Dogs and Sports

Since the dawn of professional and collegiate sports there have always been names for teams inspired by animals. Bengals, Bears, Falcons, even Horned Frogs to name a few. So, it only makes sense that a man’s favorite past time should also include man’s best friend right? For many sports like football, basketball, and baseball, they chose to bring the two together.

First Energy Stadium, the home of the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are the only team named after a dog, specifically, a bull mastiff. Photo taken from

First Energy Stadium, the home of the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are the only team in the NFL named after a dog, specifically, a bull mastiff. Photo taken from

Football is widely considered the most popular sport in the United States and we are the only country to actually have a professional league (besides Canada’s CFL) for it. Originally it started from colleges like Yale and Harvard although the rules were slightly different. After its popularity spread like wildfire, teams began to spring up and one of the first with a dog mascot was the University of Georgia. Their original mascot was named Trilby, a female bull terrier. The origin of the name “bulldogs” for the university is still disputed and it wasn’t until almost fifty years after Trilby’s retirement when a bulldog was crowned the new mascot for Georgia. His name was Mr. Angel. After him, it was officially settled that the team would be known as the Georgia Bulldogs and now Uga VIII, a descedant of a long line of Georgia mascots, is reigning supreme mascot. Uga the eighth had seven predecessors bearing not only the same name, but the same pride and school spirit for the University of Georgia. I’m a fan of Uga and have actually included him in a speech about college sports for one of my university classes.

“In Athens, Georgia, an English bulldog by the name of Uga has been a longstanding representation for his school, the Georgia Bulldogs. He is just like any other bulldog lazy and calm, however, he gets to relax on the sideline of one of the biggest names in college football. He’s treated like royalty and gets a Nike jersey made just for him. The name Uga has been passed down for eight generations and actually stands for the University of Georgia. (UGA)” -Lazarus Gomez

UGA VIII, University of Georgia Mascot. Photo tajen from

UGA VIII, University of Georgia Mascot. Photo taken from

Bulldogs are actually one of the most sought after dogs for sports team mascots. High school and college teams frequently use English bulldogs to represent their school due to their ferocious appearance yet lovable nature. There are over 100 schools bearing the name Bulldog including my alma mater, the Las Cruces High School Bulldawgs.

Dogs go hand and hand with sports so well that there have even been sports created for canines to participate in. A popular yet somewhat frowned upon sport is greyhound racing. Although the practice is legal in many states, many question the well-being of the dogs and the treatment they are subjected to from their owners. There are organizations in various states that oppose these races and look towards caring for these dogs as pets rather than using them for sport. Nonetheless, Greyhounds are incredibly fast and powerful and it’s obvious why people would want to see them race. Thus, they have a sport created specifically for these magnificent dogs.


A racing Greyhound in mid-stride.

Greyhounds definitely aren’t the only canines that compete in sporting events. The Westminster Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club are just two of the large organizations that host annual competitions for dogs to compete in. At these kennel club gatherings dogs star in confirmation shows, rallys, agility, tracking and even field events. Trainers work relentlessly to fine tune their dogs to be the best in their respective field/events. Other events that these pets compete in range from Best of Breed all the way up to the Best of Show. The diversity of the dogs that compete is immense. Anything from a Golden Retriever to a St. Bernard can be found at these prestigious shows.  The latest winner of the agility competition at the WKC show was a Border Collie named Tex. However, the Best in Show winner was CJ, a Pointer (German Shorthaired). Awards and even cash prizes are given to winners of events and the popularity of these shows are ever growing.


A large dog being judged based on its composition, grooming, and breed at Kennel Club show.

Many star athletes would be nothing without their K-9 companions accompanying them at home. Pro athletes have been known to even bring along their pets to the team locker rooms for games and practices. Super star David Ortiz from the Boston Red Sox is known for loving tiny dogs. He visits the animal rescue shelter in Boston and openly promotes adoptions in the area.  An article was written on about the star participating in an ad campaign for Pedigree dog food. Ortiz said,  “I couldn’t imagine a day without my dogs Foxxy and Happy. It’s amazing to see how they have not only transformed our family, but also each other.”

