Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fantasy Creatures and Halloween


This post is recycled from 2004.

People seem to have a need for fantasy. I have written in the past about "fantasty diggers" but perhaps something should be said about fantasy creatures as well.

There is the fellow who claims to be an expert in wildlife who says he hunts blue fox, which he describes as a cross between a red fox and a Gray fox. That would be a fascinating cross (!) as these two animals are not remotely related to each other and cannot mate (nor do they wish to).

The same fellow chimed in that American rabbits den underground and that there are rabbit warrens in America. In fact no American rabbit dens underground. All of our native rabbits are cottontails (which is a genus, not a species) or hares and they nest in the shallowest of scrapes in the dirt. The pygmy rabbit, which lived in a small section of the West and was no bigger than a rat, was the one exception, but it is now believed to be extinct in the wild.

America runs rife with fantasy animals. There is Big Foot and Sasquatch, but also the Chupacabra, the Mothmen of Ohio, the Ozark Howler, various types of vampire dogs and Werewoves, and "Chessie" the Lake Champlain version of the Loch Ness Monster.

The U.K. has the same phenomenon, where loose, sem-feral lurchers and sheep-worrying dogs are described as the "Beast of Bonndwyyn" or some other interesting-sounding place.

Tracks are carefully photographed, and the brave locals point to the big claw marks as proof that a large feral cat (a black panther or jaguar or American cougar) is running loose in the allotmments.

In fact, the claw marks are proof that it is not a big cat -- all cats except cheetahs retract their claws when walking or running. If you see claw marks in a track, you have a dog. A dog that looks a lot like a large wild cat is most probably a lurcher. There may be a few feral swamp cats in the UK (as well as Scottish wild cats) but if you have ever seen one of either species, you will not worry about much livestock being lost -- both are hardly bigger than a large house cat.

Tonight, when you see monsters running through your streets, try to remember it's Halloween, and not Chupacabra hunting season. Fantasy is a fine thing -- so long as it's not confused with reality.

Best Fox Hunting Video You Will Ever See


This is the Best Fox Hunting Video You Will Ever See

Friday, October 30, 2009

Meghan Burns Kicks Butt


My niece, at left.

This is my niece, kicking some serious butt and helping propel her school to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association championship in tennis.

In case anyone is wondering, full credit goes to Meaghan and her mother as there are no athletes on her Dad's side (my side) of the family though, to be fair, my brother can run very well and hold his own in a canoe. As The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

After scoring the winning point in a match that took more than three hours to complete, Meghan Burns didn't have the strength to do much more than drop to her knees and cry.

Her winning point in the third set of a match with Westfield's Tara Criscuolo yesterday gave Haddonfield a 3-2 win over Westfield in the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions, earning Haddonfield its first TOC title in 29 years.

Burns' performance "was the most heroic thing I've ever seen on a tennis court," said an emotional Jeff Holman, who has been coaching at Haddonfield since 1976, including Haddonfield's first TOC title in 1980.

Burns dropped the first set, 7-5, after an hour and a half of play. But she charged back to win the second set, 6-1. And, after overcoming leg cramps that caused play to be stopped twice, Burns won the third set, 6-4.
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I Always Wondered If That Happened

From some Los Angeles TV Station:

A drug-sniffing dog was recovering in a veterinary hospital -- with his human partner at his side -- after accidentally ingesting methamphetamine, KCAL in Los Angeles reported. :: source
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

One Million Dead Pit Bulls

The graphic, below, shows how many Pit Bulls are killed in America EVERY DAY because the Pit Bull community has failed the Pit Bull.

Nearly one million Pit Bulls a year are killed in shelters across the U.S. every year -- 2,400 dead Pit Bulls a day; 200 a day in Los Angeles alone.
































Why are all these deaths occuring?

The short story is that the Pit Bull Community has failed to change its breeding culture.

The Pit Bull Community continues to fail the dogs by placing one million Pit Bull puppies a year in the hands of people unwilling and unable to deal with these dogs over their lifetime.

This not a failure of society to accept the Pit Bull.

This is a failure of the Pit Bull Community to do whatever it takes to change its culture.

The Pit Bull Community would rather see one million dead dogs a year than accept that they have a breed specific problem.

Read that sentence again: a breed-specific problem.

There are not one million dogs of any other breed being ushered into the death chambers every year.

This is a Pit Bull problem. This is a failure of the Pit Bull community.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Crazy Cat Ladies Deny They Are Crazy Cat Ladies



Put out a press release: "Crazy Cat Ladies Deny They Are Crazy Cat Ladies."

Where is the edge of crazy? Ten cats? Twenty? Thirty? One hundred?

