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Nov 7, 2005
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One of our neighbors came home from working in Alaska with his fiancé....she is a native gal [half native half Norwiegen]...she grew up in remote village up there...How remote???? Well, there are no roads or cars. Everything comes to the village by boat, snow machineor plane....each of her family has a boat, 4 wheeler, dirt bike and sno-mobile...their Dad has a small engine repair shop.

Her and her sister came here last winter with the brothers who grew up here across the street...Then enjoyed winter here...warmer for them and they ice fished and huntedalmost everyday for the few months they were here.

Now this gal got to seehow fruit and vegetables grow...before everything gets harvested I went over today and brought her back to pick apples off the tree for the first time in her life....she picked strawberries and a few raspberries and ate them...I showed her the squash...she said "they just lay there??"......I dugher potatoes and carrots, she watched themcome out from under the soil for the first time in her life...they have no soil where she lives...there is only perma frost and tundra...no trees grow there.....She just marveled at all the produce you can grow and that some plants will be there in the spring and others are annuals....She said..."you have to put these here every year???"...She said..."those peppers just hang there on that bush??" Then I picked her a bouquet of dahlias and roses.....I must have heard "HOLY COW" a hundred times as well as "AWESOME"......The she petted the horses and said she would like to have her wedding in our yard...."YES!!!" She thought she was in paradise...I felt really good too.


I did a good deed today...I think. This stray dog was hanging around this morning...I'd yell at her and she wouldn't leave, just hide behind something...went up to her and she rolled over...I got a chain on her, loaded her upand drove around the neighborhood showing her to everyone...took her to the fertilizer plant as those guys go everywhere...talked to the mail carrier...talked to the bartenders.....talked to farmers in the fields....I wore out all my leads...Was going to take her for a one way ride after dark to a town someplace.....Then.....
...our friend lost his old dog a couple weeks ago...he has been pretty broken up as it was his constant companion...we had told him to get a puppy...he said "NO" he wasn't ready...
I called him on his way home from work and said I needed him if he could stop on his way home from work as Jim had been gone all day on a parts run....They looked into each others eyes...he started picking ticks and burrs off of her...he talked softly and she liked him...he asked her if she wanted to go for a car ride....NO...I had her tied to the floor of my pickup diving around for a few hours and then had her parked in the shade for many more hours....but I loaded her in his car....We talked, said we would take her away if it didn't work out, maybe to the pound in another town...he talked softly to her...her paws crossed in his lap.....they drove off...I hope they get along....I'm going to cry now.

Life is good out here in the country!
NW....... I mean this in the most sincerest way........ You are absolutely one of a kind! GOD threw the mold away after you.

And I'd be willing to bet that there isn't a day that goes by that you don't do a good deed of some sort that puts a smile on someones face.

And your yard......... It is paradise! There have been many occasions for me (today was one of them) that I don't think of that one garden spot that you have, with the trellis....... a nice park bench and book............... a quiet evening with my sweetheart looking at the stars, or a morning walk with my first cup of coffee................. thoughts like that can make a bad day go away.............

You NW....... are a truly special and amazing person, and I'm glad that I have had the pleasure to have met you.
Sad story with a good ending. Hope everything goes well with them.
Gee thanks for the fine words....Maybe I take for granted the things I have.

Our friend called...he took the dog for a drive and they talked...hope they become friends.

Some things I learned today....Cauliflower is good dipped in Seal Oil and dried fish is good dipped in Walrus Oil...their uncle brings them fat from those animals. If you put a chunk of fat in a jar by the end of the day you have oil...guess it melts at room temperature....I kind of like Ranch Dip myself.
You can also whip this oil up, mix it with blueberries, freeze it and you have ice cream....If you run short of animal oil you can substitute Crisco....I kind of like Baskin Robins....but can't knock it if you
Thanks for the story of the stray dog. It reminded me of my ( and my husbands) first puppy. I was at a motorcycle rally 500+ miles from home with my best wine drinking gal pal. A mama beagle and her mixed puppies had been dropped off at the campground. Mama and one puppy attached themselves to us. My friend let them in the tent!?! I called my husband and said I had found us a puppy, now to figure out the trip home. I went and bought a little pet crate and two bungy cords. The little fella slept the whole way home. My friend carried all my camping gear on her bike.

