Necessity is the mother of DogLeggs

October 18, 2010

A hygroma is a swelling of the hips of elbows, essentially a big callus. You find them with dogs who lie on hard surfaces a lot. Once a hygroma develops, it doesn’t go away easily, or so Schon Gross of Reston, Va, was told. She had a 10 year-old Rottweiler named Greif who suffered with hygromas, and even though Schon’s veterinarian said nothing could be done and wished her lots of luck, she didn’t take that for an answer. The Fairfax Times picks up the story from there.

On her way home from the vet, she stopped at a sporting goods store and bought a knee pad. Once back home, she pulled out some fleece material and began designing a sleeved harness that could keep the kneepad in place around her dog’s elbow.

The finished product became her first pair of what she would later call “DogLeggs.”

“It was basically just a harness that held the kneepads at the elbows,” she said. “But it was designed to be comfortable and tolerable for him.”

“The second day of wearing his new ‘Dogleggs’ the swelling in Greif’s leg was reduced by half,” Gross said. By the end of the fifth day, the swelling seemed to be gone.

Soon, Greif, who had not been able to walk one block to the bus stop in the morning where the Gross’ daughter caught her school bus, was walking without limping whatsoever, Gross said.

“I took Greif back to the vet wearing his new Dogleggs and showed him how much better Greif was doing. He told us to patent the Dogleggs right away.”

That’s what she did.

Dogleggs Therapeutic Rehabilitative Products expects to have about $500,000 in sales this year, and the company expects that number to triple next year.

I love stories like this. Thanks to our own Phyliss DeGioia for the tip.

On my honor, I will do my best: Does your pet have a merit badge? Yes, a merit badge. Just like the Boy Scouts, the Dog Scouts of America offers merit badges, and Jasper of Milpitas, Calif., is a Scout. The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Steve Rubinstein introduces us to Jasper.

There are a lot of good dogs in Milpitas, but only Jasper has the merit badges to prove it. Merit badges for dogs are the latest thing They are something like merit badges for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, only considerably harder to get your paws on.

Jasper is the first dog in the Bay Area to earn five merit badges from the Dog Scouts of America, which turns out to be a real organization that has quietly been issuing merit badges to deserving dogs for 11 years. The other day, it had a big ceremony for Jasper at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, by invitation only. A half dozen of Jasper’s pals were there, drooling at either the sight of the merit badges or the bowl of biscuits that was beside them.

Thanks to Susan Fox for the tip.

Go Suffolk County, NY! Abuse an animal in Suffolk County, New York, and you’ll end up on a public registry, exactly like those used for child abusers. It’s the first such registry for animal abuse in the country. Glenye Oakford sent me the story from AOL.

The county is also considering a logical next step in legislation: a law that prevents those registered from adopting or purchasing animals at pet stores and shelters.

And although animal welfare advocates are celebrating the registry for its potential to protect vulnerable creatures, legislators say the registry might also prevent domestic violence or other violent crimes against humans.

“Most serial killers began as animal abusers,” Roy Gross, with the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told the North Shore Sun. “It’s a known fact: People who hurt animals hurt people too.”

By the way, on behalf of the Pet Connection team, I’d like to extend our sincere condolences to Glenye on the passing of Barman.

Meet Moorea: Moorea the Therapy Calico is a rare wonder, as spotlighted in a CNN iReport. Patti S gets a tip of the cap for the pointer to the story. Please be sure to watch the video. It’s a guaranteed feel-good purrfest.  Keep in mind when you watch the video that Moorea came from a shelter, which gives me a good opportunity to remind you once again that October is Adopt a Shelter Pet Month.

Scaling the 4,000 footers: If you’ve spent time in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, you know the range is both rugged and beautiful. Julia Williams has the story of Randy Pierce and the Mighty Quinn. Randy is determined to climb all the White Mountains “Four Thousand Footers,” the name given to the 48 peaks of 4,000 feet or higher. I should point out that Randy is blind, and Quinn is his intrepid seeing eye dog.  My sight is just fine, and I couldn’t do what Randy’s attempting, with or without a terrific yellow Lab by my side. Best of luck, Randy!

