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Panda Accused of Faking Pregnancy To Get Better Food, Air Conditioning

Expectant pandas are moved to air-conditioned rooms and showered with more buns, fruit and bamboo.

Headshot of Dominique MosbergenBy Dominique Mosbergen – News Editor, The Huffington Post – Posted: 07/30/2015 12:57 AM EDT | Edited: 07/31/2015 02:07 PM EDT

Pandas Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, names together mean "reunion", eat bamboo at a panda base in Ya’an, southwest China’s Sichuan province, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008. A few weeks after this photo was taken, the duo were moved to Taiwan. (Associated Press)

Keepers at the Taipei Zoo were excited. Resident giant panda Yuan Yuan was exhibiting signs of pregnancy — an all-too-elusive event among captive pandas.

There were tell-tale symptoms, like a loss of appetite and a thickening of the uterus. Yuan Yuan’s fecal progesterone concentration was also on the rise.

Yet despite these promising signs, the panda’s pregnancy was a false alarm.

According to China’s Southern Metropolis Daily, ultrasound scans determined that Yuan Yuan, who was artificially inseminated earlier this year, was not pregnant. Now the panda is being accused of faking the pregnancy as a way of getting her caretakers to shower her with better food and care.

Pregnant pandas are typically treated like queens. As China Daily notes, the expectant bears are moved into “single rooms with air conditioning” and given “round-the-clock care.” They receive more buns, fruit and bamboo as well.

Panda experts have speculated that Yuan Yuan, who gave birth to a cub in 2013, may have been feigning pregnancy to reap these added benefits.

Taiwan’s panda cub Yuan Zai, right, and her mother Yuan Yuan enjoy Yuan Zai’s first birthday cake at the Taipei Zoo in Taipei, Taiwan, Sunday, July 6, 2014. (Associated Press)

Last year, another female panda named Ai Hin was accused of trying to pull the same trick. The panda, who lives at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, exhibited pregnancy symptoms for two months before experts determined that she didn’t actually have a cub in the oven.

“After showing prenatal signs, the [panda] ‘mothers-to-be’ are [pampered],” Wu Kongju, an expert at the Chengdu Research Base, told CNN last year. “So some clever pandas have used this to their advantage to improve their quality of life.”

Other panda experts disagree with these accusations.

Zhang Heming, director of the China Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda, told the Guardian last year that pseudo-pregnancies are actually fairly common in the panda world. He attributed the pandas’ behavior to "more of a hormonal issue than a deliberate ruse."

"This phenomenon occurs in 10 to 20 percent of pandas," he said. "After the mother panda is inseminated, if her health isn’t so good, the pregnancy will terminate, but she’ll still behave as if she’s pregnant."

According to a 2010 LiveScience report, scientists "don’t know why pseudo-pregnancies happen, or if they have evolved for an evolutionary purpose."

"In a sense there’s no answer, but there is speculation that perhaps pandas’ bodies just rehearse pregnancy all the time," Lisa Stevens, curator of primates and pandas at Smithsonian’s National Zoo, told the news outlet.

Also on HuffPost:

Alamy AK58HY Giant Panda Cub  Kin Cheung/AP One of the one month old Panda triples receives a body check at the Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou in south China’s Guangdong province Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. China announced the birth of extremely rare panda triplets in a further success for the country’s artificial breeding program. The three cubs were born July 29 in the southern city of Guangzhou. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung) Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Panda cub Bao Bao hangs from a tree in her habitat at the National Zoo in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014. Today marks her first birthday and the zoo is marking the event with a traditional ‘Zhuazhou’ ceremony, a Chinese birthday tradition symbolizing long life to mark the event. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Getty Images

YA’AN, CHINA – JUNE 29: A giant panda climbs onto a platform at the panda research base on June 29, 2015 in Ya’an, China. China’s Sichuan province is home to the majority of the the world’s nearly 1,900 endangered giant pandas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

leungchopan panda eating bamboo

  Alamy AJC9T9  -  ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

A woman poses for photographers with the part of the 1,600 paper pandas, created by French artist Paulo Grangeon, in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building during the month-long "1600 Pandas World Tour" in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin) ABA PREFECTURE, CHINA – JULY 05: (CHINA OUT) Aerial view of people, wearing panda costumes with mahjong tiles, playing mahjong during a mahjong competition at a theme park in Jiuzhai Village on July 5, 2015 in Aba Perfecture, Sichuan Province of China. Over one hundred people wearing panda costumes with mahjong tiles played on a one hundred-square-meter mahjong table during a mahjong competition. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)  

