Saturday, July 31, 2010

How Stupid Can a Shelter Worker Be?

This one takes the case, if for no other reason that a "wildlife expert" was consulted.

An American Kennel Club-registered dog has been turned loose in the wild after the Frankfort Humane Society mistook her for a coyote. Copper is a female Shiba Inu.

Lori Goodlett told The State-Journal her pet of 11 years disappeared from her fenced back yard on July 3. It was after she put up posters that a police officer recognized Copper as the dog he had taken to the shelter. A shelter worker later called police and said it had to be picked up because coyotes weren't allowed there.

The department turned the animal loose behind a home improvement store after consulting with a wildlife expert who said coyotes were nuisance animals and should be returned to the wild or killed.

Humane Society board chairman John Forbes said he backs the shelter's decision.

"If our manager assessed the animal to be a coyote, then it is against the law for it to be at the shelter. We rely on the people who work there," Forbes said.


Of course the dog had no collar, and you can bet it had no chip. Nor (apparently) had the owners taken a picture of the dog to all the local shelters and pounds. Nor does the dog look very much like a Shiba Inu. That said, the fact that the animal quietly followed the officer when put on a leash might suggest it was a family owned dog and not a coyote! Here's a hint for shelter workers and self-proclaimed "wildlife experts": If a police officer or a suburbanite can catch the animal and load it into a crate with their bare hands, it's NOT a coyote!
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Mountain in 2004 ... and 2010



This is Mountain in May of 2004. I think this was the first video I ever shot with a little point-and-shoot camera. Back then (before Youtube) I had no idea what to do with video!

My notes say:

Went out today despite the 35-40 mph winds. Mountain pulled a 10-pound groundhog on her own and bolted another one out of a bank and into a field.

As you can tell from the end of the clip, I'm a bit new to this camera. Oh well.

This sette was in a thorn hedge, and when Mountain got it out of the ground she just kept pulling it back into the hedge -- the groundhog was being ass-pulled at a pretty rapid speed! I finally got through the hedge and dispatched the groundhog before the two of them got into a real brawl topside. This was a very shallow den and the groundhog moved to a pipe exit just as Mountain got there trying to find a new way in. She gripped on and pulled and it popped out about 5 seconds after the video ended. I think she was able to pull this one because the earth was so shallow that the groundhog could not brace itself in very well. The bolt occured in a hedgerow a couple of hundred yards up the way -- I could hear the bolt, but barely see it in the thicket on the bank. I think it popped down another hole, but I was too busted from the wind to pursue it. I'm going to take Mountain out alone for awhile to get her used to hunting without help from Sailor. She needs to learn to trust her nose a little more.

Two chucks worked, no dogs injured, and a serious wind burn for me -- not a bad day.


What I remember most from this day was the wind. It howled!

The same month, six years later, Mountain is still trying to pull one for the camera. I think Pearl was inside, providing the motivation for the bolt.


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Friday, July 30, 2010

How Many Terriers are In this Video?

Murder Hollow Still Not Clear of Oversight



Apologies to Amy Worden for pirating her text, but she says it well and plain, and who am I to restate it in a more ham-fisted way?

She writes over at the Philly Dawg blog:

More Inspections Ordered for Murder Hollow Kennel

The Bassett hound kennel owner in Philadelphia who was the subject of a Pennsylvania SPCA raid last year has been ordered to allow three more months of unannounced inspections.

Under a consent order issued earlier this month, Wendy Willard has agreed to monthly inspections at her Roxborough kennel by the PSPCA through September. In addition she may only keep no more than 12 dogs (the limit under Philadelphia's ordinances), five of which must be spayed or neutered, and she must show proof of veterinary care.

However, it states if Willard receives a state kennel license she may keep up to 23 dogs. (Murder Hollow was listed on the state kennel database with a pending license request several months ago but that listing has since disappeared.)

The court also ordered Willard to install proper drainage, repair and maintain the interior ceiling and remove feces from the barn and runs daily. In return, animal cruelty charges against Willard were dropped.

Willard, whose case generated widespread support among sporting dog and animal owners' rights groups, also was ordered to contact her supporters and "request' that they not engage in threats against humane officers. PSPCA officers reported receiving Internet death threats following the raid.

During one visit by humane agents and state dog wardens to the property, Willard was accused of throwing stones at vehicles driven by PSPCA and dog officers.

This consent order appears to be an extension of an agreement reached by Willard and the PSPCA in January in which she had six months to clean up her property, take better care of her dogs and allow inspections. Neither the PSPCA nor the district attorney's office would comment on the case.

In July 2009, the PSPCA raided Willard's property and filed 22 citations against her for failing to adequately care for 23 dogs on her property, 11 more than allowed under city ordinances. Eleven dogs were removed, most suffering from tick and parasite infestation. (Ten of the dogs were placed with rescue groups and, according to an Internet discussion group of Williard supporters, one died while being spayed at the PSPCA.)

