Thursday, July 24, 2014

How to Dig a Hole


T shirt available here


An instruction piece on how to dig a hole?

I would not write such a piece if I had not seen it done poorly often enough.

Let's start at the beginning: Slow down.

As odd a piece of advice as that sounds, that's where to start when it comes to digging holes. Most people are too quick to dig, and don't give their dog enough time to push quarry to a stop end or a bolt hole. If you've dug to your dog only to find it has moved farther down the pipe, you are probably guilty of digging too soon -- welcome to the club!

Once you think the dog has worked the quarry to a stop end, and you've located the spot with the locator box, drive the bar into the ground a foot or two, and give it a good rattle. Stomp on the ground. Then wait a few seconds and box again. If the dog and the quarry are still in the same place, you're ready to dig.

If the box suggests the den pipe may be only two to three feet down, I would recommend using the bar to make sure you have the exact location of the den pipe fixed.

Using a digging bar as a probe is not difficult, but it’s not quite as obvious as it sounds either. The trick to getting a bar through two, three or even four feet of dirt and small stones is to repeatedly slam the bar into the first bar hole you create, and then widen that hole with a strong stirring motion, after which you slam deeper into the soil.

SLAM, slam, stir, stir. SLAM, slam, stir, stir.

Sideways pressure on the bar should put strong pressure on the bottom side, and top edge, of the hole. The goal is to use repeated strong persuasion, and not brute sideways force. You do not want to ruin a good bar by bending it!

As you get close to the depth of where the dog is located, bar more slowly and methodically -- you do not want to slam the bar into the dog, which can kill it. Slower beats faster at this stage!

In normal soil, you should be able to tell when the bar breaks through, as the bar will suddenly pass through a 6- to 12-inch void. Bang -- you found the den pipe! It's not quite so easy if the soil is as soft as cake batter.

Digging a hole sounds simple enough, but sometimes it isn't. In the U.S., most holes are shallow, which is why we can get away with posthole diggers much of the time. They are a nicety in the dense roots and brush of a hedgerow, but many still prefer to dig with a shovel alone, and on a dig deeper than three feet, shovel excavation is always required.

If your box shows a depth of up to three feet, the quickest way to get to the dog, and still have the room you will need to work, is to trench across the pipe about 3 feet long and a shovel-head-and-a-half wide. When you get down to within a foot of the pipe, use your bar to locate it, and then use a posthole digger or the shovel to carefully cut down into the pipe. A posthole digger is excellent here because it will remove the dirt cleanly. You will have to overlap the cutting circle of the posthole digger to cut an earth hole that is 10 to 12 inches across or more. I recommend digging deeper than the pipe and allowing the dog to push any extra dirt into the small "well" that results. Your final result should be a clean hole that is large enough that you can easily pull the dog when it is time to do that.

In truth, most digs require two holes. Often the terrier and the quarry move a bit farther up the pipe just as you break through. This is not a case of the dog moving backwards, but of the dog moving forwards -- often past a turn in the pipe where it had been stymied by the slashing teeth of the quarry.

If you find you need to dig another hole, do so, but again wait until the dog has pushed the quarry as far as it can. Pound on the ground one more time before you dig; you want to avoid a third hole if you possibly can.

If you are up to the quarry, it's important to block off the back end of the pipe before you pull the dog. If you fail to do so, the critter will bolt back into the rest of the sette as soon as the dog is pulled clear. Blocking off the back of the sette can be accomplished by either collapsing the pipe or by blocking it with dirt, rocks, shovel, or posthole digger.

Once you pull the dog, be careful the critter does not bolt out right over your foot and up your pants leg! Put in a shovel head if you have to step out of the hole for a minute.

Once you have pulled the dog, you may realize you have to cut the pipe back another 8 or 10 inches to get right up to the quarry in order to either see it for dispatch, to get a snare on it, or to encourage it to bolt.

One way to encourage a bolt is to drive a bar down behind the animal, and give the bar a good rattle. This is often enough to startle the quarry considerably. If the quarry is right there, simply place a branch or shovel handle in the hole, and give it a few minutes to gather its courage for the dash to freedom.

