Thursday, November 26, 2009

BAT Behaviour Adjustment Training

One of the greatest shortages in dogdom is, in this writers' opinion, free dog training resources. Thanks to the internet, we have many more now than just what books your local library has on file.

This webpage give a detailed description of some training, complete with video of the training in action. The technique is called Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT). The page is from Ahimsa Dog Training in Seattle, where Grisha Stewart describes BAT

"BAT is the use of the natural environmental cues and reinforcements (positive or negative) for alternative/incompatible behaviors. This is the core protocol for BAT."

It seems to be basically operant conditioning, gradually moving the dog through its discomfort zone and rewarding it for progress. Do note in the video the dog is wearing BOTH a head halter and what appears to be a no-pull harness. The harness gets the most leash pressure. Those might be essential equipment to make progress with the dog in this type of scenario.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Allah hates show breeders.

Such philosophies certainly explain the fine hunting dogs from Arab countries. How do you keep a breed "pure" for thousands of years? Not by trotting him around a show ring! No. Having a god that forbids turning him into a pet is a much better bet.

While it might be an extreme position for most of us, it doubtless gives meat to the dictum 'form follows function'.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dog Shortage

Pet overpopulation? What pet overpopulation? On the contrary, it seems like the shortages are already beginning.

A new report from the National Academy of Sciences says there is a serious shortage of dogs and cats required for medical research.

New suppliers of random-source cats and dogs for medical research are needed to replace Class B dealers, according to a report from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

"Immediate action" is needed to identify and develop new suppliers of these animals to avoid disruptions in research activity, according to the American Physiological Society (APS) in an Oct. 26 statement endorsing the NAS report.

"These animals remain critical for health research to alleviate serious and life-threatening conditions that afflict humans and animals," the APS says.

Well, I'm not going to suggest that anyone run out and volunteer, though, perhaps some of the dedicated environmentalists could see this as the opportune solution for their carbon-hogs?

I have no objections to animal research, if it is done humanely, but this post is more about the interesting fact that there is a lack of available animals. It sounds like they used to be able to source animals from shelters, but now some states have passed laws against that. Hmm. Does that mean unwanted dogs and cats just go straight to fertilizer in those states, without any other contributions to society? Or do the laws reflect a reality in which the numbers of unwanted pets has fallen off dramatically? It's hard to say. I certainly couldn't put it past a peta-tic to prefer killing a dog or cat to doing anything else with it.

What about the vast colonies of feral cats we still hear about? Are none of the 100 million available for research?

The shortage could simply be a sign of the times, Class B dealers (those licensed by the USDA to sell animals they have not bred themselves)are rarities in this day and age when every breeder is a "puppymill" and pet stores are routinely harassed. Unfortunately, governments have gotten in on the act too, siding against individual freedom in favor of the latest political screamers, putting additional squeeze on animal research.

If it were societal pressures alone prompting a shortage, I would say so be it. Some of that animal research isn't worth the excrement the research dogs leave behind.

Still, one wonders. Government forces and screamers combined, is this the beginning of the end?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dog, It's what's for dinner.

This could turn into the most entertaining conflict of the decade. After years of spewing hate on those cultures that eat dogs, animal rights activists, who were often the first to jump on the green bandwagon, are suddenly coming face to face with their conflicting emotions.

Bluntly put by a New Zealand writer:

The eco-pawprint of a pet dog is twice that of a 4.6-litre Land Cruiser driven 10,000 kilometres a year, researchers have found.

For some time now, we have waited (but breathing comfortably) to see which of the environmentalists would be the first to stop talking about population reduction and start practicing it. Perhaps now, the possibility of a slightly less harsh radical approach to planet salvation will appease the conscience of many.

We shall see, eh? Who among them will love the planet more than Fido?

How do you get out of the conundrum that your useless pet is a bigger Gaia rapist than a Land Cruiser? The moral dilemma must be tearing them apart.

Victoria University professors Brenda and Robert Vale, architects who specialise in sustainable living, say pet owners should swap cats and dogs for creatures they can eat, such as chickens or rabbits, in their provocative new book Time to Eat the Dog: The real guide to sustainable living....

Professor Vale says the title of the book is meant to shock, but the couple, who do not have a cat or dog, believe the reintroduction of non-carnivorous pets into urban areas would help slow down global warming.

"The title of the book is a little bit of a shock tactic, I think, but though we are not advocating eating anyone's pet cat or dog there is certainly some truth in the fact that if we have edible pets like chickens for their eggs and meat, and rabbits and pigs, we will be compensating for the impact of other things on our environment."

Just a shock tactic, eh? More like a moral beat down between the holy factions of the religion of global warming.

NEWSFLASH - People don't eat their "pet" chickens.

Still, perhaps they will learn a little tolerance for cultures that have used dogs sustainably for millenia?

Any bets?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

How to make a dog insulin resistant

Overfeeding kibble is a good place to start.

Blog Hyperlipid recently reported on a study done with dogs in an attempt to prove that saturated fat causes insulin resistance.

The goal of the study seemed noble enough:

the development of peripheral and hepatic insulin resistance relative to one another in the context of obesity-associated insulin resistance is not well understood. To examine this phenomena, we used the moderate fat-fed dog model, which has been shown to develop both subcutaneous and visceral adiposity and severe insulin resistance.

and the authors concluded:

Our results indicate that a diet enriched with a moderate amount of fat results in the development of both subcutaneous and visceral adiposity, hyperinsulinemia, and a modest degree of peripheral insulin resistance.

How did they achieve these results? To quote Peter (of Hyperlipid)

Cr@p in a bag: Total calories 3,885kcal/d

For "less cr@p in a bag but plus 2g/kg bacon grease": more like 3,945kcal/d

This is for a 27kg dog sitting in a cage.

Go on, read that again; 3,945kcal/d. I'm not joking.

The real trick of course, is to blame the subsequent insulin resistance on saturated fat.

Peter writes:

So this is another study where the introduction and discussion are utterly divorced from the methods and the results (and from reality). It's worth just flicking through the methods and, in your mind's eye, look at how much money was used on these dogs. A clinical MRI was around about £1000 a shot in the UK Home Counties in 2009.

This study was funded in the US of course, guess we all look forward to such sterling research with our tarp funds.

Where's PETA when you need them?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Art imitating life...

This Onion story is almost to scary realistic to be funny. Enjoy it anyway :-)

Dog Humiliated In Front Of Entire Park
AUGUST 24, 2009 | ISSUE 45•35

CONCORD, NH—Banjo, a local border collie mix and loyal human companion, was utterly humiliated Tuesday, when his owner, 34-year-old Michael Ingram, loudly scolded the dog right in the middle of Cold Brook Park.

. . .

"I just find the whole thing really awkward," said Douglas Lax, who takes his 6-year-old yorkshire terrier every morning to play in the park. "Sometimes Michael and I will be talking about baseball or whatnot, and out of nowhere he'll make some weird joke about Banjo 'being lazy' or 'shedding his hair all over the couch.'"

. . .

"I used to go over to their place all the time for dinner, but I always felt so uncomfortable," said acquaintance Janet Schrump. "All those comments Michael would make about how 'we'd better keep our food away from Banjo' were rude enough, but when he decided to lock the poor thing inside the bathroom one night, I just couldn't take it anymore."

"Honestly, if my husband ever did that to me, I'm not sure what I'd do," Schrump added. "Probably shit in his bed."

Read the whole story here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Get Happy?

Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) is a nauseatingly titled bill making its way through the halls of CONgress. Is that how they're burning through our money, making aides come up with cute names (and sappy acronyms) they can all sign on and say "hey! look how much we love pets!"

According to, "H.R. 3501 would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a deduction for pet care expenses."

Evidently the text of the bill has not been released yet, so the details are completely unknown. At face value, I tend to support anything that puts limits on how much of my money they steal. But a bill like this could easily turn into something that expands the pet health insurance industry, or uses the "companion animal" language and further undermines our property rights with pets. The more I think of it, the less optimistic I am. I mean, what is the motivation for a bill like this? The government desperately needs all the tax money it can get. Sure, there are a lot of pet owners, but they spend a lot of money on pet health care, and the tax loss could be significant. Would it really buy that much favoritism with the pet owner voting blocs? Somehow I don't think so. So what's the motivation? Any good ideas?

Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

4 Day Old Infant Survives, Barely.

"A father was frantically calling 911 to report his missing newborn when he spotted the baby, bleeding from the mouth and clutched in the mouth of a family dog who had carried him from his crib to the heavily wooded backyard."

Another baby, another family dog. This infant, luckily, has survived (so far).

"Smith said he and his wife, Chrissie, had just put Alexander James (or A.J.) in his crib Monday afternoon in their Nicholasville, Ky., home and were preparing for a baby shower. When Chrissie returned to the bedroom minutes later, one of the doors was ajar and both the baby and their Native American Indian dog — a breed that looks similar to a husky — were gone."

Apparently the Native American Indian dog is a mixed breed of sorts, with some wolf in the lineages.

According to this video, the baby was born 3 weeks early. But the video also says that "according to experts" the main reason dogs turn on babies is out of fear.

Yeah right. That old fear excuse. It's way overused, in my opinion. One of Ms. X's furry companions is afraid of balloons. Well, that's anthropomorphic. Let me put it this way. One of Ms. X's furry companions refuses to be in visual range of a ballon. When she (the furry companion, not Ms. X) sees a balloon, drifting gently overhead, she arises and exits the room and or the house, as needed. Even if dinner is on the floor.

That's what I call fear. If she grabbed the balloon and dragged it into the woods for an afternoon nibble, I would not call that fear. But what do I know? I'm just a dog owner.

Ray Coppinger, noted biologist and author, is quoted in the Seattle article -

The Smiths made a "classic mistake, out of ignorance, and now they're suffering badly for it," he said. Dogs like Dakota don't recognize infants as people, Coppinger said. "It's no more of an act of violence on the dog's part," he said, "than you eating a steak."

Ms. X sides with him.

In the end it doesn't matter what the dogs motivation is. In true behaviorism perspective, all that matters is what the behaviors actually are. And that is what only parents can prevent.

Here's some more idle conversation about the Native American Indian dogs, including discussion of the Michigan breeder that bred this one.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Soft on cruelty?

Ok, I've tried 3 times to come up with a way to start this post off, but nothing I've come up with has adequately expressed the dismay at this story in the Daily Mail.

If it's true, and I realize that is an "if" (but then just about any story posing as "journalism" these days must be prefaced with an "if"), it is a terrible lesson that people here will learn, but likely not learn from.

Several years ago in my days of beating my head against brick walls in "discussion" forums, I encountered the fuzzy logic that held private property rights to be a "slippery slope" to a society where Animal Planets' Puppy Bowl ratings would skyrocket with the addition of a Burmese Python to the fun.

In vain did I plead that turning property rights over to the government would result in humans being thrown to the pythons.

Now, some dog breeders in Britain are pleading my case.

The story is not easy to read, especially if you have kids (yes, I know sensationalism in writing is a hallmark of the Daily Mail). The facts as presented are this - a dog breeder is raided, protests the raid, takes every step they can think of to fight back, including taping interview with the authorities, only to have their own daughter seized by the government. That was two years ago. They still have not gotten their daughter back, DESPITE having no charges filed against them.

They were just a normal, happy family, it seems, until the RSPCA, backed up by 18 police officers, arrived at their house early one April morning in 2007, following a tip-off that dogs were being mistreated, and that there might be guns in the house.
No guns were ever found. No criminal charges were brought, nor does Richard have a criminal record.

And here is what makes this case so unbelievable, yet so portent.

He was later, however, convicted of docking the tails of his puppies.

Support Your Local Puppymill.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Nutritional Heresy

Tonight, I watched that great documentary "Fathead", by Tom Naughton. In the back, in the extended interviews section, Dr. Al Sears talks about the relationship of grains to heart disease, and he tells a great story.

It seems back in the 60's, they were trying to prove that fat caused heart disease. So they fed dogs just tons of saturated fat, but none of the dogs got heart disease! So the researchers concluded that dogs just could not get heart disease, so they abandoned their study of dogs, and turned to rabbits.

Well, guess what happened. They fed rabbits saturated fat (not a nutrient you commonly get from grass) and those rabbits developed heart disease in a matter of weeks.

"Eureka!" The researchers cried. And they concluded that saturated fat caused heart disease in mammals (humans, rabbits etc.) Except dogs. Dogs just didn't get heart disease.

Dogs, just don't get heart disease. Right.

Heart disease is a huge medical industry for dogs these days. Weight loss is a huge problem too. What's the connection? Same one humans suffer from, Carbohydrates.

And rabbits are a great model for human cholesterol and saturated fat processing, right? Rabbits are notorious for having bodies low in saturated fat. And their natural diets are, of course, fat free. They are strict herbivores. They even have a disease named after them, Rabbit Starvation. It's what happens when you eat a high protein low fat diet. In short, you get sick and die.

I'm quite sure any of my readers are smart enough to figure out that perhaps, rabbits were an inaccurate human model when it comes to dietary fats.

Speaking of fat dogs, our second topic for nutritional heresy: Spaying Makes Your Dog Fat.

Gary Taubes (of Good Calorie, Bad Calorie and "What if it's all been a big fat lie" fame) explains this phenomenon at this lecture (beginning about 38:00, but you should watch the whole thing).

Removing the estrogen makes the animal accumulate fat in its fat tissues. Because the fat is going into the tissues, there is an energy deficit elsewhere in the body so the dog has to eat more. If it can't eat more (and many owners try to reduce food intake after spaying) then the metabolism and energy expenditure will just slow down.

In short, you feed your dog a certain quantity, lets say 1 cup of food per day, and the dog maintains a normal weight. Then you spay the dog. After the surgery you continue to feed your dog one cup of food per day, but now your dog will get fat.

In short, your dog isn't getting fat after spaying because it is overeating. It gets fat after spaying because you made it get fat.

Pet owners are lied to about this one on a regular basis. Ms. X has a mission to shine the truthlight on false teachings, and the myth that spaying (or neutering) won't make your dog fat is just that. A myth.

Website after website blames the owner when a dog that has been fixed gets fat. I'm willing to blame owners for lots of things, like not training their dog and then turning it into a shelter because it misbehaves.

But I like to assume that pet owners are intelligent and responsible, and can handle the truth about spaying and neutering. I like to enable them to make the best decisions for them and their pets.

The truth is the best medicine.

Friday, July 3, 2009

More Than You Knew

about fluoride, that is.

It seems there is a degree of concern about the level of fluoride in dog food.

We already know that our furry friends (unless they sate their thirst with Perrier)are exposed to fluoride in their drinking water, as are we all, and there is reasonable question as to it's influence on the incidences of osteosarcoma, especially in dogs neutered while they are still growing.

Now, it seems that even Beverly Hills puppies can't escape fluoride by just hitting the bottle.

Together with drinking water from the tap that has been fluoridated, some puppies may be exposed at five-times the safe limit, according to Environmental Working Group -- though it must be said that the safe limits were not designed specifically for dogs
Read more.

EWG recommends choosing dog food brands free of bone meal and meat by product ingredients like chicken by-product meal, poultry by-product meal, chicken meal and beef meal.
Read more:

I don't entirely agree with the schools of thought that shun "by-products" and "meal", offal and bones are quite valuable food sources for dogs. When my dog gets ahold of a living food source, the only thing she leaves is the ears. Maybe she'd even eat them, if I let them ripen for a couple days. The offal went first, and the bones weren't far behind.

However if you are raising puppies, nothing, nothing beats a raw diet. If you have a large breed, and you plan to neuter early, you might want to filter the fluoride out of the water too.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tied Up in Nots

Thou shalt, let's's Tuesday, so...thou shalt not ... tether thy dog.

The petatics are once again attacking dog owners and dog sporters (I know, I know, they do it every day) this time in Charleston West Virginia. According to a news report, a city councilwoman attempted to "show solidarity with dogs" by leashing herself to something stable for a lengthy period of time.

