Pharaoh – just being a dog!

Dogs live in the present – they just are!  Dogs make the best of each moment uncluttered by the sorts of complex fears and feelings that we humans have. They don’t judge, they simply take the world around them at face value.  Yet they have been part of man’s world for an unimaginable time, at least 30,000 years.  That makes the domesticated dog the longest animal companion to man, by far!

As man’s companion, protector and helper, history suggests that dogs were critically important in man achieving success as a hunter-gatherer.  Dogs ‘teaching’ man to be so successful a hunter enabled evolution, some 20,000 years later, to farming,  thence the long journey to modern man.  But in the last, say 100 years, that farming spirit has become corrupted to the point where we see the planet’s plant and mineral resources as infinite.  Mankind is close to the edge of extinction, literally and spiritually.

Dogs know better, much better!  Time again for man to learn from dogs!

Welcome to Learning from Dogs

Underground magic

A trip to the Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve.

A week ago when our family guests were staying with us we decided it would be a treat for all of us to visit the very famous Oregon Caves – it was not a disappointment.

Morten and Marius gathering information.

The history of the caves does involve a dog.

Apparently Elijah Davidson discovered the caves in 1874 when he was out with Bruno, his dog, and it disappeared. The dog had fallen down a fissure that Elijah managed to squeeze into and, bingo!, there was the most incredible deep cave ahead of him. (Watch the video below for a fuller description of how the cave was discovered.)

Joaquin Millers Chapel This is a room seen on the cave tour. It is called Joaquin Miller's Chapel and it is named after the author, Joaquin Miller because he wrote about Oregon Caves in Sunset magazine.
Joaquin Millers Chapel
This is a room seen on the cave tour. It is called Joaquin Miller’s Chapel and it is named after the author, Joaquin Miller because he wrote about Oregon Caves in Sunset magazine.

Clearly today’s visitors to the cave enter in a more gentle fashion!

P1160309WikiPedia has a very good description of the caves, from which I quote:

Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve is a National Monument and Preserve in the northern Siskiyou Mountains of southwestern Oregon in the United States. The main part of the 4,558-acre (1,845 ha) park, including the marble cave and a visitor center, is located 20 miles (32 km) east of Cave Junction, on Oregon Route 46. A separate visitor center in Cave Junction occupies 4 acres (1.6 ha) of the total. Both parts of the monument, managed by the National Park Service, are in southwestern Josephine County, near the Oregon–California border. The climate is generally mild even at the cave’s elevation of about 4,000 feet (1,200 m) above sea level, but icicles can form at the cave entrance, and winter snow sometimes blocks the park highway.

Elijah Davidson, a resident of nearby Williams, discovered the cave in 1874. Over the next two decades, private investors failed in efforts to run successful tourist ventures at the publicly owned site. After passage of the Antiquities Act by the United States Congress, President William Howard Taft established Oregon Caves National Monument, to be managed by the United States Forest Service, in 1909. The popularity of the automobile, construction of paved highways, and promotion of tourism by boosters from Grants Pass led to large increases in cave visitation during the late 1920s and thereafter. Among the attractions at the remote monument is the Oregon Caves Chateau, a six-story hotel built in a rustic style in 1934. It is a National Historic Landmark and is part of the Oregon Caves Historic District within the monument. The Park Service, which assumed control of the monument in 1933, offers tours of the cave from mid-April through early November. In 2014, the monument was expanded by about 4,000 acres (1,600 ha) and re-designated a National Monument and Preserve. In addition, the River Styx, which flows through the cave and emerges as Cave Creek, was named to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

Oregon Caves is a solutional cave, with passages totaling about 15,000 feet (4,600 m), that formed in marble. The parent rock was originally limestone that metamorphosed to marble during the geologic processes that created the Klamath Mountains, including the Siskiyous. Although the limestone formed about 190 million years ago, the cave itself is no older than a few million years. Valued as a tourist cave, the cavern also has scientific value; sections of the cave that are not on tour routes contain fossils of national importance.

Daughter Maija, grandson Morten and your truly just having exited the cave.
Daughter Maija, grandson Morten and yours truly just having exited the cave.

