Saturday, December 29, 2007

Kids and Dogs... Another Bite That Could Have Been Prevented

A TWO-YEAR-OLD girl has been bitten on the ear and head by a long-haired labrador after she took away his bone on a country property in Victoria's north.

Was this a pit bull? No. Was this a Rottweiler? No. Just an average dog in an average town doing what dogs do.

Dogs and small kids SHOULD NOT BE LEFT UNSUPERVISED. This type of situation, where the kid takes the dog's bone is a sure fire way of triggering a bite. Small kids should not be messing with a dog's bone, and parents need to be aware of this and put the bones away when the dog and child are together. Similarly, kids need to be kept away from the dog's food bowl when the dog is eating.

Yes, I know you can do all kinds of training and socializing with dogs to try and prevent this kind of thing. But, you are still messing with nature and you are taking chances that you shouldn't be taking.

Watch dogs play sometime and see what the rules of the pack are. All the training in the world won't change the fact that dogs are dogs.
Off Leash Park Hazards

A greyhound was fatally injured in a collision with another dog at the off-leash park in Sequim.

I am sure there are a lot of unreported injuries at off leash parks. Some dogs and activities bring a lot of risk to some dogs. For example, some of the large breeds have a tendency to run and smash into the sides of other dogs, which can blow out the knee joint of the dog that was hit. I know a breeder who does not let her large breed dogs play at full speed together for this very reason. With smaller dogs, say under 70 lbs, this isn't typically a problem. They are more agile and usually have quicker reflexes. You just have to watch what is going on in such a situation and get your dog out of there if you see something that looks risky.

I am not opposed to off leash parks, just so you know... It is just that they are unregulated and managed by novices who might not see the risks before it is too late.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Communism... Doncha Love It?

Outraged that his Internet posting about dogs had been banned, Chen Yuhua wrote to the mayor of Beijing. No answer. He wrote to the city council. Still no answer. When all else failed, he consulted a lawyer, studied China's civil code and marched into court with a lawsuit... it was also a sign that, beneath the ever more prosperous surface, some of China's educated elite may be growing impatient with a one-party authoritarian system in which anonymous bureaucrats decide what movies, plays, novels or social commentaries are safe enough for public consumption. Chen's posting was an attack on the Beijing municipal government's regulations barring any dog over 14 inches high and restricting each family to only one dog. These rules are unreasonable and are enforced arbitrarily, he contended in his essay. "It is so funny that people may have a 35-centimeter-high dog but may not have a 36-centimeter-high dog," he said. Criticism of government policies and nonconformist political views, however, are not taken lightly in China.

China is a great nation, and I highly respect the Chinese people. Hopefully, they will throw off the chains of Communism soon. This is how silly it gets when you try to over-regulate people. We even see this kind of garbage here in the good ol' free US of A... proposed pit bull bans, stupid anti-barking laws, and on and on. No one likes a world run by a bunch of busybodies.

Case in point...

"Subject: Barking dog

Dear Sam,

Hello. Wondering if you have any ideas for the following situation? I have a neighbor behind my house, who happens to be a deputy sheriff who do not want my dog to bark AT ALL; and has nearly gotten me a MISDEMEANOR with potential jail time, because of my barking dog. I have a 5 year old dog who is mainly an in-doors pet. I adopted her from the dog pound 4 years ago. This dog barks when the door bell rings, when hears someone comes into the yard, loud noises etc) and has a rather loud bark. --I don't believe it barks excessively or constantly, nor any of my neighbors, except for the one deputy neighbor of mine. Who called the police to my home 7 times since I moved to the neighborhood, left nasty notes at my door, and ultimately landed me in court to face a poss. misdemeanor, which I fought and got dismissed. I've tried citronella sprays, shock collars, anti-bark devices, correcting the dog immediately when it barks etc. Despite all that an my best efforts to keep her quiet, the dog still barks (though not excessively) for the above reasons... What else is there to do?? I am at a point that I am about to take the dog back to the pound. My kids are in tears every day about it, and that is not really what I'd like to do, but this neighbor has managed to harass us constantly that we live in a continued stress and worrying that the dog may bark. I've heard about a surgery where the dog's vocal cords can be removed. Is that recommended in a case such as this?? And, what is involved with doing that?? I would appreciate your advice."

I'd do what this guy did in China... Maybe it will work here. Banning barking and making it criminal is no different than banning dogs. Dogs make noise, folks. Get used to it.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Cause?

PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- A Paulden man slit his dog's throat after complaining that the dog was staring at him, then assaulted the deputies trying to arrest him, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office said.

Drugs? Mental Illness? Who knows what causes people to do things like this. I wonder how many pets suffer at the hands of people who are addicted or who need professional psychiatric help.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


A Yorkshire terrier snatched from the arms of its 13-year-old owner in Hawthorne remains missing four days after the theft. Hayes' daughter was walking home with two friends about 3:30 p.m. Friday in the 4200 block of 116th Street when they were approached by a woman who asked to see the dog, named Lil-Man. Ishii said it is uncommon for dogs to be stolen right from an owner's arms; pet thieves usually take dogs from backyards. However, recently there have been a string of pet thefts in the Los Angeles area, including an incident last month at a La Mirada pet store.

Most crimes like this are to support a drug habit or some kind of organized crime related to drugs, is my guess. I wrestled for a long time over whether or not to legalize illegal drugs. After seeing what it does to to people, knowing of people who have died, and how it affects society, I am solidly convinced that illegal drugs should stay illegal.

I know that people can get into desperate straights in life. I know that young people can do dumb things to try and fit in, and abuse drugs and alcohol. And I have compassion for them. Yet, once hooked, they harm themselves and others. The greater compassion is to not enable them to further injure themselves or others.

(By the way, notice that dogs are increasingly being stolen in LA, and what filth happens there eventually moves out across the rest of the country. and mostly from back yards. Don't leave your dog unsupervised in the back yard, especially if it is a purebred or pit bull!)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

What About Prong And Chain Collars?

Some things in dog training don't make sense to a novice. There are a lot of things like that in life.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Freak Accidents

Firefighters said a grease fire that left $50,000 in damage to a Topeka home erupted after a dog shut a woman out of the house while fish was frying on the stove.

Sound like something that can't happen to you? I know of a similar situation that happened to someone I know earlier this year.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Enjoy yourselves!