Does it start with having the smell of cat urine all over the house, or are you only crazy when the feces are piled deeper than two inches in the kitchen?

And what do you do about hoarders?

It's not enough to say "it's a mental illness."

So what if it's mental illness? That's descriptive, not curative. Does that mean we cannot prosecute? Are we supposed to whistle pass the misery of these animals and say it's OK because the person is crazy? If so, then we really owe an apology to Jeffrey Dahmer and heck of a lot of other crazy people too.

You say we should institutionalize these people? Really? How do we do that? Under what legal theory? At what cost?

You say we should require these folks to take medication for obessive-compulsive disorder? Really? You think that will work? You do realize these people are CRAZY right? Mental illness is the disease that says you haven't got it, the same as alcoholism. Yes, that's right: If you deny you are a crazy drunk that's proof you are one!

So what do we do? Nothing? Something?

The comments section is open.


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Coyotes Kill Hiker in Canada



Coyote attack kills Toronto singer in Cape Breton


I discount all of the fatal wolf attacks in North America up to now (there will be real ones someday, of that I am sure), but this attack sounds as if this attack was discovered in real time, with the coyotes still on the scene and a very young, health and physically small girl still (barely) alive and succumbing later on.

It will be interesting to see if rabies is implicated, or whether these coyotes were, in fact, wolf-coyote hybrids.
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Picture of Giant Squid Eaten by Sperm Whale



A female sperm whale with a giant squid in her mouth. Her calf follows closely, and another whale is pictured behind her, in this rare image taken in the seas of Japan earlier this year. Check out the entire photo set on The Daily Mail web site.
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A Dog Got on Letterman for Playing Dead?



Very funny video. Hat tip to Daily Dachsund and Dogs News for this one.
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The BBC's "Walk on the Wild Side"


A small bit of fun with video and voice-over.

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Rat or Ratatouille?


Some people think cows are sacred and pigs are filthy and never to be eaten.

No one thinks twice about eating a bit of mutton or a nice rabbit, but most recoil at a bit of dog.

I have eaten snake (quite good) but shudder at eating eel, though everyone tells me it is excellent, especially if smoked.

Squirrel and groundhog? No problem. Possum? Not on a bet.

In every culture, one man's rat is another man's ratatouille.

Food for thought as you read this article and check out these great pictures from the terrierman.com web site.

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Steve Martin Has Asked For Our Help


Wally On The Run : A Message from Steve Martin by SteveMartin


Steve Martin writes:

I wrote a song for my dog, Wally - and I think it needs a music video. That's where you come in. Visit the group Wally On The Run to download the track, and make your own music video for a chance to win $1000.


For those who do not know, Steve Martin is a very good blue grass banjo player. Really, really excellent. I am told he is also an actor and comedian. Who knew?
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hunte Corporation: Pushing AKC Puppy Mill Pets

What's the Hunte Corporation?

Simple: the Hunte Corporation is a "puppy bundler" business which gathers together very young puppies (typically 6 or 7 weeks old) from puppy mills in Missouri and around the mid-West.

These very young dogs are too young to have full immunity, and are too young for shots, but time is the enemy of the puppy industry, and so they are gathered up at a very young age and mixed together, helter-skelter, in trucks.

The dogs are then sent to a Hunte facility where they are given shots, looked over, groomed and washed, and moved out the door, as fast as possible, to a pet store near you.

Why the rush to collect such young dogs and get them out the door so fast?

Simple: puppies are like fruit; they go rotten with age.


Most people want a puppy; they do not want a dog.

An eight-week old puppy is very saleable commodity. A 12-week old puppy is not.

A 16-week old puppy will be marked down 90 percent.

And the result of this push to gather up young dogs?

Well, think about it.

Parvo and distemper do not incubate overnight, and so it should come as no surprise to learn that a significant percentage of puppy mill dogs supplied by Hunte end up coming down sick.

The problem here is the same one as occurs with hamburger: take one pound of Listeria-infected beef and mix well with 500 pounds of "clean" beef and what comes out the other end is a lot of sickness.

It only takes a one parvo- or distemper-infected dog from a puppy mill to infect every other dog in the truck going to Hunte.

It takes only one dog at the vaccinate-and-sort center run by Hunte, for a lot of disease to spread and then shoot out to five or six states over a three-day period.

And does this happen? Almost every day.

Remember the dogs are not being held at Hunte long enough for them to do much more than give the puppies a cursory look-over, quick grooming, and a first vaccination shot. Then it's out the door.

Everyone in the business understands that puppies "go rotten" with age.

