Early Morning Open Thread: Good Dogs, Unfortunate Names

(h/t commentors Schrodingers Cat via Watergirl)
Because we all need a little moment of Zen this morning. The dog’s name, according to the video poster, is… Murkin.
For additional awwwww-ness, the NYTimes Magazine has a story about a very special service-dog training organization and a(nother) “Wonder Dog” with a name out of the Urban Dictionary:

The morning after Chancer’s first night in the house outside Atlanta, the Winokurs woke up after a full night’s sleep for almost the first time since 1999. They looked at each other in semihorror: was Iyal still alive? They found him snoozing beside the big yellow dog, the latter hogging the mattress. Since Chancer’s arrival in the house, they’ve rarely been disturbed in the night. Iyal may still wake up, but he’s evidently reassured by the dog’s presence and returns to sleep…
When Iyal is distressed, Chancer is distressed. Unlike Iyal, Chancer knows what to do about it. Iyal rages by crossing his arms, sitting down hard on the floor and screaming and kicking. Chancer unknots the crossed arms by inserting his wide muzzle through the locked arms from below, opening them up and nuzzling toward Iyal’s face, licking and slobbering, until the boy’s screams turn to tears of remorse or to laughter.
Chancer sometimes heads off tantrums before they start. If a tutor or a therapist has worked with Iyal in the dining room a bit too long, Chancer moves between the visitor and the boy, clearly relaying: We’re done for today. From two floors away, he will alert, flicking his ears, tuning in. Sensing that Iyal is nearing a breaking point, he gallops up or down the stairs to find him, playfully head-butts and pushes him down to the floor, gets on top of him, stretches out and relaxes with a satisfied groan. Helplessly pinned under Chancer, Iyal resists, squawks and then relaxes, too. The big dog lies on top of the boy he loves, and seals him off from the dizzying and incomprehensible world for a while…

69 replies
  1. 1
    JR says:

    Freakin’ AWWW!

    Heard another good dog story out of Texas. A 3 year-old toddler wandered off from home and was gone for six hours. But Brownie, the family pit bull, stayed with her and the family credits their dog with keeping the kid safe. http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/ne.....ods-020312

  2. 2
    bemused says:

    Molly Ivins named her dog Shit. I miss that woman.

  3. 3
    Raven says:

    The Bohdisattva has a good name!

  4. 4
    Yoki says:

    The service dog training organization needs a closer look. Those of us in the know here in SW Ohio will tell you that many of their practices are deplorable. It takes a very special dog to become an assistance dog–most dogs don’t have the right stuff. Reputable training organizations do their best to find good homes for the dogs who wash out as assistance dogs. 4 Paws does not treat these dogs well at all.

  5. 5
    harlana says:

    that is sooooo sweeeet! (melt) of course, i had to go and check out a couple other Murkin vids after that, what a beautiful, gentle giant he/she is!

  6. 6
    amk says:

    Russians protest in -19 deg C, both anti and pro-putin.


  7. 7
    amk says:

    fucked up html.

  8. 8
    Elizabelle says:

    This was funny.

    The Guardian. If Movie Posters Told the Truth.

  9. 9
    Keith says:

    My next dog is going to be named “Shi’Thead”.

  10. 10
    Elizabelle says:

    It’s so wrong that poor people in Maine have to go cold, cold, cold because richer people want to impose austerity.

    Dealing with heartbreaks like this is eating on this small fuel oil provider.


  11. 11
    WereBear says:

    @Elizabelle: That was great!

    I tell people all the time, “Why are we on austerity? Because rich people don’t want to pay as much in taxes as we do!”

    And more and more now, people respond with agreement and approval.

  12. 12
    Nancy says:

    Stay away from the WSJ editorial page today if you want to prolong your moment of Zen. They think mean old PP orchestrated the whole thing against SGK. Apparently since the righties and teatards can’t think for themselves, the RupertRag doesn’t think the rest of us can either.

