Thursday, January 31, 2008

Behavior, Training, Rescued Dogs, Neglect and the Abuse Excuse

A Nov 2006 pic of Helmut enjoying a stuffed sock with a hole in it.
Doesn't he look cuddly? :)

Cute training joke! :D See Savage Chickens: Dog Grooming Cartoon
(I'm so behind on Savage Chickens. Must catch up eventually!) :p

In a previous posting, I wrote about my service dog experiences, which probably offers a little bit of background in some of the broader scope of my interest in canine behavior and training. I'm always interested in how people train their dogs and why some people have the behavior problems in dogs that they do and why others are perhaps more successful.

Perception and communication are sometimes among the central issues.

Keep perception and communication in mind when you check out the articles I link to here.

This first one which has been in my blog bookmarks for about a year, regards training and raising dogs (and children!) by Julia V. McDonough who has worked with Doberman rescue and is a must read!
THE ABUSE EXCUSE J McL.pdf (application/pdf Object)

To learn a little more about Julia's credentials, go here. Below is a teaser from that page...
Hired in 1998 by Doberman Rescue Unlimited, Inc, a 501(c)3 organization, Julia singlehandedly set to work developing an in-house training and behavioral rehab program for the dogs in DRU's care. Today, her "DRU University" program is held up as the gold standard of shelter dog training programs by knowledgable balanced trainers and concerned shelter workers around the country. Thanks to Julia's balanced, results-oriented approach, hundreds of dogs deemed "unadoptable" by other trainers and shelters have gone on to live peaceful and productive lives with adopters who have been educated to a much higher, more dog-savvy standard.
She has her own website where she talks about her training philosophy. There is a page with several of her articles -- including the one referenced above (Abuse Excuse). I have some favorites! See the one called "False Positives" (on training philosophies), another "The Prong Collar: Fact vs Fiction" and especially this one "Dead Dogs Walking" (on evaluation tests that are used in shelters). I have previously written in other dog related forums, similar opinions on the these same three subjects, but not nearly as eloquently as Julia has. To see all the articles, go here.

Edit 06-Feb-2008: Julia comments with a link to updated info on Julia's activities and accomplishments here. Thanks Julia! :)

::: Related - I have a long running page on Prong Collars.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/31/2008 07:59:00 AM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Anonymous Julia V. McDonough, IACP CDT sent us a woof // February 06, 2008

Just wanted to thank you for your kind words about my articles. I've since left DRU after 7 years of service, but will carry what the shelter and rescue world taught me (both good and bad) for the rest of my life. I have a more up-to-date bio page here:
http://www.fortunatek9.com/about_me.htm
It's important in this age of "furkids", guardianship language, and the dumbing down of dog ownership that we take a stand for common sense. Thanks for standing with me.   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // February 06, 2008

Julia, thanks for visiting. Keep up the good work! :D   

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Anatolian Service Dogs


Ruya in quiet reflection.

Ruya is a great granddaughter of my first Anatolian, Sabah (Masallah Sabah Sarki). Like her great granddam, Ruya has always been a sweet, contemplative, long fused and bold girl. And like Sabah, she has sometimes done work for me in the capacity of a service dog. I tend to joke about my disabilities with friends, sometimes saying such things as I was "Made in Taiwan" (my birthplace) and that the warranty on some of the parts I originally came with has run out. ;)

Ruya's tasks when she is in her service dog harness, are to help me keep my balance (darned vertigo), help stabilize me when I get muscle spasms (motor neuron disease --original dx was cerebral palsy) in my legs and also she's a hearing 'alert' dog (not a hearing dog in the usual sense) so that if she indicates a sound of interest (I am deaf), I can look to see if we have an upcoming obstacle.


Due to circumstances not under my control, I haven't been able to get the mileage on her (or Boone for that matter) that I was able to accomplish with Sabah (see at left with my nephew, click to enlarge) and Aslan, both of them worked for me in the early 90's. Aslan went just about everywhere with me and since he didn't look like huge white polar bear, it was somewhat easier to accomplish daily tasks without quite the degree of attention Sabah attracted ("Eeeee!!!! Look Mommy! It's a polar bear! Let's go see!") and this increased efficiency caused me to prefer working with Aslan - through no fault of Sabah! From work (the blood and gore dept of a medical laboratory) to shopping, appointments, visiting friends, family and longer trips. I had so much freedom!