We named the puppy Porter ( Guiness was too big for him). My friend went back in a week and brought the mama home. She still has mama beagle and has named her Lexi. Our little Porter died 9 months later of a

rare liver disorder. He was so sweet.
So now the house was too quiet and we needed another dog. Like your friend, Northern, we were heart broken.
I saw her picture at our local Humane Society and just knew. We went and met her, fell in dog love all over again. We have had Miss Betty for 2 years now. She will be on our label for Hairy Dog Cellars.
Ok my ramble got away from me, it always happens when I hear a great dog story.
I am beginning to like northerners again.
Nice story - glad to hear so many. Ya know when GOD was naming
all the animals there was just one little fella hanging around without
a name. He followed HIM everywhere. so when the time came for a
name HE looked down and decided to call him dog. Why?
Because he can become man's best friend so I just spelled my name
backwards and called him dog.

rrawhide.....that is so nice....never knew that before...Thank You.

And Thanks to all of You who enjoy my rambling.

While many people revel in "mixed breed backyard" puppies, it is important to know that there are extreme risks to falling in love with such a dog. This applies to what I call "back yard breeders." These are people who have a couple of "purebred" dogs and breed them.

Typically, these dogs parent came from pet stores, which means they came from puppy mills. ALL pet store dogs come from puppy mills, which means that their papers are probably fraudulent and they were bred for a particular characteristic (tiny for toys, gigantic for Great Danes, etc.), not for soundness or conformity to the breed description as described by the AKC. [An aside: AKC registration is the only thing that counts. All of the other "registrations" like CKC just means it's breathing when you buy it.]

We got burned years ago. SWMBO wanted a lap dog. Some lady advertized Australian Silkies for sale with both parents on premises. SWMBO saw a little girl puppy and fell in love. She looked at me with those lovely brown eyes (SWMBO - not the puppy) and I told her to go get it. She named her Hershey.

At 6 months old Hershey started vomiting every time she ate. She had liver shunts, a genetic condition where blood vessels bypass the liver, and the liver doesn't do its job. All mammals have a liver shunt while in the womb, because the mother's liver does the work. That shunt atrophies within a few days of birth normally. With toy dogs that sometimes doesn't happen. There is a surgical procedure to close the shunt, so we scheduled advanced diagnostics (color ultrasound - $600) and surgery with a vet who used to be the head of the small animal surgery faculty at UMiss Vetrinary College (the best guy within 1000 miles for this) for $2000.

When he opened her up he found multiple shunts and a cirrotic liver. He closed her back up and said that there was nothing that could be done. We kept Hershey alive for almost a year with special low protein diets, but in the end had to put her down before her second birthday.

SWMBO's grief was unbearable for me. Alex and I dug a grave and buried Hershey under a big rock in our garden, which I chiseled Hershey into. We moved out of that house 3 years ago (Hershey died 6 years ago), and SWMBO was upset at leaving Hershey to strangers. I brought the rock (about 80 lbs) to the new house.

When SWMBO was ready for another lap dog she did it right. She found a lady near Little Rock who has been raising, showing, and judging Yorkies for 40 years. This woman has judged (and won) at Westminister and Crufts - the two biggest dog shows in the world. She has bred many Champions. More importantly, however, is that if one of the offspring of one of her dogs had had the genetic problem that Hershey had, she would have netered the dog and notified all of the owners of the decendants to do the same.