By the way: 1.) Keep holiday foods away from dogs. Much of it can kill a dog, especially fatty things like the turkey skin; 2.) Watch escape points from the house so your dog doesn't run away; 3.) Protect your dog from guests and your guests from your dog.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Can You Tell Me How This Makes Sense?

Woman gets a dog (pit bull) two days ago

Dog is left in the yard and it digs up the plants

Woman hits dog

Dog bites woman

Dog is taken by animal control and the dog is going to be put to death.

Why should it be OK for someone to hit a dog and then it not be OK for the dog to defend itself from someone that isn't its pack leader?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Kids And Dogs

Follow me and see where I'm going... The first story is about a dog who attacked and killed a kid in Phoenix:

A family is grieving after learning their pet dog is responsible for mauling their four-year-old loved one to death. Sheriff's deputies say initially the dog nipped and grabbed at Tori's arm when she and her sister were alone in the backyard. The two girls were in the presence of three other dogs, including a pair of terriers that were staying at the home temporarily. When Rachelle went to get help from the nanny inside the home, the dog started grabbing a Tori's throat. A close family friend, Dani During, said she believes the dog got jealous of the two terriers that had been staying at the house.

During said that the dog seemed friendly and would jump on and lick visitors to the home. The family adopted the dog about a year ago. During contends the bulldog may have become jealous when he attacked because Tori was playing with other dogs the family was keeping temporarily.

Then here is the second story:

Police are still looking into what exactly happened in a Waukegan apartment early Sunday morning when a dachshund chewed off the genitals of a 4-month-old boy. The father of the boy told police he was visiting his girlfriend with his son when the infant fell asleep on a couch. The girlfriend had placed blankets around the child and the two went into another room to sleep. Police said the girlfriend’s dachshund may have smelled urine in the child’s diaper and began to chew away at the diaper. The dog continued to destroy the diaper until he mutilated and ingested the child’s genitals. The girlfriend awoke to the child screaming and immediately called 911.

First thing I notice, as a dog trainer, is that in both situations THE KIDS WERE LEFT ALONE WITH THE DOGS! Kids and dogs SHOULD NOT BE LEFT UNSUPERVISED WITH A DOG, EVER! I don't believe a child under 12 years old should be left alone with a dog. The whole social situation changes when the adults leave the area, and behaviors that would be inhibited by the presence of the adults are no longer restrained. The behavior of the kids changes when the adults aren't present, and they will do things they shouldn't do. The behavior of the dogs changes when the adults aren't present, too, and they will do things that they shouldn't do.

Second, I am especially concerned about the set up of the first story. In this situation, there were new dogs introduced into the home. That can, and probably did, set up a competitive situation. That is one reason why we don't let strangers enter into the daycare area at Paws To Play doggie daycare without our direct supervision. Even friendly dogs can do bad things when ignorant people do dumb things with them.

There is a way to enter a pack of dogs. First, you establish your leadership, and then and only THEN should you consider giving any affection. Most people do it the other way around, and that can set up either a dog fight or someone being bitten. This little girl was apparently playing with the two terriers. Most people don't know how to read dog behavior in a situation like this, and don't realize that a fight is about to break out. Kids have a tendency to nurture dogs that are being picked on by bigger dogs, or to gravitate towards the vulnerable looking dog. Kids MUST be supervised, because you have to know how to approach and interact with dogs that have not formed a pack. This is also why you should never let your kid go unsupervised into a friend's backyard when dogs are present or into a leash free dog park.

I notice that in the first story, the dog was known for being rude to guests: "the dog seemed friendly and would jump on and lick visitors to the home." Dogs that are rude to guests are more likely to engage in a dog fight when a competitive situation arises. Many people interpret jumping up and licking guests to be a friendly behavior set. It isn't. It is rude and often says something about the dog's status in the home. I recently entered the home of a potential customer, the dogs started jumping up on me, the owner was telling me how friendly they were, I was starting to say how rude they were (and was about to tell him to separate the dogs), when a dog fight broke out. The jumping up on me wasn't friendly at all. I think it very possible that this kind of competitive situation happened with this little girl who was mauled to death. Spoiled dogs often are the rudest of dogs. I have written about them before. Spoiled dogs don't have proper leadership, and that can lead to a situation such as this. Spoiled kids can also trigger such an attack. I've offended a number of customers when I told them to modify how their kids interact with the dog. I lost a potentially good customer the other day for that very reason. Let's just hope that something tragic like this never happens in their family.

Third, if you read the stories, you'll find that the kid that was mauled to death was playing on a swing set. I have evaluated a handful of dogs that were overly stimulated by kids on swing sets, and would bite at them as they were swinging or when they got off the swing. I think swing sets stimulate a dog much the same way as swinging a rag around can stimulate some dogs. It activates their prey instincts, and when that drive isn't satisfied, it frustrates the dog, and frustration can lead to aggression. If you watch a protection dog trainer run around a dog, back and forth, to try and stimulate the dog to bite, then you'll see what I mean. I think that swing sets can do the same around some dogs.

Who knows? There could be alternate reasons why these horrible things happened to these kids. News reporting can oftentimes leave out important story details since reporters aren't dog behaviorists or trainers. They just tell the story that was told to them. But, I think my take on the story is probably the best explanation of what happened given what we know at this juncture. And now that the dogs are dead, and we aren't there to set up an evaluation, we will never know.

I will say this: If you get a dog, and you don't train it, enforce proper manners, exercise leadership around the dog, supervise the dog when it is loose, and contain the dog when it can't be supervised, then you are asking for trouble. This is more than just getting some treats and going through a couple of classes at your local pet store. And if you have a kid: never leave the kid unsupervised with a dog, and teach the kids how to act around a dog. Don't let your kid be unmannerly around a dog, or you could be very sorry one day.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Puggles: I Told You So!

The appeal of the puggle is evident at first glance: A puggle puppy inherits a slightly less smushed-in face than its pug progenitor, framed by the floppy ears of the beagle parent. It is cuteness defined. But the puggle's downfall is not its appearance. It is its energy level. While pugs have been bred for centuries for companionship, they have a reputation for clownish stubbornness. This gets taken to NASCAR levels with the infusion of beagle blood. An unapologetic hunting dog, the beagle gives voice when he is excited, or frustrated, or bored, or basically just breathing. He laughs at your obedience-class enrollment forms, preferring instead to dig up the dahlia bed or bark nonstop. As a result, while a puggle is a delight to look at, he is a challenge to live with. The word that recurs in conversation with rescuers is "hyper."