Willard’s pack, formed in 1986, participated in sporting dog competitions throughout the region and won awards at the Bryn Mawr Hound Show.


I am not sure you need to be a weatherman to get the gist of the storm story here.

An extension of the oversight and inspections period suggests the Court has NOT seen the kind of response and attention it expected to see from Ms. Willard.

Meanwhile, Wendy Willard has sent out another email missive asking people to pay for... a lawyer.

Hey, I have an idea.... how about just doing what the Court asked you to do? How about showing a little contrition? How about thinking about the dogs?

Thinking about the dogs? There's not been too much of that in this fiasco! Right from the beginning, it's been a case of "load, fire, and aim," with Ms. Willard not once supply pictures of her kennels at the time of seizer as an affirmative defense, and none of her internet supporters getting it right on basic facts dealing with the law, circumstances leading up to the seizure, the condition of the dogs, or the conditions at the kennel (that's a picture of one of her dogs at top).

The good news is that the Court has ordered a minimum standard of care at her Kennel -- a standard that requires proof of veterinary care.

You can be sure the Court did not step in here because Ms. Willard was already taking care of business.

The Court stepped in because there were real problems, and there are still enough problems and questions that the Court is requiring continued oversight of Ms. Willard's kennel by the PSPCA for at least nine months after the initial raid.
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My BFF is a WTF



What most people want is a dog... what they need is a cat... and what they deserve is a fish.

This ad is playing on a local cable channel. I have never seen animals mass-marketed on TV before.

Amazing... and sad on a couple of levels. Pets for teabaggers!
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Liberty Magazine, 1933


Click to enlarge.

Awesome cover art, Liberty magazine, March 25, 1933.
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Bottle of Wine, a Dog and a Hole

Owning a working terrier without allowing it to work is like owning a vintage bottle of fine wine just so you can read the label.

To have admired the label without ever tasting the wine is to have missed the essence of the thing.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cooking at The National Zoo




Feeding dogs is easy; feeding lizards, marmosets and hippos is a bit tougher! I used to live very near the National Zoo and I could occassionally hear the elephants below while I was shaving early in the morning.
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Whores, Trolls, Cowards, Parasites & King Babies



In the world of Internet biology, there are taxonomic "lumpers" and "splitters" just as there are in real biology.

For example, when it comes to Internet vermin, I think a lot of ground is covered by lumping them as Whores, Trolls, Cowards, Parasites, or King Babies, as I note in this little page on Gresham's Law & the Internet.

I am a lumper.

But, of course, there are taxonomic splitters too, and at least one of them (Mike Reed) is a very good artist and has put together this delightful site called Flame Warriors where we get masterful illustrations and fine description of such folks as the the Artful Dodger, the Ideologue, the Furious Typer and the Tireless Rebutter.

The site even has a bulletin board where new warriors are suggested, such as Bird Dog, Thesaurus Rex, Puppet Master, Bullshit Merchant, and the Parrot. Check it out!

Of course, I get a little of this, as all blogs do.

One lady posted the same nonsense three times yesterday, revealing that she had not even read the original post that she was so outraged about (she's a vet who is hot that anyone would question some of the business tactics of so many in her profession). Perfect. Of course, she also did not bother to actually give a real email address or cite a single source in her rabid tirade. What am I going to do? It's not like I don't give instructions to the anonymous cowards is it? Nope. Delete.

One fellow sent me a screed that was actually meant for someone else. . I pointed out that he had sent it to the wrong person, in the wrong country, and on the wrong continent. Though he was being very rude to someone else (someone who has forgotten more about dogs than he will ever know), I took the time to point out (gently) that he was wrong on the fundamentals and that he might take the time to retool and rethink. After all, he was not (yet) being rude to me. Maybe he just needed a little information? So far this lunatic has sent me sixteen more emails (not getting my name right in more than half a dozen of them), and not caring that I do not respond (in fact, I do not even open them). What to do? Delete.
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World Beard Championship with Fox Hat



At the World Beard Championships (link) recently held in Alaska, I would have voted for this guy, even if his beard is not up to Jack Passion's.

Check out the total parade of awesomeness to be found at this event, and give a shout out to your favorite in the comments section here.

Worth a look, I promise!!

God bless America, land that I love! Oh, and for those who want a hat like this, somewhat lesser versions are available here.
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Face of Terrorism



I don't have much tolerance for terrorists of any kind, whether they are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or merely old-fashioned right-wing, racist paranoids.

Not all terrorists are religious zealots, racists, or right-wing paranoids, of course.

The "left" has its share of nut jobs too, and the latest to get nailed is pictured above.

He is Walter Bond, age 34, a self-proclaimed member of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) who was arrested in Colorado last week.

The criminal complaint against Bond outlines the case:

* On July 1st, investigators received a call from a confidential informant wishing to provide information on the Sheepskin Factory and Tandy Leather Factory arsons. The informant stated Bond had told him/her in a telephone call from the Salt Lake City library to refer to Voice of the Voiceless and scroll down to an article on the Sheepskin Factory arson to learn what he'd "been up to lately".

