Well, let’s face it, life is just one kick in the pants after the next. I have noticed, however, that life is better with a dog (or three). Dogs are optimal companions, vigilant guardians, perpetual playmates, and even extemporaneous vacuum cleaners. Studies have demonstrated that these generators of joy actually reduce stress levels in their human companions.
The Petsitters Compendium
I hope you will check out the rest of this great post here! And if you like it, let him know!
On Oct. 27, 2019, Conan, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois military K9, played a key role in the Barisha raid, which resulted in the death of the ISIS leader. Conan is one more dog on a long list of our heroic military working dogs.
World War II
One famous K9 hero from WWII was Chips, a German Shepherd/Alaskan Husky/Collie mix donated by a New York family. Chips is credited with saving the lives of many U.S. soldiers and earned a Purple Heart and Silver Star. He once broke free from his handler and took out a sniper nest in Sicily, capturing four enemy soldiers.
Five years after WWII, the Korean War again demonstrated the value of military working dogs. Chiefly deployed on combat night patrols, they were hated by the North Koreans and Chinese because of their ability to ambush snipers, penetrate enemy lines, and sniff out enemy positions. The enemy propaganda teams began using loudspeakers to blast the message, “Yankee, take your dog and go home!”
Now, fast forward to Vietnam. This was a totally new environment and job description for these K9 warriors. Their duties became more widespread – scout, sentry, patrol, mine, and booby-trap detection. Like their predecessors in Korea, these four-legged soldiers were so hated by the Viet Cong that they attracted a $20,000 bounty for their capture.
Nemo, a German Shepherd, saved his handler, Robert Throneburg, during an enemy attack on Tan Son Nhut Air Base in Vietnam in 1966.
Thanks to politicians and the media, we exited Vietnam in too much of a hurry, and the military working dogs that served our forces so admirably and saved untold lives were left behind, classified as “surplus military equipment.” Despite the outrage and pleas from many handlers who were prepared to pay for their dog’s flight home, the military command would not permit it. Some dogs were transferred to the South Vietnamese military and police units that were not trained to handle them, and many others were euthanized. It is estimated that of 4,000 that served, about 200 made it back to the U.S.
Fortunately, that should never happen again. Following a huge public outcry led by many angry U.S. military-dog handlers, Congress passed “Robby’s Law” in 2000, allowing for the adoption of these dogs by law-enforcement agencies, former handlers, and others capable of caring for them.
Middle-Eastern War K9s
The hot, dusty desert and rugged mountains of Iraq and Afghanistan serve up new challenges for military K9s trained for explosive and drug detection, sentry, therapy, and other work.
A dogs’ sense of smell is roughly 50 times better than ours, meaning they can sniff out IEDs before they detonate and injure or kill U.S. servicemen. Ground patrols can uncover approximately 50 percent of these deadly devices, but with the help of these K9 warriors, the detection rate increases to about 80 percent.
When you go into your grandmother’s kitchen, you smell the stew. The dog goes into your grandmother’s kitchen, he smells carrots, pepper, tomatoes, and lettuce. I mean he smells all the ingredients.
William Cronin, American K9 for Afghanistan and Mali, West Africa
Military K9s Today
Cairo, a Belgian Malinois, was a member of Seal Team Six that killed Osama bin Laden. He was part of a new breed of elite canine soldier, a Special Forces dog whose training includes such skills as parachuting and fast-roping from helicopters.
According to retired Air Force K9 handler, Louis Robinson, a fully trained bomb detection canine is likely worth over $150,000, and considering the many lives these dogs may save, you could characterize them as priceless.
On The Home Front …
It would be a disservice not to mention the working dogs of Law Enforcement, who go to work every day and help keep our streets and neighborhoods safe. The courage and loyalty of these four-legged police officers are amazing and deserving of our respect and gratitude.
And then, last but not least, is the family dog who, without a second’s hesitation, would put themselves between their family and any danger.
To those dedicated, loyal K9 partners who work night and day worldwide, helping the military and law enforcement, who faithfully protect our families and us, we say thank you!
This morning I am forgoing my typical Tunes for Tuesday post for a public service announcement. Tunes for Tuesday will be back next week,
Anyone who has followed my blog or Instagram knows I am a dog lover. While I lived in Cary, NC, I joined a very nice dog park and its Facebook group. While I sometimes get very angry with Facebook over their censorship, I must admit that not everything about Facebook is evil. Here is a case in point … and a good reminder. This was posted by a fellow member of the dog park Facebook page, and it is good information. It can save your best friend’s life.
Posted by Marianne White
Saturday night, I got home late, and my dog didn’t recognize me. Being a nanny, I thought I woke him up, and he was having a night terror. Sunday, he was still acting weird. I realized that I had been running my new diffuser and decided to turn it off. Sunday afternoon, he was feeling better.
