THE ROCK: Chapter 13. Ridiculous Part 2

Here. Now

I was born in the year of the dog.  1970. And maybe that’s what sealed my fate.

The ridiculous thing is I didn’t even realize that until well after we were on the road.  I was in some jerkwater town at an all-you-can-eat Asian restaurant supping by myself and they had those Chinese Zodiac placemats on the table.  The thing you never read unless you’re alone.  
After my uncle Jamie passed recently, I’ve had a tough time composing the next chapter of the story.  As a writer, adventurer, philanthropist – cum chef you never know when your next word, idea, undertaking or meal is your last.  
But we dogs.  We don’t care.
What comes next isn’t up to us.  The only thing that matters is here and now.


YBD’s Notes: There may be a part 3, 4, 5 to this chapter until I figure out what I have to figure out.  My apologies.

2 Dogs 2,000 Miles

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Hip Dysplasia in Dalmatians

Do you remember when a Dalmatian dog could be seen riding on a fire truck? Or how about the Disney film “101 Dalmatians”? I doubt that as you were watching these magnificent creatures you ever thought that there could be such a thing as hip dysplasia in Dalmatians.

Dalmatians were bred to chase horse-drawn carriages and were used for this purpose long before they became associated in people’s minds with fire engines and firemen. They are tough, dependable dogs who are noted for their robust stamina. If you enjoy jogging, a Dalmatian is your perfect companion no matter how far your daily jog takes you as they are noted for their ability to keep up with the most passionate runner.

Well-trained Dalmatians are gentle and have a quiet bearing. However, they can be energetic and rowdy at times, owing to their incredible energy and stamina, and for this reason they are not necessarily the best pets to own if you have very small children. They do make excellent playmates for older children, and their strong protective instincts make them very effective guard dogs for the entire family.

Dalmatians are people-oriented dogs and should not be left alone in the house for any extended period of time. If they don’t receive enough attention and exercise they become destructive, digging up lawns and gardens, chewing on things you’ve left lying around the house, and worst of all, they’ll bark incessantly if you ignore them for too long.

Dalmatians are wanderers, and if allowed to roam, they may disappear for days, busy exploring your neighborhood or even half the town. It’s essential that you have a fenced-in yard if you plan on letting them cavort around outside when not on a leash.

Dalmatians mainly shed their coats in the spring and fall, but will keep shedding all year round. Daily brushing of their coats becomes a necessity if you don’t want to spend your days vacuuming the carpets and furniture. Dalmatians are sensitive to cold weather and shouldn’t be left outside in the wintertime.

Dalmatians date back to ancient Egypt where they were used as guard dogs and dogs of war. But Dalmatians really made their name in the 19th century as “coach dogs” due to their natural swiftness and agility. Their kinship with horses made them well suited for following their owner’s horse-drawn carriages and guarding the horses and carriages when the owners went inside.

Dalmatians are medium-sized, well-proportioned dogs with distinctive black spots on a white coat. Most children are familiar with them because they’ve admired their escapades in the Disney movies “Lady and the Tramp” and “101 Dalmatians”. Dalmatians have strong muzzles and deep-set eyes. Their strong, arched necks are supported by their deep chests and level backs. Their tails curl up slightly and they have long, well-muscled legs with rounded feet. Their coats are short, dense and sleek.

One interesting fact most people are not aware of unless they’ve owned a Dalmatian puppy, is that Dalmatians are solid white when they are born and develop their distinctive black spots as they get older.

Dalmatians are very active dogs and must be exercised every day. They make wonderful pets and excellent companions. They are very charming dogs and will follow you everywhere, wanting to be with you all the time.

A healthy Dalmatian can live as long as 12 years. Unfortunately, they are prone to developing hip dysplasia as they grow older.

Hip dysplasia in Dalmatians is a genetic disease that primarily affects large and giant breeds of dogs like the Dalmatian but can also affect medium-sized breeds and occasionally small breeds. It is primarily a disease of purebreds, although it can also occur in mixed breeds.

To understand hip dysplasia and the resulting arthritis, you need a basic understanding of how the dog’s hip joint is affected. The hip joint is comprised of a ball and socket that forms the attachment of the hind leg to the body. The ball portion is the head of the femur and the socket is located on the pelvis. In a normal hip joint the ball rotates freely within the socket. The bones are shaped to perfectly match each other with the socket surrounding the ball. To strengthen the joint, the two bones are held together by a strong ligament. The joint capsule, a strong band of connective tissue, circles the two bones to provide added stability.

