Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Our Review of The Amazing Spiderman 2 on DVD

Recently we finally got to see Spiderman 2 on DVD- the newest Spiderman movie starring Andrew
Garfield. We thought that he did a great job, and so did the actor who played Harry Osborne, the Green Goblin.
 The woman who played Gwen Stacey was a good actress and made the character come to life.
 However, the movie seemed to go on and on- smashing up Manhattan again.  Can't we have a superhero movie with less destruction?
  The Electro villain was okay, and we could've done without the Rhino character.
   Rob gives it a B- and Tom a less generous "C+."
Too much smashing, too many villains. They should've let it end after the Goblin encounter. That's all we'll say so we don't give anything away.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Funny 1 min. Video:UK Little girl doing the ice bucket challenge

 This is a really Funny 1 min. Video: of  a UK Little girl doing the ice bucket challenge.
Our friend Jeff shared this with us and we laugh hysterically every time we see it- so we thought you could use a laugh, too! 
VIDEO LINK (if you can't see the embedded video below): http://youtu.be/waL5Cf-CFJU

Sunday, September 28, 2014

New England Pet Expo: Spirit of a French Bulldog Sends Clear Message

Last weekend I went to the Boston area where I had a booth and talked about my book "Pets and the Afterlife" at the New England Pet Expo in Wilmington, Massachusetts. The day was very busy and I met some great people and dogs and heard some amazing stories. This blog will highlight some of both!

Donna was excited to get a message from her late dog Basil
SPIRIT OF A FRENCH BULLDOG SENDS A CLEAR  MESSAGE - It didn't take long for the first dog's spirit to send a message to his mom. A woman named Donna came to my booth and talked with me and Ruthie Larkin (the Beantown Medium) about the passing of her black french bulldog, Basil. She said that she was looking for a sign from Basil and missed him more than anything.   Donna felt comfort from learning some of the ways that dogs will communicate from the other side. No sooner than I told her that dogs will sometimes lead to their pet parents other dogs that look just like them  - than a Black French Bulldog came marching down the aisle toward Donna!
  Clearly Basil orchestrated his doppelganger's appearance while Donna was at our booth, and right after I told her about pets use doppelgangers to tell their parents that they are still with them in spirit. It was amazing!
Ruthie Larkin at the booth!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tyler's School Going Well!

going around a cone
Our 4 year old black and tan Dachshund, Tyler "The Terror" is actually really smart!! His second day of class was outstanding. He had to touch my hands with his nose to get treats and he did when I said "touch." 
- He learned how to go around an orange cone, in preparation for agility training (next year) and he learned pretty quickly
Waiting for the okay to get the treat
- He also learned that when I drop a treat on the ground he waits until I say "okay" before he gets it! That comes in handy when I'm cooking and I drop something he shouldn't eat. 
 Good job Tyler!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

New England Pet Expo: Great Personalities Visited

L to R: Ruthie, Jacquie, Rob
Last weekend I went to the Boston area where I had a booth and talked about my book "Pets and the Afterlife" at the New England Pet Expo in Wilmington, Massachusetts. The day was very busy and I met some great people and dogs and heard some amazing stories. This blog will highlight some of both!

My friend and amazing Medium Ruthie Larkin, also known as the Beantown medium (www.beantownmedium.com) worked the booth with me all day. She is so in tune with spirits and had an amazing time meeting all the folks that came by and their special dogs.

My old friend Jacquie Murphy, radio personality, whom people in the Boston area will know for her work on air doing weather and traffic also came by and spent some time helping out. Jacquie and I were broadcast meteorologists for the same employer many years ago. 

