Loving a dog with eminent simplicity

tailsandpaws:    Australian Shepherd

“I once heard a woman who had lost her dog say that she felt as though a color were suddenly missing from her world: the dog had introduced to her field of vision some previously unavailable hue and without a dog, that color was gone. That seemed to capture the experience of loving a dog with eminent simplicity. I’d amend it only slightly and say that if we are open to what they have to give, dogs can introduce us to several colors with names like wildness, nurturance, trust and joy.”

— Caroline Knapp

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(I love this quote. And the late Caroline Knapp. She was such an honest and charming writer.) Happy weekend, everyone! I am hoping to get some nice, brisk winter walks in with Pyrrha this weekend. She is long overdue for a decent walk. Hope you are all well and looking forward to the holiday season.

Pup links!

At the end of the fence. By Flickr user meeganz.

Dog-related links from around the Web this past week:

The Search-and-Rescue Dogs of 9/11. As we remember the tragedy of 11 September 2001 today, I was very moved to reflect on these series of beautiful portraits of rescue dogs from Ground Zero, shot by photographer Charlotte Dumas. (The Hydrant)

DIY Physical Exam: An “Owner’s Manual” for Your Dog. Have any of you been following The Bark’s DIY physical exam guides? I’ve found them to be extremely helpful and informative. I confess that I really should know more about how my dog’s body actually works and how to read concerning signs. This is part two of a four-part series. (The Bark blog)

Scent Games: Educating Your Dog’s Nose. Lots of interesting links featured on The Hydrant, apparently! I loved this article by John Rice and Suzanne Clothier about games to play with your dog that utilize her nose. Pyrrha is extremely nose-oriented and I’m looking forward to playing some of these scent games with her. (The Hydrant)

Do You Just Love Dogs? Or Do You Respect Them? This post by Pamela really caught my attention. I know a lot of people who profess to just LOVE dogs, and I don’t doubt that they do, but they don’t seem to have any grasp on reading dog body language, or recognizing when a dog is too tired, too scared, too what-have-you to engage. Props for this post. Her question is a good one, too: How do we encourage more dog lovers to actually respect dogs, too? (Something Wagging This Way Comes)

7 Years After Katrina, New Orleans Is Overrun by Wild Dogs. It is easy to forget cities struck by natural disasters, particularly once the disaster has faded into distant memory. The devastating consequences of Hurricane Katrina on literally thousands and thousands of domestic animals was apparent from the outset, but seven years later, stray dogs are continuing to multiply and spread across the city. An eye-opening account of the difficult situation of abandoned dogs in New Orleans. (The Atlantic Monthly)

Ian Healy: Dog Portraits. This is the style of a dog portrait I can really get behind: Modern and fun, but accurate and talented. Now I’m kind of wanting one of Pyrrha for our sea-foam green walls… Have you had a work of art commissioned of your dog? Would you? (The Hydrant)

The Reverse Romney. As many of you in the United States, I am sure, I am getting sick to death of hearing about the November election. I’m ready for it to be over! But this did make me chuckle. (Maddie the Coonhound)

Also, just for kicks: Pyrrha was featured on F-Yeah German Shepherds. ♥

Pup links!

Red Aussie puppy. Click for source.

Great dog-related links from around the Web this week:

Dogs in the Workplace. Happy Bring Your Dog to Work day! While my office would frown on dogs in our space, I think Pyrrha would actually do pretty well here, particularly since I have a very quiet department. Did you bring your dog to work? Would you, if your office allowed it? (Pawsh magazine)

Travel 101: Prepping Your Pooch. I found this list of travel preparations from Vanessa–who recently made a cross-country move with her family and dog, Rufus–very helpful. I’m taking a 5-hour trip with Pyrrha in July to visit my parents and many of these tips were really helpful and insightful. Also: Doesn’t Rufus’ travel hammock look so cozy? Now that’s how I want to travel on my next road trip! (The Rufus Way)

