Blog dogging: cuteness, and slip me some skin

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What do I mean by “cuteness”? Well, anthropologists tell us that humans are genetically programmed to be attracted to cuteness. This can be extrapolated to human-animal interaction, seeing as this is a dog’s blog. When a human sees puppies–newborn or any young pups, that human turns into a quivering mass of sentimentality–especially, women. They “oo” and “ah” and talk baby talk to the pups, all the while cuddling them in their arms. Pretty much the majority of pups put up with the slobbering but they would rather be sleeping or eating. And, that goes for many baby animals such as kittens and bunnies. Anthropologists tell us it has to do with the architecture of the baby’s face that triggers that “oo” or “ah” response from humans. There’s a lot more to it but I think I’ve covered enough to get my point across.

What point, you ask? That humans are programmed to take care or want to care for a puppy or a kitten or, of course, a human baby. This is the main reason, at shelters, in particular, puppies and kittens get adopted before their adult counterparts. Here’s my point: since you know these baby animals go like hotcakes, why not adopt an adult cat or dog? Do you know what a pain in the butt a puppy can be? Do you really want your good shoes chewed by puppies or kittens climbing your expensive drapes? Try keeping your Christmas tree intact with a kitten climbing it. Enough said.

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Slip me some skin

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Is you dog scratching and chewing his skin? Does he have bare patches with raw skin or sores? Whether Fido has fleas or he’s just plain dirty, remember that dogs get bitten by other bugs as well. If he has fleas, bathe him with flea shampoo or if his skin is compromised in several areas, then use a medicated shampoo. There are all kinds of products out there to treat your pet’s skin. However, you have to keep applying them. You might also consider clipping your dog’s  hair. Don’t have clippers? You’ll have to buy one.

Instead of trying to guess the problem and spending all that money on clippers, and medications that might not work, take your dog to the Vet.  There are a lot of skin problems that can occur in dogs as well as cats, so do your dog or cat a favor and get him proper medical care. I know firsthand how skin problems can get out of control. One summer, I was miserable, but my mom kept trying different things on her own, until her friend advised her to take me to the Vet. Within no time at all I was so much better. It was all about fleas and my skin’s reaction to them. Keep in mind there are other common skin conditions–it’s not always about fleas. There are bacterial and fungal infections; dandruff, dry skin, allergies, mange, scabies and more. You can use the following chart to assess your best friend (the canine one) and determine if you should take him to the Vet. Don’t let your pet suffer.

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Shout out to Emily C.

My friend, Emily, is moving to Texas real soon. Here’s hoping she has a great life and comes to visit. Emily and I are pals and we didn’t get to see each other to say our goodbyes, so I’m shouting out to you, Emily. I’m going to miss you. Let’s keep in touch through my blog, okay? Bye, Emily, Your friend, Shadow.

Learn something new

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The Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus) is a species of parrot found in Australia. It is common along the eastern seaboard, from northern Queensland to South Australia and Tasmania. Its habitat is rainforest, coastal bush and woodland areas. Wikipedia

In the wild, this parrot feeds in flocks of about 20 parrots, but roosts in flocks of thousands of birds. Mating pairs stay together for life. The Rainbow Lorikeet has a life span of about 20 years. The Rainbow Lorikeet remains widespread and often common and is not considered to be of any concern by Birdlife International. However, some subspecies are threatened by the parrot trade and habitat loss. Wikipedia.

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Blog dogging: what-if-o-rama

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Shakespeare Alert: DEFCON II

Hamlet,  Act III, Scene 1

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;

What if I were human, who would I be?

Well, first, this is a stretch for me because I have no desire whatsoever to become human. Not that I have anything against humanity–it’s just that I prefer the dog’s life. I guess I would be Brad Pitt, or maybe I could be a fictional character like, James Tiberius Kirk. Seriously, I would not want to be Spock. Or maybe Nathan Fillion’s character in that sci-fi series he had–“Firefly”.  Or maybe I could be the National Director of the regulatory agencies governing dog breeders or animal shelters. I would fix a few things. No, folks. I would not want to be a human. Humans have it tough all round. I’m happy being a dog.

What if Mother Nature retired?

