I was TERRIFIED of dogs when I was a little girl. I remember when the fear began, and I think I’ve recounted it before. My father adores dogs, like I do now. When I was about 6, we were living in a tiny apartment, waiting for our new house to be built. A doberman (my father’s favorite breed) and a rough collie lived in the complex, and Dad liked to take us outside, just to watch the dogs play. One evening, I was completely knocked over and trampled by the dogs (who were just having a case of the zoomies, and not paying attention). I thought they were out to kill me, and I was extremely scared of dogs from then on.
But in a few years, some magical, inherent dog-loving switch turned on–I don’t even know what it was–and I became OBSESSED with dogs, kind of like I am now. I started memorizing dog breeds when I was 8 or 9. I gave complicated advice to the neighbors about what kind of dog they should get, based on their lifestyles. I started a dog-walking business, just to have an excuse to spend time with dogs, since my parents were reluctant to get us one of our own.
And yet I didn’t get a dog of my own until Emma, when I was about 14. I had to wait a long time for her, and I feel like I had to wait even longer for Pyrrha, but I still love to see little girls with dogs. It warms my heart.
All that to say, here are just some cute photos of girls and the dogs they love, culled from my Pinterest board, Woman’s Best Friend.
12 Simple Rules for Dining Out with Your Dog. Pamela’s great list of tips for those who want to dine out with the pooch. We’ve taken Pyrrha out to eat with us twice now, and she’s done very well, but I think that was purely out of luck. We could certainly use these bits of advice and work on training her in that environment. (Something Wagging This Way Comes)
Ready to eat. Bowdu sings for his supper! This is adorable. Now only if I can get Princess Pyrrha to act with similar enthusiasm at meal-time… (The House of Two Bows)
Sometimes Dogs Aren’t Sad. Karen London points out that we often misinterpret dogs’ body language as indicating that they are “sad,” when in fact, they’re just calm or checking everything out. (The Bark blog)
The Responsibility of Rescues/Shelters. Tena reflects on the duty that rescues have to make sure that dogs are going to homes that are well-suited for them, e.g., don’t send a young Jack Russell terrier to an elderly couple. What do you think about this? Do you think the majority of rescues do an adequate job of matching dogs with compatible homes? (Success Just Clicks)
Which Type of Player Would Your Dog Be? Do you love or hate dog parks? I’m on the fence about them; I know we won’t be taking Pyrrha to any dog parks anytime soon. Maybe one day. How do you feel about them? (Dog Obedience Training Blog)
Rescue Me. My husband’s cousin is a great blogger and mom to sweet Jack, who is on the autism spectrum. Here, she reflects on their dog Mason and how much he’s meant to their family and to Jack. Really touching. (Reinventing Mommy)
To Be What They Are. I loved this post by Louise, about letting our dogs just BE what they are, permitting that expression of their lovely personality, however strange or exhausting it might be. Such a great exhortation for us as we raise our dogs. (Raising Ivy)
20 Most Adorable Animal Lists of All Time. It’s time to laugh now. Some of my favorite lists in this well-curated collection: 50 Corgis Super-Psyched about Halloween and, of course, 50 Photos of Basset Hounds Running. (Best Week Ever)
While leaving Pyrrha for the long weekend was difficult, I am very grateful that we were able to travel without her. The whole trip would have been way too stressful for her, and so I’m again thankful for her foster. We picked her up last night and she was busy romping with all of her shepherd friends, including the sassy Onyx. Her brothers, Ammo and Archer, were also there but recovering from heartworm treatments, so I don’t think she interacted with them much. They are very shy and withdrawn boys and broke my heart a little. I hope they can find a good home soon.
So, even though we were without Pyrrha for four days, we weren’t completely deprived of canine company, because we had cousin Sadie in Ohio. Sadie is my aunt and uncle’s precious pomeranian-corgi mix. She’s about six years old and ALL puppy. I don’t think I’ve ever met a full-grown dog who acted so much like a puppy still.
She loves to pounce and prance. My aunt likes to say it looks like she’s always walking on very high heels. She’s very devoted to my Aunt Shelly, who might be the only human in the world to her. But she’s very sweet (if perhaps rather slow). Having her around was a welcome distraction!
More on Pyrrha’s readjustment to come… Still getting used to the regular routine myself! Hope all in the U.S. had happy Memorial Day weekends.
Can the Bulldog Be Saved? As with many of you, I was very pleased to see this comprehensive article published last week in the New York Times Magazine. I’ve already shared some of my thoughts on why I feel that breeding bulldogs is unethical and inhumane, but this article really takes it to the next level. An illuminating quote from the article:
“The bulldog is unique for the sheer breadth of its health problems,” says Brian Adams, formerly the head of media-relations at M.S.P.C.A.-Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. “A typical breed will have one or two common problem areas. The bulldog has so many. When I first started working at Angell, the joke was that these dogs are a $5,000 check just waiting to happen. But the joke gets old fast, because many of these dogs are suffering.”