This is an example of a normal hip joint:

Hip dysplasia is linked to abnormal joint structure and a laxity of the muscles, connective tissue, and ligaments that would normally support the dog’s hip joints. As the disease progresses, the articular surfaces of the two bones lose contact with each other. This separation of the two bones within the joint causes a drastic change in the size and shape of the articular surfaces.

Most dogs who eventually develop hip dysplasia are born with normal hips, but due to their genetic make-up the soft tissues surrounding the joint develop abnormally. This leads to the symptoms associated with hip dysplasia. The disease may affect both hips, or only the right or left hip.

This is an example of a hip joint showing the effects of hip dysplasia:

The symptoms of hip dysplasia cause afflicted dogs to walk or run with an altered gait, similar to a bunny-hop. They begin to resist any movement that requires full extension or flexion of the rear legs. They will experience stiffness and pain in their rear legs after exercising and on first rising in the morning. Climbing stairs becomes difficult if not impossible. Some dogs will limp and are less willing to participate in normal daily activities, including walks they formerly enjoyed.

It appears that the amount of calories a dog consumes, especially during its fast-growth period from three to ten months, has the biggest impact on whether or not a dog genetically prone to hip dysplasia will develop the disease.

Obesity can increase the severity of the disease in dogs that are genetically susceptible and the extra weight will intensify the degeneration of a dog’s joints and hips. Dogs who are genetically prone to hip dysplasia and also are overweight, are at a much higher risk of developing hip dysplasia and eventually osteoarthritis.

Exercise can be another risk factor. Dogs genetically susceptible to hip dysplasia may have an increased incidence of the disease if they are over-exercised at a young age. Moderate exercise like running and swimming is best for exercising young dogs.

Because hip dysplasia is primarily an inherited condition, there are no products that can prevent its development. Through proper diet, exercise, and a daily regimen of Winston’s Joint System, you can slow, and sometimes halt, the progression of these degenerative joint diseases while providing your dog with relief from its pain. Winston’s provides many of the raw materials essential for the synthesis of the joint-lubricating synovial fluid as well as the repair of articular cartilage and connective tissue.

You might also want to consider providing your dog with an orthopedic bed like the Canine Cooler Bed which distributes the dog’s weight evenly and reduces pressure on its joints. The Canine Cooler Bed uses revolutionary SoothSoft Technology to give your dog the very best in comfort, and the fluid-enhanced design offers a dry, cooling effect with superior cushioning and support. It’s perfect for dogs with hip dysplasia or arthritis.

If owners insisted on only purchasing an animal whose parents and grandparents were certified to have good or excellent hips, and if breeders only bred these first-rate animals, then the majority of the problems caused by hip dysplasia would be eliminated.

If you are looking to purchase a Dalmatian now or in the future, the best way to lessen the possibility of getting a dog that will develop hip dysplasia is to examine the incidence of hip dysplasia in the dog’s lineage. If at all possible, try to examine the parents and grandparents as far back as three or four generations.

There are different assumptions on how to prevent the progression of hip dysplasia in Dalmatians. Poor nutrition, inadequate or improper exercise, and increased body weight may all contribute to the severity of osteoarthritis after the hip dysplasia has developed. By watching the calories your puppy or young dog consumes and preventing obesity in your dog, allowing only non-stressful types of exercise, and a daily regimen of Winston’s Joint System, are the best things you can do for your dog.

Improve The Lives Of Your Dogs By Treating Hip Dysplasia

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Good Job, Internet: Walmart Pulls Offensive Dead Dog Halloween Prop

Yesterday, before the Internet caught wind of it, you could buy a prop of a dead dog at Walmart. A dog who was apparently hit by a car — “bloody roadkill,” according to the description. The manufacturer did a pretty honest job, including lots of blood and a “large tire track squished through its mid torso.” Oh, and it included a chain “for dragging purposes.” 

All in all, a good, completely insane and horrifying addition to the Walmart line, which was pulled down as Internet outrage grew, as it should have been. Actually, it should have been taken down before it was even put up, before it was even made, before it was even an idea. Dead dogs shouldn’t be a part of Halloween fun, especially at Walmart. Someone should have known that.  