Okay. Nature can be harsh. Every Spring and into the Summer we have procreation pandemonium. The tiniest baby frogs and lizards and big old predators that eat them before they can have a life. It’s eat or be eaten out there! What a waste of resources. I’m sure most of you have seen the films of sea turtles laying their eggs on the beach. And when the babies hatch they make a run for the ocean while birds overhead, like seagulls, are waiting to swoop down on them. Out of hundreds or even thousands, only a pawful make it to the ocean. So, what if Mother Nature was out of the picture? What if the rules of engagement changed and the predators became the prey. Hey, wait! They already are preyed upon–by humans.  Rhinos are killed for their horns which are ground up and used as an aphrodisiac (doesn’t work); Mountain Gorillas killed for their trophy value like ashtrays made out of their hands. I could go on but why bother? I still say this predator-prey thing needs to be re-evaluated. We’ll end up like civilization in the film, “Blade Runner”  (1982) where animals no longer exist in their natural state and their look-alikes are genetically and artificially manufactured. Enough said.

What if dogs were never domesticated?

There wouldn’t be any dog sleds and naturally, the Iditarod would not be possible, unless, of course, one could get cats to pull sleds in the snow. Ha. There wouldn’t be any drug-sniffing dogs, no bomb-sniffing dogs, no rescue dogs for avalanches, earthquakes, etc. No police dogs, no service dogs like seeing-eye dogs, and there wouldn’t be any Man’s Best Friend. The dog food industry and the dog accessories industry would not exist and groomers would only groom cats. Veterinarians would only care for cats and exotic animals and the dog pharmaceutical companies would only manufacture drugs for cats, farm and zoo animals. What would Queen Elizabeth II do without her Corgies? Oh, jeez, whatever would those dog breeders do with all that time on their hands if they couldn’t breed dogs? And the animal shelters that wouldn’t have dogs to blue juice or gas, whatever would they do? That’s all I could come up with off the top of my nuchal crest.

What if John Wayne was a Shakespearian actor?

Imagine him in tights and tunic, wearing a Stetson:
“To be or not to be, pilgrim…that is the question
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind
to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous…
the Indians are coming–circle the wagons….”

Maybe it was a bit frivolous of me, but I always liked that human.

Let’s talk turkey. When was the last time you took your dog in for a physical and all his shots? How about having his teeth cleaned? When was the last time you gave Fido a bath? Human parents, your dogs are living, breathing creatures who require similar care  you would give any child. Except, don’t give them dolls, they’ll chew them.  Potty training is a lot easier. Does your dog stay outside all the time–even nighttime? Why? Why get a dog in the first place? To guard the crown jewels? Your dog needs companionship and love, just like you. You would be surprised how much fun a dog can be and how much loyalty and love he will give you. And, while we’re on the subject, do you let your cat out to wander and catch all the nasty kitty diseases out there? Keep your cat indoors. I’ll be talking more about cats later as well as vaccinations for your pets.

Learn something new:

Top Photo:  Budgerigars~
The budgerigar, also known as common pet parakeet or shell parakeet and informally nicknamed the budgie, is a small, long-tailed, seed-eating parrot (Wikipedia).

Budgerigars are nomadic birds found in open habitats, primarily in scrublands, open woodlands, and grasslands of Australia. The birds are normally found in small flocks, but can form very large flocks under favorable conditions.  Naturalized feral budgerigars have been recorded since the 1940s in the St. Petersburg, Florida, area of the United States, but are much less common now than they were in the early 1980s. Increased competition from European starlings and house sparrows is thought to be the primary cause of the population decline (Wikipedia).

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Blog dogging: unidirectionality, poodling, and cats

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A rare photograph of a poodle groomed to be the key camel in the remake of the film, “lawrence of Arabia” I made that part up.

The Golden Retriever Principle of Unidirectionality

Say what? Yes, we Golden Retrievers and dogs in general follow this principle. It’s like existential kibble to us. Don’t think for a moment, humans, that you are the only ones with principles.  How many canine brothers and sisters out there, circle your human’s car before you jump in to go for a ride? Yeah.  And you always circle in the one direction. Maybe some of you get a little too excited about riding in the car and getting a treat from the nice lady at the drive-up window of the bank. That’s understandable. Hey, when you circle, looking for snakes before lying down to take a nap, you usually do it in one direction, do you not? I’m going out on a limb here and suggest that all life is unidirectional.  We’re heading for the big sleep; we have a one-way ticket to ride.

