I’ll try to live-blog this year’s show, as much as I can tomorrow, but I’ll also be cooking, so we’ll see how it goes. If nothing else, I’ll post the winners in the early evening. Until next time, Good day, and good dog!
Watching a variety of different dogs play is one of the biggest benefits of my part-time job. Dogs really know how to party, and the joy they get from play can be contagious:
Mini-breaks and Time-outs
In this video you several breaks in the action, even in just under a minute of elapsed time. This is a good thing. I highlighted the big one in the video, and there was another right after I stop filming (naturally) where Caffeine was gagging (it happens during allergy season and no, it’s not the collar) and Buddha politely stopped and waited for her to reach up and mouth him to resume play. I really wish I hadn’t stopped filming!
This kind of cooperation is what we want to see. It doesn’t always look exactly like this of course, because all dogs are different and play differently. It’s possible to draw broad generalizations about breeds – retrievers tend to like to mouth wrestle and end up with their heads literally soaked, bully breeds tend to slam dance, some herding breeds like to play tag — however the "tagging" better be gentle — but as I’ve said before, these are broad generalizations and are not always true. Know your dog, and know your dog’s friends.
Symmetry and Handicapping
Patricia McConnell talks about self-handicapping frequently on her blog and in her talks. It’s an important part of play. In the video I highlight a point where Buddha offers to let Caffeine pounce on him for a bit. She rarely takes him up on this offer. She likes to play on the floor and even did that when we had a much larger dog that played much more roughly with her.
In the puppy playgroups at Kellar’s Canine Academy we have a "regular" named Lucy, a 8 month old or so Pit Bull mix, who is an absolute master at self-handicapping. She can switch from letting a tiny puppy half her size jump on her and nibble her face to slam-dancing with her best friend, a 70 pound Rottweiler puppy, in seconds.
Some dogs can adjust play styles. I’m fortunate that Buddha and Caffeine (with the few dogs she will play with) can and will do this. It’s not necessarily common and don’t expect your dog or the dogs you come across to do so. Some dogs take offense, even in the middle of a play session, to a bitten ear or a jumped-upon face. The question is, how do they react? A warning and/or disengaging from play is just fine. Retaliation is usually not.
In a safe environment dogs always have the option to end play by stopping and, if nexessary, leaving the area. This means (at least) two things must be true: the area is big enough for a dog to be able to leave the area of play and the participants are in control to take the hint when a dog wants a break.
So What’s Actually Acceptable?
This is an excellent video, worth watching a few times, about play and body language:
One of the more interesting parts of my apprenticeship was watching how different trainers handled playgroups in both puppy classes and with adult dogs. Some were very hands on and quick to enforce a break in the action. Other tending to go with the flow and tried to engineer things more by strategically picking playgroups.
I came away a bit of a laissez faire attitude, and the fact that I have had to deal with small groups and then ideal facilities (until very recently) have forced me to improvise. I want to see regular breaks in the action. I don’t like to see too many high-speed chases, dogs up on their hind legs, and dogs that seem overwhelmed or afraid need to be helped by pairing them up with appropriate playmates. But attempts to support one dog or another or to enforce specific rules of play are not my thing.
What has your experience with playgroups been?
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Calvin, this 6 year old French bulldog lives in Menton and likes to take a bath in the fountain at Place du Cap. He waited in vain on this occasion because, as his owner explained, it was too cold for a swim.
A few nice Fleas images I found:
Flea Market IJ-hallen Amsterdam NDSM
Image by Robby van Moor
Flea market IJ-hallen Amsterdam NDSM
I just stumbled across this article. I live in Houston. BARC is one of the worst shelters. I've heard horror stories about the way they treat animals. Please don't let them fool you into thinking they care. Houston has a dogfighting problem and the city does not give a damn about the Pitties. We have several great rescue groups for Pitties. It really bugs me that Houston is always trying to act like they are so great when in reLity they haven't done a damn thing about the Corridor of Cruelty. Once again, volunteers stepped up. Good animal people reside in Houston, but they sure as heck aren't working in our shelters.
BAD RAP Blog
Did you see this bit on 20/20 this weekend? Ah, media. Titled “Veterinary Confessions,” the piece follows a couple of dogs through a series of veterinary visits where different vets offer different services based on their clinical experience, interspersed with the contrite admonitions of a former veterinarian who says that he was, before he relinquished his license (more on that later), the medical equivalent of a used car salesman.
Look, I’m not going to tell you that every vet in the world is equal and that everyone follows the same recommendations every time, but if you think that was the real point of this piece, you’ve been duped. Citizens of Oz, let me show you the Wizard.
“The vast majority of vets are ethical” and don’t recommend what’s not needed, says Dr. Andrew Jones, who then goes on to admit he regularly practiced the most unethical practice of recommending what wasn’t needed, just to make more money, hence confessing that he personally was worse than the vast majority of vets. Sounds like a legit guy to speak on behalf of the profession.