A big thanks to Maureen Cappuccino, too, who came with her dog Lily from southern Mass to northern Mass for the expo. Maureen is a personality in her own right, a  mom, a great friend who is like a sister to me, and a dog mom, too!  I also got to meet her friend Kathy with her great dog (she has a Lhasa Apso, just like Maureen)

Some friendly visitors and their awesome dog
Weimaraners have a special place in my heart
WEIMARANER RESCUE - I volunteer with Weimaraner and Dachshund rescues, and I was supposed to represent the DC Area Weimaraner Rescue at the expo, but because of red tape with clearances for out of state rescues, I couldn't do that. I am, however, donating a portion of my book's proceeds to the rescue.
   DC Area Weimaraner rescue is located in the Washington, DC Area and always needs foster homes (The rescue pays the vet bills, you cover food and shelter). Contact them at: www.dcweimclub.org/rescue/. 
You can also DONATE, too, because there are a LOT of dogs needing rescue 

MY DOG BUZZ WYATT- People who have a couple of my books know that my late Weimaraner Buzz Wyatt was the world's best canine communicator from the other side. He INSPIRED me to write my first book "Ghosts and Spirits: Insights from a Medium."  He gave me so many signs that there was no question he has been around me since the minute he crossed over and many years later. 

 PETER LOVASCO, Host of the Radio Show "Wicked Weather" - The week before the expo, I had the great fortune to talk with Peter and be a guest on his show. We talked about weather and climate change and then talked about the paranormal. Peter is a weatherman forwww.goodmorninggloucester.com. He is a storm chaser, spotter, and does live reports. He is a founder of G.E.T.W.E.T., Gloucester's Enthusiastic Trio Weather Extreme Team.   You can find him at: www.dtmwickedradio.com 
Peter Lovasco and Rob Gutro

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Morning Adventure of the "Poo Shoes"!

Being a dog dad sometimes means surprises, especially when you're tail walking
your 10 year old Dachshund outside in the backyard in the dark at 4:30am when you get up. Tom and I pick up the dogs' business every night, and occasionally we miss one. Well, this morning I (Rob) apparently found it on my sneaker, but didn't realize it until the sun came up at 7am when I took the kids outside again. 
  When I stepped out into the ceramic tiled sun porch I noticed human footprints... Uh-Oh!  Yeah, I hit something hidden in the grass on target. Darn it!!!  
   Fortunately, we take our shoes and sneakers off before coming into the main house, so the kitchen was saved. Anyway, that meant wiping down the floor with toilet paper and flushing it. Then I grabbed the mop and mopped the floor this morning and cleaned my sneakers. 
  THEN I took the kids out again, being extra careful (and picking up the "Stealth poo."  :) 
Off to a flying start today! 

Enjoyable Light-reading Book: Ghost Dog Secrets by Peg Kehret

I came across a bargain (children's) book and since the title mentioned 2 things we love: dogs and ghosts, I bought it! -It's called "Ghost Dog Secrets" by Peg Kehret.
   It's a good story, written from the perspective of boy who is a middle-school student in a single-parent home. He wants to rescue an abused dog and sees the ghost of a Collie dog near the abused animal. The Collie's ghostly identity is revealed, and the ghost pushes the boy to save the living dog.
   The book touches upon difficult decisions and exemplifies the struggles that everyone deals with to try and to the right thing.
You're never too old to read a good story, even if it says it's written for children.Really enjoyable!

Each day, sixth-grader Rusty feeds a dog that's left chained in the frigid weather with no shelter, food, or water. When he realizes the dog has been injured, he tries to have Animal Control help - but when that fails, Rusty and his friend Andrew unchain the dog and take it. With the dog in their hideout, the boys face multiple challenges, including Andrew's snoopy sister and the escalating threats of the dog's abusive owner. Even more challenging? The appearance of a ghost dog that appears in Rusty's room, and is trying to lead him to an even deeper secret. .

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Franklin - Post Dog Disc Surgery Update

Tyler (top) cuddles Franklin
Two weeks ago, our 10 year old red Dachshund, Franklin had emergency surgery to correct a ruptured disc in his spine. His recovery has been slow.
   Franklin's back legs were paralyzed when the disc ruptured and the doctor told us it means FOUR weeks of post-surgery bed rest. The rehab would come after that.
  For the first 2 weeks, we had to "tail walk"Franklin, bending over and trying to get him to use his legs (it was hard on our backs, too!). Now we're putting a bathrobe tie under his tummy (near back legs) and he's at least now moving his legs.   However, he can't stand on them. His legs are too weak. 
   We do leg exercises with him daily, and carry him in and outside. He won't be able to climb or descend stairs anymore, sadly.  Regardless, his spirit is still strong and a dish of food means he'll drag himself across the room (although we discourage that). 
   His left rear leg crosses in front of his right one, so when that happens he stops and sits. The right leg still isn't strong enough to stand on its own either.
   Soon we'll look into laser and hydro therapy  - when the four weeks of bed rest are over. That's in early October.   
Franklin in the 1st week, being "tail walked" at the surgeon's office

