German Police Dogs to Wear Shoes News worth an honorable mention, including word of a fashion first for a group of working canines.

German Police Dogs to Wear Shoes

German Police Dogs to Wear Shoes

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News worth an honorable mention, including word of a fashion first for a group of working canines.


Hey, welcome back to the BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News. We are always online at I'm Alison Stewart, along with my partner in crime today, Ms. Rachel Martin.



STEWART: All right, you're a news story, and you're not on Page 1. That's cool. Don't feel bad. You didn't make Page 2? We are still your friend. We are. We know you're worthwhile, you totally matter, and we're going to prove it. We're putting your story in The Ramble.

(Soundbite of music)

STEWART: One of those little stories - actually, I think this was on some front pages. You know those ads for Lipitor? These are famous ads. They're all over the place, with Robert Jarvik, the guy who had a lot to do with the artificial heart, he invented it? Let's listen to a little bit of this ad.

(Soundbite of television commercial)

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Dr. ROBERT JARVIK (Inventor, Artificial Heart): Just because I'm a doctor doesn't mean I don't worry about my cholesterol.

Unidentified Announcer: Inventor of the Jarvik Artificial Heart, Dr. Robert Jarvik.

Dr. JARVIK: For many people like me, diet and exercise aren't enough, but adding Lipitor significantly lowers bad cholesterol, 39 to 60 percent. I take it because it does more than that…

STEWART: What's the guy who does the movie trailers doing in the middle of this cholesterol drug…?

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: In another world, where there's Lipitor.

MARTIN: Exactly, well maybe that's in part why they're pulling it. Pfizer is pulling these ads, canceling the campaign altogether. It turns our Dr. Jarvik is not a cardiologist, A.


MARTIN: Not licensed to practice medicine, even. I mean, he does have a medical degree, though. Also, the ads depict Dr. Jarvik - have you seen it? He's rowing across this lake. He's like I'm a healthy man with a healthy heart, but the ad apparently used a body double, and Jarvik apparently doesn't row at all. The claim that Jarvik is the inventor of the artificial heart is also controversial, apparently. Some former colleagues are saying that credit should go to Jarvik's mentor and his associates. And a congressional committee has gotten involved. They've been examining consumer drug ads, and they've called the ads into question. They're continuing their investigation of the Pfizer Jarvik ads. Now you know.

STEWART: All right, so wait. We've got Pfizer's side of this, too.

MARTIN: Oh yeah, Pfizer's president. Okay, we'll let them talk. Pfizer's president says, quote, going forward, we commit to ensuring there is greater clarity in our advertising regarding the presentation of spokespeople. There you go.

STEWART: Hey, some PR person worked hours on that line, Rachel.

MARTIN: That's true.

STEWART: We've got to let somebody's work make the air. All right, this is a story coming to us from overseas. Police dogs in Düsseldorf are now being outfitted with little rubber shoes to protect their paws. All right. Apparently, there's been a high rate of paw injuries, especially in Düsseldorf's historic district. It's famous for its pubs. Here's how this goes.

Pubs, people drink. Sometimes they get drunk. Sometimes when you're drunk, you least to revelry. Sometimes drunken revelry leads to broken bottles on the streets and hence why the puppies are having problems, because they're stepping on broken glass.

Now, the dogs start wearing these little shoes full-time. Apparently, unfortunately, the testing has not gone that smoothly. Have you ever seen dogs when people put those little rubber boots on them, how unhappy the dogs look?

MARTIN: It's like they're walking around like I know I look so lame. It's not my fault.

STEWART: Exactly, and they shake their little paws that little extra bit? Well, a spokesman for the police in Düsseldorf said, quote, the dogs aren't too keen yet, but with a few weeks of training, they should be used to them.

Now, I don't think this really matters to the dogs, but apparently, the shoes were ordered in blue to match the officers' uniforms.

MARTIN: There you have it.

STEWART: Okay. Did you tune in to watch the Academy Awards? We did for like part of it, because we have to go to bed early, but apparently we weren't alone in not watching the entire thing or any of it.

Sunday's Academy Awards were the least-watched Oscars in more than two decades. The record low average of 32-million total viewers is down 21 percent from last year. It dropped below the mark set by the 2003 broadcast, which ran during the run-up to the war in Iraq, when apparently people don't want to think about the glitz and glam of Hollywood.

Some are blaming the dark material covered by this year's nominees on the poor turnout. "There Will be Blood," of course, and "No Country for Old Men" both explored pretty bleak themes. Another explanation might be that the writer's strike prevented ABC, which aired the Oscars, from the usually build-up and hype surrounding the Oscars.

Producer Dan Pashman, BPP producer, noting that this year's Super Bowl was the most-watched in history. Dan contends that the Oscars got historically low ratings because the Giants failed to be nominated for any Academy Awards. Why am I reading this? He adds that the Giants did win the Super Bowl and that they won the Super Bowl. Now you know.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: I thought we'd escaped from this.


STEWART: Look at him. He's gone into the control room to watch us do this.

MARTIN: He's so pleased with himself.

STEWART: He's like read the script, monkey, read the script, ha-ha-ha.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: That's it for The Ramble. These stories and more on our Web site, We're on to you, Pashman.

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