The prop was distributed by Morris Costumes and made by Distortions Unlimited. Though it has gone from Walmart’s site, it’s still searchable on Unbeatable Sale, though you cannot purchase it. And it appears to have been sold and pulled from Amazon, Sears, and many other retailers, too, though you’d be hard-pressed to find it there anymore. However, we found it on Nightmare Factory

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Here's a screencap of the page on Unbeatable Sale:


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Ugly stuff. As if the photo isn't bad enough, here's the text that appeared on the Walmart site, according to a post on the Randy Report. It's perhaps the most insane Walmart description ever:

You have seen bloody road kill, this is bloody road kill. Foam filled latex prop of a skinned dog with a large tire track squished through its mid torso. Chain attached for dragging purposes.

After people caught wind of it on the Walmart site, outrage grew. Facebook posts went up; people left comments on Walmart, Sears, and Amazon; Leslye Brown quickly put up a petition to get the item removed.

And you know what? It worked. Yesterday, Distortions Unlimited apologized for the product and discontinued it immediately. Here's a message the company released, according to Culture Map Dallas:

"We make products for primarily for haunted houses so we have to walk that thin line between horror yet OK and over the top. This is a tricky thing to do at times and it appears like we crossed the line with the dog. We were not trying to be insensitive of offend anyone although it appears like we did. We are sorry and the product has been discontinued immediately."

Good work, Internet.

The Scoop | The Scoop

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On Gardening: Control the pests that pester pets

On Gardening: Control the pests that pester pets
Homeowners can also use topical products like Frontline Plus Advantage. There are also IGR products for topical use, such as Precor and vIGRen, sold in pet stores. Control requires 4-6 weeks. Always follow the product label. Another option are flea
Read more on Anniston Star

Natural flea preventives can be toxic
While the Environmental Protection Agency regulates synthetic topical flea control products, it has no control over plant-derived natural flea products that contain essential oils. So consumers need to research these products themselves. The Animal
Read more on Reading Eagle

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so cute ! I was trying to find pictures of Dobby (…

so cute ! I was trying to find pictures of Dobby (from the Harry Potter movie)to show a friend why I sometimes call my dog "Dobby" (he has the same eyes and earings when he looks at you while you are eating…) and I found your blog and video. So lovely !
I am a dogsitter in Paris and I sustain all pet defense organisations !
Please continue your fight


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Lakeshore Learning $200 e-Gift Card #Giveaway ~ Ends 9/16

Have you ever purchased anything from Lakeshore Learning Material‘s? I have and I have to say that they are some really great items for kids and even better things for me, as a Daycare Provider. I love ordering all kinds of supplies from Lakeshore Learning.

Anyway, they are a really great giveaway going on over on their Facebook page right now.
So head on over HERE and enter to win a $ 200 e-gift card!!
Disclaimer: I received nothing more than extra entries into this giveaway for this post by others entering. Images and information are from Lakeshore Learning.



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Mite M – De Liefde

abbonneer en subscribe.
Video Rating: 5 / 5

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The strange twisted story of canine circovirus

You have probably been hearing a lot about canine circovirus. So have I. You may have heard some conflicting things about this virus. So have I. Because I love you all and I want you to know what I know, I’ve spent the day trying to make sense of the information that’s out there. Here’s what I know so far and why I’m not recommending mass panic at this time.

Part 1: It’s the food

Here’s how the story evolved, as far as I can piece together.

1. In mid-August, P&G pet foods issues a voluntary recall of certain lots of dry food manufactured at an East Coast plant over a 10 day period because of the possibility of Salmonella.

2. Last week, The Pet Spot, a pet kennel in Ohio, learns that several dogs who had been at the facility in the last few weeks had become sickened with a severe hemorrhagic gastroenteritis/ vasculitis type disease. Three of those dogs died.

3. The kennel owner, trying to figure out what was going on, noted that his kennel’s stock food is Iams. He makes a “hey, we may want to look into this” sort of statement which gets digested, churned up in the bowels of social media and local media, and becomes



The only problem is, it wasn’t. By this time, P&G- which coincidentally is headquartered in Ohio- hears this story and of course they would like to know what happened to those dogs. I spoke with Jason Taylor over at P&G, who among many duties has the awesomely fun job of managing pet food recalls when and if they occur, to ask what happened next.

According to Taylor, despite the fact that the kennel owner did not have the lot codes of the food he was using, P&G was able to ascertain the lot numbers based on order history and shipping details, determining that the food being fed at the kennel was not part of the recall, and in fact was not even manufactured at the same factory.

But since they were there anyway with a group of microbiologists and toxicity experts and a small business owner who was under a lot of pressure to figure out what was going on, they figured they would add their resources to the investigation, crawling around with cotton swabs and all that science-y stuff and send it off to see if there was any identifiable pathogen in the environment. There was none. The facility was cleared to re-open.

