Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Verbless Vendsday

An attempt to change the sheets.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

There we were

Frogs croaking, green shoots coming up, last year's primroses blooming.

And then look what we wake to this morning.
But it's soggy and no fun to play in.

Somebody even refused to leave the shelter of the breezeway.

Monday, February 20, 2012

This is not funny

But it is if you have an Airedale sense of humor and are good at visualizing. First some background.

My new local dog park has a rule that dogs shouldn't wear harnesses in the park. The rules committee decided this after consulting with other parks and a trainer. Some people have protested and many ignore the rule.

The park also has a special area for small dogs, just as doggie daycares do. There's no rule saying small dogs must be confined to that area; but several people protested that, too, claiming small dogs were being discriminated against.

Yesterday one of the park stewards saw a large dog scoop up a small dog by its harness and gallop joyfully around the park dangling the little dog like a purse. The large dog enjoyed his new toy without chewing on it or shaking it or doing anything aggressive until frantic people caught up and released the  small dog who was then put in the small dog area.

Surely it was my evil twin and not me who cracked up when reading about the incident, which could have ended very badly if the large dog had not been a good-natured goof. I do hope that all the people who protested learn about what happened and understand that what they thought were over-controlling and mean spirited rules were carefully developed for the safety of their dogs.

(Speaking of safety, I hate the new word verification for comments; but as soon as I changed the setting to eliminate verification, I had to deal with a bunch of spam. How are others coping with this?)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Think your dog has best friends? Think again.

According to a Time magazine cover story about animal friendships, animals such as chimpanzees, dolphins and even horses form close friendships but dogs not so much. Before you start shouting, consider that the definition of friendship isn't just best buddies who seek out each other at the dog park. Animal friends, like close human friends, work at the relationship, which involves sharing over time, sacrificing and grieving. There are plenty of anecdotes about animal buddies, especially on YouTube, but not all the animals shown are friends and anecdotes don't make science.

In the article James Serpell, author and director of the Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society, says that dogs may form "friendship-type relationships" with other dogs in the same household (not Miro and Alanis, though); but they don't form strong friendships any more than members of wolf packs do. Did your dog willingly share his dinner with you or another dog today? Or does he basically think you should share with him? And isn't that the way we like it, not just because we don't want to eat kibble or raw chicken necks?

The article's author Carl Zimmer writes, "Thanks to domestication, dogs have become capable of being sweet and loyal to humans, but it's likely that they treat us more as guardians than friends. Dogs are neither our best friends nor one another's--which is not to say they're not warm and wonderful company all the same."

For the purpose of scientific study, the definition of friendship has to be strict. The advantage is that these studies of friendship will underline what we animal bloggers already know about animal thinking and feeling. The fact that dogs don't form the same kinds of inter-and intra-species friendships as other animals also confirms what we know: dogs are in a class by themselves.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Statistic of the day

According to the trivia page on, seventy percent of people sign their pet's name on greeting cards and 58 percent include their pets in family and holiday portraits. Someone should get the numbers on how many people exchange pet-to-pet greeting cards, as bloggers and my Airedale list do during the holiday season. We didn't "include" our pets in holiday portraits. Our pets were the whole focus!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Her dirty secret

My human can't count. She thought my 3rd birthday was January 30. She went shopping that day.

Then she looked up my papers and discovered my birthday was January 26, 2009. Eventually she'll forget how many years old I am. Just watch.

Got something right, at least.
Here I am at 12 weeks learning to annoy Alanis.

Still chewing on Alanis at one year old.

Practicing my championship sleeping form. Some things never change.

She took me to the new park as recompense for forgetting, not that I pay attention to dates. But then what did she do?

Yikes! What happened to my tail? I'm just about naked.