To the credit of the British Kennel Club, their web site tells you what the Hunte Corporation and the AKC leave off:
Puppy farms are like factory farms where dogs are bred purely for profit. The dogs are normally bred too often, many are unhealthy, and often live in unbearably poor conditions. The puppies are generally removed from their mothers far too early and sent by rail or van to ‘dealers’ or pet shops in the big cities to satisfy the public’s demands. Many are severely traumatised by the transition, and some do not make it alive. Do not buy a puppy or a dog from these sources, as they will have had the worst possible start in life, and are far more likely to have health and temperament problems.

Many ‘puppy farm’ puppies come with complete pedigrees, however, a pedigree in itself, is not necessarily an indication of quality.

‘Dealers’ are agents for puppy farms. They buy puppies and sell them on, advertising them in newspapers and magazines, often masquerading as breeders. If an advert lists more than one breed of puppy for sale, then the person placing it is probably a dealer....


Does this mean the UK Kennel Club refuses to register puppy farm dogs? No. They too pocket the money. That said, they at least are not a cheering squad for puppy mill misery like the American Kennel Club is.

For the record, the Hunte Corporation's web site is co-branded with AKC on every single page. Check it out at the bottom of their home page.

The Hunte Corporation's web site also features a picture of a Border Terrier. Is Hunte puppy farming Border Terriers now? Apparently.

As the Hunte web site notes:



Hunte routinely offers over one hundred different breeds to pet retailers who understand the importance of providing a broad selection of breeds to families in search of the ideal companion.

For a complete list of AKC breeds, click the link below [the link is to the AKC's web site].



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The AKC Helps Sell Puppy Mill Dogs for Petland



This post is about a document you are not supposed to see.

This post is about PRIME -- the AKC's new program to register puppy mill dogs sold through pet stores like Petland.

You are not supposed to know about it.

You can read the AKC-branded manual here. In it, dogs are called "inventory" to be taken from, or returned to stock.

In the past, I have told the story of the AKC and puppy mills.

The AKC, a financially failing organization which has always been morally bankrupt, is simply reverting back to form.

Here's the truth: the AKC has always registered puppy mill dogs, and every year it pockets millions of dollars from commercial kennels whose core business plan is to pack dogs into cages where they are "bred until dead."

  • If you watch Westminster, you sanction the cruelty.

  • If you register a puppy with the AKC, you sanction the cruelty.

  • If you go to AKC dogs shows or trials as a participant, vendor, or viewer, you sanction the cruelty.

And let's be clear here: puppy mills are a lifetime of cruelty.

These dogs are bred until dead.

Most of the smaller breed dogs will never leave their wire cages.

They will never play on grass, run with children, or be properly socialized.

Most will spend their lives on wire-bottom floors, pacing in endless boredom, with constant noise day and night.

You want to see what a "Blue Ribbon Kennel" looks like?

This is what the American Kenenel Club is endorsing. This is the AKC's economic life blood.



Who thinks dogs should be raised in cages?

Who sanctions "bred until dead" as a defensible business model?

Let us name the names:

  • Ronald H. Menaker
    Chairman of the American Kennel Club
  • Dr. Thomas M. Davies
    Vice Chairman of the American Kennel Club
  • Dr. Carmen L. Battaglia
    Delegate, German Shepherd Dog Club of America
  • Dr. William R. Newman
    Delegate, Mastiff Club of America
  • Nina Schaefer
    Delegate, Back Mountain Kennel Club, Inc.
  • Dr. Patricia Haines
    Delegate, Cincinnati Kennel Club, Inc.
  • Ken Marden
    Delegate, German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America
  • Patti Strand
    Delegate, Dog Fanciers Association of Oregon, Inc.
  • Dr. Thomas M. Davies
    Delegate, Springfield Kennel Club, Inc.
  • Walter F. Goodman
    Delegate, Skye Terrier Club of America
  • Ronald H. Menaker
    Delegate, Rockford-Freeport Illinois Kennel Club
  • Lee Arnold
    Delegate, Southern Colorado Kennel Club
  • Carl C. Ashby, III
    Delegate, United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club
  • Alan Kalter
    Delegate, American Bullmastiff Association
  • Dr. Robert D. Smith
    Delegate, Memphis Kennel Club
  • Dennis B. Sprung
    Ex Officio member of the AKC board


Monday, October 26, 2009

Race Mixing Banned at Kanine Kennel Klub Too

"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way."
- Justice of the Peace Keith Bardwell, on denying an interracial couple a marriage license in Louisiana.

AKC In Bed With the Puppy Mill Industry



Check out this poster featuring a brachycephahlic bulldog and the co-branding of the AKC with Hunte, the #1 puppy mill puveyor in the U.S.


