Sunday

Does your dog do this?

It has become a routine here at the farm.  When we eat any meal off a plate, the dogs will gather around and wait their turn, except Dutchess, she will sit but she will bark every 10 seconds or so, and this was the case last night.  They know their reward and wait patiently until we're done.  We've tried to coordinate it together, and after getting finished, it's party time.  It's not what you think, there is no mad rush to "get" to the treats.  One by one they get their turn to lick the plate.  It's so funny, each one is different and has their own technique.  Some will gently lick, and others will try to lick as fast as they can, and I bet you know who that is.  I am ashamed to say this because some, including my Mother, think this is the most disgusting thing in the world.
It always happens here on the farm, as I get ready to relax and get into the hot tub, the dogs seem to know where I'm going, maybe it’s because I have very little on and I am going outside.  Everyone runs for their spot around the tub and Abbie always jumps on the corner of it and sit’s pretty.  It’s usually uneventful except when someone wants to get in…


As I sit, I have always thought about “Why do the dogs want to lick me” because they were doing it even as I was sitting in the warm water, Doc had jumped up behind my back putting his paws on the side and licks my ear.  Not wanting to be outdone, when I changed positions, both Abbie and Dutchess were licking my face, Dutchess on one side of my brow and Abbie on the other and I can tell you, Abbie is soft and Dutchess will lick your eyebrows off, but why do they do this.  I always thought they wanted water or the salt if you’re sweating, but I have found out that’s not always the case…
According to the Pedigree website.  Why is a dog licking?  Right from birth that is how the mother communicates with her new puppies, how she stimulates them to start breathing and how she cleans them when they are born, so it's very important to the survival of puppies.  In the wild and in domestic dogs, you'll find they will lick around the mother's mouth as newborns and puppies still retain that instinct.  It's also sort of a submissive gesture — the more subordinate members of a pack will lick the more dominant members and that's important in maintaining pack harmony. 


I can say for sure that this is true.  With the pups that have been born here, it always a lick fest.  Even to this day, Annie and Meggie will lick Molly wanting her attention and will submit to her while they are doing the licking, and yes, Molly is the dominate female.   

According to the Pedigree. From about six weeks of age, some pups lick their mom's face and lips when they want her to regurgitate food for them. This behavior is a remnant of their wild ancestry—it was easier for the mother to carry food in her stomach rather than dragging it back to the den in her mouth.  As puppies grow older, they lick to groom themselves and their pack mates. It also becomes a way of welcoming others back into the pack and increasing the bonds between pack members.  Adult dogs lick as a sign of deference or submissiveness to a dominant pack member. The dog doing the licking usually lowers its body to make itself smaller, and looks up, adding to the effect of subordinate behavior. The dog receiving the face licks shows its dominance by standing tall to accept the gesture, but doesn't return the favor.


As I think about this, I remember a time when I thought it was a horrible thing.  I remember seeing a dog lick a person's hand and I thought it was gross, and I was reminded of this statement as a dog was licking my leg while I was wearing shorts.  I only remember it felt so good and I was disappointed when he quit and how things have now changed.
When your dog’s tries to lick your face, you might have a better idea of what he's trying to communicate.  He may simply be letting you know that he's glad to see you.  Or he may be hungry and asking for a snack.
But can his enthusiastic licks also represent a sign of affection?  Here's one way to look at it.  A dog's behavior can be encouraged with positive reinforcement.  So if a dog licks his owner's face—either out of instinct, anxiety, or just because his owner's face tastes salty—and that action is greeted with positive attention, such as hugs and human kisses, he'll want to repeat the behavior. While it's probably not a "kiss," you can bet it's a sign that your dog thinks you're pretty great.  Once I was working on the farm and was hit on the leg with a large piece of wood, and while holding up a thick board in the air trying to nail it in place, Clancy started licking the wound, and I just knew it would hurt, but when he got to the injury, it felt better and cleaner.  Now, I don't advocate this and might not allow it again, but is there more here?

So what is a lick…?

Affection?
Love?
Adulation?
Healing?
Submission?
Admiration?
Or do the want to get in the Hot-tub?


Or all the above.  I can’t think of any other animal that leads itself to another person or animal with a cold nose and a wet tongue flopping from side to side ready to clean out your ears, nose or heal your wound…and, I wouldn’t have it any other way…   

And just think, we thought it was just a lick…Ken

Myra, I am so sorry...


