Life at 3MPH

The fraternity of extreme adventurers is actually and quite understandably small.  I’ve reduced the reason down to one simple equation – the glory versus the grind.  If glory>grind no. If grind>glory maybe.  There’s grit in there but that’s a conversation for another time.  
Most begin with the finish line in mind and forget about the millions of steps it takes to get there and don’t realize they’re doomed from the very start. 
I’ve crossed paths with hundreds of would be adventurers who wanted to conquer the AT or the PCT, the vast majority of whom succumbed to the algebra but one, I’m happy to say, did not.  My good friend, John Stalls.  
What I can say about this lad is, other than that he walked from coast to coast, is that as a strapping 6’5 tall and ruggedly gaunt man, he’s the poster boy for great adventures.  Even though I’ve walked many more miles than him, when and if I ever get a Wikipedia page, I hope they put John’s picture on it because he looks the part. 
And lives it, too.  Since he completed his cross country journey Johnathan Stalls has built an organization committed to promoting wellness through walking.  Mile by mile his walk to connect has inspired many people in Denver CO and now he wants to expand it to other communities.  John is a man I’d put my money behind and I hope you will support him in his campaign to realize his vision for Life at 3MPH.  
  

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

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HALO COUPONS FOR AUGUST

augcoupon
For blog readers, newsletter subscribers, Twitter followers and Facebook fans only, we’re happy to offer this month’s store coupons for Halo products!

Remember, these coupons are only valid at stores where Halo is sold.

For Halo store locations, enter your zip/postal code here. Products sell out fast, so please call ahead to make sure your nearest retailer has what you need (if not, they can usually order it for you quickly).

Featured Coupons
$ 2 off any two cans of Halo
$ 2 off any can of Vigor
$ 6 off any 28lb bag of Halo for Dogs
$ 6 off any 2 bags of Halo for Cats
$ 7 off any case of Halo 13.2 oz Cans for Dogs
$ 7.50 off any bag of Vigor
$ 5 off any Halo Supplement or Grooming Products
$ 4 off any case of 12 cans of Halo

Halo

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Brandon Williams Poses for Show Your Soft Side Campaign

A nose tackle for the Baltimore Ravens is helping our friends with wet noses stay safe by tackling the problem of dog and cat abuse. Joining in a virtual huddle with such sports stars as linebacker…



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DogTipper

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#PawPromise Adoptable Dog of the Week: Moo

Don’t miss this week’s #PawPromise #Adoptable Dog of the Week: Moo!!Click To Tweet Sporting a black and white coat that conjures up images of a Holstein cow, Moo is “udderly”…



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DogTipper

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Pet Doctor Barbie and the Pet Food Dude

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Pet Doctor Barbie post. It’s past due for a new episode, yes? I think it’s time for Pet Doctor Barbie to meet one of her self-appointed arch nemeses, Pet Food Dude.

 

Episode 8

b1_edited-1

Hi Mrs. Sandford, good to see you and Muffin. It’s been a while!

b1

I’m really glad you’re doing housecalls now. I want to get Muffin’s bump looked at again.

OK, I’ll just look at my notes here- 1 cm, top of head…mm hmmm… So where we left it one year ago was that you were going to go talk to your husband and then we were going to aspirate it.

b4

Oh….yes. It’s grown quite a bit since then. We really need –

b3

Yes, I wanted to talk to you about that. I’m a bit upset that you didn’t mention last time how his kibble might have caused this.

b8

We don’t really understand why cancer occurs, Mrs. Sandford. The important thing now is to take care of this mass. I’d hate for you to blame yourself because of your food selection.

b6

I don’t blame myself. I blame you. How much do you make from Big Pet Food anyway?

Actually nothing. But aren’t you feeding a boutique brand anyway? You told me last time you were feeding…let me check…organic grain free non-GMO preservative free all natural Wolf Chunks.

b7

Yes, and you told me to stop and to go back to that one full of corn and despair!

Actually, no, I said Wolf Chunks were fine if that’s what you wanted. But about that mass…

b9

I’ve been using turmeric on the advice of Pet Food Dude. Do you know Pet Food Dude? Can I borrow your computer? This guy knows all your tricks.

b11

Sure, have at it. May I ask what tricks you are referring to?

Vaccines. Pet food. You know. Poison. They are full of free radicals that are overpowering the antioxidants and preventing cellular apoptosis no matter how many carrots I add.

Here’s his site. He knows your medicine is a lie and you’re really just after our money.

petfooddude

I’m going to log on and see what the forums say about your “cancer just happens” line. Oh wait….shoot. My membership is expired. Can you hand me my wallet?

b10

Oh, I think I’ve seen his site. Is he the one who sells supplements and seminars on dog juicing?