    When my son was a baby we had a shepherd/collie mix named Rowdy. Rowdy was the Jesus Christ of the canine world—possibly the most perfect creature that ever existed and the next best thing to a full time nanny. He’s been gone 30 years now and I still tear up at the loss of him. It’s a cruel twist of nature that they only live 12 years or so. I’m on my third dog since Rowdy and they all are special in their own way.

  13. 13
    amk says:

    Judge in birther case captured on Youtube delivering verdict.

  14. 14
    Schlemizel says:

    Hey everyone! Yesterday turned out better than I could have hoped. There is no actual damage to my fragile urinary system. It is just a massive diverticulum, a ballooning of the bladder wall. They drained 4 liters out of it (hows that for balloon juice?). No stent, no growths and no second surgery so over all not horrible.

    I still have the catheter in, that comes out Tuesday. Dr. says I am going to have to catheterize myself occasionally and he does not want to remove the diverticulum. I’m not thrilled about the former & worried about the latter. At the time I was too dopey to discuss but it seems like there is no good reason to leave all that tissue in there doing nothing.

  15. 15
    Amir Khalid says:

    Linky bad. You fix?

  16. 16
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Schlemizel: Saw you posting last night and was wondering how things went. It doesn’t sound ideal but, as you say, it’s not nearly as bad as it might have been. Sorry you’re having to go through discomfort and worry, but very glad you’re not posting comments from the surgical wing of your local hospital.

  17. 17
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Amir Khalid: Worked fine for me.

  18. 18
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Amir Khalid: Worked fine for me.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Schlemizel: Better news than you could have hoped definitely sounds like a good thing. Here’s hoping things stay that way. Did the doctor say why he didn’t want to take out the diverticulum?

  21. 21
    Schlemizel says:

    HAHAHA, you’re funny, as if in this brave new world people are allowed to be in hospital after any surgery. I was on my way home a few hours after I went in. Same with the tumor removal. Heck, I had a hernia repair a few years ago, they actually make an incision for that & then they just give you some drugs & send you home.

    Insurance company CEOs gots ta be pay-ed

  22. 22
    Schlemizel says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Something about not being necessary. By the time I was more alert I was already home. I’ll get a better answer on Tuesday.

  23. 23
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Tried again. Link working now.

  24. 24
    amk says:

    @Amir Khalid: Me, fixee linky.

    Edit: I see that you saw that.

  25. 25
    Maude says:

    I didn’t see your post last night and was thinking of you. It may be that there is no need to remove the thing. Look at it as a spare suitcase. Never know when it will come in handy.
    I am so glad you are okay.
    I kept evil at bay while you were in the hospital.

  26. 26
    dance around in your bones says:

    Many years ago I had a friend who named his two dogs Lord and Allah – he thought it was a hoot when he went out and called for them.


  27. 27
    Cat Lady says:

    Up with Chris Hayes is a really good show. It’s so refreshing to see smart YOUNG people sitting and talking to each other, instead of the fossils on Sunday. You’d think CBS and ABC would look at Schieffer and Will say really? We’re wheeling out these thin lipped geriatrics to spout the same 30 year old RNC talking points they memorized for St. Ronnie – really?

  28. 28
    harlana says:

    @Schlemizel: my breast surgery had to be scheduled the day before my COBRA expired. and then of course there were the radiation treatments thereafter, partially subsidized, fortunately, by my family. my mom, who stayed with me for a couple of days after the surgery, reminds me what i was saying at the time, “they just want people like me to die” – i’d forgotten all about that, actually, but that’s the way you feel sometimes.

  29. 29
    harlana says:

    @Cat Lady: interesting, they were discussing this morning the whole Reagan thing and how he set out to attack minorities, specifically with the War on Drugs. i was too young and dumb to understand any of that at the time, but it’s all come together in a neat, ugly tapestry woven over this last generation. Newt spewing those old talking points (not even updated for the times, they go straight back to the 80’s and early 90’s republican mentality about minorities, the poor and disenfranchised – it’s exactly the time when they started developing and fine-tuning those dogwhistes, as a matter of fact), he’s really not even trying to tap into a younger generation because the republicans know, i think, they have lost the young, they have lost the future. i guess that’s why they are so friggin desperate right now.

    satisfying, innit?

