Whatever a man seeks

A dog in Iceland. Creative Commons license, via photopin.com.

A dog in Iceland. Creative Commons license, via photopin.com.

“As soon as he halted the dog came fawning upon him. She stuck her slim muzzle between his hard paws, resting it there and wagging her tail and all her body, and the man gazed at the animal philosophically for a while, savouring, in the submissiveness of his dog, the consciousness of his own power, the rapture of command, and sharing, for a second, in human nature’s loftiest dream, like a general who looks over his troops and knows that with a word he can send them into the charge. A few moments passed thus, and now the dog was squatting on the withered grass on the bank before him, watching him with questioning eyes, and he replied: ‘Yes, whatever a man seeks he will find — in his dog.'”

Independent People, Halldór Laxness

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I’m currently reading this novel, and I’m struck by how much the main character, the farmer Bjartur, depends on his dog, Titla. Titla is presumably an Icelandic sheepdog, and she’s essential to the operation and success of his small sheep farm. The novel is beautifully written, but it’s also been a great reminder of how much dogs have helped humanity progress, even on the base level of mere survival.

Happy weekends to all!

Review: Primal Beef Liver Munchies

We were happy to receive another great product from Primal: their Beef Liver Munchies.

Primal Beef Liver Munchies | Doggerel ReviewI like using freeze-dried treats for training, because they are easy to break up into smaller bits and they are usually have a very short ingredient list. These treats from Primal fit those qualifications perfectly. In fact, the only ingredient is beef liver.

Primal Beef Liver Munchies | Doggerel ReviewAs an added bonus, the beef is raised in the United States and without antibiotics or added hormones. And the treats have no preservatives or added salt or sugar. Just pure beef.

As you can see, the Kitchen Vultures were very delighted to try them out:

Primal Beef Liver Munchies | Doggerel ReviewThese treats are currently on sale for $4.99 a bag at Chewy.com.

Do you use any treats from Primal? If so, what have you liked?

Disclosure: We were provided with a bag of these treats from Chewy.com in exchange for our honest review.

Thai pup goes for a swim

(So, not-so-wordless Wednesday, but a special feature…) My sister, photographer/filmmaker/general badass Grace Farson, took this photo while she was in Thailand this past summer. She writes:

© Grace Farson.

© Grace Farson.

Took this photo this summer in Thailand. Went swimming and turned around to find this little dude floating beside me. Just smiling and enjoying his day at the beach.

I love this; I also think I would totally freak out if I saw this little guy suddenly swim up beside me. I’m not sure I would even register that it was a dog at first. Dogs are hilarious. I love them. (It’s also pleasant to imagine swimming in Thailand right now, amid all this yucky wintry weather…)

Eden is (finally) spayed

This past Tuesday, we finally got Eden spayed.

cone of shame

As you can see from this blurry phone photo, she wasn’t super-thrilled about it.

We waited to spay her until she was 16 months old, partially for health reasons and partially for outright laziness. I know the longer you wait to spay (especially large breeds), the better. And I am aware of the health debate regarding whether it’s good to spay at all. Anyway, regardless of those mini-controversies, we decided to spay, and I’m glad we did. Bitches in heat = not the best time I’ve ever had as a dog owner.

The real misery now comes from trying to keep this monster quiet (and away from her stitches) for the remainder of her recovery period…

Did you spay or neuter your dogs? If so, how did all of that go for you?

Walking on Tiptoe

Deerhounds running in the snow

Deerhounds in the snow. Source unknown. Click for link.


Walking on Tiptoe

Ted Kooser

Long ago we quit lifting our heels
like the others—horse, dog, and tiger—
though we thrill to their speed
as they flee. Even the mouse
bearing the great weight of a nugget
of dog food is enviably graceful.
There is little spring to our walk,
we are so burdened with responsibility,
all of the disciplinary actions
that have fallen to us, the punishments,
the killings, and all with our feet
bound stiff in the skins of the conquered.
But sometimes, in the early hours,
we can feel what it must have been like
to be one of them, up on our toes,
stealing past doors where others are sleeping,
and suddenly able to see in the dark.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

So, again, not exclusively a dog poem, but I like musing on this concept, that we humans may bear some deep evolutionary connections to the animals we once were and thus unburden the way that we move.

Hope that you have a peaceful and joyful weekend ahead of you. Step lightly!