Poodle Doodling

Mind you, that’s at the individual level. A species can go off in multiple directions. Look at what those dog breeders do! That poodle breed is pretty lascivious, don’t you think?  Those mindless, money-hungry dog breeders, who would rather raise dogs than go get a day job, are mixing poodles with just about everything. Now Golden Retrievers are in the mix; labradors, pit bulls….I knew a pit bull once. Very sad story. There are so many mixes with collies, boxers, chihuahuas, St. Bernards, Basset Hounds. Yes, even Basset Hounds! They’re all pretty ugly, I’m sorry to say. Except the Jack Russell Terrier and Poodle mix: the Jack-A-Poo. Is he cute or what?

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Just to give you some perspective, here’s a sad looking mix of the Toy Fox Terrier and a poodle. It’s called a Foodle. Talk about a bad hair day.

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Why are they doing this to our fellow canines? Because they can. Because crossing different types of peas was so done by that monk, Mendel. I think humans need to ban this kind of crap. Do you know how many dogs and cats are homeless?  Many of them sit on death row waiting for the blue juice or maybe being gassed, like the Nazis did to the Jews. We’ve got ourselves a Holocaust, boys and girls.  It’s time to put an end to unnecessary breeding of dogs and cats.

Cats don’t fetch no balls

Hey. Let’s talk about cats. They don’t follow the Golden Retriever Principle of Unidirectionality.  Anyone ever see a cat walk in a straight line? Okay, so they have something like nine lives but I’m not sure that isn’t some old wives’ tale told out on the veranda while sipping a little elderberry wine. Cats like warm and cozy spots for napping. I knew a cat that slept on top of the fridge and another on the top shelf of a closet. Feline fantasies–I’ve had a few,  Anyone else out there dream about cats doing naughty things? No. Well it’s just me. I lost my cat buddy last year. What is the point of all this stream of consciousness coming out of my canine mouth? The feline brain is way different than the canine brain. They don’t aim to please. They don’t fetch, generally, and they decide if they want to return and play some more, which is not in their thoughts at all. But, they’re great for cuddling. We’re going to talk more about cats later.

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Let’s talk turkey. There are a lot of dogs and cats in shelters. They need homes and you have one. Adopt a homeless pet today and get a friend for life. And you seniors out their. Yes, you senior humans. Old dogs and cats need homes, too. Come on, adopt a dog or cat today.

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Blog dogging: birdbrains and quantum reality

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Now that the holidays are over, Uh, they are over, right? Again: now that the holidays are over, I thought I would get right into the nitty gritty of metaphysics as seen by man’s best friend. So, if you were a football player in college and slept through that easy A, I will re-establish your connection with the real world.

Decisions, decisions

Now I realize that birds are not four-legged and therefore are at significant disadvantage in nature. And, I understand that you want to know why I would talk about the brains of birds rather than discuss dogs and cats.  This is not going to be a major break through or anything like that. I just like to watch birds and I’ve thought about how stupid they are and just wanted to pass this on. It all comes down to yes or no; on or off, 1 or 0. Sound familiar, humans? Yes, communication with computers and they’re decision-making qualifiers. All animals, including humans, perform this basic logic. Computers were designed by humans and patterned after human thought processes.  Even the birdbrains of nature make decisions this way. Their behaviors, on the other hand, are instinct-driven. There are those who argue that humans do not have instinct–they have a cerebral cortex and “think”.  I’m not going to argue the issue at this time. Let’s talk turkey.

Chuck-Unchained

For the majority of their thinking life on earth, humans have considered animals other than themselves, to be lower life forms, starting with microscopic, single-cell animals at the bottom. Now, if this was back in the days of the pilgrims, for instance, you wouldn’t have a microscope so you wouldn’t know about those little guys. However, they probably put shrimp and lobster at the bottom. Considering they are both bottom-feeders, that would be a good place for them. However, I believe the Bible-thumping pilgrims would Imagetake issue with eating bottom-feeders, No, that would be the Jewish pilgrims who would have that problem.  If you have heard of Charles Darwin (Chuck to his friends) then you know that in his time, people were not very accepting of being told they evolved from lower life forms. They were downright hostile about it. Those were backwards times though. Oh, yeah. People still think that way, don’t they? Wow, that’s one of the qualifiers for being a birdbrain. Sorry to hear that there are humans who still think that way. I’m sorry. A birdbrain doesn’t think.