Getty Images

CHENGDU, CHINA – JUNE 30: Giants pandas pause from eating bamboo in an enclosure at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding on June 30, 2015 in Chengdu, China. Twin female cubs were born by artificial insemination to seven-year-old Kelin at the center on June 22. China’s Sichuan province is home to the majority of the the world’s nearly 1,900 endangered giant pandas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

Smartest Dog In the World, Chaser – 60 Minutes With Anderson Cooper

Quebec bill changes animals from "property" to sentient beings and includes jail time for cruelty

Spanish town gives pets equal rights as citizens

China, Korea, South East Asia: Stop Cooking Dogs, Any Animals, Alive 

Our Weasel Of The Week Nominees!–06.02.15

August 1, 2015 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

They Were Dead Puppy Parts Instead of Dead Baby

Bristol Palin:

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Fellow SixSeeds blogger Zeke Pipher has a great question:

If they were dead puppy parts, or parts from homosexual babies, or babies that self-identified as adults, it’d be a different story. Meaning, it would be a story. But as it is, the fact that these fetuses don’t look like puppies, and their sexual orientation cannot yet be determined, and their sexual-identity cannot yet be expressed, the most viral, re-tweeted, utterly disturbing national issue of the day went largely uncovered by all the major television and radio networks. In fact, when I went digging into CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, and NPR’s coverage of the Planned Parenthood Exec sipping wine and eating salad while discussing the marketability of a pre-born baby’s heart, liver, and lungs, I found these reporting agencies spinning the story as an attack from anti-abortion groups. “You didn’t see the entire clip.” “The money is going to the mothers.” “These ’tissues’ are donated to medical research.” And, “The right is just on a hunt.”

Are you serious? Shame on them.

Zeke is right! When is the mainstream media going to quit covering for their murderous friends over at Planned Parenthood?

Confused what this is about?  Well if you haven’t heard, Planned Parenthood medical group has been selling fetal body parts.

July 16, 2015 Posted by | Dogs, Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , | Leave a comment

Smartest Dog In the World, Chaser – 60 Minutes With Anderson Cooper

By Marion Algier – Just One More Pet (JOMP)  –  Cross-Posted at AskMarion

Anderson Cooper met Chaser, a dog who can identify over a thousand toys, and because of whom, scientists are now studying the brain of man’s best friend.  Chaser is also the subject of a book:  Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words.

Man and dog have lived together for 15,000 years and there are now more than 80 million dogs in the United States, more dogs than children, yet we know very little about man’s best friend.

Did you know that when your dog(s) stare at you, they are hugging you with their eyes?!?

Video: 60 Minutes October 5, 2014 – Anderson Cooper- Chaser – Smart Dog Segment

Video: The Dog Who Knows 1,000 Words | CUTE ANIMALS (Episode 5)

And, there’s even more to smart dogs than what ’60 Minutes’ and Chaser showed you says Arlene Weintraub, author of – Heal: The Vital Role of Dogs in the Search for Cancer Cures.

The hit CBS CBS -0.48% newsmagazine 60 Minutes just re-ran what was no doubt one of its most popular segments of recent years, “The Smartest Dog in the World,” featuring Chaser, the border collie who learned more than 1,000 words and names. As shown in the segment, Chaser accomplished that incredible feat because her owner, retired psychology professor John Pilley, spent five hours a day, five days a week training the white-and-black spotted pooch to associate certain words with objects such as toys.

As a result, Chaser ended up with a vocabulary three times greater than that of the average toddler. It’s impressive, to be sure, especially since very little was known about the power of the canine brain until quite recently, as correspondent Anderson Cooper pointed out at the top of the piece.

Over the last two decades, however, the scientific community has started to delve more deeply into canine intelligence, unlocking the clues to what’s happening in their brains that makes dogs so seemingly human. Here are some of the latest insights:

Dogs aren’t just learning tricks when you train them—they’re actually getting smarter.