After which she and fellow activists shared a water dish and pooped on the lawn. One of the petatics was even said to have peed on the back of the councilwoman. Okay, so maybe that happened later in the evening...

Back to the present, this councilwoman claims that tethering is a form of abuse. Maybe she saw the photos of prisoner treatment in Abu Ghraib and did some quick inductive reasoning?

That's how we all reason about pets, isn't it?

We see pictures of a horrible *real puppymill* breeding facility, that happens to have over 20 dogs, and we assume all breeding facilities with over 20 dogs are bad.

We hear a few stories about pit bulls with bad owners that attack kids, and we try to ban all pitbulls.

One kid crawls out a doggy door and drowns in a swimming pool, and suddenly doggie doors are a silent, deadly menace.

The truth about tethering is like the truth about anything else. It can be done well, or it can be done badly.

A lot of people successfully use underground fences.
A lot of people use dog crates.
A lot of people go to dog parks.
A lot of people feed their dogs cheap kibble.
A lot of people train their dogs in schutzhund.
A lot of people breed dogs.
A lot of people with kids own dogs.

All "thou shalt nots" to somebody.

Working Pit Bull site has an excellent write up on tethering.

Diane Jessup writes:

"Sadly, anti-dog forces, such as PETA, support anti-tethering laws as another step (along with breed specific legislation) in severing the ages old man/dog bond. They know that most serious working breeds such as racing huskies, hunting dogs and bulldogs are often tethered."

She is spot on the money.

I don't want to spend this post walking through the pros and cons of tethering, Ms. Jessup has already done a great job, including describing an ideal tethering setup.

I will point out that there are only two ways we can have things.

1) Don't restrain the freedom of individuals. Keep the cruelty laws, every state has had cruelty laws in place for a long time.

Or, 2) Prohibit everything that someone thinks is wrong. Tom Naughton presented a good plan for this category. If you choose this option, I'm with Tom.

Hang loose.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Keep pups skinny

Several years ago I read a statement to the effect that you don't accumulate fat cells as an adult, you just enlarge the ones you have. It was a statement in commentary on a website, with no supporting evidence.

It was one of those comments in passing, that rolls around in the brain as having superficial merit, and so you wait, until the evidence catches up with it, or doesn't.

In this case, the evidence did.

From the magazine "Nature":

The factors determining fat mass in adult humans are not fully understood, but increased lipid storage in already developed fat cells (adipocytes) is thought to be most important4, 5. Here we show that adipocyte number is a major determinant for the fat mass in adults. However, the number of fat cells stays constant in adulthood in lean and obese individuals, even after marked weight loss, indicating that the number of adipocytes is set during childhood and adolescence.

People find roly poly puppies irresistible. Cute little round fur balls are often proclaimed 'what a healthy looking pup'!

(Same goes for children too.)

But the life time of problems (Hip Dysplasia, anyone?) that obesity brings with it, are anything but healthy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Supply and Demand

Mob rushes animal shelter for Yorkies

A mob of nearly 100 people gathered at the Hillsborough County Animal Services building for a chance to adopt one of 23 rescued Yorkshire Terrier puppies.

The doors opened just before 9 a.m. Thursday and all the dogs were gone by 10:15 a.m. Some people had actually spent the night in front of the building to make sure they got a dog.

With demand like this, any takers on whether SUPPLY will be increased?

Here's the story about the raids.

The raiders are trying to file animal cruelty charges, and the dogs were adopted a mere week after the raids were conducted.

No time for due process! People want their Yorkies NOW!

A website called "Yorkie Talk" has a thread on the raids. According to poster "sarahheartmaddy", one 14 year old Yorkie with no teeth and mammary tumors was going to be the most expensive to rehabilitate. A 14 year old Yorkie without teeth. Surely a puppymill. A 14 year old dog with mammary tumors. Only at the worst of breeding facilities.

We need to make sure that she is not PTS~which is a real possibility if her vet care will be too high.

With demand like that, is there any doubt the criteria for raids will be loosened?

The breeder was an 83 year old woman, who's health gave out. No matter! She is still the devil incarnate. These people can't fathom why living conditions deteriorated for these dogs. They can't fathom that maybe the old woman didn't give them up because...she loved them.

Maybe that love blinded her to her inability to care for the dogs. It happens. It's pathetic. It's not the devil.

Many of those posters wanted to line up to increase their own Yorkie population (wonder how many are all ready violating their local pet ordinance numbers). Hopefully they will never get old.

From the Tampa Tribune:

Delaine Bacon of Seminole Heights was first in line.

Since 1990, Bacon has had eight Yorkshire terriers, most of which came from a breeder who was raided last week, she said. "I wanted another Yorkie from that breeder and I figured this was my only chance."

She said the breeder, who has not been charged, ran a clean operation, but as she grew older, it became harder to care for the animals.

"She's a great person," Bacon said. "But she is elderly and I guess it became more challenging."

Government won't have any problems increasing demand (for a while). Where Governments' always fail is customer loyalty.

Quality, you see, is a function of a free market. But in this regulated society, we don't help people. We report them. And for government, it's a win-win.

Melamine Convictions

A company and its owners have agreed to plead guilty in connection with melamine-tainted pet food that may have killed thousands of dogs and cats in 2007, according to a court document.

This is the story from the Associated Press.

The Millers and ChemNutra, along with two Chinese companies, were indicted in February 2008 on charges alleging they imported wheat gluten tainted with the chemical melamine, which was then sold to pet food makers. Thousands of cats and dogs reportedly sickened or died after eating the tainted food.

ChemNutra, which imports ingredients from China to the U.S. for the feed and food industries, and the Millers were charged with 13 misdemeanor counts of introduction of adulterated food into interstate commerce, 13 misdemeanor counts of introduction of misbranded food into interstate commerce and one felony count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Misdemeanors? How animals died again? Will this company continue to do business in the 'feed and food industries'?

Gee. Fail to get a test done or administer a vaccine and you could lose your ability to own animals for life.

Poison thousands, and what, a slap on the wrist?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Watch the German Shephard Change.

I found this list of winners, with photos, of the German Shepherd Bundessiegers since 1899.

This is 1899.

This is 2007.

Look at the progression in between. I wish someone would animate it. The modern version are practically crawling on their knees.

Maybe they're begging for help?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

More finger pointing at fluoride.

I shared the link between fluoride and osteosarcomas a couple years ago.

New research has shown a greater level of fluoride in patients with osteosarcomas.

The latest cancer study indicates blood fluoride levels were significantly higher in patients with osteosarcoma than in control groups, according to research published in Biological Trace Element Research (April 2009).

Osteosarcoma occurs mostly in children and young adults. According to the study, status of fluoride levels in the serum of osteosarcoma is still not clear. Other reports have also indicated that there is a link between fluoride exposure and osteosarcoma.

“The more studies that we have which talk about osteosarcoma with fluoride, the more the scientific community will take notice and eventually blind politicians will do the same,” said Paul Beeber, president of the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation.

The government is still supporting the forced fluoridation of its citizens.

"government officials cite scientific studies that prove fewer cavities and no serious risk."

But the barricades are weakening.

A 2007 recommendation from the American Dental Association urged parents not to use fluoridated tap water to mix infant formula. Researchers say the amount of fluoride in safe tap water is still too much for an infant when ingested as the primary source of nutrition.

The establishment will admit that too much fluoride will cause pitting in the teeth (fluorosis). But so far, that is all. Damaging effects to bones, cancer, Alzheimers and mental health problems are rarely mentioned.

Maybe, just maybe, the osteosarcoma relation can push aside the shroud that conceals the danger of fluoride.

Some more links on fluoride.

Gov V. Pets...Lock Up Your Dachshunds.

First Chihuahua's, now Miniature Dachshunds. These little guys max out at 11 pounds.

Eleven Pounds.

No wonder cops need tanks these days.

Police chief defends dachshund shooting

A Virginia police chief said an officer followed regulations when he shot and killed a miniature dachshund that growled and ran at him.

Broadfoot said in a release that the officer was returning to his car when "he was surprised by a growling dog running through the yard directly at him from the rear, leaving him with just seconds to consider his options."

The police chief said the dog lunged at the officer.

