Archive for May, 2008

Today I found a very interesting blog, The Basenji in Ancient Egyptian Art, investigating the relationship between dogs featuring in murals and other artefacts of the ancient Egypt – and the existing breed of the Basenji. The first picture shows the god Anubis.

Anubis was a very old god of the ancient Egyptians, universally worshipped throughout the land. Typical of the deities from the Egyptian pantheon, Anubis is often pictured with a human body and an animal head—just what species of head is the subject of some debate. That so many of the Egyptian gods have animal heads or other “creature features” does not mean that this culture worshipped rams, ibises, hawks, beetles, hippopotamuses, or the like. Rather, the animal head illustrates “an attribute of the divinity that characterizes its being. Many proud basenji owners who are aware of their breed’s link to ancient Egypt will argue that basenjis were the inspiration for Anubis. Evidence does exist to support this claim.”

Now look at these photos of Basenjis:

To me the similarity with good old Anubis seems obvious!

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guard dog

I am a retriever, that’s obvious, but look what I found in the sand at the beach:

Shocking, isn’t it? This poor little girl has been buried there, although she doesn’t seem to be unhappy about it. Anyway, I’ll keep guarding her until someone claims her back…

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boooring day

It has been raining all day long. They say, the garden needs it, yes, but I don’t. This is not funny at all. I just feel absolutely bored, tired, and the only highlight will be my DINNER … soon, hopefully!

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dogs in Hinduism

It is very interesting reading about the role dogs play in various religions. Here some details about dogs in Hinduism, mainly during the Tihar festival that falls roughly in November every year.

A dog after being decorated in Kukur tihar

A dog after being decorated in Kukur tihar , the “dogs’ Day” in Nepal

During the Nepalese Tihar Festival, on Day Two: On the second day of Tihar, Kukur (Dogs) are adorned with flower garlands, red tika on their forehead, and are offered food, they are the king of the day! On this day, people pray to the Kukur to guard their homes. There are lots of stray Kukur, but on this day, even the most unsightly Kukur will be treated like a king, every dog has a day. Tihar is also about breaking the boundaries only men created, “The Good”, “The Bad”, “The Ugly”! In Hinduism it is believed that Kukur guards the underworld empire.

Shepherd Chature with garland

Dogs have a major religious significance among the Hindu in Nepal and some parts of India. . In Hinduism, it is believed that the dog is a messenger of Yama, the angel of death, and dogs guard the doors of Heaven. Socially, they are believed to the protectors of our homes and lives. So, in order to please the dogs they are going to meet at Heaven’s doors after death, so they would be allowed in Heaven, people mark the 14th day of the lunar cycle in November as Kukur-tihar, as known in Nepali language for the dog’s day. This is a day when the dog is worshipped by applying tika (the holy vermilion dot), incense sticks and garlanded generally with marigold flower.

” A dog plays many roles in our society. We have dogs in our houses as guardian of the house. As the legend also says that there is a dog at yama’s gate guarding the gate to the underworld. The dog is also the steed of the fearful Bhairab, the god of destruction. So on this day a big red tika is put on a dog’s forehead and a beautiful garland around the neck. After worshipping the dog, it is given very delicious meal. This day the saying ‘every dog has his day’ comes true; for even a stray dog is looked upon with respect. We pray to the dog to guard our house as he guards the gate of the underworld and to divert destruction away from our homes. On this day you can see dogs running around with garlands on their neck.” (Festivals of Nepal)

So, at least for one day, dogs have a good life in Nepal…

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I did it again

Oh Lord, I have to confess… I did it again. Today. At around 2pm, when nobody was watching. The thing is, as I’m black, they think it’s a shadow disappearing through the front door, and then they forget about it. Of course, sooner or later, they start wondering where I am, they become more and more frantic in their search effort, and finally they’ll realise that I’ve done it again. Ha!

No, I never said I was an angel. The horrible torture device, this electric collar, they sent it away last year because they thought they would never need it for me again. The people where one of my daughters, Lily, lives wanted to try it on Lily. She seems to have inherited the same sudden urge to wander off, just like me.

So now they might ask the collar back. I escaped today, I couldn’t help it. There was some irresistible smell of roasted meat in the air, and I had just to follow my nose. Which led me into areas of my village I had never been before. Kitchen doors were rudely shut at me, nasty people chased me away, and finally, very frustrated, I ended up in a horse stable where I just filled my groaning stomach with dry horse food reminding me of sawdust.

My way home was hard work then, as the horse food started to form a heavy lump inside me. They were not exactly pleased to see me coming back, although I tried my best smile and all my charme.

No hugs and kisses, no relief or treats. I got a very modest dinner (couldn’t have coped with a big one anyway), whereas Mali engulfed a huge bowl of glorious food. Oh well, I’ll retire now to digest. Probably I’ll have to chase them up in the night because of an urgent need… either through my guts, or my throat!

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flower power

Would you believe that this photo was taken only 4 weeks ago? You can still see patches of snow amongst the daffodils, and now it’s steaming hot outside! I’m not sure what I prefer… the heat makes me sleepy, I think I am a real dog from the Arctic Labrador!

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catching moles and rabbits

Here you can see my daughter Mali, a professional mole catcher. She takes her work very seriously and digs the whole garden over if you don’t stop her.  However she has indeed caught one or two moles, I must admit.

The best place to watch rabbits is high above the sea,  on the cliffs. They tend to hide in the shrubs, these little monsters, no chance to catch them…

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Free Peppy!

