel Club and is also the Founder and President of Westminster's therapy dog charity, Angel On A Leash. Angel On A Leash began as a charitable activity at the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York-Presbyterian, and champions the use of therapy dogs in health care facilities, schools, rehabilitation, hospice, extended care, correctional facilities and crisis intervention. Through advocacy, education, research and service, Angel On A Leash, promotes the role of the human-animal bond in enhancing human health and quality of life.
Spring Brings Nasty Parasites
Dr. Joel Ehrenzweig, ProLabs, FLEX Rx
Did you know fleas can transmit tapeworm to your pet, robbing your furry friend of 25 percent of its daily nutrition? Dr. Joel Ehrenzweig has the low-down on tapeworms and how to avoid being a statistic.
Spring is around the corner, so let's make sure pets are ready for it and are free of parasites, especially tapeworms. What are tapeworms and what do they do?
A tapeworm has a long ribbon like body with many segments that can become independent, and a small head bearing hooks and suckers. They may look like a piece of rice on the stool but not in it, or sometimes can be seen sticking like little white eggs to the pet's anus. Dogs with tapeworms will often scoot across the floor.
What tapeworms do, and they do it very well, is take about 25 percent of what the host eats, making them more susceptible to disease and health problems, by sucking the energy and nutrients from your pet. They can also make your pet anemic. While it is not fatal to our pets, they can affect people, where they can actually migrate to the brain.
There have been reports that Elizabeth Taylor used to take tapeworms to control her weight, and while this may make a great diet, there is that risk that they will mirage to your brain and turns it to mush!
Tapeworms actually go through an intermediary host, and fleas are the most common host they use. Our pets can also get tapeworms from eating rabbits, birds and squirrels.
For most of our pets, fleas are the originator of tapeworms. Getting rid of tapeworms is a great way to keep your pet in optimal shape. Tapeworms will not go away by themselves, as they have no reason to. They may even hang around inside your pet for a long time undetected.
If your dog or cats hunts, has had fleas or has fleas, you can assume it has tapeworms.
What ProLabs does, and has done for many years, is to provide an over-the-counter treatment for owners to get rid of tapeworms in their dogs and cats, which contains the exact same medication vets use.
Prevention Is Keys
Swheat Scoop Minute With Doc Halligan
It's much easier to prevent weight gain than it is to lose weight. Here are some ways to keep your kitties and cats nice and lean:
1. Feed a balanced, nutritionally complete diet tailored to the life stage of your cat.
2. Begin by feeding the amount recommended by the manufacturer and tailor it to your pet's lifestyle.
3. Always measure the amount of food you feed your pets. Use measuring cups for accuracy. Never eyeball the amount of food you're giving.
4. Once pets have been spayed or neutered, they have lower energy requirements and should have their feeding amount reduced accordingly.
5. Never feed table scraps of any kind. They add calories and will unbalance your pet's diet.
6. Give cat treats sparingly and incorporate these extra calories into your pet's total daily allotment. Treats should account for less than 10% of total calories.
7. With multiple pets, it's best to supervise feeding times to ensure that each pet is getting the right amount of food.
8. Don't allow pets into the room where you're preparing or eating food.
9. Weigh your pet on a regular basis on the same scale.
10. Make sure your cats get plenty of daily exercise.
11. Feed your pets two or more smaller meals a day instead of one big meal.
12. Make sure each pet has its own food bowl.
13. Never leave food out in unlimited quantities.
Overfeeding kittens causes an increase in their number of fat cells and predisposes them to obesity as adults. Therefore kittens that become obese during growth will often have a problem with obesity throughout life. After maturity, fat cells do not increase in number as readily, but instead increase in size.
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The Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani
3 Things To Remember When Grooming At Home
There are three things that you need to do with your pet when grooming them at home, do you know what they are?
The first thing would be to brush your dog often. You should brush them at least once, twice or ideally three times per week, depending upon the length of their coat. By doing this, you will be able to tell if they have fleas and ticks. You will also be able to identify anything else that shouldn't be there, such as lumps and bumps.
The next item is to check their nails. This doesn't necessarily mean you should do a nail trim at home, because most people don't know how to do it properly. If you don't know how to do it, leave it up to your groomer. You groomer will probably do it for a lot less than your veterinarian. You should check your dog's nails every week. If your dog is active and naturally wears their nails down, you won't need to check them as often. But, if you have a coach potato, they will not wear their nails down. If their nails are growing down past their pads, they need to be cut. Basically, if you can hear their nails click as they walk across a hard surface, it is time to get them trimmed. If you neglect our dog's nails, the quick (the pink blood line inside of the nail) will grow along with the length of the nail, so you can only cut it back a little. So, since you can't cut the nails back too short, you may still hear some clicking on the floor. These nails will take some time and many trimmings for the quick to recede and allow you to cut them short again.