Still with me?

Part 2: It’s circovirus

4. By now, the state veterinarian, the local veterinary community, and the Ohio State veterinary hospital are involved. People put their heads together. Someone says, “hey, I remember reading about a dog in California that died this April with similar symptoms; he had circovirus, which is weird and unusual because it’s normally a pig disease. We should test for that too.” The news, already paying attention after losing the whole pet food angle, is still interested. Under the tender editorial guidance of a click-happy news site, “we are investigating this possibility” becomes:


because if there’s one thing the spell check challenged online journalism teams at local newspapers like to do, it’s to drive traffic with leads like “It’s a scary new disease, that can kill your dog” then follow up with some man-on-the street interviews with statements such as “It can like, kill your dog, and that’s like bad for them.”


Uh oh.

As anyone who has read any sort of newspaper or watched any news channel in the last decade will attest to, journalism has become less about accurate reporting and more about fast reporting. It’s the nature of the beast these days, but it’s why everything needs to be taken with a grain or bushel of salt because guess what?

According to a UC Davis professor who tested samples from three of the affected dogs, only one tested positive for circovirus. You may not have heard that yet because Ohio can’t test for circovirus; samples got sent to California and despite what CSI tells us, results are not instantaneous. It took this long for the official results to come in, which is about 4 days too slow for a news cycle that is moving on to the next disaster at midnight.

Part 3: It’s…a case in progress

So what do we know about circovirus and dogs, exactly? Not much. What caused these illnesses? Not sure.

  • Correlation does not imply causation. In the above referenced piece, Dr. Pesavento points to an academic article published in April that  talks about the dog in California, then went looking for the presence of circovirus in other dogs. To sum up, it was found in some dogs with diarrhea. It was also found in some healthy dogs. Most of the sick dogs were co-infected with some other pathogen as well. Clear as mud.

So again, what do we know about circovirus in dogs? That it exists. It may or may not cause disease. That is all the scientists are willing to say at the moment. Wordier summary is in the Ohio Department of Agriculture press release.

That is soooo anticlimactic and unsexy and un-newsworthy, and as a person who likes exciting news as much as the next person I wish I had something more earth-shattering to report. But at the end of the day I am also a person that likes TL:DR summaries, so to put it all in one handy image:


Part 4: So now we torch the dog park, right?

I in no way want to minimize what happened to those affected dogs, who suffered from a rapid onset, devastating illness. It is entirely possible that circovirus will be identified as the cause, and in that case we can revisit this issue and talk more. I as much as anyone else hope the patient scientists who make this their life’s work will be rewarded for their diligence with a definitive cause. As of now, there is none. We live such stressful lives as it is, I like to wait until I’m forced to panic so I don’t spend my entire life wedged in the corner covered in Saran Wrap. While we wait to determine if this is necessary, here’s what you can do:

1. Remember the number of reported cases stands at ‘miniscule’. If you’re worrying about circovirus while your dog is running around a year late on his parvo booster, I would recommend re-focusing your attention, at least for the time being. That being said:

2. Call the vet immediately if your dog shows any signs of this disease. If your dog has bloody diarrhea, you should be at the vet ASAP anyway; this advice has not changed since before this virus emerged. The affected pets became rapidly, severely ill: rapid treatment was essential to positive outcome.

3. Avoid high risk environments. Consider the fact that all of the reported cases happened in dogs that had recently been to kennels or doggie daycares. High concentration of dogs in one place means higher likelihood of disease spread.  I actually don’t recommend carte blanche avoiding these environments, but if you are really concerned or if your dog has a less than hardy immune system, dogs survive just fine without those facilities.

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

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THE ROCK: Chapter 13: Ridiculous Part 3

“Cast before a silver sheet,
Tracing lines that never meet.”

Those are the first two lines to a poem I wrote a long, long while ago, even way, way before Malcolm was diagnosed, and they made little sense to me at the time. 

They do now.

YBD’s Notes 1:  Though I have plenty more ridiculous things to say and do, I’m done with this chapter and it’s time to move on and bring the first book, The Rock, to its conclusion.  

YBD’s Notes 2:  Sailing is an inexact metaphor for life.  Ashore, the time to jibe or tack doesn’t always translate but I’ve come about now.

YBD’s Notes 3:  Next chapter I’ll talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of sponsorship and that’ll set the stage for the final chapter.  

2 Dogs 2,000 Miles

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