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Dalesred

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About Dalesred

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  1. Well, I live in a misty hilly environemtn in the Yorkshire Pennines, and Rhiw stands out at dark rather better than Meg. But Meg, is, umm, totally black We bought him at a sheepdog sale in Wales; not part of the auction - just an informal sale, along with amny other pups on the field. At that point needless to say I knew very little about the genetics or politics of colour, although he was from working parents. One eye is half blue and he had an undescenced testicle too. I live in sheep country, and was quite surprsised at teh interest I had in him from farmers and shepherds - he's an extremely responsive and alert dog but by then I had learend about the prejudice against merles -well founded though it is - colour hard to spot, natural conservatism, genetic defects and so on. I totally 'get' the issue of breeding for working ability alone, but given the same choice, should I have chosen one of the more conventionally coloured pups, over my merle, even though he was from working stock, and I ahd no intention of trialling, still less of breeding? Another thing I've noticed happening when I ask people about their dogs is that people refer to the colour of the dog as if the colour itself is the breed. Which always annoys me!
  2. Aside from all the other excellent advice, I would urge you to be open-minded. I thought I wanted a bitch, smaller in size, traditional-looking. I ended up with the blue merle Welsh gentleman on the left, with his David Bowie eyes, goofy grin and ridiuclous ears. Rhiw is a gem of a dog. He was part of a farm-bred litter out of working parents, on sale at a working sheepdog auction in Bala, North Wales - they certainly had NOT bred him for colour. His parents and both his sisters are working full time. He got the cushy number with me
  3. From Katz' website: In meditation, I am learning who I am. Strange not to know yourself at my age. The doctor – he is a psychiatrist – said some people define themselves by the troubles they have had. I do not want to define myself that way. I think that is the primary goal for me. I know who I don’t want to be, who I am not, but have not yet figured out who I am. A rare moment of insight, perhaps? Also looks like he is expanding onto the children's bookmarket now. Nice.
  4. Thanks for pointing that out, Shetlander. I also wondered about his description of how Rose tackled his new prize ram - showing him who was boss by grabbing hold of its testicles and hanging from them? Seems the labs went the way of all dog flesh too - both re-homed, as four were too many - too much trouble, too much of a pack, too much expense what with all the pooping and vomiting - again , I wonder what was going on there. But waddya know? Look at the website and there are four or five dogs there. He's beneath contempt. Looks like he's been investigating selling the horribly accurately named 'Bedlam Farm.' I hope for the sake of all his animals, he does just that.
  5. I bought a number of paperbacks to see me through christmas. One, The Horse Boy told the story of an autistic child's connection with horses and the journey he undertook with his parents to Mongolia for healing. I'd recommend this to anyone. It's a wonderful and inspiring book. As it was buy one get second half price, I picked another. This one had a cute pic of a border collie on the front. Only when I got home and looked at it again did I realise I had put money in the pocket of someone who, well, put down his BC withour exploring every other alternative, didn'tt he? well...Anyway. I set about reading the thing. These are my conclusions on 'Saving Izzy'. This man has serious 'issues' it seems to me. He wants to be all things to all men., and so nothing in the book rings emotionally true at all. He wants to be 'in' with his macho faming buddies yet have a soft heart too. He likes to represent himself as growing through experience when in fact he does nothing of the kind. This dis-connect permeates the whole piece of writing for me. It just doesn't add up. I know very little about herding or handling. But I know enough to question the methods of a man who to take one small example, eschews conventional training in favout of conversational type commands - before sending his dog on the hill while he plugs in his I-pod. What sort of shepherd does that? If Rose excels in her work she does so in spite of, not because of him. There is a world in between the overt infantilism that some dog owners sentimentally indulge in, and the hard world of commercial farming, where I know very well that margins are narrow and everything has a price. But Katz thinks and operates only in black and white, so he acquires and disposes of animals , and it seems, people, at will. Take the donkeys for example. We have a loving picture of his close relationship with his elderly donkey, how he combs icicles out of her eyelashes in the winter, Then next we read of the surprise arrival of a donkey foal to another of his donkeys . RED FLAG RED FLAG -plus the fact that he had not observed the foal moving and thought she was simply overweight is revealing in itself. Then, sure enough with an extra mouth to feed, the old donkey gets sick and the vet puts it down. Katz describes in gruesome detail how this supposedly beloved animal's carcase is hauled away by the knacker man, and the whole episode is to illustrate how unsentimental he has become. Then his supposedly invaluable BC, Rose, gets sick when she 'digs up a carcase in the woodlands' Really Jon ? I'm beginning to doubt what you say more and more. Or did she dig out some bones from the garbage when you were too busy on the computer? Rose survives. Just. On the way home from her emergency operation, against his vet's advice, he then allows her to herd some escaped cattle for his neighbour. His desire to be admiredd and to impress over ruled any concern about her welfare. There are many other incidents and accidents were it seems very clear that he was at least partly at fault, not responsible enough. I like to think at some level he knows this. And I won't even describe his justification of using a shock collar on his young rescue BC, Izzy. Then what about the mysterious wife Paula, who does not live on the farm, but works in NYC ( presumably keeping the place afloat in the early years?) I wonder how she felt about the arrival of the tall, blonde girl friday or 'Farm Goddess' Katz employs to take on the more onerous duties of his farm for him? By now, he also has clenaers in once a week so he can presumably concentrate on his writing. How much real interaction with his animals is this guy actually doing? To find out more about Paula, I went to his website and googeld 'Paula' Sure enough, they have split up. He calls his feral cat 'Mother', the baby donkey first Emma ( after his adult daughter) and then when he realises it's male, .... Jesus. He's a psychoanalyst's gift, this man, who lists 'fathering a daughter' as one of his greatest achievements. Is it me, or is that not a little odd? We're treated to a dsescription of how he visits an elderly neighbour, Adelaide, with one of his labs. He describes taking her small gifts and comments that one of his labourers would find plenty of work around her run down home. But he doesn't seem to offer this practical help. Carries on visiting till she goes to a home. Than we hear no more about Adelaide. As each new storyline evolved in this lamentable book, my heart sank further in my boots. It seems from the website that his wife is gone, maybe a new love interest on the way - into textiles it seems from his sitee.... his two yellow labs have gone, and some other dogs in their place And what really gets me is he doesn't even seem to like his BCs, still less be passionate about them. He seems to prefer the more biddable and relaxed labrador temperament. And he is certainly neither a great writer, a canine behaviourist, or an insightful observer. But the cute picture on the book sold it to me, and presumably millions of others who may not know any better.
