• Category Archives Dog
  • Photos update

    Not much has been going on here, but I’ve gotten some photos to share.

    This past Saturday I made a trip down to the local buffalo farm to pick up some meat for us and bones for the dogs.  While I was there their youngest calf (she was born in Oct, WAY late) and her momma wandered up to the fence line and they were kinda enough to allow me to go down to the line myself to snatch some photos.






    And I attempted to get some closeups of snowflakes.  I don’t really have the right equipment for this, but they turned out ok anyway.  If you click through to the big version, and then click to zoom in you can see all sorts of detail.





    And a sunset from a couple weeks ago.




    And the dogs enjoying the snow.




    A full moon.



    And this juvi Red-tailed hawk was kind enough to soar slowly over so I could get several pictures.




    And more birds at the feeders.




  • COLD!!!!



    I know, if there’s any Canadians reading this they’re laughing at me.  I don’t care.  -15 at 8am is fricking COLD by my book.  But hey, the pipes aren’t frozen this time!

    Arty thinks this cold was designed just to torture him.

    Apollo wants to go roll around in the snow some more and what do you mean you won’t let me spend all day out here??

  • NYs new animal rights law

    Text of the bill is HERE.

    ALL it does is allow local municipalities to enact stricter punishments than the state law.  Seriously.  After reading it I didn’t  understand why all the Animal Rights people were jumping for joy over it.

    Then I read THIS article.

    Money quote:

    “I think any police officer should be able to pull over and say let me see your license and paperwork. And if that dog is not spayed or neutered, it would be wonderful if they can fine that individual,” says McNeely.

    Christine McNeely is the executive director of the local Humane Association of Central NY.

    There are SO MANY things wrong with that statement its not even funny.

    First off, can you say HUMAN rights violation, for the cops to be able to stop you and ask for “your paperwork” just because you happen to be with a dog??

    Then lets look at the stupidity of mandatory spay/neuter laws, which do NOT work.  If you have a decent low cost spay/neuter program then the only folks who haven’t spayed or neutered their dog or cat either aren’t going to anyway, or don’t know about the program.  All the law does is fine them, force them to give up the animal when they can’t afford the fine, at which point they go to the BYB down the road and get another puppy.  Meanwhile the dog they gave up is sitting at the local pound and probably getting put down for “space”.

    And then there’s recent research on the fairly serious negatives of spaying/neutering dogs at an early age, with some research pointing out negatives for spay/neuter at ANY age.  Seriously, we’ve known for a long time that the removal of hormones does bad things to HUMANS, why we ever thought it wasn’t going to do bad things to other animals I do NOT understand.

    And, basic fact of life here, if you legislate out all the responsible hobby breeders by making it so incredibly expensive to breed, the only ones left breeding will be the puppy mills who can afford to pay for whatever permits are needed, and the BYBers who don’t care or don’t know about the law and slide under it for various reasons!  Yup, laws like this just make it MORE possible to find a puppy from a puppy mill.  Not less.

    If they REALLY want to put the puppy mills out of business then they need to forbid the selling of cats/dogs in petstores or other retail settings, and they need to forbid the selling of them online.  The GOOD breeders don’t sell online, they list their litters planned, and show pictures of the pups, but no transactions are done via the website.  

    But of course that won’t happen, cause the folks behind the puppy mills have money, and money talks when it comes to politics!

  • A White Christmas and gardening!

    I know, what a pairing right?

    I wasn’t sure we were going to have a white Christmas here, we often don’t, somehow always managing to have a thaw right before Christmas that melts the white stuff already on the ground.  Heck, some years we don’t get any snow till after January 1st, at which point Mother Nature makes up for her kindness by dumping feet of the stuff on us.  And sure enough, this past weekend we had temps in the 50′s with rain, resulting in all but the largest of snow piles melting into nothing.

    But this year the few flakes that were drifting out of the sky when we left to go to Christmas Eve dinner at my Inlaws had turned into full on white out conditions by the time we left to come home.  Its only a couple inches of snow, but it made driving home interesting.  Apollo’s thrilled though.

    Their family tradition is to open one gift on Christmas Eve, and this year my SIL planned to be spending Christmas dinner with HER Inlaws so the gifts chosen to open were the ones from her family to everyone else.  Her gift to us this year was a new “welcome” mat for our front steps.  Our current one is decidedly faded and worn.  Please note the “‘ around the word “welcome”.  Our current mat states “You read my door mat, thats enough social interaction for one day”.  THIS is the new one.  Which sent the entire family into gales of laughter when they read it.  I love it, but when I flipped it over, and stopped to read the attached “warning label” I laughed even harder:



    The other present I was handed last night was my belated Birthday gift from my MIL.  My birthday was last month and she completely forgot to get me anything, I told her not to worry about it, birthday dinner and cake was plenty, but she insisted.  She ordered several books off my Amazon Wish List, one of them Backyard Winter Gardening by Caleb Warnock.