“Dogs, lives are short, too short, but you know that going in. You know the pain is coming, you're going to lose a dog, and there's going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with her, never fail to share her joy or delight in her innocence, because you can't support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There's such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love while always aware that it comes with an unbearable price. Maybe loving dogs is a way we do penance for all the other illusions we allow ourselves and the mistakes we make because of those illusions.”  - Dean Koontz


Dean Koontz and Trixie
Several nights ago, A friend of mine lent me a book,  A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz, a very famous writer.  It is about his first dog that changed his life in many ways.  So far the story is lovely and appears to be a non-stop read except to write this Blog.  Dean Koontz and I certainly have something in common, the love of a dog and the pain associated with it.  Both are unavoidable, and the first is unexpected, and the last is inevitable.
From a Facebook post that was forwarded to me on June 9: 

MIRA UPDATE: “Yesterday, we took in a female border collie whom a witness allegedly saw being beaten by an individual in McCreary County, Ky.  She was taken to Knox-Whitely Animal Shelter. After being sedated and transported – with a vet tech on board – to BluePearl in Louisville, she received immediate medical attention. We learned today that Mira, which we named her, had also been poisoned with antifreeze. Because of the severity of Mira's condition, we had to make the heartbreaking decision to wrap her in love and prayers as she took her last breath.”  The ArrowFund.org

Myra
Even writing this tears my heart out.  What pains me so much, is that Mira left this world and her last memory was being beaten to death and forced to drink antifreeze along with vile anger that someone had to harm her.  Many of us have held our loved one until the end of their loving life hoping that the last breath never came but it did and we all grieved, but Myra was alone and hurt.  When Dean Koontz and his wife knew it was "time" to cross for Trixie he wrote, “So there on her favorite couch, on the covered terrace, where she could breathe in all the good rich smells of grass and trees and roses, we opened for her the unseen gate, so she could walk again not on her now weak legs but on the still strong legs of her spirit, walk beyond that gate, an innocent into the realm of innocence, home forever.”


As hard as we try, there’s always more to do in rescue even as hard as we work, sometimes more.  It overwhelming and unbearable and it’s beyond my reasoning at times, and I do mean this.  I have seen so much of the ugly side of people that I did not want to see, but did.  The only solace is the man who harmed Mira was seen by someone and called the police, but nothing happened.  Because of the outcry of people who shouted for justice, he was later arrested on June 10, and he is facing a charge of animal torture causing serious physical injury and death, because some stepped in.  As in the Randy Sanders case in Indiana, who ruined Border Collies for over 40 years, until people stepped it did not stop.  This is not for everyone, but you can still help in other ways.  In the two cases above it was only stopped by people who fought for the lives of dogs, never seeing the dogs in the pain they are in but cared from a distance. Trust me, nothing can and will prepare you for that sight.

"This world is infinitely layered and Mysterious.  Every day of our lives, we see far more than we can comprehend, and because of our failure to comprehend disquiets us, we lie to ourselves about what we see."  Dean Koontz

I am so sorry to write this and as most of you know I wear my pain and hurt on my shirt sleeve for everyone to see and life is not always good in my world at the farm.  As I write this final script for this Blog, five of my dogs are laying under my desk because of a storm that is passing through.  They look to me to save them and I will, we all should, because there are many more...  Ken


5 Kinds, Maybe 6...

As we all know, Border Collies will think and do more than we know or want.  Just when you have them figured out, they will out-think you, out-smart you and be one step in front of you.  I will tell you, there are degrees of "smarts" in them and some have a "1" on the "10" scale, and some have a "10" score.
Poor Doc, he is the most loving dog that there ever was and will love you to death, licking on you, trying to climb in your lap and making a nuisance of his affection, but I don't mind unless I'm trying to tie my shoes.  He will love you until he knocks you down, literally…

There are basically 5 types of dog personalities according to Linda Cole.
The Confident Dog, Clancy, He was a natural born leader of his pack. He’s a team player and more than ready to take charge of a situation. A confident dog can also be dominant. Training methods with this personality type could cause him to become more willful. This dog feels secure in his surroundings and has a self-assuredness that shows in his body language.  We if you knew Clancy, this fits him to a tee.


The Independent Dog,  Shepp, The independent personality is perfectly happy being away from the crowd. He needs to be given space, and trying to force him to do something he doesn’t want to do will backfire. You can easily lose this dog’s trust and respect if you expose him to heavy handed treatment.


