Caught Between the Worlds of Wolves and Dogs
Ceiridwen Terrill, Part Wild
Ceiridwen Terrill originally wanted to get a domesticated dog as a companion. She had been in an abusive relationship and lost her dogs in that relationship. She then set out to get a dog as both a protector and a companion for wilderness treks.
This took her to her local animal shelter to adopt a dog where she found, by accident, a wolf dog. However, they would not adopt this animal out because they felt it was too dangerous. Terrill now had her heart set on a wolf dog.
Terrill invested all the power of the popular myth that wolves and wolf dogs are more protective than "ordinary dogs." Breeders told her that introducing a wild streak into the dog's genome would introduce a more stronger, loyal animal, because they thought dogs were a dumb and boring versions of the wolf.
Unfortunately, she believed them and learned the hard way that wolf dogs are a genetic crapshoot. Even in a single litter of wolf dog pups with the same parents, you can get wildly different temperaments. But by then had found a breeder, where she adopted a wolf puppy and named her Inyo.
Inyo was an amazing creature and amazing athlete, but she did not want to be held by people. She could not handle restrain very well, which is a characteristic of the wild part of her. Driven by her natural instincts to roam, she traveled long distances and would attack local livestock.
No matter how much time Terrill spent with Inyo in the wilderness, about 2 hours everyday, it just wasn't enough for her, she just couldn't settle down.
Terrill even tried obedience training on Inyo, but it didn't last very long. While they had a very sympathetic trainer who helped them, the wolf's' mind is wonderful but meant for the wild, not for a domestic situation. Inyo could not find anything interesting about going around in circles doing walk, halt, sit, stay or heel exercises.
Terrill was also evicted many times over the years because of Inyo and her howling. A wolf can hear up to 10 miles away in a clearing and in a forest they can hear 6 miles. So imagine this animal living in the Biggest Little City In The World, Reno, Nevada, with it's pulsing sounds of highways, people, televisions, etc. She must have been driven mad by all of the noise.
Unfortunately these animals cannot be sent back in the woods once they have lived with humans, as it would be a death sentence. Other wolves would either attack them or they would be killed if they approached humans. Sadly, there is no good fate for these dogs.
Overall, Terrill does not recommend anyone to ever get a wild animal. That is why we have the dog!
Writers have to tell the hard stories, the painful ones about our relationships to animals. We have to be honest, even if it pains readers and makes them angry. If writers don’t go into those uncomfortable places--exposing the mistakes they've made--and instead write only the “warm and fuzzy” stories, then human relationships to animals won’t change.
As of this week, there are 7 billion humans on the planet who have direct and indirect impacts on the lives of animals. Humans have to question what we’re doing with animals and why. Part Wild is one story whose purpose is to contribute to that conversation, and my deepest wish is to make the lives of animals better. – Ceiridwen Terrill.
The Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani
7-Must Have Grooming Household Products
If you bought all of the 7-must have household items you should have on hand for grooming your pets, it probably wouldn't cost more than $10.00 total.
The 7 things that you should have in your house to groom your pet, besides the obvious like brushes, combs, etc., are:
White Vinegar/Witch Hazel –These are great ear solutions for everyday wiping and swabbing out your dog or cat's ears to keep them clean. They also are great products for dogs that have wrinkles in their face to keep the fungus from growing. This also works great on keeping the fungus away from their footpads.
Medicated Powder – You can use a medicated foot powder on your pet, because it works the same way as it does on a human who has athlete's foot fungus. This will dry up any fungus on your pet's feet.
Listerine – Listerine is great if a skunk sprays your dog. Just put it in a spray bottle, pour or sponge it over your dog. You will get rid of that skunk smell almost instantly.
Degreaser – You can use a degreaser on your pet (like Dawn Dish Detergent) if you find fleas on them and have nothing else on hand. Fleas have their skeleton on their outside, so using a degreaser will dry them up.
Corn Starch/Baking Powder – These items make really good cleaners if you have nothing else, your pet is afraid of the water, or even if you don't want the mess of a water bath. Just slightly dampen your pet and sprinkle it over them and brush it through. It works as an absorbent, so it will absorb the dirt and oil and leave behind a nice clean coat.
