Archive for December, 2012

Books: Dogs of War by Kathleen Kinsolving

Monday, December 3rd, 2012


A new look at American history through the lives of powerful pets

They had the fate of the world in their hands, and their faithful dogs by their side. As President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his two top generals waged war against the Nazis, the men all relied on a secret weapon: their dogs. Dog-lover and author Kathleen Kinsolving is convinced the dogs helped FDR, and Gens. George Patton and Dwight Eisenhower handle the enormous stress of battle.

She has written a book, “Dogs of War,” that documents the special relationship between these powerful men and their canine companions. In the book’s forward, Carlo D’Este, who has written books on both Patten and Eisenhower, wrote that the dogs “helped provide the men a “time of normalcy and joy … to help lighten their load.”

Studies have found that dogs can reduce stress, blood pressure and anxiety. “I think that’s what inspired me to write this book,” Kinsolving told ABC News, “to show how important the human-animal bond truly is.”

In her mind, “We owe these dogs of war a great debt.” FDR’s dog Fala was a gift from the president’s cousin Margaret in 1940. “The war was heating up over in Europe,” Kinsolving said, “and she thought, ‘I bet he could use some companionship .’” The Scottish terrier and FDR were soon inseparable. According to Kinsolving, Fala attended press conferences and the evening cocktail hour, and had his own playpen just outside the Oval Office. As befitting a “first family” pet. Fala learned to shake hands, and stand at attention on his hind legs during the “The Spangled Banner.”

He was soon a huge hit with the press and the public, and even joined the war effort as a member of “Barkers for Britain,” a club of dog owners who helped raise money for bombing victims in England. Fala also figured prominently in a political smack down when FDR was running for an unprecedented fourth term. The pooch had accompanied FDR on a voyage to Hawaii and the Aleutian Islands as part of tour of the Pacific Theater.

Republicans claimed that Fala had been mistakenly left behind in the Aleutians, costing taxpayers millions for a destroyer that was sent back to rescue him. In what became known as the Fala speech, Roosevelt angrily denied that, and said that while he and his family could withstand partisan attacks, “Fala does resent them” and “has not been the same dog since.” It brought down the house.

Fala is buried at the foot of FDR’s grave and memorialized in a statute at the president’s side at the FDR Memorial in Washington.

Across the Atlantic, Gen. George Patton, known for his brilliance but also his temper, had “a soft spot” for dogs, says Kinsolving. In 1944, now stationed in England, Patton requested a bull terrier, and soon had his faithful Willie. “Willie would attack any dog if he felt [it] was a threat to Patton,” said Kinsolving, even going after Eisenhower’s pup when the Allied commander once came for a meeting. Willie followed Patton everywhere, sticking “so close to the general, he never needed to wear a leash,” wrote Kinsolving.
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In 1945, Patton died, following a car crash in England, right before he was to return to the United States. That day the general had not taken Willie with him. It was a photo taken after Patton’s death that moved Kinsolving to write her book. It shows the “heartbroken bull terrier … as he lay down on the floor next to Patton’s footlockers,” she wrote.

In the case of Gen. Eisenhower, Kinsolving wrote it was the general’s driver, the lovely Kay Summersby, who wanted a dog. Historians still debate whether the two had had an affair, but they were extremely close, and according to Kinsolving, the general knew it wouldn’t look good if he got Summersby a dog. Instead, the Scottish terrier was presented to Eisenhower as a birthday present in 1942.
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Ike gave it the unusual name Telek, which Summersby later said was a combination of Telegraph Cottage, Eisenhower’s retreat outside London, and the first letter of her name, Kay. The general may have been an expert at whipping the troops into shape, but he was no match for Telek, who was not housebroken for some time. The dog even left his mark on Gen. George C. Marshall’s guest bed when Marshall came to spend the night at Eisenhower’s villa.

Telek, though, showed his true colors when the Nazi brass came to Eisenhower’s headquarters in France to sign the papers of surrender. “Dogs are psychic,” Kinsolving said, “He growled when the Nazi’s left.”

