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Posts Tagged ‘Dog’

It’s been a fortunate coincidence that I planned a photo session in a dog park today and this week’s photo challenge is “Today.”  Below are some of the results of the photo shoot. Starring are my beloved pups, Meeshka and Maya. (images by reflectionsinapuddle)

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Surely my previous post about my dog gave you a pretty good idea of Meeshka’s outstanding intelligence (by doggy standards of course.) Today I got another proof that not only is he smart, but can also appreciate art. Well, maybe.

About seven years ago, when I experimented with acrylic paints, I painted a portrait of the Buddha seated in a lotus position, meditating. The painting is nothing to brag about, but I keep it, hoping that some day I’ll be able to turn it into something more spectacular — that is, when I master traditional painting media.

Last week my husband dug out the Buddha painting, along with several of my landscapes and floral themes, and put it in the basement, positioning it so it can be easily viewed by anyone entering the room. My husband also told me that when Meeshka saw the painting the first time, he barked at it, likely alerting him that there was a stranger in the house. My husband thought I should take it as a compliment.

Today, when I was doing laundry, Meeshka followed me downstairs, as he usually does, to make sure all is well in that part of the house. While I was loading the washer, Meeshka kept barking in the room where the paintings are. At first I thought he was barking at the cat, but when I came out of the laundry room, I realized it was actually the Buddha’s portrait that stirred my doggy up. I asked him to shut up, which he did. Then he turned his gaze back to the Buddha painting and stared at it for a good couple of minutes, until he heard me get closer. Then he turned his head toward me with an embarrassed look, as if I caught him stealing socks or underwear from a laundry hamper. This curious occurrence made me wonder, what does my dog see in this painting? By the way, my other dog, Maya, has no interest whatsoever in any of my art pieces. 🙂

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image by reflectionsinapuddle

Humans are curious creatures. It beats me how they walk on two legs without falling on their noses. And because they have no luxurious fur coats like us dogs, they have to wear extra skins to keep them warm. Every night, Mama and Papa shed their extra skins and put them in a big brown basket. On a laundry day, Mama takes it down the stairs into a small and narrow room crowded with two big white boxes. Although they look like a big white box in the kitchen where Mama hides all the food, upon a close sniff-around, I concluded that they harbored nothing edible. The boxes are pretty boring and sleep most of the time, just like Mimi the cat, but on a laundry day, they wake up and start shaking and grumbling and growling like hungry beasts. But if you think I am afraid of them, you are wrong. I am no stupid dog and I can put two and two together. These angry boxes sound like cars. When I was a puppy, I thought cars were big animals that growl, roar, and pass nasty smelling farts. It turned out you could get inside a car and have a nice ride to a dog park. So, I reckon these white boxes in the basement are cars for the extra skins, so they can go for a nice ride. Imagine hanging in a dark closet and then sleeping in a laundry basket all day long. Everyone needs a break once in a while, even those extra skins, pathetic though they are.

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This was part of my weekly assignment for the GWW fiction writing course, the Point of View topic. I am not posting the first part where I was to observe a personal area in my home or office and write a few paragraphs describing my activity in my area from a third-person point of view. I struggled with this part of the assignment, and it came out boring and listless.

The second part was to put someone completely opposite from me (gender, age, education, culture, etc.) in that room of mine, and write from that character’s point of view in the first-person.  So I wrote the above piece from my dog’s POV. He is a complete opposite of me: a male, young enough to be my baby, home-schooled with no manners to speak of. The only deviation from my assignment is that he is not a person per se. 🙂

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Black puppy

Yesterday I watched Ceasar Millan’s Dog Whisperer and, for the first time, heard about the “black dog” syndrome. Although there is no scientific explanation of this phenomenon, animal shelters observe a particular trend in adoptions. And it doesn’t bode well for the black pooch. Potential adopters subconsciously gravitate to lighter coloured dogs and overlook the black ones. Some attribute this behaviour to the perception that black dogs with black eyes are more difficult to read, or that they don’t show well in photos, when people look for adoptable dogs online. There are also superstitions: a black dog is an evil apparition found in the folklores of the British Isles;  in Taiwan real black dogs are considered a real bad ju-ju, and if a black dog sports white “socks,” even more so.

