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September 14, 2011

For the Love of Dogs

Dogs. The mere mention of the word for most of us brings a grin and pleasant thoughts of furry, four-legged companions. Pop culture is rife with memorable and lovable canine critters, from the “Love of Benji” to the Taco Bell Chihuahua. What male, young or old, can even now watch “Old Yeller” without becoming a blubbering mess? Some of the more bitter sweet stories out of the military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have been about dogs that our service men and women had befriended and through much effort brought home to the States.


Dogs have been called “man’s best friend” with good reason. But where did this relationship come from? Dog history is really the history of the partnership between dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) and humans. Although no one knows exactly when dogs were domesticated, archaeologists do know that many cultures around the globe began treating dogs like members of the tribe around 14,000 years ago. This alliance with dogs was so profound that in many ancient cemeteries dogs have been discovered buried in the same graves as humans.


Dogs have the ability to feel deep affection and project unfailing good will. They are often good natured, accepting partners of our domestic circumstances. Dogs seldom complain, never threaten to leave us, and always forgive our failings. Their constancy can be a comforting presence as we maneuver our way through the obstacle course of modern life.
Of course dogs have not only provided us with companionship, but they have been miraculously adept at providing essential services and assistance including assistance to the elderly and blind, and assistance for law enforcement agents and fire fighters.
As you may remember, last year Katy was adopted from a local rescue by EmpiriStat’s Chief Operating Officer, Caylee Ortega, dubbed “KatyStat”, and began the tough job as EmpiriStat’s mascot. “Katy has been a true joy to have around and is an integral part of the Ortega family and EmpiriStat. In fact, she joined in the birthday celebration for Dr. Close over the summer” Caylee stated. She went on to say “it’s funny how dogs take on human personalities… is it wrong to say, Katy is very much like me?”
EmpiriStat’s president and founder, Dr. Nicole C. Close herself recently brought in new family members, Thor and Loki. They have made themselves quite at home in the Close family and are constantly vying for position of top dog.
EmpiriStat, in its continuing effort to give back to the community, decided to combine this charitable outlook with their love of dogs and their love of wine. “K9 in the Vines” was an inaugural event held by the Animal Welfare League of Frederick County (Maryland) at the Linganore Winecellars-Berrywine Plantation on August 21, 2011. The purpose of the event is to raise funds for foster pups via people’s love of wine. The Welfare League is an all-volunteer, no-kill animal rescue organization, which’s most recent mission rescued 16 animals from an animal hoarder in Brunswick, Maryland. Most of these animals were not socialized and had never even been outside. Medical and behavioral care for such animals is expensive, thus the idea for the “K-9 in the Vines” was born.
“Knowing that we could have fun, spend the day outside enjoying the vineyard, and be contributing to such a great organization was amazing. However, I did have to tell Thor and Loki that we could not bring home a new brother or sister, but we would be back to visit again!” Nicole stated.   The Close family happily attended the event playing in pools, getting pictures taken, winning items at the silent auction, and making puppy paw impressions in clay….. Thor and Loki’s paws- Nicole sat this part of the event out.   

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