Drinking Coffee Through a Straw

Yesterday I was treated to a new experience. I tried flying. Unfortunately I had no wings and the landing was poor. Let me explain…

Luna
Luna the Large Lab

We have a foster dog named Luna, who is a Black Lab-Great Dane mix.  She’s almost 70 pounds now (will be 80 to 85 at proper body weight) and quite strong.  I’ve been taking Luna out of the yard and along the edges of the woods to cater to her “need” to potty in the underbrush. Someone (probably someone with children) has trained her not to defile the family play yard.  But the increasing number of Feral cats around here has made that problematic because her need to chase cats has smashed me into more than one tree as she takes off suddenly after spotting a fur-blur in the woods.

She spent Friday in her kennel because every time I took her out to potty she got distracted by tracking a cat and forgot why we were out there. Having done nothing towards emptying out made her dangerous to take in the house. Although she did nothing in her kennel, either: this girl can really hold it!  But she had to be getting uncomfortable.

Saturday I resolved that we would stay in the yard and she would learn to use that, like all the other dogs. Late in the morning I had her out on her 20 foot lead – believing that if I wasn’t hovering over her on a 6 foot lead, she’d be more likely to avail herself of the grass. We walked around and around the yard with no results. At one point we were standing on the walkway beside the house, looking out over the play yard and the other dogs playing in the yard.  Something (probably one of those Feral cats) aroused the attentions of the other dogs and they went charging across the yard to investigate.

Luna decided to join them.

Had I had her on a 6’ lead I’d probably have been able to stop that charge with nothing more than a painful jerk to my arm. But because she was on a 20 foot lead and I was unprepared, she hit the ground running and had both traction and momentum on her side. She jerked me clean off the walkway, I went heels over head crashing to the slope below the walkway, landing on my right shoulder and the back of my neck. I did at least one complete rolling somersault down that slope before thinking to flatten out to stop that roll. Had I not thought to do that I might have continued rolling down the slope like an old tire.  I came to rest flat on my back about 25 feet from my starting position, Luna still trying to tow me out into the yard.

I laid there for a few moments, unable to move at first, then slowly, carefully wiggled things to be sure all the parts were still connected and nothing was broken. There was a good deal of pain, but everything seemed to be in working order, so I slowly got to my feet and put Luna in her kennel.

My right shoulder and neck hurt A LOT, and continued to do so that whole day. In fact I could not move the shoulder of my coffee drinking arm at all without intense pain. Everything I did the rest of the day was done via elbow and wrist alone.

Normally day two and day three of an injury are actually MORE painful than day one, so I was not looking forward to Sunday. But, probably because I launched into an aggressive campaign of anti-inflammatory pain killers immediately after the injury, I’m actually feeling better this morning. I am able to get my arm up on my desk to type, at least. So I think I’m going to be okay. And I am really grateful that I didn’t land any more on my neck than I did, because that could have resulted in life altering injury. They say God watches over saints and fools, so “Thank you God for watching out for this old fool.”

Oh, and Luna and I wandered the yard (on a SHORT lead) for a looong time last night, with her going from gate, to gate, to gate, until she finally relented and “did her business” in the yard. There is hope I’ll get that penchant worked out of her yet.

New W.I.P.:Feeding Your Dog

feeding time!Since I’ve started putting a dollop of home made bone broth on top of the dogs kibbles, excitement among our canine companions at feeding time has really ramped up!

This experiment is the first step in hands-on research for a new book on feeding dogs.  It will cover the full spectrum from commercial kibble (what to look for and watch out for) to home-cooked dog food, to raw diets. Continue reading “New W.I.P.:Feeding Your Dog”

DOG for DOG Helps Homeless Pets

DOG for DOGRocky Kanaka’s DOG for DOG business model might sound foolish to others in retail; he gives away at least as much product as he sells. But profit isn’t Kanaka’s driving force; his mission is to provide quality food to as many homeless dogs as possible.

Kanaka, owner of The Dog Bakery in Mar Vista California, created DOG for DOG® in late 2011 after feeling frustrated by not being better able to help dogs in need. The number of dogs in shelters grows daily and they suffer from a lack of proper nutrition and care. Continue reading “DOG for DOG Helps Homeless Pets”

The Visitor

I am not fond of snakes. Snakes are, at best, creepy and, at worst, deadly. So I avoid them. This, however, has not always been my opinion.

As a youngster I found grass snakes and garter snakes fascinating and often made (temporary) pets of them. Much to my mother’s chagrin.