I am so looking forward to when the surmountable obstacles can be ironed out. (ahem, to hubby with sidelong glace at the "to-do list")


Kabul at a dog park partyAt left, and also in the blog template, here is a pic with me and James sitting with Kabul (in the party hat), who is Ruya's uncle. We were at a park with Cindy of Growlsburg Anatolians and were celebrating the birthday of her Anatolian SD, Sabrina.

Kabul was a very promising SD, a sweetheart, bold, happy, very loyal and confident, but his life got cut short in a freak accident when he was 3 years old. I still miss him so... :(


Take it from me, there is much more accessibility and ease of movement when one exchanges a clunky walker (can you hear it?-- clunk, scrape, draaaaaaag..., clunk, clunk, clunk, scrape, draaaaaaaag...) for a well trained service dog! As an example, upon finding all the handicapped parking spots taken (this is not a gripe but a "that's life, get used to it" comment) one has to use a distant spot where cars are crammed so tightly together that a walker cannot fit between the cars unless the walker is folded up to ease passage between the cars - which pretty much defeats the stability offered by a walker. A service dog helps navigate these tight spots; flow with ease through tight aisles and squishy store checkouts lines and make it easier to quickly navigate steps and stairways with comparative ease. (try carrying a walker up the stairs or down!) If I get tired or out of breath (leaky heart valves), I can stop and rest with my dog at my side, on the alert for me -- in case unwanted strangers think the handicapped are an easy target.


Navy photo, out in front of the building
A detail from a Navy hospital photo. Pic of me, in green and brown (sans ubiquitous lab coat) posing with Aslan. He usually stayed in the lab office or stockroom while I worked in micro and hematology. Workmates from the whole building would drop by HIS office to say hello. Many more knew him by name, than knew me. :)

All that said, I do get inquiries but I never recommend Anatolians to someone who wants to start with this breed as their first service dog. I think previous experience with Anatolians or other LGDs (Livestock Guardian/Protection Dog breeds) is a definite benefit to temper unrealistic expectations and instill a sense of reality to the person who contemplates an LGD service dog. I have had a few Anatolians that didn't make the grade due to conformation/soundness or stress issues. (If the dog doesn't enjoy it, they shouldn't be made to do the work, period.) I have some friends and associates who have found that one or more of their Anatolians have had a natural inclination to brace for them and give support when they are injured. There are a few people that have Anatolians deliberately trained to do service work and also have been proofed in various ways including with CGC, TD, ATT, various SD certifications.

Why aren't (more) Anatolians formally trained by service dog organizations? (We don't want that to happen to our breed!) Well, the major issue has to do with their independent character. Two decades ago, Jean King, founder of Independence Dogs, Inc. (IDI), started with Shantih, a Blue Yayla-bred Akbash (white variety of Anatolian Shepherd Dog) who trained and served as Jean's SD. A little about Jean is here. It is my understanding that while some of the Akbash trained by IDI worked out well, they did not have quite the success and acceptance that other breeds do. I also became aware that some Akbash breeders really had issues with the whole concept but I'm not sure how much that had to do with vendettas with Blue Yayla dogs and the kennel owner(s), or the idea of stock dogs being used in the cities, and plain old Akbash dog club vs club politics ("Spy vs Spy" from Mad Magazine, remember that?). But while issues about breed character are understandable at many levels, some of the ideas (from able bodied breeders) were not entirely accurate about an SD's life (one breeder described SD life as depressing, total drudgery compared to working out in the fields with livestock -- yeesh!).

The crux of the matter with program training is that it most usually involves transfer of a "trained" dog to a handler. The Anatolian is not a dog that immediately assigns authority to the next person holding the dog's leash. "Hey, Charlie, you have to earn my respect first!" This element of breed character doesn't go naturally for many SD users, who are just not very good at 'reading dog' and who may begin having problems at the outset, or may be having an especially bad disability day while their dog is still training, or who just have little natural aptitude to create and maintain a working partnership with such a dog.

Dogs that transfer their training well from the trainer to the handicapped user are generally the dogs most commonly successfully used in programmed-directed SD work. Labs and Golden Retrievers are especially popular. This is not to say that all members of those breeds are naturals nor that mixed breed or individual dogs from other breeds don't make excellent service dogs. I knew of a person who had no legs, got around via use of a skateboard (for longer distances) who used a pit bull terrier as an SD. This dog was ideal, as the dog was powerful, the right height, and had the innate enthusiasm, gameness and endurance to work all day by his owner's side. The training programs for service dog associations are quite rigorous. But independently trained by their primary keeper, Turkish dogs can do a very nice job, particularly in assisting mobility -- but I still don't recommend them for a newbie to LGDs.

