Pet Me Happy Blog

Sat 24, Jun, 2017
These beagles are rescue dogs.
‘Beverly Hillbillies’ Star Owned My First Rescue Dog

When I turned 7 years old, my father, who instilled my love of animals by taking me via stroller to the West Los Angeles Animal Shelter on a regular basis, told me he wanted to adopt a rescue dog for our family.

My dad had grown up with a menagerie of animals he had rescued from the streets of Cleveland, and had spent most of his summers visiting relatives who were farmers in rural Ohio. I was elated he thought I was responsible enough to care for a dog!

My parents contacted the Tailwaggers Club of Beverly Hills nearby and applied to adopt a beagle.

Nancy Kulp was not a rescue dog.

Nancy Kulp, circa 1960s.

A few days later, they received a call from actress Nancy Kulp.

At the time Kulp was starring on “The Beverly Hillbillies,” a popular TV sitcom that ran on CBS from 1962 until 1971. Kulp played Miss Jane Hathaway, the irascible, snooty secretary to Mr. Drysdale, the uptight Beverly Hills banker and financial advisor who tried to “civilize” the backwoods Clampett family.

Patriarch Jed Clampett (Buddy Ebsen) had struck oil (“Texas tea”) in their Ozarks hollow, became a millionaire, and moved his family from their shack to a mansion in Beverly Hills.

Among the show’s running gags was Mr. Drysdale’s failed attempts to keep the Clampetts from foolishly spending their newfound wealth, while usually making a fool of himself in the process.

“The Beverly Hillbillies” was built on a classic fish-out-of-water premise, the gap between unsophisticated hillbilly and sophisticated urbanite hilariously exaggerated, funny even without the canned laugh track.

I was a big fan, as if you couldn’t tell.

The ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ Star’s Beagles

On the phone, Kulp told my parents she was getting ready to shoot a film overseas and would be away for more than a year. She wanted someone to adopt her two beagles rather than take them with her on location.

These beagles are rescue dogs.I couldn’t wait to meet her and her dogs! My family drove to her Beverly Hills home, which looked almost like the mansion in the sitcom. She interviewed my mom and dad for almost an hour while my younger brother and I cavorted in the yard with the beagles.

Kulp insisted she did not want to separate the dogs. They were mother and daughter and had never been apart. However, my mom had reservations about taking both, mainly because the mother beagle’s name was Sydney, sounding the same as my dad’s. Mom was worried that every time she called “Sidney!” the dog would come running to her in response. And probably get there faster than Dad.

After I pleaded with my parents to take both dogs, they relented and asked Kulp if we could have a two-week trial period before making a commitment to adopt both. She agreed and we took the two dogs home. Now my brother and I were each responsible for feeding, walking and loving an animal!

Tailwaggers Club – Bette Davis Eyes for Animals

Part of that responsibility meant learning a little about The Tailwaggers Club. My dad told us it was a charity organization founded way back in the early 1900s with the mission of advancing animal welfare. The Club’s motto: “I help my pals.”

tailwaggers-medallionWe read up more on The Tailwaggers Club. It was an early pet registry and philanthropic community founded in England in 1915 that grew quickly, especially after actress and world-famous Hollywood movie star Bette Davis was elected as president of Southern California’s branch in 1929.

Davis used her celebrity to share her passion for animals and helped raise awareness of animal welfare issues, as well as large sums of money from other famous animal lovers like Howard Hughes and Walt Disney. The Tailwaggers Club, in turn, donated large sums to worthy pet hospitals and shelters.

By 1930, Tailwaggers had almost a million human members in the U.S., the U.K., Korea, Iraq, Persia and New Zealand.

In 1960, Spiller’s Pet Food bought the club, registered it as The Tailwaggers Club Trust, and began to administer funds to support animal welfare. The current Tailwaggers Foundation carries on the tradition.

Actors and Others for Animals

Much later I learned that Tailwaggers was a precursor to Actors and Others for Animals, which was founded in 1971, and has been one of my favorite nonprofit animal welfare groups. Actor Richard Basehart and his wife Diana, Doris Day and a handful of other animal advocates founded A&O, as members call it. The organization had the early support of many well-known L.A. residents, among them Mayor Tom Bradley, Lucille Ball and Ricky Nelson.

Rescue dog advocate Jo Anne Worley, president of Actors and Others for Animals.

Jo Anne Worley, president of Actors and Others for Animals.

Peabody award-winning newsman Dick Carlson became the first Actors and Others for Animals president. Through his gripping ABC documentary “Pounds of Sadness” Carlson exposed the inhumane animal shelter conditions that existed throughout greater Los Angeles.

By 1972, A&O had launched an aggressive campaign to abolish decompression chambers as a tool of the trade from all area animal shelters. A year later, the group began pushing L.A. County officials to approve setting up low-cost spay and neuter facilities as a way to help reduce the county’s pet overpopulation.

Around the same time, A&O launched a successful effort to fight animal abuse and cruelty in the film business. Members urged boycotts of movies in which animals were harmed during production. This is when you started to see the disclaimer “No animals were harmed in the production of this motion picture” in the end credits of films.

A&O also backed a successful campaign to convince L.A.  County to stop supplying shelter animals to government agencies or private researchers for scientific experimentation.

Over the years the org has done much more to advocate and protect animals, and is still going strong, with Jo Anne Worley of “Laugh In” fame serving as its president.

The Story of a Rescue Dog Named Pippa

Getting back to the story of my first rescue dog, almost as soon as my parents and brother and I got home from Nancy Kulp’s house with her Beverly Hills beagles, my mother’s fear came to roost. The older dog did run to her every time she called “Sidney!” for my dad.

Pack of beagles from Caynsham in 1885, a safe place for a rescue dog.