Presidential pets have long been crowd pleasers, and the current canine resident of the White House is no exception. The much-filmed Portuguese water dog, Bo, was a promised gift to President Obama’s daughters after he won election in 2008. Upon winning his second term, Obama joked that one dog was enough; there would be no repeat in the dog department. Kinsolving is disappointed about that. “I do hope he changes his mind,” she says.

To read more about the book, click here.

Dogs from All 50 States and More Than 50 Countries Vie for $225,000 in Cash and Prizes

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Broadcast on ABC Television Network – Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013

Thousands of dogs will compete over five days in a variety of world-class dog sporting competitions on December 12-16, 2012 in Orlando, Florida at the Orange County Convention Center. This spectacular dog celebration tops all other dog events in the nation with over 15,500 combined entries.

Dogs will compete under one roof in the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, Eukanuba World Challenge, the AKC Agility Invitational, the AKC National Juniors Agility Competition, the AKC National Obedience Invitational, the AKC National Juniors Obedience Competition, the AKC Junior Showmanship Finals, and the Orlando Cluster of the Space Coast Kennel Club of Palm Bay, the Brevard Kennel Club and the Central Florida Kennel Club dog shows. Learn more at

“The annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship brings together all dog lovers in a way no other series of dog events does, and we’re happy to welcome everyone to Orlando,” said Show Chairman Ron Menaker. “Beyond the competitions be sure to catch the action with AKC Meet the Breeds®, dock diving dogs, celebrity dog appearances, and more. This event showcases the best there is in dog fun and excitement.”

New this year:

Celebrate Dogs!: In addition to the competitions taking place over the weekend, AKC and Eukanuba are inviting the dog-loving public to the nation’s largest canine celebration, Celebrate Dogs!. Open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday, Celebrate Dogs! will feature dozens of dog-centric activities like the Eukanuba SuperDogs®, AKC Meet the Breeds® booths, DockDogs®, Eukanuba Extreme Soccer Dogs, appearances by celebrity dogs and a canine shopping mall with holiday gifts for dog lovers! Learn more here.

Celebrity Dogs: Visitors will be able to catch special performances by canine super stars The Olate Dogs, winners of the most recent season of “America’s Got Talent.” In addition, Hollywood dog celebrities Stella from “Modern Family” and Yakult from “Suburgatory,” as well as Standard Poodle “London,” the 2011 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Best in Show winner, will make special appearances at the event.

Best of Breed Video Streaming: Highlights from the daytime Best of Breed judging and the Bred-By-Exhibitor groups will be video streamed by Bowtie, Inc. at The evening events will be live streamed on Ustream. A link to both streams will be available on


· 175 AKC recognized breeds are entered to compete.

· 4,181 entries in the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship

· The largest entries include:

o 93 Golden Retrievers

o 75 French Bulldogs

o 75 Labrador Retrievers

o 69 Australian Shepherds

o 63 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

o 61 Rottweilers

o 56 Chinese Cresteds

o 55 Boston Terriers

o 55 Papillons

o 123 Miscellaneous dogs entered, representing all 16 Miscellaneous breeds: Azawakh, Belgian Laekenois, Bergamasco, Boerboel, Chinook, Cirneco dell’Etna, Coton de Tulear, Dogo Argentino, Miniature American Shepherd, Peruvian Inca Orchid, Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, Pumi, Rat Terrier, Sloughi, Spanish Water Dog and Wirehaired Vizsla.

· The newest breeds to compete include:

o 14 Russell Terriers

o 5 Treeing Walker Coonhounds

· AKC Meet the Breeds® will feature more than 150 breeds at decorated booths staffed by experts. (Sat. & Sun. from 10 am to 4 pm)

· By group, entry totals are: Sporting – 726; Hound – 545; Working – 627; Terrier – 504; Toy – 641; Non-Sporting – 530, Herding – 485 and Miscellaneous – 123

· Dogs from 42 countries will compete in the Eukanuba World Challenge including Mexico, Australia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The Eukanuba World Challenge is a one-of-a-kind event offering top dogs from around the world, and the winner of the Eukanuba Breeders’ Stakes, the opportunity to compete for the title of “Eukanuba World Challenge Champion” and a total of $15,000 in prize money.

