Tag Archives: dogs

Bitches, man

Pax Arcana

It’s become fashionable among red-faced TV shouters and slope-shouldered Internet trolls to blame the demise of newspapers on content quality, rather than the inevitable result of a shifting landscape for information consumption.

This is rubbish. Newspapers are still the primary organ for gathering and reporting news, and without them we’d be far worse off. Case in point — if the New York Times makes good on its threat to close the Boston Globe, how the fuck are we ever going to know what the most popular dog names in Wellesley are?

From the top-front-middle of Boston.com comes this awesomeness:

Bailey is the top dog in Wellesley. Lucy is the queen in Newton.

In the battle of dog names, the most popular dog name in Wellesley is Bailey with 38. The most popular dog name in Newton is Lucy with 33. Molly, the second most popular dog name in Wellesley, with 34, doesn’t even crack the top ten most popular names in Newton.

ugly_dog

Critics of the Globe often say that the paper has hastened its own death by ignoring the city of Boston in favor of fluffy who-gives-a-shit stories from the wealthy suburbs. Those critics just don’t understand that a sophisticated exegesis of dog names in the rich suburbs adds a wealth of value to the every day lives of Globe readers.

Because it is in such stories that we discover that people in the Boston area like sports! CAN YOU FUCKING BELIEVE IT?

A lot can be learned about a town from its dog names, but to get a real feel for Newton and Wellesley you need to dig deeper than just the top-ten list of names.

This being Red Sox territory, dog owners like to name their pooches after just about anything from the Olde Towne Team. Wellesley has 10 dogs named Fenway to Newton’s three. Both towns have three dogs named Remy. There are also a combined four dogs in the two towns still named Manny.

Of course Manny was a good dog until we decided he was the worst dog ever. Then we got a Canadian Syrup Collie and pretended he was the most bestest dog in the world.

But lest the town’s are accused of forgetting “the other” sports dynasty, Wellesley has eight dogs named Brady, a dog named Tom Brady and a dog named Tedy Bruschi, and Newton has seven dogs named Brady and three named Bruschi. No one has gone so far, however, as naming his dog Gillette.

But lest the newspaper’s be accuse’d of slacking on the job, they may wan’t to revisit that firs’t sent’ence.

Both Newton and Wellesley are more than just sports towns, however. Lovers of literature will see dogs named after great men and women of letters. Wellesley’s literary heroes include Shakespeare, Yates, Hemingway and Shelley. Newton’s include Oscar Wilde and Nietzsche.

This gives me an entirely different appreciation of the erudition necessary to live in such towns. Come now, Bulwer-Lytton the Beagle, we must upgrade you at once! From this day forth, you shall be known as Oliver Wendell Holmes the Beagle!

There are fans of Charles M. Schulz’s “Peanuts” comic series in both towns, as Newton has four dogs named Snoop and Wellesley has three, plus a dog named Charlie Brown. There are also a combined six dogs in the two towns named Peanut, and one in Newton named Peanuts.

Okay, you’re fucking kidding about the “Snoop” thing, right? Seriously. Please tell me you’re kidding.

For Newton and Wellesley entertainment is more than just music and comics. It is something that should be recognized. So, to recognize the recognition of the arts, Newton and Wellesley have 10 and eight dogs named Oscar respectively, Wellesley has 3 dogs named Emmy to Newton’s one, and Wellesley has a dog named Tony.

I’m going to invent a new award based on this article, just to name my dog after it. Say hello to Poopknuckle the pug puppy everybody! Isn’t he adorable and sticky?

As lovers of fine things it’s no surprise that the most popular car brand that became a dog name is Bentley, with five in Newton and four in Wellesley. Similarly, no one will be shocked to know that the most popular beer brand/dog name is Stella with seven in Wellesley and five in Newton (although Guinness is a close second in Wellesley with five.)

OK, you realize that Bentley is also the name of a university nearby. And that the likelihood that people named their dogs Stella after the beer rather than the famous movie/play is virtually zero.

Sometimes a dog name is nothing more than an indication of potential size. If this is the case, watch out in Wellesley. With 10 dogs named Bear living in Wellesley, and only two in Newton, you might want to watch out when you are walking down the street in the former.

That’s why I take Bear Killer with me everywhere. I tell people it’s an ironic name because he’s a Scottish Terrier dressed in a pith helmet — but in reality he’s an actual bear dressed like a Scotty in a pith helmet. It’s still ironic, though, because he’s a bear named Bear Killer that kills dogs named Bear. And Bentley.

From Remy to Yates: most popular dog names in Wellesley [Boston.com]

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This is the greatest dog in the world

Pax Arcana

stumpAfter scouring the globe and scrutinizing each and every single dog in existence, the world’s foremost authorities have agreed that the greatest dog in the world is Ch. Clussexx Three D Grinchy Glee.