Between Marius and myself we took a great number of photographs but many of them can’t compare to the quality of photos found on the web.

For example here’s one of my pictures:

P1160322and here’s one taken from the National Parks Service website:

These are formations known as soda straws and like soda straws they are hollow tubes. They are made up of the mineral calcite.
These are formations known as soda straws and like soda straws they are hollow tubes. They are made up of the mineral calcite.

Won’t go on! (But I will post a collection of photographs, both from me and Marius and found online in a future Picture Parade.)

What I will do is to close with this YouTube video. It is 17 minutes long but very interesting and, hopefully, an inspiration to others to come and visit this incredible geological site.

Happy Holidays to all!

Who is the teacher?

The two-way flow from having a pet.

I can’t believe it was so long ago but back in February I received an email:


I’m sure you get a ton of spammy submissions so I’ll get straight to the point – I’d love to submit a post for publishing on your site.

If you’re still accepting posts, please let me know and I can put together a draft for your approval.

Thanks for your time!

Emily Parker

Chief Creative Cat
After a quick check to make sure that Emily wasn’t promoting a business I said that I would be delighted to publish a guest post from her.
So who is Emily? This is a short introduction to her:

Emily Parker is a cat parent to 2 lovely cats, Gus and Louis (Gus only has one eye, but we love him all the same!). She has lived with dogs in the past and can’t wait to add a dog to the family again. She writes about all things cats at her blog, Catological.com.

Don’t ask me how late February became late July but that doesn’t diminish in the slightest the quality of Emily’s guest post.

Before you read on let me present you with a picture of one of our cats that we have here at home.


Cats, Dogs, and Kids: Who Teaches Who.

by Emily Parker, Catological.com
You’ve heard it as a kid, and if you have children of your own, you may have told your kids this.

“Having a dog is a big responsibility.”

This is absolutely true. A dog can teach kids how difficult it can be to take care of another living being, all while teaching them valuable life skills.

But little do we know that raising a dog is not a one-way street. Not only do dogs teach kids, but kids teach dogs, too. And if you’re a cat owner, it creates another web of teaching. Let’s break it down.

What Dogs Teach Kids

The Importance of Feeding, and Nutrition

What a dog will teach a kid is the importance of regular feeding. However, a kid can’t just dump some dog food in a bowl and call it a day. To raise a dog properly, the child needs to make sure the pup is getting the adequate nutrition it needs, all while not overeating.

If you have a kid, you must teach the child that proper nutrition is a must when feeding the dog. He or she will need to measure out the serving size, pay attention to ingredients, and become acquainted with the macronutrient profiles most beneficial for their dog. This can bleed into the child’s own eating habits as they learn to eat healthy and measure out portions.

Also, feeding a dog will teach a child that rewarding yourself is good if it’s done on occasion. Nothing wrong with the occasional treat!
Just be sure to keep up on the latest recalls.


A child needs to have at least an hour each day dedicated to getting outside and playing. There are many ways to get a child outside, but perhaps the best way is to have a dog.
A dog needs to be walked every day, and by having your kid walk the dog, they’ll be getting exercise and learning to enjoy the great outdoors. Plus, it can get even more physical. Kids can chase dogs. Dogs can chase kids. Kids can run with their pets. The possibilities, as it turns out, are endless.

That Taking Care of a Pet Can Get Messy

This applies to cats as well. Children will have to scoop a cat’s litter, though it may seem a bit cleaner than picking up after a dog, who will of course be doing its business as the child takes it out for a walk, and the child will have to pick up after their pet.

It can seem a little a messy, and it will teach the child how to handle an animal’s waste, (which works out great if they ever decide to have children).

What Cats Teach Kids

The Importance of Consent

Most dogs are all over you, while some cats tend to want you to pet them at certain times.
Yes, we know that not all cats are like that, but a majority are. Sometimes, a cat doesn’t want to be held, pet, or bothered in general. And that’s okay!

You should teach your kid that sometimes, an animal, or indeed a human, needs their personal space, and that needs to be respected.

The Importance of Sleeping

Cats can sleep almost twice as much as humans can.