[Dr. Sandra] Sawchuk is the rare veterinarian who owns a bulldog. “I should know better, but I’m a sucker for this breed,” she told me. “I’m also a vet, so I feel I can handle any problems that come up. But if anyone else tells me they want a bulldog, my immediate response is, ‘No, you don’t.’ ”
This piece also highlights the considerable villainy of the AKC, which refuses to ask the Bulldog Club of America to revise its standard for the breed. Why? Because bulldogs are popular these days, having skyrocketed to the no. 6 most popular purebreed in the United States. It’s all about the money and the registrations for them. Who cares if we’re killing these dogs by insane breeding practices? I’m just hopeful that many people–aside from those of us who already believe that breeding the modern bulldog is inhumane–will read this article and reconsider bringing a bulldog puppy home. (NYT Magazine)
The Art and Science of Naming a Dog. I love meeting well-named dogs and I think names are very important. Stanley Coren reflects on the psychological aspects of naming our canines. (Psychology Today)
A Different Kind of Dog Rescue. This place looks magical. This is definitely what I would do with my life if my husband weren’t around to keep me from being a borderline animal hoarder. (Although this woman sounds amazing and is not a hoarder.) (Love and a Leash)
Three Levels of Pet Safety. Engraved tag, BlanketID, and microchip! I didn’t know how BlanketID worked, but it sounds like a pretty cool device. Does anyone have one for their dogs? (Go Pet Friendly)
Corgi Owners. A funny note with regard to the blessedness of being a corgi person. (Dogblog)
Fun and thought-provoking dog-related links from around the Web this week…
Top 10 Myths about Dogs. I’m certainly ready for these myths to disappear from the general public’s perception! (A Place to Love Dogs)
Puppy Mill Expose on HBO. This looks like a great film. I hope it reaches the public, too. The fear is that it would only be seen by those who are already well aware of the tragedy of puppy mills. Let’s hope that’s not the case. (The Bark blog)
Enzo & Hughie. A cute series of photographs of these tiny canine BFFs, by our wedding photographer, Meredith Perdue. (Meredith Perdue)
I Love Dooce and Her Dogs. I have been reading Heather Armstrong’s incredible blog for years now and have always delighted in the stoic Chuck. Lindsay from The Hydrant collects a few photos of Chuck’s best. (The Hydrant)
What You See… The pack of dogs from Wootube always seem to be having the best time. What a fun and energetic set of photographs, too! (Wootube)
Lacamas: Day One. Speaking of another pack of high-energy dogs… I love these photos of the border collies like sharks in a field. Such expert stalkers. (BCxFour)
Day 4: Sharing. A sweet photo of two new corgi mamas feeding their puppies side by side–and their breeder’s story of how they get along beautifully together and happily feed each other’s pups. Motherhood! (Ruffly Speaking)
Your weekly roundup of interesting dog-related links…
In Focus: Dogs. In this post, the New Yorker’s photography blog collects many critically acclaimed photo series featuring dogs. Some of my favorite canine photo shoots are included here. Enjoy the art–and the puppies. (Photo Booth, The New Yorker)
Paws to Read. I really hope there is a chapter of a group like this in our area. I would LOVE to train our future dog to work in schools with a program like this. After all, programs like Paws to Read combine three of my all-time favorite things: Dogs, kids, and books! (The Bark blog)
Dog Helps 15-Year-Old Rape Victim Testify. Rosie, a golden retriever, is the first dog approved to comfort victims of sexual assault as they testify in court. My heart breaks over this story, but it illuminates how deeply our lives are enriched by dogs. Here, a dog is doing something for that girl that no one else can. (New York Times)
Portland, Oregon, Named Top Pet-Friendly City. Agree with this list? Ever lived in some of these cities? Frankly, I’m surprised to see Washington, D.C., on there. I haven’t ever lived there, but I feel like owning a dog that was any larger than a handbag would be a huge hassle. (Dog Tipper)
The Mystery about Muzzles. I have always wondered why greyhounds wear them. A famed greyhound guardian and blogger explains. (Tales and Tails)
Lure Coursing. So, now those muzzles make sense. Some great photographs of a lure coursing event. Many gorgeous sighthound breeds represented! (Paws on the Run)
Afghan, 1931. Two photographs of an Afghan hound in 1931. So regal, even with that shorter coat. I think I like it more than the typical Fabio-esque waves. (Desert Wind Hounds)
Reclaimed Wood Dog Feeders. These look really awesome. I wonder if my husband could build these from some scavenged lumber… (Dog Milk)
Corgis are the pint-sized members of the herding group, my favorite breed category in the AKC. Corgis come in two flavors: the Pembroke Welsh corgi and the Cardigan Welsh corgi. Pembrokes typically come in the fawn and sable variety (like the sassy Pembroke in the photo above) and have docked tails. Cardigans are slightly bigger and have tails; Cardigans may also come in a wider range of colors, like the tricolor puppy in the photo below.
Queen Elizabeth II is largely responsible for the popularization of this spirited little breed in the 20th and 21st centuries. She grew up with corgis and continues to keep them today. I also think she has a great collection of names for them; Myth and Fable were two of her corgis and I think those are great dog names.
Like most herding breeds, corgis are known for being snappy and vocal. They are quick-witted and easily trained. And despite their short legs, many corgis also excel at agility.
Many people who are fond of the bigger herding breeds often pick up a corgi along the way. Corgis pack a lot of dog into a little body. I’m certainly open to the idea of a corgi at this point, but they admittedly rank below some of the other breeds in my mind right now.
Reasons to Buy a Dog vs. Rescue a Dog. A thoughtful and helpful post from a dog trainer on why she tends to rescue rather than buy dogs. I think she does a great job of showing both options without casting judgment on either side. (That Mutt)
Best Jobs for Dogs: Wet Nose Tutors. I love these reading programs and I’m seriously considering training my future dog to participate in one. This article mentions Dog Tales, a program in Newport News, Virginia. I wonder if there’s a similar project in my area… (Grouchy Puppy)
Haddie. Our wonderful wedding photographer is also a celebrated pet photographer. Here are some beautiful shots of her new neighbor, a totally adorable and fluffy puppy named Haddie. To die for! (Meredith Perdue)