Memoirs of a handsome dog

The only time he doesn't hurt himself!

Sleepy time 🙂 (One of the few times he doesn’t injure himself!)

How do I turn this on? Wait, is that thing supposed to fall on the ground? Never mind, I can read it sideways, it’s all good.

My name is Dud, and Mum said I could borrow her computer for a minute to say hello. Mum tells people I’m Dud, like “that dog’s a Dud”, but I don’t know what that means. I think it means handsome, because everyone agrees and they all agree I’m handsome. By the way, did you know I’m handsome? It’s true, everybody tells me I am. They also say I stink, so I think that’s another word for handsome, because they always tell me I stink, too.

Mum says that I’m accident-prone, but I don’t know what she means. It’s not my fault that walls jump out at me and branches walk into me and fences bite me. Mum is forever putting bandages on me and taking me to that nasty man with the needles and the stinging stuff. I don’t like that man, he does hurty things to me. I’m shuddering just thinking about him!

I have a lot of friends, did you know that? I think it’s because I’m handsome. Did I mention that I’m handsome? I must be, everyone tells me I am. Joey doesn’t like me though, he always growls at me and tells me to go away and leave him alone. Doesn’t he realise I’m handsome? It makes me so sad, because I just want to say hello to Mum and Joey yells at me.

I’m very smart and adorable too. I know it’s true, because everyone tells me so. Mum also tells me I’m an idiot, so I think that’s another word for smart and handsome. And what does ‘dramatic’ mean? I get called that a lot too. Is that the same as handsome?

Oh, gotta go, there’s a cat coming and they’re scary! Yikes!”

Dud’s nose, after one of his “adventures”

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Posted in Dogs, Dudley, I_Love_Animals, pet_blog | Leave a comment

Irresponsible Breeding

Since when were animals a “product”? The answer, sadly, is “since always”.

In the past, we could justify this inhumanity and irresponsibility because of ignorance. In these “enlightened” times, however, how can we justify mass-producing animals and destroying “faulty products”, pushing them off the production line as fast as they can be bred?

I’m noticing a pattern in my area (and probably others as well!) of people breeding small breeds (primarily Matese x Shitzu, but others as well) and then selling them at six weeks old. Many are also feeding the pups on weetbix and milk, or a similar low-nutrient alternative.

This is too young; a pup shouldn’t leave its mother until at least 8 weeks old (ideally 12 weeks) for ANY reason, because they learn social skills from their mother and from playing with their siblings. They should also not be fed solely on weetbix and milk (I have confirmed this with my vet) because it lacks many nutrients and vitamins that are ESSENTIAL for the development of a young dog.

This trend is disturbing. It leads to poorly socialised and poorly developed dogs.

There is much more to breeding than simply finding a male and a female and letting them “go at it” (which, incidentally, is the method used by the majority of these backyard ‘breeders’). Proper breeding involves careful selection of a healthy and unrelated breeding pair with healthy lines, and should only be done to improve the bloodlines and eradicate certain traits (such as certain inherited conditions). There is no need for every Tom, Dick, and Harry to breed.

Sadly, most “breeders” don’t care about responsible breeding, they care only about the bottom line; how many pups can be bred, and how many dollars will each pup fetch?

A healthy dog from a responsible breeder can cost several thousand dollars. A dog from a backyard breeder can cost a few hundred. Do you know why there is such a difference?

A responsible breeder invests in vet checks of the parents, often investing in pedigree animals of verifiable ancestry in order to screen for defects and temperament issues. They involve the vet in several stages of the breeding process. The bitch is monitored throughout her pregnancy to improve the chances of healthy offspring. The pups are checked soon after birth, again at four weeks, and again at eight weeks, in order to detect any problems.

Often, the responsible breeder will also invest in micropchipping, early vaccinations, worming, and quality nutrient-rich foods. Many will also spend time on basic training such as house-breaking and basic obedience. The dogs that come from these breeders are well-socialised, healthy, and ready to give you a lifetime of loyalty and friendship.

That’s what you’re paying for. Those thousands of dollars reflect the investment of these breeders toward producing healthy and well-adjusted animals.

A backyard breeder, on the other hand, might only invest in a vet-check right before the dog leaves their care, if that. They put a dog in with an in-season bitch, and let nature takes its course. The breeding pair is often traceable to the parents only, so there is no way to detect genetic issues that may skip a generation or two. Often they are dogs that someone got cheap, and so temperament may be an issue. Very few of these dogs come with their first vaccinations, since they are sold before a vaccination can safely be given. In this case, you truly do get what you pay for, and what you’re paying for is a 50/50 chance that you will end up with a suitable animal.

So think before you buy that cute little puppy. What do you know about it? What kind of early care did it receive? Do you know anything about their lines? Is it really worth the risk?

By buying from a backyard breeder, you are encouraging them to continue this dodgy practice.

Posted in Animal_Care, Breeding, Desexing, I_Love_Animals | Leave a comment

Stuck!

I was on my way home after dog training today, to drop Dud off prior to the committee meeting. As I drove down the road, I saw a blue-tongue lizard in the middle of the bitumen, just begging to become roadkill.

The animal lover in me extends to lizards, so I pulled over, chucked a uee, and pulled up near the lizard. I then checked for traffic, got out onto the road, and nudged him with the toe of my shoe. He turned around and threatened me.

Secure in the knowledge that a blue-tongue lizard cannot bite through leather (that I know of, and I’d rather not know different because I’d lose my courage), I continued to provoke him into moving. He seemed to realise that I was not intimidated, and proceeded to move off the road in a slow “I was going anyway!” shuffle.

I saw cars approaching, and decided things needed to speed up a bit, so I pushed him along a little by lifting his tail and “wheelbarrowing” him a few steps. He got the hint and sped up a little to a slow walk.

The oncoming car turned off, so I resumed the nudging, and the lizard was now strolling toward the verge. Another car approached, and I moved him on a bit faster. I managed to get him off the bitumen and onto the dirt just as the car passed us.

Not satisfied to leave him there, in case he got it into his head to turn around and resume his former position, I continued to guide him. All of a sudden his coffee kicked in, and he raced off and through a gap in the fencing wire that surrounds the park there… only to become firmly wedged. He was too big around the middle to continue forward, and the angle of his bulky scales prevented retreat. I attempted to ease him through, and he tried to bite me for my trouble.

I realised it was a lost cause, and I needed help, so I got back in the car and returned home (after marking the position) to drop off Dud and fetch my mobile phone, at which point I returned to the lizard.

Finding him still firmly stuck, I called the RSPCA, who got my location and agreed to come straight out to help. While I waited, I continued trying to loosen the wire a bit so he could squeeze through. I accidentally touched his side, and he curled around. I noticed that doing so caused him to slip through a little on the right, and I got an idea.

I tickled his left side, and he spun around and tried to bite me on that side instead, squeezing through a bit more on the left as he did so. I tickled his left side, and he got through a bit more on the right. One more tickle on the left, and he was past the widest part of his body. He paused for a moment, then took off like greased lightning into the saltbush beyond.

Satisfied with a job well done, I got on the phone to the RSPCA and assured them that it was okay, I’d gotten him free. They said,
“Ah, I was just coming up to you. I’m right behind you!”

I turned around and sure enough, there they were. He asked my name, I told him, and he thanked me. Apparently there’d been another one just down the road just prior.

So yeah, that’s my good deed for the day. That blue-tongue lizard will live to fight another day. Assuming he doesn’t try to squeeze through that fence again that is…

Posted in Lizard, Rescue, Wildlife | Leave a comment

And last, but not least … Miss Tilly-Lilly

Tilly

Yeah, let’s get this over with.

Intro: In 2008, I gave the “kids” a chance to share their thoughts on my blog. The post below is one of five posts written at the time. I was archiving my old blog today and came across them, and thought I’d share them again 🙂 Enjoy!

Sadly, two of these “kids” are no longer with us; Jessi, and Baby. See the “meet the family” link for their stories.

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Do I really have to do this?  I do?  Okay, meow, meow, I’m a cat.  Can I go now?

Posted in Cats, pet_blog, Tilly | Leave a comment

Ponderings of a little brown dog

Joey

Life is gooood 😀

Intro: In 2008, I gave the “kids” a chance to share their thoughts on my blog. The post below is one of five posts written at the time. I was archiving my old blog today and came across them, and thought I’d share them again 🙂 Enjoy!

Sadly, two of these “kids” are no longer with us; Jessi, and Baby. See the “meet the family” link for their stories.

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Hi.  My name is Joey, and Mum said I could say a few words.  What’s there to say?  I’ve loved before, and I got my heart broken when they left me in prison to do my time alone.  I still don’t know what I did that was so bad.  And then Mum came and took me home, and even though we fight sometimes, I adore her.  Mum has taught me a lot of things since I started living with her, like how to ask (she loves it when I ask for things), and I love performing for her.  Especially if she gives me cheese for doing it BOL

I’m the peacemaker in the family.  If Jessi and George are fighting, I’ll bark at them until they stop.  If Baby is getting into mischief … well, I’ll probably join her, but I’m telling her how wrong it is as we do.  If Mum is crying, even if it’s because of something I’ve done, I’ll go and cuddle her until she’s not crying any more.  If I can’t make it better, I can at least make her feel better.

I admit I do get excited when we’re going out, particularly if Mum says that most excellent word:  car!!! (Yes, spinning in such small circles does make me dizzy, but it’s the only way I can express how very excited I feel!) Then I know we’re going for a ride, and I love rides in the car.  I love rides on the ute even better!  I don’t like baths, though.  I’ll go out and get myself smelling all wonderful and doggy, and then Mum will wrinkle her nose and say I need a bath.  I have to say, having a shampoo might make her feel better, and the smell suits her, but it’s not for me.  I’m a dog, why can’t I smell like one?