While your kid isn’t going to be sleeping for 16 hours a day, they still need 8 hours in most cases (or more if the child is younger), and may be neglecting that.

Having a cat around, who sleeps all the time, can teach the kid that sleep is important to anyone’s life, and they may soon be sleeping along with the kitty.

The Importance of Curiosity

Cats are always curious about their surroundings. If something changes, the cat will examine the surroundings incessantly. While some say that curiosity kills the cat, we believe that being curious about everything around you is a good thing, and should be taught to children.

As Fluffy examines her surroundings, kids will soon learn to examine what is around them. They’ll be aware of the people around them, look around their room when trying to find something, and be aware at all times. All of these are valuable tools for a child to have.

What Kids Teach Cats

How to Have a Little Fun

Despite learning the cat’s boundaries, some kids will still pick the kitty up, pet them excessively, and bother them. The cat may soon learn to be more sociable. They may have points where they don’t want to be bothered, sure, but they can learn to let loose once in a while.

What Dogs Teach Cats

How to Tolerate Each Other

Sure, cats and dogs can get along great, but at the end of the day, they are two different species with two different ways of behavior. Sometimes, an antisocial, sleeping cat can get annoyed by Fido’s constant need for attention. A dog may be confused by Fluffy scratching it whenever it tries to chase her.

Dogs and cats soon learn, however, to get along, or at least tolerate each other’s differences. This can teach children that they may have to be acquaintances with someone who is different than them and who may annoy them to death, like a coworker or a classmate. You may have to be with some people who are different than you. You’ll have to tolerate it. Heck, you may even grow fond of them after a while.

The Importance of Eating What is Yours

Cats can get into dog food, and vice versa. While cat food isn’t going to harm a dog and dog food won’t hurt a cat, the food doesn’t meet the nutritional needs of the opposite species. Dogs and cats will soon have to learn where their food is and not get into another animal’s food (though you should keep their feeders and dishes far apart from each other to prevent confusion and territorial fights). It’s a valuable lesson to learn for any pet.


A kid raising a pet isn’t just a learning experience for the child. It can be a learning experience to the pet, as well as a learning experience from one pet to another. In life, you’ll learn different things from different people, and those who aren’t human can ironically be the best teachers.


Wise words indeed, and a pleasure to publish. Thanks Emily.

Cats and dogs indeed!
Pedy sharing a couch with Mitts.

I dream.

Of there being a day where no animal lives out of sight of love.

Of course, when I speak of animals I have in mind those animals that end up in rescue shelters of one form or another: cats; horses; dogs; ponies; birds; and other species.

But on the broader topic of offering love to animals I must share something with you before going on to the main subject of today’s post.

That is that for the last few years we have been feeding the wild deer.

P1160187Slowly a number of them have grown to trust Jean and me to the point where one particular young female became such a regular that we named her: Doris. It is Doris that is in the picture above eating the cob that we put out twice a day.

Doris doesn’t warm to strangers plus she doesn’t come every day. When she does it is clear that she is familiar with us and perceives no threat from this ‘neck of the woods’, as the next photograph supports:

P1160243In fact, I can now gently stroke her neck when she is feeding and will share those pictures with you all in a future Picture Parade post.

I call the closeness of me and Doris love. I love how this animal trusts me and, in turn, the care and responsibility that is called for from me.

My dream is that the love, care and responsibility offered by people will one day be so widespread and extensive that there comes no call for animal rescue shelters.


A couple of days ago Cori Meloney signed up to follow Learning from Dogs. Cori is the author of the blog Three Irish Cats. As is my usual way I went across to her blog to leave a ‘thank you’ note for her decision to follow my scriblings. I immediately saw her latest post and knew without doubt that it should be republished here. Cori very promptly gave me permission to so do.


Every Day Should Be Clear the Shelters Day


Silly kitty Shadow.

I volunteer with a small (but mighty!) rescue group here in Southern Maryland called Rescue Angels of Southern Maryland. We mostly deal with cats, though we’ve recently begun to rescue dogs as well.

Most of the cats we find homes for come from owner surrenders, friendly cats and kittens from our feral colonies, and at-risk animals from our local municipal shelter, Tri-County Animal Shelter.

