Posts Tagged ‘humane activism’

No Bad Dogs(LOL)

July 9, 2020

Remember Barbara Woodhouse? She was a dog trainer who claimed that there were no bad dogs.I always thought her to be naive. if you work with dogs, you know there are bad dogs. People breed bad dogs because they have no integrity and are only breeding dogs to sell as livestock—just to make money off of. They are not breeding dogs to improve their line or for the betterment of any breed. If you work with dogs long enough, you learn that most are smaller dogs. Yes, some are ‘Pit Bulls’, and the aberrant dogs of other breeds (Shiba Inu, Lagotto Romagnolo, even Scottish and Sealyham Terriers), but for the most part, the ‘bad dogs’ tend to be the types of dogs people want to carry around: purse dogs. They don’t come from ethical hobby breeders, not for the most part. They come from people who are breeding dogs to sell to people with money. Those people won’t ask about genetics. The buyers just assume the breeders have integrity. By far, the worst are Boston Terriers, French Bulldog, Jack Russell terriers, Lhasa Apsos…and mixes of those breeds.

I had a client who told me, when she started making excuses for her Yorkshire Terrier being aggressive, “Don’t allow in a small dog behavior you would not tolerate in a large dog.” She was right. It’s not cute, It’s dangerous. Those little dogs have teeth, and have no bite inhibition.

All the times I have been bitten badly enough by a dog to require emergency treatment, it’s been by a small dog. Why did those dogs bite me? In a couple of cases, the dogs had become demented by disease and old age. But the other times, the dogs just didn’t like what I was doing to them— likely cutting their toenails. They were not frightened. they were telling me who the boss was.

Rarely do I groom bad dogs, but we still have a few. Just the other day, I was waiting for a dog whom I knew was bad: Charlie. Charlie is, allegedly, a ‘cav-a-poo’. That is, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel crossed with Poodle. Maybe he is. I have no idea. Charlie was allowed to be the boss by his owners, and he never liked having his feet picked up or his face f touched. I learned to work around his idiosyncrasies, but should I have had to? I put right on his grooming card several years ago: #3 muzzle. I put it on him as soon as I get him on the grooming table. I’m always as gentle as I can possibly be. It does me no good to abuse the dogs, but the problem is usually owners in denial.

Charlies’ owners are Russians. They act entitled. They don’t care whom they inconvenience. They know we want all dogs into the shop between eight and nine in the morning, but they don’t care. They think they should arrive when it’s convenient for them…or maybe not at all. They don’t care if they cost us money.

Due to circumstances, my boss/coworker and I decided we have nothing to lose by raising his price a bit over 10%. We are fed up with accomodating people who think we should b pay them for the privilege of playing with their dogs. That’s not what we do.

It’s not lost on me that I make a living cutting dog hair when I have lived in countries where most people could not afford to buy a decent pair of shoes. Can you imagine explaining to normal people in Africa that people pay you to give dogs haircuts? I don’t even get into the fact that most of these dog owners have college loan debt, and really can’t afford the service I provide, but that’s capitalism.

Then, there are people in the pet industry deciding we should now call dog owners  …pet parents. I swear, the world—or at least the United States, has gone mad.

*********

This —-from my sister. Ut didn’t reallyhappen to her. I want to preface this by saying I think the citronella collars are very humane. The dog corects himself, and usually, it takes just 1 poof of citronella, and they get the idea:

The neighbors had been complaining that my dogs have been barking non-stop. I hate the electric zapping bark collars so I purchased humane citronella collars. When a dog barks, it shoots a blast of citronella under their nose, and apparently, they don’t like it.
This evening I was getting the collar ready and filled it with the citronella liquid. And that’s where my evening should have ended. But no, it’s me, and I begin to become curious as to “how” the collars actually work.
So I’m standing by my back door “barking” at my dog’s collar. Nothing happens. I make sure it’s turned on, check the fill level, and go through the “getting started” checklist one more time. Again, I bark. Nothing happens. Now I’m not quite sure, why I had this next thought, but I did…I put the collar on. I seriously extended the band and fit the growl box against my throat and barked. Apparently, the collar only works if it feels vibrations because I immediately received a blast of citronella to the face.
I began coughing, which only caused the collar to continue squirting bug spray over and over into my nasal cavity. I’m now on my hands and knees in my back yard, trying to breathe, and to make matters worse, the dogs are barking. So between coughing and yelling at them to stop, I’ve emptied over a dozen blasts of citronella to my face. During all of this ruckus, I’m trying to undo the clasp of the collar, which has somehow managed to weld shut during this whole fiasco.
I finally get the collar off and threw, yes I threw that inhumane thing across the yard, and lay in the grass sucking in the humid evening air. In the middle of thinking this is probably the dumbest thing I’ve done in a while, I hear laughter. MY NEIGHBOR SAW THE WHOLE THING! He was laughing so damn hard, he couldn’t breathe. Between gasps, he tells me, “I was gonna come help, but every time I started to come over, you’d set it off again, and then I would start laughing and couldn’t make it.” So now, not only are my eyes red, but my face and ears are too. After checking to make sure I was ok, we parted ways and I went in to shower so I wouldn’t smell like ode de’ Tiki Torch.
Lesson learned: next time (yes, there will always be a next time with me) make sure that:
1. Don’t fill the collar before trying to set it off.
2. Remember your neighbor is not a good source of help in a comedy crisis situation.
On the plus side, I won’t have a mosquito problem for a few days!
 