No Party Zone. Do you avoid having house guests because of your reactive dog? Kristine shares some thoughts and a recent near-encounter with their future landlord. (Rescued Insanity)

Couldn’t Have Been a Lab; They Don’t Bite. Katie reflects on the dangerous precedent we set by breed stereotyping. Just because a dog is a lab doesn’t mean that it’s incapable of biting or showing aggression toward people. (Save the Pit Bull, Save the World)

Bye-bye, Cesar Millan. Animal rights advocate and professor Marc Bekoff celebrates the news that Cesar Millan’s TV show “The Dog Whisperer” is being cancelled. I for one am glad to hear it. What do you think about it? (The Hydrant)

Stay Away from “Stay” with Fearful Dogs. This is an interesting perspective from a dog trainer who believes that teaching a shy dog to “stay” could actually ratchet up their anxiety levels. Makes sense to me. I’ve been trying to teach it to Pyrrha, and it does actually make her way more nervous than other commands. Maybe we’ll get there eventually. (My Smart Puppy)

Ebon’s Training History. A sweet post charting the evolution of training for a dog over the course of his life. It’s interesting to think about how our dogs change with us as we grow up. (Musings of a Biologist and Dog Lover)

Lessons Learned from Dogs: Morgan and Kuster. Tales and Tails is doing a really sweet series on what she’s learned from her four dogs. Here are the stories from the two more difficult dogs of her pack, the German shepherds. Very heartwarming and well written. (Tales and Tails)

Innovative Ideas: Helping the Homeless and Shelter Dogs. Discussion of a program in San Francisco that would pair homeless youth with shelter dogs. Sounds like a really great idea; looking forward to hearing more about it. (The Bark blog)

Animal Love. Just some pretty, dreamy photos of animals collected by one of my favorite lifestyle/design bloggers. (Miss Moss)

Superdog Lova. Great, playful photographs of this high-energy spaniel. Very sweet. (Ulicam)

Compare thee to a dog

The intense gaze of an Australian shepherd. Source: Flickr user sarzc.

Thou sayest thou art as weary as a dog,
As angry, sick, and hungry as a dog,
As dull and melancholy as a dog,
As lazy, sleepy, idle as a dog.
But why dost thou compare thee to a dog?
In that for which all men despise a dog,
I will compare thee better to a dog.
Thou art as fair and comely as a dog,
Thou art as true and honest as a dog,
Thou art as kind and liberal as a dog,
Thou art as wise and valiant as a dog.

– Sir John Davies, epigram to In Cineam (1594)

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Way to tell ‘em, Sir John Davies; time we started showing dogs some respect with our aphorisms.

Because my “DOGS” board on Pinterest was getting almost out of hand, I decided to create a corollary for it: “Woman’s Best Friend,” a collection of photographs and artwork featuring women and their dogs. If you are also a crazy dog lady, I think it will make you smile.

Happy Easter and Passover, or, just happy weekend if you observe neither!

Pup links!

An Australian shepherd contemplates Banksy. Click for source.

Dog-related links from around the Web this past week:

Wonder Dog. Read this incredible story of a golden retriever who transforms the life a boy with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The more I get to know them, the more I think that goldens were born to do this kind of work. I kind of teared up, a lot, reading this story. (New York Times Magazine)

Top 10 Most Frequently Reported Poison Dangers for Dogs in 2011. A good list to review and be aware of. (Pet Poison Helpline)

Train Your Dog Month: Results Revealed. The Take Paws blog talks about lessons learned in training their reactive German shepherd. Good food for thought! (Take Paws)

Chart: Nail Trimming. A helpful diagram and discussion about trimming nails. (Inu Baka)

42 St. Bernards. I don’t know how one gets 42 St. Bernards in a glorious, mossy wood with a beautiful blond child, but I like it. (Paw Nation)