My dogs are predominantly black with elegant white socks, and they are the cutest pups in the world. (Please forgive me if I am being a bit subjective here. :-)) I also have to admit that the male, whose eyes are much darker than his sister’s, may certainly look inscrutable on photos. But he’s got such an expressive face, that he never fails to make a positive impression when people meet him in person. (As long as those people are not riding bicycles :-))

Puppy

image by reflectionsinapuddle

If you are not superstitious and are thinking about adopting a dog, especially from a shelter, before you make your decision, have a closer look at the cool K9s in black. Who knows, maybe one of them will win your heart.

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Jeannie, a rescue dog, lost her leg in a leghold trap

Jeannie

Once in a while every city gets a dog-related story. This week we’ve been shaken by two, one on the heels of another. The first story is a heartbreaking tale of a dog with a missing leg. The second… an unfathomable tragedy that affected the entire community.

Good dog, poor dog

Yesterday, a story ran in our local paper about a young dog that apparently got caught in a leghold trap and chewed her own leg off to break free. The dog was named Jeannie. (read full story). It sounds like Jeannie’s troubles are far from over: she is extremely emaciated, has mange, and suffers from several open and infected wounds. Although her leg (or what’s left of it) needs to be amputated, the animal is too weak to undergo a surgery. They want her to put on some weight and get a little healthier first. Jeannie’s treatment  is expected to cost a pretty penny, and AARCS (The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society) is asking for donations.

Update on Jeannie’s story

Family dog gone terribly bad

Today’s story was about a tragedy in a community just north of Calgary. A family husky attacked a newborn; the little boy didn’t survive the attack. Not much is being said about what provoked dog’s aggression. All we know at the moment is the dog didn’t have a history of violence. (read full story)

My heart goes out to the family who have suffered this unimaginable loss. It’s also a reminder to all of us, canine aficionados, that dogs have teeth, and they can bite.

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As Cowboy pointed in his comment to this post, the article (and the organization behind it)  is against pitbulls. I have nothing against pitbulls and I don’t believe in “aggressiveness” of certain types of dogs. I believe it all boils down to a responsible dog ownership, although “ownership” is not the best word either to describe our relationship with our beloved four-legged “kids.” Please also note, in the 2nd case it’s a husky. And the circumstances of the attack are likely still under investigation.

Advice from DogsBite.org

Staying safe

Most dangerous situations

  •     Leaving an infant or toddler alone with any dog breed
  •     “New” situations involving children and aggressive dog breeds
  •     Approaching a chained dog, especially if it is male and unaltered
  •     Encountering a group of loose dogs. Like the human “mob” mentality, normally obedient dogs often become violent when part of a pack
  •     Inserting yourself into a dogfight, especially when pit bulls are involved
  •     Approaching a vehicle with a dog inside (or in the bed of a truck)

Always remember

  •     Do not pet a dog without first letting him see you
  •     Do not lean your face close to a dog
  •     Do not tease a dog, especially if it is chained
  •     Do not startle a sleeping dog
  •     Do not bother a dog that is eating
  •     Do not disturb a dog that is caring for puppies
  •     Do not turn your back on a dog and run away

If you think you may be attacked
Guidelines from the HSUS

  •     Never scream and run
  •     Remain motionless, hands at your sides, and avoid eye contact with the dog
  •     Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until he is out of sight
  •     If the dog does attack, “feed” him your jacket, purse, bicycle, or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog
  •     If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless. Try not to scream or roll around

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Before I delve into the review proper, I have to tell you this. Don’t make a mistake I’d made when I picked up this book from a bookstore shelf, lured by a sticky note “staff’s pick.” Do your homework: Read the reviews. Or if you tend to read the reviews only after you’ve finished a book, like I do, heed my advice – GET KLEENEX. Under no circumstances read A Dog’s Purpose while enjoying a ride on public transit. Have pity on fellow commuters — don’t put them on the spot with outbursts of laughter followed by uncontrollable sobs. Don’t read this book before bedtime, because you’ll wake up in the middle of the night wondering whether you’ve got four legs or two and get all bent out of shape to discover you’ve only got TWO and NO TAIL TO WAG.

Don’t take me wrong. I am not saying you should not read the book.

You should read the book if you love dogs.
You should read the book if you have a dog.
You should read the book if you are thinking of having a dog.
You should read the book if you are thinking of never having a dog.
You should read the book if you are afraid of dogs.
You should read the book if you don’t have dogs, will never have a dog, and couldn’t care less if there were no dogs in the entire universe.

I am afraid you are not getting my subtle message.

GO READ THE BOOK! 🙂

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