While on the subject of Program (trained) dogs, there are many disabled people that have a dog with a natural aptitude for the job who can do whatever is required in their locale to be accepted as an authentic SD. On the other hand, the waiting list for Program dogs can sometimes be several years long. The ADA allows us to use dogs (and other animals - e.g., guide horses) to go into all areas of a public facility where customers are normally allowed to go. Dogs that are owner (or privately) trained to do the required work specific to the SD users needs, are part of the solution so we don't all have to get in line for a Program dog (CCI, Guide Dog, and other groups). I'm finding that more people with hidden disabilities such as bi-polar disorder, can qualify under ADA to use service dogs and their specific needs with their dogs are not as specialized as say, a guide dog's (dog for the Blind) training needs to be.

The main requirement is that the animals must be trained, not be disruptive, and if the handicapped person does not have the ability to control their animal, they must have a person with them who can. (examples are disabled young children who may forget themselves and not keep their trained service animal under control)

Another good read to enforce a sense a reality in using such a huge dog, is this page written by Leonberger SD user, Samantha. Leos are not LGDs but their size and elements of their character have some similarities with the sort of challenges an Anatolian SD user would face. Do check out the "Pictures of Fergus at Work". Isn't he handsome! :)

::: Related link regarding Americans with Disability Act, service dogs, accessibility and a mention of Jean King.

See this post, if you want to know more about Anatolians.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/30/2008 08:48:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Extreme Driving Skills and Architecture

Check out this amazing driving and these surreal looking skyscrapers with rotating floors.


And more down to earth and doggie related, a captioned video. :)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/29/2008 05:03:00 AM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Anonymous Anonymous sent us a woof // January 29, 2008

What time is it?

Mark   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // January 31, 2008

What?!

Not again? ;)   

Monday, January 28, 2008

Zoey in Oregon Loves Snow!

Zoey (Semavi Kale Zoey) in Oregon snow.

Paul says Zoey loves the snow! Zoey is Ruya's littermate sister. Pic above is a crop I made from the original which shows her closer, same pic is below at a distance. Paul just got a new digital camera and I'm amazed at the detail he gets even with the heavy overcast of the day. According to the Exif info, the camera is a Canon PowerShot SD850 IS. I looked it up and that's 8 Megapixels with 4x Optical Zoom! Woo!

Here she is in the show again, in the uncropped original. The detail in the first cropped image is amazing, esp given the circumstances.

When Zoey was a baby here, the camera I had at the time was rather low resolution and could only do 640 x 480 pix with about 75K in size, and no more than 20 pictures could be on the camera's memory at one time. And if pictures were taken in low light, everything was grainy and dark. Above is one of Zoey's old puppy photos. She's posing under my walker while I snap the pic. This was taken in pretty good light. It is a crop from the original image.

And a close up of her as a big girl, sharing the love with someone. :)

Here's a ranch scene with big puffs of snow coming down. I think it's beautiful! (as long as I don't have to go outside and do chores or driving nor have to put up with snow and slush for weeks to come!)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/28/2008 04:51:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Meet Otto, the Anatolian!

Scanning my google updates last night, I noticed an alert for a blog about Otto, the Anatolian. And the same day, also got a comment from Otto's Mom!

Otto's Mom has some thought provoking Anatolian related musings inspired by Otto, the Anatolian. It's with both an amused sense of deja vu and some satisfaction that I reflect on Otto's Mom's sensible perspectives on her Anatolian experience with Otto. Granted, Otto is Otto, and many of us have quite different life experiences with our Anatolians and each new Anatolian in our lives always has something to teach us. Keeps us honest, don't cha think? :) Go check out Otto's blog! :)

BTW, just out of coincidence, I was checking to see where Ruya (code: ruya1) had migrated to on the Pedigree Dog Mosaic which I posted about previously, and what do you know, Otto (code that worked for me to recheck location: otto1) was located just a few squares away from Ruya around Pedigree Dog's left ear (see below). What a coincidence (or I would never have seen Otto!). Hey, ASD people... world domination can't be too far fetched a goal. Wuffs! ;)

World Domination begins now!

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/27/2008 09:51:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

A Happy Dose of Cuteness!