Scroll through this blog and find the articles I have written on the Puggle, and then read the comments. Now, as I predicted, Puggles are starting to fill up the animal shelters. As I predicted, they would be hard to house train. As I predicted, they are a lot like a Beagle... on steroids. It has a long way to go before it should be considered a breed. And you have a lot of homework to do before you breed or buy one. If you already have a Puggle, hire a good professional and get to work. You still can have a great dog, but this is not a dog for novice or lazy dog owners.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Shopping Mall To Allow Dogs!

Gilbert's new open-air mall, the SanTan Village regional shopping center, allow shoppers to take their dogs shopping.

This is good stuff. Many dogs are suitable for such environments. My recommendations: making sure you require parent's permission before you let a kid pet your dog, that you don't use a retractable leash, that your dog is obedience trained and well mannered, that you pick up your dog's poop and mop up any pee accidents, don't let weirdos pet your dog, don't leave your dog unattended, don't let your dog be a nuisance for others, and don't take a dog that isn't good with everybody and every animal.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More Dog Meat Stories...

WINDHOEK, Namibia — Sixty-eight villagers in northern Namibia were hospitalized last week after eating a dog that had been killed by disease, the local daily The Namibian reported Wednesday. The paper said the dog's owner had killed it after it contracted an unknown skin disease and ordered it to be burned. Instead, the inhabitants of Oikokola village insisted on eating the meat, which was also shared with people from the nearby Onepandaulo village.

OK, I know I'm going to make some people angry about this... but some cultures are inferior to other cultures. I think Stone Age cultures are inferior to modern day cultures. The Aztecs engaged in ritual human sacrifice. The ancient Greeks endorsed sexual relationships between boys and adult men, which we would today consider the crime of pedophilia. We put Catholic priests in prison for that kind of thing today because we have come to know that young people below the age of consent should be protected from adults. The Romans arranged public spectacles of animals fighting animals, people fighting animals, and people fighting people to the death. We are putting Michael Vick in prison for this kind of thing because we know the horrors of engaging in blood sports. Well, as far as I'm concerned, we should no longer be eating dogs. Sorry, but we don't live in the Stone Age any more. I also feel that some modern cultures are barbaric: such as Nazi Germany and today's Iran and North Korea. Time to move on folks.
Mandatory Spay / Neuter?

Palm Beach County commissioners appear ready to adopt a mandatory countywide pet sterilization policy, tapping into an emotional issue that affects thousands of pet owners and has already drawn howls from some animal lovers.

This is just ridiculous. I hate people meddling in my life, whether it be friends, family, neighbors, employers or government. Doesn't the Constitution prohibit the "taking" of property? This is taking my property, the breeding rights I own when I purchase a dog. This is one reason I oppose the changing of dog "ownership" to dog "guardianship" in the law. If the dog is your property, then you can fight this on Constitutional grounds, and probably win.

IF you have this kind of thing happening in your area, contact some of the pro-dog activist groups listed on the sidebar of this blog. Some have legal funds and attorneys ready to fight against this kind of thing.
My Take On The Ellen DeGeneres Adoption Story

Should Ellen DeGeneres have been put through the meat grinder over her placement of her adopted dog with someone else? I really don't think so.

Most rescue people I've worked with aren't so rigid in how they place the dogs. They are typically volunteers whose main purpose is to find a good home for the dogs they rescue.

I think this thing with Ellen DeGeneres is more the exception than the rule. See: How common is Ellen's 'Iggygate' scenario?

And the fact is you have a lot of options when it comes to adoption. You can get the same type of dog, same breed, from a variety of organizations. So, if you don't like working with one group, switch to another. Some are super rigid, some aren't, in their philosophy on dog adoption.

Many are afraid of being sued if the dog injures someone... that is a lot of why the rules are so tight. No one talks about that, but it is a fact. Rescue is full of armchair lawyers who see risk and lawsuits behind everything. They are so afraid of complaints that they do stupid things with the dogs, and over-regulate the adoption process. Further, many become little political kingdoms where personalities use rules and procedures to make themselves feel important, to the detriment of the dogs and the other people involved. That is why rescue groups form and fall apart every year. Money is wasted, goodwill of donors and rescue volunteers is wasted, dogs are needlessly put down because of stupid policies, and good homes are eliminated from consideration for irrational reasons.

Postscript: So, Ellen... don't get a dog without reading and abiding by the rules of the rescue organizations you go to. You blew it, and you brought some of this on yourself. A contract is a contract is a contract. To Rescue Groups: maybe it is time to organize an advisory group and adopt a model adoption contract, dog evaluation procedures, group liability insurance protections, and organizational bylaws. You could get professional lawyers to help you draft up the agreement and look at your bylaws and policies, vets and dog trainers to help with evaluation procedures, and so on. AKC... it is time to get involved in this.

Hat Tip to for staying on this story.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dog Meat Recipes

You'd be surprised how many mentally deranged people go to this blog looking for dog meat recipes.

Look folks: YOU ARE CRAZY IF YOU THINK IT IS OK TO EAT A DOG! You are mentally disordered. You are psychologically deranged. You are neurotic. You don't need dog meat, you need medication. You need to be put in a secure facility with padded rooms and guards. Go get help. Check yourself into a mental ward. You need a check up from the neck up. You have a distorted sense of reality and society, and you are a danger to yourself and others.

Ever studied serial killers? About a third of them start out by killing pets. I don't care if you are from another country, or that eating dog meat is a part of your culture. Some cultures eat humans, too. Is that OK, too, just because it is part of their culture? If you can eat a dog, then you have serious problems.
Clinton Photo Op Pets

AS THE “first pet” of the Clinton era, Socks, the White House cat, allowed “chilly” Hillary Clinton to show a caring, maternal side as well as bringing joy to her daughter Chelsea. So where is Socks today? Once the presidency was over, there was no room for Socks any more. After years of loyal service at the White House, the black and white cat was dumped on Betty Currie, Bill Clinton’s personal secretary, who also had an embarrassing clean-up role in the saga of his relationship with the intern Monica Lewinsky.