* On July 22nd, the confidential informant arranged a monitored conversation with Walter Bond in a Ramada Inn in Denver, Colorado. Investigators allege Bond was heard admitting to three arsons: Sheepskin Factory, Leather Factory, and Tiburon. Bond was arrested subsequent to the conversation.


Good luck to Mr. Bond in prison. By the look of things, he will fit right in.

As with the lunatics on the right, the actions of this man have nothing to do with core principles or well-founded logic.

This is the feeble-minded acting out of a psychopath with a narcissistic personality disorder.

Left or right, our tolerance for this kind of nonsense should be ZERO.

Coffee and Provocation





The UKC Earth Work Hunting Program is Dead


Mountain slides out, a happy hole dog.

It appears the Earth Work Hunting Program at the United Kennel Club has died on the vine due to lack of interest.

I do not follow the Club scene too much, and apparently this is old news. Rumor has it that no one had applied for any titles in quite a while. Too bad.

It seems only a few years back that I was being told the UKC hunt program was going to take the world by storm and leave the JRTCA a hollow shell devoid of membership and working dogs of any kind. Apparently that did not happen.

In curiosity, I checked out the AKC Parson Russell Association web site, and it does not appear to have been updated in more than three years. There are no recent newsletters, no membership brags, and the "earthwork" page is simply a place-holder that takes you to a form if you want to go ahead and fill that out. No education here, and not much encouragement!

The American Working Terrier Association (which is not a registry) has go-to-ground trials, but that's some distance from real field work, and here too things seem to be moribund to the casual observer. This seems to be a web site presentation failure; if you really want to find out what is going on at AWTA, you have to go to Jo Ann Frier-Murza's site to get a schedule. A hat tip to Jo Ann; few have done more in service to the dogs (and, in case you didn't see the earlier mention on this blog, her excellent book on earthdog trials has been reprinted).

Over at the Jack Russell Terrier Association of America, things seem to be in pretty fine fettle, with massive amounts of information, a national trial scheduled 94 days from today in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and regular shows and trials that are google-mapped for easy locating. In addition, the JRTCA web site sells locator collars and fox nets, and has links to JRT Rescue and JRT health research.

Is there any question as as to why the JRTCA is the backbone of terrier work in the U.S.?
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Madison Avenue Liars for Hire Killed For Cash



This is just a small reminder, that evil requires a public relations shop, an ad man, and payola.

How else could you sell death, destruction, cancer, lying, stealing and cheeating, all while wrapping it up in the American flag and tagging it freedom, liberty, justice, and capitalism?
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Lucky You


Click to enlarge.
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Monday, July 26, 2010

A New Little Man Coming to the House



This happy little fellow stands 11" tall and was made in America.

The day I started looking for a new dog, just two weeks ago, an 11" tall, smooth male out of working stock seemed a tall order to fill.

The good news is that this blog seems to be read by the right people, and so I got emails from seven people in four countries who thought they might have the right dog for me. The first email was from Wales and the dog looked a cracker, but things did not quite come together.

Two of the emails were about this dog, however, and neither one was from the breeder.

The first email was from Cson Johnson, who I have periodically queried over the years seeing if she knew of any small, smooth males out there. She has "good radar," is active in the JRTCA, and seems to know most everyone. She also knows how much I value small working dogs and why.

The second email came from Sherri Rossmiller who happens to own an 11" female with identical breeding to this little male dog. She too knew what I wanted, and why I wanted it.

I shot an email to Dawn Weiss at Briar Run in Illinois. Dawn breeds working terriers, and yes this dog was available to the right working home, and she thought I might do!

We went over the fundamentals, and we were both on the same page: testicles stay on, breeding rights forever, and work the dog like God and John Russell intended.

Check, check, check.

Possum (the name of the dog) is BAER-tested and CERF-clear, and his sire is a bronze medallion dog, as are several others in his pedigree, which includes a long litany of working dog kennels. This little man has already worked an opossum, but due to the ups and downs of the economy in the last 18 months (mostly downs), he has not seen the field-time he deserves, hence his availability to me. Perfect!

Possum comes to Washington, D.C. one week from today (knock on wood), and he will spend August working the go-to-ground tunnels in my backyard, and spending quality time with me, the missus, and the other dogs. A month of assimilation at Casa Terrierman should do him well, and I expect we will both teach each other a little. In September, of course, we hunt!

Much thanks to Dawn for making this dog available to me. I assure her no one could ever give a working dog a better life or appreciate it more.


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A 15-inch Border and an 11-Inch Russell


Two of my dogs, now gone, but not forgotten.

Which one do you think got down the hole with room to spare (and spar)?
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

This is How Jack Russells Start Out


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Your Dog's Going to Hell, Mine's Already in Heaven



I have never understood Communion.