Saturday, Rescue Angels was one of the groups that participated in Tri-County’s annual Clear the Shelters Day celebration. Seventy-seven animals found forever homes that day. Watching the parade of happy animals and their new owners as they left the building was totally worth sweltering in the 95-degree heat.

As the only public animal shelter to serve the three Southern Maryland counties, Tri-County is a busy place. It frequently gets full, and organizations like Rescue Angels and others in the area step in when we can to remove animals from the shelter. This is not a no-kill shelter, so a full shelter means animals will die. New animals come in every day.


Gorgeous husky Damien.

Three things struck me when I was at Tri-County last weekend.

The first is that I wish Tri-County could be this busy every Saturday. Granted, adoption fees on Clear the Shelters Day were eliminated or reduced and there was a lot of publicity for this event, but there are always wonderful animals at the shelter that want to go home with a family. Many animals end up there because the owner surrendered them; the reason often given is “did not want.”

The second is that I am increasingly amazed by the dedication of the shelter staff. They have a difficult job, and it often goes without thanks. It’s not easy to be civil to an owner who is dropping off their pet because they don’t want it anymore. It’s not easy to put down perfectly healthy animals because humans have acted irresponsibly. I can only imagine that the staff constantly feels like it is in crisis mode; they may have nearly cleared the shelter on Saturday, but come midweek, those cages and pens will be filled again with animals in need.

The third thought is that we, the community, created this shelter, and we need to fix it. Tri-County has a terrible reputation here in Southern Maryland. The kill rate for cats is more than 50 percent. The facility is small and needs renovation and expansion. It is nearly always full to overflowing. Members of the community sometimes say terrible things about the staff.

Beautiful Nadine, who found a forever home on Clear the Shelters Day.

But Tri-County is constantly full because the Southern Maryland has let its companion animals down. Cats are not spayed or neutered, and they’re treated as disposable. Need to move? Drop your cat at the shelter, or worse, just leave it behind. Dog getting too big? Don’t feel like dealing with behavior or health issues? Drop the animal at the shelter.

I’ll be honest: My opinion of Tri-County and its staff has not always been positive. What makes it worse is that I had those opinions without actually visiting the shelter. I am ashamed of that fact. Since I started volunteering with Rescue Angels, I have visited the shelter many times to take cats that our rescue was putting into foster care. I have met some of the staff members, and they are always happy to talk with me about their animals. They’re ecstatic when an animal leaves the building. The shelter has a rescue coordinator whose job is to work with local rescue groups to remove animals from the shelter when they are at risk of being killed or when shelter life is impacting their well-being. These folks are animal lovers forced into a terrible situation by a community that treats its animals as disposable and Tri-County as its dumping ground.

So, now that Clear the Shelters Day has passed, I challenge my fellow residents of Southern Maryland: Visit Tri-County Animal Shelter. Talk with the staff. Visit with the cats in the free-roaming room. Take a dog for a walk. Take pictures and share them on Facebook. Volunteer. Follow Tri-County on Facebook and interact with their posts. Foster, which allows rescue groups to remove more animals from the shelter. Rescue Angels can help you become a foster family for dogs or cats.

All three Southern Maryland counties are working on plans to build their own shelter facilities. In the meantime, Tri-County Animal Shelter is our public shelter. It’s our job as the community to support the staff, help care for the animals, and reduce the number of animals killed there.

I hope to see you there, leash in hand.

By: Cori S. Meloney


So if any reader is within reach of Southern Maryland and wants to offer an animal love, care and responsibility then please make your way across to Rescue Angels of Southern Maryland.

How to draw today’s post to a close?

In searching for inspiration about all animals living in the sight of love I realised that what I was dreaming of was more about compassion than love; albeit the two states of mind being very close to one another.

That led me to perusing the Dalai Lama’s teachings on compassion: Compassion and the Individual. Here’s how that teaching concludes:

Compassion and the world
In conclusion, I would like briefly to expand my thoughts beyond the topic of this short piece and make a wider point: individual happiness can contribute in a profound and effective way to the overall improvement of our entire human community.

