In the Game of Boys, you win or you die

Every once in a while I find myself remembering just how similar we are to our primate relatives; how, when the trappings of modernity are removed from our dextrous fingers we regress to our most primal of behaviors with nary a glance backwards. You don’t even need to travel to a different continent to explore indigenous tribes or venture out with an anthropology researcher intent on dissecting human behavior. You just need to go camping.

Preferably with a large group of young boys.

When my husband decided to join Adventure Guides with our seven year old, I said, great. Once a month camping adventures with just dads and sons, how sweet. He came back from the first trip, an oceanfront camping adventure with 1000 of their closest friends, the closest to shell shocked I have ever seen him, and this includes the first time he met my extended family.

We had timed our joining just so, as the very next trip was the annual wrap up at which mothers and sisters were also invited. “Hooray!” said my husband, son, and daughter. “We can all sleep in a tent in one big puppy pile!” I tried my best to smile encouragingly, but inside I knew this was one of those take one for the team moments.


Kinda like that.

My first hint that this was not going to go according to plan was the fact that despite the fact that mothers were invited, the vast majority of them demurred.  Of the 10 or so families from our tribe, the only women were me, the leader’s wife, and one other woman who pulled up in an RV with a full kitchen and the only fruit to make it onto the campsite.

Eight Million Boys With Guns

The way Adventure Guides works is, you have your little ‘tribe’ that sticks together, but on trips the 10+ tribes in your nation all show up to camp at the same time and enjoy camaraderie get their first lesson in saber rattling. In short, there were roughly eight million (gauging this solely on sound pollution) little boys thrown together in this remote wilderness location. You touch down, and while you are setting up your tent your child begins their slow re-enactment of Lord of the Flies by disappearing into a throng of squirt gun wielding savages for the next three hours. By the end of the first day, at least ten percent are naked except for mud. My daughter hides in the car.


In the wilds of Tanzania, chimpanzee alpha males are known to herd juveniles into a circle, surround them, and pelt them with figs. OK they don’t. I don’t know why these men are throwing balance balls at little children but they seemed to like it.

The newer fathers worry at first. “Where’s Tyler?” they ask. Everyone else shrugs. “He’ll turn up,” the fathers say, then go back to cooking meat (which is, along with chips, the sole foods brought to this weekend event.) Tyler does turn up eventually, three hours later with a skinned shin, one shoe, and some green gooey substance on his face. This is how it goes all weekend.

The Red Tenting

Like other chimpanzee communities, while venturing out from your tribe is tolerated to a certain extent where resources are not at risk, there is a certain level of tribal warfare bound to happen when boundaries are at stake. In this case, this was played out over a game of Laser Tag.

“It’s all in good fun,” says the crew-cut leader of our competing manpanzee tribe , comprised of 50 beefy 10 year olds wearing warpaint. Our tribe, consisting of 15 six year olds, bravely gets into position. The referee blows his whistle. I start humming “The Rains of Castamere.”


It was looking grim from the get-go.

“KILL THEM!” yells Crew Cut, who had now revealed himself to be the reincarnation of Walder Frey, and within two minutes our tribe is massacred. No mercy. There are no survivors. They are sprawled across the field in various levels of snot-nosed distress, grass stains spreading like green blood. At Grandma’s house back home, Brody howls.


Fight bravely, little manpanzee.

I am watching this testosterone laden display of aggression with horror from the safety of a far away picnic table. I now know how Jane Goodall must have felt the first time she saw a chimpanzee eat the young of another tribe. My friend with the RV silently offers me a Bloody Mary (it was a virgin one, I swear), which I down in one gulp.

You can always count on the medicine man

It’s a miracle there are not more severe traumas at events like this, where kids run around in the pitch black fencing with marshmallow forks, a fact I attribute to sheer luck and the number of surgeons who attend this event. I was awoken at 6:30 the next morning by a boy on the far side of camp yelling “DaaAAAAaaaaaD! Some kid’s hurt real bad!” Bummer for that kid.

It wasn’t even 7 am.

About 30 seconds later, my daughter pokes her head in the tent to inform me that it was my son who was hurt real bad, and the adult on scene requested we come over with our car.

