Thoughts

Zumi suckles from Tessa

We were overjoyed to see this going on in the yard today.

That little furball suckling from our dog is Zumi Zoom-Zoom, our newly adopted kitten. The dog is of course Tessa, our ciobanesc mioritic breed, sporting her summer look. She normally looks like this.

With summer temperatures rising into the mid and upper 30s (Celsius), we didn’t want to cook her under that thick winter fur, so we gave her a haircut.

Of course, Zumi’s suckling empty teats. Tessa isn’t pregnant, nor do we have any plans to let her get pregnant until she’s over 2 years old. (She’s just about nine months now.) But the two of them have been getting along pretty nicely so far, in the short time that Zumi’s been with us. It took a week or so for Zumi to get used to the big, white, drooling monster who ran to greet her whenever she ventured into the yard, but they’ve warmed up nicely to each other. And I’m glad to see Tessa provide Zumi with a bit of comfort, while getting in a bit of practice for motherhood.

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Thoughts

Meet Costache

This bright-eyed pup showed up on my grandmother’s doorstep in Maramures this past Sunday morning. Although happy to get my attention, he was clearly suffering: he looked as if he hadn’t had a decent meal in weeks, as his ribs were showing through the fur, and he was full of fleas. He had the outline of a collar around his neck, so from the looks of things, he’d escaped from a situation where he was abused. (The photos you see here were taken a couple of days after he’d been in our care, so they don’t show his initial state. The collar you see in these photos is a new one we bought him.)

I fed him and he practically vacuumed up anything I gave him. I started to pet him, and he had no idea how to voice happiness. He would begin screeching and yowling as if he was in pain, yet his face clearly showed he was happy. This was a dog that had been ignored, beaten and malnourished. That’s when I decided we’d keep him. He was happy to stay. After his meal, he fell asleep next to the house, in the sun.

Throughout that day and the next, he ate enormous amounts of food and he began to look better. At night, he slept on our doorstep. Although he could leave whenever he wanted, he stayed. (We don’t like to tie up our dogs.) The third evening, he disappeared, and he showed up the next morning a little bloody. Then, later that day, he disappeared again for a few hours. That’s when we decided to make inquiries. It was clear to us that he belonged to somebody and he still had ties to that place, in spite of the abuse and lack of food.

It didn’t take long to find the house of his former master; everyone knows each other in my grandmother’s village. Let’s just say that it wasn’t the kind of arrangement one would want, so I made the owner an offer: I told him we love the dog and we’d like to adopt him, and I’ll either pay for the dog or I’ll find him another. Happily, he chose the money. I paid him (there were witnesses), and took Costache to his proper home.

Costache is a funny name in Romanian, but everyone that knows him says it suits him perfectly. He’s very friendly and quite adorable with those floppy ears and bright eyes of his. He’s now almost flea-free and on his way to being fully de-wormed, and he has what the ASPCA likes to call a “forever home”. He’s still not tied up and never will be. He can leave whenever he wants, but we hope he’ll like his new home so much that he’ll stay. We’re bringing a companion for him, an adopted female dog named Tesa, and they’ll both have a nice, warm doghouse to sleep in this winter.

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Thoughts

Ted, a dog at 25

Ted is a dog of 25+ years who belongs to my wife’s mother. He’s been a guard dog all his life. I first knew Ted in 2003, when I first visited my wife’s home. Outwardly, he’s looked the same since then, the way you see him in these photos, so I had no idea he was this old. He was always on duty, guarding their property, barking at everyone who approached the gate, including me. It took him a few years to get used to me, and to obey me when I asked him to stop barking. Now, he just sits in his dog house and no longer barks.

His vision is likely gone. We think he has cataracts. If you look at these photos, you’ll see his eyes are cloudy. He still hears well though, but doesn’t react when people approach him, which isn’t like him. It’s quite possible that with his advanced age, he’s getting ready to leave this world, so I thought I’d take a few photos to remember him. He’ll be missed, the old grouch…

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How different dogs attack

This video from the National Geographic shows different breeds of modern dogs and how they attack their prey. Heavier dogs use their own body weight to bring you down, and lighter dogs build up momentum by running and jumping at you. The video also talks about bite strength and how head size affects it.

Takeaway lesson: do your best not to get bitten by a dog while it’s coming at you. Make it slow down or if possible, only bite you when it’s stationary. Or at the very least, avoid getting bitten by a mastiff. Those puppies pack a massive 500 lbs. bite. If one of them bites your hand, it will crush your bones and quite possibly sever a finger or two.


Dog Attack Styles from the National Geographic

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This is Dominic the two-legged dog. Amaz…

This is Dominic the two-legged dog. Amazingly inspirational stuff. He is happy and well-adjusted in spite of his handicap.

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