People and their precious dogs

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post dated Sunday, 5 August 2007.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • Police dogs are trained to react to commands in a foreign language.
  • "Seizure Alert" dogs can alert their owners up to an hour before the onset of an epileptic seizure.
  • An estimated one million dogs in the USA have been named the primary beneficiary in their owner's will.
  • Each day in the USA, animal shelters are forced to destroy 30,000 dogs and cats.
  • 94% of pet owners say their pet makes them smile more than once a day.
  • 70% of people in the West sign their pet's name on greeting cards and 58% include their pets in family and holiday portraits.
  • Before leaving their homes, one-third of pet owners turn on a radio or TV to keep their pets company.
  • Some 39% of pet owners say they have more photos of their pet than of their spouse or significant other. Only 21% say they have more photos of their spouse or significant other than of their pet.
  • Researchers studying what dogs like to eat have found that the appetite of pet dogs is affected by the taste, texture and smell of the food, and also by the owners' food preferences, their perception of their pet, and the physical environment in which the dog is eating.
  • At the end of the Beatles song A Day in the Life, an ultrasonic whistle, audible only to dogs, was recorded by Paul McCartney for his Shetland sheepdog.
  • Scannon, a black Newfoundland Labrador, accompanied Lewis and Clark on their Louisiana Territory expedition.
  • Josephine, Napoleon's wife, used her pug Fortune to carry secret messages under his collar to her husband while she was imprisoned at Les Carmes.
  • The energetic Lucky, President Ronald Reagan's first dog, was sent off to the Reagan Ranch after dragging Nancy Reagan across the White House lawn one too many times. Lucky was replaced by the more docile Rex. Rex was treated to a lavishly decorated doghouse, which included framed portraits of Ronald and Nancy. Stranger still, actress Zsa Zsa Gabor was called upon to dedicate the pooch's new structure.
  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt's most famous canine companion was his scottish terrier, Fala, who is part of the Roosevelt Memorial in Washington DC. But during Roosevelt's 12 years and one month as president, 11 dogs lived in the White House. They included a bullmastiff, two red setters, a retriever, a bulldog, a Llewellin setter, a sheepdog, and a German shepherd who tried to rip the pants off the British prime minister.
  • In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus' loyal dog Argus is a greyhound.
  • According to ancient Greek literature, when Odysseus arrived home after an absence of 20 years, disguised as a beggar, the only one to recognise him was his aged dog Argus, who wagged his tail at his master, and then died.
  • English poet Lord Byron was so devastated upon the death of his beloved newfoundland, whose name was Boatswain, that he had inscribed upon the dog's gravestone the following: "Beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of man without his vices."

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