I zip over to find my son screaming on the side of the road, attended by one general practitioner and one surgeon who inform me he is not dying but did manage to fall off his bike and tear a decent sized V-shaped flap of skin off his inner thigh in some strange bike accident that to this day no one can accurately reconstruct.

“If you took him to an ER,” the surgeon said, “they would put in a few stitches.” He shrugged. “But if you don’t, it’s not in an area where a kid can’t have a scar.” So in addition to great memories my son is now permanently branded with a “V” on his groin to remind him of this strange and bizarre rite of manhood, the “suck it up you’re on a man-trip” scar. To their credit, these doctors were not of our tribe, reassuring me that even in the vast wilds of tribal warfare, you can always count on the Medicine Man to put politics aside when life is in danger. Or at least when life screams like it is.

To sum up: ‘Character Building’ is a loosely defined excuse to justify death by dodgeball, laser massacres, and benign negligence. Got it.

The reason moms aren’t invited but once a year, I am told, is because of the stress and panic these events bring on in mothers. It’s true. Just ask Catelyn Stark. (sorry, I really am done with Game of Thrones references now.)

Over the course of my career, people have asked me lots of questions I once couldn’t answer.

  • Why didn’t you become a pediatrician?
  • Isn’t being a veterinarian stressful?
  • What drives you to go to remote places like Tanzania and Nicaragua?

I can now answer them all with confidence.

  • This trip
  • Not as much as watching that Laser Tag massacre
  • Peace and quiet

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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Sweet Puppy Breath

Puppy breath


A cute little girl and a white Labrador puppy cuddling. Nothing like waking up in the morning to the sweet smell of puppy breath!


The post Sweet Puppy Breath appeared first on A Place to Love Dogs.

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Hooray! Sanity Wins! Nevada Bans Breed Specific Legislation

Obviously, we don’t like breed specific legislation, or BSL, which lets government bodies regulate, ban, seize, and even destroy dogs solely because they belong to a specific breed — or just look like they do. And it’s not just Pit Bulls who are affected — many breed specific laws include such breeds as Bulldogs, Chow Chows, and even Dalmatians. They’re breed-discriminatory laws, to use a more accurate term. And too often, cities adopt them as a knee-jerk reaction, based on little more than a few vocal proponents. 

But undoing those laws is a hard process, involving local heroes who take up the cause on behalf of their pets and refuse to back down. 

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Thankfully, there are people such as Jessica Clemens, founder of Incred-A-Bull, and groups such as Best Friends Animal Society. They led the effort to outlaw BSL in Nevada. And they succeeded. 

Last week, Gov. Brian Sandoval signed Assembly Bill 110, which "prevents local governments from adopting or enforcing an ordinance or regulation that deems a dog dangerous or vicious based solely on the breed of the dog," according to a Best Friends' press release. 

Nevada is the 14th state to pass a law preventing breed discrimination.

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The group worked with bill sponsor Assemblyman James Ohrenschall. 

"It has always been bad public policy to enact ordinances that target a certain breed of dog without considering that individual dog's actions," he said. "I'm proud of sponsoring this legislation because it will help keep our innocent friends from being killed needlessly and senselessly. This bill will help strengthen the bond between humans and our beloved dogs.”

Best Friends brought some popular figures into the campaign. Richard Hunter, owner of Mel, one of the “Victory” dogs rescued and brought to Best Friends from Michael Vick’s 2007 dog fighting bust, testified before the Nevada Senate to show support, according to the release.  

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Good work, people. The ban on BSL takes effect Oct. 1. Let's hope more states follow Nevada's lead. For those looking to get involved, a good place to start is by creating a petition. Here's Incred-A-Bull's petition for the Nevada campaign, to give you a guide. 

Via Huffington Post; photos via Best Friends Animal Society

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What is the Best Method To Use In Order to Remove A Tick From a Dog?

Question by : What is the Best Method To Use In Order to Remove A Tick From a Dog?
When the tick is imbedded in the skin and the lump under the skin is stationary. After removal what is the best way to clean the area?