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pet Expo: Human Spirit Comes Through /Meet Some Pet Folks

Wow. I just got back from the Boston area where I had a booth and talked about my book "Pets and the Afterlife" at the New England Pet Expo in Wilmington, Massachusetts, and I had an amazing time!   I met so many wonderful people there and many had a story to tell.
  Over the next week, I'll have pictures of great folks I met and their dogs, too.  In this blog, though  I want to share a story about a man's spirit that gave me messages that  helped give healing to his sister; and I want to give a shout out to some fellow vendors that I met, and whom pet owners may want to get to know!

A man's spirit reached out to me to comfort his sister
HUMAN SPIRIT COMES THROUGH AT PET EXPO - Usually when I'm in large crowds the commotion makes it hard to concentrate and get messages. However, at the Pet Expo this weekend, a woman came to the table and her late brother came through. 
  When she came to the table she asked about spirits, animal and human. She said that her brother passed recently- and as soon as she said that his spirit came forth. He told me to tell her not to feel guilty that she wasn't there at the time of his passing and she understood. She was feeling guilty. What helped was that he made me say the same exact words he said to her in the last conversation he had with his sister (the woman at my booth) before he died.  I told her that her brother was telling me that "he wanted to go on his own terms." Those were his exact words to his sister in a phone conversation on  the night he later passed. 
   Often, people want to pass on their own. They don't want people around. That was what he told me he wanted. His spirit told me that if his sister were there holding his hand as he passed, it would be traumatic for her, and she would never forget it... and it would haunt her all her days, and he didn't want that to happen. So, he passed "on his own terms."
  The last message was that the spirit's sister should not feel guilty for not being there. He passed as HE wanted. The message seemed to bring comfort to his sister who stood before me, and I was so pleased to pass it along. That's what being a medium is all about.

1) Judy Bredin-Graham, of the New England Saint Bernard Rescue. She's such a kind-hearted dog mom, and amazing rescuer. She has two St. Bernards now and many who have passed. Please check out the rescue and support it!  - She's at www.saintbernardrescue.org and on Facebook/newenglandsaintbernardrescue.

Janet Kennedy, Animal Whisperer
2)  Book for Animal Lovers - Ms. Jeremy Townsend is the president of this shop and I bought a couple of great books from her booth! Animal lovers will find every book imaginable there (I'm hoping she'll carry Pets and the Afterlife, too). Check out the store at www.booksforanimallovers.com.

3) Janet Kennedy, Animal Whisperer, http://www.janetanimalwhisperer.com/   and https://www.facebook.com/animalwhispererandmedium 774-286-9120

Monday, September 22, 2014

Visited Baltimore's Civil War Museum!

Baltimore's Civil War Museum
Rob and Tom at a display
Baltimore's Civil War museum is a free museum located near the Inner Harbor. It's a small museum with a lot of interesting information in it. I didn't know that the building was once a railroad station called the "President Street Depot." The former wooden station platform extended behind it (demolished in the 1920s) toward where Fell's Point is located (east of the Inner Harbor). 

Action at the President Street Depot
The President Street Station in BaltimoreMaryland, is a former train station. Built in 1850, the station was an important rail transportation link during the Civil War. Today, it is the oldest surviving big-city railroad terminal in the United States and is home to the Baltimore Civil War Museum.

WHAT RAILROAD DID THE STATION SERVE? -  The Baltimore and Port Deposit Rail Road (B&PD), founded in 1832, completed a rail line from Baltimore to the western shore of the Susquehanna River in 1837
Display of Baltimore Riots during Civil War
   The displays explained how Maryland was a southern sympathizer until the Union troops moved in and educated them. :)  There's also an extensive display of how the Underground Railroad ran through the state and the Baltimore riots during the Civil War period. Gives you a good feel for what happened that you won't read about in history books.

