Monday, September 26, 2016

It's Not the Size of the Dog in the Fight

I often get asked about the size of my dogs. Or why I refer to Faolan as "little boy" when he is considered a large dog.

The rundown:
Neeko is 31" at the shoulders, and about 94 lbs.
Bruce is 30" at t he shoulders, and about 95 lbs.
Faolan is 27" at the shoulders, and about 65 lbs.

It is difficult to get photos of the three of them together in the same position on a level surface, but this one works well to give one a visual of their sizes in relation to one another.

The princess is big and tall, and much leaner than this photo gives her credit for. Her fluff adds weight. But she is fairly delicate, and quite sensitive.  She can also squeeze herself into the smallest possible spot on the couch.

Bruce is big and strong. Solid muscle. Typical bull in a china shop.

Faolan is "little." He is lean and lithe, with good balance. He is very sweet.  But he is also a scrapper, and doesn't give up easily. This dog has a lot of heart, which I admire in any creature. I have called him pushy on more than one occasion. Though Bruce is 'bigger' and outweighs him by about 30 lbs, he does not bully him. There is a mutual respect between the two.

My neighbors' Pug regularly runs off a (friendly) Black Lab that runs loose, and is at least six times his size. He's a tough little guy.

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Black & White Sunday

While it's officially fall, the weather here has been unseasonably warm lately.  But fall-like weather is set to arrive tomorrow. I am very much looking forward to it.

Because of the heat, Neeko was being somewhat uncooperative when I took this photo. Much like me, she is Freon-dependent, and loves her AC. I think she loves it even more than I do.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

My Rotten Cats - Stella & Chewy's Freeze Dried Raw #ChewyInfluencer

I have written before about my struggles with getting my cats to eat a raw diet. As obligate carnivores, cats REQUIRE animal protein in order to survive. I have tried several forms of raw with the girls, but they are picky, picky beasts, and will only eat a few.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Black & White Sunday

Oh Bruce. He is an enigma of sorts. He can be so silly, so sweet, so affectionate, funny, obedient. But then he can be the world's biggest jerk.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

I See Dog People

I went to my cousin's baby shower today. She is my mom's sister's daughter, and only two months older than me. We essentially grew up together.

It was a lovely event, hosted by her friends, at a gorgeous historic church.

Delicious food, good conversation.

I sat at a table with my mother, the wife of another cousin (she is hilarious, and I love her), and three ladies whom I had never met.  These ladies were all nicely dressed, in their 50's-60's, and all seemed to know each other very well.  They were fun, funny, engaging, and well-spoken.

I did learn that these ladies were the mother and aunts of my cousin's husband. We spoke about nursing, as one of them has a daughter who is a Clinical Nurse Specialist. I inferred that two of them are educators.

Somehow, of course, the topic of dogs came up. For once, it wasn't me who brought it up. I learned that they are all self-described "dog people."  I could not have been more tickled.

One mentioned how she leaves the TV on for her dog, to keep it distracted from squirrels and everything else. I recounted the story of Bruce breaking a window at 9 pm on a Sunday night in January because of a possum. My cousin's wife started asking me about how to put weight on her dog, Stanley.  One of the ladies asked if anyone knew anything about a raw diet. My mother's face lit up. (She and my stepdad recently switched Sully to raw, and he is doing fabulous.) My mother of course directed attention to me.

I was more than happy to share a little information on raw. My mother directed them here. (Thanks Mom!)  One of the ladies told me of her 13 year old diabetic dog to whom she injects insulin and feeds an expensive prescription dog food. I told her to look into an appointment with a holistic vet, and that the dog could likely get off the prescription food. She was glad to hear it.

Prior to the baby shower, I volunteered at an adoption event. I posted a photo of a dog I was handling. A friend of mine saw it. She does not have dogs, but her significant other has two. She went to a different adoption drive and adopted a senior dog. I considered her a dog person prior to this, but now she is official.

Dog people.  They are everywhere.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Responsible Dog Ownership Goes Beyond the Basics

September is AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Month.

For me, responsible dog ownership is about more than the necessities. Food, shelter, water, and love are mandatory, but these alone do not make a responsible dog owner.

Some things vary amongst breeds and particular dogs, but I am going to touch on some that apply to my situation, northern breeds, and wolfdogs.

Responsible Dog Ownership is Adequate Containment

Northern breeds are notorious escape artists, often referred to as "Hairy Houdinis." This is widely accepted. In my opinion, a responsible dog owner has containment that is adequate for their particular dog or breed of dog. What qualifies as adequate depends on the dog or the breed.

Northern breeds, as a rule, should not be allowed off leash in an unfenced area. I never allow my particular dogs off leash, though I wish I could. But they possess little to no recall. I have a walkout basement with a dog door. This leads to a 600 sf outdoor area that my dogs can access at all times. This area is concrete, mostly to prevent dig out, but also to prevent mud tracking. This area is surrounded by 6 gauge, 6 foot tall, vinyl coated kennel panels. There are two gates. One leads to the big yard, which the dogs are only allowed in while supervised. The other gate leads to "the outside." The gate to the outside is double gated, with what I call an "airlock." This is to prevent escape via push throughs. Because I have pushy dogs.

An individual with a pug or a Chihuahua likely won't require the same measures, just as a dog with good recall can safely be allowed off leash. It all depends on the dog.

Though some are against it, my dogs always wear collars with tags, even in the house. They all have a "wild" look about them, but Faolan in particular does. Coyotes are rampant where I live, Faolan loves people, so if the unthinkable occurred and my dogs escaped, I would hate to have my sweet boy mistaken for a coyote.