In one elementary school science class it was a special privilege afforded only to the top students to “wear” the class boa constrictor for a portion of each class period. I kept my grades up more for this badge of honor than for academics sake.

Snakes were fascinating. Continue reading “The Visitor”

I’m Just Chicken About Chickens

Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person on the planet who is not raising chickens. Everywhere I look are articles about raising chickens, plans for chicken coops, chicken tractors, chicken feeders, pictures of chickens, and people talking about how wonderful it is to have really fresh eggs.

chickensThat last part is what comes closest to hooking me. I love eggs. We eat eggs for breakfast twice a week, and use them in cooking. We’d eat them more often if they weren’t getting so expensive. I read that the commercial egg farms have been hit hard by avian diseases that required them to kill off significant amounts of their flocks. That kind of thing will drive the price up, and when this sort of thing happens, the prices generally do not come back down. It’s like the delivery services adding fuel surcharges because fuel was so expensive, but when fuel costs came back down the surcharges stayed in place. We will just be eating fewer eggs in our house now. Unless I raise chickens.

I’ve given it some thought too. Read More …

Howling in the Night

“Ticky-tack, ticky-tack, ticky-tack”.

The sound alerted that small portion of my brain that remains on-duty while the rest of me sleeps, “Strange sound! What is that?” Sentry queries Main Brain.

Memories are searched, the reply comes back, “Small-dog claws clattering on the granite-like tiles of the hallway. Someone is up. Must be Kathy.”

“Is that of concern?”

Main Brain, groggy with slumber considers this: Kathy rarely gets up at night. Cochise does, but Cochise’s 90 pound frame sounds very different from 20 pound Kathy as they traverse the short hallway leading to the kitchen for a drink.  Kathy often gets up when I do, but almost never before I do.  “Yes: this is an alert.” Main Brain swims up through the levels of unconsciousness. Continue reading “Howling in the Night”

6 Tips on Selecting Pet Food

pet foodThere is a bewildering array of pet food brands, and products within brands, out there to choose from. Products ranging from dry kibble, to canned, to fresh-frozen, to raw meat are available. All have some benefit, all have some risk. How do you decide which of these are best for your lifestyle and your pet’s health? Here are some tips to help you wend your way through the brand maze and select the best products to consider.

#1: The Pet Food Company

Many pet owners don’t trust larger pet food companies, thinking that a large corporation is by nature callous and uncaring. Smaller brands are more closely linked to their customers and likely to make better, safer products. However, statistics tell a different story. Continue reading “6 Tips on Selecting Pet Food”

National Mutt Day

Cochise OWNS the sunshine on National Mutt Day
Cochise is proud to be a mutt

Celebrate National Mutt Day in the USA on July 31 and December 2. This is a fun celebration of mixed breed dogs. Created in 2005 by celebrity pet and family life expert, Colleen Paige, National Mutt Day brings awareness to the plight of mixed breed dogs in shelters around the country and encourages people to adopt shelter dogs rather than buy “designer dogs” from puppy mills.

Did you know that mixed breed dogs: Continue reading “National Mutt Day”

The Truth Behind the “Pit Bull”

pit bull originationThe dog we commonly refer to as the Pit Bull was developed in England from a cross between the English Bulldog and terriers. The exact terrier breeds used to create this cross is not clearly recorded, but popular opinion points to the White English Terrier, the Black-and-Tan Terrier and the Fox Terrier. The result of these combinations became known as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and were used to manage cattle and by hunters to help hold wild boar and other game.

As time passed, the breed entered the blood-sport of bull and bear baiting. After these sports were outlawed in England around 1835, dog fighting rings took their place. Dogs were forced to fight one another to the death in hidden arenas called “pits.” The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was highly successful in the fighting ring because of its tenacity, courage, stamina, strength and intelligence. Equally important was its loyal, non-aggressive and responsive nature with people. Fighting dogs were expected to be obedient, trustworthy and easily handled by their owners at all times. Because of their popularity in dog fighting pits the breed became known as “Pit Bulls”.

Continue reading “The Truth Behind the “Pit Bull””

My Dogography

Dog_Geek Greyhound

As a kid I was small and skinny. Too studious and too serious to be popular. So I devoted myself to learning all I could, to getting through school and getting on with life as soon as I could.

 

Dog_High Class

As a young man, I decided to get into business. I worked hard and applied myself so I’d move up the corporate ladder and be able to have all the things I wanted…  Continue reading “My Dogography”