How is a cracker made in a factory in Ohio, and grape juice bought in a jug at Safeway, the blood and body of Christ?

How is a magical wafer any less funny that magic underwear (Mormonism), or space aliens from another planet (Scientology), or a Monkey God?

And why are Christian churches playing pantomine cannibalism anyway?

I ask this because the latest news is that someone in Toronto is outraged that a priest gave a communion cracker to a dog.

According to those in attendance at the historical church at 188 Carlton St. in downtown Toronto, it was a spontaneous gesture, one intended to make both the dog and its owner – a first timer at the church — feel welcomed. But at least one parishioner saw the act as an affront to the rules and regulations of the Anglican Church. He filed a complaint with the reverend and with the Anglican Diocese of Toronto about the incident – and has since left the church.

“I wrote back to the parishioner that it is not the policy of the Anglican Church to give communion to animals,” said Bishop Patrick Yu, the area bishop of York-Scarborough responsible for St. Peter’s, who received the complaint in early July. “I can see why people would be offended. It is a strange and shocking thing, and I have never heard of it happening before.


Really? They are outraged?

Bishop Yu is running around like a scared gerbil because some nameless, faceless person has complained that "the magic cookie" should not be given to a dog?

I am broad-minded. If you want to go to a church that hates dogs and coddles haters, knock yourself out.

If you want to dance around in your magic underwear while eating magic cookies and talking about space aliens, monkey Gods, and cannibalism I am all for that too.

Each to his own.

But as for myself, I worship at a different church: the First Church of Field and Stream. It in an ancient church, it is the First Church, and it is not under new management:

In the First Church of Field and Stream, the resurrection story is told by fritillary butterflies and red-eared sliding turtles. The story of life everlasting is told by a young couple on a river outting, and a pair of deer bouncing across a bright green field of emerging barley.

You do not have to read these stories in a book; At the First Church of Field and Stream you can see them for yourself.


And, for the record, the First Church of Field and Stream does not hate dogs. In fact, they are part of our communion ritual.

Let us prey.


January 26, 1962 episode called "The Hunt"

From The Twilight Zone TV Series

"A dog's got a right to have a man around, just the same as that man's got a right to have a dog around.... I wonder what kind of a tea party they keep in there anyways? Must be city folks mostly. They'd be the ones most likely to outlaw coon hunting."


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Making a Three-Way Bridle Hitch


Click to enlarge.

It's too hot to do anything outside (heat index of over 105 today) so I made a three-way bridle hitch while I sat in the air conditioning.

The basics to making a three-way bridle hitch can be seen in the picture above: a welded circle ring, some webbing or heavy cord, three clips, a needle and thread.

The only "trick" is the use of heat-shrink tubing, which is slipped over the sewn parts (it needs to be slipped up the leash before the clip is put on, as shown in the middle section), and then heated with a lighter in order to finish it up.





The result is serviceable and cheap, and gives me the kind of snaps I prefer on a leash.

For the record, I have a few nice leather leashes, but the cheap stuff works just as well. And really, who am I trying to impress?

My favorite leashes, are long leather euro-leads (eight or nine feet) with brass snaps of the kind shown. They are not cheap and the longer length versions are hard to find.
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Proper Possum Dental Care



... My home sweet home.
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Proper Possum Massage



Land that I love...
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Possum Pedicure



God bless America...
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The Integrity of Transparency

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Teachers: Mountain, Sailor and Trooper


Two true workers.

Mountain and Sailor. Mountain, at left, is 12" tall. Sailor, at right, 11" tall.

You would not think a one inch difference in height (and about the same in chest size) would make a lot of difference in the field, but it does in our very tight earths.

On this day, these two dogs had worked raccoon, groundhog and possum. Once washed off, they were as good as new.

Sailor taught me most of what I know. She will never be forgotten.

Below is a picture, taken from above, of Trooper my 15" tall Border Terrier who recently went to the Great Kennel in the Sky, and Sailor, my 11" tall Jack Russell who preceeded him by a few years.

Both dogs are dead now, but in this picture they can still do a bit of teaching. Size is fundamental, and with true working terriers bigger is not better.


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Not All Dog Tags Are Created Equal



Most people know I am a hard sell.

Neither this blog nor the main web site take ads of any kind, and I do not endorse products unless I use them and I like them.

Which brings me to Boomerang Slide Tags. They are the best.

I have just ordered three new slide tags with matching red collars for the dogs. Yes, it looks like the new dog is coming in the next week -- a Jack Russell. No, I am not going to talk any more about that yet -- let's not jinx it, eh? But yes, I am a bit excited!

Back to Boomerang Slide Tags. . . .

They do not dangle and they do not wear out. They go on single-thickness flat collars (leather or nylon) or snap-clip adjustable nylon collars, or double-thick flat collars, depending on what version you order.

You can order just the slide tag, or you can order a slide-tag-and-collar set. The snap collars, for the record are first rate. You cannot go wrong ordering a collar-and-slide tag set.