Uga VIII takes the field. This past Saturday, as part of homecoming weekend festivities, The University of Georgia Bulldogs introduced their newest mascot, Uga VIII. Savannah Now talks about the newest Uga, but they didn’t note that the new mascot brought the team good luck as the Dawgs shut out Vandy 43-0.

I always like to hear from readers, especially if you have tips, and links for interesting stories.  Give me a shout in the comments, or better yet, send me an e-mail.

Photo credits: Schon Gross, Shamus Ian Fatzinger/Fairfax County Times. Randy and Quinn, 2020 Vision Quest.

Filed under: pets, connected,worth a click — David S. Greene @ 5:08 am

8 Comments »

  1. I can’t speak highly enough of DogLeggs. When my dog Cali had cancer, was old and with declining strength, the DogLeggs kept her elbow callus from turning into a painful sore. I’ve worked in human rehabilitation for 15 years, and canine rehab for 8 years, and this is one of the most effective and well-made products I’ve come across.

    Comment by Katie Bruesewitz — October 18, 2010 @ 6:08 am

  2. Hi, David. Just wanted to say thank you for the condolences on Barman’s death. With about 20 retirees of various ages always in the kennel, the hunt staff and people who work with the Hound Welfare Fund are always somewhat prepared for a hound’s death. But Barman was so young, comparatively, and his death was a particular blow. Hard to believe he’s gone. But we’re very glad he had a peaceful death after a very happy summer.

    Comment by Glenye Oakford — October 18, 2010 @ 6:17 am

  3. Saw the new Georgia Bulldog on TV in a bar in Columbus, Ohio. Actually Heather Houlahan did, and we cranked around to look. The dog looked miserable, cuddled up next to a 100-pound bag of ice.

    That university — one with a fine veterinary school — ought to be ashamed at continuing that line of bulldogs, tradition or no. They need to get a real Georgia bulldog — essentially a version of an American Staffordshire Terrier — not another in a line of cartoonish interpretations of an English one too deformed to live normally. Bah!

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — October 18, 2010 @ 7:38 am

  4. I couldn’t agree more. The whole Uga fetish they’ve perpetuated has gotten completely out of control. A healthy, viable mascot would be a much better symbol for the university….of course I root for a school whose mascot is a piece of citrus (an orange), so what do I know?

    Comment by David S. Greene — October 18, 2010 @ 7:59 am

  5. I’ve met Randy Pierce and he is one amazing person. Nothing slows him down.

    Comment by Blue — October 18, 2010 @ 9:04 am

  6. Looked into “Dog Scouts” years ago.

    Two big problems (there are more things I question, but these are the two biggies) —

    First, they micromanage the training:

    Positive training methods are required for all the behaviors on the test. If you have not been using reward-based training methods (if you have used punishment for incorrect responses from your dog when given cues for the test behaviors) then you will need to re-train those behaviors using only reward-based methods so that both you and your dog have a firm understanding of the methods DSA supports

    Would “DSA” like to inspect my underpants as well?

    Second, they offer “badges” for search and rescue without themselves having any experience in this area. I questioned the poobah about this and did not, shall we say, receive a satisfactory response.

    I am just waiting for the day when the call-jumper shows up to a lost person search with her “Dog Scout certified” “search dog.” That will be colorful.

    Comment by H. Houlahan — October 18, 2010 @ 9:13 am

  7. Some day I will learn not to take a “news” story at face value. I keep forgetting that there is very little reporting, as the term has been generally understood, going on these days. Thank you, Heather, for providing a more complete picture of the Dog Scouts.

    Comment by Susan Fox — October 18, 2010 @ 5:53 pm

  8. Thing is, Susan, reporters in general regard a “dog story” as *always* “soft news.” So there’s never any fact-checking, digging, etc. The tone of this story is the too-precious one that I’ve come to hate, in almost every animal story in the mainstream media.

    Except you can get bit in the ass by soft news. (Even when it’s not a dog.) Write the fluff piece about the man who loves to play Santa Claus for the neighborhood kids, turns out he’s been ducking the registry for child molesters for the past five years. Stuff like that.

    Not that a reporter would likely appreciate or have any interest in extreme positive dog training ideology, or the subtle points of credentialing SAR teams.

    Comment by H. Houlahan — October 18, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

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