Today at work, my dog sitter said that he wouldn’t come out from under the bed. It was very odd as he is a happy dog.
I came from work early and again, he was very confused about who I was.
So I took him to emergency vet.
It turns out that the tea tree oil I was using in the diffuser is toxic for dogs. Thankfully the test showed that his liver was ok, but we weren’t out of the woods yet. He was given fluids under his skin to get the toxins out.
The vet and the poison control are saying that they see these cases often now that the popularity of essential oil is growing
Please make sure that the essential oils you are burning are not toxic to your pets.
Here is a list of essential oils not to use if you have a dog at home:
Anise (Pimpinella anisum) Birch (Betula) Bitter Almond (Prunus dulcis) Boldo (Peumus boldus) Calamus (Acorus calamus) Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora) Cassia (Cassia fistula) Chenopodium (Chenopodium album) Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) Garlic (Allium sativum) Goosefoot (Chenopodium murale) Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) Hyssop (Hyssopus sp. with the exception of Decumbens) Juniper (Juniperus sp. with the exception of Juniper Berry) Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) Mustard (Brassica juncea) Oregano (Origanum vulgare) Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) Red or White Thyme Rue (Ruta graveolens) Santolina (Santolina chamaecyparissus) Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) Savory (Satureja) Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) Terebinth (Pistacia palaestina) Thuja (Thuja occidentalis) Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Sophie says, “please share this story as it may save someone’s precious furry family member!”
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True and loyal friends don’t come around too often.
That’s what makes dogs so amazing. Dogs only want to please you. They will be a loyal companion to and protective of even the most loathsome and cruel owners, owners who are unworthy of such devotion and love. That is why it is so sad when the day comes that your most loyal companion needs you to do what is right by them.
A walk in the field …
Today, Sophie and I went for our usual walk in the field where we saw one of our friends with her two dogs, Charlie and Koa. Charlie is a fun-loving, ball chasing Golden Retriever, while Koa is, I believe, an older Yellow Lab mix.
A few weeks ago, I was talking to Charlie and Koa’s owner and her husband, who made the comment that he wasn’t sure how much longer Koa would be around. It seems Koa was having trouble standing, and moving around, and seemed to be “lost” sometimes.
Today, there were taking Koa for one last walk in the fields he loved to roam around in during his entire life. You could tell he was enjoying being there, but you could also tell he was ready for a rest. They had to help Koa back to the car when it was time to head to the vet’s office. It was time for this loyal and steadfast friend to be at peace.
Dog owners will understand …
Dogs live short lives. So if you own dogs, this will happen to you. I have had dogs, sometimes multiple, for my entire life. For me, dogs are simply members of my immediate family. They’ve provided enjoyment, laughter, comfort, and understanding when human friends simply walk away. So, when it is time to do the best thing for such a loyal companion, it is almost a debt of honor.
I was reminded of the last time I had to go through this with Roxie. She was a rescued female Doberman and a beautiful dog. Roxie was a great friend during some really tough times for me. Unfortunately, she was struck by a debilitating disease when she was about five years old, known as Wobbler’s Syndrome. It is a degeneration of vertebra in the neck that typically affects young Great Danes and middle-aged Dobermans and causes a loss of coordination and balance through the legs and hips. As it progresses, it can cause a lot of pain, especially in the neck region
This disease has two paths it frequently takes. It can come on hard and fast, and there is nothing you can do except end your friend’s suffering. Or, it can come on, reach a point and level out for about two years, before coming on again and forcing you to make the tough decision.
For Roxie, the disease took the second path, and we had about two more pretty good years. She looked like she’d drank a few too many Margaritas when running, and toward the end, we needed a lot of low dose aspirin and neck massages, which she really enjoyed, but that dreaded day had to come.
For Roxie, we couldn’t go to the dog park because of the condition the disease had her in. So, we went out into the yard and sat in the sun. It was pleasant, not too hot, and she enjoyed that. I spent a lot of time massaging her neck. Then, when it was time, we went to the vet.
I will never forget the very kind veterinarian. There were two shots. The first to relax Roxie and the second to put her to sleep. I got down on the floor with her as the vet administered the first shot. There was an instant change in Roxie. For a moment, it was like I had my old dog back. She rested her head on my arm as if to say, “thank you,” then the vet gave her the second shot, and she quietly went to sleep. It was an emotional experience. I felt heart-broken, and tears welled up in my eyes. But, I was also happy she was no longer in any pain.
I have Sophie now, and she is another fantastic dog. I never try to compare a current dog to past dogs I have had. They are like people, each unique in personality and the gifts they bring. I will have dogs as long as I can adequately care for them. The joy they bring to my life is worth the sad day that will always come. And that’s okay. Because, the God that I worship, lets all dogs into Heaven.
