Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Raingear" for a Newfie???


Mom came up with this brilliant idea. A rainsuit for moi!! Can you believe it. I think she has gone a bit too far with this one. She insists that it will help in the snow with the snow balls that get caught on my legs. She also says it will make a big difference when its raining out, and that I won't get so wet and muddy. I'm just wondering who is this rainsuit for, me or her, so she doesn't have to dry me off!!! You tell me, is this the apparel that a working dog should be wearing? Let alone a newfie? Give me a break. It is so close to not fitting me, I think if I was to gain a few pounds then I would have it made!! This is enough to make me eat my dinners!

Come on you guys, I need your help here, if you tell my mom that this is totally ridiculous maybe just maybe she will give up on this idea. Hey Satch, Andrew, Rebus, Hummer, Sophie, Bella help me you guys, tell mom how silly this is!
Hey Ceasar, Thunder, Crickett, Scooter,would your mom make you wear this??? HELP!!!!
Uncle Steve says he is going to call Animal Care and Control, at least he is on my side!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Soup Kitchen for Pets

Berlin opens soup kitchen for pets
Posted Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:22pm AEDT

The soup kitchen in Berlin provides pets of the homeless and unemployed with a free meal. (Reuters: Pawel Kopczynski)
In a sign of the times in Europe's biggest economy, poodles, terriers and sheep dogs are queuing up for rations at Berlin's first soup kitchen for pets.
The venue is a disused night school in the former communist east Berlin, where the smell of straw, dry food and wet dog lingers in the air as a Jack Russell in a chequered coat waddles past on its way to the kibbles line for biscuits.
Pensioners and those on the dole qualify for the free pet food buffet which opened in the district of Treptow in mid-October, allowing those with no disposable income the chance to hold on to their beloved dogs and cats.
"We've already signed up nearly 400 people and our stocks are dwindling fast. Today cat owners are just getting a single tin each," said Julia Raasch, who heads the capital's sole animal soup kitchen, run by Tiertafel (Animal Dining Table), a pet welfare association.
Berlin, where unemployment hovers around 13 per cent, has some 100,000 registered dogs, many of them owned by pensioners.
The soup kitchen also caters to other pets including cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and budgerigars. Twelve volunteers hand out food and advice, while keeping an eye on the health of the animals.
Tiertafel, launched two years ago, now runs 19 soup kitchens across the country.
With the looming prospect of the longest and deepest recession in Germany since World War II, the group is planning on opening 30 more.
Claudia Hollm, who owns three dogs herself, said she came up with the idea of pet soup kitchens after seeing a television report about a family having to give their dog to an animal rescue centre after the father was made redundant.
"The dog didn't understand what was going on. All the family was upset and we just thought - it just can't be that for the sake of 30 or 40 euros ($62-$83) they've got to turn their pet out," she said.
"Everyday we see people who can't keep their pets anymore because of the cost," according to Evamarie Koenig, a spokeswoman for Berlin's central animal rescue centre.
The facility takes in more than 10,000 animals each year, with one in three handed over by owners who say they can no longer look after them, she added.
Pet proof
At the Treptow soup kitchen, animal owners must initially turn up with their pet in order to register. And they must show proof the pet has been vaccinated.
They must also prove financial need by showing their welfare papers, unemployment registration or pension card.
"It's easy for someone to go from middle-income wage earner to someone on Hartz IV," Ms Hollm said, referring to the state allocation granted to people on long-term welfare which is worth about 350 euros ($723) a month.
Poverty further isolates people who sometimes must rely on their pet for their sole company, Ms Holm said.
"Half our customers are old people for whom a cat or dog is their last social link," she said.
It also quickly became obvious that people needed more than just a tin of animal food, Ms Hollm added, pointing to the need to make sure pets stay healthy.
During the holiday season, the association called for extra donations so that volunteers could lay out bones, pigs' ears, toy mice and scratching posts under the Christmas trees set up in each of its soup kitchens.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!! Well I think so anyway! But then again I don't have to drive in it. My chauffeurs do that! The snow fell fast and furious the other day. When I went outside it was up to my armpits! It was so much fun. I helped mom make snow angels. I chased dad all over and knocked him down.

I really like the taste of snow, I could eat it all day! Hey Rebus, have you been playing out in the snow lots too. Do you get lotsa snowballs, the snowballs drive mom and dad crazy trying to get them off me, I get a little impatient waiting for them and once they are all gone, I'm ready to go back in the snow again. Maybe you could get your mom too make snow angels to Reb!!

