Original Air Date:
Thursday, September 25, 2008
After starting the show by asking the audience who were dog lovers, Oprah welcomed some very talented canines. The first was owner Emma and her dancing dog Zar; Jessica and her jumping dog Flashy Ferrari; and finally Chris with his balancing dog Action Jackson. After the dogs finished performing, the owners described how they train over a number of months using positive reinforcement.
Oprah also welcomed three women - Robin, Jayme and Jen - via Skype with their dogs to comment on the show from home.
The Mathematician Dog Maggie:
The next guest was Maggie, the mathematician dog and her owner Jesse. Maggie has the ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide simple numbers and giver her answer by tapping her paw. Jesse didn't teach Maggie how to count, she realized the dog already knew how at the age of 3 months. Jesse does teach Maggie to follow other commands by using positive reinforcement, but really doesn't know how Maggie is able to do all that she does. What a smart dog!
The Mothering Dog Isabella:
Oprah welcomed owners Allie and Tom via Skype with their dog Isabella before showing footage of how great a mother their dog is. Allie and Tom were caring for newborn tiger cubs when their mother rejected them and stopped nursing after just 24 hours. Their dog Isabella had just weaned her own 2 puppies, so they tried to see if the tiger cubs and Isabella would take to each other, and they absolutely did. Isabella naturally stepped in as a substitute mother to the cubs and nursed, cleaned, and loved them as her own through the crucial first month. The cubs are now weaned but still take to Isabella for comfort.
The Largest and Smallest Dogs:
Last season Oprah had the largest dog in the world on her show - Gibson who at 170 pounds stands 7 feet tall when he is upright on his hind legs. The world has a new record for the smallest dog and she was on the show, able to fit in a tea cup. Boo Boo, a long haired Chihuahua, was the size of a thumb when she was born weighing less than 1 ounce. Now full grown, Boo Boo weighs 1 pound 5 ounces.
The Dog with 2 Left Feet:
The next pooch on the show was Dominic, a greyhound who lost both of his right legs after being hit by a car. Dominic lost his legs at 5 months old, but now at 10 is able to run, jump and play using only his 2 left legs.
Felicity Huffman with Iams Home for the Holidays:
Felicity Huffman joined the show via Skype with her dog Tucker to share a project she is working on with Iams called Home for the Holidays. The goal of the project is to get 1 million pets (dogs and cats) adopted from shelters. Their are currently 8 million animals in shelters across the US. The project runs from October 1, 2008 through January 5, 2009. Iams provides the families with an education on how to take care of a pet and welcome the animal as part of your family. Many people aren't aware that 1/4 of dogs in shelters are purebred animals; there is a pet available for every kind of family!
An Update on Puppy Mills:
Since the last episode with Lisa Ling uncovering the secret world of puppy mills, Oprah's staff has been sent more viewer emails than any other show in the last 2 years. Clips were shown of 3 mills that were raided by authorities and shut down, some cases the owners were prosecuted for their actions, but in all cases the dogs were sent to shelters and saved. Many other mills have also been closed in the time since the last show.
Bill Smith from MLAR returned to the show to thank Oprah for making the story of the dogs heard and getting them help.
Bill Smith also wanted to make viewers aware of the lack of laws to protect animals around the country. One bill in Pennsylvania - HB 2525 - if passed will make changes in the laws requiring commercial breeders to exercise their dogs, enlarge cage sizes, eliminate the use of wire flooring and the ability of owners to shoot or perform surgery on the animals.
Contact your state representatives and senators to help get better laws for animals passed in your area.