I can't help it. I just have to ooooh and awwwwwww and squeeeeeeal happily over how cute these babies are.

These are pups from Kim Gray's recent litter at Lost Armadillo Ranch in California. These pups are all spoken for and are starting to go to their new homes now. Their pedigree represents a blend of Turkish, Australian, English and domestic working bloodlines in just four generations.

So cute!

Pups in the snow. Gangway! :)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/27/2008 03:17:00 AM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Blogger Otto's Mom sent us a woof // January 27, 2008

What is better then puppies in the snow?? They are so cute! Gonna be huge, wish I could have em all!
Thanks for posting,
Otto's mom
www.anatolianshepherds.blogspot.com   

Blogger Diane sent us a woof // January 27, 2008

How cute!! And I love the wary sheep faces looking through the fence :)   

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Eyes You Say?

In response to a recent blog posting showing pups with expressive eyes, I got a comment, "Eyes you say?" from Kath Coniglio at Gypsy Anatolians with some photos of her girls. I just have to show them off here. :)



Taddy (Full Circle's Sihirli Tatlilik) helping some hidden fingers, I think, do quality control on a sweater. Either that or there's a cookie involved and I didn't get one! :p

Brinks (Briar Patch Brinks v Gypsy) pondering Anatolians of the past and future. :D

Aslan's Defne (Minnos) v Gypsy expressing her boundless enthusiasm for yet another photo :)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/26/2008 10:46:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ruya on the Pedigree Mosaic

Voila! See Ruya!

From the inset above showing our entry -- Ruya helps to make up the right eyebrow of the Pedigree Doggie on the Million Dog Mosaic.

EDITED: January 27 - Apparently Ruya keeps moving!
As I write, she's shifted downward on the left side of the doggie's nose. The dogs that were adjacent to her have changed, so the whole thing appears to be pretty dynamic! To find her, go to the mosaic page - Select the link to Browse the Mosaic - Then I type ruya1 into the search box when the mosaic window opens up and in zooms in on her newest location. :)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/25/2008 11:33:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Our Dynamic Genome - Magnificent Software?

An article from October 2007 at Newsweek discusses the importance of a balance of microbes in our lives and their importance in our genetic make up and immune systems.

While this posting isn't about dogs, many of the basic ideas below do carry between species.


". . . What we need is more exposure to the good microbes, and the job of medicine in the years to come will be sorting out the good microbes from the bad."

"That's the goal of the Human Microbiome Project, a five-year multinational study that its advocates say could tell us almost as much about life as the recently completed work of sequencing the human genome. One puzzling result of the Human Genome Project was the paltry number of genes it found—about 20,000, which is only as many as it takes to make a fruit fly. Now some researchers think some of the "missing" genes may be found in the teeming populations of microbes we host." See more...
I'm not so sure we can really put all bugs into black and white categories, but the reality beyond doubt to me, is that we do need a balance of exposure to microbes. The whole idea probably doesn't seem all that alien to most, but germ exposure is probably far more important than most people think. Take a look some of Mike Johnson's musings on gut flora at Modern Dragons for another take on this perspective. I especially thought the bit about the fruit fly having another organism fused to its genome as particularly interesting examples of evolution. Fruit flies as natural genetically modified organisms? (having DNA of another species within) We know that cud chewing animals depend on the organisms in their gut which help them digest plant sources. Do they have bacterial genetic components that have become part of their genome? What about us? Our dogs? To what extent are we genetically modified in this way?

Another thing to look into regarding environmental influence on our genes is Comet Tail analysis, which gives some indication of how environment in the form of foods, drugs, pollution, and even FDA approved (Generally Recognized as Safe, GRAS) additives in our consumables affect the integrity of DNA in specific organs. Here's an example of comet tail analysis regarding the effect of phthalate on human sperm. How much of that sperm is still viable? I'm sure some of it may be damaged enough to die, but how much of it will bring new or damaging genetic information to a baby?

Pic at left from MSNBC article linked below - from Oct 2004 Nature.
I think that a lot of this is very important but the main thing to take away from all this is that our genes are not hard coded functional entities. They are dynamic and responsive to the environment. Why we don't have considerably more genes than a fruit fly probably has more to do with the complexities of the bulk of genetic exchange which occurs in our bodies through our lives, with our guts providing us with much of our immune function. Think of all the junk and medication that exert potential effect on DNA in our gut. They affect metabolism and make unknown changes to our normal flora. Speaking of normal flora, another favorite bookmark I often share is the fermentation page of Healing Crow which offers a lot of food for thought in the care of our normal flora and also discusses its importance.