For those who are wondering, this is "outreach" being done by the AKC's "High Volume Breeders Committee." A "high volume breeder" is the AKC's new name for what used to be called a puppy mill.

The AKC's new goals are two-fold: to "raise the bar" through health testing (but not by changing breed standards or by allowing outcrossing), and to streamline the registration process at pet store outlets so that more puppy mill dogs can be moved through these parvo- and distemper-plagued distribution points.

And what's going on back at the puppy mill?

The same as it ever was -- dogs bred until dead, raised on wire, and never properly socialized. Nice!

This is your AKC.

The Mummified Raccoon Hunting Dog


This post is recycled from June 2005.

Back in January I recounted the story of my dog, Mountain, climbing up inside a standing hollow tree (picture above) chasing after the scent of a raccoon.

Now comes the story of another dog that did the same thing -- and did not live to hunt again (though it did achieve a bizarre kind of immortality).

This story begins along the Cleburne-Haralson County line between Georgia and Alabama sometime in the 1960s. It seems a raccoon-hunting dog, accompanying its owner on a hunt, ran off and followed the critter up into a hollow chestnut oak tree.

The hound got stuck inside the tree and died. Rather than decaying as it would if buried underground, the dog simply dried out inside its natural wood "chimney". The rotting scent of the dead dog went up the "flue" of the trunk, and so predators and insects never got wind of the dog. Nor did the corpse get rained on.

Excellent ventillation inside the trunk eventually left the dog desicated (perhaps "freeze dried" during the winter) and mummified.





Sometime in the 1980s, loggers cut down the tree with the dog still inside it. The tree was actually loaded on to the logging truck before the loggers looked up into the hollow and saw the mummified dog inside.

Rather than send the tree and mummified dog off to the sawmill, the loggers donated the dog and its tree coffin to the Southern Forest World Museum in Waycross, Georgia, where it can be seen to this day.

The dog has been x-rayed and is believed to have been about four years old when it died.

The Southern Forest World Museum is located at 1440 N. Augusta Ave. in Waycross, Georgia, and is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The "mummy dog" is their chief attraction, from what I gather.

The dog, by the way, has been named "Stuckie" by its fans.

Only in America.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Amazing Hole In One



Vijay Singh at the 2009 Masters skips a ball across the water for a hole in one at the 16th hole. Awesome!
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Dog With Only Two Legs On One Side



This dog kicks ass. There. I said it.
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Alison Krauss and Union Station


Alison Krauss has won 26 Grammy awards -- the most of any female artist in history.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Public Option Dachshund Song



The trade group known as AHIP -- "America's Health Insurance Plans" -- is a powerful insurance lobby that spends $5 million dollars a WEEK trying to kill health care reform.

Billionaires for Wealthcare, doing a small protest here, is a grassroots network looking to stop them - with song. They are so close to the mark on how industry and their paid apologists actually think, that the corporate types sometimes think they really one of them. The web site of Billionaires for Wealthcare (where they maintain the charade of being weatlhy insurance CEOs, lobbyists and talk show hosts profiting from the turmoil) contains their motto: "If we ain't broke, don't fix it."

Perfect!

The person who is starting his keynote speech in the video, above, is right-wing pollster Bill McIntuff who is perhaps most famous for helping create the infamous "Harry and Louise" ads that sank health care reform during the Clinton era. He was also the pollster for John McCain in the last election cycle..

At first, McInturff thinks the person thanking him for his previous work killing health care reform is someone from the staff of AHIP, and he says thanks them cheering him on, and notes that he is not being paid for his appearance (his money is sure to come later for doing AHIP polling work).

Just to put this video in context, 70 percent of all Americans support a public option.

Every year, 45,000 people die in the U.S. because they can't get access to the health care they need.

Lyrics to "Public Option Annie"
(to the tune of "Tomorrow" from Annie)

SINGER #1: No, thank you! FOR KILLING THE PUBLIC OPTION
AND BLOCKING ANY HOPES OF ITS ADOPTION. THANK YOU, SIR!

SINGER #2: Sure, BUT WHAT ABOUT COMPETITION? IT'S AN OLD AMERICAN TRADITION
OR SO I'VE HEARD?

SINGER #1: Meh.

SINGER #3: WHEN OLYMPIA SNOWE SAID NO, IT CROAKED. Right?

SINGER #2: NO, THE OPTION'S NOT DEAD

SINGER #3:: OR RED!

SINGER #1:: EXPLAIN! Who let these hippies in here?

