Thursday 29 April 2010

The mood could be better

Belle has been on guard for nights.  An audacious cat visits our walled garden every single night and Belle hears her and barks to warn us, to ward it off, to chase it or to eat it alive.  I do not know which.
The picture shows you how I feel after so many broken nights.

Monday 26 April 2010

Another hound.

This post should have been titled:  "How many names can a dog have?". The Old Danish Pointer is also known as the Old Danish Bird Dog, Bakhound, Gammel Dansk Hønsehund and the Danish Chicken Dog. Its origin can be traced back to 19th century Denmark, when breeder, Morten Bak, began experimenting with crossing various local breeds. Bak eventually crossed various Hound and Pointer breeds, and the Old Danish Pointer was finally born.
Throughout its history, the Old Danish Pointer has been most commonly used for hunting, scenting, tracking, and retrieving game such as fox and rabbit, proving its abilities to work in the harshest of terrain while providing enthusiastic and gentle companionship.
Today, while the Old Danish Pointer has attained a regional popularity as a hunting and companion dog, the breed remains rather rare outside of its native Denmark.

NB: to me Gammel Dansk is not a dog but I shall let my Danish friend explain this to you.

Friday 23 April 2010

More about coon dogs

The Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard is a cemetery located in rural Colbert County, Alabama, USA reserved specifically for the burial of coon dogs. Key Underwood established the cemetery on Labour Day 1937 by burying his coon dog, Troop. Underwood chose the spot as it was previously a popular hunting camp. Today more than 185 dogs are buried at the cemetery.
Dogs must meet three requirements to qualify for burial at the cemetery:
1. the owner must claim that his pet is an authentic coon dog,
2. a witness must declare that the deceased is a coon dog,
3. a member of the local coon hunters' organisation must be allowed to view the coonhound and declare it to be a coon dog.

When asked why he didn’t allow other kinds of dogs to be buried at the coon dog cemetery, Underwood replied: “You must not know much about coon hunters and their dogs, if you think we would contaminate this burial place with poodles and lap dogs.”

Wednesday 21 April 2010

The Bluetick

In the two previous post you saw pictures of Roscoe, a Bluetick, a little known breed in Europe.
The word “coonhound” is an Americanism coined in 1915-1920 to describe a type of scent hound developed especially for hunting raccoons.
The Bluetick or Blue Tick Hound is a breed of hound which originated in the Southern United States in Louisiana and it is probably derived from English hunting dogs as well as the Grand Bleu de Gascogne ( French Staghound) which were brought to the United States by early settlers. Like many coonhounds, the Bluetick Coonhound gets its name from a coat pattern, which is dark blue in colour and covered in a ticking or mottled pattern. The hounds have an under layer of white fur which is overlaid with dark black specks. The breed also has the characteristic sad eyes and floppy ears of the hound breed, with muscular hindquarters to power the dogs while they are on the trail. Blueticks are known for having the typical coonhound "bawling" bark.

Monday 19 April 2010

The odd couple continued

As you could read in the previous post, Suryia often takes Roscoe for a walk.  I found this picture which shows how he does it and let me tell you he would make a good dog trainer.  He holds the lead properly and looks sufficiently assertive.

Saturday 17 April 2010

The odd couple

Odd couples come in all shapes and sizes but the story of the primate and the canine who are best friends has proved to be a match made in showbiz heaven.
Suryia the orang-utan and Roscoe a Blue Tick hound became friends when they crossed paths at a South Carolina sanctuary for endangered animals. Now they swim together, play together and Suryia even takes the dog for his walks.
The pair first encountered each other two years ago when Roscoe followed staff from The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGERS) in Myrtle Beach home.
He was immediately spotted by the orang-utan who ambled over to make friends.
Dr Bhagavan Antle, founder of TIGERS said: 'Roscoe looked really thin and a little lost so we fed him and took care of him. He followed us through the gate and ran over and found Suryia. As soon as he saw Roscoe, Suryia ran over to him and they started playing. It was unusual because dogs are usually scared of primates but they took to each other straight away. We made a few calls to see if he belonged to anyone and when no-one came forward, Roscoe ended up staying.'
Suryia is an animal ambassador at the sanctuary helping to raise baby primates but likes nothing better than spending quality time with his canine friend. They will spend time together rolling around and swimming. Suryia will take Roscoe for walks around the enclosure and even feeds him some of his monkey biscuits.