Our genes seem to function in a manner similar to software in a computer. The ability of our genetic software to interpret internal and environmental data, to rebound from trauma and stress, and to find resources in order to generate pathways in order to survive, or simply to fail, are complicated and dynamic adaptations.

I'm baffled by this quote right at the end of this MSNBC article last year. Lander said he’s not concerned that the number of human genes has turned out to be so limited. “To the contrary, I think it’s great news,” he said, “because what it means is we already know a lot about most human genes.” I think I'll just chalk it up to an awkward closing to the article.

While we do have clear understanding of the exact number of chromosomes there are in different species, the actual numbers of different genes counted per species will continue to change. In part, due to refinement in how and which genes are counted, and how genes which are 'countable' are defined. (protein coding only? microRNA and apparently meaningless SNPs, etc - I think a lot of what has been called junk DNA may make some differences in disease resistance or survival as it relates to genetic diversity, but what do I know?) See Human Genome Project Information.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/24/2008 02:06:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fun with Anatolian Shepherd Dog Pictures

Turk, aka Roadblock's Turkish Silver, in a cute picture sent by Tiffany of Roadblock Anatolians. He is now working and training as a livestock dog.

Seeing the eyes above, it reminded me of how expressive our doggies can be.
left
Above is a favorite of mine. The two pups are Coco and Helmut, giving Dave Koerner their rapt attention. I still wonder what he did to get that expression!

left
At fourteen months, Coco and Helmut above, giving my camera a quick look when I tried to get their attention by making odd noises -- and they do appear to be somewhat concerned. ;)

Now this is cool...
Here's a chance to add your doggie pics to a huge mosaic by Pedigree. I added Ruya and got an email response. Supposedly "RUYA1" will show up in the mosaic in another day or two. Pedigree says it will make a $1 donation* to The PEDIGREE® Adoption Drive for every dog photo that's uploaded to the mosaic. (up to $10,000)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/23/2008 05:50:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ivan in the Snow

Carolyn Domecq of Gentle Giants Ranch sent me these cute pics of Ivan (also known as Giant Dog Ranch Ivan).

He is nearly a year old (Feb. 11, 2007), a cousin to my own chocolate Anatolian girl, Coco. :)

Isn't he nice?!

Burrowing in the snow...


What a head for a yearling boy!

Looks like I'm not the only one who loves him :)

Edit: Added 23 Jan, 2008 -
Here's pics of Ivan with the stock on hotter days.
left
Isn't he handsome?!

left
Spot Ivan hard at work? :)

Ivan's mother is Ruya's sister, so half of his bloodline is mine. Ivan's sire, Polar, has some Australian bloodlines on his mother's side. Ivan is currently UKC registered.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/22/2008 05:47:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wireless Platitudes

I'm still trying to shake off a bad cold and just have been too tired lately to keep up with any reading. I have previously read much ado about potential problems from cell phone radiation exposure but until recently, I just really haven't been paying much attention since I don't one. James used the landline primarily but his cell phone useage has become frequent and habitual -- time for us to wake up. Just saw this new article last night about how cell phone use interferes with sleep. Other general warnings which compare cell phone radiation to wireless laptop use. Interesting.

Last month, I read some articles regarding internet accessibility regarding how deaf captioning in online video shows (the professional ones) are so lacking. For example, you can watch some of the same newsclips on TV with the captions but the online versions never do have captions. From one of the articles discussing this issue, I ran into some delightful YouTube films that were captioned (Yay!) and had to do with with deaf topics. Here's one of them that has humor from Deaf culture featured. :)


Jamie Berke at About.com has a wonderful article explaining about how exhausting or frustrating it is for hearing impaired students at school, and actually applies to some extent for all deaf and hearing impaired in almost all social situations... see the Classroom Ghost.

On a lighter note, thanks to Diane who posted a link to a "Human Tetris" clip last week, I ended up looking at several hilarious clips showing a Japanese game show with a Tetris-like theme. Good laughs are much needed sometimes. :)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/21/2008 03:10:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Joyful Snow Doggie!

When I saw the link to this, I thought wow, too cute, must share!


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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/15/2008 01:42:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Friday, January 11, 2008

Success! Getting the Laptop Back Up To Speed

Eureka!!!

