National Parks On My Mind

When I was in my twenties, much of my summers were spent in a 1978 Southwind RV, traveling the U.S.. (Okay, so a lot of that time was also spent on the side of the road attempting to fix the vehicle, but that was, um, part of the adventure or something.) And while there were lots of random stops to visit friends and various attractions, most of the destinations were music festivals (where I vended the eco-friendly clothing line I owned at the time) or National Parks.

It’s been a few years now since I’ve last officially been in a National Park, but I daydream of them often (especially my favorites: Yellowstone, Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, and Redwood). And I can’t wait to take my kids on a tour of them on our own summer adventure once they’re a little older.

A few days ago, I stumbled upon this new collection of eco-conscious clothing from Free People in partnership with the National Park Foundation, and was instantly smitten. And no, this isn’t sponsored; I just loved them all too much not to share. Whether it’s the nostalgic aspect of seeing them or the fact that I’m drawn to the style (or both), they make me want to put on one of the pieces and hop on the next RV I see headed west. This time I think I’ll opt for a slightly newer model though…

What is your favorite National Park you’ve visited?

ALSO FIND US HERE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

In the Doghouse

Anyone else have an indoor doghouse? Seems like it would be much more comfortable when your husband is being punished! I do have one question: What’s with having a door on it? Can the dog push it open him- or herself? Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged | Leave a comment

Of coyotes, wolves, dogs, and men

coyotes

Humans and the various canids belonging to gray wolf species complex possess the most complex relationship of any two beings currently living on this earth.  At one point, they are our cherished companions, often closer to us than we ever could be with other people, and on another point, they are the reviled predators that might take a child in the night.

We have clearly defined relationships with other predators. Leopards and cougars, well, we might hunt them for sport or photograph them in the wild. But we never become closely aligned with them, except for those eccentrics who dare to keep such dangerous predators as pets.

People living in the Eurasian Pleistocene brought some wolves into their societies.  Wolves and humans should have been competitors. We should have had the same relationship with each other as spotted hyenas and lions do in Africa now.  But at some point, humans allowed wolves in.

Raymond Pierotti and Brandy Fogg demonstrate that many humans throughout the world have had some kind of relationship with wolves. In some cases, it is or was a hunting symbiosis. In others, they were totemic animals.

In their work, Pierotti and Fogg contend that the relationship between humans and wolves broke down with the rise of Christianity in the West. I don’t think that’s when it broke down. It started to become complex when humans began to herd sheep and goats.

In Kazakhstan, wolves are hunted and revered at the same time. The Kazakh people herd  livestock, so they must always worry about wolf predation. Stephen Bodio documents this complex understanding of wolves in his The Hounds of Heaven.

“They hunt them, kill them, chase them with hounds and even eagles, take puppies and rear them live, identify with them, make war on them, and claim descent from them,” writes Bodio. This description sort of fits modern humanity’s entire relationship with this gray wolf complex. We pretty much have done and continue do almost all of these things.

Wolves, coyotes, and dingoes have killed people. So have domestic dogs. In the French countryside, wolf hunts were considered a necessity to protect human life, largely because has the longest and best documented history of wolves hunting people. The dispossession of rural peasants and the depletion of game in the forests created conditions where wolves would consider humans easy prey.  Lots of European countries have similar stories. And when Europeans came to North America, they knew about the dangerous nature of wolves, even if they had never even seen one themselves.

Humans have declared war on wolves in Eurasia and in North America. The wolf is extirpated from much of its former range in Europe. They live only over a limited range in the lower 48 of the United States.

Man fought the coyote with the same venom and lead he threw at the wolf. The coyote’s flexible biology and social behavior meant that all that effort would come for naught.  The coyotes got slaughtered, but they rebounded. And then some. And the excess coyote pups found new habitat opened up with big ol’ wolves gone, and they have conquered a continent, while we continue our flinging of lead and setting of traps.

In Victorian times, Western man elevated the domestic dog to levels not seen for a domestic animals. They became sentient servants, beloved friends, animals that deserve humanity’s best treatment.

And in the modern era, where fewer and fewer Westerners are having children, the dog has come to replace the child in the household. Billions of dollars are spent on dog accessories and food in the West.  Large sectors of our agriculture are ultimately being used to feed our sacred creatures.

A vast cultural divide has come to the fore as humans realize that wolves and coyotes are the dog’s wild kin. Wolves have become avatars for wilderness and conservation, and coyotes have become the wolves you might see out your front window.

Millions of Americans want to see the wolf and the coyote protected in some way. Dogs of nature, that’s the way they see them.

The rancher and the big game hunter see both as robbers taking away a bit of their livelihood. Humans are lions. The canids are the spotted hyenas. And their only natural state is at enmity.

