I have been taking a lot of rides in the country lately. I live in the city and so this is a vacation from all the noise and buzz. I have noticed that most country dogs are mutts.
This one was barking and chasing the car until I stopped and took out the camera. Then he became totally silent.
This next dog was sleeping right in the middle of the road. When I stopped to admonish him, he took serious offense and started howling.
This next dog followed me all the way from his house to a dock on a river. He knew his way around though because once he got tired of me, he left and trotted back home.
Whatever number of breeds comes together to create a dog, the result is always a distinct personality.
My first dog would not poop anywhere in the house than on newspaper. Wow, I thought this is great. Put down some newspaper and problem solved. Then I got my second dog. Maybe she read the paper. That would explain her reluctance to soil any part of it. No sirree. Anywhere in the house but on that newspaper.
The most success I’ve had with training puppies is in the summer. This has nothing to do with the puppy’s intelligence, and everything to do with my preference for going out in the yard in the summer instead of the winter. So, consider the time of year when you decide to get a puppy.
What I have learned is that, although the puppy might want to please you, he won’t be able to control his bladder until he is at least four months old. So, expect accidents even once you think the puppy has finally GOT IT.
If you have recently gotten a puppy, here are some ideas I wish I had thought of with my second dog.
- When we first get our cute little puppy, we are highly tolerant. After all, we want him to feel welcomed into our home. Big mistake. Start training as soon as you get your puppy. If you let the puppy pee in the house, he will get the idea that you are okay with that behavior.
- Choose a spot in your yard where you want the puppy to eliminate and bring him there each time. I’ll admit I’ve never thought of doing this but it would save the grass for sure.
- Bring him out on a leash. This will show him that this is not fun time—no playing—this is toilet time.
- You might want to put a bell on your door hanging from a rope. Ring it each time you take the puppy out – better yet get the dog to ring the bell when you are going out. Give the dog a treat if he rings the bell then eliminates. If he rings the bell and doesn’t eliminate…no praising, no treat. You don’t want him ringing that bell whenever the dog wants to take you out.
- Have one word for “the business”. It doesn’t have to be sophisticated, unless you want to impress your neighbors. “Do your ca-ca” is fine.
- Reward the puppy when he does his business.
- Bring him out first thing when he wakes up and 20 minutes after he eats.
- Play time should be done only after “the business”.
- Clean up after your dog right away. This will prevent him and other dogs from eating poop. See my article on that distasteful (pardon the pun) topic.
- If your dog poops in the house, take the poop and place it in his designated ca-ca spot in the yard. (That’s another task that is way easier in the summer.)
So, how will you know when your puppy gets the urge? If you see him doing circles or semi circles, it’s time to take him outside.
Yesterday I visited an off leash dog park for the first time. It is quite a distance from my home but I was curious. There are two sections in the park and I thought I’d start with the section dedicated to the small dogs. I was leaning on the fence studying the park when a pack of dogs came running over — all of them small, all of them so cute. Then, when I least expected it, a dog, a miniature doberman by the look of him, jumped right up to my face, his mouth set in a growl, his sharp teeth showing, looking very much like he might attack me.
I was stunned. I backed away shocked. Luckily, I was not bit. So, here are the questions that came into my mind.
- Why do so few lists of the most dangerous dogs I’ve viewed online rarely include the smaller dogs? I’ve heard some of the smaller breeds, bred to attack rats will attack a dog of their size or smaller. I’ve been bit twice, both times by small dogs on the loose.
- Why me? There was someone else with me and this dog took an instant dislike to me. (We were both leaning on the fence, but the dog targeted me.)
- Why was the owner pretending she didn’t see anything? She made no attempt to control this dog. There were other small dogs there including a Pomeranian, a Maltese mix, a Cocker Spaniel and several others I could not identify. They came running and some of them barked, but none of the others attacked.
There is a happy ending to my experience. As I was leaving I got approached by a big friendly 6 month old husky. What a doll.
It has been a while since I featured a dog on this blog.
I saw a dog the other day who made me look at him twice, thrice and one more time. The first time I saw someone with dreads, I’m embarrassed and a bit ashamed, I looked at the person the same way. Bob Marlee wore dreads. I’m a big fan of his music.
This dog looks as if he wears his fur in rags – the kind of rags my mom used to use to curl my hair a long long time ago.
This is the Bergamasco Sheepdog. And according to the AKC (https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/bergamasco-sheepdog/), he is independent, intelligent and sociable.
His height is between 22 and 23.5 inches and the female can weigh as little as 57 pounds, while the male can weigh up to 84 pounds.
Life expectancy is 13-15 years.
This dog comes in black and grey as well as the above brown. I had to know how you would groom this coat so here is a video.
By the way this dog breeds is over 2000 years old, and originates from the Italian Alps.