(The Sussex spaniel narrowly edged out my Somerville beagle, Gloucester Mountbatten Hip-Hop Zombiekillerzz, for the title.)

The winner’s nickname is Stump, and his victory is something of a comeback story:

Stump won the sporting group at Westminster in 2004, but in early 2005 fell seriously ill with an undetermined sickness, said Scott Sommer, Stump’s handler and an owner along with Cecilia Ruggles and Beth Dowd.

Stump eventually returned to health, and by last year he was looking quite good. Still, Sommer said he was not sure until last Wednesday that he would definitely show Stump at Westminster.

“I wanted to take him here and hope he showed good,” Sommer said after winning the group. “That was my goal.”

At 10, Stump is the oldest dog to win at Westminster. Personally, I can’t wait for Disney to buy the rights to Stump’s story and make movie about his life. I would love to see Dennis Quaid try to act in a dog costume.

10-Year-Old Spaniel Completes Comeback [NYT]

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Your animal paintings are all wrong

Pax Arcana

dogPablo Picasso once said that art is the lie that tells the truth. He also said French chicks will screw anyone with a paint brush and a fancy grammaphone, but that’s beside the point.

The point is that artists sometimes get things wrong. And not on purpose, like the surrealists or whatever, but just because they don’t know which leg goes where when painting a dog or horse walking. Luckily we have some squirrely academic types to point this out for us:

After analyzing more than 300 depictions of walking animals in museums, veterinary books and toy models, the researchers report that in almost half of them the leg positions are wrong. The findings are published in the journal Current Biology.

The researchers studied only depictions where it could be determined unambiguously that the animal was walking, and not trotting or otherwise running, as in those gaits the leg movements may differ. (In walking, two or more legs are touching the ground at all times while in galloping, for example, there are moments when all the legs are lifted.)

The researchers found, for example, that a skeleton of a dog at a Finnish museum depicts the right hindleg in a rearward position while the right foreleg is lifted and moving forward. In a proper depiction the hindleg would be forward too, having moved before the foreleg.

It’s a good thing they didn’t interview any dogs for this story, since I happen to know that many of them are proud of their idiosyncratic walking styles. My Beagle — Hallgeir the King Slayer — busts into a sideways creep when approaching a female of the species. I call it his “pimp walk.”

In Lots of Animal Art, Wrong Foot Is Forward [NYT]

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Peruvians give crappy gifts

Pax Arcana

I’m not going to lie — I’ve dished out some garbage presents in my lifetime. In my early 20’s, I gave my brother a used book for Christmas because I had totally forgotten to buy him something. Not only was it a used book, but a paperback that I had taken it to the beach that summer, dog-eared about 50 pages, written in the margins, and bent the spine lengthwise.

Sorry about that, homey.

Anyway, crappy as that gift was, it was a magic cotton candy dispensing HDTV hovercraft compared to what a bunch of Peruvians want to give president elect Barack Obama to celebrate his election.

According to this article, aficionados of the Peruvian national dog would like to send one to the new first family. In case you didn’t know, this is what they look like:

peruvian_hairless_dog

The above monstrosity is called a Peruvian Hairless Dog, and its supporters say it is good for those with dog hair allergies — like presidential daughter Malia Obama. It is also good for snarling at the gates of hell at the time of reckoning and for chasing Simba and Nala through the elephant graveyard.

You hear what I’m saying people? I’m saying that is ONE UGLY DOG! That dog is so ugly it looks like it caught on fire and they put it out with a rake! That dog is so ugly that even Rice Krispies won’t talk to it! That dog is so ugly it has to sneak up on a glass of water!! HEEYYYYYYOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Peru offers bald dog of Incas to Obama family [Reuters]

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Finally our dogs can feel good about themselves as they lick their own genitals

Pax Arcana

That whooping sound you just heard was the collective exultation of the scientific community, which finally solved one of the great mysteries of the universe — why come some dogs are bald?

Turns out, it has something to do with their genes! No, really:

Tosso Leeb of the University of Bern in Switzerland and colleagues report that dogs that are hairless or nearly so have a mutation in a gene they call FOXI3.

The researchers compared the genomes of hairless and coated dogs from three breeds — the Chinese crested, and the Mexican and Peruvian hairless. It had been known that hairlessness (accompanied by tooth abnormalities) in these breeds is caused by a single dominant gene, but the precise gene was unknown.

Oh thank God. Finally, we can bring some peace and dignity to bald dogs everywhere. Just a few cycles of painful gene therapy and these proud puppies will be back on their paws, romping through a dewy meadow with a thick, lustrous coat of hair.

I know this isn’t good news for my line of dog toupees (aka Dr. Barky’s Hair Restoration System), but I was always in it for the dogs. Always.


Not only our spokesdog. Also a client.

That Dog Is Bald, and Now We Know Why [NY Times]

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Who’s walking whom?

pavlov.gif

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