Mankind’s relationship to these beings is so strangely complex. It greatly mirrors our relationship towards each other. We can be loving and generous with members of our own species. We can also be racist and bigoted and hateful. We can make death camps as easily as we can make functioning welfare states.

And these animals relationships with each other are just as complex. Wolves usually kill dogs and coyotes they find roaming their territories. But sometimes, they don’t. Sometimes, they become friends, even mates.  Hounds can be trained to run down a coyote, but sometimes, the coyote and the dog become lovers in the forest.

Social, opportunistic predators that exist at this level of success are going to be a series of contradictions. Dogs, wolves, and coyotes certainly are. And so are we.

It is what we both do. And always will.

Natural History

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Friday Funny: Busted!

Ya’ gotta hate it when your parents find your stash! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Taking a Spring Break

Taking a Spring Break

I usually take a week off from the blog during our annual trip to Arizona in April, but since it’s looking like that trip won’t work out this year (for several reasons), I’ve decided to push my blog break up to this and part of next week. It’s the kids’ spring break from preschool and activities, so we surprised them yesterday with a mini trip into the city for museums and an overnight staycation. Robbie has a few days home from the road, and it’s been so long since we’ve been able to just spend time together as a family. I’ll still be posting over on Instagram (especially to my IG Stories!) and Facebook, but I’ll be saving new content for here on the blog until next week.

Speaking of the blog and Instagram, be honest with me – do you guys still read blogs? There has obviously been a pretty massive shift over the past few years from blogs to social media, and these days, the vast majority of audience engagement and traffic happens on our Instagram. We still have steady traffic to the blog, and I actually enjoy writing blog pieces more than anything else, so we’re not going anywhere – but it is always a bit of a struggle, from a business and personal perspective, to determine how to divide up time and content. I admittedly spend more time on Instagram than I do reading blogs, but I do still read them, and really enjoy it. And Instagram can be so challenging, so I am always crossing my fingers there will be a shift back to blogging. I’m interested in hearing your take.

Enjoy the last week of March, and I’ll see you in a week!

ALSO FIND US HERE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

China May Have Cloned a Police Dog

According to state-run news agency Xinhua, China has successfully cloned a Kunming wolfdog (similar to a German Shepherd) using the skin cells of a seven-year-old female named Huahuangma, a working police dog. Here’s the English translation of the article from Xinhua: KUNMING, March 25 (Xinhua) — A cloned dog, believed to be the first of […]


Doggies.com Dog Blog

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Coevolution of the English and Greyhounds

erika on the run

Many techniques of the study of history exist. One of the most innovative is what is called “environmental history” in which human castes, classes, and professions are given ecological/economic niches that allow their behavior to operate as if species in an ecosystem.

It is this history that Edmund Russell lays out in his Greyhound Nation: A Coevolutionary History of England, 1200-1900.  This is a book that anyone interested in dog history should read, for it is an odd comprehensive history of the redefinition of a particular type of dog through the social, economic, and political changes of a nation shifting from feudalism to capitalism and democracy.

Russell’s book is not the history of “the greyhound,’ the breed we know today. That breed is included in this work, but it is also the history of the proto-whippets that worked the rabbit warrens and larger forms of greyhound that were used to hunt deer and wolves. It is also the story of eventual breed standardization within the context of the rise of the kennel club and the closed racing greyhound registries.

Russll begins with the earliest mentions of greyhounds in England, which is around the year 1200. The dogs belonged solely to the patrician class in the feudal system, and different forms of greyhound were used to on different quarry.  Large greyhounds coursed the deer and the wolf.  Mid-sized ones worked hares and foxes. Smaller ones were used to catch rabbits in enclosed warrens. And commoners were never allowed to own a any of these dogs, except under very explicit circumstances.

For over five centuries, various forms of greyhound were used in this way, but then in the late eighteenth century, the forces of democracy and early capitalism began to change the way the English related to their land. The Enclosure of the commons meant that vast tracts of territory could be set aside of the protection and promotion of hares for what was called “club coursing.”

In this coursing clubs, patricians ran their dogs on these hare estates. They were clubs that were quite exclusive, and the commoners could not own these dogs. Russell includes the account of a commoner convicted for owning greyhound, which the commoner tries to pass off as an Italian greyhound.  But he is still convicted of the crime.

At this time, greyhounds are bred to lurchers and bulldogs to improve their runs on hares, and we learn about the various eccentricities of Lord Orford, a founder of the Swaffham Coursing Society.  He was an extreme spendthrift, infamously selling countless priceless family paintings to Catherine the Great of Russia to pay off debts that he had accrued. He also died while running one of his hounds, Czarina, at a Swaffham meet. He had been ill but left his bed to run the hound. He is said to have either died in the saddle or fell from the saddle then died.