What is ‘Essential’?

May 29, 2020

My book, Polyandress, is now on Itunes and Barnes & Noble: //www.newmansprings.com/release/?book=polyandress.

In the last few weeks under Covid19, dog groomers have become —essential. Please—-I am aghast.  If people would just brush their dogs, we could be sane.  It’s fine. I enjoy working, but I do not enjoy pandering. I believe the reason they made us essential is…. is that we see so few clients every day, and they don’t hang around. But since there was no dog grooming for 8 or so weeks and a lot of our regulars didn’t’need’ grooming until we were closed, we’re seeing a lot of hairy dogs.  People who live with those dogs–rather than take a brush to their BEST FRIEND…beg to have the dog shaved. Lots of shave downs. Some people do take care of their dogs, but many don’t. 

I am not a naturally optimistic person. I would be described as cynical. My boss asked me if I considered myself an extrovert or introvert, and I said, “Introvert, definitely.” I  bring that up because now I am overwhelmed by my fellow Americans, and I  more often think, “What the fuck are these people thinking? Were they thinking?  they have student loans!  Why did they get a dog that needs a haircut so it will smell halfway decent?” (Keep in mind, I have whippets—naturally clean dogs.

I  went to ‘work’ this morning (It’s Thursday 5/28) but I walked out because the person I was ‘working’ for had so little integrity, I could not take it. She was charging extra for a dog that should not have been charged— for matting. Yes, it’s her business & her prices are her prices, but I don’t think she will be in business in a year. Worse, she hired a woman who wants to learn to groom dogs (Laura is 52, and she was a pharmacy tech!), but she had her bathing a dog that could have been bathed more quickly, humanely, efficiently—and she won’t do it. She’d rather pay this woman more—to take more time, which will stress out the dog for no good reason because that’s the way she does things. To me, that is inhumane.

Life is too short to be a party to people who don’t act in an ethical manner towards others. You see, this has nothing to do with God, or believing in God. It’s a matter of common sense right and wrong. If we’re no longer going to be fair, and accountable that means nobody can be trusted.

I started addressing this to a man I met online. From what I know of him, I like—I just don’t know that much. I still don’t have enough information.  I was telling a friend, I am attracted particularly to entrepreneurs, because they take risks, and are responsible for their decisions…more so than someone working for someone else. My father was a businessman, and having been in business myself, I know the difficulties and the rewards. It helps me to respect these guys. Isn’t getting respect part of love?

I have to be clear. I am not sure what love really means. I thought I was in love a few times, and the love was not returned. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I don’t think so. We have an expression: ‘Trust but verify.’ Too many men have told me too much stuff that turned out to just not be true. The fact of the matter is that they were all Christians, and their worldview was that they would ultimately admit they were imperfect, ask Jesus for forgiveness, and how they messed with my heart wouldn’t matter. So, all the words mean nothing until I understand how a man is with me.

You can’t buy me. Gifts that are just gifts are just stuff. The gift I want is a man to be as vulnerable as I am. If I am to let you into my body, I am taking a huge physical and emotional risk. Men don’t consider that. I am saying it is important.

For me to love, I need a safe physical bond. I’ve never had that with a man ever. I don’t need another platonic male friend unless he is extremely funny & wants to take me to dinner. I’m serious. It does me no good to try to cultivate a relationship with a man who talks a good game and then is either afraid of me or finds giving me pleasure disgusting. We all have our limits. There’s a lot of stuff associated with sex that I don’t enjoy. I don’t want to be hurt, slapped, tied up, penetrated anally, or in 1 position all the time. I don’t want to be a receptacle. You would think I would not have to say that…but I know I have to. I know I intimidate men, but I know what I want, and I am not afraid to ask for it.

I don’t know how to make this idea of good sex more plain and direct. I discourage a lot of men who don’t want a woman asking for anything, and that’s just fine. My life is good. Good sex would make it better.

In any case, I am busier than I wanted to be. And….suddenly, young men on the dating sites are lying about their ages and coming out of the woodwork. I admit, I added a profile shot with cleavage (when you got it, flaunt it), but I am bemused that so many young—and I mean really young, men…. are contacting me. This is excellent fodder for an erotic romance writer, so I have to take advantage, but I still have to sort through who is real, who has something to offer, etc.

 I am not just talking when I say I write erotica. I have to really get it out there to men approaching me so as not to waste time. My ‘interaction’ with ‘the Muse’ turned out to be less than satisfactory. I could possibly fix this, but it takes two, and I think he was so disappointed in himself and the fact that he has no female friends, well, it is what it is.  He doesn’t understand you have to give to get—and can’t slide by on your good looks forever. A shame, but you can only do so much.

I guess it’s my age range, but the guys my age who respond are all foreign. Legal residents, not citizens, They all have the same story. All widowers, looking for ‘love’. What loves seems to be in their amorphous views are a commitment, trust, and not asking questions. Clearly, most are very sexually conservative, and when I address that I don’t need a man to take care of me, that you’ll get love when you provide great sex and reliability, they go away. It’s still ok for a man to have this attitude, but not so much for a woman. I was describing how this is to several friends, and said, “I am scaring them away.” The response was, of course, “You don’t want them then.” No, I don’t.

 

 

The Fancy is Killing the Fancy (I Learned This Promoting Polyandress)

April 29, 2020

My Saluki as a young dog. Sold as a pet, he finished his AKC championship in fewer than 10 shows. His breeder trained him—& didn’t charge for the training!