At some point, the citizens of this town are going to start asking, "Wouldn't it be cheaper to buy the cops some pairs of boots?"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I can fly! I can fly!

Well, if I were a dog, maybe :-D

Now where would you rather spend your weekend? At the show above?

Or here?

Now pretend you're the dog. Where do you want to be?


Gov v. Pets. Chihuahua Loses.

Ohio, a great place to be from.

Scott and Sharon Bullock gave the Chihuahua mix to their son for his birthday a few years ago.

When they returned home last Friday they found blood, three bullets and a note to call the Blue Ash Police Department about their dog.

Apparently the dog got out of their backyard and the two officers couldn't catch him.

Cops say they had him cornered on the front porch but when they reached out to pick him up, the dog bit one of the officers.

That's when they shot it three times.

3 bullets on a 5 pound dog? I'm surprised there were enough scraps to stick a note too.

As The Nanny State asked, "Police state? What Police State?"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Irradiation Dangers

A recent story in the Sydney Morning Herald announced that Australia had banned cat food irradiation.

The Agriculture Minister, Tony Burke, has ordered the controversial sterilisation process, which has been in place for more than a decade, to cease immediately, following compelling overseas evidence that some cats can suffer fatal neurological damage after eating irradiated dry food.

Dogs do not appear to be affected by similarly treated food.

About 90 cats fell ill last year and 30 died before a Sydney vet, Georgina Child, made the link in November between the mystery illness and a brand of Canadian gourmet pet food called Orijen.

So what's happening? Why is irradiation killing animals?

For more information I dug up a Consumer Release from Champion Petfoods on the problem.

They say the problem is Vitamin A defeciency. Irradiation, it turns out, destroys Vitamin A.

This affects cats more than dogs because cats, being obligate carnivores, can't synthesize their own Vitamin A but must get it in the already already synthesized version such as is found in animal livers. Interestingly, cats are also quite resistant to Vitamin A toxicity.

Champion Petfoods also lays blame to the creation of free radicals.

When irradiation is applied to food, the molecular structure of long chain fatty acids (DHA, EPA) is altered. This causes the formation of free radicals that are then released into the body.
ORIJEN CAT foods contain very high levels of EPA and DHA unsaturated fatty acids and therefore have a much greater potential for free radical formation (in response to irradiation) than do conventional dry cat foods.

The cats are dying from consuming irradiated foods. What does that mean for the rest of us?

Fat is one of our most important food groups (except trans of course). Meat, a source of saturated and unsaturated fats, is a primary target of irradiation. In addition to vitamin A, some studies have shown B, C, E and Niacin are all depleted by irradiation as well.

Once again, the cat has been our canary. People have been up in arms about irradiation for a long time. Now that we have casualties, let's pay some closer attention to the criers.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Defending the Undefendable: Michael Vick, Dog Killer

(this article is rebroadcast from

Defending the Undefendable: Michael Vick, Dog Killer

by Todd Steinberg

I have been studying libertarian theory for the better part of two years now, and last year I read Walter Block's Defending the Undefendable with much alacrity. Afterwards, I wondered if there were any "lost chapters" that he could have written, especially now that over 30 years have passed since it was first published. Inspired by recent events, I have taken an opportunity to write about someone who clearly needs to be defended.

Two years ago, when professional football player Michael Vick was arrested for financing and organizing dog fights in his backyard, he didn't have a single friend. When a person leaves a dog in his car without rolling down the windows, we look upon the owner as an irresponsible felon, so you can imagine the outrage when people learned that Michael Vick had trained dogs and put them in harm's way for the sake of sport.

Now that Michael Vick is out of prison, perhaps we can have a conversation as to why he was arrested in the first place. I take the position that animals are private property and that as long as Michael Vick peaceably acquired the dogs, it's nobody's right to tell him what he can and cannot do with his possessions.

Though some may find dogfighting to be barbaric and uncivilized, that is no reason why the practice should be outlawed. Currently, there are thousands of businesses whose purpose is to raise animals, slaughter them, cut them into manageable pieces, package them, and ship them worldwide. There are advertising and marketing operations that aim to increase our consumption of animals. Television networks regularly feature people who demonstrate their ability to cook animals in novel ways so that we do not grow bored of their taste. These people learn their techniques from schools built for this purpose and some of the graduates write books about the art of cooking and eating of animals.

So if one believes that fighting animals is barbaric, then certainly eating them is just as barbaric if not worse. Some people believe it's inhumane to use animals for any purpose, whether it be for food, clothing, shelter, milking, sport, burden, service, companionship, exhibition, or experimentation. If we were to take the position that animals have equal rights, then no human has more rights than any other animal. We couldn't make any distinction between an elephant and a nematode for if we did, we'd quickly revert to a system where humans are more equal than cows, and cows are more equal than chickens. For a system of animal rights to work, humans could only do what they wanted to do so long as they weren't infringing on the rights on any other animal.

If an absolute system of animal rights were adopted, then we'd have no choice but for all of us to go vegan. However, even if we all unanimously decided to refrain from consuming meat and dairy, it wouldn't be enough to save us from having to violate the rights of animals on a regular basis. If we were to dig up a parcel of land to plant crops, we are disrupting the ecosystem of whatever animals reside there. Even if we were to forgo cultivation and revert to the gathering of nuts and berries, we are again encroaching on the private property of animals such as bears and squirrels who acquired homesteading rights to the nut trees and berry bushes long before humans arrived there.

Though we may personally feel it's immoral to eat animals or milk them, keep them as pets or beasts of burden, it's equally immoral to throw someone in a cage and take their property for not adequately following someone else's arbitrary rules on the proper treatment of animals. Declaring animals as private property is the only moral and consistent way to deal with the topic of animal cruelty. It is your right to do what you will with the animals you own just as it's your neighbor's right to tell you how much better your life would be if you'd minimize your animal consumption.

Greater than the cruelty of animals is the cruelty of hypocrisy. The day Michael Vick was charged with the crime of endangering animals, how many of the arresting FBI agents had bacon with their breakfast?
June 3, 2009

Todd Steinberg [send him mail] works with his family at a wholesale teddy bear company in Dallas. In his spare time he is furiously working on his cartoon, "Don’t Tell My Wife I’m a Cult Leader," which he plans to unleash on the Internet and beyond in 2009.

Copyright © 2009 by Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gary Taubes on . . . feeding dogs?

I've posted about "low-carb" for dogs before, but never from a weight-lifters site.

Josef Brandenburg at has a great interview with physicist Gary Taubes.

All right. I know what you're thinking. A bodybuilder interviewing a physicist? What kind of alter-dimension is this? Just proves low carbing affects the brain, right?

It can all be explained.

Testosterone Muscle: You started out writing on stuff like rocket science. How did you first get interested in obesity and public health?

Gary Taubes: Well, after I finished my first book, Bad Science, on the cold fusion nonsense in Utah, some of my physicist friends said to me, "If you like writing about bad science, you should check out public health. You'll have a field day."

So I started writing about public health, and it turns out the science was pretty universally terrible. I did a story for Science magazine, in which I spent a year on the controversy over whether dietary salt causes high blood pressure. One of the worst scientists I ever interviewed — and I had interviewed some really terrible scientists in my life — took credit for getting Americans not only to eat less salt, but also to eat less fat and less eggs.

I literally put the phone down when I was done with the interview, called up my editor, and said one of the five worst scientists I've ever interviewed took credit for getting Americans to eat less fat and less eggs. I don't know what the story is with fat and eggs, but if this guy was involved in any substantive way, then there's a good story.

Sometimes it is just that easy to sniff out the rats in the woodshed. Scientific training can help refine the ol' sniffer, but scientific training alone does make a person smart. All those bad scientists Mr. Taubes interviewed are ample proof of that. There remains an element science has yet to discover that separates intelligence from idiocy.

Ms. X calls it "Truthlightium".

These days Mr. Taubes is best known for authoring the watershed article "What If It's All Been A Big Fat Lie?" in the New York Times.

In that article he questioned the "knowledge" we all had that low-fat was good and fat, especially animal fat, was bad.