As the eighteenth century progresses into the nineteenth, big coursing events, called public coursing, became a popular rural activity. The famous Waterloo Cup began in 1836, and as the sport became popular for spectators, a National Coursing Club was founded to standardize coursing rules. Commoners were eventually allowed to own these dogs, and coursing became more democratic and meritocratic endeavor. The working classes begin to have leisure time and money, which they put toward gambling on coursing events and speculation on various hounds.

This democratic shift in coursing coincided with the rise of the Kennel Club and the purebred dog fancy. Here, Russell introduces us to Sewallis Shirley, the same founder of the Kennel Club and retriever fancier who has been mentioned on this blog many times. Russell portrays Shirley as purely patrician. He is anti-democratic and opposed to tenant rights on his estate in Ireland, and his anti-democratic leanings lead to his promotion of the show greyhound over the coursing one.

As the nineteenth century draws to a close, we see the closing of the greyhound registry with both the Kennel Club and the National Coursing Society. No longer would anyone consider crossing to lurchers or bulldogs to make a better greyhound. The goal was to produce a superior greyhound within the population already ascribed as greyhounds.

Russell leaves us at this juncture but alludes to the rise of greyhound racing in the twentieth century in which the dogs are reborn as objects on which to wager in a new event.

This type of history could, in theory, be written about any type of dog in virtually any European country. However, this particular breed in this particular country is documented well back in the Medieval period, and because it was owned solely by the wealthy originally, the documentation can be followed fairly easily into the modern era.

If one is interested in an academic history of dogs, this book is a great read.  Russell uses the primary sources in his work so clearly, and the prose is posited so logically that one can easily follow the winding history of running dogs in England.

These dogs were made to run, but we now live in a world where they are slowly losing their purpose. Nation after nation, state after state, coursing is losing its legality.  Professional greyhound racing is likely on the way out in much of the world, but we will keep them alive. We will run them, even if it is just after plastic bags raced along on pulleys.

 

Natural History

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Pig’s Ears For Dogs

Just like humans, pets deserve a special treat every so often, and times like these call for dog owners to go out of their way to do something their dogs will love. Surprises of this nature go a long way in showing your canine companion that you appreciate them for all the unconditional love they give you.

Dog owners have all sorts of questions. Among the most commonly asked, is whether dogs should be given pig’s ears for a treat. To help make an informed decision, we provide the following advantages/disadvantages list:

The Good…

1. It is almost impossible for a dog to turn down a pig’s ears dog treat. They find the chews simply delicious and will even love and obey you more. Perhaps this is the most appealing advantage of this type of dog’s chews. At the very least, you know that your gift will be received with a lot of joy and love.

2. Giving your dog pig’s ears allows you to kill two birds using one stone. Apart from it being a gesture of appreciation, you get to capitalize on the benefit the chews have on your dog’s teeth. The chews keep your companion’s teeth clean and the gums healthy, and this translates to fresh breath. Furthermore, the chews are also odorless.

3. Since these type of chews have a thick hide and density, they permit easy chewing particularly for small dogs, delicate chewers, as well as senior dogs.

4. Compared to other dog chews, pig’s ears are relatively inexpensive and readily available. They are sold both online and in local pet stores.

The Bad…

1. This type of dog chews is associated with a dangerous level of fat – especially for dogs that are prone to obesity. As such, if you decide to administer it to your dog, moderate the intake.

2. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, stay clear of pig’s ears chews as they may cause vomiting or diarrhea.

3. Sometimes, pig’s ears are infected with salmonella bacteria; an infection that can lead to gastrointestinal infection. Some of the symptoms of salmonella infection include diarrhea, lethargy, and vomiting. For this reason, the chews should only be purchased from a reputable company. Ensure that your source usually conducts heat treatment on their products for about half a day. Heat treatment is an effective way of eliminating possible bacteria.

Note: salmonella is transmittable from pigs or dogs to humans – the more reasons you should handle dog’s feces carefully. Also, remember to wash your hands thoroughly after interacting with the chews.

When administered as a treat, pig’s ears are a good way of rewarding your dog for their company, love, and obedience. As long as you observe safety rules, they are the best for small dogs, senior dogs, and delicate chewers. To prevent or curb incidences of digestive obstructions, choking and the consequences of the highly sensitive stomach, supervise your dog while it chews.

The post Pig’s Ears For Dogs appeared first on Dog's Health.

Blog – Dog’s Health

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

6 Tips for National Puppy Day

For more dog holidays, visit our Pet Holidays page! Writer Jonathan Swift once stated that “Every dog must have his day,” and for our tail-wagging chums in the springtime of their life…



[[ This is a summary only. Click the title for the full post, photos, videos, giveaways, and more! ]]


DogTipper

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Invisible Treats: The Best Kind

Would your dog be fooled? Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment