Dog Archive

Updates

Posted April 6, 2015 By Ruth

We had a couple of absolutely lovely 60+ degree days last week.  I can finally access the garden again, and the snow in the yard is mostly gone except from a couple really shady spots.

Course, that rapid melt means that every single waterway has burst over its banks with no prior warning.  In many cases by a good 20 feet.  And of course the ground in our yard went from frozen solid to swamp in the same period.  

When I could finally access the garden again I was surprised to see quite a bit of green already.  It looks like the combination of insulating snow and black tires kept the garden warm enough that many of the annual flowers I planted last year (for color) survived the winter (the coldest one the area has ever had) and were getting ready to bloom!  Course, this means that every single weed survived too…..

Current 10 day forecast says we’re not supposed to dip below the freezing mark at all during that time period.  Though we’re going to be getting a fair bit of rain instead.  We don’t need more water at the moment, really.  The downside to that is that every single fruit tree in the region is about to start budding.  If we get a solid frost after this (which is entirely possible since normal last frost isn’t for another month at least for most of the area) its going to play havoc on the orchards.

I’m going to try growing broccoli again.  I’ve got it started in pots inside with an eye towards potentially planting it under row covers in a couple weeks.  Along with the Sugar Snap peas, radishes and some lettuce.  The tomatoes and most of the peppers are out in the greenhouse.

I found a local farm who’ll deliver a pickup load of well aged cow manure for cheap, course, the ground’s so wet she can’t drive the pickup right to the garden like I’d hoped to be able to do.  So we’ll be ferrying the lovely black dirt with hand-carts and the lawn tractor (if the lawn tractor doesn’t bog down in the mud anyway).  But it should do good things for my garden, so its worth it.

Arty’s enjoying the warmer temps, while Apollo is mourning the missing snow.  Arty has now completed 2 of the 3 required Qualifying runs to earn him his Barn Hunt Novice title.  Hopefully he’ll get that last Q later this month at a local trial.  We’ll be running Apollo for his Instinct title at the same trial, so wish me luck!

Yarn!

Posted March 26, 2015 By Ruth

So, for the last couple years I’ve been saving Apollo’s shed fur with an eye towards having it spun into yarn.  

At this point in the conversation most people who’ve never had interactions with a Tibetan Mastiff cringe at the thought of making smelly dog fur into yarn.  But TMs aren’t smelly dogs.  Right now Apollo hasn’t had a bath since the Nov show and I can only smell an odor on him if I get my nose right down into his fur.  And even then its not a “doggy odor”.  

Two years of collecting fur, trying to avoid the short stuff from his legs and shoulders (and missing out on the fluff that floated free while he was outside), got me a bit over two pounds of fluff to be spun.  Folks, if you ever run into someone who tells you their (non-giant breed short coated) dog loses pounds and pounds of fur every year feel free to laugh at them.

Over the weekend the lady who’s spinning for me (and yes, I’m paying her) let me know that she had five skeins done, and that she’d done not quite half of what I’d given her.

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Wow.  I wasn’t expecting to get that much yarn TOTAL out of that bag of fluff, never mind over two times that.  Admittedly its not a particularly bulky yarn, but it is two ply, so still…..

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A closeup in better light.  It turned out very pretty.

I might have to learn how to spin, if thats how much yarn I can get out of a single year’s shed.  Not sure my hands are up to it, but I think I’m going to have to try.

Since I’m going to have alot more yarn than I expected I decided to knit the first scarf on my double knit Knitting Board.

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Working on a loom of any kind is much easier on my hands than trying to knit using needles, even big chunky ones, so its going fairly quickly.  Can’t wait to see the finished product!

Killer dog…..

Posted March 21, 2015 By Ruth

Most recent article HERE.

Lets change this scenario around just a bit.  

Lets say Mr Wallace answered a knock on his front door, when he opened it the person on the other side swings at Mr Wallace, knocking him to the ground where the impact on his head knocks him out.  The intruder then continues to pummel Mr Wallace, kneeling over him.  If the dog had killed that intruder would it have been such a big upset?  Or would we be praising the dog for saving her owners life?

Not one of the articles I’ve seen on this situation give even a hint that this dog has caused problems before.  Usually when there’s a “dog attack” there’s SOMEONE who comes out of the woodwork to tell you how the dog threatened them last year.  But I’ve not seen a single comment to that effect.

This isn’t a case of a human aggressive dog who attacked a random visitor to her owners home.

This isn’t a case of bite inhibition gone wrong.

This is a case of a well bonded dog who saw her owner down, and then someone comes in and starts beating on the owners chest, likely kneeling over or even straddling the torso.  Not one account makes it sound like the dog attacked the neighbor the instant he walked in the door.  Everyone agrees that the neighbor had started CPR before the dog bit him.  Infact, based on every article I’ve read on it, I’ll bet the dog didn’t even go for the neighbor’s throat.  The death was most likely from blood loss from multiple attempts by the dog to grab and drag the neighbor away from her owner (which would look ALOT like a mauling by an unstable dog unfortunately).

