Even in slumber, Misty and Cloudy are a perfect pair. An example of Canine Closeness.
Even in slumber, Misty and Cloudy are a perfect pair. An example of Canine Closeness.
You and your furry best friend are enjoying yourselves at a dog run, with everything in oblivion. Your furry buddy is romping around amid peals of laughter.
You turn around and a horrific scene greets you. The peals of laughter stop as suddenly as they begin. An embarrassed blush replaces them.
Another dog is on top of your fur buddy. You shy away from the unpleasant sight.
Humping may seem quirky, but can lead to a host of unforseen problems. Owners have a vested interest in putting a stop to it.
Before they can do so, they must have a better understanding of its causes and consequences. That said, they can stop it in a few, unexpected ways.
Why dogs hump
Humping is a dog’s way of expressing his sexuality, but there are surprising reasons for it as well.
The action is normal play behavior in young dogs. When a group of dogs plays, they mount each other to show their interest to play.
Young dogs may hump objects to show their excitement. He may do so at the prospect of an inviting car ride, or food.
Some dogs hump because of nervousness. They may not know how to respond to unxpected circumstances. For others, it is a way to relieve stress.
For many dogs, it is power play. One mounts another to express his dominance.
Ways to stop humping
No matter what the reasons for your pet’s humping are, there are novel ways to stop it.
If your dog humps because he is bored, find out if you have exercised it enough. His humping signals you to make more effort to take him for walks, and bond with him.
Should your dog hump every visitor he meets, it is a clear sign that social situations overwhelm him. Put your dog in his crate when people visit.
Occasional humping is not alarming, but you would worry if your dog licks his genital area as well. He may suffer from allergies or skin infections. Find out about compuslive medical disorders from your vet.
Give your dog a little discipline if he shows dominance. If your dog constantly gets into your space or humps his toys when you try to grab them, he is being terratorial. Encourage good behaviour by rewarding him when he shows it. Seek the help of a reward-based trainer.
Help your dog to put an end to his annoying humping habits.
News in Singapore broke of a businessman being jailed for failing to feed his emaciated pet.
It is not for me to partake in another person’s sorrow, but I was relieved by the news.
Many pet owners are unaware the neglect is a form of abuse. It’s probably more common than more direct forms. Those who neglect their pets consciously or otherwise need to develop more awareness.
They choose to forget about pets if they no longer have time or inclination to look after them.
The poor furballs we all love are victims of consumerism. They are bought as easily as clothes and can just as readily discarded.
Time is not on their side as well. Without realizing how busy they are, owners attracted to a pet’s irresistible, kawaii features and tote them home. They conveniently leave them aside when they simply cannot find a few minutes to remember to feed them.
These owners think that leaving their pets alone is better than beating them into submission or abusing them by kicking them into a corner.
A most common form of neglectful abuse is chaining a dog up for hours in the hot sun and leaving him alone. His essentials, like a food bowl and water, are often not replenished.
A pet comes with a mess. To solve the problem, some owners cage or crate their dogs and forget about them.
The most disastrous form of neglect, by far, is simply leaving pets in a park and walking home without them.
You cannot take in every single abandoned or neglected animal much as you would love to. You can, however help to stop neglect.
You can get more involved by tactfully prompting neighbors whom you suspect are neglecting their pets.
If the reminder does not work, volunteer to take them in if possible or suggest ways to find it another home should there be no other way of looking after it.
Get authorities involved if things come to an ugly head. This is not pleasant, but is worth the trouble if it helps an animal in need.
Neglecting an animal is just as bad, if not worse, than physically abusing one.
Cloudy and Misty move about as a pack, even in their sleep. Here are some photos of them embracing theri “sleepy sisterhood.”
Having been a dog owner for the greatest part of my life, I would advise any potential owner that dog ownership has its ups and downs.
Still, the downs (eg. too much barking or excessive poop) are not enough to deter it.
Here are a few plausible, though slightly wuirky, reasons to own a dog.
1. A pet is pure eye candy.
To start, dogs are feasts for the eyes. Their absolute cuteness simply makes you go “aww”.
Cloudy, my little West Highland, just drew a laugh out of me this morning when she crawled into my cupboard and insisted that it was her den.
A dog’s whimsical ways simply pull you to it.
2. It keeps you calm.
Besides its cute appearance, a dog keeps you calm. Looking at it alone soothes jangled nerves.
Stroking a dog releases endorphins and raises poor spirits. It also relieves stress.
3. A pet makes a good pillow.
Further, provided you do not squash it with your head, a pet is an excellent pillow.
It is comfortable to at least snuggle next to it, anyway.
4. It is fun.
Pillows aside, pets are fun, They make wonderful playmates and companions.
Would a human catch a ball with his teeth?
5. It may help you out.
And then, pets may also help you. Contrary to popular belief, they do earn their keep.
Use them as doorbells, security guards or pest exterminators.
6. It keeps you secure.
To speak of being guards, dogs make great ones. A dog is a protective creature and will defend you when necessary. It keeps you secure.
7. A pet is good entertainment.
A dog is also wonderful entertainment. It is a lively creature full of hilarious antics.