When I was a young girl, I had a whole set of craft dolls bought with coupons from the back of Blue Bonnet Margarine boxes. Crisco was normal shortening. That's how deeply my family believed the evil-fat hypothesis. I was a teenager before I tasted real butter.

Our family dog ate vegetarian dog food. (THAT, is a whole 'nother post.)

After the NYT article came a book, "Good Calories, Bad Calories". GCBC made the link between carbohydrates and heart disease and a whole host of other health problems.

TM: Let's get to the most controversial point: You say that eating extra calories won't make people fat.

GT: The assumption that fat tissue isn't regulated at all is almost naive beyond belief.

[GT] If you look at animals, all animals regulate their fat tissue very carefully. You can't just force animals to overeat and make them fat.

TM: Really?

GT: They won't do it. The only animals that will get fat by dietary means are very carefully bred rats in laboratories, and house pets that don't eat the foods they evolved to eat.

If you've ever looked at cat food, it's packed with carbohydrates. And yet cats are carnivores in the wild. Felines don't eat carbohydrates. They eat meat. That's what they do. And yet we take then into our homes, we feed them carbohydrates, and lo and behold, they get fat.

Ditto dogs.

Combine the carbs with inbreeding and viola! Disaster.

Several years ago someone wrote that cats were first domesticated because they were so good at protecting the grain stores from the rodents that consumed them. The cats were good because they ate the rodents. They didn't eat the grain.

How far we've come.

humorous pictures
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Friday, May 15, 2009

Can you afford your doggie door?

Evidently litigious lawyers are falling on hard times, like everyone else. Maybe gas it too expensive to actually chase ambulances these days, so they are reduced to scouring coroner reports and obituaries.

And what are they finding?

People are stupid, and accidents happen. Either, or, both.

Children's Deaths Tied to Pet Doors
Unknown Danger for Curious Tots Able to Squeeze Through Tiny Openings

The headline says enough, huh? "Unknown Danger". NEWS FLASH! Children can go through openings a normal size adult can't fit through!

But it's not merely going through the doggy door that kills the child. It's the swimming pool in the backyard, maybe the cars on the road, or the five gallon bucket sitting on the patio.

More than a hundred children have died or been seriously injured in the last decade after squeezing through tiny pet doors and getting into swimming pools or other dangerous places, new research has found.

Let me make sure I understand. There is an DOOR OPEN to the backyard. You have a swimming pool filled with water, and inadequately secured (fence, alarm system, cover etc....).

The child EXITS said door, and DROWNS (tragically) in the pool.

Who's fault is that?

Oh, sorry, the door was small. My bad.

"Parents don't appreciate that their children, even if they're bigger, can get through," said Dylan's father, Hank Didier, a Florida lawyer suing a pet door manufacturer for the family of two-year old Matthew Ranfone.

Matthew's mother Carol, of Spring Hill, Florida, found her son floating in the backyard swimming pool after he managed to get through a small pet door in the family home.

"I remember when the accident occurred," she recalled, "and thinking to myself, 'How in the world did he ever fit out of that door?'"

The PetSafe door in the Ranfone home contained no warning to parents of the possible danger on its package or product instructions.

She was outraged to learn that many children had died under similar circumstances before her son.

"It was just unbelievable to me that all of these accidents happened as a result of doggie doors and how come I wasn't informed," she told ABC News.

Sometimes kids don't even try to go through the pet door. Sometimes they just open the door and walk right out.

It's a hellacious thing. It is very distressing to have to write about this.

But we must keep perspective. The external doors to my house did not come with warnings about small children learning how to unlock them and exit before I suspect they might figure it out.

The road in front of my house does not have a sign warning that small children unrestrained in the front yard might run quickly to the middle of the road.

At the request of trial lawyers, Sean Kane, of Safety Research and Strategies, combed through hundreds of coroner's reports and media accounts.

"It's a very laborious task to get through the documents and the data and the connections to find these incidents," said Kane. "But I think at the end of this we're going to find hundreds of incidents."

Kane compared the issue with pet doors to the discovery of the pattern of children hurting themselves in cribs.

It is NOT THE SAME AS CRIB INJURIES at all. The article did not mention any incidents of children being guillotined by the pet door, or getting stuck in it and starving to death, or some other form of death by pet door.

In fact, Ms. Ranfone's website tells this story -

It was a typical late afternoon and the house was buzzing with three adults and two children when Matthew found the doggie door behind the couch. He crawled through it and made his way onto an enclosed patio area and then through a pool fence.

"Through a pool fence". Yet it is 'through the doggie door' that is blamed for the accident.

Maybe this is why:

"I just want parents to understand the danger associated with the doggy doors. I never ever considered that a child would ever go near the door," Ranfone said. "It was inconceivable to me."

"Through the fence" must be self-evident.

Now I am not opposed to slapping a warning sticker on a doggy door saying "Not for use by children" or something like that, IF a manufacturer feels so inclined. But it is not necessary. Logically, where are you going to draw the lines? At what size of doggy door is the danger self-evident? And if the Great Dane's doggy door requires a sticker, then should not the human door?

Or perhaps the doggy doors should be redesigned, but at what price to the consumer? And why should pet owners pay this price, and not the pool-fence purchasers?

This story was came to my attention via, where the commentators had already sussed out the *shocking* fact that Ms. Rafone's "advocacy" website was in fact registered to her lawyer, and the design was eerily similar to his site.

The "advocacy" website was launched just earlier this week, according to the local Fox News report, just in time for the Good Morning America show.

The accident, btw, happened in 2006.

More on Radio Systems Corporation's CEO

More on Hank Didier and here

More from the Safety Research Group

Sunday, April 26, 2009

1 year old killed by family dog

Not very many details about this case, police say it will take "days" to piece all the details together.

Police probe death of child by family's pit bull

The boy was attacked by the dog shortly before 3 p.m. Wednesday. The father, whose name was being withheld, shot the dog to death with a handgun.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Support Your Local Puppymill

The 70's were a disaster for pets. Overpopulation was a serious problem. The top barbie breeders ran high volume commercial kennels, and neutering was almost unheard of.

But the 70's were (to Ms. X's constant surprise) 3 decades ago and counting. And the pet overpopulation problem of the 70's is relatively non-existent today. Neutering is very common, and the top barbie breeders despise commercial kennels.

Things have improved GREATLY. This despite an increase in human population, that one would naturally think would correspondingly increase the unwanted pet population. And it was all done without a lot of horribly restrictive legislation and regulation.

Why then, are we today attempting to cure the cure by destroying freedom?

We can compare it to current mainstream economic thinking. Economically, we are facing a problem of past catastrophic proportions. In the 'Great Depression', we attempted solutions that failed utterly. Today, we are attempting the same solutions, only much more strongly.

In one case, we did nothing (no governmental control), and things got better. In the other case, we enacted a lot of governmental control, and things got worse. At first glance you might think there is no correlation between the two problems, and solutions then and now.

But there is. It is this.

The correlation is control. One group wants to control a larger group, so they do it by government-proxy. When a person can't morally, or legally, force their neighbor to bend to their will, they do the next best thing and troll up an emotional frenzy in a few people to get their government to do the dirty work of forcing their neighbor to bend to their will.

Control by government proxy.

Peta-tics wanting to end pet ownership are the animal equivalent of the Trilateral Commission promoting world monetary policy.

Keynesian policies are the popular response to the current economic crisis because of control. They ENCOURAGE, even MANDATE governmental control. And that, ultimately, is what people want.

Peta-tic policies are popular because they too ENCOURAGE and MANDATE government control.

The facts that one will bring economic ruin and commmie style breadlines, and the other the practical end of pet ownership, are so inconceivable to most Americans that they are dismissed out of hand.

I am not certain most Americans would care if they did believe it.

If you think stacks of cages and piles of excrement are distasteful under basic animal cruelty laws, you are badly prepared for the cruelty you will see under black market, profit only breeding systems.

If you thought banning cockfighting and dog fighting would simply end the cruelty and life would continue as normal for everyone who did not force roosters or dogs to fight each other, you might want to pay attention to the ongoing attempts to have the post office censor your mail.