    I’ve been fascinated by the concept of winter gardening for a while, but the large majority of instruction and discussion on it that I’ve found has been done by folks in climates different from mine.  Someone on the west coast, or a zone and a half warmer than I, is going to have different success with different techniques that I would.  Technically we’re zone 5b, however I’ve repeatedly seen plants that are supposedly hardy to zone 5 not survive our winters.  So I was skeptical that any of the winter gardening techniques that I was seeing would work here.   The author of this book lives in the Rocky Mountains, and has recorded winter temps in his garden as low as -17.  So I figure if HE can do a winter garden with these techniques than I ought to be able to pull off something here.

    Husband practically lit up when he spotted me reading about winter grown broccoli last night.  After my one disastrous attempt to grow broccoli two summers ago I’ve not tried anything close since.  We may be trying again this next winter.  I will attempt to remember to blog about how what when and what the results are!

  • Special needs puppy needs a home

    I’ve been a little slow to post this, alot of you readers come here via the same avenue that I used to find this post.  But little Major still needs a home, and so let the networking begin!


    This is Major.  She’s from the last litter that the Atomic Nerds have raised.  And she as a potentially major heart defect:

    unfortunately, the consultation I had with a veterinary cardiologist revealed what she’s actually got is pulmonic stenosis, a different and much less common (the cardiologist commented she’d simply never seen it in an Akita before now) issue. We do not yet know how severe the stenosis is- she was too young at the time to get a good picture- but the cardiologist suggested it wasn’t likely to be mild. We’ll know when she is old enough to have another, clearer ultrasound done in another month or two. She also has a defect in the wall between her ventricles, which the cardiologist said may either be making things worse or actually helping; apparently they often occur together and the treatment for THAT defect on its own is giving the patient an artificial case of stenosis. Apparently Major is very medically interesting! I could have done with boring, personally.

    So Major needs a home.  She needs a home that can handle an Akita (which isn’t the easiest breed to work with) and she needs a home that can handle potentially major medical bills and possibly the far to early heart-break if her condition means her life is shortened.

    Those factors combined have made finding her a home difficult.  If you are up to the task please contact the Atomic Nerds via the email in the linked post.  If you know someone who might be up to the task please share this with them!

  • A request for folks who read here.

    Please vote for Apollo!

    To do so, go to each of these links:

    photo 1

    photo 2

    then click the vote button.  Then please reload the pages and do so again!  You can vote up to 5 times per picture.  You can also vote for as many pictures as you’d like, so feel free to work your way through the pictures in the contest and vote for any other dogs who catch your eye.

    The prize is nothing fancy, a free copy of the calendar and maybe a mug, but I would really appreciate it!

    This post will be posted to the top of the page till the contest is over.

    Thank you very much for voting for Apollo!

  • *headdesk* aka the reason I have very little respect for most animal rescue groups…

    Back at the end of January we had to put Janie down.  It hurt, but she was miserable, and nothing was helping any more.

    One thing I started doing, almost immedietly, was looking for a new cat.  Not because I wanted a new cat so soon, cause really, I didn’t.  But because in order to fit into this household a cat is going to have to fit some fairly strict criteria, and I knew it was going to take time to find a cat who did.

    The problem of course is Arty’s prey drive.  He understands that he’s not allowed to chase MY cats, but any cat he doesn’t ID as mine is fair game, and I’ve not been able to break that yet (and may not be able to ever).  Any new cat that enters my house will have a period of time where, if it makes a “prey like” move Arty will attempt to pounce, it IS going to take me time to get him to realize this is MY cat.  SO: No kittens, they’re to small and helpless and to likely to do things like scamper accross the floor in a mad dash…..I’d prefer a young adult cat, between 1-3 years of age.  The cat needs to already be dog savvy.  And a larger cat is probly a good idea.  A laid-back temperment is also required, to put up with Arty.

    Now I already knew that my local shelter had a strict policy of not adopting dogs into a home with an intact dog.  The fact that the dog I’d been looking at was already spayed had no bearing on their decision.  Apollo’s intact and thats that.  But surely it was different for their cats…..

    Nope.  Intact dog, therefor no cat for me.  I shook my head and started casting my net wider.

    And repeatedly ran into the same policy.  Apollo’s intact, therefor MULTIPLE rescues will not adopt an already “fixed” cat to me.

    Guys, I promise Apollo has no taste for rape, much less cross-species rape, and the Tibetan Meow-stiff is an urban legend, I swear……

    Its so bad that when I run across a new rescue I no longer email asking for more info on specific animals, and I no longer fill out the adoption application.  Instead the first thing I do is email asking if they will adopt a CAT into a home that has an intact DOG.

    I haven’t found one yet.

    These same rescues constantly go on about not being able to find homes for all their animals.  These same rescues can’t understand why people end up getting their next cat or dog from some BYB on Craigslist.

