Jewish World Review Jan. 26, 2005 / 16 Shevat, 5765

Jeff Elder

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Consumer Reports

Mmm ... puppy breath   —   what causes it?; first color television broadcast; more | Q: Why do puppies have "puppy breath"? - Stephenie

A: I'm assuming, Stephenie, that you mean the good stuff - a clean, sweet smell. There are passionate devotees of this odor who practically snort a little pooch's muzzle every chance they get. (Which is certainly better than smelling what comes out the other end.)

Vet, consultant and author Thomas Catanzaro has been famously quoted as saying, "Of all the things I miss from veterinary practice, puppy breath is one of the most fond memories."

This smell is perfectly healthy and - unfortunately - a little like new-car smell in that it disappears in a few months.

They grow up so fast.

Catanzaro and other vets guess that puppy breath is a result of their healthy, mild diet of mother's milk and puppy food, and the enzymes that break these things down.

And just as puppies don't eat big-dog stanky food, they don't have big-dog stanky mouth bacteria or the advanced plaque problems older dogs develop. So their mouths are clean.

Some vets learn in school that puppy breath is caused by a still-developing esophagus leaking gas from the stomach.

But there is such a thing as bad puppy breath, which can be caused by an impacted tooth, the beginnings of gum disease, worms or eating poop. (Yes, dogs do that.)

Bad breath is much more common in mature dogs, and can be a sign of serious health problems, most commonly gum disease. To help prevent this, many vets recommend brushing your dog's teeth.

No, you won't stand at the bathroom sink squeezing out Crest for you and Fido every night before bed. (In fact, people tooth paste is very bad for dogs, who can't spit it out.)

A couple of times a week you use a special soft tooth brush and doggie tooth paste, which is often poultry flavored. (Tempted?) Vets say you have to go slow at first, selling your pet on the good taste of the paste.

Brushing might sound like a hassle, but Milk Bones don't do it all. And periodontal disease can shorten and certainly worsen your dog's life. So ask your vet.

For a recipe for Puppy's Breath Chili, the International Chili Society world champ for 1993, go online to

Betcha it smells great.


Q: When was the first color television broadcast? In 1964 I remember getting all excited because Lassie was going to be broadcast in color, and so downcast when the color didn't show up on our Zenith black and white. - Susan Walker

A: Susan, if it makes you feel any better, Lassie was white and brown. I think. We had an old Zenith black and white, too.

TV historians tell us that, while there were smaller experiments earlier, the Tournament of Roses Parade shown on NBC on Jan. 1, 1954, is generally acknowledged as the milestone that introduced the nation to color TV.

But not many people saw it. Nobody owned a color TV yet. Hotels and other sites set up a few for public viewing. They were bulky wooden cabinets dwarfing tiny 12-inch screens - hardly the sleek design of today's plasma wall-mounts. No matter. The effect was electrifying.

RCA and other manufacturers rushed prototype color sets to their distributors. Color TVs quickly became the country's newest status symbol. (Even if families like Susan's and mine didn't get one until LONG afterward. Like 1975, in our case. "Hey look! Barnaby Jones' skin is pink!" DIDJA KNOW? "Cannon" was a spinoff of "Barnaby Jones." Now back to our regularly scheduled answer.)

Although CBS also helped pioneer early color TV, NBC and RCA worked together on many other color TV firsts. Seven weeks after the Rose Parade, NBC transmitted the first newscast in color - "The Camel News Caravan." (A cig was shown smouldering seductively onscreen: Now that's unfiltered news.) In the summer of that same year, NBC showed the first network series in color - "The Marriage," a sitcom with Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn.

The famous NBC color peacock logo didn't appear until 1956, and then only as a still slide. The animated version was introduced in September of 1957.

But for years many of us wondered, "Peacocks are gray?"



On sitcoms

1. Who was one of the stars of "Good Times" and a supporting character on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"?

2. What were Larry's brothers named on "Newhart"?

3. On what animated sitcom will you find Stan, Kyle and Cartman?

4. Which "Andy Griffith Show" regular appeared in three Elvis Presley movies?

5. What was the signature line of Flo the waitress on Alice, played by Polly Holiday?

6. Who DIDN'T put in a guest appearance on "Friends" - Sean Penn, Reese Witherspoon, Brad Pitt or Snoop Dogg?



1. John Amos

2. Darrell and Darrell

3. "South Park"

4. Howard McNear, aka Floyd the Barber, appeared in "Blue Hawaii," "Follow That Dream" and "Fun in Acapulco."

5. "Kiss my grits!"

6. Snoop Dogg

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Jeff Elder is a columnist for The Charlotte Observer. Comment or try to stump him by clicking here. If you send him a great question, he'll send you a Glad You Asked T-shirt.



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