Its The Dog

Learning through dogs

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Thunderbolt and Dasy

Just an update on the eggs. They were due to hatch on Sunday, the chicken pipped on monday and hatched early tuesday morning. One quail chick bled out in the egg(suspected torn blood vessel) and passed away, one quail hatched and seems okay. the rest died on or shortly after the 15th day of incubation.

The chicken ended up not making it, it’s not unheard of for seemingly healthy chicks to suddenly go down hill. It’s possible something internally didn’t form correctly. So one chick has survived so far, here’s to hoping it does okay.

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I’ve been dumped

A cat called Tuna

 

I’ll never understand people who get pets but have no intention to keep it. Whats the point. The past two weeks we’ve had a stray cat wandering around our property, this isn’t uncommon and we make every attempt to catch these strays and find them good caring homes. As you may remember a few months ago we had some kittens we found under a garage on a foreclosed property. Those kittens have since found homes and I get regular updates on two of them(who should I add live with a great pyr/lab mix).

Today we finally caught the stray thats been hanging around. She’s a starving bag of bones, but very friendly. If she didn’t have a winter coat on you’d more than likely see every bone in her body. She’s apparently young and more than likely intact. She was so hungry she chewed the tin can of cat food in the live trap.

It’s disgusting, she’s a friendly cat and appears as though someone dumped her in the woods, she sure as heck doesn’t have someone who gives a (fill in the blank) about her, if she did she’d have some meat on her bones. This little kitty lucked out and landed in the right trap however. She may be staying to live as quail house rodent control. Or at least going to the humane society to find someone who wont ditch her. In the mean time she’ll have food, warmth and a soft bed.

Okay rant over.

Flexing


I’ve found tools can be very controversal. Even if they aren’t detrimental by nature. One of those tools is the dreaded flexi-leash. Everyone has encountered them, some have had great experiences with them while others absolutely hate them. I’m middle of the road. I’ve had dogs come flying around a corner in a store and ambush my dogs. I’ve had dogs block bike trails while out for a ride with Dingo, and putting us at risk of a bad fight. I’ve also seen dogs in the middle of the road while their person blindly walks on the sidewalk texting. I’ve even seen dogs take off at a full-out run and yank the handle out of a person’s hand. But I’ve also seen them being used responsibly. There in is the underlying problem, most people don’t give a hoot if their dog could potentially end up dead cause they let is wander willy-nilly on a 15ft flexi.
Flexis can be great if you’re walking in a field, or even doing off leash prep, but on a train, sidewalk or other place where someone is at risk of being tripped is not a good idea.

The other thing I see commonly is flexileads use with a flat buckle collar or even choke chains. This is an awesome way to collapse a dogs trachea. Even if the dog is not pulling you, it’s pulling the leash. The reeling mechanism inside the handle creates tension for the dog to pull against. It’s been hypothesized that this can set loose leash walking back because you’re training your dog to pull you (The dog gets freedom for pulling.).

If you insist on using a flexi leash, use it responsibly or accept the responsibility of any injury resulting from having no control over your dog. I’d also recommend working on LLW before using a flexileash.

House Guests

For the last week we’ve had four little house guests of the feline kind. Terrified and pretty feral we spent a week with them getting them use to people and dogs. Dasy adored her little friends, and tried her best not to scare them. They were about 10 weeks old and tamed pretty easily once they realized he had food for them. By the end of their stay they were trying to play with Dasy’s tail and hissing and growling had just about stopped. Dasy’s only other experience with cats was with a mean adult that never gave her a chance. On Friday the foursome went to new homes with friends, two live with a large dog. Dasy became invaluable in the lives of these kittens, and I’d say she enjoyed every second she had with her litter, even the times they just wanted to run from her.

BtC4Animals!

I decided to write on a topic that has touched many thousands of people’s lives and devastated families; BSL. There has been an outpouring of support for one particular dog named Lennox who’s been in holding at a Belfast Council Contracted Kennel in Belfast, Ireland since May 2010. Lennox is only one of thousands of dogs forcefully removed from their homes because of the way they look.