The slide tags do not come off. They stay where you put them, and the stainless steel engraving is deep and does not wear off.

I have slide tags on six sets of collars for the dogs (including my locator collars), and also a slide tag on my son's Pitbull, as well as a small slide tag on my house and car keys (because people will return your keys if you give them a phone number to help them out).

Remember that a microchip in your pet is a secondary form of identification.

Your dog's primary ID should be a solid collar and a slide tag that is easy to read and will not come off.

No tag is better than a slide tag. None.

My small collar tags have my web site URL (http://www.terrierman.com) as well as my home and cell phone numbers, and the County and State in which I live. My larger collar tags also have my street address on them, and my email address too.

Boomerang Slide Collar Tags come with a simple guarantee:

We guarantee our CollarTags™ to last the life of the pet they are purchased for. If the text ever wears off or becomes illegible, or the tag falls off the collar, the tag will be replaced free of charge. There will not be any "bogus" shipping or handling charges to get your replacement tag either.


Enough said. They take credit card and PayPal, and they ship 'em out to you fast. What are you waiting for??

You and your dog deserve the best of something, and this is the best there is in the all-important arena of pet identification.

This is an endorsement you cannot buy. This one was earned.
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Eye in the Sky


Peale's tiercel wearing camera way up over Jackson Valley (WY) from Jason Jones.

Video captioned as:

This is a short video clip from one of my tiercel Peale's Peregrine that has been at tame hack for the last 4 weeks. He is wearing a small camera on his back that faces forward. Today, this Peale's tiercel took off playing with another falcon, a male Lanner Falcon, and chased him across the valley and up into the sky thousands of feet. You can see this Peale's keep looking up; he is looking at the Lanner he is chasing. The Lanner Falcon was also wearing a camera. From the Lanner's view, I can see glimpses of this Peale's below him.


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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hunting Dog As Carry On Luggage



This is the American Airlines small dog carry-on bag, available from Petco.

Slightly different versions, made by the same company (Sherpa), are tagged with other airline monikers, such as Delta, but I think they are all interchangeable.

As you can see, a small Jack Russell terrier can fit inside these carry-on bags, provided the dog weighs less than 16 pounds and is not too much over 11.5 inches tall.

Have dog toy, will travel.

I have several friends out West who bring a dog East with them to hunt every year, and this is how their dogs come. Seems to work! I have dug with their dogs up to 2 pm in the afternoon, washed the dirt out of the dog's eyes, and sent them off on a 4 pm flight with a little dirt still stuck to the both of them. And no, I have no idea what we would have done if the dog had gotten skunked!
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Coffee and Provocation



  • Cornell Prof. Says Chest Size is Important... in Waitresses:
    A Cornell University professor has discovered that quality of service has less than a 2-percent effect on the tip given to waitresses. So what does effect tips? Breast size, blonde hair, and slender bodies. Cornell professor Michael Lynn helpfully explains that his study could be useful to a potential waitress, as it can help gauge her “prospects in the industry.” In addition he note that “It also informs management decisions about who to hire,” since servers who earn higher tips are more desirable employees because they are likely to stay at their job longer.

  • Awkward Pet Family Photos:
    You have to see them to believe them. Check them out. Page after page, and all priceless!

  • E-Books: The Tipping Point Is Almost Reached:
    As I predicted, electronic book sales are quickly reaching the tipping point as the price of E-book readers falls. Amazon says sales of the Kindle have tripled since the unit price dropped from $259 to $189. And with the rise in Kindle sales, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says "Amazon.com customers now purchase more Kindle books than hardcover books..."

  • Camera Trap Codger Shoots a Badger:
    ... With a camera trap, of course. Check it out.

  • A Go-to-Ground Tunnel Is the On-Ramp to Work:
    Doug, over at Harris' Hawk Blog is building a short go-to-ground tunnel to get his dog Gordon ready for real quarry. This is the way you do it -- if you enter a dog this way, it gets quick accomplishments in a friendly and low-pressure setting. I am knocking up another go-to-ground tunnel myself in expectation of the arrival of a new dog (more on that later).

  • A Shrinking Ice Field Reveals a 10,000 Year Old Atlatl Dart:
    University of Colorado research associate Craig Lee has found a 10,000-year-old wooden Atlatl dart on a retreating icefield near Yellowstone National Park. Very cool. The 3-foot dart was made from a birch sapling and is the first Atlatl dart ever found.

  • I Hate Flexi-Leads:
    The stupidest thing every made was the Flexi-lead. You cannot control or train a dog with one, and they are a public health hazard as they can trip people (to say nothing of killing a dog who darts out into traffic). Over at the SmartDogs web site, Janeen notes that the product safety warnings that come with a Flexi are longer than those that come with a Glock pistol. And for a reason: you are about 50% more likely to be seriously injured by a Flexi lead than an accident involving a Glock!