Rob and Tom in the museum
WHAT IS THE BALTIMORE RIOTS? - The Baltimore riot of 1861 (also called the Pratt Street Riot and the Pratt Street Massacre) was a conflict that took place on April 19, 1861, in Baltimore, Maryland between Confederate sympathizers and members of the Massachusetts militia en route to Washington for Federal service. It is regarded by historians as the first bloodshed of the American Civil War.
   The train station was involved in the Baltimore riot of 1861, when Massachusetts troops bound for Washington were marching to the B&O Camden Station ten blocks west and were attacked by an angry mob of Southern sympathizers, with several people killed in the ensuing melee.
Front entrance is the former back of the railroad station
   If you're walking the Inner Harbor, walk over to this museum. It's small, but worthwhile.
  This is a great museum and well worth visiting!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Seeing the Tall ships in Baltimore

huge crowd at the Inner Harbor
The Tall ships arrived in Baltimore the weekend of Sept. 13-14 and we joined our friends Steve and Jane for a walk around the Inner Harbor of the city where the ships were docked.
  The day was perfect- with a blue sky and temperatures in the low 70s. After a nice walk around the harbor we saw a few Blue Angels fly overhead!
We love the carved wooden dog on this ship

The events celebrating the bicentennial of the Battle of Baltimore — and of Francis Scott Key's writing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" as he watched the British fail in their attack on Fort McHenry this week in 1814 — kicked off with the ships' arrival and received an unexpected boost from leaked word of the president's planned visit Friday.

another Tall Ship

Tom at a Tall Ship

Tom, Jane and Steve 
WHAT WAS THE EVENT? - Star-Spangled Spectacular is a free festival that celebrates the 200th anniversary of our national anthem. Tall ships, Navy gray hulls and the Blue Angels will come to Baltimore’s famed Inner Harbor to celebrate “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Landside festivals include living history demonstrations, a family fun zone, live musical performances, and Chesapeake food and beverage. Events crescendo on September 13 with a star-studded patriotic concert and extraordinary fireworks display over Fort McHenry and Baltimore Harbor.  More info: http://www.starspangled200.com/

Rob, Steve, Jane, Tom 

An ornamental ship

Interesting carrier ship


Saturday, September 20, 2014

New Report: Where the Fattest Live vs. Most Healthy

The State of Obesity report has just come out and  Massachusetts is currently the 48th most obese state in the United States. The only states with lower rates of obesity are Hawaii and Colorado, according to the report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America’s Health. 
     The State of Obesity observes studies collected from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although all states showed obesity rates between 20 and 35 percent, Massachusetts was on the lower end of the spectrum, with only 23.6 percent of residents being characterized as obese. 
    According to the report, Northeastern and Western states had the lowest rates of obesity, while the highest rates are in the South and Midwest.  
   There are a variety of factors that contribute to Massachusetts’s overall health. According to America’s Health Rankings, only 16.4 percent of adults still smoke, and only 19.7 percent of adults are physically inactive—both low statistics compared to the rest of the United States. Additionally, the American Psychological Association found that Northeast residents are known for having lower average stress levels than any other region, another factor that contributes to weight gain and overall wellbeing. 
  Mississippi and West Virginia have the highest rates of obesity at 35.1 percent, while Colorado have the lowest rate at 21.3 percent. All 10 states with the highest rates of obesity are in the South or Midwest.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Rob Narrates a Hurricane Science Video

One of the fun things I get asked to do from time to time is narrate a science video for NASA. I love working with producer Ryan Fitzgibbons, he comes up with the best science videos.
   I'm helping manage the outreach and write stories about the current hurricane mission (HS3) flying unmanned (remotely piloted) aircraft out of NASA Wallops in Virginia, and I write all the updates for the NASA hurricane page (it's on facebook and Twitter, too, at NASAHurricane). So, Ryan asked if I'd narrate the video posted below. Hope you enjoy it and learn something! 
  The story that accompanies it can be found here:
NASA HS3 Instrument Views 2 Dimensions of Clouds