  30. 30
    Pongo says:

    Nice video–brought my blood pressure down.

    How big a testament to my lousy housekeeping skills is it that I found myself awed by the lack of obvious hair everywhere, given the number of critters? Of course, animal hair changed the course of my life, so it gets my attention. I had to reconsider pursuing a career in crime because of all the ‘trace evidence’ in the form of dog, cat, horse, gerbil, etc. hair that clings to and drops from my person on a continuous basis. I would have earned the sobriquet ‘cat hair burglar’ or something, and CSI would have picked me out of a line-up instantly, just on the basis of ‘suspicious fuzziness.’

  31. 31
    amk says:

    @Cat Lady: Lotsa obama peeps pissed off at chris for bringing in that kantor wimmin @twitter.

    I personally hate her fake school girl voice. Once was ’nuff for me.

  32. 32
    Amir Khalid says:

    @dance around in your bones:
    I remember a video from The X-Files season 9 box set, where David Duchovny talked about meeting a fan — himself famous in showbiz, by the way — who told Duchovny that he had named his dogs Mulder and Scully. Duchovny was cringing as he mentioned it.

  33. 33
    suzanne says:


    as if in this brave new world people are allowed to be in hospital after any surgery.

    Hospitals are the dirtiest, most disgusting places on earth. Better to be home.

    Glad you’re OK. Drama sucks. I hope you’re back on your feet soon.

  34. 34
    bemused says:

    @Cat Lady:

    Refreshing is right! Sick of the fossils and the somewhat younger msm clique following the same script, the world according to the villagers.

    Melissa Harris-Perry was supposed to debut her new show today on msnbc but I just read that it has been moved to Feb. 18th.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Cat Lady says:


    It’s really quite the contrast. I have twentysomething daughters so I get to see that world. That generation has no real memories of Reagan (except me yelling at the TV from the kitchen) and then clearly remember how Bush fucked every single thing up. I just don’t see how Republicans can ever be anything other than old grumpy white men, or younger angry white men.


    Yeah – Jodi Kantor has a face for punching. She’s smug and condescending too. Do.not.want.

  37. 37
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Amir Khalid: Well, I guess Mulder and Scully is better than Cagney and Lacey.

    Dating myself ;)

  38. 38
    amk says:

    @ 34 “Fair and Balanced” Dave – Connor sure has the hots for her/him. His fucking tail never stops a moment of its wagging.

    (reply thingy not working. html not working)

  39. 39
    Elizabelle says:


    Loved that.

    @ Dave: Love the smooth collie too. He looks offscreen (to his humans) and tells them “I want to do THAT.”

  40. 40
    Schlemizel says:

    @suzanne: Hospitals are the dirtiest, most disgusting places on earth. Better to be home

    Unless something goes wrong. If you are at home that means it may not be noticed right away but certainly actual help is some time away. In the hospital you can get care immediately. But the insurance companies are playing the odds. AS long as not too many people die or have major complications all that sweet cash keeps rolling in.

    My wife had to remove the 96 staples put in me when the repaired my pelvis. It was a task she had no experience in and turned out to be a bit trickier than you might expect. Skin had grown over a few so there was blood. She was nervous and unsure. All that made it hurt more than it had to and it made her feel awful. But it probably saved the insurance company $50.

    One of the things I liked about ACA is the mandated spending limits simply because it removes the profit motive from some of these decisions.

  41. 41
    MikeJ says:

    @Elizabelle: Love the Father Ted reference.