A pack of beagles from Caynsham readies for the hunt, 1885. (Wikimedia Commons)

So Mom and Dad decided to adopt only the younger dog. Fortunately, when they contacted Kulp she graciously agreed to take Sydney back, and to let us adopt the daughter, Pippa, so everything worked out okay.

Like all pure-breed beagles, Pippa was small in stature, beautifully marked, muscular and extremely hardy. She was an active, playful, fun loving, devoted and merry hound who let her nose be her guide, and was never happier than when following an interesting scent.

The beagle is a hunting breed with the instinct to chase, in the tradition of the famous beagle packs of the 1800s. They’re known for loyalty to their human family members and do exceptionally well with children of all ages. With loads of energy and a happy personality, they can spend hours playing fetch or rolling around with young ones.

Rescue Dog Oaxaca, Marilyn Eisenberg's Labrador Retriever

Rescue Dog Oaxaca, Marilyn Eisenberg’s Labrador Retriever.

Pippa became my protector, playmate and companion. She slept in my bedroom on the floor next to my bed, lived for her daily long walks, and never left my side. She lived to be 16 and continues to visit me in my dreams.

She was my first rescue dog. Since then, I have been fortunate to rescue 10 other phenomenal dogs, including my most recent family member, Oaxaca, a gorgeous female black Lab. I have friends and acquaintances who were able to rescue many more.

It’s not surprising humans like us adopt rescue pets more than once, and often more than one at a time. It feels really good.

When you rescue any animal, it’s a double blessing: While you provide your newfound pet with hope, a home, love and companionship, you also learn very quickly that you are the one who was rescued.

Marilyn Eisenberg is a nationally exhibited fine artist, award-winning educator, published writer, art/design consultant and public relations/marketing specialist to Fortune 100 companies, nonprofit organizations and private clients. She has been rescuing Labrador Retrievers since the 1980s.

Article: ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ Star Owned My First Rescue Dog
Category: Pet Tales
Author: Marilyn Eisenberg

‘Beverly Hillbillies’ Star Owned My First Rescue Dog

Wed 07, Jun, 2017
Border collie barks and uses body language to communicate with humans.
Five Ways Dogs Use Body Language to Talk with Humans

Your dog has better communication skills than you might think; new technology may help dog trainers understand how dogs use body language even more

We know dogs use body language as one way to communicate with us humans, but have you ever wondered what your pet was really thinking?

I’m sure you’d agree that life as a dog owner would be a lot easier if we could all read a dog’s mind.

Scientists and professional dog trainers alike are researching ways to help us better understand our dogs’ wants and needs.

Border collie barks and shows how dogs use body language to communicate with humans.The Duke Canine Cognition Center is a leader in such research. Dedicated to investigating “the flexibility and limitations of dog cognition,” the Center (part of Duke University’s Department of Evolutionary Anthropology) invites dog-owners in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina to enroll their pets in problem-solving game activities, with dog treats as rewards.

The Center’s researchers have found that dogs have “an unusual ability to read human communicative intentions. Just like children, dogs are highly attuned to our gestures, and they can use this ability in novel situations to flexibly assess what we want.”

Since a dog can probably pick up on a human’s body language and cues faster than a human can learn all the dog’s, here are five ways to help us humans catch up on our clairvoyance…

How Dogs Use Body Language

  • Watch your dog’s ear position, facial tension, tail carriage, pupil dilation and other physical clues to learn whether he is angry, submissive, calm or frightened.
  • The wrinkles in your dog’s forehead are particularly revealing. A tensed-up or relaxed brow can indicate confusion or comprehension.
  • Your dog’s stance is important. He is showing submission if he is crouching or lying down. If his head is held high he is alert and ready for action. Angry dogs shift their weight forward to intimidate enemies.
  • A wagging or limp tail is an easy clue to a dog’s mood. A rapidly wagging tail means he’s happy and ready to play. A drooping tail indicates weariness or depression.
  • A hanging tongue or a slightly opened mouth means happiness. Clenched teeth and a wrinkled nose are signs of anger and aggression.

We may not learn all the nuances of dog language anytime soon. But pet owners and professional trainers can only benefit from noticing the many ways dogs communicate with us.

New Technology Could Improve Mental Telepathy with Your Dog

Since human speech is probably impossible for canines to master (except maybe Brian the dog on the animated “Family Guy” TV show), and people don’t usually bark very well, improving mental telepathy between man and beast might seem like the best avenue to pursue.

Taking it another step further, how about if your dog’s thoughts could be were translated into human speech by some kind of high-tech electronic device?

Sound like the stuff of sci-fi, doesn’t it?

Dog Body Language Device No More Woof

Not to the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery (NCID). They’re working to do just that right now.

This Scandinavian research unit is developing a device called No More Woof that analyzes a dog’s brain waves and translates them into intelligible thought patterns.

Its headset – available in small, medium and large sizes – fits on your pup’s head and picks up basic mental states like hunger and tiredness. Then the device spells out the thought patterns in human language using a small loudspeaker.

NCID has been raising funds for this ambitious project and posted a promotional video explaining its goals.

It remains to be seen if new technology like this can truly unlock the secrets of dog training. Meanwhile, we’ll just have to rely on learning our dogs’ body language.

Barry Alfonso has written songs recorded by Johnny Cash, Pam Tillis and Olivia Newton-John, contributed articles to Rolling Stone and the Los Angeles Times and earned a Grammy Award for music journalism. He is currently active as a personal historian, freelance author and faithful servant to his cat Clarence.

Article: Five Ways Dogs Use Body Language to Talk with Humans
Category: Pet Training Tips
Author: Barry Alfonso

Five Ways Dogs Use Body Language to Talk with Humans