The Laid Back, Happy Dog  Doc, He is always ready to greet everyone he meets, whether he knows them or not. He gets along well with other dogs and cats. Dogs with a happy personality that haven’t been taught basic commands, like sit or down, are apt to get into trouble for jumping up on people when they greet them. This dog can become overly excited, especially around children, and a large dog could scare them.


The Shy/Timid Dog, Meggie, she needs an owner who can give calm, consistent and patient understanding, with a sensitivity to his needs and feelings. A shy dog doesn’t like being in uncomfortable situations or around sudden or loud noises. Yelling and harsh training methods or discipline can cause this type of personality to shut down, and you risk losing his trust. Heavy-handed treatment can push this dog to become more insecure, fearful or aggressive. It’s important to give a shy/timid dog plenty of opportunities to succeed to help boost his self-confidence, and daily exercise to stimulate his mind.


The Adaptable Dog, Annie.  She is eager to please, and the easiest of the five personalities to train. Not as outgoing as the happy personality, this dog gets along well with other dogs, cats, and people. She’s perfectly happy to follow the commands of us, who she sees as his leader. This is an easy to control dog – cooperative, gentle and affectionate – that makes a great family pet. The adaptable personality would be a good candidate as a therapy dog.

Pain in the Butt Dog, this was not mentioned.  Who else but Dutchess could fill this spot  Funny how she doesn't fit in the 5 personalities, but you have to admit, she needs her own.  There is, nor will ever be another Dutchess.  She is literally one of a kind, and I don’t know if that’s good or bad… 


If you own a dog, you know so well that it can change your life depending on the type of dog you have from the above list.  When we first get ours, usually, we don't know their personality or what type of household we may get.  Our "Pain in the Butt" dog, Dutchess has certainly changed our household.  From knocking over the Christmas tree to getting on the table and the list can go on and on and does.  She is the smartest dog I have ever known and Thank God there is only one of her, and I love them all to death...
What kind of personallity does your dog have?

Ken

They ate what?...

Being in the dog world, I have seen many stories and seen dogs eat anything and everything.  I have experienced it here at the farm many times.  What amazes me is the effort that we go through making sure they have the best food that money can buy, and they turn their nose up at food that cost $60.00 a bag, but they eat sticks and poop with vigor and a smile.

I want more...
Many times I have had to make the dog throw up after ingesting something they didn’t need.  As we all know, Dutchess will eat anything, doesn’t matter if it’s eatable or not, just something that will interest her.  From the stories I have heard about some of her pups, they are like her Mom.  She will get on the table if we’re not around and she is the counter surfer champion, but she is not the only one.


Annie and Dahlia once ate two boxes of Baklava candy.  It was great going down, but they paid the Devel when it came up.  Dahlia counter surfed and pulled it down, and Annie was there to help her devour the goodies.  Neither dog had ever attempted to eat anything odd, and it’s a hard lesson but if they would only learn.

I have always worried about the things they eat, always worrying if it does not pass through and what to do.  Dutchess, the world famous dog disposal, had been given a solution of Hydrogen peroxide many times because of what she has gotten into.  After a while, I think she got immune to it because once it didn’t work.  It was a hot summer afternoon, and I had given it to her several times, and nothing had happened.  She had gotten into the garbage that was supposedly locked up and got some cooked chicken bones.  After about an hour, I told Elaine, we’re going for a ride in the car.  Elaine and Dutchess were in the back of the car, and we went on our curvy, hilly road.  Nothing happened in the car, but when she stepped foot on solid ground, she puked everything up, Dutchess gets car sick, and this was the answer that day.

Image result for dog on the table eating cake

Usually, it’s our fault when they get into things because we are careless and leave things out and it tempts them to no end.  Once we were having a Birthday party, and the table was set, and the cake was in the middle of the table.  Everyone was in another room because it was a surprise party and I went to check on everything.  Standing on a chair stretching out as far as possible, the dog was eating the cake.  Very quickly, I got the dog off the table, looked at the cake and said out loud, “now what do I do.”  Grabbing a knife, I cut the eaten part out, turned the cake around as where it was on the back.  When everyone came in, I confessed I had to sample a little, but a quarter of it?  Dirty looks from most but the dog was safe…


This is something we all face and dog proofing the house is always in order, but it’s hard to keep everything outside out of their reach.  Once, Clancy came to the house with a leg from a deer that he got from somewhere in the forest, still somewhat fresh.  Best food you can buy they turn their nose up but sticks, grass and anything else, always.  

If it comes to it, surgery is the only answer.  If you want to see how it is done, this is a very good and informative video.  


Ken