The last thing you need to do is to check their ears. You don't have to clean them, just look at them on the inside. They should be pink and not smell. Basically, they should just smell like the rest of your dog. If there is a horrible smell coming from their ears, even if you can't see anything, there is probably something going on in their ears. If you do try to clean them, use a Q-Tip and go in just as far as you can see, no farther. Don't dig around in their ears. You just want to swab out the excess debris. If you remove a lot of gook, whether it is brown or black, take your pet to the vet.
Cover these three things and your dog should be fine.
Animal Radio® News with Stacey Cohen
Track Your Dog's Fitness
Wearable fitness tracking has gone to the dogs, literally. Voyce is a health and activity tracker that fits around your pooch's collar. The new gadget features a three-axis accelerometer to track data on your dog's movements and rest periods, plus sensors rely on radio frequencies to measure heart and respiratory rates. Then all of that data is sent to your tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth to gain insights into your pet's health, as well as track trends over time to share with your veterinarian.
Animals That Share Human Emotions
We all put human emotions on our pets. Lets face it. But some pets really do share our emotional threshold. Chimps – Chimps are extremely related to humans, genetically speaking, which is why it's likely not all that surprising that they mourn after losing a loved one. Their responses include refusing to eat, pouting and even crying. Dogs – In a different take on "losing a loved one," while we consider dogs to be a man's best friend, there seems to be no doubt that man is a dog's bestie. If a dog outlives his owner, that dog very often will show signs of deep loss, including long battles with lethargy, and, for all intents and purposes, depression. Elephants – Perhaps the most widely documented evidence of mourning, elephants have been known to shed tears and bury their dead. In more than a handful of occasions, mourning elephants have starved themselves so severely, that they died. Geese – Many animal species mate with several partners over a lifetime, while there are quite a number of animals that choose one mate for live. Geese are all about monogamy, which while romantic, also makes it hard on a goose that loses his or her partner. While the goose in mourning will take time to grieve, one of the most interesting results of the recent loss is that goose will usually find a new partner over time; one that has also lost his or her loved one. While all of this "evidence" is fine and good, scientists like to have hard-fastened data to hang their hats on. Which is why there have been brain studies (on both humans and animals) to see if there is any correlation among species. Our own mourning is done (or facilitated) through our frontal cortex, a section of the brain that other animals do possess. There is one theory that the mechanisms at work when we, or animals, grieve, are embedded in our brains from eons ago.
Bird Skull Found In Bag of Spinach
A Florida woman says finding a bird skull in a bag of spinach is "going to haunt" her for life. According to Florida's WWSB TV, Madeline Brogan of Sarasota made the gruesome discovery as she was draining a bag of Publix Spinach in preparation for a New Year's Eve party. Brogan described the head as having "an eye missing out of it." She relayed the incident to Publix and they responded by sending a representative to visit Brogan. The rep apparently gave her a gift card, gift basket and several packages of frozen fruits and vegetables. Nevertheless, Brogan says she'll "probably need therapy" because of the incident.
Airport Food Goes To The Worms
Worms will soon be feasting on the unfinished food from travelers at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. According to the Charlotte Observer, the airport has just obtained a composting permit allowing them to feed wasted food to more than a million red wiggler worms at the airport's new recycling center. The project had been delayed for over a year because of broken equipment. The castings from the worms will be harvested as fertilizer for the airport grounds. Airport officials hope the worms will help cut down on some 10,000 tons of waste produced at the airport every year.
Puppy Bites Deodorant Can, Causes Huge Explosion
An explosion that caused thousands of dollars in damage to a house in England is being blamed on a puppy and a can of deodorant. According to the Mirror, Kerry Leech and partner Matthew Heckler were notified about the explosion in their home via text. They arrived on the scene worried about their many pets, but fire fighters assured them that all the animals made it out just fine. However, they also explained that one of the couple's pets, a puppy named Zeus, was actually behind the explosion. It turns out Zeus bit a hole in a can of spray deodorant and then rolled it near the gas fireplace. The can blew up a little while later when the boiler came on and caused more than $3,000 in damage. But Leech and Heckler say Zeus isn't being punished for his explosive bite since he's "just a pup."
Dependence on Technology Goes To New Heights
A new survey has found that about a fifth of the country may be taking their dependence on technology to new heights. Conducted by Huffington Post-YouGov, the poll asked a group of pet-owners to imagine a scenario in which they would have to either give up their pet for a month, or their smartphone for a month. Twenty percent of the respondents admitted they would rather hold on to their gadget and go without seeing their animal. Sixty-seven percent however, stayed loyal to their furry friends over their smartphones. Thirteen percent said they couldn't decide.
Reindeer In Norway Get Reflectors To Stop Car Accidents
It may not be Rudolph with his nose so bright, but thousands of reindeer in Norway will soon have shiny antlers. Officials are outfitting as many as 10,000 reindeer with reflector cuffs on their antlers to make them more visible to motorists and hopefully keep them from being run over. A senior adviser at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration says they've been testing the biodegradable cuffs since 2010, and now they're ready to roll them out across the country. Norway is reportedly home to some 200,000 reindeer, but only a portion will get the cuffs since the animals travel in packs anyway.
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