The attempt is an end run around the first amendment, which so far has protected free speech even if it involves things that make you ill. Videos, for example, of bullfights are legal to own and view (for the present) as long the content was not filmed in this country.

But could they get the post office to censor bullfighting magazines and refuse to transport them through the government (tax-payer funded) mail system?

"Hey! I pay taxes, and I don't want my tax money to transport bullfighting magazines." the suddenly fiscally concerned citizen protests.

Most people have no problem destroying the first amendment (or any freedom) if it allows them to control (by proxy) what they don't like.

They will say it is worth it, after all, if more roosters are killed and genetic diversity lost and freedom of speech trampled but *cruelty* is stopped. And should a video of roosters fighting without human provocation land some one in jail?

Collateral damage. Not just the purview of neocon warmongers.

But now, NOW the horrifying cruelty of a dog with matted fur and a wire cage (designed to keep him out of his feces) has spawned an equivocal grasping for control and we stand witness to unprecedented attacks on the gentle pastime of dog breeding.

Bo's breeder has joined the self-destructive brigade, expressing alarm that the painfully small genepool of the Portuguese Water Dog might be expanded at the hands of puppymillers. Perhaps she reasoned, an offensive barb might shield her from the fate of VP Biden's GSD Breeder.

Dog wardens from the state showed up at Brown's Wolf Den kennel, repeatedly, for inspections.

"I was cited for a piece of kibble on the floor and five strands of dog hair. They took a picture of that, they walked around, snapped pictures and don't tell you why," Brown told the newspaper.

She was found "not guilty" for each citation, but hiring a lawyer for the court hearings has cost her $4,000 so far in legal fees.

Brown says she and Biden both received death threats from animal activists.

The Obama Aura might protect Bo's breeder, but daily the rest of us are regaled with attempts at stringent and invasive control over the free dog market.

Ohio "Cracks Down" on puppymills
Washington State "Cracks Down" on puppymills

Ohio wants to mandate "appropriate protection against parasites". Will it allow for holistic approaches?

Ohio also wants to set up a "kennel control authority board" which would include a representative from the AKC. That's right. The "non-profit" dog registry wants CONTROL AUTHORITY over how every dog is bred and raised.

Perhaps they want to make sure every dog will qualify to star in films like this?

It's okay though, says the executive director of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Assocation. "Such legislation is warranted".

"The vast majority of breeders are responsible and they do a wonderful job taking care of their animals, but there are some bad apples," he says.

Just a few bad apples. Would those be real puppymills? Or just breeders that don't like AKC?

Does it really matter? "Puppymillers" (by any definition) are more hated than Micheal Vick.

The reactionary assault will have devastating consequences. Care to wager if it will be years or months before a wonderful little book like "Raising Puppies for Profit and Pleasure" is no longer protected under the First Amendment?

This is in part, a crisis of confidence. Breeders have no confidence in their pet buying public. Who is for real, and who is a peta-tic spy? They are withdrawing into themselves and closing ranks. They are, justifiably, abandoning the practice of welcoming customers to their kennels - the one practice that in wide usage could do more to stamp out substandard breeding facilities than anything. Even large commercial operations under full government oversight are scared of peta-tics and reluctant to welcome outsiders.

So while shelter numbers are at all time lows, and adoption rates are at all time highs (and the 70s are only a bad memory), the fever pitch of the anti-puppymill crusades are guaranteeing we will never truly minimize the real travesties.

Instead, the fear that closes kennels to the public on one side, and the legislation that drives more breeders underground on the other, will fixate the real puppymills as permanent features of society. Regulation and mob-rule by government proxy always serves to de-civilize our world.

So go on. Do something about it. Stand up for the right of your local puppymill to exist.

Be Mencken.

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all. - H.L. Mencken


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Words that have no meaning.

Troll. In the early days of the internet, "troll" meant someone who lurked on a discussion board and intentionally wrote inflammatory rhetoric, for the purpose of stirring the pot and causing conflict and consternation.

And example would be a discussion board devoted to knitting cashmere, and a troll might come along and post (usually just once) that angora was far superior to cashmere, and cashmere devotees where insane.

Now consider a discussion board devoted to the merits of knitting, where in one poster starts a thread titled "I love cashmere, do you?" Someone posting on this thread that angora was superior to cashmere would not necessarily be trolling, even if they used the term "insane".

This is the Age of Obama, and Troll now means anyone who has an idea I don't like. Even if I have invited counter opinions.

The Fox News headline read "Obama's Effort at Online Transparency Stymied by Internet Trolls".

But the article said this:

Obama held an online "town hall" forum on the economy and invited the public to post questions on the White House Web site.

Three and a half million people participated in the event, but the "trolls" had their way: Following a coordinated campaign by marijuana advocates to vote their topic to the top of the list, questions on the future of the U.S. dollar and the rising unemployment rate were superseded by questions about legalizing pot as an economic remedy.

How often does the general public get access to the President to pose questions? Not very often, and probably less since Joe the Plumber did. So how exactly is a question about the economic benefits of legalizing pot a trolling question?

It's not.

Unless you are using the new meaning of "troll", which is someone making a point of argument that someone else does not like.

What does this have to do with dogs?

How about the word "puppymill"?

In it's original meaning, puppymill meant a facility so foul that the owners could not escape animal cruelty charges. A puppymill almost always operated exclusively outside of any regulatory jurisdiction, such as the USDA or state inspections. The animals from a puppymill were by definition in horrendous physical condition, evidencing signs of grave neglect.

Is that what you think of when you think of puppymill? Or do you use it to describe any facility without carpeting where a dog spends part of its time in a crate? Perhaps for you it just might mean a facility (irregardless of condition) that has several breeding dogs, 10 or 20 or 50 or more.

What number you think constitutes a puppymill is most likely a function of your own health, physical fitness, age and imagination. When mom is cold, she assumes everyone is cold. If dad can't see to read his book, he assumes the room is too dark for anyone to see to read. If you don't think there is any way on earth you could manage the care of more than 20 dogs, 20 dogs is probably the number you think a puppymill starts at.

Nowadays, as some have said before, a 'backyard breeder' is anyone who doesn't run a facility the way you think they should, but has less dogs than you. And a puppymiller, in modern terms, is anyone who doesn't run a facility the way you think they should, but has more dogs than you.

These words have no meaning, yet everyday people urge their legislatures to seriously limit freedom based on these words alone.

The Washington State Legislature did it just the other day, as reported in the AP:

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington state Legislature has approved a measure cracking down on dog breeders who operate puppy mills.

Under the bill, dog breeders and owners would be barred from owning more than 50 dogs over six months old that are not neutered or spayed.

The word "puppymill" has become empty but inflammatory rhetoric. The original work of Trolls.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009 the poke?

The half-grown Portuguese Water Dog that inhabits that White House is now old news, and the controversies that surrounded the selection are beginning to die down.

So I'll bring up a new one. While everybody was busy whining about the bad example the Obamas' were setting for the entire country by not "adopting" a "rescue" dog, Ms. X was fretting over the bad example the Obamas' were setting for the country by not performing due diligence in their purchase of the puppy.

The problem of animal shelters is not one of over-population, as the Border Wars dude pointed out recently, it is a problem of home-retention. One of the best ways to tackle the problem of Home-retention is due diligence in the pet purchase process.

The Obamas did not set a good example.

The Obamas accepted a dog from a breeder they had never met.

The only way to end the travesty of substandard breeding is for the pet buyers to personally review the facility their new pet comes from, and approve of it with their money.

Equally important, the pet buyer should be comfortable with the breeder they are dealing with. They are buying a living creature, that they will have to support and sustain for 10 to 15 years. This is best accomplished with a pleasant and trusting relationship with the animals breeder. And such a relationship is best established in person.

The Obamas accepted the dog from a breeder who did not even own both parents.

A pet buyer is well advised to meet both parents of the puppy they want to purchase, and any other extended family members possible. Meeting both parents is one of the critical elements of pet purchase, as far as I am concerned, and a primary mark against purchasing from pet shops. You, the puppy buyer, are buying a personality that must fit with your family. You are not buying a breed description. You are not buying a show ring title. Some breeders do puppy temperament tests, and try to match the puppies in a litter with what they know about the humans who want to buy. That is all well and good, as an additional activity to the pet buyer meeting and liking the personality of both canine parents.