Best answer:

Answer by only1lov
shampoo is the best way to remove ticks and fleas from dogs or cats hair. you can buy this shampoo at your local petshop. make shur its flea or tick shampoo becasue regular shapoo dose nothing

Add your own answer in the comments!

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PERDUE Asian Chicken Salad Recipe

Asian Chicken Salad

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Does Animal Abuse Lead to Domestic Violence

A strong connection linking animal abuse and domestic violence has been discovered through recent studies of women in domestic abuse shelters and substantiated reports on animal abuse.

Seventy percent of the women in these shelters reported either threats or actual harm to their pets. The study further revealed that 54% of these women stated that their pets suffered physical injury. The study also included a control group of non-shelter women where more than sixteen percent reported threats to their pets, but only three and a half percent reported actual harm to their pets. Surprisingly, a significant number of the women in shelters reported that fear for their pets’ safety kept them from leaving the abusive partner at an earlier time to seek help.

Social workers in domestic abuse shelters are keenly aware that women who are being abused may postpone leaving an abusive partner because of concerns about their pet. Many abused people report that the mental anguish of seeing a dearly loved pet abused is often worse than the physical punishment they had themselves received.

These studies have identified at least three ways that animal abuse and human violence are linked:

1) Abusers use animals to influence or hurt people. By abusing an animal that a person cares for, the abuser shows that they have dominance and control over their partner. When an adult or child witnesses what an abusive person does to their pet, they realize they are helpless against similar abuse. Abusers sometimes injure pets to punish their partners for leaving or attempting to leave them. Abuse of pets is also used as punishment to get back at the pet owner for something the abuser disapproved of. An abuser will threaten to harm a pet to stop an abused person from telling others about their own abuse.

2) Animal abuse by a child may be a predictor of adult violence. Children who abuse pets are more likely to commit violent crimes, including murder, when they become adults. One of the most consistent predictors of domestic abuse is engaging in animal abuse when the abuser was a child.

3) Abused children may in time become animal abusers. Several studies have shown that children who grow up in an environment of animal abuse are more likely to commit animal abuse and human violence when they are adults. Children who grow up in a household where animal abuse is common may become desensitized to the brutality and consider it normal. Children growing up in households where emotional or physical abuse between partners is a common occurrence also learn that one way to demonstrate your power and control is to abuse a defenseless animal.

The American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Medical Association, and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence have joined with many local governments and districts in the fight against domestic violence and animal abuse. Many city animal shelters are also recognizing that abuse of pets is growing at an unacceptable rate and are working to find new ways to increase awareness of the problem. Some veterinary schools have added abuse recognition training to their core curriculum. Extensive information is now available to help veterinarians recognize the warning signs of animal abuse and how to distinguish between injuries caused by abuse versus ones attributable to other injuries.

Animal cruelty needs to be taken seriously. It’s not only a horrible and disgusting crime, but is a harbinger of future abusive behavior or other violent actions by a person. It’s important to report any acts of animal cruelty you witness. Abusive treatment of an innocent animal should never be tolerated. Please help our furry friends and report any abuse to your local animal shelter or call your local Animal Control.

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Purina Pet Park Offers Free Apps, More for Pet Parents

This post brought to you by Purina. All opinions are 100% mine. As you all know, I write (and, at Amazing Pet Expos around the country, speak) a lot about how to save money on your pet’s care….

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Could I have some assistance making a topical outline for Narnia 2?

Question by John: Could I have some assistance making a topical outline for Narnia 2?
I am writing an oral book report on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for school. Instead of writing the body we are doing a topical outline of the book. The outline only needs to have at most 3 main ideas. Our textbook has examples of biography outlines (which looks much easier) but Narnia is a fiction book. If I could have any assistance at all; that would be great :) Thanks!

Best answer:

Answer by eliaslover
I Don’t Understand What A Topical Outline Is….. 3 Main Ideas??

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Got my shipment today – 12/22

I order about $ 300 worth of product a week ago Monday, on 12/15. Normally, a Monday order would be delivered to my house by Thursday or Friday, but with the holiday slowdown at UPS, it didn’t make it until Monday.

Naturally, I ran out of canned food, dry food, and treats! I try to always keep enough on hand but just didn’t this time.