When my dog died suddenly of kidney failure, I felt as if I had been kicked in the gut. I was really hurting and I was surprised that the person who had spent the most time with this dog didn’t seem to be nearly as affected as I was. When I checked with him, Jack said, “I don’t miss her because I travel with her all around the planets every night before I go to sleep.” Jack was grieving in his own way. Every night he made up “adventures” and he and our sheltie (his co-pilot) traveled around the galaxies. Eventually, we all healed and once we got another dog, Jack’s space travels included the new dog.
Losing a pet is difficult. No one expects you to grieve, at least not for very long. “It’s just a dog,” people say. “The dog pound is full of puppies that need adopting, just go get yourself another dog.” But, if you’ve had a pet living with you for more than 10 years, let’s face it he/she has probably spent more time with you than anyone else. Others in the family have jobs, they have hobbies, they have friends, they attend sport events and concerts without you. Your dog, on the other hand, is always there at the drop of a leash. A dog will follow you anywhere. A dog will spend time with you, no questions asked.
One day early this spring, I let my dogs view these buffaloes from the comfort of the back seat of our car.
The buffaloes were fairly passive as they munched away at a distance from the car, and my dogs barely showed interest.
Just last week, passing by some horses eating grass near the road, I decided to show the dogs. Now this was much more interesting. The horses were closer and they were moving as they ate away.
Some weeks ago I was at a jousting match put on by the Knights of Valour (https://www.extremejousting.com/). A real bang for my buck and pure entertainment, this was one of the best shows I have attended in some time. In addition to the jousting, there was a juggler, a magician, an acrobat, and a story telling/comedic pirate. The attendees consisted mostly of families. The grounds where the event was held teemed with children running and squealing. I noticed a few dogs.
I didn’t bring my dogs because it was warm–though we found shade. Still, my dogs are furry and I think they would have been warm even under a tree. The dogs that were there did not seem disturbed by all the noise–especially loud during the jousting, but I think my dogs would have found it too much. They were home in the air conditioned comfort. They missed us, that was apparent, but they looked cool and relaxed.
I say, know your dog. My parent’s dog tore the house apart during their absence, broke through the window screen and slid down the porch roof to the back yard. Luckily the yard was fenced. They could not go anywhere without him. Having known of this unfortunate event, we began leaving our dogs home alone when they were puppies. It’s important to begin training them to be alone early on.
This Teddy Bear wears her heart on her foot.
And this Swan wears his at the top of his beak.
And my dog wears his heart on his tongue
Does your dog like to swim. My two prefer to “wade” in up to their “knees”.
A Mourning Dove in my back yard.
Have you ever seen a fat bird? No, probably not. But fat cats and dogs are, unfortunately, not an uncommon sight. I have to admit that my dogs are not on the thin side. I try to cut back on their regular meals but then the treats are slipped in here and there and now the veterinarian is giving me the evil eye. “He had lost weight,” he says, “What happened?” Well…
One reason is that we tend to equate feeding with love. “Good doggy,” I say and offer up a tasty morsel. Of course, if they are in the car with me, I have to reward them for being so well-behaved. (There’s a bag of treats in the glove compartment.) And I always keep a pocket full of treats in case I need to call them back to me in a hurry. I snap the clicker a couple of times, and they come running for their treat. Such good dogs. Then if I want to put them in their “special room” while we eat or sit with our human visitors, they need a treat for enticement. And so it goes.
Thank goodness they like to run after the ball or I just don’t know what they would look like.
My dogs are supposed to be working dogs. I know what that is suppose to mean: that they are intelligent and energetic.
I invite you to watch this youtube video if you don’t believe me. This is not my video but I found it quite informative and entertaining.
Now, consider my dogs. Last fall we were driving with them in the car in the backseat. They were both fast asleep when I shouted, “Sheep, sheep, look guys some sheep.”
But the word meant nothing to them and when I opened the door to show them the sheep, neither one of them seemed to recognize that there was something out there of any interest to them.
Bunch of city slickers, I told them. They just yawned and went back to sleep.
Last year my dogs had a new friend. I caught him jumping up to get at my raspberries.
The dogs came blueberry picking with us and Sinatra searched out my hands and plunged his face into them. Too lazy to pick his own.
I took a picture of this dog because I found he had such beautiful colouring. It wasn’t until I got home and loaded the picture into my computer that I realized he had one blue eye and one brown. This condition is known as Heterochromia iridis.
Melanin is the substance that gives our skin colour. In dogs (and people) with eyes that are a two different colours, there is an excess or deficiency of melanin mostly due to genetics, though it may develop over time. The dogs breeds that are most likely to have one blue eye are Australian sheepdogs, Siberian huskies, American foxhounds, Alaskan malamutes and shih tzus.
Heterochromia iridis is not exclusive to dogs and can be seen in other animals and even people. Jane Seymour, Mila Kunis, Keifer Sutherland, Demi Moore, and Alice Eve all have this condition. David Bowie’s eyes were of two colours but it was due to an injury.