"D'OH!" Some Pet-Related "Ooops" Moments From Around The World
My 100th Hub: Strange But True Pet News
You're probably convinced that researching information for these pet columns is all about boring scientific studies and techno-babble that has to be interpreted into lay speak. You probably don't get inspired by such terms as negative thigmotaxis or anthropomorphism or trichobezoars.
Neither do I. Only kidding. Actually, I love those big words because they establish me as a veritable fountain of trivia when I get my hair cut. "What's that anthripodmif whatchamacallit," my barber will say. "Anthro-po-morphism," I'll say, "Yeah, that's the one," he says. "What does it mean again?" But I digress.
Over the years I've reported on some pretty weird stuff, and I've culled some of the best for my 100th hub. This isn't breaking news, remember, and I've changed or eliminated names because trials were pending or cases were otherwise unresolved at the time I wrote about them. But these are all true.
Also By Bob Bamberg
- Brain Candy: Some Light Reading For Pet Owners
From spaying/neutering, to Boomer's fart fetish, to collecting a urine sample from him, here's a potpourri of interesting light reading for the pet owner.
- BRAIN CANDY: Pet Stuff You May Not Have Heard About
A collection of strange but true pet news items too strange for the elite media. We're not proud, though, so here's some stuff of interest to animal lovers and pet owners.
- Amusing Discoveries Of A Distracted Writer
It has probably happened to you: you're looking up something on the Internet when something else catches your eye. You click on it and it sends you on an odyssey. When that happens to me, I take notes, and end up writing columns like this one.
- Brain Candy: Animal Science Trivia
A collection of interesting, if unverifiable, facts regarding animals and the people they own.
I swear I'm not making this up
News sometimes travels slowly, even in this digital age. If this story, from 2005, didn't have such a sad component to it, it could be downright funny. The headline would be "Dog Shoots Man" and we'd be shaking our heads and rolling our eyes over someone's stupidity.
Down in Pensacola, Florida, where they apparently have a different way of solving the homeless puppy situation, a 37 year old guy got shot in the wrist with a 38 caliber revolver. By a 12 week old puppy. Here's how it happened.
Bubba's carrying his 38 revolver in one hand, and he's also carrying a 3 month old shepherd mix puppy in each of his hands. Can you see where this is going? Sure enough, one of the puppy's paws hits the trigger and, blammo, Bubba's got a boo boo.
You're probably wondering why he was carrying a loaded pistol, with the safety off, at the same time he was carrying a couple of three month old puppies. Silly you. Anyone knows he was going to shoot the puppies because he couldn't find homes for them.
They were part of a 7-puppy litter, a real dilemma for Bubba, but he was figuring it out. He had already killed three of the puppies when he was interrupted by this gunshot wound.
There's one thing that Bubba didn't know, though. Florida is a state with felony animal cruelty laws. He was arrested and charged with three counts of felony animal cruelty. The four remaining puppies were put up for adoption by the County Animal Control. Too bad the puppy wasn't a better shot.
It's a hectic life we lead, you and me. And you're probably glad I pointed that out to you, in case you thought you might be mistaken. Because life is so hectic, you're forgiven if an occasional day goes by where you can't read the paper or catch a newscast. Stuff happens.
Thankfully, you have me, you're intrepid scribe, who keeps you informed on animal news. Especially the stuff I'm about to report. Even if you read the daily newspaper, caught a few newscasts, and read a couple of news magazines, or surfed the cable channels, there's a slight chance you would have missed these stories.
If your last name is "Omitted," here are a couple of twigs you may wish to prune off the family tree. Down in Harris County, Texas, where they do things a little differently, Melissa Dawn "Omitted" was sentenced to 30 days in jail for neglecting two horses. But that's not what grabbed the media's attention.
Criminal Court judge Mike "Redacted" (judges must be elected down there, otherwise he'd probably be Michael) stole the show when he included in his sentence the provision that "Omitted" be fed nothing but bread and water for three days, and that enlarged photos of her undernourished horses be hung in her cell.
The good judge must have skipped the Cruel and Unusual Punishment lecture in law school, though, because those provisions, while noble in intent, violate Texas law regarding the cruel and unusual treatment of prisoners. Come to think of it, if your last name is "Redacted," Mike's a twig you may want to prune off your family tree.
Getting back to the "Omitted" family tree, now, "cousin" Treza of Lumberton, N.C. got 45 days in the slammer for misdemeanor animal cruelty after she administered pap smears to her Boston terrier which, by the way, was found dead in her home. She had reported the dog stolen. Several months prior.
A footnote to the Treza Ann sentence: she was given 20 days credit for time served (for contempt of court and for refusing to submit to a psychiatric evaluation).
In my neck of the woods it has, unfortunately, become not uncommon for pet owners to lose a small dog or cat to coyotes. Well, down under they have a similar problem with indigenous wild life.
The CBC and Reuters reported a few years ago that, in Canberra, killer kangaroos were attacking pets and people. One story talks of an Eastern gray that attacked a golden retriever and killed him by holding him underwater in a swimming pool.
They also tell of a woman who was injured while walking her poodle. The dog approached a kangaroo, and when she went to investigate, the roo lashed out at her. While habitat encroachment is largely responsible for coyotes in our residential areas, drought was blamed for driving kangaroos into Aussie civilization.
On a more positive note, condominium developments in South Florida are going after pet owners in a big way. In one community a 398 unit development will offer a common room equipped to bathe and groom dogs. If you're not a do-it-yourselfer, there'll be an on-site groomer.
There's a 338 unit condominium development on the drawing board for another community that will offer an interesting landscape feature: pet walks. Pet owners make up such a huge percentage of any particular market, savvy business folks are starting to target them.
More and more, you'll see pet friendly accommodations in hospitality, housing, recreation, and other aspects of the American way of life, and we're a step or two behind some European countries.
A company which manufactures pet wear hired a famous rap star to be spokeshomie for its dog wear line. After all, the rapper was featured on radio public service announcements urging people "ta be kind ta da animals."
As it turns out, the rap star was ordered to do those spots as part of his community service obligation. It seems he was convicted of animal cruelty after leaving 14 pit bulls in substandard conditions in his basement. Cue Homer. The company wasn't amused. They sued.
If you think being a shelter volunteer has certain risks, you may possibly be right. In York, England, shelter officials overheard a man saying he was going to kill his Jack Russell terrier with a pickax. They reported the threat and the dog was seized.
Well, the guy, seeking to reclaim his dog, broke into the shelter wielding a samurai sword, an air rifle, lighter fluid and a hammer. He held police at bay for 90 minutes then gave himself up. He got a little more than a year in the slammer,
And finally, a four-eared kitten was brought into a spay/neuter clinic in Lafayette, Indiana. The clinic's director, a veterinarian, said the kitten was born to a feral mother and that the deformity is likely the result of diseases and conditions bought about by inbreeding in un-vaccinated cat populations.
Well, there you have it; my 100th hub of wicked strange (but true) stuff. Know what's even stranger? There's plenty more where that came from. Stay tuned.