One day my buddies Satch and Androol are going to come for a visit and we'll have so much fun! I just know Satch would love the snow way more than he loves to go swimming. His Auntie Terri is going to give him lessons on water rescue this summer. I can't wait to see some video of that! But until then I think I'll just hang out in the snow.

After all my playing in the snow I am so pooped out, I do like to come inside for a little R and R by the fire to warm up a bit.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Karazan Giacomo Poochini (Jack) Extraordinaire

Every once in a while you meet or read about someone that exemplifies the true meaning of a newife, mom just finished reading a story to me about an amazing newfie named Jack. Jack was one boy that all newfies would aspire to be like, and I would have loved to have met him. I think we would have had a great time at the beach. Jack loves the water as much as I do. I am sure he could have taught me a thing or two. Jack is no longer with us but his legacy lives on. One day I will meet him at the Rainbow Bridge. Born August 24, 1999 and passed away on December 8, 2006.

Below is the newspaper writeup of Jack's amazing accomplishment.

Ruff crossing: Alcatraz swim a canine first
Dog places 72nd, ahead of hundreds in annual race
Julian Guthrie, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, July 31, 2005


Early Saturday morning, a Newfoundland named Jack made history when he jumped from a boat near Alcatraz into the choppy bay and swam 1.2 miles to the San Francisco shoreline.

He was the only dog among more than 500 swimmers who took part in the South End Rowing Club's 10th annual Alcatraz Invitational. Dog-paddling his way toward the front of the pack, Jack came in 72nd overall, leaving some serious swimmers seriously chagrined. His time was 41 minutes and 45 seconds.

Reaching the shoreline next to the Hyde Street Pier to chants of "Jack! Jack! Jack!" the 6-year-old, 160 pound Newfoundland, appeared to take his celebrity in stride. He trotted onto terra firma, evaded a lady trying to put a medal around his neck, and let out a full-body, water-flying shake. He proceeded to roll in the sand and make a quick detour to the nearest grassy area where he chewed on a large piece of driftwood he had taken in along the way.

His tail was wagging. The swim was behind him. His bounty was in front of him.

Jack made the swim in the frigid waters with his human dad, born-and-raised San Franciscan Steve Sayad. The two live in Sausalito and trained for the event swimming 2 miles twice a week at Aquatic Park. They also bodysurf together, and Jack is known for doing sprints every day -- generally after tennis balls. Before a big swim, Jack eats scrambled eggs. He has a weakness for carbohydrates, particularly bread.

"It was colder and rougher than we thought it would be," Sayad said after the race. "Jack amazed me. He was very focused. He started out really fast. I was trying to slow him down. He increased his pace to stay with the pack."

Entering Jack in the invitational was motivated by fun -- and business. Sayad, an attorney, represents a company called WiggleWireless that delivers text messages and news to cell phones. Subscribers to the service were able to receive live updates on Jack's progress. A portion of the money raised went to Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Updates from Jack -- a kind of dog blog -- ranged from, "I checked into the Hyatt and took a drink from the toilet bowl," to "I'm standing in line for the Alcatraz swim. I don't see any other dogs." Several messages were sent mid-race. One read, "The water is ruff. I mean ruff-ruff."

Bill Wygant, president of the South End Rowing Club, which was established in 1873 and draws a hearty group that prides itself on swimming without wetsuits, said he was happy to allow a dog into the race. It was a first, he said, but he hopes not the last.

"This swim is about personal challenge," Wygant said. "Whether you are dog or human, it's whatever you can achieve that counts."

Lynne Cox, an open-water swimmer who has broken men's and women's records for swimming the English Channel and was the first person to swim between Alaska and the Soviet Union, was on hand to support the event. She said when she met Sayad, she asked whether swimming in the race was something Jack truly wanted to do.

"He said Jack would be upset if he saw him swimming and he couldn't swim, " Cox said. "I have a yellow Lab at home. Maybe next year the club will have a dog category."

Newfoundlands are renowned for the swimming and life-saving abilities, and Sayad has owned "Newfies" since he was a child. "'Jack is the king of Newfie-swimmers", he quipped with a smile of pride.

By midmorning, as swimmers continued to stream onto the beach in front of the rowing club, Jack began to unwind. He rolled onto his back, welcoming any and all congratulatory belly rubs.

Jack you were the best of the best!!!... You are truely missed. May you rest in peace my friend.

Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.

Your buddy Gizmo