One thing I find distasteful are people who allow a dog to “work” quarry once the animal is firmly fixed in a stop end and has nowhere to go. This is baiting, and morally wrong, as well as dangerous to the dog. The job of the terrierman is to locate the quarry and dig down to it, not to “test” the dog by allowing it to subject a scared animal to more stress, or to allow the dog to become over-adrenalized to the point it may end up taking foolish risks and harming itself. There is a place to slip in the shovel and put up the dog, and that point is as soon as the quarry is firmly bottled in a short stop end.

Holes deeper than three and a half feet require a different approach, as you will need to be able to get into the hole to pull the dog and dispatch the quarry, otherwise you will find, at the end of the dig, that your arms are too short to reach.

At a depth of four feet, you should be digging a hole that is at least four feet around. When digging deeper than five feet, I recommend a square hole that is at least five feet on each side, as you will have to get the shovel sideways in the hole in order to toss out the dirt. You may want to make the hole a little bit longer than it is wide so that you have room to stand on one side of the hole while digging out the other side.

The deeper the hole, the more important it is to keep the sides square, and to level off the bottom of the hole as you dig. At depths greater than five feet, the danger of collapse has to be paid attention to, as does the logistics of clearing the hole with the dirt. Having someone topside to move spoil back from the edge is an excellent idea.

In holes that are deeper than six feet, you will want to cut footholes into the wall in order to be able to get out. In addition, you will need to cut a deep bench in one side of the hole so that the primary digger, at the bottom of the hole, can toss dirt up to a halfway point. Another digger will then stand on this bench and toss dirt clear of the hole.

If you are unlucky enough to hit running sand, you will need to put in a stick to keep track of the den pipe as you dig, and it will help if you come in from the side, rather than straight on top of the dog.

After a dig, take time to fill in holes, and in hedgerows or forest settes, jam sticks and branches crosswise into the hole so the den pipe is not packed solid with dirt when refilled.

Most dens will eventually be reoccupied, and the more dens that remain intact, the more likely your farms will remain productive for seasons to come.

America's Most Popular Dog

Meet and Greet With Pups




The dogs are getting a lot of socialization -- kids, dogs, old people, cars, lawn blowers, grass trimmers, law mowers, people with canes, etc.  You can never see to much at this age.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Coffee and Provocation



The Plague is Still With Us... and Dogs Can Be a Vector
In Colorado four residents have recently been diagnosed with the Bubonic Plague after coming in contact with a dog that became infected and died from the illness. The dog most likely got the plague from a Prairie Dog (a type of marmot). Prairie Dogs, in turn caught the plague from a flea riding a black rat who was riding a train from the West Coast of the U.S. around 1900. The plague got to the West Coast of the U.S. on a rat stowing away with a boatload of Chinese illegal immigrants brought into San Francisco. In China, the Bubonic Plague has also appeared due to transmission from a dog fed a marmot. Parts of Yumen, a city in northwestern China with a population of about 100,000, has been sealed off to contain spread of the plague.  The Bubonic Plague cannot infect marmots on the East Coast of the U.S. because the environment is too wet to support the Black Rat flea.

George Harrison Tree Killed by Beetles
Los Angeles gently weeps, but a new tree is slated to replace it -- hopefully something a little more robust than a pine.

The Problem With Sterile Roosters
The world’s largest poultry breeding company, Aviagen Group, says a higher percentage than normal of its roosters are sterile to the an inclination of the birds to overeat.  The company is tweaking the genetics a bit, and the problem should soon be straightened out.

Just Discovered Amazon Tribe Infected With Flu
Another one bites the dust?

Bicycle and Equestrian Helmets With Flare
Want to wear a brain-bucket that looks like a fedora while bicycling or riding your horse? Can do. Girly hats and manly hats for all types are available.

Fatter, Older, Taller
Humans are getting taller. They’re also fatter than ever before, and living longer too.

They Should Have Called the Town Watson
The elements ytterbium, yttrium, terbium, erbium, holmium, thulium, and gadolinium were all first discovered in ore from the same mine near the Swedish village of Ytterby.

Sixteen Years of Birth Control on a Switch?
A new birth control drug device that can be turned on or off, which lasts 16 years, and which delivers 30 micrograms a day of levonorgestrel, a hormone already used in several kinds of contraceptives, is on the horizon. The device will begin pre-clinical testing next year in the U.S., and the goal is to have it on the market by 2018.

Reality TV Shows Make for Fewer Teen Pregnancies?
Apparenlty some of them do.