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Americans Love Their Dogs
Four out of ten households in the U.S. own at least one dog, making a total of 77.5 million dogs. Study after study finds that pets bring many benefits to people. They offer companionship, encourage exercise, foster social contact and help people cope with stress. Pets also provide special enrichment to the lives of seniors. A study in the Journal of American Geriatrics demonstrated that, "Seniors living on their own who have pets tend to have better physical health and mental well-being than those who don’t. They are more active, cope better with stress and have better overall health." They also reported shorter hospital stays and less health care costs than non-pet owners.
We Have All Heard The Term Soccer Mom...
How about "Dog Disc Mom or Dad," they do exist!! Just as much as we love our sports and activities, many dogs also love sporting events and their own recreational activities. It's no surprise then that there is an entire culture of dog sports with some canines traveling from all over the world to compete in events for the coveted spot of "Top Dog." Here are some of the top dog sports participated in by canines today: Agility competition - Dogs are well known for their agility and these competitions are one way in which some of the best get to show it off. Canine agility contests are usually done on a specially designed obstacle course that dogs must run through. Dog Disc - If your dog loves Frisbee, then disc dog competitions may be right up his alley. Herding trials - Some breeds of dog are naturally better herder than others but any dog can be trained to herd. It's no surprise then that herding trials are a common dog sport. Tracking - Another natural canine instinct is tracking. This competition is also called a trial and it allows the dog to use his most active sense, the sense of smell, to follow a trail left by human footsteps. They are a bit like search-and-rescue missions and dogs who do well in tracking trials are often into search and rescue work. Conformation - In this dog sport, you don't have to do much, other than be born to the right parents. Conformation is not so much a "sport" as it is a "competition." It's somewhat like a beauty pageant for dogs. So what do you think about some of these top dog sports? Would you be able to perform them yourself? How would you handle it if you were matched up with a canine counterpart for one of these sports? Chances are, it will all go to the dogs.
Reese Witherspoon Targeted
Animal rights activists have taken aim at Reese Witherspoon for carrying a bag that appeared to be made of python skin. The "Legally Blonde" star was spotted with a $4,000 python skin purse as she strolled through Venice, California and photos of her new accessory have upset officials at PETA. A spokeswoman for PETA says, "No matter how much Reese paid for that bag, the animals paid a much higher price."
Bull Hook Too Dangerous For Capitol Hill
Animal welfare advocates wanted to bring a "bull hook," a device used to prod elephants, to Capitol Hill to highlight proposed legislation that seeks to protect exotic animals from abuse. But they said they were told it was too dangerous to get past security. They told that story to make the case for legislation, introduced recently, that would crack down on the use of exotic animals such as elephants, lions and tigers in road shows. "It doesn't make any sense to me that we're teaching our children in the United States in 2011 that it's OK to have an elephant standing on its head in the middle of a ring and call it education," said Ed Stewart, co-founder of the Performing Animal Welfare Society, which operates animal sanctuaries in California. The Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act, introduced by Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), would stop the use of exotic animals in circuses if, during the 15-day period preceding the performance, the animal traveled in a "mobile housing facility." Although there are pressing economic issues facing the country, Moran said, "That doesn't mean that we can't also find time to focus public attention on examples of fundamental animal mistreatment."
Don’t Be In The Doghouse For The Holidays
Thanksgiving and Christmas often involve visits from family and friends, but unless your dog keeps all four on the floor, you might be the one in the doghouse, as a dog will frighten some people. Diane Morgan, who includes jumping up in her book "Complete Guide to Dog Care," says dogs can be trained out of jumping at the door. But it takes time and patience and you may need to try different strategies to find one that works. Most want attention, so even simply telling the dog to stop or get down can be interpreted by the dog as attention. The goal is to refocus the attention. About 85% of dogs care about treats and 15% care about toys, she said, so use what amuses your pet the most. There are also things you should not do. Never yell at them. Believe it or not, that's reward, getting attention. Never shove them in the chest. It will hurt the dog, and big challenging dogs like Malamutes will think you are playing and will push back. Never pet your dog on his hind legs. Petting there encourages them to jump up. Morgan says you can use the same techniques to retrain dogs who greet guests by sniffing them in embarrassing places. Once you've made progress breaking the dog's jumping habit, ask a friend to come over for a test run before your holiday party or big dinner.
Barking Dogs Can Lead To A Hefty Fine In Los AngelesThe City Council approved an ordinance that fines owners of excessively barking dogs $250 for a first offense, $500 for a second and $1,000 for a third if a Department of Animal Services hearing officer decides the pooch is barking too much. The ordinance is expected to get Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's signature before the end of the year.
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Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#624)