This does not surprise me. It was reported back in the Clinton presidency that they got Buddy the Labrador Retriever to soften Bill Clinton's image. After he was out of office, they didn't need Buddy any more. So, Buddy, exiled to living at one of their homes, forgotten and unsupervised, ran into the street and was killed by a car. These people have no shame. It was well known that the Clinton presidency was run by polling numbers not principle. Whatever the numbers showed made the decisions, not principle, not affection, not even what was legal or moral. And here again, we see the same phenomenon. They are more concerned about how this cat story will affect Hillary's run for office than asking how the cat is doing. They want to "soften" Hillary's image, not ask what is good for the cat. They want her to win, they don't care about the cat. In other words, we are being fed an image, not the real person running for office. And that sickens me.

Their incompetency and corruption led to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade towers, allowed the Chinese to obtain secret missile and nuclear weapon technology (
"The financial sleaze that dominated the final Clinton years is also making a comeback. After Norman Hsu, one of Clinton’s biggest campaign “bundlers”, was exposed as a fraud, it emerged last week that waiters, dishwashers and street pedlars in New York’s Chinatown have been handing over $1,000 and $2,000 sums to her campaign – some with genuine pride, others because they were ordered to do so by neighbourhood bosses."), stalled the country for years because Bill couldn't keep it in his pants, and opened the door for the Clinton's to amass more power by selling Presidential pardons at the end of their second term in office. The People's Republic of China is funneling money into the Clinton campaign again. Think on that one.

Pet owners know what this is all about: "Flanagan’s article, headed No Girlfriend of Mine, points out that Clinton wrote a crowd-pleasing book Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets, in which she claimed that only with the arrival of Socks and his “toy mouse” did the White House “become a home”."

We are being used again. It is hypocrisy.

This is typical Clinton politics. Why anyone would put such people in office is beyond me.

Friday, October 19, 2007

When Dog Fleas Attack!

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Four officers investigating a burglary were attacked, not by a fleeing burglar, but a swarm of fleas in a filth-ridden vacant house. The tiny, biting attackers were so overwhelming that the South Bend patrolmen had to be decontaminated and ended up being sent home early from their shifts. Stokes said the house's tenants had recently been evicted, but returned periodically to feed a dog tied up in the backyard and allowed it to run around inside the garbage-filled house.

Fleas are bad enough. But, when they infest a place, they can be horrible. The first time I encountered fleas was in 1986. I had gotten my first dog, Kate, and had taken her to Marymoor Park's off leash area in Redmond, WA. My pup had gotten a greeting from a particularly scruffy black dog, I didn't feel good about it, so I left the area. Sure enough, when I got home, I found fleas on her. I bathed her and figured that was the end of it. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Fleas had buried themselves in my car on the way home. It took a long time to get rid of those fleas.

I figure that the fleas you encounter at off leash parks are the military type. They've fought man wars with many other fleas, been in combat with any number of dog owners, survived all mankind's WMD's, and have a variety of medals on their chests for their doggie conquests. I dipped and sprayed Kate. I gave her white pills that were a kind of internal insecticide (an early version of insecticides like FrontLine that are absorbed into the dog's body, and supposedly kill the fleas that bite the dog). I sprayed my yard. I bombed the house with foggers I purchased from my veterinarian. I tried herbal remedies (which were pretty much worthless). And they still kept coming. It took months and repeated treatments to kill them off. Even then, they would get inside the walls, stay dormant for months, and come out if there was any humidity or wetness to re-activate their eggs. Kate became sensitized to their bites, and then, for the rest of her life, she'd get some large, ugly looking, blood red, wet sores on her tummy after she'd been bitten. Sometimes that was the first clue we had a flea somewhere. Since all this happened in the mid-1980's, I figure that maybe these were survivors of Saddam's WMD attacks against Iran. These blood suckers were nasty. They could survive anything.

And they bit me, too! Until then, I didn't realize that fleas would bite people. They gave me some pretty itchy welts that took days to go away. I later found out from real estate agents that they would sometimes encounter hungry fleas in vacant homes for sale. They'd get bitten pretty badly. Old timers know to recommend to sellers that own dogs to bomb / fog their homes if they are going to be left vacant during the sales process. Nothing like a flea infestation to kill a sale.

The nice thing about moving to Arizona is that there aren't fleas here. Wrong climate. Instead, we get ticks. Sigh. Ticks. Seems that monsoon season, from about July through August, is tick season, with the high humidity being the factor that causes them to grow and spread. Ticks aren't so bad as fleas, however they carry tick borne diseases that can kill a dog. I know someone who lost their Akita a couple of years ago to a tick borne disease. The good news is that it seems that the insecticides seem to be more effective in dealing with, and preventing, ticks. You just have to be diligent in spraying your yard and home, and treating your dog with a topical insecticide and/or dip.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Dog Training Update

AN elderly man died after his dog panicked and dragged him into the path of an oncoming express train in Melbourne's east.

While dog training can't prevent a dog from panicking, it can teach you a lot about your dog. Over time, I get to know all my dogs through training. As I push them to learn more and more, and to obey in distracting environments, I learn their strengths and limitations.

Further, there are some safety tips you can use when managing a dog. The first is how to hold the leash. NEVER wrap the leash around your hand or wrist. The loop in the leash is for your thumb. The loop helps you grip the leash and prevent it from coming out of your hand. The loop is also a "quick release", because if you have to let go, you can just by opening your hand.

When hiking, for example, I never wrap the leash around my wrist and hand. You could be walking along some cliffs or a deep ravine, your dog could slip or could jump at a squirrel, and you'd fall a long way down to your death. Same thing here. If you are near a very busy traffic location, you don't want the leash wrapped around your wrist and hand. Your dog could panic and drag you into traffic.

Now, I don't know how this man was holding his dog, what kind of leash he had, anything about the dog, nor anything about the training the dog had. But, experience tells me to question the manner in which the leash was being held.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

You Mean The Clicker Training Didn't Work?

SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, Canary Islands - A killer whale at a marine park hit its trainer and dragged her underwater repeatedly until it finally freed the woman with a badly bruised chest and a broken arm, park officials said yesterday.

We keep hearing over and over again, from the clicker training fanatics, that clicker trainers who train sea mammals are superior trainers and know more about behavior. Well, then we shouldn't keep hearing about how sea mammals attack their trainers, right? But, we do. Why is that? If this method is so magical, then we shouldn't be seeing aggression towards anyone or any animal. Do a bit of research and you'll see that these types of incidents have happened before, and in some cases, the animals were aggressive in their attacks. Also notice that the trainers were never able to command the animals to stop attacking, they instead had to wait until the attack was over. Same with the zoo animals being clicker trained.