  • Alligator Gars are Coming Back to Kentucky:
    This might seem like a small thing, but returning what was lost by the hand of man is important. Very important.

  • Pig Worrying as Sport:
    Over on The Atlantic magazine blog, they note that putting "hunting dogs" in pens with boar pigs is a form of competition officially enshrined in Mississippi law. Whatever this is, it is not hunting, and I hope that is clear. If you want to call it "pig rodeo" or "pig herding" or "bay dog trialing," I am OK with those monickers. But this is not hunting.

  • We Get an Award:
    By some calculation, this blog has been deemed to be a top 50 dog blog. As always, my mother is proud, and my father is amazed.

  • Bulldogs, Frenchies and Pugs Die at the Airport:
    Gina, at Pet Connection, has the story. Seems to have something to do with defective standards that require smashed up faces and a seriously compromised airways. Hmmmmm....

  • Recombinant Mosquitoes are Malaria Free:
    Scientists at the University of Arizona have created mosquitoes that die sooner than normal and so they croak before they can propagate, within themselves, the parasite that causes malaria. Apparently the scientists doing this work do not see the obvious -- malaria will simply learn to develop faster in a few hundred thousand generations. Mother Nature always bats last, and Charles Darwin is always pitching.

  • Can We Super-size Your Bill?
    Over at Pet Connection, Kim Campbell Thornton discovers that her vet has changed all its support staff and suddenly they want to supersize her bill. Is this an accident? Not at all. When she called them on it, they simply "fixed it" by putting a note in her file saying she was not to be herded and milked like all the other gullible customers that come into this practice. As I noted in an old post on this blog, this is how the veterinary trade really works now: "[T]hese front office people know next to nothing and generally have been hired to give the real veterinarian cover in case the client calls ‘bullshit’ to the veterinary equivalent of ‘Can I supersize your meal?’”

  • Don't Worry, Be Happy You are Fired:
    A very nice video cartoon of Barbara Ehrenreich talking about the delusion of mandatory positive thinking within corporate culture. "There are no safe delusions," she notes quite correctly. Check it out!

  • Every Terrierman Has a New Dream:
    An amateur treasure hunter has found over 52,000 Roman coins worth $1 million buried in a field. I am hoping for Civil War loot.
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Monday, July 19, 2010

Josh Turner :: Would You Go With Me

A sappy song, without (much) apology.
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Farmville Or the Dog?


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Move Along. Nothing New Here.



It may seem harsh to call Tea Party folks "dummies," but have you read the signs? Amazing!

Political parties based on alienation and anger are not new, of course. They have always been with us, and they are not just an American phenomenon.
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Dirty Dogs Have More Fun



Printed on 100% garment-dyed cotton in coastal New England. The tagless, washed look delivers the comfort of "that" shirt that has always been your favorite.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Street Dogs, the Movie


Hat tip to Anton W. for sending this!

Street Dogs of South Central is a movie about what it says. Narrated by the always-great Queen Latifah.

Back when I was writing about street drug markets, a foundation paid me to look into what was going on in a part of East Los Angeles, then the most violent place on earth (not hyperbole, but a documented fact).

In the early evening, after viewing things and interviewing people in East L.A. all day, and before the night shift in the same neighbourhood, my partner and I drove to South Central to see the smoldering ruins from the 1992 riots.

What struck me at the time was the story that the press seemed to have missed: the L.A. Riots were not random lootings and burnings. This was a kind of American retail Kristallnacht in which specific business were targeted to burn. A did not see a single Track Auto that was not gutted. There would be two stores, right next to each other, and one would be burned to the ground and the other unscathed. Very clearly, retail resentment, of one form or another, was being unleashed.

I do not remember seeing stray dogs in South Central (an area now trying to be rename itself "South Los Angeles"), but I do remember how many young men there were in wheelchairs.

If you sold colostomy bags, South Central would have been a good sales area to have. I am pretty sure they never shoot the colostomy bag salesman.... or the guy from the Public Defenders Service.
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Forty Dollar Camping Cup?



This metal camping mug from MSR is $40. The cup is made in Thailand.

This crappy photo was shot at the local camping store with cell phone. See the link (above) for a "beauty shot" of same product. Who pays $40 for a camping cup?
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Friday, July 16, 2010

Apocalypse Now! D.C. Has an Earthquake



I was answering email at 5 a.m. when it struck:

The D.C. area and parts of Maryland have been shaken by a minor earthquake early this morning. The quake hit at 5:04 a.m. EDT and had a magnitude of 3.6.


Minor? Everyone in the house woke up!

I checked the boiler (it was fine as it's not on this time of year), and looked for a downed tree in the backyard.

Nothing.

Which could only mean one thing (always said before I name three possibilities): 1) a plane hand slammed into the ground; 2) terrorists had hit, or; 3) a nearby house had blown up.

Nothing on the news.

Now they say it's just a small earthquake. Or "the biggest one ever" in this area, if you prefer.

