originally posted by Blue

Today, I read an article that quite humbled me. I had first heard of this incident online, but today's paper had pictures.

A newborn baby girl in Nairobi, Kenya had been abandoned in a forest, shortly after her birth. This is something that is, unfortunately common in poverty-stricken areas.

What is amazing, however, is a stray dog had gone into the forest, picked the child up, apparently carried her across a busy road and was "mothering" her, along with her own puppies, in a more or less abandoned shed.

Some children heard the baby crying, and investigating, found the baby sleeping with the puppies. A local woman took the baby, cleaned her up and took her to a public hospital. The hospital staff immediately dubbed the baby "Angel" and she is apparently doing just fine now, recovering from an infection.

However, the true angel here, in my opinion, is the stray dog that rescued and protected her. A "mere animal" had more compassion for this child than her own parents!

I just hope that someone adopts that dog and her puppies, so that they are well taken care of and protected in their turn, too.

When I first read a really brief version of this story online, on another forum I belong to, one of the posters said that he was going to nominate that dog for an "Extreme home makeover," since she is so deserving.

originally posted by maxine marie pankonin

And that is a most awesome story!! I think humans are LUCKY to have such creatures love us. I read that story on a ticker tape at the bottom of fox news channel. Dogs are the most hopeful woebegone happy loving, well I could go on and on. A deaf dog rescued a young woman caught in the surf off the coast of Oregon a couple of years ago. She wasn't one of his 'humans'either. and my daughter has the most plucky little chihuahua for hers. His name is snookie but we hate that so we call him chinookie. He is long haired and so isn't as homely as most of his breed. mostly white with two black eyes. like most dogs he loves mud and one day after filthing himself he got ducked into the rainbarrel to rinse him off and still damp, came up to my bed to hide under the covers in case miranda had soap in mind too. she called him and called but he stayed under the covers. I called downstairs and told her she was going to have to come up and get him because he was hiding from her. she rattled his leash at the bottom of the stairs and said "chinookie, do want to go for a walk?" poor peanut brained creature fell for it and went running downstairs. last thing I heard was Miranda laughing and saying "stupid dog". [grinning at ya]

We just got sent some incredible pictures of a mother dog who adopted a baby orphaned squirrel - and there the little guy was, tucked up with the puppies!

The dog was a miniture breed, and the squirrel, being rescued/rehabbed in the household with the pregant mother dog - who dragged the cage over to her bed repeatedly until the "owners" relented and gave her the squirrel - who, yes, nurses with the puppies too. Amazing.

Dogs are cool. The rehab person, an artist we know, and one of the Gryphon's own.

originally posted by skeoke

Thanks for posting these. I needed to hear that just now. :smiley:

originally posted by Technetus

I post this in the hope someone else may find it half as useful as I have.

To the dog lovers here who may not yet have heard of it, might I recommend a book that might not be that well known outside the UK and Oz: "The Dog Listener" by Jan Fennell. (Some may know her from the UK TV series of the same title.)

The author was inspired by the work of one Monty Roberts, whom she saw get a two-year-old horse that had never borne saddle or rider calm enough to do both, in under half an hour, without using any tactics involving fear or pain – in effect, getting the horse to *choose* to cooperate (one suspects Atheran clansmen would be well pleased).

Her book details the (long) history of the dog/human bond, and advances two theories: that socially, humans have changed tremendously over the latter centuries of the relationship, but the dogs have not, still bearing many things in common with their wolf ancestors – particularly the hierarchy of pack structure and the responsibilities of the Alpha pair in charge of the pack. (This aspect might explain the adoption of the squirrel mentioned above; in wolves, only the Alpha pair breed. Given she had pups and the young squirrel was in the "den"… :smiley:) She argues that we've effectively forgotten how to communicate with our dogs via the language they instinctively understand.

Secondly, she argues that most, if not all, incidences of canine misbehaviour (where cruelty is not involved) are because the dog has come to the conclusion that *it* is the pack leader – purely because of the signals it observes from its humans, who have changed the language – and is either unable to cope with the responsibility and exhibiting a nervous stress reaction, or is filling the role its humans have inadvertantly assigned to it in a manner that isn't deemed appropriate by modern human society (such as being overly aggressive towards anybody who approaches their "owner").

She goes into detail as to how she arrived at her methods, as well as describing how she has applied them to specific situations; the aim being to have the dog realise it's not the one in charge without having to hurt or scare it. She also details the rehabilitation of some "damaged dogs", who have been victims of human cruelty.

I have (link removed) with whom I've tried what she suggests (namely, to modify the dog's behaviour, modify your own!). The saying that you can't teach an old dog new tricks is definitely not true; the Jack Russel in the picture is nine years old, and is far better behaved now, despite having lost none of his puppy energy over the years!

