Can cats and dogs get along?

The quick answer is absolutely.  You simply have to do a search on Google and you’ll get photographs and Youtube videos by the bundle that will be offered as easy proof.  Such happy companions, cuddling together on the couch.  And I too have had cats and dogs that have got along, played together, slept together, or at the very least said hello with a rollover.

But here I have to be honest.  I have had some cats and dogs that hated each other.  Often this was caused by an error in judgement either by the cat or the dog.

We had this beautiful black and white cat, one of those tuxedo cats.  He was the friendliest cat I had ever had…with people that is.  He had a personality flaw that the other animals tolerated but found obnoxious:  he was a teaser.  Blackie (that was his rather unoriginal name) would find something that irritated the other animal and do it over and over.  With his cat-sister, it was to cut her off.  He would come from behind at a trot and run ahead of her and make a quick left or right in front of her.  She often had to stop abruptly to avoid walking into him.  I could see that this habit of his irked her, but I could not see a way to stop him from doing it.

He used to love to sit on the chair directly in front of the busiest entrance in the house so he could keep track of those coming in and out of the backyard.  Whenever my sheltie passed by Blackie on his prestigious chair, Blackie would give the sheltie a paw to the butt end.  The sheltie put up with this. After all, the cat wasn’t taking out his claws; he was just taping him.  Then one evening, when my sheltie was suffering from a sore leg, Blackie gave him the usual tap as my sheltie limped by.  All hell broke lose.  My sheltie barked and growled directly in Blackie’s face, exactly three times.  Blackie backed away, sliding backwards off the chair through the hole below the low rail on the backrest and ending up under the table looking both aghast and astonished.  After that they were mortal enemies.

And then there was the dog I adopted from the shelter.  Immediately on his arrival at his forever home, he chased my cat up a tree.  That ended any chances of the two of them becoming buddies.  Even though I gave the dog a lecture, he chased the cat several more times before finally realizing that the cat belonged on the property.  After that, he only chased strange cats, but it didn’t matter, the damage had been done.  Whenever he got close to the cat, the cat hissed at him, and it sounded as if he was blowing up balloons so the dog was well-warned.

Not long ago I had to move my mother into a nursing home and I took her cats into my home.  I asked Memie how she felt about my dog Sadie and this is the answer I got.

Memie on meeting Sadie

 

 

Do dogs notice birds?

I know my dogs notice squirrels.  They certainly pay attention when there is a chipmunk in the yard!  Oh yeah.

But do they notice birds?  Well mine certainly does.  She spends long periods of time watching them fly back and forth to our feeder as if she believes if she studies them long enough, she can learn to fly.

Now there is one bird that likes to tease my dog.  And my dog has a hard time figuring out where it is, because this is one of the fastest and smallest birds in our yard.

There it is…oops… I swear it was there.Hummingbird

 

Petting Zoo

A few weeks ago, on our way to Sturgeon Falls for lunch, we spotted a Petting Zoo in Cache Bay.    After our meal we stopped in hoping to take a few photos.

The owners were extremely gracious, allowing us to take as many photos as we wanted.  The Zoo is a small venture near the Decal Shop ( 11737 17 Hwy, Cache Bay, Ontario).  They had a good variety of animals including goats (a favourite with the kids), some ponies ($5 a ride), a large turtle, some rabbits, some lizards and a lion cub.  I personally did not get a chance to pet the lion cub but the kids certainly did.  

We took many photos  and are still going through them.

I was touched by the affection between these two rabbits.

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I was also intrigued by the eyes on this goat.

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Decal Shop

Off Leash Dog Parks

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.

Rag Dog

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.

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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.

Bergamasco-on-White-00

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.

 

 

Should we mourn?

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.

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Should I bring my dog?

One day early this spring, I let my dogs view these buffaloes from the comfort of the back seat of our car.

Buffalo.JPG

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.

Horses eating.JPG

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.

Jousting.JPG

 

 

 

Mutts

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.

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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.

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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.

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Whatever number of breeds comes together to create a dog, the result is always a distinct personality.