Washington, D.C. is not prepared for earthquakes.

We have been waiting for 50 years for thermonuclear warfare and germ warfare, of course, and we are not prepared for that either. Except for the people in the advanced Yoga classes. I am told they really can tuck themselves under and kiss their own ass goodbye. I will have to be content kissing somebody else's ass, a job I have prepared for my whole life.

All I know is that when the (sh)it happens, the only way to get out of here will be by bicycle or boat -- the roads will be gridlock

We live a quarter mile from a bike path that goes out to Purcellville, VA, and about half a mile from one that goes out to Cumberland, MD. The family will bike out. I will take the dogs in the canoe in the backyard, and the dogs and I will go down river to the Chesapeake, and from there we will paddle to Scotland.

As you can see I have it all planned out.
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Terriers :: New TV Show on FX in September




TERRIERS is a new original series coming this September on FX.

It's been created and Executive Produced by Ted Griffin (Ocean's Eleven) and Executive Producer Shawn Ryan (The Shield), and is a comedic drama starring Donal Logue (The Tao of Steve, Damages) and Michael Raymond-James (True Blood).

It centers on an ex-cop (Logue) who partners with his best friend (Raymond-James) to launch an unlicensed private investigation business. As the two "struggle with maturity issues, the duo solve crimes while avoiding professional dangers and personal responsibilities."



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If this catches on, will we see other TV shows named after dog breeds?

Will Retrievers be a reality show about garage sales?

Will American Pitbulls be a story about tattooed truckers with hearts of gold?

And will Border Collies tell us the story of two South Texas widowers whose bark is worse than their bite?
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A Wolf Ass-Whips Another Out of the Pack




This 9-minute video clip was filmed by Dean Cluff, in collaboration with wolf biologist Dave Mech. The caption on Youtube reads:

An adult male wolf we radio-collared in the arctic near Eureka, Nunavut, Canada in July 2009 displayed continued dominance aggression on a younger male wolf, believed to be one of his offspring from a previous year. We suspect the behavior of the collared wolf represents domination on the part of a parent toward a maturing offspring that will eventually lead to the dispersal of that offspring. Filmed by Dean Cluff, in collaboration with Dave Mech.


You will note that this is the same David Mech who wrote a paper that the Cesar Millan-bashers are only too happy to routinely misrepresent. In fact, Mech has always been clear that dominance does occur in wolf packs. In fact, dominance creates and shapes wolf packs, from beginning to end, as older dominant males drive out younger males at age one or two.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Happy Fox


(Click to enlarge)

Cson has been feeding her backyard fox, and now he shows up for lunch, the miserable thing.

Mine are not quite so bold, as the dogs have free run of the yard during the day, but like Cson, I too feed my local fox and they come every night on the hope I might have remembered them with some leftovers.

Fox are as common as water puddles in large parts of this country, but go about largely unseen as they move around at night.

Cson and I have both had yard fox with a touch of mange, but simply feeding a fox is often enough to boost the immune system so that they can right that problem themselves.
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

PA Lurchers Need Home After Cruelty Case


Lurchers Tawny and Luna need a home.

A while back, I wrote about Lauren Antretter (aka Lauren Wolfe, aka Autumnbriar Kennels). You can read about that here and here, but the short story appears to be that she has plead guilty to 100 counts of animal cruelty.

Now the seized Lurchers (greyhound-collie crosses) are finally up for adoption as they are no longer needed as "evidence." What, the 30 dead animals were not evidence enough?

Three of the six Lurchers now available are puppies born to a pregnant dam seized in the raid. Contact the SPCA of Luzerne County if you are interested and can provide a forever home for these dogs that deserved a better start in life.

See video here.
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Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Glory of British Dogs


From the August issue of Dogs Today.


The Enclosure Movement made
British dogs,
and its political legacy
may determine their future.



Have you ever wondered why so many dog breeds originated in the U.K., or came to prominence here?

Whether terriers or herding dogs, fox hounds or bird dogs, the United Kingdom has produced more than its fair share of great breeds.

Why?

The answer lies in the history of the land, and especially the advent of the Enclosure Movement.

The War on the Poor

The Enclosure Movement began in the 12th Century with the enclosure of royal lands for deer parks, but did not roar into prominence until the late 18th and early 19th centuries when much of rural England was swept clean of subsistence agriculture and human settlement.

It was during this period that most large woods were cut down and the land was repopulated with sheep hemmed in by stone walls and thick hedges.

To say the Enclosure Movement was a shock to the economic and social system of the U.K. does not do it justice. In England alone, some 6 million acres, or one-quarter of the cultivated acreage, was enclosed by direct act of Parliament. Another 4 to 7 million acres is estimated to have been enclosed privately by the wealthy. Every part of the United Kingdom was effected by this "rich man's land grab" which pushed millions of poor tenant farmers and squatters off the land into squalid cities and towns.