My goodness. Months of frustration since October 2007 -- finally I've resolved the problem.

Back in October, James was using my MX7118 Gateway notebook to do some computing tasks while his desktop machine was shot (crashing hard drive); getting rebuilt by moi. This Gateway's got a dual core processor (more up to date than our desktops at the time) and was adequately speedy even with the factory level of 512MB of RAM. At least more than adequate for the rare use it got for the previous two years. (It even did an admirable job introducing the resource intensive game The Sims 2 with a few expansion packs =with no custom content= for visiting friends. -the key was, no custom content!)

Cave people that we are in computer gadgetry, once we obtained a wireless router and networked all our machines, at last using the Gateway to access the network became practical because now it was easy to move files between the machines and go online without miles of cables. :)

How slow did the Gateway get in October?! I'm not talking about a five or ten minute boot up time start to finish, but it was taking 20 minutes from boot to the login window, and by December, after login, another 10 to 15 minutes for the few things on it to finish loading at Startup. CPU usage was 80 to 100% almost constantly. Frankly, if you need to wait half an hour just for a machine to boot up, there isn't much point in using it any more.

It had great security and was clean, no viruses or spyware. Using hibernate to speed up its readiness for use, still took about ten minutes in loading time. But no matter what, every time a new program was started (a browser window for example), it took three or four minutes before the window loaded on screen. Windows Media player kept crashing. Typing into form boxes like the location bar on a browser sometimes delayed more than 10 seconds between keystrokes. No duh, something was wrong! Since the machine was clean, I was convinced that some of the hardware was dying.

Tweaking and disabling some Windows Services and slogging through the Event Viewer was interesting but provided no joy and is how I ended up discovering Wiki-How and posting about it. ;)

Then insight finally arrived! A few days ago (yep, January 2008 already), I discovered something called Process Explorer, free, made by Microsoft, which showed me more detail on running processes than is usually seen on Windows Task Manager (ctrl-alt-del). I discovered that hardware interrupts on the machine were the source of bottlenecks. So something was indeed wrong with the hardware, but it turns out, easily fixable! Yay!

I found a forum which presented the solution. Apparently due to some glitch that occurred in October, the hard drive converted from DMA mode to PIO. Having some clues now, examining hardware configuration in Device Manager for the primary IDE revealed that even though "DMA if Available" was in the "Transfer Mode" settings for the hard drive, my laptop was actually in PIO mode for the drive and it was this that was creating all the bottlenecks. Apparently this is a known bug in some setups according to Microsoft.

So the solution was -- uninstall driver for the primary IDE, reboot (Windows then self reinstalls the driver in the correct configuration), reboot again, and voila, the notebook was booting up in less than five minutes again as of last night!

Whee, happy happy! Dancing Banana Dancing Banana

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/11/2008 02:56:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Thursday, January 10, 2008

In 2006 PeTA Killed 97% of "Companion Animals"

January 10, 2008 - Centre Daily Times reports: "Virginia's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), reports that the average euthanasia rate for humane societies in the state was just 34.7 percent in 2006. PETA killed 97.4 percent of the animals it took in. The organization filed its 2006 report this month, nine months after the VDACS deadline of March 31, 2007." Isn't that a surprising kill rate for an organization that presents itself as being for ethical treatment of animals?

At PeTA Kills Animals, Tim Miller reports: "PETA rakes in nearly $30 million each year in income, much of it raised from pet owners who think their donations actually help animals." There are statistics at this site which show the killing trend.
In 2000, when the Associated Press first noted PETA's Kervorkian-esque tendencies, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk complained that actually taking care of animals costs more than killing them. "We could become a no-kill shelter immediately," she admitted. (from PeTA Kills Animals)
I highly recommend the Pet-Law site as a source of education about how Animal Rights activists turn their confusion loose upon our society via poorly written and unneeded laws. I'm on several related forums and due to other life pressures now, am finding it very difficult to keep up with the tsunami of bad legislation being pushed around the country. Subscribing multiples of these lists can mean over a megabyte of mail on a weekly basis, that's how bad it is. Most of us are unaware of these activities in our own communities til it is passed as law and it's too late to react. However, I highly recommend that everyone join a local one just to get shaken into awareness of what you don't know is happening. If you think your elected representatives are watching out for you, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise as they push penalty fees of hundreds of dollars on you and their constituents for what they thought was initally a 'good idea' supported by the mainstream.