A Celebration of Life
Earlier this month 40,000 people gathered in Rwanda for the 10th Kwita Izina, the annual ceremony that celebrates and names all of the known mountain gorillas born during the previous year in the Virunga National Park Transboundary Park. This year’s event honored 18 births, up from 12 last year.

The GOP Likes Obamacare?
By a margin of 3 to 1, Republicans actually like Obamacare.

The Bones and Veins of a Tree


A block of wood was planed down one layer at a time, and photographed between each pass, revealing the hidden life and motion coiled inside every tree.

Constant Course Correction


A Woof in Sheep's Clothing

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Coffee and Provocation



Dogs Used to Sniff Out Child Porn?
Apparently, dogs are being trained to sniff out thumb drives with the idea that they can be used to find hidden caches of child porn.  So far it sounds like it's mostly theory and not much reality.

China Has More Electric Vehicles than the U.S. Has Drivers?
China now has over 200 million electric-vehicle drivers. The surge in electric-vehicles can be traced to the 2002 SARS virus epidemic when mass-transit users became afraid to board a bus. The solution was to buy a 1-horsepower electric motorcycle for $200 to $450. The alternative caught on: In 2013, the Chinese bought 37 million two-wheeled electric vehicles.

Putting the Wild Back into the Water
In 1974, Montana stopped stocking trout in streams and rivers that supported wild trout populations. The result: trout fishing improved dramatically. Once stocking was discontinued, wild trout numbers doubled and tripled.

Leave a Smaller Footprint By Eating Chicken
It's better for the environment and your health.

Too Much Coffee?
The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning to consumers that ingesting pure powdered caffeine sold in bulk online is not a great idea. A single teaspoon is equal to 25 cups of coffee.

Free E-Books to Download
Eight sources. Knock yourself out.

Do You Think Most People Pay No Taxes?
Right. And we have a nice bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

Jon Stewart and Jerry Seinfeld Get Coffee
And they drive to coffee in a car that makes the sound of virginity.

The U.S. Army Said a Woman Could Not Train Dogs

Endangered Monkey Business with Terriers

Britain Gone to the Dogs

Monday, July 21, 2014

Haters Gotta Hate (thinking not required)

The face of stupid looks just a little bit effeminate.

From the Metro
(UK) comes this little missive:
The leader of the youth arm of the British National Party has launched an attack on someone that he perceives to ‘challenge his principles’ – his own ‘gay’ dog.

Jack Renshaw, a student at Manchester University and the head of the BNP Youth, wrote the Facebook post alongside a picture of Derek the dog, in which he criticised the mutt for ‘licking the penises of other male dogs’.

‘I wish my dog would stop licking the penises of other male dogs,’ he wrote.

‘I love you, Derek (my dog) – but – don’t challenge my principles because my principles will likely win.’

Renshaw was recently involved in a controversial BNP recruitment film entitled ‘Fight Back’, in which he addresses his ‘fellow British youth’.

‘Who is responsible for the ongoing attempt to eradicate the British culture and the British identity through the forced assimilation of different cultures and different peoples?’ he asks.

Among other groups, including cultural Marxists and the media, ‘militant homosexuals’ comprise an ‘unholy alliance’ which is destroying society, according to Renshaw and his pals.


Want to see how terrible the BNP is? Here you go. Apparently Britain is in the shitter because of the "zionists" and the "cutural marxists"  and the "capitalists" and the "militant homosexuals" and "the media."

Right.  These kids are just ugly, angry, alienated, ignorant losers. Hitler's children come to Britain.

Netherlands: Shaped by Population Growth



With 400 inhabitants per square mile, the Netherlands is the most densely populated country in Europe.

Clearly, in a country so densely populated, land is at a premium -- and it has been at a premium for a very long time.

The Roman historian Pliny noted that the people living in what is now Holland were "a miserable people living at the highest known level of the tides. They have built their huts and live like sailors when their land is covered-over, and like the shipwrecked when the tides have gone out."

In short, even with a very small population, life in the Netherlands was pretty grim 2000 years ago.

As the population of Holland grew, the need for land -- already in short supply -- increased. The Romans were the first to set about reclaiming arable land, and they did so by cutting canals and draining swamps. In the absence of family planning, however, the population of Holland continued to slowly grow, and by 1000 AD it had risen to well over 1 million and more aggressive land reclamation efforts were needed.