SINGERS #2 AND #3, and CHORUS MEMBERS: IF WE GET A PUBLIC OPTION
WE CAN SNIFF OUT WASTE JUST LIKE A DACHSUND. COSTS COME DOWN!

SINGER #1:: Hey, those "costs" are my profits!

SINGERS #2 AND #3, and CHORUS MEMBERS: THE OPTION. THE OPTION. THE PUBLIC WANTS OPTIONS. WITHOUT IT, IT'S A GIVEAWAY.

SINGER #1: Exactly. To us. Am I in the right room?


SINGERS #2 AND #3, and CHORUS MEMBERS: THE OPTION. THE OPTION. THE PUBLIC WANTS AN OPTION. OR REFORM IS A CORP'RATE GIVE-A-WAY!

SINGER #1: Well, I've heard enough - my helicopter is parked in a handicap space.

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When Did Your Breed Show Up at Westminster?



Getting a complete list of when the American Kennel Club or the U.K. Kennel Club admitted a breed to their registry is harder to find that it should be.

That said, I did find several lists on the Westminster Kennel Club site (i.e. when a breed first appeared at the Westminster Kennel Club show in New York City), and I have merged them and sorted them by date, below. Obviously the dates for some breeds might be "late" by a year or two.

As noted in a previous post, American Kennel Club registrations have declined 55 percent over the course of the last 15 years, even as the population of the U.S. has increased by 45 million (17 percent), and the AKC has added 22 new breeds (a 15% increase in dog breeds shown) in an attempt to pad out its sagging membership numbers.

The AKC is in full economic FAIL mode because they continue to hold on to the failed eugenics theories of the 19th Century while giving performance and health the hind leg.

