Friday, October 22, 2010

Book Review

Dialogues with Dogs by Bruce Fogle
copyright 2006

The book feels like a condensed version of some of his other books. There is very little new information and it comes across as a half hearted effort. The illustrations are OK but are more distracting than entertaining.

Skip this book and read Fogle's "The Dog's Mind". (1990) The dog's brain is discussed including explanations of hormones, early learning and maturity.

Dr. Fogle combines his years as a veterinarian with scientific studies to help the reader understand the goings on in the dog's mind. Behaviors such as aggression and phobias are explained . The information is presented fully yet is easily understood by even the least scientifically inclined.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bo, lead us!

American Thinker article : Obama fails as 'pack leader' says dog expert
by David Paulin

President Obama's approval rating is at a record-low among Americans - yet he remains popular abroad and at the United Nations. What accounts for this perception gap? Obama is popular abroad because he is weak -- and so is America under his leadership, noted the London Telegraph.

More evidence that Obama is a pushover is now being provided from an unlikely source -- the first family's dog "Bo." Recently, dog expert Cesar Millan of the "Dog Whisperer" TV show observed that Obama has failed to assert himself as a "pack leader" with Bo, a Portuguese Water Dog. Millan pointed out that when Obama walks Bo on a leash, it's obvious that Bo is in charge because the dog walks in front of the president and leads him along. In other words, Bo is taking Obama for a walk - not the other way around.

The British press, no fan of Obama since the president removed a bust of Winston Churchill from the White House, is having a good time with this revelation. A headline in The Independent chortled: "Leader of a superpower, led by a dog called Bo."

Dogs, of course, have an uncanny ability to sense weakness, as anybody knows who owns a dog or grew up with dogs. Generally, dogs respect those who are firm yet fair. Dogs behave badly with family members -- children in particular -- who fail to assert themselves as pack leaders


An interesting article, but I'm not taking sides here. Wait, yes I am. I'm on Bo's side. I usually do side with the dog. Alright then, Cesar Millan has noticed that President Obama walks behind Bo when they are walking.

Millan is right about many things regarding training/handling dogs. For instance, give a dog lots of exercise he is likely to stay out of mischief. The old "tired dog is a good dog" theory has a leg to stand on, if you will forgive the phrase.

Dogs are designed to move, much like people, squirrels and small mouth bass. When deprived of activity they become antsy. Whether the antsiness expresses itself with a bouncing leg while seated or pacing across the floor, it's a body that wants to, has to, move. Thus, walking is beneficial for man and beast and presumably for assorted creatures inhabiting air and water.

Returning to the matter of Bo on the leash. Millan asserts that in order to maintain order in the man/dog relationship, man must lead, dog must follow. True. Someone must be in charge and it ought not be the dog. (Coming soon to this blog: When We let Dogs Lead We invite Anarchy!).

So according to Millan, while walking with your dog on a leash the dog must remain behind you, or at least not in front of you. That's fine when you are walking in the dog show ring at the confirmation competition. Or when walking down a crowded street, it is courteous and safer to keep the dog at heel. But in real life; most of the time walking your dog, such uptight restraint is unnecessary and so not fun.

The average leash is six feet long. Normal people let their dog have that room to walk comfortably beside them with slack to stop and sniff interesting stuff or to lift a leg. After all, it's a walk, not a parade.

Whether Barack Obama is a good leader is not something I will comment on at this time, other than to say that our President's relationship with his dog Bo is not a significant factor.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

recipe: doggie pan cookies

This recipe is so easy and sensible you will ask yourself why the heck you would ever buy dog cookies!

-a couple tablespoons of fat (drain it off the ground beef or chicken or whatever you made for your own main course)
- 1 egg
-2 cups whole wheat flour
-1 cup all purpose flour
-handful of left over or shredded vegetables
-enough water to mix to brownie consistency

mix thoroughly

spray some Pam on two 8 or 9 inch cake pans, fill each pan about half way with batter

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes

for crisper cookies- leave the pans in the oven after turning it off

once cooled, cut or break into bite size pieces

refrigerate for optimal freshness