Since Roman times, increasing numbers of people in Holland had been building earthen berms around their lands in order to help keep water out and speed the drying of otherwise marshy land.

As increasing numbers of berms and dikes began to be linked to each other, the integrity of regional dike systems grew dependent upon each other. A "social contract" was needed, and it was soon created with neighboring farmers getting together to formally acknowledge their community dike-maintenance obligations.

By the 12th Century every Dutch farmer was required to maintain his portion of a dike, and this obligation was enforced by elected "water guardians" headed by a "dike reeve" or Dike Lord who could levy fines and subject miscreants to physical branding. In extreme cases, the "Law of the Spade" was evoked, in which dike-maintenance scofflaws were required to put their spade in the ground and leave their own lands forever. Neighbors of the offending farmer would then appoint someone else to take over the land and maintain the dike that the previous owner had so studiously ignored.

In short, the end result of a land shortage in the Netherlands was the OPPOSITE of what you might expect in a resource-scarcity situation. Instead of a war over farm land, the shortage of terra firma forged a culture in which working together towards a common good was not only expected, it was required.

In the absence of family planning, of course, the population of Holland continued to grow.

By 1300, it had risen to about 2.2 million people and the demand for land was as high as ever.

Around 1400 AD the first windmills showed up in Holland -- a new energy source that was quickly put to use pumping marshy land dry.

Population growth did not stop, of course.

The population that was 2.2 million in 1300 rose to 3.2 million by 1824 and then took off like a rocket as knowledge of basic hygiene resulted in a rapid decline in childhood mortality.

Holland's population rose to 4.2 million by 1855, 5.2 million by 1872, 6.2 million by 1884, 7.2 million by 1894, 8.2 million by 1904, and 9.2 million by 1915.

In 1921 the population of the Netherlands was 10.2 million and it continued to grow by leaps and bounds, hitting 11.2 million by 1929, 12.2 million by 1935, 13.2 million by 1942, 14.2 million by 1951, 15.2 million by 1963, 16.2 million by 1975, and 16.7 million by 2013.

Of course, as Holland's population continued to grow, so too did its need for land. Colossal dikes, canals, barrages, dams, pumping mechanisms, storm surge barriers and locks were constructed to reclaim more and more land from inland lakes, bays and coastal flats. As these marshy areas were "put under the plow," millions of acres of bird habitat were lost.

Today, more than half of Holland is composed of land wrestled from the sea, and more than three-quarters of its population lives on land that was once underwater at least part of the year.

Holland's reclamation of farm land has been terribly expensive, of course, but it has (surprisingly) not been so expensive that it has harmed Holland's economic development. As Johan Van Vern, the "father" of Holland's enormous post-WWII Delta Plan, has noted,

"The whole of the Delta Works can be had for one year's army budget, a mere trifle in the state economy of centuries."


In fact, Holland's GNI is not only higher than average for Europe, it is also higher than average for Western Europe and Northern Europe.

Nor has Holland's Delta Plan ever failed to hold back the sea. While the history of Netherlands is littered with stories of flood and ruin caused by dike failure, the history of the last 40 years is quite different thanks to modern engineering methods (concrete is a good thing) and much higher construction standards.

Today Holland's dikes are required to be built to a "Delta Safe" standard capable of withstanding a storm of a magnitude that might occur only once in 10,000 years. The result of such massive construction is that no one under age 40 in Holland has ever seen a dike breached by the sea.

The best news, of course, is that Holland has addressed its core underlying problem: rapid population growth.

Thanks to modern contraception, the Netherlands now has a total fertility rate (TFR) of just 1.7, and its population is expected to grow by less than a million people over the next 50 years (most of it due to demographic momentum abetted by immigration).

Another bit of good news, is that with Holland's dramatic slowing of population growth, the government has stopped building new dikes and has made the rather momentous decision to return some of its reclaimed land back to the sea.

The current plan is for one tenth of all Dutch farmland to eventually be returned to marsh, wetland, or flood plain forest.

An area of 600,000 acres of dry land is already in the process of being returning to seasonal or permanent flooding, and wild birds such as cormorants, spoonbills and marsh harriers are beginning to return to Holland after being driven from the land by drainage during the last Century.
.