Hopefully someone else here might benefit from her endeavours.

originally posted by Iris

There is a gentleman named Ceasar Milan, operating in the US (Calif.) with what sounds like the same philosophy that you mention here. He has a National Geographic program called The Dog Whisperer; and a book by the same title.

I concur that this really works with dogs. My husband and I have had great success with dogs through implementing this simple concept of being the pack leader instead of letting the dog be the "default" leader. I like how you put it in terms of language and communication. People think that dogs view the world like humans…and they most definately don't.

I will look up the show you mention (Dog Listener) and see if it is on BBC America…I would love to see it.


originally posted by max

Here is another silly dog story,
A work colleague here on our small peninsula, has 3 dogs, a cat and 3 horses. Today we had alot of snow which is unusual for the coast, but it must have done something crazy to the animals. [snow day, don't ya know] Rachel's mother called her at work to say her dogs were acting up, barking and wrestling and such. Rachel said to put her on the speaker phone and she told them firmly to be quiet and lay down!! she said it got really quiet and her mother told her all the dogs sat in a semicircle around the phone and were staring at it. Needless to say her mom started laughing and said 'thank you, they are now behaving!' Ahhh!! modern technology is such a boon… [grinning at ya]

originally posted by max

Well this is not a dog story but it will fit in here fine anyway. The friend/co-worker in the above story came to work and told us she had fallen off her horse for the first time in her life! Of course we all said 'oh no what happened?'
She said she was feeling a little low and went into the pasture to visit her horse 'Blue'. he wasn't wearing any tack but she climbed up on him and was laying across his back telling him what a good horse he was asnd just snuggling with him. Since we all work the night shift, she was pretty tired and fell asleep on his back, then slipped off and fell to the ground. She said Blue must have been dozing too cause he jumped sideways when I fell, like I had startled him or something". Just picturing napping on her horse in the middle of the pasture was rather charming and now I have shared it with you!! [grinning at ya]

I don't know if any of you dog owners received a panic e mail about a person whose
Border Collie died of a swim in a reservoire that had a blue green algae bloom (due to unseasonal hot weather) - but the killer was a neuro toxin, and the warning: that certain algal blooms can be fatal to dogs or kids who swallow too much water - and an unseasonably dry, warm season had caused this…just thought to pass on the warning. The symptoms came on very fast (vomiting and stroke like collapse,) and the dog died. The place, I think, was Michigan.

originally posted by Blue

Yipes! I'm glad I have indoor fraidy cats, rather than dogs. I'll pass this on to folks I do know who have dogs.

originally posted by Clansman

The continuing adventures of Phantom and her adoptive family have me thinking that those of us who don't have cats, but rather dogs, have been far too quiet (I admit, I laughed aloud at the mouse thing, and especially at Bitty kitty's dump down the mole hole (talk about sour grapes! eeeew!)

Mia, a very happy black lab who is eight and a half but who still thinks she is two, loves to chase squirrels. In fact, chasing squirrels and chipmunks comes third to chasing cats who dare to trespass in Mia's fenced yard (it is not ours, after all), and swimming. Swimming is her first love, without reservation. But chasing squirrels happens far more often.

Every morning, when her dogslave owner puts on the coffee in the pre-dawn light (I must admit, I love the term catslave, and I have unabashedly expropriated it), Mia sits at the kitchen door, wondering why it is taking her doddering servant so long to open the door. Ostensibly, the purpose of going out is to pee, among other things (usually involving a lot of sniffing), but the first thing on the agenda is to try to catch the squirrels who are trying to find her female dogslave's tulip bulbs (she tries to treat her dogslaves as well as she can, as when they are happy, she tends to be happy). The chase starts the same way, every day: Standing at the top of the stairs on the deck (we live on the 2nd/3rd floor of an old house, above my office), she then scans for the rodents, hackles raised. Target acquired! then three barks, a mad dash down the stairs, and then – nothing. By the time her feet hit the lawn, the squirrels are in the trees, and Mia runs beneath barking impotently. She has made her point though. MY YARD!

I have often advised my dogmistress that she might not want to bark before running down the stairs (which itself sounds like a heard of elephants). But she always looks at me as if to say: "HUH?"

She almost caught a chipmunk the other day (it is living IN our lawn), but it could turn much faster than Mia could, and made short work of the chase. In any event, I have learned that chasing squirrels is just fun. It is chasing cats that poop in HER yard that is serious business (I am strangely supportive of that activity, given that I am the one who must clean up the mess) because that is just plain insulting her dignity.

(We unfortunately have a number of strays and irresponsible cat owners living around us. Not that I dislike cats (they can be utterly irresistable), I just don't like people not taking responsibility for their pet, no matter what kind it is. If I knew where the cat lived, and could prove that the poop belonged to it, I would return the stuff to the rightful owner, with all due ceremony.)