Why is he a former vet, you may ask? Well, the excellent blog SkeptVet profiled him a couple of years ago, if you’re interested. Rather than stop his continued practice of talking smack about, well, pretty much any vet except for himself- he was great, you see, unlike the rest of us slobs- he voluntarily gave up his license to practice in Canada.
And what is the good Dr. Jones doing now? Championing the cause of the poor and underserved, fighting the good fight to educate consumers about the latest AAHA vaccination recommendations or raising money for all those people getting soaked by the rest of us unethical greedy vets?
Um, not quite. He has a website. On it, he offers a
which sounds nice and altruistic. Oh look, he’s pre-prepared for the website traffic he’ll get tomorrow:
So, if you continue to scroll down for 5 or 600 feet, you’ll see that yes! it’s FREE!
(save the $ 6 shipping and handling)
Hey man, sign me up! Only $ 6 for all this info! I’m going to CLICK!
Wait, what? In order to get the free $ 6 DVD I have to also sign up for the $ 10 monthly service in perpetuity? Isn’t that the Naughty Video Site approach?
So, in return for tossing me, and my friends, and the vet you hopefully like and trust, under the bus, the good doctor is already planning for the side bennie of all those new subscriptions (note the date on the website, and the date I’m posting this.) All in the name of altruism, you see. Behold the Wizard.
You know me, I don’t normally get this upset, but MAN, my hide’s a little chapped right now. Greedy vets? When’s the last time I’ve asked you for a credit card in order to peruse my website?
I will leave you with one last thought. In this piece, Dr. Jones called dental cleanings the “would you like fries with that” of veterinary medicine, a very often unnecessary bit of work. To illustrate the point, he used a little pit bull who was seen by several vets who said she was fine and didn’t need any dental work. Anesthetized dental cleanings, by the way, often allow you to do a closer examination than you can do on an awake pet and might let you discover something like
Yes, that’s the same dog.
But by all means, continue to compare me to a kid at McDonald’s. In the meantime, may want to get that looked at.
Dolce Vita V. of San Francisco, CA wrote this review of the San Francisco Animal Care & Control:
It was love at first sight with our new puggle who was at SFACC. The process was easy, fast (because we had our paper work, our other puggle met his new little sister and we all passed the test) and the staff were loving and caring.
I was mostly impressed with the following:
Volunteers: When we met our new baby, she was being walked by a volunteer. After we adopted her, she had to get spayed so she couldn’t come home until after her surgery. We had a play date with her over the weekend. As we’re getting out of the car, we see her being walked by a volunteer. So, it’s nice to know that the dogs are not locked up in the their rooms all day without being walked or getting sunshine and fresh air. Some volunteers even spend time sitting outside with the dogs, petting them and giving love. These actions really touched me and I appreciate their commitment and time.
Quality of products: The dogs are given the best! They are fed HALO dog food!!!! and they’re also given a good quality of Advantage that is mostly only sold at a vet clinics not over the counter.
For $ 135.00, I not only got the sweetest puggle but for that great price in saving life it included: adoption fee’s, spayed, Advantage, Microchip and all vaccinations!
I’m now a fan of the ACC! I just wished they allowed for people to post pictures of the pets that were adopted so we can share how they are doing after leaving ACC.
Thank you Dolce for your review and commitment to animal rescue and sharing your story! Halo is proud to join Pet Food Express to feed every dog and cat at San Francisco Animal Care & Control.
This is a very simple way to eliminate fleas from your house or yard, it is non toxic and dirt cheap. if you want to see some of the neat things I make and s…
Video Rating: 0 / 5
Question by : Does everything ever seem ridiculous or gross to you?
For example, things like eating, chewing, on flesh, moist or bitter plant meat. Or the sounds of things, how we communicate, our voices cackling thoughts, or laughing them? Day to day activities, sensual activities, or mundane responsibilities?
Just wondering if people kind of stop and look at everything, and think of how insane it is outside the grind of it, or how kind of amazing and arbitrary it can seem.
Answer by The Struggle Continues
Add your own answer in the comments!
Animal shelters are filled with a huge variety of pets. Many people are quick to adopt younger dogs and older dogs are often overlooked. But remember, puppies are not for everyone—the training, playing, feeding and exercising that a new puppy requires in the first several months can feel like a full time job!
Adult dogs may be the best choice for a family who spends much of the day away from home. Shelters are overcrowded and unfortunately, older or senior dogs are among the first to be euthanized if they aren’t adopted. Consider adopting a senior dog and save a life!
Dogs are considered “senior” in the last 25% of their expected lifespan. If you have a Labrador Retriever with a 10 to 13 year life expectancy—his “senior” years start around 7 ½. Similarly a Toy Poodle with a 14 to 16 year life expectancy reaches his golden years at 10 ½.
Aging varies by breed, body size and individual pet characteristics—typically larger breeds of dogs age more quickly than smaller dogs. Never had a senior dog? Halo is here to help.