Because we all share an identical need for love, it is possible to feel that anybody we meet, in whatever circumstances, is a brother or sister. No matter how new the face or how different the dress and behavior, there is no significant division between us and other people. It is foolish to dwell on external differences, because our basic natures are the same.

Ultimately, humanity is one and this small planet is our only home. If we are to protect this home of ours, each of us needs to experience a vivid sense of universal altruism. It is only this feeling that can remove the self-centered motives that cause people to deceive and misuse one another.

If you have a sincere and open heart, you naturally feel self- worth and confidence, and there is no need to be fearful of others.

I believe that at every level of society – familial, tribal, national and international – the key to a happier and more successful world is the growth of compassion. We do not need to become religious, nor do we need to believe in an ideology. All that is necessary is for each of us to develop our good human qualities.

I try to treat whoever I meet as an old friend. This gives me a genuine feeling of happiness.  It is the practice of compassion.

Loving animals is very much part of protecting this home of ours.

That is my dream.

Parting is such sweet sorrow!

Slowly returning to our regular life.

My daughter, son-in-law and grandson came to the end of their week’s stay with us yesterday morning.

It felt very strange after they had gone and we had got the house back to some form of order (my grandson is a very lively five-year-old!).

To be honest, I wasn’t feeling very communicative in the afternoon when I sat down to get today’s post ready.

So can I leave you with this photograph of Morten, my grandson, thanking his grandad for a rather special tractor experience!

P1160300Hopefully back to more creative times tomorrow.

Picture Parade One Hundred and Fifty-Seven.

The concluding photographs from the 10th annual Dog Photographer of the Year competition.
The first set were published a week ago, together with this introduction:

Incredible, prize-winning, images of dogs.

The following was read over on Mother Nature News on June 30th. They just have to be shared with you.

However, to ensure the integrity of republication and the identity of the photographers, I’m going to include the photographs and the words of the original MNN piece, and split it across today and next Sunday.

Trust me you will adore these photographs.

Here are the concluding photographs.


These prize-winning images of dogs will steal your heart.

10th annual Dog Photographer of the Year competition drew entries from photographers in 90 countries.

Jaymi Heimbuch June 30, 2016.

Winner of the 'I Love Dogs Because...' category (Photo: Jade Hudson/Dog Photographer of the Year Competition)
Winner of the ‘I Love Dogs Because…’ category (Photo: Jade Hudson/Dog Photographer of the Year Competition)

Hugo the puppy is the subject of this winning image by 16-year-old Jade Hudson.

Winner of the Oldies category (Photo: Kevin Smith/Dog Photographer of the Year Competition)
Winner of the Oldies category (Photo: Kevin Smith/Dog Photographer of the Year Competition)

The gray faces of old dogs speak to all the love and friendship they’ve provided over the years as Lizzie, a 12-year-old mixed breed dog, shows us. Curling up with a cracking fire and your four-legged BFF is one of life’s great joys.

Winner of the Dog Portrait category (Photo: Jamie Morgan/Dog Photographer of the Year Competition)
Winner of the Dog Portrait category (Photo: Jamie Morgan/Dog Photographer of the Year Competition)

This portrait of two Afghan hounds named Ozzie and Elvis took first place for the Dog Portrait category. The setting is the idyllic Ashdown Forest in Sussex.

Winner of the Puppy category (Photo: Linda Storm/Dog Photographer of the Year Competition)
Winner of the Puppy category (Photo: Linda Storm/Dog Photographer of the Year Competition)

And finally, the winner of the Puppy category is little rescue puppy Buddy enjoying a bowl of milk. The photo was taken by Colorado-based photographer Linda Storm.

“The entries for this year’s Dog Photographer of the Year competition were some of the best we have ever seen,” says Rosemary Smart, Kennel Club chief executive. “Choosing the winners was an incredibly challenging task and we commend every photographer who entered. Each of the winning photographers beautifully captured the essence of their canine subjects on camera, demonstrating how important dogs are to us in every walk of life.”

If you’re a photographer who loves dogs as your subject, keep an eye on the opening date for next year’s competition!