  1. Bull Terrier (Colored) 1877
  2. Bull Terrier (White) 1877
  3. Dandie Dinmont Terrier 1877
  4. Fox Terrier (Smooth) 1877
  5. Manchester Terrier (Standard) 1877
  6. Scottish Terrier 1877
  7. Skye Terrier 1877
  8. Pointer 1877
  9. Retriever (Chesapeake Bay) 1877
  10. Setter (English) 1877
  11. Setter (Gordon) 1877
  12. Setter (Irish) 1877
  13. Spaniel (Cocker) Black 1877
  14. Spaniel (Field) 1877
  15. Spaniel (Irish Water) 1877
  16. Beagle 12 In. 1877
  17. Beagle 15 In. 1877
  18. Dachshund (Smooth) 1877
  19. Foxhound (American) 1877
  20. Greyhound 1877
  21. Harrier 1877
  22. Scottish Deerhound 1877
  23. Great Dane 1877
  24. Mastiff 1877
  25. Newfoundland 1877
  26. Saint Bernard 1877
  27. English Toy Spaniel (B&PC) 1877
  28. English Toy Spaniel (KC&R) 1877
  29. Italian Greyhound 1877
  30. Japanese Chin 1877
  31. Pug 1877
  32. Bulldog 1877
  33. Dalmatian 1877
  34. Poodle (Standard) 1877
  35. Collie (Rough) 1877
  36. Spaniel (Clumber) 1878
  37. Bloodhound 1878
  38. Yorkshire Terrier 1878
  39. Irish Wolfhound 1879
  40. Chihuahua (Smooth) 1879
  41. Maltese 1879
  42. Airedale Terrier 1881
  43. Irish Terrier 1881
  44. Fox Terrier (Wire) 1883
  45. Chow Chow 1883
  46. Bedlington Terrier 1884
  47. Basset Hound 1884
  48. Pomeranian 1886
  49. Welsh Terrier 1888
  50. Collie (Smooth) 1888
  51. Old English Sheepdog 1888
  52. Borzoi 1891
  53. Foxhound (English) 1891
  54. Schipperke 1891
  55. Whippet 1893
  56. Spaniel (Sussex) 1895
  57. Boston Terrier 1895
  58. French Bulldog 1897
  59. Spaniel (Cocker) A.S.C.O.B. 1899
  60. Spaniel (Cocker) Parti-Color 1899
  61. Poodle (Toy) 1900
  62. Brussels Griffon 1902
  63. West Highland White Terrier 1906
  64. Papillon 1906
  65. Samoyed 1907
  66. Pekingese 1907
  67. Belgian Sheepdog 1907
  68. German Shepherd Dog 1908
  69. Otterhound 1909
  70. Wirehaired Pointing Griffon 1911
  71. Doberman Pinscher 1911
  72. Sealyham Terrier 1912
  73. Cairn Terrier 1914
  74. Boxer 1914
  75. Spaniel (English Springer) 1916
  76. Kerry Blue Terrier 1922
  77. Retriever (Labrador) 1923
  78. Norwegian Elkhound 1925
  79. Standard Schnauzer 1925
  80. Manchester Terrier (Toy) 1925
  81. Retriever (Curly-Coated) 1926
  82. Retriever (Flat-Coated) 1926
  83. Miniature Schnauzer 1927
  84. Afghan Hound 1927
  85. Shetland Sheepdog 1927
  86. Retriever (Golden) 1928
  87. Saluki 1928
  88. Briard 1929
  89. Border Terrier 1930
  90. Dachshund (Wirehaired) 1930
  91. Giant Schnauzer 1930
  92. Miniature Pinscher 1930
  93. Dachshund (Longhaired) 1931
  94. Keeshond 1931
  95. Bouvier des Flandres 1931
  96. Poodle (Miniature) 1932
  97. Siberian Husky 1933
  98. Bullmastiff 1934
  99. Great Pyrenees 1934
  100. Lakeland Terrier 1935
  101. Brittany Spaniel
  102. Pointer (German Shorthaired) 1935
  103. Kuvasz 1935
  104. Rottweiler 1935
  105. Welsh Corgi (Pembroke) 1935
  106. Alaskan Malamute 1936
  107. Lhasa Apso 1936
  108. Welsh Corgi (Cardigan) 1936
  109. American Staffordshire Terrier 1937
  110. Norwich Terrier 1937
  111. Spaniel (English Cocker) 1937
  112. Puli 1937
  113. Affenpinscher 1938
  114. Komondor 1940
  115. Weimaraner 1943
  116. Bernese Mountain Dog 1943
  117. Spaniel (American Water) 1945
  118. Basenji 1946
  119. Black and Tan Coonhound 1947
  120. Chihuahua (Long) 1951
  121. Spaniel (Welsh Springer) 1953
  122. Rhodesian Ridgeback 1957
  123. Pointer (German Wirehaired) 1960
  124. Silky Terrier 1960
  125. Australian Terrier 1961
  126. Belgian Tervuren 1961
  127. Vizsla 1962
  128. Belgian Malinois 1967
  129. Shih Tzu 1970
  130. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier 1974
  131. Akita 1974
  132. Bichon Frise 1974
  133. Tibetan Terrier 1974
  134. Staffordshire Bull Terrier 1976
  135. Bearded Collie 1978
  136. Norfolk Terrier 1979
  137. Ibizan Hound 1980
  138. Australian Cattle Dog 1981
  139. Pharaoh Hound 1985
  140. Portuguese Water Dog 1985
  141. Tibetan Spaniel 1985
  142. Finnish Spitz 1989
  143. Petit Basset Griffons Vendeen 1992
  144. Chinese Crested 1992
  145. Miniature Bull Terrier 1993
  146. Chinese Shar-pei 1993
  147. Shiba Inu 1994
  148. Australian Shepherd 1994
  149. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog 1996
  150. American Eskimo Dog 1996
  151. Border Collie 1996
  152. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 1997
  153. Canaan Dog 1998
  154. Anatolian Shepherd Dog 2000
  155. Havanese 2000
  156. Lowchen 2000
  157. Parson Russell Terrier 2001
  158. Spinone Italiano 2001
  159. Polish Lowland Sheepdog 2002
  160. Retriever (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling) 2004
  161. German Pinscher 2004
  162. Toy Fox Terrier 2004
  163. Glen of Imaal Terrier 2005
  164. Black Russian Terrier 2005
  165. Neapolitan Mastiff 2005
  166. Plott 2008
  167. Tibetan Mastiff 2008
  168. Beauceron 2008
  169. Swedish Vallhund 2008
  170. Dogue de Bordeaux 2009

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A Very Different Way of Hunting and Fishing



A nice bit of video here showing the breadth of U.K. field sports and how very different they are from what we have here in the U.S.

The first story is about the attempted rescue of a seriously wounded Golden Eagle by an expert falconer. The bottom line is that it's pretty clear DEFRA and the RSPCA interfered and cost this Eagle its life. These kind of stories are why so many folks in the U.K. do not trust either DEFRA or the RSPCA -- even when knowledgeable and conservation-minded people in the hunting community spend time and money to do right, the "instant experts" in some of these nannying organization step in, claim to know better, and are often ill-prepared to do right by either the wildlife or the dogs.

The second story is about carp fishing. Carp fishing? Yes, that's what you do when you have killed off all your Salmon, do not have Bass, have wrecked your Trout streams, etc. Let this be a warning to us in the U.S. where we need to do more to protect our rivers and streams from silt, over-fishing, dams, and pollution!