Not everyone can spare the time that Pilley took to train his dog to recognize so many words, but science has proven that, in fact, dogs that stay mentally engaged do get smarter.

For example, researchers at the University of Milan recently took a group of 110 dogs, half of whom had little or no training in obedience or any other skill, and the other half who had extremely sophisticated levels of schooling, in agility, search-and-rescue, and the like. All of the dogs were then challenged to find food that had been hidden—but only after they were shown how the treats would be hidden and what they would have to do to uncover them.

As dog psychology expert and author Stanley Coren reported on the Psychology Today blog, it was clear that the dogs in the trial who had spent a lot of time training to do challenging tasks had gained a leg up on the intelligence scale: Only 30% of the untrained dogs found the hidden food, while 61% of the trained dogs successfully completed the task—even though their previous training didn’t prepare them for this particular test.

The scientists concluded that the trained dogs had acquired a “’learning to learn’ ability” that is otherwise absent in the average dog.

Studies show that dogs trained in complex tasks like agility gain intelligence (Credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

That insight jives with what one of the scientists featured in the 60 Minutes piece, Brian Hare, pointed out. “What’s special is that [Pilley] spent so much time playing these games to help her learn words, but are there lots of Chasers out there?” said Hare, an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University during the piece. “Absolutely.”

In other words, any mutt can probably be as good as Chaser—if his or her owner is willing to put in the hours.

Dogs can smell cancer and other things we can’t because of how their brains are structured.

It’s long been known that dogs’ noses are extremely sensitive—a virtue that has made them indispensable as search-and-rescue aides for centuries. But only recently have scientists begun to unlock the mysteries behind how dogs can pick up and follow scents that no one else can.

What they’ve learned is that dogs have 200 million olfactory receptors (ORs), or proteins on the neurons inside their snouts that send signals to their brains, allowing them to process smells. We human have only five million ORs. Dogs’ nostrils are structured so intricately that they can detect odors at such miniscule levels as parts per trillion, and many experts believe the proportion of the dog’s brain that’s dedicated to analyzing those scents is 40 times larger than that of humans. That makes the dog’s ability to recognize particular odors one million times better than that of people.

Dogs’ noses are now being put to use beyond the realm of search-and-rescue. In the medical world, service dogs are being trained to help people with diabetes recognize when their blood sugar is dropping to dangerous levels. And much attention has been paid recently to reports that dogs can sniff cancer.

The notion that dogs might be able to detect cancer first emerged about 25 years ago, when the British medical journal The Lancet published a five-paragraph letter in which two doctors in London described the case of a forty-four-year-old woman, who came into their clinic with a lesion on her left thigh. She told them her Doberman–border collie mix was constantly sniffing a mole on her leg, and one day when she was wearing shorts, her dog tried to bite the mole off entirely. Turned out that mole was a malignant melanoma—and the dog saved his owner’s life, because the tumor was so small at that point the cancer could be cured.

Since then, dog-loving scientists all over the world have trained and then tested hundreds of dogs to prove they can smell cancer. The results are sometimes astounding: In a 2012 trial, sniffer dogs were able to identify the scent of lung cancer about 90% of the time, even when the scientists tried to confuse them with samples from patients with non-cancerous conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). Dogs have also been successfully trained to detect ovarian, breast, bladder, and colorectal cancer. Multiple efforts are now underway to translate the dog’s nose into automated breathalyzer-like devices that may be able to detect cancer early.

Dogs are wired for empathy in ways that many other species are not.

During the 60 Minutes story we heard a lot about oxytocin, commonly called “the love hormone.” This is a hormone, made in the brains of both dogs and people, that promotes the bonding between mothers and their babies, for example, and makes us feel good when we hug a loved one. Turns out when dogs make eye contact with their people or jump in their laps, both dogs and the recipients of their affection get more of an oxytocin rush.

But are dogs empathetic? Do they feel our emotional pain and joy? Several studies suggest they do. For example, in 2013, a group of Japanese researchers showed that the phenomenon of contagious yawning—long believed to be a sign of empathy—does not just happen among people. The scientists observed 25 dogs yawning in response to the yawns of both their owners and those of people they did not know. They measured the dogs’ heart rate to show that their yawning was not caused by stress (as many dog trainers believe it is).