VIDEO LINK: http://youtu.be/j1RmTI68AUM

Thursday, September 18, 2014

LEARN: short Video:Scottish referendum explained for non-Brits

We visited Scotland last year and wanted to understand the history of n animated explanation of some fundamental questions prior to the referendum on Scottish independence today. Where is Scotland, what is Scotland and what does it mean to be Scottish? And what is the history of Scotland's relationship with England? But the real question is, will Scotland be better off as an independent country?
Scotland and how it went from an independent country to part of the U.K., and why there's a vote to make it its own county again - the vote is TODAY, Sept. 18th. So, here's a
SEE VIDEO: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/video/2014/sep/17/scottish-referendum-explained-for-non-brits-video

In the News: German Scientists Prove There is Life After Death

As a meteorologist, I (Rob) love it when science helps explain what we consider the "paranormal." The paranormal is only "beyond normal" until science catches up with it, and now it seems that it finally has in respect to life after death. 
 - You don't have to be of a religion to believe in life after death. You simply have to understand the science of energy. Energy cannot be destroyed only transformed and the physical energies that course through our bodies couple with our memories and personalities to become spirits that cross over, or earth-bound ghosts.  
 NOW- new research from German scientists has proven an afterlife exists. 
ere's the article:
Berlin| A team of psychologists and medical doctors associated with the Technische Universit├Ąt of Berlin, have announced this morning that they had proven by clinical experimentation, the existence of some form of life after death. This astonishing announcement is based on the conclusions of a study using a new type of medically supervised near-death experiences, that allow patients to be clinically dead for almost 20 minutes before being brought back to life.
This controversial process that was repeated on 944 volunteers over that last four years, necessitates a complex mixture of drugs including epinephrine and dimethyltryptamine, destined to allow the body to survive the state of clinical death and the reanimation process without damage. The body of the subject was then put into a temporary comatic state induced by a mixture of other drugs which had to be filtered by ozone from his blood during the reanimation process 18 minutes later.
The extremely long duration of the experience was only recently made possible by the development of a new cardiopulmonary recitation (CPR) machine called the AutoPulse. This type of equipment has already been used over the last few years, to reanimate people who had been dead for somewhere between 40 minutes to an hour.
Near-death experiences have been hypothesized in various medical journals in the past, as having the characteristics of hallucinations, but Dr Ackermann and his team, on the contrary, consider them as evidence for the existence of the afterlife and of a form of dualism between mind and body.
Near-death experiences have been hypothesized in various medical journals in the past, as having the characteristics of hallucinations, but Dr Ackermann and his team, on the contrary, consider them as evidence for the existence of the afterlife and of a form of dualism between mind and body.
The team of scientists led by Dr Berthold Ackermann, has monitored the operations and have compiled the testimonies of the subjects. Although there are some slight variations from one individual to another, all of the subjects have some memories of their period of clinical death. and a vast majority of them described some very similar sensations.
Most common memories include a feeling of detachment from the body, feelings of levitation, total serenity, security, warmth, the experience of absolute dissolution, and the presence of an overwhelming light.
The scientists say that they are well aware the many of their conclusions could shock a lot of people, like the fact that the religious beliefs of the various subjects seems to have held no incidence at all, on the sensations and experiences that they described at the end of the experiment. Indeed, the volunteers counted in their ranks some members are a variety of Christian churches, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and atheists.
“I know our results could disturb the beliefs of many people” says Mr Ackermann. “But in a way, we have just answered one of the greatest questions in the history of mankind, so I hope these people will be able to forgive us. Yes, there is life after death and it looks like this applies to everyone.”
- See more at: http://worldnewsdailyreport.com/german-scientists-prove-there-is-life-after-death/#sthash.Dni7U5Cy.dpuf

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Doggy Adventure of the Day: Hydrant Time!