Going to repeat the words of Rosemary Smart as I can’t even come close to the power of what she said:

The entries for this year’s Dog Photographer of the Year competition were some of the best we have ever seen.

Choosing the winners was an incredibly challenging task and we commend every photographer who entered. Each of the winning photographers beautifully captured the essence of their canine subjects on camera, demonstrating how important dogs are to us in every walk of life.

How very important our dogs are to us!


Adam & Eve’s Pets

Suitable follow-on to last Saturday’s post.

A week ago, I published an item about Larry the cat at 10 Downing Street.

Thus it seemed entirely appropriate to republish this lovely item that first appeared on Learning from Dogs in October, 2011.


When I was living back in South-West England, in the Totnes area, I had plenty of time to get to know Neil K. Neil has the most wonderful sense of humour and an ability to look at the world rather differently than the rest of us. I offer this tribute in acknowledgement of the great items that Neil passes to me for inclusion in Learning from Dogs. This one is no exception.


The Story of Adam & Eve’s Pets

Adam and Eve said, ‘Lord, when we were in the garden, you walked with us every day. Now we do not see you any more. We are lonesome here, and it is difficult for us to remember how much you love us.’

And God said, I will create a companion for you that will be with you and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will love me even when you cannot see me.

Regardless of how selfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourselves.’

And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve.

And it was a good animal and God was pleased.

And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve and he wagged his tail.

And Adam said, ‘Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal.’

And God said, ‘I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG.’

And Dog lived with Adam and Eve and was a companion to them and loved them.

And they were comforted.

And God was pleased.

And Dog was content and wagged his tail.

After a while, it came to pass that an angel came to the Lord and said, ‘Lord, Adam and Eve have become filled with pride. They strut and preen like peacocks and they believe they are worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught them that they are loved, but perhaps too well.’

And God said, I will create for them a companion who will be with them and who will see them as they are. The companion will remind them of their limitations, so they will know that they are not always worthy of adoration.’

And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam and Eve.

And Cat would not obey them. And when Adam and Eve gazed into Cat’s eyes, they were reminded that they were not the supreme beings.

And Adam and Eve learned humility.

And they were greatly improved.

And God was pleased.

And Dog was happy.

And Cat . . .

didn’t give a shit one way or the other.


So there you go!

Continuing the puppy theme.

A republication of an earlier post.

Puppies Are Demanding

Our new young puppy is consuming a great deal of attention and time!

As regular readers will know (and your readership is so much appreciated) last Tuesday I published the news that we had taken on a new puppy. He is settling in incredibly well but consuming heaps of attention; as well he should.

So rather than struggle to be creative with today’s post, I’m cheating by going back to the last time I wrote about a new arrival to our flock; namely puppy Cleo. If you will forgive me, I’m going to republish the post I wrote for puppy Cleo back on April 8th, 2012.

But before so doing, let me explain that our latest arrival has gone through a name change. The previous owners had named the young pup Smokey but we were not comfortable with that name; Jean especially so. So Smokey is now Ollie!


The arrival of Cleo brings us back to eleven dogs.

Way back in 2003 when I became the proud ‘Dad’ of Pharaoh, my German Shepherd dog that you see on the home page of Learning from Dogs, Sandra Tucker who ran the GSD Breeders Jutone, where Pharaoh was born, gave me some advice. Sandra said that when Pharaoh was getting on in life, then bring in a German Shepherd puppy. Apparently, there were two solid reasons why this made sense. The first was that Pharaoh would teach the new puppy many of the skills and disciplines that Pharaoh had learnt as a young dog and, secondly, the puppy would keep Pharaoh active.

Now we know this to be true because years later when Pharaoh had his own mini pack here in Payson, we introduced a new ‘rescue’ puppy called Sweeny. Pharaoh took an instant like to him and became very tolerant to Sweeny’s ‘games’.

Hi! I’m Pharaoh, going to be my buddy? (February, 2011)

But as adorable as Sweeny is, Jean understood the deep reasons why I always wanted a German Shepherd in our lives. So when a chance encounter in Payson Feed Store between Jean and Brendon S. revealed that Brendon had a litter of German Shepherd puppies for sale, just a couple of miles outside Payson, the temptation was irresistible!