Don't blindly trust the breeder, especially if the breeder does not live with both parents themselves.

The Obamas accepted the puppy as a gift. A puppy is a long term commitment. A gift has all the negatives above (didn't meet the parents, didn't meet the breeder) as well lacking the level of dedication that only comes from the hard work of achieving a goal. As most of us learn when we are children, half the value of anything is the hard work that goes into achieving it. A puppy is no different. Putting the time, and the effort into visiting breeders, meeting dogs, not to mention the actual financial outlay, increases the value of the prize, and increases the level of commitment.

The Obamas bought a dog from a barbie breeder. Neither Mister or Missus Obama had pets growing up and the current Obama children have never had a pet either. So for a pet they pick a traditional hunting breed from a top show kennel. The Obamas don't hunt. Nor are they likely to be spending their weekends on the showring circuit. They should have sought a breeder who specialized in pet dogs. (Yes, sometimes Ms. X asks the impossible, but if you don't have expectations, they'll never be met.)

I want dogs to stay with their owners for life. Getting that relationship right means starting right at the beginning. If we don't have a good example, a well publicized bad example will do just fine.

I give Bo 2 months.

Humor Ripped From Today's Headlines

Director For ASPCA Commercial Demands Sadder Looking Dogs

LOS ANGELES—According to witnesses, commercial director Nathan Foster, 40, is irate over the insufficiently pathetic condition of the dogs being used in the 30-second television spot he is directing for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "These dogs are barely morose, and they need to be fucking pitiful!" Foster was overheard yelling at his casting coordinator during the shoot. "They look like they could start frolicking all over the place any minute! You couldn't get me even one mutt with a missing eye or three legs or something?" At press time, sources said that Foster has ordered production assistants to viciously beat the dogs for several hours so the animals can at least cower convincingly

As the term 'puppymiller' gets looser, and the raids become more frequent, the plights of the 'misery puppies' become less and less traumatic. And the shortage of three legged dogs brings this Onion headline closer and closer to reality.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dogs are more dangerous than Terrorists

In a weird twist of logic, Camp Lejeune has banned pit bulls and other "agressive" dogs from its base housing.

The ban comes after a 3-year-old boy was fatally bitten last May in base housing by a pit bull owned by a family friend from off base who was visiting.

Flateau said the "brutal, violent attack" prompted the change and added that in the past year there have been 12 reported dog attacks on base.

"To the extent possible, we want to prevent unnecessary injuries resulting from dangerous or potentially dangerous animals," Flateau said. "These specific breeds present an unreasonable risk to the health and safety of our residents."

Maybe it's wartime paranoia? A dog can pose an unreasonable risk to the health and safety of the Marines that regularly ship out to Iraq and Afghanistan?

Warfighter body count
Civilian body count
Warfighters wounded

But hey, nothing is more important than the lives of our soldiers.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

7 month old killed in dog attack

In this tragic story from San Antonio, it seems the grandmother left the child alone with the two dogs while she went to warm up his bottle. The article does not say where the child was when left alone with the dogs, whether in a crib, or on the floor.

The dogs are described as 'large breed', one report calling them 'pit bulls'.

The grandmother stabbed the dogs with a kitchen knife in an attempt to get the baby away from them, and in doing so was injured severely enough to require hospitalization.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Is Irradiation Safe?

A new study is being reported about serious side effects in cats that ate a diet of irradiated food.

Irradiated food causes demyelinating neurological disorder in cats

Scientists studying a mysterious neurological affliction in pregnant cats that have been fed irradiated food have discovered a surprising ability of the central nervous system to repair itself and restore function when placed back on a normal diet.

In a study published today (March 30, 2009) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison reports that the restoration in cats of myelin - a fatty insulator of nerve fibers that degrades in a host of human central nervous system disorders, the most common of which is multiple sclerosis - can lead to functional recovery.

“The fundamental point of the study is that it proves unequivocally that extensive remyelination can lead to recovery from a severe neurological disorder,” says Ian Duncan, the UW-Madison neuroscientist who led the research. “It indicates the profound ability of the central nervous system to repair itself.”

The new study arose from a mysterious affliction of pregnant cats. A company testing the effects on growth and development in cats using diets that had been irradiated reported that some cats developed severe neurological dysfunction, including movement disorders, vision loss and paralysis. Taken off the diet, the cats recovered slowly, but eventually all lost functions were restored.

Now the first thing some technophile is going to say is "but we're not cats!"

Of course we're not. But cats are like our canaies. You are what eat I guess (lol). Cats are much more sensitive to chemicals and such than we, or even dogs are. Speaking personally, if it kills my cat, I don't want it anywhere near my kids.

This study comes as no suprise, though, to students of Francis Pottenger. Pottengers' studies with cats has been responsible for converting many a pet owner to a BARF diet for their pets, and taking a long and hard look at their own diet.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Homeowners pets brutally murdered.

They shot the dogs for no reason at all"

Rita Patterson said she was cooking dinner in the kitchen when she heard loud noises at the side door. Hanavan was upstairs taking a nap, and at first she thought he may have fallen out of bed.

Before she knew what was happening, police wearing masks and helmets and carrying automatic weapons had broken through the door. They tied her hands with a zip tie and put her on the floor.

Her father pleaded with police not to shoot the dogs, but they wouldn’t allow him to grab the dogs and put them in another room, Patterson said.

One of the officers started firing a shotgun at the two dogs, one a pit bull and the other a pit bull-boxer mix.

One of the dogs was shot three times: once in the throat, once in the back and the last time in the leg while trying to run away, Rita Patterson said.

The other dog was cowering behind a table. Neither was a threat to the police, the residents said.

Oh wait. They were pitbulls. :-(


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Probiotics for your dog

Dr. Mercola has a great article on pet health to consider:

Dogs, cats and snakes are carnivores, with sharp, interlocking teeth designed to grasp prey.

Cats and snakes are obligate carnivores, which means they must consume a meat diet to maintain health, whereas dogs are scavenging carnivores, who, in addition to a meat based diet, can consume other types of foods without dire consequences.

What Happens if My Pet’s Gut Bacteria Gets Out of Balance?

Immune reactions provoked by an imbalance in intestinal bacteria can seriously compromise your pet’s health.

Inflammatory conditions and several types of arthritis have been linked to abnormal GI responses in both people and pets. Intestinal permeability is increased in a wide range of diseases. When excessive amounts of antigens (small reactive proteins) are absorbed, all sorts of systemic reactions can occur.

An overgrowth of bad intestinal bacteria can contain proteins that your pet’s immune system may mistake for healthy proteins, sparking an abnormal immune response.

This inflammatory cascade can create a number of symptoms and degenerative changes in your pet’s body.

In people, the link between dysbiosis and atopic dermatitis, chronic pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and rheumatoid arthritis has been established.

Can any of these conditions develop in your pet? Yes -- all of them.

Parvo at the 'rescue'.

Selling sick puppies is commonly touted as the MO (modus operandi) of a puppymill. After all, people that actually *cared* about dogs, like a rescue or a responsible breeder, would never sell somebody a sick puppy.

So when you are one of the most prestigious rescues in Chicago, and you sell a sick puppy to Oprah Winfrey, what are you?

Oh, well, in that case, parvo can happen to anyone.

He described PAWS as "lush" and a "closed door boutique shelter," not the kind of place one would automatically link to a contagious canine disease.

But as Rubin said, "this can happen at any shelter, for any reason."

A "boutique shelter"? WTF?

The Spaniel Journal sounded the alarm on Paula Fasseas, founder of PAWS, last year over her involvement in mandatory neuter legislation.

Paula Fasseas, the Founder and Chair of PAWS Chicago, a private and well-funded animal shelter whose policies closely ally it with those of the HSUS, provided much of the venomous breeder-hating language used in this proposed ordinance. In fact, PAWS Chicago�s press release of April 30, 2008, which announced the fine details of the ordinance, predated the City Council�s official release of the ordinance draft to the public by more than two weeks!

