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10 People Who Became Dog Toys

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Dog toys generally come in three designs: classic toys such as Frisbees and tennis balls, indestructible designs like the Kong line, and cute animals that are fuzzy or squeaky. Of course, the problem with the cute designs is that they are usually the most easily destroyed. So rather than letting your pup rip an adorable kitten or duck to shreds, why not let him take out someone you really don't like?

1. Michael Vick

After police uncovered a horrific dogfighting ring at Michael Vick's home in Virginia in 2007, it's no surprise that he became a chew toy. Several, actually. Above is the 2010 Philadelphia Eagles incarnation. This design is guaranteed to be indestructible no matter how hard your dog tries to rip off his head.

2. Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden was one of the most hated men in the world prior to his death. While you may not be able to acquire any of his actual body parts for your mutt to chew on, Osama Bone Laden offers an alternative.

3. Saddam Hussein

While he may be long gone, plenty of people want their dogs to remember just how terrible Saddam Hussein was.

4. Barack Obama

For the 2008 elections, Fat Cat, Inc. released a line of “Political Animals” featuring some of the main political icons of the time, including John McCain, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

5. George W. Bush

Of course, before George W. Bush was out of office, the Democrats had a little fun with their own dog toys. In fact, there was both a regular Bush toy and one specifically dedicated to his lame duck period in office. VP Dick Cheney was also included.

6. Michael Moore

Even when Bush was in office, though, Republicans had their own targets of political loathing, including liberal documentarian Michael Moore.

7. Tony Blair

Don't think Americans are the only ones who like to turn their highest ranking political officials into chew toys. The Brits are apparently just as fond of this game. There were at least two toys featuring the former Prime Minister and even one depicting his wife.

8. David Cameron

During the 2010 election, current Prime Minister David Cameron was spoofed by the Camberbike Dave toy, while Gordon Brown was renamed Gordon Clown.

9. Boris Johnson

While Boris Johnson didn’t run for Prime Minister, he earned his own “Boinking Boris” chew toy after he was caught having an affair back in 2006.

10. Bill Gates

Of course, not all dog toy subjects are political figures or people hated by an entire nation. Years ago Fat Cat, Inc. released their Bill Gates chew toy. The company has retired this design, so you’ll have to look for one on eBay.

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Animals
Miami to Host Inaugural Canine Film Festival
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There’s an annual festival dedicated to internet cat videos, so it only makes sense that dog-lovers would create their own film event. As the Miami New-Times reports, the Magic City will host the inaugural Canine Film Festival on July 15 and 16. The fundraising event encourages movie lovers to enjoy submitted flicks with their furry friends.

The festival will take place at the Cinépolis Coconut Grove and Hotel Indigo in Miami Lakes. Festivities kick off on the first day with “A Day at the Movies With Your Dog,” featuring film screenings attended by dogs and humans alike. Other events scheduled throughout the weekend include a dog fashion show, dog yoga, silent auctions, a canine costume contest, an after-party at Miami Lakes' Hotel Indigo, and an awards ceremony.

Admission costs $10 to $1000, and 50 percent of ticket proceeds will benefit local animal rescues and shelters. For more information, visit the Canine Film Festival's website.

[h/t Miami New Times]

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Big Questions
Why Do Dogs Howl at Sirens?
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A dog's behavior can often prove confusing to their human colleagues. We know they like to eat their own poop, but puzzle at their motivations. We're surprised when dogs give a ladybug the same greeting as a home intruder.

Topping the list of eccentric canine behavior: Why do dogs howl at sirens? Is there some genetic predisposition to responding to a high-pitched alarm from passing ambulances or police vehicles?

As it turns out, the reason dogs howl at sirens is because of their ancestry—namely, the wolf. When members of a pack are fractured and spread out, their companions will howl to provide a way of locating them. Think of it as nature’s GPS: By howling, dogs are able to communicate their respective locations to one another, even across long distances.

Since dogs really don’t know what a cop car is supposed to sound like, they’ll often interpret a siren as an animal’s howl. It’s also possible that dogs consider sirens to be a sign that something is abnormal in their environment, and that they want you, the pack leader, to be aware of it.

Contrary to belief, a dog is rarely howling because the noise hurts their delicate ears. If that were the case, some experts say, then they would display other behaviors, like running and hiding.

The more a dog hears and responds to a siren, the more they might be compelled to continue the behavior. That’s because dogs who howl and then notice the sound drifting away might begin to associate their vocalizing with the disappearance of the noise. In the future, they’ll probably recall that they “drove” the interloper away with their warbling and repeat the process.

While howling is usually harmless, sometimes it can be a sign that your pet is feeling separation anxiety from an owner or that they’re feeling unwell. If howling persists even without a screaming siren within earshot, you might consider taking them in for a check-up.

If you’ve wondered why dogs howl at sirens, now you know. It’s simply a way of signaling their location and not because it pains them. Owners, on the other hand, might feel differently.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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