And, notice in the story that the killer whale only let go when it wanted to let go. Why couldn't the trainer just command the animal to stop? Because there are limitations to clicker training, and it isn't the panacea we are all being sold. That's true in the dolphin / killer whale / sea urchin world, it is true in the zoo world, and it's true in the dog world, too.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Can We Assume... ?

Although the use of Tasers by law enforcement officials has been linked to some highly publicized deaths nationwide, the devices are safe and cause a low occurrence of serious injuries, according to a nationwide study. In the full review of nearly 1,000 cases, 99.7 percent of people subjected to a Taser had mild injuries, such as scrapes and bruises, or no injuries at all, the study found. Only three subjects (0.3 percent) suffered injuries severe enough to need hospitalization.

So, you use a shock device strong enough to bring a man to his knees, and the device is "safe". The injuries sustained are not a direct use of the Taser, but injuries that are concurrent and incidental to the use of the device. In other words, the Taser might bring the man to his knees, but the bruises he got were from falling on his knees, not from the stimulation of the device. If that is the case, and that is what this study seems to indicate, then can't we assume that a properly used electric collar on a dog, or an electric hidden fencing system, is also safe for use? In other words, can't we assume proper use of an electric collar or other such electrical device won't cause a medical problem for a dog?

I have three levels for determining whether a training method or technique is humane. I think the first level of determining whether something is abusive is determining whether there is a reasonable likelihood the method would cause injury or health problem or disease, needing medical care to the dog or family. If injury is known to be the result, then the method shouldn't be used.

Second, and more subjective, is whether it is psychologically harmful. I feel that the methods we use should tend to make the dog and handler work according to the ideals of what an obedience trained dog should look like in competition. I would say that any method that would not tend to cause a dog, in the long run, to perform according to the obedience rules of AKC or Schutzhund should be ruled out. Those rules generally state that the dog should perform precisely and willingly, and the handler should not have to be harsh with the dog. Our focus on the ideal performance of a dog should dictate the methods we use. You can’t get this kind of ideal performance by abusing a dog in training. According to the AKC obedience regulations: “This “perfect picture” must comply with these Regulations and shall combine the utmost in willingness, enjoyment and precision on the part of the dog with naturalness, gentleness and smoothness on the part of the handler. Speed alone does not necessarily indicate willingness and enjoyment. Lack of willingness and enjoyment on the part of the dog must be penalized, as must lack of precision in the dog’s performance. Roughness in handling, military precision or harsh commands by the handler must also be penalized.”

Should a dog be locked in a cage 24 hours of every day as a method of preventing dog bites? Would this tend to make the dog behave according to this ideal picture? No, it wouldn't. Should a dog be so confined by electronic devices in the home and yard that the dog lives in a maze? No. Should a dog be subjected to 24 hours of non-stop training? (I know I’m putting out crazy examples, but you get the idea). No. We should eliminate methods that are psychologically harmful. Methods that wouldn't tend to cause the dog to obey according to the picture given by the AKC should be avoided or eliminated from your training toolbox.

Third, is a quality of life evaluation, which is even more subjective. Let's assume we are talking health instead of behavior. If a dog is miserable because of a debilitating disease, and there is no way of alleviating the dog's misery, I have no problem recommending euthanasia. It is in pain all the time. So, let's consider a behavioral situation that is so bad that the dog that just can’t be a dog without implementing a specified training method, and would have to live in a cage all the time to be safe in the home. Then, I’d try the method if that is the only solution left. On the other hand, if the training method is so harsh that it makes the dog scream, run and hide under a bed, never wanting to come out again, then I’d start asking other trainers for advice or not take the case, and refer them to someone else who I might feel could address the problem better. And if all that failed, and the dog's continued existence is going to be flat out miserable, then I'd consider recommending euthanasia.

Electric training devices, such as electric collars and hidden fencing systems aren't inhumane, provided they are used by people who know how to properly use them. On the other hand, they aren't the only training tool you should try. Traditional training incorporates a myriad of methods, both positive and correctional, for addressing a variety of training and behavioral situations.

One last piece of advice. Hire a professional before you consider using an electric training device. Have someone show you the proper, humane way to use them.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

What Do You Think Of This?

A Toronto mosque is telling Muslims not to say "Happy Thanksgiving" or invite friends into their homes for turkey dinner on the holiday weekend... Also banned, it says, are: watching sports or soap operas, walking dogs, family photos, wedding bands, Western hats, mingling and shaking hands with the opposite sex.

Is having or walking a dog is banned by Islam? And if so, what does that mean for our society if we implement laws to accommodate the Muslims in our communities? How do we reach a peaceful and respectful compromise in our Western secular societies?

In fact, the Saluki, a hunting breed, has a history tied to hunting and Islam.

According to Wikipedia: "Dogs are considered unclean according to some who study Islamic law. However, a Saluki is in some cases cherished by Muslims. Dogs are mentioned in the holy book of Islam the Quran several times e.g. in the main story of sura 18 where a dog is a companion of the dwellers of the Cave. The Quran also tells that it is permissible to eat what trained dogs catch (5:4). Nevertheless, many Islamic teachers state dogs should be considered unclean and that Muslims licked by them must perform purification. According to Hadith, anything a dog touches must be washed seven times, the final time in dust[12]. Some religious traditions hold that if a dog passes in front of someone preparing to pray, that it pollutes their purity and negates the prayer. This view is contested by many modern scholars of the Qu'ran. Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl, professor of Islamic Law at UCLA, says this zealous adherence to doctrine led one religious authority to advise a Muslim that his pet dog was evil and should be driven away by cutting off its food and water.[13] Another exception appears to be made by the Bedouin in the case of the Saluki. They are allowed in the tents and considered special companions. It has been said that the Bedouin will never sell a Saluki, but will give one as a special and precious gift.[14]"

I come from a Christian background, so I have a different perspective on this. Here is what Paul taught regarding eating food (and the principle could be extended to anything that one might consider unclean, or unholy, to possess or deal with):

Romans: 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 14:15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 14:16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 14:18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. 14:20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 14:22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Thus, in Western nations, which have a Christian heritage, we don't see things we put in our bodies to be unclean. This goes back to Jesus' teaching:

Matthew: 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

So, can the touching of an animal cause a man to be unclean before God? And if someone else thinks what you do is unclean, should you then not do it so as to not offend them?