  6. My Rhiw does this to get my attention - he's also fascinated with a shaving mirror of my husband's which is usually balanced on the edge of the bath. When he comes in to supervise me peeing, he'll bump the mirror. Then me.
  7. I'm sorry you're going through this, and you've had some good advice already. It sounds like you and Steve are very close so I also wondered if there's anything going on in your life right now that is causing negative emotion - however subtle - that Steve might be picking up on? Just a thought.
  8. Right. I'm english and I know about these things. Wanker is definitely in the same category as bitch. Here in Yorkshire, there's another term too. I've never seen it written down anywhere. It's a local dialect word for a clumsy, ineffectual, male. Unlike bitch or wanker, though it also contains a vague hint of affectionate exasperation. Nearly always used by women of men. Rolls off the tongue nicely too. It's buggalugs. ('Luggs' are ears and luggoils ear holes. I know a dog with splendid aural appendages. He's called Luggs, for obvious reasons.)
  9. I can't stop crying. Then I saw his pic - a merley boy like my boy - and cried some more Lucky Gent. Good boy. You deserve all that is best and soft and wonderful.
  10. I agree with what everyone else has said. First, your new boy may take a while to come out of his shell. Also, some dogs aren't all that into playing. Both of mine, though perfectly polite, don't really interact hugely with other dogs. But they are definitely companions,and very close even if they don't 'play' together all the time. Also your resident dog may need time to adjust to teh newcomer and start initating play. There's also a strict hierarchy at work with Meg as senior dog and teacher of all the secrets of dogdom to the young lad! In fact my household may be one of the very few where the resident BC is not top dog! They both love love love to play ball and frisbee with me, however. I remember it took me several months as a novice dog owner to realise that Meg, my rescue girl, needed to be 'taught' how to playfully interact with me. (Though on our very first walk, she stopped and looked up into the branches of a tree and looked back at me and smiled, then ran on to the next, and did the same thing. I said 'where are the squirrels, Meg?' and ever after that when walking through woodland, she'll do the exact same thing and look back at me, grinnning, for a response. It's like a private joke! So I think she was just waiting patiently for me to catch on!) Above all, give it time - three days is not very long at all, especially for an intelligent and sensitive dog. I really don't think it's grounds to take the dog back to the shelter.
  11. I am so happy for you Mary. Beautiful Vala is one lucky, lucky hound. I've followed your previous posts about Pan with a mix of growing admiration and respect. I can think of no-one more deserving of a lovely dog like Vala than you. PS. Admiring that lovely newly bathed coat and thinking .... do you have a Dyson Animal yet
  12. As I'm lucky enough to live surrounded by spectacular countryside, mine get half hour to an hour daily during the week and, in the spring and summer at least one long walk at the weekend. By long I mean five hours plus - because that is what I enjoy doing. If for whatever reason they cna't get a long walk, we play fetch instead. I have to watch Rhiw though as intense games of fetch make him very hot very quickly. I have noticed that when this regime has broken down - (illness for example) the dogs do adpat themselves accordingly. Conversely I think the more exercise they have, the more they will take.
  13. Pansmom I am so glad you have stayed with us. Your tenacity and dedication to your dog is really impressive. I have no advice to offer as I have no experience of what you describe, but I have read this thread in its entirety, though, and at times I began to despair when the discussion descended into point scoring and flaming. I was most relieved when I saw you were still contributing. My heart goes out to you in this truly awful situation, and I hope that the answers become clear soon. Elizabeth
  14. Hi Ailsa First reply disappeared into the ether! As you know, I've only just seen this - I hope Skye is much improved by now - how is she doing? The injury sounds very nasty and I am sure you were frantic with worry. I hope too that your neck and back did not suffer too much from your night(s) on the sofa. Random Acts of Ow = another Mr Snappy classic. And I'll remember that tip about foam round the neck. Hugs to you both Elizabeth
  15. Exactly Ailsa I am hoping and hoping 'our' guy gets in - for all the obvious reasons, plus I will lift my self imposed ban on travel to the US!
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