Dunkirk, NY
Sixteen year-old female Husky named Peppy has called her 2 1/2′ X 7′ outdoor metal cage home for fifteen years. Her living situation was noticed three year ago. Offers were made to buy her, walk her, build a fence in the yard and so on. The owner has yet to take people up on their offer. Dunkirk animal control and cruelty investigator were contacted regarding Peppy’s living conditions, they responded by saying her living conditions were legal. The entire metal enclosure is off the ground and roughly consists of five feet of metal grate flooring in which Peppy stands on. The owners states she is a “deer tracking dog” and that he took her out every Saturday to track deer–3 yrs ago. Her age and arthritis (which she is taking medication for) may be preventing her from doing this anymore. According to a neighbor Peppy is taken out of the cage only a few times a week. Continuously walking on a metal grate floor and taking medication for arthritis equals an uncomfortable and excruciating situation for her. Not to mention the constant exposure to the outdoor elements and lack of socialization.Recently, pictures were taken of her and shared in order to get her help. The bottom line is to either get media attention for this situation, or a public outcry….this issue is similar in how puppy mill dogs live.

Kindly contact the following asking for Peppy to be released to a loving rescue or for her conditions to be greatly improved:

Chautauqua County Humane Society
Attn: Jeff Lubi
2825 Strunk Road
Jamestown, NY 14701

County Executive
Gregory J. Edwards
Gerace Office Building
3 North Erie Street
Mayville, New York 14757
(716) 753-4211
County Executive’s Page

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I have read something horrible in the last Sunday Times: A greyhound breeder offers slow dogs and puppies to be killed for reasearch. This is the full article:

“The largest breeder of greyhounds in Britain is offering to sell healthy young dogs to be killed and dissected for research, an investigation has found.

Charles Pickering told an undercover reporter that his breeding programme continually throws up dozens of “fit and healthy” dogs that are “just a bit too slow for the tracks” and therefore a financial burden to him.

Pickering, who offered to sell them for £30 each, said he was helping to supply dogs to the animal teaching hospital at Liverpool University.

He provides yearling greyhounds to Richard Fielding, a greyhound trainer, who gives his older dogs for free to university veterinary staff, who put them to sleep and remove organs for teaching and research.

Pickering said he wanted to keep his dealings “nice and confidential” because it was “extremely sensitive”. The disclosure throws fresh light on the way in which the greyhound racing industry treats both retired dogs and those that fail to make the grade.

The Sunday Times disclosed in March that the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) was buying canine body parts from John O’Connor, a vet whose clinic was willing to euthanase healthy greyhounds, no questions asked.

An undercover reporter approached Pickering after hearing he was quietly sending young dogs to be put down at Liverpool University.

Pickering, a former pig farmer, breeds about 200 racing dogs a year at his Zigzag Kennels. Its website says: “We make the welfare of all our stock our highest priority.”

The reporter told Pickering that he was from another university and was interested in procuring surplus dogs for research. Pickering, 56, who is based at Dunholme in Lincolnshire, said: “We look to sell them [for racing] for a minimum of £200-£300 at 12 weeks [old].

“When they get to a year old we are hoping that we can get between £800 and £20,000 for the very fastest. But, of course, along the way we get some that aren’t quite suitable. If it’s in the interest of someone for scientific purposes or study purposes, well that’s a good thing. It’s better than just being put down and disappearing.”

Asked which of his dogs were not “suitable” for racing, he said: “We’ve got ones that simply won’t chase, they are absolutely healthy, fit as you could want, but just choose not to chase the artificial hare or are just a little bit too slow for the tracks. Or the ones that turn and fight.”

Pickering said he had been supplying up to 30 dogs a year to Liverpool University but “we could do more if required”. He later said that the dogs sent to Liverpool had either “finished racing or they are the ones that don’t make the grade” and were taken there by Fielding, who is accredited by the National Greyhound Racing Club, the sport’s governing body.

Pickering said that he could supply as many dogs as required at £30 each and could even breed them specifically to be killed. “When we are breeding, the ones that only reach the minimum standard for what we want, if we get too many of those it becomes a complication because we have to look for pet homes and all that sort of thing,” he said.

“I do give as many away for pets as we can, but these young ones, they are not used to the house environment. If they can have a use and help someone somewhere, and it gets me a tiny bit of money back, that’s all the better for me.”

Fielding, who is based in Lancashire told the reporter he had four “very healthy” dogs which he was happy to have taken away and killed immediately.

“I got shot of 10 old ones last year. Liverpool is a godsend in that respect because they are used for a good purpose.” He did not charge the university for them.

When contacted by the Sunday Times he denied taking any of Pickering’s dogs to the university and insisted the only greyhounds he took there were old and not rehomeable.

Pickering later denied ever having sent dogs for reseAs long as greyhounds are allowed to race there will ALWAYS be surplus dogs. People like Colin Denwood go on about the ‘good’ owners – the only ‘good’ greyhound owners are the ones like me – who give these awesome dogs a home after they are spat out by the racing industry.arch.

Dr Eithne Comerford, who works at the university’s hospital and had arranged to take greyhounds from Fielding, told the undercover reporter that it was “not something we’re particularly mad about . . . we’re all vets”. She stressed that the dogs were “euthanased properly” and used for “multiple projects”. She said they were not paid for and the RVC scandal had caused “huge havoc”.

A spokeswoman for Liverpool University defended its activities. “Our approach to veterinary research is of the highest ethical standard. We only carry out research on tissues of dogs and cats that have died or been euthanased and with the full consent of the animal’s owner.”

And here are some comments of readers:

“The whole sorry mess sickens me. While greyhounds are classified as ‘livestock’ they will be bred and treated as livestock – farmed to make money. Nothing will change until the Government reclassiefies them which is long overdue and the numbers bred restricted.”
“As long as greyhounds are allowed to race there will ALWAYS be surplus dogs. People like Colin Denwood go on about the ‘good’ owners – the only ‘good’ greyhound owners are the ones like me – who give these awesome dogs a home after they are spat out by the racing industry.”

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