Here are my thoughts on all of this. In our Western culture, we have opted to separate church from state. Thus, we shouldn't have laws that ban particular practices based purely on the religious beliefs of the people involved. But, what you do on your own time, in your own home and life is your business. Regarding Jesus' and Paul's teachings, they were addressing people who were of the same faith accommodating each other, not people of different faiths. There is no way for one faith to completely agree with another, which is why the establishment of a non-religious state keeps the peace between citizens of differing faiths. To get the life you want, you have to allow others to have the life they want, and the differences should be settled at the ballot box, not in the churches or mosques. Thus, I see nothing wrong with owning, touching, or living with a dog. I don't think God cares whether I touch a dog. I think He cares if I am a good person, doing unto others as I would want them to do unto me. I think that when religion becomes a set of rules imposed upon others by force, then the resulting behaviors aren't out of faith towards God, but out of fear of men, and I think we are to fear God instead of fear men. How can God respect your good works when they are purely for the purpose of looking good in front of others instead of faith towards God? I am going to fight to pass laws that agree with my viewpoint, and work within the system we have to get that result. And if others see it differently, then they can do the same, so long as they are abiding by the law.

What do you think? What is the right thing to do in these cases? I'm open to logical persuasion.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Dog Attacks

I have been observing dog attack trends for quite a while, and have come up with a theory.

I believe a number of dog attacks within the home, on children, is the result of spoiling the home dogs. When you "spoil" a dog, you are raising the status of the dog relative to the humans in the home, and that can result in aggression.

Spoiling means to overindulge, give excessive and unwarranted praise, and to coddle. Often one or the other, or both, parents put no rules or limits on the dog's behavior. The initial result is a more insecure dog. The dog isn't made to deal with life as a normal dog, so they never adapt to the normal stresses of life. Later, those normal stresses, when not monitored by the owners, cause the dog to be more likely to bite out of fear or defensive aggression. Further, you see the dog starting to become overattached to one spouse, and then interpose itself between family members, oftentimes growling when the spouse or child comes to hug or approach the other spouse, and you see the dog starting to growl when you pet the dog when the dog doesn't want petting. The dog is also allowed to become overly territorial, because the dog isn't made to leave guests and strangers alone. Further, rough housing with the dog is permitted, allowing the dog to play bite the people in the home, giving the dog permission to put its teeth on family members, reducing the dog's inhibition to bite later on. Lastly, there is resistance in the family, among one or more of the adults to training, supervising, containing, and managing the dog. Oftentimes, one family member coddles the dog and won't correct the dog for misbehavior.

Further, there is the training issue. I have seen more and more bite cases as a result of people trying to implement "purely positive" training methods on their dogs. Dogs need positives in the training. Absolutely! I use treats, toys, games, petting, praise and all kinds of affection with all the dogs I work with. On the other hand, there are also rules, enforcement of rules, expectations regarding manners, consistency regarding the training and rules, and corrections when necessary. I don't let the dogs get spoiled because they must be mannerly, and thus, the dogs are less likely to bite. I have a very hard time explaining to some dog owners that their pampering approach is the cause of the dog being so fearful and being so dangerous.
What About Prong And Chain Collars?

There are a number of popular myths, from people who don’t know the first thing concerning training a dog, about metal collars, such as prong and chain collars. Let’s just get into a bit of that right now.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Puppy Mills

Many of you don't know what a puppy mill is. Click on this article and read it through. This is why you should do your homework before buying a dog. If you don't know how to buy a dog from a breeder, or how to adopt a dog from a shelter, I have an article at my web page describing what to look for. See

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Man Drags Pit Bull To Death Behind S.U.V.

An Indiana man angry that his pit bull had killed his Chihuahua dragged the pit bull to death behind an S.U.V., police said.

No, this isn't another story about O. J. Simpson... but it wouldn't surprise me if it was.

Friday, September 14, 2007


I have been hearing reports of a number of aggressive Puggles (Pug / Beagle mix). This is what I warned everyone about. Puggles are much like Beagles, and you need to work with a good dog trainer at the start when you get one. Spoiling will make a Puggle into a biter. Spoiling means you don't treat the dog like a dog, you don't train it, lead it, or manage it. You give inappropriate attention to bratty behaviors, and you give the dog the impression that it can discipline people and other animals, and that it can do whatever it wants. Rough treatment will also cause a Puggle to be a biter. They are going to be a bit tougher to house train. Novice dog owners use rough methods in their house training, and a Puggle is going to fight back eventually to these types of tactics. C'mon, folks. That is why you should get professional help in house training. Another reason your Puggle might be attacking people or other animals is a lack of socialization. Your dog can't be well adjusted if your dog is isolated from social interaction. Dogs are social animals, and isolation perverts their emotional growth.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

City To Ban Dog Barking

MOUNT DORA, FL - The city may put a leash on frequent dog-barking. Under a proposed change in Mount Dora's noise ordinance, dogs won't be able to just keep barking and barking, creating a disturbance in a neighborhood. Mount Dora already prohibits dogs from barking for five minutes at a time. But under the revised ordinance, even if dogs bark for less than five minutes, their owners can be cited by the city if the dog barks for three periods in 24 hours.

What a bunch of wackos. I have written about dog haters before. This law effectively bans dog ownership. Almost all dogs vocalize every day in some manner, often by barking. So, those of you who fight against breed specific legislation should get on this one as well, because instead of a specific breed ban, this is a general breed ban.

I think you should let your opinions be known to these city officials. The city web page can be found by clicking HERE. City Council - All Council members may be reached through the City Manager's office at City Hall at (352) 735-7126. To e-mail all of the Council members at one time, please click here. To e-mail a single Council member, please click on the appropriate name below.

