Ziggy sometimes seems like the only naked dog in our neighbourhood.He has a covering of curly white hair. But he doesn’t wear a jacket to make him look stylish, nor a coat to keep him dry and warm. He has no bandanna around his neck, nor a bow in his hair. He certainly doesn’t wear trousers, or dog diapers, and we don’t wheel him around in a stroller.Bringing a dog to Japan is a cultural experience all of its own.Pets are pampered from Paris to Portland, but this is a country that takes dog ownership to another level.Pet owners are in a minority here, and broader society is not particularly tolerant. It can be hard for dog owners to rent apartments in Tokyo, let alone take their animals on public transport.But take your pooch to Andy Cafe and Dog Salon in Tokyo. You’ll not only be allowed to sit with your pet, but you can offer him or her food designed to look like what you’re eating, even if it might taste a bit different.There are mini-hamburgers, cheesecakes and quiche, bento boxes for dogs, and cakes made with chicken breast in the shape of bones.On Valentine’s Day, why not treat your dog to a heart-shaped cake? Perhaps your dog could celebrate Easter with a bunny cake, or get into the Halloween spirit with a doggy doughnut.A friend who was skiing in Japan accidentally booked a room in a dog-friendly hotel, and was somewhat nonplussed to come down for breakfast in the morning to find dog food laid out, even if it was on a different table than the human offerings.Public transport isn’t welcoming. Dogs weighing more than 22 pounds aren’t allowed on trains or in taxis, and smaller ones must be carried in enclosed bags or crates.But Japan Airlines offers special charter flights to domestic tourist destinations once a year that let dog owners bring their pets inside the cabin.Dogs aren’t allowed off their leashes in Japanese parks, and there are very few dedicated dog runs. Instead, in our apartment building in Yokohama, Wancott “Total Dog Service” offers a large indoor exercise area, as well as a gym with a hydrotherapy tank, a wobble board and a mini-treadmill, for rehabilitation from injuries and general fitness training.Given that our building used to contain a human gym until Wancott took the space, I’m not sure how I feel about that.I play football and work out at home. But for dogs that aren’t getting enough exercise, Wanwan Fitness in Tokyo offers a swimming pool, a balance ball and hurdles, and even aromatherapy massages.But it’s not only the pampering that makes dog owners in Japan stand out.Here, good manners and consideration for others have a high premium in society.Dog owners always pick up their dog’s poop, without exception, but also often carry a bottle of water to squirt and wash down anything their pet has urinated on. It’s called “manner water”. Some take things a step further, laying down a mat to catch the waste before it even touches the ground.Rubbish bins were largely removed from Japanese streets after a 1995 sarin gas attack on it underground system. Dog owners have to take dog waste home and flush it down the toilet: a paper bag inside a plastic bag makes that an easier prospect. But embark on a road trip and you have a problem. For that, you need a poop bag attached to a magnet, so you can stick it on the outside of your car on the way home.But it’s the clothes and strollers that are the most obvious manifestation of dog culture-shock here.At a fashion show during Yokohama’s Pet Expo 2019 last month, owners paraded their pets in an array of human clothes. There was a dog in green camouflage matching its owner’s clothes, and another in a knitted hat and cardigan; there were spaniels in black jackets and jeans, dogs looking cool in leather jackets and sunglasses, and even four canines in scout uniforms.On the final day, Nobuyuki Masuyama, 45, won a prize with his dog Rei, a dwarf spitz-chihuahua crossbreed dressed in a yellow coat and jeans, shoes and socks, and, like his owner, a prominent pair of glasses.A single man, Masuyama calls his dog a member of his family and admits he has an “uncountable” number of outfits for him to wear.“Dogs have been anthropomorphised in Japan,” says Hisashi Ishiyama, chair of the Japan Pet Food Association. “It’s the empty-nest syndrome. People in their fifties, their kids have gone. People feel lonely, and a dog is an eternal baby, isn’t it?”With Japan’s birthrate so low, and many elderly people living apart from their grown-up children, one might expect dog ownership to be rising. But it has actually fallen in the past four years, with 12.6 per cent of households owning a total of 8.9 million dogs, according to data from INTAGE, a marketing research firm. That compares with roughly half of households owning dogs in the United States, according to the American Pet Products Association.Ishiyama says that’s because it’s hard to overcome the hurdles associated with dog ownership in Japan, and only people who are really committed to owning dogs do so.But he regrets that public dog shelters don’t give out abandoned dogs to people in their sixties, for fear that the dogs might outlive their owners – despite the proven health benefits that owning a dog confers.So we are in a minority as dog owners in Japan, but Ziggy seems happy here. Yokohama, a port city just outside Tokyo, is a lot cleaner than polluted Beijing, where we lived for the past five years, and that makes him healthier.He was attacked by two different rottweilers in China, so he also seems to appreciate that most dogs in Japan are smaller than he is. But he sometimes seems a bit mystified when he wants to sniff another dog, only to find it is wearing trousers.The Washington Post Akiko Kashiwagi contributed to this report
Debate rages after dog was euthanised according to owner's dying wish Thu 23 May 2019 00.54 EDT Last modified on Thu 23 May 2019 05.16 EDT The unusual death of a woman's dog in Virginia has sparked outcry and a debate over whether it is ok to kill a healthy pet and bury it with its owner according to their dying wish. Emma, a shih tzu mix, was euthanised and cremated in March as per its owner's will. The dog was put down despite the efforts of animal shelter workers who spent two weeks trying to talk the executor of the woman's estate out of the plan. Emma was reportedly taken to a vet, put down and then taken to a pet cremation centre in Richmond, Virginia, and the ashes given to the executor
A callous scaffolder who beat a puppy to death with a slipper has been jailed for almost six months. Shadow, a 17-week old black Labrador puppy, suffered a laceration to her liver, a broken jaw and fractured ribs in the vicious attack by Callum Gerken. Gerken, 27, also sent malicious voice clip messages to Shadow's owner, claiming 'I have just beat it from one side of the room to the other.' Between 4pm and 6.30pm on Wendesday April 3, police were called to an address in Saunders Road, Oxford, where Gerken had caused serious injuries to the puppy. The dog belonged to a woman aged in her 20s. Gerken was arrested on April 4 before being charged the following day. Oxford Magistrates Court heard
(CNN) - Don't let their bright eyes, lolling tongues or doggy grins fool you -- Rhino, Rambo and Der aren't your average pups. The four-year-old Belgian Malinoises are retired mine detection dogs who have spent much of their lives working to clear explosives in Syria. Now they're back in the United States, working to transition to civilian life in the hopes of finding new homes. The work of mine detection dogs like Rhino, Rambo and Der have played "a critical role" in helping the recovery of areas liberated from ISIS, Jerry Guilbert, the chief of programs for the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement at the State Department said last week. "These dogs have been absolutely critical to facilitating
We have some great ideas on how to celebrate National Pet Month We hope you love these items as much as we did! GateHouse Media may collect a share of sales from links on this page. We're in the final week of National Pet Month, and since the weather is getting warmer all over the country, you'll be out walking the dog more, and maybe even walking that cat! Some people go as far as putting a harness on their parrot or letting them fly free outside. Careful they don't fly the coop. We have some great ideas on how to celebrate National Pet Month with your dog, cat, parrot, ferret, mouse, iguana or any other furry, feathered or finned friend in your life. Things that make you go "Fetch it!"
Therapy dogs have been introduced on the wards at Southampton Children's Hospital to help children overcome anxiety and fear before appointments and medical procedures. A pioneering new study by the British Journal of Nursing surveyed over 200 staff and parents across a 12-month period to see how young people reacted to being around dogs before examinations, tests and operations. As you'd expect, the results came back "overwhelmingly positive", with the Golden Retrievers greatly helping to ease anxiety in nervous patients. "While we had received constant positive anecdotal feedback from patients, families and staff, to really establish AAI in the healthcare setting we needed to strengthen the evidence behind it," Lyndsey Uglow, lead therapy dog handler at Southampton Children's Hospital said.
A surveillance camera captured a coyote attacking a cat in North Austin. Bill Benedict reviewed the video on May 16th and watched as his beloved cat of 16 years was snatched from his front yard. Benedict's home is near Cook Elementary. After the coyote attacked he feared for his neighbors and their pets.
An Australian woman who made a desperate effort to save a street dog has started a charity which has helped hundreds of dying strays. Prue Barber, 40, made the move from Melbourne to Bali with her boyfriend Linus Dean, 43, after a visit inspired her to rescue abandoned dogs. The graphic designer founded Mission Pawsible after she made a promise to Twiggy, an injured dog she found and tried to save. 'I followed her, she ran as much as she could… then I picked her up. We drove to the vet clinic and I just burst into tears,' Ms Barber told Nine News. The 40-year-old pledged Twiggy's death would make a difference for other dogs and she would have a legacy. Ms Barber has since helped 300 dogs
TEMPE, Ariz. - A 23-year-old Arizona man is accused of animal cruelty after he admitted to strangling a cat and disfiguring a kitten in the same week two years ago, the Arizona Republic reported. According to court records, Bryce Justin Beaumont, of Tempe, was arrested May 17. He is accused of choking his cat, Nyx, with both hands, in October 2017, KNXV reported According to police, Beaumont said he “looked the cat in the eyes and choked it," and “felt a high or excitement,” while assaulting the feline, the television station reported. Beaumont originally said he found the cat dead on the bathroom floor. He took the corpse to the Humane Society to dispose of it, the Republic reported. While
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A maize, sheep and cattle farmer has unveiled an unusual diversification plan which would see almost ten per cent of his land transformed into "a safe and secure dog walking facility". Andrew Corner has lodged proposals with Hambleton District Council to add to his agricultural enterprise and firewood and fencing businesses by creating four dog walking paddocks for members of the local community to use during daylight hours, all year round. Planning agents said the 11.3-acre site off North Moor Road, near Easingwold, was in walking distance of the town and would be securely fenced with a 6ft post and wire fence and weld mesh gate, enabling people to walk their dogs off the lead. The proposals state each paddock would have a landscaped dog agility area comprising a tunnel and would be open from 8.30am to 3.30pm in winter and from 7am to 8pm in the summer.
Dogs get training at Air Force base in North Carolina Tessa sat at attention in the grass on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base intently watching Staff Sgt. Jacob Cokkinias, who was wearing a thick, dark protective coat and staring right at her. Tessa, a 6-year-old Belgian malinois, raced toward Cokkinias but immediately stopped inches away from attacking when ordered to by her handler, Staff Sgt. Connor Oien. The air base recently gave a demonstration of the Air Force's working military dogs, showing how handlers work with highly trained animals that can apprehend a person and take him or her back to the dog's handler. Oien, who has been stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base for a little more
OAKLAND PARK, Fla. - Three disturbing abandoned dog cases Local 10 News has covered in the last couple days happened between Saturday night and early Wednesday morning, and one dog still needs help. Lola was recently found abandoned along an Oakland Park running trail, right next to a fire station. "My neighbor found me early in the morning and he had had his dogs up here and he was starting out on the trail -- this little trail where they walk the animals -- and he saw her laying on the grass," Karen Nagy said. Nagy temporarily took in the pup, gave her a new name and quickly realized she was in bad shape. "Her paw is injured and she was covered with ticks and flea bites and everything," Nagy
A distraught family has issued a warning about the dangers of hair ties after its much-loved pooch was nearly killed when eating 117 of them. Adorable little Charlie is lucky to be alive after horrified vets pulled out 117 hair ties weighing almost 1kg from his tiny stomach last year. The two-year-old petite Goldendoodle went for life-saving surgery in April 2018 after suddenly becoming seriously ill. The little pooch's owner, Jenee Clayton (40) from Texas, US, said that in the months leading up to the emergency surgery, there have been a couple of rare occasions where Charlie had made 'purging' noises and experienced a bout of diarrhoea. A few months later, the dog – who Jenee said is like her