Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Voice?

Sometimes those old sayings just don't hold water. Proof is always in the pudding and that sort of thing. Every morning and sometimes at night, or the middle of the day, depending on how the planets are aligned and the moon phase we have had night or day songs. Beautiful melodies, dog voices raised from the depths of their ancestral memories.

New dog arrives, the melody changes, another dog leaves music changes again. What has always amazed me is that there is always a dog tune leader outside or inside that leads off and then others join in. Noses pointed skyward, eyes closed, lips circled.

Sounds vary from high pitched, to low baritones, slow and melodious or a quick tempo. Dogs do not sound the same and each has their style. Once the song leader calls out the choir they all join in for 10 seconds or so and then some maestro mentally signals stop and all howling ceases in an instant. There are no lingering voices. They all stop at once.

Our morning song leader has always been Spencer, at least for the last 8 years. Spencer is a Border Collie/Rott, sporting a white tuxedo shirt and has always yipped others into a song frenzy. He's never howled. Not horribly unusual. Many newcomers don't know how to howl, but with observation and desire they all quickly learn. Spencer has always yipped. Didn't really matter, the others all knew it was the intention and spirit of the yip that mattered and not the tune.

This morning a new voice emerged. Following a few warm up yips, Spencer howled!

What does it mean? Mere humans are pathetically lacking insight to know these matters. One thing is certain, it's an unusual change after almost 9 years, we'll be watching things closely for subtle changes everywhere.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Was Loving It!

McDonald's targeted in US health ad: This article and video was published in the UK.

Unhappy meals: American doctors' TV ad features a corpse holding a hamburger and the line 'I was lovin' it'. McDonald's, which has thrived in the recession, isn't laughing

Check out the You Tube Video below!

NOT fit for dogs either!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Poop Power?

According to the
San Francisco Chronicle, "American dogs and cats create 10 million tons of waste a year, and no one knows where it's going."

Will Brinton, a scientist in Mount Vernon, Maine, and one of the world's leading authorities on waste reduction and composting, was quoted as saying. "Most of our pets' poop either winds up in a landfill purgatory, where it's embalmed practically forever in plastic bags, or sits on the ground until the next rainstorm washes it into the sewer where it can drift on down to rivers and beaches."

And so San Francisco has become the first city in the country to consider turning Fido's droppings into methane, which can heat homes, cook meals and generate electricity. "Poop power? Yes, it's possible to produce electricity, natural gas and even fuel from Rover's poop and other waste material,"

By the way Happy Tails composts and considers it a valuable resource for pastures. Our compost temps far exceed 150 degrees which kills all pathogens.

Green Dog Cleaning Company of Portland, Oregon is an innovative, energetic new Pet Waste Professionals company that offers a variety of services at very reasonable prices that include scooping your poop and turning it into compost!

They were even the focus of an article in Oregon Live With dogs in the city, doesn't it make more sense to compost rather than to enshrine poop in plastic bags that are not biodegradable? Don't we need to become more creative with our disposal methods? We always wonder where "away" is when we talk about throwing "away.."

United States Dept of agricultural

National Resources Conservation Services releases Dog Waste Composting Guide The average dog can produce 274 pounds of waste each year. Composting dog waste is a simple and inexpensive method for disposing of dog waste that can enhance the environment. This guide will show you how. USDA Alaska Dog waste is a safe soil additive for revegetation and landscaping when composted properly.

What is Composting?

"Composting is the controlled breakdown or degradation of organic material into a product known as humus. Dog waste composting is a natural process that requires air, water, organic matter, microbes and a little human intervention."

"REMEMBER: It takes at least 10 dogs, preferably 20, to generate enough waste to maintain a bin.

A large pile (3 to 5 foot cube) is needed to provide insulation and keep temperatures high in the piles' center. For fewer dogs you can keep a separate compost bin for dog waste and add grass clippings or other nitrogen sources to increase the volume. Treat the finished compost as you would other composted dog manure."

Happy Tails uses 4 pallets to contain the material, we rarely have to cover it because it gets hot enough without a cover. No odor, no flies, no mice etc.

Best way to collect is to add a carbon source (sawdust, chopped straw, bedding) to the dog waste as you collect it and mix it after being placed into your bin. There won't be any composting until water is added. Choose your location and bin, gather your materials and never use those non disposable plastic bags again!


For every two shovels full of dog waste, add one shovel full of sawdust or other carbon source and mix thoroughly after each addition.