I’ve been publicizing my book, Polyandress an erotic romance that a dog fancier( a groomer and trainer), has with a boy who seduced her, the child of a man her grandfather bought as a slave in the 1950s:

Slavery occurs in much of the world, still, and the scenario I wrote is very plausible. In many places, slaves were allowed to buy their freedom which was the debt the slaveowner had incurred to get a servant. As I wrote the store, the character’s father was very clever and learned the business his owner was in. After learning the business, he became relatively successful.  The son became a rock star. It’s an erotic genre.

In any case, I wrote this character young because when I was in my 20’s, in the 1970s, it happened to me several times: a very young teenage boy tried to seduce me. More, I had the experience, as a teenager, learning about sex from a boy not much older than I, and he became my husband.

I had also spent some time in this part of the world and I had an academic research background. That’s why the story starts in Africa. There was no statutory rape in this part of Africa. I heard it from many African men, “If she looks old enough, she is old enough.” Nobody would ever in a million years question if a boy was old enough. He’d know if he was old enough.

Why did I make this part of the story? I was addressing aspects of integrity. I had my female character address it to the teenager:  that he had to keep perspective. To make this part of the story, I had to make him a rock star who would have the money and the means to travel. But the non-sexual part of the story is that the female character is hired to help a guy train his dogs. He thinks he wants to breed them and she tells him what people who really love dogs do. They do a lot.

I didn’t know anything about writing or self-publishing or finding an editor, but I got a story that holds together.

How do I get people to read the story? I have to market it myself, and I selected dog groomers, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and dog people in general.

I’d contact the various kennel clubs, the specialty clubs first, and ask people to buy and read my book. & yes, it’s an erotic romance. Is it smut? Nobody gets hurt. There’s no violence. There’s a discussion about how people learn about sex and sexual expression, and what keeps people from making mistakes, particularly regarding relationships.

Prototype cover without the dogs & title.

I keep defending this, but as much as the ‘genre’ is the issue on ‘the fanciers’ side, the AKC has not assisted the club in marketing themselves at all.

How did I find the clubs? By going to the AKC web database, which is not the most intuitive thing to use. If I didn’t have a background in dogs & know the clubs, and who’s in charge of what, I couldn’t do this.

The biggest problem is that the local clubs don’t generally keep up their links with the parent club: “(The Breed) Club of America” or American (breed)Club.  Sometimes, the pages no longer exist and the domain name is for sale…to any puppy miller. Or it a has been bought (at leas the URL—call your club whatever you want, but do you want the link you forgot about to go to an architectural firm in Taiwan—or a commercial breeder?).   Other problems include; there is no way to contact the club through the website. You actually have to Google the Club by name & they MAY have a Facebook page, but they may or may not have a ‘send message’ or ’email’ link. It depends on who in the club is savvy.

Now I can sort of maneuver the database because I have a good idea of the names of the clubs—but what if you don’t know the actual name of the club?  Say, you Google ‘Afghan Hounds Chicago.’ If a breeder has those Google adwords, the Afghan Hound Club of Greater Chicago won’t show up—or worse, the club website will show up, but none of the links work, so you can’t contact the club. So you go to any breeder, but what if you just want to hang with Afghan Hound lovers? Sorry…you are S. O. L.

Now, what if you don’t know the name of a breed. Say, you only can name a few breeds: German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Poodle, Dachshund, Husky, Cocker Spaniel, English Bulldog, Shih Tzu, Boston Terrier, Chihuahua, Pug. You aren’t going to go looking for a Keeshond or Norwegian Elkhound. Funny(not) thing: People know what Pomskies are. Although they are a cross between a Pomeranian and a Siberian Husky, more people know what they are than …Keeshond or Norwegian Elkhounds. So—those club should buy the Googe adwords for ‘POMSKY’…like the Irish Water Spaniel, the Spanish Water Do0g, Portuguese Water Dog, and Barbet fancies should bu all the Google Adwords for all the Doodles: labra-, Golden-, Berna-, Sheepa–, Newfa….doodles. Chances are the people looking for Doodles want the PREDICTABILITY of a purebred dog, but have never heard of those breeds.

There are so many breeds the public doesn’t know.  & yet another problem is…the club doesn’t have a newsletter or even a local listserv. Or worse—a conservative Christian gatekeeper as secretary, who has accused me of peddling smut.

Yeah, I guess it is. Dang me, describing acts of sexual pleasure than don’t involve intercourse or making babies. God forbid a teenager should get a hold of Polyandress and find out you can have great sex without risking health, life, and pregnancy. And— you might learn what ethical breeders do when they love purebred dogs and want to see the breeds thrive into the future.

An Emotional Support Animal is NOT A Service Dog

March 6, 2020

Dazzle, JC (Dazzle) Saluki, on the left, Bebop Whippet, on the right. Bred by hobby breeders for the betterment of their breeds.Not emotional support animals, but keep me mentally stable.

I just had a big ‘tif’ on a grooming related FB site. Someone new posted a photo of a poodle mix she thinks is a purebred dog (it’s merle–no way can the dog be purebred—the coloring has never appeared in the breed), but THEN she says she got the dog to be a SERVICE ANIMAL! When I asked what service the dog is trained to perform, others on the site got angry & said I had no right to ask. But by law, I DO. Turns out the dog is an ’emotional support animal’. Not a service dog. So if any of you are seeing a therapist who panders to the self-indulgent neurotics who want to manipulate the rest of us into indulging them, you might want to rethink how valuable the therapy you are getting really is. I know what it is to be mentally ill, but I also know what integrity is.