Ogden Nash on Aging Dogs and Men

On a Good Dog

O, my little pup ten years ago
was arrogant and spry,
Her backbone was a bended bow
for arrows in her eye.
Her step was proud, her bark was loud,
her nose was in the sky,
But she was ten years younger then,
And so, by God, was I.

Small birds on stilts along the beach
rose up with piping cry.
And as they rose beyond her reach
I thought to see her fly.
If natural law refused her wings,
that law she would defy,
for she could do unheard-of things,
and so, at times, could I.

Ten years ago she split the air
to seize what she could spy;
Tonight she bumps against a chair,
betrayed by milky eye!
She seems to pant, Time up, time up!
My little dog must die,
And lie in dust with Hector's pup;
So, presently, must I.

Russia's Terriers of Oppression




The Black Russian Terrier may be the only breed of dog ever created by a state purely to subjugate its people. The Black Russian Terrier was created by the Russian Military, beginning in the 1930s with the intent of creating a heavy, aggressive, but tractable dog capable of patrolling prisons, military bases, and border areas during brutal Russian winters. In addition to patrol work, dogs were occasionally expected to pull carts, locate land mines, and aid wounded men.

The Black Russian Terrier is essentially a cross between three breeds: Giant Schnauzers, Airedales, and Rottweilers, with a little Newfoundland, Caucasian Ovcharka, Great Dane and Eastern European Shepherd thrown in for confusion.

Breed uniformity was achieved over a 20-year period by the state-owned Red Star Kennel whose sole function was to provide dogs to the Soviet armed services for border control and prison patrol.

The first breed standard was approved in 1958, with dogs standing 27-30 inches tall and weighing from 80-145 pounds.

The personalities of Black Russian Terriers are quite variable, and the dog is prone to hip dysplasia as the Russians did no x-raying of hips during their breeding program.

The coat of the Black Russian Terrier takes some keeping up, as it is a long-haired breed requiring regular combing and brushing, as well as scissoring every two months or so.

The Black Russian terrier entered the AKC in July of 2004 as part of the "working group."

Whether the Black Russian Terrier is a terrier at all is a good question.

What, exactly is a terrier?

An Airedale, for example, is generally classified as a terrier even though it is far too large to get to ground and is mostly derived from Otter hound and fox hound crosses. It's saving grace, of course, is that it looks very much like a Welsh Terrier which is nothing more than a cleaned up (and almost always nonworking) version of the nonpedigree working Fell Terrier.

The "American Staffordshire Terrier," of course is not a terrier at all -- it is simply the American pit bull that was once rejected by the AKC and then drawn back in under a different name when the AKC decided that cash money trumped sniffing social prejudices. So long as the AKC could call it something else (and the breeder checks cleared, of course) they would look the other way.

What are we to make of the Kerry Blue Terrier, which is another dog too large to go to ground?

Then we have all the terriers that were created wholecloth for the show ring, such as the Bull Terrier, and the terriers that are not terriers at all but miniature herding dogs (i.e., the Schnauzer).

Then we have the dogs that have been froo-froo'd to the point that they are walking hair dresser models, like the Sky Terrier, the West Highland White Terrier, and the Kennel Club Sealyham Terrier.

Finally, to keep things confusing, is a dachshund a terrier?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

"H is for Hawk" Gets Solid Gold Review



From the Financial Times comes this review:
They say that bad books are the easiest to write about, which makes this review very difficult indeed – because H is for Hawk is a dazzling piece of work: deeply affecting, utterly fascinating and blazing with love and intelligence.
Read the whole thing.

The book is to be released July 31, 2014, at which point I assume it will also be available on Amazon in the U.S.  Hard to get a better opening to a review!

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/e0bacb46-0b70-11e4-9e55-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz37v5bEFEs You can write from the head or from the heart, from the intellect or the emotions. The best kind of writing – and it is rare – does both those things at once. It’s rare because it can be so very painful to produce, the discipline required to sit with raw feelings and turn them into ordered words not unlike the courage it would take to hold your hand on a hot radiator until it burns, and then force it back there, again and again. Macdonald has done just that, and the result is a deeply human work shot through, like cloth of gold, with intelligence and compassion – an exemplar of the mysterious alchemy by which suffering can be transmuted into beauty. I will be surprised if a better book than H is for Hawk is published this year.

