Sunday, September 02, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Funny how some people have no idea how to treat dogs (see post about Michael Vick) and then there's others who show how wonderful a bond between mankind and the animal kingdom can be...
Now, these are my peeps :)
Jessica, the Hippo
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
It's interesting how people get attached to different breeds of dogs. I suppose there are many reasons for it - some of them good, solid reasons (the right temperament for the owner, kid friendly), some of them - not so much (wanting the same dog as Paris Hilton, comes to mind).
I have a friend who loves Irish Wolfhounds - in fact, I have two friends who love Irish Wolfhounds but, right now I'm talking about MC who just got a puppy. A puppy that is 105 pounds at a little over six months old.This is a picture of Hudson at four months when he only weighed 53 pounds.
Because they are a rarer breed (unlike some, ahem, other dogs we could name if they weren't sitting next to us), MC drove a round trip total of 1200 miles - solo - to pick up a male pup. The breeder put the four male pups of the litter into an enclosed area and asked MC "If you were able to pick from these four, which one would it be?" She said they were all so cute...running around, playing with sticks, an old carpet, jumping on each other, chasing each other and then one stopped, turned around, looked her right in the eyes and she fell in love...and named him Hudson.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
I haven't written in so long - working full time, moved, non-profit work, writing a book, etc., but - Michael Vick has made me feel like I have to do what little I can to stand up for pits.
The best I can do right now is point you to some of the pit bull sites Honey and I like and see how they have been responding:
Smilin' Pit Bull Rescue (www.spbr.org) has a page where they link to the Humane Society of the United States's petition against Vick, some very nice T-shirts and great photos throughout the site, as always (like the photo below).
Jigga and Venus (very cute pups!) mention some Cafe Press stuff you can buy to show your anti-Vick stance.
The Poodle and dog blog have a good Michael Vick cartoon (and lots of other weird, funny, unusual, interesting dog news.)
And, then, of course, this has also meant discovering a new site. KC Dog Blog has a great round-up of articles.
Monday, April 09, 2007
A lot going on but no time to blog
Right now so - some animal things people have sent me lately:
a cat with a bus route
a hamster eating broccoli
Pit Bulls being trained as Narcotic Search Dogs
I never thought about how the Police force imports dogs from Germany (at a lot of expense) to be drug search dogs and Law Dogs USA encourages them to use rescued pit bulls instead - very hopeful!
A couple of dog jokes that make me think I know what Honey's up to when I'm not around:
And finally, one of the latest PIN (pets in need) dogs on OSLF - the Orthodogs Silver Lining Foundation where I try to volunteer as often as possible.
This is the cutest Shar-Pei named Shiloh who had to have a leg amputated because of owner neglect. Sad but he was rescued and things are now looking bright for the sweet little pup and tripod dogs get around really well. This picture was sent after Shiloh receiving a boxful of dog goodies from the OSLF founders. Gotta love that face!
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Canine Good Citizen
From the American Kennel Club
CGC is a certification program that is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community.
Test 1: Accepting a Friendly Stranger
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness and must not break position or try to go to the evaluator.
Test 2: Sitting Politely for Petting
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. While the dog is sitting at the handler's side, the evaluator pets the dog on head and body only, then circles the dog and handler, completing the test. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.
Test 3: Appearance and Grooming
This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit a stranger, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner's care, concern and responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog, then combs or brushes the dog and lightly examines the ears and each front foot.
Test 4: Out for a Walk (Walking on a loose leash)
This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler, whichever the handler prefers. There must be a left turn, a right turn and an about turn, with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops.
Test 5: Walking Through a Crowd
This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers, without appearing over exuberant, shy or resentful. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not be straining at the leash.
Test 6: Sit and Down on Command/Staying in Place
This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler's command to sit and down and will remain in place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to make the dog sit and then down. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of a 20-foot line. The dog must remain in place, but may change positions.
Test 7: Coming When Called
This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The Handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and will call the dog. The handler may use body language and encouragement to get the dog to come. handlers may choose to tell dogs to "stay" or "wait" or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog as the evaluator provides mild distractions (e.g. petting).
Test 8: Reaction to Another Dog
This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 10 yards, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 5 yards. The dogs should show no more than a casual interest in each other.
Test 9: Reactions to Distractions
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations, such as the dropping of a large book or a jogger running in front of the dog. The dog may express a natural interest and curiosity and may appear slightly startled, but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness or bark.
(To test this, a woman walked up to Honey who was lying down and abruptly opened an umbrella in her face. Honey literally did a back flip and came up with a very startled look on her face like "what was THAT?"- then she went over and sniffed it so she passed this with flying colors after everyone stopped laughing. I wish I had had it on tape...)
Test 10: Supervised Separation
This test demonstrates that a dog can be left alone, if necessary, and will maintain its training and good manners. Evaluators are encourage to say something like, "Would you like me to watch your dog?" and a person will hold the leash of the dog. The dog will be held for three minutes and does not have to stay in position, but should not continually bark, whine, howl, pace unnecessarily or show anything other than mild agitation or nervousness.
Honey - Canine Good Citizen/March 2007 :)
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Honey moved in two years ago. I don't know what to call that? An anniversary? I know people who don't like when owners use human terms when they talk about their pets. (If you call yourself the "mom" of your dog, or call your dog your "baby" or "child," etc.) But, our language doesn't have any specialized terms for the bond that people and animals do have. Maybe that's just the English language. Maybe there are some cultures that evolved with animals so integral to their lifestyle, they have many specialized words for them --- the way Alaskans are supposed to have many words for different kinds of "snow."
Honey was at a rescue kennel and they had just taken away all her pups because they were getting sick. The pups were three and 1/2 weeks old and, somehow, had gone through their vet check-ups without ever getting de-wormed (look into de-worming any pups from a street dog at two weeks - something I very sadly learned after the fact.)
Poor Honey was pacing her area, upset and confused to have her puppies suddenly disappear. She had been a very good mom - always letting them nurse (even though her hairless belly was completely scratched up by their claws and teeth), keeping them clean and cleaning up their sleeping area, and, well, just looking after them.
I had never planned on keeping Honey - I'd already found a very reputable rescuer who said she would place her - a minor miracle for a pitbull. (The pups were to be placed by the rescue kennel and the rescuer - they said puppies were easier to place but they needed to make sure they would be going to a good family environment.) Me? I had recently moved and was starting to tentatively think about getting a small dog. I wanted one that would fit under an airplane seat if necessary - that way my traveling lifestyle wouldn't be cramped. No more than 20 pounds so I could easily carry it if it hurt itself. Another important point: I would have to move if I got a larger dog. So the quote that comes to mind is something about Man plans and God laughs....
I took Honey home with me and did everything I could to distract her. It was a sad time and we found out only one of the eight pups she had had lived. (His name is Mo, he's a brindle and he lives with a Beagle somewhere in LA.)
So, I did move and it wasn't bad because I had a great companion with me ready to make friends with anyone that came our way. Honey seems to have forgotten about her pups although she does tend to mother some puppies when she sees them - or maybe she just plain tries to boss young dogs around...
Tonight, she's lying next to my bed snoring away, oblivious to everything but some exciting dreams (the gophers we saw in the park today?) I gave her an extra walk today and let her spend as much time on those gophers as she wanted. She got some extra treats, too. I wanted to celebrate the dogversary.