  42. 42
    harlana says:

    @bemused: i remember the 90’s, when it was “cool” to be a young conservative and those young cool conservatives were all over the teevees and stuff. but times were good then. and the young conservatives are now middle-aged conservatives and they still want to be on teevee but people are tired of that message and they know for a fact that the “trickle down” wanking of the 90’s was just all bullshit and the regular people are living in the fallout. if i were a 20-something, i’d hate those bastards.

  43. 43
    RedKitten says:

    Dawww…what a sweet, patient doggie. I love how the restless kitteh looked like he was trying to settle in for some nursing near the end of the vid.

  44. 44
    harlana says:

    @Schlemizel: that is just SO wrong on so many levels, i don’t know where to begin. when people are on their backs, they should have the kind of professional care that a spouse not only is unable to provide, but should NOT have to deal with at all! i mean, that is a fricking medical procedure that should be performed by a nurse at least! that must have been traumatic for the both of you. this is not the 13th century, although you wouldn’t know it sometimes.

    also, if you live alone, you may not have access to any caregiver, and you are pretty well fucked – if they had their way, we would be performing our own appendectomies and minor surgeries in our own beds.

  45. 45
    JPL says:

    For those that read the article about Wonder Dog, I wanted to share this comment that was online from Donnie Winokur

    Thank you Melissa Fay Greene for making visible a story that we hope will inspire others to think outside the box (or kennel) in order to live more fully with disability. Your gorgeous prose has captured our family’s journey in a unique and compelling manner. Find out more about Iyal and Chancer at http://www.thechancerchronicles.com Our just released book, Nuzzle – love between a boy and his service dog, is voiced from Chancer’s perspective and communicates the magic that can occur when two broken hearts are joined together in friendship.

  46. 46
    JPL says:

    Fair and Balanced” Dave, In dog speak, he’s saying play with me, play with me.

  47. 47
    MikeJ says:

    Ouch. Arsenal has certainly beat the spread.

  48. 48
    JPL says:

    @Schlemizel: It sounds like good news, sorta. Virtual hugs for you and your wife.

  49. 49
    bemused says:


    Now the face of the young conservatives is James O’Keefe in ridiculous 70’s movie pimp garb. Ha.

  50. 50
    Amir Khalid says:

    Well, it is a ten-man Blackburn they’re thrashing. Too bad that Wenger took Oxlade-Chamberlain off when he was looking for a hattrick to go with Robbie van Persie’s.

  51. 51
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    I loved C&L back in the day.

    And for some bizarre FYWP reason the reply button isn’t working for me to reply to Fair and Balanced Dave but I laughed at that video of your dog until the tears came. What a priceless clip.

  52. 52
    MikeJ says:

    @Amir Khalid: Looking forward to Wigan-Everton as soon as this comedy is over.

  53. 53
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Ah, I see it wasn’t just me not being able to reply directly to F&BD.

  54. 54
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Duchovny talked about meeting a fan — himself famous in showbiz, by the way — who told Duchovny that he had named his dogs Mulder and Scully. Duchovny was cringing as he mentioned it.

    Kevin Smith?

  55. 55
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Joey Maloney:
    Yes, him.

  56. 56
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting Chancer and members of the Winokur family a year or so ago. The sister who wrote the book was one of the featured authors at the Atlanta Press Club’s annual holiday authors’ party, and I spent about half an hour talking with her and her mom, learning about their story, and putting love on Chancer (who, obviously, was off duty for a while). All quite remarkable. I bought a copy of the book and had Morasha Winokur inscribe it.

  57. 57
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Schlemizel: Well, that sound like good news.

  58. 58
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Schlemizel: That’s good news!
    Can I give you a suggestion if you don’t mind. If you feel I am being impertinent, feel free to ignore what I am saying.
    Can’t you get someone to go with you to the doctor, take notes and ask questions and be your advocate. That was my job when I was caring for a loved one who had cancer. Treatment is hard enough as it is. This would make it a bit easy for you.

  59. 59
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Amir Khalid: I used to have a big crush on Agent Mulder!

