Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: nature

Good news! Doggos won’t make you vom-o — and more to know about a zoonotic pandemic.

by Patch O'Furr

Need something wholesome for a time like this?  Investigation found no reason to fear that people might catch COVID-19 from dogs. That’s good for me and my chihuahua child. No more worry about going “aww” for little sneezes!

Plague Bats and Furry Vets

It’s rare for a new disease to jump from one species to another — they’re usually incompatible. But COVID-19 came from zoonotic transmission with no herd immunity or treatment. It’s NOT the common flu. The CDC info page calls it an evolving situation. Brace yourself! Learn key terms that the experts use.

Zoonotic: A virus is considered zoonotic when its origins can be traced to animals. These diseases are known as zoonoses, meaning they are naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans. It’s believed the virus that causes COVID-19 may have originated in bats and spread through a number of species before it was contracted by humans.

I reached out to veterinarian furries for professional comments or a message to the fandom. Zarafa Giraffe works as fill-in staff at many vet clinics. He says:

Obviously, the Covid19 pandemic, and the social distancing it requires, has been devastating to the conventions and furmeets we love so well. The good news is that as far as we know, your dogs and cats are safe, and cannot transfer infection to you. Veterinary clinics are considered essential services, and will continue to operate. Even here in the San Francisco Bay Area, which currently has the strictest social distancing requirements in the US, you’re allowed to go to your local veterinary clinic. If your dog or cat needs medical attention, contact your local veterinarian.

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Fursuit Animatronics: the future is now with Ocelynk of Feliform Labs

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Thanks to Ocelynk for this guest post. To submit for public access, get in touch from the About page.

As night falls in the South American jungle, an ocelot comes out to hunt. The small spotted cat’s ears perk at the sound of a snapping twig in the trees above, and the pursuit begins. Eighteen razor-sharp claws extend to grip a branch for an effortless ascent, and a tail balances every movement. With its prey in sight, the ocelot pounces, its fangs glistening in the moonlight…

Imagine if the furry fandom could develop fursuits that do all that, in addition to being friendly. Since the summer of 2018, I’ve been working on animatronic technology to make it possible.

It all started when I came across a post about fursuit technology that opened my eyes to the possibilities of fursuit animatronics. This was an opportunity to apply my experience with electronics and robotics to a new and exciting area.

Before long, inspiration struck. I decided that I would make a realistic fursuit with all the animatronic technology I could build. I wanted the animatronics to work without anyone actively controlling them. To decide which projects to start with, I thought about my favorite features of cats: the ears, eyes, claws, and tail. Since then, I’ve developed working prototypes for all four features.

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Animal Rescues Need Your Help in the Wake of Hurricane Harvey

by Pup Matthias

Co written by Pup Matthias and Patch.

Joe Garcia and Heidi. Photo: David J. Phillip / AP

Hurricane Harvey has been one of the biggest storms to hit the US.  As a category 4 storm, it hit Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana over the weekend, filling our newsfeed with stories of tragedy, courage, and sacrifice. It puts us as a nation and people to the test. We’ve heard the stories: from big ones like the news crew finding a man trapped in his truck and flagging down emergency vehicles to help – to smaller personal stories of neighbors helping neighbors.

Outside of the storm’s path, there’s a lot of talk about how the effects impact the country in many different ways. (Our own Uncle Kage addressed evacuation from his experience as an Emergency Manager Coordinator.)  If you can only watch from afar, the most important way to help is by donating. Even now, all emergency organizations, along with groups and personal accounts are asking for donations to combat the damage Hurricane Harvey will leave.

This is a great time to highlight efforts to help animals. Furry news is a good place for it.  The Furry community has always been proud about raising funds for charity, and that isn’t just for cons.

Remember that 250,000 pets were displaced or died in Hurricane Katrina, and some people refused to evacuate without them – it has become an important part of disaster planning, according to this video about saving animals in Hurricane Harvey. 

News stories from PeopleABC News, and NBC have covered more efforts to help animals in need. I’m sure several of you heard or seen the hawk story. Many others will struggle to be heard. Patch has been collecting as many as he can find so we can spread the word and assist with donating what you can.

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Marta the River Otter – the adorable fursuit mascot of King County, Washington.

by Patch O'Furr

water-safety

This otter does public service in a proper fursuit, commissioned by local government. (Tip: Zeigler Jaguar.)

kingKing County has two million people in the region around Seattle.  Their Department of Natural Resources and Parks has a new mascot who’s a uniquely Furry example of public funding for art and education.

On Twitter, Chrissy B asked who built the suit.  They answered: “Beetlecat Originals helped create Marta for river safety public outreach.”

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Persimmon Takes On Humanity, by Christopher Locke – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

persimPersimmon Takes On Humanity, by Christopher Locke
Los Angeles, CA, Fathoming Press, February 2015, trade paperback $14.95 (477 pages), Kindle $1.99.

