Posts Tagged ‘dogs’
A few weeks ago, I lost my companion. He died in my arms. Then, as he was part of an open adoption, and, as his family is Buddhists, we witnessed his memorial service at a Buddhist temple. His soul was released to find another body. I wished him a human body that would love animals as much as he was loved. Many animals are neglected, abused, and unloved. We need more advocates and more humans who love and respect others as they would want to be loved and respected themselves.
Dudley’s soul’s release was my release to find another dog in need of a home to be loved and to be cherished. I will never forget Dudley, as I have not forgotten my four-legged family members who were there before he joined our family:
- Tzippy (my first beagle and my first dog),
- Ginger (my first basset),
- Cinnamon (my stray dog),
- Cori (my basset after Ginger died),
- Basil (my first foster, my first foster failure, and my first adoptee),
- Zack (my bagle (beagle-basset mix),
- Cocoa (our mutt from the Island of St. Maarten),
- Brie (our first cat),
- Cammie (our white cat who loved to terrorize our dogs),
- Bailey and Dudley (our fist bonded pair and our first open adoption case).
No, you never forget them. The new arrivals just mend your heart. They give that piece of their heart that fits into the hole the previous pet left.
So, this time, after Dudley left us, how did I mend my broken heart? Well, I adopted two bonded brothers from BROOD. They are 11-mothn-old bassaniels (basset-spaniel mixes). They make me smile again. But more importantly, they make my Carrie happy again. Introduction took literally 2 seconds. I placed the pups behind a gate in a room. Carrie came in, sniffed them while her tail was wagging so fast. We let the pups out and within seconds the three of them were running in our yard together. And that’s when my broken heart was really mended. It was mended when I saw my old, soon to be 11 year old, sick with cancer dog perk up and play happily with her kind.
Bassets: Are They Couch Potatoes?
Most people think of a basset hound as the perfect couch-potato dog. Most bassets are low key, don’t disturb my sleep kind of dogs. Many also claim that because basset hounds are stubborn by nature (after all, they were bred to follow their nose and get that rabbit out of the briar patch) are therefore difficult to train, and few expect them to be obedient. I have had bassets in my life for over 30 years. Some of my bassets were downright stubborn and I learned to follow their commands. Others, especially my current 9-year-old basset obeys me simply because she loves me. But recently, after following a new “friend” in Facebook, I found out about a basset who can do something that never in my wildest dream did I imagine a basset being able to do. He just recently became a CS-ATCH, which I found out means Canine Specialist Agility Trial Champion. His name is Diesel, and his slave or guardian (I hate the name “owner”) is Shelly Nowicki Gordon who is the president and intake coordinatior of ABC Basset Hound Rescue of NY.
So let’s find out a little bit about this amazing hound. Diesel, according to Shelly, came from a backyard breeder (BYB). Most of the rescue bassets come either from BYB or puppy mill because a bona-fide breeder will take your hound back if for some reason you need to have it rehomed. So don’t be fooled when you purchase a basset. It doesn’t matter that they have AKC papers, as the American Kennel Club is not vigilant about what type of breeders are breeding the dogs. Anyway, if you are to get a BYB dog, you might as well get a rescued dog. It’ll make room for new rejected dogs to be rehomed rather than facing euthanasia in a shelter.
Anyway, back to Diesel’s story. Diesel and his sister Andi were purchased together. But the person who bought them could not housetrain them (bassets take up to 18 months to realize that the grass “carpet” and not the indoor carpet is the place to go). This person, however, did the right thing. She didn’t take the dogs to the shelter, where more than likely they meet death within a few days, she took them to ABC rescue. At ABC, foster homes were set up, and the person changed her mind. She was going to try and work with them.
A month passed by and ABC was called again. The dogs had to go. The person (female) could not housetrain them. The original fosters homes were full, so Shelly offered to help by fostering one of them. She figured that as they were only 7 months old, they would soon be adopted. Shelly chose to foster the male hound (Diesel), since she always had males.