A Tom (male) turkey’s head is normally white or light gray. When his head turns blue, that indicates he’s really excited. This happens during the Spring mating season. I took this photo last April. This Tom was strutting around and courting several hens in the front yard.
As a little side note, a friend commented that he think it’s a pretty darn good thing human male’s heads don’t turn blue when they are excited.
On Sept. 15, 1918, an American soldier named Lee Duncan discovered a litter of German Shepherd puppies in the wreckage of a recently shelled German WW I encampment. He kept two of the young puppies, naming them Rin Tin Tin and Nanette, and managed to get them onboard when he shipped back to the United States from France at the end of the War.
I felt there was something about their lives that reminded me of my own life,” Duncan later wrote of the puppies. “They had crept right into a lonesome place in my life and had become a part of me.
The lonesomeness in Lee Duncan developed because he’d spent part of his young life in an orphanage in Oakland when his father abandoned his mother and his young mother simply could not feed or support Lee and his sister.
Lee loved his dogs and seemed to have quite a knack for training them. The thought entered his mind that perhaps, his dogs could become canine movie stars. He always thought Nanette was the smarter of the two, but there was something about Rin Tin Tin.
After the war, Duncan pursued his dream, taking Rin Tin Tin to California, where the dog got a big Hollywood break when one of his spectacular 12 foot jumps was caught on film at a dog show. Rin Tin Tin’s first part was a small one in a 1922 sled-dog picture. Then in 1923, “Where the North Begins,” based on a story written by Lee Duncan, gained the dog national attention.
And as they say, the rest is history! I can still remember those Rin Tin Tin TV shows! Much better than Lassie …
Now, about the book …
I must admit, however, I was a little disappointed in Orlean’s book, Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend. Her book actually has very little about the dog, Rin Tin TIn, or the training techniques that produced the original Rin Tin Tin’s amazing skills and feats.
On a side note, as a German Shepherd owner myself, I was not that surprised to learn that the heroic German shepherd who could leap 12 feet, crashing through plate-glass windows was buried with his squeaky doll! That fits the German Shepherd perfectly!
But Rin Tin Tin is strangely absent from most of his story. Orlean tracks down loyal fans who now own descendants of the original Rin Tin Tin. She talks to many of Lee Duncan’s family members like ex-wives and or his daughter. She writes about business associates and Rin Tin Tin’s co-stars.
Susan Orlean’s story seems to be more about how family members profited by selling off everything related to Lee Duncan’s dream and his dog. She writes about people looking for some way to capture past glory, or perhaps the means to create new value from an old piece of intellectual property.
Susan Orlean also writes about the many tangled legal disputes such as the one between Daphne Hereford and Bert Leonard, the producer of “The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin,” and the confusing story of Lee Aaker, a child actor who played the dog’s TV sidekick, and who might or might not have become a special-needs ski instructor in the Eastern Sierras, but who was once definitely sued for impersonating himself.
You also learn that, since the death of the original Rin Tin Tin, this American canine hero has been played by no less than 20 other dogs.
What became clear to me from reading this book, is that the leap from heroic canine fame to mundane triviality is much shorter than 12 feet.
My thoughts …
On the whole it is not a bad book, that is … if you want to read about everything surrounding Lee Duncan and his efforts to make a good living with the German Shepherd he trained to do really amazing feats, and how tough that actually was.
Maybe it was naive of me, but I wanted to read about the dog, Rin Tin Tin!
I wanted to read about his movies and his TV shows, and how he was trained, and to have the author paint a picture in my mind of this heroic German Shepherd leaping 12 feat and crashing through a plate-glass window to save the day.
On that, score, I was badly disappointed. And for that reason, I gave this book three stars …
With a very long history of owning dogs, often several at a time, I have cleaned up a lot of dog poop in my life! It is simply what you, as a responsible dog owner, do. So, it is frustrating to me how so many dog owners just can’t seem to be responsible enough to do the same. Do we need to institute dog poop police? Or, perhaps task the NSA with spying on non-poop-scooping-compliant dog owners? Do we need Big Brother watching us? That’s a bit scary, so I hope it doesn’t come to that. Cleaning up after your pet is part of being a responsible dog owner. Can’t we figure out a way to promote that message without creeping everyone out?
The Five Rules of Scooping Poop!
Always pick it up
This seems obvious enough, and yet we all know dog owners who choose not to exercise this common courtesy.
One important reason to pick it up is simple cleanliness. Then there is also the fact that parasites like giardia, roundworm, hookworm, and all those other intestinal worms can accumulate in areas where dog feces are not picked up. Pet waste also has a nasty effect on groundwater.
But mostly, I say pick it up because dog crap is disgusting. I don’t want to walk down a sidewalk or trail and smell an offending odor, only to realize I’ve stepped in your dog’s poop and will now have a reminder of your lousy dog poop etiquette for the rest of my walk.