David Ortiz isn’t the only athlete that loves animals. PETA had an ad campaign featuring many tattooed professional athletes like Dennis Rodman, Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson, and Le’Veon Bell to help get a message out. The campaign used the slogan, “Ink, not mink,” which utilized the athletes’ fame to gain attention on the issue of killing animals for their fur. In each photo professional sports stars are naked accompanied with text saying, “Be comfortable in your own skin and let animals keep theirs.” The list of guests appearing in these beautiful ads includes sports stars from soccer, football, basketball and baseball. However, athletes aren’t the only famed talents in the “ink, not mink ads. There are photos of rapper Waka Flaka, Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington, and even Jackass star Steve-O who “let it all hang out” to raise awareness for pets and animals that they love so much.

Team USA Soccer goalie Tim Howard posing for the "Ink, not mink." PETA ad campaign

Team USA Soccer goalie Tim Howard posing for the “Ink, not mink.” PETA ad campaign. Photo taken from

Ink, Not Mink

Dog lovers come in all shapes and sizes, some more athletic and famous than others. Us normal folks aren’t the only ones who are a little obsessive with their pets and have photos of them everywhere. It’s common to see sports stars like Mike Conlee (Memphis Grizzlies) post photos on Twitter of his German Shepard puppy or Klay Thompson’s bulldog taking a nap on Instagram(Golden State Warriors). These dogs have their own spot in these thriving sports teams even if it isn’t being on the field participating or barking for their owner’s success. Athletes, like the rest of us, love their dogs and go home after a long day to receive slobbery kisses.


Lazarus Gomez

Lazarus Gomez, an aspiring writer/photographer from Phoenix, Arizona has been freelance writing for local newspapers and is currently majoring in journalism at New Mexico State University. He has always been an avid animal lover and has two large bulldogs named Levi and Diesel. He currently resides in Las Cruces, New Mexico and is hoping to pursue his passion in sports writing.

Viva La Revolución!


We here at Your Pet Space believe New Year’s Resolutions are out of date.  Instead of resolutions, we’d like to inspire a NEW YEAR REVOLUTION!

In 2013, pet parents just like you helped the following inspiring events to take place:

**More than $2,000 in aid was donated to All About Animals Rescue in Macon, Ga., to help after a shelter break-in in which three dogs were killed.

**$26,000 was given to aid abused and neglected farm animals, including horses like Page, a 25-year-old thoroughbred.  (Learn more about Page’s transformation.)

**$9,000 went to shelters working to save pets from the deadly Colorado floods.

**Thousands were donated to protect pets from the California Rim Fire.

**More than $50,000 was donated in cash and product to help pets affected by the devastating Oklahoma tornado.

And you weren’t the only ones:


Feds Crack Down On Dog Breeders Who Sell Animals Online



***The AKC squashed several senate and house bills that would have contained unreasonable definitions of dangerous breeds (such as Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Chows, Presa Canarios and American Pit Bull Terriers) in Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Tennessee.

They also were instrumental in giving Wyoming peace officers the right to lawfully interfere in situations were animals were being abused, and helped make significant changes in animal cruelty statutes in New Hampshire and many other states.


Nitro’s Law Was Signed Into Effect In the State Of Ohio

Given all of this amazing work on behalf of companion animals, YPS believes there is NOTHING we cannot take on in 2014.  Viva La Revolución! will remain our theme for this year.  Won’t you join us?

Feel free to comment here or on our Facebook page with revolutionary ideas for how we can make this year even better than the last.



** Numbers courtesy of the Petfinder Foundation

***Info Courtesy American Kennel Club


Adopting For Christmas

adoptdontshopAre you thinking of adopting this holiday season?  I am all for that if you are adopting for your own family.  Taking on the care of another living being is a huge responsibility, and should not be thrust upon someone under the guise of a gift.  Giving a pet to your child or mate is a very loving gift.  You, as the “gifter” have given a pet that will love the recipient for the rest of their life.  You need to be ready to step in if the recipient is unable, or unwilling to care for the pet.

