The Boston Museum of Fine Art’s Newest Employee

Meet Riley! (Looks a bit like Bodhi, no?)

He’s the newest member of the museum’s Protective Services staff. According to Art News Riley will “be trained to inspect museum objects, sitting down in front of them if he smells moths or other bugs, which can cause damage, especially to textile, wood, or other organic materials.”

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Officer Riley, Reporting for Duty (Photo Courtesy: Boston Museum of Fine Arts)

The Museum staff say:

“We use an integrated pest management approach, which means that we do not use pesticides but rather address the symptoms that cause the presence of pests—including pests’ opportunity to enter and leave the building; their food source; and the climate conditions that support their ability to survive,”

Riley Meets the Press. Riley is Unimpressed. (Photo Courtesy: The Boston Museum of Fine Arts)

It’ll be Riley’s job to sniff new objects when they first arrive at the museum.

You can read more here from Art News.

Two Breeds Join the List of AKC-Recognized Dogs

The American Kennel Club is welcoming two new dogs to its list of recognized breeds. That will make them eligible to compete in dog shows staring in 2018.

The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje, or “Kooiker,” is a spaniel-type hunting dog. Kooikers originated in Europe hundred of years ago as duck-hunting dogs. The Kooiker will be a member of the sporting group. The AKC has also recognized the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, originally a rabbit-hunting dog from France. They wil compete in the hound group.

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Nederlandse Kooikerhondje and Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen (Photo Courtesy: American Kennel Club)

The two breeds bring the total number of AKC-recognized breeds to 192.

Here’s more from the New York Post.

PS. The AKC’s Meet the Breeds event is coming up in New York City in February. Click here to learn more.

JFK’s Ark is Struggling

The Ark at JFK, a one-year-old animal boarding facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport, is in trouble. It appears, after one year of business, that revenues are 90% down from initial projections. Crains reports:

“The Ark at JFK is in imminent danger of shutting down,” its owner claims in a state lawsuit filed this week in Queens that pins the blame for the project’s woes on its landlord, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The Ark contends it was granted the exclusive right to provide shelter and veterinary services to all pets, livestock and birds passing through JFK in return for investing $65 million to transform a vacant cargo building into a state-of-the-art, 178,000-square-foot animal hotel. However, the suit says, the Port Authority has steered most animal traffic to another facility it owns two hours north, in Newburgh, that is leased to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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This Pooch Waits for His Flight at the Ark (Photo Courtesy: The Ark at JFK)

The filers of the suit speculate that the facility is Newburgh is more attractive to customers because it doesn’t require driving through New York traffic to get there.

Here’s more from Crain’s. And here’s Urban Dog’s first story about the Ark

Dog Snatched By Eagle. Survives!

A little Bichon Frise named Zoey is lucky she didn’t end up as eagle chow!

The eight-pound dog was snatched from her yard last week by a eagle. Her frantic owners drove around their neighbor and scoured nearby woods in search of Zoey without any luck. Little did they know that she had managed to escape the raptor’s claws. US News and World Report says:

Zoey’s rescuer was Christina Hartman, 51, who said she was driving on a snow-covered back road when she spotted a furry white lump ahead and pulled over to investigate. “I notice this little frozen dog, icicles hanging from all over. It could hardly move,” Hartman said. She scooped up the whimpering pooch, wrapped her in a blanket and took her home, feeding the dog two bowls of chicken-and-rice soup… Hartman noticed several small wounds on the back of her neck, and the dog walked with a limp. She had no collar.

Eventually Hartman spotted a Facebook post about Zoey’s disappearance and she was reunited with her family.

Zoey After Her Scary Airborne Adventure

Here’s more from US News and World Report.

Doggo

“Doggos” are the latest social media trend.

Apparently “doggo” is internet-speak for “dog,” as in “Check out my cute doggo on my Instagram!” or “This doggo has his own Facebook page.”

The NY Post reports that doggo has “gotten so popular that the dictionary deciders at Merriam-Webster have taken note. In a story published to M-W’s website, its editors deemed ‘doggo’ a ‘Word We’re Watching’ in the coming year.”

However the word “doggo” is actually not a product of the digital age, it dates from 19th-century slang and literature. The Post says “To ‘lie doggo’ meant to hide or fly under the radar, like a dozing dog. In the 20th century, the word became a loose synonym for dog, similar to how it’s being used today.”

Merriam-Webster credits WeRateDogs for the recent explosion in the word’s use. Here’s more from Merriam-Webster.  Here’s a link to the WeRateDogs Twitter account. And here’s more from the Post.

Dogs are Smarter than Cats. Duh.

Here’s another one in our series of things-dog-owners-already-knew-and-really-weren’t-waiting-for-scientists-to-confirm: dogs are smarter than cats.

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Our Neighbors’ Cats Sure are Cute, but They’re Not Smarter than Bodhi

National Geographic reports:

Dogs, it turns out, have about twice the number of neurons in their cerebral cortexes than what cats have, which suggests they could be about twice as intelligent… In the dogs’ brains researchers found about 500 million neurons, more than double the 250 million found in cats’ brains. Based on the number of neurons found, they speculated that dogs have roughly the same intelligence as raccoons and lions, while domestic cats have comparable intelligence to bears.

For comparison: humans have the highest number of neurons, about 16 billion, in their cerebral cortexes.

Here’s more from Nat Geo.

The Tail:

And to bring things to a close, here’s a Siberian Husky puppy howling for the first time. Why? Because there’s very little that’s cuter than Siberian Husky Puppies howling for the first time. Don’t believe me? Google it. It’s a meme that’s all over the inter-webs!

Those doggos are totes adorbs! (See what I did there?)

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