The adventuresome life of a Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland dog in Northwestern Ontario

Posts tagged ‘purebred dogs’

Tail Thumper of the Week #14

Well, we did a bit more than just shovel and build model mountain ranges while we were snowed in. Elizabeth had the foresight to bring home a dog book to read to me. So, we curled up on the bed in her room on Sunday afternoon while the snow whirled and churned around the house outside, and we read stories about dogs who’d found new homes and happy lives. Can you think of a better way to spend a cold and blustery afternoon?

Elizabeth picked a good book, too. Elise Lufkin wrote Found Dogs: Tales of Strays Who Landed on Their Feet. Photographer Diana Walker helped to make it more interesting by taking beautiful black and white pictures of each dog to show readers that the words were true: these are very happy dogs now, although not all of them are pictured on their feet. Some of them are sitting or lying down (witness, the front cover…). Minor point. The important parts are their stories, which their two-leggers tell.

Click on the pic to buy. My commission goes to help Kenora's homeless dogs through It's a Dog's Life.

Click on the pic to buy. My commission goes to help Kenora’s homeless dogs through It’s a Dog’s Life.

Sometimes we read a lot about the dog’s past, sometimes its more about how they came to know and love and be happy with their new two-leggers. Sometimes the stories are used to tell two-leggers how to look after and adjust their lifestyles to help a new and traumatized dog fit into their home. So, there is practical advice, including an entire chapter at the end on how to find a shelter dog that’s right for your home, as well as lots of wonderful, inspiring, heartwarming  content. And the pictures really capture the dogs’ personalities, too.

Some of the owners, Elizabeth says, are famous two-leggers. I wouldn’t know about that. Most of them seem just like the people I meet at the vets’ or in the bookshop, or on the sidewalks in between the vets’ and the bookshop. I think they’re just like the two-leggers I see out walking with their dog-friends as I ride by in the growly beast with the window down so I can watch them and say, “Hello!” as we pass. I love rides….

I was really excited by one story about a truck driver (these ‘trucks’ are really big growly beasts like the ones that stop in the lane behind the bookshop while their two-leggers take big boxes out of them). His dog, Bear, is featured on the back cover of the book, too. As Elizabeth read his story, he told us about his dogs: Bear, a Newfoundland like my grandparent; Carbon, a Lab/collie mix; Cheyenne, a German shepherd/Australian shepherd mix; and finally (he had a lot of dogs!), Runt, a GREAT NEWFENEES LIKE ME!! At last, a book with a Great Newfenees character! Runt is in one of the pictures, too!  ~:o)=

This book is mostly about mixed breed characters of all ages, although some of the dogs are purebred. Even purebred dogs end up without homes sometimes.

If you’ve been wondering if you should adopt a dog or go to a breeder, then maybe this would be a good book to read. All these two-leggers seem to have had some challenges helping their new dog-friends, but everyone of them says that their adopted dog-friend is the best thing that ever happened to them. Sometimes, it seems that, although the two-legger thought s/he was rescuing a dog, events conspire to prove that, in actuality, the dog came into their lives at the perfect time to rescue them! The irony makes my tail thump!

Tail Thumper of the Week #7

Today I’m going to try something a bit different. I’m going to let you know about three books.

I noticed a few dog books on the shelves at Elizabeth Campbell Books are about specific dog breeds. Apparently, a lot of people are concerned about the individual needs of ‘purebred’ dogs. Somehow they believe that ‘purebred’ dogs are somehow different from other dogs of ‘mixed parentage’, like the mighty Great Newfenees, and need special care and training as a result. A hundred two-legger years from now, you will begin to realise that type of breed segregation is wrong-thinking. Sometimes it takes you a while, but generally speaking, you two-leggers eventually wake up to wrong-thinking and do your best to change for the better. Look at the way the folks at It’s a Dog’s Life are helping underprivileged dogs now. Most of them are mixed breed. Coincidence? I hardly think so….

Read all about it: Newfoundlands are a mixed breed!

I understand a bit more about ‘purebreds’ now that Elizabeth and I have had a little talk on the subject. I think it’s a silly way to look at dogs, though, just the same. Think about it. All these ‘purebred’ dogs are just dogs that have been -er- introduced to one another because they have certain talents that their two-leggers have wanted to use. If you look far enough back into, say, my Newfie grandparent’s history, you’ll discover that the original Newfoundland Dog was … yep. A mixed breed dog (Wolf, Northern Spitz type, Tibetan Mastiff, Great Pyrenees, and a host of others. Newfs are true mutts!). Like me. And if you don’t believe me, it says so in one of today’s selections: The Newfoundland.Need to know more about raising a Springer Spaniel?

Noble profile, yes, but he’s really just a rabbit-chaser at heart.

Spaniels come in many different sizes, so probably there has been some mixture there two, although that’s just my own dog-sense kicking into play. The origins of the Springer Spaniel are somewhat obscure, but probably Spanish, or so says Elizabeth’s book on the breed. Her book on Cocker Spaniels mentions that those Spaniels probably originated in Carthage, and that they became highly prized when Carthaginians went to Spain and found lots of rabbits there in 238. Carthaginians called rabbits ‘span’. Spain means Rabbitland. Hmm… sounds like a fun place to live! Even more fun for Spaniels, a.k.a. Rabbit Dogs to the Carthaginians. The author goes on and on about dogs and rabbits in her introduction, and if you want to learn more, you can buy the book. If you buy any of these books this week, remember, Elizabeth will give 20% – my commission – to It’s a Dog’s Life in Kenora, who look after rabbitless and two-leggerless pooches until at least two-leggers can be found to love them.

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