· Judge Mr. Edd E. Bivin of Fort Worth, Texas will select the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Best in Show (BIS) winner. The owner(s) of the BIS winner will receive more than $50,000 while the breeder(s) of the Best in Show winner will be awarded $15,000.

· Mrs. Patricia V. Trotter of Carmel, California will select Best Bred-By Exhibitor in Show from among 1,210 dogs (29% of the total entry) entered in the Bred-by-Exhibitor (dogs being shown by their owner/breeder) competition, who will be eligible to win the $15,000 cash prize.

· 166 youngsters, ages 9-17, who have met high academic standards and qualification criteria based on year-round competition, will compete in Junior Showmanship.


· 618 entries in the AKC Agility Invitational – 156 breeds from 45 states. Eukanuba and J & J Dog are proud sponsors of the AKC Agility Invitational.

· 127 entries in the AKC National Obedience Invitational – 49 breeds from 33 states and Canada. Eukanuba and J & J Dog are proud sponsors of the AKC National Obedience Invitational.

· 73 Juniors competing at the AKC National Juniors Agility Competition on Friday, Dec. 14th (8 am to 11 am).

· 46 Juniors competing at the AKC National Juniors Obedience Competition on Saturday, Dec. 15th (8 am to 3 pm).

· 12 All-American Dogs competing in Agility and 6 in Obedience.

To purchase tickets and get more information about the show visit To receive daily updates and show results via Facebook, visit and

Animals Swallowing Candy and Ingesting Seasonal Decorations Top Fall Pet Insurance Claims

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Pets Best Insurance Releases List of Bizarre, Expensive Claims

Pets Best Insurance, a leading U.S. dog and cat insurance agency, announced five bizarre claims in honor of the 2012 fall season. The Boise-based company has seen its fair share of seasonal claims since first opening its doors in 2005.

“Fall is a time filled with Halloween candy, fun decorations and, unfortunately, quite a few pet-related accidents,” said Dr. Jack Stephens, president and founder of Pets Best Insurance. “When putting out seasonal décor and everything associated with it, don’t forget to think about the health and safety of your four-legged friends.”

Some of the more unusual fall pet insurance claims the agency has received include*:.

A Corn-Dog

Tacoda, an Alaskan malamute, was trying to give her best impression of a corndog, literally. The dog ingested a corn cob decoration and was admitted to her local veterinarian with intestinal issues. The surgery to remove the cob was costly, but Tacoda’s owners received a $1,671 reimbursement from Pets Best.

This Pooch Was Nuts

Walnuts are delicious for humans, not so much for pets. Domino, a mixed breed, was caught eating some walnuts by his owners. Not only are walnuts toxic, but they block intestinal tracts and require surgical removal. Thanks to Pets Best, Domino’s parents received a $1,835 reimbursement for the costly surgery to get their pup back to normal.

A Halloween Vampire?

Cheyenne, an Australian shepherd, was recently admitted to her local veterinarian hospital for a mysterious bite wound on her neck. The wound could have taken a bite out of Cheyenne’s parents’ wallet, but fortunately they had pet insurance. Cheyenne’s owners received a $1,188 reimbursement for the wound

Too Much Candy

One furry friend did what many kids do… eat too much candy. Julie, an English setter, apparently had a real sweet tooth when she tore through her owners’ candy supply. The over-indulgence of sweets led to a major dietary indiscretion, which inevitably led to a hospital visit. Fortunately, the pet parents had a Pets Best plan that led to a $622 reimbursement.

*Different deductible amounts and reimbursement percentages may apply based on the policy options selected and available in the insured’s state. The claim examples illustrate conditions that were determined not to be pre-existing for the animal insured. Claim administration is subject to all terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions in the policy.

To get more information about pet insurance see this link