Add water in small amounts until the compost mixture is as moist as a wrung out sponge. Continue adding ingredients until the compost is two to three feet deep.

Once a bin is full, do not continue adding fresh materials. You may be surprised how quickly the contents seems to shrink, we rarely fill our 4 x 4 area.

Place a cover on the compost mixture. Microbes will begin breaking down the organic materials. As the microbes go to work, they release heat and increase the temperature of the compost pile.

Mature compost has a dark rich earthy color, it's moist, crumbly, and truly has a pleasant earthy odor. Dig in and use this valuable natural resource!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Don't Forget The Veggies!

We've all seen that sad dog, round face look. The look that accuses, that stabs our hearts and immediately instills guilt, massive amounts of guilt. Dogs are masters at it, and I believe Rotts truly known how to hang their heads and make their humans feel shame, when required.

It all started innocently enough. In order not to pack on extra girth and body weight, we would turn to natural foods as treats. Slices of carrots or apple, frozen organic string beans, good healthy things that would still be tasty and crisp to give a dog some pleasure from his treat without eating soy, corn or other things that harm them. These are perfectly healthy and dogs learn to enjoy them, some don't have any learning curve at all!

We eat raw in the morning, raw veggies, raw fruits & raw goat milk with lots of herbs. The dogs would eagerly drink our smoothies, but instead they get their own raw goat milk that turns those black Rotti lips white. They love it and it's wonderful for them.

At night we eat cooked veggies with some type of protein such as grass fed bison, beef or free range chicken. The inside permanent Rotts fully anticipate having their own portion along with their Solid Gold kibble or Honest Kitchen stew.

Again, it was innocent enough in the beginning. We like it healthy, quick, tasty and easy. So veggies have an organic hemp seed oil, organic coconut oil, garlic & lemon sauce. Takes only a few seconds and is zingy and healthy. Started giving the pooches a string bean or two dipped in the sauce. That didn't last long. So, now every night they fully anticipate and expect to have the veggies with THE SAUCE.

Sometimes I don't have the veggies prepared, the garden hasn't cooperated, or it's winter and I have to buy them from 40 miles away. We still give Organic Dog Treats which are very much appreciated, but that's in addition to their dinner vegetables. The treats are considered their dessert!

It's become clear that there is no acceptable excuse for me to forget them, to be tired, to be lazy, to not have an ingredient etc. If there aren't veggies on their nightly menu, they are upset and will show it with that look. It's a look I don't like to see, so I do my best to ensure a steady supply of fresh veggies.

Try it, your pooches will appreciate you and will never give you THAT look, that is unless you run OUT of something or don't feel like preparing it for them. Don't start if you don't want to continue, or you'll have some sad puppy dogs!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bouncy Boys

The two new boys are adjusting to their new surroundings very nicely. We ask nothing of them until they are relaxed, comfortable with us and are used to everything. These youngsters seem like they will be very good at learning their new routine. After all, they only have to watch the reactions of every other pooch to see what is normal and expected of them, then they imitate.

It was amazingly quiet yesterday. Not that Rotts are barkers like some other breeds, but they don't hesitate to voice their opinion when required and of course, there are the nightly songs! Yesterday, it was as though everyone appreciated that the new guys were nervous, stressed and lacked confidence. So there was utter silence until about 7pm. Then things went back to normal.

We were first greeted with wiggling bodies by the two new guys when I went to say "hi" to everyone late afternoon. I thought it might be a fluke, but nevertheless, there were 2 skinny bodies, shaking, wiggling and wagging all over the place and very happy at my arrival.

This morning during treat deliveries, it was clear that it wasn't a fluke. The skinny boys were quite happy in their new environment and could shimmy and shake with the best of them! Uncle Sebastian was on one side and Aunt Unique on the other, both very stabilizing influences for the youngsters.

These gentle treat takers are adjusting well. Their appetites are quite good, so maybe it was just a lack of food, rather than a lack of interest. It's good to see them eat!

Today is their first full day, looks like it will be a good one!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Two New Faces

Buddy & Chevy joined Happy Tails Rescue yesterday, both came as owner surrenders from the shelter system in Portland, Oregon. What that means to these 16 month old brothers is that a lot has been thrown at them in the last several weeks.

Being scooped up from their multiple dog home including Mama Rotti, adult humans, kid humans and some type of established routine. They next find themselves jailed in tiny, concrete quarters being jabbed, poked, examined and deemed inappropriate for adoption.