Have you ever heard that dogs are like little kids and cats are like teenagers?  Dogs need someone to take care of their needs. They need someone to provide food and water, take them for walks, and to love them.  Dogs thrive on companionship.  Without it they are miserable.  And they really are like little kids.  Leave them to their own devices and they will get into mischief.  Dogs are always in school with you as their teacher.  Cats really do seem much more independent.  Cats, like dogs, depend on your for all of their needs: food, water, a clean litter box, and companionship.  While cats love companionship, and love to cuddle, they can be aloof.

So where do you go to find a pet?  The shelters and rescue groups always have a large assortment of potential pets. Puppies and kittens are cute, and just like human children they need someone there to teach them and help them learn as they grow. They are babies that don’t know what is expected of them so they will need your time and attention to teach them how to behave. Older dogs and cats need homes, too.  Older animals can come with their own problems, but many are already housebroken. Some are trained in other ways, and ready to live in a household.

Rescue groups have a good handle on the dog in the foster home.  If you go that route you will be matched to a dog with a personality that fits your lifestyle. Some shelters know the personality of the dogs in their care.  Some don’t.  If you choose to adopt from a shelter be sure to talk to the staff about the behavior of the animals in their care.  Take the dog for a walk to see how he reacts with you.  Shelter dogs spend a great deal of their time in a run or a cage.  I have seen some pretty fancy shelters run by rescue groups.  These are more like homes and the caretakers really know their animals. Taking the dog for a walk will help them expend some energy and give you a better feel for their personality.

Books have been written on this subject, and this post just barely scratches the surface. Go to our bookstore links for Amazon or Barnes and Noble and type in “Adopting a Pet.”  Hundreds of books will be returned.  You may think you don’t need a book.  All I ask is that you don’t go into this blind.

The American Humane Association has a good article on what to expect when you adopt a cat or dog.  Go here to read the article:

If you decide you want to adopt, and need help finding a rescue group I would be happy to help you.

You can email me at :

Dave Jones
Dave Jones

Dave Jones is an insurance sales desk supervisor by day and a professional magician by night.  He lives with his wife Joy in Anderson, Ohio, but grew up on a farm with pigs, chickens and cows as well as dogs and cats.  You can follow Dave here on Facebook.

SATURDAY GUEST BLOG: Lil’ Paw Prints Animal Rescue Haven

lil pawsMy name is Robyn Moore and I am the founder of Lil’ Paw Prints Animal Rescue Haven.

I founded the rescue in 2006 a year after my father passed away. My father was an animal lover and would bring them home and rehome them to new homes. I wanted to keep his memory and passion about animals alive which is why I created the rescue.

The rescue is made up of all volunteers. All the animals (we refer to them as “pets”) are housed in foster homes where they get socialization with humans and other pets. Being in foster homes also gives the pets the comfort and security they need to be rehabilitated in order to to be re-homed with the perfect family. All pets are spayed/neutered, dewormed, groomed, up to date on vaccinations and placed on a flea/tick/heart-worm preventative before they are able to be adopted.

The rescue is a self funded organization, which means the funds we get for a pet to come into our rescue and the pet’s adoption fee is what we rely on to keep the rescue running. We also depend on the generosity of the public with donations and sponsorship of the pets.

We hold a fundraiser every month to also help with the funds we need to help the pets. We are currently working on getting the funds to get our 501(c)3 for our non-profit status.

We pull dogs and puppies from high kill dog pounds/shelters before they are due to be euthanized. We also take owner surrendered pets. We specialize in medium/large birds, ferrets and sugar gliders aside from our dogs and puppies.

You can view all our pets, make a donation or sponsor a pet all through our website, You can also see us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at @lpparh.


Your Pet Space is very pleased to announce that Lil’ Paw Prints will be the first local rescue to benefit from sales of our Pitch Your Breed Books!  So if you haven’t already, please consider contributing to this worthy project.  Thanks!