This isn’t a killer dog.  And she won’t require much rehab to make her a stellar pet.

Unfortunately finding her a new home will likely be virtually impossible.

This one’s for you NH people.  I know there’s at least a couple of you who read here.

House Bill 0624 is going to modify the process of what happens when an animal is seized for abuse or the like.  I just did a quick scan of the text, but at least one problem jumped at me right away.

Apparently current process: your dog is seized for abuse, you go to court, and if you’re convicted you’re expected to pay for the costs of the care for the animal while it was in custody.

What they want to do: your dog is seized for abuse, you get handed a bill for the care of the animal before you even get to court, and if you can’t pay that bill you lose custody of the dog regardless of whether you end up convicted or not.  Cause you know, guilty till proven innocent or some such……

I can sympathize that caring for an animal, especially a sick or injured animal, while waiting for a case to go to court isn’t cheap and eats up the limited resources of shelters, but this isn’t the right solution either.

There have been SO MANY cases of reports of abuse that aren’t anywhere close to such.  People who see an animal with “an obvious health problem” where the animal is under the care of a vet for the condition and the owner is taking the appropriate steps to care for the animal.  And sometimes there isn’t a “health problem” at all beyond the reporter’s imagination and lack of knowledge of life.  

Its not bad enough that you’re spending alot of money on the vet bills and medications that your sick animal needs, but now, cause some idiot reported you for abuse and it went viral (which happens WAY TOO OFTEN cause people are fucking stupid), and the local ACO gave in to pressure, they seized your dog, so now you have to pay a ton of money in legal bills to get him back and clear your name……but now they want to  charge you for caring for the dog (which you were doing properly at home in the first place) and if you can’t pay that bill TOO you’re going to lose your dog no matter what the outcome of the court case……

Maryland folks, I’m being told that there’s a similar bill(s) pending in your state as well, I’ve not stopped to read them yet, but consider this a heads up you’ll want to check on!

Apollo says winter is awesome

Posted January 17, 2015 By Ruth

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I think my fingers froze off taking these pictures though…..

Attention New York Dog Owners

Posted January 6, 2015 By Ruth

Big Brother is considering dictating (Bill# S00473) how you train your dogs.

S 113-A. OBEDIENCE TRAINING; REQUIRED. 1. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL BY RULE OR REGULATION ESTABLISH REQUIREMENTS FOR BASIC OBEDIENCE COURSES FOR DOGS AND THEIR OWNERS WHICH MUST BE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION. SUCH REQUIREMENTS SHALL INCLUDE INSTRUCTION FOR THE OWNER ON THE PRINCIPLES OF DOG TRAINING, AND INSTRUCTION ON AND PRACTICE OF OBEDIENCE TRAINING BY BOTH THE DOG AND ITS OWNER. FURTHERMORE, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ESTABLISH MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF SUCH BASIC OBEDIENCE COURSES. 2. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ESTABLISH REQUIREMENTS FOR DOG OBEDIENCE SCHOOLS WHICH ARE AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE THE BASIC DOG OBEDIENCE COURSES FOR DOGS AND THEIR OWNERS AS REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION. 3. THE OWNER OF ANY DOG REACHING THE AGE OF ONE YEAR SHALL, ON OR BEFORE THE DATE SUCH DOG REACHES ONE YEAR OF AGE OR WITHIN ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY DAYS OF RECEIVING OWNERSHIP OF SUCH DOG, WHICHEVER SHALL BE LATER, SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE, WITH HIS OR HER DOG, A BASIC OBEDIENCE COURSE.

(text modified only to remove line numbers and make the paragraph work in the blog formatting)

So they want to dictate what and how our dogs are taught basic obedience. And require it of all dog owners.  Which on the surface of things I can see the theory.  But reality doesn’t work that way.  

First off, its yet ANOTHER state dictated expense for dog owning.  Unless they’re going to force trainers to offer the class for free, yah, that’d go over well.  Or maybe they’ll decide to subsidise it.  Like they are the minimum wage.  Yah, lets do that *headdesk*

And lets look at the practical issues:

Working farm dogs, especially Livestock Guardian Dogs, almost never leave the home property, are frequently not house pets, and are unlikely to pass basic obedience (or have an owner who wants them too).  

Hunting hounds are often not house pets, only leave the home property for hunting trips, and their owners are very unlikely to be interested in basic obedience classes.

A dog with dog aggression problems certainly needs training, but squashing one into a crowded “one size fits all” class will do them more harm than good.

Conformation show dogs are frequently taught modified obedience, including “down” or “stand” in place of “sit” because they don’t want the dogs sitting in the show ring.  If the mandated training dictates the use of the command “sit” show dogs are screwed too.

Never mind that not all dogs learn the same way.  What works for your average Lab might not work for your average hunting hound, never mind your average primitive breed.  Oh yes, the primitives.  Like the ones I own.  Both of whom are perfectly safe in public.  And both of whom would be very unlikely to pass your average “basic obedience” class, ESPECIALLY if it was done by the wrong trainer…..

