Nation's animal lovers unite to rescue dogs from Harvey

Flood dogs are finding homes across the country

 It is a sad truth that in a desperate emergency like the one faced by residents of Houston during Hurricane Harvey, you often don't have the time or resources to rescue your dog. Many people have had to make terrible choices. Others just straight up abandoned their animals to the rising flood waters without a second thought. And then of course there is the population of stray and loose dogs, who suddenly found themselves in desperate need of help.

Rescue agencies and individual animal lovers have been working hard this week to find and save as many dogs as possible. Before the storm hit, Houston resident Betty Walter proactively gathered up 21 dogs - including her own four dogs, plus several foster animals, and the dogs of her friends and neighbors - and sequestered them in her attic to keep them safe from the predicted flood. When the flood turned out worse than expected, three men (Jeremy Williams, Anthony Hernandez, and Buck Beasley) in a flat-bottomed boat found Walter, and were able to rescue her and all 21 dogs at once, ferrying the entire pack to safety. 

Famed country music star Miranda Lambert is among the celebrities volunteering time and effort to help save Houston's dogs. Lambert funds a private animal rescue agency, and has sent several trucks down to Houston to fetch abandoned dogs from overflowing rescue agencies.

Adoption centers and rescue agencies across the country are opening their doors to take in Harvey dogs. Shelters as far away as Illinois and New Jersey are scrambling to make room.

Want to help a dog displaced by Harvey? Adopt from your local shelter today!

Would your dog eat you if you died?

New research says: Yeah, maybe

 Conventional wisdom says that if you die at home alone, your cat(s) will probably eat your corpse. But your dog? Most people might think maybe, if the dog was trapped without any other source of food for a long time, it might resort to eating your corpse in order to survive.

Au contraire, my friends!

A new study of mortality records by National Geographic science journalist Erika Engelhaupt shows that dogs are at least as likely to nibble on your dead body as cats. In fact, there are more recorded cases of dogs eating their owners, although this might be due to the fact that "a cat ate the body" wasn't considered notable enough to include in the report.

More shocking still, in most of these cases, the owner had been dead for less than 24 hours. In many cases, the dogs still had access to food dishes, which still contained dog food.

Corpse-munching was reported primarily in medium and large-sized dogs. However, as Engelhaupt noted, "for all we know, a Pomeranian or Chihuahua would tear a head off if it could."

An intriguing clue presented itself in the course of her research: Most dogs who ate their owners started with the face. Most predators, including wild canines, start with the abdomen, eating the nutrient-rich organs first. They move on to the limbs last, and rarely bother with the head, since it has so little meat on it.

One theory is that the dog is upset and trying to revive its owner by licking and nuzzling its dead owner's face. One thing leads to another, maybe there's some blood involved, Rover maybe takes a little nibble, and the next thing you know, the whole face is gone.

Our dogs are too fat!

Fat is the new normal
America's obesity epidemic isn't just affecting its people: our non-human citizens are feeling it, too. Just recently, a staggering 1 in 4 dogs at the prestigious Crufts dog show were clinically overweight, and veterinarians worry that pictures of the show dogs may help "normalize" the obese canine image.
Although the entrants to Crufts, the world's biggest dog show, are supposed to represent the pinnacle of each breed, researchers studying photos from the event found that 25% of the dogs who placed between 1st and 5th place were obese. 
The breeds representing the most obesity were pugs, basset hounds, and Labrador retrievers. All breeds which are notorious for gaining weight at the drop of a hat. But surely a responsible breeder would get their dog into the best shape before entering it at Crufts?
Regardless, the kennel club plans to change the rules to specify that dogs must be at their ideal weight to qualify for future shows. Meanwhile, an estimated 50% of pet dogs are obese, for the same reason that we are: too little exercise, too much food, and too many snacks.
The best thing you can do for your dog and yourself is to control portion sizes, and get out there for some exercise! It will do you both good - and bring you closer together!

Record-breaking number of corgis attend SoCal Corgi Beach Party

So many corgis!
Four times a year, Queen's Best Stumpy Dog Rescue holds a corgi beach party at Rosie's Dog Beach in Long Beach, California. This year's corgi party was a record breaker, with over 800 corgis in attendance. Over 800!
This is the tenth corgi beach party, which has grown quickly in attendance since its inception in 2012. The corgis have a great time, and their owners enjoy both the social aspect, and being able to help a corgi-related charity. 
Queen's Best is a foster-based organization that specializes in rescuing special-needs corgis and corgis from high-kill shelters in southern California, rehabilitating the dogs, and finding them good homes. 
This year, Beyond Natural Pet Food offered to donate a pound of dog food (up to 500 pounds) for every photo people shared with the hashtag #CorgiBeachDay.