I know it upsets Mum that I pee in the house, and I want to do better, I really do, but I can’t help it.  It hurts so much if I try to hold it in.  And then Mum gets mad at me, and I am so sorry, and I promise to do better next time, but then when next time comes, I have to pee, and I forget where I am supposed to pee if I can’t get out.

Mum’s been getting mad at Baby and me the past week or so.  Baby digs out, and I follow so that I can lead her home again.  But Mum doesn’t seem to realise this, and thinks we’re both escaping, and I’m getting in trouble too.  Well, today I decided Baby could get in trouble all by herself, and I stayed in the back yard.  When Mum had yelled at Baby, she came and petted me and let me in and gave me a treat.  So I think I’ll do that again next time, too.

Well y’all, it’s been swell, and I’ve loved talking to you, but I have to paw the computer back to Mum now.  Baby’s busy with that bone she thinks she stole from me (all the meat was gone, so I let her take it), and the cats are all asleep, so now I get to curl up with Mum while she types.

Posted in Dogs, Joey, pet_blog | Leave a comment

Make way, hot stuff coming through!

George

Is that a mouse … on the ceiling???

Intro: In 2008, I gave the “kids” a chance to share their thoughts on my blog. The post below is one of five posts written at the time. I was archiving my old blog today and came across them, and thought I’d share them again 🙂 Enjoy!

Sadly, two of these “kids” are no longer with us; Jessi, and Baby. See the “meet the family” link for their stories.

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My turn? Okay. Sounds good to me.

Now, about this shadow-chasing thing … I don’t chase shadows. I don’t chase walls. What I actually chase is those little blue mice. They’re much more interesting then regular mice, because the girls can’t see them. They’re special, and only I can see them. You’d think Mum, of all of the family, would understand.

Look there goes another one right now … but Mum said I wasn’t to get distracted while I write this. I’m allowed to chase them again afterward.

Mum thinks I’m trying to dominate Jessi, but she’s got it all backward. I’m not trying to dominate anyone. It’s just that Jessi gets so worked up whenever I come near, that I can’t resist pulling her strings. I don’t know why she doesn’t like me, and I don’t care. My mission in life is to have fun, chase little blue mice, and love as many females as I can before I die.

Oops, better not let Tilly read that. I do love her, really, but it’s just that she’s such a cold fish. I have needs and, well, my bells could grow back any day, and when they do, I don’t want to restrict myself to just one lady. There’s plenty of George to go around … or at least there will be, when they grow back.

Humans amaze me. How did Mum know they were going to fall off, anyway? It’s like magic. I don’t like the vet, but at least she got me there before they fell off. Now they have a chance to grow back again. Thanks Mum!

I guess Joey’s next, huh? I like Joey. He’s my best bud! His bells have fallen off too, but that’s okay, he wouldn’t be able to catch Baby anyway, and Bikkie’s too big for him. Is Bikkie getting a page too? No? Okay. Just us five? Yeah, sounds fair.

My only gripe about Mum is this ridiculous cage she put out back. She calls it a cattery, but yeah, it’s a cage. When my bells do grow back, I wonder how I’m supposed to love those ladies that come into our yard from time to time?

Well, I guess I’d better go lick some more. The cat next door told me he got his bells to grow back that way.

Posted in Cats, George, pet_blog | Leave a comment

Baby speaks up!

BabyGirl

Ooh it’s a camera I like cameras!

Intro: In 2008, I gave the “kids” a chance to share their thoughts on my blog. The post below is one of five posts written at the time. I was archiving my old blog today and came across them, and thought I’d share them again 🙂 Enjoy!

Sadly, two of these “kids” are no longer with us; Jessi, and Baby. See the “meet the family” link for their stories.

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We get pages now? Really? I can say what I want? Ooh, this is exciting, nobody’s ever listened to me before. Wow, thanks Mum! You can have my bone. Wait, no you can’t, but I am very grateful. I won’t even dig out again, well, I probably will, but I’ll be thinking how thankful I am when I do. Oh, I am so excited I don’t know what to say first! Wait, what did Jessi say? Maybe I can get ideas off her? Wait, no, she’s a cat, I can’t get ideas off her. But I am so excited! I get to say whatever I want!!! Oh, did you know I have a bone buried out back? Mum doesn’t even know. Maybe I shouldn’t have told you that. It’s my bone. It’s a very nice bone. Joey gave it to me. Well, he didn’t give it to me, I stoled it when he wasn’t looking. But it is a very nice bone. All the meat’s gone, but the bone is nice. I like bones. Do you like bones? Oh look, there’s another dog, what’s your name? Benji? Hi Benji, I’m Baby, want to play. Wait, I’m not really Baby, that’s just what Mum calls me. I’m really Milly. But Mum doesn’t call me that. She calls me Baby. But that okay, because Mum gives me bones. I like bones. I have a nice bone out back, but it’s my bone, not yours, but I’ll share my toys with you if you like? I have some nice toys, but they don’t squeak. Well, one does, but the others don’t. But that’s okay, I’ll share them with you anyway. Do you wanna play? Wait, where is everyone going???

Posted in BabyGirl, Dogs, pet_blog | Leave a comment