So whats wrong with BSL? BSL was implemented under the guise that pit-bull-type dogs have a higher incidence of bites and a propensity to be vicious. These myths are the foundation of a legislation bent on tearing families apart and imposing certain false beliefs on innocent people. The other problem is that many mixed breeds take on characteristics that may look a bit like the so-called pit-bull-type dog. Given the bull and terrier/bulldog past of pit fighting and baiting these beliefs are common. But for those who know the bully breeds the truth is the complete opposite. In fact American Pit Bull Terriers were never bred to be human aggressive, it was as close to being bred out of them as possible so they could be pried off their query without the human being bitten. Even in the days where fighting was legal these dogs were often called Nanny dogs or The children’s Nurse Maid due to their disposition and friendliness toward people and especially children. They are incredibly gentle dogs who would sooner lick you to death.

Many thousands of dogs are put to death every year in the name of looks. These dogs are torn from their families with no warning and euthanized without chance to remove the dog from the area of the BSL. So to honor the lives lost, Dingo and Dasy present a candle, for those on death row and those who’ve passed.

So what can you do to help stop BSL? A step in the right direction would be to write your law makers.

Here are some resources for you:

https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0AhApKv_NwWN9dDFfaXRBNVg1bWNmYjNKaWc1M0lzT1E&hl=en&output=html

http://stopbsl.com/take-action/write-letters/

Blog the Change

Puppies! or something like them

Over the past two weeks I’ve been playing mother to a brood of coturnix quail eggs. Now they’re due to hatch!

To celebrate the occassion I’ve got a live webcam on them at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/quail-hatch-cam
http://www.ustream.tv/embed/9424033

One was internally pipped last night.With any luck they will hatch. So join the fun and excitement.. okay it’s a bit dull until they actually pip, but you can still watch.

Blogpaws Carnival Submission, Dasy’s arrival story.

Litter of beagle mix pups, can you guess which one is Dasy?

 This post is my entry into the BlogPaws Blog Carnival Contest sponsored by BISSELL Homecare, Inc.

During the spring of 2009 I began a search for a new addition to our family unit. At this point Dingo was about 4.5 years old and mature enough to help raise a pup. Due to his reactivity I felt a puppy was a better option than an adult, and spring is usually the worst season for puppy fever. Dingo had never really interacted with a puppy, at least not as an adult. My reasoning was a puppy is more likely to throw calming signals and actively try to fit in. The search began in late March, I frequented the two nearby shelters looking for the right fit. Our humane society had a little of apparent corgi/dachshund mixes that had come from a hoarding situation. The litter of 7 little black fluffy pups were put into a viewing room by the front door of the shelter. All of the pups were nearly identical to their mom. The mom and suspected dad were both at the shelter, he was a fairly laid back long, short and chubby dog with German Shepherd type markings. She looked like a long haired dachshund mixed with who knows what. During a play session I had with the puppies(welcomed whole heartedly by the staff for socialization) I was informed that other kennel staff and volunteers were already planning to adopt the pups. Although they were cute, I didn’t feel any connection with any of the pups anyway. A few weeks had gone by when I noticed a litter of beagle mixes at the other shelter. All appeared to be around 10 weeks old. No one could give me any information on the puppies and it was assumed that they all had homes waiting. I was put on waiting lists to be informed if any new puppies had arrived. I frequented the shelter websites in hopes of finding a dog who would work out in our house. A few weeks had gone by and spring break had come. My mom and I went for an outing to check the shelters again. To my surprise the litter of beagle mixes were still at the shelter. Now about 12-15 weeks old as I was told by the staff and volunteers, only 2 had homes waiting. That day only 4 puppies were at the shelter, the others were at the vet to be altered. We were allowed to play with the pups one on one in a adjacent kennel. Pup number one was a red female with one white paw, she was very forward and a little snarky. Pup number two was a little black female with a white chin and paws, she was more standoff-ish not really interested in meeting us, and she was also snarky with the other pups. Pup number three was another red female with white on her chin, throat and all four paws. She was wiggly, very eager to meet us, but also interested in the scents in the kennel. Pup four was a male, mostly white with some light brown patches. He was far more interested in the scent of Gilly, the pit who spent his nights in the kennel we were in. Knowing nothing else about them other than our initial meeting, I asked to see pup Three one more time. It was definitely sealed with a kiss, several kisses. The paperwork was filled that day and a date was set to have Dingo meet the puppy. I had nearly a week to ready the house for a puppy. Although my greatest fear was Dingo not liking the puppy.