Dogs may also be empathetic because in addition to sharing the love hormone with their humans, they share the stress hormone, called cortisol. Last fall, researchers in New Zealand took 75 dogs and 74 people and played the same sounds for both groups: a baby crying, a baby babbling and white noise. When they heard the crying baby, both people and dogs showed an increase in cortisol. The dogs’ behavior changed, too, as they became more submissive and alert. The researchers concluded that the dogs were showing “emotional contagion,” a basic form of empathy. What’s more, the empathy crossed species—a rare occurrence, they suggested.

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’ and bottom line, your dog is probably just as smart as Chaser, both intellectually and emotionally.  I know mine are! You just might need to do a bit of work to uncover that intelligence.  Age, breed and owner or trainer involvement are all factors.

A Quebec bill has changed animals from “property” to sentient beings and includes jail time for cruelty in Canada.  Let us hope that the United States and the rest of the world will not be far behind.  Especially with daily headlines like these: China, Korea, South East Asia: Stop Cooking Dogs, Any Animals, AliveWeasel of the Weak –> The Monster Who Tortured And Abused This Dog, Teen Who Killed Kitten Only Had to Serve One Year in Prison, Buried Alive Because She Was A Nuisance This Stray Dog Has Become An Inspiration and Copycat Dog Muzzle Duct Taping Crime?.  Even livestock who are ultimately slated to end up on our dinner tables deserve human treatment throughout their lives!

Hopefully, WE, human animals are finally realizing that all animals have value and deserve fair and better treatment, beginning with domesticated animals that we share our lives with. To whom much is given, much is expected! And because we are the most intelligent animals with the largest brain, at least on our planet, we must be much better than we are!

June 15, 2015 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

World’s smallest deer species born at N.Y. zoo

In this May 27, 2015 photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Society, a southern pudu fawn walks in its enclosure at the Queens Zoo in New York. The male southern pudu fawn, the world's smallest deer species, was born May 12 at the Queens Zoo. Southern pudus tend to be around a foot tall at the shoulder. When they're born, they're only 6 inches high, and weigh less than a pound.  Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society/AP

© Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society/AP In this May 27, 2015 photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Society, a southern pudu fawn walks in its enclosure at the Queens Zoo in New York.

AP – NEW YORK — A tiny deer is generating a giant dose of cuteness in New York City.

The Wildlife Conservation Society sent out a baby announcement Monday. It’s a boy!

The southern pudu (POO’-doo) fawn — the world’s smallest deer species — was born May 12 at the Queens Zoo.

The fawn is still nursing but soon will be munching on leaves, grain, kale, carrots and hay.

The white spots on his soft brown fur will disappear as he grows up.

In his case, though, "growing up" won’t be much of a vertical process.

Southern pudus tend to be around a foot tall at the shoulder.

When they’re born, they’re only 6 inches high — and weigh less than a pound.

June 9, 2015 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, Animal Cuteness, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Success Stories, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , | 1 Comment

PETA’s Palin Craziness

https://i1.wp.com/0.tqn.com/d/politicalhumor/1/S/u/K/2/palin-precious-peta.jpg

By Marion Algier – Excerpted from Our Weasel Of The Week Nominees 01-06-15 !! at Ask Marion 

My Weasel of the Week nominee is PETA!! .

Sarah Palin posted a photo of her 6-year-old special needs son, Trig, trying to help with the dishes. Nobody immediately reacted when he said he needed help to reach the sink, so Trig took it upon himself to solve the problem. He stood on the family dog, Jill, a black lab especially trained to be a companion for kids like Trig who suffers from down syndrome.

Trig_Palin_thumb[1] 

When Palin posted the photo, PETA went nuts. Now I’m a dog, an animal lover, but really???

Hmmm… funny thing?!? When Ellen DeGeneres, who doesn’t suffer from Downs or the like, posted virtually the same photo of herself standing on the family dog as a child, there were crickets from PETA and then they nominated her women of the year.

Ellen_thumb[1]

And when President Obama admitted that he ate dog meat as a child in Indonesia there wasn’t a peep either from PETA.