Persimmon Takes On Humanity is blatantly a didactic novel. But it’s a powerful one. In its first few pages Persimmon, a happy-go-lucky raccoon; Scraps, Persimmon’s younger brother; her reluctant best friend Derpoke the opossum; and Rawly, an arrogant rival raccoon dare each other to venture from the safety of Oak Tree Forest to cross the river to the human land, from which no raccoon has ever returned.

“‘Having fun?’ Rawly, an imposing raccoon, stands over them on his hind legs asserting his dominance. He glares at the playful pals. Derpoke goes limp with fear.

Persimmon lets go of Derpoke and leisurely rolls onto her side to face Rawly. ‘Well, well, well, if it isn’t Grumpykins.’

‘Grumpy?!’ Rawly replies, incensed. ‘How about rightfully annoyed that you’re in my territory – again? You think you can just gallivant around all over my trees?’

‘The forest is big enough for all of use to share,’ Persimmon responds defiantly. ‘I’m not intimidated by the silly rules you males force on everyone around you by rubbing your butts on everything.’

[…]

‘The most ridiculous thing about you jumping between those trees is that you were doing it to show off to your puny brother and this cowardly opossum.’

Persimmon pops up, indignant. ‘They both have more heart than all of the other raccoons combined. Besides, I did it to prove to myself that it could be done – and maybe to taste the thrill of it.’

‘Huh. Well, if you warriors are so brave, then why don’t you venture past Oak Tree Forest on the other side of the river?’ Rawly provokes.

‘You’re absurd,’ Persimmon jeers. ‘As if you’re courageous enough to venture there. No raccoon has ever gone past that point and lived to tell the tale.’” (pgs. 4-5)

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Wombats pooping cubes – and a chunky blast of furry news! NEWSDUMP (11/17/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Guest posts welcome. Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com

Atlas Obscura – The Fursuit of Happiness Begins With Customized Dog Abs.  It’s a nicely written curiosity piece about what fursuit makers do.  There needs to be a Tip Sheet for Journalists Who Want To Write About Furries.  It would say “quit using that title.”

Austrian “Furry News” site Furry Stammtische shares a long TV feature of fursuiters. Google translate can give you a rough understanding of the story.

Fangcon gets a little slice-of-life mention in Knoxville news.  Writer bumps into fursuiters at an outdoor concert, and gets charmed.

Courting Comedy blog reviews a live talk show in San Francisco, with a special Furry guest speaker. “They defanged prejudices or assumptions about the Furry community, and was cautious to not speak for the entirety of his tribe.” Really happy to see this.

Furry Site Content Statistics – and a possible game changing new art site.  [Adjective][Species] presents comparison of 5 established sites – and Flayrah’s Sonious writes up Furry Network with some details that could be highly worth your attention.

VICE is digging on DeviantArt for unusual furry fetishes.  This fellow fan enjoys expressing “objectophilia”. He has a rewarding relationship with his car.  Thanks for visiting our garden, Vice – lots of special varieties grow here, but don’t poop in it.

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Furry Halloween treats, McGruff Goes To Jail – NEWSDUMP (11/4/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Guest posts welcome. Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com

12189827_1150763194953018_5433177237520487821_nHalloween treats:  Popularity for Rocket Raccoon, and some looks at the culture of costuming.

Mom’s costume creation goes viral, ‘wins’ Halloween 2015.  A very lucky kid in Michigan got to be an accurately-diminutive Rocket Raccoon, complete with moving jaw.  It got shared on Facebook by the director of Guardians of The Galaxy.  This isn’t claimed to be overtly “furry”, but when Mom makes cosplay outfits for Comic Con… it makes you wonder what research helped to build it from scratch.

UPDATE: The maker confirmed to me that Furry tutorials helped build it. I asked her opinion of furries, and she says:

It’s some tough work everyone does and all of you should be proud. I made so many mistakes because there aren’t a lot of tutorials for doing stuff like this. I honestly didn’t know too much about furries until I was trying to research how to make a movable mouth for my son.

In Huntsville Alabama, inside the business of Fig Leaf Costumes: “it looks like a dressing room for furries in here.” Read between the lines, and the article might involve us, maybe indirectly. There’s this thoughtful tidbit:

So why does he still enjoy playing dress up at age 35? “I love how people react. If you dressed up as a character they love they come over and give you a hug. It’s just a good feeling,” says Harrison, who along with his girlfriend plans to dress up in a couples costume for Halloween this year: “Lady and The Tramp.” Burkholder thinks the trend of adults continuing to dress in costumes, for Halloween and otherwise, is due to “Gen X feels a little bit lost so what we’re doing is claiming a little bit of a community for ourselves, especially with cosplay. And also with modernity people move away from so they want to form a sense of community, so whether it’s videogames or cosplay it’s people coming together. And I like that.