Finally the day came, we loaded Dingo into the car, brought along the new harness and leash that I had bought for the little pup. My mom went to let the shelter staff know we had arrived and I took Dingo for a short walk. When we got back to the car I sat Dingo down and shortly after my mom, the shelter manager and another woman who works at the shelter came out with the little red pup. The pup was too interested in the scents of a world unknown to her until that very moment, and Dingo was too concerned with where my mom was to give a hoot about anything else. Although not a perfect meeting it was better than him trying to eat the little hound, or the person walking her for that matter. We were sent on our merry way with warning to keep an eye on Dingo because he might attack her. I knew my boy better than that however, if his initial reaction was like this, there would be no issues unless brought on by the pup. During the ride home Dingo became curious about the new red dog in the car who was soundly sleeping on my lap. A good sign as far as I could tell, curiosity is far better than fear. The pup who at this point was nameless almost became known as Droolia due to the drool seeping from her jowls as she dreamt puppy dreams. When we arrived home we brought the dogs in the house and allowed them too meet freely. Dingo was disinterested, and the pup was busy checking out her new home, including the noisy feathered animals.

By the time evening had arrived it was clear that although they seemed to ignore each other they actually liked each other quite a bit. At this point it was obvious the decision to bring this pup into our home was the right one. In puppy proofing the house I had also bought a large size crate with the divider so the crate can grow with the puppy. We weren’t sure as to how big the pup would get and I prefer to have a crate larger than recommended. The divider was placed so that the pup would have about 1/3 of the crates whole size to sleep in. Dingo’s crate is also a large. This didn’t stop both dogs from cramming themselves into the much smaller divided crate for a nap before dinner. Dingo very quickly took on the roll of big brother, teaching the pup how to get on my bed and the best spot to lay (on the pillow). By the end of the first day with us the pup had a name, Dasy. Her name comes from a family of marsupials native to Australia, the Dasyurids. Over the course of the following months it became more and more obvious that Dasy was a perfect fit. Today it’s common to see them curled up together sleeping, or lounging.

Dingo and Dasy in the crate

The impact of Dasy’s arrival is immesurable. She’s not only brought out the social dog in Dingo but she’s also acted as therapy dog while my mom recovered from hand surgery. Her gentle nature, and tendency to nurture makes her the perect candidate to assist in the rearing of young. Although she’s spayed, she has played mother and nanny to many different species including emu, chickens, budgerigar, and humans. You can’t have a bad day when Dasy is around. If you’re upset she’ll sit on your lap or beside you and kiss you. She spends about an hour every day prancing around the area rug in the living room while tossing a toy or a chewy around. She makes every effort to stay on her “stage” during her game.

There’s not a day that goes by that I ever regret my decision to bring this pup into our family, She’s absolutely wonderful, and her future is as bright as the sun.

Irene’s Kiss

As I’m sure everyone knows the eastern coast of the United States was pummeled over by hurricane Irene. Slamming into the Carolinas and plowing over New Jersey. Thankfully the storm lost its energy as it moved north demoting itself to tropical storm Irene. That’s not to say that Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York didn’t get hammered by the storm. But the effects of the storm weren’t as great as predicted. There was flash flooding, some torrential down pours, and gusty wind, but our once predicted 20+/_ inches of rainfall diminished to 5.8 where I live. This means the dogs don’t have to dock dive off the porch to go potty.