Dogs Loved Barbara Woodhouse


When you bring very little flutter and a lot of simple clarity to the table, dogs pretty much love you.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Puppy Weights and Measures


Moxie weighs 4.6 pounds at 12 weeks which means, according to this online calculator, that she will tip in at 9 pounds and 14 oz as an adult.

Misto weighs 5.2 pounds at 10 weeks which means, according to this online calculator, that she will tip in at just under 12 pounds 13 oz as an adult.

We shall see... I expect a little more for the former and maybe a little less for the latter.  Gender makes a difference!

These are the Dog Days


In July and early August, the Dog Star, Sirius, rises and sets with the sun. Once upon a time, folks thought the combined effect of light from Sirius and the sun brought the heat of summer.  Now we know it's because God simply turns up the heat

This is Why We Can't Have Dogs Without Misery


Erin Auerbach is a flame-troller.

But don't take my word for it. Go read her piece in The Washington Post entitled, Why I’d never adopt a shelter dog again.

Here's the summary: "I went out and repeatedly got purebred brachycephalic dogs from a shelter and they ended up having health problems. I was a saint for taking care of these dogs, but I will never do it again. Instead, I am going to run out and buy more Pugs, French Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers from breeders because I think their suffering is cute. The French Bulldog I just got is not all farked up; he is from a show breeder but his spots were the wrong color for showing, so I was really lucky! Dogs from show breeders NEVER have cancer, epilepsy, arthritis, or bouts of pancreatitis. They are healthy, due to the fact that dogs must be in perfect health to participate in a dog show!"

Yes, I swear to God that is what this unresearched sack of drivel says.

Or I think it does.  It is so poorly written, it is hard to be sure.

This is what newspapers have become?  Good riddance to bad meat!

Erin Auerbach is such a poor writer and thinker she has to resort to flame-baiting to get anything in print.  Her piece for Salon was entitled "I hope my dogs die soon" which is the kind of piece you write when you have nothing intelligent to say and you are simply an attention whore.

No wonder I do not buy The Washington Post anymore, and rarely check the web site.

As for Ms. Auerbach, I hope she falls a great distance on to a sharp spike. The world is crowded and we need a great deal less of whatever it is she has to offer.

Worst Thing You Can Buy

The AKC GoodDog! Helpline is $79.99 for unlimited access to useless advice that could come from anyone and which is certified from the #1 endorser of puppy mill dogs in the world.



They are probably hoping you will not read
the Terms of Use, which they happily write in ALL CAPS to make them hard to read and to make them seem AS IF SHOUTED.

Terms of Use For AKC GoodDog!SM Helpline

These Terms of Use govern the use of the AKC GoodDog!SMHelpline. AKC reserves the right to modify these Terms of Use at any time without prior notice. Your use of the AKC GoodDog!SM Helpline following any modification constitutes your agreement to be bound by the Terms of Use as modified. The last date these Terms of Use were revised is set forth below.

1) The AKC GoodDog!SM Helpline is a support service offering telephone access to a dog trainer. The training advice offered will only be positive reinforcement training methods. The service will be available for the life of the enrolled dog and is non-transferable.
2) Access will be by toll free telephone number from calls originating in the United States only during published service hours. The hours of service may change at any time. You may incur charges when called from a cell phone; please contact your provider for more details.
3) You must be at least 18 years old to subscribe to the service.
4) The service
will not be able to provide training advice for situations involving aggression or other serious behavioral issues. If the trainer identifies such an issue the trainer will advise you to seek the services of a professional behaviorist and/or "in person" trainer which you agree to do.
5) If you are not satisfied with the service within seven (7) days of purchase, you will receive a full refund upon request. After which time no refunds will be granted.
6) There is no guarantee as to results.


Disclaimer of Warranties

YOU EXPRESSLY AGREE THAT THE USE OF THE SERVICE IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. THE AKC MAKES NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, REPRESENTATIONS OR ENDORSEMENTS WHATSOEVER WITH RESPECT TO THE SERVICE. AKC EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS, IMPLIED, STATUTORY OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE AND NON-INFRINGMENT, WITH REGARD TO THE SERVICE. AKC DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE FUNCTIONS PERFORMED BY THE SERVICE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, TIMELY, SECURE, OR ERROR-FREE, OR THAT DEFECTS IN THE SERVICE WILL BE CORRECTED. AKC DOES NOT WARRANT THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE CONTENT, OR THAT ANY ERRORS IN THE CONTENT WILL BE CORRECTED. THE SITE, THE SERVICE AND THE CONTENT ARE PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" AND "AS AVAILABLE" BASIS.