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Behind the scenes in an animal shelter

I received this rather lenghty article by e-mail via a friend in the US. I was rather upset at reading this because I know dogs get abandoned and I know the pratices as described do happen. I tried to circulate it on the Craigslist but was unsuccesful so I can only contribute by posting it in this blog.

"As a shelter manager, I am going to share a little insight with you all...a view from the inside if you will. First off, all of you people who have ever surrendered a pet to a shelter or humane society should be made to work in the "back" of an animal shelter for just one day. Maybe if you saw the life drain from a few sad, lost, confused eyes, you would stop flagging the ads on craigslist and help these animals find homes. That puppy you just bought will most likely end up in my shelter when it's not a cute little puppy anymore. Just so you know there's a 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the shelter it’s dumped at? Purebred or not! About 25% of all of the dogs that are "owner surrenders" or "strays", that come into a shelter are purebred dogs.

The most common excuses: "We are moving and we can't take our dog (or cat)." Really? Where are you moving too that doesn't allow pets? Or they say "The dog got bigger than we thought it would". How big did you think a German Shepherd would get? "We don't have time for her". Really? I work a 10-12 hour day and still have time for my 6 dogs! "She's tearing up our yard". How about making her a part of your family? They always tell me "We just don't want to have to stress about finding a place for her we know she'll get adopted, she's a good dog".

Odds are, your pet won't get adopted & how stressful do you think being in a shelter is? Well, let me tell you, your pet has 72 hours to find a new family from the moment you drop it off. Sometimes a little longer if the shelter isn't full and your dog manages to stay completely healthy. If it sniffles, it dies. Your pet will be confined to a small run/kennel in a room with other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps. It will be depressed and it will cry constantly for the family that abandoned it. If your pet is lucky, I will have enough volunteers in that day to take him/her for a walk. If I don't, your pet won't get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of its pen with a high-powered hose. If your dog is big, black or any of the "Bully" breeds (pit bull, rottie, mastiff, etc) it was pretty much dead when you walked it through the front door. Those dogs just don't get adopted. It doesn't matter how 'sweet' or 'well behaved' they are.

If your dog doesn't get adopted within its 72 hours and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed. If the shelter isn't full and your dog is good enough, and of a desirable enough breed it may get a stay of execution, but not for long . Most dogs get very kennel protective after about a week and are destroyed for showing aggression. Even the sweetest dogs will turn in this environment. If your pet makes it over all of those hurdles chances are it will get kennel cough or an upper respiratory infection and will be destroyed because the shelter gets paid a fee to euthanize each animal and making money is better than spending money to take this animal to the vet.

Here's a little euthanasia 101 for those of you that have never witnessed a perfectly healthy, scared animal being "put-down". First, your pet will be taken from its kennel on a leash. They always look like they think they are going for a walk happy, wagging their tails. Until they get to "The Room", every one of them freaks out and puts on the brakes when we get to the door. It must smell like death or they can feel the sad souls that are left in there, it's strange, but it happens with every one of them. Your dog or cat will be restrained, held down by 1 or 2 shelter workers depending on the size and how freaked out they are. Then a shelter worker who we call a euthanasia tech (not a vet) find a vein in the front leg and inject a lethal dose of the "pink stuff". Hopefully your pet doesn't panic from being restrained and jerk. I've seen the needles tear out of a leg and been covered with the resulting blood and been deafened by the yelps and screams. They all don't just "go to sleep", sometimes they spasm for a while, gasp for air and defecate on themselves. You see shelters are trying to make money to pay employee pay checks and don’t forget the board of directors needs to be paid too, so we don’t spend our funds to tranquilize the animal before injecting them with the lethal drug, we just put the burning lethal drug in the vein and let them suffer until dead. If it were not a “making money issue” and we had to have a licensed vet do this procedure, the animal would be sedated or tranquilized and then euthanized, but to do this procedure correctly would cost more money so we do not follow what is right for the animal, we just follow what is the fastest way we can make a dollar. Shelters do not have to have a vet perform their euthanasia’s so even if it takes our employee 50 pokes with a needle and 3 hours to get the vein that is what we do. Making money is the issue here not losing money.