Once we agreed to take them, even more is thrown at them, more jabs, more pokes and then neuter surgery, transportation to meet us mid way between Goldendale & Portland. By the time we met them, they were tired, suspicious and not overly thrilled about getting into another vehicle. Why should they, the tiny park over looking the Columbia River had everything a youngster could want. Great other dog smells, a nice view, breezes that kicked up other interesting aromas, lots of shade and we were plying them with plenty of tasty treats to help gain their trust.

Buddy went into the crate nicely probably because he had no idea what it was and he behaved well once inside. Chevy on the other paw, was not overly receptive to much of anything except treats. Whenever possible we prefer the pooch to load up without human assistance. After an hour or so, it became clear that his intentions were different than ours and so he was lifted, while flailing, into the back of the Suburban. Chevy forgave quickly and rested his chin on the back of the seat while he observed everything that was happening.

Numerous errand stops before heading home gave ample time to chat and supply more treats. This was the time to swing open both gates to our kennel area so we could back the Suburban right up to the run these brothers would share. Buddy, again was fine with our requests. Chevy, again wasn't too keen on anything other than observing all the other encouraging Rotti faces and sound effects. After about 1.5 hours of sitting on the back bumper and encouraging, we could see that Chevy was getting exhausted with all of his new experiences and so we gently extracted him. Once out he was more than eager to get in with Buddy.

Both youngsters don't have much life experience and can't even spell manners, but are good dogs. They are handsome, too thin and need to learn about life. This morning for cookie rounds they observed everyone else walk to the kennel gate to accept a nice treat and they imitated their Rotti friends.

Today's Labor day and we are recovering from yesterday's labor. Not to mention the 250 mile round trip the day before to pick up 1,500 lbs of dog food, a most welcome donation. Happy Tails Rotts eat 100-150 lbs daily.

These boys will be looking for permanent homes soon.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dog Bite Stories?

Happy Tails will soon launch an Ebook to help train people to better read, understand and even speak dog language, so they will minimize their chances of EVER being bitten by ANY dog. In dealing with hundreds of Rottweilers since 1987 we have never been bitten and have handled severely traumatized, highly stressed, starved animals & “bite dogs” considered “dangerous” in their current condition.

We enjoy this excellent record not because of any genetic brilliance but due to education related to Bite Prevention and being sensitive and aware of the ample warnings a dog gives prior to biting.

Dogs NEVER bite for "no reason" and they never bite when a "growl" or "nip" will do. We humans may not agree with the reason or even recognize it as such, but there is ALWAYS a "reason"

As a society it's our responsibility to learn to read our dogs better and teach our more vulnerable members how to be Bite Proof. Human intelligence is not an option, but a requirement in handling powerful animals of any specie or breed.

By learning the facts why dogs bite, you can prevent it from happening to you or someone you love. It's also an opportunity to bite protect your entire family for interactions with other strange dogs that you may encounter in life, and a great chance to teach your child to never again be nipped or bitten by any dog. This could be a lifesaver for small children.

Dogs give ample warning, often very subtle to the untrained eye before they bite. We're looking for real stories about folks who have been bitten by a family dog who they never-thought-would-bite. If your story is published, we'll send you a free Ebook!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hot August Nights?

The birth of this Blog happened on what should have been a hot August day. The calendar said it was August, but the rain outside said it was more like late October. The second August rain, not bad considering I hadn't seen August rains in these parts since moving here 14 years ago. The first rain was more of a storm with all of the light and sound effects.

In some ways, I'm looking forward to a couple decades of global cooling. Augusts were way too hot here, with about a weeks worth of 100 degree plus days. Come to think of it, I haven't seen 100 degree temps in quite a few years, fewer 90 degree days too. This August temps were mostly in the 70's. Nights have already been as low as 39 degrees. August? My tomatoes don't think so either. Sure, we've had some red tomatoes, as I hover over them giving them verbal encouragement to turn red or even orange.

The only contrary opinions are the horses coats, but then they're like that. They have not sported their winter coats yet, which could be a bad sign. On our coldest winter in 5 years they didn't don their winter fur until last in the year, but the winter with the record breaking snow depths, they had thick coats by October. Squirrels are busier than ever and not chattering, could mean a cold winter or perhaps just a long one. I'm hoping for a long fall and short winter.

Click on the Hot August Nights for a link to Ice Age Now, to see record cold temps & harsh weather world wide.