  60. 60
    Amir Khalid says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    I still have a crush on Agent Scully.

  61. 61
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Amir Khalid: She is cute, all sciency and logical and stuff! I love women in science or the ones who use science.
    BTW, AL I had posted this video link a couple of days ago for geg6, who just lost Henry. I found it on ICHC.

  62. 62
    WaterGirl says:

    Appreciate the h/t. But the real credit goes to the person who originally shared the link the night before. I have no idea who that was, however!

    Edit: posted this comment before reading the thread, but when the comment showed up, schrodinger’s cat was right above mine.

  63. 63
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Schlemizel: Your wife had to remove staples… no way can that be good. It’s not like taking staples off a bunch of paper.

    When I had the surgery on my knee an appointment was made for me to see the doctor ten days later to remove the thread. In the meantime his brother died and he (the doctor) took off some time. I got to the doctor’s office and the staff there realized they hadn’t called me but also realized that I had to have the thread taken out and the wound checked. They called the main office of the unit and the department chairman had to come over and do the removal. When I had the hemi-laminectomy the neuro-surgeon took the staples out a week after the surgery.

    ETA: I’m glad that the problem isn’t as bad as it could be.

  64. 64
    handsmile says:

    Saturday mornings I’m usually late in turning on the BJ machine (there are football matches to watch, you know-and finally, an Arsenal game from the vault!), but in the event that X-Files/Dana Scully fans might still be reading, here’s a link to a recent Guardian interview/article with the actress.

    While Duchovny’s career has become mired in dreck like Californication and doing the voice-over for a dog food company, Anderson has amassed quite an accomplished body of work. Her performance as Lily Bart in the film The House of Mirth was simply extraordinary.



    Please let me join with the party of well-wishers on the encouraging results of your recent health issue. Certainly hope that you and your wife will enjoy an extended spell of good health and good spirits after your ordeals of late.

  65. 65
    dance around in your bones says:

    I remember when my teen-age daughter was released from the hospital after a life-threatening aneurysm. Staples in her head, those circle things stuck all over her chest(needed special cleaner-goo to get them off), and a prescription for some million dollar medicine she needed that I was only able to get because I worked at a pharm.acy and could order it direct from the supplier (had to go pick it up myself). It cost over $400, wholesale.

    If I wasn’t dialed into the system, I have NO idea what I would have done. The release notes were extremely unhelpful.

    Maybe things are better now. This was back in the 80’s.

    Really, what do un-dialed-in people do?

  66. 66
    Schlemizel says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Funny story that. When I went for the tumor removal my wife asked my older sister to go with for just that reason. She is an RN with many years of experience. When the surgeon came out & told them it was cancer she broke down & my wife had to comfort her!

    Really though my better half does this for me most of the time through this. We just don’t always agree on what needs to be asked. She took his word that it would be OK not to remove all the excess baggage but I want to know why.

  67. 67
    WaterGirl says:

    @Schlemizel: Much better news than it might have been. Yay for that! What a relief.

  68. 68
    WaterGirl says:

    @Cat Lady: When I hear people say that Rachel Maddow is the best political show on TV, i think REALLY? Have they seen Up with Chris Hayes?

    I tried watching Rachel last Monday after Steve Benen moved there, and boy has it changed from when Rachel Maddow first came out. It was a great show then but now it feels a lot more like the rest of them than I’d like.

    I am almost always struck by the young people around the table on Up with Chris Hayes, a great turn of events, and I say that as someone in my 50s. I haven’t seen it yet today (Tivo) but I will watch Saturday and Sunday shows before the weekend is out.

  69. 69
    Amir Khalid says:

    House of Mirth came out in 1999, when Gillian Anderson was still doing The X-Files. Despite her always classy performances, her British films have been uneven in quality. One of the stinkers was this dreadful ultra-violent rape-revenge movie Straightheads (released in the US as Closure) where she was the vengeful rape victim.

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