Yes! He’s a pioneer. OK, credit card updated, I’m in.

b2

OK, here we go: Have I at any point in the past fed kibble from Big Pet Food or gotten Muffin vaccinated? Yes, 10 years ago. So they say here that this is why he has cancer and it isn’t responding to the turmeric. They also said you would say exactly what you said about it not being their fault, and not to fall for it. What do you have to say to THAT?

Mrs. Sandford, I need to level with you here.

b15

It really doesn’t matter to me what you’re feeding Muffin. I am glad you care about him and want to do what’s best for him. I do too! I promise! I’m having a really hard time talking to you when you’re typing at someone who is convinced I’m out to hurt you both. Right now I am just really worried about the size of this mass on his head. I think we need to get him in for a full evaluation ASAP.

*tap tap*    I’ll think about it. I haven’t tried coconut oil yet.

May I ask why you even had me come out?

b12

I just wanted this all on DropCam- see it over there? It’ll be on Pet Food Dude’s YouTube tonight. He’s doing a “Vets Revealed” bit. Well, since you didn’t do anything I’m sure you aren’t expecting payment. You can see yourself out.

TO BE CONTINUED….

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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Latest Mite News

Woodbine 2015: A Dyna-Mite Queen's Plate
The American Triple Crown season has been completed for a month, but the Canadian version is set to get underway on Sunday. First up is the Queen's Plate from Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario. This year marks the 156th running of the race, …
Read more on Horse Racing Nation (blog)

Absentee landholders asked to start nurseries for mites to biologically
"We want to try and set up landholders that have large infestations that are difficult to manage and we want to set up those places as the nurseries with the mite," he said. "These are people that are short of time and they may not have the knowledge
Read more on ABC Local

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A Mugabe meme

mugabe lion


Canis lupus hominis

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Helline, model

Helline is a Lagotto Romagnolo, an Italian breed.  She lives part of the time in Menton and the rest in Luxembourg. She’s three and a half and as you can see enjoys playing ‘model.’ 

RIVIERA DOGS

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Latest Flea Prevention News

New York State Program Enhances Awareness Of Invasive Species
The effort to expand awareness about the spread and prevention of invasive species is patterned on an effort that began in the Adirondacks. Invasive species … That's very important now in Lake Champlain with spiny water flea and other species that
Read more on WAMC

Alameda's Adoptable Pets: Flea season prevention beats cure every time
It's a lot easier to prevent flea infestation than to try to control it after it has occurred. But with so many products on the market, it is hard to know what flea control method is the best fit for you and your pet. To choose a product that will get
Read more on Contra Costa Times

Flea and Tick Prevention Essential in Summer Months, Says Acres Mill
CANTON, Ga., June 14, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic is reminding pet owners about the importance of flea and tick prevention for the summer months. The animal hospital carries both topical and oral flea and tick treatments.
Read more on GlobeNewswire (press release)

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“[I]n any pure bred…the greatest characteristic it can possess is its differences.”

lewis harcourt's retrievers

This is a clipping from the Illustrated Sporting News from March 28, 1908. It is about Lewis Harcourt’s golden retrievers and their talents compared to other strains that were bred for a more uniform type.

The text of the piece, for those who might have trouble reading the text, goes as follows:

When Mr. Harcourt’s yellow retrievers were exhibited at Cruft’s Show, the dog-show critics condemned them for want of uniformity. That was a display of ignorance, of educated ignorance, for in any pure bred, and necessarily inbred race, the greatest characteristic it can possess is its differences. In other words, the breed qualities condemnatory of the mongrel are the salvation of thorough-breds. For thirty, or more, years, Lord Tweedmouth has passed this breed of sandy-coloured retrievers. Ideal breeding cannot be found in breeding for colour, because it is reminiscent of the remark of the Suffolk sportsman, that “there is a toy in the kennel of every sportsman, from his honour to the rat-catcher.” But there has been no ideal retriever breeding for many years. It has been governed by show influences, or breeding for uniformity of error. Consequently, the colour fad is quite as likely to have done less harm than the breeding for uniformity [of type], particularly when we remember that the colour faddists have always been sportsmen and the uniformity faddists have not. Besides this, there is evidence of a public sort that there is working instinct left in this race. Mr. A. T. Williams’ crack field trial Don of Gerwn was by one of them, and no dog has distinguished himself more in public than this liver-coloured one. Now that a race of breeders of retrievers are arising who breed for nothing but work  and have a large field of choice, it will become harder to maintain a particular colour in small numbers at the high working standard that is sure to be set. On the other hand, it does not follow that crosses with best working black dogs will stamp out the golden colour (pg. 126).