Or how about when New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio dropped the groundhog, who eventually died, at the yearly celebration? I don’t remember a peep from PETA then either.

But like with anything else in today’s climate, if you are a Democrat or a Progressive from either party, you are untouchable and always excused, but if you are a Republican or worse yet, a tea party Republican, you are fair game with a target on your back for anyone or any group to inflict their fake outrage. Just ask former Governor and GOP Presidential Candidate Romney .

But Sarah Palin responded to PETA like only Sarah can!

January 7, 2015 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pets, Service and Military Animals, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Power of Plastic… Horrible

Power of Plastic

The power of plastic! This turtle likely crawled through a discarded plastic ring of a 6-pack of beer or soda when it was a baby, and now is being forever strangled in a plastic hangman’s noose! Share this if you are not OK with it. ‪#‎jeffcorwin‬ ‪#‎recycle‬

August 23, 2014 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal and Pet Photos, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | Leave a comment

Triple Crown… California Chrome Owner Steve Coburn Stands By His Remarks

Steve-Coburn

Steve Coburn, co-owner of California Chrome, told FOXSports.com on Sunday that if he ever wins another Derby he won’t press on to the next two Triple Crown races unless some rules are changed.

Fox: California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn, less than a day after his horse failed to become the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years, is standing by his controversial postrace comments and says that, if the current rules setup is not changed, he will never again race a Kentucky Derby winner in the Preakness Stakes.

“Absolutely, sure. I would win the Kentucky Derby and go home,” Coburn told FOXSports.com by phone Sunday when asked whether he would be hesitant in the future to race a Derby winner in the Preakness, given his now widely publicized stance that only horses that run in those races should be allowed in the Belmont.

Coburn’s rant, broadcast live by NBC to a national audience, was borne of the fact that Belmont winner Tonalist had not raced in either the Derby or the Preakness. “If it had been one of the owners of Ride on Curlin or General a Rod,” Coburn told FOXSports.com, “I’d have been the first to congratulate them, because they’re playing the game. They’re going all the way.”

Video:  Steve Coburn Rant After Losing Belmont | LIVE 6-7-14

As of now, Coburn does not have any plans to fight the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, horse racing’s official body, the Maryland Jockey Club, or the New York Racing Association to change the rule setup, which allows any horse that qualifies for one Triple Crown race to compete in any of them. For now, he’s planning on that fight, in whatever form it may take, coming from the supporters who have texted and called him since he made his comments.

“I’ve gotten hundreds of text messages in my favor,” he said. Coburn also conceding that not everyone supported his stance, saying: “A bunch of them called me an a**hole.”

However, Coburn said he does not ever expect to actually see the rules changed: “Probably not. Probably not.”

Coburn also apologized for comments he made Sunday to Good Morning America that any unfairness in the current setup was akin to “me, at 6-2 … playing basketball with a kid in a wheelchair.”

“I didn’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings about children in wheelchairs because that’s not who I am. ”

California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn, apologizing to comments he made Sunday on "Good Morning America"

“I didn’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings about children in wheelchairs,” he told FOXSports.com, “because that’s not who I am.”

Upon further reflection, Coburn said a more appropriate comparison would be like “Victor Espinoza, our jockey, playing basketball against Wilt Chamberlain. You know who’s going to get more dunks.”

Going into the Kentucky Derby, Coburn admitted that he and his team, which hail from Northern California, didn’t have much of a roadmap beyond the Kentucky Derby, even though his horse was the morning-line favorite.

“We had a plan mapped out for the Kentucky Derby, and that was as far as the plan went,” Coburn said. “So we had to sit down and say, ‘Well, we’re here in Kentucky, Maryland (home of The Preakness) is just right up the road. Let’s see what we have.’

“If California Chrome had not won the Kentucky Derby, we would have gone home.”

Steve Coburn’s Proposal Aside, Belmont Field Is Traditionally Small

NY Times: California Chrome headed back to California after Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, in which he failed to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, but the debate about the format of the three-race series continued.

After the race, the colt’s co-owner told NBC that the system was unfair.