A professional game bird farm is shown. This is how bird shooting is done in the U.K.; thousands of chickens pheasants and partridge are raised in pens and then released a few days or maybe a week or two before a shoot. Beaters and a few dogs drive the birds forward, and the chickens pheasants and partridge are shot from the sky, and the shooters are charged so much per bird. We have a some stocked pheasant and quail shoots in the U.S. but not too many, and we generally hunt differently than this with just a handful of shooters and no beaters. Somehow I think the wing clipping going on here is not just to keep the birds on the shoot -- it is to make sure they are more easily shot!

A short clip on woodcock hunting which shows no woodcocks, but does have a charming fellow with an interesting voice, a nice demeanor, and a well-oiled side-by-side.

A terrific video of Simon Whitehead and friend ferreting a few hedges and a piggery, with good shots of long netting and hole nets as well. Excellent presentation by a fine representative for British field sports. Of course here in the U.S., our rabbits do not go to ground (a fact children raised on Bug Bunny cartoons may not know), so no one ferrets.

A school for want-to-be game keepers is shown. Many may be enrolled, but few will find jobs or stay in them long at the wages offered.
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Remembering Pepper's Big Day



Dorene's dog Pepper was about a year old when she killed her first groundhog at the community garden. A few days later, Pepper got seriously injured by a mentally deranged Dalmatian, and a lovel child by the name of Kiara did a "Get Well" card out of pastels for Pepper, reminding him of his Big Day with the groundhog when life was so much sweeter.

Pepper is a rare Appalachian Mountain Collie, a dog made famous by Dr. Thomas Walker who had four of them with him on his 1850 expedition which discovered the Cumberland Gap.

One of those dogs, owned by Ambrose Powell, was killed by an elk, and Run Tumbler's Creek was later named after the dog.
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Hard Times Come Again No More



Nanci Griffith peforms the old Stephen Foster classic "Hard Times Come Again No More."

More Nanci Griffith here and here.

For a version of this song by the Mavis Staples click here.

For a version of this song by James Taylor and Yo-Yo Ma click here. This is one of my favorite versions.

For a version of this song by Kate and Anna McGarrigle (with others), click here.

For a version by Bob Dylan click here.
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Wysong the Crackpot Dog Food Maker



The Wysong dog food company has had some limited problems with mold in its products, and has issued a recall of some batches.

The fact that some bloggers have repeated this fact has Wysong in a panty-twist.

Well, just to throw in my two cents, my advice has always been to STAY AWAY from any dog food company that uses meaningless buzz words in its sale literature, such as "holistic."

And, for the record, that is the kind of thing Wysong does.

Here's a hint: If a company is writing their sales literature for idiots, and you are buying their product, that makes you .... well you know, right? Come on. Think it over. Ask a friend. Got it? I knew you would!

For the record, Dr. Randy Wysong, the maker of this dog food, is a bit of a crackpot.

Did you know he is a creationist and has published a book saying the earth is very young, and that there is no such thing as evolution?

Check it out at >> Amazon.

And you want to know the kicker? I could not make this up. Wysong's motto is "The thinking person's pet food."

Excellent!

Do you think "holistic" and "homeopathy" mean something? Do you believe aromatherapy and crystals will cure cancer? Have you fallen for every fad diet that has come down the pike in the last 20 years? Do you believe Benny Hinn will cure your spinal disease with a laying on of hands?

If so, then you are clearly a genius and Dr. Wysong wants you to know he considers you a "thinking person," and to prove that you are, you should buy his dog food.

And, of course, if you want to buy his dog food or his book, you will really want to buy MY very short and easy-to-read publication entitled Dog Food Secrets They Don't Want You to Know About.

"An amazing read that is guaranteed to save you money and extend the life of your dog!"


Operators are standing by!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wild Golden Eagles Hunting Reindeer in Finland

A BBC natural history film crew has filmed wild Goldem Eagles hunting reindeer calves along the migration route in northern Finland. Check out the video!

"Eat the Dog" Nonsense from New Zealand



Wok the dog to save the environment?

That's the nonsense put out by two New Zealanders (both architects), who thought that idea would work well to hype their book on sustainability:

In their book Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living the Vales says the average dog eats about 164 kilos of meat and 95 kilos of cereals each year. They estimate producing that food takes about 1.1 hectares of land. Riding 10,000 kilometers in a 4.6 liter Land Cruiser takes, they say, the equivalent of .41 hectares of land.


Only one problem with these numbers. They are nonsense.

The average driver in this country puts 10,00 miles on a vehicle a year, not 10,000 kilometers, and the average dog is NOT eating 164 kilos of meat (361 pounds) and another 95 kilos (209) pounds of grain. Give me a break!

