2007 - the Year in Pets

BlogHer Original Post

Edit, 12/24/2007: Before we get started, and as long as you promise to come back, hie thee to the Loving Pet Owners Rule:Merry Christmas Open Thread.

Really, it's good - currently 14,266 photos of rabbits, horses, cats and dogs (of course) and who knows who else, from people who are clearly just a little bit fond of their pets and want to share it with the (Flickring) world. Here's a note from the administrator:

Well, it looks like Christmas is upon us! And everyone is sending in the most beautiful photos I have seen here. Thank you, everyone, for making this group what is is! A fantastic celebration of our animal companions and what we share with them. All of the pets here are so well loved....and thank God for that. This is the way it should be. Merry Christmas Everyone! I do have to tell you all that I and our other administrators will only be here part time for Christmas. We'll be back asap!

Now, back to our previously - and regularly - scheduled pet blog update.

'Twas a busy year in the pet blogosphere, yes it was. From the unfortunate Michael Vick dogfighting conviction to the extensive pet food recall after tainted gluten was thought to be the cause for a string of companion animal deaths, pets were on the nightly news and in blogs on a daily basis throughout 2007. As a year-end wrap-up I thought I'd do a quick scan and see how the stories are shaping up, and share a few extra treats (totally not intentional, that one.) as a last shot at some holiday cheer.

The Washington Post printed this timeline of the pet and human food recalls last week, including the execution of a Chinese food and drug official in July for reportedly accepting bribes from manufacturers. Sophia Cao at China Digital Times posted a quote from Joel Martinsen: "Lessons from Zheng Xiaoyu: "Don't be an Official in an Important Position"

Marvelous A in Wyoming had this to say about Xiaoyu's execution:

I have to give appalled, sarcastic kudos to China for their policy to execute corrupt officials like Zheng Xiaoyu, former head of the State Food and Drug administration, who accepted bribes to approve unsafe medication. If we did that here in the States, we'd wind up having to execute everybody whose name was ever on a ballot. Except for, you know, a few people who've run for school board.

Emily Huh at Itchmo maintains a category on safety following the food recall and the more recent worries about lead in pet toys.

Atlanta Falcons player Michael Vick was sentenced on December 10 to 23 months in prison for the dogfighting operation on his Virginia property, and eventually admitted to hanging two dogs whereas he had previously denied involvement in any killings. The dogs are now dispersing to sanctuaries, rescue groups and shelters around the country.

SackVick.net is blog devoted to all matters related to Vick, his dogfighting operation, conviction and the future of his NFL career. (Please don't let it continue, SackVick says.

I also liked Jennifer's post at The Message in response to the sentencing, especially her forthright statements about the role race played in the case and who the real victims were - the dogs. Agree or not, the writing, it is good. (*Graphic photo of one of the BadNewz pitbulls post-fight accompanies the post. Upsetting.)

Which brings me to the nature of Vick’s crimes. Vick wasn’t trying to raise money to get his mama up out the hood. He wasn’t self-medicating himself with dogfighting because he couldn’t afford $1,380 worth of mental health drugs every month4. He wasn’t fighting dogs to avenge his family’s honor or raise money for his neighborhood, or send his children to college. He was fighting dogs because…wait, why was a $130 million Pro Bowl quarterback fighting dogs again? If hard pressed, you can defend a whole lot of crimes, even murder. But dogfighting?

And now for some more recent - and more uplifting - pet updates.

Pet Connection launched DogCars.com, and just announced that they've rated the Honda Element the best car on the road for dog lovers.

Element is as good a DogCar as could possibly be imagined. From its versatile interior to its anti-noseprint windows, everything about the Honda Element has dog-lovers howling with happiness. The easy-to-clean Element is a near-perfect DogCar with just the right canine chemistry.

Available in three trim lines: the rugged LX, refined EX and the sporty SC — all of which features an inline four cylinder engine that produces 166 horsepower. Easy on the fuel-sipping, too!

Other cars receiving high marks were the Suzuki Forenza wagon as the Best DogCarsValue, the Scion xB, Volvo XC70, Dodge Grand Caravan and Buick Enclave. For a green - and canine-friendly - vehicle, check out the 2008 Ford Escape hybrid.

With Christmas two days away and the weather changing all over the place, this is a good time to check out holiday safety tips for your pets if you haven't already. I rushed my dog to the vet yesterday after a bad seizure. He's had them for several years, but this was a doozy. The vet told me that they are more likely to occur when things are more stressful and changing around the house, and this was surely true for us: my sister is home from California, all of the furniture in the living room is switched around for the tree, and the comings and goings are more frequent than usual. I don't know if stress was the whole reason behind it, but it's a good idea to look out for your pets' routines when the holiday schedules blow up.

"Dear Santa" wishlists from pets are over at the Pet Connection blog,and they're a lot of fun to read. Susan of Fox Studio Pet Portraits sent this wish on behalf of her collie Niki.

I want my mom and dad available 24/7, so I can keep an eye on them, you know, that Lassie thing. Oh,wait, they both work at home and almost always take me with them when they go out. Guess I’m mostly there on that one.

Ok, how about all the cat food, cheese and pizza crust I can eat anytime I want it? Please oh please please please

Niki the collie boy

Oh, yeah, and you can bring home more of those kittens to foster. LOVE those little guys!

Here are a couple of the kittens Susan and Niki fostered this year.

The Flickr "Dogs in Costume" pool is overrun with holiday-style cuteness. Santa hats for everyone, apparently.

And finally, Eden Kennedy has a new bulldog, PeeWee, who is just adorable hanging out by the Christmas tree.My friend Joanna is doing some fine holiday cat blogging including this shot of Snickerdoodle on the dining room table.

And drop by Tracy's place at Sweetney.com for a lot of Truman-the-pug Christmas love (the wreath photo, how it kills me,) topped off with today's post about Fox News pilfering one of Truman's pictures and using it in a newscast, thereby making him a part of their media operation against his will.

And honestly? would it be a 2007 pet post without an LolCats shout-out? I think not. Lots of holiday-themed kitty macros over at Flickr, if you're into them. (And I know you probably are, like it or not.)

See any other holiday-style pet pictures in your Web travels? Please post them in the comments so we can all see! Happy new year, and I'll see you in 2008 with more pet blog updates.

Laurie White blogs at LaurieWrites

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