Thus a few days ago, Jean and I went round to Brendon’s home and spent a couple of hours mingling with the puppies and their GSD mother. They all looked excellent dogs and a review of their blood lines showed that their genetic background included German stock not too far back. It was difficult to select any one pup as they were all wonderful animals. But one youngster seemed to catch Jean’s eye.

Little bit of bonding going on!

Then the next test was to introduce Pharaoh to the puppies. That took place last Friday and it was wonderful to see how well he coped with the onslaught of puppies!

More puppies that one could shake a stick at!

In the end, we ran out of reasons not to follow Sandra’s advice from all those years ago and we agreed terms on a young female GSD that, inevitably, was christened Cleopatra (Cleo) by Jean!

Cleo meet your new Mum!

Then yesterday, Saturday, we went back round to collect young Cleo, meeting Brendan’s wife Ebony in the process. The following photographs record some of the key moments.

Homeward bound to a new life!
Next step is to meet the gang!
Welcome, young lady. I’m the boss around here!
It’s my pool but you can use it!
Hey Sweeny, fancy having one’s own woods to play in!
She’ll do! Nice addition to my family!

So there we are. Back up to eleven dogs, five chickens, six cats, and a fish!

Finally, a big thanks to Sandra of Jutone for her guidance in the last few days.


Back to the present to leave you with a picture of puppy Ollie happily playing with Cleo and Hazel. More pictures of Ollie on Sunday.

L-R Ollie, Cleo and Hazel.
L-R Ollie, Cleo and Hazel.


How the years slip by.

Puppy Rescue

Sharing a recent Care2 story with you.


Nearly One Million Watch Police Rescue Puppy at Home Depot

3183766.large By: Laura S. July 15, 2016

“I’m 15 feet away and I can hear a two pound dog crying,” Great Plains SPCA’s Scott Poore says with frustration dripping in his voice, almost as much as the sweat on his brow in the 90 degree sun. “We’re going on about 45 minutes with this little dog in the back seat of this car.”

Standing in the parking lot of a Home Depot in Merriam, Kansas, Scott films a live stream broadcast that gives Facebook fans real-time access to the situation that every animal lover dreads: a dog locked inside a hot car.

But the circumstances of this particular rescue are even more bizarre than usual. First of all, this Home Depot allows dogs inside the store. Second, the puppy inside the vehicle was extremely young, only weeks old. Third, the woman went inside to shop without even slightly cracking the windows of the vehicle (although that would be of little benefit). Fourth, she actually lost her car keys so she wasn’t able to open the vehicle when she arrived.

“When the lady came out, she was absolutely blown away that anybody had an issue with this,” Scott said. “And that’s pretty typical.”

A misguided sense of affection actually seems to be at the root of most instances of dogs being left in hot cars. People bring the dogs along because they feel that the dogs will be lonely at home, but they don’t take into account the very real threat to the dog’s physical welfare.

According to the local news station, KCTV, the puppy was returned to his “owner” who was issued a citation. Watch the video and decide for yourself if the law enforcement action available to police under the current law will be sufficient to safeguard this puppy from additional neglect.


Words fail me! But well done the police!

The needs of pregnant dogs!

As in the nutritional needs of those dear creatures.

Having said in yesterday’s post that this week would be a succession of repeat posts along comes an email from Susan Combs offering a guest post. It seemed a great post to share with you all.

She describes herself as:

Susan works as a Pet Health and Safety Expert and holds expertise in the area of animal/pet care. She has over 6 years of experience in pet healthcare and is a pet parent to a dog named Chilly.
Her post has also been published over on the MyPetZilla blogsite and the following is a copy of that version.

Jul 14, 2016

How to Meet the Nutritional Needs of Pregnant Dogs

As a pet owner you should remain educated about the nutritional requirements of your dog at the time of her pregnancy. A pregnant dog needs precise nutrition and if proper care is not taken then it can lead to serious health issues.

How long does a dog’s pregnancy last?