“I’ll never see, and I’m 61 years old, another Triple Crown winner in my lifetime because of the way they do this,” the co-owner Steve Coburn said. “It’s not fair to these horses that have been in the game since day one. If you don’t make enough points to get into the Kentucky Derby, you can’t run in the other two races.”

He continued: “It’s all or nothing because this is not fair to these horses that have been running their guts out for these people and for the people who believe in them. This is a coward’s way out, in my opinion.”

The president of the Maryland Jockey Club, Tom Chuckas, has proposed holding the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday of May, the Preakness on the first Saturday in June, and the Belmont on the first Saturday in July.

 

An estimated crowd of 100,000 attended Belmont Park on Saturday to watch California Chrome run for the Triple Crown.  Credit Matt Slocum/Associated Press

If Coburn’s proposal had been in force, the 2014 Belmont would have been a small field because only four Derby entrants — Ride On Curlin, Medal Count, Commanding Curve and General A Rod — came back against Chrome. Yet, in looking back at the various paths of the previous 11 Triple Crown winners, a small Belmont field is more the rule than the exception, although it has been by choice and not by rule.

The 11 have competed in Belmont fields ranging in size from three (Sir Barton in 1919 and Count Fleet in 1943) to eight (Citation in 1948 and Seattle Slew in 1977). Slew and Secretariat (1973) encountered the largest number of challengers from the Derby — three. War Admiral (1937) faced two Derby rivals; Whirlaway (1941), Assault (1946) and Citation (1948) one; and Sir Barton, Count Fleet, Gallant Fox (1930) and Omaha (1935) none.

 

In becoming the first and only undefeated Triple Crown champion, Seattle Slew is also the first and only to have two foes shadow him in all three races. Slew’s most durable rival was Run Dusty Run, who was second in the Derby, third in the Preakness and second in the Belmont. Run Dusty Run and Sir Sir, 12th in the Derby, took on Seattle Slew in the Preakness. Run Dusty Run and Sir Sir were joined by a third Derby horse in the Belmont, where Slew was a four-length winner. (Slew’s winning streak ended at nine in his next race after the Belmont. He ran fourth in the Swaps Stakes on July 3 at Hollywood Park, losing by 16 lengths to J. O. Tobin, the fourth-place finisher in the Preakness.)

Even though three Derby colts came back to race against Secretariat in the Belmont, only one, Sham, had competed in the Preakness. The other two, Twice a Prince and My Gallant, had passed in order to rest up for the Belmont. In the Belmont, Twice a Prince finished second, My Gallant third and Sham was last in the field of five. Secretariat’s 31-length victory was not only the largest ever for the Belmont, but his time of 2:24 set a new stakes record for the one-and-a-half mile race, a mark that still stands today.

Credit Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Continue reading the main story Slide Show

The 1978 Belmont drew only five starters but featured the greatest Triple Crown rivalry ever between Harbor View Farm’s Affirmed and Calumet Farm’s Alydar. Affirmed was best in the 11-horse Derby field by one-and-a-half lengths over Alydar, with Believe It running third. The seven-horse Preakness was a replay of the Derby, with the three crossing the finish line in the same order, only this time, Alydar was just a neck behind. Believe It opted out of the Belmont, but not Alydar, who battled Affirmed pound for pound and stride for stride in one of the most thrilling stretch drives ever, only to fail by a head at the finish.

War Admiral and Assault both also had one rival in for the long haul. War Admiral’s nemesis was Pompoon, second in the Derby by one-and-three-quarters lengths, second in the Preakness by a head, then sixth in the Belmont. Assault’s shadow was Lord Boswell: fourth in the Derby, second by a neck in the Preakness and fifth in the Belmont.

In all, 34 horses have been eligible to win the Triple Crown coming into the Belmont. Eleven succeeded, but 23 fell short, including three that did not start and one that did not finish. Of the 19 that did, eight lost to newcomers who did not run in either the Derby or Preakness; seven to horses that competed in both races; three to challengers who ran in the Derby but skipped the Preakness; and one to a foe that ran in the Preakness but not the Derby.

Limiting the Belmont field to only those who had competed in both preceding races would likely result in more Triple Crown winners, but it would come with a cost, including diminished stature for the series and a need for an asterisk to explain how the newest Triple Crown champions took a lesser road to victory than their predecessors.