The joke was on Shelly. For some reason, nobody wanted to adopt Diesel. And after few weeks, Diesel was adopted by the Gordon family. Lucky for Diesel, Shelly had a friend who was working agility with her basset hounds, which spurn Shelly to try to sign Diesel up for agility class.
So Diesel was taking classes, but it was not until the same friend who talked Shelly to take classes talked her to sign him up for local trials. At the first trial, Diesel surprised every one by getting the red ribbon for second place. Shelly was hooked.
Diesel Gets His Ribbons
Three years later, Diesel got the CS-ATCH that he and his slave were working so hard for. An exhuberant Shelly says that the day Diesel got his CS-ATCH was “ One of the best days of my life. From a dog that couldn’t be housebroken…to a dog that can do a teeter and weave poles.”
An exchange student from Germany who lived with the Gordons once said, “Diesel will do anything to make [Shelly] happy.” Shelly says that, “Standing at the start line next to me, running with him for 40–60 seconds, and crossing the finish line together…that makes me happy. Ribbons or no ribbons. He’s a great teammate and I’m honored that he was chosen for me.”
Diesel’s Triumphant Moment
It’s just awesome to see Diesel confidently go through the entire agility course. So, if you are into doing some agility work and want to have a basset. Don’t hesitate, if the dog loves you and you work hard together, you will be a great team.
And here’s a nice side note: In 2008, Diesel’s mom (Eeyore) was for sale in the paper. Shelly convinced the owner to turn her in to rescue. And she adopted her too. She’s a therapy dog and goes to a nursing home on Tuesdays.
As you can see, bassets rock. They are not for couches only, anymore.
By the way, if you live in the Northern NY state area and want to adopt a basset please contact ABC Basset Hound Rescue of NY.
There’s a deadly virus that has jumped species (from pigs and birds to dogs) and can be deadly to dogs. There are no vaccines as of yet. Dog owners should be aware of the symptoms:
If you dog experiences any or all of the symptoms, take it immediately to see a veterinarian. The sooner the disease is diagnosed, the better chances your dog has for survival. Although this disease has not spread to many states (currently only 3 states—California, Ohio, and Michigan—have seen cases of this round-shaped, single-stranded DNA genome virus, known as circoviurus), one cannot ever be overly cautious. So, if you are about to board your dog or visit dog parks, just err on the side of caution if your dog experiences any symptoms.
I always wondered whether some animals can count. I came to a very unscientific conclusion that mine can.
About 14 years ago, my first foster and my first foster failure, Basil Houndini came to live with us. (I don’t know why the rescue world calls a foster who becomes adopted by the foster family as foster failure. To my mind, that’s a classic case of adoption success.) We called him Basil, because he was our fourth spice; and we called him Houndini, because he was an escape artist. Basil, besides having a tendency of wanting to roam (no he was not intact—he came to us neutered), he also had a tremendous sense of humor. Some we shared and overlooked; others annoyed the crap out of us.
His most annoying idea of fun was his tendency of disobeying and running the other way when it was time to retire. We have a rule that every dog in our household (fosters, babysittees, and permanent residents) understood: bedtime meant that everybody goes up the “mommy’s” and “daddy’s” room to sleep. Everyone had their own bed and everyone would retire to it as soon as they heard “bedtime, time to sleep.” However, as soon as we would say “bedtime,” Basil would run down to the basement, to another room, or wherever struck his fancy. He would stand there waiting for us to try to catch him and then run away as soon as we got too close. It was a nightmare. So, we devised a method of outsmarting him. I would carry a spoonful of peanut butter and have him follow me. Eventually (5 years later, LOL), he would come up without the peanut butter. By then, we had treats in the bedroom to give out to everyone just before it was time to retire.
I loved Basil. I still do. He died on April 27, 2010 of renal failure. There never was a dog who so struck my family’s heart string.
Anyway, I digress. When Basil died, a few months later, we opened our hearts to two additional, bonded seniors. Dudley, who was then 6 and Bailey who was 10 years old. They soon learned of the treat routine. At some point, though, our treats went from one to three for each dog. It didn’t dawn on me that they knew how to count till one day I forgot to give out the third treat.