NoPitBullBans has a take on the Chicago situation.

As Nathan Winograd in his recently-released book Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America noted,

“Studies show the primary reasons people do not sterilize their pets are cost and lack of access to spay/neuter services…The higher the cost, the lower the rate of compliance….Punitive legislation will only discourage people from caring for homeless pets or drive disadvantaged people “underground,” making them even harder to reach and help.” (112)

So those “underground” who already aren’t licensing their pets will continue to stay underground, and added to their ranks will be those who, for whatever reason, will not comply with a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance.

Taken a step further, the quality of black market goods is a lot lower than the quality of the same goods on a free market. People who won't comply with neuter laws, or breeder registration etc., will continue to breed, not only to get dogs for unlawful activity, but to supply the black pet market that will, WILL, rise. And those people will be in it ONLY for the money, and the quality will be exactly what you expect.

But then, sick puppies can happen to anyone.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

CFLs could irritate dogs

World Net Daily reports:

Pet problems

Online, a number of consumers also complain that their pets react adversely to the new bulbs.

On the U.K. Yahoo! Answers forum, posters complained of dogs barking at the ceiling and growing agitated in rooms that use CFLs.

"When the 'low energy' lamp is on, the dogs are not very happy and will not go to the room by choice," wrote Stellar Meg. "Put the lamp back to a normal light bulb, or switch the low energy one off, the dogs are quite happy."

Florida resident Brian Hetzman told WND of similar problems with his dog.

"My wife and I put a new fluorescent bulb in our ceiling light, and our 10-year-old dog literally jumped up off the floor and starting screaming," Hetzman said. "She was moaning and growling and barking and looking up at the ceiling.

"I figured out what was happening and took the bulb out," he continued. "Then I put it back in a second later to test the theory. Again, she started making noises I've never heard her make and running around in a circle moaning and whimpering."

Popular CFLs use an electronic ballast to send a current through the gas within the bulb, which then excites the bulb's phosphor coating to produce light. The electronic ballast is supposed to be an improvement over the flickering, slow starting magnetic ballasts used in older fluorescent bulbs, but some believe the electronic technology also produces an ultrasonic noise that disturbs animals.

The University of London's David Pye wrote in Physics World Magazine in 2007 that a tunable ultrasound detector found the low energy bulbs emitting acoustic signals audible by dogs and especially cats, but WND was unable to find any other studies confirming Pye's results.

This bears watching. CFLs are beginning to get more negative press (and not just from those of us who were worried about the mercury content from the get-go) because, well, they suck.

Here’s my sad collection of bulbs that didn’t work,” Ms. Zuercher said the other day as she pulled a cardboard box containing defunct bulbs from her laundry shelf.

One of the 16 Feit Electric bulbs the Zuerchers bought at Costco did not work at all, they said, and three others died within hours. The bulbs were supposed to burn for 10,000 hours, meaning they should have lasted for years in normal use. “It’s irritating,” Ms. Zuercher said.

. . .

Some experts who study the issue blame the government for the quality problems, saying an intensive federal push to lower the price essentially backfired by encouraging manufacturers to use cheap components.

“In the pursuit of the holy grail, we stepped on the consumer,” said Michael Siminovitch, director of a lighting center at the University of California, Davis.

Well, DUH.


Feds v. Dogs

Guess who will win? There are LOTS of stories of dogs, cats, PETS being killed by the government, outside of the "humane society". No one else, in the dog world, seems to pay much attention to this. Perhaps they are all too busy being a servant to the President, to hold the government to the standard they would hold themselves.

So Ms. X will take her trusty truthlight, and illuminate the shadows.


Casual mention in a story about Maryland citizens suing over police brutality:

Five Maryland residents testified Tuesday that SWAT teams storming their homes handcuffed them, drew guns or even killed their dogs in two instances.

Last summer, police raided the home and killed the dogs of an innocent Berwyn Heights mayor after drug smugglers sent a package containing 32 pounds of marijuana to his residence. Police now say the smugglers hoped to have a courier pick up the package shortly after it was dropped outside Mayor Cheye Calvo's front door. Officers kicked down the door and shot Calvo's dogs during the raid, later clearing him and his family of all wrongdoing.

More on the Calvo fiasco from The Agitator.

Of course, the most famous one is still the BATF jackboots that stomped the kitten in 1994.

"Stomped the kitten", kind of has a ring to it. Sort of like a government version of 'Jumping the Shark'.

Where Peta-tics come from.

Many people look at the Peta-tics, and the other lunatics that grace our planet, and say to themselves, "where did they come from!" 100 years ago, of course, everyone was sane and used their Heads to think. Not their tails. Or so our rosy colored history of humanity tells us.

The threats to individual freedom we face today are all the fault of the flower children in the 60s; it's the fault of the government education camps, or taking the Ten Commandments out of our public life. Or so our rosy colored history of humanity tells us.

No. Our problems today rest squarely with our ancestors. Think about it. In the 1930's, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (or Obama-lite as we will know him in the future), instituted policies that should have set off a revolution.

But did your grandparents even send their Congresscritter a tea bag?

Yeah. That's why we're here.

Peta-tics have ancestors too, and much to modern mans' surprise, they may not all be rolling quite as fast in their grave as we would tend to think. In fact, a website has been set up to collect the thoughts and feelings of the ideological, if not actual, ancestors of our present lunatics.

Wolves v. Dogs

This time, the dog survived! is the story.

The owners say earlier Wednesday morning a pack of nine wolves mauled their dog.

When the husband realized what was happening, he bolted out the door and rescued their yellow lab from the jaws of the wolves.

The owner of the lab went on to say he feared a wolf that would attack his 90 pound dog would not hesitate to attack his 60 pound child.

Quote from the story: "Idaho Fish and Game says they've never had a report of wolves killing a human being."

That is a prime opportunity to read what is not said. In casual passing, you might go away with the impression that wolves have never killed a human. That, of course, would be a gross error. Wikipedia has an entry devoted to fatal wolf attacks, and of course the Carnegie case in Saskatchewan was not so far away, geographically or temporally.

Carefully reading what is not written, you see that what Idaho Fish and Game really said was that they, themselves, as an agency, (or possibly even more narrowly as that individual spokesperson) have never had a report of a human killed by wolves filed with their office.

The wolves, of course, were only re-introduced into Idaho in the mid 1990's.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

10 Smartest Dog Breeds? Since when?

According to the Yahoo home page today. Yahoo linked to Divine Caroline.

  1. Border Collie
  2. Poodle
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Doberman Pinscher
  6. Shetland Sheepdog
  7. Labrador Retriever
  8. Papillon
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Australian Cattle Dog
Ms. X finds the whole concept suspicious. This site, Divine Caroline gives absolutely no information about the criteria used to identify these 'intelligent' breeds, and it suspiciously finds the smartest breed to be the Border Collie. The poster, PetMD, says they came up with the list.

We’ve gathered a wide sample of dog breeds, sharpened their No. 2 pencils (you know, no opposable thumbs), and asked them to fill out a simple intelligence questionnaire.

Okay, maybe not.

But PetMD did come up a list of the top ten smartest canine breeds in the world. See if your dog’s breed makes the grade.

Oh yeah? has a comprehensive listing, but no source or date. It merely says "Based on a dog trainer's survey." It does reference Stanley Coren.

Stanley Coren's website has the list...

Excerpted from "The Intelligence of Dogs":

For example, over 200 professional dog obedience judges, ranked 110 dog breeds on the basis of their intelligence.

The Intelligence of Dogs is a book authored by Mr. Coren. It was copyright, get this, 1994.

Yahoo, picked it up for their front page just today.

Way to go, with the 15 year old news!

Back to the story. Mr. Corens' book is linked on Amazon, and you can read excerpts from it.

It looks like an interesting book, perhaps I'll have a chance to review it on the Gutendog Press one day. I should be able to get a used copy fairly cheap, seeing how old it is.

In the meantime, when this story "broke" about a year ago, FreeRepublic posters caught it and gave the list of top and bottom ten, complete with pictures.