The dogs handled the storm in stride. Dasy refused to go potty Saturday night due to the rain. By Sunday morning she had no choice. Dingo is quick about relieving himself, he barely got wet. Aside from the annoyance of rain neither dog seemed to care about the storm. Dasy thoroughly enjoyed the puddles in the yard however; perhaps they just smelled too good.

But explorations were kept to a minimum to give the wildlife a chance to recover from the blow. Many birds were seen unable to fly much more than 3-4 feet due to being absolutely soaked. One such bird could only hop, she unfortunately ended up passing away. I also saw a number of grounded crows in yards, they just sat there fluffing their feathers to retain any sort of warmth.

Parts of our neighborhood almost washed away with the copious amount of flooding. Some roads had 2 foot deep gorges carved through them by rushing water. Some of the marshes flooded roads and a good number of trees came tumbling to the earth. Truth be told though it could have been much worse.

It’s National Dog Day!

Thats right, today August 26, 2011 is National dog day. In honor of this day I think we should all take a look at why dogs deserve a day all to themselves.

One of the main reasons people bring dogs into their lives is to stay active. Everyone knows dogs thrive on physical activity, even if it’s just a simple walk. A walking companion is just what some people need. Dogs are usually more than happy to fulfil this need(or want).

Dogs are also comedians, bringing laughter into the lives of people all around the world. Inspiring people from Charles M. Schulz to Brad Anderson to immortalize the antics of the canines who touched their lives. People have been welcoming fictional and non-foctional stories of dogs in books and film for ages. Dogs pose a safe subject in childrens stories and an endearing feature for adults. The stories of Lassie, who’se fame cannot just be credited to children, are a fine example of this. The popular Little Orphan Annie radio series featured Sandy the dog. And how about Buck from Call of The Wild. These are all classics that have outlived their time and continue to amuse, entertain and fascinate people.

Endearing, and heart warming experiences play out in reality as well. On August 19th, Petty Officer Jon Tumilson’s dog, Hawkeye, remained by his casket during the funeral service. Stories like this exist from all corners of the world. After the earthquake in Japan, a story of two dogs made headlines. One was injured, the other was his faithful companion who refused to leave his side.

So to all the constant companions, compadres and furry partners in crime, here’s to you for all that you do for and with the people in your lives. Happy National Dog Day!

Contest blog for Camp Unleashed

It’s a rare occassion when people today get to enjoy life without worry of whats for dinner, or what projects need completion on the “to do list.” Thankfully thats why we have Camp Unleashed. A camp that allows dog guardians a chance to be a dog for at least a few days. To experience what our dogs like to do, and maybe even do it with them.

Dasy is an earthy dog, her aroma is sweet and musty a combination of the dirt she rolls in and the flowers she frollics among. I do not consider her scent to be an odor, I actually like it as it is her. She, and I, enjoy many outdoor activies however opprotunity for some activities in this area are slim. It’s an oddity when there’s a seminar anywhere within an hours drive of Berkshire County. To have a place like Camp Unleashed in the Berkshires gives dog guardians and their dogs an outlet that is difficult to meet in our normal daily lives.

This past summer I’ve spent much time helping Dasy over come her water phobia. She’s now at the point where she’ll walk out to me and allow me to carry her into deeper water and release her. She’s become quite the little fish, however she will not leave the shore on her own. The only attempt she’s ever made at doing so was during Woofstock 2010 when she attempted to follow a very loud three legged GSP into the water after a stick. I say attempted because she was on a 6′ lead. I have no doubt that if surrounded by canine friends who are water savvy she would dare the impossible and paddle her way shore to shore.

Dasy at Woofstock 2010

Dasy at Woofstock 2010

Dasy has other interests besides swimming. She’s a regular Tom-Boy(she even stands very boy-like when she’s playing)  enjoying to get her hands, or any other part dirty. I could see her excelling at agility, scent games and nose work. And enjoying every minute of a nature walk. We would both benefit from off lead seminars as thats the ultimate goal. I think I might benefit more from that than her however.

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