I noticed PetConnection had a discussion on a spay neuter paper that I posted a link for earlier. I think the paper does a good job bringing light to the fact that spay/neuter issues, especially pediatric surgery is a mixed bag, however, the paper assumed some givens as always true that were not all that accurate either. The discussion however goes into more detail than I have time for but check out the discussion to get more detail.

No on California AB 1634
"California Healthy Pets Act"
Choosing a 'feel good' perky name for a bill perpetuates the GRAND deception

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/10/2008 03:24:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Monday, January 07, 2008

Keep 'Em In Collar

Picture is turned sideways for the blog, but this gives a nice four hundred pixel wide shot of the proportions of this collar.

The metal band in the center has a leather collar bolted down on the outside.
The band is actually two half circles for ease of putting around the dog's neck.

The M shaped extensions on this collar prevent the dog from squeezing between pole and/or wire pens, preventing her from going at will from one pen to the next during her training period. Despite the size of these dogs, they are often excellent shape-shifters and powerful enough to cause some types of fencing to give way. Livestock dogs in training need to be supervised during their training period so any problems can be nipped in the bud, so this custom collar method kept her in the desired pens during training.


Another look at the collar.
Also note in the background, one of the types of panels used. This Anatolian's primary job was not with mules and horses. The sheep pens had a variety of different fencing, but the collar was designed to be effective all around the ranch.


A little closer, so you can see the welding detail.

I had gone with Carolyn Domecq to Dennis' ranch do a registration evaluation on this Anatolian a few years ago. I had forgotten my camera so thanks to Carolyn (website), we were able to get these photos of Dennis' handiwork at his ranch!

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/07/2008 01:36:00 PM | Permanent link | (1) Comments

Blogger Judy sent us a woof // January 07, 2008

This collar is a great idea. Someone should convince Dennis to produce them for sale. Thanks for showing us!   

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Best Time to Neuter Your Pet Cat or Dog

What is the Optimal age for spay and neuter of cats and dogs?

Dr Gail C. Golab, PhD, DVM, Director of the Animal Welfare Division of the American Veterinary Association and member of the Pet-Law forum, has secured free public access to the following PDF from the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.


Citation
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
December 1, 2007, Vol. 231, No. 11, Pages 1665-1675
doi: 10.2460/javma.231.11.1665

Determining the optimal age for gonadectomy of dogs and cats

Margaret V. Root Kustritz, DVM, PhD, DACT
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108. (Kustritz)


If sharing the article with others, please direct them to the above link, to the PDF, rather than forwarding the document itself. This, in order to honor the American Veterinary Medical Association's Copyright.

Thanks!

Happy New Year to all!


No on California AB 1634
"California Healthy Pets Act"
Choosing a 'feel good' perky name for a bill perpetuates the GRAND deception

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/03/2008 12:00:00 AM | Permanent link | (3) Comments

Blogger Neva sent us a woof // January 06, 2008

Thanks for the update....I think it said basically...do it whenever you want but before the first cycle of your female....lots of controversy on this I am sure...I am all for it whenever and however it gets the job done....it doesn't seem to have adverse effects early or late....interesting...   

Anonymous Angel sent us a woof // January 07, 2008

Our humane society won’t spay females before 10 weeks so we get to foster until then.
I think it’s too young but if they don’t do it too many will ignore the job contract or not.   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // January 08, 2008

Neva, agreed. I think the main thing to take away from it (with the exception of shelters) is that decisions need to be made on a case by case basis with the owner and vet being responsible for the decision made. A 110 pound male Anatolian puppy that is 7 months old and which still squats to pee, still has open growth plates, is not even the same species as a cat the same age, nor does it have the same maturity or growth rate as a small breed dog.

As to controversy, see below.

Angel, I agree that 10 weeks is too young as general shelter policy but as you know, it is a catch-22 sort of thing indeed. Shelters do not make themselves accountable for fear behaviors, other problems including female incontinence that sometimes develops as the result of their neutering policies. Their main concern is to not see the unwanted progeny of the pets they adopt out.

Controversy?
Shelters and societies do not keep lifelong records of the outcome of their decisions on animals that they place. They are not in the position to say early neutering benefits all the pets they place.

However, I think the source of a pet, including shelters, have the right to make policy for their *own* animal placements because each deals with specific problems, target populations and goals.

When a person makes the choice to adopt from a shelter, they have effectively elected their source and should abide the policies.