Greyt Inspirations Life

A little about our life, our business and our pets.

Bad week for famous people and their dogs


Lots of pet news over the weekend!  Some of it sad.  Did you see that Oprah has lost one or two new puppies that she recently adopted from a very upscale shelter in the Chicago area?  The puppies came down with parvo.



Oprah and Sadie

Oprah and Sadie

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey has brought attention to the issue of canine Parvovirus – an illness that every Boston area dog owner should take measures to prevent. 


Oprah recently lost her Cocker Spaniel puppy Ivan to Parvo. Oprah’s second puppy Sadie, Ivan’s littermate, has also been diagnosed with Parvo and the dog continues to fight for her life.


It’s believed that the two Cocker Spaniel puppies caught Parvo while staying at the PAWS animal shelter in Chicago. Animal shelters, kennels, doggy daycares and other locations where multiple dogs congregate create the perfect setting for the spread of Parvo. (more)


Parvo is a deadly disease to any dog but young puppies are especially susceptible to it.  Proper vaccine procedures protect most dogs and puppies from catching the disease but immunization of pups can be dicey.  Puppies retain immunity from their mothers for several weeks after they’re born.  You must begin vaccinating puppies before that immunity wears off or the puppies may be vulnerable to viruses and diseases like parvo.  Puppies and dogs coming from an animal shelter environment are often times at much higher risk for these disease because there are so many dogs in one place, with dogs passing through who may carry the diseases.


We send our sympathies to Oprah on the loss of Ivan and we send prayers for little Sadie.



Ghenghis Khan

Ghenghis Khan

Another famous person lost a dog last week when a propane tank exploded at a boarding kennel.



A Chow Chow puppy belonging to Martha Stewart was one of 17 dogs to die of injuries sustained in a freak propane explosion at a Pennsylvania kennel.


The blast occurred Friday at the Pazzazz Pet Boarding kennel in the Pocono Mountains.


Fifteen dogs were killed in the explosion – including Stewart’s puppy Ghengis Khan – and two more died over the weekend, according a post on her blog…


The fire blast was ignited when the tank of a propane truck delivering a supply to the kennel suddenly went up in flames. (more)


Ghenghis Khan was the grandson of Stewart’s beloved dog, Paw Paw, whom she lost in December at the age of 12.


We send our condolences to Ms. Stewart as well.


In other news, there’s an excellent story in the L.A. Times about why the Obamas may be having a hard time finding a Portuguese Water Dog to rescue.  (Don’t you wish they would just hurry up and get a dog?) 


The Obama family dog saga

Why has it taken so long? Because the type of dog they want doesn’t often turn up at the local shelter.

By Judith Lewis 

March 15, 2009

In the first two months of his administration, President Obama signed an economic stimulus package into law, lifted restrictions on foreign family-planning clinics and drew up a plan for pulling troops out of Iraq. 


But he has left one early promise unfulfilled: He has not yet acquired a family dog.


Late last month, the Obamas seemed closer to their goal when Michelle Obama told People magazine that, after studying which breeds were least likely to trigger daughter Malia’s allergies, the family had settled on a Portuguese water dog. But the statement was almost immediately modified: The first lady had spoken too soon. The quest for a White House canine continues. 


So what’s the problem? Why has a task as simple as getting a dog eluded the Obamas for so long? Perhaps the answer can be divined in Michelle Obama’s interview: She said she wanted not just any Portuguese water dog but a rescued one. An adult with a good temperament. Perhaps even house-trained.


Lewis goes on to explain that Portuguese Water Dogs are a rather rare breed.  That they almost never end up in shelters.  That they are not being bred by commercial breeders.  They when something doesn’t work out in a dog’s home after he’s been purchased from the breeder, the breeder takes the dog back and re-homes the dog herself.  And that there are breed rescue groups who take care of any other Porties who need help.  So, finding a random Portuguese Water Dog to rescue isn’t going to be easy.


But, she also says that the Obamas might be sending the wrong message by putting the emphasis on rescuing a dog:


Symbolically, it would be nice if the Obamas could rescue a dog. But to insist that the only good dog is a rescued dog is to relegate our future with the canine species to random relationships in which humans are forced to settle for whatever renegade breeders produce and fail to care for.


The idea of “renegade breeders” kind of surprises me.  Far less than 25 percent of the dogs found in shelters are purebred dogs.  The rest are mixed breed dogs — dogs who have been strays, who have bred on their own and produced mixed breed puppies, or the result of “oops” litters in somebody’s home.  Maybe Fluffy got together with Butch next door when their owners weren’t watching and nine weeks later there were some mixed breed puppies.  None of these things happened because of “renegade breeders” and yet these dogs are found in shelters.  Lab mixes — since Labradors are the most popular dog in the United States — and the bully breed mixes (the so-called “Pit Bulls”) make up the majority of dogs in shelters, and these aren’t coming from “renegade breeders” either.


It’s very popular right now to blame dog breeders for every problem in society.  The truth is that if we had more responsible pet owners we would have fewer dogs in shelters.  Breeders can’t control what you do with your dog after you take him home.  They can’t make you keep your dog in a fenced yard or have him neutered.  They can’t make you take your dog to get his shots and prevent disease and illness.  They can’t make you feed your dog a good dog food.  Yet anytime something happens to a dog, from producing an unwanted litter to developing a dog food allergy, someone wants to blame the original breeder.  It’s time for it to stop and for owners to be responsible for their own dogs.


March 16, 2009 - Posted by | dogs, Pets | , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: