Gates Police and Fire rescue duckling from storm grate (video)

Screenshot of body camera footage showing Gates Police and Fire coming to the rescue of a baby duckling trapped in a storm grate. Click to see the whole video.

 In an age where police are wearing body cameras, often as a way to have a record in potentially volitional situations, it's nice to take a moment to view some of that video and get the warm fuzzies.Duckling fuzzies, to be exact.Here's officer body cam footage from the Gates Police Department, a suburb of Rochester, NY.  Officer Shawn Omara and some members of the Gates Fire Dept. came to the rescue of a baby duckling who had fallen through a storm grate. In the video, you can … [Read more...]

Rochester Institute of Technology’s 3rd Annual Dog Walk

Some hot dogs out for the charity dog walk!

This Saturday, I spent the morning with my fellow Rescue Pit volunteers at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) 3rd Annual Dog Walk for Charity. Students and faculty - and their dogs - walked a course through campus to raise money. This year's recipients were Rescue Pit and Kitten Korner. (You can see the kittens in this post.)I don't know yet how much money was raised, but here are some photos of the event. Thanks, RIT students and faculty, for your generous gift of time and money to … [Read more...]

Researchers develop cloaking device – for real!

Whenever I'm asked what super power I wish I had, flying and invisibility are usually at the top of the list. The ability to just leap into the air and soar like a bird satisfies a deep desire for total freedom.But invisibility? Now that's real freedom.  To be in a room and be able enjoy what's going on without having to actually participate - or feel like I'm the obvious wallflower - would certainly appeal to introverts like me.Turns out that might not be such a crazy thought. Right he … [Read more...]

Meggie the lost dog comes home – nine months after she disappeared

For nine months, dog lovers in and around Rochester, NY kept tabs on Meggie the missing sheltie. This week, Meggie came home!

On July 1, 2012, while her owners, Jennie Lloyd and Connie Gates, were away on a trip to London, Meggie the sheltie escaped from the dogsitter and has been on the run ever since.Yesterday, Meggie came home.It was a long nine months. Her owners have made desperate pleas to the public for information. They put up fliers around town, posted information on Craigslist, and contacted animals shelters and veterinarian offices and police offices. They kept in contact with rescue groups and mail c … [Read more...]

Bloodhounds, the most feared dogs on earth?

The text of the article

I was at my alma mater St. John Fisher College yesterday for a day long conference on Frederick Douglass and Ireland. Scattered around the room where actual issues of Douglass' newspapers. I love history, and am always fascinated by the way the past mirrors the present. I'll talk more about abolition later this week, but today I just wanted to share an animal-related thought that jumped out at me as I read the stories from the 1850s.In one of the papers - and my stupid camera phone took such … [Read more...]

Indigo, Orphan pups and a gift of Mercy – a heartwarming dog rescue tale

Living up to her name, Mercy accepts The Orphans and offers them a chance at survival. (photo courtesy Pitty Love Rescue)

Here in Rochester, NY we're fortunate to have a wonderful animal group, Pitty Love Rescue, that does remarkable work rescuing, rehabing and rehoming pit bulls and pit mixes. They, along with other great groups in our area, are advocates for responsible dog ownership and a well-trained dog community. There are sad stories - puppy mills, overcrowded shelters, abandoned dogs. Working in the inner city, and especially with such a misunderstood breed, can really take its toll on volunteers.So I ju … [Read more...]

Can dogs be introverted or extroverted?

Scout, Bandit and Bailey - can you tell by looking at them which is the introvert and which is the extrovert? Can a dog even be an introvert or extrovert?

Not long ago, I did a post reflecting on Susan Cain’s book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking," musing on how I'm an introvert and what that means in my life. I got a lot of feedback from other introverts who were happy to have someone speak up on their behalf.Then my editor asked me an interesting question: can animals be introverted or extroverted?Cain addresses that issue very briefly in the book, citing research done on guppies in an attempt to unders … [Read more...]

We Are Not Alone – a quick visit to the Planetarium

The giant 3D model of the moon; the light passes over it every minute to show the phases. There's a little stepstool underneath so children can reach up to touch the moon. To a schoolchild, it can be aweinspiring.

I had a meeting today and I was running early, so I made a completely spontaneous stop at the Strasenburgh Planetarium. I really can't tell you why I stopped, just that spur of the moment decision when you're driving one way and then suddenly find yourself sitting in the parking lot of some place you hadn't intended to go. I didn't know when the shows happened or what the shows even are nowadays. But it turns out that you can wander around the displays at the Planetarium for free, playin … [Read more...]

Tragedy visited Webster, NY but we move on – together

west webster patch

Early on the morning of Christmas Eve, tragedy visited the small town of Webster, NY, when a madman set fire to a house and a car, luring first responders to the scene and then gunning them down in cold blood. What ensued were hours of confusion and chaos as SWAT teams descended on the small spit of land, a two lane road bordered on one side by Irondequoit Bay and the other by Lake Ontario, chasing the gunman, evacuating neighbors, and retrieving the bodies of shooting victims. Firefighters, una … [Read more...]

5 reasons to obey the leash law (yes, I’m talking to you)

Bandit and I on a walk in Corbett's Glen in Brighton, NY.

I took my dog Bandit for a walk today in Corbett's Glen, a nature park here in the suburbs of our hometown of Rochester, NY. In general, I avoid walking in the woods by myself. It's kind of scary for me. I prefer the cemetery. For whatever reason, I feel less alone among the dead. But we've been exploring new places to romp and someone told me this was a great trailWhen I walk Bandit in the woods or the cemetery, he's usually on a long training lead. That gives him more than ample room to … [Read more...]