Limitation of Liability
IN NO EVENT WILL THE AKC BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY DIRECT, INCIDENTIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY OR OTHER INDIRECT DAMAGES, ARISING OUT OF (1) THE USE OF OR INABILITY TO USE THE SITE, THE SERVICE, OR THE CONTENT, (2) ANY TRANSACTION CONDUCTED THROUGH OR FACILITATED BY THE SITE; (3) ANY CLAIM ATTRIBUTABLE TO ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR OTHER INACCURACIES IN THE SITE, THE SERVICE AND/OR CONTENT, (4) UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO OR ALTERATION OF YOUR TRANSMISSIONS OR DATA, OR (5) ANY OTHER MATTER RELATING TO THE SITE, THE SERVICE, OR THE CONTENT, EVEN IF THE AKC HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITIES OF SUCH DAMAGES. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH THE SITE, THE SERVICE, THE CONTENT, OR THE TERMS OF USE, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE USING THE SITE. BECAUSE SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF LIABILITY FOR CONSEQUENTIAL OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, SOME OF THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. IN SUCH STATES, AKC'S LIABILITY IS LIMITED AND WARRANTIES ARE EXCLUDED TO THE GREATEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

Arbitration
YOU AGREE THAT ANY CAUSE OF ACTION, CONTROVERSY OR CLAIM ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO THE USE OF THIS SITE, SERVICE OR CONTENT BETWEEN THE AKC AND YOURSELF OR AS TO THE CONSTRUCTION, INTERPRETATION AND EFFECT OF THIS AGREEMENT SHALL BE SETTLED BY ARBITRATION PURSUANT TO THE APPLICABLE RULES OF THE AMERICAN ARBITRATION ASSOCIATION. HOWEVER, PRIOR TO ARBITRATION ALL APPLICABLE AKC BYLAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND PROCEDURES MUST FIRST BE FOLLOWED AS SET FORTH IN THE AKC CHARTER AND BYLAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS, PUBLISHED POLICIES AND GUIDELINES. Dated: April 1, 2013

This seems to be a lot of legalese, trouble and expense for very dubious service.

I have a better idea.

For a limited time only, and only for readers of this blog, I am offering a Dog Trainers Magic Wand. Only $50. Your results may vary. Just click on the link below.  All profits will be donated to the Harry Potter Center for Children and Pets Afflicted by Dementors.

 

Operators are standing by. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Remember When Children Read Books?


Read this 1917 book full of terrier stories for children here.

What's Your Vet Charging You?


What's your vet charge for common services?

Is it on their web site? Is it posted in their office?

Why not?

Washington, D.C. is one of the most expensive places in America to live, and the Washington Humane Society charges (and openly lists) the following fees for comparison:

  • Regular Spay/Neuter Package (includes surgery, pain medication, e-collar and complimentary nail trim) $130
  • In-heat Spay additional $20
  • Pregnant Spay additional $25
  • Cryptorchid additional $20-$40
  • Over 100 lbs. additional $20
  • Aggressive Dog additional $20
  • Frontline flea treatment per dose $10
  • Distemper (DHPP) vaccination $10
  • Rabies vaccination $10
  • Nail trim $5
  • Microchip $35
  • E-collar $10
  • Heartworm test $20
  • Six months of heartworm preventative (under 50 lbs) $20
  • Six months heartworm preventative (over 50 lbs) $25


For the record, my own vet, which was voted one of the "Best Veterinary Hospitals" in the Washington, D.C. area has a web site but publishes NO pricing.

Again, why not?  I would complain, but I only see them about once every five years, as I do my own vet work for small wounds, shots, flea and tick, worming, etc.

How about your vet?  Google them and let's see how many out there actually report pricing!

And no, pricing is not everything, but since "no one goes to a bad doctor," it's not a small issue either, is it?
.

A Dog's Life :: Elvis Presley


Jack Russell to the end. The song is from Paradise, Hawaiian Style, released in 1966 and written by Ben Weisman. Weisman wrote 57 songs for Elvis. The lyrics are by Sid Wayne who co-wrote songs in almost every Elvis film.