Mia will never, ever catch a squirrel or a cat, which is fine with me. Scaring them out of the yard is all that is necessary.

It's a good thing my dogmistress loves swimming to the exclusion of all other things (swimming while chasing her floating Kong is pure heaven. Requires dogslave to throw the Kong at least fifty times. Warning: dogslaves tire easily), because she is a horrible squirrel and cat catcher. But I think that it is the chase that she loves. If she ever cornered a cat or squirrel, I don't think that she would know what to do! If she could speak, I bet she'd say "CAN WE DO THAT AGAIN!?! CAN WE?!? HUH? HUH? CAN WE?!?! PLEEEEEEASE?!?

originally posted by Brittani

One of my favorite stories of my dogs is when they found a rattle snake. Now I have four dogs (we live on a small farm) but this story involves only two. A big rather ferocious looking lovable pitbull rescue Zoey that thinks she is big and bad but really will just lick you to death and a cute Jack Russle/Rat Terrier mix Shelby who, while small, really is big and bad. Well as we live in Arizona, USA we have rattle snakes from time to time. Not a big deal because they normally let you know where they are before they bite you. Well one nice spring morning a rattle snake decided to use our sunny back porch for a good spot to sun bathe. The dogs happened to be outside and for some reason the dog door was closed.

So all of a sudden we hear a rattle, and then we hear a few barks from Shelby followed by a huge bang as Zoey tries to break down the door to get in the house and away from the snake. She was not bitten she was just scared out of her mind. I didn't have time to laugh at the situation at the moment but it was really funny afterwards. Shelby, cute little lovable dog, was an inch from its nose barking so ferociously I think the snake was scared to bite her. And Zoey, big bad kick your butt if come near my family Zoey, was screaming in terror and trying to break down the door.

Of course I rushed outside and grabbed Shelby away from the rattle snake as Zoey ran inside and barked at the big mean snake from the top of the couch (which she is never permitted to be on but in her terror it was the fartherest point from the snake where she could still see it).

We sprayed the rattle snake with a garden hose until he moved along.

I just still get a chuckle out of seeing the fright in my huge scarry pitbull and the hunters eyes on my little fluffy puppy.

originally posted by Beldarius

I used to be a dog-lover when I was little - and I still am, but now I'm a cat-lover as well.

That being said, I found Ginny a very impressive little dog. Ever heard of "the dog that saved cats"? It was a very good example that a dog can have a huge love for cats - "like cats and dogs" isn't thus a very accurate phrase.

She has died already, though. Requiescat in pace, little Ginny.

originally posted by Clansman

I said goodbye to my old black lab Mia (who I posted on almost 5 years ago above. Gosh that went by fast!)on Friday. She was fourteen, and life just hurt because of severe arthritis. I bawled like a baby when I felt the last breath go out of her body, but I knew I was doing the right thing.

Friday night, I drove her body up to Pike Lake, her favourite place in the world (endless swimming and romping through woods. Dog paradise!). Everything is frozen around here, so burial was not an option. I lit a lantern for her and for me, and then I cremated her in a very hot hardwood fire. I sat by her pyre until there was nothing but embers left in the wee hours of the morning, and then I went home in the dark.

There's been a hole in our house since Friday. Even our newest family member, a little Norfolk Terrier named Guinness, has been looking around for her.

No creature loves quite as perfectly as dogs love their humans.

Goodbye, thou good and faithful servant. Mia, you are remembered.

originally posted by Jonlid

I feel for you Clansman. We lost two dogs (Keeshonds) within 3 months of each other almost two years ago. Perrin was a little over 11 but had cancer. His mum, Son (Sonja), came sprightly down the path for breakfast one morning three months later and had barely completed it when she simply keeled over in what was thankfully a short coma before she died. She was 15.

The house was so quiet and empty that it was only six weeks later we went looking for a new companion. Keeshonds are not always easy to find here in Austalia but we were fortunate to find a puppy very quickly. While Strider settled extremely well with us it was very obvious he needed a dog companion. Another puppy just 8 weeks younger became available and now Strider and Baggins are proving to be amazing companions for us and for each other.

It was not until we later checked Baggins pedigree that we found out that he was a great grandson of Son's.

We are all different and I fully understand people having preferences for cats and other domestic pets but I am of the group that would agree with you that "No creature loves quite as perfectly as dogs love their humans.'

We will never forget Perrin and Son and in fact a photo of them in their favourite spot on the tiles in our hallway is beside my computer. I expect you will also be reviewing your fond memories of Mia.

originally posted by Annette

Sorry to hear you are without Mia now Clansman, at least now she is without pain.