Milford Schools Criticized Nationally Over ‘Halloween Ban’.” A smaller city in Connecticut planned to stop costuming at some public schools.  That quickly changed after everyone growled about political correctness.  It reminds me of a similar-sized city in Vermont banning fursuiters.  Are they just too uptight in New England?  Are some people afraid of self-expression?

16 year sentence for McGruff the Crime Dog.

“The actor who played the crime-fighting cartoon character McGruff the Crime Dog, was sentenced to 16 years in prison stemming from a 2011 arrest in which police seized 1,000 marijuana plants, 27 weapons – including a grenade launcher – and 9,000 rounds of ammunition from his home…”

mcgruff-grenade-launcher

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Disney goes Full Furry, and All The Drama – Newsdump (6/12/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Tips are always welcome. 

Zootopia: Disney goes full furry, and this stuff is going to explode in 2016.  

How excited are you for the next furriest movie ever? “Anthropomorphic” isn’t quite an everyday household word, and it’s use in this trailer spells out an open secret.  Before they made this, they did market research up the wazoo about us. Of course, it’s still a regular Disney movie, but they KNOW.

I watched the trailer when it had less than 300 views – while I write it’s over 1,300,000. The first comments on it said “furries”, and a lot of the top comments on it still say “furries”. There’s no way they didn’t anticipate that.

My reaction: Furry is the opposite of exclusive to me, but this cool thing makes me fear a deluge of commercially shallow influence.  I’m scared, hold me! … NAHH, it will be awesome. I can’t wait for the day this movie comes out, with all the fursuit meets there will be to see it. Fan participation is a big deal. I’ll bet we’ll see tons of actual furries on the news because of this.

Queerty‘s article about sex at Califur has important message between the lines. (Via Greenreaper:) Read the rest of this entry »

Thanks to Furry Force fans, Orlando’s soccer mascot, vampire squirrels: Newsdump (5/8/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Tips are always welcome. 

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Furry Force’s surprising Ursa Major Award.

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CollegeHumorFurryForceLogoFlayrah has the details about all winners.  Furry Force stole an expected win from My Little Pony.  It showed appreciation from targets of the gently teasing “fursploitation” parody.  I suspect two influences made a difference – support from this site (it’s a small site, but the Ursas linked here for voters!) and CollegeHumor’s own video appealing for votes.  There was said to be a rise of 150% more voting over previous years.  It caused some protest, but popular demand for truly funny stuff spoke. I saw a furry fandom founder (SySable) commenting that it was very positive to get more notice for the award.

Fred Patten, Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association Secretary:

The creators of “The Furry Force” have been very enthusiastic in e-mails that they won, and want to know how they can get their trophy since they weren’t at the Morphicon to get it in person. I don’t recall that the creators of “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” ever gave any sign of caring about their win.

Writer Adam Conover told me:

Thanks again for all your support Patch! I am so, so thrilled. 🙂

Furry Force’s animation director gave me a Q&A I can post soon.  He told me:

Amazing!!! I am so happy about this you have no idea. Thanks for nominating us in the first place! I’m so glad the community loves it and glad Smiley Guy was able to be involved. I’ve also been able to animate MLP and FF is way more fun! Adam Conover, rules.  Thank you to the fans of Furry Force!

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Mainstream sightings

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Photo by Moop.

How Weird Street Faire photo by Moop (on the right.) I’m the Husky, of course!

San Francisco’s How Weird Street Faire features fursuiters.

(Look for a longer article about the furmeet soon.) SFGate posted an article with fursuiter photos:

Groups of festivalgoers in furry mascot costumes looked on, seemingly unfazed by the effect of seasonably warm weather on their body temperature inside fuzzy suits.  “No matter the heat, there’s always a big furry contingent. It’s like having cartoon characters here…”

Playboy visits the land of Brony-o.

What the hell is a Brony? Playboy investigates.  Their visit to a convention made a warm, positive article:

“Don’t people make fun of you guys for being so genuine about your love of a little girl cartoon show—and how you dress up like ponies?”

As they remember people making fun of them, I feel like an asshole for even asking the question. There’s an awkward silence.

Dave says, with a hint of sadness, “Honestly, people do make fun of us outside of here.”

I recover. “Well, dude, I’m super-impressed by how genuine everyone is. It’s pretty fucking cool. Bronies are kinda like punk rock but with pink ponies.”

Kingston, the Orlando City Soccer Club mascot, gets a furry facelift.   Read the rest of this entry »

Furry Merry Christmas, media relations, RISK!, animal blessing… Newsdump (12/22/14)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Story tips are always welcome.

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Around Furry fandom and in the media:

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A Furry Merry Christmas To One and All – from Tom Broadbent, documentary photographer.

Tom takes us to the Londonfurs annual Christmas party.  “Retro gaming was the theme and it was hosted at the Amber Bar in Moorgate.” (More about his art.)

London Furries Winter Ball Read the rest of this entry »