The A to Z Of First Aid and Emergency Care For Dogs and Cats, a BOOK Review

seba 300

I recently had a health scare with our greyhound, Seba.  As happens so often, once the stress was over, I wanted to share it with our readers…

She had been alternating between diarrhea and constipation for at least four hours, then that evening was pacing around the house, anxious and crying in obvious pain.  Greyhounds are a vocal breed, and Seba’s no exception.  But this was different.  Ironically, I’d just finished reading The A to Z Of First Aid and Emergency Care For Dogs and Cats by Aaron Glover.  One of the first things it says is, know your pet.  Well, this was just not Seba.

I knew it couldn’t be bloat, because she hadn’t been outside running around either before or after eating, but I felt along her abdomen anyway, to see if she would react.  She didn’t.  That was a good sign, but she still would not stop pacing and whining.  It was obvious she needed to go outside, and the telltale greyhound gas cloud was conspicuously absent.

But you see, the thing about Seba is: she’s terrified of the dark!  This has been the case since we rescued her.  At first, we thought it was a visual issue, but for her we concluded that something happened at the track to frighten her–perhaps the same reason she is afraid of brooms, who knows?  So of course, she had a diarrhea episode in the kitchen and then hid, because she was so ashamed.

I flipped back through the A to Z guide…but diarrhea was in the section on vomiting, with emphasis on the latter–and there was no vomiting!  In fact, Seba had gobbled up dinner and water as usual, then tried to mooch for more.  The crying started about an hour after.

Now I began to worry that she had a bowel obstruction.  She had enjoyed both a rawhide and a natural beef knuckle bone just a couple of days before–was it possible a small piece of either had broken off and was caught in her digestive system?  That could mean an expensive surgery was ahead.  Worst of all, greyhounds have been known to die from the simplest procedures requiring anesthetic, because they have so little fat on their bodies that the dosages have to be very delicate and precise.

Overnight, she got me out of bed several times, crying to let her outside. She would hover a long time near the open back door, then dash into the dark to go and I would wait by the door to let her right back in.  In the morning, she ate and drank as usual, but seemed exhausted and miserable from the night before…

I went into the office, and let my boss know right away that I would be going home for lunch to check on her condition and, depending on what I found, might not return that day.  Lucky for me, he and his wife have two dogs of their own, so he immediately understood my concerns.

When I got home for lunch, I was relieved to find no new accidents in the house.  But she did still have diarrhea in the yard.  So I called our vet’s office, and explained her symptoms.  Upon hearing that she was still eating and drinking, they felt it was unlikely to be a blockage, but instead some weird bacteria picked up in the yard. Apparently, this happens to a lot of dogs that like to experiment with eating things like grass, gnawing on downed tree branches and eating other animals’ poop.  Yum, right?  But they wanted me to bring her in for a stool sample, to be sure.

Once there, they felt around her abdomen just as I had, took the sample, then after testing it, prescribed an anti-biotic followed by a probiotic. Long story short: the anti-biotic worked almost immediately and she is feeling back to her old self. I’m so relieved!! (And not just because it was a $60 vet bill instead of $6,000).

Now, I told you that story to tell you this one: I’m not sure I would have taken the same steps with as much speed when this cropped up if I hadn’t been reading this book at the time…

Also, I discovered some interesting facts I didn’t know and you might not either.  For instance:

pet first aid

Checking for Dehydration:

1) Check the skin by using the turgor test. (Pinch a small area of skin together in your fingers–at full hydration it should spring back almost faster than the eye can see, and more slowly if the pet is dehydrated).  If the skin does not return to normal, the animal is 10-12% dehydrated and likely in critical condition.

(I actually did this for Seba, since I didn’t know for sure how long she had been having the diarrhea.)

Bee Stings/Insect Bites:

1) Certain stings can cause your pet to faint!

2) Never put pressure on the venom sack of a stinger still in the wound.  It can cause it to inject more of the venom into the pet.

Eye injuries:

1) Any time the pet’s eyelid cannot fully close, you can use pure honey to keep it moist until it can be treated.  Honey also gives an anti-bacterial benefit.

There’s this and so much more inside–so we definitely recommend this book!



joy 300

Joy Jones is a syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave in Anderson, Ohio.  When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphyscial column called The Midwestern Buddhist as well as urban fantasy and humor.  You can e-mail her at as well as follow her on Facebook or Twitter.