Responsibly dispose of poop
Honestly, most of us will be very happy if you simply pick it up. Where it goes after that is of little concern to many people. One way to dispose of your dog’s doodoo might be to simply flush it down the toilet. But I’m afraid with the amount of poop some dogs produce, you might need to have a plumber on speed dial. However, if it is properly bagged and sealed, trash cans work fine. Also, there are poop disposal stations in may parks today.
Deal with diarrhea by preventing it
The best way to deal with loose doggy stool is to prevent it to begin with by keeping your pet on a healthy diet. However if it is already too late for that, you can certainly sprinkle a little dirt, sand or mulch on it before scooping it up.
Pick up and dispose of poop even in the great outdoors
When you’re out communing with nature, that old adage “if you pack it in, pack it out” still applies … even to pet waste. And, please don’t just hang the full poop bag on a tree branch like some people do. That’s just plain crude and disgusting.
For a long time, I have wanted a German Shepherd. I think it stemmed from watching the show Run, Joe, Run which aired in the mid-70s.
The show centered on Joe, a German Shepherd dog in the military’s K-9 corps, and his master, Sergeant Will Corey. One day, during training, Joe was falsely accused of attacking his master, a crime for which the dog would be euthanized as punishment. However, he escaped before being killed and a $200 bounty was put on his head.
Sgt. Corey knew Joe was innocent and so pursued him, hoping to find Joe before the authorities did. While on the run, Joe would help people he encountered. Looking back, it was a silly show, but it certainly made me want a German Shepherd.
German Shepherds are probably best known for their heroic work as rescue dogs or as K-9 police or military dogs. However, there is so much more to this great breed. They are big, courageous dogs with a sensitive side.
I got Sophie from a breeder in Fayetteville, North Carolina in May of 2016. She was 6-weeks-old. There were two females left in the litter, Sophie and her sister. Sophie was the smaller of the two but she bravely walked right up to me, sniffed my fingers and then squatted and piddled. It was a done deal! I brought her home that day and named her Gilbert’s Princess Sophia. Of course, that is her official AKC registered name. I call her Sophie for short! Sophie is now almost one year old. Over this past year, I have learned a great deal about German Shepherds. Here are the Top 10 things I have learned:
1. German Shepherds are extremely intelligent. You cannot pull the same trick on Sophie more than maybe twice. It simply will not work on her any more after that because she has figured it out. German Shepherds also have great problem solving skills! Sophie loves solving puzzles.
2. German Shepherds are absolutely fanatic toy hoarders and they really don’t like to share at all. We are working on that one.
3. German Shepherds always happy to see you, whether it’s been all day or 10 minutes … but I guess that can also be said of most dogs. However, Sophie can also be very in tune with my feelings and will definitely act accordingly. She also firmly believes she is a lap-dog and works hard to make me a believer too
4. German Shepherds are working dogs and happiest when they have a job to do. Right now Sophie loves her training and wants to please me. One afternoon, we were working on the “Place” command and she had real trouble getting up on a high narrow brick wall. It was not easy, because it was too high to step up onto and she could not see the top to well. She had to jump up and land on a rather small area. She failed several times and become despondent when she simply could not seem to do it. It was clear we could not leave her like that! So our trainer Taylor, with Off Leash K9 dog training, and I worked maybe another 30 minutes getting her to succeed at that task. She lit up like a little kid when she succeeded … after that, we just couldn’t keep her off that wall. I am going to have to find more work for her. I am looking at agility training and getting her a backpack for hiking. Taylor, by the way, is a great dog trainer!
5. German Shepherds are very communicative. Sophie doesn’t really bark for barking’s sake, but she certainly does talk to me. She tries to tell me what she wants or needs! Sometimes she even smarts off a bit (we are working on that as well).
6. German Shepherds are always ready to accompany you wherever you go. They are truly a companion dog and with training, really know how to be well behaved in public.
7. German Shepherds want to be first in your life and will work hard to make sure you never have a quiet moment to yourself. They want to be where you are at all times. Even while running and playing at the dog park, Sophie will keep tabs on where I am at all times (must be that herding instinct!).
8. German Shepherds really do shed a lot … and, by George, I do mean a lot! However, I soon discovered, upon recommendation by few folks at the local dog park, that the Furminator is a godsend to German Shepherd owners!
9. Yes, German Shepherds can certainly be fierce and protective, but they are also big lovable, fun-loving playmates when it comes to family, friends and even other family pets.
10. German Shepherds love water almost as much as they love their people. Sophie loves swimming in Jordan Lake, splashing in puddles and running around in the rain (not my favorite thing to do … but hey). She even tries to climb into the shower with me (we are also working on that). Sometimes when it gets too quiet and I wonder what she is up to, I find her laying in the bathtub gazing up longingly at the shower nozzle.