When it all ends, your pets corpse will be stacked like firewood in a large freezer in the back with all of the other animals that were killed waiting to be picked up like garbage. What happens next? Cremated? Taken to the dump? Rendered into pet food? Or used for the schools to dissect and experiment on? You'll never know and it probably won't even cross your mind. It was just an animal and you can always buy another one, right!

I hope that those of you who still have a beating heart and have read this are bawling your eyes out and can't get the pictures out of your head, I deal with this every day. I hate my job, I hate that it exists & I hate that it will always be there unless you people make some changes and start educating the public. Do research, do your homework, and know exactly what you are getting into before getting a pet. These shelters and humane societies exist because people just do not care about animals anymore. Animals were not intended to be disposable but somehow that is what they are these days. Animal shelters are an easy way out when you get tired of your dog (or cat), and breeders are the ones blamed for this. Animal shelters and rescue organizations are making a hefty profit by keeping this misconception going.

Between 9 and 11 MILLION animals die every year in shelters and only you can stop it. I just hope I maybe changed one persons mind about taking their dog to a shelter, a humane society, or buying a dog. For those of you that care--- please repost this to at least one other craigslist in another city/state. Let's see if we can get this all around the US and have an impact."

Sunday 11 April 2010

The dog and the elephant

My blogger friend, VV, from San Francisco sent me this video link about the friendship between a dog and an elephant. It's amazing.

Wednesday 7 April 2010

Next please

Two questions about this picture:

1.  Global warming alters our climates, we are told.  Deforestation interferes with our habits.  Where will all this lead to?  Will dogs need litter trays?

2.  Who trained the dogs?

Saturday 3 April 2010

In the doghouse

Tammy Kassis, a dog owner who lives on the outskirts of LA, has gone to amazing lengths to make sure her beloved pets live in the lap of luxury by building them their very own mansion.
Yorkies Chelsea and Coco Puff and Pomeranian Darla share an extraordinary home.
The dogs have their own beds or they can lounge on their front lawn surrounded by a white picket fence.
They enjoy music from a classic RCA Victor radio and watch Animal Planet on TV. It’s their favourite program. In fact, the next thing on Mrs Kassis’s shopping list is a small screen plasma TV.
She and her husband, Sam, decided the dogs needed their own place when Coco Puff was almost carried away by an owl.
A mere $20,000 was lavished on the doggy mansion, including such things as paintings, landscaping, screened doors and windows, mini-blinds, vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, heating and air conditioning, hand made curtains, lush wallpaper and ceiling fans.
When the couple decided to move home, the kennel came with them - although they had to hire a 45-ton crane and a truck to move the thing.
Mrs Kassis told the Los Angeles Times: 'My mother buys them most of their outfits. She treats them like her grandchildren.'

Thursday 1 April 2010

Lucky duck

Van driver Paul Murphy picked up an unexpected stowaway when he accidentally hit two ducks on a dark country road in Belgium.
The driver checked his vehicle and discovered the impact had made a hole in his radiator grille, but continued on his journey home without realising he had a passenger wedged under the bonnet.
Around 400 miles later he stopped at a service station on the M1 near Wakefield, West Yorkshire, to take another look at the damage before stopping at a garage for a repair quote.
Mr Murphy, 41, of Leeds, said: 'All of a sudden I saw this green head behind the radiator. I couldn't believe it. My first thought was "Oh dear, it's dead, what am I going to do here?" because it wasn't moving.
'When its feathers moved I put it down to the wind, but then I saw it was breathing. I couldn't believe it.'
With the help of another motorist he prised the duck out using a screwdriver and put the mallard - now nicknamed 'Plucky' - into a cardboard box and drove him to the nearest PDSA centre.
Vets told Mr Murphy the duck was suffering from bleeding from the beak and a broken wing, but they were confident he would make a full recovery.
He said: 'If they can fix him up I'll be more than happy to take him back to Belgium and release him back into the wild, but maybe this time in a comfy box rather than the bonnet of my van.'