A neighborhood hydrant flush
Water rushes down a drain
Last week, we had a dog adventure with the fire hydrants in our
neighborhood, but it's not what you're likely thinking! :) 
  In the city we reside, they usually open hydrants once or twice a year to remove deposits of rusty water that build up over the summertime and winter-time.
    These rust accumulations They also affect our drinking water (when rust builds up, sometimes the water turns yellow-orange). 
The water is gushing out!
Dolly and Tyler notice the truck arrive
 So, one day while I (Rob) was teleworking, Dolly and Tyler joined me for a walk (really, the walk was for them) and we found some hydrants being flushed out.
    The flush usually leaves a big red smear of rust on the street.
    At one point, we approached a city
utility truck that just parked and Dolly and Tyler stopped and watched as one of the men got out of the truck and opened the hydrant.
    Of course, water gushed out quickly so we had to run to the other side of the street and walk on a couple of lawns to avoid getting soaked on our way home!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Happy birthday to Tom's Mom, Ruth!

Mom Ruth
Happy birthday, Mom Ruth! 
Today is Tom's mom's birthday and we wanted to let her know publicly how special she is to us.
  She spoils our canine kids something awful, and is always here when we need her. She takes morning walks daily, and has been involved in choirs, acting in plays, book clubs, yard sales and many other things.
  We love calling her on the weekend mornings and catching up and cornering her for dinner.
  Since my (Rob) mom and dad have both passed, it's a pleasure to know that I still have a mom! Love you, Mom!!
Happy Birthday!


This is from some TV show (obviously on cable) but if you like Awkward family photos- this may give you a couple of smiles. (Note: there is some language here- from the three comedians giving quips about them).

Monday, September 15, 2014

Our Dog Franklin's Surgery for Herniated Disc - Video/ What to Expect

Franklin ready to come home
On Sunday, Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m. we came home from a dinner out (gone 90 minutes) to find our older Dachshund, Franklin (10 years old) on the kitchen floor with his back legs paralyzed and sitting in a pool of drool. We thought it was either a spinal injury or a stroke so we rushed him to Dogs & Cats Emergency Vet in Bowie. (See below for video a couple of days after surgery) 
    As we were waiting a couple of minutes, I felt his back and noticed one area that was raised. The doctor confirmed that that was the area where the disc herniated.

Daddy Tom and Franklin coming home
SURGERY RECOMMENDED IMMEDIATELY -  The doctor recommended surgery immediately for the best chance of regaining mobility, so of course we agreed. The hospital called in a neurosurgeon and the doctor called me at 10:30pm and told me the surgery would begin at 11:30 p.m. He called me at 1:30 a.m. after the surgery and said it went very well. Franklin had decompressive surgery of a herniated disc T13-L1.

COMING HOME - CAN'T WALK -  Franklin was in the hospital for 6 days and came home this past Friday, September 12 at 5:30 p.m. EDT. He cannot walk on his back legs, so we "tail walk" him by holding his tail (at its base) so he can do his business. His back legs cross, so it's going to take weeks / months of therapy, corrections, and movements to get him walking again - if we can. His right leg is stronger, but his left leg is very weak and crosses over his right leg. He's on 4 weeks crated bed rest except for being carried outside. His appetite never wavered, though. :)

Franklin held by Tom post-surgery
GOOD SIGNS- On Thursday, the day before Franklin came home, our friend and huge dog lover, Elvina, met us at the hospital. Franklin wagged is tail for Elvina and that's a great sign- it means he has feeling there again! After working the weekend with his legs, he is now trying to walk on his back right leg, but it's going to be a long road of recovery.

OUR NOTE TO THE STAFF OF DOGS AND CATS ANIMAL HOSPITAL: Thank you for all you have done for our 10 year old Dachshund Franklin who had a herniated disc. Dr. Neravanda is amazing. The vet tech who worked with us is also amazing. The staff was always helpful, patient and attentive. We were so amazed by the daily phone calls from the doctor with updates, and the amazing care. - This staff and facility wonderful and the care is great. Everyone was patient and kind with explanations, too. We would love to share this review for all. Thank you Dogs & Cats! Rob and Tom 
Confined to a crate w/pee pad for 4 weeks
1) Get the surgery done immediately
2) Your dog is in pain- get them to an emergency room ASAP
3) Understand that the cost will be between five and six thousand dollars
4) Get VPI Pet Insurance NOW (especially if you have a Dachshund) - they'll pay some portion
5) After surgery the dog requires bed rest for 3-4 weeks and will be on pain meds for a week (which may constipate them).
6) After surgery dogs bladders need to be expressed (pushing gently on sides of bladder to help them pee until they can pee on their own.
7) During the first week, put pee pads in their crates until the regain bladder control.
8) Carry the dog outside to pee and poop. Do NOT let the dog try to walk outside by themselves. You can always put a sheet under the tummy of bigger dogs.
8) Pooping is no issue, btw. - Hold the dog by the tail to do so (close to the butt, NOT tip of tail)
VIDEO OF FRANKLIN - A COUPLE OF DAYS AFTER SURGERY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmnup0jB1MM&list=UUGg7XCCzeMRdspujdRjiCUQ

