Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Sort One Toda

Leaving in a few minutes to pick up my mother and go to the Como Park Conservatory. She hasn't been there since all the wonderful changes were completed, and because it is going to be HOT, we are going to be there when it opens.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Imagine The Horror . . .

A most disturbing story made the rounds yesterday, showing up on both Facebook and the Dal list, and I am sure on many other dog related lists as well. We often think that animal abuse happens only in puppy mills, dog fighting establishments, and in junk strewn backyard full of rusted car bodies and garbage. Unfortunately, just as with child abuse it can happen anywhere. The following links concern a horrific situation involving a (previously) well-respected dog show person who sentenced her elderly Afghan Hounds to die of starvation. She just shut them away and ignored them. Apparently she was tired of the hounds, but took care of her Cavaliers. These were retired show dogs, not breeding stock in a puppymill. This woman lived in a nice neighborhood and her neighbors had no idea of the horrors that were taking place "behind closed doors". Fortunately, two dog handlers realized something was amiss and got involved - they rescued the dogs, who might not have survived more than a few more days.

If you are interested, read this article -

If you want to see what the dogs looked like, check out these pictures -¤t=IMG_3476.jpg

If you want to get involved, please sign the petition -

When people are convicted of animal cruelty charges, the American Kennel Club automatically takes away their privileges to show or register dogs, for a very long time. The people who initiated the petition want to insure that this happens.

I was the 852nd person to sign the petition which just went up yesterday. They are hoping for 5000 signatures, which seems like a very reasonable goal. It seems to me that mental illness must be involved here. Hard to believe that a sane person could do something so incredibly horrible.

On a more cheerful note, I got 5 new species of wild livebearers yesterday, several of which I have wanted for a long time. I won the B. roseni on Aquabid and asked if the seller had anything else available. Turns out that Steve and I have similar taste in fish and he had a number of other interesting species. I had just redone a few tanks, so I had room for them, and Steve threw in a few little bonus babies with the interesting name of Flexipenis vitatta. I also read that the scientific name had been changed to Gambusia vitatta - not nearly as interesting!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

On My Soapbox Again

Watson has started his thyroid medication, just half of an incredibly tiny pill, twice a day, with a recheck in 4-6 weeks. His mother Coral had her blood work done yesterday too, just to be sure that she is OK, AND because she was due for a checkup. Had planned to get the dogs in in April, but never quite got to it. Pending the blood work results, Coral appears to be doing great at 12. Eyes are just a tiny bit cloudy, and she's got the beginnings of a very small heart murmur, nothing to be concerned about. She's a bit quieter these days, and does not get into the middle of the wrestling matches, but enjoys a long walk every day and is still fast enough to steal ANY toy she covets! Her coat & spots are still beautiful and she still has a puppyish face - people often ask how old my puppy is.

We weighed both Watson and Coral when they got their checkups and their weights are still perfect, just what they weighed when they were young show dogs. Watson is 54 pounds, Coral 50. She's actually a bit taller than her son, but he has more bone and a deeper chest. Both had gained a few extra pounds over the winter and went on spring diets. It's important to keep older dogs in good condition, as excess weight puts a lot of stress on joints, as well as on the dog's heart and other organs. Just as with people, leaner is better for longevity.

I've never understood why owners can not manage their dogs' weight. The owners are the ones who decide what to feed, how much, and how often. How hard is that? Fat dog, feed less, cut back on snacks, and NO food left in the dish to nibble on later. Unfortunately, too many people equate food with love, and feel "guilty" if the dog begs for more food. Seems to me that if you really love your dog, you will keep it in the proper weight! I also have no tolerance for the argument that the dog is fat because it does not get enough exercise - if it does not get enough exercise, it's the owner's responsibility to change that, BUT that is not the basic problem. Too much food = fat dog. Just as with humans it's all about calories. Feed too much, dog gets fat. If he gets more exercise it will take more calories to make him fat, but it still goes back to too much food = fat dog.