    They do it to themselves.

  • NY Insurance law change — Attn Dog Owners

    NY A3952 is designed to amend current state law on insurance.  The intention is to prohibit insurers from denying insurance, or charging higher rates, to dog owners based on the breed of the dog.  The act was written to allow insurers to deny or charger higher rates to the owners of dangerous dogs, but does not allow that designation for no other reason than the dog’s breed.

    An additional write up from Stop BSL.

    If you live in NY and own a dog please consider letting the State Senate know what you think of the law!

  • The Anatomy of a Dog Attack

    When a dog attack is reported we will often hear the same old phrases bandied about.

    “It came out of the blue”

    “It was totally unprovoked”

    “We didn’t see it coming”

    “It was totally out of character”

    Like many other dog lovers I hate those above phrases, and many other similer ones.  Weer’d manages to get me to twitch on fairly regular basis when he reports on a dog attack and refers to dogs “just going off” (I understand why he phrases it that way, but it still makes me twitch, I mostly manage to refrain from lecturing at him…..).

    The National Canine Research Council studies deaths caused by dogs.  Their intense scrutiny of each death caused by a dog has resulted in some interesting statistics.

    In 2011 (the last year full data is availible for), 21 of the 31 canine caused deaths were caused by “resident dogs”, these are dogs who do NOT live in the household, they are isolated from positive human interaction and training and are often chained in the yard with little contact with the family.  These are the junkyard dogs, the dogs kept in basements, or chained to the front porch to be “guards”.  These aren’t dogs who’re family pets, loved and cared for.

    In only 8 of those 31 cases was there evidence to confirm the breed of the dog.  No one breed is responsible for a signifigant number of deaths in the USA.  Unless you consider “the media called it a pitbull but no one can produce DNA or pedigree to prove it” a breed.

    In the cases of “family dogs”, dogs who lived in the household, they are often new to the household, or had a medical problem.  Infants are often left unattended with a dog, and an infant so completely resembles a prey animal that even a good tempered dog will have trouble.  In a fatal dog attack that happened just recently the child was riding the dog as if he was a horse!  In that case the dog didn’t even really attack the child.  He bit the child once, in a manner considered by dog behaviorists to be a last ditch warning that an attack is immenent.  Unfortunetly the bite was to the child’s head, and the child’s parents didn’t seek medical attention promptly.  And before you wonder at the parents who’d allow their child to treat a dog so, its unfortunetly very common, to the point where videos on youtube show it on a regular basis.

    Just recently K9 Magazine put out an article on The Anatomy of a Dog Attack.  If you have ANY interactions with a dog I highly recommend reading it.  They run through an example senerio that is entirely to possible if any person’s daily life.  Their example dog is a highly loved pet, who saw a set of interactions in a completely different manner than the humans involved.  Its fictional (I think), but a very good example of how oblivous humans can accidently trigger an attack.

    1. Max spots a man walking toward his and his owner’s garden – ‘his territory’

    2. Not unduly worried, Max paid little attention to the stranger until John shouted in Henry’s direction. To Max, this was a clear signal to ‘watch for danger’

    3. Obediently, Max sat at the front gate and watched for that danger.

    4. He attempted to signal to Henry by putting his tail in the air and growling, that he was prepared to defend his owner and territory.

    5. As Henry gets closer, Max again postures but now spots Henry’s aggressive body language, his wide eyes refusing to overt their gaze a clear signal of intent. Henry’s point blank refusal to alter his path, a sure fire gesture of defiance.

    6. As John runs inside, Max’s thoughts turn to escape. He now believes John is as scared as he is and they should both seek shelter from the safety of the house.

    7. Too late. As Henry enters the garden (Max and John’s territory) Max does what he thinks his owner needs him to do. He defends against the threat.

    8. As Henry runs away and John panics, Max takes this as a sign that he should increase his attack, his canine instincts now in complete overdrive.

    So let us again question whether John was correct when he explained to Police that Max’s attack was unprovoked.

    Was it unprovoked? Not at all.

    Was it unjustified in human, social terms? Absolutely.

    Was it avoidable? Totally.


    Dogs do not bite people without reason. They do not attack out of the blue. They do not launch into savage, frenzied assaults without provocation despite what you will undoubtedly read in news reports when the next dog attack hits the press.

    There are NO devil dogs. There are NO unprovoked dog attacks. There IS a huge gap in understanding amongst some dog owners about why dogs attack and until we can bridge that gap in education people will continue to be attacked and more and more dogs will join Max, their memories destroyed along with their bodies.

    As someone who owns a dog of a highly protective breed I have learned what the signals are that my dog is seeing a need to protect.  I don’t yell out greetings, I don’t ignore my dog when someone new approaches.  I wish more people did the same.

    Please take the time to read the attacked links, and watch the video in the one.  They contain information that everyone who interacts with dogs ought to know.