|Photo by Elliott Erwitt, Dog Legs, New York City, 1974|
No other species has within it, the same size differentials as the dog.
|Necropsy on Connecticut mountain lion|
|Connecticut moutain lion hit by SUV near Milford.|
|Michigan Mountain Lion caught on camera, Jan 18, 2010,|
The journey of this mountain lion is a testament to the wonders of nature and the tenacity and adaptability of this species. This mountain lion traveled a distance of more than 1,500 miles from its original home in South Dakota – representing one of the longest movements ever recorded for a land mammal and nearly double the distance ever recorded for a dispersing mountain lion.
There's birth control for dogs?
It's in the works. Along with SenesTech, a biotech company that specializes in "humane animal population management," Arizona scientist Dr. Loretta Mayer has developed Chemspay, a doggy contraceptive that is administered once orally or via injection, and induces menopause in an animal. In trials conducted between 2004 and 2008, the drug significantly reduced the number of eggs in test dogs, thus rendering them unable to have puppies.
What's next for this canine pill?
Mayer is taking her research to India, where she's working on a project to curb the country's feral dog population. "This technology, if successful, will really have a huge impact on unwanted dog populations," she says. "The biggest impact will be where dogs are reservoirs for human diseases, like in India." Stateside, it could dramatically decrease the number of unwanted dogs that are euthanized, says Maria Parece at Gather.
So when can American dogs get in on this?
In three years or so, Mayer plans to begin FDA trials at an animal rescue center in Flagstaff, Ariz. It will take a total of six to nine years for Chemspay to gain FDA approval. "There is a very long timeline in this project," Mayer says. "Each and every one of our products takes years to develop."
A good question, but I am afraid I do not know enough to have an answer.
Observationally, I would agree that some breeds of dogs never really mature emotionally, often remaining quite dependent, playful and goofy into pretty advanced age. Others are much more independent, less playful and serious from a very early age. Konrad Lorenz talked about this, noting that the more serious dogs tended to be "one man" or "one woman" dogs with strong loyalties to particular individuals, while the other type were more "emotional sluts" (not Lorenz's term!) that would quickly give themselves over to just about anyone for a belly rub and a piece of kibble.
I would also agree that a lot of dogs seem to have bad communication skills, either sending the wrong signals or not understanding those they receive from other dogs. But is this genetics or socialization? I am not sure, but let me make an observation and offer up a thought experiment....
The observation is that so many dogs these days live "prison planet" lives.
Now the thought experiment: flip the scenario around.
Suppose a small boy or girl, age three months, is brought to live alone in a cave tied to a large fenced yard. He shares the cave and yard with five or six dogs, but other than that, he only communicates with other people on those brief occasions when he is allowed to leave the yard and can actually interact with them. Will this boy learn the language of humans with so little contact in such truncated circumstances? What will this child act like? This adult? This old man?
When we talk about poor socialization, we tend to mean dogs that are overly fearful or aggressive towards other dogs and other people. But I think poor socialization just as often expresses itself in another way -- dogs that are SO in need of canine contact, and so inarticulate in "dog speak" that, when put before other dogs, they are like long-term foreign prison camp survivors swarming over their liberators, crying and laughing, pawing at their pockets and kissing their feet as they try to get their cracked vocal chords to work again and remember the word for "thank you" in their almost forgotten mother tongue. And these are men who were captured as adults and after only a few years as captives! Imagine how bad it might be if you were taken to a prison planet -- a suburban home -- as a child.
|John Gilchrest, 1948 International, with Ben and Spot.|
Man it's a hot one,
Like seven inches from the midday sun...
I think Patrick has an analogy that is apt. When we Border Collie people tried to convince the AKC that conformation breeding would destroy the sheepdog's working ability and, hence, change the breed into something else, we were astonished that they didn't care. At first I thought they were entirely indifferent to dog well being - only after a long time (and long struggle) did I understand that their belief in the value of conformation breeding and showing was quasi religious - a matter of faith.
And what we faced wasn't -as we had thought - a simple matter of informing them what the certain consequences would be once they started breeding Border Collies by quite different standards - we had a theological dispute.
We knew the show bred Border Collie would become, after several generations, unable to do its traditional work. They believed they were taking a rough piece of doggy clay and "refining" it so it might accompany the gentlefolk anywhere.
