Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Alfresco Toiletting

What started off as a teeny tiny moan about my inability to nip for a quick alfresco pee without having one 'excitement' or near nettle experience has turned into a blog that makes me gurn in the same way as being faced with a smiling older man with an equally old staffie whilst pulling your pants up.

First I looked up the dangers of alfresco toiletting......

Check out this poor guy watching an elk calf then finding himself a target of a near bear attack ( I wanted to put bare there but maybe I was thinking of something else).


Then you have the problems of near death experiences whilst on board boats, who knew there was an etiquette and safety protocol for alfresco toiletting on boats?!

Here is an excerpt:

Following on from the "Toilet technique" thread, in which many advocated peeing over the side, this reminded me of the demise of a friend, who sadly went overboard off South Africa a few years ago, never to be seen again. He was taking a leak off the stern of his Moody 38 & when eventually the crew managed to get back, they were unable to find him.

Wonder, how common, is it, for men (usually), to fall overboard, whilst having the most basic of bodily functions?

Very common. It's called 'Fly open syndrome' by the USCG as the trouser flies are open when the body is recovered. I think the Canadian Red Cross says it accounts for 10% of all water connected deaths and the state of Washington has banned men from urinating over the side to try and cut deaths.

I even found a term I shall be using in the future:
“shake the dew off your lily”
Now I am getting serious......this kind of stuff breaks my heart.  I LOVE to see my guys and gals scratting like good'uns after toiletting to me it means they are feeling well, showing( advertising) off how healthy they are and I simply wouldn't stop it.  Mind with Flute and Tips you have to fear for your eyes and keep your mouth shut when they scrat because they aim to chuck the earth as far as possible!  
This is an excerpt from Cesar Milan sigh:
My dogs have never marked, and I have had many dogs throughout my life. If I have a dog from the time he’s a pup I do not let him mark. Not ever. I teach him to go to the bathroom on command and to eliminate completely in one or two goes. In fact some of my male dogs never cock their legs but urinate as a female would, by squatting. I have to add that because I occasionally breed them and produce a litter, they are not neutered.
I do believe that in some instances a marking dog is one that really lacks confidence and is attempting to say, “this is my territory – please keep away, I don’t want confrontation.” In other instances there is the dominant dog that says, “this is my territory and if you don’t want trouble then keep out of it.” And of course there are the ones where the owners have encouraged or allowed them to mark simply because they felt that is what dogs do.
I watch a dog and note the body posture, the tail, the stiffness of the back, the head position, and try to determine what the marking may be. In some it is definitely dominance – “I am here and letting you know.” With others it appears to be almost friendly – “Oh that smells nice; I think I will leave them a message.” Kind of like the Facebook for dogs!
What can be concerning is when the dog that begins to kick back with his hind legs after defecating or urinating. This is what I call “spreading the word.” A dog has scent glands between his paw pads and it is thought that in this way he is spreading his scent even more. As with marking, I dislike and don’t allow this behavior. For me it is a sign of dominance, an indication that this dog wants to be leader of the pack, and sees himself as independent with a will of his own. I have seen this mostly with the northern breeds. Nearer to the wild dog genetically maybe?
In most instances marking occurs because of lack of training, leadership and the development of good habits. Without realizing it, owners often place their dogs in leadership positions. The dog then believes he has to establish a territory and show he is the protector of all within it. This may go as far as marking in the house on personal belongings, even the owner’s bed. Once a dog has left a mark of territorial scent, you will find when he revisits the place he is almost “triggered” to mark again – an almost involuntary response to the smell. Then he gets into even more trouble than he was in before, which results in confusion in the dog and anger in the owner – energy that is anything but calm and assertive.

Shoot me now......
I admire the guy for sticking to what he believes in but that is it I can't admire him for much else.

So just as I don't like to end a session on a bad note with the puplets I shall end this blog with a funny little ditty from Robin Williams....love it.

I shall be getting back to strictly indoor toiletting from now on!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The magical art of dog family dynamics

I changed the title so many times I am grateful I wasn't using pen and paper.

What I did decide was to definitely not call it dog training.

Training dogs is a fine art that many succeed and excel at.  Yet few master the art of dog family dynamics.  I am often one of them, just like I fail to succeed in weight management in the pet dog.  To find that key for each situation, to find the answer that means no fat dogs and no dogs ending up in the rescue centres.

Lets start with the dog.

Few dogs are one thing as the books would have you believe.  Many of the fearful dogs I know are also expert manipulators.  All of the dogs I know are multi faceted not so much a horse for every season as a dog for every human, a dog in a family of four will be a different dog for each person in that family even being different when the family is together to when there are two of the family together.

Then you have life stages which of course is adjusted by circumstances, change and seasons.

Throw in diet ( yes of course dogs are what they eat though that conjure up strange images in my mind for many of the dogs I walk haha), hormonal state, exercise levels, boredom levels, health and family relationship dynamics.  Then random circumstances thrown in just when you feel you are getting somewhere.

Then we have the humans.

The dog may have lived with one human to then find itself part of a two human family with different rules, new routines, new households and maybe even a new dog/ cat etc.  That two human family may become a two human one baby household etc. New jobs, older parents moving in and you can already see how life is not as simple as one would seem for dogs and humans.

All it takes is one of those humans to have a firm idea very different from your own and training/ management can become frustratingly difficult.

The skill of training dogs, of all animals, is not simply finding a solution to the dogs 'problems' its finding a workable solution that will work with the families dog human dynamics.  A workable solution where each human has their own weakness and strengths, time restraints and emotional mechanisms taken into account and using them to everyones advantage.

Lots of 'problems' can be solved by very simple basic behaviours.

That blog will be next and I know the title already, phew!

A picture can mean so much

Commissioning a portrait can stem from many different motives. Nearly all are to be a celebration of a love, a part of our lives shared by something or someone.  They can make you smile and cry yet their role is to transport you back or to capture a moment you mustn't forget.

This portrait was to be a celebration of a physical love lost yet love that will be with you forever. One picture will transport you back not just that moment but many memories all intrinsically linked to each other.

Then we were to add a piece of art within the art to celebrate a skill. This skill was perfect as it added depth to the portrait and was so appropriate for the subject, lending more of a story.

A chance inclusion has ended up being so emotionally charged and so very important I even feel it has a relevance all of its own.

No longer just a celebration of a skill now a celebration and acknowledgement of something great.

Life is simply cruel 

Yet life is all

Better to have loved as much as they have than never to have loved at all.

Goodbye my dear, you who are loved so dearly and always, now a kindly black furry face helps to transport us back to you. 

And I promise to call it a paddle not an oar xxx

Tobermory and his paddle

More to follow .....