By the time America declared war against Germany in 1917 and joined allied forces in France, World War One was in its fourth year. The first real test in battle for the United States Marine Corps was the 1918 battle at Belleau Wood. The Germans had advanced to within 50 miles of Paris. Belleau Wood was part of an Allied campaign to push back against the German Spring Offensive to halt their advance towards Paris. The battle raged on for three weeks before the Marines were finally victorious. General Pershing said it was the most important battle fought by American forces since the Civil War. It was during the battle of Belleau Wood where the fighting spirit of the Marines and soon- to-be mascot, the English Bulldog, became synonymous.
According to stories, the Marines fought with such tenacity and valor that the Germans nicknamed the Americans Teufelhunden or “Devil Dogs.” In Bavarian folklore, devil dogs were wild mountain dogs. The battle at Belleau Wood was real, but the German nickname was based on mythology. However, it wasn’t long before a recruiting poster painted by Charles Falls appeared showing a dachshund wearing a spiked helmet and Iron Cross running from an English Bulldog wearing a helmet with the globe and anchor insignia on it. Written on the poster was “Teufelhunden – Devil Dog Recruiting Station.” The poster was embraced by the Marine Corps and the public.
The first unofficial mascot, King Bulwark, was an English Bulldog pup sired by Rob Roy, a well known and famous English Bulldog. Born May 22, 1922, the pup’s royal registered name was quickly changed to Jiggs. Private Jiggs was enlisted into the United States Marine Corps at a formal ceremony on October 14, 1922 by Brigadier General Smedley Butler.
Just the mention of ticks causes a tingling on the back of your neck. An afternoon hike in the woods can end with a thorough search through your dog’s coat and your hair to make sure none of those bloodsuckers hitched a ride. Some years are worse than others, and weather plays a big role in how bad a tick outbreak might be and when tick season begins.
Ticks are found everywhere in the United States, and which species you encounter depends on where you live. There are four stages in the life cycle of ticks: egg, larvae (smaller than a period), nymph (size of a pinhead), and adult. It takes two years for them to develop into adults, and except for the egg stage, each stage requires a blood meal before it can molt into the next one. Females can lay around 3,000 eggs.
Ticks do not die off during the winter months. To survive the cold and snow, most ticks find shelter in leaf litter and are dormant until spring. However, adult deer ticks (black-legged ticks) remain active year round. You or your pet could pick up a hitchhiker anytime the air temperature is close to freezing or above and the ground isn’t frozen or snow covered. In freezing weather, deer ticks hunker down under the snow in leaf litter, on firewood or a tree trunk, and come out during warm spells. If you find a tick inside during the winter, it probably hitched a ride on firewood.
Accounts of elderly cats suffering seizures have been reported by cat owners worldwide for years. What triggered the seizures was unknown until a study was finally launched to discover the answer. Researchers nicknamed the condition “Tom and Jerry Syndrome” after Tom the cartoon cat, because of his surprised reactions to loud sounds that caused his body to jerk involuntary. (The sounds were usually produced by Jerry the mouse, to foil Tom’s attempts to catch him). The name of the syndrome may be humorous, but the condition can be scary for a cat and her owner dealing with this type of seizure which is triggered by certain household sounds.
Feline audiogenic reflex seizures (FARS) is a new type of epilepsy in cats recently discovered after a United Kingdom charity, Cat Care International, contacted veterinary specialists. The condition has mystified cat owners for a long time, but until the pet charity raised an alarm very little was known about the condition by vets and there was no data to explain this strange phenomenon. Owners and vets were puzzled why some cats suddenly began to jerk involuntarily, foam at the mouth, lose consciousness or become confused after hearing a high-pitched noise. Reactions to sounds varied from cat to cat. Some cats experience seizures several times a day, which is extremely distressing for both cat and owner – especially when the cause is unknown.
Like us, dogs use their voice to convey intentions and express how they are feeling. Barking is as natural to canines as talking is to us, and expecting a dog to never use his voice is an unreasonable expectation. However, that doesn’t mean you should allow him to bark nonstop. Never punish a dog for barking, and don’t yell at him because that will only escalate the barking. There are more effective ways to get your dog to stop barking excessively.
The first thing you need to do is understand why your dog is barking. A few weeks ago, I covered how to correct frustration, demand, and boredom barking. This article deals with correcting four more types of problem barking: alarm, excitement, territorial, and anxiety barking.
Sometimes what a dog perceives as danger isn’t, but to him it is a serious threat and his “Timmy’s in trouble” bark is meant to get your attention. Your dog thinks something isn’t right so he’s alerting you, his leader, to come investigate. Most of the time there’s nothing to be concerned about, but you need to go see why your dog is barking because he could be alerting you to a brewing problem, like smoke coming from the kitchen or someone prowling around outside.
Throughout history, heroic humans have received medals for their courage and valor, especially in times of war. During World War II, a woman in Britain felt that animals used during wartime should receive distinction for their service as well. She created the Dickin Medal, Britain’s highest animal award; it’s given to animal heroes worldwide in the service of their country for their loyalty, outstanding gallantry and devotion to duty.
Maria Dickin lived the comfortable life of British high society. The shabby living conditions of the poor in London’s East End were far from the exquisite dinner parties and social gatherings of the wealthy. Like many well-to-do women of her time, Maria occupied her days doing charity work. One day, her work took her to the poor section of town. She was shocked and appalled by the overcrowded living conditions and disease surrounding her. However, it was the plight of animals living among them that caught her attention. Horses and donkeys were thin and crippled from hauling too many heavy loads. Sickly looking goats and rabbits were crammed into ragged backyards. Hungry cats and dogs had severe leg injuries, mange and other assorted ailments. Maria saw many animals in need of medical attention, but their destitute owners had trouble feeding their families and couldn’t afford medical care for pets or work animals.
Canine influenza (dog flu) was first reported in the United States in 2004. A vaccine was developed and has been effective in helping to protect dogs from the virus. However, a new strain of dog flu has popped up in the Midwest. It’s creating a concern because it has been difficult to contain and there is no vaccine for this new strain. Even if you don’t live in the Midwest, knowing the symptoms of canine influenza helps to prevent the spread of this contagious disease by keeping your dog isolated from other canines. If you suspect your dog has the flu, call your vet before taking him in. Unlike human flu which tends to be more prominent during the colder months, dogs can catch canine flu any time of the year.
In 2004, Greyhounds in close contact with horses developed a mysterious respiratory illness. It was discovered to be equine influenza A H3N8 (horse flu) which had been around for over 40 years in the horse population. This was a case of a virus jumping from one species to another; it quickly adapted and spread among canines, especially dogs living in close quarters like shelters and boarding kennels.
The new strain of canine flu, H3N2, is an Avian flu virus that began infecting dogs in the Midwest in April of this year. It is different from the human H3N2 seasonal flu virus. It began circulating in the Chicago area before spreading into neighboring states. So far, cases have been reported in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa. More than 1,000 dogs have been diagnosed and some have died.
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