One Nation Under Dog: A Call to Action

If you’ve got HBO, be sure not to miss this documentary.

Rescued Mutts

Recently there was a New York Times article about how 20-somethings are using their parents’ HBO Go passwords to watch Girls. I’d recommend finding an HBO Go password of your own to watch One Nation Under Dog.

I will warn you though, it’s thoroughly heartbreaking.

I cried, a lot.

It’s the “Betrayal” section of the documentary that really gets to you. I’m a little surprised I didn’t actually vomit.

One by one, workers in a a rural shelter carry one perfectly lovely dog after another into a big metal bin. They’re packed in so tightly they can barely move. Then they’re gassed — you can hear them crying. Once they’re dead, the bin is opened up, a litter of puppies is put in on top of them and the process is repeated. Then a garbage truck shows up and dumps the bin full of dogs into the back…

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Paranormal Activity: The Canine Edition

I’ve had my dog for about three months. In this time I have discovered that she’s more or less fearless. Except for the normal wariness of vacuums and baths, nothing seems to phase her. I’m sure that part of it is her breed — she’s a Cattle Dog mix, and any 40 lb dog who is bred to take on a bull without backing down has to have nerves of steel — but I think part of it is that whoever had her before me, did a good job of socializing her. She seems to trust people implicitly. The day I picked her up at the Humane Society she allowed me to literally pick her up and put her in the car. (My dogs growing up would freak out if you tried to pick them up…even when they were old and having trouble getting around on their own.) Maybelle will even do things like follow me across an unstable bridge on a playscape and loves the vet. When I walked her across a set of big metal bleachers she looked alarmed by the new surface and practically crawled across them, but she did it… she made it across and the next time it wasn’t such a big deal.

Every once in awhile I might ask her to do something and she looks at me like I’m crazy, and she might find a better way to accomplish the task, but she rarely backs away from anything. So when she woke me up whining at 2 a.m. last night I assumed she was having a bathroom emergency. Perhaps she had not gone before bed when I let her outside. I got up, put her collar on her, and started to head downstairs but she just stood there looking at me like she’d never seen stairs before. She would tentatively take a step down and then retreat. It was baffling.  Continue reading

Guess My Breed!!

Let’s play a new game I’m calling, “Guess My Breed!”

This is my dog Maybelle. She’s a very pretty lady, that’s for sure. But her heritage is more than just a little confusing.

From the neck down she’s all Australian Cattle Dog. And she’s definitely got the herding instinct and brains of a working dog. But that head… well, it’s a mystery. I’ve got some ideas about where I think that head came from, but I’m interested to see what other people think.

Those ears. That color. Those eyes. What’s your best guess?

Farewell to Wilbur!

I’ve been racked with guilt about not adopting Wilbur. So what if he’s too lazy to hike with, and too stubborn to learn to sit? He’s a doll. So ever since I adopted May, we’ve been visiting Wilbur at the pound. Everyone gets a little exercise and the dogs get acquainted, in case I were to lose my mind and take in a second pooch.

The funny thing is, Wilbur seems to be the one dog May plays like a normal dog with. Whenever she’s off-leash with other dogs she herds them incessantly, which wouldn’t be so bad if not for the barking. For some reason, May plays like a normal dog with WIlbur. Even when they get running, she doesn’t go into full herding mode. I think it might be because Wilbur just starts wrestling with her when he’s too tired to run anymore. (Though, in the video, you can see her biting his heels like a good Blue/Red Heeler should.)

Wilbur’s had some good news, though. He has found a home with a nice family looking for a couch potato. I couldn’t be more happy for him, but May and I will miss him terribly. It’s not going to be easy to find another dog to counteract her nutty herding behavior.


Get Them Doggies Rollin’

Maybelle and I met up with Tracy and Tulla at the dog park today and after about 2 hours of watching my new pup try to herd the other dogs and generally boss them around I decided I should get more familiar with the Cattle Dog in her. This is, apparently, what I have to look forward to.

They Need Your Help!

During my Doggy Deliberations I’ve been spending a lot of time on Petfinder. There’s just so many to choose from. I don’t have a fence yet, so I continue to hem and haw when it comes to make a decision. But over the past couple of days I’ve been following the goings-on at the City of Hartford Animal Shelter pretty closely. They’ve got 8 dogs they need to get out by the end of the week or they’ll face euthanasia. Sad.

As you might imagine, they’re mostly pitbulls…which, sadly, seems to be the case just about everywhere. But if you’re in the market for “Pibble” (as Rachael Ray calls her dogs) or just any dog, please consider one of these guys. I have a feeling I might be caving in by the end of the week. (Click on a doggy’s picture to read about each one.)

Dogs, Bikes, & the Fine Art of Procrastination

It would figure that my busiest time of the year at work happened to coincide with my move. It was…um…hellish.

So I’m sure you can understand that I’ve managed to watch three seasons of Breaking Bad on Netflix in the matter of a couple weeks. Yes, I’ve used Walter White as a distraction to veg out and keep from finishing unpacking those last few pesky boxes that are filled with God-only-knows what. Where did I get all these Mardi Gras beads, and loose change?

When I’m not busy wondering about the fate of Walter and Jesse, I’ve been trying to ride my bike. My little brother’s freshmen football games are about .7 miles from my house. So I especially like to hop on the trusty old bike and head on over there to watch. Then, a few hours later, I head home.  But these visits to his games make me want a dog.

Specifically, I want this dog:

Wilbur is at a local pound where a friend of mine works. I’ve been to visit him a couple of times and dogs don’t get much sweeter than this guy. They also don’t get much lazier. Apparently no one told Wilbur that Pit Bulls are tough, athletic dogs. (Don’t be fooled by his soccer ball, this guy is not into running.) This guy is a big baby. He loves other dogs, and he looooves the ladies. Wilbur–whose pound is right next to the high school–has made a few trips to the school softball games and he’s a hit!

For the time being, though, I’m working on  getting my scaredy-cat, Jerry, to learn to co-exist with dogs. I’ve volunteered to take my friend’s dog for a few days while she’s on her honeymoon, which will be the longest Jerry’s been around a dog. He can hide under a bed for a day or so, but over the course of a long weekend we’ll learn whether or not he can come to understand, “This dog doesn’t want to eat me.”