Just a fun piece of writing

Occasionally you see some good stuff in a newspaper.  Something that hasn’t been through the spin cycle and us just a roaring good read.

Talia Shadwell, thanks for bringing several smiles to my face today

Police officers have filthy mouths, and Khandallah schoolgirl Sarah Scott can prove it – even though her dog ate some of the evidence.

Her science project investigation into whether police dogs or their handlers have more bacteria in their mouths has won her a chance to compete in a science and technology fair – but it also produced some disturbingly close results.

Sarah, 11, of St Benedict’s School, examined bacteria from the mouths of eight police dogs and their handlers. Fortunately for the handlers’ reputations, their mouths proved cleaner than the dogs, but only just.

Sarah’s project won her school science competition – despite her jack russell Rupert climbing on to the dining table and eating four of the samples just two weeks before the project was due.

His behaviour was not only unhelpful, but pretty gross, Sarah said.

“Those petri dishes were smelly and they had heaps of bacteria.”

The dog handlers helped Sarah out by repeating the experiment, swabbing their dogs’ mouths to avoid Sarah being bitten.

She said she was very grateful for their help.

“I feel that they dedicated a lot of time to my project and helped me a lot.”

Six-year-old Rupert, however, was collared for destroying evidence – incriminated by photographs of broken petri dishes at the “crime scene”.

For ethical reasons, Sarah, who hopes to become a vet, refused to entertain The Dominion Post’s questions about which of the eight Wellington police officers involved in her research had the worst breath.

However, she did reveal police dog Link had the highest oral bacterial count – and that the dogs proved the most obedient research subjects.

Link’s handler, Wellington police dog section head Senior Sergeant Mark Davidson, said he was proud of his “top dog”. He and his colleagues who volunteered to take part in Sarah’s project admired her work ethic.

“To get up in front of a bunch of hairy-arse dog handlers and get her spiel across takes a huge amount of courage for a young kid. She did great.”

Speaking of dogs, did you know there is such a thing as dog racism?  Katy Waldman has that story  

Just when you were hoping there were no new ways to be racist, it turns out people may be racist against dogs. Black Dog Syndrome is the name shelter workers have given to the tendency of dark-furred pups to languish in kennels while their lighter-furred brethren get adopted.

“The effect is very real,” says Mirah Horowitz, executive director and founder of Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. “We recently had a litter of five very cute, very fluffy puppies, two yellow and three black. And the yellow ones all went immediately, but for the black ones it took weeks.”

Black dogs get euthanised at higher rates. They linger at pounds and adoption agencies for longer than light-colored dogs, and they are less likely to find a home.

I used to have a predominantly black dog, and she was a rag.  But walking her on the street, leashed, people would still cross the road hundreds of meters in front of me to avoid having to pass her.

What kind of psychological quirk would prevent someone from adopting a dog based on fur colour?

Animal welfare experts believe the discrimination arises from a pack of factors. The mythology around black dogs is grim. .

..A 2013 study by Penn State psychologists revealed that people find images of black dogs scarier than photos of yellow or brown dogs — respondents rated the dark-furred animals less adoptable, less friendly and more intimidating.

And while the association between obsidian and evil is more explicit for cats, dogs have to contend with a culture, post-Samuel Johnson and Winston Churchill, that symbolises depression as a coal-colored hound.


– Dominion Post, Slate via Stuff


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  • MAWG

    The dog ate her homework, so she called the police?

    • It got that serious, yes.

  • Muzza3

    My old dog , dead over 30 years was a Black Labrador,was a rescue dog from SPCA, he hated Maoris, my wife and kids were fine, but he Mother in Law , was not allowed in the house, maybe it wasn’t Maoris but MILs .
    Was sitting at cricket with him on a lead , not paying attention and anie looking Maori bloke walked passed , nearly lost my arm with bloody thing trying to get him.
    I can only presume that before I got him he had been mistreated by a Maori , and he never forgot.

  • Rick H

    Aha – -just like the “Black Sheep”.

  • wiltinpenis

    We need an enquiry. Why should these dogs have to bite, and so ingest the blood of dangerous criminals, thereby contaminating their mouths? Would their Handlers bite the Crim’s. Nah, see?