Monday, May 17, 2010

Dog Training Up the Leash

John Kelly notes that not all dog training is down the leash:

Even the smartest dog can't speak English. But every dog can tell you something, if you're willing to listen.

I think of a dog as a human-training device. I might teach Charlie to sit or to shake, but he's teaching me, too: to be observant, to pay attention, to discern through the wag of a tail, the cock of an ear, the look in an eye the thoughts of a living being who shares time with me on this all-too-imperfect planet, in this all-too-finite life.


Pestilence said...


I took my dog to the groomers this weekend, and was told that white haired dogs need "SPF" (Sunblock of sorts?) To avoid getting skin cancer in the summer.

This sounded a little far fetched to me. I was wondering if you've ever heard this claim before, whether it was accurate, and any other factors that should be taken into account.

FYI: I adopted my 2.5 year old dog about 8 months ago. Supposedly she's a Westie/Schnauzer mix... and she spends 21+ hours a day indoors, except for the occasional weekend outing.

B Clarke

PBurns said...

I have white dogs now, have had others in the past, and my dogs live outside all year long and I laugh at the notion of sun blocker for dogs

Skin cancer? Not likely, at least not from the sun. Of course, people will sell you anything and get you hyperventilating about it too.

Do they have it for goat, cows, chickens and sheep too?


Pestilence said...

Thanks, I figured as much.

Viatecio said...

Your chosen graphic for this blog reminds me of this demotivator poster.

B, we did consider sunscreen for our dog, but only because we were out on a lake fishing and he was crashed on the floor of the boat after some hard swimming. There's no shade in the boat, and you know how long one can send casting lures. We'll probably invest in some, but that's the only situation in which we EVER thought about using it. I'd be more concerned about genetic defects and health issues that occure in some white-haired dogs (white Dobes, Boxers, bulldogs, etc--not the ones who are supposed to be white, like poodles, bichons or most other breeds) before I even thought about sun exposure.

PBurns said...

That poster is funny!


Linda K said...

Sunscreen is definitely recognized by vets and recommended for white/light haired dogs who's skin can burn just like ours! I just did a post on this subject on my blog today. Check it out.

Linda K

JL said...

I have heard of potential problems with pink-skinned dogs and sunburn, usually close to the nose where the hair is relatively sparse. I haven't seen a case, though.

A friend has a dog with lupus. She limits his sun exposure and uses a sunblock on him to avoid flare-ups.