Raccoon Steals 28 Pounds of Cat Food



Go big or go home!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Last of Italy









On my way back. Three hour drive to Rome, then turn in the car (line), get boarding pass (line), cross airport, wait, board, wait on tarmac, then 9 hour flight to Montreal, overlay for 3 hours, and then on to D.C. and a cab home. I figure 21 hours of travel.

I miss my wife. And dogs. But my wife most of all.  

Managed to drive a stick through Italy without incident despite 25 years in automatics, serious hills, hairpin turns, and deficient signage warning motorists of road construction.

Good people everywhere. Just keep your sense of humor and your expectations low. 

-------

End note:  As low as I kept my expectations, United Airlines and Air Canada drilled for the basement. The pilot and a stewardess did not show up for the flight from Quebec to DC (wonder what they were doing together?), and the airline did not inform the passengers until after the plane was supposed to take off. That was two hours after the airline pilot was supposed to be there, and after every hope of making a connection on another flight that night had evaporated. In the end, I could not fly out from Montreal that day, and the airline put me through multiple lines and a lengthy wait before they gave me a voucher to go to some hotel a bus ride away. I got up at 4:30 in the morning, to make an 8 am flight with a connection through Toronto. I had to go through the boarding pass line, the baggage line, the secuity line, and the immigration inspection line all over again. And then I had to wait, wait, wait.  Signage is bad everywhere, and apparently everyone is new to their job.  Lesson:  never take a connector flight, especially not one in Canada.  Never take United.  Stay away from Air Canada.

Small House Movement

Monday, July 14, 2014

Nature Fakers and Dog Fakers


I posted a short bit about Ernest Thompson Seton yesterday.

Seton, of course, went on to write Wild Animals I Have Known (1898) and was later attacked by John Burroughs in an essay in Atlantic entitled  "Real and Sham Natural History."  

Burroughs called people who wrote sentimental and anthropomorphic animal stories, such as Seton, "nature fakers" and the ensuing controversy between romantic and science-based natural history was pretty fierce until Teddy Roosevelt ended it by siding with Burroughs.

What's particularly interesting about the battle between Burroughs and the Nature Fakers is that the Nature Fakers believed instinct played a relatively small role in animal behavior and that most animals gained knowledge by training and experience. Does that sound a bit like B.F. Skinner?

Burroughs, of course, was not having any of it:

The crows do not train their young. They have no fortresses, or schools, or colleges, or examining boards, or diplomas, or medals of honor, or hospitals, or churches, or telephones, or postal deliveries, or anything of the sort. Indeed, the poorest backwoods hamlet has more of the appurtenances of civilization than the best organized crow or other wild animal community in the land!

Burroughs summed up the Nature Fakers in his description of William J. Long, noting that Long's book, School of the Woods:

... reads like that of a man who has really never been to the woods, but who sits in his study and cooks up these yarns from things he has read in Forest and Stream, or in other sporting journals. Of real observation there is hardly a vestige in his book; of deliberate trifling with natural history there is no end.

Well yes, but how is that different from what we see today in the world of dogs?  Not a whit!  

A Man of No Accounting


Over at Futility Closet Greg Ross tells the amazing story of British-born Ernest Thompson Seton, one of the men who founded the Boy Scouts of America:

Ernest Thompson Seton called his father “the most selfish man I ever knew, or heard of, in history or in fiction.” In 1881, on Seton’s 21st birthday, his father called him into his study, took down an enormous cash book from a high shelf, and opened it at E.

In the book he had recorded every expense he had ever made on the boy, including the day and date of each outlay, all the way back to the doctor’s fee for his delivery. The total was $537.50.

“Hitherto,” he said, “I have charged no interest. But from now on I must add the reasonable amount of 6 per cent per annum. I shall be glad to have you reduce the amount at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Stunned, Seton staggered to his feet and left the room, refusing his father’s offer “to furnish without expense a full copy of the indebtedness.”

His father called after him, “God bless you, my son. In the natural course of events, you cannot much longer be an inmate of my house; but I must prayerfully trust that, wherever your lot is cast in the near future, you will never forget the debt you owe your father, who is to you on earth the next to God.”

Seton paid the bill and never spoke to him again.

If Futility Closet is not in your Feedly reader, I recommend adding it!

Why We Like Dogs