‘Emotional Support Animals’ are a new construct. They didn’t exist even 10 years ago. However, because psychologists are giving people permission to have them—a walking security blanket—now they are a thing. Based on a letter the ‘patient’ carries around, the ‘patient’ feels entitled to take a(usually untrained) dog anywhere most dogs are not allowed….unless they are bona fide TRAINED service dogs.

As a dog lover, and as someone who has been afflicted with mental illness (I may still be…who knows? You have to talk to me…but I digress…), it really irks me when I am out with my two trained dogs, and someone with an out of control dog allows that dog to harass my dogs. I also don’t like being molested by untrained dogs. I spend more time intimately involved with dogs than a lot of people ( hey—I shave a lot of penises), and I can usually control most dogs in my own environment. When a dog is in his own environment, the dynamic changes. Passing off untrained dogs as service animals is dangerous and unethical. We’re not talking PTSD, we’re talking entitled.

But there’s another problem: psychologists who know nothing about dogs, and don’t really care, are pandering. It used to be you’d go for therapy, and if you didn’t feel emotionally stronger in a few weeks, you’d change therapists. You would not ask for permission to indulge yourself. Psychologists are not medical doctors. They can’t prescribe drugs. They essentially use talk therapy and behavior modification and may consult with a psychiatrist, to help their clients achieve mental stability. They don’t prescribe security blankets. Why would they think a pet will automatically make you feel more emotionally…stable? Will it? What it does is forestall dealing with issues. The irony is that if these emotionally unstable people actually trained the dog they have…actually spent time getting used to being in charge and confident, not only would they have a stable, well-behaved dog, they’d be more confident, and their emotional issues may dissipate—- but the psychologists  can’t have that happen, can they?

Comments
Robyn Michaels

 

Preface to Polyandress

January 23, 2020

From the Museum of Erotic Art in Barcelona Spain

What do purebred dogs have to do with erotic romance?  Nothing.  It’s just that  one of my characters thinks he wants to breed dogs.

Draft for cover of Polyandress

Lots of people I know think dog breeders are evil.  Funny thing:  the BACKYARD BREEDERS are totally off the hook for responsibility. People who breed their pets for ‘fun & profit’, who sell to anyone with cash,  and don’t screen buyers to determine if they are ready for the dog they want..are filling our shelters.  The ‘do-gooders’ promoting ‘no-kill’ don’t count them as breeders. They are actually demonizing responsible breeders instead and are letting the bad ones totally off the hook.

They retort that no breeder is responsible. These people who influence ‘conventional wisdom‘ know nothing about animal husbandry, genetics. or animal behavior. Also, they don’t know the facts. They have a cartoonish, anthropomorphic view of animals. They hew a party line.

The facts are that over 90% of dogs in shelters were bred by backyard ‘I’m-not-a-breeder’ breeders, who deny they are breeders because they don’t have five breedable bitches, or they don’t have a kennel building, or they aren’t living off their dogs. In urban areas, most are Pit Bulls, or Pit-x, but some areas have a lot of Chihuahuas, Beagles, or shepherd type farm dogs, We’re not seeing rare breeds in shelters unless a dog has been lost. Let me take that back. Now we are seeing more Cane Corso in my metro area. I guess the foundation breeders didn’t make it clear to buyers that they should not be breeding if they weren’t going to be responsible for what they breed.

No matter. When you own the mommy animal at the time she gives birth, you are THE BREEDER.

They’ve also spread this idea that dogs are just bred for their beauty (conformation) and can’t do what they were bred d to do. That is laughably untrue.

We are ‘the fancy‘. That’s what purebred dog lovers—fanciers—call ourselves.  I’ve worked for hobby breeders for over 50 years. Most I work for are extremely concerned about genetic defects and strive to breed genetically sound dogs that can do what they were originally bred to do, and more. We call obedience, rally, agility, racing, lure coursing, hunting, dock diving, nose work, barn hunt, etc.: performance.

More important, these breeders love their dogs. They network to find homes for older dogs, often support their breed-specific rescue if a dog ends up in a shelter & the breeder can’t be found, and they will take back dogs they’ve sold if the buyer can’t keep the dog. They do not want to lose track of the dogs they’ve bred. This is why you don’t see rare breeds such as Glen of Imaal Terries, Borzoi, Clumber Spaniels,  in shelters. The breeders take them back. They also make clear to buyers why pet dogs should not be bred.

The do-gooders blame the hobby breeders, demonizing them for the situation the backyard breeders have caused.  We are losing breeds. I wonder if Bedlington Terriers or Affenpinschers have viable gene pools.

The reason I am a purebred dog fancier is predictability. A breed is considered a breed by the bona fide registry organization when the fanciers have a breed standard describing the physical dog, and dogs that breed true for three generations. With a degree of statistical certainty (with a standard deviation, I’m sure), you can tell what size, coat type, and temperament a purebred dog will have.

This is not so with mixed breeds/designer dogs. It would be amusing if it wasn’t infuriating how many grooming clients groomers have who bought ‘designer’ Poodle crosses and are disappointed with the size and coat type of the dog. If you would not buy a purebred Poodle, why would you pay more for a Poodle mix? I think the doodle breeders’ marketing must be very good. That and people don’t spend enough time researching a purchase.

