Discussing dog breeds, dog-adoption, and the human-canine connection.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Blogs new to You? Paying an award forward.


Our blogging friend Sue at Talking Dogs has passed on the One Lovely Blog Award to us -- Sue does amazing work not only creating lovely dog themed jewlery, she also does a fantastic job of informing readers about dogs in need of adoption, and passes on some very fun dog songs on her Dog Song Saturdays.
To visit Sue and her crew: http://www.talking-dogs.com/
To see some of her great jewlery, or some cool leash hangers and other necessary equipment visit: For Love of Dog Jewlery http://www.forloveofadog.com/pages/AboutUs.htm

Now to fulfill the true spirit of this award I must mention seven things about myself and pass on seven other blogs I enjoy following.

You may not know:

1)  In case you're just joining us I will quickly review the current canine family members.

Gracie the English Bull Terrier, Lil the Yellow Labrador and the veteran and overall most reasonable dog in the world to live with, Jenny the Rough Collie.


It's not that I have favorites... Jenny is just a senior who happens to be more sensible than those silly puppies.

2) I love senior dogs and have adopted some - and constantly resist the urge to adopt lots at one time - because they are so much more sensible than puppies; they appreciate a safe, comfortable home; you can talk to them and they are increadibly good listeners; they are very patient with human error; they often add an aura of calmness to the home.

3) We also live with adopted cats who were "unadoptable" and had spent years in no-kill shelters; they really deserve their own blog but they would never be satsified with the way I set it up and are not themselves prepared to set aside the time to maintain a blog. They have suggested that if I didn't fritter away so much of my time I could attempt to write a Saved by Cats blog HOWEVER until I am prepared to dedicate several hours a day to this task, I am not worthy of it.
Breena - she has one blue, one green eye
(they said this sweet girl was a bully....)

Rain, in her favorite bird watching window
(She used to be anti-social...)

 Snug Bug, or Snuggers, laying on top of a dog's crate, because there aren't too many other uses for a dog and his crate (another "anti-social" cat..she's become my 'velcro' baby.)


4) I used to be responsible for animal managememnt on  the 160 acre family farm in Western Canada where we raised horses, cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys, geese and ducks, and for a while had rabbits. I was 16 when I started training  my first totally un-handled two-year old filly -- an Appalosa who was my heart horse.






5) My appy had a color pattern very similar to the horse pictured. For the horse people in the audience, she was on the verge of 14.2 hands; when the Pony of America group was getting going they offered to register her - I was so young I was just annoyed that they wanted to register my 'horse' as a 'pony.'  Yeah....











6) When I'm not disapointing the cats by spending time with dogs, I am disapointing them by going to work. I work at a university, ensuring that no matter the disability a student lives with, our university and classrooms are not handicapping them by either physical set-up, or the way material/tests are made available to them...I've also started writing a book to help families with "invisibly disabled" young people be better ready for the transition to a competative science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) university like the one where I work.


7) My latest hobby is rose gardening. I've always been a flower gardener but this summer I became first interested, then obsessed with finding the just-right-for-me mix of roses, mainly climbing, that will suit my yard, need for color, and climate - a challenging combination. I'm about half-way to where I want to be planting wise and I have BIG ideas for next spring.  Currently I have three roses still blooming:




Joseph's Coat















Crimson Sky


And this little rose which I put in before I was paying much attention to roses - I think she's a Sunset; her yellow highlights aren't showing up in the picture.








And now for seven blogs I enjoy. If you primarily follow dog/cat blogs then there may be some new-to-you blogs here - I certainly enjoy them all.

Thoughts o' Minehttp://pooky09.blogspot.com/   I tend to belive that enjoying art and dogs go together naturally. I so thoroughly enjoy the visual elements of this art blog - words just do not convey what the pictures here will. And as an added bonus, good writing!


Range to Rangehttp://forpeteysake.blogspot.com/  Life on a 250,000 acre ranch in Oregon...with a working pair of livestock guardian Maremmas! Very cool and has a very fun spin off blog, Ranch Rustics Handcrafted Soaphttp://ranchrustics.blogspot.com/ -- these soaps are my favorite self-indulgence and I have a number of them lined up in my home to try. LOVE the ones I've used so far, great for the skin and smell devine.  I bet you can tell which pic is from which blog - I highly recommend Honeymoo soap - and Maremmas if you want a LGD.





http://youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com/black-and-white-sunday-12/  This blog about a human and her Dachshunds is one I discovered through a blogger friend the last time I was given this award, but was deliquent and did not follow through on it...You Did What With your Weiner title inspired by the fact that this pack is out and about hiking, being active, and turning up in places you might not expect Dachshunds to be. Fun and informative reading.

The Dogs Of Greenhill Farms is focused on the life and animals on a working sheep farm. Really lovely pictures and writing, this is another blog that is a treat for the eyes. Also a good place to learn about working Border Collies and Sprollies (spainel/collie.)
http://www.thegreendogs.com/

Raising Rama stories and great pictures of a Cane Corso who is working towards becoming a therapy dog - she's already helped her human through a tough medical crises. An example of what lovely dogs the Corso has the potential to be; Rama isn't the only model citizen in this family.
http://raisingrama.blogspot.com/

Mundo da Kippy is very fun and colorful - a sparkling treat for the eyes :-) Kippy by the way has the most amazing eyes, deep brown and full of soul Yorkshire terrier eyes. http://kippymarrie.blogspot.com/  Kippy is one of those lucky girls who gets to celebrate her birthdays with doggy appropriate cake and family; I think Kippy's last birthday party easily trumped my working birthday, when I was at a long, hot conference.

I always enjoy finding new blogs and I feel a bit guilty I do not have more time to spend with the many blogs I do enjoy reading, and the amazing pictures that so many of you are posting. Thank you for taking time to stop in here!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hungarian Kuvaz


Traditionally a Livestock Guardian Breed, the Kuvaz  is increasingly common as a household companion and in the show ring.


This is a large, head strong breed, used to working independently and being protective of their environment.









They are not an ideal breed for small yards and require exercise and prefer a job to do.









They will give themselves the job of protecting their territory.












The Kuvaz is very devoted to their family and to protecting what is "theirs" -- including livestock, people, and property in their territory.








This means that while a very protective breed, the Kuvaz is also good with other animals.



They are also suspicious of strangers and will not immediately warm up to visitors in their home.


A handsome breed, intelligent and devoted to their people, it is easy to see why people are attracted to this breed. In the right circumstances they can be a great companion, as long as their needs are being met.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Good-bye sweet Ruby


A good friend's pack has lost a special old soul.

















We've known for a while that Ruby's time with us was growing shorter.










Saying good-bye though...well, I'm sure you all understand....


Ruby was adopted as a senior. She spent two glorious years giving and receiving much joy. Ruby is  a wonderful example of what people can gain by opening their lives to older dogs.










She went camping, visited senior-citizens, befriended children who had never lived with a dog, and otherwise added a lot of quality of life to a large group of people.











Everyone who knew Ruby is better for the paw prints she left on our hearts -- may each of you have the honor of knowing such a dignified, accepting, and gentle old dog.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lycaon pictus : African Wild Dog


There are dogs and then there are animals that are members of the larger family "canidae" to which wolves, dogs, jackals, foxes, and coyotes belong. The African Wild Dog, sometimes called the Painted Dog, while a canidae is not a true dog like the domesticated dogs we live with.
 
In other words, they do not make good potential pets any more than a wolf or jackal does. But they are very handsome pack animals that live in family groups.
Unlike some members of the canidae family, it is the female of the African Wild Dog pack that leaves the pack they are born into, while the males stay in the pack they are born into. The young females search for packs which do not have actively breeding females currently in them.
I've also read that at times a pack of males will travel separately and encounter a pack of females...there has been speculation that a pack may break up if the pack leaders die; however, it has been observed that the death of the leaders is just as likely to lead to new leaders rising from the pack ranks.
The other observation I've read that I find interesting about this animal's behavior is that they have evolved to avoid fighting with each other and are more likely to beg for food at the site of a kill than fight each other for the kill.
The pack also allows the younger hunting members to eat first, rather than making them wait until the alpha members of the pack have eaten.
 Hunting members of the pack will also go back to those animals that are not in the hunt -- the young, the pack member(s) that are watching the young, the elderly/infirm and regurgitate food to share with them.
When I read these descriptions of behavior I am reminded of much of the behavior I observe in the domestic members of the canidae family who live with me and that I've known. The willingness to share with other members of the pack.
The more inquisitive and sometimes forthright tendencies of females. The willingness of other members of the family-pack to watch over and play with puppies. It's interesting to me the similarities between these very different members of the large canidae family.
And of course, I cannot help but note that the African Wild Dog,  is a lovely animal. Physical beauty -- a feature that I also appreciate in my own four legged friends who are currently stretched out around me in the living room.