Get the car, let’s go crusading

Moving on. In Darwin’s time, the leading theory was a religious one called the “Great Chain of Being”, beginning at the left side of the paper with say, shrimp and progressing up to humans. Side note. This is where the term “missing link” came in to play, but that is another ball of wax. The “Chain” was a way for humans to express their superiority and their belief in God having made all life on earth, because God was at the very top of the chain. You know, we four-legged persons have a difficult time understanding why humans think they are so superior, but what is unreasonable is this fanatic belief that God has to be accepted by everyone or they’ll launch a crusade or inquisition or something. I am sure you know that more wars have been fought in the name of religion than anything else. I will be happy to accept any religion that can prove to me that dogs (and cats) go to heaven.  Hear me Pope Francis?

Is it okay to use Sponge Bob to wipe up spills?

So, you ask:  “what do birds and birdbrains have to do with all this?”  Birds are not bright. They do not exhibit intelligence (parrots mimic and respond to stimuli and on/off, no/yes) as is seen in canines or felines, for instance. All birds have bird brains, but not all birdbrains are birds. There are some humans that are merely brain stems–they react from the primitive part of their brains. Actually, there are animals that do not have brains per se, but have “nodes” of nerves that react to stimuli. Those are starfish, jellyfish, sponges and sea squirts.  In the case of the sponge, it’s  nice, somehow, to know that you’re wiping off the kitchen counter with something that never had a thought.

Waxing philosophically–wax on, wax off

And, this brings us to metaphysics and quantum reality. What does quantum mechanics have in common with metaphysics?  You can’t see the objects of quantum physics but it is argued they are still present. It’s a “the glass is half full” type of philosophy. This would include such theories as there is “no deep reality” which is the most broadly accepted theory. Then there’s “reality is created by observation” and the “parallel universes” theory and “consciousness creates reality” and I could go on but you can pick up the book by Nick Herbert, “Quantum Reality”, 1985. It’s been around awhile. The study of physics involves waxing philosophical, because there are a lot of things in the universe we can only imagine and a lot more we can’t.  Physicists devise experiments that yield results that can be observed and measured, for things that one cannot see but only theorize. So the next time Stephen Hawking’s computer-generated voice speaks about objects we cannot observe or measure, he is speaking philosophically–philosophically speaking, of course.

Shakespeare Warning

Shakespeare put it quite nicely via Hamlet:

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. (Act I, Scene 5).

Well, that was fun, wasn’t it?  Okay, listen. I’m not always going to talk about dogs and cats, so you might as well get comfortable with that. I can’t always put up puppy pictures. I promise, no more quantum physics. Okay, one  picture.

ImageYeah, that dog looks real happy. Who is the idiot taking the pictures? Why is the dog chained? Afraid it might chase the little, bitty, polar bear? Hey, find out who took this picture and get him thrown in the can.  That is endangerment. What is that jerk thinking? You never, ever, put your pet children in such a dangerous situation. Someone call the cops or the Mounties. Where’s Sgt. Preston of the Yukon when you frigging need him?  His dog Yukon King would take care of that  a..wipe photographer–feed him to the polar bear.

Did you know?

Photo of Parrots:  Sun Conure (Aratinga solstitialis).  Range in the Wild: restricted mostly to Guyana and far NW Brazil.  World population:  in the hundreds.  ICUN Rating: endangered.  (ICUN: International Union for Conservation of Nature). If you would like to learn more about the Sun Conure or other parrots in the wild, go to the World Parrot Trust at http://www.parrots.org or just click on it now.

Disclaimer: I am not saying that Professor Hawking is a quantum physicist.  That is a personal choice and I would never be so bold as to come right out and ask him.

Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA is an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. Personal Opinion: the most brilliant man on the planet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Another week–Another happy holiday

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Seriously, I really don’t mind the human holidays. It’s not like I don’t participate, because, I do.  I got some dog gone good presents at Christmas. My mom’s best friend who lives with us–let’s call her, BFF–bought me two new rockin’ collars, and a new Wubba toy (x-large). My mom got me treats and the Boy video-recorded me tearing apart the big box. It was fun, okay?  I just don’t like the way humans dress up their pet kids for the holidays.  It’s downright humiliating.  Take a look:

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That’s right. Even dogs can party too hardy.  Please, be a responsible pet parent this year. Here are a few photos I found along the way. Again, it just shows how not to love your pet child. No, that’s not me on the left, there.  I’m much younger.