As far as I am concerned the only way to buy a dog is to decide on a breed(s) and go to an AKC dog show and talk to the breeders. Every litter has "pet grade" dogs - too big, too small, wrong color - that make wonderful pets. What you can be assured of if you do this is that there won't be any nasty surprizes. The other thing you will find is that they will look at you harder than you look at the dog. SWMBO has said that if we ever breed our dogs (we have 4 show grade dogs - two with points toward their Championship - we used to show) any potential owner will need near an FBI background check before they get a puppy.

I have a similar story Peter, but to the contrary of your experience. My wife and I have had 2 AKC dogs in the past. The first was a pug dog that was bread from a national circuit show dog. We felt lucky that we got one of the first puppies from this dogs first litter after her retirement, thinking we were getting the best. 8 months later the dog had a brain disease and died within 24 hours of her first symptoms.

Our second dog, a golden retriever, AKC, Papers, Parents on premises, even had the ancestry of the dog from the 40's..... Meanest dog I ever owned in my life. The dog looked very little like a golden retriever when almost a year old, but the worst was it would bite at everyone, including the kids....... That dog was given away.

We now have 2 dogs, a yellow lab that we got when she was a puppy and was told that she was a golden retriever mix, But she looks like a yellow lab. She had 1 litter and we kept the runt, who has all the markings of a golden retriever. Both dogs are mixed breeds, but are the sweetest and gentlest dogs we have ever owned. Wouldn't trade them for anything in the world...... even an AKC..... which for me, has proven to be worth less in companionship that the paper it's written on.
We got our beagle from a breed-sponsored rescue group. They only deal with that breed, and while they may not know if a rescue-dog has papers, the group is made up of a number of breeders, so they do know the dogs. (I add this because ofJobe's comment about the golden that looks like a lab). Obviously, some of those dogs have a known history, others do not.

Our first beagle was from that group, had "papers" and was being given away because the couple had a dog, then had a baby, and the dog "was jealous of" the baby. The dog looked like "Shiloh" (from the famous children's book) in color - the classic black, tan and white beagle. The rescue group put us in touch directly with the couple and we picked it up from them. We had it less than 6 weeks -- first, it was hyper, then it became territorial - as in it took over the house. Example: Our young children would have it in bed at night, and it would growl at them if they rolled over in their sleep and would growl at us when we'd try to shoo him off the bed so they could GET some sleep! Then one day I came in from chopping wood (we lived in Yosemite at the time) and the dog wouldn't let me go up the stairs -- I reached out to push him out of the way -- snap! - right on my gloved hand (the dog then shoulda sprouted wings as he went out the door!).

I asked the rescue group what we could do to stop the territoriality, growling, biting, etc. The rescue people were great -- they immediately took the dog back and admitted they should have taken the dog from the owner, evaluated it, then placed it with us - they didn't follow their own procedures in that case. They found it was, even with "papers" a puppy-mill dog and had been bred for color -- that "Shiloh" look. They pointed out the tail, bone structure, head shape and other stuff that didn't quite fit the breed standard and the result was alsoa temperment that didn't "fit the breed." (Remember, beagles are so meek and mild that they are used in research -- like putting mascara on their eyes to test how it works on people -- True!) The point in this long diatribe is that part of that "standard" is the temperment of the dog. A golden retriever acting the way you describe, Jobe, doesn't fit the standard. Neither did our beagle.

End of story? No -- the rescue group had an un-claimedbeagle found on the streetthat noone would adopt, because he was black and white - and he didn't "look like Shiloh" -- but consequently no one would adopt him even though they were sure he was pure-bred. We took one look and said, "He looks like Snoopy!" BINGO! He's now called "Grizzly" and we've had him for 7 years -- a wonderful pet, and, he fits the standard in every way -- including the lovability for which beagles are known!
(I think I'll go give him a treat, just for meeting the standard!)
Edited by: OilnH2O
OilnH20, most people don't realize that temperment is part of the standard because they never bother to read the standard. I cringe every time someone tells me they, or their son/daughter, just went out last weekend and bought a (pick your breed).

People will go out to buy a dog - a living thing - with less than a tenth the research they will put into buying a used car.

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