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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Fat Cat

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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.

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What Work Me?

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.”

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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.

 

 

 

DOGS WITH TWO DIFFERENT EYE COLOUR

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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.

 

The Long Winter of 2017-18

It has been a long time since I have blogged.

I envy this skater as, unfortunately, my arthritic knee has kept me inside all winter.  There is no negotiating the ice surface for those of us with osteoarthritis.  One slip and it could change your life.  I do miss skating though I never was very good at it.

Lucky for me my dogs love winter and they do not need for me to stand precariously on blades to enjoy it with them.

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