With 2013 lurking in the shadows, Fidose of Reality revisits thirteen of the top dog stories of the year we prepare to leave behind. This was clearly the year of the dog, as the American Pet Products Association reported that an estimated $52 billion would be spent in the pet industry in 2012. We visited the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida, where pet products graced the show floor spanning 16 football fields. We also traveled cross country, dog in tow, to the BlogPaws original social media conference for pet bloggers and micr0bloggers. Here are thirteen “top dog” stories that caught our eye and made news in 2013:
The Peke Takes It: The Westminster Kennel Club crowned a Pekingese their top dog at the AKC’s top dog show. The Pekingese, Ch. Palacegarden Malachy, marked a first for the breed since 1990 and the fourth for a Pekingese in the show’s 115 year history. Later in 2012, Sky, a Wire Fox Terrier, took home the Best in Show title in November’s National Dog Show.
Puppy Ban: In an effort to reduce the number of animals bred through puppy and kitten mills, Los Angeles became the largest city yet to enact a ban on cats and dogs sold in pet stores. Los Angeles followed in the paw prints of several smaller communities that have already banned the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores.
Fido Inside: Of the scores of stories I penned this year, one I wrote recently touched a nerve with many dog lovers. I was asked if a dog should come into a family if that dog will live his existence outside. My answer? No. A dog belongs inside, with his family, with access to outdoors. Readers of my Dogster column weighed in on both sides of the issue.
Dogs Are the New Kids: I am not anti-kid; I am just pro dog. I love when kids learn from an early age how to interact with dogs, and pets in general. My friend, Michele Hollow of Pet News and Views, does a stellar job of disseminating this message. My dog is a kid to me and I am not alone in this sentiment.
Water Dog: John Unger and his dog, Schoep, went to the water and went viral. The photo that stole the hearts of millions features Unger helping to sooth his 19-year-old dog’s arthritis. The two have a history of being there for one another, and this photo touched many.
Monumental Status: For the first time in the history of the United States military that an animal, the dog, has been elevated to National Monument status by U.S. Congressional Law. To honor this historic monument, a patriotic float honoring the brave canine members and their handlers for their loyal service and heroism will appear courtesy of Natural Balance in the Rose Parade.
Dogs Gone to the Blogs: Though this story might not make CNN headlines or capture the front page of USA Today, it’s just a matter of time. In a study released by Trone Brand Energy, a reported 20 percent of pet bloggers are considered highly influential and have monthly readerships of at least 10,000 readers. Guess what that means? Dog bloggers are a force with which to be reckoned and we are sharing dog news, stories, health and wellness info and trends, and serving it up in a real-time fashion. Woofs to that! If you are reading this blog, high paw to you!
Golden Comfort: The Newtown, Connecticut tragedy leaves me speechless; like many, I know not what to say. In response and to help comfort the community shattered, 10 Golden Retrievers arrived in Newtown to give hope and solace to the children (and adults) in the area. In related news, cat blogger/writer, Robin Olsen, lives in the area and shared with BlogPaws the Kitties For Kids program that emerged in response to the tragedy.
Pit Bulls Saved and Lost: Thanks to my friend, Chloe DiVita, I learned of the plight of Dre, who was taken from his family for months and only after a long, arduous and sticky legal battle, was Dre freed. Sadly, Lennox the dog was not as fortunate. I still mourn this loss, and all the innocent dogs taken from us. Despite worldwide protests and even Victoria Stilwell intervening, Belfast euthanized Lennox.
Going to the Chapel: To raise money and awareness of Cocker Spaniels in need of their forever homes, Fidose of Reality’s Puppy Relations (PR) Manager, Dexter, formally paw-proposed to his girlfriend, Zoe, a Cocker Spaniel who was rescued by Life’s Little Paws the day she was scheduled to be euthanized. Read more about the Wigglebutt Wedding here.
Dog Beating Cancer: A dog who had his snout literally run over and torn off has been saved by University of California, Davis, veterinarians. He also was discovered to have cancer, amongst other things, and is beating that, too. Kabang is a dog hailing from the Philippines who jumped in front of a speeding motorcycle to save her owner’s daughter and niece. Kabang and way to start the new year! What a hero dog!
Laws for Paws: In the first of its kind ever in the history of the United States, Massachusetts passed a law keeping animals safe from abusive owners through a domestic violence restraining order. A 6-year-old dog named Panzer serves as inspiration for this landmark law.
Nose Cells Enable Dogs to Walk: By injecting dogs with cells lining their noses, scientists in England have given some paralyzed dogs the gift of walking. The study is the first to test the transplant in “real-life” injuries rather than laboratory animals.
Fidose of Reality thanks all their fans, followers, and friends for a fabulous 2012. Looking paw-ward to a stellar 2013 with the latest and greatest in the dog world along with plenty of dog-friendly travels, health and wellness, news, and we’re writing our first book, too. Stay tuned and happy new year to you and your dogs!