Let's start with the fact that the average dog weighs about 40 pounds, and eats about 3/4 pound of food a day (half the amount suggested).

Of that food, the majority is actually grain or vegetable matter (corn or soy) if it is eating commercial dog food (as most dogs are). The "meat" that dog is easting is actually animal byproduct -- ground up chicken feet, chicken neck, chicken guts, cattle shin meat, trash fish, cattle guts, noses, ears, bits of tail, face meat, that is the byproduct of human meat production.

If this stuff was not turned into dog food, it would rot or be turned into some other industrial product (such as glue, cosmetics, poultry food, etc.).

If Robert and Brenda Vale, the authors of this book, are really interested in sustainable living, might I suggest surgical sterilization?

You see nothing they, or anyone reading this, will ever do is as likely to have as big as negative impact on the environment as procreation.

Bottom line: Go ahead and pat your dog and eat all the meat you want. Yes, try to live small and be good to the environment. But if you really want to do something good for the environment, get a vasectomy if you are a man, and a tubal ligation if you are a woman. You say you want children? Excellent! Adopt. Kids all over the world are (literally) dying for what you have to offer as a parent.
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Americans Spend $45 Billion a Year on Dog Stuff?



Well No. On all pet stuff. But most of it is dogs. From a Washington Post book review:

Americans this year will spend $45 billion on veterinary antidepressants, canine hip replacements and doggie spa days. Pet spending has nearly tripled in 15 years, with dogs taking up the lion's share. As the animals have made the physical move from backyard doghouses to ergonomic indoor puppy beds, they've undergone an even more significant philosophical evolution: Man's best friend has become what marketing types now call America's "fur baby."
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

UK Kennel Club to Greenlight LUA Dalmatians


Yippee!

It appears the Kennel Club of Britain is about to greenlight LUA Dalmatians into their registry, which means when that happens, the American Kennel Club will be increasingly isolated in its death-grip on racial purity at the expense of canine health and function.

Who speaks for the dogs in America? Not the AKC, that's pretty clear.

Just look at Patti Strand if you have any doubt. Here you will find not only an AKC Board Member, Dalmatian breeder, and dog show judge, but an open apologist for puppy mill registrations, pet-shop sales, and ribbon-chasing within a closed-registry system.

Stand for the health of the dog? Sorry, but at the Dalmatian Club of America and the American Kennel Club that idea seems to take a back seat to blue ribbons and green cash.

I have been hard on the Kennel Club of Britain (for very good reasons), but let me say that they have at least moved forward under the whip.

The shame of the Dalmatian Club of America and the American Kennel Club is now palpable. Leadership? Not a hint of it.

But there is good news: AKC registrations have declined 55 percent over the course of the last 15 years, even as the population of the U.S. has increased by 45 million (17 percent), and the AKC has added 22 new breeds (a 15% increase in dog breeds shown) in an attempt to pad out its sagging membership numbers.

Bottom line: The AKC is a failing institution because the public is no longer buying the failed eugenics theories of the 19th Century.

I count that has a very positive thing in the world of dogs!




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Dog Rehoming: The Musical



A perspective from the other end of the leash. Hat tip to Amy Worden at the Philly Dawg Blog. The band is called "You Scream, I Scream."

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The Constitutional Right to Shoot Anvils



A little black powder from the local sporting goods or hunting store, and you too can shoot an anvil 100-800 feet in the air. Darwin would approve! Awesome.

Of course this is traditional anvil shooting, not super-modified. Traditional. As it should be.
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A Lesson About Omaha Beach



Philip Spooner, a lifelong Republican from Biddeford, Maine who fought on the beach at Normandy, and whose four sons all served in the military, explains a few basics.

Watch the whole thing. Twice.
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Competition for Good Health and Econonomics


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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Selecting for Mutation: The Bull Terrier



The pictures, above, show what happened to the Bull Terrier between 1930, 1950 and 1980, as breeders selected for clinorhynchy, or dorsoventral nose bend -- a downward nose droop.

Bull terriers have purposefully selected for this genetic mutation, creating a dramatic case of evolution visible in the short time we have had modern photography. As Fondon and Garner note,

"The dramatic changes that have occurred in domestic dog breeds in response to breeders’ selection toward breed standards over the last 150 years demonstrate the potential of the mammalian genome to effect rapid morphological change in response to strong selection, even with small, closed gene pools."

To see more dramatic pictures of dog skull evolution, see >> Molecular origins of rapid and continuous morphological evolution by John W. Fondon III and Harold R. Garner

To put these changes to the dog within context of working terriers, see >> Rosettes to Ruin.
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