I had bought some holistic food in the interim — there are a few that are affordable and that I trust. And they’re fine, the kitties eat them without digestive upsets for the most part. These are not my favorite foods, by the way. HealthyPetNet is the only food I am loyal to… I hope they stay in business forever because I absolutely do not know what we would do if we had to shift.

But let me tell you, when I brought in those two heavy cardboard boxes and turned my back to hang up my coat and put my laptop away, the kitties tore into the box with the dry food in it and had the corner chewed off by the time I got back to it!

That stuff must smell amazingly good!
A day in the life of a HealthyPetNet Rep

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Therapy Dogs Providing Comfort in the UK and US

Here in the United Kingdom last month was National Pet Month, an annual celebration of the joys of companionship that pets give devoted owners across the country. It’s been estimated that 48% of households in the UK have a pet and in the spirit of Pet Month a poll was taken by a social networking site which questioned pet owners across the country. According to the poll, over half of those questioned would rather hug their pets than a close relative when they are feeling down! This reflects the fact that pets can be a great source of comfort to those in discomfort and distress. This effect has been harnessed by the use of ‘therapy dogs’, which have been active in the UK for a long time in an effort to help ease the physical and mental discomfort of the ill and infirm.

Therapy dogs are becoming more widely used across the UK and the US, with many charities becoming aware of the benefits they can bring. In fact, courtesy of a number of Lutheran Church Charities in America, ten dogs were sent to help comfort victims of the recent tornado which struck Oklahoma. The ferocious tornado carved a 17-mile path of destruction through neighbourhoods, damaging up to 13,000 homes, doing $ 2bn (£1.33bn) in damage, and tragically claiming at least 24 lives. Tim Hetzen, the man in charge of the Lutheran Church’s efforts to comfort the victims’ families, explained how therapy dogs could help:

“Our dogs stay out as long as possible to be with families to help them process their loss. A big part of processing loss is talking about it,” Hetzen said. “The dogs are great for that, because they’re great listeners, they show unconditional love, they don’t take notes and they’re confidential, so they’re great tools for people to pet. When you pet a dog, you relax. When you relax, you’re more likely to share.”

Interestingly it’s not only moods that have been shown to improve by interaction with friendly canines. In addition to providing a psychological boost, physical interaction with therapy dogs has been shown to reduce stress by lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Contact with affectionate dogs has been found to promote the body’s release of beneficial neurochemicals including oxytocin, dopamine, phenethylamine and various endorphins which are known to reduce stress and harmful chemicals, supporting the recovery of the human body.

One of the earliest examples of therapy dogs is the case of Smokey the Yorkshire Terrier, a therapy dog active during World War 2. Smokey, who had been abandoned on a battlefield in Papua New Guinea, was rescued by a Corporal William Wynne. When Wynne was hospitalized with a jungle disease, his pals decided to take the little dog to the hospital to cheer him up. Smokey was welcomed with open arms by the hospital staff when it became clear that she provided great comfort to wounded soldiers, who were recovering from their injuries.

Therapy dogs really began to be used in a more systematic way in the 1970s. Elaine Smith, an American nurse working in England, noticed the positive effect on patients when the hospital chaplain had his golden retriever accompany him around the hospital on rounds. The dog had a great effect on the wellbeing of the patients, with the canine’s visit sometimes the highlight of their day. Smith moved back to the U.S. in 1976 with her new insights and founded Therapy Dogs International, the first national registry of therapy dogs in the country.

Therapy Dogs International has sparked a trend in the use of therapy dogs and just seven years after it was founded, a similar organisation called ‘Pets as Therapy’ was established here in the UK. They are the leading UK charity providing animals for therapy sessions in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and care homes. Over its 30 year existence it has had the help of over 22,000 dogs, with around 4500 dogs currently helping more than 130,000 people every week.

If you would like to help, and have a dog which you think has a suitable temperament, you too could offer your pet as a therapy dog and begin providing priceless comfort to the unwell and infirm. Simply contact your local therapy dog organization to see whether they accept new pets, and they will tell you what to do next.

About the author: Brit Peacock is an animal lover currently blogging about how dogs can be used to help comfort those suffering from illness and personal injury.

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