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.

 

 

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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WHY THESE DOGS WILL BE MY LAST

I have tried to keep this site on the light side but recently I read in the local paper that  my veterinarian just got a CAT-Scan.  I know I should be thrilled but to be honest I am concerned.   For sure this will be another expensive procedure I cannot afford.  It is certain it will be an option offered to me.   After all, the vet must recover his investment.

Recently, I heard that a dog was taken away by the SPCA because the person was not taking care of its medical problems.  These were not your run-of-the-mill medical problems:  the dog had a huge growth on its face.   I feel for the dog, but the SPCA made no effort to assist the owner with the medical expenses which would have required at the very least an operation to the dog’s face.

I could not bare to have something like that happen to me.   My dogs have lumps and my veterinarian assures me that they are “just” fat lumps.  But what if they weren’t?  What if they had to be removed?

Many people hold the opinion that if you can’t pay for your dog’s care then you should not own one.  But the cost of ownership goes up yearly.  Every new medical discovery brings with it new expenses.  It used to be that an owner who brought his dog in for neutering and vaccination was considered a responsible pet owner.  Not so anymore. Now, when your canine has “something”, the guilt trip begins.

“We need to do X-rays,” the vet tells you and quotes you a price that would pay for your child’s first semester of college.  Will that be the end of it?  No!  The X-Rays will maybe, but maybe not, provide an answer.  Blood tests will also have to be done.  And it goes on.

Veterinarians are special people.  The schooling required is incredible.  A doctor must know about people and only people.  A veterinarian most know about reptiles, birds, mammals and I don’t claim to know the all of it.    A veterinarian must deal with his patient and the patients owners.  I suppose it happens, but I have never heard of a human patient biting a doctor or nurse.  Yet the patient biting staff is not an infrequent occurrence at the veterinary hospital.

However, veterinarians may be pricing themselves out of business.  Or at least pricing themselves so that only the rich can afford to own pets.  Of course, there is insurance, but I am unsure of the regulations around these agencies.  I don’t know anyone who has had insurance.

I’m thinking that it’s high time that I reconsider pet ownership.  Just last week I paid $25 per dog to have them stay with me at a hotel.  And still I cannot claim any of their expenses on my income tax.  Dogs may be sentient beings, but they are not “part of the family”, not according to the government.

 

 

DON’T TAKE OFFENSE IF I PROTECT DOG

Recently one of my neighbors was walking her beautiful German Shepherd and another dog came out of nowhere and attacked her dog.  The attacking dog ran off and she was unable to identify the owner.  She spent a small fortunate on vet bills but to no avail.  Eventually, her dog had to be put down.

You can imagine that I am a bit nervous since I think this vicious dog is still in the neighborhood.  So, the other day  when a dog came running towards my dog,   I scooped my smaller Sheltie up into my arms.  The owner was upset with me.  She accused me of babying my dog and of being paranoid.  She didn’t give me the chance to tell her why I was so cautious and why she should not let her dog run amuck in case he should come up against the vicious dog.

I can’t understand why anyone would be upset about the fact that I pick up my small Sheltie when a bigger dog down comes running down on him.  If I had been able to I would have protected my bigger Sheltie too.

I am at a loss to explain that woman’s attitude.  I always make my dogs give way to other dogs by pulling my dogs to the side and making them sit while the other dog walks by.  This way little dogs don’t feel so threatened.