Dogs protect owner for 2 days after fall

Kept her warm until help could arrive

Florida resident Judy Mube is 74 years old, lives alone, and suffers from Parkinson's disease. When she recently slipped and fell in her kitchen, she bruised her head, shattered her shoulder, and was unable to get up.

Her two golden retrievers, Dodger and Higgins, clearly knew something was wrong. They rushed to her side, and refused to leave her for two days until help could arrive. One dog slept on either side of her, which not only kept her company, it also kept her warm and out of shock.

When a friend stopped by to check on Mube, the dogs raised the alarm - then rushed back and forth between Mube and the visitor, as if leading her to the fallen woman.

Ms. Mube is recovering well, and hopes to be back with her dogs soon.

What causes wet dog smell?

The science behind Fido's funk
In this short video, the American Chemical Society breaks down the cause of wet dog smell, that funky odor that dogs have, particularly when they are wet, or when they have not been bathed in a long time.
In humans, body odor is mainly caused by sweat. Bacteria and yeast digest the sweat and release bacterial smells. But dogs, of course, only sweat on their feet (and their nose, to a lesser extent).
However, bacteria and yeasts also live in your dog's coat. Most of the time they silently lurk there, not causing much of a fuss. Like the organisms on humans, these bacteria and yeast excrete volatile compounds (stinky smells) as part of their digestive process. 
When a dog's coat is dry, the volatile compounds tend to stick to the fur. But when the coat becomes wet, the dampness releases the odors, "activating" the smell.

We may have domesticated dogs a lot earlier than we thought

Fido has been with us a long time!
Scientists have long known that the dog was the first animal we domesticated. Previously, it was thought that we domesticated dogs about 10,000 years ago, at the beginning of the Mesolithic period, while humanity was in the process of transitioning from hunter-gatherer communities to agriculture.
However, new evidence pins the split from wolf to dog as happening about 27,000 years ago. This means that we may have begun domesticating dogs as early as 40,000 years ago, because it would have taken a long time for the dog to be bred away from wolves to the extent where it was visible in the fossil record.
This means that dogs may have been domesticated by the Cro-Magnons at the end of the Stone Age, at about the time when Neanderthals were heading to extinction. The upper Paleolithic was a difficult time, and no doubt dogs would have been a huge help in hunting, alarm duty, and protecting camps.

Johnny Depp's dogs escape being put to death by Australia

It seems a bit extreme, don't you think?
Johnny Depp has two adorable Yorkies named Pistol and Boo, and luckily for all, the Australian government has decided to spare their lives.
Depp outraged Australia when he snuck his dogs into the country on his private Gulfstream V jet, circumventing Australia's strict biosecurity rules. Australia's customs requires that dogs have paperwork, get a course of rabies shots, then be tested to prove they are negative for rabies, and go through a quarantine period before being allowed on Australian soil.
The Australian government had originally announced they would confiscate and euthanize Depp's dogs. Luckily they have relented, and allowed him to fly them home unharmed, as long as they left by a deadline. Depp complied this time, and his dogs have been spared. 
And let that be a lesson to us mere mortals - don't try to sneak your pet into Australia!

Man saves dog from hot car - then gets arrested

When Army veteran Michael Hammons spotted a Pomeranian mix trapped in a hot car in Athens, GA with the windows rolled up and no water inside, he knew he had to act fast. Dogs can die quickly under such circumstances, and the clock was ticking on this poor little pooch.
Hammons broke the Mustang's window, then took the dog to a nearby shady spot and gave it some water, where it quickly recovered. Unfortunately, the dog's owner did not appreciate Hammond's act. When she returned from the store a while later, she phoned the police and asked them to arrest Hammond for criminal trespassing.
Georgia law allows bystanders to break a car window to rescue a trapped human in distress, but makes no such provisions for dogs. The Sheriff's deputies reluctantly took Hammond into custody. 
Here's hoping someone will step forward to pay Hammond's fines. I can't believe he is being punished for having saved a dog's life!

Dog goes on wild ride

Bad puppy!
A black lab named Caroline took her owner's truck for a crazy spin recently, resulting in a surprising amount of damage. Caroline had been sitting in the back seat as her owners were driving around running errands, when something spooked the pup.
Startled, Caroline leaped into the front seat, then dove for the driver's side footwell of Michael and Ruth Smith's Dodge Ram pickup truck. In doing so, she pressed down on the accelerator. But before the Smiths could drag her out, it was too late: their truck crashed through a wooden fence and landed in a stranger's swimming pool.
Neither the Smiths nor Caroline were harmed in the accident. Lucky pup!