I found myself being stared at intently by four dogs, who after having eye contact with me, would look up to the place I keep the treats and then look back down at me. Obviously, they were saying you missed one. A few nights later, I purposely left out one of the treats. Once again, I received the same treatment: staring at me, then to the place the treats were being kept, and back down to me. I started mixing up the types of treats, thinking that they were really missing the flavor of the last, and, thus, giving their signal that I missed giving that one out. Didn’t matter which treat I’d left out, I’d get the “treatment.” Interestingly, they never gave me the “treatment” after all three treats were given out. They would quietly retire to their beds.
So what do you think? Do they know how to count or not?
The video may continue about another unrelated topic.
We all can agree that the tsunami that hit Japan last week was devastating. Besides the number of people and animals who died or were very injured, the damage to the Fukushima nuclear reactor, which is still in the forefront of the news, may have horrible affects for everyone in Japan and the nearby areas.
For the two dogs featured in this article, surviving the tsunami was a frightening event. The video featured here shows a frightened dog and her desire to approach a human for comfort and her desire to stay with her injured friend. Her devotion to her canine friend is so strong that she stays with her friend. It’s heart wrenching to watch the video and see how disoriented she seems to be, and, at the same time, how devoted she is towards her companion.
WARNING: More than likely, tears may flow as you watch this. Rest assured, however, that aid did come to these two pooches. According to Lookout, a Yahoo news blog, the dogs were rescued and are receiving veterinary care. The injured dog is at a clinic in the city of Mito. The protective spaniel-type dog is receiving care at a shelter in the same town.
Here is an English translation of the voiceover exchange between the two reporters in the clip (translation courtesy of Toshiyuki Kitamura):
We are in Arahama area. Looks like there is a dog. There is a dog. He looks tired and dirty. He must have been caught in the tsunami. He looks very dirty.
He has a collar. He must be someone’s pet. He has a silver collar. He is shaking. He seems very afraid.
Oh, there is another dog. I wonder if he is dead.
Right there. There is another dog right next to the one sitting down. He is not moving. I wonder. I wonder if he is alright.
The dog is protecting him.
Yes. He is protecting the dog. That is why he did not want us to approach them. He was trying to keep us at bay.
I can’t watch this. This is a very difficult to watch.
Oh. Look. He is moving. He is alive. I am so happy to see that he is alive.
Yes! Yes! He is alive.
He looks to be weakened. We need to them to be rescued soon. We really want them rescued soon.
Oh good. He’s getting up.
It is amazing how they survived the tremendous earthquake and tsunami. It’s just amazing that they survived through this all.
Life with Dogs will be updating photos of these dogs, as well as provide information whether the dogs were reunited with their family. This blog will attempt to keep the readers informed as well.
In case you are curious about how a tsunami strikes, just watch this video:
George Washington, our first president was a dog lover. As a hunter he kept foxhounds and as a farmer, he knew basics of animal breeding and husbandry. He even managed to create a unique breed of foxhound called “Virginia Hounds.”
A really interesting article by dog-writer Stanley Coren in Psychology Today describes an incident that tells a great deal about George Washington. It describes the first president as a great man and lover of dogs.
During the Revolutionary War, American forces, led by George Washington were fighting the British forces, led by British General William Howe. The British had occupied Philadelphia and during the Battle of Germantown, George Washington and his troops were camping at Pennibecker’s Mill. The British were winning the battle and the American troop was trying to contain it.
Suddenly, on October 6, 1777, little terrier was found wandering between the area that both armies were fighting. The American troop captured the little dog and, through his collar, they identified the pooch as belonging to the British general. The little dog has somehow gotten loose and got lost in the line of fire.
Washington’s officers suggested to keep the dog as a sort of trophy, hoping that it might weaken the morale of the British general. But, George Washington had other ideas. He took the dog into his tent, fed him, and had the dog brushed and cleaned. Then he ordered a cease fire. Once the firing stopped, Washington ordered one of his aides to return the dog to the British general under a flag of truce.
Happy President’s day!