She Doesn’t Answer the Phone. E.B. White’s funny letter in response to city complaints that his dachshund, Minnie, was unlicensed. (Letters of Note)

The Nannies. I love these photos of this farm’s Anatolian shepherds, who act as the sheep guardians. The tenderness between the dog and the lamb is so palpable. I am such a sucker for anything even close to inter-species friends; it’s pretty much my favorite thing on earth. (Alta-Pete Farm Tails)

Meet Maddie the Coonhound. Maddie elegantly stands on various objects across the United States. (The Hydrant)

Food Critic Puppy. Oh, man. This is why you don’t give limes to dogs. (Animals Being Di*ks)

Puppy love

What's better than an Aussie puppy?

Huck. Our friends' new Aussie pup.

Too busy to write much today, but yesterday I got to meet our friends’ brand-new Australian shepherd puppy. World, meet Huck! Isn’t he precious? As all Aussie puppies are.

Jodi and Michael got him from a breeder in Palmyra and brought him home just a week ago. He’s apparently settling in very nicely and training has started to go smoothly. The great part about Huck’s new life is that Michael, who works at a winery in the countryside, takes Huck with him to work every day. What an ideal life for a young Aussie!

I’m thrilled for Jodi and Michael’s latest addition and I hope they’re OK with me spontaneously “dropping in” to play with the little guy.

Fuzzy puppy

Fuzzy puppy.

I was also reminded of how nearly impossible it is to photograph puppies. Always on the move!

Happy Monday! Hard to believe Christmas is so soon!

Pup links!

The prototypical collie/shepherd. Source: LIFE Magazine Archives.

Dog-related links from around the Web this week.

Breed-based euthanasia proposed in NC county. This is so horrible that it barely seems real. Cumberland County in North Carolina has a proposal on the docket that will euthanize all incoming GSDs, bully breeds, dobermans, rottweilers, akitas, chows, and Great Danes within 72 hours and not give them a chance to be adopted. There is a petition collecting signatures here; I signed it last night and encourage you to do the same, if you feel so led. It’s hard for me to believe that this kind of egregious breed-based discrimination still exists. But, clearly and sadly, it does. (Examiner)

Puppy at 500 f/s. On a lighter note: This is a beautiful video and an excellent study in canine movement. Directors of an independent film studio, Kamerawerk, made this short film, titled “Afternoon Pleasures,” of their chocolate lab puppy chasing a ball (and other various objects) and it’s lovely and riveting. Sent to me by my friend Maggie. (Kamerawerk on Vimeo)

Judgment Is Easy, Understanding Takes Work. An inspiring and thoughtful post about reserving judgment of our fellow dog owners. It’s something that I have to work on too, even though I don’t have a dog of my own! (Rescuing Insanity)

De-bunking the “Alpha Dog” Theory. Pat Miller, a positive trainer I respect, reflects on why this theory of the “alpha dog” needs to fall by the wayside. This is something I definitely wish all dog owners knew today. It always surprises me how widespread this theory is–even at the shelter. Seasoned volunteers and sometimes staff members use “alpha dog” language to talk about “problem” dogs and I often wish I had enough credibility to speak up about it. (The Hydrant)

Preparing for Your New Pooch. A practical list of guidelines to help one prepare to bring a dog into the home. Even though I’ve read dozens of lists like this one, I always like finding them and comparing notes. (The Inquisitive Canine)

Mismark Case: Australian Shepherd. The canine-loving biologist writes a post on one of my all-time favorite breeds, the Aussie, and examines the different markings and genetic repercussions that occur in the breed. (Musings of a Biologist and Dog Lover)

Peter Clark Dog Collages. This artist makes collages of popular breeds from found maps and old stamps. The results are eye-catching! (Dog Milk)

Dog Snout Also Makes Handy Bath Snorkel. This pup has the right idea. (Best Week Ever)

Gallery of herding dogs

Just a series of photos of some of my favorite dogs from the herding group. Not to pick favorites or anything, but I think I’d have to say that all of my best-loved breeds come from this group of high-maintenance, noisy, difficult dogs. I know. I just can’t get over them. Why this post? Well, I like to look at dog pictures. No apologies. A girl can dream, right?