My terrier, Cloudy, enjoys competing with my Schnauzer, Misty, to see comes in first in a race. I say “bye bye” and cloudy becomes anxious to move in front of Misty.
She also enjoys picking up strange objects and offering them to me.
8. It helps you make friends.
Like all other pets, dogs help the thoroughly introverted make a few friends. There is no better place to find a few than a dog park or even a veterinary clinic with a medical ambience.
9. It is not fussy.
To add, dogs are not as selective as humans. Two dogs may quarrel one day and be great friends the next.
10. It does not ask for much.
They definitely do not ask for much. Other than a little attention or a few obedience classes, you do not have to take it for ballet sessions or choir camp.
Unless your dog is Misty, who yowls when she hears the piano.
If you have not decided to get yourself a dog, what’s stopping you?
We note dogs for their undying, unquestioning loyalty to their masters. Dogs are famous for not holding grudges after their masters punish them for misdemeanors.
Their loyalty difficult to compare with. Devoted dogs seldom think twice about giving their lives for their owners.
Here are a few dogs that have paid the ultimate price to save their masters.
1. Simon, the guide dog
Visually handicapped Dave Furakawa was walking his four-year-old son from school when a red Chrysler careened through the intersection, heading straight for the duo.
The situation would have been disastrous if not for Simon, Dave’s guide dog. The Boxer instinctively pushed Dave’s son aside.
Naturally, the dog took the hit. He died before he could be sent to the vet.
2. Gander, the Newfoundland War Dog
The next dog that fearlessly gave up its life for the greater good was Gander, a heroic Newfoundland.
In the Battle for Hong Kong fought between the British, Gander pushed back enemy advances on several occasions. The last time the bulky dog fought, a grenade landed in the middle of the Canadian forces.
Gander unhesitatingly picked up the grenade and ran off to the side. It detonated before he could throw it away.
3. George the Jack Russell
Large dogs are not the only ones that are brave. Jack Russells, famed for liveliness in spite of their lack of size, are courageous little fellows.
On one occasion, George, released by its owners during a walk, noticed two pit bulls approaching a group of children. He valiantly defended the children, who escaped quickly. George himself, however was the Pitbulls’ victim.
4. Troy, the Labrador retriever
Another brave dog that prevented a Pitbull attack was Troy, a Labardor retriever.
His owners, the Dohertys were a family walk in Randalstown when a loose Pitbull attacked them. The dog first lunged at Cole, one of their four Labrador Retrievers, biting his leg.
It then attacked the parents, Sean and Dierdre, injuring them slightly. Then it went for their son, Ben.
That is when Troy decided that it was time to interfere. He fought the Pitbull bravely, giving up his life in the process. Police shot the offending Pitbull.
5. Nero, the Fire Hero
Besides being protective, dogs are intuitive. Last year, a fire raged through Yorktown Heights, New York, razing the home of the Eliseo family.
Their Newfoundland, Nero, first sensed the fire. He went through the house, waking the family up.
After a little confusion and scrambling, firemen saved the family. They initially thought that Nero escaped the blaze and asked for the help of the Police to track him down. Later, his ashes were found in the house.
The loyalty of dogs surpasses that of many creatures, including our own.
To a little dog, there is nothing more exciting than a walk, a good sniff and the thrill of being a spectator in a football match. Here’s Cloudy doing all three!
My West Highland sidekick, Cloudy, often gets a lot of attention, so I decided to turn the reins over to her older sister, Misty.
Though I seldom mention this little Schnauzer, I am partial to her. This graceful, albeit overweight dame is a cannot-do-without part of our lives.
Quiet and faithful, this little dog hardly barks. She runs silently to the door to greet us when we reach home, with a sniff the only sign of her.
This grand dame is resilient and tolerant. She moves quickly, in spite of the cataracts that cover her eyes and cause extreme pain. Vets have deemed them impossible to remove. This tough little girl has also survived traumatic epilepsy, the result of a failing liver.
The Chinese believe, somehow, that a dog sometimes takes on physical ailments on behalf of its master. Queerly enough, Misty has experienced similar ailments to my husband, who has a few liver and stomach problems himself.
I have ample reason to express a little gratitude for this lifelong companion. Misty was my “marriage” dog, and has completed our lives for the past 13 years. I smuggled her in my haversack after rescuing her from a pet store all those years ago. I had no choice but to buy her, because she was gripping the bars, hard, with her tiny teeth.
Perhaps the most pressing reason I have for expressing thanks for her is that she has been a fantastic guru. This canine mistress of life has taught me much.
Among the skills she has imparted is how to enjoy life. Misty sings when I hit the ebony and ivory keys. She has an apprentice, Cloudy, who has recently decided that she should try howling along as well.
Misty has also dispensed a few economic principles. She has taught the family the meaning of protectionism. She defends her bone proudly from an ever-greedy Cloudy, using the technique of ‘save for a rainy day’. Yes, she squirrels her bones away.
Above all, she is a paragon of cheerfulness. Despite her cataracts, she finds her way around tables, chairs and other objects, showing no signs of pain after knocking her head. In fact, she grins from ear to ear, or rather, paw to paw.
To the grand dame Misty…a warm toast.