James Yatsuk, Mayor

Melissa DeMarco, At-Large

James Homich, At-Large

Stewart Holley, District 1

Robert Thielhelm, Sr., District 2

Judy Smathers, District 3

Michael Tedder, District 4

Give them a piece of your mind. And if you have suggestions on a better law, then send that their way, too. And if you are a visitor to this town, then maybe you should take your business elsewhere.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Microchips Cause Cancer? I'd Like A Bit More Information

A series of veterinary and toxicology studies, dating to the mid-1990s, stated that chip implants had "induced" malignant tumors in some lab mice and rats. "The transponders were the cause of the tumors," said Keith Johnson, a retired toxicologic pathologist, explaining in a phone interview the findings of a 1996 study he led at the Dow Chemical Co. in Midland, Mich. "We stand by our implantable products which have been approved by the FDA and/or other U.S. regulatory authorities," Scott Silverman, VeriChip Corp. chairman and chief executive officer, said in a written response to AP questions. The company was "not aware of any studies that have resulted in malignant tumors in laboratory rats, mice and certainly not dogs or cats," but he added that millions of domestic pets have been implanted with microchips, without reports of significant problems.

This is quite alarming. Saying you are "not aware of any studies" isn't the same thing as saying that they don't increase the risk of cancer. I think there is enough circumstantial evidence to warrant some concern. Time for a study on pets to determine the actual risk, eh?

Friday, August 31, 2007

Dementia In Old Dogs

With better nutrition, top medical care and comfortable living, pampered pets are living up to 10 per cent longer than they would have a few decades ago, a study has found. That means they are experiencing the same kind of cognitive failures as the human population which pays their vet bills. Telltale signs include pets having restless nights, forgetting their owners, inappropriate toileting and banal barking in dogs. Unusual behaviours do start creeping in with advanced age, he said... Like bewildered dogs getting "stuck" in a corner of the house, not knowing how to free themselves from the two walls. "Animals getting unsettled and wandering is probably the most common symptom"

It is worth investigating the ingredients in the so-called "B/D" (brain diet) veterinary food formula for dogs. The main ingredients are two powerful anti-oxidants: alpha lipoic acid and acetyl l-carnitine. Studies indicate that these supplements can sometimes reverse the signs of dementia in older dogs. Might be worth supplementing these with all older pets before the signs of dementia appear. And you don't need to buy expensive prescription dog foods to obtain these supplements. You can get them at your local health food store. Talk to your vet about whether this might be worth trying on your dog.

And here's one of the studies that show that these supplements help older dogs: "Acetyl-L-carnitine and {alpha}-lipoic acid supplementation of aged beagle dogs improves learning in two landmark discrimination tests."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


A lot is being made of Micheal Vick's statement to the press yesterday...

"Dogfighting is a terrible thing, and I did reject it. I'm upset with myself, and, you know, through this situation, I found Jesus and asked him for forgiveness and turned my life over to God. And I think that's the right thing to do as of right now."

I think that he's going to get what the law says he deserves. His apology should be accepted, and he should do his time. What more can we ask of him now? All the cynics out there should remember the parable about casting the first stone...

Book of John

8:1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

8:2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

8:3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 8:4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

8:5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 8:6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8:8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

8:9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

What he did was horrible. We all know that. But, all of us have made mistakes in life, including myself. I have made mistakes in the handling and training of my dogs over the years (though nothing comparable to what Vick did). It is now up to Vick to show that he means what he said, and for the rest of us to examine exactly what we do in life that makes us feel we can lay into this guy and not think that someday we could be in exactly the same spot. All it would take is a misjudgment in, say, driving your vehicle... running some kid over... vehicular manslaughter... and you'd be the one going to prison. Forgive the guy. He's going to pay with hard time. The law worked. The guilty are being punished. He'll have the right to try and make a comeback at some point, and he should be allowed to. Time to move on.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Political Grandstanding

NFL star Michael Vick's dogfighting scandal has inspired a City Council push for dramatically tougher penalties for owning or harboring a fighting dog or other dangerous dog. Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Queens) yesterday introduced a bill raising the penalty to between $10,000 and $25,000. It's now $500 to $5,000. "We don't want this heinous activity to gain any foothold here," Vallone said. "If you go to any pet shelter, over half the animals that are abandoned are pit bulls, so clearly there's abuse out there," he said.

These fine increases won't do a thing to stop dog fighting.

What does "other dangerous dog" mean? That is a pretty vague description, and I wouldn't want to be defending myself in court over that kind of wording in the law.

And just because there are a lot of abandoned pit bulls in shelters DOESN'T mean "clearly there's abuse out there". There are a lot of abandoned Labrador Retrievers, too. And there were a lot of abandoned Dalmatians a few years back.

Look, the laws already on the books are sufficient punishment for engaging in dog fighting. Raising the fines is just a way for this politician to grandstand and get some press. These fines will NEVER BE COLLECTED once the person is convicted, and is bankrupt after paying their attorneys.

You can bet this story made it to the press because the staff of this politician sent a press release to this newspaper to generate attention to this politician. No one was asking for a change in the laws. If writing new laws stopped crime, then we'd all be saints by now. The law books are full of intrusive regulations and rules, yet crime still goes on.

For those of you who still don't get the point of what I'm saying, this was all explained about 2000 years ago. Laws don't make men into good people:

Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

The more laws you pass, the more liberty you give up. But, evil will still persist, and will even get worse. Countries with the most restrictive laws end up being the oppressors. We can either tolerate the fact that we are going to have crime, and we should have a set of basic laws we enforce to deal with those violations. Or, we head down the slippery slope and end up like North Korea, where everything is regulated and punished, and then life is even worse. More and more laws are passed every day, and at some point, the government becomes the criminal. THAT IS WHAT THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE SAYS. In fact, it also says that at some point, it is time to break free and start over again.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

The only way to prevent this kind of overthrow is to fight for limited government. It is a shame that isn't taught in our public schools.

We have enough dog laws on the books. Those laws work as they should. The guilty are found out and punished. But, to keep adding laws, in the hopes that you will stop evil will cause even greater evil in the end.

8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Wal-Mart Stores Inc. quietly stopped selling two brands of dog treats in July, after customers voiced concerns that the Chinese products may have caused their pets to fall ill, but no recall has been announced, a company spokeswoman confirmed.

I am a big fan of Wal-Mart... but not for this kind of thing. I believe in the vision of Sam Walton for Wal-Mart, but I have a hard time believing he would have OK'd this kind of tactic. It is better to be transparent about your business practices. A friend of mine had her dog on Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance dog food. Their food was implicated in this summer's massive pet food recall (the food was contaminated by one of the Chinese made ingredients). However, unlike some dog food companies, NB came out immediately with an apology to its customers and took responsibility. That one action kept my friend as one of their customers, and convinced me to try out their dog food.

