The dog trainer who trained President Obama’s dog, Bo, to be a well-behaved family died in a Virginia hospital on January 12. Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz was 52 years old. She lapsed into a coma and suffered respiratory failure.
Dawn trained the Portuguese Water Dogs belonging to the late Senator Edward Kennedy, Splash, Sunny and Cappy. Senator Kennedy and his wife, Vicki, were so pleased with the results that they sent Bo to be trained, telling Dawn that the dog would be living with a busy family with two young daughters. Dawn told the Kennedys that Bo was sweet, cuddly, and attentive and that he never once had an accident on the carpet.
She had recently published a book titled, “The ‘Love That Dog’ Training Program,” written with Larry Kay.
Martha Stewart spent an evening in the emergency room at a hospital near her Westchester, New York, home after an accident with one of her dogs caused a split lip. Martha arrived home after days away in South America and Florida, and wanted to spend time with her French Bulldogs. She says she was leaning over to give Francesca a kiss, startling her out of sleep. Francesca leapt up, whacking her head against Martha’s lip.
Martha wrote on her blog, “Frannie was as upset as I was and cowered in her bed.” French Bulldogs generally weigh around 25 pounds and some people joke that they have the conformation of a bowling ball. Martha and dog are both doing well.
In Connecticut, a man wearing a ski mask and carrying a gun demanded money from a clerk in the Glenwood Package store around 8 pm on Friday night. Before the clerk could move, her dog, Ginger, growled and chased the robber, who fled and sped off down Route 81. Ginger is a Labrador Retriever/Boxer/Rottweiler mix who will likely accompany her owner to the store every night from now on.
Some tragic news, within one week, officials in Hempstead, on Long Island, were called to two different situations involving abuse of animals. On Wednesday, animal control officers found five dead and 17 severely neglected dogs at a home in Rockville Centre. The dogs were Cocker Spaniels who had been neglected for so long that they were completely matted and suffering from a number of health problems.
Then, on Friday, officials responded to complaints of odor emanating from another Rockville Centre home. They rescued fifteen emaciated dogs and cats, some with their muzzles taped shut. The renters of the house, Faith Ross, 54, and her daughter, Francesca-Marie, have been charged with three counts of animal cruelty. They are being held in the Nassau County jail on $75 thousand dollars bail.
The women pleaded not guilty and refused to relinquish ownership of the animals. Custody will be decided at a civil-court hearing within the next 10 days. In the meantime, the dogs are being treated in local animal hospitals.
The American Kennel Club has added three new breeds to their registry: the Entlebucher Mountain Dog from Switzerland, Norwegian Lundehund, which hunts puffin in Norway, and the dog of the Aztecs, the Xoloitcuintle. That brings the total number of AKC registerable breeds to 170.
At the same time, eight more breeds were added to the Miscellaneous class, including the giant South African Boerbel, the Mideastern sighthound Sloughi, and the Peruvian Inca Orchid, another hairless breed.
Other good news from the AKC; there were more than three million entries in dog events in 2010, that’s up 40 thousand over the year before. The growth was primarily in the sport of agility, which was up 9%, and among older show dogs being brought out to compete for the new “Grand Champion” title in the conformation ring.
The total includes obedience, field trials, hunt tests, coonhound events, herding tests and trials, lure coursing, agility, earthdog, tracking and rally.
That’s the news.