McQueen loved his dogs

Alexander McQueen on the runway with his dogs

Alexander McQueen’s will was unveiled this week, and the late British designer, who died in 2010, included provisions for his beloved English bull terriers–50,000 pounds in all (82,126 US dollars). In addition, he left twice that amount to two charities that help animals: the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and the Blue Cross Animal Welfare Charity.

While McQueen left the bulk of his estate to his own charity, newspaper headlines focused on the amount left to the dogs. However, bequeaths to animal charities are not new. As Battersea told the Guardian newspaper, 77% of its funds come from legacies. American Philanthropist Brooke Astor left $250,000 to the Animal Medical Center in New York City — specifically for the veterinary care of the pets of poor and old people–when she died in 2007 at the age of 105.

The most famous dog named in a will died earlier this year. Hotelier Leona Helmsley’s dog, Trouble, was named in her will with $12 million left for her care. A judge later reduced that amount to $2 million, and Trouble lived out her days at a Helmsley property in Sarasota, Florida.

In an interesting note for bully breed lovers like McQueen, Battersea noted that 43% of the dogs in its care are staffordshire bull terriers.

Read more: [Huff Po] [Guardian] [ABC News]

Glow In The Dark Dogs

One of the few times I ever spent a night in the woods, Limey Jones managed to escape the tent. I bolted outside just in time to spot a little white dog darting down a pitch black trail. “LIMEY! Get back here!” The little guy obeyed and scampered back to the tent. Before crawling inside, he took a cheap shot at Luke in the adjacent tent. Of the two, Limey was better suited to spot at night. He was pure white.

Now Korean geneticists have solved the problem of finding your dog at night. They’ve created glow-in-the-dark dogs. No, I’m not kidding. Click the link.  A team of researchers at the Seoul National University inserted a gene into a group of dogs that made them glow under UV light. The dogs were designed to aid in Alzheimer’s research but it’s only a matter of time until it’s a boutique pet. “Hey – check this out!”

Old Dog Gets A New Lease On Life

Limey Jones was Pom’s predecessor. By the time Limey reached ten years old, he really slowed down. Ordinary tasks seemed painful. As much as he loved hanging on the bed, he avoided the second-floor stairs. Poor Lime, when he did work his way upstairs, we had to lift him onto the bed. He had lost the ability to jump that high.

One day I noticed a change in the dog. He was scampering up the stairs and jumping on the bed. I mentioned this to Cher and she he was taking joint medicine. It apparently worked like a charm.

According to our vet, joint medication works about half the time. Some dogs take to it while others do not. Fortunately, Limey took to it. For the not-so-lucky arthritic dog there’s an alternative treatment: stem cell therapy. That’s right, the same stuff that gets humans bickering helps older dogs gain a new lease on life.

The procedure was developed by MediVet, an Australian company and offered in the States through MediVet America. A veterinarian takes about 30 grams of fat tissue from the dog’s shoulder. Then MediVet separates and activates the stem cells in the tissue. When the process is complete, some of the stem cells are directly injected back into the infected areas. The remaining stem cells are injected intravenously to allow them to go where they need to go.

When the process was first available, its initial costs totaled over $11,000.00. The procedure is now about $2700.00. Is it worth it? Limey was lucky. He was able to get these types of benefits with joint medication. He lived another 2-1/2 years relatively pain free. Over the course of that time, we spent well over a thousand dollars on medication. If he didn’t take to it, we would have spent the extra money to grant him a second puppyhood.