Rarely do hobby breeders reach out to the public. They have too much conventional wisdom to dispel in a short amount of time. Veterinarians, who should know better, are not helping, either.

Now, due to ‘the economy’, where land rents might eat up over 50% of a household’s income, coupled with credit card debt and outstanding student loans, few people can even afford to own a dog, let alone breed them.

Ethical breeders are dying of old age. Younger people don’t have the time, money, or interest in breeding quality dogs. A veterinary dental for a dog hovers around $400 in my neck of the woods. The last thing people who have a lot of debt need is a high maintenance breed of dog, but pet buyers are naive and emotional.

When people try to guilt me about being a purebred dog fancier, I remind them that all dogs come from breeders, and I don’t want ignorant, dimwitted backyard breeders choosing the type of dog I should own. Humans ‘invented’ over 400 breeds for various reasons. it’s fine if you want to take any random dog, but we will not make a dent in irresponsible behavior; i.e. backyard breeders, if we ignore that they are the elephant in the room.

OK. So..what does that have to do with erotica? Nothing. But if I made one of the characters a dog fancier, and she explained why integrity is important, and she enjoys having mind-blowing sex…would you read that?

I rest my case.

What Does ‘Socialization’ of Dogs Mean?

September 7, 2019

Recently, I’ve been fostering  a dog for a breed specific rescue. The dogs—all purebred, were taken from a hoarding situation. We really don’t know that much about them, but what we do know is from our experiences working with all sorts of dogs.

Many of the dogs were injured in dog fights. Some needed stiches. We think they might have been fighting over bitches in season, or possibly food. They are –or were—all ‘skittish’:  they constantly look behind them  when they were walked. They’d try to hide under furniture or cower in crates. Yet, they all were leash trained, all were housebroken, and none of the dogs is a fear-biter.

It seems to me, these dogs were not  abused in the sense they were brutalized or beaten. They were neglected and hadn’t been exposed to  stimulation from the outside world.  Adding to their trauma was how they were captured and moved.

I have worked in kennels that housed  retired racing Greyhounds waiting for pet homes.  For some reason, the ‘do-gooders’ seem to think these dogs were abused.  Clearly, when you compare them to, say, Pit Bulls taken from open admissions shelters, they haven’t been.  All are calm in the kennels, They don’t generally react to  other dogs barking at them.  They approach strangers with their tails wagging, They never bark franticly.  They walk calmly on leashes without pulling.  Most are even houebroken!  It’s clear that most retired Greyhounds were handled in a loving, responsible manner.  Yet, the do-gooders, with no personal evidence, promote the idea that  these dogs are not well cared for, and if they don’t run, they will be killed. Since the 1960s, because I’ve had pet Whippets (we’ve run non-paramutuel races—no betting), I’ve known NGA Greyhound breeders who always tried to give away  dogs that were duds on the track. But those so-called ‘humane activists’ kept writing that these dogs could not be pets! Yes, they’ll chase and kill a small animal…even a small dog. Lots of dogs—even  those cute Yorkies—will do that.  I’d rather take a chance on a Greyhound than a Cocker Spaniel! Ask any dog groomer.

Not all Pit Bulls are killers. The irony is that many are ‘non-social’ because they’ve been taken from their dams  when they are barely weaned. The backyard breeders of Pits  want to GET RID OF THEM ASAP, so they don’t allow dogs to learn to be dogs and negotiate how to get along with their littermates. That’s the reason so man Pits (& other popular breeds) are nonsocial.

I work for several hobby breeders, and they  do what they think is right in terms of socialization for their puppies. They usually have TV or radio on.  They run the vacuum cleaner around them. They get the pups being used to getting brushed, having their toenails trimmed, and bathed.  What they usually don’t do is take them out to get used to street sounds.

I got my first puppy when he was three-months-old.  I started walking him all over, and allowing people to touch him.     He was an Afghan Hound, and they usually grow out of their puppy personalities when they are a little over a year, and start becoming aloof.  He was aloof!  However,he was never fearful.

My foster dog is adjusting to all the city sounds.  She had, apparently some training, because she responds to the typical obedience commands that pet dogs are often taught.  As we work with her, she will gain more of an attention span, and gain confidence, and not be so skittish.

When we go to dog training classes, we see many puppies.  Decades ago,  for some reason (because we didn’t really understand how animals learn)  pet owners were encouraged  to wait until a dog was at least a year old before beginning training.   These days, we know that as soon as the dog has gotten immunizations,  the dog can join others in training classes. The dog trained young doesn’t have a chance to develop bad habits.  We call this behavior shaping, and it works.

Socialization  is  the  dog being comfortable with other friendly dogs,  being responsive to the humans  the dog lives with, and  being comfortable in his environment. That’s what we mean when a dog is socialized.

 

What Ever Happened to Chemistry?

August 15, 2019

Me (Robyn) at Vic Falls

So, I’m  on a few dating sites, including ‘Plenty of Fish’ and ‘Match’.  I bet I also appear on other sites these companies own.  I am on a few other obscure sites, like Elite Singles , but never, ever do I get responses from any men remotely suitable.  That said, I’ve had a few friends who met their husbands on dating sites, but they were younger than I am now.  From Match and POF, however , I’ve been getting responses from men who look at my posted photos, do not read my profile, and it’s  pretty much a waste of time. Why?