If Chrome had run first Saturday under the current format, it would have shown that he was the best of the best from the 3-year-old class, having conquered foes old and new, fresh and refreshed.

Steve Coburn’s timing might have been bad, but he probably thought he’s never have that large of an audience to pose his objections. Many agree with what Coburn said, at least in theory, and it may be worth considering!!

Related: 

There Will Never Be Another Secretariat: Thank you, Miss Penny 

Horse Nasal Strips… California Chrome gets OK for use in Belmont Leg of Triple Crown 

Palace Malice Wins Third Leg of Triple Crown  (2013)

Run for the Roses (2013)

Two Horses Die at Grand Nationals… Aintree England (2013)

June 9, 2014 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories | 2 Comments

Horse Nasal Strips… California Chrome gets OK for use in Belmont Leg of Triple Crown

Horse nasal strips figured in California Chrome’s surge to victory in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. But until Monday, it wasn’t clear that officials would allow them in his June 7 run for the Belmont Stakes.

California Chrome can bring his nasal strips to Belmont, officials announced Monday.

By  Noelle SwanStaff writer CS Monitor  -  Noelle Swan writes for the national news desk at the Monitor. She previously worked on the Business and Family pages as a writer and editor.

California Chrome, in the midst of a strong bid for the first Triple Crown since 1978, has been given the okay to use a nasal strip for the upcoming Belmont Stakes, after worries…

The three stewards who govern Belmont Park unanimously agreed Monday to allow horses to wear equine nasal strips, according to a joint statement issued by the New York State Gaming Commission and The New York Racing Association.

Chrome’s trainer, Art Sherman, said Sunday that the owners were prepared to pull the horse from the June 7 Belmont Stakes – the third jewel of the Triple Crown – if New York racing officials had refused to grant permission for the horse to wear the adhesive strips.

“The horse has been on a six-race winning streak with nasal strips. I don’t know why they would ban you from wearing one, but we’ll have to cross that bridge when we get there, I guess,” Mr. Sherman told reporters Sunday morning, before the gaming commission and the racing association announced their decision.

Sherman started affixing the nasal strips to the horse’s muzzle at the request of co-owner Perry Martin, ESPN reports.

The nasal strips are similar to those worn by humans to open nasal passages and improve air flow.

“I think it opens up his air passage and gives him that extra little oomph that he needs, especially going a mile and a half,” Sherman explained. “Anytime you can have a good air passage, that means a lot for these thoroughbreds.”

I’ll Have Another, the last horse to win both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, also wore nasal strips, but his handlers had been told he would have to forgo them in the Belmont Stakes, USA Today reports.

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The commission’s thoroughbred rule does not specifically prohibit nasal strips but states, “Only equipment specifically approved by the stewards shall be worn or carried by a jockey or a horse in a race.”

The New York State Gaming Commission issued a statement on Sunday saying it had not yet received a request for the breathing aids from California Chrome’s handlers.

”If a request to use nasal strips is made, the decision on whether to permit them or not will be fully evaluated and determined by the stewards,” the statement read.

Stephen Lewandowski of the gaming commission, one of three stewards in charge of this year’s Belmont Stakes, is new to the post since the ruling on I’ll Have Another’s request, according to USA Today.

Related stories

May 20, 2014 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Pet Events, pet products, Success Stories, Unusual Stories | 3 Comments

Dog that can read teaches kids how to read

dog-reading

KIMT.com – Cross-Posted at CBS12.com: ALBERT LEA, Minn. – From guiding the blind to comforting the sick, dogs are known to do some amazing things. But a local teacher has taught her canine companion a very unique skill and she’s using it to help teach her students a valuable lesson, CBS affiliate KIMT reports. See video HERE

In Peggy Bennett’s first grade classroom, reading rules.

“What do you need to do to get better at reading?” Peggy asked the students. “Read, read, read!” the entire class replied. “Read, read, read, you have to practice,” Peggy said.

This week, the students got a reading lesson that goes beyond books. She’s getting some help from her savvy Shiloh Shepard named Coulter. Peggy has taught Coulter how to read.