It lasts for 63 days. The first 3-4 weeks she can be fed a regular diet, however the last weeks are important from nutrition point of view and she requires more calories. During the first 3-4 weeks, it is recommended to feed her green trippet which is made from high quality green tripe. It contains lots of digestive enzymes and ensures good health. You can mix tippet to high-quality kibble and feed to your dog.

What should I change in my dog’s diet during the 2nd half of pregnancy?

During the 2nd half of pregnancy, dog should be fed around 30-40% more calories than what she was being fed in the first half of pregnancy. Your dog’s weight should increase by 15-25% at the time of whelping in order to maintain optimal body weight after parturition, as she needs to produce sufficient quantities of milk and colostrums to support growth in the newborn pups until they are weaned.

By week 8-9, the meal should be a third more than the regular meal. Total food quantity should be divided into four or more servings per day and dog foods with minimum levels of  430 kilocalories/cup should be provided in order to supply adequate quantities of calories. If the dog is experiencing weight issues then it is recommended to consult a vet immediately.

It is absolutely okay if your dog is eating too little in one go. You can break the meal into little portions to be fed entire day. Actually, in the advanced stages of pregnancy, the stomach cannot take large quantities of food in one intake so it is better to allow eating several portions of light meal throughout the day.

How to spot potential problems?

If your dog is experiencing diarrhea then that’s an indication that you are feeding her high volumes of food. If this is the case then shift to energy dense food, preferably dry dog food.

How much should I feed her prior to parturition?

Once the bitch is ready to give birth, you should slowly increase her calorie intake to around 15 to 25 percent. It should be noted here that most bitches refuse to eat food 12 hours prior to whelping. You should keep attention and provide her to drink water in order to prevent dehydration.

How to increase the calorie intake depending on the number of puppies?

For every puppy, your dog will require a 25% increase in her caloric intake, up to 180-200% maximum increase can be done in case she has around 10-12 puppies. Increasing more than 200% is not recommended. For example, a dog eating 2 cups of a high quality dog food each day before breeding will now need about 6 cups of food a day, in order to feed herself and provide for 8-10 puppies.

What preparation do I need to do for the puppies?

Yes, there is certain preparation that you need to as a dog owner prior to the birth of the puppies. You must prepare a room for the birth to occur. Ensure that the floor should be easy to clean and the area should be calm and soothing. You should also prepare a bed for the mother to deliver the babies. Have lots of towels and encourage the mother to sit on them so they become comfortable with them and opt to use them when on labor. This would make the birth easier for both you and the mother. Also as a responsible pet owner, it is your duty to get them insured.

When should I wean the puppies?

Puppies will begin to start eating food once they achieve 3-4 weeks of age. Henceforth, weaning should be completed at 6-7 weeks of age. After 6-7 weeks, you should start giving puppy food to them.

It is important to note here that the energy content level in dog’s milk increases all the time until around day 40. After this, the level of milk drops down and this is the time when you should start feeding the pups with light puppy food.

Is puppy food different than adult food?

Yes, puppy food is different than adult food. It is high in proteins and contains higher amounts of fat soluble and water soluble vitamins, minerals, fats, and other essentials. It also has a controlled amount of calcium and phosphorus that helps in the overall growth and health of the newly born puppies.

Should I exercise my pet regularly?

Obesity is potential danger in pregnant dogs when delivery time comes so exercising should be done regularly during the first 4 weeks of pregnancy but during the later stages, light walk is preferred.

Any other precaution that I need to take?

Treatment for internal and external parasites is necessary. It is better to consult the veterinarian if there is any problem related to external parasites. Another important point to note is that soon after whelping, your dog will actually need to eat twice as much as normal – and three times the normal level during the peak lactation period, which occurs three to four weeks after whelping.

When should I visit my vet?

Visiting a vet should be a regular practice. If possible, take your dog to the vet during each week of her pregnancy. This will ensure that all her nutritional requirements are met. Your vet should also guide you regarding any complications and after pregnancy care tips.
Pregnancy is an important part in the life of your dog and making her comfortable is your duty. You should take complete care of her nutritional and emotional needs so that the pups born are healthy. Apart from healthy and nutritious food, you need to ensure that your dog is getting plenty of clean, fresh water, enough exercise and fresh air.