-----------Some unusual visitors joined the crowds of swimmers and kayakers trying to cool off on Lake Tahoe - a bear and a pair of cubs.Pallas Buckley, who lives near South Lake Tahoe, took video of the rare sight this week: the animals frolicking and splashing in the water near the beach while people paddled nearby seemingly unfazed.She says her fellow lakegoers watched the spectacle but stayed respectful of the bears. Buckley says she's seen many bears, but spotting them on the beach was a first.Wildlife experts say that it's unusual for bears to visit a busy area, raising concerns they're used to being around people.They say the bears could've come down for food or to cool off during the drought.Video: https://youtu.be/zPfuWMj8JOo--------------------
Los Angeles airport cuts ribbon on bathrooms for petsThe Los Angeles International Airport introduced their newest animal-friendly bathroom this week. They are calling them ‘relief areas’ past security checkpoints inside eight of their terminals.The airport cut the ribbon on them allowing passengers to care for their animals without the hassle of leaving the terminal. The relief areas can be used by police canine teams and the airports 55 volunteer therapy dogs used to de-stress passengers before they fly.“So this is a very effective and efficient way of our passengers being able to come through security one time and then when needed, have a facility here for their pets to find relief,” said Deborah Flint, Los Angeles World Airports CEO. “We know that our guests who travel with service animals and pets, have the convenience of staying inside our terminal concourses, not leaving the concourses for their pets to be relieved and go through security”----------------------
How to Give a Better Speech: Talk to a DogThe two undergraduates were acing their presentation. Good cadence. Sharp slides. Sunny dispositions. But it was a tough crowd.As the first slides flashed by, one audience member got up and paced the room. The other, breathing with conspicuous heaviness, rested her head sleepily on the ground. The students inflected their voices and gestured with gusto to regain their attention.So it goes when your audience is canine — specifically Teddy, a Jack Russell terrier, and Ellie, a Bernese mountain dog. The session was part of a pilot program pairing anxiety-prone business school students at American University with amiable, if unpredictable, dogs.According to promotional material for the program: “Addressing a friendly and nonjudgmental canine can lower blood pressure, decrease stress and elevate mood — perfect for practicing your speech or team presentation.”
The audience dogs, as they are called, are a pet project of Bonnie Auslander, the director of the Kogod Center for Business Communications, which helps students hone their writing and speaking skills. Given “the whole fever pitch of dogs in therapy” — pettable pooches routinely show up before finals on some campuses — Ms. Auslander decided to use dogs to help students with speech anxiety. The center booked about a dozen sessions last semester and employed six “locally sourced” dogs, recruited for their calm personalitiesFor now, evidence of the benefits is mostly anecdotal.“It makes you smile looking out at the dogs,” said Jessica Lewinson, a sophomore who practiced a presentation on corporate responsibility in front of Teddy and Ellie. “It kind of gives you a chance to step back from your presentation, to step out of that track you get stuck in.”And, she added, a dog is no more distracted than your typical college student. You might even get a lick.---------------
Finally, Your Dog Can Lap Up A Glass Of Non-Alcoholic Canine Wine...Sure, there’s some beer for dogs on the market, but what about canine companions with more sophisticated tastes?“We had always planned on doing something for dogs,” Brandon Zavala, founder of Denver-based pet wine company Apollo Peak, told The Huffington Post. But dogs can be patient.Not so much their owners. When cat wine exploded in popularity, Zavala said the dog people quickly demanded their own versions.That’s why the company has introduced ZinFanTAIL and CharDOGNay, now available in 12 oz. bottles for preorder online. Like the wines for cats, the canine versions don’t contain any alcohol or grapes ? both of which are dangerous for pets ? and they get their wine-like coloring from beet juice.
But while the feline wine relies on catnip to produce a stimulating effect, the dog drinks are made with brewed peppermint or chamomile to help calm your pup down. “It’s more of a relaxant,” Zavala said. “They’ll get more of that mellow mood.” Although the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals lists chamomile as potentially toxic to pets, the group confirmed that occasionally consuming it is unlikely to harm a dog.“Problems with chamomile usually arise after chronic (daily) ingestion and are usually limited to cats,” Tina Wismer, medical director for the ASPCA Poison Control Center, said in an email. She added that for dogs, like people, the main concern would be exacerbating any allergies among those “allergic to that family of plants.” Zavala always recommends that pet owners check with their own veterinarian before giving his company’s products to their cat or dog. But once you get the OK, feel free to kick back and have a drink with your canine pal. He’s had a hard day, too. -------------------
Pinky the flamingo dies after attack by Busch Gardens guest...The man arrested for slamming “Pinky” the flamingo to the ground at Busch Gardens this week has a violent past with animals and people.Joseph Anthony Corrao, 45, was arrested after witnesses told police that Corrao violently picked Pinky up while at Busch Gardens with his family and then slammed the bird down, causing such severe injuries that she had to be euthanized the following day.That was not the first time Corrao was arrested for animal cruelty.In 2013, Corrao was arrested and convicted of animal cruelty after he shot and killed his neighbor’s two dogs. Corrao was sentenced to two years in prison for the crime.Corrao has a lengthy criminal record. He was convicted of possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia, battery and domestic violence, burglary, three DUIs within a five-year period and aggravated assault on a person 65 years or older.Corrao made his first court appearance in front of a judge, and his bond was set at $5,000.