The Rise of the Mounted Hunts

The Enclosure Movement was a crushing misery for people, but it was a boon to dogs, especially fox hounds, collies, and terriers.

Prior to the Enclosure Movement, squatters and inholders living on common land made fox hunting with hounds difficult. Once people had been moved off the land and replaced with sheep and cattle, however, the number of free-ranging mounted hunts expanded rapidly.

It is not an accident that the first substantive mention of fox hunting and terrier work in English literature occurs in Sir Walter Scott's Guy Mannering, written in 1815 and set in the 1760s. This period of time coincides perfectly with the great expansion of the Enclosure Movement.


The Origin of Breeds

The Enclosure Movement did not just clear the land for sheep and mounted hunts. It also made possible the rapid improvement of farm stock.

In the 18th Century, livestock was still breeding at random, but beginning in the late 1700s, a farmer by the name of Robert Bakewell realized that by separating males from females — made easy by the rising number of enclosed fields — a farmer could select sires and, by so doing, rapidly improve the quality of his animals.

By deliberately inbreeding livestock, and selecting for desirable traits, Bakewell rapidly created new and "improved" breeds of sheep and transformed modern agriculture forever.

Bakewell’s experiments with sheep quickly spilled over into other farm stock, such as cattle, pigs and chickens, and eventually into the world of dogs.


The Boom and Bust of a Sheep Economy

Britain’s sheep economy boomed in the late 18th and early 19th Century and working collies became a lynchpin of rural economic life.

The sheep economy, however, proved less stable than hoped. Busts in the wool business followed cheap imports of cotton and wool from Australia, America, and Europe.

In a collapsing wool economy, many marginal ventures found they needed other sources of income. One that presented itself was the stocking of pheasant, grouse and partridge for the new sport of bird shooting.

The blunderbuss, which had appeared on the scene in the middle of the late 18th Century, made way for the shotgun by 1850. The great age of Victorian shooting had now begun in earnest, with a new-found appreciation for retrievers, setters and pointers.

In 1859, the first formal dog show was held at Newcastle upon Tyne, sponsored by two shotgun makers, and featuring only Pointers and Setters. John Henry Walsh, the editor of The Field magazine, was one of the judges. He later went on to found the Kennel Club.


Fancy People With Fancy Dogs

With the start of dog shows, the creation of breeds exploded.

In 1800, there were only 15 designated breeds of dogs, but by 1865 that number had grown to more than 50, and it exploded to triple digits soon after the Kennel Club was founded in 1873.

In the Kennel Club, broad types of dogs were no longer allowed. Setters, pointers, hounds, terriers, and collies had to be sorted, segmented, catalogued, and segregated.

Dog shows became social scenes, with middle class climbers purchasing "purebred" puppies to insinuate themselves up the social register. As one Victorian periodical noted, "nobody now who is anybody can afford to be followed about by a mongrel dog."

The rapid differentiation between show dogs and working dogs became more pronounced as time went on. Increasing numbers of people bought dogs, bred dogs, wrote standards, or changed them. Points were given for the set of a dog’s tail, colorful markings on coats, the color of the eye, and even a dog’s "expression."

By the turn of the 20th Century Kennel Club terriers were no longer expected to go to ground or even chase a rat. Most Kennel Club retrievers fetched nothing bigger than a ball, while owning a Kennel Club pointer or setter was more likely a fashion statement than the mark of a sportsman.

The world of dogs was changing, and not for the better!

Around 1900, the Kennel Club began to close breed registries, and inbreeding to the point of defect began in earnest.

By 1950, most Kennel Club breeds no longer worked, and rapidly rising rates of inherited defect were being observed.


Into the Modern Era

One would think that by now the pentimento of the Enclosure Movement would no longer be discernable in the world of dogs, but you would be wrong.

In September of 2002, the Countryside Alliance marched in London with 500,000 persons taking to the streets in support of hunting with dogs. This was the largest political demonstration in British history up to that time.

In November of 2004, Tony Blair used the Parliament Act to ram home a ban on fox and hare hunting with dogs, despite clear opposition in the House of Lords.

Now, more than five years later, the new Government of David Cameron has pledged to allow some type of vote to repeal the ban.

Whatever one thinks of the posturing on either side of this debate, one thing is certain: it has nothing to do with fox or hare, and only a little to do with dogs.

This is the confused legacy of the Enclosure Movement, still making history in the world of dogs – an Upstairs, Downstairs battle carried out in field, forest and fen.

The political and economic forces that began to differentiate British dogs 200 years ago, are still very much in play, and it’s anyone's guess who will hold the winning hand in the end.

If a ban on hunting with dogs stands, hounds may survive as drag packs, but working terriers probably will not. But if a ban on hunting with dogs stands for fox and hare, why not for birds?

The RSPCA will need a new cause, and no doubt their direct mail campaign is already outlined. Is the demise of working retrievers, setters and pointers just around the corner?

Only time will tell.
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