Often times, , even if they are younger than I am, they look like my father.  No thanks. Then, there are the guys who  clearly live over  an hour away, and haven’t put much thought into travel time.

I was an anthropology undergraduate, and what I learned about forming relationships—-especially romantic relationships—-is that personal attraction/’chemistry  is important, and you can’t determine that online .

So…. several very attractive men have told me distance is no object. Really?  You  know,  it is to me, I would be reluctant to schlep out to where you live, and that you might be hiding a wife or girlfriend.   But I do  tell them my zip code and 2 cross streets a block away, and suggest they get in the car and tell me how long it takes from where they live. They disappear…

Then, there are they guys who think being Christian (Catholic, even!) to my  Judaism/other, should not be a big deal.  What they do not understand about being an ‘other’ is that Jews don’t  prostelytize. I’m not religious at all, but  why wouuld I give pleasure to a man who supports  evangelism, and worse—- paying legal fees for a bunch of pedophiles?  That’s what identifying with a religion like that means to me.  Are they viewing me as an adventure?  So they can sin with me but ultimately settle down with a nice Christian/Catholic girl?  I’m 65…that’s a really big risk —to be vulnerable to such a man.

But we also have the guys who  tell me they are not religious…but they want to get to know me better before meeting in person.  Yet you ask, “In what way?” and they  don’t have a response.

One of my very dear friends describes me as ‘bitchy.’  Well, I’m not sweet and ladylike, that’s true. If I had been, I could have never accumulated any wealth, owned a home, or  trained dogs.  I’m a pretty tough broad.  That said, because am not ladylike, I learned to be a good lay.

I was a founder of one of the first community based recycling  centers in the USA.  I still source separate my garbage. I was also active implementing public school reform and community policing.  I’m pround of these accomplishments, and that I was a ‘judge of elections’ for years.

So, how much  history do these ‘nice guys’ need?  How many sibblings  I have doesn’t matter. That I have no debt except my home (I owe under $30,000) & pay off my credit cards  every month does matter…& I want to know this about them.  I want to know how old they were when they first had sex.  I want to know  their kinks, if they admit to any.  I don’t want to be tied up, spanked, or a few other things involving pain or force.  Have they ever seen an illustrated copy of the Kama Sutra? If sex isn’t important to them, what do they want?

In my profile, I stateI have lived with the same male roommate for over 18 years. He’s like a brother except he’s  more reliable and sober.  I rarely dine out alone, but I often go to movies and exhibits on my own amd I’ve traveled many times myself.   I don’t want to have to accomodate another person who has strong opinions about how to do things, not if I am relaxing.

I was wrongly arrested once, before we had community policing. It could happen again, but the  commander apologized and I had my arrest record expunged.  I’ve had  3 tickets in my life for moving violations.

In my 65  years, I’ve owned 8 dogs.  They mostly lived—-6 of them— to be old and unfortunately, I euthanized them when their quality of life became bad.  Nobody  lingered.  People who understand dogs understand that most people wait too long.  Now, 1 dogs is 8 and the other is 11.  I’ve made most of my living grooming and  training dogs, but I’ve also been a prudent investor.

I am a left over hippie.  I took  LSD, peyote, and mescaline in my younger days, and when marijuana is legal again, I will probbly keep a stash.  I rarely drink. Alcohol is not my drug of choice.

I am a Wobbly in arrears…Industrial Workers of the World, an anarco-sydicalist.  If you saw Warren Beatty’s move, “Reds,’ you  know a little of the history.  Yes, in my heart, I believe in small economies…but infrastructure doesn’t pay for itself.  Also, I’ve worked in  businesses that were run as ‘collectives’ by default because an owner  didn’t think having a manager was important.  Even if elected, somebody has to be the manager—the fall guy.

Finally, I have a portfolio of nudes of me: drawings, paintings, photography.  One of the photographers I worked for got me an assistantship to graduate school.  It’s a persona.  It was a job.  So this blog is about all I  can think of. I’m afraid  these do guys are not as adventurous  as they say they are or think they are.

I give as good as I get.  I am, actually, trying to scare off the ‘faint of heart’.  I hope this works.

Refugee Children

June 22, 2018

I am generally uncomfortable around a gang of children.  I can manage  one to one conversations, but  a bunch of  kids under age 5 leaved me flummoxed.   There are a number of reasons I never had children of my own.  My parents  didn’t seem to be overly thrilled with the four of us.  I could see how much work a child would be, and what if I bore a handicapped child?  It was all I could do to keep myself afloat.  I had thought at some point I might foster, but when I looked at the economics of it, and the time constraints on all other activities, I knew I couldn’t manage this.

I was able to become a Peace Corps Volunteer because I didn’t have children.  In the country I served in, Malawi,  about 10% of the people living in country were refugees, mostly from Mozambique. And since everyone was dirt poor, it made no difference.  People farmed what they had as best they could.  I could not  imagine the strain of uprooting, the fear.  After I was out of Peace Corps, the Rwandan genocide happened, and there was ethnic cleansing in Bosnia,  I’ve met a lot of refugees.  You have to admire their determination.

But, in 2018, in the United States, the President—Trump—and the Republicans have turned desperate people into evil-doers.  I’ve met so many white Americans who think these people should ‘get in line’ & not cross ‘illegally’.  Americans  have no idea how many wealthy people ‘jump the queue’ and , while it is legal, they have often cheated people  in the countries they came from & continue to do so.