If only Wal-Mart had done this kind of thing... now I have to ask what else they might hide just to save themselves. They should be looking out for their customers... the rest will take care of itself. Now that Sam Walton is dead, are we seeing the decline of Wal-Mart as a company?

Whatever happened to Sam Walton's Rule Number 8?

"EXCEED your customer's expectations. If you do, they'll come back over and over. Give them what they want -- and a little more. Let them know you appreciate them. Make good on all your mistakes, and don't make excuses-- apologize. Stand behind everything you do. The two most important words I ever wrote on that first Wal-Mart sign: "Satisfaction Guaranteed". They're still up there, and they have made all the difference."

I'm expecting a full explanation. I'm expecting them to take responsibility. I'm expecting them to apologize for not telling consumers that their dogs might have been poisoned or sickened by food they sold. And I'm expecting that if they did sell defective merchandise, that they make good on their mistakes, including paying for vet bills. That kind of thing makes me a loyal customer, and will make me want to fight for Wal-Mart since they stood behind their customers. Let's see what they do...

Now, regarding China. Well, they never have gained my confidence. They never practiced Rule Number 8, and they have a long way to go to prove that their country takes seriously transparency, free enterprise and private property, product liability, law and order, public safety, and the public welfare. So long as they want to be a third rate country, they will be a third rate country, saddled with the image of Mao, communism, corruption and hostility toward the individual, and no respect for dogs.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What Are Your Thoughts?

Animal-rights activists campaigning to end horse slaughter in America have run up against an unexpected friend of the horse-meat industry: the nation's zoos. That leaves tough decisions for America's zoos, such as Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, which have long fed horse meat to carnivorous animals. While several zoos have dropped horse meat in favor of beef in recent years, zoos continue to be the largest consumers of horse meat in the United States. "It's definitely up for debate," said Kathleen Larson, Point Defiance's interim veterinarian. "Unfortunately, all people won't be happy until our carnivores are eating salad."

Though I love horses, I don't see the problem with feeding horse meat to zoo animals. To me, the issue would only be whether the horse meat was being obtained through humane, legitimate means.

The Humane Society of the United States has led the charge on the federal ban, arguing that the American horse-slaughter industry relies on purchasing people's healthy pets for inhumane slaughter, often without their knowledge. Facilities and transportation used in the slaughter of horses are meant for cattle, they say, so horses are abused by long trips and ineffective killing measures.

Is this true? I am very skeptical of the HSUS because, to me, they are run or influenced by a bunch of animal rights wackos, and therefore can't be trusted.

The real issues is as follows: horses are viewed as pets. That's why we have trouble killing and eating them. Same reason we have trouble killing and eating dogs or cats. The weird thing is that animal rights wackos would ban people from owning pets, too. So, if they got their way... once people stop seeing horses, cats and dogs as pets, would they then decide it was ok to eat them? I am guessing that is so. In some Asian countries, it is perfectly normal to eat dogs because they aren't seen as loved pets / family members.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Dogs Indicate Responsible Renters

For all the horror stories about landlords who gouge their tenants, there are people such as Wylie, who keeps rents low in his nine apartments in Ballard and Fremont. "I try not to raise rents unless I absolutely have to," said Wylie, a performing artist who said he loves animals and encourages his tenants to have them. "I've never met a dog who damaged anything. When people go on vacation, I walk the tenant's dogs. People who are pet owners tend to be incredibly responsible."

I truly believe it is a myth that owners with pets cause more damage to units than renters without pets. And even though I don't have a problem with a landlord asking for a pet deposit, you will find that pet owners are very careful about what happens to their pets. Dogs are the new "kid" in the family, and consumers are spending billions of dollars to ensure their welfare. It is the irresponsible few who make it bad for the rest of us.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


A Colorado dog owner accuses another man of killing his pit bull after their dogs scuffled at a park

First, there is no justification for taking the law into your own hands. Second, this isn't how you break up a dog fight. Third, we don't know which dog started the fight, and just because a pit bull was involved doesn't mean that was the dog at fault.

At off leash areas, you need to watch your dog closely, know your dog's tendencies and the other dogs that come there regularly, and have a plan on how to break up a fight if one should occur. I do believe dogs should be allowed off leash areas in cities and in the country, but you have to be wise about when to let your dog off leash.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Of Course, We Knew This Was Coming

BERN, Switzerland (AP) - The Swiss could soon be voting on whether lawyers should be allowed to defend animals in court.

Look, none of us condones animal abuse. However, that doesn't then logically mean we think that animals have the right or ability to hire lawyers to defend them in court. It is one thing to watch and enjoy a movie, such as Ratatouille. It is quite another thing to believe that rats are little people. C'mon folks, even as a little kid, I knew the difference between a real rabbit and Bugs Bunny.

When did we let the wackos start to run our lives? When we lost our way. When we decided to start attacking and tearing down the foundations of our society.

When things were tough, such as during the Great Depression and WW II, our nation honed what was to be called The Greatest Generation. Family, thrift, hard work, faith and a belief in our nation's founders saw them through. Today, we are overfed and underchallenged, so we have time to think up these ridiculous and self destructive concepts. No wonder the headlines are all about Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and the Olsen twins. We don't hear much about Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington, or Franklin. Same thing with our sick sister, Europe. They have lost their way. Demoralized. No longer believing in themselves as nations, having purged their values and dispensed with their heroes.

So, we get this kind of foolishness. Garbage in, garbage out.

Idle hands are the Devil's playground.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Anyone Could Be A Nut... Going Postal

SANTA CRUZ - A letter carrier was arrested Friday in Freedom, a town near Watsonville, following a month-long investigation by the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General into allegations that she tried to extort hundreds of dollars from one of her customers.

Just because a dog is accused of biting someone doesn't mean the dog actually did it. I wonder how many fake dog bite calls happen every year? I know that nasty neighbors will sometimes make fake complaint calls about pets to harass people.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Dog Saves Child

Zoey is a Chihuahua, but when a rattlesnake lunged at her owners' 1-year-old grandson, she was a real bulldog. Booker West was splashing his hands in a birdbath in his grandparents' northern Colorado back yard when the snake slithered up to the toddler, rattled and struck. Five-pound Zoey jumped in the way and took the bites.

How long has it been since we heard a good news story concerning a dog? It seems that all the news is bad news, because that is what sells. Such bad news reporting turns pit bulls into devil dogs, gives the impression that we need to over regulate everyone's lives concerning every thing, and whittles away at our freedoms.