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Medical Breakthrough: Injecting bacteria shrinks tumors in dogs and one human

Science research is an amazing thing. Recent medical research found the injecting bacteria found in soils shrinks tumors in dogs and one human! 
  Before I get into the story, I do have to stand on a soap box (as a scientist) and say that the "conservative" party in our country does NOT support science and things like this would never be funded were it not for educated people who believe and understand science. SO, if you know anyone with cancer, human or canine, remember that one group of people in our country don't support science. Okay, I'm done. Now for the research: 

CAPTION:  This is a hematoxylin and eosin stain of a C. novyi-NT treated dog tumor. Lighter pink areas areas denote tumor necrosis next to areas with viable tumor cells. Black patches are calcified areas of tissue. Credit: David L. Huso and Baktiar Karim of the Johns Hopkins Department of Pathology.
(Reuters)  Source website
(Reuters) - Common soil bacteria injected into solid cancers in pet dogs and one human patient shrank many of the tumors, scientists reported on Wednesday.
The preliminary findings offered hope that the experimental treatment could turn out to be more effective than existing cancer therapies for some inoperable tumors such as those of the lung, breast, and pancreas, which often fail to respond to radiation and chemotherapy.
Radiation requires oxygen to kill cells, but the deep interior of tumors is nearly oxygen-free. Chemotherapy requires blood vessels to carry drugs into tumors, whose interiors generally lack such plumbing.
"But these conditions make the tumors perfect for bacteria that thrive in low-oxygen environments," said oncologist Shibin Zhou of the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland, a senior author of the study.
Doctors first tried using streptococcus bacteria to attack tumors 100 years ago, but that and recent attempts with salmonella proved to be toxic, ineffective, or both.
The idea nevertheless made sense, and a decade ago Hopkins scientists resurrected the approach using Clostridium novyi soil bacteria. They genetically modified the bug by removing DNA that makes a toxic protein, and decided to inject only spores, which are less likely to cause infection.
They then enlisted veterinary oncologists at seven pet clinics across the United States. Sixteen dogs, from a border collie to golden retrievers and shepherds, received injections of 100 million clostridium spores.
The scientists chose dogs rather than common lab animals because their cancers are more genetically similar to humans', potentially making the results more relevant.
Tumors shrank in three of the 16 dogs, and disappeared in three more, the researchers reported in Science Translational Medicine.
At M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, a patient with retroperitoneal leiomyosarcoma, an aggressive cancer of the abdomen that had spread to her liver, lungs, bones, and arm, received an injection of 10,000 spores into a metastatic tumor in her arm. She initially ran a fever and felt severe pain (a sign that her immune system was attacking the cancer) but the tumor shrank in and around her arm bone. Tumors elsewhere continued to grow.
What seems to happen, Zhou said, is that the spores release enzymes that destroy nearby tumor cells "so precisely we call it biosurgery." Also, the immune system senses the bacteria and dispatches tumor-killing cells.
BioMed Valley Discoveries, a research and development company in Kansas City, Missouri, is recruiting patients with solid tumors that have not responded to therapy for a trial assessing the safety and optimal dose of clostridium, at M.D. Anderson and other sites. "We anticipate that proceeding through Phase 1 and future later-stage trials will take many years," said BioMed's Saurabh Saha.

(Reporting by Sharon Begley; Editing by James Dalgleish)

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next