First of all, if you own a small business, you constantly meet foreigners who came ‘legally’ & overstayed their visas…who then finagle. Virtually all these people speak English and have  friends/relatives who might sponsor them, and they are mostly white, so they have a leg up.

Now, imagine you can’t read, and you don’t have access to a radio or TV…or the television stations are run by  your government.  You get all your info as either rumor or propaganda.  Men come to your community and know you are vulnerable, and they harass and threaten you and your children. Maybe your  husband has gotten into debt with them, or killed one of them, or caused 1 to lose a job. Your government won’t help you.  Worse, your government has been getting aid  from the USA (my government) to strengthen ‘civil society’ but has never been asked for an accounting.  The rumor is to go north to the USA ans ask for asylum.  You don’t know that there are ‘official crossing  points’.  You just go.  You are walking with  very young children.  Are you walking a mile?  No.  10 miles?  No.  You are walking hundreds of miles with kids, risking your lives, because  you would for sure be hurt or killed had you stayed.  You’re dealing with  finding food, a place to sleep, maybe transportation.  Gambling with the odds?  These people don’t know from the odds.  Can you imagine being this desperate?

Then, for reasons you don’t understand, you are separated from your children & told to wait.  So many Americans really believe these refugees knew they were breaking the law and would lose their kids.  Not true.  So this serves as no deterrent.

And can you imagine the terror of the children—some so small they can’t speak any language?  I remember the terror and panic I experienced  several times as a child. I am in my 60s and I still remember the physical feelings.

So, in the name or ‘rule of ‘law’ we have traumatized thousands of people for no other reason than enriching a  major GOP donor who charges my government over $700 a night per person to incarcerate them.

My government is raiding  Social Security & Medicare—-monies taken out of our paychecks for  security in the future, to pay for the  lavish lifestyle and  wants of their  leader…the president…and trying to make us think this all benefits us American citizens.  We should really be ashamed that we allowed the president to lie about this.

Why I Have Chosen to Join a Kennel Club

December 28, 2017

My Saluki as a young dog.Sold as a pet, he finished his AKC championship in fewer than 10 shows.

Why would a  person who doesn’t have a dog to show join a kennel club?  Good question!    It’s not  like I don’t have enough on my plate.  It’s because I want to support …purebred dogs.

At one time, I did have a dog to show, and  I was a member of  kennel club to meet  others who had dogs to show, possibly to network to expand my  dog grooming business, and to learn more about dogs.  I was a member  of the Goldcoast Kennel Club for several years, but a  lot  of life events, including divorce, moving, and  going to graduate school  made me lose interest.

I first became interested in showing dogs when I was learning about  breeds and  what breeders look for in making their dogs into champions.  My first ‘show’ dog, an Afghan Hound, wasn’t really a show dog, but I didn’t know that.   I was only  12  when I got him. He had a magnificent pedigree.  This is how I learned that you don’t breed pedigrees…you breed dogs.

My first dog show was the Skokie Valley Kennel Club show in October, 1967. I entered my young dog in Novice, as we were both novices, and he was  just over a year old.  He got a blue ribbon (he was the only dog in his class) and my mother had it framed.  I still have it.  He never became a champion, but I was learning.

About a yer after getting the Afghan, we got a Miniature Schnauzer from a very well known Schnauzer breeder. This breeder taught me how to hand strip a dog.  He also didn’t turn out as I had hoped, but I was still learning.

I became active in a breed club:  The Afghan Hound Club of Greater Chicago.  This was in the 1970s, and Afghan Hounds suddenly got popular because of the culture of the time.  We’d have educational programs at meetings, but mostly what we did at meetings was plan matches and dog shows.  Our events were well attended.  I thought my fellow club members were all dog lovers, but what I learned was that, when push came to shove, not all of us were on the same page. This was because I was very interested in  Afghan Rescue.  Some breeders  took their dogs back if they sold them to people who decided they did not want the dog any more, but more were really backyard breeders…hoping to play the dog show game on a grand scale, but not willing to be responsible for all the dogs they bred.  One member  actually said to me, “If you sell a toaster, and the  buyer decides he doesn’t want it anymore, you don’t take it back, do you?”   I saw the mindset of  many people who were breeding dogs, making some money, but not caring about the dogs they bred.  This shocked and demoralized me.

I got involved in lure coursing, and  my dog turned out to be amazing at it, but the club was ambivalent, and my interests drifted to other areas.

So now this is about 40 years later, and I am  a witness to  the end of purebred dogs.  There are several factors  affecting  dynamics.  The ‘fancy’—that is, the people who were breeding dogs, are aging out.Their kids never were really interested.  It costs too much.  Our costs of living went up exponentially, we  had the ‘great recession’ when  not just the  real estate industry collapsed, but those fiduciaries (LOL) we trusted with out savings invested in smoke and mirrors, and a lot of people lost a lot of money.  Also, partly due to the internet, and partly due to us training most veterinarians as ‘agricultural veterinarians’  mixed breeds and ‘rescues’ are more popular than purebred dogs.  We’ve all heard, “Don’t shop, adopt,”  never mind that backyard breeders bred all the dogs & cats abandoned in shelters.  And the whole ‘hybrid vigor’ excuse for breeding a Poodle to just about any other breed.