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Oh, yeah.  Everyone looks so happy about the holidays.  Do you think Lassie, there, is going to get to drink that glass of water?  Make sure your pet children drink responsibly. The kitten with the tall shake is going to end up throwing up all over Mrs. Cleaver’s white chemise. And you think that Santa Kitty or Jose Felineciano as he’s called here, will ever again let his parents get anywhere near him with red fleece? The holidays will come and they will go but your pet children don’t stay on the planet very long.

In semi-conclusion. I just want you to see some awesome pawsome.  My favorites: The world’s biggest dog. The longest cat. And my really, really, real favorite:  the biggest bunny I have ever seen.  The poor man holding him is going in for hernia surgery right after the holiday. Unfortunately, the biggest dog has passed away at a young age, even for a Great Dane.  Dog breeders be warned:  I’m watching you. Stop breeding dogs so large their hearts can’t handle the burden, or dogs so small they have a gazillion health problems. And those big mother-of-a-freaking-big bunnies:  Why? And if you say you’re growing them for food:  kiss my arthritic hips. Have you never heard of chicken?  How much hasenpfeffer do you eat?  You know, I bet that woman holding the longest kitty, started stretching the poor thing when it was a kitten.  Humans, do you realize what you do?

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I have got some great pictures of cute kitties and adorable puppies, but I have to hold off on them for now. This blog is beginning to resemble one of those photo journals.  Anyway, I have to save something for the subjects of my next posts. The year 2015 looks to be a long one, according to the Four Paw Almanac. It could be as long as 12 months. Existentially speaking, it doesn’t exist until we live it.  Happy New Year, bloggers.

Oh, all right. Just one cute picture. Puppy layers.  Personally, I doubt they arranged themselves that way. Are they “homely” or is it just me? Remember, adopt a homeless dog or cat and make a friend for life.

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Merry Christmas from Florida

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Blog dogging: the meaning of life

ImageWelcome. I am Stalkingdog and this is my first post.  I am a Golden Retriever and I am 10 years old. I might as well tell you up front that I am a male–just so you know. I am blogging because I want to show you the world through the eyes of a dog, using wit and wisdom. I have accumulated quite a bit of knowledge over the years and frankly, I’m hilarious. I am a philosopher of sorts–somewhere between Kierkegaard’s and Satre’s existentialism, and Camus’s absurdism.  Don’t worry. I’m not going into any of that right now. I’m sure those of you who took Philosophy 101 in college recall the class having half the football team sleeping during class–thinking it would be an easy 3 credits. Ha!

Most of us have wondered about the meaning of life–including those who look to religion  for solace and a destination after death. Dogs think about it too. Maybe not in the same way. We rely on instinct and behavior modification of the humans we live with to get us through the day. Sometimes it can be difficult to train humans but I’m lucky I live with two women and my Boy (I raised him since I was a pup) who respond well to subliminal suggestion.

Let’s talk about play. I love my tennis balls. And, I love empty water bottles for the noise they make when I bite down on them. I also have animal toys that don’t have much stuffing left in them.  Typically I carry around in my mouth a tennis ball, empty water bottle and a not-so-stuffed toy. It’s primarily a Golden Retriever thing. Did you know there are dogs who hold records with Guinness?

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I don’t go to extremes like these two–then, again, I doubt they placed those tennis balls or those Christmas ornaments in their mouths without deliberate human intervention. I don’t like that type of behavior in humans. You know, such as holding a biscuit then pulling it away or balancing a biscuit on my nose. We canines have been with humans for thousands of years. Most of the breeds were originally bred to perform some type of service for humans. Large, powerful dogs such as Mastiffs fought alongside Roman soldiers. Our ancestors didn’t exactly have free rides. Even today, there are dogs who work for a living, such as herding, hunting, and guarding/protecting. There are drug-sniffing dogs and bomb-sniffing dogs, and let’s not forget the police dogs and dogs with the armed forces or the seeing-eye dogs and service dogs such as seizure dogs and dogs that assist the disabled. And, there are the gentle and friendly dogs who visit patients in hospitals or other venues.

“Dogs and philosophers do the greatest good and get the fewest rewards.” – Diogenes

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