(Click on each photo for its source.)

Australian shepherd

Australian shepherd

Belgian tervuren

Belgian tervuren

Border collie

Border collie

Rough collie

Smooth collie

German shepherd

German shepherd puppies

Pyrenean shepherd

Pyrenean shepherd

Pup links!

An Aussie and his castle. Source: blacksheepcardigans.com

A lot of great dog-related links from around the Web this week!

Dogs of Darjeeling. This is the best pup link I’ve seen yet: My sister’s amazing and beautiful photographs of the dogs she saw while she was living in and around Darjeeling, India. So striking! The photos make me remember that, regardless of where in the world you are, dogs are still dogs. It’s perhaps a silly thing to think, but I an enamored with this collection of her photography. Check it out. (Como Say What?)

Why You’re NOT Doing a Good Deed When You “Rescue” that Pet Store Puppy. This is an article I wish so many people would read. It’s such an ethically murky situation, I know, but this is a perspective that needs to be amplified. (Dogster)

Why Dog Women Get More Respect than Cat Ladies. An interesting article on Slate this week about why it’s easier to be taken seriously if you’re a crazy dog lady instead of a crazy cat lady. Not fair, of course, but a curious cultural phenomenon, perhaps. (Slate)

New York Times Goes Dog-Crazy. A brief look at the dog-centric memoirs that are cropping up in the pages of the Times. (Daily Intel)

How Much Money Should I Spend on My Dog’s Vet Care? And how much is too much? A well-expressed opinion from Lindsey Stordahl about how we navigate the difficult decisions between veterinary care, finances, and our dogs. (That Mutt)

26 Reasons Why Owning a Puppy Is the Same as Raising a Toddler. A funny list, but it certainly emphasizes what a serious commitment we undertake when we bring a puppy into our lives. (A Peek Inside the Fishbowl)

Diary by Kingsley: I Made a Video. One of the blogosphere’s most famous bulldogs, Kingsley, has a video playing with his new sister, human baby Eleanor. (Rockstar Diaries)

Hello, I Feel Like I Know You. Sweet and colorful portraits of dogs and their humans by artist Paule Trudel Bellmare. (Under the Blanket)

Don’t Like Your New Dog’s Name? Karen London gives some practical tips on changing your adopted dog’s name. I feel pretty sure that I will want to rename our future dog, and so this is a helpful thing to think about. What about you? Did you change your dog’s name? (The Bark)

Inspiring Photos of Pets with Disabilities. A charming collection of portraits of dogs with disabilities. There is joy and life in their eyes. (Flavorwire)

Pup links!

You've got your Aussie and your Hunters. What more does a girl need? Source: Shirley Bittner

Elli and Forgiveness. A sweet post about how our dogs are often our moral superiors. (Identity: V+E)

Going Home: “The Perfect Day.” Slate published an excerpt this week from Jon Katz’s new book about saying goodbye when dogs die. Prepare to cry! (Slate)

Dealing with Breed Discrimination. Since we’re leaning toward adopting an adult GSD, breed discrimination is something that I occasionally worry about, especially with regard to renting and traveling. Amy writes some thoughtful points on how to be conscientious if you’re traveling with a dog whose breed is often discriminated against. Has anyone experienced this with their dog? If so, how do you handle it? (Take Paws)

2012 Calendar from River Dog Prints. I’m a sucker for cute calendars and these are adorable! (Dog Milk)

Halloween Costume Roundup. Will you dress your dog up for Halloween? What’s this year’s costume of choice? (Rescued Insanity)

Playground Police. You can always trust the dog to keep law and order. (Animals Being Di*ks)