I’d hate to have the fancy die out.  While my breed (Whippets) are not really in trouble, there are many ‘rare ‘ breeds without a gene pool, and some very popular breeds—-like French Bulldogs, Cockers and Bichon Frise with horrible genetic issues and most of their gene pools  consisting of puppy mill bred dogs—-bred as livestock to sell.

As someone who doesn’t breed dogs…what can I possibly  do to ‘add value’ to the sport of dogs?We can find more ways to  make entry fees cheaper, or find ways to  include more pet owners.  We can  offer more  activities and opportunities to compete, and we can  do more to educate the public about why we care for the breeds we love, and why planned breeding  not only makes future generations of dogs more genetically sound, but  addresses the unwanted pet problem.

More on Puppy Mills…and the Unfair Attack on Joan Huber

December 16, 2017

I m revising/editing this post as I have gotten more information, and it is only fair to address the issues.

A few months ago, I wrote a blog called, “What is a Puppy Mill?” & cited a well known commercial breeder whom I felt was NOT a puppy mill:  Joan Huber of Blythewood Miniature Schnauzers.  It is not clear how many dogs she kept in her kennel before a deranged ‘animal rights’ idiot decided to  turn her in to authorities for running a puppy mill (and, with apparently no actual evidence—cropping her own dogs ears—-a violation of law because she is not a licensed veterinarian).  We have several issues that have to be addressed.  Actually, it was not 1 ‘AR’ person, but several past employees who turned her in to the  Montgomery County SPCA over multiple issues.

1.Joan Huber is NOT a hobby breeder.  Her business is  breeding and selling Miniature Schnauzers.  She is not selling entire litters for resale.  However, she has a market for her dogs.  I have mixed feelings about people breeding pets like livestock, but the fact is that even  many  hobby breeders don’t keep housedogs—their dogs are not pets, but without people like Joan Huber,  there probably won’t be many well bred—meaning  Miniature Schnauzers free of genetic defects available in even  five years. Why?  The  old  hobbyists/fanciers are dying out, and it is too hard to  get a Miniature Schnauzer ready to show. This is true of many terriers.  Too much work, no money to be made and lots of money to be lost on an indulgence.  You  need an ‘economy of  scale’ these days to  have a ‘breeding program’.  We may not like it that we see these breeding dogs as being in ‘dog jail’—but  not liking it is an emotional response.  I have worked in many kennels, and the dogs are just fine. Happy, engaged in life, and more so than many pet dogs.  She apparently had  41 dogs in her kennel(including over a dozen stud dogs), and was of the mindset that nothing was amiss.

2.  When I was barely a teenager, in the 1960s, a neighbor who knew I had an interest in purebred dogs and showing, invited me in to  watch him crop a puppy’s ears.  He sedated the puppy,  drew a line where he wanted to cut, and sutured the ears.  It was gross and fascinating. Why did he do it & not pay a veterinarian?  It was not to save money.  It was because he didn’t want the dog’s ears butchered.  Now we know, it is an unnecessary surgery, but  the dogs are not in pain.  It doesn’t affect their behavior, and  are we going to call this  a crime, but still allow  idiots who  don’t know how to use either shock or prong collars—-both of which DO CAUSE PAIN—-to continue to buy these items and cause dogs constant pain?

3.  Who should decide what is humane?  Do we let  so-called ‘animal rights’ do-gooders who have never trained a dog, or think  keeping pets should be illegal as it exploits them, to make rules?  Or how about  the many  veterinarians trained as agricultural vets, to influence what is cruel or what is kind. As it is, the veterinary profession makes a lot of money  off ear cropping, tail docking, dewclaw removal,  DECLAWING CATS,  making deals with pet shops to  vaccinate puppy mill bred dogs,   and over vaccinate out pets by law.  Thus, the fancy  has decided  our pet dogs should not have rights—totally on the other end of the spectrum.

4.  Is all this an  ‘either/or’ situation?  Go on Craigslist any day, particularly the pet section, in any city, and you will find backyard breeders selling puppies on a site which has rules  prohibiting the sale of puppies.  Craigslist relies on the public, the community —to ‘flag off’ sellers.  Yet,  so many people have no idea how to find a well -bred—meaning healthy AND  predictable–purebred dog.  The issue in this case is tht  the backyard breeders are dishonest and unethical…but are they inhumane?

5.  Can ‘the fancy’—-those of us who  promote the predictability of purebred dogs, quit defending selling  entire litters for  resale, in defense of being able to not be regulated?

6.This is how the public sees us all: https://www.clickorlando.com/news/41-dogs-confiscated-from-deltona-breeder-accused-of-selling-sick-puppies.

As someone  who  supports  prosecution of  crimes against animals, being a  donor to Safe Humane Chicago, I don’t understand  how  Joan’s litter could be ‘adopted out’ & her bitch spayed without due process.   Apparently ther was due process, but her lawyer could not defend her and she did not deny cropping her puppies’ ears!   In Chicago,  dogs  that have been abused are held ass evidence until the defendant relinquishes  ownership. We’ve had some dogs held for almost  two years as the owners deny a crime was committed, and get continuance after continuance.  Something is seriously wrong, and  now I understand anyone with a grudge can report any of us, any time, whether  the facts are true or not, and cost us all a fortune.  Sort of disgusting that  the  do-gooder didn’t get a job working for one of the many bona fide puppy mills out there.  this is why i contributed to Joan’s defense.   I hope you will, too.