HERE you can find your local Assemblymember and let them know what you think!

Click read more to see the letter I wrote.

Read the remainder of this entry »

Apollo turned 4

Posted December 21, 2014 By Ruth

Well, he actually turned 4 on the 18th and I’m a little behind, but its so hard to believe that its been almost 4 years since we brought him home, looking like this:

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And now:

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And at the show in Mid Nov he even took Best Of Breed over his nephew!

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How to get your face bitten off by a strange dog

Posted December 16, 2014 By Ruth

aka: some moron who publishes for public consumption is trying to get people bitten

I’m NOT going to link to the actual article.  But if you really want to read it, it was published on The Toast, and its titled “Tips for Getting the Most Out Of Strangers’ Dogs”.  Note, The Toast isn’t exactly what I’d call high end reading, but unfortunately the article is making the rounds of Facebook…..

And its basically a set of instructions on how to get a strange dog to allow you to pet them without having to ask the dog owner for permission first…..

The FIRST thing the author tells you to do is lock eyes with the dog.

Locking eyes with a predator is an aggressive signal.  While its true that certain training commands involve having a dog do that on command, outside of that setup its STILL an aggressive move even for those dogs.  And while some dogs won’t care, others will be scared by the eye contact (oh yah, terrorizing the dog you want to pet is a good idea), and still others till respond in a very aggressive manner.

Never mind that there ARE dogs who’ll allow you to reach out a hand to pet them….only to snap at the hand because something triggered their fear at the last minute.

Never mind the SHEAR STUPIDITY that people insist on doing this sort of thing with working dogs (and no, just because you don’t see a vest on the dog doesn’t mean they’re not working).

So do yourself and every dog you meet a favor.  Ask the owners permission BEFORE even approaching the dog.  Do NOT lock eyes with the dog.  And if at any point the owner indicates that your attention isn’t welcome or needs to stop, then DON’T PUSH IT.

 

Photo dump

Posted October 27, 2014 By Ruth

Been a while since the last time I posted photos (and even that was mostly garden stuff)….

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How to piss off your whole community

Posted October 21, 2014 By Ruth

Get a 911 call that “aggressive dogs are terrorizing a lady in a car

Send officer out to look things over. 

Officer allows one dog to be captured by a neighbor of the owner.  But when he attempts to call the other dogs to him they act aggressively so he has to shoot them for his own safety.

Owner calls BS on the “acting aggressively” part and FOIA’s the video from the officer’s lapel cam (yay for wired police!).  Police release a 22second bit of video that shows the officer shooting the dog “for his own safety”: http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/news/article_7e920210-5646-11e4-a670-8fe5949ce1ca.html?mode=video (warning, the video does indeed show the dog being shot, its not the goryest thing ever, but some people will be bothered regardless).

Cue public upset in 3…2….

Additional video from before the shooting: http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/video_b174524a-5647-11e4-8c6a-cb8bcb24f91e.html

and after the shooting: http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/video_cee9af92-5646-11e4-8ae5-0b544247bb8a.html (very clear shot of the dead and bloody dog)

Now. 

I can’t comment on what happened with the dogs cornering someone in their car.  Its not on video.  I can certainly see how a friendly, excited, reasonably sized, dog bouncing on the car door in an attempt to say “HI!!” could be scary to someone who’s not good with dogs. 

In the video from before the shooting I can hear a lady talking to the officer and stating that one of the brown dogs snapped at her.  I can hear the officer telling another resident that the black and white dog (who at this time he’s ignoring) was the one acting aggressively.  Officer allows the owners’ neighbor to catch and contain the black and white dog.

There’s a gap of at least a few seconds, and possibly longer, between the first video and the 22second video.  According to info from the police department the two remaining loose dogs growled at the officer during this gap.  Not sure why we don’t have a video of it, releasing that info would go a long way to supporting the officer’s side of the story.

In the 22second clip, you can see the officer approaching the two dogs, who are sniffing a drain pipe and ignoring the approaching human.  Tails are slowly wagging, a sign that whatever else is going on the dogs aren’t highly agitated.  Whiny barks can be heard, no growling or full throated barks can be heard.  Officer points his gun at the dogs, chirps to get their attention, they look at him, and he fires three shots at one of them.  Its hard to tell with the officer’s hands in the way of the video, but I saw no sign of either dog actually even moving towards him after he chirps at them.  The other dog runs away.

In the final video the officer can be seen repeatedly pointing his gun at the remaining dog every time the so much as looks in his direction.  The dog is still not acting aggressively.  At this point the ACO finally arrives and takes over, at the ACO’s approach the remaining dog shows every sign of being happy to see a friendly human, and even rolls over on his back for belly rubs.  The ACO is able to walk the dog away without so much as a leash to contain the dog.

Now, I certainly have no idea if these dogs are regular escapees.  Or how much they’ve terrorized the neighborhood.  But nothing in the videos shows aggression, or anything else to cause the officer to fear for his own safety….