Peggy holds up cards with printed words one them, including “paw,” “sit,” and “down.” Coulter follows the commands on the cards. Peggy trains Coulter by first pairing verbal commands with the printed words. She eventually removes the verbal commands. Peggy says Coulter recognizes the shape of the words.
“I thought it was amazing. I had no idea that a dog had that big of a brain,” said Nicholas Belshan, a student in Peggy’s class.

Peggy says Coulter is a quick study.

“I would say, within about two days he started to get the idea of what it was and then it took probably another two days to get it down pretty well,” said Peggy.

She believes bringing her perceptive pooch to the classroom helps instill positive habits in her students and also helps her reach the kids on a whole new level.

You can teach the mind, the brain, and kids will learn. But if you get the human component and they connect to you through animals or whatever, you can get so much more learning. And so that’s why I do it,” said Peggy.

Peggy is a teacher at Sibley Elementary School in Albert Lea. 

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

May 20, 2014 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Success Stories, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures, Working and Military Dogs and Related | 1 Comment

BLM… Bureau of Land Management, Confirms It Killed Six of Bundy’s Cattle

The Bureau of Land Management is confirming it killed six cattle as part of its standoff against the Bundy Ranch in Bunkersville, NV.

Breitbart.com: “A total of six cattle died or were euthanized,” a BLM official told Breitbart News. (We would venture to guess that it turns out to be a lot more than 6!)

The official listed the dead livestock cataloged by the BLM explaining, “The Bundy branded bull that was euthanized posed a significant threat to employees during the gather. The Bundy branded cow ran into a fence panel injuring its spine and was euthanized.” The dead animals listed by the official were:

  • 1 Bundy branded bull was euthanized
  • 1 Bundy branded cow was euthanized
  • 1 unbranded bull was euthanized
  • 1 unbranded cow was euthanized
  • 1 unbranded bull died
  • 1 unbranded cow died

According to the BLM, the gather was based on recent court orders. “Most recently, in 2013, in two separate orders, the U.S. District Court of Nevada directed Mr. Bundy to remove his cattle within 45 days, and authorized the United States to impound his cattle,” said the official.

The Bundy Ranch Facebook page, run by Bundy’s daughter Bailey Bundy Logue, posted photos of dead cattle from a mass grave, which they say belong to the Bundy Ranch, a few days after the BLM impoundment and called the agency’s actions “unjust.” The Bundy Ranch claim the cows and bulls were either “run to death” or shot.

The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals weighed in on the situation as well telling Breitbart News in a statement, “These animals shouldn’t be killed either by the government, or by the rancher who plans to send the cows off to slaughter. The best thing anyone can do to stop the suffering of animals is to go vegan.”

The Bundy family has refused to stop allowing their cattle to graze on federally-owned land, saying the federal government does not have any authority over them. The impasse led to a tense standoff last-week in which both federal agents and Bundy supporters had sniper rifles trained on each others. The government ultimately backed down, at least for now.

Related:

Putin Gets the Best of Obama… Again – Updated 

The Right Picture (Graphic) Is Worth More Than a 1000 Words

Video: OK Militia of 50,000 Stands Beside Bundy Ranch Against the Feds

Bundy Family Members Appear With Greta on ‘On the Record’ Discussing New Evidence That Feds Killed Their Cattle (Video)

The Western States: A Return To Sovereignty

Wildlands Project, Agenda 21, and its Future Enforcers (hardly just the Bundy Ranch)

Did Feds Kill Bundy Rancher Cattle, Destory Water Tanks and Run Over Tortoise Dens?

Senator Harry Reid: the Cattle Rustler

Statists Call For Drone Strike on Bundy Supporters

Diamond Bar Ranch in NM Seized by US Forest Service

AGENDA 21 – THE FOUR PART PROCESS

Did Reid postpone Bundy ranch seizure until after 2016 elections?

Plot Behind Bundy Ranch Showdown Thickens

BLM Whistleblower Reveals Financial Motive Behind Bundy Ranch Raid

Alert: BLM committed animal atrocities, shot cows from helicopters, constructed mass graves at Bundy Ranch

BLM Rounding Up Wild Horses, Sending To Slaughterhouse In Canada

April 23, 2014 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Stop Animal Cruelty, Unusual Stories | 2 Comments

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