The AKC's obliviousness to the harm they have done is analogous to the harm the Catholic church has done, but it's important to realize that they didn't create that harm because they were the spawn of Satan or dumb as rocks.
The Catholic church believes that all souls are redeemable - that every compulsive pedophile can confess his sins, ask for God's help, and stop buggering choirboys.
This is an core tenet of almost every Christian church. Yes, you can be saved. Go and sin no more. Sure the church had venial motives for protecting priests but, BY ITS OWN BELIEFS, it was also protecting the priests' immortal souls. Those choirboys were collateral damage.
So too the AKC. If a few dogs are malformed for the showring, if the cost in dog/owner suffering is very high, look at all the handsome, refined breeds that DON'T have health problems. Wouldn't you like to own an improved canine aristocrat? Genetically compromised breeds are collateral damage.
Those of us who think the damage is more important than the successes can learn a lesson from Rev. Harold Camping's congregation.
Most of us imagine that predicting the end of the world, and the world not ending, is a a deal breaker. But most of the Rev's congregation still attends, pays their tithes, and believe Rev Camping's a prophet. End of the world? Well, nobody gets it right all the time!
A recent study of such congregations (can't remember where I read it) noted that the "deal breaker" for most of us (End of the world, buggered choirboys, bulldogs unable to breathe) is a minor glitch to true believers. (Eric Hoffer is still pertinent). The True Believer is surrounded by other True Believers and to abandon the core beliefs (redeemability of souls, betterment of breeds, the validity of prophecy) is to enter the unfriendly, incomprehensible darkness where decent people dare not venture.
|Steve Dean is the new Chairman of the Kennel Club.|
Art by Kevin Brockbank, for the August 2011 issue of Dogs Today.
The economy is still suffering from the worst financial crisis since the Depression, and widespread anger persists that financial institutions that caused it received bailouts of billions of taxpayer dollars and haven’t been held accountable for any wrongdoing. Yet the House Appropriations Committee has responded by starving the agency responsible for bringing financial wrongdoers to justice — while putting over $200 million that could otherwise have been spent on investigations and enforcement actions back into the pockets of Wall Street.
A few weeks ago, the Republican-controlled appropriations committee cut the Securities and Exchange Commission’s fiscal 2012 budget request by $222.5 million, to $1.19 billion (the same as this year’s), even though the S.E.C.’s responsibilities were vastly expanded under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Charged with protecting investors and policing markets, the S.E.C. is the nation’s front-line defense against financial fraud. The committee’s accompanying report referred to the agency’s “troubled past” and “lack of ability to manage funds,” and said the committee “remains concerned with the S.E.C.’s track record in dealing with Ponzi schemes.” The report stressed, “With the federal debt exceeding $14 trillion, the committee is committed to reducing the cost and size of government.”
But cutting the S.E.C.’s budget will have no effect on the budget deficit, won’t save taxpayers a dime and could cost the Treasury millions in lost fees and penalties. That’s because the S.E.C. isn’t financed by tax revenue, but rather by fees levied on those it regulates, which include all the big securities firms.
A little-noticed provision in Dodd-Frank mandates that those fees can’t exceed the S.E.C.’s budget. So cutting its requested budget by $222.5 million saves Wall Street the same amount, and means regulated firms will pay $136 million less in fiscal 2012 than they did the previous year, the S.E.C. projects....
... Given the magnitude of the S.E.C.’s task, Congress could make Wall Street firms pay more and not less to police the mess they helped create. A government that wants to hold wrongdoers’ feet to the fire and prevent future abuses could finance an S.E.C. enforcement surge analogous to the military’s strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan. Congress could fully finance the S.E.C.’s requested $1.4 billion — and add another $100 million for technology spending. The $1.5 billion would be paid entirely through fees. Financing the S.E.C. adds nothing to the federal deficit and, on the contrary, will help reduce it. It is an investment that would most likely generate increased fines and penalties that could be returned to defrauded investors and taxpayers.
. . . . - Sir David Attenborough
They vacuumed mosquitoes from the walls of huts in three villages whose inhabitants had recently been given Ivermectin and three whose had not, and tested to see how many mosquitoes contained malaria parasites.
The Ivermectin villages had almost 80 percent fewer.
The drug was shortening the mosquitoes’ lives, explained the lead author, Brian D. Foy, a Colorado State mosquito expert. Only older insects transmit malaria, since they must get it from humans first.