This piece points out that this strain of flat-coated retriever, which became the basis for the modern golden retriever breed, were actually pretty influential in the main flat-coated retriever breed at the time. Don of Gerwn, mentioned in the piece, was the winning of the 1905 International Gun Dog League’s retriever trial in 1905, and his sire was one of Lord Tweedmouth’s yellow retrievers named Lucifer.

The author of this piece was obviously a practical sportsman, excoriating show breeders and pointing out that if you start breeding for type alone, you start producing lots of useless dogs. The author’s line about every kennel having a “toy” in it is probably always truism, no matter what sort of working dogs are being bred, but the implication is that retriever breeding up to that time had gone astray as wavy/flat-coated retrievers were being bred with a heavy emphasis on making them look more uniform in type.

The original wavy-coated or flat-coated retrievers were quite variable in type. Some showed a stronger St. John’s water dog or “Newfoundland” type, while others were very setter-like. Both really wavy coats and extreme straight coats were found in the breed, which is one reason why the breed had two different names.

The “golden retriever” strain had been closely held by only a few devoted sporting families, and they were used for sporting work, mostly picking up from grouse and pheasant shoots and tracking wounded deer. There was not a strong selection for uniformity in type, just for the yellow to red color.

The “golden retriever” strain retained a lot of variance in type that was being lost as the wavy-coated retriever began to develop along a much more narrowly defined creature.  Flat-coats were having the bone bred out of them, and in the drive to make them straight-coated, there was a selection away from the dense undercoat that protected their Newfoundland ancestors from the cold water and kept British land retrievers well-insulated from thorn pricks.

Today, the golden retriever’s diversity in type is something that ought to be celebrated. It is in the golden retriever breed that the old wavy-coated retriever’s diversity in conformation was preserved, and it is in part because of this diversity that the golden retriever wound up thriving as a breed while the flat-coated retriever has become quite rare (and almost became extinct).

Beyond the narrowness of discussion of golden retriever types, though, is the pernicious desire of the show ring culture to produce cookie cutter dogs.  Many breeds have excluded colors, like the pied in mastiffs, the white in German shepherds, and the yellow in modern flat-coated retrievers.  Others, like the Portuguese water dog, have a coat type that is excluded. These dogs with “improper coats” look a lot like flat-coated retrievers, but they have been deemed essential for the breed’s survival. Even though a genetic test now exist that determines whether a bearded dog carries the improper coat, the breed club urges breeders not to exclude those dogs.

Which is pretty forward-thinking for the modern dog fancy.

Diversity is seen as an aberration in the world of purebred dogs. In working dogs, people are more willing to allow for conformation or color differences because it means one can select more for working characteristics, but in a show dog, the looks really do matter to the point that it becomes much harder to select for working traits. It also becomes harder to select for health and genetic diversity.

The more one narrowly defines the “correct” criteria for breeding selection, the harder it becomes to breed for sustainable gene pools across the breed.

In this way, in a purebred dog the greatest characteristic it can possess is an acceptance of diversity. In golden retrievers and Labradors, there is already a very wide acceptance for diversity, but in breeds like mastiffs and pugs, there is very little tolerance for this essential diversity.

In 1908, golden retrievers were just a few years from becoming an actual breed, instead of a strictly working-bred strain of flat-coated retriever.  Ever since the two breeds have split, yellow flat-coats still pop up, and they are now usually sold with the understanding never to be used for breeding. However, they tell us very clearly that these two breeds didn’t arrive as separate specially created kinds that jumped off of Noah’s ark.

The two breeds are part and parcel of each other, so much so now that the flat-coated retriever that exists now is really but a sub-type of what we call a golden retriever– at least that’s what the DNA says. If you ever follow the pedigrees of golden retrievers, you’ll hit black flat- or wavy-coats soon enough.

Much more so than in 1908 does the modern flat-coat needing new blood. Plans to cross flat-coats with goldadors (golden retriever/Labrador crosses) from guide schools have been rumored. There was even a discussion about crossing them with Labradors in Britain a few years ago, but it never went anywhere.

The closed registry system no longer rewards innovators like Lord Tweedmouth or Lewis Harcourt.  Innovation, which we celebrate with our crossbred hogs and beef cattle, is now abhorrent in the world of dogs.

And has been for quite some time.

But it still stands that diversity is not the enemy of sound breed management.

So here’s to the yellow flat-coats, pied mastiffs, and parti-colored Gordon setters.

Someday, you’ll be appreciated for what you give to your breed, but it make take a lot more disease and suffering for us to recognize it.

Until then, let this article from 107 years ago tell us that truly knowledgeable dog people knew better than the modern fanciers. It was our fair warning.

To which too many didn’t heed.


Canis lupus hominis

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